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 City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG

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margifish
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PostSubject: City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG   Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:55 am

Thought I'd make a separate thread for the game rather than clutter up another topic. But, set-up and everything is finished...I just need more players and characters. For those interested in the backstory of the game:

The doomsayers were right, the legends were true; after millenia of furtive
rumors, fierce denials, and fearful whispers Gehenna came...

and went.

The red star shone ominously in the sky, its eerie crimson glow culminating in
an event the Kindred would come to call the Withering.

In a slow, insidious progression, the powers of the worlds' vampires began to
fail them...and then Kindred began to die; starting with the oldest and most
powerful among them.

And even more terrifying, the Antediluvians- feared and nearly god-like founders
of the original clans- began to awaken.

As if this wasn't enough for the Kindred to worry about, one of these clan
fathers arose in the middle of New York City. Through a herculean effort it was
finally destroyed- but not before the existence of vampires was revealed to the
previously ignorant human populace. While some in the Camarilla tried to do
damage control, the remaining Antediluvians assembled together in the valley of
Hinnom; preparing to begin their thousand year rule over the Earth.

It was only through an act of literal divine intervention that the Antediluvians
were slain- the masses of surviving Kindred who had been summoned to their
would-be capitol falling upon each over in a frenzy of blood-lust once their
progenitors were dead...until dawn came.

And the Withering stopped.

The eldest vampires were dead- their ancient bodies crumbling into dust.
Paradoxically, the weakest Kindred- the often hated and persecuted thin bloods-
lost their vampiric status entirely...becoming mortal humans once more.

The red star vanished.

And for humanity at least, life continued on much the same as usual despite the
eerie and frightening events that had marked the vampire apocalypse.

As was their habit, the government spared no expense in claiming that the
destruction wrought on the Big Apple was in reality a terrorist attack carried
out with bombs laced with a chemical agent that induced mass hallucinations- any
video of the Tzimisce antediluvian's emergence (and eventual destruction) was
decried as clever and well-crafted hoaxes, and as many copies as possible were
tracked down and confiscated.

Of course there were (and still are) mortals who refused to believe the lies
their governments were telling them, but for the most part, humanity felt more
secure in still believing vampires to be nothing more than figures out of
legends.

And as for the vampires themselves...

Whether it was from the Withering itself, predation by their own clan Founder,
or through diablerie from frantic elders desperate to maintain their powers...by
the time the red star disappeared from the sky most of the Kindred, including
entire bloodlines, had either been killed, or, in the case of the half-human
dhampirs and thin bloods, turned fully mortal.

The Kindred factions...Camarilla, Sabbat, Anarch- lay in tatters; their founders
and most powerful elders turned to dust in the Gehenna winds.

And yet some Kindred *did* survive. And even more strange...as the baleful star
vanished from sight the surviving vampires- most of whom belonged to the more
recent generations- felt an odd sense of strength filling them; a stark contrast
to the terrifying weakness they'd experienced during the Withering.

For whatever reason, whether it had been through divine grace or sheer luck,
some of Caine's children had been spared from Gehenna...

But they had also been changed.

Their Beasts had weakened, allowing them a greater ability to resist the more
bestial side of their natures, and Kindred who rose above their darkest urges
found themselves acquiring traits that allowed them to mingle even more
effortlessly among mortals...whereas Cainites who ignored that blessing and sank
further into depravity developed weaknesses that made them easier for keen-eyed
hunters to detect.

More odd still...vampires who survived Gehenna found that while they could still
sire new Kindred- those childer did not automatically gain all the abilities and
the traditional weakness of their clan. Instead, for their first year of
vampirism they existed in a strange, caitiff-like state, possessing only two of
their Sire's disciplines and lacking his flaw, but being a normal fledgling in
all other respects.

And at the end of that first year, in most cases, one of two things happened;
either the childe finally became a full member of their sire's clan, or they
developed the beginnings of a new discipline- becoming a founding member of a
new bloodline entirely.

For the next few years most vampires went into hiding; frightened that the red
star would return to finish what had been started or that mortals would band
together to hunt down the remaining vampires to total extinction. Slowly, they
have begun to cautiously emerge from their hidden havens, determined to try to
adjust to their new world despite old dangers and new upheavals.

This story takes place in the current year; nine years after Gehenna.

City of Ashes is a story forum RPG for Vampire the Masquerade. Players can make
characters who are Kindred, ghoul, or mortal.

Playable clans/bloodlines include Assamite, Brujah, Gangrel, Gargoyles,
Giovanni, Kiasyd, Lasombra, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Salubri, Toreador,
Tremere, Tzimisce and Ventrue, as well as members of the young bloodlines that
have started to emerge from these lineages in the years since Gehenna.


