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Tabletop Game / Chicago By Night

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The supplement which started it all.

Chicago by Night is a sourcebook for the first edition of Vampire: The Masquerade. Later, editions were made for 2nd Edition and 5th Edition. It was revised in 1993 as Chicago by Night Second Edition in the Old World of Darkness. The book gives a lot of detail on Chicago for Storytellers to build a campaign centered there.

Only at night do the dead come out no other city so dangerously on the edge of chaos. No other city so desperately overcrowded. No other city so divided. No other city so torn by its conflicts. Chicago's streets are coated with the blood of those who have been destroyed in its ancient war, and soon the flames will raze it yet again. The plots and schemes of the Immortals of this metropolis will always enmesh the unwary or the foolish. Trust no one — not even yourself. Then the Jyhad Doth Rage.


Chicago by Night is the archetypal supplement for Vampire: The Masquerade which established many of the stereotypes and patterns for the game line. It contained over a hundred npcs who would go on to inspire many other city supplements and characters in the rest of the setting.

The book had multiple supplements in addition to its two editions:

  • Forged in Steel
  • Ashes to Ashes
  • Blood Bond
  • The Succubus Club
  • Milwaukee By Night
  • Awakening: Diablerie Mexico
  • Dust to Dust

In 2018, a Gencon-exclusive adventure called Rusted Veins was used to introduce Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition. It was set in Gary, Indiana and implied a lot of changes to the status quo in Chicago for 2018. It also involved fan favorites Modius, Juggler, and Sullivan Dane. Recently, Onyx Path Publishing did a 5th Edition update to the setting. It has since gone on to have supplements of its own.


  • The Chicago Folio
  • Let the Streets Run Red

Red Moon Roleplaying did a online roleplaying game adaptation of the campaign Chicago by Night: The Sacrifice.

This setting provides examples of:

