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Player's Primer

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IntroductionEdit

This document is intended to be an introduction to GarouMUSH and its environment, the registration process, and other roleplaying policies so that the prospective player can feel more comfortable taking his first steps onto our game.

GarouMUSH is not normal. Any MUSH is going to make that claim with a greater or lesser degree of veracity. But in this case we really do mean it; the literature that has been used to craft this game-world (the Werewolf: The Apocalypse line of products from the White Wolf Game Studio, as well as other game lines in the Storyteller series) is extensive, and the background is accordingly rich and detailed. We cannot hope to provide, in a Guide as short as this one, anything approaching a complete treatment of the source material from which we've drawn. This shouldn't, of course, be perceived as daunting; while we recommend the Werewolf line to die-hard GarouMUSH players on their own merits, the books are certainly not required to play here. What should be understood is that GarouMUSH is a rich roleplaying environment, with an elaborately-developed structure that will only become fully comprehensible with game time.

This Guide, then, is not all that there is to GarouMUSH; not by a long shot. But it will tell you where you're going, and what you can expect to find; it can tell you how to think about things, and what questions you might want to ask. These words are little more than your first steps on the wooded path, but the path is, we hope, a rewarding one.

The World of GarouMUSHEdit

GarouMUSH is based on White Wolf's Werewolf: The Apocalypse, a part of their Storyteller system, which includes Vampire, Werewolf, Mage, Wraith, and Changeling. The basic setting is a World of Darkness, one in which the aforementioned spooks and nasties really do exist -- and always have, silently influencing human history without ever becoming truly public.

GarouMUSH focuses on the Garou (the name the Werewolves have for each other). The Garou aren't really a true species in the scientific sense; if they breed with one another, the offspring are sterile, deformed mules called Metis (pronounced "meh-tee").

All about the Birds and Bees, Garou-styleEdit

Garou only produce fertile offspring if they mate with humans or with wolves, and only a very few of these children will exhibit the Werewolf traits. Sometimes these youngsters are left to be raised with the non-Garou society in question, either the humans or the wolves, and grow up ignorant of their heritage. In other cases they may be raised as part of a Sept, and so be in part or completely aware of their destiny. Which of these occurs for any given Garou will vary widely depending on their background, the Tribe, and numerous other factors.

For the Garou who are not raised knowing what they are, at around age 16-18 for "human-parented" or Homid werewolves (age 2 for "wolf-parented" or Lupus werewolves), these children are kidnapped, usually by a local pack of Werewolves, and taught the ways of the Garou. Until they pass their Rite of Passage, they are referred to as "cubs", and afterwards they are given the rank of "Cliath".

Breed, Auspice, and TribeEdit

There are three primary sets of divisions among the Garou. The first, as mentioned above, is Breed -- Homid, Metis, or Lupus.

The second is Auspice, which is to ask: Which moon were you born under? The Ragabash (new moon) are the questioners, scouts, and tricksters. Theurges (crescent moons) are mystics, spiritualists and the like. Those born under the half moon, the Philodoxes, are mediators, peacemakers and leaders. The gibbous moon is the auspice of the Galliards, the storytellers and lore-keepers. The full moon is that of the Ahroun, the warrior.

In addition, there are thirteen Tribes, ranging from the feral Red Talons, whose members are only of the Lupus breed, to the Glass Walkers, one of the few tribes who accept, endure and even revel in city life, to the peacemaking Children of Gaia and the warlike Get of Fenris.

The goals and spiritual nature of the GarouEdit

The Garou are the warriors of Gaia and Her defenders. Their stated goal as a race is the destruction of those who would defile Her. They have a rich spiritual background based in the Triat of spiritual forces/beings.

The TriatEdit

These three are the Weaver, the personification of creation, rigidity, and organization; the Wyld, the personification of change and chaos; and the Wyrm, the personification of destruction. In ancient days all was well between these three, until -- and here is a point where tribal scholars diverge -- the Weaver went mad, or the Wyrm went mad and either or both began to run amok.

Mother Gaia and Other SpiritsEdit

Gaia and other Celestines are just below the Triat in power, and there are lesser spirits -- Incarna -- beneath them, and various other spirits (totem spirits, various servants of the Incarna, servants of the Wyrm known as Banes, spiritual elementals, and many others).

