Friends,

There comes a time when one must take a step back, assess life’s demands, and make an honest decision regarding one’s own health and well being.

I find myself in desperate need of this kind of self-assessment now. I love the Underground Theater; I have poured two and a half years of my life into this Org. I have worked as hard as I could afford to work, and invested emotional and mental resources I probably *couldn’t* afford to spend.

It’s time for me to go.

Those resources need to be freed up so that I can invest them in me, so that I can search for and hopefully find a healthy place again. I need to remember my own joy for this hobby. I need to rest.

I am proud of my time as President of Underground Theater. I have set goals, and I feel like I’ve accomplished most of them. Without doubt, the most important goal I’ve reached towards is that of a strong and healthy community. It has been my dream to establish and maintain a group of fellow hobbyists that care for one another, protect one another, and strive together to create an atmosphere that enhances and fosters mutual enjoyment and fun.

This is a goal that never ends, and one towards which every moment is a new opportunity to excel. If my time in the hot-seat has taught me anything, it’s that failure in this pursuit is always a hair’s breadth away and that each success is hard fought, but well earned.

It’s so easy to let a few careless words slip when you’re irritated. It’s so easy to damage someone else’s sense of joy or calm, especially when that person is little more than a faceless “player” on the internet somewhere. It’s so much harder to actively struggle to remain positive, and helpful, and energetic when you’re not completely happy.

Guys, it’s *so* hard to walk way when you know you probably need to.

Underground Theater is built on the foundation of fighting, and winning, that battle. We strive to be better than we have been. We work to ensure that the image of the Salon WoD LARPer is that of a healthy, eager player who wants to engage and *play* with their friends. No one in Underground Theater is a faceless “player” on the internet somewhere. Every single one of us is a WoD LARPer who loves this hobby, and loves what we do.

I challenge every one of you, as you transition into new leadership, to find within yourself what drew you to this hobby to begin with. Share with each other why you do this thing weekend in and weekend out. *Talk* to one another.

Care for one another. Protect one another. Strive together to create an atmosphere that enhances and fosters mutual enjoyment.

Have fun.

I’ll see you all at game.

Signing off for the last time as,

James Davey

President, Underground Theater

Patrons of the Underground,

We want to give everyone a quick update on our current content team staff and how to contact them. Remember, if you have a question or request, it’s best to contact the person most responsible for overseeing the genre of your question. For example, if you have a question about Anarchs, it’s generally better to contact the Anarch OST Corey than it is to contact the Camarilla Vampire OST Ryan.

Vampire

Cam/Anarch/IA OST – Ryan Martin, camanarch-ost@undergroundtheater.org

Anarch AOST – Corey McIntyre, anarch-aost@undergroundtheater.org

IA AOST – Nick Riley, independentalliance-aost@undergroundtheater.org

Sabbat OST – Ken Yost, sabbat-ost@undergroundtheater.org

Sabbat AOST – unfilled, sabbat-aost@undergroundtheater.org

Werewolf 

Werewolf OST – John Swinkels, werewolf-ost@undergroundtheater.org

Werewolf AOST (specific duties coming soon) – Megan Schultz

Werewolf CCST – Mateo Marshall, werewolf-ccst@undergroundtheater.org

 

Patrons of the Underground,

After what seems like an immortal eternity, Jason Hughes has stepped down as the Camarilla/Anarch/Independent Alliance Organizational Storyteller. Our organization is incredibly thankful for and proud of the work he has done for us, and we wish him the best now that he’s free!

Effectively today, we are welcoming Ryan Martin aboard the content team as the new Cam/Anarch/IA OST.

Ryan is a Quality Engineer for Lower Trim for Honda. He studied Mechanical Engineering for four years at UK and has umpired recreational baseball, worked at RadioShack and had an internship with the Paducah Joint Sewer Agency. The biggest common line is that in all of his jobs, he has worked with people, allowing him to learn a great deal about conflict avoidance and resolution through professional experience – especially when a person is invested in their own idea or activity.

Ryan has played tabletop gaming since he was 15 or 16. He joined OWBN when he was 18 and has been playing in LARP in some form ever since. Ryan stepped up and ran the Paducah vampire game as LST until a job offered forced him to move away. After that, he stepped up to run Louisville UT Cam for about a year, even though that game was three hours from where he lives. Jason Hughes appointed Ryan as the Anarch AOST earlier this year, where he has been managing plot and had the pleasure of running the Anarch scenes at the last Grand Masquerade.

Welcome aboard Ryan!

Greetings Patrons of the Underground!

The Board of Directors are proud to announce our selection for the Werewolf: The Apocalypse Organizational Storyteller position. We received several applications, all from qualified individuals we would have been honored to have join our team. In the end, we had to select just one.

Join us in welcoming John Swinkels as Werewolf OST.

John is from Seattle, Washington, and currently works in marketing for a tabletop game company. He has worked in the gaming industry for the last five years, doing everything from QA to design on PC RPGs and tabletop games. John says he loves Werewolf “almost as much as Mage” and enjoys digging into the new setting. He has been a part of Underground Theater since February 2015, and considers it “home.” He also may or may not be in cahoots with The Weaver.

