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supernal

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    supernal got a reaction from chibixxgurotears for a article, New Member Guide   
    WELCOME, TRAVELER . . . 
     
     
    to the promised land - of roleplay!
    Valucre is a forum roleplay site. The fact that we have no central plot and don't separate our member base into silos of experience makes us a little different than your average roleplay site. We take things a step further by providing a unique and persistent global setting. A full planet capable of supporting most themes and ideas, with dozens of plots all happening at once, some large and encompassing, others small and intimate. 
    There's so much to do and see on Valucre you could spend hours for days on end going through guides, sheets, and lore. But don't worry. No one expects you to catch up on over a decade of history just to jump in and start creating with us. 
    Think of Valucre's body of work less like a guidebook you have to read just to make sense of where you are, and more like an encyclopedia or a reference guide that you can look to when you want to add immersive details to your post, such as the political climate of one area or the visuals of another. 
    Below are a number of tiles which cover different topics. You can visit the page by just clicking on the tile that you want to learn about. Give our guide 15 minutes of your attention and you'll be starting on a strong foundation. 
    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!

      
      

     
  2. Like
    supernal got a reaction from chibixxgurotears for a article, Mild Powers   
    General
    Valucre is a mild powers forum.
    We allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit their ceiling to keep the site relatively balanced. Wiggle room for outsized impact exists but is almost always for the sake of collective story, not aggrandizing a single character. A new member who joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone cleaving mountains in half might feel pressured to beef up their character in response, but as combat is always optional, this isn't required. As a site Valucre seeks to emphasize character development over ability or power development. If you would like a loose framework to follow along with check out Flow and Fiero in Freeform Roleplay.
    As a free-form site, we don't manage rank or stat based systems for development. Instead we ask members exercise prudence and emphasize narrative when choosing abilities to navigate the fantasy setting of Valucre. Given the wide scale our below mild powers examples establish, we care more about regulating the end result or consequences of powers than their origins or types. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss and want suggestions as to what we think makes for effective character creation.
    As mentioned earlier combat is always optional and requires both declaration and consent. As long as it is stated and agreed upon by both players, any system can be used to resolve an in-character conflict. Examples include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combat but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System, among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    When in doubt, following the philosophies outlined in Roleplay Etiquette will steer you in the right direction.
    Mild Powers - history and examples
    In its historical context mild powers was "somewhere in between" the poles of Realistic Melee and Power Characters. The former allowed only realistic characters, abilities, weaponry, and the latter allowed concepts which tend to be more about power gaming than telling a story. There's a lot of room on the spectrum between those two poles and so it should come as no surprise if what you consider mild, or even just plain serviceable, varies from what someone else does. When in doubt talk with your partners and come to a consensus on what makes something interesting vs what deflates all tension.
    The below is not an exhaustive list, just examples:
    Examples of forbidden abilities
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste" is often Mild; time travel often isn't) Large scale reality manipulation (at a small scale this is just a different flavor of "magic") Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomena Attacks that manifest instantly or otherwise don't allow a character to react to them Indestructible weapons, armors, unstoppable magic, infinite or impervious items, etc Examples of generally disallowed abilities (can be used for NPCs or collaborative story purposes)
    Soul stealing or manipulation (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing but for others it can be a pivotal aspect hence the "allowed for story purposes" designation) Manifesting an attack inside of another person ("blood bending" is an example of where you want to make sure the player is fine with it) Automatic mind-control (vs attempted) Teleportation and other "instantaneous" abilities or actions "Magical scanning" or otherwise being able to meta-game knowledge about another user Examples of allowed abilities
    Enhanced senses Augmented physical and mental abilities Psionics (telekinesis, telepathy, pyromantic, etc, all dependent on the scale) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) Amplitude
    For storyline purposes, large scale attacks are allowed within reason. World- or continent-destroying attacks will essentially always be disallowed; city-busting is sometimes feasible depending on the effort and activity leading up to this as well as obtained permission and coordinating of plot; and the destruction of a building or buildings is usually considered the upper limit of a character or group of characters.
    Someone inevitably fixes on the fact that "building" is a generic term and fail to realize that the term is kept generic on purpose. A single story home and an apartment high rise are both buildings, but are clearly not equivalent in size. In general the takeaway is that as a player you should be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work to destroy depending on what went into making the item. Contributors can work for years building up conceptual sand-castles and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two even if they are open to conflict.
    Abilities are judged primarily on their destructive or constructive potential, or the scale on which they apply, as opposed to their complexity. Stopping a boulder mid-flight and pushing it away is less complex than turning it to sand but both work on a similar scale and essentially accomplish the same thing.
    Creator: supernal
    Editors: traxien cion, supernal
  3. Like
    supernal got a reaction from chibixxgurotears for a article, Character Creation Guide   
    A introduction to character creation in roleplay
    I've said this before and it's worth repeating: character sheets are completely optional. If you want to post a sheet anyway you can do so in User Lore. We have character sheet templates available there for public use.
    To get your day to day roleplay fix here on Valucre, all you need is a character in mind and the ability to play them with some consistency, unless inconsistency is a part of their character (see: mental instability and unreliable narrators).
    Still, sheets are useful for keeping track of information. This is especially true if you have many characters, and is also useful for conveying information to your partners  you may not feel like repeating every time you start a new thread (if I have to describe this *******'s eyes one more time, I swear!).
    The consequent sections are in no particular order. Experiment with doing the last part first or starting in the middle, and you'll be surprised at what jumps out at you. You also don't need to write a paper for each section. Just put some thought into each section for your character, then you can keep that in mind or fill out a character sheet if you please.
    I'll occasionally refer to "breaking" your "character image". Take this to essentially mean challenging the suspension of disbelief that we as writers adopt in a fantasy roleplay environment.
    A character's physical appearance - what to convey
    I tend not to get hung up on names for my roleplay characters because I believe in the "a rose by any other name" quote, but that's just me. If your RP character originates in Valucre (which is optional) it'll definitely make your character a more concrete addition to fit into the place that he or she originates from, and some authors get a kick out of having their character names be indicative of their personality or fate.
    Some basics to think about are what other characters see about your character upon first sight. Eye, hair and skin color. Scars, tattoos, piercings. What characteristics make sense for the location of your roleplay? Think about the multiple dimensions that hygiene adds to appearance. Your character has black hair – is the hair smooth? Shiny? Silky? Greasy? Stringy? Are their teeth straight? Yellow? Fake? What do they smell like? What do they sound like?
    What's your character's build? Look up images of people that have the same basic height and weight of your character so you can get an idea of their silhouette and stature. If you play a character that is large and imposing, indicating an inappropriate height and weight will break your character image.
    Think about attire. This is influenced by position, profession and personality. A blacksmith won't always be walking down the street with their apron and a hammer on their back. An assassin can be dressed in anything from beggar's clothes to a noble's surcoat. A warrior might walk with a limp to hide the clank of armor underneath his cloak. Any of these characters might make it a point to keep a daisy in their lapel.
    You may also revisit Physical Appearance after thinking about Personality and History, as they individually and together have an influence on Appearance. A mousy bookworm isn't likely to be tanned and muscular, and a belligerent orphan in an abusive institution is likely to have scars or missing teeth.
    Personality in roleplay - traits and motivations
    There are hundreds of lists and dozens of books written on personality types and character traits. For the sake of simplicity we'll go with the five personality traits that most modern psychologists accept as being the basis for all other personality traits.
    OCEAN, or Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism. The (modified) explanation for OCEAN provided below is an excerpt from a Wikipedia Article:
    Openness to experience: (inventive/curious vs. consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, unusual ideas, and variety of experience. Openness is described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent, and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine.
    Conscientiousness: (efficient/organized vs. easy-going/careless). A tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior.
    Extraversion: (outgoing/energetic vs. solitary/reserved). Energy, positive emotions, surgency, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness.
    Agreeableness: (friendly/compassionate vs. analytical/detached). A tendency to be compassionate and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. It is also a measure of one's trusting and helpful nature, and whether a person is generally well tempered or not.
    Neuroticism: (sensitive/nervous vs. secure/confident). The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control.
    Note that these categories are not meant to compete with one another, that each category represents a spectrum on which a character can land, and that being at the extreme of either end is unbalanced (which can make for very interesting characters, but don't try to "score high" in each category either).
    Consider how your roleplay character fulfills each category and where on the range they fall.
    Extraversion can range from "I'm the life of the party" to "I'm quiet around strangers". Agreeableness can range from" I have a soft heart" to "I'm not interested in other people's problems".
    Some basics of personality to think about are fears, prejudices, morals and motivations. All of these paint and influence personality, but motivations are the traits that tend to be most obvious to other characters.
    Sample Motivations
    Achievement and Acquisition: A desire to overcome obstacles, to acquire recognition or fame, or to just be the best. Adventure: To explore everything, discovery mysteries, blaze new trails. Chaos: To disrupt social order, sew confusion, destroy buildings and extinguish life. Education: To gain knowledge or information, to train under prestigious teachers or be a teacher themselves. Nobility: For a higher purpose, order, religion, etc. Peace: To bring harmony to the world and protect the helpless. Recreation: To have fun and enjoy life. Power: To gain material wealth and land, to accrue power, to control others. Character history
    I've seen Character Histories that were a few sentences long, and others that were a separate thread and multiple posts long. There's a lot you could choose to say about a character in this section and how much to include is, as always, a matter of personal preference.
    I suggest including only what is relevant to your character's current roleplay. Regardless of age, your character's childhood can be very crucial to your character's personality and motivations and their current story. But if your character's current story is about avenging their lover's death, their childhood is very likely of no consequence at all.
    What shaped your character's personality or outlook of the world? What history/profession/interest explains your character's abilities, attire, and equipment? Have they met any influential people or participated in historically important events? Why is your character where they are now, doing what they're doing?
    Abilities and equipment in roleplay - find the balance and play the game
    Unless closely tied into Personality and History, I suggest making Abilities and Equipment the last section you focus on. It's a common trend among RPers to see a cool weapon or power on a video game or show/anime. I'm here to say, don't fall for the trap! Valucre is about you being free to write whatever moves you and inspiration comes from all angles, but in my experience these types of "shake and bake" characters are not very fulfilling and tend to evaporate quickly.
    You want things about your roleplay character to make sense, and if they don't, to be able to explain why that is. Abilities and powers should be relevant to your character's history. A mermaid that can talk to fish and manipulate water makes more sense than a mermaid that periodically breathes fire – the latter doesn't have to be impossible but the idea is a non sequitur, it does not "follow", and if you can't explain why your aquatic creature is capable (or cursed? compelled?), you break your character's image.
    In terms of cost, weight, and amount, is your character's equipment sensible?? How much growth are you allowing your character, and whether a little or a lot, is it this deliberate? How much of your character's abilities and equipment is created in the narrative (the sheet, the background), and how much is received through actual content written on the site and interaction with the community?
  4. Like
    supernal got a reaction from chibixxgurotears for a article, Roleplay FAQ   
    What is roleplaying? What is play-by-post roleplay?
    Roleplaying is the playing of a role. Funny, right?
    Play-by-Post roleplay, the term for roleplay on a forum, is a mutated form of round-robin writing. Threads take place in a location (in this continent, that kingdom, this forest or teahouse or armory) and players take turns writing and replying to one another as their characters. Or as other characters, usually called NPCs (Non-Player Characters; more on that later). Or as the setting itself. 
    Writing is the primary medium of our kind of roleplay. It isn't the only one, as people often incorporate music or a picture or an animation as part of their roleplay, but it's the largest and most accessible component of roleplay as it happens on a forum. This distinguishes play-by-post roleplay from table-top games like D&D and Warhammer, from video games like World of Warcraft and GuildWars, and from LARP, which is basically Improv Acting + Cosplay. 
    Collaboration is key for roleplay. If you want to control all aspects of a story, all characters, all plot arcs and turning points, you're better off writing short stories and novels.
    Roleplay is what you do when you want to co-create narratives. When you want to experience a story that is in constant flux and which provides endless opportunity for surprise because you're not the only person responsible for what happens.
    Where do I play?
    On the front page, everywhere from Terrenus to Tellus Mater represents the virtual space of Valucre and our World page has the lore for those places. It doesn't matter where you start because your character can go anywhere in the world. Make a thread in the appropriately named forum (Terrenus for Terrenus, Renovatio for Renovatio, etc) and you'll have a place to make a story.  
    How do I play?
    Create a character. Choose a roleplay and learn the setting. Post. Create a character
    You can have the character in your head or you can make a sheet. Sheets are optional. Though optional, some members find sheets useful for tracking information, especially if they make multiple characters. If you do make a sheet, post it in User Lore.
    Characters must adhere to Mild Powers, a ruleset we have to bring balance to the fact that Valucre is a freeform fantasy setting and we want to allow our users a high degree of creative expression. Mild Powers threshold is determined by  actual post content, not character sheets.
    We have blank character templates for those that want to use them, as well as a completely optional Character Creation Guide for more detailed advice.
    When thinking about a character, here are some things to consider, whether in your head or on a sheet:
    Appearance: What they look like. Basics, things other characters would notice at a glance such as hair and eye color or visible scars, will give your partners relevant details without being repetitious. Skills/Abilities: Most useful for combat roleplay, like tournaments or adventures, and otherwise not necessary. A lot of roleplay is slice-of-life and this requires very little or no special abilities at all.  Occupation: Their job. Usually ties in with the above. History: Just enough to give your character substance, so it isn't as if they came out of nothing. Anything longer written pieces would be better placed in Creativity Showcase, where our members often display their poetry and prose. Choose a role play, know the setting
    Valucre's lore is immense. Many are tempted to read as much as they can, which is great. That's why it was written. But keep in mind that Valucre's lore is a work which has been added to over a decade by hundreds of members. Don't get scared off thinking you have to read the history of a continent to write in one of its forests or cities. Just read about that area to get started. 
    The lore is there to enhance your writing, not to get in the way of it.
    Post
    Now there's nothing left to do but post. The two fundamental things to keep in mind are:
    Have fun Put in some effort. Your writing doesn't need to be flawless and no one expects it to be, but people respond better and with more effort if they see their partner is putting in effort as well. 
    Roleplay Etiquette
    Formatting: Space out your paragraphs. Walls of text are difficult to read and fatiguing to the eye. If you use colored font keep in mind that some users are on Dark themes and others on Light, and it may not carry over well.
    Player primacy: In terms of the lore, a board leader has final say. In terms of the content of a thread, the creator of the thread (or character) is the ultimate authority. This means that, among other things, a player can decide on the magic, technology levels and abilities for their RP and have the final say regarding the fate of their own characters.
    Consequences: Actions have consequences. Characters don't exist in a vacuum and the setting isn't there just to prop up character exploits. If your character engages in criminal activity the setting will push back, and any characters who consistently evade IC consequences to an unreasonable extent may be breaking established canon (such as the ability of a police force to track down a serial killer). If so, IC responses  on the GM or setting level may follow.
    Make things happen: Keep in mind that you are one part of a narrative that is interacted with by many players. When you post don't just react to the things that have happened - make something happen. Add to the narrative, push the story forward, include something that gives other players a chance to react as well.
    Item creation and weighting: Users can create items or acquire them through roleplay. To balance the site's freeform potential against the lore's integrity, Valucre follows a hierarchy system. From top down, artifacts > canon items > readymade items. This means artifacts created by board leaders for their area will always be the strongest. Then items which a player creates  through canonized roleplay. Then items users can make on a whim for their sheets or character backgrounds. 
    NPCs: Try your best to be faithful to the source material in your portrayal of NPCs and always presume competence. If the NPCs of an area are known for being strong, then portray them as formidable. If they're known for being intelligent, try not to portray them as easily fooled. NPCs are there to serve various functions in your stories, but whether they win or lose, please be mindful of their intended role in the setting. If in doubt, reach out to the author!
    Magic: Magic is a common storytelling device used in fantasy of all types. Magic's appeal lies in its mystery, power, and costs. Please remember its use should follow the same rules of good storytelling and cooperation we advance and emphasize everywhere on Valucre -- rules including fairness, respect for other people's agency over their characters, appropriate scale, and consideration for the stories other writers are trying to tell. Magic with a cost, that is unpredictable, that solves one problem but creates another, are all good examples of magic use which increases rather than deflates tension. [also see: valucre's laws of magic]
    Post order: Replies should cycle through players in the order they join unless otherwise stated. This makes it easier to know who posts when to help manage expectations.
    Realism vs Verisimilitude: Verisimilitude is the believably of a work of fiction. Generic verisimilitude is the plausibility of a fictional work within the bounds of it own context. A character singing about their feelings all the time isn't very realistic, but inside of the fictional universe of a musical it makes perfect sense. Inside of a free-form fantasy universe, strict realism isn't as useful as verisimilitude.
    Reply time: 2 days before skipping is the standard. Many members take on multiple threads or request a faster or slower pace, and it's up to you to make clear your expectations to your partners. You can use PMs or the @ mention feature of the site to let people know it's their turn.
    Tags: Use the tag system to your advantage. Threads that are listed as Open get automatically added to a tag aggregate linked at the site footer and are openly advertised in Valucre's social media. Closed threads let people know your story isn't taking any newcomers.
    Villains: Antagonistic characters can be very fun to play and serve a purpose towards creating conflict and dramatic tension. However if your villain or antagonist is impossible to defeat then other players will grow frustrated and lose interest in trying to best them; that makes the story serve you rather than you serving the story. Defeating a villain doesn't have to be easy, or without a cost to the heroes, but should remain a distinct possibility.
    Gamesmanship: Don't look for loopholes in a game a player makes.
    Valucre Role Play Glossary
    AFV: Away From Valucre. Used when announcing extended absences. Auto (AKA powergame): Taking control of another character or inflicting damage on another character without the owner's permission. Depends on degree and context. Writing someone out of the thread because they're inactive is generally accepted. Dictating another character's reactions is generally frowned upon. Ex: People are fine with an innocent handshake but not if it turns into a Judo flip. Canon: The body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from the board leaders and all of the site members. Read the Canonization Guide for more information. Strict canon: The actual approved and reviewed canon which gets integrated into the site lore. Strict canon follows the canonization process.  Loose canon: The memories of collective events shared by players, and whose content or results are not confirmed by a board leader. Loose canon does not follow the canonization process (ex: Daily Weekly). Flexible time: Flexible time is the concept that your character can participate in multiple threads so long as you keep track of your character's subjective timeline. Threads can't happen in different locations at the "same time", but one thread could come before another, and you only need to keep track of which is "before" and which is "after" for your character. Godmodding: Creating a character, item, ability, etc with no weaknesses, flaws, or limits or that otherwise easily deflates narrative tension. IC: In Character. Mary Sue: Common literary term to mean a perfect character with no weakness aka a godmod character. Metagaming: Taking information you know as a player and unfairly applying it to in-character action despite a lack of grounds for your character to know that information. NPC: Non-Player Character - Any other character in the game world, such as a guard or a bartender. Some NPC's require special permissions to control. It is more acceptable for a player to NPC a bartender than it is to NPC a mayor. OOC: Out of Character. OP: Original poster PC: Player Character. A character controlled by a player. Readymade (AKA shake-n-bake): A story element (character, item, setting, etc) quickly put together for story purposes rather than taken from existing canon. A readymade village is not a legitimized piece of canon, hence has no map placement or sub-board, but players are free to create villages for plot purposes. T1: Interchangeable with "turn based combat". Collaborative: Choreographed to various degrees, from completely scripted to loosely plotted. Also known as "T1 Story", this requires only that players decide between themselves how combat should go Competitive: Unscripted combat. Requires a third-party method (such as a judge, a scoring system, or dice) to settle differences in objective fashion. Note that administration does not enforce character death
  5. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Purple Eagle for a article, Hell's Gate   
    Themes: High Tech; Science Fantasy - Mild Powers
    City Manager: Matthius Brown
    In the original Terric, the city's name translates loosely into The Ward Against Inferno. It was only after the Oligarchic Republic fell in approx. 853 BG that the city was renamed to Hell's Gate.
    News
    A serial killer talks the streets of Hell's Gate, and seems to be targeting the members of a specific religious order known as the Order of Thorns.
    Young PeaceKeeper Michael enrolls into a combat surveillance program which sees him partnered with a "slice" of the Victory ASI (artificial super intelligence).
    Geography
    Terrain
    Hell's Gate straddles the line between the Wilds and the Wastelands. To the east lies a wedge of searing desert that's familiar to the locals but the northern stretch of the Wastelands has transformed into frozen tundra as a consequence of its loci losing the existential war it had been waging against the Shawnee glacier. To the south and west stretch hundreds of miles of savanna and to the southeast lies Limbo, a salvage yard with rife with scraps of transport and weapons technology and an organized shanty town with a market around biomedical operations.
    Cityscape
    Hell's Gate
    Stepping within the city limits of Hell's Gate, one feels the full weight of Terran brilliance bearing down from every angle. The architecture is unlike any other in the whole of Lagrimosa. The buildings reach to dizzying heights. 
    Tectonic faults have been patched up by Gaian Engineers, removing virtually any threat of earthquakes. The bases of the buildings are modeled after massive trees, with complex root systems reaching down into the earth and anchoring the buildings against powerful winds. The buildings themselves are truly massive. Several of these are 'micro-cities, internally self-sufficient and capable of being completely isolated from the rest of Terrenus with regards to energy, food, and waste disposal. For now the micro-cities are built with educational entertainment and leisure in mind.
    Social Temperature
    Note: Be mindful of the fact that the above thread was first posted years ago and the setting (conflicts, opportunities, etc), being in constant flux, have no doubt changed
    Climate
    Hell's Gate's ambient temperature was originally to the point that only Wasteland natives were capable of settling. A massive underground aquifer fed by various channels from a water source far west was the city's only source of water. In the flourish of knowledge and magi-technology since, Hell's Gate ambient temperature is at a more tropical and an artificial river running through its direct center is used for trade and washing but kept clean enough by internal purifiers to classify as potable.
    Flora and Fauna
    Elderberry: Elderberry is a fairly abundant plant used in a common form of Terran divination which uses tea leaves. One variant throwsthe leaves on the ground or in the air and predicts the future by how they scatter. The most common involves drinking a tea made of elderberry and navigating through cryptic and symbol-heavy delusions to decipher the threads of fate. It is dark brown or dark red and usually around 40 centimeters in length.

