Storylines

  • January 15, 2006 at 12:15 pm #1584
    Robert Vaughan
    Keymaster

    story line n (1946): The plot of a story or drama (Merriam-Webster)

    Before we get into the details of what a storyline is and what rules must be followed in order to have one approved, we must understand the context in which this will be applied. In order to understand that we must know that, Velvet Skies is a creative work in progress. Every day the game grows larger and larger as each of the players add new history and background to this setting. Most of this is done through role-playing and posting, however, there is also a large portion that is done in behind the scenes and like a director in a movie you must decide what takes place and how it will happen. This is done through storylines. Storylines are used to create more permanent standing details to the world that is Velvet Skies. This takes shape in businesses, breed changes, and general plot synopsis that will be played by willing (and on rare occasion, unwilling) participants. Below are the general usage for storylines, and what ones are and are not valid.

    Valid Storylines:

    #1 Age – Some characters may wish to begin above or below the approvable ages for a starting character in the game. Normally, a maximum age is set at seventy-five years (excluding Mortals) and a minimum age of 21. For a character of any Breed that wishes to be over or under these ages, a Storyline needs to be written up detailing out the reason for the old/young age.

    #2 Backgrounds – Some players will need extensive SLs for their characters backgrounds. SL BGs can range anywhere from Government backgrounds, to Occupational backgrounds. Sometimes a player has such an extensive BG that an SL is needed to cover any loopholes that may need to be resolved before character approval.

    #3 Breed Changes – Some breeds require an approved storyline in order for the Forum Directors to see that you indeed have the reasoning, and methods to become that breed. There are only a few reasons why an SL is needed to become a Breed. One would be leaving an existing Breed to become Mortal, or maybe you wish to jump into the ranks of learning the arts of the Magi or Psions?

    #4 Businesses – Lots of players wish to create something in the game that may live on after they are gone, something that can be taken up should their character meet and unfortunate end. One of these ways is through the creation of a business. Businesses don’t provide the character with any statistical bonuses or penalties, they simply provide background and role-playing potential. They answer certain questions about who the character is. What does your character does during the day before the main room opens? Well, if you own a business or participate in the storyline with the business owner, there is some method to justify certain things in your characters life.

    #5 Crime – People want to commit crimes, but they want a good plotline behind what they are doing. Whether it be for robbing a bank or smuggling illegal weapons into town, players should have an SL to cover all proverbial bases.

    #6 Death –

    PC Death – This is when a player/players plot out and go after another player or group of players. Normally most PC Death SLs are specific and name the victims, others don’t if they are linked to random murders. All Logs and posts for Death SLs must be sent directly to the SL Department so everything can be tracked to avoid any OOC Manipulation. Death SLs should be precise and as exact as possible. Death SLs usually have an ST assigned to them so a single ST can know the background of the plotline prior to any RPd scenes.

    SL Vs SL – Want to invade an estate that has an SL? Or maybe you want to make an attempt to garner information about a person or place. If a player has an SL running and another player wants to bunk that SL, then an SL will be needed. Like PC Death SLs, logs and posts must be done and sent into the SL Department. These type of Death SLs are STd by a GM because nine times out of ten they involve a place in London rather than a person.

    #7 Escape – Some characters find themselves held against their wills and have to resort to making up SLs so they can flee from an unwanted captivity. All information should be gathered from the captive player as well as the abductor so TNs can be set for the attempted escape.

    #8 Family – Four PC members per family. This doesn’t include packs or vampiric families but actual blood relations. Genealogical trees should be done for each member and updated when/if a new member of the family arrives.

    #9 Government – All government SLs must be AFD or FD approved, For one major reason. The Government is the largest and most powerful organization in the game, and as such must be carefully monitored and controlled.

    * Note: In order for an SL to remain active the players involved must also keep their character sheets active during the storylines duration.

    ** Note: The Storyline Department will normally send out reminders on submitted Storylines 10 days after the last Pending letter on the submission. Players are allowed two follow up letters to go without response before they are given a denial letter for lack of interest in the storyline. The second time that this occurs with one of a players storylines, the player will be asked to give the SL Department as many responses as Pending letters sent out. If the player does not respond to any of these letters in the total span of 30 days then the third time you submit an SL you will be asked to wait a probation period of no less then 6 months (one renewal cycle for all renewable storylines) up to one year (the sum of two such cycles).

    Invalid Storylines:

    #1 Magic Items – All powers and special abilities in Velvet Skies may only be played if you have purchased that ability and/or mastery. Provisions will be made for Scientific items and artifact creation but they must all be bought with experience, should your character give these items to another player, that player must pay the experience for the item and a link to the creation post and rolls needs to remain on their approved CS.

