Friday, December 4, 2009

On Anarchs and the Camarilla

Q. How does the Camarilla at large view Anarchs.

A. I think in all but the extreme cases, it should be tolerance and patience. The Camarilla views the majority of anarchs as angry teenagers and figure that as long as they don't go crazed and cause too many problems, they can wait until the complexities of unlife force them to realize that while less than perfect, the Camarilla does offer the best possible solution.

The bad eggs may make it difficult for the Princes to see that, but the elders usually just sigh quietly and turn their eyes onto the Mortals and their web cams, KJ, Sabbat, Rupines, Independents, Giovanni, the falling US dollar and import to export trade deficit, the Bears in ability to run a defense and making sure that as long as LA is a "barony" they will never have a NFL team.

Q. What's a Bad Egg Anarch? Is that a named Coterie like the DMH or the Shadow Coterie

A. 1- Shadow Coterie is not the name of a coterie. It's a blanket term like "communists" or "liberals"

2 - A Bag Egg Anarch - most anarchs have to the good sense to stop short of random reckless violence (unlike many 6 status titled Kindred). I figure they can do what they want short of blowing things up.

Q. What happens if they blow things up?

A. They have no status. I am happy to have 5 anarchs killed to get to the 6th that actually did it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

To genre or not to genre, this is the question...

I wrote an article in portuguese about it and as I was too lazy to translate it, I would like to post a lesser piece of the thought.

In a few words: can we just do anything we want just using the magic words "it was ic" and "it was a PC's action"?

Can we accept the idea that only NPCs have to keep the genre? Is it ST's exclusive job to read the books, genre packets and all that stuff just to let a PC come and do it the other way, freely and without consequences?

Please, stay tuned.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009


In a short way:
1) Try not to loose it.
2) If you loose it, try not to make that obvious.
3) If it is obvious, try not to be mad when people who are scared from you want you to die.
4) Also, don´t be mad with the guys badder than you think you have talent so they want you to die before you become them.
5) Don´t be mad when people call you sabbat.
6) Don´t be mad if Sabbat still canlls you Camarilla.


Monday, October 19, 2009

there's not a lot of control

A lot of the criticism about coords (after the neopotism, poor handling, lack of encyolpedic historical knowledge), is the "Why don't the coords do something?" which is usually followed by the "how dare the coords do something!"

It's a difficult balance, and more often than not, it's responsible for coord burnout and players quitting.

When you know you can escape IC consequences by stonewalling OOC until the coord elections and hoping the other person wins, that's OWbN Genre.

Friday, October 9, 2009

As we head to the elections...

You run the position like it should be run, not like a "I want to be nice to my friends." Instead of playing politics, you play Genre, which is what your job is.
From an IM conversation.

No prop I write is designed to screw anyone. I realize those that do not want to believe that, will not.

There's a reason for a lot of what I do, and there's a reason the PC Archon bylaws are to be placed under "Accepting the Consequences" in the Character bylaws section.

It has always been my position, that characters should be held accountable for their actions, if people seem to think that means I want to punish people OOC for playing, that's depressing but not something I can fix.

All I can do is make sure people play the game, and that includes what happens when their naughty vampire gods get caught.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

State of Elysium 2009

While people like to make accusations that I don't know OWbN genre and or 'know the history', this is what is currently in the org on Elysiums:

From the book:

"The sheriff is immune to the powers of the keeper of Elysium (those conferred by the position, that is, he must still honor the Traditions)"

"The keeper may immediatly remove one permanent status trait from any kindred he catches breaking the Masaquerade. If he does not witness it himself, sufficient evidence must be brought forth. This removal costs the keeper nothing."

He's immune to being stripped for a breach of the Masquerade. It says nothing about Elysium. It also says he still needs to follow the Traditions.

OWbN Genre is genre that has been approved by council.

The 2007 OWbN Camarilla Status Packet:

Keepers of Elysium may remove a Permanent Status Trait from any Kindred they catch breaking the Masquerade within their own city. This removal costs nothing. Many Princes also permit their Keepers to remove a Permanent Status Trait from any Kindred found to be in violation of Elysium, under the Tradition of Domain.

Sheriffs may remove one Permanent Status Trait from anyone who refuses to accompany them for questioning or judgment while they are within their own city. This removal costs nothing. Some Princes use their Sheriffs for additional duties, under the Tradition of Domain.

So, depending on the domain and Prince, the Prince may make the Keeper of Elysium responsible for handling breaches of Elysium.

BUT the "Sheriff" would still need to honor the Traditions and can't break them at will.

The 2003 Conclave:

Elysium is Elysium. Decided there by the players, ratified by council.

Elysium is Elysium. It is more important than the Second Tradition or any of the traditions.

Players decided this IC. It sticks IC.

