Buy your tickets
Dev Blog #1 Overview
Dev Blog #2 Hunter - The Reckoning
WoD History of Madison, WI
Prelude to Gen Con Event, July 23rd
Prelude Public Results
Hello everyone, I am Joshua Guldan, Lead Storyteller for Madison Under Siege.
Madison Under Siege is a Gaming Group that will be running four tabletop events set in the World of Darkness at Gen Con 2016. These four events will be running concurrently in the same room, and actions at one table will impact circumstances at another table. After Gen Con we will also expand our game with the release of a Living Campaign. Player actions at the Gen Con events will have a major impact on modules for the Living Campaign. We will be publishing a series of Dev Blogs that will go over the details for each of our gaming systems, setting, mechanics, living campaign, and meta plots.
For the Gen Con Event players will choose from a list of premade characters with full background stories, stats, and goal sets. Picking your character is first come first served, with a limited pool of characters to choose from. The list of characters, with short public descriptions, will be released in an upcoming Dev Blog. Once you have chosen your character, you will be given your full background history. Contacting us ahead of time will also give you the option to make your own character and work with your Storyteller to weave its background into the history of Madison.
And now I am proud to present you with our event teaser!
MADISON UNDER SIEGE GEN CON EVENT TEASER
Welcome to Madtown!
The Year: 2015.
The Avatar Storm has come and gone, changing Mage society and much of the Umbral landscape. This allowed for theNephandi to enact a plan of almost complete control over the Mages of this world. The Withering has destroyed the power of Generation for the Kindred. Now they must learn how to survive in this new political landscape, where skill is more important than age or Generation. Imbued Hunters have arisen to fight and understand the supernatural, as if something is reacting to the darkness that sieges this world. Garou continue their failing battle with the Wyrm andWeaver, as humanity continues to fall to corruption. In the wake of the Maelstrom, the Wraith Empires have been wiped from the Tempest and Shadowlands. By inhabiting the bodies of the dead, many Wraith and Spectres have found a way to escape the Maelstrom and make it back to Earth.
These events and many more have lead to the World of Darkness becoming a much more dangerous place. The world hasn’t ended, but it sure has changed since the 90s!
In Madison, Wisconsin these events have caused this once proud and powerful city to wane into a state of corruption and chaos. Known to the world as "77 square miles surrounded by reality," this city was once a beacon of hope. Before the Avatar Storm, the city of Madison was controlled by four major powers: Garou, Kindred, Mages, and Wraith. These four powers have a truce in place that has lasted for decades. It allows for each group to control their aspect of Madison, without stepping on too many toes. Wars have sparked up between the groups over the years, but for the most part the Tradition Mages, Anarch Kindred, liberal Garou, and powerful Wraith have existed in an odd state of peace or cold war.
However, this truce has been pushed to its limit ever since the Avatar Storm. When the storm hit, it shook the supernatural society, on and off Earth, to its core. In 1999, it changed everything and created an opportunity that had never existed before. The four powers became three. The Wraith Necropolis of Madison was destroyed in the wake of the Maelstrom and the balance of power that had once protected the city was disrupted. A dark force saw this opportunity and used it to gain control of Madison. A feat it once thought impossible. The long road to the year 2000 was bumpy, but things have gone off road ever since.
In the year 1999, Imbued Hunters arose from the ashes of the Wraith Empires that once held back Oblivion. By 2007, they had created a school for the Imbued in Madison, Wisconsin, a school created for those that wish to understand the supernatural and not blindly destroy them. They have spent most of their time in the city cleaning up the mess left by the Avatar Storm and Maelstrom. These storms ravaged much the spiritual community, allowing many banes and spectators to breach the barriers between worlds, terrorizing the mortals of Earth.
After the Avatar Storm ended in 2005, the Tradition Mages of the world tried to reform under new names, only to find that corruption is tempting indeed. In Madison, a group of powerful, corrupt Mages called the Nephandi took over the Leadership Council. Only the apprentices of the old Council know about this dark secret. A rebellion is growing that hopes to overthrow and expel them, but these Nephandi have many loyal Mages wrapped up in their lies. The rest of the Mages of Madison must be persuaded to see the Truth, before any direct action can be made against them.
In 2005, Kindred scrambled to understand what to do in the wake of the Withering; many of the most powerful Kindred, some say even the Third Generation, became thin-blooded. They must now regrow their Blood Potency through time and effort. Age can be an advantage, but knowing how to adapt is the key to survival. The Anarchs that have ruled Madison for decades must now prepare for an assault by a newly-restructured Camarilla.
Garou fight an ever-growing, uphill battle with the Wyrm and the Weaver. As the power of their revered spirit, the Wyld, is ever-shrinking, while the use of technology and corruption grows in almost every country on Earth. And in 2015, the Wyrm dealt a terrible blow to the Garou of Madison, by killing their greatest warrior in a battle that will be talked about for generations.
