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supernal

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  1. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Samø for a article, Terrenus Timeline: Condensed   
    Legend:
    BG = Before Gaia.
    AO = After Odin.
    The most recent events start at the top and work their way back in time as you go to the bottom of the timeline.
    100 BG – 26 AO
    Terrenus enters into an armistice with Genesaris Terrenus engages in a war with Genesaris Eternal Night overtakes Valucre Odin, along with Edward Brown and Eustace Monroe, pioneers magi-technology. Terran military and government advances by leaps and bounds; with Lightning Rail and Warp Gate, the nation experiences an unprecedented golden age. Odin Haze establishes modern Gaianism and unifies Terrenus as Saint-King. Odin Haze leads a religious genocide against the Desecrators, who still have a demanding presence even after being formally disbanded over a hundred years prior, in a campaign known as the Crusades. 200 BG – 100 BG
    The false republic is exposed as an oligarchy and falls. Rumors have it that the Assassin's Guild was involved. Shawnee Glacier is discovered to be shrinking A sphinx is discovered to be guarding the pass in Hidden Valley The gauntlets of Zengi are discovered and sold Sheobrazi the Golemancer dies 300 BG – 200 BG
    Shawnee Glacier is discovered to be mystical ice There is growing religious unrest in the land An oligarchy posing as a republic is formed The Legion of Desecrators is disbanded; the few die-hard members remaining go into hiding The largest factions leftover from Levas's fallen monarchy go to war. 400 BG – 300 BG
    The Forbidding Hills are exposed as a Necropolis Two lovers die in each other’s arms during war-time; the Hills of Lost Hearts is formed Herbie casts a powerful sanctity spell on a forest, thereafter known as the Peaceful Woods Herbie, a mystical sage, isolates himself from civilization and takes residence in the Great Pine Barrens Two genius centaur twins, the Scudder’s Brothers, flee racism and populate the forests near their hometown of Weland 600 BG – 400 BG
    Zengi the Witch-King is destroyed Jason of the Lions, a great hero, dies fighting Zengi and is mourned nationwide Zengi casts Terrenus into a Dark Age Last Chance is made as a refuge for criminals 700 BG – 600 BG
    The Desecrators's current figurehead is assassinated King Levas is assassinated; the monarchy splits into provinces There is an epidemic with an infection rate of 21% and a mortality rate of 73% The King of the Fairies is disgusted by human nature and takes his kingdom into hiding 800 BG - 700 BG
    A terrible flood damages Casper. Tethys is first written about in mythological works The Desecrators are formed in worship of Zengi Levas the Cruel unites the territories under his iron fist Dragons are hunted and retreat from Valucre; those that stay behind hide or or killed  1000 BG – 800 BG
    Successful assassination of Queen Ersela and Queen Hildena ends the matriarchal diarchy, dividing the nation into territories The Assassins’ Guild is formed A terrible famine sweeps the land The Witch-King Zengi invades the Great Pine Barrens and makes his stronghold. He begins a campaign of indiscriminate destruction
  2. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Samø for a article, Common Character Reference   
    These aren't full-fledged NPCs that you can puppet into doing and saying whatever you like, but are known entities whose descriptions may be useful and are being collated here for ease of reference. I'm deliberately not including player characters as the players are likely to have their own sheets.
    Jason of the Lions Edward Brown Eustace Monroe Zengi The Oracle Jason of the Lions

    Jason of the Lions is an archetypal hero of the Terran continent. With the rest of the Lions, he engaged in a crusade that saw the defeat of the witch-king Zengi, a malevolent entity responsible for centuries worth of loss of life on the continent. Jason was turned to stone by the mandate of prophecy, so that he would be alive to champion another cause in later history, and was awakened to bring an end to Eternal Night. He is now known to make his living as a farmer in the land near Dougton, but remains obscure.
    Edward Brown

    Edward Brown is the Empire's only five-star general, imperial advisor to the king, commander-in-chief of the military, and top handler of the PeaceKeeper program. Edward has been around since the early years of Empire, a soft believer in the Gaian faith converted only once he saw what that faith was capable of, and a strong believer in Empire's message regardless of the messenger. As the continent continues to see itself divided by forces political, arcane, and extra-terrestrial, Edward allows himself to be seen less and less, but the ripples of his influence continue to be felt through the military.
    Eustace Monroe

    Odin Haze influenced magi-tech through an intuitive grasp of the world which granted him an ability to design sustainable and efficient biomimicry designs. Edward Brown influenced magi-tech through its application for military strategy, ushering in many of Empire's weapons to this day. Eustace is responsible for the massive gaps between these two points, for the creation of the foundational concepts which saw tremendous improvement in Empire's transportation, communications, and surveillance. Eustace has been missing for years but his legacy is survived by his sister, Henrietta, and the Monroe Foundation.
    Zengi

    Zengi the witch-king was an extremely powerful necromancer and ascendant lich, a malevolent presence who has been found in the earliest records of recorded history for the continent, and which even then depicts him engaged in a campaign of indiscriminate destruction. Zengi's only concern is the annihilation of all things. Everything he does, any accrual of wealth or people or power, is expended towards this end.
    The Oracle

    Image by 1980supra from Pixabay
    The Oracle is a supernatural entity which exchanges player character secrets for information on anything that they are looking for or desire (in Terrenus). The answers may be sometimes cryptic and sometimes incomplete but will always put a character on the right path to their ultimate goal. The secrets offered must be equivalent or greater in value to the information which is being asked.
  3. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Csl for a article, Writing - Tips and Resources   
    Valucre is an open site that does not limit the manner in which our members can write, but our community does encourage growth. This is sometimes misconstrued to mean we want long posts, which is not the case. Often times detailed posts are just a side effect of general improvement.
    Roleplay and Writing: A few thoughts from supernal Some writers mourn a lack of detail in their own writing when they come to Valucre's play-by-post style, especially those that are transitioning from a chat environment or extended hiatus. Coming to a site where paragraphs are the norm can be intimidating.
    The first thing to remember is that quality trumps quantity. The length of a post is not the determining factor to how good or bad it is. The second thing to remember is that on a forum setting, even though Valucre is active, you can take your time. Don't write in a rush, take your time to experiment with your writing, and revise your posts so as to refine them. Giving yourself time for a second draft of a post will let you refine your writing.
    Remember, although roleplaying is a game and a hobby for most of us, the main (not only) vehicle by which we play this game is writing. The more you develop your writing, the better at communicating your ideas you become, the more impactful and substantial the game. Becoming better at writing can help you in many areas in life, but we'll save that for a later time.
    In regards to detail, there are a few elements you can consider. A character's thoughts and emotions have always proved to be a deep well that a writer can draw from. What does your character think, what do they feel, and how does that express itself in the character? Are they suspicious? If so, why? If so, how does this change the way they behave or react?
    Pay attention to your surroundings. Interact and engage. This is not to say that in every post you make you have to climb a tree or dip a hand in the river, but things like weather, the time of day, the setting itself (walking from one end of town to the other, or from town to forest) are all variables that change.
    Pay attention to your character while they speak, and to their orientation in regards to other characters and objects. Having your character pace about the room, or prepare dinner, or sketch a drawing, or sharpen his knife gives them a sense of being, of being more than a disembodied voice. Your character is alive, and it helps to convey them as such.
    Repetition is a double-edge sword. Remarking on your character's blue eyes five times in one post is superfluous, but mentioning it only once throughout a thread makes it an easily forgettable detail. Switching words out with a synonym is a poor habit. Noting that your character has blue eyes, then aqua eyes, then azure eyes, is not the same as reinforcing the detail through expression ('eyes the shade of the ocean at night' or 'as if some portion of the light blue sky took residence in her eyes').
    Tips Proactive vs Reactive
    As writers in a collaborative environment, it is very easy to fall into the habit of simply reacting rather than writing in a manner that advances the plot. This is especially true in group settings. Reactive writing contributes little to the story, even if it is well written, usually by way of being little more than a summary of previous posts coupled with little more than your character's reactions.
    Proactive writing advances. You're still reacting, but in a way that moves the thread forward even by a single step. It means asking a question, engaging in an action, giving depth to the setting or granting significance to an item, impacting the story in a way that takes into account what came before but also establishes something for the posts that come after. Don't be afraid to get creative.
    Length of Post
    Length is largely irrelevant, but not completely. The forum writer should take pains to avoid "one-lining" in a play-by-post setting. This does not mean to take the extreme position that all of your posts need to be a thousand words long, but that you should provide enough content in your post that other players in the thread have something of substance to respond to. That said, there are certainly situations where a few sentences will suffice, but you should nonetheless take care not to allow "shake-n-bake" writing to become a habit. Without the atmosphere generated by some effort in writing on your part, your partners are liable to misinterpret events or simply lose interest.
    On the other side of this, although writing at its core is meant to be an expression of creativity, you should take care to avoid "fluff" or "purple prose". By all means embellish, but if you write five paragraphs and four of them are describing a field or a flower, that is excessive.
    Please note that this in no way advocates excessively complicated writing.
    Vocabulary and Diction
    Simple Writing Commandments
    Use active voice. Use passive voice only to obscure the subject. Be measured and precise: choose your words carefully. Structure your writing so that each paragraph or section has a unified focus. Keep paragraphs "bite-sized''. Hyphenate correctly. Use an appropriate and consistent level of formality. Eliminate unnecessary words. Prefer simple and direct constructs to more complex ones. Use "which" and "that" correctly. Don't rely on fluff words like very or extremely to strengthen your points. In the words of the immortal Mark Twain (again): Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. Use a spell-checker. Avoid redundancy. Source: http://www.cs.duke.edu/~chase/commandments.html
    Description Modified excerpt from Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan:
    Perhaps the best way to fully define description is by considering what it is not.
    Description is not "all that flowery stuff". It isn't merely embellishment, something we stitch to the top of our writing to make it more presentable. Description doesn't always mean detailing how something looks. One of the best descriptions I've ever read was written by a blind child. Evocative and memorable description is rooted not only in visual detail but in the smells, tastes, textures and sounds of our world. Description doesn't begin on the page. It begins in the eye and ear and mouth and nose and hand of the beholder. Writing descriptively doesn't always mean writing gracefully. Description won't necessarily make our writing more refined, lyrical or poetic. Some descriptions demand uneven syntax and plainspoken, blunt prose. Jagged, even. Fragments too. Slice of chin. Buzz saw. Description doesn't always require a bigger vocabulary. House is probably a better choice than domicile, a horse is easier to visualize than an equine mammal, and red blood is brighter than the sanguine flow of bodily fluids. Writing descriptively doesn't necessitate writing more. Description isn't a steroid, something to make our language bigger and stronger, nor is it an additive promising more miles to the fictional gallon. Sometimes writing descriptively means writing less. Our three-hundred-word description of the wedding cake might need to loose two hundred words; it may need to disappear altogether. Description rarely stands alone. Most description exists as part of a larger poem, essay or story, seamlessly intertwined with other literary elements. Description isn't something we simply insert, block style, into passages of narration or exposition. Resources First, looking in rather than out, I recommend the Useful Writing Resources thread started by one of our very own.
    Looking outside of the site, if you want to buff up your vocabulary, I suggest www.vocabulary.com and www.freerice.com.
    Vocabulary.com has a program in place that adapts your vocabulary level by your accuracy in answering questions, not just how many you get right but how many tries it takes you to get the right word, using both fill in the blank and multiple choice. It adjusts to teach you new words, and reintroduces words you struggled with previously to enforce familiarity with it.
    Freerice.com has a simpler version of the above program. The bonus is that each question you answer donates a certain amount of rice that goes towards feeding the hungry people in the world. It isn't much for a question or two, but with so many people playing the game worldwide we can make a difference. Valucre has a freerice group.
    A combination of the two isn't a bad idea either.
    This article on Point of View explores the benefits and limitations of First, Second and Third person. It has some solid examples, and suggests avenues you might want to explore when experimenting with your writing.
  4. Superlike!
    supernal reacted to -Lilium- for a article, Alterion Overview   
    Alterion is a nation under the wings of Renovatio, a continent in the southeast region of Valucre. At approximately 3.7 Million square miles, Alterion is roughly the size of China. It shares the Void’s southern border via land bridge and is a short airship voyage to Renovatio proper. Now a singular 'nation' in name only, Alterion does not have a single ruling body, but rather possess four regions that work to regulate, maintain, provide for, and protect the populace, and have conflicting claims as to their rule of the continent, and each other.
     
     
      | G E O G R A P H Y |
    Climate    Alterion receives all four seasons, but is known to have very mild winters, being a land of spring storms and fall rains more than winter and cold. Most hurricanes and storms that build off the coast of Alterion rarely make landfall and those that do, leave few casualties in their wake. Overall, Alterion can have it’s sweltering days in the summer, but is largely a pleasant and mild locale. It’s snow capped peaks are known for their cold bite, however, and its coasts are known to have creeping tides that can pull an unsuspecting soul out to sea, at times.
     
    Topography    Alterion is a land that, as a general rule of thumb, rises towards the north and the east, culminating in the vast sprawl of the Izral Mountains, and dips towards the south and west, opening out into the vast lowlands - interlaced with plains, forests, swamps, and a great desert - that cover Greater Arkadia, Cosanastre, and Khaznah. With water on almost all sides - save for the questionably existent landbridge with the Realm Formerly Known As Elendaron - Alterion possesses coasts of all kinds, with some beaches particularly favoured as among the most romantic in the world; others rest close to some of the most dangerous creatures of the sea.
     
