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Dark Ages Vampire - Bloodlines

Game Master Dennis Harry

Bloodlines is a continuation of the now defunct table top Dark Ages Vampire game wherein the PC's have created lineal descendants throughout the ages.

Attendees seeking a seat or have a seat in the Inner Circle:

Assamite - Lord Bajazet al Nasir.

Brujah – Lady Meridie de Chancie, Lord Criatas, “Dark”Selena, Robin Leeland.

Cappadocian – Lord Benne.

Gangrel – Milov Petrankov.

Lasombra - Prince Narses the Archbishop of Nod

Malkavian – Antione le Fanu, Lutz von Hohenzollern.

Nosferatu – Cristo Petradon, Simon.

Salubri – Brian Stack.

Setites – Sadir.

Toreador – Rafael de Corazon, Francois Villon, Helene la Jouste.

Tremere - Radek, Mistress Fanchon.

Tzimisce – Myca Vykos.

Ventrue – Alyssa Gilbert, Lady Jadviga Almanov, Lanzo von Saschen, Prince Alexander.

Remember - only those listed get votes. Of course influencing their Childer can go a long way to getting a vote.

Social Combat:

Let me first thank Sir Dunstan and his excellent Game of Thrones campaign as the inspiration for this rules tweak. A shout out to Vitaliano who also does an excellent job as a player in that campaign.

Game of Thrones has a Social Combat system that, while not translatable directly, I used as inspiration for this campaign.

This is a proposed rules set and I am more than happy to hear feedback from Players before I implement it in full.

Roleplaying is still required to get your point across. However, I think a mechanical system could be beneficial for this scenario, a scenario quite unlike anything I have ever done in a Vampire game before.

Making My Case

To convince a “voter” to side with your Sire, you may roll the following set of Attributes and Abilities:

1. Against someone who is clearly NOT in your favor --- Manipulation+Subterfuge+Politics
2. Against someone who is NEUTRAL – Charisma+Expression+Politics

The difficulty of all rolls is that Cainites Willpower. You will need to score as many successes as they have Willpower to win the contest. Once you engage the voter, you will only have three rounds to make your case and can only attempt do so one time per night.

If you have Presence – Awe or Enrancement, you may attempt to use these powers in conjunction with the above roll. Each success utilizing that Discipline gives you one more success on your total roll.

Beware, failing in using Presence in Elysium can lead to Sanctions by Thomas Brexiano.

Also beware, Cainites may try to turn this system around on you…

But What if Someone Else Tries This on a Voter I just Brought to my Side?

Amount of successes is a key factor here, you will want to score as many success as you can to ensure that a rival does not try to take that vote from you!

Certain NPC’s already believe that others are in their favor and would never change their votes. Those will be the toughest cookies to break.

Note this system cannot be used on:

Your In-Clan rivals, no amount of sweet talking or bribes will change their minds they all want this position badly.

Prince Narses, he simply will not entertain such discourse. Of course, this does not mean you cannot try to get into the ears of one of his Childer to have them speak with him…

Discerning My Quarry’s Intent

How can I tell if someone is for or against me despite what they are saying?

Make a Perception+Empathy+Politics roll.

The difficulty is 10, less that Cainites Humanity score. Those closer to the Beast are much harder to read. For every Century over 300 years that Cainite has lived, the DC will be increased by 1, topping out at 10, as these Cainites have well and truly mastered this game to have existed for so long in the first place.

Once you engage the voter, you will only have three rounds to ferret out their intent and can only attempt do so one time per night. You will need to score as many successes as they have Willpower to ascertain their intent.

If you have Auspex – Read the Soul or Invade the Mind, you may attempt to use these powers in conjunction with the above roll. Each success utilizing that Discipline gives you one more success on your total roll.

How else can I make my case?

The use of Presence, while frowned upon, is much less cause for censure than using Dominate. Dominate does not work on a Cainite whose blood is closer to Caine than your own. If you seek to use Dominate to convince a voter (or perhaps one of the Childer?) to vote for your Sire, it would be best used elsewhere in the city.

