Friday 22 March 2019

Vampire the Masquerade V5 - Solo Session - Hostile Takeover

I'm currently running a Vampire the Masquerade chronicle using the 5th Edition rule-set for a small group of fellow role-players. These are the chronicles of their adventures.
Our campaign is set in Los Angeles and features a small group of Camarilla agents sent into the 'Free States' to search for ways to once again bring the Ivory Tower to dominance under the pretence of being disillusioned neonates looking for the freedom of the Anarch way of life. Now with a barony of their own it's time to consolidate their position and then plan their next move.
The now obligatory warning bit - Unlike my other RPG write-ups this one will contain swearing, sexual references and other references that might offend. If you can't tell the difference between real peoples opinions and grown-ups role-playing predators who crave blood then this probably won't be for you. I've also used actual photographs to represent some characters which I'll give acknowledgements to at the end if I've any idea who they are.
The introduction to this campaign, the first story and all the other parts can be found at the following links and are in chronological order...
'Infiltrate LA' Chronicle
Welcome to L.A. - Introductory Session
Story One - 'Three Murders' - Part OneTwo, ThreeFour and Five
Interlude Session - One
Story Two - 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part OneTwoThree, and Four
Solo Session - 'The Neillson Library'
Story Two Continued- 'The Pasadena Problem' - Part FiveSixSeven and Eight
Story Three - 'Becoming Baron' - Part OneTwoThreeFour and Five
Solo Session - 'The Gather'
Story Three Continued - 'Becoming Baron' - Part Six, Seven and Eight

The Storyteller
Garreth as Everyone else...
The PC
Matt as Dr Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim
The player characters stats and backgrounds can be found HERE should any-one be interested.
As I have written out introductions and dialogue for certain NPC's and some location descriptions I'll post these more or less as I wrote them so they'll be in a 'reading to the group' style and they'll also be in blue. If I think something needs a bit of out of character explanation then those will get a storytellers note that will helpfully be in red...

Storytellers Note - The character Daniel is a far more systematic and careful problem solver than either Vin or Hope but hadn't had much opportunity to sort out any issues 'his way' due to the nature of the problems the coterie had encountered. I therefore arranged a solo session so he could explore his character a bit more without having to work in the somewhat reactionary manner of his colleagues. 

'Roach' - Malkavian
Seneschal and Seer
Roach has approached you with a request to remove certain impediments to the coteries criminal expansion plans. He has asked for your help as he needs their removal to look like random acts of violence or accidents rather than looking like they've been clawed by a tiger or their heads have mysteriously exploded.

Storytellers Note - The other two combat orientated coterie members aren't exactly subtle...see pretty much any story with a fight in it for examples...

The targets are two drug dealers, one pimp and a street vigilante who seems to be somewhat indiscriminate on what he classes as a criminal or not and is drawing attention to places that may cause problems. Roach would like the problems to no longer be an issue before the Crypts Sons deadline for the withdrawal of the other gangs from their contested turf in a months time. This way if that gangs mortal criminals become drawn into the conflict Pasadena's own illegal enterprises will be completely under Roach and therefore the coteries control should a gang-war extent to their domain. He is also very keen that Michael only be informed of the positive consequences of the targets disappearances without any actual details about the 'How?'.

Storytellers Note - Michael is an excellent negotiator and diplomat but has a somewhat unrealistic expectation of how kindred and kine should behave. Roach therefore tends to sort out anything morally dubious and just doesn't tell him about it.

Roach's street contacts have compiled some basic information on the targets but the Malkavian is aware that Daniel has his own resources should he wish to gather further intelligence.

The 'Clients'
Jeremiah 'Jere' Cherry
Gang Leader
Jeremiah Cherry (Jere)
Jeremiah Cherry more commonly known as 'Jere' managed to take several of Reapers drug dens before The Apostles could get their hands on them.

As these 'crack dens' were very secure indeed Roach doesn't want to waste his still limited supplies of weapons and ammunition taking them with a direct assault. Jere is described as a short, broad, mixed-race man and is known to be very systematic and careful.

