PC Creation Tips and Advice

“Let’s face it, characters are the bedrock of your fiction. Plot is just a series of actions that happen in a sequence, and without someone to either perpetrate or suffer the consequences of those actions, you have no one for your reader to root for, or wish bad things on.”
Icy Sedgwick

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If you’re reading this page, you’ve probably been linked to it from Blood & Bourbon’s Roll20 listing or Google Form survey. Both of those detail five steps for creating a PC:

• #1. Character concept.
• #2. Basic shtick.
• #3. Clan.
• #4. Faction.
• #5. Mortal relationships.
• #6. Vampire relationships.

This page aims to provide deeper advice on how to create a PC with a compelling background and relationships that is more likely to be accepted into the game.


Step #0: General Advice


Explore the Wiki: Do this before you create a PC. B&B’s wiki contains an enormous amount of information about the game’s setting and characters. Hopefully, it will help to fire up your imagination and will inspire and inform PC concepts. Here are some places to start:

Exploring the Wiki

B&B’s wiki is huge! The layout can be confusing to new players. I recommend reading the pages off the Main Page in the following order:

1. Theme and Mood. This will tell you about, as the name implies, the game’s themes and moods.

2. History. This will tell you about how things came to be the way they are and provides the context for the city’s present conflicts. Vampires are immortal creatures and New Orleans is an old city: history informs the actions of many characters.

3. Political Primer gives you a rundown of the setting’s political factions and their present-night conflicts with one another, as well as what vampires hold what titled positions in the city.

4. Laws and Customs tell you about the city’s Kindred culture, including local variations on the Traditions and how the prince handles crime and punishment.

5. The Character Portal is perhaps the wiki’s most important page, as it contains information about the game’s mortal and vampire NPCs. Blood & Bourbon is a heavily character-driven game. Players use the Character Portal as their primary resource when developing sires and other NPC connections with the GM.

X. The Adventure Logs are readable before or after any of the above pages, so they get listed as Step X. Since B&B is a text-based game, these are full transcripts of the game sessions that read more like a book series than a summary of past sessions. They’re probably my favorite part of the Obsidian Portal wiki: everything else is ultimately supplementary material to playing the game, and the logs are the game as it’s been played.

Beyond that, the wiki has a bunch of other pages you can explore in more or less any order. They’re all linked to on the Main Page.

Write What You Know: This is timeless advice that’s especially applicable to B&B. B&B is a text-based game that can play out scenes in lots of depth and specificity. If you want to portray a PC who’s an expert at something you know nothing about, you may struggle to convincingly do so. Conversely, if there is something you know a lot about in real life, consider making it relevant to your PC. For example, our former paralegal player has a lawyer PC. Our former massage therapist player has a PC who owns a spa. Their real-life knowledge and experience really shines through in their writing!

Player enthusiasm is the biggest thing our group looks for in applications. Do you seem passionate about the setting and excited to play? That’s the most important quality in a prospective player. I can help players improve their writing (to a point). I can help players refine their PC’s concept, goals, and relationships. Enthusiasm is the one thing I can’t help players with, beyond the effort I’ve put into the game’s OP wiki and Roll20 listing/Google Form survey. Our group will always pick an enthusiastic newbie player with decent writing over a 20-year veteran with fantastic writing who only seems passingly interested in the game. I’ve gamed with lots of players and the enthusiastic players are the ones who stick around for the long haul.

Good writing is the next-biggest thing our group looks for. This is a text-based game. Players who are good writers obviously enrich it considerably. I feel pretty lucky that the current players are great writers and I’d like to see that lucky streak continue. If we have to pick between two prospective players who are an enthusiastic so-so writer and an enthusiastic great writer, then we’ll pick the great writer.

Sample Applications: If you want to read some sample PC applications by two of the game’s current players, you can do so here. Both of them wrote amazing applications that could’ve (and did) get them accepted into the game.

Questions: Do you have questions about anything that aren’t answered on this page? Feel free to reach out to the GM. I can be contacted over Discord through the username False Epiphany#8386.


Step #1: Character Concept


“Character design, like story design, requires a hook to grab the reader’s attention.”
Ted Naifeh

Sum up your character concept in four words or less.
Examples might be, “Rebel without a cause,” “Sadomasochistic biker chick,” “Vision-plagued surrealist painter,” etc.

