Hollow Laughter in Marble Halls


In a long running campaign it’s important to allow the players some time for character development. If you play your cards right they will think you’re being the magnanimous sort of GM who is willing to indulge their frivolous whims. It is important to not let them realize the truth of the matter too quickly. The truth is that you are accomplishing two aims for yourself: not having to come up with plans for the session, and giving the PCs enough rope to hang themselves.

My PCs wanted to play tourist for a session since two of them are newly arrived in America. They wanted to take a group trip to see the Statue of Liberty. I convinced them that they wanted to do this on New Year’s Eve so that they could enjoy the spectacular view from The Torch. Yes, yes, I know that The Torch is closed on New Year’s Eve at midnight, but we’re talking about a group of Mages and Werewolves here so surely they can find a way to make this happen.

The first half of the session was spent causing trouble on Liberty Island. The players made it abundantly clear that they were doing quite a bit of drinking this day. Hello negative dice pool modifier! I’m so pleased you could make it to the party!

This naturally lead to questionable decisions like the desire to scratch the words “Lars Was Here” into the base of The Statue with Steel Rending Claws. Sadly, this effort was ultimately thwarted by the group.

My favorite bad decision of the evening took place inside Liberty’s Arm later that evening however. Tell me, if you’ve broken into someplace that nobody is supposed to be in and you find a magic portal, are you stupid enough to leap through it? If you are I’m pretty sure there is a science lab accepting applications. The retirement benefits suck, but there will be cake!

Also, you might be one of my players.

My players opt to leap through the portal with no concern for where it will spit them out, or how they will make it back. Well played players, well played.

Where they landed wound up being a vast field of happy little warrior corpses. (Where’s Bob Ross when you need him?!) In the distance is a large, formidable keep. As they grow closer they realize that the keep is made of marble, and covered in ancient runes. Much of the weaponry and armor that litters the field is also runed, though the material seems unremarkable. The players have stumbled upon a relic hunt at the site of the final stand of the Dogs of War.

My plan was thus: The Dogs were one of the more extreme factions of the Adamantine Arrow in the days of Atlantis. Of course, in their eyes they were doing what needed to be done to protect Atlantis. In the eyes of the Guardians of the Veil they were reckless war mongering fools who were going to wind up destroying the city if they weren’t stopped. The other Orders were divided on the issue. As such, I had the players roll INTELLIGENCE+COMPOSURE or INTELLIGENCE+OCCULT, which ever they preferred, and if they got at least one success I told them the following:

  • If the player is an Adamantine Arrow the Dogs worked tirelessly and without thanks, often giving their lives, in defence of the people of Atlantis.
  • If the player is a Guardian of the Veil the Dogs were crazy and reckless and needed to be kept a safe distance from the people they were “trying to protect”
  • Anyone else was given both viewpoints.

I then told them that since no one had any way of knowing what the truth was they could make up rumors about the Dogs as they saw fit. After all, they might have heard anything, and any of it might be true. I could then listen to what they came up with and decide whether or not I wanted to work it into the campaign at a later date. (I didn’t tell them this last part.)

Most players offered me nothing to work with. Contrary to what one would normally expect (unless one happens to read this blog regularly of course), the Guardian of the Veil (you know… the keepers of secrets and such) comes up with a wild tale of The Tooth of Fenris.

He, both out of character and in, has no idea that Werewolves have a name for Fenris: Father Wolf.

Always count on stupidity.

Mages Make Me Cry

*Yes, as a matter of fact I did have Pink Floyd’s “Dogs of War” playing in the background for the occasion.

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Posted on April 20, 2012, in Campaign Summary, Mage Awakening, MtAw, RPG, Werewolf Forsaken, WoD, World of Darkness, WtF and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Common sense? What’s that?

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