    Demographics
    Culture
    Eustace Monroe, esteemed civil engineer before becoming mayor of Hell's Gate, has been quoted as saying that "if I see Gaia in anything, I see her in nature. As much in the elegant mathematics of a flower as in the intrepid manner that all life. Even life-less forms seek to defy their chains. So as the storm rages and the lightning cracks, so as the waves swell and drown the lands, so as the fire blazes and consumes all, so as the mountains reach for the heavens I tell you that man is more audacious yet!"
    Economy
    Hell's Gate is the largest manufacturer throughout the nation of Lagrimosa. As a governmental entity Hell's Gate and an array of private entities inside of Hell's Gate constitute a singular royal warrant holder with Empire and maintains a monopsony business model with them. The first means that they are a preferred seller of goods to Empire and the second means that Empire is an almost exclusive buyer of Hell's Gate's highly engineered goods. This has been the case not only through the Haze era but for centuries, an arrangement that Empire more adopted and refined than cut out of whole cloth. Hell's Gate ranks among one of the wealthiest territories in the world.
    Companies, institutions and locations
    Club Tablillas:  An exotic nightclub, with an attached karaoke restaurant, located on the west side of Hell's Gate.  Here, every breath is an enchantment and every movement is an exhibition of power.  This Stygian expanse, illuminated solely by fantastical sources of light generated by the club's many patrons, bleeds ghostly shadows that amplify emotion, transforming it into a sensible force that shapes the environment in unpredictable ways. Monroe's Laboratory: The Monroe Lab is the converted mansion of the last lordship, and previous regent, of Hell's Gate. It is a castle, a veritable fortress, retrofitted with cutting edge technology to service chemical, biological, and engineering research. Glasmann Estate (G. Estate): A palatial, walled structure, rumored to predate the Slipstick River, serves as House Glasmann's ancestral home.  A testament to the prosperity, longevity, and traditionalism of the eccentric Glasmann family, artistry and craftsmanship adorn every shining facet of this ancient domicile. Limbo: Junkyard in HG's south-eastern quarter Monroe Foundation: The commercial arm of the Monroe dynasty. The Foundation now specializes in automating technologies, after being beaten out of the medical field by House Trasimene. The president is Eustace's younger sister, Henrietta. A master in engineering and software development, Henrietta piloted complex golem intelligence and has pioneered the first Artificial SuperIntelligence (ASI) housed in an organic matrix. Sky Docks: What commercial air traffic there is in Terrenus finds a major hub in Hell's Gate docks, the largest, most popular and most secure of the nation. There are three (five as of 26 AO) primary docks for enterprise vessels and a slew of smaller ones for private vessels. The Purple Axe Tavern and Inn: A purple axe cutting the moon into a crescent is burned into a wooden sign and onto the large double doors leading into the tavern. This is a generic tavern and inn. Players are free to come up with their own as well. The Slipstick River: Giorgio Slipstick (natural philosopher and civil engineer) designed the Slipstick River in the last year of his life. Despite Hell's Gate bordering the Wastelands, this magi-tek driven river remains cool and clean, constantly recycling and purifying itself. Government
    Local government
    Watchmen
    20,000 soldiers: Trained by the military and assigned from all across Terrenus. 20,000 Enforcers: The local police are a structured militia, for all intents and purposes. Since they are made up primarily of the citizens, as opposed to having been assigned by the military, the police are more likely to be corrupt. 12,000 Wastelands Border Patrol: Hell's Gate is their headquarters. Federal government

