Archived-Sydney Requiem VSS

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The 63 Sydney pages are to provide information for potential, new and current members in regards to the the games and running of the Sydney Domain of Beyond the Sunset.

Venue Style Sheet: Saturnalia
Vampire: The Requiem – Sydney, New South Wales
Approval number - TOPAUS0137

Basic Information

Domain: Sydney
Venue: Saturnalia
Venue Storyteller: Matt Archer
Storyteller Contact: VST Sydney

The Sydney Requiem Venue is based in and around Sydney and the surrounding metro area.

The Saturnalia Requiem venue hosts a single, Monthly core Requiem game. All other games are considered supporting games. These include clan, covenant and coterie meetings. These games are mostly considered supplementary to the core game, do not require an ST presence and are limited in the XP awards that may be granted.

Description of Venue

Requiem Sydney – The Court
Monthly, Saturday Nights (usually 2nd of the Month). 7.00pm to 11.00pm.
Location: As determined by the VC.
Lead Storyteller: Matt Archer (VST)
Lead Assistant: TBA
Temporary Narrators: May be appointed for any game when necessary.

Styles of Play

1 (Never Present) to 5 (Always Present)

Style of Play Description Rating
Action Combat and Challenges 3
Character Development Personal dilemmas and choices 4
Darkness PC death or corruption 2
Drama Ceremony and Grand Story 3
Intrigue Politics and Negotiation 5
Manners Social etiquette and peer pressure 4
Mystery Enigmas and investigation 4
Pace How fast do stories emerge, develop, and resolve? 3

Action - Combat and Challenges - 3

Kindred are immortal, powerful and fragile. When violence happens, ordinarily it doesn’t end without one party either in ashes or damn close to it. Court is about the social, the subtle and the political. The games focus may be political, but there is a demon, a beast inside every vampire waiting to come out at the slightest provocation and wreak havoc. For those players with a taste for the combative, there will often be the chance for some rough-housing but it is by no means the games focus.

Character - Development Personal Dilemmas and Choices – 4

For each of you, every game is about your character. The decisions you make, the path you choose will shape not only your character, but the characters around it, and the world around it. Every action or choice has consequences, but similarly have benefits. It’s up to you and your character to make those painstaking decisions. Murder, slavery and even the power to consume a soul are all tools that come naturally to the Kindred, all for the low price of your humanity, and possibly of losing yourself to the beast forever.

Darkness - PC Death or Corruption - 2

Though tough choices are a dominant feature in this game, PC Death and Corruption is actually relatively rare. The death of an adversary should be pretty low on a vampires list of possible methods of prevailing. To murder without cause, without provocation can damage the humanity in kindred. Each kill makes the next a little easier, until one day its second nature, the day after that, the mind is gone, and you are a beast. A dog. A tormented creature with nothing left but to be put to rest by what were once your own kind. Vampires are immortal, and tread carefully, slowly. Death and corruption will occur, but not with any frequency.

Drama - Ceremony and Grand Story - 3

The bread and butter of LARP. Drama is what makes for a cool game. Without drama, the game is cold, mechanical. It’d be like watching The Matrix acted out by a pair of mimes on stage. Sure, a little amusing at first, but it would get old fast. The drama, the speeches, the tension, the suspense and the mystery are all what make a LARP so much fun. There is no other system better equipped to deliver it. A personal goal of mine is to increase the Drama rating of your game. It’s good, but it could be so much better. You can help by helping the flow of the game. If your arch-enemy is in mid-speech, don’t shoot him in the face, let him finish if at all possible. Relent to challenges, narrate a scene between yourselves without lame mechanics and you’ll have more fun.

Intrigue - Politics and Negotiation - 5

The core of Vampire: The Requiem. Polite, courtly vampire society revolves around intrigue. They are few in number, but they have systems, positions, status, boons and entire chains of fealty dedicated to maintaining a delicate political atmosphere. By using politics and negotiation to get their way amongst their own kind, the Kindred allow themselves to forgo violence and chaos in favour of a fake smile and a timely bribe. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and make them all pay as much as you can get away with. Boons are a key function in most polite kindred society and they all adhere to its laws, save unbound rabble. Playing this game will make it more fun for you, this genre was built with this stuff in mind, give it a chance.

