Boston, MA Masquerade VSS

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I, against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world.
Bedouin Proverb


Boston is a gate between the ages.

It is a bridge opening the way between the old world and the new. Yet it is a seat of revolution where colonies broke from nations, where young kindred turned against their elders. Modern and ancient ideals and powers clash over long years.

With the rising of the Red Star and the false Gehenna, the Camarilla power was badly damaged by conflict. War with the Sabbat and the the resulting backlash of Mortal faith and fervor shattered the old order. New England has always been deeply connected to the matters of faith. When humanity rose, the power of the New England faith, learning, and technological advancement took notice and rallied against the dark and unnatural.

Now (as secretly in ages past) in order to survive the Tower has filled its cracks with dark dealings. A pact was made with the rising Independent Alliance to keeps the fires from the gates. The Merchant Princes and Dealers of Sin now work hand in hand with the Tower as powerful mercenary partners.

Can this endure, who is using whom, and what lies just beneath the surface?

Who can know such things, and what would survive such answers?


Boston NHMA VSS: Glass and Steel

VSS Wiki: Boston Masquerade: Glass and Steel
VSS Boundaries: Greater Boston Metro Area. The “495 Loop." Eastern Half of Massaachusetts, and some of New Hampshire.
VST Name: Graham Rockwell
VST E-mail: st.masq.nhma@gmail.com
Domain Code: MA-003-D Shattered Antiquities
Theme: Dark Mirror of History, Jyhad
Mood: Intrigue and Order, beneath the surface: Darkness and Corruption
Setting: BNS MES Vampire: The Masquerade


City Description

Domain Ownership

The Boston VSS is a primarily Camarilla Praxis consisting of the Greater Boston Area, with a smaller enclave of Independent Alliance members possessing close ties to the Tower. (Split City Cam / IA)

Sect Boundaries

The Camarilla Praxis of Boston claims control of all land within the borders of the VSS. The Ivory Tower’s core territories of the Praxis extend to I-95, as well as Peabody and Salem. The Praxis will permit no competition from New Hampshire to the north, Rhode Island to the south, nor from the western portion of Massachusetts.

The Independent Alliance has recently gained control over some smaller enclaves just south and east of I-95, including the Cape.

Other Vampire Political Affiliations Active in the Domain

Anarch and unaligned vampires are not at this time present in any significant number. There is no structure or significant plot to support these groups. Players who strongly desire characters in these groups should find a way to work with the existing power structures, and check closely with ST staff. Visitors from such groups are tolerated for short periods of time.

Openly Sabbat characters are not permitted, per the official Setting rules.


City Timeline, Abridged

  • c.1000 Norse explorers trade with newfoundland and future North East Region of American.
  • c.1200 Wampanog Nation Myths indicate of kindred in the region.


  • 1620 Pilgrims establish Plymouth Colony.
  • 1636 Harvard established. Boston becomes the site of the first Tremere Chantry in North America.
  • 1689 The Boston Revolt; Anarchs interference is suspected.
  • 1692 The Salem Witch trials begin.


  • 1723 Old North Church built. Nosferatu power base established.
  • 1742 Faneuil Hall built. Ventrue establish praxis.
  • 1760 The first Great Boston Fire destroys nearly 350 buildings and several ships at port.
  • 1775 The Revolutionary War begins. Open opposition between American and European kindred erupts.
  • 1778 France enters the Revolutionary War. Toreador power base established.
  • 1788 The U.S. Constitution is ratified. Ventrue-Toreador-Nosferatu alliance declared in the Bay Area.


  • 1820 Irish and Italian arrive in large numbers. Brujah and Giovanni suddenly arrive in numbers.
  • 1822 Boston incorporates as a city. Praxis passes to Toreador prince.
  • 1857 State Street established. Giovanni presence in finance and trade solidifies.
  • 1872 The second Great Boston Fire destroys over 65 acres of buildings in Boston's downtown and financial districts.


  • 1912 Red Line of the MBTA opens. Nosferatu establish undercity paths and warrens, called “The City Below."
  • 1914 The Great War. New England and European Camarilla forced to reform ties and trade; great mistrust continues.
  • 1920 Prohibition. Giovanni power increases.
  • 1939 World War 2 begins. Connections to Europe and Britain re-Established in a agreement of “super powers." Age of Kindred of Industry. Praxis transfers to Ventrue control.


