READER'S NOTE: Sometimes, players are not happy and the ST has a big
job of finding out what is wrong. Everyone had some gripe or complaint.
So I scheduled a day in which everybody could come, yell, bitch or
complain to me about whatever was bugging them. For those of you who
have been STing a game for a LONG time, I highly recommend this. Here
are some snippits of what happened.
Solanna: "I really don't agree on your call of the second ability
'scan'. I should be able to use my Alertness talent instead."
Me: "Well I consider Scanning and Alertness as two different things,
but let's look at the definitions in the books."
Me: "Hmmwell there is some overlap in the definitions. I'll have to
study these more carefully, but I suppose in the future, you can use
your Alertness talent, although you might not glean the exact kind of
information as you would if you used scan."
Solanna: "Well I don't like the ability Scan. I think it's stupid and
it shouldn't be there."
Me: "That's okay. If you don't want to purchase any levels of scan,
Toreador: "I don't like the fact that you didn't allow me to buy up
Larceny at character creation."
Me: "Larceny is from the Dark Ages system and I am sorry but I started
this game long before V:tDA ever came out. Besides, the abilities you
have available to you more than make up for Larceny."
Toreador: "But Larceny is a catch all. I mean, anyone can try and
commit a crime."
Me: "Anyone can try and commit a crime, yes, but only a few can make a
successful profession out of it, and I really don't like the idea of
putting ANY and ALL crimes such as breaking and entering, forgery and
con games placed under one umbrella-like ability called Larceny."
Toreador Player: "HmmmOkay."
Michelle: "I don't like the fact that you say one thing in one game and
then you say something else in the next."
Me: "Can you give me an example?"
Michelle: "Uhno I can'tbut it's like you don't listen at times."
Me: "Michelle, how am I supposed to respond to that if you don't give
me an example, because I have no idea what you are talking about."
Michelle: "Well it's just that you say something and then I say
something and but you just ignore what I say."
Me: "MichelleYou and I have had our disagreements in the past, but
unless you tell me WHAT EXACTLY it is that"
Michelle: "DAMN IT MARC! You are not listening! You never listen to
Me: "Alright Michelle. YOU HAVE my
complete and undivided attentionNow go ahead and tell me what is
Michelle: "I am SAYING, that you don't listen to me. You change stuff
around and I ask you stuff but you either ignore me or screw me over
and I am sick of it. It's like what you are doing right nowyou're not
Me: "I find it very interesting that I have listened and understood
Solanna's complaints and that I have listened and understood PC
Toreador's complaints, but I seem to have a lot of 'trouble'
understanding your complaints since you are not pinpointing any exact
circumstance behind your accusations"
Michelle: "AW FUCK MARC! NOW YOU ARE MAKING ME MAD!"(Michelle gets up
and storms off to the bathroom where she locks herself in there for 10
minutes. The others just sit and stare at me)
READER'S NOTE: Okay. Perhaps Michelle had a legitimate complaint but in
the heat and tension of the moment, words got lost and what she was
trying to communicate got distorted. Fortunately for us, Solanna and PC
Toreador acted as arbitrators and both must be commended for bringing
both me and Michelle back down to earth. I admit to being stubborn and
"holier than thou" at times, but at one point, the "bitch" session
turned into a big catharsis for Michelle. Michelle left that night very
quiet. I don't know if she was satisfied at getting things off her
READER'S NOTE: Michelle was playing in another game altogether (on top
of the one she regularly plays with me). I had met her other ST on
several occasions, but the following actually took place in a bar.
Michelle's other ST: "So you frequent the forums a lot?"
Michelle's other ST: "What's your sig?":
"I call myself the
Draconian Garden Gnome."
Michelle's other ST: "Wait a minuteThat name sounds familiarHey!
Isn't that the guy who wrote "The Chronicles of Michelle?"
Michelle's other ST: "Wow! Hey man those are really funny!"
Michelle's other ST: "Okay, can I ask you a question?"
Michelle's other ST: "Is Michelle for real?"
Me: "YesI'm afraid she is."
Michelle's other ST: "Well come on! Tell me who she is."
Me: *I put down my beer glass and point to Michelle*
READER'S NOTE: Picture in your mind for a minute, the facial expression
of a man trying to mentally calculate the square root of pi and then
turn ghostly pale.
Michelle's other ST: "Oh.MY.GOD!"
Me: "Are you okay?"
Michelle's other ST: "Yes.yesit all makes sense now"
READER'S NOTE: Poor guy. I hope I didn't mentally scar him. I should
have told him a lie and said that Michelle is just an urban legend. I
mean, it would have been easier to believe. Suffice to say that all
groups out there have a "Michelle" in their midst.
Me: "She wants to what!?"
Solanna: "She wants to run a LARP."
Me: "You're kidding me right?"
Solanna: "No, I'm not. She asked me to help her."
Me: "How many people are supposed to play in this LARP?"
Me: "Yikes! Solanna, if I were you, I would back out now."
Solanna: "But I already promised I'd help her. I'm supposed to meet her
next Wednesday and we're going to prepare. I think with the two of us
organizing this thing, we can do it."
Me: "Okay. If you need any advice, please don't hesitate to ask."
READER'S NOTE: Now I wasn't present for this next scene, but according
to Solanna, this is how the preparation for the LARP went. Solanna and
Michelle are alone in Michelle's apartment.
