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DFM
08-02-2008, 08:34 AM
http://fc07.deviantart.com/fs11/i/2006/221/2/0/Vampire_The_Masquerade_by_Rjan.jpg

Available now for 19.99 on everyone's favorite digital distribution platform, Steam (http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php)!

Troika's (I believe) finest RPG, Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines is based on White Wolf's World of Darkness, a bleak and desolate world of vampires, werewolves and all manner of creatures that go bump in the night. The bumping noises being the thousands corpses crashing to the ground from bloodied, savage maws. If it's any consolation they were probably very bad people anyway, since everyone in World of Darkness is a bad person. Some are just badder than most.

We're going to be playing as a vampire, as previously implied in the title Vampire: The Masquerade: Bloodlines. Your character is freshly turned after a one night stand gone bad (or good, if you're into that) and is thrust immediately into the vampiric world of backstabbing politicians, blood hungry madmen, eastern invasion, apocalyptic cults and an ancient artifact that could bring about the end of days. Nice to see so little has change.

To start with, we get to pick one of seven bloodlines for our fledgling vampire to belong to. These donít act as rigid character classes so much as general guides to the play style youíd like to use. It doesnít fall into the Oblivion trap of letting you become everything, however. A Toreador is never going to survive a slap fight with a Gangrel no matter how many points you dump in melee.

That said, letís show off the available bloodlines, with a little bit of commentary by our good friend, Bertram Tung, all 'round nasty dude and second in line to become Prince of Santa Monica!

"Nasty dude? Hey, I may not be a looker, kid, but I could squash you like a freaking bug if my panties get all in a bunch.



The Brujah

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/brujah.gif

"They're a bunch of malcontents. They get pumped up by rousing the rabble they keep around them. Like that's hard. Nothing breeds faster than contempt, and that's what the Brujah are all about. Jealousy and contempt."


The Brujah are inheritors of an ancient and noble legacy, which is unfortunate, as modern Brujah seem less like a clan and more like a mob. Punks, terrorists, revolutionaries, criminals, gangbangers and the like make up the Brujah; the clan seems to be united in nothing save its contempt for the institutions of vampire and mortal society. Well, this is not entirely true; Clan Brujah are among the most savage vampires, and the most trivial slight or annoyance may trigger a howling Brujah frenzy.

The Brujah's disunity keeps the clan tenuously in the Camarilla, but Brujah thugs routinely defect to the anarchs, the better to strike against their hated elders. Even the "tamer" Brujah annoy the elders and princes routinely through acts of defiance and rebellion. Despite their recalcitrance, however, Brujah are valued as warriors; they are perhaps the most dangerous vampires in a straightforward battle. To anger a Brujah is nigh suicidal - and Brujah are notorious for their tempers.


GANGREL

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/gangrel.gif
"They fancy themselves loners and drifters, running around the countryside and barking at the moon. Fheh. It's all just an act. Gangrel can walk upright, they just choose not to."

Of all vampires, the Gangrel are perhaps closest to their inner nature. These nomadic loners spurn the constraints of society, preferring the comfort of the wilderness. How they avoid the wrath of the werewolves is unknown; perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Gangrel are themselves shapeshifters. When a mortal speaks of a vampire changing into a wolf or a bat, she is probably speaking of a Gangrel.

Like the Brujah, Gangrel are fierce warriors; unlike the Brujah, Gangrel ferocity does not stem from anarchic rage, but from animalistic instinct. Gangrel have a keen understanding of the Beast in their souls, and prefer to spend their nights in communion with the animals whom they so emulate.


MALKAVIANS

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/malkavian.gif

"Malkavians are... ah.. interesting. There's something to them. Learning to sort the wisdom from the bullshit can be some work and not all of them are worth listening to, but... they're all good fun, if you ask me."

At first glance, the members of Clan Malkavian do not appear to be a clan at all; they are chosen from all races, creeds and social strata. But Malkavians, regardless of mortal standing, bear one disturbing commonality: They are all quite mad. Whether from the clan's choice of victims, the circumstances of the Embrace, or some property in Malkavian blood itself, all Malkavians go insane shortly after the transformation (if they were not insane to begin with).

Accordingly, many Malkavians find themselves pariahs, ostracized by a vampiric society fearful of their random urges and capricious whims. Wiser Kindred, however, prefer to keep the madmen close at hand: Behind the Malkavians' lunatic cackling and feverish rantings lie smatterings of insight, even wisdom.

Note: The game actually plays quite differently as a Malkavian, as all of the dialog is changed and you get a good number of unique encounters and insights that range from hilarious to horribly creepy and disturbing.


NOSFERATU

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/nosferatu.gif

"The Nosferatu are damn good at what we do, no one even argues that. If you need to know, if you want it found, you come to us. We're indespensable. Not a bad place to be, in the afterlife."

Caine's childer are called "The Damned," and no vampires embody this more than do the wretches of Clan Nosferatu. While other vampires still look human and may travel in mortal society, Nosferatu are twisted and deformed by the curse of vampirism. To put it bluntly, the Embrace transforms them into hideous monsters. Unable to walk among humans, Nosferatu must dwell in subterranean sewers and catacombs. Other vampires revile Nosferatu, considering them disgusting and interacting with them only when they must.

Because of this stigma, however, Nosferatu are survivors par excellence. Few creatures, mortal or vampire, know the city's back alleys and dark corners like the Nosferatu do. Additionally, Nosferatu have refined the crafts of sneaking and eavesdropping to fine arts; if anyone or anything has the latest dirt on mortal or vampiric society, it is the Nosferatu. Finally, millennia of shared deformity and abuse have fostered strong bonds among the monsters. Nosferatu forego the squabbling and feuds ubiquitous to the other clans, preferring to work in unison. You mess with one, you mess with 'em all - and that can get messy indeed.


TOREADOR

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/toreador.gif

"Hmph. I don't rub elbows with the pretty bloodsuckers much. But I've seen them work people like puppeteers, and that's admirable. Now if only they'd get off their slimy asses and put their talent to some use besides feeding their egos."

The Toreador are called many things - "degenerates," "artistes," "poseurs," and "hedonists" being but a few. But any such mass categorization does the clan a disservice. Depending on the individual and her mood, Toreador are alternately elegant and flamboyant, brilliant and ludicrous, visionary and dissipated. Perhaps the only truism that can be applied to the clan is its members' aesthetic zeal. Whatever a Toreador does, she does with passion. Whatever a Toreador is, she is with passion.

To the Toreador, eternal life is to be savored. Many Toreador were artists, musicians or poets in life; many more have spent frustrating centuries producing laughable attempts at art, music or poetry. Toreador share the Ventrue's love of high society, though not for them the tedium of actually running things - that's what functionaries are for, darling. Toreador know that their place is to captivate and inspire - through their witty speech, graceful deeds, and simple, scintillating existence.


TREMERE

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/tremere.gif

"Mages. I don't have any reason to trust them, they're creepy and I think they like it that way. But... to be honest, I don't hear much about the tremere. There's a few in LA but they're a dying breed. Not that many of them around anymore."

Even among vampires, the insular Clan Tremere bears a reputation for treachery. This reputation is well earned; the Tremere were formerly a cabal of human wizards who, hungering for immortal life, wrested the secrets of vampirism from unwilling Kindred. Such vile deeds earned the clan a sinister reputation; even today, certain vampire clans would love nothing better than to destroy the entire Tremere line.

Nonetheless, Clan Tremere holds a place in the Camarilla, for its members were instrumental in suppressing the Inquisition and supporting the Masquerade. Then, too, the Tremere have proved themselves dangerous enemies - and powerful allies. Tremere still practice a version of the arcane arts they studied in life, and so these "warlocks" use their sorcerous powers in service to the Camarilla almost as much as they use the Camarilla in service to themselves.

VENTRUE

http://www.planetvampire.com/bloodlines/game/clans/images/ventrue.gif

"They get a bad rap, if you ask me. Everyone likes to take shots at the man in charge, but when it comes to getting the job done, the Ventrue know how to step up. They can take the heat."

Elegant, aristocratic and regal, the Ventrue are the lords of the Camarilla. It was Clan Ventrue that provided the cornerstone of the Camarilla, and it is Clan Ventrue that directs and coaxes the Camarilla in its darkest hours. Even in the modern age, the majority of princes descend from Clan Ventrue. The Ventrue would, of course, have things no other way. In the tradition of noblesse oblige, the Ventrue must lead the other clans for their own good.

In ancient nights, Ventrue were chosen from nobles, merchant princes or other wielders of power. In modern times the clan recruits from wealthy "old-money" families, ruthless corporate climbers, and politicians. Although Ventrue move in the same social circles as the Toreador, they do not fritter away their existences in frivolity and idle chatter. The Ventrue proudly wear the privileges of leadership, and stoically bear its burdens. Thus has it always been; thus shall it always be.


There's our options! I'll let you guys vote and I'll leave the polls open until Monday night. You can also vote on the gender we'll be playing as, not a huge difference between the two, but it changes some dialog and a few quest options, pretty standard fare.

Next update will be refining the class we've chosen, then we can get right into the game! AREN'T YOU FUCKING STOKED?

Odjn
08-02-2008, 08:36 AM
Brujahhhhhhhh.

HEY GUESS WHAT PAPA ODJN BEAMS UPON YOU ALL.

CHARACTER CREATION P1
HEADS WILL ROLL (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=819996&postcount=126)
Jack be nimble, Jack be quick (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=820284&postcount=135)
A man of infinite jest (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=821649&postcount=150)
Slaughter, Sutures, Saviors (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=822015&postcount=155)
A better question: why does a butcher of men question the wrongness of the world? (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=822734&postcount=180)
American Dream (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=823385&postcount=202)
From gimbles to gibbets (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=823903&postcount=208)
I've fallen and I can't get up (http://http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=826494&postcount=215)
If they came from Mercurio's rib I'm going to get me a bonesaw (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=826495&postcount=216)
...brought unto him little children... (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=829896&postcount=236)
...rebuked them... (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=830333&postcount=239)
Suffer the little children, and forbid them not. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=833062&postcount=244)
for of such is the kingdom of heaven. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=833063&postcount=245)
No going back. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=836021&postcount=256)
Mourning Flower (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=837225&postcount=262)
Aftermath (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showthread.php?t=30463&page=27)
Scene of the Crime (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=838088&postcount=277)
Dead man's picture in a dead woman's hand (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=838089&postcount=278)
Massacre with extra blood, please. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=838674&postcount=289)
Collision (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=838675&postcount=290)
No Mirrors Allowed (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=840464&postcount=308)
Solemn Wolf (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=840466&postcount=309)
Expectations and planning thereof (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=841423&postcount=316)
Damsel in Distress (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=841425&postcount=317)
Elizabeth Dane, Elizabeth Dane, who has bloodied your name? (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=842367&postcount=325)
A manor and a slave (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=842368&postcount=326)
Bloody deals
(http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=844350&postcount=370)The Soul of Marsellus Wallace (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=844762&postcount=387)
Confessions of Cleopatra Jones, Pimp-killing woman (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=844763&postcount=388)
Tombs (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=847184&postcount=415)
Virulent Voices (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=847185&postcount=416)
Well fuck you too, Johann Sebastian. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=847850&postcount=421)
LaCroix on the Cross (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=848719&postcount=463)
99 red bits of Helen (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=850821&postcount=475)
Poor dumb dead bitch. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=850822&postcount=476)
YOU GAVE ME CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABS (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=853842&postcount=493)
INTERMISSION ONE: Vacation time, let's get some sun while we can. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=854763&postcount=512)
Dammit, I was just getting a tan. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=862891&postcount=531)
It's no fun when they argue back. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=865618&postcount=535)
Smarmy bastard. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=865619&postcount=536)
Blood hunt? Nines fucking Rodriguez? Ha. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=866823&postcount=541)
Helen's a bitch. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=866824&postcount=542)
Bishop's Bane (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=868760&postcount=548)
Caina (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=868762&postcount=549)
I still like redheaded bitch better than Helen. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=868994&postcount=553)
Those left behind (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=872041&postcount=562)
VV (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=875741&postcount=568)
She's my favorite character ever and if you mock me I'll hurt you. >:O (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=876940&postcount=627)
Hunter Hunted (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=880615&postcount=654)
Fuck you, Troika, for making her quests so short. :( (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=880616&postcount=655)
Long Gone (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=882192&postcount=682)
Real horrorshow, my droogs. (http://forum.nuklearpower.com/showpost.php?p=882194&postcount=683)

greed
08-02-2008, 08:51 AM
Female Malkavian. I feel like a big cup of crazy.

01d55
08-02-2008, 08:54 AM
Note: The game actually plays quite differently as a Malkavian, as all of the dialog is changed and you get a good number of unique encounters and insights that range from hilarious to horribly creepy and disturbing.

Well shit, how can I not vote Malkavian? Answer: I can't not do that! So I'll not not do that.
Female Malkavian.

DFM
08-02-2008, 08:59 AM
Also, let me just say a couple of things about the playstyles of the clans.

Brujah are all about dishing out hurt with melee weapons. There's not much in the way of defensive abilities because they're too busy hitting shit with a street light.

Gangrel use hand to hand and can soak up damage like a mother fucker. They also have a war form that makes them even more of a bat-wolf mother fucker.

Malkavians are geared somewhat more towards stealth given their obfuscation discipline and they get access to a unique "Dementation" that makes other people go batshit to varying degrees.

Nosferatu are all about being EXTREMELY STEALTHY but they also get bonuses to melee and unarmed combat.

Toreadors are definitely more suited to talking their way out of situations, but combine their celarity with almost any firearm and Toreadors become total mother fuckers.

Tremere are mages and shit power out their wizard chutes, their initial attack kills enemies and recharges more mana than they lost casting it, and at later levels they can make a person's blood boil inside their veins until they explode.

Ventrue don't usually get their hands dirty, so their combat stats aren't exactly phenomenal and they're primarily reliant on firearms to have a chance at survival. They can, however, talk their way out of anything and they can literally force people to commit suicide or kill their friends through sheer force of will.

EDIT: GUYS VOTE A GENDER, TOO

Odjn
08-02-2008, 09:08 AM
I don't care which gender as long as it's a crazy burn fight kill motherfucker.

Loyal
08-02-2008, 09:56 AM
I say the Ventrue. Malkavian sounds fun, but that kind of charisma simply can't be passed up.

Ryong
08-02-2008, 10:01 AM
Male Malkavian. Crazy wins a lot, y'know.

Sir Pinkleton
08-02-2008, 11:06 AM
I love mages, but I love crazies. What to do...

I'll vote tomorrow. I think I'll go for female though.

Irigriel
08-02-2008, 11:12 AM
I say the Ventrue. Malkavian sounds fun, but that kind of charisma simply can't be passed up.

I vote for Ventrue as well. I mean, talking people to suicide? Awesome. My second choice would be Malkavian though. A tall glass of crazy is pretty cool.

EDIT: Male Ventrue, Female Malkavian.

BitVyper
08-02-2008, 11:58 AM
I'm all about the Gangrel, so play Gangrel. Or else.

Make it female, 'cause the female Gangrel in the 2nd edition rule book is hot.

Melfice
08-02-2008, 12:09 PM
Female Malkavian, if only for Jeanette.

She and a female Malkavian is fun times.

PhoenixFlame
08-02-2008, 12:21 PM
Malkavian, because lol crazy.

Mr.Bookworm
08-02-2008, 12:23 PM
Female Malkavian.

Kerensky287
08-02-2008, 12:24 PM
I'm gonna go with Female Malkavian. Seriously, after those descriptions, you can't NOT do that. Also, from the looks of things, no other votes are gonna get much support...

...Though the mages and kings sound like lots of fun, too. Boiling an enemy's blood? Killing someone through sheer force of will? Neato.

Mr.Bookworm
08-02-2008, 12:27 PM
I'm gonna go with Female Malkavian. Seriously, after those descriptions, you can't NOT do that. Also, from the looks of things, no other votes are gonna get much support...

...Though the mages and kings sound like lots of fun, too. Boiling an enemy's blood? Killing someone through sheer force of will? Neato.

DFM should run fourteen Let's Play games at the same time. One for each gender, and one for each clan.

DFM
08-02-2008, 12:31 PM
They're all different personalities in the Malk's psychosis.

Edit: If this keeps up I might just make the deadline tonight or tomorrow because damn.

Seil
08-02-2008, 02:46 PM
Malkavians are geared somewhat more towards stealth given their obfuscation discipline and they get access to a unique "Dementation" that makes other people go batshit to varying degrees.

Hearing this from my brother, Malkavian's can argue with a stop sign. Literally:

"No, you stop!"

As well as having a mission where you're supposed to kill a guy and his two henchmen. You can totally go and kill the guy and his goons, or you can walk up to him and say "Gee Mr. Polar Bear, those penguins look tasty, don't they?"

"Mmm.... penguins."

The Argent Lord
08-02-2008, 03:09 PM
I've gotta go with Female Malkavian as well. Crazy is FUN!

Zakreon
08-02-2008, 03:19 PM
I would say male Ventrue, but Female Malkavian sounds pretty sweet and I think is gonna win.

Amake
08-02-2008, 03:22 PM
I've tried this game a number of times, each time weighing the character creation options carefully and considering how the playing experience might be affected by previous experiences, and each time ending up with a female Malkavian. So I might as well throw my vote in with the landslide victory side.

Seil
08-02-2008, 03:52 PM
Male Toreador.

Krylo
08-02-2008, 06:45 PM
I'm disappointed in you guys.

We already know how DFM plays a female malkavian.

We see it every single day.

Jagos
08-02-2008, 06:57 PM
Any better ideas Krylo?

I'm going with a Female Leroy Jenki--- er... Brujah or the Female Malkalvian.

1st choice is Malkal though. :D

Odjn
08-02-2008, 08:33 PM
Goddammit, why is it people always ignore the badass warrior for the loony worthless guy?

Solid Snake
08-02-2008, 09:03 PM
I'd rather be Female Tremere, to be honest. Or Brujah. Or any of the races other then Malkalvian.
I understand Malkalvian's going to win, which I personally view as unfortunate. As fun as the Malkalvians sound it seems to me to be more a great Let's Play option for a second playthrough, so that those of us who've never played the game before can get an idea of the major events of a "generic" playthrough as opposed to seeing a secondary offshoot first. I'd compare it to why I wouldn't want my first Fallout experience to be with a really ridiculously dumb character with low INT stats -- it changes the game experience to the point where you're really not even playing Fallout anymore and experiencing the traditional game as you should.

::shrug:: I'll still be interested in the topic regardless, though.

Jagos
08-02-2008, 09:15 PM
Goddammit, why is it people always ignore the badass warrior for the loony worthless guy?

There is always Kratos, Lara Croft, Ryu Hayabusa, Kane, and Tidus Wakka.

How many times do you get to see someone that's so out there that they make no sense whatsoever? :p

DFM
08-02-2008, 09:21 PM
I'd rather be Female Tremere, to be honest. Or Brujah. Or any of the races other then Malkalvian.
I understand Malkalvian's going to win, which I personally view as unfortunate. As fun as the Malkalvians sound it seems to me to be more a great Let's Play option for a second playthrough, so that those of us who've never played the game before can get an idea of the major events of a "generic" playthrough as opposed to seeing a secondary offshoot first. I'd compare it to why I wouldn't want my first Fallout experience to be with a really ridiculously dumb character with low INT stats -- it changes the game experience to the point where you're really not even playing Fallout anymore and experiencing the traditional game as you should.

::shrug:: I'll still be interested in the topic regardless, though.

This is exactly correct. A big appeal of the Malkavian playthrough isn't just that it's different, but that it's almost a giant "Behind the scenes" look at what was going on in the game world that you wouldn't appreciate if it was your first playthrough.

I mean, I'm not going to ban people from voting Malkavian or anything but I will regard all those posters with contempt. >:[

(And if you change your vote to something non-malk then I WILL do a second let's play as a Malkavian. Or have someone else do it if this one really sucks horribly)

Solid Snake
08-02-2008, 09:24 PM
You could always just eliminate Malkavian as an option offhand as the LP creator, and only count non-Malk votes, but after having created the topic and after including Malks as an option, that might seem like a bit of a douche move. I'd support you wholeheartedly, though. =P

Kerensky287
08-02-2008, 09:34 PM
Gonna switch my vote to the, uh, last one. Ventrue. Right. A female, for sure.

Because causing an aneurysm with a sentence is but one of the many weapons a Ventrue has at their disposal.

PhoenixFlame
08-02-2008, 09:40 PM
Toreador, then. I've always liked Daevas in nWoD, and who doesn't enjoy destroying social scenarios while horribly abusing celerity in gunfights?

Ryong
08-02-2008, 09:43 PM
Fine! I switch my vote to...Male Tremere. Because of magery.

Krylo
08-02-2008, 09:53 PM
Brujah Male.

KILL EVERYTHING!

Mr.Bookworm
08-02-2008, 09:55 PM
Change my vote to Female Ventrue. So you can talk people to death.

Ryong
08-02-2008, 09:55 PM
Brujah Male.

KILL EVERYTHING!

Isn't that what all others also do, or you have a preference for their method of doing that, ie. mauling to death ?

Wizardcat
08-02-2008, 09:57 PM
Male Tremere.

Isn't my username explanation enough?

Krylo
08-02-2008, 10:05 PM
Isn't that what all others also do, or you have a preference for their method of doing that, ie. mauling to death ?

The others aren't as militant about it as the Brujah, and have something resembling self control when it comes to violence.

Also, yes, mauling is better.

Solid Snake
08-02-2008, 10:16 PM
I'm actually going to switch my vote to female Ventrue.
Female Tremere's now my second choice.

Jagos
08-02-2008, 11:34 PM
2nd choice in effect (Brujah)

Kinda like how they seem to be Zergish in this game...

TDK
08-02-2008, 11:51 PM
Ventrue!

The Argent Lord
08-03-2008, 12:25 AM
Female Toreador, then.

Amake
08-03-2008, 01:02 AM
Now I'm not sure if I should change my vote or try playing something else myself. Okay, I take it back, no Malkie.

DFM
08-03-2008, 01:21 AM
Okay, current standing by my calculations:

Male: xxxxx
Female: xxxxxxxxx

Female in the lead by four votes.



