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2 mos ago
Current I had such high hopes of GMing on here again. I got my materials updated & everything. And then my IRL friends press-ganged me into DMing D&D. Now the best I can manage is 1-2 RP participations maybe.
1 like
2 mos ago
Pepsi is an affront unto the lord. There is only Coca-Cola Classic and I accept no substitutes.
1 like
2 mos ago
It is entirely possible to run a narrative-driven nation roleplay. Its just not something we really see in that section. And I'd take that as a challenge if I hadn't already committed to a project. :)
2 mos ago
Tomahawk the throwing axe or tomahawk the cruise missile?
2 mos ago
At long last, I've made my gambit to sit in the GM saddle again.
2 likes

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An ambiguous comment or status post does not constitute a solicitation for private message. Unsolicited private messages will be ignored. Solicitations for private messages will be unambiguous and direct.

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Hmmm ... I lurked my way through the URL so that's +1 for likelyhood of sticking around. I was thinking about pulling an old concept from archive, but that may need photonic entanglement to fly. That uhh ... "revises" some laws of physics and has the potential to power scale to the ridiculous if not handled carefully. I traditionally balance it out by putting it with a generally harmless character, i.e. some naive do-gooder with limited knowledge of the ability's true limits. Plus I should have a pyromancy concept in the vault too if hardlight opens far too many cans of worms.
@Heat you stalking me kid?

So what are people thinking power wise. As I finish up the OOC I'm curious what direction people are going in.


Well I dunno. There's a lot that goes into that question, namely three things:

1) Will availability actually permit me to be sufficiently consistent on here? (very uncertain question given my course load + D&D)
2) Are you wanting to lean more into the comic book style of superpowers or was there the intent to give a rigorous application of realism?
3) How grounded or outrageous are you willing to let people get with power? It could stay thoroughly grounded or go all the way to absolute sorcery.

And I can't figure out where for the life of me I've seen you before. There was some place other than SW: Galaxies at War.
I'm not really an anime guy, Mechwarrior and Pacific Rim are usually my giant robot fix, but I'll admit I enjoyed Aldnoah Zero. It respected the principles of inertia 90% of the time. I have a spare eye to keep pointed this direction.
Quick update on this, since I've totally missed my promised deadlines. My next semester starts up this coming week (which I knew about and was prepared to work around) and have also been getting pestered by IRL friends to DM for them (which I was not expecting to get or to take seriously). I've not played D&D in years, played 5th edition at all, or DM'd ever, and they want me to run a campaign ...

I would much rather do this right than do this fast, and that means right now it needs to sit on ice for a few weeks, until I'm in a more stable position to give it the attention it demands. The first week after throwing up an OOC thread is the most demanding time and sets the pacing for the rest of the RP. I would be remiss if I attempted to push forward knowing I couldn't keep up with that. I expect this hold to last between two to three weeks in order to stabilize and prepare.
@Torack Based on my experiences as both GM and player, I tend to prefer to keep one hand on the wheel when running an RP. There is an end goal to be strived for, and there is only so far off the beaten path people can get. That said, I don't have a strict definition of the beaten path nor am I looking for it to be walked exactly. The misadventures had along the way and the pace of pursuing that end goal are somewhat flexible.

That's all to say that I'm not planning on pre-writing a completely linear story to railroad people into, but I do have a general idea of where the story needs to go and will keep it relatively on that track. Its not a railroad so much as it's a road trip. I'm happy as long as some progress is generally being made, and compelling stories are being told along the way.


For everyone,
I finished sprucing up some additional lore bits and added them. I'll be working on some preliminary feedback, some FAQ stuff, and a formal thread (plus some expanded interest checking in other locations) next. I should have at least one of those things going up by tomorrow afternoon. Not sure if that's gonna be the thread or a comprehensive feedback round, TBD.
@Atrophy I know I've seen you places. I kept swearing that you were actually a part of that but I didn't find you digging back through the old thread. Glad to have some older faces returning.
Oh yay, I love a positive response. I like what I'm seeing so far @Habibi359, seems just shady enough.
The world of Avalon lives under an unyielding prophecy. As long as intelligent beings can sense and wield the magical powers of the aether, the miraculous energy of the gods that grant mortal beings a mere sliver of their power, then the cycle will continue.

As long as the aether flows, there will rise a congregation of sorcerers taken by the dark powers, united in vision and purpose to upheave and reshape civilization. With their rise, dynasties end.
-- Lord Cairn Christian

King Friedrich Vahlen, third of his name, has stopped at nothing to see the recurrent devastation come to a close. Yet his people resent him. The once-great elven kingdoms of the forests and plains were savagely annihilated half a century ago at the dawn of Johann Vahlen’s reign, and his sights settled on the dwarven people’s of the Siegfried Mountains soon after when the cut off his supply of war gear in protest. They eventually sealed themselves away within their mountain fortresses to avoid a similar fate. The cost of that war was placed squarely on the shoulders of the citizenry as it was a war “for their protection.” Taxes and high demands on the tradesmen of the Vahlens’ kingdom that have not subsided. Now they pay for the tyrannical hunt for any man, woman, or child brave or foolish enough to explore the mystical powers of the aether that are soon to be a relic of a bygone age. Friedrich’s Royal Inquisition listens around every corner and pounces without mercy on those caught.

Now the fifth incarnation of the Sorcerers’ Cycle is upon the world. The Kingdom of Man is poised to finally crush the sorcerers’ rise once and for all. The only obstacle remaining is to find them among the populous. But a rumor is spreading throughout the kingdom: This incarnation of the cycle could undo much of what the Vahlen family has done in its long and bloody tenure; that the races of Avalon long thought extinguished would return to save humanity from its grim fate, whether they deserved it or not. But first the aspiring sorcerers would have to escape the insidious talons of the Royal Inquisition.

Who are you?
You are no one. A commoner, a tradesman perhaps, no one the kingdom would ever really care about as an individual, for now. By a convenient happenstance, dumb luck, or maybe fate, you found something from the sacred library of the old mage’s academy. Most people would rip it to pieces, burn it even. The possession of just a page from an old spellcraft text would have a mere commoner staring down an Inquisitor’s blade. Yet you keep it hidden instead of doing the sensible thing and destroying it. Perhaps given time, you can learn something from it. Prophecy works in mysterious ways, and it is nothing if not relentless. You are now a part of the Sorcerers’ Cycle.

What can you do?
It takes months of study, practice, discipline, and a clear and focused mind to practice even the simplest techniques when conjuring aetheric power in its purest, cleanest form. It takes less than ten minutes and some frustration for a desperate soul to summon power beyond description. The power of the aether is bent and shaped by the willpower of the wielder, but is attracted to and colored by the emotions of its host. This is the danger of the aether’s multifaceted nature. Even an amateur will realize that strong emotion seemingly amplifies their power, and that power feels good. Without formal training, most self-taught magic wielders fall into the trap that is the darker form of aetheric energy, and everyone who wields it is invariably twisted and consumed by the emotions they feed it with, by unrelenting powerlust, or are destroyed by the raw power they cannot hope to contain.

The magical possibilities of channeling the aether are as limitless as the imagination of the wielder. Given enough willpower and aetherial energy to make it so, anything is possible. A great and powerful fighter can defeat dozens of opponents and slay any beast living or undead, but a great and powerful mage can level whole cities in seconds. The capability of a would-be sorcerer is limited only by what they can will to happen, and how much power they can channel and contain within themself without being ripped apart.

What happens now?
It is only a matter of time before Vahlen’s inquisitors find you. They seemingly smell the magic emanating from those who channel aetherial power. Some believe the ancient knowledge of the old academy has been given to the Royal Inquisition to aid in their hunt. Some even believe the mage academy is not shut down but instead trains inquisitors in the ways of magic for themselves. No one dares speak such heresies aloud.

You must avoid the bloodhounds for as long as you can. Whether with dangerously intoxicating power, or with steel of your choice, you must prepare yourself to fight for your life. Sooner or later, you will need to. It will take all of your practiced skills, and no small amount of luck to survive and escape. How far are you willing to go when everything is on the line? How far is too far?



Welcome to The Sorcerers' Cycle! If, by any chance, you remember the name Tear the World Down then welcome back friends, I have missed you. This is a spiritual successor/world reboot of my old roleplay, Tear the World Down. The world around you is grim, but you will have to do terrible things to bring about change. This is a roleplay that asks the question "Do the ends really justify the means?" While I do expect a relatively advanced level of worldbuilding, I am more than willing to entertain more casual writers who wish to attempt to grow their writing skills. The character sheet I wish to see submitted is quite simple, though I have a far more complex and thorough framework that I encourage all participants to slowly work through.

Please use this simple version when posting your information publicly. This is for the reference of other players on what their character should know about yours:

Please submit this version of the sheet to the GM via private message. A few bits of this are not known to other characters and you are not required to reveal them publicly unless you want to. PM sheet submissions are not required until an OOC thread is posted.

This final sheet is my personal Master Character FrameworkTM and is extremely thorough. I recommend all persons interested work through this for their character. This is not strictly required, nor will I be checking up on it. However, it will help you flesh out your character incredibly well. This may seem intimidating, so I recommend working through it slowly. This is not required. Do not feel like this needs to be anywhere close to complete to start posting. It does not. Develop it at your leisure.



Some additional lore bits have been put together into coherent sentences from my piles of scratch notes, for your reading pleasure.

The Magic of Avalon
The aetherial energy that flows through the world is a manifestation of the very forces of Creation and Annihilation themselves. Its potential is limitless, but the limits of those who bring it to bear are very real. The bigger the goal, the more energy it takes. The laws of thermodynamics still apply; the human body can only contain so much energy before the wielder suffers irreparable internal damage. For tasks that demand more than a single being’s potential, multiple sorcerers can channel their strength through another, briefly granting them the combined power of everyone. Alternatively, carefully refined crystals can be used to store and to focus magical energies and enhance the power of an individual.

Once power is held, it can do whatever its wielder desires it to do. Directed casts are often guided with simple hand gestures, though sheer force of will is sufficient for the task if the caster is up to it. The limits of its uses are the limits of the caster’s imagination and the fundamental laws of the universe. Matter, energy, and souls cannot be created nor destroyed. The flow of time cannot be altered. The player characters have been touched by fate, and possess a natural affinity for the aetherial arts. They will learn quick and can bring incredible power to bear, but even they are not infallible.

The Lost Races
Avalon was once home to many peoples, most well in tune with its magics. In their unholy crusade against the magical forces, the Vahlen Dynasty has seen all others cast into unreachable exile, or hunted to extinction. The dwarven forge-cities once ran the world with their mighty output of goods. The great elven kingdoms once ruled over half of Avalon. Now one is barricaded in isolation within their mountain fortresses, and the other is believed long destroyed. Rumor has it that the last elven bastion resides deep within the forests of Khabbirack, though none have been seen by the likes of men for nearly a century.

The Fifth Cycle of Sorcerers
The rise of great and powerful sorcerers touched by the hand of fate has come every three hundred years for over a millennium. In the second cycle, those who rose saw it as an opportunity to remake the world in their image, rather than serving the world as it was. Their apocalyptic conquest redefined the world order, and forever vilified the fateful sorcerers of the cycles. Fate does not make the sorcerers good or evil. But without fail, men of power have seen them as a threat to their continued rule and sought to control or destroy them, and they have fought back with equal fury. The Vahlen family has gone further, demonizing the very magic that Avalon once thrived upon, for without magic there can be no sorcerers. Now Friedrich seeks to snuff out the fifth cycle in its infancy, securing the dynasty for centuries to come and finally ridding Avalon of the aetherial powers he so disdains. The sorcerers of the fifth cycle have a terrible choice to make: see the end of magic in Avalon and the continued tyranny of the Vahlen Dynasty for centuries ... or become the villains they are made out to be and tear the Vahlens’ world down.

The Order of the Inquisition
The Order of the Inquisition is relatively young, having been established not long before Friedrich’s reign began. Though predating him, Friedrich Vahlen has wielded them with uncompromising ruthlessness, and they have since become associated closely with his reign, more so even than his father who created the order. Inquisitors of the order, in the utmost cliche, adorn a witch hunter’s top hat and sleek, menacing black armor. They are well trained, well equipped, merciless, and relentless. If the Order of the Inquisition wants someone’s head, the only question is how quickly they will get it. Perhaps most terrifying is just how subtly they can operate, often working swiftly and quietly under cover of night. While many have never seen an agent of the Inquisition, most imperial citizens know better than to attempt to lie to one if they wish to keep all of their fingers.

@Odin I am of the belief that dealing with people who have not read, or do not care about, your standards/limits/wants/etc., is (unfortunately) inevitable irrespective of how you write the thread. My personal policy for that is to not even grace it with a response (since it's clear they did not put in the effort to fully read that to which they were responding).
Now some of this is obviously rooted in subjectivity as I have my own personal valuations of different bits of information that not everyone shares. Nonetheless, this is the basis by which I design my threads. I wrote parts of this with second-person pronouns but these are undirected pronouns not intended to reference any one specific individual (though I can think of specific examples in the 1x1 checks section for every single one of these).
The Turn-Offs:

Excess Personal Info
While it may sound callous, I don't care who you are, what's between your legs, or how long you've survived on this planet. You are merely a screen name to me and I don't need your life story. I don't even care for commentary about one's literacy level, as I find "show" much more revealing than "tell". I will click off a thread immediately if I see multiple paragraphs going on about personal details.

Pairing/Fandom/Genre Lists
Okay great, you have the most bare minimum idea for what you want to play. I've been burned in the past with people not willing to put in the worldbuilding work and instead only care about shoehorning their pairing idea at any cost. I firmly believe the worldbuilding comes first, the character building comes second, basic plot structure comes third, any any pairings are relegated to quaternary importance. These always get scrolled past in a search for actual, fleshed-out ideas.

Big Rules Section up Front
I get that rules and limitations matter, but I've come to consider this part of the negotiating process with prospective partners. Thus, I find it in poor taste to lay all of it on someone up front before you've even pitched any ideas. Now I can understand if there's one or two things that are absolute deal-breakers (or content warnings) that must go up front, but I vastly prefer if the bulk of it to come after you've got me interested in an idea or two.

The Turn-Ons:

Straight to the Meat
If I see a check with a scant six lines of text before its throwing plots/settings/characters at me, that's a good sign in my book. That's what I came here to see and getting straight to it lets me judge very early whether or not there are any ideas being presented that I am interested in pursuing. If there are I can read on and if there are not I can leave without wasting any time sifting through irrelevant content.

Detailed Pitches
I describe the showcases of plots/characters/settings/etc. as "pitches" because in an interest check you are pitching them to prospective partners (or group members in those cases). This is where I go to judge whether or not someone is putting in the writing effort to carry their share of the weight, and also to get an idea of what they're after and if that's something I would enjoy pursuing with them. I want to understand the premise, initial plot direction, world, themes, and apparent character motivations of both who I'm playing against and what I'm playing myself. I'm not looking for more than ~200 words here, but I've never once complained that a pitch was too long. Getting these right is the single most important section in my opinion as this is where my foremost judgement of you as a prospect comes from.

Clear & Concise Formatting
I despise the frequent usage of hider tags. I vastly prefer to see threads organized with headers with catchy titles to highlight each pitch. Colors can be good here for added visual distinction but that is up to personal preference. I personally favor a very quick introduction that provides a general overview of any common themes (my checks often tend to be collations of ideas with certain common themes) and any important ground rules/content warnings that absolutely must go up front. I immediately follow that with centered H3 headers titling each pitch section. I also like to separate the collection of pitches from the non-plot content with horizontal lines. I conclude with mentions of important rules/limits, an explanation of preferred contact protocol, and then thanks and salutations.
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