The Camarilla of San Francisco are many, and they share in a tense co-existence with the Anarchs and Sabbat. The centuries-old rivalries remain, but remain corseted and careful with the proliferation of mobile phones and live streaming to the Internet. We are on the precipice of just one final fuckup that blows the whole shit open. The most populous clan has traditionally been Ventrue, and the rarest specimens have been Gangrel, especially since the desertion of Mirko Mirkonen. This Praxis has had no Gangrel primogen since the late 90s, as is the case with the Camarilla at large. The Schismatics have taken their political seat.
Van Nuys was Prince of San Francisco before Winder, having taken the position in a 1996 coup to dethrone the ineffective (and late) Vannevar Thomas, but for all his aspirations, his four year reign was marked as chaotic, disorganized, and flooded with recalcitrant Anarch refugees from the bloody quagmire in Los Angeles.
After the creation of the Mandarinate in 2000, several esteemed members deserted for more competent and cooperative pastures nearby like Palo Alto and San Jose, some announcing their departure. Three elders staunchly opposed to the Cathayan regime simply disappeared, not affording their constituents the decency of a farewell. In 2001, things changed: a formal party was announced, and before the Court Van Nuys announced his abdication and his acquiescence to the authority of Miss Sarah Anne Winder. In 2010, the Mandarinate was brought down.
Vampire as a sphere on Modern Nights is intended to be a more low-to-mid powered game, focusing more on neonates and ancillae who are rising to the top and not the elders who are already there.
The Camarilla on Modern Nights is intended to be an outlet for players who thrive in an environment where their IC lives are cloak and dagger conspiracies in a Machiavellian world, navigating the confidence games and long cons of those in power both real and perceived. It is intended to be an environment where nothing is for free, and boons are a currency integral to buying one another's loyalty, which cannot be otherwise guaranteed. Think West Wing, Designated Survivor, and House of Cards.
While we allow you to play in whichever sect you please, you should expect your experience in the Camarilla to involve courtly life, navigating the boon economy, Camarilla structure and hierarchy, and veiled threats and double-talk. If you, as a player, do not thrive in this kind of backstabbing genre, then we suggest that you consider the Anarchs or the Sabbat instead!
Join The Tower
In order to make sure all characters have an easy hook into the plot of the game and the themes we want to run, Camarilla character applications should pick one of the following backstory aspects. If you do not like any of these aspects, you can collaborate with staff to write your own hook into the story. We will need you to have a direct "in" to be approved. Custom perks will not be available for custom hooks, but existing perks can be applied. For instance, you make up a story that ties you to an NPC mentioned below, you could reasonably take them as an ally as if you took a standard hook.
You're here to uphold the Praxis -- regardless of your thoughts on who is at the helm, the system of the Camarilla's better than any alternative.
On paper, you're an employee of one of the Camarilla's various corporate fronts. Usually that's SLC Consulting Engineers, an architectural and engineering firm and construction company. Whether you're a courier, a hitman, or some other sort of merc, the Camarilla knows to call on you to get the shit done and pays you for it, and then tells SFPD you're an overpaid bricklayer, freighter, or -- get this -- "day laborer", heh.
Your nightly role as a mercenary will sometimes put you in the Sheriff's pile of straws to draw for Deputy, and when those nights come it's time to pay your undead levee to the feudal system. Other nights the Primogen will reach out to you with this corporate cover. The criminal connections the Camarilla commands are mostly from Chinese and Japanese organized crime, thanks to having wrestled them from the Wan Kuei years ago. Many of your nights, you work with 14K, Jackson Street Boyz and the Wo Hop To as a result. Occasionally you'll run into trouble from 14K's rivals, Sun Yee On, and if you're particularly unlucky you'll run into their Sabbat associates. But hey, at least you can charge a premium for those jobs.
When taking Destruction Worker, you can pick one of the following perks:
- Ally (Zora Pavlova): Take the Sheriff, Zora Pavlova, as your ally under the premise of working alongside her successfully in the past (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). You'll be able to call on her as IC backup in your adventures.
