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Re: New Game+

Post by goatkiller666 » August 14th, 2016, 6:48 am

While we should probably delete old Haroldtaug's account, since he is most likely a bot, he did remind me that you had talked about running a new game.

How's that going? We ready to roll up some new characters?

Re: New Game+

Post by Lantyssa » April 5th, 2016, 10:16 pm

Newest version v 0.3

Version 0.3 is up. I have a lot more in place, though I still need to get several systems written up including basics, so don't despair as I am working on it.

Feel free to ask questions though.

- I'm focusing on the humans and demi-humans first now
- Magicians and adepts will be compatible, I just haven't written down adept stuff
- Cross-system stuff will be possible in some cases, though the last ideas from most of you were more Shadowrun than other systems

Re: New Game+

Post by goatkiller666 » March 24th, 2016, 3:22 pm

So, here's a quick summary of the World of Darkness Vampires, plus some added details from Lantyssa's timeline above (also, I reversed the order, so that older stuff is at the top.

True Vampires exist. Call them Kindred, so as not to be confused with the HMHVV infected losers. These are fully sentient beings who are functionally immortal, though they can be killed. Vampires are made, not born. A vampire will have similar powers as the vampire's maker (they have adopted the "sire" and "childe" language for this relationship), and all similar vampires will be members of a "bloodline". Typically, a bloodline is called a "clan", of which there are generally assumed to be 13. Clans will always have some amount of in-fighting, but more or less work towards the betterment of the clan. There are also various minor bloodlines, which are assumed to be split-off branches from a clan. So, one member of a clan will specialize into a specific niche (usually a distinct power), and that guy's childer will follow suit.

For example, there's the Toreador clan, which broadly focuses on art in whatever form. When a Toreador makes a childe, it is expected that the childe will be an artist of some flavor. Then there's the Daughters of Cacophony bloodline, who are specifically singing-themed. The Toreadors have power sets for swaying the emotions of others and improving their senses. The Daughters have a specialist song power that is more narrow than the general emotion swaying power, plus they're still hyper-sensing.

Other bloodlines may be less similar to their parent clan, even to the point that it's not always obvious what the parent clan is. If the bloodline split off far enough ago, the history may be lost as well. Regardless of the provenance of the bloodline, they are all much smaller in numbers. Clans are relatively huge and exist across the globe. Bloodlines may exist only in one area.

According to Kindred mythology, Caine (brother of Abel) was the first Kindred. (Kindred with a particularly religious bent will call themselves and other Kindred "Cainites" as well.) When God put the mark on him, he was cursed to walk the earth forever, to eat only ashes and taste only blood, to fear fire and sunlight. Legend says that Caine sired three (or maybe five) childer. Those in turn sired a total of 13 between them, though records are vague on which of the three sired which of the 13. Those 13 are the basis for the clans. In theory.

Most active Kindred (player characters) are between 8 and 13 steps removed from Caine. This is called your Generation stat. The closer you are to Caine, the more powerful you are. You can drink more blood than someone farther from Caine. You can use blood to do things faster. (Get stronger, get tougher, heal damage, etc.) And certain mind control powers simply will not work against a Kindred who is closer to Caine than you are. That guy can control YOUR mind, though. The ruling elders are 6 or 7 steps removed. When the elders speak of their sires, who are 4 or 5 steps removed, it is as though they are awesome demigods. They call them Methuselahs. These are usually sleeping away the centuries, or enacting centuries-long plots that are so subtle that even the elders are not aware they are being manipulated.

The 13 founders of the clans are called Antediluvians, since they existed before Noah's flood. They're undead, so they just hung out below the waves until the water receded. No big deal. They may once have been humans, but they are so ancient and so powerful, it's not worth thinking about them.

Something like 600 years ago, when the Spanish Inquisition was rolling strong, some of the Kindred noticed that the Inquisition was actually doing a very thorough job of finding the human servants of the Kindred and destroying them. They had even successfully found some elder Kindred and burned them to ash. The Inquisition was the closest thing to a world-wide organized attack against Kindred interests (if "the world" is Europe, anyway... back then, that's how they thought). Until then, each city was an island. The Kindred had a prince, and the other Kindred obeyed the prince. Members of all the clans existed in each city, in varying proportions. They ruled the humans from behind the scenes, and mostly didn't interact with the Kindred of neighboring cities. Clans allowed for visits and shared information, but mostly each city was on its own. But the Inquisition was using that fractured lack of command to seriously harm Kindred interests.

