One of the comments brought up at our retreat a few weeks ago was that there is some confusion amongst players on the differences between teams, Lineages, Cults and other groups. We wanted to clarify some of this confusion. Right now our plan is for a maximum of 100 PCs for Hollow Dawn with a contingency plan if we decide we want to increase that cap.
Major Lineages In Hollow Dawn, as many already know, the main political landscape is made up of the interactions between the five existing Great Houses and their relationship with the First Lich and his Curates. Lineages cap out at 20 PCs each for our three Hollow Dawn events next year, but it’s not necessary to have a full 20 people in each Lineage. Each major Lineage has one or more PCs that has been put in charge in order to help recruit, coordinate, and liaise with staff. That PC will still play the game just like a normal PC, but will be given plot hooks, resources and connections in return. Joining a Lineage is 100% optional and there are other options for groups outside of the major Lineages, as well as plenty of support for solo play. In addition, we have player representatives that are tasked with helping you find a Lineage that fits your character if that is your wish. We here on the staff of Hollow Dawn aren’t too worried about Lineages being unbalanced in numbers, as we are ready to take steps to make sure that all Lineages have a fun time, regardless of size: this may include added resources and attention for smaller groups.
Beneath that obvious layer, though, are three additional layers which may have an even more profound impact on the lives of The People.
Cults in Hollow Dawn make up much of the underlying fabric and hidden politics in The Land. While your House might be your open loyalty, Cults are more like your religion. Cult is a catch-all term for a group that has a binding belief, philosophy, or goal, some of which may be outside the First Lich’s purview or directly conflicts with his interest. They often times have something to do with your character’s belief-structure about how the world works at its core and about how you think others should be treated. Some Cults might be there to support the First Lich. Others might want to bring glorious, verdant life back to The Land. Perhaps another might be there to worship a Fae Queen. One thing we want to stress about Cults is that most of them are very secretive. This is not because we want secrecy for secrecy’s sake, but instead that the expectation within The Land is that there is no higher authority or power that will be revered above the First Lich, so often times your Cult’s goals will not align with the First Lich and will be persecuted. We are asking our players, once in a Cult, to get involved in their Cult, but also to make sure to keep them secret.
There will be several Cults that will be available for PC membership and we hope that most, if not all, PCs will find one they want to be a part of. They are a major part of how this world works and drive some significant content. We will take input during the registration process, as well as when PCs are writing their backstories, to find anyone who needs help a Cult that fits with their character. The full process for joining Cults has not been decided as of yet, and we will be releasing more information regarding Cults as we get closer.
Other Minor Groups and Factions
You might wonder, with the five Lineages as well as the Cults, what other groups and factions are possibilities? There are other minor Lineages that never quite made it to the stature of the major Houses. PCs are welcome to speak to plot about starting their own Lineage. One of the downsides to being part of a minor Lineage is that we simply can’t give every one the same level of resources and support as the Great Houses. One of the upsides, though, is you have more freedom to explore the game of Hollow Dawn on your own terms.
Most likely we will also be adding other groups around town that characters may be part of as well. These could include guilds, troupes, and even things like Morrigan Clans and covens.
In Hollow Dawn, we also know that many players wish to play on teams with their friends. In Vampire you have the ideas of Coteries, in Dystopia Rising you have Crews, in Alliance LARP, the concept of adventuring groups. These are groups of players that usually camp together, possibly share resources (such as a team treasury), and adventure together. We want to encourage that if you wish to form a team of friends, even if you are in different Lineages or Cults, that’s 100% okay. We are sure that some Teams will develop within each Lineage, and we are even excited about the idea of multiple separate teams within the same House, but we also hope that players of different Lineages who wish to camp and play together can do so.