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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:42 pm 
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Note: You don't have the read the linked articles to play; but they will give you a greater understanding and feel for the culture, and may provide some clues.

PLAYER ROSTER:
  • weatherwax
  • CCC
  • Kajin
  • Stan Cold
  • Ross_Varn
  • SaveTheGreyhounds


Image
10.19.19.17.19 5 Kawak 7 Mak (Friday, June 14, 1224)
Chichén Itzá, capital of the Mayan civilization


Hunac Ceel frowned at his trusted advisor. Tutul Xiu was never wrong. When he said that there would be an eclipse or that Hunahpú's Star would be positioned appropriately for an attack on a given date, it always came true. It was wise to heed the words of Tutul Xiu, because he was never, ever wrong.

Not that Hunac Ceel entertained thoughts that his advisor possessed any supernatural ability. The king was smart enough to know that it was possible to determine these things through calculation, requiring no precognition or other supernatural powers. Tutul Xiu was only a man. A very intelligent man, to be sure, but no more than that.

And yet now that very intelligent man, the man who was never wrong, stood before him, eyes wide with apprehension, telling his king that the world was about to end.

"You exaggerate, my friend," Hunac Ceel replied dismissively. "You know as well as I that the end of the b'ak'tun does not mean the end of the world. That is just a story mothers tell their children so that they will behave themselves. My mother used to tell me at least once every few days that if I did not obey her, jaguar demons would be sent from Xibalbá to claim me and make me sit forever in the House of Bats." He looked out from his palace at his subjects, who were busily preparing the ballcourt and surrounding areas for the celebrations.

"My lord," Tutul Xiu replied. "I have not come to this conclusion from studying calendars, old inscriptions or paintings. I have had a vision. Yum Kimil came to me and told me that he would bring a great harvest of souls to Xibalbá tonight."

"Yum Kimil spoke to you!" Hunac Ceel laughed. "My friend, I have told you that you cannot burn copal in those small chambers. One day you will enter to meditate and surely not come out again."

"Your highness, I will be dead tomorrow, along with nearly all of your subjects. There will be only precious few that will see another sunrise."

Tutul Xiu's earnestness gave his king pause. He drew near his friend and put a hand on his shoulder. "Come now," he said quietly. "We know that they are just old stories. Was it not your idea to jump into--"

"The old stories are true, my lord!" Tutul Xiu interrupted. "Yum Kimil spoke to me! I am already doomed to an eternity in Xibalbá, but who knows what torments I would be subjected to were I to deny what I know to be the truth?"

He paced back and forth, his jaguar pelt robe flowing behind him as he stalked around the room. "The city is doomed, but there is a chance for you and a few others. A chance to be spared, at least temporarily. There will be a test, of course. They would not be Xibalbans if there were not a test."

"Who are 'they'? Speak plainly, my friend."

Tutul Xiu ignored him, but continued pacing and speaking. "When they come, you must go to the observatory. I had a
stele brought there, in the upper chamber where I watch the sky."

"A stele? Are you mad? That must have weighed--"

"You must go there," he continued, giving no heed to the king's words. "Read the inscriptions and you will understand. You might have a chance."

"I will not listen to this foolish talk," ordered Hunac Ceel, turning away angrily. "I will see no more of you until you can make sense."

"If you ever see your old friend Tutul Xiu again," he replied sadly, "it will be because your highness will have failed, and we will be sharing quarters in Xibalbá."

Tutul Xiu exited, leaving Hunac Ceel feeling angry and upset. What had gotten into him? Perhaps the stress of his important station had grown too great, and the preparations for tomorrow's festivities had pushed him past his limits. Maybe it was time for the king to allow his old friend to retire from his duties and live a life of ease in the royal household. He resolved to let Tutul Xiu calm down, and on the morrow he would speak to him again.

The end of the b'ak'tun was a time for change, for the start of new things. It was an appropriate time. And it certainly would not be the end of the world.

- - -

Two figures, inky black and wreathed in blue flame, occupied the Council Place. The chamber was dark, save for the immediate surroundings of the two individuals, illuminated by the eerie azure glow of their ethereal fire. Several large thrones occupied the room, each constructed from human bones. One of the figures was seated in the largest of these, while the other knelt before it. The latter had occupied the body of one Lord Akechi of Japan not long ago. To the humans, this would be considered to have been in the future, but the mortal concepts of time did not apply in this place.

"Command me, my liege," it requested of the seated figure. "I am ready for our next engagement."

