Setting

Setting

Political Rank Play Guidelines

Political rank play is intended to follow the more dynamic nature of those roles with in the game settings. This can be a ever changing story of gain and loss. This kind of play makes use of the Reputation and Rank System with some additional responsibilities for the players wishing to pursue this kind of play.

These ranks require a certain amount of maintenance due to the ever changing nature of that type of play and that those roles have a more notable impact on the setting then most others. These positions are earned and must be maintained.

For more information on how Setting determines which ranks can be filled by PCs refer to: Guidelines for determining political ranks that can be filled by player characters


Yearly Audits and Setting Maintenance of Political Ranks

At a designated time once per year Setting will go through and do an audit on all the ranks that qualify as political for play. This will account for the dynamic play that is part of such political ranks and the growth or reduction of various organizations experienced during play.

  • The audit will be announced no less then two weeks before the date. This is to give players a heads up that the review is coming and to make sure they are prepared. Also at this time players whom know their character will still qualify for the rank but no longer wish to remain in it can inform Setting their character is retiring to open the seat. Setting may use the time before they audit PCs to look at the organizations to determine if any new seats will be open, or other changes that may affect those ranks and them being filled.

  • If an organization has grown in Stats then more positions of higher authority should open up to reflect the additional management needs. The opposite may hold true for organizations that have shrunk.

  • Tallying the positions and determining how many can be opened for potentially interested players. At most 50% of the seats of a rank should be PC eligible if possible. If there is an odd number then PCs can take up the lesser amount of the split (ie there are 9 seats, 4 can be open to PCs)

  • Ensure the duties and requirements of the ranks are clearly stated. Any additional OOC responsibilities also needs to be listed as the players that take up these roles need to be able to work with Setting.

  • At the determined date there will be a review of current PCs in the ranks and making sure they meet the qualifications to remain in the rank.

  • Announce the open seats for PCs and allow time for players to respond with their potential interest.

After the audit then the PCs contending for the rank seats will be checked to make sure they qualify. If there are more PCs then there are available seats, then the top contenders will be given the seats.
In cases of a tie Setting and Social will contact the players and inform them of the tie. If things can not be resolved in the discussion then one of two other options will be used: A Setting determined related rep could be use to bolster the purchase. Or a kind recruitment session is held, where the one that generates the most pp in a set of predefined rounds wins. Any alternatives for a tie break will be listed by Setting in the organization information.

At any time a PC can retire from a rank. The player must inform Setting that their character is stepping down so they can work out an exit strategy and enable them to make an announcement open the open seat for anyone that may be interested.

Once a year there may be requests for SH volunteers from the Setting staff willing to help assist in handling the IC duties. Setting staff that take up this duty will receive extra training to ensure they have the tools on hand and to enable coordination as things move along. Any and all of the IC actions will be reviewed as well to ensure that everything is following the rules and to update accordingly. In the case of a lead's character being involved, then that lead must excuse themselves from any participation of review involving their character. In times where there is only two or less Leads, the Setting staff will act in place of the excused Lead as per the Site Constitution


Expectations From Players with PCs in Political Ranks

Setting will work with the players of PCs in these ranks on related plots to ensure what plots are being driven by the players are within the realm of Setting approval.

Players filling these roles must actually RP out what their characters are trying to do in this role and are expected to make any requested rolls in support of these actions. Setting staff that are assisting in handling the politic RP will be available to assist as needed. These rp out actions can be done through a scene made from solo/casual play or sessions of any kind if available.

On occasion a SH may make a request for PCs in a political rank to react to a certain story/scene. The SH should include which format the players can 'turn in' their RP of their character's reactions as well as set a deadline for submissions. In cases where a player desires to react to a scene/story with no SH prompt they may post their intent and a request for assistance from the staff as needed. Player instigated requests will also have deadlines depending on either the quarterly update or next part of the story.

These requests should be handled on the forums to allow for a way to see that such requests have been received and understood by both the players and SHs, but also to ensure that in case something were to happen to any of the SH's assisting anyone that comes in to take over will know where things have been left off.