Zack John (Jax)
Already a major player long before the Reaper set his sights on Roach's operation at the university it's entirely possible that his expansion was only limited before by the former Baron of Pasadena's direct support of  the now deceased gangster Solomon Burton.

With him gone it's Roach's opinion that Jax will make a play for his criminal business enterprises and he's quite keen for that not to happen. A tall, blonde, handsome, man in his 40's he has a reputation as somewhat of a ladies man though his wife is seemingly unaware of his extramarital interests.

Garfield Bentley
Garfield runs one expensive brothel and employs half a dozen pimps who handle street corner girls. Though prostitution is somewhat out of the Malkavian's comfort zone he is aware that Vin's current stable of girls are somewhat lacking the etiquette and airs of sophistication Michael will need to have politicians wined and dined. Garfield's high end operation would supplement this well and the rest of his street girls can be added to the rest of the Brujah's stock. The description given is somewhat vague but 'very tall' is a start I suppose.

The Vigilante
A number of violent beatings of corner dealers attributed to a street level vigilante have began to gain press coverage over the last few weeks as he has escalated to murder. Though he is yet to either deliberately or accidentally turn his attention to any of Roach's or Vin's 'people' the newsworthy nature of this vigilante is inevitably going to draw attention to the criminal organisations of Pasadena which is something that the coterie would like to avoid. Roach would like you to locate the source of this problem and make it go away along with the other criminal rivals.

Night One - 'Jere'
Andrew Francis
Ghoul Retainer
Daniel tasked his ghoul Andrew with doing some research into the name 'Jere' and any associations with crack or its equivalent level of hard drugs in the Pasadena area and to see what information he could gain on the other clients through legitimate sources and his less legal contacts. Andrew had a talent for routing out significant details that the Banu Haqim could then use to fine-tune his plans.

Operating on the principle that most men and women of business kept a close eye on their competition Daniel began to make some enquiries amongst the Apostles gang that they now controlled about possible locations for the distribution points of the dealer 'Jere'. Being fairly newly transplanted to the barony they weren't quite as useful as a fully established gang of locals would have been but they were still able to give Daniel some pointers.

They did point out that they still had requests for certain drugs which their leader Reuben had told them to stay away from but they generally sent them on their way. Figuring that one of these turned away customers might have another option for the chemicals they craved he left his number with several of the busier dealers so they could let him know if any-one matching that description approached them.

Storytellers Note - Roach via Reuben his ghoul has passed on certain guidelines for what criminal activities are acceptable within Pasadena and what are not.

Daniel used various aspects of the Obfuscate discipline to keep himself unobtrusive but local and had waited about an hour before he got a call from one of Reuben's gang. It took him only a few minutes to reach the location and catch up with the junkie who it seemed was seeking an alternate source of the drugs he craved. The assassin was more than competent in shadowing a perspective target and the junkie he was following wasn't being particularly observant which made the task quite simple. After some time they moved through the less reputable areas of the city to some that were bordering on slum status and saw his quarry duck down a side alley guarded by a large gentlemen that was no doubt a lookout or guard of some kind. More of interest was a large car which to Daniels trained eye was unmistakably armoured and the two armed guards standing next to it.

Not wanting to be too obvious Daniel crossed the road and disappeared into the shadows from where he could observe the alleyway from a safe distance. A few crack-heads and bums were hanging around both outside the alley and within it and judging from the activity the dealers were doing considerable business, no doubt taking advantage of the new customers gained after the Reaper had been replaced by the somewhat more choosy Apostles.

Storytellers Note - Though the driving force behind the coteries criminal activities Roach is also broadly speaking on board with Michael's plan to gain political favour by 'cleaning up' Pasadena more or less he's just eliminating certain activities and moving others indoors but outwardly at least it is giving the correct impression.

Deciding he needed a closer look the doctor adopted the aspect of a generic bum as he slipped from the shadows and moved towards the target location. The guard paid him little mind as the power of Daniels obfuscate discipline made him appear exactly as the guard expected those within the alley to appear.

