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Topics - CTPhipps

Pages: [1] 2
1
https://www.humblebundle.com/books/cyberpunk-r-talsorian-books

Mike Pondsmith is doing a pretty big sale on the Cyberpunk 2020 books for this holiday. I love these Humble Bumbles and they do a lot of good.

I picked them all up.

2
Reviews / [V5] [Vampire: The Masquerade] Chicago By Night
« on: May 14, 2020, 05:32:28 AM »


http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1609-chicagobynight

5/5

CHICAGO BY NIGHT 5TH EDITION is technically the third edition of the seminal Chicago by Night city book supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade. Way back in 1991, the book was released for the then-new series about playing tragic misunderstood creatures of the night a decade before Twilight made it uncool. The book was a shocking change the kind of books present from Dungeons and Dragons or even Call of Cthulhu. It was adult, edgy, racially diverse, sexually diverse, and full of complicated politics your player characters were meant to involve themselves in without shooting up the place. Well, yeah, they'd probably shoot up the place anyway but it wasn't advised.

The premise is the same for Vampire: The Masquerade as a whole. The World of Darkness is one where immortals walk among humanity, feasting on their blood and forming complicated societies that continually jockey for power like a vampire Game of Thrones. The young rebel against the old, the poor against the rich, and the powerful pull the strings of the weak(er).

As awesome as the original CbN was, it's almost thirty years old now. It was updated in 1993 for Second Edition but even that was part of an era's end. City books have never been the best selling products of Vampire: The Masquerade and the setting ended with lots of potential ways for the main characters to affect the city. Any further updates would be immaterial as the city would be unrecognizable.

Nostalgia has a powerful effect on the aging gamer, though, and Onyx Path Publishing revived the V:TM gameline with the Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition. We're now on the 5th Edition of that game and they've created a similar update to the Chicago setting. It was successfully Kickstarted in 2018 and only now has been released to the public.

The new Chicago is secretly ruled by Kevin Jackson, a former Cabrini Green gangster turned respectable undead businessman. He has successfully seized control over the city in the chaos of the recent events in the setting and set down a brutal set of laws designed to make him the most revered Prince in America. He has recruited some of the Anarchs (rebellious young vampires) who opposed the former Prince and turned them against their fellows.

The book updates the setting to 2019 from its early Nineties roots. A lot of social, government, and economic changes have happened both to Chicago as well as the nation as a whole. The history of Chicago incorporates such things as the failed Chicago Olympics bid, gentrification (including the destruction of Cabrini Green), and the collapse of Gary, Indiana from a dying town to a dead one. It also incorporates some facts about society ranging from segregation to violence in order to better roleplay the city's inhabitants.

This is a gorgeous book and one that was made with every possible attention to detail. The art is different from both the classic black and white V:TM art as well as the V5 photoshopped pictures. Every vampire in the book has a portrait and while not all of them match their original appearances, most are just beautiful. The layout is also extremely well done, drawing attention to the little sidebars and tidbits designed to make the lore evocative.

The real appeal of the book, though is it's immense attention to detail as well as its usefulness for making the controversial 5th Edition make sense. While a fan of 5E, I feel it made numerous missteps and may have changed too much for the average player. This is not the case here as we see a seamless blend of the old with the new. Things like the Beckoning, Second Inquisition, and Anarch/Camarilla War are all integrated in an organic fashion that allows what was good about the old to be kept while advancing the plots of characters in new directions.

I absolutely love the method of handling NPCs in this book with every one of them detailed with mortal history, vampire history, their current plots, mortal retainers, and what their public identities are. It's everything you could possibly need to know how to do serious roleplaying as well as any number of adventure hooks with practically any character. Characters I loved in this book were Anita Wainwright, Critias, Maldavis, Bennet Steadman, Flyboy, and a dozen others.

The book continues the original CbN's conflict between the Anarchs and the Elders. V5 was criticized for returning to this conflict over the Camarilla vs. Sabbat but I love it. Kevin Jackson is ruthlessly purging the Anarchs but doing it in a subtle backhanded way. The conflict has multiple leaders and partipants that mean, however the PCs choose to fight the war (if at all), they have strong personalities to work off of. The treason of Damien, a long-beloved Anarch hero, worked surprisingly well in illustrating how the years can wear down even the most noble soul.

