Player Handbook

First Mate
First Mate
First Mate
First Mate
Joined: August 2nd, 2012, 4:38 am

April 23rd, 2018, 7:53 am #1

The below articles aim to introduce new players and equip you with all the important info you'll need to jump into the story!

Click the chapter headings to expand.
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Welcome to Lost in Serenity (LiS), a text-based rolepalying game test in the 'Verse of the TV show Firefly and its sequel film, Serenity. LiS is a game of cowboys and pirates, gunslingers and spaceships, a game that spans across dozens of planets and the space between. The setting, while pulled from the TV show, is constantly growing and offering more to the players. Options are limitless in the 'Verse.

LiS has a rich history and member base, originally kicking into existence in 2005. Since that time it's gone through several iterations. As it exists today, LiS is currently in it's formal 'Version 4'.

The idea of the game is the create a character - this process (detailed later in this guide) looks at who this person is, how they act and like, what their likes and dislikes are, and how they fit into the broad picture of the 'Verse.

Once you've created this character, he or she enters a narrative driven story that involves other characters, played by other people, as together you tell your own story of the 'Verse. You will interact with other players and characters, get involved in daring heists and spaceship chases, and hopefully have a good time (with a laugh here and there!)

Unlike traditional tabletop roleplaying games, and those online systems which use narration as a driving force, LiS is a free-form game. This means there are no overlords controlling the world or it's characters, there is no single plot arc, and everyone involved get's their chance to shine. LiS truly is a collaborative storytelling exercise.

As far as an 'aim' or 'goal' to the game goes, there is only one - have fun! You cannot 'win' LiS, nor can you finish it. The roleplaying game we have here changes over time, as new characters come and go and we find new stories to tell, but it doesn't end. The gaming experience we offer is an ongoing, long term, in depth storytelling adventure that is only limited by your imagination.

The general setting of our world, as inspired by Joss Whedon's 'Verse...
'The Year is 2517. It's been approximately 6 years since the Battle of Serenity Valley and the Independents lost the war against the Alliance. The Alliance continues to stretch it's Empire towards the far reaches of the Verse with one goal in mind - total unification. But the people of Rim Planets know they can't rely on the Alliance to survive, as they are a last thought and the Core and Border Planets are a priority. This is evident by the Alliance failing to supply proper funding and technology to Terraform most of the Rim Planets and the dismal supply shipments they call Charitable Aid that sparsely reach those out on the Rim.

The Alliance controls all trading routes with expensive taxation and licensing, causing private transport ships to do business at an inflated rate. This results in the renewed cause for Smugglers to avoid Alliance Detection and bring in Goods at a fair price. While the war may be over, those Sympathetic to the Browncoats cause still believe in Independence from Alliance Control and are struggling to survive while the Core Planets thrive.

To make a living now, most folk will find a ship, find a crew and keep flying. Finding a Job to take is the difference between keeping the ship running or floating in the black. Having food on the table, or starving. Now you must choose, how will you live your life? Under the grip and control of the Alliance? Or will you choose your own course?'
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This article offers tips and tricks to understanding, and navigating, the etiquette of collaborative storytelling.

When posting as your character, your goal is to add to the ongoing story - while the words are from the perspective of your individual character, the world around them is developing and rests in your hands, too.

Here at LiS we focus on in-depth, high quality writing. These few pointers should get you going, or act as food for thought as you are cobbling together a post:
  1. Consider your character senses - what are they seeing, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting? Beyond that, what are they thinking? How do they feel about the situation?
  2. Plan, scheme, collaborate - since LiS is a freeform, collaborative storytelling exercise between a group of different writers, no single person takes charge of the narrative. Because of this, it's important to use the Out of Character (OOC) section of the site to discuss story ideas with your fellow writers and hatch scehemes.
  3. Ownership - remember that, as you're sharing a story, the places and faces you encounter in your narrative are all shared property (with your individual character being the exception). As such, play nice when it comes to NPCs and important places, and communicate with your fellow storytellers on any drastic curveballs you're planning to throw.
Storytelling and Narrative - a thought process by PMD14
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While LiS does not involve any rulebooks or dice rolling like traditional RPGs of this kind, we do have a short list of rules to abide by. These rules mostly cover common sense and courtesy, and are in place to ensure that everyone involved in the community and the game has a good time during their stay here.
  1. Godmodding (total character invulnerability) is forbidden
  2. Killing or otherwise disabling another character through your own narration is forbidden
  3. Do not control the actions or thoughts of other players' characters - focus on your own and on non-player characters (NPCs)
  4. Consult with a staff member before using the site to advertise your own goods or services
  5. Harrassment of any kind will not be tolerated
Check out the Storytelling article of the guide for more pointers on the nuance, and etiquette, of telling a story.
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What are Jobs and why do I care?

Jobs are focused, narrated storylines that help keep ships and their crews afloat. They generally have a very clear start and finish, with an objective (or a list of them) for the players to achieve.

Much like our heroes of the 'Verse, jobs are what ensure fuel in the tank, shelter overhead and food on the table. Most jobs require some give and take, and all carry some kind of risk.

While LiS is primarily a free-form roleplaying game, Jobs are the exception. Job stories are narrated by storytellers - members of the staff and volunteers from the community - who stack the deck against the players and fill in the gaps of their stories.

For more information on jobs, check out the How-To Guide.

What is Wealth and how does it impact the game?

Wealth is a measure of how successful a crew or party of characters has been recently. It's both a measure of physical survival, such as keeping food on the table and fuel in the tank, but also a measure of luck and fate. When Wealth begins to decrease, things 'don't go smooth'.

Wealth is a ticking timebomb, a pacing mechanism that reminds crews flying in The Black that the odds are continuously stacked against them. As such, Wealth is technically always on the decline.

Ships have a Wealth rating, noted on the ship register here, which is a numerical rating out of a total of 6. Every month (in real time), a ship's Wealth will decrease by one point.

Once a ships Wealth has decreased to 3 (or below), things tend to start slipping. Debt collectors show their faces, engines breakdown, valuable belongings go missing and crew morale starts to drop.

Some results of decreased Wealth are dependent on the roleplaying of the players. Others can be much more direct.

When Wealth does reach critical point, crews might find small snippets of narration thrust upon them - an approaching, dangerous vessel; trouble with the law; maybe a broken mechanical part key to their survival. How the players tell the story from this point onward is up to them, as storytellers (narrators) never take control of the crew's story. Think of these posts, instead, as an injection of danger and pacing that keeps the crew focused on their next pay day.

What are Storytellers?

Storytellers, once upon a time titled Narrators, are members of the community who help create and run Jobs. These people are volunteers who have put their hand up to help make LiS a more exciting place.

The role of a Storyteller is to offer fair (yet occasionally challenging!) and exciting narration to players who wish to engage in some thrilling heroics in our Jobs section.

Storytellers operate on a rotational basis, to ensure they don't become burnt out or overwhelmed by the task. If you're interested in volunteering your time to be a future Storyteller, click here!
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If you've read the rest of the guide and find yourself thinking "hey, this is for me!" then getting started is as easy as completing steps 1-4!
  1. Register an account!
  2. Say hello!
  3. Create a character!
  4. Find a story and join the adventure!
  5. If you need help finding a story
  6. Join our Live Discord Chat to chat with our community!
If you're ever in need of help, contact one of our friendly staff members via Private Message and we'll happily point you in the right direction.

Welcome to Lost in Serenity.
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