I’ll base these on key NPCs, I think, since that’s how I assemble storylines. Here they are in alphabetical order:
Amanda is an Infernalist worshipping Astaroth, a demon associated with, among other things, serpents. This made finding Setite hearts a high priority for her, and subsequently getting her hands on them. She worked on doing so via Leslie Whitaker, trading an Infernal gift for the hearts. Since Leslie was already a horrible person, this was a good match.
She was gathering a huge under ground cult around herself, and working on what to do about the Setites. Theoretically, she felt that Set and Astaroth had some clear overlap. That being said, Astaroth would have loved to be able to devour Benjamin’s heart, and Neala’s too for good measure.
She knew that Norman Mathis was in love with her and leveraged this foolish feeling. She also knew all about what Ted Winters was up to with the diablerie, and so she had carte blanche to do whatever she wanted, for the most part.
Cedric was right about Sarah Anne Wilder, but was also a traditionalist asshole. To complicate things, he would demand some loyalty from Benjamin, since Benjamin was Cedric’s weapon when he was Prince. The idea here was to further complicate city politics, giving two ambivalent options for Prince, both demanding loyalty and growing more and more paranoid. Both had cost and benefit. Ultimately, Cedric was going to strike a deal with the Cathayans to garner their help defeating Sarah Anne, and would subsequently be betrayed by them once he was weakened.
Clyde had some fans, which made me happy. He is based on a character my friend Adam played that I really enjoyed. His derangement is insomnia – he is unable to sleep, and is only able to recover willpower from acting out his Nature, which is Eye of the Storm. So his whole thing was to remain blase in the face of danger and violence, calmly shooting people but not necessarily putting a stop to the problem until he absolutely had to. A perfect choice for Sheriff, I think. Otherwise, he was so exhausted that not much worried him or got him upset.
Daniel Verity [DECEASED]
Verity was a good foil for Benjamin and Neala, and when thinking about who should have the hearts in order to justify a 4pt Flaw, he seemed like a great choice. He was not that terrible a person – humorously, Neala always interpreted her discomfort around him as him attacking her. Rather, she was corrupted enough that any time he prayed, it would make her feel uncomfortable due to True Faith. It’s just that Daniel prayed often. But I ended up milking that for more conflict, and that turned out great. Verity was a close ally of Cedric, deeply opposed to Benjamin. Cedric found both very useful, and just played them off each other when they caused trouble. Verity had this idea that he had to try to do something about what he saw as Benjamin’s infectious evil, he just didn’t have any way to be successful, which would drive him to find a final solution.
One of the themes was that Malkavians would be very influential in the city, and Dawn was part of that. She was also to be a foil for Leslie and a surprise reveal later in the game. She was sent there to serve Malkavian interests over and against Ventrue interests, setting up Sarah + Dawn vs. Cedric + Leslie
Ellie Jameson, MAlice
Both recruited to the Sabbat, obviously, by Lucas Novak and Molly Milian. Ellie so that she could live out her calling as a followe of the Path of the Feral Heart, and MAlice because Lucas was able to channel her passion and anarchism toward the Sabbat as a way to have power and to fight The Man, given the Anarch failure.
Flea’s secret was that he was in fact a Gangrel who had frenzied so many times that he began passing as a Nosferatu. He was not a hunchback – what was on his back under his clothes was a huge, vitae-swollen flea Ghoul he had been cultivating for decades.
Leslie was just a monstrous Ventrue Archon. She was there to be a poweful, violent, volatile, coercive Elder in the PC’s lives. I liked that we left off with her demanding Benjamin’s body and heart from Neala. It was a great moment.
Obviously, Lucas was a Sabbat infiltrator. His method was to give a free taste of the good life through Death Guild, and recruit thereby. He knows a lot about the Camarilla, and his method was to attract neonates and ancilla with shitty hunting grounds who were tired of always trading boons for every shred of advantage. He was a Tzimisce true believer – the Sabbat is the only answer for unlife. He was clearly evil, but not toward other kindred, who he genuinely saw as brothers and sisters. He was close to making a play to recruit the PCs, to see how things fell out, and that could have gone various ways. He wasn’t going to let you guys just go if you said no, so Plan B was to subdue you and put you through wartime Creation Rites – the classic “shovel-head” method.
