World of Darkness Text Game Recap: Wrap-Up

To start off, I would again like to apologize for the formatting of the character recap posts. They just would not cooperate in the colors, and I'm certain some of them are impossible to read for some folks. Believe me, they're just as frustrating for me as they are for you, and I guess I'm gonna have to say to either c/p them to notepad or highlight them for ease of reading. As far as the body of the game goes, however, I really like what we had going there, and I wish that I hadn't run aground with GM's stall/writer's block, because there was great momentum at the start and quite a lot of potential for some great stories to evolve from what was being done. The reboot could have been good for a couple of characters/players, but I got discouraged at so few still willing to continue that I just killed it.

There was a lot that I took away from this game that has helped me as a GM overall, though. I'm much better at creating and personalizing NPCs on the fly, which is a skill that I had never quite gotten right, I felt. Developing Raymond's contacts and Jason's employer and roommate really helped me define what was necessary for believable NPCs in my games.

Further, rational assumptions were another thing that I've paid more attention to in the scope of running a game. With Steve asking so many questions about Jamaal's personal possessions, I became much more aware of what the typical character in any given setting would have common access to. As an example, I have always thought it safe to assume that once a character in my Pathfinder games chugs a potion, they toss the vial it was in. In my current campaign, it came up that Angela's character keeps all hers, as she is an Alchemist and that makes perfect sense, but she also assumed that the others would keep theirs, as well, which thankfully I was not alone in assuming (the players of the other PCs agreed) that they did not, though both of the guys have agreed to keep theirs on her request.

I think, ultimately, I stretched myself too thin with this experiment. I had quite a few characters, all from different backgrounds, all pursuing different goals, and instead of going with a unified story that they could all interact with, I decided to go unique with all of them, having them interact with the different facets of the World of Darkness. This meant that in addition to trying to think out and provide entertaining stories and stimuli, I was reading multiple game books at once, trying to stay ahead of the players with certain aspects whose rules I was ignorant to. Not the smartest way to run a game of any sort.

I would definitely like to run another game via text, possibly getting some old gamer pals involved who have moved away, but as to what system I would like to run, I currently have no clue, and I'm not sure if I could convince anyone to jump back in who was in this past game, due to how quickly it crashed and burned.

Perhaps play-by-post is a better method, or some of the online game tables?

I Am Buddy Richards of Earth, Green Lantern of Sector 2814!

So, yeah...I'd say this just about describes me, and how cool would it be to be a Lantern? Saddens me that Batman is at the bottom of the list, and why am I close to Spider-Man? Ah well. Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Wonder Woman

Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.
Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

World of Darkness Text Game Recap: Raymond

Between March and May of last year, I had been bouncing the idea off some friends of playing a game separate from our table ventures via e-mail, IM, or text. The response I got was fairly positive, so in mid-May, we worked out that we would try to have a game via text, and I hashed out some quick rules and details after deciding on the new World of Darkness.

Our Chronicle took place in Chicago, and though we didn't make it too far into the game, I found it fun and the game actually ran for almost a year, and could have been longer if not for an extremely long hiatus breaking focus amongst the players.

In this series, I will be posting the character sheet and logs for one PC per post. Along with the character sheet, I will give the background info submitted by the player, as well as various notes from me, including their "tie" to the supernatural, explaining where I wanted to take the game with them. The ties were all made early on, and I'm not 100% sure that's where I would have gone with them as the game progressed.

The logs and character sheet are presented as-is, with typos, etc. Player text is default color.

This one is for Taylor's character, Raymond.

Raymond Freemont                  Virtue: Justice                          Chronicle: Text WoD
Age: 27                                     Vice: Envy                                Faction:
Player: Taylor                           Concept: Invest. Photojourn.     Group Name:

Intelligence: •                           Strength: ••                              Presence: ••
Wits: ••••                                  Dexterity: •••                             Manipulation: •••
Resolve: •••                              Stamina: •                                Composure: ••

Mental (-3 unskilled)                 Physical (-1 unskilled)              Social (-1 unskilled)
Academics •                             Athletics ••                               Animal Ken                 
Computer ••                             Brawl                                       Empathy
Crafts •                                     Drive •                                      Expression
Investigation ••••                      Firearms                                  Intimidation
Medicine •                                Larceny                                    Persuasion •••
Occult                                      Stealth •                                   Socialize •
Politics •                                  Survival                                   Streetwise •••
Science •                                  Weaponry                                 Subterfuge

Other Traits
Merits                                       Health                                      Willpower
Danger Sense ••                        • • • • • •                                    • • • • •
Fast Reflexes ••                         [][][][][][]                                    [][][][][]
Fleet of Foot

Flaws                                       Morality                                   
                                                • • • • • • •

Size: 5                                      Speed: 11                                 Defense: 3
Armor:                                     Initiative Mod: 5                       Experience: 4/0/4

Weapon/Attack             Dice Mod.         Range              Clip      Size

Equipment                               Durability         Structure          Size     Cost

Background: Freelance photojournalist. Always searches for the truth behind it all, and never takes anything at face value. He's always trying to solve the problem and discover the plots of criminals (perhaps taking his career a bit too far?)
            Had a chance to go to the Iraq war and passed it up. Regretted the decision since he made it.
            Feels naked without his camera, as he never knows when the next great photo will happen. Envious of the work of others, wanting to have done it himself.

-Elaine Busey, submissions editor at The Chicago Tribune that Raymond works through.
-Dennis "Denny" O'Neil, freelance AP writer killed on the edges of Old Town.
-Charles “Chas” Deckerd, beat cop working out of Near North precinct.

