Death and Taxes
Sometimes, in a live action setting, as grandiose, amazing, and realistic as we make it, it can be impossible to show the true scope and magnitude of a fictional world. In order to fully immerse ourselves in such a game, we have to go above and beyond the confines of our five senses and use one of our most powerful gifts of all: our imagination.
Death & Taxes is a way for our players to explore the deepest parts of the Oblivion omniverse. Using a unique subset of game rules combined with Class abilities, attributes, and limitless creativity, we can offer a near-infinite number of ways for our players to have an even more enriching and detailed game experience. Death & Taxes looks to merge the thrill and hands-on awesomeness of live action role play with the boundless and in-depth possibilities of the mind.
Death and Taxes actions are usually due no later than the Friday after the event by 9:59 PM EST. Exceptions to this rule will be posted in the Oblivion LARP Rec Room on Facebook.
Nuts and Bolts
Death & Taxes, also called D&T, is designed to be a very easy system to play. Basically, in D&T, characters have the ability to perform specific actions. Any action that someone can think of is possible in D&T because in order to perform an action, it must first be categorized as belonging to a particular Action Category. There are two Sets of Action Categories: Common Action Set and Special Action Set. By default, characters can only perform actions that fall within categories that belong to the Common Action Set. Categories within the Special Action Set may require an ability that specifically grants the character access to a specialty action; those specific abilities will be listed on a character list. Specialty Actions listed here are actions that any character can attempt to perform.
Costs to Perform D&Ts
Actions all have a "cost" associated with the Action. They take Action Points to perform. Different Actions cost a different number of Action Points. If a character overspends his or her Action Points to perform an action or number of actions, then all Action Points are forfeit by the character and any number of attempted actions may automatically fail at the discretion of Plot. By Default, all Characters have 3 Action Points to start the game with. Abilities may exist which add to this pool. Furthermore, players may only submit up to a maximum of 3 total Death & Taxes actions per month regardless of how many points he or she has to spend.
Players must contact the plot team via the D&T Submission Form in order to submit any and all D&T Actions. D&T Actions can only be performed between live events, also known as the "Intermission" period. Each new Intermission, characters regain all spent Action Points from the previous Intermission. You must have attended the last event and paid the appropriate cost or paid the appropriate back-buy cost of the last event in order to use Death & Taxes Action Points during an Intermission. Also, please note, that when submitting Death & Taxes actions, the in-game order in which a character performs his or her actions can be of consequence. If a player does not specify the order in which they want the character to perform the actions, then the appropriate Marshals have full discretion to decide what order to perform them in.
Result Generation Process
Whenever a player submits a D&T action, the Plot Team takes a variety of factors into account in order determine the storyline (and sometimes even OOG mechanical) effects which result from any D&T action:
There is a combination of character aptitude and randomness taken into account in order to determine whether or not an attempted action is actually successful. In some cases, there are even more possible results than simply "success" or "failure" and could result in special outcomes to actions taken. While Death & Taxes are designed to enrich the player experience and much more often than not will greatly benefit and enhance a player's game experience and interactions, "failed" D&Ts can carry with them extreme detriments, up to and including character death, if appropriate, depending upon the specifics of the D&T submitted and the severity of the failure. Because there could be an infinite number of possible successful or failed outcomes in this capacity, it is impossible to list each and every possible successful or failed outcome; however, these outcomes will always be plot appropriate and must be handled in-game.
Each and every action possible has an attribute associated with it (determined by the plot marshal). Character aptitude is measured by what that character's "effective attribute score" is for any given attribute. Furthermore, there may be a number of abilities in the game that affect a character's overall "effective attribute score" which will, ultimately, alter that character's likelihood of success (also determined by the plot marshal). The "randomness" factor is added in with a D100 dice roll. There may be abilities in the game which also affect the dice roll for a character as well which will, as well, ultimately alter a character's likelihood of success. Lastly, players may choose to invest any number of points beyond the minimum required for any given action in order to bolster his or her chances for success.
