[Original Supernatural/Vampire MUSH] Houses of the Blood MUSH
Houses of the Blood MUSH will be an original supernatural MUSH, focusing on vampires that arose from ancient Rome and have expanded with the spread of the Republic and Empire into the world. Rising from the mythos of ancient Rome, cursed by the Gods, vampires exist in a tenuous relationship with a world upon which they must prey, and a world in which there is conflict around every corner, be it with the therians -- the were-creatures -- the witches, or stranger things. Designed to present an alternative to the World of Darkness MUSH, HotB MUSH will strive to present a vampire-focused game with sociopolitical, investigative/mystery, and physical angles, as well as an ongoing 'seasonal plot' pushing along a storyline towards an ending/agenda, allowing for player agency to affect, drive, and change this as well.
I need help staying afloat, though. I'd love to even have people just talking to me about the game here. So...
Here's my AMA. Read the other thread. Pick apart my shit. I want to open this goddamn game and I'm going to do it.
I do value the input of you guys, as I feel like I've learned a lot of the 'pitfalls' to expect in opening a game that's meant to be an alternative to the WoD from WORA and you guys here.
Rather than necro'ing my old thread, which you can find here: http://musoapbox.net/topic/1083/interest-check-original-vampire-based-supernatural-mu
I am slogging away at stuff. I will post a link to the game's wiki later on this week (and a few of you who are smart googlers can probably already find it).
I am still open to having help with the game; I'd love to get some people who are creative individuals to help me build/round out the rest of the Houses material. I have waffled up and down a bit on some of the powers functionality (essentially I'm swinging between a WoD 'list o stuff' as detailed in the prior thread, and a TFMUSH-style 'here's the building blocks for a power, have at it!' setup) .
The grid is mostly built; I did lose some material in a computer crash issue which was shitty. Map is ongoing.
Code is relatively done except for the combat system, mostly because I found too many errors in compatibility to drag forward the MMX/TFGenerations combat system.
"the MMX/TFGenerations combat system" -- What is this, exactly?
Are you going to allow the stuff like "witches" as PCs, and not just Vampires? Seems like yes, but figured it was worth clarifying.
Point 1: Combat System. Rather than having everything laid out as '+roll MUSCLE + STABBY', everything is pre-coded as a 'combat system'. Similar to FS3, I guess, but more user-input based and a bit more intuitive. You'd have, say, 'attack Hogarth=Battle Axe' and, if you have a weapon/attack named 'Battle Axe' the code handles all the heavy lifting for you, all bonuses, etc. It's a descendant out of the early Transformers coded combat systems. Ultimately, 'combat system' is a bit of a misnomer, as using a power that gives you a social buff would also activate in that manner, to auto-account for the buffs. In this way, I feel like it'll prevent crazy rules lawyering and, since the code does everything for you, there's very little 'cheating' that can be done on a mechanical scale.
Point 2: The game is being designed with a vampire-based focus; witches, therians, bygones, etc. are all non-playable/NPCs of varying levels of interaction with the vampire-based PCs.
Ahh, the combat system sounds interesting. Is the Transformers system similar to the one on the SRW MUs? Also saw it used on that FF/Kingdom Hearts game, which was pretty neat.
And okay. Actually saw the answer to the PC things in the other thread, sorry. :p
From that thread...I'm sure this is a very simple thing, but I don't know these abbreviations "A game starting out more heavily CvE but moving towards a heavy CvC"--What's CvE/CvC?
They're from the same stock. I won't have as many crazy options as them, but my goal is to make powers not just be A HAMMER to take to a situation, and to add some tactical stuff to combat (and to make out of combat stuff easy to deal with; got a social buff that ups you PURTY? The system accounts for that when you use something that uses PURTY). At its core, it's a combo of automation for combat/fighting/powers, with a LITTLE bit of adjusted syntax for non-combat. Like, you'd +check attr/skill for, say, a musical performance, but it would automatically account for your buffs/debuffs.
And that's no worries. :) I want to make a focused game, and have some personal ideas about 'vampires at war with <X> supernatural culture' in a different manner than 'LEECHES ARE OF THE WYRM!!!'
I use a slight bit of different terminology that I use in place of PvE and PvP. I use C for character, as P implies, to me, the 'Player' and gives connotations of OOC antagonism. CvC would be Character vs. Character (let's you and me have an Influence War!) , and CvE would be Character vs. Environment (let's you and that Minotaur have a discussion on the merits of war).
So, in the other thread, I saw you mention the three 'traitor houses' repeatedly, and then say you hadn't decided if they're going to be open to PCs or not. Are you still thinking about that?