Then there's the IC announcement form Igor Ctarinov

Citizens of the Camarilla,

Most recently, the Well-Known Prince Jack Sebastien stated:

"At the most recent Conclave that occurred in Northern Virginia, Justicar
Ctarinov mentioned that Archons doing their Feared duty may breach the

This was a statement made by His Enigmatic Excellency that, at the time, he felt was correct. However, if the Exalted Prince Jack Sebastien had taken the time to review the records of the Conclave, he would have noted the following:


2. Is the Second Tradition more important than the
Sanctity of Elysium?


Yea - 38
Nay - 101


It was the will of the attending citizens of the Camarilla that Elysium is sacrosanct and therefore more important than the Second Tradition. His Enigmatic Excellency is not above the law, nor does he make law. He is merely the instrument that the Camarilla utilizes to enforce the law. Therefore, His Enigmatic Excellency and his Archons most wisely abide by the will of the Camarilla, justly ratified by the Inner Circle. Can the same be said for a Prince who willfully blocks the investigations of a Justicar and his duly appointed agents?

To accuse His Enigmatic Excellency of willfully violating Elysium would make him no better than your clanmate, Alexander Townsend. Said criminal did willfully violate the Elysium of Northern Virginia in the name of Her Fury, Justicar Masako. Now, as His Enigmatic Excellency's Sister-In-Service could not have possibly condoned such actions, I am sure that when Alexander Townsend is next seen, justice will be served.

Servant to His Enigmatic Excellency
Justicar Igor Illyovich Ctarinov of Clan Nosferatu.

While I'm a big fan of Stephen Colbert, closing your eyes and ignoring facts you don't want to be true because it's not convenient is how we get bigger problems. This is OWbN Genre, and contrary to what a lot of people think, I care about OWbN Genre and will fight for it and not just ignore it because it's suddenly not fun.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

sorry for the spam. This is the last of going through my archives and posting the good bits

Selene: So... if Aetius is your fav Ventrue AT, and Dean is your favorite Lasombra, and Selene is your favorite Tremere AT
Selene: Who do we need to add to flesh out the pack?

: Zio! as your pack priest.

: Bah.
Selene: He's not worthy.

CamCoord: Look
CamCoord: It's not all stupid powers
CamCoord: Someone has to explain genre to you guys

CamCoord: and Zio! has sabbat genre DOWN

: Until I monomancy him.

CamCoord: why?
CamCoord: he's your priest and you're vinc to him is huge

: Dammit.

CamCoord: He talks about how fucking awesome you are in service to the sword of Caine

Selene: This Sabbat thing blowz.

CamCoord: He worships your dark aura of death
CamCoord: and appeases your ego as the ultimate thaumaturge killing machine

: okay
Selene: well
Selene: maybe.

CamCoord: He hearlds your entry into each esbat with a confessional of your glories and triumphs.
CamCoord: Think Chaucer from A Knights Tale, if Chaucer was a blood drinking fiend celebrating the gifts that Caine has given all of you and signing while you make the blood flow
CamCoord: What the Cardinal of Baja and Alto California would do with such strong swords

: Ok. Maybe it doesn't suck too bad.

CamCoord: Like I said, it's the roleplay part. Leave that to us. ;)

The Sabbat is really easy to play, harder to play well. The Camarilla is harder to play, but honestly, once you get the basics, it's very easy to play. And no, Camarilla does not mean playing the biggest bastard out there with out care of feelings. The point of the Camarilla is the struggle to hold on to your humanity, if you're playing like you're a sociopathic monster killing by proxy you are doing it wrong.

The Camarilla game, death is cheating, killing your opponent robs you of an opponent. Robs you of your Joker or Sherlocke Holmes. Sure it's satisfying and some concepts in OWbN just need killing, but that should be the players choice or the ST's input. Not necessarily through PVP violence.

The concept of "Face" is part of what Camarilla society is based on. How you are seen, how others treat you, that's the important thing. Losing Face is death, and being an unstoppable killing machine is not Face. Being able to say "my sheet is bigger than yours" is not Face. Saying I don't care is not a luxury, because then you've allowed yourself to lose Face and you'll be tainted and when it is something you care about, you'll be alone with no friends because no one likes hanging out with that guy, and that's the problem with the Camarilla. You need to hang out with people, or you become the crazy hermit that needs to be put down.

Learn to use Face. Learn that being in the Camarilla means caring about how others see you. Learn that monsters on paths that show off how cool they are for being on a path is the Sabbat, not Camarilla and in the Camarilla, you may be forced to smile at them in a court, but you're not going to make them your facebook friend.
"The Selene Zoolander Center For Archons Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too"

Dale loves this post.

Larry the Bruce - something about WoD and traits or something.

Me - WoD is not OWbN Genre.

Some ST named Jordan - "Are you serious? I know OWbN moved away from the books but should we get rid of WoD and make it some disney happy fun land?" His email is 10 times longer than mine. Mine was 5 words. His "OMG THINK OF THE GENRES!" was about 50.


