When is a Role-Playing Game not a Role-Playing Game?

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When is a Role-Playing Game not a Role-Playing Game?

When it is a computer game which describes itself as a Role-Playing Game as in the strictest definition it is not a Role-Playing Game but a computer game which allow the player to follow a main story with a few quests to distract them and definitely with no real input by the player into the story itself.

Those of us who have played real Role-Playing Games, now also called Storytelling Games, know that Role-Playing is an interactive game in which both the Game Master/Storyteller and Players create the story together by their actions and reactions to scenarios created by the Game Master/Storyteller. If anything what is created by the real Role-Players is a living game/story with infinite possibilities created b the interactions of the Game Master/Storyteller and Player’s imaginations.

From my personal experience the best Role-Playing Games I have run and played have been created by the players themselves usually with a lose plot but always a good backdrop to the Role-Playing Game.

Computer Role-Playing Games will never be as good because of their limitations of plot though sometimes the beauty of their virtual worlds can make up for it’s lack of flexibility. But Computer Role-Paying Games end up the same as a series of quests with manipulation of the strategic Player Character manipulation to get the best out of the game play. Both of which do not make a good Role-Playing Game in the end.

Myself I have tried so called Computer Role-Playing Games and eventually found them boring, inflexible and do not stretch my imagination if anything dulls it! I can play them for a few months but my interest in them soon goes and I have done this twice with World of Warcraft.

Personally if people really want to Role-Play it is worth the effort to find a real Role-Playing Game near them than immerse themselves in a sterile world of a computer game as they may find the Real Role-Playing Game far more rewarding and stimulating.

Though I am bias as a real Role-Payer but what the hell it can be far more fun than a computer game.


Please note: If want to see my second life journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

All The King’s Men Part I

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These Journal entries are taken from a Journal of a Vampire: The Masquerade Role-Playing Game I ran for a group of friends some 10 years ago now.

I’ve included it in my Journal here because I recently read it again and it brought back some nice memories when I used to run Role-Playing Games on a regular basis. Plus I thought it could prove interesting reading for others and give an insight in how I used to run Role-Playing Games.

The Vampire: The Masquerade Chronicle was run using Vampire: The Masquerade 2nd Edition Role-Playing Rules and it was based in Chicago, United States in the year 1998 using a modified background from the Chicago by Night 2nd Edition Source Book. The Vampire society of Chicago was in flux as the city lacked a Prince and it was surrounded by packs of Werewolves who were preparing to purge Chicago of Spirits of the Wyrm there. Into this background the Player Characters were thrust to survive and make a place for themselves in the Vampire society of Chicago.

Finally the Journal has been left in it’s original format so do not expect a literary classic.

All The King’s Men Journal for 24th October 1999

Date of Game
24th October, 1999.

Location:
Andy Throne’s Home in Reading, United Kingdom.

Players:
Andy Throne (Character Name: Davion).
Andy Schipelbaum (Character Name: Maximillian Villech aka Max).
David Sadler (Character Name: Mahmoud).

Characters:
Davion (10th Generation Lasombra Antitribue Vampire with a Camarilla Ventue Vampire Sponsor in London).
Maximillian Villech (13th Generation Toreador Vampire and a full Camarilla member but with a dark connection).
Mahmoud (10th Generation Assimite Antitribue Vampire with possible connections to True Black Hand and ex-Sabbat Black Hand member).

Experience Points:
All Player Characters gain 2 experience points.


Game Date: Sunday 1st March, 1998 to Monday 2nd March, 1998
Mahmoud arrives at O’Hare Airport in Chicago from Paris in an air container. While at the airport he is greeted by a reception committee lead by Tyler, the Brujah Primogen of Chicago. It seems as if the Vampires of Chicago have been warned of his coming. Tyler warms Mahmoud not to cause any trouble while he is in Chicago.

After which Mahmoud goes to the address given to him by his Sire for an Haven in Downtown Chicago. On the way he sees the familiar face of the dark eyed man he saw in Berlin some 6 years before. The rest of the evening for him goes quietly.

Davion arrives in Chicago via the train from Washington DC in a box car. The box car he is in is opened by a less than gracious rail worker. Once he exits the box car he enters Chicago and starts to find a Haven by contacting an Estate Agent via Email and he arranges a meeting for the next night. He retires to a Motel room for the day.

In the meanwhile Max makes his way to the Succubus Club with the attention to pick up someone to work his art with. He finds a potential target a business woman on a night out. But he blows it and she makes a scene claiming he touched her up. Max has to run in with the bouncers at the Succubus Club.

