06/12/2014 : Combat Training

Introduction

The first place this month is with the Mitternachtstheatre group, and takes place again in the Domain of München. I’ve been thinking lately about what I actually wish to achieve with Oliver in the World of Darkness, and “power” is the absolute cliché answer I want to stay away from. Playing a Gangrel, gives me the “luxury” of simply not having to care about the whole political mess, although I cannot ignore it due the recent plays that have been happening. A second cliché I want to stay away from is that Gangrel are the absolute fighters (according Gangrel). It’s not that I do not like this play style, but I want to do something different.

With that in mind, I’ve been talking with two other players, and the following came out of it: Oliver should stand up more, react against others. How precicely I’m going to do this, is something I need to think about as several factors are in play here:

  • Oliver is still a Childe
  • Oliver is the lowest pecking order with the Gangrel
  • There’s traditions to respect
  • Oliver is not a fighter

So I need to find a way around this. Then again, I could rely on Gangrel traditions and gain my spot by actually fighting and defeating someone. Whether or not this succeeds is something else.

The second point that popped up, and something I really want to work out in my storyline and background is the focus on the Animalism discipline with Oliver. It plays into the fact that I’m not a fighter, and opens up so many opportunities to create play by obtaining information or calling out people during the play for mistakes like not notifying they are coming by. The input came from a fellow Gangrel player, and the aim is to have a small pack of Foxes for example, Ghouled by Oliver. This allows Oliver to have patrols in a domain and protect specific areas from intruders. The concept is in my head, I just need to write out a few hooks and send this to the SL so Oliver can actually use this in play.

Combat Training

An invitation was send out by Manfred Kornheyde of Clan Nosferatu. The invitation took place inside the sewers of München, a Nosferatu domain. The grounds for the invitation were the recent happenings in München related to the killing of an elderly Vampire in Clan Tremere and the attacks by the Church in the Toitenburg Domain. Because of this, Manfred organized a Combat training session and invited everyone to take part to learn more about properly defending oneself and to discuss the recent events.

For the Gangrel, special animal ghouls were send out to bring them to the meeting location and then guide them towards the lair of the Nosferatu. The walk from the manhole in München to the actual location took an hour and a half. Oliver had no fear to get lost in these winding tunnels, although he was not 100% sure if his plan would actually work. Before entering the manhole, Oliver left behind a ghouled mouse at the entrance, and took 2 more ghouled mice with him. His reasoning was that the mice would be able to find their way back to the third one. At least they said they could.

Arriving at the actual Location, The Gangrel group consisting of Marius, Eddy and Oliver introduced themself to Manfred and took a seat in what appeared to be a form of living room. Nosferatu locations were not exactly known for their….cleanlyness, and the place looked more then a dump then an actual living room:

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(Editor Note: The place should resemble a lair in the sewers under München. So assume the floors to be mess of sludgle and excrement and to be underground.)

As the guests were slowly entering the room, the conversations started to take place about the past happenings. Marius, as always, brought along his own blood for consumption, and shared a bit with Oliver. But only after questioning Oliver why he had scars in his face. Reluctantly Oliver explained he got slashed in the face by Klara for being obstinate with her and not doing what she wanted. Part of the education. A small argument with Jones followed as he did not really agree with using claws as part of Gangrel education. Those were only for killing and destroying, not educating.

In the course of the evening, Manfred invited everyone to join into his shooting range to practise with guns and get a feeling for using these weapons. A special dummy was set up with marked areas to score points:

  • Stomach: 1 point
  • Chest: 2 points
  • Head: 3 points
  • Heart: 5 points

5 bullets were given to everyone, including a light flare as final bullet which doubled the points made with it. Oliver, never having used a gun before, let alone a machine gun; scored one point by shooting a bullet through the marked area on the stomach. As everyone took his turn, for no apparent reason; Jarvis shot René in the side with his own gun and the only explanation coming from his was “oops”. As the scent of blood started to fill the room, Marius called Oliver to him.

Oliver is still not sure why, but for no reason whatsoever Marius used his last bullet and shot Oliver in the shoulder. Thanks to his training so far (Endurance Discipline) the bullet did no damage to his shoulder, but the pain was still there. As if someone took a swing with a baseball bat at his shoulder. The  impact knocked Oliver back against the wall, but he was able to supress a scream and growled at Marius. After leaving the shooting area, Marius grabbed Oliver and pressed against place where he shot him, pressing with his fingers. Oliver knocked away the hand and called him a derp for thinking there was a wound there.

As everyone had their fun with the shooting, all Vampires gathered back in the “living room” and continued their conversations and discussions. The topic shifted really fast to the point of the Domain being attacked by the Church of the True Faith. At this point Marius, Oliver and Eddy left the room and went for a small stroll in the nearby sewer pipes, discussing their oppinion on this topic and how to deal with this. (Editor Input: Not revealing this conversation due plot lines)

When they all came back, the next part of the evening took place: The actual combat training.
Using an empty bottle, the host of the evening selected two people randomly who had to fight against each other, using any means nescecarry. No deaths or knocking someone completely out were allowed. Outside that, anything goes. The following fights ensued, which Oliver all watched to make sure he could pick up things:

  • Marius vs Manfred: Marius won
  • Eddy vs Sophia : Eddy won

Then Jones got selected. As opponent, Eddy got selected again, and was trying to find a replacement by collecting favours. René was offered, but declined. In the end nobody volunteered and the end of the fighting was indirectly concluded. At some point, Eddy suddenly lost the ability to talk. It did not bother Oliver that much, as it would give him some piece and quiet during the evening, but on the other side, someone used a discipline against a clan-member.

Small talk ensued during the evening talking about “controlling the beast”. Jones had a really similar explanation as to how Oliver lived, but it was not completely the same. For Oliver, there’s no such thing as “controlling your beast”. Oliver is Oliver and his beast is his beast. Two separate entities sharing the same body. And the only way that was going to work, is if they understood each other, and shared equally. So far it seemed to be working. More so when Oliver was asked by Jones if he ever let the beast out voluntarely, to which Oliver replied : “yes”.

As the evening came to a close, Eddy got her revenge on Amens, by stabbing her in the side with a knife. Eddy ran out, followed by Marious. For Oliver it made no difference. If Amens did indeed used her discplines on Eddy, then the score was not settled.

The gangrel said their goodbyes to the host and made their way back. Oliver’s plan was working as both his mice led the gangrel group back to the entrance where they came from. Before that Oliver asked if he could spend the place  at Marius, as traveling back to Ingolstad would be a risk, given the time that had passed.

Summary

Small group = intensive play = awesome play. I really enjoy smaller groups as it brings out much more play and opportunities. I’m a bit sad that Oliver did not get to fight. Probably would have not won anyway, but still would have been a good experience.

The next step now for me is to write out this Ghoul fox concept and see how to use this in the play.

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