Dev Diary #2: All the King’s Men

The Invictus led by King Cole are the dominant political and economic force in the city. The members of House Cole are a bold lot, with none so bold as the Royal Bastard, the King’s favored childe. The motto of this House is “Only God can judge us,” and its members embody this motto in their pursuit of power. Church and State are unified in purpose, as the Lancea Sanctum have thrown in their lot with the Invictus to monopolize power. The rest of the covenants wield too little power individually to stand up against this powerhouse, but that does not stop constant assassination attempts against the King that have only become bolder as time has gone on.

Besides the hunter threat, the Psuho’wurv are the chief opposition to the Kingdom. Derogatorily called the Sand Snakes, they are comprised mostly of Gangrel and Mekhet. Their vitae has become mixed and warped during their exile, some say through the influence of nuclear testing. Their founder, Madrugar the Snake, sired many childer in the shifting sands of the Nevada Testing Site before her demise and they have taken up her crusade to oppose the King and his rule. The Psuho’wurv lurk on the edges of the city–well out of sight of the Eye–and peck at the King’s holdings, hoping to one day overthrow his government and return Las Vegas to an ideal long since lost to time.

The King has reforged the city government to suit his interests and it works differently from other domains. The King does not recognize a Priscus or Primogen council in his domain and the only council that he sees comes from a collection of advisors and officials that he hands off small matters to. The members of thePrivy Council include:

Seneschal
The Seneschal executes the King’s power when the King cannot be bothered, and is often tasked with running the day to day activities in Kindred society. Indeed, the Seneschal often executes so much of the King’s power in the day to day rule of the Kingdom, that many Kindred refer to them as the Hand. Of course, no one would ever communicate this to either of them – the King would be incensed and a good Seneschal would never offend their King.

Royal Harpy
The King’s Harpy enjoys a special privilege of both speaking on behalf of the King, and exercising his position as diplomat to other powers in the region. When the Harpy speaks, they do so with the King’s Voice – a title that many are eager to use. The Harpy also plays the Game of Status, a ruthless competition of kill or be killed in the salons of the Damned.

Sheriff
The King demands the obedience of his subjects, and the Sheriff obliges by bringing the King’s Justice to every reach of the Kingdom. There is no corner of thecity that exists outside the Sheriff’s gaze, and their army of secret police are rumored to be ever watchful for signs of dissent. The Sheriff’s gaze is so wide that polite society has awarded the moniker of the King’s Eye.

The Hound
The Hounds are enforcers – not unlike the Mafia’s enforcers within the mortal-owned Casinos. When the King demands obedience, the Hounds ensure his demands are met. Any who oppose his commands and run afoul of the Hounds find themselves meeting their makers considerably earlier than they expected. Hounds do not often speak much in the King’s Council, but do form a powerful and mercenary voting bloc.

These are just the standard positions on the Privy Council. High ranking members of covenants can and do sit on it at times, at the King’s whim of course. PCs should feel free to pitch any of these positions.

Dev Diary #1: History of Las Vegas

Las Vegas began its life as an unassuming hole in the desert ground, a railroad stop on the way to California that bore little resemblance to the beacon of sin and splendor that we know it as today. In the 1930s, the construction of the Hoover Dam and, more importantly, the legalization of gambling spurred the city’s rapid growth. Organized crime took root in Vegas, bringing a steady stream of money to fund mob-controlled hotels and casinos during the post-war period. Gangsters easily took advantage of Nevada’s lax laws on prostitution and gambling, and were soon making and laundering money long into the neon-lit Vegas nights.

The gambling and entertainment industries grew as crowds from around the world arrived to taste what the city had to offer. The crime families continued to wage war against the police and with each other. Today, three primary mob families run the city as a triumvirate, each sharing a slice of the criminal underworld in an uneasy balance that leaves many parties less than satisfied. The Orsini, de la Cruz, and Abramovich families currently compete in an ever-shifting battle for control over the city’s riches. On the other side of the law, an aggressive sheriff watches them, ever-determined to bring them all down.

The city’s rapid rise offered an abundance of opportunity for more than just enterprising mortals, however. In the midst of the criminal infighting and political tensions, an ambitious Kindred came into town. Darius Cole arrived in a city still too young to harbor a sizable Kindred population, and those present were forced to kneel or be knelt. Through cunning, political maneuvering, and sheer force, he bent the city to his will and crowned himself King. Recruiting a loyal court to cement his authority, Cole reforged Kindred society in his image.

