From The Ashes: Detroit by Night



  • The city of Detroit has gone through a major economic and demographic decline in recent decades. The population of the city has fallen from a high of 1,850,000 to 701,000. The automobile industry has suffered from global competition and has moved much of the remaining production out of Detroit. Some of the highest crime rates in the United States are now occurring here, and huge areas of the city are in a state of severe urban decay. Upon these real-world stresses, we lay the Classic World of Darkness skin: The city, in 2003 opted to carry out a shrinking of its municipal boundaries, forcibly relocating anyone who lived in the newly disincorporated territories (with race and class disparities rampant in the outcomes of this policy) and essentially surrendering huge swaths of the former city back to nature. The move was called 'Measure 2' and it saved the city a mountain of money woes at still uncertain costs and a stigma of capitulation.

    From The Ashes is a Classic World of Darkness game running with 20th Anniversary rules (or as close thereto as we can approximate, absent M20 and C20), and set, as you probably worked out, in Detroit, Michigan. Our game is themed on reclaiming lost things and as such all spheres face an uphill battle and (as of this writing) no 'home base' or organized community. Garou have no caern or sept, Kithain have no freeholds, Mages have no chantries - each for different but (at least tangentially) related reasons. We're telling the stories of how these communities get by in the absence of their usual social apparatus, and likely how they go about re-organizing and staging a comeback. Player characters will be expected to self-govern and self-organize, as well as earning their happy endings.

    We are open for Mortal, Mortal+, Changeling, Shifter, and - with caveats and heavy screening - Mage spheres. (Sorry, no Vampire. Maybe someday we'll open it, but as of right now we have no staff competent to run Vampire, and no we're not looking for cold-call applications for staff.)

    If you're interested, come check us out at darcness.net:2860 or give our wiki a gander at: http://fta.darcness.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    Best person to contact there is The Supremes, (the guy who wrote all this), his schedule is Tuesdays/Wednesdays all day, Thursday mornings, Fridays after 10AM, and Saturdays until 5PM (all times Eastern US). All else is catch-as-catch-can.


  • Pitcrew

    Looking at the application information/process on the wiki, I feel like I'm looking at a mush from the 90s (and not in a good way, these practices died for a reason). And yet, still mulling it over.

    I do have a question, though -- the application process looks really rough, but there's the impression that things are quite dangerous and characters might die. An extensive application process coupled with a dangerous IC environment isn't a recipe for success.



  • I have no interest in playing this game. But good luck to you (and I suspect you might need it if you want anyone but the most self hating of players.)



  • @Sunny said:

    Looking at the application information/process on the wiki, I feel like I'm looking at a mush from the 90s (and not in a good way, these practices died for a reason). And yet, still mulling it over.

    I'll admit I haven't kept current with whatever 'current practices' are in terms of application processing. Our app process is one part working with what I'm familiar with having played NYC/Metro recently, but I got my start in the 90s so there's probably some Old Skool roots there, yeah. It's mostly a matter of what I and the other staff that started the site up with me need, as storytellers and admins, to determine if a character is a good fit and to find hooks to work with.

    To my mind, though, the 1990s style app process was 'write a novella' rather than 'answer 10-15 questions about your character and show me a sheet.'

    I do have a question, though -- the application process looks really rough, but there's the impression that things are quite dangerous and characters might die. An extensive application process coupled with a dangerous IC environment isn't a recipe for success.

    I mean, it's WoD, of course a character /might/ die. If I understand you correctly, you're basically asking about the risk vs investment balance. The danger a character faces is a function of their actions. If you want to play a character that lays low, doesn't make waves, and withdraws from threats rather than confronting them your character can be very, very safe. If that's your style of character, though, I would suggest that they probably wouldn't go near Detroit in the first place, in our setting.

    That said, I've been running tabletop games for 20+ years and this isn't my first time to the MU* staffing rodeo, either. In my career as GM/DM/ST I've presided over five character deaths. I think I know a thing or two about balancing setting with story. The goal is also that the extreme 'we're fighting uphill' tilt of our setting is a surmountable thing, meant to be fixed by player actions. I recommend characters who are here with full knowledge that they're the underdogs, and who are looking to fight smart to make a difference.

    I'm also curious what part of the app process you object to, in particular, so that I can review. Feedback is always a welcome thing.



  • The main issue most of us have with the game is the hilarious nonsense of your werewolf sphere and its requirements.



  • Keeping it constructive might help, guys. I know this isn't that board but it isn't the Hog Pit either.



  • Alright, here's a constructive reply:

    I find your werewolf stuff silly. All the parts about racism and sexism and how players need to act makes no sense to me. I also find your stuff about homeless people being bussed into the city hilarious as well. I recognize that some people who I don't know and who don't post here may find them reasonable however and wish your game nothing but the best.

    That is all.



  • This post is deleted!

  • Pitcrew

    Aww. Put it back. I'm curious what the deleted message said.



  • I was just thanking him for the clarifiction and well wishes, and noting that given his reaction to our concerns that WoD is a product of the 90s and rife with racist themes and problematic cultural appropriation, our game was very likely a poor fit for him, as a player.



  • @The_Supremes said:

    I was just thanking him for the clarifiction and well wishes, and noting that given his reaction to our concerns that WoD is a product of the 90s and rife with racist themes and problematic cultural appropriation, our game was very likely a poor fit for him, as a player.

