For a long time, LA has been a non-consent Mush in which, the flow of the story was resolved by negotiation, statistics and contests. As per cooperative RP, negotiation always was preferred, but if no resolution could be found character statistics and contests were the final decision makers.

The outcome of contests is not necessarily fair because character statistics are not equal and were not meant to be; LAmush has Features and long-term players with loads of XP. This way, character statistics and systems support a power balance that is Thematic to this vampire setting - It supports the kind of stories and outcomes that LA wishes to tell.

If you win or loose a contest will generally depend on:
(1) luck - the random element ensures both excitement and occasional frustration
(2) the specialization of your character - Every Clan and individual has different strengths and weaknesses
(3) the IC age of your character - It's Thematic that Old vampires are more powerful that young vampires
(4) the OOC age of your character - Your character is able to grow over time, as you earn XP
(5) your social skills - for gathering allies and political play
(6) your wit - for knowing what fights to pick

The choice for such a system was based on the desire to provide a world that feels real, in which anything can happen. In essence this system supports one of the key-aspects of roleplay: simulation.

Simulation allows you to experience what it is to be a (young) vampire in a world of (bigger) monsters, trying to survive, to keep sane, to conquer your own powerbase - perhaps acquire a position, found a coterie, become one of the powers that be in the Domain.

All these things work best and tend to be more rewarding if you build on-the-go, step-by-step: You make sure you always have sufficient Blood in your system via +hunt. You grow in personal power by building your sheet by means of XP and the XP guidelines. You increase your social cloud by means of playing the political game, including status, prestige, standing and prestation. You play your own game of chess with mortals via influences and backgrounds. Andsoforth.

Random outcomes bring excitement. You never know when you will succeed or fail, but you do your best to improve your odds. To some extend a simulation system is necessary for our setting – to keep track of developments without giving away too much of the desires behind the movements.
A game of chess is no fun when you need to negotiate every move with your opponent. The meat is in not knowing what the other is going to do, plots and conspiracies, plans in plans and the paranoia resulting from that.

However - as years went by LAmush learned that the coin of pure simulation also comes with a flip-side:

  • First of all, the Mush only provides a limited number of possible developments between characters - certainly when the playerbase is limited.
  • Second - You may loose more than you enjoy (for whatever reason). Indeed, there is a chance that your character dies or is taken out of play - which can be hard when you to swallow invested a lot of time in building it.
  • Third - Pure simulation does not take into account the wishes and desires of you or your fellow players. What-ever happens, happens. A player with a power build may simply do what he or she -can- do, without consideration for the fun of the other player, then idle out to avoid the consequences of their actions.
  • Fourth - A focus on simulation stresses the -gaming- aspect, inviting powerplay in a place that is supposed to be about story. This includes not just a focus on power-stats, but also forced increase of activity and IC/OOC-overlap. Players not interested in powerplay may still feel a need to protect themselves against those that do. Those who cannot meet the power level required to make a difference may get frustrated and leave the game.

The combination of the above may create an atmosphere in which players become frustrated, paranoid and protective of their own characters: A place where players do not dare to risk the position they worked so hard to achieve. Then, the system becomes counterproductive to the story: Conflict is shunned. The story becomes stagnant and cliquish with groups of players idling in their own space. What's worse in such a climate the learning curve may become particularly steep, and newcomers have a very hard time garnering a niche for themselves.

These are situations we want to avoid. Despite the many benefits of pure simulation LA has made the decision to devaluate the all-powerful decision-making power of the dice, and put more weight on cooperation and the enjoyment of the individual player.

Mind, LA did not become a full-consent MUSH. Our world thrives on conflict and antagonism, and characters plotting against each-other is part of the meat that makes LA.

We do however wish to offer players:
1. The opportunity to build plot together with -binding agreements-. This includes (pre-)negotiation of Good and Bad consequences. See: Story building.
2. A basic safety net that players may fall back on when a defined set of Bad consequences is looming. In essence this comes down to needing consent in situations where you severely constrain another player’s opportunity to play their character. See: Limited Consent.

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Original Work is licensed under a CC Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 US License.