The Descent MUX
Here's how it all went down:
It's a funny thing, peace. Hiroshima proved the power of nuclear weapons, and began a race to acquire frightening numbers of nuclear bombs. All justified with a need to protect themselves. The same thing happened with guns, ships, and aircraft
In other words: War Never Changes.
Weapons on Terra Firma are still a threat, but with more focus on finding a new planet to inhabit, some weapons have migrated to orbit around the Earth. Hundreds of innocuous seeming rods made of tungsten drift in orbit, asleep and unheard of by most of the population. Unlikely to ever be used, they are there to maintain the status quo, so everyone can feel safe that no one would be so foolish as to use a weapon that everyone has.
The problem with safety is that it is often an illusion.
And the problem with massive arsenals and maintaining them is human error.
No one can say for certain what caused it. Was it someone sneezing and hitting the wrong button on accident? Was it something more sinister that had been infiltrated into the code?
Speculation and rumor. That's all there is right now, because the end result is the same, regardless of the cause.
On March 13th, the orbiting satellites of Project: Thor awoke. Tiny LED lights sparked to life while the GPS system ran calculations and realigned the rods with the planet's surface.
Ten minutes later, each of the telephone pole sized tungsten rods slammed into the surface of the planet, each with a force equivalent to 7.2 tons of dynamite.
The world went black, and when it woke up, everything was changed.
Once fertile lands had become craters. Known waterways dried up and new areas were flooded as water sought the path of least resistance. Cenotes opened up and the faces of mountains were so changed by the impacts that some became unrecognizable.
The worst of the damages were caused by man made structures. The Hoover Dam didn't survive the onslaught, and the flooding that came with its collapse killed thousands. Nuclear waste storage facilities and nuclear power plants have created wastelands, dead zones of radioactivity that put Chernobyl to shame.
Food, water, shelter. The needs of the people have not changed, but the world has.
And now the future of the human race is uncertain.
Welcome to the Descent Mux.
What we offer:
Mortal/M+, Vampire, and Werewolf using the nWod2.0 system.
Easy, as painless as possible cgen to help get people on the grid faster.
A system for people to pitch plot ideas, as well as claim and run 'on the spot' plots with elements that normally might require pre-approval - bridging the gap between wanting to ST right now, and the wait to have a prp idea reviewed.
A dynamic grid. The game will open with 4 neighborhoods of Manhattan available. From there, people can plot to open new grid spaces - up to and including leaving the island to go exploring the world at large. This is not just an option, but encouraged.
A setting that makes even coffee shop rp into a plottable topic! Want coffee with your friends? Sure! Go to the old warehouse, wade through a few draugr or revenants, and -get that coffee-. Then sip it while healing and snubbing others that have no caffeine. Or use it to barter for important things. Like bullets!
A cross-sphere Boon system to keep track of favors.
A certain scarcity of resources that makes conserving them important.. Blood for vamps, Essence for wolves, bullets, food, and water for mortals. Just -surviving- will be an important theme.
A grid vs grid style territory system designed to be simple-but-complex. Similar to Go, it's easy to wrap one's head around, but the ways it can be used are many and subtle. (Example: Jimmy poisoned the well (used an action to reduce a grid space's Water attribute) and people are dropping like flies! (consequence: reduced Population for the square, weakening it to attack.)
Fostering a community of cooperative storytelling, with a lot of open communication about end goals and things people want to seee happen with a scene. PvP happens! And dramaless PK scenes will get xp goodies. Less drama; more communication and cooperation!
To create a dynamic, living world of chaos that puts most of the control and direction in the hands of the players, wihin the given theme and setting.
Want to run a merchant caravan? Please do! Want to take over a small, neighboring island and make raids on the mainland? HELL YES! Want to play politics? Totallly doable, because with the grid system, friends will be really important to helping to maintain territory. And vamps need territory and people.
What we need to get there:
Code help (Install Theno's amazing code. I know someone that can help troubleshoot, but they've never done a full install before.)
Wiki help (I am no good with wiki. I can put up a picture and information, but fancy formatting or making log and pc templates is beyond me)
A wolf staffer would be great, to get early opinions and direction for wolf-specific theme.
Opinions! More people to bounce ideas off of!
The barebones wiki lives here: http://descentmux.com/index.php/Main_Page
Wait...am I reading this right? Is this a Post-Apocalyptic WoD game?
Yes, yes it is.
@Taika I've been wanting to develop a cyberpunk CoD game for a while. This is a good alternative. Consider me excited.
I'm basically in.
We still have a ways to go, but you're welcome to pop by. 220.127.116.11 port 6667. I'm Pestilence. Death is vamp lead, and Famine is a general rulesy guy.
@Taika As far as the wiki goes, shamelessly steal formats from other mush's. They all seem to do it anywho.
Heh. I don't like stealing unless I have permission or know who to credit for the awesomeness I steal.
