Day 29 – Favorite Supplement

There are different kinds of supplements (“supplement” essentially meaning any game-specific resource book that isn’t the core rule book). In the case of Vampire, those are: Setting/scenario books; Player/Storyteller guides; Other non-setting-specific resources; “splat” books (Clans, Covenants and Roads), and tie-in fiction (clan novels, etc.).

I’ve worked on all kinds of supplements (and main rule books too). I am not a rules person, so I always tended towards the history/background/setting/story development side of things. I like figuring out the whys and wheres, hows and what-happens-next. I like providing story hooks at any possible corner. I like interesting characters who can be both a potential asset to a story, or a potential obstacle (depending on the story and how the characters deal with that NPC). I like doing the research for a setting/scenario book (I am sorry we never got to do Dark Ages: Italy).

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Day 28 – A character you will never play ever again

This was one of the more difficult ones to answer, because not even Final Death is really enough to totally take a character out of the lineup. We could always do a flashback, if there’s a past episode that just calls out to be RP’d instead of summarized in text. We’ve done quite a few flashback vignettes when the story called for them. When your main characters are centuries old, that means they have a LOT of past, and while we’ve played through important parts of it (where the characters’ stories crossed paths), there’s a lot more we haven’t covered. And you never know who might show up.

But there are some characters whose story was more finite. They were important when they appeared, but their role in the main characters’ stories was what it was, and no more. And some of them met their Final Deaths, either in the story they appeared in, or at some historical point thereafter.

Because that’s what NPCs do.

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Day 27 – A character you want to play in the future

There are two ways to interpret this particular topic. Who would be a specific character (ie, someone I’ve already got at least half-created in the character bullpen) I would like to play in a future storyline in our long-running chronicle…

Or

Who/what might be an interesting character concept that I’ve never created an actual character for but would be fun to play in some future storyline…

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Day 26 – Favorite Discipline

Well, I do like them all (all the main clan disciplines anyway—I start drawing the line at some of the weird tricks some of the rare-to-nonexistent bloodlines pull). The one Discipline I tend to always make sure my characters have, at least some of, is Auspex—because it never hurts to have those enhanced senses and a bit of extra-sensory talent available for a dark and rainy night.

But it’s not the one that’s the most fun. That one would be Protean.

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Day 25 – Favorite McGuffin

In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so important. The specific nature of a MacGuffin is typically unimportant to the overall plot. The most common type of MacGuffin is an object, place or person. However, a MacGuffin can sometimes take a more abstract form, such as money, victory, glory, survival, power, love, or even something that is entirely unexplained, as long as it strongly motivates key characters within the structure of the plot.

Wikipedia

McGuffins are useful in RPGs; it helps sometimes to have a physical (okay, virtual physical) representation of a goal for the players to focus on. It can be an item they already have but are trying to identify; it can be an item they are trying to protect; or it can be one they are trying to locate or obtain (legally or otherwise).

Usually it is not the end goal—merely a step along the way—but it does help to have something distinct and concrete to get a story moving. It doesn’t even have to be an object; it can also be information or another non-physical but important goal of some kind.

Our favorite McGuffin has usually been: Noddist relics. Or anything that even hints that it might be a historical artifact that specifically refers to or contains some element of evidence regarding the murky, mythical past of the Kindred themselves, especially if it dates back before recorded history (or at least, back before the Current Era, when years were recorded in negative numbers*…).

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Day 24 – Favorite Background

We don’t use backgrounds as strictly written in the books (we do very little exactly as written in the books, and the books say we’re allowed to do exactly that). But backgrounds are very important when creating characters—whether that character is a spur-of-the-moment NPC, a carefully detailed adversary, or a player character.

We just don’t worry about the dot values as much.

That being said, the most important and vital background (which has multiple equivalents in the rules, depending on which approach you take) is: Connections. This really encompasses all the various official Backgrounds on the character sheet, but it may be a different way of looking at them. Because what matters isn’t the dots one has in Mentor, Ally, Status, Domain, Retainer, etc. What matters are the connections that trait represents, and how they can be used to draw the character into a story where those connections are relevant and mean something.

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Day 22 – Favorite Entity Overall

Vampires. Duh.

(Okay, the Exalted come in pretty high on the scale, too, but that’s an entirely different world and game system).

Personally, I blame Dan Curtis and Jonathan Frid. Because Mr. Curtis created the gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, which introduced the brooding, haunted, and sexy vampire monster-turned-melancholy-hero Barnabas Collins, played so well by Mr. Frid. That was my first introduction to the vampire. Now the show is very dated to my adult eyes, but to me as an impressionable young teen, it was utterly enthralling. (Yes, I really am that old.   And yes, I wrote fan fiction. Thank you, M. Katherine Davis for encouraging me and sharing in my insanity.) I also read Dracula in high school. And watched The Fearless Vampire Killers at slumber parties. My friends and I were weird that way.

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Day 21 – Favorite Methuselah

The definition of Methuselah (in terms of the Vampire: the Masquerade universe) is either a vampire of the 4th or 5th generation, or one that has attained a millennium or more in age. In other words, a vampire old enough to predate both the sects, and to pretty much do what he or she damn well pleases. Such vampires are exceedingly rare, their predator’s nature being what it is—they have a tendency to kill each other off long before reaching such august age. Which means those that do survive are very, very smart, exceedingly ruthless, and exceptionally good at… surviving.

Player characters who tangle with one, or thwart such an ancient being’s will, should keep that in mind.

My favorite of the published methuselahs (outside of the cast of Lair of the Hidden, that is) was Marcus Vitel. Not quite as he was written—but smarter, more ruthless, and definitely not a prince one would want to cross. But there was another who really has to be my favorite, and he’s not in any of the books.

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Day 20 – Favorite Other Entity from the World of Darkness (Demon)

The original game topic for today was Changeling, but I’ve never actually played it. I would LOVE to, it’s one of the settings that fascinates me, the whole crossover between Faerie and the modern world. I enjoy urban fantasy, that’s part of the appeal of Vampire for me too. It would be fun. I even bought a couple of the books. But I haven’t played it (yet), and I’m not planning any Vampire/Changeling crossovers, so… I’m changing the topic to another WoD Entity that wasn’t listed on the 30-Day List: Demon: the Fallen.

(Sartael and Nikanuuranu, this is for you….)

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