“Describe your PC in four words” doesn’t need much further advice. Here are the concepts of some of the game’s current and prior PCs as some additional examples, though:

• “Cannibal redneck arms tycoon”
• “Image-obsessed esthetician”
• “Life-weary occult detective”
• “Power-hungry heiress”
• “Sinner with a smile”
• “Two-faced hotelier”


Actually, one bit of advice after all: don’t include your PC’s clan or covenant as part of their concept. The best characters stand on their own two legs without it.

Almost all character concepts, by the way, can be compelling concepts. I’m a pretty firm believer that ideas are rarely bad ideas, just badly executed ideas.


Step #2: Basic Shtick


“The main question in drama, the way I was taught, is always, ‘What does the protagonist want?’ That’s what drama is. It comes down to that. It’s not about theme, it’s not about ideas, it’s not about setting, but what the protagonist wants.”
David Mamet

What is your PC’s basic shtick?
Who is your PC? Include their goals and whatever else you like here: history, personality, anything that gives us a preview of the character and makes us excited to develop them further. Goals is the most important part of your shtick. What agendas is your PC pursuing in Kindred society? What do you want them to accomplish in the gameworld? This a pretty sandboxy game that favors proactive, go-getting characters: storylines tend to develop as a result of PC crossing paths with NPCs who are pursuing related agendas, rather than because the GM is shepherding PCs onto an ongoing “main plot.”

All right, let’s delve into this.

The Most Important Thing: Goals, Goals, Goals

What do you want to spend the game doing with your PC?

What do you want your PC to accomplish in the setting?

Your PC’s goals are your answer to those questions. Goals are your statement to the GM of, “This is the story I want to tell with my PC.” Goals are the agendas your PC pursues in Kindred (and mortal) society. These can be as grand and ambitious as “overthrow the city’s prince” or as small and personal as, “win the affections of my long-held crush.”

I do not want PCs with nebulous or undefined goals, or who want to figure out their goals over the course of play! While interaction with the gameworld will (and should) change your PC’s goals, your character should have a clear agenda to pursue when their story begins.

Feel free to dream big, too, where goals are concerned. Some goals may take more time and effort to achieve than others, but very few are impossible if players put their minds to them. Watching PCs change the gameworld in consequential and unexpected ways is one of my favorite things about GMing.

Backstory

Goals are more important than backstory. One thing I’ve learned in my ~14 years of gaming is that PC backstory doesn’t matter (or at least doesn’t have to matter) very much. You certainly can write rich and compelling backstories that provide the GM with plot hooks; but don’t forget the game is where the story happens. You can write a perfectly playable PC without any backstory so long as they have interesting goals and character connections. Put your thought into those.

Some good examples of this, by the way, are Pete’s and Emily’s Sample Player Applications. Emily’s PC has no backstory. Pete’s PC has extensive backstory. Both are strong and compelling PCs.

If you include a significant backstory, don’t detail how your PC is Embraced or by whom. We’ll figure that out over of their prelude.

Interest

Give your PC connections to parts of the setting you find interesting. Are you interested in NOLA’s Catholic heritage? Make your PC a Catholic. Do you like French Quarter party culture? Consider making your PC a nightclub owner. Etcetera. Your PC is your vehicle to explore the game world. Give them ties to things you find interesting.

This is what I do, by the way, whenever I’m creating a PC for a game: I identify the areas of the setting that are most interesting to me, then I construct a PC around those.

Natives or Newcomers?

I address this topic in its own section on the Google Form survey/Roll20 listing.

“PCs must be Embraced in New Orleans and must have been residents of the city prior to their Embraces. They can be born in the city or they can have moved to the city later in their lives. If they are not from New Orleans, please do not significantly detail their pasts outside of the city, as it will be irrelevant to the chronicle. This is intended to foster PC connections to the setting and deeper ties to its residents.”

