Sticky: Reminders and Important Notes for Mainstage LARP

  • Check out the “2013-2014: Los Angeles” tag to see all the dev diaries released to the listserv over the summer.
  • Please contact the storytellers with any questions or concerns:  storytellers [at] deadcityproductions [dot] com

For new players: 

The two weeks before the start of the chronicle are focused on helping newbies create characters and get ready for Game 1. On October 6th, there will be a special newbie character creation session.  In this session, newbies are encouraged to meet with the STs to develop their character.  If, however, newbies would like to start before then, then you are encouraged to email us directly.  We will teach you the rules and help you develop your character in a timeframe that is reasonable for you.  In either case, you are not subject to the deadlines imposed upon returning players.

 

Dev Diary #7 – FAQ

1. What should the character creation process look like for a new player?

The two weeks before the start of the chronicle are focused on helping newbies create characters and get ready for Game 1, sometime around the beginning of October (specific dates still TBD).  One week before Game 1, there will be a special newbie character creation session.  In this session, newbies are encouraged to meet with the STs to develop their character.  If, however, newbies would like to start before then, then you are encouraged to email us directly.  We will teach you the rules and help you develop your character in a timeframe that is reasonable for you.  In either case, you are not subject to the deadlines imposed upon returning players.

2. What sort of things are each of the covenants doing right now? Is the Ordo working on any major research? Are the Crone working on any major rituals? (And so on)

While in many smaller cities, one can look at a covenant as a cohesive group, in a city like LA, whose population is roughly one thousand, most covenants are too large to be referred to as one group. Most covenants consist of various coteries that run with their own agendas  — some with cross purposes. (ST Translation: Player plots)

Of course, covenants in LA have a varying amount of structure, as listed below.

Carthian Movement: The Carthians, simply put, are the least organized covenant in LA. There is no central leadership; instead, members organize themselves into Factions of sizes ranging from three to fifty members. Factions are generally separated by political ideology, geography, and methodology. The largest Faction, Citizens for Democracy, is led by the magnanimous Tommy Sunshine, a bleached blond, suntanned Californian. Mr. Sunshine (please-call-me-Tommy) is the Prefect of the Carthian Movement and is the closest thing the covenant has to a spokesman. Tommy has no political opinions other than his unending support for democracy. When asked his opinion of a Crone winning praxis, his reply was “it doesn’t matter what the covenant of the Prince is, as long as we had a democratic election for the office, the Carthians were the real winners. No, democracy was the real winner.”

Circle of the Crone: Acolytes in LA are members of small, coterie-sized Cults. Cults are generally organized geographically, but may be based around familial relationships or magical ability. The Cults themselves may each have a minor leader, but the Crone as a whole are led by the Hierophant. The Hierophant is not an authority figure, but rather a spiritual guide and organizer of covenant activities. He leads his own Cult and is seen as a father figure by the rest of the covenant.

Invictus: The Invictus structure in LA is entirely by the book. There certainly isn’t an Inner Council that makes decisions for the entire covenant. No, definitely not; the Invictus would never consolidate power like that, nope. As LA is a large center of kindred population, many guilds have a presence in the city and Invictus members are able to train in their hometown.

Lancea Sanctum: The Monachal (fundamentalist), Westminster (Anglican-inspired), and Tollison (Evangelical-inspired) Creeds are roughly equal in size with 40-50 committed members. The Dammatic (Judaism-inspired) and the Iblic (Islam-inspired) Creeds are much smaller in size, but are still present in the city. Each Creed has at least one bishop and the bishops of all Creeds regularly convene as an Ecumenical Council to discuss matters of the covenant. The usual covenant offices exist in the city.

Ordo Dracul: The Dragons of the Los Angeles Academy are organized into a dozen or so Colleges which are organized rather like university departments. Each College is headed by a Dean who leads the research and other activities of the College’s members. The Colleges are organized by academic interest, as opposed to geography, and colleges rival one another for funding and access to important resources, including Wyrm’s Nests. As the Ordo has origins as a secret society, it is likely that there are parts of this hierarchy which are unknown to the public and there are most certainly titles and ranks within the city that are only known to a few members. If you wish to know more about how the LA Academy is different from other cities, play an Ordo character.

3. Is each covenant known for doing anything in particular in the past? Are the LA branches known for anything in particular, good or bad?

Carthians: Founded the democratic government in LA, created a Model UD for neonates, hold rallies at US Bank Tower

Crone: City-wide potlucks, offer divination services, somehow managed to hang onto the Prince office for 80 years

Invictus: Started first Kindred-focused business district in the city, spearheaded movement to join the UD, LA’s Almoner Guild is world-renowned

Lancea Sanctum: First kindred televangelists, first mass-produced the Testament of Longinus, maintain the largest Orphanarium in the city

Ordo Dracul: City-wide research conferences, inter-College football games, reality TV shows originated as a social experiment in an LA College

4. Was the Circle of the Crone officially allied to the Carthians when they started the government? Are they now? If they weren’t allied officially, were they allied secretly?

The Covenants have never been officially allied, though the Crone (as well as the Ordo) were supportive of the new government’s formation. As to whether they were allied secretly, it wouldn’t be very much of a secret if you knew, would it?

5. Even though it was the Carthians who are responsible for the city government being the way it is, there’s been no Carthian prince. How are the Carthians reacting to this?

Some Carthians love the governmental structure and are happy with anyone who runs democratic elections. Some Carthians like the government, but are sad that there’s not a Carthian in charge. Some Carthians hate democracy and wish to destroy it. In short, there is no unified Carthian opinion about much of anything.

6. On a similar sort of note, what’s the official Invictus position on this government? How about the not-so-official position?

The Invictus have released no official opinion on this government, but several Invictus candidates have been put forth in previous elections. This seems to indicate that, at the very least, some Invictus are willing to play the democracy game to gain power. Remember, the Invictus aren’t necessarily about feudalism, they’re about gaining control over mortals and Kindred. Democracy is one route to power.

7. What’s the internal structure of the clans and covenants like? Is it mostly the same between different clans/covenants, or not?

(see #2 for more information)

Covenants, like political parties, are public institutions.  They keep some of their activities public as a way to gain new members.  As such, there is a publicly known structure for all of the covenants in Los Angeles.

