January 17th, 2002


Calling all White-Wolf politickers and Cam Kiddies!

Stolen from EN World messageboards:

For those of you who enjoy keeping your finger on the pulse of the gaming world, there has been a major event in the international White Wolf gaming organization, the Camarilla. For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a 'service' organization that runs a global campaign, kind of like the RPGA Living games, but as a LARP using the Mind's Eye system, and with locally run chapters answering to a large heirarchy of domain, regional, and national storytellers. This is a big organization, with over 30,000 members.
Recent event: The Board of Directors of the Camarilla have, for the past three years, been screwing around and avoiding renewing their contract with White Wolf, arguing about ownership of several key properties, and how much authority White Wolf has within the organization.

White Wolf's new president has apparently found this tiresome, and has declared that, effective immediately, the Camarilla (a non-profit corporate entity), is now under the direct control of White Wolf, and that the Board of Directors is going to be replaced.

The Board of Directors of the Camarilla has decided to fight this, and the rhetoric is flying. There's been a decent amount of spin doctoring coming from the upper reaches of the Cam, and it looks like this might wind up in court.

This is likely to get ugly because there is a large degree of ego-tripping involved here, and the organization might wind up splitting over it.

How this turns out is anybody's guess.

Read the whole thread here.

Legend of the Five Rings

When I first heard of it, it was only a card game. My friend Lantry got me started into it, and I was intrigued by how easy it was to win without buying tons of cards. If you knew how to strategize properly, you could easily build a deck that could withstand an all-rare powerhouse. At the time I started playing Anvil of Despair was the latest expansion. I bought two decks and four boosters, and had a fairly good time with it. I decided to buy more, initially I decided one of each deck (stronghold) and two boosters for every deck I bought. As I learned more about the storyline, and also learned that an RPG based on the setting was planned, I became more enamored of the game, I started buying boxes of boosters. When the RPG came out I was thrilled with it, but as the new storylines progressed in the card game, and no sourcebooks detailing the events of the CCG were coming out I began to get disenchanted with it. I tried picking up some of my books last night and getting back into the spirit of L5R but I just couldn't, there's something missing from it and I don't know what it is. (Or maybe my enthuasiasm has just abated.)
I don't like the new storylines in the card game (I also don't like how it's become another powergaming CCG), but I do like some of the things they've done with the RPG (releasing a book detailing the war!). I haven't read enough of the novels to really have an opinion about them yet.
Does anyone have any amusing or enlightening stories about running L5R as an RPG? (I still have an all-ronin campaign that I've never been able to run, maybe I'll get to it someday)
peachy keen

Long overdue.

...this started as a comment, but got long enough that I decided to post separately. Good to meet all of you, BTW; this is my first post to this community.

I left the Cam in 1996 largely because of the BS OOC leadership issues. I've enjoyed running an independent LARP ever since, with half the drama and comparatively no stress. But as soon as I can figure out where I should send my membership fee to White Wolf, I'm rejoining. I'm not switching my game unless I can be convinced that joining the national storyline is a good thing, but if they're serious about restructuring, I personally would love to be reinvolved.

Even six years ago, the game was ruled and frequently ruined by egotripping powergamers who epitomised the worst in LARPers: the kind of storytellers who see nothing wrong with giving kewl shit to their friends because they're friends, or kewl shit to themselves because they're the ST (it's the only reason they became an ST in the first place, duh!). Or the administrator, or whatever. The National ST retconned an entire three-day regional game in the SCR because one player, the regional ST, whined and bitched after his Justicar character was killed.

It's wrong, and it always has been wrong, for people to get high-powered characters because of OOC works done for the organisation. If anyone's going to get something special, it needs to be because they're a good roleplayer who can handle the power responsibly and effectively. To some extent, it follows that the good RPers are the ones who are ultimately going to dedicate themselves to the game OOC as well... but by making the IC reward an absolute given rather than a potential bonus, they encouraged players to take OOC positions of power only as a quick route to IC positions.

The really sad thing was and is that most Camarilla members don't even realise how badly the org was f*cked up, because they've never LARPed anywhere else. I was there. I still meet Cammies who disdain independent LARPs to the point; I still get Cam 'recruiters' showing up at my game who first court us to join the Camarilla, and when we politely decline inform us that they're going to crush us because no indy LARP anywhere can stand up to the awesomeness of the Camarilla. It's like a LARP cult. :-P

And yet, every time my players visit a Camarilla game, anywhere in the nation, they come back with stories of how the game was okay but the OOC politics make it unfun, and they're glad we don't deal with that. Whenever I hear someone rant about "...and that's why I hate LARPing," when I talk to them further I almost invariably find that the only LARP they've ever been to was a Cam game.

I also to a large extent blame the Camarilla for promoting the unhealthy image of LARPers in the roleplaying community as pricks and drama queens. Because many very visible members of the administration have been, from the BoD down, and they encourage that behavior in their players and everyone who participates. Many manage to avoid it, but the community as a whole has been tainted by the irresponsible and self-gratifying actions of a few.

I have no idea how many of my old friends are still involved in the organisation, or in what capacity. I may get in arguments about this today or soon. But as a dedicated World of Darkness LARPer, I'm glad to see this change in its flagship organisation. I support it wholly.
  • Current Mood
    optimistic optimistic

Villain! Scoundrel! Blackguard!

In a previous post, someone asked a good question that was pretty much ignored since it didn't appear to be addressed to the community. I'm going to ask it again, but I'm going to rephrase it slightly.

What makes a good antagonist?

I'll post my own opinions when I have a little more free time.
  • Current Mood
    sleepy sleepy