When a local game turns national

For all of you national OWbN players out there, you probably know that Saturday's Tampa game is going to turn into a national game, which has kind of taken us by surprise. Who knew a Praxis seizure could cause this much trouble for the players involved?

As I'm a staff member, I expect to be pretty busy on Saturday, starting with thrifting in the morning, pregame staff shennanigans at 5 p.m., and books at 7 p.m. Each staff member will have their role on the big day, and we're working hard to make sure everything is awesome for the out of state players.

If you come upon this post by chance before Saturday and are coming to play, know that the game starts at 7 p.m. and is hosted at the University of South Florida campus outside of the Admin Building next to the Library Parking Garage (or, the parking garage right next to the library).

I'm hoping everyone involved will have an awesome time.


The importance of genre in V:tM

One World by Night is a national organization with smaller games that have their own house rules and their own settings. While the basics are the same, the atmosphere in Wisconsin or Minnesota is different than the atmosphere we have in Tampa, Florida. While it's my opinion, I'd say the most important thing holding all of the games together is genre.

Loosely speaking, genre is the set of rules that define the World of Darkness, or the world Vampire: the Masquerade is based in. Genre comes from Laws of the Night, the V:tM clan books, and other White Wolf source material. A good rule of thumb for OWbN is that if you can't find a reference to something you want in one of the White Wolf source books, you should pretty much forget about it.

Genre explains why the Nosferatu put their clan before everything else and why the Ventrue and Lasombra hate each other. It sets a precedent for thin bloods having babies and describes why most of the Malkavians can "enlighten" the larger kindred population. My biggest pet peeve is players breaking the biggest, most important genre rules because they don't know any better.

I understand many players don't have access to the World of Darkness source material, because they don't have access to the out of print books and/ or don't want to spend money on PDFs. However, there are many ways to learn genre without expending a lot of energy.

The easiest way to learn is to watch more experienced players and ask questions. When I started playing, I had an idea of how the world worked, but I also spent months watching the power players around me and figuring out the intricate political system of the Camarilla. When I had questions, I asked. When I had to make an important decision in character, I thought long and hard about it.

I don't know why breaking genre bothers me as much as it does. Maybe it's just because I'm a curmudgeon.



Tampa Bay Vampire: The Masquerade LARP dates for 2008

Here is a breakdown of the Tampa LARP dates for V:TM. All games take place on the University of South Florida Tampa campus. All games run from 7 p.m. (with an hour for books) to 12 a.m.

Tampa: Under Night's Cloak
Every other Saturday in the 2nd floor of the new Marshall Center

This game is based in the city of Tampa and leans heavily towards Cam.

9/13, 9/27, 10/11, 10/25, 11/8, 11/22, 12/6, 12/20

Bradenton: Chaos & Entropy
Every other Friday outside the Admin building

This game is based in the city of Bradenton and leans heavily towards Cam.

9/19, 10/3, 10/17, 10/31, 11/14, 11/28, 12/12, 12/26

St. Pete: Faces of Change
Every other Friday outside the Admin building.

This game is based in the city of St. Petersburg and leans heavily towards Sabbat.

9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/7, 11/21, 12/5, 12/19


Vampire character creation- Step 1: Backstory

Some people swear by backstories, some people have five-year-old characters with no real history. But, the reality is, writing a backstory is a good idea.

If you're new to Vampire and need help with character creation, even a couple of pages outlining your character can give your Storyteller the information s/he needs to get you on the right track. It can help determine what clan your character belongs to, the flaws and merits they might have, and their nature and demeanor; every aspect of character creation can be explained in a thorough backstory.

If you're an experienced player, a fleshed out backstory can get your extra points and might give you an advantage if you're asking for nontraditional character elements. If you want to give your Toreador Projectile Vomit (usually reserved for Nosferatu) or want your Ventrue to have Street ties, it can help your case to give the Storytellers details on why you should have it.

Many games also make backstories mandatory for certain Clans, and expect to write a backstory if you want to play a non-vampire character in a Vampire chronicle or a rare Clan (think Camarilla Lasombra). Also, double check to see if you can play your dream character at all. Many games won't allow players to make Changeling, Werewolf, or Mage characters unless the players jump through hoops, if they let them in the game at all.

A little elbow grease in the beginning of character creation can mean a world of difference when you first get into gameplay.


Welcome to OWbN LARP for Vampire: The Masquerade

Welcome to One World by Night, an international organization for people who play Vampire: The Masquerade Live Action Role Play; in addition to including vampires in the live action universe, many chronicles also include stories about werewolves, changelings, mages, and wraiths into their games.

If you've never played OWbN LARP before, it's pretty simple. Find your closest chronicle from the OWbN website. If you don't already have a copy of Laws of the Night (the handbook for Vampire: The Masquerade, which will help you create and play your character), the easiest way to get a copy is to download it from Drive Thru RPG, because the book is currently out of print.

Then, check into this blog, where soon I'll have more information on creating a character, role playing, and making the most of your game play experience.