Venue Style Sheet

N.B. Outside of current power structure, (which is  meant to go away with the elevation in 2014), any figure mentioned here (or even implied) is possible to be a player character.  Please speak with your VST to confirm as players are already starting to work out histories.


Source of template: http://www.mindseyesociety.org/st-tools/storyteller-education/100-fundamentals-of-storytelling/venue-style-sheet-creation/
Venue Style Sheet
  1. Basic Information

    1. VSS for Domain: KS-020-D Kansas City

    2. Venue name: Paris of the Plains

    3. Venue Storyteller: Brian Gates <requiem@castlegates.org>

    4. Genre: Requiem

    5. Game Hosting information: TBD (previously 1st and 3rd Saturdays at Lodge). See http://minseyekc.com/main/

    6. Some useful links and information:

  1. Styles of Play
    I am envisioning that physical conflict will not be a constant, but will occur with most often with the conclusion of plotlines.  Conflict is also possible when escalated by PC vs. PC confrontation is not resolved before it gets to a fatal conclusion. I intend to have a varying mix of systems to manipulate, (simulations of the city) to drive social conflict and interaction.

    1. Overall Game (distribute 10 points between categories)

      1. 2 - Physical

      2. 4 - Social

      3. 4 - Mental

    2. Individual Game Components

      1. 4 - Action (combat and challenges)

      2. 7 - Character Development (personal dilemmas and choices)

      3. 7 - Darkness (corruption, fear and horror)

      4. 7 - Drama (ceremony and grand story)

      5. 8 - Intrigue (politics and negotiation)

      6. 5- Manners (social etiquette and peer pressure)

      7. 7 - Mystery (enigmas and investigation)

      8. 3 - PC Death (how often it is present)

      9. 3- Pacing (how quickly do stories start, develop and come to an end)

  2. Description of Venue

    1. Mood: Tension, Old alongside New, Scarcity of Resources

    2. Approach:
      The book
      Damnation City will be used, with the standard alteration approach that the characters do travel. Instead of focusing night to night only on their area within the city, they can and do travel to other cities if they wish and then focus on their allies areas within the city. Players will be supported in interacting with stories and plots from regional and beyond, while allowing reasonable repercussions of actions to impact the city and the characters.

    3. History:

      1. Today, the kindred domain encompasses the entire metropolitan Kansas City area. Historically, there were several separate princes (domains)  that were either absorbed with little conflict, or annexed with some prejudice over the years. Such other praxis were the Praxis of Leavenworth, Kansas (one of the contenders for the railroad line which lost to Kansas City), Westport (which was annexed violently a few years before 1900), the Praxis of Wendat (covering eastern Wyandotte County) and others. Each of these former praxis were granted a regency (Duke) by the succeeding praxis of Kansas City.

        1. Each of these regents is appointed by the court of Kansas City; most of these will already be further subinfeudated. Traditionally, each is tied to a covenant or clan and socially there is an expectation that any new Regent appointed will be of that covenant or clan.

        2. Most of these regencies still maintain the historical Elysium of the original praxis (of the ones that had one to begin with).  The rules for each of these smaller Elysiums within the Kansas City praxis today use the same historical interpretations that they always have been including how the keeper of each Elysium is selected. The only necessary concession to the Praxis of Kansas City is that each is referred to as Keeper instead of Master or Mistress, which is reserved for the Master of the Union Station Elysium.

      2. Several other grants by the Praxis or various Regents have occurred over the years as well, so not all grants are purely historical.

      3. The complications of having territories granted meant that sometimes free travel is impeded. In 1929, the Prince declares that all US Highways within the Praxis would be free to all kindred to access and the “King’s Highways” of Kansas City began. With the pavement of concrete, there has been some speculation that the Pendergast connection was involved with the declaration. Since then, there have been rumblings to make the Interstates included as “King’s Highways” as well, but to date none of the Senates have been able to unite behind the change.

      4. During the period from about the Civil War to 1940, a shrewd Invictus Praxis ruled Kansas City and arranged a patchwork quilt of obligations, vassals and sub-vassals. Starting with the turn of the century, the Invictus Prince’s power became increasingly dependent, and consolidated on the control that the corrupt Tom Pendergast exerted throughout the city.  His power grew to the point that it became the lynchpin holding up the Praxis by the time Prohibition was repealed. When Pendergast was finally arraigned on tax evasion in 1939, the Praxis of Kansas City began fall shortly after that event. The next five years are commonly known as the Time of Trouble as various claimants to the throne appeared, and perished. By 1944, a new stable kindred government was in place, using a constitution partially developed by the Wendat  (Wyandotte).

