WPI Networking Guide: Vampire the Masquerade


For the current chronicle (Historical July 2019, Live August 2019), Vampire the Masquerade is a Club Supported Chronicle. WPI will support networking connections between Chapters, including facilitating management of NPCs and overarching chronicle setting. This chronicle is managed by the Chronicle Manager (Matt Blank), facilitating communication between chapter games and managing chronicle content. The Chronicle will move the background metaplot forward from the BNS timeline to 2019, but will not involve regular club-level plots at this time.

Local Chronicle

Each Chapter Owner appoints one or more Storytellers to run their local Masquerade games. Each Masquerade game will have a designated physical area of control in the WPI Masquerade chronicle.

Chapter Storytellers have Local Chronicle Sovereignty, granting them complete control over their designated area, as long as their local Chronicle does not affect the rest of the chronicle.

Chapter Storytellers can:

  • Design, change, and affect their local chronicle setting.
  • Allow or disallow any character, including requiring alterations to approved characters for local portrayal
  • Allow or disallow “proxy” actions, including allowing characters to attend game even though the player cannot, or actions to be taken by characters outside of game.
  • Allow or disallow any action to be taken in their local chronicle.
  • Create local NPCs of any power level and type for use in their own games.
  • Request Canon NPCs from the Chronicle Manager for use in their own games.
  • Request or suggest changes to WPI Chronicle Setting
  • Request plots run in unclaimed areas of the Chronicle

Chapter Storytellers cannot:

  • Make changes to the WPI Chronicle Setting
  • Use Canon NPCs without Chronicle Manager approval
  • Run plots affecting areas outside their jurisdiction without approval

Chapter Storytellers should create a local guide detailing expectations regarding local actions, including what circumstances proxy or online interactions with the local chronicle will normally be allowed or disallowed. As a guideline, it’s best for this to be recorded in a document for distribution to players.

WPI Chronicle

The WPI Chronicle is managed by the Chronicle Manager (Matt Blank), appointed by the WPI Board of Directors. The Chronicle Manager’s main responsibility is to facilitate interactions between local chronicle games, and manage their interactions with the WPI chronicle.

The base setting and system of the WPI Chronicle is that described in the By Night Studios’ Vampire the Masquerade book, along with the Vampire: The Masquerade Volume II: Issue 1 book. Any significant changes from that basis will be decided by the Chronicle Manager with input from the Chapter Storytellers. At this time, the WPI Chronicle does not have a rules Addendum, FAQ, or similar document. Ambiguous rules will be left to the discretion of local games, with particularly important distinctions being published to the Chapter Storytellers. Storytellers are encouraged to reach out to the Chronicle Manager with questions and concerns, but are not required to seek a ruling for every situation.

Mechanics Guidelines

The Chronicle Manager and WPI Board of Directors have created a guideline regarding character mechanics and XP for use in the chronicle. See the WPI Masquerade Chronicle Guide. The basis of the mechanical system is the BNS VtM and VtM Volume 2 Issue 1 books, with any required changes noted in the mechanics guideline. Once the Chronicle has begun, any further mechanical changes will be provided by the Chronicle Manager to Chapter Storytellers for one month of feedback before potential implementation

Starting XP for the chronicle is 100xp (including creation) on the start date of the chronicle, with the XP cap increasing each month based on the graduated XP scale for Earned XP in the BNS Masquerade book. Local chronicles can set their own XP guidelines (though full XP each month is the recommended method), as long as the guidelines are within the maximums set. Volunteer XP will be available to apply to characters on top of the XP maximum, with a maximum of 20% (rounded down) of the Chronicle XP max.

Club Metaplot/Setting

Changes to the overall setting of the WPI Chronicle are maintained by the Chronicle Manager. The Chronicle Manager’s main role in managing metaplot is to facilitate discussion between the Chapter Storytellers and build consensus regarding any changes to metaplot and setting. In the future the Chronicle Manager may provide plot for use in local chronicles. Any requested changes to Metaplot should be submitted to the Chronicle Manager. Potential changes to Metaplot will be provided by the Chronicle Manager to Chapter Storytellers, giving them one month to provide feedback before its implementation.

Canon NPCs

In order to maintain a sensible continuity in the Club Chronicle, Canon NPCs must be “checked out” by Local Chapter Chronicles. The purpose of this check-out is to ensure NPCs do not appear in multiple places at the same time, and that a continuity of NPC story can be maintained between Chapters.

Chapter Storytellers can request access to Canon NPCs from the Chronicle Manager. This request will include which NPCs are requested, their purpose in the local chronicle, an overview of the plot arc the NPCs will be used for, and foreseen effects on the NPCs.

If approved, the Chronicle Manager will “check out” the Canon NPC to the Chapter Storyteller, providing any current information on the NPC beyond the base setting. The Chronicle Manager will be responsible for maintaining character sheets for requested Canon NPCs.

The Chapter Storyteller will provide the Chronicle Manager with status updates on the requested NPCs monthly, along with a final summary on events once the NPC is returned. The Chronicle Manager will inform the Chapter Storyteller if other STs are requesting currently checked out NPCs, and negotiate a reasonable timeframe for their return to the WPI Chronicle.