- Influence (Criminal or Industrial): Get 1 additional dot of Influence, applied after character generation. Our Influence system has specialties in it: if you pick Industrial Influence, you'll get the Construction specialty tagged to SLC Consulting Engineers. Engineering sounds boring until you get to meet the fire marshall and the demolitionist on retainer thanks to Pang's connections -- or hell, the inspector who winks with both eyes. If you pick Criminal Influence, pick between Human Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, or Arms Trafficking. This Influence will be assigned to the 14K Triad, Wah Ching, or Inagawa-Kai (the Yakuza), your pick.
- Ability Boost (Larceny, Intimidation or Streetwise): Allocate 2 additional dots into either Larceny, Intimidation or Streetwise, applied after character generation.
An Exquisite Corpse
You're here to make sure that occult power stays in the hands of those fit to wield it -- the Camarilla's.
You are a member of The Shuttered Room, the Camarilla's tenuous alliance between the occult interests of its clans. Perhaps the only thing the Banu Haqim, Tremere and Samedi agree on is that the Tower should have a monopoly on blood magic, and to that end their nights are spent on two fronts. Wrangling the narco-cults of the Sabbat has started to prove more promising thanks to the insights of Cadavre Exquis and the more 'compatible', Afro-Caribbean nature of his magic. Cracking into Baron Lopez's international export and imports company has presented more of an issue. Whoever his patron is remains a mystery, but the baron's mysterious benefactor has made what should have been a cursory takeover of some rabble's special toys into a chess game all its own.
When taking Exquisite Corpse, you can pick one of the following perks:
- Ally (Cadavre Exquis): You have made an Ally of the charming and erudite Samedi necromancer, Cadavre Exquis, and take him as an ally under the premise of working alongside him successfully in the past (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). You'll be able to call on him as IC backup in your adventures. He is purchasable as a Mentor for Samedi characters. He can and will teach (Voodoo) Necromancy to outsiders, but only under the auspices of the Blood Contract (below).
- Ally (Luna Demian): You have made an Ally of Regent Luna Demian, and take her as an ally (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). You'll be able to call on her as IC backup in your adventures. She is purchasable as a Mentor for Tremere characters. She can and will teach Thaumaturgy to outsiders, but only under the auspices of the Blood Contract (below).
- Ally (Ehsan Khadem): You have made an Ally of Sorcerer Ehsan Khadem, and take him as an ally (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). You'll be able to call on him as IC backup in your adventures. He is purchasable as a Mentor for Sorcerer characters. He can and will teach Dur An Ki (Assamite Sorcery) to outsiders, but only under the auspices of the Blood Contract (below).
The Blood Contract
Thaumaturgy or Assamite Sorcery can be learned by vampires who normally would not be taught this (non-Tremere, non-Sorcerer, non-Samedi) if you sign their Blood Contract. This contract costs 3 merit points (thus 15 XP if purchased post CG) and binds you into an eternal alliance with the respective clan. In exchange, Luna Demian, Cadavre Exquis, or Ehsan Khadem, as appropriate, will count as your Mentor. If you break the contract, however, you die. Full stop. What are the terms? Your undead ass is a wholly-owned subsidiary of your benefactor. If they say jump, you say how high. If you teach blood magic to somebody else who hasn't signed on the line, you break the contract.
Clean Up Crew
You're here to make sure the gerontocracy has a chance in upholding the Masquerade in the wake of modern technology.
The aging ancillae and the clueless elders of the Camarilla have grown less and less fit to handle the pulse of the modern day, and yet the gerontocracy that governs you would hardly allow you to call your superiors out on their incompetence. And so while you bide your time and wait to age into status and station, you make sure that the future you'll inherit is one without a modern Inquisition.