Madison may not look as bright as it once was but there is still hope. In the year 2015, tragedy will strike and set off a chain of events that will forever change the world.
Madison’s Imbued: (Hunter The Reckoning, 10 Player, Tabletop 1st Edition) The Hunter Academy seeks to sweep Madison clean of hostile paranormal activity. An investigative adventure plays out as you discover new sinister foes that will challenge your Hunter Edges. Can you solve or resolve your assigned paranormal cases without stirring the Vampires, Mages and Werewolves of the city?
Madison’s Enlightened: (Mage the Ascension, 10 Player, Tabletop 20th Anniversary Edition) Madison, once a powerful Tradition city, is now ruled by the Nephandi. You will travel to the Umbra and into the political halls of the supernatural, to save the city from its corrupt leaders. To overthrow this Nephandi leadership, your kind’s only hope is for you to adventure into the Umbra and return with the knowledge needed to save Madison. Along the way, secrets will be revealed that bring your world view into question. Can you work together without falling to the temptation of corruption, and the power afforded therein?
Madison’s Kindred: (Vampire the Masquerade, 10 Player, Tabletop 20th Anniversary Edition) The Withering has changed Kindred society forever. As one of the leaders of Madison, you will struggle to keep or overthrow the Anarchs in power. Which side will you take in this time of chaos? Generation no longer matters and the political landscape has been mutilated. The Camarilla has restructured under a King and the Sabbat have fallen into chaos. Will Madison fall to the Camarilla or will the Anarchs be able to maintain control of their longstanding stronghold?
Madison’s Garou: (Werewolf the Apocalypse, 10 Player, Tabletop 20th Anniversary Edition) The Wyrm has killed the Alpha of your pack in the largest battle of this generation. At the funeral Moot, a mystery begins to unfold that will plunge you into a world of dangerous revelations. Madison is being attacked from all sides. In your fight for survival, revelations will unfold an epic mystery that brings into question everything you believe about your fallen leader, and werewolf society as a whole. Who will survive in this ancient conflict between tradition and progress?
If you are interested in playing in our game feel free to contact us via facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MadisonUnderSiege/ or you can email me at [email protected]
It is clear from the post that you are putting a lot of work in to this. That said, for me it would be a resounding NO! I see these specific problems:
1. 10 player tables with 1 GM - that is too much.
2. 10 hour game sessions x2 days. You want people to commit 20 hours of their total amount of limited Gen Con time to this single event. Specifically you want 40 people who will do this.
3. 5 year long term campaign. Ideally, you would want the same 40 people to commit to this campaign for 5 total years of the con. Assuming that the same 40 people could manage to do that with event registration rush, would they?
4. Pre-Gen Characters. Yes con events use pre-gens, not an issue for a 4 to 6 hour one shot. But, you are asking players to commit to a pre-gen for 20 hours of play. I have no doubt WoD RPGs and LARPers would play THEIR character for 20 hours as in their own character that they rolled up / developed, but 20 hours on a pre-gen seems a lot to ask.
I don't want to seem like I am piling on. It seems like an event that you are putting a lot of thought and work in to, and it seems very ambitious. In my view too ambitious in the scope of the time comitment asked.
I'm slightly confused as to whether it's a tabletop game or a LARP. And honestly, I do agree that's quite a time committment to ask of people.
It sounds like a perfect event for GenCon!
Out of 60,000 gamers, you should be able to find 40 people who love the World of Darkness games enough to commit to playing for two days straight.
I'd open it up to player-generated characters, though. If you're seriously worried about overpowered characters, have them submit their character sheets to you ahead of time to make sure they're appropriate for your game.
Thank you all for your replies. We are taking into consideration all feedback and are very open to constructive criticism.
For player-generated characters, we have been considering allowing this for sometime. If a player contacts us ahead of time and wishes to work with us to build a character with a strong history and backstory that is involved in our story, we would love to work with that player to craft a personal character with them. I will be reworking our game description to include this information.
For your second point we understand this is a large commitment for people. This will be a some experience required game for people who like WoD. We are hoping to create a game that is so awesome that people will tell us they wish we had run a 3rd day. It is possible this is too much commitment for some and even if we only get 12 out of the 40 we could still have a great event but we feel 40 is the very most we can handle and still be epic, and feel it is at its best with 40 players.
For your third point we will not require players to continue as the same character each year. Players will also have the option to create new characters that can be woven into our story and city or pick up a character that was played by someone else last year. We are also not forcing players to buy tickets for both days of this event. Players are welcome to join us on Day one but not play on day 2 or play on day two with out having played on day one, we however would prefer for people to play both days.
