L.A. By Night is a web video series created by Geek & Sundry that follows a group of players during a game of Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition with Jason Carl as the Storyteller. It was originally shown on Alpha and Twitch before gradually being released on YouTube. The first season consisted of eight episodes that concluded in 2018 with a second season set for release in 2019.
The premise of the series is three vampires have been granted domain over Griffith College when a series of anemic students appearing in the clinic clue them into the presence of a "poacher" on campus. Investigating, they meet a fourth member of their coterie and become involved in a conspiracy that threatens the stability of the Anarch Free States as well as their own freedom.
The player characters consist of:
- Annabelle (as played by Erika Ishii): A Naïve Newcomer Brujah of the 13th generation who knows nothing about Kindred society.
- Jasper Heartwood (as played by Alexander Ward): A snarky Nosferatu who is the closest the group has to a Creepy Good Friendly Neighborhood Vampire. He relies heavily on stealth and invisibility.
- Nelli G (as played by Cynthia Marie): A Toreador who uses her good looks and social skills to get what she wants. She's very secretive and hides a Dark Secret.
- Victor Temple (as played by B. Dave Walters): The self-styled Only Sane Man who is a rich rap media mogul and Papa Wolf turned Ventrue Manipulative Bastard.
- X (as played by Xander Jeanneret): X is a Malkavian who straddles the line between Fishmalk (a "wacky" mentally ill character) and a genuine depiction of his condition's tragedy.
This series has the following tropes:
- Absentee Actor: Actors are frequently absent. When this happens they are usually replaced by X or a guest star.
- Anti-Hero Team: None of the coterie is without sin.
- Big Bad:
- Bobby Blaine is this for the first season.
- Vannevar Thomas is this for Season 2.
- Big Good: Isaac Abrams is a particularly dark example of such.
- Big "SHUT UP!": After Victor alerted the police to the Kindred presence, Abrams interrupts one of his futile attempts at explaining his prior actions.
- Bi the Way: Annabelle has both a boyfriend as well as girlfriend.
- Jasper would have sex with Gary Oldman, but also had a girlfriend in life.
- Nelli kisses both girls and boys in the Succubus club.
- Victoria Ash requests "one boy and one girl of legal age".
- Bomb Throwing Anarchist: Annabelle torched an office in an act of defiance.
- Boring, but Practical: Victor Temple and Nelli G often use Presence 1's "Awe" power to make themselves more persuasive in regular conversation.
- Brainwashed and Crazy: Shows up numerous times, usually at the hands of either the villains or Victor Temple.
- Break the Cutie: Annabelle undergoes this after being Embraced.
- Blood Magic: Eva, the Tremere uses Thaumaturgy, which is basically this.
- Can't Take Criticism: Victor takes being lectured badly.
- Catchphrase: Victor has "I activate Awe". Following Episode 4, he always introduces himself at the start of episodes as "undisputed Baron of the Valley".
- Jason has a habit of responding to important rolls or info with, "I'm going to make a note of that."
- Cloud Cuckoolander: X is the Malkavian variation of this.
- Color Motif: White is a color of purity and divinity, but also the color of death in some cultures. Eva dresses in an all white outfit.
- Cool Shades: Both Nelli and her sire Chaz have them.
- Jasper gets a pair in season 2.
- Court Mage: Eva's role in vampire society.
- Declaration of Protection: Victor tells Annabelle he'll do anything to protect his children. Including wiping their memories and killing Annabelle.
- Annabelle makes one towards Mark and Ellenore.
- Depraved Bisexual: Nelli G and Victoria Ash fall under this. They feed on and kiss girls and boys in the Succubus club.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Annabelle at the beginning of the 3 episode of season 2, when calling out Victor. Later on, also Jasper, when Victor babbles about his secrets to everyone and at the end Abrams, for the same reasons Annabelle was.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Victor and Annabelle both have their Touchstones addressed.
- Exact Words: Jasper doesn't hurt people. Other vampires aren't "people" though.
- Fantastic Racism: What most Kindred express towards thinbloods.Victor: They're like ghouls plus.
- Family of Choice: The vampires don't have anyone beside their coterie to turn to without violating the Masquarede.
- Fire-Forged Friends: The coterie is very close at the beginning and gradually comes to protect Annabelle with equal fervor.