You also seemed averse to human PCs in the thread, but on the wiki (cough), I saw something about humans being allowed as servus (or w/e) to vampires. Is that accurate? --Because I was going to comment that you should definitely consider allowing humans of some sort. It's not my thing really, but I am 100% sure there is a crowd of MU players that really likes playing the 'servants' of Vampires, and since you have them in the setting, it didn't really make sense to cut them out from PCs.
I am really liking everything I've read so far. I also really like the idea of powers 'branching' (assuming I understood that right). So two vampires with Intensity/whatever at 'Master' may not have all the exact same abilities. That's pretty neat, and fun. (Will inevitably lead to some instances of 'why would you ever pick X over Y', but who cares, even successful, 5 year old MMOs have that problem with their class traits.)
Regarding the traitor houses, I'm still on the fence. I'm leaning towards allowing it, and having it be done in the method of infiltration, with them hiding among the six Houses of the Blood. Basically an integrated antagonist faction (and I have... plot... that i really don't want to throw out that ties into the antagonists), who play like normal PCs but have a different responsibility. Like a Sabbat infiltrator or a Brood infiltrator or something like that, for those that are familiar with WoD.
'Raw' humans are, currently, not set to be playable. A servus is like Renfield or a ghoul from WoD; a human that's been warped and changed by vampiric blood and exposure, existing in a half-vampire state. Playing a human on what I'm hoping is a politically-active vampire game (being based on Roman society, there's a LOT that I'm going to be talking about as far as politics and largesse and such) is something that would dilute the theme to me. If someone can present me a good reason other than 'I want to be terrorized/scouted/fucked by a vampire' I'm all ears.
Regarding the power branches, one of my goals is options, and you're right there. I'm hoping to give each power, especially at Master level, some good utility, and foster both cooperation and well as jealousy ICly. I'm sure it'll become 'GOD WHY DIDN'T YOU BUY KILLZOR IT IS THE BEST' but... I can hope.
Stuff like the traitor thing is always iffy. It COULD be super awesome. In a perfect world, it WOULD be awesome. In the real world, somebody'll muck it up. Would the 'spies' be known to each other?
On one hand, that'd give them a lot more angle to play with it. On the other, then if one person gets 'caught' they can probably get mindfucked into outing the ones they know. Which is all realistic and stuff, and one of the dangers even in real life of 'spies' knowing each other/etc.
Also you'd need to keep that on the downlow as a player OOC. And it feels like it could breed this weird paranoia in-game (which, admittedly, could be fun), but with all the OOCness that goes on on games, keeping those kind of things OOCly a secret is pretty hard. The minute you got 'oocly outed', I feel like it'd just be a matter of time before that 'somehow' turned into ICly outed.
I dunno, just my random thoughts as I consider it a bit. A lot of fun. Potentially a lot of mess.
Onto servus-- Will they have powers, a-la ghouls? And TBH I'm with you on the humans, like I said, not my thing, but I know it is for some people. Having the servus is probably good enough.
And yeah, the powers thing. As long as all the options are at least 'kind of neat', I wouldn't even worry about it too much. I've been playing Guild Wars 2 lately, and even there, half the traits my class gets are clearly worse than the other options.
Yeah, I'm sure some 'meta' build of murdervamp will arise, but eh. It's a MU for RP, and with the politics/other powers/etc, should be ways around dealing with that, anyways.
That's my primary concern of allowing them being playable; you hit EVERY point in my brain that makes me against the idea. As much as I'd love to have some sort of PC antagonist faction in play, all of that is a concern. Also, the concept of spilling the beans on their plot and OOC outing and such.
Servii will have access to powers, yes. They'll have lesser access (right now they can't purchase past the Intermediate level, but they are not limited otherwise). Their benefits are extra Downtime Actions due to having daytime access. This is subject to change.
Right now that's where I'm waffling. I have some powers built. Some aren't. The other option is the old standard of 'build your own powers', which are able to be more customized, but then I have to get into starting combat totals, all kinda junk I don't wanna do no more.
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Powers are something I'd suspect you can outsource, or at least get some ideas from people and then rework/fit the ideas into the rules you have in mind.
Which ones don't you have done yet, and what are the 'ideas' behind those?
I imagine this sort of game would definitely have an interested playerbase. Looking forward to hearing about your progress! There might be some culture shock for folks of it not just being another WoD vamp game, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are plenty of people interested in playing with a new twist on vamps that still maintains 'some' of the familiar vibes.
