Sunday, November 06, 2005


Johnny-come-lately, the new kid in town,
Everybody loves you, so don’t let them down.
"New Kid in Town" The Eagles

Whether it's your first night at the new larp or it's your first night back after having one of your characters cashed out, There is the ticklish business of getting your character into the swim of things. The problem is always one of finding ways to hook in.
There are so many ways to do the whole "I'm new in town." shtick. Frankly some of them are old and tired, but let's run through them for a bit of completeness.

It's an old story. Vampire meets Prey. Vampire bites Prey. Vampire for whatever reason gives the Prey a taste. Vampire buggers off and tells the Prey nothing. it happens. Sometimes, it's that old pesky guilt biting the Vampire. Sometimes it's to flood the city with young dumb Vampires. At times, it's a matter of respecting the fight the Prey put up. Sometimes it's a vindictive fuck-you-bitch embrace, Sometimes it's just a Clan thing.
Granted, this sort of thing is a great deal rarer in the new system, now that you have to chunk out a permanent Willpower to create a child. But it still occasionally happens. And it's naturally a source of great consternation to the Prince. Who wants to know who your sire is. Technically, they should wax you out of hand, but if the Prince has any Humanity at all, he's not going to want to. After all, you're blameless. You might think about doing some grovelling though and begging for your life. Pledging yourself to the prince's service might also be a good thing to do. (especially if you got some handy skill or knowledge.)
Of course, It may all be a sham. You might know who your sire is and be sworn to secrecy. You might also be Dominated not to tell. Perhaps you are a spy from another city. Perhaps you are a VII sleeper. Whatever the case, you may not be strictly telling the truth. This can be problematic depending on the ambient level of paranoia and how seriously the Sherrif takes his job.
Of course, once you overcome the the first hurdles, You still have problems with the fact that you don't have a sire, and nobody is backing your play. Also, you may have trouble with others pushing you around because you weren't really "Chosen" to be kindred. Ah well. nobody said Unlife was fair.

My Master's Bidding
Really powerful creatures (Mages, Vampires and Werewolves) may have far flung empires and interests. Your mentor may be a person of this sort and may have sent you to look after their interests. You may have specialized skills or perhaps you can back things up with your can do attitude and capacity for extreme violence. Whatever the case you are getting orders from a far off personage and that person expects you to do things. Sometimes dangerous and incomprehensible things.
Of course, a life of service has it's occasional perks. Odds are good that when you come to the City, you'll have a letter of introduction. The harpy's will have been called ahead and alerted to your coming and it's going to get around that you've got a mentor with some serious juice behind you. It's a bad idea to casually fuck with you. Of course, this may mean that people who decide to fuck with you won't be casual about it at all.
You may be in on your mentors plans. Or you may be in the dark. Or you may know, and still not know, if you what i mean.
Once the totality of the plan becomes apparent to you, what do you do? Do you continue to serve? Or do you throw in with locals and hope they understand?

Torpor Closet
You did something pretty bad. Perhaps you're a habitual screw-up and maybe you've got a poor case of impulse control. Whatever the story, you did something pretty bad and had the bad taste to additionally get caught. Who knows why the Prince didn't wax you outright. Maybe you resembled a long lost relative. Maybe he was having a really good night and was feeling clement. Perhaps you ganked somebody he would have just as soon see ganked. Ya never know. I any case rather than wax you outright, He decided to stick a stake in you, toss you in a disused linen cloest with a broken lock and a sign on that says "Beware of the Leppard" and promptly got on with the rest of his evening, forgetting all about you...
...Until tonight that is. Somebody dug you out of the closet and dumped your carcass in front of the prince, fed you a bit and then you get the bad news. In order to keep your mean and niggardly existence, you need to DO something for the Prince.
Perhaps you actually have specialized knowledge or skills. Maybe the Prince just wants a dispensable blunt instrument. perhaps you have prior knowledge of the problem before the prince and maybe you're the only one. (Which might give you a smidgen of leverage)
This option gives you the ability to hit the ground running in terms of plot. You'll probably also have a taste of the Prince's blood in your veins from the jump. it also gives you the excuse for playing a neonate with knowledge of the middling distant past, if that's your groove.

Laying Low
Once again, you did a bad thing. But at least you did this bad thing far far away. It may even be something you can talk about and gain some sympathy for. Or it may be so Heinous with a capital "Hei", that you want no one to know. In any case you're on the run and this town looks like a good place to get lost. In a sitaution like this, you'd want to cultivate as many friends as you can before the Sire you tried to whack comes over the horizon...Or whomever it is that you pissed off.
Another variation on this basic theme might be playing a refugee from a neighboring town. Maybe the Prince there is some kind of maniacal autocrat or a crusty old Ventrue gone up over the high side. Perhaps you're the only survivor (that you know of) of a vampiric holocaust or experiment gone wrong. Perhaps the VII or the Sabbat have rolled in force and squashed any resistance flat and may be planning to use the place as a staging area for sending sortie group here. Whatever the case, THAT place, was no longer tennable and you fetched up here. You may not be allowed to stay. but then again you may not anywhere else to go.

Possibly the simplest option. If you don't know dick about larp or the setting, (and this goes for other games as well) You might could do worse than to partner up with an actual player who can educate you. Show you the ins and outs. Block and tackle for you on occasion.
If you're not a newbie, you could still learn quite a bit about the larp itself by partnering up (although, you could of course take the whole bit about educating you in the ways blood-suckerdom as read.) And even if your an old hand at the larp, you might still consider this option as a way to have at least one real ally in play.

No Asshole, I LIVE here.
Maybe you live in a small town near the main city and don't consider yourself part of the Prince's reach, So, you've just never shown up around here. Maybe you've been in the ground sleeping it off. Maybe you're just so scared of other predators that you've kept yourself off the radar. In other words, you're a local who's just never shown up before and with a GM's kind permission you may even know a few secrets about this town that nobody else knows. It's not impossible you know. Even the most paranoid princes may not know every kindred in his domain.

Cause Follower
It doesn't really matter what Covenant or sect you belong to. If you got at least one charismatic guy in that group, word might get around to surrounding regions that THIS dude has it going on and has that whole "Look of Eagles" thing down.
In which case you might be able to play one of those persons who came to check that dude out and see if you could help.
You might even be a real help to the cause. God knows the Carthians and the Lancea never turn away sincerely offered help.
Of course, you might have issues of your own..Like nearly any of the other options above. But hey, it's all about the Cause comrade.

Sono Finito.


At 8:59 AM, Blogger sF said...

i'm beginning to think. some of these thoughts are about a live action game. it might be time for us to do this again. maybe.


At 9:59 AM, Blogger kinesys said...

If I did do another vampire game, i'd want to do City X instead of City 2.0

and i'd want a staff of 20 people to follow me around and record my brilliance, turn it into web content, and peel grapes for me.

While i'm wishing i might as well as ask for a free venue, with atmosphere, amenities and parking and a flying horse besides.

Well. I'd never say NEVER.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger kinesys said...

And i'd want to do Mage...

At 12:43 PM, Anonymous Acid Reign said...

.....That looks like a great list to give a newbie who doesn't know what he wants to do! Let 'em choose. I'm sick of the "tell me what to do"/"This story sux" types.



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