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Roleplaying NewsFor this installment of our newest feature:The GM interview, we have interviewed long time member Kestrel who is well known for his many contributions to the Role Playing discussion board as well as his Role Plays, the latest of which is The Library. Kestrel took time out of his day to give a live interview on the IRC which was as entertaining as it was enlightening. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed getting it.
We really appreciate all the time that the GM's put into these interviews. Want to re-read one of these great interviews? They are all put into this thread for easy locating.
We are actively looking for GM's to interview so if you know of one you'd love to see interviewed please PM their name to
How long have you been Role Playing?
That's been a while. Can't tell you the very first roleplay I was part of, but it started becoming a regular thing April 2008
About how long did your Role play before you started Gming?
Not too long actually. The IC of my first game was posted in September the same year, on rpgateway.
What made you decide to take up the mantle of GM?
Same story as everyone else, really. You got an idea you want to act out and share with other people. That is roughly how every GM starts out, isn't it?
So what do you feel is your most successful RP to date?
That's really something that ain't that easy to just say. I mean, what's successful? What I see as a successful game is an RP in which everyone is enjoying their selves. Now I'm getting a lot of good feedback on the game I'm running now (technically co-GM'ing with a lazy bastard called Rilla) so I think in that sense, the Library so far is a very successful. On the other I've also ran some completely different games.
The Library has a huge focus on action and adventure, exotic settings, giant monsters and superpowers, you name it. Now when we compare it to another game I ran, the Alluring, was a slower-paced RP that relied much more heavily on plot and character choices. People had a lot more power per post and the feel of the game was naturally completely different. There were a lot of detective and drama elements brought in. When we finished the Alluring, I also got some great feedback from the remaining players.
So which is more successful? Can't tell, because measuring how much fun different people have doing different things is pretty much impossible.
So was there a RP you learned the most from as a GM? One that really helped you firm-up your techniques as a GM?
It's more of a process than seperate lessons, honestly. You never stop learning. On the one hand, I could say it's my first RP, because that one died and my second game (Sandcastle, hosted on your very own roleplayerguild) we finished. Although the degree to which my first RP failed is rivalled by, ironically, the sequel to Sandcastle. Ever since my games have been pretty consistent.
On the other hand, most of my experiments (I experiment in my RP's a lot) were performed in the Alluring and to a lesser extent; Brave. By testing different elements and approaches, then gathering the feedback I like to think I learned a lot of things that I'm currently applying to the Library. It would never have been as 'good' if those two hadn't existed.
It’s really something about what you feel is more important. The basics or the more 'advanced' elements. On a site like the guild or gateway, where a ton of games die prematurely, the basics are something that are very uncommon. So anyone mastering these basics is, by our standards, inherently a good GM and being much better won't get you that much more players.
Now, if we take an environment where lots of games survive, it won't matter if I know the basics or not if I put up a game there, I'll need to make sure it's better than other people their games. Or at least covers a niché, so that people want to play it. So which lessons were more important depends on what environment you're in.
Do you plot out your RP's or leave them open ended?
To certain ends. It's good to have a sense of direction, but plotting every step along the way, something I like to call the Shon Harris-approach ( hi Shon,) is something that really doesn't work for me.
See I create games I would join. I wouldn't join a game where my actions were pre-determined. So I tend to stick to having an abstract objective in mind, but try to remain open-minded about how this objective can be reached. It does require the players and GM to strike a bit of a balance, which isn't always easy, but when it does work out; people feel their posts are influencing the course of the RP. That's a philosophy I like to see in other GM's.
You mentioned creating games you would want to play. Do you play in your games, i.e. do you tend to run GM-PC's and take part of the Game or stick with NPC's?
In most games I ran I had GMPC's, but you can easily do without. The tricky thing about GMPC's is that you want to avoid having your GMPC compete with other PC's. That's a bitch, especially for someone like me who likes to play characters that bring a lot of antagonism to the table. So most of the time, if I do use a character they play a more passive role in the RP.
Whether I'm using a character or not depends on if I want to use one. I mean hey, collaboration is good and all but it's my game too! Still. Strictly speaking, if I were to advice someone on what is best to do on a technical level I'd say stick with NPC's.
How do you handle drop-outs and vanishing acts?
Depends if their vanishing act needs to be explained in order for other people to continue the RP. If they don't need to, I tend to ignore it altogether. Otherwise; preferably murder them in the most brutal way possible. A love my co-GM Rilla shares. We have been one-upping each other by murdering drop-out characters. Although I must say he dropped the ball on the latest one. Shame on you, Rilla!
