The Sabbat of San Francisco are many, and they share in a tense co-existence with the Anarchs and Camarilla. The centuries-old rivalries remain, but remain corseted and careful with the proliferation of mobile phones and live streaming to the Internet. We are on the precipice of just one final fuckup that blows the whole shit open because some fuck uploaded it to Worldstar.
Danielle Washington replaced Archbishop Adrian Soto in 2002. Adrian Soto was an Ultraconservative who ruled through fear, and he spontaneously withdrew from his appointment, ostensibly to follow Cardinal Polonia in holy war overseas. Regardless of whether that was truly the case, Danielle Washington was ordained in his stead and she obeyed the orders given from on high. She focused on disciplining the Bay Area Sabbat into more cautious observance of the Silence of the Blood.
Vampire as a sphere on Modern Nights is intended to be a more low-to-mid powered game, focusing more on neonates and ancillae who are rising to the top and not the elders who are already there.
The Sabbat on Modern Nights is intended to be an outlet for players who want to explore more personal themes and play with the concepts of theocracy, militarism, death cults and demons in the dark. It's also the outlet for players who find intrigue in the dynamics of humanity loss, embracing and exploring the vampiric condition, and the dehumanization that undead life tends to bring. It is intended to be an environment about war, religion, vengeance and kinship, where its members view themselves as preparing the world for its inevitable apocalypse and grapple with their inhumanity. Think the Farcry game series, From Dusk Till Dawn, and 30 Days Of Night.
While we allow you to play in whichever sect you please, your character will only succeed in the Sabbat if they are, in fact, capable of handling the brutal life, navigating the fact that they are in a death cult/theocracy that doesn't suffer apostates (regardless of what they actually believe deep down), and fundamentally understand that they are no longer human. If you, as a player, do not thrive in this kind of genre, then we suggest that you consider the Anarchs or the Camarilla instead. We want you to be a happy player who feels like there's a place for you! It just might not be among the ritual fires of Esbat.
Join The Sword
In order to make sure all characters have an easy hook into the plot of the game and the themes we want to run, Sabbat character applications should pick one of the following backstory aspects. If you do not like any of these aspects, you can collaborate with staff to write your own hook into the story. We will need you to have a direct "in" to be approved. Custom perks will not be available for custom hooks, but existing perks can be applied. For instance, you make up a story that ties you to an NPC mentioned below, you could reasonably take them as an ally as if you took a standard hook.
You're here to enforce the Holy See -- regardless of your opinion of the Archbishop, the sovereignty of the Sword and its borders should be brutally clear.
You're one of the Sabbat's known mercenaries, and thanks to the Sabbat's foundational powerbase within Mexico, your nightly grind has rolled you in tight with the Sinaloa Cartel and its local allies, Sun Yee On. Maybe you're a member, or maybe you just have a mile long list of 'manos you know you can grab.
Either way, your gigs set you out to move merch, put down enemies, 'stress test' communal havens and get shit ready for the big Ritae. When St. Blaise isn't sending you their best (when are they?), your mortal associates tend to come from the likes of the Mexican Mafia, MS-13, and occasionally the Hells Angels. And since the Anarchs are flirting with the Sinaloas, sometimes you get fresh meat to recruit, and sometimes an undead bed of weeds to pull.
When taking Sin Runner, you can pick one of the following perks:
- Ally (Zelle): Take the Toreador Fixer, Edgar "Zelle" Phillips as an ally under the premise of working alongside or for him successfully in the past (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). You'll be able to call on him as IC backup in your adventures. He is a Priest who will teach you the Ritae if you need a teacher, and can teach Sabbat Thaumaturgy if he is separately purchased as a Mentor.
- Influence (Criminal): Get 1 additional dot of Criminal Influence, applied after character generation. Our Influence system has specialties in it: you'll pick between Human Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, or Arms Trafficking. This Influence will be assigned to the Sinaloa Cartel or Sun Yee On.
- Ability Boost (Larceny, Intimidation or Streetwise): Allocate 2 additional dots into either Larceny, Intimidation or Streetwise, applied after character generation.
You're here to take advantage of the Sabbat's galvanized collective drive towards mastering the occult.
The Sabbat's deep rooted Mexican powerbase extends to the narco-cults of San Francisco, and regardless of your official ties, you're a known quantity within their network of Santeros, Paleros, and Brujos. Polonia's spectacular disaster in New York has proven that Gehenna isn't going to take the form the Ultra-Conservatives said it would, and now that the Orthodoxy has risen in the wake of the cardinal's failure, they spearhead a new call toward unearthing vampiric lore. Among them is your local archbishop Washington, hell bent on determining how to stop the Turning of the Wheel and thwart the machinations of the Ancients. Time to find some shit that belongs in a museum.
