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PbP recruitment: "The Stone Still Bleeds - Hunting Grounds of the Black Hills"

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  • PbP recruitment: "The Stone Still Bleeds - Hunting Grounds of the Black Hills"

    Hey all. This is a casting call for a play-by-post game I’m launching, to be run over at, set in the Black Hills region of South Dakota and Wyoming. There is still some preparatory work to be done, and I don't expect the game to be ready to start for another month or so, but want to begin recruiting players. The link to the game site is here, and you can view the game map (in progress) here.
    Things you might like about this game:
    - A thoroughly researched and detailed setting, founded on the fascinating and complex history of one of the most storied locales in America.
    - Engagement with themes of indigenous history and political struggles. If you care about what has happened, is happening, and may happen to the native people of North America, and want to engage with those issues through storytelling, this is a good place to do that.
    - A thickly-rendered ecology, both fleshly and spiritual. Every action the characters make will reverberate through the mesh of needs, drives, and relationships that make up any community of life.
    - A fully multi-media RP experience, replete with images, maps, news clippings, audio, music, and more.
    - A love for the English language and the craft of storytelling.
    - A player-driven environment where anything can happen. I have set the pieces in place for players to make real choices and live with the consequences. There is no "story" here- just a complex and charged environment, full of independent actors with their own ambitions and relationships. The gameplay will unfold from the choices the PCs make.
    - A W:tF setting that breaks some of the assumptions of a "generic" hunting ground, and embroils the PCs in a wider world of uratha politics, as well as a spirit world that hides endless surprises.
    And in terms of what the setting itself offers, how do you feel about:
    An “island in the plains”, where the isolated mountains preserves an utterly unique ecosystem.
    Mount Rushmore- the “Shrine of Democracy”, or alternately, the most blasphemous desecration of a religious site in the last couple of centuries, depending on who you ask.
    The Crazy Horse Monument, just a short distance from Mount Rushmore, will be the world’s largest sculpture if it’s ever finished.
    Black Elk Peak, where the eponymous Lakota holy man received his great vision.
    Sturgis, home of the world-famous Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws upwards of 500,000 bikers from all over the world each August.
    Wounded Knee- site of the last major military confrontation between Native and U.S. forces, resulting in the death of hundreds of natives, most of them women and children. Also the site of the Wounded Knee incident in the 70s, which led to an armed standoff between the federal government and the American Indian Movement, followed by a long string of murders and intrigue.
    Pine Ridge Reservation, one of the poorest, most desperate and blighted places in the Western hemisphere. Real-life horror and hope abounds.
    Some of the biggest and most historic gold mines in American history, one of which is now one of the world’s premiere deep-underground particle physics laboratories.
    Deadwood, of western Americana fame- final resting place of Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane, and other luminaries of the Old West.
    Wind Cave, the densest known cave complex in the world, and one of the longest. Also home to 95% of the world’s known boxwork crystal formations. Also known to the Lakota people as the place where mankind first emerged from the underworld.
    Rapid Creek, which in 1972 was the site of one of the most destructive flood events in American history, killing hundreds and causing hundreds of millions in property damage.
    Dinosaur bones. Lots and lots of dinosaur bones, including the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever unearthed.
    And so much more.
    What I am looking for in players:
    - Commitment to the game. While I realize that "real life" comes first, I intend for this game to have some staying power and cover a lot of ground. I'm looking for players who are willing to invest in their characters and the game as a whole, maintain a reasonable posting rate (at least 3/week), and whenever possible contribute to the setting and community I am building.
    - Superb command of the English language.
    - An interest in themes of history, ecology, myth, politics, and culture.
    - Some degree of enthusiasm for the idea of independently exploring and developing the setting.
    Here’s the pitch:

    “Go, half-fleshed, and do not return. You rouse me from my dreams to warn me of danger. I say: the sun does not fear the breeze that the little fire fears. The ant does not presume to guard the stars. You would do better to gather the little rocks from my feet and return them to my crown, if you would serve me, than to trouble me with these trifles.
    You say these naked apes mean to harm me. I have seen them scrabbling about lately, tickling my skin with their borrowed claws. What is this to me? So many little fleshlings have come and gone in my sight. I saw the first furred ones spread across the plains, born one moment and dying in the next. I saw the Grandfather Bird take his first flight, and I know the price he paid for his feathers. I have seen these lands drowned beneath the sea, and I have seen the sea die. I saw the birth of the Water-Monster, and I know how it came to hate the land. Only the Sun remembers a time before me.
    I will sleep now, and when I awaken, these little creatures will have passed away, as all of their kind do. If you should trouble me again, I will stir my hand and erase your kind from my sight. The Deep calls me… go now…”
    • Gathers-Mother’s-Teeth-in-Sun’s-Sight, spirit of Six Grandfathers Mountain, shortly before the construction of Mount Rushmore
    “I-I-I must walk! The only prison is my self, destiny is the irruption of my nation… Render the forces of all things into the grave of tomorrow, and then yes… yes… where is my hand? WHERE IS MY HAND?”
    • Gathers-Mother’s-Teeth-in-Sun’s-Sight, after completion of Mount Rushmore
    The Black Hills rise up from the Great Plains of North America, a towering island of rock amidst a sea of grass. They have meant many things to the creatures of this world. To the plants and animals that make their home here, they are a refuge, a bounty, a place of opportunity and struggle. To the native people of Turtle Island, they were The Heart of All Things, the literal center of the universe and the origin of the human race. To the white settlers who came next, they were a promise of fortune, and the destiny of the American nation. To this day, they remain a living sacrament, where the Lakota people still commune with ancient powers, and Americans bask in the glory of their history and a vision of their future. They have been the battlegrounds of terrible, bloody wars; the hope and despair of countless dreamers; the solace and joy of wanderers and explorers.
    To the Uratha, they are nothing less than the “capital” of North America. They are a place where the potentates of the Hisil have gathered and grown for millions of years, where spirits of unimaginable power make their home. Some of the most powerful loci in the world are clustered here, casting shadows that reach across the continent. They are a holy place, where the Hunter’s Paradise can almost be seen in its original purity. They are a terrible danger, where the spirit powers are roiled in anger and pain, and mankind’s arrogance knows no bounds. They are a prize worth any sacrifice to possess, and a mystery of inconceivable depth. They are the Hunting Grounds before all others, where predator becomes prey with the speed and suddenness of a chinook wind. These are the days when ancient prophecies will be fulfilled, and wars will be fought that will shake the world to its roots. Only one thing will not change- the hunt must go on.