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     Classic Vampire: The Masquerade ( 1991 to 2017) 
  • Actually Not a Vampire: The Blood Dolls are deliberately designed to cause this confusion with Kindred encouraging it.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Any Humanity 0 vampire is basically an irredeemable monster. Oddly, they're almost all yuppies or old money.
  • Artistic License – History: The story of Carthage's fall is actually the story of the Fall of Troy (with a vampire twist). The fact the main players of Helene, Menele, and Prias are involved in its fall should be a person's first clue.
  • Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Maureen O'Leary (who started the Great Chicago Fire) is a Malkavian Elder.
    • Averted with Al Capone who became a vampire after his death.
  • Big Bad:
    • Lodin was generally portrayed as this for any Anarch-themed game. Subverted in that he was nothing more than Helene's most prominent pawn.
    • The Man Behind the Man: Helene is a somewhat sympathetic example of this. Much of that sympathy goes out the window when she starts actively diablerizing young Kindred.
  • Big Good:
    • Maldavis had the potential to be this but failed in her Anarch Revolt, so she's suffering a protracted Heroic BSoD.
    • Menele is the actual Big Good of the city being a Methuselah with Humanity 10.
  • Butt-Monkey: Nothing ever goes right for Modius of Gary. Gets a Throw the Dog a Bone moment when Lodin dies and he has a chance to become Prince of Chicago. He doesn't get it.
  • Category Traitor:
    • Sheriff is considered this due to the fact he's a lackey to Lodin and an enforcer of the Traditions despite being a Brujah.
    • Gordon Keaton (a Caitiff) becomes one when he switches from serving the Anarchs to the Tremere.
  • City of Adventure: The entire point. Chicago is meant to be a place of adventures in both the Kindred and Kine worlds with constant plots and counter-plots going on at any given time.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The Succubus Club is more cool than any nightclub has a right to be.
  • Cool Old Guy: Always in a setting with so many vampires. Critias is one example as he's a (relatively) high humanity vampire who adores spirited debate and treats younger vampires as students than pawns.
  • Cycle of Revenge:
    • Entire swaths of human history have been determined by the feud between Menele and Helene. Specifically, Carthage is settled by the Brujah Philosopher Kings who then are joined by Helene with her lover Prias. Helene betrays Carthage to Rome when she realizes their cause is lost in order to receive her own city, only for Menele to use his massively overpowered Spirit Thaumaturgy to cause the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius. Menele is then driven to the New World, only for Helene to bring European Kindred as well as Conquistadors over to destroy them.
    • This is also the case in Milwaukee by Night as the city is defined by an endless blood feud with the Lupines in the city. It started because some vampires killed some werewolves in the 17th century so the werewolves killed some vampires and so on.
  • Decadent Court: The court of Prince Lodin, which consists of his progeny and the Primogen. The Primogen actually control Lodin and use him as a puppet but are, themselves, puppets of the two feuding Methuselahs in the city.
  • Distant Finale: Dust to Dust was a Vampire 20th Anniversary adventure module which explained the fates of Gary, Indiana's Kindred. The city of Gary has effectively ceased to exist with only two vampires (Juggler and Modius) left to fight over it. The players must decide whether to let the city perish and move on to greener pastures or try one last ditch effort to save it.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Helena pretends to be a newly embraced Kindred named Portia.
  • The Dragon:
    • Thomas Ewell a.k.a Balthazar a.k.a Sheriff serves as this to Lodin.
    • Prias used to have this role to Helene, being the possibly oldest ghoul in the world.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: A number of characters have Humanity 0 without being wild animalistic beasts. A number of other characters have Humanity 10 despite this meaning Jesus-like levels of goodness.
  • Fat Bastard: Horatio Ballard weighs four hundred pounds and looks like a fat sagging caricature of the Godfather.
  • Forever War: They have been hunting the vampires of the city for centuries but whenever they kill them, the vampires just Embrace more. The vampires, by contrast, kill Lupines on a regular basis but this is due to We Have Reserves and suffer heavier casualties.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Anita Wainwright has a Humanity 9 and is a perky lovable Granola Girl despite being a vampire.
    • Maldavis and, to a lesser extent, Annabelle Triabelle and Inyanga also qualify for this.
