Tag Archives: vampire: the requiem

A lack of game

I don’t know why but I don’t do LARPs very well. I don’t seem to be able to hook into them or get involved in things. Plot passes me by and I never know how to get into the game.

It’s not just an IoD thing, but I feel it more there. At Empire, event plot pretty much passes me by but I’m so busy doing other thinBluträchergs that I don’t notice that I didn’t get involved in it. This is likely part of the problem I had in LT as well – I couldn’t get involved in things, so I didn’t like playing.

I can recognise this in IoD games as well – in Requiem, where I’m Harpy, I don’t notice as much that I’m not involved in the plot that everyone else seems to be pulling out of the woodwork somehow. In the other games, I can’t find my way in, and I feel lost as a consequence and don’t enjoy the games. I find myself asking if anyone would even notice my absence.

My lack of ability to hook myself into the games has led to me abandoning playing Forsaken to NPC, and abandoning playing Awakening to aST/NPC. I don’t really know why I haven’t given up on Lost yet. The thing is that I know I can enjoy these games, but typically the times I enjoy playing these games is when I have things to do that aren’t relevant to the plots of the game. My last Forsaken character was a lot of fun because he just wanted to punch things, talk about punching things, and intimidate people – and I enjoyed that game as one-dimensional as it was.

I find I always feel that there are groups of people who find the plot and run off with it and become epic in the game, and I drift along at the sidelines with no idea how to do that. The only reason that I’m where I am in Empire now is because Rob offered me some work and after a year of doing it, I’ve managed to make myself known to the point of being recognised by most of the Conclave.

It feels like there’s some trick I’m missing – something that I’m doing wrong or not doing at all that leads to people having fun at games and getting involved in epic plots. It feels like I’m failing at my hobby, and like there’s no point in my trying because I’ll never manage that.

Part of all this is that I’m terrible at setting character goals for myself. When I write an NPC for myself, it’s not an issue to find goals because they’re related to making the plot work right, but when I write a character I just can’t do it right. It’s sheer luck that I’ve managed to both get a character goal and (potentially) achieve it at Empire, and it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been handed a job by someone else.

Perhaps I should just stick to crewing and storytelling as it seems to be where my abilities are stronger.

[Requiem] An excerpt from a letter

An excerpt taken from a letter written by Charles Morganti to another kindred.

The advance of technology has been immeasurably useful to my trade. Where once providing a musician for a private affair involved earplugs, blindfolds and other such instruments to disguise the truth of affairs, now technology provides an answer. From the gramophones introduced at the turn of the last century, which enabled music to be played at will at the turn of a crank to the modern electric music devices that transcend such basic principles. In modern nights, I can have a favoured musician play in a private room and their art is conveyed through electrics to a room elsewhere providing the unique experience of a personal musician without the dangers of having a kine musician included in a kindred matter.

You might ask why I don’t simply solve two problems at once and make a favoured musician of mine into a ghoul to provide safety and loyalty. The answers are myriad: I provide discrete services, and even a ghoul being present can break that creed; providing a variety of musical talent in this way would be expensive in vitae; and then there is the foremost reason – the lack of creativity in the ghouled. There is no shame in admitting that the mortal mind adapts better to new situations and creates more readily than the minds of the kindred. Our immortal nature bestows a certain slowness in thought, and the ghouled take on some measure of that. A ghoul is less likely to be original, or to create new works. Even the bond is dangerous as it focuses the kine on yourself rather than the creation of new works. In art and music, you want nothing other than the best unsullied by the nature of vitae.

Of course, the problem with using only kine untouched by the blood is that they all too soon wither and lose their talent. At some point, one must ask oneself whether this treasured artist is at the peak of their abilities and whether you wish to retain them as they are, or whether one lets them continue to create and age as a mortal. This is another solution that technology has overcome to a degree. The ability to store the art of a musician’s craft in electrics such that their beauty can be recounted at any point is itself a marvel and one which I offer freely to my clientèle should they desire musical accompaniment to their activities. As previously described, a personal performance can also be arranged through the use of an insulated music room for the performer or performers which also allows for the composition of original or custom pieces for a particular event.