    Adding smug condescension to the already holier-than-thou hilarity that is the absurdity of some of the things on the werewolf page?

    AND casting aspersions on someone for questioning any of it?

    Shit. I wish most games were this honest about the way their staff was going to handle their business.

    (In this case, my interpretation is: very poorly, YMMV.)


  • Politics

    I don't really read any smug condescension. I haven't read the webpage, mind you, because even if I were interested I have no time. But it's not like people were particularly nice about it in the first place.

    Maybe everyone should chill a little on this thread instead of posting on it with claws out.


  • Pitcrew

    @The_Supremes said:

    To my mind, though, the 1990s style app process was 'write a novella' rather than 'answer 10-15 questions about your character and show me a sheet.'

    Sure, but you're not asking for just a sheet and some questions. This is misleading, as anyone who spent ten minutes (that is being enormously generous) looking at the application process could see.

    I mean, it's WoD, of course a character /might/ die. If I understand you correctly, you're basically asking about the risk vs investment balance. The danger a character faces is a function of their actions. If you want to play a character that lays low, doesn't make waves, and withdraws from threats rather than confronting them your character can be very, very safe. If that's your style of character, though, I would suggest that they probably wouldn't go near Detroit in the first place, in our setting.

    This is the response to 'it looks like investment vs risk is not balanced'. OK, then. These statements make a whole lot of assumptions that don't actually follow the questions I asked and the statements that were made, and for you to get a condescending, insulting tone with me is ridiculous. Your ideas can go fuck themselves.

    That said, I've been running tabletop games for 20+ years and this isn't my first time to the MU* staffing rodeo, either. In my career as GM/DM/ST I've presided over five character deaths. I think I know a thing or two about balancing setting with story.

    If you have to throw out how long you've been doing something to prove your point, you don't actually have any business talking. Guess what? I've been doing it longer than you, your point is therefore invalid. These ideas are wrong. You do not know anything about balancing setting and story, and I've been doing this longer than you have, so clearly I know more than you do.

    I'm also curious what part of the app process you object to, in particular, so that I can review. Feedback is always a welcome thing.

    The combination of the 1-5 page background PLUS the questions. One or the other, and if you decide on the questions, bring them down to something that's not going to take a damn essay to reply to. This amount of work is great for an OTT or something with a small group of people, but an actual mush, not so much.

    I'm being critical because there are things about the game that really look interesting and I'd like to play -- the setting / premise is GREAT. But between the ridiculous House Rules and the condescending attitude in response to valid questions pretty much squashed that. So I do appreciate, at least, being given enough of an impression to ensure that I'm not going to waste my time.



  • I didn't see his response as condescending. If anything he was a little defensive because my reply was less-than-polite as well.

    However, I think he misunderstood my objections. My problem wasn't with the racism of WoD products; it was with the new-age hippy-dippy way in which the game seems to handle them. Saying you can't play up the stereotypes of the various tribes doesn't jive well with me.

    The issue with the homeless seems exactly the opposite of what I experienced in major cities as well; folks were forced -out- of the city rather than into it, because that's how the city keeps its stats up.



  • @Admiral said:

    The issue with the homeless seems exactly the opposite of what I experienced in major cities as well; folks were forced -out- of the city rather than into it, because that's how the city keeps its stats up.

    What issue, with what homeless? Are you referring to the City/State's use of eminent domain to seize homes from homeowners and then transfer title of tax-foreclosed properties to those same families/homeowners, effectively forcing them to move? Because that's what I actually describe when I say "forcibly relocating anyone who lived in the newly disincorporated territories." These aren't homeless people being moved, they're /homed/ people being moved. And yes, that's a pretty draconic use of Eminent Domain, and yes, RL Detroit actually thought about doing just that.

    You seem to be reading a LOT in between the lines, (you're not alone in this, I'm just grabbing this one because it's the most recent reply) and coming to a wide array of spectacularly incorrect conclusions as a result. This is your prerogative, of course, but I figured I'd highlight the fact.


  • Admin

    Is there any chance RL Detroit and WoD Detroit might be different cities with similar but also different circumstances, legal frameworks and reasons behind events?



  • I've never seen a case of eminent domain used to force people from disincorporated areas to move -into- the city.
    I've seen it used exactly the opposite, to force people to move out of the city.

    Maybe my experiences in major cities differs from yours. I'll give you the strange 'We love our people and want to take care of them so we move them into the city where we can do so' Detroit.

    What about the 'Werewolf has to be cuddly and safe and no stereotypes allowed!' business?

    Or the 'white people aren't welcome in the ghetto' business? I don't recall if that was your game or just discussion we were having about opinions of the ghetto in general though.



  • @Coin said:

    Maybe everyone should chill a little on this thread instead of posting on it with claws out.

    Fo' real, son.
    Remember when these were pretendy fun time games, before everything apparently got real over...a difference of opinion when it comes to political correctness? I guess? What the actual fuck is everyone so angry about?



  • I think we're all being pretty civil so far. Not even near the level of WORA-spite that we could be using. I'm enjoying the conversation, is that so bad?



  • Not you necessarily. It just seems like the atmosphere in the original thread was "my, I find this kind of silly" and then suddenly everyone came in swinging like they'd been personally assaulted. I get people tend to get sensitive about their pastimes, but it's not like the game creator was implying anyone who played oWoD was racist or misogynist. (Presumably.)


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