For about four years I had a really intense love affair with my best friend, in a pretend world where she was a vampire and I was a demon. I thought it would be fun to talk about our experiences and so we had a little interview!
I met Renee through our student club when I asked if there were any players interested in playing a game of Vampire the Masquerade I wanted to run. Renee was one of the people who answered that call and we played a really epic chronicle with our friends that lasted for four years. Within the space of those four years Renee and I played out a love affair between her and a NPC.
Liz: So, Renee! I love you, but I am not in love with you. I guess you pretty much knew that, right? Anyway, to start off with can you tell everyone a bit about the IC love story and eventual triangle of Blanca, Issac, and Gewain?
Renee: I'm very happy to hear you're not in love with me, because that would be awkward. The love story of Issac and Blanca was neither simple nor short as it spread throughout our three-plus year chronicle. It started in late nineteenth century London, where Blanca was struggling with the discovery that she wasn't a Lasombra. She found Issac at an Elysium where he was basically a living bloodbag and decided to take him home.
This is where the trouble started. Issac and Blanca were very much unsuited for each other, and their romance involved lots of passion and slamming doors. The pack travelled to Greece and Issac got kidnapped by a demon. Blanca tried to save him, but then he got possessed by a demon and he left.
Heartbroken, Blanca moved heaven and earth (and literally dragged her pack to a hell dimension) to find him and expel the demon. She succeeded after several decades, but Issac couldn't remember anything and he left her to die a natural death.
Struggling to move on, Blanca helped soldiers during WWII. During this time she met Gewain, a Malkavian who occasionally thought he was Sir Gewain (from Arthurian legedend). All was well between them until Issac (still possessed the exorcism hadn’t truly worked) showed up again for the end of days. Of course Blanca chose the unhealthy, but epic romance with Issac over the stable loving Gewain. It was a no-brainer.
During Gehanna, Issac carried Blanca off into the sunlight when her time had come.
So yeah a lot of drama happened, but this has been one of the most profound roleplay experiences I have ever had and it's one that still breaks my heart when I think about it (it's like worse than the Red Wedding). How was it for you to play my lover?
Liz: When we talked in person I said like one paragraph Renee! But fair enough their love was a saga, I'll give you that.
Thinking about Blanca and Issac just makes me sad, but in a happy way. I was super invested in their relationship and when I think back on how it felt, I feel like wow that is so weird! I slipped into the role of Issac really easily, because I discovered who Issac was while playing - due to him being a tabula rasa at the start of the game. Oddly enough, I really feel like playing being in love with each other made you my best friend. Since we took the Blanca and Issac relation pretty damn seriously, I really got to know you OC through it. That is something I never thought would happen in a role play.
So, here's a tricky question - if you had to date Gewain or Issac in real life, who would you choose?
Renee: Wow, that is an incredibly hard question. Both are definitely hot.
Gewain is this prefect man. He is kind, caring, and patient. In all aspects he is an amazing guy to spend the rest of your life with. When he and I would be grey and old he will still bring in the romance. Issac on the other hand is much more dark and twisty. He is exciting, bit there'd be many things we'd butt heads about. I don't think it's a relationship that would last. It would be one with many break ups and getting back together cause you can't stay away from each other. In real life I would date either one, but Gewain would be the one I'd build a life with. Much like Blanca did.
Like you I was very invested in the Blanca-Issac relationship and I agree that it really brought us together as friends and that is something I value very much. Yet I also don't ever want to be this invested in an rp relationship again, cause it was also very painful. How do feel about this?
Liz: Btw I would totally choose Gewain! But you know I like the good guys. Every time I see someone in movies, books, or TV series going for the bad guy I am like:
Vampire Diaries Stefan or Damon? Pssht, please, Matt Donovan. True Blood: Eric or Bill? Alcide, thank you very much! Interview with the Vampire: Lestat or Armand. Louis, you really need to just be alone for a while to figure yourself out.
Okay, I am done my rant.
