Shattered Rift

Sparkbomb: Mansionverse Saga

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Hackers in the Dark

Ward led the way, followed by iko a moment later. As soon as they crossed the threshold, the lighting returned to normal, but the door had closed behind them. They seemed to be in some kind of storage room, and shelves lined along the walls as well as filled the center of the room. Despite the small size of the room, they couldn't see past the widgets and gizmos on the shelves. Paths led to the north and west, leading through the room, and Ward chose west with iko a few steps behind.

Ambushed!

Unknown Spectre tosses a Spark Shot at Ward. 16 damage.

The ball of electricity came just as Ward turned the west corner to the north. It hit hard, but not as hard as the Script Kiddie. Was this foe weaker, or had Ward survived because he was a higher level now? He fell back behind the shelves along the south path. The shelves separated them from their foe for the moment, and there seemed to be a circular path leading around the room. Ward could go one way and iko the other to pincer their foe, but their foe could also be coming around to catch them from the other side. And with attacks like that, neither of them was safe without the other.

[Unknown Spectre approaches. Command?

Note: Despite the description, this is a normal battle. You can role play it out how you wish, but I wanted to give a little bit of flavor given the space you're battling in.

Ward: Sparks 12/28 Energy 4/5, iko: Sparks 12/28 Energy 7/10]

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Plan A: iko attempts to make one of the shelves fall over on top of the unknown spectre and make a run to the direction that Ward indicates for an escape. If the shelves do fall, iko would like to step on the shelf/crushed spectre if it creates a shorter path. Also, iko will grab some gadgets and gizmos as potential projectiles for Plan B: Hiding, then distraction by throwing projectiles to make a sound in the opposite area, and run. 

escape to the next room

Edited by Bed

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Having Star there stacked the odds in their favor, and Traj grinned. This was much more the thing. 

 

[Command: Attack]

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OOC. Rift, you just had to use snowballs as weapons. Now I've got this stuck in my head. youtube link

Ward let out a string of curses as he hid behind the shelf, this was a trap, and worse it was an obvious one.

Ward listened to Iko as he laid out his plan and shook his head. "I don't think that’s going to work, whoever set this trap wouldn't leave such an obvious hole as leaving the back door open. We’re going to have to beat this guy if we want out.

Switch to position 2.

Attack.

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Acrobats-only

Unknown Werewolf shapeshifts into a werewolf.
Unknown Werewolf slashes TheLastStarMaker. 24 damage. Deleted!
Blacjak attacks Unknown Werewolf. 4 damage.
Trajectory attacks Unknown Werewolf. 3 damage.

Star charged the werewolf even as it shapeshifted into its true form, but her usually superior speed failed her. There was barely a moment for her body to fall towards the ground, meant to separate Blacjak and Traj from attacking, but the two acrobats maneuvered around their fallen teammate to land pitiful attacks of their own. Star's vision quickly faded but her body remained, ones and zeroes unable to properly delete and respawn.

[Unknown Werewolf remains. Command?

Blacjak: Sparks 17/28 Energy 4/5, Trajectory: Sparks 8/28 Energy 7/10, TheLastStarMaker: Sparks 0/23 Energy 6/9]

Hackers in the Dark

iko reached for the objects on the shelves, but everything he touched remained unmoved. He banged his fists on the shelving unit itself to no effect. Panicking, he turned back toward the door he and Ward had entered from but saw it was already shut.

"We’re going to have to beat this guy if we want out," Ward said.

Laughter answered their fear. Suddenly the spectre appeared from out of thin air and attacked.

Unknown Spectre is phasing.
Unknown Spectre tosses a Spark Shot at iko. 8 damage.
Ward attacks Unknown Spectre. But Unknown Spectre phased through it!
iko attacks Unknown Spectre. But Unknown Spectre phased through it!

The spectre vanished again, and the laughter resumed. Both of their attacks had been too slow. Ward wondered if this was just a game to the spectre. iko wondered what they would do when the next attack came.