    4. Today, the Praxis is a jumble of old grants of rights intermixed with a modern inspired constitutional republic. With the change in 1944, the new President (Prince) made concessions to the regents and other vassals, leaving them in place.

      1. There has been a slow succession of ten year Presidents (Princes) with the next election a President by the Senate occurring in the early part of 2014.

        1. The original President is in torpor, and there have been six terms since the original President’s term. Each transition has had its tensions, but Kansas City has weathered each transition in governments with the system mostly unchanged from the 1944 setup.

        2. While both the original and current President (Prince) is a member of the Carthian Movement, a majority of them have not been. The President is selected by the Senate for each ten year term. If necessary, the Senate can replace a sitting President with another with a supermajority. Such an action fails if they do not achieve a supermajority, or if the replacement is not willing. If the replacement is currently serving in the Senate, their seat does not count towards the supermajority.

      2. Other members of the President’s (Prince’s) court:  The Chamberlain (Seneschal) appointed at the President’s favor, Voice (Herald), Sheriff, Harpy.  This court is the Executive Branch under the Constitution. The Hound is left to the Senators’ and Regents’ courts, if they have one.  Regardless, they are responsible whether or not they have one.

      3. Each of the covenants names a Senator. The Senate is the Legislative Body under the Constitution.

        1. Further, some of the covenants may choose to host their own courts to the degree they wish. Typically Senators who are also regents do so, or at least covenants that have a regent will do so.

      4. Each of the Clans names a Priscus.  Together the Prisci Council is the Judicial Branch under the Constitution.

        1. The Prisci Council traditionally names a Prisci Harpy, but the current one in 2013 has  so far declined to do so since removing the prior one in January.

      5. Today, the main Elysium in Kansas City is the Union Station.  Kindred who arrange a meeting on this Elysium are – in theory - protected by the tradition of Elysium from when they leave their originating location, travel to the Elysium, then leave the Elysium and travel to their destination. Other Elysiums in the city may work differently. Historically most visitors arrived by train,which sometimes meant travelling by private train to the Elysium, attend a meeting, and then leave by train. The Elysium is still technically a train station, but sees little traffic.

        Built in 1914, Union Station encompasses 850,000 square feet and originally featured 900 rooms. In its prime as a working train station, accommodated tens of thousands of passengers every year. At its peak during WWII, an estimated one million travelers passed through the Station. The North Waiting Room (now the Sprint Festival Plaza) could hold 10,000 people and the complex included restaurants, a cigar store, barber shop, railroad offices, the nation's largest Railway Express Building (used for shipping freight and mail) as well as a powerhouse providing steam and power.

        This is a “Fourth Tradition Elysium,” a place where vampires can seek refuge from the violent predations of their own kind.  To reflect this, Storytellers may rule that taking any sort of overtly violent action against another vampire within Elysium requires the would-be assailant to spend a Willpower point each turn. This does not count toward the normal limit of one Willpower point per turn. Actually attempting to kill or diablerize another Kindred requires the expenditure of a Willpower dot to go through with the act. This even applies to characters in frenzy. They might destroy the surrounding area or wreak their vengeance on nearby mortals, but without spending Willpower, they will not focus their fury on another vampire.

        In a practical manner, there is typically more respect by the kindred population for “Fourth Tradition” Elysiums. In reflection of that, only the kindred that maintains this Elysium is given the title Master of Elysium.

        The building that holds this Elysium, when it was constructed by the living residents, also arranged many underground tunnels, some of which were used for mail delivery to the old post office, some of which were wiped from memory for the exclusive use of the kindred in their movements in and out of Elysium.

  3. Storytelling Mechanics

    1. Venue Emphasis

      1. Banes: On a quarterly basis, the VSS will focus on one of the vampiric banes/downsides, on a quarterly basis (blood, hours limited to night, etc.) Powers and Merits designed to mitigate the banes will always prove of value and will be treated with respect appropriate to their extrinsic value (i.e. cost to obtain). Systems used during those focused quarters will be varied to highlight that bane (example: the feeding system will be varied during a quarter focused on the need to gain sustenance only on blood).

      2. Characters: Ghouls, while they may be attached to the VSS, are not necessarily the focus of most play and may have situations where the attending game itself is a difficulty to the character. Approved Kindred player characters are expected to be the vast majority of the VSS. 