Boons – the boon system of quid pro quo can also be used to gain votes. You will need to offer something of course that that voter does not have or cannot get from another candidate.

Eliminate my rivals. This one is obvious though failure to do so without detection may subject YOU to the Final Death!

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Xing Shi Prologue:
Make a Perception + Larceny roll to read lips.

Storyteller Shadow:
"I am not a student in its ways but know a little of the "evil eye" and such. Mostly old wives tales that involve cursing people that have wronged you and medicinal herbs and teas. How does that relate to wine?" I am thinking he put some type of rare herbs in it.

Andrew the Hardy Prologue:
"Dr. Cappelli is no friend of mine. Certainly I have heard of him as I know all of the doctors in Venice but I would trust that if he believes your leg is unsuitable for battle then he is probably correct".

"Why would the English give up the land they fought to conquer? Might makes right Lord of Moray forget that not. Your people speak loudly long enough the English will listen. We were once merely a colony to the Byzantine Empire then after a millenia we sacked that great city and took her treasures for our own. Perhaps it will be the same for your people. Think of the riches you could carry away from London and York". Pietro has a wistful look on his face as if remembering something from the past.

"My apologies Signore, I digress. You are correct that my knowledge of the area surpasses your own. My knowledge of the land itself is another matter. I was never a farmer and growing thing for certain is not a skill of mine. I could no more point you to the proper plot of land to grow pipeweed than I could remove the English from your lands. What I offer you is immeasurably better enough wealth to retire without the need to till the fields. Do you take my meaning?"

Katriana Volkov Prologue:
The man waves off Giuseppe, "Retire for the evening my friend", his command is so powerful that Giuseppe does not hesitate to obey. As the front door to the Inn shuts you are left alone in the room with this man whose very presence energizes you.

"There now we are alone Mari. It is good to see you once again it has been far too long".

Sergei Volkov Prologue:
Do you look for the guardsman alone or with one of your Retainers?
Make a Perception + Investigation roll to attempt to track him down based on the knowledge you gained during the day of carousing.

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
"Heed my word Lorenzo I want you to stay away from the Giovanni. et their men take and bury this Hans and with it the mystery of his death but nothing further".

Dr. Bene looks almost angry at the mention of the name Giovanni and he spits the words from his lips as if it were a curse. "A Scotsman was with one of your brothers employees why is that troubling?"

Michele Querini Prologue:
Sadir chuckles, "Yes the evil eye the most basic of curses. Magic is made of so much more than these simple parlor tricks. If a gesture bestows power can not other vessels bestow such powers? For instance a bottle or jug of wine perhaps? It is up to the sorcerer to determine what instrument is best to convey the magic he wishes to create. Different instruments will yield different results. By way of analogy to something familiar I postulate the following; an artist trained in many disciplines can deliver his brand of magic in many ways. Some do it through written words, others through instruments, still others through drawings or sculptures. Magic is no different my friend. That wine was an instrument of my power that I delivered to you. Do you understand?"

Storyteller Shadow:
"Explained as you just have then I do start to understand. Is this something that can be taught or earned through study or you must be born with some talent?

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
"I was not aware that there was an issue with the Giovanni family. I will keep my distance if that is what you wish."

"Not particularly troubling, it just struck me as curious. Well curious given that I had heard reports of a Scotsman snooping around one of my family's warehouses.

Michele Querini Prologue:
"Some magic does require a certain innate gift but my magic can be taught. You seem interested in learning more I think. Beware my friend power comes with a price. As you well know nothing is free".

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
Dr. Bene pauses for a moment to consider what you have said.
"Was there any indication that this Scotsman is an agent of the Doge as the last person caught prowling was?"

