Important Setting Changes

Romi

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Charms and New Common Magical Items
The status quo has shifted, and in a way that many might find truly unpleasant. Common magical items, once truly common on the island, have abruptly become significantly less so. Previous charms have failed, and new custom charms are being provided... at much higher costs.​

On an OOC front, while Common Magical Items were intended to be common, they quickly became downright customary. We saw them getting attached to characters who didn't need them, just because you might as well have them if they're going to be free anyway.​

In addition to the IC plot reasons behind this, we're changing the CMI list to account for this and encourage players to play characters without these items.​

The Common Magical Items field is being deleted. We had a lot of issues with some apps having it and some not having it, and it's easier to merge it into active abilities as it stands.​

Common Magical Items now have criteria. Some of these criteria are out of character, and some of these criteria are in-character. The list should be fairly self explanatory.​

To Update Your Applications, please make the change and post it via 'Post an Update' on your character sheet. Make sure to explain the change, such as 'Language Charm has been moved to Active Abilities'.​

Common Magical Items can still be added to an app via the 'Post an Update' option at any time. Even once the CMI field is removed, you'll still be able to add them as needed- they'll just go under the abilities section instead.​

You can find the new list here.
 

Romi

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Mental Auras Nerf
The island has changed, for reasons that have yet to become clear, and with those changes comes one big change: mental auras have become less powerful while on the island.​

For the sake of this post, a 'mental aura' is any sort of passive AOE which affects the way other players must roleplay their own characters.

On an OOC front, I'm sure many of you guessed something like this was coming. The strong prevalence of mental auras has caused a huge uptick of characters with abilities and items intended to counter them. We've heard numerous complaints on both sides, both that mental auras can make it difficult to roleplay, and that the strong IC focus on dialing them back has made it almost impossible to have a character with one.​

So we've enacted a bit of OOC re-balancing. Effective immediately, the range of any mental aura is now five feet (or less, if you already have one with a smaller aura).​

We understand that this serves as a nerf for some characters, so for the next month we're going to be letting players adjust characters who have mental auras to either re-balance or replace the ability entirely.​

For example: Basilio's aura (intimidation) is instead replaced with an intimidation effect that is eye-contact based. Alma's aura (an encouraging effect) becomes touch based, passing to only those she touches. Valli's aura (he looks well put together) is instead a natural effect, rather than being mind-based.​

If you need help with these changes, need any advice, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask, either privately or in #changes-discussion.​
 
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Romi

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The Long Night is Over

The Long Night, an event where Manta Carlos found itself cut off from the wider world. For the first twenty-four hours, night remained, only returning the following evening.

And now, as of 7:40 PM, outside connections for the island have resumed. The internet is being restored, but portals and other ways of connecting off-island is now back.

We also have a recap for today's events which took place at the food festival. The following is the current state of affairs, and this information is now being spread among the public. Expect news articles and other official confirmations throughout the evening.

The New Status Quo

The island is now located within an oval bubble. The entire island is contained inside, including around two and a half miles of ocean on each side. Similarly, spaces above and below are also included, allowing a large sky for fliers. Flying off the island in any of the cardinal directions causes the flier to simply loop around, approaching the island from the opposite side. Flying up, as well as digging (or swimming) down lead to no actual progress past a certain point.

The island itself is safely contained within a pocket dimension, and no longer has any physical connection to the narrow reality. However, portals on and off the island now work as normal, as do any connections off-island.

For all intents and purposes, life on the island continues as it always did, with two exceptions: One, the amount of magic in the air on the island is, in general, much higher than it was. Two, the inexplicable has now become far more commonplace than it was before. It's now entirely possible that another dimension (or even another pocket dimension) might temporarily bump up against Manta Carlos, allowing exploration.

The residents now also have a much clearer understanding of the problem of the 'death of magic' and how to counteract it: Grand gestures won't work. Instead, subtle shifts to make people more likely to believe will be the most effective in terms of reversing the decline.

Scouts: The goal of scouting has always been to help bring people to the island, but they now also have a secondary goal: alerting supernatural communities to what's happening, as well as setting up portals to Manta Carlos in remote field offices.

The Veil Agency: Of all parts of the island, the Veil Agency is the one that will inevitably see the most change. Currently, operations are effectively suspended, and it's unclear what their larger purpose will be. You can expect debate over the next few months as to the direction to take it: Should they continue trying to maintain secrecy to help protect those off-island, or should they instead be focusing on slowly increasing belief in the supernatural to reverse the effects?

Because this is a major status quo change, we did want to touch on some of the OOC reasons behind this.

As the site carries on, we've run into a number of issues. Two have already been elaborated on: The overuse of Common Magical Items, and the overabundance of mental auras. However, one major issue has become an even bigger sticking point as we try and put together site plots: the state of the narrow reality.

SA has always used the narrow reality as an easy jumping off point. We tend to encourage players to have their first character come from the narrow reality so that the character can learn about the island as the player does. The narrow reality is a clearly understandable setting that everyone is familiar with, which requires no further world building on our part. We live in it, so of course we know about it.

Ideally, if at all possible, we want the narrow reality to remain in sync with the real world. But that becomes strained when the need to not affect the narrow reality requires players to force their characters to act contrary to their nature.

In the face of global warming, why have the nature spirits of Manta Carlos not risen up and demanded change? Why hasn't the island helped? When injustice occurs, why has no one taken action? The answer, of course, is that they can't: any major action taken by the island betrays the original site premise. The instant the veil was seriously broken, the narrow reality would begin to deviate, and every successive year would make it harder for new players to find their place in.

So we come to this conclusion, presented above: It's not that they aren't for some mysterious OOC reason, it's that they can't. The collective disbelief of humanity pushes back, preventing a single annoyed water god from stopping a tsunami, or a single zombie from starting a plague.

Wherever possible, we want to avoid OOC rules limiting what characters can do IC, and this was the solution we cam up for that. It also opens up a great opportunity in terms of introducing other dimensions, and you can look forward to that with future events.

If you have any questions about how anything is going to work, hit up #changes-discussion in the discord!
 

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