- Flower in Her Hair: Eva wears small pink flowers in her hair.
- Flower Motifs: Red and pink flowers, mostly roses are Eva's aesthetic. She also gives different kinds of flowers to the coterie members after she arrived.
- Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: A Downplayed Trope example as none of them are actively trying to harm mortals but only Annabelle (along with possibly Jasper) really qualify.
- Jasper proves to be far from this but he restricts his violence to other vampires.
- Nelli G is a murderer and slaver of her enemies.
- Funny Schizophrenia: X is a "Funny" brand of Malkavian, making odd allusions and metaphors to screw with people.
- Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: A constant threat to the loved ones of the characters.
- Lennon Specs: Jasper has a pair in season 2.
- Hair Decorations: Eva has a white tiara and flowers in her hair.
- Hot Witch: Eva is both beautiful and creepy, she also uses blood magic.
- Nelli also counts as this, as she knows Thaumaturgy and is also quite attractive.
- Horror Hunger: A constant threat as per 5th Edition. The characters lose control over themselves multiple times.
- Ignorant of Their Own Ignorance: Victor seems to be unable to realize how reckless he's being, thinking himself to be somewhat untouchable.Abrams: You probably expect me to yell at you...
Abrams: Well, you were wrong!!!
- Informed Attribute: Jasper bemoans his hideousness but it's implied he mostly just looks like his actor with visible black veins.
- It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time: Victor's "plan" for distracting the police when rescuing the Weird Sisters is this to him. And only him.
- Klingon Promotion: Jasper gets one of these when he kills the Sheriff and is unexpectedly promoted to replace him.
- Les Collaborateurs:
- Bobby Blaine and a group of Thin Bloods are working with both the Second Inquisition.
- Baron Theresa of Santa Monica is working with the Camarilla.
- An iffy case with Nelli G as she takes one of the Inquisitors on as a ghoul.
- Loophole Abuse: Jasper won't feed on humans but he feeds Tara who Jasper then feeds upon.
- Looks Like Orlok: Comes with being a Nosferatu. Jasper is actually implied to look a great deal more human than most of his kind (as befitting 5E) but still ticks most of these tropes.
- The Masquerade: Discussed and demonstrated numerous times. The Masquerade is treated with grave importance by the characters, even above it being the title of the game.
- Metaphorgotten: X is prone to this as he often loses track of his own allusions.
- The Mole: X proves to be one of these for Baron Theresa.
- Mr. Exposition: Victor tends to play this role, usually to Annabelle.
- Naïve Newcomer: Annabelle knows absolutely nothing about Kindred society.
- Never Hurt an Innocent: Revealed in Episode 4 to be one of Victor's values.
- Noodle Incident:
Chaz: There was that time in '48...
- Apparently Chaz was hit by a flying Malkavian before.
- Annabelle apparently punched a cougar to death.
- Odd Friendship: A Toreador, a Brujah, A Nosferatu, and a Ventrue are more or less a collection of the polar opposites of Kindred society.
- Our Founder: Jeremy MacNeil is cited as this to the Anarch Free State.
- Police are Useless: They are just oblivious mortals.
- Running Gag:
- Sad Clown: There's a few genuinely heartbreaking moments with X as he sometimes communicates how desperate and terrified his condition makes him.
- Slobs vs. Snobs: Averted. Despite the characters all being Anarchs, most of them are reasonably posh. The exception is Jasper.
- Tears of Blood: Vampires don't have any other fluids in their body, so they cry tears.
- True Companions: The cotrie are a group of best friends and they swear to take care of one another.Nelli: And you're not alone.
Victor: We look out for eachother.
Jasper: I mean... yeah, I guess.
- Urban Fantasy: It is a story about magic, vampires, and general weirdness existing behind the surface of present-day Los Angeles.
- We ARE Struggling Together: The primary problem of the Anarchs according to virtually everyone. They are divided into baronies that are constantly at each other's throats.
- What Were You Thinking?: What Annabelle, Abrams and Jasper subject Victor to in episode 3 of season 2 after he nearly broke the Masquerade and caused a war.Abrams: If "fine" exists in the bright center of the galaxy, you're on the planet that's farthest from it.
- Your Cheating Heart: Averted, with Annabelle being confirmed by Word of God as Polyamorous.