Malkavian: 5

Ventrue: 6

Toreadore: 3

Tremere: 2

Brujah: 3

Gangrel: 1

Nosferatu: Didn't show up because they're too busy feeling sad nobody likes them. Their leathery hides contain a soft and empathetic heart.


I skipped math class to play Space Invaders on my dad's atari though so I could be wrong!
Edit: If we DO end up with Malk, I've got some ideas to hopefully make it workable as a first playthrough and ENJOYABLE TO READ without being MONKEY JESUS BANNANA FIST.

Mirai Gen
08-03-2008, 01:30 AM
Female ventrue.

Always liked them.

BitVyper
08-03-2008, 01:34 AM
You know, I heard that everyone who doesn't vote Gangrel turns up dead three days later in the most excruciatingly painful way imaginable. That's just what I heard is all. Could be just a rumour, I dunno. You never know though; there's always some psychopath out there just waiting for a reason to snap.

greed
08-03-2008, 01:43 AM
Female Ventrue, if I can't have crazy then killing people with talking sounds good too.

Zakreon
08-03-2008, 02:25 AM
I don't see why you people don't want a television or a stop sign to talk during this lets play.

Odjn
08-03-2008, 04:38 AM
How many times do you get to see someone that's so out there that they make no sense whatsoever? :p

All the time if you look in the right places. They're called mental wards/the internet.

Captain Combustible
08-03-2008, 05:18 PM
I vote for Ventrue because talking people to death sounds like fun.

Sir Pinkleton
08-03-2008, 07:20 PM
Tremere! I demand melting!

Mirai Gen
08-03-2008, 09:45 PM
Damn it Aunty, every time you're the most recent poster it shoves all the post names all the way to the left.

Sir Pinkleton
08-03-2008, 11:39 PM
Damn it Aunty, every time you're the most recent poster it shoves all the post names all the way to the left.

I won't ever let it happen again, I promise.

Oh wait, nevermind. :p

bananarama
08-04-2008, 12:02 AM
I won't ever let it happen again, I promise.

Oh wait, nevermind. :p
NO.

Oh and Female Ventrue for great justice.

DFM
08-04-2008, 12:09 AM
Looks like our winner is pulling ahead for the last leg of the race, but I'll still leave the polls open until tomorrow night. Everyone not voting for a Female Ventrue NOW IS YOUR TIME TO UNITE AND COMPROMISE TO BRING DOWN THE GREAT TITAN.

Thylacine
08-04-2008, 12:11 AM
Female Gangrel

I'm pretty sure Gangrel stands no chance of winning, so I want my vote to stand for female regardless of bloodline.

Krylo
08-04-2008, 12:11 AM
OR, I could just edit every post to vote Brujah.

Or Toreador.

Odjn
08-04-2008, 07:48 AM
Brujah, you know you want to pound some fool's skull in while singing merrily of your prowess at pleasing his woman.

Krylo
08-04-2008, 07:54 AM
Ok, guys that want violence, Brujah or Gangrel?

I don't care which. I just wanna watch some fuckers get mauled.

I may also be swayed to Toreador, for those of you that want the social-fu... 'cause they also do gun-kata.

Eh? Social-fu AND gun-kata, instead of JUST social-fu. EH EH!?

DFM
08-04-2008, 11:31 AM
TO HELP undecided voters, here's some official concept art for the different characters/bloodlines in the game.

BRUJAH

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/brujah.jpg

What you don't see is the private corporate army that's dead at her feet.



GANGREL

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/gangrel.jpg

I bet he smells like pee.



MALKAVIAN

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/malkavian.jpg

The armor options for Malkavians are ridiculous and I don't know if I mean that in a good way or not.



NOSFERATU

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/nosferatu.jpg

None of you want to date her. You're all shallow monsters.



TOREADOR

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/toreador.jpg

Apparently not all artists are starving.



TREMERE

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/tremere.jpg

Look kids, it's the most broken class in the game. No no no, shh, don't touch.



VENTRUE

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/ventrue.jpg

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men"
-Lord Acton

Fifthfiend
08-04-2008, 11:44 AM
I vote for the dude in the suit.

I mean you've got a cast of characters that look like hobos and crackheads and then you've got this dude in a suit being like "Shit playa, we ballin'."

bananarama
08-04-2008, 01:47 PM
Okay after seeing that Ventrue pic, I gotta change my vote to Male Ventrue because dude fuck look at that pic again

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/ventrue.jpg

Now that's a badass motherfucker who probably could convince a family to eat their own babies....

Amake
08-04-2008, 02:02 PM
Ah, one of the more annoying vampire stereotypes: The cool suit who's all connected and shit with long term investments because lol immortal. Screw him, I'm voting Nosferatu. (Gender irrelevant, I hope to God.. :))

Solid Snake
08-04-2008, 02:28 PM
This is what I found for female Ventrue:

http://vh.noirscape.org/files/bloodlines/skins/ventrue_f.jpg

I mean given that image I'd have to say that I'd really prefer the male Ventrue in terms of appearance, as the male Ventrue just kind of screams "badass" whereas the female just kind of screams "typical." So I might have to change my vote to Male Ventrue, here.

Also, we could play male Ventrue first, then female Malk later, and that'd be fun, because who doesn't enjoy the company of beautiful-yet-clinically insane women?

01d55
08-04-2008, 02:54 PM
who doesn't enjoy the company of beautiful-yet-clinically insane women?

Batman.

Preturbed
08-04-2008, 06:14 PM
Okay after seeing that Ventrue pic, I gotta change my vote to Male Ventrue because dude fuck look at that pic again

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/ventrue.jpg

It's the doctor! I don't know if I'm allowed in at this point but fuck, Male Ventrue.

Make 2 and call them the Ventrue Borthers.

Fifthfiend
08-04-2008, 06:29 PM
This is what I found for female Ventrue:

http://vh.noirscape.org/files/bloodlines/skins/ventrue_f.jpg

I mean given that image I'd have to say that I'd really prefer the male Ventrue in terms of appearance, as the male Ventrue just kind of screams "badass" whereas the female just kind of screams "typical."

QFT.

Which is a shame because lady + business suit would be totally hot.

akaSM
08-04-2008, 07:17 PM
I vote for Male Ventrue, that suit is BAD... in a good way :D

Zakreon
08-04-2008, 07:25 PM
What about an in game screenshot of male ventrue?

EDIT: That female ventrue pic you posted is a SKIN for the game, its not what the female Ventrue actually looks like.
http://vh.noirscape.org/files.php?action=showfile&file=197

EDIT: The suit is not ingame, you people should know. The male ventrue looks absolutely nothing like the concept art. Now thats typical.

DFM
08-04-2008, 10:10 PM
HEY EVERYONE BLOODLINE VOTING IS OVER

VENTRUE WINS

I'LL KEEP THE GENDER VOTING AWHILE LONGER SINCE PEOPLE ARE CONFUSED. TO HELP YOU PICK, HERE ARE BOTH MALE AND FEMALE VENTRUE IN GAME WITH ALL THEIR LITTLE IN GAME OUTFITS.

http://img119.imageshack.us/img119/733/ventrueju4.png

Edit: Female is currently still winning I think fuck all these posts and people are changing and I should of had a damn poll you could vote in or something.

Edit 2: I'll probably just go with like the next three or four posts and take it as the general consensus because I want to get goddamn started already.

Fifthfiend
08-04-2008, 10:32 PM
DO FEMALE START YOUR SHITTY DUMB ASSHOLE GAME ASSHOLE

Solid Snake
08-04-2008, 10:54 PM
I didn't realize there were so many different outfits available for the female character. The third female outfit works well and I think it catches the "female in a business suit" thing Fifth and I (and others?) were hoping for.
But hell man, it's your LP, do what you want?

Sir Pinkleton
08-04-2008, 11:14 PM
Female. [/vote]

Zakreon
08-04-2008, 11:25 PM
It just seems like people chose Ventrue for that one concept shot. Go female, 3rd outfit.

bananarama
08-04-2008, 11:28 PM
Female 3rd or 4th outfit.

Melfice
08-04-2008, 11:40 PM
Do note that you acquire those outfits later on. You can't choose it from the start.

Zakreon
08-04-2008, 11:54 PM
Lame! Well just female then.

DFM
08-05-2008, 12:37 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/LoadingIntro.png


While we're waiting, I should probably clarify that those outfits are ones you buy in the game, you only have one starting outfit and that's the one on the left. Don't worry, someday we'll make enough to afford that suit!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/CharacterSheet1.png

And now here's the fun and final part of character creation! We get to choose an origin story and our initial stats/abilities! In the game, your origin doesn't affect the story in any way beyond your starting stats and sometimes starting equipment, which makes sense since most vampires don't care about you now much less what you were as a human.


However, this being a let's play the origin story you pick is going to heavily influence the tone and style of the character in terms of narration and non polled decisions.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/DefenseContractor.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/Dominatrix.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/Corporateschmo.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/SouthernDebutante.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/Lobbyist.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/Diabolic.png


I'll let you mull that over for a bit while the rest of us who aren't indecisive pricks and have already chosen an origin story will move on to the stat screen for the final step of character creation.

It should be noted that we are for now using the default character template, as some of the origin stories modify the order of things. THIS SCREEN MAY LOOK DIFFERENT IN THE FINAL VERSION!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP1/CharacterSheet2.png

Okay, up in the top left there is your name. Your name is DFM. I named you that because I hate you. On the top right, towards the end, is your humanity meter, measured in little red dots. The more dots you have the more you resemble a soul-carrying human who tries to do right by people and is nice to puppies rather than a rotting husk of undead flesh that exists only devour the good and just. Ten points is the maximum, seven is the default start. The lower you go the more likely you are to frenzy and uncontrollably attack anything and everything around you. Also I think people treat you a lot differently when you've got only one or two humanity points. I wouldn't know though, because I'm not a bastard.

The very far top right, your Masquerade meter, is your level of exposure to the mortal world around you. That is, how aware the humans are that there's something not right with you. Throwing cars at buildings, running at the speed of sound, telekenetically ripping the blood from someone's body and surrounding yourself with it like a shield are all examples of things that will cause humans to scratch their chins and go "Hmmmmmmmmmm"

If you become too exposed, you'll start to get vampire hunters coming after you, and eventually your fellow vampires too, because they're not too keen on humanity becoming aware that they exist because that would be bad news for vampires. (It turns out humans can be pretty mean if they want to be.)

Okay, the first major box below all that is full of our attributes. The little parentheses denote how many points we have to spend in that particular area. The ones next to the title (Attributes) are the total number, and the ones next to the sub headings are the points we can spend in that particular area.

Since Ventrue are, well, Ventrue, their social attributes take priority, and we get two starting points to put into them.

CHARISMA: Affects your Persuasion feat, which opens up new dialog options. REALLY? YES. YES IT'S TRUE.

MANIPULATION: Affects your Haggle feat, which gets you better prices when purchasing many of the games fine items like estrogen pills and killotechmatic fifty caliber assault rifles.

APPEARANCE: Makes you a pretty little princess and affects your seduction feat. Seduction gives you more dialog options and lets you pick up higher and higher classes of fleshy blood bags for you to feed on.

Mental is our next highest attribute, with an almighty one point we can put into it wherever we choose!

Perception: How awesome are your jeepers peepers? Modifies your ranged combat skill and your inspection feat. Inspection makes it easier to see items/clues in the game by highlighting them with great, bushy sparkles. Not all that useful if you've played the game before BUT WHATEVER MAN.

Intelligence: THIS IS HOW YOUR BRAIN MUCH WORKY. It affects your research skill (If you can read books to get skill points) and also for some reason your intimidation. I guess you got a doctorate in psychology or something.

Wits: Think on your feet so you're not knocked off them! Modifies your defense and your hacking.


We don't get any points we can put into physical attributes because we are a giant limp wristed skank. :(


ABILITIES are our next little box! They... Holy god this is a lot of shit no way am I going through all this I am fucking bored as hell and I'm not even half through. Okay look I'll just pick all the stats so they fit the origin you guys end up picking and I'll let you choose the really cool thing:

DISCIPLINES

These are like the magical schools your bloodline can have, since they give you magical vampire powers. HERE ARE THE VENTRUE'S.

DOMINATE

The superior strength of the vampiric mind allows your character to control the minds of weaker kine and even some Kindred. Dominate effects are covert actions; they cannot be traced back to you and carry no risk of violating the Masquerade.

Level 1: Trance

The target momentarily sinks into a deep trance. Taking any action against the target will wake them prematurely.

Level 2: Brainwipe

All enemies within a small radius will think you've disappeared. This effect wears off after 5 seconds.

Level 3: Suicide

Forces the victim into a fatal episode.

Level 4: Possession

The victim will desperately attack anyone who means you harm, until the victim eventually dies of cardiac arrest.

Level 5: Mass Suicide

The target and all others nearby have a fatal episode.

FORTITUDE

Fortitude allows for amazing displays of preternatural constitution. Guarantees a certain amount of damage from every incoming attack will be ignored, regardless of the source. The use of Fortitude is not considered a violation of the Masquerade.

All the levels in this just make you progressively more capable of surviving damage so I won't list each one.

PRESENCE

The dread Presence of the vampire can strike mortal fear into the hearts of his opponents. Reduces enemies' effectiveness in combat. No risk of Masquerade violation.

I guess Ventrue really don't like violating that pesky Masquerade!

Same as fortitude, just reduces enemy stats and attack rate at progressively higher levels.


PICK YOUR DISCIPLINE WELL AS IT IS THE ONE I WILL FOCUS ON EXCLUSIVELY UNTIL I HAVE SKILL POINTS SWIMMING OUT MY EARS AND DROPPING INTO THE SEWER GRATE UNDER THE SIDEWALK SO THAT I MUST GET DOWN ON MY HANDS AND KNEES AND MAR MY SUIT IN DIRTY PISS WATER WHILE I GROPE DESPERATELY FOR MY LOST SKILL POINTS I KILLED A WEREWOLF TO GET THOSE SKILL POINTS YOU FUCKING GAME.

Preturbed
08-05-2008, 01:05 AM
Can you give us the rest of War Profiteer? I'm not voting for it but it should get a fair shake.

Voting for Debutante.

DFM
08-05-2008, 01:13 AM
Switch Ability order to: Knowledges, Skills, Talents

Krylo
08-05-2008, 01:34 AM
Diabolic + Dominate.

Violent, cruel, and with the ability to make everyone in the room kill themselves.

bananarama
08-05-2008, 02:04 AM
Dominatrix with Dominate seem like a good combo so I'm going for that.

Krylo
08-05-2008, 02:05 AM
And so will everyone else.

Because, you know, the thought process is gonna be something like, "Holy shit, we can be an expensive whore that beats people with an expertise in domination! SIGN ME UP!"

You people disgust me.

bananarama
08-05-2008, 02:09 AM
And so will everyone else.

Because, you know, the thought process is gonna be something like, "Holy shit, we can be an expensive whore that beats people with an expertise in domination! SIGN ME UP!"

You people disgust me.
It's not what you think! :( It just so happens that it makes Dominate even better. It could be "Balloon Saleswoman" for all I care and I would still vote for it and... and I'm probably not convincing you, huh?

Amake
08-05-2008, 02:10 AM
Dominate is the way to go I guess. Who wants a dull progressively improving buff - or - debuff when we can have a variety of abilities including make people kill themselves by looking at them hard?

Also voting for Diabolic because swapping the priority order of strength, wisdom and sexiness or whatever doesn't sound quite as interesting as the slightly Malkavian possibility of having random psychotic episodes.

PS. How long do you think your Humanity will last when we the forum makes decisions for you, you puppy petter you? :3

greed
08-05-2008, 05:24 AM
Diabolic + Dominate sounds like what I voted Ventrue's for. So yeah I vote for that.

Do we vote for point allocation too? If so Charisma and Perception.

01d55
08-05-2008, 08:06 AM
War Profiteer + Dominate

Sure, Diabolic claims to be bad, but the War Profiteer has genuine, concrete evil deeds under her belt.

Amake
08-05-2008, 08:19 AM
Correction: Diabolic struggles with inner demons while War profiteer has made a living exploiting people. I don't think Diabolic "claims to be bad" as much as are victims of forces beyond their control.

Mr.Bookworm
08-05-2008, 09:30 AM
War Profiteer+Dominate.

Irigriel
08-05-2008, 10:02 AM
Coporate Schmo+ Dominate. Ha! Take that you Diabolic-wanting fools! And uh, I guess the Dominatrix people too.

DFM
08-05-2008, 10:37 AM
Shit I just realized I didn't put a deadline up for this one. Uhhhhhhhh I'll say tonight somtime.

Kerensky287
08-05-2008, 10:41 AM
Heh. DFM may end up being a female dominatrix vampire.

...But honestly I don't care about histories and traits and all that. I vote for whatever's already in the lead/whatever DFM wants most. Because he's played the game more than I have and probably knows best.

Like, damn, I didn't even know this game existed beforehand.

Sir Pinkleton
08-05-2008, 11:11 AM
Diabolic sounds interesting, and it doesn't have that slower exp. gain that dominatrix has. Also, dominate, because it's most interesting; At the least, I can picture it as being the most fun to use.

Lord of Joshelplex
08-05-2008, 11:14 AM
War Profiteer+Dominate

Melfice
08-05-2008, 11:18 AM
Diabolic and Dominate.
She's a woman and a Ventrue. What else could you choose?

Fifthfiend
08-05-2008, 11:50 AM
Industry Lobbyist! INDUSTRY LOBBYIST!

Sir Pinkleton
08-05-2008, 12:16 PM
Industry Lobbyist! INDUSTRY LOBBYIST!

We're an evil spawn of death, but we're not that evil.

Solid Snake
08-05-2008, 12:28 PM
Why the hell is Fifthfiend the only other intelligent person here?
I mean seriously Industry Lobbyist, all the goddamn way.
I mean hasn't there been enough Dominatrix and/or evil sinister "beast within/darker force" vampires out there? Hasn't that stereotype been beaten to death with a goddamn metal pipe? It's like you've taken the corpse of a long-buried horse out just to whip it one last time for posterity's sake.

You know what I say to that?
We have the opportunity to be a goddamn corporate lobbyist vampire. This has like never been done before! How could this possibly be seen as bad? We're like a sinister, Machiavellian corporate master manipulating the strings with which our capitalist democracy operates! That's even more evil then a goddamn stereotypical "darkness/beast within/dominatrix" role!

Also, seriously? Let's avoid the Dominatrix bullcrap just for pure sexism reasons. Not every goddamn woman out there is a whore, boys.

Irigriel
08-05-2008, 12:34 PM
Why the hell is Fifthfiend the only other intelligent person here?
You know what I say to that?
We have the opportunity to be a goddamn corporate lobbyist vampire. This has like never been done before! How could this possibly be seen as bad? We're like a sinister, Machiavellian corporate master manipulating the strings with which our capitalist democracy operates! That's even more evil then a goddamn stereotypical "darkness/beast within/dominatrix" role!

Also, seriously? Let's avoid the Dominatrix bullcrap just for pure sexism reasons. Not every goddamn woman out there is a whore, boys.

Okay, switching my vote to Industry Lobbyist+Dominate. Let's not have old stereotypes like Solid Snake described. Let's have what is basically a vampire Lex Luthor with hair.

Melfice
08-05-2008, 12:39 PM
We have the opportunity to be a goddamn corporate lobbyist vampire. This has like never been done before!

Yes, it has been.
Just not as often.

Fifthfiend
08-05-2008, 12:44 PM
What I don't get is why we're acting like Industry Lobbyist is not like all the other ones rolled into one times like ten million. She's like a dominatrix that whips the shit out of the entire United States of America, and makes us pay her billions of dollars for the priviledge.

We're an evil spawn of death, but we're not that evil.

But we could be, if we would but try!

Loyal
08-05-2008, 12:48 PM
Whatever role looks best in a suit, I say.

Krylo
08-05-2008, 02:06 PM
I mean hasn't there been enough Dominatrix and/or evil sinister "beast within/darker force" vampires out there? Hasn't that stereotype been beaten to death with a goddamn metal pipe? I'm just trying to direct this game the same way I have been from the start: Kill everyone.

You know what I say to that?
We have the opportunity to be a goddamn corporate lobbyist vampire. This has like never been done before! How could this possibly be seen as bad? We're like a sinister, Machiavellian corporate master manipulating the strings with which our capitalist democracy operates!You mean like the villains from Angel?

Because, you know, ripping off Joss Whedon villains is totally original...

If you want to be original, vote corporate schmo. THERE'S originality for you.

Mirai Gen
08-05-2008, 02:29 PM
This game completely refused to work on my computer so I wholeheartedly endorse this Let's Play.

And yeah, seriously, Industrial Lobbyist.

Sir Pinkleton
08-05-2008, 03:27 PM
I have been persuaded.

Industry Lobbyist all the way!

Jagos
08-05-2008, 04:21 PM
War Prof + Presence.

I wanna see someone that's quick on their feet and makes people cower through reputation.

01d55
08-05-2008, 05:06 PM
Correction: Diabolic struggles with inner demons while War profiteer has made a living exploiting people. I don't think Diabolic "claims to be bad" as much as are victims of forces beyond their control.

I'll accept this correction on the grounds that it makes Diabolic sound like even more of a wuss.

What I don't get is why we're acting like Industry Lobbyist is not like all the other ones rolled into one times like ten million. She's like a dominatrix that whips the shit out of the entire United States of America, and makes us pay her billions of dollars for the priviledge.

What I don't get is why are you guys acting like Industry Lobbyist isn't just War Profiteer's flunky? Seriously that guy was basically already a vampire, but on an industrial scale.

The Argent Lord
08-05-2008, 07:53 PM
Diabolic+Dominate. I'd go with the Lobbyist people, but that puts Social skills as secondary.

01d55
08-05-2008, 08:54 PM
I like how everyone thought Dominatrix was going to be unstoppable and it only has 1 vote.

I'm not so fond of Profiteer being 1 point behind Diabolic and Lobbyist. I mean Lobbyist I can respect but if Diabolic was going to win we'd be Gangrel or Brujah to start with.

Krylo
08-05-2008, 09:06 PM
And I'm not so fond of the way you guys try to keep pussying up this game.

We could be ripping people apart. We could be boiling blood inside the veins of our enemies. We could be savage murder machines bathing in the blood of our victims, drinking it in and relishing in the sweet release of death... instead you want to be a corporate flunky.

