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[personal profile] innocent_man
I say "perhaps" because I want to do the write-up for the Vampire game. Normally I'd do it tomorrow at work between sessions, but y'know, they're blocking LJ now, dammitall.

Anyway, if I finish the write-up in enough time, I'll do a Ganakagok character. And at some point this week, I'll want to do a post about the recently-released Vampire Translation Guide, and why I found it such a weird project.

Last time, the characters slept in a storage facility waiting for the mysterious Granjera to show up. All of the other vampires dropped off to sleep except John, who managed to stay awake. He spoke with the ghost of Father Gerardo, and the ghost-priest asked him why vampires didn't just die, since they were killers and monsters. He said he tried not to kill, but that not all of his coterie saw it that way, and he didn't know why they didn't stop. Father asked him to trust him, and possessed him briefly. He woke up at sunset with the others.

The characters noted that Granjera hadn't come back at all. This was a pickle, as they didn't know where else to look for her. They decided to go to a tiny casino off-strip called the Lucky Rabbit, which was the claimed hunting ground of Marcus Brisbane, one of her other customers.

Marcus was a neonate, and was happy in his own little domain. He was concerned that there was a blood hunt on Granjera and didn't want that bleeding over to him. He told them that when he'd spoken to her last, she'd smelled of incense - a very particular blend he'd only ever smelled one other place. That'd be the Luxor, Maeve Blackwell's turf. Adele, now an Acolyte, didn't know anything about this, but she was itching to go to the desert. When they'd arrived there, the rabbit in the sign had changed, for just a moment, to a desert hare and looked off beyond the city.

But she stuck with them long enough to go to the Luxor and talk with Maeve. Maeve met them in the lobby, and she was less than forthcoming. She admitted to knowing Granjera, but refused to disclose where she was or how she knew her. She also referred to Adele as the Maiden, but did so in a voice dripping with bitterness and envy. The characters surmised that Maeve was meant to be the Maiden, and Adele had somehow taken that role. Before she left them, she said to Louis in perfect, Bourbon Street Creole, "Don't you use your mother tongue anymore?"

This was odd, because Aaron, who's been in town a while, remembers Maeve having an Irish accent (which she's lost over the years). So where did she learn Creole?

At this point, Miranda and Adele took Aaron's car (over much protest) to the desert to find Dawn Waiting-Snake. Louis called up Brian Rossini and asked for a car to use for the night, which he got. The four of them (Louis, Aaron, John and Alice) went back to the Lucky Rabbit, where Aaron went in to talk with Marcus (John tagged along, invisible). Aaron talked with Marcus about his coterie and how he was thinking of cutting them loose, because he just didn't seem to fit in. Marcus agreed, touted the advantages of being alone and hacking out one's own turf, and said that being able to "order out" for food was great. He said his sire had been a slave-owner, and that mortals had made a big deal out of slavery for nothing. Slaves didn't have it so bad (this didn't seem to faze Aaron much, which is maybe sort of worrying).

He and John left and the four of them went to visit Don Iltano, the head of the Lancea Sanctum in the area. Iltano met them at St. Bridget's Church, where he gives confession to Kindred. They saw right away that something was off - his shadow was facing the wrong way. He revealed it had happened a few weeks back, and that he'd been buying from Granjera to avoid breaking the Masquerade by hunting. He asked if the characters had any knowledge of what might be causing this, and it got Louis and John to reflecting on what happened back in Corups Christi.

They talked about strange banes for Kindred and how they varied the world over, according to stories. Aaron asked if the old "only come in if invited" thing was true, and Iltano mentioned a Daeva named Lorna Zelan (or "Lucky Lorna") who had observed that particular taboo. He said that Lorna was a strange one, referring to her brood as "Zelani" and that they had a preternatural sense of timing and prophecy. And indeed, her childe had grown roses, and had a fascination for the Mayan calendar - at which point Louis and John exchanged looks.