    Flora & Fauna      Alterion is flush with various types of plants, many of which are used in alchemic concoctions and various other chemicals.
       Despite its vast urban city-scapes, Alterion is quite rich in agriculture. Though, Izral specializes in genetically modifying and distributing produce, Alterion as a whole can provide for itself. Alterion's coastal regions, with their sandy, soft soil terrain are ideal for fruit and vegetable growth. Alterion is the largest producer of citrus in the known world and has cross bred a particular hybrid known as the Cosa Blood Orange—named so due to the Crimson color of the orange's pulp. Alterion does have difficulty cultivating a lasting row crop, however, these crops usually see a boom in production thanks to genetic engineering.
    Bestiary  
    Cities, Provinces, Territories    Alterion is a booming hub of technology, with it’s primary Regions all having access to advanced technology. For a more detailed look at the individual regions and their varying designs please visit the links provided above in the introduction. Please Note: The Hollow event has caused chaos, mass mutations, geographical and population changes in different areas of Alterion. They are noted in the above table and marked on the map provided.
       Alterion has four massive regions and numerous disparate villages, towns, baronies and lordships around the nation. Three of the four major regions are population dense and, thanks to advanced technology and spell crystals vary in tone and design. Outside of the major cities the Alterion wilderness is horrific, wild and unbroken. It is not uncommon for the merchant or fool hardy hunter to venture on their own beyond the protected regions to wind up dead. Khaznah being one of the more devastatingly deadly of these areas as it is home to the Devla Desert.
       Alterion is scattered with off-the-grid cities not located on the main map. These small towns and villages have limited to no technology and range from rural, feudal villages, to lower steampunk tech. They’re generally referred to as ‘unaffiliated’ since they have no sworn fealty to any specified governmental body and, as such, are not always afforded protection from bandits, rebels and monsters.
    [  LABELED MAP WILL GO HERE ]
    | REGIONS | [ Cosanastre ]
     
    [ Greater Arkadia ]
     
    [ Khaznah ]
    Realm of Sun & Sand
    [ Izral ]
     
    [ Xaengri-La ]
    The Spirit Realm
    | their Major Cities | Cosanastre
    Arysene
    Kageroth
    Opharion
    Sethroth Momar[Arkadia Prime]
    Londoh Soboln Chamre
    Brummagen
    Port Tauranga
    Zompoc
    Izral   | their Major Islands |   Rutsuboshima
    Shino Tsuro
    Seiikishima Aeiryola
    Avra
    Thane
        | their Major Landmarks | Kageroth Mountains Longu Valley
    Magnus Forest
    Lesser Magnus
    Cloud Forest
    Arkadian Basin
    Chipochioh
    Varheit Sea
    Isles of Judgement Devla Desert
    Brummagen Bay
    Pijesak Peninsula
    Horn of Dique
    Ketakutan Archipelago
    Vysroth Peak
        | their Notable Locale | Daius Industries
    Aureus Industries
    MaGNUS Corp VFi Babel Corp
    The Carlysle Library
    Daius Conservatory
    Fantas-Menagerie
    OXY
    Kingdom of Reaveth
     
    VCF        
    | C U L T U R E |    Alterion is flush with culture stemming from a blend of multiple locales and time periods, one such as Victorian London/America and its reliance on corporations during its industrial revolution. As well as Chinese culture due to long periods of trade with the outside world, but its systematic reliance on a caste system and honor bound code of conduct. Alterion was designed to allow players to write whatever they desire without searching various subforums for a specific genre. The City-States allow a rich modern/steampunk/sci fi culture, along with its affiliated cities, while the unaffiliated cities and unconquered realms allow for any other genre ranging from fantasy to cyberpunk, pending your desire.
    A citizen living within one of the mega cities, or an affiliated city, is literate, adequately versed in alchemical theory to make use of Alterion crystals and technology, is aware of common metaphysical phenomena (ghosts, rituals, telepathy, charms, hexes, etc), and is often capable of using Alchemy (“magic”) as a result of scholarly pursuit and understanding. A native from one of the unaffiliated towns or unconquered regions is less likely to be literate and have empirical insight into Alchemy and metaphysical phenomena. Instead, their ability to use metaphysica is a result of hereditary traditions and cultural myths. Their understanding of alchemy is intuitive rather than logical, making them more susceptible to charlatans and superstitious fears. But, steeped in tradition and removing empirical observation as an obstacle, more young people tend to be able to wield powerful, ancient abilities. An Alterian from any part of the nation tends to be robust due to exposure to the Crystal’s energy and Masonic religious practices and have a strong fortitude and charisma about them.  
    Language    The Primary spoken language of Alterion is Alterrin. It can be compared to Chinese and its multiple dialects. It has various dialects (well over 200), but these are the best known in order of use.
    Indigenous; the standard dialect, very proper lots of honorifics. Used exclusively by the uppers with other uppers or with those they are showing a high regard for. Lesser; bastardization of the first. very gruff, very urban. Muhiran dialect; a blend of indigenous and the ancient muhiran tongue. Most common amongst the merchant and lower classes.  Rosinderian dialect; a blend of indigenous and the incredibly faded rosinderian tongue. Most common amongst the uppers and middle class.  
    Politics & Religion    Alterion was once governed by a religion following the faith of the one Crystal, further bred by it's daughter Riva. However, with the progression of technology, challenging bodies, and thoughtful mindsets of newer generations it began to lose its hold. The first crusader to fight back, though at great cost to himself was the previous High Mason Ocelot Royce. In his endeavor to change the will of the Crystal he was overpowered and locked within the confines of its planar realm. Who next would stand against such an evil, was none other than his beloved sister Heir High Mason Nadia Royce. She who freed the minds of Alterion's people.
       What had been a religion built to oversee and segregate the populace from outside ideals-even though outwardly accepting of them-was abolished on the day the crystal shattered. A day recorded in history as the Hollow and aptly represented by the loss of both affliction from the Crystal and the abysmal chaos that ensued.
       Although the Masonic religion is no longer a major factor of their daily lives, Masons still exist. Their tormented minds still unable to grasp the loss of the Crystal and fighting from the shadows for a return to the old ways.
       Overall, Alterians believe in an afterlife and in the existence of alternate planes of existence. They refer to the realm of their Archon's as Valholl (the hall of heroes). It is considered to be similar to Renovatio's realm of Qua'Xar. Alterians also recognize the existence of Inferno and utilizes their own version of Heaven's Gate called Xaengri-La for entering and travel between the realms. The celestial plane that encompasses all these realms is referred to as Xaengri-La, as well.
     
    Government    Alterion is, or was, unique in that it could fit a number of differing definitions as to the nature of its hierarchy and government. To many, it was a Theocratic Empire, with the Masons ruling over the people by divine right of the Crystal; the realm at that time was divided into three constituent regions, equal partners under the light of the Crystal. Others would argue that Alterion was simply an Oligarchy with the trappings of faith, where church and class stood together as the only equal partners to be seen, jointly ruling over the populace. For a time it could have even been argued as an Autocracy, with the High Mason - one Ocelot Royce - having absolute authority over the nation as a whole; all other considerations subservient to their will.
       Then came the Hollow. Ocelot Royce is gone. The Crystal is shattered. And with it, the notion of Alterion as any singular nation, however defined, is also broken. The three regions have become four, each the size of a small nation in their own right, argued along traditional and geographical boundaries than any political or administrative ones, with interpretation varying between the speaker. Having once operated at the pleasure of the Masons, the destruction of the crystal and the uprooting of society that the Hollow has wrought has seen them break away from that rule, whether they have found their own, or been subsumed by another. Until such alternative claimants are legitimised however, the outside world still considers Cosanastre as Alterion's capital city, and the region surrounding it core to that Empire which was, as overseen by Ocelot’s replacement and heir apparent, High Mason Nadia Royce. But beyond the edges of Cosanastre, the High Mason's influence mightn't as well exist at all. Each of the other three Regions - Greater Arkadia, Izral, and Khaznah - see the rise of new powers, asserting their authority over the lands that surround them, as they are able. Whether they will come to recognise the right of the Royce bloodline to rule, or shall instead challenge it for the rule of the continent altogether, will only be known in time…
     
    Education    There is public education, as funded by the government for all children in Alterion, regardless of age or station (though children of the Uppers/the Nobility often receive private schooling to prevent them from mixing with undesirables.) The Uppers often hire tutors for their children and their are private academies and universities available for those who can afford them.
     
    | I N F R A S T R U C T U R E |   national flag Law & Order    The Laws and regulations that guide Alterion are now divided by the four regions that it is comprised of. Each of them differing under the powers that reign over them. The only exception at this time being Khaznah, the realm of sun and sand. The easternmost region of Alterion is the only one lacking a major city with as grand a foothold as Cosanastre, Arkadia Prime [Momar], and Izral. Although it is made vastly up of wild territory, a citrine sun strives to shine overhead while a shadow brews beneath its dusty surface.
     
    Foreign Relations    Alterion is far from an isolationist nation, but it primarily deals in exports, feeling it can provide for its people. Certain imports are permitted, provided they come through government sanctioned vendors, but overall Alterion prefers to operate as an intermediary, moving what would be their imports to a third party before it touches Alterion soil. It's a poorly kept secret that Daius Industries are large supporters of piracy/privateers , particularly Sky Pirates, and pay decent and fair wages to those who provide consistent service.
    Alterion has signed no official treaty with any specific foreign body  but remains on good terms with most nations.
     
    FRACTURE | Alterion holds Fracture in what regard it's due for its 'World Superpower' status.  Alterion maintains a small amount of trade, for appearance sake, but prefers to remain out of Terran affairs.
    GENESARIS | Alterion does not deal with Genesaris, as a whole. Aside from the vast diverse races and religions, Alterion prefers to deal with some of Genesaris' smaller nations. 
    RENOVATIO | Renovatio is Alterion's closest trading partner. As the two largest technological powerhouses of Valucre Renovatio and Alterion keep a steady peace, but have yet to officially declare one another as allies. 
    KADIA | Alterion is on good terms with Kadia and considers the nation its closest trading partner aside from Renovatio. The two nations are known to fulfill various work contracts for mutual benefit.
     
    National Defense    With the advent of the Hollow, and the subsequent hammer blow to the nation's infrastructure, military affairs have undergone a similarly significant shakeup. Everything from what is to be considered standard equipment, to exactly who is in command, and where their loyalties lie, has been up for consideration - and in many instances, sale. Thus the first thing to understand is that, in its present state, much of the Alterion military is now supplemented with men and arms provided by PMCs - Private Military Contractors - in which the most prominent are the traditional corporations that have long ruled the continent from the shadows, and now wish to seize the opportunity to re-ingratiate themselves. Second to understand is that in many instances they do not simply supplement the military, but have downright replaced it, whether for being the only providers of now difficult-to-acquire technologies, or because local forces have gone rogue. Third to understand then is that much of the Alterion military has in fact gone rogue, and if they have not already defected to other claimants of power, many officers now rule as Warlords, with personal fiefdoms ranging from single villages to domains the size of some kingdoms; some will maintain their loyalties for a price.
       In an effort to combat this general degradation in the nation's fighting strength, Ocelot Royce, in his capacity as High Mason - Supreme Leader of Alterion and Commander-in-Chief - and before his disappearance, enacted a draft without being called a draft, where those of age must complete military training prior to graduation, and will almost inevitably find their way to some sort of military-tied industry, with an aim towards 60% participation in the military under this system. While this means on paper a majority of the population should be expected to be called upon for duty, unless granted leave, until such time that Alterion exerts full command of its dominion once more, it is far from reality.
       Further complicating matters, many members of the Rebellion, once the ever present enemy to all Crystal fearing Alterions, have presented themselves as allies to the Royce regime - if not defected to the military outright - in exchange for pardon, and the chance to protect their people without fear of further persecution. This has created rifts not only within the wider Rebellion, disagreeing on whether or not this course of action is acceptable after so many years of fighting, even if the Crystal is gone, but also within the very military such (former) rebels now serve and support. In a time where loyalty is already a commodity, it easy to see those previously defined by the lack of it to their now CnC as probable traitors, breeding a resentment that may some day turn to self-fulfilling prophecy.
       Nevertheless, assuming all were as according to design, and eliminating what forces the other claimants hold for themselves - the composition of which should be found in articles their own - then the Alterion military would be broadly arranged as follows:
    Sanctum—The High Mason’s personal soldiers. An elite subset within RioT. RioT—Genetically modified super soldiers, beholden to the High Mason. Daius—The Gilded Army of Knights ARMADA—Heavy Artillery. Maintains and pilots Alterion's massive war machines. Radicals—Black Ops Intelligence Agency Proteus-- Weapon Masters and foot soldiers. The general military of the Masons.
         All corporate 'partners' of the regime are nominally based out of Cosanastre; in reality these are the branches that could most readily throw their lot in with the regime, where others fell to ruin, were subsumed by emergent powers, or have tried their own hand at the game of thrones. That is to say, it might very well be the case that Proteus are called upon to deal with forces acquired from... Proteus.
     
    Economy     Currency    Despite dealing heavily in crystals, Alterion currency is known as Notes. A note may be transcribed via alchemic sigil on special alchemic paper (this is the most common form of currency among the populace) but the more tech savvy traders are capable of transferring Notes through specialized alchemic crystals (all managed and monitored by the Masons.) The particular brand of alchemic paper, the specialized and treated ink, and the specialized sigils used are closely guarded secretes of the masons, making counter fitting a nigh impossible task from outside of the organization. Exchange Rate: A Note may be loaded with any specific type of currency. Given that most of the world trades in precious metals, (ie. Tin Copper SIlver Gold Platinum, Rhodium, etc) Alterion notes typically reference these. (ie. a 10 Gold Note, exchanges for 10 oz of Gold. ) Alterion's wealth of precious crystals and jewels and its booming alchemical prowess means the nation is usually able to create, trade or (thanks to the booming sky pirate trade) steal almost every known currency.
     
