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Moonhowler

World of Darkness Noir

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Donor

So has anyone ever considered running a World of Darkness Noir chronicle? I was preparing for a new chronicle when this idea came to mind. I started to ponder with the idea and scrambled a few notes. I know that Danse Macabre tackles with the Vampire Noir but I haven't gotten my hands around that yet. Any ideas that might help?

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Donor

Is the Mage PDF actually worth it? I just checked it online and I am thinking about it. The thing is I was considering a mortal game where gangster rivalries involve supernatural beings fighting for territory. So in a way the players are caught in a supernatural territorial war without them knowing. Also what can be classified as noir? Is it the 40-50s? the 20-30s? Or both. Of course the noir feeling can be transferred into any modern period but I want to play close to that time period.

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Isn't Gothic and Noir just like brother and sister? Both are dark and moody and have a brooding atmosphere. If you would run a private-eye in the WoD then you have noir.

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Donor

I was wondering about something. Were burlesque club open at that time?

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Guest SKeLoRiC

Burlesque clubs were always to some degree around. Its finding the exact form they took at that time which is the trick.

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Donor

Ill do my research when it comes to that. Right now I'm torn over picking a city. I'm in between L.A, Boston, New York or Chicago. My players loved the idea of a gang war and all of them are interested. They are about ten so I was thinking about making a huge campaign map, dividing the players into factions and do sessions separately until conflict arises. Boy do I have my work cut out for me!

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Yeah, Pulp and Noir are very different in their themes and styles. Noir is grittier and edgier. Pulp is larger than life with massive heroic actions.

In truth, I think Noir is where the WoD has been trending all along. Darkened streets, rain slick roads, darkness everywhere....

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Curator

I'm currently playing in a Mage Noir Chronicle. Albeit, Ascension not Awakening and Tri-Stat not Storyteller system.

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Curator

Really well, I have only played in a prelude session so far, but I got a murder case file involving ghosts from an assistant DA with a crush on me, got my fix of absinthe and laudanum and noticed a time disturbance, as well as witnessing a protest against working conditions. I play the next session tomorrow or the next day, so I'll keep you posted if you want.

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Curator

So next session had some frustrations in difficulty curve, but still went well overall despite the dice hating me and some blunders. First, Matthew Burke(character name) brought the recording of the buzzing sound to local occult scholar Conrad Gester. Nothing came of it, and Matthew left and went to talk to Father Gregory and Dr Freund, The Deceased's(Allyssa Campbell) confidants. The facts and motive just didn't add up, and father Gregory said that while Allyssa had never contacted him about spirits/ghosts, he suspected something similar at work. Dr Freund was fairly unreachable by normal means, and so Matt tailed him to the upscale part of town, where he lost him and had to quaff some absinthe and consult the spirits about where he lived. After an annoyingly lengthy prayer/flattery session, he got the address and drove to it, "past the green fog and the gatekeeper."

The gatekeeper turned out to be a malicious and predatory spirit that arrived with a series of ripples, and toyed with Matt for some time, during which he attempted unsuccessfully to barter for entrance or info about Dr Freund. He was forced to flee when the gatekeeper got bored and attacked him, and quickly sped out of there. After that, he met up with his dealer again, Mr A, and got 3 8ths of Laudanum and another oz of Absinthe. He proceeded to sell one 8th to a college kid for a bit of profit, then went and drove to the alley nearest the crime scene. He then proceeded to try smashing out the window in the back of the condo and jumping in a dumpster to create a distraction. The dumpster was full, however, and he was forced to flee. After the cops resumed their posts at the entrances and exits, he clambered through the window and took the elevator up to the third floor. There was another cop on duty at the door, and so he crept out of the elevator to the opposite suite and tried using his liquid nitrogen to break the handle of the door. Another failed roll, and the cop was now nearly on top of him. He managed to gain the initiative and attempted to pistol whip the cop unconscious, only to miss and get shot. He responded by shooting the cop in the kneecap, and the cop fell to the floor on his back.

While Matthew struggled to his feet, the cop sat up some and shot him again. Luckily, no vitals were hit. Then he finally got up and into melee range and critically succeeded in knocking the cop unconscious, at which point the cop pissed himself. Matthew then succeeded in freezing off the door knob on the murder scene and entered the office where the murder took place. He noted the scene, which was splattered with blood and the floor covered in shards of a standing mirror, and then fled the building via the fire escape, got to his car and drove to the nearest clinic/hospital before the cops got to him.
Fin

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Plenty of violence and mischief ahoy. Interesting to see the next instalment.