        The VST reserves the right to prohibit particular bloodlines if their theme is extremely contrary to this venue. Current list: En

    2. Proxy Rules
      As per the current MES supplement with the following additions. All proxies must be approved by the VST of the venue and the DST must be notified of the proxy. Proxies to kill a character must demonstrate that this is the last choice via either the optional “He Had to Die” system or a prior conversation with the VST regarding how matters got to this point. It is not the policy of this VSS to be protectionist but instead to ensure that social play and appropriate consequences result. Proxies must be submitted 48 hours in advance and must use the form located here: http://currentwiki.mindseyesociety.org/index.php/KC_Requiem_Proxy_Form

  4. Travel Risks

    1. Kansas City is a major transportation hub for the country. Travel into and out of Kansas City is reliably safe. Kindred though, require the right precautions even with the ease of transportation that Kansas City offers.  Without the wide array of options that this city offers, most other destinations or origins will have higher hazards in comparison to Kansas City.

    2. Air:  Between Kansas City International in the northland (MCI) and the Downtown Airport, there are a number of smaller regional airports in the area. Fairfax historically had an airport, but the grounds are now used for manufacturing.  Pieces of the old runways are still visible, but are unused for transport.

    3. Road:  An extensive network of US Highways plus spurs, along with three Interstates and Interstate loops serve the Kansas City metro area. The US Highways are often known as “King’s Highways” by the kindred due to their neutral access.

    4. Rail:  Part of the original transcontinental railroad system,, Kansas City has been served by several smaller railroads over the last century and a half. Most of the smaller railroads have merged or have been absorbed. The main Elysium is situated on a passenger rail access; most entries to the city used to occur there during the last century. Some traditional kindred, set in their ways, still do make use of that and expect the same of others. While the railroads are not “King’s Highways” as the highways are, incoming and exiting visitors through the main Elysium are covered by that tradition. Unfortunately, it cannot be said that that the same tradition is guaranteed to hold at the next stop outside of the domain up or down the line.

  5. Experience Award Guidelines

    1. Games: For an entire game session, the experience point reward starts at 4xp and up to 6xp. The extra XP will be awarded based on  and approach and response to the quarterly themes, in addition to clear costuming, role playing etc. The role playing awards will be mostly based on player nomination during the short game wrap-up (right after game is called and allow for feedback to and from players.) The XP award for a game requires the player to sign the character in at check-in. If not signed in, then the XP might not be awarded.

    2. Downtimes: A downtime which consists of any element that advances story or narrative will be worth XP (Ex: A downtime which consists of “I spend 3xp to buy a skill specialty” is not XP worthy.) Downtime awards will follow the addenda (3xp is a typical award and may not be higher than 4xp, a maximum of 6xp a month can be awarded for non-game XP).

      1. I will be using various electronic tools to help manage downtimes and distribute information from and to the AVSTs. A player with neither Web nor email access may not be able to fully participate in the downtime portion of the game.

    3. List and other virtual media: These interactions may be worth XP and considered non-game XP; you may submit logs as a pseudo-downtime. XP awards for these will be based on the narrative and inherent risk.

    4. Proxies may be awarded XP as well and are considered game XP.  Only proxies with an element of risk might be awarded XP and the typical award will follow the Requiem National SS for proxies, which is 2xp a week.

  6. Other Policies

    1. Mechanics: All players are responsible for being able to provide easy and immediate access to mechanics other than those in the main MET books for their character. Failure to have those handy may mean the power fails to work properly if the tempo of the scene would otherwise be sacrificed.

      1. Divination rituals are limited to one attempt per plotline per game session and one between game sessions in a downtime. Prophetic image grants a +2 bonus on pulls to investigate or research the imagery revealed. Empathy tests to detect dishonesty are considered contested and like any other pull may receive up to a +5/-5 modifier. Empathy tests are considered social-mental and if failed may not be repeated on the target for the scene (MET p162).

      2. Frenzy tests are not described in MET Requiem as being reflexive. A character that has some experience with kindred frenzies can recognize a successful or ongoing attempt to resist a frenzy.

    2. Blood and pre-game casting

      1. First pool.  While it may be modified due to quarterly themes, the base starting blood is as in base book (1-10 plus Herd). A second Herd may be included only if the first Herd is at the maximum rating. BP 7 or higher has no access to Herd – they must feed solely from player characters and starts this process with a 1-10 draw.

      2. Next Pre-casts are made. A player may choose to have their character hunt before or after Pre-casts prior to the game session. The Addenda limits the number of rituals that a character enter play with. A character may also have to enter play late:  If the pre-casts take a measure of time, figure that an hour may occur prior to game, and a second one if forgoing Hunting. This may be modified during quarterly focuses.