Manners - Social Etiquette and Peer Pressure - 4

If intrigue was a vehicle you’d use to drive through the Requiem, manners would no doubt be the road. Manners pave the way for politics and negotiation to take place. If you’re insulted in court, and you kick and scream and yell and wave your weapons about in the air screaming bloody murder, then, no doubt you’ll be in far more trouble than your adversary. On the other hand, you can politely inform those present that you have taken exception to his comments, and demand satisfaction in the form of boons, blood or more. Manners allow for polite conversation, discourage anger and violence (and frenzied messes) and allow kindred society to function with some degree of civility. Keep this in mind, and take note of the people at games that seem to accomplish the most. They’re always the nice seeming ones.

Mystery - Enigmas and Investigation - 4

A lot can be gained by solving puzzles and gathering information. Both are great for uncovering that plot to overthrow the Prince, or who it was that tried to kill you. Uncovering the whereabouts of that hunter group could easily get you in good graces with the court officials. Mystery is an important part of the World of Darkness. Even Kindred, with the eternity of knowledge and even psychic power do not know even close to everything that inhabits the world they live in. The mystery is what makes the world dark, spooky and terrible. Kindred and mortals winding up on the streets missing their eyes and teeth is one thing, but not knowing if it’s a mad man, or something much darker, perhaps even unnatural takes the game to a new level. Most of my plot will involve a good amount of thinking and resourcefulness on your part.

Pace - How Fast do Stories Emerge, Develop, and Resolve? - 3

For the most part, the plots and stories in this game will range anywhere from 3 months to a year. Many plots will follow on from something your character has done, or instigated. In this game, the things you leave behind will come back to haunt you. If you’re smart and persistent, you may well overcome your problem in a single night.

In the game, when you ignore plot, it doesn’t just fade away. The powers behind these plots have plans, and you’ll be allowing them to be fulfilled unchallenged. That often ends badly for your characters. On the other hand, there is always something to gain from pursuing plot arcs. Not the least of which is the awesome fun you’ll have along the way. If you attack a plot head on, you’ll draw attention but likely push it in the direction you’re after. If you simply observe, you’ll likely figure a lot out, but the plot will go ahead unhindered until you intervene. Ignored plots will grow to other stages, leaving the court with much bigger issues than originally planned, which will end up even worse for you when they found out your apathy allowed a catastrophe to happen.

Storytelling Mechanics

Allies, Contacts, Retainers, Staff and Status These merits are not limited to a single downtime action or single action per game. Players are free to use these merits as often as they wish, but remember that abuse WILL lead to lost dots and hardships for your character (eg, using your Street Allies to help you score is no big deal, but asking them constantly to rough someone up or rat out on each other is a big deal). Use common sense when using these items. Use them when you need to, not just because you have them. If you are getting close to pushing the boundary of the friendship or scope of use of the Merit, then that will be made clear IC, usually prior to the removal of dots. Remember also what each of these merits represent:

Allies are friends and associates that you can count on the help you out sometimes. They are not servants, flunkies, minions or yes-men. You must ordinarily ask for them to act on your behalf.

Contacts collect information and pass it on to you. They are passive, require no roll and need minimal maintenance. Contacts may pass on information they feel is relevant to you without your asking.

Status is a representation of direct and recognised authority in the chosen organisation. Your character has official special access, rights or control over places, people and resources. A character should be a member of an organisation to have status in it, and is expected to fulfil the requirements of that position.

Retainers are your personal, loyal servants. They do what you ask them to do. When using and buying retainers consider the appropriate dot value carefully. A one dot retainer will ordinarily not do you much good, they may be invalids, small children or otherwise inept. Consider this when using them. The dot value of the retainer will count for a LOT more than the stats we put on their sheet. Special retainers granted by special abilities (zombies, homunculi etc) are exempt from this restriction. Retainer stats will be defined by the Storyteller, not the players. When purchasing a Retainer, inform the ST of its primary function, and the ST will make calls based on the dot value of the retainer. As a general rule, the dice pool for a retainer will 2 x the dot value of the retainer. So if you purchase a “Gunman” at 1 dot, then the Gunman’s pool will be 2. A bonus of up to +5 or -5 will be applied for situational modifiers, such as tools, weather conditions, etc.

Staff represents a small group of individuals who work for you directly doing menial tasks. They do not wield influence or status for you and perform simple tasks only. If stats are absolutely necessary, they will usually be considered to have 2 dots in a single mental ability.

Carthian Law So far, there are only three Carthian Laws in Sydney.

1) IC: Citizens come First – OOC: Game effect = Non Citizens (those without at least a single dot of Sydney City Status) acting against Citizens (those with at least one dot), will be subject to mechanics of Carthian Law.
2) IC: Elysium – OOC: Game Effect = If a Character acts against the codified Laws of the Sydney Elysium, then they will be subject to mechanics of Carthian Law.
3) IC: Bloodhunts – OOC: Game Effect = If a Character is Bloodhunted, they will be subject to mechanics of Carthian Law.

