13
\$\begingroup\$

In my story, there's this club in Tel Aviv. It's a pretty chill place. Owned by an introverted Death Changeling. Bartender's a mustachioed Caitiff with just enough Auspex to tell if you're carrying a gun. The Malkavian DJ spins out sick beats while a Galliard downs more shots of whiskey than is humanly possible. There will also be mortals in the club (as insurance against the mages).

My problem is I'm not quite sure how I can make this work, and I'd really like it to work since it would be essential to the chronicle if it could. So how could all of these dangerous supernaturals get along without alerting all the Mortals in the club? Or killing each other? Is there any canonical precedent for this kind of thing?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ The problem seems to be "help me figure out how a nightclub would support this happening", which seems within our expert advice. We've advised on similar complex issues, like the Cystarchy. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 22 '16 at 4:06
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Do you think it would not work for mechanical reasons or are you just asking for backstories of the characters? \$\endgroup\$ – nvoigt Dec 22 '16 at 8:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Please answer in answers, not comments. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Dec 22 '16 at 13:53
7
\$\begingroup\$

First, let me say that I like Sardathrion’s answer and keeping it a mystery that just works is an excellent way to go. But if you want an explanation:

They won't fight or destroy it because there are powerful entities that find the bar useful.

Vampire Princes often establish places of Elysium where outright violence is forbidden. These are stereotypically bars, nightclubs, or salons (in the fading meaning of a gathering place focused on intellectual discussion rather than a beauty parlor). With two vampires working there, a Prince might readily be persuaded to establish the place as Elysium and may even spend time there himself.

Tradition Mages may well want to study other supernatural creatures, and so find such a gathering place useful. (As a side note, this would be even stronger if you borrow the backstory from Mage: The Awakening instead of using the oWOD Mage: The Ascension. In The Awakening, studying mysteries like other supernaturals is a big part of a Mage’s life. I could easily see the Mysterium devoting vast resources to creating a few such places throughout the world so long as using focused mage sight is not considered breaking the peace.) If the general idea of Tradition Mages enjoying it is not enough for you, give your Death Changeling some sort of special relationship with an archmage. If both the Vampire Prince and an Archmage are backing the place, that is probably enough to get the others to leave it alone.

But the Technocracy might have their own reasons for wanting the place to exist. They want to exterminate the other supernaturals, especially the Tradition Mages (though some sourcebooks have suggested they have at least a working relationship with certain other groups such as the Camarilla….), so they would be unlikely to sponsor the place openly. But it would be a fantastic place to gather Intel. The Technocracy may well send agents there to overtly relax while covertly spying and may well attempt to bug much of the place. They will not openly declare protection, but the knowledge gathered may well justify subtly keeping the place safe. If you want to add an interesting layer of intrigue, they may well have subtly arranged to bring the place into existence…

Giving the wolves a good reason to support it is a bit harder, but the right relationships with a high Renown wolf can always be added in. Even without a reason to support it, the Garou probably have little reason to actively want to shut it down either.

As another, darker option there could be some entity with even more nefarious ends than the Technocracy and perhaps with more power than any individual technocracy mage who created the place and uses the changeling as a front. That power, perhaps a great but twisted spirit entity or other infernal entity such as those the K’llasshaa serve, might be siphoning away power from, and subtly corrupting the entities that frequent the place. It enforces a peace there so it can better use the place…unless and until that peace no longer serves it.

The Mortals Don’t Notice Because the Supernaturals are Even Less Conspicuous than Normal

As a general rule, the members of the oWoD have pretty strong reasons to avoid revealing themselves to the mortals. (There is a partial exception for the Mages who want to shift consensus reality, but even they would know that being too blatant would risk the Technocracy coming down on them and perhaps losing their willingness to tolerate the place, in addition to the usual paradox). This actually gets easier, not harder, when you gather a lot of them together. You will have plenty of beings around ready to help cover for any minor breach and blank out the memories of any mortal that happens to see things they shouldn’t have.

Canon

I am not aware of anything exactly like this in Canon, but the Midnight Circus comes close and serves as precedent.

\$\endgroup\$
13
\$\begingroup\$

Keep it a mystery!

It just works.

No one starts trouble, because no one starts trouble. Everyone has a friend of the friend who remembers there was this one dude how caused trouble. It ended badly, a different bad every time the tale gets told. No one has seen said dude since. No one. It's almost like they were erased out of the world.

Everyone sees the place as a safe place to relax, to do deals in, and that is worth more than a quick angry fight. People leave their anger at the door because they just do. Nothing forces them to, it just the way things are™.

In Hellblazer, Constantine walks out of a crowded place full of way more powerful entities than himself but reminding them who he is… Any of them could have squashed him like a little roach. None of them did. When pulled up on it, Constantine just said "Magic". Use the same magic.

As an added bonus, you have a great mystery for your players to solve should they want to. Let them come up with a clever reason why this works as it is. Maybe it's that, maybe not. But it's a good way to have some player generated content.

