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The Eternal City is a chronicle based in the city of Rome starting in Emperor Claudius' reign at 43 CE. Cainites are attempting to build the Third City, a hidden vampiric society beyond humanity's knowledge. Internal dissenters and Carthaginian terrors sealed by crumbling, monumental magic threaten their success. Most stories are told in, around, and under the Imperial capital. Rural or provincial concerns feature as they relate to the city itself, but storytelling will not focus on expeditions to Hispania or Gaul.
Forward And On!
The Eternal City chronicle operates more like a LARP or tabletop game than a traditional MU*. Over the course of the campaign, characters will move to another city in another period. Chapters will be set in places like Byzantium in the Dark Ages and Prague under Emperor Rudolf II.
Think of each setting as a self-contained chapter in a larger story united by common characters, antagonists, and broad themes. The effects of your actions play out over years and decades, changing history through the Dark Ages and into modern nights. Vampires live and scheme beyond human lifetimes. Plots may hatch and fail, and old threats take on new forms. For example, a threat averted in Rome may reappear in a new form in the medieval Catholic Church.
Eternal City is based on V20 (20th Anniversary Vampire). We consider additional content from revised Dark Ages books on a case-by-case basis where a V20 version is unavailable. V20 Dark Ages will be reviewed for content additions or updates upon publication. In the event of drastically changed material, such as Road descriptions, affected players have the opportunity to modify their characters without penalty.
Certain clans have a low population in Rome for various reasons. Restricted character slots are based on a percentage of the active, approved playerbase. A player cannot have more than one restricted slot without special dispensation.
The Nights of Antiquity:
A Newbie's Guide to the Nights of Antiquity:
White Wolf's "World of Darkness" sets the basis for our universe. However, there is no setting sourcebook that players can refer to for this era. Many of our players may be unfamiliar with the specifics of Vampire: the Masquerade. Standard horror and urban fantasy tropes still apply in the ancient world. This overview of the supernatural Roman world can provide a touchstone to some important matters in the Nights of Antiquity:
Vampires are divided into clans rooted in general folklore and cultural themes. The bestial Gangrel play to European and Asian tales of shapeshifting undead able to assume wolf, fox, and bat forms. Seductive Toreador act like succubi and incubi in Near Eastern myths. Dracula pretty much sums up the Tzimisce.
Vampiric society in Rome centers upon a hidden council of vampires. Powerful patrons provide protection and instruction to a younger, less powerful vampires (their clients). This structure is less formal than a master/apprentice system. Clients perform various tasks for their patrons when called upon. In return, they can amass influence, resources, and enough power to become a substantial player.
Might makes right. For the most part, sheer power determines who sits at the top of the heap. Camillus is the pater patriae, the mostly undisputed leader of the Eternal Senate. Anyone attempting to challenge their betters needs a really big sword or heap of favours to call in.
Most supernaturals hide their existence, but not all. Cainites in Rome preferably do not reveal themselves to mortals. This is a city that burns a little too easily. Accidents happen, though. Some vampires simply don't care for social niceties or feel mortals are so inferior, they should know their true masters. Hardliners following Camillus' Edicts enforce an ideal of silence nastily when they think they can get away with it. Remember the mortal population of this era is superstitious and tolerant of miracles or terrors... to a point.
Factions know of one another's existence, at least in passing. Vampires have heard of multiple shapeshifters, fae, ghosts, spirits, and wizards. Supernatural encounters are rare, but not unheard of.
Every supernatural creature rightly fears humanity, even if they treat them like slaves, pawns or food. Mortals outnumber everything else. When motivated, they can be an unstoppable and terrifying force. A canny, informed mortal wields tremendous power in this world.
Rome has rigid social classes that people do not simply ignore. Each class guards its privileges. Ignoring them is a good way to end up severely punished or dead. Senators and equestrians (knights) control vast wealth and power. Slaves are treated like tools, living and breathing ones, but objects rather than people. Outsiders are viewed with suspicion and distaste.
Travel is difficult, expensive, and slow. Sailing, the most reliable transportation, almost never happens at night. Vampires as a result tend to be stationary and highly territorial.
Rome in 43 CE is a volatile metropolis at the center of the known world. One million souls carry on in their lives, for the most part oblivious to the supernatural world thrumming around them.
Carthage: Rome destroyed Carthage almost 200 years ago. The darkness imprisoned under the ruins is immortal and seethes with a desire for revenge. Baali agents and their infernal allies (demons) stir up trouble. A pro-Carthaginian faction wants nothing more than to smash Roman power from inside the city.
Civil Strife: An untried emperor sits upon the throne after Caligula's short, violent reign. Those years were marked by paranoia and bloodshed on an unimaginable scale. People turned in friends and loved ones to save their necks. Entire families were purged in awful spectacles. Roman society is jittery.
Britain: Legions prepare to invade a reportedly mystical isle at the edge of the world. What could possibly go wrong?
Faith: Waves made in the east by a little known cult are finally reaching Rome. Supernatural defenses do not stand up well against religious fervour.
Prophecies: Several prophecies warn the Cainites of impending doom. The Eternal Senate is convulsed by inaction. Rumours that ancient vampires and terrible spirits stir from their sleep spreads among the edges of society. That bodes badly when the Ancients are said to thirst for vampiric blood...
Setites: These vampires want nothing more than to corrupt the whole system to their favour.