Las Vegas by Night
Recently I had the honor of interviewing By Night Studios, the producers of Las Vegas's exciting live action vampire RPG convention "Las Vegas by Night"! The 2015 convention will take place at the Palms Casino September 24-27. More details can be found on their their official website www.masqueradebynight.com. Enjoy!
1.) Where did the idea for Las Vegas by Night come from? How did you become involved?
Las Vegas by Night is the most recent in a series of “City by Night” conventions that we host annually for World of Darkness fans. The first was in New Orleans, in 2010, hosted by White Wolf/CCP to celebrate the community. CCP continued to sponsor this yearly event for several years in partnership with the Camarilla Fan Club, moving it around the country—Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Nashville.
This year, By Night Studios is very proud to be one of the event producers, again in partnership with the Camarilla Fan Club. We sponsored the Los Angeles by Night event in 2013, where we ran Blood & Betrayal, the very first Vampire The Masquerade LARP using our new rules and setting. We’re very happy to join the CFC at the helm of this year’s event. Seeing the international World of Darkness community gather annually to celebrate these incredibly rich and evocative games is absolutely incredible, and we want to continue to use our skills to make this once-a-year event a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
2.) Tell us about the role play gaming event you are producing this September?
LVbN aims to be the premiere World of Darkness event of the year, offering four days and nights of entertainment for fans from around the world.
Game-oriented programming includes numerous LARPs set in both the Classic and New World of Darkness; independent LARPs; traditional tabletop roleplaying games; and collectible card games. New players can jump right into the action, too: the World of Darkness fan clubs represented at the convention are ready to welcome new faces, offering them ready-to-play characters and help with all the rules.
Convention guests also have a chance to attend several fabulous parties, including the legendary Succubus Club, a private bash of unrivaled spectacle (open to convention guests only—if you want to indulge in this night of unbelievable World of Darkness decadence, you’ll need to buy a convention pass!).
And By Night Studios is producing two of our own immersive World of Darkness LARP events at the convention. First, there’s Blood & Betrayal 2, a Vampire The Masqerade LARP, is a sequel to the Blood & Betrayal event at Los Angeles by Night—the story continues in Las Vegas, where the Kindred gather to preen and prowl amid the glamour and glitter of the City of Sin. We’re also staging Rage & Retribution, the debut of our Werewolf The Apocalypse LARP, using a preview of our new Werewolf Mind’s Eye Theatre rules.
For us, these games are incredibly special. The actions of the players in these games will go on to define canon storyline in our Mind’s Eye Theatre books. It is very important to us that what the players do with our games gets incorporated into the books themselves, as part of our ongoing love letter to the World of Darkness fan community.
3.) What other events does LVbN produce throughout the year?
Currently, Masquerade by Night is a once-a-year event, with an intense amount of work that goes into making it the premier event for World of Darkness gamers and fans. So, right now, it stands alone. Will there be more in the future? Only time will tell. (Or ask a Mage with lots of dots in the Time sphere, they might know.)
4.) Where did your interest in vampires stem from?
Everyone in By Night Studios grew up loving vampire stories and myths. We read the classics, like Dracula and Carmilla. We grew up with fangtastic 80s and 90s gothic music, and cinema like Lost Boys, Near Dark, and Interview With the Vampire. And, of course, we all played White Wolf’s iconic games. Vampires have been a lifelong passion for us. Who doesn’t want to be beautiful, deadly, and immortal?
5.) Tell us about the company's flagship book "Mind's Eye Theatre: Vampire The Masquerade”.
MET: Vampire (or MET VTM, as fans call it) is the first in a series of books from By Night Studios. Our goal was to take two decades worth of hard-learned lessons about VTM LARP and rebuild the iconic Mind’s Eye Theatre system from the ground up, ensuring that every player could create memorable characters and share the fun. We revised the mechanics to incorporate gameplay that is fast and intuitive, that can be used by the smallest troupe game or massive international LARP organizations. We also advanced the World of Darkness storyline, moving it beyond the world-shattering events of the Final Nights. The world has changed immensely since this game was first released, and we wanted to give fans who have stuck with this franchise for 20 years something meaty and well-polished.
6.) Why do you believe people are attracted to the world of the undead and what enjoyment do people receive from live action role playing within that world?
Because the world is so big and so diverse, it offers an incredible diversity of people the opportunity to immerse themselves in a huge variety of stories—stories that draw us to their emotional power, depth, and drama. Some players want to explore the depths of personal horror, discovering what it means to be an ageless creature slipping slowly into the madness brought on by eternity. Others want to rule the political realm of the night, scheming and plotting and testing their wits against well-matched opponents. Some want to experience the sensual darkness of the vampire, while still others want to appreciate the fleeting beautify of mortality or the churning power of immortality. And everyone wants to have fun.
We think that’s what makes Vampire: the Masquerade and the entire World of Darkness so special. You can explore any and all of those storylines—and often you will, as just one character!
The stereotype of gamers as ‘weirdo nerds’ is long gone. Our community is richly diverse and what players want and get from the game experience is as they are. But one piece of feedback that we get consistently is this: community is important. These players and fans come together not only at yearly events like LVbN, but often much more frequently, and at these events they form friendships with fellow enthusiasts from around the world. It’s more than just a game: it’s a lifestyle of friendship, shared intellectual interests, and a love of creativity. 7.) What are your plans for the future? What would you like to see these events accomplish and aspire to?
We hope to eventually grow these Masquerade by Night conventions beyond the borders of the United States, bringing the fun and excitement to World of Darkness fans in other countries. That’s a huge challenge: these events are expensive to produce and require enormous effort to coordinate and manage, but we think it’s worth it to celebrate the World of Darkness with fans everywhere.
8.) Where can people find out more information about LVbN events and is there anything else you would like for my readers to know?
We would love to see everyone in Las Vegas this September, whether you are a longtime World of Darkness fan or brand new. If you love vampires, werewolves, mages, the fae, and more - come out and play! You can find out more at MasqueradeByNight.com.