Character Creation

Characters of advanced age will generally not be considered. The Requiem Genre is one based on a younger age group than other types of Vampire settings.

a. Existed before 1900AD: Winner!
b. Existed before 1800AD: With good justification, yup, I’ll approve them.
c. Existed before 1600AD: Not likely.

The reasoning is that I want the majority of PCs to come from the "Modern History" eras. The Requiem books focus on younger vampires, and that's how I want the game to feel. I want older vampires to mean a lot. I want them to be scary by virtue of just their age, not the MC the player behind the PC has. I'd like to see a younger character age average than we have had in the previous chronicle. That’s how the setting is written, and the age brackets above are there to drive that home.

To give an idea of what I consider "Modern History". Not being a History professor, I’m no expert. I doubt many of us are. I want most PCs from category A with a few at B, and pretty much none at C.

Damnation City The Saturnalia venue for the most part, will not be using the “Domain” merits from Damnation City. The storytelling team is working to produce an alternative domain/territory tracking system where necessary.

Downtime Characters receive 2 downtime actions per dot in resolve, per game period. Downtime is due exactly 2 weeks prior to the next game.

Learning out of clan disciplines requires a number of actions be spent equal to the level of the power being learnt. Actions must be spent by both the student and teacher in downtime. The teacher need only spend one action. Out of clan Vigor, Celerity and Resilience may be learned without a teacher, but the student must spend actions equal to twice the level of discipline being learned if a teacher is not assisting.

Learning devotions (including Invictus Oaths) from a teacher requires a number of actions be spent equal to half of the devotions prerequisite dots, rounded up. The teacher need only spend one action. A character learning devotion without a teacher must spend actions equal to the devotions prerequisite dots.

Rituals of levels 1-3 cost one action by both student and teacher. Level 4 & 5 rituals cost 2 actions from the student, and one from the teacher. A character trying to acquire a ritual without a teacher must spend actions equal to twice the rituals level.

Coils require a number of actions to learn equal to the new level being purchased for the student, the teacher need only spend one action. As with other powers, a character developing this power on their own must spend a number of actions equal to twice the new level being purchased.

Additional Feeding A downtime action may be spent for additional feeding draws at the following game; the exact amount will depend on the feeding system being used at the time.

Attacking a PC in Downtime Is generally considered poor form. Unless the players involved in the action can demonstrate that all reasonable avenues to take the action in “session time” have been exhausted, then a downtime PVP combat action will likely be denied.

Dramatic Failures & Exceptional Successes

The Saturnalia venue does not allow any permanent benefits / disadvantages due to Dramatic Failures or Exceptional Successes. Any such circumstances that arise will last a period of time as determined by the VST, usually equal to a week per success achieved on the activation of the power/ability unless otherwise stated by the VST. In general, thematically appropriate results will be favoured and determined in consultation with the affected players to find a workable story based and justified solution.

Experience Awards Potential XP each month are as follows:

Attendance XP: (Max 5/ Game) Core Game (Sydney Court): 5 XP

Special Core Awards: Exceptional Costuming, RP, or Contribution: 1 XP (Max 1/Game)

First Two Games Played (New Players): 1XP. (Max Once per player) (2XP Total)

Between Game XP: All at ST discretion. (Max 3/Month Total)

Support Game Attendance (Scheduled Scenes, RTRs, etc): (Max 1/Game)

Support Awards: Costuming or Game Contribution: 1 XP (Max 1/Game)

Character Detailed Downtime/Game Summary/Live Journal Entry: 1XP (Max 3/Month)

Special Character Write-up/Story/Plot/IC Media Release: 1xp (Max 3/Month)

Bonus Questions: Occasionally the VST will ask questions on the official mailing list or Facebook group, which if answered, will net an additional 1 XP in your DT (subject to monthly cap rules).

Eminence and Ascendance Only PCs who have attended a session in the 3 months preceding the current games will be used to calculate Eminence and Ascendancy.

Status Changes Changes in City Status must be announced in the game session, and at least 30 minutes before the end of the session for them to take effect. The players of the Harpies or Governor must include these changes as part of their Downtime report as confirmation.

Feeding As a rule of thumb, the amount of Vitae a character has at the beginning of a given session is determined by a single dice roll. Add one Vitae to this roll result for every dot a character has in appropriate merit that provides more blood. For example, Herd, Haven Location, etc.