A five word sentence gets me into trouble on the ST list (council I can do it in 3.)

My response -
Are you new?

I'm not trying to be mean, I just need to figure out how much of a 5 word sentence I need to explain.

Players quit rather than roleplay out the consequences of their PCs actions. STs say "omg, no one could have found out that secret" despte the player with the secret running around and telling it to everyone.

WoD - You're a shitty vampire, low on the totem pole, scared of the dark and the knowledge that for as cool as you are being a filthy bloodsucker leeching on humanity, there is always something bigger, faster, nastier than you.
- "Let's have PC Justicars."

Council says that Coords should have to get everything they want to do approved by them. STs allow Trevor Wallace, the Prince/Archbishop/Setite Pontiff of Oakland who had his true name changed through a Setite ritual to avoid being discovered as a Path of Mars cracked out Brujah.

The Camarilla in OWbN is a violent, militant, xenphobic organization that promotes Paths of Enlightenment, getting Thaum to win, and that you don't need an accounting or to care about the Sect and it's rules as long as you can kill anything that has a splat book.

I am definitely not saying that OWbN is a disney theme park with desperate college students in costumes trying to keep the kids happy, wait.. .maybe I am if by kids you mean players with entitlement issues and juvenile power fantasies and costumes you mean STs.

Cam Coord

I recognize that not all get my humor, and that over email, it's harder, but really, it's starting to look like they're not even trying. They take themselves, the org, their PCs so seriously to psychotic levels that they can't deal with anything that might cause them to think or laugh at themselves.

The point I'm making is that OWbN genre gets used a lot on Council and ST lists. And that would be fine, but those same people like to turn around and defend their actions with WW genre, sometimes in the same breath. It gets annoying. We're playing a homebrew setting created by the power gamers that haven't quite yet and want to re-write the game to suit them, unless that's suddenly being used to get them, in which case it's "oh, well, the books say this is okay..."

It's become clear that a lot of the genre fail in the org is at the ST level and they're willingness to hand out cookies but never bother to explain to their players the game they are playing.

And again, this isn't a burnout rant, I'm not there yet, but sometimes I wish these people would rather explore why they play and what they want out of a LARP rather than spend so much energy on an email over 5 words.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My thoughts on R&U

It's a touchy subject. It was trying to make the best possible decision for an organization that was growing as fast as the internet would allow it.

It is likely one of the most divisive elements in the org because it tells players that they can't play their special snowflake, and the only reason is because the coords are a pox on fun.

It is the R&U List.

This is my idea, based on a suggestion by Mike Lehman on the council list. It is only a suggestion, but I would happily support it as a proposal.

Instead of a long and rambling list that's added too piece by piece, we encourage players to focus more on their concept and their PC and less of the cool powerz/cool clanz.

We create a list depending on genre/splat book and say "This is what is acceptable to play."

Cam genre chronicle uses this list, sabbat genre chronicle uses this list,
Changing Breeds game uses this list, Anarch, this list, KJ, this list so on.

If you want to be 'special' it's a vote on council. Included on the list are reasons why certain clans/bloodlines/disciplines/merits/

If you want to use an NPC, it's notify to the coords. The Coords work with the Storytellers on it, and if one game in South Carolina has a traveling Brujah pretending to be a Ventrue, and a game in North Dakota wants to run a similar plot, then the Coord can coordinate that, and create a little consistency between games.

NPCs would be notify to Coords. STs would be asked to include why they feel they need to use the NPC, how long they plan to use the NPC, and what the NPC will teach their players.

Coords approve the NPC use, most of it would just be bookkeeping and ideally it would be idea sharing. What one game wants to do with a Nagaraga antagonist might work in another game that's asking for some plot ideas.

If the coord says no, it's a vote, and to accomodate games, we can have two levels, one which is the standard policy and the one which is a provisional one-week vote, which would limit the amount the game could do with the NPC, but would allow it to be played if the vote passes.

This would encourage STs to work with the coords on making sure it fits in the shared World of OWbN, and if STs feel that the coords are being too picky, they can take it to council.

This would include demons and demon plots, genre breakers like sect innappropriate paths, and assist in creating a census so that when someone says it's not fair that they can't play an Abomination Hedgemage embraced by a Gargoyle, we can list the reason that there are only supposed to be -1 of those in existence and OWbN has 3, and they need to wait their turn.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Red List

Do not view this as a shopping list.'

Saying "I want my PC to hunt someone on this list, how do I find out who is on it" will likely lead to an unsatisfying and disappointing conclusion of death, or your PC spends x years chasing his own shadow and finds nothing.

Getting on the Red List IC requires one Justicar to say "this person is bad, and I can't deal with it alone," followed by a second Justicar verifying it, and then a unanimous decision from the rest of the Justicars. The Red List can either be the worst of the worst or some poor bastard that said he hated Petronius' book and woke up one evening to find his friends dead and everyone hunting him.

