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»  Beginner's Guide, New players, read this first!
Angie
 Posted: Jan 17 2014, 10:52 PM
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Code Monkey
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Hello potential new players!

New to the World of Darkness? Played around a bit but still not sure how everything works? Don't understand why werewolves and vampires get on like the Hatfields and McCoys? Does the mere mention of 'Mage' give you a headache?

Fear not! I was once like you, lost and rolling around on the floor screaming WHY at the heavens as I stared at my half-finished character apps. I was the newbie, co-admining with three seasoned vets of the system, all of whom do a great job of breaking things down for their venues. But we're all aware that the overall mechanics of the WoD can be a little confusing at first, so, as the one who's still learning the ropes, I've written up a Beginner's Guide to give any interested parties a quick look at the creatures, powers, and politics of the World of Darkness and, by extension, the board itself.

Each section below will give a quick over-view of each playable usergroup with a link to the more detailed Creature Feature for each venue.
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Angie
 Posted: Jan 18 2014, 12:26 AM
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Code Monkey
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THE ENLIGHTENED

Mages, magicians, witches, warlocks, mad scientists, crackpots. Whatever you want to call them, the Enlightened are humans who have discovered that not only does magic exist, but they themselves can wield it. The Enlightened are split between two factions, The Traditions and The Technocracy, who were once engaged in a secret Shadow War. Below is a list of the hows and whys of playing one of the Enlightened.


What They Are: Regular human beings who have Awoken, that is, they have an epiphany and discover that magic is real.

How They Become Enlightened: By Awakening, a Mage discovers that the world is not as cut-and-dry as they once believed. Magic is real, and they can use their willpower to make it alter reality around them. Some Mages believe magic is a mystical cosmic force, others are convinced it's simply science at work; depending on which group your character falls into will determine how they view what exactly magic is.

Physiology: Enlightened do not differ from humans as far as the amount of damage they can take or how their bodies function. A gun shot can kill them as easily as an illness can, and they age at the same rate as any other human being. That said, with the correct alterations made to themselves via their magic, Mages can enhance their senses, extend their life, appear to stop aging, add cybernetics to their bodies, or any number of other little "cheats", though these adjustments do not make them immortal. They eat, sleep and breathe normally, are slaves to the average human bodily needs, and have the same mental and physical desires as everyone else around them.

Organization: The Enlightened are split into two separate factions, the Traditions and the Technocracy, with a few fringe groups that lend allegiance to neither.

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The Traditions are the warlocks, the wizards, the shamans, the sorts that-- for the most part-- believe in the mystical and spiritual capabilities of magic. The Traditions are unified as a whole, but are made up of five major and four minor distinct smaller groups with like-minded beliefs and capabilities:


Celestial Chorus: Consists of religious Traditionalists who believe that their faith helps to make their magical abilities possible. Fictional characters that could be considered Choristers are Yuna from the Final Fantasy series, Sebastian Vael from the Dragon Age series, Van Helsing, and the McManus brothers from Boondock Saints.

Cult of Ecstasy: Made up of Mages who supplement their powers by testing the limits of their minds and bodies by pushing their consciousness out of their physical form through pain or pleasure. Fictional characters that could be considered part of the Cult include Edward Bloom from Big Fish, Dr. Robert from Across the Universe, The Incredible Hulk, and the title character from the film The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

Dreamspeakers: The oldest organization of the Enlightened, and the one most likely to house shaman, spirit workers, and medicine men. Fictional characters that could be considered part of the Dreamspeakers could include Dr. Facilier from The Princess and the Frog, Tia Dalma from Pirates of the Caribean: At World's End, Thrall from World of Warcraft, and Nightwolf from the Mortal Kombat series.

Order of Hermes: Old school magic users who believe in order, ritual, organization and process above all else. This is the group most people will think of when they hear words like "mage" or "wizard." Fictional characters that could be considered part of the Order are Merlin from Arthurian legend, Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings series, the protagonist of the Harry Potter franchise, and Doctor Orpheus from The Venture Bros.

Sons of Ether: Although science and technology are oftentimes associated with the Technocracy, the Sons of Ether are Traditionalists who harness the power of fringe sciences, psychic resonance, unorthodox theories and the like to supplement their magic. Fictional characters that could be associated with the Etherites include many regenerations of The Doctor from Doctor Who, Edgar Figaro from the Final Fantasy series, the title character from Jonny Quest, Dr. Venture from The Venture Bros., and Artemus Gordon from Wild, Wild West.