Frenzy Terrible and feared destroyer of countless requiems throughout the ages. Frenzy sucks. The beast is a vampire’s greatest adversary. It is simultaneously terrifying and exhausting. The beast is indiscriminate and brutal. A few clarifications on frenzy and the way it rolls in the SATURNALIA venue.

Bringing someone out: If you enter frenzy, it takes a lot to bring you out again. Gone will be the days of touching your mate on the shoulder and saying “Come on mate, settle down” to bring him out of frenzy. If you want to bring him out, you need to arc up you need to yell and plea, you must grab their attention with everything you have and demand or beg them to stop. Anything less will fall on deaf ears and will not even warrant a card draw. You need to accumulate a number of successes on your “bring out of frenzy” draw as the frenzied character needed to resist the frenzy in the first place. If they’re really angry, it takes a lot to calm them down. After performing this action you have the targets attention and for better or worse, you are his new target/meal if he’s still in frenzy. A “crowd” may add their successes to the extended draw, up to a maximum of four characters.

Successes to resist: Read the book. If you get hit, you need to accumulate 5 successes to avoid that frenzy. After the first roll, you resist frenzy for a number of turns equal to that roll's successes. You make the next roll end of those turns. This continues, until you total the 5 successes or fail a roll. If you don’t spend the action, you frenzy. If you fail a roll, you frenzy. A roll to resist frenzy is reflexive.

Rage Frenzy: When in anger frenzy the character attacks indiscriminately. If you’re there, you’re in danger. When in anger frenzy, your character will spend blood, willpower and whatever else he can to cause as much damage as possible with no regard to the consequences. This includes the use of disciplines and abilities. A frenzied character will not use any weapon more complicated than a thrown piece of furniture.

Hunger Frenzy: Your character will feed from anything it can. He will use as little vitae as possible to sate his thirst as quickly as possible. Note that a character with a blood potency of 7 or higher cannot feed from mortals, so any hunger frenzy they enter will target kindred specifically. Don’t be in the room when this happens.

Fear Frenzy: You will flee as fast as possible, as far as possible. Not stopping, not slowing. Any powers that might assist with such as escape are used constantly until the frenzy is over. Even once the source of the frenzy is long gone. Your character will spend blood, willpower and whatever else he can to get as far away as possible with no regard to the consequences. This includes the use of disciplines and other abilities.

The beast will cause your frenzied character to always use as much blood, willpower and disciplines as possible to achieve its ends.

These frenzy guidelines may seem harsh, but that’s the way it works. If you frenzy, chances are you’ll be drained of blood by then end. Hunger means that someone else likely is. Frenzy is the reason vampire society is so polite and political. Consider this before assaulting your enemy, he may frenzy, and hit you, then you’ll frenzy and so will your blood-bound childe and anyone else that gets involved. Once it’s all over, the blood and ashes are cleaned up, and the fingers will be pointing at you.

Haven Merits Will have more appropriate, game affecting statistics. Havens are important, if not ESSENTIAL to a vampire’s existence. Other creatures have the luxury of staying where they like. When you’re a vampire during the day, you are comatose, will likely not wake up and the slightest pinprick of sunlight has the potential to destroy you completely. As a note, the merits Temple and Haven are completely interchangeable and are identical all respects. To gain the additional benefits listed below, a haven must be written up to the satisfaction of the storytelling team.

Location: Will give you a bonus to every feeding draw you do whilst staying in a haven in downtime. The merit itself represents easy feeding around the haven. It represents the ease with which your character can feed in downtime. It represents convenience. This does not apply to random feeding scenes at games. A character can only benefit from one haven location at a time. You can’t simultaneously feed from 3 locations. This bonus, however, can apply to multiple characters staying in one haven.

Security: Will provide the usual benefits as per the requiem book. In addition, however, each dot in haven security will represent one obstacle that must be overcome by potential intruders. Alternately, the merit can represent the security systems listed in the Armory book (p.179). The dots in Security must equal or exceed the resources dots needed to ordinarily buy these security systems. Your haven write-up must include potential draws for overcoming each obstacle your security represents.

Size: Will determine exactly how much space is covered by your other haven dots. It is by far the most underestimated of the haven class of merits. Haven size need not necessarily represent the actual size of your haven. For example, a character may own and sleep in a large sprawling country estate. At haven size 1, this estate has only a single room that the resident can count on to keep the light out and intruders at bay. At size 5, the entire estate is rigged with security systems and the resident(s) can find a place to bunker down within moments so long as they are anywhere on the grounds, even out in some field. It’s a big difference. As a note, a haven with zero size is effectively a character getting all his sunny protection from a coffin or box. If that gets taken away, you’d better have a contingency or some pretty darned exceptional sunscreen.