Getting on the Red List OOC is detailed in Section 13 of the Character regulation bylaws.

There are no PC Red Listers.

There are no PC Alastors.

There is no being released from being an Alastor service except for sweet sweet death.

The WW Canon Red Listers are taken from the Kindred Most Wanted, published by White Wolf. Some details and stats may change.

(Names listed in no particular order)
  1. Rabbat
  2. Enkidu
  3. Ossian
  4. Dylan
  5. Ferox
  6. Danya/Alexis
  7. Germaine
  8. Petaniqua
  9. Kemintiri
  10. Jack the Barber*
  11. ** Open Slot, not yet publically announced
  12. ** Open Slot, not yet publically announced
  13. ** Open Slot, not yet publically announced

Those who have been successfully hunted:

  • Tariq - killed by Mme. Guil (she was executed for diablerizing Tariq)
  • Valarius Maior - killed by Victor Schultz
  • Gabriel Camaratta* - killed by Karsh
  • Genina - killed by Lucinde
  • Angelo - killed by Johnny Moto

* (OWbN PC)

Jack Sebastien attempts to capture Jack the Barber outside of Jack's World in Manhattan. Jack the Barber is not amused by Jack Sebastien's clumsy and predictable attempt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

From the Player of Daniel Book.

So I figured I would drop you my current pet rant about the Camarilla, maybe for the blog.

The Camarilla, by its own reckoning, is the scale that all vampires are weighed on.

On the one side are the humane, the civil, the composed and the graceful. On the other are the monsters, inhumane, Masquerade breakers, tradition breakers and heretics.

The Camarilla represents neither side of the scale, but the scale itself.

The battle the elders have tasked their creation with is not one of Camarilla vs Sabbat or Coterie Vs. Pack, but one of Man against the Beast, humane vs inhumane.

Every kindred that shouts out that they have discarded humanity to defend the Camarilla is in fact yelling, "I have lost the battle and am tearing down that which I am sworn to defend." Noble warriors who refuse to fall to their beast are to be revered for their sacrifice and their struggle, those who give in to their beast and foreswear Humanity should be maligned and ostracized. While these monstrous assassins are arguably needed in every war even Kindred society should never be comfortable in making or using them. Standing next to a man who killed women and children in their sleep to "protect his country" should make anyone uncomfortable. Kindred on paths represent these unfortunate few who sold their souls, sometimes under orders, to do what was "needed".


Friday, April 24, 2009

Allow me this moment of Snark

"OMG, Coords have totally killed six or four or a handful of PCs! Including mine! But that's not what I'm complaining about!"

Consequences suck. Too often it feels like an episode of COPS where the guy is in the back of the car after having been found after driving his car into a telephone pole, with the crack pipe, suspended drivers license, warrant out for his arrest, possession of a firearm, and screaming how unfair it is.

See my post about the accounting and Truth. It's not don't get caught, you know you're not supposed to be doing what your doing. Trying to pretend to be ignorant later just makes you look worse. Complaining OOC just makes you look like you don't know how to play the game.

The Accouting

What I'd love to see is more emphasis on the Accounting. One of the things that really struck me in the first edition, was the line that the Accounting was an average of 10 years, and that most players should play characters that had just been released from the Accounting.

Now, I don't read a lot of backgrounds. I don't read a lot of fan fic or slash fic either.

When I do, I'm struck at how the Accounting is always missing, or its one line, or just misses the point.

The Accounting is the second most important of the Traditions. I'd allow an argument that Progeny would be second, but it's a close race, any moron can be turned into a Vampire, but to be a Kindred and Acknowledged, you need to prove that you're worth it, but more than worth it, you need to prove you get it.

The Camarilla is a successful conspiracy. Whether you believe it or not, and with enough White Wolf Lore, you likely don't, but the point is the conspiracy only works if people have bought into to it. And that's what The Accounting is all about. There's a reason why the Mods for the Yahoo Cam Group ask which Prince Acknowledged your PC. It's because that's when you first became your own kindred. Part of any social interaction is the rite of passage, and that should be your PCs. Backgrounds should not be about the time you met Caine or fought Hardestadt to a standstill in a battle of wits. It should be your life before your embrace, the embrace and then focus on the years afterward up to the point when you were released, and that next night should be your first game.

OWbN Wide Plots

There's been talk on the Council list about the KJ Plot that OWbN ran a few years back, which I said we should learn from and was asked what specifically.

The lesson I think that was learned, or should be taken, is that meta plots in the One World By Night is that they should be flexible enough that no member chronicle feels they need to follow a rigid script and can put their own unique spins on it, and that players can feel they contribute to it and can make it personal to them, and don't need to get involved in online scenes or special event games where it's focused solely on a handful of players. At the same time, it should contain enough details so that it's consistent acorss the board and a player who goes to one game and is told "omg! Seatlle got destroyed!" doesn't go to another game and get told "Seattle beat back the sabbat and won!"