Diversity-wise, this is one of the strongest books in V:TM for any edition. There are gay, straight, transgender, black, white, Native American, rich, and poor characters that help illustrate Chicago from multiple perspectives. As a better author than me said, "reality has a diversity bias." One thing that I shouldn't be happy about but am is the fact that with only one or two exceptions, almost every vampire in the book has a horrifying side to go along with their more likable qualities. Even decent-ish folk like Anita Wainwright crave bloodthirsty (ha!) revenge on their enemies or plan to use other Kindred as dupes.

A lot of gamers don't buy books for the storybeats and world-building, though. How is the crunch of the book? Well, the biggest thing the book provides is the rules and material for the Lasombra. One of the biggest criticisms of V5 was it didn't provide rules for popular clans the Assamites, Giovanni, Followers of Set, Tzimisce, Lasombra, and Ravnos. The Lasombra get a full write-up here with roughly half the clan defecting to the Camarilla as well as rules for their new discipline of Oblivion.

The authors of the book have the hard job of explaining why the Lasombra, a fanatical and snooty clan that hates all things Camarilla, would join with their ancient rivals. I think they did a pretty good job of making it justifiable. The fact that only half the Clan joins also makes it believable to me. I won't spoil their reasoning but it's spelled out in their Clan section.

If I had to pick a favorite part of the book out, it would probably be "The Sacrifice" which is a chronicle at the end of the book that could easily fill out an entire campaign for Storytellers. The player characters are assigned by Prince Jackson (willingly or not) to serve as bodyguards as well as tourguides for a visiting Lasombra delegation. If the negotiations go well, they can make the Lasombra a part of the Camarilla (something the player characters may wish to prevent). While published adventures are always a bit of hit and miss, I feel this did an amazing job. It also showed why some Lasombra would probably fit in well to the Camarilla while others would just make it worse. Kudos to the creators.

Stats-wise, in addition to the write-up for Oblivion, we also have plenty of adventure hooks and Loresheets. The book provides the rules for creating your own cities and adventures plus also making coteries for vampires to interact with. It's not my cup of tea but I think people wanting to expand their city-write ups will find the book more than worth its cost. I think my favorite of the Loresheets has to be the Book of Nod and Malkavian Madness Network. Both of which will help my current characters.

Are there any criticisms? Well, die-hard fans of V20 will note that this book isn't metaplot agnostic by any means. The Second Inquisition plays a huge role, large numbers of characters have succumbed to the Beckoning, and many old characters have been knocked off by the random hand of fate. A few characters like Joshua, Al Capone, Juggler, Dickie, and Doctor Genet also get mentioned but aren't detailed in the book. They were detailed in previous supplements but new gamers could be confused by their inclusion.

In conclusion, Chicago by Night 5th Edition is an amazing book. I loved every single V20 book and I'm probably not the person to criticize any work by Onyx Path. However, I think this is easily the best of 5th Edition and shows exactly what can be accomplished in that setting if you give it a chance. A lot of old favorites return and are made better, deeper, and more intense by their updates. The new characters also include what I'm sure will be classics to come. It's not the best V:TM book of all time but it is probably in the top five. The hardback is exceptionally well done and a high quality in terms of paper, art, and binding. I definitely got my money's worth Kickstarter-wise.

3
Reviews / [V5] [Vampire: The Masquerade] The Chicago Folios review
« on: May 11, 2020, 02:30:28 AM »
http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1786-thechicagofolios



4/5

THE CHICAGO FOLIOS is one of two supplements successfully added as Kickstarter stretch goals for the wildly successful CHICAGO BY NIGHT 5E for VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE. Chicago by Night 5th Edition updated the famous city supplement to the year 2018 and  brought substantial changes to the Windy City. Furthermore, it had a wonderful effect on games as a whole as like the web series LA BY NIGHT by Jason Carl, it illustrated to many fans how the new setting was supposed to work on practice. We understood how the Camarilla, Anarchs, Elders, and Neonates were meant to interact in a post-Gehenna War world.

The Chicago Folios is best described as a book of adventure hooks. It also has a number of NPC write-ups and Loresheets but is primarily a book designed to give you a bunch of ready-to-run short stories if you don't have any ideas for the evening. These aren't full Chronicles like "The Sacrifice" in or even "Baptism by Fire" but a rough outline of a story as well as three or four ideas on how it could end. There were dozens of these in the back of Chicago by Night 5E and I very much enjoyed them all.