Michael Santos:

I will spend a little time with the wife... tend to her needs... see how her day was... but I would like to go out for a "Run". See how my nocturnal boat ride business is going dressed to the T in clothing that would cover my identity. I am a respectable Citizen ya know

Katriana Volkov:
"I am sorry sir, you must have me confused with someone else. My name is Katriana, I know not who this Mari is, but I am sure jealous of her....."

Sergei Volkov:
I will bring someone with me, preferably with a better perception+investigation than mine.....
Perception+Investigation 3d10 ⇒ (2, 2, 4) = 8

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
"Not that I am aware of. He seemed more interested in purchasing land to grow pipeweed."

Michael Santo Prologue:
After tending to the family you head out into the dark night to assess business. According to the few men you have on night duty business has been slow. Increased patrols and the general political turmoil have kept your less than savory business less than profitable over the last two weeks or so. There was a shipment about four nights ago that was sizeable - bizarre items to say the least - but other than that no cargo to be moved.
The moonlit pleaseure rides though have been steady so nice profits there.
Your right hand man for this business Gabriele gives you the full run down, "I have not heard from my Querini associate in almost a week, things with him still good?"

Katriana Volkov Prologue:
The man gets a far away look in his eyes when you respond. There are a few tense awkward moments then he seems to come back to himself, "Yes, yes of course. You are not Mari but Katriana. Yes Katriana and we are here in Venice together". The man smiles at you his eyes afire with passion, [b] "You need never be jealous of anyone ever again, it is you I want". [/b]

Sergei Volkov Prologue:
You wait impatiently for Wilhelm to return from his daily travels. He is less than enthusiastic about going out again right away but he agrees provided that you buy him a monster breakfast in the morning.
Perception + Investigation 5d10 ⇒ (6, 6, 3, 4, 2) = 21
As you make the rounds you get a hot lead, the guardsman is on the main beat tonight! He will be running a patrol on the main canal courses which run through the city. Assuming this is true it will only be a matter of time until you find him!

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
Dr. Bene once again sits back to consider your answer. Something in the way he sits makes him seem well almost... lifeless. Make a Perception + Medicine roll difficulty of 4.
Dr. Bene turns back to you after a time. "Our facts. There is a man, an agent of the Doge, snooping about your brothers warehouse wherein he is slain by a guard. Another man, a Scotsman is found snooping about your brothers warehouse a few days later. Afterwards he is seen with a warehouse employee.
These incidents would appear to be unrelated except for the fact that your brother's warehouse is the target of this snooping. The ties are quite tenuous but it seems this would be all we have to go on at the moment. You have done well handling Sergei Volkov, now you must handle this Andrew the Scotsman. Find out why he is snooping at your brother's warehouse. Perhaps he serves another in this matter. It may be a coincidence but we have no other leads so let's us follow this one. I will return tomorrow to check on your progress. It is paramount that we discover what the Doge's agent was looking for.
Before I leave do you wish to ask anything of me?"

Katriana Volkov:
"May I know the name of the most handsome man I have ever laid eyes on?"

Sergei Volkov:
I will try to locate them and then maybe go home and come back towards the end of their shift, provided I know when that might be... Otherwise I will follow them, but not follow them.........wink wink

Storyteller Shadow:
"This is quite true but with such limited time you have in your life before you grow old and die I believe you should live to the fullest. I feel so much more alive today then yesterday and I would like to learn.....if you would have me."

Xing Shi:

4d10 ⇒ (9, 3, 5, 7) = 24

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
Perception + Medicine:6d10 ⇒ (10, 10, 7, 6, 9, 10) = 52

Obviously that's a pretty serious success. What does that tell me. What I know will lead to how I respond.



"Aye tha sounds very well, battle tis no longer someting I desire, even wit mah leg healed up, I ave no desire tah farm, but young Fredirico might bite at such a bargain. Seems in such a deal he could triple his land an jus sell me pipeweed!"

"Has must been God's will fer me tah seek yah out ov'er a plot o land yah wish tah secure fer yerself, I am savin yah much trouble."

