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A Giovanni Chronicles Game

Old May 9 '19, 2:50am
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A Giovanni Chronicles Game

Blood and Ash: Giovanni Chronicles - Forum
Vampire: Masquerade

Dark Ages Vampire

Welcome to my first stab at being ST of a Vampire the Masquerade game in awhile. Looking for a few players interested in watching a mortal get embraced and face the opportunities and tragedies over centuries walking through the World of Darkness.

Details below:

EXPECTATIONSIt's been awhile since I've worn the ST hat for a Vampire the Masquerade game, but one thing I do distinctly remember is that there are very different expectations, different styles, different flavors to VtM games. When expectations are aligned, VtM games can create fun, powerful, memorable stories. When our expectations are off it can make things much the opposite. Please take the time to read this section, and feel more than free to ask any clarifying questions.

Personal horror is at the heart of what I love about VtM as a setting and system. The characters are monsters, their powers both mighty and discomforting. I generally roleplay a certain wrongness to disciplines, to undeath in general to emphasize that what the characters are doing is a curse. It is what separates VtM from a superhero game in my eyes.

However, humanity is tied in with the personal horror. I love the Road/Path system, how the Beast is described in the setting materials. Physically the characters are monsters, but not necessarily mentally and spiritually. As ST, I will present moral dilemmas to characters with options that have both rewards and consequences. I don't like presenting characters with lose-lose situations, but neither do I like giving them clear right answers either.

Horror, beyond just personal horror, is also going to be a heavy theme. There are other monsters in the night. There are threats both physical and existential seek to undermine, even destroy the characters. It is this threat, this struggle that I find makes it worth rooting for the protagonists despite their own sins and faults.

Politics, intrigue, mystery, and a dash of hope. Other things I like to throw in, plus whatever you bring are all things I like to throw into my own vision of the World of Darkness.

The other worth mentioning is that this game intends to go from the Dark Ages to the Modern Age. Ennui is something I want to explore, the weight of time on the characters. I also want the characters to try to work together. I will not outright ban PvP, players are allowed to disagree, but I will not run a game where the players are continuously trying to undermine one another. At the climax of a heated battle where two characters for very genuine reasons have chosen opposing sides can be a great narrative moment. The character trying to puppet other PCs to do their bidding is better off in another game.

In general, the type of player I generally am not a good ST for are those who always want to be in control, who want their powers to make them like superheroes, who wish to always come out on top. I do better with tragedy, with sacrifice, with those characters and players who roll with the stumbles, the botched dice, and can use it to make an even better story.

As a final note, I want to be very firm about keeping explicit content implicit as per site rules. Giovanni Chronciles deals with some mature themes and moments, some of which I'll downplay, other stuff I'll cut out and replace with other kinds of horror. I ask you to be mindful of this and please ask me any questions if you want this clarified.
CHARACTER INFORMATIONThere is no standard template that I use. There are several good ones on this site, and can find a few if people want. However you lay it out, here is what I'm looking for:

The year is 1444, and you have accepted an invitation from a powerful Merchant Lord named Claudius Giovanni to his eastern manse in the Carpathian Mountains. You are a mortal, ignorant to the World of Darkness. Perhaps you believe in magic, in God and the Devil, but you are not initiated into the realm of Cainites, Garou, or other supernatural beings. Whatever character you make, you have to fit the above to make things work. However, this is a fictional setting, so some suspension of disbelief is perfectly fine. You can come from anywhere across Europe or the surrounding region, can be of any profession, temperament, or faith. Whatever suits you.

Biographic Information: Name, age, ethnicity, gender, the basics.
Description: What does your character physically look like? What kind of clothing do they wear? How do they speak? How do the walk, gesture, etc? I'm looking to get a really good visual of the character. I don't require a portrait, but it helps, particularly for those combats with a map.
Personality: This is the most important section, as this is what I will use when trying to use plot hooks and NPCs to get a reaction out of the character. How do they act? What do they believe in? What are their strengths, weaknesses, insecurities? What do they fear? The more detail and nuance here, the better of a story I can weave around the character.
Background: Who has your character been up until now? As a note, this story has a habit of jumping across centuries, so it isn't as important to flush out every member of your character's family. What's more important is to know who they have been as a mortal, what does life mean to them, what are the bonds to the living, breathing world they have?
A Secret: Put in spoiler tags, I want a deep, dark secret about your character. This is the World of Darkness after all, where secrets are rife.

