NOLA: The Game That Care Forgot

  • Pitcrew

    Game Address:

    Welcome to NOLA: The Game That Care Forgot

    NOLA is a game set - perhaps not entirely unexpectedly - in a city very similar to New Orleans, Louisiana. It is in the same geographical location, it bears the same name, and much of the same history. The staff of NOLA love the real-world city, which is why we've chosen to set it in this particular place - but it is based on that city, only, and does not seek to replicate it exactly. The New Orleans of this game is one where you do not need to know all the details (although they certainly help), and if something's slightly off (whether on staff's side or players') we won't stress about it too hard. It is, after all, a game we're playing. If most of the nation wouldn't blink at an inaccuracy in a television show based in New Orleans, we certainly won't stress about it here.

    The main theme of our game is one of a melting pot. In New Orleans, the supernatural world doesn't have any sharp lines of division. Where the supernatural ends and the mundane begins is a fuzzy question in a world with mortals who can sense the things that walk in the darkness, read minds, and light things on fire with their brains. In a world where vampires and werewolves claim overlapping territories, alliances and rivalries will form across the lines of the species. Vampires, Werewolves, and Mortals all interact in New Orleans as part of a greater community, bound under the Shadow Accords that govern the expected ways in which alliances and disputes will be handled.

    The Spheres available on NOLA are Vampire, Werewolf, Changeling, and Mortal. Mortal characters can be pure Human, Hurt Locker Templates (except Dreamer), Wolfblooded, Ghouls, and Fae-Touched and can undergo Becomings into any supernatural sphere. Human characters who meet certain (not difficult) criteria may be considered a part of the Shadow Accords, and become eligible to take part (relatively) safely in the world of the supernatural, including membership in vampire coteries, werewolf packs, changeling motleys, or mingled cabals.

    NOLA is open again. Beast is no longer available. Our wiki is STILL unfinished. We've probably still got bugs. There's probably new ones. And yes, we'll allow soon as someone steps up to be a Bloodlines Gremlin and do the research, data entry, and wikiwork. That means yes, we're hiring staff if you want to sign up. Also: we will allow SotC content as soon as someone's willing to go over the work that's already done and finish up the data entry. It's not hard work, I've just got a weird mental block about it and I've been letting it keep me from re-opening for too long. No, we didn't scrap the Accords - they're still there. The NPCs are still in place, we didn't scrap those either. Hell, Beasts are still in the city - they're just NPCs and unavailable for character creation.

    TL;DR: A CofD 2e game with Vampire, Werewolf, and Humans set in New Orleans where everybody's up in everybody else's business.

  • Pitcrew

    Okay, in case anyone's wondering: Yes, we would love some help.

    Here's a list of things that are still to be done, that I can remember off the top of my head:

    • Finish fleshing out the wiki - there are quite a few blank pages and a lot of things that don't work the way they're supposed to. Character page creation should be online by tonight.
    • More information on the Shadow and local spirit broods beyond "all the fucking magath".
    • Support for Hurt Locker and Secret of the Covenants. The mechanical bits of these books are probably going to be included in their entirety.
    • Decisions on how/if to implement stuff from The Pack. I like a lot of it, but it pivots hard back toward a classic WoD attitude of Werewolves vs. Vampires as a theme, which isn't appropriate for New Orleans - and while there are a lot of options in Secrets of the Covenants, there aren't enough bloodlines published for us to officially support bloodlines on NOLA, and I'm not sure The Pack really has enough lodges to officially support those, either. No matter how much I love the idea of motorcycle-jousting werewolves throwing harpoons into semi-trucks only to have the back open up and pour out rat-hosts.
    • Bug testing. ALL THE BUG TESTING. This will be ongoing as we add features.
    • Desc proofreading.
    • More hangouts. Updated hangouts. Our current ones typically have one paragraph of desc, tossed off haphazardly by our prolific volunteer descer who has never been to New Orleans. Many of our hangouts are cliche New Orleans pastiches; that's appropriate to our "New Orleans as seen on a CW paranormal drama" type setting, but I'd love some passionate player projects. Player owners of existing projects, including the ability to re-write descs are welcome too.
    • Help files. Yes, I know this is probably our biggest, most glaring lack. There's a detailed walkthrough of the CG system available but most of our helpfiles are still in the process of being written - @Thenomain, if there's documentation on your github anywhere, we couldn't find it! We're mostly going through the code itself and testing to figure out how everything works - our coder is testing everything and then I'm translating her notes into layman-speak and more formal language than "DEM NOTES DOH" that I tend to get from her.