"I ave no doubt tha English will give up on err lands soon nuff."

"Tha histories err rich perhaps yah could tell me more o tha one day, seems we have much tah put in place tah make a bargain werk. Many contingencies tah werk, since Fredrico will want tah have a farm secured tah sell his land."

Katriana Volkov Prologue:
The man chuckles, "My friends call me Talisman as you may my dear. Tell me do you remember me?"

Sergei Volkov Prologue:
Their beat keeps them near high visibility areas with lots of crowds. You are easily able to trail them. I will let you know when an opportunity arises to contact your man.

Michele Querini Prologue:
"Do the task I have asked you to perform well and I will arrange it for you".
As Sadir is about to continue you feel a presence next to you. It is the Captain how he came down the stairs so silently you do not know you could swear the stairs creaked when you walked down them.
"Sadir my helmsman told me you gave charted a course for Venice tonight, we cannot arrive and discharge before dawn".
"I am aware of that Captain we will simply be discharging Signore Querini and heading out until the next evening".
"That is far too risky I must countermand that order".
Sadir's eyes narrow, "I was under the impression I would have command until the cargo was delivered".
"Command within reason this idea is folly. My crew is full of wanted men especially my navigator".
"And I assure you once this cargo is delivered you will all be pardoned for your crimes".
"Assured by Narses as if he has such power", says the Captain with contempt.
"Have you a better suggestion then?"
"I do how strong is your pet's will", the Captain asks turning to regard you.

Xing Shi Prologue:
They are discussing a number of people and where their loyalties lie politically nothing if real interest to you.
Once they finish their meal they stand up and get ready to move along. Do you continue to follow?

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
9 successes amazing roll! Dr. Bene is not breathing his chest does not rise and fall while he contemplates the things you say. When he is speaking though his chest does rise and fall almost as if it only does so because he wills it to.

Andrew the Hardy Prologue:
"Have Federico locate suitable lands. Then he may move whatever agriculture he has to these new lands. Then I will give him the ducats to buy such land should such a wealthy man still wish to farm. Agreed?"

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
"As I said, the Scotsman seemed to be interested in purchasing land for growing pipeweed. Some of the land he sought belongs to a man in my brother's employ. I suppose I could look into it a bit further, but I do not know how much good it will do."

Lorenzo cocks his head in concerned curiosity, "Are you well, Dr. Benne? Your breathing seems to be very shallow, almost to the point of being non-existant. This seems more than just a bit odd as your voice is not that of a man with labored breathing."

Katriana Volkov:
The hair on the back on Katrianas neck stands up with that query.

"No, sir. I would say that I am certain I could not forget you had I met you before....."

Sergei Volkov:
Sergei is at your beckon call then sir! Well played!

Storyteller Shadow:
eyes narrowed "Watch your tongue Captain. Even though I am on your ship I must be shone respect. What type of will do you speak of?"

Gunther Thesing prologue:


Storyteller Shadow wrote:

“Gunther, we need to talk. I have been out all day shopping and to tell the truth following our daughter from afar. She has finally come to rest for dinner with young Christopher. I considered not telling you but you were just so adamant about it.. She is taking supper on the grand canal my love”.

Anger and frustration begin to fester within Gunther as he replays the words his dearest wife just spoke over in his mind.

She is taking supper on the grand canal"
The one place he specifically forbade her to go. She promised him she would not go there. She gave her word.

"She what?", Gunther asked with mock enthusiasm.
"No, wife. You must be mistaken. I explicitly told her not to go there, and she gave her word she would not. Are you saying that our daughter bold-face lied to her father?"

Judging by the expression upon Fiona's face he could see that she was indeed nervous about telling him about Jordan's locale this evening.

"If it weren't for the fact that she is in the company of royalty, I would go down there myself and yank her home by her ear. Since she is with Christopher, she will have to suffice under his care this evening. Once she gets home, however, his protection ceases at our doorstep and there shall be no saving her from my wrath when she steps through that door."

