Setting Discussion 2

Kate (Layla)
Scott (Buck)
Tom (GM)
Critical attention needed (will get removed once attention is given)


Note: I think Topics should be dated at the beginning and sorted from newest to oldest so the newer replies will be notices easier. Thoughts?
I’m fine with being dated, but not the sorting. It disrupts the flow of reading and makes it hard to follow. We read from top to bottom, the conversation should flow similarly. The Vampire Tests topic threw me off because of the sorting. Also note that new is relative, especially when some aren’t as frequent to keep up with changes. One thing to help, I have added a ‘horizontal rule’ to separate the page; anything seemingly done being discussed goes below the rule and doesn’t need to be reviewed. If something in a topic there needs to change, it gets moved above the rule. When a topic is fairly done being discussed, it gets moved below the rule, but this should be determined by the group together at the table.

Vampire Blood:

  • TOPIC: Making a Vampire
    (3/31/13) In WoD and some other lore to create a vampire requires draining the “subject” then feeding it some of the vampire blood and then giving time for the body to die and be re-born. Just drinking vampire blood does not turn you into one.
    (3/31/13) We can go this route, it works for me.
    (4/1/13) No objections.
  • TOPIC: Ghouls
    (3/31/13) In WoD a Vampire will give a loyal subject some blood periodically. This has several effects, the Ghoul gains strength and does not age while “on blood.” I can see this as a good way to inspire listers. I don’t recall if there is actual compulsion to serve the vamp or not, but there is clearly strong motivation to do so! If there is no compulsion to serve the vamp I could see this as strong motivation for an entrepreneur to capture and “milk” a few vamps to sell the blood.
    (3/31/13) Again, this works for me, and hopefully also sufficiently addresses Scott’s desire for a vamp-based drug, as per my email.
    (4/1/13) Never been a huge fan of the Ghoul ideas but I can deal. In WOD there was a very serious compulsion almost impossible to resist. Furthermore when the effects began to subside there was an addiction aspect that made them practically fall all over themselves trying to get in or maintain in their masters good graces. Which also bring another question. A vampiric bite, a lot of legends on this. Is it painful? Pleasurable? Paralyzing? Does it mess with memory or
    (4/2/13) If folks look at the vampire information that the resistance has, they will note that vampires do have some ability of mind control – but it’s not done through their bite or their blood. Their “ghouls” (not a term they use, but appropriate for Layla to use given her WoD exposure) are simply individuals who have had prolonged and repeated mind control done to them for the purpose of conditioning and making permanently loyal slaves. “Making” a ghoul takes a long time in mind control conditioning and is not instantaneous. Given that Scott made no comment about the blood suggestion (the actual topic indicated), I am going to assume he is fine with the suggestion. In regards to a vampiric bite, I would say that it is indeed painful, it is not pleasurable, it is not paralyzing, and it does not mess with memory – it is simply a means of inflicting an injury that more rapidly drains blood from the body. That said, if people want any of these specific details to be different, please speak up.

Society & Culture:

  • TOPIC: Houses or Clans
    (3/30/13) I like the idea of “Houses” or “Clans” or such. It allows the potential for infighting and not the idea of a unified world organization. Vamps are typically depicted as rather competitive in nature, well mush as their original humans.
    (3/31/13) Houses are something I also think are fairly frequently depicted in various vampire lore sources. Do players want to create their own custom list of houses rather than pull from some source like WoD?
    (4/2/13) This topic distinctly needs player input. The GM has asked a direct question to the players, and both players have contributed to this page since the question was asked but did not answer the GM. While I appreciate the questions and interest, this is not feeling like a collaborative effort when even the direct questions are being ignored.
    (4/2/13) I am inclined to go with Houses. Their issues are a bit more philosophical. The WoD Clans each had specific mental issues. Since I do not know much about the specific setting, which is why it is hard to reply to the question, lets assume America with 50 states. I would say 10 houses, each with five sub-houses. This gives a total of 60, with 50 sub-houses so one can cover each state and the 10 which are the congress. Possible one or two more if there is a president or such. This is, again assuming, some form of current countries. Which if the vamps rose out of those countries they may want to still keep such borders. As for other countries…
    (4/4/13) I think they would still want to keep the ideas of separate countries and so forth. “You think you have it bad in America? Do you have any idea of the atrocities being committed in foo!?” “Be grateful for how well we treat you.”
  • TOPIC: Military
    (3/30/13) Military. I am not sure there would be much need for a military force unless there was the real thread of other nations. I do see there being a much larger need for a police force, which may be more militant.
    (3/31/13) Agreed.

