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Everything You Need to Know [RTJ and Game Info]

Posted by LunaFor group 0
GM, 644 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:44
  • msg #1

Everything You Need to Know [RTJ and Game Info

It is the summer of 2002 in the city of Kiev...

After the loss of the sacred lands which once housed the Sept of Mother's Tears, the survivors retreated from Rylsk to Kiev to regroup, recover, and to plan their next moves. Since it had been taken from the Gurahl in the distant past, the Caern had never been particularly powerful. Even still the Elders and younger Garou took great risks to preserve it's essence so they could rebuild.

After a frantic search, with the life of one Elder hanging in the balance, a new home for the Caern was located at Askold's Grave in Kiev. Now, with the survivors of the Elders of Mother's Tears departing to join their fellow Garou at the larger Sept of Luna's Edict outside the city, the new Caern as Askold's Grave has been left in the hands of the young. They have been tried and tested, but whether they have what it takes to hold this new, sacred place against the forces of the Wyrm remains to be seen.

Please read this entire thread before sending me an RTJ.  It's not that long, and has a ton of really valuable information.
This message was last edited by the GM at 19:44, Mon 25 June 2018.
GM, 644 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:44
  • msg #2

Everything You Need to Know [RTJ and Game Info

August, 1961
Construction begins on a wall in the city of Berlin; advertised as a means to keep the communist Eastern Bloc free of fascist corruption, the wall's real purpose is widely known to be the prevention of mass defection from East to West.

Summer, 1968
A Czechoslovakian liberalization movement is brutally crushed by Soviet forces.  Martial law is declared.  Protesters are arrested as anti-Soviet subversives.  Many disappear.

Winter, 1979
Russian troops invade Afghanistan, setting off a decade-long conflict that ultimately takes nearly 2 million civilian lives and scatters significant numbers of Afghans into surrounding countries.

April, 1986
The world watches in horror as the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant suffers a catastrophic meltdown.  Ukraine and Belarus will arguably never fully recover.

November, 1989
The Berlin Wall is demolished.  East and West are united for the first time in decades.  Soviet forces are pulled out of Afghanistan.  People dare to hope.

August, 1991
The Russian Communist Party is dissolved.  Several formerly-Soviet nations declare independence.

Autumn, 1993
The fall of communism has left Russia in third-world tatters.  The legislature is dissolved, the president is impeached, constitutions are thrown out as fast as they can be written.  War looms with various Balkan neighbors.

Through it all, the Garou of the Motherland have fought, tooth and nail, to keep their land pure.  It has been a losing battle.  And in a land where the sun hides for months at a time, "darkest before the dawn" isn't a very optimistic promise.

Important Note about canonical events
This game is set in a somewhat different version of the World of Darkness than that with which many players are familiar and accustomed. The two most prominent examples of this include the fact that the Shadow Curtain has not lifted (as well as that its effect is much more pronounced than had been discussed in Rage Across Russia). Also, the events of the Week of Nightmares (canonically transpiring in June 1999) have not occurred and are not necessarily going to happen in the course of this game.

Important Note about Real Life Events
This game is set in the summer of 2002 in the city of Kiev.  Some parts of the plot will take place in Ukraine while others may carry characters across the border into Russia.  I will not touch on current events in Ukraine.  Eastern Europe's political situation is almost too complex to use as a setting 20 years after the fact; I'm not even going to try to tackle it while it's still going on.
This message was last edited by the GM at 19:44, Mon 25 June 2018.
GM, 644 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:44
  • msg #3

Everything You Need to Know [RTJ and Game Info

Important Note about Game Systems and Canon Source Material

This is a W20 game using the rules and mechanics from the Werewolf: the Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition set of books. A selection of setting material is also being used from 2nd edition and Revised sources. When it comes to rules, unless noted otherwise in House Rules, the material from W20 reigns supreme. When it comes to setting, if something is presented that doesn't jive with your own personal knowledge, it is likely intentional. I will do my best to explain everything clearly, but things are bound to be missed. Please feel free to address questions or concerns by PM.

This is not Werewolf: the Forsaken. The aptly-named W:tF is the nWoD take on werewolves int the World of Darkness. We are very comfortably situated in oWoD (or cWoD) here. If your only experience with World of Darkness werewolves is with W:tF, please let me know in your RTJ.

Very Important Note about Setting Canon

The Shadow Curtain is still in place.

As mentioned elsewhere (I'm going to repeat it a few times to ensure that it sticks), the game is set in the summer of 2002, in Kiev, Ukraine. In standard setting canon, the Shadow Curtain fell with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1993. That is not the case here, it is still very much in effect and as strong as ever.

What that means is that you are welcome to come from outside the former USSR in your background prior to your first change, but you will not be leaving again unless/until the curtain comes down. There is no guarantee that will happen in the course of this game.