So, for an OWbN meta plot, it needs to be open so that if one game wants a Michael Bay style rain of fire, volcanoes and gun-fu, it can, and another game can run My Dinner with Andre with talking and scenes in a library with warmed crystal goblets filled with blood, and a third can run a cloak and dagger CSI/24 game ("There's NO TIME Madame Justicar!"), and from that, the coordinators running it, can see where it's going and try and create bookends based on involvement.

It's similar to the way WW runs V:TES storylines, but I think that's the best possible solution for OWbN over a MMO style "here's this weekend where we'll run scripted events and then it'll end!" or taking a TT game and moving around and telling other players "oh, no, it's changed." We're in OWbN because we're not Cam Inc, and we don't have global storytellers and mandated plots, we let the Chronicles (which is Players and STs) make up the story. If there is to be a meta-plot, it should be a plot line that is shared across the board that is open and yet guided.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Truth in the Camarilla

As I head off to a judicial conclave in Vegas this weekend, there is something that needs to be stressed.

The first thing, Genre Wise, and I'll be making this statement to the Council and ST list, is that it's not Law & Order: Camarilla.

I don't care about facts, and truth and "What really happened OOC." Status and Prestation work on perception and image, not whining out of character about what happened. I have a t-shirt that's in the wash that says "I didn't say it was your fault, I said I'm going to blame you," and as the player of Daniel Book, Seth Yokely says "I dont care what you did, I care what they said you did". That's the nature of truth in the Camarilla. If you really did it, well then, that just makes it easier. If you didn't, you better make a compelling argument and be well liked. It is high school, it is every clique social circle, it is Heather's and that petition you signed that you thought was for banning all the Caitiff was in fact for blowing up the school.

So, "Truth"? "What really happened?", it's what I say happened. It's what people believe happened, and it's what is perceived to have happened. If something is said IC and you know it's wrong OOC, don't whine about it. Deal with it IC. If something happens IC and you're confused as to why, then don't whine about it OOC, ask IC. That's called Roleplay.

The anything goes mentality of the kindred of the Camarilla is not: random killing, learning the wrong disciplines, instant conversions between sects; it's playing diplomacy with people you've been friends with for years and laughing at them as you stab them in the back knowing they can't do anything about it. That's what the books talk about, making your friends look and smell bad while you get ahead, while knowing that down the line, they'll remember what you did and will be willing to do the same to you, so you better make sure that's the reputation that you want. Oh, and if you kill them? Means that no one is going to want to be friends with you, and you can't take the Ukraine with out friends.

So get "Truth" out of your head. Truth is whatever the Elders of the Sect say is the truth. People believe what the want to believe and Cam Lore 5 should tell you that there's always something more going on behind the scenes, and maybe it's a bad idea to always demand to pull back the curtain to see.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Crime in the Camarilla

The thing about the 7th tradition (for those just joining the org, it's "Don't get caught") is that it's a fallacy. It doesn't matter if you get caught or not, you know you're doing something wrong, and therefore it's still a crime.

My list of crimes so far - and this is not a comprehensive list, there will be changes made to the list including additions and clarifications.

Breaching the Traditions.
Breaching the Traditions and using coercion and threats to make it "okay."
Breaching the Traditions and saying it was for the good of the Sect.
Knowing Vicissitude.
Teaching Vicissitude.
Joining a coterie for the purpose of learning Vicissitude.
Flagrant use of Vicissitude in public.
Knowing Obtenebration.
Teaching Obtenebration.
Joining a coterie for the purpose of learning Obtenebration.
Flagrant use of Obtenebration in public.
Removing hearts to ensure loyalty to the coterie above the sect.
Consorting with the Sabbat to exchange disciplines.
Consorting with the Sabbat to exchange information.
Consorting with the Sabbat to exchange phone numbers.
Consorting with the Giovanni to exchange disciplines.
Consorting with the Giovanni to exchange information.
Consorting with the Giovanni to exchange phone numbers.
Consorting with the Followers of Set to allow the Setites to corrupt the sect.
Force embracing and then using that embrace to teach disciplines.
Forced embracing for the purpose of diablerie
Kicking puppies
Drowning rabbits
Supporting stem cell research

The Thoren Dialogues

No, he doesn't. He got screwed by the machine.
Thoren is saying that the Archons that stripped him of status were incorrect and abused their authority as Archons, which then enabled others of lesser standing to strip him of status...
So, in his belief, if the Harpy finds that the first few "strippings" were illegal, then the rest wouldn't have been able to take place... and that would make sense if a Justicar hadn't stripped his acknowledgement.
So now, if the Harpy does wish to back Thoren (and subsequently sign his own death warrant) then he can go against the Justicar, Several Archons, and other members of the Cam (and Harpies) across the country... it is much more likely, the Harpy will quietly allow everything to happen and hope to hell he doesn't get killed in the crossfire.
Status is a tool of the Elders used to promote their agenda. Muscling people around using and abusing it is part of the OOC Mechanics.
- Brian
ps. I CC'd Alan, the Cam Coord, to see if he agrees with my interpretation. Though he can't reply to the Staff list, I will forward his replies.

