July 2nd, 2001

Joining a LARP

I might be joining a LARP soon, should the ST get back to me with some information. It's a Vampire LARP. I've been told so far that the game has a heavily Camarilla base, has a number of ongoing storylines, and is heavily into using influences and what not.

I'm still a bit wary;) The first time I played a LARP, my Neonate Ventrue was made the Primogen within 15 minutes of the beginning of the game and killed by the Sabbat within 30 minutes of the beginning of the game. All this on my very first day of playing a LARP, period, mind you;)


ANYWAY;) The reason I'm asking is -- assuming that this is actually a decent game and I have fun...

...does anyone have any advice for a brand-spanking-new LARPer, of any kind?

I'm fairly experienced with Tabletop, mostly on the SToryteller side, but I've only played a LARP once. Character wise, I'm not sure exactly what I'm getting into but my mind is currently leaning toward a Malkavian character;) I've heard that they're often not done very well, especially in LARPs, and I think it might be fun to try...

Anyway; any advice or comments are welcome! Thanks!
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A Question of Malkavians

This is by far my favorite question to be asked. What makes a good Malkavian? Here are my thoughts on the issue.

1) There is nothing silly, humorous, or fun about Malkavians. Malkavians are terrifying. Caine cursed them to strike terror into the hearts of their brethren, forever alienating them from any comfort.
2) Malkavians are bloody, they are bad guys. Malkav was cursed for taking pleasure in terror, pain, and death. He was a blood crazed warrior. He was a murderer. He was a very naughty guy.
3) Malkavians are not stupid, they are seers and prophets. Please don't play them like idiots because you are furthering a very annoying stereotype.
4) If you want to have a cute gimmick like a sock puppet please start beating yourself in the head with a hammer and stop when I tell you to.
5) Most Malkavians are not always insane, if they were they wouldn't be functional. Most insanity is triggered. Find a trigger, something that makes sense, and remember it while playing.
6) Make sure your trigger isn't something stupid, like furry animals. Make it something realistic like, being alone in a room with a woman... or something.
7) Pay attention to gathering influences. This is where the power of the Malkavians lie.
8) Remember that Malkav had two brothers. Saulot and Set. Saulot was a /very/ bloody and evil bastard while also being saintly, almost split personality. Set is a visionary and a ruthless defiler (megalomaniac and sociopath). Malkav is a combination of the two (embodying a host of his own insanities). This madness goes further than just Malkav, it was in his family blood.
9) Kill. It strikes terror into your allies and enemies.
10) Don't kill without reason, no matter how convoluted.
11) If YoU WaNt To WrItE LiKe ThIs, DoNt PlAy A MaLkAvIaN. BeCoMe A HaCkEr InStEaD AnD LeAvE Us AlOnE.
12) Remeber that you are Malkavian first and foremost. Sect membership is for loonies (of course, if it is part of your derangement to be a maniac supporter of the Cam, then it's fine.) Most Malkavians couldn't give a shit which sect they are a part of. When meeting another Malk they just see another Malk (for better or for worse) and don't give a rats ass about Sect. This makes Malks VERY dangerous allies. Of course, many Malkavians hate other Malkavians out of fear, so that keeps them in check.

Watch these movies...

1) Pink Floyd's The Wall. It will break your mind and give you an idea of what madness should be like.
2) Clockwork Orange - This will show you the horror of insanity and how bloody you should be.
3) Fight Club - Again, illustrating insanity and the charisma it brings.
4) Vampire's Kiss. Again, another showing how insanity is violently painful and even when it is funny it is still drenched in blood.
5) One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest - Mmmm great Sociopath movie.
White Eye

Computers in RPGs

One of the mailing lists I'm on had an interesting post, a quote out of a Dragon magazine from 1979:


Now, I'd guess that things have moved on just a little since then.. anyone out there use computer-based stuff in a real-world pen and paper game?
What's the best tools you've found? Anyone, anyone ever find anything for the Mac? ;o)

[Edited to change link from https:// to http:// since the auto-linker doesn't appear to like secure sites]
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Lemme tell you about my character...

More accurately, I want to talk about a Malkavian character's derangement and how I see him fitting into a game. However, for this to make sense, I also have to talk about the character. Apologies to anyone who simply isn't interested.


James Stuart was a 23 year old student of Philosophy at a local College. Not a very good college, mind you. He completed two years at a community college, with a fairly decent GPA and other relevant information, and transferred to a local college that wasn't all that expensive and that would accept him. James was interested in all kinds of things Philosophical; questions of Ethics, where Religion fits into the world, what the proper place of Man was in the universe. How one should live his life. Morality. He had big thoughts; he wasn't really sure what he would do after college. It didn't bother him that much that "I have a PhD in Philosophy" is not one of the most in demand job skills in existence. He just knew that he liked /thinking/, and he wanted to learn all about new ways of thinking and the thoughts of past great thinkers. The classical philosophers, and more contemporary ones.

I'm still working on the Sire, and how they got together. I picture the Sire as an almost Dark Ages Brujah type Malkavian. An insane philosopher; Manic-Depressive would work, I believe, for the derangement.

The two of them probably met somehow. I can imagine James being quite intrigued by what the Malkavian (let's call him Christopher; Chris for short...) had to say about life and everything. I can envision them getting involved in long debates, talking about the nature of reality, and what not. Of course, Chris doesn't blow the /big/ secret -- Vamprisim and the entire Secret World -- until it's too late.

The reason why James is embraced is still one I'm grappling with, just as I'm curious about how they initially met. One scenario is, during a debate while Chris is in a Manic phase and perhaps a little less careful than normal, James get's this feeling that Chris is holding back something from their discussions. This is mentioned, it starts an argument, with the two of them getting into a screaming match -- that starts a frenzy in the Malkavian, and ending with a more or less Dead James. More or less. Chris, unable to let such a great mind die -- and probably pushed into a depressive stage, as well, once the Frenzy breaks off, embraces James.

James likely gets a crash course in Vampires, and other important stuff. The Masquerade, Sunlight, Blood, The Fact That I'm Not Allowed to Embrace You, The Fact that You Have To Go Somewhere Else, Real Fast, Before the Sheriff Finds Out And I Am Staked For The Sun. Then, he's sent packing... Chris might have embraced you, but he isn't willing to meet the sun for you. Especially since you'd probably be staked out right next to him.

Derangement-wise, I picture James going a different route from his sire. Obsessive/Compulsive Disorder, for example, fits in very well and also makes quite an interesting character at the same time.

The Obsession, "I don't know a blessed thing about anything...but I can learn everything, and I will!" The Compulsion being the acquisition, collection, recording, analysis and testing of knowledge. Copious notes, internal and possibly even external (with someone else) debates, reading and writing, eavesdropping on others. James' compulsion, as such things do, would dominate a good bit of his unlife...

I can imagine that James would also develop quite an interest in the Occult, at least initially. I can't picture him being interested in that stuff, for more than the sociological and philosophical reasons, prior to his embrace. Yet, obviously, there is more to it than he originally thought!

"I mean, look, I'm a /Vampire/ -- my old theory that the Vampire Myth is just a metaphor for the human condition is obviously flawed..."

Thus, naturally, an interesting initial compulsion might be trying to learn as much about Vampires as possible:0)

Anyway? What does everyone think? **I** don't see this as a bad example of a Malkavian, providing that I play him correctly. However, it is true that sometimes you need an outside perspective to spot problems. Does anyone see anything that I'm missing or should consider? Also, any hints??
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