V5 Online: Second City UK
World of Darkness Roleplay
“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
The World of Darkness is a dystopian reflection of the real word. It is the most violent and corrupt parts of modern human culture amplified with supernatural monsters too. It takes the bigotry, selfishness, apathy and despair of what is and places at least some of the blame on preternatural cause. It is a labyrinthine world of subtle lies and misdirection to protect ancient, horrifying secrets. Vampires and other inhuman creatures strut and stalk their way through the more mundane masses. Most look like ordinary people but they are quintessential predators who greedily prey on human sheep. They prowl the frenetic dance floors and dark alleys, political rallies, ghettos and the mansions possessed by the mega-rich. Denizens of the dark are everywhere and have shaped the best and worst of human institutions.
The World of Darkness Online
There are multiple World of Darkness game lines and each has multiple editions. V5 or Vampire the Masquerade 5th edition has perhaps the most dramatic changes to both the classic WoD system mechanics and dynamic paradigm shift in metaplot to focus stories on younger vampires facing threats both old and new. It was designed with emphasis on collaborative, intimate tabletop roleplay in groups of 4-5.
This is a chronicle for text-based chat style roleplay with 20-200 players in mind. There is much that is different than what you will see in the V5 Core Book, which is heavily referenced throughout. The adaptation of V5 for online play is in no way a challenge to the trademarks and copyrights of White Wolf Entertainment AB and its licensees. Whenever something is mentioned beyond the scope of "fair use", we include page numbers to the V5 core book or link to the White Wolf wiki rather than presenting original source material.
Before 2006, London was one of the centers of vampire activity in the World of Darkness. In 1996, the ancient vampire Mithras had been struck down in a moment of weakness by Montgomery Coven. Regent Anne Bowsley, declared herself the Queen of London thereafter. Coven and Queen Anne only had a decade to plot each other's fall before the Second Inquisition, via its agents in the British anti-terrorist police unit SO13, spent the next seven years systematically destroying the legion of Kindred in London before successfully capturing and beheading Queen Anne. Shortly thereafter, Coven, now the thrall of the soul of Mithras within, fought an epic battle against the human vampire slayers but ultimately lost and is now either dead or in torpor.
Before the Second Inquisition killed the rest of the vampires of London, Mithras had sent his most faithful to seek sanctuary and hide themselves elsewhere in the British Isles. This event, in the SC:UK mythos, is called the Modern Flood due to the vampiric diaspora out of over-populated London to whatever major (and just as overpopulated) cities they could safely reach: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birimingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glascow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield most notably. Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK was also most notably the closest to London. Solidly Camarilla, it rejected most of the neonate refugees who tried to seek sanctuary there, taking in only the ancillae and even then demanding as high a price as each newcomer could afford. The younger vampires hit Manchester and Liverpool en masse. With the help of the local Anarch Movement already in place, the Unbound toppled the Prince of Manchester. The Movement established the Liberation Front of Lancashire just as Mithras battled human soldiers, all of which was hidden from the rest of the humans with the mayhem of the England Riots taking place at the same time to protect human ignorance and misdirect the media.
As The Chronicle Begins
Seven years have passed. England appears to have lost all of its vampires older than 300 years or below 9 generations from Caine to the Beckoning. A small but powerful group of Camarilla ancillae wage war upon the Liberation Front from Birmingham's northern metropolitan borders through the small cities between it and Manchester's southern suburbs. The Liberation Front wars back while thin-bloods and independent neonates struggle to survive in the war zone between the two sects. The shadow of London still looms and all three groups know too well what will happen if the Second Inquisition rediscovers the existence of vampires in England. Some fear they already have but are biding their time.
Second City is about the World of Darkness, specifically the world of vampires and mortals, in a geographical region of England. It stretches from the suburbs of Birmingham in the south to the northern suburbs of Liverpool and Manchester. It relies upon three 5th edition WoD books: Vampire the Masquerade, the Guide to the Camarilla and the Guide to the Anarchs. In time, it might have its own setting book available at the Storyteller's Vault. But for now, players only need to read and refer to those three V5 books and this wiki in order to play. The NPCs, locales, and story elements are inspired by people, places, and things that exist there and everywhere. They are, however, fictionalized. This is an online roleplaying game of horror-suspense and postmodern drama. To quote from the first page of the V5 Core Book: This is a game about monsters. But it is only a game. Don’t use it as an excuse to be a monster yourself.
Why Is It Called Second City?
The SC:UK sandbox is modern central/northwest England, specifically the ~145 km (~90 mi) region between southern Birmingham and northern Manchester. Birmingham is by population the second largest city in England, but it and Manchester vie for recognition as the most prominent English city beyond London itself. The real world rivalry between the two cities, the stark contrast in their demographic details and local culture combined with their shared second class status to London provides an ideal flavor for the fictional conflicts between the Camarilla and the anarchs and between all of the vampires and the Second Inquisition.
In vampiric mythology, the "first" Second City was the place where the Antediluvians first gathered after the Biblical Deluge, trying to recreate the glory of the First City. In Birmingham-Manchester, their descendants are trying to re-establish the power base they lost in London.
Vampires -and- Mortals
In Second City, you can not only play a character who is a vampire but several other characters who are human. Vampires feed on the blood of living victims and possess all kinds of mysterious powers that allow them to manipulate and control others, to hide and escape and survive damage that would kill a human being. Some humans survive the World of Darkness by becoming submissive junkies addicted to vampire blood. Others harden themselves in body and mind, sacrificing a 'normal' life to find the right skills, right tools, right sources of arcane power and scientific knowledge to hunt supernatural predators- and become a tragic reflection of that which they hunt. Others don't even know that they are the touchstones that keep a vampire's Beast at bay. Many are friends, employees, neighbors to vampires and have no clue. Yet others believe in the existence of inhuman creatures and seek proof at any cost.
By assuming the roles of the humans who interact with love, hate or unsuspecting innocence with vampire characters to provide a lot more types of stories to explore, players are giving each other a real gift in collaborative WoD roleplay experiences. Both humans and vampires can be central characters.
The Golden Rule
"This is the most important rule of all, and the only real rule worth following: There are no rules. This game should be whatever you want it to be...Think of this book as a collection of guidelines: suggested but not mandatory ways of capturing the World of Darkness in the format of a game. You decide what works best in your game. And you may freely use, alter, abuse, or ignore these rules at your whim." - V5 Corebook p. 130
You will find that some minor changes to core book story elements and system mechanics exist for SC:UK. They are what the SC:UK Storyteller thinks will work best for her online text-based chat chronicle. They will change when she experiments at ways to make SC:UK even more engaging and enjoyable for the general player base. Nothing in either the core book or the chronicle will be ideal for all players. Keep an open mind.
Text-Based Online Roleplay
Playing in an online text-based roleplaying game is a very different experience from both tabletop and LARP. There is an entire section of the wiki devoted to topics specific to online RP and the chat system, Storyteller's Guild, which hosts Second City and to online tools like the WoD website, Discord and Twitter. This is essential reading for new players.
Table of Contents
Character & Story Building
- Chronicle Tenets
- Golden Rules
- The SC:UK Setting
- List of Active Central Characters & SPCs
- List of Pre-Made Central Characters Available For Play
- The In-Game Timeline