Humanity. In the World of Darkness, the supernatural creatures you usually play have a level of disdain, if not outright hatred for humanity. In Vampire, humans are the food you consume. In Werewolf, they are the creatures that are destroying Gaia. In Mage, they are the sleepers that produce the consensus you must navigate to work your magic. In Changeling, they are the banal creatures you must encourage to produce art and at the same time are frequently trying to will you out of existence. In Wraith, well, you might wish you were still with your mortal kin, but you are severely distanced from them.
Yet, playing humans in the World of Darkness can be exciting, interesting, and deep. You’ll want to sprinkle in knowledge of the supernatural side of the World of Darkness slowly, but as you do you’ll give your players a window into the darker side of life.
Here are a few starting concepts for human focused chronicles.
1) The Scooby Gang:
You are a group of normal human college kids that have struck out to discover the truth about the supernatural. Perhaps one of your friends was killed by a Vampire, or had their lives destroyed by a greedy Fae.
2) The Academics:
You are a group of well educated, archaeologists, or historians that know just enough about the secret hidden worlds around humanity. Perhaps you’ve uncovered some fragments of the Book of Nod, or you’ve realized that ghosts do seem to exist. Together you seek out more knowledge, not to fight the supernatural, but to catalog and understand it.
3) The Gang:
You are a group of tough men and women you run the streets. You’ve pushed drugs, run some collections, and you’ve also seen some weird shit. One weekend you lost 3 gang members to a random assault. A few weeks later… they came back, but you weren’t having any of that zombie shit and you offed them, again. You still can’t quite figure out what happened, but you’ve started seeing strange creatures hanging around, watching your crew and you’re pretty sure you’re going to need to go to war.
4) Grieving Family:
You are a family who has recently lost a parent, but that parent needs to reach their children. You’ve been talking about their life, memorializing them, and then the lights start to flicker, you see them, and messages begin to appear in the house. Thought it won’t be easy, you know you’ll need to decipher these clues quickly or something worse will happen. What that worse is… you don’t know… and you might not want to know.
5) Acting Troupe/LARPers:
You’ve been really into this new improvisational acting game that just got released, Weirdo: The Strangeness. Playing this game excites the group in a way that Who’s Line never did, and you want to play it every chance you get. The Storyteller for this game is a strange, gruff, tall, ham-fisted woman who may simply be… trolling… your group. Even if she is, she has a way of making you all feel like you are a part of something bigger than yourself. Game tonight, don’t forget your costume!
6) The Police:
You are a part of a small city police force. You, your partner, and a few other members of the force have stumbled across some strange footprints in the park. This park often has odd sightings, and at least once a month… on the full moon… some member of the populace is got a few blocks away screaming that they saw… something terrifying. You’ve decided you are going to stake out the place, trying to find the reason for these weird occurrences. Maybe you’ll find something… maybe you won’t.
These are just a few ideas for games that you can use as a springboard to create your own mortal game. I’ve got a mortal game coming up myself. I won’t give away any details here, but I’m hoping to give them a slow sense of foreboding… until they witness something… monstrous in the night.
With 17 years of playing rpgs, Josh started with Mind's Eye Theater LARPs and loves the World of Darkness. He recently launched,www.keepontheheathlands.com to support his gaming projects. Josh is the administrator of the Inclusive Gaming Network on Facebook. He’s a player in Underground Theatre’s and One World By Nights Vampire LARPs and is running both a Mage game and a Dark Ages: Vampire game. He’s a serious advocate for inclusive gaming spaces, a father, and a recent graduate from the International Peace and Conflict Resolution graduate program at American University in Washington, D.C.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.