Am I opposed in principle to extralocal PCs? Actually, no. The city’s biggest industry is tourism and it sees tons of out-of-town visitors, Kindred and kine alike. However, most tourists don’t decide to stay in the city for good. PCs are obviously staying in the city for good. I have yet to read a compelling pitch for a PC who was not a resident of New Orleans—the player inevitably details an extensive past beyond the city that is, frankly, useless to me. The only way to make an extralocal PC’s past relevant to the game is to bring it to New Orleans, which can necessitate more GM work. It’s easier just to nip the whole thing in the bud and say “all PCs must be residents of the city” and to keep players’ focus on where it should belong: ties to the city.

We have several PCs who were born and Embraced beyond the city. All of these PCs were created by players who had been with the game for a long time, knew the GM well, and knew what pitfalls to avoid in order to keep their PCs’ stories centered on New Orleans. As in many games, having an existing relationship with the GM lends itself to being trusted with more nontraditional character concepts.

Avoid Overlap with Existing PCs

If you’re thinking of playing a power-hungry lawyer from an old money family, or a hedonistic spa owner with DID/multiple personalities… it’s a good thing you’re reading this! We already have two such PCs in play at this time.

Check out the Characters Page. See all the PCs above the black boxes which read “The below PCs are not in regular play”? The above PCs are the ones in regular to semi-regular play. Check out their pages. Try to make your PCs conceptually distinct from them. Most PC pitches I’ve read for the game are distinct from its current PCs, but there was one occasion when we got a PC pitch for a police officer investigating mysteries related to his father. Guess what? At the time, we had a PC currently in play who was a police officer investigating mysteries related to his father. The PC pitch was well-written, but I turned it down due to conceptual overlap.

(Said PC is also now deceased. If anyone else wants to play a police officer investigating mysteries related to his father, feel free.)


Step #3: Clan


“It will have blood, they say; blood will have blood.”
William Shakespeare

What clans interest you? Please identify at least three.
Multiple clans gives me more wiggle room when considering how to integrate your PC into the chronicle: some clans may be better fits for your concept than others. (Please don’t pick every clan, though! That’s essentially asking me to decide your clan for you.) More information about clans in B&B can be found here. Toreador, Tzimisce, and Ventrue are off-limits to new PCs at this time due to conceptual overlap with extensively played current and prior PCs.

Really, I don’t have a lot more to add about clans. Almost any of them except Toreador, Tzimisce, and Ventrue are okay potential fits into the game at this time. I say “potential” because it depends on the PC concept. For example, a Vodouisant character is less likely to work as a Tremere. If someone pitches a Vodouisant Tremere that doesn’t work as presented, multiple clans means they have backup options.

Toreador and Ventrue are off-limits because they’ve seen by far the most play out of all clans: roughly 3,000 pages of adventure logs each. All of the other clans, combined, come out to “just” 1,800 pages! As such, since my objective is to explore new ground with new PCs, I’m not picky about what clans prospective players pick. They will all be comparatively un-tread ground next to the Toreador and Ventrue.

Tzimisce have seen no play, but are off-limits due to overlap with Celia’s big shtick (a fleshcrafting esthetician) and the fact they have such a small presence in the setting.


Step #4: Faction


“Sitting on the fence can only ever get you one thing. Splinters!”
Anonymous

What political factions interest you?
More information about the setting’s can be found here. Note that the Tremere and most of the independent clans (Assamites, Giovanni, Setites) are insular enough clans to be factions in their own rights. PCs from these clans can belong to another faction, but don’t have to.

New Orleans has multiple political factions known as covenants that we’ve imported from Vampire: The Requiem and tailored to fit Masquerade’s setting.

Dual Membership

Unlike clans, PCs can belong to more than one covenant. There are multiple NPCs who do. They’re also a minority next to single-covenant members: just remember that quote about serving two masters…

As in all things, consult with the GM if you are interested in going this route with your PC. Some covenants are pretty chummy with one another, some have mixed or neutral feelings, and some are bitter enemies: some covenants will be easier and/or more plausible for PCs to hold dual membership in than others.

The Anarch Movement

If your PC belongs to this faction, please note which of its two camps they most sympathize with (and to what degree). The Anarchs aren’t quite as divided as the Sanctified (they don’t have two separate wiki pages!), but the covenant still has significant internal dissent.

The Bourbon Sanctified

No additional tips or requirements for playing PCs from this faction.

