Paul: And I wanted more to talk about the Princesses in SF and how they were working. And complain that my guy who actually lived in SF was unable to give me any setting information about it, so my ideas for the place don't really incorporate the character of the city, or specific aspects of it, since I don't KNOW them But basically I thinkt he atmosphere we should go for is "we had somethign really good going here, and now it's all in danger of slipping away". Bonnie Getsuei ran everything with grace and wisdom, but now she's dead (in ambiguous circumstances), things are sliding back, and her would-be successors are squabblign amongst themselves about where to go next.
ouri.maler: E-mailed you the cell data (some of it needs to be reworked...in particular, Cheryl Bean and Slayer have umbrae instead of calignes).
Paul: Membership in the Cult of Broken Dreams is now an actual threat. There are at least two Ravens operating in the city that they can't track down. The Carthagenian Movement (and I maintain that's what we should call it every time we talk about Carthians) is getting the vampires agitated and ready to overthrow the peace deal. Princesses are fighting amongst themselves mroe than they fight evil.
ouri.maler: "Carthagenian Movement"?
Paul: Which then gives options to the ST, to have a well-established city where the PCs are the main fighters of evil because the others are occupied, or with a strong existing Princess presence they can work with, and they could be involved in the politics of Bonnie's legacy or ignore it. You know, the Carthian Movement, the Vampire covenant. The Princesses think it's the Carthagenian Movement, since the Invictus were supposedly around since Rome, and they oppose the Invictus.
ouri.maler: /hasn't read any NWOD sourcebook
Paul: Did I ever mention the whole deal with vampires in SF? I thought I did, but am now thinking I may never have talked about it to anyone other than inklesspen.
ouri.maler: Doesn't ring a bell.
Paul: I think we don't need a rundown of ALL the supernatural types in SF< but vampires are emblematic enough of lurking evil and darkness to warrant mention.
ouri.maler: I did include one as a possible plot hook in the SF Broken Dream cell...
Sent at 10:04 AM on Monday Paul: Basically, you know how the ruler of the vampires in a given city is called the Prince? In SF, the Prince answers to the Princesses. Bonnie found him out, and said "Some people think you guys are monsters and should be destroyed, but I know you're just as hurt and scared as anyone. As long as you make sure your guys aren't doing any monstrous things -- Embracing the unwilling, or blood-bonding people -- the Noble will make sure you guys are all able to peacably coexist."
ouri.maler: Wait, has that been agreed upon in the thread? That's pretty huge.
Paul: The Prince agrees to this! Partly because it allows him to play a long game, gathering his power carefully over time without worrying about short-term backstabbing and betrayal. Partly because he is, at his core, a coward, and wants someone bigger he can call in. HIs decision to do this was Not Popular, but it was better than being wiped out -- which was a pretty real threat if things went tits-up.
ouri.maler: Come to think of it..."Bonnie Getsuei" sounds familiar, but I don't remember where from.
Paul: Now that she's dead, there's a lot of agitation about killing the Prince, since he doesn't have a magical girl backing him up, and going back to vampire skullduggery in general. Bonnie Getsuei was our Sailor Moon expy. A Japanese-American from San Francisco who was the first to Blossom in modern times, the most experienced and respected among the Noble -- terms like nakama and amanojaku are in use because those are the phrases she coined -- and is now very, very dead.
Sent at 10:11 AM on Monday Paul: And I guess this wasn't agreed on in the thread, it was just my idea. I figured, their respective goals and MO would have to put Princesses and vampires in conflict, and since I know we DID agree that SF was to be a Princess-controlled city, that wasn't a conflict vampires were going to win. Having a peace treaty now in danger of being broken is a good explanation as to why vampires are still around, and it's also an explanation that lets you credibly use vampires as much or as little as you want. If things were always antagonistic, it would be hard to believe there are any vampires left. If you want to use vampires, those damn Carthagenians are fomenting revolution, convinced they can do better for themserlves without being under the Noble's yoke. If you don't wanna have vampires, then the Prince is able to keep shit under control and you needn't worry about it. Thus we can detail vampires for STs that want to use them, without feeling like we're forcing the STs that don't into addressing it or altering the setting.
ouri.maler: What are the Carthagenians?
Paul: The Carthian Movement is a vampire covenant (y-splat) that's basically based around revolution and new ideas, tearing up existing power structures. If a vampire society has tried any social model other than "the Prince rules everything and you can kiss his pale undead ass", it's because the Carthians got into power and shook things up.
Sent at 10:17 AM on Monday Paul: They are usually portrayed as the closest thing to good guys that vampire covenants get, since they bristle at being enslaved and some of them are even pro-democracy. The Invictus, the guys all about accumulating traditional power for themselves and their organization, (they been around since Rome) are usually the worst guys among bad guys. I thought it would be interesting to flip the script -- the Invictus want to keep the peace treaty since being under Princess protection lets them accumulate power slowly but safely, and the Carthians/Carthagenians want to etar it up and try to set out on their own.
ouri.maler: I see.