Max follows the woman out of the club to her car. But due to alcohol and drugs she is far from capable of driving a car. So Max gets his own back by shopping her to the Police who stop her just outside if the car park.

Max returns back into the club where he tags along with a group of Brujah Anarchs who feed on 4 Students Jocks leaving them beaten in a bin. Max rather than leaving them he takes them back to his studio where he bounds them and puts a camera on them before retiring for the day.


Game Date: Monday 2st March, 1998 to Tuesday 3nd March, 1998
Mahmoud wakes up in his new haven and goes out for the night into Chicago to find his feet. But as he leaves his new haven to find a person in a grey monk robe waiting for him. They beckon him to follow them and Mahmoud does to a Church after a 10 minute journey. Mahmoud enters the Church.

Max wakes up for the evening watches the film of his captives taken over the day. One of the captives is very abusive to Max whose answer is to rip off the face of one of the other captives which terrifying them all. This is made worse as he had just fed the two other Students who are promptly ill. He once again sets the camera on them for the night and day.

Max then goes to leave during his preparations he thinks he sees a shadow in his mirror. Once again on leaving his haven he spots the person in the grey monk robe who beacons him to follow him. Max follows the person for over 10 minutes to a church and he enters the Church.

In the meanwhile Davion meets with the Estate Agent at the apartment building he wants to buy at which he puts in an offer for the building costing some $300,000.

Davion takes note of the estate agent’s car licence plate then using his Computer knowledge proceeds to turn over the estate agent’s life. Firstly putting his $500,000 home into a third parties name and arrange a wire of $300,000 to the estate agent’s company from a ghost account. Davion spends a few hours during the evening arranging things.

At the Church both Mahmoud and Max meet each other with the person in grey monk rode standing at the alter. The person says one word “Destiny” before disappearing plunging the Church into the darkness of the night. Both Mahmoud and Max briefly talk to each other before Mahmoud leaves. Max stays a while to check the Church but finds nothing.

Mahmoud stays outside of the Church waiting for Max to leave. Once Max leaves mahmoud follow him to Max’s Club Tarantino after which Mahmoud goes to the Succubus Club.

At the Succubus Club Mahmoud meets with Critias, a Brujah Primogen of Chicago, who asks a few questions about why he is in Chicago and reiterates the warning about his actions within Chicago.

Both Davion and Max eventually make their way to the Succubus Club. There Davion meets with Critias and Tyler who question why he is in Chicago. Davion claims to be Ventrue and the two of them promise to arrange a meeting with the Ventrue of Chicago.

In addition Max meets with Critias and Tyler who question him especially when they notice him eavesdropping on their conversion with Davion. He is warned not to do it again.

Max and Davion meet for the first time in the Succubus Club. After which the two of them retire to their respective havens.

On his return to his haven Mahmoud breaks into a jewellery store using is disciplines and takes $1,000 worth of jewellery.

Max does not have a quiet journey back to is haven as is is interrupted by a ranting madman who claims that madmen walk the city during his rant he mentions the “Spirit of the City”.

On his return to his haven Max feeds on one of the students in front of the others. He once again sets the camera on them for the day before retiring for the day.


Game Date: Tuesday 3rd March, 1998 to Wednesday 4th March, 1998
Mahmoud has a start to the night with a Nightmare of being staked once again by the Darked Eyed man who gloats over his prone body. Mahmoud wakes up to find his haven is empty. Mahmoud then makes his way to the succubus Club.

At the Succubus Club Mahmoud gets in a conversion with the woman Max had met around two evenings before who is getting very drunk and moaning about her recent troubles.

Max wakes up for the night watches the film of the two students actions over the day. He once again feeds them and tries to explain his art to them with little success. Max once again sees the shadow in the mirror as in the previous night as he is preparing to leave.

After which Max uses his Underworld Contacts to obtain around 1kg of Shaped Charges and around 12 detonators for around $500 which should be available on Thursday 5th march 1998.

The Max goes to the Succubus Club for the evening finding Mahmoud already there deep in conversion with the woman he met some nights before. He goes up the stairs in the club to upper floor.

In the meanwhile Davion wakes up in his Motel room to find someone has scrawled the message “Remember Paul Teccan” on the wall. Davion leaves to meet with the estate agent to close the deal with him for the Apartment Block.

