Exogenesis Symphony has become too large and stressful for the mental health of its staff, so we will sadly be folding the game.
Staff (Symph & Exo) will be stepping away effective immediately. Players may choose to retire their characters back to cryo based on "omens" whispered by spirits, or find other ways to leave the bunker (Umbral quest, etc). If you'd like to resolve your character's story, we'll be giving you an OOC narration and IC timeline. This will be the way the game ends. You cannot impact it IC. If you're alright with this and want to play through the tragedy of the failure of the Agartha Project and the proverbial sinking of the Titanic, you may.
The boards will be disabled on the 1st of November.
Explanation of Decision
When we started Exo, we thought it'd be a fun little niche game that'd attract maybe 10 players. We allowed 3 PCs, because with about 20-30 PCs a game's easily sustainable. We have gone SO FAR past that, and coming on the heels of a breakup three days into game launch, it being Exo's first forum game, and me in therapy for anxiety and codependency, it's become too huge of a strain on our mental health. We don't feel comfortable running the game.
We discussed turning the story and setting over to others, but I've realized in previous games where I've done this, I've felt intense guilt and dissatisfaction. So sadly, it still doesn't feel beneficial to my mental health.
I tossed around the idea of reducing hours to have 'office hours' and tweaking setting to become less ST-dependent and more PC-based, but I would still feel guilty on days I wasn't doing stuff, and overwhelmed on days I was. Still not brain-good.
We discussed cutting the cord right here and now and ending game full stop. But everyone has put so much work into their character's stories that I feel bad denying a resolution for the people that want one. So while we as staff would be fine if everyone decided to retire their PC effective immediately, we want to give you a story to ride out if you'd like the writing exercise and RP.
In Character Fallout
This will be detailed much more extensively in Setting, but this is what happens:
We'll expand on the timeline of this stuff happening and give more details in Setting, but this is the story of the sinking ship you are welcome to play out. If you are not comfortable accepting that your PC could in no way impact this, you can choose to retire the PC instead.At sunset on 9/23, a small pack of NPCs thawed quietly out of cryo within the last week finally manage to crack through the airlock to the outside world. Instead of facing a desert atmosphere, the raw energy of the Wyld rushes into the facility, liquefying them into primordial goo. This is caught on security monitors shortly before they go out.
The facility goes dark with a power outage that lasts a few minutes before power kicks back on. All AIs are offline, and anyone with active Pulse of the Invisible is blinded for about an hour. Those with a totem can no longer feel it.
Quickly, investigation of footage is done. The Intake Facility has been sealed off by the Machine to try and stave off the Wyld, but the Machine itself went dark. It left one last message, releasing Protocol X-51.
It is revealed that this is the 5th activation of the Agartha Project. With the destruction of the Wyrm, the Wyld raged unchecked, until there was too much for the Weaver to confine. By the third activation, Activated realized that garou would just keep charging out blindly to fight back the wyld and get themselves killed, so they programmed Protocol X-51, to do everything possible to deter Activated from going outside by painting it as a null zone wasteland. The sept and AIs were sworn to secrecy, and all newly activated were told it was a barren wasteland. When the 3rd Activation failed, the protocol remained in place, hence the current misinformation.
From this point on, Activated find themselves moderately fucked by a reality warping charm that has isolated them from calling upon spirits outside those native to the bunker. The Wyld threatens to overtake the bunker every day, and by Samhain, the last corners of the facility will be overtaken by pure wyld and rendered a senseless madness of nameless chaos.
Wait out the storm or fight it, but you cannot win.
If I don't want to play this out, how can I retire my PC?
- choose to travel into the umbra to find a fix and not make it back in time.
- make a mad dash out the opening into the wyld-tainted world to try and make it on their own.
- return to cryostasis in hopes this blows over.
- die in a glorious sacrifice trying to stop the wyld from spreading.
- anything along these lines.
Can our characters escape?
Yeah sure. If people wanna do a spin-off game, y'all totally can. It just can't/won't be here. <3
This narrative doesn't make sense. What if I just ____?
That would probably work, but please understand this is staff giving you a narrative resolution to your character's story if you want it, not a plot to solve. Hopelessness and tragedy may not appeal. That's fine. You can join the noble quest into the umbra to fight it and retire the PC.
How do I run scenes?
We've given you the end goal and basic structure. If you can't justify not trying something, you can run the scene for yourself, and be creative with why it doesn't work. None of the spirits here are strong enough to be helpful. The Machine is gone and totems can't be reached. The AIs are all offline and the coding is in a language beyond comprehension. This is angst for you to use to fuel your story.
Does the tech still work?
Yeah! The Wyld is steadily eating through the defenses, and the closer to the wyld it is, the more the weaver tech fails, but systems are still operational. Just not by the end of it all. Machines can be programmed and automated to do things, they just lack their own AI to guide their path.
What spirits can I contact?
Pattern spiders, naturae y'all have been dealing with (except Afallach, who felt an ancient groan of the world and returned to slumber), roach and rat spirits, trash spirits, a lot of epiphlings y'all put off... basically just no big names. No totems, no stormcrows, none of Stag's will o th wisps, nothing that would need to be summoned. Spirits in broods can't sense a world outside of the bunker, and it's kinda freakin' em out. Apparently the Wyld broke reality to isolate the bunker as if it found a jar it wanted to fill, and didn't want to let anything else get to it first. Many spirits are rushing back to slumber in a panic of MAN I DON'T WANNA BE CONSCIOUS WHEN IT REACHES ME.
What if my PC wasn't approved but I still want to play them?
So long as your PC fits with the setting (no residual effects/influences of the wyrm, fera or other supernaturals, as they wouldn't be permitted IC), you know what? Go with it. <3 Just hop on into play. Cryopods will have to be manually chosen for activation, as the Machine can't randomly activate them, but we can say that the Machine released a list of pods awaiting activation for PCs to approve.
Even if I never actually got a character forum or submitted a sheet?
Sure? Just don't break the world setting.
What if I have questions about the story? Things I wanted to know?
Just poke me at some point on Messenger or through a Discord DM and be like 'what was this gonna be? it was awesome'. As long as the messages aren't about me failing to do whatever with the game or asking logistics as if I was still running stuff, it won't stress me out to receive them. I enjoy sharing sekrits.
Why haven't you been on Discord?
Honestly, it made me feel super shitty, like I'd failed you all. Any time I'd see you guys chatting and hype and I couldn't keep up. After posting the announcement about this, I probably STILL will avoid the game's Discord channel, as just too much guilt and stress.
Will you and Exo still play your PCs?
I probably won't. Exo may, if he wants to.
Can we play with you elsewhere?
Yee, I enjoy interacting with you guys so I'll probably join other forum games once my brain calms the fuck down and I stop feeling guilty over this.
Do you secretly hate me in particular?
What? No. YOU HAVE ALL BEEN SO AMAZING AND UNDERSTANDING THROUGHOUT THIS. No one person made me feel like a shitty storyteller. I just had expectations of a game quality that I could not meet due to sheer quantity of players, and couldn't stop beating myself up about it. Understand that I'm dealing with trust issues from a breakup, sorting through anxiety about never being able to catch up, and trying to overcome codependency which makes me feel worthless if I can't make everyone happy. My brain bad. Your RP good. I love you and love hearing about your characters and stories.