"I HAVE ALREADY STARTED EVENTS IN MOTION FOR OUR NEXT CONQUEST," the seated one replied. "IN THEIR STORIES, THIS PLACE WHERE WE DWELL IS CALLED XIBALBÁ. LONG AGO, THIS PEOPLE OWED REGULAR TRIBUTE OF SOULS, BUT TWO OF THEIR NUMBER CAME HERE AND VISITED TERRIBLE RUIN UPON US. THEIR DESCENDANTS ARE NOT NEARLY SO FORMIDABLE. THEY ARE A FOOLISH, INDOLENT PEOPLE, FORGETFUL OF THE OLD STORIES. WE WILL VISIT THEM WITH OUR RETRIBUTION. TO THEM WE ARE KNOWN AS JAGUAR-SPIRITS OR WERE-JAGUARS, AND I AM CALLED YUM KIMIL, THE GOD OF DEATH."


- - -


Jaguar is the spiritual successor to Oni. It takes place amongst the Mayan people of ancient Yucatán. It is styled after the Mafia or Werewolves games.


Q & A

Mafia? Werewovles? Oni? What kind of game is that?
You can find a description here. You need be familiar with the mechanics of the basic Mafia-style game in order to play. Don't worry, it's easy, and if you're unsure about anything, just ask.

Okay, but that sounds like a party game. How do you play that game on a forum?
The GM starts a new thread for each day in the game. He or she informs the players what happened during the night, and the players interact in the thread and try to decide who to lynch. Meanwhile, the bad guys (generically referred to as "scum") communicate via PM to decide who to attack at night and to collaborate on strategy.

How is Jaguar different from a typical Mafia or Werewolves game?
The biggest difference is simply the feel of the game, given that it takes place in ancient Mesoamerica, and that I put a fair amount of effort into research and writing to enhance the feeling of authenticity.

How is it different from its predecessor, Oni?
Some people found Oni a little intimidating, feeling like they would have to do a bunch of research to play. I want to emphasize that you don't have to read any of the linked articles to play Jaguar. That being said, reading them is encouraged, as they'll give you a better feel for the culture, and you may find clues in them. Also, the combat system from Oni is being discarded, as it was overly complicated and only ever had an effect on gameplay once. There are one or two other changes, but you will have to discover those on your own.

How do I join?
First, post in this thread to express your desire to play. This is to ensure that we have enough interested players. Please, please, please, if you sign up, keep tabs on the game so it doesn't stall. When the game starts, this thread will become a place for meta-discussion (the "Out of Context" or OOC thread).

What happens when the game starts?
When we have enough players, the "Day 0" game thread will be created, where the characters may interact with one another before the were-jaguars arrive. You will need to create a character and participate in the Day 0 thread. You cannot choose to play as Hunac Ceel (I'm filling that role) or Tutul Xiu (who is an NPC), but pretty much anything else goes as long as it is appropriate for the time period and locale. (Note that while Leif Ericson had arrived in the Americas a couple centuries before this time, Europeans are not known to have visited Mesoamerica yet. I'm not saying you can't be a terribly lost Viking, but...) There will likely be visitors from other cities, as Chichén Itzá is the capital of Hunac Ceel's empire, and preparations are being made for the next day's celebration, so your character doesn't have to be a local. (This web site shows a map of the larger Mayan sites, as well as photos from some of them.) Your Day 0 post should give your character's name, a general description of his or her appearance, and communicate a sense of his or her personality. This page has some Mayan names; you can steal one of those or just make up a name that sounds appropriate. Unless your character is a traveling stranger, your characters have fairly good odds of knowing one another before the events of the game.

When Day 0 is wrapping up, I'll send out PMs informing people of their night roles. Then night will fall and the killing will begin. :oasis: Don't worry: on Night 0, only NPCs will be killed.


Rules
  • Keep your posts in-character in the game thread. No meta-discussion there. Do not break character to attempt to gain some sort of advantage, such as posting a copy of your role PM.
  • Avoid relying too much on private thoughts, feelings and actions in your role play. Your posts should generally reflect the public words and actions of your character, the things that other characters can hear and see your character say and do. While writing internal dialogue and feelings or private actions is not strictly forbidden, you need to be careful about it, as it can give (possibly deceptive) knowledge about your character that other characters couldn't reasonably be expected to know. The exception is Day 0, where you may use private thoughts, feelings and actions to help establish your character, as nobody gets turned or assigned roles until Night 0.
  • Do not communicate privately with other players about the game unless authorized to do so. There are two ways that characters are allowed to communicate privately: 1) their roles say they can, or 2) whispering (see below).
  • No actual gameplay should take place in the OOC thread. That thread is only for clarifications, public questions to the GM (me), witty banter with other players, prodding players to post, and so forth. Things that would constitute actual gameplay include trying to deduce the identities of other players, protesting one's innocence, etc. That kind of thing should be done in character in the game thread.
  • Do not post in the game thread during the night phase of the game. Night roles act in secret, not publicly in the game thread.
  • Stop playing if your character is dead. This means no posting in the game thread. You can still post in the OOC thread if you want, but you aren't allowed to reveal any game-affecting information until the game is over. You're dead, and dead men tell no tales.

