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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I am a Vampire the Masquerade player and many of the bits of background and the world seem very familiar to me. Is VIP a direct lift with some different names? Can I use my old Masquerade character? Are we in for a Plagiarism court case? How did this come about?

A: Phew, quite a question and it will take quite a while to answer. Way back, getting on for about 20 years ago. Vampire the Masquerade first came out. A bunch of live Roleplayers in Coventry bought this new game and thought that it would be really cool to have a live action game based on it. (This was before Minds eye theatre had been released). These enterprising role-players led by Jim Sephton and Malcolm Wyatt wrote a live system based on it. They played it for a bit and then sent the system to White Wolf. White Wolf replied that they liked the system but that they were issuing their own live system (the system that was to become minds eye theatre). They said that if Jim and Malcolm changed the background and didnít use any copyrighted names then they could continue running their own system with White Wolfs blessing. Jim and Malcolm went off, scratched their heads and wrote the VIP background. (No Iím not going to tell you, itís a secret.) and changed the names of everything they could find and continued to run. Over the years since then. Vip games have sprung up in Coventry, Worcester, briefly in Newcastle and Liverpool and Lancaster. The system has changed and ref teams have come and gone but most elements are still the same. So I hope that explains the majority of your questions, but No you canít play your Masquerade character. Trust me the worlds are so utterly different that they really donít translate, No we arenít about to be sued.

Q: Why not simply run a Minds Eye Theatre Vampire Game?

A: The easy answer is that we donít want to. As refs we donít find the world of darkness particularly interesting from a creative point of view. Everything is defined and there is very little that we can do that would be new. Also there is a mystery in Vip. In a MET game, if something shows up that you donít recognize then you can always go out and buy the book that describes this new creature. In VIP this new thing is unknown and only the ref team know what it is. This sense of mystery is central to the themes of VIP and the plots that the ref team is interested in.

Q: How can I contact the Vip ref team?

A: At the time of writing, the only active branch is the Lancaster branch. They can be e-mailed at vipref1@yahoo.co.uk or call Spike on:07812099139. The web site is at www.vampiresinpublic.org.uk

Q: Do I get hurt by crosses/holy water/entering a church/garlic/crossing running water? For the love of God can I walk through doors?

A: The answer to many of these questions comes down to, "I dunno, have you tried it?" or suck it n see for short. The reason for this is two fold. These are not the kind of things that a sire would teach the child and they donít come up naturally so to find this stuff out you have to go out of your way to do so. The second answer is that itís more complicated than just a yes or No answer. I canít say any more than that.

Q: There is much talk of this being the real world that my character lives in. What does this mean?

A: Yes this is the real world and you can do almost anything that can be done in the real world (providing itís done at night of course). Yes you can invest in the stock market, yes you can take over businesses, yes you can read the newspaper. (All information that you can find on the Internet and in the Papers is there. The only exceptions are anything relating to the game VIP on the Internet. There are extra bits in the news that we let you know before every game and we will tell you anything that comes up extra). There may be some things that we donít have rules for if youíre doing something that we havenít come across before. We will tell you this and then write the rules for you.

Q: Why does the spelling for some of the clan names depend on who you talk to?

A: *sigh* Because sometimes we are tired and we get it wrong.

Q: Do I have to play a Ynfrydwrydd if I want to be crazy.

A: No you can be crazy and not be a Ynfrydwrydd. You do have to be crazy if you are a Ynfrydwrydd however.

Q: How important is costume?

A: Not very, When the writer used to play, he used to wear a t-shirt and a pair of jeans, (yes and a trench coat so I could hide the two silver swords and the assault rifle.) In short whatever your character would wear is fine. It is the modern day after all

Q: How do I write a downtime?

A: Methods vary, however this ref team prefers bullet points followed by explanations. This would take the form short sentences telling us what you are doing and what you hope to achieve followed by a longer explanation as to how you are going about it. Also donít forget that if you want to spend xp, you have to write it down in your down-time and hand it give it to us. Otherwise we will assume that you havenít spent the xp.

Q: I want to design a new power/skill effect. How do I do this?

A: This is called a Points app. First you must master the skill or discipline in question (get them to level 5) then you must submit a written request to the ref team, saying what effect you want, what disciplines/skills you are basing this off and any extra factors that you have at your disposal to affect the matter (workshop, lab etc). We will either answer, "No, that is never going to happen" or we will give you an xp cost, an amount of research time as to how long it takes you to learn, and a money cost for the research materials. When you have paid the money, paid the xp and waited the time, you can use your new power.

Q: I notice that the ref rulebook is considerably bigger than the Players Guide. Is there much more to it?

A: Yes

Q: Can I read it?

A: No

Q: Please?

A: No, in our estimation, players reading the ref guide would result in the playerís enjoyment being spoiled. The ref guide contains the background of the system and the secrets that the world contains that players donít know.

Q: Can I become a ref?

A: Yes, and if your local branch team needs more people they will discuss the matter with you. If you want to start up your own branch then you can. Let us know where you are going, you will get a copy of the ref guide and any help that you might need to set up a branch.