Night's Black Agents: The Dracula Dossier by ProfessorProf
OPERATION EDOMOriginal SA post
The Dracula Dossier is a massive campaign module for Night's Black Agents, pitting the agents against motherfucking Dracula. It consists of three parts:
The GM guide that walks through all the details of running the game. Has a really goofy-looking cover, displayed above.
An alternate version of Bram Stoker's
, actually a report on the events of the first failed attempt at Dracula's capture, covered in notes from three generations of agents. The main bit to be used by the players.
The Hawkins Papers:
The 1894 briefings and military papers from Operation Edom. Optional.
All together, it comes out to about a thousand pages of content. LET'S DIG IN.
The setup goes like this:
In 1893, British Naval Intelligence spymaster codename Peter Hawkins decided that it would be a great idea to recruit a vampire as the ultimate super-spy. Naval doctor George Stoker uncovered information about vampires during the Russo Turkish War in the 1870s, and British intelligence had since acquired a huge pile of occult materials. It was time for a trial run.
Operation Edom began. Hawkins made contact with the vampire Dracula, awakened by a Romanian earthquake in August 1893. A meet was made, a safe house and headquaters were prepared in England, then everything immediately went to hell. Dracula imprisoned his minder, double-crossed NID, Hawkins disappeared. Dracula was barred from England, hunted down on his home turf, and terminated with extreme prejudice on August 31st, 1894.
Except the story didn't end there. George's brotehr Bram was called on to compose the after-action report. The NID redacted his text and had him rewrite it as a fictionalized cover for any rumors Edom had started. The original draft they kept.
1940. Britain felt the pressure of an expanding Axis, feeling that they stood a chance as long as Romania remained neutral. Desperate, MI6 reactivated Edom, knowing that Dracula wasn't completely dead. The plan was to find and revive Dracula, then pit him against the Hitler-allied Antonescu government, then possibly back him as Romania's new leader.
Because they didn't learn from the first time they tried to mess with Dracula, everything immediately went to hell again. Antonescu joined the Axis, Dracula played for time and manipulated to Edom team to his own ends. Admist the chaos of a coup and an earthquake, Dracula vanished, possibly dead again.
One of the Edom agents in Romania kept a diary of sorts by annotating his mission brief - a copy of the unredacted Dracula manuscript. Edom put it back in the vaults.
1977. There was a Romanian spy network in Britain with almost supernatural levels of access. Leaked intelligence from London turned up in Bucharest, a new MI6 network in Transylvania collapses, MI6's top man in the KGB was almost exposed. The new head of MI6 ("C") needed the mole dealt with, and Edom knew that they had to either find the leak soon or perish.
Edom's mole hunt began, agents probing back into the Balkans while other arms began kicking down doors in Whitechapel. Then, in February 1978, the hunt ended as suddenly as it began. Did Edom find the mole? Was it the only one? Was the whole hunt an excuse to re-activate Dracula as an anti-Communist asset? An analyst named Cushing studied the mysteries, adding his own layer of notes over the previous agent's notes in the dossier, but never found the answers. The Dracula Dossier went back into the vaults again.
2011. Another earthquake rocks Romania, as always seems to happen when Edom starts looking in Dracula's direction. A flag triggers in the MI6 computer system, which confirms other parameters - MI6 assets lost in Romania, murders in London, chatter in German channels. Warnings route through desks in MI6 and GCHQ, Edom fails to stop them all, and a third analyist starts digging into the Dracula Dossier. She uncovers the new version of Edom, backing a superhuman asset that's already spent decades at war with Islam.
This analyst, under the codename Hopkins, added the third and final layer of notes to the Dossier as she traced Edom's bloody footprints across Europe. However, she still never found Dracula - Edom was still protecting him.
Hopkins was careful, but not careful enough. She has now disappeared, but her last act before doing so was to send the Dracula Dossier to the party. Open the dossier, close the file on Edom and Dracula once and for all.
How To Use This Book
The book outlines separate definitions for the Dracula Dossier and The Dracula Dossier . Without italics, it refers to the in-game artifact, the collection of notes surrounding a manuscript of Stoker's field report. With italics, it refers to the Night's Black Agents campaign module about the dossier.
The Dracula Dossier isn't a traditional campaign in the sense you see most D&D modules. It doesn't have a list of scenes, or a timeline of what Dracula/Edom does and when. It doesn't even tell you who's on which side. Instead, it gives you a framework to run an improvisational campaign, and all the tools you need to react to whatever the agents decide to do. They improvise actions based on the information available to them, and you improvise scenes to respond to those actions.
To this end, no two games of TDD are going to be the same. Quincey Morris could be a werewolf working for one of Dracula's brides, or he could be a selfless Secret Service agent. Every character, every location has multiple possible backstories, so even if your players have read the entire book, you could still keep them guessing.
What's In This Book
The annotated Dracula Unredacted is the starting point for the players, providing hundreds of potential hooks into the larger story. In the Director's Handbook, we've got...
Eyes Only Briefing: The backstory you just read.
Opening the Dossier: Basic assumptions of the game and how it runs.
The 1984 Network: The protagonists of the original novel, their modern descendants, and how to use them in your game.
Opposition Forces: Edom forces, Dracula's minions, possible third parties that might interfere with the hunt.
People: Characters who might appear in various roles in the story.
Nodes: Groups or organizations that might be part of Edom's network or Dracula's conspiracy.
Locations: Places referred to in the annotations, each with 'cool' and 'warm' versions for depending on whether or not they're part of the trail.
Objects: Artifacts and their significance within the Dracula story.
Scenario Spines: Some ways to wrap the Dossier into a full campaign.
Capstones: Optional grand finale scenes to introduce at the end of a game.
Campaign Frames: Alternate settings or tones for the game, like the alternate NBA game modes.
Next: The Dracula Dossier, the one without italics.
DRACULA UNREDACTEDOriginal SA post
Dracula Unredacted is the coolest campaign artifact I've ever seen.
The general structure of Dracula Unredacted is that of the full original text of Bram Stoker's Dracula . However, two things are different - the text has been changed (or, in-universe, the published text was changed), and there are notes.
Three characters have left notes in the book, all visible here on the first page. The blue text is Van Sloan, the Edom agent who first began looking into the Dossier in 1940. The green text is Cushing, an MI6 agent who began his investigation into the Dossier in 1978. The red text is Hopkins, the modern analyst who gives the Dossier to the PCs before her disappearance/death.
Every note is numbered (by Hopkins, as she states above) for reference. Every entry in the Director's Handbook that is referenced in the annotations here is indicated as such by the code HO1 (Hopkins note #1), VS2 (Van Sloan note #2), CU3 (Cushing note #3), etc.
The notes continue at a fairly steady pace through the entire book. This is the real start of the campaign - you drop this in the lap of your players, and let them pick it apart at their own pace.
Let's take an example, to see how this all fits together.
Hopkins's handwriting is terrible, but thankfully all the annotations are selectable text. This one reads:
All still active. Burdett's changed to Coutt's in published version. Leutner now Leutner Fabrichen. K&B fled to Switzerland during WWII, reincorporated there. Follow the money.
So, suppose the agents zero in on this - a possible money trail hinted at by Hopkins. So, they pick a name off the list, maybe Burdett's & Co., and now you need to know what they'll find. In the Director's Handbook, you go to the index of annotations, look up HO50, and find this:
Burdett's & Co. refers to Burdett's Private Bank. On page 143:
This section gives you what you need to know right away - what the agents will see when they go to Burdett's. Beyond that, it lists a possible Edom connection from the bank (and how to run a bank heist if necessary), plus a possible Dracula conspiracy connection. The latter is what we want, since it mentions note HO50 by code - turns out that Dracula wasn't keeping any money here, but he did have an interest in the bank as a research of England's power structures. Dracula has a spy in the bank, giving him access to every aristocratic family and government arm.
Or maybe that's not it. There's several possible Dracula machinations that could be afoot here, so it's a matter of seeing where your players go, then giving them a clue towards one of them.
I'm not going to go over all 400+ pages of Dracula Unredacted, but as I talk about specific points of interest, I'll also drop in some of the annotations in the book that refer to them.
Next: Assumptions about the setting.
DEFAULTS AND ASSUMPTIONS, PART 1Original SA post
DEFAULTS AND ASSUMPTIONS, PART 1
No matter how open-ended the game is, it needs a foundation to build on. In this case, that foundation is Bram Stoker's Dracula . So, here's the defaults.
The Default Dracula
NBA's Linea Dracula vampires are the vampires assumed by this book. Damned, Supernatural, or some combination of the two. Included later in the book are rules for running it with Mutant 'telluric' vampires.
Dracula's goal is the same as it was in 1894 - to rule Britain. He's assumed to be extremely evil, and how much progress he's made towards his goals in the last century is up to you. Notably, the book does not assume that Dracula is Vlad Tepes; there are a lot of other options you can choose from.
The Default Dossier
The Dracula Dossier is at the heart of the campaign. The agents need it to hunt Dracula. Edom will kill to get it back. Dracula will kill to destroy it.
One of our default assumptions is that the Dossier wasn't uploaded to the web - why not?
Option 1: The Dossier can't be uploaded. Some supernatural quality of the document keeps unresolving scans or shutting down cables. Maybe it's like Dracula himself, and doesn't show up on digital records. Maybe some of Dracula's blood touched it in 1940, or Edom placed a Goëtic curse on it deliberately.
Option 2: Hopkins didn't want to get tracked down by GCHQ, for fear of backlash from Edom or MI5.
Option 3: Exposing Edom and MI6's role in that much dirt would be a huge propaganda victory for al-Quaeda.
Option 4: Option's code of professional ethics and Englishness wouldn't let her cheat the game.
Names and Worknames
One big assumption of the book is that most of the names we know aren't the real names of those people. "Johnathan Harker", "R.M. Renfield", even "Dracula" may all be aliases. The annotations also reference names like BULSTRODE and GOBLIN, clearly worknames for people they didn't or couldn't name outright.
The main thing you get out of this is the ability to make anyone be anyone else. BULSTRODE could be a Romanian mobster, or BULSTRODE could be the last heir to the Van Helsing family. Keep track of these names and who they might actually refer to. When you're sure who they are, write it down in your notes.
The Default Campaign
A lot of the campaign's structural details can come straight out of the NBA defaults. For example,
The Dracula Conspyramid
Dracula is a medieval reactionary, so his Conspyracy should fit neatly into the standard pyramid. Something like this:
Whatever the players look at first.
The Ruvary Szgany, Romanian government ministries if Dracula only controls part of the country.
A Legacy or Bride. Edom, if Dracula doesn't run MI6. The Russian Mafiya in Romania.
Dracula's Brides, or a vampiric Legacy. MI6 or Romania, if he controls either. The Satanic Cult of Dracula.
Have a sample!
In this version of the pyramid, Dracula runs the CIA's Eastern European presence, and his chief lieutenant is Countess von Dolingen, one of his Brides. An immortal Quincey Morris is the Countess's go-between for running the Ruvari Szgani, while the CIA runs SRI and bits of the Romanian Mafia, also counting Morris as an asset.
Most of the lower levels are left intentionally blank - you don't want to over-plan the lower levels of the pyramid, since they're easy to stick things into as the players investigate.
As the agents move in, Dracula works against them. Here's his playbook - it's much nastier than the default Vampyramid.
I love this as a tool for running a truly open-ended campaign - instead of leaving it purely up to the Director, or outlining Dracula's specific responses to everything the party might do, the book outlines Dracula's battle strategy in detail, and leaves its implementation to you.
Row 1: Scout the Foe
Shadow Agent: Dracula uses rats or owls to shadow the party, Sense Trouble 8 to detect it. Vampirology and Outdoor/Urban Survival spends reduce Difficulty to 7.
Shadow Source: Dracula sends his minions to shadow the party's people, focusing on women. He wants to find out everything he can about the agents' connections, as he did to Mina and Lucy back in 1893. Watching the watches is a great way to start moving up the Conspyramid.
Enhanced Interrogation: Dracula picks a weak-seeming agent and enters their dreams to drain memories and plans (as he did to Renfield and Lucy in 1894). Dream-sending must be in the same city, and can't penetrate garlic or crucifixes. On the first night, he extracts surface details of the agent team, creating a 3-point pool of resources. On night two, he learns all of the team's Network contacts, lowering Difficulties in acting against them by 1. Night three gives Dracula all of the team's Safeties, and gives him a back door to top off his data again later.
Quid Pro Quo: Dracula contacts one of the Dukes of Edom and demands a full rundown on the agents in exchange for exploding another terrorist cell. The agents may be able to track the Duke back from the meet.
Gift Box (Feral): Dracula sends a box of Romanian grave earth into the Agents' current city, planting clues about it on easily-dispatched minions. If the agents find and open it, inside is a feral vampire, a ghoul, or a bunch of ball bearings and C4. The goal is to learn how the agents hunt, and to discourage them from opening his boxes in the future.
Probing Attack: Dracula sends street-level goons to attack an agent. The goals are to identify the threat levels and weaponry of the agents - Sense Trouble to notice the Renfield observing the battle.
Row 2: Sow Dissension
Double Agent (Renfield): Dracula plants a double agent in the agents' circle of contacts. If possible, he won't burn this agent until row four or five.
Penetrate Network: Dracula works his way into established contacts for the party - any assets they run, he flips. His top priority is flipping assets with access to the agents' safe house. Dracula can attempt to flip two contacts per session, and continues trying to flip them until row four.
Turn his coat for him (Renfield): Dracula approaches one agent with an offer of recruitment - power, money, safety - through an asset that the agents didn't suspect worked for Dracula. Even if they refuse, Dracula's minions treat him as though he accepted the offer, putting money in his accounts and killing his enemies.
Burn and Freeze: Dracula picks one agent and has Edom burn them. For that agent alone, Heat in Britain increases by 3.
Intelligence Failure (Renfields, Wolves): Dracula crafts evidence tailored to one agent's skillset, leading to a major victory against his forces, but instead of a jackpot at the end, it's just a deathtrap. The goal is to make the team mistrust that agent.
Row 3: Terror
Destroy Safety: Dracula finds as many places of Safety as he can, and obliterates them as dramatically as possible.
Turn Solace: Dracula finds an agent's Solace and turns them into a vampiric minion, Lucy style.
Kill Agent: Dracula tries to separate one agent from the team and kill them as brutally as possible. Military Science or Vampirology to realize immediately that their only hope is immediate escape.
Massacre: Dracula kills a lot of innocent people, painting the party's names on the wall in blood. Even if the agents don't get the message, Edom does - Heat +2.
Row 4: Strategic Retreat
Tetsudo: Dracula's forces withdraw to Romania. Edom takes this moment to try and recruit an agent, offering them immunity and possibly a job in exchange for letting Dracula go.
Marlowe has Left the Building: Dracula arranges a confrontation, and fakes his own death. Cunning agents will notice that he's playing out the last scene from the novel, and he survived that one, too. If the players actually believe that he's dead, they can go chase Edom for a while, before Dracula rises again.
Sacrificed Pawn: Dracula burns a source in Edom to reveal some high-level intel, hoping to instigate a full-on war between the agents and Edom.
Row 5: Envelopment
Cloak: Dracula drops completely off the grid. His minions and Edom bleed the agents dry as he hides in somewhere where his power is at its highest - likely his castle.
Dagger: Dracula activates a previously unused node of his Conspyramid and sends them to make the agents turtle up so that he can hunt them down.
Row 6: Destruction
Total War: Dracula makes the destruction of the agents his sole priority. Every asset he controls comes down on their heads. Heat rises by 3, nightly mental attacks drain the agents' stability, wolves and Renfields chase them wherever they go. No rest until one or the other dies.
You didn't think Dracula was ALL you had to worry about, did you? Whenever Dracula slows down, Edom picks up the pace, targeting the agents whenever they're losing momentum.
Row 1: Irritation
Trail False Lead: Edom plants a false lead in the agents' path, pointing far away from Edom.
Arrest Agent: An agent is arrested, and terrorism charges are mentioned. The jail time is used to make the agent sweat, or to sow dissent among the party. Extra dangerous if the party already has Heat.
Private Intercession: Edom forces an ally of the agents to delvier a warning. Not an overt threat, but the contact is temporarily unwilling to help the agents unless a spend of Reassurance gets them back in the game.
Shadow Agent: Edom dispatches a team to shadow an agent - Sense Trouble picks up the trail, then a contest of Surveillance keeps you ahead of the watchers. Edom pulls back if confronted, sending in a new team in a few days.
Intimidate Agent (Jack): An Edom agent shows up to intimidate an agent via violence, trashing a hotel room, or shoving someone into traffic. Staged as something deniable, but a warning is delivered more discreetly: Stay away from the Dracula case.
Make Inquiries: Edom tries to dig up cover identities and figure out who they're really dealing with. Edom may increase Heat by 1 by tipping off their enemies, but they're mostly here for the intel, not to attack.
Row 2: Nullification
Offer Intel: Edom lets the agents pick up some intel about themselves or Dracula, in order to make their next move more predictable, letting them lay a trap.
Freeze Assets: Edom locks down bank accounts associated with an agent. Accounting spend or Preparedness test to still have money stashed away, otherwise it's time to find a new source of funding.
Ruin Contact: Edom frames a contact of the agents, hitting them with professional disgrace or a sex scandal. May double up by trying to turn the contact against the agents.
Surveillance State: Surveillance kicks into high gear. HOLMES 2 distributes the agent's name, ECHELON listens for their voiceprints. This is the work of Edom's elite hacker Prince. Doing anything online requires a Digital Intrusion test against Prince. Failure means she gains access to the agent's computer or discovers their current location.
Arrange Accident: Not necessarily lethal, but not necessarily not lethal, either. Car crashes are good. Collateral casualties are acceptable.
Row 3: Elimination
Dissuade Agent: Hound or one of the other Dukes of Edom contacts an agent for a free lunch meeting. He explains that Edom has plenty of experience dealing with vampires, that Hopkins and the Dossier can't be relied on, and it's fine to just let it drop. There might be a payoff, a threat, or even a job offer.
Targeted Earthquake: Edom deploys its Earthquake Device (if they have one) and shakes up an agent, possibly dropping a building on them. The earthquake is tuned to cause resonance between the agent and the telluric currents, allowing vampires to sense the agent at a distance, as long as they're touching the ground.
Extraordinary Rendition: A Jack strike team (led by a Legacy or Duke) grabs and abducts the agent to an Edom interrogation cell. The others have to mount a rescue.
