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I run a large (20+) person Chronicles of Darkness larp. Our story centers primarily on rebuilding the Night Congress, a supernatural organization that keeps the peace between the large population of supernaturals in Saint Louis. While it makes sense that there's only about twenty supernaturals in Saint Louis, we've established canonically there were upwards of two hundred in the past.

If an issue gets large enough in the city that it effects the community as a whole, the Night Congress is compelled by the city spirit (who feeds on the energy created by this accord) to call a general vote. Each individual is awarded a vote, though werewolf packs generally cast their vote as a bloc.

What is an effective way to simulate this situation, while ensuring that NPCs take actions that make sense with their established goals and agendas without taking too much time out of the game?

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First, don't try to handle 200+ NPCs as individuals - a few of those characters will be acting as the Face of a particular faction and/or agenda. For instance, the cabal of mages at the University may internally hate each other's guts, but they might come together to push for rules protecting humans, so they send a single mage to argue their case and speak with their authority. Then again, maybe the mages among the student body have a bone to pick with the faculty, and so the university sends two representatives.

Each Face character should be someone who was established previously - you don't want to introduce a lot of new people at the same time if you can avoid it, and having a representative who already owes favors makes things a lot more interesting. They should also have their own distinct agenda, style, and politics. Once you've built a faction and their Face, the story will grow organically from the conflicts and alliances that they are driven to create. This also helps when you want to introduce other individuals within the faction, since you have a baseline to deviate from.

Second, if you're concerned about keeping the attention of your players while these other characters conduct their business, you could consider letting players take control of the Faces for the scene. Write up brief descriptions of the character, their style, and their motivations, then let your players draw cards at random. When their faction is called to speak, your players take control of their assigned NPC and get to have a little fun grandstanding. Players who do well could even be rewarded, but most RPG players find the opportunity to ham it up is worth the price of admission.

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Proxy voting is going to be your best friend here. Have a few NPC's representing different sides of the vote represent by proxy the votes of the members who are too numerous (and in game terms, too uninterested or unavailable) to cast a vote for themselves.

Make it clear, or at least discoverable, who holds how many votes and what side of the issue they stand on. Your PC's can then try to sway these representatives as the ultimate holders of the decision making.

This has worked for me in past LARP situations (specifically, electing a new Knight General in a fantasy setting), but I cannot say if the specifics of World of Darkness lore make this solution untenable.

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I would concur with Weaver's recommendation on sending proxies to represent groups.

In general, you shouldn't send the leader of the faction. I can't speak to how CoD works, but we generally don't permit this because it opens the door to 1 or 2 rogue players ignoring the in-game diplomacy rules and greasing them. And if an NPC is greased, even a plot character, they are expected to stay greased.

The LARP I play in usually has multiple factions vying to garner the PCs favor for various reasons. They do this by bartering favors, developing relationships with players, make baseless threats, making actual threats, etc. At every event, we hold a large meeting for the players to have a major impact on the game based on options presented to them via plot characters representing different factions.

Whomever you elect to play these representatives needs to be very charismatic and familiar with their storyline. In my experience, storylines generally have 1 writer, so that's usually a good candidate to be the plot character. For the sake of continuity, the words chosen by that cast character are usually binding on the associated plot line (at least in our game).

On the matter of taking actions that make sense with their established goals, that should usually derive from player action. If the players push away the Night King to help the Day Queen, the latter should definitely be more favorable to their requests. The former might be pissed and express that at the meeting, or perhaps really needs their help so attempts coy persuasion to regain ground with the players. That specific question is very subjective, so you'll need to figure it out for what makes sense in your game.

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