The fog feels heavy. Cool air grazes your exposed arms.
Fixed before you is a rustic green road sign with the text:
[ 'Welcome to Silent Heaven' ]
How did you get here? Memories are as hazy as the weather.
Ahead lies a semi-maintained stone archway amidst dirt and
vegetation, with a stairway leading down into the unknown.
The path back is a long, quiet county road vanishing into fog.
You’ve come too far to turn back now.
Silent Heaven is a small-town roleplaying game focused on personal demons amidst a backdrop of supernatural horror. The only characters who find their way to the town of Silent Heaven are those who have repressed traumatic experiences, or deny the terrible things they've done. Your character is scarred, a scarmaker, or both. Residents might act normal, but nobody healthy lives here. Those that recover can find their way out of Silent Heaven and back to their lives.
Be bad. Be vulnerable. Embrace your sorrow. Will you face your darkest times and recover? Or will you succumb to the town and be lost forever?
THE NEW NORMAL
As an unexpected resident of a town called Silent Heaven, you will explore the streets, meet strange people, and struggle against the sins that brought you to this personal hell. Use your skills to survive, to aid those around you, or to take advantage of others. Face difficult topics like abuse, depression, sorrow, trauma, helplessness, and fear.
The worst thing that can happen is getting comfortable with living here.
Silent Heaven is a unique world set in an unspecified location. It draws inspiration from many sources, including Silent Hill, LOST, American Horror Story, Omori, and much more.
Silent Heaven is made using the Evennia codebase with a custom gameplay system.
RPI-lite: MUSH-style RP + coded support for supplementary skills.
No Alts: You may have only one character at any given time.
No Grinding: XP is earned through logging in each day + bonus XP for roleplaying.
Simple Crafting: Craft a unique description and custom name for any item, giving it a bonus to its effect.
Simple Combat: Simplified locational combat allows you to spend more time RPing during and after conflicts.
Traditional Grid: Movement directions are only North, South, East, West, Up, and Down. Room sizes and shapes vary.
Character-driven storylines: Rewards for doing what would tell a good story rather than gaming the system or developing insular cliques.
End of the road: If your character survives to max XP, a special Storyteller-run plot will help to determine the ultimate fate of your character.
Whispers: The quietest voices spread around town via mysterious wind currents, making it difficult to keep secrets.
Shelter: Retreat to your safe space when you need downtime. Public locations become less safe as more characters gather in one spot. Don't stay outside too long, either. There are monsters out there. Some of them even look like monsters.
Panic: Suffer emotional damage that can't be healed through conventional means.
In-depth NPCs: Each NPC is a complete character with a history, goals, and fears. Though you may befriend some of them, NPCs almost always have an ulterior motive. They wouldn't have found their way to Silent Heaven otherwise.
Intersectional-LGBTQIA+: Racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. are unwelcome. Pronouns aren't tied to your character's biological sex, gender or outward appearance. You can even randomize your character's pronouns.
Drugs & Toxins: Provide beneficial drugs to those who need help, or poison your enemies. Lace your creations into food, or even create chemical weapons.
Blood Tests & Forensics: Diagnose patients with mysterious ailments. Collect DNA samples and other metadata from locations to find out who's been up to what.
YOUR SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT
Silent Heaven is not for everyone, and those that pose intentional or persistent harm to the OOC community will be removed, regardless of their contribution level.
You will never be forced to RP something you don't want to RP.
A community Discord chat server provides a clear delineation of the IC-OOC divide.
EVERYONE HAS PROBLEMS
The town of Silent Heaven draws in characters who have repressed problems or memories. Your character has dissociated from their terrible or traumatic backstory and will typically behave as if it never happened.
But all untreated wounds bleed, as do emotions behind locked memories.
Silent Heaven is a place where your character will have to confront their past in order to live a better future — or be swallowed by the town in self-damnation.
ROLEPLAYING IN SILENT HEAVEN
Roleplay is character-focused. Your character will make friends, allies, and enemies, exploring your character's story and influencing others' stories. Players may take advantage of local hangouts, hidden locations, their character's skills and in-character whispers to find and write effective scenes. You'll experience collaborative storytelling in both cooperative and character-versus-character scenarios.
There are many different groups to join in Silent Heaven, each with their own different tenets, playstyle, goals, and supporting NPCs.
We strongly encourage you to explore Silent Heaven and find a group that matches your character and your preferred playstyle. Groups come in many styles: social, intrigue, creative, combat, antagonistic, pacifistic, religious, newbie-welcoming, theme-enforcement, and more.
Groups have allies and enemies, places they may go freely and others they can't, characters they can openly interact with and others they'll need to maintain secrecy with, and so on. Finding your way into RP is a lot easier when your character joins a group.
Don't worry if a group has very few or very many PCs in it. Staff will focus their support towards the styles our players want to play. That means providing Storyteller support for players that find themselves excluded, or Builder support for splitting a large group into two groups. Some groups may have no PCs, in which case, the NPCs are there to provide for that group until PCs join.
In roleplay, there are typically three styles of scenes: Live, Distracted, and Asynchronous.
Live: Everyone is actively paying attention and writing.
Distracted: Players may be slow to react, due to work, family, or other distractions.
Asynchronous: Players may take up to 24 hours to respond.
Scenes in public locations are always Live. We ask that you spend no longer than 5 minutes per pose. At that point, it's time to hit enter and just send it in. If someone takes longer than 5 minutes, it's fair game to assume the character doesn't react, or is paralyzed with fear, or has zoned out. You may continue with the scene if you wish, but please be mindful that we all have unexpected emergencies from time to time.
At almost any time, you are able to pause your game, which puts your character in a metaphorical protective bubble that prevents anything from happening to your character.
Scenes in private locations may be Live or Distracted. You're welcome to take your time and write at your own pace, as long as that pace is comfortable for everyone.
After 35 minutes of inactivity, your character automatically zones out and isn't aware of their surroundings. Silent Heaven will be less-than-ideal for players who prefer Asynchronous scenes. For asynchronous play, you may want to consider alternative means of interaction, such as writing letters to your sleeping pals (or enemies) for when they wake.
Storytellers will look for players who are willing to play well with others, who enjoy taking risks and losses, and who don't "game the system" to give themselves every advantage imaginable. The nicer you play with others, the more likely Storytellers are to trust you with roles that give your character greater permission.
Silent Heaven is a place where terrible things will happen to your character. However, we take it seriously to respect limits and only invoke terribleness that you're comfortable with experiencing. We provide a customizable consent checklist, along with a list of always-forbidden topics that will never be allowed in Silent Heaven.
The consent checklist will help Storytellers know which plots & NPCs your character should be kept away from. If you have a trigger for certain types of abuse, Storytellers won't be letting abuse survivor NPCs get close to your character. Other players will have limited visibility as a way of checking OOCly in advance of taking a scene down a certain route. Players will not have full access to other characters' checklists, as that can lead to abuse.
By respecting the consent checklist, the only way a horror scene can happen is if everyone in the scene is comfortable and has given their OOC enthusiastic consent to be horrified.
Some topics are entirely forbidden on Silent Heaven. To summarize, these include all non-consensual sexual acts, the myriad of 'dubious' consent mechanisms for sexual purposes, any underage characters, any bigotry, and a handful of topics related to these categories.
While roleplay is the focus of Silent Heaven, in order to maintain a sense of vulnerability, you may find your path blocked by someone who wants to have a word with you. This is a chance for both parties to talk things out in an effort to avoid a violent conflict. Reserve fighting only for when talks have broken down.
Death is too easily an escape, so the town itself prevents characters from dying. No matter what happens during combat, your character will still be breathing in the end.
LORE AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Lore? There's plenty. But you don't need to know anything ahead of time. As a fresh resident to a mysterious town, discovering it all in-character is part of the excitement. Want to learn more about that church? You could ask someone about it, or find and read some literature about it, or even go there yourself to soak in some history.
It's perfectly acceptable for your character to ask someone, "What the f—k is going on in this town?" In fact, it's encouraged. It's an excellent way to spur roleplay and delve into how your character reacts to the unknown.
While Silent Heaven is played out in modern day real-time, please keep real-world events out of Silent Heaven. For all intents and purposes, assume the Silent Heaven timeline diverged in 2010. We never learned if Obama fixed the economy, Covid-19 never quarantined us, and any world events that happened beyond 2010 are irrelevant. While your character has a backstory, your character's involvement in-game will focus on your character's experiences in Silent Heaven.
So, what did happen in this alternate timeline? It doesn't matter, because your character's storylines will center around being in a town isolated from the rest of the world. Humans still exist. Scientific and technological advancements continue as normal. This alternate world history is intentionally an amorphous blob. When thinking about your character's backstory, consider generic terms over real-world ones. For example, use "worked for an oppressive corporation paying slave wages" instead of "worked for Amazon," or you could use "stationed overseas" in place of fighting in any specific war.
LIMITATIONS TO WHAT YOU CAN ROLEPLAY
The following should be OOCly assumed to be true:
Your character enters Silent Heaven as a modern-day human with no supernatural powers.
There is no way to 'fix' the town of Silent Heaven. While your character may have influence on the future of in-game groups or even drive an NPC to death, the backdrop of a hidden town full of cursed characters will not change.
Silent Heaven isn't in any set location. Outside contact within Silent Heaven will never happen. For what it's worth, consider the town to be on an entirely different plane of existence.
Nobody who successfully leaves Silent Heaven can ever find their way back in. There are no 'return visits.'
I have no idea. We're a two-person team at the moment: myself and a musician.
Pre-planning is 100% complete.
Documentation is 75% complete.
Coding is 75% complete.
Building is 20% complete.
We have a community Discord server where I post regular updates and a ton of policy documents. This is the first I've ever posted a link for the Discord server, so there aren't many people there yet.
Any questions? Feedback welcomed!
This was a long post! I'm going to sleep.