The scale of technological advancement seems to leap exponentially with every passing decade. There seems to be little now that cannot be accomplished through the power of electrics – the cities quite literally thrum with the energy passing through the aether at times.

[Requiem] Harpy Report, April 2015

“Jessie, fetch paper and pens – there’s work to do…”

Notables of the night, I bring news from Edinburgh.

On the 28th night of April 2015 anno domini, kindred gathered to discuss the formalities of reclaiming the domain of Edinburgh. Those of us with resources and foresight had acquired a building for the purposes of temporary shared have and Elysium. While in some need of maintenance and decoration[1], it is fit for purpose.

Kindred of all the clans and covenants had gathered: a mix of those contacted by House Umbra, The Murder, and those who were resident under the previous Court of Edinburgh. In order to facilitate the smooth reclamation of Edinburgh with a minimum of in-fighting, a document of intent and principle had been composed by Alder Umbra and this document was read out to the room before being analysed by interested parties. After some deliberation and modification, a ratified version of the document was agreed upon by all parties present. Alder Hawkwood is acting as notary for the final document and the associated Oath, and can be contacted for a copy of the final text.

While discussion of the wording of the Oath was ongoing, the combined knowledge of the status of the City, members of the previous Court, and those kindred who had attempted to reclaim the domain before was gathered, collated, and plotted on a map of the city where relevant. Madam Connie of the Circle of the Crone is particularly recognised for the depth and utility of the information she possessed.

Once available information was collated, and the Oath agreed upon by the kindred present, the determination of Primogen and Prisci (to represent the kindred involved in the reclamation effort as noted in the Oath) occurred in the fashions inimitable to each Covenant and Clan. Regarding Primogen, Alder Umbra now represents the Invictus, with Mr Mitchell representing the Carthian Movement, Mr Gregor[2]  representing the Circle of the Crone, Alder Dragosesti representing the Lancea et Sanctum, and Mr MacGregor representing the Ordo Dracul. Regarding Prisci, Alder du Montfort represents the Daeva, with Alder Mahon Stormcrow representing the Gangrel (not to be confused with Madam Alder Stormcrow), Mr Swift representing the Mekhet, Mr Darroch representing the Nosferatu, and Mr Levin representing the Ventrue.

Having chosen representatives, a concerted effort was then put into the investigation of previous domain locations and the retrieval of documents within. Despite complications, the Notary’s records were retrieved but the records of boons from the previous domain had already been removed by parties unknown.

Upon the return of the adventuring party, the meetings of the Primogen and Prisci Councils were held, the outcome of which was an initial set of proclamations and positions for the kindred resident in Edinburgh. The Primogen have appointed myself to act as their Harpy, Madam Gregor to act as Sheriff, and Alder Mahon Stormcrow to act as Hound. The positions of Seneschal, Master of the Elysium, and Herald were left vacant at this time, though it was noted that Alder Umbra’s ghoul would act as primary caretaker for the Elysium of Donaldson School for the interim period. The Prisci have currently declined to appoint a Harpy.

A brief summary of the Primogen Council’s proclamations follows. Donaldson School is declared to be an Elysium and feeding in the surrounding area is strictly forbidden[3]. All of the previous Court’s locations are considered off-limits without permission of the Primogen Council. Local hunters are to be avoided where at all possible, except under mandate of the Primogen Council; violating kindred will receive no aid from the domain. Should a kindred unavoidably encounter hunters, the course of action decreed by the Primogen Council is elimination of the hunters rather than retreat; any such engagements should be reported to the Primogen Council at the earliest possible opportunity. All feeding is to be invisible, and any evidence to be disposed of without notice by any; any breach of this must be reported to the Primogen Council at the earliest possible opportunity. The Three Traditions are in full force. Breach of any of these proclamations will have dire consequences. Revelation of the location of Elysium to hunters or other enemies of the domain will result in one’s unlife being considered forfeit.