    Education
    Hell's Gate education focuses primarily on engineering, magitechnology, and natural science.
    Notable Residents
    Armand Maray: Armand moved to Hell's Gate due to a lifelong passion for technology but employs ancient and esoteric methods in his occupation as artificer.  Cadmium Metireal: Major in the Empire's military. Eustace Monroe: Missing. Esteemed engineer and previous regent. Alongside Odin Haze and Edward Brown, Eustace was one of the pioneers of the magi-tech revolution that swept over Lagrimosa shortly after the Crusades.  Henrietta Monroe: Engineer, software developer, automation specialist, and current president of the Monroe Foundation. Henrietta is Eustace's younger sister. She has a skin disease which makes her look much older than she is, and in spite of her physical fitness. Trilith: Although not strictly speaking a resident of Hell's Gate, becoming the champion of the MOBS tournament has catapulted Trilith into the local spotlight. History
    Canon
    Club Tablillas - The Redeemer and The Heiress: Ilyana Sevryn and Caeceila Glasmann forge a momentous alliance with the ultimate goal of resolving several of the woes afflicting Hell's Gate, principally combating the local Enrele epidemic and agitating for more reasonable deployment of Artificial Intelligence within Hell's Gate or, failing that, sabotaging industrial applications of Artificial Intelligence within Hell's Gate. The long road home: A criminal trio travel to Hell’s Gate. After realizing they are low on funds, two adopt the guise of random women and manipulate a few men into purchasing a room. Rodan (one of the criminals) mutates a man into a rug, another into a copy of the innkeeper where they're staying (Nature's Repose) and telepathically manipulates the real owner into deliberately walking into a trap. As the dust settles after this bloody takeover, Lunara (another criminal) makes a local contact who helps smuggle Rodan to Weland while she travels with Agony (the third criminal) to Yh'mi. Desolation: A brutal serial killer known as the Apostate stalks the streets of Hell's Gate, targeting members of a select Gaian sect known as the Order of Thorns, as Detective Alexander Hawk races to stop him The cost of victory: Michael Commager's Oculus crystal is removed and repurposed to house a limited instance of the Victory ASI, developed in Hell's Gate. The purpose of this is two-fold: to gather data on field-test combat and investigation scenarios as navigated by a PeaceKeeper, and to observe Michael's mental and physical state after the combat in Last Chance. Chasing Damaged Threads: Caeceila Glasmann has captured three persons of interest from the Red Festival and delivered them to a Hell's Gate military outpost for advanced interrogation. Consider the roots: A Gaian priest and two apprentices (Yates, Mae, and Kai, in that order) are on task to explore an underground access tunnel discovered by a commercial construction crew; a common enough task for an order of geomancers. Underground they discover a murder, the town of Anchorage with its stone-people, and a volatile religion with an ominous creed. Emergence from Hell's Gate: A new crime family begins to rise in Hell's Gate eastern district. Their leader makes a simple offer: join, die, or disappear. I, Henrietta: A tour through the famed Monroe Foundation's automation facilities turns sideways. A little girl is kidnapped, at which point she's revealed to be the new artificial intelligence Henrietta has spent years creating. Noel, Invarti and Tancred give chase to the kidnappers, taking them through explosive filled runes, a high speed chase to a flight school, and the forceful grounding of an airship to keep the AI from leaving Terrenus First steps of a long journey: One exiled king's quest begins with a single step in Hell's Gate. Corruption in Hell's Gate: Investigating rumors about corruption in the police force in the run-down sectors of Hell's Gate, the police discover a mysterious group known as Bushido Blade, led by master thief Lexi Sterling. They are stopped but the motives behind their infiltration are still unclear.  Hunting for the broken hearts killer . . . wait, another?: A group has gathered in Hell's Gate to investigate a copycat of the Broken Hearts Killer. They find and arrest the suspect. Bad Times in Hell's Gate: An orc and a former assassin work together to protect the people of a tenement from three vicious gangs looking to exploit the location for their own desires. Using poison, the orc and assassin are able to turn the gangs against one another and succeed in saving the citizens from the gangs.  FIST - A deadly melody: Detective Hawk was sent to Hell's Gate to investigate the Broken Heart Murders, only to find that the murders were being carried out by multiple people. Further investigation dispelled the idea of a cult and Hawk uncovered a dangerous musical enchantment at the core of the mystery. Hawk gathered survivors of the Song to fight against the Infected and has requested a quarantine over part of the city where the disease is worst.  Truth of Bombing: A while ago a primary dock in the Hell's Gate airport was bombed. After the rebuild effort, Heina (Terrenus Military) and her colleague Alex began investigating the cause. They combat mercenaries dressed as fake soldiers and send collected information to Central.  Quarantine: During a quarantine, an unknown group of assailants make their way onto one of Hell's Gate's three primary airdocks by inciting a riot and using this as a diversion to sneak into the dock's power control center and blow it up from the inside. Hell is Within You: A star labelled "Ggatho" rises, and one of the resident astronomers brings with it ill tidings and has, in some manner, unleashed the White Death (Infected is afflicted with a lethal chill, skin turning white and gleaming, before becoming stiff and dying) upon the western quadrant of the city. To Kill A Mockingbird, Pt. 1: Unknown personnel infiltrate Dr. Monroe's manor in the wake of the Docking Station explosion. Research on pheromones as well as the student conducting the research has gone missing. This is the second kidnapping, including that of one Eustace Monroe, to happen on the manors ground within 48 hours. A sell sword selling his sword: For some time now rats have been a problem in certain parts of Hell's Gate, but recently the rats have gone from nuisance to legitimate threat as they have been seen swarming and attacking citizens. Elijah, retired Wastelands Border Patrol, found that the source of the rats mysterious aggression was some manner of mutant rat-man. Eijah then acted out his role as pest-control. Past
  6. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Imogen of the Weald for a article, Brevity Rules or Low Drag RP   
    Originally from I challenge you to brevity
    Players can adjust any aspect of the brevity rules to suit their roleplay but below are the standard
    48 hour turnaround time If a thread goes 2 days without a post, a post must be made by someone/anyone and it must advance the story 300 word maximum Even if you have time to write more, keep it to 300. The more you write, especially if there are multiple partners in a thread, the more your partners have to read in order to make their own posts Always forward! Every post must add or change something, or advance the story in some way 
  7. Thanks
    supernal got a reaction from Imogen of the Weald for a article, Lagrimosa Landing Page   
    Terran Calendar: The current year is 31 AO = 599 WTA. All new threads happen during the current year unless otherwise stated by the creator. 

    Setting elements cannot be ignored or manipulated
    City maps are guides and not authoritative sources
    ✪ = City | ✦ = Landmark | ✿ = Independent territory
    ✪ Casper (Primary sea port)
    ✪ Ignatz
    ✪ Blairville (Secondary sky port)
    ✪ Hell's Gate (Primary sky Port) | Langley Keep
    ✪ Martial Town
    ✪ Last Chance (Secondary sea port) ✦ Biazo Isle | Bi'le'ah | ✪ Aspyn
    ✦ Weland Gorge; Day River
    ✦ Scudder Forests
    ✦ Hills of Noddendody
    ✦ Blue Hills
    ✦ Moonwood ✦ Ponkapoag Lake | Gaian Academy; Haunted Glen
    ✦ Timber Creek
    ✦ Great Pine Barrens | No Man's Land; Witch's Cave; Herbie's Bed; Peaceful Woods
    ✦ Sidereal Lake | Zuhl Plateau
    ✦ Forgotten Wood
    ✦ Black Ridge
    ✦ Hidden Valley
    ✦ Dark Forest | The Cedars
    ✦ Forbidding Hills
    ✦ Shawnee Glacier
    ✦ The Wastelands | Badlands; High Desert; Dead Peaks
    ✦ Blaurg Mountain
    ✦ Coconino Marsh | Labyrinth Forest; Coconino Creek
    ✦ Hills of Lost Hearts ✦ Barnstable Coast
    ✦ Southern Sea
    ✿ Predator's Keep
    ✿ Amalia
    ✿ Yh'mi
    ✿ Eridianus | Taen | Ursa Madeum
    ✿ Absalom | Béhods
    ✿ Chesterfield | Aligoria
    ✿ Nesthome | Anima Announcements
    Newer information at the top; keep up with the latest in the Updates thread.
    Lightning Rail infrastructure between the major cities of the Terran Empire have been replaced with MagVac Train technology.
    Breaking news from the Symposium Against Doom - body snatchers and volatile loci
    (historical note) Due to the events of the Civil War - Phase 1, mass transportation across Lagrimosa was previously crippled for a period of and magical availability deeply concentrated in the Shawnee Wastelands for a period of 3 years. During Civil War - Phase 2, different factions established themselves in the greater Wilds and poised themselves for sovereignty. During Civil War - Phase 3, the factions fully transitioned to enclaves. Notable stewards of their greater regions are Chesterfield and Absalom.
    Geography
    Lagrimosa is approximately 18 million square miles (approximately 2x North American) with a citizen population of approximately 350,000,000 (three-hundred-fifty million) as of 28 AO.
    Climate
    The Wilds are perilous because they are home to tempestuous magic and dangerous creatures. A dense arcanosphere has resulted in large zones of unpredictable climate, terrain and random side effects on plant and animal life. It has also been noted to render gunpowder unreliable in greater Lagrimosa (meant to prompt creative alternatives to basic firearms).
    The tip of Ponkapoag Lake will be used as the central marker for description purposes. The area enveloping Ponkapoag Lake and Coconino Marsh is characterized by warm, dry summers which average 66°F with low precipitation and cool, wet winters which average 25°F and moderate precipitation. Evergreen and deciduous trees, fig, walnut and citrus trees, and bay rosemary herbs thrive in the area.
    Northward the weather increases sharply in temperature and vegetation becomes sparse as grasslands and forests turn into desert with average temperatures of 100°F and prolonged ry periods. The desert is expansive but is at its north-eastern section is abruptly interrupted by arctic tundra. In 28 AO the Shawnee genius loci overtook the Wastelands and froze the desert.
    Southward are warm summers and cool winters with a narrow annual temperature range. There is no dry season here. Precipitation ranges from moderate to heavy and the forests are temperate especially in the Great Pine Barrens. In the tropical climates of Amalia, Ursa Madeum and Biazo Isle, year round temperatures are consistently a humid 75°F and are dominated by rain, with periodic monsoons.
    Flora and Fauna
    Lagrimosa has readily recognizable plant and animal life: flowers, trees, dogs, horses, birds, crabs, salmon, etc. Unique instances of each have been gathered into the Terran Creature Codex, the Terran Herbology Index and Herbalism 202. Users aren't limited to present material and are encouraged to generate unique plant and animal life (in adherence to Mild Powers).
    Cities, Provinces, Territories
    The Terran Empire directly manages a handful of megacities (with numbers in flux due to geopolitical unrest) and numerous villages, towns, and enclaves around the nation. The cities are population dense and, thanks to magi-tech introduced with Odin Haze's sweeping regime, vary wildly in setting and tone. The land outside and between the cities is considered unorganized or unincorporated depending on overlap between existing societies.
    Lagrimosa's Wilds present a lethal barrier to travel and unchecked growth. Travel outside of mass transport or without a security detail is a gamble with life-threatening stakes.
    Of villages and towns for more detail.
    Culture
    Terrenus Quest Index
    Terrenus Artifact List
    A citizen who has served in the military, gone through public education, and lives within one of the megacities is literate, combat capable, and versed in magical theory and application (aware of phenomena such as ghosts, charms, telepathy; capable of using magic as a result of training and knowledge).
    A native from one of the towns or villages is likely to be literate but have a mythical, rather than empirical, understanding of magic passed to them through tradition, more intuition than logical. Although this makes country magicians more susceptible to charlatans and superstitions, and makes the reliably engineered results of magi-tech less accessible, the wisdom which comes from generational insight into specific frameworks produces younger magicians capable of wielding stronger, older magic.
    Terrans love art, food and dance but have a deep and special love of music, for millenia having considered it the universal language before the discovery of mathematics and then magic.
    Language
    Terric is the primary language of the Terran Empire. It is spoken in all megacities and most towns, though becomes rare in isolated villages and islands, where pidgin forms (Terril, Terrin, Terrie, etc) are usually the norm. Terric's primary dialects sounds like Spanish (users should treat this as a plot device and are not expected to learn how to write Spanish). Other dialects sound close to Romance-influenced language, such as Italian and French, but will also deviate into Germanic-influenced languages. 
    The rarest language in Lagrimosa is Oldspeak, which is practiced by less than 1% of the population. The language requires line of sight and has no verbal components, instead communicating complete ideas between speaker and receiver. 
    Magic
    The Terran federal government has published a white paper on the Terran laws of magic, an authoritative perspective on the laws, principles and terminology of magic as they apply in Lagrimosa.
    Religion
    Gaianism: Quick Reference Guide
    Bible of Gaia
    The Gaian Church
    Gaianism is Lagrimosa's largest religion, making up approximately 50% (down from 79% and then 70%) of the total population. Gaianists consider nature, the universe, reality, magic and mathematics to be mortally comprehensible expressions of an otherwise inconceivable form.
    Gaianism advocates peace and cooperation as effective strategies, not blind pacifism, leaving violence as a final but sometimes necessary solution. The notable exception of this rule are Unnatural, any creature of perverse necromancy such as: vampires, zombies, liches, and occasionally Outsiders. Gaians attack Unnaturals on principle unless the Unnatural has taken visible efforts to prove themselves benign.
    Cuisine
    As a whole the food produced by Empire trends towards the utilitarian. Three primary staples are high-yield disease resistant wheat varieties, a sub-species of rice engineered to biosynthesize beta-carotene, and a hardy cabbage variant which can grow in nearly any biome. This has led to a staggeringly robust ability for Empire to produce food for its citizens, making political inequality and the dangers of transporting food through the savage Wilds the primary drivers behind widespread hunger.
    In its parts, Empire's cuisine can be extravagant to the point of pedantry. Dougton, for example, produces over 100 varieties of cheeses, Casper's array of seafood dishes are second to none (with a special emphasis on snapper, octopus and squid, lobster, and salmon), and Ashville's long-standing traditions for pâtissiers remains alive even when the city is defunct, moving its pastry-making locus to Aspyn.
    With the vineyard in full production in Biazo Isle, Empire is also becoming known for its wines.
    Fashion
    Co-authoring credit to Csl
    Thanks primarily to a largely isolationist government much of Terran fashion has been insular, known to and satisfying the needs mostly of the continent's inhabitants. This trend has changed in the last few years as Dali Fashions, based out of Ursa Madeum, builds international recognition for itself but that is the rare exception - much of Terran fashion is tribal.
    The innate dangers presented by the Wilds has guided Terran design to favor pragmatics over aesthetics. Though these vary by culture or region, garments are made for durability, mobility, and protection from the elements. Enhancing clothing and gear is a common practice as well, with both magical and technological methods; more arcane locations like Blairville specialize in enchantments, while Hell’s Gate integrates magitech in adventurer gear.
    At a national level, one of the early and most persistent waves of vogue design are what is known as "dungeon couture", whose designs and specifications align themselves with the long-standing tradition of adventure economics through the continent's history. Lagrimosa, then Terrenus, has innovated and mass-produced fireproof cloaks and hoodies, suits with hand stitched invisibility runes for slinky thieves, autoswords, and hosts an annual convention of mages and engineers known as StabCon to discuss new enchantments, meta-materials, or machining techniques.
    Technology and Development
    Technology in Lagrimosa is highly advanced, arguably some of the most advanced on the planet. Although this fact not immediately grasped by foreigners accustomed to more conventional forms, the Terran Empire is the historical pioneer of magi-tech on Valucre, democratizing and automating a great deal of otherwise obscure and hidden knowledge. Lagrimosa has golems where another country might have robots, stone satellites powered by runes and divination lattices, telepathy-networks, and crystal-based tactile computing systems instead of console based computers one might find elsewhere.
    In this sense technology found in Lagrimosa tends to blur the line between the physical, the magical, and their intersections. As both a user's knowledge and the physical media are influential to functionality, technology must be more broadly defined; it can be something learned and understood rather than simply picked up and used. For this reason education, especially developmental and postgraduate education, is of vital importance to the government. The newest generations of children show an adept knowledge of magical theory, a strong grasp of complex mathematical concepts and explore unconventional modes of thought. Like with telecom availability (see below), technology and magi-tech is the most advanced in the cities and attenuates as one goes into towns and then villages, replaced by folkloric and mythical modes of thought and ritual magic.
    Author's note: "Lagrimosa uses magic to achieve modern results".
    Transportation
    Transportation varies between cities depending on magi-tech saturation and biomimicry levels. Below are national standards.
    Animal Propulsion
    Often used for inter-city travel, ridden alone or attached to a cabby. The maintenance and upkeep of living transport makes it a largely inefficient for inner city travel or at scale, but because a large percentage of a given city's population are transients (international foreigners, inter-city adventurers, non-natives that live elsewhere on the nation, etc), animal propulsion is still fairly common. A lot of infrastructure continues to supports this form of travel. Horses (ground), Imperial Drae (aerial) and Rider Dragons (aerial) are common mounts.
    Mechanical Propulsion
    Often used for inner city travel. Automatic wagons with steam-engines produced in Tia and Martial Town, and gyroscopic  spheres with stable cores produced by Gaian engineers in Hell's Gate are the most common examples. In densely packed city infrastructure, powered zip-lines are occasionally employed between buildings. Sea-ships and air-ships are common for travel around and between nations. Submarines, which Empire invented and introduced into the world as a counter to the Siren menace, are predominantly used to the military but are becoming more popular among wealthier merchants.
    Magical Propulsion
    Inter-city travel used to be served primarily via Rail and Gate, until consequences of the civil war combined with supernatural phenomena to cause catastrophic damage to both and bring them offline for several years. Tia's Faux-ton system is growing in popularity but has limited application until more pylons are deployed, found primarily in Biazo Isle. 
    Lightning Rails - used to be magnetically propelled trains capable of traveling several hundred miles an hour. Currently offline. Tracks are used by slower, simpler, privately owned carts and trolleys for now.
    Warp Gates - used to be stabilized portals and the only reliable method of teleportation in Lagrimosa. Currently offline. 
    Faux-ton System - Tia patented technology that converts matter to energy to achieve sub-luminal travel speeds. Currently online but limited in presence. 
    New - Rail services between Casper, Hell's Gate and Ignatz has been restored.
    New - Lightning Rail infrastructure between the major cities of the Terran Empire have been replaced with MagVac Train technology.
    Communications
    General Information
    Following the proliferation of Empire magi-tech in Lagrimosa, economic concerns shifted to prioritize three emerging markets: Energy, Information and Transportation.
    With the explosion of communication methods came the immediate concern over authentication (assurance of claimed identity), integrity (assurance data has not been altered), and confidentiality (assurance that none but specified parties can read a piece of data). In response Empire pioneered the fields of encryption, digital signatures and public capability to create spontaneous networks (imagine instant internet of variable size).
    Military technology and ciphers are known to be highly advanced, though private and public technology is catching up as corporations invest in the Information market. For example, military-grade communication systems use quantum entangled encryption to prevent interception by using the observer effect, making any interception obvious and rendering the data useless.
    OOC discussion about some of this technology
    Telecom Availability
    As with other gifts from Empire, sophisticated technology attenuates as one moves from the dense cities towards the smaller towns and villages.
    One notable technology which are widespread are twinned crystal relays which allow for easy, long-distance audio communication between any parties with properly tuned crystals and without the need for complicated training. These simple but effective radios have drastically reduced missing persons reports, increased cultural exchange and facilitated knowledge transfer.
    Villages: Tribes and villages use magical means to communicate where possible. Examples include telepathy, oneiromancy (dream-walking), divinatory practices with water, smoke and mirrors, and shamanistic practices like reading tea leaves and animal guts or bones. Where these means are not available, visual communications rely heavily on beacons, smoke signals, and flags and audio communications rely on coded drumbeats and whistles. 
    Towns: Towns use copper and nth wires run over natural ley-lines, piggy-backing on their natural radiation to power the communications. With this method towns are able to communicate with equivalents to telegraphs and telephones. With the advent of Tia's faux-ton relay system, towns are now able to communicate with line-of-sight-limited laser communications at millisecond speeds. 
    Cities: Communication systems in the megacities make full use of magical theory and the technological capabilities of the nation. Three-dimensional holographic arrays (holo-arrays for short) are used for information on politics, economics, weather, and criminal activity. These relay systems make use of the military satellites and are capable of radiation communication (radio and microwave).
    The World Fair introduced three new pieces of technology. The first is the LIES (Luminal Illusion Entertainment System), an immersive storytelling platform which is having a notable growth effect on the Entertainment sector. The second is the 'logical' Crook technology, which allows for spontaneous network creation. The third is the Faux-Ton, a materials transportation system invented by the Tia government which is faster than Rail but limited by line-of-sight. 
    In the years following the World Fair, a number of Ethereal Services have begun showing up in Lagrimosa economy.
    Government and Politics
    Odin Haze is recognized as Saint of Gaianism and King of the Terran Empire. Odin's rule is one of enlightened absolute monarchy. His administration embraces data and expertise as driving forces for national policy, Gaianist spirituality as the basis for social policy, and defers to local governments in most cases.
    The arts, sciences, education and social welfare flourish under Odin's regime, a near polar opposite to the dark ages of King Levas and Zengi; although this lines up with his moral compass it is also no coincidence a healthy and knowledgeable workforce generates large profits.
    The megacities are governed by managers who interpret federal law and administer local policy. Some are appointed, others elected, some rule by heritage, each in accordance with the distinct culture of its region; political states are a fluid in Empire. Each megacity also has a PeaceKeeper, a high-ranking military official to add balance, security, and division of labor for city governance.
    The Gaian Academy is a national university located on Deepview Island, an inland island and part of the Ponkapoag Lake archipelago. It is the premier education center in the nation, some argue even globally, and has also begun to establish itself as a competitive research facility.
    Law
    Author's note: I don't have a full legal system written out and likely never will because the complexity of that endeavor doesn't interest me. In terms of what's legal, reference real bodies of law for sensible basics. Imagine that things like theft, assault, perjury, slavery, and murder are illegal. Each city has a local police force to operate within its limits and the military employs federal investigators who are able to enforce law anywhere in the nation.

