October 4th, 2010

Music, Cthulhu

Vampire: the Masquerade (updating the setting)

I'm thinking about starting up a new Vampire: the Masquerade game and I'd like to update the setting/metaplot a bit to cover the last several years.

Assuming Gehenna has not happened yet. It has been about 12 or 13 years since the last Camarilla Inner Circle meeting (Guide to the Camarilla named new Justicars and Children of the Night added several Archons).

So, I need ideas for candidates for new Justicars and general updates on just what has been happening lately. The Justicars I'm keeping are Cock Robin (Nosferatu), Lucinde (Ventrue) and Jaroslav Pascek (Brujah). Madame Guil (Toreador) has fled and possibly joined the Sabbat, which will most likely get her placed on the Red List during the Conclave. Maris Streck (Malkavian) was beaten into Torpor by her Clan Elder, Vasantasena. Anastasz di Zagreb (Tremere) has generally been an embarrassment and Clan elders are eager to nominate a more effective warrior to the role.

The Camarilla has begun an aggressive campaign to retake the East coast of the USA from the Sabbat starting with Washington D.C. Taking advantage of a new Sabbat Civil War (due to a vicious battle for the vacant seat of Regent) the Camarilla has successfully eliminated several Archbishops and other high ranking leaders in the area.

Rumors of a "7th Clan" being named to Camarilla and a new Justicar have re-surfaced once again, especially with the upcoming Inner Circle meeting. Will it be the Schismatic Assamites? The Lasombra Antitribu? The recently joined Milliners who defected from the Giovanni or someone else altogether?

Many younger Kindred in the Camarilla are looking to make a name for themselves in the war effort and the elders are all to happy to aim them at the Sabbat. Anarchs who fled the fallen Free State in California, Ravnos looking for a purpose after the destruction of their Clan, Gargoyles and Samedi taking contracts on select targets for boons and favors and many others.

So, that is where I'm at currently. General brainstorming and plot ideas. I've got a handful of ideas for introducing the characters into the battle and possibly having the game kick off with a Conclave where new Justicars are named (not all of them will be there naturally, but the attending will name the others).

Ideas on how the Kindred have reacted to major events in the news over the last few years?

Ideas on what some of the named NPCs from the books have been up to lately?

Interesting twists I could add to the setting for current events?

Cowboys of Cthulhu

I'm getting close to actually starting a campaign, and while the trivially easy for me to run, with lots of books I already own for my players to read D&D 3.5 is appealing, Cowboys of Cthulhu keeps crying out in a terrifying voice, commanding that I run it instead. Shamans summoning up horrors to try and fight back the invaders from the east. Unspeakable entities crawling around in the backrooms of the tent cities along the transcontinental railroad construction route. Gold mine tycoons who have dug too deep too fast and unearthed what never should have been. Crazed preachers who've been out alone under the stars in the vast empty a bit too often. Insular valley dwellers who seem a little off every time the least ugly of them comes to town to buy supplies. Deserters from the Civil War who have seen horrors beyond what the human mind can bear. Grim faced Marshals with 5 pointed stars pinned to their vests that make your eyes crawl when you try and stare at them. Yeah, it certainly calls out to be played. :)

The problem? What system? GURPS 3rd ed Cthulupunk/Old West? Unknown Armies with all the setting tossed (Old West works just fine as a sourcebook divorced from mechanics, like most GURPS books, and Unknown Armies has better insanity/mental effects of traumatic experiences mechanics than CoC does)? Call of Cthulhu (bad mechanics, but really it is just a slightly before Gaslight time period CoC game at that point)? Put it all together from scratch in FUDGE? D20 Past + D20 CoC? Feng Shui, again tossing their setting (perhaps too upbeat a system for the horror feel)? Deadlands (I don't own any books and have never read/run it) since it may just be a close fit right off the bat, though I've hard mixed things about its mechanics?

I'm a big believer in the value of players having rules objects to have as goals/motivators for character mechanical development (hence D&D). I also really like mechanics that FEEL appropriate for their setting/story/tone. What do folks think? What system/combination do you suggest I run? :)
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