Beats XP and Plots
Beats, XP & Plots
Earning Beats and XP
On NOLA, a character gains 1 Experience per week, automatically. This Experience is for being active on the game, with an assumption that in the background, even when you’re not actively RPing, your character is slowly learning things and getting better at what they do. This Experience prevents a player who can’t get in character and be active from falling completely behind.
However, in Second Edition World of Darkness, most Experience comes from actively doing things (Aspirations) or overcoming adversity (resolving Conditions, for the most part).
We also want to give incentives to certain activities (for the most part, playing in or running Plots) and these will also merit extra Beats.
Beats and Plots can earn a character up to 3 Experiences per week above and beyond the 1 Experience earned automatically.
If a character earns more Beats than can be used for a week, those Beats are placed into a bank which will automatically add them to their next week’s cap - it is possible to gain a “buffer” of sorts with this bank, so that a player never needs to worry about putting off a plot or an Aspiration’s completion until next week. Earned Experiences are yours; we simply want to limit the rate at which our extremely active characters can outpace our more moderately active ones.
Remember that Beats from running a scene can be applied to any of your alts, if you would rather get Beats now rather than wait for your cap to clear and be filled by your bank.
- Check out the Guide To Earning Beats by Bourbon for all the ways you can beat it up on NOLA!
- If you're struggling for Aspirations, check our Aspirations page for suggestions.
- Budding storyteller? Check out our Storyteller Tips!
To spend your hard-earned XP, simply put in a 'req/xp <Title>=<what you want to spend it on>' on game.
Experience Costs for various spends are listed here.
Please bear in mind the following Wait Time Policy applies to many XP Spends.
Wait Time Policy
On NOLA, in order to regulate the speed of character growth somewhat and promote more balanced spends, we have implemented wait times for specific stat raises. This is meant to stagger spends without overly constricting players with justifications or severely limiting XP gain. The wait times are aimed at being as low as we can get them without overtly straining our suspension of disbelief beyond its limits; they may be revised in the future, but this is how they stand for now:
Every time a specific statistic is increased with XP, a one week wait per dot just purchased is applied. A raise from Strength 2 to 3 will apply a wait of 3 weeks before Strength may be raised to 4. This does not apply to whole categories of stats but to specific statistics within categories; while Strength is under a wait time, a character could increase their Presence or Stamina.
For merits with multiple dots that do not follow a wholly linear progression, this rule stands. For example, Psychokinesis has a 3 and a 5 dot version. Buying the 3rd dot of Psychokinesis from having none applies a 3-week wait time until Psychokinesis 5 is purchased.
Different instances of the same merit do not count as the same specific stat for wait times. One could buy Retainer (Jim) from 2 to 3, and while that Retainer was on a wait time, buy Retainer (Jill) from 0 to 1.
The exception to this rule is when a Major Templated character (vampire, werewolf or changeling) buys their Power Stat (Blood Potency, Primal Urge, Wyrd). The minimum wait time is 4 weeks, but reverts to the normal pattern of the number of weeks equal to the last purchased dot after 4, meaning that raising from 1 to 2 is 4 weeks, 2 to 3 is 4 weeks, 3 to 4 is 4 weeks, 4 to 5 is 4 weeks, and at 5 to 6, the wait time is 5 weeks, and so on.
First of all: There are no staff-run plots on NOLA. This does not mean that staff do not run plots - this means that there is, effectively, no difference between staff-run plots and player-run plots here. Anything a staffer can run, a player can run. Anything that would require staff approval for a player, a staffer must run by another staffer (through the same +request system) in order to get approved. All Storytellers on NOLA are equal, and have equal access to plot elements - although staff wants the ability to put a second pair of eyes on certain plot elements to make sure they’re being used consistently.
Please do not include yourself in a scene you run that benefits your character - beats from conditions, regular beats, beats from aspirations or taking damage, acquiring material gain of any sort (including stats or benefits that require a PrP). Even if you're running for a whole group, if you must include your own character, the ONLY reward you receive is the PC reward, period.
Elements that are restricted for use on NOLA (meaning that they require a +request to be made and approval from staff to be run) are the following:
- Ephemerals Rank 3+.
- Horrors Rank 4+.
- Angels, Strix, Idigam, VII, Belial’s Brood, Pure, Loyalists, and Begotten who have achieved Inheritance.
- True Fae, Hedge Ghosts with Wyrd 7-10, Hogboblins with Wyrd 6+, Huntsmen with Wyrd 6+.
- Creatures from published books which are not from our authorized book list.
- Vampires, Werewolves, or other NPCs created by staff, including but not necessarily limited to the Triumvirate, Protectorate, Council of Wardens, Apex, or Primogen Council.
- NPCs created by another player.
- Acquisition of Fetishes, Tokens, or other occult items with special powers that aren't purely curses.
- Lost Clans, Covenants, Lodges, or other mysterious elements from the books that aren’t well fleshed out.
- NPCs with Status or Mystery Cult Initiations higher than 3.
- Mystery Cults that aren’t already an approved presence on-grid.
