Category:Masquerade / Domain / Houston, TX

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HoustonVSS.jpg

City Government


Camarilla

  • Prince: Joey Gibbons of Clan Ventrue
  • Seneschal: Ingrid Ankar of Clan Gangrel
  • Harpy:
  • Sheriff:
  • Scourge:
  • Keeper of Elysium:

Independent Alliance

Anarchs of Galveston & Houston

VSS Information

VSS Boundaries:

The Houston domain encompasses the counties of Brazoria, Chambers, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery, and Waller, Texas. However, the majority of character interaction should occur within the area of Houston delineated by the 610 circular enclosure.

Houston Map.JPG

VST Name: William Hammers

VST Email: houcam.vtm.vst@gmail.com

Domain: Houston

Domain Code: TX-061-D

Hosting information

Dates: Second Saturday of the month

Times: Games begin at 7 PM

Location: Please check the calendar

Introduction

City Type

A jointly controlled city between the Camarilla and Independent Alliance. Though Houston has historically been a Camarilla-controlled city, historical events (see timeline below) have allowed Regency to be ceded by local treaty to leaders in the Independent Alliance.

Sect Boundaries

Camarilla-controlled territory focuses around the northern half of Houston, bounded by the 610 loop, and downtown. The Independent Alliance controls Midtown and Montrose (largely maintained by the Followers of Set) as well as the Medical Center/Ship channels (largely maintained by the Giovanni). Anarchs congregate in the Galveston area, though no formal barony has been established.

Theme

What fills the void of a dying empire?

Mood

Hubris

Chronicle Teaser

“Where did all those damn Indians come from?” – attributed to Gen. George Custer, Battle of Little Big Horn

Once, it was Galveston and not Houston that was the thriving metropolis of the Gulf of Mexico. The burgeoning port of entry attracted new residents and new wealth, and a kindred community thrived under the rule of Prince Celeste of the Camarilla. Yet this period of expansion was a time of great change, though the Camarilla weathered the creation of the Republic of Texas, statehood, and the Civil War/Reconstruction deftly alongside the kine population… but nothing lasts forever.

In the summer of 1900, the Seers of the Malkavians and others with oracular gifts predicted a storm on the horizon, a storm that could not be weathered even by the Tower, raising alarm in the Kindred community. Some saw the visions of a raging horizon as a sign of the coming Gehenna, of the Earth trumpeting the awakening methuselahs, and panic took those believers.

Seeing an opportunity, the Tremere of the city attempted to curry favor and assured Her Majesty that they would bring the weather to heel. Blood magicks, they promised, would protect what had been built through numerous decades by the undead. The combined might of the Chantry, they promised, would be a wall against the storm that the Prince could rely upon.

Yet their promises proved to be just so many words. The hurricane of 1900 still holds the record as the United States’ deadliest natural disaster, devastating the city. After the storm, Prince Celeste was missing and presumed to have met Final Death. Her brother Gerard claimed Praxis as the Camarilla focused their rebuilding efforts not on Galveston, but developing the mainland of Houston. Yet the love of a brother drove Gerard to continue the search for his sister, and the Tremere were given a chance to redeem themselves by turning their blood magicks towards finding Celeste or true evidence she was dead. The Tower held whispers at the time that Gerard's grief was driving the Gangrel Prince into madness.

Decades later, the first Followers of Set came to Houston, bringing with them a tribute that shook the kindred populace to the core: traveling alongside them was Prince Gerard's lost sister. Elated to see her, Prince Gerard immediately offered Celeste the throne. However, his sister explained that she had found a new path among her rescuers. While opinions differ on the cause of the Prince's next move, all agree that it driven by his anger. In his rage, either at the Tremere's incompetence or his sister's response, Prince Gerard stripped the Tremere of their landholdings. He carved out a piece of his domain for the Independents, that Celeste would have a place of her own to follow her path. The agreement is signed in his blood, and backed with his threat that any of his subjects who encroach will meet a Prince's justice.

In 2018, Gerard was found to have violated the Masquerade, and summarily executed. In his wake, the Camarilla and the Independent Alliance have formed a lasting bond, and function as co-rulers over the city.

City Description

Houston has historically been a stronghold of the Camarilla, though time and circumstance have changed that in modern nights. With the ceding of territory to the Followers of Set and the Independent Alliance, the population of unaligned and independent clans has grown to challenge the number of Tower-loyal kindred in the city. This has had a split response from Camarilla-aligned characters, some who see this new faction as rabble to be ignored while others see them as resources to exploit in their back alley politics. All, however, have been glad to see the Setites and Giovanni serve as a buffer and wall against the threat of Sabbat, many of whom have congregated southeast of the city in the Pasadena area of the metroplex.