Xing Shi:

Yes Xing will continue to follow.

8d10 ⇒ (6, 6, 4, 5, 8, 10, 9, 1) = 49

Michael Santos:

"business is well from my understanding Michele is out of town so until he returns we will have to tend to our other endeavors. How's everything tonight?"
Michael will tend to any business matters that need taken care of

Lorenzo Cappelli Prologue:
"Focus on why be was snooping at the warehouse. No doubt this pipeweed is a cover for his activity, well if my hunch is correct".
Dr. Bene smiles, "You are observant and smart, traits that I have admired in you for some time Dr. Cappelli. Power comes at a price. Often a very high price. Which do you prefer, an answer to your question or the things I have promised to you? For us to go farther together I must have blind obedience else our partnership ends here and now".

Katriana Volkov Prologue:
"Oh no we have not met I was just curious to see if you remembered me, for I remember you. In fact I came here just to find you. It was not easy convincing my superior that I was right for this meeting. To be sure I give a damn about this gathering, no I am here for you and for you only. After so long apart we must be together, do you not feel it?"

Michele Querini Prologue:
Faster than you can see the man turns to you.
Grapple 8d10 ⇒ (2, 9, 5, 8, 3, 9, 6, 1) = 43
And lifts you by your neck slamming you against the ship wall. Stars pass across your eyes, you attempt to break his grip but it is like iron and his hands cold as ice.
"I must show YOU respect worm? If it were not for Sadir here I would crush your throat, throw you over the side and be done with it. Mind your manners amongst your betters 'Nobleman'", that being said he drops you and turns to Sadir.
"Now I certainly would like to take him to the city myself. We will see how smart his mouth is once the journey is over".
Sadir glares at the Captain, "He is mine to reprimand not yours. Touch him again and we will do battle the mission be damned".
Sadir turns to you, "Apologize to the Captain for speaking out of order Signore. Then we will determine the best course of action, in private", Sadir finishes turning back to the Captain.

Gunther Thesing Prologue:
Fiona shakes her head, "No Gunther. You must go to her and retrieve her, I will not have her acting wilfully, if we let her be tonight there will be no way to restore order to our household. Until she is married she must know that disobeying her father will have repercussions".

Xing Shi Prologue:
You continue to follow Marco and his entourage. They stop and take drinks at each cafe' they pass. They talk with as many young noblemen as they argue with. Swords are rattled and jokes are exchanged but no violence takes place. More often than not drinks are bought by both sides and cooler heads prevail. They continue down the canal carousing together. Do you continue to follow?

Michael Santo Prologue:
There is little to do with such a slow day. You are free to carouse or simply head back home if you do not feel like wandering about. You could also visit Anya it is not terribly late yet.

Storyteller Shadow:
Grabbing my throat I eke out "My sincerest apologies for the transgression. never taking my eyes off his then I slightly bow my head in deference. Besides his strength and ice cold grip do I notice anything else strange?

Michele Querini Prologue:
He moved so fast you could not see him that is freaking you out right about now.
You step out of Sadir's cabin and they close the door behind you. What do you do?

Xing Shi:

I will continue to follow as long as I do not feel i'm getting into a place I can not get out of dodge easily.

Xing Shi Prologue:
There are enough people out that you can follow through the crowd if you like. Plenty of places to go in these areas on the grand canal.



Grabs the mans hand.....

"I am most agreeable tah yer terms o makin great wealth fer Fredirico an seems tha blessing o tha Lord God Almighty err upon me, as most people myself included have lost much wealth in tha long war."

"I will inform him o tha need tah vacate tha current land, but tah ensure he finds a place ten times tah move tah."

"Mind me askin whats gonna be there when tha farms gone?"

Storyteller Shadow:
I will head to the area I have been staying in and have a drink and replay the situation. Either there is a rational reason or perhaps the Captain knows some "magic".

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