      Magic & Technology    Crystallyns, Tellyns, & other Preternaturals; Tellus Seeds
       Alterion doesn't practice traditional magic, viewing magic unaided by crystals as of questionable means. The closest thing to mages Alterion has would be the Alchemists. While Alterion does practice traditional alchemy and chemistry, the term has become something of a catch all for abilities. Other forms of magic do exist and are practiced within, Alterion—but it's not something the populace likes acknowledging. The most common forms of Alchemy (Magic) within Alterion follows and are in order from Common to Exceptional. Please note: that the order does not dictate supremacy over the other, merely the level of exposure.
    Common Knowledge
    Alteria/Alterna— Imbued with the power of nature from which they are essenced, these blended & manufactured crystals come in all shapes and sizes and grant individuals abilities and powers they might not otherwise have, and/or enhance current abilities/powers. Alchemy—Just as the Runemaster serves as the jack-of-all-trades for the magical community, so too does the Alchemist serve the psionic/scientific. The alchemist uses scientific knowledge and complex formulae in conjunction with Alchemic symbols to unleash devastating attacks. Just as a Runemaster studies spells and their workings, an alchemist studies the world and it's compounds in order to manipulate it. There are numerous schools of Alchemy each of which differ in their results, but all operate off of the same principle of equivalent exchange. Many practice the basics of Advanced Alchemy, but few can claim to be a master of a specific School. Tellyn—the term reserved for individuals who have consumed a Tellus Seed and gained supernatural abilities as a result. Considered a lower level demi-god. Rare Knowledge Althane—a race of greater demigods resulting from the breeding of the The Guild with the indigenous people of Alterion. They left Alterion when the Alteri and the Guild fled, but unlike their ancestors have been known to visit the mortal realm from time-to-time. The Guild—a pantheon of gods and goddesses that are descended from the Alteri. They are sometimes referred to as Archons and High Archons by Renovatians and the Altarr, by Alterians. The Alteri— The primordial deities spawned from the Crystal during its descent into the Alterion landmass. They were exceptionally powerful beings revered as nature spirits and elementals. They birthed the Altarr, the gods and goddeses of the Guild. Crystallyn—Crystallyns were/are individuals infused with the Crystal's power, either by genetic enchantment or by virtue of birth (given that the Crystals power literally infected the land it resides in, it used to be very common for children to be born with preternatural abilities. These individuals are now rarities, since the Crystal no longer exists.) They can be considered something of a demi-god.  
      Technology & Setting    From a technological standpoint Alterion is on par, if not a small step ahead of Renovatio—if only in regards to biotechnology. Alterion is a blend of dark science fantasy and horror. There are certainly modern and futuristic elements, at play. You'll see motor cars, you'll also see horse(and various other creature)drawn carriages. You'll see men in doublets and men in jerkins alongside men in business suits. You'll see a man in a suit of armor. It's common for people to utilize swords and other bladed weaponry as guns (as is the case with most RP) aren't tried and true methods of stopping an attacker. Older sections of certain Provinces may have archaic temples and castles with vaulted skyscrapers looming over them. How is Alterion tech affected elsewhere?
       Alterion technology used to operate solely via crystal energy from synthetic crystals. Now, being that the Crystal and its crystal reactors have been destroyed, it relies on various means including but not limited to Alchemy, Magic, and New Frontier technology developed by the major companies in Alterion. Daius Industries, Proteus Enterprises, Aureus Labs, Magnus Corp, and Babel all play a critical role in the nations function and are continually striving to advance its technological capabilities. Those currently upholding the highest standard of advancement are Daius Industries and Babel Corp. Although in constant competition, these two pillars of success are known to work in concert on various endeavors. 
       Alterion tech can usually function in other realms, but since it operates on auxiliary energy it is only as powerful as that land can provide (ie Alterion weapons in Fracture/Genesaris/Renovatio) are bound by that boards limitations, but function normally in Alterion.
       
          | H I S T O R Y | | Condensed Alterion Timeline & Major Historical Periods | | these events are from oldest to most recent. |   The Republic of Alterion Settlers from the Muhir and Rosinder regions, fled their homelands for various reasons and commingled with the native Alterian's, who revered the Crystal as a god. They eventually established a thriving republic, wherein the wealthiest individuals made up a senatorial body, contingent upon election by the people. Dependent upon a patron-client relationship, the republic thrived and spread across Alterian, forming a vast merchant empire. During the Republic's reign a number of slave revolts occurred, leading to what would become the First Rebellion. Claiming the Crystal was not a true Deity but a malevolent entity from another world, the rebellion was subsequently crushed by the republic forces, but not before it destabilized the republic.
     
    Era of the Winter King The republic attempted to stay strong for a multitude of years, but eventually lost its waning stability to a warlord called The Winter King. The Winter King reigned for a very short decade before being deposed and the republic took control again. Vowing not to repeat it's mistakes, the republic reformed into a genuine merchant Empire with the most prosperous family serving as Emperor. It was during the reign of the Empire that a young woman stepped forward claiming to be the Crystal incarnate, Riva the Masonress.
     
    The Age of Riva and the Rebirth of Rebellion Riva rose up against the empire and spoke out against the corruption in the senate. Calling for lighter tax on free merchants and stricter regulations on the slave trade, Riva soon made allies within the Merchant Guild and used these contacts to build her army and eventually overthrow the republic/empire. The remnants of the original Empire scattered across Alterion, going on to reform into several rebellious factions that plague the Masons and the Corporations, to this day.
     
    The Masonic Theocracy Upon seizing control, Riva began the arduous process of building her church, the Cathedral, around the Crystal itself. Riva's design of the monolithic temple and further blueprints for her ideal city were used throughout the years to expand Cosanastre—building the new world atop the ashes of the old.Of all the merchant families and allied organizations that followed her, the four most powerful ruled alongside the young Madonress and eventually spread to found the remaining cities of Alterion.The MaGNUS collective of merchants, the Proteus Company Caravan Guard, The Daius Syndicate of Pirates and the Aureus School of Scholars and learned men—these Titans of industry founded the four ruling companies and oversaw the protection of Riva and her Masons, long after her death.
     
    The Hidden Oligarchy Riva soon died and her body disappeared, leaving the Corporations to elect a puppet High Mason. For the next several generations Alterion saw the nation ruled by a collective of four corporations—each vying for control of the High Mason, while the people prospered or suffered as the ruling company deemed fitting. Within the last generation MaGNUS Corp gained control and maintained their position, but Alterion was destined to never know peace or stability.
     
    The Royce Conspiracy MaGNUS fell, under mysterious means, though many believed a young Daius Operative, Ocelot Royce responsible for the act. As was the case, the corporations began their quiet power struggle and Daius rose to the top, their CEO and High King Long Tom Gallin claiming superiority and control of the High Mason. Long Tom was eventually betrayed and replaced by his adoptive son, Ocelot Royce. In a move, as rash as it was daring, Ocelot also assassinated the High Mason and seemingly merged with the Crystal, claiming his actions guided by the deity's divine will.
     
    Resurgence of the Winter King In an unprecedented move, Ocelot Royce named himself High Mason and CEO of Daius Industries (High King of the Daius Syndicate). In order to secure his power, Ocelot moved against Proteus and Aureus, engaging the rival companies in a successful hostile takeover, adding Proteus Enterprises and Aureus Labs as subsidiaries of Daius Industries. Though the Rebellion remains an ever present threat in Izral, it remains the sole city not officially under Ocelot Royce's purview.
     
    The end of Masonism & its Broken Crystal From the moment of its birth the Masonic religion, faith in the one Crystal and of its daughter Riva, has done nothing more than cast a great foreboding shadow over the lands of Alterion. Dividing its people and turning them against one another. Slowly over time, the words ‘The Crystal is all and all is the Crystal’ encompassed and warped the minds closest it sculpting them into slaves fit to do its bidding... A man once both revered and feared took the stage, squelching the worries of the people and secretly seeking an end to this hive-minded state. Only to find himself falling under the weight of a power he could not control. Unbeknownst to his people, his family, his friends, he was absorbed by this maddening and unholy crystalline deity and replaced by another… Some things occur too late, recognition, realization, epiphany… At the King’s Feast Ocelot Royce was attacked in an assassination attempt that left Alterion’s two sides in a divergence of uproar. Cheers of happiness, roars of dismay, and then silence. The High Mason of Alterion disappeared swiftly and without a trace. Shortly thereafter the Crystal of Alterion began to crack, tiny rivulets forming from the inside and stretching toward its surface. In an effort to find answers, to take the throne that would her, Nadia Royce chances her life to find that which is missing. Despite a poor attempt to dissuade her from diving into a dangerous plane of unknowns, the young woman takes the heavy burden into her own hands, leaving those closest to stand watch and protect the people in her wake. Little do any of them know the damage to be caused by such a choice. Once done, it can never be undone…
     
    The Hollow Coming Soon....
     
     
     
     
     
    This lore was written by paradigm, and edited/updated to reflect new changes by -Lilium-, Aleksei, Meraxa, Sanonymous, & Priestess.
    Formatting & Tabling variations used are credited to Csl & vielle.
  5. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Metty for a article, Valucre FAQ   
    I've registered. Now what?
    Take a few minutes to read the Beginner's Guide. It'll tell you pretty much everything you need to know as a new member on Valucre, and our Getting Started article presents two common approaches to roleplay taken by members of the community. 

    Are character sheets required, and where do I post mine?
    Character sheets are optional and do not require approval. Since profiles not reviewed, character sheets are not taken as an accurate representation of abilities, status or canon. Treat the more like a player's personal scratchpad.
    Many members find sheets useful for tracking changes, thread histories, and things like that. If you choose to create a sheet, you can post it in User Lore and use the Profile tag.
    What are the limitations?
    Although we encourage creative expression on pretty much all levels of play, some limitations and structure are required so  players can interact with the setting and with other players in a manner that is both respectful and fun. Valucre is a Mild Powers setting, which is a simple way for us to keep things balanced in a setting with no concrete restrictions on things like races or magic (unless otherwise stated).
    Can I travel between areas?
    Yes. That's part of the fun! The continents and territories of Valucre are landmasses inside of a single planet. Characters can and do travel from place to place, and in fact making a character to do this so that you as a player can learn about the world as your character does is an exploration method many community members take.
    Common methods of travel include boats, airships and submarines. 
    Are there any word count requirements?
    There are no strict word count requirements for writing on Valucre. Some members prefer short, fast replies and others long, slow replies, but that's up to individual taste. This only becomes an issue when it enters into spam territory - rapidly posting single sentence messages to increase post and page count or only using emoticons
    When trying to canonize a thread however, that comes with a minor 80 word minimum. Since canonizing threads changes the setting, we felt it best to establish a bar. 
    Valucre does not label our writers as "literate" or "advanced". A post that advances the plot in several well thought-out sentences is more valuable than one which wanders for paragraphs without little contribution.
    How do I contact a staff member?
    Check out the Staff Directory for an up-to-date list of staff.
    Where can I get updates on the site and the game world?
    The Announcements forum is where administration posts all critical announcements on the site. Follow the forum. The  Valucre Twitter is updated with curated posts (interest checks, quests, events, etc.) to help engage our members with in-character events.
    Roleplay News is a source of news for your character, like a newspaper or broadcast your character can use anywhere in the world to stay up on international events.
    I'm being bullied, harassed, or otherwise experiencing problems with another member. What can I do?
    Read the Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with the rules of the site and the Reporting process. If they're simply being a pest, rude, or annoying, place them on Ignore.
    How do I get a custom user title?
    At the moment, the only methods to get a custom user title is to earn it as an incentive for joining the Storyteller initiative, by making a donation, or joining in one of the random raffles that administration hosts in Chat.
    How can I get my own board?
    Valucre no longer offers board creations for members. Instead you must coordinate with individual board leaders to either claim or to repurpose existing boards, or to get a tag added for your roleplay area. 
    You can find a list of boards and their board leaders in The World. 
    How do I change my signature?
    You can go to your account settings, then Signature to edit your signature. We don't allow uploads of images to our database to keep the size manageable so you'll have to use an image hosting service to include one. 
    Does Valucre have a chat?
    At the moment we're experimenting with an on-site chatbox, but otherwise do not offer chat services.
    Any servers or services which members use off site they use at their own risk. The advertisement or posting of servers or chat services (including Discord) is not allowed in public or private on Valucre.
    If anyone presents a service as being related to or affiliated with Valucre those members are being deceptive should be reported. 
    What if I have questions which aren't answered here?
    Valucre has a well-earned reputation for being one of the friendliest roleplay sites on the net. Don't believe me? Just post a new thread in the Help Forum and see what happens.
    If our community doesn't answer your question our staff will, and you can use the Contact Us page to send a message directly to administrators. And if you have questions about the locations, you can contact board leaders directly or post in the relevant AMA Thread.
  6. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Auspicious Link 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?
  7. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Etched In Stone for a article, Martial Town   
    Original author: Paroxysm
    Heavy contributions (Districts): Die Shize

    License: Paul Hartzog [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
    Palgard - Remnants
    In the year 026 AO, Palgard sustained deliberate, catastrophic damage to its infrastructure and leadership, causing innumerous civilian casualties and the collapse of the Mega-City’s government. The world had become bedlam, and anarchy ruled the streets. Normal, everyday citizens, bolstered by a host of mercenaries and visiting anarchists, revolted, rioted, and ransacked the hurting megatropolis. The city had been ruined, if not in form, then in spirit. Death had come for it again.
    But as in the past, Palgard has refused to succumb. Its newly appointed PeaceKeeper appeared following the city’s fall, and with her came the word of law, and imperial strength enough to enforce it. She marched at the head of a great confederacy of soldiers levied from surrounding cities and communities. They brought a measure of order to the chaos, carving out a section of the city for reclamation. Their mission objective was simple: bring Palgard back into the fold, for empire, for the Saint King, for Gaia.
    Martial Town
    Martial Town used to be earthen fortifications raised up from streets cleared of debris and people. Four years old now and entering adolescence, Martial Town today  encompasses all of the the surrounding neighborhoods, repairing, or otherwise repurposing, the apartments, storefronts, and the high rise buildings that yet stood in defiance of Palgard’s defeat. And with its growth, so, too, did its population rise. Soldiers brought their families, refugees sought safety, and opportunists followed the flow of commerce as rumors of the Way Gate’s reactivation reinvigorated the local economy and renewed interest in the city.
    This renewed interest in the city does not bring just growth and opportunity however, but also conflict and strife, as not all citizens are willing to live under military thumb. While the majority of Martial Town, especially its central, regularly patrolled military district, is safe to travel and live, its burgeoning borders and hanger-on communities see significantly higher rates of crime than elsewhere in Terrenus. These peripheral neighborhoods are owned by gangs and tribes of anarchists, sometimes backed by enterprising capitalists, and are further bolstered by the sudden influx of illegal trade brought on by missing military supplies, a black market trail speculatively originating from northern Palgard, and a nebulous network of underground contacts seeking the opportunities afforded by a city in disarray.
    Life can be good in Martial Town, or it can be very bad indeed. In order to fight against rampant unemployment and poverty, the occupying military has decreased much of its recruitment from outside of the city, focusing instead on paying adventurers, mercenaries, civilians and the occasional specialist party, keeping the city’s internal economy churning, if only barely, through frequent objective-based undertakings and the rebuilding of infrastructure. Toward this end, many of the black market deals, underground contracts, and use of illegal technology in the district is tolerated within limits.
    Districts
    (Core, Buffer, Peripherals)
    The heart of Martial Town, its most central area, is called the Core. Here is where the Martial Town Government is based, as well as some of the most prominent and most wealthy residents of the city.
    Crime rate is at an all time low within the Core, at least depending on a particular interpretation of the word "crime". While the Core is quite the opposite of the Peripherals, the outer city limits overrun with organized crime groups, anarchic syndicates and street gangs, the government employs its own full-standing military force to police the city's center. This comes with a price. Crimes against the citizens are still committed. Unsanctioned home invasions. Random street inspections. Abuse of evidence and general abuse. It is all contained enough to minimize the threat of riots, but everyone knows it happens. It is something of an accepted reality.
    Nonetheless, such actions are largely limited to those residents of the Core who make up the general population of the militarized district, versus it's higher class citizens. One need not be particularly esteemed or rich to live here. Maybe you have a particular trade or skill that almost forced you to be relocated. Often, it is just a matter of behaving well enough to remain, or proving so and heading through the gates from the Buffer. A number of people do so gladly. Given the tradeoff, they would rather live under the eyes of a camera and listen to boots marching the streets, wondering if a knock would come on their door and a soldier would show up, compared to a knock on their door and thief or a murderer showing up who was not kept in check.
    Additionally, residents of the Core have an opportunity to work their way up to better living standards, including within the ginormous skyscrapers at the heart of the heart itself. While some of these great towers are owned by and dedicated to the government and the most powerful corporations, others are self-sustainable complexes that provide the greatest security, sustenance and seclusion from the rest of the city.
    Living in the Core really boils down to a matter of preference and permission. As long as the city government allows you to, you are allowed to. As long as you would rather live under the thumb of the government and its military than the MTPD, the corporate paramilitary forces or criminal elements of the Buffer, or worse, the endless gangs, rebel groups and crime groups that overrun the Peripherals, then the Core just might be for you.
    Zones
    GRAFT Center (Genetic Research, Augmentation, Fortification and Transformation)

