==VSS - Forsaken - SoCon
1. Basic Information
1.1. This VSS applies to the Socon 2013 Forsaken game on Thursday night of the convention. This VSS covers any Forsaken event or action within the boundaries of SoCon during the convention, including any direct Forsaken games run by the ST and any cross-venue interaction within any aspect of the convention.
1.2. The most important element to the game is outside the game: the community of players. If a game decision is in line with canon, but makes the community of players less happy or less able to enjoy the game, then real world concerns override game concerns. That is also true in the converse- if the players love canon and the game deviates from it, it is still making players unhappy. We are people first, and characters are always less important than people.
1.3. The current game schedule is on Thursday night.
1.4. Themes for this event:
- Mystery -- There will be an unusual event that sparks the game. The choice of tracking down this mystery or not remains in PC hands. The outcomes of doing so are entirely dependent on what PCs (if any) track this plot, but can include trauma (physical and psychological) for PCs, as well as opening doors for future events and interactions within the Los Angeles area.
- Combat -- Forsaken is a violent game. There will be an aspect of the event that those PCs that enjoy (or are likely to) combat will find themselves in the forefront. That being said, please note that this game only happens on one night. If it is in the best interests of the game at large, combat may be narrated or mediated as needed.
- Politics -- Contrary to many opinions, Forsaken is as political a game as any within the NWoD, and the National Settings guide for this chronicle has made it even more so. There will be chances for more political/savvy PCs to shine as well, including at least one chance within the event to change the dynamics of the Los Angeles Forsaken game dramatically. Note that getting involved politically can have repercussions--both positive and negative.
2. Styles of Play: (These are each rated on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the highest)
2.1. Overall game emphasis: Distributing 10 points between the three categories of Physical, Mental, and Social, Howl of Echoes would be Physical 4, Mental 3, Social 3. This is because Forsaken is, by default, a more physical game. There will be many opportunities, however, for characters that are not physical-primary PCs to shine.
2.2. A rating of “1″ means that the item is never present; 4 means sometimes present; 6 means often present; 7 means usually present; and 10 means the focus of the game, almost always present.
2.3. Action- combat and challenges: 7
2.4. Character Development- personal dilemmas and choices: 4
2.5. Darkness- PC death or corruption (note: death is not a first resort when dealing with other PC’s; see the Tolerance rating): 7
2.6. Drama- ceremony and grand story: 8
2.7. Intrigue- politics and negotiation: 8
2.8. Manners- social etiquette and peer pressure: 4
2.9. Mystery- Enigmas and Investigation: 7
2.10. Pace- How fast will stories emerge and resolve: 7
2.11. Tolerance- How much effort will be put into social sanctions before PC death is appropriate: 5 (dependent on situation -- a BaleHound PC who is uncovered will be far more likely to end up in PC death than someone who has breached the Oath 3 times. Also dependent on PC choice, to some extent.)
3. Venue description
3.1. Mood: Pasadena, a city founded by Europeans on the ashes of Native American land. Alternating between seasons of growth and seasons of urban decay, Pasadena has seen its name both shine as the greatest city in the United States and darken as an example of urban decay and suburban flight. What the humans don't know is that much of this cyclical nature has been either the cause or the result of an ongoing struggle between the Pure (almost entirely descended from the Native Americans who lived here before the white man came) and the Forsaken (who come from all walks of life and have made Pasadena their home).
In the time since the city was founded in 1886, Pasadena has seen both sides win ground and lose ground. Sometimes those wins have happened smoothly, with strong leaders who were determined to strengthen their territories--and in those times, Pasadena flourished. Other fights were more vicious, sending crime higher and decaying the very land the werewolves were fighting over.
In the modern nights, the city of Pasadena remains fully in the hands of the Forsaken. The Pure, however, circle the edges of the city, with multiple tribes in multiple directions. The treaty signed in 2000 has stabilized the area for the time being. But at any point, for any reason, the city might flare into conflict once more.
