Some background on me: I've been roleplaying on and off since the 6th Grade, and in High School I got into the Storyteller System games with Trinity. After starting college, I got heavily involved in Aberrant and most of the World of Darkness gaming I've done has been through LARPing (for better or worse, mostly worse), including some ST-ing of a Changeling LARP that just finished up a chronicle and is being replaced for the immediate future by a Hunter game. I've never run any World of Darkness games before now, although in the past I have run Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Hackmaster.
I'm two sessions into it already, and I'll do my best to catch folks up without being spamful. Also, one thing I beg everyone's indulgence on is that where I live, actually getting an entire group together consistently is like getting the same lottery numbers to come up twice in a row. And the game has a slightly larger group that intended, partially to compensate, partially because well... stuff just happens. We explain the absence of missing players' characters when possible, and otherwise we just kind of handwave them into the background for lack of any better idea. Anyhow, here we go...
First, my player-characters:
Ander, Mercurius Frankenstein: Created by a Nazi scientist collaborating with a Promethean, Ander was meant to be the perfect Aryan: made up of mixed-and-matched pieces of unwilling test subjects. After a prisoner revolt that destroyed the equipment in the hidden castle where he was built led to the disappearance of the scientist and his creator, Ander spent the next 60-something years there and has recently left to find his place within the world.
Steve Rogers, Ferrum Frankenstein: Created by an American scientist collaborating with a Promethean... yes, 'Steve' is very much the American counterpart to Ander, purely by coincidence (the two players created their characters without knowing what the other was planning). Steve was dropped into Germany during the war with a map of small installations and labs he was sent to destroy, and now he wanders the continent trying desperately to find where his original parts came from.
Yes, the Captain America and Red Skull jokes have been constant, thank you very much.
Jack Turner, Cuprum Ulgan: A teenager killed by a Satanic cult in New Orleans, his body disappeared at some point while the police were en route to the ritual site. He spent the next couple of weeks locked in a closet until he broke out when the food stopped coming. He took his name from one of his favorite movies and spends time wanting to one day attend high school kids like the ones he watches. He's very new to Promethean existence.
Father John, Aurum Ulgan: Abandoned by his creator, Father John masquerades as a priest as a way to studying what he finds to be the most fascinating thing about humanity: religion. He moves into a new area, gives sermons, and helps people for as long as the Disquiet will let him.
Rudolf, Stannum Tammuz: A sleazy photographer who took advantage of naive prospective models, he was killed after bringing one of his 'marks' back to his place. He later woke up in the bog of the Louisiana Bayou near where he lived right outside of New Orleans. He's also new to Promethean existence, but has had so little experience he thinks he's some sort of swamp zombie.
Lafayette, Aurum Galatea: Made by his creator to be the perfect goth boytoy companion by his creator, he is motivated by an extreme hatred of the one that made him. He wants to move past the state of his creation and become a complete being.
Jane, Ferrum Tammuz: A wandering adrenaline junkie who's into extreme sports and certain masochistic pain-inducing activities.
The story started on a dark and stormy night in New Orleans. The PC's were drawn to an abandoned house on the edge of the Bayou by some sort of powerful Azothic radiance coming from the house. Lined up on the roof was an array of lightning rods and what looked like weathervanes. They stepped inside and found what appeared to be piles of cremated human remains in the living room, surrounded by melted candles. Venturing further into the house, they found the staircase that led upstairs.
The second floor ceiling had been knocked out so the floor was fused with the attic so there was room for what appeared to be a modern-day Dr. Frankenstein's lab, with some sort of beacon giving off the Azothic burst (which grew in strength briefly when lightning came down; and as a side-note, I came up with the beacon thing before reading "Water of Life"). They looked around and poked at the equipment, checking out some notes and the like. At one point, they discovered a ventilation shaft large enough to fit a person that seemed to not only extend down past the first floor into an undiscovered basement, but the equipment was connected through it.
Jane was the first one into the basement, followed by Steve, Ander, and Jack.
When they got down there, there was a loud crash and something burst through the ceiling of the basement up onto the ground floor. In the dim light, they could see what seemed to be five large aquariums... three of them shattered. The group was attacked by a pair of Pandorans that seemed to have escaped from the aquariums. Lafayette joined the battle once the commotion started, and after a brutal fight managed to put the monsters down.