Clans, however, are more like families.  There’s no reason for clans to publicise their internal structure and activities as they can’t convert existing vampires to their clan.  We understand that you are all eager to learn how your clan works.  After the mini-pitch deadline, we will put clan members in contact with one another and work with you to determine how your clan operates.  This, along with your relationship to your covenant, is something we’ve chosen to leave largely up to you, the players.

8. Presuming workers in this government are paid at all, are they paid in mortal money, blood, boons, or something else?

If they are paid, a government worker might be paid in mortal money, blood, boons, or something else. Unless you’ve dug into governmental contracts with workers, you don’t know how specific individuals are paid.

9. Are all positions filled by Kindred or are some filled by ghouls?

Some positions are indeed filled by ghouls, as the government continues to run during the day.

10. About how much of the Kindred population of LA works for the government?

Approximately 10% of the Kindred population works for the government in some fashion.


11. I would like to know a bit more about the “focus” or “feel” of the chronicle. Will the PCs be involved with “high-level” politics, or have influence over “big decisions” that need to be made? Or will the focus be more on reacting to (weathering? surviving?) decisions made by the outsiders?

While there have been many important political figures, events, and organizations introduced in the dev diaries, the politics and such that we have presented are much more for the establishment of setting and world than to imply what the “focus” of the story is. The reason we’ve hit it so heavily is that the setting is non-standard in many ways — for instance, the possibility of dropping the masquerade. While some of the game may involve reactions to the masquerade dropping, this is not intended to be a repeated or major aspect of the game.

Simply put, the focus is you, the player. If there seems to be a void in some of the details, it is because we need that to be filled by your stories and your goals.  If PCs desire, they could certainly be involved in “high-level” politics and attempt to influence big decisions, but PCs can also choose to completely ignore politics and simply react to the conditions created by NPCs and other PCs.

12. The discussion of the various rulers and government organizations is coherent and reasonable, liberal (or perhaps socialist), nice and tidy.  Are you planning on avoiding the gritty nastiness with which White Wolf usually presents their games?

While it is common to see the grim side of the World of Darkness as portrayed with shadowy puppet masters, LA reveals a different aspect of that darkness. Rather than the tyranny of the few, it is the tyranny of the many — LA’s government is bureaucratic in the extreme, each official having a strangle hold on their tiny little fiefdom of power. It has grown into a confusing monolith of forms and favors which few, if any, can navigate without any kind of snags. It is a kind of grim stagnation dressed up in the clothes of democracy.

Remember, this is LA — what appears to be bright and functional is more often than not a camera trick.

13. If 80% *by geography* of the world’s kindred population  is part of the United Domains, which parts have remained independent and, potentially, trouble?

While the troubles of far off lands usually aren’t a concern for most kindred in LA, the few kindred with a passion for global politics know that the heart of Africa, the deeper areas of South/Central America,  and some of the central areas of Asia remain outside of the UD. Outside of those regions, there are small patches of defiance — Central Romania, Cuba, and Montreal. In general, these places did not suffer the ravages of the plague as greatly and have small populations of xenophobic older kindred.  Surprising to many new kindred, North Korea is in fact a strong, well-respected member of the UD.

14. If someone initiates combat by attacking suddenly but does NOT get surprise, can a faster character preempt them (under some form of standard or modified initiative) or does initiative simply not exist until after that attack?

If a player initiates combat without successfully winning a surprise challenge (whether this be a “surprise 1,2,3” count or attacking from obfuscate, or some other chance draw to determine if a player is surprised) then we should always roll initiative.  If your base initiative is 4, it doesn’t make sense for you to get a free round because you ran in guns blazing.  So, yes, a faster character will preempt them.

15. Are you guys changing any Disciplines from how they functioned last year? Frenzy/Rotschrek? Torpor? Other vagueries of Vampiric existence?

Yes.  We will release these changes along with our revised rules for character creation.  Expect an email with this information from us within the next month.

16. So, there are lots of vampires in the city. Will “PC Factions” be padded with other vampires?

(see answer to #2) If you would like NPCs in your coterie or organization, please let us know.

17. Are PCs meant to be major diplomatic players on the scale of Seneschals of different departments?

Short answer: no.  Long answer: you can certainly pitch a character with comparable political power to a Seneschal.  That said, such a character would have massive responsibilities and an interaction style with the setting which would differ greatly from that of other players.  In addition, the story is not about these powerful figures.  As a result, we strongly feel that playing such a character would not be satisfying.  If, however, you would like to pitch such a character, please email us and we will consider it.

18. As politics is now dominated by Ancillae, who are more plentiful than elders – why isn’t political assassination a thing which happens more often/a thing which players are more aware of?

When major political figures die, the circumstances of their death are not suspicious.  (Read: those who successfully assassinate are very good at what they do.)  However, that is not to say that would-be assassins are not discovered and dealt with.  In LA, assassinations of mid-level or lower politicians (bureaucrats) are generally ineffective.  When a bureaucrat is murdered, another rises to take their place and little changes.  Of course, carefully executed killings of specific bureaucrats can accomplish specific and focused agendas.

 

Sample Mini pitches

Name: Betty Johnson
Clan: Daeva
Covenant: Lancea Sanctum

Subtitle: Lustful 50s Housewife

Summary:
When Betty’s husband mysteriously vanished in the 1950s, she was distraught. How could she live without a man to take care of her? She was quickly discovered by a local Daeva who, unsurprisingly, screwed her, embraced her, and abandoned her. Since then, Betty has slept her way around Anchorage, looking for a husband to have adorable eternal children with.
Unsurprisingly, Betty has a serious fear of abandonment and an inferiority complex. She does everything an ideal housewife does (baking, knitting, cleaning, ironing) but still feels that she might never be good enough for a man to ever love her again.

Required questions: I’m interested in playing Betty because she’s simple and relatively easy-going. She’s the sort of person that everyone likes, so she should get along with other PCs well. I’ll enjoy playing a (mostly) normal, happy vampire, which is different from my normal character types.

—-

Name: Brendan McGuire

Clan: Gangrel

Covenant: Carthian

Subtitle: King among runaways….

