Modern Nights strives to offer a platform where both staff-driven metaplot and PRPs can have high stakes, significant NPCs, and intriguing adventures. Stringing together a complex plot is a labor, though, and sometimes we just want one-shots. Hell, sometimes, you string together enough one-shots, and they're just as good as a complex metaplot. So, we'd like to provide one-shots to encourage your creativity and confirm that you can run stuff like this. You do NOT have to create PRPs that are strictly and only within the confines of the content provided here. This is just to provide resources and ideas!
The RP Hooks that people are asked to take in character generation are intended to be used to help PRP runners and staff STs gauge what sorts of plots and shenanigans would be interesting as well as provide a springboard to create NPCs and other setting details by providing a vibe and theme. Type "+census/hook" to see which hooks have takers!
The Special Order and Exquisite Corpse hooks are intended for characters interested in spooky tomes, creepy monsters and Things That Must Not Be Known.
There are three NPC allies affiliated with Exquisite Corpse. Luna and Ehsan require coordination with staff due to their clans and hierarchy, but the lone Samedi, Cadavre Exquis, has no obligations but to the Masquerade and the Prince. He may be used to generate tasks to fulfill: fetching difficult to find ingredients for his magic that have a catch ("I need these herbs from this specific warehouse because of the angle of the moonlight!" -- you go there and a monster guards the garden), one of his many superstitious, mortal Cult members (that are part of his Herd) bailed out of trouble (Jenine is possessed by some ghost, Im too busy with this alembic... You're an aspiring occultist, YOU handle it), the placing of charms in important places. "I need you to deliver this package to XYZ spot and WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T OPEN IT."
Crime And Combat
Crime and combat hooks for vampires are Destruction Worker (Camarilla), Sin Runner (Sabbat), and Hired Gun (Anarchs).
The Camarilla historically hijacked the city from the Wan Kuei years ago, and so the NPCs you create to represent the social circle in the Camarilla's criminal underworld are mostly Chinese (eg the 14K or the Wah Ching). The Sabbat's mortal associates beyond the Sinaloa Cartel tend to come from the likes of the Mexican Mafia, MS-13, and occasionally the Hells Angels. The Anarch mercenaries are tied in with the Hells Angels and the Mexican Mafia.
The Fixer Formula
- Make Or Pick A Fixer NPC: Pick somebody to hook up your player characters with the job. If you need inspiration or want to simply grab an NPC off the shelf, check out our borrowable NPCs!
- Offer A Challenge: Your Fixer NPC could give the characters a task like ...
- Exterminating Pests: A drug or weapon supply route has been getting sabotaged lately. Dead drops raided, pushers jumped ... Something is happening that makes it so that the supply isn't meeting its destination. So the last shipment was bugged up with a GPS tracker. Follow the ping. Either find out how the goods were intercepted or put an end to these pesky competitors.
- Rescue Mission: The spouse of an extortion debtor. Family of of a high-profile gang member. A supplier. Whoever they are, they've been captured by a rival. The characters need to get that person out, hopefully quietly. Maybe the place is booby trapped! Maybe the place has a bunch of guards! Maybe it's a race against the clock before they're offed. Either way, the players should have a challenge to get 'em out of there.
- The Hit: The wife wants the insurance money. The mark's enemies are the fixer's friends and the fixer owes said friends a favor. Whatever the case may be, the players need to make the mark eat dust and do it quietly.
- Cold Case: The police don't give a fuck about these people and so the criminal becomes the coroner and the detective to look out for his own. The fixer is almost certain of an old gang member's fate: their car found shot out and abandoned, a word from a birdy about a run down house with the stench of death. Find the victim's remains -- perhaps with a fight from their killers guarding the area -- and bring them back to help somebody find peace.
- Jail Break: The fixer knows somebody who got arrested with hot cargo and now he's detained at a particular station. Fortunately, with some help from corrupt police employees who want our courier and the cargo sprung, we know where that is! Find the detainee, break them out, and make sure nobody notices a thing.
- Offer Rewards: Cash-money, a cut of the goods ... Whatever it may be, you are welcome to have the fixer NPC offer a reward which you can then have staff administer through +request. Successful completion of a fixer's challenge may also be rewarded with at least 1 XP (more if they go above and beyond).
A Symbel is a political contest described on page 318 of the 20th anniversary Minds Eye Theatre book. It's a way for two or more vampires to measure fangs without resorting to violence. There are two versions, one of which is the Ordeal. To run an Ordeal, a vampire with some status announces a contest in public, open to any kindred to join. The victor obtains the Victorious Status Trait, meaning he now has some laurels to rest on in the future when he makes a mistake ("I know I screwed up, but I'm clearly skilled! Remember back when I..."). You can run an Ordeal through your own character or you can even borrow Camarilla NPCs on our wiki.
