[VtMB] Side questing in Santa Monica, Part 1

The blood clinic attendant assuming that we came here to draw blood

Last time on Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines... We had to go through a lot of hoops to get to our goal. For instance: deal with a haunted house, destroy artwork, get shot at by some mooks and even discovering some deep family secrets we had absolutely no business finding out.

Before we continue on with the main story though I decided to do some side quests. There are two reasons for it 1) They are pretty entertaining and 2) Good rewards.

So that is what we'll be doing in this and the next post.

SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers for some of the side stories of Vampire: the Masquerade - Bloodlines ahead! Read it at your own risk!

Finding Lily

The first one I decided to do is from a guy called E. He is a shirtless guy we meet by the beach who is pretty confused about his current circumstances. So confused that he can barely admit to himself that he became a vampire.

It doesn't help either that he is a Thin Blood, a kind of ostracized vampire. The game itself doesn't go into much detail about them so let me try to explain real quick what they are based on what I remember from the tabletop game:

Vampire legend states that the first vampire was Cain as a curse from God from slaying his brother, Abel. Long story short, eventually Cain got lonely and decided to create other vampires. Each generation of vampire created after those first ones is weaker than the previous. Which leads us to the Thin Bloods, vampires whose generation is so far apart from Cain that they barely qualify as creatures of the night.

If I recall correctly, they can't use Disciplines, can only turn a human into ghouls for one night and some might even be able to walk in the sun with just some slightly burn or unable to create new vampires.

To make matters even worse, vampires also have their own legends about the end of the world, which they call Gehenna. One of the signs of it is supposedly the appearance of Thin Bloods. Because of that many vampires even go out of their way to hunt them down.

E admitting to himself that he is a vampire
Honestly he doesn't look like a sign of the end of the world for me

So that is part of why E is so confused.  The other reason has to do on how he got to this point. E was a surfer that came to Santa Monica for a tournament. One night he met this beautiful girl, called Lily, in one of the local diners . The two fell in love but turns out Lily was a vampire and then turned E into one too.

Lily tried to explain what happened to E but he was furious and just told her to go away. Now that E had time to cool his head off he is wondering what happened to the girl and asks our help to find her out.

Since I am feeling nice (and because I want the XP) I accept his request.

Our first stop is at the diner. It takes some probing questions but the old lady at the register thankfully remembers Lily. Even better, it seems Lily forgot his purse in there and the old lady just gives it to us, thinking we are a friend of the girl.

I also take this opportunity and pretend to be a health inspector to take a bribe from her. It won't be the most evil thing I will do this night for a long shot.

Diner lady chastising us for not asking for a bribe directly and sarcastically saying that she got to "live the dream for another month"
Look how happy she is from working another month at this place!

Anyway, in the purse we find a few items. One is a picture of Lily taken at the beach, the other is a bond for a guy called Rolf Toten.

Thankfully there is a Bail Bonds place in town, called Kilpatrick's Bail Bonds (we'll get back to it in the next post). Looking at their computer we find the next clue we need: Rolf Toten left a car nearby as a collateral for the payment of his bonds.

The car is in a nearby garage, with the trunk conveniently unlocked. Inside the trunk we find Lily's diary. The gist of it is that she got attracted to this european guy called Rolf Toten who turned her into a vampire. Eventually things weren't looking up for Rolf anymore so he and his pals decided to leave the country entirely and abandoned Lily because she was a "liability".

After that Lily started to spend her evenings in the diner, eventually meeting E. She quickly fell in love with him and while they were kissing Lily couldn't resist biting his neck and drinking his blood. Out of desperation she tried to turn him into a vampire. Just like E told us he didn't react well to it and he left her.

Lily eventually got hungry again. The last note in the diary says that she was going to try to sneak into the local blood clinic to steal some blood bags.

That is our next stop. The blood clinic is in the basement of the hospital. The attendant there seems a bit unhinged from the talk we have with him.... It is clear by the conversation that he is a ghoul working for Jeanette. In fact, he even offers to sell us some blood packs.

The blood clinic attendant doubting that Therese allowed us to go in the back
Guess who is talking about? Also, he was employee of the month, somehow

I try to persuade him to open the door to where we need to go which he agrees to. Unfortunately the door didn't actually open for me which I don't know if it was a bug or I actually failed the persuasion somehow so I am obliged to lockpick the door.

