Lost VSS

Domain Name: Virtual Online
Venue: Changeling the Lost
VST Name and Email: April Douglas, vst.pr.lost@virtual.mindseyesociety.org
All emails should CC the staff group –mes-virtual-lost-staff@googlegroups.com
When and Where games are held: Online/virtual domain

Physical 2, Mental 4, Social 4

Freehold Structure: Seasonal.

THE GOLDEN RULE: If you have a PC on this VSS or are proxying to this VSS it is presumed you have read and understand this VSS in its entirety. All players will be treated as if they have done so, even if they have not.

THE GOLDEN RULE, PART DEUX: Never presume the VST knows what you are talking about or what mechanics you are referencing. Always explain things in detail, though be mindful: be concise and to the point!

Styles of Play :
Action (Combat/Challenges): 6 – Plot based combat likely to be infrequent, player character interactions may lead to combat and will neither be encouraged nor discouraged.  Action-Adventure is likely to happen on a regular basis.

Character Development (Personal Dilemmas/Choices): 9 – Even simple choices can have wide-ranging consequences. Making no choice is also a choice. Key player character concepts should determine how choices are handled and give rise to complex interactions.

Darkness (PC Death/Corruption): 7 – Plot driven PC death will be infrequent, but again based on choices made by player characters in the course of achieving goals in play. Corruption can be defined as moving the character away from the core concept/nature and will have frequent play in the story arcs.

Drama (Ceremony/Grand story): 6 – Player characters are part of a freehold with traditions and rituals that should be observed; stories can be painted with varying brushes depending upon the desire of the individual players.

Intrigue (Politics/Negotiation): 6 – Although politics and negotiation will have a place in this game, it will most likely be secondary to more action-based situations.

Mystery (Enigmas/Investigation): 8 – There are multiple mysteries surrounding the Lost, the area, and the hedge. Puerto Rico is the southern end of the Bermuda Triangle, after all. Enough said.

Gameplay taking place in the Real World: 5 – About half the game will be set in real world locales and involve mundane situations and people.

Gameplay taking place in the Hedge: 5 – The Goblin Market is a regular affair, and many answers will require hunting in the hedge for clues and help; about half the game will be set in the Hedge or Market.

Gameplay taking place in Dreams: 5 – Dreamplay is an important aspect of being a Changeling, and will begin to have more of a significant impact on the game. I intend to encourage dream based capabilities and plots.

Theme/Mood: The Theme of changes and growth is mirrored in the real world and in the Hedge, with PCs needing to acquire information, make choices with real consequences, and work toward common goals. Mood is hopeful, but with overtones of frustration and paranoia at interference and the threat of Fae forces plotting recapture and takeover. Outside forces of pirates/privateers/hobs and mortals can and will cross paths with Lost during the course of games. Denizens of the Hedge, and forces of nature are things that must be taken into account given the geographical location of the venue.

Description of Venue: Just at the point where each Lost feels they have achieved a monumental freedom from their Durance, they realize another truth: They are only free as long as they continue to fight to be free. One of the darkest and deepest fears of any Lost is that they will one day meet their Keeper again, that minions from the Hedge will be sent to retrieve them – to destroy their hard work, and their freedom. At the same time, they have the ability to enter the Hedge, interact with other creatures, including Hobs and visit Markets and other landmarks. How they balance their needs and desires with their fears and dangers is a large part of the mood and setting of the game. Every choice has a consequence – or two, or a dozen. Every Lost affects every other Lost in ways they may not even realize.

The Basic History of Puerto Rico Lost

Aguadilla – Stronghold of the Lost

Throughout the history of Puerto Rico, agriculture and the slave trade have had major importance. Slaves and later immigrants were brought from Africa, Asia and Europe, as well as the native population of Taino Indians, and an influx of refugees from Cuba. At the present time, most of the population of Puerto Rico is some mix of all of these. And the country is 85% Catholic, although it admits to 8% protestant and 3% “other”.

Not all the “Catholics” follow only traditional Catholicism. Many take part in imported African and Caribbean religions and blends of traditions.