When people think of vampires, they often think of the refined and genteel creature often featured in film. They don’t think of people like Brendan — in fact, most people don’t think of Brendan when they see him. Before and after the embrace, Brendan was… is… a street kid. A stick thin shadow of a boy in ragged clothing, Brendan is one of the invisible homeless of the streets of Perth. And to a large point, especially after the embrace, Brendan chooses this life.

Having grown up in an abusive home, Brendan has always made his own family and his sudden embrace only strengthened that resolve with the ability to protect that family. Brendan is known as the Runaway King and has taken it on himself to be the protector of the streets of Perth — It’s only fitting as it was the streets that took him in after everyone else tossed him out.

Brendan’s only treasured possession is a picture he keeps of his twin brother — it’s a reminder of both the only family he cared about and the harsh reality of the street life they lived. He doesn’t relish the undead life, but it gives him the tools he needs to protect the people who need protection the most. He’s known as the Runaway King, and he’s got a friend on every street corner and an eye on every alley.

Meta: I love playing a challenge with a character – something that forces me to try something new, to take a new perspective. Brendan is a new vampire and very close to his humanity still – his morals and goals are, at their heart, human. I want to explore that struggle — how much is he willing to sacrifice for his goals? How can he keep his morals surrounded by amoral monsters? Can he keep to his idealism?

—-

Name: Eli ____ (last name pending)

Clan: Mekhet

Covenant: Carthian or Invictus

Subtitle: Schizophrenic Deputy

Eli Virga is a vampire newly involved in public service as a deputy specializing in investigation and information gathering. He’s looking to make his mark on vampiric society and is eager to prove himself. Unbeknownst to him, he also suffers from a case of paranoid schizophrenia. As the story progresses and he establishes himself more and more as a competent young deputy, his condition gets worse and worse. It begins to impact his duties of his new position and eventually will endanger his life. He certainly cannot overcome his mental condition alone but perhaps he might develop relationships in the coming year with those who can.

The main antagonist of Eli’s story is himself and his deteriorating mental condition. He seeks to establish a secure place for himself amongst his fellow kindred and strives to survive above all else.

Why do I want to play this character?

I’m interested in playing a character that others will grow to depend on even as he is falling apart. I want to try and establish strong positive relations with other characters such that they want to try and help him.

What will I enjoy about playing this character?

The main payoff of this character would be the unveiling of his condition and seeing and interacting with the decisions other player characters make based on the relations that I’ve built up with them. In the meantime, I like knowing about things that are going on.

—-

Name: Juan Carlos Gomez de Addams

Clan: Mekhet

Covenant: Invictus

Subtitle: Richer than God

Gomez is a kind and genial man who easily makes friends and shares his immense wealth freely. One of the big conflicts I would like to explore with this character is between him and his sire. His sire was very abusive when he was a childe, and he was saved from this by a kind elder. I also want him to work for another elder so he can have the conflict of working for two bosses within the Invictus. He spends his nights primarily running errands for his mentors, and hatching schemes to make more money.

If the world ended he would be sad because his mortal wife, Morticia, might die. Gomez and Morticia are deeply in love and he would give the world to keep her safe. Being a vampire complicates this relationship because they cant have kids, or go out during the day like normal couples do. Gomez would love LA because of its thriving business community and media market.

The reason why I want to play this character is a combination of political and personal drama supplemented by access to a few cool super powers. With Auspex and Obfuscate I can always be a fly on the wall gathering info to help out my mentors, or get info to augment my business interests. I haven’t played a scheming vizier before so I want to try my hand at it.

—-

Name: Jack Bergeron

Clan: Ventrue

Covenant: Invictus

Subtitle: Zealous political leader creatively researching ways to expand his constituency.

Paragraph or two:

Jack Bergeron is an astute creature who will greet any nearby individual with a harsh salutation. He will quickly make a determination if the individual is of substance or would not be worthy of his time. Jack started as an initiate in the Invictus tasked with a bullshit assignment out in the middle of the frozen Tundra, but he’s worked himself up from nothing. No body wastes his time anymore. Jack truly enjoys exerting his control over others in vampire society, taming animals in the wild, and chiefly entering into unholy communion with his willpower to embrace animal minions. Through strict concentration over centuries, he has increased the efficacy of his vitae to allow the passage of disciplines onto embraced animals and intents to create and army with which to attack human society as the ultimate champion and predator.

Required question: Why do you want to play this character?

It will be a challenge to roleplay such a megalomaniac personality and maintain composure in all situations. It will provide a sense of accomplishment to work towards and achieve a long term character coal over the chronicle such as building up blood potency and researching the possibility of fathering an animal bloodline.

What will you enjoy about playing this character?

I will enjoy being a superior predator who strikes fear into the beasts of other players and exploiting this to bend them to my will. I will enjoy having unique goals that have been little explored in this setting/DCP before.

—-

Name: Otto

Clan: Mekhet

Covenant: Carthian

Subtitle: Overenthusiastic overcurious journalist wannabe.

Summary: Despite his enthusiasm for seeking “the Truth” for his news stories, Otto remains incredibly optimistic and naïve in his world views. Since vampirism freed him from the usual requirements of a day job’s wages and the need to be “less creepy and stalker-ish”, he has enjoyed wandering the streets with his camera and notepad, taking photos and notes of whatever he considers to be the next big scoop. It is entirely possible that all his ideas of what a journalist should be or do are from movies and his imagination, but it hasn’t stopped him from following his dreams. He wakes up every night wondering what his next big story will be, and racing out to gather clues and topics–often running into the problem that no one likes a nosy reporter in their business. He loves the commotion, lights, and movie-esque feel of L.A., and feels that no other city would be quite as interesting or have quite the same variety of people. If the world were about to end, Otto would be the one standing there with a camera and brainstorming headlines for the apocalypse.

Required Question: I want to play this character because he will almost always have a reason to participate somewhere. Being involved is the most important thing to me, and a character interested in investigating problems or searching out stories will almost always have a way to sneak in somewhere.

Mini-Pitch Guidelines

Greetings deadcitizens!

(Disclaimer: If this is your first year in DCP, this email does not apply to you. Feel free to read it and if you have character ideas, we encourage you to be in contact with us. Newbie characters are not due until sometime at the beginning of October.)

First things first: mini pitches are due WEDNESDAY AUGUST 14TH AT 11:59PM.