The adventure hooks are, for the most part, fairly low stakes. These are not adventures about admitting the Lasombra in the Camarilla but more like settling the individual fates of one vampire or another. Sometimes, they're not even that like a hook based around helping an Ancilla turn an empty building into a new Elysium. But if house flipping isn't your idea of what a dark creature of the night should be up to, there's still plenty of solid hooks like resolving the issue of Gengis' "Anarch List" and dealing with a group of Thin Blooded murderers who are engaged in Blood Bank robberies that threaten the Masquerade.

Indeed, I think the best adventures of this are the ones that designed to be run in a single night with a beginning, middle, and end. Some of the adventures benefit from being more a premise than anything else. "The Black Rose Society" is a group of Toreador who are engaged in cannibalism of Thin Bloods among other horrific Ashwood Abbey (see Hunter: The Vigil) Sabbat-esque decadence. The only solution for humane Kindred is to burn the place down but this is going to make them a huge number of enemies. The Second Inquisition stories show horrifying Nazi-like experiments taking place alongside them trying to stop genuinely monstrous Kindred.

I think it's very possible to also combine a lot of these adventure hooks into a Chronicle that is quite exciting if you work at it. Multiple vampire plots occurring simultaneously can substitute for a larger storyline in the background or add to one as we see in Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. You can also combine all of the tiny little plots into one big one.

In addition to the adventure hooks, there's a good number of awesome NPCs spread throughout the book. These include some old favorites like the Wolf Pack, Al Capone, and Shejana as well as a totally new cast of characters. I especially liked Arden Canty, the Priest of Caine who has recently moved to Chicago after defecting from the Sabbat and losing faith in its due to its atrocities. I do have a minor complaint that Joshua Tarponski (a.k.a Blackjack) receives a stat write-up but not a full character write-up with his history, plans, and associations. I feel like he's  character who deserved a full write-up.

Much to my surprise, this book ties into CULTS OF THE BLOOD GODS and includes the addition of The Church of Caine, Church of Set, Cult of Mithras, Ashfinders, the Bahari, and a new weird cult devoted to a severed tongue among its adventure hooks. I felt a scene where a Bahari member compares Caine to Ted Bundy was a bit ridiculous since they worship a goddess who kills pregnant women but that's on me. There's a few characters who didn't quite land with me, including one who attempts to interpret the Camarilla through a patriarchy lens that I feel undermines characters like Helena and the Sybil. Really, the world of V:TM should be a bit of a refuge from real life struggles as we're all united in our disdain for the real inferiors of our society: humans.

The big benefit of this book is that it actually gives some solid answers on things that have been asked by players since the new line started: including the state of the Sabbat and the status of the Ravnos. According to this book, the Sabbat in North America have collapsed and no longer are holding territory. They have since been reduced to terrorist cell-based groups engaged in campaigns of sick mind games. One of the best bits of in-game fiction is a suicide note from a man completely broken by exposure to the "new" Sabbat. The new Sabbat are pretty much the old Sabbat but their horrifying treatment of mortals is now being treated seriously. No longer are they the Leatherface, Hydra, and Joker sect so much as the Ed Gein, ISIS, and John Wayne Gacy sect. As for the Ravnos, character Shejana is now treated as Caitiff with saying her clan is now gone in what is either the Week of Nightmares or a second traumatic event. Chimestry is also replaced with either Dominate, Obfuscate, or both.

There's a selection of new Loresheets in the book including Descendant of Menele, the Convention of Chicago [for Camarilla characters], and a few others. I feel like there's a missed opportunity here as there ren't many Anarch Loresheets and they had their own section. A Maldavis and Anita Wainwright Loresheet would have been appropriate here. I really loved the Goblin Roads Loresheet, though, as I did a short story about a Psychopomp in Darkened Streets. The book finally ends with a bunch of Tremere rituals adapted for 5th Edition and I feel these are desperately needed for anyone who wants to play a mage.

The art in this book is incredible. I loved the art in Chicago by Night 5E and felt it was a great improvement over the edgy photo-quality images of the main book. The Chicago Folios steps it up a notch, though, and many of the pictures tell actual stories. Really, I think this book is great and a solid 4 star entry into the World of Darkness' libraries.

4
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/cults-of-the-blood-gods-for-vampire-the-masquerade-5th-ed?ref=discovery&term=Blood%20Gods

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Quote
Cults of the Blood Gods is a new style of sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition that introduces the pernicious horror of twisted beliefs.Designed for players and Storytellers, this supplement will include:

*  An in-character breakdown of the rise of esoteric beliefs among the ranks of the undead and how faith drives many of the major aspects of vampire culture.
*  A host of religions -- from historic theocracies and globe-spanning conspiracies to fringe cults and mortal beliefs arising in the modern nights -- introduced for incorporation into your character backgrounds or as supporting casts and antagonist groups in your chronicles.
*    The history, structure, and ambitions of the Hecata, the vampire group known as the Clan of Death, as well as a chapter dedicated to playing a vampire among the Necromancers, and the ceremonies for their death-defying Discipline: Oblivion
*   Guidance on how to use ecclesiastical horror and construct cults in Vampire, making them a vivid backdrop for your own stories, including new coterie styles focused on cult play.
*  Faith-based story hooks and a full chronicle centered on the activities of the Hecata, involving walking corpses, ghosts, ready-made characters, and the secrets of the most twisted family in the World of Darkness.
*  New Loresheets, Backgrounds, and Predator Types for inclusion in your chronicles, encouraging player characters to engage fully with the material presented in this boo


While we're waiting for the release of CHICAGO BY NIGHT 5E (which is at distributors now), I'm pleased to say that we've got another Kickstarter for a new supplement. This one dealing with the mystical and supernatural among Kindred religion. It will also be a supplement that details the Giovanni, Cappadocians, Lamia, Harbingers of Skulls, Samedi, and Nagaraja. It will also give a update on the Ministry of Set and how they've moved past their Chaos God.

Anyone else donating to this? I like we can read the supplement if we back it.

5
Reviews / [V5] [Vampire: The Masquerade] The Fall of London review
« on: December 19, 2019, 06:13:42 PM »


http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1748-thefalloflondon

4.5/5

THE FALL OF LONDON for Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition is a chronicle that details one of the most important events of the latest edition of the tabletop game: the destruction of every vampire in London at the hands of the Second Inquisition. London has always been one of the pillars of the Camarilla and while very little was actually written up for the city, it was long considered a fan favorite due to its stature in the real world as well as its rulership by 4th generation Methuselah Mithras (the in-universe inspiration for Roman mystery cult god).

The premise is the player characters awaken in London (either pregens or the player characters of the Chronicle) and are forcibly recruited by Mithras to help him regain his former power. Decades ago, Mithras was diablerized (eaten) by a much-weaker vampire and while he was able to possess said vampire due to his titanic strength of will, he lost most of his strength. His loyal toady and lover, Roger de Camden, has prepared a ritual to restore Mithras to his former glory. This ritual requires numerous objects of power and it is up to the player characters to acquire them.

If this plotline sounds familiar, it should as the idea of evil rituals designed to resurrect or restore Dark Lords are a fairly common fantasy plotline. Voldemort is the most famous of contemporary examples but we also have Dracula in Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, Thanos' attempts to gather the Infinity Stones, and the Masks of Nyarlathotep. The big twist here is that the player characters are the Death Eaters than Harry Potter and his crew. London will gradually fall to the Second Inquisition as they work to restore their master, whether they're working for him willingly or not, until the final ritual climax when they might betray or aid the ancient vampire god.

If the players do not choose to use the pre-gens, you're going to have to explain why they should care about serving the interests of a ancient evil vampire. The game doesn't really give too much insight but if their player characters aren't saints, it shouldn't be too hard to convince them. As Benny said in the Mummy, "Better to be at the Devil's side than in his path." Players can be offered power, wealth, and the gratitude of an evil god. They can also have their loved one's threatened or be Dominated into it (which should encourage them on a path of betrayal). Really, you should just make sure everyone is ready to go along with this because otherwise there's no game.

The Second Inquisition has been a controversial topic among fans due to the fact that it moved vampires on the defensive after decades of being treated as the unquestioned secret masters of the world. The fact that mortal hunters, worse, mortal hunters working for the government were able to take out many fan-favorite characters as well as resist vampire subversion rubbed a lot of players the wrong way. It didn't help that real life human conspiracies rarely maintain the level of secrecy or effectiveness that the Second Inquisition was shown to operate under.

The book gives an example of how the Second Inquisition operates and gives examples of characters, equipment, standard operating procedure, plus ways of using them. The Second Inquisition is not invincible or all-knowing. They're also being used by Mithras as a catspaw against his enemies, though even he wildly underestimates just how much damage a well-trained well-funded paramilitary organization can do in the Modern Era.

The book isn't like Diablerie: Mexico or Dialberie: Britain. The scenarios it contrives for the PCs to eventually get all of the nick-nacks they need to restore Mithras are well-designed for a serious Gothic Punk story. There's no raiding tombs here. I also appreciated the fact that the ending allows the player characters to choose to side with Mithras, Queen Anne, betray both to the Second Inquisition, or betray the Second Inquisition to the others after betraying them. You can also just leave the city or try to rule the ashes. It reminds me of the endings of Bloodlines and how those benefited from you being a treacherous monster.

The book retcons the death of Queen Anne Bowesley, so that she actually is able to stay ahead of the hunters even with Mithras helping them. That is, unless the PCs help bring about her end. Really, the book dials back a lot of the flaws of the Second Inquisition as while they're a formidable foe, it's made clear that London wasn't so much "purged" as quite a lot of vampires just left for Birmingham, Edinburgh, or Cardiff until the SI decided to move on. Lots of weaker vampires died but they were never standing there to have a throw down with the hunters in the first place. What do take them for, Sabbat?

The Fall of London is extremely well-done and provides a lot of information for those who are unfamiliar with Mithras or the characters involved. While no substitute for a London sourcebook, it gives enough information on the various power players that you could easily run a campaign set before the Fall. It's also possible to use the book to set a game after the Fall when the vampires start trickling in again after the Newburgh Group (The Knights of Saint George, Arcanum, London police, and MI5) thinks they've won.

The book contains numerous NPCs that help fill out London's vampire rank and file. I was especially fond of Sri Sansa, a former Victorian con man turned Tremere "master of the mystic arts" and Ayse Dhanial who struggles for women's rights while not losing her Muslim faith. The latter was an interesting addition to House Carna. There's also plenty of previously established characters like Mithras, Anne Bowesley, Regina Blake, and Roger Camden. Having them updated makes the book all the more useful for Storytellers.

The book is not presently available but you can read the PDF if you pre-order the hardback copy. Sadly, a PDF copy of the book is not yet available separately. I expect one will become available but probably not for a few months. You have to shell out the big bucks to Modiphus if you want to read about resurrecting Lord Voldemort or not. While I prefer my games to feel a little less arcane, I think it was a really solid work overall and goes a long way to making the Second Inquisition make sense as an antagonist. Now all they need to do is a Chronicle about the Fall of Vienna.

6
https://crossroadpress.com/product-category/white-wolf/



Yes, the first seven Clan Novels are out.

* Toreaor
* Tzimisce
* Gangrel
* Setite
* Ventrue
* Lasombra
* Assamite

Plus the Grail Covenant!

Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Barnes and Nobles, and Kobo!

I remember reading these in the 90s and while I wouldn't say they were GREAT (except SETITE and GIOVANNI--which were legitimately good horror novels as well as fun game fic), I will say that I had a lot of fun with the series overall. I was kind of annoyed they weren't available on Kindle and the PDFs available on RPGnow were nearly unreadable because they were just photos of the originals. So having them on my Kindle to read will be a great improvement. I also am pleased to say I played a small role in getting these things out by getting in touch with White Wolf and pointing out my publisher, who wrote some of these books himself, had a history convertig game fic and tie-ins.

I understand the current release schedule is finish up the Clan Novels then do the Dark Age Clan Novels and see if any interest exists for other books like the Clan Novel Trilogies, The Red Death, Werewolf Tribe Books, and so on.

I have my fingers crossed this will not only lead to the re-release of the entire 150 novel back catalog of the entire Old World of Darkness but that it might eventually lead to more novels entirely.

7
Media and Inspiration / World of Darkness documentary review
« on: November 28, 2018, 08:48:11 PM »
http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/2018/11/world-of-darkness-documentary-review.html

[ATTACH=CONFIG]3070[/ATTACH]

    THE WORLD OF DARKNESS DOCUMENTARY is ridiculously hard to find. I'm saying this before I tell you my review of the work. This should be available on Netflix, Hulu, and on DVD for purchase as well as digital download from a website. Instead, I had to download Fangdago on Xbox One in order to purchase and watch it. [Edit: I've since found it on Amazon Prime as well]. It's a wonderful piece of art which talks about one of my favorite pieces of media: White Wolf Entertainment's World of Darkness.