Several elders from seven of the clans had a sit-down and decided to form an umbrella organization, which they called the Camarilla, to help coordinate the cities. MOSTLY cities were managed the same, but every city would obey the Camarilla in general. There were also created some positions within the Camarilla for investigators and strike teams, who could be deployed to any city and who would help fight off these world-wide threats. The Camarilla also helped codify Kindred laws about allowing mortals to know that Kindred exist, to make sure the Inquisition didn't learn enough about the Kindred to be a real threat.

In response to this, several of the not-elders were subtly directing the Inquisition to destroy the elders, because an immortal boss will ALWAYS be your boss. And they wanted promotions. Two of the clans actually managed to find and destroy their Antediluvians, and the younger ones grew more powerful.

(If a Kindred drinks al the blood from another Kindred, they can actually consume all of that Kindred's power. This is the only way to actually bring yourself closer to Caine... find someone who is and eat their soul. This is a HUGE crime among the Kindred, and you can actually see black streaks on the aura of someone who has done it. The only situation where it's okay to simply kill a Kindred on sight is if they have these black streaks on their aura.)

The members of these two clans totally ate the souls of their elders, methuselahs, and antediluvians. But they weren't super ancient, and they weren't invested in the status quo. So they collected some of the rebellious members of all the other clans, and formed a shadow organization called the Sabbat. While the Camarilla embraces the idea of ruling humanity from the shadows; that secrecy is the best approach. The Sabbat throws caution to the wind. They are reckless, do not bother to hide their nature, and often will go on blood crazed rampages, letting their monstrous natures rule them.

Some of the 13 clans joined neither the Camarilla nor the Sabbat. There will still sometimes be individual members of a clan who join one of the organizations, but those are rare. These clans are called the Independent clans. If a clan has officially sided with one of the two organizations, any members of that clan who are part of the OTHER org are called antitribu members.

Kindred religion says that at some point there will be the Apocalypse. The antediluvians will wake, rise up, and commence open warfare against each other, instead of the current shadow wars and secret schemes. Nobody knows exactly when it will happen, but it's believed that it will be soon. The prophecy speaks of a Red Star appearing in the sky, which is the sign that Gehenna has begun.

The 13 clans:
    Assimites - Middle Eastern clan of assassins. They are strongly Independent, though there's a sizable antitribu membership of the Sabbat.

    Brujah - Strongest in Iberia, Members of the Camarilla, with a strong antitribu branch in the Sabbat. The younger ones tend to be revolutionaries, with strong philosophies of equality. They all universally have strong tempers, though the elders try to control that through pretending to be civilized and snobby.

    Giovanni - a family of Venetian merchants, who are also necromancers. They were brought into the Cappadocia clan a thousand years ago, but then have destroyed all of the non-Giovanni members of the clan, effectively destroying that old Clan.

    Followers of Set - They rule Egypt entirely, and are Independent. They believe that their antediluvian is the actual Egyptian god Set, who is the corrupter and destroyer. They tend to be schemers and manipulators, and are often involved in the human drug running game. There's a fanatic antitribu group called the Serpents of the Light, who are voodoo-using corrupters based in the Caribbean.

    Gangrel - Members of the Camarilla, with a strong antitribu group in the Sabbat. Many of the myths of vampires turning into bats and wolves come from the Gangrel. Their powers focus on changing their own forms (into wolves and bats, into a patch of mist, etc.) They are one of the most effective warriors, due to their bestial nature.

    Lasombra - One of the two clans who destroyed their antediluvians and formed the Sabbat. There are only a very few antitribu in the Camarilla, but they tend to be the very old Methuselahs who survived the purge. Their powers center on control of actual shadows. Both for physically attacking your enemies, but also for hiding, moving from spot to spot, or for spying. They believe that they should manipulate everything, and they are the ones destined to rule.

    Malkavians - Members of the Camarilla, with a strong antitribu in the Sabbat. Malkavians are insane, to a person. They view insanity as a way to learn about the world... by shattering the mind, you shatter it's perceptions. New ways of looking at the world can manifest. While this is true in theory, and Malkavians are know for some uncanny observations, sometimes even prophecies, it also means that they're difficult to talk to. And for every seer gaining insight into the hidden nature of reality, there are nine more who are afraid of shoelaces and argue with mailboxes.