Vampire Tests:

  • (3/29/13) I think there should be a fairly, not absolute, reliable way to test if someone is a Vampire. A resistance will have a hard time forming if they do not know who to trust. Obviously Listers would pass. Perhaps vamps are adverse to garlic? Without sunlight or UV, aside from staking one we are sort of back to, “If the accused witch sinks they are not really a witch mentality.” Even then, if you stake someone and they do not “dust” were they a vamp, since we are not dusting? Was “dusting” invented to appease readers/viewers that the hero’s were positively killing bad guys and not innocents?
    (3/30/13) I believe such is in place to facilitate this. Based on the vampire template that I have created, which can change if needed, I have created a “known facts” about vampires, essentially data known by the Resistance. You can find it here: Vampires 2

Vampires:

  • Not Blade vampires. i.e. Vamps should not be susceptible to silver.
    Silver is silly, agreed.
    I’ve never associated silver to vampires anyway, always more of a Werewolf myth to me.
  • They should not just turn to dust. Unless there is a compelling reason why would they? I feel this is a rather contrived way for story makers to “hide” the vamps existence since there are no bodies. There is also the thought of If you kill a vamp and they turn to dust then you Know they are Dead. If you give them a major wound and they are just down… are they really dead? Will they get back up?
    My thoughts on this were simple: powerful undead (still working on the template) that when killed is simply a dead vampire body. Definitely not Buffy-mode.
    The dust thing actually has some precedence. It is contrived from the idea that something that has been truly dead for so long held together unnaturally by mystic forces that when that unnatural energy is released through death the body returns to it’s natural state where all factors are included, especially time. By that same token the Buffy show botched this in that your vamp who was Joe average snack food last week before he got turned should have left a body behind but the ancient ones who were always the big villain at the end of a season, dust was appropriate. That said I don’t know that dust is the answer but we are talking about an unnatural death, there ought to be some distinction, tissue decay due to lack of fluid. Maybe they don’t dust but on death the body maybe is brittle, I don’t know. Something, It should be different. I’d be willing to lend medial concept ideas to help define this if you want.
    I tend to agree. Vampires should “end” at the physical age they should be. However I am fine with whatever the GM wants in this regard.
    I completely disagree that they should simply return to their original physical age, essentially aging years (perhaps centuries) in moments – the laws of physics should apply when the magic is gone. This unnatural energy is not a glamour that simply makes them appear unaging, it actually halts the aging process. With this in mind, time is not an energy that stores up and unleashes en masse once the unaging creature dies. Simply put, the body should begin aging (decaying) again naturally from the state that it was in at the point of death (of the vampire), rather than piling on time effects immediately. Does this make sense?
  • If vamps only appeared in 1950 then I think religion should not be a factor. And there should be another explanation.
    The vampires have been around MUCH longer than 1950’s, it’s just that until the revolution in the 1950’s (I’m open to a specific year or date, if there is historical significance of something that I don’t know or recall) they remained hidden from the world. In the “liberation movement”, when they rose to power, most had already existed for centuries. Religion does play a factor, but operates more like Christianity today (no direct, obvious displays of power), but is still squashed like magic. The humans have no idea why it matters so much to the vampires, but one theory is simply that such belief and ideology gives hope.
    This rings familiar, I seem to recall seeing a movie or maybe TV show that had a massive takeover where they targeted religion groups to destroy a sense of hope. And the most recent recreation of the series “V” the aliens were trying to deface religions also so that people would accept the Visitors ideals and kill off hope. You could always alternate universe it a bit and tie your Vampire liberation to the Civil Rights movement and replace Dr. King with a Vamp of your choosing or make Dr. King a Vampire. Would really change my perceptions of the speech “I have a dream”. The march would have had to have been at night though. LOL
    “Hope” This is a big thought. I am actually thinking this is the biggest fear of the Vampires. I would think that the underground movement is very spiritual in some way. There may even finally be a unified religion, if just humans against vampires. I would really prefer that Dr. King died fighting the vamps and did not become one of them. He is just one of my personal heroes is all.
    Dr. King would indeed have existed, but died from Vampires. There is one solid reason why vampires would never have taken the approach that Scott indicated: it was a call to peaceful resistance of segregation and support of peaceful coexistence, whereas the vampires are NOT about civil rights, they are about domination through force and fear. This is the only way that a small group can successfully dominate a large group and establish themselves above through a caste system. This has been proven historically, though often the larger group does eventually rise up and overcome the oppressors – though historically, those dynamics have been between people of the same race and roughly equal capabilities. Such is not the case with vampires. To achieve their goals, they would have had to take control by force, and Civil Liberties (rights for all) is the LAST thing they want on people’s minds. As for unified religion, this isn’t realistic. While there may be greater tolerance of other human religions, religion is not a social club where multiples can simply merge and unify. There is a reason why even religions with the same basis (i.e. the Bible) have different denominations based on beliefs and interpretations. Christianity thrived in numerous points in history where it was outlawed and practitioners caught were put to death (this may be true of other religions as well, I just wouldn’t know about it). This will not stop people from pursuing their beliefs, it just makes it dangerous. That said, I don’t expect to make religion a factor in gameplay, just as I haven’t in the existing Technomancer setting even though it is as prominent there as it is in today’s society.

