This FAQ is meant to provide new players of the Chantry with everything they need to know to start a character, as well as provide a common base of knowledge among the active player roster.
Part II Characters and Their Creation
Part III The Infinity Chantry
Part IV Storyline
Part V Chat Room Etiquette
And for our first question for this list:
What is all this, anyway?
The Infinity Chantry is one of several areas within the fiction city of Necropolis (which happens to be located in the spot where the real city of Kansas City is, spanning the Mississippi.) Necropolis is a communal gaming environment for White Wolf's line of game product for the World of Darkness setting (WoD for short), and the Infinity chantry is the home site for the Tradition Magus.
How do I play?
You need, at the very least, Mage: The Ascension, 2nd Ed. (also known as the BPT or Big Purple Tome.) Life will be infinitely (pun intended) easier if you also own, or are at least familiar with the Book of Shadow (Mage Player's Guide) and the Tradition Book for you character's Tradition.
Part II: CHARACTER CREATION AND INTRODUCTION back to Intro
What guideline should I use to make my character?
Okay, technically, you're free to make whatever you want. HOWEVER there are a few things that will increase the odds that people will actually want to role-play with you (instead of screaming: POWERGAMER at the mere sight of your nickname):
1) No Ubermensh. In particular, try not to bring in characters with Arete over 7 or any Sphere over 5(the membership list maintainer has declared that neither will EVER be registered on the list.) We want characters that have rooms for growth and development. At least consider making a standard starting character, as per the BPT. You'll find you value them more as time goes on and they mature, for having earned it all.
2) Make 'em real. Pay close attention to your Nature and Demeanor, and don't forget to factor in your Avatar's Essence, as well. This matter to other players far more than a tally of what Sphere you wield.
3) Merits and Flaws should be used with care-- again, keep an eyes on the character, not the numbers. No one's going to call you out for starting a character who had 8 point of flaws rather than 7, but someone who just uses the number-crunching to make the ultimate character is likely to be ignored.
4) Mage of all stripes are allowed, except Nephandi, blatant Marauder and Technomancer (the later have they're own game for more information contact Chairman George Hampton) If your character is a member of one of the more secretive Craft. Then they may very well claim to be Orphans or even a member of another Tradition.
What's this with Descriptions?
It's usually a good idea to write up a quick description of your character, something to help the other players visualize her. The easiest way to do this is to write it up and then leave your Word Processing program open in the background on your computer, then pull it out with copy-pasting when needed. More on description in Section V
Okay, I made my character--now how do I get him/her in?
First off, try to develop a reason for being there, In Character (IC). Is your Hermetic in Necropolis to gauge the effects of the Shadow Nightclub on the Consensus? Or maybe your CoX’er hears it was a great place to party. Heck, maybe you just wandered in, pulled by some feeling akin to déjà vu. These are all valid, but YOU should know why your character is there from the start and how he managed to learn about the existence of Infinity. Now, jump in. Try to avoid the hackneyed "X burst in through the door, bleeding from multiple wounds. As he collapses to the floor, he whispers, ‘Help me...’" This happens three or four times in the same night, on occasion, and will not have the dramatic impact you might be looking for. Once you've come in, talk to people, get the feel of the place--joining a Chantry should rarely be a simple or hasty decision—it represent a major commitment. There are usually guestrooms available for visiting Mages who are considering taking up residence.
Okay, I've come in, I've mingled, and I wanna sign up.
Glad to hear it! Now what we need is... your information. The Chantry mailing list also serves as the membership Roster—this help us keep track of who's staying and what not. To get on the list, you need to send the following info to Andrew Pulver: Your character Name, their Tradition/Craft/Orphan affiliation, and their highest Sphere Rank (in term of master, adept, disciple or apprentice if possible). You should also get in touch with your Representative on the Council (see Section III) and give them the kind of information that would show up on a background check (be warned however that if a background check turn up no information or suspicious information the Representative will use Magick to get a more detailed information)—while the Dark Secrets Flaw would probably remain hidden, various Mage and Mortal Society Ties might need expounding, as would Backgrounds like Fame or Influence, especially at higher ranks. They may request additional information: please provide it promptly. (See rules for membership in Section 4 of the directory)
What about Non-Mage Characters?
