Tuesday, September 27, 2005

6 basic plots for Vampire: The Requiem

1) The Large and In Charge Plot
For your Invictus players, The endless chess game of oneupsmanship and rigorous control of the local environment. Lancea players can get in on this too but their focus is often different from the Invictus. This plot is all about the politics for politics sake. and as such should be easy for any Masquerade player to glom onto. The only thing you actually need in order to keep this plot rolling for you interested players is resources of all types for them to fight over. organizations, powerful people to control, gobs of cash, control of stock, military force...etc.

2) The Come To Jesus Plot
For your Lancea players. The Lancea wants, and furthermore, EXPECTS to be the pre-eminent authority on all matters spiritual in the vampires. While the Invictus is about controlling resources.
The Lancea is about controlling hearts and minds. There are many routes to this basic goal. Some follow a sublime vision and hope that their service and enthusiasm will attract others. Others are quite a bit more cynical and are willing to convert by the sword if necessary. Whatever the case, It's about spiritual leadership as opposed to temporal leadership. Although, it should be said, the temporal leadership is desirable as well. All you really need in order to keep the CTJ plot running is a threat to the spiritual hegemony that the Lancea seeks to achieve. Such threats can be external (Crones, Dragons, Hostile city administration) or internal (Schisms of belief, corruptions, ambition within the ranks)

3)The Fight the Power/Kill Whitey Plot
Naturally, for the Carthian players. The problem is that, vampire politics is built on tyranny. Not everybody takes well to neofeudalism and some folks thinks it might be a good idea if the Invictus and the Lancea weren't actually able to make people do anything they didn't want to do. To this end, hardcore democracy advocates and anarchists find common cause (sorta) and try to find a way to bring down the establishment. The only things you need to make this plot are the same kind of resources that the Invictus fight over. Some would say, that you also need a common enemy, like the Establishment types to keep a Carthian plot working as well. But this isn't necessarily so. What do you do if the Carthians triumph, or the establishment eats itself?
How do the Carthians manage to deal with the heady power of being in charge? How do they keep a united front? What happens when the revolution begins eating it's children?

4)The Scooby Snack Plot
For your Dragon players. The whole point of the Ordo Dracul is to investigate the world and understand it as best as one is able. Understanding the world is the best key to understand oneself. If you understand yourself, you can change yourself in ways that other,more static, vampires cannot. So as a result, The work of a Dragon is to look into weird shit. Sure, there is academic style infighting and misunderstanding covenants as additional elements, but it's all about ferreting out the secrets of the world and the journey of self discovery. So, as a result, The main thing that is needed for any Dragon based plot is occult secrets and phenomenon. The Dragons want to keep these secrets to themselves. They don't want them to fall into the hands of political hacks or jerks like the Lancea. So, Dragon plots need to be almost exclusively for Dragons. (Especially since many times, the people who don't have any real occult knowledge get frustrated by plots they don't know anything about and can't actually affect.) This adds to the Dragons sense of isolation. After all, petty niggling between Carthians and Invictus becomes tiresome in the face of some kind of occult apocalypse.

5)The Drink the Kool-Aid Plot
For your Crone players. Crones belong to what essentially amounts to a Cult. Cults have a specific social dynamic and unlike most mortal cults, membership in the Crone comes with a certain amount of actual occult power. The main thing that the various fractious cults of the crone share in common is a desire for creativity and a desire to be left alone to pursue their interests. They clash with nearly every covenant other than the Carthians because of their desire for freedom, because they still enjoy certain elements of their humanity, because they want to keep their secrets to themselves, and because they aren't Lancea.
It's so hard to serve the goddess.
If anything, the Circle is about trying to figure out ways to sort of soften the vampiric condition a bit. Sometimes they succeed. Other times, not so much. The Spiritual journey that a Crone is on is very different from the journey that a Sanctum vampire is on. Whereas, the Lancea vampire's path is a great deal more structured. The Crones path is a great deal more Shamanic.
In other words, While the Crone can take part in nearly any other form of plot, The real plot for Crones is that of spiritual self discovery and in order to keep these sorts of players satisfied, opportunities have to be made to lean into that spiritual side of things.

6) The Under the Radar Plot
For your Unbound players. The central problem with being Unbound is that nobody has your back. Even other Unbound don't have your back. While there is much greater freedom there is a great deal less power. Thus the primary thrust of any Unbound vampire is to accumulate enough power to make other vampires fuck off and leave you alone. The only problem is that other covenants have this power and will take it amiss if you manage to steal any of it for yourself. In other words, You have to gain power without arousing the attention (much less the ire) of larger groups who don't want to share. It's also a really good idea to make sure that the sort of power that you try to accumulate is not the sort of power that evaporates like the sping dew on the grass, as soon as the bad people show up. The only thing you (the GM, i mean.) need in order to keep the sort of plot running is at least ONE NPC in each covenant that is keeping an eye on the unbound. Ostensibly to smack them down if they get too bold. If you can get a PC to do this sort of thing so much the better.

So the thing about Plot is this.
Once you understand that basic covenant types require certain things in order to work. You can also understand that these plots have to be scaled based on your player base.
If you got a dozen Dragons and no occult plots, then you got a problem. If you got occult plots and no dragons, you've got a much bigger problem.

Sono Finito

Monday, September 19, 2005

So, Now i have a forum

Recently, I've been thinking about podcasting. I thought maybe i'd do a podcast about larping but i wasn't sure that it would have enough legs for a number of episodes.

Went to a game and afterwards got into a discussion about larps. this discussion lasted a few hours and put paid to the idea that the idea didn't have legs.

At present, i'm kind of still messing with technical issues and a podcast has been moved to a long term project kind of thing. but i also thought that maybe a forum for larpers and larp designers might be a decent idea. So i went out and found a place that hosts PHPBB forums for free and here it is:


So. come take a look see. Ain't too many people there now, but i'm putting the word out there.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Too Much Information Age

Data has reached a Quantum State.
There is so much information that it is impossible to determine validity anymore.
Photography and movies can be very well faked. Paper documents are virtually useless as proof anymore.

In other words, Truth and falsehood are impossible to determine anymore.

Since the NOLA disaster i have been paying attention to blogs, media outlets, CNN, and other forms of hard news. The ability to determine what's going on in NO is seemingly impossible to determine. Cops are looting? People are dying? People "chose" to stay there in the city? Food and water are in the city? People are shooting at one another? Fire? Busses that are leaving people behind without stopping? Armed forces pointing guns at people trying to leave? The Bush administration refusing foreign aid?
a young guy who stole a bus and got 100 people out and now they want to put him in prison? "Zero Tolerance" for people trying to steal food? FEMA dicking around for days? President Bush dicking around for days? Condi Rice shoe shopping in New York?
and more horrors than can fit in one spot...

And no way to figure out what is true.

We turn away. We turn our face away from this world because we can't manage any faith in anything or anybody. And we wonder why there are others who are content to turn their faces away from this administration and believe that they have their best interests at heart.

I wonder, if it will get worse before it gets better.