Seil
08-05-2008, 09:13 PM
And I'm not so fond of the way you guys try to keep pussying up this game.

We could be ripping people apart. We could be boiling blood inside the veins of our enemies. We could be savage murder machines bathing in the blood of our victims, drinking it in and relishing in the sweet release of death... instead you want to be a corporate flunky.

Krylo, in fifteen years, doing fifteen years:

"Is there something you want to share at the sharing circle? We've only got ten minutes before we go back to our cells."

Captain Combustible
08-05-2008, 09:24 PM
I vote for the War Profiteer and Dominate.

Solid Snake
08-05-2008, 10:28 PM
Is there any way my vote could, like, count as Industry Lobbyist in the event that Industry Lobbyist wins, but switch over to War Profiteer in the event that WP is beating IL and WP needs one more vote to beat Diabolic?
Maybe I should just reorient my vote as to be an "anti-Diabolic" vote. Y'know, insofar that Industry Lobbyist and War Profiteer are both infinitely better options.

bananarama
08-06-2008, 12:34 AM
I like how everyone thought Dominatrix was going to be unstoppable and it only has 1 vote.
And I'm sticking to that vote too! My vote should be counted, like, 20 times because that how democracy really works!

Jagos
08-06-2008, 01:04 AM
bananarama

+2 persuasion

-1 to manipulation

:)

bananarama
08-06-2008, 01:25 AM
You forgot the -100 to Appearance.

BitVyper
08-06-2008, 01:36 AM
Why am I the only person who wants to casually stride through automatic weapons fire and rip his enemy's head off with his bare hands? Why?

bananarama
08-06-2008, 01:50 AM
Why am I the only person who wants to casually stride through automatic weapons fire and rip his enemy's head off with his bare hands? Why?
Because people like the idea of pulling a Hannibal Lecter and convincing other people to swallow their tongues? (I know that Dominate doesn't do that, but it should dammit!)

DFM
08-06-2008, 02:43 AM
We have a tie between War Profiteer and Diabolic, with Lobbyist one vote behind them. This is far closer than the bloodline voting ever was.

Since I have the tie breaker powers that I just gave myself, I pick War Profiteer. WE SHALL BEGIN OUR GAME TOMORROW because I am tired.

Mirai Gen
08-06-2008, 03:00 AM
And I'm not so fond of the way you guys try to keep pussying up this game.

We could be ripping people apart. We could be boiling blood inside the veins of our enemies. We could be savage murder machines bathing in the blood of our victims, drinking it in and relishing in the sweet release of death... instead you want to be a corporate flunky.

Yes because beating people to death makes a good Let's Play.

Amake
08-06-2008, 04:33 AM
I just don't want to be a rich upper class asshole, if the other option is to be stereotypical so be it. Stereotype characters force you to be creative anyway.
Buut on closer reading I guess I'm too late to sway the debate. >_>

Krylo
08-06-2008, 02:24 PM
Yes because beating people to death makes a good Let's Play.

It reads like sarcasm, but that doesn't make any sense--because beating people to death makes a good anything.

Ryong
08-06-2008, 02:57 PM
It reads like sarcasm, but that doesn't make any sense--because beating people to death makes a good anything.

Except a good healing. You can't heal someone by beating them do death. Not even with healing gloves.

Mirai Gen
08-06-2008, 02:57 PM
Under normal circumstances yes, but from what I played of Vampire: Bloodlines the Brujah solution to everything was "I have a baseball bat here in my pack. You have until I bring it out to meet my demands."

For a LP that just seems like less fun because then instead of us watching the manipulative dialog of the main character we see a few bits of talking and then DFM beats people up, then more talking.

PhoenixFlame
08-06-2008, 03:04 PM
How is talking, baseball bat, talking any more different than talking, hypnoeye dominate mindrape, talking?

I mean, besides the hypnoeye mindrape. Let's face it, Jack Bauer style interrogation is 100% in character for world of darkness.

Azisien
08-06-2008, 03:15 PM
I dunno, DFM's success with talk, baseball bat, talk may tip the scales on whether or not I should consider a Dead Rising LP because I'm really addicted to Dead Rising right now. Oh right, screenshots...

P.S. I really liked this game but I was only able to play it for like 15 minutes so I'm looking forward to this here LP, even if I can't really contribute.

And what the heck is with all the LPs anyway? I thought that stuff was being properly contained along with my friends that lurk the SA forums.

DFM
08-06-2008, 05:15 PM
The best kind of person is one who can find the good in tragedy. That’s what my mother always said, anyway. I’d like to say that makes me the best kind of person, but I don’t think she meant other people’s tragedies.

I started with guns. My first sale was an MP7 A1 to a Coyote named Juan Zavala. It’s just like any other start up business, you knock on doors, make calls, make connections and meet suppliers. There’s a lot of travel and a lot of haggling, but if you’re good you can turn even the most coup-happy people’s republic into a steady, repeat customer. Even when I had enough money rolling in to hire an army of assistants and salespeople, I always met clients face to face, and almost always walked away with a sale.

When profits ballooned big enough, I started branching out into other weapons systems. Armored transports, battle tanks, combat helicopters, surface to surface missiles, all sold to the highest bidder without bias and without prejudice. My clients started calling me the Merchant of Menace, a one stop shop of death and destruction with a corporate army that could rival most third world nations.

I was in Los Angeles to meet a buyer from some up and coming liberation army in Venezuela set to overthrow the last liberation army who managed to make it big. It wasn't’t until after I got there that they called and said they’d be running late. They were having trouble getting their man out of the country since the next up and coming coup thought it’d cut out the middle man and just skip to blowing away the liberation army. Rather than fly back to Mogadishu early, I decided to stay in LA for a few days and wait for news from Venezuela, unofficially taking some R&R.

His name was David Arundel. I met him at a political good will party the first night I was there. We chatted at first, then went from idle banter to actual conversation. We talked about the world, about politics, about the plight of we Nouveau Riche. I didn’t know what it was about him, but he seemed so… right. He was handsome, he was charming, he was intelligent and he already had a fortune so I knew he wasn’t after mine.

Of course, now I know what it was about him.


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro1.png

We went to his hotel room, he said he was only here on business. Same as me. It isn't as upscale as I'd expected but for some reason, I don't really notice. He's a charmer, I'll give him that. He looked like he was born to wear that suit, but he looks even better with it off. We fool around, have some drinks. His skin's too cold. He says he wants to show me something special. Something I haven't seen. I tell him to try me. I feel something sharp on my neck, I can't tell what. For a second I think he's trying something from the S&M manuel but then... then I don't remember anything.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro3.png

All I remember is snapping awake in a cold sweat. Except I wasn't sweating.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro4.png

I'm not groggy, and I don't know why. If anything I feel more awake than I ever have. I can hear, see and smell things with a clarity that almost knocks me off my feet. Did he drug me? What the fuck am I on? I'm still in the hotel... so is he.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro5.png

He's sitting in a chair and watching me, says he's been there all night. It's almost morning now. He looks kind of nervous. He says he's sorry, and that he hopes I can forgive him if things go wrong.

"If things go wro-"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro6.png

I barely have time to get the question out before the doors kicked open. A monster bursts through the doorway and hurls something towards David like a major league pitcher.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro7.png

It's a wedge, something shaped like a steak. It pierces straight through his heart and he's almost knocked off the chair from the force of the throw. Panic. I don't know what's happening and I don't care, I'm get-

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro8.png

Everything goes dark.

http://img374.imageshack.us/img374/3291/darkuv2.png

I can feel something being ripped from my chest and my eyes blink open. I'm on a stage. I'm on my knees. Hands are tied behind my back. Great. Executed on camera by some no budget terrorist cell. So ends the merchant of menace. I can hear a voice from somewhere else on the stage.

"...apologies for interrupting your business, or other prior engagements may have had this evening. It’s unfortunate that the affair that draws us here tonight is a troubling one. "

That doesn't sound anything like a terrorist cell. Not even a high budget one.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro9.png

A man in suit strolls past me, talking to the assembled crowd. There's some kind of gorilla behind him. I can't make the crowd out clearly, but none of them scream normal. I don't even want to think about who they are or what they're going to do to me.

"We are here because the laws that govern our society, the laws that form the very fabric of our existence, have been broken."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro10.png

"As Prince, I am within my rights to grant or deny the Kindred of this city the privlage of siring. Many of you have come seeking permission, and I have endorsed some of these requests."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro11.png

"But the accused that stands before you was not denied permission. Indeed, my permission was never sought at all. They were caught shortly after the embrace of this... Childe."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro12.png

"It pains me to announce the sentence, as until now I had considered the accused a valuable member of the community, and a personal friend. I cannot, however, allow my personal feelings to interfere with my duty to you, and the accused must be dealt with before he endangers us all."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro13.png

"Know that I am no more a judicator than I am a servant of the laws that govern us all."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro14.png

"Let tonight's proceedings act as a reminder to us all, that we must adhere to the laws that bind our society, or risk endangering all of our blood."

He kneels down and looks David in the eye, whispers something I can't quite make out. David looks angry. The man in the suit stands up and walks away.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro15.png

"Let the penalty commence."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro16.png

I turn away. Someone in the crowd does, too. I heard a rush of air, the cleaving of flesh and bone, and I hear the heavy thud of the sword hitting wood. I turn back, expecting to see David's head rolling down the stage.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro17.png

"Which brings us to the fate of the ill-begotten progeny."

It's all a bad dream. A B-Rated bad dream.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro18.png

"As you know, without a sire, most Childer are doomed to walk the Earth never knowing their place, their responsibilities, and most importantly, the laws they must obey. Therefore, I have decided that-"

"THIS IS BULLSHIT!"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro19.png

A man from the crowd stands up, yelling. Two of his friends hold him back.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro20.png

Murmurs. Snarls of dissent. Another section begins to stand, all of them looking like they're ready to tear through an army with their bare hands.

The man in the suit watches them quietly.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro21.png

"If Mr. Rodriguez would let me finish."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro22.png

"I have decided to let this Kindred live. They shall be instructed in the ways of our kind and granted the same rights and privileges we all share. Let no one say I am unsympathetic to the plights and causes of this community."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro24.png

I don't pay attention to anything for the next while. Everyone starts to file out. Someone undoes the bindings on my wrist. I sit there on the stage and look at the pile of ash where David was. I tell myself I should get some medication, maybe see a shrink. I don't think dreams like this are normal. Everyone's gone. The man in the suit is talking at me. He takes my hand and helps me up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro25.png

"Your Sire, tragic, my apologies. You see, there is a strict code of conduct all of us must... must... adhere to if we wish to survive. When someone, anyone, breaks these laws, they undermine the well worn fabric of our centuries old society and place every last one of our blood in danger."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro26.png

"You understand my... predicament. Allowing you to live makes me directly responsible for your subsequent behavior. So what I offer is not generosity, but an opportunity to transcend the fate woven for you by your Sire. This is your trial. You will be brought to Santa Monica. There, you will meet an agent by the name of Mercurio, and he will detail your labors. I have shown you great clemency, fledgling, prove that it was more than a wasted gesture.

Don't come back, until you do."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP2/Intro27.png



What the fuck?

01d55
08-06-2008, 05:46 PM
So how much of this is you and how much is transcribing what the game said?

DFM
08-06-2008, 06:00 PM
Here's the video intro, which is what you see when you select your character and hit start game. I messed up a couple of things he said, but I was getting reeeeeeally out of it by the time I was done.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRdMQpsKKNo

Fifthfiend
08-06-2008, 06:19 PM
And what the heck is with all the LPs anyway? I thought that stuff was being properly contained along with my friends that lurk the SA forums.

People like playing games?

I am considering capping them to like, no more than three at a time.

Solid Snake
08-06-2008, 06:43 PM
Will there be a grandfather clause for previously-created LPs?

Kerensky287
08-06-2008, 07:48 PM
How about limiting it to like 3 or 4 LPs at one time, but they are considered dead after, say, a week of no updates (excluding explained absences)? That way you can get rid of the dead ones and at the same time try and hurry the current ones along.

Though I'm not trying to do your job for you.

On topic: Nice backstory, whether you made it yourself or if it was pre-written. Looking forward to seeing more of the game in action!

DFM
08-07-2008, 12:40 AM
Since there seems to be some confusion, the only thing I didn't write for the last update was the speech from the man in the suit, which you can listen to in the link I posted. (As I said it's transcribed very poorly and most of it was from my failing memory) I came up with the back story for our character based on the origin you picked, and it'll affect their personality and decisions throughout the game, and I'll be actively mixing in our personal fluff with the actual in-game events to give it a MORE PERSONAL FEEL.

I'll be happy to answer any questions, and I thought I'd let you know that I've got the screenshots for the next update, just need to write the thing itself. I'll post that either tonight or tomorrow.

Amake
08-07-2008, 01:08 AM
You know, you can turn on subtitles and then you wouldn't have to transcribe anything. ^_^
It would have taken more screenshots of course.

Nice backstory by the way.

Mirai Gen
08-07-2008, 03:01 AM
I got a real kick out of reading that. Since I already played through the intro I knew what was going on and it was really awesome seeing someone else's play on what the main character could have been going through, especially what with the whole "don't know what a vampire is" accenting that people don't burst into ash.

Got a kick out of that and I'm sufficiently going to read the shit out of the rest of this LP.

DFM
08-07-2008, 04:01 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial1.png

This is insane. I don’t know what that madhouse was or how I got out of it alive, but I’m not having anything to do with it now that I’m out. Whoever the rube in the suit was, he’s obviously got no idea what he's started or who he's dealing with. I’d send a PMC to knock down his door and clear out this whole goddamn mess but I don’t want to deal with it ever again. I don’t think I’m even going to bother going back to the Emerald Suits, I’m going straight to the airport. I’ll phone my pilot and have the jet warming up on the runway by the time my chauffeur-

I glance down, feeling the sides of my torn, wrinkled, dirt stained black dress. No phone. No purse. No ID.

Nothing. Just a hand mirror and a few broken hair pins.

Given what I’d been doing when they kidnapped me, I suppose I was lucky I even had the dress. It was ruined, not that I cared by this point. There was a hole in it where the spike had gone through, but there wasn’t any scar. It didn’t even hurt. Must have imagined that part, then.

But then why the hole?

I don’t care. I don’t care why there’s a hole, what they were talking about, how much of this is real or what the fuck is going on. I’m out. I’m done. I’m grabbing my shit and I’m heading to Mogadishu. Or Berlin. Or Beijing or Nicaragua or Cambodia I don’t give a fuck as long as it isn’t here.

I don’t make it off the steps before I hear a rough laughing from a man who’d been smoking just out of view. He looks like a biker and smells like a hobo. He's probably both.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial2.png

"Talk about a fucking show, kid! All that bullshit about a kinder, gentler Camarilla and then they just plop you out here like a naked baby in the woods. Just like them, isn't it? Hoo-wee!"

I stare at him. I'm not sure if it would take too long to throw dirt in his eyes before I run. He must pick up on the fact that alone and unarmed, my flight reflex is a hair's breathe from taking over.

"Ah... look, kiddo, this is probably a lot for you to take in, so uh, why don't you let me show you the ropes. Whaddya say?"

I blink, probably take a step or two back but I'm too busy scrunching my face in confusion to tell.

"Ropes of what? Who the hell are you?"

"I'm Jack. What's important is I'm offering help. You make it back from Santa Monica with your hide and we'll trade life stories, 'kay? Till then, I got about..." He slices the air in front of him with his fingers. "...this much time. You in or out?"

"Um..." I haven't been at a loss for words since I was five. I guess he takes it as a confused acceptance of his offer. Maybe it is.

"Okay, we ain't got much time but I figure somebody should fill you in on the bare bones stuff at least, ya know. Could save your hide. The first thing is-"

He looks at me, squinting for a moment. Seems almost concerned.

"You look wobbly, kid. Have you even had a drink yet?"

"A... a drink? I think I've had more than enough drinking to last-"

He laughs, a genuine, gleefully enthusiastic laught.

"Oh man, we're poppin' a cherry here! Ha ha ha! Ah, you're gonna love this! Alright, check it out. Blood. Blood, kiddo, it's your new rack o' lamb, your new champagne- blood's your new fucking heroin, kid. Ha ha!"

"What?"

I don't know what he's talking about, but the extent I'm willing to play along with this insanity ends and drinking blood from anything.

"You're a vampire now kid, it's sort of what you do."

"I am not a vampire! Don't tell me what I am what the hell is wrong with you? This is retarded. This is insane, I'm out of here."

I turn to leave, but as soon as I do, he's already standing in front of me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial5.png

"Easy kiddo, settle down."

He shakes his head, a little disappointed and a little frustrated.

"That's a hand mirror in your pocket, right kid? Why don't you pop it out and have a look."

I mutter and dig for the mirror. If he shuts up, I don't care how stupid I look disproving that I'm a vampire. I hold the black case out in front of me, flick it open and smile at the brick wall behind me. I squint and tilt the mirror. I frown and tilt in the other direction. Jack's talking about something, but I'm not listening. How does a fucking mirror stop working?

"...benefits, too. Sharper senses, a body that can take a beating and, if you play your cards right, eternal life. That's no sure bet, but still, a chance at immortality's not a bad deal. And that's just for starters; fringe benefits for joinin' the club."

I wave a hand in front of the mirror. Touch my face. There's something obvious going on here and I'm just not putting it together.

"Well, I mean, you can still be destroyed, but forget the books and movies. Garlic? It's worthless. A cross? Pfft... shove it right up their ass. A stake? Only if it catches you in the heart, and then it just paralyzes you. Runnin' water? Ah, that's no problem. I bathe... eh, occasionally."

I tilt the mirror upside down and shake it. It seems like that might help.

"Now, a shotgun blast to the head. That... that is trouble. Fire? That's real trouble. Sunlight? Well, you catch a sunrise and it's all over kiddo, get it?"

I look up from the mirror. None of it makes sense, there's too much happening too fast. I don't know-

Somewhere in the distance there's an explosion, then the sound of automatic weapons. MAC-10's going by the firing intervals. Could be mine, but they could just as easily be anyone's. They'd been a pretty popular item. Jack snarls and it catches me off guard.

"What the fuck is this?"

He looks at me.

"Get inside the door and keep your head down, I'll find out what's going on. Meet me on the second floor"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial6.png

Sounds like a plan to me. At least, the getting indoors and keeping your head down part does.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial7.png

No clear rout to the second floor. There's a pile of crates and boxes in the corner, just below an overhang I can use to scramble up the next story. I'm a little out of practice when it comes to physical exertion and I catch a heel on one of the knotholes, but I manage to make it up. Jack's waiting for me and he ushers me closer, whispering.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial8.png

"Stay away from the windows, it's a Sabbat raid. With all the Kindred gathered in one place, I guess they thought they'd put a little heat on the new 'prince'. Dumb, frenzied Sabbat bastards..."

"The... Sabbat?"

"Christ. I was hoping to spare you from this shit until later. The Sabbat... well, they're basically mindless bloodthirsty assholes, alright? That's all you need to know for now."

I start to say something else, but he stops me.

"Shh. Here comes a pack of them."

I get just close enough to the window to look down.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial9.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial10.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial11.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial12.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial13.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial14.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial15.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial16.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial17.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial18.png

"Jesus..."

I let it out in a hoarse whisper. Jack motions to me to come closer.

"Get down to the other side of the building and wait for me in the alley, I want to check things out from topside."

"Ah... okay." I wasn't really in a position to refuse. I duck down a flight of stairs while Jack swings out the window and disappears upwards. I reach the bottom of the stairs and burst out of the door in time to feel something rip through my stomach. By the time I hear the blast automatic fire, I'm already on the ground and clutching my side. If those were my guns, I could see the poetic end. If they weren't, I had that much more validation to die cursing my competitors. The next burst missed completely, I guess they expected me to still be standing. While they fired, I saw something large hit the ground behind them.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial19.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial20.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial21.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial22.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial23.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial24.png

Two seconds after his body hits the ground near my head he explodes into flames, just like everyone and their goddamned mother seems to be doing these days. Jack crosses the alley and crouches down next to me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial25.png

"You get winged, kid? Hah! Holy shit, you did!" He moves my arm to look at the battered remains of my torso. "Look at those potholes! Ahhh..." he leans back and grins. "Those'll close up soon enough. I saw one of the Sabbat on sentry duty just across the lot, right in the middle of where we need to go. I figured it'd be good practice for you to sneak over behind him and take him out, quiet like so he doesn't yell to his buddies."

I pull myself to my feet, the wounds already noticeably smaller.

"Take him out? Are you insane-"

"Relax, kiddo. The guy's probably greener than you."

"...That's pretty green."

"Yeah, he's lucky if he even knows he's a vampire. Sabbat probably just clubbed him over the head, had him turned and dumped him here. They like to do that. Shock troops."

"Well, um... I can try."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial26.png

I really wasn't sure what I was doing anymore.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial27.png

There he was. Hadn't seen me yet.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial28.png

I was realizing now just how vague "Take him out" really was. Should I kick him? Sucker punch him? Would that even hurt him? Maybe if I...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial29.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial30.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial31.png

That went surprisingly well. The tire iron he'd been carrying hadn't burst into flames, so I pick it up and carry it in my off hand.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial32.png

"Nice work, kid. The Camarilla's cleaning up the Sabbat offensive, but you should still stay inside, try to avoid catching stray bullets. There's a grate near the back of the building, should lead to some maintenance tunnels. Follow them to the warehouse near the edge of the block, I'll meet up with you there, I think there's a big nest of Sabbat inside. And be careful, could always be some holed up in the tunnels, too."

Thanks Jack. Traveling alone through a narrow tunnel of bloodthirsty undead monsters. That's really what I want to be doing now.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial33.png

Every vampire I know is a goddamn asshole.


I start making my way through the tunnels, as quietly as I can. Hopefully if there are Sabbat down here, I'll at least see them before they see me. It just so happens my wish comes true.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial34.png

The major difference between now and the last time I snapped the neck of a black lagoon monster is that now I had a tire iron.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial35.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial36.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial37.png

I'm getting disturbingly good at this.

