Welcome to Darkshore VSS

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VSS Information

VSS Boundaries:

  • Ocean County
  • Monmouth County
  • Atlantic County
  • Cape May County
  • Cumberland County
  • Burlington County (east of 295)
  • Camden County (east of 295)
  • Gloucester County (east of 295)
  • Salem County (east of 295)

VST Name: Steve Byrd

VST Email: vst.camanarch@mindseyephilly.com

Domain: Philadelphia

Domain Code: PA-015-D

In Character Domain Page: Domain of the Jersey Shore


Introduction

Purpose

This Venue Style Sheet (VSS) codifies basic concepts and styles of play for the Mind’s Eye Theatre (MES) Vampire the Masquerade (VtM) venue within the city of Philadelphia (PA-015-D). This document is subject to change as the Chronicle progresses, and will be modified on both a cyclical (1/year) and ad hoc basis in order to best represent the local venue as it stands throughout the course of play.


Venue Details

The MES 2017 Chronicle is a shared continuity game. This means that a single Domain is able to host multiple games within the same shared universe, so long as those games meet specific criteria (for more information, see the documentation provided on the MES website). In keeping with this overall design, this VSS will be one of two within the Philadelphia Domain. This VSS should be understood to govern the following areas:

  • Ocean County
  • Monmouth County
  • Atlantic County
  • Cape May County
  • Cumberland County
  • Burlington County, east of 295
  • Camden County, east of 295
  • Gloucester County, east of 295
  • Salem County, east of 295


Staffing

The New Jersey Camarilla VST will be determined per the usual voting processes within the MES. The VST will be required to maintain a staff of aVSTs to assist in developing plot or running game, and to manage those assistants and be the final authority for all low-approval plots to be run in the city. The VST is required to maintain a number of aVSTs equal to 1 aVST per 10 players (rounding down). These aVSTs can be part-time assistants, allowing for the fluctuating attendance levels of games.

Example: The VSS has 30 players attached. The VST is required to have 3 assistants. However, when the VST arrives at game one month, there are only 15 players present. On this occasion, the VST is only required to have one assistant active during the game, and the others can portray their characters if they desire. In the event the VST cannot provide the required number of assistants, the DST staff will provide the necessary staffing in order to meet the required number. In the event a VST fails to provide the required number of assistants for three (3) consecutive months, a meeting will be held between the DST and VST staff to develop a plan of action to correct the issue.

The New Jersey Camarilla VST will be required to use the official email address, and to maintain proper records which are accessible by the DST staff.

The New Jersey Camarilla VST will review all character sheets before approval to the VSS, and will submit any concerns to the DST staff for review.

The New Jersey Camarilla VST will review this VSS on an ad hoc basis (minimum of 1 official review per year) in order to ensure that it remains up-to-date with the current state of the game.


Basic Information

Domain: PA-015-D

VST: Steven Byrd

VST Email: vst.camanarch@mindseyephilly.com

Venue: Vampire the Masquerade


Hosting information

Dates: Second Saturday of every month

Times: Games begin at 6PM

Location: Ewing Church. For information, check our Facebook Page, Meetup Page, or email the DC at dc@mindseyephilly.com


Styles of Play

Overall Game Emphasis

Physical 3
Social 3
Mental 4


Individual Game Components

Action 6
Character Development 8
Darkness 7
Drama 7
Intrigue 6
Manners 6
Mystery 8
PC Death 5
Pacing 6


Description of Venue

Introduction

“Whether true or false, what is said about men often has as much influence on their lives, and particularly on their destinies, as what they do.” -Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Even the wings of a butterfly can change the future. The Camarilla has been playing such a careful game of reputation and reality that things are beginning to come apart at the seams. Will the Camarilla maintain the facade? Will the Domain fall to chaos? Or will the Kindred discover something new entirely?


Venue Summary

The Domain of the Jersey Shore is eerily quiet, and has been since its founding as a Camarilla domain. The domain itself encompases the modern townships of Toms River, Lakewood, Berkley, Brick, and Beachwood. The domain holds 1 Elysium, the Georgian Court University, which is located in Lakewood. The start of the 2017 chronicle will be 10 years into the new rule, outside of the dictator that was the old prince.