Link to the game: http://w11.zetaboards.com/Divine_Madness/forum/3806152/

This is a play-by-post game where everyone writes for their own characters and the plot grows out of the interactions between said characters. Any other questions, feel free to reply to this thread or e-mail me at margi.fisher@aol.com   Laughing
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Claudia
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PostSubject: Re: City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG   Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:00 am

I've given my general opinion on RP without someone to play NPCs and "the world" to which everyone is confronted. I think that without someone to run the show, it's just interpretative and improvised dance.

You guys can go and read the whole thing, it's interesting, and play if you want, I'm thinking about it, but I'm just not that convinced yet Smile
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Duncan.Oliver
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PostSubject: Re: City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG   Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:32 am

I disliked the entire 'Gehenna' storyline too much to want to play in a world that is partly derived from that metaplot.  The changes described above don't make it interesting for me; they seem like some arbitrary house rules, meant to extend a campaign which should have ended.  Some parts are attractive, like the 'no Antediluvians' bit.  But it's not enough to make a game.

Also, I think the fact that there is no ST would tend to make the game unworkable.  I will pass.
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margifish
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PostSubject: Re: City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG   Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:02 pm

Well, different strokes for different folks in my opinion. Some people are too bound to the LARP and tabletop format to adjust to an online play-by-post format where instead of a ST who creates the entire story and cast (aside from the PCs themselves), there's a moderator who makes sure a player doesn't flagrantly break the established rules and roles that are usually filled by npcs are taken by PCs themselves.

I started my RP career in tabletop rpgs and then migrated to online forum games and then went back to tabletop (I've never Larped, because for me its easier to write for my characters than it is to try and act out what they're saying/doing).

I personally like the play-by-post format, but that's just my tastes and what I've adjusted to over the years. The moderator sets up the premise and basic backstory of the game, they maybe provide some hooks that players are free to pursue (or ignore) as they see fit, and then the actual story grows up out of the interactions between the PCs; there's far more focus on the actual characters involved, rather than a ST shoe-horning characters to fit his/her grand plot no matter what.

As for the Gehenna scenario....it wasn't to everyone's liking (some scenarios offered were quite ridiculous, I agree), but of the possible Gehennas they provided in the sourcebook, I felt Wormwood was the best one and fit the themes of judgement and redemption. When I was making the game I'd considered just leaving everything as-is canon-wise and just having Gehenna have been a myth or scare-tactic...but conferring with other people on a VTM discussion group I'm in on facebook, they preferred the post-Gehenna setting.
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ThePhilosopher
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PostSubject: Re: City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG   Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:17 pm

I don't get all the Gehenna hate. People seem to think it was White Wolf forcing everyone to end their games to buy Requiem, but I see it more as "Hey, we've been running this thing for years now and both system and lore has become extremely convoluted. So we're starting fresh, but before we do that, we're giving everyone the Gehenna that was always talked about."

Not only Gehenna has many scenarios to chose from, it also gives players the possibility to continue their games in a post-Gehenna world (on some scenarios). Also, the ST is still the one who has the final word. If a certain group does not want to play Gehenna, there won't be a White Wolf employee bursting through your door, confiscating your manuals and sheets.

For all it's flavour, the flaws of Masquerade were many. Starting with the system, it was hard for begginers to understand, hard to make cross-world play (Werewolf, Mage, etc..) , and the Generation system was a massive joke.

Lore wise, it was filled with holes made by decades of continuity. Camarilla Malks don't have dementation, oh wait, they have now, it was just a trick. There are Tremere antitribu, except there aren't. You have a gigaton of possible clans to chose from, some of which made no sense and others who where clearly made simply to cash in into temporary interests of some sort. Somewhere out there there is a mage werewolf vampire.

Back on topic,

I think the scenario is pretty cool, margifish, but the no-ST thing really seems possible to make the game unplayable.
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margifish
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PostSubject: Re: City of Ashes: a post-Gehenna Vampire the Masquerade forum RPG   Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:38 pm

Well, there's no ST in that I as the moderator haven't written an A to Z story that I'm going to force the players to follow regardless of whether they like it or not, nor do I have a convoluted cast of pre-made NPCs. Usually we (me and my co-mod) wait and see what we have to work with (PC wise), and *then* we come up with plot ideas, events and npcs that would work best/craft a better story with the characters we have.

The main difference in the play-by-post style is (in my opinion) that the players have much greater control in how the story unfolds...its not just a god-like ST behind the scenes with the players having the illusion of free-will while the plot itself has been pre-determined before their characters were even made. Its more interactive with everyone contributing to the plot. I've gotten some players interested as it is, I was just hoping for some more, since the more diverse characters you have, the better.

I mainly think people didn't like Gehenna because maybe they felt like "your character that you've spent so much time and effort on is now going to DIE no matter what you do"...but White wolf's always said to take what you like, discard what you don't. So in my view, take whatever Gehenna scenario you like (or ignore Gehenna and don't have it happen at all), tweak it into a form you DO like, or make up your own. That's the beauty of story-telling.
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