Other Creatures:

  • Are there Werewolves? These are always portrayed as the nemesis of Vampires.
    My initial thoughts were strictly vampires and humans, but this can easily change based on preferences of the players. This is in reference to indigenous creature, not extra-planar like yourself and others you might meet.
    I happen to like the Wolves, and Were creatures in general. Played a Were-shark once and had a ball with it. I have also for the record seen instances where Vamps and Dogs were NOT opposing forces but in league. And granted I’m not even a full season into it but your show “Lost girl” just seems to have this Fay against the world outlook with only a division of light or dark. Not divided by creature type just intent. But maybe that will change further down the road as I watch more. I think your universe has room for other options but it is your world your crafting. Maybe this is my fatal flaw but I always see room for variety and often seek out the unique. To my potential dismay, I gave this curious trait to “Buck” too.
    While I do not have the “puppy love” or “shark love” of Scott (teasing), other supernatural entities do make sense. Why would there only be vampires? I am not saying open or close the door on other entities, but keep your options open. Regarding Lost Girl, it is really Light vs. Dark, species independent.
    “Lost Girl” takes the approach of World of Darkness, where there is a veil of secrecy. This is definitely not the case here. With the distinct war of the races approach, I do NOT want to introduce the vast array of supernatural creatures that are indicated in shows like “Lost Girl” or “Grimm”. In fact, Dragons don’t exist in the setting either, but then again they don’t exist natively in the existing Technomancer campaign setting, they were “imported”. It’s important to remember the distinction of indigenous creatures and those that came from elsewhere (which would be FAR fewer, individuals rather than groups and cultures). As far as other creatures making sense, why? Not to say that it’s not possible, but having just vampires is easily also explained as a magical curse on existing humans. Plenty of reason why there wouldn’t be others. Werewolves could also easily fit into that scenario, but naturally occurring races that don’t originate from a human make a LOT less sense, since this is more like our current world than not. At this point, please stop trying to justify something and just let me know what you would like to see. I will not be implementing a vast diversity of races (also just to simplify my job as GM), but I am open to having some other races beyond humans and vampires if that is the player preference. If added, they would have their own castes as well, above humans but below vampires.
    I am ok with just Vampires.