Burn Agent: Edom drops 5 or more Heat on one agent by circulating 'proof' of terrorist associations. The earthquake device is used to stage an atrocity that can be linked to them.
Row 4: Drastic Action
Recruit Agent: Edom offers an agent official sanction to come in and hunt vampires with MI6 sanction. Do everything they were doing before, but with funding, equipment, and training - the only catch is they have to give up on Dracula. The offer may be a ploy to recover the Dossier and kill the agent.
Offer Target: Edom offers a node in Dracula's Conspiracy as a tempting target. The opening is legitimate, and serves both to get the agents off Edom's back and to open the door to the possibility of a recruitment later.
Sacrificial Play: Edom sets up a Duke for a fall, or sacrifices one of their big facilities. Evidence is planted to make it suggest that this was the end of the conspiracy, and that Edom is gone for good. Edom goes underground, making it look like they're out of the picture.
Row 5: Necessity
Kill Agent: Edom sends its vampire to kill an agent, backing the vampire up with a Duke, a hand of Jacks, and maybe an earthquake. Edom burns the last of its resources striking at the party.
Vampirize Agent: Edom reveals an agent's location to Dracula, giving him a reason to turn the agent. Goal is to turn one of the agents into a vampire, then capture them.
Row 6: The Truth
Offer Revelation: With everything else burned, Edom still has a century of secrets. Edom's chief, "D", reveals something critical - a secret from the past one of the agents, the extent of Dracula's control on the British government, Dracula's next target. Reveal anything, offer any bargaining chip, to keep Edom alive.
DEFAULTS AND ASSUMPTIONS, PART 2Original SA post
DEFAULTS AND ASSUMPTIONS, PART 2
The actual list will come later, but the word 'Legacies' here refers to characters who are either characters from the original novel, or characters descended from or otherwise attached to characters from the original novel. These should be used, but be careful with them - too many will muddy the waters, and it's easy to run the risk of them overshadowing the party.
Number of Legacies
Rule of thumb: Don't include more than three. If you have one Legacy, make them anything you want - Edom asset, Dracula minion, third party ally. If you have two, put them on opposite ends of the spectrum. If you have two, put them on opposite ends - Lucy Blythe working with Edom, Thad Morris as part of the conspiracy. If you have three, don't have any two of them together - one Edom, one vampire, one third-party - and the actions of the players should determine which ones live and which die.
If you really want to have more, then a fourth or fifth can show up dead or only mentioned in passing. If the players are focusing on the Legacies and still having fun hunting them down, then go ahead and keep them coming as long as the party enjoys the reveals, and keep tying them back into the Dossier hooks to keep the game moving.
Pacing and Legacies
Don't introduce all the Legacies at once. Spread them over the course of the game, and give each one their own agenda and narrative hooks to keep them fresh and interesting. Consider hooking each one to a specific Conspyramid level:
Level 1: A Legacy gives you a discreet lead. Maybe a Legacy gave you the Dossier.
Level 2: The agents uncover a Legacy, either through their own investigations or through a Legacy trailing clues for them to find.
Level 3: A Legacy betrays the agents, possibly turning out to be a vampire.
Level 4: A Legacy thwarts the agents, posing as a major challenge for an arc.
Level 5: A Legacy provides a key to victory to the agents, possibly dying in the process.
Level 6: Dracula threatens a Legacy, and their survival is in the hands of the agents.
Have a vague idea of what might happen next, but don't overplan. React to the players to keep the pacing intact. If the agents are rushing towards Castle Dracula, hit them with an Edom tangent. If they're feeling trapped, bring in a Legacy to help them open up the story. When leads start to dry up, suggest another dive into the Dossier.
There are lots of ways the game can pan out, but here's two examples.
Dracula Death Race
This is a faster, more streamlined Dossier game, a series of rapid-fire escalating confrontations leading to a guns-blazing Dracula showdown.
Level 0: Agents get the Dossier, begin developing leads.
Level 1: Agents go looking for Hopkins. Dracula begins scouting the agents.
Level 2: London identified as Dracula's center of operations. Edom tries to take them out of the picture, but they manage to destroy several Dracula safe houses. A Legacy appears.
Level 3: Agents go on the run from Edom and follow Van Helsing's trail to Belgium. Operation to take out a Conspiracy banking node, Dracula turns someone's Solace.
Level 4: A Legacy betrays the agents, who are ambushed by a Bride of Dracula. Agents enter Romania covertly, Edom raises the Heat.
Level 5: Edom sends their vampire to try and sanction the Agents, a hit team of Dukes try to take them out when that doesn't work. Romania is a killing field.
Level 6: The agents track Dracula to his lair and destroy him at great cost.
A longer, more fleshed-out campaign, but still climbing the Conspyramid in a similar way.
Level 0: Enter Freely
Agents get their hands on the Dracula Dossier, and pick promising leads out of the text.
Edom notices the Dossier is missing, begins looking for the culprits. Surveillance contest or short counter-tracking op against Edom's Special Branch agents.
Level 1: First Blood
Agents investigate a lead, finding a Level 1 Conspyramid node. Violence ensues.
Agents find out that vampires are real. A trusted ally crosses Dracula's Conspiracy and gets messily written out of the story.
Dracula begins scouting his foes.
First contact with a Legacy.
Edom responds to interference with Dracula with probing strikes.
Agents respond to Dracula's attacks, uncovering a clue leading up the hierarchy.
Level 2: The Dead Past
The agents take out a Level 2 Node.
Renfields or Jacks hit the stage now (I forgot to mention it earlier, but Jacks are the Edom equivalent of Renfields).
Dracula begins to sow dissension among the agents.
The agents confirm the existence of one Legacy or discover another.
Edom responds to the new Legacy threat with a nullification counter-op.
More leads come into play, sending the agents to other Level 2 Nodes, or eventually up to Level 3.
Level 3: The Mist Thickens
Dracula's minions encountered are becoming more powerful, agents may start to feel out of their depth.
Agents need to find a way into Romania that won't alert GCHQ.
A Legacy is not what it seems to be.
The minute the agents touch Dracula's native soil, he unleashes terror on them.
Edom starts trying to eliminate the threat posed by the agents.
Level 4: Defense of the Realm
If the agents press on into Romania, they force Dracula into a strategic retreat.
Looking for him sets off competitions or collisions with Level 4 Nodes and Renfields.
A Legacy obstructs the agents from moving against either Dracula or Edom.
Edom gets clearance to take drastic action, and the agents become wanted enemies of MI6. Heat increases.
The agents discover Edom's vampire, or vice versa.
Outside actors such as Orlok make their move.
Level 5: The Heart of Edom
Edom becomes the greatest immediate threat to the agents. They climb a ladder of clues to the Ring, thet HMS
, or some other killing ground.
A Legacy helps the agents strike at Edom. Edom strikes back.
Dracula takes advantage of Edom's distraction with a flanking maneuver.
Dracula's attack exposes a Level 5 Node. Lesser vampires start to go down like bowling pins.
Level 6: Dracula Must Die
Cornered, Edom's leader tries to bargain with the truth.
The truth, or the final Legacy, hands the agents the key to penetrating level 6.
The agents track Dracula to his lair as he pulls out all the stops to destroy them.
A Legacy's final fate lies in the hands of the agents.
The agents destroy Dracula at great cost.
Next: How your campaign is different from the defaults.
DEFAULTS AND ASSUMPTIONS, PART 3Original SA post
DEFAULTS AND ASSUMPTIONS, PART 3
By now you've got a grasp on the defaults, but next it's time to decide how your settings varies from those defaults! There are a lot of questions to consider:
How do the agents acquire the Dossier?
For a game starting cold with this module, this can be basically anything. Find it covered in blood in a safe house, get it from a dying informant, beat a rival group to an unknown prize. There's an adventure compilation called The Edom Files that will include a default entry scenario, but it's not out as of this writing. If you've got an ongoing campaign going and want to transition into this storyline, you have another easy in - take one of the party's Network contacts in British intelligence and have her turn out to be Hopkins.
Does Edom have a vampire?
More vampires = more fun. Edom may have any number of vampire prisoners on the Prosperine , but the big question is: Does Edom have a tame vampire they can send on missions?
If so, the question that comes up is why they're still after Dracula. Maybe Dracula has a doomsday switch set up to reveal all of Edom's crimes if he turns up dead. Maybe he has some kind of superweapon set up pointed at London. Maybe Edom's vampire is born of Dracula's blood, so if Dracula dies, Edom loses both assets. Edom keeps Dracula alive out of greed or necessity.
Do other agencies know about vampires?
The Dossier doesn't say that anyone else knows about vampires, but it also doesn't say that they don't. The simplest answer is that other agencies don't know about vampires, but a few individuals do. The fun answer is to throw another organization into the mix - maybe the CIA have their own vampire program, maybe the Germans had one during the world wars that's still operating in the shadows, maybe GRU has their own vampire. Each could have their own agenda, and add a new layer of complexity over the game.
Does Dracula have any more vampires?
He almost definitely has at least basic minions, but what about more independent lieutenants? In the novel, he focuses on vampirizing women, so immediate subordinates are more likely to be women than men. They also might not see eye-to-eye with Dracula - maybe Orlok resents not being the head honcho. There's a short story Dracula's Guest which was inserted into Dracula Unredacted as a chapter, which implies that some of Dracula's agents may have been acting without his approval.
Do vampires work the way Van Helsing thought they did?
Stoker's vampires are Damned, with touches of Supernatural, but he also gives some more scientific explanations of some of Dracula's abilities through geology, chemistry, electricity and volcanology. So, what's the actual nature of vampires?
Dracula is a pure damned/supernatural vampire. The rest is Van Helsing's scientific focus drawing not entirely accurate parallels.
Dracula is a 'telluric vampire', tuned to Earth's magnetic field, and that's the source of a lot of his weirder abilities.
Van Helsing was wrong. His insistence on volcanism is a red herring.
Van Helsing was lying. He's part of Germany's vampire program, and was feeding false information to Edom. Why else would he come to Romania without any garlic?
You can even mix and match the two sides of Dracula's possible nature. Dracula's satanic origins are what gives him his telluric attunements. Orlok is a pure scientific vampire, Dracula being the real deal.
How thoroughly has Dracula penetrated Britain?
Dracula's network probably survived the 1977 mole hunt, and if it didn't, he's probably rebuilt it since. Does Dracula control Edom? Does Dracula control MI6? Does Dracula control the entire military-industrial complex? Does Dracula control the entire island?
You don't even need to figure out how deep this goes right off the bat. Then again, if Dracula controls all of Romania and Britain, that gives him so many resources that stopping him may really be impossible.
Is Jack the Ripper involved somehow?
The Icelandic edition of Dracula opens with a reference to the Whitechapel killings, so it's not unprecedented. You could go almost anywhere with this - Renfield, Seward, Edom experimentation, war-traumatized homicidal George Stoker. This isn't really necessary, but it can add a fun element of Victorian monster mashup to the game.
Which historical figure was Dracula?
This will probably come up when the agents start looking for Dracula's castle. Here are some possibilities:
Vlad Tepes (1431-1476). Pro: Named Dracula, fought the Turks, bloodthirsty. Con: Not Hungarian, was beheaded.
John Hunyadi (1406-1456). Pro: Was Hungarian, fought the Turks, associated with Transylvania. Con: Unlikely to have taken the title.
Michael II Patrascu (1558-1601). Pro: Of House Draculesti, fought the Turks, treacherously murdered. Con: Not Hungarian.
John Dracula (fl. 1535). Pro: Actually named Dracula, Hungarian, shares a coat of arms with the Bathory family. Con: Obscure.
Nicolaus Olahus (1493-1568). Pro: Grandnephew of Vlad, half-Hungarian, Archbishop. Con: Not a warlord, only half Hungarian.
Who blew the first Operation Edom in 1894?
Why did the original plan go south so badly? Was Dracula really that cunning, or was there a traitor in the old group? Again, no need to figure this out ahead of time.
What was Edom's actual plan in 1977?
Maybe a Dracula agent set up the mole hunt to instigate a coup, and now runs Edom. Maybe it was cover to attempt to recruit Dracula against the Soviets. 1977's events are blurry and unclear, leaving lots of room to fit in your own ideas and plot twists.
Using Campaign Modes
All four of NBA's mods can be used for this game, depending on how you play it:
game, Edom and Dracula strike at the party's Symbols and Networks at every opportunity. Legacies are all deeply wounded people, emotionally weakened by the destruction Dracula has wrought on their pasts and lives. None of them should be pure ally or pure enemy; the moral choices should be dramatic and painful.
game, make it less Quest for Dracula, more terrorist hunt. Focus more on the low-level spycraft, only give Dracula a handful of Renfields. Do lots of interpersonal NPC scenes, keep use of artifacts to a minimum, go for telluric vampires.
game, Edom is a dark mirror of the agents' own past agencies. Edom has always had its fingers in their lives, whether they knew it or not. Legacies are either traitors or willing to sacrifice the agents in their own crusades. At least one agent is tied to Edom, at least one agent bears Dracula's blood. Emphasize Dracula's mental powers, make the agents afraid to trust anyone they meet.
game, play up Dracula's string of atrocities. One Legacy is bright and heroic, another is a backstabbing minion of Dracula. Dracula is bestial, medieval, pure evil, standing for everything the agents aren't. When any of his minions die, they die with the relief that they're no longer his prisoner.
Playing an Edom Agent
If the party wants it, let one (1) player be an Edom double agent. Their handler is one of the Dukes, although they may not actually know which one. Lead with one of two questions:
You work for Edom, but over the course of the campaign you’re going to question your loyalty to them. What’s the weak spot in your lo yalty to Edom?
You work for Edom, but only because they’ve got some hold over you. What is it?
The Dracula Dossier adds two new abilities characters can buy:
A new Investigative Ability. Analyze soil samples, match rocks to locality of origin, navigate cave formations, operate geo-sensing equipment.
An optional new General Ability. Hypnosis - medical, not psychic - plays a big role in Stoker's novel, and is one of the only ways to reliably spot vampiric command. Pre-requisite is 8+ in Shrink or Medic.
Using Hypnosis requires a willing subject and a test against a difficulty number that varies quite a bit:
Simple Hypnotic State: Place a patient in a trance. Difficulty 3.
Establish Analytic Rapport: If you've hyponotized a patient before, you get +3 Shrink points during any future use of Shrink on them.
Recover Memories: Uncover buried memories to be relived in the moment. Difficulty 4, and if the memory cost the victim Stability the first time, it'll cost them Stability again.
Post-Hypnotic Suggestion: Difficulty 4 or higher. Cause the patient to perform a single action at a given trigger after they wake up, without thinking about it.
Post-Hypnotic Trance Trigger: Leave a trigger to drop the patient back into a trance later. Difficulty 5, add the margin of success to your Hypnosis pool next time you try to put them in a trance.
Ease Pain: Remove the Hurt condition, Difficulty 4. Doesn't work under battlefield conditions.
Establish Clairvoyant Connection: If your patient is psychically connected to a vampire, flip it and get information about the vampire's surroundings. Difficulty 5 on someone who drank vampire blood, 6 on Renfields, 7 on simple victims.
False Memories: Implant false memories in the patient's mind. Contest between Hypnosis (Diffculty 5) and Stability (Difficulty 4). The suppressed memories may resurface under stress.
Next: The 1894 Network.
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 1Original SA post
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 1
The 1894 Network is the people surrounding the original Operation Edom - in other words, the characters from Stoker's novel. Each has a general bio, plus four extra sections:
Edom: What the truth behind the character is if they're an agent of Edom.
Minion: What the truth behind the character is if they're a minion of Dracula.
Other: Possible allegiances to third parties, neither Edom nor Dracula.
Clear Name: What their 'real' name might be, if you're assuming
Partner in law of Peter Hawkins. Left to Castle Dracula in his mid-twenties, barely escaped the castle alive. A devoute member of the Church of England, his parents are never mentioned - he may be an orphan. Married Mina and had a son, Quincey.
Hawkins and Harker arranged Dracula's move to England. Harker's unexplained business trips to places like Launceston were cover for British intelligence reports on the Dracula progress. He demonstrated incredible strength during the final battle, suggesting the possible existence of a 'vampire serum' being used by Edom.
Dracula made Harker write several dated letters, to be sent to Hawkins - maybe this was to make sure his Edom handler didn't become suspicious when the agent missed a check-in. Harker was seduced by the women at Castle Dracula, and offered Mina to Dracula as tribute. He was suspiciously ineffective at stopping Dracula from feeding on her...
Maybe Harker was just a friendly solicitor recruited by Edom to arrange the necessities of Dracula's transfer. His exposure to Dracula turned him into an informal Edom ally.
James Harper, Jackson Hutter, Jeffrey Hosmer. Joseph Harker was the name of a set designer at Lyceum Theatre.
Wilhemina Murray Harker
Assistant schoolteacher who made the acquaintance of Lucy while they were students. Crossed Europe after learning of Johnathan's sickness to marry him in Budapest. Dracula fed from Mina, and she developed a psychic connection to him that proved instrumental in his downfall. After his 'death', all signs of her curse vanished.
Mina is efficient, diligent and organized - the archetypal analyst. She was the one who suggested that Helsing hypnotize her to spy on Dracula. If Edom didn't recruit her, they were missing out on a huge opportunity. The final days of the operation must have been dreadful, as she was forced to choose between rushing to the dying Johnathan's side or observing Dracula in Whitby.
Dracula drained and maybe seduced Mina at the asylum. Helsing's group kept Mina out of planning sessions to keep her from reporting intel back to Dracula. When Van Helsing concluded that Dracula's defeat freed Mina from their link, he was wrong - she was just very good at hiding her newfound abilities.
After the operation ended, Mina went on to research vampiric lore with Van Helsing. As long as Dracula lives, Mina would become a vampire after her death. She probably survived in 1940, but what if she was preparing her own cremation to avoid a fate worse than death - or what if she returned in 1977?
Ellen Mowbray, Genevieve "Gina" Malcolm, Elizabeth Farris.
Abraham Van Helsing
Chair of medivine at the Municipal University of Amsterdam, specializing in obscure diseases. He was summoned to diagnose Lucy Westenra's mysterious ailment, and immediately identified it as vampirism. Van Helsing led thecrusade against the Count and guided the younger men on the hunt. His wife was committed to an asylum, his son died in unexplained circumstances. His name is Dutch, but he slips into German when surprised or alarmed.