When taking Narco-Cultism, you can pick one of the following perks:
- Ally (Xiomara Tijerina): Take the Cobra Priestess Xiomara Tijerina as an ally under the premise of working alongside her successfully in the past (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). She runs Botanica Las Tres Reynas and a Casa De Santos (House of Saints). You'll be able to call on her as IC backup in your adventures. She will teach Auctoritas and Ignoblis Ritae, and she will teach Blood Magic -- including Voodoo Necromancy -- but only if purchased separately as a Mentor and to characters with an earnest belief in an Afro-Caribbean religion.
- Influence (Criminal or Occult): Get 1 additional dot of Criminal or Occult influence applied after character generation. If you go with Occult Influence, please pick an occultism niche, like 'voodoo' or 'palero'. If you go with Criminal influence, it will be with the Sinaloa Cartel or its allies.
- Ability Boost (Occult, Academics and Investigation): Allocate 2 additional dots into either Occult, Academics or Investigation, applied after character generation.
Order Of Saint Blaise
You’re part of the Order and you’re here to nudge the Sabbat towards more investment into the world of the Kine.
Whether the Cainites like it or not, commanding the Cattle rather than abusing them with contempt is necessary to enforce the Silence of the Blood and maintain the integrity of the Sword’s domains. The Archbishop of San Francisco is on your side: she's focused on disciplining the Bay Area Sabbat into a more careful tribe in the wake of the digital age because all it’s going to take to topple the Silence is a fucking Worldstar video (that’s TikTok for you YTs). With San Francisco Sabbat’s connections with the Sinaloas, and the Sinaloa’s connections to agribusiness and chemical companies, your network of influence has meandered out into a chessboard of industrial imports and exports, with legitimate businessmen and mere fronts among them. Who knew the Sabbat was into agribusiness and chemical engineering. It’s almost like Mexico is more than a Hollywood mountain-jungle shithole.
When taking Order Of Saint Blaise, you can pick one of the following perks:
- Ally (J): Jackson, Jackie, Jacqueline, Jane, ... It's less a person and more a rotating stable of the latest unfortunate soul to inherit the XPO Account. The "XPO Account" is a network of established and stable connections among the Order itself, providing a means to get your hands on things from far and wide for wholesale prices. The day face that we slap on it depends on how long this one's gonna last. We just call 'em names that start with J. (Although narratively poor J keeps dying and being replaced, "J" always has Rail and Air Transportation influence and can be sent out to do tasks on your behalf, rate-limited by your Downtime points). If you break J, you are responsible for getting a new one.
- Influence (Occult or Industrial): Get 1 additional dot of Occult influence (which you can put to the Catholic Church) or Industrial influence (which you can put to any industry), applied after character generation.
- Ability Boost (Finance, Technology and Computer): Allocate 2 additional dots into either Finance, Technology or Computer, applied after character generation.
- Archbishop: Danielle Washington
- Bishopric: None, but Danielle is looking to move on, and appoint a Bishopric instead:
- Bishop of Spirituality: No prospects
- Bishop of Security: No prospects
- Bishop of Resources: No prospects
- Bishop of Information: No prospects
- Templars: Aibreann MacGhabann; one position remains open.
Add your pack here!
A Sabbat pack representing the Order of Saint Blaise, who mostly keep to themselves. All men: a Brujah (Kofi Ajani), a Malkavian (Isaac Sicat), a Toreador (Erick Lewis) and a Tzimisce (Deshi Hui). One can track them down in the Mission District because they like to hang out at Drawbridge, which is basically a 2020s internet cafe with 3D printers and CNC routers.
Although they're based a ways away in Vallejo, The Cockstranglaz are an occasional resource, most recently hosting 2021's Palla Grande. Headed by a Toreador named Bishop "Filthy" Sanchez, they're an allegiance of 3 Degenerates and one Nosferatu (Dave) who ride and guide parts of the NorCal trap and rave scene for the Order of St. Blaise.
- Wizard: Batty
|Harbinger of Skulls||Open|
|Serpents Of The Light||Open|
|Ventrue (Crusader Bloodline)||Open|
Uncommon clans are ones that are considered oddities to have within the sect. You may play one, they're just considered novelties.
|Salubri (Furies only)||Open|
- +vauld/start starts a new vaulderie. Any vampire present can participate.
- The +vauld/start command is gatekeepered by having the Vaulderie ritual on your sheet.
- To get the Vaulderie ritual, acquire one or more dots in the Rituals background.
- +vauld/add adds your blood to the vaulderie.
- +vauld/drink calculates your new vinculum ratings for that vaulderie.
- +vauld/close ends the vaulderie.
- +vinculum shows your scores.
A Vaulderie is valid for 1 OOC hour so that if you want to do individual poses about adding and/or drinking blood, you can do that. It expires after that single hour or once someone uses +vauld/close.
On The Vinculum
Detractors of the Sabbat like to loudly proclaim that for all the sect’s proclamations of freedom, “everyone is blood bound to each other.” That’s a gross simplification of how the Vinculum works. The Vinculum is a kind of Blood Bond, but the ritual of the Vaulderie transforms it. Even at its strongest, the Vinculum does not replicate the Master-Subject relationship of the Bond. The ties that are engendered through the Vaulderie are of fierce love and companionship, not abject and self-destructive devotion.
Even at a Vinculum rating of 10, where a Sabbat will happily kill - or die - for his sectmate, this does not create a compulsion to obey them. While they may be more inclined to think favorably of the ideas and plans of their sectmate and might side with them during disputes with someone with whom the bond of vinculum is less strong, even that is not the same as the pull of the Blood Bond.
To understand what a high Vinculum rating is like, think about how you feel about a beloved family member, your devotion to your children, the things you’ve been through with your ride or die friends, or even the deep love you feel for a beloved pet. While you would go to extreme lengths for those people… you still aren’t their slave. That’s what the Vinculum is like.
Sabbat society has two social strata. The face it most commonly shows its enemies are the war packs. These packs live on the edge. They exist violently and they (usually) die violently. They have numbers, but lack the power and entrenched influence of age. This churn prevents them from gaining a large amount of political leverage in the sect. For much of the Sabbat’s history a large amount of its political energy has been involved in turning the War Packs outward, so that they don’t fall to infighting and damage the sect, as has happened during the respective Sabbat Civil Wars.
The other strata of the Sabbat is the Ecclesiarchy. The Ecclesiarchy forms the ecumenical body of the Sabbat, but isn’t restricted to the Priesthood; it also includes the Sabbat’s influence-mongers, occultists, and scholars. For most of the sect’s history the Ecclesiarchy has controlled the War Packs through a complicated mix of politics, religious influence, control of resources, and good old-fashioned manipulation. More than once, this volatile brew blew up in the sect’s face, but overall, the ecclesiarchs have had stability on their side, and that gives them power.
When faced with an urgent challenge, staff may have a War Pack arranged, which will essentially be staff rounding up players towards a dangerous mission. If you do not join a pack, Mama Washington have you join a pack or arrange temporary packs to fulfill a specific mission, even if it is not an urgent/dangerous challenge befitting a War Pack.
To create a pack, send in a +request to staff discussing who is gonna be in it so staff can allocate the Status titles necessary.
Esbat is an event where all Sabbat are supposed to be present, but we are not our characters and cannot all show up at once, especially not across the timezones we share. When it comes to events where IC presence of everybody is mandatory, staff will execute court through a BBpost. It's not our intention to turn the game into a play-by-post, so these posts are expected to be kept to mostly a narrative summary, like a DM telling you about stuff at the table. They also are reserved for specifically events where attendance is required IC by people in significantly different time zones.
Staff assumes your character showed up to Court unless you have explicitly stated you don't show up to Court in a +request.
Esbat posts are open to IC +bbreplies for 5 OOC days. After the 5th day, your window to designate that your character did something notable at court for all to witness is closed and whatever was discussed becomes the official IC continuity. If you don't post anything in response to the IC court post(s), then that just means your character attended Court and didn't do anything notable.
If you want your character to do something that is in response to the events at Court, you are entirely welcome to do so the following ways:
- 1. A +bbreply within the 5 day window. This reflects something IC everyone witnesses.
- 2. A +request to staff describing your character's response, during or after the 5 day window. This reflects whatever we discuss in the +request.
For continuity purposes, we will consider Esbat to have been held on the last day of the 5 day window.
If you are excited about something and want to RP about it now, not 5 days later, that's cool! But please do not RP about anything that is in limbo during the 5 day period, such as a verdict not yet actually reached.
If you want to send in a time-sensitive +request to be resolved a.) in reaction to a court development and b.) before the end of Esbat, do so on days 1-4 so there is at least a day to reasonably process that request. If staff doesn't process it by day 5, that's staff's fault, not yours: the window will be extended if necessary.
Although Modern Nights has a host of NPCs and the game design starts with NPC leaders in all positions, your character can attain any title within the jurisdiction the Holy See Of The Bay up to and including being the Archbishop. The position does need to be earned through IC play: we want to see that you will invest time in the character you are playing before giving you the responsibility of a leadership position. However, we are happy to arrange IC events leading to your taking on of the title if you are interested: simply communicate your goals as a player so that we can collaborate with you. If there are competing players who want the same title, then we will allow them to ICly compete without stacking the deck in anybody's favor. If no other player wants to compete for that title, then we will write a storyline with the end-goal being your character's acquisition of such a title.
