Part 1: Basic Information
- Chapter Name: No Witnesses
- Chapter Number: TX-065-D
- Venue: OWoD: Masquerade: Sabbat
- Lead Venue Storyteller: Rich Czerwonky – US2002021368
- Storyteller Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Graphical Borders: Travis, Williamson, Hays, Blanco, Caldwell, Bastrop, Burnet counties
- Game Date: Games shall be held on the fourth Saturday of the month, starting December 27, 2014. Pack games may be held on a case-by-case basis.
Part 2: Styles of Play
Overall Game Emphasis (10 points distributed among these three categories)
Physical - 4
Social - 3
Mental - 3
Individual Game Components (Each ranked 1 to 10. 1 happens 10% of the time, 10 happens 100% of the time)
Action (combat and challenges) 7
Character Development (personal dilemmas and choices) 7
Darkness (corruption, fear and horror) 7
Drama (ceremony and grand story) 8
Intrigue (politics and negotiation) 8
Manners (social etiquette and peer pressure) 6
Mystery (enigmas and investigation) 8
PC Death (how often it is present) 4
Pacing (how quickly do stories start, develop and come to an end) 5
Part 3: Description of Venue
Mood: Fanaticism, Madness, Malice
Themes: Domination, Horror, Reverence
Austin is a city that looms. Buildings reach for the sky like a dying man grasping for salvation. Predictability blankets the streets by day as people hurry to and from work, rushing to get their morning lattes, or buzzing each other’s phones to make future appointments .
By night, the fog of darkness rolls in, only to be broken by the flashing lights of festivities that are enjoyed by hundreds, if not thousands, of party-goers. They stumble from one club to another, drawn to the thump-thump-thumping of large speakers, amazed by the flashing laser lights that bedazzle dance floors. Their attention is often distracted by street performers, food trailers, and other random bits of excitement.
They are not concerned with the dark shadows that fill the alleys. No one cares what happens there. No one is supposed to care. No one is supposed to know. Occasionally a brave soul will pause to look—only to feel the shadows looking back at them.
It is said the first Missions in Central Texas were established by European settlers who served the Lasombra of the Sabbat. Whether or not this is true, stories from the Tonkawa and Nacogdoche tribes both tell of spirits within the shadows that feed upon those foolish enough to wander too far from the camps. Sometimes those who have been taken from the tribe are seen again, though they are sinister reflections of their former selves, perhaps possessed by a great malignance.
Keepers of Lore may share tales of Sabbat war parties starting a move north around 1810, attacking Camarilla outposts. There may have been some correlation with the Mexican War of Independence against Spain. Towards 1815, mass battles subsided into guerilla warfare between mortals and kindred alike. By 1820, the armies of Camarilla and Sabbat were contesting a pyrric victory. Some say the Sabbat were the victors since Mexico announced its independence. Others claim the Camarilla were victorious, yet lacked the ability to enforce the victory. Whatever the case, Mexico was finally celebrating its independence.
This was also the time when Stephen F. Austin and his father, Moses, were establishing their colony with approximately three hundred families. Evidence suggests this was a Camarilla maneuver as an attempt to establish a foothold for their fight against the Sabbat. The Sabbat, having their own losses, as well as having greater needs in other areas, allowed the fight to come to a halt near the Austin colony. This was still Mexico territory.
Mexico eventually began to impose various rules and restrictions and constitutional changes (perhaps from Sabbat influence) upon the citizens of Austin’s colony. Taking advantage of a growing unrest, as well as a crippled Camarilla presence, the Anarch Movement found opportunities to seize some control for themselves.
It is believed the friction between the Camarilla and Anarchs sparked the Texas Revolution. As they skirmished, the Sabbat attempted to take advantage and take control of Austin’s colony, only to find both Camarilla and Anarch joining forces against a common enemy. Many Sabbat fell ton Torpor. Others retreated into the shadows, not to be seen again for some time.
What remained was a realm dominated by the Anarchs while what remained of the Camarilla were allowed a few token land shares.