Sent at 10:20 AM on Monday Paul: On a related note, the vampires aren't quite sure how the Princesses know so much about them. Unbeknownst to them, a local bondage club that is a popular feeding ground is run by a Grace of Spades, a very compassionate and kind woman who happes to really enjoy tying people up and helping them find and express their true, repressed, kinky feelings. She keeps her ear to the ground and keeps an eye on all the vampires she knows are regulars, making sure they don't really endanger anyone. But when she made her Regalia, she actually made it bondage-themed, so if she actually went out crusading in it as a Princess it would be really, really easy to put 2 and 2 together and figure out who she is.
Paul: I figure that a setup like that makes for a perfect "questgiver" type of character, who has information but would have to act through intermediaries like the PCs. She's tailor-made to be the one to use for incorporating vampires itno the campaign. Also I thought it was funny for another role reversal, where the seedy sex club is actually operated by a caring Princess. Not too over the top, is it?
ouri.maler: No, I think it's fine.
Paul: You did give me the "..." there.
ouri.maler: Well, it was a bit unsettling for a moment. But, eh. No real problem.
Paul: What do you think of the whole general setup re: vampires? Think it'll work?
ouri.maler: From my very limited knowledge of vampires? Sure, it sounds good. And the vampire at the Broken Dreams cult...well, he could be a Carthian looking for an opening, or just another pawn for Cheryl Bean.
Paul: It could be a match made in hell if they join forces, or try to use each other.
ouri.maler: Pretty much. The death-and-blood powers and clout of vampires, combined with the destructive might of the Cult... (Heh. You know, when I named her "Cheryl Bean", I was wondering if the joke was too obvious, or too subtle...)
Paul: Anyway, I think the cult thing has to mention that she's had to be INCREDIBLY careful and subtle while spreading her power, since it's a Princess-controlled city. She would probably have to be aware of Princesses earlier, at least vaguely, to know she had to work around them. But lately, she's been able to be a lot mroe open and daring. Cheryl Bean? I don't get it. (Do you get "Bonnie Getsuei"? I thought IT was obvious.)
ouri.maler: I get NOW that Bonnie is "bunny" ("usagi"). As for Cheryl Bean...Say it in reverse order.
Paul: And "Getsuei" and "Tsuki" both mean "Moon". Bean Cheryl? Or Naeb Lyrehc?
ouri.maler: Bean Cheryl. I'll admit, it's not that close, but... Lemme put it this way: Bean Cheryl Queen Beryl
Paul: Ahhhhhhhhh. Cute!
ouri.maler: Thanks. Though I'll admit "Bonnie" is better.
Paul: Actually, if it was CAROL Bean, then it wouldn't be as close in spelling, but you'd get it by switching the first sounds of the words. Carol Bean -> Keen Barol -> Queen Beryl
ouri.maler: True, but I think losing the spelling ressemblance would make it nigh-impossible to spot...(Not a huge deal, especially since she isn't all that much LIKE Beryl, but...)
Paul: No prob, just an idea.
Sent at 10:39 AM on Monday Paul: So I'm thinking, for Princess politics, there should be existing factions for players to align with, and each one should be appealing to players (no clear bad guys). Thinking the main divide should be Hearts vs. Diamonds, with a third group that inklesspen already described, Las Vigilanted de la Noche, the Catholic nakama that controlls the famous Mission.
ouri.maler: Right. One of my backup characters is actually pretty close to Las Vigilantes ideologically, except for being Protestant.
Paul: The Hearts nakama want to run things conseratively, like Bonnie did, cautiously feeling out the situation before acting rashly. The Diamonds nakama think this is an unprecedented opportunity that SF is on the cusp of, and want to be more bold and revolutionary and proactive. And Las Vigilantes think supernatural questions are a distraction and want to focus almost entirely on mundane ills. We can justify a larger number of Princesses in the city than would usually be expected by saying that Bonnie taught a lot of them over time, and in turn they moved on to other places, but have now returned to SF because each of them thinks they are needed to make sure things don't get cocked up in what is in a sense the Princess capitol. Well, Las Vigilantes were always there, but still.
ouri.maler: That works, I guess.
Paul: So depending on how much political involvement they want to have, players can either be the ones getting the REAL work done while the other nakama squabble, or they can align themselves to an existing group and support their efforts, or they can set out to make themselves in charge and get the support of an existing group. I think it's important to think about this stuff in terms of what it lets the ST and players do, and how much freedom it gives them.
ouri.maler: That HAS been your general credo, yes. :P