Author Topic: VTMB...Again...  (Read 52 times)

Offline Silver Sorrow

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« on: February 05, 2020, 12:52:08 AM »
Two years after my last foray into VTMB (that otherwise enlightening thread is here, I've decided to dedicate almost my entire waking life to screwing around with this thing again.

For this current phase, I thought I'd try out the Nosferatu for the whole game, not just idly trying it out for a few minutes and then giving up. It's been...interesting...but I ended up experiencing a couple of bugs that make me wonder if I'd just be better off starting my own religion, just for giggles...I mean, worked for L. Ron Hubbard and Jerome Q. Buddha, why not me?

I'll call it "Chrisianity," based on the works and teachings of Chris, which shall be mandatory to fulfilling one's own potential, or something. Our slogan will be "The Power Of Chris Compels You!" And of you don't comply, you'll be tossed through a window. I think of it as The Exorcist meets The Three Stooges. Every copy of the sacred scripture will feature a centerfold of Linda Blair in full demon getup. Whether as a cautionary thing or as a promise, I don't know. I haven't figured it out yet.

ANYWAY, I've since upgraded to the Unofficial Patch v10.5, which is apparently the most current... a completely unrelated aside, I should point out that the GOG version WILL upgrade the UP if you don't turn off auto-updates in the settings, so watch out!...

...and I've come across an interesting bug or two.

As usual.

This time, however, it's somewhat confounding. Upon coming back from the Elizabeth Dane (at no point did I encounter any fog or Adrienne Barbeau), I went back Downtown via the sewers (I else? You look like this, you use the sewers!), ran into Heather (::)), tried to top off my bloodpool with a rat, and...feed attempt failed?

Try again.

Feed attempt failed.


I might try a change of scenery. I found the access point to the manhole across from The Last Round. Went topside. Crept up behind the female bum and tried to feed.

Feed attempt failed.

This was starting to concern me.

I ended up simply scaring the shit out of her, so I got fed up and axe-murdered her.

She burst into flame and ash, just like a vampire.

I began to wonder.

Another bum walked around the corner and freaked out, so I chased him down with my axe too...same vampire-like demise, but this time incurring a Humanity loss AND alerting the cops. Killed two. Tried to feed on a nearby bum while I waited for more cops to show up. Drained/killed the bastard instantly. Grabbed another bum, same instantaneous deal. Then more cops showed up and killed me.

Hmmmm. Reload. Exited sewer. Killed female bum. Ashes. Killed male bum. Ashes. No Humanity loss. Went back to manhole...and noticed that the Masquerade violation indicator (or whatever it's's on the top right of your HUD) was letting me know that a human could see me. But there was no one around...or was there? I went over to the fire can in the corner (you know, the ones that the bums seem to enjoy) and...well. I hit the feed key and the attempt failed...and a female bum's *shadow* panicked and ran away.

Help me, Chris.

So I went back into the sewer...I suspected that the reason I couldn't feed on the bums was that the game was seeing them as I thought, hey, why not try shooting a rat and see what happens?

Bang. Squeak. Fire and ashes.

Well, shit.

Thinking about it, this may be due to modifying the clandoc text (handles Disciplines, etc.), and this was a save dating from before then.  I'll monkey with it some more to see what happens, but I suspect I may need to restart this character. No big deal, I'm not that far into it.

I'm not sure why this would be the reason (the only thing I did was experiment with swapping around Tremere Disciplines), but it's the only thing I've changed since that save was made. But at least I got a mildly amusing story out of it. ::)

While I'm here, I'll note a few things from that thread I mentioned earlier.

- The path through the abandoned hospital is supposed to be cleared of blockage and debris once you talk to Pisha. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened and I still have to clamber over crap. So I just noclip through it.

As it turns out, there's a handy-dandy vent access by Pisha, so after speaking with her, just climb through a short vent passage and end up near the front door (it's locked so you HAVE to go through the place the first time). Don't have to go back through the hospital again. I had never noticed that before, so yay me.

- It's easy to get insta-killed in the car body takes a bad bounce and hits me and: ashes. God mode. I never liked the junkyard sequence.

Still hate it.