    Nosferatu - They are universally hideous. (For example, all players start with one rank of each attribute, including Appearance. You can get up to 5, for the most beautiful a human can possibly be. Nosferatu have 0 ranks, and can never increase this stat with XP.) Their powers focus on stealth, and they are the very best at being invisible and spying. They are members of both the Camarilla and the Sabbat, though they don't look at it as Clan / Antitribu. Unlike the other clans, the two groups get along fine, and they work together to help the clan. This isn't known outside the clan, though. They are spies and information horders without equal, though they usually sell that information to the rulers of cities, instead of using it to amass power themselves.

    Ravnos - Independants, with an antitribu group in the Sabbat. They are gypsies, mostly Romani by birth, but there are exceptions. They're usually not welcome in Camarilla cities, because they tend to steal shit everywhere. So in small groups, they'll wander from city to city, just like living gypsies.

    Toreador - Camarilla based, with an antitribu in the Sabbat. They are artists without equal. Though, since they are artists and appreciate beauty, sometimes they will turn a beautiful but otherwise untalented person into a Toreador. They call these poseurs. The antitribu group, taking the Sabbat emphasis on embracing their monstrous nature, has some of the most depraved horribleness ever imagined. They turn torture and causing public panic into an art form, no longer bothering with paint or sculpture. Luckily, they are not in charge of the Sabbat.

    Tremere - A group of mortal wizards wanted to escape death, so they turned themselves into vampires. They hunted down and destroyed the entire Salubri clan, so have replaced it. Being only recently a clan, they are relatively rare. All of them are in the Camarilla. A very few exist in the Sabbat, but not many. They are hunted mercilessly by the Camarilla Tremere, as traitors.

    Tzimisce - The second clan to form the Sabbat, there are no antitribu within the Camarilla. Tzimisce are the Romanian Dracula clan, and their specialty is in fleshcrafting. While the Gangrel change their forms into specific other forms, the Tzimsice are simply artists of bending and warping flesh into any old shape. Each one is unique and inhuman, and they tend to have armies of monstrously deformed humans at their back. Humans with bony plates under their skin, huge claws, oversized frames, you name it. They will graft parts onto their creatures, and the greatest of them will take scores of mortals and make a single living war machine called a Vozhd.

    Ventrue - The leaders of the Camarilla, and princes of most cities, the Ventrue are the nobility of Kindred. While he Lasombra wish only to rule, to bend things to their will because the Lasombra has been the one to master them; the Ventrue believe that they are destined to rule because of being from this clan. They will work hard to accomplish this end, but there is a subtle difference in approach. The antitribu in the Sabbat are a small group, and since the Lasombra are dominant in the Sabbat, the Ventrue antitribu tend to get the short end of the stick. They reject their parent clan, and reject the assumption that they should rule just because they're awesome.

I won't go into the various bloodlines, since this is a summary.

Now for some details on the Shadowrun universe.

Magic exists, though it happens in waves. Something like 10,000 years ago, magic in the world ebbed. All of the magical beings reverted to their mundane forms. Elves and dwarves and orcs and trolls didn't change shape, but they had human babies, and those mingled with the other humans and we just had humans. Same for unicorns and pegasi and horses, etc. (Kindred still survived, because there was a little bit of magic left, which they powered by drinking blood.)

1999: Seretech Decision grants corps the right to private armies
2001: Shiawase Decision grants corps extra nationality status

[GK] - These basically allowed the megacorporations to challenge national governments. They ended up having their own compounds, with their own laws and security, and stepping into IBM's office was like stepping into a new country.

2009: Formation of the SOX zone in Europe after nuclear catastrophe in France
2010: VITAS 1 wipes out 450 million people

[GK] - This is a magical strain of a mundane disease... which is why it was so effective.

2011: The Red Star appears - Only awakened can see it.

[GK] - This is from the Kindred mythos.

2011: UGE - Elves and Dwarves are suddenly born to human parents; Unusual creatures start appearing

[GK] - Finally there's enough magic in the world for all of the elves & dwarves children who'd been interbreeding with humans for 10,000 years, to manifest. Human parents were giving birth to elven and dwarves babies.

2014: Both Tir na nOg and the Native American Nations are founded in what was once Ireland and North America

[GK] - Many of the "less civilized" people of the world, who were still in touch with their old spirituality, started to find that it actually works now. In the USA, all of the native tribes who had been marginalized and mostly wiped out suddenly had magic at their command. They rise up and take over most of the western half of North America, kick the white people out, and form their own nations. Ireland had a LOT of elves being born, and druid magic also was working again. So they take over the whole island, kick the round-ears out, and set up an elven nation. (Later on, a group of Irish descended elves in North America convinced the Native American tribes to accept them, and they formed a second elvish nation on the west coast of the USA. This is Tir Tairngir.)

