Introductions and Opinions (scroll down for House Rules!)
Who We Are
Hi prospective player!
This page holds our views on many common concerns players have. IC/OOC info, Internal Monologuing, playing to clan stereotypes, etc. Please take your time to read this page, check the FAQ page, and ask any questions you may have!
That being said, welcome to our game. We have made generous use of the White Wolf “Golden Rule” to keep the metaplot moving forward, while staying grounded in what we feel is the most flexible of the rule systems (Revised). We work to make the World of Darkness both feel 'realistic' and be as accommodating as possible to the playstyle and interests of all players. This ensures we have a viable, and fun 'World of Darkness' that provides opportunities to explore action, adventure, and a variety of ‘personal horror’ concepts.
We are thoughtful about character concept and personality, and like to collaborate and improvise with one another in an effort to bring rich and vibrant stories to the game. We enjoy stories with a focus on personal horror as much as over the top comic book sagas, intense action-drama, or interpersonal conflict.
What We’re Looking For
We are always looking for intelligent and creative individuals who are able to think deeply about character and go beyond the average collection of dots to deliver a more compelling addition to the cast.
The ideal member would be a self-starter who can work independently and collaboratively, can manage conflict resolution with other players in a mature manner (agreeing on if it will be roll play or roleplay, understanding if a player challenges you to roll for something your character does if failing could have a big impact, deciding how a fight should be handled, etc.). Players who have a good instinct for story and character tend to thrive.
A willingness to respect mechanics as an impartial guide to plot twists and character development is always helpful.
A good mind’s eye or willingness to understand current conditions within a scene is also helpful as it helps keep scenes stable (less OOC discussion and potentially reduces retcons).
A player who enjoys daydreaming about their character(s), thoughtful about character motivation, understands the importance of knowing their character, and are intrigued by the opportunity to delve deeply into the psychology of the world that surround them.
Players who understand that this is a fictional world where ridiculous things can happen (absurd conspiracy theories, reality warping events) juxtaposed with all of the things we expect and know of the real world may find this game a good fit.
What We Offer
We offer a community comprised of mature players who appreciate well thought out characters and that have a love for a good sense of story. The game has many Story Lines “laying in wait” for curious characters. We also understand that real-life obligations can get in the way, so time here does not always follow the calendar ("time bending", scene pausing, "being in two places at once", etc.) to try to accommodate people as much as possible.
The mood and theme of the game is much like life, running the gamut; characters can be over the top, ultra-serious, quiet, or conniving. Characters are more than a collection of dots, and what you see on the surface is rarely all there is – and as in life, some will be more willing to share, others will defend their private lives vigorously, and a thousand shades in between. Ultimately this helps create an immersive experience which we can be fun and filled with compelling storylines driven by both the players and STs.
We keep the spotlight on our player characters rather than on NPCs. Stories deal with the player-characters ambitions, motivations, and development giving them the opportunity to connect with their characters and the setting on a level that is meaningful to them. This means we have rules around the NPCs and how they will engage (which are detailed under House Rules).
We understand that great stories thrive on conflict. If your character is ambitious for more than getting buy, plotting and maneuvering is supported by the STs rather than discouraged. We do ask players not to misinterpret this as a lever to escalate petty conflict haphazardly.
No matter how big or small, we allow for player characters to have a meaningful and lasting impact on the wider Chronicle. This is not only allowed, but encouraged by our STs. From the most common mortal to the most powerful supernatural, all player characters have the same opportunity to make their mark on the game setting. We appreciate it when a clever player short-circuits a storyline by thinking of a solution we didn’t! Though we might sometimes make sure the character has the dots to have the idea, especially if the SL involves other players.
This game has been operating since the late 90s, and has had ‘resets’ throughout the years as cataclysms have struck or metaplots caused massive shifts. What this means is the game will be here for a long time to come, and the players will get out as much as they put in, if not more!
We aren’t just concerned with OOC standards of behavior. We expect a certain standard in the quality of characters brought into the game world and the types of IC behavior that go on. Both players and STs here want to see a deeper exploration of characters by their peers than is found in most RPGs. They want to be part of that journey that helps your character reach places, do things, or become something (good or bad) that is surprising, satisfying, and fulfilling for everyone.
This means that while we welcome players new to Classic World of Darkness, we want those players to respect the time of the other players in the chat and the STs by having access to the core books and demonstrating at least a rudimentary familiarity with the venue they choose to play. The community is helpful and the STs are patient and will help when we can. New players must be willing to research and put in the work. We can help with resources to accomplish this.