But honestly, pretty much in a way I see fit. If I desperately need the character or like them so much I want to use them as NPC's, I'll do that. Although I also don't mind throwing in a plot twist by killing off an important character. Because hey, having no strict plot leaves you with a ton of freedom! But yeah as I said earlier, most of the time it's ignoring them or making them go out with fireworks.
Well in that vein, what was your favorite PC death as a result?
Well, that one dates back a while. It was in Sandcastle's sequel. Sarzu(m) had told me he wasn't going to continue the game, so I decided to use his character to introduce a new antagonist. As it turned out, his character was pinned down, had a shitload of bugs and birds pushed down his throat that ate him from the inside out. Needless to say I had a stupid grin on my face all the time I was writing it. Thanks, Sarzu!
How selective are you about people joining your RPs? Do you limit the number, do pick based on CS or first come first served?
Honestly depends on the game. As mentioned before I run a good variety of them. Let's pick these things apart. First, numbers.
I used to go by the golden eight player rule, but the thing is, you don't want eight characters in the same place at the same time. You've been in advanced games, I'm sure you know how it is. We have a posting round, we see eight posts, usually at least around thousand words long, but the only real progress is made at the first post every cycle. I don't know about you, but for me that just doesn't work. There is too much information and too little action going on. Nobody pushes the game forward because they'd end up godmoding the others if they did, because they don't have the time to react. This just doesn't work. So instead you want less people at the same place at the same time.
Now you can do this two ways. Either you limit your number of players and work with that. I believe Genkai is a very vocal fan of this. The pro's to this are that you can have everyone interact with each other and form a more coherent group as the game progresses. Another major advantage is that if characters play important roles, they will be able to shine more easily when you have a small number of players.The big downside to this is that... Players drop. A lot. Recruiting for a running game is always harder than for a game you're just starting up. So every replacement you're gonna need will be harder to find. What makes it worse is having to turn down players because you've reached capacity, further limiting your pool of potential RP'rs.
The second way to do this is to just have that big group of players and split them up into small groups. That's what Rilla and I are doing in the Library. You still have the same advantages in terms of progression per post (cycle,) although due to forming different groups per mission, you might lose a few points on the group-feeling of the characters. The major plus to this however is, you are much, much better equipped to play the inevitable numbers-game. Because you have a larger pool of people, a few of them dropping isn't as big a deal because you can reform groups at the next mission anyway. We can also take in new players all the time, just add them to a mission. I mean the optimal number is probably three players per situation, excluding the GM. A fourth really doesn't hurt that much. And if there's multiple people joining, just spread them over the missions.
As for who joins... Most people who apply to my games get in, sometimes with an edit or two. I am very careful with my interest checks; I make sure I know exactly what I'm selling and to who. So I know the type of people that join my games and what they expect. The interest checks work very well too, Brovo even refers to it in his GM-guidelines article.
Also, I don't take twenty interviews only to turn down twelve of them. I really can't politely answer why I don't run those kinds of policies, so I won't.
How do you typically handle trouble players?
You know the funny thing is I never had to kick someone from a game. Decline a character sheet, yeah I did that. I don’t accept things that aren’t up to 'standards,' which usually means game-breaking or out of synch with the world, but I do give people a lot of room to improve it, which sometimes... Ends up with "Hey dude thanks for the interest, but I really don't think we're the kind of RP you're looking for. Sorry about the effort, but I'm going to decline your character sheet. Best of luck finding another game!"
I've not yet had te decline a sheet because of the person submitting their selves was trouble. Which is probably because most people who I dislike on a personal level stay the hell away from me by their own accord and those often are persons that cause trouble and inter-player conflicts.
How do you handle inter-player conflicts?
Haha that’s nasty nasty, nasty question. See the problem is, people only have conflicts at the times I’m sleeping, in school or out. Never when I'm online. So it usually escalates before I even see it.
Either way, I prefer to cut things clean ASAP. Inter-player conflicts you see, are destructive to games. Last conflict we had was about a game-mechanic a player couldn't throw her full support behind, whereas other players defended the mechanic. Now the thing is, this wasn't really something we could resolve by argumenting perspectives; we plain disagreed. Which kinda went downhill.
I ended it with well... A climax, although technically speaking a conflict was no longer going on, I made a post about how I don't want things like certain comments in my games. Then I PM'd both parties seperately, giving it some afterthought and explaining shortly why I did what I did. It was a little over the top, but I wanted the situation to be clear with everyone. As a result nobody left and both parties continued playing without further issue.