After the birth of the Republic of Texas, Austin began to flourish. The Sabbat were a thing of the past, and the Camarilla had no power within Austin. Austin was known as Anarch territory. There were some minor skirmishes between the two sects. It is rumored the Camarilla attempted to have the capital of Texas located in Houston; similar rumors hold the Anarch sect returned the capital status to Austin years later.
Around 1845, the Sabbat made their presence known once more. This time they fed information to Garou regarding known vampire havens that belonged to the Anarchs and Camarilla. Leaders of both sects were hunted and slaughtered by the Garou. But a vampire making deals with werewolves is handling a two-edged sword. The Garou turned on the Sabbat packs as well, and did so with an intense ferocity.
The fighting progressed through the new year of 1848. Weakened and outnumbered, the Sabbat who remained retreated. Perhaps there was a correlation between this assault and the Mexican-American War.
In the late 1860s an influential Ventrue of the Camarilla relocated to Austin, intending to finance his sect through a thriving cattle business in the name of his retainer, Jesse Driskill. He gained heavy influence with the local Confederacy. It is rumored the Anarchs disliked the Ventrue’s meddling with the local military and corrupted his cattle business. It is also rumored the Anarchs trained a band of Catholic hunters to eliminate the Ventrue who was showing promise to upset the Anarch’s dominance.
Shortly after the Ventrue’s death, Jesse Driskill was approached by an Anarch Toreador who had a vision of building great architecture. Driskill began to work discreetly for the Toreador. Eventually, the Driskill Hotel was established and quickly became known as the shining star of Austin. More buildings followed, each taller and as impressive as the other—but none would be as legendary as the Driskill Hotel. In the world of darkness, the Driskill Hotel was known as the Bastion of the Anarch Movement.
Ownership of the hotel changed hands over the next several years between the Camarilla and Anarchs as they continued their bickering. It was eventually bought by Great American Life Insurance in 1999, taken from under the Anarch’s noses as they were distracted by other events.
As the mortal agency announced a thirty-million dollar restoration project on the hotel, the Camarilla and Anarchs were facing a new incursion from the Sabbat. A great, red comet had appeared earlier that year, and Sabbat unexpectedly surged forward to annihilate everything, glorifying the return of Caine. Their endgame was foiled, however, as they met hunters and werewolves who were determined to keep Austin safe and oblivious to the Jyhad.
The hunters did not focus strictly on the Sabbat armies, however. They attacked known holdings of the Anarchs and Camarilla as well. Businesses fell as CEOs were arrested for corruption (later assassinated in jail). Organized crime flourished as established police officers were revealed to have fallen victim to their own vices. City officials were fired after audits revealed gross inaccuracies. There was confusion on the streets as gangs fought openly. The chaos helped mask the hunters’ activities of eradicating the vampire population one by one.
As the millennia changed, Austin became free of undead—as far as anyone could tell. There were few, if any, Kindred left. All was good.
Austin is a capital of an influential state, and therefore it must be claimed and controlled by someone. The Sabbat are quick to organize and sink its claws into the city. They will find, however, they are not the only ones to do so.
Darkness rolls over the streets of Austin, and Jyhad begins again. Amid the clamoring of raves and street parties, someone may pause and peer into the darkness of some alley. What will be staring back at him?
Part 4: Storytelling Mechanics
All characters created shall follow the guidelines set in the BNS sourcebook and the most recent Sabbat Addenda.
Mission Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe was established around 1756 in Central Texas. It is highly recommended any Sabbat Character created before this time have originations outside the venue’s boundaries.
The Sabbat have not had a real presence in Austin from 1999 through 2013. In addition, there are other pockets in the history that would suggest a city with an insignificant Sabbat presence. Players who wish to play characters “From Austin” during these times of Sabbat inactivity should consider being from one of the outer cities. For example it may have been safe to have been Initiated in Elgin, TX, waiting for the right time to form packs and join the assault in Austin.