I move a few rooms down and run into another one of the Sabbat. This one's busy twisting some valve wheel. I edge my way across the floor to get behind him. As I pass the center of the room, the heel that'd caught on the wooden knot snaps off completely, creating a crunching sound that echoes off the tiny walls and throws me off balance so I land in a sideways heap on the cement floor. I just start to stand when he turns around and sees me. For the first time, I get a good, clear look at a Sabbat. There aren't any eyes.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial38.png

He charges towards me, howling and screaming something that'd I'd never mistake for human. He raises his arm above his head and I freeze, panic, my flight reflex ready to take over again. Then I feel something.... change. My skin gets tougher. Like its made of leather. The blow from the Sabbat comes crashing down on my shoulder and I barely feel it. I swing back at him with the tire iron.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial39.png

His ribs snap like plywood from the blow. He staggers sideways, howling in pain. I take the tire iron in both hands and swing upwards against his momentum, the weapon passing clean through his skull.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial40.png

I still don't know what the fuck I'm doing.

Mirai Gen
08-07-2008, 04:07 AM
Good writing > silly humorous commentary any day of the week.

Amake
08-07-2008, 04:15 AM
Yeah it's good. Except you spelled Sabbat wrong. :p
(See, those subtitles are good for some things.)

DFM
08-07-2008, 08:22 AM
It's early and I'm too tired for witty retorts but it would've been something about fighting armor piercing spikes.

Melfice
08-07-2008, 11:11 AM
DFM. I'm loving this already.
And I'm fairly surprised at how well written your story is, no offense meant.

I will certainly enjoy following this thread, and any potential offspring should it keep up.

Azisien
08-07-2008, 11:54 AM
I like it. I've no right to complain about the annoying lack of brightness in the pictures in a game about darkness and vampires, but there's an annoying lack of brightness in the pictures. Ah, maybe it'd be better in a dark room or something. Damn my attraction to light sources!

How old is this game, anyway?

Mr.Bookworm
08-07-2008, 12:15 PM
I like it. I've no right to complain about the annoying lack of brightness in the pictures in a game about darkness and vampires, but there's an annoying lack of brightness in the pictures. Ah, maybe it'd be better in a dark room or something. Damn my attraction to light sources!

How old is this game, anyway?

Not anywhere close as old as Google or Wikipedia, that's for certain. I kid, I kid. It came out in November of 2004.

BitVyper
08-07-2008, 12:51 PM
I like it. I've no right to complain about the annoying lack of brightness in the pictures in a game about darkness and vampires, but there's an annoying lack of brightness in the pictures. Ah, maybe it'd be better in a dark room or something. Damn my attraction to light sources!



Actually, I'd say that's a legitimate complaint about this game. Mostly because toward the end, there is a puzzle that specifically relies on you noticing a small detail, only it's too dark to notice said detail. The darkness caused some unnecessary frustration throughout the game, but it wasn't that bad. Just a couple of "god DAMN it" moments. Like when it took me twenty minutes of stumbling around the beach to find my boat. Maybe you could put a white stripe on it or something next time Mr. Prince? Just a thought.

Another reason I like Gangrel is for the darkvision ability.

Mirai Gen
08-07-2008, 01:03 PM
That and Protean power is sexy.

Krylo
08-07-2008, 02:21 PM
You guys know you can just adjust gamma right? I mean... it's like dark vision, but for everyone.

Azisien
08-07-2008, 02:40 PM
Yeah I would just crank the brightness like I did in Bioshock at times, but as far as discerning what's in DFM's screens, maybe it's just me, but I'm having a hard time doing it unless he posted half empty screens, and half exploding vampires.

BitVyper
08-07-2008, 02:40 PM
So THAT'S what gamma means...

I didn't mess with it because Hulking out wasn't part of my character concept.

DFM
08-07-2008, 02:45 PM
Azisien I think your monitor is either dying or has its brightness set at zero or something because damn I have no idea how you have a hard time seeing those screens.

My old CRT went impossibly dark as it neared the end of its lifespan and I could never make out even slightly dark pictures because they'd all be nearly black.

Maybe this is happening to you helpful advice from your friend DFM.

Azisien
08-07-2008, 02:50 PM
We can find out when I switch monitors in about 3 hours! And it might not be quite as exaggerated as I describe, I tend to exaggerate a lot for kicks, but there's definitely some shots where I'm squinting trying to figure out if there's something I'm missing or what not. As I originally said, maybe I shouldn't complain in a dark game about shadowy low concentrations of photons.

Sir Pinkleton
08-07-2008, 08:50 PM
Huzzah for vampire fanfiction!

I only kid; I really enjoy the game/story. Not too many pictures, either, which is a nice change every once in awhile.

DFM
08-10-2008, 03:34 AM
It is very late and I am very tired. There are probably like shit ton of instances of me saying things like "Gablar went hedd in to buldig" but man UGH/

I meet Jack at the end of the maintenance tunnels, just below the warehouse. He's laughing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial41.png

"Fucking humans. Gang Bangers protecting their turf. I'm busting my ass, thinkin' a damn company of Sabbat are moving up here and it's the fucking locals about to take one for the hood."

"So we leave them?"

"Nah, they probably seen too much. Here, take this. Fuckin' peashooter but it'll take down a human."

I drop the tire iron and take the gun.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial42.png

"I don't use guns much, they're noisy, they're clumsy, practically useless against vampires but whaddareya gonna do? Kindred's gotta keep up with the times."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial43.png

Smith & Wesson Model 36 Revolver. Carbon steel frame. Nickel finish. Three inch barrel. Thirty eight caliber. Six round cylinder. Lethal range of twenty three meters. Commonly used by law enforcement, security personnel and private, undead citizens.


I've moved a few.

I walk past Jack towards the service elevator at the end of the hall.

"I'm gonna want it back, so don't go dying on me."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP3/Tutorial44.png

I press the button for ground floor when Jack's words start to sink in.

Humans.

It's funny. I've got the blood of at least fifty thousand people on my hands. Civilians, soldiers, men, women and children from every race and creed and economic background you can imagine. But I've never actually fired a gun at a living thing.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/Tutorial45.png

The doors slide open with only the slightest whine. Rationally, I know, this doesn't really make me any more of a murderer than I already am. In fact, self defense is probably far nobler a form of bloodshed than war profiteering. But I still can't shake the feeling that I'm crossing a line. That somehow this will make me a worse person than I already am. I turn a corner around a rack of boxes and come face to face with one of the thugs Jack mentioned. He shouts and starts to raise a baseball bat. I'm startled. I fire and my shot misses wildly. My skin hardens again. The Louisville slugger bounces off my arm and I can feel a sting come from what might otherwise have been a broken bone. The immunity inflates my confidence and I calmly level the revolver with both hands, lining up the iron sights. He's still clubbing his toy against my side.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/Tutorial47.png

He twitches on the ground for just a moment. I don't feel anything. Just a dull ache in my side. I'm not sure how worried I should be about that.

I turn down another aisle and see a second man raising a gun towards me. I'm already in a firing stance, and I've got the luxury of time to aim.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/Tutorial48.png

He doesn't twitch like the first one. Just lies there. I hear Jack shout, and I turn around.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/Tutorial49.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/Tutorial50.png

"The Sabbat's falling back into the city and the rest of the humans are making a run for it. most of them right into the Sabbat. Poor bastards. Haha."

"So that's it? It's over?"

"Yeah. Well, until the Camarilla marshals together for a counter attack on the Sabbat. Then until the Sabbat counter-counter attack. Dodge and parry and thrust and all that."

"...Is it always like this?"

"Well, actually, you've joined the party at... well, at an interesting time. Let's just say that."

There's the blare of a car horn from outside the warehouse.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/Tutorial51.png

"Ah, Christ. Sounds like they're waiting for you. Don't worry about the driver, he's a friend of mine. I was hoping to fill you in a little more but... hell, you handled yourself decent enough, you should be okay if you keep your head. Meet me at the Last Round once you're done with your little merit badge test. We'll swap life stories."

Chapter One: Santa Monica

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/ChapterHeader.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM1.png

I've been given an apartment by the undead king of Los Angeles, one Sebastian LaCroix. I'm not sure if it was supposed to be charity or an insult. The news on the cab ride to Santa Monica hadn't helped anything. The DRS launched a major military offensive into South Sarahni and wiped out three NATO bases and the US embassy in the very first wave of strategic attacks. A lot of dead soldiers and a lot of dead dignitaries. The US needed a scapegoat and since they were our missiles, we won the ballet. The company was shut down, half the board were in jail or under house arrest. They found me dead in my bedroom of a self inflicted gunshot wound. I don't know how, but I'm pretty sure the Prince and his ilk were behind it. The government seized all our holdings, froze all our assets and probably already sold off our inventory to whatever compliant dictatorships they're keeping in power these days. It took me seventeen years to build that company from nothing and twenty four hours to lose it. To go from a penthouse in every major city on the globe to a cockroach infested hovel on the outskirts of Santa Monica's urban decay.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM15.png

Not to mention I'm actually technically dead, I think.

I stand by a pile of disease that might once have been a mattress and for a long time I do nothing but stare out the window while a late night radio DJ blathers the background. Eventually I step away. It doesn't matter. If I built a company out of nothing, I can build an empire from its ashes.

This time I've got an eternity to do it.

First thing's first.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM3.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM4.png

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM14.png

I don't know if I like that.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM17.png

I head out the door and down the hall. The main door of the apartment building exits into an adjoining alley. I follow it up to the street, and I catch someone dragging themselves up a flight of stairs.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM18.png

I turn the corner.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM19.png

Twenty four. Fuck me.

I pass through the unlocked double doors and follow the trail of blood inside.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM21.png

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM22.png

Fuck me.

Mirai Gen
08-10-2008, 04:06 AM
:rmage:
DUN DUN DUNNN!

Sir Pinkleton
08-10-2008, 10:12 AM
Damn this is awesome.

Attila the Pun
08-10-2008, 06:15 PM
This Kicks ass!

Krylo
08-10-2008, 09:13 PM
This Kicks ass!
This is borderline spam.
Damn this is awesome.
This is also borderline spam.
:rmage:
DUN DUN DUNNN!
This has about 900% less content than either of those two.

Mirai, you should know better. Contribute or don't post.


--For the record, telling DFM he's doing a good job is fine, 'cause he is.

Posting an RM smiley and a non-specific RM quote, and nothing else is kinda like that thing Seil does with the comics and no words that he eventually got warned for--only worse.

DFM
08-10-2008, 10:15 PM
I creep across the carpet, blood already soaking deep into the fibers.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM23.png

"Mercurio?"

He isn't moving. There's too much blood. He looks like he was hit by a truck.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM24.png

Maybe two trucks. I reach down towards his neck to feel for a pulse.

"Merc-"

He groans like a wounded animal.

"Mercurio?"

"Yeah. Yeah..." He coughs up blood he shouldn't have left and props himself up on an arm, groaning low. He sees me for the first time.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM25.png

"Oh Christ, it's you. You're LaCroix's new greenhorn?" He groans again. "Ten million people in this city and the one who shows up when I got air whistling through my insides is the fucking Merchant of Menace. I got either the best luck in LA or the worst."

I don't know how he's even alive, let alone talking, but I know he's not going to last.

"Let me call the ambulance, we can-"

"No way, I got a record out east, no fucking cops."

I know a lot of small time criminals need to run from the law but I was under the impression all criminals enjoyed being able to live.

"You're going to die."

"If I'm not already dead I'll be... oh shit..."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM26.png

"Is that my rib? My goddamn rib is poking through my side?"

I kneel down to get a better look at the damage. He wasn't exaggerating. I decide to not to ask how the fuck he's still moving and concentrate on the why.

"What the hell happened?"

"Cocksuckers beat me rotten. Left me for a stiff. I had to crawl to my car, crawl my ass up here... Vamp blood's only thing holding me together." He holds back a scream while he tries to push his rib back in. "Shit. Shit, they got the money, they got the Astrolite..."

"Wait, Vamp blood?"

"Shit, that's right. You're straight off the bus." Another groan. "Never thought I'd be the one teachin' you anything. Once a month I get fed vampire blood. It makes me stronger, faster than a normal human. Lets me heal like nobody's business." He winces. "I think I took too much of a beating though, it ain't working right no more."

"Okay." I shake my head to try and clear it. "Your supplier double crossed you and now they've got everything we need for whatever girlscout bullshit LaCroix wants me to pull?"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM27.png

"That's about the size of it, yeah. Small time sons of bitches live in a dump down by the beach. Four or five of them. One that's got the explosives is Dennis. Got my money too, that prick. You gotta... you gotta get it back from 'em. Maybe reason with 'em, maybe break in, I dunno. God, I wanna kill 'em. Just do whatever you people do. I blew it, I know."

"Are you sure you're going to be alright?"

"If you could... Christ, something just started leaking... I need something for the pain. Anything."

"Alright, I'll see what I can do. I'll be back with your money and your bomb."

I turn to leave and he stops me.

"Hey, about the deal... I mean it. LaCroix finds out I screwed up like this, I'm dead. I'm beggin' ya. I heard about Sarhani, about your company, you don't say anything, I can help you out."

"Don't worry."

I leave Santa Monica Suits on two broken stiletto heels and a dress that looks like it belongs on a zombie. There weren't any spare clothes in the apartment and I probably wouldn't have touched them if there were. Mercurio would need something along the lines of a horse tranquilizer to make a dent in the pain he was in. I glance down the street.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM28.png

Well son of a bitch.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM29.png

I walk through the front doors, turning a few heads for reasons I'm not quite used to. I walk up to the receptionist and she closes her eyes in frustration.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM30.png

"We're swamped with patients and severely understaffed. Please take a seat with the others, the physician will see you when he can."

"It's okay, I just need to pick up some belongings for a friend."

Her mood changes noticeably when she finds out I'm not going to be draining anymore resources.

"Oh. Fine, you can go in. Patient belongings are in the second door on your right."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM31.png

It feels a little... odd, snooping around a hospital. Especially snooping around a hospital with the vague intent to steal some kind of painkiller.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM32.png

It'd be more helpful if they labeled their rooms with something like "Drug Storage" or "Security Center." Better take a gamble. Might at least run across some morphine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM33.png

I don't find any morphine.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM34.png

Her insides are almost ready to spill out through a gash in her stomach. She's crying. More of a whimper than a cry. Scared, in pain. The table she's lying on is the only thing stopping her intestines from dumping out onto the ground. I've seen a lot of those injuries before. A lot of them even worse. A lot of the victim's even younger. Most of them done with my merchandise. It numbs you, after awhile. I didn't feel anything then and I don't feel anything now.

But... there's a part of me that still feels like it shouldn't be that way. That maybe there're already too many vampires who don't feel anything when they look at a young girl about to die. That maybe there's too many people like that, too. That maybe, If I don't ever care, I could lose something I didn't know I had.

For the first time twenty six years, I listen to that part.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM35.png

I find the nearest doctor I can. He isn't happy to see me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM36.png

"What are you doing here? Get back in the waiting room and wait for your turn. I'm only physician here on staff, I can‘t treat everyone at once."

“There’s a girl back there with her stomach-”

“I have a man with a bullet in his skull. Get back to your friend, try to keep her conscious. Dr. Lexton will be here in twenty minutes.”

He turns back to the man on the table. I leave and close the door. I head back to the room with the girl.

...

She won't last another five. Let alone twenty. I don't think...



Once a month I get fed vampire blood. It makes me stronger, faster than a normal human. Lets me heal like nobody's business.


Maybe...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM37.png

And that's the rest of what was supposed to be last night's update. Here we've reached our first bit of spectator influence, where you play the voices of conscience and judgment in our heroine's skull. Feed the strange girl our blood, and she'll live. Refrain, and she'll die. Beyond that, I offer no insight as to the consequences of your actions!

The Argent Lord
08-10-2008, 10:22 PM
Meh, why not? Let's be the good-guy vampire for now. I vote for giving her the blood.

Jagos
08-10-2008, 10:59 PM
There's always snapping her neck... Puts her out of pain.

Seriously, I vote for the blood transfusion too.

Fifthfiend
08-10-2008, 11:08 PM
Fuck it, I say she dies.

Loyal
08-11-2008, 01:07 AM
I wanna see where it goes if she lives.

Blood transfusion, go!

Mirai Gen
08-11-2008, 01:19 AM
--For the record, telling DFM he's doing a good job is fine, 'cause he is.

Posting an RM smiley and a non-specific RM quote, and nothing else is kinda like that thing Seil does with the comics and no words that he eventually got warned for--only worse.
Alright alright, I'm sorry. I couldn't resist but I really should have known better.

Blood donation ahoy.

Fifthfiend
08-11-2008, 01:33 AM
Pfft. I suppose next you'll want her to adopt a puppy. Maybe deliver soup cans to the orphanage.

Chumps!

DFM
08-11-2008, 01:37 AM
I could see donating to charity since if she eats poor people she'll vomit so she's really just investing.

Fifthfiend
08-11-2008, 01:44 AM
It's like agriculture for vampires.

...I have this image now of like, snobby trendfucking latte-swilling urban-dwellers who only shop at Whole Foods, being fed on by snobby trendfucking latte-swilling urban-dweller vampires who only feed on the snobby trendfuckers who only shop at Whole Foods.

They would never feed on McDonalds goers, those people have hormones and shit in them, don't you know!

DFM
08-11-2008, 01:51 AM
It is a harsh lot, the lot of the Ventrue

Krylo
08-11-2008, 02:00 AM
I know where the blood transfusion goes, and thus I vote for it.

You'll all know why in like twenty more updates.

If you're smart you might guess sooner than that.

Amake
08-11-2008, 02:09 AM
Alright alright, I'm sorry. I couldn't resist but I really should have known better.

Blood donation ahoy.
I thought it was funny.

And I vote for blood donation investment. Leaving aside the tactical advantages of having a high humanity score and the interesting later developments with that girl, it seems cool that our war exploiter would be more humane when she's no longer human. A fantastic reality check, heh heh.

BitVyper
08-11-2008, 03:41 AM
Oh yes, definitely give her the blood. Just for that extra ounce of "not gonna die today," if nothing else.

Mirai Gen
08-11-2008, 04:20 AM
I thought it was funny.
It may have been but it was still utterly useless as far as the thread goes, hence why I apologized.
Leaving aside the tactical advantages of having a high humanity score and the interesting later developments with that girl, it seems cool that our war exploiter would be more humane when she's no longer human.
Actually that's a good point - the way this LP's going I can see the main character doing either or, and both are equally as likely, though this really would be the start of her picking good or evil. Though I suspect she's not going to be a Cammie because of what LaCroix may have done to her company.

I am, however, infinitely more intrigued to see what our MC will do if she picks the humane options.

Attila the Pun
08-11-2008, 08:37 AM
Do the transfusion! I wont spoil it, but in my opinion something good happens comeon!

Sir Pinkleton
08-11-2008, 09:48 AM
I seem to recall a thread about Bioshock involving saving the girls or killing them...

I say go for the transfusion. Of coarse, I'm a goody-two-shoe, so I'm biased.

Telephalsion
08-11-2008, 10:45 AM
Give her the blood, she'll be the human equivalent of a wookie with a life debt to us. And if she declines to be your servant, you can always just take the blood back, through her neck. >_>

Azisien
08-11-2008, 10:50 AM
This is going to lead to lesbians somehow, isn't it?

Ryong
08-11-2008, 10:53 AM
Okay, seriously, DFM, could you start saving the files in another format? Each image is about 1.7MB. You can reduce that to around 300kb or so without losing quality of you made them into .gifs.

And give her the blood.

Amake
08-11-2008, 11:16 AM
Oh sweet Jegus, you're using uncompressed PNGs. I thought the pictures loaded slow for me just because I had some torrents going. Let me try a couple of things. . . oh look, a maximum quality JPG looks about as good and takes only 48 kilobyte. That's a reduction of like 96%. May I suggest a change in format? ^_^

Azisien
08-11-2008, 11:25 AM
Yeah, upon research, for the purposes of these highly graphical screenshot LPs, a high quality (low compression) JPEG is the best way to go.

DFM
08-11-2008, 12:25 PM
Yeah, I haven't used them for years but paint doesn't show any difference between the png version and the jpeg version so jpeg it is from now on.

Edit: Looks like we'll being giving a blood transfusion either tonight or tomorrow.

Karrrrrrrrrrrresche
08-11-2008, 12:37 PM
This is going to lead to lesbians somehow, isn't it?

At this point it's less a question of how and more a question of when.

Amake
08-11-2008, 12:56 PM
Nah, not lesbians. Bisexuals. All women, and only the women, are bisexual. :x

BitVyper
08-11-2008, 01:01 PM
Nah, not lesbians. Bisexuals. All women, and only the women, are bisexual. :x

And that's why we play VtM. Or played, since it's VtR now. Whatever!

DFM
08-12-2008, 01:31 AM
I look down at the girl. I think, for a moment, about all the people who said I was a monster because I could look refugee children in the eye and tell them their limbs would never grow back. About the family that disowned me because I sold high yield explosives to Bach separatists knowing four thousand would die in the planned attack. About the friends that left me because I helped the Serbians murder two hundred thousand through arms shipments and PMC deployments.

About everyone who ever said I was less than human.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP4/SM37.png

I'll show them one of the damned.


I take a nail across my wrist. Across the street. I press the wound against the girls mouth. Almost on instinct she starts to drink. She wraps a bloody hand across my arm and forces my wrist closer, gulping at the flow of blood.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP5/SM38.jpg

She doesn't stop until the wound closes. Pull my hand away, glancing at the rapidly fading scar. She whimpers and starts to stir.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP5/SM39.jpg

"What... who... who are you? Ohhh... what... what did you do? What..." She takes in a breath, it sounds almost relieved. "...what did you do to me?"

I hope she's not in any kind of mental state to be making rational judgments.

"I'm a nurse, I just gave you a painkiller. The doctor will be here soon, he'll patch you up. You're going to be fine."

She shakes her head weakly.

"No... it's not... it still hurts... but I can feel... I can feel something inside me, it's... fixing me... not..."

"Hallucinations are a common side effect, especially with the mental trauma you've endured. Just lie down and try to relax, the doctor's going to be here as soon as he can."

"You... I feel like I know you... like you've always..."

"I'm just a nurse, honey. Now get some rest, you're going to be okay."

"Who..."

"Shh..."

She slips back down, her eyes closing. Her breathing's steady. I can already see the massive tear in her stomach sealing itself. I back out of the room, shut the door as quietly as I can.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP5/SM40.jpg

And just like that, a young girl lives.

