Saturday, November 5, 2011

[WOD] Austin by Night: Vinnie's Background

Snapshot Premise: Vincenzo "Vinnie" Gianetti - old school mobster


Carlos Marcella was a big time Mobster in New Orleans in the late 1940's. He was friends with the infamous Meyer Lansky, one of the biggest Mafia men in the states. When Lansky went to Cuba to develop hotels and casino operations, Lansky held a conference or "meeting of the minds" to discuss the best way to make everyone rich. Carlos went to Cuba to collaborate with Meyer Lansky and "Lucky" Luciano in expanding gambling operations and money laundering. Carlos had an expert money man (and Caporegime) named Julian "Scissors"  Sciletti. He brought Sciletti on the trip to the conference. Sciletti had established himself as both eccentric and effective by this time; and was feared by all in Carlos' organization.

Sciletti was key to Carlos' gang, running both money and men. His elusive ways confounded more than a few hitmen from rival gangs and it was rumored he lived underground. Sciletti was of course, Kindred. As a Mekhet, he adapted to modern times and made the best of his skills to keep himself occupied and intellectually challenged. He was drawn to the dark greed of the Mob, and worked his way into favor quickly with his ability to move and launder money.

At the time Luciano was exiled to Italy  (1947) , the gangs were spreading, and operations growing. Carlos returned back to New Orleans, as did Sciletti.  Sciletti decided to expand beyond New Orleans, and started to look through the ranks of his soldiers to find a good possibility as a childer.

After a few years of searching, he eventually decided  to consider Vincenzo "Vinnie" Gianetti, a tried and true Lieutenant. Vinnie had a strong reputation among the ranks as a dedicated and dependable "go to" guy. Vinnie's best trait, it seemed, was a willingness to do whatever was asked of him. Vinnie didn't seem to care if the task was "below" him, or difficult, or just plain weird- Vinnie got it done without concern or complaint.

After intensive interviews and careful observation, Sciletti discovered that Vinnie was far more than a dedicated man- he was careful and interested in moving up in the ranks. Vinnie showed a great deal of street sense, cunning and flexibility. Vinnie's "can-do" attitude was a show to cover his real ambitions so that he wouldn't become a target by the power hungry.

In the interim of being introduced to and interviewed by Sciletti, Vinnie became intrigued by counterfeiting and money laundering. Sciletti arranged for Vinnie to be reassigned from collections and into banking. Sciletti tutored and observed Vinnie for several years, discovering the full measure of the man. Sciletti discovered that Vinnie had a deeply twisted side, taking great pleasure in the greed and avarice of the men around him. Vinnie found many opportunities to further his position in the Mob by using others' selfish nature against them.

Vinnie's cautiousness and observational abilities were his tools to furthering his standing in the Mob. While Vinnie watched and made his move up the ladder, Sciletti was setting up his own operation in Houston. The two quickly carved out a thriving business of gambling, counterfeiting, protection and extortion while still operating (at least in part) out of New Orleans.

Immediately before the move was set to happen, Vinnie caught Sciletti alone- a rarity in and of itself. Vinnie laid out point by point all of the strange habits and tendencies he'd noticed of Sciletti's. Sciletti was never the first or last to enter a room; was never alone with anyone; never went anywhere in daytime. Sciletti never hosted events at his home, instead opting for restaurants and private clubs. Anyone Sciletti "offed" was dismembered and bloody, earning him the "Scissors" nickname. Vinnie went on with more of Sciletti's personal traits, all indicating something was "off" about Sciletti; but he'd drawn the wrong conclusion. Vinnie believed Sciletti was a federal plant or an agent with a life elsewhere and was prepared to both expose him and bring him down- permanently.

Sciletti had been planning to Embrace Vinnie for quite some time, but felt he needed an impetus to do so. This "showdown" was exactly what Sciletti was waiting for, and so he laid it all on the table for Vinnie. He gave Vinnie a choice to accept the Embrace, or die. Whatever Sciletti said or showed Vinnie was convincing enough that Vinnie believed he would die if he didn't say "yes" to the offer Sciletti was making, so he accepted.

