Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Let's Play VtM: Wild Nights - Chapter 10

Discussion in 'Codex Playground' started by grotsnik, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Storyfag Cipher

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    Truth be told, I have no idea HOW one reports to an Archon/Justiciar. But those posts do exist in the Camarilla, so I guess it is possible... London's Barons, being the actual rulers, should know how to contact the higher ups.

    Such external powers cause tentions when they come to visit, so it MIGHT bit us in the ass VERY severely. Especially should the visiting Archon be of a Clan traditionally conflicted with the Ventrue. But I believe only a Tremere would pose a serious danger to us, as only a Tremere would entertain the possibility of siding with Eames.

    As far as authority to summon one goes, I believe it's not how it works. Should we report the state in which London is to one such person, they might decide to interfere. They could show up, set up a Conclave and judge the city's Kindred one by one, or they could divert resources to the person/group they believe is most likely to set things right. Their ways are all too often subtle and unseen.
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  2. laclongquan Arcane

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    They are goals at the start of this Act. And let's see how Anthony's doing in all of them:

    - He got a Kine spec-op squad as muscle. Sure, it's a strong weapon, but its utility is limited toward Sabbat only. Using that group against Camarilla or Anarchs will create some backlash, I think. "Baron used Kines to get rid of Kindred rivals!" screaming headline is good only in creating terror, not for consolidation. Half of my motive toward finding Erika is to gather Kindred muscles through her resources.

    - He got some working relationships with Turcov and Eames. Not close, but okay for the purpose. Considering at the start of Act 1 we had only Eames in nodding acquaintance, this was some small step forward. But since we've taken step toward removing Eames, we are now back to square 1.

    - Unknown if he'd found any more sources of weapons, intel, or useful people.

    - There's some Sabbat disturbance after the War, but Anthony used Humphrey suggestion to form a human anti-Sabbat squad, so the his control over Kine politicians is still working. Okay, I think.
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  3. ironyuri Arcane

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    What the fuck are you talking about consolidation?

    Earnes is defacto Prince. She is engaging in infernalist practices with one of the fallen, who is pulling her strings. She has just had the Prince-in-name-only murdered. The Anarchs are about to unleash a civil war in London and the Sabbat are regrouping.

    What the fuck are we consolidating? The pile of shit that has landed in our hands?

    At this moment, Earnes will either use her growing power to elimate all threats; the Anarchs will place us in the same boat as Earnes and we'll become a target; the Sabbat will use this opportunity to assassinate Angelos' killer.... etc etc etc.

    We're fucked. We need to stop consolidating and start fighting, or else we'll consolidate ourselves into our own fucking asshole.
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  4. Bob Novice

    Bob
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    Does the way Hob kills look like the way a werewolf kills?

    Eames can't go around using Hob to off all her enemies - someone will get it on video and then they'll know what it is - and once you know what it is you can get together with all your remaining people and get rid of it. Hob's main advantage is no-one knows what he is at this moment. Eames, for whatever reason, risked that advantage sending him after Kirkbeck - someone she essentially had under house arrest anyway.

    When you want to know who killed someone you look to see who it benefits. People are going to guess she's done it. They won't know, they won't even be confident, but they don't need to be. Everyone will see themselves in his place, cut out from the pack and pulled down. And even if they don't believe the Anarch's propaganda they'll look into ways to get rid of the Fallen, because it costs them so little compared to the risk of NOT doing so.

    Eames won't be prince - she's cracked. She should have held her bottle long enough to see the war through. I can only assume she doesn't know of the impending propaganda and was hoping to deal with everyone who knew about Hob. Thinks he gives her a big enough military edge to just take everything.

    What we should be doing now is killing Eames. Get a couple of huge bombs and go blow the shit out of the chantry. We know where she sleeps. Well, at least we think we do anyway. Everyone will think it was the Anarchs and in the meantime they'll write the propaganda off as just wartime BS.
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  5. Excidium P. banal

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    Yeah but Hob is subtle, nobody knew he was there at Kirkbeck's home prison but his victim. what Hob did was attract the werewolves ( werewolves live to hunt and destroy sources of corruption, they probably could smell Hob from the other side of the city) to the vampires and then picked Kirkbeck by himself.

    Trust me, Hob can always find a way to get rid of his targets without being associated. That's how clever those things are.

    Even so with the Anarchs getting ready for civil war, and the Sabbat strengthening itself now that the summer nighs are over...

    But since Eames doesn't know about our plans and Turcov won't have the balls to open his mouth, we have time to prepare...but I'm starting to fear that going around the country looking for Erika is going to fuck us up. What if she doesn't want to come back? Why would anyone?
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  6. Bob Novice

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    There was no reason for Hob to risk exposing himself. Anyone could have killed Kirkbeck, I could have killed Kirkbeck for Christ's sake. Sneaky isn't speed chess, it's looking ten or twenty moves ahead and removing the points of failure before someone can exploit them.

