US Requiem Chronicle Norms and Mechanics

Conspiracies

Rather than Covenants or Clans at the National level, we’re planning to use Conspiracies, akin to the Conspiracies of Danse Macabre, but created for our Chronicle.  Players are free to look at Danse Macabre for inspiration and create their own Conspiracies (see below on creating your own Conspiracy). Political movers and shakers may belong to the same Conspiracy, even though they may be Invictus, Carthian, or Ordo Dracul. Mystical investigators may all belong to the same Conspiracy, be they Dragons, Acolytes, Carthian PPIB, Invictus Eclipsed Moon, or Sanctified.

Because Conspiracies offer a new dimension of play, the added complexity will not allow Dual Covenant or Secondary Status to advance. In other words, those few PC’s who obtain Top approval for Dual Covenant or Secondary Status (solely in the case of those attempting to infiltrate other Covenants or Clans) can never, under any circumstances, advance beyond Conspiracy Status 2. This is in part a game issue and in part a game balance issue. No character should be able to simultaneously reap the benefits of two Covenants and a leadership post in a powerful Conspiracy as well.

Conspiracies also offer a tool for GotM play and Regional conventions. RST’s are encouraged to examine the most involved Conspiracies in their Region and work with the leaders of those Conspiracies for plot development to get players into the game.

Creating a Conspiracy

Any player may join an existing Conspiracy at Low approval, or develop their own. To start a new Conspiracy, the players involved must meet certain criteria:

  • Approval (likely Top);
  • Agreement with the basic two sets of underlying standards: the most basic enforced by OOC rules, the next level enforced through the Cadence Merit. Conspiracies may be more strict than those two rules sets, but never less strict;
  • Conspiracies must also have a goal, theme, or other unifying purpose, and a minimum number of players from at least three Domains

What does it mean to “organize” a group? How does one go about accomplishing this task? Lastly how does this apply to player created “in-character” structures such as Factions, Coteries, or any other structure that can be built within the Requiem setting? We will discuss some of the key elements to such questions as organizing, recruiting, and managing your “in-character” organizational structures.

We will begin by discussing the first key element within organizing your IC structures, that being the purpose of your group. Knowing the “purpose” or reason for it even existing is the first and most critical step in this process. A good place to start is using a technique called “mind-mapping.” This involves you starting with a single idea of what your group is about and expanding outwards. Then taking those thoughts and organizing them into a coherent structure.

Next we then take our concept/idea and begin to decide how you wish to organize or structure it. This means selecting what type of management style that you wish to use within your IC structures. I will discuss those in brief detail but to list them out for you; small group leadership, corporate management, and academic departmental structure. These names are not concrete but give a broad vision of the structure. We will begin with small group leadership as our starting point.

Small group leadership is a structure that commonly is found within military or paramilitary organizations. This leadership style is highly flexible and permits lower level elements to affect the organization structure. This will translate into a single leader having direct control over a small number of individuals. Small group leadership can be nested within a larger group if necessary. The main drawback in the (SGL) is it requires your leadership to be very capable and able to lead with minimal guidance.

Next we have the “corporate management” style; this style has a multi-tiered structure of management. A corporate structure is pyramid, one leader at the top with the power flowing from top to bottom. This allows for a much tighter level of control as each subordinate leader takes orders from their superior. Where this type of structure would be most successful is in extremely large multi-region, national, or global groups. The major drawback to this style is can be less adaptable to rapid change.

Lastly we have the “academic” departmental style; this breaks the group into various sub-organizations that operate limited degree of independent action. This permits each sub-organization to recruit, resource, and grow independently of the parent organization. This structure type can permit a more personality driven style as it is largely given to the teacher & student relationship model. However, the major drawback of the academic style; it opens the group to inter-departmental or sub-organizational infighting over resources.

How do you recruit for your Conspiracy? Upon deciding your structure and management style; begin to work towards giving players a direct reason to invest in your group. This is imperative to be successful in building your group. If your players are not invested fully into the group it will not grow or sustain its self over the length of the chronicle. Also remember to keep the group structure in tune with player desires, rules, and thematic elements of the setting.

Boons

Information can be found here on the Boons page

Cadence Merit

Information can be found here on the Cadence page.

