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on July 14, 2008 at 8:35:36 pm

How to send in your Downtimes: Send an email to the ST's at tcgarousts@gmail.com, make sure that the first word in the subject line is Downtime.


All emails about IC actions, be they downtimes, xp questions, the xp list, influence actions ect must include


  • Character Name
  • Any and all applicable traits that would apply to the situation
  • A description of what you are trying to accomplish
  • A summary of how you are going about doing that
  • Any other details you feel like entering


You are allowed, within reason*, two actions and two influence actions per downtime.


(*reason is determined by the whim of the Storytellers, so don't abuse them.)




Here are some tips to help you with writing downtimes, we understand that new players (and some old players) have problems with figuring out what they should tell us. Here is what we want from you:


Tell us what you can do in one place. This is just nice for us to be able to reference easily. That way we can look at the downtimes and say "The ragabash wants to break into the liquor store for some booze? What does he have? Oh right, there's a list at the top of his capabilities... look at that, stealth 4, investigation 2, security 3, blur of the mily eye, jam tech, open seal. Absolutely he can get in!"


The list shouldn't be your whole character sheet, just what is applicable to the situation. We don't need to know that you have Enigmas 2 if you're tracking a leech through a slum. A little common sense should give you a good idea of what you need for the situation.


For each downtime, tell us what your end goal is. "Learn that obscure rite from What's His Face", "Find any wyrm tainted stuff at the factory", "Assassinate the head of the Alumni Dept. at the UofM", "Gain resources 3 by finding a better job in the IT department". These are all acceptable outcomes to your downtime. Please try to be specific for your goals. If you are looking for BSD activity amoung the gangs of Frog Town, then say so rather than "I scout out Frog Town". The STs do not have a perfect memory, and are not omniscient, if you give us specifics it helps us give you the plot that you want.


For each downtime, tell us the important details. Make sure to tell us if there are prerequisites you are accounting for. For example if you want to buy a laundry list of stuff, tell us how much it costs, otherwise it is up to us STs to make arbitrary decisions on the matter (which we are fine with doing, but may or may not be accurate depending on our laziness). If you have a specific strategy, sum it up. If you are making deals with spirits, what are you offering as chimminage? Try to keep it short and sweet, there is room for embelishment later.


For each downtime, tell us which ST has been running scenes with you or if this is new. This is suggested because it keeps continuity in place for you. Say for example, you want to know if that weapons deal with the Yakuza went through and only one of the STs has run a scene with you. It's very handy for us to be able to simply check a name right there in the downtime so we know which of us to talk to/ yell at. It's important we consult with each other before handling each other's scenes so we know how many of them there are, who's holding grudges, other random blah that happened.


Give us some fluff (bonus points). For those of you that don't know, fluff is the story part of it. This is your chance to show us your creative writing skills. We like stories, good ones preferably. Explaining the little details about what you are doing can make your requests more reasonable. Feel free to take SOME creative liberties. If you want police influence 1 and you tell us a tale about how you helped out a pair of officers at the scene of a crime and risked your life like a superhero, play it up and have fun with it. We will knock you down a peg if you're taking too much liberty, or maybe we'll be cruel and make you do a side scene to prove you're capable of such a feat, or maybe we'll just say "No, this is how it works instead".


The length of fluff should be managable. You are not the only one sending in downtimes, and we have to get to each of them. As long as you keep the fluff in its own section though, we can choose to skim through it, because you already told us what your goal and capabilities were... right?


Example Downtime


John "What's His Face" Doe, Glass Walker, Ragabash, Homid, Fostern

I would like do do the following:


What I'm using: Stealth 4, Investigation 2, Awareness 2, Streetwise 1, Lore: Vampire 2, Law 1, Resources 4, Contacts 3, Underworld Influence 4, Legal Influence 2, Rite of the Questing Stone, Rite of Talisman Dedication, Jam Tech, Persuasion, Blur of the Milky Eye, Blissful Ignorance


Downtime 1: I would like to search through Uptown at night looking for any leech influence in the area. I check restaurants, bars, and see if any businesses have activity after hours, I remain hidden as best I can and flee if anything finds me out. Ryan ran a scene with me last game where I narrowed down the location of a ghoul's street influence in Uptown and trashed it... I just have a hunch something else is there.


[When the STs see this downtime, they look and see that What's His Face has plenty of abilities and gifts to help him accomplish his task. If there were some vampires with Auspex we would decide weather or not they caught him in the act, and let him flee without much consequence if he WAS caught. If there were NO vampires there, we would tell him he didn't find any evidence. If there was anything that could completely screw with his plan or if things could just get weird, we would tell him to have a scene with us at the next coffee or we would arrange something. If all goes according to plan for him, we'd tell him what he wanted to know.] 


Downtime 2: I would like to black mail the Judge that is charging me with smuggling by planting drugs on him (because I like irony). I buy 3 kilos of blow, use Rite of Talisman Dedication on it, use Rite of the Questing Stone on the Judge, sneak into his house on the umbral side, cross and plant the drugs in a closet or something, take pictures and use precautions to make sure I don't get caught, I let my lawyer do the rest. Shane brought the police down on me when I was caught with all that marijana from Canada the CoGs needed for Rite of the Teachers... damn Border Patrol.


"When I posted bail I knew I had to take care of the situation fast, so I hired a good lawyer who wasn't afraid to fight dirty. I head over to the girl I know in Midway and tell her I need a well paying favor. A fist full of cash and a line to make sure the deal is good, and I have 3 kilos of columbian in the trunk of my car. I left her a tip and drove back to my place. As soon as I could drop the gear into a dufflebag I dedicated it to myself and began the Rite of Find-a-Son-of-a-Bitch. With the Judges location pinpointed I stalked him for a week, checking his patterns, when he works, who goes in and out of his home, the works. When I'm satisfied that the plan is good to go, I side step and approach the house in the umbra.


The structure is faint, not even solid on the spiritual side, I ponder it for a minute and get dizzy wondering why that is. It's of no consequence however as it makes it easy to get into the house and triple check in hallways and rooms to peek and make sure that nobody is watching. I slip into the real world inside a closet, remove the duffle bag and stash the coke under some linens. I then Jam the cameras in the hallway and sneak over to the bathroom to leave a round mirror with a line of coke on it and a razor blade.


The next morning I tell my lawyer the story and let him have the pleasure of making the phone call. By the afternoon the case is dropped due to a technicality."


[This is an involved downtime. It looks good, and the abilities are there to back up the claim. We may decide that there are some complications and it can't be accomplished in just one downtime. We may edit the fluff if we think something doesn't feel right about it. The plan is pretty clean cut, but if the STs find important holes in it (say that the Judge already has a coke problem and has already set up methods to keep it out of the public's eye) then it may simply not work, or require a scene.]


Influence Downtime 1: Legal Influence to get me a good sleezy lawyer for Downtime 2.


Influence Downtime 2: Underworld Influence to get 3 kilos of cocaine for Downtime 2.


[Yes, using the influence in your downtime should take up your influence downtime slots. This is a very good way to fortify your downtimes and ensure their success! You can also use them to accomplish seperate ends, which you can reference the Influences section for.]



I hope that this has been helpful for people so that they have a better idea of what the STs would like to see out of downtimes. Do you HAVE to do them this way? Quite frankly... there's no way we can make you other than by not accepting any downtimes that aren't in this format... which would piss you all off. So, no, you do not HAVE to do your downtimes like this, but it is a good template if you don't know what your doing, or especially if you want to make downtimes easier for your STs.

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