    The Safeguard Act - Prohibits the use of unlicensed magic in specific cities.
    Each city has a congress made up of majority and minority leaders.
    The majority leader is the elected official of a city (usually but not always), and the minority leader is usually the one who lost the elections but still represents a significant portion of the electorate. The king decides on issues which affect everyone. If managers are in conflict about any change, the king is the final word and can supersede any motion. The king also appoints chief of staff for various departments, such as the head of the military, the bureau of science, internal investigations, as well as determines who makes up the supreme court out of nominees put forward by the congress. 
    In criminal investigations Empire's law enforcement makes use of various forms of divination, in particular retrocognition and psychometry. Each megacity has at least one maximum security prison to house the most dangerous local criminals, such as terrorists, political prisoners, the excessively violent or those with gang affiliations.
    With Empire penology skewing towards rehabilitation rather than punishment and treating most criminal offenses as mental health issues, the megacities also have a larger distribution of minimum security prisons for non-violent offenders. Minimum security prisons populate the city at the ratio of 1:15 compared to libraries, hospitals, and schools.
    Lagrimosa also has one super-max prison in the Dead Peaks. The Dead Peaks prison is the most secure level of custody in the nation, purpose-built towards providing long term, segregated housing for inmates classified as posing a threat to national health (a classification that designates one a danger to people or life rather than to information or infrastructure) or international security risks. Recently the Dead Peaks Prison has gone offline with the loci event that saw the Shawnee Glacier covering most of the Wasteland.
    Empire exercises capital punishment nationwide for criminals that pose an unmanageable threat or show no potential for reform.
    Military
    Terran Military (Overview and Information)
    The king is also its Commander-in-Chief, exercising total authority over the military. Edward Brown (5-star General and PeaceKeeper handler) is Odin's right hand man and adviser, the highest military authority other than the King himself. He is involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of maintaining the military, government, and nation.
    The complex that stores and relays information, innovates military technology and strategy, and is responsible for national security is known as Central. Despite its name Central is actually decentralized and distributed throughout the nation. Those few offices that are permanently stationed and open to the public are often underground. This level of confidentiality does not apply to local agencies found in the cities such as Immigration, Sanitation, Education, and law enforcement.
    The path to citizenship in Empire requires a 2 year service in the military (or ranking to Sergeant) and bestows the ability to vote for officials and own and pass down land.
    Foreign Relations
    Empire is an autarky (self-sufficient) and practices a modified form of isolationism, declining to enter into political alliances and international agreements. Where Empire deviates from traditional isolationism is in their support of free trade, travel, and certain, limited, trade agreements with other kingdoms and nations. Recently Empire has entered into the International Police Program and oversaw the program's first successful capture of an international fugitive.
    Because the task of increasing the nation's food security was a critical priority for the Haze regime, Empire focused its resources on agronomy and created several techniques and tools for high-yield farming. This has greatly increased Empire's ability to self-sustain without foreign aid even when its economy falters.
    You can read more about Empire's political relations in Terran Military - Allies and Enemies.
    Economy
    A large part of Empire's economy is archeology based (see: professional adventures), with adventurers or researchers or salvagers taking on the high-risk work of crawling dungeons for the high reward of prized cultural artifacts or items of mystical power and arcane origin. Although this has led to some legal conflicts regarding ownership of artifacts, these disputes are generally handled in the courts after the adventurer has been paid for his or her legal reclamation efforts. Some smaller economies pivot around this, specializing in crafted weaponry, armor, and healing potions. Others are known to offer tours through cleared levels of dungeons and vaults for tourists.
    Empire exports a great deal of utility (i.e. non-combat) magi-tech and magical and scientific knowledge to other countries, and supplements its national income with submarine exploration of natural resources throughout the large tracts of Valucre which are underwater.
    Empire's economic and market systems revolve around precious metals. Crystals and other minerals are valuable as spell components but are not fungible.
    Copper, silver, gold, and platinum are the most common precious metals traded and used for purchase. Value is determined by weight and type, not by design or origin, allowing travelers and immigrants from other countries to more easily integrate.
    1 oz of Tin = .25 USD 1 oz of Copper = 2 USD 1 oz of Silver = 10 USD 1 oz of Gold = 50 USD 1 oz of Platinum = 100 USD 1 oz of Rhodium = 500 USD. Each metal currency comes in fractions as well, such as half-ounce and quarter-ounce coins. These prices are not an accurate reflection of real world costs.
    You can read more about special metals and materials in the Terran Materials List.
    Terran population demographics
    Teran religion demographics
    History
    Condensed Terran Timeline
    Major Historical Periods
    These events are from most recent to oldest.
     
