I’ve been running a mini-series of Night’s Black Agents – the third season since I started the game. This post describes game prep.
The team have a vampire encased in a block of concrete which they kept in a silo in the Crimea – but the Russians invaded, so they moved the body and the lab to Romania (sounds so much safer, doesn’t it?). Then, as you do, they performed experiments on the encased creature, injecting it with the cocktail of biochemicals and radioactive material they acquired in Sevastapol.
The idea of Night’s Black Agents is: information gets you danger, and danger gets you more information. But also, information can be weaponised.
I love XCOM and their deployment of tech trees, and Ken Hite has used similar approach with his Majestic Overwatch issue for KWAS, so inspired by this, I allowed the players to spend build points to improve their existing tech and exploit weaknesses in the vampire types they have encountered.
The PCs now have:
- A phone app which sends out a high-frequency sound which stuns shapeshifters with sensitive ears.
- A USB device, also attachable to a phone, which analyses skin or hair to detect shapeshifter DNA. It requires an internet connection; this used to take three minutes. Now it takes a few seconds.
- A chemical mixture which suppresses the regenerative ability of shapeshifters, to be injected via a walking cane.
- A depleted uranium and wormwood round, deliver by a high calibre rifle which negates vampiric regeneration for the senior vassals, as well as delivering huge amounts of damage.
After a previous episode at the International Haemotology Conference (IHC) in Belfast, they discovered the conspiracy had two important goals:
- To develop a vaccine against certain blood-bourne diseases. It’s no coincidence that these were the diseases which made the six founder vampires quiescent.
- To discover a method to convert all blood types to Universal Receviers (the vampires’ favoured blood type, and the only one whose posessors they could turn.)
This is where my research comes in. I found that there is a a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory in Lyon, no doubt entirely blameless in the real world, run by a charitable foundation. BSL-4 means that it is designed to contain entirely uncurable pathogens. The lab is opposite a genome research foundation and next to the University and the river. It was easy to find floorplans and interior images of BSL labs. Worryingly easy. There was also a scandal involving tainted blood, which I won’t link to.
I then googled “Vampire Lyon” and came up with the horrifying tale of Martin Dummollard, a mass murderer whose head skin is displayed at the Museum of Anatomy. I assumed the conspiracy had stolen it and was bringing it back to life.
Other stuff I discovered – a terrified lion drowned at the zoo; INTERPOL meets here all the time, and recently had a conference on tiger crime.
As a GM I don’t have to worry about image copyright and libel, but here I do, so I’ll rely on your google skills to find this stuff.
More Stuff I’ve Made Up
So, they traced the conspiracy to a laboratory in Lyon by following people recruited at the IHC, and linking them to conspiracy assets seen leaving that lab.
Finally, there is a Department of Archeology at the University, to which a recent unspecified body was shipped from the Middle East.
What the characters didn’t know was that on the lowest level of the lab, the conspirators were intending to bring an ancient vampire back to life – having cured the plague which laid it low. They intend to experiment on Dumollard to attempt to restore him, then work on the body brought back from the Middle East (a senior vassal) and finally the great ancient one.
So the team came in with cover identities, ready to reccy the lab and disrupt the consipators plans…
Night’s Black Agents by Kenneth Hite puts you in the role of a skilled intelligence operative fighting a shadow war against vampires in post-Cold War Europe. Play a dangerous human weapon, a sly charmer, an unstoppable transporter, a precise demolitions expert, or whatever fictional spy you’ve always dreamed of being — and start putting those bloodsuckers in the ground where they belong. Purchase Night’s Black Agents in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.