    We currently have two headstaff and one admin staffer in addition to our non-player-interacting codewiz. We're pretty sure that will be enough to start with and we're not looking to hire more staffers, but people who are willing to read things and give us input on what we've done are very, very welcome once we get the wiki shared. (We don't want people logging into the game yet and the wiki has the address on it, or it'd be up for your perusal.)

    We'd love to have some people discuss and run plots. I've got ideas for running things, but I definitely can't carry a game's plot demands on my own long-term. On NOLA, players and staff have exactly the same ability to run plots. There are a few things that are restricted - the Strix, Idigam, rank 4 or 5 spirits, templates from books we don't use, that sort of thing - but restricted DOES NOT mean don't run them. It just means run it by staff so we can make sure plots involving those core aspects of the games are coordinated...and even though I've written 99% of the theme and setting, I'm just as restricted in that aspect. While of course staff necessarily have easier access to other staff, I still need another person to sanity-check and approve if I want to run a Strix plot.

    I would ESPECIALLY love to have someone else who has read Beast comprehensively look over my houserules and let me know if I've missed anything glaring, fucked up majorly writing them, or if I seem to be missing anything obvious story-wise. Reading a game but never playing it makes it hard to get things right first time through, and I'd treasure the advice of someone who has run or played in Beast games, whether MU* or tabletop. Or LARP! Fuck, is there a Beast LARP? Now I'm distracted.

    Speaking of LARP: Do people think there'd be any interest in borrowing certain concepts from LARP games, particularly some concepts relating to Boons, Status, and Renown effects from the BNS books? I'm on the fence as to whether they'd add or subtract from a MU* setting - there are a lot of similarities between MU* and LARP, and they're certainly more similar to each other than either are to tabletop, but I'm unsure as to whether borrowing would be better than not.

  • @RDC
    Speaking from a LARP standpoint...

    There are no LARP versions of any CoD- game. The last NWoD LARP version that came out was 1e Mage the Awakening back in 2007. BNS has the rights to release LARP versions and they have said nothing about CoD/NWoD versions (many of them are also notoriously anti-NWoD as a genre). Many people don't expect there to be new CoD-compliant LARP rules,

    I haven't read all of BNS Apocalypse yet, so I can't comment there.

    For BNS Masquerade status to Requiem, you'd have to rejigger vampire's Status methods from BNS a bit to work for Requiem. It doesn't rely on dot-rated status; you have a limit based on whether you're a full sect member, recognized as a partial member (like your clan just joined the sect and doesn't have full recommendation) or under some sort of 'status ban' which reduces how much fleeing (temporary pull) status you have.

    Normally someone can have Abiding Status from a position (such as Prince, Harpy, or Primogen) and then up to five Fleeting Status, which are set up as descriptive words and you can use to 'pull weight' to do things (IE: As a Noble member of this organization, your accusations have no merit...), and Negative Status which incurs punishments (IE: Consider yourself Warned, Neonate; speak again in the presence of your betters and suffer the consequences...).

    No idea if 2e Requiem requires any dots in status for any specific Covenant positions. I like the Status system from BNS Masquerade, and I feel like it adds a lot to a game when you use it properly. BNS Status makes a good roleplay tool as it fits really well into general social RP since you can work the traits into conversation.

    But the big question is: do you think people would use it? If so, do it. If not, then stick with RAW Requiem status.

    If you just wanted to adapt the Requiem LARP status rules, those are... alright? There's benefits for being Ascendant and Eminent (most status total of Clan and Covenant), but some of it is... a bit underwhelming, and there's guidelines for 'how many of each 5/4/3/2/1 dot status can exist in each covenant' type situations.

  • Pitcrew

    I haven't played the CofD games in a LARP setting, there isn't one in my city and it's never been convenient for me to make it to the other cities nearby that do have them (about 1.5 and 3 hours away respectively) on the days they were running Requiem - but I know the people who do run them and could chat. None of it would be ported wholesale even if we did include, it'd be more concepts - stuff like people with high Status being able to give Favored to others, stuff like spending Fleeting statuses to open Doors or improve impressions.

    Like, say someone with City Status 4 declares someone with City Status 0 as Favored. The person who was Favored could be treated as +1 City Status as long as they are Favored, or expend Favored to add one Door to themselves when a vampire is trying to Social Maneuver them, or remove one door on a vampire they're Social Maneuvering.

    Maybe a Merit or three around it.

    The Apoc renown traits are similar lines. I like how they work so much that if I ever play BNS Apoc, I'll play an Ajaba JUST because they have a gift that lets them laugh out loud at someone using Renown to cancel said Renown use.

