Ashes to Ashes (Now with Timeline & Character Sheet)

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Jeran Korak, Jun 8, 2014.

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  1. ~Foreword~

    If you glance at my current avatar, you'll probably guess that I'm something of a fantasy aficionado. I love just about any kind of fantasy setting, be it high, low, dark, light, classic, vanilla or caffeine-free. However, one can have too much of a good thing. I'm currently holding down a pretty involved fantasy role-play with a group of friends, and I've extensively played D&D in the past. It's gotten to the point where I'm frankly over-saturated on fantasy, and while I've no desire to walk away from it, I've started yearning for the chance to try a game set in a more realistic world.

    My second great role-playing passion is survival scenarios, with post-apocalyptic settings given preference above most others. Without going into excessive detail just yet, I've been working on my own setting that explores life in a world where human civilization was brought low by a critical loss of natural resources, and then completely crushed by the side-effects of such a loss. A working title for this concept is Ashes to Ashes, and it takes place in the late 2020's, roughly eight years after the troubles first began, and about two years after the total implosion of western civilization.

    I'm currently working on a timeline that stretches from the catalyst of the downfall, right up to the point the game starts. I'm trying to make things as grounded in realism as possible (without being obsessive about it), and my goal is to make the setting 'alive' and relatively dynamic, without a fixed plot but with plenty of opportunities for players to explore and potentially impact the world around them in positive or negative fashions.

    So, if you'd be interested in playing such a setting under the direction of a veteran D&D player and DM, please don't hesitate to inform me. I'll keep everybody who signs on informed about the progress I make regarding the setting itself, and anybody is free to ask questions.

    A cold wind blows through the empty streets of London. It is a city in decay; abandoned by its residents and given over to the rats, crows and packs of feral dogs. Some would say that the British Isles were lucky; they didn’t have to deal with the pollution clouds, the tidal waves, the wars, refugees and plagues. In the end, though, none of that truly mattered. England might’ve been spared the cataclysms that have ravaged the rest of Europe, but those were just symptoms of a larger problem. Nearly eight years without the lifeblood of modern society has reduced the once-proud civilisation to ashes. With no imported food and no means of transporting native crops to population centres, cities like London have been effectively abandoned for years.

    The only remaining tenants of this former capital city are opportunistic scavengers or tiny communities that have somehow managed to eke out a meagre existence in their own ways. With the rural regions home to bands of militant survivalists, disease-infested refugee shanties and the odd wandering cannibal, London has become an attractive prospect in recent months for those seeking asylum from the chaos that perpetuates across the rest of England. The vast city offers many hiding places for those that don’t wish to be found, not to mention offering ever-valuable knowledge and supplies to those who know where to find it. The ruins of the past may yet hold the keys to the future. With the vicious winters of the past two years behind it and the summer of 2028 on the horizon, the city of London may yet find itself the center of a community that may one day change the world for the better... or worse.

    ~Setting History~
    To give potential players a greater understanding of the world that they'll be a part in, I've written up a timeline that details the major events that take place between the year 2020 and the present day. Warning: This is very, very macabre in some places.

    ~Character Sheet~

    Yay, we've got a character sheet at last! My apologies if it took a little longer than usual; it's been a busy week and I've been dealing with an intermittent stomach ache that has really sapped my creative energy. Note that I expect the Knowledge & Attributes section to be filled out with descriptive text, rather than just in list form (I.E 'Johnny has a good knowledge of chemistry from majoring in it during college' rather than just 'chemistry knowledge' or something equally vague.)

    #1 Jeran Korak, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2014
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  2. Keep me posted, i'm down.
  3. Well, I've got the history up. That should provide the major details of the setting to most people. Additional questions are, of course, quite welcome. I'm thinking of setting the game itself in London, for various reasons that'll become clear when that particular part of the game is written up.
  4. Very good. Very rational and realistic, I congratulate you on your diligence.

    I am in, please keep me informed. I'll be thinking on the character I'll be playing 'till then.
  5. Very interested. Keep me posted!
  6. I've updated things slightly; adding an introduction that explains a little more about the current state of things and how we'll start off. I'd honestly have more, but I'm afraid I'm suffering from a severe case of indigestion right now, that'll probably lay me out for the next day or so. I'd have hoped to get a character sheet up, but if anybody would like to start then I can safely say it'll be pretty formulaic (name, age, inventory, history, etc!). As a note: I value good role-playing over long back-stories, so you don't need to go overboard. That said, a decent-sized paragraph will be required and multiple paragraphs very much appreciated. I'll get back to this the moment I'm not suffering severe stomach-cramps (a day of inactivity for me is generally out of the ordinary. I have no concept of a life.)
  7. Since it is set in London, then firearms would be scarce, correct? The general public isn't allows guns. And also, what about the language? Any certain curse words prohibited? Do we all start off in the same area in London, or spread out?
  8. I've actually run ideas similar to this once or twice before, and I've found that the British Isles suit such a theme best for exactly that reason. I'm something of a firearms fanatic, and setting things in America seems to lend itself to a lot of people running around armed to the teeth and acting as if shooting things is the best to solve any problem. As somebody fully aware of the technical advantages and disadvantages of having and using a firearm, I find uninformed portrayals of their usage very grating. Since England has extremely strict gun control laws, it provides a convenient excuse to limit players who like to make militant survivalists purely for the perceived benefit of having a giant stockpile of ordinance.

    Minor rant aside, I also like London because it is a very scenic city, with a very intricate layout and a lot of old buildings that provide interesting opportunities for enterprising roleplayers. I like to use Google Maps and provide illustrative pictures for the games I run, which is another reason to pick London. I also encourage people to do their own thing and explore the possibilities of the setting itself. You want to try and rescue artwork from the Tate Modern or set up an observation post at the top of the London Eye? I could not encourage you enough.

    As for the rules; I'll be writing a few up at some point before the game begins, but they'll be pretty standard. I don't mind swearing or depictions of violence, so long as it doesn't go beyond the accepted boundaries of either the site or the limits of good taste. I'd prefer it if people started off in the same general areas, but if anybody wants to do their own thing then I'm fine with it. I will have both my own character and maintain a Dungeon Master-style overwatch of events, posting details in response to either private queries of ques from players themselves. I certainly don't mind people writing their own stuff, but I like to play an interactive world at the same time. I come from the world of P&P games and IM roleplaying, so I'm used to a very hands-on approach to world building and interactivity.
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  9. Okay, sounds cool. I think I might be playing a doctor. :)
  10. I'll probably be joining, especially after that timeline. Lots of effort and detail went into that. Very fun to read though. Question, though. Is there a specific age range? And how will the roleplay go? Are we going to be able to set up pre-created groups or not?
  11. As I mentioned before, I'll be retaining overall DM-style control over affairs and occasionally sending NPC's, potential threats and other updates the way of the players. You can think of it a bit like a pseudo-D&D campaign in that respect, or a sandbox that uses procedural generation to give you new content. Players can also talk to me directly about including things that aren't directly linked to their own characters that they might like to play out and be in control over themselves. I'm honestly not all that used to the forum style of role playing as I generally use third-party programs designed around instant message based role-playing games, so I might fiddle around with the system a bit and see what precisely works and what doesn't. I'm not too big on rigidly adhering to a single formula.

    There is no specific age range, just 'what you think you can role play decently'. Pre-created groups are entirely up to you, and I won't interfere with any plans players might have in that regard. You can be on your own at the start, or work up something with other players. If you'd like to do a little research on your own, I'd recommend looking up London on a map and picking some part of it to start out in. I certainly won't demand you use accurate street names, but I'd like travel to be a little more involved than 'walking from point A to point B', and for players to have at least a general idea of where they are in the city.
  12. Well, as a long time player in D&D 3.5, I'd like to ask you this:

    How much control do we have as to the results of our character's actions? Like, say, Tommy the Robber pulls out his handy-dandy lock-picks.... Does he pick the lock, or do we wait for your response on whether the attempt was successful?
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  13. Depends entirely on the level of interaction between me and the players in question at the time. You won't have to wait on my say-so to do everything, so long as doesn't involve getting some sudden and unexpected bonus over everybody else. On the other hand if I'm running something directly, I'd expect things to proceed with a 'D&D style' format, aka players posting their actions and then when it comes back to me, I post the immediate results and reactions. You can also contact me directly at any point if you're not sure what constitutes an acceptable action or not, though in general I'm pretty lenient about such things.
  14. Okay. I just wanted to make sure, because I didn't want to take any liberties in posting that you weren't okay with.

    Critical batching has killed my characters before. X(
  15. Character sheet is now done. I'd like a couple more players yet, so I'll probably hold off on starting for another few days. Rules are also in the works, but they're pretty low-priority given I'd assume most people know decent role playing etiquette here by default. I'll attempt to sandpaper some of the rust off my HTML skills in order to make things prettier as well. Watch this space!
  16. Name: Dr. Barry D. Hulbrook

    Age: 33 (Born in 1995)

    Height: 5'11''

    Weight: 140 lbs.

    Nationality: English

    Physical Description: Rather tall and lanky, Barry has dirty-blonde hair and a pale complexion that adds a striking contrast to his electric-blue eyes . He has been skinny his whole life, so he doesn't seem odd-looking because of it. Despite all that happened, he tries to keep up his appearance by carefully cutting his own hair and methodically shaving every morning along with keeping himself clean and sanitary (which only gets harder and harder each day).

    ~~---Knowledge & Attributes---~~

    Skills: Keeping calm under stressful situations. Extensive knowledge in medicine, science, math, biology and chemistry from college. Spending time with his uncle as a teenager, Barry has some skills in mechanics.

    Advantages: Barry has a very strong intellect, having a masters in medicine and a bachelor's in science because of it. He also has exceptional endurance and a good dexterity (with his hands. He's very poor at sneaking, though.)

    One major disadvantage is he has no fighting experience. He isn't very strong and his charisma could be better. Also, he sometimes suffers from severe migraines which last at least 4 hours.


    Worn Items: Jeans or canvas pants, military boots, long-sleeved button up dress shirts and a tie. Has a few suit jackets. Has a wristwatch, but the battery is dead.

    Owned Items: All he owns, he carries with him at the moment. He does have a car, but he left it behind and it isn't worth mentioning.

    Personal Inventory: Carries a backpack with limited medical supplies (basically disinfectants, gauze and such. But almost exhausted) and a surgeon's kit. Has some spare clothes, maps and a notebook with some ink pens. Has one bar of soap left and only a small amount of tooth paste. He collects lighters, having 5 bic lighters and two zippos. Has a can opener and some canned food at the start of the RP.

    ~~---Past History---~~

    Barry grew up in a moderate house in Bristol, England. He lived in West Town, just off the A370 Main Road, and would sneak out with his friends to the Backwell Recreation Grounds to play. His father was a surgeon in West Town, and that is what Barry wanted to be. Barry received a scholarship to the Imperial College of London, and moved to a small apartment just off of Park Street. He completed his college and became a surgeon at the London Bridge Hospital.

    He was 25 then, when the oil burning was all the talk. He knew that things were going to get bad, and was shocked that it was happening. Honestly, at that time, he didn't think that it would effect the world- let alone England the way it did eight years later. He figured gas prices would go up, but then after a few years everything would return to normal. It didn't.

    Things just kept getting worse and worse, and many nights he slept in the hospital rather than going home. The hours were long, and people were going crazy. Eventually, all the supplies were exhausted and power was out. Most of his colleagues were murdered by a rioting group that didn't believe they couldn't help them. They thought they were hiding supplies rather than save them. That was the day Barry escaped, and is making his way south along the M1 Motorway.

    [Edit] I don't want to go into too much detail about his past, because my writing in the RP will reflect that. I don't want people to have to read the same stuff twice, ya know?

    But, if anything isn't up to standard, or you'd have me change anything, just let me know!! :)
    #16 Mad Scientist, Jun 14, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2014
  17. We now have a Signup Thread. Also, that profile looks great, an excellent standard that I hope to see followed by anybody else who joins.
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