- There's a locked door in the DMP office of the internet cafe in Hollywood (through the windows you'll see a guy get killed by one of those stupid head-on-arms things that I hate so bloody much); from what I recall, that door would automatically unlock once you got the tape on the table (or when you entered the room, either way). Not anymore, apparently. Gotta go back through the vent and retrace my steps. No big deal.

That's been fixed.

- The Plus Patch nerfs Bloodbuff, taking it down to a +2 boost instead of the default +5. Apparently this is a "balance" attempt, but I don't know. The game is so biased against the player's success in so many respects that becoming overpowered is a dandy little dream.

Still nerfed AND uses a good deal of my bloodpool. I'm gonna do a bit of digging...
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Offline Doc_Brown

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Re: VTMB...Again...
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2020, 08:02:36 AM »
Wait, I'm confused.  They're up to 10.5 now?  The last version I downloaded was 10, and I was under the impression it was supposed to be the final version.
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: VTMB...Again...
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2020, 10:38:47 AM »
I know, right? Wesp just keeps finding things to tinker with. I saw on some random board that he hopes to be finished with the patch by the time Bloodlines 2 comes out, but I'm...doubtful.  :lol:

Wait...found this just now in a PlanetVampire thread:

UP 10.5 is final now, but I already started working on 10.6...


(Btw, PlanetVampire is...wonky. "Database Error." Reload the desired page until it shows content. This is truly the age of wonders.)

EDIT: Maybe it's the language barrier. When he says "final," he may mean that the current version has been finalized and is ready for distribution.
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: VTMB...Again...
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 01:05:58 PM »

Trying out a couple of the biggies: Clan Quest Mod [CQM] and The Final Nights [TFN].

CQM adds new quests attached to your clan, and it adds the ability to join the Sabbat -- including fully-voiced NPCs, complete with an entirely new area and associated quests -- and to even diablerize main characters (Jeanette, Strauss, etc.).

TFN replaces the standard clans with different lore-based clans. Baali, Oseba, Samedi, and so on. There are also additions, reworkings, all that stuff.

I guess you could say that both of them are...and I hate the term, but I'll use it anyway...overhauls of the basic game. Both are based on different versions of the Unofficial Patch (CQM: 6.5, I think; TFN: 9.?), so if you've played those versions without these mods, you might see familiar things, such as how NPCs are arranged in The Last Round.

I didn't exactly test them thoroughly...I mean, my patience only goes so far. But I did mess around with them somewhat.

I should point out that both feature a Blood Loss Timer (as it implies, you lose blood over time due to various factors, and you need to feed a lot), which I find quite irritating. I disabled it in both mods. I don't need that shit on top of everything else.

Anyway, both are pretty much The Game Itself, but with added stuff. If adhering to The Path Previously Blazed, there's not much difference. In the case of CQM, however...

CQM didn't really make much of an impression on me. Didn't play much. Not even enough to trigger the titular clan-based quest for my Tremere. There's a walkthrough of the new quests available on their site, and idly browsing through them, I couldn't say that they interested me enough to make the attempt. (Plus, their idea of an apocalyptic fight against the Anarchs in some weird-ass nightmare dimension seemed somewhat dumb.)

I admit that I may not be giving the mod a fair shake, so if anyone with an actual reason to live wants to make the attempt, feel free.

TFN, however, seems to be a little more polished. Of course, I played as Baali. Because Tremere weren't evil enough, right? Right. However...okay, so while I couldn't raise my Humanity more than 6 -- clan weakness -- apart from some nicely diabolical dialog choices (that, plus a low Humanity makes you more of a jerk in conversations), I didn't really feel all that evil.

Okay, yes: you need to adhere to the game's plot at some point, but really... put it in context, this is my Tremere/Baali:


A bit over the top, I admit. TO BE CLEAR: This is my own personal retex/recolor and NOT part of the main game, the UP, or the various mods. Okay? Okay.

Evil, but constrained to Good Guy Evil by the plot. Oh, well.

The worst part is that the signature Discipline of the Baali, Daimoinon (sp?), is somewhat underpowered. I suppose I could dig into the system files and tweak the living crap out of it, but...I don't know. Maybe later.