    License: zaroshi [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]
    The GRAFT Center is the headquarters of the GRAFT Corporation. "GRAFT" stands for "Genetic Research, Augmentation, Fortification and Transformation", a broad series of terms that cover a broad variety of functions.
    While GRAFT clinics are spread throughout the city of Martial Town, from the Core to its suburbs, the GRAFT Center contains the most sophisticated and state of the art technology to service its clients. It fulfills a variety of needs for cybernetic limb and organ replacements, and cybernetic enhancements, such as infrared eyesight.
    However, GRAFT is not limited to just 'technology', as with mechanized or digitized features. The former is its primary identity, but it also supports a full-fledged magical enhancement program; a nice alternative to any technophobes, though the reverse also applies.
    Additionally, the GRAFT Center, located in the militarized heart of Martial Town, is where the bulk of the corporation's research is spearheaded, among all levels, including both magic and technology.
    The Purple Penguin
    Amid the night life of Martial Town, where the streets are lit up by neon dancers merely in the way the advertisement signs blink and flash and glow, The Purple Penguin represents the pinnacle of that night life.
    Located on the 'border' between the Core, the militarized heart of Martial Town, and the far less policed areas that serve as its outskirts, the nightclub receives a diversity of visitors, from regulars to newcomers looking for a good night out after a hard day's work.
    Amid its trademark purple lightning that basks the entire building, inside and out, day and night, The Purple Penguin boasts three public floors and a fourth VIP floor that includes management. The floors beneath this one cater to a wide variety of music, with soundproof walls offering additional sections and bars.
    The Purple Penguin offers more than music and drink, however. It is almost impossible to forget or forgive the drug scene running rampant, though this in turn provides any would be do-gooders with a morally questionable source of intel.
    The CyberFunk Cafe

    License: David Revoy / Blender Foundation [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]
    Located nearer the Core, amid its most lively shopping centers, The CyberFunk Cafe is a cybercafe said to always be filled, but always having an empty seat available.
    This paradox of a statement is in part due to the ear-splitting arcades located beneath the soundproof floor of the main cafe. On the main floor, guests can enjoy a latte spiked with caffeine to see their eyes through a deep dive into their favorite VR program, or simply a soothing cup of tea while they surf the web on a laptop for a fine leather trenchcoat on sale.
    Whatever the customer's desire, the cafe itself can probably cater to it, with cakes and scones aplenty. In its own parallel, however, the arcade rooms below ground have a much quicker pace. Down here, gamers of all kinds can sit back and relax, or sit forward in highway-racing tension, as they play video games of all types. Sometimes that may mean looking at a screen from feet, or inches, away. Other times, it may mean plugging a cable into the back of your head and closing your eyes while your mind enters a world like in one of those Sword Art Online games. KAWAAIII!!
    However, what most people are not aware of is that The CyberFunk Cafe has a third level—one beneath the arcade floor, accessed only by a secret door and express permission. This is where an underground hacker club, called ILLusive, plays a whole different game, one with real stakes, and real thrills.
    Pal's Guard
    Pal's Guard, obviously a play on "Palgard", is not at all anyone's idea of a playful bar. This drinking establishment is owned by the well established Vilad Circle, one of Martial Town's most ruthless and powerful organized crime groups.
    Headed by the elven Vilad Family rumored to hail from Palgard since around its inception, the Vilad Circle, as the overall crime syndicate, has since employed other species of all kinds to do its bidding and dirty work. Thieves, assassins, hackers, black market merchants, drug dealers, prostitutes and other colorful careerists come here already under the Vilad Circle's ring or as fresh folk looking for a new career path.
    Whatever the case, whatever the face, the Vilad Family usually doesn't care who, how or why. They are only concerned with profit and power, two paramount aspects that are inseparable as far as they believe.
    However, probably not a good idea to come to Pal's Guard for a beer and nothing else. There are nicer, friendlier, cleaner bars out there. Enter at your own risk, and remember where the nearest GRAFT clinic is!
    MTPD Headquarters (Martial Town Police Department)
    Where the Core of Martial Town is chiefly policed by the government's military force, along with the private military companies of certain corporations, it falls to the Martial Town Police Department (MTPD) to keep the greater extent of the city in check. As with many things in life, however, that is a task that is easier to write than to carry out.
    Only the bravest, finest and most able and capable souls sign up for the MTPD, or else those with a death wish, a low IQ or a streak of psychopathy as they seek to abuse the badge and beat the victims being repressed by it.
    Meanwhile, the farthest suburbs of the city would be hard pressed to find an officer on patrol, unless they're really just strolling toward some crime lord so that they can receive their bribe money.
    There are, though, those who firmly believe in the badge and what it represents. Then there are those hired by the badge, bounty hunters and private detectives, because, when it comes to Martial Town, the MTPD needs all the help that it can get.
    Little Weland

    License: Waylon Wesley [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)]
    Just beyond the Way Gate facility, another community has formed from within Palgard, made up of the Weland expats that sought safety in numbers after the collapse of the city’s government. Their desperation made them susceptible to the Bessho-kai, a family of wealthy entrepreneurs that had stricken an accord with the people, offering protection in exchange for labor and small favors, but who now hold the district in their clinched fist.
    The Bessho-kai keep their streets free of outside influences, but their own people are nearly as bad as the anarchists. There is a foot soldier on every street corner, and an eye or an ear always watching for troublemakers or potential threats. They harass the people for what little they have, and recruit their children, perpetuating a cycle of violence and extortion.
    Technology
    Magic and technology are not at war. Like much of Terrenus, they are instead blended and mixed together, until where the one begins and the other ends cannot be easily distinguished. However, much of the heavily regulated, illegal, and obscure technology kept off the streets in the larger cities has in Martial Town fallen into use by anyone aware of, and able to afford, the black market. Most of the technology is benign. City-wide communications are now easily available, and enhanced prosthetics, both bleeding edge and crude knockoffs, some owed to Hell’s Gate, others Last Chance, can be acquired with no red tape or government interference.
    Then there are the killing implements. Cybernetics and magical augmentations designed to make recipients harder to kill while also making them more efficient at the act themselves. Bone-lacing, retractable claws, subdermal implants and vision enhancements, equipment normally associated with military wetwork can be acquired and utilized with little to no interference from the government. For a price.
    People
    Humans, elves, orcs, dwarves and other, Martial Town and its immediate surroundings are made up of many, of a diverse, hodgepodge people whose differences have allowed them to adapt even to its current circumstances. They move ever forward as cutthroats meet military task force, or corporate backed mercenaries. The poor and the downtrodden pick up weapons and fight back, choosing one side or the other, or neither. They exist in flux alongside their city. Order and chaos flowing one way, then the other.
    Canon
    A surprising visit: In an unexpected visit to the fond Neon City, reunited Choisel lovers settle in temporary residence there, terrorizing citizens with an unnatural desire of bloodlust. Leinhart and the Queen Matriarch slowly taint the city. I mean, really now: Eldwine organizes a team in Martial Town to help recover a shipment of stolen ercaniron which was stolen from the bandit who stole it to begin with. Through the course of an operation which drags them all over Martial Town and ends with a raid on a police station evidence locker, the loot is successfully recovered and divided among them. An aye for an eye: The General'ny Direktor engages in a mech battle for the win, and manages to pull off nabbing a cabinet that contains the powerful Left Eye of Mogonto
  8. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Mr.Sykole for a article, Mild Powers   
    Valucre is a mild powers forum. This means that we allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit them so as to keep the site balanced. There is wiggle room, mostly for the sake of story, but there has to be a cap. A new member that joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone throwing mountains will feel pressured to beef up in response. We emphasize balance, weaknesses, and character development over ability or power development. The error is in taking a tops-down (powers first) approach rather than a bottoms-up (character first) approach.
    As Valucre is a free-form site, rank or stat based systems are not an option. All we ask is that members exercise prudence when creating, choosing, and using abilities. Given the comfortable scale that our mild powers definition establishes, we care more about the end result, or consequences, of powers and abilities rather than origins or rationalizations. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss.
    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 of this include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combta but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System and the Chosen Tournament Ruleset (Supplement: Fun with T1 is a useful, unofficial guide written by a member to help other members), among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    |Mild Powers|
    In order to understand the terminology, one needs a bit of history. In messenger, before Valucre was created, there were a few distinct forms of turn-based combat. Speed based combat emphasized speed, paragraph combat emphasized detail. PC allowed for a no-holds barred exhibition of ludicrous power, RM followed strict rules of realism. At some point MP was coined as a term to mean a system somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, where powers and magic were allowed but limited. The limit applied both to the amplitude of attack, the sheer number of abilities allowed, as well as a focus on generally doing away with any type of god-modding.
    |Examples of forbidden abilities|
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste", for example, does not count; time travel does) Reality manipulation Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomeona Attacks that manifest instantaneously 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 (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing for example) Manifesting an attack inside of another person 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 degree) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) The above describes Valucre's policy on types of attacks. Next, we will discuss the scale or amplitude of abilities.
    For storyline purposes, massive 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. Be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work. Contributors work for years building up conceptual sand-castles, and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two.
    Abilities are judged mostly 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: desolate, traxien cion, supernal
  9. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Mr.Sykole for a article, Code of Conduct   
    Article I - INTRODUCTION
    (a) The code of conduct is in place to keep Valucre safe and enjoyable. The titles and summaries give a sense of what each entail and most of it is common sense. 
    (b) The Ignore option on the forum allows you to avoid individual players with whom you do not wish to interact. However should you encounter another player presenting a serious risk to yourself or other players or maliciously undermining your game experience, please make use of the Report feature to escalate the problems directly to staff. To ensure that reports contain all necessary detail, please follow Valucre's reporting template.
    (c) The definitions of terminology and actions in the rest of the document are as interpreted by administration. This is a living document and subject to change, so check back often.
    Article II - IMPORTANT NOTE
       (a) Repeatedly violating any area of the Valucre Terms of Use or Forum Code of Conduct, including the areas detailed below, will often result in permanent banishment from Valucre. The rules and outcomes listed within this code are not all exclusive or all exhaustive. Conduct that is determined to be detrimental to people, products, services, content, and property of Valucre but is not listed here is still bannable.
       (b) This policy is not language-restrictive. Language that falls under this policy will always be subject to the repercussions listed, whether it is inappropriate in English or any other language.
    Article III - TERMS / DEFINITIONS
    Ban: Standard ban length is 30 days for 1st violation.
    Valucre or Valucre Services or VS: All Valucre services inclusive of the forum, any related chat, any related social media, etc.
    Warning: A warning is delivered through the forum software. A verbal warning imposes 0 demerits on a user account and is used to track incident information. 1 demerit results in an automatic 30 day suspension. 2 demerits results in an automatic indefinite ban.
    Article IV - Retaliation-Free Policy
    (a) Valucre prohibits any form of retaliation or intimidation against members who report good-faith concerns of discriminatory, harassing or unethical conduct, or who participate in investigations of such conduct.
    Article V - Harassment and Defamation
    (a) Harassment is here defined as unwelcome conduct that humiliates, offends or intimidates. It is characterized by persistent and repeated negative behavior directed at a specific person. Harassing behavior includes (some of which is repeated in other rules for clarity):
        (1) Unmerited and excessive criticism
        (2) Gossiping, spreading false rumors or public humiliation
        (3) Publicly insulting or making unwelcome negative comments about, but not limited to: race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, disability, etc
        (4) Telling other members not to interact with someone
        (5) Making fun of personal circumstances or appearance
        (6) Inappropriate questioning on racial or ethnic origin (includes other classes e.g. gender)
        (7) Repeated and unwanted preaching on political or religious matters
        (8) Realistic threats to commit harm
        (9) Any implication or statement of material, real or imaginary, that is released or threatened to be released on Valucre's platforms that may harm or damage an individual's or group's' reputation or social standing
        (10) Creating false or defamatory posts or threads to discuss disciplinary actions taken against a player
    (b) Harassment takes many forms, and is not necessarily limited to the type of language used, but the intent. Repeatedly targeting a specific player with harassment can lead to more severe action. The idea behind this is to prevent any one player from constantly being uncomfortable in the forums.
    (c) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
        (1) Be temporarily or permanently banned from Valucre, depending on severity
        (2) Be given a final warning, after which any further Code of Conduct violations may result in a permanent ban from Valucre
    Article VI - Sockpuppet Accounts 
    (a) A sockpuppet is an online identity used for the purposes of deception. This applies primarily to creating multiple accounts to:
        (1) Circumvent board measures such as topic bans or member ignore lists
        (2) Getting "new member" access such as for the TOL or any other exceptions
        (3) Logging into another member's account and pretending to be that member
        (4) Deceptively contact other members
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be given a final warning, after which any further Code of Conduct violations may result in a permanent ban from the forums
         (2) Be permanently banned from the forums
    Article VII - Extreme Sexuality / Vulgarity / Violence / Inappropriate Language
    (a) This category includes both clear and masked language and/or links to websites containing such language or images which:
        (1) Refer to extreme and/or violent sexual acts
        (2) Refer to extreme and/or violent real life actions
        (3) Erotic roleplay / depiction of sexual intercourse
        (4) Pornography of any kind
        (5) Are otherwise considered objectionable
        (6) Bypass the Mature Language filter
    (b) While these repercussions may seem harsh, we feel very strongly that this behavior has no place on the forums due to its extremely offensive and inappropriate nature.
    (c) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be given a final warning, after which any further Code of Conduct violations may result in a permanent ban from Valucre
         (2) Be temporarily or permanently banned from the forums, depending on severity
    Article VIII - Real-Life Threats
    (a) This category includes both clear and masked language and/or links to websites containing such language or images which:
        (1) Refer to words, images, actions or conduct that seeks to directly or indirectly harm another person outside of in-character interactions
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be temporarily banned from the forums, depending on severity
         (2) Be given a final warning, after which any further Code of Conduct violations may result in a permanent ban from the forums
    Article IX - Distribution of Real-Life Personal Information
    (a) This category includes:
        (1) Releasing any real-life information about other players or Valucre staff

