Lost VSS – The Bitten Apple

I. Information

Chapter Name: Children of the Lost Eden

Domain Number: NY-004-D

Venue: Changeling: the Lost

Venue Name: The Bitten Apple

Lead Venue Storyteller: Ephraim Gregor

Storyteller Contact: [email protected]

Official Mailing List: http://groups.google.com/group/nyc-changeling

Official Wiki Page: http://wiki.mindseyesociety.org/index.php/Category:NYC_Lost

 

II. Styles of Play

Action (Combat and Challenges): 3 – Plot-based combat is not often present, and player vs player combat interactions are discouraged. Action/adventure style plots are more frequent, and should be expected of play.

Character Development (Personal Dilemmas and Choices): 5 – Choices will have far ranging consequences, and personal issues will crop up depending on player actions and plot. Players should be expect to find themselves between a rock and a hard place from time to time.

Darkness (PC Death and Corruption): 4 – Plot-based PC death will be fairly infrequent, and will always be caused by consequences to player actions. Corruption, as defined as grimness in the world and deviation of characters from core concepts, will be a frequent part of plots.

Drama (Ceremony and Grand Story): 3 – The majority of PCs are part of a Freehold, and should be expected to observe their respective group’s tradition. Such activities may be integrated into plot, but will rely mostly on player action.

Intrigue (Politics and Negotiation): 2 – Inter-Freehold and Court issues will arise, both by plot and by player actions. However, such disputes will rarely be focus of a game.

Mystery (Enigmas and Investigation): 5 – The Hedge is an alien Fae landscape, and PCs will frequently find themselves face-to-face with situations and entities that are mysterious. Many plots will require investigation and deduction.

Gameplay in the Real World: 3 – About half of plots have effects in the real world, either in whole or in part. PCs are encouraged to balance the real world with their Hedge activities.

Gameplay in the Hedge: 4 – Most games will have activity or presence in the Hedge, and plots will be influenced by or entirely based in that Realm.

Gameplay in Dreams: 2 – As the world of dreams is closely tied to the Fae, plots will crop up there. Plots will not as crop up in game as frequently, but will appear in between games or as part of a game.

PvP Elements: 1 – Very little player conflict will happen, as most band together to fight the various threats the Freeholds face. What conflict does happen should be social in nature.

PvE Elements: 4 – Most threats will be via Storyteller driven plots.

Rating Description: 1 Never present, 2 Sometimes present, 3 Often present, 4 Usually present, 5 Always present

III. Game Schedule

Full Games: First Friday of each full weekend of each month, game sites announced via [email protected], the Domain Google group and on mesnyc.org, the Domain website. Games are held in standard LARP format with gameplay occurring when players speak and act for their characters. Players are required to keep their sheets updated in the database, and to bring their sheets for both characters and any NPC followers to game.

Downtime Scenes: Players may submit downtime actions at any time via emails including the VST email address or on any of the Lost mailing lists on the mesnyc.org website. RP scenes typically do not require the expenditure of a Downtime Action.

Downtime Event(s): There is a regular monthly Downtime Meetup attended by the VST or an aVST where players may participate in additional downtime scenes and actions. Additional downtime events may be arranged by the VST or by players with VST approval.

IV. Venue Description

Changeling is a game of balance, struggle, and madness. Every Changeling is drawn into a strange world, and suffers part of what makes them human in exchange for something Other. To be one of the Lost is to walk a path between the two worlds, it is to struggle against the way of things, and it is to risk loss of self every day.

The Hedge

The Hedge of New York is divided into various zones, each vaguely corresponding with the past of the city. The deeper into the Hedge and the closer to Arcadia one goes, the farther one departs from the shores of human civilization.

A network of paths that link closely with gates in the city proper is nicknamed the “Near Hedge”. This area is where most Changelings harvest their fruit, and where most Hollows open into. The Near Hedge is a massive swamp, with waterlogged buildings painting a post-apocalyptic New York.

The Mid Hedge refers to a series of paths and Trods that lead deeper, and resembles an overgrown New York of the 1920s. Navigation is possible but hazardous, and travel here is infrequent.

Lastly, the Deep Hedge refers to departing from all semblance of humanity, the borderlands before one enters Arcadia proper. Travel in this area is extremely dangerous, and encounters with the Gentry or other surreal entities are highly likely. All travel into this area must be overseen by a member of the Storyteller staff.

It should be noted that the Hedge and the Goblin Markets are places of known danger. Navigation of the Hedge is often illogical and changes at the Storyteller’s discretion. All travel within the Mid and Deep Hedge must be logged with the Storytellers.

