Introduction

 

In-Character

"The guy in charge, call him the Prince, makes all the decisions. But everyone else, they let him live." - Carthian Joe.

Storyteller's Manifesto

Hi. I'm Peter S. Svensson, head Storyteller for The Bloody Price. That means that I set the tone of the game, I determine the overall plot, and I am the final arbiter for rules. It's important for me that my stance on the game be made clear, so that players have an idea of what to expect, and whether or not they will want to try a game that I'm running. Different people will run game differently, but this is how I plan on running The Bloody Price.

 This LARP is run on the behalf of the players. They are the main reason the game is being run. To that end, staff should never make NPCs who steal the spotlight from the players. Serve as worthy antagonists, interesting supporting cast, sure. NPCs aren't just there to dispense kudos to the PCs. That would make things boring. But the focus of the game should be on the players.

When at all possible, political and social power should remain in player character hands. The in-game politics work better when the majority, (if not all) the parties involved are players. NPCs can guide, they can suggest, but they shouldn't be in charge.

Game is local. This game focuses on San Jose and the surrounding regions.

At no point will the scale of game expand to be global. The world will never be endangered. The capacity to tell stories about the moral cost of being a vampire is diminished when a character can honestly say that they have saved the entire world and everyone who lives on it. But being local doesn't mean unimportant. Saving a single elderly woman from being killed can have infinitely greater impact than saving an entire city, even if the scale might imply otherwise.

Players vary. Different players play for different reasons. I can't satisfy everyone.

This is a Vampire game. It is set in a greater World of Darkness. Crossover will be used to flesh out the city, to create other NPCs to interact with, and sources for potential threats or allies, but should never overshadow the core themes of Vampire: the Requiem.

There are four major elements that I feel make Vampire work. Here they are, in the order of importance.

Occult Mystery

Vampires live in a strange world. The World of Darkness is full of things that players will investigate, learn about, deal with or hide from. The main focus of the game is mystery, survival, and problem solving. This is the element of the game which is primarily Players vs Environment (as portrayed by Staff NPCs.)

Political Intrigue

Vampire is a game of dressing up and acting petty. Players scheme, politic, and betray each other. Characters will have important things to fight over. The important element here is that political backstabbing doesn't inherently lead towards characters killing each other off. The price of murdering your foes can often be too high. Ruining their projects, stealing their property, slandering their name. This is the element of the game which is primarily Players vs other Players.

Players should take game seriously, but not personally. The player who ruins you politically and attacks your character is doing so because it makes for interesting drama. It is fun to have terrible things happen to your character. It is cathartic and entertaining. The character may not enjoy it, but the player should.

Players who aren't interested in having tragedy befall their characters probably will not have a good time playing this game.


Personal Horror

Actions have consequences. Those consequences are often not very nice. To be a vampire is to struggle between the human you once were, and the monster within. The Humanity system, as a means of measuring your character's capacity for treating others as more than potential food is key to this.

Action Adventure

Drama LARP isn't really well designed for high octane action. This is not going to be a game with a heavy focus on combat. Action is part of the Vampire genre, and violence will occur, but it should be rare. And it isn't likely to be stylized Hollywood action film violence. It will be brutal, and end quickly. Violence isn't as important as the consequences that follow.

Conclusion

I want to run a game that players find enjoyable. This is a bit about what I think leads to an entertaining game. If this sounds acceptable to you, great. If you have concerns, please let me know. I want to run a better game, and feedback is the only way I can do that.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Peter S. Svensson
Head Storyteller