Your contemporaries are neonates and ancillae, and the each of you contribute in your own ways. Perhaps it's through computer aptitude, anticipating data breaches on SchreckNET or normalizing deepfakes and CGI to add insurance to the fateful nights that a Nosferatu ends up going viral. Perhaps it's through the arts, curating and cultivating a stable of journalists, critics and opinionati in order to shape the narrative or distract it into some much shinier scandal. Hell, maybe you're a TV/movie director, or a scholar and pathologist, pulling strings to make sure that things add up to a different number in the medical examiner's office. Whatever the expression of your craft, your discretion has earned you plenty a boon and put you on the Praxis's short list of problem solvers.
When taking Clean Up Crew, you can pick one of the following perks:
- Ally (Katy Cox): A lot of people think Katy Cox, Toreador Whip, as little more than Charles Pang's bangtern, but this pretty Prada blonde is a ride or die bitch with plenty of tricks in her little clutch purse. She preens over the title of Keeper of Elysium, coordinating events and renting out galleries, convention centers, and eccentric attractions, meaning if you need to get in somewhere, time to call Cox. You can take Cox as an ally under the premise of being in Pang's good graces and/or working alongside her successfully in the past. As Pang's childe, she'll do exactly what he tells her to, with glitter and gusto (technically Allies must be mortal only, this is an exception). You'll be able to call on her as IC backup in your adventures.
- Influence (Free Pick): Get 1 additional dot of Influence, applied after character generation. Recommended options are Police and Media.
- Ability Boost (Technology, Computers, or Investigation): Allocate 2 additional dots into either Technology, Computers, or Investigation, applied after character generation.
The following logs are to be considered IC information, under the assumption your character attended court or heard about it. Feel free to use the information discussed in the court logs to speed up any IC onboarding.
- Wizard: Batty
Uncommon clans are ones that are considered oddities to have within the sect. You may play one of the following as a Camarilla character, but you will find yourself mostly disenfranchised politically.
|Followers of Set||Open|
On the game, you can spend Downtime points in exchange for blood or you can use the +hunt system by rolling up to a grid square, typing "+hunt", and following the on-screen prompts.
Prince Winder has designated the following racks:
- The Tenderloin: The entire strip of Turk street from Van Ness on the west to Taylor on the east is saturated with drugs and people nobody will notice disappear.
- The Folsom District: Folsom and 8th - 13th street are blocks sanctioned for hunting, as well as the flanking streets Harrison and Howard (so this covers places like AsiaSF, Wicked Grounds, Cat Club).
To petition permission to embrace, send in a +request. You can generally expect a 'no' unless you have earned significant status, but you may send in a +request. If this is about inviting someone into the sphere to turn their character into a vampire, staff can arrange for an IC circumstance that works, but it might not translate directly into you being the sire.
Winder requires permission to ghoul. Without permission to ghoul, it is still possible to ask (or pay) the Court for permission to ghoul if you are in good standing (no negative status). You can ask (or pay) for a general pass to ghoul someone (nobody in particular, but "Hey, I want a ghoul. When I find one, I want to be able to seize the opportunity. One free one-use pass, please). You can also ask (or pay) the Court for permission ghoul a specific person you have your eye on. Lastly, you can claim dibs on a specific mortal regardless of permission or intent to ghoul. Maybe you are still grooming this person into a role and haven't wanted to ghoul them yet, but want to pre-emptively call dibs.
When it comes to acquiring permission to ghoul, only the Prince or her Seneschal may authorize a Vampire to ghoul someone. When it comes to simply claiming dibs on a person to potentially ghoul later, you only need a few witnesses of some official capacity: the Harpy will do, for example. You'd be wise to ensure there's more than one witness if you suspect that the Harpy (or whoever) may conveniently forget later.
The St. Francis Yacht Club hosts the Elysium. The Yacht Club itself is open to the public, but there is a lounge for special members. This lounge can be accessed through a service entrance in the back (for those who don't seem to fit the bill of the well-dressed elite) as well as by going through the yacht club proper.