The purpose of your mini pitch is to inform the ST team about the general concept of your character and tell us the most important things about them. We use the mini pitches to weave your characters together and to create a setting molded to them. Your mini pitch is also a tool to help you develop concrete ideas about your character well before your full pitch.

If something isn’t absolutely essential to your character concept, don’t include it in your mini pitch. We’re happy to learn the middle name of her sire or what her favorite hot dog topping is, but the mini pitch isn’t the place.

Your mini pitch is a summary of your character concept and only a rough draft. We won’t hold you to your mini pitch and will completely understand if your character changes a bit before your final pitch. If you do change your concept significantly from your mini pitch, please let us know as soon as you’re considering it. We don’t want to be working on the perfect setup for a circus ringleader, only to learn in your full pitch that she’s actually a pop star now.

Lots of you have already emailed us character concepts, which is great! We still need everyone to send a formal mini pitch, though. If you don’t have a character concept and/or don’t know how to proceed, that’s okay, please contact us as soon as possible so we can help you out.

Our due date is strict. If you do not turn in a mini-pitch by the due date, you will lose two (2) of your freebie points at character creation. Of course, we’ll still (reluctantly) accept your mini pitch after that date, but you will at most have only 8 (instead of the usual 10) freebie points to spend at character creation. There will be a similar penalty of three (3) freebie points for turning in your full pitch late.

Below are the requirements for your mini pitches. Please note that these will be rather different from mini pitches in prior years.

– Please submit your mini pitch in the body of an email. We will not accept documents attached to an email or Google docs shared with us.
– Word count: 100-350 words. If you go above or below this range, we will require you to resubmit.
– Final pitches will be due on Wednesday, September 11th. We will send an email with more information about final pitches in the next few weeks.
– Subject of email format: [DCP] – Mini Pitch – Player Name

REQUIRED INFORMATION IN MINI PITCH:

– Name of character
– Clan
– Covenant
– A subtitle for your character (a few words long)
– 1-2 paragraph summary of character
– Why do you want to play this character?
– What will you enjoy about playing this character?

SOME QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER, TO HELP GUIDE YOUR SUMMARY (not required)
– Who is the antagonist for your character’s story? (man vs himself, man vs time, man vs nature, man vs fate, man vs society, man vs man)
– Why does your character get up every night?
– What would your character miss most if the world were to end?
– Why does your character love LA? Why do they hate it?
– What do they love about being a vampire? What do they hate about it?

EXAMPLE MINI PITCH
Below is just one example of a mini pitch that we think is adequate. The next post contains five more sample mini pitches for your perusal.

Team Twenty logo

Name: Betty Johnson
Clan: Daeva
Covenant: Lancea Sanctum

Subtitle: Lustful 50s Housewife

Summary:
When Betty’s husband mysteriously vanished in the 1950s, she was distraught. How could she live without a man to take care of her? She was quickly discovered by a local Daeva who, unsurprisingly, screwed her, embraced her, and abandoned her. Since then, Betty has slept her way around Anchorage, looking for a husband to have adorable eternal children with.
Unsurprisingly, Betty has a serious fear of abandonment and an inferiority complex. She does everything an ideal housewife does (baking, knitting, cleaning, ironing) but still feels that she might never be good enough for a man to ever love her again.

Required questions: I’m interested in playing Betty because she’s simple and relatively easy-going. She’s the sort of person that everyone likes, so she should get along with other PCs well. I’ll enjoy playing a (mostly) normal, happy vampire, which is different from my normal character types.

Dev Diary 6: By the Kindred, for the Kindred…

Dev Diary 6 header

Greetings Deadcitizens,

We’ve explored much of the world of “LA: On a Dark Desert Highway” so far, but not talked much about the United Domains. Today, we explore this international organization.

Below is an excerpt from the official LA: Handbook for Wards of the State.

Regards,

Team Twenty

——————————————————————————-

History of UD

The name United Domains was first used in the Declaration by United Domains of November 10th 1964, two years after the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Within the declaration representatives of 26 kindred domains pledged their governments to work together to establish tighter control of humanity and prevent them from destroying the world through nuclear war. The United Domains stands today as a testament of Kindred community and leadership; having successfully averted a nuclear war and laying the groundwork of continued kindred domination of the world.

The seeds for this partnership were laid decades before in the aftermath of the Great Plague. During this time, when countless kindred perished from disease, kindred took advantage of new communications technologies such as the telephone to establish lines of communication between cities to gain more information about the plague and to see who survived the disaster. This network, informally dubbed the Twilight Network, would grow to encompass most of the world. During the 1920’s and 30’s kindred entrepreneurs invested in telecommunication and parcel delivery companies to create secure telephone lines and postal routes for kindred use. Communication between domains flowered as the network spread along with the growth of international trade and communication, reaching most of the world by 1960.

After the United Domains was officially created in 1964 envoys were dispatched to the world’s major cities. One by one, the leaders of the kindred community agreed to join the organization citing a need to gain firmer control over mortal society and the benefits that coordination could bring to policy. Some domains refused to join the United Domains stating a need to protect their cities sovereignty. For the next fifty years the organization would grow until it reached its current size, representing nearly 80% of the world’s current population.

Major Historical Policies

In its relatively short existence, the United Domains has had difficulties passing resolutions, but has managed to further the aims of kindred society for the greater good of all. The Dropping of the Masquerade has been its first major contentious project. Prior to this time, there have only been two more minor initiatives that have been implemented: a census of the vampiric population and the proliferation of the world wide web. All of these steps have been grand strides in kindred life.

The census, which still occurs every 30 years, rose out of the necessity from the post-plague years. With the gross loss of kindred life, the census gave kindred society the ability to keep track of their own — should another disaster like that happen, Kindred society would be able to know exact losses and be able to react accordingly to areas. While there was certainly a large amount of debate over it, the census was the first act to arise out of the UD and bolstered confidence that a worldwide organization could muster support for its initiatives and achieve its goals. The census was organized and implemented in 1970, and continues to this day. 120,000 kindred are estimated to be on the planet (accounting for growth since the last census), with 140,000 estimated by 2030. This population still flags behind the estimated ideal ratio of 50,000 mortals for every kindred – the toll of the plague still showing it’s effects nearly a century later.

