Archive for February, 2011

The Hound: Lucia Foster-Webb

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Background
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Lucia Foster-Webb, Ordo Dracul Mekhet

Prince Marsh’s Hound has an unassuming look about her; standing just over 5 feet 4 inches tall, shoulder length brown hair, and usually dressed in nondescript clothing, unless you knew who she was already you would more than likely discount her. Those who do know who she is though give her a wide berth and a large amount of respect; there are none in the city of Los Angeles more dangerous.

The rumours about Lucia Foster-Webb are many, and no one knows for sure which are true and which aren’t. The more pervasive of these rumours are:

  • She is the oldest Vampire in Los Angeles
  • She was raised in old money on the East Coast of the USA
  • She was a nurse in the Civil War
  • She was a soldier in the Civil War
  • Her sire learned the Coils of the Dragon from Dracula himself
  • She can walk through walls
  • She was singlehandedly responsible for killing Prince Hunt’s bodyguard during the coup
  • If you can see her, you are fine. It’s when she disappears that you have to begin worrying
  • She is actually a man

One thing is certain though; if you are visited by Foster-Webb unexpectedly, it’s because Prince Marsh no longer cares what you have to say.

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A Gathering: Wednesday 2 March 2011

Posted: February 28, 2011 in Uncategorized
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By order of the Prince, Jocelyn Marsh:

and enacted by myself, Primogen Drake

All Kindred in my Domain, having been embraced after the year 1960 (nineteen hundred and sixty), are to report to the Elysium located at 1321 El Prado Avenue on Wednesday, the second of March, 2011. Failure to present yourself without a valid excuse will result in unpleasant repercussions in the future.

Drake.
Primogen of Los Angeles and Member of the Inner Circle

(OOC: This has been posted on the LA By Night forums, under “Prince’s Announcements”. From now on, check there for in-game announcements)

Here is a org chart of the power players that most of you will be aware of in the city. Hopefully this will help keep the names clear 🙂

The Sheriff: Aaron Weldon

Posted: February 24, 2011 in Background
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Aaron Weldon: Carthian Gangrel

Quietly – but ruthlessly – efficient, Aaron Weldon has been living in the Los Angeles area since the 1930’s, having moved with his family from England. He was embraced shortly thereafter, but what happened to his family is a secret known only to a select few. Weldon joined the Carthians some time later, and is often seen with Jocelyn Marsh. In fact the two seem quite close and some claim that they are lovers; a fact strenuously denied by all parties, and by Michelle Dawson (the Harpy) as well, denials which only fuel the rumours more.

What is certainly true is that Weldon has a reputation for fairness and even-handedness in his official capacity as Sheriff. It seems that he actually does have the interests of the Kindred of Los Angeles foremost among his priorities. However, none can claim that he is soft – the truth is far removed from that! When angered, or given no alternative, Weldon is a fearsome fighter in his own right, and his command over both his deputies and his own personal pack of ghouled German Shepherds ensure that any punishments he deems necessary are swiftly carried out.

That’s right folks, you’re running out of time!

Apologies for the last minute notice, but I just flew back into the country yesterday (and boy are my arms tired…)

Location: The Link, Uni library (same as last time)
Time: 6pm until we’re done (hoping to be about 9pm again)

See you there!

As an example of the type of background I’m looking for, here’s an excerpt from a document I’m using for this game. It’s a write-up for an NPC I won’t be using, so there’s no danger of learning things you shouldn’t know or running into this guy anytime soon. It is, however, the sort of thing I’m after for a character background. So without further ado I present:

Antonio Castillo

Master of Elysium
Clan: Nosferatu
Embrace 1799
Covenant: Circle of the Crone
If Antonio Castillo is not the oldest Kindred in Los Angeles, it is anyone’s guess who is. In addition to being one of the oldest active Kindred in L.A., if not the oldest, he also has the distinction of being one of the few elders who was Embraced in L.A. And yet for all of this age and history, Castillo has not climbed all that high in the hierarchy of the city. He is a respected Acolyte, well known for his faith and his understanding of Crűac, but strangely enough he has also rejected most offers to obtain more power within both the city and his covenant. Many suspect he could have easily been the Circle’s Hierophant; it is unlikely that anyone would have opposed him if he had tried. But he stepped aside for Lilya Nordstran, just as he stepped aside for her predecessor. In fact, although he is the city’s third Master of Elysium, he did not seek that role either. Instead Nordstran gave it to him.

