Portland By Night
An overview for the
Night's Edge Supplement
NOTE: The information here
is provided mainly for Game Masters.
So there you are, walking
down the street, watching your feet to keep from slipping on
the cobbles. It's a dark night, with only a sliver moon to
light your way between the warehouses of NW Flanders as you
head for your converted loft. You look up to notice that you
passed the mouth of the alley you normally turn into in the
fog. You turn to retrace your steps, when you hear a sound: a
footstep? You press on, walking a little faster. There it is
again, behind you. The cold hand of fear slides across your
heart, and your hand slips into your jacket to pull your
Armalite 44. The cool grips give your confidence a little
boost as you kick in your speedware and cock the hammer. You
spin around, leveling the weapon at your follower with
The street is empty.
You turn again, and take a
few steps to cover the street better. Still nothing. You begin
to relax, thinking you must have scared them away, when you
feel a hand carressing the back of your neck.
The fingers are cold, but
it is not the hand of fear.....
Night's Edge (NE from here on in) provides rules for running
Vampires, Werewolves, and Psychics in the Cyberpunk 2020 system,
both as Characters and NPC's. Personally, I recommend using them
only as NPC's, unless you make sure that the players start out at
a very low power level and keep them there. Letting a player run a
Vamp is somewhat akin to giving the party solo an unlimited
Millitech charge account and giving everyone else polymer
one-shots as far as game balance goes.
As an NPC, however, it can make for an extremely fun horror
campaign. For you, anyway, as you twist the players' world into a
The rules as they are laid out are a combination of film, fiction
and folklore, so whatever theories the players may have may or may
not work. This will keep them guessing until nightfall.
The city of Portland
lends itself to a Film-Noire or
horror campaign very easily, with it's narrow, cobblestone back
streets and wet climate. Portland receives over forty inches of
precipitation a year, so many nights will have at least a small
amount of rain, enough to get the streets wet. The presence of
two rivers can bring up a fair amount of fog, as well. The
biggest draw to the Vampire community, however, is the
architecture: real stone masonry, gargoyles, and -most
importantly- nearly every house has a basement.
Werewolves are also drawn to the
area. There are over a million souls in the greater PDX area,
but the remainder of the once vast Oregonian forests are not too
far off, only an hour's drive to get far enough away that
civilization is over the hills behind you as you climb into the
Portland hasn't had a great number
of Vampires until just recently, within the last thirty years.
An old Vamp named Malcolm moved to the area a century ago, and
valued his privacy-he hunted all other Vamps in the area to
extinction. The word went out on the after-midnight grapevine,
and all others stayed away. For sixty years, he had the town to
Thirty years ago, Malcolm
disappeared, shortly after the appearance of "The Blue Woman", a
woman largely thought to be myth by the police, but the
underbelly of Portland knew her as the devil in a leather jacket
and mirrorshades. Any who crossed her path wound up dead or
beaten to the brink of it. After she left, Vampires from other
cities began to filter in to fill the gap left by Malcolm's
disappearance, some say his death.
Now the people of Portland
unwittingly support a population of just under fifty Vampires
and Fledglings. Some are Loners, but the
majority have found the safety in numbers offered by forming Covens. All is not well for the Vampires,
since there are agencies who know of their existence and have
dedicated themselves to the eradication of the Undead. They are
There are five notable Loners in the greater Portland area
today. All of them are over 100 years old (save for Michael
Stevens), and have substantial personal power bases and
information networks. It's fairly safe to say that these
individuals know of any occurrence that may affect them, and the
names, at least, of every Vampire in the area. Sneaking up on
them will be very difficult in the least, and will be greeted
with swift retribution.
Portland's first Vampire, Malcolm emigrated from France around
the turn of the last century, having gotten fed up with his
European brethren. There were other Vampires in America, of
course, but the Northwest's beauty intrigued Malcolm more than
the bustling cities of the eastern seaboard, and he desired some
distance from his own kind.
