Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Things to do In Character when you're dead.

Maybe you should have zigged, instead of zagging.  Maybe you should have found ways to solve your problems that didn’t involving killing as your first option. Maybe, you mouthed off to someone that, hindsight being 20/20, you probably wouldn’t have done if you’d known... and now, you are quite deceased.

It happens. 
In fact, in some some games it happens distressingly often.

But you know, while you are creating a new character to jump back into active play. You might give some thought to the repercussions of your former PC’s demise.  None of us live in a vacuum and when we die, we aren’t exactly sucked up whole and entire.  Too often, I feel that Larps pay short shrift to character mortality and as a result, no one seems to look beyond, “Gank the fucker” as a solution to the problem he or she may represent.  Done correctly, and with a bit of collusion from the ST staff. You can fix it so that killing your character might end up having all sorts of nasty nasty consequences.  MAYBE, it will be enough to get that maniac to think twice, or at least keep it in his pants

In most larps, there are secrets.  If you’re any good at all, you may have acquired a couple.  In WOD Larps most people live in some kind of society built on secrets. So, now that you’re dead, maybe its time to set those biscuits free.
Consider: Maybe you’re a vampire, and you’ve been told all your unlike, that keeping your existence secret is the utmost responsibility. But maybe, at some point down the road you begin to see that you are going to meet some horrible demise.  And if that really bothers you, you might think to yourself, “Well. If I’m going to be dead.I don’t think I give three-penny fuck about the sanctity of the Masquerade.”

There are many ways you can generate a decent amount of plot by simply having a certain amount of information in button-down mode. Say you get ganked, or driven into a very long torpor. Perhaps you have files that could be sent to journalists, police, feds, and scrappy hunter groups you’ve had your eye on.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if your online diary got sent to everyone in the community? So that they know PRECISELY what you really thought of them.  And if you’re doing that, well... Who says all of the conversations you’ve had with the others were strictly verbatim...or even happened at all. Perhaps your diary is a masterstroke of disinformation designed to jack up the vampire court that wronged you so terribly. Serves the fuckers right.  Hey, if you have a mailing address for Werewolves, a detailed treatise on vampire weaknesses could destabilize an entire region for generations.

Ok. Maybe that’s not your cup of tea. Maybe your character lived and died by the credo, “No Snitching”  Doesn’t mean your killer(s) ought to get off scot free.  Most supernatural creatures have a kind of “Family” structure even if they aren’t necessarily related by blood.  So, if you’re character buys the farm, wouldn’t it make a certain amount of sense for members of your family to turn up and start demanding answers? Especially if your family is WAY scarier than you.   Ask your ST if you can play a short duration NPC with some meat on it.  Be careful that this is not a revenge trip or that you use OOC knowledge to fuck someone over.  THAT’S NOT COOL.  But do show up and make trouble and show that when you kill someone, the people close to them may come calling.

You know you can even work this backwards. Say it’s the mortal family that’s flipping out about their son or daughter’s disappearance. And maybe, they start asking questions, and maybe they start finding answers. And maybe the family goes from being a support group, to a hunter group. And maybe killing them just starts drawing more and more attention.   You know, if I was a mage or a werewolf or some other creature with an ax to grind against the vampires, I would see to it that the family got a certain amount of support-that-you-would-never-be-able-to-prove-I-provided-so-there.  Weapons, Cash, Secrets...You’d be surprised what falls off the back of a truck in this neighborhood.

 Sometimes, we have plans about what’s going to happen when we die. The sort of plans that make for a Mona Lisa smile as the blade rises and falls, and maybe the killer(s) have no idea of the metric fuck-ton of hurt that they are opening up for themselves. Sometimes, it can be fairly immediate. I used to have a Nosferatu who, if he suspected someone was coming around to kill him, would cut open his belly and pack white phosphorus grenades into his long dead intestines.  Of course, He’s pull the pins but prevent the spoon from popping. and pack his belly tight and use his blood to heal.  That way, if he ever got ashed in combat, his killers were in for a rude surprise.  Other times it can be more long term. An actual will, triggered by certain code words to a trusted attorney, a number of pre-signed transactions, and a general liquidation of assets which are then donated to accounts and slush funds belonging to enemies of the community.  Could be a disaster if the vampires discover their favorite nightclub is now owned by vampire hunters.

Some night, The bad people might prevail, and that’s a shame, because there are people who depend on you.  But you should have a plan in place for THEM too, should you be taken off the count.  Generally, when regular mortals are bereft of leadership, they scatter, and GHOULS have it way worse, as they tend to become suicidal.  But there are times, when a sealed letter “In the Event of My Death” can give guidance and purpose to a ghoul after his domitor is gone.  Once, I was playing the Ventrue prince of a city. An old school southern gentleman. His children had been warned that if he was ever slain that his ghouls had orders to burn as much of the city as they possibly could.  Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been huge threat, But this game was set in the 1790’s. It was a bit more serious when your home city doesn’t actually have a fire department.

I heard about one that I rather liked. The seneschal of a particular city was a bit obsessive-compulsive and a touch paranoid.   It didn’t help that he spent a LOT of his time developing his influence.  They put the guy into torpor, down for the long count. and the whole fucking city ground to a halt and started to fall apart because of mis-routed funds and bureaucracy that had been smooth as glass as long as the seneschal had been in charge.

Another time, I ran a game where the prince of a city got perished. Some months before the event, she had purchased at an occult auction, an emerald pendant. It read as a magic item, but so far, no one had been able to make it work. She bought it because it was simply pretty and hoped to get the Tremere to figure it out for her in repayment of certain boons.  What NONE of them knew was that pendant was only useful to humans, and tended to amplify their natural psychic affinities. usually in a shocking flash.   After that lady prince had died, her morose ghouls were packing up her goods, and one of the ghouls picked it up.
Suddenly, the community was now being plagued by a precognitive ghoul with a serious axe to grind.  Do you know how HARD it is to track someone who has inside knowledge of the vampire community, has ghoul powers,  is willing to kill to keep those ghoul powers, knows exactly when and how to hit his targets, and ALWAYS knows when you’re coming?

My players do.


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