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By: Katherine Melow

Greetings! For those who might have missed it, there was an Occult Summit held in Saint Louis at the Saint Louis University Campus, hosted by the Shadows of Saint Louis Chronicle.
The in-character location is the Library
of Alex-andria. All, and I do mean all, creature types are welcome! This year we had Wraiths floating around, Mages giving presentations, Garou, Vampires (from different sides), Changelings, and even a Fallen or two! And, did I spot a human at that table?

This is a peaceful zone. You can have discussions, debates, even arguments, but there is no violence. The point of the Summit is to allow characters to get together, interact and learn from each other in a way that otherwise may never take place. Characters attending are encouraged to give a presentation, but are by no means required to. It can be about anything from a specific lore to how that character views the current supernatural world. There were presentations on Magic, Mind Therapy, and one of the Fallen gave a presentation that led to very interesting discussion.
There were also two competing vendors on the second night, selling all sorts of crafts. If you prefer being more involved, but do not wish to present, this year there was a scavenger hunt.  Item cards were hidden throughout the room and for each item there was a single clue as to where it was located. People dressed up in amazing costumes, and if it was so desired, there was a photographer on site to do character photos for a small fee. Holly brought buttons, cups, and t-shirts and the first cup to go was “Player’s Tears” followed shortly by “Blood of My Enemies.”
If any of this sounds fun or interesting, keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the Occult Summit 2019!
Events in July 2018

Anarch Event
July 27th-29th,  Croton Point Park
Croton-On Hudson, New York
Event Information

Events in August 2018

West Coast - Gangrel Event
August 17th-19th
Big Meadow Cmpg, Arnold, California
Event Information

Columbus Grand Elysium
August 17th-18th
Residence Inn by Marriott.- Columbus, Ohio
Event Information

OWBN Northeast Event
August 31st - Sept. 2nd
Hilton Garden Inn Springfield , MA
Event Information

Full Event Schedule
The Marketing Team has been busy at work trying to bring new resources and logo gear to you!  Our store is officially open for business.  We currently have T-Shirts, Tote Bags, Decals and more.  We will be adding buttons and other merchandise over the coming weeks.  

Right now we have event shirts for some of the more recent events, make sure to get yours ordered right away!

All items in the store are made by the marketing team to avoid unnecessary expenses.  All funds from the sales go right back to OWbN's marketing efforts.  

Check out our store here!  Buy what you like, we cover the shipping costs so there are no extra fees.  Feel free to drop us a note if there is something you'd like to see come available for purchase. 
The Night in Question LARP

You've probably heard some rumors about a World of Darkness event taking place in Texas.  Those rumors are true.  The event is being hosted by Jackalope LARP, and is shaping up to be a pretty amazing night.  There website has several teaser videos and lots of information about the plot.

Not long ago we wrote a blog post with some details, and gave some information about the admission tickets we have been gifted by Jackalope LARP to participate in the festivities.  Check out our post for details on what we have available.

Respect: The Lost Effort
By Keri Svoboda
Edited by Shane Nichols
Storytellers run the gamut of things that are supposed to be world of darkness to us.  Our job is to make you have fun, and have you experience personal horror as a Character.  But what happens when that personal horror is targeted at the player and not the character?  It’s not always intentional. As gamers, get on that power high or that moment when we are just so excited to be in the place where we thrive that we forget that this isn’t a video game and we aren’t always the hero of the day.  There are other people playing this game with us, and we say things that are hurtful.  Often times, it starts a concoction of aggravation and frustration.  Some people call that metagaming, but often times it’s a method of bullying and a lack of respect for boundaries.   It takes only a little effort to turn anger into respect.
Let’s start with the definition of the word ‘bully.’  To bully someone is defined as the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate someone typically to force him or her to do what one wants.  How we see this in the org is through OOC relations.  People use the networking of game to attempt to force someone to do something they don’t want to.  
There are some things that should be obvious to players interacting with each other.  Sexual assault should never be watered down or dismissed.  Subjects like scenes that the players are comfortable with should be discussed every time prior.  It’s just as easy to say ‘fade to black’ as it is to say ‘I’m okay with continuing this scene for roleplay value.’  It takes two, sometimes three if you’re including the storyteller, so it is up to both parties to say what they are really feeling.  The rule of thumb is if one person is not okay with the graphic details of a scene, then neither are.  Don’t try to push it if you want the graphic details, that will only make you seem like you’re more interested in the player’s discomfort instead of the character’s discomfort.  
Respecting someone’s boundaries is important, and allows them to respect you more for acknowledging them as a human being and not a video game NPC.