The door to the crack den was heavy duty with a slot in the centre that could seemingly only be opened from within and a single security camera was pointed down towards the entrance, presumably connected to a monitor within. Some twenty minutes later a second pair of bodyguards emerged through the armoured door and began to usher the assembled detritus of society out of the way as their leader 'Jere' followed a moment later. There being far too many witnesses to make killing him viable at the moment, Daniel allowed himself to be moved on as his target entered his armed vehicle with his compliment of security.

Darting into an adjacent side passage, Daniel jumped the mere two metres to the fire escape, and zig-zagged to the top of the building to see if he could get an idea of the direction 'Jere' was travelling in. Noting the fairly densely packed nature of the surrounding buildings the doctor pursued the car via rooftop managing to keep up with it as it arrived at a second location where the same practised routine was followed. This time observing the guards more closely he noted that despite this apparently being a regular routine they were still alert to their surroundings and gave the impression of being confident in their abilities.Somewhat more interesting was the fact that they had body armour beneath their clothing along with their sidearms.

Unfortunately the third location to which they travelled was through less dense building constructions so Daniel was forced to traverse down and then up again several structures. The vehicle he was following did several loops of certain blocks, stopped suddenly and generally showed all the signs of knowing how to lose a tail though the tactics were useless against the Banu Haqim's method of shadowing them. As this location was further away than the previous two even the dexterous and athletic doctor was having difficulty keeping up and almost lost them a couple of times before finally catching up a moment after they pulled up at their destination. With their routine now established in his mind Daniel decided to devote the last few hours to checking out one of his other targets before seeing if the routine was consistent by observing Jere again the following night.

Stopping only to sate his hunger on a surprised gangbanger in a nearby alleyway he headed to the brothel under the control of Garfield Bentley to which his ghoul Andrew had obtained the address. The building was in a far more wealthy area than his previous encounter had taken him to and had all the appearances of a private gentlemen's club. The security here were heavily muscled in the manner of bodybuilders but in Daniels opinion had little else to qualify them for the position of doorman being fairly lax. In the brief period left before dawn approached he made a brief tour of the surrounding buildings, noting any security cameras and alarm systems and then with time quickly running out, hurried back to his haven.

Night Two - Garfield
Having had enough of running across the rooftops and with a definite location for one target and a potential for another Daniel decided that this time he'd take his car. Daniel arrived at the location of the first of Jere's drug dens and awaited his arrival which was within twenty minutes or so of the previous day which seemed to confirm the Banu Haqim's hope that the collections were on some sort of schedule. Taking care to avoid detection he followed the dealer to all three of his collection points and then kept on his tail hoping to find his home or base of operations. He noted a site where roadworks were being carried out next to some building work and nearby were a number of large construction vehicles including a bulldozer which he made a mental note of in case it might be a useful area in which to arrange an accident later.

As he was already prepared for the drivers tendency to use anti-pursuit techniques he managed to avoid falling foul to any of them and eventually his target reached a large fortified mansion protected by high walls, an electrically operated gate and an impressive number of cameras and other intrusion detection devices. There were also a number of armed security men who seemed to be on a state of high alert. This was definitely a highly secure site and difficult but not impossible to penetrate but Daniel was now reasonably sure that if the schedule of the target was kept to that there were much easier locations to take him out in. With a rough plan already forming he decided to once again check on the gentlemen's club of Garfield Bentley.

Parking in a different location to the previous night he observed the comings and goings of the various club patrons and noted that they all had a membership card which he might need to acquire should he be going in through the front door. However kicking down the front door was really a 'Vin' move and Daniel liked to make sure he had more than one option so he slipped into the shadows and disappeared from sight as he moved to an adjacent building and looked for a way up.

The neighbouring building had a stairway joining a fire-escape and it was a simple matter for Daniel to shimmy up a drain-pipe and hop the few metres to the stairs and made his way to the roof. From the vantage point he now had it looked like there was roof access via what appeared to be a maintenance room and there were no signs of cameras. Just in case he jumped the five metres to the brothel roof and caught the edge of the outer rim before pulling himself up just high enough to have a closer look and confirmed his original assessment so climbed up.