There's always one…

One of your player might decide to push his luck and try something there. So, everyone else in the bar might just stop them! No need to resort to some other mystical forces: there's plenty there. Now, no one will work, talk, or help the PC. They are now a pariah.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I like this answer, but I'm going to hold off on accepting it to see what other things people can come up with. \$\endgroup\$ – John Doe Dec 22 '16 at 16:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a good answer, but as a Garou I would be that exact one who prepares an assault on all the Kindred in the club, and as a vampire I would just probably be too afraid to visit it. Too dangerous. Even if noone starts a fight on purpose -- there is always Rage and Frenzy. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Dec 23 '16 at 12:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are countless ways for elder beings to stop a lone attacker. Many involve pre cognition... \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion Dec 23 '16 at 20:03
9
\$\begingroup\$

There are two canonical examples of nightclub-like spaces where supernaturals of different factions get their groove on: the Succubus Club in Vampire (detailed in Succubus Club: Dead Man's Party and A World of Darkness) and the Spy's Demise in Mage (detailed in the various Digital Web books). The Spy's Demise is particularly instructive, as it's a space where Virtual Adepts and Technocrat agents alike can meet for clandestine affairs and party to their hearts' content. Also, in Vancouver, the Garou and the Kindred have a standing detente, which is an example of how those things can work for a given story,

In the World of Darkness, places of normalcy are valuable because it offers you a chance to unwind and let down your guard among people who know what you're going through. Establish this place as something under the protection of a clique of powerful presences in the area who are invested in a) mortal society and b) maintaining their Humanity or their ties to human ethics. Populate the bar with people and supernaturals who also believe in these things — Children of Gaia rather than Red Talons; Brujah rather than Tzimisce. Rely on common interests, rather than sect or clan or tribe or tradition, to breed common bonds. Then, see what happens.

\$\endgroup\$
3
\$\begingroup\$

In the Dresden Files McAnally's Pub is 'Accorded Neutral Territory' where theoretically everyone is required to take any confrontation 'outside'. In that universe the various supernatural nations operate under a set of rules known as the Unseelie Accords which are used to enforce such restrictions.

No such overarching agreements exist in the standard World of Darkness so there is no enforcement (although local agreements are sometimes made) but there is no reason that the bar cannot declare itself neutral provided it can back up that declaration with a bit of support from various individuals or factions.

In addition some neutral territory is quite useful to have in general as it allows factions to deal with each other at some level without excessive preparation and loss of life so the simple usefulness would help the bar to continue. Then you can have the 'our neutrality is being threatened by...' plot when it's needed.

\$\endgroup\$
-2
\$\begingroup\$

Have you ever played Planescape: Torment? The bar in that game is called 'The smoldering corpse' and is inhabited by many powerful creatures of various races. You can read a little about it here: http://torment.wikia.com/wiki/Smoldering_Corpse_Bar

Short answer: they are there for other reasons than starting trouble.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This may be lacking context for how to achieve such an effect in the WoD lore. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 22 '16 at 23:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for clarifying the down votes. My intent had been to deal strictly with providing motivation behind this question: 'So how could all of these dangerous supernaturals get along without alerting all the Mortals in the club?' \$\endgroup\$ – SDH Dec 23 '16 at 16:08
-4
\$\begingroup\$

It mostly is a total disaster

It just really is. Most parts of WoD are hardly compatible.

First problem is balance -- Garou have a reputation of being much stronger than vampires in pretty much every aspect, and it seems so by the rulebook. I didn't read the books on changelings myself yet, but my friends told me that they are even stronger, and mages are even stronger than changelings. You will need to change a lot of powers to make the at least comparable in power.

Second problem is that they just don't shuffle together. Garou and vampires are enemies, they kill each other. If a Garou knows that there are vampires in the club, unless he is already influenced by Wyrm too much, he is going to call for some help and kill them. Mage, people who play this told me, normally just consider vampires too weak, especially the Tremere for their attempt to keep the magic and get eternal life. As Changeling players told me, changelings just don't give a damn about the rest, except probably Garou.

Third -- from my expreience, again, is IS a total disaster. I have been to a LARP with such a crossover once... well, really, it was such a mess with all the problems above, and many more.

Maybe just this particular GM was bad at crossovers, maybe it was me unable to find a place in a world where my Garou doesn't Rage-kill every Kindred he sees, but just don't.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I'm sorry, but I expressly asked not to have this type of answer. \$\endgroup\$ – John Doe Dec 22 '16 at 21:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Megalonychidae Did you? I have reread the original question and comments to it, and I don't see you asking not to have it. If you don't like my solution (just not to mix those things together), ok. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Dec 22 '16 at 23:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Megalonychidae Your post doesn't actually have that anymore. In my revision of your post I removed the demand not to say it won't work as part of removing confrontational language from the post. I also think if someone feels they can demonstrate it won't work (e.g. suppose it's been tried twenty times in the lore and fell apart every single time) it's quite reasonable for them to post an answer saying so. Votes, including yours, can decide how useful such a response is. Usually posts saying "there's no way" have a pretty tough time, especially once answers arrive showing viable options! \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Dec 22 '16 at 23:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I apoligize Basakov. I hadn't realized alterations were made. Thanks for telling me, doppelgreener. Will try to reverse my -1. \$\endgroup\$ – John Doe Dec 23 '16 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ This has some first hand experience, which is useful. But LARPS operate differently from tabletops. Also, the WoD is more nuanced than that. Garou and vampires are enemies...as a general rule. There are some reasons they might put aside their differences and at least tolerate each other (especially the Gangrel). \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Dec 23 '16 at 4:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.