Players may have opportunities to portray an NPC. This gives players a chance to play something different, and earn prestige for ST support. However, players who agree to play an NPC are expected to not reveal to other players what they are playing, or any details of the plot. This excludes any IC discoveries, of course.
Game Impacting equipment (weapons, armor, etc.) will be detailed on individual item cards which is approved via signature and/or stamp by the VST or authorized assistant.
Vehicles do not need item cards unless there is a special modification or a special feature.
Items obtained “on the fly” may not require an item card. That is, an item obtained in the middle of a scene (such as a pistol plucked from a policeman’s holster, or an armored car stolen from a parking lot), will be exempt from this rule. However, it is expected that the player obtain an approved item card as soon as possible, or by the next game.
Item cards shall be carried on the player’s person in order to be used. Cards left in a designated OOC area, in the player’s car, or at home may not be used.
As items may be transferred between characters, item cards shall be on a card that may be physically transferred from one player to another. Keeping a record of cards on one’s electronic device does not constitute as being on the player’s person, nor can it be transferred from one player to another. In addition, electronic images of item cards cannot be signed/stamped by an ST.
Paraphrasing page 305 of the BNS
Characters who are not on the Path of Humanity have lost touch with their human selves. They have taken both physical and spiritual alteration and invoke extreme discomfort to those around them, living or undead. It will be challenging to not stand out in a crowd, and hiding such inhumanities will be just as challenging.
Camaraderie and the reclaiming of Austin area
The Sabbat are a tightly-knit organization similar to a military structure based on religious ideologies. With that said, care must be taken in dealing with the nightly challenges. Every action from the Sabbat will have a reaction to the Sabbat. A good fight may not always be appropriate. Consideration must be given to other potential avenues to success, or even in how to mitigate an impending failure.
Mavericks will not see as much success as those who utilize the resources their underlings and companions offer. It will be frowned upon if any leader, a Ductus, Priest, Bishop, or Archbishop strikes out on their own to accomplish a goal when he or she has an opportunity to send their troops instead.
To increase inclusiveness, players are reminded that previous books detailed two additional Sabbat Pack roles. The Lieutenant acts as second-in-command to the Ductus, and the Deacon acts as assistant to the Priest. These roles do not confer Status (neither does Abbot) but they provide an opportunity to include more players in the rank structure of the Sabbat which is an intrinsic part of the setting.
To Proxy into the Austin Domain, a player must accept that it is possible that your character may die depending on the scene at hand. If this happens, the player will be supplied with a full explanation of the circumstances.
Austin has a Warm-Body Policy. This means that players must have a physical person to portray their character in a live game. Downtime scenes, IRC scenes, etc. are exempt from this requirement. It is the responsibility of the proxying Player to locate said person. The Storyteller is not required to portray nor appoint someone to portray a proxied character. It should also be noted that Austin does not permit “soft” proxies at live games, however for chat or email scenes, soft proxies are fine as long as all players involved consent.
Please try to give a week’s notice for proxies if possible.
Proxies must include:
- Complete character sheet, preferably in simple text (.txt) or a scanned (.pdf) copy of the sheet.
- A full XP log.
- Approval numbers of special items.
- Detailing of what the character intends to accomplish and how they intend to do it.
- Player’s presiding VST contact information. If the ST cannot be contacted or fails to respond in a timely manner, proxies cannot be guaranteed.
Players are encouraged to come visit and enjoy the game! However, IC travel into the city currently dangerous, especially when visiting the Austin Bergstrom International Airport or using any sort of municipal (or trans-municipal) rail system.
Experience Award Guidelines
Seven (7) XP will be awarded for attending live games. Downtimes will earn an additional three (3). XP is limited by the graduated cap.
If a player cannot attend a live game, they may include a short story (one page) along with a downtime regarding their character’s activities. The story should be simple, such as a hunt, an interaction with a member of their Herd, punishment of a Retainer, etc. The story will be worth two (2) additional XP if turned in with the Downtime.