- Damage to the grid or a player-owned build that does not belong to the ST’s characters (including ghouls, employees, coterie-mates, et cetera - we still need to know if you’re planning on burning your ghoul’s house down in a plot and whether that’s alright with them).
- Time Travel.
- Becoming 3-step blood bound to an NPC.
Every plot that is run on NOLA, if it is logged, placed onto the wiki, and looked over by staff, will be worth at least 1 Beat to both players and Storytellers. When the plot is complete and the log is posted, the Storyteller (and only the Storyteller) should make a +request titled PrP Award - Plotname. The +request should list the name of the plot, a link to the log, a cast of characters who were present (not including the Storyteller’s bit if they participated ICly as well), the character bit to be awarded ST Beats, and a brief summary of the plot. See the example request here. The following incentives may be applied for and may be approved by staff. Staff will let you know if they do not believe the scene merited an incentive you requested an award for, and why. Incentives are split into Player Incentives and ST Incentives. The players in a plot receive a beat for each Player Incentive fulfilled; the Storyteller receives all the Beats from each list. The maximum award for any plot scene is 5 Beats from Player Incentives, while Storyteller incentives are uncapped.
If the log is of a sensitive nature - for example, if a player suspects OOC info will be taken IC, or it involves embarrassing or private or otherwise secret information, such as committing horrible crimes, then the log may be submitted as a google document link in the job and not publicly posted. This MUST abide by the Adult Content policy and as staff we do not consent to reading logs of non-consensual sexual activity, as always. Disclaimers for explicit, upsetting, or possibly triggering content are still required in these logs.
- Log is illustrated, soundtracked, or otherwise made entertaining and attractive to read.
- The scene gives incentive or information to draw more characters into the plot.
- The plot involves significant danger to the characters involved (whether this danger is combat-related or not).
- The plot reinforces the game’s Melting Pot theme, whether with conflict or cooperation between differing-templated characters and/or NPCs.
- Plots that endanger, preserve, or otherwise strongly involve the Shadow Accords.
- The plot includes strangeness that is not covered by a templated creature - for example, sasquatches in the swamp or God-Machine controlled robot ninjas or creatures from mythology with unique abilities and weaknesses.
- The scene has pre-approval from staff (whether it was required or not). Yes, this automatically means that scenes involving the Strix, Rank 4+ Ephemerals, or Idigam are worth an extra Beat! They also usually qualify for the ‘Danger’ Beat.
- The scene includes elements of New Orleans history or regionally-specific mythologies.
- Siskur-Dah, vampire hunting or Glamour harvesting scenes.
- Hunting consequence scenes (hunters, angry spirits, heroes).
- Covenant/Tribe/Court specific plots reinforcing the theme of a Covenant or Tribe or Court. An additional Beat is awarded if the Tribe or Covenant or Court is the least numerous or tied for least numerous (unless all Covenants/Tribes/Courts are completely balanced or within 2 members of the top Covenant/Tribe/Court).
- An NPC important to a character (a family member, packmate, or any NPC represented by a merit paid for with XP) is threatened, subverted, or endangered.
- A character runs out of Willpower, Vitae, Essence, or Glamour.
- A Lost Boy goes into Withdrawal.
- A vampire is attacked with fire or sunlight (or provoked to resist frenzy from fire or sunlight).
- A werewolf is attacked with silver.
- A changeling is attacked with iron.
- The Storyteller helps the player(s) resolve Conditions in an exciting or entertaining way.
- The scene is the culmination of an arc of at least 3 scenes.
- The scene is generated from a staff suggestion or is run at the behest of a staff member specifically.
- Scene involves 3 or more PCs.
- A character suffers a Breaking Point.
- A character takes lethal or aggravated damage in their last 3 health boxes.
- A character suffers a Dramatic Failure.
- A character fulfills an aspiration.
- Scene was run at a player's request to fulfill a character goal.
- Scene was publicly posted using +event (and open to signups) for at least one week prior to running.
Plot awards are great, but what about loot? Handing out loot is the fun part of being the ST. Here's the rules:
You do NOT need pre-approval to hand out the following:
- Goblin fruit
- Talens (that are already approved or straight out of the book)
- Items of Availability 1-3
- Items that are within the player's Resources which they have the Resources spend to purchase. (They could just req/eq and ask for those, but where's the fun in that?)
- Weird trophy things - stuffed zebra heads, creepy dolls, the killer's knife, etc. You don't need to ask for +eq for this unless it does something useful, like the knife.
- No more than a few items per player.
You DO need pre-approval for the following:
- Magic items of any kind (except goblin fruit)
- Availability 4+ items
- Large number of items per player.
- Anything not covered in the no-pre-approval list.
A few side notes:
- Custom items with mechanical benefits must be approved separately from the plot. After that, they may be given out according to Availability.
- Fetishes and any other kind of magic item must be approved separately before the plot is run.
You must include any equipment requested as part of the PRP job. The syntax is:
- +eq/give <player>=<item>
- +eq/note <player>/<item>=<any notes - the Cursed condition, etc>
Make sure the item already exists in our equipment database (see +help Equipment for the commands). If it doesn't, please provide a book reference so we can find the item and add it to the database.