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Pigsticker Bill

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About Pigsticker Bill

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    Vampire Praefectus
  • Birthday 04/17/1973

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    Northern Virginia, Suburbia
  1. Long Absence

    Just saying howdy. Been a long time, glad to see things are still kicking!
  2. Requiem in the Twenties

    1920's is a great era. I'd recommend that you make whatever city you use real to you so that you can portray it better to your players. Each of the larger cities at this time (and even now to an extent) tend to have their own 'feel' to it. That could also influence how you set up your major players (NPCs) within the city too. What are the major means of transportation into and out of the city? Shipping? Railroad? If the city is booming and growing in size, then maybe there is an influx of newer, younger vampires also. This could be its own stress in vampire politics because it is so hard to keep track of every single vampire, let alone newcomers and nomads. Figure out who the main enemies of the Giordano family are. You said they pretty much stomped on their competition lately, but what about outside the city? Do the opposition have contacts outside the city (via their covenants or otherwise) that they might be able to solicit, etc.? What I'm trying to say here is create an outline of the political mess that exists within the city, then you can fine tune it once you get an idea of which way the PCs lean towards. Well, I'm just rambling now so I'll leave it at this. Good luck with your game! Pimpin' and a Historiafyin'
  3. Neonates in a City

    Yes, I understand the system and the differences from the old game. But I'm postulating the ideas that most games don't last over a 50 year timeframe and if they do, rarely would they exist over a 100 year one. If the characters are gaining experience, then why wouldn't the NPC's? Maybe not as much, but they would still advance and gain in power or begin to take action against the younger vamps if they showed that they were rising too quick - I'd think. 50 years is the average for BP to increase. Expenditure of XP to do this is fine but I've yet to see a PC in one of my games horde 40 or so XP just so they could get from BP 3 to BP4 - they're too busy buying up skills and discipline points. Anyway, I was just throwing out some options to change up the regular play of the game to something a little more challenging to players who get too suited in playing their one guy. If the players can help shape up the city in ways other than from their own characters, I think they'd be drawn in tighter to the regular game at large. Just some ideas! Pimpin' and a Musin'
  4. Ghouls and Organ Harvesting

    Well, if I'm not mistaken, that is more of a Old World of Darkness power as (to my knowledge) the Tzimisce have not been introduced in the VtR game. True, in the old system, this might not be all that jaw-dropping but I haven't seen any new discipline in VtR that allows such a morphing and duplicating of human skin/anatomy.
  5. New vampires "in a city"

    Imhumu gave some very good advice, trust your instincts and go with what you feel comfortable with. I'm a bit of a hardliner when it comes to the attitudes of vampires so I tend to be a bit extreme with questions like these. I'll just throw out some suggestions to give you some ideas as to what you might want to come up with. I know that starting a project and trying to get a handle on an 'entire city of vampires' is a little daunting, so don't be afraid to slowly get into it piecemeal First off, I always see vampires as being predators first. Predators hunt, establish territory and jealously guard what is theirs from all others. Now you are introducing 4 relatively young and 'weak' vampires into an established city. That is going to be a tough bunch of hoops your group is going to tackle because they'll have to be stepping into territory owned and guarded by other vampries. You can see where a city's vampire populace might not be overly welcoming to a group of 4 neonates with no direct ties to the city (again, this tends to be along my way of playing so if it doesn't work for you, then don't sweat it) Vampires, however, are also very social in the political sense. 4 neonates stepping into a city with no loyalties or ties to any one elder presents a whole mess of opportunities for those vampires who are established in the city to 'help and then use' the 4 for their own plotting. Who else better to stage an attack or kidnap a herd than a bunch of vampires that can't be tied to an enemy? In short, one way for the 4 to become established in the city and become 'accepted' is to be used as errand boys and/or muscle. Maybe the city vampire is trying to keep the 4's presence in the area a secret so that he can continue to use his weapon against his enemies, maybe he's making a move on a position or looking to raise his prestige so he needs to have numbers behind him. Brainstorm over what your players are looking to get out of the game and what you feel comfortable running, then jot down all sorts of plot ideas and see which stick with you and spark some inspiration. I think you are on the right track in starting outside the main boundaries of the 'city' proper. This should be very hard living since there isn't any comfort zone the vampires can fall back into. Maybe they come across a Nomad who has some pull within the city, or can forge a letter of introduction. Maybe the 4 end up finding out some dirt on a city vampire and use it to blackmail the vampire into introducing them to the Prince (this would have to be some pretty damning stuff). What you might want to do if you want to influence a city-centric game is to make the suburb living a living hell for the vampires. Hunting difficulties are increased, never a full bloodpool, Neighborhood watch keeps shining a flashlight on them, etc. This way, you provide an incentive for the characters to move into the city and not run back out if/when things get a little rough for them. Just some ideas, good luck with your game! Pimpin' and a Jivin'
  6. VtR Combat System