Although I do have to give everyone involved credit for that. Usually at least one person leaves because of a conflict, or begins to harbour some kind of grudge. But not here. So in that I believe my players to be great sports.
How do you balance out Character screen time? Do you try to give each player equal time to shine or do you base it on how much they are putting into the RP?
The first thing I make sure of is that a game can continue if someone drops. A lot of people will disagree with this, but if your character is irreplaceable you are a danger to the RP. When we can make sure of that I typically let people fend for their selves. I give everyone opportunities, but I'm not just going to give them the spotlight. I might give a little more or a little less depending on the person, but... People are really gonna have to take it for their selves.
How many opportunities you give people will typically depend on the RP and how they respond to them. If your RP needs to be very character-driven, you are pretty much waiting for someone to take initiative. So you give a lot of opportunities. A more event-based game, you typically don't.
At the same time you have players that are leaders and followers, and followers who want to be leaders. This is pretty much about striking a balance. If a person is too loud, hand their character a little less opportunity or make them work harder for it. If someone is shy, throw them a couple bones. If they react you know they want to give it a shot, if they don't you leave them be.
Never just say “This arc is about you!” because that's asking for trouble. GM's should give opportunities, but never the spotlight itself.
So which do you like better, RPing or GMing?
The issue with that is that everything I don't GM myself dies. There's only a handful longstanding games I've been in that weren't my own. In that sense, I see myself more as an emergency leader, you know? If shit starts falling apart I jump in and take the reins, but I prefer having good leadership I can support. It's... well, easier, therefore more befitting of a way to spend my free time.
So I guess that in that perspective I prefer RP'ing, but honestly I have a lot of fun with GM'ing too and those games are the ones that last and evolve; ultimately making them a better experience. Of the games I didn’t run there's only one that's still going on. Although this one has like 1-2 months interval per post nowadays, we've been at it for years. It's pretty awesome, everyone is so relaxed about it.
What advice would you give to a new GM starting out, tricks, tips etc. Something you wish you had known at the beginning?
Well that's two questions in a way, but I answered Brovo a similar question when he was making his gm article. This would be my advice;
You're going to fail.
I'm not even kidding. GM'ing is like a lot of things in life are; you can read dozens of books about it but you're not gonna get good at it until you get some experience under your belt. People are fickle creatures and there's little room for mistakes while managing them. Or not managing them, for that matter. You're going to need to find your audience and you're going to need to find your style. You're going to experiment, see what does and doesn't work for you. So don't be afraid to fail, but make sure you learn from your mistakes when you do.
As for what I wish I would have known; I learn best by falling flat on my face and standing up again. Realising mistakes and analyzing the things I run into. I think that my ability as a GM would have been hindered greatly if someone had taken me by the hand and taught me things instead of me trying to find my own way. That's pretty much the core of my advice too; find your own style and way. Don't be afraid to experiment but by all means, don't try to be something you're not.
Title: Marvel's New Alliance
GM: Demon Shinobi
Over the past 70 years many things have changed. A New Generation of heroes has emerged. But with new heroes there must also come new villains. Villains who want nothing more than to take over, if not destroy the world. So, the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D.(Strategic Hazard Intervention Espionage Logistics Directorate) has begun picking and choosing the new generation of heroes to form a team against the villains. They may be called different things, but that's all up to the team. Will you Join? Or will you turn against the world?
Okay, now... I think this could be good for anyone who like's making their own characters... I mean... I would allow certain characters who would have a probable reason to still be young enough to fight... You can even pick characters and be like grandchildren and children or whatever. The reason I didn't pick a name for the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is because I thought somebody might wanna be them.
Title: Star Wars The New Republic: Sith Arise
It has been three long and bloody years of warfare. Countless lives have been lost and the casualties on both sides are tremendous. Countless worlds have carried heavy losses, hanging onto survival by threads. Though the Clone Wars are coming to an end. A well planned stragetic move by Chancellor Palpatine has placed the Confedery of Independent systems on the run. Having brought forth a reserve of clones into the war, Seperatist General Grevious is now forced to retreat from Courusant and is followed by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi to the outer rim world of Utapau. Where he hits the final nail into the Separatist coffin, and at the same time opens the door for the emergence of the Galatic Empire.