If they do not do this, or if they do not respond to SH questions/requests for clarification prior to the deadline such that the SHs can incorporate those actions, it is assumed their character only completes the minimum activity expected for that role, and does not do anything with significant political impacts. Players will not be able to 'undo' or submit late actions.

It is the responsibility of the player to know what is required for their character to keep its political rank and do the work in order to gain and maintain those requirements. If a player is unclear on the requirements for the maintenance, they need to notify Setting quickly so the wiki can be updated to ensure it is understandable and be able to clarify it for the player. Once a PC is in a rank Setting will contact the player to make sure they do wish to pursue this kind of play and that they understand there is a certain level of work involved.

Once a year players should expect the political audit as outlined above. Players should make sure they have all their requirements completed before the audit and also may use the audit to bring up questions or concerns about the political play. They may also be asked for feedback in that nature as well to try and see what can be improved or handled better in the future.

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Guidelines for determining political ranks that can be filled by player characters

Theses are the guidelines that Setting uses when looking at which political ranks are eligible to be filled by player characters.

Political ranks are a classification of rank that tend to have larger impacts upon the setting and if mishandle could prove quite harmful.

    Ranks that are associated with elected positions, advisors, generals, and counsels that determine the direction of an organization or population. Leaders of any organization are automatically political positions. This includes elected officials, leaders and higher ranks of guilds, and highest ranking military officers.

Ranks that are classified as political ranks will be noted in the wiki.


There are a couple of things that complicate things if a PC were allowed to obtain certain ranks that Setting must consider:

    First and foremost player consent is required for actions regarding a PC. Meaning if the player does not agree to participate in certain rp and actions then they can not be forced to.

    This is a problem for some positions require certain rp or actions to take place in order to keep the story of the setting moving. If a player refuses to rp out these actions, it could have a drastic impact on the setting and upset the balance in regards to other players. This also applies to the 'quest giver' role these ranks tend to have, and if a player refuses to help create 'quests' in the content, then other player needs are not being met.

    Only a player can control their PC, no one else can.

    Back to the 'quest giver' role some of these positions have, SH's need access to these character in those roles to prompt the stories that lead to sessions. These positions are the source of plots. When a PC is in that role, SHs do not have access to it. This can further complicate things if the player of the PC can not always be around to play out the RP scenes other players need, even more so if they just refuses to play with other players. While Setting can null rp scenes or remove characters which have violated the rules, they can not take control of a PC and force things to happen. The only way Setting can control the PC is if the player consents to have the PC turned into a NPC. This way the player relinquishes control of the character to Setting, and no longer has authority over it, and further interactions with the character follows the standard NPC rules.

    Players are also not required to inform anyone of their PC's goals and motivations, they are also not required to stick with the same goals and motivations.

    Setting needs to know the goals and motivations of those in the position so they can keep the SH's informed in order to help drive and inspire plots and changes within the setting. In addition Setting needs to know and state what can be done to influence the NPC in order to achieve their goals, or possibly change them. Motivations are crucial as this is where many plots come from. In addition SH's need to know these in order to further play out plots when organizations have differentiating goals and motivations and why their leadership is driving them in those directions. If a PC were to be in these roles, then the goals and motivations could constantly change, or go unknown. This leaves a single player with the power to drive plots which could have drastic impacts on the setting and thus potentially override the needs of other players. This would also complicate things as then story arcs will become inconsistent and potentially damage the setting.


Some of these ranks are a setting fixture. A setting fixture can be defined as something that is core to the setting, often something that is not intended to be beatable, it is part of the very foundation of the setting. Setting fixtures tend to rarely change. To change a setting fixture is a massive process and if they do they have to be replaced with another setting fixture. In some cases what makes some of these ranks a fixture is not even related to a character, but the very nature of the rank itself and just how much impact is has on the setting. Setting needs to be able to help direct any setting fixture changes, as this is part of maintaining the setting direction. Much of the change would be reflected in sessions, which is where the players will be able to exercise their influence.