While only specifically Canon NPCs need to be “checked out” from the Chronicle Manager, NPCs with an in-game authority higher than the Chapter game’s designated location should also be approved by the Chronicle Manager. For example: an Archon created by the Chapter Storyteller, who works for a Justicar. These NPCs do not need to be checked in and out, as they are used exclusively for the one Chapter; however, the Chapter Storyteller should still report major changes in the NPC’s status to the Chronicle Manager, to ensure continuity is maintained.

Plot in Unclaimed Places

Requests for plots and other interactions which occur outside of designated chronicle territory (in “Unclaimed Places”) can be submitted to the Chronicle Manager, by either Chapter Storytellers or players themselves. If a Chapter Storyteller is requesting the interaction, the Chronicle Manager will notify Chapter Storytellers of the proposed interaction, giving them a 72 hour feedback window. If the interaction is requested by a player, the Chronicle Manager may vet requests before notifying Chapter Storytellers.

The Chronicle Manager will appoint a Storyteller — either a Chapter Storyteller, a separate volunteer, or themselves — to have jurisdiction over the event. This event storyteller will be provided the plot information, have complete jurisdiction over the event as a Chapter Storyteller would in their own game, and will provide the Chronicle Manager with a report of events upon the event’s completion. At the completion of the planned event, the location returns to the control and management of the Chronicle Manager.

Backgrounds in Claimed/Unclaimed Places

Characters (either PC or NPC) with backgrounds in an area designated to another Chapter Storyteller must receive approval from that Storyteller for their background interaction. A list of active Chapters is maintained by the Chronicle Manager for easy reference.

Characters with backgrounds in an Unclaimed area must receive approval from the Chronicle Manager. If the Chronicle Manager believes the background interaction will have a meaningful effect on other Chapter Games, they will notify the Chapter Storytellers, giving them a 72 hour feedback window. In general, backgrounds which would not substantially affect other Chapters or continuity will be approved as quickly as possible.

The focus of this review process is not approval of the entire character background, but only the interaction(s) in question, to confirm there are no conflicts with the existing story.

Chapter Game Onboarding

Integration of new Chapter Games into the existing Chronicle is overseen by the Club Manager, as part of Chapter onboarding. The Club Manager’s office will work with the Chronicle Manager to integrate or resolve existing chronicle plots or backgrounds in the area being designated, and in the case of an existing game being merged into the chronicle, to integrate any existing character backgrounds or plots in the game being onboarded into the chronicle

Convention Event Storytellers

Storytellers for convention events will be appointed by the WPI Board of Directors. Convention Storytellers will work with the Chronicle Manager to select an appropriate chronicle location for the event. Once selected, the Convention Storyteller will present a proposed plot for the event, which will be reviewed by the Chronicle Manager and provided to Chapter Storytellers for a 2 week feedback window. Convention Events set within the territory of existing Chapter Chronicles require the express permission of the relevant Chapter Storyteller.

Online Interaction

Online Interaction is by default Soft Role-Play. Characters can exchange emails, have conversations, etc, but these events occur without mechanical conflict resolution. Mechanical interactions and conflicts without the oversight of a Storyteller require the written consent of all players involved. If in-character these interactions occur in person (as opposed to over email or mail), they should take place within a Chapter game’s jurisdiction, and include the Chapter Storyteller so that the scene can be run as hard RP. NOTE: Hard RP scenes may still be mediated with the consent of all involved. 

There are no managed club lists for the chronicle. We have an announcement list for Storytellers, and local games may well communicate via email, but there will not be in-character email lists maintained across the entire club. There will, however, be a wiki, to allow Chapter games and PCs to provide publicly known information.

Chronicle Continuity and Agency — Avoiding Harm to the WPI Chronicle

While each Chapter Chronicle has chronicle sovereignty, each Chapter is part of the larger club chronicle. Chapter Storytellers should strive to provide as much player agency as possible, while maintaining the control and restrictions needed to run a quality local game.

As the local chronicle is part of a larger whole, there may be events which occur in a local chronicle which cannot be ignored by the overall chronicle, without straining credulity. If a situation occurs for which credulity would require outside attention (a Canon NPC is held hostage by PCs; Anarchs are publicly known to have Diablerized every Camarilla Elder in the city; Infernalists destroy city monuments and occupy the city), Chapter Storytellers are expected to allow reasonable amounts of interaction from characters outside of their local chronicle. This does not require Chapter Storytellers to allow massive play-by-proxy events, it is simply an expectation that the Storyteller will make good-faith efforts to allow events to run their natural course.

The Chronicle Manager will communicate with Chapter Storytellers about events and actions which place a strain on the chronicle’s continuity, and attempt to work with the Chapter Storyteller to resolve those situations and maintain or restore healthy continuity. If consensus cannot be reached and the Club Manager is unable to broker an agreement, the Local Chapter Chronicle may be removed from the WPI Chronicle by the WPI Board of Directors, with the Chronicle Manager restoring continuity as needed, and the Chapter able to run their local Chronicle as they see fit as a separate Troupe game. This is not in any way intended as a punishment, simply as a way of ensuring that the Chronicle as a whole remains healthy.