Court is an event where all Camarilla are supposed to be present, but we are not our characters and cannot all show up at once, especially not across the timezones we share. Sometimes we do court through @mail or +bbpost, and sometimes we coordinate scenes. When they are scenes, the logs are posted on the website for people to read. The information within those logs is to be treated as IC information for Camarilla characters, who are considered to have been present. Staff assumes your character showed up to Court unless you have explicitly stated you don't show up to Court in a +request.
We do +bbpost/@mail if the only development at Court is updates.
If the Court needs a verdict, a vote, or some other intrigue is going on, we will extend the Court into a 48 hour window. First, an +event is posted, where a general list of the court objectives is disclosed ahead of time (check +events and the events board). Court will be held as a live scene (either one single scene or in some cases two scenes on consecutive days). The log will be posted, and then a 48 hour window will be open for anybody who couldn’t make it to put in their input.
You can interact with this window in whatever way you find to make sense for the story. For example, you could put in a +request to staff to describe what your character does, you could write a BBPost on the IC board to broadcast to the game what your character does, or you could post your own +event within the 48 hour window relevant to what you want done.
If your character’s needas are ICly more complicated than simply stating your IC opinion, we can be generally flexible about timing with this 48 hour window if you reach out to us in advance (such as when we post the +event). For instance, maybe there’s a relevant +request you want to get processed before court drops. Reach out at least 48 hours before the +event is live and we can accommodate you.
You can angle your character toward assuming a certain office of the court! While we do not allow people to create a character who holds a position from the start, we intend for players to take up court positions. This is intended to be done through RP, and you are encouraged to reach out to staff and be transparent about your goals with your character so that we can coordinate a narrative.
Please note that when staff greenlights you as a candidate for a specific position, that is not akin to getting the position. You may be expected to fulfill certain requirements OOCly or ICly, such as reconciling a boon debt, performing a task, or following other instructions. The only position that realistically can be handed off overnight is the position of Primogen (as that position is voted in). The others are typically obtained as an element of story.
We use the Mind's Eye Theater Status System. Its intent is to promote and inform the way that the sect social rules work. While you can read about the rules in detail in the official material, here is a simplified run-down that contains enough to play. Please note that this is not actually a 1:1 explanation of the Status System.
You have Titles (called Abiding and Innate status in MET) and you have Fleeting Status. Titles are things like "Prince" and "Elder" and they apply to you so long as you are that thing. Those titles come with privileges, such as descriptions of what is within your authority, which is what you're probably used to ("A primogen represents his clan, yaddah"). But it also talks about giving people badges like "Favored" and "Honorable."
These monikers are called Fleeting Status. They are little badges you get for certain rewardable RP behavior. For example, Triumphant is a Fleeting Status awarded to people who do something risky and come out victorious. These badges give you some thematically appropriate benefit. Triumphant, for example, gives you the ability to feed wherever you like instead of at designated grounds, because you're known as Billy Badass.
Some badges are negative: Warned, Disgraced, and Forsaken. These you get for being insubordinate, breaking sect law, and so on. When you get Negative Status, this comes with some kind of attached punishment (determined by the status trait itself) and it lasts for either 30 days or until the person who administered it (or someone over their head) forgives you.
Fleeting Status traits last until either you spend them, or you get Warned. Continuing with our Triumphant example, Triumphant can be spent on auto-succeeding on a Rotschreck roll (it would not do for Billy Badass to lose his shit). Once you've spent your Fleeting Status, it's gone forever, but you can earn the same kind of status again.
You can collect up to five Fleeting Status points. You can collect multiple instances of the same kind of Fleeting Status, too. So, at any given time, you have up to 5 Fleeting Status traits, and whatever special rules go along with your title if you have a title.
Learn more on the Status page.
Anybody can use Prestation commands even if they didn't pick Camarilla in character generation. Prestation commands reflect the IC act of informing the people ICly present of the nature and status of a boon. Boons show up to you from your IC perspective: some boons may exist without your knowledge.