Go back and read the part about having and IC reason to be in Infinity. Now double that, and then double it again. While the Chantry does have a sizable number of Custos (non-Mage members), please remember that the Local Tremere (or Windigo or Sidhe) don't just pop by for a quick drink. In fact, in order to become a Custos, a character also needs a Mage member who will vouch for him/her. Since that character reputation is being placed in the hand of the Custos, they will be cautious—acceptance can be hard. Also keep in mind that Mages have their prejudices too; many have a problem with one or more of the Supernatural, and will try to get a rise out of them with barbed remarks. Restraint is key, here.
PART III: THE INFINITY CHANTRY back to Intro
What is the Infinity Chantry?
The Infinity Chantry is the only official Chantry on the White Wolf Necropolis chat room. It is multi-Tradition, with Orphans and Hollowers accepted as Full member as well.
What does it look like?
The Infinity Chantry is located in the heart of Necropolis and look like a large Victorian mansion that has been converted into a private club. It is common to maintain this facade when people first enter, until it can be determined that they are not a threat. For more information on the chantry location and appearance visit the official Chantry web page.
What is the Code of Conduct?
So far there are only a few rules that are actively enforced:
1) NO attack on other members or their Guest unless there is an imminent danger to themselves or another. Attack "preludes" are also forbidden—drawing weapons, Shape-shifters going for there Crinos (or equivalent for their Bête). Vampire baring fangs—all of theses will result in the rapid activation of the Boom Tubes (see defense below).
2) No summoning major Umbrood or demons or any sort
3) Keep the location of Infinity secret from outsiders.
4) If you think you can help in a situation offer your assistance.
5) Despite not being Mages, Custos are full-blown members of the Chantry, most of whom have surrendered a lot to be here and do as much, if not more, for the Chantry, than many Mage members. The Custos are therefore entitled to the same respect you tender any other member.
6) Disputes are to be settled via Certamen, either the formal variety using the Circle on the second floor or a more classic "Magick Duel" such as a shape-shifting contest. Alternately, they may be brought before the whole Council or, if the disputants agree, to any available Rep for arbitration. If nothing else will do,
Necropolis has a number of fine Alleys capable of serving as rings for settling matters in Cro-Magnon style. Note that Ducking it out in the main lounge of the Chantry is NOT among these options.
Who set the policies?
Rules are laid out by the ruling Council of Representative. There is a Rep for each Tradition, pus one for the Orphans and one for the Hollowers. Each of these has a non-voting Assistance Rep, and the Custos (non-Mage chantry Members) have a non-voting Rep as well.
are the current Reps?
|Tradition||E - Mail||Name|
|Akashic Brotherhoodfirstname.lastname@example.org||Daniel Bosher|
|Celestial Chorusemail@example.com||Gwen Nashmore|
|Cult of Ecstasyfirstname.lastname@example.org||Leigh Garcia|
|Order of Hermes||Melchior17@aol.com||Melchoir|
|Society of Etheremail@example.com||Helen Chase|
|Virtual Adeptsfirstname.lastname@example.org||Joan Morgan|
|Custosemail@example.com||Ravyn Kismet-Talber (Counseler)|
How are the Representatives Chosen?
Normally the representatives are chosen by a majority vote of the members of their tradition. Ideally each tradition should have a personified way to chose it representative, from divine inspiration to virtual- combat...be imaginative. Also in effect, some representative are chosen simply because no one else want the job.
How are the assistant Representative chosen?
Appointed by the Representative. If you think you'd do a good job, contact the Representative IC and let them know. Each Tradition may have one Assistant Representative, although it is possible for the job to go unfilled.
What are the duties of the Representative/Assistant representative?
"Meetings" are held by email, with replies made by hitting "Reply All". Anyone may put forth an opinion, until a vote is called for--at which time the Representatives put votes forward and are tallied.
Assistant Representatives may be called upon to vote if: the Representative is not "there"(possibly for IC reasons) or has recessed themselves because of a possible conflict of interest.
Representatives should also try to keep a list of current membership for their Tradition, and possibly even set a mailing list or Tradition-specific storyline.
What are the rules for Magick in the Chantry?
Almost all Magick is coincidental: the main exceptions to this are healing Aggravated wounds (always Vulgar), summoning major Umbrood (Vulgar except in the spirit lab), brining the dead back from the grave (this one WILL ALWAYS fail if not part of a MAJOR storyline), bringing back Nephandi to the "light"(as the resurrection), restoring Marauder's sanity (as the previous two), awakening sleepers (always vulgar), all qlippothic Magick (always vulgar) and all level 6 and higher Magick (always fail as per the guideline)
Furthermore, casting within the Chantry gains the -1 difficulties for being near a Node.