[Unknown Spectre remains. Command?

iko: Sparks 4/28 Energy 7/10, Ward: Sparks 12/28 Energy 4/5]

Leaders Gotta Lead

[Reposting update for convenience.]

The others left for the door, and Rex ascended the stairs once again. How had they gotten to this place, he wondered? Was it abandoned, left alone in the dark and forgotten? Why could he only interact with a few parts of it? That was the most troubling thought of all. The items here held value, but was there value if they couldn't be moved? Was that why it was forgotten?

He stepped through the darkness of the door, and on the other side, he found he could see. The darkness had been just a barrier, and this place was lit as poorly as everywhere else. A figure stood staring him down from a few paces away, and a console filled the west side of the room in front of a large window that looked out into the room they had started in. But he made no movement. The figure stood in front of a table, nothing separating the two of them but a short distance of space.

"We are the Pax Regia," the figure said sternly, "and you are trespassing in our domain." Rex noticed the holstered pistol a moment before the figure reached for it. He was outmatched and alone, but he would fight.

[An Unknown Phoenix approaches. Command?

Rexozord: Sparks 13/33 Energy 5/7]

Edited by Shattered Rift

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"Damn, this thing has a tough hide, you wouldn't happen to have any snowballs left would you? I'll try to take this next hit."

Action- Defend

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Acrobats-only

Unknown Werewolf slashes Trajectory. 19 damage. Deleted!
Blacjak defends.

Auto-Battle! [Going to move things along to the inevitable conclusion.]

Unknown Werewolf slashes Blacjak. 31 damage. Deleted!

Blacjak had taken a valiant defensive stance between their foe and Trajectory, but the werewolf deftly leapt over him to make his strike. Blacjak barely had time to spin around before the werewolf's claw entered his gut. They had never stood a chance.

"Give a better show next time, won't you?" the werewolf said, brushing its hands clean as it reverted to its human form.

[Please read below to The Null Horizon Incident.]

Hackers in the Dark

Unknown Spectre tosses a Spark Shot at Ward. 18 damage. Deleted.
iko opens his terminal and checks on his Fantasy Paintball Team.

Auto-Battle! [Going to move things along to the inevitable conclusion.]

Unknown Spectre tosses a Spark Shot at iko. 7 damage. Deleted!

The spectre's laughter was the last thing iko and Ward heard before darkness overtook them.

[Please read below to The Null Horizon Incident.]

Leaders Gotta Lead

Uknown Phoenix takes aim and fires at Rexozord. 8 damage.
Rexozord defends.

Auto-Battle! [Going to move things along to the inevitable conclusion.]

Unknown Phoenix shoots Rexozord. 22 damage. Deleted!

Rex recognized the telltale signs of a surge strike in the way the pistol illuminated and the bullet lanced at him. It had been quite some time since he'd been on the receiving end of one, let alone at such a low level, and he was quickly reminded why the strikes were so effective. His defensive stance kept him alive, but the second bullet hit him before he could make an attack. As his vision grayed, the phoenix said simply, "Begone."

[Please read below to The Null Horizon Incident.]

The Null Horizon Incident

Error 502: Bad Gateway

. . . Reloading . . .

. . . Reestablishing Connection . . .

. . . Connection Successful . . .

. . . Login Successful . . .

Welcome to Sparkbomb.

 

Never-ending whiteness was replaced by the familiar view of the Front Gate opening, and six members stepped through onto the path leading to the Sparkbomb Mansion. The light of sunset caught the stained glass above the door as the world slowly faded to twilight. It was an unsettling sight after the darkness of wherever they had been, but they slowly remembered that it had been evening before the hacking had occurred.