From the moment of the Embrace, Vinnie learned to address his Sire as Julian, and many more of the secrets Julian held. Vinnie spent 10 years with Julian in Houston, learning the very basics of Embraced life, politics, societies and abilities. Vinnie was introduced to the trappings of the Elysium, as well as local Mekhet. Julian worked hard to give his childer at least a modicum of knowledge about the Requiem and the hazards, rewards and challenges. Julian directed Vinnie to Ordo Dracul, the same covenant he followed; with the idea that most of the Coils would help Vinnie eventually become a better and more "assimilated" Kindred among mortal society.

After several years of mentorship, Julian felt that while Vinnie could benefit from more tutoring and instruction, Vinnie also needed to be on his own. Julian separated to help grow business and help establish his Childer, as well as reduce the chances someone could use Vinnie to get to him personally.

Vinnie chose San Antonio as his new center of operations. It was inland enough that most other crews didn't want to deal with it, and it had little to no Mob influence. Vinnie quickly recruited a man to be the figurehead leader to his local Mob- but of course Nico "The King" Roi had no idea that he was anything other than the big man. Vinnie put a great deal of effort into playing the "dependable soldier" part well while in San Antonio. His cover kept him in the eye of the Mob ranks as a man of influence, but not as the target of hostilities (in most cases). The "face" leaders of the Mob came to depend on Vinnie for a great number of tasks outside his expertise, and he built quite a bit of leverage for his future through wise observation and research.  Vinnie covertly ran the money (fake or laundered) as well as the gambling for all of the city for almost 20 years.

His efforts were almost entirely directed at Mob affairs in this time period, as he wisely felt that the time for the gangs were limited, while there was "always more time" to build a political empire among the Kindred. He was starting to break down his organization when it was discovered one of his crew was being investigated by the feds. What attention he did pay to Kindred politics and scheming was aimed to get him ahead, and he enacted more than a couple diableries to strengthen his power base. As RICO was coming into full swing in the 80's and more and more of the gang's activities were being monitored or compromised in some way, Vinnie began preparations for his "way out".

In the month that Vinnie took to prepare every aspect of his safehouse and getting the last of his paper trail covered, a very young and inexperienced Unaligned Kindred named "Smitty" got swept up in a Federal sting. Before a week was out, Vinnie had heard from several sources that "something weird happened down at the jail", and that Smitty was dead in a very ugly fashion. Vinnie knew his time was up, or would be shortly, and hid himself away for a long torpor; with the idea that when he came out, the coast would be clear.

Vinnie was in torpor for 20 years or so, and has just in the past few years entered back into society. His first year "back" was spent taming his Beast, and he barely avoided police action several times by sheer luck. Vinnie didn't suffer the mental imbalances many Elders do, but has certainly seen a change in his ability level. He's also discovered a very strange new world, where things don't work the way they used to, and he has to develop some new skills, make new contacts, and find new meaning in his requiem.


1953- Sciletti discovers Vinnie
1955-Sciletti embraces Vinnie
1955-1965 - Houston years, Vinnie learns much about Houston area Embraced politics, Mekhet society and introduction to Ordo Dracul. Learns at least one coil (coil of the blood)
1965-1985- San Antonio years- Mostly Mob focused. Most likely had Kindred connections of some sort as he was influential in Mob, but no title or expectation of anything other than paying tribute.
1986-1988- "unravelling" years, preparing a safehouse, multiple back door names/aliases/safe deposit boxes, hidden bank accounts, etc.
1988-2008 -Torpor
2008-2009 - "Wild year"- coming back to civilization
2010- Move to Austin

Thursday, November 3, 2011

[40K] The 500 Point Dilemna

Our local 40K group is doing an escalation league. I'm pretty excited about getting in on the "ground floor" of this, and I am fairly confident that GW won't be dropping any FAQ bombs on me during the duration of the league; mostly because I will be playing a faction that's already got one. (At least I think I am....)

I'm considering something other than my lovely Black Tide, and man is Big Sword yelling at me. I'm kind of considering something similar, but with a little more GW love....

Yeah, I'm thinking about Grey Knights. My main issue is that I don't have the codex yet, so making a list is an entirely hinky proposition. So at the moment, I am still thinking BT- but I am open to other ideas.

However, making the list for the league is a new kind of thought puzzle entirely- the first two weeks  will require some creative thinking.

