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Nossie

London - Help with a Campaign

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Hi sweets,

I finally found two other people who will be playing WoD with us. And of course I have to be the ST.

I am a little bit worried as I never did ST for more than 1 player ...

But that's not the issue I need help with, they know that and they promised not to be so hard on me. :)

We decided to set our VTR campaign in London. Last week we met and discussed characters they want to play.

My husband decided for Gangrel bloodline, Hounds of Acteon (National park keeper), and the other two chose Nosferatu (writer who lost his muse) and Mekhet (private investigator)

So now I have to prepare story and I need help with it. I didn't think much about it, yet....

If you have some storyhooks or even a little ideas about London Kindred or plots I could use, I would really welcome it.

I was thinking about making the Prince of London a woman, probably Ventrue.

In last two games we played the Prince of San Francisco and Prince of L.A. were both Daeva. I need a change. :)

Just antyhing that could spark the inspiration inside of me is welcomed.

Thank you!

Nossie

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I would definitely look at Shadows of the UK for NWoD. It has a section on London and Vampires, even though it is a predominantly Werewolf book. Also there are some neat creatures in there, especially spirits. Seriously... it will be a very different game compared to your other previous games.

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Curator

In the WoD canon, she already is. They call her the Lady (not Prince) of London.

London, like any major city, has its regions, its legends and its myths. Plenty of recognisable landmarks and regions to carve up into territories, each with its own history. The Tower, St Paul's, the Gherkin in the modern city, Embankment, the Thames, Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Pall Mall, Oxford Street and so on.

Most of it's just background to a lot of the game - you can interject a throwaway reference to "Through the rain, you hear Big Ben chime 3 times" or "She's a tourist. American. She's still got that stupid Tower of London souvenir T shirt that she bought at their little gift shop" to remind you that you're in London.

Some locations have intense character all to themselves. The West End is where all the influential go for their Elysia and to hunt; The Rack is in the alleys behind all the posh restaurants, shops and theatres, where the nightclubs and porno shops, brothels and sex shops in Soho still sell their stuff late at night as the out and proud sip caffe lattes outdoors at night in the posh cafes next door.

In the world of V:tR London, CCTV cameras are everywhere - but in some locations, the cameras are either dead or monitored by ghouls working for the Lady of London (what, did you think even the Kindred could not suborn Big Brother when the humans have given them virtually the best tool at their disposal to keep the human herd monitored and tracked for feeding?)

Rough areas - London has more than its fair share. Not too far from the fancy cafes and art galleries you enter a world of grimy alleys and slums. It's not as bad as the old images of Dickensian London, but ...

"I'm hesitant to single any out, but if you see metal grilles on front doors, union jacks in windows and a pub with a flat roof, you're in the wrong place."

I'd have to add to that description that the pub with a flat roof stands alone, with a large car park surrounding it. Union Jacks in the windows mean you've got a hooligan racist skinhead element that nests there. The sort that I'd recommend that the Prince clear out by sending in the Brixton Nosferatu to hang in the corner Obfuscated and drive them out with waves of Dread, because it's always fun watching a skinhead brick himself over nothing.

Technically, even places with supposedly bad reputations in London are getting gentrified. Places with reputations for gangs and violence such as Brixton and Millwall are losing their old edge, the kind of old edge that would have attracted thugs like the Krays and the like, all that Guy Ritchie over-the-top violence and cops like The Sweeney in a back alley beating up the local nonce.

In general, you can paint a rough canvas of London's Kindred as follows.

West End - Ventrue and Daeva. High-end Havens. Mostly monoculture.

Westminster, City of London - Ventrue, Invictus, Carthians, Ordo Dracul, Belial's Brood running the discreet little vice dens for "tired gentlemen" seeking "leisurely massage."

East End - multicultural, low- to middle Havens. Every Clan; Lancea, Carthians, Unaligned, Crone.

Start small. Pick a name for some out-of-the-way part of London that doesn't feature on a tourist map with a name like Shooter's Hill, Greenwich (which has a heavy Ordo presence due to the Observatory), Crouch End or Leyton, Islington, Earl's Court, Golders' Green (which is the traditional Jewish heart of London - lots of money, synagogues and jewellers, etc) and start your campaign there before expanding it to cover "all" of London.

And make extensive use of what online and offline resources you can find, including inspirations from such books as the Lonely Planet and Rough Guide tourist books for London.

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Thank you kindly for your amazing post! You definitely inspired me!

I would definitely look at Shadows of the UK for NWoD. It has a section on London and Vampires, even though it is a predominantly Werewolf book. Also there are some neat creatures in there, especially spirits. Seriously... it will be a very different game compared to your other previous games.

Oh, Thanks Kris, I will try to find the book. Spirits are always amazing creatures;)

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Curator

A quirky feature of London which you might not be aware of (and I'd half forgotten until a recent 2000 AD story reminded me); the heart of London is supposed to rest in a stone, The Stone of London, which is at a ground level location in a cafe in Cannon Street, EC4N 5AD - a real location, Google it up.

41497569.jpg

The stone is set inside this metal cage, open to the air, and you can see it from the cafe on the inside, which has a lovely view of people's feet going by.

LondonStone.jpg

629px-London_stone_1.jpg

The above pic taken in 2005, at the height of the boom in corporate vulgarity.

The Lady of London later requested that the advertising be removed ...

... and the genius who posted the ads be Embraced, staked and left out on a rooftop for the sun.

Here. Wikipedia has some useful and interesting information on it, including its legends.

The London Stone is supposed to be the milliarium, the central point from which Romans measured distances to all points across Britain and, presumably, the rest of the Empire as well. As a site from which oaths were once sworn, it seems the perfect spot for Ventrue and Invictus to gather for important oaths and declarations, and for the Carthians to declare their Carthian Laws across the whole city.

The whole of Cannon Street, therefore, is considered a permanent Elysium site accordingly, making the area perhaps the largest Elysium in London.

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You are a treasure, you know that? ;)

I am definitely going to use heart of London in my game. It would be cool and also it will be very interesting to read something about it.

Thanks!

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What Libra said by starting out in a small part of London, that's really clever :)

London is huge! I've flown over it a few times, and I get amazed of the magnitude. From what I gather, there are some parts of London where for example there are so many immigrants from India that the part of London looks like a part of India.

Integrating the mortal society with the kindred society makes the story more alive, as the examples Libra posted. Consider the destruction in London by demonstrants in the light of kindred society: who would gain from that? Could things like that be a cover for something else? Or just: how difficult would it be to feed when demonstrants and police are everywhere?

Then there are really old structures and institutions in London, with bloody histories that may or may not be connected with kindred. Tower of London and Bedlam, to mention a few.

Speaking of spirits: In "Hellblazer", there's a spirit of London itself. It is pretty powerful and usually hangs around in the subways. The spirit of London knows every nook and cranny in the city, and is obsessed with keeping the city (itself) alive.

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What Libra said by starting out in a small part of London, that's really clever :)
Thank you. :)

Speaking of spirits: In "Hellblazer", there's a spirit of London itself. It is pretty powerful and usually hangs around in the subways. The spirit of London knows every nook and cranny in the city, and is obsessed with keeping the city (itself) alive.
Howard Ingham may have referenced this with that metaplot device he wrote about in his Shadows book: 200 years ago, it boiled up out of the dark and sent almost all of London's Kindred to Final Death - and in the present day, it looks as if it wants to repeat the favour.

Either that, or he'd begun hinting at the return of the Strix or the like: another favourite entity of his.

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Cool link about the Heart of London. I'm going to have to use that myself.

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