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I will attend a LARP in about a month, and my role will be a Giovanni ghoul. But I know pretty much nothing about Giovanni besides the fact that they are an Italian criminal syndicate, and I especially don't know much about their ghouls. How are they chosen? How are they treated?

It's not MET, gamemasters write their own rules, and I already know what the mechanics will look like. However, I am interested in the plot, and the game hosts have announced that they use the Revised edition as their basis.

Where can I find information about Giovanni as a clan and their ghouls in particular besides their third-edition clan book?

I can read some books in that time, but, probably, not all the books ever published for oWoD, that's why I am asking for my choice to be narrowed down.

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Their clan book really is the best canon resource. Outside of that, understanding Italian mafia tropes explains a lot of how they operate. Watch mafia/organized crime movies like The Godfather, The Departed, Goodfellas, etc. and understand that a ghoul fits in at the bottom of the mafia hierarchy. Like many of the clans, the Giovanni are mostly just a stereotype.

Per https://whitewolf.fandom.com/wiki/Giovanni:

The Giovanni are organized as something between a highly ruthless mafia dynasty and a highly ruthless corporation. Clan operations are overseen by a hierarchy of capos, padrones and maestros. Favors such as financial responsibilities (and rewards), ghouling, and the Embrace are dependent on performance; vicious backstabbing and cutthroat competition are the order of the day in a Giovanni household.

and

Giovanni make an art out of ghouling, since ghouling is a rite of passage for the Giovanni – ghouling means that the Giovanni is now part of the people who make the family work. Not necessarily a mover and shaker, but something akin to a made man: the Masquerade is pulled back and the truth about vampires is revealed.

Which source you need to start with depends a bit on the type of character you're hoping to make. If you've been a ghoul for a long time, your character may have more knowledge of the vampire side of the family, and you may want to draw on some of the insights from the clan book. On the other hand, if your character was more recently brought into the fold, then they may not have much knowledge yet of the bloodier side of the family. Either way, though, your character still would have grown up and lived their mortal life thus far as a part of a mafia family.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What should I begin with, the clan book, or the mafia movies? \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Feb 20 at 20:26
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    \$\begingroup\$ I think it depends a bit on the type of character you're hoping to make. If you've been a ghoul for a long time your character may have more knowledge of the vampire side of the family, and you may want to draw on some of the insights from the clan book. On the other hand, if you're character was more recently brought into the fold, then they may not have much knowledge yet of the bloodier side of the family. Either way though your character still would have grown up and lived their mortal life thus far as a part of a mafia family. \$\endgroup\$ – Luck Feb 20 at 22:55
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If you haven’t done so already, I recommend starting with the clan descriptions in the revised edition (or V20) rulebook. There’s a description of each clan and by reading all of them you can get a good idea of what a Giovanni is and how they are perceived from outside the clan.

If you are into some pulpy fiction, there is Clan Novel Giovanni which you can buy in pdf. It’s written from an internal view of the clan and I thought it was a fun read.

You might also take a look at YouTube videos of the VtM Bloodlines video game’s Giovanni mission. It has a lot of flavor of the Giovanni in it and there are 3 mortal characters trying to get into Uncle Bruno’s Inner Circle. I always interpreted that as an embrace personally, but I think you could still learn a lot of you looked at them as ghoul candidates.

As you suggested, the clan book will also serve you well.

In the end, you can probably find a lot of specifics, but there are three key things that will define the typical Giovanni: 1) Italian mafia 2) Necromancy 3) Family (incest and embracing)

If you can add some of each of those to your character, you will be a spot-on Giovanni.

P.S. I once played a larp based on the revised rules where there was a mystery for me to solve. The GMs expected me to get some mafia references and tie it to the Giovanni. I totally missed it. So knowing the other clans basic stereotypes is useful stuff.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ You could also note that VtMB is a good game on its own merit, and, for a gamer, it might be worth it to just play through it (after installing the latest Unofficial Patch Plus so that the game is playable and actually fun). Experiencing the scenes yourself adds a lot to the atmosphere. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Feb 22 at 7:26
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If you're looking for information about Revised-era ghouls, Ghouls: Fatal Addiction is a great resource, and one of the line's best books as well. Pages 57-58 are about the Giovanni in specific, but the whole manual is great.

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