To answer your question :P I don't know I have never thought of it. The romance between Issac and Blanca happened really naturally and I am kind of put off by trying another relationship like it, mostly because it felt so real to me, I don't think another would, but who knows?
Going from that, what is your most memorable moment with Issac or Gewain in the chronicle?
Renee: I really have to think about this. It's easy to go to the painful moments, like when Blanca finally got Issac back and he had lost his memory, but Blanca kept having dreams that all turned out like she'd hoped. But that doesn't do justice to the whole relationship. So many things come to mind: the origami flowers he used to make with the love notes in them, Issac standing up for Blanca after her pack staked her. But also the brief times when Blanca saw him after he'd been possessed.
With Gewain I have far less of these moments. But I think that's also because it was a far more forced rp relationship than the Blanca-Issac one. In the end Issac is her true love.
It's really weird to think back on how natural this all felt. To be honest I can't imagine have had this experience with anyone but you. I've been thinking a bit about the how and the why. For one you and I became good friends really fast and I think that made way for having this love story develop so naturally in the campaign. Like we were getting to know each other as friends and had a pretty good connection from the start which meant there was enough trust to let this happen.
Your boyfriend was also part of the chronicle. Was it for you ever weird to have this love story going on and also have your rl boyfriend be there?
Liz: Nah, it wasn't weird for me. I mean, what I find to be a real loving relationship is so different than what Blanca and Issac had. I think they had the type of romance that is breathless and fleeting. The kind the consumes you and people write really bad novels about.
Also, playing a guy, made it was easy for me to separate. Cause you are my friend and I love you I could bring that into my role, but it didn't feel like a real romance that was happening to me - it was happening to Issac. It felt like I was watching this amazing TV show and I just needed to see what happened afterwards. Haha, also - Erik hated Issac, so it was hilarious to talk to him after the sessions about it. I would be like omg such romance and Erik would be like Issac is such a douchebag! He just didn't get it, I was like Erik what they have is reaaaallllllll!
How was it talking to your boyfriend about it? Did he get it?
Renee: Haha yeah I remember Erik's outrage when Blanca choose Issac over Gewain. I suppose from a guy perspective Issac is kind of a douchebag, but then again many girls do fall for the Damons and Lestats of this world.
I never really talk about roleplay with Danny. It's not very interesting to hear about that if you have played through it, or seen it. Kinda like when some rants about their favorite tv show you've never seen. I also don't talk to Danny about all the drama in Grey's Anatomy.
Also, he doesn't really get why I play vampire at all. He thinks we take it way too seriously and I guess he kinda has a point there, cause vampire is serious business O_o.
As a GM you have like all the control over the plot of the overall story. What was your favorite choice for Blanca's love life?
Liz: That is sooooo easy and also one of my more evil happenstance moments as a GM. I remember when Blanca and Ama went to fight the evil circus and of course Issac was there, Blanca and Ama got into a fight with this demon girl and one of you botched. I remember thinking, shit this is a really important moment and I want to have a cool botch. Then Floor (who played Ama) exclaimed, "Oh no! She (the demon) just portaled next to Issac!" You both looked horrified, as if I actually realized where I was portaling my demon NPC and I meant to land her right next to your lover.
The next choice was easy, I just thought to myself, well now they're expecting me to take him anyway. That's when I decided for Issac to be abducted by the demon and tortured in the hell dimension.
Okay! This has been really fun! I have one last question line for you and for me this is really an important one. Do you have any advice for people playing out romances? Do you have things you wished you knew before? Help them Renee-owan- kanobi you're their only hope!
Renee: I actually think the not knowing is the fun part of a rp relationship. If I compare Issac and Gewain (whom I wrote into Blanca's story myself) the former was so much more exciting because of all the discoveries you make about each other.
That said, for GMs and player who wish to add some romance to their chronicle I'd advise to only add if you already have good vibe together. If your chronicle is serious both players and GM will be very invested in the romance, which is fun but can also make it painful when your characters heart gets broken.
Romances are a fun thing to explore, and you get a dynamic with your friend you wouldn't ordinarily get.