Freeholds

The Bitten Apple VSS incorporates the Seasonal Court of New York City. The Freehold of the Bitten Apple is ruled by four Monarchs, individuals chosen by each of the four seasons and the other Courtiers who belong to the seasons’ courts.

There are two other Freeholds, the Diurnal Courts of the Zoryas, and the Directional Saintly Beasts. Both Freeholds operate as per the settings in their respective books.

V. Storytelling Mechanics

Character Creation

A character sheet must be complete to be attached to this VSS. A complete sheet requires a full sheet, experience log, and backstory that includes history, Durance, and existence post-escape. A CCD is encouraged for this.

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 monopolize one storyteller to play for one person. As such, characters must have reasonable ties to a 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.

“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, does not require direct ST oversight, and will not result in injury or death, players may presume they have drawn a 6.

“Take 6” can NEVER be used for Clarity pulls. All Clarity 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 Clarity 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.

Goblin Fruit

Goblin Fruit hunting is common among Lost. Players may have their characters harvest fruit before game with a Wits + Survival pull, with modifiers as per Storyteller discretion. The Goblin Fruit merit provides a bonus equal to the dots in the merit. Additional fruit gathering requires Downtime Actions to harvest and preserve.

Successes made on the harvest roll can be used to purchase Goblin Fruit. In general, common fruit will be 1 success each, uncommon fruit will be 2 successes each, and rare fruit will be 3 or more. This will fluctuate on a seasonal basis and as per IC actions, and the final fruit acquired can be modified as per Storyteller discretion. The Feasting Table Amenity will always provide a rating 1 fruit of the same type at Storyteller discretion, including glamour fruit.

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.) This action typically does not take a Downtime.

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. To preserve the fruit through cooking (jam or pickling), Intelligence + Crafts. This is an extended action, with a target of the number of months times two. Fruit can only be preserved once, and only Wyrd x 3 fruit can be preserved each month. Please note any preserved Goblin Fruit on your sheet, with the date it was preserved and the date it will expire.

Clarity

All Clarity checks must be overseen by a Storyteller. The Storyteller reserves the right to demand or modify a Clarity check for any reason.

Maintaining Clarity 7 requires intimate connections to the real world, be it family, friends, a job, or some other semblance of normalcy. Loss of such connections constitutes a breaking point, as does not having any to begin with.

Furthermore, selling memories is considered a Clarity 7 breaking point. To remove one’s self, even a small part, uncomfortably echoes a Changeling’s loss of self to the Gentry.

For the Clarity 6 breaking point of going a week or more without human contact, such contact must be meaningful to the Changeling. Human, in this case, refers to someone without any dealings with the Fae nor other supernatural entities. Getting drinks with close friends is meaningful, ordering a coffee is not.

The Clarity 3 breaking point does not require meaningful contact. It is generally assumed that PCs will enter the real world unless lost or otherwise prevented from exiting the Hedge.

Initial Glamour Mechanics

  1. Starting glamour is calculated by the following card pull: Wyrd + Harvest. Characters who are members of Freeholds on this VSS may add to that pull in the following ways:
    1. For Seasonal characters, if the character is a Monarch or if it is their Season, they may add 1 at all times, and if they are the reigning Monarch they may add their Mantle during their time of rule.
    2. For Diurnal characters, if the character is a Monarch, they may add 1 at all times. If they are the Day Monarch and the event falls between the Spring and Fall Equinox, they add their Wyrd, or they are an uncrowned Day Courtier they may add one. If they are the Night Monarch and the event falls between the Fall to the Spring Equinox, they add their Wyrd, or if they are an uncrowned Night Courtier they add one.
    3. For Directional characters, add one at all times, Monarchs add two at all times.
  2. A player may re-test and add their new score to the old by spending one point of Harvest without sitting out of game, though the spent point does not add to the pull and modifiers no longer apply.
  3. Pulling an ace represents a failure. It is Storyteller discretion what level of glamour the character enters with. Players are encouraged to roleplay the results, whether it be starving or gluttonous.

Mediation

The Storytelling Staff reserves the right to ask participants of a scene to run the scene theatrically and with role playing rather than with challenges.

Character Location and Influences

Characters occupying a position of authority such as Sovereign or Monarch within this VSS must be attached to this VSS. Exceptions can be granted at Mid approval by the DST of NY-004-D. Other positions may be achieved by/awarded to anyone, regardless of VSS assignment.

A player of a Monarch or other leader should attempt to attend live games during their season and be responsive to emails. If a player cannot make such a commitment, it is encouraged they delegate such actions.

Restricted Items

Some items will incur additional scrutiny by the Storyteller staff. Note that these items are not denied outright, but will require additional justification.

