Me and my playgroup just started a brand new Orpheus campaign. I quite like what we have cooked up this far so I'll share whatever happens here as long as I can be bothered.
Most of the players are new to the World of Darkness and none of them is familiar with Orpheus so this should be a fun ride. I asked them to come up with a character concept beforehand and we got together to discuss the various mechanical subjects such as Shades, Laments, etc. The writeups below are the result of character creation + a prelude we did for every character. SPOILER-FREE PLEASE
: My players do not know what the metaplot entails and they're likely to read this so let's keep this a spoiler-free thread please.
- Judd Jawlock: Sleeper Poltergeist
The jock with a heart of gold. Judd Jawlock's teenage life would have fit perfectly in any teen flick were it not for a single event. Judd was close friends with one of the geeky, unpopular kids in school and they had a mutually beneficial relationship. Judd got tutelage on any matters regarding school and Adam received lessons on the finer points of life, whatever school does not account for. Being the sole kid of a single father (his mother died of a brain aneurysm when Judd was 12), Judd made it his business to be the best man he could be. And, standing at nearly 2 meters and weighing in well over 100kg of pure unadulterated muscle by the time he was 16, there was a lot of man for him to be. His NDE was what flipped his life upside and directly set him on the path he followed for the next 10 years up till now. On a drive through the woods to an out of town party, he and his best friend Adam crashed when one of the front wheels of his car suddenly popped out the car and the brakes failed in the following frantic attempt to stop the vehicle. The car turned over and crashed into a tree, and even though Judd tried his best to shield his buddy from the crash, Adam was gone forever. Judd survived but has a constant reminder of the crash as his right knee was crushed beyond repair and he feels the effects of the crash to this day. The constant feeling of guilt haunts him to this day, amplified by Adams family who blames Judd for what happened to their son. Only he knows of the mysterious shade that suddenly popped up in front of his car and the "man" that walked up to him while he was stuck in wreckage seemingly just to mock him. Later on, Judd joined the Orpheus group as soon as it came out to the public with the message: 'Ghosts are real', believing he'll find the ghost of his dead friend, and the cause of the car crash. After 4 years of dutiful service in the reconnaissance team, someone in the Orpheus Group decided to promote him to real field work. Finally, at the age of 26, it's only a matter of time before he finds the answers he needs...
- Alonso Santino: Skimmer Wisp
A Mexican man in his early twenties, Alonso managed to cross the border earlier in his life along with his family. The rough living conditions in his small town, and the increasing disinterest his parents displayed towards their many children He had his first NDE whilst grabbing the electric fence on top of the border wall. At this time he projected, which allowed him to spot a weak point a bit further ahead. He lead his family and the others who joined his group accross the border and was heralded a hero. This feeling did not last long however as the family faced the cruel reality of American policy regarding illegal immigrants. Alonso turned to a life of crime, cat burglary in particular, to provide for his family in this time of need. He got into a business agreement with the Hispanic gang leader of Little Rock, ChainZ. Alonso provided rare and valuable that ChainZ used to strengthen his position in the gang and ChainZ offered Alonso's family legit jobs and ample payment for the 'acquisitions'. Quick wits and a keen eye ensured Alonso's success in the burglary business. On top of that, he had a special trick. Having learned that he can leave his body when shocked with near lethal doses of Voltage, he carries a taser at all times. While this taser is used for self-defense in a pinch, the main target is himself. Orpheus picked up on this strange cat burglar and offered him a stable and, more importantly, legitimate job with great pay. On the condition that Orpheus helps his family get on their feet in Washington DC, he gladly accepted their offer and is currently awaiting his first assignment.
- Frank Wiseau: Skimmer Haunter
Frank was an ordinary man for most of his life. He lived among a good god-fearing community with his wife and kids in the Bible belt working as an earnest car mechanic. Not the sharpest tool in the garage, he was a diligent worker and generally well liked by his colleagues and friends. One day, his co-worker offered him a test drive in a fancy antique sports car that was "as good as new". Bringing his wife and daughter along for the ride was the biggest mistake he ever made. The brakes were cut and the subsequent crash resulted in his wife's death and he and his daughter in a coma. A few weeks later Frank woke up, but his daughter was not that lucky as she is still down. Having to pay increasingly exuberant fees to support his daughter, he had to leave the honest life of being a car mechanic and turned to a life of crime instead. Through one of his coworkers, he got in touch with the drug dealers in his local area and started working as a drug runner and enforcer. As one would expect from such a life, he had a few close brushes with death but managed to make it through sheer force of personality and the fact that his little girl needs him. After a while, he started incorporating his mechanical expertise on the drug running and found out that there are a multitude of great places to stock drugs in the body of a car, where not even the best trained cop would think to look and he started climbing in underground society. On a drug deal involving the Black Centipede Triad, which had gone particularly bad, he was left for dead and suddenly found himself not in but AS his car which he promptly used to run over his assailants. Him being the only survivor left him in good graces with one of the major drug lords of Virginia. The Orpheus Group, who is always on the lookout for things such as self-starting vehicles, also got wind of this story through their own means and decided that his talents would be of better use in their service. Frank gladly accepted the chance at an honest day's work while still being able to cover his daughter's bills and left for Washington DC immediately knowing that his conscience will feel so much cleaner once the first legal paycheck in so long comes his way.
- Thomas Jackson: Sleeper Skinrider
Thomas had a dream since he was a young kid to be a Navy SEAL and he was damn well not going to let anyone stop him. He spent most of his high school and early military years training and preparing for the tests involved. Passing the tests still proved challenging but he managed. His first NDE occurred while preparing for Hell Week, especially the drown proofing. His training partner simply held him underwater for too long until he snapped out of it and pulled Thomas out. Understandably angry, Thomas dropped contact with this man for years. During his tours of duty in conflict zones like Iraq and Syria, Thomas had many more close brushes with death until finally a real disaster struck. A foe called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. A foe that cannot be fought in any way. A foe that will undermine everything he has worked for and crush his life's dream. Somehow Thomas managed to keep the disease hidden from his superiors and colleagues but the constant dread remained. During one particular mission in Syria, the American outpost was approached by a civilian wearing an explosive belt. Being one of the more accomplished genie troops, Thomas was sent out to disarm the explosives and defuse the situation. While working on the belt he suffered an attack and collapsed. Good men died that day because of his stubbornness and deceit. Once the dust had settled, Thomas was dishonorably discharged with immediate effect. Face to face with his own mortality, he dove into any research regarding the afterlife, death and life itself no matter the source. Eventually this search led him to Orpheus where he started as a training consultant for Orpheus' security personnel. His physical inability to get back in the field due to his disease remains the hardest thing he ever had to deal with. For some reason, the Orpheus group saw fit to offer him a field job in their particular business. The terms of the job and the promise that he'll be able to act in the field as before his heart failure (even if it is as a ghost) proved to be irresistible. Now Thomas is waiting anxiously for the first real chance to make use of his extensive training in years.
Next session: Welcome to Orpheus (expected session date 15/10, expected report date: ??)
EDIT: fixed Judd being a sleeper