I feel... something I can't describe. Something good. Something deep down. Something that made me happy.

Whatever it is, I know it's a feeling I don't want to lose.

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I take a left down the hallway, feeling a little more urgent about getting Mercurio something for the pain.

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I crack open the first door I see.

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Nothing. Literally, nothing. What the hell is the room even for?

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I keep moving until I come to a door at the end of the hall.

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Probably doesn't have what I need directly, but there might be a layout of the hospital, or a database of medical storage. Something that'll tell me where I need to go. I pull the handle and frown. Locked. I think for a moment before pulling a hairpin from its nest and crouching next to the door. It worked in the movies, why not here?

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I can hear clicking. I just need to get all the tumblers to-

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The pin snaps against the metal of the lock. Shit. I've got one pin left and there's no way my fingers are nimble enough for this crap.

Hmm.

I pull the last pin from my hair, letting it drop to my shoulders. I can fix it later. I concentrate on the lock, focus everything I have. I can feel a rush of blood run through me, and for a moment I feel like I've reached nirvana. Stronger, faster, smarter. I seize the moment and drive the pin into the lock, working it like a woman possessed.

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Hahahaha!

Just as quickly, the effect dissipates. I feel something churning inside of me. Like my stomach but... emptier. More like a void. A hole.

A Hunger.

I push the door open.

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It doesn't matter. I need to find out where they hide their narcotic strength painkillers before I even think about-

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Jesus fuck, what is wrong with this hospital?

I grab the bottles and a book from patient belongings. "Computers for Grandma." There's a hole cut in the pages. I don't know what it was for, but it's big enough for me to slip the bottles in. I walk out and wave at the receptionist.

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I hurry down the street and into Mercurio's building. He's still on his sofa, looking barely alive. I pop open the book and hand him one of the bottles.

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"Aw, Jesus Christ I needed that. Thanks... thanks a million. You get those thugs yet?"

"I'm working on it."

I leave and strike out for my lovely home away from home.

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I feel the churning again. Fuck, I'm hungry. I think even starving. I can almost empathize with those kids in Sally's commercials.

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I hope to god LaCroix had them put something in the fridge. I don't care how frozen or deep fried it is.

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I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

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I take a pack of blood from the fridge and close the door. I hold the icy thing in both hands and stare at it. I've never been put off by blood, but... I've never had to drink any before, either. Something feels wrong with my mouth. I run my tongue along my teeth. I can feel my canines growing longer. I guess... it's the vampiric equivalent of drooling. Well. Sink or swim, I've always thought. I take a breath I don't need and bite down into the plastic.

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It takes half a second for me to jerk my head back and drop the blood pack onto the dirt covered floor. I clutch at my sides, shaking, and drop to my knees, letting out something halfway between a groan and a scream.

Imagine a slug. Imagine a parasite. Imagine a parasitic slug that's cold, and slimy and covered in mucus and that can stretch and bend and branch every which way, with all his ends twisting and probing.

Now imagine that slug inside you. Not just in your stomach or even in your throat, but inside you sliding through your veins and twisting around your bones like the hand of death raping your very core.

I sit on my knees for what seems like hours with that horrible thing sliding around inside of me. When it finally seems to disappear, I reach out and pick up the half empty pack. Most of it went on the floor and not in me, thank god. There's no way this can be right, vampires would starve if it was supposed to be like this. I've got to have screwed up somehow, but what...

I think for a second before standing up and throwing the bleeding pouch into the microwave and hitting five oh.

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It beeps but I'm in no mood to try again.

Four or five men in a beach house, probably angry and probably armed. At the very least, I'd need something to defend myself with if things went sour and Jack had taken back his revolver. I'd need to find an arms dealer. I didn't have any contacts in Santa Monica and even if I did, I obviously couldn't use them now. I'll have to pound the pavement.

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Just like the good old days.

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The first floor of the apartments is a make shift pawn shop. Even if they don't have any guns, I'd probably at least be able to pick up a knife. Or a bat.


Or a chainsaw.

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Trip himself greets me inside with a slow, stoner drawl.

"Hey. Welcome to Santa Monica."

"Is it that obvious I'm new?"

"Not that hard to figure out. If you're in town, chances are you're new."

"Not many people?"

"Nah. Well... we used to get a lot of tourists coming through, but now... I dunno man. It's more like drifters."

"Why do you think that is?"

"Beats me. I don't know why anyone would want to come. Santa Monica is dead, man."

I glance around rows of discarded odds and ends while I talk to him.

"I need something that packs more of a punch. Home defense type stuff."

"Well... um... we don't really... have that sort of thing."

I stop and smile at him in a coy, knowing way.

"You're not very convincing."

"Heh. Well... you really don't look like the criminal type."

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I think I can feel the stirrings of destiny.

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I sell off what's left of the morphine raid and the half torn out book to get enough for the gun and an ugly, over sized purse ten generations out of style to carry a healthy stash of ammunition.

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I thank trip and say goodbye as I head out the door. Down the street, around the corner, past the parking garage and towards the beach. As I pass a sealed gate to the boardwalk, I over hear some people talking.

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"I've seen a lot of shit in my day but that pier... that's the sort of thing that makes you lose your faith in humanity."

"Yeah. Probably the second worst homicide I've seen."

"Second worst? That poor fucker was torn into six parts and nailed to a funhouse sign. What the fuck did you see that was worse than that?"

"A few years ago, when I was a junior detective. There was a little girl who went missing near the rockies..."

I keep moving. At my worst I might be a heartless cunt but I'm not morbid. I head down the stairs of the parking garage and follow a tunnel that leads out onto the beach. As I step onto the sand a woman runs up to me and points towards a cliff. Her accent is thick. Maybe Russian.

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"Over there. Through that chain link gate and up those stairs."

"...What? I don't-"

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"Those men you are looking for."

"How did you-"

"Nevermind. You wouldn't understand."

She leaves, walking away and returning to the fire she'd been standing by.

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For reasons I can't quite place, I suddenly feel very uneasy.

I open the unlocked gate, climb up the stairs and peer over the top of the ridge.

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There's the house, with a brawny stooge standing guard. I can hear the distant rumble of thunder. He hasn't seen me. I could probably sneak in, steal the explosives...

Rain begins pounding on my head.

I could fight them, maybe. They've probably got guns, but so do I.

I... might be able to talk my way in, but I don't have any money, so that'll only go so far. I think. Even at my best I don't know if I could go into a sale with no money and come out with a product. Now I look half dead, dripping wet and I'm wearing a shredded dress in two uneven, broken heels.



This dress cost ten thousand dollars.



That seems really, really silly now.

And here's our second vote! I'll call the vote off whenever I feel like it! HA HA HA HA HA!

Lord of Joshelplex
08-12-2008, 01:36 AM
Off topic I know, but, is this still available in stores? I really want it now, and I cant use Steam DL.

EVILNess
08-12-2008, 01:44 AM
You might try Amazon.

Also, DFM? This is probably the best Let's Play ever. I am really enjoying the story. Now I want to play the game too.

Krylo
08-12-2008, 03:35 AM
I vote sneak.

As much as I LOVE wholesale slaughter, it's too far out of character for Ms. Slowly-becoming-not-a-monster war profiteer.

Talking her way in is totally in character, but not so long as she thinks she looks like a half-dead half-naked hobo. I mean, unless the guard is into crack whores. Then it might work.

Thus, that leaves only the stealth option.

Telephalsion
08-12-2008, 06:43 AM
If you can talk your way in, which I doubt, then do that. If not, then stealth gets my vote.

Also, great writing!

Ryong
08-12-2008, 08:08 AM
I'm still trying to understand why exactly is her skin grey. All vampires like that?

And I vote for talking her way in too, if it's possible. Otherwise, stealth! I also agree with everyone else about DFM's writing skills.

Azisien
08-12-2008, 09:02 AM
I vote stealth. Fits the character best, since you have no money. But of course, self-defense comes first!

01d55
08-12-2008, 11:35 AM
As much as I LOVE wholesale slaughter, it's too far out of character for Ms. Slowly-becoming-not-a-monster war profiteer.

See, that's what makes it funny.

In most games playing the psycho is funny 'cos it's an inversion of the expectation that you're the hero here to save the day, here you're supposed to be a bloodsucking monster so Saintly McNiceguy it is.

Sir Pinkleton
08-12-2008, 12:31 PM
Stealth, negotiations, then fighting for my vote of preference, stealth being priority, fighting for when/if the shit hits the fan.

And I kinda like the turn of the story. For all of her profitable life, she was cold-blooded, but now that she's actually "one of the damned", she's a goody-goody, and somehow it just fits that way.

I blame DFM's writing.

Karrrrrrrrrrrresche
08-12-2008, 01:15 PM
ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Sneak into the house, kill everyone, and then discuss random political situations with the corpses.

Fifthfiend
08-12-2008, 01:33 PM
I say negotiate, kill everyone once you get what you want, then sneak out.

Karrrrrrrrrrrresche
08-12-2008, 01:36 PM
I say negotiate, kill everyone once you get what you want, then sneak out.

That's stupid. Once you kill everyone they'll become ghosts.
Everyone knows you can't sneak past ghosts.

Sir Pinkleton
08-12-2008, 01:45 PM
That's stupid. Once you kill everyone they'll become ghosts.
Everyone knows you can't sneak past ghosts.

That's a good point; ghosts can go through walls, so hiding in the closet helps none.

Also, I want to change my vote to negotiate, with the realization that if the guard doesn't let you pass, it doesn't necessarily mean you get attacked, right? So if that messes up, then just sneak around. Then the killing. Which would probably help you anyway, because you can loot the bodies, take their guns, and replacethe stuff you have now, then sell everything you don't need.

But that's the dungeon crawler in my crying out, so whatever works best.

Jagos
08-12-2008, 04:00 PM
Sneak in, sneak out. She doesn't have to be royal pain about it and there's less fuss.

Now if we're talking there's other vamps... Kill everything that moves.

Krylo
08-12-2008, 04:39 PM
Yeah, in retrospect, negotiate, and sneak if that doesn't work. Though it will.

It's probably more in line with her character to TRY talking first.

BitVyper
08-12-2008, 05:10 PM
I'm still trying to understand why exactly is her skin grey. All vampires like that?


VtM vampires are pale at best. They've even been described as looking inhumanly so at times (I remember a book with a sheet-white Brujah with bulging blue veins). In the actual tabletop game, they can use a blood point to make themselves look normal for a scene, but I think that's just kind of handwaved in this game. There's also the Assamites, who go the other way and get darker with age.

Anyway, I say you try to negotiate, and try to fail in such a way that you are attacked, so it's not TECHNICALLY murder when you butcher everyone. And if your negotiating tactics sound more like "your blood shall colour the sea red!" Then so much the better.

Okay okay, seriously though; I say you try to sneak in. It seems like something she might try.

The Argent Lord
08-12-2008, 07:31 PM
I'll go with negotiate, and if that fails and you're not under fire, sneak in.

Ryong
08-12-2008, 08:11 PM
VtM vampires are pale at best. They've even been described as looking inhumanly so at times (I remember a book with a sheet-white Brujah with bulging blue veins). In the actual tabletop game, they can use a blood point to make themselves look normal for a scene, but I think that's just kind of handwaved in this game. There's also the Assamites, who go the other way and get darker with age.

And no one finds this weird? :shifty:

DFM
08-12-2008, 08:17 PM
Yes, that's why they need magic to make themselves look human so people don't start going all "Hey why's that dead thing bouncin' around and doin' the bump?"

If you mean in Bloodlines then you don't look THAT monstrous and probably everyone just assumes you're some kind of goth.

Plus it's dark out and you know if I saw a grey dude covered in blood walking down an alley probably I'd just let it slide.

Edit: Goddamn it voting is exactly tied.

Azisien
08-12-2008, 08:20 PM
Ok I switch to negotiate, self-defense if necessary.

Mr.Bookworm
08-12-2008, 08:22 PM
Negotiate them to death.

BitVyper
08-12-2008, 10:53 PM
Negotiate them to death.

Wow, someone knows exactly how to play a Ventrue. And I'm not being sarcastic here.

And no one finds this weird?

Eh, there's weirder things in the world of the living. Anyway, like I said, they CAN make themselves look normal, and that's generally what one does if they have to interact with humans.

DFM
08-13-2008, 03:59 AM
They're mainly narcotics people, Mercurio had said. That means they've got to be used to dealing with people who looked worse than me. If I act like someone who belongs there, they might not give me a second thought.

I don't know how I'm going to get the Astrolite once I'm inside, but I'll consider this a small victory if I even get that far.

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"Help you with something?"

"I'm here to see Dennis about you-know-what."

THe nods, waving me off and stepping aside.

"Yeah, yeah. Go on in. And if you wanna make my night, start some trouble in there."

"I'll be sorry to disappoint."

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At least the first step's going smoothly.

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I pass the front porch window. At least one goon in the living room. I can hear another playing a video game.

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I enter the front door and make my way around towards the kitchen, making note of where the guards are. Then, something catches my eye.

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A stack of money on the table near the counter. A lot of it. I think those bills are twenties. The idea is instantaneous. The execution might be a problem. I glance for a moment at the two thugs playing cards, making sure neither saw me enter. I crouch down and step lightly behind the counter. When I'm there, I reach my hand over and grope around the table until I feel the bills. I grab them and hold my breath while I pull them back over the counter, waiting for shouts and gunfire.

It never comes.

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I stuff it in my massive purse and leave the room quickly, quietly, almost giddy. I guess whoever came up with karma wasn't completely full of shit.

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I walk down towards the end of the hall and push open the door. The man in white has to be Dennis. And that wired jug of chemical cleaners has to be the Astrolite.

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"Okay... yeah, listen up girl. Cash money up front and that is non-negotiable in your case. So we're perfectly clear, I have got not one moral fiber restraining me from hitting a bitch should she get out of line, you understand?"

His tone softens slightly.

"That said, what can I do to make you feel like the world is your bucket of fudge ripple with walnuts?"

"That depends. What have you got?"

"My staff maintains at all times a twenty-four carat smorgasbord of A+ narcotics guaranteed to make the competition's shit seem like a weak cappuccino in comparison. White, green, blues, reds, black - you pick a color."

"I was thinking a little more... dangerous. Say, some explosives."

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"Explosives? Fun stuff. You can get yourself a lotta attention that way. I may have somethin'. Why would you need to get your hands on some fireworks?"

I cross my arms and give my best contemptuous look.

"Let's just say it'll be a cold day in hell before I let my husband think he's getting anything from the divorce proceedings."

He smiles and almost laughs. I don't know if he bought it but at least he's not asking anymore questions.

"Sure, okay. I got some stuff that'll do the trick. Astrolite. It's like TNT's bigger, meaner cousin with a prison record. I don't like keepin' the stuff around, too dangerous, so I'll let you have it for a little less than the goin' rate."

He asks for three hundred dollars. I dig in my purse and hand him his money. Easy come, easy go. I hope he isn't attached to his finances enough to recognize it.

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"You just bought yourself a bomb. You get caught with this, you ain't get it from me, understand? I don't care if you tell 'em Santa Claus brought it for you. But you drop my name, and you'll wish you would have blown yourself up."

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I take the Astrolite and walk back towards the stairs. I don't exactly feel comfortable holding it, but I don't have much of a choice.

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I start down the stairs when I notice the woman from before. I figure at the very least she owes me an answer about how she knew what I was after.

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I open my mouth but she interrupts, her movements jerky, her hand gestures erratic.

"The end... He's smiling. Why is he smiling? The... the father? Is it- Is it the father behind him?"

"What? I don't-"

"You chased it, hunted for the one at the top of the city... on the sea... no, underground... Ha! You found it... killed them, took it from the crypt, heh... Wait... it's open? He... it's open! IT'S OPEN! RUN! OH GOD, RUN!"

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She grabs me by the shoulders and screams it at me. Her grip isn't strong. She must be human. I want to shove her, smash in her nose, but I know that isn't going to help anybody.

"Get off me, what the fuck?"

She stops and blinks at me for a moment before releasing her hands and stepping backwards awkwardly.

"Ah... I... sorry. Sometimes I see... no, it's nothing. Forget what I say."

"You're... a seer?" A lifetime ago I would've thrown sand in her eyes and pushed her into the water for trying to pawn off her fairy tale horse shit on me, but now... I don't really know. "...Can you tell me my fortune?"

She shakes her head.

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"No. Fortune is not your destiny. All of us are unfortunate. Every time I sleep the future plays out before me. I know the ending... it will end over and over again until I cease to dream. I know your questions. For a hundred dollars, I'll tell you what you don't want to hear. I need the money to leave this place."

I don't want to know that badly. I don't have the money even if I did.

I leave the beach and make my way back to Mercurio's.

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I stop just outside the door. It doesn't seem right. Dennis jumped him, beat him almost to death, took his money and his bomb... I feel like I should at least get his money back. It'd be the least I could do.

I'm not going back to the beach house, though.

I turn around and stroll through Santa Monica. There's got to be a few hundred dollars lying around somewhere. Or an expensive errand that needs to be run.

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No.

I'm not working in another Diner as long as I live.

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I heard their advertisement on the radio. They didn't say anything about looking for help, but it couldn't hurt to poke around.

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The tiny office inside is filled with fast food containers, pizza, donuts and an ugly, fat man. I imagine one's related to the other.

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"Hey there, miss. I'm Arthur Kirkpatrick, and this is Kirkpatrick's Bail Bonds. What can I do for you this evening?"

"Hi there. I'm going to assume you own the business?"

"Yup. Sure do. I'm a third-generation bondsman. Got a few employees, but I handle most every aspect of the business."

I glance around the grungy, garbage strewn office.

"I ah, don't see any other employee's, Arthur."

"I gotta have a few other bondsmen to keep the place open twenty four hours. Plus a bounty hunter. I pull the graveyard shift cuz' that's when all the crazy shit happens in Santa Monica."

I lean against the file cabinets and try to give off the impression of seeming relaxed and indulging in idle chitchat.

"Bounty Hunter, hmm? Bet that's an interesting line of work."

"You betcha. I used to do some bounty huntin' back in the day. Takes a good solid set o' brass balls, uh, pardon the expression missy, but it takes balls to be a good bounty hunter."

"Your guy any good?"

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"Yep. Damn good. His name's Carson and he's great what he does. Well, when he wants to do it. I can't seem to find him now, though. He's pissin' me off to be honest. I need him to go find someone."

"Really? Maybe I could find his guy for you instead."

"Well, I don't feel right cuttin' Carson loose just yet. We go way back. I knew his father, too. Tell ya what, since you want work and I'm stuck here, why don't you find Carson instead? Just real quick, I'll pay ya good for your time."

I nod.

"It's a deal."

"Great, great! I suppose the first place you should check is his aparment in Santa Monica Suites, apartment one, I think it is. Maybe you'll find somethin' there even if he's not. Here's a key card that'll let you in."

"I'll get him back to you in no time, Arthur."

I take the key card between my fingers and wave behind my back as I walk out. Hunting the hunter. Hopefully he isn't too hard to find.

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I take the side alleys back to Santa Monica Suits, making a detour to drop the Astrolite off at the hole in the wall LaCroix decided was an apartment. I decide against paying Mercurio a visit until I've got some money for him.

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Carson looks like he's doing fairly well for himself.

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There's a tape recorder sitting next to the sofa. I click the play button while I rummage around the room.

"Check? Check? Is this thing on? Um, ah-" The man in the recording clears his throat. "-This is Carson, operational entry sixty seven. The McGee case is getting stranger by the minute."

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"Every time I think I've got a lead on him, my informant disappears before I can rendezvous. At least I finally managed to pry my sources for his last known whereabouts."

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"He wasn't there when I stormed the premises, but there was... there was some creepy shit in that basement."

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"I've got one last lead I'm going to try before I give up the ghost. Not that I'm going to sleep any better knowing McGee's still out there."

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"This is Carson, end report."

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Damn it.

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Alright, let's see.

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP6/SM107.jpg

That's got to be it.

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Bingo. I head out the door of Carson's apartment and onto the streets of Santa Monica. In my mortal years I would've given Carson up for dead and the afterlife hasn't done much to soil my optimism. It isn't long before I reach the tattoo parlor Carson mentioned.

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Charming place.

-----------------------

Next update:

The Curious Case of Mr. McGee

http://www.gamebanshee.com/screenshots/vampirebloodlines/conceptart/screenshot2.jpg

BitVyper
08-13-2008, 04:41 AM
Huh.... I never did that sidequest....

Really awesome on the narration, DFM.

Azisien
08-13-2008, 08:47 AM
Holy hell who actually has nipples that large!

Stuck with me through the whole post too.

Loyal
08-13-2008, 09:55 AM
I'm imagining Chris Tucker as the voice of Dennis and it makes the whole dialogue ten times better.

DFM
08-13-2008, 11:07 AM
Okay does anyone know some kind of freeware mass file converter? Because Jesus Christ Almighty I am not spending another three hours loading and re-saving fifty + images in Paint anymore.

I'll buy the full version of fraps if I have to.

Krylo
08-13-2008, 11:55 AM
You can do it with irfanview.

DFM
08-14-2008, 03:34 AM
I step out of the drizzling rain and into the musk of a tattoo parlor that's been too long abandoned.

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Grime and mold seep through the faded wallpaper and the ceiling plaster must have collapsed to the floor decades ago. A messy trail leads through the lingering dust and into the basement. Despite appearances, I guess it's had a recent tenant.

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Carson had said McGee wasn't here when he'd come calling, but that didn't mean he hadn't moved back in when the cat was away. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll find Carson stuffed in a trunk in the basement and I could take my money and call it a day.

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No, got to stop thinking like that. Don't worry about the money, worry about finding Carson, making sure he didn't get jumped by this murderous McGee character. That's what's important. That's what I care about.



That and the money.

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The basement is dirty, sparse. There's an old mattress on the floor in the corner and a TV on top of a pile of boxes. I notice a collage on the wall, and not the artsy type.

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McGee isn't here, and neither is Carson, but this is a pretty big neon sign saying where one or both of them might have run off too. Must have been hoping to get some modeling money from the prosthetics shop. McGee probably needed the cash to flee the country from whatever crimes were hounding him. He'd probably be long gone by now, but if Gimble hadn't paid him in cash, I could... well, I couldn't, anymore, but Arthur might be able to trace the money and find out where it's getting dumped.