Edom was in this to recruit Dracula, but Van Helsing was eager to kill him. Why? Option 1: Once Lucy was vampirized, Edom decided she would be good enough, and Dracula was just a loose end. Option 2: Helsing was a cleaner, brought in after Operation Edom was declared a failure.
Van Helsing probably wasn't a double agent during the operation, since he was instrumental in so many steps of his defeat. However, Van Helsing's resisting of the charms of the vampires in Castle Dracula has no witnesses, and his description of the vaults contradict's Harkers - a cover story he fashioned, or one implanted by Dracula or his Brides?
What killed Van Helsing's son? What drove his wife insane? What experience started his study of the un-dead? Maybe he was a spy - but not a British spy. He lapses into German under stress, maybe he was connected to the Kaiser's naval intelligence section, Nachrichtenabteilung.
Max Windshoeffel, Martin von Hessel, Jakob van Helmont (ha!). There are a few real people who could also be Van Helsing: German philologist Friedrich Max Müller, biologist Baron Ernst von Blomberg, Hungarian-Austrian neurologist Moritz Benedikt, Dutch psychiatrist and hypnotist Albert Willem, Irish surgeon Willam Thornley Stoker - Bram Stoker's eldest brother.
Friend of Mina, sleepwalker, plagued by a long line of suitors. Dracula targeted her within three days of arriving in England, and fed from her for two months before she died.
Lucy's sleepwalking could be a sign of psychic sensitivity that caused Edom to scout her. Alternately, she's described as spending her days watching shipping from her perch in Whitby graveyard, which could have been useful to them. Besides, if she was just some teenager, why did Dracula go through such lengths to get at her blood?
Lucy was obviously turned by Dracula, but was this really against her will? In her final note, she says the servants were all drugged, leaving her alone, but when Dracula goes after Harker, he uses mesmeric powers. Why would he drug the servants? What if she drugged the servants?
Arther Holmwood allegedly staked her to death after she rose as a vampire. After that, Van Helsing send him and Quincey out of the tomb while he sawed off her head - but what if that's not the real reason? Maybe Van Helsing and Seward were both Edom, and used this opportunity to steal her body for Edom experiments. Maybe Seward took Lucy back to the asylum as his vampire bride, hoping to free her from the curse with Dracula's death. Lucy could still be imprisoned in some secret dungeon beneath the asylum.
Charlotte Westerman, Laura Wexford.
Dr. John "Jack" Seward
Operated a lunatic asylum near Carfax. Trained under Van Helsing, unsuccessfully courted Lucy. Obsessive diarist, married after the events of the novel, but his wife's name is never given.
Recruited after Dracula arranged to purchase Carfax. You'd want an asylum if you were recruiting a vampire - plenty of victims who wouldn't be missed, perfect cover for unusual occurrances. Maybe Seward panicked when Lucy fell to Dracula, and called in Van Helsing against orders to plot Dracula's demise. Some wax cylinders may still exist somewhere with his unrecorded thoughts.
Remfield is an Edom deep-cover agent, and he tries to warn the world about Dracula but is stopped by Dr. Seward. His proximity to Carvax gives Dracula access, and his love for Lucy gives Dracula leverage.
He's a sexually frustrated medical man with obsessive tendencies. His name is Jack. Where was he during the Whitechapel murders ?
James Sanders, Johnathan Sieverse, John Sadler, Joshua Stanley. Medical men suspected of being Jack the Ripper include Morgan Davies and Sir John Williams.
Known later as Lord Godalming, heir to the estate of Ring. Engaged to Lucy, and the one who drove the stake into her heart. Followed Van Helsing dutifully at every turn.
Step 1 of Operation Edom was to get a vampire, and step 2 was to get a British vampire. Holmwood, loyal and of noble blood, was Edom's vampire-designate until the Count targeted Lucy. He jumps at the opportunity to be drained by the dying Lucy - could this be a last-ditch attempt to become a vampire himself?
Holmwood telegrams Seward and Morris, alluding to shocking news that we never hear (it sounds like it's his engagement, but both men already know about it). The timing coincides with Dracula finalizing his plans to move to England - was he in communication with Holmwood?
The deaths of Lucy's mother and Holmwood's father aren't explained, but leave Arthur in possession of a title and fortune - Dracula's payment for his work. He only switched sides when Dracula attacked Lucy, and then he hid all evidence of his involvement with the vampire in the Ring archives.
Three viscounts died in 1894, and any of their two heries might be the real Holmwood. Albert Henry George Grey, Henry Charles Hardinge, George Godolphin Osborne, Francis Douglas. The latter died in an unexplained shooting incident in Somerset.
Well, okay, he never had an heir, but adding a fictional son is a small price to pay to get a mysterious shooting accident into the backstory.
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 2Original SA post
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 2
American adventurer, friend of Arthur Holmwood and Jack Seward and the third courter of Lucy Westenra. Had a collection of firearms that he used to considerable effect when hunting Dracula, died delivering what Stoker reported to be the fatal blow to the Count. As we now know, Dracula survived this fatal encounter.
Was Quincey really American? Maybe he was actually Dracula's handler - he shows up right after Dracula's last attack on Lucy, was the first to mention vampires, and was constantly slipping off on vague 'patrols'. Taking out Dracula if things went south may have been part of his job, too.
Dracula recruited Quincey in Whitby, and used him as a spy. He 'fails' repeatedly to stop Dracula from accomplishing his goals, and ultimately kills Dracula - or does he? Dracula has the power to change forms at sunset or sunrise, and Quincey struck the killing blow at the moment of sunset! He didn't use any of the established vampire-killing methods, Dracula just evaporated to reform later. Quincey may still be working with Dracula to this day.
Quincey's backstory is so blurry that almost anything is possible. He could be an inventor, a monster, or a spy for the American Secret Service, aiming to hijack Edom for US interests.
Brutus Marix, Quincy Adams, James Brown, Mark Franklin.
Journalist and contributor to the Englishwoman's Review and the Westminster Gazette . Academic and lifelong friend of Mina Murray. Uncovered the true identity of Count de Ville when he came to London. Notably was cut completely from the published novel.
Reed could have been Edom's media filter, intercepting any leaks of vampire attacks before they hit the press. He references an 'uncle James' with an unclear job and an interest in train timetables, who could have been her Edom handler. Maybe that's why she wasn't in the book.
When Reed tried to poison Mina, the others accused her of being a vampire - she claimed she was trying to Euthanize Mina, but that can't be proven. Reed's description of Dracula's feast has several strange inconsistencies, suggesting that maybe she falsified parts of the story, maybe because she was actually attending the feast willingly. There's some evidence that Reed had a romantic entanglement with Johnathan Harker, giving her a motive to ally with Dracula against an old rival.
Why was Kate Reed excised from the book? Possibility 1, Reed's father had connections to the X Club, a dinner club that served as Edom's advisory committee, and he got her pulled from the text to protect her. Possibility 2, Kate Reed's diary went missing before Stoker collected the report, and she was cut from the text to decredit any possible connections drawn by whoever found it later.
Genevieve Havelock, Barbara Ward, Catherine Cook. A real world option is Edith Craig, daughter of the actor Ellen Terry - she was sent to America in 1895 - to escape Dracula, or to escape Bram Stoker's employers?
R. M. Renfield
The most famous of Dracula's human minions. A patient in Dr. Seward's asylum, he sensed Dracula's approach long before he landed in England. His primary activity was to invite his master into the asylum to prey on Mina, but he was ignored by Dracula, and ended up attacking him. He was mortally wounded in the altercation, and died shortly afterwards.
Was Renfield wholly insane? If he was in place to spy on the Carfax estate, then all the fly eating would be some really deep cover. He's intelligent, has great powers of observation, and shows signs of physical training, too.
Renfield is obviously a minion of Dracula, but why him? If he's psychically sensitive enough to get hit by Dracula's aura remotely, how many others were similarly affected? Any number of incidents surrounding madmen could be Dracula's fault, and could then have become his leave-behind London network.
Who killed Renfield? Was it really Dracula? Did he really die? Renfield is another possible candidate for Jack the Ripper, if he's in the game. Hell, he might still be Jack the Ripper.
James Kelly, Roderick Reynolds, Clark Maybrick. Real people who could be a Jack the Ripper whose death was faked by authorities: William Gull, Montague Druitt, William Bury, J.K. Stephen, Prince Albert Victor, Nathan Kaminsky. Real murderers who similarly could be Renfield: Richard Dadd, Charlie Peace, Neill Cream, George Henry Lamson, Percy Lefroy Mapleton.
Johnathan Harker's employer. Died abruptly, leaving his house and business to the Harkers - Lucy and her mother also died at about the same time.
Possibly Operation Edom's mastermind. Hawkins contacted Dracula and lured him to England, Hawkins sent Harker to Castle Dracula, Hawkins invited Johnathan and Mina to live with him (and debrief them). Once Dracula was secure in Carfax, Hawkins vanished, because he never existed. This is also why he appears to have no family.
When Dracula got an obscure solicitor's name in Exeter, Hawkins provided it. Hawkins didn't really die, he just disappeared. Maybe he had a fatal disease, and sought out Dracula to cure it - maybe that was the whole point of Operation Edom. He was always one step ahead, making sure the vampire hunters were one step behind.
Abraham Aaronson, Arthur Abbott, John Gilbert. The head of Naval Intelligence was William Henry Hall until 1889, and he died unexpectedly in 1895. Rear Admiral Cyprian A. G. Bridge was his successor, and he suddenly retired in late 1894.
Vanished during his own investigation into Dracula, remembered only by his notebook. He failed to spot the danger until it was far too late.
Cotford was a soldier before he was police. Even if he wasn't Edom, he may have assisted them unknowingly by reporting Dracula's movements to his superiors.
Cotford was locked in a tomb with a hungry young vampiress, then we don't know what happened to him. Dracula could have use for a police mole.
Ebenezer Crook, Thomas Snell, Athelstan Jones
Society painter, photographer. Asked to paint Lucy Westenra and Juliette Patron, both future victims of Dracula. Discovered the effect of vampirism on photographs. Painted a portrait of Dracula at great cost to his own sanity. Does not appear in the published novel.
Photography was his cover - Aytown was an Edom plant in high-society circles. He was removed from the novel to make sure nobody went looking for the pictures he took of Dracula.
Dracula enters Aytown's studio with no trouble - did Aytown invite him in? Maybe the Dracula portrait was a fraud.
Basil Hallward, Benedict Upton, Louis Vener. Could be a cover name for occultist murder-obsess painter and Ripper supsect Walter Sickert.
Next: The Legacies.
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 3Original SA post
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 3
Following are nine possible modern-day NPCs tied to the original network. How and when to use them was covered already, and the Director is free to make up more, or declare other modern-day characters to be Legacies.
The sections are slightly different:
Innocent: The superficial truth of the character, and possibly the whole truth.
Asset: The possible hidden truth that connects them to modern Edom.
Minion: The possible hidden truth that connects them to Dracula's network.
Defining Quirks: Little things that distinguish the character to make them stand out.
Abilities and Ratings: Statblock.
Playing a Legacy
Maybe one of the players wants to be a legacy. This can be done. If there are two or more Legacies in the party, they start with +1 Heat. A few new rules back up this option:
New Drive: In the Blood
If you're using Drives. You were born and bred for the vampire hunter's life, and you're determined to live up to your family's reputation.
New Background: Edom Legacy
You've been on MI6's radar since you were born. You got out before the work started, maybe because you uncovered one of their secrets, or escaped from Edom vampiric experiments. Now you've found out what they did to your ancestors, and it's time to settle the score.
Investigative abilities: Pick any regular Background, and then add Geology 1, Tradecraft 1, Vampirology 1.
General abilities: Pick any regular Background, then add Weapons 4.
That means it takes an extra 3 investigative / 4 general build points, naturally.
Legacies becoming player characters
If a Legacy starts as an NPC, then a player wants to pick them up, add enough points to their ability block from the list to get them in line with the other PCs. They don't need to spend them all at once.
An old, fragile-looking woman. Nearly a hundred years old, but her mind is still as sharp as that of her grandmother, Mina Harker. She's in a retirement home in exeter, her bills possibly being paid by Edom. Her husband Gerald died in a car crash in the 70s, they never had children.
In the 70s, she was a First Aid Nursing yeomanry assigned to the SOE station at Grendon, decoding messages. After the war, she became a secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Now, she listens to the BBC World Service reports about the Middle East, and gradually puts things together.
Investigative Abilities: History, Research, Traffic Analysis, Vampirology
General Abilities: Preparedness 4
Lucy's always known that Edom wasn't to be trusted. She rejected an offer from MI6 after the war, and dedicates her life to studying Dracula. She's been waiting for the party to arrive for 70 years - Negotiation convinces her that they really are enemies of Dracula and Edom. She has a suitcase full of notes, some of them inherited from the original team (perfect chance to introduce some Objects). None of it is concrete, but some research off of them could uncover a new lead.
Lucy made a deal with Edom in the 50s to get her husband ahead on his political ambitions, working for them until a crisis of conscience in 1977. She doesn't know to this day whether Gerald's death was an accident or an Edom strike, but it broke her spirit either way. Lucy hates and fears Edom; Interrogation + knowledge of Gerald's death gets her to reveal her past with them, Reassurance can flip her. If not flipped, she'll report the agents' presence to Edom, then burn her notes and herself.
Dracula recruited Lucy when she was sixteen, and she's been spying on Edom ever since. She's very happy at the retirement home, knowing what's waiting for her when she dies. Bullshit Detector notes her strange self-confidence, Notice spots the pale sopt on the wall where a crucifix used to hang.
Writes everything down in her little books, always has the radio playing in the background, deaf as a post.
A charming law student with a metromedia accent who never seems to be out of breath after a long run. She is the great-great-granddaughter of Mina and Johnathan Harker.
Investigative Abilities: Criminology, Human Terrain, Languages (Romanian, German), Law, Notice, Photography, Research, Vampirology
General Abilities: Athletics 5, Hand-to-Hand 3, Health 6, Medic 2, Preparedness 3, Sense Trouble 4
Billie appears as an innocent law student at the University of London if met in England, and as a middle-class tourist if encountered abroad. Her Romanian is learned from Rosetta Stone, her German is better. Responds best to honesty and forthrightness.
Edom pays her student bills to keep tabs on her, and is planning to recruit her formally once she graduates. Agents who have seen photos of Mina might note a striking resemblance - Billie could also be Mina, surviving as a dhampir vampire hunter.
Mina died young, but was revived by Dracula in 1977. She uses her ancestry as a way to infiltrate vampire-hunter teams and prepare them for Dracula.
Carries a well-used laptop in her bag, Records notes to herself on her phone, toys with the crucifix around her neck.
J. Q. Harker
Jasper Quincey Harker (but everyone calls him J.Q.) is in his mid-50s but looks older. Ex-military, discharged on medical grounds after a tour in Iraq, now retired on his military pension and family assets. He writes history books (History, Military Science, Flattery), stammers when he speaks, and is much more comfortable keeping in touch via email. He's the great-grandson of Mina and Johnathan Harker.
Investigative Abilities: Cryptography, History, Languages (Arabic, French, Latin, Old English, Welsh), Outdoor Survival, Research
General Abilities: Athletics 5, Conceal 4, Driving 2, Explosive Devices 2, Hand-to-Hand 4, Health 6, Medic 4, Network 4, Shooting 6
Forced into a military career by his father, J.Q. had a nervous breakdown after his Iraq tour. Scouring his books for clues (Research) reveals nothing. He believes the agents to be playing a prank or pulling a scam on him. He travels with his wife, who doesn't share his enthusiasm for Gothic ruins.
Harker is ex-Edom, injured in Iraq when a mission went wrong. His wife is also an Edom asset, either keeping an eye on him or as a vampire bodyguard. Diagnosis spots his injury, his bitterness is the key to flipping him against Edom.
Harker's 'wife' is a vampire or other such creature who found him in Iraq. He can't resist her powers, and quit Edom to protect her. The creature serves Dracula, and will be used to move Harker into action when the master requires it. He will try to warn the agents without alerting his keeper, Bullshit Detector or Tradecraft to pick up on it.
Stammers, carries a black notebook, military bearing under pressure.
Philip Holmwood, Lord Godalming
One of the more recognizable members of the House of Lords. On the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, advises on defense and long-term strategic planning. A loud voice in support of the War on Terror.
Investigative Abilities: Electronic Surveillance, Human Terrain, Military Science, Vampirology
General Abilities: Driving 4, Network 10, Shooting 4, Weapons 6
As far as Godalming knows, Dracula is dead. If her ever becomes a problem, Edom has some blackmail photos to keep him in line. Mention Edom or Dracula and his guard goes up, Reassurance or Tradecraft to get through him. His political sway can make him a valuable ally.
Edom guided Lord Godalming's career in the '80s and '90s. He's a loyal ally and owes them deeply, and may also be a member of Edom - he could even be "D". He'll pretend to be on the agents' side, and support them all he can, while cheerfully reporting all their actions to Edom.
Fell into a Conspiracy trap in the '90s, and is now a double agent for Dracula within Edom. He wants to escape the Conspiracy's grip by killing the vampire who seduced him. May even be the mole from 1977.
Turns everything into a flight of oratory, carries a kukri knife in his briefcase, needs a stiff drink whenever vampires are mentioned.
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 4Original SA post
THE 1894 NETWORK, PART 4
Definitely not a vampire, considering how often her photos show up in tabloid magazines. Every other day, it seems that the queen of the Eurotrash is stumbling into some new flirtation or other PR disaster with a pop star, actor, or member of the Royal Family.
Tabitha is the great-great-granddaughter of Arthur Holmwood, and the black sheep of the family. High Society or Streetwise are the only ways to get even close to her.
Investigative Abilities: Art History, High Society, Photography
General Abilities: Disguise 4, Infiltration 4, Network 8, Surveillance 4
Tabitha's everything she seems to be, but also a lot smarter. Flattery is the easiest way to influence her - she doesn't know anything about vampires, but she could get them into Ring or just about any exclusive social event. Her damage control publicist tries to improve her image by having her fundraise for charities, including Heal the Children - more on them later. It's not as nice as it sounds.
Tabitha's been cut off, and needs to do something to fund her lifestyle. She could be in the pockets of the Romanian Mafia, or arms runners, or all sorts of seedy underworld types. She parties with the rich and dangerous, and could be the perfect courier for drugs, information, or something more exotic. Flipping her could be a simple matter of getting her out of whatever mess she's gotten herself into today.