Further degradation of Camarilla control occurred when hunters among the Children of Caine rose up after the Week of Nightmares, decimating the local Kindred who lived too openly. As a result, the Camarilla has active (and enforceable) control over the north half of the city and downtown while the Setites and Giovanni of the IA hold the neighborhoods of Montrose and Midtown as well as the Port Authority/Ship channels and the Medical Center. Much of the rest of the city is, essentially, neutral territory. Anarchs have generally congregated in the area around Galveston, though no formal barony has been established.

Timeline

  • 1860 – Houston emerges as a commercial and railroad hub for the export of cotton. The majority of Kindred populace, however, establishes a praxis in nearby Galveston that predates the city only by about 25 years. Her Majesty Celeste of clan Toreador is named Prince.
  • 1890 – Houston becomes the railroad center of Texas and a number of Kindred begin to establish personal domains in the city to be closer to their resources, allies, and influences.
  • 1900 – The Praxis of Galveston is savaged by a devastating hurricane, destroying havens, herds, and resulting in the final death of numerous Kindred. Prince Celeste is lost and presumed dead. The decision is made to move inland to Houston and establish a new Praxis, held by Prince Gerald of clan Gangrel, brother to Celeste during his mortal life.
  • 1901 – Oil is discovered at the Spindletop oil field near Beaumont.
  • 1907 – Digging begins to create the deepwater Port of Houston.
  • 1914 – The Port of Houston is opened and Houston has become the most populous city in Texas with Harris County its most populous county. Prince Gerald is feared to be mad from grief and a coup is attempted by Samuel Chaucer, primogen of Clan Brujah. The coup fails and Samuel flees the city for Mexico.
  • 1919 – The worst battles of WWI have occurred in Camarilla-dominated Europe. As a response, the Prince of Houston moves to strengthen his hold over a prime U.S. territory, pushing the anarchs out to the lands around Galveston.
  • 1920 – The Sabbat take complete control over Mexico. Houston takes a defensive position to protect itself from potential Sabbat incursions north. Prince Gerald establishes a line of control that bisects the suburb of Pasadena, TX outside of Houston keeping the Sabbat from disrupting life within the inner loops of Houston for kine or kindred.
  • 1929 – The Great Depression begins.
  • 1939 – Word War II begins.
  • 1945 – The Shadow Curtain rises in Russia
  • 1957 – The Third Sabbat Civil War rages and the Pander “clan” is formed. A local mass embrace by the Sabbat, taking place at a VA hospital, results in a major breech of the Masquerade. Clan Tremere successfully represses knowledge of the Masquerade breech through a massive use of influence, regaining some status within the city and regaining a Primogen seat.
  • 1960 – The Prince’s lost sister arrives alongside the Followers of Set, now an autarkis and follower of Typhon-Set. Regency is granted to the independent clan over a small swath of land in Houston in perpetuity. Where Celeste has been for decades remains a mystery with none of the involved parties revealing any clues.
  • 1961 – The Setite grand temple is formed, masquerading as a church while also feeding into the “free love” movement of the 1960s.
  • 1972 – Relations warm between the Setites and some Camarilla-loyal kindred as the “War on Drugs” creates opportunity for cooperation and the building of wealth through drug smuggling and sales. An arrangement is made between a local anarch and the Followers of Set to allow for safe passage through Setite territory.
  • 1998 – Dementation returns as the Malkavian clan’s signature discipline.
  • 1999 – The events of the Week of Nightmares occurs as well as the appearance of the Red Star
  • 2001 – Mortal Hunters ravage vampires across the country, with many losses in Houston. The remaining Kindred populations find strength in numbers and secrecy.
  • 2004 – Schismatic Assamite Viziers are welcomed into the Ivory Tower.
  • 2009 – Worldwide economic collapse occurs but largely passes by Houston. The Red Star “fades” from the sky to the confusion of many.
  • 2010 – With the aid of the Setites, the Giovanni break “the Promise”, and the Independent Alliance is formed.
  • 2018 – Gerard, having violated the Masquerade, is executed. In his wake, Elder Irma Kardos of the Camarilla, and Doyen Numerius of the Independent Alliance, claim power.
  • 2019 - Elder Irma Kardos solidifies the Sects of Houston under a single Vison. A new Camarilla Prince, Anarch Baron, and IA Doyen all pledge loyalty to Khanum Kardos.

