Chicago; the Heart of Illinois. The Windy City. A city with a reputation for corruption in the political arena and gang violence on the streets, more often than not the former is caused by the latter. Men are often drawn here to eke out a name for themselves as entrepreneurs, drawn in from afar by its dazzling landscape of skyscrapers and lights which beckon them promising wealth and success. Yet once she’s drawn them in with her looks, the city beautiful strangles them of everything they have to offer leaving them with nothing more than the clothes on their back and a few new vices picked up in her seedy clubs, racetracks and casinos. Once she’s taken what she wants from them, they fade into obscurity becoming but a lesser noticed part of her urban scenery. The sad truth about Chicago is that the men at the top got to the top because they were of use to someone else at the top. And they stayed at the top because their usefulness outlived whoever was using them. Whether their user died of natural causes, an accident or was murdered? Well that may differ depending on just who you ask. Most of the locals in this city are well aware of the subversive criminal influence which steers Chicago’s fate. More often than not that new waste disposal contract that was surprisingly awarded to head of the teamsters’ union who lives on the Upper East Side isn’t such a surprise at all. Men with power usually get what it is that they want, it’s a well known fact. It’s been published in articles and books, displayed in movies and painted on protesters’ signs. But if it’s so obvious to everyone that these things happen, why do they continue to happen? Well my friend, there are some things that are influenced by forces that are beyond the control of man. And often it is those same forces’ best interest to ensure that the status quo is maintained. Every one of us is a chess piece in a much greater game. Most are pawns, disposable, most players have little care if these expendable pieces are sacrificed for a quick win. But some pieces are more valuable than others, some pieces should be, preserved for more important moves…But of course you know that. What’s that? You say you don’t understand what I mean? Why, you should know very well what I am saying. On those long walks home when you hear the whispered sound of your name carried to your ears on the cool night breeze. When you catch a blur of movement out of the corner of your eye, and you turn your attention, but nothings there…Or the feeling of the hair on the back of your neck standing up, as if someone is softly feathering their breath upon your skin. Haven’t you found your nights to be shorter? You just get to the bar for a drink with friends then you blink and you’re suddenly walking home alone? I’d say a player has been watching you quite closely, and with great…Interest. Never mind, I’ve said too much already. But before I go let me leave you with one last piece of advice. Enjoy the simple things in life, a breath of fresh air, the warm glow of the sun, the feeling of what it is to truly love someone. Drink in these experiences with every moment. You’ll never know how much you took them all for granted until they’re but distant memories… So the idea that I’ve decided to with for this game in order to make it balanced, and give participants the full World of Darkness experience is to start each player off as a newly embraced vampire. This allows us to work together to build a game that everyone feels is interesting while allowing players the opportunity to build the character they want as the story continues. Each player will be asked to select their character’s clan at the beginning of the story and slowly as the game progresses they will learn more about their vampiric lineage while exploring the world of Chicago By Night. Players will wake up embraced with no recollection of what has happened to them and have to begin investigating what has happened to them and why. Their guide through the world of darkness will be an enigmatic, playful, middle aged vampire known as The Jester. He will be the character's walking, talking map and encyclopedia. The Clans Daeva The Daeva evoke the image of vampires as seductive, decadent, sexually transgressive predators who blur lust and hunger together, equating the act of feeding with sensual pleasure. Unrivaled in their grace and passion, the Daeva attract worship and jealousy from Kine and Kindred alike, but their insatiable hunger for pleasure and sensations old and new, and the inevitable frustration of wanting to experience human emotions make a quick road towards personality disintegration and surrender to the beast. Daeva are especially gifted in the vampiric Disciplines of Celerity (superhuman speed), Vigor (superhuman strength), and Majesty (the ability to attract, sway, and control the emotions of others). Their clan weakness is an extreme difficulty in resisting indulging their vices. A Daeva who has an opportunity to indulge his favorite vice and fails to do so finds his resolve weakened. The Clan's symbol is a rose entwined on a dagger. Gangrel The Gangrel embody the idea of vampires as predatory feral demons. An upper level in the feeding chain with little or no interest in humans as anything other than food, they represent vampirism as crude predation and evoke ideas of basic instinct, untamed ferocity and freedom that are commonly associated with predators. Gangrel hunt alone or in packs and frequently adopt nomadic unlifestyles, rejecting the shackles of a pseudo-civilized unlife for bestial freedom. They favor the virtues of self: self-awareness, self-reliance and self-confidence, and often turn to introspective contemplation of their own beasts from which spiritual insight and supernatural power can be gained - the mad-eyed savages are frequently revered as vagrant wise-men with unique perspectives on the vampiric condition and are unrivaled in the ease with which they summon the beast forth and ride the frenzy. But this very same intimacy with the raging Beast might