Mood

  • Unease
  • Dread
  • Themes
  • Perception vs Reality
  • Loss of Control
  • Betrayal
  • Struggle
  • Resurrection


Venue Timeline

Vampires are drawn to cities, and large population areas. As is such, the majority of New Jersey was not a land of interest for quite a while. It was an outskirt, a second thought to Philadelphia, New York, and Trenton. That is, until Philadelphia became a place that was deadly to the Camarilla. In June of 1921, the Prince and his coterie was murdered by a group of Lasombra sailors, and the Camarilla was given a choice. Join the shipping company, flee, or die. Many Camarilla did as they were expected to do, they grabbed their bags and ran. They ran to New Jersey, where they found a tiny domain in a small town called Dover.

When the survivors arrived, the city was small, made primarily up of vampires who didn’t quite want to live in one of the nearby cities. With help from the Kindred from Philadelphia, the domain quickly began to flourish, gaining size and power quickly. Clans Ventrue and Toreador held great power in these early years, and through their combined efforts with the mortal populace the domain quickly grew to also include what is the modern neighboring towns of Lakewood, Brick, Beachwood, and Berkley. The area was well chosen by the survivors, and the Kindred that came to call New Jersey home were able to plant themselves strongly in the tourism and vacation market for the Kine. Ever wary of the Lasombra, they did make sure to avoid any shipping or commerce ports in their controlled territory.

With Kindred comes crime though, and while that was something that was needed for society to function, it was not something the Venture or the Toreador were willing to have affect their perfect appearance. Using their extensive influence, they drove the criminal elements deep underground. To an outsider looking in, the Domain of Dover was a place of human perfection, untarnished by anything.

In addition to the human crime elements being driven underground, any disorder or disdain from the kindred populace were quickly snuffed out. The Prince of the city, a very proper Ventrue, was quick to sentence punishment to anyone who made a spot on the perfect reputation that the domain had. Sometimes problem kindred would vanish overnight; The Prince and his officers were quick to assure the other kindred that these disappearances were nothing to be worried about, quashing rumors before they could tarnish the reputation of the Domain. Even the events of the Red Star, and the uprisings in 1999 did little to deter the perfection that was the Domain of Dover. It was as if the problems just didn’t affect the domain like it did the rest of the world, and thankfully, their neighbors in Philadelphia just didn’t bother with the tiny area in New Jersey.

2006 was the year when everything began to change though. As a Malkavian prank in the year 2006 changed the name of the town from Dover to Toms River. This greatly enraged the Prince, and all his efforts to get it changed back were thwarted by the younger in the city. In 2007, the primogen council overthrew the prince, without a replacement in mind. Toms River now has a new name, and a potential for new life.


Storytelling Mechanics

Venue Emphasis

The New Jersey Masquerade game is a Camarilla based game. Camarilla characters should be in the majority. There should only be a few Anarchs and Independents. Unaligned characters should be rare. Sabbat characters are not allowed.


Proxy Rules

There is no such thing as a soft proxy.

The following items are required for any proxy into Philadelphia:

  • Character sheet
  • Written permission from the PC’s direct ST or that ST’s superior. Verbal permission may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
  • A summary of intended actions.
  • Instructions regarding entrance/exit from the city.


Travel Risks

New Jersey tends to be a fairly safe place to travel to and from, though at times there are extenuating circumstances that will cause this to change. It is advised that any visiting player contact the VST at least 48 hours before game in order to determine how their character will enter the VSS. Failure to do so may result in negative repercussions for the PC.

Experience Award Guidelines PCs will receive maximum XP according to the XP limits set in the National Storyteller's published documents for attending a game.


Special Policies

Regional and National plot should be assumed active within the New Jersey game. If the VST decides to opt out of a specific plotkit for whatever reason, that information will be made available to local and visiting players.

Players whose PCs have custom mechanics available to them for any reason must contact the VST a minimum of 48 hours before attending a game in New Jersey to disclose those mechanics. If the player fails to do so, those mechanics will not be available for use while on this VSS. Note that disclosure is not a guarantee of approval, and even if the proper contact time is given, custom mechanics are allowed only on a case-by-case basis.

Domain Map

Map of the VSS

On the map you will see OOC: owned by (Character Name). It is meant to establish points of interest where Kindred have executive access. It is not their Haven. This is strictly out of character knowledge. Unless the character says he/she owns that establishment, you do not know about it.