Styles of Play

Ratings:

  • 1 Rarely present
  • 2 Sometimes present
  • 3 Often present
  • 4 Usually present
  • 5 Always present

Overall Game Emphasis

Physical 2 Social 5 Mental 3

Individual Game Components

Action 3 Character Development 5 Darkness 4 Drama 4 Intrigue 5 Manners 3 Mystery 3 PC Death 1 Pacing 3

Storytelling Mechanics

VST Considerations

You Are Not Alone
The Player Characters are not the only denizens of their Sect to exist in city. The city is also populated by numerous NPCs of each Sect that have been accepted by their appropriate authority. Additionally, these NPCs are cause for word traveling very fast throughout the city. Harpy reports and Court shakeups are largely talked about in Kindred Society. Things said and done publicly are likely to reach the ears of PCs in this manner.

Praxis Changes
Should the Primogen choose to vote to remove a Prince, that vote must take place at a live sanctioned game within their jurisdiction. This vote may only take place in downtime in special circumstances decided by the VST. If the game ends with only one contender for Praxis, that character will become Prince and receive their Abiding Status the following evening.

Should the Prince be removed in downtime and another chosen, the incoming Prince will not receive their Status until the night following the next live sanctioned game.

This restriction applies to removal of Doyen (for the IA sect) as well with identical status effects.

Restrictions on Elder Characters
Currently, only primary player characters may seek approval for an Elder generation. Should Elder characters compose less than 15% of the characters in play, this restriction may be lifted at VST discretion.

Haven Security
Characters with the Security advantage on their Haven will receive the advance warning per the rules on page 102 no matter their location at the time of the break-in (excluding another plane of existence). This warning will occur as soon as possible via a manner the storytelling staff considers consistent with the setting, i.e. by mobile phone from a security company, by via retainer at the with Telepathy able to contact the PC, etc.

Downtime Opposed Challenges Between Players
In the event of challenges between two players in Downtime, the VST will gather trait pools and run the tests behind the scenes with a randomizer. Players engage in these challenges in good faith and trust in the VST.

XP Guidelines
Attending a live game is worth 8xp. Submission of a downtime action is worth 3xp. Downtime experience is awarded at the time the downtime action is approved by the storytelling staff via email (see "Downtime actions", below).

Downtime Actions/Influence Actions
PC downtime actions must be sent via email to houcam.vtm.vst@gmail.com. The subject line should read "[Character Name] - Downtime Actions for the month of [Month] [Year]".

The body of the email should include, at a minimum, the following:
1. Player Name/Cam Number
2. Character Name
3. All sources of additional downtime actions (e.g., computer skill, ritual, etc.)
4. Desired Downtime actions
4a. The downtime action should list a general category ("Learning Discipline", "Crafting", "Feeding", etc. - Refer to page 307 of BNS)
4b. It is recommended that a downtime action be spent every month to "feed". PCs that do not spend a downtime action feeding will not enter game at full blood; the degree to which the PC's blood pool is diminished is variable and will be determined by the storytelling staff.

Uses of influences should also be included in this email. For influence actions, please indicated category of influence (Elite/Underworld), the type of targeted action (block/defend/attack/boost) or the general influence action desired. Please refer to BNS page 510 for more details.

Proxy
All proxies for live games must be submitted 7 days prior to the live monthly game. The player may secure a live person, not planning on portraying their own PC for that event, and register that player with the VST prior to game at houcam.vtm.vst@gmail.com; otherwise, the character will be run by the VST. Players wishing to proxy into the domain to portray their characters outside of game (i.e. Scenes over email), may continue to portray their character without a representative. Notification of a player’s local VST should be included in all proxies.

Any incoming proxies to the Houston VSS, or outgoing proxies from the Houston VSS by may be subject to monitoring at the discretion of the VST within the borders of the VSS. These events will utilize a Google Group set up and be administered by the VST, and will be added once requirements of proxy have been met.

Players wishing to Proxy into the VSS must first gain approval from their local VST and the Houston VST, and should include a current character sheet and XP log, and their method of travel into and out of the city. Any proxy that instigates PvP is subject to immediate VST oversight, and may require more information on the part of the players. PvP is determined as any action between two PCs that does not have the consent of all involved PCs.

Travel Risks:
Temporary travel risk will be at the discretion of the VST and will be addressed during individual proxies. General travel risks will be posted on the IC forums when appropriate.

Special Policies

Weapons Policy

Contact Info

Page Admin: Kat R.

Page Admin Email: Kat R.