It’s not recorded when the first Lost arrived in Puerto Rico. Partly this is due to the traditional oral storytelling tradition of the Taino, and partly because literacy was late blooming in the area. As emphasis on trade and history and politics made education necessary for more and more people, there began to be a history. It is written as a story in multiple viewpoints, and kept in the library.

What is known is that the Lost set out to find a place of their own, one that soothed their souls, provided peace and beauty, and a sense of security. They found it at Aguadilla.

In 1775, Luis de Cordova began a city in the very Northwest corner of Puerto Rico. Today a few hours drive from San Juan, in the beginning it was best reached by ship. It sits above the beautiful beaches of the Rincon and Mayaguez, protected on the interior by a mountain range. Once an agricultural plantation center, it is still home to some agriculture and some light industry. It is mostly home to beautiful beaches, a historic city welcoming to tourists without all the bustle of the densely packed cities like San Juan. The old Ramey Air Force Base is now the Rafael Hernandez airport, allowing easy access avoiding the Eastern part of the Island altogether.

There are a few other interesting – and Lost friendly items of note. First, the weather cycles through suitable Spring and Summer at beach level, with Fall and even Winter in the nearby mountains. Interestingly, Aguadilla – known as Town of the Sharks and also the New Garden of the Atlantic – houses the ONLY ice skating rink in the Caribbean! Some winter had a hand in that!

The town being over 200 years old, it has quaint streets, many public plazas and gardens. It is home to an art colony. Many well-known and beloved Puerto Rican writers, musicians and scientists are known to have come from the area. The beaches are known for clear water, great surfing and boating. There is also a modern aquatic theme park. The Merendero has an iconic view of the bay and Desecheo islet. Lastly, there is the Punta Borinquen Lighthouse, which is a historic landmark.

The town’s name was originally La Villa del Ojo de Agua (village of the eye of water). The “eye” is still there – it is an underground fresh water source that allowed the village to survive during the many battles, embargos and blockades of the area during Spanish (and other) occupation.

Currently, there appears to be little for the Lost to fear in this area. There is a history of occasional predation by privateers, a history of pirate contact, and occasionally even modern pirates can be an issue. Many of the Lost connect with the art colony, local businesses or tourist industries. So much for the mundane side of life.

The Hedge and the Mist
The Hedge is – as you might expect – a little wilder here than in more civilized climes. The mountainous areas teem with treasures and fruits, and also with wild creatures and desperate Lost, Loyalists and Fae. The local goblin market has shifted to be near a Trod in the Hedge, and is only recently been built. In contrast to the new, glitzy marina and beach club further north, the old marina looks a bit weathered and beaten, but stands. It is sometimes used by fishermen, but has a bad reputation for people going missing and their bodies not being found. The water side of the hedge is wrapped in mist, and has a reputation of fuddling the senses of Lost and mortal alike at times. The marina area is owned by a private holder, and guarded – if you can call it that – by a lone watchman who drinks and does crossword puzzles. His only real job is to be sure no one docks boats along the wharf that don’t belong there, and to keep significant human presence out of the area.

Current Nights:
In the first year of the Chronicle, the Lost have already faced a great deal.

Aguadilla:

  1. The beaches were swarming with scientists for about 3 months when a previously unknown species of predatory fish – one with really big teeth – washed up on the beach. The photographs made the papers, but scientists couldn’t decide if it really was a new species. The fish was parceled out to different scientific teams to study. Where the fish was on the beach, interestingly enough, there is still a depression where the waves do not level the sand.
  2. Four surfers enjoying a holiday and warm water were chased from the ocean by what was described as a “gang” of sharks. The black-tipped reef sharks were only about 6’ long, but counts ranged from 9 to 20 of them, apparently acting in concert to herd the four young men out of the water. One of the young men says they did it on purpose, the others thought it was some kind of feeding frenzy. The papers made a big deal of it for a short while, but the incident was not repeated, and it died down.
  3. (June 1 opening) Current court position is held by Salima Diaz, a Summer swimmerskin who owns a beachside bar and boathouse.
  4. September, 2013 – After a series of odd incidents, the local Lost gathered and, in an attempt to settle the hectic and beleaguered Wyrd, settled on a new Court Structure, levying the Freehold into following the Winds as opposed to the Seasons.
  5. December, 2013 – Salima Diaz reappears, stripped of Clarity and rambling about the Others
  6. April, 2014 – Supernaturals from various different groups meet in the deep jungle to sign an ancient pact.
  7. June, 2014 – The Architect, a True Fae, finds his way to Aguadilla in search of new experiments.  The Lost defeat him without any loss of life.
  8. July, 2014 – A Gloom Drake, hunting the Swiftheart, finds its way to Puerto Rico.  The Lost defeat the creature through a combination of wits and sheer physical tenacity.

Game XP Awards: Base award for hard RP games is 6 points.  Base award for soft RP games is 3 points.  Downtimes (including soft RP logs that further story/plot) can be turned in for an additional 2-4 points per downtime action, with a maximum of 10 XP per month.

Character Creation:

A character sheet must be complete to be attached to this VSS. A complete sheet requires a detailed history or at least very detailed timeline and bullet notes consisting of: Events before being taken, circumstances of capture, the keeper, durance, fetch, escape, and immediate history after, a full sheet of stats, information on all pledges (Exact Wording, Stat breakdown, when it was sworn, and other participants), Approvals for all items upon your sheet, and most importantly, must mostly reside in the domain for their existence. Traveling outside of the domain on business or pleasure is acceptable, but the character must spend the majority of his time in the domain borders.

Character sheets should also be balanced. Characters with clear min-maxing will be brought into question, and have a limited amount of time to re-write their sheets before a penalty is levied. Appropriate concepts for the venue will also be taken into consideration. With a limited storytelling staff, it is not practical to jeopardize one storyteller to play for one person. As such, characters must have reasonable ties to the freehold to be attached to this VSS.

While loner concepts work as the protagonist of a book or film, LARP is not the sort of venue where you have a star, a co-star or two, and a host of supporting characters. LARP is, above all, ensemble cast story telling. All characters in the story are equally important. In order to fully participate in the telling of an ensemble-cast story, your character should have at least some measure of interest in others, and at least one long-term goal that requires reliance on or cooperation with others Characters found to be lacking in any regard will have a limited amount of time to work with the storytellers to change their concept, or risk being de-sanctioned or removed from the VSS.

Character Restrictions: Due to the prolific nature or outright power, the following Seemings, Kiths, Courts, and Entitlements will be severely looked at. Note that I will not out of hand deny something just based on concept choices, but such sheets will receive large amounts of scrutiny.

  • Seemings: Fairest
  • Kiths: Coyote (Beast), Di-cang (Elemental), Draconic (Fairest), Shadowsoul (Fairest)
  • Courts: None at this timeEntitlements: Lord Sages of the Unknown Reaches, The Lost Pantheon, The Charmed Circle, Pilgrims of the Endless Road

Storytelling Mechanics
“Take 6” – There are a lot of times a pull is called for, but it isn’t always something an ST needs to be present for. For any effect that needs a pull, is being done in a consensual scene, and does not require direct ST oversight players may presume they have drawn a 6.

“Take 6” can NEVER be used for Morality pulls. All Morality pulls must be made and logged by the STs. If they are not made/logged by the STs they are not considered to have happened and the ST Staff reserves the right to reset the PCs Morality as appropriate (which includes adding any appropriate derangements).

Fate –  Using Fate per chapter two of Dancers in the Dusk is sanctioned for use in this VSS.

Starting Glamour –  If a monthly Downtime action is dedicated to harvesting glamour, characters will begin Hard RP games with full glamour minus any precast contracts.  These downtime actions must be filed before the start of game.  Additional minuses will be applied at ST discretion.

Visiting Characters from out of town will begin at full glamour minus any precast contracts.  If Characters that are not on the VSS are in Aguadilla for more than 1 week, they will need to either spend a downtime action or draw for glamour.

If a character does not meet one of the two above, they will enter play with a number of glamour equal to a card pull+highest harvest. Each additional two dots of other harvest merits will add an additional +1 to this draw. Example: Charlie Changeling has Harvest (Emotions 3), Harvest (Hedge Bounty) 2, and Harvest (Dreams) 1. He would pull a card and add 4 to his draw.

If necessary, additional Glamour can be harvested prior to the start of game.  Players must PM the ST describing how their character is harvesting glamour, and what emotion they are attempting to harvest.  Please remember that emotions that fall in line with your court will net you twice the glamour.  Once an ST has approved your harvesting attempt, you will be given the appropriate roll.  Each roll will equate to 15 minutes out of game time.

Harvesting and Preserving Goblin Fruit
Goblin Fruit hunting is common among Lost. Every foray into the hedge to gather Goblin Fruit will require 1 downtime action. When sending in your downtime action, please include your Wits+Survival. Alternate rolls may be allowed per ST discretion. Please also include any additional bonuses to your roll – Goblin Fruit and Workshop (Goblin Fruit) are both good examples.

Successes made on the harvest roll can be used to purchase Goblin Fruit. Common fruit will be 1 success each, uncommon fruit will be 2 successes each, and rare fruit will be 4 successes each. This will change based on the season and IC actions. Chart will be published online.

Every month as part of a character’s free actions, they may take 1 Goblin Fruit, at ST discretion. This must be noted in downtimes and approved by the ST. Goblin Fruit awarded in this manner will be common fruit, as found on the above chart.

Goblin Fruit will spoil within 3 days. Characters can take minor steps to preserve picked fruit to ensure that a number of fruit equal to their Wyrd will stay good for an additional week (to a total of 10 days.) Preserving fruit for longer than 1 week will take 1 downtime action.

To dry a fruit while retaining its power, it will be Intelligence+Survival+Equipment. To preserve the fruit through cooking (jam or pickling), Intelligence+Crafts+Equipment.

A Lost can only preserve a number of fruit equal to their Wyrdx3 per month. For each success achieved on a single (NOT extended) roll, each fruit will have one month of preservation. Fruit can only be preserved once. If a character specifically wants Fruit for a game, a downtime action must still be filed, and it will be assumed that the character harvests the fruit in the days immediately preceding the event.

Please note any preserved Goblin Fruit on your sheet, with the date it was preserved and the date it will expire.

Proxy or Game Attendance – The difference between Proxy vs. Game Attendance has been a problem for some players to understand when it relates to the National Online Games (formerly Four Winds). Proxying a character to a game is to give up control of their character for a Storyteller to control; attending games is when a player is in control of their own character.

Visitor Proxy – Please refer to section VII.F in the MES Universal Addendum for policies regarding Proxy Play. There is no “Soft Proxy” (a proxy that would not require a character sheet or instructions) within the National Online Lost Venue.

Unless otherwise specified, a character that is in proxy to the National Online Lost Venue may not be portrayed via any other medium until they have officially been released from the proxy. This includes IRC, email, instant messengers, live journal (or other online journal) posts, as well as any conventional methods or otherwise.

Attending Games – Attending a National Online Lost Venue Game will require a 24 hour notice to the VST account. This allows the VST an opportunity to review all incoming character sheets/plans and have an opportunity to prepare for the extra players.

At the VST’s discretion, they may permit a PC to play with less than 24 hours notification; however, heavier restrictions may be applied in regards to special approval usage while visiting the venue. The VST reserves the right to deny characters based on inconsistencies on the character sheets. Such denials will be reported to the National Online Mid-ST for tracking purposes within 24 hours of the denial being issued in the event a member wishes to appeal the decision.

Proxy or Game Attendance Format

The following information should be included in all proxies and game attendance notifications:

  1. Character sheet with complete XP/Creation Log, which should include notes about any special approvals, precast spells that will be in effect at game start. Also please include the write up for any spells, merits that may be used that are not found in the Core book.
  2. Details of how your character is travelling to Puerto Rico, including any merits, spells and/or skills that would aid in your travel.
  3. What are your character’s intentions during your visit to PR?
  4. Who is travelling with you?
  5. Is anyone aware of your intent to visit PR?
  6. An agreement to the following statement: “I have read and understand the Venue Style Sheet for the National Online Lost Game. I also understand that my visit or proxy to this venue may be terminated at any time, and that I will be contacted for additional information if required.”