I guess I was looking for something that would unleash suffering and misery upon everything in a ten mile radius on whim, but it's not gonna be like that. Sure, I can make Samantha (in Hollywood. the woman who recognizes you from your old life? her.) disappear in a fine red mist, but no one nearby dies. Not like with Thaumaturgy's Blood Boil, which is truly one of the great joys of Blood Magic. All they really had to do was take Blood Boil and slap a glowy orange pentagram on the ground while the victim's gearing up to explode, but did they? No. They didn't.

So I suppose that this is where imagination steps in. Go back to the UP-enhanced VTMB; play a Tremere; imagine that you're killing multiple people in a single ritual for the Devil; try to ignore the silent, yet all-too-loud ticking of Mortality's Grandfather Clock.

Or, again, I could dig into a few game files and make Diamoinon great again. Depends on how bored I am.

But besides that, how was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?


- On the plus side, there's new music. On the minus side, there's new music. The music in the various menus is quite nice. That's a plus. The club music now cycles through several custom tracks so that you don't hear the same stupid song over and over again (for example, I had a particular dislike of that song from The Asylum). That's a plus, too. Most of the songs aren't quite to my taste, however. That's a minus, but then again, I'm a complete weirdo when it comes to music and the selection thereof.

- The "new" clans are really just retextured base game PC character models...but the retextures are pretty good, though. However, they haven't finished the female Samedi, so you can only play that clan as male.

- Gameplay is, as someone in a random reddit thread pointed out, appealing mostly to the number crunchers out there. More emphasis is placed on the financial aspect, as well as the necessity for putting points into better lockpicking skills, and so on.

- Also of note: while higher-end weapons are available early on, you'll have far less money than you need to stock up. I guess that's one of those real-life tweaks.

- And there aren't any skill books just laying around. You can buy them via a minor quest that makes them available from a couple of new vendors. The prices of these skill books are ridiculously high.

- I did like the addition of the ninjato, which is a slightly less-lethal version of the katana that gives a bonus to the sneak skill. So it's perfect for those who like killing things stealthily.

- Having a high Inspection feat is nice, as you won't notice some things without it. Things such as money and weapons just laying around. Or occult items.

- Thanks to the game's handling of how easy it is to violate the Masquerade -- here I am thinking of the ambush in the Santa Monica diner -- there's a fun new twist to the penalty system. TFN reworks this by adding increasingly stronger hunters the more you kick up a ruckus. There's more to it than that, but I grow weary of typing.

To remedy your unwanted notoriety, there's an NPC, Silvia Black, who emails you after your first violation with an offer to make the stigma go away...for a price. I never had all that much cash, so I just lived with the thing. Besides, there are ways to get Masquerade Redemptions for free, so I guess it's for those who are really desperate.

- The Humanity system is also somewhat curious. As before, low Humanity adds somewhat callous dialog options (for example, having a Humanity of 4 left me with only one option when I freed Lily from the clinic, and that was an attempt to extort money out of her...!?!), but it also means that when you are near a murder/killing that you're not responsible for, there's a greater chance for you to Frenzy, leading to FURTHER Humanity loss...

...blech. I don't really like that. On the bright side, buying Humanity is really cheap (2 XP, I think), so it's easy enough to keep calm and carry on.

Playing as a Baali, however, means that my Humanity is capped at 6. So I have to be careful.

There's more, there's always more. But my fingers hurt and it's way past lunch, so it's time to stop typing and see what's disappointing in the fridge.
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: VTMB...Again...
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 01:03:35 AM »
TFN, continued.

- A Lockpick skill of 4 is needed to get anywhere in the Santa Monica clinic; a Baali with the Practicioner Of Evil history (+2 to Persuasion) may be able to sweet-talk their way to the upper floor, and the guard may even unlock one of the computer rooms for you, but there is no key to the maintenance room anywhere to be found. He drops a key when he dies... do I know this? Experimentation, son...

...but it's not the key I need. I'm not sure if I needed a boost to Perception or something to be able to *notice* if there's a key. I hope not, as I've screamed in frustration enough for one day (plus, my Blasphemous Oaths jar is full). Upon further exploration...there was no point in getting into the maintenance room. You know the drill: get into that room, use the vent, drop into another room where the key to Dr. Malcolm's room is...but there is no key.

