Thursday, June 7, 2012

[WOD] Austin by Night: EPIC Vinnie Recap

So, I have not blogged about Vinnie much, if at all. I have very specific thoughts and ideas for him, and I am having a difficult time deciding if I want to blog about them or keep them secret.

Vinnie IS a Vampire, but it's tough to get outside advice if I don't seek input. So, I'll give you the very best of the very best... or something. This is a recap of several sessions, boiled down to the most relevant and understandable details (as far as I can, anyway).

Vinnie is an Ordo, and a while back, Vinnie was told to take out a rogue element who had Order secrets and was a danger to the city at large. Apparently this guy ate a zombie and evolved past Vamp status into something else, and needed to go.

Vinnie did an immense amount of research and found out the guy was a Nos Ordo with an affinity towards the Beast Coil along with Animalism as his preferred discipline. He was also owed a massive boon by the Senechal or the Prince in exchange for keeping some secret about the Senechal or Prince, which made the Nos a very juicy source of information; and also a great target for political nonsense.

Vinnie was set upon this trail at the same time a large contingent of the PCs were trying to eradicate the "zombie apocolypse", and this Nos had the (un)luck to make his feeding grounds right smack dab in the middle of Ground Zero. He was also rumored to be able to control the zombies, which made him all the more a target.

Vinnie enlisted help to take this guy out, including the police commissioner and Reese (both Vampires as well). The Commissioner brought along Terrance and Waco as help/bodyguards, and the group wandered into the sewers to deal with the "bad guy".

After encountering the Nos in the sewers, Vinnie discovered that some of the info he had been handed was outright lies, and some was "close" to the truth, but not quite there.  While  the group was assembled, talking to the Nos, a comment was made that clicked something else that had been said into place in Vinnie's head. Unfortunately, this piece of information and Vinnie's reaction made it look as if Vinnie KNEW the information in advance and failed to tell the Commissioner.

This piece of information? That the Prince of Austin was really a Mage, pretending to be a Vampire.  (Yeah, Vinnie managed to make it look as if he was in on a massive conspiracy of an exceptionally epic scale; not a good time.)

The group decided not to eradicate the Nos, and in fact, the Commissioner brokered a truce with him so he would no longer be disturbing other Nos in the area. The group mostly packed up to leave, while Vinnie stayed behind in an effort to find out what exactly this Nos knew- and the Nos was talking; because his evolution changed him enough he no longer qualified as Vampiric, and didn't see a need to follow Vamp rules.

After talking to the Nos, Vinnie pretty much badgered his way into a meeting with the Commissioner (a staunch Sanctified higher up). In that meeting, he went from about to be banished/delivered final death to brokering the Commissioner into the Princedom (with some adept help from an NPC played by the ST based on a conversation we agreed to out of game). In order to overthrow the "old" Prince, evidence of the fraud needed to be had, and it fell to Vinnie to help plan an expedition to find said evidence.

Vinnie enlisted Reese, who is at least CONSIDERING becoming Ordo, as well as the Commissioner. The Commissioner gathers other folks from Austin to help, and the group heads off to the "Mage's lair".

Once in the lair, the group finds a throne with a figure magically bound to it, nearly crazy from BloodFrenzy. The group decides to try to kill the figure, assuming he's the "real" Prince that has been mind controlled, used as a figurehead and bound as torture by the Mage who is duping us. As we start shooting, the magical runes which are binding the figure start to break, and we realize that we are about to unbind a monster into a small chamber with a lot of "food" nearby, so we stop.

We decide our best course of action is to kill the being, and there's a lot of debate on how, as the being continued to be "alive" after several shots to the head and concern that a HIGH level Vamp could survive said injuries. It comes down to "set the room on fire"; and Vinnie gets ready to do so when the reality that he's about to deliver final death to a Kindred hits him. He and the Commissioner debate what to do, when another player offers to "light 'em up" and solve the problem for everyone. As the fire strikes and catches, both Vinnie and the Commissioner fail their FoxFrenzy checks and RUN THE FUCK AWAY.