If he had gotten paid in cash, well-

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The phone rings.

It rings a second time and I make my towards the utilitarian hanging. On the third ring, I slip it off its stand. I talked my way into some Astrolite, I can talk my way into some McGee.

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"McGee's Residence."

"Hello there!" The voice on the other end was chipper, vaguely business-like.

"Is Mr. McGee available?"

"Not at the moment, I'm afraid. Can I take a message?"

He sounds a little disappointed.

"Oh. Well, this is Mr. Gimble. McGee agreed to do some modeling work for me. We had a photo shoot scheduled a few days ago, but he never showed up. I haven't been able to get a hold of him since, do you know when he'll be back? I normally wouldn't bother like this but it's awfully hard to find a good prosthetics model in this city. Well, for a reasonable price, anyway."

"No, I don't know. I'm looking for him myself."

"Really? What a coincidence! Why are you looking for him?"

"Just an old friend from out of down. Thought I'd check up on him while I was here, but... well, you know how that's going."

"Quite right, quite right. Hmm... you know, maybe if we pool our efforts we can find this mysterious McGee fellow? What do you say?"

"Sounds like a good idea, I'm in."

"Splendid! Why don't you come on down to my offices and we'll see what we can dig up. I'm at the end of main street, a smaller studio for now until we get established downtown. Always got to be building the brand, you know."

"I know."

"Just ring the buzzer and I'll let you in. See you soon!"

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I hang up the phone. He didn't sound like he was a wonder child detective, but I don't suppose I'm in any kind of position to refuse help at this point. At the very least he might have some permanent records on McGee. I head up the basement stairs and out of the tattoo parlor, hitting the rainy street. It isn't long before I find the studio.

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I head down a small flight of stairs until I reach a security door and an intercom.

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I press the buzzer.

"Yes?" Still sounds chipper.

"I talked to you on the phone."

"Ah, yes. I'll buzz you in!"

There's a clicking as en electronic lock falls out of place. I open the door and listen to it latch shut again behind me as I enter the room.

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"Hello, there! Welcome to Gimble's Medical Supplies and Prosthetics. You're here about the missing Mr. McGee, am I right?"

"That's right. You said we might be able to track him down if we worked together?"

"Yes, yes I rather believe so, anyway. I'm not much of bloodhound myself, but since you seem like the go-getter type, I believe that if I can get you on his trail, a whiff of his scent so to speak, you can locate him!"

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"And then maybe I can finally have a decent model, for once."

"You're saying you have something I can use?"

"I do. It's not a forwarding address proper, but I think it's a clue as to where he might be hiding. I'm afraid I can't make much sense of it, though."

"What is it?"

"I think it might be a genuine riddle. I believe McGee himself left it, but I've no real way of knowing. Wait here just a moment, I'll run to my office and grab it."

"Alright, sure."

"Right then! Back in a jiffy!"

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Gimble disappears into his office to dig up whatever it was he'd found. I take a look around the waiting room.

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I think for the first time since I've arrived in Santa Monica, I've found somewhere clean. I might have to see about living down here instead of the mutant spider motel.

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I take a seat on the sofa and glance through month old magazines. Hookers, dogs, second world war... nothing to really grab my interest. Gimble's certainly taking a long time. I pick up a copy of the LA Sun. Today's date, talk about a lucky break.

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Every time I think I've got a lead on him, my informant disappears before I can rendezvous..

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There's a scream from behind the door.

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I jump to my feet and pull the gun from my purse.

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I lean against the door frame, shouting through the solid block of aluminum.

"Gimble?!"

There's no answer. Check your corners. I kick open the door and wheel to the left.

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Dead end. I spin to the right.

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Shit. Lots of cover. Lots of places to hide.

"McGee! McGee you piece of shit come out with your hands where I can see them!"

I don't think he'll really do it, but if he knows there's someone coming it might make him get the hell out of dodge and give me time to help Gimble if he's still alive. If nothing else, it makes me feel a little less like someone who's about to get smashed in the head by a serial killer lurking in the shadows.

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Jesus Christ, Gimble, could you make your workshop any more creepy?

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There's a flight of stairs off the far wall. I take them one at a time, weapon raised. Water's dripping from the overhead pipes. The air feels musty. Still. Like a tomb.

I take my left hand off the revolver grip and push the door at the bottom of the stairs slowly open.

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I'm not sure what I'm looking at, but I know it's wrong. I jerk a quick glance behind me, half expecting to see a machete falling towards my head.



Nothing.

I take a step into the room and look to the right.

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I don't like this. Gimble? I think about shouting out another taunt, maybe ward off McGee or Gimble or whoever else is down here at this point, but I can't. I can't bring my mouth to make a sound. At least I'm not breathing. Breathing could give me away.

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I move further down the hall. No sound. No breathing, no screams. Just the water dripping and the uneven clicking of my shoes on cement. It's getting damper, almost feels like I'm walking through water. There's a door at the bottom of the stairs.

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I can see a television monitor. I push the door open slowly, quietly, trying not to make a sound.

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No...

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No no no no no...

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I move faster down the next set of stairs. Don't be scared. Don't be scared. Whoever you're after, he won't be expecting something like you and that's it, that's all the advantage you need. You'll bear your fangs and roar and he'll piss himself right before you put a bullet in his head.

Whatever he's seen before, whatever he's done, he can't kill you because you're already dead and a lifetime of being Hannibal Lecter won't prepare him for that.

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There's no dripping anymore. No air moving. No sound at all. I take a breath I don't need and kick.

The double doors aren't locked. They aren't even fully closed. I bellow as loud as I can.

"GET THE FUCK ON THE FLOOR! GET THE FUCK-

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A tiny bit of air rustles past my head. Then a voice. Weak. Frantic.

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"Cops! Oh Jesus Thank Christ! You gotta get me outta here! You fuckin' gotta get me out of here!"

There's a cell door to the right. Somebody's inside but I can't see who. The voice sounds like Carson.

"Carson?"

"Yeah! Yeah! You gotta hurry up! I don't know when he'll be back."

"Who? Gimble? McGee?"

"Who? What-" His eyes go wide. He starts to scream something I can't hear.

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Something heavy hits me in the back of the head.

I crash sideways onto the cement floor and my purse smashes against the ground, thirty eight caliber ammunition scattering in every direction. I start to get up when the same something hits me in the face. I feel the skin tear off.

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I can't see.

There's too much blood. I can't think. I can't see. I can't see.

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Feet are pounding on the ground, charging towards me. I can't think. There's skin hanging off my skull. I fire three shots before the gun's knocked out of my hand I'm sent me flying into the wall.


A crash. My spine feels like it's shattered. I fall forward. My body's on fire. I can't move. I can't even think. Jesus. Jesus Christ it hurts. I push myself to my knees.

I see a tie.

I see a tie.


There's a tie coming for me.



Gimble.




Gimble.



Gimble.




"GIMBLE!"

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The roar comes from my throat and he stumbles at the sound of it, at the flash of fangs, at the monster woman who doesn't die. I punch him. I throw everything I have into a haymaker and I land it in the center of his face. I hear the bone shatter beneath his skin. He crashes into his operating table, torture implements scattering across the floor alongside blood and thirty-eight rounds.

I scramble across the room towards the overturned table. I want him dead. I want to eat him, I want to tear out his heart, I want to tear off his flesh until there's nothing but bone.

I leap over the table and Gimble rises to meet me with a knife in his hand. There's a screaming pain in my shoulder. Worse than anything. He's too fast. I slam against the ground and bounce until I hit the wall. I can't move my arm.

There's blood everywhere.




I can't hear anything.





I think I'm dying.


Gimble's moving in slow motion. Charging. Knife in the air. His mouth's open. I can't hear what he's screaming.

Gun.


The gun's lying in front of me.


Time's getting slower.


I grope at it, clutch it awkwardly in the hand that still moves. I raise it. It's level. I can see Gimble's head through the iron sights.

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It's getting too dark.

I can't see anymore.


I pull back on the trigger.


An explosion. Blood. Gimble crashes on top of me. It makes me drop the gun.



Everything goes black.



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When I finally come to, Gimble's rolled off me on his own accord. There isn't much left of his head. My arm still aches and the scar is still there, but I can move it a little now. I feel quickly around my face. Everything seems to be fine. Gimble's operating room is in ruins. I don't feel anything. Not scared, not angry... shell shock, I guess. Something stirs in one of the cells.

"Lady! Hey! Lady are you moving? Oh my god, you're still alive! I... holy shit!"

I climb slowly to my feet and walk carefully over to the door, stepping over bullets and metal.

"Carson, right?"

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"Yeah, yeah I'm Carson, holy shit, that... what the fuck?"

"How long was I out?"

"A... a few hours, I thought you were dead! You killed him, I don't believe it! What were you doing here?"

I grab my left shoulder and try to adjust it. I don't think it's dislocated.

"Arthur sent me to find you. Was worried when you went missing."

"Really? Oh Jesus Christ... Jesus Christ do I fucking owe that guy."

"He needs you for a job, I imagine that'll be thanks enough."

"Oh. Oh ho ho ho no. Nuh-Uh. Not anymore. Not after this shit. If he thinks I'm going anywhere but a fucking beach resort after this..."

I glance back at the room.

"What was Gimble doing to you?"

"Aw, shit... He's been taking pieces off of me and McGee here for three days. Cuts em' off and takes them to that room back there, god knows what he was doing. He cut off half my goddamn hand, trigger finger too. Even if I wanted to keep bounty hunting, I couldn't, now."

I rub my temple.

"Alright, I'll tell him this was all for nothing. Good luck on... whatever."

I flip the switch to Carson's cell and he hurries out, spewing thank-you's and I-owe-you's out his ass. I hope McGee's rescue makes all of this a little less completely worthless.

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"Hey, McGee. Guardian Angel's here. You live to commit half-assed misdemeanors another day."

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Oh.

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Fuck.

I don't check out the room where Gimble'd been taking his trophies. I don't care. I take the gun, and the purse, and some of my ammo. With my left arm barely working it's not worth the trouble to gather the rest of it. I stuff everything into the purse and slide it on my shoulder. I don't look back for the rest of the long walk out of the basement, through the studio and out into the rainy night.

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Mercurio better be goddamn ecstatic.

Rokrin
08-14-2008, 04:05 AM
That's a hell of a narration. Can't wait for the next one.

Amake
08-14-2008, 05:59 AM
Hey, why isn't the game that interesting when I play it? I'm jealous. :I

Azisien
08-14-2008, 08:36 AM
Yes, a very impressive fight scene. I'm actually kind of glad I've never played this game (thinking back, it was Redemption I demoed, not Bloodlines). Makes it more of a picture book and less of a comparison of my play time. Plus I don't know what's coming, that's nice.

Ryong
08-14-2008, 09:03 AM
Geez, that battle seemed confusing.

Jagos
08-14-2008, 05:17 PM
Damn... So Gimble was hiding in the room and our lucky vampiress forgot to clear it.

DFM, you're a pretty good story teller. :D

BitVyper
08-15-2008, 04:10 AM
Geez, that battle seemed confusing.

I could be wrong, but I think she frenzied. I'll spoiler tag my explanation of frenzy just incase you'd prefer to understand it through the narrative:

Everything - or at least most things in the World of Darkness - has an inner beast. This is essentially a really primal badass version of the id; seeking only to satisfy immediate physical urges. For your average mortal, the beast is pretty weak. For a vampire, it's a damn near physical force constantly pushing them to be the predators they are. Imagine if that little urge you feel to try and grab the last slice of cake were an overwhelming force that would cause you to butcher your best friend who happened to be going for it at the same time if you didn't actively quell it. That's basically a vampire's beast. Most of the time, it's just beneath the surface, but sometimes if a vampire is low on blood or injured, it takes over. This is called "frenzy." A frenzying vampire isn't really in full control, and if I recall correctly, often doesn't recall exactly what they did, hence the confusion.

Vampires are in a constant struggle with the Beast as they try to retain their humanity. The more disconnected they become, the stronger a hold it takes, until you're eventually left with a mad dog. Sadly, this is the fate of most vampires who live for an extended period of time; the beast always wins sooner or later. The reason why is a bit more of an in depth explanation.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to the werewolf scene later on. I damn near pissed myself running from that thing. My bird was on his perch at the time, and its howl startled him so much, he immediately leaped onto my chest and dove inside my shirt. I actually tried to fight it the first time, which ended poorly. I can't wait to see how our Ventrue reacts

DFM
08-20-2008, 12:42 AM
Hey, why isn't the game that interesting when I play it? I'm jealous. :I

:3


Thanks everyone, sorry about the lateness of this update.

STORY CONTINUES NOW

------------------------------

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I walk up the steps and out onto the parking lot. I'm covered in blood but at least Gimble'd been too busy tearing off my face to ruin the dress any more.

Jesus.

I've survived assassination attempts. I've driven through war zones. I've had my car crushed by passing tanks while I was busy with a client. I've had my convoys ambushed, had shipments hijacked while I was riding with them, had deals turn into firefights turn into massacres turn into a five second news headers. I've stared down the barrel of a gun more times than what's probably healthy for my psyche.

But I've never been through anything like... like that. I've never been... alone. There were always guards, always protection... always people shooting back at the people shooting at me. And the attackers were never... so close. If it weren't for the pop of gunfire you'd never know they were there. If I weren't... this thing I am now, I'd... be dead. I'd be chopped up into little pieces and spread all over his wall and... that would be it. Seventeen years of wading into and out of the most dangerous, unstable regions in the entire world and I'd be hacked apart by a fucking nut in fucking LA.

That's not how I'm going out.

If I'm going to get killed it's going to be because of who I am. Not just because I fit Bimbo #5 in some serial killer's profile. If someone tosses a grenade through my limousine's window it's going to be because they want the most powerful arms dealer in the world dead, not because they need a distraction for their bank heist. If they pull a derringer while I'm watching the opera it's going to be because my merchandise killed their family not because I'm too tall and they want a better view. If a Russian submarine torpedoes the cruise ship I'm on it's going to be because the entire country wants me dead and not because they want to provoke some third world country to military action.

I'm not somebody else's victim, I'm the star of the fucking show, you hear me Gimble?

The star of the fucking show.















I don't know if he hears me.

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The parking garage is mostly abandoned this time of night. I head through it and take the long way to Kirkpatrick's office to avoid walking the streets looking like I just left the butcher's shop.

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It's darker than I'd like, and I'm pretty sure I see something darting through the shadows, but I don't go poking around. Not quite ready to push my luck for awhile yet.

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Arthur. Arthur, Arthur, Arthur you had better pray to whatever black hearted god you worship that I don't just shoot your fat ass on the spot.

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He notices the blood. The gallons and gallons of it.

"Jesus Christ, are you alright? What the hell-"

"I'm fine. I'm a million fucking dollars. Carson is too but he's not coming back."

"Not coming..." His look changes. He thinks I killed him. Probably with a hatchet. "What do you mean he's not coming back."

"Serial killer ate his hand. Gotta get used to being a lefty."

"...Seriously?"

"No, I'm the fucking April fools bunny."

"Shit.. that's... that's pretty awful. At least he's... well, I suppose he's sorta alright."

"Money."

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"Oh. Yeah, here. Sorry, I wasn't trying to gip ya or nothing. Hell... if Carson's gone that really puts me in some hot water."

"That's great, Arthur."

"I got this guy with a rap sheet a mile long, in on three warrants. His girlfriend put up for the bond but he missed the court date and now I can't find either of them."

"I don't care, Arthur."

"Look, I don't need you to bring him in or anything, I mean I legally can't since you're not licensed, I just need you to find out if he skipped town or what. I'll pay ya, real good money, too."

"...And I don't have to actually find him?"

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"No, no body attachment or anything. I just need to find out if he's still in town or not. Easy money."

"No body attachment."

"No body attachment."

"How much money?"

"I dunno, say-"

"Four hundred dollars."

"Four hundred-"

He stops and then starts to sigh.

"Alright, fine. Four hundred dollars. Okay, guy's name is Mike Durbin. Goes by the name of 'Muddy'. His girlfriend put up for his bond, she lives in one of those shit hole apartments above Trip's Pawnshop. Her name's Marian Murietta, but I haven't been able to get in touch with her."

"Right, I know the place. What was he in for?"

"Well, he was brought up on manslaughter charges years back, but he got acquitted. Since then he's been in and out for this and that, small time stuff mostly. This time he got taken in as an accessory on that chop shop scandal that's been going on. Pretty huge, it's been on the news."

"Alright, good."

I turn around and walk out the door.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica010.jpg

I'm dumb I'm dumb I'm dumb I'm dumb.

I take the Parking Garage to main street and stick to the back alley's from there. There isn't much in the way of law enforcement in this neighborhood but they'd probably roll in pretty quick if they got a call about a white woman in a bloody dress wandering around town.

It takes awhile, but eventually I make my way inside the apartments.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica011.jpg

Thank god no one seems to live here but me. I head up the stairs and down the hall until I'm outside Marian's door. "No body attachment" he says.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica013.jpg

We'll fucking see about that.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica014.jpg

I can't hear anything from the other side of the door. Could be gone. Could be playing possum thinking the police were finally swinging by. Could be setting a trap. I decide against knocking on the door and squeeze the handle.

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"Marian!"

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Empty. She'd been long gone and she'd taken everything with her. I guess that's better than what I was expecting.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica017.jpg

Everything except an answering machine. Odd thing to leave. There's a new message, one I guess she didn't get. I press play.

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"Hey Mare, it's Mike. I'm gonna head downtown for a few days, maybe longer. If Reno calls, tell him to meet me down there, we got something to 'discuss', apparently. Sorry baby, I'll explain everything later."

That should be all Arthur needs. It's all he's going to get, anyway.

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I head across the hallway into my apartment and close the door behind me. I need to change. I need to take a shower.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica020.jpg

I need a goddamn hot shower.

Thirty minutes later I wrap myself in a towel and take the shredded rags that used to be a dress down to the laundry mat just off the entryway. That is, I take them to the broom closet that's stuffed with a washing machine some greedy asshole jury rigged with a coin slot. When I get it back, the red's faded into smaller splotches of brown, so it looks like I got hit with a diarrhea bomb. Whatever, I don't care anymore. I walk back to the apartment and throw the dress on again, tossing the towel on the mattress. My hair's still wet but I don't care about that either. It's probably raining again anyway. I grab the Astrolite and head down the stairs and out the door.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica021.jpg

I tell Kirkpatrick his paycheck's fled downtown and he moans about having to get a new bounty hunter. He thanks me, though, and coughs up the four hundred dollars. I guess being a maniac covered in blood can actually make some negotiations easier. I take the money and the bomb back to the Santa Monica suits.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica023.jpg

The blood trail actually makes me happy.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica024.jpg

I'm not the only one having a shitty day.

DFM
08-20-2008, 12:45 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica025.jpg

"Hey, Mercurio. You still with me?"

"God... yeah. You get the Astrolite?"

"Right here." I hold it up and set it down next to the sofa.

"Good. You waste those sons of bitches?"

"Nah. Starting to think I should have, though."

"Ah well... get my money back at least?"

I don't know why, but I smile a little.

"Yeah, Merc. Here you go."

I don't even tell him what I went through to get it.

"Oh, god you're a lifesaver. I might have to buy some new kidney's with this."

"What'd you need the bomb for, anyway?"

"You mean what you need the bomb for. You gotta make someplace disappear. A warehouse. Looks to be a Sabbat interest."

"Why? What's in there?"

"I haven't seen it myself but I heard a lot about that operation. I'd love toget in there, get my hands on the equipment they've been unloading. But... ah, it'd be suicide to walk in there, got a small army of trigger-happy types and they're all packin' I don't know how you're gonna get the bomb in there, maybe... uh..."

He's quite for a few seconds, eyes focused on the floor before he looks back up at me.

"Only one thing I can think of, and that's... well, there's this guy. I never met him, but I heard a lot about him. His name is Tung, Bertram Tung. He's one o' you types. If there's anyone who knows more about about this city than me, it's him. You ask, he can tell you how to get in."

"So where is he?"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica027.jpg

"See, that's the thing. Tung's... sorta hiding out at the moment. He's lying low because of Therese, Therese Voerman, you know her? Anyway, word is Therese and Tung are feuding. I don't know the details. My take's that Tung's about to get whacked, so he's gone underground until Therese calls it off. But if I know Therese, that ain't gonna happen. If you want to find Tung, you're gonna have to get Therese to call of the feud."

I get the sinking feeling this is going to be one of those Murphy's Law operations.

"Alright... so who's Therese? I've never met her. Or... heard of her."

"Oh... well, she's the woman around here. Power player. Nice looking broad for a dead chick, but, uh, personality like stone. She and her sister, Jeanette, they run The Asylum. It's a club a couple of blocks south. Some freaky customers frequent that place, I try not to do business there."

"What're they like? Do they get along? I need to know every angle I can if I want to stand a chance of getting her to call off the hit."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica026.jpg

"Well, Therese... Therese I don't like, but I can respect her. She's a bitch but she keeps her word and usually plays the game pretty clean. Jeanette... Jeanette's different. I don't know what to make of her. She's a little, you know, in the head. It's weird. Therese is, well, like you, and I would think so's Jeanette but... I hear rumors about her."

"Rumors?"

"Uh... call me old-fashioned, but, ah, I just can't talk about that kinda thing in front of a woman."

"Oh. Those kinds of rumors. Hmm. I might be able to use that. Thanks Merc. I'll be back for the bomb. Don't go knocking down while I'm gone."

I smile and give him a wink before I leave. I don't know what it is, exactly. Maybe it's because we're in the same business, maybe it's because the world looks to be shitting on him as bad as it is me, but I like Mercurio. At the very least, he's not an asshole like everyone else I've met in the last twenty four hours.

I head out the door and follow Mercurio's directions to the club where Therese is supposed to be. Vampire's running a night club. I wonder if it's filled with red neon. Or double doors that they can throw open angrily.

I turn the corner and get my first look at the building. Lightning flashes behind it in the horizon.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica028.jpg

Nothing sinister about that.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica029.jpg

I'm not entirely sure what to expect when I turn the nobs and head inside, but given my guessing track record I'm fairly certain it includes red neon. I open the door and, for a moment, it does. There's shitty alternative punk blasting through the speakers and misfits and losers covered in hot topic vomit are twisting and writhing on the red glow of what I assume is a dance floor. It's exactly what I'd jokingly imagined and in an instant, it's gone.