The lock on the roof seemed to be pretty standard and he foresaw no difficulty in picking it should he need to do so. Circling the roof he found he had a view of a carpark at the rear whose access point was from the opposite side of the block and could see a smaller door at the buildings rear with a single guard.

A moment later the door opened and a tall gentleman, a heavily muscled bodyguard and four attractive young women in short dresses exited and headed towards a limousine in a reserved place right by the door. Either the facility had a take-out service or this was Garfield taking his work home with him...

Returning the way he came Daniel now had an accurate description of Garfield and had three options for access to his building should he choose to assassinate him within his place of business. With a second evening productively spent he returned to his haven.

Nights Three and Four - 'Jax'
With two of his tasks now going well he decided that it might be time to start looking into the vigilante who was drawing the authorities attention to Pasadena. Once again he called upon his ghoul Andrew for assistance and got him to look into all reported incidents of the mysterious vigilante to see if there was any pattern to his attacks or if he had a comfort zone for his activities.

It also occurred that if he was operating near to any of the other targets on his list that he could possibly set the one onto the other as this was effectively a win/win situation whether the vigilante succeeded or failed as either result eliminated a target. The somewhat imprecise and random nature of this solution didn't appeal particularly but he kept it as a potential solution should all else fail.

While awaiting the results from his ghouls searches Daniel made enquiries with the Apostles about the second drug dealer on his list Zack 'Jax' John. The territory of Jax was well known to the Apostles dealers as they'd been told to stay away from it by their leader until "certain matters had been sorted out".

Obfuscate - Fading from Sight
Daniel correctly assumed that it was him who was doing the 'sorting out' but decided to keep that information to himself, merely getting the locations of several of the dealers of Zack John so he could observe them and see if any information on their leader would come to light.

Once again using his powers of disguise and invisibility as well as his more mundane talents for stealth and shadowing he kept a watch on a number of corner dealers noting that each one left his post for a short period of time towards the early morning before briefly returning to their assigned area. Daniel believed that they were either dropping off cash or picking up supplies and so decided to follow the next one that made a move.

His supposition turned out to be quite correct as the dealer led him to a centrally located car-park where a car was waiting. Hidden within the darkness as he was it was a simple matter for the obfuscated assassin to observe a man matching the description he had for Jax seated in the back behind the driver. A package was handed to the driver who handed it behind him to another man seated next to Jax. Daniel noted that the main man never touched any of the packages that were bought to the vehicle from any of the dozen men who were making the drops.

His niece, perhaps?
As dawn was drawing near and the car showed no signs of leaving the doctor concluded that he may need to have his ghoul observe and follow it during the hours of daylight. besides which he wanted to confirm the route of the other dealer 'Jere' one more time before fully deciding on a course of action.

On awakening at night-fall Daniel was informed that Jax had once again spent the early hours collecting the profits from his dealers and had then headed home though had stopped for an hour at a very nice apartment building where a pretty young woman had met him. It hadn't taken much research on Andrews part to discover that the lady he visited was not his wife or any female relative that he might need to legitimately pop around to see on his way home.

Daniel's own surveillance confirmed that both the dealers on his hit-list seemed to have fairly set routines which in his opinion was a dangerous mistake. He himself habitually took different routes to locations, parked in random places and changed his appearance as he'd been taught by his Banu Haqim sire.

Though he wasn't going to complain about half his targets making his job significantly simpler.

Night Five - A House of Ill Repute
Andrew was once again asked to follow Jax in order to ascertain if his extra-marital activities were regular or occasional. Before leaving they swapped cars and the loyal ghoul informed his regnant that according to the news the vigilante had struck again killing a drug dealer and their customer and this occurred within the territory of the dealer Jax.

The possibility of setting the vigilante on one of his targets crept back into his mind as did framing the mistress for the murder of her lover though the later he rejected on moral grounds. After all as far as he knew the mistresses only mistake was poor choice in men, which shouldn't be punishable by imprisonment or death in his opinion. The targeting of a more or less innocent bystander by the man targeting the criminals of Pasadena was however an issue as he would be drawing significant attention now.