In addition, the sole representative of the Carthian Movement present was seen to be having a debate with himself regarding who should be Primogen for the Movement. Mr Mitchell also provided a note of levity to proceedings with a discussion on the taxation of recorded boons. Mr Byron of the Ordo Dracul is seeking assistance in the reclamation of his father’s estate from its current owners. Mr Levin has been most gracious in offering his assistance to his elders, and has distinguished himself in securing the position of Ventrue Priscus.

Amat victoria curam.

Charles Morganti
Harpy of the Thorns and First Estate

Footnotes   [ + ]

1. “Jessie, arrange with Theresa a plan for decorating the place – an Elysium should look like one.”
2. “What sort of name is ‘Tabs’?
3. “Set some of the dolls up in a hotel or something – somewhere convenient but out of sight.”

[Requiem] Comfortable lies

I was given the phrase “comfortable lies” to base a bit of fiction off of. What follows appears to be an excerpt from my Requiem character‘s mind, specifically regarding the creation of useful tools and servants. It doesn’t really go anywhere, but does bring up some of his notions about how the kine and ghouls should be treated.

Normally I would share this sort of thing across my social networks, but it’s almost a little too strange for me to want to do that, so I’ll just leave it here and point people at it later.

The human mind is a wonderful thing. Given enough of a push, it can come to believe anything – it can even lie to itself and twist truth and fallacy so completely they become indiscernible.

Push someone to their breaking point enough and they come to accept it as part of their life, they may even come to welcome it. They forget that things weren’t always like this and convince themselves that this is better; they come to welcome a brief respite as if it were a month-long vacation. They tell themselves that the lie is true, that they’re better off, that the respite is better than a holiday.

Push someone to their breaking point enough and they convince themselves that they’re unbroken while they remould themselves in the forge you present to them. There’s no challenge in breaking someone and reforging them; it’s a long process and you often have to start from nothing. Convincing someone that they remain unbroken, that they have chosen this path instead of being forced into it – that is a much more entertaining prospect.

Those who survive the process are fit to serve – convinced by themselves that this is where they should be without the weaknesses of a broken mind. Perhaps they long for the day that they can strike back, but can’t imagine what they would do without you – it doesn’t matter as long as they serve; and the ones who think they deserve to end your existence will fight harder to stop someone else doing so.

Of course, the process also eradicates their candidacy for elevation, at least in the superior clan. The lesser clans may find their twisted nature compatible, but they lack the elegance required for our family.

Summarising World of Darkness

A friend of mine was looking for summaries of the core new World of Darkness games that he could share with someone he was persuading to play in the Isles of Darkness. There was a dearth of responses, so I wrote something for him to use. They’re not brilliant – they’re written from one person’s perspective and my memory for exactly how everything works isn’t best when I have the books in front of me, but they do the job I think. Continue reading Summarising World of Darkness

[Requiem] Charles Morganti

My Requiem character for the post-reset Isles of Darkness chronicle is Charles Morganti. He’s a Daeva Invictus/Crone; he’s around 200 years old; and he is not a very nice person. The following is something of a work in progress tracking the development of the character.

Character inspirations for Charles include:

Alternately flamboyant and reserved, Charles could almost be seen to have issues with maintaining a single personality. The truth is that he is bored, and in an effort to make things more entertaining brings out these flamboyances to drive interesting circumstances.

He is a patron of the Dark Goddess, though his primary allegiance is to the Invictus – there is politics, and there is religion, and the two need not collide.

As a means of income and diversion, Charles maintains a stable of willing sycophants and dolls available for the right price to any customer. Prices vary by the customer, and his bordello is quite the den of sins of all varieties.

He was sired in London in the early half of the nineteenth century by the Daeva Invictus known as Aurelia Morganti. He quickly came to appreciate the new appetites of the kindred, and became quite skilled in the manipulation of kine. Having a financial background, he took well to the moneyed politics of the Invictus, and secured a modest status there, while he became drawn to the Circle of the Crone over the next hundred years – somewhat to the disgust of some of his peers.

He took neither side during the war, content to watch as others scurried about in the fighting. Now that the fighting is done, he sees Edinburgh as somewhere to find some excitement and has made efforts towards moving his places of business in that direction.


