We all love stories. It’s hard-wired into us, a tradition that stretches back to the primeval nights, when people sat around the first campfires and shared the details of their lives. We invented language and culture, and we tell and retell the stories of Hercules, Kintaro, El Cid, Qin Shi Huang, and Robin Hood to teach the lessons of survival and morality. Today, we continue this tradition through playing video games, watching movies, and reading novels, investing ourselves in thousands of stories. By Night Studios is proud to carry on this tradition, and to offer you a chance to enjoy your own deeply immersive stories of dark intrigue, mystery, and adventure.

Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse are roleplaying games. Each player creates a character within a setting established by a Storyteller. The characters interact, working together toward common goals, or acting against one another in the pursuit of power, lust, wealth and, sometimes, nobler motivations.

In many roleplaying games, the participants sit together around a table; the players describe their characters’ actions, while the Storyteller describes the world and what happens to the characters, each in their own words. Some roleplaying games occur online, through a blog or forum, each player taking turns to write out her characters’ actions, description, and thoughts; “roleplaying” also describes a type of console or computer game in which a single player customizes a character and plays through a pre-determined plot in a virtual world. This type of role is different from those – it’s called Live Action Role-Play or LARP for short.

LARPing is highly interactive. Instead of holding a controller or rolling dice, you and your friends will act out your character's actions. LARP combines the very best of improv theater with traditional gaming, allowing for incredible levels of immersion. Everything from how you dress to the way you talk becomes a part of the shared experience for all the players at the game. While this may sound daunting, our products make setting up a great LARP really easy. Or, if you’re looking to join an established chronicle, there are over a hundred games all over the world.

At its heart, any form of roleplaying is a type of interactive storytelling. It’s about being creative, having fun, and often interacting socially. Roleplaying allows us to experience adventures, dilemmas, highs, and lows that we may never experience in our daily lives. Most of the time, a roleplaying game, like a good movie, revolves around having adventures. Your character might be a spy, or a pilot, or a sword-wielding knight on a quest to fight a dragon. Unlike traditional board, card, or dice games, there is no clearly defined way of “winning” and “losing.” The goal of most roleplaying games isn’t to win or lose: it’s to build and share a compelling story with the other players.

Each player in the game creates her own unique character, and these characters can work together (or cause each other difficulty) through interacting with the plot and the world around them. One person takes the role of the Storyteller, narrating events and explaining what’s happening to the characters. Together, you build a story starring characters you’ve created, using the rules in our books.

Mind’s Eye Theatre (MET) is the direct descendant of more traditional types of roleplaying. Instead of sitting at a table describing actions or navigating through a virtual adventure, MET is about the physicality of the experience: players wear cool costumes and decorate the playing area to give their stories visual appeal and a higher degree of immersion; they act out their characters’ choices in real- time, similar to actors in a play; and they react emotionally to the awful and wonderful events of the story.

Mind's Eye Theatre LARP is all about expressing your own creativity and sharing it with other players. Unlike a video game that lets you choose from 10 predetermined costumes for your character and offers you only three dialogue options when you encounter a challenge, MET encourages you to give free reign to your imagination; you can create exactly the costume you want your character to wear and say exactly what you want your character to say. And unlike a forum or blog game, where you may have to wait days or a week for another player to respond to your last post, MET happens in real time, giving players immediate enjoyment as they share the events of every story as they happen. You won’t just customize a sheet of statistics or choose a small picture to represent your character; you’ll customize everything about her, every time you play.

Your character isn’t the only thing that gets customized in Mind’s Eye Theatre games. Storytellers and players often work together to make the playing space look and feel like a location in the World of Darkness, to help everyone immerse themselves in the experience and create a better shared story. You might decorate a living room to look like an ancient church, or arrange props and furniture in a hotel convention room so that it resembles a Wild West saloon.