Eyes slowly drifted upward, searching for any signs of ongoing hacking. A few clouds drifted lazily across the sky as if floating on the surface of the ocean. There was no flicker, no hesitation, no sign that anything was amiss. A waxing crescent moon was steadily growing brighter. The Three Spectres, three bright stars in the sky arranged like the stars on the stained glass, could just barely be seen. Other constellations would come into view as night overtook day, but now was not the time for stargazing.

[Primary Objective: Return to the Sparkbomb Mansion Complete!
Story Quest: Alone in the Dark Complete! ]

"Meet me at the Glass Tower." The message from Shattered Rift had been waiting in their inboxes for... hours. Was it possible that they had been gone that long? Looking at the Mansion ahead, they could see movement beyond the windows. Movement along the south halls of the first floor, movement in both the General Lounge and Creator's Lounge, movement in member quarters' on the second floor. But the First Tower and the Irregular Tower showed no movement.

No spambots barred their path this time as they walked towards the Mansion, and at first they were pleasantly surprised to find the normal activity of members within. Barely a moment passed, however, before a phoenix cut them off.

"The six of you are to report to the Glass Tower immediately," she said, voice distorted slightly by the mask that concealed her identity. She started up the stairs, glancing back sharply to ensure that the group was following. As they traveled down the halls of the Mansion, they caught snippets of conversation.

"It's going to take months to reclaim my standing in the Arena!" a man whined.

"Everyone's been reset to Level 1, so think of it as a chance to actually make a name for yourself," the woman with him replied.

iko pulled up his terminal. Despite having the experience necessary for Level 3, he and the others were still locked at Level 2. Was it true that everyone had been reset to Level 1?

"I'm telling you, Sergio shot Cinder and took down Ash before taking a hit," a woman in a yellow jersey said excitedly to her friend. "It was the best play I've ever seen, and Darting Lightning has finally won a champsionship!"

"Bull!" a man wearing a red jersey shouted from down the hall, drink sloshing over the rim of his plastic cup. "Ash avenged Cinder for match. Incoming Fire took another championship home."

Ward frowned at this. He couldn't remember there being a dispute in years, and he still wanted to know which team had won.

"Who's going to replace my inventory?" a woman demanded. "I just got a King Cobra in today. Do you have any idea how many coins they're worth?" The phoenix staring her down seemed nonplussed.

"I hear their venom makes a potent virus," Traj said, mostly to himself.

A surprising sight awaited them at the Glass Lounge. Well over two dozen people had their faces pressed against the window looking northward. It was by far the biggest group they had seen congregated in the Mansion since getting back, and none of them could guess what the throng could be looking at on the Mansion grounds. Nor could they see over the heads well enough to see anything as they were led to the staircase.

"What are they looking at?" Blacjak said.

"You'll see once you're upstairs," the phoenix said. Her voice sounded rattled, just a touch raspy, as if she was eager to get the words out without actually thinking about whatever it was.

The Glass Tower was barren, bereft of the sculptures that had filled it before the hacking. Shattered Rift was nowhere to be seen, so the group walked to the north window, but the horizon caught their attention long before they reached the window.

The Mansion grounds stretched northward, surrounded by the outer wall, but beyond was a forest where there should have been plains. Going onward to a certain point, near the base of where Zenith Mountain was supposed to stand, the horizon simply... ended. Nothing lay beyond the treeline but the whiteness of loading.

"A null horizon," Shattered Rift said, and the group slowly turned to face him. His eyes lingered on the empty horizon, blinking to hold back his emotion. "I've never seen anything like it."

The confession was grave. Some among the group took it as an admission that Shattered Rift was not The Admin spoken of in legend. But more concerning was the implication that an unprecedented event had taken place.

"How could a Script Kiddie do this?" Rex said.

"I don't know," Shattered Rift said, "but this hacking has caused permanent corruption, not only to our community but to the world itself. Every member has been reset to Level 1. Nearly every inventory has been wiped and virtually every setting reset to its default. I've checked your personal quarters: everything you had before today is gone." Traj twitched, but he quickly calmed himself. Star's gaze dropped to her feet unhappily. "I'm sorting through what I can, but it will take time, and I don't know how much I'll be able to restore. I've left a gift of Spark Coins in each of your personal quarters for your help with the Script Kiddie.

