Wednesday, October 12, 2016

[Esoteric Order Duets] Neon Masquerade (Classic World of Darkness) - Episode Fourteen: Someplace Better Than This

The conclusion of the Chronicle. Aaron plays puppet-master, but is he being played as well? Alliances are solidified and hidden enemies reveal themselves.

Download this episode (right click and save)

The campaign wiki can be found here.


  1. You know, worrying about the "f" word in this particular series of podcasts is really locking the stable door after the entire [expletive deleted] herd of horses has fled and produced several generations of wild horses, which in turn have been redomesticated by Plains peoples, causing a radical change in their entire culture.

    But I am very happy to hear about your plans for more stories in the WoD.

    The usual scattered thoughts:

    - Karen/Aaron=OTP!!! Kaaron 4eva!!!

    - Last week, I felt that Aaron seemed unsuited to being a Baron. Is there any character in this "Chronicle" who seems less suited? Why yes, there is.

    - "But enough with the small talk. What have you heard about me?" You can take the boy out of TV stardom, but you can't take the TV star out of the boy.

    - I don't know if White Wolf ever did genies. Probably in Changeling (by which time I had drifted out of gaming). But now I am imagining Genie: the Orientalism, a game which goes around congratulating itself for being terribly left-wing and enlightened while trading in cringeworthy Arab stereotypes.

    - 4 hours and 49 minutes!

    [Spoiler warning for the World of Darkness - Desirée should probably not read the next part, unless she'll be so steeping herself in this setting to prepare for her own "Storytelling"]

    When I heard "Oh but there's not a full moon. It's OK," I burst out laughing. I can still remember buying Werewolf: the Apocalypse and wondering how the hell these things were supposed not to have long since reduced vampires to a desperate endangered remnant. I mean, not only are werewolves ridiculously dangerous - you give them far more than the standard werewolf physical menace and they have Gifts on top of that, and not only are they notseriously encumbered by the kind of limitations that afflict vampires, they're co-operative where vampires are mutually destructive. I pretty much immediately decided that my house rule would be that werewolves did not do aggravated damage against vampires, just to give vampires a fighting chance.

    I suspect that I wasn't the only one to raise this question, because a supplement, although I forget which one, tried to justify it by suggesting that vampires simply used Presence and Dominate on werewolves. Which mechanically wasn't as easy as they suggested - but more importantly would absolutely assure Ventrue dominance of the Camarillla, since it makes them a very hard-to-replace bulwark against certain and very grisly death.

    1. "Is there any character in this "Chronicle" who seems less suited? Why yes, there is."

      Oh, this slayed me. Too true! Let's just say that Mohammed wouldn't have had it any other way, either... I'm looking foward to unleashing Karen on an unsuspecting community, too. ^.^


      Another workaround for Lupines' deadliness would be to have their numbers be even smaller than Cainites. I can't remember offhand what the official demographics are.

      I may be misremembering, but my impression back in the early days of VtM was that it was simply a matter of "Lupines really don't like going into urban areas, and that's basically the only reason vampires are still around." But then you've got the Glass Walkers and whatnot. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    2. My memory is that they were fairly clear overall, at least early in the history of the line (I had drifted out of gaming by the mid-90s, although I occasionally lurked on the White Wolf Usenet group) that the cities were supposed to be vampire turf, and that vampires kept werewolves out. Milwaukee by Night had this as a central part of the setting.

      (Seriously, the Midwest got so much love from early Vampire. Take note :))

      And yes, the Glass Walkers mess up any idea that Lupines just don't go into cities. Also, the premise of Werewolf: the Apocalypse is that you will be fighting the kind of opponents that by definition are going to require you to go into cities a fair bit, whether or not you personally want to live there.

      A lower werewolf population would work, though (and make some things easier to explain - the werewolf version of the Masquerade involves destroying TV cameras, etc, and without the vampire control of human institutions, this makes more sense if it has to be done comparatively rarely). Actually, I did have that in my Vampire campaign (mostly because I started it before Werewolf came out): werewolves were confined to genuine wilderness where there were a lot of wolves.

      If I were doing it now, I think I'd rethink the urban/rural divide entirely. Too much of classic vampire fiction (I mean, _Dracula_, for God's sake) is located in rural locations to exclude it so decisively from a game about vampires.

      I do think that WtA has a big ingredient of wish-fulfillment fantasy in its design, and Rein DOT Hagen and his associates went a bit crazy with that aspect of it. One can understand the desire to do something different after Vampire, and it's certainly that.

  2. I've really enjoyed the story- thanks for posting.

  3. I was thinking that it seemed a bit odd for Aaron to suddenly give in to impulse like that when he was clearly planning around not doing so, but ehh, maybe vampires are more instinctive than humans, and he's never been the sharpest fang in the mouth anyway.

    But actually, after listening to this nearly 5-hour podcast, I was really left with just one important question, tying back to the discussion on vampire sex: Does performing oral sex on a vampire count as drinking their blood?

    1. It just goes to show what being low on Blood Points and blowing your Self-Control roll can do to one's best-laid plans...

      As for the All-Important Question, I'm going to have to say...yes? For purposes of blood-bonding, at least. And now I'm going to have to go take a shower. When they said this was a Game of Personal Horror, I never imagined it would take this form!

  4. Just in case you hadn't read: Onyx Path has a RedBubble t-shirt section, and they just announced they would be doing shirts for each character on The Red List... Including a Ms (Mrs? Mz?) Karen Antos! Might make a cool gift! ;-)