These ranks often contribute to the direction the story of the setting is going. Therefore there must be an opportunity for all players to have a chance to exercise their influence as they see fit. If some players do not like the new direction, they should be afforded the chance to try to counter it. While others that support it have the chance to counter those trying to stop it. This means those ranks need to have a chance to be influenced. So any rank a PC may hold should have NPCs in the same rank that could potentially act as a direct counterbalance that can be used when the story plays out.

If there is only one seat of the rank then it will always be filled by a NPC. Due to the impact these ranks have Setting must be able to retain control as needed and keeps with organization rules of having a NPC in a position of authority to keep the organization active in play.

Currently this means the only ranks that will truly be out of reach of a PC is one of the absolute highest authority (ie Queen, Emperor, President, etc). However PCs will have a chance to earn ranks which will allow them more direct influence over the highest authority in their play and a chance to drive more setting impacting plots that they would otherwise be unable to.

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Pinnacle

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Pinnacle is a relatively small station that could house roughly 50,000 physical persons but it largely built around the housing and upkeep of massive server banks which house millions of digital persons - the former residents and citizens of Mecha City. Claiming "we need to evolve," the Mecha King designed and launched the new space station into high orbit, a sizable distance from the planet with a slightly exaggerated day/night cycle.

While designed primarily around the server room and associated backup and communication equipment, the station is capable of housing physical persons and is home to a number of robotic chassis usable by any of the digital citizens and used for physical and diplomatic interactions with neighboring stations.
Pinnacle follows on Mecha City's general policy of isolationism, protecting its citizens and its sovereignty first and foremost with no apparent expansionist ambitions. They are loosely allied with the Treatise Body after the TB sent agents to defend Mecha City in its hour of need, but with a pragmatic ruler, Pinnacle only treats such alliances with so much reverence now that they are able to defend themselves independently again.

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Guidelines for Using Major NPCs

Every A/SH has the option of creating and submitting their own NPCs for use, and Setting oversight neatly applies to handle concerns over power creep and the like. Most NPCs are tied to a given saga or a minor location, and may only be in ready use for a short time or with a small subset of players.

But in each setting, there are a handful of major NPCs who are more global and established - the pillars of the common areas of play whom everyone knows IC and OOC and who often serve to anchor the setting to some degree.

Examples would be the Empress of Shi Inkahan, the High Druid of the Ramsalon Forest the administration for Station Prime or the president of the Dalhan people. All are fixtures in the setting larger and more permanent than NPCs for a given saga or minor locale.

So it’s only natural that many A/SHs might feel nervous about incorporating them into sessions, sagas or scenes where they may rightly be, simply because of the worry that you might RP them ‘incorrectly’ and cause friction with the players at large.

First, let’s talk brass tacks.

Major NPC Details

Stats and Skills
Major NPCs, just like any NPC, need to be submitted and approved. Many major NPCs will likely require Setting oversight sheerly due to their importance, if not also for having especially high mights.

The Stats and skills for major NPCs follow the same rules as characters without the starting-character limitations. Whatever those stats and skills are set to, they should remain consistent and should not be tinkered with unnecessarily. Changes to an NPC automatically notify the SH corps, so anything that seems egregious will be subject to oversight as usual.

Adding new skills or clarifying old ones is much more agreeable than shifting stats around rapidly or removing abilities previously showcased in RP.

Description
Much like with the numbers, Descriptions for most major NPCs should be kept consistent. It’s better to add a new Description for a different outfit or IC change than to edit and overwrite what was originally there.

Personality
For most PCs, the Background field is paramount - for major NPCs, it’s often the Personality field that’s most important. This should give you most of the guidelines you need to roleplay the NPC reacting to the situations and characters in the scene/session/saga they’re involved in.

If you ever have questions about the personality of the NPC, or if the field is sparse or incomplete, contact Setting for help filling in the details consistent with past RP.

