I became a vampire with a nightclub as my lair in a GTA 5 roleplay server

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There's something beautifully pure about Downtown Los Santos. For me, it's the most intriguing urban snapshot of Grand Theft Auto 5's San Andreas map—with its clumsy network of neon-scarred thoroughfares, volatile nightcrawlers and cops so crooked they could swallow nails and shit out screws. 

In Downtown LS, you live and breathe the city's seedy underbelly. Its traffic is louder, its alleyways darker, and its people tastier. Hang on. What? Admittedly, my GTA 5 roleplay adventures have entered dark territory before, but vampirism is a cut above the rest. And the worst thing about it? I got really into it. 

Like, really into it. Like, standing behind my girlfriend in my real-world kitchen and trying to work out, hypothetically of course, the best angle I'd adopt to get the drop on her exposed neck. 

Like, changing my eight-month old daughter's nappy and thinking: her wee leg is quite chubby, I bet the blood-thirsty vampire dude I've been roleplaying in GTA 5 would get stuck right into that. 

Like, trying on those fake plastic fangs that you get at Halloween and thinking I genuinely looked better. Sexier, even. Wow.  

To my family and the strangers I set my nashers on in-game over the last few weeks, I am truly sorry. I've created a monster.    

Before embarking on my latest Grand Theft Auto 5 roleplay adventure, I was less certain of the slant I wished to pursue. One of the most exciting things about cultivating stories within FiveM's modified GTA world, is that interesting tales can be instigated without too much planning. 

Having an idea, sowing the seeds among other roleplay enthusiasts, and then watching the pantomime unfold is often how each fable begins—and then it's up to you how much you lean into the fantasy, or how much you strive to steer it in a different direction. 

This blood-thirsty tale, started with a meagre GTA: San Andreas comparison. 

“I remember, years ago,” pondered one roleplayer I happened upon at Legion Square. “When San Andreas had Cluckin' Bells, Burger Shots and Well-Stacked Pizzas lining every corner.”

This was, of course, a non-meta, in-character RP nod to GTA: SA's Eating system, whereby food was not only the 2004 game's primary health source, but also a basic necessity. Eating too much would cause your character to become overweight; not eating enough would cause them to lose fat, muscle mass, and ultimately, their life. 

In Grand Theft Auto 5 and GTA Online, though, feeding is reduced to commodity-like snacks that can only be purchased from convenience stores. Which begged the question: if I were to properly survive in a reality-reflecting RP world, what would be my main energy resource, beyond Ego Chasers, P's & Q's and cans of ECola? 

Humans. It was always humans. 

But you can't just start chowing down on unsuspecting players in GTA RP. Unlike the wild and chaotic murder-grounds of Rockstar's no-holds-barred official servers, the roleplay spectrum plays by strict rules. Crimes as innocuous as jaywalking can get you banged up in the slammer, and the server's volunteer police force rarely need much convincing when it comes to slapping on the cuffs. 

The server I played on during this particular adventure was not equipped with last year's After Hours update, therefore the only accessible nightclub on the map—FiveM uses NewTheft's Open All Interiors mod—was the functioning but abandoned Bahama Mamas West in Del Perro. 

My thinking here was simple: what better way to get close to people under the cover of darkness than within a smoke-filled club? 

Bahama Mamas West. 

Bahama Mamas West. 

Innumerable ways, probably. But this was my plan and I was sticking to it. Getting players inside the empty building would be my biggest challenge, so I started out preying on AI NPCs around the dancehall's perimeter. 

A chubby man here, a skinny woman there. Security guards, business folk, young, old, I didn't discern. I studied the NPCs' movements. I worked out the best ways to incapacitate, making as little noise as I went. I got in, I got out, I made that ‘nom, nom, nom' slurping-meets-grunting noise cartoon characters make when they eat. I stood over my motionless victims. I watched them squirm.

In RP terms, I burst necks like pinatas. But in realistic, in-game terms, I'd merely punch a harmless bystander on the back of the head, before squatting down beside them. In turn, I let my real self and my imagination do the leg work. 

“NOM, NOM, NOM,” I cried aloud in real-life, with the same unsettling vigour as Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter. 

“JOE, WHAT THE F***K ARE YOU DOING UP THERE?” cried my girlfriend from downstairs, but I daren't let her in on it. 

My first actual roleplayer mark was a success, who I snared at Legion Square. I went full-on obnoxious PR, promising the world of my totally-not-empty club that was absolutely equipped with free entry and a free bar. 

Problem was, I didn't have any money, so I had to shuttle my unsuspecting victim on the back of a rented pedal bike. I got in his face and sang the virtues of a venue that in reality had no DJ, no guests, no VIP area, no discernible entertainment value. I was less English Dave, more Glasgow knave. 

But he came all the same. Upon arrival, I marched ahead to the back room. I hid behind a door. I waited. And waited. And waited… And pounced! Screams! Fists! Death! Blood, glorious blood!

It was too easy. And yet this poor bastard would be my first and last proper kill. 

Nowadays, not much is known about Bahama Mamas West in Del Perro. High-brow establishments such as Gefängnis, The Palace and Omega have long replaced the dusty dancefloors of old, and talk of the club that once promised so much has been reduced to whispers and murmurs in and around Downtown. 

Bahamas is still accessible via FiveM's pre-After Hours servers. It's still as empty as it ever and its neon spotlights shine relentlessly into the night. I've since put the vampire life behind me, and I've pushed the memories so deep into my soul, that I hope they never again surface. 

The world has moved on. I have moved on. But the Los Santos Police Department's audio logs never forget.

May 18, 2019, 3.07pm: Botched double murder attempt

May 18, 2019, 3.38pm: Police attend suspected gun fight

May 18, 2019, 3.40pm: Wounded man provides eye-witness statement. Strangely, denies being a vampire

May 18, 2019, 3.42pm: Police aid wounded man

May 18, 2019, 3.45pm: Man gives full statement, continues to deny vampire likelihood

May 18, 2019, 3.49pm: Man attempts to eat police officers, is a vampire. Police officers ponder on-stake burning

May 18, 2019, 3.52pm: Vampire man restrained and arrested, teeth extracted

It's all over. And do you know what? All that listening has made me a wee bit peckish. Old habits die hard, I suppose. 

Oh, crap. Pray for my family.