It was a dark and stormy night...
So I'm in this Vampire Larp (as you well know) and lately, as a sort of Storyteller Emeritus, I've been suggesting storylines to our Executive ST, which he is fully able to reject or adopt as he sees fit. Telling a man how to run his game is to end up running the game, and I'm having too much fun playing.
That being said, I do still have ideas for plot lines and I always seem to see that which is missing in the make-up of any given game.
I'm always on the prod for ways to help new players get themselves hooked into the various plotlines. lately i've been on the kick of trying to help create mortal story lines that young vampires need to go deal with.
Which got me to thinking about Mortals and their place in the world of Requiem. Mortal story lines exist for a number of reasons. Most people don't play them because, as a good friend of mine puts it. "I already AM a mortal. why would i want to play one in a game of vampires. On the other hand, there are some people who are devoutly passionately devoted to playing mortals in a vampire game. Maybe ghouls, or hunters or some form of human being with supernatural sprinkles on top. but still essentially mortal.
But i think i've hit on what makes Mortals integral to a good game of Requiem beyond being the primary source of blood. Vampires are to humans what Moths are to flames. Irresistible and yet painful and potentially deadly.
The more contact a vampire has with the mortal world the more he feel the separation from it. the less he has with it, the faster his humanity slips away.
Vampires who sequester themselves away from humans begin to see them as abstractions and tools to be used and discraded. Those that stay embroiled in the fast moving world of humankind have nightly reminders of everything they've lost and the greater tendency toward the angst that a good vampire game is supposed to be colored with.
And on those occasions when the mortal world and vampire world collide, the mortal world almost always loses, but every time this happens, it should cost the vampires involved a portion of their humanity.
I've offered the example of the Kindred going round to kill the police chief only to find that his son or daughter witnessed the entire thing. This should have only 2 possible outcomes.
1) Vampire has a "Moment of Clarity" and runs away in shame at the monster he's become...Maybe loses humanity and maybe develops a derangement over it
2) Vampire kills the child as a future threat and loses humanity on the spot, and NO you don't get a fucking roll for it. Sure, maybe the Lancea Sanctum says that this is the way it's meant to be, but their religious dogma is of little comfort when you find you can't actually put the beast back in his cage.
Now consider this possibility. Statistically, most humans killed by a vampire have a family somewhere. a family that maybe loves them. How do you deal with the fact that when you go to look at the newspaper to follow your business interests, you might have to deal with the front page picture of the person you killed last week and the pictures of their family begging for a lead...any lead to their loved ones whereabouts. Hey you thought Laci Peterson got some press...
But just as this is a dramatic sort of conflict there are conflicts that are not as dramatic but that have long term effects. Say for instance, a problem with the Werewolves that cause the Kindred to buy up the property and turn it into a toxic waste dump.
What happens when that waster gets into the local water table and starts making the humans very sick. When do you hit the vampires with the humanity stick? and how often? until they stop? Until they no longer are able to care?
What about situations where the local kindred decide to throw their influence around only to discover that they are in fact destabilizing the local economy by trying to crush their competition whether they be human or other vampires. That fucks up everybody's Christmas.
So, At some point my thinking turns to Hunters. Vampire hunters are an inevitable consequence of vampires. Some vampire gets frisky with his liquid lunch and leaves a body behind...and that body happens to be someone's wife/husband/father/lover/mother/sister/brother/etc... and then the natural need is for vengeance against the evil bloodsucking freaks who killed him/her.
It may not even be that horrific. Maybe some vampire got sloppy and his obvious OTHERNESS just offended someone so much that they took up arms.
There are lots of different hunter types:
Those sneaky academic Talamasca/Arcanum/whatever ya call em/ guys who might occasionally share their knowledge with more martially oriented hunters.
The lone nut who has powers, or knowledge, or both. Enough to make problems for the Kindred population.
The group of hunter with ties to Werwolves or Mages or some other group that may not want to contest directly with the vampires but don't mind humans who do.
The group of capable and organized mysticks who may fight vampires in the arena of Influence war. (Although, if it comes down to a physical fight they'll probably get greased. That's why they seeks out more allies as well.)
The group of military or law enforcement professionals who have seen too much and are taking "Protect and Serve" seriously.
The group of heavily armed good ole boys who may not be all that books smart, but that don't mean they are dumb and they been doing this for years.
The small cadre of hunters who are being fed intel about you by one of the other vampires.
Church hunters with faith to burn and a devout congregation acting as an intelligence gathering organ.(And let's be clear, the Catholics aren't the only one who do this. They're just the ones that jump to mind first.)
The group of poor urban folks who organize. they ain't out to save the world, they just want to clean up the neighborhood.
And that's just the ones I've seen or used.
I'm sure there are types that i simply haven't stumbled onto yet.
Do some real thinking about the hunters and remember a couple of things:
1) They can jack up your shit in the day time(Not necessarily get you, but burn your house or kill your allies)
2) They have families and by dint of this alone may have superior numbers.
3) They are the good guys. (at least they think they are. They may even be right.)
4) They aren't necessarily ignorant, but they may not have all the facts.
5) They needn't always be combat crunchy. They needn't always have teamwork, but they need to have one or the other. Otherwise, they aren't scary.
6) Massed gunfire, even though it only does bashing damage to kindred can still put a kindred on the deck. In fact you can fill him so full of lead you can use his dick for a pencil.
7) Humans run the world in the daytime.Vampires may not like it but there's only so much they can do about it. You can lie,cheat,steal,enslave,and destroy lives... but at the end of the night comes the dawn and that's all there is to it.