The Internet’s ability to coordinate information on a large scale was immediately attractive to kindred. Ordo Dracul scholars were involved in the mortal project that spawned the ideas and technology behind the internet in the 1950s, but it wouldn’t be until decades later that real development would catch Kindred society’s eye. With the innovations of the 80s, it became apparent that world wide network for information was feasible and possible and the UD made it a keystone in its work during this time. Under its watchful eye, the internet grew and was privatized, leading to the system that most are familiar with today. A strong point has been to make sure that control of the net doesn’t become too centralized under any one mortal nation. Such centralization would endanger the kindred control of the internet. So far, it’s been able to defeat mortal legislation in multiple countries. With the support of kindred society, the UD will be able to keep the net free and safe for all of vampire-kind.

However, there have been issues in the past with getting initiatives passed — even ones that seem like positive moves. With the advent of the AIDS crisis in the late 80s and early 90s, there was near panic that another blood plague would arise and threaten the vampiric condition once again. As parts of the kindred population demanded something be done, an initiative arose to test all mortals and kindred for the disease. However, the measure was defeated as arguments arose over implementation, cost, control, and logistics. In the end, dissension over the details lead to the failure of an otherwise sound policy — a reminder to us all about the importance of working together.

Dropping of the Masquerade

The idea of dropping the Masquerade is not new. There are trace records that indicate that the Kindred who controlled Constantinople in the 13th and 14th century considered a proposal for a time before rejecting it as the empire around them fell into decline. Historians believe that it has been seriously considered many times before and since. However, it is only in recent times that it has been considered on a worldwide scale.

Dropping the Masquerade was talked about privately in person and in code over the young internet well before the first serious documented discussion in the late 1980s over a UD controlled messaging forum. The main participants discussed many scenarios and possible implementations of the drop. The arguments in favor of it were simple, with the amount of control over kine kindred in modern cities have and the level of coordination they have through the United Domains, keeping the Masquerade is, at best, merely a nuisance. While drawing the attention of Kindred across the globe, none of the UD councils formally acknowledged a proposal until it was brought to the North American Council by the delegation from New York in the winter session of 1993. Within a year, similar proposals were made in the other seven continental blocs and the debates ensued.

If it were to happen, all the councils agreed that it would have to be a coordinated worldwide effort. With modern communication technologies it would be pointless, and likely quite dangerous, for one or several regions to not actively participate and control kine society around them. It would be likewise dangerous if some region of the world found out about kindred before the sun set in their part of the world. Therefore, communications would need to be tightly controlled across large time differences for the span of less than a day.

It is generally assumed that the Masquerade will eventually be dropped as most regions around the world today are in favor of doing so, Los Angeles included. Presently though, debate still rages as to the exact methods of accomplishing this feat and the optimal ways of controlling and minimizing the ensuing social turbulence. Pundits say to expect it to happen sometime in the next ten years.

LA’s relationship with UD

Los Angeles has, so far, been generally supportive of the United Domains. They voted to become a part of the UD in 1967 with about 80% approval. Furthermore, because of its large population, the city of LA is its own territory, and therefore has its own delegate. Her name is Alicia Bellamy, and she has her own office in the City Hall where she spends a lot of time when she isn’t out on UD business. She sometimes leaves her office open for kindred who want to make proposals or express an opinion, but she generally prefers to hold those conversations at court. (Just because she represents a thousand kindred doesn’t mean she wants to hear the rants of every single one of them.) Any time the UD proposes legislation, Bellamy makes sure that she gets all the facts, and tries her best to see that the kindred of LA can make educated decisions. The most recent proposal is the Masquerade Drop, and although Bellamy supports it, she has heard a lot of mixed feelings from the rest of the city, and there hasn’t yet been any major force to push the decision in either direction.

If you ask around the city, you’ll get as many different opinions on the UD as you would asking common folk about the U.S. government. Some love it, and approve of the decisions it makes. Others think it’s doing a horrible job and its policies are useless and its system is a joke at equal inclusion. Some think it’s effective, corrupt, organized, inefficient, or secretly governed by vampire imposters from Mars. There’s a thousand opinions in LA, and although plenty will complain, many more will, albeit begrudgingly, acknowledge that the UD isn’t a bad thing.

Roles as World Harpy

Two major functions of the United Domains are to track boons owed between regions and to keep tabs on how well-respected regions are by others. Yes, regions can owe a variety of boon sizes to each other, just like any LA citizen can owe to each other.

Generally, boons are owed to or owed by the region as a whole, not region leaders or other individuals. Leaders of a region may attempt to fulfill boons themselves, but most call upon citizens to aid in the fulfillment of a boon. As an example, the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, etc) owes a boon to Los Angeles, as the city government of LA helped the PacNW deal with a hunter problem within their borders by sending many able-bodied Kindred to fight. Just as a kindred may call upon an individual to repay a boon, so too may LA ask the PacNW to repay.

Regions earn or lose status through the official actions of their representatives or by positive or negative conditions within their borders. If, for example, the PacNW’s representative consistently attends meetings and helps others to pass bills, the PacNW may earn a small amount of status. If, however, the PacNW has few tasty mortals and hardly any kindred amenities (safe transit to/from the region, a helpful government), it may be of lower status within the UD. In general, if other regions take a positive interest in a region and view it as useful and worthy of respect, it has high status.

Divisions of UD

The main advisory body of the United Domains consists of a council of eight ambassadors from continental blocs around the world. This includes North and South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle/Near East Asia, Mainland Asia, Australia, and Pacific Islands/Oceania/Antarctica. In order to avoid time zone or other difficulties associated with organizing global events, the council meets based on the seasons of the Earth in locations with lengthy nights. Presently, rumors indicate the base of operations resides somewhere in Scandinavia but this has never been confirmed due to the need for maximum security.

Beneath the Council of Eight, the next layer down within the United Domains is comprised of delegates from nationally recognized countries within kine geography. The same boundaries, ethnic loyalties, and regional sympathies generally carry over after the Embrace. Of course, individual diplomats still cling to certain ideals based on clan/covenant affiliation. However, as the United Domains arose out a global need for more prudential standards over the preservation of vampiric society, those personal or political agendas are of little concern in this broader arena.

