Before moving on to the denizens of Moscow’s vampire community, is is necessary to give some detail on the territories they control. The city itself was a central ‘character’ in my Blood Money Chronicle and as such I thought I’d share my brief notes that tend to focus on mood and atmosphere. Important in understanding what is being discussed is the Moscow city map, available here. Some general notes on the ethos behind the setting are also available here.
A city divided…
Although the Crones hold sway over Moscow, their recent ascension to power was not sweeping and the other Covenants hold on to territories of their own. The Prince, Rusalka, would hold that this is by her decree, and while this assertion is not without some authority, it is also true that the Crones had to forfeit these territories in order to secure their authority.
With a little extra time on my hands I’ve decided to put up my notes for my Vampire: The Requiem chronicle, Blood Money. I’m starting with a short overview of the history of the city. A lot of context and information can be found in this blog already here, here, here and here. Once the notes have all gone up online, I’ll drop a complete archive of things in the Downloads section of this blog. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
I like handouts. They add an additional layer of immersion to a roleplaying session and can help evoke the setting and the mood. When I started thinking about my Vampire the Requiem campaign, I knew I would have to have a map of Moscow from the vampire’s perspective. With its neo-feudal political structure, its hunting grounds and subinfeudation, I wanted to give my players to get a strong sense of the various factions at work and the scope of the city. Continue reading
I’ve been busy preparing for Blood Money, my Vampire the Requiem campaign set in Moscow. One of the challenges I’ve set myself it to make it a very visceral, exciting and player character oriented campaign. One of the great things about VtR is that it’s at both an empowering game for players — they’re undead fiends of the night, mortals are but cattle to them… — and a way to tell poignant stories — they’re undead fiends of the night, they’re forgetting what it’s like to me human… I’ve made a few notes, my campaign manifesto, to keep me on track and act as a reference not only when planning the session but also running it: Continue reading
This is the second part of the information pack I included for the players of my new Vampire the Requiem campaign. As part of my email giving them the pitch for the game, I attached a PDF quick summary of the key points about the game’s background. Continue reading
The city setting is not unique to Vampire the Requiem, notably D&D had a number of city source books, as did Warhammer Fantasy and Call of Cthulhu. I’m sure there are a great many other examples. However, Vampire is perhaps the first game where the city is directly linked to a multitude of decisions from PC’s haven, allies and contacts to the GM’s choice of location for various vampiric domains, strongholds and the like.
The rulebook suggests gathering maps, guidebooks and online sources to help everyone gain a fuller picture of the city setting. It’s good advice, which I’ve used previously for campaigns set in Puerto Rico, New York and Budapest.
As a challenge to myself to avoid becoming complacent with the ways that I run Vampire, I’ve decided to experiment with a different approach for my Moscow campaign setting. Continue reading