She's not a vampire... yet. The reason she lives so loudly is because she has a blood cell impairment that leads to leukemia, and only has five or six years to live. Unless she can find a way to cheat death.
Complains about paparazzi, but carefully checks lighting to ensure she photographs well. Checks phone constantly. Awake? Champagne.
Geerd Hoorn (Van Helsing)
Van Helsing had a son, Isaak, who died in 1894 - or at least, that's Stoker's story. Maybe Isaak's death was staged to protect him from vampiric retribution. He adopted the name Van Hoorn from then on - Geerd Van Hoorn is Abraham Van Helsing's great-great-grandson.
In his 70s, but looks 20 years younger. Worked on ships as a union organizer for the Dutch socialist left, dropping Van from his name. Family died during Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. He's now retired, acting as a political fixer for the Dutch left.
Investigative abilities: Accounting, Architecture (ships and shipyards), Intimidation, Languages (English, German, Greek, Romanian (if an asset or minion), Russian (if an asset)), Negotiation, Notice, Streetwise, Urban Survival, Tradecraft (if an asset), Vampirology (if an asset)
General Abilities: Athletics 8, Conceal 5, Cover 2 (5 if asset or minion), Hand-to-Hand 4, Mechanics 4, Network 8, Piloting 5 (ships), Weapons 4
Knows nothing about vampires, and doesn't believe in them. His enemy forces are global capitalist decadence. He has a team of five men to keep timewasters and shiftless layabouts away from him - it takes solid, real information to get his attention.
Could be working for a lot of people. Maybe Edom got him during the 1945 liberation of the Netherlands, and he's been serving them and the Left ever since. Maybe the Russians recruited him during in Warsaw in 1954, and now he keeps tabs on vampire activity in Europe. Maybe he works for the CIA as a double agent. Maybe he works for the Germans, and Geerd is a fabrication - he's not Van Helsing's descendant at all.
Dracula made a Renfield of Geerd during his escape from London in 1978, by coincidence or by ill-planned Edom machination. Geerd can be deprogrammed with Shrink, but only if you have proof of his true ancestry. He may be able to out some other Conspiracy minions if flipped.
Rolls and smokes his own cigarettes from sailor's tobacco, clenches and unclenches his fist when irritated or concerned, stares right at whoever's talking.
Could be anywhere from 20s to 40s, a freelance photojournalist working for a number of magazines. Has been photographing bats in South America and earthquake sites in northern Italy. Easy and approachable (Photography, Outdoor Survival, Flirting), his actual identity is the great-great-grandnephew of Quincey Morris.
Investigative Abilities: Art History, Electronic Surveillance, Human Terrain, Languages (Spanish), Notice, Outdoor Survival, Photography, Traffic Analysis
General Abilities: Athletics 4, Conceal 4, Driving 6, Filch 4, Infiltration 6, Medic 2, Network 6, Preparedness 4, Sense Trouble 4, Surveillance 6
He's working on an article related to something dangerous but not directly connected to the vampire conspiracy - human traficking, drug trade, prostitution. If he gets into trouble, rescuing him can provide an ally, but not a high-level one.
Tradecraft to spot that Thad is CIA, not just a journalist. He could be sping on Edom activities in London or Romania. Cover name is James "Jam" Turner.
Quincy Morris survived and was turned by Dracula. Thad is Quincey, in disguise and scouting for potential victims for the Count. Or, Thad is human, and his goal is to doctor photos with the vampires in them, to make them look legitimate.
Taciturn, hitches his shoulder back of camera equipment back up, can fall asleep anywhere.
An officer for the Argentinian Secretariat of Intelligence, specializing in cleaning up other people's messes. She's in London now, protecting members of the Argentinian Ministry of Planning and Public Investment during oil company negotiations surrounding Vaca Muerta shale oil. She's the great-great-granddaughter of Quincey Morris. Carries an old silver bullet made by Quincey as a good luck charm.
Investigative Abilities: Criminology, Data Recovery, Human Terrain, Military Science, Tradecraft, Urban Survival
General Abilities: Abberance 13 (if minion), Athletics 8 (if human), Disguise 4, Filch 6, Gambling 4, Hand-to-Hand 8, Infiltration 10, Network 10, Preparedness 6, Sense Trouble 6, Shooting 8, Surveillance 6
Rojas recently became aware of Dracula's conspiracy, or an Argentinian diplomat was recently assassinated - either way, she's digging around at the same time as the agents, but she doesn't have the Dossier to work from. Tradecraft and Vampirology convince her to listen, and she'll be a powerful ally if she doesn't decide to double-cross the party and take the Dossier for herself.
Edom recruited her before she joined the Secretariat, and she believes in their cause. Her goal is to leave the Secretariat and become an Edom Duke. The Dossier or the PCs lives could both be her ticket, Bullshit Detector or Flirting pick up on the danger signs when talking to her. She can be flipped if she finds out just how dangerous and uncontrollable the vampires are.
Respected hematologist and oncologist, specializing in the treatment of blood diseases like leukemia. Her co-workers call her the Shark - she can't sit still when she's not in the lab, and they say she can smell blood a mile away. Avid rock climber, great-great-granddaughter of Dr. Jack Seward.
Investigative Abilities: Chemistry, Forensic Pathology, Fringe Science (if asset or minion), Languages (Romanian), Outdoor Survival, Pharmacy, Vampirology (if asset or minion)
General Abilities: Athletics 6, Disguise 2, Driving 4, Hand-to-Hand 2, Infiltration 6, Medic 8, Preparedness 2, Sense Trouble 2
Volunteers with Heal the Children, regularly travels to Romania. She and her partner want to adopt a child from there named Rena, but there's a ban on international adoption that's stopping her. Helping her with that can gain her trust.
Continuing Jack's work for Edom. She's the inventor of the strength-enhancing Seward Serum, and her trips to Romania include testing of the serum and experiments on Jacks. More charitably, Seward experiments with vampire blood to try and find cures to incurable diseases.
Jacqueline replicated Edom's Seward Serum without their knowledge, but its side effects left her vulnerable to Dracula's influence. Has she slipped through Edom's surveillance net, or are they letting her continue her twisted experiements in case she makes a major breakthrough?
Never stops moving - walks and talks. Precise, clinical choice of words, always carries a Dictaphone to record case notes.
Next: At last, the bad guys.
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 1Original SA post
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 1
Enough of the past! It's time to outline the characters who will be hunting the agents (or being hunted by the agents), and there's a lot of them. Nobody said this was gonna be easy.
Actually a fairly small group - only "D" and Dr. Drawes have a full picture of its structure, but the only real Edom forces are the Dukes and the staff/forces stationed at Ring, Carfax, the Asylum, and the HMS Prosperine . Edom's job is to monitor and try to guide Dracula's actions, and keep his existence a secret. GCHQ protects Edom as it does all of MI6; all Digital Intrusion attempts are Difficulty 8.
The chief of MI6 is codenamed "C" - those who even know there is someone codenamed "D" assume it's a reference to being next to "C". In reality, it stands for Doeg, the Edomite who killed the high priest on order of his king (1 Samuel 22).
"D" keeps a low profile even by MI6 standards, keeping no consistent schedule and having a small, unremarkable out-of-the-way office at an undisclosed location. He's always accompanied by two bodyguards, or one or more Dukes. "D"'s true identity is left to the Director - he should be someone the party has met or at least heard of before, for a proper last-act reveal. Some possibilities:
R. M. Renfield, the man who knows Dracula better than anyone.
An immortal Peter Hawkins, still active after the 1894 operation.
The current Lord Godalming, or even the original Lord Godalming.
Lucy Westerna or another surviving 1894 vampire.
The other survivor from the 1940 SOE mission to Romania - Lieutenant Lewis or Captain Spence.
Oswald A. "Jasper" Harker, slow-aging and having faked his death in 1968.
Edom's main vampire researcher, and widely suspected as being the identity of "D". John L. Draws, MD, FRCS, is listed in government databases, but it's an umbrella identity used by Edom operatives. The real "Drawes" spends most of his time in Seward's Asylum or on the Prosperine , doing vampire research. His chief objectives are artificially duplicating vampire abilities, but his notes may also include anti-vampire measures, if agents spend 4 points total of Chemistry, Forensic Pathology and vampirology.
"Drawes" doesn't have to be someone the agents know - if he's more generic, it's a hint to the players that he's not the real mastermind. If you want to give him a secret identity, though:
An immortal Seward, Thornley Stoker or George Stoker.
The current Van Helsing or Seward Legacy.
Head of the German Ahnenerbe vampire program, recruited by Edom after WWII.
The Dukes of Edom
Edom's lead operatives. They're more skilled, better equipped, always one step ahead of the agents, and can show up anywhere in Europe where Edom needs them to be. When active, each Duke travels with one Prosperine rating, but otherwise generally works with regular MI6/MI5/SAS forces.
All Dukes have perfect Romanian passports and speak Romanian, Hungarian and Romany with no detectable accent. Each has two codenames - the first is the default name, and the second is the reference to Genesis 36 that the default name is a reference to. Use whichever ones suit your campaign tone better.
Aside from listed specialties, all Dukes have the same statblock:
General Abilities: Athletics 8, Disguise 2, Driving 4, Hand-to-Hand 8, Health 10, Infiltration 2, Medic 4, Shooting 6, Weapons 6
Hit Threshold: 4
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage Modifier: -2 (fist, kick), +1 (9mm Glock 17 pistol)
Armor: -2 vs. bullets, -1 vs. other (tactical vest)
Elvis / Alvah
Runs Edom's Balkan network. Spends more time on the ground than most Dukes, so he can be bargained with more readily. Negotiation and a solid favor will get him off the agents' back for a while. Exposure to Edom's darker secrets might make it possible to flip him.
Specialties: Disguise 12, Infiltration 5
Fort / Mibzar
Edom's demolitions expert. Her specialty is formulations that burn at extreme heat levels, for burning out vampires. Also handles Edom's earthquakes if necessary. Is vulnerable to isolation and Interrogation, as long as you make sure to check her thoroughly for detonators and other escape tricks first.
Specialties: Conceal 8 (Perfect Holdout), Explosive Devices 12, Mechanics 5
Edom's go-to murderer. Speaks a dozen languages and has contacts in law enforcement wherever she goes. She doesn't care who she kills, so long as some of them are occasionally terrorists. Almost nothing will turn her against Edom, short of being turned by Dracula.
Specialties: Shooting 8, Surveillance 6, Weapons 8. Special Weapons Training with Glock (+2 damage) and baton (+0 damage). If the Agents haven't spent anything to cover their tracks, Hound always finds them. When she's in the area, all Heat and Surprise Difficulties for the Agents are 1 higher.
Clearly (Criminology) a Russian Mafiya killer, his weapon of choice being fast, dangerous cars. He's generally a peerless driver, but prefers to use his skills for offensive driving. Network can get a contact in the Russian Mafiya, who can get you pressure on Ian in exchange for unsavory favors.
Specialties: Driving 16, Explosive Devices 5, Mechanics 10. +1 damage to others from car crashes, can score Critical Hits with car impacts.
Ulster killer who was picked up by Edom during his youth in Ireland. Wants desperately to be a vampire, a fact that can be picked up with a 1-point spend of Flattery or Bullshit Detector. He'll sell out in exchange for vampire blood, may be susceptible to long cons.
Specialties: Athletics 10, Explosive Devices 4, Shooting 16, Weapons 10. Special Weapons Training with his sniper rifle and his Fairbairn fighting knife.
Joined Edom right before the 1977 mole hunt, and doesn't believe that the mole was found (or that Edom even tried to find them). Tradecraft and real information about the 1977 mole gets his attention. Flattery can be spent to flip him if the agents have proof that Dracula's mole is running Edom.
Specialties: Conceal 6, Surveillance 4
Sifts field intel for "D" and Ring's analytical staff. Fades into the background, can't be co-opted because he's obsessed with Lucy Westerna. Will trade intel for intel with fellow professionals.
Specialties: Athletics 12, Disguise 8, Surveillance 16. Once Osprey spots the party, all Heat difficulties +1 in that city for 24 hours.
Edom's thief. Social climber who likes parties, he's the guy who Edom will send to steal anything important that the agents have.
Specialties: Athletics 12, Filch 12, Infiltration 14
Edom's hacker, addicted to vampire movies, computer exploits, and pain medications. May be looking with any source of a cure for her fibromyalgia (Diagnosis, Pharmacy to pick up on this).
Specialties: Digital Intrusion 16. Prince can use GCHQ resources to fully refresh her point pool every day.
Yellow belt in Wing Chun and parkour expert. Occult Studies or High Society after a handshake identifies him as a freemason. Interested in martial arts as an anti-vampire tactic.
Specialties: Athletics 15, Hand-to-Hand 15. Targets throat and wrists with Called Shots and Disarms. Has the Martial Arts and Parkour cherries.
The guy who builds anti-vampire weapons and other advanced gear for Edom. Completely loyal, but if word gets out that Dracula runs Edom, he could either flip or try to blow Edom up.
Specialties: Explosive Devices 4, Mechanics 10, Piloting 6, Surveillance 6.
Next: Let's get some vampires up ins.
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 2Original SA post
OPPOSITON FORCES, PART 2
Edom probably has a vampire. Who is it? Maybe Lucy Westerna, maybe Mina Harker. Maybe someone else. She's only a century old, so she's weaker than Dracula, but being a full vampire she's still a step above the Brides.
The statblock below is a baseline, but not hard and fast. Depending on Edom training, she might have ability ratings in Shooting or Weapons. If she's been upgraded by Edom research, her other abilities might be higher.
General Abilities: Aberrance: 16, Hand-to-Hand 11, Health 11
Hit Threshold: 6
Alterness Modifier: +3
Stealth Modifier: +3
Damage Modifier: +1 (bite), +0 (fist, kick), +2 to melee weapon damage
Armor: -1 (tough skin)
Free Powers: Drain, Infravision, Regeneration (all physical damage at sunset), Unfeeling
Other Powers: Addictive Bite, Apportation (into a room she's been invited into), Clairvoyance (those she has bitten), Cloak of Darkness, Dominance, Infection (those who drink her blood), Magic, Mesmerism, Necromancy, Send to Sleep, Spider Climb, Strength, Summoning (rats, wolves), Turn to Creature (bat, wolf), Turn to Mist, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Beheading, stake to the heart, sunlight (suppresses powers)
Blocks: Can't enter room without being invited, holy symbols, running water, wild roses, can't move while staked in her coffin
Compulsions: Drink blood
Dreads: Holy symbols, garlic, mirrors
Requirements: Drink blood, sleep in native soil each night
HMS Prosperine Ratings
After the Dukes, The naval ratings from the Prosperine are Edom's primary forces on the ground for their more violent operations. Standard operation: Do what you're told by a man you don't know, and don't see anything while you do it. Their stats are pulled from NBA's generic enemy statblocks for Special Police or Special Operations Soldiers.
Rating typical gear loadout: Assault rifle, marksman rifle, Glock 17. All guns have tactical UV lights on them that will suppress vampiric powers (but have no effect on Dracula). Special Weapons Training with crossbows, night-vision optics, kukri knives.
So, that's all of Edom's forces, but they're hardly the only forces on the table. It's time for Dracula's minions!
Most of Dracula's run-of-the-mill minions use the default Thug statblock - he doesn't seek out highly-trained humans, because if he wants something done right he can just send a Renfield. Some things Dracula might send after the agents:
A hit team of one Renfield and a pack of thugs
Two to three Renfields
Setting Edom on their trail
Ambush with ghouls or wolves
Send a Bride or other monster to assess the threat and pick off stragglers
How much muscle Dracula can flex depends on the location. In Romania, every node has at least one asset bribed or coerced to do his bidding, usually acting through the Romanian mafia. 1-6 cops in every city in Romania are under his wing.
Wherever he has messy work to do, Dracula has at least 20 thugs and 5 thug bosses (statblock: Mafioso). In Bucharest, that goes up to 50 thugs and 10 bosses, plus more through his money men if he feels it's necessary. If he needs money, Dracula can dig up a million pounds in a day.
The Satanic Cult of Dracula
Stoker's notes describe Dracula leading a cabal of worshippers in London, but the references were removed from the published version of the novel. Edom would have wiped out what they were aware of after Dracula fell in 1894, but they couldn't get everything - the cult has grown in the shadows for the past hundred years. Was it abandoned when Dracula withdrew from London, or does he still rule it from afar?
Either way, the cult is small - thirteen seats, one reserved for the Master. The other twelve might include any other Conspiracy vampires who operate in London - Lucy, the Brides, someone more recent. There might also be an elder Renfield as a survivor from the cult's 1894 origins.
Possible new blood (a lot of these are NPCs we haven't met yet):
Ambitious followers looking to climb the ranks of the Conspiracy by doing good for Dracula. These might be clues to what Capstone the campaign is moving towards - if he's recruiting weapons manufacturers and CIA agents, that paints a different picture than if he's recrutiing archaeologists and seismologists.
Seekers of immortality, who want to be turned. Tabitha Holmwood, Gehlen Org, the MI6 Romania Desk Analyst.
Followers in it for the money. The Petroleum Executive, the head of Burdett's Private Bank or HGD Shipping, The Taboild Journalist.
British Establishment. A cabinet minister, a high-ranking MI5 or MI6 official, a major publisher.
Someone who's after occult power. The Psychic, The Hungarian, The Art Forecaster.
Renfield-esque lunatic fanatics. The Madman, Mr. Hopkins.
A turncoat Duke of Edom. Nails, Osprey, Prince and Tyler all have motivations to switch sides.
Beyond the ruling circle, the cult has secret meeting places and servants - locations might include Coldfall House, Canary Wharf, a Red Room, Le Dragon Noir or a copy of it (more on those later). If the cult has a funding source, make it a node in the Conspyramid. The Human Trafficker may be involved, since cults need human sacrifices from time to time.