Combining a character's random D100 roll and the plot-determined effective attribute score associated with any given action, all while factoring in any plot-determined abilities the character has that would affect the roll, will equal that character's total "Effective Action Attempt Score." That score is then compared to the "Effective Action Attempt Difficulty Limit." If the Attempt Score is equal to or greater than the Difficulty Limit, the character succeeds in the attempt. If the Attempt Score is lower than the Difficulty Limit, the attempt fails. A number of factors are used by the Rules and Plot team in order to create realistic and fair metrics for calculating the Difficulty Limit of any given action. Things taken into consideration include, but are not limited to, the plausibility of the action, the status of other characters involved in the action, resources available to the character attempting to perform the action, the level of forethought and planning by the character attempting the action, and whether or not there are any other characters specifically attempting to aid and / or oppose the character attempting to perform the action. There may even be factors taken into account that allow "automatic result generation" without a dice roll due to plot-specific or rules-specific circumstances that justifiably would call for such. If a player is interested in the specific calculations used by staff to determine the Difficulty Limit of any given Action that they try to perform, the player may inquire with the Plot team in order to learn.
Group / Joint Submissions
Sometimes, more than one player wants to perform a singular or cooperative D&T together with each other. In these cases, a "leader" for the D&T Action must be preselected by all of the players wishing to perform the D&T action. This "leader" is responsible for interpreting and understanding and submitting the specifics of the D&T action that the party as a whole wishes to perform (and the consequences of misinterpretation or misrepresentation of the party's actions in this D&T, which could affect the outcome written for the party by the marshals, must be handled IG between all party member PCs). The "leader" only submits abilities and attribute scores relevant to their own character in his or her submission. All other party members must also submit a D&T as normal, also listing their character's relevant abilities and attribute score; however, the description of the specifics should only contain the fact that they are assisting the "leader" and maybe include one or two very specific things that he or she wishes to perform in which the leader may be unaware and therefore would not have submitted.
Bullet Point vs. Story
By default, all D&T submissions are responded to with a bullet point summary of the D&T action response from the plot team as opposed to a full story. While the end result of information gained will be the same in either case, the amount of time put into the D&T by the plot team to enrich the experience of the player by providing a full story requires an additional +1 D&T point expenditure while the bullet points do not, potentially allowing the plot team to respond to any D&T action of such much more quickly (and thus allow the player to potentially sink extra points into overall D&T success or apply toward another action).
Only one D&T action per Intermission may be turned into a Story.
This system does not allow the player to exceed the maximum number of 3 Actions nor can any D&T cost less than 1 point. Please speak with a Marshal if you have any questions about how this works.
In the case of a Group / Joint Submission, similar to how all the players involved must pre-select a "party leader," all players must determine whether or not the submission will be a Story or a Bullet Point response, which must be reflected in everyone's submission. Failure to do so will result in the D&T action being written to reflect what the majority of the submissions requested (with a "tie" being automatic Bullet Point response). Please note that any players found in the minority (or who requested a Story response in the case of a tie), will be subject to a penalty:
- If this would result in the player having to spend more points for a Story response and that additional expenditure would cause the player to have overspent on his or her D&T actions for the month, that player will forfeit all D&T points and all D&T actions for that month as per the normal overspending rules of the D&T system. Any character who forfeits the D&T points and Actions in this way is considered to have not shown up at all nor participate in the Joint/Group D&T action (or any other actions the character tried to partake in for the month), and the success or failure of any Group or Joint D&T Submission will not include anything submitted by the player who overspent in this way. The consequences of this must be handled IG between the characters involved
- If this would result in the player having overspent points for a story, but a Bullet Point response will happen instead, the additional D&T points invested into the Group/Joint Action are simply lost
Common Action Set
The Common Action Set is a list of common Action Categories. Within each category are a number of theoretical "Actions" that can be performed by any character. The suggested types of Actions within each Category are not the sole actions that can be done, but simply listed there as suggestions. Whenever you submit an Action, it can be anything you can think of. You simply need to choose a "Category" that you feel fits the Action accordingly.