  • I printed a copy of the MET Requiem status to a separate PDF; it's located at Requiem Status.pdf. That's a starting point for you.

    There's nothing that's CoD-compliant; work on NWoD MET stopped in 2007 and core games like Forsaken and Lost didn't get MET versions. Status mechanics are VERY bare bones in any NWoD-compliant versions.

    If you're going to rework Status in a 'spend for bonus' manner, I'd say build something that works for your game in general; I don't think core BNS MET would work without some people going 'Huh?' and not using it to its full potential. Maybe use the trait names, but give them the bonuses you want to work with the tabletop dot-status mechanics. It'll save issues in the end.

  • Pitcrew

    I think you're probably right, yes. Thank you for the pdf! That's helpful.

  • @RDC said in NOLA: The Game That Care Forgot:

    Speaking of LARP: Do people think there'd be any interest in borrowing certain concepts from LARP games, particularly some concepts relating to Boons, Status, and Renown effects from the BNS books? I'm on the fence as to whether they'd add or subtract from a MU* setting - there are a lot of similarities between MU* and LARP, and they're certainly more similar to each other than either are to tabletop, but I'm unsure as to whether borrowing would be better than not.

    Bonus, status, and Renown generally doesn't work in MU* settings, I've found. It just, unfortunately, doesn't work for a couple reasons:

    • Buying Status & Renown in Cgen: Everyone does it if its an option and most games don't police if the amount of either being purchased because it becomes so ubiquitous that it loses all of its meaning and value. Players easily and readily ignore it in a way you can't in a live action setting unless you want to die.

    • The Revolving Door Nature of PC Leadership: Status and especially boons are often swept away in Sept Alpha and Praxis Seizure changes. The PCs that might be recording and tracking this information to any meaningful end tend to eventually fade out, these records get fubar, and it's all meaningless. In a Larp setting, even if there's a new Prince every month-- they are generally at the game and you have ways of getting their attendance. Not so in MU* where tracking down people is hard and getting them to RP with you about this stuff can be harder.

    • Status and Boon Enforcement: In Larp settings, its a lot harder to get away with ducking out of a boon and being a turd to someone with higher status than you, 9 times out of 10 - if you do either, it's on and cracking and usually ends with your PC getting dragged to a boot party. In a MU* setting, its a lot easier to just hang out in your hideyhole and never come out as staff is often loathe to allow haven raids, etc. PC leaders will evade every chance to enforce these things because there is such a resistance to PvP because it goes so poorly and players react so badly when it doesn't go their way that its exhausting and it burns out PC leadership.

    • Immediate Consequences and Benefits In General: In larp, your status and boons can be an immediate button you push when you want something and you want it 2 minutes ago because everyone's assembled for play that night, you only have 4ish hours to pack in your to-do list for the month, etc -- basically, created immediacy. In MU* you have to find the person/people, get them to agree to something, get them to show up to something, deal with the scene over a course or days if people can't all be on at once, and then finally execute. That's exhausting and so people stop bothering.

    I think therefore if you want to try and include that in your game then it becomes something staff has to track and enforce, which generally comes with a lot of conflict so you have to have staff willing to take it on the chin and crack skulls when they must.

  • @GangOfDolls I'd say RfK proved all of that wrong.

    It had boons and it had status and they both worked exceptionally well together.

    The problem on most MUs is that they are sandboxes. Boons, status, leadership positions and politics in general are pretty pointless in a sandbox.

  • @RDC said in NOLA: The Game That Care Forgot:

    @Thenomain, if there's documentation on your github anywhere, we couldn't find it!

    Er, no player chargen documentation. Most of it has been written by other people for other games, like Eldritch. This may be somewhere in my "to do" notes. Somewhere. Maybe. Sigh.

    Creating and coding new stats is kind of mentioned in File 1a, the introduction to the Data Dictionary, which could also be called "abandon hope ye who are about to try to figure this out".

    I'm more than willing to explain concepts and come up with examples for people who have installed the system and are standing there with a kind of "now what?" glazed look on their face. PM me here or Friend me on Skype with an explanation of who you are/why you're friending me so I don't outright reject it.

  • @lordbelh Yeah I'd say that's true. The problem as you point out is you have to get everyone on board with it which in a lot of online games is the central point where it falls apart.

  • Pitcrew

    @Thenomain Character creation walkthrough is done - it was high on our list of "necessary to open", it's more the "everything else we stole wholesale from Theno's github of wonder" that we need helpfiles for. It's nothing we can't write - I was just hoping we didn't have to reinvent the wheel just because it's easy to invent a wheel. Thank you anyway! I will point my coder at you if she has questions.

