Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dark Before Dawn Session Summary: Feeding Grounds

The Prince was unable to attend this session
but his influence over the city was certainly felt.
Professor Jasmine Hadley stepped forward as seneschal today to help organise people's feeding grounds claims because Prince Harry Saeed (who had given up the order) was to busy to attend the gathering (aka player was sick).

You see, vampires need to feed on humans and being predators they don't like bumping into each other while out on the hunt.  There's also increased risks that they will over feed on the area, becoming more noticeable as the same human witnesses multiple strange events or risking death from blood loss as a mortal who had lost a little blood, loses a little more to another, and a little more to another, until they collapse.

Some areas are also clearly better feeding spots than others due to having a higher traffic of nocturnal roamers, ideally people willing to walk down dark alleys or go home with strangers.  Thus the CBD, North Adelaide, and Port Adelaide are better eating spots than the suburbs and are therefore called Racks.

If vampires over feed from the area, they damage it and it can support fewer vampires and provide less of a blood bonus in future.  If they groom the area, they can increase it's value and the number of vampires it can support.  Thus it's in the prince's best interests to divide up the land for the vampires and to encourage a sense of pride and ownership in one's feeding grounds.

Professor Jasmine Hadley had her speech and I (as Dr. Mirrim Hargey, prince's childe and general secretary) drew in people's feeding grounds claims onto various printed out maps.  A few people grumbled, namely those who had larger feeding grounds in the last chronicle under other princes, but most people gained more than they had to lose so most were pretty happy with it.

The in-game venue was behind the Tuxedo Cat, an old nightclub on North Terrace that basically opens up into an old and defunct concrete catacomb a few storeys tall.  Amity Fine was the hostess and though she had no music going, I put on some warehouse ambiance from Tabletop Audio.  She declared it Elysium and had Michael Novichkov, who had recently had his status stripped by the prince during the last gathering, perform the duty of Master of Elysium.

Michael Novichkov soon got to play the part of Master of Elysium when Seamus O'Baoill frenzied on Gary Dodd.  Why?  Well,  Seamus O'Baoill had interrupted Gary Dodd's attempts to haggle with Lewis Epcott over the price of a bottle of  top shelf lacrima that Epcott drank last game (under manipulations by the sheriff).  Seamus O'Baoill threatened Gary Dodd for asking such an exorbitant price of a fellow Ordo Dracul (as the starting requested boon was a major) and Gary Dodd told him to fuck off.

So Seamus O'Baoill frenzied on him and Novichkov had to pin him under the table for awhile until the frenzy stopped.  Eventually Seamus exhausted his frenzy tearing apart the table.

This all happened outside where we had popped a few tables and mismatched chairs about on the little courtyard to represent a random inner section of the Tuxedo Cat's concrete clad back rooms.  We play during the day but funnily enough it's not as immersion breaking as you'd think.  In the new 2nd edition rules, vampires can see perfectly in anything other than pitch darkness and so it makes little sense to require a torch to read your sheets.

Dr. Jonathon Taylor was feeling quite poorly, at this point, having also had a pretty rough few weeks.  You see, he was a duplicate of the arch-villain from the last campaign and had been copied a few months before a terrible ritual drove his first self evil.  So he's not evil and has never been evil but many of the things that are plaguing the city are still his fault.  So he gets drunk and smack talks Jonathon Williams who is currently suspected of dressing homeless people up in gimp suits shackled in his haven as his herd.  And then draining them dry.  Jonathon Williams just calls him a hypocrite and leaves it at that.
Feeding Grounds
A map of the vampire's feeding grounds.
Amity Fine lectures a few people on damaging the Racks and tells them to stop over feeding.  She doesn't really address the fact that there are a lot of fangs per location nor does she give them advice on boosting the Rack.  Harpies, huh?

NOTE: A harpy is a social position whose job it is to reinforce appropriate social behaviour, humiliate those who disobey and to record the IOUs called 'boons' that are the life blood of the vampire economy.

Partway through the festivities, I headed off and changed from Dr. Mirrim Hargey's costume to Julia Dannenburg's costume.  Few of the characters currently in Adelaide had met Julia Dannenburg but a number had heard of her due to her crazy text messages that she had sent over the forums.  So that I could keep her appearance a surprise yet still ensure that the older players knew who she was, I made a dramatic appearance that was basically a loud: "Hello!  Julia Dannenburg here!"

There was a bit of a fuss and she was quickly dragged into a private room by Seamus O'Baoill who interrogated her about where she had been and what she'd been up to.  Then he allowed her to return to the main room where she poked a few people, spread her theory that the gloom walls currently dividing up the city were a form of quarantine to prevent the spread of infection.  She also stated that Contrary Mary, another vampire NPC from the old chronicle, was currently trapped in the old Nosferatu catacombs beneath the city by an evil cult.

Then Julia Dannenburg went to chat with the seneschal, Professor Jasmine Hadley, about stuff and things.  Amusingly enough, a few other characters came with them in Obfuscate (and spider form) and hid around the large room.

Normally there'd be a chance to spot people with basic Obfuscate as it just makes them forgettable, not invisible, but the venue involves large gaping rooms so it's not impossible to be within listening distance and remain in hiding.  They got their spying on.  There were a few gasps of surprise.  And I got the joy of dropping a few bombs in a room load of players while playing a character who didn't know they were there.

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