The History of Sanguine Dreams

Vampire: the Masquerade has been a popular hobby in Sonoma and Marin Counties since the early 1990s when the game was first released. By the year 2000 LARP groups and organizations had spread across Northern California; each game had its own flavor, and it seemed there wasn’t a single weekend evening that didn’t have at least one well-attended game going on.

Several local players who felt restricted by the bureaucracy of games belonging to a world-wide chronicle and weren’t satisfied with the play style of other local, independent games, decided to form their own group, where they could focus on telling stories, not throwing challenges. In late 2000, Lshoan Harah was born.

Loosely translated from Hebrew the name meant “the wicked tongue” in reference to lies, secrets, and scandal – the very stuff that fueled the best vampire stories. Over the next several years the small original group grew larger and more popular, attracting others who wanted to focus on story and interaction rather than competition and mechanics.

Changing of the Guard

In 2005 the founding Storytellers stepped down, handing the reins to new leadership. The same chronicle had been going since the game’s founding, and new players often felt underpowered and unable to make a difference compared to the longest-lived characters. In late 2006 the decision was made to sunset the original chronicle and start fresh, to give everyone a chance to help write the story. Thus began the tradition of regularly starting over, often with new Storytellers, in order to keep the game active and interesting for all.

“Lshoan Harah 2” became a true mystery chronicle, with many branching story arcs and hidden alliances waiting for their moment to strike. Madness and religious fervor gripped the populace, often at cross purposes. By the time this second story had run its course, a new generation of players had joined the game, bringing unique and surprising outlooks on the setting in general and our game in particular.

Through several subsequent iterations different styles of Vampire were explored, such as Domains without any established history, a grand political melee for supremacy, and even one where the agents of the mysterious Justicariate showed an interest in local politics.

As the last Lshoan Harah chronicle wound down in 2011, the decision was made to embrace the changing face of our game, as in truth very few of the original players were left, and start completely fresh. Not just with a new chronicle but a new name and a new relationship with Sonoma State University.

Telling New Stories

The first “Sanguine Dreams” chronicle began in 2012 to rousing success, bringing players both new and experienced from all over Sonoma County to explore the world of vampire politics. There remained many other games in the area, but none held the high level of costuming, decor, depth, or gravitas of our Sunday night adventures. During that first chronicle, set in the 1980s, the Storytellers explored with time jumps to represent the longevity of a vampire’s experience, and brought back the Camarilla’s age-old foes: the Sabbat.

The game ran for three years and garnered enough attention and excitement that we’re back for more! Today’s Sanguine Dreams sees our characters in the middle of the 1990s, competing for their own slice of Sonoma County, defending it from foes both within and outside the Domain.

Now you know the history – come join us and help create the future!