• Psionics in Roleplay

    Psionics are a form of supernatural power manifested purely by mental discipline. Sometimes the term Psion can also refer to a person with the power, i.e. She is a psion, she has psionic abilities.  Sometimes other terms used for psionic people are “psychic”, or “clairvoyant” though these only apply to a specific type of psion. Not everyone with the ability practices the same way, and there are three common sub-categorizations of the ability, which are described in detail below. Psionic powers can often be abused and misused in roleplay, and this guide is to help you to shape your roleplay in such a way that it adds to the storyline without overstepping your bounds in terms of power-gaming or meta-gaming.

    While there are a number of different psionic abilities, the three most common and widely accepted ones are Clairvoyance, Telekinesis, and Telepathy.

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  • The Sanctum

    Buried in the bowels of Mystara lies the most extensive underground complex made of caves, tunnels and sometimes even antique ruins and buildings. Down below - where few dare venture without a good reason and a solid lantern - hide the monsters, the misfits, the creeps and the criminals. All those who may not walk openly the surface, those who need to keep a low profile, or simply the victims of prejudice have found refuge in this underground maze and thus called it the Sanctum.

    It would be illusory to consider the Sanctum dwellers a homogeneous population. As a matter of fact, it is composed of diverse businesses, factions and races that have little in common except the desire to remain away from Outsiders. Organized like gangs, most occupy a territory in the underground complex they make theirs and where they either reside or conduct their business.

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  • NPC Guidelines

    An NPC (non-player-character) is a temporary character whose sole purpose is to provide entertainment, roleplay, companionship, and/or target practice for the players on sim. For instance, when you play a game like “World of Warcraft”, NPCs would be the computer-controlled creatures and monsters that the player hacks and slashes! In Mystara, our NPCs are played by players, rather than being controlled by a computer. They serve to enhance roleplay by giving players a more realistic experience.

    NPCs can be for special events or everyday use and do not roleplay with complexity to their personal stories or purposes but instead are there to serve the player base. Whether you want to play a zombie, house cat, forest animal, or sea dweller, the possibilities are nearly endless!

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  • Mystarian Currency

    Mystara operates on a common system of currency, throughout the many kingdoms of Stromness, Ered Eithel, and the Sanctum Underworld.  While trading and bartering of goods is a highly common and acceptable practice, most businesses operate on the currency system - a range of coins varying in material and value. The coins minted in the archipelago of Mystara are copper, bronze, silver, gold and the exceptionally rare platinum coin. 

    When considering your character's net worth, that is, the total amount of liquid currency assets either on his person or stored in a bank/vault -- think about what type of coins he might have on hand.  Consider that pulling out a bag of gold would be a showy, if not distasteful, boast of wealth -- which may put a target on his head! 

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  • The Vampire Race

    Vampires are humans who have come under the effect of a blood curse, thereby turning into the undead creatures of the night that we are all very familiar with. Though vampirism is commonly considered to be an incurable disease, according to Mystarian lore it is a curse. It is key to understand that once one becomes of the undead, they no longer are in possession of a soul, although they may still possess a conscience to be able to differentiate between right and wrong, and to feel the same range of emotions of those not undead. Playing a vampire in Mystara can be both challenging and rewarding. The vampire must learn to quickly adapt and stay hidden while being in plain sight. Trusting the wrong person with your secret can lead to everyone knowing what you are -- even the passing of coin at the monthly Bazaar could give away your allergy to silver. One thing's for sure, however, there are other vampires out there, hidden in plain sight...

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Mystara Spring Update

March 15, 2014

Spring is officially around the corner, arriving in about a week.  Things are continuing to evolve in Mystara and as always, improving.

First I am really proud and excited to offer a special Mystara Exclusive, from Eldritch!  Kiera Ashdene has put in countless hours developing a Mystara only mesh crystal staff, which you will be able to purchase in the sim entrance soon, with a large amount of the proceeds going to benefit the sims.  This gorgeous mesh staff is texture changeable, and has several crystal and staff options to pick from to get a unique look.  Also, there’s a bonus gift in the package which only makes this more awesome.

Here’s a pretty sneak preview:

Eldritch Mystara Exclusive Crystal Staff

The latest update to the sim build is the new Mystfolk Mound. Moved to the SouthWestern corner of Krillian, the new mound is made completely out of mesh and has gotten quite the facelift! Definitely take a few moments to go check it out!  And nope, this build is not for sale, it is custom for Mystara only. ;)

A view of the Mystfolk Mound

Next are the very exciting results of the Mystara 5th Annual Sweetheart’s Auction!
First, we managed to generate in total for the whole event a whopping $94949. Yes, this amount is more than was announced in the group notice, that’s because a few late-comers donated in the donation meter up in the auction area which added $8000L to the total. WOW!

Next, here are the top 5 sexiest auctionees who generated the highest amounts for the sim:

Minx Vyper:  $25000 L
Asmen Foxclaw:  $7100 L
Jens Ixchel:  $4500 L
Drewvictus: $4000 L
Sparrow Viper: $3100 L

A few folks, sadly, did not get any bids (they were last-minute entries).  If you want to know who was your winning bidder, simply teleport up to LOLville and check out your board, the hovertext above specifies who won you.  Most, if not all of you, should have gotten your IM by now to set up your date.

I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who bid and helped donate to the sim, as well as those RPers who donated their precious time for a roleplay date.  This is a huge help and makes a real, discernable positive impact.  I am truly grateful to have such a loyal and generous player base!

Next up, I would like to announce the major overhauling of the Dragons Group!  The dragon players decided as a group to change the race from a monarchy clan, to a democratic alliance.  What this means is that the roles of Da’Ar (King) and Da’Ariv (Queen) are no more. As such, all “royalty” titles have no more IC importance as they once did.  Additionally vertical ranking titles are now gone, but the paths, or specialization of study, remain.  This allows our Dragons to behave more as dragons: fierce, independent, and self-serving creatures that serve no higher rank, and ally for strategic purposes.  You can get more in-depth with the new society information here.

I would like to put out a very special “thank you” to these players who contributed immensely to refactoring our website content and fleshing out the new group structure that reflected the wishes of the dragon players as a whole:

Johannasen Scarborough
Drewvictus Resident
Triana Mills
DraconisMetallix Resident

Thank you guys for rocking this out!

On a more serious note, I have special clarification on policies involving what Child Avatars can and cannot do. This has come up a few times and has been a concern of both admins and players, so I put in a  bit of research and am now able to break down very clearly what is “OK” to roleplay, and what is not.

The issue at hand was whether or not child avatars can be boyfriend/girlfriend, be in love, have crushes, and even kiss and hug.  Linden Labs actually does not have very clear information on this type of roleplay and whether they consider it ageplay.  In actuality, their wording is very vague and only states Child Av’s cannot engage in “sexual” behavior / roleplays / poseballs, and they recommend players “err on the side of caution”.   So What is Sexual?  Is a peck on the cheek sexual? Is holding hands sexual?

Linden Labs does not go into any detail on this, they do however make it clear that sim owners are responsible to also uphold the laws of their own local state/country’s jurisdictions in their own sims.   After a bit of hunting, I found out what my own state, California, deems “Sexual” behavior.  According to CA penal law, “kissing is considered sexual contact, but, only if the purpose of the kiss is to gratify the sexual desire of either party”. 

Ergo, when your mom gives you that goodnight kiss after tucking you in, it’s not sexual contact. But, when your uncle does the same thing, and attempts to sexually gratify, or incite arousal, it is sexual contact.  My state law is very clear about this and it’s what I’ve decided to lean on for our own sim rules, in the absence of clarification from LL.

 As for what is considered “sexual” outside of a kiss, here’s the definition: California Penal Code: 243.4. ( A ) Any person who touches an intimate part of another person.  Intimate parts are described as anus, genitalia, and breasts.  It should be noted that any character under sexual maturity, age 18, or the fantasy equivalent age, may not wear prim genitalia or breasts, no exceptions.

So in summary, as a kid character, it’s allowable to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s okay to have a crush. It’s okay to hold hands and make gushy faces at eachother.  It’s fine to share a peck on the cheek.  It’s not okay to engage in any type of petting, adult kissing/tongue kissing, discussing sexual things (“I want to ___ your ___”), roleplaying any type of sexual arousal, roleplaying any touching of anus, breasts or genitalia, or any behavior that would incite arousal or attempt to sexually gratify the other individual.

Mystara is one of the rare few RP sims that welcomes kid characters. Where many sims don’t want to “deal with the hassle” or “deal with the risk”, and where many will shun players who RP children, we embrace them, and we have a great group for them. I believe kid characters add to the dynamic of an IC community. I’m not at all bothered about monitoring kid RPers to mitigate risk, because what they bring to RP is wonderful.  I have personally watched several kids in Mystara grow up and evolve over time, or bring immense joy to adults who get to use their kid character for a bit of escapism and fun.   We recognize that it is both normal and natural for kids and teens to develop crushes, and to feel things like infatuation and love.  We’ve determined based on LL’s TOS, and my state law, that this is plenty within the boundary of allowable roleplay, so long as sexual congress is completely avoided.   We hope these guidelines will better help players understand our stance on this type of roleplay, and make it clear what is and isn’t okay. If you’re still not sure, ping any admin and we can help you through it.

Thank you all and I’ll catch up with you for the summer update. 

Annie Ibanez & Team Admin

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