Dead of Night: Tales from the Big Easy
|Timeline||Power Structure||Places||Covenants||Clans||The Coterie||House Rules|
“If You Can Quote The Rules, You Can Follow Them”
~ Father John Marrow, Inquisitor
I’ve summarised things here but will go into detail as the chronicle progresses.
I was struck by a revelation that was the origin for this Chronicle, that is that the World of Darkness setting is noir and the horror is in the storytelling. By combining the tropes and archetypes of noir with those of Vampire the Requiem I think will create a really fun and fascinating story.
If at any point Vampire gets in the way of noir, I’ll be focusing on the noir. Hopefully making for something gritty rather than supernaturally epic.
Theme and Mood
Ultimately this is a murder story so the theme is quite clearly “The Search for Truth”. What is Truth? Is a Lie for a laudable purpose still wrong? If enough people believe a Lie does that make it the Truth? How dependent is Truth on memory?
Each story in the Chronicle asks a thematic question. I have placed covenants on the Truth/ Falsehood spectrum for each story. They shift places each story creating a fluid, murkier world without easy answers.
The mood I am aiming for is one of nightmarish doubt. By using flashbacks and amnesia the characters are constantly wondering if they committed the murder and what that means. As suspects they are forced to investigate in order to clear their name, whilst also perhaps building the case against them.
If you’ve seen Memento. That.
One of the things that I have stumbled over time and again is the Masquerade. Not only in having it as a serious consequence but also as a fact of the Requiem.
In the past I have had vampires be all too readily available… but the Masquerade works against each Kindred as they are both protected and cut off from each other. No More! In this chronicle vampires are at least 2 steps removed. The PCs will struggle against the fact that they might not always be able to [I]find[/I] the Kindred they need to talk to. If they do, the Kindred might not be too happy about their Masquerade being broken through.
This also means that the main contact will be with mortals… which brings in the other element of the Masquerade, by having to deal with mortals more regularly the PCs will be tempted to use their powers more freely without that pesky Blood Potency… which means more potential breaches of the Masquerade and consequences from both the mortal world AND Kindred society.
I have hacked a few things in order to get the right sort of noir characters. These are ordinary people (for Kindred) in extraordinary circumstances.
I want the pacing to be fairly quick, going for an episodic feel. There are a total of 15 stories to tell, I’m aiming for playing once a month and each story taking a 4 hour session to complete. There is no railroading here but certain rules need to be in place on both my part as ST and for the players to make this work.
Somethings really irritate me and slow the pace down so rather than have a wave hand or deep discussion approach I have decided on certain dice pools.
I am very wary of power creep and an unbalanced character ruining the gritty mood. At the same time I don’t want the players not to improve.