Status and Respect

Status in Covenant and Clan will be based almost entirely at the local level, with a Regional structure.

There are several disparate concepts that should not be confused in Requiem: power, fame, and respect. Despite the fact that the term applied to Status 4 is “Respected”, and to Status 5 is “Admired”, that does not mean that Status is the same as respect or admiration. No trait in a character sheet forces a PC to respect another. Status equates to power, but again does not require respect. (Status in mortal organizations still has the same benefits and costs as outlined in standard rules.)

While Status does not force respect or require changes in how one plays one’s PC, it does offer information to help characters decide if they wish to show respect or be disrespectful towards a particular PC, or modify their behavior rather than face IC consequences.

A few misconceptions still exist about Status and how it works, so we felt that a brief note on it was appropriate. Here are a few key points we wanted to share in the hopes that they will help clarify a bit about Status, and the Chronicle as a whole.

– Requiem Status for Clan and Covenant has changed to a much more locally-controlled system. It is more like City Status than the old version of Clan and Covenant Status. The change was designed to make Status more fluid, on par with City Status.

– The new Chronicle is designed to let players participate at any level- locally, regionally, or nationally- but no matter what level they choose, no one can ignore the local level. For example. Status and Cadence are not the same, but Status affects Cadence by being a prerequisite for it. Local control of Cadence is thereby preserved. A powerful social predator must be able to remain in good standing with local kindred, or they will lose their local Status, and thereby their Cadence. The local players and ST’s are the vital heart of the game, and the new Chronicle has a number of rules, including Status, set up to help keep the focus on the local game.

– The most politically powerful member of each Clan in a given city will typically hold Clan Status 4. The most politically powerful member of each Covenant in a given city will typically hold Covenant Status 4. The local members of the group (Clan or Covenant) determine who holds the one or possibly two Status 4+ positions. There may never be more than two Status 4+characters in a given group within the same city. The DST has the final say on how many positions are allowed (1 or 2); the number does not need to be the same for all groups (Clans or Covenants). If there is a Status 5 in the Domain, the Status 5 PC takes up a Status 4 “slot.” A Domain with two Status 5 PC’s in the same group has no “slot” for a Status 4, and so local leadership may suffer if the leaders of that group cannot manage both local and Regional leadership simultaneously.

– The most politically powerful member of each Clan in a given Region will typically hold Clan Status 5. The most politically powerful member of each Covenant in a given Region will typically hold Covenant Status 5. The Regional members of the group (Clan or Covenant) determine who holds the one, two, or possibly three Status 5 positions. There may never be more than three Status 5 characters in a given group within the same Region. The RST has the final say on how many positions are allowed (1, 2 or 3); the number does not need to be the same for all groups (Clans or Covenants).

– If a player want to use their PC to push for greater activity at the Regional or National level, that is perfectly fine, and the Crucible concept gives an IC justification for almost any number of changes if the PC’s make it  happen. Change to how Status works can be set in motion by player action. Supporting the development of cities or Clans or Covenants to grow from local or Regional to National structures, supplanting Conspiracies, is another example. The fertile soil in which those ideas grow is the local level.

– Local Status is also meant to empower local plot being adopted at larger levels. For example, if Pat PC gets Status 4 in Anytown for successfully discovering and dealing with The Dread Menace, then might other PC’s start looking for the Dread Menace in their town? If so, then that lets the local ST know that players want that plot, and the local plot from one Domain can easily grow to a Regional, or even National, plot… not because it was pushed down by the ST chain, but because it was pulled out, unfolded to larger dimensions by the players.
Taken together, these elements are meant to give you, the players, and your local ST’s more control over the game. The game will be as much fun as you make it. Our job here at National is to first get obstacles to fun out of the way, and second give you more tools to make the game fun. We hope that the Status rules will now be less of an obstacle to fun and more of a tool to enhance the fun of your games.

US Governmental Entities and Organizations

Federal organizations will not be inherently off-limits, or Top approval. Federal organizations within the greater Washington, DC area will be Top approval, but Regional offices will be High approval, and local offices (such as the local Post Office) will be Mid approval to use. (Look to the level of Sworn Officer required for what the game requires, and apply that as a guideline.) We will apply the same rule to this as to events that might draw media attention: if an event will draw attention from a higher level (Regional or National, for example), then that event requires approval from the level that will respond *before* it enters play. Think carefully about what effects an event will have. We’ve seen what happens when pneumonic plague is unleashed- that is an example of an event with a National response. Do not allow such events unless approved before the event is set in motion.