And the seas grow uneasy as the clouds darken.

Okay, so now what? Try lockpicking Malcolm's office door, I suppose.

Ah. Need a Lockpick skill of 4.

Intermittent flashes of lightning on the horizon. The wind grows colder. My ship, the Rocinante, creaks.

Skill is at 2. Two XP to play with, and...hey! Why not try Bloodbuff?

Activated. And...lockpick failed.

The distant sound of thunder. The winds blow stronger and even colder still. I know what is coming. My crew binds me to the mast.

So what did these clowns do to Bloodbuff? Let's see...aha. They molested it, is what they did. One of the new changes is that Bloodbuff is now a tiered Discipline that, at this initial stage, only buffs the relevant stats by 1. ONE.

The lightning is more frequent now and what I thought was a raindrop turns out to be blood. The Rocinante's beam mutters from stress, her sails billow.

(Explanation: The original game buffed your stats by 5. The UP nerfed it down to +2, which makes it almost useless. I saw some asshole neckbeard on a random forum explain that he personally felt that the original was horribly overpowered and welcomed the change. I hope that guy gets cancer.)

So I dig into the mods system files. I can't seem to find the right file...

More drops of blood from the roiling clouds. The deck is slick with gore and several of my crew slip overboard and are lost forever.

...and a quick search finds that the things I need to change are in traiteffects000.txt under "Blood Buff Discipline"...I change the modifiers back to +5 where they should be.

The blood rain tapers off and ceases. The clouds lighten and recede. Gulls cry, hesitantly at first, but soon gain confidence. The sun burns away the remaining clouds. My ship sails easily once again.

So now? Back to the problem of the locked door. Bloodbuff, done. Door pops open, I walk inside Malcolm's office.

There's no morphine.

The sky, black as pitch, unleashes a torrent of hot blood upon my bruised and broken form as I, lashed helpless to the mast, wail in torment and despair. My ship is pulled relentlessly into the merciless whirlpool and I stare wildly into the churning void.

From what I read on a related forum, you have to buy the morphine from Trip's pawn shop now.

The Rocinante swirls faster and faster in the monstrous whirlpool and begins to break apart. The sea is more blood than water now. The end is near.

I should probably play something else for a while... ::)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 01:08:08 AM by Silver Sorrow »
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: VTMB...Again...
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2020, 04:52:19 PM »
TFN, yet again:

The NPCs smoke like chimneys. It's weird.

Anyway, yet another drawback is the sheer number of yahoos milling about the streets. This makes it a little harder to stalk unsuspecting victims. And, in the especial case of your old friend Samantha in Hollywood, it complicates when you need to keep her from contacting others. Malks in the base game have it easy: just make her think you're her pet turtle. But other clans (especially in this mod)? Somewhat touchier.

Baali have the Infernal Servitor power, which makes a messy end to such problems possible, but again, witnesses abound (somehow, the sinister figure cackling madly at the carnage tends to make bystanders suspicious). There's a niche/alley across the street from the phones, so I guess the idea is to run over and zap her with Satan, or creep up behind her as she phones and hope no one wanders by at the wrong moment. (Oh, who am I kidding...someone ALWAYS wanders by at the wrong moment.) Of course, there's most likely a hooker by the phones, or a goddamn bum wandering in the alley. (They should reward me for my ongoing efforts to clean up the homeless population, btw.)

There's always the hex-n-run option, but what's the point of having infernal powers if you can't see the look on your victim's stupid face as he or she is about to explode? The original game had it right: Dominate's Suicide or Dementation's Vision Of Death were perfect for such conundrums. Sure, take the Humanity hit. No big deal. I can make it up on the dance floor. (However...the Baali can't do that.)

(Animalism can be fun, too: directing a Spectral Wolf to devour the screaming street preacher in Santa Monica? Hilarious.)

Griping continued:

Messing with my stats, I find that a high Inspection feat nets me extra cash, valuables, and weapons. For example, I found a .44 mag just laying under the stairs to the beach in Santa Monica. Or a Desert Eagle behind a dumpster by Fat Larry's truck. Things like that.

