Friday, 19 July 2013

The Masquerade doesn't take a night off...

Prompted by a request for ideas for a filler session of Vampire: The Masquerade about the ruling vampires of a city, I came up with the following. Other great ideas have been pitched in since.

Most would apply to any group of Kindred, or indeed any group of PCs stuck with a secret they have to help keep.

My first thought would be “a night in the life”, a session with no particular driving goal, giving the PCs time to get themselves into trouble. As Prince and Primogen, there are plenty of things they’ll have to deal with regularly that can go horribly wrong:

A Masquerade breach which escalates unexpectedly.

An attempt to influence a mortal business backfires when one of the targets proves immune to Dominate or Presence. Did someone get to him first, or is this natural?

Two fairly important Kindred fighting over territory, influence, a mortal one wants to Embrace and the other wants to protect, a matter of principle or some petty feud that flares up every few years.

A childe is Embraced without permission by a vampire the PCs can’t, or would rather not, punish for this, an ally or someone too powerful to confront. What else will they try and get away with?.

A childe being presented to the court outrages someone, accidentally or deliberately.

A night at the opera is interrupted by a fire. Accident or arson? Either way the PCs have to get out of there, ideally without going into Rotshreck in front of the city’s social elite...


There’s also the option of a “monster of the week”, something that doesn’t necessarily connect to any ongoing plots, and given the PCs' position I'd suggest something to do with Masquerade breaches:

A cell of hunters comes to town due to a Masquerade breach - possibly one the PCs let slip, but there are plenty of other vampires around to make a mess. The best tactic would be to hide until it goes away, but the PCs have some high-profile event they can’t really miss.

A Sabbat agent stirring up trouble - or is something else really going on, someone using the fear of the Sabbat as a false flag?

A mortal serial killer, a cannibal, attracts a bit too much attention from the press. Stories of a “vampire killer” have to be suppressed even though the killer isn’t actually a vampire, and stopping him is the best way to stop the stories...

A spate of grave robberies. Sabbat? A pack of long-forgotten vampires rising from decades of torpor? Giovanni or other necromancers? Medical students seeking to reanimate the dead? A warped new mortal gang initiation? Someone looking for something buried in one of the graves?

Another supernatural being stirs up trouble - a werewolf attacking vampires hunting in the barrens, a sorcerer disrupting Tremere business influences, a wraith targeting the vampire who killed her. Can they be reasoned with, or defeated?


Another option would be a substantial change of pace. A session about attending or hosting a social event for Kindred or kine after several sessions of action. A romance after all that intrigue. A reflection on mortality, like the death of a character’s last human relative. A flashback to when the PCs were mortal, or neonates, which reveals something about a forthcoming plot.

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