Voting
When voting or retracting votes, please write in bold, something like this:

Quote:
VOTE: {name of character}
UN-VOTE: {name of character}


This makes it easier for me to see. Voting begins when Hunac Ceel calls for votes each morning. Voting ends when: 1) one character has a majority (more than 50%) of the vote; 2) all characters have voted and one has more votes than the rest; or 3) Hunac Ceel breaks a tie vote by random draw. In the event of a tie, players will have the opportunity to try to convince others to change their votes; a tie-breaking random draw will only be employed if Hunac Ceel judges that no resolution is forthcoming.


Whispering
Under normal circumstances, players may only communicate privately about the game if their role says they can. Players who wish to communicate privately without being granted permission by a role may do so by whispering.

To start whispering, both players must indicate that they are going to do so in public posts. For example, one player might post: "Bakal tugs on Yumux's arm. 'Let us speak privately for a moment,' he says." Yumux's player might respond with "Yumux walks with Bakal a few paces off, and the two speak quietly with one another." After that post, the two players are now whispering.

While whispering, the players in question may freely exchange PMs with one another regarding the game. Players may whisper only with one other player at a time, and only during the day cycle. Whispering stops when the night cycle begins or when either player makes their next post in the game thread. Be aware that doing this looks terribly suspicious, so use with caution.


Additional Notes
  • The supernatural has not previously been part of the characters' everyday lives. Most still believe in the old ways and stories, but cynicism has begun to take hold in some circles, particularly among the elite. Any ability granted by a role will either be a non-supernatural skill that the character already had, or a supernatural ability obtained at the time of the jaguar spirits' arrival.
  • We are playing in an alternative timeline of sorts. While we strive for some semblance of historical and mythological accuracy, liberties can be taken by myself and players. History may not play out in the game as it did in real life, and the game does not presume that everything that we know about Mayan mythology is necessarily accurate.


Last edited by AlternateTorg on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:13 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:55 pm 
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Omigosh, I want to play. I think I can handle status updates right now, if not the actual running of my own game.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:03 pm 
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You're in. I'm hoping to get ten or more players, though seven or eight would work in a pinch.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:05 pm 
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Ooooh, looks interesting.

My sense of humour is tickled by the idea of playing as a sort of permanently lost Viking - the sort of fellow who'll go to the bar and next be seen in Rome, asking for directions and promptly getting them wrong. A fellow with a big axe, a big helmet, and a sort of permanently bemused expression; a man who wanders the Earth because he can't reliably find his way back to his own doorstep from twenty metres away.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:08 pm 
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I am all over this. Count me in.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 4:17 pm 
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We could have one lost Viking, if you want, but I think everyone else would have to be Mesoamerican.

Three so far. Spread the word!

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:15 pm 
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In like Flynn, whoever that is.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:14 am 
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This is Flynn. The phrase is a reference to his purported ease in sexual conquest.

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 Post Posted: Sat Nov 12, 2011 12:20 pm 
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The more you know!

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 Post Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 11:42 am 
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Ok. This looks like the greatest form of Mafia I have ever seen in my internet-dwelling life. I'm in.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:48 am 
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That's five. (FreakyBoy, you didn't say you were in, so I'm assuming you're not, but we'd love to have you if you're interested.) We need at least three more to have a game of reasonable length, and ten or more would be preferred. I'm going to be PMing people who participated in Oni who haven't already signed up to specially invite them. If there's someone else you think would like to participate, I'd encourage you to invite them, as well.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:51 am 
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I decided long ago not to play in anything Werewolf.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 10:52 am 
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If you change it to never instead of not, you could sing that to the tune of "The Greatest Love of All."

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:18 am 
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Dammit, that's what I meant to do. Stupid 55 hour work week.

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 Post Posted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 3:33 pm 
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Hey, you guys! Yeah, you on the sidelines! We need at least three more players. Sign up! :sasha:

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