Mechanics: Standard Dark Ages 20th character creation except no disciplines, no path/road, and no backgrounds, merits, or flaws that are for Cainites such as Generation or Vulnerability to Silver. Those will come later. You can choose your future Clan at this point, mention a few you're interested in, or leave it up in the air if you prefer to be surprised. The Clans you may choose are as follows: Assamite, Brujah, Follower of Set, Gangrel, Lasombra, Malkavian, Nosferatu, Ravnos, Toreador, Tremere, Tzimisce, Ventrue.
FAQWhat if I'm already familiar with the Giovanni Chronicles?
The Giovanni Chronicles is a four-part, published adventure that has been around since the 90s. I think it's passed the point of "no spoilers". It's fine if you've played parts, or even all, of the Giovanni Chronicles of the past so long as you resist metagaming. Though the early parts of the game will likely be close to what's published, there's a very real possibility thing can get much, much different down the road...

What if I have little to no experience with Vampire the Masquerade?
Perfectly fine. I'll be selecting players off of well written, interesting characters, and as you start as ignorant mortals you don't need to know anything about the World of Darkness.

What materials are you allowing? Any banned merits of flaws?
I'm fine with using material form more obscure sources (and there are a lot of them), but check with me first to play it safe. As stated above, since you are mortals anything distinctly supernatural is banned to start with. Let me know what supernatural merits and flaws you want once embraced, and we'll see what we can work out.

Banned List
Dark Fate: I prefer that if a character meets their end, it's more tragedy than destiny.
Enchanting Voice: This merit is broken.
True Faith: In this particular story, True Faith can be very problematic and derail things. You can have a faithful character, just not "True Faith" as an extra power.

Path of the Scorched Heart/Evil Revelations: Path of the Scorched Heart basically is about denying emotions, which is very, very boring for me. I'd like emotions in the protagonists. Evil Revelations is essentially being evil for evil's sake and I prefer more moral grey.

Everyone gets the Lingua Franca merit for free so we don't have to deal with translation shenanigans. Latin and Slavic will also be useful for Chapter 1, but not required. Suffice to say, it is only as much of a barrier as we choose to make it, and I choose to make it a minor inconvenience at most.

Historical Accuracy?
I treat the World of Darkness as a dark reflection of our own world, one that's similar but not the same. I lean towards the romanticized version of the Dark Ages and other time periods over reality when applicable. Still, I ask that characters try to be of the time period they're in, to not seem too much like a 21st century, modern man/woman.

THE PROCESSOnce your feel your character is ready, post in your character thread, the OOC thread, or PM me to let me know. Otherwise I'll assume you're still working on it. I'll provide some feedback to all applications that includes the following:
CHANGES: These are things that, for whatever reason, will have to be changed for the character to work. Might be a merit that's broken, or a character detail that doesn't fit the game's setting.
CONSIDERATIONS: These are things that, though not banned, might require some extra consideration. Examples could include a difficult personality type, or some moral grey area like a child character.
CLARIFICATIONS: These will be for those questions that I have about the character that I don't want to assume I know. Hazy background details and such are included in this.
QUESTIONS: In addition, I'll try to dig deeper into a character by asking a number of questions to learn more about them. For these, I ask players take a little extra time and effort as it'll have a significant impact of who I end up selecting.

I will be choosing 3-5 characters. Completed applications are due end of May 31st, selections the morning of June 1st.

Game Description:

This is a Giovanni Chronicles game, with some artistic license added in to keep things fresh for players both old and new.

Last edited by Peacemonger; May 9 '19 at 8:43pm..
definitely interested.

Originally Posted by Peacemonger View Post
I'm using Vampire the Dark Ages 20th Edition, transitioning into 20th Anniversary Vampire the Masquerade when the game gets close to modern time.
Yeah I see that in the ad now, I don't know how I missed it the first time I read it, I was probably very distracted....which I was.

Originally Posted by zpolloock View Post
Yeah I see that in the ad now, I don't know how I missed it the first time I read it, I was probably very distracted....which I was.
All good. There's a lot up there, it's understandable if people miss a detail or two.

Hi, I'm mostly ignorant of the VtM and Dark Ages, but I'm engrossed in the idea and I'm studying the environment and system rn; on the side, I applaud your exhaustive presentation of the campaign, as it leaves me with all the curiosity and none of the confusion. I'll get to work! I hope me being "fresh blood" (haha) doesn't hamper the whole thing :/

Originally Posted by damngeons_and_darngons View Post
Hi, I'm mostly ignorant of the VtM and Dark Ages, but I'm engrossed in the idea and I'm studying the environment and system rn; on the side, I applaud your exhaustive presentation of the campaign, as it leaves me with all the curiosity and none of the confusion. I'll get to work! I hope me being "fresh blood" (haha) doesn't hamper the whole thing :/
Being new isn't a problem at all. If you have any rules/mechanics questions let me know.



Giovanni... - Sold - where do I deposit my soul..ahh never mind I see.

This ticks all the boxes and good to see you running a game again

This sounds exactly like the game I am looking for. I'll have a hard time with the personality section, I think for me this usually evolves in lockstep with deciding for a clan and during play.
I'll give it the best shot I can, I must participate in this game.


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