The 501st Legion lead by Darth Vader is lead into the jedi temple in the midst of the night as Chancellor Palpatine or better known as Darth Sidous sends word throughout the Republic Order 66 has been executed. Jedi Masters to jedi younglings are being murdered on sight. The Republic's greatest symbol of Hope the Jedi Temple now lays in smolder and the smoke can be seen from miles around signaling the End of the Republic. Terrifying screams are sent across the galaxy as the balance in the force is crushed in the most well plan eradication of the jedi. May the force be with those who are witnessing this events unfold, because this cry of pain and agony in the force only stirs the embodiment of a force with unparalleled power...
The the Chancellor has just revealed his true colors. Jedi masters are being executed on spot, jedi knights wanted dead or alive, padawans are to be taken for special "services" to the Empire. The Separatist leaders are wanted dead just as much as jedi masters Those who dare defy the Emperor's will and help or shelter these dangerous criminals face the same punish as them. Though information to their whereabouts will be rewarded handsomely. Order 66 has just begun and you must escape its wrath or encourage it, you choose your destiny. May the force be with you...
Title: Chrono Asylum
Throughout history, man has never been completely satisfied and always desired more and once he reached his limits he found himself in a desperate situation of wanting even more, the endless cycle of gluttony never ending. These limits have always been a hindrance to mankind, mortality, feebleness, guilt, frailness, in hopes to quench the undying thirst for power man finally resorted to methods that would break the laws of nature, God's domain and his own sanity.
This method was the use of Alchemy. Though its origin still vague the wonders it was capable of performing quickly lured all those whose heart had been tainted by ambition and lust for power. Many considered Alchemy to be some form of sorcery, a foolish and naive assumption it was. Alchemy uses one’s own life energy and transmutes it to effect external factors this allows man to break the very limits set by God himself but in the process he ends up corrupting his very soul. One of the very basic rules of Alchemy was that when something is acquired, a compensation is necessary. Alchemy is a curse that drains on the person’s sanity slowly feeding of it until he drowns himself in despair and loses what humanity he possessed. This was later referred to as the ‘insanaddiction effect.’ The realization slowly began to arouse sense among fools and from it came fear. Alchemy an art so addictive that it poisons those who are seduced into using this without knowing restrain and find themselves engulfed by insanity. Due to this Alchemy was soon considered a forbidden art, immediately replaced by Chemistry which respected the laws of Nature and God.
The practice of Alchemy though did not stop and through some way or another, people ended up learning about the forbidden art of Alchemy and disastrous results followed when the insanaddiction effect took its toll. The amount of serial killings increased horrifically and in many hands the level of power had shifted dramatically. Those that knew of the troubling events taking place seemed to be helpless as a mere human was defenseless in comparison to an Alchemist, thus near the fifteenth century a small organization was created in order to counter Alchemy and the curse it sows upon this world. Thus the Alchemy management and restraint Organization (A.M.R.O) was created in order to end the turmoil that Alchemy brought.
A.M.R.O placed several laws on Alchemy restricting its use and those that broke the law were severally dealt with the capital punishment of death. Out of several of the laws one of the most important ones was that Alchemy cannot be used to take the life of another and you cannot sacrifice another’s insanity to aid your own. The use of Alchemy had also been restricted to only level three ‘casts.’ (The term ‘casts’ refers to the use of Alchemy to effect external factors)
To fend of rogue Alchemist A.M.R.O gathered itself an army of Alchemists as humans alone showed themselves to be incompetent to handle monsters that Alchemists were. So the most efficient method they thought was to fight a monster with several of their own monsters. Every Alchemist warrior that joined them was immediately paired with another Alchemist and it became taboo for the two to separate from each other. The reasons for the pairing were crucial, due to the dreaded insanaddiction effect, both alchemists were ordered to share their sanity to halt and lower the curse of insanaddiction. But the most important reason for the pairing was that if one of the partners was to become victim to the curse than the other was to immediately kill him and by doing so spare his sanity.
For over three centuries the A.M.R. O held great influence, so much so that it could indirectly affect the very economy of a state and its decisions. Over time A.M.R.O even managed to excel in technology, creating weapons and machinery that was nearly eighty years advance to that of present time. Perhaps their greatest achievement was the creation of anti-Alchemic weapons due to which their soldiers didn’t have to sacrifice their humanity. But near the beginning of the 20th century problems once again started to rise that posed a threat to the stability of the world and the power that A.M.R.O held. For some reason the Alchemists in the world had begun to increase dramatically and what’s even more surprising is that certain Alchemists had started to rebel against A.M.R.O, having even targeted one of their superiors and killing him in cold blood. Is this just an unorganized feeling of resentment, or could it be much more than that? Now the year is 1910 and only destruction and chaos awaits them.