Goals
The Goals field should show you motivations for the NPC, which again helps for consistent interactions. Between personality and goals, you know what they want and what approach they’re likely to try and take to get it.

Goals are subject to change, although unlike PCs, most NPC goals should be fairly stable and decipherable so that they can serve as the anchors in a setting rather than the catalysts - that job falls to the PCs.

Major NPC Do’s and Don’ts

In addition to the rules on the sheet, there are a handful of larger considerations to take into account when playing a major NPC.

When RPing a major NPC, do…

  • add a summary of major saga involvements to the NPC’s Background field
  • check in with Setting before involving them directly in a saga as a participant (rather than simply as a ‘quest giver’ or information node)
  • check in with Setting when anything about the NPC’s sheet or details are unclear
  • check in with Setting before updating the Goals or Personality fields
  • add additional skills where needed, provided they follow the same rules as PC skills
  • add additional items where needed, provided they follow the same rules as PC items

When RPing a major NPC, don’t…

  • allow a major NPC to steal the scene from the PCs - it’s their show
  • add major items or effects into the SH Notes. Use the Item creation system instead so that proper oversight can be given
  • add reference to secret or unknown quantities to the NPC’s sheet or their RP that are not clarified on the sheet. If you bring up a secret or mystery about an NPC in play, you must commit it to the sheet as soon as the session is over and notify Setting for approval
  • promise personal favors that aren’t specifically within Session Reward Guidelines (like reputation boosts or silver rewards)
  • engage in romantic entanglements with PCs (harmless flirting is okay)
  • involve the NPC directly in minor happenings, where possible. Instead, create a proxy - an aide, a vassal, etc. - to be their agent in smaller affairs.
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Enhancement and Conditions Submission Guidelines

Enhancements and Conditions

Enhancements and conditions are things that can be layered upon a species, a kind of addition. Technically conditions can be considered a kind of enhancement, but they are listed separately as they require additional guidelines and tend to be much more in depth in how it can affect the play of a character.


Enhancements

Things like super serums, prosthetics, cybernetics, surgical altercations are examples of enhancements that could be found in Sirian. While magical Tattoos alchemical serums, clock work armor, are examples of types that could be found in Vaxia. This is not an exhaustive list, but something to help get an idea on what we mean when we talk about enhancements.

In essence enhancements are non-contagious and can have many different origins, and basically just add something. These will take form in the game two ways: Flavor or Items. Flavor is an enhancement that is no more then an IC reason to have a certain spread of Stats or even a certain look to the character. It doesn't provide any kind of perk or drawback other than being there. If the enhancement is intend to do more then it will need to be an item that gives a bonus.

The only thing that limits enhancements from a Setting point of view is if it would fit within a setting. Other than that enhancements follow the same rules as any other item when providing a bonus - purchased or crafted.

See Also: Calculating Item Worth http://vaxia.org/wiki/crafting-rules


Conditions are additional aspects to a character that can be layered on top of your species. These are basically more involved and in depth types of enhancements and require more information when creating a new one.

Some conditions may only require additional player training to make sure they understand what it is they may be getting into, or to ensure that a player can handle a character with that condition and not play the character in a potentially offensive or harmful way.

http://vaxia.org/wiki/setting-approval-conditions

Condition Submission Guidelines

Conditions will be reviewed by both the System and Setting Department Some conditions come with difficulties on how to resist/purge it before it takes hold, and also may come with additional skills that get added once the Condition takes hold. Therefore System needs to overlook such aspects to make sure they are inline with the game mechanics, while Setting looks at the aspects to make sure the Condition fits with the theme/tone/mood of the setting and is appropriate. Social may also be asked to review a Condition to make sure that there is no violating any of the Code of Conduct and to be prepared to help train players if the Condition is allowed into play.

