A long month of Storytelling is now behind you. Live games, downtime actions, proxies – all done. What lies before you now is what is often seen as the real hardship of the storyteller:
In this document, we will try to dissect each section of the report and work on strategies on how to prepare for and fill out the form so you can get back to the fun stuff.
It should be noted that many of the items in this report can simply be copied and pasted from previous months’ reports, such as parts 2, 3, 6 or more, should that information be the same. Go ahead and do that if it saves you time, but make sure that it is all correct!
–The Easiest Part–
Position: This is what job you are doing. Be complete and concise.
If there are more than one of your genre’s VSSes in your Domain, make sure to include the name of the VSS in your title.
VST Masquerade: Wrong Side of the Tracks VSS
Filed By: This is you, or whomever you put in charge of filing the report.
Cameron Member, US2012121234, VST Masquerade
Albus Miniondorf, US20012121245, AVST Accord Reports
These are the parts of the VST report:
PART 1 – Office Summary
PART 2 – Contact Information and Distribution
PART 3 – Prestige Awards
PART 4 – Plotkits
PART 5 – Approvals
PART 6 – Game Summary
PART 7 – DA’s and Investigations
PART 8- Comments, Questions and Concerns
-Part 1 – Office Summary-
As stated in the General Reporting document, some officers can recite, to the letter, everything that crossed their desk in a given month from memory. Some need to take meticulous notes just to keep their head above water. Find out which of these, or something in between, that suits you best before proceeding.
Here you should put just a summary of the month’s work, and only that month’s work. It should be information that is public knowledge, or at least fit for public consumption.
Ran a game.
Mario Diablerized Grax
I’m sad that I’m VST and don’t get to play
Some proxies, but who cares…
Ran two games: August 12 and August 26 at the Junior College Main Quad
Completed proxies and downtimes for the hunt for the Prince’s killer
Hosted realtime Skype minigame on August 23rd for the Priscus Council
-Part 2 – Contact Information and Distribution-
Here you list every member of your staff and anyone who did special project work. This includes you as the primary VST. Project workers do not recieve titles, but each officer does. Include each member’s full name and the contact email they are working through.
Maya, AVST Paperwork, mayababe123@
Kanye Jones, ran a plot for me
Cameron Member, VST Masquerade, email@example.com
Maya Manah-Manah, AVST Paperwork, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kanye Jones, email@example.com
For “Distribution”, list all persons and lists who will read the report. VSTs must send a copy of their report to:
the DST (entire report)
the Domain email list (sections 1-5)
the genre ARST (sections 1-6)
The DST should see everything going on in their Domain on the in-game side, or at least have the chance to. Sections are left out from the Domain list because things like Disicplinary Actions and the keys to plots are not for wide distribution. The genre ARST does not need to know about local DA’s, but should be able to access the plots which are running and other matters with ease.
-Part 3 – Prestige Awards-
Your assistants have worked hard, and they should be rewarded for such. Here, you get to make your suggestions for prestige awards.
You should include the members’ name and membership number for the best record keeping, what they did to earn their reward, and the category the prestige would fall under. The suggested reward should also be commensurate with the work done.
Kanye Jones, copied 20 character sheets, 30G
Maya Manah-Manah, US2001020304, 15G
Albus Miniondorf, US2012121245, AVST Character Creation and Records, 15G
Cameron Member, US2012121234, Submitted plotkit for Accord, 5G
(Cameron, as you might remember, is the VST for Masquerade)
Keeping good records of this can help if, later down the line, there is a dispute about whether a given prestige award was recommended.
-Part 4 – Plotkits-
This section should be a list of all plotkits that are currently running. Each should be listed in the following format:
Expected Completion Date:
Summary: This should be a movie trailer style teaser that can provide enough information to get other ST and players interested without giving it all away.
The Wyrm minions under the bank are planning to tunnel their way under the orphanage where they can start corrupting the children there to become Fomori who will get adopted and corrupt the parents.
Rogue Proximi are executing daring heists with their Supernal gifts.
