Ankeny Unveiled VSS

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Approval #

Part 1: Basic Information

Domain Name: Shadows Over Ankeny
Domain Number: IA-007-D
Venue: Ankeny Unveiled (Awakening)
VST: Skyllar Robben
Games Hosted On: 2nd and 3rd Sundays, 4pm-9pm Central

Part 2: Styles of Play

Action (Combat and challenges): 3
Character Development (Personal dilemmas and choices): 4
Darkness (PC death or corruption): 3
Drama (Ceremony and grand story): 4
Intrigue (Politics and negotiation): 5
Manners (Social etiquette and peer pressure): 4
Mystery (Enigmas and investigation): 4
Pace (How fast do stories emerge, develop, and resolve?): 3

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

Part 3: Description of Venue

On February 28, 1903, Ankeny was incorporated as a town, with a total incorporated area of one square mile. Seven years after its incorporation, the United States census indicated a population of 895 persons. Telephone service quickly followed incorporation and electricity was made available for the first time in 1907. Extensive electrical service was not generally available to residents until 1919, when the Central Light and Power Company were granted a franchise to operate a power plant in Ankeny. Between 1932 and 1940, Ankeny experienced four major fires that almost destroyed the uptown business area. Most of the businesses rebuilt. By 1942, the federal government had established an ordnance plant for the manufacture of ammunition on the site now occupied by the John Deere Des Moines Works and surrounding area. Ankeny population experienced a rapid increase that continued after John Deere purchased the plant in October 1947. Production of corn pickers began in February 1948, with 570 employees. Production later included harvesting equipment for corn, cotton, sugar beets and potatoes, along with grain dryers and various self-propelled crop sprayers. By 1950 the town had grown to 2,512 citizens and by 1958, the first home mail delivery began. Ankeny was officially declared a city in 1961 and the number of residents living in Ankeny was 5,764, more than double the 1950 total. A special census taken in 2005, showed Ankeny's population at 72,322 and land size 40.45 square miles.

Awakened Ankeny History

1868-1901 The Golden Age: Awakened settled in and around the Des Moines area. Wanting to create a stronghold of the Diamond Orders (The Great Refusal still decades away), to serve as a bulwark against (primarily) the Seers of the Throne instead of constantly being at a power deficit in a losing battle. Starting off strong, the Founders of the Signum Lucidium formed a power base out of historic cooperation between the Orders. This period marks a sort of golden age of honor and cooperation in the Consilium, which some say the current body falls far short of.

1869-1871 The War of the Black Howlers:Though the specifics of the war, and the identity of the Abyssal mage who started it are lost to the mists of time, the heroes and the battles are forever etched in the memories of the Consilium. The tale goes like this: a Scelestus summoned an Acamoth commonly known as “The Hive Queen”. None are sure of his identity or his fate, but what is sure is that the entity he summoned went on to bring doom to the Fallen World. Knowing that she would need some muscle, she set about whispering in the minds of some young, impressionable werewolves. Through some form of lycanthrope magic corrupted by the entity, she took control of them. Faced with destruction, both the werewolves and mages of Ankeny struck a pact: to maintain the Shadow and keep it free from corruption, and never allow their enemies to manipulate them into a conflict with each other that both would lose.

March 8, 1871 The Treaty of Twilight: The Treaty of Twilight is signed and ratified by both the elders of the werewolf packs and the Council, ushering an era of peace and cooperation, but how much will it last?


January 2, 1872 The Fortress: The Praesidium Signum Lucidium, or simply “The Praesidium” or “Fortress” is built out of sheer Awakened will in the Shadow Realm of what would soon become the city of Ankeny. As it was a relatively empty space, there was ample opportunity to establish a power base away from any potential Sleeper interference. Ultimately, the city of Ankeny grew up around the Consilium, and they have had to contend with avoiding Sleepers for some time, though it still rubs some elder mages wrong.