  • 1999 The Red Star appears. The Court of Boston is shattered. The Prince disappears, assumed destroyed.
  • 2002 Giovanni and Camarilla clans work closely to survive the following Nights of Turmoil.
  • 2011 Independent Alliance formed. Setites begin to settle in the area.
  • 2012 Historical Game resolves.


Game Mechanics

Experience

  • Live Game: 6 exp
  • Costuming: 1 exp (see ST at check in)
  • Downtime Actions: 3 exp

Holdings

We will be using a simple but powerful framework to represent PC “investments” in things such as holdings, alliances, controlled territories, and special items or places. These relationships and special items and places will be represented as relationships and investment in NPCs (or NPC groups). The goal is to create tangible progress and connections between PCs and the world without developing new or complex systems, or requiring time- and energy-intensive management. These relationships are generally opt-in or codifications of player NPC relationships. Details on this system will be discussed elsewhere and adjusted to fit the play interests of the Venue.

Character sheet updates and approvals

A physical copy of a player’s character sheet is required. All items and changes on a Character Sheet are subject to Low Approval in order to keep balance within the game and between the players. Certain elements may be disallowed at the VST discretion, including backgrounds, merits, and disciplines.

All Status must be written down on the character sheet in order to be used during the game. If you receive or give some status, send an e-mail to the Harpy and copy the ST Team so everyone is aware of it.

It is the player's responsibility to make sure that their Character Sheet is complete and accurate. To be used in the game, character updates must be sent to the ST team no later than 48 hours before the start of the game.

No Character sheet modification will be allowed on the same day of the event without the explicit permission of the VST.

Storyteller Notes

Anarchs and unaligned kindred are not present in the city except for passing visitations. Players are strongly encouraged to create characters, which are part of the two primary sects, and can integrate well into plots or political events of the city. Players who strongly desire characters in these groups should find away to work with the existing power structures, and check closely with ST staff.

Connections with the Tower should be a core part of every IA character. This includes both alliance and antagonism, and even better both at once, since we are playing in the World of Darkness.

Characters on a Path of Enlightenment are expected to bring extra depth to the story related to their Path and its intense deviation from humanity. In particular, make up and other “inhuman” costuming should be used regularly by these players so there is no mistaking their character's state.

As a roleplay guide, it is suggested that characters present strong ties to the historical period of their embrace.

The ST staff hopes to work with players to make great characters. In order to keep the correct feel of the pyramid of Generations, we will aim for a small elite portion of Elder Generation characters (8th, 7th and 6th generation). This number is currently estimated to end up around 20% or less of the active population, but will be highly subject to the evolving play of the game venue. The ST staff is always willing to consider concepts, especially great stories that fit themes of our venue.

Inactive elder characters and High Approval characters will be put on standby after a reasonable time (~= 3 games/months). Players should contact ST (ST will also try to reach out) to discuss the characters continued inclusion. Continuing inactive characters will be de-approved to make room for active players to partake in uncommon and rare aspects of the game without creating a backlog of Elders or other High Approval characters.

We seek to maintain and diversity of clans and character themes to create interesting play. Priority and preference will be given for the creation of Elders of different clans than existing Elders. Similarly we will strongly suggest and ultimately prevent an over-abundance of a single clan, bloodline, or other mono-culture of characters. Conversely, the ST staff will try to give a little extra support to underrepresented pillar clan and sect concepts so that players do not feel left out while playing essential parts of the continuity.

Proxy Directives

Proxy actions should be cleared with the VST at least 2 days in advance (preferably more), including dates and methods of travel, aliases, and other relevant information. Proxying out of the domain is generally approved, though should not be used as a way to attempt to escape PvP or PvE in-character consequences.

Soft RP proxies, conversations, or visits are generally easy to carry out, but may be subject to the various plots and threats that all kindred are experiencing at the local level.

"Kill-boxing" and other aggressive proxies to the Venue should be carefully considered both for their possible negative impacts on local play which may be against the concept of the venue and not allowed. Similarly summoning players from this Venue to die is highly discouraged unless there has been a proper and hopefully voluntary lead up to such an event. However, local players will not be protected by “the local-play first” rule against fallout from their own aggressive or negative actions.

Character Death

Player character death or forced inactivity (banishment, retirement, complete corruption, Wassail, etc.) is often a challenging topic and can disturb the whole local story. However, it is also an important element of the World of Darkness that PCs can experience loss, tragedy, and destruction. Our Venue is focused on politics, secrets, and corruption as major driving themes; harm may come to characters, and lead to their eventual “downfall."