The Circle of the Crone

We have yet to see any PCs from this faction. Its NPCs have received the least screentime out of any of the major factions. Vodoun is a huge part of New Orleans’ history and culture, and the GM would like to give more spotlight to those Kindred who practice it through a Crone PC.

In some ways, it’s not a surprise we’ve only had one Crone PC, as most players don’t know much about Vodoun as a religion and have expressed understandable reservations about convincingly portraying a Vodouisant character. There are few things more immersion-breaking than watching someone try to roleplay their PC as an expert in a subject they don’t know anything about. (GMs have it easier with roleplaying NPC experts, since their scenes are briefer.)

However, there is also an easy solution to this for Vodoun-interested, Vodoun-unfamiliar players: have your PC’s knowledge mirror your own knowledge. Make your PC a newcomer to the religion who’s interested in learning more about it, a “lay member” of the faith (e.g., not a full-fledged houngan or mambo), or otherwise give them ties to Vodoun that don’t presuppose expert knowledge about its practices. We’ve had plenty of Christian PCs, but only one was a priest. Our Jewish PC wasn’t a rabbi. Ditto for Vodoun. Most followers of a religion aren’t part of the clergy!

Don’t play a Crone if another faction interests you more, though! If Vodoun isn’t your jam, that’s okay. You will have more fun and better enrich the game through playing whatever PC most excites you. That will always shine through in your writing.

The Hardline Sanctified

We’ve had multiple Hardline Sanctified PCs who were heterodox thinkers, heretics, spiritual oddballs, doubters, and even atheists who joined the faction out of circumstance or political convenience. The “nonbeliever Hardliner” character concept has been done, and done many times. As such, the GM asks that any pitched Hardliner PCs be true believers in the faith. The Bourbon Sanctified are a better fit for Sanctified who hew less closely to their faith’s tenants.

The Invictus

No additional tips or requirements for playing PCs from this faction.

The Ordo Dracul

No additional tips or requirements for playing PCs from this faction.


Step #4: Mortal Relationships


“He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.”
Aristotle

Who are some mortals your PC has relationships with?
These can be friends, family members, significant others, work associates: any NPC who grabs your interest and you’d enjoy your PC interacting with. Mortal interactions are a major part of Blood & Bourbon, as I believe they keep the chronicle “grounded” in real life and provide contrast to the supernatural politics. Choose them from the personae off the wiki. Please describe either the nature of the relationship or why you think these NPCs will be fun to interact with.

The more, the better! The more relationships you describe, the clearer the picture I’ll have for how for how your PC fits into the game world, which in turn is likely to make the existing group and I more interested in playing with your PC. Character relationships are the heart of this game. For that reason, we are also more interested in deep relationships than shallow ones; that is, we’d rather know (as a random example) who your PC’s father is than about the waitress they sometimes flirt with.

Do not only list prospective pawns and ghouls! Some players do this. I am interested in people your PC knew and cared about from their mortal life; i.e., actual friends and loved ones. The group finds PCs without meaningful mortal relationships to be far less interesting and is unlikely to accept them for the game.

All vampires were once human. I tend to run longer preludes and to make mortal relationships big parts of the game: as the Roll20 listing/Google Form survey says, I think they do a lot to keep the setting grounded in real life and relatable to it.

Here are some potential sources to consider for your PC’s relationships:

Relatives: All of us come from families. Most of us have family members in our lives. They can be biological relatives, adopted relatives, in-laws, step-relatives: whatever. Your PC’s family might be small or it might be large. I’ve seen compelling PCs without families, but I’ve seen more compelling PCs with families. Who’s in your PC’s? Even newcomers to New Orleans might have married into a local family or have relatives in the city.

The Families page can be particularly useful for players interested in giving their PCs ties to the setting’s established families. (Keep in mind: it’s not comprehensive! Most of the game’s mortal NPCs have relatives, they just aren’t detailed.)

Romantic partners: People crave intimacy. Your PC might have a current romantic partner or they might be single. They might have few prior partners or they might have many prior partners. Their past relationships might have ended terribly or they might have ended amicably. Even people too damaged to handle relationships are likely to know that because of prior bad experiences. What sort of love life has your PC had?

