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I’m running a campaign and a character decided to change his goal from getting gun heels that are possessed by a demon (Bayonetta) to becoming third generation through diablerie. He’s made a deal with said demon in his heels (before the demon went in the heels) to become uneclipseable but I know that if at any point he wakes an Antediluvian the entire world will be screwed. I’m slowly “feeding” him elders, and I’m dreading when I have to bring an Antediluvian in. I’m almost certain that if I do throw an Antediluvian at him it’ll be the Ravnos Antediluvian as he’s bound to wake soon anyway.

How do I not kill the entire chantry with an Antediluvian?

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Why do you have to "handle" this?

The player has agency. You can give him information that says that facing an antediluvian is a bad idea. You can telegraph all kinds of ways that should the antediluvian awaken, they're screwed.

It seems to me that high ambitions and poor judgement make for a very interesting chronicle.

Let the player have his agency.

If the rest of the party has a problem with this, they should take action in-game to stop it.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This answer should come with a warning that this style of play is not for everybody, honestly. A lot of parties have rules on interparty PvP. Allowing this kind of thing unless the rest of the players somehow stop him can easily kill the party and the game when in-character disputes turn into real life arguments about not letting Bayonetta-wannebe have his fun. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Nov 29 '18 at 12:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Agree with @Theik. Definitely have a conversation with the whole party out of character first. You shouldn't let one player's ambition ruin the fun for everyone. If people are on board, that's a different story and gomad answer might well be suited \$\endgroup\$
    – resnet
    Nov 29 '18 at 13:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Theik - Are you suggesting the player who's liable to ruin the game (and the in-fiction world) for everyone because he's pursing his ambition doesn't need to get buy in from the rest of the group but the rest of the players need their permission to exercise their own agency? I really hope not. I guess I assumed there was already a session zero - Bayonetta has altered the deal. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Nov 29 '18 at 21:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @gomad No, I'm more suggesting that as a DM going "well it's not my problem" can lead to a lot of interparty arguments and fights. A lot of groups would rather have the DM step in and go "hey, this is not a good idea and you're going to ruin the fun for everybody", than having to sort it out in character with a possible fight, and the backlash of that player now refusing to play with the people who killed their character. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theik
    Nov 29 '18 at 22:52
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You don't.

You do want to wake Ravnos? Welcome to the end times! If the player wakes Ravnos, then the following happens canonically, and I strongly suggest you grab the books Gehenna, and maybe Apocalypse, Ascension and Time of Judgement, because this is where your fancy adventures is heading:

Ravnos awakens madly hungry and goes onto a rampage in India. This results in a massive battle with at first just 3 Cathayans, which creates the Week of Nightmares. Soon the other sides joined the fray, like traditions and weres... All the groups dance at the party early and it is a bloody mess. Only the Technocracy shows up late, but they do so and bring the solution in the shape of Void Engineer enhanced nuclear devices aka Spirit Nukes. The nuke and battle annihilate every living being in a huge chunk of India. And every undead being. And every incorporeal being. Ravnos and his enemy still stand, so the Technocracy uses their giant space mirrors and glasses the whole area over a second time, destroying both sides. In the end, the sun annihilates Ravnos.
The result is, that all the Ravnos go crazy and end in the sun or slain by other Kindred within a week. The world is closing in on total destruction: Russia burns in nuclear fire as an Antediluvian starts an all-out war against the Russian government. A huge chunk in the center of Vienna vanishes to nowhere. Mexico gets turned back into Tenochtitlán and the streets run knee-deep in blood.

The only way not to kill the entire coterie by the incoming world end is if the coterie ends this player that is hellbent on being one of the prophecies of Gehenna.

Much more clear summaries, that also don't gloss over stuff as blatantly for the Times of Judgement can be found here or in this answer while short notes are on wikipedia

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The problem you have is that you don't want to break player agency, but you do want to continue running a fun adventure. I have some experience with this problem myself.

The solution I've found that works is to tell the player that I don't think he's a good match for my table, and ask him to leave the game. I did this twice; both times we played out the rest of the adventure and the other players thanked my afterwards.

Here is another thing which I've considered doing, but haven't tried yet: let him succeed and then invoke Parallel Worlds to keep the game going.

"Victory! It took a great struggle, but you've ignored all the warnings, slain all the guardians, and unbound all the seals. The Apocalypse is loosed upon the world!
(It kills you first, of course.)
We can imagine an observer, high above the planet, looking down at the horror you've unleashed. There's no visible blast wave, no explosion. There's just a circle in which the land has turned grey. There's no light, no life, no color, no movement; everything is dead. The circle expands to engulf the whole planet.
Congratulations! You've ended the world!

So here's the next question: how are we going to keep playing the game?
Well, as you know, there's not just one Earth -- there are a vast number of parallel Earths.
There's an Earth where magic doesn't exist; there's an Earth where you guys are all wizards. There's an Earth where you're all ponies. And, in particular, there's an Earth which is just like our current game, except that Bob's character never existed, so he's never destroyed the planet.
And we're going to continue our adventure by focusing on that Earth.
Thanks for playing with us, Bob!

Now. What are the rest of you doing?

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    \$\begingroup\$ While this is an interesting idea I'd personally get buy in from the players in advance of doing this. If I've roleplayed a character through the end of the world I'm not sure I'd want to then reset. And if bob never existed that sort of invalidates all the roleplay and what your character has been through... It might work from some people but if a GM did that to me with no warning I'd have to strongly consider whether I wanted to continue with an AU version of my character... \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris
    Nov 6 '18 at 12:26
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Let him try (but there are a few things he'll have to overcome)

Your player has set a lofty goal for themselves, one which has only been accomplished a handful of times before in known history. But there's certainly nothing wrong with ambition in a Vampire game!