1895-1901 The Great Refusal, The Nameless War & The Great Siege: A tumultuous time for the Signum Lucidium, the five year period around the turn of the century saw a vigorous debate about Nameless Cabal refugees from the surrounding area and a siege of the Praesidium by the Seers of the Throne at almost the same time. Fortunately for the Diamond Orders who were practically caught with their pants down by the servants of the Exarchs only to be saved by the x-factor of Nameless Cabals and their innovative mystical methods. The Nameless Cabals, now known as the Free Council, were accepted nearly unanimously by the Diamond Orders as full fledged members of the Signum Lucidium, though not all were so accepting. Consequently, it so happens that some of those that opposed acceptance of the Free Council into the body politic of the Consilium are still alive today and in power.

1901-Today: In modern days, the Conventus Signum Lucidium has been a hotbed of political intrigue (some, mainly in the Free Council, call it outright corruption), with futures made and broken by a back-room deal or a greased palm. The Consillium is still dominated politically by its elders, some over 200 years old. Is their ivory tower the last bastion of Ascension, or is it a corrupt, tainted relic of useless traditions?

People & Places

The Praesidium: The Praesidium Signum Lucidium or Fortress of the Shining Beacon is a Shadow Manse spire the size of a highrise building in the shadow in the center of roughly two acres of land. Compared to the rest of the Shadow of Ankeny, the grounds of the Praesidium is a well-tended garden guarded by Sleepwalkers, Guardian Spirits and Adamantine Arrow mages. Multiple summoning circles dot the landscape along with a powerful Locus. From a bird’s eye view, the spire itself looks a bit like a four-pointed star on a green, pristine parcel of land. The shape itself isn’t a coincidence, each corner of the building is devoted to one of the Diamond Orders, with each having dominion over that area. Not

The Bastion: The Bastion serves the Adamantine Arrow as an armory, great hall of heroes, and small training center. While the vast majority of Arrow training does not place in the Bastion anymore, the final trials and initiations take place here.

The Argent Court: The Argent Court contains parlors for political debate and horsetrading, initiation space and a vast library devoted to the Lex Magica and related precedent. Well appointed in turn-of-the-century Victorian stylings with touches of art deco, this section of the Praesidium is perhaps the most lavish.

Delectus Eruditus: One of the greatest Athenaea in the United States, the Delectus contains works from thousands of authors across centuries of Awakened thought. Its Censorium is rumored to contain such blasphemous works that the Censor himself hesitates to set foot in its aisles. Rare amongst Athenaea, the Delectus even contains a Menagerie, housing Cryptids rare and fantastical, it is rumored to contain even a staked vampire and a werewolf imprisoned in a temporal bubble.

The Black Sepulcher: Though none but the Guardian initiates know for sure, rumors abound about what the Sepulcher contains. People cite second- and third-hand sources whispering of torture chambers, prisons, vaults filled with dangerous magics and other even less believable things. The only thing that is verifiable is none but Guardians who walk in ever walk out.


Daedaelus Center: The Daedaelus Center For Science And Technology or DC-SAT is a facility that contributes to scientific and technological advancement for Awakened and Sleeper alike. The Center runs on a mix of public grants and private donations and its Sleeper facilities are open to the public, while its Awakened facilities (and associated Lorehouse) are only restricted to those who behave themselves and do their best not to bother anyone else. Rumors that the Libertines insist are political attacks suggest that subversive and revolutionary talk abound in the workshops and laboratories of the Daedaelus Center.

Heirarch/Deacon Silvermane (Status 5): One of the hoary elders of the Consilium, the Silver Ladder Warlock Silvermane casts a long shadow in the history of the Consilium- a signatory to the Treaty Of Twilight, a hero of the Great Siege, some say that he has lost his way and forgotten the great hope of his fellow founders in exchange for Hubris and ego.

Councilor/Censor Aramis al-Alakir (Status 4): Learned and secretive, Aramis al-Alakir is an aged Theurgist famous for his great discoveries in the field of archaeology. However, after being promoted to the position of Censor, he has become reclusive and paranoid. Some say that this is due to his position and the attendant knowledge of blasphemous items within the infamous Censorium. Rumors about of some devil’s deal with Heirarch Silvermane, though details are sketchy at best.

Councilor/Epopt Enoch Vallard (Status 4): If there is anyone on the Council more paranoid and secretive than Aramis al-Alakir, it is Enoch Vallard. Little is known about this individual who cloaks himself in Prime magic, expressionless lead mask and heavy robes. It is rumored that the Enoch Vallard that people see in public is really some sort of mystical extension of the real mage’s consciousness while other whisper that it is a possessed Sleeper. No one knows for sure, and anyone who attempts to Scrutinize him comes back with a complete blank.