    And it's something you rarely do in isolation. Get a group of a few people you trust - assign one group the role of attacker and one group the role of defender and roleplay the thing. You're a policeman I'm a criminal I commit this crime in this way, how do you respond? Until one side loses and then you go back and change it so that the side that lost has some edge they didn't have before and iterate it again. Just run a model of the situation in your head over and over, feeding the results of the previous loop back into the preparation your characters take for the next loop.

    And ideally you have ten or twenty people off role-playing it between themselves in pairs - and you have them write down their plays, and you network it all together at the end. You can get a very high rate of iteration running your scenarios in parallel like that. Of course if they all iterate the same thing you won't get as great an advantage, which is why it's important to have a diverse staff in a company and why things like the national curriculum are such a shit idea. But I digress.

    Apply that model to what we've got here:
    You're Kirkbeck. You hear that Eames has Hob and is thinking of coming for you. What do you do?

    Apparently Kirkbeck, for whatever reason, chose the 'do nothing and flee at the last minute' option. Still, there's no cure for idiots.

    What could he have done?

    Moved to another location.
    Fortified his location.
    Moved to another location and trapped his previous location.
    Arranged to distribute/reveal the information to everyone in the event of his death. (There are ways to verify that a message is actually from someone.)
    Gone after Eames first.

    Those are just the things that spring immediately to mind. Needless to say there are going to be more if you sit down and think about it for a while.

    Moving on.

    You hear Kirkbeck's been knocked off and you think the person doing so might come after you, what's the first thing you do? Most likely you move to a randomly chosen location. Contact lost. It's what all intelligent opponents do when they're the target of a superior military force. With modern telecommunications and encryption you can run the war perfectly well without being in a nice easily-targeted office.

    So far all we've seen is that Hob's theatrical and Kirkbeck was an idiot.

    Hob could equally have run across Kirkbeck and five of Kirkbeck’s finest in multiple vehicles. Kirkbeck could have snapped a picture of hob and uploaded it to all his contacts. Kirkbeck could have stayed in the house and taken his chances figuring the werewolves could run him down anyway. (And really Kirkbeck should have been fortifying that building for ages if he actually intended to stay there.) Heck Kirkbeck seems to have figured out Eames was going to come for him and he suspected she had Hob so why he’d sit there and take it....

    There are so many unpatched holes in what Hob did. If you weren’t going yourself - well you might argue it makes sense to send some expendable resources to try and do it. But you don’t send your trump card. If your trump card is that sneaky you keep it at home and only ever use it for coming up with plans.

    Hob's muscle. If you know where someone is and have the option of a first strike with decent prep time there's never been anything complicated in killing, even killing without tipping your hand. You don't need a demon for that.

    Of course one might suspect that Hob wants to be found out. Trap Eames to him. I wonder whether the evidence of the event is what Hob's getting out of this.
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  7. Gondolin Prophet

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    Kirkbeck was under house arrest with no resources at his disposal.
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  8. Bob Novice

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    If Kirkbeck was under that tight and arrest one of his guards would just have done him, or he'd have been left there to rot. He had a phone - presumably he had accounts, contacts; resources at large in the world. Whatever personal physical and charismatic skills he's capable of mustering.
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  9. Esquilax Arcane

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    Bob, you are seriously underestimating Hob (hey, that rhymes!). Hob never exposed himself here - that was the whole point. Everyone will just think that his Estate was attacked by werewolves and that'll be that. Nobody will bother examining it futher.

    And come on - snapping a picture of Hob? Really? Has laclongquan hacked into your account? Hob's current form is that of a dork with nerd glasses - I doubt that anybody would be impressed. Exposing Hob is much more difficult than you're making it sound, because (a) we still barely have any idea of what Hob is (b) The Barons seem to turn a blind eye to any dark rumors surrounding Eames and (c) they might not even give a shit anyways if we told them because Anthony is an outsider among the Barons.

    Other than the fact that Hob is a Fallen (probably) we don't know a single thing about him.

    You're right. We've spent all this time thinking about how awesome it would be to get Erika back and how useful she would be as muscle, but we haven't thought about whether she'd agree to join us in the first place. I don't like the idea of pulling rank on her because I find it to be an inelegant application of power and it would really piss off her Clanmates, who will be extremely useful in the near future.

    Gangrel are suspicious of Ventrue and don't give a fuck about the power games we play or about the Jyhad in general, so I'd like to win hearts and minds here if possible. I'd like to see if there's a way of exposing Hob and Eames' Infernalism.