Baseline stats for cultists:
General Abilities: Athletics 4, Disguise 4, Driving 4, Hand-to-Hand 3, Health 6, Shooting 4, Weapons 6
Hit Threshold: 3
Alertness Modifier: +1
Stealth Modifier: +0
Damage Modifier: -2 (fist, kick), +1 (pistol, ceremonial sword)
Armor: -1 (kevlar)
Baselan stats for low-ranking cult servants:
General Abilities: Disguise 4, Driving 6, Hand-to-Hand 6, Health 3, Shooting 4
Hit Threshold: 3
Alertness Modifier: +0
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage Modifier: -2 (fist, kick), +1 (pistol)
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 3Original SA post
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 3
The man himself. Invisible to mirrors and cameras, casts no shadows. Staking only immobilizes him until the stake is removed. Burn him, and he'll revive if blood is spilled on his ashes. He can only be slain if his head is separated from his body.
A possibility: Dracula can only be repelled using holy symbols from his time or earlier. So, in order to keep him at bay, you need a crucifix from 1476 (if he's Vlad Tepes) or before. Even trickier is finding a consecrated host that would have any effect on him - even the 'old' form of Mass only dates back to 1570. A 2-point Human Terrain spend finds one of the old churches in Milan that still uses the 8th-century Ambrosian Rite.
The book just straight up says to make Dracula's ability scores as high as you want. If these numbers aren't insane enough for you, go nuts. He's the final boss. +13 Aberrance and +6 Health Regeneration per round on St. George's Eve and St. Andrew's Eve.
General Abilities: Aberrance 50, Hand-to-Hand 33, Health 33, Weapons 20
Hit Threshold: 8 (Fast, terrifying, experienced fighter)
Alertness Modifier: +3
Stealth Modifier: +3
Damage Modifier: +3 (sword), +1 (bite), +0 (fist, kick)
Armor: -1 (tough skin)
Free Powers: Drain, Infravision, Regeneration (all physical damage at sunset), Unfeeling
Other Powers: Addictive Bite, Apportation (into any place holding his native earth or any room he has been invited into), Break Will, Clairvoyance (assigns, Renfields, anyone he's bitten), Cloak of Darkness, Control Weather, Dominance, Infection, Magic, Mesmerism, Necromancy, Send to Sleep, Spider Climb, Strength, Summoning (bats, foxes, moths, owls, rats, wolves), Turn to Creature (bat, wolf), Turn to Mist, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Beheading, Stake to the heart, Sunlight (blocks all powers). To permanently kill him, you must stake and behead him, fill his mouth with garlic, burn his body, and cast the ashes into running water.
Blocks: Cannot enter a room without being invited, holy symbols, running water (except at slack or flood tide), wild roses, cannot move while staked in his coffin.
Dreads: Holy symbols, garlic, mirrors
Requirements: Drink blood, sleep in native soil or a suicide's grave each night
The Brides of Dracula
The identities of the Brides are left largely up to the Director. The list may include a Legacy, historical likelies such as Countes Dolingen or Ida Varkony, or one of the other major third-party players, such as [spoilers]Elizabeth Bathory[/spoilers]. The stats given are for Brides who are weaker than their master, but if you want more badass Brides, just take Dracula's block and shave 10 points off of his abilities.
General Abilities: Aberrance 19, Hand-to-Hand 9, Health 11, Weapons 7
Hit Threshold: 5
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage Modifier: +0 (dagger), +0 (bite), -1 (fist, kick)
Armor: -1 (tough skin)
Free Powers: Drain, Infravision
Other Powers: Addictive Bite, Cloak of Darkness, Control Weather, Mesmerism (eye contact or voice), Spider Climb, Strength, Turn to Creature (wolf), Turn to Mist, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Beheading, holy symbols, stake to the heart, sunlight (blocks all powers)
Blocks: Can't enter a room without being invited, holy symbols, running water, wild roses, can't move while staked in coffin
Compulsions: Obey Dracula
Dreads: Holy symbols, garlic, mirrors
Requirements: Drink blood, sleep in native soil each night
Most of Dracula's Renfields are former Edom operatives or Romanian "Vulturii" special forces, tapped during maneuvers near his castle. Dracula is picky about who drinks his blood, he prefers female subjects to male ones in most cases.
Dracula can spend 2 Aberrance to break the will of any NPC by staring into their eyes, and then another 2 to give his new minion one power from the "Other Powers" list below.
Edomite Renfields: Use the stats of the Edom characters, then add 12 points to General Abilities and +2 to Alertness and melee damage.
General Abilities: Aberrance 10, Driving 3, Hand-to-Hand 14, Health 8, Shooting 14, Weapons 10
Hit Threshold: 4
Alertness Modifier: +3
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage Modifier: +0 (fist, kick), +1 (combat knife, pistol), +0 (AK-74)
Armor: -3 vs bullets and explosions, -1 otherwise (military-grade armor)
Free Powers: Infravision, Unfeeling
Other Powers: Choose one: Spider Climb, Strength, Vampiric Speed, Attacks, Jump In, Mook Shield, +2 to Hit Threshold for a round. In addition: Serve as Dracula's eyes, gaining Pack Attack if he's watching through multiple Renfields at once.
Banes: Sunlight (blocks all powers)
Compulsions: Obey Dracula
The Silent Servants
Stoker's notes refer to an elderly deaf-mute woman and a silent man employed by the Count in England. The fact that both of them are mute is a security consideration - they can't readily spill his secrets.
The Silent Servants may come from Strasba Orphanage, or they might be Dracula's trusted agents, super-Renfields sustained for centuries by his blood. Getting their secrets will require massive Interrogation spends, Notice will be needed to identify them as a threat at all.
General Abilities: Aberrance 13, Hand-to-Hand 10, Health 9, Weapons 15
Hit Threshold: 4
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +2
Damage Modifier: +0 (knife)
Armor: -1 (tough skin)
Free Powers: Infravision, Regeneration (3 Health per roudn), Spider Climb, Track by Smell, Unfeeling
Other Powers: Apportation, Strength, Vampiric Speed (Extra Attacks, Jumping In, Mook Shield, +2 Hit Threshold for a scene, all 2 Aberrance spends)
Compulsions: Eat human flesh, obey Dracula
Next: Other strange creatures.
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 4Original SA post
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 4
Don't want Dracula to be a minion of hell? Want a more comic book science explanation? Go for telluric vampires! The short version: Van Helsing was wrong, vampires are a mutation born of bacterial infection and a connection to Earth's natural cycles.
Telluric vampires get their own list of special powers they can use, each one being an Aberrance spend as per normal vampire powers. Some of them are established powers, but working slightly differently.
Clairvoyance: Achieved via attuning to the bioelectric field of an infected minion.
Control Earthquakes: Agitate fault lines, trigger earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. The further from a tectonically unstable position, the more Aberrance this costs.
Control Weather: Manipulate ground temperature and electrical fields to impact weather over land. Harder over sea.
Dominance: Resonate telluric currents with victim's bio-electric field to hypnotize them. Insulating the victim from the ground disrupts the signal.
Electrical Distortion: Aberrance spends scramble electronics in the area, disrupting phones, cameras, computers, or other sensitive equipment.
Electrical Senses: See electrical fields. 360-degree perception, vision in total darkness, sense movement at great distance.
Invisibility: Manipulate charges in the optic nerve, making it impossible to look directly at the vampire without seeing strange optical illusions.
Necromancy: Use bacteria and telluric stimulation of the nervous system to create ghouls or zombies.
Regeneration: Health regeneration rate varies from 2 (in a Faraday cage) to 16 (standing on native soil) per hour.
Summoning: The bacteria can spread to warm-blooded organisms, and then telluric wave signals can be used to signal the colony to rejoin the host.
Tracking: Not by blood, but by gait and movement pattern. Whenever the target walks, it's like a sonar ping for the vampire.
Destructive Resonance: Vampire electric fields cycle in harmony with telluric currents. Disrupting it will mess up their powers.
Lunar Rocks: The moon's telluric field is alien to the earth's telluric field, so it messes them up. A bullet made of lunar rock is fatal to a vampire.
Stake to the Heart - Wood's no good, the stake must be an electrical conductor. As long as it stays in, the vampire is paralyzed.
Sunlight: Telluric currents shift during the day, making vampires lose their powers by day regardless of light exposure. On the flip side, some vampires might have inverted polarities, losing their powers by night.
Meteoric Iron: Same concept as the lunar rocks - the Widmanstätten lines found in metallic meteors short out earthly telluric fields. These lines would be broken down by melting the meteorite into the bullet, though, so creating any tools to use this method would be its own operation.
Discontinuities: If a telluric vampire had to move from a granite mountain range to a sedimentary basin, they'd have to stop and adjust to the shift in telluric intensity at the boundary. Running water is a hard block, building foundations are a soft block.
Garlic: Certain plants absorb a telluric signature from the soil they grow in. A string of garlic bulbs has the same effect as a discontinuity, intensity depending on the type and growth conditions.
UV Light: It damages the bacteria in upper tissue layers, causing immediate damage. 1d6-1 damage per hour from exposure.
Garlic: Alternative take, garlick strengthens human immunity to the vampire bacteria, and gives the vampire the equivalent of a debilitating fever.
Mirrors: As the counter to the telluric invisibility method, vampires instinctively loathe them.
Drink Blood: Replenishing cells ravaged by bacteria.
Sleep on native soil: Acts like a transformer, changing foreign telluric currents into something the vampire is more attuned to.
So, that covers Edom and Dracula, but who says they were the only players in the game? These are all totally optional, and a lot of them could either be Independent, Edom, or Conspiracy aligned.
Blood-drinking dwarf from Irish myth, only slain by a sword made of yew wood. A tyrant magician in life, an undead menace in death. The Tour Guide might have a connection with Abhartach, or even be one.
General Abilities: Aberrance 23, Hand-to-Hand 12, Health 15, Weapons 8
Hit Threshold: 5
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage: +0 (bite), -1 (fist)
Armor: -2 (leathery skin)
Free Powers: Drain, Infravision, Regeneration (all physical damage at sunset)
Other Powers: Control Weather, Howl, Leap on Shoulders (works like Mook Shield but applies to melee attacks), Levitation, Magic, Strength, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Beheading, stake to the heart, sunlight (blocks all powers), only permanently dead if staked, beheaded, and buried upside-down
Blocks: Can't enter a room without being invited, running water, yew wood
Dreads: Specific holy symbols (Christian? Druidic?)
Requirements: Drink blood, sleep in native soil
The military documents from Projekt Mandragora vanished shortly after World War II. So, no record of Abteilung agent "Alraune" exist, but she did. She was active from 1901 to 1910... and born in 1899.
Alraune is the product of secret German eugenics experiments. She matured unnaturally quickly, and was manufacturing disasters by 1905. In 1910, she provoked the burning of a barn in Ököritófülpös, killing hundreds. Frank Braun, the head of Projekt Mandragora, decided to distance himself from Alraune as she became more and more casually lethal.
Things went downhill from there, as Alraune infiltrated Councilor Jakob ten Brinken's home and extracted all the secrets of her origins from him over the course of two months. Now having enough material to duplicate the research that created her, Alraune vanished.
It's not clear whether Alraune was a genetic experiment, an evolutionary leap, or a plant monster, and she's probably still at large. Over the 20th century, she may have been trying to establish a new race, meld her own gifts with vampiric blood, or pursue beings that may lay claim to her evolutionary pinnacle.
Alraune can plant a mandragora seed in fertile ground or (for extra Aberrance) someone she has seduced. Three weeks later, a mandragora with all of its mother's memories emerges, killing the host. If Alraune is killed, her howl does 1d6+4 damage to anyone who hears it, and if she has any mandragoras, one will grow into a perfect copy of her in 2 to 8 years.
Alraune has been gaining power since 1911, all the while trying to avoid drawing attention to herself. She seeks to better understand her own origins, which may involve digging into occult lore or vampiric secrets. The Psychic, The Anthropologist, or The Petroleum Executive might be backed by her. If it suits her needs, she may help the agents, before all evidence of her involvement vanishes in another mysterious fire.
Is Alraune a prisoner of Edom on board the Prosperine ? Is she a special asset, working through an arrangement with "D"? What does Edom have that Alraune needs or wants?
Alraune may have fallen under Dracula's influence, maybe even being a Bride. She could be running a midlevel Conspiracy node, such as Leutner Fabrichen or Klopstock & Billreuth.
General Abilities: Aberrance 10, Hand-to-Hand 6, Health 10, Shooting 9, Weapons 8
Hit Threshold: 5
Alertness Modifier: +2 (+4 in dense vegetation)
Stealth Modifier: +1 (+3 in dense vegetation)
Damage Modifier: +1 (stiletto), -1 (fist, kick), +1 (pistol), +0 (bite)
Armor: -1 (fibrous skin)
Free Powers: Addictive Bite, Drain, Heightened Senses (smell blood), Hive Mind (with other Mandragora), Regeneration (all damage after spending 6 hours in contact with fertile soil), Unfeeling
Other Powers: Howl (3 points, aim at one target, +4 damage as extreme shock), Lustful Dreams (damages Stability), Mesmerism, Seduction, Summoning (vines), Stealth, Tunneling, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Fire (additional +1 damage), defoliant
Requirements: Must sleep in fertile soil once per week
The American Vampire
In 1866, James Brown was discovered drinking the blood of a fellow sailor in the hold of the Atlantic . Officially, he was sentenced to death, but President Andrew Johnson thought (or was adviced by Edwin Stanton) that a vampire would be a valuable asset for American agendas. James spent the next 25 years evading attempts to enlist him, records eventually reporting his transfer to the US Government Insane Asylum in Washington DC, in 1892. Nobody knows all the details, but the American government finally had a vampire.
The American Vampire has been discreetly involved in conflicts ever since, under the Secret Service, then the OSS, then the CIA. Then, in 1977, something happened - the details are blurry, but the vampire went insane during a mission in Romania, killing a lot of people before the asset could be stabilized and reclaimed. Maybe Edom knows the details, maybe someone else does.
The Carter administration moved the vampire over to the Defense Department. New goals: Push R&D on vampire blood and military applications. The information gets blurry again here - the asset was compromised by an outside force, or one of the bodies from the Romania incident was a relative of the CIA director, or the vampire was comatose after the incident. Now, the American Vampire is housed at Fort Detrick, Maryland, hidden from the outside world until he's needed again.
The whole last paragraph up there is a lie. The American Vampire is still active and still working for the CIA. America's vampire program is why Edom keeps poking the Dracula beehive - the US has a success story, a microcosm of what could be possible if they could get him on their side.
An encounter with Dracula during the 1977 mole hunt drove the American insane. Afterwards, he was picked up and brainwashed by Edom during the cleanup. The vampire is now a double agent, hijacking America's biowarfare research for Edom ends. This is how the Seward Serum was created.
Following the Romania incident, the vampire was left under Dracula's control. All of the Serum V made by the CIA is tainted with Dracula's blood. Whenever he deems it necessary, Dracula can awaken a midnight army inside America's defenses.
Caroline Harrison, Edwin Brown, Quincey Morris(!).
Late-50s heavyset woman, pale skin, 19th-century sensibilities and style mixed with modern day fashion. Early 20s, intense predatory eyes, dark hair, wiry build, black nondescript clothing. Late 30s, rangy, gray eyes, long hair neatly styled.
As still as the dead, wears sunglasses at night, conversation is always direct and to the point.
Next: History's baddest ladies, plus more weird shit.
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 5Original SA post
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 5
Born in 1560, allegedly died in 1614. Once fed a former lover to dogs when she found out about his infidelity. Most famously, according to overwhelming testimony of servants and other witnesses, Bathory tortured and killed upwards of six hundred serving girls.
For what crimes they could prove, the court ordered her sealed within Cachtice Castle. Once she was locked away, she had all the time in the world to study occult methods for surviving her eventual death.
No way. If Edom had access to Bathory, they wouldn't need Dracula.
Maybe Bathory became one of Dracula's Brides after her husband was appointed commander of Hungary's armies in 1578. Maybe Dracula was a guest at her torture rituals. If Dracula pulls a strategic retreat, Cachtice Castle might be one of the places he goes.
Bathory figured out on her own how to turn herself into a vampire. Faking her own death, she escaped Cachtice as a cloud of mist and began establishing her own faction. She's now in Bratislava behind a financial shieldwall, running a human trafficking circle through the Romanian mafia. If they're feeling lucky, the agents could try to play Bathory against Edom and Dracula.
As an independent vampire, Bathory's stats change a bit. She gains the powers Magic and Regeneration - if she bathes in blood, she recovers all Health and gains +6 Aberrance, +6 Health and +1 Damage and takes 1/3rd damage from all attacks until the next sunrise. Her "obey sire" compulsion is replaced with "torture and maim victims".
General Abilities: Aberrance 35, Hand-to-Hand 21, Health 21, Weapons 6
Hit Threshold: 6
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage Modifier: +1 (dagger, bite), +0 (fist, kick)
Armor: Blood Coat (physical attacks do 2/3rds damage but produce copious blood)
Free Powers: Blood Will Tell, Drain, Infravision, Unfeeling
Other Powers: Addictive Bite, Cloak of Darkness, Control Weather, Mesmerism (eye contact or voice), Mimicry, Spider Climb, Strength, Turn to Creature (cat, wolf), Turn to Mist, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Beheading, holy symbols, stake to the heart, sunlight (blocks all powers)
Blocks: Can't enter a room without being invited, holy symbols, running water, wild roses, can't move while staked in coffin
Compulsions: Obey sire, look at self in mirror
Dreads: Holy symbols, garlic
Requirements: Drink blood, sleep in native soil
An ancient race of neanderthal-like sub-giants, swarming underground to telluric nodes of natural radiation. They make good, if unsubtle, muscle for vampires. Not just immune to but actively seeking out harmful radiation, incidents like Chernobyl may have been steps towards preparing the surface world for the cerneati.
Maybe a century of research has revealed the secrets of attracting cerneati to unfortunate targets. Maybe the Seward Serum slowly turns you into one. Maybe that legacy is the secret behind some of the obscure locations outlined later, such as Cross Angel Cold Storage or Slains Castle.
Excellent guardians for one of Dracula's capstone adventures. What makes a final dungeon more of a deathtrap? How about deadly radiation?
Irradiated Dust: Coated in a film of radioactive dust - treat exposure like anthrax. Ability lost if it's doused in water.
General Abilities: Aberrance 10, Hand-to-Hand 12, Health 13
Hit Threshold: 3 (slow)
Alertness Modifier: +2 (+6 to detect irradiated creatures)
Stealth Modifier: -2 (large, clumsy)
Damage Modifier: +2 (fist), +0 (bite or thrown object)
Armor: -4 (calloused skin), further -2 vs melee weapons, firearms and projectiles do half damage
Free Powers: Infravision, Regeneration (all damage at next scene if exposed to radiation)
Other Powers: Strength, Tunneling
Blocks: Bright light
Compulsions: Bask in radiation, guard site, obey master
There's an old woman named Soraya, in the vicinity of the Vanderpool Glass-House, moving like a bundle of dry twigs and surviving on duck eggs alone. She lives alone aside from her life-long guardian, the jenglot Mama Emas.