I have a rough schematic for all the powers, though only about five of them are completely laid out. I need to go through and actually build the templates, to steal a phrase from someone else. At this point, assuming I don't switch out to 'build your own' it's a matter of coming up with... interesting things to fill in the blanks. Interesting things and then testing. For damage-dealing powers, right now trying to determine 'damage ratings' for them.
I have things going on. The ones that are completely done are Mobility, Aesthesia, Intensity, Terrify and Glamour.
So, I was reading the other thread again.
Vampire society and hierarchy is also divided up into three distinct ranks:
- Patrician: The name patrician is a bit of a hold over from the times of Rome, but it ultimately boils down to the same meaning: the fathers of the Blood Drinkers, those of great merit, age, power, or all three. Blood drinkers who have comported themselves in such a way as to impress the city hierarchy and/or their House’s hierarchy, can be named a patrician. Typically, a vampire cannot quality for patrician status until they have attained 250 years in the Blood, or have undergone some extraordinary service for the Republic. Patricians gain the Innate Status Confirmed, Established and Privileged.
- Plebeian: The common folk of the Houses of the Blood, these make up the largest majority of vampires. While they may hold offices, they are ones who have not distinguished themselves in some manner. Plebeians have no Innate Status other than Acknowledged as a valid member of society and a member of a House.
- Peregrini: Those who either a)have disgraced themselves and have been punished by being cast out from the main line of society, but have not been named Pariah by the Consul or the Senate; or b) are vampires but are not able to prove/claim lineage to one of the Nine Houses. Peregrini are afforded some loose rights but not many, and are forced to live on the fringes. However, those who are peregrini can recover their status or become recognized, but it is a long and arduous road.
- Pariah: A term used to represent those who have been cast out and afforded no protections, with an accompanying execution orders or other summary justice. Being named a Pariah is a death sentence for a vampire.
How are you planning to handle this at character creation? Are people going to pick what they want to be? Will everyone start as a specific one? If you wanted to be a Patrician will that cost 'advantage' points or something?
250 years feels like a lot, so that's a pretty huge gap between "real member" and "common folk" until the 'pleb' does something noteworthy to earn the status.
You hit it pretty much dead on, though some of the wording has changed (the intent was for vampires that are X years old to automatically get the Patrician status, as it's assumed that they would have been a steady pillar of the Republic of the Night, and anyone younger can win the status by doing awesome shit before they hit that 250 mark).
Generally, characters will start as Plebians, unless they specifically app in as a Peregrinus (this is like apping a Caitiff on a WoD game for comparison, a vampire with no House affiliation because they can't prove their lineage). Pariah is not really a good option for 'start as this,' as it's a form of exile/punishment for lawbreaking.
There are Advantages (limited benefits) that can be taken to start out as a Patrician (one is based on age, there's another that's a little cheaper that gives you Patrician status for doing something epic for the Republic, like single-handledly destroying a powerful Traitor or holding the line in a war against the Therians, gives you both a 'cool RP thing' as well as the status traits), but you can only have a specific number of Advantages, and so you'd be giving up on other potentially cool stuff to start with Patrician status.
And on that note.
The Advantages also tie into how we're handling 'age applications' for things that would be equivalent to playing an Elder on a standard WoD MUSH. Right now it's something I'm running numbers on, but one of the planned Advantages is based on your age. What the advantage does is front-loads some extra XP above the baselines and XP floor, but the character is treated as being in XP debt; so they can spend it all, or bank some of it, but they ain't earning any more til that first loan has been paid back.
That's actually pretty interesting.
Probably one of the most reasonable ways to handle "older vampires" actually being a little stronger than young ones 'at CG'.
It still costs them something (advantage points), and lets people do their elder concept without feeling gimped, and doesn't /really/ give them free XP or anything.
It's one thing I've learned from trying to do elders -- and have them actually BE Elders -- in Vampire LARP. In one 40 person LARP I ran, we did that exact thing (without the Advantage points though) and it worked like a charm. They had their breadth and power, but they were a 'slow gain' because of the frontload of XP.
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but the character is treated as being in XP debt; so they can spend it all, or bank some of it, but they ain't earning any more til that first loan has been paid back.
Holy shit I love that idea.
Thank you. I'm hopeful it'll work out nicely.
Relatedly, my 'let's write some damn news files!' music for the game.
From the name I assume you are using Houses of the Blooded? If so, awesome and you have my interest.
No, I was actually not aware of that RPG as a thing until I'd decided on a name for this a long time ago. Houses of the Blood represents a core aspect of what the game is: vampire houses in old Roman familial style, and vampires call themselves 'in the Blood' or 'of the Blood'. Thus, Houses of the Blood.
I'm sure this will cause some confusion somewhere, but I'm too far in to really change it midway through.