Countries elect their major representation out of committees comprised of delegates within their region and the total number of officials for each country is dependent upon population. Each individual country amasses their delegate pools using different mechanisms depending on what is most suitable given their society, climate, population distribution, etc. In the Unites States, for example, major population centers with an organized government consisting of more than 30 kindred are eligible to appoint a delegate for voting power on the national assembly. Therefore, large or more populous countries will typically have more delegates sitting on the United Domains. In order to maintain an equitable distribution of global influence, the chief governing body will still consist of 8 representatives all with equal power.

Dev Diary 5: Won’t you be my neighbor?

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Greetings Deadcitizens!

Below is a list of some major NPCs you’ll encounter in our upcoming chronicle. Please remember that this list is not exhaustive; there will be plenty more important folks you’ll learn about in upcoming months. As you’ll recall, you first learned about the Prince and other Prince-like characters in Dev Diary 2A, refer to that for more info.

Fernando Esteban Oreja de Sevilla
Clan: Nosferatu
Covenant: Invictus

Former Prince Oreja was one of the first vampires to arrive in the Los Angeles area in the early 19th century when the city was just a small mission. Some even say he was the first. He is a tall, genial man who prefers wearing waistcoats, muttonchops, and a devilish moustache to complete his image of a Victorian gentleman; though there is something fiendish about the way he twirls it. He reigned as Prince until 1934. During his praxis, the kindred community grew along with LA and he proved incapable of managing his dominion. His tenure was plagued with crisis after crisis and several corruption scandals, which ultimately led to his fall from power in the 1930s. His poor leadership left him with few friends and allies, even among his covenant. He spends modern nights painting in his haven and trying to find some way to get back into kindred society’s good graces. He currently opposes plans to drop the Masquerade and wants to rally the city against the initiative but few still heed his words.

—–

Hierophant Sterling Engelhart
Clan: Gangrel
Covenant: Circle of the Crone

Sterling Englehart settled in Los Angeles long ago, predating local canons of kindred history. In more recent decades, many citizens fondly recall Sterling’s splash onto the political scene during the 1918 plague epidemic. During the virulent blight, Sterling rose up to tame civil unrest, championing local recovery and stabilization campaigns arising out of a power vacuum in a city devoid of elders. Sterling continued to build up local sentiment and began voicing his ideas over the benefits of compartmentalization of government. During the first election, he capitalized on the mismanagement of former regimes and used his political theories as an action plan for change, ultimately winning popular favor. Since then, he painstakingly laid the groundwork for organized city government and many believe modern day Los Angeles finally reflects Sterling’s vision.

After passing the throne of Los Angeles on to his beloved wife Elizabeth, Sterling found a renewed enthusiasm for the teachings of the Crone. The Los Angeles Crone rallied support behind Sterling both during his campaigns and terms as Prince and continues to look to him as their natural leader. After stepping off of the political throne, Sterling quickly found himself called up to the spiritual throne as Hierophant of the covenant. In addition to the government, acolytes proclaim the wonders of Sterling’s accomplishments within the group. Stories range from bolstering recruitment, participation, and retention of acolytes to the otherworldly “Communion with the Crone” sessions the Hierophant hosts.

Engaging Sterling will greet any unsuspecting conversationalist as a tender-hearted and genuine steward, devoted to his wife, spiritual followers, and all kindred of Los Angeles. Although he will freely profess his doctrines over government, social policy, and Crone enlightenment, many heed his notoriously short temper and dislike for dissenting opinions.

—–

Prince Elizabeth Engelhart
Clan: Daeva
Covenant: Circle of the Crone

Elected in 1974, Elizabeth has used her time as Prince to work towards her goals of harmony and safety within the city. On many occasions, she has spoken about what she believes to be the role of government: a nurturing guardian for its citizens. Although she built the rather complex kindred bureaucracy within the city, she appears to enjoy meeting citizens in person during her monthly Court sessions. At Court, she arbitrates difficult or unusual cases and is usually fair and unbiased in her decisions. Quite the pacifist, Elizabeth does not punish criminals to the final death or banishment, but rather prefers to rehabilitate them into friendly, productive members of society. Although she does call bloodhunts, she always declares targets to be wanted alive.

Elizabeth manages to remain calm in the most stressful public situations and is warm with all of her citizens, even repeat diablerists. She hosts many charitable events and awards grants for research into synthetic blood. Her personal love for “vegan” “granola” bars edible by vampires is well-known in the city. She supports the United Domains and accepts their decisions after careful consideration.

—–

Prince-Elect Mark Lucas, Bishop in Transition
Clan: Daeva
Covenant: Lancea Sanctum

Mark Lucas has come a long way in the city since he first arrived in the early 1940s. Rushing in on the wave of nationalism that marked the United States’ first early steps into the Second World War, Lucas moved to LA to establish a new church in the growing city and came with a sermon of destiny for the American vampire. While at first enthused with the growing democracy of the rising city, the excitement has changed to growing distrust and finalized into a fiery vitriol as he watched the bureaucracy grow to monstrous proportions and wipe away the individual freedoms of the every-man vampire. His fervor moved him to run for election.

Even though the tide of public opinion has changed against him, he still stands firm on the sanctity of a vampire’s freedom to pursue anonymity in this modern era. After all, he says from his pulpit, if God wanted us to all stand open and in the light, he wouldn’t make that light burn so much.

Lucas’s passions run deep and it shows in his personality and his politics. He is like most of his clan — happy in the spotlight and not shy about espousing his opinion. He knows that this has earned him as many enemies as friends, but he believes that what he is doing is right and if doing the right thing burns some bridges, so be it. His passion has won him the title of Bishop in the city, and his supporters claim that was what won him his election. His opponents say that this “passion” is why he won it only barely.

Despite his loud and aggressive demeanor, the Lance know of his softer side. He is an expert in art and an accomplished artist. His well known works offer up version of the traditional martyr paintings but redone with a vampiric bent; some kindred art critics offer them up as a sort of commentary about sainthood and damnation, how kindred have to sacrifice aspects of their personality in order to be what kindred are supposed to be. Lucas simply lets the paintings talk for themselves and makes no direct comment on their meaning.

—–

Xin Fields, Grand Wyrm
Clan: Ventrue
Covenant: Ordo Dracul

Xin Fields has been in Los Angeles for quite a while, but until several years ago has been virtually unseen on the political stage. In 1919, Fields took the reigns of the Ordo Dracul when his predecessor was destroyed by the Plague and has since led his covenant with reason and measured practicality. He was sometimes seen as more of a figurehead as he delegated nearly all of the managerial duties of running a covenant so he could pursue his true passion: understanding the supernatural practices of the (now gone) pre-European kindred of the New World.