"And I'd like to ask another favor," Shattered Rift continued. "I trusted you to defeat the Script Kiddie, and you did. A small group was able to make the difference and save the Mansion from an even worse fate. But now the stability of the Mansion, of our community, is in jeopardy. If each of you could do your part to encourage calm, to rebuild, and to unite our community, I will be forever grateful. A day is fast approaching when I will need more help than even this, and I hope that you'll be willing to answer my call when that day comes.

“Take the night to collect yourselves. Before you leave, there are just two things that need attending. First, each of you must join a usergroup. Because each of you has lost the one you previously had, I'll grant you a gift: to choose a usergroup free from your past, if you desire it. Second, can you tell me what happened to you after you defeated the Script Kiddie?"

[You may interject role plays in-between portions of Shattered Rift's speech or during your travels through the Mansion.
To continue, each of you must choose a Class. The next formal update is planned for Monday, although it may be delayed beyond that.
Three posts will be coming within the next few days. One will include additional information about Classes. Another will include the list of Commands available to you within the Mansion. The third will include some of my personal thoughts about the game up to this point.
Some of you have shared feedback with me privately, and I welcome any feedback that any of you have to give, whether it be in public or private. To give one immediate thought: I apologize for the "unwinnable" boss fights you just faced. I have no plans to include scripted defeats in the future, and I felt that the lack of a death penalty gave me the leeway to include them here.

Blacjak: Sparks 28/28 Energy 4/5, Trajectory: Sparks 28/28 Energy 7/10, TheLastStarMaker: Sparks 23/23 Energy 6/9
iko: Sparks 28/28 Energy 7/10, Ward: Sparks 28/28 Energy 4/5
Rexozord: Sparks 33/33 Energy 5/7]

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Announcement: Abilities are being rebranded as Skills. (And hopefully I won't change my mind on this again.)

And here's the long awaited class post.

---

This first segment includes the usergroup overview from the intro post as well as some insight into what it's like being a member of each usergroup. Keep in mind that insights are only known within their usergroup, so if you don't choose it then your character doesn't know it.

Spectres
Overview: Spectres are capable of phasing through objects and channeling electricity from their fingertips. Rumors tell of countless secrets hidden within the walls of the Mansion, and Spectres intend to find them. Each group of Spectres, called a Caste, is named after a particular Spectre who paved a new way of life for their people.

As a Spectre: All spectres devote themselves to a cause. For most, this is the cause of their caste. However, losses in war and peace within the Mansion's walls have persuaded some “wayward” spectres to devote themselves to new causes instead. The Mansion is full of causes, such as the Gallery, and some of the most unwavering competitors and ardent fans are spectres that were once devoted to their caste.

Universal Skill - Spark Shot (Unlocked at Level 2), 2E: Deals Talent-based damage to a single target.

Special Command - Phase (Unlocked at Level 3), 1C: Phase may be used in addition to a normal command. The user's evade is greatly increased during this round.

Classes: Kaieta (Guardian), Daltath (Bruiser), Shaft (Duelist), and Lavite (Savant).

Phoenixes
Overview: The Phoenix Syndicate is filled with highly trained operatives proficient in field combat. In light of the many hacking attempts over the years, Phoenixes believe that only a strict authority can secure the safety of the Mansion and prevent members from being permanently deleted. Their organization is split into Divisions fulfilling different roles as follows.

As a Phoenix: “Work hard; play harder,” has become the unofficial motto of the Phoenix Syndicate. It's both a reminder to enjoy the luxury of the Sparkbomb Mansion and a caution against becoming obsessed with work. Despite the assumption by others that moderating phoenixes will let their own off easy for rules violations, the truth is that just as many phoenixes have been disciplined as spectres or werewolves. Whether in the raucous cheer section at a paintball game or trash-talking their opponent in a game of Mafia, phoenixes are usually quick to stay on the “right” side of the line. But they'll certainly walk up to it and lean as far over as they can.