  • robothedino
    The brainstorming/pack conception process has been very fun and successful, but unfortunately the Gentry have snatched up a few of my players and replaced them with Palladium fanboys. Humbly and appreciatively bumping this thread- if you were on the fence before, come check out what we've built so far. It's gonna be a doozy!

    Leave a comment:

  • robothedino
    All of the forsaken tribes are well-represented, with the Hunters in Darkness and Storm Lords holding many leadership positions, and a fairly weak Blood Talon contingent.
    If you're still interested you should get in on the discussion asap- we are in the brainstorming process as we speak!

    Leave a comment:

  • Cherubic
    No worries (on either account.) To keep things brief and not going too far off topic, I majored in psychology but my specific area of interest was human spirituality and religious practices, so I was imagining something more along the lines of the last three, since that's a little more grounded in the reality of how cults...well, would start if things like spirits were a real threat.

    Also that's no trouble, apologies for being a bit over-eager. :> If It helps I've got a ton of potential half-formed character concepts in reserve (and have for a while. haha.) Last question I can think of right now, which is really more a point of curiosity than anything: are there any Tribes particularly dominant in the area?

    Leave a comment:

  • robothedino
    Unless I've completely lost the ability to read, I don't see which edition of the game is being used?
    Thanks for catching this- yes, 2nd Ed. is the joint.

    I was wondering if that seemed like something that might fit in with what you had in mind for the setting?
    Short answer: Yes?
    Longer answer: If by "cult" you mean some Lovecraftian throng of inscrutable occultist calling upon sanity-shattering eldritch forces named only in mouldering texts translated by a mad Arab from the original Akkadian, probably no.
    If you mean an Eyes Wide Shut style cabal of venal, jaded magnates who hide their excess behind the palisades of mansions, dedicating their bacchanals in the name of some Mammonian patron, probably no.

    A mixed-blood Native family living in a trailer park, who remember just enough of the Old Ways to have some power, but not enough to know when to leave well enough alone? Totally.
    A crew of good ol' boys who've graduated from cow-tipping to something more... adventurous? Hella.
    A hunting lodge whose all-in-good-fun traditions have gotten a bit earnest as of late? Oh, you betcha.

    All the above assumes a character with roots in the local area. This doesn't necessarily need to be the case. The distinction between "local" and "foreign" is one of the major linchpins of the regional uratha culture, and the Black Hills are full of werewolves who have immigrated from parts elsewhere. But the overall texture and mood of the setting is rural, neighborly, agricultural/pastoral. This is steak-and-potatoes country- you can hardly even get decent Mexican food around here, much less the mind-bending secrets of the Orient. Any character that can contribute meaningfully to those themes and moods, whether by congruity or contrast, is welcome.

    All that said, I prefer that potential players keep the character concept process on the back burner at first. My goal is for players to design the "pack", conceptually, and develop individual characters within that context, so there's a nice sense of coherency right from the start of the game.
    Thanks for asking!

    Leave a comment:

  • Cherubic
    Fair enough, I did have at least one question that's probably relevant for everyone to see. :> Unless I've completely lost the ability to read, I don't see which edition of the game is being used? I was assuming 2e. I am the most comfortable with 2e though I'm familiar with both systems.

    For more character-related matters, I have several character concepts I could run with. However, the one I'm currently most fond of involves a backstory element that features a Shadow cult of humans trying to draw power from spirits, more or less inspired by one of the posts on this forum. I was wondering if that seemed like something that might fit in with what you had in mind for the setting?

    On the subjects of apparent ghost alerts, I didn't PM you, I was a bit busier than anticipated yesterday unfortunately. I haven't encountered that specific issue yet?

    Leave a comment:

  • robothedino
    Originally posted by Cherubic View Post
    Well, you certainly have my interest if you're still looking. ;> I've been hoping for the chance to experience Werewolf from a player's side for a while now. Could I get in touch with you through PMs to ask a few questions about the setting?

    That would be fine by me, though I see no reason that couldn't be done publicly here on the forum. There's a decent enough chance that the questions and answers would be of interest to other parties, and gives me an excuse to do more PR for the game. : )

    I'm also now seeing that the forum is telling me I have new private messages, but none appear in my inbox- perhaps part of the forum issues that are happening right now? If you sent me a message in regards to the game, I didn't get it, so please either contact me through, or post something publicly here. Cheers!

    Leave a comment:

  • Cherubic
    Well, you certainly have my interest if you're still looking. ;> I've been hoping for the chance to experience Werewolf from a player's side for a while now. Could I get in touch with you through PMs to ask a few questions about the setting?

    Leave a comment: