The Camarilla

Note: A lot of the material here is almost two years old at this point. The game and the setting has advanced a great deal since then. I’m leaving it up for now, although I intend to rewrite it in the near future.


The Camarilla is in a very interesting geopolitical position in Los Angeles. They are a relatively recent newcomer, having first carved out Downtown and parts of Central Los Angeles around ~2000, during the chaos following Baron Jeremy MacNeil’s assassination by the invading Kuei-jin. The surviving pillars of the Anarch Free State was shaken by a massive Sabbat crusade and the defection of other Free State luminaries, such as Prince Tara of San Diego and Isaac Abrams of Hollywood to the Camarilla. Combined with the infighting among Jeremy MacNeil’s surviving lieutenants, there were many (like Isaac and Tara) who felt their best chance of resisting the murderous Sabbat and merciless Kuei-jin lay in a Camarilla resurgence. Unfortunately, the first Camarilla Prince of Los Angeles after fifty years of Anarch rule, Sebastian LaCroix, was assassinated in late ~2004 in the wake of the Sabbat Crusade, which kicked off over a decade of instability during which two other Princes rose and fell in quick succession.
On paper, the Camarilla’s theoretical writ runs from the Los Angeles river to the east (beneath the shadow of the Sabbat infested Boyle Heights) all the way to Malibu in the west, between the Santa Monica Mountains in the north and the Santa Monica Freeway in the south. In pratice, the Camarilla only has a firm hold on Downtown Los Angeles and a tattered patchwork across Central LA, as far as Century City. Isaac Abrams, a former Toreador Primogen, failed contender for Prince, and now reluctant ally at best, is the ‘Baron’ of Hollywood. The Kuei-jin of Koreatown are a powerful menace, and most of the Westside is overrun by viciously entitled, baby Anarchs who have only an extremely tenuous or non-existent respect for the Camarilla’s writ.
That said, it should be kept in mind that at least north of the Santa Monica Freeway, the Westside/Hollywood Anarch vs Camarilla Neonate cultural interaction is more about ‘code switching’ than anything else.
Special CGEN Options:
You are uniquely allowed to have a Camarilla vampire alt, even if you already have a Westside/Hollywood Anarch vampire alt, and vice versa. Unless I think there’s a Conflict of Interest. This is because the most powerful and hostile Anarch factions are currently Director-controlled.
Instead of posting a comprehensive timeline here, I’m going to hit on each of the major Clans, giving a taste of where they’re at, and what I’m looking for. I’m going to tackle the Primogen first so as to not repeat myself.
Primogen Philosophy:
LiberationMUSH strives for a more ‘realistic’ canonical setting. The Prince doesn’t select the Primogen in this game. Instead, the Primogen are some of the most powerful and influential vampires in the city, who have been co-opted into the Camarilla power structure. Every Prince would be a dictator if they could, but the reality is that each Praxis represents an almost impossibly difficult challenge to govern. In many ways, the Camarilla /is/ the Prince and the Primogen, as they are the vampires who are chiefly benefiting from the ‘system’ to help suppress younger vampires who would like their Domain, title and Blood. Every Primogen PC should consider themselves a miniature Prince and a semi-autonomous powerbase in their own right. They have obvious, selfish and self-serving incentives to vaguely cooperate, and the Prince /does/ often hold the balance of power. I’m highly incentivizing these positions since they require a lot of ambition and responsibility. You are responsible for your Clan, not the Prince.
Major Clans:
Brujah: The Brujah are in an unique situation. They are by far the most numerous Clan in Los Angeles County. A significant number of them are theoretically on the side of the Camarilla, but it would be very hard to find more than one or two Brujah beyond a brutal Sheriff or such that claim to belong to the Camarilla. Most Brujah identify as Anarchs, and the chief difference is that the Brujah who live north of the Santa Monica Freeway, are those willing to tolerate the Camarilla as the lesser of many evils. Those who ‘live’ south of the Santa Monica Freeway, are the hardcore Anarch Free Staters. Currently, the young Anarch millenial known as Cheyenne has come forward as their spokesfang. In order to keep the Westside from degenerating into chaos, the Camarilla reluctantly allowed her to assume the rights of the Brujah Primogen. As such, with the exception of attack dogs and jaded mercenary enforcers, the ‘Camarilla’ Brujah of Los Angeles, and the Westside/Hollywood Brujah essentially blend into each other.
Brujah Incentives: I’m giving a Tier III to anyone who wants to make a Brujah Neonate. I also want a Brujah Sheriff, who will be Tier II with a bit of leeway given on combatty stuff.
Gangrel: There isn’t a major organized presence in the heart of Los Angeles that’s currently on the grid. You can certainly apply for a Gangrel, and they’re definitely roaming around. But they don’t have any kind of major identity, and don’t currently have a Primogen.
