Campaign of the Month: March 2017
Nocturnum: The Pittsburgh Chronicles
Nocturnum: The Pittsburgh Chronicles was the title for the original campaign to which this one is a sequel. It ran for four “Seasons” and about 7 years of play from 2001 through about 2008.
The campaign, set in Pittsburgh, used the mythology from Buffy the Vampire Slayer as its core, and considered everything that happened in both that series and its spinoff, Angel, as canon. In addition, it mixed in elements of the “Cthulhu Mythos” of H.P. Lovecraft and the mythology of C.J. Carella’s Witchcraft and Armageddon role playing games to create a far deeper urban fantasy mythology.
The Story: A group of mages, demon hunters and supernatural warriors band together to defend the Pittsburgh Hellmouth from all manner of evils, from run-of-the-mill vampires to Mad Gods from the Outer Dark. The chief antagonist in the game was the Mad God Leviathan and his Cult of Revelations. In the end, they travel in time and prevent the very Reckoning described in C.J. Carella’s Armageddon role playing game.
The campaign was notable for being the first B:TVS RPG campaign to feature a full website chronicling the game and the first to feature a video “Opening Credits” scene which was run before each game session.
It was followed by a short-lived, single-season sequel game, entitled Nocturnum: Eternus, which chronicled some of the events that serve as a setup for the current game. As it was so short-lived, it can be considered “Nocturnum season 4.5,” or “Nocturnum Rebirth season 0.5.” It was not chronicled online as was its predecessor, but the major foreshadowing events involved the freeing of the mad herald Cassilda from an uncharted island in the Atlantic ocean by a young mage named Sam, who bought into Cassilda’s lies offering him power to avenge his murdered parents. Three years later, this act of teen vengeance will have consequences that resonate for both Pittsburgh and the entire world.
Some characters are carried over to the current campaign from the original and Eternus games: Darrek from Eternus is a Cast Member in the new game, while some other characters from that game may appear as Supporting Cast from time to time. Matthew is a character who joined the Cast of the original Nocturnum game in season 4, and is carrying over into this new campaign. Other characters from that game may also appear as Supporting Cast in this new campaign as well.
Canonicity of Later Buffyverse Works
Nothing that has happened in the later “season” comics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Angel is considered canon. I personally am not a fan of the direction the comics took (Angel an evil flying guy? Giant Dawn? Amy as a Big Bad?? Really??), and our series went its own way after the end of the series. Nothing (including L.A. being sucked into Hell) happened in our Nocturnumverse.
The Watchers Council is active in England, headed up by Rupert Giles, working in close proximity with the Devonshire Coven. A couple of the characters from the original series work for the Council and Coven training Slayers and Witches. There are Slayers worldwide, and each has her own Watcher, who in turn reports to the Council as always, but certain draconian measures such as the Cruciamentum, are no longer practiced.
In addition, Watchers are encouraged to be in the field alongside their Slayers and to develop close, personal relationships with their charges. In short: rather than an aberration, Giles’ relationship with Buffy is seen as the reason why she has been the most successful Slayer in history, and is a model for the new operations.
- Opening Credits Sequence:
Link to original (season 4) opening credits (Since Obsidian Portal can’t get their shit together and restore video embeds).