Tips For Researching Timelines

If you Google it, they will come

Say it with me - Google is my friend. Seriously, go to Google and type things like: "History of Chicago" or "Timeline of Barcelona". The best results I've gotten consistantly seem to come from the phrase: "Timeline of (whatever city) History".

Chances are, someone has already done the research you want and stuck it on the internet for you to scavange. When you're done, don't forget to add the link you found the goodies on to the bottom of the page so other people can use it too!

Here is a great timeline of Seattle posted by the Seattle Times as an example:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/local/seattle_history/articles/timeline.html


So let's look at an example of how I would create a timeline. You might do it differently, but this is what I'd do more or less, for the imaginary Kindred Vincent Ventrue.

1. Get a general idea of the character's date of Embrace based on Age.

For example, lets say you are playing an Ancilla that is a couple of hundred years old. Other options are Neonate (less than 100) or elder (generally more than 3/400). So for this example you're looking at somewhere in the 1800's as a start point.

2. Pick a city and find it's timeline.

It's easier to find timeline information on the internet about major cities, and Kindred find it easier to feed in heavily populated areas anyway, so pick a fairly big town. For this example we'll use London.

  • I Googled for "Timeline of London History" and found lots of results. For this example I'll pick the first one that comes up: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/customs/questions/history.html . Browse along the timeline till you get to sometime in the 1800's that seems interesting (based on step one) or till you get to the era you've decided the embrace happened. Maybe make a note of a couple of interesting events in this city's history that your character might have been effected by or taken part in. If you feel like learning more about a particular event, it's easy to dig deeper. For now though, I'll pick the entry "1837 Queen Victoria becomes Queen at the age of 18" as this character's embrace date.

3. Move around a little.

Now I could just say this character never left London until they came to Seattle. There are certainly plenty of interesting things that happen from 1837 to now in London, but it's more interesting if a Kindred has been around I think, so I'm going to research another city and have the Kindred 'move' to Chicago sometime later.

  • I Googled "Timeline of Chicago History" and found this page: http://www.chipublib.org/cplbooksmovies/cplarchive/timeline/index.php Based on that I browsed along that city's timeline and picked an event that looked interesting to me: "1919 July 21: Dirigible (Balloon) Crash". So now I know that this character was Embraced in London in 1837 and came to Chicago in 1919 when a Diridgible crashed there. Maybe the character was on the balloon and just barely survived.

I could do the same thing here as I was talking about earlier and have the character stay in Chicago until finally moving to Seattle, or move on to one more city. Just for fun, let's do one more, and because I happen to know that Chicago wasn't all that fun after the Stock Market crash of 1929, I think my Kindred will move in 1930. So I decide to look at Las Vegas.

If I don't want my Kindred to be any more well-travelled than that, then I'm pretty much good to go. All that's left is to make a note that the character comes to Seattle in the present day and…

4. Post it!

So there are two places you should post this. The timeline for my made-up Kindred would look like this:


Vincent Ventrue

Embraced 1837 in London, England
Resided in Chicago, IL from 1919-1929
Resided in Las Vegas, NV from 1930-2008
Resided in Seattle, WA from 2009-Present


And then in each city they resided in, an entry like this: (Using Chicago as an example)

Vincent Ventrue Resided in Chicago, IL from 1919-1929

That way anyone else who clicks on Chicago, IL can see that hey, Vincent Ventrue was there, and if their timeline crosses over with yours, instant story connections.

That's it!

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