King Cole rules the Kindred of Las Vegas under the philosophy of “let them hate, as long as they fear.” However, his formidable power does not go unchallenged. The King has made many enemies in his relatively short reign. Hunters threaten his society from the outside; Kindred rivals challenge him from within. The Sand Snakes are a faction descended from one of the King’s old rivals. They lurk in the desert, waging a guerrilla war to topple the king and take what they believe is their rightful inheritance.

When not dealing with existential threats the King is fond of Blood Hunts, calling them not only against Kindred who violate the Traditions, but also those who challenge his supremacy. The Bishop of the Lancea Sanctum backs this effort, preaching against those who challenge the natural order. Cast in a less complimentary light, it is a church-sponsored death squad. Regardless of how one chooses to see it, it is extremely effective when properly executed. Believers go forth and eliminate the threat, and face no censure for their actions as long as the Masquerade is not broken. Those who abuse their peacekeeping authority quickly find themselves among the Blood Hunt’s next targets.
While the King’s rules may seem rigid and unforgiving,his reign has been secure and prosperous. Free from the chaos that marks lesser Domains, those who submit to his authority find that Las Vegas offers a unique opportunity to Kindred, for whom the party truly never ends.

DCP Mainstage 2015: Vice City

A vast, pulsating sprawl of casinos and distilled Americana. A shining, glittering example of all the excess and triumphs of man. An ode to hubris. Paradise, and paradise lost. Las Vegas is all these things and more. Fully and wholly artificial – a gleaming urban oasis sprung up out of the desert overnight. Las Vegas is a city of vice and a city of opportunity. Unnatural in every sense of the word, it nevertheless evokes very real desires. It is an oasis in a vast, empty desert filled to the bursting point with drugs, sex, glitterati, conmen, and mafiosi. No wonder vampires feel so at home…

Contrast is the beating heart of Las Vegas. A place where tourists go to empty their wallets and indulge in their vices, and where desperate people go to bet all they have left on black. The smoke-filled parlors and blood-splattered hotel rooms have allowed a different kind of Kindred to flourish. Those who indulge in gratuitous excess have found themselves a home among the flashing lights and bodies buried beneath the desert sand. There is little to reign in the appetites of these Kindred, as Las Vegas is a young and reckless city free of the weight of entrenched Elders. It has attracted both new and old blood, filled with desires that can only be met in a city dedicated to plumbing the depths of debauchery.

But what lurks behind the gold curtains and flashing lights, in the dance halls where ecstatic revelers test the boundaries of pleasure and pain? What lingers beyond the edge of propriety, when any desire can be instantly sated? In the long shadows of Las Vegas, what monsters lurk in the depths of man’s soul?


When creating characters for Las Vegas: Vice City players need to keep a few things in mind. The first is that the city of Las Vegas is very young; it has only been a large city since the 1950’s. Thus all of the Kindred present have either been embraced in Vegas since the 50’s, or came here from elsewhere. The influx of new residents, the growth of the gaming and entertainment industries, and the peculiar essence of the city have attracted a number of strange bloodlines to make Vegas their home.

 

The Court of Las Vegas is ruled over by no mere Prince, but a tyrannical King who seeks confident and capable officers to execute his laws. Pitches for city positions are highly encouraged, especially from those possessed of strong appetites or ruthless ambition. There are a number of Kindred who have risen in rank after the mysterious ‘disappearance’ of their immediate superior.

 

The world is a strange and mysterious place filled with hidden places and strange creatures that not even the finest scholars of the Ordo Dracul have completely catalogued. Players are allowed to pitch non vampiric characters, but only a small number of pitches that integrate into our metaplot will be accepted.

 

This chronicle is focused on the players, and as such the setting information will be updated based on your needs and desires. Player run organizations and locations will feature prominently in the setting and we will release a series of Dev Diaries going forward to fully flesh out the setting that we collectively imagine. As you develop your character please keep us included in the conversation. Our email is storytellers@deadcityproductions.com.

 

Regards,

-Team Next Generation

Fall Quarter Events!

Hey DCPers!

Are you ready for an awesome Fall Quarter? I hope so! The following is a list of some major upcoming DCP events for Fall 2014!:

Board Games Nights!
Mondays starting at 7pm!