Castillo was born and raised in Los Angeles. His father was a Spanish colonist and rancher, his mother a local Indian woman. His childhood was typical in almost every respect until the day that his family began to enjoy success. By the time he was a young man, his family’s ranch had begun to turn vast profits. These were used to buy more land, which in turn generated more wealth. In 1788 Antonio was made into a ghoul by one of the local Sanctified Kindred who hoped to be able to use the young man to gain leverage over his family and finances. Within ten years, however, the young ghoul had proven himself in more ways than one, and his regnant choose to offer him the Embrace. However, if his sire hoped that Castillo would join the Sanctified, he was sorely mistaken. While Antonio had been brought up in a Catholic household, he had also been educated in his mother’s unique spiritualism.

And it was the ideals of his mother that most deeply resonated with him after the Embrace. More than that, he had chafed under the control of his regnant and wanted little to do with him or his covenant. The Vinculum probably wouldn’t have given him any choice in the matter, but the arrival of the Invictus “solved” the problem for him.
Almost one hundred years after his Embrace, Castillo at last found an outlet for his energies and his faith. He joined the Circle of the Crone almost as soon as it established itself and quickly became a respected member. Since then he has led a quiet Requiem, refusing to back any one creed or cult over another and doing his best to remove himself from the political quagmire that is L.A. As such, he is considered a respected and highly sought after spiritual advisor and scholar of blood magic. Recently, however, he has begun to show some interest in the Universalists’ creed, as it seems to mirror some of his own thoughts on the matter. So far he has refused to openly support them, but he has given some subtle signs that he may well side with them in the future.
For now, however, this elder seems content to go his own way and care for his own faith, as well as tend to Griffith Park. His participation within Court remains minimal, however. In truth he does not really want the extra authority, or the extra responsibility, that comes with being a Master of Elysium, but he also understands that the position is an important symbol for any future Carthian/Acolyte cooperation and therefore discharges his duties both faithfully and efficiently.

None of the characters in the game were born vampires. All of them were born to a normal, human family, grew up, had adventures and troubles and went through puberty (mostly…) and probably had a job or jobs, interests, fears, curiosities….. and in fact most of the characters had been mortal for FAR FAR longer than they have been Kindred.

But this isn’t being reflected in the character backgrounds I’m getting. The vast majority are about what you do now and where you live now and so on. I need to know those things, but as a Storyteller I need to know about your childhood, your family, your friends. What did you do before you were embraced? NO ONE lives out their lives by themselves, it’s just not possible. The friends you had before your embrace – where are they now? What do they do? Do they know you’re a bloodsucking, unfeeling, creature of the darkness? Are you still using your real name? Do you have a driver’s licence? Any qualifications from High School or College?

In order to make this a game about personal horror – which is the main theme of the whole chronicle – I need to know about the person and not just the Vampire. Not to knock the previous games, but they felt – to me – like they were more about the kewl powerz and the crazy earth-shattering plots. This game isn’t going to be like that. I plan on exploring what makes every single character tick; and then trying to make it tick backwards.  Make it tick inside out. Screw around with reality, and perception, and what horror truly means to that individual character. And to do that I need to know as much as I can about the character.

Someone asked me on Wednesday night how much character background I wanted. I said something along the lines of “as much as you can give me”. I don’t think that remark was taken seriously, but by God I meant it. If you want to – and I know not everyone does, but if you do – write me a 10-page, 7,000 word treatise on your character, please do so. I promise you it will make the game more rewarding, more real, and more engaging than it would be otherwise. I know a lot of people have neither the time nor the inclination to do such a thing. But I do need and want a detailed, rich character history for every character in the game. And I would like for those histories to be “proportional” to the character, by which I mean if you were alive for 20 years and embraced for 10, 2/3rds of your background should be about what you did while you were mortal, since it was 2/3rds of your existence.

This is not a test. You will not get marked. But the more you put in, the more you’ll get out.