I agree with all of that, except the screwed by the machine part.

Princes "push" around Justicars by having political allies they can get help from. They do it through having an established power base in their domain to support them. They do it by being upstanding and supporting the sect and being able to show when a Justicar "might be stretching the limits of their power."

Thoren declared Praxis while the Prince was out of town and then abused that power to bloodhunt the current Prince. Thoren then, instead of making allies, antagonized the Camarilla members on the Yahoogroup, again. They hated him back in January and were ready to send people to turn him into a smoking crater then too. Blood did not give up his praxis, that meant the praxis was contested, and instead of continuing to talk and make it worse for himself, he should have spent the will, circled the wagons, and got ready to deal with it locally before dealing with it on national stage. He didn't.

When challenging a Justicar on an abuse of power, be right and be prepared to be punished for being right. Never assume that an archons are talking without talking to their Justicars or without making the case known to the Justicars or without proving to the Justicars that the archons are capable of acting in public without embarrassing themselves or their boss. Thoren went after the Archons, so a Justicar was used to say "Hey! An Archon dealt with this? Why are you still talking?"

That would have been the point to start talking to allies about status loans to be able to keep talking. Unfortunately, there were very few people left willing to do that, so no allies.

The bloodhunt should never be used in a Praxis. Praxis is already too messy and bloodhunts are only effective when the Prince has the perceived power to carry out that threat, either by personal power, or by support of the Princes domain to be willing to carry out his orders. In a contested praxis with lines in the sand being drawn, that doesn't happen.

Thoren didn't get screwed by the machine, he tried to screw the machine, and now the machine is rolling over him. Extremism never works in the Camarilla. Consensus and group think always keep things at an even level.

"how is a primogen council selected? What level of lore would I need for that?"

Council of Primogen talks about different ways Primogen are chosen in a domain. In some domains, Princes choose, in some clans decide by vote, in some when people ask who the primogen is, one guy stands where he is, and the rest take a step back leaving him holding the bag. Some domains have a strong Primogen council that choose the Prince and keep him in check, some domains, the Prince just uses his Primogen council to have someone to yell at to keep the clans in his domain in line.

There is no, has never been a, and will never happen, forced set of rules about how Primogen are chosen. Ever. It's called "Roleplay".

In the Accounting, that every kindred in the Camarilla is supposed to have gone through, lasts ten years, and is pretty comprehensive and doesn't condone failure, it should cover that Primogen are typically the eldest of the clan in the area, but sometimes it's not. That typically it's a dynamic personality that's stepped up to be Primogen, has the support of the other clan mates, and sits in a back room with the other primogen and does a lot of talking, but sometimes it's not. Learn who the primogen is, figure out how they became primogen, and if it's not your home domain, don't try and force it to be like your home domain.

Now, if a PC wants to stand up and whine, "but that's not how we do it in my domain!" they should be able to accept that other domains are not their domain, and maybe things might be different, and people may not respond well to that.

Think of it like Monopoly. Some people play that all the money from taxes and fines go in the center and when you land on free parking, you get it. Some people don't.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

on which I rant about prestigious sire and phantom status. hint: it's not real status

Work has been kicking my ass these past two weeks

Yes, I am aware of the Cam Yahoogroup. Yes I am aware that more often than not, people seem to be playing the Candyland I can do whatever I want with with status because my mommy said I was special and could do no wrong version of Vampire.

Two things to remember, and I've said it before and I'll say them again:

1) From the Status Packet (and this is the part of the Status packet that really needs to be updated):
Merits & Flaws: The Merits: Prestigious Sire and Reputation act as “phantom” Status Traits. They do not count toward the maximum 6 Personal Status Traits (see OWBN By-Law Section 8: Status Regulation), nor may they be bid or spent in a challenge. The Kindred with either of these Merits is simply perceived as having one higher Status than she actually does, and will gain a bit more respect in social situations. *Modifiers do not get logged with the Harpy, nor are they considered to be Personal Status Traits.* No Harpy can strip these Merits, but they can be lost through game play should a Kindred fail to keep up her Reputation, or should her Sire fall into disgrace or obscurity (storyteller discretion).

Read the bit between the asterisks. Read it a few times until you've memorized it.

What does that mean? "nor are they considered to be Personal Status Traits" means "they are not status traits." Means they're not counted. Means you can't bid them. Means in a challenge, you don't include them. Means that saying you have 8 status because you're counting your reputation of "I can kill a lot of things and I'm a fucking sociopath" and "Prestigious Sire: this asshole that no one likes but is totally scared of his 2000 point typhonic beast powerz" means one thing: cheater. I've posted that to Cam Yahoo Group, I've cc'd it to the STs and Council. You agree, go forth. You disagree, you explain it to me and get your CM to prop that they get treated as extra unremovable status (because don't kid yourself, they are harder to get rid of than the stink of a catpiss gamer in your car) that let a PC go above the status cap.