    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
        (1) Be permanently banned from the forums
    Article X - Posting Malicious or Illegal Programs
    (a) This category includes:
         (1) Posting links to malicious viruses / programs / warez
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be permanently banned from the forums
    Article XI - Impersonating Staff
    (a) This category includes:
         (1) Passing yourself off as Valucre staff directly or indirectly via modified transcripts, photoshopped pictures, etc 
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be given a temporary or permanent ban from the forum, depending upon severity
    Article XII - Illegal Drugs or Activities
    (a) This category includes both clear and masked language and/or links to websites containing such language or images which:
         (1) Encouraging abuse of illegal drugs
         (2) Encouraging/performing of illegal activities
    (b) This category includes the posting of copy written material
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be given a temporary ban from the forums, depending upon severity
    Article XIII - Spamming or Trolling or Griefing 
    (a) This category includes:
        (1) Excessively communicating the same phrase, similar phrases, or pure gibberish
        (2) Creating threads for the sole purpose of causing unrest on the forums
        (3) Causing disturbances on Valucre, such as picking fights, making off topic posts that derail the thread or discussion, insulting other posters
        (4) Excessive making of non-constructive posts
        (5) Abusing the Reported Post feature by sending false alarms or nonsensical messages
        (6) Any perceived attempt made through any number of means to include various forms of deception, phishing/phishing, social engineering, lying, dishonesty, or any form of manipulation, to gain information that someone is not entitled to or that violates the privacy of another member

    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be given a temporary or permanent ban from the forums and an OOC restriction, depending upon severity

    Article XIV - Advertising / Cross Linking Threads
    (a) This category includes advertisement of:
         (1) Any non-beneficial, non-Valucre.com related businesses, services, organizations, people, fundraisers or websites (charities are allowed only after review from Valucre staff)
         (2) Linking to threads from other roleplay forums

    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be given a temporary or permanent ban from the forums, depending upon severity
    Article XV - Encouraging rule breaking behavior
    (a) This category includes:
         (1) Attempting to tamper with a witness for a report through intimidation, bribery, etc
         (2) Attempting to convince other players that the Code of Conduct are different from what they actually are
         (3) Attempting to convince other players to deliberately circumvent the Code of Conduct or technical controls
         (4) Hosting, facilitating, linking to, or providing software which links to, forums/chat where users discuss behavior which breaks rules, or help or encourage each other to do so.
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Temporarily or permanently banned from Valucre, depending upon severity
    Article XVI - Circumventing a Suspension / Ban
    (a) This category includes:
         (1) Posting on another account
         (2) Having someone post on your behalf
    (b) If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:
         (1) Be permanently banned from posting on the forums
    Article XVII - Citing the Code of Conduct
    (a) For quick reference please use the article roman numeral indicator followed by paragraph and subparagraph marker.
        (1) Example: XVII(a)(1)
  10. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Csl for a article, Ignatz   
    Regent: Odette Albright
    Contact: supernal
    Ignatz is a a religious Mecca for Gaianists, located in a valley between an unnamed mountain range and the Blue Hills. Ignatz has a population of approximately 6.3 million as of 24 AO. Due to the concentration of the Gaian faith, the constant prayers and blessings, nearly every square inch of Ignatz is holy land; the waters that flow through the city, feeding people and animals and plants, is blessed. 
    If you're looking for an adventure, check out the Ignatz Quests
    News
    A minor explosion in the middle of Ignatz, at the funeral for a dead hero, has the city on high alert for terrorist activity. 
    Geography
    Topography
    Ignatz is a swell of curves rising out of a valley. Plains of lush grass consume the vision in all directions; the eye grabs onto the occasional lazy smokestack of a faraway village but finds little of note save for the mountain range in the north-east.
    Until the eye reaches Ignatz. The closer to that glorious city, the more life flourishes in manifold permutations. For the sight there are violent explosions of wild flowers in random patches; for the scent the exotic perfumes of Mother Nature braid the air. The Gaians have learned to work wonders and it shows in the jungle of life framing their city.
    The Blue Hills and Ponkapoag Lake, which are south-west and east respectively, are within questing distance but comfortably out of sight.
    Unknown quantities of small tributaries feed from Coconino Marsh and collect at Ignatz's southern end in a grandiose reflection pool. The water's location and angle makes the sunsets pretty most of the time, but stunning and a lucrative tourist attraction near the beginning and end of spring. Quadruple rainbows are a common occurrence during these times.
    Below is a list of nearby locations and their approximate distances
    North: ~400 miles to Coconino Marsh North-East: ~70 miles to an unnamed and unclaimed mountain range with Langley Keep at its easternmost point. East: ~320 miles to one leg of the Ponkapoag River, which stems directly from the Ponkapoag Lake found ~200 miles East. South-East: ~600 miles to Tia. The distance is staggering on foot, manageable on horse, pleasant by Lightning Rail and near instantaneous by Warp Gate. South: ~700 miles to the Moonwood. South-West: ~800 miles to the Blue Hills. West: ~800 miles to Coconino Creek. Follow the creek North for 20-30 miles and you land near Dougton. North-West: ~300 miles to Coconino Marsh. Cityscape
    As a natural consequence of the disproportionate number of holy artifacts and temples, the crowning point of which is the First Temple of Odin Haze, Ignatz is blanketed by a sense of peace.
    Ignatz's status as a Mecca aids in its natural appeal to practitioners of the Gaian faith, newcomers will notice a high incidence of civilians dressed in the attire of the clergy. Architecture in Ignatz makes a great deal of use of supporting pillars and the magnanimous Masonic Arch is employed in residential sectors. Features like heated floors, indoor plumbing, sonic dampening or amplification are results of ingenious civil engineering rather than dependence on magic or magi-tech.
    Transportation
    Roads and Highways: Paved roads with ample sidewalks and dedicated bicycle lanes. Pedestrian rights are paramount in the laws that govern ground traffic. Lightning Rail: Offline. Warp Gate: Offline. Cars and Cabs: Steampowered imports from Tia. Most private vehicles as well as fee-cabs operate on four spherical wheels capable of all-terrain travel. Fuel sources for inner city travel are usually desalinated water. For travel outside of the city limits cars with long-term solabernite cells are required.  Climate
    In addition to being built with advanced biomimicry principles in mind, Ignatz and a few miles of land on all sides of it are geomantically cultivated.
    With rare exception the weather in Ignatz is decidedly pleasant. The springs inspire creativity, the summers kindle love, the autumns calm the spirit and the winters are Elysium glazed with snow.
    Flora and Fauna
    Like all of Terrenus, Ignatz shares a lot of flora and fauna with our world. The below are just a few of the notable exceptions.
    Rock Fireflies (Insect): These cave-dwelling insects give off a light that stimulates accelerated biological healing in mammals at a rate of 3.5 times the norm. They are collected and grown in Gaian Temples in environments conducive to a stable ecosystem.
    Leoporidae Terricus (Animal): Otherwise known as 'the Terran hare'. Ignatz's serene atmosphere and cultured surroundings make an ideal breeding ground for these precocious hares that like to randomly heal the passerby that gives them a snack.
    Fire-Burst (Fruit): This bright crimson, flame-shaped fruit is a class M limited resource in Ignatz. This classification prevents the selling of this commodity or the making of any profit off it but allows citizens (actual members of the registered body of Terrenus) and civilians (non-citizen residents) to brave the trees's intelligent defense (by smashing limbs and whip-like vines) to take their fruit. Ingestion of the fruit produces a temporary pyrokinetic ability in the eater.
    Below is pictured an unripe fire-burst.

    Demographics
    Culture
    Gaian philosophical principles and its prevalent in Ignatz has made for a happy, friendly and generally courteous local that will fight to the last tooth and nail for what they truly believe in. Odette's love for all things scholarly and her emphasis on educational and social reform has also contributed to a rise in scientific and magical literacy.
    The locals are kind and clever.
    However there is a subsect of local life that embodies curious wedding of good-natured Gaianism and academic zeal. The 'sacred trickster'. A social variation most prevalent in the very young and the very old that takes delight in teasing and testing their contemporaries. This usually manifests by way of word games, logical fallacies, and pranks that lead to life lessons.
    Economy
    Ignatz's economy is strong and stable. As the concentration of Gaianism, Odette's reform, and the presence of the First Temple all make for both a massive lure and a refinery for earth-benders, Ignatz's main export is skilled geomancers. Some of the finest civil engineers and architects, artisans of metalworking and crystal-shaping, go to and come from Ignatz.
    Ignatz also excels in the field of Botany, second only to Dougton in terms of food production, farming techniques, plant breeding and mutagenesis.
    Companies, institutions and locations
    First Temple: This was the very first temple built under Odin Haze's new regime and the only one built by the Saint-King's own hands. All temples throughout Terrenus are modeled after this one, but the First Temple is notable for having every inch of its real estate, from the foundation of the temple to the window frames, considered consecrated ground. The Storage Movement: T.S.M is Odette's personal attempt at digitizing all art and literature and uploading them to crystal arrays and making them available to the public at low-cost or free of charge. Odette's Public Library: Once a small private library, Odette took residence in a secluded casita in the back while working on historical renovations. When Odette settled into her stride as an influential politician Odette bought the library and real estate, renovated it, expanded the building and filled it with books. 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. Government
    Agency Overview
    Regent: Odette Albright. PeaceKeeper: NPC 20,000 local police: Made up completely of locals to balance the federal presence and enforce a self-governing city. Local police specialize in earth-bending and biokinesis. 20,000 military: Elemental knights, rangers, and recon officers make up the majority but not the total of this number. These numbers do no account for Sleepers or Splinter Cells. 3,000 paladins: Militarized members of the clergy that have vowed to protect Ignatz and its churches. Paladins specialize in earth-bending and offensive holy magic. Education
    Thanks to Odette's reforms and active hand in the development of educational institutions, literacy and scientific and arcane comprehension are at an all time high. Ignatzian education focuses primarily on botany, geomancy, and pneumatology.
    Notable Residents
    Wolda Cyne: A Cardinal of the Gaian faith, and one of the highest ranking members of the clergy. Wolda trained directly under Odin in both geomancy and divine magic.  Odette Albright: The regent, representative of the king and ruler of all local law. Odette is responsible for The Storage Movement, an initiative meant to bring as much information as possible to as many people as possible using newly patented Crook technology.  Odin Haze: No longer a resident though his home and the First Temple reside here. Odin Haze is the King of Terrenus and the Saint of Gaianism. Along with Eustace Monroe and Edward Brown, Odin Haze was one of the pioneers of the magi-tech revolution shortly after the Crusades.  History
    Canon
    A hero's eulogy: Anouk attended the funeral of her personal hero, Lieutenant Steel. After his grave was desecrated, Anouk chased down the culprit and found out that others were planning some sort of attack. She tracked down the remaining individuals and killed them all while defending the city. Ronda's Lot: Private Anouk Enouk was assigned to investigate a town that exhibited an unusual level of peace and kindness. She discovered that the residents were being controlled, and some were being possessed, by a mysterious entity calling itself “Kline”. She trapped the entity in a single host, and brought the host back to command for examination. The Ignatz Incident: Bomb throwing anarchists take out their violent impulses on the First Temple, causing some terror and loss of life. But their choice of target combined with poor or totally absent planning and tactical decision-making leads to them quickly being overwhelmed and captured. The search for knowledge: Part of Odette's Library spontaneously combust for unknown reasons and a supernatural fire burns through one of the wings. The motive and perpetrators remain a mystery. Derailing Ignatz: Two mercenaries (Grievous and Cross) are tipped off by an informant to a bounty making his way to Ignatz. Farkis managed to destroy the Warp Gate and inflict moderate damage to the Rail, but a warning sent prior to the violence saved lives. Result: Rail fixed autonomously Oct. 1 2014 and Gate Dec. 1 2014. Mask Hunt: A mysterious group of children infiltrate the First Temple under the guise of visiting orphans. With a plan and precision hinting at third-party involvement, the kids manage to steal the church's most holy artifact: the mask of Odin Haze. Paladins give chase. Half the kids escape and the other half are captured and imprisoned. DTH: A young detective and his younger apprentice investigate rumors of a corrupt adventurer's league. The two expose corruption at its highest levels and a number of iniquitous nobles and officials are sent to jail to await trial. An Eye for an Eye: Two adventurers investigate rumors of a massive Cyclops slumbering in the heart of the land. They kill it and steal the protective gem lodged in its eye. On falling, the Cyclops forms a massive ravine that branches out from its cave, also causing a minor earthquake. Past
     
  11. Superlike!
    supernal reacted to Csl for a article, Laws of Wildlight   
    Laws of Wildlight
    Note: this is a living document and subject to change.
     