That being said, you mentioned something that got my attention. You said:

I’m dreading when I have to bring an Antediluvian in.

That's certainly understandable. Active Antediluvians are expected to signal Gehenna, the end times. Essentially, this character has a plan that will either end with them as one of the most powerful beings in the world, or with the world's near-total destruction. It's hard to think of how to run such an event in a way that permits anything to happen after it in your game. But it's worth noting that this effort could take a very long time. An entire campaign could be structured around the various difficult barriers this character must overcome to even attempt this act.

With that in mind, let's consider some of the obstacles he'll need to overcome to actually accomplish the theft of an Antediluvian's power. And all of these obstacles will give you ways to delay his ultimate attempt, and create interesting and fun chapters in this story.

Antediluvians are hard to find

Knowledge is power, as they say, and thus some knowledge is only available to the very powerful. If the location of all the Antediluvians was public knowledge, none of them would be safe (sometimes from rival clans, and in some cases from their own clan members). As such, they slumber in secret places, whose locations and defenses are difficult to determine.

What does your character need to do to find them? Perhaps build up a huge network of informants and investigators that span the globe, or develop disciplines that rival the powers of the Tremere, or gain political power at the highest level of vampire society that will give him access to secret guarded lore? Maybe he'll need to do all three! And all of these efforts take time and resources. Developing any or all of these methods can be the backbone of a campaign worth of stories.

Diablerie is reviled

Ok, sure: let's be honest here. Diablerie happens more than vampires would like to admit. Two of the 13 current great clans (or more, depending on whom you believe) are built on the diablerization of Antediluvians, and another is publicly in favor of doing as much diablerie as they possibly can. But amongst most of the Camarilla, the act of diablerie is strictly forbidden, except in cases of a blood-hunt. At least as far as the vampire public is concerned, it is the worst thing a vampire can do.

If this character plans to diablerize an Antediluvian, they will need to keep their efforts to do so a secret. That means that any resources they gather towards this end must either be entirely trustworthy, or kept in the dark about his true intentions. What if some of them figure it out and start blackmailing him? What if some elders question him about some peculiar projects of his and he has to defend himself from their inquiries? What if he's actually found out, and has to go into hiding?

This vampire is essentially running a second Masquerade: one that disguises his intentions not from mortals but from other vampires. That's something that could provide plenty of story seeds on its own.

This is likely to have competition

Assamites love to eat whomever they can get their hands on. Various clans hate each other, and would love to destroy the other clans' progenitor. Some clans are afraid of their own founder (like the Nosferatsu), and some might try to destroy them themselves given the chance. And other vampires without a 3rd generation member in their ranks (like the Baali) would jump at the chance to have an Antediluvian's power backing them up. In short, the idea to diablerize (or at least destroy) an Antediluvian is one that several people have come up with: and your character will need to beat them to it.

What if a faction of some clan or another starts working directly counter to this character, trying to steal the information they've gathered? What if they get to information he needs first, and he has to steal it from them? What if he starts getting to close, and they send assassins to try and kill him to stop him from reaching the Antediluvian first? What if they frame him for a breach of the Masquerade, and he has to clear his name while hiding his true intentions from the Camarilla authorities? All of these things could generate stories and be the source of interesting conflict.

Antediluvians are protected

In the dark ages, two Antediluvians were diablerized by younger vampires. Since then, the Antediluvians may have taken measures to ensure they are difficult to reach again.

Perhaps they have used powers of domination to enthrall entire famliy bloodlines, creating societies of mortals which will defend them. Perhaps they used ancient magics to make their resting places inaccessible except to those who possess secret keys or artefacts. Or perhaps they simply slumber in incredibly inhospitable locations, burred deep in the ocean floor or in unstable precarious caverns.

Gathering resources to overcome these obstacles could generate stories. And even if they are all prepared for, the Antediluvians themselves could present a challenge. Will this character be prepared if the ancient one was suddenly to awaken? Will they have the means and might to overcome them? This could be a final battle of an epic campaign, or even an end to an act but not the entire story if the Antediluvian proves too powerful and escapes.

Still, let them try

This vampire has a goal which is sure to alter the entire world if they succeed, and likely will alter the world even through an attempt. But that doesn't mean that you need to have this world altering event any time soon! All of these obstacles could take years or even centuries to overcome. After all, several other vampires have been trying to do exactly this for thousands of years, and it usually doesn't work.

But that being said, let him try! The game of vampire allows us to set lofty ambitions, and it could be very fun for them to make incremental progress, feeling that they are closer and closer to their goal. If they are clever and ruthless, careful and creative, they may actually one day succeed! But, like the goals of other ambitious vampires (like "I want conquer all mortal nations" or "I want to control all religions" or "I want to become the last vampire on earth"), these goals are not going to be accomplished quickly or easily. Doing so in a vacuum would be hard enough, but in the World of Darkness they'll also have to contend with the various forces attempting the exact same thing.

Someone once said that the biggest problem with conspiracy theories is that they posit some particular group "controls everything": that's not to say that there aren't powerful forces, or sinister schemers, or shadowy figures out there in the world. The problem is there are lots of them, and they are all fighting each other for control. This character is now one of them. Welcome to the Jyhad, young one. Many have walked the path you now seek, and stumbled.

Will you be the first of this age to complete it?

Only time will tell.

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Simple; Let him try. The anti is stronger and the diab fails; thus causing the anti to take over that character's body.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The OP is concerned about what impact letting them try will have on the setting, so "let them try" is a lot more trivially said than done. Do you have any experience-based advice to offer on that part? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 10 '18 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ The thing is that the player is uneclipseable due to a demon deal, so he could not be eclipsed \$\endgroup\$
    – Lexi Jacob
    Dec 10 '18 at 23:23

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