    • Baby Chorus is composed of these as well.
  • Fully-Embraced Fiend: Actually fairly rare in the supplement. Son, Ballard, and Gordon Keaton are among the few Humanity 0 members in the book.
  • Fur Against Fang: The events of Under a Blood Red Moon and Milwaukee by Night in a nutshell.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Aside from the Humanity-rating Early-Installment Weirdness, the characters are poorly optimized with many of them having disciplines they can't use effectively.
  • Generation Xerox: A humorous one in that both Dusable and Nicolai screwed up in more or less the same way. Nicolai Blood Bonded his childer, which is a death sentence since that's supposed to be done to the Council of Seven, while Dusable embraced his grandniece after draining her dry. Both did it because of lust and both examples are squicky as hell.
  • Gothic Punk: One of the great examples thereof.
  • Gray-and-Gray Morality: While the stats say otherwise (Humanity 10 vs. Humanity 4), the conflict between Helene and Menele really comes off like this. Neither side is blameless for the atrocities committed by both.
  • Just the First Citizen: Beckkett's Jyhad Diary has the Primogen make Critias this. They don't have a Prince but as the most powerful of the Primogen by far, he's close enough.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain:
  • Killed Off for Real: A massive number of the city's quirkier and less powerful Kindred during the events of Under a Blood Red Moon. This included Lodin, the city's Prince.
  • Looks Like Orlok: All of the Nosferatu characters in the book(s).
  • Love Makes You Stupid: Dusable and Nicolai both embraced women they were attracted to, leading to decisions which could get them killed in the Tremere.
  • Puppet King: A Downplayed Trope example as Lodin is a major power in the city but the real movers and shakers are the Primogen. He's also nothing more than an Unwitting Pawn for Helene.
  • Rebellious Rebel: Juggler has this attitude and he leads the Anarchs of Chicago for decades on the idea of not so much overthrowing the system as looking cool.
  • Romantic Vampire Boy:
    • Damien is a parody of this concept, being a 14 year old ladies man who is meant to appeal to the target audience.
    • Maldavis, Erichtho, Anita Wainwright, and Annabelle have been all used as romantic interests for straight male gamers (and many bi or lesbian female). Prias appears to have been created with this in mind as well for straight female gamers.
    • Bret Stryker and Sophia seem to have been made as a parody of this as well. They're beautiful, true, but shallow and kind of stupid.
  • Rule-Abiding Rebel: Garwood Marshall acts like Dusable's loyal but rebellious son.
  • Straw Loser: Modius is basically a formerly impressive Prince who has degenerated into this. He's pathetic to an insanely comical degree but somewhat subverted in this fact he's also still a centuries-old elder who could pose a threat to a coterie of pcs.
  • Stronger with Age: Played with as some vampires are weak due to their high generation but played straight with most vampires.
  • Token Heroic Orc: Garwood Marshall is a jazz playing Tremere Anarch who is also a Rule-Abiding Rebel. Sadly, he's Killed Off for Real during Under a Blood Red Moon.
  • Undead Child: Nicolai is a prepubescent 800-year-old Tremere elder.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Virtually the entire city is this with only Khalid, Nicolai, Rebekah the Monitor, and a handful of others knowing what's really going on.
  • Vampires Are Rich: Annabelle Triabelle and most of the Ventrue Elders.
  • Vampire Hunter: Sullivan Dane is the most famous of Chicago Hunters.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods:
    • Bret Stryker, Sophia Meyers, and Priscilla Gibbs are all examples of this.
    • Annabelle Triabelle and Portia are Elder examples.
  • Vampire Monarch: Lodin is the Prince of the City during 1st edition with the title up for grabs in the 2nd book.
  • Vampires Own Night Clubs: One of the trope naming examples with Portia and the Succubus Club.
  • Vampire Wannabe: Blood Dolls are an entire grouping of this, being vampire-themed Goths who share blood.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Doyle is an example of this despite being Creepy Good.
  • Wham Episode: Under a Blood Red Moon changed the face of Chicago forever by killing much of the vampire population and creating a power vacuum. The Sabbat and Black Spiral Dancers team up to frame start a False Flag Operation where the local sept of the Garou is attacked by vampires so a massive war begins between the Kindred and werewolves. While both sides eventually figure it out, it's not before many are killed in the process.
  • Would Harm A Child: Both Gordon Keaton and Son are examples of this, which is why they are 0 Humanity.

