Providence

Providence is a LARP game using Trent Yacuk's Kingdom Come system. It is a game of Fallen Angels and their struggle to survive against the forces of Heaven and Hell and some things in between.

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    Kingdom Come Setting

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    cenobyte
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    Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 1:20

    So, I've been fielding a few questions from a number of you over the last few weeks (well, months really), and I thought I'd put up some basic information about the Kingdom Come setting for you. This information was not included in the core rules; it will be available in the first edition of the published book.

    1. Kingdom Come is an, as Sacha put it, Epic Fantasy. It is not the World of Darkness. It is not the X-Files or the Matrix. It is set in the world we live in, right now. If someone beats someone up in the middle of the street, the police come and arrest someone. If someone gets stabbed, they'll probably bleed out.
    2. Player characters are generally around 20 years "Reckoned". Any player wishing to play a character older than this must chat it over avec moi and must take Maturity Points (Maturity points give you extra Creation Zeal, but it also costs you an extra 3 Zeal for every new Archetype, per point of Maturity. Most characters with Maturity must also take Lingering Trauma. I don't remember if this last bit is part of the rules or not; it's something I am doing.).
    3. Fallen do not remember Heaven and have not been permitted, for the most part, into Hell.
    4. Fallen do not remember their past lives. They may have dreams, or snippets of memories, the longer they have been Reckoned. Dave put it well when he described all the knowledge of the creation of the universe and hundreds of lifetimes all trying to be crammed into a tiny little dusty human brain in the World of Clay. It would be like effectively and successfully stuffing a King size duvet into the point of a pin.
    5. Fallen do not remember Purgatory. When they return from Purgatory, they are weak and useless and unstable. They know they endured horrible, horrible things, but details are elusive (details can show up in dreams and/or flashbacks). More to the point, while most of the time, a Fallen enduring the Hollow Death is gone for roughly three days, the amount of time they spend there can be an eternity, and while there, there is really no knowledge of what is happening or whether it is real or imagined For this (and other) reasons, Fallen fear and detest even the thought that they may have to endure the Hollow Death. There is none of this "I'll be back in 3 days! It's okay!" business.
    6. Fallen who have a domus, should they suffer the Hollow Death, show up close to their domus. If you've spent Zeal and created a ranked Affection of your Domus, you will probably return *in* it. Fallen without a Domus come back anywhere in the world.
    7. This has come up before, but I feel it should be mentioned again: Technology is not effective when in the presence of Fallen. Which is to say, Fallen get sick if they try to watch television or movies. They get irritable and suffer headaches if they try to listen to iPods. Computers are Right Out. When a Fallen absolutely needs to rely on technology, it will fail. The transmission will fall out of a car. The telephone will explode, or just go dead. Simple mechanisms and devices might work, unless you really, really need them to. Essentially, this means that if you are protected by the effects of Nimbus (so, Angels, Devils, Fallen, some Nephilim), there is a good chance you're hooped when it comes to text messaging.
    8. Certain kinds of weapons are not effective against Fallen, and Fallen cannot use them. In particular, ranged weapons. Specifically, for rules-folks, ranged weapons do base wound plus one non-refreshing Offensive Maneuver (so, essentially, they cause the same damage as any other weapon) and are limited in what Distance Ranks they can be used at (apologies for the horrid grammatical construction in that sentence). They *cannot* do Winnowing damage (damage that 'skips' a wound level, so inflicts Severe rather than Surface wounds, for instance). This does not mean that guns don't exist. They do, and they're difficult to acquire (either legally or illegally), and even more difficult to license. "Ranged Weapons" include crossbows, guns, longbows, shortbows, slingshots, spears, etc..
    9. The Codex, the system of laws to which the Fallen have chosen to adhere, has been in existence for roughly 60 years. It was designed as a way for Infernal and Divine to be in the same area and not murder each other. Before the Codex, Fallen did not tend to congregate together, except in their own Congregations.
    10. It's pretty much impossible to lead a 'double life' once you Reckon. You cannot go back to your 'day job'. You must find new ways of ensuring your Body of Clay does not die.
    11. This is an important one that I really ought to have put up at the top. Fallen live every hour of every day with the knowledge that they *could be*...**are** so much more, but cannot activate any of that power. Fallen know the Truth of things; they were there at the dawning of the universe, and while they have no memory of heaven, they know the answer to the question of genesis. They have been permanently removed from their home...from their very existence. They are *very* emotional and emotionally raw. Imagine the one thing you care most about in your life...maybe it's your kid(s), or your art, or sex, or your parents, or your sexuality or your physical prowess...you are somehow prevented from all access to that one thing. For the rest of your life. But you still have to live on, forever, knowing what it is you cannot see/touch/hear/taste/do. And not only that, not only can you *not deny* the existence of that one thing...you have to live each and every day with the knowledge of it...and some connection to it - maybe you can never hold your children again, but you can always hear their voices. Maybe you can never take up the pen or read again, but you work in a library....You can never join the Symphony again, but you hear it and sense it **every second of every moment of every day of your existence**. It is there in front of you, reminding you of some sin you have committed, something heinous enough to cast you from Grace, but not...seemingly important enough...to remember.
    12. Think "The Prophecy" instead of "The Professional". Think "Wings of Desire" instead of "Pulp Fiction". Think "Immortal Beloved" instead of "There's Something About Mary". Other books/movies in the arena of epic or epic fantasy are:
      "The Neverending Story", "Lord of the Rings", "Chronicles of Narnia", "Star Wars", "Indiana Jones"...
    What else? Ask me and I will try to answer questions about setting.