Others: There are four additional groups that make up the Traditions, but due to their limited numbers in New York City, they are not as prolific on the board. That said, if you wish to play one of the following forms of Magi, you can discuss the character idea with the board's Enlightened storyteller, darkkenchild.

---> The Akashic Brotherhood: Xiaolin Monks and Spirit Warriors (think Korra from The Legend of Korra or Taran Zhu from World of Warcraft).

---> Euthanatos: Death Mystics and Karmic Warriors (ala Ras Al Ghul from the Batman series or Eric Draven from The Crow).

---> Hollow Ones: Modern Gothics and Romantics (think V from V For Vendetta or Vincent Valentine from the Final Fantasy series).

---> Verbena Weather Witches and Herbalists (ala Morgan le Fay of Arthuran legend or Morrigan from the Dragon Age series).

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The Technocracy are the technomages, the mad scientists, the enforcers, the sorts that believe magic is less the idea of mysticism and rituals and more a power to be harnessed for the advancement and protection of the human race. The Technocracy are unified as a whole, but are made up of five major groups with like-minded beliefs and capabilities:


Iteration X: Big supporters of robotics and technology, this group focues their attention on advancing cybernetics, prosthetics and roboticism. Fictional characters that could be considered part of Iteration X could be Tony Stark from the Iron Man series, Mom from Futurama, Q from the James Bond films, and Doctor Eggman from the Sonic the Hedgehog series.

New World Order: The NWO see themselves as the police force and micro-managers of the modern world, working to keep stories of magic, mysticism, and miracles (aka, the workings of the Traditions) under wraps from the rest of the world. Fictional characters that could be considered a part of the NWO are Agent Smith from The Matrix series, Agents K and J from Men in Black, and Nick Fury and Agent Coulson from the Avengers.

Progenitors: Champions of the biological sciences, the Progenitors work to fix genetic disorders, cook up new drugs and medication to alter the mind and body, dabble in the world of cloning to regrow lost limbs, and other (sometimes questionable) practices to better humanity. Examples of fictional characters that could be considered Progenitors are Dr. Frankenstein, the title character from The Island of Doctor Moreau, Dr. Gregory House from House, and Professor Hojo from the Final Fantasy series.

The Syndicate: This group micromanages the stock market and controls the flow of finances within the Technocracy, pulling strings behind the curtain or sending out Enforcers to make sure those they want on top stay there. Characters that could be considered part of the Syndicate are Kingpin from Marvel Comics, James Bond, Mr. House from Fallout: New Vegas, and Vito Corleone from The Godfather.

Void Engineers: The majority of the Earth has been explored and mapped, but the Void Engineers still have a need to get out and discover the Great Unknown, travelling to the farthest reaches of space, the deepest depths of the ocean, and the darkest corners of the spirit world to feed their wanderlust. Fictional characters that could be part of the Engineers include Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life series, Cid Highwind from the Final Fantasy series, Buck Rogers, and the title character form the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

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The Virtual Adepts are a rogue group that has separated itself from both the Traditions and the Technocracy, having sided with both sides at one point or another in their history but considering themselves their own faction today. Believing in free information for the people and acting as digital activists, the Adepts believe they are the Enlightened of the future, able to direct the world as they see fit in these times of cyber domination.

Examples of fictional characters that could be considered part of the Virtual Adepts include Neo from The Matrix franchise, the title character from the television show Chuck, Max Headroom, Spider Jeruselum from Transmet, and the title character from the movie Johnny Mnemonic.


Powers: Mages are able to wield magical spells called Spheres. Spells are unique to each individual Mage but tend to fall into nine separate Spheres. Each Sphere requires some sort of focus in order to function, and that focus must be paired with what is called a Foci. A Foci can be anything from a physical object to an abstract concept. Each Sphere requires a Foci, but a single Foci can be used for several different spheres.

Below is a few examples of a Sphere using a Foci:

Example 1: A Son of Ether attempting to put up a magical barrier between themselves and a potential enemy using the Matter sphere may use a specific gadget they created called a "Matter Manipulator" to construct the barrier. However, that same gadget, based on its name and function, could be used for other Matter-based spells, such as creating a see-though section in a wall or altering how much an item weighs.

Example 2: A Dreamspeaker may use a voodoo doll to inflict pain on an enemy using the Life and Entropy spheres, and use that voodoo doll solely for one individual. However, they may have several dolls for several different people.

Example 3: An Iteration X member attempting to create an Artificial Intelligence in one of their creations using the Mind sphere may require listening to a specific track of electronic music to be playing in order to focus properly, and will only use that specific song for that specific sphere.

