Applications are open. Planning to start when we get 3-5 members, and I'll get a discord going once we got 2. So far, Lunera's the only one who's been accepted, Typical's midway through an interview and the rest have yet to apply.
Everyone knows someone who knows someone who left for Delville Heights. The rumour is that it's such a sleepy, self sufficient town stead that people go in and don't come out again. Which is preposterous, because everyone also knows someone who went to visit and came back just fine. It's a hotbed for conspiracy theories and, despite the locals' best efforts, steeped in the American Gothic that seems to titillate the masses.
But why visit Delville Heights when there's much cooler places to go, like Salem or Area 51? Delville has lost most of its veneer of tourism by never feeding the hype. Every so often, a smattering of curious souls come in hoping to not really discover the truth but find signs of the illusion, buy souvenirs, take photos of carefully crafted crop circles and get out. Most are disappointed when it's just a small town. It's the party pooper of Midwestern curiosities.
The rumour is that you can't just choose to go to Deville Heights. Deville Heights chooses when you go. It's been used for decades as a destination for the uprooted; a young man jilts his bride on the altar and blames a sudden compulsion to visit Delville Heights. But, as he will shortly find out, the town itself rejects the unwelcome; everything is irritably lame and isolated for those who are not meant to arrive and it quickly shuffles them onwards to the next sleepy town. No, you know when you are ready. It calls to you across the horizon. Life becomes desaturated, insipid and bland. Friends become boring. Family are no longer as close as you thought. It whittles away at the chains holding you to your old life until you can leave without resistance, then it helps you pack your bags in the trunk and drive. The ones that come to stay often have no idea why they did it. And it's rare for anyone to come running after them.
Welcome to It Sleeps in Delville Heights! The roleplay is a semi-sandbox RP with an overarching storyline. Taking place in the curious small town of Delville Heights during the 80s, your character will try to live a normal life alongside a litany of supernatural occurrences that plague the townsfolk. Naturally as time passes, the co-GM and I will start to unveil the cause of these phenomena. The roleplay takes its inspiration from various media - Welcome to Night Vale, Stranger Things, Lovecrat and Silent Hill come to mind from the top of my head. It is a mixture of urban fantasy and cosmic horror with a slice of life element running through it all.
You will be playing a resident within the town. You can start as a complete newcomer or a veteran of the paranormal; regardless of your decision, the RP only takes place within this small town and the community is largely cut off from the rest of the world. In this town the county police are the organised defence against the supernatural but the turnover rate of newcomers is constant, and the cemeteries are starting to burst at the seams. The only connection between your character and every person who set foot in the town’s threshold to stay is that a strange urge - whether you have a good reason to, or simply an absurd compulsion - compelled your character to detach themselves from the threads of responsibility that hold themselves to their old lives and seek out the town as their final destination.
This one's going to be a little different from what you might be used to. You will NOT be judged via CS, though a sheet with some basic info about your character is necessary before you start your interview.
Potential applicants will have to be comfortable with minor DMing as they go along. The Co-GM and I will drop prompts through Delville Radio. Certain 'cues' in the prompts will open up the possibility of several encounters, and then it's up to one of you guys to take the reins for whoever's in the area and RP it out. These encounters range from hauntings and combat with monsters to strange phenomena and happenings.
1: An IC Radio post mentions static interference in Connor's Icecream Parlour. Three players, A B and C, currently have a character in/near the parlour and want to pursue it.
2: B steps up and offers in the OOC to follow the prompt for anyone interested. He checks the Encounter list to see what has the cue of 'static'.
3: There are three possible encounters - the emergence of a Shrieker, the haunting of a ghost, and a freak storm.
4: B doesn't want to do any combat. He writes out the storm, but takes his own liberties - it's raining in the parlour. A and C's characters have to save the icecream from water damage!
Since I'm looking for people who can take initiative and are within Advanced level in terms of roleplay, not writing, we will be doing a short scene in PMs using the character you want to join with. In this test, I'm not looking at post length or quality of prose (though, naturally, I expect a decent grasp on grammar and writing). Instead I'll be looking at how you put your spin on things as a mini-DM - how you control the NPCs, how realistic your character and the events you create turn out. In other words, I'll lead you in with something to work with and I expect you to DM for me. As such, I'd rather see one or two paragraphs that keep the RP moving instead of large passages of introspection with very little action. (You are free to RP in the IC however you like, but if you're going to take the wheel on an encounter I'd expect to see the same proactive writing style that I saw in the interview. Don't keep people waiting!)
So technically, applications are open already. The RP that happens in the interview process is NOT canon, though, so we don't get a full cast of players that all know the same chick they met earlier.
(No need for any formatting here if you don't want it! Images allowed with brief description.) Name: Age:(16+) Gender: Occupation: Personality: History: Skills: Weaknesses:
The lore in Delville Heights is always available to be constructed upon. As accepted members of the roleplay, you have equal rights to decorate the stage as you see fit. Any suggestions for encounters, locations and NPCs will be greatly appreciated and added to the list.
Delville Heights may be an enigma to the outside world but it is certainly acknowledged by the government. For reasons lost to the test of time, numerous white vans supply the town with provisions and amenities. The drivers do not speak to the occupants and do not take passengers, hitchikers or anything of the sort. Many believe that this is an attempt at containment of the phenomena to the town’s borders, but there is no paper trail to prove it.
A cluster of shops and other necessities that cling to the main road running through Delville Heights.
Floodwater Hotel: Poorly named, brilliantly maintained. Meet Sally Parker at the front desk and get yourself a reasonably priced room. You’d think a small town wouldn’t bother with hotels, but there are always a bunch of odd visitors lurking round these parts…
Delville Heights Newsagent: Run by old man Tommy. A corner store, selling the local paper, sweets, tobacco, some odds and ends. Flocked by kids in the after-school hours.
Delville Diner: A greasy, grimy 24hr diner. Portion sizes are gratuitous. Kelly and Simon run the orders, whilst Cookie works on the meals in the kitchen. There’s almost always a plume of steam rising in the air from this place.
Delville Town Hall: Mayor Ingrid and her administrative staff do their best to keep a lid on things through infallible optimism and cheery dispositions. Their bubbly demeanours make it incredibly grating to have to deal with the council, which might be the whole point of it. Mayor Ingrid has held her position for seven years.
Delville County Jail and Police Station: Even more respected than the Town hall in terms of getting things done. Becoming a cop in Delville Heights is a highly dangerous profession; you are the frontline against whatever mysterious happenstance is plaguing the town this time.
The residential area for most inhabitants of the town. The most likely place for your character to live. Also houses a few amenities to really get the community spirit going.
Delville Heights Commonwealth Pool: An outdoor pool with a set of changing rooms, toilets and showers. Lined with sunbeds and bleached parasols. Bask in the stench of chlorine.
Delville Heights Community School: The town's local school. There aren't enough students or teachers to maintain several different educational institutions, so the school itself has three buildings in the property - One for elementary, one for middle, and one for high school. It's poorly maintained but with an average of around 10-15 kids per class, the students receive a better quality of education than usual.
Tenpin's Bowling Alley: Johnny Tenpin may not be his real name, but bowling and pizza is a beloved passtime of the locals here regardless of age. The bowling alley is moved primarily into the residential district and good for parties.
Delville Library: A pleasant library with two thirds of normal books, one sixth local history documentation and one sixth of cursed and haunted tomes. Darla, the veteran librarian, is as unflinching in the face of cosmic terror as ever. She rules these musty yet hallowed halls and disapproves of disruptive noise to such a degree that she will fight tooth and nail to preserve the tranquility of her kingdom.
The unofficial term for the part where the buildings start to thin out around the edges. There are VERY few houses out here, and the ones that still stand have been boarded up. It's bad luck to live so close to the wilderness.
Alpine Lodge: A somewhat run-down winter lodge made by a hopeful ranger who vastly underestimated the temperament of the wildlife. It sees more popularity during winter and summer break - the bar sells alcohol to underage teens, the rooms are dirt cheap and the food served there is a good deal better than what's served in the Diner. A popular haunt for the younger residents of Delville Heights.
Rotter's Ranch: Against all understanding of the phenomena taking place in Delville Heights, Old Man Combleberry dug deep into the ineffable roots of his farmer ancestry and started up a cattle ranch just on the borders of the forest. Sure, the cows produce a sort of lavender-coloured milk and some of them have more legs and heads than usual, but Combleberry loves them all equally. He's getting old though and appreciates the help, especially during calving season.
Delville Clinic: One would assume that such an important building would be kept in the heart of the town, but the clinic’s proximity to the Wilderness is the most favourable position to be in. Doctor Harrington runs the building through government funding and he has a half-dozen nurses, four surgeons and a few administrative staff. Second only to the county jail in terms of efficiency and maintenance in the town.
(GM CONTROLLED AREA. Try not to venture out here without one of the (co) GM's characters with you.) Surrounding Delville Heights is a vast expanse of woodland, a long and winding river and a lake made out of an old, flooded quarry. By far the most dangerous part of town. Cordoned off with an old chain-link fence and plenty of warning signs - but there are many holes and entrances into this area.
Delville Woods: A dense, fog-shrouded expanse of towering pine trees. The further you delve into the forest, the more distorted and diseased these mighty pines become. Deer, foxes, squirrels, birds and even the odd bear or wolf are good signs. No animals at all? Get the hell out and fast - if you remember the way back.
Delville River: Used to run a different course when the quarry was still active, but now runs straight through. White, frothing rapids all the way down, inter-spaced with sharp slabs of granite.
The Flooded Quarry: Delville Heights was named after its position on the top of some cliffs, into which a large granite quarry was established. Once it began to get dangerous to keep digging on account of its proximity to the town, the existing tunnels were reinforced and the remnants of the mine filled up with water.