Bumping it up even higher made the Thaumaturgical Creatures book in the Tremere chantry appear; before, it just wasn't there. So I raised the stat and presto. It was right there.

I wonder. I mean, I wonder about a great many things -- sometimes I am as puzzled as the oyster and as troubled as the tide -- but it's things like this that make me wonder just how anyone can think certain things are a good idea.


Just for experimentation's sake, I returned to the Clinic with maybe a 4 or 5 in Inspection, and I could then "notice" that the morphine was there on Malcolm's desk.

It's times like that when I stop what I'm doing and gaze heavenward; I picture an imaginary band on my wrist with the acronym "OFAD," and I spell it out. "Oh, Fuck A Duck," I mutter in disgust.

On a somewhat related note, someone once asked me what I do all day. "I bitch about crap that doesn't matter." They thought I was joking.
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Offline Silver Sorrow

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Re: VTMB...Again...
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 12:45:31 PM »
More TFN.

Could not save -- much less warn -- Heather to stay inside before my assault on Precinct 13 the Sabbat. So she died horribly. "I'm in mourning," I tell people that when they ask why I'm always wearing black, adding "The Sabbat killed my ghoul."

"Oooookay..." they say, edging away. No expressions of sympathy, no offers to do my laundry or cook me spaghetti in this difficult time. Some people are so selfish.

Anyway, yeah. I recall that in earlier versions of the UP it was a little tougher to save Heather (as this is based on v6.5?); it's fairly easy with the more recent patches, all you have to do is talk to her sometime before your kill-the-Sabbat convo with Lacroix. (I don't know why "conversation" hadn't been shortened to "convo" prior to this century. It's a little irritating, but it works.)

Hang on, all the neighborhood dogs have just lost their minds...

...never mind. A neighbor probably just walked onto their own front porch. I know, it's happened to me. Walk outside, bedlam ensues. Dogs. Vermin.

Anyway...again...I did have fun stealth-killing everyone in the Society of Leopold. Downside: in TFN, Disciplines do not auto-renew. So you have to keep a close eye on the timer. Upside: Obfuscate 5 lasts 120 seconds.

Also, elite Hunters -- the guys who resemble washed-out versions of Duncan McLeod -- will see through your invisibility if you get too close. Hooray.

So playing a Baali hasn't been all that different from playing Tremere...the new Discipline isn't all that useful. No crowd control. I'll quote the manual:

Daimoinon is a diabolic discipline practiced only by the Baali and few other kindred of the worst kind. Its foul powers are devoted to tapping the dark forces of existence and corrupting the souls of others. Men of faith have defense against this discipline.

Meaning, it won't work on elite Hunters. It also doesn't work that well (if at all) on supernatural foes. Although I did make one Nosferatu mook pop most bloodily during my Blood Hunt. It was funny.

Level 1 Blood of the Sinner: This ability allows the kindred to gain extra nourishment from the blood of the corrupt. Kine that lead empty, meaningless lives, like bums and hookers will become ever so satisfying for 30 seconds. This discipline does not risk violating the masquerade and does not cost blood to use.

It doesn't work on rats, which would have been very useful. But that wouldn't make sense, so I guess...well done.

Level 2 Rest for the Wicked: Drawing power from the diabolic has allowed the vampire to put a temporary hex upon its victim. In doing so will instantly put the individual to sleep, however touching the victim in any way will awaken them prematurely. Though this ability does not cost blood to use, the curse can be seen visually and must be used with discretion in safe areas.

Trance spell. 20 seconds, I think.

Level 3 Conflagration: Activation Cost: 1 Blood. Evil spreads through the kindred like wildfire allowing her to bring about the flames of Hell into a fiery ball of heat. This ranged fire attack causes aggravated damage to both kine and kindred alike. This ability is an obvious violation of the masquerade.

And useless. For experimentation's sake, I tried it out on a thug or two at the Santa Monica beach house. The sentry thug (the shirtless asswipe outside) just shrugged it off and came after me with a bat. Was even less effective on the "Asian Vampire" in Foxey Boxes. I haven't bothered trying to figure out how to increase the damage befitting the description, because once I'm done with this current playthrough, that's it. Doesn't seem worth the effort.