Malcolm, until recently, resided in an old church in the Nob
Hill area. The church has been taken over since his
disappearance, but the imported stained-glass windows he had
installed are still there.
The "Vampire Brother" to Malcolm Dumas, these two had
the same sire. One of the older generation, Albert is now 450
years old. He was on good terms with his brother, and came to
the city to try to find him after his disappearance.
Albert's lair is unknown, but he has been seen at parties in the
ridgeline mansions to the west of the city.
An avid artist, Jeanette liked to live very close to
the edge by running a tattoo parlor Downtown, but her shop was
destroyed during the Coven wars in the past year. She
disappeared for a short time, then re-appeared when she opened
her new shop, just down the block from her old place. She lives
a very public life for a Vamp, and you can often see her in all
her tattooed glory, cruising her Hog through the streets of the
Jeanette got bored with the scene in the city fifteen
years ago and created a playmate- Michael Stevens was her
choice. A local reporter, Mike quit his steady job and went
freelance, specializing in on-the-scene crime footage. He uses
his Psyche abilities to charm his way into people's confidences
until he has enough dirt to expose them. Mike still resides in
the house he owned before his transformation, although Jeanette
has tired of him and left him to his own devices.
A quiet recluse, John stays in Portland because of the
many parks, and he's thinking of moving on due to the corporate
expansion. He resides in the Lone Fir Cemetery, and hunts in
Chinatown, only taking the hoodlums and streetscum for victims.
there are tales of a dark man who hunts Chinatown by night, but
these are merely stories told around the fire to frighten the
hearts of young gangers...
Of the Loners, Michael Stevens is
the only one who fears the covens' retribution, as he is the
youngest. The others will quickly destroy any who interfere with
Portland has only three Covens in 2020, and there is a very
unsteady truce between them at the moment. Two of these Houses
have been at war for some time, but recently concluded a truce
and laid boundary lines for their Territories. They have divided
the city into five districts: Downtown, which covers anything
west of the Willamette River. East of the River, Burnside is the
dividing line between North and South for the rest of the city.
This creates the North East and South East Districts. Both of
these areas are bordered on the East by 95th, which then creates
the Farside North and Farside South Districts. There is a
one-block free-travel corridor on both sides of Burnside and
95th, to allow for travel to the Downtown District, which has
been set aside as a Free Zone, along with the airport and the
Any Vampire is free to travel, do
business, or move about in any District, provided they give the
Coven Master of that district one day's notice beforehand. They
may only hunt or own property in their home District, however.
Any Vampire caught hunting off their home turf will be
destroyed. There is a Sanctuary Clause in the agreement as well:
any Vampire may claim Sanctuary and go to ground in any District
for a maximum of two days if wounded or caught unawares by
Hunters or sunrise. Deliberately leading Hunters into another
Coven's District will be met with swift and final retribution.
This means the Vampire must be very careful whenever they enter
another Coven's District. For the most part, Vampires wounded or
on the run have been going to Downtown for fear of improperly
crossing a boundary.
Mind you, these rules really only
apply to the Coven Vampires. The Loners listed above are, for
the most part, older and stronger than all of the Coven Vampires
and do pretty much as they please. The only possible exception
to this is Michael Stevens. He has more strength than many due
to having Jeanette as a Master, but he lacks the experience of
the other Loners and the confidence that comes from living
centuries with your powers. He will avoid other Vampires
whenever possible, but will not run away from them if
confronted. The Coven Vamps, for the most part, know who all of
the Loners are and keep their distance.
The leader of a Coven is called the
Master, whether or not they have created the Vampires of the
Coven. The Master decides on the rules his followers must
follow. Usually, a Coven is run out of one building in which all
the members live. Rules in a Coven usually revolve around
permitted numbers and types of victims, creating other Vampires
and what beliefs are held. Enforcement ranges from a few days
starvation to outright destruction.