    Wildlight is functions as both connection and fluid.
    As connection, wildlight is a force that binds both living and nonliving matter.
    It exists as an invisible web of bioarcana that permeates everything in Taen. Channeling wildlight involves manipulation of the strings of bioarcana, and can be used for biomancy and creation of organic technology. Wildlight connections also function as a medium for telepathic communication. More experienced wildlight users are capable of controlling lower creatures such as insects and rodents. As a fluid, wildlight can reside in living beings and flow between them.
    Each living being may be viewed as a container that can hold a certain amount of wildlight, with the source of the bioarcana being Taen’s Genius Loci itself. Some living beings have a greater wildlight capacity than others. One may hold more than their natural capacity for wildlight, but the bioarcana eventually diffuses back into the environment. One cannot create or destroy wildlight, but can only transfer it from one container to another.  
    Living beings must be “steeped” in Taen’s loci for a certain amount of time before inclusion in the wildlight web. Interaction and exposure to wildlight seems to shorten this time. Most of Taen’s residents only gained the ability to manipulate wildlight a year after they entered Taen. 
    Overuse of wildlight taxes the body, causing nosebleeds and migraines. Overexposure to wildlight has also been shown to cause mutations, with most prevalent examples being in Taen’s wildlife. While exceedingly rare, reports of children being born with horns or gills have begun to surface.
    In its passive state, wildlight “reweaves” biological systems, enhancing their functions and repairing damage. The most common active use of this is healing - transferring the bioarcana from one source and into an injured person to hasten healing.
     
    Notable instances
    A growing number of Taen citizens have learned how to use wildlight for healing with the help of first aid training sessions held by the Lunaris Health Center. Wildlight craftsmen are growing in number. These people tend to specialize in manipulating one type of life - cottawood sculptors, paletongue manufacturers, twine repairmen, etc. Actual organitech inventors are rare and tend to migrate to Arcturon, employed by Khartes. The Lunaris Twine Network is a network of organic tech vines that allow anyone, regardless of telepathic ability or wildlight affinity, to post and view telepathic messages in the Twine network. The Hydra, the offspring of an otherworldly beast that attacked Lunaris, has a large reservoir of wildlight and a strong biomantic connection to Lunaris Governor Sebastian Heiliger. Pallas Paralios, regent of Taen, is rumored to have been born out of wildlight.
  12. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Tyler for a article, Valucre: An Overview   
    Back to Topics
    Estimated reading time: ~4 minutes

    Year 18,598 World Time | 598 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 twice the radius of Earth and, like Earth, is made up mostly of water. 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, the universal calendar shared throughout the nations indicates that Valucre is in its 18,597th year World Time (WT), which 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 or Alterion), another can employ magitech and airships (like Fracture and Genesaris), and another might favor futuristic scifi (like Renovatio). 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 Fracture (formerly Terrenus) | AMA | Quests | Artifacts
    Major themes: science fantasy - religion (Gaianism) - birthplace of magitech
    Board Leader: supernal and desolate
    Geographic standout feature: Deepest body of water; Ponkapoag lake
    Genesaris | AMA | Quests
    Created by the Hummingbird
    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
    Renovatio
    Renovatio lies between Genesaris and Fracture and is made up of multiple territories. 
    Renovatio (kingdom) | AMA | Quests
    Major themes: futuristic scifi - floating landmass 3.7 miles in the air - airship hub
    Board Leader: Aleksei
    Geographic standout feature: Largest volcano
    Alterion| AMA | Quests | Artifacts
    Major themes: sci-fi - dark horror - birthplace of combat alchemy - home to the Crystal, a being worshiped as a god
    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
  13. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Auri for a article, Mild Powers   
    Valucre is a mild powers forum. This means that we allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit them so as to keep the site balanced. There is wiggle room, mostly for the sake of story, but there has to be a cap. A new member that joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone throwing mountains will feel pressured to beef up in response. We emphasize balance, weaknesses, and character development over ability or power development. The error is in taking a tops-down (powers first) approach rather than a bottoms-up (character first) approach.
    As Valucre is a free-form site, rank or stat based systems are not an option. All we ask is that members exercise prudence when creating, choosing, and using abilities. Given the comfortable scale that our mild powers definition establishes, we care more about the end result, or consequences, of powers and abilities rather than origins or rationalizations. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss.
    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 of this include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combta but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System and the Chosen Tournament Ruleset (Supplement: Fun with T1 is a useful, unofficial guide written by a member to help other members), among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    |Mild Powers|
    In order to understand the terminology, one needs a bit of history. In messenger, before Valucre was created, there were a few distinct forms of turn-based combat. Speed based combat emphasized speed, paragraph combat emphasized detail. PC allowed for a no-holds barred exhibition of ludicrous power, RM followed strict rules of realism. At some point MP was coined as a term to mean a system somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, where powers and magic were allowed but limited. The limit applied both to the amplitude of attack, the sheer number of abilities allowed, as well as a focus on generally doing away with any type of god-modding.
    |Examples of forbidden abilities|
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste", for example, does not count; time travel does) Reality manipulation Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomeona Attacks that manifest instantaneously 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 (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing for example) Manifesting an attack inside of another person 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 degree) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) The above describes Valucre's policy on types of attacks. Next, we will discuss the scale or amplitude of abilities.
    For storyline purposes, massive 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. Be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work. Contributors work for years building up conceptual sand-castles, and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two.
    Abilities are judged mostly 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: desolate, traxien cion, supernal
  14. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Auri 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. Thanks
    supernal got a reaction from achelois 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?
  16. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Ataraxy for a article, Common Character Reference   
    These aren't full-fledged NPCs that you can puppet into doing and saying whatever you like, but are known entities whose descriptions may be useful and are being collated here for ease of reference. I'm deliberately not including player characters as the players are likely to have their own sheets.
    Jason of the Lions Edward Brown Eustace Monroe Zengi The Oracle Jason of the Lions

    Jason of the Lions is an archetypal hero of the Terran continent. With the rest of the Lions, he engaged in a crusade that saw the defeat of the witch-king Zengi, a malevolent entity responsible for centuries worth of loss of life on the continent. Jason was turned to stone by the mandate of prophecy, so that he would be alive to champion another cause in later history, and was awakened to bring an end to Eternal Night. He is now known to make his living as a farmer in the land near Dougton, but remains obscure.
    Edward Brown

    Edward Brown is the Empire's only five-star general, imperial advisor to the king, commander-in-chief of the military, and top handler of the PeaceKeeper program. Edward has been around since the early years of Empire, a soft believer in the Gaian faith converted only once he saw what that faith was capable of, and a strong believer in Empire's message regardless of the messenger. As the continent continues to see itself divided by forces political, arcane, and extra-terrestrial, Edward allows himself to be seen less and less, but the ripples of his influence continue to be felt through the military.
    Eustace Monroe

    Odin Haze influenced magi-tech through an intuitive grasp of the world which granted him an ability to design sustainable and efficient biomimicry designs. Edward Brown influenced magi-tech through its application for military strategy, ushering in many of Empire's weapons to this day. Eustace is responsible for the massive gaps between these two points, for the creation of the foundational concepts which saw tremendous improvement in Empire's transportation, communications, and surveillance. Eustace has been missing for years but his legacy is survived by his sister, Henrietta, and the Monroe Foundation.
    Zengi

    Zengi the witch-king was an extremely powerful necromancer and ascendant lich, a malevolent presence who has been found in the earliest records of recorded history for the continent, and which even then depicts him engaged in a campaign of indiscriminate destruction. Zengi's only concern is the annihilation of all things. Everything he does, any accrual of wealth or people or power, is expended towards this end.
    The Oracle

    Image by 1980supra from Pixabay
    The Oracle is a supernatural entity which exchanges player character secrets for information on anything that they are looking for or desire (in Terrenus). The answers may be sometimes cryptic and sometimes incomplete but will always put a character on the right path to their ultimate goal. The secrets offered must be equivalent or greater in value to the information which is being asked.
  17. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from -Lilium- 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!

      
      

     
  18. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Csl for a article, Common Character Reference   
    These aren't full-fledged NPCs that you can puppet into doing and saying whatever you like, but are known entities whose descriptions may be useful and are being collated here for ease of reference. I'm deliberately not including player characters as the players are likely to have their own sheets.
    Jason of the Lions Edward Brown Eustace Monroe Zengi The Oracle Jason of the Lions

    Jason of the Lions is an archetypal hero of the Terran continent. With the rest of the Lions, he engaged in a crusade that saw the defeat of the witch-king Zengi, a malevolent entity responsible for centuries worth of loss of life on the continent. Jason was turned to stone by the mandate of prophecy, so that he would be alive to champion another cause in later history, and was awakened to bring an end to Eternal Night. He is now known to make his living as a farmer in the land near Dougton, but remains obscure.
    Edward Brown

    Edward Brown is the Empire's only five-star general, imperial advisor to the king, commander-in-chief of the military, and top handler of the PeaceKeeper program. Edward has been around since the early years of Empire, a soft believer in the Gaian faith converted only once he saw what that faith was capable of, and a strong believer in Empire's message regardless of the messenger. As the continent continues to see itself divided by forces political, arcane, and extra-terrestrial, Edward allows himself to be seen less and less, but the ripples of his influence continue to be felt through the military.
    Eustace Monroe

    Odin Haze influenced magi-tech through an intuitive grasp of the world which granted him an ability to design sustainable and efficient biomimicry designs. Edward Brown influenced magi-tech through its application for military strategy, ushering in many of Empire's weapons to this day. Eustace is responsible for the massive gaps between these two points, for the creation of the foundational concepts which saw tremendous improvement in Empire's transportation, communications, and surveillance. Eustace has been missing for years but his legacy is survived by his sister, Henrietta, and the Monroe Foundation.
    Zengi

    Zengi the witch-king was an extremely powerful necromancer and ascendant lich, a malevolent presence who has been found in the earliest records of recorded history for the continent, and which even then depicts him engaged in a campaign of indiscriminate destruction. Zengi's only concern is the annihilation of all things. Everything he does, any accrual of wealth or people or power, is expended towards this end.
    The Oracle