    Last edited by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 15:06; edited 2 times in total
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 1:32

    Oh, and by "Epic Fantasy", I mean the stories are bigger than life; the characters are intense and 'romantic heroes'. They are passionate and important. Their stories go on and on.

    The Fallen are Angels. Not ninjas or gang leaders or dilettantes or politicians. They are Fallen angels. They are both so much more than humanity, and inexorably tied to it simultaneously.
    Wikipedia's entry on "Epic Fantasy wrote:These stories are generally serious in tone and often epic in scope, dealing with themes of grand struggle against supernatural and/or forces.
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 1:37

    And yes, the rules for ranged weapons have changed.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Eliel on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 2:08

    The Codex, the system of laws to which the Fallen have chosen to adhere, has been in existence for roughly 60 years.
    OK for those of us who have been playing for a while, this is a HUGE change. In past descriptions of the back story, the first prophesies about Angels and Devils showing up were falsely interpreted as prophesies about the Nazis. The fact that the prophesies occured 60 years in advance and was mistakenly interpreted as an immediate threat lead to major background elements regarding the shift of most Charity into the Diestical and the extreme rarity of Hopeful Fallen. Trent in the past has always been vague about the exact date the Last Crusade began but always described the "first known sitings" of Angels and Devils as occuring in the last few years of the 20th century. The codex was described as coming into being about a year later.

    This change isn't just a rule change that changes how some dice are rolled. This fundementally changes some (ie mine) character backgrounds. It also changes in character conversations I've had. I'm now left with the decision on whether to just pretend I never said all those things I said or do I re-write my character to be insane or incredibly stupid.

    I really hate this flying blind crap. Unless everyone can have full access to the entirety of the new setting information. Can we please use the setting sections from something that we are allowed to read. You say you will answer questions about the setting, but with changes this major apperantly possible, I don't even know what questions to ask.

    As a side note, on the mechanical rules change thing for guns, I would also prefer a similar policy there. I will point out that the magical floating rules do bog the game down because when a rules issue comes up we can't just settle it on our own. Players are stuck waiting for the one guide who knows which part of the book is real and which has changed. I am only one vote, but when it comes to mechanics, until we are provided with new books I think the game should continue to use the rules in the books we all just bought.


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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 7:53

    Dave - I really appreciate your sentiment, but I think you're being a bit unfair. In fact, every single person who has made a character in this game has been given the same information. At the character creation session, this was the information I related. The only change from that time is the one about ranged weapons, which I didn't even know about until sometime last week. And that one is such a small one that I don't think it's going to have a big impact on the game or the way we play the game.

    I'm sorry the setting is different from the way you remember it, and I'm sorry that mucks up your character concept. When you were making a new character, and you pitched the idea of what you wanted to do with it, I remember you asking whether there were changes to the background and setting and whether it would be released with the core rules. I told you at that time that I didn't know how the setting was any different from the old versions, since I'd never read the old versions. This has *always* been my understanding of the setting, since the first day I got this book, and I'm sorry if it's not the same as yours but I am not about to reset an entire game and tell twenty people to forget what I told them about the setting nearly a year ago.

    I understand that you are angry, and there's nothing wrong with that. And I have never, *ever* said you cannot read the material I have at my disposal. In fact, I have always made it available at games, and pretty much to anyone who asks to see it. The only caveat is that I don't often send it out, because I only have one copy and have promised not to make more.

    There is a reason I have asked people to play young, inexperienced characters. It is because the game setting and background is not widely available yet.

    I'm sorry you are frustrated, and I am frustrated as well because I feel like no matter what I do or say or how often I repeat myself, I am not being heard.

    So. To conclude. We *are* using the setting from the book. With one exception, which doesn't affect much in the game at all. I've said this before as well - if playing in KC is so frustrating that playing is no longer enjoyable, there are at least one or two other LARPs in town that are being run based on systems that *are* published, and there is Mike's Above the Maddened Crowd Phoenix Agenda game that doesn't seem to be nearly as contentious.

    I'm sorry you're angry, Dave, but this is the setting information I have been going with since the game began in May. I'm sorry if it's different from what you remember of the game, but I'm not going to change it to jive with what you *thought* the setting was.
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    Rebecca O'Malley
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Rebecca O'Malley on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 12:20

    Okay. So. I understood the same thing as Dave. This affects my character as well, things that I've said, beliefs that I've held. I had always understood that the Codex and the First Crusade were both relatively new, things that had been developed no more than twenty years ago or so.

    That said, I've got to say, Dave, there must be a better way of bringing this up than getting angry and ranting on the forum, thus putting Jill (and everyone, really) on the defensive.
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    Cheriour
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Cheriour on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 12:42

    How much extra Zeal do points of Maturity give you?
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    Gabe
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Gabe on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 13:58

    I know that I'm relatively new to Kingdom Come compared to some people, but when I went to play Paradise Lost in Edmonton, the information that I was given back then was that the Codex was post-WWII, which would put it about 60 years ago. I'm having trouble remembering exactly when Trent started running Paradise Lost but I think it was about 4 or 5 years ago, give or take.

    I've had talks with Cori and Jay about the game when they come up and while I envy their experience and past richness with the setting, they seem to envy those of us who haven't been through all the setting and rules changes that Trent has gone through. They tend to be more lost than we are, I think. I imagine that the same goes for you, Dave, and for Jenn.

    I know I've had a few frustrations myself as this is the third set of rules that I'm playing with and every once in a while I get expectations of something that no longer are possible in the way I except. I have to thank Jill for her patience in handling my queries and requests/nagging for clarification. While it may be frustrating for those who have played the game longer, you also deserve thanks for muddling through -- as often the longer-term players impart a feel to the setting that comes with familiarity.

    I'd also like to point out that as larpers we are a creative bunch. We immerse ourselves in different personas for hours at a time. Surely when our expectations collide with what is, we can sit down out of character and find workable solutions that don't compromise character integrity. It might be a bit of a challenge to find that solution but I think it is well within the realm of possible.
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    Keth
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Keth on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 17:06

    Cheriour wrote:How much extra Zeal do points of Maturity give you?

    Maturity ranks add 25 to 75 years onto how old your character is. With that comes 20 'extra' creation zeal and a lingering trauma when you start the character.

    Normal fallen (without ranks in maturity) have between 5 and 20 years of backstory.

    Edit! :: Rather that is what it is in the books we have. May have changed.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 18:01

    Nope, that is correct. Depending on how old you'd like your character to be, you'll have to buy X number of maturity points.

    Also, you cannot start with more than 5 Archetypes in any one Set *unless* you take Maturity.

    Also-also, "relatively new" in terms of celestial beings who were technically there at the beginning of time, the universe and everything, could be interpreted, I suppose, as the last 20 years or the last 100 years or the last 500 years. If this means the Codex itself was ...er...codified 60 or so years ago, maybe most Fallen haven't *heard* of it (the slowness with which doves travel, etc.) or don't know much about it. When you think about it, 60 years really isn't that much time to convince a bunch of folks who hate each other to get together and work out their differences in a political chess match.

    Also-also-also, when you are playtesting a system that is not yet published, I think it would be a little shortsighted *not* to expect rules changes. The core game might have been around for 10 years, but this is the first game run by someone who never actually played in one of the original games, and most of the players have never seen the rules. This is also why I beg people to destroy previous editions of the books, because it only serves to spread misinformation.

    That being said, there are two options here: continue to playtest the game, knowing that some rules still may change; or don't play the game at all. Of course, I desperately hope that all of you will decide to continue to play the game, with the understanding that the rules may still change. Even those of you who have been playing with changing rules for ten years; all I ask is for your continued patience and a little bit of tolerance to give me leeway as your Storyguide. I'm not running a LARP because I dig the vast and incredible power it gives me in my social circle (that was sarcasm). In truth, I would much rather play than run a game.


    Last edited by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 18:09; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : I thought of something else.)
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    Keth
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Keth on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 18:05

    Another note. The way its worded you could have a character about a hundred years old with 3 ranks of maturity, or a character of the same age (+/-10ish years) with only 1 rank of maturity. Depends how much you character has grown in those 100 years. And stat wise.. how much lingering trauma you are comfortable with.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 18:10

    Keth wrote:Another note. The way its worded you could have a character about a hundred years old with 3 ranks of maturity, or a character of the same age (+/-10ish years) with only 1 rank of maturity. Depends how much you character has grown in those 100 years. And stat wise.. how much lingering trauma you are comfortable with.

    That's why the caveat to *every single option* in this game is "with Storyguide approval". No one can play a character older than 20 Reckoned years without Storyguide approval. Based on your backstory and your character concept, we would together come up with a points system that really seems to reflect the character's abilities, history, and stats. And if we can't agree, we compromise.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Eliel on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 19:47

    OK so, my tone was far angrier than I meant it to be, and at the time I meant it to be far angrier than I should have.

    That being said, while I understand that playtesting a game involves rules-changes, my hope was that those changes could be implemented in-game only once they have been implemented in the book. My understanding was that the reason books were now being sold was that the rules were stable enough that they wouldn't change until the final product.

    As for quitting the LARP altogether, I really hope it doesn't come down to that. I for one, very much enjoy the players in this game and I enjoy the great work you have done in creating the plot(s) of Providence. For now anyways, the pros of the players and guide still far outweigh the cons of the system and the setting. I will try to keep my mouth shut more than I have been.


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    Eliel

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Eliel on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 20:26

    In the category of questions I hadn't realized I needed to ask, what was the purpose of the Codex?

    In the old rules it was because, out of the blue, Angels and Devils started showing up and wiping out the Fallen and the only chance they had was Divine banishing Devils and Infernal banishing Angels. Trent had always been adamant in his descriptions that the Codex was a temporary thing that would only last until the Angel and Devil threat had been eliminated.

    The new setting seems to fundamentaly change both the nature of the Codex and its reason for being. If the Host and the Horde have always been around, is the Codex designed to be a permanent thing now? If it wasn't caused by the arival of Angels and Devils, why did the Fallen end the war that had lasted for four thousand years?


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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 21:12

    Okay, again, this is not the "new setting". This is the *only setting* there has ever been for Providence. So anything before that is moot. Also, it doesn't fundamentally change anything. The Codex is what it was always meant to be: a method by which the Divine and Infernal could stop killing each other long enough to work together to defend themselves against the Host and Horde. It *was* caused by the arrival of the Host and Horde, but not in the way you seem to be suggesting. In fact, I don't know where any of that has come from. Even in the setting that I looked up in the book I got from Mike when I started playing his game, that wasn't how the setting was described. You must be working from a *very* old source.

    I'll discuss this with you in person, because some of the details of this are probably better learned IC by most people, since they have been playing newly Reckoned Fallen.
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 21:14

    Also, I don't know that I'd recommend you keep your mouth shut. I would like to ask, though, that if you're angry, either fire me off an email privately that says "I'm angry about...". I always worry that it's a little disruptive when we vent in public. Which isn't to say I don't want folks asking questions and/or **telling me** when they're upset. I'm just not sure airing dirty laundry in public is going to be the long-term fix that we need.
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    Eliel

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Eliel on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 21:57

    Yeah. You're are 100% right. I realized the irony that I just did ooc exactly what my character has been criticizing ic. Tee hee oops. I often find it difficult finding the balance between opening something up to public discussion and me just bitching. You wouldn't think that it would be a fine line but for me it is.


