The Saturnalia Event

~ Saturnalia of Old ~

Called “the best of days” by the poet Catullus, Saturnalia is an ancient festival and holiday in honor of the god Saturn. In centuries past the holiday was celebrated with a sacrifice and a public banquet, followed by private gift-giving and continual partying that would take place in a carnival atmosphere and that overturned social norms. During the festivities, the taboo was embraced and liberty was celebrated by all.

~ A New Orleans Vampire Tradition ~

Since its founding, the vampires of New Orleans have engaged in their own version of Saturnalia. What started as a local celebration grew as the domain of New Orleans expanded, becoming a worldwide phenomenon with vampires of all Clans and cultures coming together to throw off the shackles of pomp and circumstance to revel in the power of the night and the gifts of unlife. It is a rare night where neonates walk among elders and Anarchs fraternize with the Tower, and the Hecata and independent vampires mix and mingle. But like all great traditions, the pace of the modern night threatens its existence causing many to wonder if this year’s Saturnalia will be the last.

~ The Future of Saturnalia ~

This year is unlike any other. Every vampire knows it regardless of sect or Clan, and every vampire fears – and secretly knows – that with the rise of the Second Inquisition, this year's Saturnalia will likely be the last. But regardless of those fears, the Ventrue Prince of Camarilla controlled New Orleans insisted (in true Toreador fashion) that the “show must go on!” And so the stage has been set, plans have been made, and you are invited.

~ The Future of New Orleans ~

As lethal as the Second Inquisition is, that is not the only threat to the Big Easy and its traditions. Another more insidious and inexplicable force has descended upon the domain: the Beckoning. In the nights leading up to Saturnalia this mysterious power has wrecked unforeseen havok on the domain, calling away numerous elders from the secret havens, including the Prince, the majority of his Camarilla Court, and the domain’s Primogen council – and no one has risen to fill the power vacuum . . . yet.

~ New Orleans, a City with No Ruler ~

As Saturnalia begins, no sect controls the domain of New Orleans, leaving the city wide open for a new Camarilla court, Anarch aggression, Hecata hostility, or Sabbat incursion. How will Saturnalia shape the city? More importantly, how will you and your choices shape the domain? One thing is for certain: now is the time to determine your fate.

~ What to Expect as a Participant ~

Saturnalia is a Vampire: The Masquerade Larp in the Fifth Edition setting that will take place over the course of 1-night on November 12, 2022, in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the French Quarter. Although the event will take place at night, there will be safety and rules workshops during the day to prepare participants for the event. The Larp is designed to employ mechanisms to generate proactive participant engagement throughout and to give participants agency over their character’s actions while empowering them to do creative things in dynamic ways.

~ The Event Space ~

What makes Saturnalia truly special is where the event will take place: the French Quarter of New Orleans. To be clear, the event is not being held in a hotel ballroom that would require you to use your imagination to pretend you are in another location. Instead, the event will take place in several venues across the French Quarter allowing you to “walk among the mortals” who are not participating in the event as you travel from location to location, providing you the true “Masquerade” experience. The city is literally your event space providing you the immersive experience of hiding your true nature from the masses as you move through the night. To make your experience as enjoyable as possible, you will be provided a venue list and information on how to find each location during the pre-event workshops and will be able to contact staff at any time to help guide you from one area to another.

~ The Masquerade is Essential ~

The Masquerade is an elaborate veil of deception pulled over the eyes of the living to hide the existence of vampires and is the only vampire tradition that is universally respected and – more importantly – essential to you as a participant. Your character knows full well that any breach of the Masquerade can end with a black ops team kicking in your haven door. Therefore, all characters at this event accept that it is better to be a parasitic power shaping human society from the shadows than as an open monster marauding through the street. To inject this crucial element into the event, we have made the event space the city itself. It is important for you to remember the Masquerade as you participate. Yelling, screaming, and engaging in pretend violence is completely acceptable in the various event venue locations across the French Quarter, but when you are walking among the “living” in Big Easy, such actions are likely to draw unwanted attention and raise questions that any vampire (or Saturnalia participant) does not want to have to explain. Protect yourself by protecting the Masquerade!

~ The Style of the Larp ~

The Larp is in the Nordic style, which means that character interaction is designed to look as real as possible. During play you are likely to become witness to arguments, simulated violence, and host of other interpersonal interactions. But whether intense roleplay or pretend violence, you will always have full control over the story you are telling and your own body. You always choose who to touch and control who touches you. You can always leave any situation and take a break from the fiction as needed. For more information on the Nordic Larp style that will be used for this event, please go to the “Nordic Larp” section.

~ You are Responsible for You ~

As a participant in this event, you understand that you are responsible for you. No one controls what you do, how you feel, or how you react, and you do not control anyone else. You are only responsible for yourself. Be kind, make good choices, know your limits, own your decisions. By respecting yourself and your limits, you respect everyone else.

~ Alcohol ~

The event is in New Orleans and while vampires generally do not drink alcohol or eat food, you may do so during the event as long as you are of legal age. Know your limits and behave responsibly because you are responsible for yourself. Participants deemed too intoxicated to participate responsibly will be removed from the event.

~ Rules of Interaction ~

All the rules of interaction will be covered in the pre-event workshops. These will include things like using vampire powers and how they are portrayed, simulating personal contact such as feeding, other consent based mechanics. For your safety and ours, real weapons, sexual assault and violence, racial violence, and real-world bigotry and intolerance (i.e., use of racial slurs, sexual slurs, homophobia, transphobia, etc.) are all banned.

~ Player Safety ~

Saturnalia has a dedicated safety team and is governed by the Reverie Studios and By Night Studios Event Policies regarding harassment and safety. Given the nature of the event, staff will immediately deal with any safety concerns. A part of our pre-event workshops will be specifically dedicated to discuss safety, explain who to contact if needed, and educate you and the other participants on our calibration techniques. Further, our event design allows you to opt out at any time from any situation in which you may feel unsafe. For the sake of the event and the participants, we reserve the right to remove players who engage in banned or disturbing behavior. If you have any concerns regarding safety at the event, please contact us.

~ Workshops ~

Before the Larp starts, we will hold a series of workshops to help participants familiarize themselves with the game’s structure, meta techniques, and character portrayal. There will also be time to get to know other players, especially those related to your character by sect, clan, or other affiliation.