If you're looking for a place to hang your hat and get some serious (or not so serious!) and rewarding RP going on with other good players, then please come on in. If you're a beginner and intimidated, don't be. So long as you can play at pretend games, have a good mind's eye, and can assume a role, mechanics and details can be worked through with study and smart questions. If you took a creative writing course and liked it, you'll like it here.
Our game world is a blended depiction of the Classic World of Darkness. Players need to understand that their characters (or the things important to them) will never ever be 100% safe. The game has a setting that will mess with you, NPCs that will mess with your character, and PCs that will also mess with your character.
We understand some players are looking for a social game, what some people call the “Café Culture” where players can sit in some safe(ish) location and enjoy social interaction or some interpersonal drama and storylines. That’s okay here! Though you may not be awarded XP as quickly as those who are a little more ambitious within the construct of their character. To restate - we will accommodate casual play styles. If you're here just a couple times a month and want to go into character, that's fine. This is to make sure the expectation of risk vs. reward is properly set.
There is graphic content!! If you have a low tolerance for graphic content that depicts violence, grotesque, offensive, controversial, and sexual themes, then this game may not be for you. We do try to limit or avoid topics with sensitive players (just let us know!), using “summary descriptions” to convey the situation without getting into Stephen-King-levels of detail. There are Black Dog concepts that are used in this game.
Danger can come to your character at nearly any time and any place. This isn’t to snuff out characters, but to move stories forward, or give them hooks into storylines. We will also avoid stepping on the toes of player agency. While there are supernatural forces that can try to force your characters to do things out of character, the vast majority of the time there are ways for them to try to resist, but they might fail (dice!). And knowing and experiencing that, should help your character with the personal horror that can come in a setting that can be candy-coated on one side, and rotten on the other.
Players are expected to use their wits, ask questions, protect their characters, and be responsible for them.
Using ((PAUSE)) With Disagreements
Scenes often happen when a Storyteller is not around. There are going to be times when two (or more) players are going to disagree on how a scene is unfolding. Does a Discipline 'not work that way'? Is one character doing something in Elysium that another player thinks the everpresent Keeper of Elysium would put a stop to... but said character doesn't stop when the other player points it out? Time to call for a ((pause)).
Pause is used to freeze a scene when two players can't agree on a pivotal point. It shouldn't be used trivially. Examples of when it would be used is when a character is attacked with deathly intent, when someone is too aggressive in Elysium, or when rules/systems can't be agreed upon. This is another reason why players are allowed two characters, and why we do 'time bending'. So disputed scenes can be paused until a Storyteller can be on to review, ask questions, and guide the scene to a close. Is everyone always going to be happy with the outcome? Probably not. But it is a world of darkness...
Role Play vs. Roll Play
There are a lot of views out there on this concept. There are people that want to effectively ignore sheets all together, and there are people that want or demand rolls for everything. We have read some extremely vitriolic opinions on both sides. We are happy to say that there is a mid-ground between them! The sheets and dots should act as guidelines for what your character can reasonably do. If the player wants to (literally) roll the dice to see how well they do, to give their impressive feat some more heft and reference for other characters to respond to, great! If they don’t, and other players don’t challenge when they feel it’s appropriate, they don’t have to.
And how do we define appropriate challenging? If failing to do it might cause the character personal injury, or losing important social standing, or some other measurable impact that could be leveraged later, it’s appropriate (though not required). Examples, challenging someone who is juggling knives? Sure! Challenging someone because they’re putting on a concert for people they’re trying to impress? Sure! Challenging someone who is just out on the dancefloor having a good time, and failing a dice roll really won’t have any impact outside that moment? Maybe not really appropriate to ask for a roll.
When you’re in a scene with someone, don't be afraid to ask for a roll for social items. If your character is asking himself what another character might be thinking, then you should probably make an empathy check and have the other player elaborate. If you think someone is giving your character a line of bullshit, make a credibility check! Find out if your character actually picks up on it! Just because you can see what's going on doesn't mean your character will. It can be loads more fun too as you let scenes develop. In short, there is a time to throw the dice and a time to just RP. It's not going to offend other players if you ask for a roll or want to make a roll on anther character.
This ties into two other important points: Internal Monologuing and OOC/IC info.
Again there are different views here. Some say that it can “influence” player decisions with their characters. Proponents say it can be used to increase tension and add color to the actions of the character. As with most things, both of these are true for different people. We allow internal monologuing, but it’s not required. If you are worried that your course of action or thoughts your character is having might be influenced by this, our recommendation is to put focus on your characters motivations, try to learn to appreciate the writing effort the other players put in, and know which parts should be “seen” by their character, enjoying the rest as a player. If you are afraid it’s going to influence other players, then don’t do it. And if you do it and it does seem to influence players in a way you’re not happy with… we apologize and suggest you stop doing it. From personal experience we have had scenes that were made all the more intense or heart-breaking by internal monologuing, and it can be a challenge to remember what your character was thinking/feeling and to stay on that course, though it can be done.