Although it feels like in a apocalypse setting, with a smaller herd, there'd be far less concern about keeping a Masq going on. With a reduced population the fear of a culling doesn't seem as pressing. Do the vamps just outright rule everything?
Death has been really torn about what he wants to play up and emphasize in the starting, npc, culture.
After players hop in, all bets are off. Then it'll be its own, living, breathing monster. One that will evolve and shift many times - and hopefully never really stagnate.
I am in.
I feel like I need a paper bag to hyperventilate into. I am so pumped for this.
The vamps won't outright rule anything. The most logical conclusion I can come to, thus far, has been that the "General" Masquerade is toast. There will be too many Draugr around to deny the existence of the supernatural. Think of all the vampires who were trapped under rubble, in tunnels, etc. when the world ended, and then going crazy until they were able to free themselves in a frenzy. Stuff like that.
On the other hand, those remaining "sane" Kindred would feel even more pressure to maintain a "Personal" Masquerade, because they're more vulnerable than ever before. So there won't be any "Let's cover up the existence of vampires", but a lot of "Let's make sure that no one suspects me, Jim The Night Watchman of the Camp, of being a vampire", so that they don't get drug into the sunlight by the frightened and enraged populace.
This also provides a bit of a boon for Kindred, in a way, though. Misdirection. The Draugr (and the subsequent Revenants made in their wake) will mostly serve to present a picture of Vampires as horrifying, near mindless beasts. Savage monsters that are relatively easy to identify. So, the Kindred who maintain their Humanity are able to exist among the herd all the more easily, because no one expects that their neighbor could be anything like the vampires that they know.
As far as Vampires and politics go, I'm still working on how I want to handle them. The part of me that thinks like a psychologist almost wants to take politics off the table at the start, due to thinking of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Most people are just trying to sturggle to survive. This includes Kindred. It's only when they've satisfied those most basic of needs (food and shelter) that they can really consider getting into things like politics to work towards the upper rungs of the Hierarchy. Between this line of thinking, and the unifying factor of a common enemy (the draugr and revenants that inhabit the city that hasn't been "reclaimed" yet), I have thought about letting politics go until later in the game.
That being said, vampire is supposed to be a game about politics, traditionally. And I LOVE the political game, when it can be done right. Another thing that I'm concerning myself with, at the moment, is how to best try to present that in a setting such as this. It's too easy, in general, for Vampire spheres on games to fall into a trap of Might Equals Right, and a setting like this lends itself well to that. Well, honestly? I've seen it enough times to know that it sucks when it becomes that. So, I want to find a way to try to ensure that people aren't going to "politic" their ways into positions just because they've got Protean claws, Ride The Wave and Claws of The Unholy. I think all of us want the focus of this game to be one of "Cooperative Storytelling" over "Dick over everyone because lol my char's a dick bro! Sorry!" and so, it follows that mechanics should represent intent.
Note: This is not to say that there isn't a place for combat oriented characters to advance, or to just have a place in the game. There are a lot of things out there that need killing. I just don't want to see nothing but combat based characters cropping up since everyone feels the need to defend themselves from X character, or the need to have combat stats to "take a position" among the local courts.
Courts, you ask? Why yes, I tell you. In a setting such as this, there's actually a high potential for multiple Praxes to form as the population expands and reclaims territory. It's something I've been thinking about, at least.
Also, still working out how to really incorporate the Covenants into the setting. My current thinking is that The Invictus would be hurt pretty badly. All their infrastructure and influence is kaput. Dragons are likely sent into a tailspin, but now have lots of mad science opportunities with research subjects caught in the field. Carthians would likely have a lot of pull, due to their ability to utilize sort of "grass roots" movements and politics and make structure out of chaos. The Lance would likely enjoy quite a bit of power, as well, as people turn to God in the wake of the end of the world, so to speak. The Crones would have a pretty decent base of power just based on the people who start becoming more open to the idea of the occult and supernatural.
And I've rambled long enough. But feel free to toss ideas my way if anyone has them, or contact me directly through messages or on the game when I'm around.
My only thought is that I disagree that the Draugr will make it easier for "humane" Vampires to eek by unnoticed.
Look, in a world where we all work, we all have independent lives, we all have things we do, we all have houses and indoor activities, etc., etc., being a nightowl who's only seen at night and doesn't really interact with anyone while the sun is up is easy to look past.
But in a world where you need to be out there, surviving, keeping your shit together--I think the mundane mortal is going to start looking at someone who they only see at night a little differently.
Sure, Kindred with Dominate and Majesty will have an easier time; those with Obfuscate might not even exist, socially speaking, at all.
If I were a vampire, I would want to strike a thick line between myself and the Draugr in social perceptions--show the mortals around me that I am powerful, but I am not a monster, and that those two things combined make me ideal to help them survive. I just, you know, need a little blood here and there. But my Vigor, or Celerity, or Protean, or Dominate, or whatever is going to make me invaluable to mortals who need to be protected from the ravenous Draugr and Revenant hordes.
