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Dev Diary 4: Dev Like You Mean It

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Los Angeles: the American city

In many ways, Los Angeles is the archetypal American City. Long the largest hub for the entertainment world in America, LA has been the basis of many of the generic settings found in TV and film. It is the home of Hollywood, and many big business claim their home there. It is not quite how most imagine it — unlike New York and Chicago, the nation’s biggest and most populous city is not built tall, but flat and spread out. Outside of downtown, most buildings don’t get much higher than one or two stories. This is unsurprising; LA is famously on the San Andreas fault — tall buildings and earthquakes rarely mix well.

Still, the whitewashing of LA for media has left many less glamorous aspects of the city in the shadows. Aside from being the home of Hollywood and one of the nation’s biggest business hubs, LA has a large blue collar sector. Manufacturing is a large industry here, making anything from furniture to clothes to electronics. The city is also equipped for trading these products, with one of the nation’s major ports located there. With its west coast location, LA is one of the major ports for trade with China, Japan, Australia, and the rest of the Pacific Rim countries.

It is no surprise then that immigrants from many of these countries come to LA to stay. While people from Mexico and the rest of Latin America form a large minority in the city, the city is a mix of cultures and ethnicities. Minority is a relative term here as Caucasians are technically not the majority — non-Hispanic whites making up only 29.4% of the city. The number of immigrants makes language an interesting issue here; about 1/3rd of the city self-reports as speaking English with some trouble. LA is sadly not as much a “melting pot” as it is a mixing bowl; people stay separated into their own cultures.

While LA has the population to support many of the typical ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown, many of these neighborhoods are more for the tourists than immigrants. Most cultural hubs are out in the suburbs. Those areas within the LA city limits end up tourist traps.


Court is a special event. Similar to a medieval king’s court, the Prince has a room within Elysium where she handles business. Most people, however, are in a separate larger area simply socializing and enjoying themselves. Don’t be fooled by the laughter and the smiles — there’s a lot of business going on in this side of court.

Courts offer a unique situation — social events allow kindred access to the Prince in a way that the usual boxes and forms don’t allow. While she’s shaking hands and kissing babies, kindred have the chance to grab some face time with the Prince for things that are more out of the usual.

Court rotates between the various interesting spots around town, showcasing the unique areas of LA. Below is a list of the kind of places where court could be found:


While the location of court is always an Elysium (at least for the night of court), there are many Elysia dotting L.A. — after all, given the nature of the beast, Elysia are necessary for safe business practices for the growing midnight stores that serve the kindred community. Such businesses tend to spring up in or near the Elysia for that very reason. However, those type of Elysia are in the minority (though the kindred government has reported a growing number of applications in the last few years for business zones). Most of the covenants and some of the clans maintain public Elysia as a show of status in the city. Still, there are others that exist only for cultural reasons — even an unbeating heart can be moved by some of the works found in the art galleries and museums found in LA.

Below are some example Elysia that can be found in the city:

  • Libertine Social Club, Sunset Strip:The Elysium that presides over the trendy Sunset Strip, the Libertine was a Daeva stronghold for a long time – epitomizing the ethics and aesthetics of the clan. Lately, the Libertine has started swinging towards the Nosferatu with appointment of Lady Grey to the Keeper’s position. What was simply the worship of excess has taken on a different tone as of late….
  • Belmont Tunnel:Literally sealed off from the mortal world in the early 2000s, Belmont Tunnel is one of the remnants of LA’s original subway system. Covered in graffiti and with some of the most unique acoustics in the city, kindred DJs have turned this into an Elysia that attracts the edgier younger kindred still trying to sow their wild oats.
  • Millennium Biltmore HotelAn Elysia in decline, this hotel is located in the middle of Downtown LA on the famous Pershing Square. Once the biggest hotel west of Chicago, the Biltmore is still an extravagant affair, but the recent economic depression has driven away part of the Elysium’s business oriented clientele.


Racks represent the kindred equivalent of the “Hot and Now” light at a Krispy Kreme. When you need a bite to eat and you want it warm and tasty, a rack is where you head. While some Racks are city regulated in LA, many are still privately owned and operated. It’s best to double check when feeding at a Rack to make sure that you’re not stepping on someone else’s toes.