Everyone is excited about well layered characters. Especially when another character gets so close to uncovering something, but doesn’t. Sharing OOC information can rob you or the other player from those scenes and the discoveries. That being said, it’s your character! If you want to share things when asked, you won’t get your wrist slapped. If you want to share information proactively, well, again, it’s your character, though we feel you’re robbing yourself of some great scenes. This also means we won’t make considerations if things you gave away in OOC sharpens clues that the players otherwise missed. Simple example, if you tell a player in OOC that your character plays with their Zippo when lying, then don’t be surprised if that trend is more quickly discovered, or rolls to discover it that weren’t done before are done now.
Posting Styles and Consideration
Everyone posts differently, and with the freedoms we allow here (with internal monologuing, for example), there can be a wide range of them. From the "One sentence sniper" to the "paragraph player" to the "rapid fire poster".
It's good to recognize the posting style of other characters, and try to give them time to react to your post in a way that is organic to them. It can be difficult, even frustrating, for a "Paragraph player" to put together a post that is both coherent, and not half-obsolete, with someone else making back-to-back posts at the same time. If you're afraid a player missed your post, or didn't know a post was directed to their character, give a friendly nudge in PM: 'are you working on a post?' is a great way to know what's going on.
Inversely, if a paragraph player actually doesn't have something to say, make an action, or even say ((go ahead)) in the scene so the other players know they don't have to wait. Being curteous of how everyone posts will allow everyone to help weave an interesting story.
This game has a variety of NPCs that are used to help storylines start/progress, form some interpersonal drama, and act as potential resources for Player Characters. Most NPCs have traits, abilities, or resources that go to the limits or beyond of what a standard character could attain. To keep the game from unbalancing itself, or from marginalizing the Player Characters, we have rules that help keep the NPCs at bay:
1. Regardless of what it looks like on the surface, the NPCs lives are not perfect. They have their own troubles, concerns, and secrets. A clever character who puts in the time and effort might be able to find these things and use them to their advantage.
2. They typically have larger issues or schemes to deal with. Your “petty” power struggles doesn’t concern them (you hope). They typically won’t interfere with what the players are doing unless it directly crosses them. In those instances, it may not be a squash, just a nudge… Or an offer. Likewise, they may not be as willing to help you without good cause. It may take a strong motivator for them to even recognize the plight you’re dealing with.
3. They won’t attempt to kill your character proactively. They will defend themselves, and if your character has made it clear they want the NPC dead… bad things could happen (and not always death).
4. They typically won’t react strongly to challenges. Most of the NPCs are very secure and confident in their abilities and don’t always feel the need to prove it. If you do get them to react and you lose, it might be a while before you live it down.
5. Clan/Group stereotypes and cultures are inverted, subverted, and played straight. Lore is rarely a sure-thing when it comes to an individual.
6. Your ally today could be your obstacle tomorrow (and vice versa). Some NPCs are incredibly self-serving. You may not always know why they flipped on you… maybe it was their plan from the beginning, maybe someone made them a better offer. It will never be because “they were bored”, they’re never bored, and always have things going on (though that might not be what they tell you).
There are a lot of ways to handle combat. And combat can be pretty damn time consuming when it’s played as described in the book. Typically, we will hold off on “By the book” combat for life-and-death situations. If dice-based combat does take place and it’s not a life-or-death situation, we ask the participants to work out before the first roll how they want to handle it. Here are some suggestions (in graduated escalation):
Option 1. One melee combat roll each, most successes wins.
Option 2. Total successes by rounds. Just what it sounds like, each player rolls three times, highest combined number of successes wins the fight.
a. Celerity adds one extra roll per dot.
b. Potence adds to the combined total, not per roll. Example: your three rolls yield you 6 successes. Your character has 3 Potence. Your combined successes is now 9.
c. Fortitude deducts from the opponents combined successes. They have 9 successes, you have 4 Fortitude, their combined successes is reduced to 5.
Option 3. It's war. By the book, time consuming, please have a good reason for making everyone do this, combat.
Duration of Disciplines - Entrancement, Dementation, etc.
When playing a more loosely structured game over IRC, versus focused coterie games from Table Top, the duration table in the book for abilities can be deeply impacting to other players, far beyond what we feel is fair. Here it is 1 success = one 24 hour period. Each additional success adds another 24 hour period.
Max blood buff is the gen-capped dot count (which in most cases is 5).