Below you will find a list of possible encounters to use during the roleplay. They are separated into four different categories: Phenomenon, wherein something strange or out of the ordinary happens on the Material Plane (AKA our world) that doesn't involve spirits and has no combat element to it. Combat, wherein a variety of creatures may need to be killed or subdued. Haunting, wherein the spirits of the recently departed wreak havoc on the town. Dimension, wherein the inhabitants of the area are teleported into a familiar yet slightly different version of Delville Heights and must escape.
The Compendium itself is split by cues - almost like symptoms of the encounter's presence. For ease of reference, if the post mentions any of these cues you essentially have a mixture of different encounters you can establish and get to choose one.
Encounters can be given some degree of artistic liberty according to the player, but I ask you to avoid killing NPCs and putting locations out of business for too long.
Below are the current cues and their encounters:
Incredibly localised storms in certain areas provoke the following:
The Dripping Realm: (Dimension) An involuntary shift into the Dripping Realm, inhabited by great, ancient aquatic beasts that float through the air. The world is a mirror of Delville Heights but everything is rotten and bloated here. It is so humid that your clothes and skin become damp to the touch, and the water slowly accumulates in your lungs, your stomach...you will slowly drown on dry land unless you escape, typically through a body of water. Do not anger the fish. They are carnivorous. They are hunters.
Slapper: (Combat) A certain species of monster. Slappers look like malformed sea lions, the size of a pick-up truck. They feast on rotting corpses and the smell of the sea hangs off them. Ungainly and gluttonous, but powerful and deadly in close range, with a surprising amount of speed behind their flopping, slapping movements across the floor.
Gurgling Ginny: (Haunting) The ghost of a young witch, dunked to death. She will possess anyone who steps into water when they hear her song, and attempt to drown those around her. The only way to calm her is to sing her a sea shanty.
Radio interference, digital malfunctions - when technology is acting up, these encounters are available:
Shriekers: (Combat) Typically moving in bands of threes, shriekers are glitchy, perpetually screaming entities that look like distorted echoes of humanity. They're fast, sometimes intangible and fight like animals. They are weak to water.
EMP: (Phenomenon) A sudden burst of electromagnetic energy is released in the area. Damages range from temporarily disabling all electronics to making certain devices explode.
Poltergeist: (Haunting) A particularly active spirit that flings objects (and, in some cases, people) around but is unable to materialise as their past self, nor can they speak. One must find the root of their anger. Each poltergeist is unique and their grievances can be decided upon by the DM.
When things start floating, the following is about to occur:
The Twisting Void: (Dimension) A kingdom of lost things and timeless memories. In this dimension Delville Heights has been shattered to pieces. Floating amongst these pieces are things of every time and age, from the distant rubble of Japanese Pagodas to the red British phone box jutting out of the wall of the Diner. To avoid becoming lost forever, you must find and hold your most precious possession in all of the chaos.
Spaceman: (Combat) Absolutely NOT a human in that suit. The visor is pitch black and oozes the same black liquid, which burns anything it gets into contact with. Considering the current state of gravity, Spaceman is a formidable opponent. Fortunately for us, his goo is highly flammable.
Zero-G: (Phenomenon) Sometimes, nothing really happens and everything is floating. The effect will either wear off on its own or it could be a worldshard - an incredibly fragile crystalline formation in the area that pulses like a heart. Find the worldshard or wait it out; all it needs is the pressure of a brush of a finger or a leaf in the wind to crumble it into dust.
Subtler to see, especially on overcast days. Still just as dangerous as ever.
Changeling: (Combat) An almost exact but eerily uncanny replica of a player or NPC in the area will appear. It usually attempts to take the place of its doppelganger, either by killing the real version of itself or convincing others to do it for them. They have the same skills, physique and strength as their doppelgangers with the discerning trait of row upon row of sharp teeth.
Mirror Realm: (Dimension) An empty and reversed replica of Delville Heights, where you can only see the reflections of those in the material plane. Translucent and slightly distorted visions of passers-by walk the sidewalk parallel to a shop window. An old woman does her make-up in the bathroom but does not exist from the waist down. You may only escape through your own reflection, either by crawling or walking through a fully reflective surface that you’re big enough to fit into. If there isn’t one readily available, fret not - you can always catch someone’s attention if they’re keeping an eye on their own reflection…
Shadow Man: (Haunting) Most locals describe him as ‘sleep paralysis made real’; a seven foot, blurred and unfocused figure that usually stands quite peacefully in between you and the exit. Completely harmless, but don’t let him touch you as his skin(?) gives you temporary blindness for a few hours. Likes hugs.
How's everyone doing? It seems like the apps came to a standstill. @Typical and @lunera it's your turn on the interviewing process. I'm still planning on making this RP unless interest dies out, so we're still open for business.