2015: Mexico becomes Azatlan

[GK] - While the American and Canadian tribes took back their lands, the Aztec rose up and took over Mexico. In this case, the change is mostly academic, since they considered all Mexicans to be Aztec, and ignored that there are a lot of people there with European blood. Azatlan is also a megacorp, which makes things complicated and also simple. Megacorps are basically nations anyway. This one just happened to own all of Mexico.

2018: Great Ghost War where Native Americans reclaim much of North America
2021: The Red Star reaches apogee; Gehenna/Armageddon/Ragnarok is at its peak - turns out it's an Era thing

[GK] - Again, this is related to the Kidred mythos. Basically, while the humans are dealing with elves and dwarves and native shaman and druids, the Kindred were dealing with chaos of their own, and many of the elders were rising and enacting their plots. The fact that lots of humans were now magically capable is a problem, because it means the Kindred no longer have absolute control over their fodder.

2022: VITAS 2 kills another 10% of the world's population
2021: Goblinization - Orks and Trolls spontaneously awaken throughout the world; utter chaos results

[GK] While the elves and dwarves were simply born that way, the orcs and trolls happen differently. A whole bunch of people hit puberty, and then suddenly morph into orcs or trolls. Many die in the process. Most are traumatized emotionally from the agony. After this, they breed true as orcs or trolls, and their babies are simply born as what they are. Only this first generation morphed like this.

2030: Remaining Canadian Territories merge with the UCAS

[GK] - On the east coast of North America, what's left of Canada and the United States, including all of the whites who were kicked out of the west, merge into a single nation, the United Canadian and American States. (Given how the USA and Canada are set up now, I can only hope that the UCAS embraces a lot of Canada's compassion, instead of being ass-hole Americans.)

2034: CAS states secede from UCAS

[GK] - The assholes in the UCAS' southern states are tired of being compassionate, so they embrace the same division as the US Civil War. They even use a variation of the original name: The Confederated American States.

2048: Current year. CAS territory in Houston.

[GK] - And here's where the game starts, in the city of Houston, which is the largest port in the CAS, and near the border with Azatlan. Since Lantyssa is from Houston in real-life, this makes it easier for her to deal with place-names and whatnot. I also lived in Houston for over a decade, so I guess I'm nominated as junior world-builder and assistant explainer of things.

[GK] - There exists a magical disease called the Human Meta-Human Vampire Virus (HMHVV). When it it infects a human, that human becomes a mindless undead who drinks blood / sucks magical essence. These are called vampires, but aren't related to the Kindred. That same disease infecting an elf makes a banshee, and infecting a dwarf makes something else. They're all mindless hungry undead (really, they're alive, but they suck magical energy to survive). The virus, being magical as well as biological, has mutated twice, with the second and third strain making various other flavors of mindless undead. In one case, the third strain infecting humans, the resulting creature (a ghoul) is NOT mindless. They're still hungry and eat magic, but they are sentient. They've even gone so far as to make a ghoul nation somewhere in Africa.

Generally, any of these mindless undead are killed on contact, because they're dangerous and they infect people they attack.

[GK] - Europe had a lot of similar re-arranging of their borders. Germany has once again fractured into Prussia, Bavaria, etc. I think Latvia or Estonia have also converted to an Elf-only Grand Duchy. The SOX zone in France is huge. And it turns out that irradiated badness makes some interesting magical bad mojo, so the SOX zone is more than just a "don't go here" thing like Chernobyl is for us. Some messed up spirits of toxicity are in there, and they need to be contained so they don't go on rampages. But the game's designers were American based, so most of the content is North American themed.

[GK] - When the tribal leaders formed their own nations, they left Denver as a sort of Cold War Berlin. It's on the border between the UCAS, CAS, and several of the Tribal nations. The city itself is carved into sections, each owned by one of the constituent nations. There's a shared police force for the city as a whole, and it's intended to be a meeting place for all of them. Kind of like Brussels is the European Parliament, but more militaristic.

[GK] - While the tribal nations took over all of the Western North America, for some reason the UCAS managed to retain control of the city of Seattle. Seattle is now it's own UCAS state, but it's walled off from the tribal lands that surround it. This is probably the better analogy to Berlin, since it's totally surrounded by a semi-hostile neighbor. As such, it gets built up a lot, with a large portion of the UCAS military budget going to securing Seattle. But since it's so far from the rest of the UCAS, there's a lot of opportunity for shady people to get up to no good.