  8. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from L E V I A T H A N for a article, Gaianism: A Quick Reference Guide.   
    What is Gaianism?
    Gaianism is a cosmic religion that celebrates and recognizes Gaia as the Supreme Diety; creator and mother to all things. Although many pagan and tribal religions share close parallels to Terran Gaianism, there are differences that help tell them apart.
    The earth itself is a symbolic, rather than a literal, manifestation of Gaia, a physical metaphor for something that cannot otherwise be conceived by mortal minds and that is the source of all life, creative thought, and positive energy. Gaia is an unseen goddess in that she has no face or permanent humanoid incarnation but her presence is deeply and personally felt among her followers.
    Modern Gaianism under Odin Haze is centrally organized with an internal hierarchy among its clergymen, and a rigorous set of rituals, practices and scripture.
    Gaianism precepts revolve arond peace, love, compassion and altruism but not blind pacifism. Gaians are raised believing that good flowers through the action of good and through the prevention of evil and so often are spiritually compelled to take a stand or oppose an evil influence.
    Very few derivative versions of Gaianism propose a version of an underworld where sinners are eternally punished. Most versions with a Hell also have it that the sinner can eventually pay the balance of his sins and ascend to a purer state or that the Executioner, not bound by physical laws, is able to extract penance from the soul directly and thereby cleanse it.
    Modern Gaianism also believes that Gaia can be found through a secular life and perspective, even if the observer doesn't recognize her, if it is one of pure dedication and discipline.
    What is an Unnatural?
    An Unnatural is a being whose existence is a perversion of life. Beings commonly classified as Unnatural are: Lichs, vampires, zombies, poltergeists (but not ghosts or spirits*), aberrations, some constructs**, and Outsiders***.
    Through the very act of existence, Gaianists believe that Unnaturals physically cause Gaia harm and damage shared quality of life. Unnaturals are often killed on sight, unless the Unnatural is able to prove that they walk a righteous path.
    Revivals almost always result in zombies, save for chances of extreme and random fortune, while true resurrections result in a a palatable existence.
    *Poltergeists are lives lost in the throes of intense negative emotion or through grotesque circumstances. The result is a spirit that formed of anger and sorrow, that can express itself only in rage and violence. Poltergeists are treated as any Unnatural, and are purged, exorcised, or destroyed on sight.
    Ghosts or spirits, on the other hand, are the unfortunately trapped soul of a deceased being. These things are not 'evil' by classification. Some are fully cognizant while others are little more than segment's of a person's life, playing in an infinite loop. Gaianists help these poor spirits move on and ascend to their rightful place with Gaia.
    **This depends on the nature of the construct, its composition, and its intent upon creation. Golems, for example, are common in Terran society. Golemists make complex mechanical contrivances. Gaianists make simple workers out of earth or clay. Either way, it is a fairly common practice.
    ***Outsiders are a gray area. Though they may not be evil or undead, they are invaders of the plane and their presence can have a destabilizing effect. Outsiders are treated more fairly than Unnaturals so long as they are amenable to being Shunted if they are dangerous, and are good aligned.
    How do Gaianists control the earth and what do they call it?
    Among the ranks of those indoctrinated into the faith, the art of controlling the earth is known as "the discipline". It is a branch of knowledge; a system of rules of conduct and methods of practice. Outside of the faith, it is colloquially known as earth-bending or geomancy.
    First one "unchains the mind". This looses the hold of the ego on the Self, forcing the disciple to question who they really are and what truly informs and shapes their character. When the mind is unchained the disciple realizes the subtlety with which all things are connected and the Way is exposed to him.
    The second step is "growing closer". Here, the disciple learns the techniques and methods that bring his mind, body and soul into harmonious resonance with the earth's hum. This serves the dual purpose of synchronizing and stabilizing the rapidly maturing connection between the disciple and the world around him.
    The third step is "learning". Here, the disciple is versed in the numerous mental exercises, physical forms, and spiritual strengthening that first enables them to extend their will and influence into the surrounding nature. It is at this point that the disciple also learns their strengths and weaknesses. The peaks and pitfalls of their character determine not just the skill with which they can wield the earth, but their aptitude in phase-shifting and cross-discipline manipulation.
    The fourth and final step is "the awakening". At this point, the disciple is fully realized. The discipline is never "mastered" and so must always be studied, but it is at this point that the disciple is considered competent in their geomancy.
    It is important to underline that geomancy is a discipline which can be learned by anyone regardless of moral alignment.
    How do Gaianists view death and the after-life?
    Life is a manifestation of Gaia. Death is nothing more than a transformation of this essence, with the dying spirit ascending to a new state in the cosmological cycle. Birth and death are endless cycles of rebirth and renewal; death is not feared, but simply accepted. Those dying are returning to her grace. When this natural cycle of life and death is altered or infringed upon it weakens Gaia, which is why Gaianists are adamant against the continued existence of the Unnatural.
    Lower levels of Gaianistic heaven are seen as illusion-traps, where the ego is made complacent with luxury and convenience. The highest level of heaven is one of unification with Gaia and complete dissolution of ego as one's emotions and experiences merge with Gaia's infinite expression.
    Odin Haze is the only known being to have gone with Gaia upon death and return with his self-identity intact. Odin states that this was no special feat of his own and that it would not be so if Gaia did not will it.
    What is the Gaian view of Necromancy?
    The misconstrued view of Necromancy is as a dark art whose very nature is meant to twist and pervert the natural order of things. This is a false view that follows the art thanks only to sensationalism around a small number that have used powerful necromancy towards terrible ends. The most infamous of which is Zengi, the witch-king, and his legion of Desecrators.
    No magic is inherently good or evil and necromancy is no difference. It is the art of manipulating life and it is only the manner and degree to which this is done that determines whether it is evil or good.
    Useful talents of a good necromancer involve preparing bodies for last rites, communicating with and exorcising spirits, blessings, rebuking Unnaturals, and Resurrections
    --Side-Note C1: When interviewed, Disterl Norvomand had this to say about Necromancy:
    “Let me guess. Besides being skeletal and moody, I bet you think all necromancers are murderous fanatics eager to turn everyone they meet into a zombie slave.
    "Death has this horrible reputation with mortals. We treat it like some unnatural abomination that needs to be avoided. Death, natural death that is, should be embraced. True necromancy isn’t about zombies and blight and darkness. It is the study and respect of life and death.”
    Death rites
    Cremation is the primary avenue by which Gaians deal with their dead, both as a means to thwart attempts by twisted necromancers to interfere with natural processes, and because of the spiritual perspective that see matter and energy as indefinitely and recyclable. From cremation ashes, creating fertile soil to grow plants or even take a part of the ashes to make an heirloom gem stone are common practices. Beside cremation Gaians also practice blessed burials, where the bodies are washed in holy water, the coffins affixed with holy symbols and interred in consecrated ground. Some especially devout forego the after-life and have their souls anchored into golems to guard temples and protect the faithful.
    What is the symbol of Gaia?
    In Terrenus there are two common modern symbols for Mother Gaia. One is a grand and glorious World Tree which signifies the love of life and peace shared by all Gaianists while simultaneously expressing the stability, strength, and the expansive scope of their faith.
    The other is a circle with thorns. The circle symbolizes the never-ending cycle of life while the thorns represent the martial aspect of Gaianists.
  9. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Humble Blood for a article, New Member Guide   
    WELCOME, TRAVELER . . . 
     
     
    to the promised land - of roleplay!
    Valucre is a forum roleplay site. The fact that we have no central plot and don't separate our member base into silos of experience makes us a little different than your average roleplay site. We take things a step further by providing a unique and persistent global setting. A full planet capable of supporting most themes and ideas, with dozens of plots all happening at once, some large and encompassing, others small and intimate. 
    There's so much to do and see on Valucre you could spend hours for days on end going through guides, sheets, and lore. But don't worry. No one expects you to catch up on over a decade of history just to jump in and start creating with us. 
    Think of Valucre's body of work less like a guidebook you have to read just to make sense of where you are, and more like an encyclopedia or a reference guide that you can look to when you want to add immersive details to your post, such as the political climate of one area or the visuals of another. 
    Below are a number of tiles which cover different topics. You can visit the page by just clicking on the tile that you want to learn about. Give our guide 15 minutes of your attention and you'll be starting on a strong foundation. 
    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!

      
      

     
  10. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Purple Eagle for a article, New Member Guide   
    WELCOME, TRAVELER . . . 
     
     
    to the promised land - of roleplay!
    Valucre is a forum roleplay site. The fact that we have no central plot and don't separate our member base into silos of experience makes us a little different than your average roleplay site. We take things a step further by providing a unique and persistent global setting. A full planet capable of supporting most themes and ideas, with dozens of plots all happening at once, some large and encompassing, others small and intimate. 
    There's so much to do and see on Valucre you could spend hours for days on end going through guides, sheets, and lore. But don't worry. No one expects you to catch up on over a decade of history just to jump in and start creating with us. 
    Think of Valucre's body of work less like a guidebook you have to read just to make sense of where you are, and more like an encyclopedia or a reference guide that you can look to when you want to add immersive details to your post, such as the political climate of one area or the visuals of another. 
    Below are a number of tiles which cover different topics. You can visit the page by just clicking on the tile that you want to learn about. Give our guide 15 minutes of your attention and you'll be starting on a strong foundation. 
    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!

      
      

     
  11. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Purple Eagle for a article, Brevity Rules or Low Drag RP   
    Originally from I challenge you to brevity
    Players can adjust any aspect of the brevity rules to suit their roleplay but below are the standard
    48 hour turnaround time If a thread goes 2 days without a post, a post must be made by someone/anyone and it must advance the story 300 word maximum Even if you have time to write more, keep it to 300. The more you write, especially if there are multiple partners in a thread, the more your partners have to read in order to make their own posts Always forward! Every post must add or change something, or advance the story in some way 
  12. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Praetorian for a article, Brevity Rules or Low Drag RP   
    Originally from I challenge you to brevity
    Players can adjust any aspect of the brevity rules to suit their roleplay but below are the standard
    48 hour turnaround time If a thread goes 2 days without a post, a post must be made by someone/anyone and it must advance the story 300 word maximum Even if you have time to write more, keep it to 300. The more you write, especially if there are multiple partners in a thread, the more your partners have to read in order to make their own posts Always forward! Every post must add or change something, or advance the story in some way 
  13. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Generic Perfection for a article, Brevity Rules or Low Drag RP   
    Originally from I challenge you to brevity
    Players can adjust any aspect of the brevity rules to suit their roleplay but below are the standard
    48 hour turnaround time If a thread goes 2 days without a post, a post must be made by someone/anyone and it must advance the story 300 word maximum Even if you have time to write more, keep it to 300. The more you write, especially if there are multiple partners in a thread, the more your partners have to read in order to make their own posts Always forward! Every post must add or change something, or advance the story in some way 
  14. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Darkrender.Chronicle for a article, New Member Guide   
    WELCOME, TRAVELER . . . 
     
     
    to the promised land - of roleplay!
    Valucre is a forum roleplay site. The fact that we have no central plot and don't separate our member base into silos of experience makes us a little different than your average roleplay site. We take things a step further by providing a unique and persistent global setting. A full planet capable of supporting most themes and ideas, with dozens of plots all happening at once, some large and encompassing, others small and intimate. 
    There's so much to do and see on Valucre you could spend hours for days on end going through guides, sheets, and lore. But don't worry. No one expects you to catch up on over a decade of history just to jump in and start creating with us. 
    Think of Valucre's body of work less like a guidebook you have to read just to make sense of where you are, and more like an encyclopedia or a reference guide that you can look to when you want to add immersive details to your post, such as the political climate of one area or the visuals of another. 
    Below are a number of tiles which cover different topics. You can visit the page by just clicking on the tile that you want to learn about. Give our guide 15 minutes of your attention and you'll be starting on a strong foundation. 
    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!

      
      

