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.