Among the various games I’ve run, my Flesh & Blood LARP – Live Action Role Play for the uninitiated – has to have been one of my all time best.
Obviously some part of that needs to be credited to me, but I think the freshness of the setting and overall shake up of the material did good things for a gaming community that had otherwise been stagnating. Anyone who predated the Camarilla – a fan organization who facilitates game play across a multitude of countries – had generally lost interest with the previous setting having watched iteration after iteration of the same world get churned out by the White Wolf publishing company.
The release of Vampire: The Requiem broke the gaming community out of what I can best call a rut, with the same stories getting hashed out – some certainly “crackier” than others. Keeping with the different families of vampires, the game writers instead changed the idea of how political membership worked, freeing players to move more easily through the spectrum offered by the Covenants. It was after all a setting that supported the idea of innovation and deviation. Allowing for a lot more personalization than the previous Laws of the Night system ever did.
And for players who are always looking to be different, having their character singled out for their spotlight moment, the Requiem system seems more suited supporting such. However with the revival of the Masquerade setting by the Camarilla, and White Wolf’s decision to re-release the material with fan sourced editing, players are returning to what they know, despite any criticisms they might have had about it in the first place.
I know part of it stems from nostalgia, but given all of the inherent drawbacks I don’t think I could personally return to that world. There are other things that interest me now, and I think if the LARPing community is going to survive past White Wolf, they’re going to need to start turning to other systems and settings, and break with the somewhat dominate World of Darkness that seems to be the default setting for most groups.