PvE situations in which “sudden death”, are possible, but (to the best of the ST reasoning) be mentioned so that players are aware of the risk involved. This is not to say that long-term harm may befall a character at any moment, but that players should engage story rather than hide from it.

Character-destroying moves by players without proper story build up is highly discouraged and will be overseen, adjudicated, and likely adjusted by the ST staff. PCs may opt-in to more aggressive play (sudden death, etc.) with other so interested player characters; PCs that are so interested are encouraged to directly express their interest with the ST staff. The ST staff will also do its best to inform players when they start to cross into these kinds of high threat level activities.

This is intended as a starting point for this Venue and will likely evolve along with the player base. Changes will be tracked on the Venue “ratings sliders." Players who are unsure of how dangerous, corrupting, or evil an action might be are encouraged to touch base with an ST first.

Game Continuity

ST staff also reserves the right to override technical systems to enforce reasonable consistency of the world. For example: use of disciplines, influences, or other actions that might, according to "reading as written," create some physically impossible or immersion breaking result will likely be adjusted to fit the world.

Acceptable Play

This is of special importance:

This Venue follows the setting of the national organization. In particular no Player Characters shall be, at current time line or historically, a proponent of any hate organization, racist, sexist, or similar unacceptable practice (especially as such play might translate into out-of-character emotional harm to the player base). Such characters shall not exist within the continuity. In the same structure, this Venue specifically does not allow the possibility for player character sexual assault, degradation, or any other such event to exist in its continuity. This covers all in- and out-of-character action, proxies, and other aspects of the story and gameplay.

Bleed should be carefully watched for by all players. If actions or experiences start to “cross the line” and become emotionally hurtful to the player or trigger other intense emotions, players are strongly encouraged to use the current call sign for needing time or to step out-of-character and resolve the situation.

Members of this Club are expected to uphold a good attitude, despite the fact that we are playing in a world of dark and terrible actions. Players are encouraged to check in after difficult or antagonistic scenes, and always remember we are working together for the mutual enjoyment and entertainment of everyone to build a great story.

Player characters should uphold the thematic consistency of Vampire: the Masquerade and the overall World of Darkness. Silly or immersion breaking actions hurt the experience of all players. Such actions will not be allowed by the ST Staff, and may be irritated or simply “not exist” once the ST reviews the situation. The ST Staff hopes to help players and not focus on punishment, but continued immersion breaking or system abuse will result in an appropriate response.

Live Action Role Play Priority

This Venue prioritises live play and local player character based stories. Live roleplay is meant to be the core of the experience and plot; inter-character drama and conflict should all be as oriented towards being present at the live event as much as possible. Roleplay should also be structured to allow for maximum reasonable participation. It is the design of this Venue for players to have balanced access to plot and story time. There should not be significant amounts of play or plot progress (aside from the structured and limited nature of downtime actions) outside of the main game day(s) that all players can access. Events needing live follow up should be resolved live at game day with preludes or other methods.

Downtime actions are considered an important but secondary experience to live game participation. Downtimes should ultimately serve as support, supplement, and backdrop to live game roleplay. Live game consequences, including player character harm from plot and other player character actions, may happen in downtime. However, such consequences should occur at the live game to the greatest extent possible.

Proxying shall not, without due reason (such as local players' active engagement in national events, or antagonism to other regions), change local play or override local story. In the game world, physical and logistical barriers exist to travel making quick entrance and exit from the Venue nearly impossible. Furthermore, local players are strongly encouraged to structure their characters involvement in the national networked game to enhance the player experience, plot, and stories of this local Venue.

Play Style

VSS Ratings

  • Action (combat and challenges): 3
  • Character Development (personal dilemmas and choices): 4
  • Darkness (PC corruption and moral challenges): 4
  • Death (PC death and destruction): 2
  • Drama (ceremony and emotional engagement): 3
  • Intrigue (politics and negotiation): 4
  • Manners (social etiquette and peer pressure): 3
  • Mystery (enigmas and investigations): 5

Player Versus... Ratings

  • PvP Social/Political: 4
  • PvP Violence/Combat : 2
  • PvE Social/Political: 3
  • PvE Violence/Combat: 3

Thematic Ratings

  • American History: 4
  • Rebellion: 3
  • Corruption: 4
  • Underside of Society: 3
  • Police State: 3
  • Oppression: 4
  • Lying, Backstabbing, and Double-Dealing: 4
  • Plot Missions: 3
  • Status as Coin: 4
  • Underworld, Crime, and Pirates: 2
  • Influence Wars: 3