|Written by:||Dustin Browder|
|Editing:||Andrew Greenberg, Rob Hatch|
|Art:||John Bridges, John Cobb, Josh Timbrook, Richard Thomas|
|Back Cover:||Chris McDonough|
|Vampire: The Masquerade was created by Mark Rein•Hagen|
Special Thanks To:
|Publisher:||White Wolf Publishing, Inc.|
|Imprint:||White Wolf Game Studio|
|Publication #:||WW 02105|
|Reference #:||ISBN 1-56504-017-1|
Milwaukee by Night is a sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade. This book offers insight into the Kindred inhabiting Milwaukee and the local history, geography, and politics that occur within the city.
From the White Wolf catalog:
Book 1: Barren Streets, Barren HeartsEdit
Book One is the city sourcebook side of Milwaukee by Night, and takes up the first 75 or so pages of the supplement.
Chapter 1: HistoryEdit
This focuses a lot of the rivalry of two Ventrue and war against Lupines, who plague Milwaukee to this day, isolating it from the outside world more than most cities. The werewolves continued interest is based in part on a magical dead zone in the city that resulted from the burial of two werewolf totems under Marquette University.
Chapter II: GeographyEdit
A collection of some basic maps, hot spots, and things to do, this chapter gives some reasonable location hooks without going into pointless levels of detail.
Chapter III: KindredEdit
This collection of Milwaukee vampires is presented a little differently than usual, which each Kindred's entry being written in the first person (although each write-up still has third-person comments on image, roleplaying tips, haven, and influence). If nothing else, it makes the chapter a somewhat more interesting read.
Chapter IV: PoliticsEdit
About the politics of the city after the death of the prince in that story. It is the usual White Wolf coterie-interactions chapter, with the standard relationship charts. The political structure is loosely balanced on the rivalry of the Roman-era Ventrue (one Roman, one barbarian), but nobody really actually likes the politically-minded Gracis, Hrothulf barely cares beyond wanting to be rid of Gracis, and there is also a strong gang-fueled Anarch presence, so there is a lot of wiggle room. There are elders, but unlike Chicago by Night they are not methuselah who are literally controlling everyone from behind the scenes.
Book II: PsychomachiaEdit
Book Two is the story module side of Milwaukee by Night, and its 25 scenes take up the final 50 pages or so of the book. "Psychomachia" means a conflict of the soul, and the conflicted soul in this instance is the Prince of the city, who has truly gone over the deep end after murdering his vampire wife. The PCs then become pawns in his struggle with himself, as he gives then a lot of authority and leeway to hunt down his wife's murderer – while also trying to have the PCs killed. To up the stakes, the wife was a Gangrel, and one of the city's few non-violent links to the Lupines, and so the werewolves get involved.
Chapter I: Fire and BloodEdit
The characters are interrupted during feeding (however it usually is that they do this), and "invited" to come see the Prince immediately (this is intended to throw the characters off their routine and make them skittish). On the way, after being brought together as a group, they are attacked by quite a few mortal gunmen (they have an opportunity to make a helpful friend here by saving the Prince's henchman and not just themselves). Once they finally make it to the Prince, he designates the group as "The Mask", and gives them a lot of powers and leeway in the pursuit of Masquerade violations, starting with solving his wife's murder (the Prince is already crazy, so there is an actual in-game reason why he might choose a random collection of vampires to do this sort of thing). The chapter wraps up with the likely-hungry characters being offered drinks from the Prince's herd, the condition of which may have moral implications.
Chapter II: War of TribesEdit
The PCs are told to check out the Anarchs first, and the story assumes they basically follow that command. The PCs are to be steered to the territory of one Anarch gang (the Blood Brothers), and it is largely assumed that at least one of the PCs will be willing to engaged in a destructive "duel of wills" with the gang's leader (it mostly does not matter if they win, just that the are willing to play) – the story requires a decent amount of Scotch tape to fit together if they just walk away, losing information and allies. The PCs and the Blood Brothers are then attacked by another Anarch gang (The Union), presumably, resulting in some camaraderie-building combat. The next day there is another gruesome Vampire-caused murder, which the Prince tasks the Mask with investigating. At this scene, the PCs will likely spot a Lupine or other shadowy figure watching, give chase, and then follow back to a Union base, where there will be another fight (with, again, the Blood Brothers on the PCs side). The PCs may also choose to go after a hunter with a flamethrower who shows up, although they can skip this.
Chapter III: A Midnight MoonEdit
One of the characters wakes up with a dead body lying in bed next to him/her, and the police banging on the door. At some point after the character has figured a way out of this dilemma, the Prince will send the PCs out of the city after a Lupine/vampire pair who were spotted fleeing (just like the Lupine/vampire pair that they PCs went chasing the day before). Then the Prince calls some Lupine buddies, tells them the PCs are coming, and the PCs get ambushed and beaten senseless. The characters wake up staked next to the remains of a Justicar, and hopefully at some point start piecing together than all is not right with the Prince. The PCs find themselves in a talking match with a couple of groups of Lupines, and if they can manage to seem competent and take a lot of verbal abuse meekly then the larger and more moderate faction of werewolves will send them back to the city to solve rather than start a war and risk exposure (if the PCs cannot manage to avoid combat here, they are just dead).
Chapter IV: The UnmaskingEdit
Most of the scenes here are unnecessary to the core story, but gives the PCs some interactions with the other power players in Milwaukee, and potentially inroads to new allies for after the story is over (it can also give them clues, if they have not figured out that the Prince is trying to kill them, which personally I think is more likely than the book does, as I think the story here risks running into the problem of the writer/GM thinking that it is obvious what is going on because it is obvious to him as the writer). The book presumes that, regardless, the PCs will eventually go visit the Prince again (even if they are entirely at a loss for what to do next, they all likely feel obliged to report back to the Prince at some point) and he will capture them (yes, this is the second time that the PCs are required to non-lethally lose a fight in order to progress the plot).
Chapter V: Dreams of MadnessEdit
The characters are drugged and this chapter alternates between real scenes and hallucinations. There is a lot of psychodrama here, including one scene that would take a lot of effort but should work and will ultimately have the GM getting the bulk of the players to agree that they need to drain 1-2 of their fellows in order to have the strength to break out. Even the "real" scenes are a bit symbolic and trippy, so it is possible that the PCs will actually buy that they are all just a series of hallucinations. After at least one not-real escape (which probably takes a lot of GM work for a hallucination, as it probably takes a good amount of actual rolling to sell to the players), the PCs will have the chance to actually fight their way out of the Prince's mansion, which is going up in flames, and kill the Prince.
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