Mama Emas is only a few inches toll, and feeds on the blood of her descendants. In return, she protects those who would do her brood harm, and Soraya repays her by protecting Mama Emas. Maybe in exchange for a lifetime of service, Mama Emas will reveal the secret to her unnatural life.
Any of the legacies may have picked up a jenglot over the years, either having fed on its host for decades or only recently returning to life as a response to Dracula's reawakening. A modern, 'Victorian' jenglot might instead take the form of a porcelain doll, waiting for the overly curious amidst a pile of dusty antiques.
The jenglot were discovered to make for excellent security systems - one might be assigned to a key staff member for their own protection. Jenglots are produced at an Edom research facility, and are supposed to destroyed after the owner dies or retires. However, some have survived.
Dracula may have the telluric secret that turns a human into a jenglot. He could use them as bodyguards for key human underlings, or he may be able to make twisted versions that seek out and destroy a family instead of protecting it.
General Abilities: Aberrance 8, Hand-to-Hand 6, Health 5
Hit Threshold: 6 (small, spry)
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +4
Damage Modifier: -1 (bite)
Armor: -2 (mummified skin or porcelain)
Free Powers: Addictive Bite, Anaesthetic Bite, Darkvision, Drain (refreshes all damage), Heightened Senses (smell blood), Spider Climb
Other Powers: Curse, Strength, Tunneling, Vampiric Speed
Compulsions: Covet/Protect family
Dreads: Be observed moving by strangers
One of Dracula's Brides (or maybe Dracula himself) took refuge in China after 1894. While there, Daoist sorcery - or the Haiyuan earthquake of 1920, if you want to stay telluric - created a new strain of vampires. Jin-gui are reanimated from preserved corpses, instead of turning immediately upon death.
Jin-gui retain fragmented memories of their lives, which could be as long ago as the 5th century BCE. They can maintain a temporary illusion of life, and perform unrivaled feats of arcane sorcery. Best used as a boss fight for one of Dracula's nodes or a Hong Kong Edom cell. Could also be a Chinese government vampire project.
General Abilities: Aberrance 18, Hand-to-Hand 12, Health 8, Weapons 12
Hit Threshold: 6 (unnatural speed)
Alertness Modifier: +1
Stealth Modifier: +3
Damage Modifier: +0 (fingernails) or by weapon
Armor: -2 (mummified skin), firearms do 1 point of damage, Called Shots only effective at the liver
Free Powers: Drain, Illusion, Levitation, Necromancy
Other Powers: Apportation (dissolve into mist), Control Earthquakes, Magic (3 Aberrance per use, requires time and ritual), Send Dreams, Spider Blimb, Strength, Turn to Mist
Banes: Exorcism (by Daoist/Buddhist priest), impalement, beheading
Blocks: Direct sunlight (blocks all powers and reveals true form), buildings blessed by feng shui master
Compulsions: Counting dropped coins
Dreads: Octagonal mirrors (Difficulty 8 Aberrance test to avoid fleeing in terror)
Requirements: Sleep in native soil
The mythological precursor to Lilith is the Babylonian Lilîtu , who drank the life of children. In one medieval tale of Lilith and King Solomon, she has no reflection in the mirror.
The point is, watch out.
The word definitely isn't "innocent" here, but she's a bystander to Dracula's war. Lilith maintains a cult of supporters around the world, recruiting women from difficult conditions and delicate positions. A 1-point Human Terrain spend identifies The Anthropologist as a priestess of Lilith.
Meeting her allows a 2-point Vampirology spend to determine that Lilith is not, in fact, the ancient goddess, but is someone more recent. Maybe an unrecorded daughter of Vlad, born at the moment he became a vampire. Whoever she is, she desires to get her hands on any artifacts describing the mythological Lilith as part of her PR campaign. She's currently searching for the Zohar of Moses de Leon, to find the remains of an ancient vampire who was also called Lilith.
Lilith's enture network is based on the idea of being a viable alternative when Dracula falls. Negotiation brings Lilith to the agents' side, as long a Dracula is posing a visible threat. Tradecraft identifies how deep her organization is buried within the CIA, Edom, and even Dracula's conspiracy. Her name can be invoked on Intimidation checks.
Lilith and Dracula are united by the bonds of family - depending on her origins, she could be his daughter, his bride, or just his partner in crime. Dracula's learned from the Lilith of legend, and offers her a place not as his subordinate, but as his equal. Now, she's a double agent controlling many seemingly anti-Dracula assets and posing as Dracula's enemy.
General Abilities: Aberrance 50, Hand-to-Hand 33, Health 33
Hit Threshold: 7
Alertness Modifier: +3
Stealth Modifier: +3
Damage Modifier: +1 (talons), +1 (bite)
Armor: -1 (tough skin), Unfeeling
Free Powers: Darkvision, Drain (bite or sexual contact), Regeneration (half of all physical damage immediately, the rest at moonrise), Wings (grow or conceal at will)
Other Powers: Addictive Bite, Body Jump (into any woman who hates her father or husband), Cloak of Darkness, Control Weather, Dominance, Infection, Magic, Mesmerism, Stifling Air, Summoning (dogs, mice, monsters, owls, rats), Turn to Creature (owl, leopard, raven, cat), Turn to Mist, Vampiric Speed, Venom
Banes: Beheading, only permanently dead if staked, beheaded, mouth filled with garlic, body burned, and ashes cast into running water
Blocks: Angelic talisman, bowl buried under threshold, can't directly attack Dracula, stake through heart, can't enter a room without being invited, holy symbols, running water
Compulsions: Kill infants, never obey a male order
Dreads: Holy symbols, garlic
Requirements: Drink blood
Next: The last pile of supervillains.
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 6Original SA post
OPPOSITION FORCES, PART 6
The word nosferatu appeared before Stoker used it, in an 1865 travel journal by Wilhelm Schmidt. Its origins are as mysterious as the subject of the film of the same name, Count Orlok. Orlok was created by the Germans using knowledge gathered from the 1894 operation. Orlok was summoned or created by Albin Grau, the magician who designed the film. Orlok was created by Dracula himself. Wherever he came from, Orlok knows deep German secrets that give him leverage over any German NPCs.
Orlok is Dracula's spiteful rival - there are two vampire conspiracies to unravel, not just one. Orlok could also be a vampiric assassin of a surviving Agentinian Nazi vampire program. More on Hitler later.
If Edom has Orlok, why do they need Dracula? Maybe Dracula created Orlok, but overall this probably just muddies the motivations a bit too much.
Dracula can control any vampire created by his own blood. He could still be in any of the other roles - maybe Orlok himself doesn't know that he's under Dracula's control. Thematically, Orlok's minions are the contaminants of society - drug lords, human traffickers, et cetera.
General Abilities: Aberrance 20, Hand-to-Hand 20, Health 13
Hit Threshold: 6 (cunning, superhuman reflexes)
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +1
Damage Modifier: +2 (talons, fangs)
Armor: -2 (leathery hide); weapons do half damage, car crashes and falls do 1 point of damage.
Free Powers: Darkvision, Drain, Regeneration (all Health every day), Tracking by Smell, Unfeeling
Other Powers: Cannot Drown, Extra Attacks (first is free, further attacks cost 2 Aberrance or Hand-to-Hand), Levitation, Magic (inscribe mind-controlling sigils onto documents), Mesmerism, Plague, Spider Climb, Strength, Summoning (rats), Telekinesis, Turn Invisible, Turn to Mist, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Direct sunlight (Hurt, damages as fire each round), while feeding on a woman of pure heart
Blocks: Direct sunlight
Compulsions: Pursue sexually attractive target
Dreads: Direct sunlight
Requirements: Drink blood, sleep in unconsecrated grave earth
Who's to say Dracula was the first dead royal who Britain tried to recruit? Before going to Romania, there were plenty of dead royals being shipped right into London. One of them was the mummy of an 11th-dynasty Egyptian queen (code-)named Tera. Professor Abel Trelawny became obsessed with the mummy, eventually leading to an attempt to resurrect her in 1886. Everyone involved in the experiment died, but the mummy was never recovered.
Stoker's cover story for this one was even shakier than Dracula - it was even edited in 1912 to have a new ending where Tera dies. To find the ancient queen, the agents will have to retrace Trelawny's old experiments and figuring out what happened next.
Trelawny was acting on his own - Tera was resurrected, and doesn't have any ties to Edom. Her motives are wholly her own.
The goal of Edom was to get a supernatural agent, not necessarily just Dracula - the mummy project was another branch. If it didn't work, the notes are buried in the Edom archive, waiting for someone else to give it a shot. If it did work, Tera might be waiting in a sarcophagus at any of the major Edom sites - but maybe not. University College Cork acquired a mummy in shady circumstances during the 1890s, allegedly sent to them by mistake. Or maybe Tera's in Egypt, hunting down terrorists for Edom. Maybe Abel Trelawny is still alive, and is the true identity of Dr. Drawes, or even "D".
Maybe Tera saw Dracula as a fellow corpse who could help her adapt to the new world of the living. Maybe Dracula saw a chance to gain secrets and magic from an even more ancient menace. Tera was probably part of Dracula's 1894 London network, and might be masquerading as a mortal - The Online Mystic or The Sculptor could be Tera.
General mummy stats:
General Abilities: Aberrance 12, Hand-to-Hand 10, Health 10, Hypnosis 16, Weapons 8
Hit Threshold: 4
Alertness Modifier: +1 (+3 in tombs)
Stealth Modifier: +2 (+4 in tombs)
Damage Modifier: +1 (claws or fists)
Armor: -2 (mummified skin), weapons do half damage, firearms do 1 damage
Free Powers: Darkvision, Regeneration (1 Health per night)
Other Powers: Apportation (into a sarcophagus), Curse, Heat Drain, Mimic Form (their own living form), Mimicry, Necromancy, Plague, Strength, Summoning (insects, carrion-eaters), Turn into Creature (hawk, jackal, scarab, swarm)
Banes: Proper Egyptian ceremonial reburial in own tomb
Blocks: Areas sanctified by the Book of the Dead
Added on top of that for Tera:
Investigative Abilities: Archaeology, Astronomy, Fringe Science, High Society, Occult Studies
Other Powers: Astral Projection, Hive Mind (with cat familiar), Induce Dreams, Mesmerism, Resurrection (using enchanted ruby and astral projection), Turn into Creature (cat)
The metaphorical ghost of Jack the Ripper haunts both the Dracula novel and the Dossier. The easy route is to make Jack a vampire or Renfield, but here's a more fun version: Red Jack is an evil spirit residing inside a cursed knife, possessing whoever holds it. Where did it come from? Maybe...
- The cult of Dracula summoned Red Jack as part of Dracula's revival ceremony.
- Edom attempted to create a vampire via summoning a servitor of Buné, Great Duke of Hell, but it escaped in the form of Red Jack.
- Vampire bacteria infected one of the surgical knives used by George Stoker to dissect vampires - "Red Jack" is an alternate personality induced by telluric fever.
- The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn awakened Red Jack through sloppy magic.
- R. M. Renfield was driven mad by the act of summoning Red Jack.
- The blade was discovered on one of Seward's previous adventures with Quincey and Holmwood.
- Dracula himself bound Red Jack into the blade.
Red Jack is a distraction - its current holder is cutting up women in the vicinity of the agents. Either the knife or its demonic master may have information pointing to Dracula, or stopping Red Jack could be the leverage needed to get a favor from another powerful NPC.
One of the Dukes is Red Jack. Freeing them from Red Jack's influence could potentially flip the Duke.
Red Jack is a tool Dracula granted to a lower-level node - breaking it gives the agents a 6-point pool to use against that node.
Abilities of the holder:
General Abilities: Aberrance 8 (+14 at the site of a past ritual murder, such as Whitechapel), Hand-to-Hand +4, Health +2 per woman murdered in the past year by the blade, Weapons +10 with the blade only
Hit Threshold: 4
Alertness Modifier: +2
Stealth Modifier: +2 (+3 in shadows, fog or night)
Damage Modifier: +0 (ignores armor)
Armor: Immune to all knives but his own
Free Powers: Darkvision, Drain (+1 to Health for every 2 damage the blade does), Memory Wipe (on holder)
Other Powers: Apportation (into fog), Create Fog, Possession (holder only), Stealth, Vampiric Speed
Banes: Holder can die normally, Red Jack can be killed if the holder is stabbed with his own blade
Blocks: Holy Symbols (block possession), elevated serotonin levels (block possession)
Compulsions: Kill women
Romanian legend says that one who survives the training of the Devil himself in the occult arts becomes a Solomonar. Whether they're actually Satan's apprentices or cultists or visitors from another world, a Solomonar may be found at the top of any occult conspiracy. They use ancient magic to extend their own lifespans and guide history from the sahdows.
Only nine Solomonars exist at a time, and all of them know Dracula and are known by him. Maybe he studied with them in the past, maybe he betrayed them after learning their secrets. Maybe Edom's invitation to Britain was his ticket to smuggle Solomonari grimoires away from Romania.
A Solomonar can spend 1 Aberrance to conjure firebolts, swarms of gnashing teeth, or other such supernatural destruction at Near range, effecting as a Class 1 Explosion. The explosion class can be raised by doubling the Aberrance spent - two Solomonars can sacrifice their lives to spend 32 Aberrance and manifest a nuclear device equivalent event.
It'll change the game dramatically of Edom has a full-on wizard on their staff. Alternately, maybe the Solomonari aren't real (or Edom thinks they aren't real), and Edom is using the legend as a cover-up for their own weird agendas.
Maybe Dracula didn't break his ties with the Solomonari - maybe they're his backers. If you think your players aren't being tormented enough by their enemies, maybe what Dracula needs is an unstoppable cabal of superwizards.
General Abilities: Aberrance 16, Hand-to-Hand 6, Health 10
Hit Threshold: 4
Alertness Modifier: +4
Stealth Modifier: +2
Damage Modifier: +0 (fist)
Armor: +3 (bend physics)
Free Powers: Heightened Senses (sense life)
Other Powers: Apportation, Clairvoyance (eyes of animals), Command Beasts, Command Weather, Infrasound, Levitation, Magic, Mimicry, Resurrection (via ritual at key sites), Send to Sleep, Summon (natural creatures), Telekinesis, Turn into Creature, Turn Invisible
Banes: Ritual in Le Dragon Noir, beheaded and buried beneath a church threshold
Blocks: Grimoir rituals/spells
Compulsions: Magically consult with peers/master
Other national vampire programs
It's been hinted at a few times that other nations have their own vampire programs - Edom aren't the only ones after Dracula. But who else is on the playing field?
Room 452 came from investigations of the jin-gui, now under the Ministry of State Security. They may have some tame vampires, but they're probably not active in Europe. Room 452's agents likely just want to get information - get down everything the party knows about vampires, get the Dossier, head back home.
If it's still active, Germany's vampire program Undernehmen Braun is a part of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND). Where did it start? Maybe with Van Helsing, maybe in George Stoker's war in the balkans, maybe Nazi secrets from the 40s. If the Germans have an active vampire program, they may have created Orlok or Alraune.
More about Vampire Hitler later, if you want to go there.
Sayeret Aluka is an anti-vampire kill team that learned its secrets from spying on Edom or from their own archaeological research. They're more likely to be good guys sthan most of these.
Turf wars could lead to just about anyone running Russia's vampire program - SVR, FSB, GRU, who knows. Maybe an anti-vampire kill bureau came out of the secret police of Catherine the Great. Russian vampire programs are careful not to make too much noise in Europe, lest the Kremlin have to answer some ugly questions.
The Kirmizatlar is an anti-vampire group, in theory - they'll kill vampires, they'll kill anyone who likes vampires, they'll kill anyone they think might like vampires. In practice, that usually means a lot of Kurds, Jews, and Roma. Keeping them out of prison and well-funded is a nest of patrons within Turkish Special Forces Command (OKK).
America's vampire program is code-named Find Forever, and is run by the CIA or the Pentagon. The Places chapter later includes several locations that might be part of Find Forever, like the Black Light interrogation site or Nox Therapeutics. Their vampire knowledge could have come from a lot of places, most of them Quincey Morris or the American Vampire.
Two options here. First is The Society of St. Lazarus of Bethany, a program mounted back in 2000 by weird fringe exorcists. Second is The Pontifical College of Romania, founded in 1937 by an old cardinal looking to bring absolute proof of vampires to the attention of the right people.
Next: Some NPCs.
PEOPLE, PART 1Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 1
The NPCs in this book are as flexible and modular as everything else as been. They aren't organized into Edom traitors, Dracula pawns and independent operators - anyone can be multiple things. Once nice side-effect of this is that you can leave players guessing even if they've read the entire book, or run a Dossier campaign before.
The three categories given for NPCs are Asset (involved in the Espionage world), Minion (involved in the Vampire world), or Innocent (neither, but may still be guilty of other things). Any of them could interfere with or aid the agents for any number of reasons. Some of them could be Legacies, if it suits your purposes. Names, roles, appearances and quirks are all malleable.
So, let's get started with...
The first category in here is NPCs who could shed light on Edom's 1940 chapter, whether or not they were present/alive for it.
The Acting Director of MI5
Name: Brigadier Oswald A. "Jasper" Harker
Possible role: Legacy tie between 1894 band and modern security state
Acting director of MI5 from 1940 to 1941, when he was replaced by David Petrie. His B division was responsible for counter-espionage and counter-subversion, and he was considered for the head of MI6 before the strain of his workload tested his abilities to their limits. If "Harker" is not a workname, he is a cousin to Quincy Harker.
Johnathan Harker made sure that little Jasper never figured out what his uncle was up to. He did his job to the best of his ability, but he never trusted Edom, and that second-guessing took a toll on him over the years. Cop Talk or Tradecraft will get a look at his unclassified papers.
All the Harkers have been Edom men since the operation began. Jasper's father James uncovered a precursor to the Blomberg Serum, then died in December of 1894. Edom would be the steel core within the Establishment that kept the sun shining on the Empire.
Harker is a candidate for the identity of "D". Research + Vampirology and Traffic Analysis uncovers Harker's efforts to cover for Edom.