After they recover their wits/composure, the two make their way back to the chamber.  They  find a "corpse" of what they had believed to be the Prince, but the corpse shows some very unusual physical characteristics (ie, it did not ash after beheading) and the group is stumped as to what the corpse could be. They also found a hidden compartment which holds several artifacts that are believed to belong to the Mage in question. The group takes the items (and takes photos) and begins a plan for destroying all the zombies, which are under the Mage's control as a diversion from something else that the Mage was doing.

The zombies are dispensed of, and then the Commissioner and Vinnie go to confront the Senechal, who has to be in on the conspiracy regarding  the Mage masquerading as the Prince. During the meeting, the Senechal reveals that the corpse was a ghoul and he shows what he describes as the "true Prince", a cryogenically preserved husk who has left a "detailed journal" with proclamations about what to do and when. The Commissioner is unconvinced to this revelation, in fact he is enraged at the level and blatant openness of the lie the Senechal is trying to perpetrate on the Vampires of Austin.

The Commissioner and Vinnie lay out a plan for transition of power, with the Commissioner becoming the Prince, Vinnie becoming the Senechal, and Reese becoming the Scourge. The Commissioner's plan requires that the former Senechal be banished from Austin, and the "Prince" be burned.  The Senechal agrees, seeing that his choices are very limited and this offer is exceptionally merciful from a Vamp point of view.

He is going that way pronto. 
The transition of a PC into the Prince means that the PC is now retired, and the player makes a new character. Vinnie and Reese are left as is, because their new positions can be taken away via roleplay just as easily as they GOT their positions.

Some time goes by and Vinnie does some minor and mostly personal stuff for a few sessions. One of those things is essentially my attempt at intertwining my character with another character's storyline, and we will see how that turns out.

This last session, Vinnie is asked to get in touch with Reese, and have Reese get in touch with another PC named Bob. Reese and Vinnie head over to meet Bob, who is investigating a string of arsons that have been going on in Austin for over 2 years. Bob gathers together Reese, Vinnie, Terrance, Calin and Waylan. They all head over to the site of the latest fire to investigate.

I missed a HUGE section of the investigation/action by being behind the counter helping customers, but the gist of it is they figured out the fire was set by someone using magic and they probably did it from within visual range. They also stumble onto a new character, whose major oddity is that he has an albino bird that is somehow supernatural in some way. I return as the group somewhat forcibly convinces the new person (Sam) to come along with them as they check for video cameras that might have seen the person who committed the arson.

They find a tape and watch it. Sam recognizes the person on the tape (as they are both in high school together) and the group goes to the arsonist's home. He does not appear to be there, so it is suggested that a personal item of the arsonists' will help the group find him.  Sam's bird finds boxer shorts which in turn are used to lead the group to the car of the teenager responsible for the fires.

Terrance and Waylan pretend to be security guards for the area where the kid is parked. They successfully bluff well enough to startle the kid and begin an interrogation in the parking lot. Bob is a "psychic" and has given Terrance a token that allows him to "feel the situation from afar", and Terrance and Waylan use the token along with text messaging to astute and very incriminating results. (The joke was that the phone was "very smart" and had "an app" for mindreading.) The group discovers that the kid was able to read a grimoire and discover words of power that started fires WITHOUT being awakened, which unsettles the Mages a whole lot. The group subdues the kid, but not before he attempts to set another fire, which is met with the kid getting knocked unconscious. He is then surrendered to medical authorities and carted away.

I think that's the "big stuff". There is a lot more, and most of it is nuance and back fluff that makes some of the decisions I made (or didn't make) more justified or interesting. I'll talk about my thoughts and ideas in another post soon, and ask for some feedback there too. (Vampirey thoughts are quite welcome also...)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting stuff. Waco was in on some of this but from his point of view he wonders why he was even asked to help, getting the answer that the commissioner is such a nice guy doesn't really do it for him.

    And Waco has been involved in his own pretty interesting storyline for a while now, and hasn't had the chance to see what else is going on in town, which is ok, because we all have our own things to do.

    The vampires scare Waco because of the whole prey/predator thing, but he just learned something that, if true, makes him feel a bit more bold, which might not be a good thing.

    I really enjoy your posts. Keep up the great work.