The Alchemists who are recruited under A.M.R.O are not called Alchemists but have a deeper name, a name whose main purpose is to be the shield against insanity and place a straight jacket over those who threaten the stability of the society. The Alchemists that are the soldiers of A.M.R.O are simply known as the “Asylums” and each possessing a codename that is engraved in their skin which happens to be a roman numerical and their identity as a member of A.M.R.O. While only the top twelve agents of A.M.R.O are given the distinctive title of Chrono Asylums and their roman numerical are only restricted from one to twelve much like that in a clock. They are considered to be the most loyal of all recruits who won’t hesitate a second to kill if ordered. A chrono Asylums are also capable of leading their own private armies and chose who they wish to partner with.
Amongst the Alchemist soldiers, each has their own area of expertise where they are known to excel at. There are four divisions in which the soldiers are placed, if they show adequate skill. Those that are excellent at defeating their opponents without sign of guilt or remorse and with minimal Alchemy usage are placed in the category of SILENCERS. Then there are those who show great skill at tracking down their opponent’s movements, being able to analyze their victim’s next move and trap them in their own game of hide and seek, they are known as HUNTERS. There are also those who excel at investigation and are able to analyze the situation and produce accurate analysis of the situation, such as finding clues, solving mind numbing puzzles etc, they are known as SNIFFERS. While last but not least there are the HYBRIDS. These are Asylums who use a combination of all three skills but are not as good as the original singles.
The universal rules of Alchemy that had been set by A.M.R.O are possibly known by every person who has the knowledge of Alchemy and these rules are considered to be absolute. Among the rules the strictest are that Alchemy can’t be used to kill humans, the sanity of other humans can’t be sacrificed to aid your own, the use of level 2 casts is taboo and level 1 strictly forbidden. If any of these rules are broken the penalty is immediate assassination. For Asylums to use a level 2 cast and Chrono Asylums to use a level 1 cast permission is required, though it is hard to explain but permission is granted on a telepathic level. To request permission the follow must be recited, "Permissions to access level 2 cast, waiting for acknowledgment." The soldier will soon get the reply telepathically and they are to confirm it by saying, "Acknowledgment received," after which a level 2 or 1 cast can be used.
The use of Alchemy to effect external matters is known as ‘cast’ or ‘casting.’ Alchemy casting is divided into three divisions so as to maintain one of the aims of A.M.R.O, which is restriction of Alchemy. A level three cast is a quite basic which only requires the person to channel his thoughts and use his energy to affect the external factors around him. This cast requires almost no time at all and is extremely quick but due to that the power of the cast is relatively low and so only certain factors can be influenced and to a certain degree. Such as causing a gale or igniting sparks or causing minor tremors etc, depending on how much the Alchemist is willing to sacrifice. A level two cast is not allowed to ordinary Alchemist as the power is amplified nearly a hundred fold and thus consuming much more of the caster's sanity, about three times as much. A level two cast is only allowed for those within A.M.R.O, specifically the Asylums and that is with authenticating a permission request. A level two cast requires greater concentration and at the end the word ‘exceed’ must be said in order for a successful cast. It can affect greater external factors to a greater degree such as causing typhoons and manipulating elements at will. A level 1 cast is strictly forbidden with immediate death as penalty if the rule is broken. A level 1 cast is the most difficult which can only be executed by a highly skilled Alchemist. This cast is not even allowed for the Asylums but under threatening and dire situations can only be used by the Chrono Asylums and that is by authenticating a permission request to one of the head superiors. A level one cast holds disastrous power so much so that even time can be affected but it also means suicide as by using it only once the chances of succumbing to insanaddiction is over 80%. A level 1 cast is quite different from all and requires utmost concentration and a lot of time is consumed which ends up making the person vulnerable. A level one cast is considered to defy the very laws that hold the humans together. Namely the three divine laws of Reality, Nature and Sanity. To successfully use a level one cast it is necessary to recite,
“I defy the laws of reality/Nature/Sanity and challenge it by……………………….…” And the remaining is to be filled by the Alchemist himself depending on how he wishes to challenge the law and finishing it by saying 'exceed'. The law of reality is defied when the person wishes to affect non living matter with Alchemy, Nature is defied when he wishes to affect elements of nature with Alchemy. Finally the law of Sanity is defied when he wishes to affect a living creature.
Now the mission is to be upheld, the Asylums must battle against the insanity of man himself, this insanity is the very demon that feasts upon this world and now with destabilizing conditions and unexpected rebellion from ordinary Alchemist, one can’t help but wonder is being sane truly worth it.
