[nWoD] Manila by Night: Secret Files of Division Seven

Posted: September 2, 2011 by pointyman2000 in Articles, Campaign Design, Roleplaying Games, World of Darkness

Welcome agent.

I understand that a summons of this sort isn’t exactly normal, especially when the summons is signed personally by the hand of the President of the Philippines.  That should be your first clue as to the nature of the cases you’re going to be asked to handle.  We’ve been monitoring your progress, paying close attention to your record of arrests and your chosen methodology.  Needless to say, we’re impressed, and we believe you’re the person for the job.

When you first entered the National Bureau of Investigation, you were told that there were six divisions in this organization: Counter Terrorism, Counter Intelligence, Criminal Intelligence, Reaction, Arrest and Interdiction, Research and Analysis and the Technical Intelligence Divisions.

You’ll be assigned to Division Seven.

This isn’t a joke, and there isn’t any mistake.  Your penchant for handling strange cases in unorthodox conditions has caught the eye of your new superior, Deputy Director Carlos Punzalan.  You’ll be reporting to him effective immediately.

Good luck.


Manila is a great place to hold a World of Darkness campaign.  Aside from the urban sprawl and the massive social divide, the Capital of the Philippines is an almost Cyberpunk-ish dystopia, further warped by the World of Darkness aesthetic.  Much like other Asian countries, the Philippines combines modern day sensibility with old world superstitions and even many people who have graduated from college believe in the supernatural.

Crime is rampant, and with the horrid number of unsolved heinous crimes in the metro, who’s to say that monsters don’t exist?

The Secret Files of Division Seven is a campaign concept that was brought up by Sheimaruen as something I could run.  Players take on the role of agents, officers or civilian consultants of the National Bureau of Investigation’s Division Seven, a group dedicated to the investigation and handling of unorthodox situations.  Whether it’s breaking up a depraved vampire sabungan, where the blood-addicted ghouls to kill each other for the amusement of their vampire masters, or perhaps trying to find out who it was that inflicted a kulam upon a prominent public figure.  Other, more exotic monsters will be present as well, and characters may find themselves having to strike deals with the supernatural as often as they end up trying to shoot them.

Another interesting take on things is the fact that Division Seven isn’t exactly extremely well-funded or equipped.  More often than not a lot of the technology taken for granted in First World Countries will be difficult to acquire here.  Add a layer of good old corruption, and Division Seven often finds itself learning to fight monsters with tools and methods that are often as unconventional as the threats they face.

I’m still thinking if I should make this a Hunter campaign (since it could theoretically work as such) with limits on gear.  The idea itself tickles my fancy and I think that even without relying on an episodic Mission-Based format, I can run something like this with interesting character development.  What do you guys think?  Is this something you’d play?

  1. Hikkikomori says:

    It would be difficult to play up (or down, in this case) the balance between the lack of equipment and the overwhelming cases that you will encounter given that certain Hunter factions use high-tech equipment. So it would be inconsistent to have Bionic Upgrades, but can’t get a hand on a cache of Armor-piercing rounds.

    But I’d play it.

    • Actually, for this game I’ll be ditching all of the Conspiracies and Endowments. Characters will have Division Seven as an Organization with accompanying perks, but none of the usual weirdness of Hunter Endowments. At least during the start of the game.

      • Hikkikomori says:

        Harvesting lycanthrope organs and grafting them to myself with the help of a surgeon turned faith healer sounds very intriguing right now.

  2. dirty yasuki says:

    I wouldn’t be so certain you can’t get armor piercing or dragon’s breath rounds in NWoD version of the Philippines.

    In Danao, Cebu which is the “paltik” firearms capital of the Philippines, if it exists in the NWoD you can bet we’ve reverse engineered it and reproduced it here.

    This intrigues me… I so wish I could play in your campaigns. My friend tells me you run a pretty great RPG PM2k.

  3. Nosfecatu says:

    I agree with the idea of Manila as a setting for NWoD in general. 🙂 Back in my academic days, in fact, we ran a series of supernatural NWoD games that we collectively dubbed, “Diliman by Night.” We liked how Diliman itself is literally “to make dark” in Tagalog. That we were UP Diliman students helped, too, because we knew most of the urban legends in and around the campus.

  4. dmnyo says:

    I’ve been toying with this idea actually. it’s pretty cool imho.

  5. cokesakto says:

    Heh. In my group’s time with World of Darkness, we haven’t run a campaign that WASN’T set in Manila. The mood and texture of the city really jive with World of Darkness so well, it’s hard to resist. The place barely runs itself on a daily basis, and day or night, you can glimpse the cracks that show the dysfunction that boils just under the surface of the city, making it seem like the entire city is only two steps removed from general chaos. And yet, I still love this place. So many good stories left to tell.

  6. yamasaki says:

    Maybe you could run it in PbP so I can play! Would be excited to play in something like this, as I used to work for the government and would have some insights on how difficult it is to get around the budget 😛 Fighting local supernaturals, dang that’s good!

  7. tarathiel says:

    Actually you can get a large number of firearms and rounds in manila all of the above ammo i have seen in the Philippines. I have personally seen armor piercing 9mm rounds, a weaker real life version of dragon’s breath rounds (cause no one really would like to shoot bullets like that as it ruins your gun) to even crazier stuff such as 5.56×45mm NATO rounds modified to hollow points.

    Next the government has some really nice equipment they just don’t show to most people like barrett type sniper rifles. Mostly cause generals like their toys and thus get the military to pay for them or better yet the best source of equipment for them is confiscation from private individuals.

  8. […] out to my good friend and occasional commenter on this blog, Yamasaki, who has decided to take the Manila by Night campaign idea I put up on this blog and use it for a campaign of Mage: the Awakening for his own […]

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