Monday, November 26, 2012

Children of the Night

Deal with it.
(Spoilers for The Giovanni Chronicles ahead.  You have been warned.)

Dig this: I'm back where I started.  This past Saturday, I had the pleasure of stepping back into Vampire: the Masquerade (although as a player this time).  Blake over at Mythology started running The Giovanni Chronicles: The Last Supper (and presumably plans to run the whole saga).

A bit of back story: I own these books.  I haven't read them (as I wasn't planning on running them, I had no reason to look them over, particularly since I always heard someone or other would be keen on running them instead), but I bought them off E. M. Lamb from Malleus Blogstrorum aeons ago.  I've heard good things, but I never had the chance to run or play.

So here we are.

I have the distinction of playing one Sædís Ragnarsdóttir, recently Embraced into Clan Brujah:

Picture Elle Driver, but younger and angrier.  If that's even possible.
She kicks ass.  Earlier in the session, she had to leave her men behind; she told them to memorize the face of the man with whom she was traveling, and if she did not return, they were to kill that man.  If they didn't, she would claw her way from her grave and find them.

They've seen her rage before, so they had no doubt.

The funny part is that she was mortal then, and I wasn't saying that because I was playing Vampire — I said it because she's actually a pagan, her men know this, and it seemed like an effective threat.  (She has one eye out of emulation of old Odin, after all.) she's a vampire (or as she's been calling it, a draugr).  That will be a funny story when she finds her crew again.

A couple of notes: Blake's running Vampire: the Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition.  It's roughly the same as Revised Edition (3e) Vampire, but has a couple of changes ported from new World of Darkness (all physical Disciplines cost Vitae, although in keeping with oWoD sensibilities, each one has a passive effect that works without blood expenditure) and Orpheus (no Dodge skill, just the Athletics talent).  I'm sure I'll pick it up in the not-too-distant future.

On the module itself: We're not terribly far into it because there's a large amount of exposition (I'm pretty sure we're past the bulk of it now, but it's a thing).  The group starts as mortals, goes through a shovelhead Embrace at the hands of Clan Giovanni's conspirators, get snatched by Hardestadt, and are given a reprieve from Final Death due to the intervention of Durga Syn.

The current mission is to train as Cainites until their Giovanni conspirator sires, no doubt determining the group to be alive, decide to Summon the fledgling coterie to the conspiracy's current location.  The coterie will then act as spies from within, informing Hardestadt and his allies of Clan Giovanni's activities.

It was certainly fun.  The module, at least in the early stages (and since there are four books of it, likely throughout) features the favored enemy of the OSR, railroading.  However, I found that this allows a certain amount of drama to come out — as players, we all knew we weren't going to survive the night, so we might as well make the most of it.  (Sædís tried to fight to the vampires, as did her newfound bro, Sir Jacques, to no avail).

Additionally, as I've said before, I don't necessarily mind a poverty of options so long as the cage isn't obvious — our doom was heavily telegraphed, but we theoretically have a choice in cooperating with Hardestadt (the fact that we're going to be Summoned by our sires is probably non-negiotiable, but we can totally betray Hardestadt if we so choose).

And now: quotes.

"Occam's Razor says the easiest solution is to stab them with a razor."

"Tell me, what were you told of your host?"
"He' Italian."
"They're...not Jews.  Are they?"

"Looking at him, the best way I can describe this, he is so hideous it makes you angry."

"Surrender now and I will spare you.  If you surrender."
"We just woke up, you assholes!"

"Durga Syn looks like a wrinkly scrotum with The Big Book of British Smiles?  Thanks, Blake.  You ruined Vampire for me."

Addendum: Blake wrote up the session over at his blog.  So there's that.

Also, while I talked about my character, I said nothing about the others!  In addition to Sædís the Brujah, we had:

Baron Wolfgang von Schlusselheim, scourge of Bavaria, Embraced into Clan Gangrel.  Played by Nicole.  He's a baron, but there's a strong implication that he stole his title.
Bartolomeo Montalban, Papal Agent, Embraced into Clan Tremere.  Played by TS.  At least I think she was playing Bartolomeo.  As befits a prospective Tremere, the fellow didn't talk much.
Father Niklas von Ausburg, Church Historian, Embraced into Clan Nosferatu.  Played by E. M. Lamb.  A doddering old priest.
Horace Pemperidge, Travelling Minstrel, Embraced into Clan Malkavian.  Played by FS.  A fabulous bard.
Paola di Toscana, Brothel Matron, Embraced into Clan Lasombra.  Played by Tini.  Accompanied by three of her working girls and probably the most social among us.
Sir Jacques Lapideau, Knight of Flowers, Embraced into Clan Toreador.  Played by frankietuesday3.  A French anointed knight, he and Sædís are bros for unlife.


  1. Glad you had fun! Likely, I will be making my own post about it over on my own blog.

    I would say your assessment, from an out-of-game perspective, is rather on-point.

  2. You know, it feels really, *really* weird not playing a fabulous bard. I will take fabulous bastard, of course. But I miss being a teen heartthrob.


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