Xin Fields has always been a long-time supporter of the Engleharts and their policies, even if he has criticized at times the efficiency of their implementation. When Mark Lucas announced his bid for praxis, there was concern among those who supported the Englehart administration about the lack of a strong opposing candidate. Unexpectedly, Fields stepped up to that role. His platform was simple: he would continue the policies and ideals of the previous administrations while also pursuing a simplification and streamlining of the bureaucracy. He approached his campaign with a surprising amount of professionalism considering that this was his first political pursuit and quickly rallied many of the strong Englehart supporters. Some saw this lack of political experience as a strength while others saw it as a crippling weakness and even say it was what cost him the election.

—–

Lady Grey, Keeper of Elysium, Libertine Social Club
Clan: Nosferatu
Covenant: Unaligned

The mysterious Lady Grey does not often make appearances at her own Elysium, but do not take that to mean that she is not there. She is always watching, and her staff makes that known. As a newly instated Keeper to a popular Elysium, she is well aware that she has to prove her worth, and she takes that very seriously. Many a kindred has tested the waters only to have her suddenly appear with a rage that belies her more meek appearance.

She has built up a reputation as a presence rather than a person — communicating through letters that suddenly appear in your pocket, appearing as a sudden whisper in your ear before disappearing again into the shadows. She is practically a ghost, and this quirk within her nature is why she is known as Lady Grey. Her true name is unknown to most people in the city.

She’s worked hard to earn the rights of this Elysium, and sees it as the Nos finally winning true acceptance within the city. Too long, she has whispered, have the Daeva stood in the limelight. Accusations have been thrown against her for the downfall of some prominent Daeva, but she remains silent on the issue — which is not unusual.

Under her care, the Libertine Social Club has taken a dark turn. While once a temple to excess, its parlours no longer contain the happy, eternally-young-looking party goers that it once did. There is grey in their temples now, a twitch of decay in the patrons — the mortals that attend show their abuses more, no longer having the patina of glamour that infused the Elysium as run by the Daeva. Under Nosferatu management the club has a dark vibe — these are the patrons that know that they are self destructing but can’t stop. It is a slow death.

The Doll Room is Lady Grey’s special suite where she may do business with kindred should the need arise. It is covered from floor to ceiling with all sorts of dolls. Every single one of them is marred with a single imperfection that prevented their sale. Lady Grey dotes on them like real children.

—–

Sebastian Ainsworth, Seneschal of Administration
Clan: Mekhet
Covenant: Carthian

Sebastian Ainsworth has been the Seneschal of Administration since the position’s creation. He came to L.A. shortly before the plague hit, so few people remember what he was like before then; he is better known as the stoic, calculating man he has become. He is a strong proponent of the United Domains and the organization and communication resources it provides, although every time he is asked about the dropping of the Masquerade, he insists that he would prefer not to discuss it. Among the less politically-inclined, he is well known for always having pens and paper on hand. Some daring kindred once tried to see how long it would take before the Seneschal ran out of pens and had to return to his office for more. They gave up after pocketing seventy eight pens and a pad of Form 872A-3 (Requisition of Supplementary Writing Utensil, Ink: Black, Permanent, Ballpoint).

—–

Harpy Liza Slander
Clan: Unknown
Covenant: Unknown

The kindred newspaper of Los Angeles, The Chronicle, has featured a daily column entitled “Damned Lies” by Liza Slander for nearly 80 years. Miss Slander began her career as a gossip columnist and, over time, her opinions on public figures became rather well-respected. Her accusations are (nearly) always found to be correct and she always manages to have insider information about the best political and covenant drama. Because her judgements about citizens are held in such high esteem, she is recognized as an independent Harpy in Los Angeles. Liza Slander makes a point of keeping her real identity secret, having said that this allows her to collect secret information, keeps her safe, and sells more newspapers.

This summer, you’ll get an exclusive sneak preview of The Chronicle and Liza’s column, “Damned Lies.”

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

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:

Elysia

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

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 3: Dev Another Day

Hello Dead Citizens!

Still digesting our last dev diary?  Don’t worry!  We bring you a dev diary this week that is on the lighter side of content.  As we have mentioned previously, we will be sending dev diaries every two weeks throughout the summer.  The following is our planned schedule of topics for your perusal.  We encourage you to send us any questions you may have that you would like to see answered in these diaries.  We’ve gotten a few so far and have been impressed with the thoughtfulness of your queries.

  1. May 5 – The Plague, Initial Character Ideas

  2. May 17-19 – The Princes, The Political History, The Bureaucracy

  3. June 2 – Metadiary (THIS ONE!!!)

  4. June 16 – Los Angeles: City of Angels?

  5. June 30 – Locations and Major NPCs

  6. July 14 – Recent Worldwide Politics and the United Domains

  7. July 28 – Miscellaneous Questions Answered

  8. August 11 – Character Pitch Guidelines and Game Mechanics

 

A reminder: if you have any thoughts or ideas about your character for next year, please share them with the ST team.  We’re not looking for anything formal; we just want to open a dialog.  Below is an example:

“My character, Betty, is a 50s housewife who still lives in the past a bit.  She’s a Daeva who wants to be loved by everyone and is seeking a kindred husband.  She’s a member of the Lancea, but only because she was a good Catholic girl in her mortal life.  She was embraced roughly 50 years ago and has lived in Anchorage her entire life and unlife.  I was thinking that she might have a neighbor who is a dumb nurse who supplies her with blood who’s her best friend.  I’m thinking she’s also a bit sexist (against women) and isn’t always very confident in herself.”

If you don’t have any ideas yet, don’t worry!  You have all summer and mini-pitches won’t be due until sometime in August.  If you have ideas and haven’t emailed us (you know who you are), please do so soon so we can begin weaving your character into our developing world.

The following is the current count of clan and covenant pitches we have so far received via email.  Please note that the balance among clans and covenants is very likely to change as we hear about more characters.