     5th Edition (2018) 
  • Ambiguous Situation: Just what the hell is Lester Knife feeding people to in his apartment building?
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • Nikolas "Sweetie Pepper" White is completely insane and an urban terrorist who wants to burn down the system any which way he can.
    • Sun Che is prone to homicidal berserk furies which are more appropriate to the Sabbat than a Kindred of the Tremere.
  • Asshole Victim: Jacob Schumpeter is someone who will be mourned by no one, being a Ventrue who fed on abused women. Particularly ones he abused himself.
  • Back from the Dead:
    • Lodin is revealed to have survived Under a Blood Red Moon and become king of the homeless.
    • Marc Levensque a.k.a Frenchie was actually just in torpor for a decade.
    • Nero the violinist (no, not that one) was also in torpor and has recently awoken.
  • Big Bad:
  • The Bus Came Back: Chicago by Night 5E is coming as a sequel to Chicago by Night 2nd Edition, which came out in 1993.
  • Canon Welding:
    • The character of Jacob/Esau is revealed to be the sire of Jeanette/Theresa Voorman from Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines which makes her an incredibly potent 6th generation.
    • The Jade Demon from The Book of Chantries is mentioned in the city description, though it's more of a Take That! than homage.
  • Character Development: Anita Wainwright and Gengis have both gone from being mid-tier Anarchs to powerful leaders in the Movement.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind:
    • Helena as Portia the Neonate continues to be the case, though she's been a "Neonate" for decades now.
    • Noah "Flyboy" Grehal is a Duskborn (Thin Blood) pilot. He's also in control of O'Hara Airport and heavily involved with the Second Inquisition to the point of being the most dangerous Kindred in the city after Helena.
  • Epic Fail:
    • The Gencon-exclusive adventure Rusted Veins is based around Modius' attempt to make money by becoming a heroin dealer. Modius has no skill at being a career criminal, however, and acquires incredibly pure heroin he lowballs. This results in a fight between gangs, the police stealing both the drugs as well as heroin, then the PCs becoming involved. Sullivan Dane, Juggler, and the Primogen Council of Chicago also become involved with Modius' Final Death implied to be the result.
    • Joseph Peterson as Prince proves to be an example of this as he attempts to prove how perfect a figure he is for the role by getting Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics. He encouraged the Kindred to heavily invest in preparations for it as well as even damage their own portfolios. As anyone who knows what happened in real-life, Chicago was the first to be eliminated from contention. All the angry Elders promptly exiled him and installed Kevin Jackson in his place.
  • Evil Is Petty: Damien's price for becoming Sheriff and betraying the Anarchs? The Prince's help in getting his band back together.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Damien has defected from the Anarchs to join the Camarilla as the Sheriff. Many of his former friends have become his victims.
  • Fur Against Fang: Kevin Jackson is heavily against it and does his best to maintain the truce Inyanga negotiated. Anita Wainwright and Rose Hernandez wish to break it.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Edward Neally has escaped the Sabbat and turned over as much information as he could on their activities.
    • Averted with Balthazar, who has joined the Anarchs but is every bit the scumbag he was before.
    • Perhaps the biggest in the book is the defection of a good half of the Lasombra Clan to the Camarilla, which the PCs can aid or derail.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Jacob Schumpeter crossed Noah Grehal and he called his Second Inquisition friends down on him.
    • Maureen O'Leary was killed by her childe, Son, before he ascended to the Princedom.
    • Dickie Fulcher was killed by Edward Neally.
    • Annabelle eliminated Andrei and Tammy with Kevin Jackson's help.
    • Modius is presumed dead and Juggler has gone missing.
  • Out-of-Character Moment:
    • Anita Wainwright is a high humanity vampire who absolutely loves everyone but is willing to murder the families of the Lupines who killed Theodore Dooley. Zig-zagged as she's always had a vicious vengeful streak.
    • Maldavis plans to use Anita Wainwright as a tool to draw hunters.
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Joseph Peterson is now The Exile from Chicago due to being overthrown as Prince.
    • Menele, Khalid, Nicolai, Inyanga, and Patricia Bollingbrook have all been Beckoned. Iffy on Nicolai who just so happened to be in Vienna when it was hit by the Second Inquisition.
    • Al Capone and Lorraine are both missing. So is the Primogen Eletria and Maxwell. Played with as Al Capone, Maxwell, and Eletria's fates will be determined by Kickstarter backers. Al Capone shows up alive and well in The Chicago Folios.
    • The Wolf Pack were almost literally put on a bus by Kevin Jackson and sent to Seattle. They show up again with full write-ups in The Chicago Folios.
  • Race Lift: Kathy Tyers is revealed to be Indian American after being presented as Caucasian for much of her career.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Cedrick Calhoun became Primogen of Chicago by pretending to be Khalid and does so by pretending to be an exotic foreigner who speaks meaningless driven while acting mysterious. The Primogen, who have known him for a century, doesn't notice.
  • Serious Business: Joseph Peterson was overthrown due to the failure of Chicago to win its Olympic bid.
  • Sex Slave: Annabelle has been turned into one of these by Helena and the latter's power is so great that Annabelle doesn't even remember it.
  • Unexpected Successor:
    • Kevin Jackson as Prince of Chicago. He was always a powerful Ventrue elder but most believed Capone or Ballard would be Prince instead.
    • Joseph Peterson was also a vampire no one believed would become Prince. Even if it was done retroactively.
    • Cedrick Calhoun as Primogen of the Nosferatu, Son as Primogen of the Malkavians, and Rose Hernandez as Primogen of the Gangrel are all picks no one saw coming. Even more so was Marcel, a Follower of Set...err Ministry of Love member, who took the Tremere Primogen's place.
    • Anita Wainwright takes over for the Anarch leaders Joshua Tarponski and Juggler.
  • Victory Is Boring: Helena is struggling to figure out what to do with her life without Menele in it.

