Well, it’s a LARP where people pretend to be Vampires, obviously. Honestly, we’d be slightly surprised to encounter someone who knows what LARP is who doesn’t have a least a vague idea of what Vampire LARP is.
We take the setting of Vampire: the Requiem (2nd edition) by White Wolf as the basis for our game, while we can’t reproduce the whole content of that book on this website, we’ve tried to produce a summary of what you need to know to get started, in the event that you have absolutely no familiarity with that setting.
Broadly speaking, Vampire LARP is a game of tense social conflict, with occasional bursts of cathartic violence
The game is set in the in a world much like out own present day, but perhaps a little darker and dirtier. Vampires (or “Kindred”, their own most commonly used term) exist as a secret society of immortal predators, manipulating the affairs of mortals to their own ends. They sometimes come into conflict with others of their kind, and (more rarely) other supernatural creatures.
Their society is generally run in small quasi-feudal cells, called Domains, each roughly the size of a city, and it generally run by a single Prince, who is advised, to a greater or lesser extent by the more senior (generally the oldest and/or most supernatually powerful) vampires in the area. Other models of governance to exist in some Domains, but this is the most common. The Prince is generally considered to have power of life and death over all Kindred resident in their Domain.
Each Vampire belongs to one of five Clans – a supernatural bloodline that they become a member of when they are made into a vampire (or “Embraced”). Each new vampire takes on a Clan based on the Clan of the vampire that embraced them. A Vampire’s Clan determines the supernatual powers (called Disciplines) that they are most likely to develop, and generally indicates something about the kind of individual that they are likely to be as a person, since Vampires tend to embrace mortals who are already possess the traits that Clan has come to value in some way.
The five clans are:
- Daeva – alluring and passionate partons of arts and culture. “The ones you die for.”
- Gangrel – blunt, enduring, and often violent survivalists. “The ones you can’t kill.”
- Mekhet – shadowy scholars with a fondness for secrets. “The ones you don’t see.”
- Nosferatu – disfigured monsters existing on the fringes of society. “The ones you fear.”
- Ventrue – authority figures with the ability to enforce their will. “The ones you can’t deny”
Most Vampires also belong to a Covenant – a loose political, scholarly or religious association of more-or-less like minded Vampires, with a particular philosophical view about the purpose of existence as a Vampire. The 5 Covenants are:
- The Carthian Movement – Political radicals who want a new, fairer, order among Vampires.
- The Circle of the Crone – Worshipers of the Black Mother, challenging themselves and others to push further and be more.
- The Invictus – Those who work within the system, in order to rule over others.
- The Lancea et Sanctum – God-fearing vampires who believe He has a plan, and that his plan includes vampires as monsters in the shadows.
- The Ordo Dracul – Scholars, seeking to understand and advance the vampiric condition.
There is much more to the game, and the setting, but broadly speaking, every character in the game belongs to a Clan and Covenant, giving them a shifting network of allies and enemies, and the game is about the conflicts between these characters, and the pressures that being a vampire in a toxic society places on them.
There are two groups that most vampires will have at least heard of, as things even monsters fear. The information given here these groups is deliberately vague and incomplete, reflecting their poorly understood state.
- VII – A group of vampires who appear to be dedicated to the extermination of all other vampires. They may, or may not be in some way linked to:
- The Strix – monstrous owl-spirits made of smoke and shadow that prey on kindred and mortals alike, but who seem peculiarly linked with vampire-kind.
For more detail, we’d suggest reading the core Vampire the Reqiuem 2nd edition rule book published by White Wolf. You don’t need to worry about the rules or system part of the book, but there’s a lot of setting detail there we don’t have space to cover here.