Humanity Loss Cruelty to animals is a terrible thing. A character with high humanity that deliberately tortures animals will be treated the same way as a character who tortures a human. The same kind of modifiers applies for things like infant children or other completely helpless people. As a general guide, crimes against animals rate as 2-3 higher on the Humanity/Sins chart (making them less inhumane), whereas sins against infants and the like rate at 1-2 lower on the chart (more inhumane).

Invictus Oaths (Invictus p.182) See the addenda for details.

Note that a character that swears many oaths, without the Resolve (DT Actions) to fulfil them will likely find himself in a lot of trouble as he or she is unable to fulfil their oaths (and suffer the subsequent consequences). A character will not be subject to the above penalties if the character is rendered unable to perform the actions required against his/her will.

NPCS Governor Peter Bush – Governor Peter Bush is based on the Sydney VSS, and cannot be used outside the VSS without explicit approval from the Sydney VST Requiem and Sydney DST.

Proxy Rules Please ensure you get you proxies to the VST at least 1 week before the game. Make sure you include travel instructions (Including defined Merit use).

All proxy statements must include the declaration: “I have attached my character sheet with complete experience point log and item listing, both of which are a true and accurate record of the character. I understand that in requesting this proxy, I am handing control of my character to another Member to portray as if it were his or her own character, and as such the risks inherent with a character attending a normal session may be faced, up to and including death.

I understand and accept that I will have no recourse of appeal in the event of any detrimental event or action that is perpetrated in accordance with these instructions.”

Consider your proxy carefully, and please give as much time as possible before the proxy date. Triple check the following:

Make sure the PCs you’re coming to meet know what’s going on; I won’t make stuff up for you.

Make sure your travel arrangements are sound and safe, consider the distance you need to travel and the time it takes to organise plane flights etc.

Make arrangements for you PCs accommodation.

Note what you bring with you, and how (weapons, retainers, vehicles, luggage)

If required, find someone to play your PC at the game.

See the document below for an ideal proxy template:

Secondary Characters As a general rule, secondary characters will not be permitted on the Saturnalia VSS. This includes “Second Primary” PCs created by players outside of the domain of Sydney, based within the Sydney domain. Why? Because the GST Requiem wants to encourage people to travel and play in other games. To grow a national game. This is a measure to support that.

As per usual, a VST can deny the entry of any visiting PC to their game. If a player manages to devise a way to circumvent the spirit of this determination (ie, I create my “Primary PC” based in Sydney, then create a Second Primary PC in my home domain, or create a Second Primary PC in my home domain, which I then only ever primarily play in Sydney), then the VST can (and likely will) refuse entry of the PC to the venue.

Multiple PCs at sessions Playing multiple PCs at a single session will not be allowed, unless a PC dies, in which case its player may create a new PC immediately and re-enter the game.

Bloodlines/Shadowcults Disallowed on the Sydney VSS The following is a list of Bloodlines and Shadowcults that will not be approved for play in Sydney. Existing approvals prior to this revision (as at 1 January 2015) are Grandfathered, but future applications will not be considered.

Kallisti – Daeva Dead Wolves – Gangrel Moulding Room – Mekhet Moroi – Gangrel / Nosferatu Morotrophian – Nosferatu Melissidae – Ventrue

Players of these Bloodlines who wish to visit Sydney are welcomed, however must be mindful of the Bloodline’s restriction locally. Any use of powers associated with these Bloodlines in Sydney requires VST approval.

Disciplines Due to the overly powerful and potentially unbalancing effect the following powers have, using these disciplines against PCs requires VST Approval;

Insomnium OOOO – Blissful Sleep Man to Beast – Devotion Ortam – Ability to Blood Bond

Surprise When testing for surprise, the surprised character(s) will get a penalty to the draw equal to the surpriser’s successes on an appropriate draw, usually Dexterity + Stealth + Obfuscate (if applicable).


Air Travel: Flights originating from outside Sydney will ordinarily land at The Sydney International Airport.

Road Travel: Sydney has some of the best and worst roads in the world. Please consider some of the factors and features the following sites pertain to when planning to travel by road within this domain.

Sydney Requiem History

History of the Sydney Requiem venue can be found here: Archived-Sydney Requiem Reset History