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Apocalypse VSS

Terminus Rex
Werewolf: the Apocalypse Venue Style Sheet (VSS)
Approval Number: USA-SE-WA-1303-000013
Atlanta, Georgia

This VSS appends the South East regional Werewolf Apocalypse VSS. 

Axis Mundi – The World

The Garou have long prophesied the arrival of the Apocalypse, but there was never agreement as to when it would come or what form it would take, or even what it would mean. Does it herald the end of the world, or the beginning of a new one? What if it ends in a whimper rather than a bang? What if the End Times are already here and the Garou, anticipating a battle to end all battles, simply failed to notice?


Long have the Garou found glory and meaning in their eternal war against the corruption of the Wyrm. The traditionalists maintain that this is the singular purpose of their race; but others have taken notice of the ever-growing influence of the Weaver, and questioning minds quietly wonder if their ancient Enemy has cleverly distracted the werewolves from what might be an even greater threat to Gaia. (In some ways, the Garou have become the Wyrm, insofar as they now find themselves performing its original intended function of trying to maintain balance in the world.)

The Silver Fangs struggle to remain relevant while the cunning Shadow Lords await their chance to rule the Nation. The Bone Gnawers and glass Walkers have carved out places for themselves in city at the risk of losing what it means to be a werewolf. The Red Talons become increasingly desperate to defend their few remaining territories from the human threat. The Children of Gaia hold that the war against the Wyrm is a struggle to win the human heart, whereas the Get of Fenris would prefer to rip out the hearts of any who threaten Her (or die trying). The Uktena quietly search for occult knowledge of the Wyrm to find its weaknesses, while the Wendigo continue to smolder with cold anger against those who destroyed their ancestors in order to steal their territory. Few of the enigmatic Stargazers have remained in the Nation while their brethren have withdrawn in order to address Gaia’s needs in the Far East, and the Silent Striders are destined to wander, their search for the keys to restoring their homeland. 

The struggle of the Fera are doing no better as their own in-fighting, hot wars, and de-population risk ending their lines forever.

The war against the massive plague of Wyrm-corrupted wererat freaks was everything the Garou wished for and dreaded. It furnished them with a dire foe and an unequivocal victory against an enemy but in turn decimated the ranks of the Garou Elders, Athro, and Adren and reduced the over-all population of the Nation to the lowest level in millennia. 
What does the future hold? Some Garou seek to maintain the new peace with the other Changing Breeds while others clamor for battle to finish the War of rage once and for all before the other breeds fall as the Ratkin have. 

Either way the Weaver and Wyrm continue their war. The city grows larger and stronger by the second. It is rare in this age of Information that any area is left untouched. Glades are replaced with subdivisions and the wilds are caged and groomed like pets. The constructs of man rule supreme. 
Terminus Rex.

The Heart of Atlanta

The Sept

To understand the current Sept one must understand the history of Atlanta. 


There were once two Septs in the area of Atlanta. The first Sept was the Sept of the Weeping Glen near the valley that would become Allatoona Lake. The second was the Sept of the Three Springs in what is now the heart of Atlanta. The Septs were friendly and traded. The Wendigo claimed the Sept of the Weeping Glen and its totem, Badger while the Sept of the Three Springs was claimed by the Uktena and the spirit of Rabbit. 

The Sept of the , was lost to the world when the Europeans when they came and took the land away from the Pure Tribes. The Uktena would not . sits in a pocket of Wyld confluence. Warded against man, beast and spirit the glade stood empty for over 200 years. When the themselves for their conquest of what amounts to low-hanging fruit. But the Litany is clear: the Wyrm is to be fought wherever it is found, and with fewer Wyld places remaining, this has led many Garou to take their war into the cities, where the Enemy’s influence is felt the strongest.

The Umbra

Where once nature’s beauty claimed the land now subdivisions, parks, malls, and office parks scar the land. Though greenery can be seen everywhere the Umbral forest of Atlanta is a dangerous place. 

The local penumbra is a nightmare landscape of webbing, wilderness, and decay. The Weaver reigns supreme in the Atlanta penumbra but the Wyrm and the Wyld are never far away. 

Inside the perimeter stand the Weaver’s towering obelisks of faceless steel. The webbing runs along the ground and through the sky connecting obelisks together and pulsing hypnotically with transmission of energy and data. Between the faceless structures, hidden in alleys, parking garages, and hidden under the gleaming weaver icons reigns the Wyrm. The blights, traps for the unwary, are twisted zones of sorrow, suffering, and entropy. Despite the ascendency of the Weaver and the Wyrm the Wyld finds a way to work its mischief. The occasional copse of trees, chaotic color, and wonder pierce the gloom and create secluded oasis. 

Outside the perimeter stands the Wyrm’s greatest revenge against the Weaver is the suburbs. Year after year the lands around Atlanta are slashed, burned, and plowed under. New apartments, town-homes, Mansions, strip malls, and estates pop up with no apparent rhyme or reason. The Wyrm has a plan though… 

Travel into the deep Umbra is never a matter of routine. Anything can happen in the Umbra, and in many ways it is more perilous than anything that may be encountered in the physical world. The far realms are full of strange places that operate on unconscious tropes, hidden longings, secret knowledge, spiritual mysteries, and cosmic riddles. Player characters will not be permitted to casually jaunt from this realm to the next without first giving the VST the opportunity to submit the proper notifications and prepare a journey worth remembering. 

The Triat of Atlanta

The triat of Atlanta is not much different than other places. 

The Wyld

The Wyld is dominant in places that are kept pristine, either by the virtue of inaccessible geography or through acts of governmental regulation and preservation (e.g., state and national parks). In the latter case, the Wyld may be likened to an animal in a zoo: well-kept and safe from harm, but not truly free. The Wyld has never been easy to cage. The Weaver went mad trying and wisps of it roam randomly through dreams and even in dense cities, which attract the creativity of artists and other imaginative minds, and are home to wild animals and plants that thrive despite the odds. Even the greatest city must bow when the chaos of the Wyld shakes the earth.

The Weaver

The Weaver set a barrier between the “real” world and the spirit world ages ago, and it has only gotten thicker as humans lose touch with the immaterial aspects of Creation to focus on the physical. Hegemony, orthodoxy, and monotheism were toxic enough to spiritual life, but in modern times more and more people are professing lack of belief in the supernatural altogether. At the same time, the roads have gotten wider, buildings have gotten taller, and the web of wires and cables has been supplemented by invisible streams of information that blanket the world from space. Many humans, who have made the Internet, social media, and smartphones an intrinsic part of their lives, are just a few technological steps away from literally being “plugged in.” Meanwhile, their ever-growing herd requires more room and resources that must be plundered from the earth. It is at the point that many Garou are beginning to regard the Weaver as no less an enemy than the Wyrm, but can they fight a war on multiple fronts?


The Wyrm

As for the Wyrm, it has grown so adept at exerting itself through human companies and institutions that it has become a faceless and formless adversary. The Garou, who were made for direct confrontation, are at a great disadvantage against an enemy who is both everywhere and nowhere. Perhaps too often the werewolves go in search of monsters, tainted spirits, and other horrors to vent their Rage, later congratulating themselves for their conquest of what amounts to low-hanging fruit. But the Litany is clear: the Wyrm is to be fought wherever it is found, and with fewer Wyld places remaining, this has led many Garou to take their war into the cities, where the Enemy’s influence is felt the strongest. 


Themes

The themes for the Atlanta VSS differ from character based on the rank of the characters. Each theme describes how the venue plots and encounters will be built for each set of players. The higher the number the more likely that aspect will come into play. 


The scales range from 1 (rarely present/Light) to 5 (always present/Extreme).

Intrigue  - A measure of how much intrigue (i.e., social challenges)

Action   - A measure of how much action (i.e., physical challenges)

Mystery  – A measure of how much mystery (i.e., mental challenges)

Drama  – A measure of how much (i.e., Personal Story & Politics)

Darkness  – A measure of how dangerous the world is to the characters and the chance of death. 
      The lower the rating the less chance of character death. As always, poor decisions 
      and failure to leave a fight that is obviously stacked against the character increases 
      the odds of death.

Cubs and Cliath (The Students)


The stories to be told for this group are about finding themselves and determining their future course within the Nation. 

Intrigue  : 2
Action  : 3
Mystery  : 4
Drama  : 3
Darkness  : 2

Fostern and Adren (The Teachers)


Intrigue  : 3
Action  : 4
Mystery  : 5
Drama  : 4
Darkness  : 3

Athro (The Heroes)


Intrigue  : 4
Action  : 3
Mystery  : 4
Drama  : 4
Darkness  : 4

Elders (The Paragons)


The stories to be told for this rank are earth shaking trials worthy of the Paragons of Myth. 

Intrigue  : 5
Action  : 2
Mystery  : 5
Drama  : 5
Darkness  : 5

Apocalypse is a game about war, but victory is never guaranteed (and often achieved at high cost), and only by taking great risks does a werewolf win the renown of her peers. 
Character death and corruption should be a constant threat. Many Cliath Garou do not survive to become Fostern, and advancing to Adren is a great accomplishment in itself. Athro and Elder werewolves are even rarer, and consequently they are held in higher esteem for their great prowess and wisdom. 

Setting & Mechanics

The Pack

In Werewolf, the basic organizational unit is the pack. Packs typically have between 3 and 7 members though 5 is the standard. Characters are expected by Garou society to do nearly everything as a group or pack until they reach the rank of Elder. Any character of Fostern to Athro rank that has no pack will have to make monthly Harano checks after the 2nd month without a pack. Elders tend to consider the Nation in general as part of their pack and may spend more time between packs due to the heavy mantle they wear.

The Sept

Sept and tribal politics and other challenges of station offer great opportunities for players who like to contend against other players’ characters. Such contentions are abetted by vast differences in heritage, culture, and worldview; even among tribes, there are often stark divisions between different breeds and auspices. The game is made richer by these differences, which historically have made it very difficult for the Garou to get along. 


Garou are the protagonists of this story, but they are not the `good guys` – at best they are tragically flawed heroes, and by any human standard they are monsters, possessed of great fury and even greater pride. Egos are bound to clash, especially in a homid-dominated Sept where hierarchies may be less rigid. 

Den Parent

As the cliché goes, `It takes a village to raise a child.` 


Den Parents are responsible for the basic education of new cubs and wayward Cliath; however, they are not completely responsible for all of the teaching. They are responsible for teaching them the basics and then making sure the cubs are fostered by the members of their Tribe, Auspice, and Breed and educated before their rite of passage. Every pack should have a chance to teach each new cub something and give the cub a broader world view. Most Garou will consider it a personal matter if they are snubbed and not allowed to help educate the cubs, especially when the Cubs are of their tribe or auspice. 

The Den parent can call on any member of the Sept save the Alpha and Beta to tutor and foster one of the cubs in their care. Failing to take this honor seriously, ignoring the cub, or generally being a poor role model can lead to the Den Parent calling scandal against the offender for failing to respect one beneath them and failing to prepare the cub to be a contributing member in Garou society. 

In addition, the Den Parent will lead or choose a member of the Sept to lead a cub through their final Rite of Passage. As usual, the Alpha is always offered the privilege first. The person who puts the cub through their rite of passage has the heavy honor and duty of giving the new Cliath their first deed name. Giving inappropriate names to cubs that do not respect their Tribe's traditions may cause scandal of its own.

Rites

Rite of Dedication

Garou cannot have more items bound to them by the Rite of Dedication than they have Gnosis. All fetishes that are attuned to the user are considered to be bound. Any item not bound will no resize or otherwise adapt to the owners many forms. Worn items that are not dedicated are typically destroyed when the character shifts to larger forms or lost when they shift to smaller forms (e.g., A character has a battle ax. The ax is not dedicated. When the character assumes a form incapable of using the ax such as Lupus or Hispo then they must drop the ax immediately and figure out how to retrieve the item later.)


Multiple small items with a common theme or relationship may count as one item (e.g., a hand-full of bullets, quiver of arrows, a set of lock picks, a medicine bag filled with medicine, a handful of Talens.) Conversely, larger items may count as multiple items (e.g., Suit of chain mail, a Riot shield, and two-handed weapons.)

Items that are attuned to the spirit world may count as one size smaller at ST discretion. These items are usually PC/NPC crafted, made of natural materials, and have been prepared and purified by the crafter. These items are of such quality as to be worthy of being made into fetishes. A good example is a quiver of arrows: A modern quiver and arrows would considered a medium (size 2) item while a hand-crafter doe-skin quiver bound in leather from a sacred hunt carrying arrows made of birch from the hallowed grove tipped with blessed obsidian arrow heads would be considered a small (size 1) item.

Examples 
1 - Clothing. A one-handed weapon.         A small pouch (can carry one size 1 item.)
2 - Small backpacks (can carry two size 1 items.)   A two-handed weapon, flak vest. Shield.
3 - Large backpack (can carry three size 1 items.)   A suit of chain mail or plate armor.

Rite of Accomplishment (or How do I get renown?)

In Atlanta, we have traditionally used an additional IC mechanic for handling renown.


The pack is the first and most important social structure to a Garou. Each pack tracks and approves all of the temporary renown earned by the pack. Some packs have each member track their renown individually, some have the Beta track it, or even appoint a pack mate as their Sage/Skalds/Bard/etc. who tracks and catalogs the exploits of their pack mates. This allows for more interactivity with your pack mates but also adds another layer to filter out false tales or exaggerations for while the pack shares in its members successes it also shares in its failures. There is no quicker way to earn the anger of your pack then to claim false renown and have the Sept mock them for trying to pass off such lies.

The Auspice Council, a council made up of the eldest/ranking of Garou of each Auspice. The eldest is determined simply by rank. If more than one Garou qualifies then they settle it the way Garou settle everything: by challenge. The Alpha or Beta may sit in for one or more Auspice elders if the Sept does not have a Garou to fill the position or if the person seeking renown is more than one rank higher than Eldest of the Auspice. The Auspice Elders weigh the renown claimed by each Garou for validity and for correctness (e.g., "Learning that rights was HONORABLE and shows forethought but it is not sufficiently WISE to earn greater renown.".) 

•  The eldest Galliard: These Garou sing the tales (i.e., performs the rite) to mark the accomplishments of the Garou who is asking for acknowledgement of their renown. The Eldest Galliard can deny scandal or refuse to sing tales but this ability should be used with caution and a certain level of righteousness.
•  The eldest Philodox: This Garou approves/denies matters of Honor. The eldest Theurge approves/denies matters of Wisdom. 
•  The eldest Ahroun: This Garou approves/denies matters of Glory.
•  The eldest Theurge: This Garou approves/denies matters of Wisdom.
•  The eldest Ragabash: This Garou refutes the claims of renown and/or pronounces scandal.

All requests/challenges for renown are done publicly. As such, savvy Garou will approach their Auspice elders privately with their tales of renown before making the public challenge as having your renown shot down in public invites ridicule and possibly loss of renown from the tongue lashing you will take from the Ragabash. Players should note that the value of their renown is based on your character's rank. Actions that brought great renown as a Cub or Cliath may not be as valuable as a Fostern or Adren as you are simply expected to do your job at higher ranks (e.g., a character spends a month acting as a Guardian for the Sept: This action rewards more Honor to a Cliath than a Fostern because the duty is expected of the Fostern as an adult member of Nation.)

This system forces a character to have a good story to how they earned their renown, how they defend what they have done, and how they are judge by their peers. Having 10+ temporary does not mean you are automatically awarded a permanent renown. That renown must be appropriate and it must show that you are actively working to stand out. If the eldest of the Auspice denies that the character's actions are not worthy of a permanent renown, the character does not lose the temporary renown they have accumulated and they can re-petition at any time. 

Local Demographics

Breed Rarity

Lupus

I will limit the game to a ratio of 1:5 (Lupus to Homid); Lupus born Werewolves are rarer than the Homid born due to the difference in the number of kinfolk. 

Metis

Metis are limited to a ratio of 1:5 (Metis to Homid); Metis are rarer than homid simply because fewer Garou breed with other Garou than they breed with their kinfolk. 

Fera

The only Fera that will be approved in the first year of the chronicle are Corax (were-Ravens) to a ratio 1:15 (Corax to Werewolves) and a Ratkin to a ratio of 1:30 (Ratkin to Werewolves.) Both of these types of are considered to be Bête (derogatory term for Fera) by most Garou and are typically not welcome.


All changing breed characters should have a set of goals, a plan for limited interaction, and a long term goal that will signal the character’s exit.

Rank of Adren

No characters will be approved to start as Adren. This does not impact any characters ability to earn the rank of Adren.


Tribe Rarity

Stargazers will be limited to a ration of 1:10 (1 per 10 players.) No other Garou tribes will be limited.

Fetishes

No character may start the game with more than 5 levels of fetish background. In addition, they cannot start with any one fetish more powerful than their rank plus 1 (i.e., Fostern are Rank 2 so they can have 3 fetish at character creation but not a level 4.)


The acquisition of all new fetishes must go through the ST. Fetishes are prized possessions of the Garou not just useful tools. The fetish background only counts for fetishes the character starts the game with not what they acquire through game play; however, here should always be an in-character cost and associated story for each fetish.

All fetishes are repositories for slumbering spirits bound according to ancient pacts and promises. Treating these items poorly (including treating it simply as a tool like you would a cell-phone or pistol) will not be taken well by the spirit. The spirits are slumbering but they are not unaware. Poorly treated fetishes will respond to being ill-treated by making the use of the fetish more difficult, forcing the bearer to spend Gnosis to activate it, or simply not working at all.

Storyteller Jurisdiction

The VST and their assistants are the only Storytellers that have final say on rules calls. Additional narrators will be appointed as needed and should be treated as any AVST though if there are questions, the VST will be available to answer them.


An ST with jurisdiction must be present for death scenes. For these purposes, jurisdiction is defined as an ST who is either in the venue's approvals chain or is an appointed assistant of an ST in said chain. At no time are Officers from other regions or domains permitted to run scenes in the Atlanta venue without the DST’s & VST's approval. 
We operate on a 'three strikes' warning system. Prolonged arguing with the STs is highly disruptive to games; the first instance will result in a warning, the second instance is -2XP for the session, and the third instance will result in that player being removed from the game for the remainder of the session. Further disciplinary action is possible on a case by case basis (as per the Membership Handbook).

Experience Awards

Earning Experience

All players can earn up to 3 experience traits per game starting June-2013. These traits may be divided as the player chooses. Only characters played during the month at sanctioned games are eligible for experience awards. The first two points are automatic. The third is based on RP and participation.


Up to 4 experience traits may be earned per month via downtime reports based on the quality and content of the downtime report. All downtime reports are due 1-week before the monthly game.

Spending Experience (After Creation)

The following restrictions are in place after character creation. Purchases that are the result of some IC action may be exempt from these limitations (e.g., Gaining a Fetish or Mentor.)


All experience point expenditures must be handled via downtime reports. 

All items gained IC must be purchased in full within 1-month or the item will be forfeited. The exception to this is the Lore ability. 

All gifts must be learned from a spirit. As always, chiminage for the spirits cooperation will depend on the character’s relationship with the teaching spirit, the spirit’s brood, the type of spirit, and the power of the gift being taught. 

A character may increase any traits they wish. Each trait increased can only be increased by one level. If the player has an IC teacher and engages them in RP to learn the attribute or ability they may buy an extra trait if they wish as long as that does not increase your trait level higher than theirs.

Kill Boxes & Proxies

Any time you enter a `kill box` you accept the possibility of a time freeze. This is especially true in regards to the weekends preceding conventions when time is most crucial. Death scenes are often contentious issues, and players should be aware that choosing to get involved constitutes agreement to accept all consequences of that choice.


There is no such thing as a "soft" proxy. Any proxy into the Atlanta comes with the same risks and rewards as attending a game. By proxying, players accept these risks. 
Players in the venue are required to notify their VST and DST when proxying out of your home domain by CC'ing the VST/DST on the proxy request.

Item Restrictions

Any items that the VST considers to be too gimmicky or does not fit the genre will not be allowed. The focus of the game should be on your character, not his or her stuff.

Example: Things that belong in a James Bond movie (e.g., spiritually-awakened Apache helicopters and the like) will generally not be allowed. 

Check-In Rules


•  All players will need to provide proof of membership and proof of MC class. 
  Character Sheets must have signature of the player's Direct ST, as must the XP log. If distance makes a physical signature impossible, a digital signature or email stating that a character is approved may be substituted. Members of a venue must have Character Sheet on file with the VST.

•  All item cards must be signed by the appropriate ST. Items cards are not required 
  for mundane (non-weapon) or common items at ST discretion.

•  All pack totems must have a write-up including the pack’s name, pack members, the 
  default totem mechanics, additional totem benefits, power stats, and charms. 
  Characters will not be allowed to communicate with pack mates not in the VSS via 
  the telepathy totem power or if the pack mate is further than 50-miles away.

•  Anything that is RST approval or higher must have the database approval code. 

•  All characters are assumed to be at maximum temporary traits minus 1 (minimum of 1) 
  for Gnosis/Rage 

•  All characters are assumed to be at maximum temporary traits for Attributes, 
  Backgrounds, Abilities, and Willpower.

•  Characters may enter game with the following rites active with no VST notification:
  o  All minor rites 
  o  Rite of Talisman Dedication

Aside from the restrictions already listed, players are asked to notify the local VST of their attendance at least 24-hours prior to the game; 48-hours is preferred if the PC you wish to portray is of High or Top approval. Failure to send this notification will not automatically result in your character being turned away but it may delay/extend check-in time. 

Player Advisory

The World of Darkness is not a happy place. From time to time, the Storytellers may use adult themes, vivid descriptions, and contentious social issues to bring the World of Darkness to life. For those familiar with the White Wolf tabletop material, some plot elements or themes could be considered "Black Dog" in flavor. Such themes and issues may include racism, sexism, bigotry, prejudice, sexual assault, and extreme violence. If at any time a player feels uncomfortable with a scene, the player should immediately inform the Storyteller running the scene. The Storyteller will either tone down scene so that the player is once again comfortable participating in it, or will excuse the player from the scene and hand the PC to a Narrator or other designated representative to finish out the scene without breaking continuity. 


Please direct all questions about this Venue Style Sheet (VSS) to the Venue Storyteller (VST) or Domain Storyteller (DST).

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