Universal Skill - Shoot (Unlocked at Level 2), 2E: Deals Talent-based damage to a single target.

Special Command - Trained Shot (Unlocked at Level 3), 1C: The user deals Level-based damage against a single target. (Note: Trained Shot may be renamed later.)

Classes: Executive (Guardian), Operative (Bruiser), Pariah (Duelist), and Biotics (Savant).

Werewolves
Overview: Werewolves are shapeshifters that have the lucian form--their name for their bestial form--in common. Legend tells of an artifact capable of changing the very Mansion itself, and the werewolves believe they will one day conquer Sparkbomb and use the artifact to change it into a utopia. Werewolves have Tribal identities.

As a Werewolf: Most lucians believe in meritocracy: success based on one's accomplishments. Combat is often the most respected merit—and the Arena offers that within the Mansion's walls—but there are many ways to gain respect that don't require combat. All lucians agree that matriarch is as much a title as a tribe, and even the most brutish lucians respect members of the Amber Matriarch tribe.

Universal Skill - Slash (Unlocked at Level 2), 2E: Deals Talent-based damage to a single target.

Special Command - Shapeshift (Unlocked at Level 3), 1C: Shapeshift may be used in addition to a normal command. The user's Strength, Stamina, Talent, and Nerve are increased. This bonus lasts for three full rounds or until the end of the battle, whichever comes first, at which time the Werewolf will revert to their normal member form and lose the bonuses granted from Shapeshift.

Classes: Ebony Claw (Guardian), Amethyst Baron (Bruiser), Crimson Nail (Duelist), Azure Optic (Savant), Lunar Jade (Specialist: Healer), and Amber Matriarch (Specialist: Buff/Debuff).

---

This section includes descriptions by class: an overview with a brief description of their battle tactics, insight into what life as that class is like, their Stats, and their Signature Skill. Overviews have been edited from the intro post. Keep in mind that insights are only known within their class, so if you don't choose it then your character doesn't know it. Signature Skills are learned at Level 4.

Kaieta Spectre (Guardian) - Team Support
"I'll boost my ally's defenses so our enemies can't delete us."

Overview: Kaieta Spectres claim to have once been caretakers of the Spawn Points. Although the Spawn Points are only a legend, Kaieta Spectres await the day when they are restored to their task as caretakers. In battle, they bolster their team's defenses.

As a Kaieta Spectre: There's contention among the Kaieta Caste about whether or not the Spawn Points still exist. Some believe that Shattered Rift controls the last of them. Others seek a new Spawn Point outside of the Mansion grounds. Yet others believe that they have all been destroyed. This last group has lost their way in the sight of the self-proclaimed true believers. These wayward Kaieta spectres make up many of the most passionate members of the Mansion community, including some of the fiercest competitors and devoted fans of the Mansion sports. Some of these spectres, however, believe that the best way to learn the truth about the Spawn Points is by rising to the top of their sport or interest and using whatever connections such prominence brings.

Stat Growth: +Sparks, -Strength, +Stamina

Signature Skill - Energy Siphon, 1E: The user has a high chance of stealing 4 to 6 Energy from the target.

Daltath (Bruiser) - Strength-Heavy Mixed Damage
"We created the Spark Bomb. It serves us when our fists fail."

Overview: Daltath Spectres believe that the Werewolves were responsible for a war that resulted in the destruction of the Spawn Points, and they hold themselves responsible for this failure. While others consider that war ancient history, Daltath Spectres believe the war continues today. In battle, they are the only Bruisers that can effectively use Talent-based Skills in addition to their strong physical attacks.