Creating And Managing Boons
- +Boon/Offer <Name>/<Type>=<Reason> : This initiates a boon from your PC with all PCs present in the room as IC witnesses. Applicable types: Trivial, Minor, Major, Blood, & Life.
- +Boon/Tell <Names>/Offer <Name>=<Type> for <Reason> : This initiates a boon and specifies the IC witnesses. This command is for use outside of scenes. Example: "+Boon/Tell Jim Bob Dan/Offer James=trivial for the gift James gave me."
- +Boons : This lists the boons you are ICly aware of.
- +Boon # : This lists a particular boon, very similar to +jobs.
- +Boon/Spread # to <Name> : This informs <Name> of the boon from your IC POV.
- +Boon/Acknowledge # : This will acknowledge the boon to your IC witnesses.
- +Boon/Release # : This will release that boon's debtor to your IC witnesses.
- +Boon/Broker <Name> owes <Name>/<Type>=<Reason> : This proposes a boon on someone else's behalf. Example: +Boon/Broker Jim owes Tom/Major=If Jim has any integrity, he should acknowledge Tom's astounding generosity.
Types of Boons
Prestation is quite simply the process of trading, repaying and incurring favors (Boons) among vampires. Among more formal sects (the Camarilla and the Sabbat), prestation debts can be called in at literally any time, so it’s wise policy to make sure that one has the capacity to honor a boon, regardless of circumstance.
As a general rule there are 5 types of Boon. We have explained them below.
A mortal says 'thank you' when he is pleased with a small favor. A courteous vampire offers a trivial boon. Trivial boons are the vampire's 'thank you' and 'my bad': they're for minor favors and conveniences at little to no personal risk and for compensating for the occasional faux pas.
The basis for a trivial boon can be as simple as having given them some useful information that you simply overheard. If someone did something for you that came to no personal risk to them but still was helpful to you, then, if you are a courteous vampire, you should offer them a trivial boon. If you yourself did something that came at no personal risk to you, then, they should offer you a trivial boon if they have a scrap of etiquette: what sort of ingrate is not willing to offer so tiny a token?
So, as a rule of thumb: if you yourself would have said 'thank you', offer a trivial boon as your gratitude. If you yourself would have felt a little embarrassed, offer a trivial boon as your apology. If you feel like someone should have said 'thank you' or apologized, then they owe you a trivial boon at -least-. It is the "I'll buy the next round" of vampiric gratitude.
- Arranging an introduction
- Letting someone borrow equipment, items, or access to a place
- Providing a one-time safe supply of blood (e.g. 1-3 blood points)
- Giving reliable info or passing info on for them (e.g. tips, warnings)
- Giving someone something worth maybe $50 or less.
- General favors that take an hour or less and cost little to nothing.
A mortal promises that he owes you one -- whether as a thank you for a considerable favor or to compensate for a failure their friend helped patch up. A courteous vampire offers a minor boon. Minor Boons are for actions that took significant amounts of effort time or resources but don't incur any personal risk or loss (monetarily, socially, physically or otherwise).
While trivial boons are no-risk, minor boons take either a significant chunk of time or investment out of the vampire who earned it, puts them at a minor risk or saddles them with a moderate inconvenience, like passing up an opportunity for potential personal/political gain.
Although each vampire has their own idea of 'minor risk' and 'moderate inconvenience', here are some guidelines: if it involves risk of injury, they should be extremely likely to emerge victorious and they should be able to heal completely that very night. If it involves social, financial, or other consequences, they should be something that the vampire can resolve and recover from within two weeks or less. If it's passing up personal gain, this should be of a nature where the opportunity may reasonably present itself again in a few months.
So, as a rule of thumb: offer a minor boon to pay for or thank actions that either are no-risk but take a few nights/weeks to pull off, or actions that, while they have some risk, should be reasonably easy to bounce back from. Lastly, if it costs Downtime, it should at least be a Minor Boon.