2) Prestigious Sire – Note: just as it is possible to become Prestigious and well known, it is possible for childer to eclipse their Prestigious Sires, or for the Sire to fall into disfavor, thus removing the Merit.

In the event that the Childe character becomes famous in his own right and earns the Reputation Merit, the character’s Storyteller or the Camarilla Coordinator may remove the Prestigious Sire Merit, as it may no longer be appropriate for the character to lean on their Sire’s prestige. This is especially true if the Sire in question is deceased or no longer holding a prestigious position.

On the Prestigious Sire, sure, it's nice to think your OOC friend's PC is the main man and want to ride those coat tails. You've seen him or her in action and you've heard all the "no really, there I was war stories", and you begin to think maybe they are that awesome.

That's great and all, but do you really need to waste points on a merit? Does your PC really need the achievement "Prestigious Sire"? The benefit to the PC prestigious sire is that you get a player that you can point at and say "that's my sire, be nice to me, or she finds out." That doesn't need a merit, that's roleplay. The point of the merit is when it's an NPC that no one knows because it only exists to you and your STs and lives in that piece of fanfic you called a background.

Here's a story, and this is how prestigious sire should work, before he became an archon, Jack had a couple of vendettas he was carrying out while he was seneschal of San Francisco. Some guys cut him open and staked him, the why is another, maybe I'll tell it later. Anyway, one of the stakers he wrecked politically. I mean, just destroyed socially to the point the PC was bloodhunted in domains he'd never even been too, and did it mostly through other people.

So, it came time to get revenge on Staker number two, and Jack went to Sue Green, childe of Griffyne Lake, Jack's Prince and major ally, for assistance. Jack said "Sue, I need to kill this guy, I need your help."

Sue said "no Jack, don't do it. He's a fool, but he's useful and the clan in the Valley need him."

Now, Jack would normally have ignored that and gone off on his own, but because Sue was Griffyne's kid, he didn't. He turned around and let it go, because he respected Griffyne, and therefore that translated to the Childe. That's how this merit should work, not some phantom unloaned status from another PC. Want them to loan you status? Do it IC, get a harpy to record it, and go get it stripped from both you and your sire. But phantom status? You only need that if I'm about to slaughter you and your sire is an NPC. Then I can talk to your STs, have my STs talk to your STs and get council involved.

The goal of the game is to play a shitty vampire. Not stack social merits to replicate FAP.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Guest Post - Larry, CM of St. Augustine, FL

Alan here - This was posted else where and while not Camarilla specific, it does speak to the differences between LARP and table-top and why what may work in one format doesn't work in another. I'll have a new post later this week.

I think I've come to the realization that one of the big stumbling blocks a lot of players/CMs/STs have is determining the difference between playing a table-top game and playing in a multi-chronicle LARP.

In a table-top game, I can play an 8th generation Tremere that had something go horribly wrong from his embrace and actually becomes a Salubri-AT that's unbondable (Salout happened to be flexing his Tremere muscle the moment of the PCs embrace), and from his underhanded ways, my PC picks up Obtenebration, Daimionion, Vicissitude and learns Tremere thaumaturgy because he's able to hide who he really is. With the help of his coterie (my fellow table-top players), he becomes an Archon to the Tremere and slowly works his way up the Pyramid in such a way as to assassinate someone of The Seven and with Saulot's help, infiltrates the highest echelon of the Tremere. It's an awesome story and I'll bet it would be a blast to try and play it.

That story is may work in a table-top setting, but should never exist in a multi-chronicle LARP.

In a LARP that is contained within a larger organization such as OWbN, all of it's members need to realize they need to subvert some of the "cool plot ideas" for stories that mesh better with the World of Darkness genre that all the games share. Our LARP happens to exist within the World of Darkness, that means there's always something (a lot of somethings, actually) that is much smarter and scarier out there pulling your strings. Being a member of a multi-chronicle LARP also means a player should try to give at least some recognition to maintaining some level of genre regularity. Each player and ST is not only responsible for, but a caregiver to making sure the game setting stays WoD. If we were playing a Champions LARP or a D&D LARP, sure! The PCs can be the 'biggest and baddest and most unique snowflakes that imagination can create.' In WoD, that doesn't happen. There also has to be some regulation of the 'zany' or else games or PCs get so out of whack that the game becomes unrecognizable. Sadly, there's lots of folks who don't seem to understand this concept. The rule of thumb should not be "we will do whatever the players want, because they're having fun!." Following this prescription means we're basically deciding to totally throw away the WoD. It's a concept I'm afraid many have forgotten, but the game is also fun when it's actually set in the WoD and players are given boundaries to play within.