The Velvet Shadow: The UmbraEdit

The Garou are capable of 'stepping sideways' into the Umbra, the spirit world illuminated only by the light of the moon, communicating with inhabitants, beseeching spirits and/or fighting there.

Creating Your CharacterEdit

As GarouMUSH focuses on the culture of the Garou in the Gothic-Punk world, and this Primer assumes that your first character will be Garou. Of course, not every character on GarouMUSH is a Garou: playing of humans is encouraged. You may occasionally encounter vampires, magi, faeries, and other shapeshifters as well. These latter characters are considered foils for the Garou, humans, and wolves who are the main characters in our stories, as opposed to full protagonists in their own right. For that reason, we insist that players who are new to GarouMUSH sketch out a Garou or a human for their first character, as these characters offer maximum opportunity for roleplaying involvement.

Developing a character conceptEdit

Now that you know a little about the world in which Garou inhabit, as a whole, we present more specific information so that you can begin to develop a coherent character concept within the framework of our game and its inhabitants.

A Sketch of our Game WorldEdit

GarouMUSH plays out its drama around the environs of St. Claire, a fictional city in eastern Washington state. A good deal of the geography of this part of Washington has been changed to suit the game's needs; see the Geography article for specific details.

The Columbia River flows by on the east side of the city, which shades from high-class Glittertown in the north to the commercial district, then to downtown and finally the industrial sector in the south. East of the city down Highway 22 is the small town of Kent Crossing, and, farther east into the forest, the Caern -- a spiritual nexus point at which the Sept of Garou that GarouMUSH deals with have gathered to work together against the machinations of the Wyrm and its minions. Although now dormant, the Caern was previously awakened, and is still known as the Caern of the Hidden Walk by its occupants; the previous Totem watching over the Caern was Chimera, the Lady of Mirrors.

Beyond the Caern to the east are high mountains. A major freeway (Interstate 90) runs out of town, passes north of the Bawn and Caern, and through the mountains to the east towards Spokane. North of the freeway is a large expanse of forest, scarred but recovering from a devastating disease, that continues all the way to the Sun Lakes. Along the freeway are a number of housing developments. To the south and southeast of the Caern is national evergreen parkland, known as Wolf Woods National Park, dotted here and there in the mountainous regions with long-dead silver mines.

Normal charactersEdit

In the Gothic-Punk world, supernatural beings are a minority, a shadow-society existing beneath the brooding veneer of the world we understand. In such a situation, normals -- that is, those characters who are not supernatural -- become an important balancing agent, providing a backdrop against which the shadow society may move. These characters can of course be fascinating in their own right in a Gothic-Punk world, and needn't at all be excluded from supernatural dealings -- the ace reporter who follows supernatural phenomenon, for example, or the Catholic priest or Cult member, or the police officer/gang tough who has seen just a little too much in his day.

It should be noted that playing a normal character can be somewhat more demanding than playing a Garou; some beginning players may not be ready to deal with the editing of in-character knowledge or the occasional difficulties with interaction that playing such a character may involve. With these facts in mind, however, we encourage the sophisticated roleplay of normal characters.

Garou charactersEdit

The following list of questions redacted from the main Werewolf book will help you think about some important aspects of your character's life.

  • What was your family life like? (Homid Characters)
  • Why didn't you fit in with other children? (Homid Characters)
  • What were your interests? (Homid Characters)
  • What were you like in school? (Homid Characters)
  • What was the kidnapping like? (Homid and Lupus Characters)
  • How well are you accepted? (Metis Characters)
  • How well are you assimilated into your tribe/sept? (All)

Answering these questions for your character should give you a good handle on who he or she is, and how he or she stands as regards Garou culture. Armed with this knowledge, you can make your roleplaying on GarouMUSH as vivid and meaningful as you desire it to be.

Game DemographicsEdit

One thing to consider in creating your character is the demographics of the Sept of the Hidden Walk. If there are already five ahroun Get of Fenris at the caern, for example, you'll have a harder time getting an application for another one accepted. There is a tool, on the MUSH that lets you check demographics easily. It is the +census command. By itself, it provides a by-group breakdown of the MUSH's population. A more detailed picture of the game's demographics can be obtained by using the +census/breakdown command.