With two targets routines logged and multiple potential assassination points he decided to focus his attention on the brothel-keeper Garfield. Using a similar route to that he'd used a few days previously he made his way to the gentlemen's club roof and picked the lock on the access door to the maintenance area. Once again drawing on his powers to befuddle the mind he faded from view believing that on this occasion using his powers of disguise left him to open to questioning and discovery. He worked his way stealthily through several floors having to wait an irritating number of times as customers and their chosen girls entered and exited the many rooms in the upper floors of the building. He had seen no security cameras mounted in these areas presumably to ensure the privacy of the customers but was reasonably sure there would be some nearer any offices or lobby areas on the lower floors.

At the bottom of the next floor he could see a large lobby area containing a significant number of half-naked ladies and a number of well dressed men drinking champagne and other expensive spirits as they selected their partners for however long they'd paid. Though functionally invisible to mundane senses Daniel was aware that loud noises or direct interference with any-one there would break the illusion so he'd still need to be careful navigating the room. Though there was a doorway straight ahead which seemed to lead further downstairs he was more interested in the door behind the bar hoping it allowed access to some service area he could use to locate any offices within the building.

Pausing only to avoid interfering with the progress of the barman the assassin slipped around the back and through the open door which led to a store room. There was another door within that from his observations of the building layout should lead to a corridor running parallel to the room he'd just passed through but it was unfortunately locked. His none to subtle picking of the lock wasn't his best work but there was enough noise from the selection area to mask the noise as he slid through the gap and made his way along the newly revealed corridor to another locked door at the far end. His attempt to look through the key-hole to see what room lay on the other side was foiled by the key being in the lock. As there seemed to be activity on the other side he refrained from barging it open and backtracked through the bar area and out the other side to see how this section of the building connected with the lower floors.

Garfield's Security
The next floor held an office and he peered through the key-hole after checking the coast was clear and could see the tall man he'd observed before chatting to a woman in her underwear who was perched on the edge of his desk. It seemed obvious that this was his office and Daniel decided to find a place to conceal himself and see if this fellow also kept a regular it turned out, he didn't...

He had been lurking for barely a few minutes when a heavily built security guard knocked on the office door where he was met by Garfield, the girl within his office who had now put on a long coat and two other girls he'd passed in the waiting area. He was leaving significantly earlier than he had the last time Daniel had checked on him and this meant that he'd have no real idea when this target would leave the building. As this meant that he'd have to set up early which in turn increased the risk of discovery he decided on an alternate plan but as the office was now empty he gave it a check first.

Within was a desk, a drinks cabinet and a space for a laptop which was empty as well as three monitors. Two of the monitors were connected to camera's by the front entrance and entrance lobby and the feed from these was being recorded. The third was wired directly into a camera in the bar area and this one seemed to be simply a direct feed for monitoring purposes. It wasn't a particularly professional installation as their were a number of blind-spots which now he had looked at the feed would have little difficulty utilising though he was grateful that Garfield had been occupied by the girl on his desk as his camouflage powers had little to no effect on electronic monitoring devices. Now with the layout and camera angles firmly in his mind the thorough hit-man left the building via the roof, back-tracked to the car he'd borrowed from Andrew and returned to the haven.

Night Six - To Catch a Killer
The patterns of the vigilante and now murderers attacks were almost too random as if they were deliberately being selected to avoid any pattern at all and this somewhat counter-intuitively gave Daniel some ideas for where he might strike next. It also occurred to him that Roach would probably have leapt to that conclusion sooner due to his radically different way of looking at, well, everything.

Picking a likely spot he began to make his way between the various pimps and dealers on Jax's turf attempting to put himself in the killers mindset in selecting a victim and soon came across a dealer with a sideline in prostitution roughing up a street girl for some imagined transgression. If Hope had been present she would have gutted the scumbag on the spot but Daniel was more patient in his approach to justice. He'd make sure the man was punished for what he had done but he was more useful as bait currently. After about an hour Daniel began to become suspicious that he'd somehow been detected as unlikely as that seemed and so changed the plan from using the dealer as bait to using him to attract the killers attention with an indicator that they were perhaps on the same side.