When design a condition the following information is needed:

Mechanics and logistics on how the Condition is spread or contracted

  • Is it contagious or not
  • How to resist it or chance of infection or onset
  • Difficulties to resist it
  • Amount of time given before the condition Sets in
Not all conditions may be contagious and there may be a specific set up in order to give someone a condition. From there it is about the mechanics of how the condition is introduced and basically its incubation period if any. Also a brief description for the player on what to expect during this part of the condition to help guide their play

What the Condition does to a person

  • What changes
    • mechanics for play
    • What should a player expect in play if their character gets the condition
  • Temporary or permanent
      If temporary then how long, if there are any additional mechanics for resisting or removing the condition sooner or anything that may prolong the condition.
Once a condition takes hold in a character the player needs to know how it will change their character. Some conditions may come with a skill (this will start at 0), some may potentially take a character out of play in some scenes (ie sunlight for vamps), or change their appearance, etc. There is a lot a condition may do so it is very important to be as clear as possible on what happens and and mechanics involving it.
It is also entirely possible to have a condition that is not permanent, much like a disease or sickness - but a player still needs to know what to expect during that time for their play.

If and how the Condition can be cured (if not open knowledge this still needs to be known and recorded with Setting at the time) - Not applicable to all conditions, only needed for those that act like diseases/infections.
  • Relevant mechanics and difficulties
  • Is there any risks to the cure

How the Condition is going to be introduced into play
When introducing something new into a setting there must be a plan of action to ensure the players are prepared - especially if it is something that can drastically affect their play and adds in a new facet of play that they have to adjust to. This is -extremely- important as we want people prepared for a new facet of play and be able to voice their concerns and adjust appropriately.

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Spirits and Elementals Stats Guide

Sample Companions

Elemental Construct
LIF 10
END 20
STR 20
DEX 20
INT 0
SPI 40
CHA 0
Elemental Magic 40 - The ability to conjure, throw, and shield itself using its element

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Spirit Warrior
LIF 20
END 20
DEX 35
STR 25
INT 5
SPI 5
CHA 0

Unarmed Combat 40 - Use of its natural limbs in combat

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Spirit Spy
LIF 20
END 5
DEX 35
STR 10
INT 25
SPI 15
CHA 0

Enhanced senses 40 - Heightened vision and hearing

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Spirit Animal
(Use relevant animal stats)

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Mechanical Drones

Sample Companions

Combat Drone
LIF 20
END 30
STR 15
DEX 35
INT 10
SPI 0
CHA 0

Pistol Use 40 - Using a mounted pistol in combat
[Pistol sold separately :) ]

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Scout Drone
LIF 15
END 10
STR 5
DEX 35
INT 25
SPI 0
CHA 0

Stealth 35 - Avoiding notice through mundane means, using natural shadows or cover to help avoid detection

Comm Shielding 25 - Defense against disruption of its communication relays to ensure clear signal even under bad conditions. Ruled as a Tech skill.

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Surveillance Drone
LIF 15
END 15
STR 5
DEX 10
INT 40
SPI 0
CHA 0

Sensor Shielding 25 - Defense against disruption of its sensory functions to ensure clear signal even under bad conditions. Ruled as a Tech skill.

Enhanced Detection 40 - Increased awareness of motion and unusual heat signatures within range of its sensors.

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Mining Drone
LIF 20
END 20
STR 40
DEX 30
INT 0
SPI 0
CHA 0

Clubbing 40 - Using powerful arms and piston drills to either pulverize rock or, say, the drone pilot's enemies.

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Large Land Animals Stats Guide

Sample Companions

Bear
LIF 30
END 30
STR 20
DEX 15
INT 10
SPI 5
CHA 0

Unarmed Combat 40 - Use of teeth and claws in combat

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Race Horse
LIF 20
END 20
STR 30
DEX 35
INT 5
SPI 0
CHA 0

Racing 40 - Agile movement through crowded or rough terrain, avoiding obstacles to maintain speed

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War Horse (Fighter)
LIF 25
END 20
STR 35
DEX 25
INT 5
SPI 0
CHA 0

Hoof and Kick 40 - Use of its natural limbs in combat
[Barding to improve END recommended, as an item]