Harker is high enough up to be an irresistible target for the Conspiracy. His lack of knowledge left him vulnerable to Dracula's forces. The reason he wasn't capable of making the head of MI6 was that he was paralyzed trying to serve two masters.
- Imeccably turned out but either harassed from being over-promoted, drawn and brittle, or impressive vigorous for a man in his 50s
- Uncomfortable in chairs because of his height, often conducts meetings standing up or walking
- Uses very salty language when there are no ladies present
Name: Ilie Patrescu
Possible Role: Getting people into Romania
Patrescu's father fled from Romania to Germany when the Red Army came in in 1944, and his son inherited his politics. Now, as tensions with the Ceausescu regime fade, he runs a travel agency, walls lined with Dracula-themed posters and memorabilia. He knows the non-supernatural details of the 1940 Edom operation, up to and including the MI6 assassination of Döring. He does not know anything about vampires.
Ilie ran a Romanian information network for MI6, letting rumors trickle back to the British government. Sometimes MI6 needs people inserted into Romania, and he gets a bonus. In addition to the Edom 1940 operation details his Innocent version knows, he has some rumors about a German 'special hunter' who was on the scene at the time. A lot of people were looking his way during the 1977 mole hunt - the outcome of that is up to the Director.
There is no such person as Ilie Patrescu. Perga Belimance was born in 1918, and was recruited as a Renfield for his cruelty. He served the Waffen-SS with ferocity in 1941, and entered London under the identity of a dead Romanian soldier. He keeps a low profile in MI6, going to a remote country about once a generation to kill five or six people and slake his Renfield thirst, but his appetite has been increasing lately. Military Science notes Iron Guard memorabilia in his office, a Criminology spend recalls a vanished Romanian war criminal, Intimidation to threaten to reveal his whereabouts to Mossad gets him talking.
Petru Draghici, Florin Lazar, Sophie Cosma.
- Mid-50s, hunched shoulders, thick bottle-bottom glasses
- Early 70s, tall, dresses in late-1950s suits, yellow-stained white moustache
- Late 60s, sad eyes, soft-spoken, dyed hair
- Drinks incredibly sweet tea
- Smiles without showing teeth
- Drums fingers on table
Investigative Abilities: Bureaucracy, Forgery, Human Terrain, Tradecraft (unless Innocent)
General Abilities: Conceal 5, Driving 4
Alterness Modifier: +1 (-1 if Innocent)
Stealth Modifier: +2 (+0 if Innocent)
The Former Ghlen Org
Name: Sigmund Walther
Possible role: Corrupt fixer holding information on the 1940 and 1977 operations
Okay, 'Innocent' is a strong word here. After World War II, he went on to become a 'private contractor' in Berlin, collecting favors and money from the CIA, BND, Mafia, and ex-Nazis. When the Wall went down, he went back to his home town of Wismar to retire, although he still sometimes does small favors for old friends. Network to talk to him, Negotiation and a few sketchy favors to get intel about the '77 mole hunt. Infiltration 7 to get access to his files, if you can find them. If the agents are hurting for money, they can approach him for a job, but the task will always be horrifying - ride shotgun on a human trafficking run, move blood diamonds for Libyan jihadist militia, assassinate a Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Walther could be working for Mossad, the MSS, or the CIA - whichever it is, he knows about vampires. Maybe he transferred the German vampire program to the CIA, maybe he hid it in Argentina, maybe he's working with Edom. If the Director needs an NPC to sell the agents out to any intelligence organization, Walther can do it, but not until they have Dracula on their tail - he only betrays dead men.
Walther was turned in Romania during his Gehlen Org years. He acquired a Renfield trick or two that gave him the edge, and now runs a Level 3 node, powerful but still deniable. Dracula may have turned him to get access to the German vampire program, if there is one.
Ernst Telingfeld, Joachim Seelmann, Karl-August Mehlenberg
- Late 90s, decrepit husk of a man held together by hate and greed, strands of lank white hair, black liquid eyes
- Early 90s, swollen joints, hunched over, walks with two canes, fringe of white beard on discolored face
- Late 70s, self-effacing, neatly groomed, plain charcoal sweater and slacks
- Breaths out raspily
- Oscillates his head
- German accent
Investigative Abilities: Human Terrain, Languages (Arabic, English, French, Italian, Russian), Notice, Tradecraft
General Abilities: Cover 10, Network 20
Alertness Modifier: +0, +2 if Minion
Stealth Modifier: +0
The Iron Guardsman
Name: Michael Anghelescu
Possible Role: Source of information about 1940, possible revenge-motivated ally
The Iron Guard was a violent, fascist, anti-Semitic group in pre-WWII Romania. Michael is third-generation Iron Guard, considering himself a Romanian-in-exile despite being from Chicago. The Chicago Iron Guard operates as a local mafia, and could be behind just about anything going on in the area.
The Iron Guard did all of the above things, but also killed vampires - That's what the founder meant when he said his followers might have to perform violent acts that would condemn them to damnation but were necessary to save Romania. The assassinations carried out by the Iron Guard were against vampires (or suspected vampires). Theoretically this would make him an ally, but do you really want to be on this asshole's side?
If I were running this I wouldn't touch this option with a ten-foot pole; "this real-world murderous hate group were actually antiheroic vampire slayers" doesn't sit well with me.
In addition to third-generation Iron Guard, Anghelescu is third-generation CIA. They keep the FBI away from his crime buddies, he does dirty work for them in Romania. May also be a false flag Edom asset.
Vampirized by his own grandfather, Michael is now also a third-generation Renfield. The Chicago authorities leave his turf alone, because they know better than to cross him. When the Master calls, he and his brood will come running.
Greg Popescu, Adam Balan, Corey Dalca
- Mid-60s (second generation), shaved head, wears camo gear for no good reason
- Mid-40s - first generation, immortal
- 20, pale, sunglasses, scared, wants out of the family business
- Invokes the concept of sin or martyrdom at least once per paragraph
- Talks about "those people"
- Constantly fingers his cross
Investigative Abilities: Interrogation, Intimidation, Military Science, Occult Studies (if Vampire Hunter), Outdoor Survival, Streetwize, Urban Survival, Vampirology (if Vampire Hunter)
General Abilities: Athletics 8, Hand-to-Hand 6, Health 6, Shooting 4, Weapons 6
Alertness Modifier: +2, +3 if Renfield
Stealth Modifier: +1
PEOPLE, PART 2Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 2
The Late Con artist
Name: Seamus Meahan
Possible role: Alternate perspective on 1894/1940 events
Meahan is long dead, but may enter the story through his biography, Prince of Lies: The Strange Life of Seamus Meahan. Born to a poor Irish-American family, he ran away from home at age 17, stole a rich man's suitcase, and manufactured a mysterious nobleman persona named Count Rozhenko. Hinting that he had supernatural powers, he conned or duped half of Europe before an unknown traumatic event sent him fleeing to Romania where he became a priest. After 40 years of selfless service to a poor. he died of pneumonia in 1944.
Meahan wasn't directly connected to the events of Operation Edom, but he was in London at the same time as Dracula, and his diaries mention several of the original hunters. Going through his notes, diaries and memoirs will require Bullshit Detector to tell when he's lying and when he's telling the truth.
The truth diverges from the published story around when he stole the rich man's suitcase - what actually happened was that he was detained in London for theft, but caught Edom's eye. He was recruited to follow Dracula as a foreign spy, but saw something so horrifying that he fled Edom to join the Catholic Church. If he knew anything, and if the Church had a vampire unit, they may have debriefed him.
After Meahan became a priest, Dracula found him again. The "late" con artist isn't late at all - he's now running a branch of Heal the Children under an assumed name, but he's also called upon to masquerade as many other roles in his master's service.
Sergie Rozhenko, Mathias Kirke, Marie Limner
- Bristling mustache, wild hair, impressive top hat
- Indeterminate age, quiet confidence, quick to smile, forgettable features
- Mid-30s, long dark hair, dazzlingly dressed, declaims everything dramatically
- Accent changes depending on who he's talking to
- Mirrors body language of other party
- Opens up to fellow Americans
Investigative Abilities: Vampirology, all Interperseonal abilities other than Bullshit Detector
General Abilities: Disguise 12
Alertness Modifier: +1
Stealth Modifier: +0
Name: Helmut Kreider
Possilbe Role: Historian of Nazi vampire project
Kreider runs a neo-Nazi website, hosted in the US to avoid Austrian law, and gauleiter of the newo-Nazi VAPO in Gratz, Austria. He lives on disability pension and online occult-political manifestos, and visits right-wing rallies all over eastern Europe. He wrote a book, Mein Wirken, where he describes a meeting with an 'ageless figure' he calls "der Obergruppenführer" in 1968 - speculation is that he was Hans Kammler. According to the book, Der Obergruppenführer revealed various mystical truths to Kreider - most of it is nonsense, some of it connects back to the Dossier.
Kreider's father was also SS, and was on the staff of Reich Security chief Ernst Kaltenbrunner. A spend on History or Research confirms that Kreider senior could have had access to the files on the German vampire program; he committed suicide in 1968.
Edom bought Kreider in the 1970s, and at some point since then he's come to believe the bullshit he peddles. As a result, the vampire secrets he may share with teh Agents are a very visible dead end, possibly leading into an Edom death trap. 3 points of Forgery or Vampirology identifies the documents as faked.
Kreider can be bought, and not just by Edom. Accounting and Digital Intrusion will reveal the regular infusion of cash into his account, every St. George's Day, exactly tracking the price of gold. He's loyal to Dracula for the gold and for the promise of becoming a true Aryan superman. If the agents approach Kreider, he arranges an isolated meeting, then tells the Conspiracy about it.
Heinrich Wegmann, Albert Steindl, Elsa Nadler
- Late 40s, grossly fat, wears large pectoral cross on a chain, blue eyes
- Early 50s, mountain climbing fitness buff, dresses in black, iron gray hair and Hitler mustache
- Late 50s, bleached blond hair, sparkling blue eyes (tinted contacts), casual jeans and hand-knit sweater
- Tilts head up attentively
- Always eating pastries
- Puts emphasis on words seemingly at random
Investigative Abilities: Forgery, Occult Studies, Vampirology (if Asset or Minion)
General Abilities: Network 8, Shooting 4
Alertness Modifier: +0
Stealth Modifier: +1, +1 if fit, -1 if fat
Name: Elisabeta Freza
Possible Role: Source for Romanian government secrets
Daughter of a deputy in the Romanian Interior Ministry. Her father was Iron Guard, and managed to get himself and his family into Germany in 1941. Turned Romanian secrets over to the Communists, was attached to the Ministry of Justice until he died in 1977.
By the 70s, Elisabeta was a translator working with the Foreign Ministry, but she was demoted and transferred to the Ministry of Tourism after her father's death, where she now works selling 'Dracula tourism' to Westerners. She may know about, in descending order of likelihood: Edom's role in the 1941 Iron Guard revolt, something about the '77 mole hunt, something about the location of Castle Dracula, something about the German vampire project.
Freza senior worked for Edom in German from '45 to '47, maybe even before then. Elisabeta became an Edom asset through MI6, and did some work covering tracks from the mole hunt. She has enough contacts and leverage to pull the agents out of Romanian prison, if need be.
Rather than being a direct minion, the more fun route is if her family's long history of maneuvering for their own survival has left her inside Dracula's web without knowing it. If she's a full-on minion, she loves Dracula and her homeland, and serves both completely loyally. Maybe she's a Renfield, maybe she's mortal but cruel and resourceful beyond her years.
Priha Optsprezeche, Ionela Rosu, Leonhard Farkas
- Early 80s, birdlike movements, bright-colored print dress, clutch purse always kept nearby
- Late 70s, blue-rinsed hair, somber features, large watery eyes, dresses in black
- Late 70s but looks early 60s, well-colored brunette hair, faded Joan-Collins-style beauty, Paris-made blouse and skirt, mildly flirtatious manner
- Strong Oxbridge-accented English
- Knits while she talks
- Seems nearsighted but doesn't wear glasses
Investigative Abilities: Archaeology (Romanian castles), History, Human Terrain, Notice, Languages (English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian), Tradecraft (if Asset), Cryptography (if Asset)
General Abilities (if Asset or Minion): Conceal 5, Filch 8, Network 10, Surveillance 5, Weapons 8 (knitting needles)
Alertness Modifier: +1
Stealth Modifier: +2
Name: Cedric Rovere
Possible Role: SOE old-timer
Retired in Wales, visits London by train once in a while. Has a cozy cottage, with wild roses growing on stakes and trellises all around it. The easier the Director makes VS to find, the less actionable his intel should be - if he's easy to hunt down, he only know about the 1940 mission. If he's hard to find, he knows about the German vampire program, or maybe the location of Castle Dracula, and may have his own ace in the hole of some sort.
Van Sloan is on Edom's books, and has rose-tinted his own memories of the 1940 mission into a heroic triumph. May have been a Duke of Edom in the 50s. The best way to get his secrets out of him is to pretend to be Edom - if they're anti-Edom, he plays along and then reports to Edom as soon as they leave.
Nuclear option - this means every note Van Sloan left in the Dossier is misinformation. Dracula turned him personally, and he's one of the strongest Renfields, as the stats below will suggest. He retired from Edom during the 1977 mole hunt.
Cole Novello, Edward West, Gabriel Landsdale, Gabrielle Landsdale
- Late 90s, tall, pomaded gray hair, aristocratic bearing, aquiline nose, sneer at the youth these days
- Early 90s, short but fit with a very strong grip, short white hair, lambent purple track suit, thick spectacles
- Early 70s, zaftig figure, bright red wig, smokes American cigarettes - inherited the original VS's cottage an secrets when he died in 2011
- Fusses with his pipe and antique silver lighter
- Stops to listen for something every so often
- Voice starts soft and weak but gets stronger and more resonant the longer he talks
Investigative Abilities: Cryptography, Human Terrain, Military Science, Notice, Outdoor Survival, Tradecraft, Vampirology
General Abilities (human): Athletics 5, Cover 4, Disguise 2, Driving 3, Explosive Devices 3, Hand-to-Hand 3, Health 5, Network 15, Piloting 2, Shooting 8, Surveillance 4, Weapons 3
General Abilities (renfield): Aberrance 13, Cover 4, Disguise 2, Driving 3, Explosive Devices 3, Hand-to-Hand 13, Health 13, Network 15, Piloting 2, Shooting 8, Surveillance 13, Weapons 8
Alertness Modifier: +1/+3 (Renfield)
Stealth Modifier: +0/+2 (Renfield)
PEOPLE, PART 3Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 3
So, I looked ahead, and if I keep going at this pace, two things will happen:
I'll be in the People chapter for twelve solid updates
I'll lose my frigging mind
So, let's sum up.
The Alleged Mole
Nicholas Loman. Worked for MI6, fled the country, was shot fatally trying to cross the Hungary-Romania border in 1978.
Innocent: He was probably leaking some intel to the Securitate, but wasn't involved with Dracula. Asset: Former Duke of Edom, eliminated when Edom made a turn for the ruthless after another Dracula disaster. Minion: He was indeed the mole - or at least a mole.
Zarina Petran. Romanian ex-pat and activist for women's rights in post-Soviet Eastern Europe. Has done research on Inanna, Cybele, and Lilith. Asset: Edom contact, and secretly a big name in Lilith's cult. Minion: Dracula's recruiter for getting Lilith on his side.
The Balkans Specialist
Mabel Garrot. Romanian folklore/history/politics expert. Researcher at Cambridge, consulted during the '77 mole hunt. May have read some of the Dracula Dossier during her work with MI6. Asset: Kept tabs on Edom activities during the mole hunt, has an incredible memory. Minion: Was seduced by Dracula, became a double agent spying on MI6.
The CIA Agent
Kate Bewler. CIA contact in Bucharest who got caught up in the mole hunt, now working in London. Asset: Thinks Edom is a quaint old English operation, but wants their vampire assets for American ingelligence. Minion: Dracula relays his targets to Bewler, Bewler sends terror targets to MI6 from Station London, MI6 assigns the targets to Edom, Edom sends Dracula after the targets. Dracula runs himself.
Lorna Bereford. Daughter of the Cushing who wrote all the green notes in the Dossier. Asset: She's on paycheck to keep tabs on anyone who comes after Cushing Senior for intel and report back to Edom. Minion: Unwitting pawn of The Master, using strange drugs to make the old Cushing more receptive to Dracula's will. She doesn't know why she does it, or that her father is slowly dying as a result.
Andrei Aritonovici. Fled to the west in 1982, British Intelligence worried he was a double agent. Expert on Ceausescu-era Romanian intelligence, will talk for money. Asset: Helped identify the mole in 1997, is either a heroic defector (if the mole was found) or a suspected double agenet (if the mole wasn't found). Minion: The same, but his revelations about the mole were orchestrated by you know who.
Vámbéry Ágost. Descendant of a friend of Van helsing, very wealthy. Constantly on the move. Source of information on Helsing's old intel. Asset: Runs networks in the Balkans for various Intelligence groups, has ended up in over his head and is trying to get out. Minion: Willingly provides info from Van Helsing's letters, but it's faked, further meetings will be an ambush.
Name unknown, prefers to work digitally/remotely. "Abraham" is a coworker of "Hopkins", several steps behind her and looking for the Dossier. Asset: Worked under one of the 1977 mole hunt principal actors, is now working to clear their reputation. Minion: Doesn't exist - "Abraham" is a constructed identity to help the Conspiracy get their hands on the Dossier and then send its keepers into a deathtrap.
PEOPLE, PART 4Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 4
The MI5 Deputy
Simon Cotford. Former MI5 officer, trailed suspects during the Mole Hunt, crippled in a traffic accident. Depending on whether or not that last bit is true, he may have a grudge against Edom or the Conspiracy. Asset: Stayed on at MI5 after his 'accident', may be the one handling interrogation if an agent gets captured. Minion: As soon as MI5 forces him to retire (which they've been threatening to do), Dracula sacrifices him to frame the party for his death.
Osmond Alfred Singleton. Former parapsychology researcher turned occultist. His powers are real, and he's the founder and leader of the Order of Darkness. Brought in by Edom as a consultant on psychic phenomena. Asset: Singleton figured out what Edom was all about, and he may become an unreliable ally to the agents if he finds out that immortality is on the table. Minion: Sensitive minds are drawn to the Master. His London parties are a cover for local vampire activity.