Councilor/Adamant Sage Kamael the Mad (Status 4): Known as the foremost expert on combatting the Abyss, Kamael (no one calls him “the Mad” to his face) has fought at the forefront of the defense of the Consilium for more than a hundred years. Widely known as a member of the Choir of Hashmallim, it is rumored that Kamael has seen so many things that cannot be unseen that Mind Mages go mad the moment they make telepathic contact with him. Kamael affects an appearance of a Catholic priest and carries all manner of mystical weapons under his black cassock.

Councilor Golgotha (Status 4): The Thearch known as Golgotha is the current apprentice of Heirarch Silvermane. This Mastigos is widely known as a practitioner of Goetia and, some say, thoroughly the creature of Silvermane in all things. Nothing in his demeanor and actions suggest he is anything more than a conniving politician and master of political survival. Many would like to see him put in his place (preferably chin deep in sewage), but his network of favors and spies is unrivaled. Should he be brought low, many careers would be in shambles.

Councilor/Syndic Faraday (Status 4): A man in his mid-fifties who affects a swinging early-1960’s fashion as though he were a member of the old “Rat Pack”. Known as a womanizing, hard-drinking, yet affable scientist and engineer, there are many former apprentices and students that have him to thank for their inspiration and induction into the Forge Masters Legacy. Rumor has it that he was the right-hand man of the revolutionary known as “Prole”- a man who once attempted to topple the current power structure through violent means but has not been heard from since the 1960’s.

Sentinel Cordite(Status 3): Cordite, the current Sentinel of the Signum Lucidium is known as an eminently practical soldier on the battlefield and the current Thunderbolt Guardian. Though never tried for Hubris, Cordite has been accused of acts unbecoming an Arrow and having no care for collateral damage. Though adept at keeping the Veil, Sleepers are of little concern, only the mission matters to him. It is also well-known that he is a combat veteran of the Marine Corps, involved in combat tours both public and classified.

Banishers & Seers Of The Throne: While there has always been at least some Seer and Banisher presence in the area, the Pentacle has always prevailed. Of course, there have always been rumors of tactics used by the Pentacle against their enemies that amount to crimes against humanity and Hubris...

Part 4: Storytelling Mechanics

The Golden Rules

In all situations during a game session where there is a query relating to the rules and the interpretation and application thereof, the presiding ST's decision is considered to be correct. If a player disagrees with such a decision, they should wait until the game session has finished to raise their concerns to the ST. Alternatively they may lodge an appeal with the ST chain.

The World of Darkness is a setting which deals with adult topics including, but not limited to, death, abduction, abuse and insanity. It is the responsibility of the player to notify the presiding ST if they become uncomfortable with any of the themes present in the game at any point. C. If you know that something is not the intent of the MES interpretation of the books, departs drastically from common sense, or is otherwise wrong but appears to be technically possible due to vague wording or legal loophole, don't do it. Don't be that guy (or gal).

Mana

The core rules for determining starting Mana pools are as per the Optional Rules “How Much Mana Do I Start With?” and “Mana Bleed” on page 64 of MET Awkening in which a player determines his/her character’s starting Mana as Willpower dots plus Hallow dots, in addition to the results of Legacy Oblations (Composure + Gnosis = Bonus Mana), in addition to rules outlined in 3. The Veil. See also, bonuses from The Arkah (see below).

The Arkah (Artifact 10)

This Artifact, a four foot tall crystal seemingly composed of highly reflective (almost mirrored) orichalcum at the bottom of a steep, seemingly natural cave underneath the Praesidium that opens into the center of the central common area and is barred by mystical protections and tastefully outlined in a red rope line. Whatever the original intent of the Artifact was in the time of the Dragon Isle, the Arkah (or “Well Of Souls” in Arabic) when placed on a powerful Hallow serves as a reservoir and distribution system for Mana. In game terms: a member of the Consilium with at least one dot of Consilium Status deposits one pawn of Mana into the Artifact (touch activation, no roll required, requires the expenditure of a Non-Resolve Downtime Action), the Mage is mystically entitled to draw pawns of Mana equivalent to his/her Consilium Status dots upon a successful roll of Gnosis + 10. All Awakened who do not know the legendry of the Arkah soon come to know upon Acknowledgement by the Heirarch, as it is tradition to inform the prospective resident after approval.