- Communication: This action is an attempt to communicate with an NPC. Whether to have an important, life-or-death, in-person secret meeting with an undercover government operative or to talk to exchange pleasantries over a phone with a friendly merchant, this Action Type covers a wide range of possible ways that a character may want to reach out and communicate with an NPC.
- Communications cost 1 D&T Action Point to perform.
- Mission: This action is a general, personal mission. This mission may include traveling somewhere in order to do anything ranging from delivering a package or message to picking something up to trying to hunting or attacking something.
- It is important to note that there may be some overlap between the Common Mission Action and some Special Action Categories. This is done on purpose to allow for at least some level of common potential for players to perform an Action that other characters may be able to perform more easily or with more options available to them.
- One free Communication Action may be granted during a Mission Action if the Mission requires communicating with an NPC in some fashion.
- Missions cost 3 D&T Action Points to perform.
- Recreation: This action is a personal action which bears little consequence to the overall game world or potential plot, but would otherwise be meaningful for inconsequential story purposes that a player may wish to partake in. Where missions are intended to have important plot-relevant consequences, Recreation actions are more of an FYI to the plot team for something inconsequential a player wishes to do between events.
- These actions do not garner an official response from the plot team
- These actions can be used as a way to showcase role play appropriate behavior to the plot team for the purposes of earning or maintaining any sort of role play related mechanics
- These actions cannot be used in place of a mission action, particularly as it pertains to any potential consequences or plot impact that an action would represent (E.G. Something like simply going to a night club to party with a group of friends is only Recreation while looking for mercenary work would be a Mission)
Special Action Set
The Special Action Set is the list of Class-Specific Actions which are generally considered "specialized" versions of the Common Mission Action. Characters with access to such Actions may receive certain mechanical benefits for performing Special Actions rather than a general mission, including Action Point cost, added mechanical benefits, and more. Such Actions and their descriptions can be found under the relevant Level Platforms and Ability descriptions of certain classes, and may vary in their D&T Point cost, situational applications, and plot / mechanical effects.
As most Special Actions are highly-specific in their applications and effects, not every Special Action will be listed here; however, some of the more widely-utilized Special Actions are explained below for clarity and convenience:
Crafting, Repair, and R&D
Please see our Economy Rules for general rules information regarding Crafting, Repair, and R&D. A specific subset of D&T Actions exist regarding the performance of Actions related to the crafting, repair, and research of items within the IG Economy:
- Item Crafting and Repair: Characters with one or more Craft: Category purchases may choose to submit D&T Actions regarding the crafting of new units of item the character either has memorized the recipe for, or for which they possesses a Blueprint Item Card. Similarly, characters may also repair broken items via D&T Action, so long as they possess the appropriate Repair: Category abilities to do so.
- Special items such as Heirlooms or other unique items for which there may be no IG blueprint and cannot be repaired during live events may also be repaired via D&T Action.
- For either crafting or repair, the character must turn in the necessary item components (listed on the Item Card) to Logistics at the start of the next event the player attends after the submission of the Craft / Repair D&T Action.
- Crafting and Repair Actions cost 1 D&T Point to perform.
- Research and Development: In addition to crafting or repairing items which already exist in the public economy, characters with the relevant crafting abilities may perform Research and Development ("R&D") Actions in an effort to invent and innovate custom items (as a note, the attempted item will always be either of equal or lower rank than the rank of ability used to research and develop it or the next rank up from the last rank the character R&D'd it at, whichever is the lower of the two).
- This process may take up to three successful Research and Development Actions to perform (though, with particularly high rolls, this time may be reduced at a marshal's discretion).
- A character may not have more than one simultaneous research active at any single time, unless otherwise specified by an ability or item. Unless otherwise specified via an ability or item, R&D actions take 3 D&T points to perform.
- Upon the successful completion of the final Research and Development action required for overall success, the character performing the Action may submit a Custom Rules Creation form in order to work with the Rules Team to create the specifics for the newly invented / innovated item (all normal turn-around time rules and guidelines still apply). Players may choose to submit this Custom Rules Creation form ahead of time, but must inform the team of such in the submission so that it can simply be documented and left "pending" until the final action is successfully completed (the custom submission will not be officially reviewed until after the final action is successfully completed).
