2014 - Lasombra - Andrew Maetke
Introduction and Background:
Let me start with some of the things that might be marks against me to some. I haven’t been playing in OWbN since the 1990s—I only started in this organization a little over two years ago. I have never been a subcoord for anything. I’m not even an HST in the org!
But I think all of that is okay. I’ve jumped into the org with both feet and hit the ground running and mixed so many metaphors on the way. I’ve been Storytelling for one of the biggest (if not the biggest) games in the org for over a year now. I think I’ve developed a reputation as fair (if a little stingy) and competent. I have a strong grasp of the rules and the genre. I’m not afraid to say no, but I’d much rather say “yes but give me more story first.” I can handle the workload, I can handle the people, and I’m excited to try to help give as many people as possible the best roleplaying experience I can.
Ultimately, if you have any questions or concerns, please email me and I will get back to you promptly and hopefully satisfactorily. My email is listed at the top of this application, and also right here: firstname.lastname@example.org
AST – Kings of New York December 2012 – Present
That’s it! But it’s been a pretty excellent year for KoNY. We’ve expanded our playerbase, resolved some pretty massive plots and put together fresh new ones that are pulling in players with wonderful efficiency. We’ve also established a number of new systems that are simple, sleek, and effective. We have a territorial control system now for example that is very simple and rules-light, but that is working and helping us drive along some of our existing plot.
Additionally, the upshot of my relatively short time in the org is that I don’t have a complicated political history. I’m more than happy to present myself as a fresh slate and I’m sure that anyone that gets to work with me will find me fair, professional, helpful, and timely.
Outside of OwBN I work for the New York City Transit Authority. It’s super fun and super irrelevant to this position. Hooray!
I think I’ve covered all the basics at this point so I’d like to talk about why I’m running and what I think I can bring to Lasombra genre, and why I’m running for this particular position instead of any other.
The Lasombra are one of the most interesting and nuanced clans in the Classic World of Darkness. They are the only clan whose antitribu are in the Camarilla. They have a tremendously rich history as, alongside the Ventrue, they have always comprised the vampiric royalty. They contact with the semisentient malevolence that is the Abyss—and Abyssal Mysticism (as a mystic devotion, not just cool powers) itself has a number of different traditions and subschools. They have god damn pirates. Then there are the two sets of conspriacies that maybe best characterize Clan Lasombra: the ever complex Les Amis Noir and the maybe even more complex relationship between the Lasombra and the Catholic Church.
A clan this rich needs a team of people who are dedicated and knowledgeable to keep it focused. It’s very easy for a clan that can go in so many directions to end up paralyzed by choice. Furthermore there is endless internal conflict just under the surface (or, occasionally, in plain view). Imposed over all of that is a fantastic order and organization. It’s the clan I’ve seen best suited to PCs making their way into meaningful and influential positions and getting to stare nose to nose with some of the legendary canon NPCs. It’s the clan where I see the most potential to make subtle and quiet use of NPCs to drive PCs to create plot. There is virtually limitless opportunity to tell good stories with clan Lasombra.
There is also a lot of need for restraint. Abyssal Mysticism is very cool, and I’m very grateful for the packet put out last year by Joan. It’s very useful to have all of that codified for OwBN and put in one place, but that also is likely to meet with an increased demand. And I’m not against people learning all of the cool powers they want, but it needs to be organic. There needs to be story and there needs to be roleplay, and I’m more than capable of insisting on that.
It’s more than just the magic stuff. Even walking the various paths should be challenging. There are few if any paths more difficult to walk than the various Paths of Night. It doesn’t always mesh nicely with the pack mentality of the Sabbat, and it’s difficult for PCs to raise themselves above their peers in such a way that they can comfortably play a high rating on these paths. That struggle is amazing and one of the best parts of playing a path, and all too often it is left by the wayside. There is tremendous opportunity for moral introspection and character development, and I think that the Lasombra Coord office can and should drive that. Ideally, this can be done by working with Storytellers to personalize the struggles of PCs, to find ways to make them make difficult decisions.
I want to be very sure not to make the Lasombra Antitribu feel left out here. I started the org playing Sabbat and there is often, justified or not, a feeling that coords just don’t care as much about their Antitribu. I want to make clear that I would not be neglectful. Though they are few in number, the Lasombra Antitribu by their mere existence make the rest of the clan cringe and howl. Within the Camarilla, they have an amazing combination of rarity, mistrust, power, and respect that makes them extremely compelling as both PCs and NPCs. And we haven’t really seen much meaningful reaction from the Lasombra Anti as the Children of Haqim have begun to normalize themselves in the Camarilla and quietly stolen the LAT’s “model minority” (forgive the term) status. I think there is room for some movement here if the players want it, and the Lasombra Coordinator’s office is well positioned to provide guidance and impetus.
Now we also have a brand new faction in the Sabbat, one that is in a position of extreme interest relative to the Lasombra dominated Order of St. Blaise. A lot of development has to happen to capitalize on what could be a very intricate and story rich wrinkle in Sabbat genre—and what is undoubtedly one of the biggest developments in that genre in some time. I’m certain I can work with the Sabbat Coordinator to make this new faction settle in and find its place in the Sabbat, and develop a cogent sense of where the main body of Clan Lasombra stands regarding it.
I’ll try not to go on forever. There is just such a wealth of opportunity within Clan Lasombra to do really great things. One last thing I need to talk about is the long running struggle to maintain primacy in the Sabbat. The longstanding assumption that the Lasombra are the natural leaders of the Sect, and the Tzimisce left to be the “spiritual” leaders is a tricky gambit in a sect that is ultimately a theocracy. The current regent is a Toreador Antitribu, and before him Galbraith was also a Toreador Anti. In between them, Guarant was a credit to no one. The Lasombra have not had a Regent to call their own in ages. That means now, even with Carboni doing by all accounts a passable job, now is the time to begin the dealing and conspiring to ensure that next time, whenever it may be, the right clan takes the helm of the Sabbat once more.
It’s extremely exciting, and I hope to be able to bring the best out of it.
covered some of this above, but let me try to put it more compactly.
1: Establish and maintain a 24 hour maximum response time. While this won’t mean that everything can be resolved immediately, with smartphones and careful time management it should almost always be possible to at least acknowledge and preliminarily respond to inquiries quickly.
2: Push the importance of the various Paths of Night. I want to do this mainly through working with Local STs to keep things personal and grassroots.
3: Keep a lid on Abyssal Mysticism. It’s not my aim to stop anyone from getting the cool powers that we all love, but it isn’t as cool if it isn’t rare, and it’s pointless if it’s just dots on a sheet that didn’t come out of story, roleplay, and especially sacrifice. The Abyss does not give out free lunches.
4: Feel out the desire for PCs to advance LAT genre. In Canon the Lasombra Antitribu were once considered heads and shoulders the most likely clan to gain a Justicar--until the Children of Haqim swooped in. I think it’s time for some counterplay.
5: Work with the Sabbat Coordinator’s office on two main fronts. First to have the Lasombra elders and PCs maneuver to try to create an obvious successor to Carboni, or to try to gain control of him directly, as appropriate. Second to incorporate the Ecclesiasticals into the web of Sabbat faction politics in an organic and player friendly way.
6: Play up the existing and intricate relationship between the clan, and the Catholic Church.
7: Reaffirm, however quietly, the supremacy of Les Amis Noir.