About the MUSH

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Welcome to Houses of the Blood.

This document is designed to provide a variety information about the MUSH, in place of the published PDF or hardcopy rulebook that many MU*s would use. As we are not based on an existing RPG property, the MUSH's rules use a mindset of 'we absorb what makes us stronger'. This means that we will be taking inspiration, mechanical and otherwise, from many sources.

Statement of Purpose

The MUSH is being developed to provide an original setting and experience, drawing from a number of historical and historical-inspired sources, as well as vampire media, to offer an alternative to the standard World of Darkness MU*. Using the sources we are drawing inspiration from (below), we plan to present a setting that focuses on a Roman-inspired sociopolitical landscape, in the modern era. Our goal is to provide a game that leans a little more towards the aesthetics of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the Blade movie series, or the Underworld movie franchise, providing ample opportunity for action and adventure, as well as the more expected mystery, investigation and horror that is the hallmark of vampire-based supernatural media. The game will provide a combination of automated code to adjudicate combat and a few other things, as well as a dice-based system for non-combat resolution such as investigation, knowledge and lore, and such.

Some Sources of Inspiration

We take inspiration and information from the following sources, molding the inspiration to fit our vision of a modern vampire game and the mechanics and powers used on the MUSH.

  • Spartacus (Roman societal setup and political intrigue)
  • The Vampire Chronicles (social setup, vampiric abilities and arrangements, modern ‘look’ for vampires)
  • Game of Thrones (vampire family arrangements/setup, political intrigue)
  • Roman and Greek mythology
  • Other modern vampire media such as the World of Darkness Vampire games (vampiric powers)
  • Underworld, Blade, X-Men (modern look for vampires, vampiric abilities, ‘gonzo’ combat allowances)
  • Dark Shadows, Twin Peaks, X-Files (horror and mystery)

Basic Premise

The supernatural exists. Perhaps not in the same vein that many supernatural myths and legends, and certainly not supernatural authors, would have you believe. But they exist. Among them are vampires, though the vampires of Houses of the Blood certainly are not what one would expect from myths and legends (though many that are in the Blood agree that their extraordinary life and conditions are what inspired many of the myths). They have existed at least since the 6th century BC, though their legends stretches back a few hundred more years than that; until the founding of the Roman Republic, the tribes -- the Houses -- were spread out, with no centralized organization, and much oral record has been lost in the intervening time.

But myth and oral tradition are handed down and, while not verifiable, is the most commonly-accepted ‘origin’ of the blood drinker, the vampire. Their myths and legends state that their founders, two Romans who sought a way to love each other, named Titus Albinus Flavius, a hunter who dreamed of better things, and Licenia Macra, a chaste priestess of Apollo. The two, hopelessly in love, sought a way to be together -- and were tricked by the Roman deity Orcus, cursed by the twin deities Apollo and Diana for their betrayals, and further cursed by Orcus upon seeking vengeance. Finally, however, the lovers blessed with immortality by Pluto to ease their suffering. The Blooded are immortal beings, undying by natural causes. But their immortality is sustained by life: the life of other beings, life through the Blood.

Eventually, the gens sanguinis were spread throughout the Roman Republic and, during the height of the Republic, formed among themselves the Houses of the Blood -- organizations along family lines -- and created for themselves a government, the Pactum Sanguinis (or Blood Covenant), establishing laws among themselves. However, a brutal war was fought between the lineages; three broke off and followed a disaffected Licenia away, vowing the destroy all that the Houses of the Blood had built, though none knew why Licenia vowed this destruction. Soon after, Titus disappeared into the night, his grief too great... Still, six remained as the Republic of Blood, united under what would eventually become the Senatus Sanguinem, securing the republic and spreading across the world.

The Republic of Blood has survived into the modern nights, spread across the world, having representation in many major cities across the world, united under the Senatus Sanguinem. Eventually, various vampire covens created alliances and ‘nod nod hush hush’ deals with various aspects of humanity (and even other supernaturals), particularly in some supernatural heavy cities like London, Tokyo, New Orleans, New York or Paris. Though they aren’t public, they do have clout through favors and influence, as well as the application of vampiric powers such as Compulsion.

The World/Game Grid

Our design puts us in a modern city, large enough to support a large number of vampires as well as other supernatural entities. We have chosen to develop a fictional city, using a real-world city (in this case, Stockton, CA) as the setting for the game. We are doing this to give an interesting setup to a wholly modern American city, which has the scale we want to use, as well as has the ability to provide a sensible backdrop for the more Underworld-style feel that we want to have in place on the game. Essentially the ‘modern world’ against the backdrop of a vampiric society based around the debauchery and excess of Roman high society, with the vampires sharing the city (and likely actively in conflicts with) other supernatural types.

MUSH Resource Credits

Stockton information copied/edited from the following websites:

System

As noted above, the game will not be using an existing system whole cloth, and we will be adapting mechanics from a number of sources. In particular, the automation and other systems on Houses of the Blood relies on a percentile dice system based on an Attribute + Skill plus/minus appropriate bonuses and penalties, or an opposing dice roll. For more on our rules, see the News Files under the Rule Information header.