Gangrel Incentives: You can pitch a really great app or idea to me, and I’ll probably give you a little something. But I’m chiefly looking for a Gangrel Scourge type. However cliche, I think it’ll be interesting. This Scourge will be a T2 role that also doubles as the most influential Gangrel in the Camarilla, but they won’t be a Primogen.
Malkavian: Los Angeles has known no shortage of Malkavians over the last century, though none has been more recently famous than the ‘brilliant’ Dr. Alistair Grout, the former Malkavian Primogen of Los Angeles. Embraced in the early 1900s, he was famous for his reclusive lifestyle and decades of work spent on curing the vampiric condition. He was supposedly destroyed by the Kuei-jin in ~2004. It would take more than a decade until another Malkavian succeeded at being recognized as Primogen. Not every Malkavian is a secret genius, however. Besides the Primogen, Malkavians in general, and young Malkavians in particular, tend to bleed into the Anarch populations of Hollywood and the Westside, or lose themselves in Skid Row. They’re more likely to be holding a sign on the edge of an intersection than manage a mental asylum. That said, the Clan as a whole does seem unique sensitive to the city’s intangible zeitgeist.
Malkavian Incentives: I am in need of a Malkavian Primogen who can make a credible impression as someone others should fear or take seriously. I’ll be very picky about this one. Beyond that, I’m looking for Malkavian neonates and fledglings that harmonize with the theme and setting of Los Angeles and doesn’t portray mental illness in a cringe-worthy fashion. If you can write up such a character, I’ll give you at least T3 XP. If you can’t…well. You can still app, but I’m not going to reward you for it.
Nosferatu: The Nosferatu Clan represents the longest, continuous entrenched vampiric organization in Los Angeles. They were in the tunnels beneath Hollywood before the former Prince, Don Sebastian was overthrown and slain in 1944 by Jeremy MacNeil’s famous lieutenant Salvador Garcia in 1944. The same Nosferatu Clan accommodated themselves to the Anarch Free State, laid low, and then roughly a half century later in the chaos following MacNeil’s Final Death and the Kuei-jin invasion, they were instrumental (along with Isaac Abrams) in flipping Los Angeles back to the Camarilla. They survived the tyrannical reign of Prince LaCroix (and some allege were even complicit in his destruction), and the turbulent years since.
Nosferatu Incentives: The Nosferatu are practically their own sub-sect in Los Angeles. They have been surviving on their own for too long to fit neatly into any hierarchy. All Nosferatu in Los Angeles answer to the warrens beneath Hollywood, excepting the Sabbat. I have a Primogen, and someone helping with the sewers. And I have a few more ‘low’ Tier II and ‘upper’ Tier III roles for them as well. Go ahead and contact me for more details.
Toreador: The Toreador are the most numerous Clan in Los Angeles, after the Brujah. They have been present and involved in every period of Los Angeles’ history. The undead Hollywood mogul Isaac Abrams was the hidden hand behind the Golden Age of Cinema, and for nearly 70 years kept the entire Westside as his own personal ‘game’ preserve. He was a companion of the former Toreador Prince of Los Angeles, Don Sebastian, and he became one of Jeremy MacNeil’s allies in the aftermath. After MacNeil’s death, along with the Nosferatu, he was essential in returning the Camarilla to power. He served as the Toreador Primogen, and after LaCroix’s death, he made a failed bid for the Princedom. Recognizing the intractable opposition of the Tremere to his claiming the Praxis, he now styles himself the ‘Baron’ of Hollywood, though is forever tainted by his association with LaCroix. He’ll never be fully accepted by the Anarchs again. Meanwhile, the Toreador Clan is numerous, prolific, and found everywhere. The current Prince, Violeta Altamirana is Toreador, as is the Keeper and most Harpies.
Toreador Incentives: I have a prospective Toreador Primogen. I need a Toreador Keeper. I am prepared to be extremely generous with prospective Toreador Harpies, a Whip, or even just established Toreadors. Any Toreador app is an automatic T3. I’ll be generous to anyone who displays good writing skills, consistency and a love of Los Angeles beyond that. Younger Toreador move freely between the Camarilla, and the Anarchs of Hollywood and the Westside.
Ventrue: The Ventrue have had a somewhat interesting history in Los Angeles. They have never been dominant, though have often been very close to the seat of power. They have historically been the third most numerous Clan in Los Angeles, and even during the Anarch Free State era, it was a favorite destination for enterprising Ventrue Neonates to come and make their fortune away from the ossified power structures of the East. The most spectacular example of this is the rise and fall of the infamously ambitious Sebastian LaCroix, the Prince of Los Angeles from roughly ~2000 to late ~2004. He carved out Downtown Los Angeles as his own personal Domain, and was briefly able to submit Isaac Abrams of Hollywood, the Nosferatu and even Maximillian Strauss’ Tremere Chantry to his control. His short, incandescent reign was cut short by a hundred pounds of explosive that detonated his Venture Tower penthouse.