Foiled by last season’s efforts, agents of The Truth start aiming for the homeless.
Accessible: This should provide a very clear statement of where the full plotkit details can be gotten by any ST who needs it. This ideally will be the ST Forums.
-Part 5 – Approvals-
Make a note of how many special approval items are approved, denied or are still pending.
Mario’s Approval for his PC’s Left-Handed Legacy was approved
Approved Maya’s Entitlement, but I hope regional denies it.
Still pending on 3.
-Part 6 – Game Summary and Attendance-
Whereas some of the other sections are pretty cut and dry, this section can contain a lot of diverse data, so remember the two C’s in this section: correct and concise.
The ‘Game Summary’ section of this part is the real heft of the report. Here, your inclusion of the events, fallout and other reactions to the plots you are running can have an impact on the larger game. Also, the (potentially) more experienced DST, ARST, RST or other STs can give advice or constructive criticism on how the game could have gone in a direction more conducive to how the MES functions. Alternatively, they can see how something awesome happened in your game and they might take cues from your experiences, or ask you for help.
Being correct is often easy here, but clarity not so much. Timelines work well, with small phrases describing the actions of the night. Not every little action need be said (no “blow-by-blow”) but significant events should be noted.
Hobgoblins attacked the “Stew Pot” motley -> Lil’ Jim dropped to Incap -> “Hell’s Belles” motley came in to the rescue -> runty hob’ interrogated
Tense political Court -> Tremere Prim accused Sheriff of corruption -> Nosferatu Whip reveals details of how Tremere Prim has been Dominating Sheriff – Need new Tremere Primogen
Particularly memorable quotes could be included here, as are any actions that might be worthy of recognition, like lives saved (or ended) or high status/rank PCs losing such. Things which affect the larger game in any direct manner should be included so that the proper STs in the chain know.
Attendance is straightforward. List all players’ names and membership numbers, followed by what characters they portrayed, and if that character was a visitor to the VSS. A local player who portrays a PC that is tied to a different VSS will be listed as a visitor. Also list the XP awarded.
Maya Manah-manah, US2001020304, 3XP
Albus Miniondorf, Grax the Unkind
Dennis deGuy, US2013074567, Mario Giovanni, 4XP (visitor)
Cameron Member, US2012121234, Sam Shovel, 1XP
Finally include all active PCs on the VSS, including the name and membership numbers of the players who portray them. It is important to include even the Low Approval characters who might not exist on the database, so they can be accounted for here. When a PC is killed, retired or otherwise leaves the VSS, they can be removed from this list.
These last two are some of those sections that can be copied and pasted from previous months if the same people come to your game and play the same character – just make sure to double check for correctness!
Remember that this part does not get published to the general membership, so here is where you put things like Diablerie or PCs turning to the ‘dark side’ like the Wyrm or the Giovanni Clan. 😉
-Part 7 – Disciplinary Actions and Investigations-
Here, the details of any DAs and investigations conducted by the office are reported. Storytellers should report any DAs involving cheating, XP fraud or other infractions in their jurisdiction. The members involved, including witnesses interviewed, as well as the outcome are to be given in a brief summary of the Disciplinary Action.
Remember that this section does not go out to the Domain list or to anyone outside the ST chain.
-Part 8 – Comments, Questions, and Concerns-
This is a catch-all section. While this is not a ‘safe’ place to vent (The Code of Conduct still applies), this is where an ST can show concerns for things they see, such as a potential loophole in an addendum, a thematic error in a plotkit or even that a certain PC or NPC is becoming too overpowering in their game.
In this part, the VST can ask for advice as well as offer direct feedback up the ST chain. It is highly recommended that the VST also email anything stated here directly to the officer who can best address the situation or answer the question.
By following the guidelines set out there, you should be well on your way to getting through this part of the job. Many who are called to be Storytellers are more creative than they are organized, so if you need to hire someone to handle the reports for you, that is your prerogative, but make sure to save room in your prestige budget for them. Your DST and regional staff are also available to help you get your reports filed in a timely manner.