Van Helsing Association
From Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe
About The Group
Welcome to the van Helsing Association! We are a City of Villans Roleplaying Super Group.
We're 90/10 on the roleplaying/Out of character talk. If you absolutely must speak out of character, make sure to put double parenthesis around your comments, such as ((afk)). The SuperGroup Chat channel is reserved for OOC speak.
As a roleplaying group, we prefer that you have a character background or bio in your information. We all appreciate good stories.
We don't require anyone except Visionaries to play in SG mode. If you want to that's great, and it is a good way to earn promotions from within the guild. The only rank that cannot be promoted to is Visionary. It takes roleplay and sponsorship by one of the other Hunters to become an Visonary. Ranks are
Avenger (Entry Level)
Defender (10,000 Prestige Earned)
Judge (20,000 Prestige Earned)
Redeemer (50,000 Prestige Earned)
(This is by no means a comprehensive list of available positions, yet. This list will be updated as time goes on)
Any Visionaries should be willing to assist via sidekicking/exemplaring.
Bidding System Mechanics: How the VHA resolves conflicts.
When a conflict arises between characters, it is often difficult to come to a resolution that can be palatable to players. These conflicts can cause issues that damage roleplay not only between the players, but can have ramifications that extend far beyond the current conflict. Several ways to resolve this issue have been used, to various degrees of success, but each method has had failings that are so large they have been abandoned, or only adopted by a few.
While PvP resolution provides a very graphic and entertaining method for conflict resolution, it has three major failings: firstly, and most important is balance. With so many variables to consider, and the constant possibility of changes from the devs, balance will always be an issue in PvP. Secondly, player skill does not reflect character skill. While the character may be considered to be master assassin in RP, the player may lack the skill to portray it in a PvP environment. Finally, social contests, by nature, cannot be resolved in PvP without breaking the flow of the scene. A break in a seduction attempt for a PvP contest to determine the winner destroys the mood of the scene.
Unmoderated text based resolution goes a long way to solving some of the problems of PvP resolution, but creates it's own set of issues. While character skill is removed from player skill, the conflicts that arise between two differing opinions can be more devastating to the RP environment than any PvP contest. These differences of opinion can cause rifts between players that would otherwise be amicable, creating an environment that is hostile from a player perspective, not the characters. Simple declaration and response methods, while they do not break the flow of the scene, can lead to shouts of "God-moding" out of character; although there may be a very good reason for the character to be unaffected by the other party in a conflict. This issue becomes compounded when many different mythologies play within the same RP space.
Moderated text based resolution fixes the issue of combining mythologies and player opinions, because there is one centralized authority on the game in question. While this is the best method of resolution currently available, one major flaw arises; namely, how is an authority chosen? In a closed rolplaying space, like pen and paper, the de facto authority is the judge, storyteller, or gamemaster. In an open roleplaying space, like those encountered in an MMO environment, there is not one central authority to defer to; or there may be several conflicting authorities. This devolves into, essentially, an unmoderated text based resolution system, and creates the same rifts between players at the expense of the characters.
Many MMORPG's include some sort of randomizer accessible to the players, usually a dice roller or some similar mechanic. The randomizer can be used to alleviate the problems that arise from unmoderated text based resolutions, creating a central, impartial moderator: the result of the randomizer. However, using that randomizer in a way that is fair to all players involved is key. A staple of MMO genre is the "skill tree", powers granted to the character through gameplay and earned experience in the shared environment. The bidding system as outlined here is the result of that combination. In this proposed solution, both the in-game experience, in the form of earned abilities, and the randomizer are used to create a system that allows for interaction between characters in a fair and impartial manner.
Each character is considered to have a set of "characteristics". These characteristics come from a character's heritage, backstory, or earned in-game powers. Each of these characteristics represents a character's ability to overcome a conflict, whether that conflict be physical, social, or more esoteric. The basic two characteristics that all characters have are heritage and backstory; all other characteristics are derived from earned abilities and powers. In a contest, the character bids one of these characteristics against an opponent's characteristic. After the randomizer is invoked, the results determine the winner of the contest; with the loser of contest unable to use the characteristic bid for the remainder of the conflict. Should a tie occur, a recheck is performed.
Should the losing player wish to contest the result, a new characteristic is bid against the winner's previous characteristic The randomizer is checked again, and the loser is unable to use the characteristic that was bid in the remainder of the conflict. Not all characteristics are appropriate in a given situation, and it will be up to the conflicting parties to determine if the characteristic bid does reflect the given situation. This can be determined by describing how the characteristic applies to the situation.
As mentioned earlier, there are two characteristics that every character has access to: Heritage and Backstory. These special characteristics can be called into play like any other characteristic, but they are defined not by the game, but by the history of the character. Heritage is derived from the character's mythos; a character with magic at their disposal could use the characteristic "Heritage" in a contest with another character involving magic. Backstory is defined by the character's experiences outside of the shared world, and skills that can be taken into account beyond the established structure of the game. A character can only use Heritage or Backstory once in any given conflict.
In the case of multiple characters conflicting against one character, a characteristic is considered to be in effect until it is overcome. That is, should a character bid "Air Superiority" against another character's "Flight", and the "Flight" prevail, the other characters involved will have to overcome "Flight" to affect the flying character. Should a character not have a characteristic thatcould be applicable to the conflict, that character is considered to have lost that particular conflict by default.