    This has been very much the case with the majority of our action sequences! Beautiful imagery right there.
  7. Neonates in a City

    I'm a big fan of keeping things new and I'm always willing to try a new tactic to keep the players on the edge of their seat. In one campaign I had players create their mortals before their embrace for a chapter where they ended up causing some trouble they didn't fully understand. The next chapter I had them play their Sires 150 years before the first chapters story line. This way, their elders were a mix of who they wanted them to be and what I wanted them to be (hint: it's always a good idea to invest in Mentor if you can!). The historical campaign was set up for two reasons. One it would make the city feel like it was the players because the sires (neonates at the time) would end up being much of the very power within the city for their real characters to exist in. The end of this campaign was left with the remaining vampires in the city making a pact of which one of the stipulations were that no signer of the pact would take any physical action in any way towards any of the other signers (person or property). *Also that once the pact was broken all of the parties would be aware of its breaking, though not how* This was actually the players inclusion which ended up just falling into my hands. So eventually what is found out is that the mortals ended up being manipulated by one of the signers to cause harm to another of the city's elders, breaking the pact and forcing all of the signers involved struggling to find out just what the hell happened. So the sires of the players do some research and begin grabbing these mortals as a means of finding out just what happened and who are involved. For a long time the players were in the dark, but there was always an element of 'we need to figure this out'. -- Okay, to me a neonate set up in a modern day campaign will probably always be a neonate. Vampire society, as I see it, is stratified for the elders to hold power and for them to hand out parcels whenever it suits them. If this is the case, then neonates hardly have a means of advancing all that far in a city where kindred have been existing for 200 years or more. With this being said, I've always had a few options for players to participate in that sort of builds a greater story in the city they reside in. The carrot to these options has always been to reward the players' real characters with any experience they earned with the 'side adventures'. Some are as follows: 1. For those who are combat inspired - assault on an elder. (A psuedo-VII or brood type of hit). Characters play the 'bad guys' and attempt to assassinate one or more leaders within the city. After this scene/chapter is over, the players have to try and find out who/what and why this assassination attempt was made, what is to gain, who can be pressured to grant or give favors, etc. 2. Play mortals who break the masquerade. They know, now it is up to them to bring the evidence to the public's interest. Again, the players get to play cleanup after their 'mortal' characters have attempted to set up a means of getting the news out. 3. Immigration spread - Vampires are flooding the city, fleeing from another city. There are too many to really keep from coming into the city without a city wide scourge. The new numbers put a stress on the city's politics as they stand, now covenants are finding new members that need protection and bodies translate into political power. Players play vampires from a single covenant with a mission of establishing themselves and making a new home. It just so happens they end up choosing territory near or within the players own territory. 4. No dice session - My buddy ran a great diplomatic game where no dice was used and that was fully in character. Each of the players play an elder or leader of a covenant. They meet, scheme and politic over issues that threaten the city. Who to call a blood hunt on, territory to be awarded or taken away, etc. Experience should be weighted for in-character play and what gains their temporary character got within the negotiations (this keeps players from 'giving' favors to one side or another willy nilly). Well, some ideas anyway. Pimpin'
  8. What Covenant runs your city?

    I ran a Philadelphia campaign. It was Invictus controlled at the beginning of the campaign but the characters were instrumental in bringing about a Lancea Sanctum overthrow (not that any of the players were of the LS covenant)! There's nothing like the mistakes of players to reshape your game... Pimpin'
  9. VtR Combat System

    Ok, I'm sure this has been covered before, either here or in the NWoD forum but what have your experiences been with the new system compared to the old? Is combat resolved any quicker? My own experiences have been no, I ran a campaign for close to two years but still never got a combat type of scene to flow as smoothly as other scenes. I don't want to confuse lethality with ease of use. I think there is a lot more risk in VtR for vampires to fight than in VtM, even with the discipline changes but is it any quicker. My understanding from the very beginning that this was going to be a streamlined way of doing combat, a quicker form. My own personal experience has been a little frustrating. Perhaps because I've been playing with an older, "Junior Varsity" type players (meaning not the gung-ho types who immerse themselves with the ins and outs of the game) but though I like the majority of the changes in the new system I haven't found it facilitate the game in any way. Thoughts or suggestions would be welcome - I'd like to have this type of thing flow a little better than it does. Pimpin'
  10. Ghouls and Organ Harvesting

    I think you are very right in how traumatic the procedures would be on the patient. I hadn't thought much about it from the patient's point of view but I like your assessment with the aversion to medical procedures and facilities. A plot hook that might work would be if the characters began noticing that this ghoul/retainer is a bit on the edge. They begin to investigate to see just how dangerous the ghoul/retainer can be to the vampire populace at large and get more than what they bargained for. The vampire who could stomach such an activity would be a bastard of a vampire for sure. Characters would probably want to take a careful approach to not only investigating this guy, but confronting him. Thank you both for the comments! Pimpin'
  11. Embracing the dead?

    See, that is what is called a tease. Tease.
  12. Embracing the dead?

    Actually, this has got me thinking. What about a VII group that have the means of embracing old corpses (relatively fresh, though allowed to be cold) and giving them the gift of vampirism for a single night. Hell, make them turn to ash after their single night i complete or something. A group like this could cause all sorts of trouble to the vampires of a city. Trying to track down who are embracing these unknown vampires, why they expire so quickly, and just what the hell the purpose of it all means would be a great way to start of a campaign. *Edit* This has sort of got me thinking a bit so indulge me, here. Shovel Head Vampires Humanity 0 2 physical disciplines each May use blood as a BP 1 vampire Exist in a state of hunger frenzy May not use Willpower, though would use their Makers stats for resistance rolls. Gain a physical merit (great leap, fast running, etc.) *End Edit* It's funny where the mind takes inspiration from. Pimp' it good.
  13. After the Fall of the Camarilla

    I'd recommend trying to figure out how each of these covenants that you will be using sees the world around them. Once you define each of their outlooks, I think they will begin to feel slightly different than they do in the 'modern' WoD. To me, the LS at this time is expansionistic (if you want to mimic the church). This would mean that they would have a very strict regimen about how their followers carry themselves and how they deal with others outside of the covenant. Are they trying to wrestle power and control it for themselves? If so, they might be actively trying to kidnap other kindred to learn what they know, what networks exist between other vampires and covenants and then lock them away (staked) in a vault for later use. Invictus - are they really the movers and shakers right now? By what means do they use to try and obtain power? Is it money? Then they might be trying to lock in the banks and merchants, trade ports, etc. They'd probably not have a strong following of vampires, but would probably present themselves as very useful to all. They inch their way inside each of the covenants and groups by being useful and having contacts outside of the city that the other covenants might not have. Circle of the Crone - do some research on some of the smaller religions at the time and in the area and go from there. Hell, you could even go back to some of the greek and persian gods since vampires live so long. My own thought would be to 'create' a group of Cthonic vampires who live and exist in the catacombs, deal with ghosts, dead bodies, whatever. They might not have much contact with the other vampires, but maybe they are also trying to assert themselves (Ok, I didn't mean to be so giovanni here, but it just happened I guess). Don't worry about covenants, think about coteries. Covenants exist outside of the city at large, they are a network of like minded beliefs that are organized to some extent. Remember, larger cities are smaller back then, so you also have to think about how many vamps you are going to have running around in your city too. Good luck with it, sounds like it has some good potential to be really fun. Pimpin'
  14. Determining power level of elders

    Personally I don't try and stat my NPC elders. There is nothing more frustrating to me than to have an image of a vampire crushed when I'm trying to assign enough dots so that he is both capable and not over powered. I usually will make sure elders will have one or two of their primary disciplines around a 4, their third is usually the weakest and possibly a fourth or fifth nonclan related discipline at a one or 2 at most. I almost always limit the amount of newer or technological skills that elders have because I tend to believe that vampires aren't creatures who adapt easily to the times. To me, they would get even more set in their ways. So some social skills might be higher and some knowledges that might deal specifically with their own personal interest but that's pretty much all for the most part. I don't see elders using cell phones or computers or investigating missing persons. That is what retainers and childre are for. (my own outlook, as I said) Still pimpin'
  15. Ghouls and Organ Harvesting

    So I was sort of brainstorming one day, and it hit me that one sort of creepy way that vampires could earn money would be to ghoul a trusted retainer and then harvest organs from him. Now the vampire in question would certainly have a very low humanity, but as long as he had contacts in the medical world and could at least present a respectable front for a business then what is there to stop him? A kidney a week at $10,000 a kidney equates to a half a million dollars in a year. If he was tied in or able to transport these organs to hospitals outside the city then there'd be very little risk of doctor's asking questions as they'd be getting quality, healthy organs and saving their patients. The ghoul could be kept completely in the dark on this, he'd just require a little more blood than normal since he'd be spending his time healing himself, maybe even in his sleep. Dominate really helps with this, 'Heal and Forget'. By healing himself he even removes all evidence of the procedure so he'd very unlikely to ever find out what exactly is going on in 'Master's Basement'. I guess then you'd have to think about what the transplant patient would have to endure when a vampire addicted organ is introduced to his/her system - if anything. Would the organ revert to it's natural age once it goes a month without taking in vampiric blood? If so, then the vampire doctor would need to make sure he used young retainers to use in these transplant procedures because eventually there'd be an investigation as to the tainted organs and where they came from. Just some random thoughts to help tackle hump-day. Still pimpin'