Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dark Before Dawn Session Summary: Gangrel Thing

FatherMother, Skully, Siobhan and Talitha, again from the
Cassandra session as I have no Split Session pictures,
but both Siobhan and FatherMother are Gangrel.
And then we had the Gangrel meeting…. Kindly enough, the hosts (Gustaf Freya'barn and FatherMother) allowed non-Gangrel to attend so long as they were willing to get involved in the festivities. We set up the big hall so that the little stage at one end was the fire pit, the big painted circle on the floor was the bear pit for later duels, and the cross hatched paint work to one side stood in for two cages - one cage filled with animals and the other filled with unconscious humans with nasty back stories (i.e. bad guys) who were doped with particular drugs.  The Gangrel had etched the name of said drug into their foreheads. There was also a set of chairs in a circle that people could move around as they pleased.

There was no music and there really didn't have to be.

When Siobhan rocked up with Seamus and Walther, she immediately punched FatherMother under the mistaken impression that she had blood bound Bennett (whom she had a crush on). FatherMother thought they were playing and put her in a painful headlock and then when Siobhan kept going in the fight, she threw her in the bear pit and leapt in as well. Soon enough Siobhan frenzied (she was hungry anyway) and that just increased FatherMother's gloating though she did take a little damage.  Eventually, Gustaf threw in a dog that Seamus had used Animalism on to force the dog to attack Siobhan (a poodle) and distract the frenzy.  FatherMother then ran up the wall of the pit to clamber out. Siobhan's frenzy redirected to the dog (she was hungry) and she drained it of blood.

Then she grumpily left the cage and ate all the other dogs in the dog cage out of spite. She didn't touch the humans.

Other highlights included a series of cage matches with Peter Walsh:
  • First the human, Torvald, from the Freya'barn ghoul family. Torvald found Peter Walsh's massive defence (9) annoying and also his irritating lack of interest in actually throwing a punch at a human. Torvald scored a couple good punches, took a few weak ones, and was rewarded with ghouldom from the family's vampire leader (Gustaf) for his efforts.
  • Crowley entered the ring and threw some solid Vigor-backed punches but Walsh managed to get in some cheeky shots and - mostly due to an inability to hit each other - Crowley left with a few bashing damage.
  • MaidenLad entered the ring with her dog and was far more successful once the dog dragged Walsh down in a grapple. MaidenLad clawed him across the face several times, damaging the Daeva's pretty face in a way that worked on him, though he healed so fast it barely lasted. Walsh hadn't fed yet kept healing. How much blood did that boy have in his system? Walsh won in two surged strikes. One involved hauling up the dog and body slamming MaidenLad into the wall (before being dragged down again) and then later lashed out with a kick against her ankle. She hobbled away with her dog and drank a guy spiked with all of the drugs to death.
  • Finally Walsh fought with Bats (after Bats kindly told him to go and feed which he left for five minutes to pretend to do). When they entered the ring, Bats stayed in the shadow of the bear pit. The two had difficulty hitting each other until Bats got him in a grapple, damaging him a few times in spine crushing hugs, until Walsh decided enough was enough and erupted bone spurs that would have damaged Bats if not for Celerity. Bats knocked Walsh on the ground in a pin, foot planted beneath the spines, hands gripping Walsh's wrist and pulled back, demanding Walsh yield. With an inhuman snarl, Walsh twisted the bone spurs out of his back, wrapped them around Bats leg and managed to sever it with another strength surge (lethal not aggravated damage).  This was the first visible sign that Walsh wasn't a vampire but few of the other vampires actually twigged to this -- or perhaps they didn't care and merely accepted that Walsh was an enigma too bothersome to uncover.
  • At that point, a high on PCP FatherMother leapt into the cage and elbow dived onto Walsh. Bats quickly Obfuscated the two of them. Worried that someone might die, Bats Obfuscated the two of them and FatherMother was left to wander the place in confusion. Walsh and Bats then merely sat there, talking, and then they clambered out as FatherMother tried to attack Seamus who had been walking on the walkway to tell Walsh to stop and who now simply faded (Ignore Me type of spell) out of there.
Gustaf jumped over the fire pit while naked (flashing off his Giant Size + Striking Looks combination) and used resilience to avoid taking any damage.  He managed not to frenzy from the flames.

FatherMother wasn't so lucky and frenzied during her first attempt to vault the flames.  So Gustaf used his web ability from Protean to stop her from killing folk and Walter brought her out of it by grabbing one of the prisoners and throwing it at her (under orders from Gustaf).

Siobhan convinced FatherMother's ghoul, Daryl Whicker, to proposition Seamus O'Baoill whom she had recently discovered was gay. Daryl put a hand on Seamus' shoulder and asked him if he'd like to go off with him.  Seamus first used Auspex to figure out what kind of woogie was being put on him, and when he realised the man was genuine, Seamus simply let him down gently - admitting that he had envisaged his first time being different than a random pick up and one night stand.

Walsh and Bats spoke telepathically for awhile (Bats' power) and then Seamus told Walsh to come with them to leave as Seamus had had enough of all of the Gangrel shenanigans and low Humanity hijinks. Walther Hawke and Siobhan followed the family patriarch as they left with Walsh quickly trading numbers with Bats before leaving.  Everyone leaving at his command gave Seamus that little bit more of a status boost. Like he needed it.

I waited until after the session to roll Humanity for people, querying if anyone wanted to cancel out any breaking points in exchange for banes, as I felt the vibe of a Gangrel gathering should be one where you don't really pick up on your loss of Humanity until afterward.  I did pre-warn the players that this would be how it worked before they entered the session.  There were a lot of banes earned that day.

NOTE: In the new vampire rules a vampire can adapt to monstrosity by choosing to gain some supernatural flaw in exchange for no longer caring about a particular inhumane act.  Since vampires can otherwise lose humanity when they do nasty acts, becoming closer to the Beast, if they don't do this it creates quite the incentive.  Of course not caring about an inhumane act has its own problems as certainly occurred with Seamus who gained the Bearing Witness bane so that he no longer cared about the horrors around him until he made a point of getting involved.  This made him colder indeed.

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