Friends: Some people think society undervalues friendships next to family and significant others, but our friends are some of the most important relationships in our lives. There is something we like enough about these people to spend time with them not compelled by blood ties, and unlike S/Os we usually don’t have to choose one to the exclusion of others. Who does your PC call friend?

Work associates: Most people work for a living. Most people who work have co-workers, subordinates, or bosses. We can like these people, hate them, or be indifferent towards them, but work takes up a good chunk our lives and social relationships are an inevitable result. Many of our friends and S/Os are people we meet through work. Who does your PC know through their job(s)?

Feel free to change details about the wiki’s NPCs! I mention this on the Families page, but it’s worth repeating. Do you want your PC to be the lead singer in a band that already has an NPC lead singer? Great, we can change the NPC to be second singer. Do you want two unrelated NPCs to be your PC’s siblings? Great, we can change them to be siblings after all. Do you want an NPC with an NPC spouse to be your PC’s spouse? Great, we’ll change your PC to be the spouse. (Maybe the previous spouse is an ex of theirs.) Anything on the wiki that’s not been established in-game is subject to change—names, dates, ages, family ties, whatever.

Please limit yourself to changes that only affect small numbers of NPCs (e.g., “This waitress works at my PC’s restaurant rather than Commander’s Palace”) rather than huge swaths of the setting (e.g., “Vidal actually isn’t the prince.”). The GM is also okay with minor retcons to the game’s continuity, so long as they don’t invalidate another PC’s actions. For example, we once had an NPC tell a previous PC that she had four kids. When we later decided to make her a new PC’s mom, I changed the NPC’s dialogue line to say she had five kids. It was a minor edit that didn’t affect how the scene would’ve played out.

Bottom line, the content on the wiki isn’t meant to be a straitjacket. It’s there to serve your PC, not the other way around. We can change it if we want to.


Step #5: Kindred Relationships


“And those you treasure most of all, the offspring of your pride
Shall war among themselves according to their blood:
Brother against brother, young against old, weak against strong,
Until the best are vanquished and the ranks of your family laid waste.”

The Erciyes Fragments

Who are some other vampires your PC has relationships with?
These can be sires, coterie-mates, lovers, associates, enemies: as with mortals, these can be any NPCs who grab your interest and you’d enjoy your PC interacting with. Choose them from the same personae linked to in the earlier clan and covenant questions. Please describe either the nature of the relationship or why you think these NPCs will be fun to interact with.

As with mortals, the more, the better! The more relationships you describe, the clearer the picture I’ll have for how for how your PC fits into the game world, which in turn is likely to make the existing group and I more interested in playing with your PC.

As with mortals, some potential sources below consider. This list isn’t intended to be comprehensive; some NPCs who interest you may not fit into any of the categories below. The important thing is to identify ones you find interesting and want your PC to interact with.

Sires. This is the most significant relationship many Kindred will ever have. Some sires, whether by free choice or forced circumstance, have little to no role in their progeny’s lives. Even still, who a vampire’s sire is profoundly shapes their future in Kindred society. The opportunities open to a Ventrue prince’s childe—and the expectations they are held to—will be nothing like those of a Caitiff neonate’s byblow. Many sires also do have prominent roles in their progeny’s unlives. Some abuse their childer horrendously. Some treat their childer with the same affection as their own mortal flesh and blood. More fall somewhere in between.

Coterie-mates: A neonate’s existence can be a lonely and dangerous one. Many young Kindred band together in groups for mutual protection and assistance, as well as for simple companionship: even the undead want friends. A neonate’s coterie-mates are likely the Kindred they see most often on a night-to-night basis. Consult the Krewes and Coteries page for a list of coteries. I will mention… this page is not up to date. There are a lot of coteries I haven’t posted, or have only posted sparse details on. Feel more than free to propose your own coteries, including whatever neonates you think would be interesting to interact with.

Kindred relatives. This is one of many things determined by who your PC’s sire is. Some Kindred have no kin beyond their sires. Others may have broodmates (“brothers and sisters” also Embraced by their sire), childer of their own, grandsires or more distant ancestors, and hail from vast “families.” One’s relatives make natural allies or bitter rivals. Many of the clan pages have examples of Kindred family trees.