We’ll be at Norris (In the Gathering Place, on the north side of the ground floor by the exit of the food court) hanging out and playing awesome board games! Games start at 7, but you can show up before midnight and join in! Bring some games and bring some friends!

Want a weekly reminder about board games? Join the board games listserv by following the instructions on the DCP website’s listserv page!

LARP Newbie Game!
Saturday, October 4th at 5pm!

The first LARP game of the year, designed to introduce new players to LARP! If you’re new to LARP and interested, this is a great way to start, and involves no RSVP, experience, or preparation! Just show up and have fun! Questions should be sent to the storytelling team at storytellers@deadcityproductions.com! (Returning players: if you plan to be at newbie game, please email the STs to let them know!) New players: please arrive around 4:45 pm so you have plenty of time to get a character sheet and settle in!

Interested in the year-long LARP and want to stay updated? Sign up for the Mainstage listserv by following the instructions on the DCP website’s listserv page!

Tabletop Night!
Saturday, October 25th at 1pm and 6pm!

A fun day full of tabletop RPGs run by awesome DCP GMs! A great way to learn a new system, play a fun game, and hang out with some super awesome people! Details on what games will be available will be announced later.

Do you wanna run a game at tabletop night? We still need GMs for this super-awesome day! If you’d like to run a game, send an email to the exec board at exec@deadcityproductions.com by Wednesday October 1st!

For future updates about Tabletop Night, subscribe to the Tabletop listserv by following the instructions on the DCP website’s listserv page!

That’s all, folks! If you have any questions, feel free to send them to the exec board at exec@deadcityproductions.com See you soon!

-DCP Exec

Announcing DCP 2014-15: Their Quietus Make (A Story About You)

Greetings, Deadcitizens!

On behalf of next year’s ST team (I’m not calling us “Team Forever 21” and you can’t make me), I present next year’s chron (plus questions we’ve already been getting down at the bottom, so even if you heard the pitch at Game 10, take a look at that):

Our theme is “What will you do with Eternity?” Vampires have dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of years to build, plan, plot, and create beyond what normal mortals have. DaVinci, Mother Theresa, and Abraham Lincoln all had one lifetime each to craft a legacy. So did Hitler, Gengis Khan, and Jeffrey Dahmer. What could an immortal vampire accomplish?

Our setting is modern day New York City, a city still healing from an event almost 15 years ago. On the evening of September 11, 2001, the Kindred of New York woke up to find a city vastly different from the one they left: people panicked, dozens of Kindred dead or missing, and mortal security heightened beyond anything anyone thought possible. Those whose havens were near Ground Zero were the worst off, with many starving into torpor or being killed by mortal hunters. Manhattan, with some of the richest feeding zones in the city, was too dangerous for Kindred.

Adding to all this chaos was the revelation that the Prince’s haven was somewhere in or near the Towers. The Prince was dead. This power vacuum drew in three Elders who all began gathering territory and followers. Soon, war between these factions was claiming even more lives.

After a few years of bloodshed, cooler heads prevailed and a 10-year ceasefire was enacted. Each Prince kept the territory they had been able to claim while Manhattan – which was still death to a Kindred who lingered there too long – was left a neutral zone, held by no Prince. The result was something between genuine peace and a cold war with each Prince jockeying for position against the others. Over time, Manhattan became a dumping ground for exiles, outcasts, and political malcontents, while the Princes created their ideal New Yorks.

Now, it’s almost 10 years later. The cease-fire is due to expire and rumors abound of the Princes meeting in secret to negotiate a binding Treaty and a singular Prince. The last 10 years have been a time of tumult, but also one of opportunity. As we enter the last few months of the cease-fire, we focus on those Kindred who have had the vision and the initiative to take advantage of this time – the PCs – and see how their plans play out against this backdrop.

And we do mean that we are focusing on the PCs and their plans. Next year, their will be NO METAPLOT. The plot of game will be entirely built out of the plans, schemes, and goals of the players.

And now, answers to some questions we’ve gotten:

No metaplot? Seriously?
Yes, Virginia, there is no metaplot.

Bullsh*t.
That’s not a question. And we are seriously sincere about having no metaplot next year. If we get half as much player plot as we anticipate getting, we’ll have plenty to build a chron around.