But Davion finds the Estate Agent distracted as he has just found his home does not belong to him. So Davion makes a deal with the Estate Agent to sell him the Apartment Block for $100,000 has company crediting him back $200,000 to his bank account. Davion true to his word returns the Estate Agent’s life back to normal as far as his home back to his ownership. After the nice deal Davion goes to the Succubus Club.

On arrival at the Succubus Club Davion spies Mahmoud talking to a woman, he goes up to the woman and acts as if he knows her speaking in French. This is enough to get the woman to leave with Mahmoud. After which Davion goes up stairs in the club to find Max is already there.

Both Max and Davion talk for a while but they are disturbed by a suited gentleman who introduces himself as Khalid a member of the Nosfertu. He questions both Davion and Max but he questions Max intensely to find that Max has very little idea about Vampire society in general. In addition he arranges for Max to meet with Annabelle Trebelle the Toreador Primogen of Chicago. Khalid leaves leaving Max very worried indeed.

As everyone leaves the Succubus Club they are told there is a meeting off all Vampires of Chicago at 08:00pm the next night at the Succubus Club.

Mahmoud returns to the woman’s flat where he feeds from her takes l her money around $500 and leaves a note with “You were wonderful” written on it. He returns back to his haven.

Max tries to find his Sire after leaves the Succubus Club to ask him some questions but he finds he is not around. After which he returns to his haven where he kills the two remaining students dumping their bodies in the sewers. He leaves the other two bodies to decay in this haven. Max files the video tapes of the students he made over the last few nights under “Not Planned” before retiring.

Davion in the meanwhile returns to his have with little trouble.


Game Date: Wednesday 4th March, 1998 to Thursday 5th March, 1998
Mahmoud wakes up for the evening and makes his way straight to the meeting at the Succubus Club.

Davion also gets up for the evening and goes straight to the Succubus Club and the meeting.

Max gets up for the evening and as he leaves his haven he notices a shadow across the street which disappears with a blink of a eye. He once again tries to find his Sire but he is not in. After which Max goes to the meeting at the Succubus Club.

After 10 minutes after Max arrives at the Club the Primogen of Chicago lead by Critias formally announce that the search for a new Prince has started.

During the first part of the evening Davion meets Huratio Ballard the member of the Ventrue of Chicago. During which he is invited to join the Board Meeting of the Ventrue of Chicago as he claims to be a Ventrue.

Max also has a meeting with Annabelle Trebelle the Toreador Primogen of Chicago which seems to increase his standing with the Toreador of Chicago. But all this is changed when a group of suited men ask them to accompany them.

At the same time another group of men ask Mahmoud to follow them but unlike Max only one man accompanies him.

Both Mahmoud and Max are taken to a room upstairs of the Succubus Club where the Primogen of Chicago are waiting. Max is held at the back under guard while the Primogen give Mahmoud the job of Scourge of Chicago. Mahmoud is given 5 Ghouls to help with his task who are waiting downstairs.

At the end of the meeting the Primogen’s first job is to teach Max something of the Camarilla Society and of the Masquerade.


Start of the Next Game:
It is Midnight Mahmoud is preparing to go down stairs to meet with his Ghouls assistants and teach Max a few lessons.

Max is still under guard waiting his fate at the hands of Mahmoud the new Scourge of Chicago.

Davion is still enjoying the party downstairs blissfully unaware of what has just happened upstairs to the others.


Handouts:
The following are highlights of the interesting news items in the various Chicago Newspapers at dusk of Monday 2nd March, 1998:

…..Last night in an apartment in Cabrini Green a body of a young woman was found horrifically murdered. Apparently she had been slit from her stomach to chest by an sharp implement.

Police are baffled by the murder as all the doors to the apartment were locked and the murderer had written in the woman’s own blood the message “The Spirit of the City”…..

The following are highlights of the interesting news items in the various Chicago Newspapers at dusk of Monday 3rd March, 1998:

…..the business community of Chicago was taken by the surprise take over of the Trading Company, Hyatt and White, by a New York group called De Sousa Financials…..

The following are highlights of the interesting news items in the various Chicago Newspapers at dusk of Monday 4th March, 1998:

…..in recent months the number of immigrants from both Russia and old Eastern Block has been on the increase in Chicago and the USA in general.

As in general this is not a problem in Chicago which could do with the influx of people to counteract the loss of population. But the local Authorities are worried that this influx of immigrants will being with them members of the Russian Mafia…..


Please note: If  want to see my second life journal then go to the Journal of a Spectral Traveller.

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