Here you can find a bit more about the organization of the LARP, our staff and our goals with the game.
What is Bloody Athens LARP?
Bloody Athens LARP began life as a Mind's Eye Society Cam/Anarch game in the summer of 2013. However, a number of factors led to dissatisfaction with the MES chronicle as a whole; as such, the venue storyteller at the time, Elmer Gilbert, sat down to discuss with the players who had expressed interest in the Masquerade venue what to do. After a long discussion, a vote was held with the present players (which was the majority of the active players in the domain) to determine the future of the game within the MES chronicle.
A long discussion was held about various pros and cons, but ultimately it boiled down to more cons than pros, with a core issue: what would be best for the life and maintenance of the game. And the majority vote there was to draw the LARP out of the MES continuity, and make our own game out of it. It would allow us a greater aspect of recruiting for regular players, a greater control of what is allowed in and out, and a greater control of setting -- and greater immersion of our players in that setting.
Tonight, Bloody Athens is a two-chronicle game. Our primary (semimonthly) chronicle remains our original Camarilla/Anarch game, set in Lexington, Kentucky. Our secondary (monthly) chronicle is a Sabbat game set in a fictional city on the northern California coast.
Why switch from the MES?
The discussion brought up two things that specifically were sticklers for the group: intense oversight, and the local LARP community.
There are a number of issues that were brought up as cons, but the primary issue was growth and expansion of the LARP. And as far as growth and expansion, the local LARP community in Lexington has been notably ambivalent towards the MES for the same reasons; in order to grow our game, a decision had to be made: do we cater to potential, occasional out of town visitors from other MES domains or do we make a change that could grow the game to larger numbers of consistent players?
A majority of players and the Storyteller discussed what to do, and the consensus was to use the currently-defined Lexington setting with a more traditional Masquerade setting and become a full troupe game. A vote was held, with a majority (7 for, 1 abstain, 1 against as of 8/13/2013) of players present at the meet voting to go full troupe. This represents a majority of active MES members who were involved in the vote.
What are your goals?
Our goal with Bloody Athens LARP is twofold.
First, to attempt to create a game where all players interested in Masquerade can come play in a game where they can have an impact on the setting. The last Masquerade LARP in Lexington ended in 2004, and there have been a number of people within the LARP community that have expressed interest in the setting.
Second, to attempt to recreate and repair the sense of 'community' among individuals in Lexington who enjoy LARPing. There has been a lot of problem in the community in the past, and one of our goals is to try to bridge those gaps and create a closer community. To that end, many people have agreed to start at 'Square One' with other people, and to attempt to restore those lost connections in order to make the LARP community better in Lexington.
For the game itself, we plan to use a somewhat altered version of the Masquerade setting as detailed here, but be aware that we'll be playing a little bit fast and loose with it. Some things may happen, some things may not -- anything that happens will be in order to make a more fun game for the players. We are also working on a (for the moment) Five Year Plan, that leads up to a planned ending to the chronicle; this will be malleable, and able to be shortened or removed entirely, as necessary. The game itself will be focused on Camarilla characters, with Anarchs and Independent Clans available for play; outside of potential special events, Sabbat, Inconnu and other supernatural types won't be playable.
Okay, what's the system that is being used?
With the release of the new Mind's Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade rulebook from By Night Studios, we will be using that as our mechanical base. Any further rules changes can be located on the House Rules page, which will be added to periodically as we find unbalanced combinations and other problems from the new book.
What does it cost?
We do not charge for membership in Bloody Athens LARP. Any costs you incur will likely come from costuming, or if you want to bring snacks to share, or if you want to chip in and donate to the game for special events or necessary materials like printing, props and other material. Those who do donate their time, money, or both gain Player Points, which can be exchanged for various rewards as a Thank You from staff for helping to keep the game going. Player Point info can be found under Player Rewards.
Five Year Plan
The Five Year Plan, as we're calling it, revolves around creating a setting leading up to an actual ending to the chronicle, in three Cycles: Establishment, Expansion and Confrontation. Whether this leads up to a Gehenna scenario or something else, remains to be seen; we would like to do it in such a way that, if we do have an Ending scenario, we do it in such a way that players don't go 'Well, there's only three months left, so....' and proceed to drive it like a rental car, as many in the LARP community like to say. If the players provide a clear impetus to do so, the planned timeline will be expanded; otherwise, we're hopeful that things will grow and advance organically within the Cycles that we've planned.
Year 1: Establishment
Probably the most important part of the plan is the establishment of the long-term setup of the chronicle. This will focus directly on establishing the local feel and presence of the game, and will hopefully work on a greater increase of PC-based politics and plotting in addition to the plotlines that staff has planned for the game. Social changes are one of the things we'd like to explore, in particular the societal changes of ancillae and neonates taking up the roles of power in a city.
Year 1 concluded at the June 21st, 2014 game.
Year 2 and 3: Expansion
This is probably one of the more ambitious things that we want to do, as we want to involve the PCs in the larger Masquerade setting. Princes and their entourage attending Conclaves; participating in a hunt for Anathema with an Alastor or confronting a Sabbat war party trying to retake New York City. Perhaps helping (or hindering) the expansion of the Anarch Free State. All these things and more are things we want to do in the Cycle of Expansion, giving players the opportunity to interact with the greater setting and, perhaps, alter the setting with their actions.
Additionally, during the cycle of expansion we may look at doing some expansion of our own to the material presented in Mind's Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade, such as conversion of tabletop Elder Powers and Techniques, missing Disciplines such as Dark Thaumaturgy, and other tabletop content.
We began Year 2 at the July 5th, 2015 game. Happy Undeathday to us!
Our game began as a Camarilla/Anarch chronicle, but popular reception of a one-off Sabbat event at an early 2014 convention led us to consider adding Sabbat play. In mid-2014, we decided to spin off a separate Sabbat chronicle as part of our Year 2 expansion. This latter chronicle exists in the same metagame continuity as our Cam/Anarch chronicle. However, the two do not directly interact with one another and characters do not port between the chronicles.
The Sabbat chronicle is currently being spun up, with play beginning on July 19th, 2014.
Year 4 and 5: Confrontation
The Cycle of Confrontation builds upon the things that we hope to establish in the Cycle of Expansion; from the things that people get themselves involved in during it, we'll build the chronicle expectations of the Cycle of Confrontation. I envision the common denominator of the Cycle being perhaps our PCs becoming entrenched in things beyond the local scope that follows them back to their home city; perhaps someone is named an Archon, or someone defects from the Ivory Tower to the Sabbat and causes great, internal backlash that a PC must deal with. Ultimately, we want to use the Cycle of Confrontation to highlight and give our own spin on the larger conflicts of Masquerade, though whether this is a final showdown between the Ivory Tower and the Sword of Caine, a scenario of a shattered Masquerade with human and vampire friction, or the rise of the Antediluvians remains to be worked out in the previous years and plotlines. And as always, PC action (or inaction) may shorten or lengthen this timeframe. It'll also be about halfway into the Cycle of Confrontation that a final decision will be made on whether the chronicle will end or continue.
If the chronicle continues on from the Cycle of Confrontation, we will work on developing more Cycles based on the plots going on and the desires and expectations of our players. If the chronicle ends, we will engage in dialogue with the players as to where to go after the Five Year Plan expires.