Of course, the way you seem to be setting it up would probably allow for this? I am just suggesting that, as staff, it might be great if you pushed for this sort of thing a little bit, if you're okay with the Masquerade being gone.
P.S. What about werewolves? I assume they basically just drop The Herd Must Not Know. Either that, or there's a lot more mortal deaths. A lot.
I think Werewolves of all the spheres would be hit the hardest. I mean, just imagine the turmoil the spirit world is in. That and the reduction of safe healthy territories.
Also, consider in this new world, the day might actually be more dangerous than the night. If this is a classic wasteland apocalyptic world, the days going to be super uncomfortable. People might be more active at night anyways, so that reduces suspicion on a nightowl as it were.
I can see your point, in some regards. But there are other ways to look at it, too.
What thicker line is there to draw between me and them than "I am not like that"?
I a setting such as this, there are a number of reasons for people, human or not, to operate at night. For example, Jim, the Night Watchman. Jim is only seen at night, because he works at night. Jim says that he doesn't come out during the day because the sunlight creates a biochemical reaction in the human body that makes them want to stay awake, so to maintain his sleep schedule, he avoids daylight at all cost, so he's well rested for his night shift.
Scavengers for the camp might make excursions out at night, when they have the cover of darkness. Or maybe they're crews of people meant to go out into the night to fight the monsters so they don't storm the camp? Hell, maybe those crews have a tendency to go out at night, and not return until the next night to turn in their finds and then set back out again?
There are a number of reasons for people to only be seen at night, even in a post apocalyptic setting such as this. Hell, honestly, there might even be more, or at least, more realistic ones, other than just "Oh, I work all day" or something to that effect. There's also the fact that young, weaker Kindred with high Humanity and low BP only take limited damage from sunlight. Like 1 lethal every ten minutes, at Humanity 7, BP1, I think. So, in a pinch, they can make appearances in the day. Or answer their door if someone comes knocking. So... there's incentive to play characters that aren't pumping BP like crazy!
But I won't say that I'm totally against discarding the Masquerade altogether. I had initially thought about it, until I realized that there's just really no scenario in which a vampire can actually survive that long under the circumstances of people knowing. The vulnerability to sunlight and needing a haven to protect oneself from it is just too great of a weakness to be exploited. Eventually mistrust WILL set in. Humans WILL start to fear the monsters in their wake and if they know about them? They'll come. In a world full of fear and lawlessness, this is even more of a sure thing.
That being said, if a character WANTS to go that route? I won't stop them, either. I'm certainly not looking to call wrongfun on anyone, and I'm not taking that stance with a thinly veiled clause of "Oh, well, I'll just have NPC mortals kick in their door after a few months" or anything stupid like that, either. I'm all for player choice in as many things as can be given, while maintaining theme. And the idea of a vampire trying to strike a deal of "protection for blood" is totally valid. I just don't think that it works as a default, so to speak.
As for werewolves, I don't handle them, so I couldn't say.
I've been hoping for a wolf2.0 person to pop up before digging too deep into wolf theme. I do know I want to roughly, ish, balance the resource choke between blood and essence, so everyone's belt is a little tight, but no one is starved out - just more cautious in where they blow their assets.
I do know the shadow is going to be a nightmare. I do know in 2.0 cross sphere packs are a thing. Rats and spiders? Oh yeah. Going to be plenty of room for the traditional enemies to crop up. I imagine the Pure, what few are left, will be celebrating the Fall. Bale wolves? I need to do some more reading on wolf.
Generally speaking, I hope it'll be worth while for cross sphere co-op play than pvp. Pk happens, and there will be perks for no-drama pk's.
So in a game where people are supposed to be fighting over resources and territory, and you even say that 'haha want to do a coffee shop scene? you have to fight to get the coffee!" what mechanics/systems are you going to implement so that the game isn't 90% Rahu and 90% Gangrel Ordo?
Even without conflict systems, completely sandbox games like Reno still see a heavy population of these because they're stupidly twinky.
People can play what they want. But! If the grid is 90% specialized combat monkeys...
Who will grow their food?
Who will be able to try and get electricity on?
Who will be able to purify water?
To get people to work together?
A fighter might be able to bully people, but a starving fighter won't win many fights. A thirsty man will do anything for a drink, if they get thirsty enough.
I don't want to have to implement stat systems, but down the road if needed?
But that ties back into a cooperative storytelling experience, one that will (hopefully) have more than enough to do to keep players from boredom induced pvp and dickwaving.
The question is.... How would YOU prevent the game from being 90% Rahu and 90% Ordo Gangrel? I said that I was inviting feedback for a reason. Not just to present problems, but to work together to present solutions.
Cull them regularly.