Welcome to No Books of Men! We are a modern alternate history board set in a magical school nestled in the Columbiana Valley of the Rocky Mountains. Students of the Collegium Illustrata Columbiana (commonly called simply The Academy) are free to explore their wildest imaginations in learning the mystic arts, so long as it does not jeopardize the ongoing Shadow War with the Exarchs. How will you live up to the legacies of Merlin?
darkkenchild is the Head Admin here at No Books. He enjoys long walks on the beach and debating the metaphysical underpinnings of reality, so any questions about your character , the plot of No Books, and/or how magic works on the site, please do not hesitate to ask him.
Squeeji is the head of “Human Resources” here at No Books, and responsible for pretty much everything related to our contact with the outside world. Advertising, orientation, and just about anything to do with bringing in new blood is in her wheelhouse.
Sooner or later, in any setting where one's character is learning and growing in their skills and abilities, be it mundane or magic, the question arises of when one can increase those traits. It should stand as obvious that a character would improve their abilities through experience and practice, i.e. through roleplaying. It's what we're all here for, after all. However, how does one quantify development?
Here on No Books, we use an (intentionally simple((Edit: Now even simpler!))) Experience Point system. The Admin team will keep track of things going on in and around the site and dole out these points where appropriate to represent character growth and development. Once you have sufficient points to “buy” an upgrade that you wish your character to have, just contact an admin and they'll handle things from there!
Ways to Earn Experience Points:
Posting at least once IC on a given month, 5xp
Participation in one of the "official" OOC games, Variable xp (per each individual game's rules)
Participation in the Monthly Event Challenges, Variable xp (consult Challenge threads)
“Getting Caught” taking part in a high-quality RP thread, 5xp *
Completing a thread, 10xp
Participation in an official “Site-wide Plot” thread, 10xp (This is in addition to simple completion)
Creating a new Conspiracy/Secret Society, 5xp
Recruiting a new player who gets a character approved and makes their first post, 50xp
*(Note: This can only occur once per thread, and players are highly encouraged to “report” such good threads to the admin team in case we miss them)
Edit effective 5/01/2015: Decreased the frequency of updates and increased XP rewards accordingly. Edit effective 10/10/2015: Added Event XP to list, vastly expanded ways to spend XP.
These Perks are available to all players, regardless of character type. Most pertain to either the player-as-a-whole or are applied by the player on a case-by-case basis from an OOC perspective.
Plot Connection: ~30xp~ Ties a character's personal subplot to the overarching Site-Wide Plot. Discuss with an admin for details.
Claim Major Character: ~30xp~ Allows the player to claim and make a Plot-Significant character as their own (such as the Mayor, Headmaster, etc). Discuss with an admin for details.
Forbidden Knowledge: ~20xp~ Allows the player to learn one plot-important secret and arrange for a character of their choosing to learn said secret IC. Discuss with an admin for details.
Rewind Button: ~20xp~ Don't like something that happened to your character IC? This Perk allows you to either undo said consequence or lessen its impact (i.e. death becomes severe injury)
Tweak the Odds: ~30xp~ Allows the player to add or remove significant plot elements to a thread. Example: When searching for a missing person and using this perk, an admin makes an NPC post revealing evidence they were taken by the Fae.
Stranger Things...: ~50xp~ Allows the player to create a character outside the "official" types on No Books, i.e. something other than a Sleeper, Mage, or Changeling.
Retcons: ~Variable xp~ Allows the player to revise, rework, or rewrite an already approved character. Minor changes rarely cost anything or only a few xp, while midrange changes (such as House or Court without RP reasoning) typically cost 10-20xp, and major changes (such as species) typically cost 30-50xp. Consult an admin for details.
Expedited Magic: ~75 or 150xp~ Non-Rote Effects and non-Catch Clauses now take 2 posts to manifest instead of 3. This power costs 75 for one character or 150 to apply to all existing and future characters.
These Perks are only available to Sleepers and non-"official" character types. They are typically weaker versions of Mage/Changeling abilities at a higher cost, but helps to even the playing field somewhat. In the event that a pre-existing Sleeper with one of these perks becomes Supernatural in their own right (Awakened, Embraced, Changed, etc) they lose these abilities and (with admin approval) gain a related power in their new Power listing instead. Note: With Admin approval a Sleeper can begin with one power from this list, but otherwise all must be bought with xp.
Clairvoyance: ~15xp~ With meditation or some other form of ritual, a Sleeper can glimpse (i.e. see for less than 30 seconds) a far off locale once per thread.
Dream Walking: ~25xp~ A form of shared, lucid dreaming where a Sleeper can enter the dreams of others. They have no extra abilities in the dream than in waking life, but any other powers work similarly in the dreamscape. This power only works while the Sleeper remains unconscious and if harmed in the dream they immediately wake.
