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Kelsey Newman Firedancer preforming for Prince Neumann
  By: Katherine Melow

Greetings! For those who might have missed it, there was an Occult Summit held at the Saint Louis University, hosted by the Shadows of Saint Louis Chronicle. The in-character location was the Library of Alex-andria.
All, and I do mean all, creature types were 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.

This year, 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, 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. Marketing 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 next one, Occult Summit 2019!

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

Events in September 2018

CDR - ArtReach Charity Event
Sept. 8th

Equinox - Garou
Sept. 21st - 23rd
Reynoldswood Christian Camp, Dixon, IL
Event Information

Full Event Schedule
Pixar Storytelling

Stolen from Emma Coats's twitter.  In  2011 she tweeted a series of guidelines in story writing that she learned from working at Pixar.  These can help our players with their character goals and backgrounds, but also our storytellers as well.  The 'audience' in our case is the rest of the game as we are all creating a shared story/world.

#1: You admire a character for trying more than for their successes.

#2: You gotta keep in mind what’s interesting to you as an audience, not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be v. different.

#3: Trying for theme is important, but you won’t see what the story is actually about til you’re at the end of it. Now rewrite.

#4: Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

#5: Simplify. Focus. Combine characters. Hop over detours. You’ll feel like you’re losing valuable stuff but it sets you free.

#6: What is your character good at, comfortable with? Throw the polar opposite at them. Challenge them. How do they deal?

#7: Come up with your ending before you figure out your middle. Seriously. Endings are hard, get yours working up front.

#8: Finish your story, let go even if it’s not perfect. In an ideal world you have both, but move on. Do better next time.

#9: When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next. Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.

#10: Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.

#11: Putting it on paper lets you start fixing it. If it stays in your head, a perfect idea, you’ll never share it with anyone.

#12: Discount the 1st thing that comes to mind. And the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th – get the obvious out of the way. Surprise yourself.

#13: Give your characters opinions. Passive/malleable might seem likable to you as you write, but it’s poison to the audience.

#14: Why must you tell THIS story? What’s the belief burning within you that your story feeds off of? That’s the heart of it.

#15: If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.

#16: What are the stakes? Give us reason to root for the character. What happens if they don’t succeed? Stack the odds against.

#17: No work is ever wasted. If it’s not working, let go and move on - it’ll come back around to be useful later.

#18: You have to know yourself: the difference between doing your best & fussing. Story is testing, not refining.

#19: Coincidences to get characters into trouble are great; coincidences to get them out of it are cheating.

#20: Exercise: take the building blocks of a movie you dislike. How d’you rearrange them into what you DO like?

#21: You gotta identify with your situation/characters, can’t just write ‘cool’. What would make YOU act that way?

#22: What’s the essence of your story? Most economical telling of it? If you know that, you can build out from there.

How to not be a Dick
By Keri Svoboda

Step one: Read the house rules

The number of ‘I didn’t realize’ or ‘It doesn’t work that way’ when it’s written out in plain English (or Portuguese for those in Brazil), is a bit tiring for the storyteller.  Make sure that you give the sts the respect they deserve, and read their house-rules.


Step two: Make the Effort to be a Good Person OOC

Being nice to people OOC goes a long way.  Don’t be snarky or condescending. Give people compliments.  Don’t go around complimenting people due to their gender, but telling someone that you appreciate the hard work they put into their costume or character concept makes people feel like you are paying attention and care about them.  Compliment the way the person is, their accomplishments and how they portray a character are easy ways to get people to realize that you are definitely not a Capital D. Even if you don’t like them at first, it opens up a conversation and allows people to recognize that you (most likely) are not the character that you portray.  In a game where we pretend to be evil beings of the night, it’s an important distinction between IC and OOC.


Step Three:  Go to Afters

Spend time with people.  Psychologically speaking, mammals bond over eating meals together.  Some people have social anxiety issues of various degrees. If you want to seem like less of a Capital D to people, invite someone who you’re having trouble with IC to afters, OOC.  It makes a healthy game environment by making sure that the players are separating their IC relationships from OOC relationships.


Step Four: If You Can’t Keep your Cool, Find an ST

That first impulse to continue arguing your point to someone only takes a quick second to shove down.  If you ever feel like you’ve explained this for the last time or that you’re gonna start steaming out of your ears, grab your trusted ST to be a mediator.    Explain the situation, write it down if you have to, and let the ST be a mediator for the issue. People who feel that they have to defend themselves are less likely to listen to what the other person has to say because of a trigger function in the amygdala of the brain, a part of the sympathetic nervous system.  In short, our logical brains shut down and we revert to our ‘fight or flight’ brains, which doesn’t do as much rational talking or consideration.


Step Five:  If You Can, Try to See Things From the Other Perspective

That last one is rough.  Sometimes we don’t realize how we sound because we can’t literally watch ourselves.  Best advice I can give to those folks out there is to record yourself saying things at random times.  When you’re at home, turn on that selfie camera and record yourself saying things when you’re angry or sad, not for others, but for yourself.  Flip the camera on yourself. You might find that your demeanor isn’t what you thought it was.

In the movie, Looper from 2012, Joseph Gordon-Levitt watched typical face movements of Bruce Willis so that he could portray the character better from the ‘younger’ perspective.  It ended up being a fantastic movie and I can’t help but believe that there was an uncomfortable amount of both self-realization and understanding of another actor. It’s something we can all learn from.  Put yourself in someone else’s shoes, how do you appear to them, then try to see the situation from their side. It can’t hurt.


Those are the big things on how to not be a dick.  You would be surprised how far simple things go, and how simple it is to do one.  You don’t have to do all of them, but it certainly helps when you are able to connect with the gamers around you.  At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that we’re all people, not NPCs, and it’s up to us to make sure things get better.

The OWBN Wikis do not exist in-character.  It does represent the information a character would be able to get on other characters using the proper Lore.   This information is 'public knowledge' and may include rumors of varying validity.  More Info at...
Camarilla /// Anarch /// Sabbat /// Garou - Silver Record

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