Clans:

Daeva – 6

Mekhet – 2

Gangrel – 0

Ventrue – 1

Nosferatu – 1

 

Covenants:

Invictus – 2

Carthians – 3

Circle of the Crone – 1

Lancea Sanctum – 0

Ordo Dracul – 7

Unaligned – 0

VII – 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Dev Diary 2C: Dev Harder – You have a choice in this world

Greetings once more fellow dead compatriots!

Continuing the email series this weekend for “Dev Diary 2” we present to you an overview of the structure of kindred city government in Los Angeles.  Below you will find descriptions for the major positions and offices.  Attached is a chart laying out much of the bureaucratic hierarchy beneath the Prince.  Not shown are minor positions and much of what would be considered “support staff” (which Harpies sometimes refer to as their “entourage”.)

If you look at this and feel overwhelmed, that’s entirely the point. You are NOT expected, neither in nor out of character, to know this governmental structure. Even if your character has a role in this government, it’s likely only going to be relevant to know who reports to you and to whom you report. The primary purpose of this information is to provide a backdrop to the story of your characters.
 

 
The Prince

The Prince of L.A. is in charge of running the city and is put into power via elections in a manner remarkably similar to that of the mortal U.S. government.  A Prince may serve only two terms, each of which last merely 20 years.  The Prince is in charge of organizing the Seneschals and ensuring that the many channels of city function all run smoothly.  Generally, towards the beginning and end of their first term, a Prince listens to public opinion because the people have control in elections.  Ultimately, though, every Prince has their own views, and their position gives them the power to back them.

 

 
The Primogen and Prisci Councils

The Primogen and Prisci Councils of L.A. are very similar in structure.  The Primogen Council is comprised of a representative from each of the five recognized covenants in the city while the Prisci Council of L.A. is made up of a representative from each of the five clans in the city.  The city government holds no elections for seats on either Council; each covenant or clan chooses their representative in whatever manner they deem fit.  They may also pull their representative at any time, although doing so on a whim would likely damage their reputation in the eyes of the other covenants.  While those who sit on the Councils may not be the leaders of their respective clan or covenant, they generally are well respected both with their constituents and within the city as a whole.

Together, the Councils layout the long-term and broad policies of the kindred of Los Angeles and leave it to the Prince to implement and enforce them.  The Prince always has ample leeway in how to carry out the agendas of the Councils and anything not specified is subject to the will of the Prince.  This is not without checks though.  The Councils approve the Prince’s appointees for the various positions in the bureaucracy underneath the Prince.  Each Council has their own Harpy with their own staff.  While generally a fairly slow process, the Councils may also modify their policies to negate decrees of the Prince.  In the worst case, the Councils have the power to depose the Prince, although this has never happened, yet.

 

 
Department of Administration

The Seneschal of Administration heads the Department of Administration and sees to it that the government continues to function internally. The SA oversees several offices who specialize in the most business-like aspects of the city government.

Office of the Minister – The Chief Minister keeps track of major communications and marketing movements in and around L.A.

Office of the Herald – The Chief Herald handles communications and policy announcements from the Prince and filters these through the appropriate channels down to kindred society through various media.

Communications Office – A relatively new position, the Communications Group manages the image of Kindred in the eyes of the mortal world.  This includes both maintaining the Masquerade in the public media and, if and when the Masquerade is dropped, controlling the public image of kindred in L.A.

Office of Finance – The Chief Financial Officer appropriates government finance for purposes such as taxation, procurement of goods and services, and human capital.  This includes numerous checks and balances and a number of business functions connected to the manipulation of mortal markets and financial industries.

 

 
Department of Information

The Department of Information, lead by the Seneschal of Information, addresses domain, security, and technological concerns throughout the city. The SI manages three offices:

Office of the Interior

Master of Elysia – The Master of Elysia oversees all the Elysia of Los Angeles and their keepers.  The ME also decides where court will be held and administrates each session along with the keeper of that elysium.

Master of Regents – Each Regent granted the privilege of domain is responsible for administering and keeping the peace in their domain.  They all coordinate with the Master of Regents regarding these responsibilities.

Office of Security

Head Hound – While some hounds are assigned to a specific bureau to work with the local sheriff and some actively patrol the city to enforce specific decrees, all hounds ultimately report to the Head Hound.

Commissioner – The Commissioner, often called the Chief Sheriff, oversees the sheriffs of Los Angeles.

Guardian of the Masquerade – The GM works with nearly every other office of government to maintain the Masquerade.

Office of Information

Technology Area Manager – The technology operations group handles technology development and support for the organization.  This includes but is not limited to development of software to automate and simplify record keeping, news releases, identifying masquerade breaches, and processing government documentation.

Information Security Manager – The ISM oversees security of all information related to the city government, network security, encrypting confidential or sensitive information, and document retention controls.

 

 
Department of Kindred Relations

The Seneschal of Kindred Relations has a fairly straightforward job.  The SKR supervises the city’s relationships, both within L.A. and between the city and the United Domains.

Office of Relations – The Community Affairs Manager coordinates relations between the government and local communities.  The delegation to the United Domains also reports to the SKR through the Office of Relations.

Office of Policy – The Chief Policy Advisor organizes the Prince’s policy platform and coordinates with the Primogen and Prisci Councils.

Office of the Prince’s Harpy – The Prince’s Harpy keeps formal records of boons and is the Prince’s voice to the public on city issues, legislative affairs, and major Kindred in the city.

 

 
Department of Counsel

The Seneschal of Counsel organizes a variety of groups to provide the Prince and the Councils with the most well-informed analysis of any situation that may arise.

General Council – The General Council and the GC’s staff are experts in trusts and contracts.  The function of this department serves to represent the organization, staff, and policies against legal inquiries from the United Domains, local citizens, or any other party.  Government attorneys often times work hand in hand with the ops risk team to evaluate and provide feedback on potential procedural gaps or oversight against regulation.

Council of Risk – The Chief Risk Officer advises on risks associated with the strategic values and business ventures undertaken by the government.  This includes legal risk for unprecedented or avant-garde ventures, media risks which could potentially breach the masquerade, and reputational risk which could damage the public image of the organization.

Council of Spirit – The Spiritual Advisor provides council pertaining to the myriad occult and supernatural sources.  Fortune cookies are a favorite of the Prince for new ideas.

 

Regards,

Storytellers of the 2013-2014 Mainstage Chronicle

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