It's gone and every thing's black. I look down and see my hands. The lights aren't out, wh-

"What do we have here?"

The voice is low, sultry. Like something out of a phone sex ad. It's coming from somewhere to my right. I feel something near my neck, hear an intake of air. I jerk away and spin around, hands raised.

Nothing.

"You smell new, little girl. Like fabric softener dew on freshly mowed Astroturf. You must be another scrumptious young plaything straight out of life and into my club."

I take a few steps backwards, looking around me. It's still pitch black but it's not dark.

"Alright, you can cut this shit right the fuck out."

"Ooh, I'm not frightening you am I, duckling?" The voice is behind me now.

"You're pissing me off is what you're doing." I stop for a moment, still looking around the blackness. "What are you doing?"

The voice is above me.

"Oh, I'm just thinking about this delicious little pancake who came into my club and wasn't so sweet because she was soaked in vinegar."

"You're fucking crazy."

"So's the world, but we just keep riding its moonlit carousel regardless."

At least the voice could stop moving.

"Alright." I stand still, lower my hands a little. Whatever it is, I might be safer playing games with it than calling it on it's bullshit. "What... who are you?"

The voice laughs, soft and low, moving around me in a circle.

"I'm the finger down your spine when all the lights are out."

Something brushes down my back through the fabric of my dress and I half freeze, half jump away. It laughs again.

"I'm the name on all the men's room walls."

It's coming from below me, now.

"When I cry, the whole world tries to make me smile."

To my left, a little above me.

"And whenever I walk by, everyone always asks, who... is... that girl?"

There's a breeze through my hair as the voice cross to my right.

"You have a name to go with... that?"

"I.."

The voice is closer, softer, too.

"Am..."

It's almost in my ear, barely a whisper. I can feel a cool breath on my skin.

Someone flips a switch. The lights are on. The club's back. The music is playing. There's a woman standing in front of me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica030.jpg

"Jeanette." Her voice isn't sultry anymore. It's sing-song.

"And this little bit of chaos wrapped in a certifiable giggle is my club." She grins and looks me over, lingering a little longer on certain parts than I'd like. "Oh, I'd just love to give you funny feelings all night, sweetheart, but I was on my way to trouble with some business when you came in. We'll reunite sweet and soon."

She leans in as she walks away, her voice back to its sultry self.

"I promise."

I blink and watch her walk away towards an old wire cage elevator. From the way she's walking, it looks like she wants me to, so I stop. I make my way over to the bartender, a fat, bald man covered in tattoos.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica033.jpg

"Hey, what can I getcha?"

"I'm here on business."

"So? Girls get their first drink free, house rules."

"I'm just here to see Therese. Where is she?"

"The boss? She's upstairs. She said she was too busy to see anyone, but I can hear her and Jeanette bickerin' from here. Why'd you need to see her?"

Given my current state, I don't think he'd believe my normal lie of overseeing a corporate merger. I try to aim a little lower.

"She's suppose to interview me for a hostess position."

He blinks.

"Really? Damn I wish that was my job. Go on up and see her, I'll buzz you in."


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/Clipboard03.jpg

TERROR IS THE FEAR OF DEATH.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica034.jpg

"Lady? Hey! Are you alright?"

I stare at him for half a moment before I shake my head.

"I'm... fine. I just... I guess I spaced out for a minute."

I don't know what the hell that was.

I slide off the bar stool and head to the elevator, hitting the button to call it down. I hope to god that doesn't happen again. If I go crazy on top of everything else, that'll be the straw that breaks the camel's worn out fucking back. The elevator comes down and the wire cage slides open. I step inside and it starts rising up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica035.jpg

The awful screaming of the band below gradually drains away as the elevator rises to the top floor. It dings, and I step off. I near the only available door when voices start drifting through the wall.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica036.jpg

"But I wasn't sticking my fingers in anyone's pie, dear sister. Whatever do you mean?"

"Of course you weren't. Just like you weren't working with him. Just like you weren't... ugh, consorting with him. If you think you can humiliate me in my own city..."

"Your city? Last I checked it was called Santa Monica, not Stuck Up Bitch."

"Vulgar. I can't believe we're even related anymore. Look at what you've turned into, you Jezebel."

"Therese, you paint such a flattering picture with your turn of the century barbs. And here I thought you could do nothing but look down on me."

"Fine, then. Go ahead and mock me. Pull your pranks, make fun of my standards, my morals, my values, it suits you. You're just one big joke."

"Don't you call me that!"

"Should I start calling a duck a pig as well, then?"

"I'm your sister... how can you treat me like this?"

"Is it any different than how you treated father?"

"Shut up! Just shut up!"

There's crying. I can hear a door slam.

"That's right, Jeanette. Run. Run away from your problems. Run away from what you've become and go find solace in the first thing you see with two legs."

A brief silence, then muttering.

"Or four."

I hesitate a moment before entering. It's an office mixed with a bedroom, stylish with a hint of menace. Therese is sitting behind a desk, typing something into a laptop. She stands when she sees me and greets me with a handshake.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica040.jpg

"Welcome! Please, have a seat. I do apologize for my sister's crassness, I'm sure she went to bother you as soon as she saw you. She's unabashedly scandalous, but... in the club business I suppose that kind of personality is a necessary evil."

I smile. A real smile. Two days ago I could have been looking in a mirror. Polite, professional... if the rest of the vampires in this city were like her...

"As long as she doesn't do it again, we'll have no issues. Besides, I hardly expect anyone to be their sibling's keeper. You must be Therese."

"Therese Voerman, yes. I'm the proprietor of this club, and really, the only person in this city whose good side it's in your best interest to stay on." She grins a little, adjusting her glasses. "What bring you to Santa Monica?"

"Well..." I hesitate slightly. She didn't seem like the type to order an assassination. "I was actually hoping you could call off the hit on Bertram Tung."

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica038.jpg

She seems a little surprised.

"Tung's exile is self-imposed, I assure you. Not that I don't have every reason to want him dead, bloody Nosferatu scoundrel."

"Why? What'd he do?"

"He meddles in my affairs, for one. He's a bad influence on my sister and she on him. If you were in my place, would you let him compromise your authority? You most certainly would not. In fact, I'd quite like it if I never had to hear that name again."

I eye her a little warily.

"You... want me to kill him?"

She almost laughs, like I'd just made a bad pun or witty observation.

"I'm not sure the Camarilla would find that an acceptable method of dealing with one's rival, and right now I very much need their approval to become officially recognized as the legitimate administrator of this city."

I breath an inward sigh of relief.

"So you can just put the word out that everything's okay and he's not in any danger, right?"

She raises an eyebrow.

"Why would I do that? Let him think I mean to kill him. That way I don't have to worry about him sabotaging everything. Do you realize how his constant subterfuge makes me look to the Camarilla? Tung and his co-conspirator's actions have ruined my chance at partnership in a crucial piece of property."

"There's got to be something that'll make it worth letting him out of the woodwork."

She thinks for a few moments, fingers pursed against her lips.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica039.jpg

"Hmm... I'd be willing to make it publicly known that my grievances with Tung have been swept under the rug, but in return, you'll have to help me with a particularly promising property I"m looking to invest in."

"What's the problem?"

"The development has been, to say the least, an ordeal. I need you to remove a particularly burdensome spirit from the presence."

"Gang infestation?"

She blinks for a moment, confused. Then she grins again, her tone sympathetic.

"Ahh... I forgot, you're still new to this. Allow me to let you in on another one of the masquerade's little secrets. Ghosts are real. So are werewolves, mummies and I expect a whole lot of other things I've never heard of share the night with us."

"Wait... wait, you want me to excise a demon?"

"Not a demon, a ghost. Demons aren't exactly beginner stuff."

"I... that doesn't help me at all, I don't know how to banish a ghost."

"You don't have to. Rumor is that a personal item of a ghost's can be used to draw it out and excise it from its haunt. I don't put a lot of stock in grapevine hearsay, but it's my last option. I want you to go to the Ocean House hotel, find something of the spirit's, and bring it back to me. I'll take it to someone who can handle all the incantation mumbo jumbo."

"...what if I can't find anything?"

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP7/SantaMonica040.jpg

"If you have to tear the building apart, do so. Three construction crews have already refused to go back to work because they've been... spooked, so to speak. Kine are getting remarkably superstitious these days."

"After I do that, you've got to call off the feud."

"Oh, I fully intend to do so. You'll find that dealing with me is appreciably more predictable than dealing with some of the egomaniacs that are my peers. So long as our business doesn't go sour, my word is gold. Oh..."

She reaches into a desk drawer and pulls out a key.

"You'll need this to get into the front gate, it's locked this time of night. There should be a key to the hotel proper inside the construction manager's trailer."

I take the key.

"Alright... I'll be back... soon."

"Thank you. I know you're not being altruistic, but this has been a remarkable thorn in my side and I'll be glad to be rid of it."

Next Update: Ocean House Hotel

http://www.gamebanshee.com/screenshots/vampirebloodlines/conceptart/screenshot5.jpg

Krylo
08-20-2008, 01:04 AM
OOoooooohhhh.

Skeery.

Don't take so fuckin' long this time.

Mirai Gen
08-20-2008, 01:56 AM
Ugh, I hated the Ocean House level. I have no doubt a little DFM injection will make it a kabillion times better.

BitVyper
08-20-2008, 02:19 AM
I loved it, mostly because I was having Clocktower flashbacks at the start, jumping at my own shadow and such, and then about halfway through it suddenly clicked in my head; "wait a minute, I'm a fucking VAMPIRE! *I'm* the reason men fear the night! What can you do? Rattle a few pots and pans? I've seen more frightening ouija boards!"

I felt very genuinely in character throughout it.

Mirai Gen
08-20-2008, 02:44 AM
Oh no doubt the entire "Haunted house being infiltrated by a vampire" role reversal was totally appropriate.

I'm just not very good with scary games or movies, and it was bad enough that I was presented a game and picked the 'beat the fuck out of people with your bare hands' Gangrel and after being able to use said awesome beating-out-the-fuck-of power I was suddenly helpless as a 10 year old girl's spirit turned my world into Creepysville.

That and replaying it, like most scary games, was just annoying as I was forced into being scared by the same stuff a second time, walking on broken planks of wood and trying to go through as quickly as possible to get to the action or dialog again.

So, yes, I hated it because I'm a wuss.

EDIT: Spoiler texted, just in case.

For below: And yeah, that was way scarier, but that was more due to OH SHIT IT'S A WEREWOLF. I played some White Wolf RPGs before, so I went into the werewolf encounter knowing just how powerful they are and therefore how totally fucked I was.

BitVyper
08-20-2008, 02:52 AM
I was playing a Gangrel too. I found the werewolf scene scarier, personally.

Krylo
08-20-2008, 05:15 AM
Honestly the werewolf didn't scare me at all. It was a tangible being that could be dealt with in tangible manners--like squishing it between two large pieces of cement, or just running the hell away. It didn't have the power to attack me with heated steam out of nowhere, attack from unexpected angles invisibly (even to Auspex), control the electrical systems of a building I was in, insta-gank me with an elevator, or transform entire rooms into spirals of ectoplasmic energies. It also lacked the ability to create any kind of real psychological terror--just a visceral fear of something larger than you, that you can't kill in a direct fight.

I guess in the end it's merely the fact that the later encounter wasn't an unknown. I knew what IT could do to me. I did NOT know what the murderous ghost could, and, indeed it often surprised me with new and frightening tricks. Not to mention the voices. Jesus, the voices...

BitVyper
08-20-2008, 11:06 AM
You could kill the werewolf? How? Is that in one of the fan-updates? As far as running away goes, that was the thing; the ghost only ever did one thing that was actually a threat to me. That was the elevator. Everything else, I could just tank, or walk around fairly easily, though to be fair, I'd done all the available sidequests at that point, so I might have been a bit overpowered. The werewolf was an invincible death machine that was also faster than me, and did around half my life in aggravant damage with every hit, and when I tried to run away, it ripped the shit out of the building I ran into.

This isn't to say that Ocean House wasn't scary; it's just that once I realised I could just flip on fortitude and pretty much take no damage from 99% of the stuff, or just regenerate faster than I was getting hurt, the horror lost a lot of its effect. In a good way though, like I mentioned in my previous post; I think that's how my character actually would have reacted. Coming up against something five times bigger, and five hundred times meaner than me though...

Basically, I could say "fuck you, I'm a vampire" to the house. I tried to say that to the werewolf once. It went more like "fuck you, I'm- OH GOD, MY FACE!"

Edit: I just noticed you have a link to Sailor Nothing in your sig. Rock on.

Krylo
08-20-2008, 12:59 PM
To kill the werewolf you run to the electrical house, then run to the observatory, open the whatever you call it for the telescope, go out through that, piss off the werewolf, run back in. The werewolf will try to smash through it, and lean through, then you close the doors. And I have no fan updates.

You can accomplish this in about 30 seconds if you know what you're doing. I did it with about 1 minute left on the clock the first time I got to that point. Well... second if you count the time I tried to fight it proper.

BitVyper
08-20-2008, 05:01 PM
Cool. I'll try it next time I play.

Krylo
08-20-2008, 05:18 PM
Oh yeah, turn ON the electrical. Don't just go there. Forgot that important tidbit.

Jagos
08-20-2008, 09:08 PM
???

Wait... Are the sisters...?

DFM
08-20-2008, 10:18 PM
Um. Gonna need more information than that to answer.

Jagos
08-20-2008, 10:20 PM
Welll... *From the cutscenes they seem to be the same person. Possible DI Disorder? Split personality?*

They come out as an interesting person to me...

DFM
08-20-2008, 10:26 PM
Welll... *From the cutscenes they seem to be the same person. Possible DI Disorder? Split personality?*

They come out as an interesting person to me...

V Yo there be game story spoilers up in this bitch.

Well, as much as I don't want to ruin it for people who haven't played the game, yeah, her name's Tourette and Therese and Jeanette are her two split personalities. There's a pretty neat little reveal for it at the end.

^ Yo if you read that it's your fault

Mirai Gen
08-21-2008, 01:54 AM
Playing as the Malkavian and doing that plot was especially cool.

But, yes, I'd recommend holding out on reading that spoiler before anything else, it's especially cool to be shown to you later on.

Jagos
08-21-2008, 06:33 AM
Damn temptation...

Alright, I'm holding out until we get through this... >_<

Melfice
08-21-2008, 11:22 AM
So, I ain't never seen that one blurry shot with the big red TERROR IS THE FEAR OF DEATH thing.

Did you add it yourself, or did I miss something?
Mind you, I've never done the psycho-sidequest...

Sir Pinkleton
08-21-2008, 11:38 AM
Yeah, you guys do realize that there's an entire ten posts worth that I can't read? Cursed spoilers.

bananarama
08-21-2008, 01:32 PM
V Yo there be game story spoilers up in this bitch.

Well, Fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit fuck shit.

^ Yo if you read that it's your fault
......... Damn my curiosity! :(

Though in hindsight I should have at least thought of that...

Oh yeah don't bother trying to find the spoiler in the quote and then blame me for it BTW....

DFM
08-28-2008, 03:17 AM
OKAY I so badly wanted to get an update out I'm putting this up even though it isn't done yet. I'm sorry about taking so long and it won't happen again and I mean it this time not like before when I was just bullshitting you.

It's a long walk through heavy rain to the edge of Santa Monica, but I don't have much of a choice. There's no train to that end of town and I haven't seen a cab since I got here. Therese had said the Ocean House Hotel was outside of town, near the beach and just far enough off the interstate to avoid the noise. Prime real estate for a tourist trap. I'd asked her why the owner even sold it in the first place if it was such an untapped gold mine.

She never did answer me.

About two miles out of Santa Monica, following a questionably paved two lane road, I end up outside a massive wrought iron fence with a badly weathered sign advertising room and board at Ocean House. Thunder crashes in the distance. I use the key Therese gave me to unlock the gate and step into the construction site that made up what was once the hotel's front lawn.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse002.jpg

Charming. Absolutely charming.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse003.jpg

That must be the trailer she mentioned. The door isn't locked, so I head inside. Water drips down from the ceiling and you can hear the rain still pounding overhead. Shoddy. I think about waiting out the rain, but I'll probably be rutting around inside the hotel for awhile. Enough time to dry off and maybe enough time for the rain to stop.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse004.jpg

The key to unlock the hotel's front door is hanging on a key rack next to a computer that would have been out of date in nineteen eighty five.

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I pluck it and head back out into the mud.

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There's something menacing about the building that I can't quite place. Beyond the Norman Bates exterior and the thunderstorm coming down around me. There's something else, something... wrong with it. Must be the ghost.

I don't know what I'm supposed to expect from a ghost. Not a real one, any way. If those old ghost hunter programs were anywhere near accurate the most I'll have to worry about are haunting footsteps from empty rooms and furniture that slides around on its own.

Of course, this one scared off three construction crews in as many weeks so whatever theatrics it was pulling must be a little more flashy than that.

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I head up the stairs away from the rain and towards the massive oak doors that marked the front entrance of the building. This whole place is an over sized, Gothic monstrosity. I near the door and something explodes in my ear. I jump to the left and unleash a haymaker that plows through empty air.

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Little flecks of glass litter the porch beneath the broken light. Stupid. Ghost's already messing with me. I undo the ancient, rusted lock and head inside the hotel.

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The door eases shut behind me, and I hear a click. It sounds like a lock. The entire entry is lit with a flash of lightning. There's a low grinding noise to my right.

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A trashcan rolls across the dusty hardwood floor. Thunder shakes the house.

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The trashcan hits the wall and stops. Silence. Just the pounding of rain outside the building. The air is heavy. Stale. Like old newspaper. Dust is everywhere. I think I smell something rotting in another room.

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Another flash of lightning. A floorboard creak. Even an empty house shouldn't be this quite.

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I pull the revolver from my purse as the thunder comes.

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That wrong feeling I had outside is stronger now and it's almost overpowering. It feels like I'm being watched. Maybe by one thing, maybe by a million. I can't tell. I wish Therese had known more about what exactly was in here. The only sound is the rain. I don't really want to take another step further in. Nothing's moving. Nothing's breathing. The further in I go the more the building is going to envelope me. I can feel the hotel around me, like it's a... a thing. Something sentient. Something aware. Something that's more than the sum of brick and wood and stone.

It feels... odd. It feels like a dead thing. I know it was never alive, but I don't know how else to put it. It feels like... like me. Something that's dead, but... isn't. Like there's something wicked writhing just beneath the paint.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse2003.jpg

No. Get a grip. Grow a pair of balls. It's just a ghost playing with shit in your head. It's probably not even a ghost, you're probably doing all of it yourself. You're just imagining things because you're wet, you're alone, you've been through hell and someone thought it was a good idea to build an ocean resort that looked like the goddamn Holmes Motel. Piece of shit. I take a step away from the front door and into the lobby.

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Nothing. Just the creak of the wood underneath the carpet. I take another step. I wait. Listen. Nothing. Another step. Then another. Nothing. Rattling.

Rattling?

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I barely have time to jump back before the chandelier crashes onto the ground a foot in front of me. A solid hunk of gold painted iron smashes into the wood. I can hear it splinter in places.

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Fuck. There's no way that happened on its own.

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If some poltergeist is going to start launching shit at my head that isn't whatever magical gold amulet I need to haul out of this place, Therese can go to hell because I quit.

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There's a flash of lightning. I'm not going to start rooting around under the second chandelier. I decide the stairs are probably going to be my best option because of all the dark and nightmarish corridors in the building, they're the least dark and nightmarish. Thunder.

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I can hear something coming from another room. Very faint. A little girl singing. I can't make out the words, but sounds like a lullaby. Then it's gone, and all I hear is the rain. The rain, and then a snap. There's nothing underneath my foot.

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After a brief flash of terror, I find myself lying on a cold cement floor, staring up at an unlit overhead bulb and the hole I just came through. Footsteps. Footsteps coming from above me. Another rumble of thunder. There's someone else here. It might not be a ghost at all. There's timber around me, most of it in splinters. I roll onto my front and get on my hands and knees. I lost one of my shoes in the fall. After a few moments of groping for it in the dark, I lose my patience and tear the other one off instead. Six thousand dollars. I glance around the room, squinting to make out the details.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse2013.jpg

I don't have the gun. I must have lost it in the fall. God knows where it is now.

Shit.




Shit.

Alright. Get your bearings. You're in the basement. If there's something valuable to the... ghost, then it's probably not down here. So. First thing is to get out of the basement. Then you can figure out where to go from there.

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The elevator might not work, but there's probably a maintenance ladder I can climb up and an emergency hatch I can blow.

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I don't feel like I'm being watched anymore. The sensation is wonderful.

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I signal the elevator. Dead. Figured that. I search around the doors for a bit, but I can't find any way to manually force them open.

Didn't figure on that.

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Everything's off the grid. There's probably a staircase somewhere else in the basement... although the generator could be down here, too. The place is definitely hooked up to its own power source, and if the generator is just off and not broken, I could get the elevator running. More importantly, I could get the lights back on.

I head back to the room where I fell. Other than a few empty storage closets, there's two hallways branching off. I decide to take the one on the left since it looks a little brighter and less imposing than the one on the far wall.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse2015.jpg

I hear a scream.

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse2017.jpg

She runs past in an instant, looking over her shoulder. There's blood on her hands. Blood on her dress. No footsteps. The basement falls silent again.

I'm being watched.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP8/OceanHouse2018.jpg

I decide to take hallway number two.

Odjn
08-28-2008, 05:02 PM
This is the best update. Fear it.

bananarama
08-28-2008, 07:25 PM
Wow.... I kinda wish that I could play this game... although vampires and the whole blood-sucking business scares the fuck out of me (yes, a guy who's afraid of vampires... and he's participating in a Let's Play of a game that is about vampires... shut up). Though, man, this update took a while, but it was well worth the wait.

DFM
08-29-2008, 03:11 AM
Shorter update today because oh man I am crazy tired. Writing isn't quite up to snuff, sorry about that. Next time will be better.

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There's a single pipe that runs along the length of the cement hallway and the air gets colder the further down it I go. I can hear something crash against the floor upstairs. Glass shatters. Then... noises. I can't tell if they're footsteps or just a derelict old house creaking in the wind.