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War Horse (Defender)
LIF 30
END 30
STR 25
DEX 25
INT 5
SPI 15
CHA 0

Stability 20 - Strength of will, both to avoid getting spooked or distracted in combat and to fight past where most would fall unconscious
[Barding to improve END recommended, as an item]

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Bison/Buffalo
LIF 30
END 30
STR 25
DEX 10
INT 5
SPI 0
CHA 0

Tough (30) - Bison have extremely tough skin and can take quite a bit of punishment, absorbing damage and weathering the elements

Charge (20) - Bison are conditioned to charge straight at their foes. They will hunker down and blast through anything to get to their target. (Treated as unarmed combat)

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Small Land Animals Stats Guide

Sample Companions

Wolf
LIF 20
END 20
DEX 35
STR 25
INT 5
SPI 5
CHA 0

Unarmed Combat 40 - Use of teeth and claws in combat

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Fox
LIF 15
END 15
STR 15
DEX 30
INT 5
SPI 5
CHA 0

Unarmed combat 35 - Fighting using teeth and claws

Animal senses 30 - Sensing dangers based on loud noises or scents

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Dog
LIF 20
END 25
DEX 20
STR 20
INT 5
SPI 0
CHA 10

Tooth and Nail: (25) - Use of teeth and claws in combat.

Canine Senses: (25) - Possession of acute hearing and smell.

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Cat
LIF 20
END 10
DEX 20
STR 5
INT 5
SPI 10
CHA 0

Tooth and Nail: (20) - Cats have sharp claws and teeth, making them ferocious for their size.

Natural Athlete: (20) - Cats are adept at climbing, balancing and sprinting.

Supernatural Senses: (20) - Cats are sometimes strangely in tune with the unseen and able to detect spirits and magic, acting strange in their presence.

Lil' Predator: (20) - Cats can see well in the dark and are adept at detecting the motions and smells of creatures

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Rat swarm
LIF 40
END 5
STR 5
DEX 40
INT 20
SPI 0
CHA 0

Stealth 40 - The ability to move about unnoticed through deft and careful movements
[A swarm acts collectively, so if the rats split up to do more than one thing at a time, it counts as Multiple Actions as normal]

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Squirrel/Chipmunk
LIF 15
END 10
STR 5
DEX 30
INT 10
SPI 0
CHA 5

Sneaking through the Shadows (30) - The chipmunk/squirrel is able to climb and sneak around in order to remain unseen by most eyes. Due to it's small size it is adept at hiding. As normal tree climbing creatures can, it is good at climbing and jumping in order to reach it's destination.

Chitter Chitter (30) - Due to it's time spent with it's owner, it has a basic (minimal) understanding of common speech. It is able to listen to conversations and return to the player, where through a series of short clicks it can attempt to explain what it has heard.

Chomp (15) - If scared or attacked the chipmunk/squirrel is able to defend itself with a sharp bite from its tiny pointy teeth.

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Monkey
LIF 15
END 15
STR 10
DEX 30
INT 15
SPI 0
CHA 5

Thief! (20) - Monkeys tend to have 'sticky fingers,' they can steal small items without being caught

Agile (20) - Monkeys are agile creatures, they move jump and climb with skill

Throwing (20) - Monkeys are competent at throwing small objects in and out of combat

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Snake
LIF 20
END 15
STR 25
DEX 20
INT 0
SPI 0
CHA 0

Strike (30) - The snake is adept at using its fangs in combat or slithering out of the way of a strike to keep itself from harm.

Venom (20) - The snake's venom can damage, slow or weaken its opponents. The difficulty to resist the poison is the same as the points in this skill (20). A snake can choose to inflict venom on any opponent it successfully bites, dealing 3 LIF, DEX or STR damage for 3 rounds unless resisted. The snake must choose one and only one effect of the poison per application (damage, slow, weaken) - additional effects require additional bites.

Slither (20) - The snake's form means it can work its way through small openings. They are also skilled climbers.

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