    @GangOfDolls @lordbelh You both have good points. I think systems like this can only be as useful as the players making use of them - discussion like this is exactly what I was looking for. I'm not sure I know whether I can implement anything that'd be widely useful yet, I will probably wait and see how the spheres come out in terms of the players who join them before I make any decisions about new systems.

    IN OTHER NEWS. We have the necessary wiki extension installed and there's a basic character page. We've worked out some problems with +temproom working perfectly well except in a specific weird situation we wanted it to work in one way and it didn't because we're weird lazy people who saw where a shortcut could be and it turned out to not be a shortcut so we made it one. Last night, drunkenly and with no sleep, I dropped close to 20 hangouts onto the grid where on January 30th there were zero.

    Around six of them may or may not have disappeared and needed to be redug because we were using +temproom, +here/perm, and setting the room parent to the base room parent instead of manually @digging rooms and exits and I forgot to +here/perm. >.> of them twice.

    Look what I'm saying is if the hangouts disappear literally while you're in them, have terrible misspellings, or if at one point I just wrote "FUCK" into the desc six times in a row, submit a +request and I'll fix it.

    We will officially throw open the doors as soon as I can touch base with my co-headwiz and admin so you guys can make fun of a project I've secretly been in love with and working on here and there including complete rewrites (at one point it briefly became a Demon: The Fallen game set in Washington DC!) for a dozen years and oh god it's as unpolished and run-on as this sentence. This is my NOT terrified of failure face. Okay.

  • @RDC said in NOLA: The Game That Care Forgot:

    it's more the "everything else we stole wholesale from Theno's github of wonder" that we need helpfiles for.

    c.f. the wiki for any game I've coded for in the past eight years. You have my permission to steal the text wholesale, since it was written by either me, @Glitch, @coin, @skew, @Chime, @Cobaltasaurus, or any half dozen other people who couldn't care less.

    But yeah, some of them have help files. The more modern ones don't. It's like I'm hitting burnout earlier these days.

  • Just send a message if you need help with anything specifically. Don't think I have the capacity to volunteer to "formally staff", but I'm quite happy loitering in a @Thenomain like capacity to answer questions.

    As it stands, I thiiiiiink I know his code better than anyone else (besides him, obvs, except for when I know it better than him). Though I might need to fight @Cobaltasaurus not sure.

  • Double post: Fallen World was the latest game I (with T-main working close) worked on. The help files should be pretty good!

  • Do you have custom writeups for the bloodlines, or no? If no, what is your plan there?

  • Pitcrew

    @skew Thank you! I will send my coder-type to see what we can steal from you.

    @Tempest Right now, bloodlines are a social construct more than a mechanical one. Do you want to be a Gorgon? Okay, say so. Do you want some cosmetic changes? That's probably okay, too. Do you want snake powers? Pitch it as a custom merit or devotion, and anyone can take it, but it's most commonly associated with your bloodline. Do you want bloodline-specific powers? Maybe we can work out a Mystery Cult that awards bloodline specific stuff.

    Basically I don't want to have to write a bunch of bloodlines only to have them rewritten when a big book of bloodlines comes out. In-theme, bloodlines aren't the default, anyway - most vampires are just Daeva, or Gangrel, or whatever. MU*s change that because bloodlines are free power, so everyone takes them. Yeah, they're super super themely and fun - I have loved my characters of various bloodlines, and those bloodlines were central to their characters. But my goal is to have to rewrite as lIttle as possible later.

    As a side note, when SotC came out, I was super happy because I didn't want to expand on the Covenant themes and then have to rewrite...then SotC was a bunch of slice-of-life in character fiction and no real hard "This is what the covenants are like" info and I was really disappointed.

    Power stuff was cool though. And Hurt Locker was amazing. Best CofD book yet in my opinion.

  • Pitcrew

    We are OFFICIALLY OPEN. Original post edited to include wiki and game address.

  • Pitcrew

    Oh god I forgot to make sure important theme info was easily accessible on the wiki! XD

  • Pitcrew

    There is a surprising amount of stuff checked off on my to-do list that is not actually done. Please be patient with us on the wiki front, and feel free to log in and ask all sorts of questions if there's blank spots!

  • Tutorialist

    @RDC said in NOLA: The Game That Care Forgot:

    There is a surprising amount of stuff checked off on my to-do list that is not actually done. Please be patient with us on the wiki front, and feel free to log in and ask all sorts of questions if there's blank spots!

    New to-do list item: double check accuracy of previous to-do list items.