The process of creating a character for Parliament of Shadows starts with an email sent to you from our system Larpweaver. It has the link necessary for you to log in.
If you experience issues with the system, feel free to ask questions in the Parliament of Shadows Facebook group or email Juhana Pettersson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Character creation in Parliament of Shadows uses a software tool called Larpweaver and functions a little differently than in most other larps. It’s a combination of pre-written characters and player-created characters, where the characters are built from blocks provided by the larp but chosen by the player.
The final task of assembling a character from the pieces the system provides rests with the player. If you want to emphasize one characteristic over another, feel free. If you feel two characteristics are in conflict, choose the one that works for you. Most of all, it’s your character.
Name and Nationality
The system will ask you to name your character yourself. We decided to make the whole system relatively agnostic in terms of nationality so you can choose what works for you. We recommend making a character of the same nationality as yourself, unless you specifically want to do otherwise. A specific reason to do otherwise could be that your character is in the Eichel group, and you want to play a von Eichel, for example.
The advantage of playing a character of your own nationality is that your language skills will sensibly fit those of your character. In the larp, your character speaks the same languages you do.
The system will offer you a number of choices, after which you’ll answer questions for our personality questionnaire. The process goes as follows:
This is your primary group and main social framework during the larp. If you have nothing else to do, you can always go back to your home group and check what they’re doing. In a lot of the activities in the larp, you’ll move as a group.
Most character belong to one of the five Camarilla lobbyist organizations. The characters in these groups are all ghouls. However, there’s also the choice of playing a character in the sixth group. The characters in this secret group are all mortals. To preserve the secret, you’ll only find out what this group really is until you have completed character creation. Note that this means that you’ll be making some character choices without full knowledge of who your character works for.
The characters in the secret group are also lobbyists, and closely socially connected to the other characters.
- Character seed
This is your unique character concept on which much of the rest of the material builds on.
- Creature type
There are only two types of beings as player characters: ghouls and mortals. Both are entirely dependent on an earlier choice, so this is the point where you choose the only available option.
Kindred blood gives ghouls power. Choose which one here. Mortal characters skip this stage. Most powers follow the template of “You really, really want to be my friend”, where this is what you say to the other player when you use the power. The repeated word “really” lets the other player know that a power is being used and what it does. All powers should be self-explanatory. More information about how they work will be provided later, but a few core principles are that the victim of a power is always the final arbiter of how it works, and effects that affect the mental state of a character wear off after a maximum of half an hour.
- Supernatural history
Ghoul characters have history in Brussels Camarilla. At this stage, you’ll choose an event you were part of. This is to give you a personal connection to the vampire world and to create links between characters who don’t have the same employer. Mortal characters skip this stage.
- Work history
All of you work as lobbyists in the European Union. At this stage, you’ll choose an important recent case from your lobbying career. Often characters from different employers have worked on a common cause. These have been written from the perspective of a Camarilla lobbyist. If your character is a mortal, you can decide which positions of a given issue you lobbied for based on your understanding of your employer. Maybe you lobbied for the Camarilla position without knowing, or maybe against it. Lobbyists who lobbied for opposing viewpoints can still be friends, colleagues and lovers.
- Personality questionnaire
The personality questionnaire presents you with a series of questions about your character and what you want to do with it. It’s meant to spar you on creating the character’s personality. Nothing that comes out of the questionnaire is absolute law; rather, it’s meant to help you do your thing.
Reading the Results
After you’ve finished with the questions, Larpweaver will give you your character. A lot of the stuff you see here is the same as when you made your choices, but there’s also new elements. Read things through carefully.
Filling in the Blanks
You can make up stuff to fill in the blanks left by the material Larpweaver provides. Your character can have a family, a spouse and three children. A house and a dog. Or you can live alone in a rathole with nothing but a mattress on the floor because you work 16 hour days. You can make up childhood friends, favorite colors and previous employers.
After you’ve finished with the character, it’s time to make up connections. We’ll spar you with this during the week before the larp, and also in the workshop. This is a fairly action-packed larp, so you don’t have to worry that you’ll be left without anything to do if you don’t have seven love dramas and three mortal enemies lined up.
You can use the larp’s participant group to come up with the following:
– Old colleagues. Maybe you worked together with someone who’s now at a different organization.
– Lovers and spouses. Maybe you have a boyfriend, a lover or a wife working in one of the other organizations. (And remember, this is open to secret group characters too. Not everybody tells their family that they’re ghouls. The Masquerade is serious business.)
– Characters with shared history. Maybe you’re exes, or one got promoted ahead of another, or maybe you got someone fired. It doesn’t have to become a plot you act on in the larp, it can also bring nuance to social situations.
You can also think about what kind of things you want from your colleagues, but we’ll come back to that later.