     The Chicago Folio and Let the Streets Run Red (2019-2020) 
  • Abusive Parents: Quite a few of them among vampires.
    • Modius kept Allicia blood bound for decades as his slave.
    • Decker is a horrifying sire to his childe Honor, attempting to keep her totally dependent on him.
    • Averted with Juggler who turns out to have been someone she developed a surprisingly close relationship to and Undying Loyalty despite the fact he wasn't worth it.
  • Ascended Extra: The Night's Cross organization is a throwaway group in The Chicago Folio but plays a more prominent role in Power Prey
  • Ascended Fanboy: Arthur Caldwell is a Black Dog roleplaying game fan turned into a vampire.
  • Big Bad: Let the Streets Run Red has one for each Chronicle.
    • Redwood in Power Prey is a billionaire information gathering specialist who wants revenge against vampires.
    • The Cult of the Harvest God in The Dying Fields is an evil cult. Almost certainly The Un-Twist there.
    • Prince Decker and the Ministry serve as a Big Bad Duumvirate in Innocence in Blood over the fate of poor Honor the neonate.
    • Sharpe is this in Rusted Jungle but he's actually a servant of the real Big Bad, Maxwell.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Walter Nash was "Prince of Chicago" in the Jyhad card game. This turns out to have been an affection his sire (Edgar Drummond) smacked out of him.
    • Al Capone, Eletria, The Wolf Pack, and Maxwell are all characters who were classic Chicago by Night ones left out of the main book. They all get full write-ups in the supplements.
    • Evelyn Stephens, Modius, Allicia, Juggler, and Sullivan Dane are characters from the original Forged in Steel Chronicle.
  • Create Your Own Villain: William Nash murdered Redwood's daughter during a sloppy feeding.
  • Demoted to Extra: Joshua Tarponski is only mentioned as the Baron of Jollet and in a small stat block.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Modius was finally brought down by his own childe, Allicia.
  • The Dragon: Eric Sharpe serves as this to (former) Prince Maxwell.
  • Good Shepherd:
    • Andrea Harvey Staboli is a Malkavian social worker with a strong sense of God as well as High Humanity.
    • Arden Canty is a Tremere that belonged to the Sabbat that has converted to the Church of Caine to find redemption.
  • Eldrtich Artifact: The Tongue that has taken over the sanity of Clarence Bartelby.
  • Eldritch Location: The town of Willerton turns out to be at the center of a bunch of ley lines as well as the "Goblin Roads."
  • Evil Is Petty: Walter Nash drinks at the same bars as hunters as well as feeds on young women indiscriminately despite deriving no substitute from non-Catholics.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ramrod willingly dies to save his friend Tyrus from Duncan Mac Tavish.
  • High-School Hustler: Devin Boyce is permanently stuck as this due to being Embraced as a teenager as well as his natural inclinations.
  • Killed Off for Real:
    • Ramrod died fighting Duncan Mactavish.
    • Lucian met an unspecified fate in a letter from Danov.
  • Morality Chain: Deconstructed with Prince Decker who uses Honor like this but has become an abusive psychopath who needs her under his thumb. She's also just the latest line of women who he uses as this.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute:
    • Devin Boyce is one of these for Damien due to the latter making a Face–Heel Turn.
    • Walter Nash has a lot of the awful qualities of the late Prince Lodin.
      • Ironically, so does Maxwell.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Walter Nash is on no one's radar anymore but he's still a rich, powerful, and terrifying Ventrue.
  • Ragtag Band of Misfits: The Gary Anarchs are Kindred who have nowhere else to go and are a peculiar bunch to say the least.
  • Religion of Evil:
    • The Cult of the Harvest God worships a thing under the town of Willerton.
    • The Church of Set is one of these, doubling as a Path of Inspiration designed to strip morality from regular Kindred as well as mortals.
    • Clarence Bartelby has one of his own with the Cult of the Crawling Tongue.
  • The Remnant:
    • The Seven Fires are possibly the last remaining Sabbat in the entirety of the New World. They're also every bit the assholes that the original were and doing more or less the same thing they always were, except worse.
    • Shejana may be the Last Ravnos in the world and is considered Caitiff by most Kindred.
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Evelyn Stephens is now the Baron of Gary, replacing her sire, Juggler.
    • Allicia managed to throw off her blood bond to Modius and become an Anarch.
  • Undying Loyalty:
    • Arjun Shah to Mithras and his cult. He would rather die than betray his god.
    • Arthur Caldwell for Allicia due to the fact he's love with her.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Walter Nash is a messy feeder and his accidental murder of a millionaire tech mogul's daughter results in the events of Power Prey.
  • Van Helsing Hate Crimes:
    • The Second Inquisition performs a lot of disgusting tests and experimentation on Kindred.
    • Redwood merrily tortures and kills normal people while terrorizing his own family in order to get his revenge.
  • Waif Prophet: Lianna Miller serves as one of these, being both a con woman as well as legitimate seer.

Alternative Title(s): Vampire The Masquerade Chicago By Night