The Symbel Ordeal
You can have Charles Pang wager his Courteous status to...
- Mental, Stealth, or Social Ideas: Obtain a specific piece of art from a private collection or gallery. There are plenty of glitterati in San Francisco. Make up a snooty collector whose spacious home needs some heisting in the name of supporting Mr. Pang's interior designs. Take note that a one-shot like this should target more private collections or modest galleries so as not to garner too much police attention! Interpol won't care about a millionaire's mansion the same way they do the Legion of Honor or de Young.
- Physical Ideas: Issue a hit on high-profile members and affiliates of Sun Yee On, like businessmen with teams of gang-affiliated security holed up in a penthouse or a well-connected kingpin. If you are having trouble thinking of whom, try browsing our NPCs!
The Old Coverup
Clean Up Crew is a hook for social-mental characters, offering a one-shot platform for a number of Protecting The Masquerade adventures. An item that is magical could have fallen into the wrong hands thanks to the proliferation of baubles by the Anarch's neoshamans. You learn about a human who has seen too much: they witnessed an Anarch Game of Gotcha, or survived a Sabbat round of Cowboys and Indians, and they need some serious gaslighting at best. A Ghoul hit the hospital in critical condition and the Vitae kept him a little too alive - those records need doctored. Open up the classic, Bloodlines, or cruise the Bloodlines fan wiki that details all the quests, for inspo. Shamelessly steal it. Parody or repackage the NPCs!
Games Of Instinct
Burn Notice is a way test the loyalty and skills of new recruits or just plain screw with people. It requires at least one pack and a victim to play. The victim is approached by a vampire who says he's part of a secret organization and has been blacklisted, but he must deliver a secret message to his boss across town and needs YOUR help!
The script demands that this vampire is 'killed' by his packmates, leaving the victim with the McGuffin and maybe some dramatic parting words: deliver the secret thing! The world is counting on you! When the victim bolts, the remaining vampires give him just enough of a head start to make things fun.
The objective is to capture the victim, torture him and give him the choice: release the secret or die! Naturally, if they spill the beans, they die. If they keep silent, the pack has found a potential initiate! And, of course, those who are able to deliver the message without being caught are truly noteworthy.
Burn Notice is a favorite way to lay the foundation for a vampire's Creation Rites. Because San Francisco’s attractiveness as a tourist destination even extends to vampires, it's generally easy for a pack to arrange a cast of Cainites their initiate hasn't met before.
A PRP runner looking to do a one-shot can create an NPC who is the victim/subject of Burn Notice, be they a human or a false Sabbat unwittingly facing creation rites. Throw a wrench in the process by adding unexpected witnesses, making the vampires accidentally right about the secret message, or making their victim more cunning than the pack had initially realized!
This game remains unchanged from childhood: the game where two teams make human chains and try to knock each other down in turns. If you fail, you're added to the opposing team. If you succeed, you can pick someone to from the opposing team add to your own.
Though the rules haven't budged from the playground at all, the Sabbat's favorite backdrop is a busy highway for added flair and danger. Of course, the nature of the players with their supernatural strength and modifications provides quite enough variety on its own.
Choose teams. Each team holds hands with each other and forms a line across the play area from the other team. Both teams are facing each other. The team who goes first will decide on a player that they want to call over to their team. Once the player is decided upon the whole team swings their arms and calls "Red Rover, Red Rover, Send _______ right over!".
The player that was call will run to the other team and try to break through the players wall, or where they are holding hands: represent this with a contested Strength + Athletics roll (between the running player and the two other vampires they choose to try to bust past). If the running player is able to break through the line (by beating the highest roll of the two vampires they're charging), they get to choose one player to take back with them to their team.
If the running player is stopped and can't break through the line then they become part of that team and hold hands with the players that they couldn't break through. At that point, vampires might try to injure the vampire (with normal Combat maneuvers).
Faking out the charging vampire (e.g., letting go so they run into traffic) is perfectly possible by a contested Wits + Empathy roll between characters. The players who want to fake-out need to both succeed on a Wits + Empathy roll to mutually let go of each other at the last second. The charging vampire needs to beat their highest roll to see it coming.
This is a test of loyalty, physical prowess, and potentially self-sacrifice, played in a location where a fire pit can be constructed, such as a warehouse or construction site. Pack members playing Trustfall will leap from girder to girder or platform to platform, to be caught at each step by a member. You leap across the fire into someone’s saving catch, and then you take their post as the next person in the pack jumps to you (and subsequently takes your place as catcher). If you drop them, you better follow and try to save them.
Mechanically, the jumper rolls Dexterity + Athletics. Any successes past 1 can be added to the catcher's dice pool to catch the jumper. The jumper rolls Wits + Athletics (plus the jumper's extra successes) to catch the jumper.