----- There are nine Spheres a Mage can use to create spells. There are no set spheres any one Mage must take; as long as they have the appropriate Foci and points invested in a Sphere, a Mage can create their own "spellbook" unique to them and them only. Below is a brief introduction to the Spheres to help you get familiar.


Correspondence: Based primarily on location and spatial location, this Sphere allows Mages to alter the world around them relative to where they currently are. For example, the Enlightened can detect how close a specific person or object is to them, view a far away location without the aid of binoculars, teleport objects to them, or even open a portal to another location.

Entropy: This Sphere gives the Mage power over order, chaos, fate, and fortune. Examples of Entropy spells can include detecting when someone is lying, upping the odds of winning a bet, blessing someone with good luck, or creating mental chaos in an enemy.

Forces: This Sphere allows the Mage to manipulate energy and natural forces to their liking. For example, the Enlightened can see in the dark, walk on water, create a storm out of thin air, or move an object with their mind.

Life: The life energy in creatures can be sensed and manipulated with this sphere. Some examples include detecting illness in an individual, heal injuries in others, causing oneself to change their physical form, or causing injury or even death in other creatures.

Matter: This Sphere allows the Enlightened to alter the non-living energy around them. For example, the Mage can see through walls, destroy a structure, change one object into something else entirely, or change the size or shape of an object.

Mind: Any Mage using this Sphere can alter and sense emotions, desires, and intent in themselves and others. For example, the Enlightened can shield themselves from manipulation, project a message to others without opening their mouth, read the thoughts of others, or alter memories as they see fit.

Prime: This Sphere focuses on control of the basic energy of magic itself. A Mage using this Sphere can take damage to enhance another spell, sense the use of magic by others, and even draw essence from the world around them to replenish their own magic.

Spirit: This Sphere deals entirely with the beings and world of both spirits of nature and of the dead. An example of spirit magic can be the Mage seeing into the spirit world, calling a spirit to themselves, physically crossing over into the Spirit World, or enter other realities all together.

Time: The Enlightened using this Sphere can manipulate or alter the flow of time. For example, a Mage may sense alterations to time, see into the past or future, travel backwards or forwards through time, or freeze time for others around them.

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Interested in playing a Mage? Great! Head on over to the Enlightened Creature Feature HERE and get all the nitty gritty details!
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Angie
 Posted: Jan 24 2014, 12:43 AM
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Code Monkey
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THE WRAITHS

Wraiths are d-e-a-d, dead. But instead of passing completely over to the other side, they're stuck somewhere in the middle, cursed to reside in a realm known as the Shadowlands, a dark mirror version of the physical world. They're prevented from moving on because of a strong emotional tie to the world of the living, physically bound to it by a Fetter. Until a Wraith can overcome whatever is keeping them in limbo, they can't Transcend to their final place of resting, and their inner sabatuer, known as their Shadow, doesn't make things easy for them.


What They Are: Regular human beings who have died but haven't entirely passed on. They are stuck in limbo, in a between-world called the Shadowlands, though they can pass into the mortal world (known as the Skinlands) if they Manifest themselves in a corporeal form. Wraiths are burdened with a metaphorical devil on their shoulder, also known as their Shadow, which tries to manipulate the Wraith into giving into their dark side. Wraiths that are able to overcome their Shadows and settle their affairs with the mortal world will Transcend; those that don't are ultimately dragged into Oblivion and transformed into hellish monstrosities called Spectres, or simply cease to exist.

How They Become Wraiths: By dying with unfinished business that still needs resolved. Any strong emotional tie, no matter how petty, to the mortal world will keep a Wraith from truly passing on.

Physiology: Wraiths, in their most basic form, have no distinct form, though they are able to Manifest themselves into various states depending on how much concentration they put into said Manifestation. At the highest level a Wraith will appear to be a regular human being, but with something slightly off about them, ranging anywhere from embodying an almost unsettling level of perfection to having the appearance of jaundiced skin, depending on what sort of Wraith they are. In this form a Wraith is virtually no different from an average human physically; they can cry, sweat, spit, talk, and touch. As long as a Wraith can remember a sensation from when they were alive, they can replicate it in their Manifestations. Wraiths do not need to eat or sleep, and any attempt to do the former will end with chewed up food falling to the floor. Their skin is slightly cold to the touch, not alarmingly so but noticeable all the same. Wraiths can potentially partake in any activity a human could, but any loss of focus due to fear, excitement, or pleasure on their end will end with them reverting back to their un-Manifested form.