For the first two weeks, we have to build our armies using the Kill Teams organization rules- but our missions will come from the Big Red Book.

My initial thought was to use a Ven Dred and some Termies, and bam! I would be done. However, after re-examining the board with the league rules, I realized we're not using KillTeams for anything except force org in weeks 1 and 2.

So I need troops and something kill-y in order to have a shot at winning. So maybe a LRC with some space doodz inside??  I don't quite know- I need something with troop selection, but good defense capability.

Ideas welcome as always, and GK thoughts are still running through my head. Or maybe Orks. I miss the green guys and their craziness... and their red paint, and their trukks....

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

[WOD] Austin By Night: Vinnie's Stats

Virtue: Faith (Vinnie believes he can find what he's lost )
Vice: Pride (Vinnie believes he can build his life again)
Clan: Mekhet
Covenant: Ordo Dracul

Int-2;Wits-4; Resolve-3
Str-2; Dex-3; Stam-2
Pre-1;Man-2; Comp-3

Academics- Research (sp) 2
Crafts- Counterfeit money 3

Larceny- Gambling 2
Stealth- 2


1-Coils of Blood

Haven- 2 (Sec/Size even split)
Status: Ordo-1
Contacts: Mob-1 Ordo-1

Health -7
Blood Potency-1

Init mod -6
speed- 10u

1 extra point in Resolve due to Mekhet clan "bonus"

was given starting XP. Spent it on 2nd Coil of Blood,  2nd dot in Obsfucate and several expenditures in skills.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

[WOD] Austin By Night: Long Time Coming -Vinnie

I wish I could touch you again
I wish I could still call you friend
I'd give anything

When someone said count your blessings now
'fore they're long gone
I guess I just didn't know how
I was all wrong
They knew better
Still you said forever
And ever
Who knew - Pink, Who Knew 

I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve, and it's usually apparent to those around me. As a rule, I'm not great at hiding things. In addition, I work pretty hard to be an honest person. All that being said, I'm very skilled at lying when something truly important is on the line. This dichotomy might seem strange, but it makes sense to me that in order to protect myself or someone I love, I'm going to have to lie (and keep the lie straight). If I'm lying, there's a really good reason for it.

I've been lying to myself about something pretty big for a while now, and I'm just now working out how to cope with the situation and how to be honest with myself about it.

I am very upfront about the fact that I often use a character and his or her roleplaying opportunities as therapy for the stuff I am personally going through. This is specifically true in the WOD game, where the people I play with and the environment is very safe, and I feel that I can really "get through" my issues and get closer to whole again.

Vinnie is a way for me to deal with a very specific issue. However, the issue is the same one I've been lying to myself about. In order for me to get where I want to go, I have to tear down the "wall" of a lie, and face certain truths.

So here it is. I've been hurt recently- and very badly. I've lost something very dear to me, and it's killing me.

I'll admit that I had a role in this and my actions didn't always help me. But I was letting the situation control me; instead of taking some kind of ownership and finding a way to deal with it. I was hiding from how truly hurt I was over this loss, and how much I want to get it back.

In making Vinnie, I came to the "wall" and had to deal with some reality. I can't get what I had back- there's a saying; "you can't go home again". It's very appropriate; but it misses a deeper truth. "Home is where the heart is"; so I can't go home- I have it with me no matter where I go.

Vinnie lost something. He wants to get it back. He knows he can't have the "same" thing; but that he can build himself back up to a level similar to where he was before, and maybe make it his new home. In order to get his "home" back, Vinnie is going to have to do a lot of work.

He was recently asked by the Harpy to get in touch with certain people in the city, and offer certain services. He did what he was asked to do, and got looked at like he was a fool. Vinnie absolutely does not understand what EXACTLY he is supposed to offer; and he doesn't care. He'll do what he has to for a shot at building his "home" (easiest way to express it)  back up from the ashes.

I have to be Vinnie for a while. I have to refuse to allow other people's opinions affect me or who I am as a person. I have to do whatever it takes to get some semblance of what I lost back- even if I have to re-examine what I had and determine if it was worth having in the first place. That, my friends, is real and brutal truth.

Vinnie's background and stats will be posted tomorrow- I figure I've gone on long enough.