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San Marcos by Night No.

SMbN Storytellers Kevin Whiteside & Robert de la Garza

In This Edition: What is this $#@!? - An Introduction to LARPing by Kevin Whiteside Its Come To This A welcome to all new players by Robert de la Garza Looking Back - Review of Last Week's Game Skaros Quick-And-Dirty Guidelines for Having a Kick-Ass Time in LARP A City of Resonance - Game Background Story

What is this $#@!? A pretty fair question, to be honest. To put it simply, San Marcos by Night is a Live-Action RPG set in the World of Darkness's Vampire: the Masquerade setting. Each player takes on the role of a vampire within the setting of the game and physically acts out their characters' actions during the course of the game night. The players pursue goals within a fictional (darker) San Marcos, while interacting with each other in character. For those familiar with table-top role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons or the Classic World of Darkness, LARP is very similar, with one exception: you get to dress and act the part! Each player will dress in costume for their character, which could be a simple as a hoodie and jeans, or as elaborate as a Victorian-era gown, depending on their character. But all the long-winded explanation won't really prepare you for your first experience with interactive theatre, and the ST staff (that is, Robert and I) encourage you to come audit a game; there's no pressure to play if you don't like it, and you'll get to see what everything is all about. In the meantime, we (Robert and I) decided to make this newsletter so youd have some kind of guide as you journey from fearful noob to butt-kicking expert, though we try to make it interesting to players of all experience levels. Each week, youll get a custom note from myself and Robert on whatever topic we care to talk about, as well as an article on either mechanics or role-play, to better us all as players. Then we cap it off with some Fiction, because if were gonna nerd, we might as well nerd all the way. Many players find they have a penchant for writing, so feel free to write something and well publish it in the newsletter! Until then: Game On, Kevin W.

Its Come to This So Its come to this Youve always considered yourself one of the nerdier part of the crowd, maybe youve hidden it well beneath your strong background of sports and love of drink. Maybe youve kept it quietly between you and a small group of friends, and maybe youre just now realizing this is who you really were all along (For concerns about coming out as a nerd to your parents, please seek us for help) But somehow, some way, youve ended up right here, reading this newsletter and contemplating this whole thing called Vampire. I was just like you in the beginning too, trust me; wary, cautious, afraid that this was the outcast of the nerd crowd, that these people could not possibly hope to see daylight let alone be able to have fun with a large group but let me tell you something zoom in REEEEEEEEEAL close on this newsletter Youre wrong. You see, this is a group of people who are going to want to have fun, a group of people who will want to hear your own stories, interact with your characters, and participate in your backstory; and youll want to do the same with them. Because Vampire is a game of chess, only with many more players and a far more entertaining story to tell when its all over. Its not the Lightning Bolt kind of LARP that you might have seen or heard about (Or possibly even partaken in, we hold no judgments) this is a LARP for creative, thinking, individuals. So come on, shoot us a message, come and sit in on a game, talk to us about it, I guarantee you wont be disappointed, and if you decide you dont like it, then no harm no foul. But I can almost guarantee if youve taken the time to read this far into this newsletter? Youll find some enjoyment from it. Sincerely, Robert d.

Looking Back Last game was a big one, as the Anarchs of San Marcos were pressured by the Camarilla to establish a leader by the Camarilla toady, Harpy Zachary of San Antonio. The city was also visited by a representative from the California Free State (where the largest Anarch population of vampires are known to live) named Flynn; though simple, he was cordial to everyone and seemed willing to offer sage, if cryptic, advice to any who asked. After a great deal of discussion, Prince Jericho of San Antonio arrived in the city, forcing the already short-pressured Anarches into further deliberation. After a great deal of back-room politicking and other shady nonsense, Dominika was chosen as Baroness to the Anarchs and representative to the Camarilla, and given the status Loyal to the Camarilla- though we'll see how accurate it may be as the nights continue.

Skaros Quick-And-Dirty Guidelines for Having a Kick-Ass Time in LARP 1. The first thing you should do: get into trouble. Trouble is interesting. 2. Tell the truth as much as possible. If you cant tell the truth, refuse to answer, be evasive or be somewhere else, but keep the flat-out lying to a minimum. 3. When wheeling and dealing with other characters, ask yourself: Whats in it for them? You might not get far appealing to their altruism, but an appeal to self-interest almost always works. 4. Dont commit to anything until or unless you absolutely have to. This is valid for politicians in real life, and it works for LARPers, too. 5. Pick your battles. You cant keep up with every single thing thats happening in the game. 6. Sooner or later, youll have to delegate something to another character. Make sure its someone wholl take the fall if they fail or has a vested interest not to sell you out. 7. If all hell has broken loose and all is chaos, characters will respond well to someone - anyone who speaks confidently and acts like they have a plan, even when they dont. 8. When caught by surprise, dont let it show. At most, nod thoughtfully and mutter I feared something like this might happen 9. Listen to the other characters. Really listen. Its called dialogue for a reason. 10. Be willing to lose. Volunteer to lose, if itll keep things interesting. 11. LARPing is a social hobby. Get out there and interact with the other characters, darnit! 12. Bear in mind: if you fail as a character, you have not failed as a person. 13. If youre not having fun, figure out why and act on it. The GMs will work with you as much as they can.

A City of Resonance Hey. You there. Yeah, you, motherfucker. You look new and dumb. Got time for a story? Whad'ya mean, 'Why am I in the sewers'? This ain't the sewers, it's a drainage ditch, and nevermind why I'm in the damn drainage ditch. No? Fine, fuck off then. See if I give any shits at all if you survive. Oh, now you wanna listen to the voice from drainage ditch. Well, good. If you're gonna be muckin' around here, you might as well know the score. So, you're a vampire. Whoop-de-fuckin-shit. You may or may not know this, but us blood-suckers tend to belong to one of two groups: the Camarilla or the Sabbat. I'm not gonna go into details about what they are- mostly 'cause you ain't got shit to pay me for it- but you stand in the pretty shit-fucking-tastic position of belonging to neither of these. You're what's called an Anarch. No, that doesn't mean you go around espousing chaos and setting shit on fire. I mean, some do, but you could try to have a little class. So. You're an Anarch. Or maybe not. Maybe you're a Cammie Spy, or a Sabbat Priest come to eat my soul. But if ya ain't one of these two things, then you're probably an Anarch, and you're probably wondering why the hell you should care. Well, here's why: You mean absolutely shit nothing to anyone with any real power, and that includes everyone who isn't an Anarch. Usually that means you gotta stay wherever the hell the big boys tell you to stay. For some fuckin' reason, that ain't the case here in San Marcos. I don't know why- or maybe I do but, again, nothing to pay me with- this land is your land; belongs to you fuckers and no one else. Your own fuckin' slice of god-damned paradise and you get to do whatever the hell you want with it. Least, 'til the Camarilla comes back, or the Sabbat get tired of waiting. They've never been known for their patience. So what does that mean to YOU? It means you got a shot at bein' someone here. You could be a big dog, or puppet master, or whatever else the hell you want to be, because the Elders with all the power and the money? They ain't here no more. It's your city, now, and it changes based on what you do with it. A city-territory, domain, whatever- is more than just a handful of buildings and the bloodbags that populate it: it's a livin', breathin', THING and it'll do to you what you do to it. So, yeah. That's all I got for you right now, so you can go ahead and do whatever the hell stupid thing you were about to do. Why am I helping you? Well, I wouldn't really call it helping. More like, making it interesting.