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Curator

Session 3 Notes(A voice from the Murder Room):

Arrive a block away from murder scene.

From 11pm to midnight, canvas the condo.

Sneak in successfully, only to be followed by an obnoxious little dog.

Shoos dog out after some effort.

Searches master bedroom:

Girl's bureau has sex toys and a journal(pocketed for investigation later).

Men's bureau has porno mags.

Lifts print from men's bureau pocket knife to compare with murder prints.

Cursory search of overall area reveals a safe, he photographs the contents and then returns them to the safe.

Attempted to get into murder scene:

Door slams in Matthew's face; quaffs Absinthe, malevolent ghost apparent, bars entry.

Ghost shrieks in rage as Matthew kicks the door open and nitrogens the hinges.

The ghost, of various hues and such, punches Matt, coaelescing in the center of the room.

Spirit/ghost is a poltergeist.

Pushes his spirit attribute to kick the poltergeist and bluff it into disappearing.

Murder Scene:

Circular splatters on floor and walls outside of a bunch of mirror shards inscribed into a pentagram.

Appears as though victim may have been dropped from a height somehow.

"The veil is thin" where the pentagram is.

Very strong signature from paranormal monitoring kit.

Door has been kicked in before.

Freshest prints on inside of door are all hers.

Inconclusive partials underneath may be boyfriends'.

Shard of glass impaled into top of inside of door; zero prints on it.

Many photos taken of every aspect of room.

Takes photos also of info in desk.

Pentagram channels energy to pierce the veil.

Occult Blog:

Headline: Are spirits invading our space?

Blurb: It is the belief of this author based on firsthand evidence that spirits and ghosts, including harmful malefactors, may be invading our homes and work in order to further their own agendas. Some of them may be actively involved in murdering citizens of our fair city.

You can deny it all you like, but there is something wrong with this city, isn't there? Something sick and twisted, at it's very soul?

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Curator

Fourth Session Journal:

Went to Boyfriend's father's firm, he was thoroughly uncooperative. I brought him some photo print outs of the crime scene, he was highly suspicious and I was reticent to reveal that I was a private Detective, so he icked me out and kept the prints. They later turned up in the defenses' evidence to clear the Boyfriends' name, much to the Assistant DA 's dismay. I got a book from Conrad on Spooks, Spirits, and Haunts, and after checking it out and the other books, I suspect this is only the start of a spiritual shitstorm that will soon be raining down on us all. Incidentally, there were a parade, so to speak, of Homeland Security cars and vans that even the DA didn't know about or claimed ignorance of. Very suspicious. I did not attempt to track down Entrain again yet, he was too formidable a foe last time to return unarmed. So instead, after getting my drugs for the week, I talked to Alyssa Campbell's parents and got permission after talking of spirits and such, to go back to the property with the father Gregory and perform an exorcism. I used some...unsavory methods and had the father look the other way, and then with the aid of father Gregory's prayers and holy water, literally beat the poltergeist to death. I incurred a fair amount of injuries myself, and only got his help on the condition that I come to church, but that was small price to be rid of the spirit door the poltergeist had arranged. And besides, I think it was the cause of her death. I think I may need to write another blog entry soon, warning people of the danger we're in, for all the good it will do. I also had help from the buzzing sound with the time disturbances I had heard and felt but not seen earlier, it turned out to be a spirit guide of some sort, an iridescent multilimbed fly or bee type insectoid. It disappeared after helping me, but seemed genuinely concerned for my safety, battering at the poltergeist when I was knocked down, and so on.

OOC note:

Be sure to be more thoughtful about speaking in character, as I alienated the boyfriend's father by not mentioning detective work, and almost did the same with father Gregory by insisting it was a detective matter.

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If you want to play a Noir inspired WoD game I want to recommend Deadlands Noir. It's more cartoonish than WoD, but if you ignore that you a great inspiration out of it. It has New Orleans as default city setting and in the Companion there is Chicago as one of the settings. Both are WoD staples. It has every WoD ingredient: a dark reflection of our world, monster and magic are real. It has a really nifty mystery creator, which allows you to create a mystery in six steps. You choose a hook (how did you get the job), a crime (murder, theft, blackmail), a location, a perpetrator, a motive (greed, wrath, knowledge) and evidence (1.psysical 2. documents 3. witnesses). Optional is a twist at the end (your client is the perpetrator!). It gives you tips, like leave a lot of clues and start at the end with the crime and work your way back. It really works and is easy to use. Very recommended for mystery creation.

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