Again, the Shadow Curtain is still up.

A Note About Technology

It is 2002, and not the United States. In the first World, Windows XP is all the rage, palm pilots are neat, the first Blackberry with a fully integrated phone will not be released for another year, Google Search is only 5 years old, YouTube will not be introduced for another 5 years, there are no flat panel or wide screen monitors, and so on.

It has not even been a decade since the fall of the Soviet Union and even the more modern cities like Kiev are not yet up to the same level of technological advancement as the west. Cell phones are still somewhat rare and expensive, personal computers are more so.

I could go on, but the point is that so much of what we take for granted fourteen years later simply does not exist in the world of the game. Please take a second to stop an think before assuming that you can solve problems with the same technology and the same level of reliability as you can today.
This message was last edited by the GM at 19:44, Mon 25 June 2018.
GM, 644 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:44
  • msg #4

Everything You Need to Know [RTJ and Game Info

  1. ST rulings are final.  Asking questions or having discussions is fine.  Arguing once you've been given an answer will serve no purpose other than to piss off your STs.

  2. Everyone has lines, and sometimes we don't notice them before we go barreling over them.  That's okay.  What's not okay is acting like a dillhole when someone informs you that you've crossed a line.  Also not okay: shifting your line to keep a given player on the wrong side of it.

  3. For the sake of my sanity, all posts need to be made in 3rd person simple past tense.  Grammar and spelling rules need to be observed.  If I have to work too hard to understand your posts, it makes me cranky and makes updates take longer.

  4. Also for the sake of my sanity, all PMs to me need to be made in your original RTJ thread.  If you clutter up my PM inbox, response times for the entire game suffer.  That's not really fair to me or the other players.

  5. I really like the W20 mechanics.  I think they smoothed out and streamlined the crunchy stuff in a way that lets us keep the machinery running backstage while we focus on the story.  However, I think the old supplements told a better story, especially in the case of the regional supplements.  What this means for us: we're using W20 mechanics and 3e setting material.  Frankly, this shouldn't really impact you guys -- I think I've created a detailed enough setting that you shouldn't need to resort to the books to keep up.  But if you see something that doesn't line up and you get the urge to jump up on a soapbox and tell me that I'm wrong, see point 1 and ask yourself, are you willing to see this detail become your Waterloo?

This message was last updated by the GM at 19:44, Mon 25 June 2018.
GM, 644 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:45
  • msg #5

RTJ Information

If you scrolled down to this point, go back to the top and read everything above here. There's not much and it's all important. There are things of which you simply must be aware before you can submit a concept for this game.

If you have already read all of that, thank you, please proceed. :)

First things first
Since this is a story focused game, this is not the place to put forth mindless combat monsters, cardboard stereotypes, or emotionless loners.  You are not the last of anything, nor are you the specialest of special snowflakes.  All character concepts need to make sense with respect to the setting.

I do have higher standards for certain breeds/tribes/gifts/fetishes/etc.  If you're asking for something that should be fairly rare, don't be surprised or get defensive if I ask you to justify it.  We can't all have Pure Breed 5, grand klaives, and custom gifts -- especially not as Cliath.

RTJ -- First Contact
In your first RTJ message, I do not want a character sheet, a list of all your cool toys, or questions about which overpowered gifts and rites I'll allow.  What I really want is the following:
Brief background
If you're not local, how did you come to find yourself in Southwestern Russia/the former Soviet Union?

If that information piques my interest, I'll ask you for a character sheet and a more detailed background.  I have been known to give bonuses based on really good backgrounds in this step, so pull out all the stops.

Falling Caerns and The Shadow Curtain
Caerns falling is a sad fact of life for the Garou, but since the fall of communism, caerns located on formerly-Soviet lands seem to be disappearing at an alarming rate.  More disturbing is the fact that there rarely seems to be any attack, no Spirals or Banes waiting to turn a Caern into a Hive, no Garou limping into neighboring septs looking for help or shelter.  The Caerns simply... vanish.

Since the early 90s, it has become increasingly difficult for Garou or other Fera to cross the borders which once marked the divide between the rest of the world and the USSR.  The phenomenon doesn't seem to follow the borders as they're drawn in the modern day, but the divide is clearly meant to isolate the Motherland.  No one knows where this Shadow Curtain comes from or how it works; no one is even sure when it began affecting the Garou.  All that is known for sure is that it seems to be getting stronger, and that stronger Garou are affected more dramatically.  Elders have not been able to cross the border in some years; lower-ranking Garou with particularly high Rage or Gnosis have significant trouble; even the youngest and weakest of Theurges seem stymied; moon bridges simply will not open if their path would take them across the border.

