“We won this city. There is nothing you can do about it little Pentacle. Try as you will, we will stomp out every one of you cockroaches. Die quickly or die painfully, the choice is yours.” -Unknown Seer
You awaken, you join an order, you discover a mystery, you help society and the cycle repeats. Life goes on and no one says or does anything different. Maybe a banisher needs to be stopped or the seer pylon got a little out of hand, but your concilium stopped them in their tracks. You all did your job and it was a small, but still great, awakened society.
Unfortunately, you weren’t given that option in Los Angeles. The actions of your predecessors gave you a city that is controlled by the seers and they have agents everywhere. They have killed many of your higher-ups and converted others. One cabal lost all their members from a freak gas tanker running into their sanctum with no warning. Even worse, some ended up in jail with no chance of bail.
It is time to make a change. The few concilium members in the city are all that are left and they want to take small victories where they can. One pylon at a time, the concilium will take back Hollywood and Burbank, but at what cost?
YOU ARE LOSING
The war over reality is not favoring the Pentacle. The Seers control Hollywood but no one knows who they are. They manipulate things from behind the scenes, shadow rulers who manipulate the levers of real power. They influence, if not control, the police, the media, the City Government. The war on Terror and the War on Drugs have combined to provide the seers everything they need to clamp down on upstart reality deviants. Civil Forfeiture has been used to drain Consilium resources and not a few Pentacle mages have found their reputations destroyed when media outlets ran embarrassing stories on their dark secrets or police suddenly found several kilo’s of cocaine in their trunk.
Between the Seers, the banishers, the Scelesti and hunters, the mages are outnumbered, outgunned, and surrounded on all sides by enemies. The fight to reclaim control of the area is an uphill battle with the odds stacked against the mages. They are fighting a resistance, operating underground to bring the fight to the enemy, hitting and running before the enemy can strike back. The war is as much about ideas, propaganda and control as it is violence; combatants are often destroyed but not killed, lost to destroyed reputations and obliterated resources
SECRECY IS PARAMOUNT
Survival in this world is built on secrecy and subterfuge. Pentacle mages are members of more than one secret society (order and consilium) with enemies out to obliterate it. Surviving means emphasizing the SECRET in secret society. Membership is closely guarded and true names and shadow names are kept as far apart as possible to protect not just one mage, but all mages. The Veil is not a matter of custom, but one of mutual survival and it is treated as such.
With secrecy comes something else, the lost of trust to others. Apostates cannot even be trusted, but neither can the other supernaturals. Will a vampire point a hunter cell in their direction? Will the Forsaken just wipe them out for stepping on sacred territory? At any rate, the Consilium has to guard against anything that would put them in a deeper hole.
ACTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES
Every action will have an impact in some way, so will have a quick turn around and some will lasting consequences. You have a Seer in your sights and can easily kill them, but you will have to kill two sleepers as well as another order’s member? That is entirely for you to decide, but know that it will have a lasting impact on you. What will you choose? Status or Wisdom? Murder or Saving you own skin? Know and believe that the Seers have already made their choice.
Moods & Inspirations
Focusing on the choice aspect more than anything else, this will be a good chance for player flexibility.
Expectations & Advise From STs
- Avoid antagonistic concepts: Its ok to disagree, but try not to be that character that no one wants to play with. It will make you and everyone else a sad panda.
- Expect to lose your toys at some point: We are embracing the Sanctity of Merits rules. Losing hallows, sanctums, libraries, artifacts, etc is going to be part of the setting and the plot. The seers want to take everything that is precious to you away from you. They may succeed from time to time. If nothing else, the STs will challenge you to maintain your cool toys. If you lose them, know it is part of the plot and not personal. We are not punishing you, but we are treating your character as the hero of the story. (Sanctity of XP will still apply to your hallows/grimoires/etc.)
- Remember, Luke lost both his parents, the moisture farm, and the cool device that made the blue milk – then he became a jedi and blew up the death star. If he sat around whining about losing those things, it would have been a short and probably bad movie (although potentially still better than episode 1).
- The inverse is true too – getting new toys is part of the setting and plot: If you want a cool thing, we hope to make that cool thing a macguffin of the setting and it will hopefully become part of the plot, making the plot personal to you.
- Expect to die: This is a brutal game in a brutal setting. You are on the losing side of a war and your enemies are unforgiving and ruthless, they also have all the advantages. You need to play smart to survive, and even that may not be enough. You can bend reality to your will, but you are outgunned, outnumbered, and cornered. The STs will challenge you and it is ok to fail. Try to go out in a blaze of glory if you do have to go out though.
- Secrecy is your friend: The Seers can’t kill you if they can’t find you or do not know who you are. Try to find solutions that will move you past the obstacle without costing you Secrecy. Buffing your skill to 15 may give you lots of dice, but when you are suddenly super human in your ability, you stand out. Perhaps it would be best to find another path. (In all seriousness, you have enough strength to lift a car and a civilian sees you, there will be complications)