      3. Then Hunting:  Hunting, if performed in a permitted Hunting Ground (see Damnation City) that bonus can be applied from the Hunting Ground; you may add a Haven Location if in the Haven is in the district or an adjacent district; use of a Haven Location rating does not count as use of a hunting ground for purely mechanical rules.  Haven Locations will be approved for up to twice the Hunting Grounds rating for the district the Haven is located in. Pulling an Ace during a hunting test may represent a catastrophe. A character has time for a single hunting test prior to the start of game, or a second one if all pre-casts are forgone. A further hunting scene will require entering play a half hour late.

    3. Willpower:

      1. Willpower will refresh one point weekly, with a complete refresh at the beginning of the month.

      2. As described on p110 in MET:  For story needs during a downtime and only at the storyteller discretion, Willpower may refresh and equally used (net zero) at a slightly faster rate (i.e. it is gained and spent as part of the story and does not affect other downtime action or game sessions). This will be only applied for situations where the tabletop willpower mechanics would allow for such effects and only at storyteller discretion..

    4. Damnation City (WW25306). All mechanics of the book which are sanctioned by the Addenda will be used with this VSS, and any flavor not unsanctioned by the Addenda will be used with the VSS. Travel, however, is not strongly discouraged; some mechanics are either additionally removed or altered below.

      1. The city is divided into a number of districts, representing historic divisions of grants, which are mostly descriptive, (this is a grant that covers the city of Gladstone) the total number of divisions will be at least a few hundred.

        1. Some of the grants consist of multiple districts; some of the grants are or have been whittled down to a single district.

        2. Some grants are private domains; they use the mechanics for private domains on p34.

        3. Some grants are or include hunting grounds; someone who controls a Hunting Ground may parcel out the privilege to use it. A single district treated as a hunting ground uses the mechanics on p35.  Note that for purposes of hunting for this venue, multiple kindred may be considered to be hunting on different nights prior to a game session. Based on size of the neighborhood and a few other factors a limit is set on each neighborhood hunting ground, up to a maximum of 5.  The merit “Hunting Grounds” is not in play; the gaining and lose of hunting grounds is expected to happen with some fluidity. The conversion of Hunting Grounds into Herd is not allowed.

        4. Some grants are tenurial domains making the kindred a regent of some sort. Most of these grants are historic and are associated with some specific title: “Duke of Westport”, “Baron of the Plaza”, “Regent of the Wendat”, “Baron of Argentine”, “Baron of Liberty”, “Earl of Westin” (Note: these historic titles will need to be verified that they are not too dissonant to the Invictus ear).

      2. The city politics and legal system may remove a district from one grant as a punishment. The Prince or other official may add a district  to a grant, or make a new grant with it.

      3. Some districts  will  not be in active use at the start of chronicle and are lying “fallow”, while their grantor sleeps in torpor (or other reasons). This is to allow some latitude for characters created later in the chronicle to have had a historic grant.

      4. Corvee (p 198) is in use (see Requiem Addenda V.a.6.e).

    5. Character sheets:

      1. All items on a character sheet are approval items. Earning XP is an approval item. All updates to a character sheet require sign-off by the VST if the VST is not available, the DST. Downtime XP expenditures are a recommended  option.

      2. If there are any discrepancies, the official character sheet is the one in the Storyteller’s records. A player without a valid character sheet is limited to mediation or relenting.

    6. Visiting Characters:

      1. All characters must be checked in with the Storyteller before entering play and must have documentation for any rare or special approvals or such items will not enter play. The Storyteller reserves the standard right to decline to admit a specific character or item if the character or item would not fit the local venue or the current plotlines, or require agreement to certain boundaries during the visit before admitting the character and/or items.

      2. Visiting characters are assumed to start at two traits down from a full pool, and then less one for every night prior to the event, in place of using a pull plus herd. Then they may decide on pre-casts and hunting as normal for the venue.

    7. Conflict of Interest:

      1. If you have more than one character in this continuity (which is the Focused Genres), then your characters are not to interact and have zero contact. To quote something that a respected Storyteller once said on this subject:  “They cannot have the same allies. They cannot have the same friends. They cannot have the same political agenda. They cannot know that the other exists to any more extent than they have heard the name in passing conversation. They can’t use the same dry cleaners. They can’t have the same favorite color. They dress differently, act differently, and generally have nothing at all alike in character.”

      2. Players, when making new characters, are to make characters which cannot benefit from items or situations their previous characters helped create. Generally that will mean playing the exact same clan or covenant of the previous character (or current character) of yours is just not possible. However, such repetitions are possible with certain situations.  But they must be clearly not yielding any benefit, or be perceived to yield any benefit, which means the more structured covenants are generally impossible to repeat immediately, and with some clans most, but not all of time you might be able to repeat.