Level 4 Infernal Servitor: Activation Cost: 1 Blood. Opening a portal to the abyss the kindred may summon a demonic entity to enter this world momentarily to claim its victim. This vile creature will attempt to enter the body of its prey and devour it from within, usually leaving nothing in its wake. While this discipline is normally fatal to most, many supernaturals will attempt to resist the demon, while the faithful can ignore it outright.

Kind of like Dementation's Vision Of Death, but with a fun glowy pentagram. The visual effects are varied and can be a lot of fun -- watch 'em pop! -- but limited to one victim at a time. Chain-pops are not possible. Dammit.

Also, using it on supernaturals is a toss-up; some are killed by it, some aren't. Using it on elite Hunters is a waste of effort, but the others pop just fine.

Hang on, more dog frenzy outside. Someone must've gone outside and sneezed. Goddamn dogs.

Back to it.

Level 5 Concordance: Activation Cost: 2 Blood. Only for the truly diabolic, this discipline invites a demonic entity into the body of the vampire. While inside the kindred vessel, any damage suffered will draw from the life of the demon first. In addition to this, the demon will add +2 to Strength as well as adding aggravated fire damage to all unarmed attacks. This state can be maintained for 60 seconds before further blood is needed.

Kind of like a fiery version of Protean's War Form, but nowhere as useful. It's tough to make a simple attack connect, especially when your target is quickly backing away while perforating your retard ass with his shotgun.

I would have preferred something with, again, crowd control. Maybe a cross between Thaumaturgy's Blood Boil and Dementation's [level 5] Bedlam ("The target and any others near him all randomly suffer one of the first four levels of Dementation."). Now THAT would have been an invaluable tool for the "truly diabolic," as they said.

But no. Instead, we get to turn into the Human Torch and go after enemies with our hands.


Notes: This discipline has many uses and though extremely powerful, men of faith like hunters can resist many of its effects. Use with caution around them.

Translation: it's largely useless and doesn't really work well on anything besides the random humans you find milling about on the streets.

Oh, well. Some of the signature Disciplines of the other "new" clans sound interesting (using Obeah to heal Heather, rather than ghoulify her? Hmmm. Nah, too altruistic for me), but probably not as useful as I'd like.

I don't mean to disparage the, I recommend it for anyone who wants to try out something different. What I'm getting at is that I'm a picky jerk who wants the full command of Satanic powers at my fingertips. I'm not getting that with TFN, but then again, this isn't that kind of game.

Moving on.

On my second, more serious playthrough, I managed to keep my Humanity at 6 (the highest a Baali can go), so I wasn't privy to many dialog mutations existing with the clan. 6 is apparently the fine line between normal and jerk; I tried talking to Hannah (the dying call girl in Skyeline apts) with a Humanity of 5, and at the end of the dialog, my only option was telling her that Paul was "taking a dirt nap." She screamed in despair and died. My parting shot was less than humane.

Trying that again with a Humanity of 6, my options were a bit more kind.

Also in this playthrough, I managed to avoid Masquerade violations entirely, so I never needed to meet the somewhat conversationally-abrasive Silvia Black this time around. By keeping it on the QT, I also missed out on her side quest to blackmail that blows. Oh, well.

How did I avoid a Masquerade bust? Ah. Well, the easiest way to screw it up is in the diner in Santa Monica, when you're ambushed by Therese's thugs; there's a human cook who will freak out when the shooting starts, and all sorts of shit will hit the fan as a result. So...level 2 Daimoinon: I tranced his stupid ass and killed the thugs. When he came out of it, there was no conflict and he went back to burning the burgers like nothing had happened.

So beyond that, I was careful about showing off my not-all-that-effective demonic powers in public. Therefore, no violations. Sounds boring, I admit. But when, like me, you've been popping Tums like M&Ms lately, a stress-free run-through does help.

Well. That's all for now. Maybe I'll go get some bland lunch.

Looking at these posts, I recall that my high school English teachers were amazed that I could write a five-page essay and yet still manage to say nothing whatsoever.
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