The Retired KGB Agent
Dmitri Lobanov. Arested in England in the 80s, spent 10 years in prison before being debriefed by MI5. Was responsible for keeping an eye on the mole hunt. Asset: The FSB inherited Dmitri's network, he's still doing wet work for Russia. Minion: Dmitri was turned while he was in prison, or turned by the mole. He could be working for Edom's vampire, for Dracula, or he could be a wildcard turned by a feral Renfield.
The Retired MI6 Asset Runner
Eugene Dragos. Used to be MI6's top authority on Romanian intelligence, now retired and in politics as a lobbyist for various industries. Asset: Been Edom since he was six, will cooperate with the agents if he sees evidence that Edom can't control their vampire assets. Minion: Hypnotized, or maybe he has a Jekyll & Hyde situation with the Seward Serum. Might be the mole.
The Retired MI6 Computer Boffin
Brian Blackwood. Did tech work for MI6 in the 70s, now a semi-retired inventor and hacker. Asset: Still does off-the-books work for MI6, can be recruited by the agents with research, pressure and flattery, provides a Cache using Mechanics instead of Preparedness. Minion: Personal files bear an uncanny similarity to the original Renfield journal. Blackwood's research left him under the vampires' psychic influence.
Vivienne Aytown-Baptiste. Runs an art gallery, has a private room with works connected to Dracula. Asset: She's criminal, working drugs as well as paintings, or maybe money laundering for the Romanian Mafia. Could help smuggle the agents out of Romania in a pinch. Minion: Helps convert Dracula's fortune into modern currency.
Edwin Bullard. Fringe scientist who knows a lot about telluric currents and supernatural energies. Asset: Edwin will sell his superiors, his handlers, and the agents to get his hands on immortality or the Earthquake Device. Minion: Renfield, serving the Conspiracy in England. His work gives him excuses to ship big boxes of what definitely isn't Romanian grave earth around the country.
That wraps up up for the 1977 crew. Next, the fully modern NPCs.
PEOPLE, PART 5Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 5
This is the set of people alluded to by the red notes in the Dossier, made by Hopkins in 2011. Same speed as before!
The Arms Runner
Razan Funar. Imports Russian weapons, has a 72-hour delivery service. Drug addict, ally of anyone who has enough money or who can treat his symptoms. Asset: "Anyone" in the previous sentence includes the Romanian SRI. Minion: His relationship with Dracula is one of mutual benefit. He can also serve as a tie-in to The Zalozhniy Quartet as the European end of Lisky Bratva's smuggling racket.
The Art Forecaster
Iulia Vãduva. In-demand corporate trend forecaster for a lot of fields, with a tendency to assimilate into the local social landscape. She had galleries in Bucharest in the 70s, and was in fact born in Transylvania. Asset: Could be working for any western intelligence agency, becoming more and more valuable as her cover career expands, but she's a mercenary at heart - not actually Edom, but she's consulted for them. Minion: One of Dracula's original servants from Romania in the 40s. Has been operating on her own for a long time, and Dracula's proper return could cause her to seek help from the party.
The Black Site Interrogator
Manuel "Cyclops" Echeverria. CIA since graduation, but hasn't set foot in America in over a decade. Interrogator excelling at both Good Cop and Bad Cop. He's heard rumors about the weird shit happening to al-Quaeda, but maybe not proof. Asset: Echeverria worked at Black Light (more on that later), and might still have a job there, especially if it's run by the CIA. If America has a vampire program, he's a willing part of it. Minion: Echeverria tried to break a vampiric captive, and was broken and rebuilt in turn. He's working for Dracula, but very covertly, from within other organizations.
The BND Deep-Cover Agent
Hatice Peynirci. Deep-cover officer in German foreign intelligence, identifying agents of the al-Quaeda amidst the Romanian Turkish popoulation. Possible ally with a lot of contacts in Germany. Asset: She's a double agent for Edom, identifying monsters as well as terrorists. Minion: Unwitting psychic victim who may eventually be turned into a Bride of Dracula.
Rabia Koraltan. Runs an obscure bookshop, is actually an expert on Vlad Tepes and Turkish vampire lore. Willing ally of the agents in a pinch. Asset: Former MIT operative, good at discreetly keeping tabs on high-priority targets. Minion: Great-graunddaughter of a vampire hunter, turned by Dracula as revenge. Could be a vampire assignn, a lamia, a Renfield, or a bride.
The Bucharest Private Detective
Dominic Ruzic. Ex-cop in Bucharest, specializes in missing person cases. Likely to try to blackmail the agents if he learns anything juicy. Asset: On the books for the SRI, SIE, BND, MI6, FSB, and CIA - he's everybody's eyes on the street in Bucharest. Minion: Finds disappeared people and hands them over to the Conspiracy as food.
The Bucharest Street Cop
János Tugurlan. The only honest cop in Bucharest, meaning he has lots of powerful enemies. Honesty makes him a useful ally. Asset: He owes the SIE a few favors, which is why he'll sell the party out to them (or whoever's using the SIE to get at them). Minion: Renfield who responds to Dracula's presence by going the Full Batman on people he thinks deserve it. He has no idea that he's a puppet.
Natalia Barbulescu. Widow to a member of Romanian Parliament who died earlier this year, now an assistant deputy. She knows about everything that passes through the bureaucracy. Asset: MI6 lifer keeping tabs on goings-on in Romania. Minion: What, you think Ion Barbulescu died in an accident? It was her idea, and she can't be flipped to an ally.
PEOPLE, PART 6Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 6
The Chief of Station, Bucharest
Joshua McKinney. CIA, works with the SIE on the War on Terror. If a lead crosses his desk, he'll put everything he has into it, and he has a lot. Asset: Unlikely to be Edom, unlikely to know about the CIA vampire program. If he's Edom, though, his main job is deflecting the curious away from the places where their questions might lead them to sniff. Minion: Dracula would really like to have access to a guy with this many Predator drones at his command.
The Chinese Agent
Lei Dongfang. Works for China's Ministry of State Security, monitors Russian and Western energy interests. Has a geology degree, might have useful knowledge about telluric power. Asset: Defected to Edom in 2012; his main role is to offer a false safe haven to Edom's enemies. Minion: Serves a jin-gui, won't resist unless he is shown that there is a force more powerful than Dracula in the world.
The DIFC Tasker
Gavin Parton. DIFC = Defence Intelligence Fusion Centre, serves a lot of customers, including MI5 and MI6. Hopkins: He wrote all the notes, and gave it to his boyfriend in Cambridge, only later realizing it might be genuin - "Hopkins" is an alias created by the two of them together. Asset: Reports to Osprey, helps identify priority targetes for Dracula strikes, on the books as a possible future Duke. Minion: The Parton family has served Dracula since 1894. Gavin massages dossiers to put terrorist cell evidence anywhere Dracula wants Edom to send him.
Daniela Istok. Activist opposing whatever issue your story requires her to oppose. Potentially violent, has friends all over Europe. Asset: Some other organization is secretly backing her crusade for their own purposes - Istok made a deal with the devil and can't get out. Minion: Istok's there to provide a distraction whenever Dracula needs something nearby done discreetly.
The Drug Boss
Cemal Gusa. Heroin smuggler, maybe an AQIR associate. Strange creatures are killing his associates, and he might be willing to temporarily cooperate if someone can stop that from happening. Played by Duane Johnson in the film. Asset: Edom's man in AQIR, or he's been flipped by the BND or CIA. Minion: He's going full Renfield and getting more dangerous and unstable by the day.
The Enigmatic Monsignor
Tristano Luria. Vatican vampire hunter and exorcist. Asset: Edom agent in the Vatican's hearet, obstructing both them and the Conspiracy. Minion: Violent mood swings left him susceptible to Dracula's influence, his only awareness of his own betrayal is periods of memory loss.
The Ex-IRA Informant
Thomas Deegan. Used to handle terror and violence for the IRA, but he changed sides and sold out several of his comrades and fled to London. Asset: Unwilling member of an Edom counterterrorism operation, possibly mind-controlled by Edom's vampire. Minion: The same but from Dracula instead.
The GCHQ Romania Desk Analyst
Cassandra Irving. Monitors SIGINT for CGDQ, mostly out of Romania. Didn't mean to become a spy, but her skillset led to her recruitment as a cryptographer. Hopkins: Maybe she's the one who found the Dossier and gets it into the hands of the party - she could be dead, on the run, captured, or still at her desk, with Edom unaware. Asset: Edom wanted a mole in GCHQ, she's being coerced into the role by threat of violence against her family. Minion: Dated one of Dracula's agents, was turned because Dracula needs someone who understands the digital world and spy on it for him.
The Hildesheim Legacy
Itamar Hildesheim. Runs a law firm in Tel Aviv, great-grandson of Dracula's agent in Galati. Asset: Active member of the Zionist Revisionist Organization of Romania, belongs to a Mossad operation that shadows Edom. Minion: He actually IS Dracula's agent from Galati - he's a century-old Renfield.
PEOPLE, PART 7Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 7
The person who wrote the third generation of notes in the Dossier. Tech-savvy, youngish, almost certaintly dead by the end of the campaign, if not the beginning. They could be a lot of people, even someone new - the book suggests a number of options in the individual character bios.
Oliver Tate. Hopkins's boyfriend, unaware of his partner's investigations and impending demise. After she/he disappears, Oliver becomes obsessed with finding them. Asset: Tate's being blackmailed by a foreign agency, and will sell thte PCs out to protect himself. Minion: Bring us the Dossier and we'll give you everything you can imagine. Unfortunately, he shit the bed on that, so now he's on the run from the Conspiracy.
The Human Rights Activist
Aishe Balan. Advocate for the Roma minority in Romania. Will help the party if she believes they are hunting genuine threats to the Roma, and not just using them as scapegoats. Dismisses all claims of vampires. Asset: She's been a spy for the CIA, MI6, and BND, and will do anything in her power to bring the party down if they're cheap with Roma lives. Minion: Dracula protects his own Ruvari Szygany, Balan wants to extend that protection to all Roma.
The Human Trafficker
Vasile Chitul. Moves people out of Moldova and into Bucharest, usually not willingly. Hypochondriac, which can be used to leverage or manipulate him. Asset: Former KGB, doing favors for favors within his sphere of expertise. Minion, option 1: Low-level node, a useful but expendable minion in Dracula's arsenal. Minion, option 2: Vasile believes that if he can find a new Bride for the Master, he'll be rewarded with immortality. Whatever his allegiance, seems like a good pick for a throwaway villain, nobody's gonna miss this guy.
The Icelandic Diplomat
Thor Halvarsson. Negotiator for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. High society contact, can provide support if the party can convince him that vampires are real. Asset: Being blackmailed by the CIA to send info back their direction. Minion: Dracula's apocalyptic machinations sound like a great way to deal with the overpopulation crisis, right?
Laurel Dene. Works for an English newspaper known for her criticism of the War on Terror. Now, she's on Edom's trail. Asset: She's working for FSB to drive wedges between the UK and US governments. Minion: She thinks Dracula is Edom's tragic prisoner, and she's working against Edom for him.
Richard Crinn. Modern-day version of Renfield - schizophrenic, methadone user, hears voices commanding him to do things. He's attuned to Dracula the same way Renfield was, and becomes more unstable the closer Dracula gets. Asset: His condition is a side effect of the Seward Serum - he's ex-Edom. Minion: This is pretty obvious.
Memet Lucasi. History teacher at the University of Bucharest, minor TV personality "Dracula expert". Asset: Key link in al-Quaeda's Balkan network. Minion: His obsession with Dracula goes a bit deeper than it probably should. He gave up his soul willingly.
The MI5 Agent
Daniel Biggs. Bodyguard for important targets, but also keeps tabs on their activity to make sure that they're not doing anything MI5 doesn't like. He can be a source of MI5 intel, either via deception or by proving that MI6 is doing things they shouldn't. Asset: Biggs is one of Hound's agents in the UK, cleaning up after vampire attacks. Minion: Does lamplighting work for the Conspiracy. He's in it for the money.
PEOPLE, PART 8Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 8
The MI6 Lamplighter
Brett "Portman" Bankson. Uses his job as an MI6 agent to travel, get some exercise, work outdoors. Still very skilled, though, and is in a position to hear things. Asset: Angling to become a Duke by making himself indispensable to Edom. That, or he's Hopkins. Minion: Renfield, Dracula uses him to keep tabs on what Edom is up to.
The MI6 Romania Desk Analyst
Alexander Tarber. Has files on everyone - AQIR, Mafia, half the NPCs in this book. Almost excessively British. Hopkins: Inherited Cushing's job, could either be an ally to the agents or ultimately sell them to Edom. Asset: Not Edom, but desperately wants to be - he could be flipped by seeing proof that the mole hunt was a bust, learning of Edom's massive collateral damage, and accepting that Hound will never love him. Minion: Eager to get on Dracula's team for the ever-popular immortality ticket. He's not getting any younger.
The Nato Liason
Colonel Iliu Cezar Epureanu. Military historian, only knows about the non-supernatural side of the Romania missions (if innocent). Asset: Zealous supporter of Edom fueled by hatred of the Islamic world. Minion: Renfield, turned in 1940, has changed identities three times since then. Protects Castle Dracula frome enemy surveillance.
The Online Mystic
Mathilda Nordling. Possible crackpot who runs a psychic rambling website. Her investigations into the supernatural may bring her path in line to cross with the party. Asset: Unwitting Edom puppet - Prince has a backdoor into her computer and uses her forum to track vampire movements. Minion: Dracula's dream thrall, preying on the insecurities of her followers to send them into the jaws of the Conspiracy.
The Petroleum Executive
Martin Creasey. Runs an American oil and gas firm, visiting Romania a lot for business reasons. Knows a bit about telluric power, willing to lend a cooperative party his helicopter. Asset: Really obvious CIA Friendly, cleared for their vampire project - he's business in Romania may not be what he claims it is. Minion: Possible Morris legacy, low-level node on the Conspyramid. Maybe a Renfield with weird habits, like drinking horse blood or something.
The Pharmaceutical Researcher
Hettie Shahzad. Director of clinical research for an Israeli pharmaceutical company. Does a lot of fundraising for infections disease research or Heal the Children. Asset: Spends much of her time researching vampirism under Mossad direction, may have her own version of the Seward Serum. Minion: Believes that God has given her a mission, but it's actually Dracula's psychic influence.
The Radical Imam
Sait Aydin. Istanbul mosque preacher denouncing the corrupt influence of the West. Might be with AQIR. Asset: Actually a deep-cover MI6 asset. If his cover gets blown, someone will get him messily killed. Minion: Renfield infiltrator for the MIT, or maybe MI6 if you combine versions.
The Real Estate Broker
Zhu Liwen. Extremely rich, may accidentally butt heads with the Conspiracy looking for a real estate deal in Romania - maybe to buy Castle Dracula itself. Asset: Edom or the Conspiracy could be asking her for favors through a Chinese cut-out company in exchange for protection from not-so-savory past business dealings. Minion: Trading properties, trading lives, what's the difference?
We're almost done with the NPCs chapter, I swear.
PEOPLE, PART 9Original SA post
PEOPLE, PART 9
The Romanian Police Inspector
Nicu Anghelescu.Joined the Criminal Investigations Department after his father's disappearance in 1985, works a lot of old cases. Potential ally. Asset: Secretly working with Edom or the CIA, does support and cleanup for assassinations on Romanian soil. Minion: Similar, but working as a cleaner to hide evidence of vampire attacks.
Otto Skinsky. "Courier" whose merchandise happens to be a little illegal sometimes, adrenaline junkie. One of his ancestores died mysteriously at the Fortified Monastery of St. Peter. Asset: Doesn't know what Edom is, but they pay him well to bring things into or out of Romania without asking too many questions - Flattery or Flirting gets him to lower his guard. Minion: The Slovak river clans have always worked for Dracula, he's definitely a Renfield or a dhampir.
Goes by 'Firîste', Kurdish for 'angel'. Iraq vet who kills bad people for ideals or for money. Can be hired if the party has excessive funds. One of the other female NPCs could be a cover identity for Firîste - The Bookseller, The Dissident, The Journalist, just about anyone. Asset: Has worked at some point for most agencies listed in this book - let the party know she exists, then sic her on them later from any of a dozen backers. Minion: She's a knight of Lilith, choosing her own targets based on who opposes her queen's cause.
The SRI Agent in Charge
Captain Mihai Florescu. Works with foreign intelligence in whatever county the agents first encounter the SRI, building his own personal empire within the secret police. He's reporting on the party's actions to his superiors, which means he's probably reporting to Dracula whether he knows it or not. Asset: Edom offered him a shortcut to moving up and replacing the old guard, works with Hound. Minion: Florescu is Dracula's early warning system for foreign spies in Romania.
The Syrian General
Yousef Allam. Has a lot of leverage the party could use, but it'll cost them. Doesn't have a horse in the vampire-human conflict, he just worries about what's going on immediately in the present. Asset: Allam also has contacts in the al-Nusra Front, which puts him on Edom's kill list. Minion: Allam defected to the Conspiracy after seeing what happens to al-Quaeda at the Master's hands.
The Tabloid Journalist
Angela Holcriss. Freelance political journalist for various right-wing publications, very anti-immigration. Can provide gossip on any number of public figures. Asset: ex-MI6, worked at Station Bucharest, does favors on a quid pro quo basis. Minion: Her husband's family has served Dracula for generations. Or maybe her 'husband' is actually Dracula himself.
The Tour Guide
János Ujvary. Does tourist trips to Cachtice Castle, expert on local folklore and history. Asset: He's working for the BND, might be keeping an eye on the Castle for a German vampire program. Minion: Countess Bathory's majordomo.
The Turkish Agent
Cingöz Recai. Elite operator for Turkish intelligence, undercover in Romania. Has an incomplete picture of Operation Edom, still thinking it's a mundane threat. Innocent: Recai is actually the businessperson he claims to be, and his false name is for some other reason - tax evasion, cheating on his wife, threats from paramilitary death squads. Minion: Dracula has Recai's sister, and leverages her to use him like a puppet.
Francesca Collins. PhD in volcanology, setting up monitoring stations in the Carpathians, fascinated by the strange geology of Transylvania. Asset: Daughter of CIA, might be spying on the Petroleum Executive. Might be the Sniper's cover identity. Minion: Turned by Dracula while trying to cross the Borgo Pass at night.
AND THAT'S IT FOR THE NPCS. Next: Conspiracy nodes!