We've had a series of highly political story arcs recently. The PCs have had all kinds of interesting and therefore dangerous opportunities, but ultimately the rewards and dangers have had to do with their place in society and the fortunes of their friends and allies. Since it was my turn for a story arc, I wanted to come up with something that had a very different feel, something that would give the players a sense of the non-political things that go on in their characters' lives.
Naturally, this meant introducing doom.
The goals for the story arc were relatively straightforward. I wanted to involve the PCs' childer, to give at least some of the PCs moral dilemmas, to focus on religious change in the Empire, and to have Bar Kochba (apparently immortal Jewish/Christian messianistic anti-vampire figure) as the antagonist. I had no idea how to get started, so I had a blood-stained letter arrive from one of the PCs' childer (and another PC's client), a character the group has known for a long time. She reported being attacked by Bar Kochba, being on the verge of death, and (more important to her - she's a weirdo) having her books stolen.
Naturally the PCs were not pleased, and decided to investigate. The first session involved them setting up various means of spying on Bar Kochba and his fanatics, trying to figure out whether Callia was alive, and handling the possible political implications of the act. Along the way they also discovered a plague targeting ghouls, among other things. They ended the first session with a sense of impending doom, but no actual target to execute doom against.
The second session - last week's session - was one of the best we've had in a long time. Everything just went right. The session began with Callia's patron (Marcus) discovering what had happened to her, and being furious at Callia's sire (Idir) for not telling him what was going on. Marcia (Aniketos's unacknowledged, heavily Christian childe) and Ze'ev went to one of Bar Kochba's rallies, where Marcia was martyred and Ze'ev barely escaped. Actaia had to manifest astrally to get Ze'ev out of there, which meant that Bar Kochba knows who she is - and, thanks to the reappearance of Taqfarinas (the World's Slimiest Assamite) has found her. Taqfarinas and Actaia had an amazing scene where he explained that he'd sold her up the river, then tried to get her to be grateful to him for it. Also, there were boobies. Long story.
Anyhow, next session promises to be cat-and-mouse with Bar Kochba. Since he seems to have the ability to negate most vampiric powers, the PCs are thrown back on their resources as human beings to try to deal with him, and are discovering that they may have gotten far too used to having powers beyond mortal ken. Oops!