Vampire: 4 essential ideas, 7 great moments, 1 session

17 Nov

I’m preparing for the second session of Blood Money, my Vampire the Requiem Chronicle. The first session went well, I feel. It gave me an opportunity to put forward a range of ‘essential ideas’ about the game world and play up the elements I wanted emphasise about playing a vampire:

  • alienation from humanity – the strangeness of being a vampire, their control over and distance from mortals
  • the overwhelming desire for blood — blood is smelt in a medical waste container in a hospital and it’s enticing. The victim of a crime, bleeding to death in a bath, is first identified as a warm, wasted blood…
  • the predatory nature of a vampire — the character’s smell what’s in a room, what’s coming towards them, before they see it. Mortals occasionally shirk at their presence even though they don’t know what they are.
  • the arcane and medieval nature of the vampire court and its practices — the wheeling and dealing, the politics, the titles. Deliberately flooding the players with arcane names, ancient grudges and esoteric titles.

I also wanted to evoke some strangeness to the proceedings. To remind us that we were in a different world. Some of my favourite moments were:

  • a discussion about radical politics inside a tiny bar in the shape of a toppled head called ‘Lenin’s Head’
  • seeing a giggling man and woman (in various states of undress) playing hide and seek with a cat through an art museum
  • later learning from the vampire ‘Sheriff’ they were meeting in the art museum that the cat was ’rounding up dinner’
  • the calculating brutality of Aleksey, former soldier, now vampire hard man
  • the pop star dealing with her fans
  • the speed of the beat down on machete wielding teenage ghouls in a rail yard (my combat hacks are doing their thing!)
  • the final debate about what to do with the Prince’s wayward ghoul and the debate with Moscow’s Sheriff

I was particularly pleased at how much gritty realism and urban decay I was able to cram into the session. It should help accentuate the excess and bravado of the next one.

The more I think auto these materials that I’m preparing and the time I’m investing in the campaign/chronicle, it’s probably worth me putting a few things together to make up a city guide/campaign starter book and popping that up on the web. I’ll add that to my to do list once I’ve ‘play-tested’ with my group and completed the campaign.

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