Williamsburg by Night

         This is the outline of a concept for a role-playing game, a chronicle of Vampire: The Masquerade set in Williamsburg in western Virginia. For those not familiar with role-playing games or Vampire:tM, I would suggest the following Introduction to Vampire: The Masquerade. However, the concept of this chronicle is deliberate contrast with the usual focus of Vampire on seedy metropolis areas and violent gang-style warfare.

         For those who don't know, Colonial Williamsburg is the "world's largest outdoor living history museum". The capital of Virginia from 1699 to 1780, Williamsburg later fell into disuse until the 1920's when the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (supported by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.) began its restoration.

         Williamsburg is thus a stark contrast. On the one hand, it is a living museum which appears much as it did over 200 years ago. On the other hand, it is the site of a multi-million dollar tourism industry which sees thousands of visitors each year.

Chronicle Concepts

         "Williamsburg by Night" plays on these contrasts. Whereas Vampire often concentrates on the chaotic and violent conflicts among clans, Williamsburg is stable, cohesive, and civilized. This is not to say that conflict is not going on -- but rather that it is more likely to play out in oratorical debate in the meeting room, rather than with slashed throats and blood.

         The local Kindred bring new meaning to the term "living history". Most of them are fairly old, with a keen interest in philosophy, education, and history. They are also uniquely organized. The "Prince" of the city terms himself Lieutenant Governor, while Kindred citizens are generally members of the House of Burgesses.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Fri Nov 8 17:26:01 2002