For your last point, I will make it more clear that there is a possibility to make your own character if you contact us ahead of time and work with us to weave your character into the backstory of the city and story. We will have around 15 to 20 characters to pick from per game and will be open to helping players customize their character if they contact us ahead of time. We are also considering letting players start with a decent EXP pool at the start of the game to allow them to add a bit of customization, even for those who use generic tickets.
We welcome all constructive criticism and I thank you for yours, we both agree this is a very ambitions project.
As stated above I fully agree that players who contact us ahead of time are fully able to create a character that we can weave into our story.
I am interseted in hearing more, as have lived in Madison, and been a long time player of Madison by Night in the late 90's, I can't wait to see where the timelines go
We will be getting updated public historic information and basic character descriptions, as well as allot more will be posted on our facebook page. My prototype game can give you an idea of what the city and game will be like but we have made some major changes so any information from the prototype game should be taken with the knowledge that it will not be canon to our game.
Feel free to contact us via facebook or you can email me at [email protected]
Hi Joshua, just a couple of questions.
When you say this would be an expert level game, what do you mean exactly?
I've played cWoD games on several occasions but haven't tried the full line. I've been in games of Vampire, Wraith, Mage and Demon, but never played Werewolf, for instance, so I hardly consider myself an expert.
Do you think I could still join this game or I would really need more experience?
We have actually changed that part of the event to say some experience required, instead of Expert. For the most part having played a few games of any cWoD games or nWoD games will be enough to easily play in our game. Your character background will fill you in on some of the Lore if you don't know it, at least from that character's point of view. We will also be releasing a series of Dev blogs on TMC and our Facebook page that will help with understanding the vision and basic information.
For the most part if you played in a Vampire game and have never played or learned about any of the other supernaturals it won't be a problem. Most of our characters don't have knowledge of other supernaturals but some might know about one or two. The game you play in will mostly interact with their own kind, with only some crossover.
I would say doing a walk up with zero knowledge in roleplaying games and/or the World of Darkness might make the game very confusing. However if you check out our dev blogs and contact us ahead of time, we could work with anyone that is interested in playing.
That being said having a ton of cWoD knowledge and play time will give players a bit of a leg up but they will also most likely play characters that need this kind of knowledge base. We will also have characters that will be very easy to pick up and play. Our Hunter game will require very little understand of the World of Darkness Lore if any.
Knowing the basic D10 system and some experience in roleplaying games is all that is required to play many of our characters.
I have also updated the OP with a new updated Teaser for the game and a link to our TMC article. Our first Dev Blog will be published very soon. I am currently in the last stride of its final edit pass as I write this.
Hope to see you there!
We have also release our first dev blog for our game. OP has been updated with article links.
Dev Blog #1: https://www.themittani.com/features/gen-con-madison-under-siege-world-darkness-overview
Hey there Frozen. Former Eve Player here. Looking forward to getting in on your vamp game.
We played in a 6 hour RPG back in 2013 called Reckoning: Chicago based on World of Darkness 1st edition and it was a blast. One of the best RPG's we've played at GenCon. That 6 hour session flew by and it was a lot of fun.
I have to agree that asking for two 10 hour time commitments seems pretty steep but I'll guess that you will find at least some people interested. For us, it's too much time.
One other thing I’d like to mention. Our session had 6 players with one game master and it was great. I believe that is a good ratio for RPG's. When you get up to 10 players with only one game master the flow slows down to the point that players begin to lose interest waiting for "their turn".
Best of luck!
10+1 is a worrying ratio. 10+2 would be better, 8+1 would even work (that's the old Gen Con standard for tabletops). That it's less die rolling doesn't help as much as you'd think. 10 people all trying to contribute meaningfully to telling a story is tough--add to it those times when you will have two or three players realy dominating the conversation. You'll end up with two or three people sitting on the sidelines.
Will it really hinder your plans to drop to 8 players?
For the commitment of two 10 hour events we fully understand that this is a very large commitment. Having been to many of the 3 Day 7 hour LARPs we fully expect many of the players to only show up on one of the two days. I also ran a Vampire game in 2015 that was suppost to be a 6 hour game but at the insistance of the players we went to 8 hours and even then we could have continued playing but stopped because we had already gone 2 hours over. We also understand that some of our players may only be able to make it for 4 or 6 hours of one of the events. We have the ability to incorporate and let players leave at any time during the game. These are just a few of the ways we plan to help mitigate the commitment.
I also fully undertand the concern of 10 players 1 GM. One of the main ways we are mitigating this issue is by having a very RP focused game with very little need for "turns." The way our game works actually get better as you increase the number of players giving them many more options for learning information or manipulating the people to achive their goal. Almost all of our goals for each character will be RP centric.
Also the game is more about playing the Leadership roles and having to deal with the political ramifications of different events happening in Madison during this time. So having less players means I have to play more important roles. The more I am free to deal with rules and rolls the better since Roleplaying many characters in a councile meeting is allot harder then having players fill those roles out while I moderate the game and rules.