Straight Razor Cabaret

My new Vampire: the Requiem character for the Isles of Darkness is more than a little based on a character I created for a PBeM Vampire: the Masquerade game.

One of the main differences is that my Requiem character is male, while the Masquerade character was female. One of the things I did to solidify that character in my mind was write the following fiction piece. Some people may prefer not to read it due to triggers or just plain unpleasantness, so I’ve placed it under a cut.

I’m not sure how well it would stand up to being gender-switched, which may be a flaw in my writing – not that I’m going to claim excellent ability at writing in the first place.

For those who might recognise it, some of the character inspirations come from Aurelio Voltaire’s songs, specifically Straight Razor Caberet and Cathouse Tragedy. Continue reading Straight Razor Cabaret

Characters and Costume

Recently I’ve been thinking about characters and costume. Namely about new characters for the Isles of Darkness, my newly concepted character for No Rest for the Wicked, and my slightly older concept for Stargate.

The thing about LARPs is that they need costume to make the characters feel real, and the thing about costume is that it can get expensive. My current main NPC for No Rest for the Wicked has £200-300 worth of costume I bought just for him – and that’s not even my own character.

So what am I thinking to pick up? Well, let’s start with the No Rest for the Wicked character, Trysten Martinus Ariakin. Trysten is an Imperial Knight, a warrior who glories on the field of battle encased in a machine of war perfectly synced to his reflexes. His costume has to reflect who he is, and the practicalities of his profession. I’ve made him more augmented that strictly necessary with extra nerve grafts for speed and agility. The forearm plugs from these need phys-repped (as do his neck plugs) and they need factored into his costume as well. What this means is that I’m looking at a sleeveless top under a more military jacket – practicality under uniform.

Sleeveless top: Punk Rave Steampunk Zipped Tshirt
Jacket: Punk Rave Embroidered Velvet Jacket (for dress occasions), Necessary Evil Loki Jacket for everyday
Trousers: Necessary Evil Mephisto Trousers
Plugs: something like these may be the basis of my hard-plug sockets Plumbsure Diaphragm Washers

Next up, my Requiem character for the Isles of Darkness – Charles Morganti. He’s a Daeva Invictus/Crone, which means he should be making a statement with what he wears, but may be open to bending tradition. He’s around 200 years old, so his tastes run a little more to the Victorian than modern day, but he’s been around long enough to adapt to more modern dress. I picked up a nice black (could be charcoal) shirt from a charity shop, and I may match it up with my black brocade trousers. While charity shopping, I found a (ladies) coat that would have been perfect if it wasn’t too small and that has sent me on a quest for the perfect coat for the character. I may have found it, but it won’t be cheap.

Coat: The Dark Angel Allerton Jacket
Trousers: also from The Dark Angel, but not available at the moment

My Forsaken character for the Isles of Darkness – as yet unnamed – is a Storm Lord living in the country. Various aspects of the character were unclear to me until I found a tweed-lined green bodywarmer in a charity shop. This has solidified the idea of who he is in my head, as obviously he’s landed to some degree, has lots of money and a shotgun collection, and is known for hunting at odd hours on the moors. Thinking about it, I may need to go back an buy a flatcap from the charity shops as well.

My current Lost character concept for the Isles of Darkness is a tribute to Delboy Trotter, CMOT Dibbler, and other such characters. A hawker of wares who can buy or sell anything for the right price, and has a range of Gen-U-Ine products guaranteed to do something, even if it’s not what you needed.

A character I haven’t really spoken about at all before now is my potential Stargate character. I’ve crewed a couple of events, but it’s only relatively recently that I picked up the concept. He’s an “analyst”, specialising in languages, branched out into some covert ops. Still playing around with the idea.

So I think that without even trying that puts me at £300 of new kit to buy this year, and I find myself wanting to buy it all now when I should really be spacing this out over the year. It’s a little annoying when that happens. And that’s not including the new weapons I’ll inevitably want to go with them (like the £115 custom rapier I just received from Skian Mhor).