    We've been sort of all over the place here, and we need to organize ourselves or things are going to start spiralling out of control. Here's some thoughts:

    WHAT DO WE WANT?

    I think we can all agree that we want to expose Eames' Infernalism and find a way to make Hob GTFO. I suggest the following: we search for information about Hob from various sources* while simultaneously building a power base and convincing Kindred around London that there is a serious threat to the city that needs to be stopped. Eames has much more respect and clout among the Barons than we do, so we need to start by tearing apart her reputation before we can move in on Hob.

    The Nosferatu will have hopefully remembered that Sommers came to defend their Warren. We need to come in contact with them, preferably through an intermediary. A few of them will be willing to spy on Eames for us and expose her Infernalist dealings. I'm aware that Joan is doing the same thing, but she's defecting to the Sabbat, we need Kindred loyal to the Camarilla to expose Eames if we want to avert a civil war.

    The tricky part is, while we're doing that, we need to find a way to defeat Hob while also preparing for a possible war if it comes to that. We have to juggle all of that in a very short amount of time.

    WHAT RESOURCES DO WE HAVE?

    Turcov, provided he's on our side, has a lot of pull with the Barons. It will help, but it won't be enough to oust Eames. We need to find a way to expose her Infernalism, and I think that the best way of doing this is with the Nosferatu from Jack's Warren. I'm hoping (praying?) that a few of them will be willing to work with us on account of helping them defend their Warren before. I suggest we come in contact with them covertly and then have a few of them spy on Eames in order to expose her Infernalism and find out more about Hob.

    While this is happening, we have to find out more about what Hob is, his motivations, weaknesses, etc. We have to do a lot of things in a short amount of time. Other than Grandmother Faa right now, there's another source that's much closer and has provided us with information about Hob before we even knew he existed: Victoria, Bob Griddle's Malkavian seer. She might even be useful in predicting future actions that Hob might take.

    The Centurion is another source of knowledge about Hob, but I doubt a powerful and ancient vampire like that will help us unless we have something useful to offer him. I'd like to contact the Centurion eventually, but first we need to learn as much as possible about Hob so that we have something useful to share with him.*

    Lastly, we have to prepare for the possibility that this conflict will escalate into civil war. The only way we'd be successful in a fight is through geurilla-style tactics. The Camarilla isn't aware of our ghoul squad, and hopefully a few Nosferatu from the Warrens can feed false information to the Camarilla so our ghouls can ambush them.

    * Then, just as soon as The Centurion's got his guard down... KER-POW! WE DIABLERIZE HIM!!! YEEEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!
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  10. Black Bart Charley Scholar

    Black Bart Charley
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    Why didn't we get to vote anyway?
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  11. Excidium P. banal

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    Because grots is still working on the second part of the update.
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  12. Bob Novice

    Bob
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    "So explain to me how this guy, who it's incredibly convenient to you is dead, died."

    "Werewolves did it."

    "Do you have proof?"

    No-one's just going to take her word for it. If they don't look into it it'll be because they don't care in the first place.

    Of course they won't be impressed. Presumably however Hob cannot change hosts easily, or without costs. My understanding of the mechanics of possession is fairly vague but I think you require a mortal to agree to allow it. Since I can't imagine too many people going 'Yeah, I'll totally share my soul with that evil thing.' Information as to what he looked like would be useful to anyone who believed in him.

    It's something he could do to hurt Hob, and if you're going down you go down trying to hurt the other guy as much as you can.

    We don't. And overestimation is just as dangerous as underestimation. If you throw your whole game away to go after what later turns out to be the equivalent of a gremlin....
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  13. Esquilax Arcane

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    Of course she has proof - the werewolves attacked Cliveden. What more proof does she need? There will be evidence of the attack, a few survivors probably, so she can easily use them as a scapegoat. Sure, a few will find it suspicious that werewolves attacked a place where they rarely tread, but nobody will raise a fuss about it and it'll be forgotten. Remember, Eames arranged the execution of long-time Baron Esteban du Marchais under very thin pretenses, and the others just sat back and let her. Nobody will give a fuck.

    Yes, but what we've seen so far indicates that it might be Eames herself might be willing to allow Hob to possess her. Even if that's not the case, he has shown the ability to control and cloud the minds of those who have interacted with him for extended periods of time, like Eames and Rannigan before her. Even Kirkbeck was influenced by Hob briefly before he was killed.

    What little we do know from Terence Rannigan is that Hob could apparently tear Sabbat squads to shreds without breaking a sweat and that he was some sort of harbinger of Gehenna who had "lost his purpose" - this was mentioned in the first act.