- Helping someone else achieve a position of authority or influence
- Helping someone else obtain Domain
- Undergoing damage to your property (ghouls are your property too)
- Using Influence on someone else's behalf
- Taking any action that takes multiple hours or even weeks to accomplish
- Tutoring someone (but not Disciplines/Magic, unless you share clans).
- Medium to long-term (1 week or more) rental of resources/herd/ghouls/money
- Providing 3-5 (safe!) meals of human blood
- Teaching the first 3 levels of Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Obfuscate, Potence, Presence, or Fortitude.
A Major boon is the territory of sincere, serious debt. Be careful not to incur them: this is the level of debt where someone can reasonably expect -- or demand -- for you to actively act against your best interests. They arise as a result of incurring significant risk, investing significant amounts of time and resources at one's own expense, and as currency for paying for serious transgressions and grievances.
Although each vampire has their own idea of 'significant' when it comes to risk, time and resources, here are the guidelines: risk of injury can guarantee death or maiming for ghouls and significant injury for the vampire, but the risk of death for the vampire should merely be acknowledgement that there is a "nonzero" chance. If death is likely for the vampire, that is Life boon territory. Social, financial, and other consequences such as loss of status should be reasonably recoverable within a year. If a vampire is to loose access to some resource or opportunity permanently, they may also make a case for a Major Boon even if they don't currently use that resource due to the potential that is lost.
- Continued/extended use of Influence on someone else's behalf
- Taking any action that takes over two months to accomplish
- Supplanting your own political goals to helping someone achieve theirs
- Suppressing or participating in political sect scandals
- Taking a fall for someone
- Actions that are high risk, including death, but reasonably concealable
- Teaching the 4th and 5th levels of Animalism, Auspex, Celerity, Dominate, Obfuscate, Potence, Presence, or Fortitude
- Teaching the first 3 levels of clan-proprietary disciplines (Chimerstry, Dementation, Obtenebration, Protean, Queitus, Serpentis, Vicissitude)
Woe to the kindred who owes a blood boon. Although there are more delicate ways to put it, let's be clear: if you owe someone a blood boon, you're their bitch. Probably forever: don't you forget that debts can be savored over time through a string of insufferable tasks that maddeningly are never quite enough. And so you suffer on in silence, because keeping the debt between us and the Harpy is better than facing the court of opinion: what the hell did you do -- what tradition did you break, what sensational mistake did you commit, just what kind of fuckup are you -- to wind up in such a debt?
Blood boons are a big deal: you are covering for someone and you'll both go down in flames if your conspiracy is discovered. You are indulging secrets and selling someone out at the expense of your clan or your contemporaries who will eat you alive--maybe literally--for your betrayal. You've faced death for your debtor -- literal or political -- and won't let them forget. Or perhaps you've helped an impatient vampire skip the years and twists and turns of political maneuvering despite his immortality because his impatience is your profit, not your problem.
- Infiltrate another sect
- Hide a Breach of a Tradition
- Gifting social capital that would take someone years to build (status, influence, etc.)
- Face an extreme risk of severe physical injury, death not unlikely
- Inherit someone's ghouls and -not- old yeller them
- Teaching the 4th and 5th levels of proprietary disciplines
- Teaching the first 3 levels of blood magic
A Life Boon that is offered voluntarily is either from an idiot or not voluntary at all. It's easy for a human to say "I owe you my life" when it's over in just a few short years, but this commitment is forever. A vampire who absolves another of a Life Boon -- especially expediently -- is perhaps just as much of a fool as the vampire who actually had to offer one. Again: vampires can ration out hefty debts into a string of series and favors, so consider yourself, for all intents and purposes, this vampire's ghoul for the rest of your damnation. Up to and including being expected to take all three drinks. Why, you owe them your life, after all.
- Once-in-a-lifetime actions: sacrificing your life's work, for example.
- Anything that basically amounts to auditioning for the goddamn red list
- Pissing off a Justicar or worse
- Doing anything that will spell your permanent political suicide
- Violating the Tradition of Progeny
- Teaching 4th and 5th level Blood Magics
- Generally being a big dumb idiot.