In the next part there is a computer we can hack for some more clues. One of the freezers temperatures has a suspiciously higher temperature than the others. There is also a passcode there.

Even more suspicious inside one of the freezers (the one with the higher temperature) there is a keypad hidden behind some cardboard boxes. If we type that passcode there it opens a hidden passage leading to a room with a girl strapped to a chair.

That girl happens to be Lily. She is so hungry she can't really think of much beyond drinking blood. I decide to be nice and just free her, without asking anything in return. This makes me gain one point of humanity.

Unfortunately one of the nurses of the clinic decide to open the door to room just at that time and Lily jumps at him, drinking all of his blood.

Lily is shocked at what she just did. I explain it was just the Beast that took over but she doesn't seem to understand it much. She tells me how she got captured while trying to sneak in to steal some blood and I tell her how E is looking for her.

The news surprise Lily since she was pretty sure E hated her given how they parted ways. Then she realizes what she did to E was pretty much what Rolf did to her months ago. Still Lily is more than happy to go meet E again.

Lily asking us to not tell E about how she just sucked all the blood from a guy
My lips are sealed!

As I get out of the room the attendant is pretty angry not only because he lost a source of blood but also because apparently he wanted to kill the guy himself... Did I mention he seemed a bit unhinged?

In any case, because we freed Lily the attendant says he won't be selling me blood packs anymore. Now, I could of course just let him do this. Or I could try to solve this incident in the most evil way. In fact I was originally planning to do that. But then I realize that would be pretty much taking orders from a ghoul and in the food chain of the night creatures, ghouls are below vampires so I chose to not do that. Instead I just used Dominate on the attendant and he started to act like nothing happened. 

Back at the beach, Lily tells me that now everything is good. She has some family in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, as she puts it, where she intends to move to with E. As for the man himself he is pretty happy too, so much that he says "your blood's worth bottlin'". Thanks E, I am glad you are happy but I prefer to keep my blood where it is. XD

Becoming Human Again

While I am still on the beach I decide to talk to another of the Thin Bloods there, a guy called Cooper.

The first thing Cooper asks me is if I know who the head vampire is. I answer with a "Who doesn't?". Then he asks if the head vampire dies we all become human again. I used my persuasion to convince him that yes, that is possible but only if he does it with the holy stake... which I just happen to have and could sell it to him.

Cooper then proceeds to ask if a full blood transfusion would turn him into a human again. Thanks to my persuasion I choose to reply that it is only possible if it is with unicorn blood. He is a bit skeptical but I just remind him that we are both vampires so unicorns isn't too much of a stretch on this world. He immediately agrees to buy some from me.

Cooper asking if blood transfusions will make him human again
I wouldn't doubt if there were actual unicorns somewhere in the World of Darkness setting. But definitely there aren't any in this game.

As you might have guessed these are all lies. In the Vampire: The Masquerade setting once you become a vampire there is no going back. I did say I would do some terrible things in this game, didn't I?

He doesn't have the money right now for any of this so he asks me to come back later. I go do some other stuff and then come back to check on him.

He pays me for the holy stake (which is just a piece of wood I found on the beach), the "Unicorn" blood (which are just three packs of human blood). Finally he asks me who the "head vampire" is. I tell Cooper it is Prince Lacroix and he happily goes off to try killing him. It was nice to meet you Cooper.

More Hospital Shenanigans

While hacking the computers in the hospital I discover one of the doctors is having an affair with a med student. I use this info to blackmail him. It doesn't do anything beyond netting me $75. Did I mention I was going to do terrible things in this game?

Also, this isn't a real quest and it isn't something that will pay off until we get to Downtown. Still it is something that needs to be done now.

Heather drinking blood from Nigel's wrist
Vampire blood, the best medicine for any wound!

In the Clinic there is a woman gravely wounded. I slit my wrist to let her drink some of my blood. This starts to heal her. Confused she asks what just happened. Since just telling her that she drank my blood would be a really bad idea I just tell the woman I am one of the staff and leave.

We'll be seeing more of her later in this game.

Next time we'll do the last side quests in Santa Monica.

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