And yet, the decade and a half of chaos following LaCroix’ death proved to be even more fertile ground for Ventrue entrepreneurs. Although the Clan has been rigidly stereotyped as traditional authoritarians, the Ventrue of Los Angeles are as different from their East Coast brethren as LA is from NYC.
Ventrue Incentives: I have a Ventrue Primogen. However, I have several ‘light’ Tier II Ventrue roles still available (characters for whom I’ll be more generous with XP than a T3 but who won’t begin with the same influence/powerbase as the Primogen). I want a Ventrue who has claimed City West as their Domain (which is sort of LA’s Jersey City…It’s adjacent to Downtown, bills itself as Downtown, but is on the wrongside of the 110). And I want a Ventrue who has made Century City their Domain.
I’m also quite interested in a Ventrue Seneschal, although the Seneschal might end up overlapping with the above roles. Meanwhile, any Neonate Ventrue position in Los Angeles qualifies automatically for Tier III. They move a bit less easily among the Anarchs of the West Side and Hollywood than the Toreador do, and it’s perfectly common for a Ventrue to play up either an Anarch-leaning or Camarilla-leaning identity, depending on what street they’re on, and who they’re talking to.
Tremere: Maximillian Strauss is the secretive and sinister Regent of the Los Angeles Chantry, and the Tremere Primogen. He’s only a recent arrival in Los Angeles (more or less coinciding with Jeremy MacNeil’s death and the Kuei-jin Invasion), and has long been considered the iron fist in the Camarilla’s velvet glove. There are many who believe that LaCroix was merely Strauss’ puppet, cast aside when the Ventrue attempted to cut his strings. He combines a reputedly fearsome mastery of Blood Magick with an astute political opportunism. Like Isaac Abrams, Strauss came very close to claiming the Los Angeles Praxis for himself. He failed, largely owing to Abrams and the Nosferatu’s machinations. Since then, he has retreated into the solitude of his Chantry fortress. There are many who consider Strauss both the greatest threat to the Camarilla in Los Angeles, and the chief bulwark keeping the Koreatown Kuei-jin, the East LA Sabbat and the South Central Anarchs out of Downtown.
Tremere Incentives: The Tremere Clan is virtually autonomous within Los Angeles, though will be brutally punished for flaunting it. You are perfectly allowed to apply for and play a Tremere, although I am not directly incentivizing them except for a single role (no game has ever had difficulty with not enough people wanting to play Tremere). With the exception of Strauss himself, every Tremere in Los Angeles is less than a hundred years old. I want a single ‘high’ Tier III Tremere, who will serve as Strauss’ Whip/Representative on the Primogen Council. You will get Strauss as a free Mentor, and thus access to learning rites and such, and you’ll have his skirt to hide behind, but not much else. And I’m going to want you to build the Chantry for me. So. App with care.
Other Clans
I will quickly hit upon a few popular Clans that often get shoehorned into the Camarilla on other games. None of these have incentives.
Assamites: There is an Assamite cell or two in Los Angeles. They’re largely embedded in the Armenian and Persian communities. Highly mercenary, they are discreet contractors (specializing in bodyguard and assassination work) rather than a territorial powerbase. They are not considered their own faction in Los Angeles. They’re simply there to lay low and offer their services. It would be impossible for the Camarilla to ferret them out of either community, even if it occurred to them. If an Assamite screws up, they enjoy no particular protection from other Assamites. They’ll help you get out of LA (whereupon you cease being a PC), but if you stay, that’s on you. That’s the rub of being largely left alone otherwise.
Daughters of Cacophony: There are a couple kicking around in Los Angeles. You’re free to app one, and will more or less be the Toreador’s responsibility.
Samedi: You’re more likely to be caught in a gray area between the Camarilla and the Anarchs, neither truly identifying with or being accepted by either, even as you’re forced to play by their rules. I’ll want a very thoughtful application tying into one of Los Angeles’ diverse communities.
Setites: Not openly.
Ravnos: There is a tiny group of Ravnos in Little Bangladesh, and I’m halfway inclined to offering a T2 to someone who wants to put their heart and soul into portraying that community. They’re allied with the Koreatown Kuei-jin (which surrounds Little Bangladesh). No Ravnos will ever be taken seriously as belonging to the Camarilla.
Gargoyles: No Gargoyles in the Camarilla owing to Strauss’ influence. There is one in Hollywood.
Giovanni: Giovanni are their own thing, and mostly located down in San Pedro which isn’t on grid yet.
Lasombra Antitribu: There will never be a Lasombra Antitribu PC on this game.
Tzimisce Antitribu: There will never be an Old Clan or Tzimisce Antitribu PC on this game.
Kiasyd: There will never be a Kiasyd PC in the Camarilla.