[GK] - The focus of the game is an occupation called Shadowrunners. Basically, since corporations are extra-national entities, and each city block may constitute its own legal jurisdiction, there's a lot of legal grey area. Corporate espionage has moved up to a new level, which the corps sometimes sending armed raiding parties into each others' compounds to steal secrets. Of course, they can't do that openly, so there's a whole market of freelance raiding parties. They aren't tied to any corp (or might be legally members of several, if they're sneaky enough). They'll take a job against one corp one day, then flip on their old customers the next. It's dangerous, but can be lucrative. This whole context of sneaky stuff is "The Shadows" and those who do the jobs are Runners. Thus the game's name Shadowrun.

In a D&D sense, there are certain classes for Shadowrun.

Magic Users - Magic works, why not use it?
- Normal spellcasters (either hermetic traditions or shamanic traditions)
- Physical Adepts (use magic to boost their physical stats, allowing super speed, etc.)
- Magical Adepts (less powerful spell casters, but they can do non-magic stuff as well)

Deckers - Virtual Reality hackers. There's basically a parallel world of the VR Internet.

Riggers - Instad of VR to the Internet, they VR to remote control vehicles.

Street Samurai - Just straight up fighter types. With awesome automatic weapons, and cybernetic enhancements. Boosted reflexes, auto-targeting systems, heads up display for aiming your rifle, all the good stuff you'd want from a sci-fi adventure.

Magic and Cybernetics are incompatible. There's a stat called Essence, which controls how much magic you can do. All cybernetics make you lose Essence (so there's a limit to how much cyber you can put in your body), so magic users do NOT like cyber. Most people aren't magic capable, so they don't mind losing Essence to get cyber boosts, though. A physical adept is about on par with a fully jacked out street samurai, but he uses magic instead of tech to do it.

An interesting twist to this is that for a Street Samurai to get better, he needs money to buy more tech. XP only increases stats and skills, but cyber is just a matter of cost. Magicians need XP to increase their magical power. They can buy some magic items, but money is not nearly as useful for a magic type as it is for a samurai type. This cam make for some interesting decisions on the parts of players, once the game gets going.

Re: New Game+

Post by Lantyssa » March 22nd, 2016, 4:04 pm

I'm trying to get it into the flavor section of the game rules. It's just a lot to write and hit the salient points.

Essentially though, in Shadowrun there have been several viruses out there. VITAS 1 & 2 killed about 10% of the world's population each. HMHVV is the Human-Metahuman Vampiric Virus. It is a magically active retrovirus that re-writes gene expression to turn the victims into something resembling traditional vampires and other undead. A second strain turns victims into savage beasts much like the werewolves of lore. Most victims suffer degraded mental capacity, and being a virus, can be passed on.

Kindred of course have been around for centuries, and haven't required a high-magic environment to exist. While anomalies happen, their existence wouldn't normally be attributed to an HMHVV strain. Theories, however, abound.

Re: New Game+

Post by GM Gavin » March 22nd, 2016, 3:15 pm

Note I know very little about WoD or Shadowrun history so a little summary of stuff would be nice.

Re: New Game+

Post by Lantyssa » March 22nd, 2016, 2:20 pm

It is conceivable that the Kindred form of vampirism is HMHVV-0. Scientists aren't sure yet, but then the first two strains are just recently isolated.

Re: New Game+

Post by goatkiller666 » March 22nd, 2016, 5:55 am

Does that mean that the HMHVV is related to the Kindred's existence, too?

I like the idea of vampires following this whole mythos of Caine and the Antediluvians, and it was all fake. Some ancient Malkavian's prank.

"The greatest lie the devil ever told was that he did not exist."

"The greatest like that Caine ever told was that he did exist."

Re: New Game+

Post by Lantyssa » March 22nd, 2016, 5:41 am

I'll add in the longer history to the game doc. No Kindred Antediluvians made an appearance. The Thin Bloods were people infected by HMHVV virus. Dragons were the Antediluvians. Mostly the prophecies were a crock and vamps tried to wedge whatever they could to fit. The real Gehenna was the reshaping of Kindred society by the emergence of mutahumans, awakened creatures, and their outing to the world at large. Of course scholars and conspiracy theorists debate all this...

Re: New Game+

Post by goatkiller666 » March 22nd, 2016, 5:30 am

Okay, and if we add in the oWoD stuff as well, the Sabbat vs. Camarilla wars were ongoing, until the Red Star reached apogee.

Do those organizations mean anything at this point? The Antediluvians should have woken up along with UGE. For all we know, their Methuselahs could have initiated Seretech and Shiawase in anticipation of their sires awakening.

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