  • All 3+ Tokens and Hedgespun.
  • Hedge Beast Companions and Fae Mounts.
  • Shadowsoul Kith.
  • Dual Kith.
  • Goblin Merchant, Market Stall.
  • Autumn Court.

Restricted Content

No plots or actions involving sexual assault are permitted to occur during game. Events of this nature will be stopped out of character by the Storyteller staff, or by players if a member of the staff is not present. Event of this nature are permitted in private downtime scenes with consent of all involved parties, or in backstory.

VI. Experience Award Guidelines

Game Experience

All players who attend a live game may receive 6 experience. Players who achieved accolades during the communal shoutout at the end of game may receive additional experience as per the presiding Storyteller.

Downtime

Downtime XP awards are commonly 3xp for extensive scenes with multiple characters, 2xp per major completed scene, and 1xp per minor scene. Creative writing and G+ posts are encouraged, and will result in the award of XP at Storyteller discretion.

Accelerated Growth Rate

For characters on AGR, all experience gains are doubled up to the monthly cap. Note that as per the Addendum, to qualify for AGR a character MUST attend a game during the month.

VII. Downtime Actions

There is a standard format for downtime actions. Any downtime that does not conform to this exact format will be docked, or potentially denied, an XP award. Downtimes should be limited to as few words as possible. While the Storyteller Staff can appreciate a well thought out, character driven downtime, downtimes should be direct and to the point.

The format for downtimes is as follows (please note, in the example only 2 actions are used. If your Resolve or number of Allies/Retainers is more or less, please add up or subtract to appropriate level):

Unmodified Resolve is (insert value) +1 = (insert value) downtime actions

Resolve #1: (action here, with relevant pools)

Allies People 3: (Allies action here)

In general, a Downtime Action is required for actions that require mechanical effects and take a significant amount of time. For example, building something or investigating a plot is an action, talking with NPCs is not. The final threshold is Storyteller discretion, and players can ask whether a particular action is a Resolve action or not.

Experience expenditures typically do not cost a Downtime Action to resolve, barring sudden increases or gaining exceptional skill, such as the 5th dot. The Storyteller reserves the right to require appropriate justification for any change to a sheet.

Actions taken during Downtimes might result in detrimental effects to a character. The Storyteller will typically warn players if some actions could result in character death or injury.

VIII. Proxy Rules

There are two different kind of proxy: Hard and Soft. Soft Proxies are for RP purposes only, with mediated actions only. Hard proxies use a character’s full sheet, and are run by Storytellers. Soft Proxies may become Hard at any time at Storyteller discretion.

All Proxies

Players Agree to the following conditions. If you are not comfortable with these conditions, then do *not* proxy your character:

  1. All proxy play is final. There are no do-overs. Death or worse are possibilities. In every proxy scene, there are inherent dangers. Players who agree to proxy are being made known these results are possibilities of proxy play.
  2. While in proxy play, the character will not play any place else or in other proxy scenes, or electronic forums.
  3. All proxies must require approval by the presiding Storyteller before scenes or roleplay is to begin.

Hard Proxies

  1. Full character sheet. This includes any special approvals items. Without proof of these approvals, those special approval items will *not* be used in the proxy.
  2. Direct Storyteller and Coordinator contact information (e-mail preferred).
  3. Clearly stated goals for your character. You need to be as precise as possible when you state your character’s goals and actions for the proxy. Any information that is left out will be left up to the storyteller staff to include. Assumptions will be made if necessary.
  4. Please include contingency plans as the best-laid plans are sometimes disrupted. Without the contingency plans, the storyteller staff will make decisions for the characters. These decisions may or may not be what the players would have done.
  5. For hard proxies to live games, players must have someone able to be dedicated to portray their character. All such proxies require 48 hours advance notice, and can be refused by the Storytelling staff for any reason.

Travel Risks

New York City, while having numerous points of entry and exit, is a very dangerous place with numerous Law Enforcement agencies, local institutions, and the city’s supernatural population who all have an interest in keeping an eye on who enters and leaves the city and what they do while there. Any travel through the VSS carries at least the possibility of an incident which may intercept, redirect, turn-away or even harm a traveling character. All travel through this VSS must be reported to the VST and may involve a hard proxy at the ST’s discretion.

Visiting Character Guidelines

All visiting characters must have a full character sheet including Approvals and an Experience Log. Visitors will be asked about their goals when entering the city and how they are arriving. The Storytellers reserve the right to deny entry to characters that will be unbalancing or detrimental to the stability of the game. The Storytellers also reserve the right to remove such a character from play. Visitors are encouraged to send in their character sheets at least 24 hours before game.