Post Cognition: ~15xp~ With a moment's focus and a small ritual (prayer, singing, etc) a Sleeper can glimpse a past event (between 10 minutes and 10 years in the past). Without Clairvoyance, this can only apply to her immediate surroundings or an object/person she can physically touch.
Pre Cognition: ~30xp~ As Post Cognition, but applies to future events instead of past events. These predictions tend to be cryptic and vague, as personal choices can alter Fate, and this muddying of future events grows more pronounced the further the seer looks ahead.
Spirit Sight: ~10xp or 15xp~ Allows the Sleeper to see and speak with, but not physically interact with, spirits. This applies to only ghosts or natural spirits (player's choice), unless the 15xp option is taken.
Mental Blast: ~30xp or 15xp w/ a trigger~ Causes the Sleeper to emit waves of psychic energy that causes intense pain (but no physical wounds) to debilitate those within 15 yards. Costs, 30xp if the Sleeper can control when its activated (though he can never select a target due to lack of control, its all in range or none). If the 15xp variant is selected, the power only activates when the trigger (an event of the player's choice) is set off. While this does effect Mages and other supernatural creatures, the pain is not as pronounced.
Mind Reading: ~15xp~ Allows the Sleeper to hear surface thoughts of those within 10 feet, as if they were spoken aloud. When used on supernatural creatures untrained in mental magic (i.e. Mind sphere or similar abilities), only every other word can be sensed. Those who are trained in supernatural mental magics are immune to Sleeper psychics.
Aura Reading: ~10xp~ As the Mind 1 Rote.
Thought Projection: ~15xp~ Allows the Sleeper to project messages into the minds of others within 15 yards. The message must be short (1-5 words) and moderately simple in purpose.
"Low Magic": ~15xp or 30xp~ Any 1st or 2nd level rote from the Spell List can be taken by Sleepers. However, improvised Effects and more powerful spells are outside the ability of non-Mages. Must be accompanied by a ritual or similar actions and a 3 post delay for the effect to manifest. Additionally, there must be some form of IC justification for how they learned the spell (such as finding a grimoire and carefully following its instructions, training by a Mage, etc). 1st level rotes cost 15xp and 2nd level cost 30xp.
These perks are only available to Changelings and represent their continuing growth and empowerment as beings touched by Arcadia.
New Clause: ~15xp~ Allows a Changeling to add one new Clause to an existing or new Contract, but must follow the progression, thus the 3rd Clause could only be purchased after the 1st and 2nd were already taken.
New Blessing: ~20xp~ Some Changelings begin play with a Blessing from their Kith (a sub-species of a Seeming), some do not. Whether they begin with one or not, this allows them to take another. These powers require no Catch and have no post-delay as they become inherent to the Changeling's form, but must have some IC justification. A water-based Beast can gain gills, but a Wizened Smith likely would not.
New Token: ~10xp per level of Clause~ A token is an item imbued with the Wyrd energies of Arcadia and thus can be activated to produce an effect effectively equivalent to a Clause of any level. Unlike a learned Clause, this does not have to be purchased in any particular order but is a physical object and thus can be lost or stolen.
Claim Hedge-space: ~25xp~ A Hedge-space can be used as a safe haven from the world and a place to recover from wounds (healing takes half as long and even wounds that would not heal naturally such as severed limbs, grow back so long as the Changeling does not leave the Hedge-space. Clauses activated within a Hedge-space always count as if the Catch were active and if a Catch is performed the effect is doubled instead. This can take any form, from a clearing in the trees to an elaborate (if small) fortress, and is created directly by the character and thus suits their tastes.
These perks are only available to Mages and represent their continuing growth and empowerment as beings touched by magic.
New Rote: ~5xp~ Rotes are spells which do not require post delays to take effect and with this characters can add new rotes to their spellbook.
New Sphere: ~10xp~ This allows a mage to take the next level of a Sphere, but cannot exceed those limits placed by their Rank (thus an Undergrad cannot go over 3, Grad/Alum over 4, etc) unless they go on a Seeking to increase their potential.
Initiate a Seeking ~25xp~ Seekings are a sort of Vision Quest wherein a Mage is challenged by spirits, demons, or even their own psyche to earn higher understandings of Magic. Upon successful completion of a Seeking, Magi see an increase in their potential (i.e. Sphere level restrictions rise to the next rank) and they earn 3 sphere points all at once.
"Free" Seeking: ~50xp~ This allows a mage to increase their potential in the same manner as a Seeking, but is "free" meaning it does not require an IC thread detailing the seeking and instead takes place "off screen."
Create Familiar ~Variable xp~ Familiars are creatures or spirits bound to their companion Mage capable of all sorts of wonderous abilities. Most often they are created by Magi to aid in keeping the Scourge at bay, acting as living Grimoires (thus learning new magic/knowledge is easier), or to act as a guardian. Check with an admin for details.