    Image by 1980supra from Pixabay
    The Oracle is a supernatural entity which exchanges player character secrets for information on anything that they are looking for or desire (in Terrenus). The answers may be sometimes cryptic and sometimes incomplete but will always put a character on the right path to their ultimate goal. The secrets offered must be equivalent or greater in value to the information which is being asked.
  19. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Casanova for a article, Writing - Tips and Resources   
    Valucre is an open site that does not limit the manner in which our members can write, but our community does encourage growth. This is sometimes misconstrued to mean we want long posts, which is not the case. Often times detailed posts are just a side effect of general improvement.
    Roleplay and Writing: A few thoughts from supernal Some writers mourn a lack of detail in their own writing when they come to Valucre's play-by-post style, especially those that are transitioning from a chat environment or extended hiatus. Coming to a site where paragraphs are the norm can be intimidating.
    The first thing to remember is that quality trumps quantity. The length of a post is not the determining factor to how good or bad it is. The second thing to remember is that on a forum setting, even though Valucre is active, you can take your time. Don't write in a rush, take your time to experiment with your writing, and revise your posts so as to refine them. Giving yourself time for a second draft of a post will let you refine your writing.
    Remember, although roleplaying is a game and a hobby for most of us, the main (not only) vehicle by which we play this game is writing. The more you develop your writing, the better at communicating your ideas you become, the more impactful and substantial the game. Becoming better at writing can help you in many areas in life, but we'll save that for a later time.
    In regards to detail, there are a few elements you can consider. A character's thoughts and emotions have always proved to be a deep well that a writer can draw from. What does your character think, what do they feel, and how does that express itself in the character? Are they suspicious? If so, why? If so, how does this change the way they behave or react?
    Pay attention to your surroundings. Interact and engage. This is not to say that in every post you make you have to climb a tree or dip a hand in the river, but things like weather, the time of day, the setting itself (walking from one end of town to the other, or from town to forest) are all variables that change.
    Pay attention to your character while they speak, and to their orientation in regards to other characters and objects. Having your character pace about the room, or prepare dinner, or sketch a drawing, or sharpen his knife gives them a sense of being, of being more than a disembodied voice. Your character is alive, and it helps to convey them as such.
    Repetition is a double-edge sword. Remarking on your character's blue eyes five times in one post is superfluous, but mentioning it only once throughout a thread makes it an easily forgettable detail. Switching words out with a synonym is a poor habit. Noting that your character has blue eyes, then aqua eyes, then azure eyes, is not the same as reinforcing the detail through expression ('eyes the shade of the ocean at night' or 'as if some portion of the light blue sky took residence in her eyes').
    Tips Proactive vs Reactive
    As writers in a collaborative environment, it is very easy to fall into the habit of simply reacting rather than writing in a manner that advances the plot. This is especially true in group settings. Reactive writing contributes little to the story, even if it is well written, usually by way of being little more than a summary of previous posts coupled with little more than your character's reactions.
    Proactive writing advances. You're still reacting, but in a way that moves the thread forward even by a single step. It means asking a question, engaging in an action, giving depth to the setting or granting significance to an item, impacting the story in a way that takes into account what came before but also establishes something for the posts that come after. Don't be afraid to get creative.
    Length of Post
    Length is largely irrelevant, but not completely. The forum writer should take pains to avoid "one-lining" in a play-by-post setting. This does not mean to take the extreme position that all of your posts need to be a thousand words long, but that you should provide enough content in your post that other players in the thread have something of substance to respond to. That said, there are certainly situations where a few sentences will suffice, but you should nonetheless take care not to allow "shake-n-bake" writing to become a habit. Without the atmosphere generated by some effort in writing on your part, your partners are liable to misinterpret events or simply lose interest.
    On the other side of this, although writing at its core is meant to be an expression of creativity, you should take care to avoid "fluff" or "purple prose". By all means embellish, but if you write five paragraphs and four of them are describing a field or a flower, that is excessive.
    Please note that this in no way advocates excessively complicated writing.
    Vocabulary and Diction
    Simple Writing Commandments
    Use active voice. Use passive voice only to obscure the subject. Be measured and precise: choose your words carefully. Structure your writing so that each paragraph or section has a unified focus. Keep paragraphs "bite-sized''. Hyphenate correctly. Use an appropriate and consistent level of formality. Eliminate unnecessary words. Prefer simple and direct constructs to more complex ones. Use "which" and "that" correctly. Don't rely on fluff words like very or extremely to strengthen your points. In the words of the immortal Mark Twain (again): Substitute "damn" every time you're inclined to write "very"; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. Use a spell-checker. Avoid redundancy. Source: http://www.cs.duke.edu/~chase/commandments.html
    Description Modified excerpt from Word Painting: A Guide to Writing More Descriptively by Rebecca McClanahan:
    Perhaps the best way to fully define description is by considering what it is not.
    Description is not "all that flowery stuff". It isn't merely embellishment, something we stitch to the top of our writing to make it more presentable. Description doesn't always mean detailing how something looks. One of the best descriptions I've ever read was written by a blind child. Evocative and memorable description is rooted not only in visual detail but in the smells, tastes, textures and sounds of our world. Description doesn't begin on the page. It begins in the eye and ear and mouth and nose and hand of the beholder. Writing descriptively doesn't always mean writing gracefully. Description won't necessarily make our writing more refined, lyrical or poetic. Some descriptions demand uneven syntax and plainspoken, blunt prose. Jagged, even. Fragments too. Slice of chin. Buzz saw. Description doesn't always require a bigger vocabulary. House is probably a better choice than domicile, a horse is easier to visualize than an equine mammal, and red blood is brighter than the sanguine flow of bodily fluids. Writing descriptively doesn't necessitate writing more. Description isn't a steroid, something to make our language bigger and stronger, nor is it an additive promising more miles to the fictional gallon. Sometimes writing descriptively means writing less. Our three-hundred-word description of the wedding cake might need to loose two hundred words; it may need to disappear altogether. Description rarely stands alone. Most description exists as part of a larger poem, essay or story, seamlessly intertwined with other literary elements. Description isn't something we simply insert, block style, into passages of narration or exposition. Resources First, looking in rather than out, I recommend the Useful Writing Resources thread started by one of our very own.
    Looking outside of the site, if you want to buff up your vocabulary, I suggest www.vocabulary.com and www.freerice.com.
    Vocabulary.com has a program in place that adapts your vocabulary level by your accuracy in answering questions, not just how many you get right but how many tries it takes you to get the right word, using both fill in the blank and multiple choice. It adjusts to teach you new words, and reintroduces words you struggled with previously to enforce familiarity with it.
    Freerice.com has a simpler version of the above program. The bonus is that each question you answer donates a certain amount of rice that goes towards feeding the hungry people in the world. It isn't much for a question or two, but with so many people playing the game worldwide we can make a difference. Valucre has a freerice group.
    A combination of the two isn't a bad idea either.
    This article on Point of View explores the benefits and limitations of First, Second and Third person. It has some solid examples, and suggests avenues you might want to explore when experimenting with your writing.
  20. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Casanova for a article, Mild Powers   
    Valucre is a mild powers forum. This means that we allow the use of powers, abilities, magic, etc. but limit them so as to keep the site balanced. There is wiggle room, mostly for the sake of story, but there has to be a cap. A new member that joins Valucre with a balanced character and sees someone throwing mountains will feel pressured to beef up in response. We emphasize balance, weaknesses, and character development over ability or power development. The error is in taking a tops-down (powers first) approach rather than a bottoms-up (character first) approach.
    As Valucre is a free-form site, rank or stat based systems are not an option. All we ask is that members exercise prudence when creating, choosing, and using abilities. Given the comfortable scale that our mild powers definition establishes, we care more about the end result, or consequences, of powers and abilities rather than origins or rationalizations. Our Character Creation Guide can give you some direction if you find yourself at a loss.
    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 of this include collaboration (staff recommended), coin flips, dice systems, and so on. If players agree to combta but can't agree on a system, the default is the Mostly Orchestrated Battle System. Alternatives include the Terrenus Dice System and the Chosen Tournament Ruleset (Supplement: Fun with T1 is a useful, unofficial guide written by a member to help other members), among any of the various homebrew systems that you can find or create. 
    |Mild Powers|
    In order to understand the terminology, one needs a bit of history. In messenger, before Valucre was created, there were a few distinct forms of turn-based combat. Speed based combat emphasized speed, paragraph combat emphasized detail. PC allowed for a no-holds barred exhibition of ludicrous power, RM followed strict rules of realism. At some point MP was coined as a term to mean a system somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, where powers and magic were allowed but limited. The limit applied both to the amplitude of attack, the sheer number of abilities allowed, as well as a focus on generally doing away with any type of god-modding.
    |Examples of forbidden abilities|
    Excessive temporal manipulation ("Haste", for example, does not count; time travel does) Reality manipulation Creation of black holes or other celestial / astronomical bodies or phenomeona Attacks that manifest instantaneously 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 (some writers don't believe in, or make use of, souls in their writing for example) Manifesting an attack inside of another person 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 degree) Magic (spells, runes, hexes, voodoo, etc) The above describes Valucre's policy on types of attacks. Next, we will discuss the scale or amplitude of abilities.
    For storyline purposes, massive 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. Be prepared to put in a considerable amount of work. Contributors work for years building up conceptual sand-castles, and don't want to see them destroyed in a turn or two.
    Abilities are judged mostly 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: desolate, traxien cion, supernal
  21. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Metty for a article, Terrenus Creature Codex   
    This codex is not exclusive. Members can play races and creatures not included in this codex or create their version of them or create their own creatures as long as they adhere to Mild Powers. This codex is a collection of both user and staff submissions for races, creatures/monsters, and so on. These can be played as characters or interacted with as NPCs.
    If you choose to play as any of these note that capabilities described in their entry does not mean you'll be able to use the full extent of those capabilities in the canon, nor does it mean you are limited to those abilities or items. Play smart.
    I've added drop items to some of the creatures. I will do all rolls for drop items so contact me when you're ready to reap some rewards. The system is still 'beta' and subject to spontaneous change. The locations listed for each creature is just the primary or originating location, and is not to be taken as the only location you can encounter said creature/race.
    RACES
    Races are federally recognized species. This means that they are accounted for on census data. 
    Terran Human Banjari - Various Fairy Kharn Moonwood Fairy Veldamari -- Selemath Minotaur (updated) Merfolk Vampyr (updated) -- Tia; Dark Forest; Haunted Glen CREATURES
    Creatures includes animal, plants, and sentient materials, and are distinct from races only in that that information about them is apocryphal. So humanoids that are fully intelligent and with complete cultures can belong to this classification if they aren't tracked by the government.
    Enrele (updated) -- Ponkapoag Lake; Dougton Figwidgett Gargoyle (updated) -- Blaurg Mountain Gwanu Umuir -- Various Ice Fairy Landshark (updated) -- Badlands; Wastelands; Forbidding Hills; High Desert Mahrjan Mirror Sprite -- Mirrors! Oiche Duende -- Nomadic but frequent coasts and Blairville Palyopama - Frost Giants Pyrolisk - Hills of Noddendoddy; Blaurg Mountain; Coconino Marsh Rider Dragon Shadow Beasts -- Dark Forest Sphinx -- Hidden Valley Suujali (updated) -- Wastelands Torqhril nomads Teletypes Terran Doppleganger (updated) -- Forgotten Wood Terran Mimic (updated) -- Dungeons; Caves Ulway - Amalia Yuuja - Tethys; South Sea Territories
    Yh'mi bestiary Bestiary Template
    The below is from Refrigerator's Bestiary Template, with whatever modifications I make along the way. 
     
  22. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Etched In Stone for a article, Guide to Canonization   
    What is the canon?
    The canon is the body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from board leaders and site members. Please note that canon can be reviewed and retconned as deemed necessary. 
    What is canonization?
    The process where a thread or group of threads is approved and integrated into the Valucre canon. Writing to influence or contribute to canon is encouraged by Valucre's administration, but isn't a requirement for a majority of threads and should not be thought of as an impediment to any of the various plots, characters, etc. that you want to write.
    Many members can, and have, had a great deal of rich storyline and character development in threads spanning over a year or longer without seeking approval for canonization. Canonization should only be submitted if you are effecting a change to established lore.
    As a disclaimer, in any threads goal or task oriented threads with an eye towards canonization (artifact threads, quest threads, etc), users that stop posting without warning should expect to have their characters minimally controlled in the interest of the overall story. 
    What are the requirements?
    Posts in the thread should be no less than 80 words for the purposes of influencing the canon. To canonize your thread, the last post should be a summary of the events the thread contains which includes the below sections, and then send a private message to the appropriate board leader:
    A full summary: A full summary (1-3 paragraphs) must include all important details. Transparency is required here as anything not included is not considered approved. It may not seem fair but this is the most efficient way to handle a forum of this size, activity and still offer the level of creative freedom we do. A minor summary: A minor summary (2-5 sentences) should be included in the Summary as well as this is what will be included in the lore article.  Consequences and Opportunities:  Itemized list of the aftermath of your thread as well as at least one opportunity so  everyone who contributes gives others a chance to contribute as well. Example: Dragons are forever
    What if I don't submit a canon request or it isn't approved?
    If you don't submit a canon request, then your thread is not considered canonized. Not every thread requires canonization to begin with, so this process does not apply for every potential action that a character can take.
    If your request is rejected, it means the same as not submitting a request to begin with. A board leader may reject your request outright, reject parts of your request and approve others, or approve your request on the condition that certain parts of the thread be modified.
    Why this whole process?
    The idea behind the canon process ties closely into user agency and the ability of players to protect works that they spent some amount of time creating. It allows them to decide what changes and how. It isn't about saying your content isn't valid unless rubber stamped, but about being able to track and organize substantial change to shared assets by dozens of people over many, many years.
    In the past some members have felt a bit helpless in terms of impacting the lore, failing to realize that canonization isn't necessary to have a grand storyline.
    We've automated the process as much as possible to avoid unnecessary wait time. It allows board leaders to strike the balance between the freedom of the members to impact the setting and the ability of the creator of those settings to be able to shape the impact to some degree.
    And to roleplay themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time reading and none of it writing? Not me. Who wants a project they spent a year writing up and working on to be destroyed by the passing fancy of a member that spends a week on the forum and then vanishes? Same answer.
    Examples of actions that you can canonize:
    Completing a quest, which is the most common method of canonization. When completing quests, you must still generate an an RP opportunity for other members. Assassination of a canonically significant figure, which would require board leader approval and likely canon defense. Destroying, rebuilding or renovating an established business or organization. Amassing an army, making preparations for war, or other large-scale actions that would reasonably draw attention and likely canon defense.  Examples of actions that you don't need to canonize:
    Most slice of life type threads Assassination of an important figure in a personal plot (i.e. your character's mother where the mother is not a governor, etc) Your character's death (unless your character is an important figure). Destroying a ready-made (NPC made and destroyed at players discretion) town or village. Reasons why your request might be rejected:
    You exceeded Mild Powers rules. You introduced something incongruous to the local lore. The means does not justify the ends, i.e. the amount of effort undertaken does not justify your desired results. Using copy-written content (Sonic the Hedgehog, Goku, etc). Examples of roleplay opportunities: 
    Add a bounty for your player if they destroyed property or killed people Rebuild something that was destroyed / destroy something that was created Follow up on new information (names of people, cults, organizations, etc)  Who do I submit my canon request to?
    The board leaders of the appropriate section as listed in the world landing page.
  23. Like
    supernal got a reaction from Etched In Stone for a article, Terrenus Creature Codex   
    This codex is not exclusive. Members can play races and creatures not included in this codex or create their version of them or create their own creatures as long as they adhere to Mild Powers. This codex is a collection of both user and staff submissions for races, creatures/monsters, and so on. These can be played as characters or interacted with as NPCs.
    If you choose to play as any of these note that capabilities described in their entry does not mean you'll be able to use the full extent of those capabilities in the canon, nor does it mean you are limited to those abilities or items. Play smart.
    I've added drop items to some of the creatures. I will do all rolls for drop items so contact me when you're ready to reap some rewards. The system is still 'beta' and subject to spontaneous change. The locations listed for each creature is just the primary or originating location, and is not to be taken as the only location you can encounter said creature/race.
    RACES
    Races are federally recognized species. This means that they are accounted for on census data. 
    Terran Human Banjari - Various Fairy Kharn Moonwood Fairy Veldamari -- Selemath Minotaur (updated) Merfolk Vampyr (updated) -- Tia; Dark Forest; Haunted Glen CREATURES
    Creatures includes animal, plants, and sentient materials, and are distinct from races only in that that information about them is apocryphal. So humanoids that are fully intelligent and with complete cultures can belong to this classification if they aren't tracked by the government.
    Enrele (updated) -- Ponkapoag Lake; Dougton Figwidgett Gargoyle (updated) -- Blaurg Mountain Gwanu Umuir -- Various Ice Fairy Landshark (updated) -- Badlands; Wastelands; Forbidding Hills; High Desert Mahrjan Mirror Sprite -- Mirrors! Oiche Duende -- Nomadic but frequent coasts and Blairville Palyopama - Frost Giants Pyrolisk - Hills of Noddendoddy; Blaurg Mountain; Coconino Marsh Rider Dragon Shadow Beasts -- Dark Forest Sphinx -- Hidden Valley Suujali (updated) -- Wastelands Torqhril nomads Teletypes Terran Doppleganger (updated) -- Forgotten Wood Terran Mimic (updated) -- Dungeons; Caves Ulway - Amalia Yuuja - Tethys; South Sea Territories
    Yh'mi bestiary Bestiary Template
    The below is from Refrigerator's Bestiary Template, with whatever modifications I make along the way. 
     