     
  15. Like
    supernal got a reaction from SpearPearls for a article, Roleplay FAQ   
    What is roleplaying? What is play-by-post roleplay?
    Roleplaying is the playing of a role. Funny, right?
    Play-by-Post roleplay, the term for roleplay on a forum, is a mutated form of round-robin writing. Threads take place in a location (in this continent, that kingdom, this forest or teahouse or armory) and players take turns writing and replying to one another as their characters. Or as other characters, usually called NPCs (Non-Player Characters; more on that later). Or as the setting itself. 
    Writing is the primary medium of our kind of roleplay. It isn't the only one, as people often incorporate music or a picture or an animation as part of their roleplay, but it's the largest and most accessible component of roleplay as it happens on a forum. This distinguishes play-by-post roleplay from table-top games like D&D and Warhammer, from video games like World of Warcraft and GuildWars, and from LARP, which is basically Improv Acting + Cosplay. 
    Collaboration is key for roleplay. If you want to control all aspects of a story, all characters, all plot arcs and turning points, you're better off writing short stories and novels.
    Roleplay is what you do when you want to co-create narratives. When you want to experience a story that is in constant flux and which provides endless opportunity for surprise because you're not the only person responsible for what happens.
    Where do I play?
    On the front page, everywhere from Terrenus to Tellus Mater represents the virtual space of Valucre and our World page has the lore for those places. It doesn't matter where you start because your character can go anywhere in the world. Make a thread in the appropriately named forum (Terrenus for Terrenus, Renovatio for Renovatio, etc) and you'll have a place to make a story.  
    How do I play?
    Create a character. Choose a roleplay and learn the setting. Post. Create a character
    You can have the character in your head or you can make a sheet. Sheets are optional. Though optional, some members find sheets useful for tracking information, especially if they make multiple characters. If you do make a sheet, post it in User Lore.
    Characters must adhere to Mild Powers, a ruleset we have to bring balance to the fact that Valucre is a freeform fantasy setting and we want to allow our users a high degree of creative expression. Mild Powers threshold is determined by  actual post content, not character sheets.
    We have blank character templates for those that want to use them, as well as a completely optional Character Creation Guide for more detailed advice.
    When thinking about a character, here are some things to consider, whether in your head or on a sheet:
    Appearance: What they look like. Basics, things other characters would notice at a glance such as hair and eye color or visible scars, will give your partners relevant details without being repetitious. Skills/Abilities: Most useful for combat roleplay, like tournaments or adventures, and otherwise not necessary. A lot of roleplay is slice-of-life and this requires very little or no special abilities at all.  Occupation: Their job. Usually ties in with the above. History: Just enough to give your character substance, so it isn't as if they came out of nothing. Anything longer written pieces would be better placed in Creativity Showcase, where our members often display their poetry and prose. Choose a role play, know the setting
    Valucre's lore is immense. Many are tempted to read as much as they can, which is great. That's why it was written. But keep in mind that Valucre's lore is a work which has been added to over a decade by hundreds of members. Don't get scared off thinking you have to read the history of a continent to write in one of its forests or cities. Just read about that area to get started. 
    The lore is there to enhance your writing, not to get in the way of it.
    Post
    Now there's nothing left to do but post. The two fundamental things to keep in mind are:
    Have fun Put in some effort. Your writing doesn't need to be flawless and no one expects it to be, but people respond better and with more effort if they see their partner is putting in effort as well. 
    Roleplay Etiquette
    Formatting: Space out your paragraphs. Walls of text are difficult to read and fatiguing to the eye. If you use colored font keep in mind that some users are on Dark themes and others on Light, and it may not carry over well.
    Player primacy: In terms of the lore, a board leader has final say. In terms of the content of a thread, the creator of the thread (or character) is the ultimate authority. This means that, among other things, a player can decide on the magic, technology levels and abilities for their RP and have the final say regarding the fate of their own characters.
    Consequences: Actions have consequences. Characters don't exist in a vacuum and the setting isn't there just to prop up character exploits. If your character engages in criminal activity the setting will push back, and any characters who consistently evade IC consequences to an unreasonable extent may be breaking established canon (such as the ability of a police force to track down a serial killer). If so, IC responses  on the GM or setting level may follow.
    Make things happen: Keep in mind that you are one part of a narrative that is interacted with by many players. When you post don't just react to the things that have happened - make something happen. Add to the narrative, push the story forward, include something that gives other players a chance to react as well.
    Item creation and weighting: Users can create items or acquire them through roleplay. To balance the site's freeform potential against the lore's integrity, Valucre follows a hierarchy system. From top down, artifacts > canon items > readymade items. This means artifacts created by board leaders for their area will always be the strongest. Then items which a player creates  through canonized roleplay. Then items users can make on a whim for their sheets or character backgrounds. 
    NPCs: Try your best to be faithful to the source material in your portrayal of NPCs and always presume competence. If the NPCs of an area are known for being strong, then portray them as formidable. If they're known for being intelligent, try not to portray them as easily fooled. NPCs are there to serve various functions in your stories, but whether they win or lose, please be mindful of their intended role in the setting. If in doubt, reach out to the author!
    Magic: Magic is a common storytelling device used in fantasy of all types. Magic's appeal lies in its mystery, power, and costs. Please remember its use should follow the same rules of good storytelling and cooperation we advance and emphasize everywhere on Valucre -- rules including fairness, respect for other people's agency over their characters, appropriate scale, and consideration for the stories other writers are trying to tell. Magic with a cost, that is unpredictable, that solves one problem but creates another, are all good examples of magic use which increases rather than deflates tension. [also see: valucre's laws of magic]
    Post order: Replies should cycle through players in the order they join unless otherwise stated. This makes it easier to know who posts when to help manage expectations.
    Realism vs Verisimilitude: Verisimilitude is the believably of a work of fiction. Generic verisimilitude is the plausibility of a fictional work within the bounds of it own context. A character singing about their feelings all the time isn't very realistic, but inside of the fictional universe of a musical it makes perfect sense. Inside of a free-form fantasy universe, strict realism isn't as useful as verisimilitude.
    Reply time: 2 days before skipping is the standard. Many members take on multiple threads or request a faster or slower pace, and it's up to you to make clear your expectations to your partners. You can use PMs or the @ mention feature of the site to let people know it's their turn.
    Tags: Use the tag system to your advantage. Threads that are listed as Open get automatically added to a tag aggregate linked at the site footer and are openly advertised in Valucre's social media. Closed threads let people know your story isn't taking any newcomers.
    Villains: Antagonistic characters can be very fun to play and serve a purpose towards creating conflict and dramatic tension. However if your villain or antagonist is impossible to defeat then other players will grow frustrated and lose interest in trying to best them; that makes the story serve you rather than you serving the story. Defeating a villain doesn't have to be easy, or without a cost to the heroes, but should remain a distinct possibility.
    Gamesmanship: Don't look for loopholes in a game a player makes.
    Valucre Role Play Glossary
    AFV: Away From Valucre. Used when announcing extended absences. Auto (AKA powergame): Taking control of another character or inflicting damage on another character without the owner's permission. Depends on degree and context. Writing someone out of the thread because they're inactive is generally accepted. Dictating another character's reactions is generally frowned upon. Ex: People are fine with an innocent handshake but not if it turns into a Judo flip. Canon: The body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from the board leaders and all of the site members. Read the Canonization Guide for more information. Strict canon: The actual approved and reviewed canon which gets integrated into the site lore. Strict canon follows the canonization process.  Loose canon: The memories of collective events shared by players, and whose content or results are not confirmed by a board leader. Loose canon does not follow the canonization process (ex: Daily Weekly). Flexible time: Flexible time is the concept that your character can participate in multiple threads so long as you keep track of your character's subjective timeline. Threads can't happen in different locations at the "same time", but one thread could come before another, and you only need to keep track of which is "before" and which is "after" for your character. Godmodding: Creating a character, item, ability, etc with no weaknesses, flaws, or limits or that otherwise easily deflates narrative tension. IC: In Character. Mary Sue: Common literary term to mean a perfect character with no weakness aka a godmod character. Metagaming: Taking information you know as a player and unfairly applying it to in-character action despite a lack of grounds for your character to know that information. NPC: Non-Player Character - Any other character in the game world, such as a guard or a bartender. Some NPC's require special permissions to control. It is more acceptable for a player to NPC a bartender than it is to NPC a mayor. OOC: Out of Character. OP: Original poster PC: Player Character. A character controlled by a player. Readymade (AKA shake-n-bake): A story element (character, item, setting, etc) quickly put together for story purposes rather than taken from existing canon. A readymade village is not a legitimized piece of canon, hence has no map placement or sub-board, but players are free to create villages for plot purposes. T1: Interchangeable with "turn based combat". Collaborative: Choreographed to various degrees, from completely scripted to loosely plotted. Also known as "T1 Story", this requires only that players decide between themselves how combat should go Competitive: Unscripted combat. Requires a third-party method (such as a judge, a scoring system, or dice) to settle differences in objective fashion. Note that administration does not enforce character death
  16. Like
    supernal got a reaction from SpearPearls for a article, Valucre: An Overview   
    Back to Topics
    Estimated reading time: ~4 minutes

    Year 18,599 World Time | 599 World Time Abbreviated

    Plot
    Valucre is the story of your characters and how they interact with other characters in the world, whether those interactions are epic tales that span the globe or the intimate dramas of everyday life in a local town. What you decide to write, the actions you decide to take, can have as much or as little impact on your personal storyline and on the surrounding world as the effort you choose to put in. Knowledge about Valucre by its inhabitants should be taken as mythological rather than empirical. This means that what a people believe may not actually be accurate, and is subject to ongoing interpretation, debate and modification. There is no indisputable theory for how the universe came to be. Instead there are dominant and recessive theories, myths and worldviews which vary depending on where you are and who you ask. 
    The World
    Valucre is comparable to earth standard in terms of size. For simplicity's sake, Valucre has similar seasons, weather, atmosphere, flora, fauna, etc. Valucre's creatures are also open by design, meaning that while nations may have their own bestiary index, their own unique creatures or versions of existing creatures, players are not limited to these and can create their own as long as they adhere to mild powers. 
    Despite a high level of scientific understanding among its people, the presence of magic has confounded efforts to get an accurate measure of the planet's age, and has complicated cartography and archaeology for eons. Different nations may keep different calendars for religious or cultural reasons but also keep track of a universal World Time. For example, when the universal calendar shared throughout the nations indicates that Valucre is in its 18,597th year World Time (WT), it is colloquially referred to as 597 WTA (World Time Abbreviated, cutting off the millennia digits). For simplified timekeeping purposes, Valucre advances at a rate of 1:1 with the real world, usually in June.
    The Nations
    Continents and territories tend to favor a major theme while also participating in the shared game space. This means that while one location on the planet can be high fantasy (like Orisia), another can employ magitech and airships (like Lagrimosa and Genesaris), and another might favor futuristic scifi (like Absalom). Because of the complex interplay between magic and technology it's difficult to say that one nation is more 'advanced' than another since different means can be employed to similar ends, though that doesn't stop different kingdoms from trying.
    Keep in mind that these descriptions are not meant to isolate one setting from another and that your character can travel freely between each location, having to surpass obstacles magical and mundane. Also keep in mind that settings have a general theme but are not restricted to that theme. Considering these continents occupy the same world, expect to see some truly odd and wonderful sights. 'Fast travel' is a common plot device; you don't have to play out the travel between locations.
    To learn more about a location click on the name, and if you have questions visit the Ask Me Anything (AMA) of the location.
    Language
    The following is meant to be descriptive rather than prescriptive. This means that you can use it as a stylistic guide to your writing, rather than a rigid formula you have to follow to be accurate. Don't expect things like etymologies and expressions to perfectly match; don't expect to have to write in these languages
    Unii sounds like Russian. Unii is a constructed trade language designed to bridge communications between people who do not share a native tongue. It is employed most commonly by entities with international dealings, such as trade, diplomacy and criminal enterprise. Terric sounds like Spanish Genesaris sounds like German Renovatio sounds like Latin Alterion sounds like Mandarin Lagrimosa | AMA | Quests | Artifacts
    Major themes: science fantasy - religion (Gaianism) - birthplace of magitech
    Board Leader: supernal
    Geographic standout feature: Deepest body of water; Ponkapoag lake
    Genesaris | AMA | Quests
    Major themes: high fantasy - modern elements - birthplace of airships
    Board Leader: King
    Geographic standout feature: Largest desert
    Orisia
    Major themes: traditional fantasy - vampiric queen and population - local magic interferes with advanced technology
    Board Leader: Pasion Pasiva and King
    Cierno
    Cierno lies between Genesaris and Lagrimosa and is made up of multiple territories. 
    Nehalen | AMA | Quests
    Major themes: Dark Fantasy - Medieval - Steampunk - Myriad of island nations creating a single continent - Conflict between Magic and Religion
    Board Leader: Aleksei
    Geographic standout feature: Largest volcano
    Faejarhe
    Major themes: sci-fi - dark horror
    Board Leader: -Lilium-
    Geographic standout feature: Largest canyon
    The Vortex | announcement
    This is a gateway into what is commonly referred to as "the infinities of the spirit world", a portal which leads to endless realities and dimensions and through which come travelers from far off worlds. It can deposit you anywhere on the planet, not just near itself.
    Alternative
    Not a part of the canon world of Valucre. Alternative is where members can go to host roleplay that wouldn't fit in the world of Valucre. Roleplay that takes place on other planets, on modern-day earth, or that surpass the mild powers limitations of Valucre can be hosted here. Roleplay here must still abide by the code of conduct. As of the introduction of the vortex, characters can freely travel from Alternative to Valucre, and must adhere to the rules of the local realm. 
    Magic and Technology
    Valucre is a fantasy setting where magic and science have evolved separately but in parallel. This results in areas which vary drastically from one another. In a single nation you can have locations where people use coal and oil, other areas where they use steam and electricity - one area where magic is sacred and divine, and another where it is used for convenience, or doesn't exist at all.
    You can read more about the laws of magic in its dedicated article. The laws are open by design to allow members to use any ability or system they please, as long as those things adhere to mild powers; actions that observe the laws are considered as having canonical backing. Board leaders may have local systems which will override or supplement the universal system. Like any system, the laws are a 'living document' and subject to change.
     Back to Topics
  17. Like
    supernal got a reaction from SpearPearls for a article, Getting Started   
    Back to Topics
    Estimated reading time: ~4 minutes

    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!
    The below  assumes  you're familiar with forum roleplay as a general concept. If you're totally new to forum roleplay or play-by-post, please read the "What is roleplaying?" section of our Roleplay FAQ.
    Valucre is the name of the site, which includes everything including OOC and Alternative, as well as the name of the planet, which includes Terrenus, Genesaris, and Tellus Mater. The continents are represented by name. You pick the area you want play in, create a new topic, come up with a title, and post it. You now have a roleplay that you can invite others to, or that you can advertise in the water cooler (see below). 
    This is Valucre in a nutshell. 
    Before we go deeper, I want to talk about two vital pieces of information which help us set expectations for the community and their characters. 
    Code of Conduct: The formal set of rules governing conduct between members on Valucre. Although very detailed you can boil this down to "don't cheat", "don't be a dick" and "remember Valucre is for a range of ages".
    Mild Powers: The formal set of rules governing practical abilities and limitations of characters within the world of Valucre. This essentially puts a ceiling on powers to prevent any single character or interaction from being overpowered. Exceptions can be made with approval and collaboration.
    Now that you know a little bit about how members and characters are expected to act on the site, we can dive deeper into Valucre's layout.
     The Water Cooler
    The Water Cooler is where the community goes to post and browse for roleplay interest checks (or "looking for group", if you're more familiar). Here members can see what kind of plots are actively recruiting or can propose their own. As a freeform site with a large, active memberbase, if you find that Valucre lacks something you like to see in roleplay, we actively encourage you to introduce it yourself.
    The Water Cooler employs the use of tags to quickly highlight the kind of play a member is looking for, and includes things like: group size, response pace, and type of roleplay.
     Introductions
    The Introductions board is where new members can post a thread to introduce themselves to the community and give the community a chance to welcome them, answer questions, and introduce themselves in turn. Although not a requirement, introducing yourself is highly recommended, as Valucre's community is one of the best parts of the site. 
     
