Saturday, 13 May 2017

Enlightenment In Blood

“I started the evening on the floor of an old Stasi interrogation room with half a chair leg stuck in my heart. It went downhill from there.”

Two hundred and fifty people in twelve locations, marked out from the real people by red wristbands (and that we were playing in English) with a simple system that relied heavily on trust as we had about one GM for every twenty players, if that. “Don’t be a dick” was the basic headline of the briefing. Real people being there meant taking care what we did and said in public, which meant the Masquerade felt quite real.

Powers based on phrasing like “you really, really fear me” for Dread Gaze, and combat on comparing 1-5 scores, with ties decided by what would be interesting, and no death for PCs until midnight - the game ran 8.15 till 1. All designed with a one-shot game in mind, not an ongoing chronicle.

Two basic tracks, Inhabit for PCs involved in central groups and major plots, and Explore for wandering the location and setting more DIY goals. I went Explore, being so inclined, creating a character who knew nothing and nobody by default.

Characters joined groups through an online selection system, then picking clans, powers, attitudes and so on. By the time I got round to it, after two weeks, a majority were full and I got into the Staked, anarch vampire prisoners of the newly dead Sheriff, liberated at the start of the game with no real plan.

The plastic sheet for ashes and teeth was a real talking point for our starting location.

“Then someone says "Uhhh those aren't props..." and you back away slowly.” - Brandon Sherlock, joking, I hope.
“Procuring ashes in a major city is not a trivial task, it turns out, but the nightclub across the street had some fire bins and an open mind.” - Johanna Koljonen
“... and a nice shovel, which we found immediately AFTER shoveling those ashes into a bag. Thanks to Zach by the way for getting his hands dirty for us.” - Daniel Thikötter


One of us, a more experienced Nordic LARP player, did have an agenda and ran off to pursue it after checking OOC if that was OK. I next saw her three hours later in the crowd killing the Prince. As we discussed later OOC, we had quite different experiences of the night! The rest of us stumbled off to cause trouble.

The outside of the RAW block
Venues included a shabby anarch bar, a rather nicer Camarilla bar, a pool hall (full of real people when we got there), an otherwise empty church hosting a vampire cult with its own factions (which we robbed) and more I never even saw like the Syndicate Mage meeting and the Bone Gnawer werewolf squat. All the locations were cool, if a bit far in the case of the church.

And I could carry on. For example, I didn’t use the in-character social media site.

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