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Welcome to the Vampires In Public (VIP from here on in) players guide. This guide is designed as a tool to answer basic questions about the system and world that it runs in. It will tell you a bit about the disciplines and skills you can use against your enemies, a bit about the factions and clans that you will find and scheme against, it will serve as a guide to creating a basic character and a bit about what we are looking for and at the end, we will hopefully answer a few of the more standard questions that we receive from the players.

What it wonít do though is answer all of your questions. You will notice that there is no section about the history of the world, nor is there a section telling you about how the first vampire was created. There is a good reason for this, which we hope will become apparent as you play. But in short, the reason for it is this. VIP is a game about Mystery, it is a game about choices and consequences, it is also a game about joining together with your friends (well allies, or people youíve met) against whatever else is out there. In short we want you to go and find these things out for yourself, researching in character, hunting down the reality of your origins in character, and living with whatever it is that you might find.

In short this guide is a starting point into the world of VIP. We hope that you will enjoy solving the mystery.

What is VIP?

VIP is a Live Action Role-playing game. Where the players take the parts of vampires that live in their own society that exists beneath the real world. You will take on the part of one of these newly created vampires, still fresh from your creation, revelling in your new powers and your practical invulnerability. Mourning the loss of sunlight and food. Coming to terms with the growing realization that there are bigger and scarier things out there than you. You will act within this world according to your character and delve deeper into the people and places that populate it.

Hopefully that will sound fairly interesting, But how do you go about playing it?

Well we take the format of alternating socially oriented court sessions with the more action oriented Linear sessions with downtimes happening in between. So breaking it down a bit.

Court sessions: Court sessions take place completely inside with the Prince (weíll get to what that is in the next section) calling all the vampires of his or her city together to discuss personal and city business. It is a time for business meetings, social discussions in a risk free atmosphere, a time for visiting dignitaries to make themselves known and to scheme and politic. It is a time for the Prince to get to know their subjects and to make sure that the city is running smoothly (or not).

Linear sessions: These are what happens when things arenít going so well. When the Prince decides that there is a problem that needs dealing with, they will summon a group of vampires together to go out and deal with the problem appropriately. This could vary from, "terrorists have threatened to blow up parts of the city and you must stop them otherwise there will be an increased police presence" or "a foreign gang is starting to spread drugs around the populace. This doesnít work for us and itís your job to dissuade them from this course" and so on.

Linears often stem from things that are happening in court sessions and Linears often feed into events in the court sessions. The one feeds into the other and vice versa which leads to our last form of play.

Dowtimes: Put simply, your downtime is what your character is doing between sessions. Whether they are setting up something to take over business in Lancaster or whether they are sitting watching TV for the fortnight between games. Itís also the method we use for players to tell us what they are spending their money on or how they are spending their experience.

So Iím a Vampire. Cool, how did that happen? What happens now? and what happens next?

Yes you are a vampire. Congratulations, welcome to the world, wipe your feet and watch your back, it can be a scary place. But as to how this happened. Creation always happens the same way, whether you were created against your will or whether you were a willing participant it was always done the same way. You were drained of your blood, and then upon the point of death your creator replaced this blood with his or her own. This blood is largely your own being passed back to you. How this feels is largely down to the person who did it in the first place. Nicer creators might take their time reducing the strain and shock that their children feel. Others need the process to happen quickly, or donít care about the well-being of their child and it needs to happen quickly. So it can feel anywhere from going gently to sleep up to a full blown heart attack. You will then wake up to find that the world is subtly different. The only part of your body that still feels alive is your heart. It still pumps the blood around your body the rest of it gradually gives up and dies, leaving you a fully fledged vampire.

As to what this process is called, well, there are many opinions but there is no set term or defining words. Many use the term embrace, others call it the "act of creation" Others call it "that process that turned me into a monster" still others refer to it as the dark rebirth. The same for the people involved. Sire, creator, father, mother and scumbag are the most common term for the person doing the creation. In the same way that child, childe, progeny, fledgeling and ungrateful wretch are some of the most common ways of referring to the new vampire.

You will then have been taught some of the basics about how to survive. Donít walk in sunlight (it hurts míkay) donít get staked through the heart as it will immobilize you and prevent you from regenerating. Fire is also bad. You feed like this (insert graphic description here, we go into more detail into how this is done in the system bit) and this is how you use your new shiny vampire powers.

You will then start noticing a number of other things such as the fact that you do seem very dead. Youíre skin is extremely pale and cold to the touch. Your breath doesnít mist, you canít eat and you often find yourself forgetting to blink, let alone breathing. Weíll leave breathing convincingly alone for now. You get tired approaching dawn as bits of your body start to shut down and you eventually fall asleep automatically. You find that you use a part of your internal blood supply to wake up in a morning. You also become hyper aware of the amount of blood you have in your system and how much it takes to do everything that you need to do (regenerate, use your powers etc). But after a while, things settle down and you get into the swing of life.

Then (for some reason, if you werenít created in that city) you have found it necessary to move to the city of play.

Note: The ref team would like to recommend that you decide how, why and by who you were created and a reason for coming to the game city. I guarantee people will ask, and if you donít want to be stuck with something that you had to make up on the spot (the name Spike for instance) then it is always a good idea.

As for what happens next? Well, sorry to sound like a clichť but that is entirely up to you.

Sounds great, what do I need to play?

Largely it boils down to a character concept and yourself. If you want to wear a bit of costume for your character then please feel free to do so. However it is run in the modern world so a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt are perfectly acceptable. The ref team would also like to recommend that warm clothes and decently robust footwear is good for linears. All other props/weapons and so on that are necessary to VIP can be provided if you donít have your own. Itís really easy.

So thatís just about it for the introduction. The times and places for your sessions should be printed on the front of your players guides. We will look forward to seeing you there.