     Tavern of Legend
    The Tavern of Legend is a first stop for many players that are either new to roleplay in general or new to roleplay on Valucre. It is a sandbox designed for members who have been registered on the site for 90 days or less, and by staff members that help answer questions and develop roleplay experiences. This is a great starting point because it puts you in touch with other members who are also new.
     
     Approaches - Lore versus Roleplay
    Although you are in no way limited to the below approaches, these are the most common methods by which most members have made sense of the site and feel works for them. 
    Roleplay based (recommended): The "action" approach. Players basically use or create a character that is as new to the world of Valucre as they are. This could be anything from a character from another world to a character born on Valucre that has never stepped outside of their village, just woke up from a cursed slumber, or anything that stimulates your imagination. You learn as you go. Lore based: The "research" approach. Keeping in mind the lore is there to enhance your immersion, not make barriers between you and roleplay, some readers prefer to read a lot of lore before even making a character. You can learn general information about the world in the Overview page, and find a location from there. Most people that start with this approach will focus their play in a specific area until they get more familiar with the rest of the world, and then they branch out.   Back to Topics
  18. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Celina de la feytte for a article, Brevity Rules or Low Drag RP   
    Originally from I challenge you to brevity
    Players can adjust any aspect of the brevity rules to suit their roleplay but below are the standard
    48 hour turnaround time If a thread goes 2 days without a post, a post must be made by someone/anyone and it must advance the story 300 word maximum Even if you have time to write more, keep it to 300. The more you write, especially if there are multiple partners in a thread, the more your partners have to read in order to make their own posts Always forward! Every post must add or change something, or advance the story in some way 
  19. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Sirloin for a article, Mild Powers   
    General
    Valucre is a mild powers forum.
    We allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit their ceiling to keep the site relatively balanced. Wiggle room for outsized impact exists but is almost always for the sake of collective story, not aggrandizing a single character. A new member who joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone cleaving mountains in half might feel pressured to beef up their character in response, but as combat is always optional, this isn't required. As a site Valucre seeks to emphasize character development over ability or power development. If you would like a loose framework to follow along with check out Flow and Fiero in Freeform Roleplay.
    As a free-form site, we don't manage rank or stat based systems for development. Instead we ask members exercise prudence and emphasize narrative when choosing abilities to navigate the fantasy setting of Valucre. Given the wide scale our below mild powers examples establish, we care more about regulating the end result or consequences of powers than their origins or types. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss and want suggestions as to what we think makes for effective character creation.
    As mentioned earlier combat is always optional and requires both declaration and consent. As long as it is stated and agreed upon by both players, any system can be used to resolve an in-character conflict. Examples include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combat but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System, among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    When in doubt, following the philosophies outlined in Roleplay Etiquette will steer you in the right direction.
    Mild Powers - history and examples
    In its historical context mild powers was "somewhere in between" the poles of Realistic Melee and Power Characters. The former allowed only realistic characters, abilities, weaponry, and the latter allowed concepts which tend to be more about power gaming than telling a story. There's a lot of room on the spectrum between those two poles and so it should come as no surprise if what you consider mild, or even just plain serviceable, varies from what someone else does. When in doubt talk with your partners and come to a consensus on what makes something interesting vs what deflates all tension.
    The below is not an exhaustive list, just examples:
    Examples of forbidden abilities
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste" is often Mild; time travel often isn't) Large scale reality manipulation (at a small scale this is just a different flavor of "magic") Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomena Attacks that manifest instantly or otherwise don't allow a character to react to them Indestructible weapons, armors, unstoppable magic, infinite or impervious items, etc Examples of generally disallowed abilities (can be used for NPCs or collaborative story purposes)
    Soul stealing or manipulation (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing but for others it can be a pivotal aspect hence the "allowed for story purposes" designation) Manifesting an attack inside of another person ("blood bending" is an example of where you want to make sure the player is fine with it) Automatic mind-control (vs attempted) Teleportation and other "instantaneous" abilities or actions "Magical scanning" or otherwise being able to meta-game knowledge about another user Examples of allowed abilities
    Enhanced senses Augmented physical and mental abilities Psionics (telekinesis, telepathy, pyromantic, etc, all dependent on the scale) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) Amplitude
    For storyline purposes, large scale attacks are allowed within reason. World- or continent-destroying attacks will essentially always be disallowed; city-busting is sometimes feasible depending on the effort and activity leading up to this as well as obtained permission and coordinating of plot; and the destruction of a building or buildings is usually considered the upper limit of a character or group of characters.
    Someone inevitably fixes on the fact that "building" is a generic term and fail to realize that the term is kept generic on purpose. A single story home and an apartment high rise are both buildings, but are clearly not equivalent in size. In general the takeaway is that as a player you should be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work to destroy depending on what went into making the item. Contributors can work for years building up conceptual sand-castles and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two even if they are open to conflict.
    Abilities are judged primarily on their destructive or constructive potential, or the scale on which they apply, as opposed to their complexity. Stopping a boulder mid-flight and pushing it away is less complex than turning it to sand but both work on a similar scale and essentially accomplish the same thing.
    Creator: supernal
    Editors: traxien cion, supernal
  20. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Walk Among The Abyss for a article, New Member Guide   
    WELCOME, TRAVELER . . . 
     
     
    to the promised land - of roleplay!
    Valucre is a forum roleplay site. The fact that we have no central plot and don't separate our member base into silos of experience makes us a little different than your average roleplay site. We take things a step further by providing a unique and persistent global setting. A full planet capable of supporting most themes and ideas, with dozens of plots all happening at once, some large and encompassing, others small and intimate. 
    There's so much to do and see on Valucre you could spend hours for days on end going through guides, sheets, and lore. But don't worry. No one expects you to catch up on over a decade of history just to jump in and start creating with us. 
    Think of Valucre's body of work less like a guidebook you have to read just to make sense of where you are, and more like an encyclopedia or a reference guide that you can look to when you want to add immersive details to your post, such as the political climate of one area or the visuals of another. 
    Below are a number of tiles which cover different topics. You can visit the page by just clicking on the tile that you want to learn about. Give our guide 15 minutes of your attention and you'll be starting on a strong foundation. 
    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!

      
      

     
  21. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Kronos2845 for a article, Valucre's Laws of Magic   
    Laws of Magic
    Law of Chaos: Even with proper observance of the Laws, magic is chaotic and dangerous by nature. Spells can go awry. Spell Permanency is a new and specialized field that can only guarantee longevity to within an acceptable margin. The longer a spell goes on the higher the chance it will go awry.
    Law of Methods: Methods for manipulation of magic so far include written words and symbols (including glyphs and runic formulas), spoken words and rhymes, color theory, music theory, hand symbols and gestures, esoteric components, and direct energy manipulation. These are all considered means by which a caster can negotiate arcane intent.
    Law of Equivalent Exchange: All magic carries comes with a cost. This is usually seen as the consumption of material spell components but can also be seen as physical damage (bruises, cuts, disfigurement, etc), intangibles (sanity, memories, emotions, and in particular secrets), accelerated aging, and in extreme cases even death. Casting magic in a group mitigates this effect.
    Law of Arcane Inertia: With rare exception, spells that are cast will remain cast as long as conditions supports their existence. A fireball will burn out with lack of fuel but will not randomly disappear. A curse will remain until its neutralized (or its respective energy source runs out). Contrast against Law of Chaos.
    Law of Parallel Symbolism: "Like produces like" or "an effect resembles its cause". It is easier to produce a fire effect from a spell focus related to the base element (coal, a phoenix feather, etc) than an unrelated or neutral component (earth) or diametrically opposed component (water or ice).
    Law of Contagion: Objects in contact become entangled and the contact persists over distance but attenuates with time. This law is commonly applied in voodoo, allowing a magician to perform spells on an item and produce an effect on a person or place. Contagion is affected by tangible variables like how many people contacted the item, for how long, and whether the item is part of the target (hair, skin, blood provide a stronger link than clothing). Intangible factors like sentimental attachment and emotional trauma are also a factor. Contagion links can also be semantic or metaphorical.
    Law of Rule: Magic is regulated by layers of genius loci (other terms include tutelary deity and daimon), explaining regional differences in arcane practice and efficacy. 
  22. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Kronos2845 for a article, Mild Powers   
    General
    Valucre is a mild powers forum.
    We allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit their ceiling to keep the site relatively balanced. Wiggle room for outsized impact exists but is almost always for the sake of collective story, not aggrandizing a single character. A new member who joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone cleaving mountains in half might feel pressured to beef up their character in response, but as combat is always optional, this isn't required. As a site Valucre seeks to emphasize character development over ability or power development. If you would like a loose framework to follow along with check out Flow and Fiero in Freeform Roleplay.
    As a free-form site, we don't manage rank or stat based systems for development. Instead we ask members exercise prudence and emphasize narrative when choosing abilities to navigate the fantasy setting of Valucre. Given the wide scale our below mild powers examples establish, we care more about regulating the end result or consequences of powers than their origins or types. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss and want suggestions as to what we think makes for effective character creation.
    As mentioned earlier combat is always optional and requires both declaration and consent. As long as it is stated and agreed upon by both players, any system can be used to resolve an in-character conflict. Examples include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combat but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System, among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    When in doubt, following the philosophies outlined in Roleplay Etiquette will steer you in the right direction.
    Mild Powers - history and examples
    In its historical context mild powers was "somewhere in between" the poles of Realistic Melee and Power Characters. The former allowed only realistic characters, abilities, weaponry, and the latter allowed concepts which tend to be more about power gaming than telling a story. There's a lot of room on the spectrum between those two poles and so it should come as no surprise if what you consider mild, or even just plain serviceable, varies from what someone else does. When in doubt talk with your partners and come to a consensus on what makes something interesting vs what deflates all tension.
    The below is not an exhaustive list, just examples:
    Examples of forbidden abilities
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste" is often Mild; time travel often isn't) Large scale reality manipulation (at a small scale this is just a different flavor of "magic") Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomena Attacks that manifest instantly or otherwise don't allow a character to react to them Indestructible weapons, armors, unstoppable magic, infinite or impervious items, etc Examples of generally disallowed abilities (can be used for NPCs or collaborative story purposes)
    Soul stealing or manipulation (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing but for others it can be a pivotal aspect hence the "allowed for story purposes" designation) Manifesting an attack inside of another person ("blood bending" is an example of where you want to make sure the player is fine with it) Automatic mind-control (vs attempted) Teleportation and other "instantaneous" abilities or actions "Magical scanning" or otherwise being able to meta-game knowledge about another user Examples of allowed abilities
    Enhanced senses Augmented physical and mental abilities Psionics (telekinesis, telepathy, pyromantic, etc, all dependent on the scale) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) Amplitude
    For storyline purposes, large scale attacks are allowed within reason. World- or continent-destroying attacks will essentially always be disallowed; city-busting is sometimes feasible depending on the effort and activity leading up to this as well as obtained permission and coordinating of plot; and the destruction of a building or buildings is usually considered the upper limit of a character or group of characters.
    Someone inevitably fixes on the fact that "building" is a generic term and fail to realize that the term is kept generic on purpose. A single story home and an apartment high rise are both buildings, but are clearly not equivalent in size. In general the takeaway is that as a player you should be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work to destroy depending on what went into making the item. Contributors can work for years building up conceptual sand-castles and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two even if they are open to conflict.
    Abilities are judged primarily on their destructive or constructive potential, or the scale on which they apply, as opposed to their complexity. Stopping a boulder mid-flight and pushing it away is less complex than turning it to sand but both work on a similar scale and essentially accomplish the same thing.
    Creator: supernal
    Editors: traxien cion, supernal
  23. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Peachmilq for a article, Getting Started   
    Back to Topics
    Estimated reading time: ~4 minutes

    If you have any questions about the site at all, ask the Outreach team!
    The below  assumes  you're familiar with forum roleplay as a general concept. If you're totally new to forum roleplay or play-by-post, please read the "What is roleplaying?" section of our Roleplay FAQ.
    Valucre is the name of the site, which includes everything including OOC and Alternative, as well as the name of the planet, which includes Terrenus, Genesaris, and Tellus Mater. The continents are represented by name. You pick the area you want play in, create a new topic, come up with a title, and post it. You now have a roleplay that you can invite others to, or that you can advertise in the water cooler (see below). 
    This is Valucre in a nutshell. 
    Before we go deeper, I want to talk about two vital pieces of information which help us set expectations for the community and their characters. 
    Code of Conduct: The formal set of rules governing conduct between members on Valucre. Although very detailed you can boil this down to "don't cheat", "don't be a dick" and "remember Valucre is for a range of ages".
    Mild Powers: The formal set of rules governing practical abilities and limitations of characters within the world of Valucre. This essentially puts a ceiling on powers to prevent any single character or interaction from being overpowered. Exceptions can be made with approval and collaboration.
    Now that you know a little bit about how members and characters are expected to act on the site, we can dive deeper into Valucre's layout.
     The Water Cooler
    The Water Cooler is where the community goes to post and browse for roleplay interest checks (or "looking for group", if you're more familiar). Here members can see what kind of plots are actively recruiting or can propose their own. As a freeform site with a large, active memberbase, if you find that Valucre lacks something you like to see in roleplay, we actively encourage you to introduce it yourself.
    The Water Cooler employs the use of tags to quickly highlight the kind of play a member is looking for, and includes things like: group size, response pace, and type of roleplay.
     Introductions
    The Introductions board is where new members can post a thread to introduce themselves to the community and give the community a chance to welcome them, answer questions, and introduce themselves in turn. Although not a requirement, introducing yourself is highly recommended, as Valucre's community is one of the best parts of the site. 
     
