Nick Wittman is a Vampire: the Requiem Storyteller with Australia's Beyond the Sunset LARP (the national affiliate of an international World of Darkness LARP game). He took up the position after less than a year's experience, having attended his first Vampire game with a friend in June, 2011. A few months ago, he leapt into the Requiem Storyteller's shoes so he's certainly had an interesting experience.
Shannon: "So what's it like jumping into the Storyteller position so soon after you started playing?"
Nick: "It's daunting to say the least. This is one of the smallest domains in Australia so we only recently had need for a Domain Storyteller so I'm lucky in that we have the Storyteller and Co-Ordinator groups learning at the same time to help me with that. But to need to learn all the back-end of it while I am still learning the actual rules as a player is interesting."
Shannon: "What have been the main hurdles for you so far?"
Nick: "The main hurdles have been the fact that the other, older, more experienced players are still in the mindset of me as a new player, as am I. So it's difficult with the whole, 'My word goes because I'm ST' type thing."
Shannon: "Yeah, it can be hard to lay down the law when you're newer to a game then they are. Do you have any advice for anyone else who finds themselves in a similar position?"
Nick: "Remember that you are right and if all else fails and the players aren't happy with your ruling, don't be afraid to ask your DST for a ruling and be ready to make compromises. Other than that, just keep on top of the current addenda. A lot of players will be keeping up to date on that so if you aren't that puts you at a disadvantage."
Shannon: "So how many sessions have you run so far? And out of them, what's been some of the most enjoyable moments?"
Nick: "I have so far run four sessions. The most enjoyable session so far would have had to have been my second one. I had a player playing the leader of the plot at the time and my plot nearly started a war between two clans and two cities. To have my plot influencing stuff at that scale so early on was a blast. Oh and she got to flip a table In Character and Out Of Character. Which she was very happy about."
Shannon: "What are some of the lowlights? Moments that you found difficult? Areas of the LARP that didn't come so easily to you?"
Nick: "In the combat heavy plot I've been running so far, there have been a few character deaths and you can really see how it affects some characters when other characters die. For example, my own characters In Character brother is one of the characters killed by my plot so there is a bit of hardship there."
Shannon: "Do you do anything special when a character dies? Perhaps hold an out-of-character remembrance or something?"
Nick: "I generally just buy them a drink or two at after game drinks."
Shannon: "Always a good bet. I tend to give mine apology cookies or cupcakes though I tend to rarely kill off characters. Do you have any advice for Storytellers who are about to come into the role soon after starting as a player?"
Nick: "Keep confident. Make sure you go over the common powers of your genre often. For example, I knew I didn't know much about Majesty in Requiem, so before my first few games I re-read them to make sure I knew what was going on. Know your time line for the game, when NPC's are coming in, etc. and know your goals for the night."
Shannon: "Okay, there we have it. All good pointers, Nick. I know that I had to read the primary game manuals every three months when I was running a LARP game for the Camarilla. I also had to study the addenda and contemplate what those things meant. Thanks for the interview!"