Meanwhile, in the desert, Miranda and Adele played "Marry, Kill, Fuck" to pass the time (they agreed they'd kill Aaron, but were torn on the notion of marrying John or Louis). They eventually saw a coyote, and it turned out to be the mysterious shape-changer Far Ethin'Na. He agreed to find Dawn and have her meet them, and they found her in the desert, waiting for her.

Dawn revealed that Maeve Blackwell had shared visions with her, visions of roses with black spots, distributed by another Kindred that Dawn assumed to be a sister. That is, another vampire by the same sire. Dawn knew that Maeve's sire had tricked her into signing a suicide pact and then Embraced her as a Nosferatu, and that she was from New Orleans. She'd had visions of fire producing three Kindred: One from out of the air (Maeve, since she'd come on a plane as an Irish tourist), one from the ground (maybe Granjera, since she was a farmer at least in concept) and one from the water.

The characters knew a Nosferatu from a city associated with water, who speaks Creole: Louis.

That Maeve hadn't been willing to reveal these dreams to anyone, effectively choosing her sister over her obligation to Dawn and the Circle. That made Dawn realize she wasn't really the Maiden (and Adele was). That kind of explains the bitterness. Dawn also revealed that her visions made her realize that something was coming to the Kindred of the area, closing in on them. The coyote, she said, was really a spirit of borders, and when borders changed he got restless. She also taught Adele a new ritual, the Drops of Destiny. The characters, noting all this, left, driving back to town to call Louis.

The other Kindred, in talking with Don Iltano, discussed how to find Granjera. He suggested that if they could find someone of her line (sire, childe, even "sibling") they could track her with blood sympathy. Not long after that, Miranda called, and Louis, acting on this suggestion, sliced his fingers a bit and focused on the blood. He felt fear, heard casino sounds, and smelled incense - apparently Granjera was at Luxor.

Louis called Dex and asked for a stay on the blood hunt. He said that Maeve might be Granjera, and they needed more time to see what was going on. Dex called the Prince, and told the characters to meet outside Luxor. When they did, Maeve came out in a daze. A limo pulled up, and the Prince beckoned the characters and Maeve inside.

Maeve effectively confirmed their suspicions, all except being Granjera. The same vampire - Eloise Renaud - had Embraced the three of them: Maeve, Granjera and Louis. She'd died in the sun sometime later, as it happened. The characters talked over what was happening, and the name "Lucky Lorna" came up again, as did the events in Corpus Christi when they met Dex and Louis and John killed a vampire claiming to be a direct creation of Coyote (whom Dawn Waiting Snake had earlier claimed was her sire). Was this all connected? Maybe, but the Prince wanted to know if Granjera was behind it.

He used Dominate to read Maeve's memories, and then, seeing where Granjera was, took the characters with him and walked into Luxor. He paid off a croupier for information, Dominated a security guard and went "backstage," where they found Granjera hiding in a freezer. They took her into a storage room and questioned her.

Granjera revealed that she'd been a farmer at the turn of the (20th) century. She'd been sick, and Eloise had offered to help end her pain, but then Embraced her. She'd fallen in with coyotes, and started smuggling people, but had never joined a covenant. She was afraid of blood magic, even the kind her sister Maeve did. She'd heard of Lorna Zelan, but never met her. At the end of the conversation, the Prince commanded her to sleep, and Louis questioned if she was even worth being made an example. The Prince said she absolutely was - she was stupid and lazy, and she facilitated killing mortals rather than feeding with moderation, which was a quick path to losing it. He offered her to the characters, but balked at Aaron committing diablerie (he figured Aaron was getting inhumane enough).

Alice stepped up and drank down Granjera's soul, and felt 100 years of history in a few moments. The Prince then told the characters that since they were a pretty diverse lot, and since they had some direct experience with these "problems" that Kindred were facing (let's call the "banes"), they should keep at it. He took on all of their outstanding debts to other Kindred, and promised to make sure that other vampires answered them honestly and helped them (but did stress that they couldn't use what they learned as currency).

The coterie split up for the night. Miranda went to feed, John and Louis went back to the Excalibur, Aaron went to look into Wyrm Nests and Adele and Alice went dancing and then wandering. When they got to the crossroads, Alice got dizzy and confused, and Adele had to help her across the street. She looked back and saw the street as dense and impenetrable, like a forest, even though it was just a crossroads.

