Posted on August 2, 2010 by Matt-M-McElroy
FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with an inside look at an event called “The Grand Masquerade.” This annual event, hosted by White Wolf Publishing, is held for fans of the World of Darkness. This interview was conducted by FlamesRising.com’s editor-in-chief Matt M McElroy, who is also a long-time fan, Storyteller and promoter of White Wolf.
I had the chance recently to sit down with Shane DeFreest, World of Darkness Community Developer for CCP/White Wolf, and ask him about the upcoming gathering called The Grand Masquerade. The Grand Masquerade is a World of Darkness Convention being held on September 23-26, 2010 at the Roosevelt Waldorf Astoria Hotel located in the New Orleans French Quarter.
The Grand Masquerade is a celebration of two decades of World of Darkness games. How did the idea for this event come about?
We’ve always wanted to do our own World of Darkness convention and this just seemed the right time. Our different fan clubs and groups have held their own various events and conventions over the years but we felt that the time was right to really try and do something big that brings everyone together in a way that was previously not available and help us celebrate the last two decades as we head into our 20th anniversary.
In addition to celebrating our past we also want to show our appreciation to our fans by giving them a first look at the future of the World of Darkness. We have some very exciting things planned that people will be talking about for years. So this is where we thank our established loyal fans by creating the most amazing World of Darkness event ever produced and giving them a special world premier of the future.
Why have the event in New Orleans?
Few people would disagree that New Orleans is the most iconic “Vampire” city in North America. It’s been the hub of Vampire pop culture for years and is easily the most European city in the United States. We really want our fans to really experience the World of Darkness 24/7. Even when they are not gaming we want them to still sort of be in our world headspace. The French Quarter of New Orleans offers that unique experience. I’ve heard the quote “what I wouldn’t give to play Vampire in New Orleans” from thousands of fans over the years and this is the year where those dreams come true in a big way.
Can you tell us a little about the Roosevelt Hotel and why you selected the venue?
When it came to selecting a venue for the biggest event we’ve ever done our first two requirements where style and space. The Roosevelt has both in spades. Located one block away from legendary Bourbon st., The Roosevelt originally opened in 1893 and has everything a fan of our games could hope for. It’s haunted, steeped it history, extremely elegant and awash with old world charm. Sinatra, Elvis, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles all played there. We wanted a venue that really celebrates the World of Darkness in all of its rich history. With 65,000 square feet of event space and having just undergone a $140,000,000 renovation we’re certain that the Roosevelt is the location for us.
What sorts of events can fans look forward to at the Grand Masquerade?
We have a number of events during the course of the convention that should be very exciting for all of our fans. Both the Camarilla Fan Club and One World by Night have a number of LARPS that will be taking place during the course of the weekend in professionally decorated rooms. In addition to just having a luxurious hotel we have some amazing movie quality set decorators we’ve hired to completely transform the hotel into the World of Darkness in a way previously unseen by any of our fans.
The Wrecking Crew is running a number of great Table Top games and there is the VTES North American Championship. We have Tim Bradstreet coming in as our artist guest of honor and there will be panels and parties galore. Our Saturday night Succubus Club party will be one for the record books. The big news that I can’t really give to many details on is that we’ve got something really big we want to show our fans first. Friday at sundown is where we give everyone the first look at the future of the World of Darkness. If you have been a fan of our games for two months or two decades you won’t want to miss what we have to say.
You’ve invited members of the Camarilla, One World by Night and the Elder Kindred Network, what about World of Darkness fans that are not members of those organizations?
We actually expect to see allot of people show up that are not part of these clubs and are preparing for that. Both of the LARP organizations will have a booth to help people make characters for any of the games they wish to play in. VTES is always looking for new players so they will be running a qualifier the first day of the event and The Wrecking Crew has a bunch of games for anyone and everyone if they want to do table top in a luxury setting.
What sorts of events will the Wrecking Crew be running?
When it comes to running World of Darkness Table Top games these guys are the best. They run over 30 games each year at Gen Con and we asked them to come out and take charge of our Table Top games for The Grand Masquerade. They have a great mix of Original and New World of Darkness events lined up. If you’re a big fan of Table Top gaming and want to play with the best these guys are the pros.
In closing I’d just like to say that this event is a celebration and a thank you to our community for their last two decades of support. We have some of the most loyal fans in the world and this event we’ve wanted to do for a long time. The Grand Masquerade is going to be something very special. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends, meeting new ones and celebrating the World of Darkness in an unprecedented manner.
Hope to see you there!
Visit TheGrandMasquerade.com for more information or to register for the event.