What Resources are available to the members of Infinity?
Infinity is fully equipped with a Library (see the library OOC page for detail), laboratory facility (one for each sphere and some wings have there own laboratory notably the Order of Hermes and Society of Ether one (see appropriate pages for details), gardens (one located in the verbena wing and the other around the chantry) and of course a fully equipped medical facility. Furthermore, Members may take up residence on in their Tradition Wing of the Chantry, and of course, foods and drinks are free. Naturally you may very well acquire Mentors among the Magi already established here.
What are Infinity defenses?
What follows is NOT a comprehensive list—Infinity has a number of surprises, known only to some members of the Council. These are simply the one most often used—it is rare for more strenuous measures to be needed.
First and foremost, the Chantry has an Arcane rating of 3, meaning that most folks (average perception been 2) should never even FIND the place.
Next come the residents, of course. Folks who bust in expecting to "wipe out a few Wiz-boys" and then high-tail it out of there are in for a rude surprise--group castings generally mean that intruders are dealt with effectively and cleanly.
Joe, the cyber bartender, can evoke many of the Chantry's other defenses:
Boom-Tubes drop misbehaving occupants on the beach by the Deck at the Shadow, or into Smithville Lake if they seem to need the extra time to cool down. The chantry also possesses elemental guardian: 8 of air, 4 of earth and 4 of fire. The representatives or Joe may call upon these Elementals in time of dire need.
PART IV: STORYLINE back to Intro
What kind of a storyline can I run?
Okay, you can, technically, run any kind of storyline you want, but…(you knew there was a "but" coming, didn't you?) there's a lot of thing to avoid.
1) Story-lines are what would occur only once in an entire Campaign of Tabletop Gaming. In particular are: Vampirism "cures", Nephandi or Marauder "salvation", Techie defectors and ANY plot involving the Song of Orpheus. Why? Well it quite simple: it as been done, redone and overdone... almost everyone in the chat room has seen those storyline at least one time (and many have seen it many more times).
2)"Saving the world (or the Fae, Garou or whoever)". After all if your character fails, do you honestly expect every other player (or every Garou/Fae/whatever player) to stop playing? If so please look in the dictionary under megalomania.
3) If you see someone doing a cool plot line, wait for awhile before imitating it—at least six months. And try to add some really original twists too—this is supposed to be a creative activity, after all.
4) Other character should only be brought in with their consent--don't try to drag everyone into your Grand Plot or you'll just foment resentment and get branded a Twink. Note that there is a kind of "implied consent"-- if a character jumps into a scene that he was just an impartial observer to, that player is agreeing to accept the consequences--to an extent. (See next question)
Can I kill a character?
Only if you get the character's player permission first (this can be a general thing, such as "Do you mind if your character has a chance of dying in this storyline?"). There is an exception to this rule—if there are significant number of other players present, and it is pretty near unanimous that the other character should die for doing something so stupid (classic example: Lone Mage charges into the Black Spiral Labyrinth, two MiBs enter the Chantry or a Vampire attacking in the middle of the Day.)
Note: That this exception only applies with the Chantry and storyline relating to the Chantry—the other groups of Necropolis usually operate under the "must gain permission" rule If a "death" scenario does arise but the other character's player is adamant about not wanting to lose the character—show a little mercy, and a LOT of creativity. Brands, tattoos, curses, tortures, brainwashing and forced "Rebirth" are all wonderful possibilities in the place of outright murder of a helpless foe. Think about it, and make it something the other player can enjoy the challenge of.
Are there any other Storyline I should avoid?
Well, any "mature theme" story (rape, child abuse, etc) should be run with as much taste as possible--the chat room are not regulated and children can and do come to role-play--and then ONLY with the consent of EVERYONE involved.
Can I kill my own characters?
Of course--but please remember that it is a final irreversible action. Your character as a mage is death, if you really have to bring the character back thing about the other option: Risen, wraith and also consider the words of Stephen King's Pet Cemetery: "Sometimes, Dead is better."
The other thing to avoid is bringing in a "new" character who happens to resemble the deceased character in virtually every way, and falls into the exact same friendships and enmities--remember, the meaning of Death in Tarot readings is "change". So indulge yours. If the late character was a Caregiver
Verbena, make a Bravo of House Thig. Go nuts--it's an opportunity.