    You're right that we can't overestimate threats or be too chickenshit to handle problems when we arise, but it's pretty clear to me that Hob is a big fuckin' problem. I'm not saying he doesn't have any weaknesses, but right now we don't know what those weaknesses are and nobody would be on our side if it meant going against Eames.
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  14. oscar Tacticular Staff

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    So no support for my 'Hob/Centurion are fae or changelings" theory? :D
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  15. Storyfag Cipher

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    Only if it involves the VASE somehow :smug:
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  16. Esquilax Arcane

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    Or a random Brujah henchmen named Mike. Dude, we're millions of dollars richer and have many bodyguards at our disposal now, but how the fuck do you replace Mike? I mean, bro, it's Mike.
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  17. Esquilax Arcane

    Esquilax
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  18. Esquilax Arcane

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    Crap. Triple post.
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  19. grotsnik Prestigious Gentleman Arcane Patron

    grotsnik
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    Right, that's it.

    Show Spoiler
    The builders work slowly, lazily, chatting with one another about the football results. Occasionally one of them will wander off into one of the adjoining rooms and admire the opulence of the large, well-lit Primrose Hill home of the famous pop singer (“I’d do her”, one of them confides to his mate).

    “Right,” the foreman says, stretching his arms out as if emerging from slumber. “Get the drill in, Ahmed. May as well get through that concrete sooner or later.”

    The drill roars, driving cracks outwards in all directions through the thick grey concrete. The walls tremble, and shake.

    Next door, in a slightly larger house held under the name of Anthony Sommers, an ancient-looking, faded, phallic Mesopotamian vase wobbles precariously on its stand, then topples.

    It strikes the ground. And shatters, the clay shards spilling out in all directions across the floor of the vault.

    Then a cupboard falls on it.

    If it could ever have had any relevance to any of the events happening in London, it’s surely lost it, along with whatever powers it might have held.

    Also, it can’t be stuck back together again because it’s magic, or something.
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  20. Storyfag Cipher

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    :yeah:

    :love:
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  21. CappenVarra Phantasmist

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    Codex 2012 Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Noooo, anything but the Vase ! :cursetheheavens:

    Seriously, I just spent two and a half days reading this LP from the start (despite not knowing that much WoD lore), and I must say - excellent work, grotsnik! :bro:

    The first part was especially :obviously:, I think mainly due to a good character choice - there is something inherently codexian about the scheming, politicking Ventrue and the crazy plots people came up with. And I love how grotsnik manages to create a proper WoD sense of imminent failure: Anthony achieved some pretty big successes (like getting rid of Angelos) by playing to his strengths, but that came at the price of doing and learning fuck all about Hob, Ogham, the Centurion, Kuei-Jin, the Setite, ... all of which could come back and pretty much undo his success in a single update.

    There's just too many angles to the story to cover, and that works great to keep us paranoid (and aliveundead). And while it's been hinted that the Centurion and Hob might just cancel each other out in the end, it's far from certain - and gambling like that doesn't sound very Ventrue... I keep wondering how this mess will end (and smelling smoke from an upcoming Great_Fire_of_London++).

    So far, I think Joan is not working out as well, but I guess it was to be expected. Her only strengths are a) access to Thaumaturgy (which she's neglected completely so far) b) the sheer audacity of her situation makes her less suspect (since I'm under the impression only a neonate would consider such a suicidal approach). Too bad that the choices so far seem to all make her increasingly suspect (whatever the hell Argyll is doing, the encounter with the Malk seer in front of Regentia, her easily verifiable lie about visiting the Whiplash, the so far pretty asymmetrical bargain with the Samedi, ...) While I'm sure grotsnik will come up with fair and interesting choices, I guess I'm too pessimistic to expect her achieving anything more than dragging as many fuckers along for her sunbath... But we'll see :)

    Anyway, I just might join you distinguished gentlemen in future voting :salute:
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  22. laclongquan Arcane

    laclongquan
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    There goes one of our treasure. Its value lost to the vandalisms of players and the whimsical whims of story teller. Poor Anthony! When it rains, it pours. It's not as if he's a major wealthy Old Money or anything, that can afford burning money like paper.
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  23. Excidium P. banal

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    Dubrik's gonna be mad.
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  24. Breaking Axe Educated

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    Will we have monetary compensation?! Did we have house insurance?! We need to get Nosferatu surveillance of the incident ASAP. Forget Hob or whatever, we're down a priceless antique. Those builders will PAY...
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  25. ironyuri Arcane

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    Gentleman, welcome to "Vampire: The Masquerade - Home and Contents Insurance".


    Has someone called those meerkats? I hear they do it seemples.
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