- Berlin 1978: The Gilded Cage is a Chronicles of Darkness Vampire: the Requiem 2E game set in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War. We use an alternate-history version of events and do not require historical accuracy beyond what is commonly depicted in pop culture. Join us at berlinmux.com port 1978.
Welcome to West Berlin 1978
West Berlin is the democratic half of a divided city, isolated and deep in hostile territory. It is surrounded on all sides by the East German territory of Brandenburg, and walled off by two layers of concrete sandwiching a strip of land known as the “death strip”. The walls came up in 1961, as a measure by the East German government to control emigration and the newly-established East German currency. Families were split in half, and the wall came to symbolize the oppression of its own people by the Communist regime.
After the war, West Berlin was occupied by the three Allied Powers; Great Britain, the United States, and France. The countries each occupy a zone of their own, looking after their interests while trying to rebuild the devastated city. They see West Berlin as a frontline of the Cold War. The city is crawling with military police, spies, and diplomats—they’re all spying on the enemy, or so they say, and the East Germans are surely spying on them.
West Berlin is a bastion of freedom in the West, steeped in counterculture. It’s a place where artists, punk rockers, activists, students, and draft-dodgers flock to to escape the drudgeries of their lives in West Germany. There is no curfew in West Berlin, so the discotheques are open all night. Heroin is pure and free-flowing. The punk rock scene is legendary; every rock star worth their salt makes a pilgrimage to Berlin—David Bowie, Iggy Pop, U2, Depeche Mode, Nick Cave, and on and on and on.
For the Kindred of West Berlin, the notion of the “Gilded Cage” has never been more apparent. Travel out of West Berlin is extremely high-risk and cumbersome, requiring careful planning and full of potential obstacles. Anything can go wrong—all it takes is one train delay or one East German border guard who asked too many questions.
So why come to West Berlin? You’re ambitious and you want to make a difference. Maybe Bonn or Munich just isn’t doing it for you. The devastation of the war left a huge power vacuum in Berlin and you’re going to strike it big. Maybe you’re running from something, and the isolation of Berlin made it the perfect hiding place. No one would think to look for you here. Maybe you ended up here somehow from the East, running from an oppressive regime. Did you forge papers, or did you dig a tunnel? You must have stories to tell. Maybe you work for the Allies, and they sent you here to look after their interests. They put you up in a cushy bungalow in Zehlendorf, right next to where Himmler used to live.
Berlin 1978 is a Vampire: Blood and Smoke game with a high political focus. Berlin provides an optimal backdrop for stories of isolation, paranoia, and decadence. We play the social monsters that shape the world in their own twisted image. Come, down to the dark clubs at night...