Back in college, the girl I wanted to be my girlfriend was nice enough to introduce me to a great group of people who were playing Vampire LARP over at UMASS Amherst. I was lucky to play with this group for several years before I graduated and moved to DC. When I left, I wrote the below e-mail to the group, reminiscing over some of the most memorable events that happened to me during my time with the group. I stumbled across it today while looking for a completely different document in my dropbox. I felt it deserved a post.
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Vampire Run,
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.
Take chances. Take big chances. The world is going to be filled with missed opportunities, and things that would have been cool to do if you’d only taken the chance. Don’t let the events of the run be one of those things, after all it’s not YOUR unlife. There are a number of things I remember from the run, very few of them are good.
- The first run I played in a bunch of the neonates went after a rogue Tremere and Brujah. The Brujah grabbed hold of my wrists and turned my wolf claws that I was so proud of in on myself, gutting myself open with them. Had not “Might of Gaia” shown up and summoned the sun I’d have been dead. Sunscreen I tell you.
- In a battle with some anarchs in the middle of a burning barn, I ended up badly charred and getting thrown out of the second floor window of the barn.. starting from the first floor.
- In a battle with a vamp attempting to kill the Prince through a night-long ritual, I ended up jumping over the cauldron and grappling with the vamp. He then levitated up through the escape hatch while obfuscated. Apparently kicking down from the ceiling is not enough to bring you and a levitating foe down to the ground.
- In a battle with a manifested Nexus Crawler I was doused with pure corruption in cloud form. The only cure for getting rid of the wyrm taint involved getting tied down and repeatedly staked by a garou until it was gone. Pin cushion that night.
- Once while engaged in a business deal I went down into the basement of the fellow making the deal. He wasn’t there at the time and ended up pouring acid down on top of me. I had to break out of the room, ended up starting a fire, tore open each and every one of the 9 coffins in the room and was in frenzy when I was finally taken down by water balloons filled with acid. Moral: Even taking over your own clan can piss other clans off.
- Once I was a Settite who’d managed to get his Obfuscate up high enough that I could convince people I was actually a ghoul and was attempting to get myself embraced as a full fledged member of the Malkavian clan. Obfuscate apparently doesn’t work against 9th generation members of House Knight who like to lick your blood. It was the sonic blast from a Daughter of Cacophony flaying the skin from my skull that made that death really memorable.
- I was once surprised by a vampire who used cauldron of blood on me (by the old rules) to drain me dry of blood. In a blood frenzy I pounced the first person in sight who just happened to be a Bastet. Garou blood makes you frenzy out of rage. Bastet blood makes you frenzy out of lust. My last words before I was put down and tossed into the sewers was “I just want to kiss her!“
- I once spent an entire run scared to death because of rumors of a Niktuku. In the end I did manage to do a flip off of a sewer wall before someone let off a charge of C4 that sent everyone flying down the sewers.
- This led in to me getting my memory back.. sorta.. and having my personality switching back and forth every time someone said the name of my current personality. I wasn’t the only one who was confused as hell by that one.
- In a battle with the Seekers, I actually ran for 4 rounds worth of combat with no blood in my system at all before I was eventually taken down and taken away for some horrid experiments.
- Coming back from the sewers as a vampiric shape-changing alligator ended up getting me into a hyper-speeded battle with my arch nemesis Nick Bonner. Needless to say that night ended with a huge alligator carcass getting shoved BACK down into the sewers.
Now, I’ve had plenty of nights where I’ve played it safe, avoided the big battle. But I don’t really remember those nights as well. It’s the big spectacular failures that stick in my mind. Have fun! And wear sunscreen 😉