Relationships

The Camarilla “oversees” the human race. To some they are pawns in the grand chess board of Kindred politics. Others are more intimate, keeping up appearances just enough so that their Ghoul manages to win the town election. Above else, the Camarilla ensures that humans remain ignorant that the Undead stalk the night.


To keep up with the times and maintain their façade, Kindred socialize and build relationships. If that person needs something, they’ll help them. If something happens to that person, it hurts them -- the severity depends on the level of connection, but it always affects them at least a little.

Your PC has ties to the community, and to reflect that, I’d like you to think about the Relationships your PC has. I’m going to put them in 3 not-so-tidy categories: Family, Friends, and Acquaintances.

Relationships are people I can pull on for story. Give me toys I can break, and strings I can pull. They’ll make the stories better, and give your PCs reasons to care about what’s going on in the world. It’s not for nothing either -- I’ll give you wild card bonuses when dealing with challenges pertaining to your relationships. And when you make relationships, I’ll give you downtime XP. Think of them as a mix between Relationships from Dogs in the Vineyard, and Anchor Points from nWoD’s Blood and Smoke rules. If that made no sense, relationships help you be better at stuff involving them, and help cement your ties to Humanity.

I recommend everyone have 1 or 2 family, 3 or 4 friends, and as many acquaintances as they want. The more you give me, the better your stories will be (within reason). Keep in mind relationships are also excellent for justifying backgrounds, like Allies or Contacts.

Also, loving your sister won’t help you deal Agg to other PCs, and I’m willing to call Cow Manure if you go off the reservation. Let’s give this a try without trying to take advantage of it.

Family

Family are people you’re related to, or have a very, very strong tie to, like your wife or husband (or ex-wife or ex-husband). The important part is that family are people you love, even if you don’t like them. You can have a complicated relationship with them. Complicated is good.

Examples of family ties:

  • Your sister. You’re still pissed at her for marrying that jerk that bullied you in high school (you’re still missing a tooth from the time you had the guts to fight back one day), but you still look after her, and your shithead nephew. And maybe that jerk came out OK after all.
  • Your dad. As long as you can remember, he was an alcoholic, and your household wasn’t exactly a pleasant one, but you still remember those fishing trips fondly, and you still carry the pocket watch he gave you on your 10th birthday. He’s in his 80s now, in a nursing home, and he doesn’t recognize you when you see him. You still go.
  • Your husband. Shortly after your Embrace, it took all the strength you had in you to cut ties to him, knowing you couldn’t continue the charade any further. You still visited him in secret some nights, and you cried when you saw him sitting alone going through your photo albums. He has a new girlfriend now. It turns out you weren’t paranoid after all. He really did have a thing for that redhead friend of yours.

Friends

Friends are, well, friends. Sort of. They’re people you have some history with, care about, and would try to help out if you could (within reason). They don’t necessarily have to be people you like.

Examples of friends:

  • Jake was always sort of a weird kid, and hanging out with him almost always involved pulling him away from his latest computerized contraption or abomination of transistors and solder. He was at least fun to be around, even if he did occasionally try to pick up the girl you were dating. Now Jake’s an engineer, and he commutes to some big-wig tech company in NYC, but if you have computer questions, he’s still your guy.
  • Sally was, and always will be, a bit of a fuck up. After she managed to get expelled from high school (and seriously, it was pretty damn hard to get expelled from your high school), she drifted from retail job to retail job, and currently works as a cashier at a 7/11, selling weed from under the counter. Despite being a fuck up, Sally always had a door open for you when things got too bad at home, and she’s still your friend.

Acquaintances

Acquaintances are just people you've run into. You don’t love them. They’re not friends. But they’re part of your life, and if something happens to them, you’ll notice.

  • Mandy, the girl down the street that works at the video store (how is that place still in business anyway? Hasn’t anyone ever heard of Netflix around here?)
  • Phil, the Cop that always, *always* pulls you over if you crawl through that interminable red light across the street from your house.
  • Frank, the guy you bought weed from in high school. Now that you’re older, you realize his weed was really, really terrible, but you still have his number in your phone in case you’re in a pinch.


Credit goes to Joe Terranova. He originally created the Relationships tool for Anarchs: A New Hope, 2015. Adapted for Welcome to Darkshore, 2017 by Steven Byrd.