 Wording is a lot of the battle when it comes to keeping someone’s respect.   It’s okay to discuss game-related events, but to make your tone more respectful, it’s a good idea to distinguish the difference between Character and Player.  Instead of saying the words ‘you’ or ‘I’, try to use the character’s names.  It helps keep the line between IC (In Character) and OOC (Out of Character) defined so the waters don’t get murky.  By doing this you are respecting the lines that Players have drawn between the characters and themselves.
Never, and I mean never, try to threaten someone on an OOC level to gain IC benefits.  When you have to threaten people on an OOC level to accomplish something IC, that is metagaming and bullying together.  Yes, this includes information you have gained OOC to have IC benefits to you.  Doing this does three things to you as a person.  First, it shows everyone else that you are not capable of playing the game and must cheat to accomplish what you want, internally labeling you as an incompetent person.  Second, making OOC threats opens the door for people to dismiss you because you are seen as a ‘lesser’ person or an enemy.  Third, it ruins the opportunity for you to play with people on any of your characters and limits the pool of people that are willing to interact with you as a person, not counting being a player or character.  Respecting others in their IC pursuit of a story and keeping OOC out of your role play will help you respect each other.

There are going to be a time or two when the mundies, or non-larpers, come across our groups.  They aren’t going to understand it.  Some of them are going to be immature and say mean things about us.  The best thing that you can do is go to an ST and explain what’s bothering you.  There are times where the st can  handle the problem by taking it up with the owner of the site and kick them out for good.  If they can’t kick out the offenders, we always have infamy plots.  Respect the establishment’s want to have a safe, welcoming environment. In turn, a good establishment will respect your want to feel safe too.

This next one is hard, but it takes just a few extra seconds to think about.  How does what you say OOC look from the perspective of the other player?  Good practice for this one is to look at email scenes or messages on Social Media outlets.  If you put some of the words you said to people on your public Social Media outlets, would people get offended?  If someone talked to you like that, would you get defensive, maybe aggressive?  If the answer is yes, think about a better way to phrase what you say.  There’s almost always another way to verbalize what we want to say.  ‘There’s no way you could have known that information’ and ‘I don’t see how you came to that conclusion, can you cite your sources to me or the sts?’ both say  the same thing. “You’re playing the genre wrong” and “I read that a bit different” are very different ways of expressing the same thing. The difference is that one method encourages a defensive or aggressive response, and the other encourages understanding and respect.  

In IC roleplay and the world of darkness, our characters may have prejudices or problems with situations, but it is still important to keep in mind how your portrayal of something may be demean or disrespect other players.  Playing a racist character should be an aspect of the character, but not an overt focal point.  By being culturally accurate, being informed, seeing another perspective, and avoiding OOC disrespect we become better gamers and better people.  By respecting someone else’s perspective, you give yourself a little respect and get the opportunity to understand another person better.
This last part is very important.  After a tough scene where you did some major, or sometimes minor, world of darkness stuff to a Character, make sure you come to the Player once the scene or night is over.  Make sure an storyteller is present and say ‘I want you to know that this was not a personal attack on you, this was just how things happened in character.’  You don’t have to explain to the player why it happened at that time.  You can discuss that with your storyteller so there is a level of transparency.  With your permission, they can make the decision if the information is a good idea to share with the player.  By respecting people’s feelings, being transparent, and reminding them that this action was not targeted at them, personally, it makes the harsh consequence of the scene a little easier to handle.

So, here’s a little checklist of basic things to help remember respect:
  • Make sure ALL participants are okay with the theme of the scene, every time
  • Use the character’s names instead of pronouns to distinguish the difference
  • Never use OOC threats or information to attempt to get IC repercussions/benefits.  
  • In the event that ‘normal people’ make an issue, let the ST’s help
  • Look at your words as if they were about to be said by the other person
  • Take the time to explain why hard scenes are IC and not OOC by being transparent
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Passport Event Stickers

We are up to 7 unique event stickers for collection on your passports.  You can check them all out here!
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