4. Storytelling mechanics
4.1. Essence: Players will begin the game with full Essence. Note, however, that -any attempt- to gain Essence must be run through the Storyteller and (depending on PC choices) may not be easy to get/find/acquire. Other ways to increase this essence (including the Spirit Predation rules--see the new settings) work as normal--within the note above. In other words, don't spend that Essence too quickly...
4.2 Loci: Within the confines of the event, there will be one locus that is easily accessed. This locus is in the middle of a 100+ year-old tur. While it is technically possible to steal Essence from this locus, PCs who come to event (whether locally or from elsewhere) will be told that no violence is tolerated on this site--both Pure and Forsaken alike are known to interfere to stop violence, regardless of who has started it.
4.3 Territory Merits: Territory merits only apply if a PC is within their territory. Some PCs may/may not be within those territories, depending on PC choice.
4.4 Protectorate Merits: PCs with Protectorate or any other societal Merits will have access to them as defined by the current addendum.
4.5. Proxy rules: There will be no proxies allowed at this event, as the game will be too complicated to allow the ST effective ability to monitor such things.
4.6. Travel risks: Travel into the area of Pasadena is -generally- fairly straightforward, but only if the PCs coming into the area are driving or flying into Ontario or Burbank airports. Flying into LAX is something Forsaken do not currently do in Los Angeles, because something...else...lives over there. All Forsaken-venue PCs who play in the LA Domain are aware that this is the case; entering players will be assumed to be told this information.
Traveling outside the Pasadena city for anything other than driving to another location outside LA County, however, may pose additional risks. Players are warned that their PCs may be in danger of character death if they do so.
4.7. Influences: At this time, all Forsaken-venue PCs may only have influences in the Pasadena/Altadena areas. For instance, you can only have police contacts that are within the Pasadena area. The VST will work to help players gain contacts/allies appropriate to the area. This may change due to story and PC choices at a later time.
4.8. Knowledge of other supernatural types: While Forsaken-venue PCs may have general ideas about other supernatural types, at the top of chronicle PCs have no idea what, if any, other supernatural types exist in the LA area. This restriction may be waived on a case-by-case basis, but no PC will be certain of any location of other supernatural types (other than Pure/Hosts/other native groups in the Forsaken venue).
4.9. Experience award guidelines: The standard XP award for participation is as described within the Addendum for a featured game. Overcap XP may be available as per any other venue at the convention.
5.0. Mass Combat/Kill-Box rules: Any group of more than 4 PCs who enter into a fight will be pulled away separately and placed into a combat box (which may/may not be a 'kill box'). Other PCs who wish to be involved must join at the top of the combat or will not be allowed to enter into the scene. Large combat scenes detract from convention experiences often, and as such, the ST reserves the right to narrate (if the combat is against NPCs) and/or work out a mediation (if the combat is between PCs) as needed in order to keep the game moving. By playing at this event, you acknowledge that you will accept such narration/mediation. If you feel some such action taken by the ST was handled poorly, you may speak the the Forsaken Lead after the event or to the Convention Lead after the event.
5.1. Rules: If your PC comes to a game or proxy run by this VSS and has abilities that are not in the core Forsaken book, you must have a copy of these rules with you. If these mechanics are not present, the Forsaken Lead can deny any power or ability governed by those mechanics.
5.2. Things Denied For the Venue:
-- 5.2.1. PCs/PC-types Inappropriate for the Venue: At this time, there are no PC-types or characters that have been determined to be detrimental to the venue's health or story. However, the Forsaken Lead retains the right to make such decisions at any point. -- 5.2.2. Mechanics Inappropriate for the Venue: At this time, there are no mechanics that have been determined to be detrimental to the venue's health or story. However, the Forsaken Lead retains the right to make such decisions at any point. -- 5.2.3. Fetishes: Custom fetishes must have a full write-up and approval number in order to be used at the convention. Failure to have such write-up will make the fetishes unavailable for play. -- 5.2.4. Cross-venue: Cross-venue at SoCon will only happen if an approval and/or a plot demands it. The Forsaken Lead does not currently intend to approve any cross-venue at the event. Note that cross-venue requires the approval of both ST Venue Leads and the Convention ST Lead.