Wednesday, 10 September 2014

To the Abyss with thee!

By the power of a sale on GOG meaning it cost me 6p more than today’s Guardian, I have replayed Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption.

Unlike the much-loved Bloodlines, it’s a straightforward fighting dungeon bash with a rather melodramatic plot, but I do still like that the core story has Christof slaughtering his way through Kindred society for love.

And slaughter he does - I kept a running tally of how many vampires he and his followers kill, and while I may have missed one or two, the numbers are pretty impressive. Vampires aren’t quite as rare as they really should be in the setting... yet.

PRAGUE: After killing one whole vampire as a mortal, he kills 49 Cappadocians over a minor misunderstanding, and their leader shrugs it off and gives him a follower. Yes, I just said 49. This is in Prague, in 1141 AD. He then smashes a golem, then makes a deal to go through the Nosferatu tunnels, but the gatekeeper doesn’t bother to pass this on to his clanmates, so 72 of them get in his way. (And if that sounds like a lot, consider that there are only two models each for these Clans in the setting... and that’s better than most, only the Cappadocians have male and female mook vampires.) He then gets into a fight that’s actually necessary and massacres 33 Tremere and a Gargoyle before the last Tremere gives him some information that would have sent him off right away.

And this isn’t counting ghouls or other enemies, by the way.

VIENNA: Following some inaccurate directions courtesy of the last Tremere he killed in Prague, he heads to Vienna (where it appears to be the Renaissance) and makes a deal for information which leads to him killing 1(!) Lasombra. (And about eighty guards.) Betrayed, he ends up in a dungeon held by dozens of knights in full plate and 11 Tremere, and then goes in while their main chantry is mostly deserted so he only has to kill 58 of them and 15 Gargoyles, before being told that his beloved is in another castle. At no point does he vocalise my feelings of “You couldn’t have told me that 102 dead Tremere ago?” Final tally for Vienna: 85. It gets off lightly.

Returning to Prague, he finds everything is on fire and he can finally have fun storming the castle. (Although sadly someone else has already killed the traditional asshole questgiver Prince.) He kills a mere 13 Tzimisce (along with a horde of other monsters) before meeting the villain and getting knocked out for eight hundred years. Final tally for Prague: 169.

Running tally for Dark Ages section: 254.

LONDON: He awakens in 1999, destroys the Inquisition, meets a giant Cockney Brujah and a nice visiting American Toreador, and kills 104 Setites. (The 102nd was the cult leader, and agreed to help Christof, told him what he wanted and then immediately betrayed him because obviously she thought she could take him despite what she’d just seen.) Apparently this is enough, so he gets a boat to New York, killing 2 Sabbat Nosferatu on the way. Oh, and a werewolf who was apparently hiding in the bins at the back of the Tower of London. Which is massively haunted and full of giant spiders. Final tally for London: 106.

NEW YORK: After a cutscene straight out of Blade, he kills 3 Nosferatu before getting off the first street, and then 38 more (along with alligators) in the sewers. He then proceeds to annihilate 65 Giovanni, only to discover that he has been tricked by his fellow British-sounding Brujah who is really an Irish-sounding Assamite to wipe them and the Setites out to keep him too busy to stop the villain awakening... in the city the Assamite brought him to with time to spare... uh... and unbelievably considering what has been happening in the rest of the game, said Assamite escapes being killed off. (This plan actually makes sense in the context of later revelations that the villain is following some really bad advice.) Now knowing who to target, he kills 46 long-haired Ventrue in leather jackets(?!) and 4 more Tzimisce working with them and their boss, then proceeds to the final battle with just 10 Tzimisce, albeit one of them has godlike powers. Final tally for New York: 167.

Running tally for Final Nights section: 273.

Final tally: 527 vampires, give or take, ten of whom are given names, along with banishing assorted wraiths (one of whom is named), busting up a golem, flattening two corrupt orders of vampire hunters, dismembering more ghouls than that, and fighting that one werewolf that was rooting around some bins.

What lesson would I take away from this story? If a crusading knight with an abiding love for a spirited young novice nun kills one of your clan, let it go.


  1. Bruce Baugh responds:

    This reminds me of the reaction of a bunch of White Wolf authors to the game when it first came out: "Well, now we now exactly how we went from the 1:1001 baseline in Dark Ages to the modern 1:100,000. Christof did it."

  2. And Rose Bailey:

    This was vitally important science. I salute you.