- Upon the successful completion of a R&D series, characters may choose to spend 1 AP to memorize how to craft the item as per the normal economy crafting rules or the character, if he or she knows how to craft a blueprint, may instead choose to craft a blueprint of the newly invented / innovated item instead and hand in the components to logistics at the following event for doing so. One of those two options must be chosen by the character upon completion of the R&D, lest the ability to reproduce the item be lost and the character would have to perform the R&D actions again from scratch (though, in this case, bonuses to the success of the future R&D may be granted).
Characters with the Cybercraft skill may perform a variety of digital actions between events, either in the absence of, or in conjunction with, other Cybercraft-related abilities.
- Regardless of specific action, there is always a “Blackhat” (aggressor) and a “Whitehat” (defender), depending upon the type of Cybercraft Action the character is trying to perform. Whenever the character chooses an offensive action, they are considered the “Blackhat.” Likewise, whenever the character chooses a defensive action, they are considered the “Whitehat.”
- Whenever a Cybercraft action is rolled, the character adds +1 per rank of Cybercraft to their Effective Intelligence Score.
- For each rank of QID the character has through which they are performing Cybercraft actions, add +1 Effective Intelligence.
- If a character chooses to proactively defend something via Cybercraft for a D&T Action, the character will gain an additional 1D4 to their roll score for each level of QID they have per month that the character has spent defending, to a maximum of 4 consecutive monthly bonuses. If a character stops defending for a month, then they will lose all defense bonuses gained for those proactive months defending prior.
- Cybercraft Actions cost 4 D&T Points to perform.
Clones / Synth Blanks and Checkpoints
By default, all characters in the game (unless otherwise specified by plot due to back story or other relevant IG reasons) have a "Clone" or "Synth Blank" held in a secure location so, in case they die, they can come back. It is the game's "resurrection system." However, Clones and Synth Blanks do not inherently have all memories or abilities that the original character does; in order to provide a Clone or Synth Blank with memories, levels, and abilities, the Clone or Synth Blank must be "Checkpointed" (which acts as a "Save Point" at the time it is performed).
- Clones: Beyond the default clone / blank that all characters get, in order to have an additional Clone created for a character, appropriate in-game role play needs to happen (or perhaps awarded via some other fashion).
- Most often, Clones cost in-game currency and a character is responsible for paying for the Clone. IG role play and payment for a Clone can be done at-events with an appropriate PC or NPC or via successful Communication D&T Action with an appropriate NPC who actually has the ability to create a Clone. The amount of in-game money required to do this is based on a combination of the actual cost of components required for the PC or NPC to perform the service plus a labor fee imposed by the PC or NPC and subject to role play, appropriate mechanical abilities, and overall D&T success.
- Please note that if a PC is creating a Clone for another PC via the appropriate character list special D&T action, even if the RP between players to negotiate the creation of the clone happened at the event, the PC actually performing the Clone creation D&T must submit the D&T to plot still otherwise the Clone is not considered to have been made regardless of what was negotiated between the players (and any IG repercussions for this should be handled IG between the players).
- Characters with the appropriate special D&T actions may always forego roleplaying with other PCs or NPCs or forego a Communication D&T with an appropriate NPC and simply use the special D&T actions to create their own clone as per the special action rules outlined in the Biochemist Class.
- Checkpoints: In order for a Clone to have memories (and therefore Levels, AP, and abilities), Clones must be "Checkpointed."
- Checkpointing can only be performed if the Clone and the PC wishing to perform the Checkpoint have at least Wetware (Basic) installed in them (which represents the fact that the memories, abilities, etc. are being digitally downloaded from the brain via wetware attachment and being stored dormant in the clone or a QID software slot).
- At the time of a Checkpoint, all Levels and their allocation, all AP, and all known abilities as well as memories of a character are saved in the Clone, so that if the character dies, the Clone will activate and wake up with all the Levels, AP, abilities, and memories that it had at the time of the most recent successful Checkpoint that was performed on the Clone.