Checking that the girl was long gone he approached the thug uncloaked and sensing the threat his opponent drew his gun. In an instant Daniel covered the distance between them and stabbed him neatly through the heart before his weapon had left it's holster, then to make a point proceeded to turn the now dead man into a pincushion before hurling him to the floor with evident disdain. As he turned to observe the area he could see a figure in the shadows watching him. "Beat you to it" he stated cheerfully to the figure that stepped out with a sub-machine gun held in a professional military manner.

The assassin was surprised to find that the first question wasn't "How did you move so fast" but instead "Why did you kill the pimp?", Daniel replied that he wasn't fond of men who beat women and that he and his acquaintances were currently in the process of cleaning up Pasadena though their methods and priorities were significantly different from his own.

He then asked the curious vigilante to lower his weapon knowing that he must have seen the speed at which he'd killed the pimp and realising that he should kill the man before him as a masquerade breach...yet for some reason couldn't bring himself to do it...

Daniel began to explain that he could teach the fledgling killer how to stalk his prey with patience and efficiency as his current mode of operating would have him arrested or killed sooner rather than later. Daniel further explained that there were degrees of evil and that as there would always be corruption that the best he could hope for was to apply himself to removing those without the future good of the city in mind and that Daniel could help him accomplish that and give him a focus. Now dangerously close to the kindred he had lowered his weapons and was clearly overwhelmed with curiosity. Now the question of what he'd seen came to the fore and Daniel made the decision to tell him what he was and what he could do for the vigilante figuring that if the reaction was an attack that he would just kill him in self defence. If he accepted the offer however then the Banu Haqim would have access to another talented mortal bound to his blood even if this one was potentially dangerous. Expecting resistance that never came Keith Chang drank down the Vitae offered and in that moment became a ghoul.

Technically the first of his tasks was complete as Keith was no longer a threat to them but an ally. He decided to keep the details to himself and simply inform Roach that the problem had been resolved though he wasn't entirely convinced that he'd made the right choice.

Storytellers Note - It was always my intention to put this moral dilemma in front of Daniel's player to deal with. Keith Chang was basically a mortal equivalent of Daniel and a military veteran (one of Daniel's prey exclusions) so there wasn't any outcome that was perfect for him. It will be interesting to see how this relationship develops.

After informing Keith to return to his home and await Daniel's call the Banu Haqim returned to the haven to prepare for the next evening where he planned to finish the tasks set before him.

Night Seven - Killing in the Name of...
Daniel borrowed a gun from the pile of salvaged weapons in Vin's room collected from vanquished foes and one of the M4 assault rifles from their concealed armoury both of which he fitted with improvised but effective silencers he'd prepared the previous evening. He also took with him his silenced handguns and knives though he had no plans to use them if everything went as he'd planned.

Daniel Matthews - Banu Haqim
With Revolver
Andrews and his own research had led him to believe that Jax spent a few hours of most evenings with his mistress either before or after he collected the money from his dealers and that this evening he was going to visit her first. This meant he had a very precise window of opportunity in the early evening to take him out between the girls flat and his own car. Parking near enough for a quick getaway he waited with his second hand .38 that given the pedigree of the weapons in Vin's hideout would almost definitely have been involved in other crimes which should cast suspicion elsewhere.

As soon as the unfortunate Mr John walked towards his car behind the apartment Daniel emerged and put a bullet into his heart from the back before flipping over the slumped body and putting the other four rounds into his chest and the sixth between his eyes. To further muddy the waters of the investigation he left the mans wallet and jewellery with the exception of the wedding ring which he took hoping that this oddly symbolic gesture might lead them to suspect the wife. Then cloaked under the blanket of obfuscate returned to his car and drove to the brothel of Garfield Bentley.

Though the police later questioned the man's wife they could find no evidence that she had been aware of his affair and the case joined the many unsolved mysteries in the police files of Los Angeles.

Once again parking in a different location he avoided the security cameras and took his now well rehearsed route to the roof where he effortlessly picked the lock he was now quite experienced at bypassing. Slipping from a cloak of invisibility to using the ability known as the mask of a thousand faces he now had all the appearance of a generic security guard as he navigated the brothel. Focused as they were on each other neither the girls nor their customers paid any attention as he casually made his way through to Garfield's office.

