View Full Version : Let's... Campaign Journal: A San Francisco Ghost Story (nWoD/CofD)

2016-09-15, 08:44 PM
So here's the set up. Waaaaaay back in 2013, I started up a game with three long time friends. None of them had ever played nWoD, and I had never run it. One vanished almost immediatly, and ths won't really be mentioned. Two remained.

This is their story of bromance, madness, and extremely long periods of downtime.

The Characters
Timothy McFarlan: A college teacher at CCSF. As a PhD candidate in anthropology, he [did an extremely bad thing]. He was my greatst mistake, but he also drove the game. I never should have allowed the player to include the [extremely bad thing], but I was an idiot, and only saw the story hooks it gave me. From this point forward , Timothy will be known as Tim. He Hated that.

Dirk Magillian: A cop of... questionable standing. In his mispent youth of a few months ago, he was a Hunter in all but name, but after a badly botched effort, and possibly killing an innocent, he decided to join the side of the law. He was also a mistake, but again, i only saw the opportunity.

The Setting:
the game was set in San Francisco, a fact that might be unsurprising, considering the name of the thread, but if all went according to plan, the scop would gardually spread to the greater bay area.

SInce this was a game set int he World fo Darkness universe, things were ****tier. Crime was more common, corruption was rampant, and various supernatural forces were active in the city. Changelings held the Golden Gate Park from the Conservatory of Flowers, Werewolves were active in the Presidio and Marin Headlands, Mages acted out of a their hidden enclave, which will remain unrevealed since the players never discovered it, and various other splats ran around the periphery. Vampires won't really be detailed, since they somehow didn't appear much in this game.

The Set Up

It was a Monday, in late October. The sky was overcast, the mood, glum. Tim was stuck teaching a class of extremely disinterested college students about the history of Mezoamerican burial practices, and Dirk was just getting off desk duty, preparing to drive back to his crappy apartment.

I was rolling dice.

See, I had a few ideas in my mind to get the party together (this was the one session our third member ever appeared in), and I was trying to decide which to go with. So I made the first great mistake. I improvised. The lights were out in the room we were playing in, and it was an overcast December day IRL. I was feeling bored, and disatisfied with my initial ideas, so after a strange series of tens, I decided that something Weird would happen. Every light in the City went out.

Now, at the tme, I didn't really know who did it, but I knew the players, and both (or rather, all three of them) would react in some way. Reaction was better then daily drudgery, so I decided this was probably a good idea. And what do you know, but they all jumped for it. I was so proud. I would come to regret that, eventually, but that was a few sessions later.

Tim finished his class, because he was being difficult, and didn't like his students' attitudes. Dirk, he of a ready temper and poor planing skills, swore loudly and drove towards the nearest power station.

Okay. That was a bit more extreme then I expected. See, Dirk had no applicable skills. He was a physical powerhouse, but he had literally no way to figure out what had happened, even if he did get in. The plan was collapsing. SO I did what any new GM would do, and threw him a few dice rolls to cover my astonishing lack of a plan. Maybe he would spot a dark figure? Sure, dark figures were thematic. Tim's player took notice of the dice rolling, and decided to get in on the action. Ummm, Ah hah! he had a high Occult skill. Maybe a suspicious substance could be discovered on arrival. It was ham handed, and stupid and cliche, and the only reason it worked was that the actual IRL environment played into the atmosphere, I had a few on point descriptions, and the players decided to go along with it.

Regardless, the party was together, they had a mystery of a sort to solve, and for some reason, at the time, none of it seemed stupid or contrived. By the next session though, I was ready.I had crafted clever word puzzles, vast new conspiracies, and relegated what was originally going to be the opening story, the lure that would wind up dragging the PC's into the Darkness, to the distant endgame.

Next time, a story of Ectoplasm, Pawnshops, Grimy White Tanktops, and THE BESTworst IDEA EVER.

2016-09-16, 05:23 PM
An interesting thread so far,
and certainly one I intend to follow.
Just as I've followed many other campaign journals. These got me into D&D.
I look forward to the next updates,
as I always love a good story.
I've seen many, many stories go unfinished. Please don't let that happen here.
Thank you for reading this, and I hope you have a better day!