- Any Levels, AP, abilities, and memories gained after the last successful checkpoint are considered lost to the character if the character dies and the clone activates.
- If the RP between PCs was negotiated at an event for the Checkpoint to occur specifically as a D&T rather than at the live event, then the PC actually performing the Clone checkpoint D&T must submit the D&T to plot otherwise the Clone is not considered to have been checkpointed regardless of what was negotiated between the players (and any IG repercussions for this should be handled IG between the players).
- Characters may always roleplaying with other PCs or NPCs at events to simply use the special D&T action "Clone / Checkpoint" to checkpoint their own clone w/ an NPC as per the special action rules outlined in the Cybernaut Class. The downside to this is that rather than another PC spending the D&T points and action or the live event checkpointing, you as a player are spending your own D&T points and action to attempt a checkpoint.
- Non-Clone Synth Blanks: All rules for Clone Creation and Checkpointing are the same for Synth "Blanks" (Synth bodies without a consciousness) which can be used as an alternative to organic Clones for any character.
- The only difference between Synth Blanks and Clones are the specific components required to create them by characters with the appropriate abilities to do so.
- "Free" Creation and / or Checkpoints: Sometimes, there may be rewards or abilities for a PC to win or earn "Free" Clone / Synth Blank creation and checkpoints for a time period such as 3, 6, or 12 months. What this means is that the in-game cost to the character for the creation and checkpointing of the clone or blank is nothing.
- Initial Clone creation still requires the PC to give a DNA sample that the Clone can be modeled from and because Checkpointing requires the PC to physically be present in order to have the memories of that PC saved, these must be role played and / or have D&Ts submitted as normal to work.
- Checkpointing must still be done as normal, either at events or as D&Ts
- Even though they are "Free" in terms of IG cost, D&Ts always carry with them the normal risks of success and failure.
Reliable Contacts are a special modifier to Death and Taxes actions that can only be applied if a character has the Reliable Contact ability and chooses to utilize the Reliable Contact rules listed here in an attempt to enhance the success of a D&T action. The rules for this are as follows:
- There are 7 total Tiers of Reputation that a character can have with a Reliable Contact.
- Esteemed: The relationship has become an integral part of your mutual successes.
- Respected: A strong connection has been built on trust and respect.
- Friendly: Starting to build a rapport, your relationship is generally amiable.
- Neutral: The default Reputation the character has with a Reliable Contact. Neither positive nor detrimental, you are regarded indifferently.
- Uncertain: Things don't always go so well, and things are a bit apprehensive.
- Disliked: The relationship has been damaged to the point where there is animosity.
- Hated: Your connection has been destroyed and your contact wants nothing to do with you.
- In order to gain Reputation, you need to perform missions for your Reliable Contact, which earn you Reputation Points. Every 10 Reputation Points you earn will positively shift your Reputation Tier by one. Characters may not attempt to perform Reputation gains in this way for a Reliable Contact if their Reputation with that contact is below Uncertain.
- A character's Reliable Contacts, Reputation Tier, and total Reputation Points with that contact will be documented on their character card.
- When performing any D&T move, characters may attempt to leverage their Reliable Contacts for assistance. When doing this, the player may gamble any positive number of Reputation Points they have on the D&T action they are attempting to use the Reliable Contact for. The number of gambled Reputation Points used will positively impact the D&T success chance by that much.
- Only one Reliable Contact per D&T action may be used.
- Failed missions will lose the character all of the wagered Reputation Points plus more, lowering their overall Reputation with that Reliable Contact greatly. Successful missions will cost some Reputation Points, but not all. Critically successful missions will not cost any Reputation Points at all. The exact amount lost is Plot discretion depending upon the criticality of failure or success.
- If a character's Reputation with a Reliable Contact falls below Uncertain, that Reliable Contact becomes red locked on the character card until appropriate role play for a new contact is done or appropriate abilities are used to change the original Reliable Contact's Reputation Tier with the character back to at least uncertain.