    #2 Facial / Identity Changes – As much as it is scientifically and reasonable to have this done, it’s not allowed here. This stems from several reasons, but the main concern is the possibility to use a storyline to justify OOC Manipulation.

    #3 Advanced Technology – See Magical Items above.

    #4 Repeatable Breed Changes – Characters may only go through two breed changes in their lifespan, more than that can only be accomplished through a SL but repeated attempts at breed changes will not be permitted.

    #5 Breed Reversals – Due to the limited amount of breed changes allowed in the game, forcing a player out of a Breed without their consent is not allowed. Mortals can be turned into a breed without consent, however, taking your neighbor who was just changed into a different breed and then back to a mortal is not allowed. No storyline can or will be approved to force someone from a breed reversal (from supernatural to mortal) without that characters consent.

    #6 Circumvention of Rules – No storyline will be approved to allow a player to “get around” the rules. This is pretty simple, the rules are here to setup certain parameters in which the Player Characters may or may not interact, and no measure of creative writing will allow someone to alter that.

    Storylines are used as guides for a particular set of role-playing scenes. These individual scenes add together to make up the story that you wish your character to play through. This could be anything from a kidnapping and a rescue, to getting a group of players together for a celebration. The most important thing to consider when creating a storyline is if a storyline is even needed. A person can send an email to his friends with his idea for a gathering or post invitations on the Message Boards to spread the news about the social event, this can all be handled by the player so is there actually any need for a storyline? Considering that more times that naught unwanted elements can appear out of nowhere during such events it’s a good idea to have a storyline and Host present to help assist with any problems that could arise.

    Some smaller plotlines can be done without an approved storyline, however in cases where players not directly involved in your plotline could be effected or your storyline will have some impact on the game then it as at this point where storylines are highly recommended. Storylines are a method of protecting your character, and the other characters involved, from getting abused in the plotline that you have created. Below is the criteria for Storylines and the format in which they should be submitted.

    Storyline Durations: Most storylines will need to be resubmitted for reapproval after 6 months from their original approval date. At the time of these renewals any income maintenance, security or updating of the plotline of any kind will need to be done. The SL Department may also ask for additional posts on the progress of the storyline.

    “Grandfathered” SL’s are special cases. These are SL’s that have been running for a long time, some even since the inception of the game. In some regards they may bend, or even break, the above mentioned rules. Since these SL’s were implemented under a different set of rules, different SL managers and even circumstances that may no longer apply, special handeling of them will be taken on a case by case basis.

    The Storyline Folder and Above and Beyond Points: The Storyline Department requests that Approved Storyline logs be placed in the Story Line folder. Not only does this folder allow the Storyline Department to easier track the approved storylines running in the game but it also helps the department assign appropriate A&B to players who are putting forth an effort to keep Velvet Skies interesting.

    A character cannot earn more than 20 A&B Points per month from the Storyline Department. .

    Include the link that goes to your SL post. If you are posting a log – include the date that the log was played out. It is recognized that logs can run extremely long, so feel free not to post the entire log but use your better judgment as to C&Ping scenes.

    The Criteria for Storylines

    After you have thought of the storyline that you wish to enter into the game, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

    1) Are there two (2) or more characters involved in the storyline?

    If the answer is yes, and it isn’t a storyline for an occupation, background related or a personal security plot, then go on to the next point. If the answer if no, then let’s see why it won’t be passed.

    We are not accepting SLs that center on only one person. A storyline that deals only with your character performing mundane tasks, or taking a trip overseas, doesn’t warrant a storyline. If that trip overseas was to pick up a new tidbit of lore from an ancient NPC, then you might have a little more to work with. But will your character need to go overseas to learn that lore? Involving other players in your storylines has merit for several reasons. The first being that it opens you up to more role-playing potential. Perhaps there is another player character that you want to play with in character and simply haven’t had a justifiable reason, then you find out in character that this person knows what you are wanting to learn. Plan a trip to get them alone overseas so that they can teach you free of the tense atmosphere that London provides. Perhaps that trip overseas is the exchange for the knowledge you will be learning. Now you have your trip, and a justifiable reason for a storyline.

    2) Okay, I have two (2) or more characters in my SL, and I want to blow something up, buy items from the black market, create a storm using powerful magic, etc., do I have to submit a storyline?

    Yes, you do. Why you ask? The first reason is that you are attempting to create something that will alter places, people, or things in game.

    Some storylines that affect the setting and characters in Velvet Skies need to be known to us and the Forum Director. If we don’t know about it, and don’t have that documentation to say it’s official, then it simply won’t happen. Basically, we need to let the rest of the staff know that you are planning to blow up a building, make a storm, etc. Anything that affects Velvet Skies as a whole needs to be approved on an official basis.

