Frequently Asked Questions
The following sections discuss questions which staff has either been asked already or, being ever so very wise and gifted with foresight, anticipates being asked in the future.
For FAQs specific to Hedgespun items, please see Hedgespun.
- 1 Frequently Asked Questions
- 2 Staff Policies FAQ
- 3 Setting FAQ
- 4 GMC & CtL 2nd Edition
Staff Policies FAQ
These address questions which have come up based on players (and testers) reading the policies page.
What makes a character an "antagonist" people cannot play?
- Staff has no interest in, nor desire to say that characters cannot be dicks. If you want to play somebody universally reviled, a source of IC (note, IC) antagonism, that is fine. That doesn't make you an "antagonist" per the rules. An "antagonist" is someone actively working against the other players. An "antagonist" could be an active loyalist or a True Fae, a privateer, a military man sent to capture or experiment upon the masses, a Hunter who hopes to eradicate the supernatural, and many other archetypes along these lines. You're free to say that you used to be one of these people, but for whatever your reasons, you are no longer a Bad Guy.
So...how much of a dick is a dick? What happens if I play one?
- If you are interested in antagonizing other players, you are very likely going to have a communicative relationship with staff. Hopefully a long one, because hopefully you will be wise enough to keep your negative behaviour on the IC end of the spectrum. See the rules on 'harassment' on the main policies page...
- Staff will not protect you from the consequences of your own actions. If you are an IC bully, cheat and liar, and someone decides to ICly ban you from an event they're throwing for the sphere, they are fully within their rights to do so.
- Staff expects players to act like grownups. It's natural for someone your character is being a jerk to to feel persecuted or defensive; staff acknowledges that there is often a little spillover from IC into OOC emotion. As the player of the jerk, it is YOUR responsibility to page the other player if it seems like they might be OOCly upset. See the above re: harassment. Staff isn't there, watching over your shoulder. Staff is not Big Brother. Staff is not your nanny, and really doesn't want to be. If you're doing something risky, be polite, OOCly reassure the other player, and try to keep things cool.
- This is a game about consequences, and sometimes consequences suck, but it IS a game. We're here to have fun. That said, for everyone's protection, keeping scrupulous logs won't hurt.
I really don't want to die, like, ever. Is there any way I can set my character un-PKable?
- In short? No. There is no command or flag which will prevent you from dealing with the consequences of your character's actions. Consequences are a major theme. Arguably, THE major theme. That said, you can make it 99.9% likely that you will never have to deal with this particular consequence by A) keeping yourself from offending anybody badly enough they want to murder you, B) keeping your Wyrd down, if you're a changeling, and C) by avoiding dangerous events.
- The game is not a PK free-for-all. Character death sucks. Staff plans to be VERY stingy about which actual PK requests they grant people permission for, but certain things (say, you're a Wyrd 9 changeling who thinks he's a god and goes around murdering children for power...) will heavily weight matters in the potential killer's direction.
- STAFF will never kill off your characters without appropriate warning (say, you're in a VERY DANGEROUS event and decide to take a nap in the Hedge, alone, with no one to watch your back, and staff asks, "...Are you sure you want to do that? This could go very poorly for you."). Events where death is a distinct possibility will always be labeled as such. Again, if there is the high possibility that you could die, staff WILL warn you. Continuing the scene WILL be taken as implied consent for anything that happens to your character. Killing people off "for fun" is miserable staffing practice and abuse of our players' trust. Not happening.
- Neither players nor staff will ever PK you while you are frozen, unless YOU approach us to say you would like to let another player kill your character. Killers, saying "but my character would never let them go!" is not going to change our mind. For whatever reason, the frozen character has slipped under the radar and you can't find them. Staff encourages you to include the search in your story, but you aren't going to find them.
This is a game for high powered stuff, though. Why make a place which invites high Wyrd, then say you're going to kill people for having it?