Elysium

Information is here on the Elysium page

Diablerie

With the disappearance of Cadence, Diablerie as an accepted practice has went away as well.  While previously it was acceptable to sanction the taking of someone’s soul for being low Cadence, that practice is no longer a socially acceptable means of control…that doesn’t mean that a Prince may not attempt to protect his or her city and encourage the diablerist to never leave.  It would also require having to close one’s borders and hope the locals don’t decide to depose that Prince as well – after all, one Prince’s treasure is another Kindred’s trash.

Golconda

Canonically, Golconda is a myth, a legend akin to Camelot for modern mortals. Someone who says that he respects the ideal of Camelot is accepted. Someone who says that they intend to visit one day is viewed as a madman. The analogy holds true for Kindred and Golconda – valuing the ideals of Golconda (however the individual defines them) is acceptable, perhaps even laudable. Stating the pursuit of Golconda is a sure ticket to lost respect, and possibly lost power (Status). Golconda-seekers are the punch line to several Kindred jokes, much like the truly naïve or unwise are the punch line to several human jokes.

Belial’s Brood

The Requiem Chronicle will be using the Covenant book version of the Brood rather than the basic Requiem book version. They will not be available as PCs. Storytellers should use these NPC’s as tempters and NPC’s with great depth rather than simply ten o’ clock monsters. They are meant to highlight aspects of the Kindred condition by being “other”, as a contrast.

All player characters are presumed to know that the Brood are not slavering monsters, that they do vary from very bestial to very charming (though universally inhumane and dangerous), and that they may make deals, but always with a price. Covenant reactions vary from character to character, and this document will not direct players to portray their characters are positively or negatively inclined towards the Brood. Stereotypical reactions range from very opposed to the Brood (Invictus and Sanctified) to moderate (Carthian) to cooperative with the Brood in specific, narrowly defined circumstances (Acolytes or Dragons).

Memory and the Fog of Ages

While this document will not answer every question, we will offer a rough outline of what ought to be remembered by older kindred. First, anything that has occurred since last torpor is subject to the standard memory and recollection rules. Second, for prior events, the period just prior to the most recent torpor should be somewhat memorable. Choose a number of key events in that time period equal to the character’s current Humanity and detail one or more of those. Undefined events may be “fleshed out” later with VST approval, leaving “slots” for character ties. Moving back prior to that torpor, repeat the process, with one fewer memorable event per period until the character cannot remember anything further, barring supernatural assistance specifically meant to address the Fog of Ages, such as the abilities of the Agonistes Bloodline.

For example, Mike Mekhet has been active since 1980, so from 1980 to current nights are subject to normal memory rules. Mike was in torpor from 1975-1979, so that period is a dream, to be defined by the Storytellers. Mike was active from 1950-1974, so Mike’s player looks at his Humanity (7) and knows that he can remember seven events from the 1950-1974 time period. He defines three (He was at Woodstock, remembers the moon walk, and generally recalls a trip to Korea after the Armistice), and leaves four open to flesh out later. Mike was in torpor from 1946-1949, so that is a dream state, but he was active from 1914-1945. He has one less event, so he can remember six. Mike’s player fleshes out four and leaves two for later use. Repeat until nothing more can be remembered.

If Mike loses a Humanity point, he loses one memory from each active period, gradually forgetting those things that defined him as a person, and coming closer to the Beast.

Best Practices Annual Competition

The “Best Practices” Competition: Each year, players and Storytellers may submit a packet to the ANST: Requiem. No individual may submit more than one item per year. Any item may be submitted for consideration: Bloodlines, Disciplines, Devotions, Coils, rituals, etc. From the items submitted for consideration, the ANST will narrow the field to twenty items. These twenty items will be presented to the membership for popular vote. The top ten items will be presented to the RSTs and the NST for consideration. The RSTs and NST will select three to five custom items for introduction to the US Chronicle.