Lovers: Even the dead want love, or at least pleasure. Has your PC ever been intimate with another Kindred? More than one? Not all vampires seek out carnal relationships among their own kind, for liaisons with other predators can be dangerous, but the temptation is always there. No one else can fully understand one vampire except another vampire.

Rivals: Kindred fight. Kindred feud. Rare is the Kindred who doesn’t have something another Kindred covets. The cold war between the city’s factions pushes its neonates towards conflict: Bourbon against Hardliner, Hardliner against Crone, Crone against Bourbon. The other factions frequently find themselves drawn into the conflict between the “big three,” and have their own hates and rivalries as well. Has your PC clashed with other vampires?

Feel free to change details about the wiki’s NPCs! All of the above I said with regards to mortal NPCs applies to vampire NPCs too.


Other Questions


Finally, some miscellaneous topics that have come up.

• Please do not include game stats for your character. We’ll work on those later.

• You can pitch more than one character. This may increase your odds of being accepted into the game if I think the second/third/whatever-th character is a better fit than the first one. If I think more than one of your pitches is a good fit, we can still have your alternate PC show up as an NPC, or perhaps a secondary PC (see the “Multiple PCs” section), depending on your preferences.

• This is a text-based game, so proper spelling, grammar, and syntax is important. We all make typos, but I am likely to pass over a character pitch that’s riddled with errors.


Age


Mortal Age

How old was your PC when they were Embraced? A college student (or person of equivalent age) just leaving the parental nest? A 20something who’s made it (or trying to) in the real world? A 30something who’s settled into a career? A 40something or older who’s started to face their mortality?

Most Embraces happen to people in their 20s and 30s: sires tend to prefer childer who are young enough to still mold and to enjoy the fruits of eternal youth. Younger and older outliers happen, though. There’s no right or wrong age to play: it’s all a question of how you see your character and what mortal relationships you want them to have.

I have one requirement: no teenagers or younger characters. I’m generally not interested in telling stories about high schoolers.

Kindred Ages

You have a couple options as far as when your PC was Embraced and how long they’ve been vampires:

Last Night: Your PC is freshly Embraced (a night ago or less), brand new to undeath, and doesn’t know anything about how Kindred society works. I recommend this option to players with no previous Masquerade experience, as it allows your character’s knowledge about the setting to mirror your knowledge as a player. Lack of familiarity with Masquerade becomes a plus and will help you play your PC’s reactions authentically. I will usually steer more experienced players away from this option for the same reason, as it is harder for them to portray a “total newcomer” PC authentically.

2016 through 2019: The 2016 Battle of Mt. Carmel and its follow-on conflicts (detailed on the History page) saw a number of Kindred meet final death. The prince granted a number of new Embraces in the aftermath. His rivals also grew bolder in turning a blind eye towards the Third Tradition among their followers. A great many new vampires were sired during these years. (The chronicle’s current in-game year is 2019.)

2010 through 2016: Neonates can be Embraced during these years without any special considerations. More Embraces happened closer towards the present as the city’s population rebounded from Katrina.

2005 through 2010: Very few neonates were Embraced in the city during these years. Hurricane Katrina caused a huge population drop (454,000 to 208,000 in the city proper, greater metro area excluded) and the prince put a moratorium on new Embraces. However, there are several ways a neonate could have been sired during these years:

• Your PC might have been Embraced illegally and be lying about their age or where they were Embraced.
• Your PC might have been Embraced in another city. Many of New Orleans’ Kindred fled the city during Katrina and settled elsewhere. Some stayed away, but others came back. The majority of these “Katrina refugees” settled in Houston and Baton Rouge. In this manner, PCs can be Embraced beyond the city but still have a native sire.
• Your PC’s sire might have gotten permission from the prince anyway despite the general moratorium. It should also have a compelling reason. Why was Vidal willing to allow a new Embrace despite the heightened risk more vampires posed to the Masquerade?