What if I don’t have a big plan or plot?
Think of the “no metaplot” thing as an opportunity, not an obligation. We’ll be working with the players who do build big goals into their characters to make sure that they need to involve other PCs in order to accomplish their goals. There’ll be plenty of plot for you to get involved in.

Are you going to allow bloodlines?
Yes. However, being a member of a bloodline will require a 4-point merit and the STs reserve the right to veto any specific bloodline.

What about werewolves/mages/changelings/digeridoos? Do they exist? Can I be one?
Most vampires don’t know much of anything about other supernatural creatures beyond myths and rumors. For some reason, other supernaturals don’t typically hang out with blood-drinking monsters. Go figure.

As for being something other than a vampire, please keep the following in mind when pitching:

  • As mentioned above, most supernaturals don’t spend time hanging out with vampires. So, why does your character spend all their time hanging out with things that want to know what your blood tastes like?
  • This chron’s theme is very vampire-centric. How does whatever creature you want to be fit into “What will you do with Eternity?”
  • Be aware that any other kind of supernatural creature will be underpowered compared to vampires. Exact details of this will be determined when/if we get a pitch like this but they can include significant required merits and increased XP costs.
  • As with bloodlines, the STs reserve the right to ask you to change anything that won’t fit into game well.

Speaking of power levels, what kind of power/age spread will next year have?
We will be heavily encouraging a pretty narrow age/power range. Specifically, we’re looking for pitches mostly in the 50-100 year old, old neonate/young ancilla range. This is to help create some balance in a heavily player-focused year and because that’s an interesting age for our theme: you’ve lived an entire human lifetime and are now looking at a literal eternity; you’re old enough to not be bossed around by elders all the time, but young enough that you don’t have a bunch of neonates to boss around yourself; you’re old enough to be making plans, but young enough that those plans are on the scale of months and years, not decades and centuries.

So, is the game taking place entirely in Manhattan?
No. The pitch focuses quite a bit on Manhattan because it is in many ways the most different from the usual status quo. Very soon, we will be releasing information on the Three Princes and their Domains (which we’re going to call Principalities, just to differentiate between these and lesser Domains).

How hard will it be to go between Principalties or to and from Manhattan?
Part of the ceasefire agreement is that Kindred acknowledged in one Principality are allowed to freely travel to the Domains of the other Princes, provided they obey the Traditions and other laws of the Principality.

Traveling from a Principality to Manhattan is unrestricted, although Kindred are expected to obey the Traditions while they’re there (or at least not get caught using Manhattan as a “break the law free” card).

If a Kindred was exiled to Manhattan, getting caught in any Principality is an immediate death sentence.

For non-exiled Manhattanites traveling to the Principalities, they have no formal protection under the law, but as long as you don’t cause any trouble, no one will kill you for existing.

Sorry about the long e-mail. I’ll try not to make all of these huge text-dumps and everything will also be going on the website for future reference.

-John Kohn III
Head ST (the guy who’s fault everything is)

Winter 2014 Game Dates!

Hi there, DCPeople!

Winter quarter mainstage games will be held on the following dates:

Game 4 – January 25th
Game 5 – February 8th
Game 6 – February 22nd
Game 7 – March 8th

All games will be held on the second floor of Parkes Hall and will run from 5-10pm. Please arrive by 4:45pm to ensure that game can start on time. Also, if you are unable to make it to a game session, please shoot the ST team an email ahead of time so we can plan around your character’s absence.

In addition to mainstage LARP, board game nights will continue to be on their usual Monday nights! We’ll be in the Norris Gathering Place on the north side starting at 7 PM, and continuing through the night! Bring a friend, bring some games, but most importantly, bring yourself!

Fall 2013 Game Dates

Fall quarter mainstage games will be held on the following dates:

Game 1: October 12th
Game 2: November 2nd
Game 3: November 16th

All games will be held on the second floor of Parkes Hall and will run from 5-10pm. Please arrive by 4:45pm to ensure that game can start on time. Also, if you are unable to make it to a game session, please shoot the ST team an email ahead of time so we can plan around your character’s absence.

Also, this year’s newbie game, “A Game of Spies,” will be held on September 28th from 5-10pm on the second floor of Parkes Hall. All experienced players interested in assisting with this game are asked to contact the mainstage ST team by September 21st. Experienced players will be playing NPCs with colorful personalities who are helping the gathered spies to solve a mystery and complete objectives.

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