    For those of you unfamiliar with the property, it was created in 1991 by Mark Rein Hagen at the behest of Steve and Stewart Wieck. Mark, as illustrated in the movie, was driving through Gary, Indiana one day when he was trying to figure out a their next big property. Inspired by the scenes of urban decay, Anne Rice, The Lost Boys, and other pop culture--Mark created Vampire: The Masquerade. Before urban fantasy existed under that name, it was Gothic Punk and it was a game about playing the undead in the shadows of modern human civilization.

    The documentary consists of a set of interviews where the founders and developers talk about how it got started as the stapled paper White Wolf Magazine then moved on to become a pop culture phenomenon. We get insight from Justin Achilli, the aforementioned founders, the head of the Camarilla/Mind's Eye Theater, and a number of beautiful cosplayers who provide visual distinction for what might otherwise be a bunch of middle-aged gamers like myself.

    My particular history with the World of Darkness mirrored a lot of the people here. I was an awkward geek living in a fundamentalist American South before discovering the counter-culture influenced Vampire: The Masquerade. I was entranced by the cover of a red rose on a granite slate (which turned out to have been done as a last minute patch on a horrible cartoon 80s action movie cover). White Wolf had, appropriately, been founded in the Punk section of Atlanta, Georgia where my future wife spent her teenage years.

    If you're looking for a hard-hitting documentary about the rise and fall of a gaming company, then this is not the documentary for you. It's mostly a love-letter to White Wolf Entertainment even though it contains more lumps than I expected. The interviewers aren't afraid to take shots at some subjects where they feel like the company made serious errors like the universally derided lawsuit against the Camarilla fan club.

    The documentary also doesn't hesitate to pay backhanded praise, at best, to the still-popular New World of Darkness with some developers actively blaming it for killing the "World of Darkness" zeitgeist. One notable moment is when they show a video of everyone cheering in the audience when they announce CCP would NOT be using the New World of Darkness for their upcoming MMO. The documentary condemns Kindred: The Embraced as a hack job and skips over Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption to talk exclusively about the many trials of Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines.

    I also must state it's a bit of a shame the documentary ends on the failure of the World of Darkness MMO, which was absolutely beautiful from what little slices of gameplay we get to see. There's hints that it might have been a project that got too ambitious (talking about the hundreds of different styles of clothes your character could choose from). Sadly, it ends on that downer note without the Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition or take up of the line by Onyx Path Publishing to show a triumphant return. 5th Edition certainly doesn't get a mention either.

    It's great to finally put faces to so many beloved writers and artists who helped create the work that helped define my 90s experience. The World of Darkness was hugely influential to the Blade and Underworld movies as well as True Blood series. We also get a real sense of how it individually impacted lives as gamers talk about how the World of Darkness changed their lives. It's good also to see a diversity of players that shatters the stereotype of white male gamers being the only people who tabletop.

    Really, the sense of the documentary is largely uplifting. It's a story about a beautiful topic that I think all Gothic Punk RPGers and World of Darkness fans should appreciate.


8.5/10

8
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/chicago-by-night-for-vampire-the-masquerade-5th-ed/description

I'm a backer of this Kickstarter and have bought the opportunity to decide the fate of Prince Maxwell (of both Requiem and Masquerade fame) among others. So, yes, I'm very pleased by this work as I was a HUGE Chicago by Night fan way back in 1992. This is the chance to leave a mark on canon and I'm curious what Al Capone and Eletria's fates are going to be thanks to their backers.

The Chicago setting for me is the litmus test for any edition of Vampire: The Masquerade. 1st Edition more or less established how to run games. It gave us things like Sheriffs, Harpies, Seneschals, and more or less how to run princes (which is to say as complete assholes). I always felt it was a mistake not to make a 3rd edition of the book with Revised. By that point, V:TM had moved away from city-based chronicles and there was the question of how useful a city book was. For me, I always found it an easy-toolkit to adapt NPCs from and have used the Chicago Kindred in Saint Louis, New York, and even London (obviously adjusted backstory wise).