Roll credits.

Sure, I got time.

The Game: Ganakagok
The Publisher: Consensus Games
Degree of Familiarity: I just ran it, in fact.
Books Required: Just the one, plus a deck of cards.

As I mentioned the other night, this is all done with interpretation and dealing cards and so on. Normally we'd have a group and have already dealt out cards to established the situation of Ganakagok and the Nitu people, but there are a few examples in the book, so I'm gonna use one of those.

One of the examples has a great quake creating cliff of ice, separating the village from the rest of the island. In the ice, we can see artifacts and things from the Forgotten Ones. And folks have just returned with lots of food and whale blubber and whatnot, unaware that our troubles are just beginning.

So, my chargen starts with dealing 3 cards:

Truth-Vision: This card deals with why I know that something is changing in my homeland. I draw the Three of Flames - the walrus at rest. Means to be content amidst plenty. Hmm. I think my character was content after the hunting party got back, and then after a large meal, he saw something moving in the ice. Might have just been fire playing on the massive cliff, but he looked deep and realized that there were treasures to be had. And that lit a fire in his heart, to possess those treasures and share them with the People.

Change-Hope: This is what my character hopes the changes will bring. I draw Two of Flames, the cannibal-ghoul. To desire, wish or will. Ooh, that works. My guy wants. He's hungry for more. More trinkets, more shiny jewels, more food. He hopes that he can find a way to free the riches from their icy prison, even if it shatters the ice. I also start with 2 Good Medicine. Oy.

Change-Fear: This is what I'm afraid might happen due to the changes. Eight of Stars, two walruses battle. My guy is afraid that the riches will pass us by, that rival tribes - hell, let's name one. Let's say that the Nitu used to trade with a tribe called the Gray-Eyes. They were good crafters and furriers, while the Nitu were better at hunting and making stuff out of bone. And now my guy is afraid they'll to the rich stuff first! 8 Bad Medicine. That's not horrible; I might actually come out of a game with a happy ending.

Name and Identity: This isn't too hard. My character's name is Shuntuk. His identity is "greedy ice-climber."

Divide up points. I get 10 points to divide up between Body, Mind, Face and Soul. Minimum is 1, max is 4. I put 4 into Body (ice climber, seems appropriate), two into Face, 1 into Mind and 3 into Soul (Soul deals with luck). Looks good. Shuntuk isn't real smart, but that's appropriate.

Mana. I used Mana to actually compose my dice rolls. I figure he's better with tasks out on the ice, which is Forgotten Ones Mana. I'll put 4 in there. I'll put 2 into Ancestors (he's not incapable of dealing with village stuff, it's just not his forte), two into Sun and and two into Stars.

Gifts. I get three personal Gifts, much like traits in Dogs in the Vineyard. Well, Shuntuk has a set of bone ice-climbing picks and ropes. He's always been good at climbing up steep, slippery slopes of ice.

I decide that Shuntuk is recognized as having the eyes of a diving eagle (apparently there are ice-eagles here).

And finally, Shuntuk has boundless energy.

I can use these gifts to shift dice when they apply.

Burdens: And now of course, the bad stuff. Sins are one of the things you can use for Burdens, so I'll say that Shuntuk once ate before the chieftain, and is known for having a greedy appetite. That's just one point (unlike Gifts, Burdens are rated).

Shuntuk is also afraid of wolves. Silly of him; wolves don't attack people, especially in numbers, but wolf howls just freak him out.

Finally, Shuntuk has a scar. He was lashed for stealing his brother's food when he was younger and has the scars on his arms to prove it.

Now, normally I'd add relationships and stuff to the map, and with this character I'd definitely add something like a wolf hunting ground or a Spire of Ice or something, but all of that requires a group, and it's just me. So I'm done with Shuntuk, in fact. And headed to bed!

Date: 2010-11-29 04:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Looking forward to hearing what you have to say on the Translation thing. It struck me as a weird project.


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