Organization: Wraiths are split into six distinct groups, which are assigned primarily by the type of person the Wraith was while they were alive.

Banshee: Consists of altruistic individuals whose empathy is enhanced after they meet their end. Banshees are capable of witnessing different points in history and the future, and use their Wail ability to manipulate the emotions of others. Fictional characters that could potentially become Banshees include Captain America, Councilor Troi from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Aerith Gainsborough from the Final Fantasy series, and the title character from the Disney film Pocahontas.

Haunter: Some people travel from place to place, never truly settling down anywhere. These individuals are prime candidates to become Haunters, Wraiths who have strong ties to things rather than people due to their limited emotional ties, and have the ability to possess objects and locations. Fictional characters that could potentially become Haunters include Cloud Strife from the Final Fantasy series, the title character from the television show Samurai Jack, Bruce Banner from The Incredible Hulk comics, and Michonne from The Walking Dead.

Phantasm: Passionate people with far reaching dreams are the sorts who can become Phantasms. Having an almost fanatical devotion to the goals they had in life, Phantasms can dive into the dreams of sleeping mortals to live vicariously through their subconscious wants and desires. Fictional characters that could potentially become Pantasms include Rapunzel from the Disney film Tangled, Willy Wonka from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Jay Gatsby from the novel The Great Gatsby, and J.D. from the television series Scrubs.

Poltergeist: Some people never feel quite at home in the world of the living, harboring a disdain for nearly everyone and everything they come across. After death a Poltergeist takes their anger and annoyance and manifests it in the ability to manipulate their surroundings, oftentimes in less than favorable ways. Fictional characters that could potentially become Poltergeists include Randall Graves from the Clerks series, Darth Vader from the Star Wars films, The Incredible Hulk, and Batman.

Skinrider: People that become Skinriders often dealt with a desire for power and control when they were alive, earning it through any means, from fear to intimidation to regulation. This desire for control carries over after their death, allowing them to literally jump into the body of mortals and "ride" them around. Fictional characters that could potentially become Skinriders includes Goldfinger from the James Bond series, Jafar from the Disney movie Aladdin, Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, and Maleficent from the Disney movie Sleeping Beauty.

Wisp: Spirits that lead around the foolish, hopeful, or easily manipulated, Wisps were once the utmost of social creatures, ranging from the class clown to con-artists. In death they are able to flip back and forth from the Skinlands to the Shadowlands, and often try to lead mortals off the beaten path for their own ill-gains. Fictional characters that could potentially become Wisps include Sawyer from the television series Lost, Jimmy Olsen from the Superman comics, Cartman from the television show South Park, and Yuffie Kisaragi from the Final Fantasy series.

Powers: Wraiths are capable of using powers known as Horrors, which allow them to manipulate themselves, others, or the world around them. Note that not all Wraith archetypes can choose from every category of Horror, and some are restricted all together.

Manifest: Allows a Wraith to take on a physical form while in the Skinlands.

Anathema: Allows a Wraith to move anywhere from 100-500 pounds in any way desired.

Beckon Relic: Allows a Wraith to reach through the Shroud and summon an item to them.

Bedlam: Allows a Wraith to create elaborate illusions that affect anywhere from one to all five senses.

Broadband Ghost: Allows a Wraith to turn themselves into energy and travel through or manipulate devices.

Congeal: Allows a Wraith to create temporary tools and weapons from their own bodies.

Contaminate: Allows a Wraith to fake the symptoms of a disease or cure in another person.

Dream-Walker: Allows a Wraith to transport themselves and/or others from place to place.

Forbode: Allows a Wraith to see brief glimpses of the past or possible future.

Helter Skelter: Allows a Wraith to move objects around in the living world by using silver tendrils.

Inhabit: Allows a Wraith to merge with an inanimate object and gain control over it.

Juggernaut: Allows a Wraith to wrap themselves in silver flame in order to become stronger and sturdier.

Pandemonium: Allows a Wraith to alter the future by tweaking the present.

Puppetry: Allows a Wraith to fully possess the body of a living human.

Sandman: Allows a Wraith to enter, watch, and shape the dreams of humans.

Unearthly Repose: Allows a Wraith to force others to follow them by making themselves seem more alluring.

Wail: Allows a Wraith to change the emotions of those around them or deal damage.

Witch's Nimbus: Allows a Wraith to generate fire or electrical energy.

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Interested in playing a Wraith? Great! Head on over to the Wraith Creature Feature HERE and get all the details!
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