Thursday, September 29, 2016

[Esoteric Order Duets] Neon Masquerade (Classic World of Darkness) - Episode Twelve: Death Party

As the chronicle races towards its conclusion, Aaron goes against his better instincts and pursues love. A road trip is undertaken. Many tears are shed.

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The campaign wiki can be found here.


  1. [Spoilers for this episode. If you haven't listened to it yet, stop reading. You'll regret not being unspoiled for this one.]

    Wow. Best episode ever. Seriously, by the end I was no longer listening to this as a recording of a roleplaying game and instead was listening to it as straight radio drama.

    One particular highlight is how Aaron's doubts about the relationship with Dawn ("I just know that I'm going to hurt you") come full circle horrifically at the end of the episode and are counterpointed by the escape of the happy vampire couple to a new life.

    And when I got to the ending scene, and Aaron tried to Embrace Dawn my thoughts were. 1) OK, this is going to produce a crisis in his relationship with Karen. 2) But wait, doesn't he have infertile Vitae? 3) Oh God, he does have infertile Vitae, and he doesn't know it, does her?

    A couple of other thoughts:

    - And this episode illustrates what I hate about VtM's dice pool mechanics - they make probabilities intuitively hard to estimate. 5 dice, 9 difficulty - at least one success is quite likely. I can't be bothered to work out the probabilities because of the whole "1 takes away one of your successes" thing, but it's solidly over 50%. Similarly, a "bad" dice pool of 3 has a very good chance of at least one success on the standard difficulty of 6. I found, and think I still would find, this too unintuitive to assign difficulties on the fly.

    - It's a bit spoilery, so I won't go into it, but it would be in character for Sebastian Melmoth to have adopted an American accent, seeing as his English accent was a conscious affectation to begin with.

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words! I think this ep was the Chronicle highlight for me as well.

      I found a spreadsheet of probabilities based on dice pool size. Looks like adding more dice does indeed boost your chances of success and (slightly) lowers your chance of botching:

      The complaint still stands, though. Estimating chances of success in Call of Cthulhu is as easy as looking at your skill percentage. Here, if you want an accurate idea, you have to consult a spreadsheet...

      Me, I just go off the qualitative labels assigned to each difficulty number and hope for the best.

      Thanks for the tip on Mr. Melmoth. Well observed!

  2. I always appreciate it when you share your take on things as you listen to this chronicle.

    Leading Aaron through the realization of his Infertile Vitae flaw was really fun and heartbreaking at the same time. It had to be painful for him to take it seriously.

    Again, thanks for your comments :)