Naming your characterEdit

Naming is a curious business for the Garou. Those Garou who are born Homid are of course given a normal 'human' name at birth, and many Garou born to the Metis and Lupus breeds adopt full human names for those times when they must move unnoticed in society. Most Garou also have a 'tribe name', however; a name given them by the Garou, and by which they are known to others of their kind. At times, these two names meld and run into one another, depending on circumstance; each of the 13 tribes of the Garou has its own specific convention regarding the giving of names.

RankEdit

In creating your character, you will be given the option of choosing between playing a cub (Rank 0), a Cliath (Rank 1), or a Fostern (Rank 2). Cubs are generally only available to current players, as playing a cub can be restrictive for roleplaying opportunities and requires other players to be available and willing to act as teachers. If you're a new player set on a cub, however, and you accept the potential limitations, you're welcome to ask. New players may apply for Cliath, who have greater independence and freedom of movement than cubs, but are recognised as inexperienced Garou who still have a great deal to learn. They can also apply for Fostern, who are expected to be very familiar with Garou society and expectations.

Cubs (Rank 0) are wolves or young humans who have not yet had their First Change. Cubs are taught the correct ways to behave as a Garou, introduced slowly to unearthly concepts of the spirit world and magical gifts, and indoctrinated in the traditions and beliefs of their Tribe. This can result in limited RP if your character's mentors decide to sequester your cub at first. This is sometimes done so a cub doesn't hear too many conflicting viewpoints when they're still learning the ropes, and while it makes a good deal of sense IC, it can severely limit RP at first. You will also face the challenge of handling the character's First Change, and you may have to orchestrate the character's kidnapping (or find a GM and some players willing to do so). Cubs eventually undergo a ritual test that determines their worthiness known as the Rite of Passage. These rites are run by, or at least with the permission of, the Tribe's elder. They can be lethal, and if done right are usually life-altering experiences. Failing the Rite of Passage is a serious thing, and can result in a cub being killed outright; thus, a cub's teaching is to prepare them for this ritual in hopes that they will pass. Although it is not completely unheard of for some Garou to be a cub from months to years, for OOC purposes we ask that all cubs be tested with their Rite of Passage within one to two months of being discovered.

A Cliath has the freedom that cubs do not, but is still considered wet behind the ears. They can join battles, form and join packs, and are given some leeway to make mistakes. Most Cliaths challenge for Fostern within the first year after their Rite of Passage; Garou who are Cliaths for years are generally considered to be screwups (or are Metis from *very* traditionalist Septs).

Fostern are the rank and file of the Garou Nation. Some Garou will only be Fostern for a few years; others will stay Fostern until their age is so great that their experience alone makes them worthy of Adren (Rank 3).

RegistrationEdit

Because we place emphasis on drama and writing instead of statistics and rules, our character registration process is rather formal. Anyone wanting to join our game must submit a detailed and fairly complete background and personality concept for the character they would like to play. This application should be legible, and adhere to the rules of proper English grammar and spelling. Inasmuch as one would not read a poorly-edited book, neither do we want to read sloppy prose on our game.

Once we receive your application, one of the wizards will go over it; you will receive one of three responses:

  • Your application will be turned down outright. Generally, this is because the concept you've submitted simply will not fit into the framework of our game, or the application is of such low quality that it is not worthwhile to revise.
  • There will be a request for more information. More commonly, the reviewer handling your application will contact you with further questions and/or a request for revision.
  • Application acceptance. In the case of an outstanding original application, the reviewer will contact you and inform you that your character has been created with such-and-such a password.

Our standards are quite high: perhaps ninety percent of applications, even from those players who have been through our registration process previously, require some form of revision or clarification.

Applications may be mailed to garou-reg@garoumush.org where they will be forwarded to one of the registration wizards. This forwarding process does not guarantee that all mail sent by an applicant goes to the same wizard, so follow-up email should go to the particular wizard who received the first copy.

If you do not hear back from anyone after three weeks, you may want to send an inquiry to garou-reg-all@garoumush.org. This will go to all of the registration wizards.

Please note that only Garou of Ranks 0 through 2, Kinfolk, and normal humans are handled by the open registration process. Other supernatural creatures are considered Foil characters and are reserved for experienced players of our game, people whom the administrators feel can handle the particular demands of playing such a character on GarouMUSH.

Application Submission GuidelinesEdit

As an aid for the prospective GarouMUSH player, we've developed these application guidelines. These guidelines make it easier on our wizard staff and offer many helpful suggestions to guide you through the registration process for the first time.

Application formatEdit

Use standard ASCII text e-mail.Edit

All application submissions to the wizards should be in the form of standard ASCII text e-mail.

Do not send:

  • Attachments of any kind from any source (use cut and paste)
  • RTF type e-mail
  • HTML or pointers to web sites
  • MIME encoded e-mail

Include a short application header.Edit

This short non-narrative summary should begin each application, just to let the wizard know immediately what kind of character you are seeking to play. Often times from the narrative, it is difficult or never clear, what vital characteristics (such as breed, or tribe, or rank) the candidate character possesses.

The form of this header should look something like this:

Name: Bob MacKenzie, ~Pees-On-Trees~
Race: Garou
Breed: Homid
Auspice: Ragabash
Tribe: Bone Gnawers
Rank: Cliath (1)
Age: 19

The rest of Bob's application would follow this summary, but within the first ten seconds the wizard sees your application, he can form an idea of what he can expect to read.

Length of the ApplicationEdit

"It should be like a woman's skirt. Short enough to be interesting, and long enough to be decent."

-- Lysander, GarouMUSH wizard

Seriously, your application should be dependent on how many words you feel will effectively communicate your character concept to the wizard who reviews your application. However, as a vague rule of thumb, for a cub or a human, around 500-700 words. For a cliath, 1,000-1,200 words would be a comfortable length.

Anything that's longer than that is too long. Conversely, we definitely get applications that are too short; sending 300 words for cliath isn't likely going to be enough.

Use your best judgment. If the wizard wants more details, he'll ask for them.

Content of the ApplicationEdit

The content of your application should be the character concept that you've been developing in the previous section of this guide. Now is the time to begin to write down your thoughts and ideas about the character. Use the tips below to help write an outstanding character application.

Three components of Excellent ApplicationsEdit

There are three components to an excellent character application. These are:

  • Correct English and syntax
  • Compelling, world-consistent narrative
  • Internal character motivations
Correct English and syntaxEdit

Many players on GarouMUSH believe that the reason we consistently achieve a very high quality level of role playing is the exacting emphasis we place on proper English grammar, correct spelling, and punctuation. Your application will reflect, in a prima facia manner, whether or not you can contribute to this atmosphere. As it says elsewhere: just as you would not care to read sloppy prose in a book, we do not care to read sloppy poses on our MUSH.

It is precisely for that reason, then, that your application depends so much on spelling, grammar, and punctuation. If you cannot be bothered to proofread your application, chances are you will not bother to proofread your poses before you press the Enter key.

Compelling, world-consistent narrativeEdit

A narrative is simply the story of your character. This can either be in first person or third person writing style. See our "Hall of Fame" applications for a good idea of what this means.

Compelling

The more interesting you can make your writing, the better your application will be received. We prize good storytellers on GarouMUSH. Your application should, in essence, be one part biography and one part interesting story. Much as you may feel when your Uncle Charlie sits around after a meal to tell you lies about his fishing trip and ask you to pull his finger, the wizards are equally as lukewarm about reading line after line of dry, boring, cliche prose.

Tip #1: If you find yourself using an adjective over again several times, use a thesaurus. There is a free online thesaurus located at: http://www.m-w.com/netdict. Bookmark this site. It's very handy for looking up correct spellings while online.

World-Consistent

How could you make this character to fit into our game? "World-consistent" means that you've considered and talked to some of the people who play on the MUSH regularly, and developed some kind of coherent concept that would complement the MUSH. It also means that your application is reasonable in scope, power and activity -- within the accepted normal bounds of Garou society as laid out on the MUSH and to some extent in the White Wolf source books.

Tip #2:You want your narrative to end as the character arrives in St. Claire. The reason? Once your character gets to the city, he's "on camera" so to speak -- and his history will be generated (hopefully) through interaction with the other characters on the MUSH. And the reason the character is in St. Claire? Well, you should put some thought into that too. As mentioned above, the more outlandish you attempt to make your character, the less likely the concept will be approved.

It is possible, especially for cubs and humans, that characters could be natives of St. Claire itself, provided nothing in their background is significantly disruptive.

Tip #3:How can you find out what's happened before on GarouMUSH? The answer is simple: read log files. Ask people. Read log files. Read log files. Read log files. It's the best way to find out what other players will expect from your character and what you can expect from them.

Internal Character MotivationsEdit

This component of your application should address your character's motivations and mental processes. If you can bring this out through the narrative, then all the better for you. However, often players will include a small (say two to three paragraph blurb) non-narrative section at the end of their application to detail important things that weren't mentioned elsewhere.

Perhaps it's easiest to focus on specific mental objectives for the character. These would include things like his fears, his mental hang ups, his quirks, his goals, his dreams and desires. What makes him do the things he does?

New Character CheckoffEdit

Approval: The GarouMUSH birthplace As mentioned above, Garou are defined broadly by their Breed, Auspice, and Tribe. The birthplace you will walk through upon arriving at GarouMUSH will set these aspects of your character. The birthplace will, further, set your Gifts, the 'supernatural powers' that your character possesses; your Attributes, nine statistics that define your character's basic nature; your Rank (cub or cliath), and your Backgrounds. (It should hardly need to be said, but: Do not choose backgrounds which you have not alluded to in your application. Don't expect your cliath Bone Gnawer to come on the game with a moonsilver klaive just because you bought Fetish 5 in the Birthplace. It won't work.)

Important: GarouMUSH does not match the White Wolf system for character creation exactly. Specifically, we do not formally track: Merits, Flaws, Talents, Skills, Knowledges, or Renown. GarouMUSH is all about roleplay and story -- not about statistics and rolling dice. Hence any of the aforementioned need not be mentioned in your application.

Once you exit the Birthplace, you'll be thrust into the maelstrom of the OOC Lounge. To get some peace and quiet, consider typing +ic and set up your character descriptions in the semi-IC hostel. You'll also want to review +freebies to spend your 10 freebie points. These points may be used to purchase additional Willpower, Rage, or Gnosis, an extra characteristic pip, an additional gift, or additional backgrounds.

How to describe your new character

You should enter user-defined &attributes with the names of the five Garou forms listed in 'news forms' in the format {form}desc. That is, you should set the attributes:

  • &homiddesc
  • &glabrodesc
  • &crinosdesc
  • &hispodesc
  • &lupusdesc

for your character, providing a different description for each one in accordance with the guidelines in 'news forms'. The +shift global will switch between these self-descriptions for you as your shapechanging character shifts.

Description do's and don'ts

When writing your descriptions, please do the following:

  • Use colorful, vivid adjectives to describe each form.
  • Try to communicate a clear mental picture to your viewer.
  • Qualitively describe physical traits. That is, if you have a high strength, you might write: This tall man is very well muscled.

Conversely, please avoid the following:

  • Do not assume action on the part of your viewer.

These are @descs that contains phrases like, "Your eyes can't help but be drawn to his glinting blue eyes." Phrases like the former assume action on the part of the other character that is improper. Whether someone's eyes are drawn to your character's glinting blue eyes is for the other player to determine, not your @desc. Remove these @descs from your repetoire.

  • Do not assume experience on the part of your viewer.

An example of this kind of @desc is the following: "You have never seen a more beautiful woman than this one." Obviously, you, the player have no way of determining if this is true for another character -- and it is impolite, not to mention a trite and vapid description. These types of phrases should be eliminated. If your description is well written and vivid enough, the idea the example conveys will occur to the other player automatically.

Other Character Attributes

You need to set the character's @sex, @alias, &pos, and &gminfo at a minimum before you go IC for the first time on the MUSH. There are other attributes which you may wish to set, such as your &info. Along with @sex, @alias, and &pos, &info is displayed in your +finger. Take a look at 'news newbie' for some helpful instructions and 'examine #3182', the Sample Werewolf, for a good example of how to set your character attributes.

A Few Roleplay Basics

Remember in roleplaying your Garou character that Garou heal with amazing, often visible speed from most normal wounds; only silver, fire, the claws and teeth of supernatural creatures, and the effects of certain Gifts will be able to cause lasting, aggravated damage.

Another useful roleplaying note regards communication amongst the Garou. Garou, as creatures neither completely of the wolf nor completely of the man, communicate with each other in the language of both, as well as the special tongue of their own race. That is to say, any Garou will be able to speak the Wolf, Human, and Garou 'tongues' (although the Wolf tongue involves a fair amount of body language, and the Garou 'tongue' combines human phonics with lupine yips and growls in a bizarre fashion.)

To distinguish between these three modes of speech, GarouMUSH has adopted the following conventions: the Wolf tongue is expressed without punctuation of any kind, the Garou fashion of speech makes use of tildes in place of quotes, and full Human speech uses quotes as normal. The same phrase, then, repeated over in each tongue, would be posed as follows:

Wolf believes we should head west. It would be wise.

Garou says, ~I believe we should head west. It would be wise.~

Human says, "I believe we should head west. It would be wise."

Roleplaying Rank

Rank is an important concept in Garou society; this highly-developed hierarchy of respect is inherent in the way Garou relate to one another. Garou of lower Rank are expected to defer to Garou of higher Rank, and to treat them with politeness and dignity; by the same token, while Garou of higher Rank can deservedly expect to be heeded, they nonetheless have an obligation to treat those of lower rank with respect. Garou constantly vie for Rank and status with one another, gaining renown in the form of glory, honor, and wisdom, and challenging their Elders in order to rise in Rank.

Fitting into GarouMUSH

Fitting into this setting is going to be an experience that each player, and thus each character, must work out for him or herself. First, understand that it is the Garou's sworn duty as a race to oppose the evil corruption of the Wyrm, the twisted force of reality that is attempting to pervert and destroy everything good and pure in the world; much of your time as a Garou will be taken up in actions against this foul entity or its minions. Beyond that, your life will largely be dictated by your history and your Tribe; you might live in town, trying to hold down a job as a Homid and only venturing back to the Caern for Moots and missions, or you might live at the Caern at all times, sleeping out in the forest. Garou are creatures of two worlds, and they feel it in their lives; many end up with an existence in the shadows, neither truly of the city nor truly of the forest, drifting back and forth between the two as the need or the spirit moves.

The Mood of GarouMUSHEdit

The PackEdit

Despite this, the existence of the Garou is not a lonely or grasping one; all Garou 'belong' in a number of important ways. First, most if not all Garou are members of a Pack; this smallest level of Garou organization, numbering anywhere from three Garou to seven or more, provides the Garou with their closest 'family' at the Caern. Garou of a Pack work together on missions against the Wyrm, and often spend much of their time with one another outside these missions; they live and play under the eye of their Pack Leader and the spirit totem that guides their Pack, and depend on one another in times of need. This is not to say that there aren't squabbles within Packs, or that leadership does not shift from time to time; what remains true is that when the true enemy, the Wyrm, is in evidence, members of a Pack must be able to rely upon one another.

The Sept and TribeEdit

Besides being members of a Pack, all Garou are members of the local Sept-- those Garou brought together to protect and operate out of a given Caern. A Sept has its own leadership distinct from the Pack Leadership, made up of Elder Garou from a number of Tribes. In addition, each Garou is a member of a Tribe, a spatially-dispersed bloodline of the Garou, and has status and obligation within that society as well. Some might even argue that certain Auspices also count as different 'groups' of their own.

GarouMUSH Roleplaying GuidelinesEdit

Roleplaying on GarouMUSH is for the most part like roleplaying on any other MUSH; through poses and speech, characters interact with one another and develop their lives and experiences together. GarouMUSH does, however, offer two different 'systems' designed to enhance and focus the roleplaying experience, making it more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Feature StoriesEdit

The first of these two is the optional Feature Story or Spotlight Story system. Essentially, Feature Stories are formalized plots, run by a 'Gamemaster' for a group of GarouMUSH players. These GMs concoct interesting and involving plots, posting their stories on the Story Board in the OOC Lounge; players interested in taking part in these stories get in contact with the GM, indicating their interest in playing either a major or minor role in the story to come. The GM is granted the right to 'dictate reality as concerns the execution of his or her story'. Is there a Coffee Shop on the corner? Are there Wyrm-tainted thugs waiting in that alley? These are questions that the GM may answer as his or her story dictates. This Feature Story system approximates 'traditional' face to face roleplaying within the MUSH context.

Note that this system is optional; players are perfectly free to come up with their own minor plots, and to roleplay out the day to day experiences of their characters. The Feature Story system provides a contact point between people wanting to tell stories and people wanting to experience them, a handy guide to major activities going on on the MUSH, and, at times, a Wizard sanction for plots that might be considered 'major' or disruptive. If a player feels that a minor, non-Story plot that he or she is involved in has the capacity to be disruptive or shift the game-reality in any fashion, he or she is encouraged to talk with a Wizard online before proceeding too much further. Wizards will generally be understanding and accommodating about such situations, but do like to be kept informed. Note that anyone may be a GM; we encourage anyone and everyone with a good story to contact a Wizard with the idea.

Contests and StatsEdit

The second part of the GarouMUSH RP system has to do with statistics. All characters on the MUSH are provided with nine attributes, each rated from 1-5 (although Garou and other exceptional characters may exceed these numbers at times.) These attributes, Strength, Dexterity, Stamina, Charisma, Manipulation, Appearance, Perception, Intelligence, and Wits, may be used as a handy pointer to probable results when characters come into conflict or attempt difficult actions. A Character with a Dexterity rated 5, for example, is far more agile than a Character with a Dexterity rated 1; should the 1-rated character throw a punch at the 5-rated character, it is very likely that the 5-rated character would be able to dodge without much problem. Note that as the scale for these comparisons runs from only one to five, even a one-point difference represents a clear advantage. These numbers are a resource for the GMs in the execution of their stories, and for players when interacting wi! th one another. No formal mechanics are involved; comparison and circumstance should indicate the outcome of any conflict.

Willpower, Rage, and GnosisEdit

These numbers may be accessed through the +sheet global function. All characters are also given a Willpower rating from 1-10; Garou are also provided with a Rage attribute and a Gnosis attribute.

  • Willpower can be thought of as the deciding factor in any close contest; points of Willpower might even be 'spent' against another player during a scene, depending on how the two players want to handle their conflict.
  • Gnosis represents the spiritual attunement of a Garou, his connection with the spirit world of the Umbra; characters with high Gnosis are more proficient in the use of their supernatural Gifts, and may use them with more frequency.
  • Rage represents the natural, destructive Beast inside the Garou; it builds and wanes within them, increasing to the maximum as they are angered or slighted, decreasing as it is vented or when they find solace in the Umbra. Rage can be thought of as a combat battery, aiding in conflict; however, high Rage in Garou may also shade over into Frenzy, where+ the Garou loses control of him or herself and either destroys wildly or flees without thought. Garou must be ever vigilant against this.

Conflict ResolutionEdit

As might be gathered from the above discussion, there will be times when two or more players will come into conflict on GarouMUSH outside of a Story situation. In a Story situation, the GM of the Story has full control over the resolution of the conflict; usually the GM will make use of Attribute comparisons, circumstances, and good sense to reach his or her decisions, but within the Story context a GM is free to resolve conflict in any fashion he or she desires.

Outside the Story environment, however, it is finally up to the players in conflict to work out a resolution that best meets the ends of good, dramatic storytelling. For players who are having difficulty in their conflict resolution, the following advice and information may prove useful:

1. Start With OOC Pages. In any conflict situation, the best resolution is that which is carried out solely between the players in conflict. Players should begin in a conflict situation by paging each other to discuss what resolution might make the most sense (comparing statistics if relevant) and make for the most entertaining and dramatic story. Players should be reasonable and amiable with one another, remembering that the conflict is IC only, and should try to keep the end of telling a good story in mind.

Even before a state of active conflict is reached, OOC communication is both sensible and polite. Say, for example, that you notice that Horrorshow, a Smelly-Footed Fomor, is logged in and in a public place. Before you decide to invent an excuse for your character to be in the same area so that you can use your nifty 'Scent Wyrm-Tainted Feet' gift, an OOC page would be in order to see if Horrorshow's player is busy with something else, and what sort of interaction might best advance the story.

Additionally, it is both sensible and polite to page a player for OOC discussion prior to doing something IC that would damage their character or their character's property or circumstances. The two would then discuss what would make for the best story, each being reasonable, and then proceed with the roleplaying in accordance with what they'd decided together.

When in doubt, communicate OOC. It can't help but make your roleplaying smoother and more dramatic.

2. Call in an Arbitrator. If for some reason the players in conflict find that they cannot work out an amiable and dramatic resolution amongst themselves (and this should in fact have worked in the wide majority of cases), either one or both of the players may elect to call in an arbitrator. If both players agree on a third player, and that player agrees, then that player will become the arbitrator, and the decisions of that player during the conflict will be final. If the players cannot agree on a third player, then a GM may be called in to arbitrate the conflict. A GM may be called in by any player without the approval of the other characters involved in the conflict.

The main responsibility of GMs is to run their particular Story, and they will be spending most of their time in this pursuit. A GM may expect to be called in only infrequently to resolve conflicts, and will be provided with a document giving the GM pointers on how to conduct themselves during conflict situations. GMs are expected to be fair, and to make their judgements with an eye towards telling a good story.

Calling GMs for arbitration is expected to be a rare event. Once a GM has been called into a conflict situation, that conflict proceeds as the GM dictates, and the decisions of the GM are final. GM decisions may only be contested by single appeal to the Wizards, after the event has been resolved.

Character DeathEdit

It should be kept in mind that character death is a possibility on GarouMUSH. The GarouMUSH policy on character death is as follows: Any character may elect to die voluntarily during conflict, if the circumstances seem to that character's player to warrant his of her character's death. If the player does not approve his or her character's death, and the circumstances seem to warrant it, then that player's character may be ruled dead, involuntarily,by the GM who is handling the situation. The GM's decision may be appealed, once, to the Wizards, after the event has been resolved; the decision made on that appeal by the Wizards is final. If a character dies, that character's player is given a week to deal with the character's personal effects/code before the character is destroyed and removed from the database.

In the end, the real watchwords for conflict resolution are politeness, reasonability, and concern with telling a good story. If players try to remember that they are all, finally, working together to weave a tapestry of drama rather than competing against one another, then conflict resolution should proceed smoothly, dramatically, and entertainingly.

AdvancementEdit

Garou, as communal creatures, live by a sharply-delineated system of Rank. Any Garou is held in a certain degree of respect by his or her compatriots, stands in a certain 'circle' of persons of equal experience and renown. As Garou survive their missions against the Wyrm or support Garou culture in other ways, they gather to themselves glory, honor, and wisdom, and in so doing rise in the estimation of their fellows. When a Garou has travelled sufficiently down this road that he or she is ready to join another 'circle' of peers, then the Garou must issue a formal challenge to a member of that 'circle' to do so.

Rank ChallengesEdit

Challenges for rank are formally issued and accepted at Moots -- great gatherings of the Garou. The young Garou seeking to rise in Rank issues the challenge to the Elder of his or her choice, some time in advance; the Elder is then free to refuse the challenge, or to take it up, subject to ultimate judgement of fitness by the Master of the Challenge. Should the challenge be accepted, the Elder and younger Garou enter into a contest as determined by the Elder; this contest is often a trial by combat, although it may be anything from a battle of wits, to a contest of tracking, to even more bizarre forms of evaluation, depending on the Tribe in question.

Should the young Garou win, he or she steps into a new circle of peers, and accordingly rises in Rank; should the young Garou fail, he or she remains at the old Rank. As such, it often behooves young Garou to find sympathetic Elders for their challenges, ones who will give them honest tests but who also sincerely want them to succeed. There is, however, no dishonor in losing a challenge. About half of all challenges fail; this is to be expected, and not a sign of some great personal failing on the loser's part.

>From the standpoint of MUSH policy, challenges are executed according to the guidelines available in 'news challenge'. By all means, read these before proposing (or accepting) a challenge.

It is customary for young Garou who have just advanced in rank to be granted a new Gift outright. It is assumed that an appropriate spirit will find the Garou and teach them, or be summoned by a Ritemaster to bestow this Gift upon the Challenger.

+learns and Interim AdvancementsEdit

Other interim advancements are handled by making requests to the wizards. If, for example, another Garou agrees to teach you a Gift, you may submit the attempt to the wizards for approval by using the '+learn' global command (see +help learn). They will determine whether the attempt will succeed or fail, and how long it will take. Anything that is on your character's +sheet can be modified in this manner, though some explaination will be required.

ClosingEdit

In closing, we would like to say that GarouMUSH remains a game, and that the enjoyment of roleplaying in this vivid environment of tragedy, feeling, and heroism is our sole aim. Your first steps on the wooded path are done, though you will take many more, through danger and tribulation, before your time as Garou is done. The way may seem dark and times as you stand helpless in the face of Apocalypse, but do not lose faith; your klaive is in your hand, your Packmates stand beside you, and the love and strength of Gaia the Earth Mother flows in your veins. Good luck, safe travel, and may you ever rage against the dying of the light.

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