     Tavern of Legend
    The Tavern of Legend is a first stop for many players that are either new to roleplay in general or new to roleplay on Valucre. It is a sandbox designed for members who have been registered on the site for 90 days or less, and by staff members that help answer questions and develop roleplay experiences. This is a great starting point because it puts you in touch with other members who are also new.
     
     Approaches - Lore versus Roleplay
    Although you are in no way limited to the below approaches, these are the most common methods by which most members have made sense of the site and feel works for them. 
    Roleplay based (recommended): The "action" approach. Players basically use or create a character that is as new to the world of Valucre as they are. This could be anything from a character from another world to a character born on Valucre that has never stepped outside of their village, just woke up from a cursed slumber, or anything that stimulates your imagination. You learn as you go. Lore based: The "research" approach. Keeping in mind the lore is there to enhance your immersion, not make barriers between you and roleplay, some readers prefer to read a lot of lore before even making a character. You can learn general information about the world in the Overview page, and find a location from there. Most people that start with this approach will focus their play in a specific area until they get more familiar with the rest of the world, and then they branch out.   Back to Topics
  24. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from squid peanut for a article, Mild Powers   
    General
    Valucre is a mild powers forum.
    We allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit their ceiling to keep the site relatively balanced. Wiggle room for outsized impact exists but is almost always for the sake of collective story, not aggrandizing a single character. A new member who joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone cleaving mountains in half might feel pressured to beef up their character in response, but as combat is always optional, this isn't required. As a site Valucre seeks to emphasize character development over ability or power development. If you would like a loose framework to follow along with check out Flow and Fiero in Freeform Roleplay.
    As a free-form site, we don't manage rank or stat based systems for development. Instead we ask members exercise prudence and emphasize narrative when choosing abilities to navigate the fantasy setting of Valucre. Given the wide scale our below mild powers examples establish, we care more about regulating the end result or consequences of powers than their origins or types. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss and want suggestions as to what we think makes for effective character creation.
    As mentioned earlier combat is always optional and requires both declaration and consent. As long as it is stated and agreed upon by both players, any system can be used to resolve an in-character conflict. Examples include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combat but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System, among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    When in doubt, following the philosophies outlined in Roleplay Etiquette will steer you in the right direction.
    Mild Powers - history and examples
    In its historical context mild powers was "somewhere in between" the poles of Realistic Melee and Power Characters. The former allowed only realistic characters, abilities, weaponry, and the latter allowed concepts which tend to be more about power gaming than telling a story. There's a lot of room on the spectrum between those two poles and so it should come as no surprise if what you consider mild, or even just plain serviceable, varies from what someone else does. When in doubt talk with your partners and come to a consensus on what makes something interesting vs what deflates all tension.
    The below is not an exhaustive list, just examples:
    Examples of forbidden abilities
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste" is often Mild; time travel often isn't) Large scale reality manipulation (at a small scale this is just a different flavor of "magic") Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomena Attacks that manifest instantly or otherwise don't allow a character to react to them Indestructible weapons, armors, unstoppable magic, infinite or impervious items, etc Examples of generally disallowed abilities (can be used for NPCs or collaborative story purposes)
    Soul stealing or manipulation (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing but for others it can be a pivotal aspect hence the "allowed for story purposes" designation) Manifesting an attack inside of another person ("blood bending" is an example of where you want to make sure the player is fine with it) Automatic mind-control (vs attempted) Teleportation and other "instantaneous" abilities or actions "Magical scanning" or otherwise being able to meta-game knowledge about another user Examples of allowed abilities
    Enhanced senses Augmented physical and mental abilities Psionics (telekinesis, telepathy, pyromantic, etc, all dependent on the scale) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) Amplitude
    For storyline purposes, large scale attacks are allowed within reason. World- or continent-destroying attacks will essentially always be disallowed; city-busting is sometimes feasible depending on the effort and activity leading up to this as well as obtained permission and coordinating of plot; and the destruction of a building or buildings is usually considered the upper limit of a character or group of characters.
    Someone inevitably fixes on the fact that "building" is a generic term and fail to realize that the term is kept generic on purpose. A single story home and an apartment high rise are both buildings, but are clearly not equivalent in size. In general the takeaway is that as a player you should be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work to destroy depending on what went into making the item. Contributors can work for years building up conceptual sand-castles and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two even if they are open to conflict.
    Abilities are judged primarily on their destructive or constructive potential, or the scale on which they apply, as opposed to their complexity. Stopping a boulder mid-flight and pushing it away is less complex than turning it to sand but both work on a similar scale and essentially accomplish the same thing.
    Creator: supernal
    Editors: traxien cion, supernal
  25. Like
    supernal got a reaction from squid peanut for a article, Biazo Isle   
    Characteristics
    Biazo Isle, after which the city Biazo was named, is the largest island of the Terrenus continent located about 200 km (120 mi) northwest from the mainland. Biazo Isle and the smaller islands to its northeast and southwest are all products of a massive volcanic eruption whose origin is lost to the annals of Terrenus history and which resulted in the caldera forming Biazo Isle.
    The rich volcanic soil deposited by the Isle's dormant volcanoes is ideal for growing grapes – consequently, wine is the beverage of choice for many of the villages and townships on the Isle. Provence Semillon is Biazo's most popular wine export; a full-bodied dark purple wine to be stored at temperatures 39-42 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Terril is an island dialect of the mainland Terric - the two languages share strong roots and origins so that communication is possible between islanders and mainlanders but colloquialism and increasing usage of slang terminology on both-ends has made communication difficult for those that do not study either language.
    The majority of the islanders like to eat their fish raw and make frequent use of Biha-Bihahl, a "miracle oil" made out of coconut and a cryptic concoction of native leaves and flowers.
    Geology
    A large number of volcanoes populate the surface of Biazo Isle, ranging in size from the central volcano Bia'Thera, whose diameter is approximately 620 km (385 mi), to small "pocket volcanoes" about the size of a child's head. Bia'Thera is dormant, as are most of the larger volcanoes, but the smaller ones occasionally belch smoke and flame.
    There are over six-thousand (6000) species of insect in the tropical forests of Biazo Isle, over three-thousand (3000) species of reptile and amphibian, and over sixty-thousand (60000) species of plant. Many of these are extremely dangerous and poisonous.
    Notable People
    Michael Commager: Major in the Empire’s military  Danel Thompson: Explorer botanist Twizzen: Archbishop of Biazo Abbey Locations
    Aspyn: The newest settlement in Biazo Isle, a project spearheaded by PeaceKeeper Commager, and which houses many of the displaced from the ruins of Biazo City.  Bi'le'ah: Magic twists and lies in these ruins, dangers lurk in shadows and in the hearts of men, and treasures wait, in the chaotic ruins of Biazo City.  Biazo Abbey: A collection of nationally renown temples built directly into the mountains of Biazo Isle, attended to Archbishop Twizzen. Greenwitch Port (new): A southern port established by Aspyn builders to be much more accessible to those traveling by boat from the mainland, after the previous southern port was destroyed. Okimon Bluff: The cliffs surrounding Shiddidark Basin. It is the only area in which Effinae Tapinella can be found. Its cliffs are smooth, and thus require special equipment to climb and harvest the fungi from its staggeringly-high cliff walls. Outpost Grey: A paramilitary installation with the primary goal of researching the surrounding flora and fauna of Biazo Isle. Its territories of Shiddidark Basin and Okimon Bluff are protected by the very cliffs themselves, though fences have been erected a few meters before the cliffs’ edge, often causing passersby to assume it to be a blacksite for the Terran military. Shiddidark Basin: A large, hot, humid basin towards the middle of Biazo Isle that is darkened by the shadow of the surrounding cliffs of Okimon Bluff, only allowing for direct sunlight between the hours of 11:00AM and 1:00PM. It is the home of the Thorny Pink flower and the Caloriberry, as well as the center of Outpost Grey. Flora (new)
    Caloriberries: often mistaken for a blue fungus, Caloriberries grow in large pods adjacent to Thorny Pinks. They are completely edible, and pose no health risks aside from large amounts of calories being consumed per berry. Preliminary estimates show that each berry contains at least 500-600 calories of unknown type. However, health risks are nearly-nonexistent, so long as proper diet and abstaining from eating excess calories per day are followed. Effinae Tapinella: Effinae Tapinella is a small, dull-colored fungus that is rich in plant sugar, and only grows on the cliffs of Okimon Bluff. Upon preliminary analysis, high sugar content makes it possibly-useful for desserts, sweeteners, and for use as a sugar substitute. Further testing is required in order for confirmation of primary analysis. Jobolba Tree: The Jobolba tree is tall, thin, and reminiscent of bamboo. Its exact nature is unknown, but preliminary readings show the fruit, approximately the size of an apple, to contain of potassium cyanide and hydrochloric acid. Jokoto Tree: the Jokoto tree was discovered on accident by an explorer, Hawthorn, whilst descending a tree thought to be a Jobolba. While structurally- and internally-identical to the Jobolba, the Jokoto's milky-blue sap contains a powerful local anesthetic, strong enough to relax muscle and bone tissue, as well as nerves, through cytoplasmic infiltration of the local cells. It is so strong that even the most painful of events will not be felt; however, preliminary analysis suggests that use of this anesthetic will render the affected area 100% useless for approximately 5-6 hours. Further analysis indicates that if administered intravenously via injection or IV, it may possess the ability to render all but lower functions (i.e. cardiovascular, brainstem) 100% inoperable, similar to a comatose state. Sleepy Grasper (new): Found in caves. Sounds more innocent than it is. These green or red vines aren't sleepy themselves, instead they induce it in their victims - and really 'sleepy' here means 'immobile'. The vines produced a paralytic poison on contact with exposed flesh, and are capable of lashing out and ensnaring victims. It also produces a moss that allows one to breathe underwater, which is an appealing item for divers and adventurers.  Thorny Pinks: Thorny Pinks are medium-sized, rose-like flowers with pink petals that grow in the Shiddidark Basin. Their petals are filled with nectar that, if extracted, provides excellent antibiotic properties. However, the inner petals contain bioelectric tendrils that stun and paralyze all insects that land to consume the nectar. Its thorns are very sharp, and contain high levels of an unknown compound. Further research is to be made in order to test this plant's full spectrum of special properties.
    Fauna
    Snacker: The Snacker (Tyrannosaurus Nucleus) is a monstrously-sized, bipedal, carnivorous reptile. It supplements its voracious appetite with radioactive material. Its tough, scaly skin allows it to take large amounts of damage, while its berserk rage keeps it alive even when its chances of survival are bleak. It resides underground in large networks of burrows, connected at large common areas known as "nexuses."  Khad'Xel's Minions: Enemy of choice. In addition to the standard dangers you might face traveling between developed cities, and the already heightened unnatural presence on the Isle ever since the destruction of Biazo City, the demon Khad'Xel and his minions have a growing presence and seek nothing more, and nothing less, than destruction and ruin. Canon
    Not just distance, but depth: Ampelos Spyderwalker Dali meets with Merida Spidervalley Dali (a younger cousin) to discuss various ventures, including her being selected as his apprentice on a botanical project so he can transition from journeyman to master in the Transmutation guild, as well as select a new business manager for the vineyard, which is under renovations but will soon be publicly accessible.  How do you lose yourself?: Two apprentice Gaian priests, one sent to find an ancient temple and another to recall the first due to reported Outsider activity, land on Biazo Isle at different times. Through a combination of philosophical discussion and scrambling for survival, these two help a farming family and their sick children, find the ancient temple, and keep the dangerous Outsider occupied until elder members of the priesthood can banish it. In animal behavior, the term is caching: Cadmium and Nur enter a mine to rescue miners and manage to do so, despite a jungle of prehensile vines with a paralytic agent trying its best to make a meal out of them. They discover an underwater vein of solabernite, as well as a moss that lets one breath underwater for a few hours. Nur decides to join the military and, when given a choice between ranger and diplomat, chooses the latter. The first of many: The military are engaged in a mission to escort a grew of builders to a site so they can construct a Tian faux-ton post. Thing go smoothly until the end, where a storm takes them by surprise, and they are then attacked by a pack of undead wolves. The fight was difficult but the military proved victorious. Dan's Field Guide to Biazo plant life: Dan, a mercenary from another planet, travels to Biazo Isle to collect plant life on behalf of HERB. With travels ranging from Shiddidark Basin to Okimon Bluff, Dan and his colleagues discover four previously undocumented species of plant life and one fungus.  Earth, Reap: Earth and her group go to Biazo city after hearing news of the undead infestation. There, they evacuate refugees, and help Gaian priests and the Terrenus military to close a necrotic scar torn in the city. Following the trail of a sigil to a cult shrine, Earth sacrifices her physical form to entrap The End in a statue of stone.  Crush the serpent with thine heel: The ruins of Biazo City are cleaned up of the unholy miasma which made the ruins a hotbed of unnatural activity. In its place is left a seed of positive energy which promotes vegetation and repels the unnatural. A Storm Approaches: The shadow of a floating fortress falls over the ruined city of Biazo, and from this castle there flow creatures from out of the dark. These creatures and Marduk storm the Viceroy's destroyed study and probe it for secrets (an artifact).
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