But I felt like it kind of lost some of the vampire flavor to have such characters which so many players had encountered. I felt DUST TO DUST was a poor ending to the Chicago Chronicles (technically Gary) as it felt slightly mocking in tone. Modius and Juggler were such beloved characters, I felt they needed a better send off.

For me, what I'd like from Chicago by Night 5E is a "hybrid" book. I'd like a book which can be useful for V20 games via the updating of the plot to 2018 but not such a way that won't necessarily rely on things like the Beckoning and Second Inquisition. I also am hoping it can be used for 5E because I think the biggest problem with that game right now is the fact we don't quite know how to play in that universe. Basically, we don't know how Elders, Methuselahs, and Anarchs interact. So I have an impossible set of contradictions but I'm hoping Chicago by Night will spell out how the setting has changed in a way so that players get a sense of grounding.

How about you?

9
Anyone pick these up?

The first two supplements of the game continue their edgetastic view of the two sects.

I've only read The Anarch book so far.

It makes them a bit more Sabbat-lite.

10
Well I absolutely frigging love it.

http://booknest.eu/reviews/charles/1313-vampirethemasquerade5thedition

I gave it a 9.5/10 on my book review of it.

I also like how we've finally gotten some meat and potatoes with the release of the Anarch and Camarilla Guides so we know WHAT the hell has happened to the two main sects.

(The fact the Anarchs are now the main competitng sect tells you a lot about their very 1st Edition orientated vision)

It's led to a really great chronicle.

11
Anyone play Vampire: The Masquerade?

I did. I did a lot and the center of our game was Chicago by Night 1st and 2nd Edition. Arguably the two greatest game supplements of all time. I am so excited they're doing a 3rd version of the city for 5th Edition. I loved the 5th Edition supplement and Beckett's Jyhad diary.

Who said tabletop roleplaying was dead?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/chicago-by-night-for-vampire-the-masquerade-5th-ed/description

I'm already loving the previews which my backing the game has allowed me to see.

Critias, Damien, Sheriff, and others.

Plus it's going to have the Lasombra Clan detailed within.

I've heard rumors they'll do another Gary by Night supplement as a stretch goal too.

12
I'm interested in starting a game of this but don't know if I should. I know nothing about the system, world, or what makes it good.

So if you were to tell me what Cyberpunk 2020 is about....how would you do it?

What's the highs?

What's the lows?

What are the best supplements.

13
I'm doing a STAR WARS game where i want the player characters to feel like they're the most important people in the galaxy. To that end, it occurs to me one of the best ways to do that is to completely throw the storyline for a loop.

I'm going to do that by having Darth Vader successfully assassinate the Emperor while the PCs are distracting them (and really really out of their depth). I'm thinking they all discover an ancient Sith world or something which attracts both the Dark Lords at once. Palpatine doesn't want anything the Sith spirits inside can offer him but well, Vader does.

Which gives him the boost necessary to slay his master and claim the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith's Master.

It's a good "season" ender and allows for a neat little timeskip.

Yoda, Obi-Wan, and a good number of other Jedi are still alive at this time since it's previous to A New Hope.

I'd be interested in how people would see Darth Vader changing the galaxy and how the dominos might fall as well as possible new adventures which could be taken once he emerges from the planet without his master.

Note: This is about 10 years prior to ANH.

14
Media and Inspiration / Cthulhu Mythos novels and short-stories
« on: November 17, 2016, 11:34:26 AM »
Basically, fiction set in the world of H.P. Lovecraft. I have an intense love of the subject (being an author of it myself) so I thought I would bring it up.

Some which I love are:

* Cthulhu Attacks! by Sean Hoade: Where Cthulhu finally kills everyone and it's hilarious.

* The Laundry series by Charles Stross: Spies vs. Cthulhu

* 13 and The Fold by Peter Clines: The Mythos combined with Lost.

* Cthulhu Armageddon by C.T. Phipps because I'm a self-promoting harlot. Mad Max meets Cthulhu.

* The Litany of the Earth by Ruthanna Emrys: Why racism against Deep One hybrids is bad.

15
Media and Inspiration / What are you reading?
« on: November 17, 2016, 11:33:34 AM »
A pretty easy idea for a thread.

I'm currently reading Black City Saint by Richard Knaak.

Also, the newest Marion G. Harmon Wearing the Cape novel.

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