Also Gen Con has a history of players being No Shows. Having a game that is about leadership meetings and interactions while missing half that councile (meaning I have to play them or I have to find a reason why they didn't show up and still get their vital piece of the puzzel into the game) is much worse then having a full boat of 10 players roleplaying out all of my vital roles.
Where most games are about RPing with your Storyteller while they play an NPC is something we have very little of in our games. By having the Players fill out the most imporatant leadership roles and having the settings for scenes be mostly meetings we can mitigate the need for people to wait on the side lines because the GM is talking with a player or resolving an scene. Players will have goals that require them to make deals and interact with other players and not have to work with the storyteller to get their actions complete.
The last game I ran with this kind of setup I did a Vampire the Masqurade event with 6 players. I did two days of the same event. The second day I had only 4 players and had allot more work I had to do finding ways to either take out the players who didn't show up or having to roleplay them myself. I also had allot of roles that felt shallow since I had to roleplay many people in a meeting for key roles such as Prince, Harpy, Senishal, Sherrif and all the Whips and the like.
The fist day I did get 6 players and it was smooth but I felt I could defently been helped had I asked for more.
I think 8 is really the sweet spot but with the way no shows go even after you sell out of tickets on day one of event registation, I would guess by asking for 10 we will get 8 or less that show. We are doing allot of work with advertising and getting our ducks in a row with players (and backup players) in hopes of selling all tickets. But I would much rather have 10 people to show up to the event then to have 6 or only 4 show if we brought that number down.
Also during games I have run like this we did very little dice rolling and turn based events during the game. Most of the time was taken up by RP with each other in character.
It sounds like you're doing something more like a seated larp, which is not a complaint, and in that case 10+1 can work well.
One thing to watch: are you really intending to have the same players in future years? Selling tickets us going to be a problem, as the general public will be free to sign up. Just FYI.
I think seated LARP is a great description. LARP has major influences in the game design but I have a major love for dice and the "part of the group" feel tabletop gives. Also each game has its 10 players divided into two opposing factions in a political sense. So people are not just going around killing things or each other, but sniffing out the traitor, swinging the swing vote, and all characters are laced with dark secrets and social conflict.
There are planned scenes that include combat or other dice rolling events but they are clean and quick where setup is much more important and time consuming. Sometimes players may need to come up with plans together and their characters might not even step foot in the "battle" since they are so high up the food chain.
As for Gen Con 2017 we have allot of plans but much of this is influx and will greatly depend on interest shown. For some this might be a game they just walk into on Thursday having only read the entry in the book. For them we have characters that are not knowledge heavy but are none the less extremely vital. For others this is a game they helped create. They have maybe read all the dev blogs and/or created the Prince of the city. Anyone, not just players, who want to be involved, have the option to help craft the kick off to our Living Campaign. We have a small group of players already working with us to craft this game and I hope that number grows once tickets go on sale.
Some people won't be able to make it to Gen Con and that's not a problem either. Last Gen Con I had a friend who couldn’t make it, but helped craft the game. So I had him play his character via the phone. The reaction from the players was priceless. I had many players comment on how that was one of their favorite parts, since it was roleplayed out that they could only reach him by phone and he had vital information. I also had friends that helped me craft the Meta story and allot of the different characters but didn't do anything at Gen Con.
So currently I can't say for sure what Gen Con 2017 will look like but I can say we will be using this Gen Con to launch a Living Campaign and if a player wants to play the same character at the next Gen Con we will work with them to make it so. Nothing is set in stone however and we are currently looking for input from everyone and anyone. All constructive criticism, concerns, suggestions, comments, and questions are welcome.
That sounds like a workable plan, although I'd try to see about possibly more GMs in future years to accommodate new and continuing players.
I made that last post in a hurry, just wanted to say that it will be a technical point to watch--how to make it a ticketed game, keep the size manageable, and still assure previous players a spot if they want it. Can be done, but will have to be done carefully :)
Well, that part is easy. Say first year is ten people, and five choose to return. Set aside five 'placeholders' and sell five tickets. If you have more gms and want more players, then fifteen, or whatever. The five returning players each bring generic tickets.
The game is held. Real tickets are collected from the new players, and generic tickets from the returning players.
If all ten want to return though, you'd have to talk to Derek to figure it out, but so long as new folks are always coming in, the event can be listed, as long as generics are collected from the returning players. Since space would appear smaller you'd also likely have to talk to Derek to explain why a bigger spot is needed.
This works for any game...If your best bud really really really wants to be in your game, and you want to gm six players, just have five slots up for grabs. He just still has to fork over generics(and of course have a badge) since the basic fee of $2 per hour goes to support paying for the space, tickets, admininistrative and all that.