For Example: Willpower + Hallow + (Successes from Oblation) + Successes from Prime Magic - Mana Bleed +/- Veil Modifier + Arkah bonus = Starting Mana. Keep in mind that the result of this system cannot raise maximum Gnosis beyond the rules for Mana pools on page 63 of MET Awakening and the Effects of Gnosis chart on page 62 of MET Awakening. However, the ST may decide on a case by case basis that excess Mana may be stored as Tass, in Imbued Items, Familiars etc.


Player Abuse

Any player that is found by the ST to be abusing a mechanic, mechanic combination, or found to be using it against the desired intent of such must understand the Storyteller has the right to say NO!.

  • Examples of this are any power combination that could result in an auto win with no contested or resisted rolls are considered automatically to violate this rule.

The Veil

This is represented as a 0% to 100% ratio, with 0% representing a nonexistent Veil and 99% representing ironclad ignorance of the greater Truth by Sleepers. Player characters do not have precise knowledge of the below mechanics and do not speak of the Veil in terms of percentages.

Bonus and Negatives are applied based on the current strength of the Veil. This includes beginning of game Mana draws and all Spells used to gain Mana.This is due to the collective strength of Sleeper Disbelief and resulting Abyssal interference choking out magic in the city. Is there a point where this Disbelief is overcome- an Abyssal law of diminishing returns? Many in the Consilium (especially the Free Council and the Mysterium) have wondered this as a philosophical thought experiment but in practice, the Veil preserves magic.

  • 99% = +3 Mana
  • 80% and above = +2 Mana
  • 70-79%= +2 Mana
  • 60-69%= +1 Mana
  • 50-59%= +1 Mana
  • 40-49%= -1 Mana
  • 30-39%= -2 Mana NPC Guardians of the Veil start taking drastic actions.
  • 20-29%= -3 Mana Banishers are introduced as random antagonists.
  • 10-19%= -4 Mana Members of Abyssal Legacies more frequent.
  • 20% and Below= -5 Mana Members of Abyssal Legacies more frequent and more powerful
  • 0%= Paradigm Shift, VSS pulled from database

NPC Mage Population

The city of Ankeny and surrounding areas are fairly well populated with Awakened individuals, with large Pentacle and Apostate populations, while the Seers of the Throne and Banisher are decidedly in the minority. While the player characters take action, there are NPC’s listening to their exploits and reacting in ways the players may not predict. When jockeying for status or playing politics, the vast majority that do not often involve themselves in politics, *do* pay attention and will occasionally make themselves heard, especially when it’s time for big decisions.

Pentacle mages are roughly evenly divided between Apostates and the five Orders, though the Apostates are frequently snubbed in most political decisions. While it has never came to violence, the Apostates of Ankeny are not quiet about their disdain for the Consilium. Typically, the only ones concerned about the state of the Apostates is the Free Council, and even then most of those solitary loners only see cynicism in their overtures.


Optional Rules

The following Optional Rules are used in the Ankeny Awakening VSS:

  • How Much Mana Do I Start With? (modified above, pg. 64 MET- Awakening)
  • Mana Bleed (modified above, pg. 64 MET- Awakening)
  • Order Expulsion (pg. 123 MET- Awakening)
  • Tie To The Land (pg. 133 MET- Awakening)
  • Modifying Spell Factors (pg. 147 MET- Awakening)
  • Don’t Point That Thing At My Planet (pg. 150 MET- Awakening)
  • Relinquishing Control Of Spells (pg. 151 MET- Awakening)
  • Special Spell Factors (pg. 152-155 MET- Awakening)
  • Paradox Mitigation (pg. 158 MET- Awakening)
  • Creative Thaumaturgy (pg. 194-198 MET- Awakening)
  • Permanently Altering Fates (pg. 229 MET- Awakening)
  • Influences Numina And The Forsaken (pg. 419 MET- Awakening)
  • Optional rules for duels on pages 118-125 of Tome Of The Watchtowers used in this VSS.