We’ll have more information about Werewolf next week. For now, John has begun assembling his team and started wrapping his head around all of the logistics involved in putting together a new venue for Underground Theater. If you’d like to volunteer to help or see if there’s a place for you on his team, send him an email at werewolf-ost@undergroundtheater.org.

We can’t wait to get started and see what John has in store for us!

Our original Werewolf announcement, including the initial information we have about the setting in Underground Theater can be found here.

The Board of Directors

Patrons of the Underground,

As many of you are already aware, Jason Hughes is leaving the position of Vampire Camarilla/Anarch/Independent Alliance Organizational Storyteller. Jason has done an incredible job, and we are so thankful for all of the work that he has done to help us make Underground Theater successful!

Unfortunately, that means we have to attempt to replace him.

The Camarilla/Anarch/Independent Alliance Organizational Storyteller is the primary point of contact for all Lead Storytellers in the Cam/Anarch/IA Venue for Underground Theater. Any Cam/Anarch/IA Lead Storyteller may reach out to the Cam/Anarch/IA OST to receive clarification on rules questions from the content management team or for assistance in plots. The OST works with LSTs to prepare selected plots for elevation to a regional, national or organizational level story. The OST also works with the Vampire Canon and Continuity Storyteller in the management and implementation of all canon NPCs, as well as NPCs or institutions whose actions have a massive effect above the city level of the troupe (such as The President of the United States, The Chancellor of Germany, the FBI, or the CIA). The OST is also responsible for the creation and running of the Cam/Anarch/IA Venue’s five year national plot, attending regular Content Team meetings with the Content Team, overseeing the Anarch and Independent Alliance Assistant OSTs, and other duties as assigned by the Vice President.

Travel requirements – The Cam/Anarch/IA OST is expected to attend all national events, and to offer support to regional events where possible.

Time expectations – The estimated workload of this position is 20-30 hours per week.

Other considerations – The Cam/Anarch/IA OST may not hold a larger-than-local IC position, nor a major city leadership position (Prince, Baron, Don, etc), and should expect to have their PC transition into a background ancillary role if hired.

If you are interested in applying for the position, please send your gaming resume to Mike Rilee, our Vice President.

Patrons of the Underground,

The moon is rising, and so is our excitement about the new By Night Studios Minds Eye Theatre rulebook for Werewolf: The Apocalypse! This spring, Underground Theater begins a new venue, and we can’t wait to tell you about it!

Obviously, there are still some things the board of directors is working through, and some questions won’t have answers for a few weeks, but we’d like to share where we are at and what the plan is.

Underground Theater thinks of itself as a World of Darkness LARPing organization. The Vampire and Werewolf venues are equals, and we intend to treat neither with more importance than the other when faced with organizational decisions. It is important to us that we remain vigilant and take steps to ensure this remains the case. Currently, every member of the board of directors is interested in playing Werewolf, so there is full representation of both venues in the organizational leadership.

Another step to keep Werewolf and Vampire equal is that we will be giving Werewolf its own Content Team. There will be a Werewolf Organizational Storyteller, a Werewolf Content and Continuity Storyteller, and Werewolf Assistant Organizational Storytellers. Look for an announcement requesting applications shortly.

The Werewolf chronicle is scheduled to begin officially on January 1, 2017. To kick off this new venue, we’ll be featuring a Werewolf national event game at the Midwinter Gaming Convention on Jan. 12 – 15 in Milwaukee, WI, as well as our usual Vampire games.

Even though the official start date is Jan. 1, for the next two months we will be encouraging and supporting troupes that want to begin playing Werewolf. To keep things fair, there will be no XP awarded for Underground Theater Werewolf games until the first games are held in January (it will only be a couple of games, and we hope everyone will understand this necessity). More information on the process for Werewolf games to apply to Underground Theater will be coming soon, but for now, start your games! We’ve also got a Facebook group set up to let everyone coordinate Werewolf Character Ties.

Just like Vampire, the Werewolf venue will have a scheduled reset at 5 years, and there will be a vote at the beginning of the last year to determine if the reset is delayed a year. This means the Vampire and Werewolf chronicles will have different beginning and ending dates, as well as different Floor XP totals. It is also important to note that Vampire and Werewolf venues will not cross over, just as Camarilla/Anarch/IA does not cross over with the Sabbat venue.

A lot of storytellers have been asking about incorporating Werewolf rules into their Vampire games. The quest system, shared havens, full werewolf NPC sheets and other specific systems have been noted as things that could be used in Vampire. As of right now, the board has decided that Vampire will remain strictly run only from the Vampire book for six months before any decisions occur concerning integrating rules systems. This is to allow the content teams, the board and our players and storytellers time to focus on the success of launching Werewolf as a venue. It will also give everyone a chance to play with these new rules so that decisions can be made from a place of better understanding of just how all of these things work.

Finally, our Patron Handbook disallows canon PCs. However, the Kickstarter for Werewolf allowed people to fund at levels that would let them put their characters into the book’s canon. additionally, some of the playtesting troupes that are joining Underground Theater are featured in the book. If you have an original character that was turned canon in this publication, and you are intending to play that character in Underground Theater, please send an email to Mike Rilee so that appropriate exemptions can be made to allow that to happen.

We know there are more questions that need answered, and we’ll be sharing as much as we can as quickly as we can!

Thank you all so much for helping us grow!

The Board of Directors