- Our stance on consequences is not an automatic, "You have High Wyrd and are therefore deathkibble." Fate's Harvest is, frankly, a place where changelings with High Wyrd CAN find some measure of welcome, can watch each other's backs, since there are so many of them around, and they ARE so very tempting for the Fae. If anything, the area is more accepting of the idiosyncrasies such deep connection to the Wyrd creates -- it is the context which matters. A Wyrd 8 character who is a relatively harmless, but utterly obsessed philatelist is much less likely to have problems than, say, a Wyrd 8 character who thrives on torturing NPCs to death in his murder basement.
Why do you give people so much xp? Won't they all just twink and bitchslap the True Fae?
- Fate's Harvest MUX is designed to focus on the end-game of a Changeling's life. It's a truth that you need a lot of xp to get yourself up to that point, and more xp than that if you want to be able to do anything except look shiny. True Fae will be addressed elsewhere, but let's just say that bitchslappability varies. ...Typically, that variation is in the degree of "how much will your Changeling's face be messed up when the True Fae grinds it in the dirt?"
- Please don't think that killing Fae is easy, or will be easy. It won't be. As powerful as you are, you are still limited by humanity. They are not.
Why do we have tiered xp? Why not just give everyone 900? They'll take it anyway. ...and... What's up with the alt limits? Why are they xp gated?
- In short? To balance out the gameworld. Staff knows that, given a choice, most people will choose the higher xp option, whether or not they really need it. Mortals, for example, will very likely never spend even half of that xp. There just isn't as much for them to dump it into.
- To be more specific, this game is about the consequences of power, and even more specifically, it is about the consequences of having more or less power than somebody else. If everyone has the same amount of power, stagnation, boredom and lack of contrasts will be the name of the game. Staff believes that a system of enforced xp differences, and unlimited low-xp alts, will help to promote the culture the game is designed to work around.
But eventually, I'll go up a tier. Doesn't that make the tier difference kind of pointless?
- Nah. You'll always be below the folks with more power than you, and if you've been playing long enough to get that far (woo! almost a year!), you've probably discovered that there are more paths to power than xp alone.
Why do you give out tickets? Why not just let people get extra xp?
- The weekly xp is capped at 5 for all approved characters as a purely artificial limitation on just how fast you can zip up toward the next tier level. The tickets are a way to reward you for activity without bloating the game beyond its already hefty xp level.
What ARE tickets? What do they get me?
- Check the Arcade page for more details, but in short, tickets, or tix as they are often called, are a form of currency very like xp, which you can spend on items in the Arcade just off the Game Room in the OOC area. Most often, the items you buy with tix cannot be purchased with xp, and will need staff help to set up.
Can I make my own Family?
- Absolutely -- but it won't be one of the Seven, it won't have mechanical bonuses and it won't have staff supported NPCs/non-Changeling supernaturals. Staff is very happy with players creating their own playgroups, but there is a lot of plot going on behind the scenes, and we have Reasons (with a capital R even!) for limiting the supers in the area!
Do I need to ask permission before joining a Family in CG?
- No. If you want to app in as a family member, staff suggests talking to the other players in that Family first to see if it sounds like a group you'd have fun playing in, but there is no mandatory interview or other process. If staff decides your app really doesn't fit the theme, they may ask you to tweak this or that in your background before approving you for on-grid play, however.
Can I join a Family after I'm already on the grid?
- Yes. Staff's preference is for players making connections with other players; staff will make unhappy noises if you arbitrarily decide to say "I'm magically a Lefevre now!" with no good reason. Note: if you did not grow up in the Family, there will be no retroactive discounting of any skills or merits you may already have purchased.
I'm just playing a normal human. Is it okay for me to join things like the Freehold or the Eye?
- Joining the Eye would be odd, and you would very probably be shunned by some of the snobbier people, but it is possible. There are no magically binding promises to hold you to secrecy, however, so a vanilla human getting into the secret club would be extremely rare; people can only take it on faith that you won't blab, after all.
- Humans are totally allowed to join the Freehold -- they just have to pledge to secrecy on pain of Really Bad Stuff for the rest of their lives. Think of it like being ghouled in Vampire. Once you know the secrets, once you're part of the club, you can never leave.
I was ensorcelled by a player, but they stopped playing, and I kind of don't want to be ensorcelled by anyone else around right now. Can I just stop being ensorcelled?
- Long and short of it: no. See the above about secret club vs. lifetime membership. You know too much to be allowed to walk around without at least a pledge binding you to secrecy. That said, staff is fine with saying folks are ensorcelled by NPCs. Just send up a +request about it and explain what you have in mind. If it's not totally off the wall and against the theme of the game, chances are good you'll get it.
Okay, so I want to be ensorcelled by an NPC Changeling. Can my NPC be from one of the NPC Freeholds nearby?
- While staff would love to have more interest in the surrounding area, the answer to this one is a 'no' for the time being. You're welcome to be pledged to someone way way far away not in Vermont, but because there are so many plot-critical things about the locals surrounding Fate's Harvest, staff isn't comfortable with players RPing NPCs from the other Freeholds.
How do I become a Psychic?
- Do at least one PRP scene showing you developing a Psychic gift, and +req/xp to get the merit that gift requires.
- The person running the scene for you must submit their plot to staff for approval BEFORE the PRP is run.
- Types of humans allowed to Become into the Psychic template:
- - Mortal
- - Enchanted Mortal
- - Thaumaturge
- Since anyone who can't already see the fae can be ensorcelled, whether or not you have a pledge with someone is immaterial!
How do I become a Thaumaturge?
- Same as above. Do at least one PRP scene showing you being inducted into the Tradition, whether it is by an NPC or by another player/group of players.
- Also per the above, the person running the scene for you must submit their plot to staff for approval BEFORE the PRP is run.
How do I become an Enchanted Mortal? ...or... How do I become a Fae-touched? ...or... How do I become a Changeling?
- Follow the instructions on Changeling/Becoming. More or less, get staff approval and do some PRPs.
- You must get approval for your concept, first.
- Your ST must get approval for their Durance scene outlines, separately, once your concept has been approved.
- You must then ask staff to set any Changeling-related new stats on you (you will get a new Specialty and Wyrd 1 automatically).
If I don't like being a Psychic/Thaumaturge, can I go back to being a regular human?
- Yes. Ish. You'll forget what you knew, but you won't get your xp back.
- Purchase the merit 'The Last Spell' to do this. Bear in mind that your efforts to revoke your awareness of the supernatural won't change the fact that everybody else still knows what you were. They CAN remind you, and if your powers were out of your control to begin with, you CAN end up being forced to remember on your own.
If I don't like being a Changeling/Fae-touched/Enchanted Mortal, can I go back to being human?
- ...ha. Ha ha. Haaahahahahaha.
- P.S. Join the club.
- P.P.S. Changelings have been looking for an answer other than 'no' to that question for a VERY long time.
If I'm a Psychic, but my friends are Thaumaturges, can they teach me their Tradition?
- Sure! Just remember that as soon as you join a Tradition, your template will be switched to Thaumaturge, not Psychic. If you want to buy any other specifically Psychic merits, you will need to manually +req/xp to get them, because +xps will not allow it. There are a number of Thaumaturgical powers out there that act like Psychic gifts as is, so it's worth checking to avoid double-dipping.
Staff does intend to re-code +xps and +sheets at some point to allow for multiple templates, but getting the game open and running was first priority.
If I'm a Thaumaturge, can I become a Psychic?
- Yep. Your template won't change, though. See above.
Why can't I just make a character bit for STing?
- The answer to that one is twofold.
- 1) It gets messy, and frankly, isn't really necessary, since you can just use one of your PCs to do it.
- 2) If you are storytelling often enough to feel the need for a dedicated ST bit, you are very likely storytelling often enough to qualify as ST Staff.
Why have ST Staff instead of just letting people tell stories?
- People are still free to tell stories for friends. Don't mistake us there! We love seeing you make your own stories. That's one of the big advantages of doing this sort of game on a MUX, after all; you CAN get more detail out of the game than you will get from playing once a week around a RL table.
- By and large, the concept of taking player storytellers and shaping them into ST Staff originated out of the desire for a more uniform, consistent storytelling world. Fate's Harvest, as a game, is going to be very story-intensive on staff, thanks to the goal of keeping it reactive/responsive to what players are doing. There are a limited number of staffers with a limited amount of time, but there will be far more players than staffers, and certain players inevitably want to help ST... By creating ST Staff as a concept, staff here gets the benefit of extra hands, eyes, and ideas, which means players get the benefit of more attention, overall.
Do the ST Staffers have rules for what they can/can't ST?
- Yes. For basic scenes, ST Staff has a set of guidelines and, moreover, they have access to the written backstory of the world (spoilers, lots of spoilers). Regular player storytellers don't have that. They can tell stories within certain boundaries, and additionally have access to NPCs that regular player storytellers don't.
- Wiz Staff and, ultimately, Annapurna as game owner has final veto/approval on story suggestions which would affect big chunks of the world story itself.
Does ST Staff get XP for running scenes?
- No more than the participants taking part in it. There is no special xp for staffers. ST Staff chooses an alt to receive the xp for the scene, puts that in an xp +job, and a Wiz Staffer handles the +job.
- The same goes for Wiz Staffers running scenes, and players running scenes. STing a multi-scene story is work, more work than people often realize, even if it IS fun work. Staff cheerfully believes in rewarding that!
I know we get a lot of xp, so replacing an alt isn't hard, but I really like this character. How can I tell if an event is going to get me killed?
- Staff will warn you if you are following a path which could end in your imminent demise. If you choose to continue roleplaying, it is with the acknowledgement that you were warned. Events typically follow the "stop light" grade of danger ratings: green are no physical danger, yellow are moderate danger, red are highly likely to injure or kill you.
I'm part of <Group>, but there's no one else in it. Does that mean I'm the leader?
- Yes and no. This mostly applies to Changelings and Entitlements here, since we're a Changeling game. Long story short, send up a +request to staff about it. Some groups have very specific rank structures, and it would make no sense at all for a player to hold particular roles. Others, there's no harm in it, and plenty of potential for fun RP once other players in the same group app into the sphere.
These address questions regarding the world itself, the types of places in it, and what players are likely to encounter there.
Why is it set in Vermont?
- Vermont was chosen because Annapurna spends time there each Summer and Autumn, out in the middle of fumbuck nowhere, and has on several occasions reflected that, really, for places where it would be easy to steal people away, Vermont is pretty darned good. So much wilderness! So many wild animals! Spiders EVERYwhere! The examples elsepage about how rotten gravel is to walk on barefoot after dirt roads are freshly graded? Yeah. Personal experience.
Were Fort Brunsett and Tamarack Falls inspired by real places?
- Yes and no. Basic geographical information, population densities and a few aspects of Stowe were adopted here and there, along with state history and general feel, but by and large the pair is purely a byproduct of Annapurna's imagination.
Is anything in the setting real?
- Why, yes! The Green Mountains in the distance are real. So is I-89, though in Annapurna's imagination, it takes a bit more of a northward jaunt before it turns west. Our area isn't quite where Stowe is. Vermont's laws are, by and large, preserved, though this being the World of Darkness, staff may well relax certain of them to accommodate more entertaining RP if they ever interfere with it.
Why aren't there more Abenaki in the game?
- Short answer: respect.
- Long answer: Annapurna doesn't know them, isn't known to them, and would rather not make any offensive errors about their culture. This is touched on elsewhere in the +fh/Local Information sections about Native Americans. Players are welcome to play them, or other tribes which would be reasonable visitors, but there is no local Native presence.
Are there other Supers here?
- Yes. The area is home to Werewolves, Vampires and Mages.
Will we ever get to play them?
- No. The only supers players will have access to are Changelings. Playing Lefevre Proximi is as close to an extra-spherical template as there will be.
- It is staff's choice to keep this game Changeling/Human focused. It's a great big world out there, however, and interaction with other forms of Supernatural creatures will occur. The other book lines are an established and deeply woven facet of the gameworld's storyline and structure, and have been from early in the planning stages. Don't worry. If you know where to look, you'll find them.
How do the True Fae fit into all of this? Can players play them?
- Outside of very specific circumstances, no, players cannot play True Fae on Fate's Harvest. Those very specific circumstances currently include:
- A) STing someone's Becoming into a Changeling or Fae-touched,
- B) Becoming a True Fae yourself, at which point you will promptly be permafrozen and rendered an NPC.
Will True Fae show up a lot in my RP?
- The answer to this varies. Just what do you intend to RP? No, there will not be True Fae casually walking about town every night trolling for players to reality-rape and drag off to Faerie-land. If your concept is based around searching for them or interacting with them, you're certainly more likely to find them than someone who prefers coffee-shop casual RP.
- That said, certain Fae do have an interest in this area, and most especially in the changelings they can find here, precisely because so many of the changelings ARE wearing bright flashing neon lights saying, "I have power! I could play a SUPER cool role in your games with other Keepers if you caught me or convinced me to 'Come Home'!"
Man, the Freehold pledge is a DEATH pledge? Isn't that harsh?
- No, not really. We're talking about a group of paranoid, powerful people being hunted by inhuman, much more powerful entities. When your friend believes he is a God already, what's to stop him from deciding to collect himself a nice herd of followers and drag them off to Faerie?
- The choice was made to preserve the overall theme of Changeling: the Lost, in that it is completely normal for people to require oaths of others for the sake of their own safety, and even more so for the safety of dozens of other people. After all, we're talking about people who are, by and large, more fae than human. We've all seen how well humans handle upholding promises. Thankfully, the Fae have something to fall back on to prevent that.
So, Banishment AND Death... How do those Sanctions work together, anyway?
- Due to HRs for sanity, the Freehold's leader will immediately know the identity of any vassal who has broken their fealty oath. This means that they can then at any point call Banishment to get the offender out of their territory as well.
- The clock is ticking while they do this, however. The act of breaking the oath triggers the Death sanction.
- Per standard Death sanction rules, offenders have a number of days = to Crown's Wyrd score in which to seek forgiveness and halt their demise.
- This does mean that, if the Crown so chooses, s/he may spare the dignity of a formerly loyal subject and allow them to die in peace (or pieces, if the "natural-seeming death" the Wyrd fates them for involves freezing and going through a wood chipper), without informing the rest of the Freehold at all.
- This also means that the Crown may, if they choose, forgive the Death sentence but still Banish the offender from Freehold territory.
- This also also means that unless the Crown DOES commute the death sentence, the Banishment is more or less the equivalent of forcing a bad apple out of your house and letting it die of exposure. No matter what, the person's going to die. The Banishment ceremony is just the public acknowledgement of what they did, to let the Freehold know.
Soooo... How does this 8-Court Freehold stuff work on an OOC level? There are only four seasons a year.
- 2 weeks before the equinox/solstice, staff will put up a vote to see which emotion the Freehold feels it is leaning toward more.
- For example, a vote for the spring season would involve deciding whether the Freehold is leaning more toward growth in the arena of satisfying its Desires (Spring) or more toward growth, change, and the potential of Hope (Dawn).
- 1 week before the equinox/solstice, the Court-choice vote ends.
- The day the Court-choice vote ends, staff puts up a second vote to choose the Monarch.
- Any PCs with Influence 4 are eligible to go on the ballot.
- A staff-run NPC is always included on the ballot as the "default" Monarch. If your character does not consider the PCs on the ballot appropriate leaders, you select the NPC instead.
- NOTE: during the Court-choice vote, staff asks any eligible players from BOTH Courts whether they would be willing/have the time to commit to running the Freehold during the next three RL months. No PC who has not already confirmed their willingness and availability is ever placed on the ballot.
- On the equinox/solstice, the new Monarch is announced! Staff helps get them set up in the +faction code and such and teach them about their new position, along with the previous season's reigning Monarch, if it was a PC.
GMC & CtL 2nd Edition
Will we upgrade to Changeling: the Lost Second Edition when it is released?
- Nope. We've worked out a blend of CtL 1E, GMC and homebrew rules which work for us. We have no intention at this time of moving to CtL 2E when it is released.