“Those that are swallowed in the world of Alchemy, have but one path to walk……..and at the end of that path an Asylum lays waiting.”ArenaTitle: OCT Original Character Tournament
Hosted By: Shoryu
The Silver City OCT was actually my first attempt at running an Original Character tournament of my own, and it was originally just an experiment borne of an excited mood from seeing other OCTs on Deviantart. I can say i'm quite pleased at the interest and activity It's brought in, We've lost some people, we've got some who've been there since It started it, And still have more new participants flowing in, which of course means we're still taking new applicants. We also had a bit of a crisis where it almost died, partly from the week of downtime on the site, and partly from myself becoming swamped with work IRL, But My Friend/Co-GM Draku69 Kept everything alive until Things got back up and running. Even after the structured Section of the tournament kicks off there may still be places for new people to join in with other roles, or to replace a contest who suddenly drops out or dissapears.
Of Course I have plenty of RP attempts that anyone is welcome to join, Among which the success of this OCT so far has inspired me to plan a second one after this one ends. Not much can be said about that one yet, But I do intend to come up with some sort of actual reward for participants and winner, what it might be I can't imagine right now, It depends on a lot of factors at the time i get it started up.
Featured Interest ChecksTitle: Hope for the Many
GM: Jones Sparrow
I was thinking like an 1700's time period, In France or something, during their revolution... And a group of people come to give the voice to the voiceless. They all have different skills in their arsenal, and all come from different stories, and what they believe in? its going to have a deeper story line, but thats the basics of it... anyone interested SO FAR?
Title: For Alera and for Glory
Aulus looked over Alera Imperia and pondered how something so corrupt had been left to exist for so long. As he adjusted his speed so as to make a quick decent down into the capital, he began to think about how different things were going to be once the covenants plans had been realized. It was late summer and the weather had been incredibly warm, so much so that Aulus didn’t have to use any fire crafting to keep warm. Spotting his destination he threw up a veil, so as to hide his presence from the people below, and descended onto the roof of the building. The building itself was complete invisible to the local furies and so could not be detected by the Emperor or town guard. Aulus moved over to the side of the building and using earth crafting made himself a set of stairs heading into the building, the stone melting and reforming in the shape he desired. Although Aulus could not see anyone he knew that they were there, his earth fury sensing their weight on the stone floor of the room,
“No point hiding yourself I know you are here and I know why you are here. There is nothing to fear from me I am with the covenant and I know that we all want the same thing...” As he spoke there were several shimmers as air crafted veils were lowered, revealing their casters to Aulus. He looked around the group and was slightly surprised at some of the people present but also felt a rush at what they would be discussing. With a practiced motion he raised his hand a raised a barrier of air that would stop anyone from over hearing their discussion, the barrier was complete when a tell tale ‘pop’ went off in Aulus’s ear,
“We can talk in safety now; it is just as well because if any of the guard heard about this we would all be dead with in the week. Now if everyone makes themselves comfortable, we have much to discuss least of all how we are going to kill the emperor......”
This is going to be an rp based around the Codex Alera series written by Jim Butcher.
The world is set on world similar to Earth but with a few major difference. The human population controls element beings known as 'Furies' to control the six major elements of Air, Fire, Wood, Earth, Metal and Water. The human civilization is believed to be descended from a single Roman legion, the lost legion, and has lived in Alera for almost two millenia holding true to their heritage and taking the Roman ideal to its absolute furthest.
All of your characters have been summoned to Alera Imperia. They are to be compensated for their troubles and there are not many people that are willing to turn down a direct request from Giaus Sextus, Emperor of all Alera. The characters can be driven by curiosity, loyalty, greed or anything else that fits with their character.
Title: Lux Tenebris
GM: Malkuthe Highwind
Elyne is a land bathed in eternal light; its inhabitants born from the radiant rays of sunlight and the milky bars of moonlight. The creatures that dwell on its luminescent surface are incarnations of the light that they represent, flesh and blood made from light solidified.
Each nation of Elyne’s vast tracks of land possesses a lighthouse that ascends beyond the lofty clouds. The light of these towering lighthouses provide sustenance for Elyne’s inhabitants. As long as the lighthouses remain lit as they have been since the beginning of time, no Elynian requires food or water.
In these lighthouses reside the monarchs, the Luxes of the nations. Their light is the most radiant, the most powerful, and the most majestic.
