Sunday, June 26, 2005

Party Time!

(Editor's Note: While this article was written originally for Vampire: the Masquerade Larps, It can with a little re-tooling be made to fit easily in any Vampire: The Requiem Larp)

It seems like every LARP that I've ever been to has some sort of Primogen meeting during the weekend. And since nobody likes to be left out of such big important goings on, Primogen members find ways to invite every member of their clan on some pretext or another.

This is wrong and should be discouraged. Primogen members don't tell their secrets to their younglings they issue orders. These meeting should be secretive affairs and a source of great speculation and anxiety among the neonates. Especially if the Master comes home pissed every time. As a result, you would think that vampires never get together in LARP except in the face of some kind of emergency or coup.

You'd be wrong though. Vampires were human once and humans are still gregarious creatures for the most part. Occasionally, Even the Undead like to kick off their shoes and relax, Sip a bit of blood and have good time. Even vampires like to party. Below you will find descriptions of the types of parties that vampires enjoy having, The types of Vampires who enjoy giving and attending parties, and the things that vampires like to do at these parties.

Toreador:

Any description of vampiric social life must begin with the Toreador. Many other vampires joke that the Toreador will use any excuse for a party. ("It's Thursday! Happy Thursday!") While this is not technically true, there are a bewildering number of Gallery openings,Theater opening nights, Arts Council fundraisers, Toreador Deathday parties,Raves,Cotillions, and Regatta dances that can fill up a social calendar fairly quickly. Parties are both work and play to the Toreador. They are a chance to see and be seen. To impress and pretend not to be impressed. To make contact with vampires and humans alike and pump them for information,share blood, or feed. They are the bread and butter of the harpies and the heart and soul of the rumor mill. (The rumor mill has nothing to work with if everybody is at all the meetings)

Toreador like flash,dash and panache. They dig masked balls. They love parties at the track,or on the yacht, or at a hired carnival, They dig performers too. They hire live bands. And they also hire dead bands too. They might book a magic act or a live sex show. Toreadors can even get into a Vegas act if they're in the right mood. If they have a ghoul or Herd-member who is a performer of some sort that person will be performing like a trained seal all night long. Blood flows like wine at these functions and those who attempt to "spike the punch" will earn the collective enmity of every Toreador in attendance. (It's incredibly rude...Not to mention obvious, and it causes other people to distrust Toreador parties...And we can't have THAT!)

Odds are good that any party you are freely invited to at the LARP is being held by a Toreador. If only to get to know everybody in town.

Ventrue:

You might think that Ventrue are far to stuffy for parties. This is not the case, although they do tend to look at parties as more of an opportunity to network and expand their social contacts. The main exception to this is the anniversary of their embrace which tend to be lavish affairs and fairly private (You must be a really good friend to at least 1 Ventrue to be considered for the guest list.) This is often a time when Ventrue renew the bonds of tradition that hold them together and have a bit of fun. Ventrue being naturally competitive enjoy party games that enable them to show off. These sorts of things range from live chess matches, to Jousting to...Heck anything. Even bowling could be fun if the Ventrue are in the mood for a bit of cheese.(Toreador will not be invited bowling...Ever.)

In other situations, Ventrue can and do go to parties and at least seem to enjoy themselves. They can often be seen at Toreador functions sometimes because they want to cement good relations between the clans and other times because they might actually appreciate art.

Brujah:

A Rave is a dangerous thing. (Remind me to tell you the story sometime of me,Yassir Arafat,and Nell Carter, the Denny's waitress with the wooden leg, the 14 hits of lab grade acid and the mosh pit at the last Pearl Jam show.) While a Brujah rave is quite possibly dangerous to any vampire who attends it might be totally safe to any mortals who show up. (Unless they're those punks with BTS. Those fuckers are in for a rude surprise.)

Brujah's like old fashioned parties: Guns, Half naked chicks, drugs, fire trucks, broken furniture,Beer,blood, humping and sucking in the bedrooms-bathrooms-whatever,Motorcycles,doing donuts on the lawn, Moshing, Extremely loud music, house pets in microwaves, mass hysteria. You know...Like last Saturday. They like to bring this with them anytime they crash someone else party. Brujah look at parties as a way to let the pressure off the beast within. They get rowdy and they let it all hang out. Ventrue don't. Which is why their so fucking uptight.

Tremere:

Speaking of uptight....Tremere for the most part hate parties. It's not that they're opposed to fun but with some rare exceptions they just don't have the social acumen to fit in and relax. Most Tremere GO to parties, but they don't tend to enjoy them. It takes them away from their studies, they have to verbally joust with the oh-so-amused Toreador in attendance, and they tend to be loud and crowded. Tremere go to these parties because they make a list of specific business they want to transact and because they can't stand the idea of things going on that they don't know about. They tend to clump together and stare at the other party goers as if memorizing their faces for later actions. If Tremere have parties of any sort, other vampires have never heard of it. And for the purposes LARP this is not particularly useful.