For Proxies only, please include the following additional information:

  1. Brief description of your character’s actions/behavior. Include notes on any specific quirks that your character has, including any flaws or derangement’s that would cause this behavior.
  2. Detailed combat write-up. (While combat may not be intended, it is something to be expected in the World of Darkness) Please include information on when and how your character would flee from a combat situation, information about any skills, merits, etc. that would aid this, as well as information about any characters that you would go out of your way to protect or do harm to.

For VSS members who are attending other live games, you need to e-mail your VST that you are attending a live game and give the location of the game. Character sheets for normal game attendance should be sent to the VST account with the above information.

No Perma-proxy, defined as a proxy that extends more than fourteen days or is otherwise indicative of an attempt to establish a semi-permanent base of operations within the area, are allowed into or out of this venue. After a period of two weeks, the proxy *MUST* be updated or else is considered to be concluded. Exceptions will be reviewed on a case by case basis with the Venue Storyteller.

Travel Risks: On the one hand, the massive flow of tourists into and out of the area offers a great deal of cover for visitors who aren’t just in town for the sunbathing. On the other, tourism has a large impact on the area, and as a result, visitors that draw attention to themselves or that stand out receive a greater share of attention than they would in a typical town. Travel, as in most area, is best accomplished by careful preparation. Remember, Spanish continues to be by far the most widely spoken and written language by the Puerto Rican people at large, and the vast majority of Puerto Ricans do not use English regularly other than some loaned English words during their ordinary Spanish-language speech. Finally, specific threats will fluctuate depending upon a variety of factors, and while the VST will have final say on the degree of danger during any particular trip, it can nearly always be assumed that the risk will be minor, unless the character is a particularly naive individual.

All methods of travel into and out of the domain have greatly increased scrutiny in place, which may cause some travelers additional difficulty, in accordance with Venue plot. While this is not, by itself, a lethal condition, poorly handled interaction will be met with dire consequences and as such all travel arrangements should be made with care. Characters utilizing alternate identities without the appropriate merits to reflect the documentation will find these identities compromised.

A notable exception to the travel rules will be made for National Online Game members who are physically traveling to Regional or National events. Under such circumstances, these members’ characters will have reduced chances of hazards to reflect the fact that they can typically attend only one or two games per year in person. The National Online Game Storyteller Staff does not want to impose a high risk of character death for an event that they may have spent a great deal of money to attend. This exception only covers the National Online Game part of the journey – the other side of your destination may present its own problems.

Pregnancies – Any in chronicle pregnancy on an MES Online VSS that is not a higher level of approval (or impossible), is now Mid Approval. This includes pregnancy of an NPC tied to a PC. For the pregnancy to occur, both players must agree, even if the PCs are not aware ICly.

This is not required for pregnancies or childbirth that occurred prior to the chronicle, although if the children are still present, special consideration is required between the player(s) and storytelling staff.

Downtime Actions – Any downtime report submitted must include the following information. STs may require additional information at their discretion, however this will be the minimal required for any actions.

Name
Cam #
PC Name
Any XP Expenditures
Any Resolve/Merit Actions

A member may earn up to an additional 6 XP (up to cap per month) by submitting downtimes or participating in other non-game activities, such as Soft RP, character journals, etc, subject to the ST’s discretion. If a member wishes to earn XP by participating in Soft RP, a copy of the scene must be submitted to the ST or the ST being present in the IRC channel. When submitting a RP Log to the ST Staff, please include a brief synopsis of the scene for quick perusal. Any key comments should be highlighted and timestamps pointed out in this synopsis.

If a Soft RP event is declared at least 5 days in advance on the MES Virtual Lost and MES Virtual OOC email lists, and at least five PCs arrive and role play for at least one hour, the presiding ST may award Game experience for the event, up to 6 exp, at their discretion.