PART V: CHAT ROOM GENERIC INFORMATION. What's IC/OOC? back to Intro
In the play areas of Necropolis, all actions/words are considered to be IC, or IN Character, unless they are noted as being OOC—Out of Character. Try to stay IC as much as possible when posting publicly--it keeps down the OOC clutter.
One exception to this is Game-speak (such as Sphere Ratings of a Magick effect, or dice rolls). Post should usually be addressed to the person intended to hear/see what your character is doing. Often, the easiest way to do this is to place the other character's name at the start of the post follow by ">>" to indicate the "direction" of your comments.
Character actions are usually differentiated from character speech in some way. Either place the speech in quotes (this is the less favored as usually most of your shorts entries are speech, and that means a lot of extra keystrokes) or place actions in some kind of delineator: asterix and tildes are both common:
Thomas enter and orders a drink,
saying," Hey, everyone!"
*Thomas enters and orders a drink* Hey, everyone!
~Thomas enters and orders a drink~ Hey, everyone!
How do I mark OOC comments?
You have two conventions to choose
from (in all the examples they letter X stands for the actual post you
want to make):
Ex 1) OOC>>X
Ex 2) ((X))
If mixing a post with both kinds of comments, then you may need to indicate that you are going back in character (usually BIC' or back in Character):
Ex) AQ for the Infinity Chantry
What's a PM?
A PM is a Private Message--it is only visible to the other character. NO on else will see the post.
How do I send a PM?
Above the main text box is a drop box labeled Sent to--the default value is "Everyone", but you can scroll down to a single character. This list is also useful to see who is in the room at a glance, although if someone just closed their browser without clicking a link out of the room, their name will persist for a little while (10 minutes to be exact)
What are PMs for?
First off, PMs are excellent for side-comments that are OOC" Whenever possible, this method should be used.
Second PMs are often used for "secure" IC comments—telepathic communication, Fae seemings or the results of a magickal scan. Note that between Forces and Correspondence Magick, Lips-reading Skill, Auspex, Sluagh and Garou senses, you should not just assume that whispered conversation is inaudible to any would-be eavesdroppers.
Third, if you've gone "off-stage" to someplace that doesn't have it's own hall in the chats, such as a character's apartment, PMs are an effective way to handle anything that happens there. IN particular, except in fairly rare circumstances, "cybering"(i.e. cyber-sex) should be confined to PMs. Do Try to remember that your actions are going to seem to newbies to be "typical" of role-playing. Try to keep things on a reasonable level.
PMs should NOT be used to snip at other players or to send harassing message or unwanted sexual advances. Folk who violate these rules should not be surprised if their victim exposes them publicly, and if they wind up the subject of much derision as a result.
What's this about Color and Volumes?
These are two more option for you post. The scroll down windows let you change the color and size (volume) of your font. There are a few things that will really tick off other player very quickly: Posting Anything Yellow, which most player wish would be removed from the list; posting long, message, or non-shouted short ones, in larger-than-normal fonts--save the Shout and Yell option for quick attention -gutters. If you have an IC reason for an extended yell, post in all caps, or simply label it "-SHOUTED-" then proceed with the post. On the other hand, Whispered Posts (small font) are generally acceptable, and actually preferable for long character descriptions.
There is an Alternative Color Portal at this site which will go directly to the Chantry Chat Room and gives you acess to all the colors your heart could desire.
Yup. It's fairly common for players to save a description of their character to a word processing program, and to keep that file open on their computer's desktop. Then they can call it up and Cut & Paste it to the text box rapidly, so that other players know what the character look like. Very often, these description goes more than a few lines, try to post it as a whisper--that will keep it from taking too long for the other player to scroll by.
While it's common for many players to post their description as they enter a room, it's not totally necessary to do so. You should, though, have one available if asked. Focus mainly on what people will see and note about your character--don't say, "John's wife", but you might include a quick note on the character’s wedding ring.
Another common practice is for people to do a random "Description Drop"--i.e., post their description without being asked, after they've been in a room for awhile and several players present haven't seen it, because they came in after the last time it was posted. Again, these isn’t necessary, but don’t be surprised if you enter a crowded room and all of the sudden there are several long blocks of descriptive text--often on Description Drop will prompt several others, like yawning in a crowded party.
YEAH--WELCOME AND HAVE FUN!
NOTE: Thanks to Soren the player of Matt Schmidt for writing all these things and I hope he'll forgive me, for the little cuts and add-on here and there.
SENT BY: Simon aka Andrew Pulver
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