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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Sun 12 Apr 2009 - 23:23

    Heh. No harm, no foul. We'll talk.
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    cenobyte
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by cenobyte on Mon 13 Apr 2009 - 11:59

    I remembered the other thing I was going to mention about the setting that I forgot.

    Fallen haven't really hung out en masse until relatively recently (since the inception of the Codex, really) except in Congregations. The concept of Congregations is a rather large one that isn't really being played in Providence (which isn't an issue; i think it might enbigulate things for you as far as game play and opportunities for scenes and roleplay are concerned, but it's certainly not necessary.

    This is also one of the reasons why there are no common, shared IC names for the Techniques.
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    Keth
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Keth on Wed 22 Apr 2009 - 18:12

    This has come up before, but I feel it should be mentioned again: Technology is not effective when in the presence of Fallen. Which is to say, Fallen get sick if they try to watch television or movies. They get irritable and suffer headaches if they try to listen to iPods. Computers are Right Out. When a Fallen absolutely needs to rely on technology, it will fail. The transmission will fall out of a car. The telephone will explode, or just go dead. Simple mechanisms and devices might work, unless you really, really need them to. Essentially, this means that if you are protected by the effects of Nimbus (so, Angels, Devils, Fallen, some Nephilim), there is a good chance you're hooped when it comes to text messaging.

    Something I am not 100% clear on setting wise.

    What exactly defines technology. I heard that simple locks still work for fallen. As well as things that dont have any real moving parts. I think I heard that an english medieval longbow will also still function.

    My question is more about curiosity then actually wanting to do anything with this. But what makes it so those things can be used? The simplicity of the object? The lack of any super advanced sciences? Or is it limited by what humans have designed and fallen have not?

    Does it still count as tech if the fallen built it, or can build it blindfolded, themselves? An ex-special forces member for example, might know how each individual piece of a handgun works to make the whole. Would that bypass the tech rule? Or on a similar note, what if that ex-special forces member became a blacksmith after reckoning? and then forged each individual part, and then put it all together himself to make a firearm?

    I perfectly accept if you say that you wouldnt let that happen in this game. But on a point of curiosity would it work in generic setting?


    Here is hoping that this is one of those questions where someone that isnt me understands what i am asking >.<
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    Arc
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Arc on Wed 22 Apr 2009 - 18:37

    My general understanding of technology includes any use of chemistry (ie. gunpowder), electricity or other power supply (ie. no steam engines or things that need plugging in or batteries). If it is powered by hand it will eventually fall apart when used too ofter (ie. the most awesome mousetrap ever) but doorknobs and simple levers won't fail unless you desecrate them.

    Unless you have the transgression that allows you to power things with my pure awesome...it's really handy for watches.
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Elleka on Wed 22 Apr 2009 - 18:41

    This technology question has also been a point of much confusion for me for some years now. Is there any way to really tell what tech we are allowed to use, like a year line or something? What about fabrics and polymers in clothing or objects? I am just very confused. Rolling Eyes
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    Arc
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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Arc on Wed 22 Apr 2009 - 18:45

    Polymers and synthetic fibres are considered technology and start to come apart slowly when we wear them. It's one of the backing points as to why Fallen benefit far less from things like bullet-proof jackets and the like...in addition to the chafing.
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    Elleka

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Elleka on Wed 22 Apr 2009 - 20:33

    So, the game is saying Fallen don't wear polyester, spandex or nylon, which is woven into almost every type of clothing there is, right down to the stiching. So do we all need to take a point in wealth just to buy new clothes each month as our old ones keep falling apart? What about accessories made from new alloys or fiberglass. I don't mean to sound ridiculous, I am just wondering to what point this "no technology" has been thought through. I just don't want to feel like I have to go running to a storyteller evertime I get a new pen, or a pair of shoes to know if they are going to fall apart in the middle of a game.
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    Corral

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

    Post by Corral on Wed 22 Apr 2009 - 20:38

    So a) anything that uses a form of power that isn't converted from our
    movements, and b) anything built using something from a). Correct?

    Then... something that uses a spring is OK if you compress it yourself (ie, your mousetrap example) but as soon as you try to harness wind energy or water energy or any other type of energy, it fails (sometimes less dramatically than other times).

    Is electricity inherently worse than other types of energy? If I built a computer from pipes and water instead of wires and electrons, would it take longer to fail? What if I attached it to a bicycle and powered it myself by peddling?

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    Re: Kingdom Come Setting

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