Monday, August 20, 2012

Initiation : nWOD/Vampire the Masquerade

08/18/2012
Initiation
nWOD and Vampire the Masquerade 

A new friend of mine, Alessandro, contacted me on Facebook and asked if I can "Get him into that table top gaming thing." After sharing with him my initial views on how table top games are different from online gaming and board games, he decided to set a schedule for a game one Saturday night. Rocky opted to join too, but alas exhaustion took its toll and he had to beg off the game midway. Still, given this was meant to be a first time game for Alessandro, I thought to try to give it a bit more drama than usual... and throw in a twist with Vampire the Masquerade coming in since he did mention enjoying playing Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines.

 His story revolved around Vincent Templeton, a slacker who inherited a huge trust fund. Though he preferred to still live in a simple place, he was happy with his simple life of just enjoying his life and spending time with his few friends. The tale begins with the window of the unit across from his opening and his neighbor coming into view. The guy was a handsome fellow, and much to Vincent's curiosity, blood was splattered all over the man's chest. Vincent began watching his neighbor through a pair of binoculars, hoping to catch him strip naked for a cheap thrill. Who would have known this would be the start of a terrible ride in the World of Darkness.

Other than the crazy antics of his attention-hungry friend, Whitney, Vincent's night would be disturbed by the sudden sounds of what seemed to be a chase happening in the corridors outside the unit. Peering at the peep-hole, Vincent saw one of the neighbors from the unit above screaming for help. And an old man with a pipe dragging her away. The old man seemingly sensed his presence and warned through the door that Vincent mind his own business. Vincent spent the night sleeping with his collectible katana replica in his hands.

The next morning, Vincent rushed to the landlady to report what he had witnessed. To his surprise, the landlady lead him to the said neighbor and found her to be okay and unharmed. Confused, Vincent headed back to his unit and considered moving out. Whitney visited once more and this time, the two bore witness to the said neighbor breaking into the unit across the courtyard and stealing money and a gun. (The neighbor was Rocky's character, who was a bodyguard.)

Later that evening, Vincent hears the same sounds as the night before and finds the same scene unfolding in the hallway. This time, opting to try to help, Vincent steps outside with his katana and tries to fend the old man off. But the old man warns him to mind his own business. Calling the cops, Officer Manuel answers the call and tells Vincent to stay inside and lock the door. The cop eventually returns to inform him that the woman was found dead and the search for the old man is ongoing.

Vincent's initial calls for a new unit lead nowhere. And once again, he witnesses activity in the unit across the hallway. There, he catches the old man digging around, and then starting straight at him as if seeing him watching. Officer Manuel takes Vincent's call and tells him he will visit soon. The cop actually hints the meeting might be more than just work related. Vincent is bothered. Vincent once again sleeps with the sword in his hands.

He wakes up to an apparition. The woman begging for help is hovering above him. And when he tries to reach out, she vanishes. The phone rings that moment and he finds a message from one of the unit owners telling him that the unit he wanted to purchase was now free. Vincent opts to quickly visit the location, urgent to move as soon as possible.

While the new unit shows promise, with handsome neighbors and a seemingly quiet location, Vincent catches the attention of a young Asian child who keeps watching him. He tries talking to her, but she avoids direct conversation, only warning him the unit is supposedly haunted. He arrives back at his old unit to see Officer Manuel already there. What begins seemingly as a fantasy come to life, turns out to be a horrible abduction attempt with Manuel admitting he is merely following orders. The old man from the unit above appears at the door that moment, and Manuel and his companion kill the man without remorse. Vincent witnesses the companion "recover" from the bullet wound, and Manuel asks Vincent to cooperate. When asked who was asking for them to be abducted, Vincent receives no clear response.

He discovers the person who had him abducted happens to be his long dead parents, who had faked their deaths as they were Embraced into the Ventrue Clan. And both had petitioned for Vincent to be allowed to live a few more years just so his introduction to the Clan had him at a more mature age. Both parents however, admit their Sire was the one who called for his Embrace now. And that Sire happens to be the young Asian girl, Ming.

Ming admits Vincent is a most gifted individual, with glimpses of the future, with hints of seeing spirits, and before Vincent can ask how she knew of those things, it is revealed that even Whitney was a ghoul that served Ming. Manuel breaks through the room, beginning for Vincent to be allowed instead to remain human. But Ming instead has a vile idea. Sensing Vincent's rage towards Whitney's betrayal, she offers both the chance at the Embrace, provided one kill the other. Vincent demands he be given Manuel as his own ghoul if he survives, and the two duke it out. It does not take long before Vincent's inherent manipulative gaze catches Whitney off-guard, giving him the opening to end her life.

*

The Embrace however is not kind to Vincent. Though the years pass with him and Manuel sharing the eternal night together, Vincent's selective thirst being Ventrue happened to be being able only to feed on those who had fallen in love with him. But since Manuel needed to be fed back blood to retain his ghouldom, the Blood Bond soon quenched all existence of any true passion.

Unwilling to live the eternal night without a true semblance of love, Vincent rose to the Empire State Building to welcome the coming sun. And perhaps as a final touch of hope, Manuel's spirit appeared, offered his hand, and carried Vincent away to the lands without life leaving nothing but the embers and ashes of his corporeal form behind.





*

The game was definitely deemed heavy.  Alessandro expressed how drained he felt, but at the same time was definitely thankful for being given such an engaging game.  And I have to admit, I felt very happy since it always feels good to break someone's gamer hymen, so to speak.

Here's to another game with you soon, Alessandro.
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