make it easier for it to erode the rest of a Gangrel's soul in the long run. It also makes their baser instincts cloud more reasoned thought sometimes. Gangrel are inherently apt at the Disciplines of Animalism (spirit based communication and control over the Beasts of nature and the Beasts within vampires' souls), Resilience (supernatural physical toughness), and Protean (shapeshifting). The clan's symbol is a stylized brush-stroke rendition of a predator's eye, seemingly made up of various animals. Mekhet The Mekhet embody the idea of a shadowy vampire lord, omniscient and unseen. Nicknamed "Shadows" by the other clans, Mekhet are known for keeping secrets and knowing the secrets of others. Paranoid and alien, their insatiable quest for knowledge leads to both power and a spiritually corrupting indifference. For with the same ease a Mekhet investigates the source of a quote on a centuries old tome, he will dissect a screaming subject to understand its secrets, speeding the Beast's grasp over him. As the Beast gains ground, a Mekhet's personality simply vanishes, leaving them frightening empty automatons. Their uncanny ability for knowing that which they shouldn't is based on the ease with which they master the Disciplines of Auspex (enhanced senses), Celerity (superhuman speed), and Obfuscate (supernatural stealth). However, as suits their nickname, the Mekhet are even more vulnerable to the ravages of sunlight and fire than other vampires. The clan's symbol is an hourglass inside a crescent moon, all contained within a sunburst. Nosferatu Nosferatu vampires are the repulsive, yet fascinating, alien monsters of legend. They either have an inexplicable inhuman air about them or are outright grotesque. This unique outward manifestation of their monstrous nature results in a difficulty to engage in social interactions not involving intimidation. The relationship a Nosferatu maintains with his obvious inhumanity and its social implications varies greatly, ranging from crippling self-pity to ecstatic pride; some hide their hideousness while others revel in it, marveled at what they have become, and each one explores his own otherness uniquely. Given the obvious implications of being seen Nosferatu excel at stealth, and consequently are expert spies and information traders. They are especially gifted in Vigor (superhuman strength), Obfuscate (supernatural stealth), and their unique Discipline, Nightmare, that taps into a target's worst fears forcing it to live them. The clan's symbol is a clenched fist, surrounded by maggot-ridden skulls. Ventrue Ventrue are regal vampires who value power and dominion to the point of obsession, self-styled "lords of the night" they represent vampirism as a metaphor for maddening power, like Bram Stoker's Dracula. Obsessed with power and hierarchy, the Ventrue seek dominion over others with all their actions and in all their relationships. They often enthrall, control and embrace from the elites of human hierarchical structures, be them politicians, union leaders, businessmen or crime bosses. This obsession with power has tainted their blood with a propensity to insanity that reveals the corrupting, maddening effects of power. The Ventrue clan's tendency towards dominance is reflected in their clan Disciplines of Resilience (supernatural physical toughness), Animalism (control over the beasts of nature and the Beast within a vampire's soul), and their unique Discipline of Dominate (mental control over humans and vampires alike). The clan emblem of the Ventrue is a scepter inside a crown, superimposed over an inverted isosceles triangle. Vampiric Factions in Chicago The Carthian Movement works towards finding the best form of government for the Kindred, basing its experiments on mortal systems like Democracy, Fascism and the like. It is the only Covenant that elects leaders, and is the newest major Covenant. Members frequently argue over the best form of government and this Covenant is primarily secular in outlook and character. The Circle of the Crone is a collection of pagan and Neopagan cults and religions within the vampiric culture. Generally, these groups are structured around a belief in a generative cycle, though they often revere a particular representative goddess, and these shared associations give rise to their eponymous association with the Crone. They celebrate most of the major pagan holidays, such as the solstices and Yule, and practice the Blood Magic known as "Crúac". Despite many differences in belief and opinion between various circles and cities of the Covenant, they typically dislike the Lancea Sanctum. The Invictus (also known as the "First Estate") An order of vampires that claim to be descendants from an ancient Roman sect known as the Camarilla. They are mostly concerned with material gain and power and therefore heavily involved in city politics and business. The Lancea Sanctum is an organization which grew parallel to Christianity, therefore commonly being mistaken for a vampiric equivalent of it. They claim the Roman CenturionLonginus as their founder and they believe Kindred (the word vampires use for themselves) have a role in the Divine Providence: that of the ultimate predators. As vampires, they're to prey upon humans, thus unleashing God's Wrath upon the unworthy and representing tests for the pious. The Ordo Dracul is focused on understanding the vampiric condition, improving upon it and ultimately transcending its limitations. They learn a collection of powers known as The Coils of the Dragon which alter the practitioner, generally alleviating particular limitations of the vampiric condition. The members of the Ordo believe that this discipline was created by the founder of the covenant, the infamous Dracula. The Unaligned is simply a catch-all term for any Vampires that do not belong to a covenant. So are there any suggestions about what I could do to make this game a little more interesting? I'm happy to try to add anything players would like to see as long as it keeps with the gothic theme.