Nosferatu:

Sewer Rats and Creeps like to have their fun. Much of this fun can be really strange to other clans who don't consider Nosferatu to be very gregarious. Parties however are rife with informational potential. So even if you don't see them, they are probably still there. Parties also present possibility for pranks at the expense of others...Especially Toreador. Think of the ensuing chaos when a well known "Brujah" bellies up to the bar, picks a fight, and then assumes "Zulo" form or "Crinos" form. Fun is had by all.... All of the Nosferatu that is. Many a Toreador has been driven to speechless apoplexy by a score of Nosferatu showing up at a party in spotless tuxedos and evening dresses and proceeding to waltz and out-toreador the Toreador. Some are also comfortable at Brujah raves and these kindred are usually welcome unless local politics are prohibitively nasty.

Nosferatu also have a custom that when they have parties that all are welcome and the Nosferatu themselves are forbidden to talk shop all evening. This drive many to distraction, which the Nosferatu enjoy watching.

Setites:

Elder Setites don't party. They're too busy being evil and corrupt. Setite embraced in the last 400 years or so have turned partygoing and party throwing into a high art. They know all the tricks. They know where to get the right "Party Favors". They know where to get the right "Party People". They know the right kind of music. They know all the best places. They know how to have to have fun and more importantly they also know how to get other people to have fun. A fact that has led more than one vampire to his doom.

Ravnos:

Ravnos are not generally welcome at your average vampire bash. This is really too bad because when they get together they have fun with that Gypsy flava. It's like part circus and part rave. Many of these parties are reserved for Shilmulo and kin only. Flying knives,wine,women,and song. And the best part is it's in a new place every night.

Other Clans:

Gangrel,Nagaraja,True Brujah,Assamites,Giovanni,Samedi,Kyasid,Gargoyles,Tzimisce,Lasombra, and other clans like that are not known for partygoing or throwing. Malkavians probably have parties but the mind boggles. Daughters of Cacophony usually end up performing if they show up at all.

Elements of Parties:

Entertainment:

Some forms of entertainment have already been mentioned but here is a more complete list

Music (records,chamber music, punk band,live DJ, etc.,etc...)
Performers ( Piano players-singers,Magic shows,Mimes,Improv teams,stand-up comedy,jugglers,clowns,dancers,puppet shows, Murder mystery performers, performance art.)
Games (Backgammon,Chess, Jenga, Lawn darts...No...Bad idea, try badminton.)
Gambling (Evening horse races, Casino nights,)
Recreational Feeding ( Drugs, Alcohol, "Wine Tasting")
Debauchery (Bloodsports...Typically suspended above the open-mouthed spectators,Live Sex shows. Human pinata games, Dwarf bowling, full-sized-person bowling.)
Drinks:

There is but one unwritten rule at a party full of kindred.Don't spike the punch. You can share blood all you like. You can walk around with your vessel of transference all night. But only the most monumentally stupid kindred attempt to add his own blood to any communal blood supply. It's a good way to become a communal blood supply yourself. The Tremere hate these parties but they always come and they will catch you.

It's also considered rude to give blood to somebody else's ghoul. Especially publicly. The imputation is that the Domitor is incapable of keeping his ghouls properly fed and restrained. This is the kindred equivalent of a public accusation of erectile dysfunction.

Crashing:

It always happens. Some Malkavian or Gangrel trolls in uninvited (usually after manhandling the ghouls into a coma.) and proceeds to create some scene or other. It could be worse. They could be Sabbat or Lupines. The wise party-thrower plans for it. The master party thrower can turn it into some kind of entertainment or can make the crasher feel welcome and kind of stupid for crashing in the first place.

Mortals:

The great equalizer. Nothing keeps a Kindred party civil like a passel of mortals in the crowd. Especially if the party goers aren't sure if all the guest are "in the know". Whenever Brujah crash a party in force, they like to bring along any human ravers who've happened to come to their party. It makes it impossible for the host to whip out his vampiric powers and bust Brujah ass. Mortals come in all sorts of flavors at parties:

Hanging refreshment (Not going to survive the night)
Food on the Hoof (Probably will survive the night unless their assailant gets too frisky.)
Ghouls (Valued assistants, treasured pets, influential pawns being introduced to other kindred for business purposes.)
Mortals in the know ( Hedge mages, gypsy types,mortal allies...It is not wise to come to this kind of shindig uninvited. It's also unwise to let the mortal guest wander around alone,for about a jillion different reasons.
The Mostly Clueless ( Mostly Toreador and Ventrue herd, also any artist or business person who enjoy patronage of same.)
The Completely Clueless ( Club kids who've heard about the Brujah rave somehow, random people from the phonebook invited by Malkavians who have not showed themselves, Dates of the Mostly Clueless.)

Pee Ay Are Tee Why! Why? Because I gotta!
Sono Finito

2 Comments:

At 7:04 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....You forgot drag racing. The centerpiece of a party I ran last night was a drag race between one character with a Hot Mach I Speedster (paraphrased from the Technomancer's Toybox), and a mage-spirit-possessed 1947 Merc. (Idea and character mostly ripped off from James Lee Burke's "In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead.") It was a dice rolling, hair-raising, jumping up and down, death-defying success!

JH

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger kinesys said...

Hmm.
(scribbles that one down for another day.)

 

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