Tie: None. Though I had plans for Raymond getting mixed up in some really freaky shit, I wasn't necessarily wanting to fully immerse him in one particular sub-setting or paradigm for the World of Darkness. His job as a photographer was too good an opportunity as an open invitation to pass up.

ST: "The fourth week. The fourth fucking week! There is a killer (or 3) loose on the streets of the city and you have good crime scene photos, and the Tribune, though paying handsomely for them, hadn't printed a single one. What was stopping them? One of the most powerful print outlets in the US! City Hall? The Police?
Every other publication you've submitted to has printed, so you aren't blacklisted.
Raymond: "Ok, I am over reacting there is a reason they didn't print the shots. I mean the work is good, damn good, my best.
Surly the tribune just has shelfed the pictures cause they don't have the story to go with it. It makes sense, way those people died you don't print the picture without a story to back it. I should give them a call, see the hold up and maybe try to help. Then maybe I will make the front page, and finally get the fame and fortune those other loser steal form me everytime they take front page with the shitty shots."
ST: You put the call in, takes a few minutes, but you get Elaine Busey on the line, she's the submissions editory you usually work through.
"I'm sorry, Ray," she explains, "they were good shots! They really were, but they pulled it. The whole story." her tone goes almost to a whisper, and is hurried. "Look, it's probably because of O'Neil. Back off, for your own safety, yeah? You're one of the best I've got. Listen, I can't talk further, bye" The click comes abruptly. {OOC: you didn't specify contacts dot. Media? Police? Whatever you would like]
Raymond: [Ok so two things, first who is thie O'Neal person, need to know abot them before I can make any other decisions. The other thing is I was thinknig of having my contact be police if I could get it, nothing fancy I was thinking paper pusher who overhears thing and passes them on to me from time to time.]
ST: [OOC: you're not sure who O'Neil is; contacts work differently now, you select a broad category and have a few minor contacts within]
Raymond: [ok I guess I will just pick police as my contact, and see what I get] "damn, there some shit going on here and I am not sure what, the knot in my stomach, and voice on the phone, tell me to drop it but I can't, not the way I am built. Ok first things first let's find out wh o this O'Neal is, see what I am dealing with. Will call whatever people I think will know, and do some internet searches, maybe search the name plus media or police."
ST: the Internet is not your friend on this day, but after a couple of calls, you get a hit off a beat cop you know only as Deckerd. "I bet you mean that reporter kid that was murdered last night near Old Town? I was the responding on that one. One Dennis O'Neil, aged 24. Got no leads, what do you know about it? Don't hold out on me, Freemont"
Raymond: " I got nothing, had to call you just to figure out who this kid was. I don't know what is going on here but I had some pictures that were pure fold and somehow they got shutdown cause of someone named O'Neil. Anyway I am going to keep my ear to ghe ground and will kieep ya informed, if you can do the same there be a bottle of you favorite poison for ya. Anyway I got to call ya later." After passing any other formalities I hang up. "This can't be right some kid reporter wouldn't shut down a story like this there is more going on I know it. Gonna check the recent papers see if anyone has a article about this kid, something stinks about this whole thing and the more I smell it the more I think it smells dirty."
ST: checking the day's paper does, indeed bear fruit. Dennis O'Neil was an up and coming AP writer, attaching himself to the Tribune's bullpen.
There are a few articled featuring his work, and a memorial printed in the Tribune's morning edition that states that he was killed while pursuing a story. You recognize the picture, you'd seen him at some of the crime scenes around Old Town, trying to scoop other reporters

Raymond: "alright I need to figure some things out here, first thing I need to look through any old articles I can find by O'Neal, try to figure out what kind of stuff he likes to report on, and see if maybe these articles are leading anywhere. Also gonna call around to any reporters I kno that work in the Old Town area, see what kind of dealings he had and if they know if he was working on anything."
ST: you go on your search, but find it too difficult to do online, with no cross-referencing for authors available on the sites. The library's microfilm seems to be your next best option, and indeed, you find articles from a couple years back to the present, at first small things, local seniors clubs, Kiwanis meetings, etc., then a sudden shift to a more aggressive style, and all newer stories dealing with violent crime.
This prompts you to make the calls you intended, and turn up a little information, mostly that O'Neil was driven unlike anyone else, and would get violent if he thought other reporters were hedging in on his stories. He did let slip that he was "onto something big" and it would "change the world, and everyone in it"
Raymond: "Time to do some leg work. Gonna pick some clothes that won't make me stick out like a sore thumb in Old Town. Take one of my digital cameras I can hide in my pocket, then head out to old town. Ask around about O'Neal, pretend I am a private detective working for his family if anyone asks. Try to find out where he has been, who he has talked to, he had a story and got himself killed and ruined mine, fine I will just take his. There is somthing going on and I can feel that fame and fortune coming my way. The stuff everyone else steals from me. Anyway I will start with any place he had investigated in his articles, I find best way to find out about someone is talk to the people he pissed off, and no one likes being investegated."

ST: you grab a fairly smart casual outfit to blend in in the affluent neighborhood, but your looks and smarts don't pay off. Some people had seen O'Neil around, but he didn't have conversations with anyone, and nobody knows why he was in Old Town, or what he was chasing.
Thinking on the few leads you've been able to put together, including patterns from his articles, something tugs at your mind about the locations, then you remember having read an early article of his, in a city magazine about Old Toen being built over the ruins of the Chicago Fire
Raymond: [need to know in game time before I continue on if you don't mind.]

This sequence was actually one of my faves of the game, and likely would have led into a tour of some of Chicago's most famous hauntings before branching off into some deeper stuff.

And that's the last character! Soon, I'll be posting up some final thoughts about the game.