They went back to investigating the house after that. Ander went back to analyzing the equipment he found after he and Steve managed to take advantage of the lightning rod array and equipment to help recover after the fight. Rudolf started to leave but fell through the weakened floor into the lab in the basement, where he found a thick notebook with the five Refinement symbols on the cover. He stashed that in his messenger bag and made his way back upstairs, where he took the collapsing floor as a sign that he wasn't supposed to leave yet. He found blueprints of the equipment upstairs and the basement in a study after swiping a bunch of old food from the fridge. Father John spoke to some electricity spirits lingering in the living room, and they explained that they were summoned by someone who couldn't conduct them properly (hence the piles of dust and ash).
They were able to determine that the equipment was meant to attract Prometheans and Pandorans to the house and trap them in the aquariums. From the signature on the blueprints (seemed to be obviously written so as to be noticed, according to Translator's Eye), the guy who built the stuff is named Dr. Matthew Gino. He left the place and there was a note indicating he was planning to return, but that was attached to a date that had long since passed. There was something marked on the blueprints, a particular panel that was up against the wall.
Ander found the panel in question, and found a message burned onto the back of it...
To whomever is reading this,
I feel there are many of you.
I do not understand why you are here.
I hope you can help me understand what
I could not understand for myself.
I hope you find me at my home before I leave.
Dr. Matthew Gino
(Beneath the message was what appeared to be an unidentifiable alchemical symbol I have yet to actually produce on paper for the PC's to see (I admit, I've been a bit lazy about it, and I just can't come up with a design good enough), as it may become important later, but I'm trying to put one together.)
The first session left off here, and we transitioned into the second one. Three of my players (the players of Ander, Father John, and Lafayette) couldn't make it. However, this was easy to handle... everyone agreed (or at least, everyone there) that it was perfectly fine to say the group split up, with the three missing people searching for the Pandoran with almost no clues as to where it is while the other four went looking for Dr. Gino's house.
They started by checking a phone book. No luck on a "Matthew Gino" in the phone book, although there were two people listed as "M. Gino" (neither of them listed as a doctor). They called both numbers and got no answer from the first and contacted a "Miranda Gino" at the second.
Ah-hah, time for legwork!
The four of them hopped on a bus across town, causing a wave of disturbance through the passengers. They reached the apartment building where the other "M. Gino" lived. They got in and broke into his mailbox, only to find that this was a "Michael Gino." So no luck there.
They thought about it and decided to try the local universities... after all, the public computer terminals would be ideal for tracking down any computer records of Dr. Gino, and it's possible that he would be a professor at one of them. They tried Louisana Tech first, splitting up into two groups: Rudolf and Steve taking the computer lab, Jane and Jack asking around to the best of their ability about Gino's whereabouts.
Despite their best efforts (or because Jane started asking the student working at the information desk if he knew anyone who was into suspension on hooks), they only got that there wasn't anyone working on campus by that name. After some intense computer searching (and by 'intense,' I mean 'Rudolf actually spent Pyros to increase his Intelligence for the roll, just barely avoiding drawing attention to himself), though, Rudolf was able to find some old phone records that had Gino's home address.
A short trip later, and it was the middle of the night by the time they got to Gino's house. Or at least, what's left of it. It turns out that Dr. Gino used to live in one of the areas of town that still hasn't recovered from the wreck. They got to the neighborhood, looking around at the rats scurrying through the garbage and the homeless bums shifting about.
They picked up the Azothic radiance of another Promethean nearby, and before going into the house decided to check it out. They found a small clearing in the wreckage where a Promethean was clinging to the shadows downwind from a garbage fire; close enough to enjoy the heat but far enough to not have to constantly dodge stray sparks. They got his attention and had a little chat... he introduced himself as Sicky (as in, Sicky from Pandora's Book). They asked if he knew anything about Gino's house, but he didn't seem to know anything useful. Rudolf gave him a twenty-dollar bill out of some cash he found at Gino's lab and they went back to the house after he gave them a warning that he was pretty sure they were being followed.
While they searched the house, Jack checked to see what sorts of spirits were there. He found a spirit of wreckage there, watching the living room. It told him that Gino hadn't been there in a while, and that it had been ordered to watch the living room by a "man with burning footprints." It said that Gino and his guests would come back, and it needed to keep an eye on the house.
The rest of them combed the place and in the process broke a few things to 'feed' the spirit, although they found that it refused to leave the rug in the living room. They were able to find a journal that belonged to the doctor, but they didn't really have time to open it.
The session wrapped up when they heard Sicky outside pathetically yell "Guys, I think we've got trouble..."
Alright, there we go. It's a bit awkward, starting, as this is the first NWoD game I've ever run (or any WoD game, really). But I'm trying, and I'm always accepting of feedback and commentary.