Are you a fan of vampires, political intrigue or the kind of stories only roleplay games can create?
We’re excited to tell you all about something we’ve been working on for a bit: Turn Order Plays Vampire: The Requiem, our new series featuring the nightlife of London.
Turn Order writers (and friends!) have created a world and characters for a text-based roleplay game that will be shared with our readers in a more compact form. Like every group of TTRPG players, we’ve been tossing around the idea of starting an actual play podcast forever. Unfortunately, the forces of time zones and work schedules have kept us down, so play by post is our solution.
Let’s start today with a bit about our setting, our storytellers and the briefest introduction to our characters – don’t worry, you’ll be seeing plenty more of them soon.
London is an ancient city. It has stood since the Romans came, and perhaps there were those who dwelt along the banks of the river before then, too. It has grown and swollen over the centuries, steel and concrete fingers reaching up from the earth to touch the sky. The living swarm and teem in it. Millions make their home there, tens of millions more visit each year.
With such a vast gathering of the living, so come the dead.
London has been ruled by the Invictus for nine centuries now, since Duke Osric of London united the Princedoms of the North and South Banks and brought the local kindred to heel. Since his day a number of powerful vampires have held the city under their sway, but the rule of the Invictus has been unwavering. Tonight, it is ruled by Prince Severin who, along with his coterie, seized power in the chaos following the final death of Prince Milland in 1827. All but one calls the Invictus their home, and the last is a staunch ally in the Lancea Sanctum. Traditionalists all.
But the Primogen are very old and cling tenuously to their humanity and wakefulness. None of the Primogen have seen torpor in more than 200 years and they are old and fearsome, but the deep sleep of ages calls to them. Over the last decades they have withdrawn further and further, slipping more and more from public sight and night to night ruling of the city. Their protégés and childe and the Seneschal, Baron Andover, run things more directly than ever.
But these younglings do not have the power to claim praxis once their patrons slip into torpor, and the city knows it. Now is a time for maneuver and scheming and the building of alliances. For when the Primogen slip into the dark slumber blood will be split and Praxis will be there to be seized by those who are ready. And now in 2023 one of the council, St. John Matherson, Viscount of Greenwich, has fallen into torpor at last and his Childe, Baron Matherson, holds his seat tenuously at best. It cannot be many years yet before the others succumb.
Who will you align with? And can you find a path to power? Time to find out.
We won’t drag you into the details of the various NPCs (for now), but here’s a brief introduction to our main cast of player characters. These are the kindred who are active now; this list will likely change as players join us.
Otto Cross: The opposite of a Carthian firebrand, he is a quiet Mekhet spider slowly working his way into the powers of the city. Chaos is only a problem for the vampires in charge.
Stewart Greenbalgh: A chance embrace by a Daeva elder gave a civil service functionary something he’d always craved: the ability to compel his listeners to hang on his every word. One hundred years later, Stewart sees an opportunity to drag the vampires of the All Night Society into his audience.
Morgan Shawbrook: A proud Invictus of good Ventrue stock, he was Master of the Prospect of Whitby, foremost Elysium of London throughout the Renaissance. He has been asleep since the year of our lord 1772 and is really sad no one remembers who he is.
Elise Montagne: Carthian blood runs deep in Elise, from her roots in the French Revolution to her anti-capitalist plots today. Her activism has turned to hacktivism, but she isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty.
Kazimir Syrkin: Kazimir is a lucky no-good thug who has settled into the Invictus like a tick into dog fur. A gangster from ‘the old country’, as naturalized as a supernatural immigrant can be, he’s now the self-proclaimed Duke of Rodents.
Edwin Sinclair: Due to the consequences of his own actions, Edwin isn’t as powerful as he should be for his age. He does have a better grasp on human affairs than most kindred, which may come in handy as the elders weaken.
I’ve been playing and running RPGs for maybe longer than Luke has been alive, and this makes me feel ancient as the bones of the earth. Since then, I’ve shifted into a more professional role – I write and design games, including RPGs, for a living now, but that hasn’t stopped my love of running games for fun too! In particular I have a very soft spot for what’s now known as Chronicles of Darkness. When the World of Darkness (Masquerade, etc) was originally wrapped up in the Year of Fire I was just stepping into the world of LARP for the first time, but it was with the launch of Requiem that things came alive for me and playing in the Camarilla UK was a big part of my spare time. I cut my teeth playing, and then running, vampire games there, alongside my many forays into the genre on the tabletop. A few years ago, I ran a play by post-game for a group of friends with a different structure – everyone played key elders and power players within Vienna looking to advance themselves, complete their own goals and generally get ahead. That game went remarkably well, and the format (which was basically LARP paired with play by post) is something I’ve adapted for this game. I’m really excited to see how the players navigate their way through the mysteries and political pressures we create.
Particularly avid Turn Order readers may know me from the handful of columns I’ve managed to turn out between my senior year of college and starting my first job. Hey, if I could do this full time…. Anyway, I’m the token D&D 5e enjoyer these cool folks keep around for the SEO of it all. That game is my first love, but Vampire: The Masquerade was next to catch my eye. “L.A. by Night” served as an introduction to VtM and eventually I ran a non-traditional game I’ve mentioned in our mystery game guide.
Lupe suggested Vampire: The Requiem for our group and I understood why as I read it. I’m excited to help run this game! Lupe is the lore powerhouse but I’m here to support the story, accommodate the time zone situation and knock out some time-consuming and technical stuff.
Games I’ve GMed include: a post-apocalyptic high fantasy trek across a wasteland to shake off an oppressive government, a space opera adventure to find out who set the characters up to be caught on a heist and a noir mystery full of vampires handling their hunger while the humans are already looking for a murderer. Currently, my Monster of the Week players are balancing their roles as high-profile figures in their community against their duties to ward off beasts from their cursed city.
We’ll figure out frequency and format for updates as we go; this is brand new to everyone involved. Expect a summary of the important events that have happened, written in a narrative fashion like a serial novel. We’ll be sure to zoom in and feature any especially impactful or entertaining moments, most likely including quotes from what the players have been writing. So, please look forward to our digests as we navigate the scariest thing of all: running a TTRPG campaign with other adults!