I love the setting of the World of Darkness, it's got all sorts of interesting intrigue, there's a bunch of cool background stories, and I think White Wolf created a fabulous universe (and sure, it's not necessarily consistent on all things, but the basic flavor is mostly consistent). There's plenty of exciting and fun stories to participate in or tell, it just takes a little more restraint than a table-top game.

Larry of StAug

Too often it seems folks clamor for their 'rights', and not enough about their responsibility. When you're in an international org such as ours, which covers 96+ games, over five countries, you have to make concessions to the whole. Too often it seems a the responsibility to the organization is shuffled way down on the list of priorities of its members, and that's just backwards and sad--and won't work for our org.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

"But the world has changed in 10 years..."

Monopoly has been the same game for years. There are variants to the rules and the game, like cash goes on Free Parking, rolling three consecutive doubles lands you in jail, Star Trek Edition, but it's still the same game.

The conceit of oWoD Vampire is that the Camarilla has been around for 600 odd years, and that does not mean it has to change in 10 years because a bunch of gamers are bored and feel they need to have to have typhonic beast, feral claws, skin of the adder, arms of the abyss and necro to be able to go to the corner store and get a pack of smokes.

The argument could also be made that what was fun when you were 17, such as thinking that playing an undead level 30 Paladin with a lich dragon mount was cool, might not be as fun at 27, or 35.

I agree that there is run to go forward in the Sect, and we already have. There's a Gangrel Justicar again, the Assamites have become the Children of Haqim and joined the Camarilla, but it also seems that White Wolf provided an alternative for the more "PVP" minded: militant and heavily regimented armies; secret societies that like to kill Demons; jump onto alternate moralities to justify becoming a monster; and just casually murdering of whole swathes of vampires wearing the wrong jersey. It's called the Sabbat.

The Camarilla game is a social and subtle one that is occasionally marred by moments of violence, that is not celebrated, but endured.

If you change monster of the week plots to ones that explore the nature of the Kindred and it's Beast, plots where the PCs choice to retain their humanity is the reward, then you start playing the Camarilla game. Because there is PVP in the Camarilla game, and it requires smart players, which you get with smart challenges.

If just keep offering crack to crack whores to make them spend their XP welfare checks then that's what your going to get. Offer a compelling fun game in with moral dilemmas are solved by being better and not by killing it with your vorpal sword of slaying, then maybe more players may start enjoying themselves rather than watching the few high point sheets hijack games that no one is willing to deal with because those players are friends with the ST.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This is a question that came up on the ST list

And by came up, I mean I posted it there.

Camarilla - All Kindred should be on Humanity to better protect the
Masquerade and avoid causing another inquistition.

Pafth of Honorable Accord - Know your sect's beliefs and keep them holy.

Explain how you can get to Hon Acc 5 in the Camarilla.

You are not allowed to use Dark Ages Material. That was 800 years ago.

Begin. Show your work. The bibliography will be part of your grade.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cam or Die!

Just because there are still people unclear on the whole Camarilla concept -

Saying that all Kindred are members and welcome to the Camarilla is true. It's a fact. It's a basic tenet of the sect. If you can follow the traditions, respect prestation, and generally, just not be stupid, you too can be a Camarilla member regardless of what clan/bloodline/political party affiliation you are.

That said, they won't make it easy.

In fact, it can sometimes be pretty hysterical sometimes if you stop and look at it.

As John J. Kaufman writes:
The goal of the camarilla is to get as many kindred as possible to follow their rules and *not* create situations in which mortals start a new Inquisition(1) or that lesser kindred rebel and try to attack elders(2).

It would be stupid of them to deny individuals the opportunity to join.

In cases where there are large groups of Kindred who basically follow the rules but don't want to kowtow (anarchs, indy clans), the elders are perfectly willing to let them exist as long as they have a way to assert some control when necessary.

Things get slightly more complicated when the group is one that has large ties to mortal communities and present themselves openly to their followers (Setites, Giovanni). The elders recognize that having that many clued in mortals is a recipe for disaster and aren't sure the Kindred can keep them from being a security risk. (re: 1)

As for the Assamites, those fuckers are dangerous. (re: 2)

The Camarilla doesn't kill, threaten, maim, abuse or beat anyone into joining, it pretty much assumes that if you're a kindred, you're a member, and if you want to be cute and call yourself independent, then that's fine, you'll join eventually when a Hunter finds you and you come running to them for help.

Now, Sabbat's a different thing because they're animals that have pretty much given up on the idea of trying to keep their humanity and their whole ethos is counter to the Camarilla's philosphy. Doesn't mean that the Camarilla exists to fight the Sabbat, just means the Sabbat makes the Camarilla's job harder.

Camarilla citizens learn all this during their accounting. They learn that it's the struggle against the beast, and that losing to the beast is breaking the masquerade and will lead to another inquisition against a mortal populace that is smarter, more techincally ept, and has better torches and pitchforks than the last time.