Technology:

  • No internet. At least not like today. Keep the sheep ignorant and unaware of the rest of the world.
    Actually, as previously stated, technology of the late 70’s / early 80’s, meaning no personal computers at all, let alone the internet. The world is NOT unaware, as this was a global event years in the making, but the concern of keeping the communication stifled is definitely something they work on. Use of a communications device without direct vampire authorization delivers a death sentence. This isn’t just telephones (still rotary), this is ham radios, broadcast airwaves, courier pigeon… anything short of face-to-face talking.
    I get the sense our telepathy will not win us Vampire friends. This is a good bold move, I approve. I’ve seen many a setting attempt killed for is it’s flavor by PC’s ability to get a computer and decide we can solve all of life’s mysteries from the comfort of our living room, setting be damned.
    I agree. Well, pretty much to this entire bullet point.

Magic

  • Magic still plays an important role, but is squashed by vampires as soon as they identify a mage. Important to note, vampires are incapable of magic, and spellcasters who become vampires lose their magery and ability to cast spells. There is not the ongoing monitoring of magic like in the primary technomancer setting, so spellcasting safety is more about not getting caught in the immediate circumstances. As a general rule, mana levels are typically high, as mana has not been as depleted compared to the primary technomancer setting.

Economy:

  • What is the economy? Dollars or Blood?
    The economy is basically just like today; in the U.S., it’s dollars, in Mexico it’s pesos, etc. Completely pre-Euro, so they still use the Franc in France, the Deutschemark in Germany, etc. Blood isn’t directly traded, but neither is gold, which it mimics in a lot of ways. Some economies are still tied to the gold standard (much like the U.S. economy of the 1950’s era), but some have moved to the Blood Standard. This is usually only in more repressive countries, where the culture was already one of subjugation through fear.
    Also note that economies are stagnant everywhere, as economies are unimportant. Think communist Russia before the collapse. Efforts by the many to support the luxury of the few. Specific industry profits are unimportant because the few succeed any ways. Industries aren’t exactly state-run, but in function it’s pretty close. Consumers have little economic power, unlike the U.S. today, because they have very little economic resources. Vampires are much fewer, and very hierarchical, so competition is less of a concern. Property laws are completely unenforced, even amongst vampires; if a given lower-echelon vampire does something that goes against their local council, their “businesses” can be taken from them and given to others. This is rarely a concern for the vampire, as they are typically dead when it happens, which is generally a bigger concern. In many ways, think of the control factors of a communist regime, not just in laws and segregation and such, but also in economics.

Society & Culture:

  • There really isn’t nation against nation any more. Humans are wired to need an “us vs. them”, and now they have that need clearly met. There is no more racism between humans either.
    I could see this, the only racism that matters to them now is undead vs human.
    Racism can indeed become more of an issue as more species are introduced, but it is definitely a species-to-species thing, not inter-species based on some factor like skin pigmentation.
  • Is the every day “Joe” going about and doing work?
    In general, yes, but consider the working environments of a century ago. In many ways, they regressed, because safety concerns get thrown out the window unless shown as productivity concerns. There is no retirement plan (well, there is, just not favorable to the retiree). 12 hour days or more are common, days off and vacations are pipe dreams.
  • Is it total slavery?
    In some cases, yes. There are castes within the humans as well. There are “managers” or “listers”, those collaborators who aid the vampires and are on waiting lists to become vampires, there are “freemen”, those who work long days as above but go home at the end and have some level of personal freedoms, and there are actual slaves. Actual slaves require more supervision, so rank fewer than “freemen”.
  • Are there humans at the gas station that do their job, make their blood donation and then go home like what we would consider a normal person of 1950?
    There are, but the working conditions are not great, even in such a circumstance.
  • Gender equality? This could go many ways. If half of vamps are women then it could presumably be very equal. However…
    The ratio of male to female vampires is not 50/50, more like 95 percent male to 5 percent female. Gender equality depends on species.
    Between vampires, distinctly not; female vampires actually carry a bit more weight. Between humans, it’s close to equal but still a bit more weighted on the male side (like today for us). Between vampires to humans, females are generally viewed as more playthings rather than just food, which is not necessarily favorable for them.

Setting Discussion 2

GURPS Technomancer Katelyn