A threat, great in the magnitude of its power, unlike any Elyne has ever known is making its way for their radiant world. Beings of shadow from another world, Aespectriill, beings that devour the light for their sustenance have been chased off of their home world.
Day by day, these shadow beings arrived in droves, but no one ever noticed. The radiance of the lighthouses burned away the forerunners of the invasion. As they arrived, however, the shadows in the nooks and crannies of Elyne began to grow.
Wisps of shadow appeared in the lighthouses, materializing into Aespectriill. Eventually, thousands of them began to materialize in the chamber of the Luxes whose light no longer protected them from the ravaging hunger of the shadows. From their mouths and eyes, the light of the Luxes left their bodies, devoured by the most powerful of the Aespectriill, beings that would come to be known as the Tenebra.
Elyne is falling into darkness. The light is only just beginning to stir against the threat of the shadow. Will you join the battle against the encroaching darkness, or will you be one of those who devour the light?[/center]
The atmosphere for this roleplay will be dark. The Elynians, now deprived of the light of the lighthouses will have to depend on other means of sustenance; this means eating food and drinking water. Some Elynians will become cannibalistic, some will turn on the non-sentient beings and others will find plants to be edible.
There will be lots of strife within Elynian society and outside of it. They will be fighting a force they have no idea how to fight. Remember, Elynians have never faced conflict, not even once in their history. How will they learn how to battle, how will they learn to survive? How many will fall to the Tenebra before Elynians can put their feet down to combat the shadows?
As a Tenebra, killing off Elyne might be against your morality, but Elynians do not know that. For you it is simply a matter of survival, a matter of running from whatever it is that chased you off of your homeworld. In fact, you might not even know what it is that you are running from, all you might know is that it is capable of consuming the shadows that comprise your being. Only the three Tenebra that assimilated the Luxes know everything about your exodus.
For a Tenebra, explaining that you mean no harm to an Elynian is not easy. Simply being in a room together with an Elynian that is willing to listen would suck the Elynian's essence into your being. You must also be on watch for other Tenebra, mentally fractured by the long journey from home who can assimilate you when you are overpowered.
Self is most important in these times of uncertainty. No one can be trusted. Betrayal is rampant in the ranks of both factions. Everything reeks of conspiracy and even the once peaceful Elynians are beginning to conspire against each other.
Nothing is certain. Every breath you draw can be your last.
Role Playing Discussion
Interesting discussions are always going on, come join in and chat about our mutual hobby
Skyfer wonders how many roleplays that you prefer to have running at any time. Talk about how many roleplays you're usually in at any given time and what you consider too many roleplays to deal with or too few to keep you entertained..
RPG has a lovely Gallery section that doesn’t see enough encouragement and attention. If you have some scribbles lying around or some art you’d like to share start up a gallery and show people what you can do outside of an RP! While you are there take a moment to offer some encouragement and insight in another user's gallery, maybe they will return the favor. If you'd like your gallery to be featured be sure to send a PM to either Lillian Thorne or Guru.
Art Gallery: Jay's Odds n' Ends (An Art Gallery)
Sgt Sarcastic has created a gallery to contain a selection of wonderful hand-drawn and digital art to enjoy. We recommend having a look at Sgt Sarcastic's work and offering some support!
Writing Gallery: Chile's Stories
Chile has spent the time writing up some amazing stories and poetry for us all to enjoy, all of them very gripping and touching. It's been a few weeks since Chile updated it last, but some encouragement might just hurry him along!
Official ContestsDon’t forget about RPG’s Official Monthly contests Artists of the Month and Writer of the Month, the prize is a nifty colored user title. The contestants work really hard and put out some outstanding work. Stop by and check it out and while you are there don’t forget to Vote and Comment on the Contest entries, the more votes and comments, the more satisfying the victory is! We could always use more people. If you want to get involved and send in an entry, please see the Contest section of the site. Remember the more, the merrier!
This Month's AOTM, is not up yet, but keep your eyes open for when it is.
This Month's WOTM, Inside The Mind, is accepting Entries until May 21st.
A little hermit crab named Peter woke one ocean morn,
To find he’d grown too big to fit the shell in which he was born!
He saw a passing fish and waved. “Good morning, there, to you!
Do you know where to find an extra shell that I can use?”
“We fishes do not swim in shells,” it said, his voice so low.
“Perhaps you should go ask the Turtle -- he will surely know!”
“Hello there, Peter!” Turtle said. “What can I do for you?”
“Do you know where to find an extra shell that I can use?”
The turtle thought. “I am afraid that my shell is attached.
A turtle’s shell will grow, so that the two are always matched.