Pre-2005: Many neonates Embraced during these years were either killed during Hurricane Katrina by the storm’s assorted dangers, or else left the city and never came back. Only the most stubborn, foolish, or loyal to an elder patron remained in the city when the hurricane made landfall: everyone else got the hell out of Dodge, as the governor’s mandatory evacuation order meant the city was almost emptied of mortals to feed on. Travel is dangerous for Kindred, though, and was even more so during the mass exodus. Many “Katrina refugees” were killed by Lupines, hunters, Strix, and other perils during the 300-mile journey to neighboring Houston. Baton Rouge was closer, but primarily drew Nosferatu, Invictus Kindred, and elders—the much smaller city’s prince was stingy who he granted sanctuary to.

Your PC could have been among these Katrina survivors. Consider where they went (or if they remained behind) during the storm, how those events impacted them, and what drew them back to New Orleans. Displaced neonates returned in smaller numbers than displaced older Kindred, as they had fewer ties to the city and were able to build new unlives for themselves.

Maximum Age: A new player’s PC can be up to several decades old. The GM wants them to be young enough that people from their mortal life are still up and around (vice on their deathbeds in nursing homes). Ancilla and elder characters are not available to new players.

Also, a final note: older characters can more easily justify purchasing higher traits. This will matter less to some players than others, but I throw it out as a heads up. The game’s players can testify the GM is a stickler for this and will say “no” to a months-old fledgling waltzing around with 10 Discipline dots (unless they become a serial diablerist). Characters with a few years of undeath under their belt have more room to grow where supernatural power is concerned.


Mortal Ancestry


New Orleans is famous for its unique blending of cultures and the ancestry of PCs benefits from reflecting that. Consult the Nationalities of the Big Easy page for information about the nationalities, ethnicities, and assorted immigrant groups to be found in the Big Easy. You can choose one (or more than one; intermarriage is a thing) for your PC’s ancestry: “generic white person” does a disservice to New Orleans’ rich cultural heritage.

Ancestry/national origin is less important to neonate PCs than older vampires, so don’t get too caught up on making your character a culturally authentic German/Filipino/whatever. It’s simply informative to know where your PC came from, and likely to color interactions with Kindred who were Embraced in time periods when social attitudes were different.


Reused PCs


I’ve had several prospective players ask this question. My answer is yes, so long as they re-tailor their PC’s background and concept to fit Blood & Bourbon’s setting.

Here’s an example of how to do this wrong and how to do this right:

Wrong: “My character is a Tremere historian from London with a background in classical history with who joined the Cult of Mithras, a somewhat unusual move given the animosity between the clan and London’s prince. All of his friends and family are in London, but he’ll meet new people in New Orleans.”

Right: “My character is a Malkavian (because you’ve had fewer Malkavian PCs!) historian from New Orleans with a background in antebellum history who joined the Baron’s followers, a somewhat unusual move given the animosity between his sire and the Baron. All of his friends and family are from New Orleans and are chosen from characters off the wiki’s NPC lists, since he’s lived in the city for at least several years.”

What does the “right” PC here do? They retain the spirit of the PC’s original background but rework it to be relevant to Blood & Bourbon’s setting. So long as your PC has that going for them, I don’t care if you’ve played them in a previous campaign before or not. Do a good job fitting them into the setting and I won’t be able to know unless you tell me.

The “wrong” PC has few connections to Blood & Bourbon’s setting and it’s easy to tell they’re a “transplant.” Directly porting over a PC without any changes is also a red flag to me that the player isn’t invested in the chronicle and simply wants to continue playing a favorite PC under any GM who will take them. All power to the player if they can find a willing GM, but that won’t be me. I have no emotional investment in PCs from other games or any interest in continuing their stories, as B&B is its own story. If a player is invested in B&B, they will have more fun playing a “native” character who has meaningful social and thematic ties to the setting.

The GM will freely change events from a transplanted PC’s background to suit the needs of B&B’s setting. If a player’s old PC diablerized a methuselah during the last game they were in, that might get scrapped for the simple reason that it overshadows the chronicle’s events. However, it could get reworked into something like “diablerized one of the elders who disappeared during Hurricane Katrina,” which would be a neat connection to the setting.

Ultimately, if a player wants to re-use an old character, the GM recommends viewing their past incarnation more as inspiration for a PC specific to Blood & Bourbon than as a PC the player should expect to continue playing as-is.

PC Creation Tips and Advice

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