The Vampire Lestat
House of the Raven
Actually a band, the lead singer had himself bio-sculpted to fit
the description of Lestat from The Vampire Chronicles of Anne
Rice. They played a few clubs and covered the songs that Anne
Rice wrote in the books, and even managed to get some local
radio airtime. The band was doing well, and making okay money
from their engagements. That's when the band disappeared.
They had apparently drawn the attention of a powerful Vampire,
whose name is unknown. He found the band, and changed all four
of them into Vampires. The lead singer answers only to Lestat
now, and the other members of the band have taken names from the
Vampire Chronicles as well. (With the exception of Daniel, whose
name was Daniel already).
Lestat - Lead Vocals, bass guitar. Band leader/Coven Master.
Louis - Lead guitar, backup vocals.
Daniel - Synth.
Maharet - Percussion, backup vocals.
The band is currently claiming Farside South,
and has been active for about three years. They did not ally
themselves with either of the Covens involved in the War, they
just kept quiet until the dust settled. They are still playing
gigs at various venues around the city, but have yet to be
discovered by a record label.
The newest House in Portland, the House of the Raven relocated to
the area six years ago from the south of France, and was a major
faction in the Coven War so recently ended.This house conforms to
a more traditional / Hollywood viewpoint: they dress in dark
Victorian-style clothes, sleep in actual coffins, and have
renovated a Victorian-style house in the Northeast sector to use
as their Coven House. There are currently fifteen Vampires in the
House. Morgan Altarre (AL4 Master) Derek Montaigne (AL3
Lieutenant) Erik Torgulson (AL3 Lieutenant) The other dozen
Vampires are all AL1, and very tightly controlled.
NE supplement lists several types of Hunters: Sun Knights,
Heart Burn, CSI, Inquisitors, and of course, the Lone Hunter.
All of these can be found in Portland, but their presences are
small compared to other cities. This is primarily due to
Portland's history with Malcolm Dumas. Here is a quick
overview of the various types:
The Sun Knights are a recent addition to the list of Hunters,
dating back to the turn of the century. They are by far the
most successful, though. This is due to the high level of
organization found in this group. This group has been known to
farm themselves out as mercenaries to bring in extra funds, as
Vampire hunting is not a money career. This is what originally
brought them to the greater northwest, but they found signs of
Vampirism while they were here, and decided to set up shop.
The recent Coven Wars decimated the Portland cell, but they
have sent reinforcements to pick up the slack. Rumors say that
the group's leader, Ronald Isgill, may be moving to Portland
to supervise the extermination: he wants to wipe out the Vamps
in Portland before they get a major foothold built.
This "organization" is based entirely on the Late Late Movie
school of Vampire Hunting. In fact they really are
the Transylvanian Correspondence School of Vampire Hunting,
which offers a degree in Vampire Hunting. Mostly they
are Lone Wolves who have done the right thing by trying to
research their prey, but went to the wrong people. The course
consists of the methods used to kill Vamps in all the movies
and the more popular legends. They also offer a phone advice
line, only 5.99EB per minute.
CSI (Cryptozoological Studies
group is a legal institute, studying all of the supernatural
creatures: Bigfoot, Nessie, werewolves, and just about any
mythological creature. Their main purpose is to bring back a
live specimen. To this end, they have a standing offer of
1000EB for any live Vamp, and 500EB for a dead one. They don't
get many takers, though, since most hunters are out to kill,
and that will usually involve fire in one way or another just
to make sure they did the job right.
The Inquisitors - Predato
guys are just as nutso as their Inquisitor brethren, and
fortunately, they don't get up to Portland very often. When
they do, it's the CyberVamps that need to watch out: those
(usually cyberpsycho) people who have had cybernetic
enhancements to help them mimic Vampires. Do us all a favor
and whack a few of these boys whenever you get a chance.
The Lone Wolf
Lone Hunter is usually just waiting to die. These guys go
after a particular Vampire, most often either one who has
killed a loved one, or even a relative that has been turned.
They rarely do the research, however, and the Vampire will
tear them up when he shows up unprepared. Some of them have
had good success, but these are rare.
of secondary publishing! The original supplement is now available at