Go ask the clam, who lives up on the sand and rocks and such.”
“I will,” said Peter, waving bye, “and thank you very much!”
“Hello there, Peter!” said the clam. “What can I do for you?”
Do you know where to find an extra shell that I can use?”
“I’m sorry,” said the clam, “but I have none to give to you.
A crab may only need one shell, but clams require two.
“Perhaps you should go ask a feathered friend of mine, the duck.”
“I will,” said Peter, waving. And the clam called out, “Good luck!”
“Hello there, Peter!” quacked the duck. “What can I do for you?”
Do you know where to find an extra shell that I can use?”
“My ducklings hatched from egg shells,” said the duck. “Come here and see.”
But when he tried one, Peter said, “This will not work for me!”
“I hope you find one soon,” She quacked, and then began to fly.
“I will,” said Peter, waving. “Thanks for helping, and goodbye!”
Peter went back to the beach and played out in the sand.
When suddenly a boy came by, and took him in his hand.
“Do you know where to find an extra shell that I can use?”
The child smiled from ear to ear, and told him, “Yes I do!”
Together they went home, and later he made the best of friends.
And happily they lived for ever after. That’s how it ends!
mdk is starting an exciting new project in gallery: LAPTAP--Read, Review and Sharing Hub.
So head on over, peruse through mdk's examples of what to do and what not to do and then read the first offering by Lustre.LAPTAP stands for "Leave A Penny, Take A Penny." It's common in convenience stores to let people with a little extra change share it with the folks who are just a bit short, by "Leaving a penny" when you can, and "Taking a penny" when you need it.
We've taken that concept and applied it to the guild Gallery, in the form of reads and reviews. This is a community-run hub for the sharing of our collective work. It functions just like the title says -- you'll get a chance to read someone else's work, review and comment on it, and then share something of your own. If you find yourself eager to review but you don't have anything of your own to share, don't worry -- you can always post from someone else's gallery too, as long as you give the proper credit and get permission, etc.
What is LAPTAP? It's a chance to read and be read by your fellow members, kind of like a book club where you get to write the books that everyone reads!
All featured RPs and Linked threads have been chosen by random based on the number of responses to the thread and how active they are. If you'd like to have a IntChk, Roleplay, or Gallery featured in the next Newsletter, please send a message to Guru. Your thread may or may not be used, depending on the number of entries and random choice. We are also always looking for banners to top the newsletter.
This Newsletter is brought to you by your Comrades. Enjoy!
Guru Lillian Thorne Grif of Hearts
Next Guild News: May, 25th 2012
Great news letter! Mdk and mines entry looks way better in that font, I wish I would have thought of that before submitting. x3
Guide l Contests l Suggestions/Problems l Ask a Comrade
Originally Posted by On the subject of Hitler
Guide l Contests l Suggestions/Problems l Ask a Comrade
Originally Posted by On the subject of Hitler
Only 13 days left till the next news letter! woo hoo!
Guide l Contests l Suggestions/Problems l Ask a Comrade
Originally Posted by On the subject of Hitler
Panda-girl, you should make us a banner. I'd love to see what you come up with! you could even hand draw something, it would be great!
I've been meaning to send in a banner, I really have...
...But who has the time...
WOTM #26 Guidelines thread is up! This month's theme is Evil Wins! Let's see those entries!!
A highly successful roleplay thread of mine that I have made into a fanfiction! It's about a bunch of anime characters coming to life in the real world, and a group of those characters are then found by a trio of otaku girls! And while they're trying to figure out how their fictional little friends got there in the first place, a mysterious group emerges called Operation Anime, whose goal is to wipe out all the characters that exist in the real world!
Link to the story on FanFiction here.
Also be sure to check out the manga based on the fic by OverlordRoo! Link to it here on SmackJeeves.
Originally Posted by Metal ZetaOriginally Posted by SebasChan
*reading interview* Still a shame that I couldn't continue that sandcastle rp, at least I got a amusing/horror-inducing death when I told Kestrel I had to call it quits.
Kudos to you Kestrel, you deserve it mate.
... should make a note for myself to join any future projects and see if due to circumstances I have to quit and get another amusing death... or better yet see it from beginning to finish.
A lone figure standing in a room and a shadow is moving, closer and it closer it comes.
A blade flashes, a silent scream and the shadow is just a shadow once more.
Dark red blood is spilled and darkness rules the room as it always will.
I am a dumbass who leaves his account signed in so certain people can do weird stuff to it,
Have Fun figuring out what changed!