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There's a door at the end of the hallway. Not sure where it goes to, but I can see a light coming from the crack above the floor. I don't want to think too hard about why.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse3004.jpg

That doesn't make sense. Everything was powered down, I checked half a minute ago. I make my way towards the light, hoping to see a wire I can follow or batteries I might be able to use. As soon as I get close to it, the bulb explodes in a high pitched whine.

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The whine bounces around the room like an echo, and the second it begins to fade, it brings in footsteps. Not footsteps like before. These ones are pounding, slamming down one after the other in a run. Coming from somewhere in the basement and getting louder.

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Something slams against the door and I can see the hinges buckle. I jump back against the wall and brace myself. I've got nothing to defend myself with, the best I can hope for is distance. Distance means time, and the longer I have to react to whatever comes through that door, the better. There's a sudden rush of cold air through the cracks in the doorway, and then everything goes dead. If I was still breathing, I would have held it. Nothing moves.

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There's a thud from behind me as a paint can falls off the shelf and rolls to the door. It hits the metal with the faintest clink before everything falls silent again.

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I move away from the door towards one of the side walls, and I notice a section of cement blocks that seem looser than the others. I might be able to make a big enough hole to fit through, avoid having to go near that door again altogether.

I glance back once before sitting down in front of the wall and slamming my bare foot into the crumbling section as hard as I can. Much to my surprise, it starts to break apart. With a flurry of undead might I kick the weak spot four more times and blow a flurry of concrete and powder into the adjoining room.

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On the other side it looks like an old storage room. Probably held the hotel's laundry when it was still operational. I wonder how long it's been out of service? Place could be three hundred years old for all I know, I never was an architect. Or a historian. I squeeze the handle of the door at the far end of the room.

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Locked. Should have figured. I turn around to head back through the hole when I notice something I hadn't on the way in.

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse3015.jpg

The edges are curled and blackened, obviously survived a fire. Probably left by one of the vacated construction workers. I lift up the fragile old paper and squint, trying to make out at least the headline in the darkness.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse3016.jpg

There's a faint creaking from behind me.

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This place can go fuck itself.

I wrap a hand around the door frame and ease myself through the open doorway into the next room, half expecting to find a laundry room and a child's severed head.

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What I got might have been worse.

I glance up at the ceiling, and the whole I'd fallen through. Three branching hallways. One a dead end to the elevator. One loops around on itself. Which leaves...

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God damn it.

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Fine. Fucking fine. I'll play the idiot. I'll play the idiot and when I get out of here Therese is going to owe me so much more than a truce with Tong.

I jaunt quickly down the hallway. The less time I spend there, the better, it feels like. I take a left where the girl ran through. My feet are almost as cold as the cement. I hadn't noticed that when the shoes were on. I'm getting that feeling again, like something's watching me. The hallway stops at a dead end and a door. It's quiet and there's no light from the other side. Better keep moving. I push it open and stop halfway through the doorway.

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Oh, no.

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No, this... this isn't the only way through. This is bad, this isn't...

There's a low creaking sound.

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Oh god...

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It's sitting against the side wall. I can feel it staring at me. Same model. Same angle. Door fucking ajar.

Part of me wants to scream, wants to run. I can feel panic coming. I start moving, but I never tell myself to. It's like I'm watching someone else. I start to walk towards it and with every step I start screaming louder inside my head.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4007.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4008.jpg

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My hand throws open the window.

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I pull the reflective metal from inside the washing machine and hold it in my palm. I want to laugh, but I think I start crying instead. Not even a trace of blood inside the machine. The key... The ghost... or house or... whatever it is... must be asking me to go to the boiler room. It's like Himmler asking you to take a shower.

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I don't know what's going on, but it's not like I have much choice anymore, short of tearing down the wall and digging my way to freedom. I walk out the far door and follow the only route I can. I reach a door labeled "Boiler Room" and slide the key into the lock. It opens with an unusually loud click.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4012.jpg

A frying pan and a fire.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4013.jpg

The stairs continue down for what seems like ages, getting redder and louder and hotter the further down I go. For a place that's been long dead, there must be a warehouse of machinery groaning down here.

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http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4015.jpg

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I finally reach the bottom. It's hot down here. Too hot to be from the machinery alone. I leave the stairwell and enter into the boiler room on the right.

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It takes almost a second for me to leave again.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4020.jpg

Shit. Shit. He had a fucking axe. Jesus Jesus Jesus he's going to murder me. He was coming this way, he must have seen me... he wants me to run. He was walking too calmly, he knows I can't get away. Or that there's something else waiting for me if I turn tail and run. Shit shit shit oh fuck. Fuck.




He should have come out the doorway by now. He's hiding. He's waiting for me to come to him. Jesus, I wish I still had my gun.

I think for a moment, replaying what I saw in my head. The man walking towards me with an axe, his midsection visible through the pipes.

I didn't hear any footsteps.

It's a mirage. It's got to be. Or a ghost. I don't know how it works. Axe murderer. Fits with the child's head. And the woman in the bloody dress. Alright. As long as it's a phantom and not a physical threat, I think... I think we should be okay.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4021.jpg

I head back into the boiler room. There's a half dozen boilers, all lain out like a maze you have to bend and twist around to get to the other side of the room.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4023.jpg

I don't see any axe murderers.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4025.jpg

Don't hear anything besides the rumble of the boilers.

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Eventually I see a light at the end.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4029.jpg

Fuse box.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4030.jpg

Looks like whatever took out all the lights just shut them down from here. I flick the switch to restore power to every level of the hotel that happens to be wired.

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I hear an explosion. Steam. A bolt rips through the air in front of my head and smashes against the cement wall on my right. I hear another bolt whiz just above my head. I make a dash through the gauntlet.

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Metal shrapnel bangs and screams all around me, entire bolts being shot from their gaskets to ricochet all around me.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4038.jpg

I can hear them pass within centimeters, luck or fate keeping me unharmed as I passed through death valley. As I near the end, a single bolt slices through my ankle and makes me stumble, but I land on the bottom of the stairway and limp out of harms way.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4040.jpg

The ankle already begins to heal as I make my way up the never ending flight of stairs to the maintenance door at the top.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP9/OceanHouse4001.jpg

And God said let there be light.

Sir Pinkleton
08-29-2008, 09:15 AM
My only complaint is that you keep writing "quiet" as "quite", as in "it is quite and proper to have tea and biscuits."

Still an awesome story. I'm really liking the character of... what's the protagonist's name again?

DFM
08-29-2008, 10:23 AM
Thanks for the catch, I blame writing them at three in the morning. I'll try and finish Ocean House sometime later today so we can get back on the main story.

And the main character doesn't have a name, really. Just "Fledgling" or "The Merchant"

Jagos
09-01-2008, 03:48 PM
How about we call her "Mona?"

Sir Pinkleton
09-01-2008, 10:32 PM
Kinda like from Mona Lisa?

It could work.

DFM
09-05-2008, 01:35 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5002.jpg

The light doesn't bring the relief I thought it would. I feel exposed, walking through it. Like every eldritch eye in Ocean House is watching me from the shadows. Footsteps from above the ceiling. I'm used to them now, and after the axe and the severed head fake out it's going to take more than some rustling in the dark to scare me. I keep moving forward, the floor cold and damp against my bare feet.

I wish I still had my gun.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5003.jpg

It isn't long before I find my way back towards my cement cradle. Hopefully the last time I ever see it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5004.jpg

I turn the corner and find the elevator door already open, car waiting for me to step on board. Cute.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5006.jpg

The car rumbles upward on rusting cables, thunder barely audible above the noise. I swear I can almost hear the Carpenters playing softly through the elevator's long broken speakers. The rumbling comes to a sudden halt, and there's a cheerful ping as the doors slide open.

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I step off onto the hardwood floor.

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There's a clang and a squeal of metal as the doors shut behind me and the car lurches downward again, descending empty into the abyss. Odd that the house, or the ghost, or the whatever seems to be helping me now. Maybe there's more than one? Jack Nicholson and Danny Lloyd battling over their lives and my survival.

Not to sound unappreciative of my benefactor, but I don't think Danny has much of a chance. I turn the corner and find myself standing on the second story that overlooks the hotel lobby that I'd come in. A round about way of getting here that I can't say I'm glad I took, but at least I'm here.

I'm halfway towards the landing when I see it, flickering across the way like an image on a scrambled tv screen.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5010.jpg

A second later and it's gone. I hesitate for a moment before dashing across the landing towards where she was. If one of the ghosts is helping me then I feel pretty safe ruling out the axe murderer.

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There's an ethereal chill that creeps up my legs and across my back as I near the table. Whoever she is, she's still here. I can feel her watching me, can almost feel her breathing down my neck.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5017.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5018.jpg

The woman... or maybe she's one of the little girls from the murders... begins to drift away. I drop the paper back on the table and head down the hallway after her.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5019.jpg

There's a flash of lightning from outside and the grandfather clock against the wall begins chiming. I near the first room on the left and gently push the double doors open.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5020.jpg

The grandfather clock chimes ten as I make my way into the hotel room.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5021.jpg

Children's toys scattered on the floor. They shouldn't be here, one of the half dozen construction crews that have tried to renovate this place would have carried them off by now. One of the drawings is charred on the edges, just like the papers. The grandfather clock chimes fourteen.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/DFM/Children/Bloodlines/LetsP10/OceanHouse5022.jpg

The whisper is soft, almost frightened. A little boy. It's coming from behind me.

Someone's at the door.

The lights go out. I hear the door slam. The air gets hot, like the room's on fire. I hear chopping, peeling. A scream in the distance. The door slams open and the lights go back on.

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No. I'm not leaving.

I'm not leaving and you can't scare me anymore. I know what you did, know what you're doing, and I'm not going to let it stay that way. Therese can go to hell for all I care, I'm going to pry whatever it is that's so damn precious to you out of your undead claws and I'm going to make sure you're destroyed.

I know your kind, monster, and I know that you're the one who's scared of me.

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I head back into the hallway and from the corner of my eye I catch a glimpse of something flickering in the distance.

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She doesn't move until I'm almost on top of her, and even then she just points a faded hand towards the door, never looks up, never says a word. Then she's gone. I pry the handle on the door.

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Must have been a fire. Might not be related to the murders, but probably is.

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There's a make-shift wooden covering over a hole in the floor. I'm not exactly eager to go down again, but I think it's what the girl wants me to do. I kneel down and pry the boards loose. It takes some effort and I don't think I could have done it if it weren't for my condition, but I manage to clear the opening.

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Looks like the hotel bar. Against my better judgment, I swing my legs over the edge and jump down.

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I land easily on the floor. It's darker in here, the only light coming from the display stand behind the bar. There's another newspaper clipping, dated a few days after the others.

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The only other thing in the bar that isn't a dead end is the dumbwaiter on the far end.

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I hope to god it goes up.

DFM
09-05-2008, 01:36 AM
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The decent is smooth and quiet, remarkably better than the rumbling service elevator. I don't know if it's mechanical decay or misplaced engineering priorities, but I'd take the dumbwaiter any day of the week.

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It opens into what I first think is a freezer. The hotel kitchen must be close to twenty degrees. A pan falls off the stove and clatters to the ground.

Help me.

It's a girl's voice. Maybe a woman's, I can't tell. It's too soft, too panicked. I step out into the kitchen and see a book lying on the counter.

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It looks like a diary. Most of the entries are torn out or charred, but near the end of the book the damage seems more superficial. I lean against the counter, back to the wall, and begin to read.

05/30/1958 - Just arrived here, at the Ocean House. We have a week-long holiday here in Santa Monica and Ed has booked us a room for the hotel's grand opening. I was against it at first, it's more than we can really afford but Ed talked me into it and I'm glad he did. It's a wonderful place, almost magical. The children have been swimming all afternoon.

05/31/1958 - The first two days have been almost perfect, except that Ed can't seem to stop asking about the locket I received from my mother. He seems to think it was sent to me by some... admirer. Ed can be sweet, but sometimes his jealousy gets the better of him. Hopefully he'll feel better tomorrow.

06/01/1958 - Sun is out today, not a cloud in the sky. Ed seems a little on edge, keeps guessing as to who my "new boyfriend" is. Silly Ed.

06/03/1958 - There was a picnic for the hotel guests this morning to celebrate the hotel's opening... quite a grand affair. Ed is in a dark mood. I don't know what more I can do to reassure him that he's my one and only. The whole thing has made him downright miserable, the only time he seemed to brighten up was when he was speaking to the grounds keeper. Boys and their tools.

06/04/1958 - We only have two days left, and thank God we're finally going home. Ed won't speak to me or the children and I've found him more than once in the bathroom holding my locket and staring at it. I'm afraid he's suffered some kind of breakdown. I've told him we can go home if he wants, but he just shakes his head. Won't even look at me. I just want to go home.

06/05/1958 - Ed left early this morning, I haven't seen him since. If I don't see him in another hour, I'm going to call the hotel manager, he shouldn't be out in his state, he could hurt himself. Tiffany went down to the basement to look for him and I'm going to send Ed Jr. out to look for them both if- Sorry, Jr says there's someone knocking, that must be them now.




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Run.

The girl's voice again. Some of the pans hanging from the cabinets start to bang together. Then more of them start. Then more. And more and more and more until everything in the kitchen is shaking like it's trying to break free of some invisible chain.

Then, all at once, the chain snaps.

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The massive center stove roars to live, shooting flames straight up from its burners and the temperature rises to a blast furnace. I'm knocked off my feet before I can think. I can't hear anything but the monstrous thunder of stainless steel crashing against the wall, the floor, crashing against itself... I stagger half on my feet, half on my hands, towards the kitchen door, constantly battered from all sides. A knife from one of the counters slams into my ribs, burying itself up to the handle. It feels like the blade's on fire. I pull it out and try to stem the blood flow with my free hand while a soup pot smashes into the back of my skull with the force of a baseball bat. My vision blurs and I can feel something lift me off the ground and throw me towards the door I'd been so desperately scrambling towards.

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The ghost slams me into it so hard the door's blasted off its hinges and we both crash to the floor.

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The noise from the kitchen is gone. It's cooler in here, too. Not cold, but... cool. Like a basement should be. I hurt like hell but other than the white fire of a knife wound in my chest nothing seems too damaged. It isn't bleeding anymore but it looks like it should be.

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There's a vent and some empty shelves near the end of the room.

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I pull the vent free and crawl inside. Anything to avoid going into the kitchen again.

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I crawl through the claustrophobic space for a few moments before I hear the girl again.

Be careful.

I don't want to have to be careful, I'm tired of this thing having an ambush at every turn, I want it dead already.

I want it dead before I am.

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The vent opens directly into a second elevator shaft. For the first time, I'm glad there's a dead girl whispering in my ear.

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I know what's coming.

I leap out of the vent and hit the bottom of the shaft with a silence that belies the roar of pain from the knife wound and the dull aches from every other part of my body. As soon as I touch the ground I dive and roll into a tiny offshoot that holds the maintenance ladder just away from the main shaft. My chest feels like every organ I have is being ripped out from that wound. I lie on my back, bare feet pressed against the ladder. I'm there for a moment before I hear the ear splitting shriek, and the world starts to shake.

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The elevator screams past, a few inches from my face, a trail of sparks lighting up the darkness behind it. It slams into the ground just below and beside me with a deafening thud and for a moment I think its smashed through the concrete floor, but it just sits there, silent. I pull myself up and, fighting the pain, begin to climb.

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Near the top of the shaft, one of the outside doors is wedged sideways just enough for me to step over and crawl through. I wince and emerge from the elevator shaft into the topmost level of the Ocean House Hotel.

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The air in the hallway is stale. Stale and quiet. It looks like it's in much better condition than the rest of the hotel. A little worn, but nowhere near fifty years worth.

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It's almost as quiet as the lobby first was. Almost... but not quite. The lobby was deadly still, like the entire building was dead, but here... it feels like something's there, just... holding back. I keep one hand against my chest to prevent anything from falling out and struggle towards the room at the end of the hall.

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More fire damage. I stagger into the room and start sifting through the ash for the locket. That's got to be the thing I'm after. I don't know where it is, but the girl, whichever one that is, wants me up here, so it's got to be somewhere here. I'm about to near the sofa when the wall explodes in purple flames.

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It's hot. Hotter than a normal fire. Or maybe it just feels that way because I'm... well... different now. The far wall quickly follows suit, bursting into ethereal fire. I run out of the room and into the hallway as quickly as I can manage without doubling over in pain. The same violet black fire spreading along the walls just ahead of me.

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I come to a hole in the floor in time to see the floor below me completely covered in the fire. I leap over it, stumble, almost fall into a section of the flames. I can't imagine a worse pain. I can feel the skin on my back bubble. I jerk away and fall to the floor. The entire hallway's on fire. I crawl to my feet and run through the pain.

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There's an open room down the hall on my right. It's surrounded by fire but I think I can climb the fallen ceiling timbers to make it to the next story. I manage to clumsily claw my way to the next floor, the pain in my chest almost removed in favor of the blinding pain on half by back.

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There's no fire up here. I'm on... it must be the very top story, staring out into a full moon and a godless sky.

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I can't go back down. If I passed the locket, Ed's already won. If it's up here, I don't know if I'll be able to find it anyway. There's got to be two feet of ash in here. I hiss as I bend around to see the damage to my back. It looks... fine. Well, the dress does, anyway. I twist an arm to touch it and almost scream when I do. Not touching the back again. Whatever fucked up nightmare wound this is, Mercurio or somebody better be able to fix it. I take a few steps further into the room and my vision begins to swim.

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I stare at the room. There's piano music drifting up from somewhere below. I can hear the waves from the beach outside. It smells... fresh. New. I don't feel like I'm being watched.

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Something glitters on an end table resting between two arm chairs.

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Before I can think my hand shoots out, grabs it, clutches it in a death grip so hard I can swear I feel the metal bend.

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My vision starts to blur.

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A gull calls in the distance. My back doesn't hurt anymore. My chest still does.

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I clutch the locket in both hands as tightly as I can and stumble my way back to the ground floor of ocean house. I'm being watched, and I can feel them seething, but they don't do anything. Can't do anything.

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I make it to the lobby, see my purse lying near the hole I fell in. I grab it and leap down the crumbling staircase in one go.

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It's right there. Right there.

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I sprint past the fallen chandelier, feet barely touching the floor before launching again. I barely have time to twist open the knob of the front door before I throw myself against it and stumble outside into the open, salty air.

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Free. Free. I run down the stairs, pain be damned. I can't help myself. I keep running and only pick up speed when I hit the dirt. I venture one last glance behind me.

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I run the rest of the way back to Santa Monica, locket clutched in my hand. I don't get tired. Maybe it's stress, maybe it's insanity, maybe it's just because I've survived more horrors tonight than most people see in a lifetime, but running along that two lane road I feel the best I've ever felt.

I slow to a walk when I hit the city limits. I'm sorry to do it, but I'm a spectacle enough without dashing everywhere I go. As I pass the pier I can hear music playing. Soft... maybe alternative rock. I wonder if the woman from before is still there. I'm not overly eager to return to Therese just yet, so I make my way down to the beach.

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The sand parts smooth between my toes and for a second it feels... No, don't dwell too much on the past. I walk up to the wizened seer. Her friends look scared of me, most of them back away, whisper among themselves. She just looks like I'm a few minutes late.

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"You did a lot for those children. Their mother, too. More than most would have, I think." She shakes her head, a little sadly. "They are not safe yet, but I know you'll do the right thing."

I clutch the locket a little tighter.

"You actually do see the future, then. And... the present, I guess. Are you... No, never mind. Are you still charging for a reading?"

"Yes, but..." She thinks for a moment. "Twenty dollars. You, I think... you need to hear it more than most."

I hand her a crumpled twenty from my purse, fishing my fingers through a miniature sea of ammunition. Her eyes start to dance around, she looks up at the sky, around the city, out to sea, then she starts to speak.

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"The crimson ship..." She looks confused for a moment, then determined, her train of thought completely shifting. "He's not who he says she is and it's going to burn." She squints towards the city, her voice changing inclination and pitch with every sentence. "Dinosaurs? He's furious... the man with the crest. The voice in the darkness, boss. Chinese brothers." She turns and looks straight at me, like she's giving me a command. "Follow the lights to the end of the tunnel." She leans back, her voice quiet, almost contemplative. "Destiny. Where do you want to go?"

I blink for a moment through the silence.

"Do you have anything more... specific? Something that might save my life?"

"Don't open it."

"Okay, how about... who can I trust?"

She thinks for a long time, eyes dancing, like she's scanning a million different names and coming up empty.

"The man on the couch. Hmm... and the lone wolf. All others... tread carefully. You will have many enemies. Everywhere. Some with swords, some with smiles. But I pity them. You are a remarkable foe."

OKAY well that's the end of Ocean House! We have two things to vote on this time, both of them sorta out of character. The first is a name for our heroine, since if people ever start referring to her by her name "DFM" isn't going to cut it, probably. We've got "Mona" so far and I'm fine with that one. The second thing to vote on is our next quest. There's a sidequest at the beach involving some background vampire mythology and searching for a missing girl. Or, if you think we've already spent too much time futzing about Ocean House and you want to see some plot advancement, you can vote to keep going on the main quest. Like I said, it's not really an "in game" decision, just what you'd personally rather read.

EVILNess
09-05-2008, 01:56 AM
Mona seems to fit her, so I am all for that. Also, save the little girl. It seems to be in line with what the character would do if she actually knew about it.

Loyal
09-05-2008, 08:41 AM
I agree with Ness. This is really interesting to read and I look forward to whatever you decide to work with next.

Krylo
09-05-2008, 02:22 PM
It's a young adult girl, not a little girl. For the record.

That said, I'm going to vote to save her. Not for the saving her, but to see how our protagonist deals with the aftermath.

As for the name--I guess I couldn't really care less. Not to fond of Mona, but it's not like appalling to me or anything, either. 'Sides, not like I've got a better suggestion.

bananarama
09-05-2008, 02:37 PM
Can we fit Ellen DeGeneres (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellen_DeGeneres) in? If she were a vampire, she would destroy the damned with a smile.

Also, go for the side quest. Anything would do to give more opportunity to show us your damn good writing, DFM.

BitVyper
09-05-2008, 05:10 PM
Mona

NO!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOKdYsKXIDQ)