Vionora

Eclipse: Recruiting players for an epic RP plot!

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Vionora    10

Reminder: special event tomorrow... Konro and Breygrah are to duel to the death in Mak'gora! This may be the most epic moment thus far in the story – don't miss it!

I will need a couple volunteers to help keep the peace. If anyone has a character who would have the Mak'gora seen through to its end regardless of its conclusion, and would step up to prevent interference if it were threatened, please let me know.

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Vionora    10

Hello everyone...

It's really hard to judge things like this, but I would currently estimate that we're about halfway through the plot. It officially began on the 15th of last month, and my general outline calls for about two months, give or take a few weeks. Just long enough to be epic without getting stale. :) So at this point, with some major plot points behind us, on this day of an actual solar eclipse on the equinox (is that cool or what!), I wanted to take the chance to say a few things.

First of all, thank you, everyone, for your participation, and all of your amazing contributions. Not everyone is as deeply enmeshed in some of the central driving dramas of the plot – those probably being Brey and Konro's conflict, and Vionora's tragedy/Malhavik's treachery – but Eclipse isn't just about those. It's about all of the other storylines, too. From how this is affecting the Grim/Sanctuary war, to Taozhu's uncovering of more and more lore, the strain on Darrethy and Alfirin, Grimal's quest for vengeance, Ninorra's desire to have agency, Naheal's authority figure issues, Kerala working to help, the Grim struggling with their problem members, Tirien being forced to face his own problems, Smithe's embrace of corrupt power, Stepanos' pursuit to eradicate evil... and how a myriad of other characters such as Kex'ti, Xaraphyne, Malethia, Khorvis, Syreena, Aaren, Fidjit, Leyu'jin, Ruuki, Lupinum, Lilliana, Shaena, and Talfryn are affected... Eclipse is about each and every one of them. How they react, how they change – what the challenges they face reveal about their nature. That's what I want this plot to really be about. And I'm glad you guys are finding in it the opportunities to do just that.

So thank you all for your wholehearted enthusiasm, your willingness to collaborate, to suspend disbelief, and to give each other a chance in the spotlight. I love writing with you all, and hanging out with you out of character as well. I know I've made some really good friends over the course of this and there has been pretty much no drama to speak of, which says something about what an awesome group of people we have. In and out of character, Eclipse has been everything I dared hope for but didn't dare expect.

Of course it takes a lot of work for all that to be. And it will continue to. I encourage anyone who has concerns, regarding the direction of a plot or subplot, their ability to participate, or anything else, to come to me, and I will ensure things are worked out to everyone's reasonable satisfaction. Also, Naheal has been invaluable in helping coordinate the plot, so many thanks to him, and if I'm not available, you can always ask him things too.

I look forward to another amazing month of roleplaying and writing. And maybe to planning the next epic plot after that. :)

Happy hunting!

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Vionora    10

Eclipse Battle System – A Flexible GM-Assisted Combat System

This custom battle system is a mix of GM direction and a randomization element to help balance characters. It is for use in game with the assistance of an arbitrating GM and employs the /roll feature. Most of it can be explained on the fly, and will be by the GM, so no need to absorb all the details – but here are the full rules if you're interested.

A /roll is used to attack, or to defend versus an attack. The GM will assign values to players; most characters start with the basic /roll, which is of course 1-100, though some characters may have extra powers due to developments or mechanics of the plot. Curse-bearers high up on a well-populated chain, for example, could be rolling 1-125, while Accalia's Herald rolls considerably higher than the average character. (She needs to, facing off versus entire parties!)

An order of initiative is observed, with each player taking turns, but players may request to interrupt if they are struck by inspiration. The GM will generally permit this when it is appropriate and sufficiently dramatic, as long as everyone is having a good time. :)

How each turn goes is like this: Attacks are described in emotes, phrased as an attempt to strike. (Example: Vionora lashes out at Naheal with a wave of power, intending to throw him against the wall and pin him there. or Brammorn charges, bringing his sword down in a powerful overhead arc.) The attacker and defender then both /roll, and the difference indicates how successful the attack is. The GM can give some guidance, but the defender generally gets to interpret the results themselves, and emotes how they receive the attack. (Example: Breygrah catches the strike on her shield with a grunt, but is undeterred. She lifts her shield higher. or Vionora is struck by the blade, and staggers as blood stains her robes.) That completes the turn, and the next player makes their move.

There are thresholds for critical successes and critical failures. Anything within the top or bottom 10 points of a player's pool counts as a crit. For example, out of a /roll 1-100, anything between 1 and 10 is a critical failure, and anything between 90 and 100 is a critical success. A crit can either cause double damage, or allow an attack of opportunity. Rolling an actual 1 or 100 will result in... a very interesting turn of events.

Roll pools double as health pools. As damage is taken, the GM will direct players to modify their rolls. After taking a hit, a character may drop down to /roll 1-90 for example. This number can also go back up as characters are healed. "Tank" characters may take less damage than other characters, and certain characters may be more vulnerable to certain types of attacks. Area-of-effect attacks and heals do less damage or healing than targeted abilities.

Heals and buffs are rolled for to determine their effectiveness, with no counter-roll (unless someone tries to interrupt...). Debuffs are treated as a regular attack and can be resisted.

Buffs and debuffs that get successfully applied work in a flexible way. Depending on the type of buff or debuff, it will vary in how long it lasts, and what actions it applies to. Buffs or debuffs to attacks generally increase or decrease the attacker's pool. For example, berserking could raise a character from 1-100 to 1-120 for their next two attacks, when getting snared could lower it by a similar amount for the duration. Meanwhile, buffs to defenses generally increase the roll result – so after making the roll, the character gets to add a bonus to raise the final number.

The last and most important thing to know about this system is this... While the fight is ongoing, characters who are awaiting their turn are absolutely encouraged to make non-attack actions, continue the dialogue, emote their reactions, and otherwise contribute to the scene! This battle system is a way to help remove any concerns about unfairness, and give people a little mini-game to add suspense to play while having fun writing an awesome fight scene together. It is highly flexible, open to improvisation, and so far, very fun. :D

Happy hunting!

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Syreena    59
Next special event: Konro's funeral will be this Saturday at 9pm server.

Syreena would not miss this, but she will probably only be able to watch from the shadows tonight, because Verizon sucks. :(

Someone please post logs?

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Kerala    59

You're on Verizon internet too? I have a Mifi little jetpack thingy to give us 4GLTE (theoretically) cell phone internet in the Land Of Zero Cable, or simply the swamp.

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Vionora    10

Mark your OOC calendars: the Eclipse plot will officially have its last event on May 2nd. This will be the battle versus Accalia.

There will be several more events prior to that to participate in.

Happy hunting!

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Vionora    10

Minor scheduling SNAFU... The end battle will need to take place one day later, on Sunday, May 3rd. Time TBA. Adjust your OOC calendars!

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Vionora    10

The battle system explanation has been revamped. Don't worry, you don't have to memorize all of that! It's very easy to explain on the fly with the GM there to give directions. After a round or two everyone gets the hang of it. But if you're curious about the details, there they are. (Also it helps me to have it written down...)

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Vionora    10

The End of Eclipse

Hello all! I wanted to started organizing things for the end of this plot. There is a sequence of events to take place which will hopefully be fun and exciting and turn out some really excellent stories – on top of all the amazing stories we've had so far, that is!

If you have any loose ends, or wanted to have something in particular happen before the finale, please reach to me to coordinate. Here's what we have coming up so far...

Intensifying of the Curse

A thread will appear about this, but a heads up: for the last two weeks of the Eclipse, all marked individuals will feel the curse intensify. Those at the bottom of a curse chain will be forced to more extreme measures to cope, and those on top of one will find their power greatly increased. This may inspire some concern as to why this is happening...

The Final Battle

The battle against Accalia when she finally emerges into the mortal realm will take place on May 3rd at 2pm server. Horde and Alliance are welcome; I will do my best to communicate over battle.net to our wonderful Alliance players, who I'm sure will have an excellent time on their side.

For the final battle, there will be some roleplay combat followed by a raid boss encounter. Keep an eye out for emerging forum threads to set up the event, including the location.

Immediately following the final battle will be a special forum roleplay event. Due to the timing, please read the next part now so you can be prepared on the day of the battle to incorporate this second event into your roleplay.

Twilight Nightmares

While we're still about two weeks out from the final battle, I wanted to get everyone started preparing for a special roleplay event to be held via the forums, as it will be occurring chronologically immediately after the in-game event. We'll want to aim to have most of this sorted by then, but do expect a little bit of timing haziness for awhile... it's inevitable!

This forum event is open to any character who was involved with the Eclipse in any way, who could have attracted Accalia's attention somehow – getting marked, investigating the curse, being at the final battle... any excuse, really. It doesn't matter where the character is at the time it happens; whether they were at the final battle or in another place entirely, they can still participate.

It is also possible for anyone to decline participating in this event by saying Accalia simply didn't pull their character in for one reason or another, including an unknown reason (who knows what those crazy ancient gods are doing!). But if you are interested, it's a unique opportunity to present your character with a very personal, possibly life-changing challenge.

What is this challenge? A small spoiler: When Accalia's mortal form is defeated, she is not done. She retreats into the twilight realm... and she takes the heroes with her. There, their own psyches, under her influence, will concoct a scenario in which the characters find themselves – each one their own individual nightmare.

It's very anything goes. Your character can face their inner demons, horrors from their past, fears for the future... There are no set themes other than it's supposed to be a nightmare of your character's worst imaginings. What that means is up to you.

However, the twilight realm is limited in some ways. Some nightmares will end up overlapping, and characters may find each other within the twilight. Feel free to coordinate this with other players.

Of course, it's all Accalia's doing... so it's possible she could make an appearance in your character's nightmare. Perhaps as the main instigator, or even wearing a familiar face turned hostile. But she might simply hide as well. After all, it's in the twilight realm where she truly exists... and therefore could be finished off.

Depending on how the warning spreads, characters may or may not be aware of the nightmare's coming; but even if they are, with influence over their psyche, Accalia might be able to suppress that knowledge for a time when it happens. Characters may or may not be aware of or remember the need to defeat Accalia in the twilight realm as well. Should, however, enough characters prevail over their individual nightmares, and defeat Accalia in the twilight realm, the curse cycle may be permanently ended.

Please speak to me if you have any questions or concerns, or if you'd like to discuss ideas for individual circumstances. I will be posting here to keep everyone apprised of events as they develop.

Happy hunting!

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Vionora    10

Nightmare FAQs

Who will get drawn into in the nightmare?

Anyone who wants their character to participate can, so long as they can provide a modicum of explanation for how Accalia, the curse, or the Eclipse touched them in some way. Any player can also choose to not have their character drawn in for whatever reason they like, including an unspecified reason.

My character won't be at the final battle, but I want to do the nightmare.

Such is Accalia's power that your character can get drawn into the nightmare from wherever they are at the time of Accalia's defeat.

Where are the characters during the nightmare?

They are physically transported to the twilight realm and do not exist in Azeroth (or wherever else) for the duration.

How much time do the nightmares take up in reality?

This can vary from character to character. Some might return from their nightmare to the instant after Accalia's defeat; some might be gone from the world for days. It's up to you. It also has no bearing on how long the nightmare seems to take, much like dreams do.

Where do they appear when they come out of the nightmare?

Anywhere, really. They could return to the scene of the final battle, or otherwise where they were, or could find themselves in a place more familiar or symbolic. The twilight is funny like that!

How do they get out of the nightmare?

This can vary as well. It may be a symbolic exit, or a triumph of some kind, which allows your character to escape. Or perhaps defeating the shade of Accalia that lurks in their nightmare...

Any other questions, please let me know!

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Vionora    10

Next RP event is Horde-side, tonight at 9:30 server: a meeting on the beach in Warspear, open to everyone involved or curious. Please attend!