Michelle: "And then, character A, is in love with character B, but
character B is secretly plotting the demise of character D who happens
to be the Sire of character E. Now character E is blood bonded to
character Bno wait..I mean character A. But then in comes character F
who is an old rival of character B andare you following me?"
Michelle: "Oh it's real simple. Here, I'll explain it again."
Solanna: "Michelle. No offence, this plot sounds nice, but it seems
Michelle: "Don't worry, it will all work out. I know my story isn't
perfect, but it will be fun."
Solanna: "Fun for you maybe, but trust me on this. In a LARP of that
size, you're definitely going to get people who are confused, and
confused LARP players will get frustrated and start physical challenges
for no reason."
Michelle: "What's a 'physical challenge'?"
Solanna: " Okay, when two players are"
Solanna: "Are you expecting someone?"
Michelle: "No. I'll see who it is.
*walks over to front entrance and opens door which is right in front of
Michelle: "Who is it?"
Michelle: "It's PC Toreador and his girlfriendHi guys! What brings you
Toreador: "Our cable is out. We were wondering if its okay if we can
come in and watch Survivor."
Michelle: "Oooh! It's on tonight?"
Toreador: "Yeah, it's starting in five minutes."
Michelle: "Cool! Let's watch it!"
Solanna: "UmMichelle? I thought we were supposed to be preparing for
Michelle: "Oh we can prepare and watch at the same time."
Solanna: "*muttering to herself* Fuck I should have listened to Marc."
( Yeah, yeah I threw that in ;o)
Me: "Let me get this straight. You guys agreed to meet tonight to
prepare for the LARP and then PC Toreador and his Girlfriend show up to
watch Survivor and Michelle just drops everything to watch the show
Me: "Well what did you do while they were glued to the TV?"
Solanna: "I prepared for the LARP by myself."
ME: "That's not fair! Man, if I were you, I would have walked out."
Solanna: "Oh that wasn't the annoying part. The annoying part was when
they asked me why I wasn't watching Survivor. When I answered that I
wasn't interested in the show, they all looked at me as if I had just
sprouted a second head."
READER'S NOTE: The LARP fell through. Apparently, Michelle was dating
one of the potential LARP players but Michelle dumped him (immediately
after a show of Survivor). Since the guy Michelle was dating was
friends with a lot of the LARPers, Michelle didn't feel comfortable
organizing it anymore.
A PERSONAL NOTE FROM MARC: Seven yearsSeven years I have been playing
in these games and I have never ever seen this happen. Allow me to set
up the scene. As I write this, I still don't know what to make of it.
Michelle's new character (A lowly Caitiff) has become some kind of
prophet of the Jyhad. She receives messages in the form of dreams which
tantalize and pick at her curiosity. So, calling in a favor or two, she
gets a letter from the local Tremere Regent, giving her permission to
go to the Head Chantry in Vienna where the Tremeres there will try a
prod her brain. Well during her brief stay there, the Gargoyles of the
chantry revolt. Michelle, in all her genius decides that since the
Tremere are occupied at the moment, she will try snooping around. She
finds the torpored body of her old character
Michelle: "I grab it and I try to flee!"
Me: "How much blood do you have in your system?"
Me: "Make a self-control roll please."
Michelle: "Oh god no."
*Michelle rolls three dice. We are all breathless.*
Michelle: "I got a 10!"
Michelle: *voice really low* "Andtwo 1's"
Me: "Uh oh."
Michelle: "But I got a 10!"
Me: "The 1 cancels the 10 Michelle, which means you have one 1 left
over. That means you botch."
Me: "Your character frenzies, and you sink your teeth into the
Michelle "NoMarc please!"
Me: "You diablerize your old character"
PC Gangrel quit playing in 1998 when real life got in the way. He is
married and had a son. Last time I saw him, he had lost 50 pounds and
his son was begging him for another quarter to ride the mechanical pony
ride at the mall. I also noticed that his speech had slowed down a
little. Poor guy.
PC Malkav fell off the face of the earth. All attempts to contact him
has failed. I assume that real life got in the way of his gaming too.
I kicked PC Toreador out of my game when he threw a temper tantrum one
night. I plan on letting him back in once quiet time is over.
New PC actually moved back from San Francisco and started playing with
us again, but I think he ate some bad cat fish when he was down in SF.
He started insisting that I was running the game "all wrong" and after
he tried to change my game into some kind of a frenzy fest I was forced
to kick him out. I later found out that he started up his own game, but
that after one month, all of his own players kicked HIM out. This was
the first time I have ever heard of players mutinying against their ST.
Solanna and I have been dating for over two years now. I love her and I
plan on marrying her, but her Brujah character scares the shit out of
Michelle's Tremere character finally met a grizzly end via diablerie.
As I write this, I smile contentedly, not because I got my revenge, but
because Michelle has actually improved somewhat. I have taken her
through the wash, rinse and spin cycle of my stories and despite the
numerous player roster changes my seemingly endless chronicle has,
Michelle somehow has endured, and I have endured Michelle. Michelle
still remains my oldest and longest running player. Oh she still does
stuff to annoy me, but I still love her (NO! Not like that!). I tease
Michelle's current character (The Caitiff diablerist) Once in a while
her character discovers that she can do Thaumaturgy only to lose it
again.: EhWhat can I say? Apart from amusing a lot of people with
these stories, I think that the trials and tribulations I have had to
suffer STing for Michelle has actually made me a better person.
*pause*.maybe not, but the point is, is that I have fun, and the fact
that I don't have to go on any prescription pills is a miracle