Visiting Players

Anyone who wishes to take part in Ankeny’s Games are welcome, provided they follow these guidelines:

  1. First time and visiting players are recommended to contact the storyteller prior to game and discuss their character's intentions and reasons for coming to the area; linkups and in-character communication are encouraged.
  2. Appropriate draws may be administered for arrival. Also, they must provide contact information for their direct storyteller.
  3. Visiting players should keep in mind that there may be in-character consequences for in-character actions that may potentially follow them back to their home game.
  4. Higher approval items may be denied if they are not noted with appropriate approval numbers and made clear prior to entering game via staff contact ahead of time.
  5. Verification is required for any Precast Spells and other effects that the PC is not able to cast themselves.

Proxy Rules

Proxies must be received at least 48 hours before game. The proxy information must include what the character intends to achieve as well as any actions or items that will be using in-game. Other helpful information includes the characters attitudes and common behaviors, actions in possible situations, and security measures should trouble arise. Each character will be evaluated on an individual basis and may be subject to denial. All proxies are hard. Every player who submits a character for proxy should be aware that punishments, death, or other in-character consequences may be administered. Character generation guidelines must be adhered to. When filling out proxy information please be as thorough as possible, if something occurs that is not covered in your proxy the presiding ST or his staff will be forced to make judgements on what your character does that may not be what you would do if you were here to represent your character in person. Proxying into Ankeny games is you signing off on this liability and agreeing that it is ok and that you understand. If you as a player can not handle this do not proxy in. If these grey areas come up and your phone number is not listed for us to call the consequences for your character will be considered final. If a grey area occurs and it involves great detriment to your character we will attempt to call you. Proxy Forms, if available, must be filled out in addition to the above rules. Proxy forms like proxy e-mails must be filled out 48 hours prior to game. Please note that proxy forms not thoroughly filled out will be denied as we will not call you every 10 minutes to ask questions about what you would do in a situation.

For reference when the words Grey Area are used it is in reference to an area of your proxy that does not cover what is happening in game.

Cross Venue Interactions

All Cross Venue Interactions, even soft role play must be reported to the Venue Storyteller of Requiem as well as the Domain Storyteller as well as the Venue Storyteller of the venue in question. They will make the determination of what level of approval the interaction will require before the interaction takes place. This to insure that all interactions are following with the rules outlined in the MES Addendum.

Character Generation

All characters must be made under the sanctioned rules of The MES Addendum. It is required that players place their character and background on the official approvals database. Approvals for special items must be included on one's character sheet and must be approved through appropriate storyteller chains before being allowed in play. Every character will be viewed on an individual basis. The storyteller reserves the right to deny items without prior notification.

Venue and Challenge Rules

The game will uphold the sanctioned rules of White Wolf and the MES. Players are encouraged to review these rules before play. Also, conflict resolution will follow any of the prescribed methods detailed in the White Wolf LARP rules, including cards or d10. Hands, aka fingers, not allowed as the chance of failure is statistically less with this system. Combat must be done in the presence of the storyteller or a designated assistant. It is also encouraged that players let a storyteller, narrator, or assistant storyteller know when disciplines are set off within game.

Characters that hold a position of power or great game influence within the Ankeny domain must have their characters assigned to the Ankeny VSS and have their approvals run through the Ankeny ST staff chain.

Positions of power and great influence will be outlined in each individual games VSS, ie princes in vampire, monarchs in changeling, etc etc.

Positions of Power and Great Influence: Heirarch and Councilors

The Storyteller reserves the right to give or take away miscellaneous bonus to NPC’s and Players on situation dependent scenarios.

Experience Points

Experience allowances will follow the Minds Eye Society addendum. Players may earn up to 10XP per month, and between 5-6 XP may be awarded per game, based on specified factors. Points will also be allowed for downtime reports and other non-game activities that enhance the game for others, subject to venue storyteller discretion.

Desire

The Desire of this VSS is to give all players in the Great Lakes region a place to RP and enjoy the game and club they are apart. A review of this VSS will be done every 3 to 6 months to make sure it is meeting the needs of the players with a review being done by the RST office so that this goal will be met. This game is not meant as a way to avoid issues for players in their home area and if they are in trouble it will come after then here as the VST for this game will be in contact with players VST.