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Vionora    10

The Final Battle

The last official event of the Eclipse plot will take place this Sunday at 2pm server. Anyone and everyone is welcome to attend! Be warned it will be a large gathering, but I will do my best to keep the main event moving.

The event will consist of three parts: the gathering (open RP), the Harbinger encounter (Eclipse battle system combat), and the Accalia encounter (raid boss/game combat). At the end of the raid boss encounter, the groups should disperse, as this is when the nightmares will be taking place. Roleplay can pick up at a later time after folks have resolved their nightmare stories.

There will be two raid groups, one for Horde and one for Alliance, and /raid will be OOC on both sides. In addition, up to I believe it is 11 players may be included in the battle.net conversation for cross-faction roleplay. Please let me know if you're interested in participating in that.

Happy hunting!

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Nikaa    24

So bummed that I missed out on all of this! Just returned to WoW a couple of days ago and want to get involved in RP, but have family visiting from out of state and will be offline until after May 7th. I hope you run something again soon. :)

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Vionora    10

Posted on your wall :)

How are folks' nightmares coming along? I encourage everyone to start writing them ahead of time so that you're good to go after the event on Sunday. If you want to post them early, that's fine too. Any questions or concerns, please ask!

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Syreena    59

Nightmare question....

I think I read somewhere that we could participate in the nightmare part even if we couldn't be online for the battle, is that right?

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Vionora    10

Thank you, everyone.

I look forward to the completion of everyone's Eclipse stories.

A much longer wrap-up post coming later when I can brain again.

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Vionora    10

I'm saving the wrap-up post for when the nightmares are more or less completed. If you need any help with your nightmare, or have any questions, please let me know!

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Vionora    10

Several weeks later, finally writing a wrap-up post... Well, better late than never!

Where to begin?

Definitely first and foremost, I want to say thank you to every participant for your wholehearted support. It made all the difference in the world. I'm humbled by how fully my not-so-little idea was embraced by the community. Even people who didn't participate have said they thought it was cool. But Eclipse would not have been a fraction of what it was if folks hadn't jumped in unreservedly like they did.

Simply put, my greatest hopes were exceeded, and it's all because of you guys. Thank you so much for letting me do this. It's sincerely been one of the greatest highlights of my WoW experience, which includes quite a bit.

One thing I particularly appreciate is how everyone accepted, adopted even, Vionora – an "anti-villain" as Darrethy kindly called her, but more accurately a cliché pile of emo tropes that I can't believe no one ever rolled their eyes at. It was kind of sweet, actually, how no one ever pointed it out, like you were all afraid I didn't know and didn't want to burst my bubble. But it was very freeing to just play her as she was, and thank you all for that.

That's really what Eclipse was about, though... No judgment; just having fun. It didn't matter how many people got kidnapped, threw themselves headlong into danger, appeared in the right place at the right time, or had whatever else happen that was way over the top. We weren't writing the next great novel, we were just doing whatever sounded the most fun at the time. And as a result, a whole lot of fun was had.

As intended, Eclipse was just backdrop for everyone to tell their own stories and develop their own characters. That is what we're all in this to do, after all. If Eclipse ends up being a significant event in some characters' histories, and staying a small part of server lore for as long as any of its players are around, then I'll be honored. And maybe in another seven years, some part of it will still live on.

Thanks go to the GMs of the original plot, Rannoch and Theira, who were kind enough to give me their blessing in carrying on the story they originally created. Also thank you to Naheal, the other veteran of the first Eclipse plot, whose support was invaluable. But again, the biggest thanks go to all the players. Thank you so much.

Love,

Vionora/Xaraphyne/Julilee/Filora

Edit: oh geez I'm the worst wife. Huge thanks also to my husband for not only putting up with me spending almost every free minute I had for three months on WoW (at least I'm sure it felt that way!) but for taking an interest in the story and being an awesome collaborator. By the way, the reason Eclipse isn't the #1 highlight of my WoW experiences is because I met him on WoW. :)

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