Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Roll Your Own Life (13) - Talkin' 'bout my Generations

Last post I mentioned that Debs and I got very into playing Vampire: The Masquerade. I was intrigued by the adverts in the rulebooks for something called "The Camarilla" and so I started looking into what it was and how we could get involved.

The Camarilla took LARPing (that's Live Action Role Playing) to its logical next level. A global RPG, where Storytellers organised regional games, and reported what had happened to national and international coordinators to create a huge international game where everything was connected. It was like MMORPG without the internet. Genius.

We signed up, and started to get involved.

There were a couple of groups organised in Norwich, and we tagged along - they didn't really amount to much. I guess the problem was that we tried to meet up in public places - I remember a great meeting at one of the oldest pubs in the city, there were about ten of us meeting to discuss what we were going to do and when the next game should be, and it was like An American Werewolf in London. Not so much "beware the moon, lads," and more "we don't want your kind in here!"

Being a northern lad myself, we also went to the regional meetings in York. These weren't in a public place, rather in a hired hall, or at the "Prince of York's" house. We met some really cool people there, and made some good friends.

We also attended a huge meeting in Basildon. It was unlike anything I'd ever experienced before. A huge LARP with hundreds of gamers all partaking in one massive event. It was like a convention and a party all in one, with everyone in-character and running around pretending to be vampires.

The Basildon event, and the Camarilla as a whole, introduced us to the Prince of London, Angus Abranson, and his deputy, Andrew Peregrine. Of course we didn't get to see much of either of them at the Basildon meeting, everything Angus did was surrounded by a gaggle of obfuscated vamps following him around hoping to overhear some vital information that they'd be able to use in the future. Angus and Andrew seemed to be at the heart of the London gaming scene, and they would become important parts of my game writing career in the future. You can see some pics from Angus' Livejournal account here so you can see what the UK Camarilla scene was like.

We got very into the Camarilla, but I'm an inherently antisocial type - I don't really do public functions. However, Debs and I had graphic design backgrounds so we volunteered to help put together our clan newsletters. Debs worked on the Toreador one ("Rosa Nocturnus") and I put together the Tremere one ("Convocations"). They were illustrated A4 black and white newsletters, around 8-16 pages every quarter, with art, poems, game updates, rules, photos, and all that kinda stuff. Debs and I had a blast doing it, and the powers that be in the UK deemed that our hard work should be rewarded by promoting us in the ranks. Debs was made head of Clan Toreador, and I was promoted to 2nd in command of Clan Tremere (there was already a Clan Head).

We made good friends in the Camarilla, met some colourful characters as well, but that would come to an end. Some took our ascent to power personally, unhappy that we'd risen in the ranks (and in Generation as it worked in the Camarilla) just because of our creative and organisational input. We started receiving hate-mail, but in- and out- of character. We decided that nothing we did was worth that kind of feedback and we withdrew from active duty, quit the Camarilla, and I sold 90% of my Vampire/Werewolf/Mage/Wraith rulebooks. I still have the Vampire corebook, and the Mage: The Ascension one (I actually always preferred Mage to Vampire anyway - I liked the idea of being able to change your reality with your mind... a theme that would continue in my games to this day), and I have the corebooks of the re-releases, but I haven't really ventured into the World of Darkness since.

Debs, however, is currently enjoying a game of Mage: The Awakening.

Despite how it ended, I don't regret my time in the Camarilla. Without it, I'd have never met Angus and Andy, and the Doctor Who RPG (Adventures in Time and Space) may never have been made.


Okay, enough reminiscing - on the subject of Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, check out this video of unboxing the new 11th Doctor core set.

I was thinking about making my own unboxing video for this, but this is a pretty good look at the contents of the box.

I'm still planning on making some videos, but the timing's just not right at the moment. Maybe in the new year...

Until next week, possibly my last blog entry for a bit as it's the one before the madness of NaNoWriMo begins!!!


Andrew Peregrine said...

I remember the Basildon event well!
Although I should point out Angus was MY deputy! :-)

David F. Chapman said...

Really!??? Good lord! Does that mean you were Prince? Cool!!!

Anonymous said...

I was bubbling around the Carmarilla then, subverting the Portsmouth group. Big Alan and I attended many meetings, including one in Milton Keynes or east of thhere and a whole weekend 'do' on the Isle of Wight, which was fun. I never got that deep into it. I was a Brujah football fan with Leeds tattooed backwards across my forehead... I had some notoriety for a while...


Andrew Peregrine said...

Prince? Prince?!
I was a Justicar sir! :-)

David F. Chapman said...

In that case, I should be calling YOU Sir, sir!!!