We use the Mind's Eye Theater Status System. Its intent is to promote and inform the way that the sect social rules work. While you can read about the rules in detail in the official material, here is a simplified run-down that contains enough to play. Please note that this is not actually a 1:1 explanation of the Status System.
You have Titles (called Abiding and Innate status in MET) and you have Fleeting Status. Titles are things like "Prince" and "Elder" and they apply to you so long as you are that thing. Those titles come with privileges, such as descriptions of what is within your authority, which is what you're probably used to ("A primogen represents his clan, yaddah"). But it also talks about giving people badges like "Favored" and "Honorable."
These monikers are called Fleeting Status. They are little badges you get for certain rewardable RP behavior. For example, Triumphant is a Fleeting Status awarded to people who do something risky and come out victorious. These badges give you some thematically appropriate benefit. Triumphant, for example, gives you the ability to feed wherever you like instead of at designated grounds, because you're known as Billy Badass.
Some badges are negative: Warned, Disgraced, and Forsaken. These you get for being insubordinate, breaking sect law, and so on. When you get Negative Status, this comes with some kind of attached punishment (determined by the status trait itself) and it lasts for either 30 days or until the person who administered it (or someone over their head) forgives you.
Fleeting Status traits last until either you spend them, or you get Warned. Continuing with our Triumphant example, Triumphant can be spent on auto-succeeding on a Rotschreck roll (it would not do for Billy Badass to lose his shit). Once you've spent your Fleeting Status, it's gone forever, but you can earn the same kind of status again.
You can collect up to five Fleeting Status points. You can collect multiple instances of the same kind of Fleeting Status, too. So, at any given time, you have up to 5 Fleeting Status traits, and whatever special rules go along with your title if you have a title.
Learn more on the Status page.
Although the Sabbat do not bother with the petty world of boons, they do trade in favors, oaths and words of honor. Those oaths are upheld as per Statute VII of the Code of Milan. Unlike a Boon, an oath cannot be transferred, nor used like currency. It is an oath, nothing less: it is to be respected, and if broken, avenged.
If a Sabbat member indebts another Sabbat, they will make this oath official on their word of honor: "On my word of honor, I owe you a debt", or "a debt of blood" if it is a particularly large debt. The Sabbat only recognizes debts and blood debts.
The Boon code can be used as a stand-in for Sworn Debts and Blood Debts.
- +Boon/Offer <Name>/<Type>=<Reason> : This initiates a boon from your PC with all PCs present in the room as IC witnesses. Applicable types: Trivial, Minor, Major, Blood, & Life.
- Use "major" for a sworn debt.
- Use "blood" or "life" for a Debt of Blood, at your discretion.
- +Boon/Tell <Names>/Offer <Name>=<Type> for <Reason>: This initiates a boon and specifies the IC witnesses. This command is for use outside of scenes. Example: "+Boon/Tell Jim Bob Dan/Offer James=trivial for the gift James gave me."
- +Boons: This lists the boons you are ICly aware of.
- +Boon/Acknowledge #: This will acknowledge the boon (here, the debt) to your IC witnesses.
- +Boon/Release #: This will release that boon's debtor to your IC witnesses.
Here are some examples of actions that would reasonably invoke a Sworn Debt:
- Continued/extended use of Influence on someone else's behalf
- Taking any action that takes over two months to accomplish
- Supplanting your own political goals to helping someone achieve theirs
- Suppressing or participating in political sect scandals
- Taking a fall for someone
- Actions that are high risk, including death, but reasonably concealable
- Face an extreme risk of severe physical injury, death not unlikely
- Teaching the 4th and 5th levels of Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Obfuscate, Potence, Presence, or Fortitude
- Teaching the first 3 levels of clan-proprietary disciplines (Chimerstry, Dementation, Obtenebration, Protean, Queitus, Serpentis, Vicissitude)
Debts of Blood
Here are some examples of actions that would reasonably invoke a Debt of Blood:
- Infiltrate another sect
- Gifting social capital that would take someone years to build (status, influence, etc.)
- Teaching the 4th and 5th levels of proprietary disciplines
- Teaching the first 3 levels of blood magic
- Once-in-a-lifetime actions: sacrificing your life's work, for example.
- Anything that basically amounts to auditioning for the goddamn red list
- Doing anything that will spell your permanent political suicide
- Teaching 4th and 5th level Blood Magics