    3) Okay. I’ve got this SL and someone might die because of it, do I need to submit it?

    Yes, this is to allow staff to keep an eye on what’s going to happen and make sure that it is done fairly for both parties. Even if the victim doesn’t know it’s going to happen there needs to be a method to prevent the use of Out of Character information to see that it happens. This is done with an approved storyline and having a storyteller assigned to it.

    4) Can I use NPC’s in my storyline?

    Sometimes a player simply can’t find someone to do what they need or justify getting that information for plotline development of your character. There are instances when NPC’s will be allowed in a Storyline, however storylines that simply consist of one player involved and nothing but NPC’s isn’t a good idea either. NPC’s should be a last ditch effort when nothing else can be done to achieve the story you have in mind, they shouldn’t be used as a crutch nor should they be allowed to gain In Character information about other Player Characters. NPC’s aren’t able to be played in the MR, simply for the fact that the have the chance to interact and affect others that aren’t involved in your plotline. NPCs aren’t allowed to be the focal point of storylines.

    5) I want to make a new business, what do I need to do?

    There are always new businesses and restaurants popping up in *any* city from time to time. However we have some general rules. Grandiose hotels/casions/tourists attractions in general are not going to be accepted. This is a sleepy little town for a reason, the residents come here to hide from the rest of the world, not attract it. If you want to start a legitimate business (or a money laundering one both are acceptable) just remember you need money to start it.

    All people aspire to own and operate their own business these are some guidelines to define how to go about the actual capitalization of your business. Businesses are limited to the maximum amount of five members to be included as the primary income holders for the purposes of these guidelines. The stated members must all agree to this ownership position in the body of the Story Line.

    1) The minimum income level necessary to start a business in Velvet Skies varies depending on the type of business you intend to start. Business partners may combine their levels to achieve the mandatory minimum levels.

    Type of Business…………………Region Affected……… Requirements

    Small family owned business …….City/Town…………… 3 income

    Medium …………………………………..Province …………… 5 Income

    Large Franchise Businesses ……….National ……………..7 Income

    Corporate …………………………….International …………..9 income

    2) The Story Line Department manager can mandate higher income levels depending upon the type of business venture that is being requested. If the levels are increased, the players can continue on with the SL and will be required to submit monthly proof to the SL Department that they are making every effort to bring their income levels to the appropriate levels as defined by the SL. Failure to make the necessary skill purchases on the part of the group can result in immediate termination of the story line.

    3) All Income rolls made for a Business SL must be witnessed by a VECH Host and must be posted in the ST Lair on the Message Boards and sent to the SL Department via email or post link.

    When making an Income roll for your Business SL the following information should be included in the ##Command Line## .

    # Income Roll – TN < > – – #

    Employees and their roles Within an SL

    The Storyline Dept. has been slowly working towards the listing of different categories for employees and employers. The ruling for business lists the different level at which you wish to run your business:

    Level One (City/Town)

    Level Two (State)

    Level Three (National)

    Level Four (International)

    Level One:

    Amount of employees permitted

    4 part time employees

    4 full time employees

    1 manager

    1 maintenance worker

    1 accountant

    Level Two:

    Amount of employees permitted

    6 part time employees

    3 full time employees

    1 managers

    2 assistant managers

    2 maintenance workers

    1 accountant

    Level Three:

    Amount of employees permitted

    12 part time employees

    6 full time employees

    2 managers

    4 assistant managers

    3 maintenance workers

    2 accountant

    Please note the following:

    After Level three is level Four and that is an unlimited employee base as it is multinational. This list of employee’s includes all NPC characters.

    Loans

    If you have taken a Loan from the Bank, or made a business line of credit, that was a link for your original purchase and/or start of the business expect to pay it back. The storyline dept. keeps a very close eye on these things and at the time of your renewal you will be expected to have links to total fully one half of the loan, line of credit, amount. If you do not then you can expect on of the following things:

    1) Bank foreclosure warning, giving you a renewal for one month while you obtain the necessary rolls.

    2) A request to have a refinancing done on the original loan with an approval letter from the original lender.

    If these requirements cannot be met then you can expect your business to be closed and the renewal will not take place.

    Permits

    Some storylines will require employers to submit specific permits for the business. Anything from building permits, to ABC licenses and weapons permits may be requested to assist in the operation of your business legally.

    Storyline Form

    Subject: SL:

    1) Title of Storyline

    2) Players Involved

    (screen and character names)

    3) Summary

    (what you want to happen)

    4) Detailed Direction

    (This is where you fill in the actual detail how it is going to happen, please be as thorough as possible. Please give times, dates, and locations if possible. Links to informative posts are highly appreciated.)

    5) Submitted By

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