Emerald Specter 120: Emerald Nights

Another column? I thought you were done with the “Emerald Specter” columns, DJ.

I was, technically, but I also have the need to post about something specific and I wanted to keep it in a format that everyone is familiar with. That information is about Emerald Nights: A Vampire The Masquerade Chronicle.

For a long time, now, I’ve been wanting to play in a game. I haven’t been a player in an RPG since 1997, and only then early in the year. If you’re counting, that means I haven’t played an RPG as a player for 22 years. That is a long time since being able to just sit and role dice (rather than deciding on whether they need to be rolled and for what).

I have participated in a slew of SIMs, which I have pointed out places to play them in the past on this site. They’re mostly, if not all, Star Trek SIMs and you essentially play the role of a character and help tell the story. No rolling dice and the “game master” is basically just guiding you and everyone else in a giant writing exercise.

Those were okay for a while but I’m tired of not getting together with people to have a game once a week, month, or whatever. Hell, I’d settle for a one shot at this point.

Recently, though, I happened across Vampire the Masquerade: LA by Night, which is a chronicle run by Jason Carl from White Wolf Publishing and is played by a group of professional actors. It rocks, by the way. (Their YouTube Channel has all their past episodes.)

Inspired, I decided to start poking my nose into running a game again… because no one else is going to run it for me, I guess.

Side note: a long time ago I came to the realization that instead of wanting someone to do something, I’d just have to make what I wanted happen. No one else is going to know or be motivated to do what you want to see, so just go out there and make things.

I frequent some forums that have Vampire specific plot hooks, I live in a city (finally) that isn’t some rinky dink nowhere, and I have a background of unused ideas that, even though previous players came close to discovering, they were looked over. I could literally re-run an old chronicle without changing a thing and no one would be the wiser.

But why would I want to rehash something?

I’ve come up with the framework of what I want to run. Since I live in Portland, OR, I’ll just use that city (a previous iteration which shall soon be re-released in audio form was set in Blackwood, OR, a fictionalized version of Portland) and then I can pull real information to fill out the finer details of the setting. The finer details will be worked out here and there.

I have three players ready to play (well, by mid-July, anyway), and I’d ideally like at least a fourth (though I wouldn’t say no to a fifth, or possibly even a sixth). Just like LA by Night, I’m going to keep them in character MOST of the time, so Tom Foolery won’t be an issue with the finished product.

I made a page for the game, you can find it here. There is also an Obsidian Portal page for attracting others, that’s actually how the third player came about. The Obsidian Portal page isn’t going to be the main resource for information, but I will put a few things up there to let people know any updates.

Once the core group has been established, everyone shows up when they’re supposed to, and everyone stays in character most of the time, then I can look at bringing on periphery characters like LA by Night has done. Just an odd person here or there, or maybe there’s another coterie running around Portland on its own.

All in all, I’m going to get to play a game. If one or two of the current players drops out, I’ll run for the final person alone. This chronicle IS getting run and I am running it until the story is told.

For those who might be canonistas, I am attempting to largely keep this game within the established canon of the meta plot. While I may not be aware of certain things that happen in the newer books until I read them, I’ll be doing what I can to remain within the canon.

Staying in canon will actually be easier than it has in the past, too. All thanks to LA by Night.

On the show, the players are concerned for their own well being in a place they can get a foothold of power in, without worrying about what is happening globally or with a larger sect. At this point, I don’t even know what the Generation is of the player characters and, though I didn’t realize this until I started watching, is completely awesome. Players more concerned with the story in front of them rather than digging into a meta plot.

On Discord, I am part of a group that has a few people mentioning that the events of Vampire Bloodlines should be a point of reference for the characters (it was “canon”), their desire to see a direct and obvious connection seems a bit weird, to me… they want heavy referencing to tie everything in.

My response to that was this: “Why are the players going to reference something that almost none of them were alive (undead) for when they have more pressing concerns at hand?” Think about your own life, do you make an obligatory reference to something in the past that has nothing to do with what is going on, just to make a reference?

LA by Night is canon without needing to ram home that it is canon. Brilliant.

All in all, I’m still looking for a player (or two). Video and audio is a must and we’ll determine when we actually play and for how long when we all get together to figure out those details. If you want to play and you want input, email EmeraldSpecter.com@Gmail.com now to get in on that! If I have gotten things going already, we may still have room for some negotiations.

It never hurts to ask.