Here are two example racks that can be found in the city:

  • Sunset Strip: One of the premier bar areas of LA, Sunset Strip has some of the most exclusive bars and clubs in the city. Lit up brightly after dark with it’s iconic billboards, many kindred love to feed in this area just on the chance you can find someone famous to nibble on.
  • NoHo Arts District: An area known for it’s theaters, cafes, and art galleries, this area of the city is a nice place to grab a bite to eat for those whose tastes include something more than blood.

City Hall: US Bank Tower

Given the nature of LA’s kindred government, it is no surprise that a formal city hall had to be established to house much of the city’s bureaucratic offices. They are housed within LA’s largest building: the US Bank Tower. Given the international nature of LA business, people coming and going from the office at late hours is not unusual. The City’s government has offices on 5 floors from 65 to 70. There are ghouls on staff to assist at all times of day and night. All of the city’s high ranking officials have their offices there.

Dev Diary 2A: Dev Harder – One Prince, Two Prince, Crone Prince, New Prince

Greetings Dead Citizens!

This week’s Dev Diary is so awesomely large, it can’t fit all in one e-mail! Expect multiple e-mails over the course of the weekend. Today’s blast of information comes with details about one of the decisions you made about chron — namely, the prince! Or in this case, princes! Game begins with a lame duck session for an outgoing prince who’s served her set of terms for a total of 40 years. Before her, her husband, the current Hierophant of the Crone, also served a total of 40 years. The Prince-elect, voted in earlier this year by a narrow margin, will be inaugurated on the night of Game 6. See below for your first sneak peek at some of next year’s NPCs.

Hierophant Sterling Engelhart and Prince Elizabeth Engelhart

“Have a Heart; vote Engelhart”

The Engelharts have been in charge of LA for the last 80 years and 2013 marks the end of their reign. Sterling, elected in 1934, served his two terms of office before his wife’s election in 1974. The pair has been, for the most part, widely popular.

The Circle of the Crone is the only covenant that believe in and promotes marriage between Kindred, and these two are an example of this. Sterling and Elizabeth immigrated early on in LA history — no one’s quite sure what year, and the pair is coy about their own age. What is known is that the couple is a fetching example of a devoted husband and wife. The pair appears to be in their mid to late 40s, with touches of grey just appearing in their hair.

Sterling Engelhart is known as being very professional in his work with the city. He is often seen wearing a suit with a symbolic sash representing his role as Hierophant. Sterling is seen as a gentle leader in contrast to many other leaders of cities. He has a merciful reputation and cares for the city as if it were his own child(e).

Elizabeth is a mature and dignified woman with a warm personality. She is known for her love of modern art and hosts many refined events within the Modern Art museum in LA. She’s held charitable events for many causes from the California Condor Preservation Society to the Urban Farming Organization. She championed the legalization of medical marijuana for mortals and strongly supports the United Domains.


Sterling started many of the policies that Elizabeth then turned into the bureaucratic system that now exists today. Under their watch, LA has also implemented many systems to care for all kindred including a tax system that helps make every kindred make ends meet.

One of their major policy pushes has been the regulation of siring. While embracing is not discouraged, it does require a lot of blood, sweat, and tears — literally in the case of the blood test and figuratively in paperwork for approval. Fitness of the sire in the raising of a childe is of utmost importance, but the lucky few who have gained license to embrace are given public assistance. Illegal childer are not killed, as in some cities. Instead, they are taken in by the city to be raised as wards of the state. Some are fostered by upstanding citizens, but many still receive care through government run communal havens.


Prince-Elect Mark Lucas

“Lucas: Independence and Tradition”

Bishop Lucas has seen LA fall from the traditions that have guided Kindred society and seeks to return to the family morals that have guided vampires through the ages. He has seen the freedom of LA’s kindred taken away and he seeks to return powers to the individual. The city, in his view, has taken things to the extreme and seeks a return to the center. One of his central platforms was the deregulation of the embrace. In his view, it is the right of the individual to raise their childer as they see fit as long as it aligns with the traditions and moral center that kindred society has always provided in the past.
Bishop Lucas looks surprisingly young. Appearing in early to mid 20s, his real age is somewhere approaching 70 or 80. He appeared in LA shortly after the plague and worked to reestablish the Lancea in the city. He quickly rose in the ranks of the decimated city and has been somewhat of a polarizing figure. His policies, such as defunding the blood kitchens, often create bitter divisions in the populace.  In his midnight sermons, he is known for promoting abstinence, both physical and chemical, among the kindred and the kine.