  24. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from Dabi for a article, Guide to Canonization   
    What is the canon?
    The canon is the body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from board leaders and site members. Please note that canon can be reviewed and retconned as deemed necessary. 
    What is canonization?
    The process where a thread or group of threads is approved and integrated into the Valucre canon. Writing to influence or contribute to canon is encouraged by Valucre's administration, but isn't a requirement for a majority of threads and should not be thought of as an impediment to any of the various plots, characters, etc. that you want to write.
    Many members can, and have, had a great deal of rich storyline and character development in threads spanning over a year or longer without seeking approval for canonization. Canonization should only be submitted if you are effecting a change to established lore.
    As a disclaimer, in any threads goal or task oriented threads with an eye towards canonization (artifact threads, quest threads, etc), users that stop posting without warning should expect to have their characters minimally controlled in the interest of the overall story. 
    What are the requirements?
    Posts in the thread should be no less than 80 words for the purposes of influencing the canon. To canonize your thread, the last post should be a summary of the events the thread contains which includes the below sections, and then send a private message to the appropriate board leader:
    A full summary: A full summary (1-3 paragraphs) must include all important details. Transparency is required here as anything not included is not considered approved. It may not seem fair but this is the most efficient way to handle a forum of this size, activity and still offer the level of creative freedom we do. A minor summary: A minor summary (2-5 sentences) should be included in the Summary as well as this is what will be included in the lore article.  Consequences and Opportunities:  Itemized list of the aftermath of your thread as well as at least one opportunity so  everyone who contributes gives others a chance to contribute as well. Example: Dragons are forever
    What if I don't submit a canon request or it isn't approved?
    If you don't submit a canon request, then your thread is not considered canonized. Not every thread requires canonization to begin with, so this process does not apply for every potential action that a character can take.
    If your request is rejected, it means the same as not submitting a request to begin with. A board leader may reject your request outright, reject parts of your request and approve others, or approve your request on the condition that certain parts of the thread be modified.
    Why this whole process?
    The idea behind the canon process ties closely into user agency and the ability of players to protect works that they spent some amount of time creating. It allows them to decide what changes and how. It isn't about saying your content isn't valid unless rubber stamped, but about being able to track and organize substantial change to shared assets by dozens of people over many, many years.
    In the past some members have felt a bit helpless in terms of impacting the lore, failing to realize that canonization isn't necessary to have a grand storyline.
    We've automated the process as much as possible to avoid unnecessary wait time. It allows board leaders to strike the balance between the freedom of the members to impact the setting and the ability of the creator of those settings to be able to shape the impact to some degree.
    And to roleplay themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time reading and none of it writing? Not me. Who wants a project they spent a year writing up and working on to be destroyed by the passing fancy of a member that spends a week on the forum and then vanishes? Same answer.
    Examples of actions that you can canonize:
    Completing a quest, which is the most common method of canonization. When completing quests, you must still generate an an RP opportunity for other members. Assassination of a canonically significant figure, which would require board leader approval and likely canon defense. Destroying, rebuilding or renovating an established business or organization. Amassing an army, making preparations for war, or other large-scale actions that would reasonably draw attention and likely canon defense.  Examples of actions that you don't need to canonize:
    Most slice of life type threads Assassination of an important figure in a personal plot (i.e. your character's mother where the mother is not a governor, etc) Your character's death (unless your character is an important figure). Destroying a ready-made (NPC made and destroyed at players discretion) town or village. Reasons why your request might be rejected:
    You exceeded Mild Powers rules. You introduced something incongruous to the local lore. The means does not justify the ends, i.e. the amount of effort undertaken does not justify your desired results. Using copy-written content (Sonic the Hedgehog, Goku, etc). Examples of roleplay opportunities: 
    Add a bounty for your player if they destroyed property or killed people Rebuild something that was destroyed / destroy something that was created Follow up on new information (names of people, cults, organizations, etc)  Who do I submit my canon request to?
    The board leaders of the appropriate section as listed in the world landing page.
  25. Superlike!
    supernal got a reaction from SweetCyanide for a article, Martial Town   
    Original author: Paroxysm
    Heavy contributions (Districts): Die Shize

    License: Paul Hartzog [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
    Palgard - Remnants
    In the year 026 AO, Palgard sustained deliberate, catastrophic damage to its infrastructure and leadership, causing innumerous civilian casualties and the collapse of the Mega-City’s government. The world had become bedlam, and anarchy ruled the streets. Normal, everyday citizens, bolstered by a host of mercenaries and visiting anarchists, revolted, rioted, and ransacked the hurting megatropolis. The city had been ruined, if not in form, then in spirit. Death had come for it again.
    But as in the past, Palgard has refused to succumb. Its newly appointed PeaceKeeper appeared following the city’s fall, and with her came the word of law, and imperial strength enough to enforce it. She marched at the head of a great confederacy of soldiers levied from surrounding cities and communities. They brought a measure of order to the chaos, carving out a section of the city for reclamation. Their mission objective was simple: bring Palgard back into the fold, for empire, for the Saint King, for Gaia.
    Martial Town
    Martial Town used to be earthen fortifications raised up from streets cleared of debris and people. Four years old now and entering adolescence, Martial Town today  encompasses all of the the surrounding neighborhoods, repairing, or otherwise repurposing, the apartments, storefronts, and the high rise buildings that yet stood in defiance of Palgard’s defeat. And with its growth, so, too, did its population rise. Soldiers brought their families, refugees sought safety, and opportunists followed the flow of commerce as rumors of the Way Gate’s reactivation reinvigorated the local economy and renewed interest in the city.
    This renewed interest in the city does not bring just growth and opportunity however, but also conflict and strife, as not all citizens are willing to live under military thumb. While the majority of Martial Town, especially its central, regularly patrolled military district, is safe to travel and live, its burgeoning borders and hanger-on communities see significantly higher rates of crime than elsewhere in Terrenus. These peripheral neighborhoods are owned by gangs and tribes of anarchists, sometimes backed by enterprising capitalists, and are further bolstered by the sudden influx of illegal trade brought on by missing military supplies, a black market trail speculatively originating from northern Palgard, and a nebulous network of underground contacts seeking the opportunities afforded by a city in disarray.
    Life can be good in Martial Town, or it can be very bad indeed. In order to fight against rampant unemployment and poverty, the occupying military has decreased much of its recruitment from outside of the city, focusing instead on paying adventurers, mercenaries, civilians and the occasional specialist party, keeping the city’s internal economy churning, if only barely, through frequent objective-based undertakings and the rebuilding of infrastructure. Toward this end, many of the black market deals, underground contracts, and use of illegal technology in the district is tolerated within limits.
    Districts
    (Core, Buffer, Peripherals)
    The heart of Martial Town, its most central area, is called the Core. Here is where the Martial Town Government is based, as well as some of the most prominent and most wealthy residents of the city.
    Crime rate is at an all time low within the Core, at least depending on a particular interpretation of the word "crime". While the Core is quite the opposite of the Peripherals, the outer city limits overrun with organized crime groups, anarchic syndicates and street gangs, the government employs its own full-standing military force to police the city's center. This comes with a price. Crimes against the citizens are still committed. Unsanctioned home invasions. Random street inspections. Abuse of evidence and general abuse. It is all contained enough to minimize the threat of riots, but everyone knows it happens. It is something of an accepted reality.
    Nonetheless, such actions are largely limited to those residents of the Core who make up the general population of the militarized district, versus it's higher class citizens. One need not be particularly esteemed or rich to live here. Maybe you have a particular trade or skill that almost forced you to be relocated. Often, it is just a matter of behaving well enough to remain, or proving so and heading through the gates from the Buffer. A number of people do so gladly. Given the tradeoff, they would rather live under the eyes of a camera and listen to boots marching the streets, wondering if a knock would come on their door and a soldier would show up, compared to a knock on their door and thief or a murderer showing up who was not kept in check.
    Additionally, residents of the Core have an opportunity to work their way up to better living standards, including within the ginormous skyscrapers at the heart of the heart itself. While some of these great towers are owned by and dedicated to the government and the most powerful corporations, others are self-sustainable complexes that provide the greatest security, sustenance and seclusion from the rest of the city.
    Living in the Core really boils down to a matter of preference and permission. As long as the city government allows you to, you are allowed to. As long as you would rather live under the thumb of the government and its military than the MTPD, the corporate paramilitary forces or criminal elements of the Buffer, or worse, the endless gangs, rebel groups and crime groups that overrun the Peripherals, then the Core just might be for you.
    Zones
    GRAFT Center (Genetic Research, Augmentation, Fortification and Transformation)

    License: zaroshi [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0]
    The GRAFT Center is the headquarters of the GRAFT Corporation. "GRAFT" stands for "Genetic Research, Augmentation, Fortification and Transformation", a broad series of terms that cover a broad variety of functions.
    While GRAFT clinics are spread throughout the city of Martial Town, from the Core to its suburbs, the GRAFT Center contains the most sophisticated and state of the art technology to service its clients. It fulfills a variety of needs for cybernetic limb and organ replacements, and cybernetic enhancements, such as infrared eyesight.
    However, GRAFT is not limited to just 'technology', as with mechanized or digitized features. The former is its primary identity, but it also supports a full-fledged magical enhancement program; a nice alternative to any technophobes, though the reverse also applies.
    Additionally, the GRAFT Center, located in the militarized heart of Martial Town, is where the bulk of the corporation's research is spearheaded, among all levels, including both magic and technology.
    The Purple Penguin
    Amid the night life of Martial Town, where the streets are lit up by neon dancers merely in the way the advertisement signs blink and flash and glow, The Purple Penguin represents the pinnacle of that night life.
    Located on the 'border' between the Core, the militarized heart of Martial Town, and the far less policed areas that serve as its outskirts, the nightclub receives a diversity of visitors, from regulars to newcomers looking for a good night out after a hard day's work.
    Amid its trademark purple lightning that basks the entire building, inside and out, day and night, The Purple Penguin boasts three public floors and a fourth VIP floor that includes management. The floors beneath this one cater to a wide variety of music, with soundproof walls offering additional sections and bars.
    The Purple Penguin offers more than music and drink, however. It is almost impossible to forget or forgive the drug scene running rampant, though this in turn provides any would be do-gooders with a morally questionable source of intel.
    The CyberFunk Cafe

    License: David Revoy / Blender Foundation [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]
    Located nearer the Core, amid its most lively shopping centers, The CyberFunk Cafe is a cybercafe said to always be filled, but always having an empty seat available.
    This paradox of a statement is in part due to the ear-splitting arcades located beneath the soundproof floor of the main cafe. On the main floor, guests can enjoy a latte spiked with caffeine to see their eyes through a deep dive into their favorite VR program, or simply a soothing cup of tea while they surf the web on a laptop for a fine leather trenchcoat on sale.
    Whatever the customer's desire, the cafe itself can probably cater to it, with cakes and scones aplenty. In its own parallel, however, the arcade rooms below ground have a much quicker pace. Down here, gamers of all kinds can sit back and relax, or sit forward in highway-racing tension, as they play video games of all types. Sometimes that may mean looking at a screen from feet, or inches, away. Other times, it may mean plugging a cable into the back of your head and closing your eyes while your mind enters a world like in one of those Sword Art Online games. KAWAAIII!!
    However, what most people are not aware of is that The CyberFunk Cafe has a third level—one beneath the arcade floor, accessed only by a secret door and express permission. This is where an underground hacker club, called ILLusive, plays a whole different game, one with real stakes, and real thrills.
    Pal's Guard
    Pal's Guard, obviously a play on "Palgard", is not at all anyone's idea of a playful bar. This drinking establishment is owned by the well established Vilad Circle, one of Martial Town's most ruthless and powerful organized crime groups.
    Headed by the elven Vilad Family rumored to hail from Palgard since around its inception, the Vilad Circle, as the overall crime syndicate, has since employed other species of all kinds to do its bidding and dirty work. Thieves, assassins, hackers, black market merchants, drug dealers, prostitutes and other colorful careerists come here already under the Vilad Circle's ring or as fresh folk looking for a new career path.
    Whatever the case, whatever the face, the Vilad Family usually doesn't care who, how or why. They are only concerned with profit and power, two paramount aspects that are inseparable as far as they believe.
    However, probably not a good idea to come to Pal's Guard for a beer and nothing else. There are nicer, friendlier, cleaner bars out there. Enter at your own risk, and remember where the nearest GRAFT clinic is!
    MTPD Headquarters (Martial Town Police Department)
    Where the Core of Martial Town is chiefly policed by the government's military force, along with the private military companies of certain corporations, it falls to the Martial Town Police Department (MTPD) to keep the greater extent of the city in check. As with many things in life, however, that is a task that is easier to write than to carry out.
    Only the bravest, finest and most able and capable souls sign up for the MTPD, or else those with a death wish, a low IQ or a streak of psychopathy as they seek to abuse the badge and beat the victims being repressed by it.
    Meanwhile, the farthest suburbs of the city would be hard pressed to find an officer on patrol, unless they're really just strolling toward some crime lord so that they can receive their bribe money.
    There are, though, those who firmly believe in the badge and what it represents. Then there are those hired by the badge, bounty hunters and private detectives, because, when it comes to Martial Town, the MTPD needs all the help that it can get.
    Little Weland

    License: Waylon Wesley [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/)]
    Just beyond the Way Gate facility, another community has formed from within Palgard, made up of the Weland expats that sought safety in numbers after the collapse of the city’s government. Their desperation made them susceptible to the Bessho-kai, a family of wealthy entrepreneurs that had stricken an accord with the people, offering protection in exchange for labor and small favors, but who now hold the district in their clinched fist.
    The Bessho-kai keep their streets free of outside influences, but their own people are nearly as bad as the anarchists. There is a foot soldier on every street corner, and an eye or an ear always watching for troublemakers or potential threats. They harass the people for what little they have, and recruit their children, perpetuating a cycle of violence and extortion.
    Technology
    Magic and technology are not at war. Like much of Terrenus, they are instead blended and mixed together, until where the one begins and the other ends cannot be easily distinguished. However, much of the heavily regulated, illegal, and obscure technology kept off the streets in the larger cities has in Martial Town fallen into use by anyone aware of, and able to afford, the black market. Most of the technology is benign. City-wide communications are now easily available, and enhanced prosthetics, both bleeding edge and crude knockoffs, some owed to Hell’s Gate, others Last Chance, can be acquired with no red tape or government interference.
    Then there are the killing implements. Cybernetics and magical augmentations designed to make recipients harder to kill while also making them more efficient at the act themselves. Bone-lacing, retractable claws, subdermal implants and vision enhancements, equipment normally associated with military wetwork can be acquired and utilized with little to no interference from the government. For a price.
    People
    Humans, elves, orcs, dwarves and other, Martial Town and its immediate surroundings are made up of many, of a diverse, hodgepodge people whose differences have allowed them to adapt even to its current circumstances. They move ever forward as cutthroats meet military task force, or corporate backed mercenaries. The poor and the downtrodden pick up weapons and fight back, choosing one side or the other, or neither. They exist in flux alongside their city. Order and chaos flowing one way, then the other.
    Canon
    A surprising visit: In an unexpected visit to the fond Neon City, reunited Choisel lovers settle in temporary residence there, terrorizing citizens with an unnatural desire of bloodlust. Leinhart and the Queen Matriarch slowly taint the city. I mean, really now: Eldwine organizes a team in Martial Town to help recover a shipment of stolen ercaniron which was stolen from the bandit who stole it to begin with. Through the course of an operation which drags them all over Martial Town and ends with a raid on a police station evidence locker, the loot is successfully recovered and divided among them. An aye for an eye: The General'ny Direktor engages in a mech battle for the win, and manages to pull off nabbing a cabinet that contains the powerful Left Eye of Mogonto
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