Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Double Play

I have no difficulty with the idea of players who wish to play more than one role in the course of a chronicle. In fact it is useful to me and the rest of ST command to have more characters to play with (thus creating more drama and more plot.) Not only that, but the addition of human beings to any Vampire larp re-introduces a certain missing element from usual tabletop play. SECRECY! Masquerade maintenance becomes a very real concern again and a whole raft of merits and flaws become useful again.

That being said, I do have a few guidelines:

1) You cannot actually be in a scene with yourself. Unless of course you are playing the conditioned ghoul of a Vampire with Advanced Dominate. In which case, all bets are off. Try to avoid having your characters be involved in the same scene. The ball is firmly in your court on this. If you end having both of your characters in the same scene, then don't be surprised if something bad happens to one or the other or both.

2) While it perfectly permissible for allied characters of the same player to share information it is assumed that unless In-Character time is taken to do it, that a pair of characters shares their information in the wee small hours of the night or another night entirely.(read: after the game) It very important to keep these knowledges separate until such time as they can be shared. If you have problems with keeping character knowledges separate, play the ghoul of your vampire. (or similar arrangement in another game.)

3) ST Command will take a very dim view of people who create ghoul characters that exist only to be used as a background or influence bank for the main character. If abuse is suspected, ST command reserves the right to tie up a portion of the ghouls backgrounds and influences (ostensibly for his own schemes and plots.)

4) It is possible to create characters that are enemies of one another. It does involve a bit of work though to deal with the fact that the two characters cannot actually be in the same scene with one another. An example might be a neonate or ghoul that has a grudge against a Tremere but is terrified of discovery, or of being subjected to the power of the Tremere's wards.
Another possibility would be to play the ghost of a victim of a supernatural creature also being played by you.

5) EXP will only be doled out to the player. It's up to the player to split it among his characters. Players will be left to decide what character gets what. Abuse of this privilege will be dealt with sternly. It's not fair to run your ghoul all night and then dump all your points into your vampire.

6) It is possible to be "active" as your primary character while playing your ghoul or ally. Examples of this might be situations when you are using Possession, Astral Projection or Animal Possession to move about and spy on people or places. This is not without risks of course.

7) Ghouls know instinctively when their Domitor dies or is knocked into torpor(described as a slow sinking feeling.) Reactions tend towards the hysterical. Some may require frenzy checks.
(This is a bit of homebrew that I use. As I often say, a good larp is like a soap opera insofar as ALL secrets eventually come out. I am firmly against having a character get killed and nobody but the killer ever knows about it. I'm also against situation where a player drops out or just doesn't show very often and dependent characters are just left to twist in the wind. This way, they get a bit of a new lease on life when I kill the character that they are dependent on.)

8) While Vampire/Ghoul, Ally/Ally, and mortal enemy dynamics are the most common forms. It is possible to play two characters that have nothing to do with one another at all.
If your Human Character becomes embraced he should leave the game, at least temporarily. (unless an ST has signed off on the whole thing. )

9) When at all possible, If you play two characters you should make them as different as possible. Perhaps a different hat, a different name tag. Different posture,voice,accent or whatever. This makes it easier for people to tell who you are driving at any given time and at a distance.

Sono Finito


At 5:50 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....I've never been one to try and FORCE someone to play a character they've decided they don't like, but... My experience with the multiple characters for one player thing has been mostly negative.

.....Sometimes you have the player who gets bored easily, and wants the stimulus of endless new bodies to try on. These same players end up griping when the other players become more powerful. "I suck! Why can't I do something cool like that?"

.....Others want simply to have more bodies to control. These are the same players who summon up tons of animals, zombies, monsters, etc., and expect them to get a treasure share. I haven't seen many instances where a GM would let two characters under the same player deal with one another, and that's good!

.....Then you have the player who couldn't POSSIBLY play a standard class or bloodline, and has a great idea for a new bloodline, etc. When the GM analyzes it, and whittles the powers down to a reasonable level, the player wants another character.

.....The most clever use of "Double Play" was with a D&D player I had years ago. He generated two nearly identical Elvish fighter/magic users. He'd adventure with one till he had a surplus of gold, then take the other out. The one with the surplus of gold would do spell research. And he'd shuffle the characters back and forth till they both were rife with non-standard spells and very dangerous. In particular, though I didn't know it at the time, he more or less copied the spell ideas from the old "Greyhawk" hardback, particularly the "Tenser" spells, which augment the Elvish Fighter/Magic User greatly!


At 4:30 PM, Anonymous Everett said...

Basically, I prefer one player to one character because the point is to "role-play," not roll for more characters.

That having been said, I encourage my players to 'chump' my NPC's, especially when running a PC solo (another subject that's been mentioned elsewhere). This keeps them interested, and if they drive them like rental cars, I dock them XP for not playing in character; remember, XP is given to players, not characters (although you should always make the player spend the XP on a specific character). Just keep the key NPC's (primogen, FBI agents, etc.) out of their grubby hands.

In a LARP (again, I've never been in a LARP) the concept of chumping seems to be perfect for managing the multitude of goons a ST would normally run, and rewarding PC chumpers with XP makes it well, rewarding, for them too.


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