Daniel's disguise faded as the owner who knew his own staff realised that an impostor was in his office but it was too late as the Banu Haqim snapped his neck like a twig and then quickly left. Though witnesses later couldn't positively identify which of the guards had entered the office and committed the brutal act of murder they all agreed that one of the buildings security had definitely been heading in that direction and the cameras had recorded no other entering or leaving the building during that time.

Now with the early hours approaching he took a trip across town to where he knew 'Jere' would be making his collections and set up on the rooftop he'd observed him from on that first night a mere six evenings ago. Though he was sure he could have taken on a mortal with only a mere four guards, such a feat would have raised questions they didn't want asked so he waited in his makeshift snipers next. Though he preferred the much larger 50. Cal Barrett sniper rifle such a weapon would cause more attention than the more common assault weapon he planned upon using and from the higher vantage point and with the alleyway to the crack house narrowing the targets location considerably the current rifle would be more than adequate for the task

As one Jeremiah Cherry left the first of his crack-houses with his ill-gotten gains a single round struck him in the centre of the forehead killing him instantly and showering his guards with blood and brain matter. Fading from sight he calmly climbed leapt to a nearby building, down the fire escape, and walked past the vengeful security team as they charged into a building he had already left.

Reporting back to Roach he entered his office and asked him how long he had left to get the job done knowing full well that he'd been given a month. As the coterie's Seneschal started to answer, Daniel cheekily interrupted with "Doesn't matter it's done..." happy that for once he'd gotten one over on the Malkavian. He was almost out of the door when Roach casually mentioned that a kindred with the same clan aura as Daniel had been at the Rant in full knowledge that the Banu Haqim was attempting to avoid his own clan. It was unclear whether it was the thought that his sire may have discovered his location or being outmanoeuvred by the smug Malkavian that annoyed him most.

To Be Continued in Part One of a New Chronicle 'Foothold LA'

In Conclusion
I like to do a round-up of how the session went in these features but if you couldn't give a shit what I think then feel free to skip this bit...

Sometimes it's difficult to allow a player to fully develop their character and yet still give every-one something to do in a session. I therefore run solo sessions to allow players to do things that would be a little tedious for the other players. In this case Daniel's player Matt likes to carefully plan operations both in character and as a fairly systematic person it's more in line with how he thinks so it allowed us to do some characterisation while in his comfort zone. I did something similar with Phil's character Michael when he wanted to look around museums with Carmelita...

Solo sessions are a different challenge but it can be quite satisfying watching a player get to throw themselves fully into a mission where they're by default the 'star' even if they also have to take the full blame for any stupid decisions, lol.

I've used pictures of real people to represent some of the characters and art for others so in no particular order Johnny 'Roach' West is quite obviously Kurt Cobain, Dr Matthews is Mads Mikkelsen, 'Jere' is Ice-T and Andrew Francis is Ray Stephenson. Everything else is from vampire related folders and searches and is as far as I know is all of the 'fair use' variety. If there's something that you feel should be attributed to some-one then feel free to let me know and I'll happily add an acknowledgement...

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.


  1. These solo sessions are impressive. Can you provide some insight into how you prepare for them? I find planning for one pc harder than multiple sometimes.

    1. With solo sessions i make it clear to the player that there will be a particular goal or 'mission' for the session rather than just let them wander about, lol.

      There are some issues with a solo session. You get through material rather quickly as the time taken up by players discussing things with one another doesn't happen and making notes needs to be done quickly as I normally do this while players are chatting which doesn't happen if they're alone.

      I also focus on something the character really wants to do so they tend to go with the direction you've decided on (it's easier to predict their actions basically). Though I still try to tie it into the overall plot so they don't feel separated from the story. I don't tend to award xp for these sessions but rather give them something personal that feels like a character progression rather than a power boost (Roach learned to surf, Daniel got good at Parkour, Michael got a loresheet dot, etc.).

      They are in some ways harder than a group session but are very satisfying when you get it right.


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