Taken from the "Player's Guide to OWbN" summer 2008 packet...
One World by Night (OWbN) has grown from a network of a few loosely connected games to a full blown international organization unified by plotlines, genre, shared governance and the desire to have fun in a shared universe initially created by and continually inspired by the White Wolf’s Classic World of Darkness setting. Ultimately, the goal of the OWbN organization is for everyone involved to have fun and enjoy the submersion of the Player Characters (PCs) into a living, growing setting of personal horror. To that end, this document is an effort to help players, new and old alike, make their way through the Out of Character (OOC) side of our organization by offering background information to facilitate understanding, and by giving helpful hints to promote good sportsmanship.
In the early 1990s, a small group of vampire LARP (Live Action Role-Play) troupe games, some
from the Midwestern United States (such as Chicago, IL and Lafayette, IN) decided to open their games to the players and concepts from other games. Players created PCs in their home games (or chronicles), and were able to take those PCs to other games, along with their collected knowledge, skills, and abilities to influence. Thus, new interactions between games led to more realistic world-experience than a single troupe game could provide. In March 1996 at the Concentric convention, OWBN was officially formed. As time passed, problems arose and solutions were found; Werewolf and other genre games were added to the mix, and games cropped up in Canada, Europe, New Zealand, and Brazil. Eventually, a codified set of binding rules was developed and the realization that central leadership was needed led us to our current organizational structure.
Currently, an Executive Team is elected on an annual basis (as are most Coordinator positions), which is comprised of a Head Coordinator (HC) and two Assistant Head Coordinators (AHC); the AHCs oversee various processes and act as arbiters in disagreements, among other duties. Other Coordinator positions have evolved, including those who lead Clan genre, Sect genre, Tribal genre, as well as nuts and bolts coordinators of Finance, Archival, Admissions and so on. Chronicles have representation on a Council, which discusses and votes on changes to the bylaws and genre packets, as well as elects the coordinators. The process is ongoing, but at this time there are lines of communications between Storytellers, Council, and Coordinators. The roles of Coordinators are outlined in our current set of bylaws, which can be found here on the website.
OWbN made many efforts to keep to the published resources available to them by White Wolf Publishers, but in 2004, WW decided to revamp their World of Darkness (WoD) and stopped publishing source material for their classic setting. By that time, though, it was clear that OWbN had diverged significantly from some of the source material – some of our games had established themselves, only to have WW publish a book about their city and have their histories be completely incongruent. OWbN supported the game’s developed history and the rift between WW and OWbN grew. In the face of no new published material and a wide-open field, One World by Night has cut a new path. Our coordinators continue to watch the actions of PCs and gauge the changes in genre, as well as correct deviations from genre packets and established WW genre. As stated before, there are times when OWbN’s genre is in conflict with WW genre, and in that case, OWbN genre always takes precedence.
Because the games are networked, our bylaws outline items that all games need to be aware of. In many cases, these concern rare or unusual concept types, or genre specific items outlined in our binding genre packets. Chronicles have the authority to make their house rules more restrictive than the org’s bylaws, but under no circumstances may they make their rules less restrictive. This includes magical pathways that are or are not outlined in genre packets. When in doubt, it is best to err on the side of caution and, as stated above, if something is not specifically addressed in a genre packet, it should be assumed to not be playable until discussed with the appropriate genre Coordinator. This will alleviate the need to back correct problems or misconceptions after the fact.
As new players join our organization and we move farther from the old publication year, 2004,the resource materials of our game become more and more difficult to acquire. It is strongly suggested that new players beg, borrow (we do not condone stealing), or find a way to obtain the (out of print) Revised Rules edition MET Laws of the Night for Vampire Camarilla (ISBN 1565045890), Sabbat Guide (ISBN 156504732X) for Sabbat games, MET Laws of the Wild for Werewolf (ISBN 1588465012), or any other pertinent material for their chosen genre. These resources can be found online in .pdf format at online vendors, such as www.drivethrurpg.com. The lack of reprinted material is due to strict publication restriction by WW on their intellectual property, thus, our genre packets can only contain supplemental information independently derived and things such as character creation rules and are only available through the original publications. Familiarization with the core rules of the MET (Mind’s Eye Theatre) versions is an excellent way toget started in game. Eventually reading Clan, Tribe, Sect, or other genre books is encouraged, but not strictly necessary.