Ming Hok was a Hsien, a Chu-ih-yu, or metal-elemental judge-style changeling. She simply had a neighborhood she was responsible for protecting in Chinatown, and I had it overlap Jade Dragon territory. Checking up on the PCs, she learned about the Akuma among you, and felt she had to do something. After their encounter, she was curious that he did not act much like an Akuma, and at the next encounter she would be more open to talking – just when the “Akuma” was much less so :)
Molly is based on a character of mine from a Sabbat game long ago. Her play was to provide techincal support for tech-ignorant kindred and use that to spy on them. She learned a ton by getting into Verity’s good graces, though she often had to hide her discomfort around him, which she found exhausting. She was kind of Lucas’ protege, and also a bit of a wildcard, but so useful because of how good she was at gathering information. She had phone various kinds of surveilance on many of the city’s kindred.
Just a Kiyasid. Kind of an easter egg left there for you guys to find and interact with once Quentin Hardy, a Satyr, distinguished himself at the Pit. If befriended, Oleander would be an excellent source of lore and research for you guys, if you ended up wanting it. As an enemy, he would tend to hunker down and rely on the unusual abilities of the Fae he had allied himself with to throw you off and make attacking too costly.
Sarah Anne Wilder
Sarah was in fact Delphina Sarris, a Malkavian whose derangement was to think that she was the last person she diablerized. Coupled with this was a kind of fugue, which would cause her to go diablerize someone when she was close to being discovered. So there would be evidence that she was an imposter, but she would honestly maintain that she was not, and respond as if these were unfounded claims and attacks on her character. The other Malkavians knew about this, but were committed to protecting her. Devon didn’t realize it because, while powerful, ta was not incredibly perceptive. She had eventually noticed that Sarah Anne disguised herself with Obfuscate, but that’s certainly her perogative as Prince.
Mistress of Masquerade Maintenance. This didn’t come up, but her derangement was to go into a fugue state and become “Megan”, a wild irresponsible party girl who would wake up somewhere flushed with the blood of drug users, exhausted, and probably being burned by the sun. This would often lead to a Masquerade breach, which Suzanne would then go about covering up very thoroughly.
Ted was a guilt-wracked diablerie addict. He would Embrace the worst people he could find to diablerize, and would use Thaumaturgy to obscure the evidence in his aura (though not eliminate it entirely – the Malkavians had leverage over him).
V-Jack and Vanessa Vale
A dysfunctional couple, Vanessa seduced V-Jack in order to have him around to keep her safe. Vanessa was paranoid, having nearly died during the Camarilla attack on the city, and was doing things like stealing Ghouls from Praetorian Security to keep herself safe. She and V-Jack would become mutually blood-bound, keeping them together despite not having anything in common, until V-Jack was potentially recruited by Lucas and was released by the Vaulderie.
Actually a Giovanni, and a go-between for her Clan and the New Promise Mandarinate (Cathayans). A potential source of info on them, ways to contact them, etc.
Xorba and Zoey
Xorba interpreted his Path prescriptively when it said that a path sin was “failure to diablerize a humane vampire”. That is, he felt he had to find a human vampire and diablerize him/her to progress (and therefore, he did have to do that in order to progress). He found Zoey, who was a Wi Zhao/Salubri well on her way to Golconda. His goal was to diablerize her, if he could.
For her part, Zoey was hard to kill, almost impossible to lie to or sneak up on, but also a pacifist unless she frenzied or decided that violence was the only way to escape. If Xorba had diablerized her, there was a good chance she’d take over his body (it would be a contested roll of willpower + generation background, or Xorba’s 8 dice vs her 14 dice).
That’s what I have for now