Keep this in mind when coming up with your character concepts.  If your character is not native to Russia, you need to explain why and how they came to be in the Motherland.  Communication with the rest of the Nation -- mundane or spiritual -- is spotty at best, so mentors and Kinfolk on the other side of the border aren't in a position to help you very much.

No one has been able to determine the precise location of the border.  If you have a question about which side of the border a given region is on, feel free to ask me.  Keep in mind that the Motherland is really freaking huge and has comprised several empires over the ages, so you might be surprised at what's part of it despite not technically being "Russia".

Allowed and Encouraged Character Types
  • Garou (Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, Get of Fenris, Glass Walkers, Shadow Lords, Silver Fangs, Silent Strider, Wendigo)*

*Until the numbers balance a little better, I'm giving preference to Ragabash and Philodox concepts.

Allowed, but not particularly Encouraged
  • Non-mundane Kinfolk

The Garou Kin do have an important role to play in the world and their lives are interesting and challenging in their own right. That being said, no kinfolk can go everywhere the Garou can. Nor can they stand toe to toe against the same foes as their Garou relatives. This is not a game which is very focused on Caern home life, or the finding/taking of mates, building of families. Kin with concepts in those areas are unlikely to be admitted.

Be prepared to wow me if you want to ask for this
  • Children of Gaia (The Children were exiled from Russia in the 1950s and have only slowly started to return)
  • Fianna, Uktena (Due to geography, there's simply not much of a population present; unlike the Black Furies, these tribes have simply not bothered to send representatives)
  • Stargazers (Stargazers are surprisingly common in the eastern parts of Russia, but don't have as much representation in the western areas)
  • Red Talons (I hold lupus characters to very high standards. If you want to play a Talon, be prepared to show me that you understand the unique challenges of playing a lupus.)
  • Corax
  • Bastet (most tribes will need a damn good reason for being in the area)
  • Gurahl

If you would like to play something interesting, supernatural, and Homid that you've not likely been able to try out before, none of what you've seen listed here has really grabbed your attention, and you're prepared to work with me more than you would need to otherwise, let me know. :)

Will not be considered for any reason
  • Mundane Kinfolk
  • Skinchangers
  • Vampires/Ghouls
  • Changelings
  • Hunters
  • Black Spiral Dancers (seeking Redemption or otherwise)
  • Ajaba
  • Ananasi
  • Mokole
  • Nagah
  • Ratkin
  • Rokea

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:36, Wed 06 Nov 2019.
GM, 644 posts
Mon 25 Jun 2018
at 19:45
  • msg #6

Character Sheet

Once your concept has been approved, go ahead and start working on character creation.  I am not able to provide copies of the W20 books. There are resources available online to help you with character creation. If you would like to obtain copies of the books, I recommend

  • Alternate Abilities are not being used
  • Abilities receive specializations at the 3rd and 5th purchased dots (bonuses from Totems do not count); Attributes still only receive specializations at the 4th purchased dot
  • If there is a Gift, Rite, or Fetish that hasn't been updated to W20 yet and you'd like to inquire about it, feel free to do so. I can usually find a way to make it work for the game
  • Personal Totems for Garou are not allowed. Personal Totems for Fera are limited to those offered automatically (such as how all Corax receive Raven or the three aspects of Bear from which Gurahl are permitted to choose)
  • Rage, Gnosis, and Willpower may not be higher than 8 at creation

Character Sheet
|Name          | |Breed  | |Pack | |
|Changing Breed| |Auspice| |Totem| |
|Chronicle     | |Tribe  | |Rank | |

|Strength | |Charisma    | |Perception  | |
|Dexterity| |Manipulation| |Intelligence| |
|Stamina  | |Appearance  | |Wits        | |

|Alertness   | |Animal-Ken | |Academics    | |
|Athletics   | |Crafts     | |Computer     | |
|Brawl       | |Drive      | |Enigmas      | |
|Empathy     | |Etiquette  | |Investigation| |
|Expression  | |Firearms   | |Law          | |
|Leadership  | |Larceny    | |Medicine     | |
|Intimidation| |Melee      | |Occult       | |
|Primal-Urge | |Performance| |Rituals      | |
|Streetwise  | |Stealth    | |Science      | |
|Subterfuge  | |Survival   | |Technology   | |


| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |

|Gift|Rank|Book & Page Number|
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |
| | | | | | |

| |0.0|
| |0.0|
| |0.0|


|Health|Wound Penalty|-|
|Bruised      |None| |
|Hurt         |-1| |
|Injured      |-1| |
|Wounded      |-2| |
|Mauled       |-2| |
|Crippled     |-5| |
|Incapacitated|Done| |

This message was last updated by the GM at 19:45, Mon 25 June 2018.
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