As a Daltath Spectre: Despite 'losing' the ancient war against the werewolves, the Daltath Caste argues that the war never truly ended. Many Daltath spectres have continued to battle against werewolves throughout the ages, whether on their own or alongside their Shaft and Lavite brothers and sisters. Although some have lost their way and embraced peaceful life in the Mansion, others have joined alongside the factions that have continued to fight, whether Shaft, Lavite, or others. Today, battles continue outside of the Mansion grounds. Among those who left warfare for the peace offered by Mansion life, some simply see 'peace' as a new style of warfare and continue to work against the werewolves.

Stat Growth: -Energy, +Strength, -Speed

Signature Skill - Spark Bomb, 3E: Deal Talent-based damage to a single target. Spark Bomb deals more damage than Spark Shot.

Shaft (Duelist) - Talent-Heavy Mixed Damage
"We"'ll unleash an unending torrent of attacks upon our foes."

Overview: In a recent war, the Shaft Spectres were the first to assemble to fight the Werewolves. However, they knew that they would lose the war without help, so they aligned with the Pariah Phoenixes and a branch of Azure Optic Werewolves. The Shaft Caste was disowned by other Spectres for this decision. In battle, they prefer to decimate their opponents with Abilities first and physical attacks second.

As a Shaft Spectre: Contrary to the belief of other spectres, the Shaft Caste is devoted to defeating the werewolves and exacting revenge for the destruction of the Spawn Points. However, some of its members lost their way when the Spectre Senate officially expelled the Shaft Caste. These members have adapted to Mansion life and seek meaning in its different sports and competitions.

Stat Growth: -Sparks, +Speed (Note: Duelists now receive a boost to Talent from their weapons.)

Signature Skill - Shaft Stance, 3E: Deal Talent-based damage to a single target and boost the user's Talent. Only one Stance may be active at a time.

Lavite (Savant) - Group Attacks
"Rain down destruction upon our enemies."

Overview: When Shaft joined with Phoenixes and Werewolves, a betrayal in the eyes of many Spectres, Lavite was chosen to replace Shaft and spearhead the Spectres' campaign against the Werewolves. In battle, Lavite Spectres can destroy entire groups of enemies at once.

As a Lavite Spectre: Among all spectres, members of the Lavite Caste are most commonly devoted to their cause, continuing the ongoing war against the werewolves. Deep engagement in Mansion activities is usually done with an eye for advantage in the war. Only a small minority have left the caste to embrace Mansion life.

Stat Growth: +Energy, -Strength, +Talent, --Speed (Note: Savants now receive a boost to Talent from their weapons.)

Signature Skill - Forked Lightning, 4E: Deal Talent-based damage to a group of enemies.

 

Executive (Guardian) - Single-Target Support
"Sparks are as much a weapon as they are a shield."

Overview: The Executive Phoenixes are the leaders of their organization. Some manage the affairs of the Phoenix Syndicate while others provide a public face to pacify the members of the Mansion. In battle, they can bolster themselves or their teammates as needed.

As an Executive Phoenix: The true chain of Phoenix command is a closely guarded secret. Phoenixes are merely told who their commanding officer is, and as they rise the ranks their CO will change. Some Executives aspire to the greater power found in rising the ranks. Others seek the rare privilege of being a Spokesman, a phoenix whose identity is publicly known throughout the Mansion. The greatest honor, for some, would be to be both a Spokesman of the Phoenix Syndicate and a Celebrity in one of the Mansion sports.

Stat Growth: ++Sparks, +Energy, -Strength

Signature Skill - Spark Burst, 0E: The user takes a small amount of damage to deal significant damage to a single target. Warning: This skill can result in the deletion of the user. (Note: I may modify this skill to fail below a certain Spark threshold.)

Operative (Bruiser) - Critical Hits
"Always go for the headshot."

Overview: Operatives of the Phoenix Syndicate thrive in both field and combat situations, and they act as the primary moderating force in the Mansion. In battle, their careful aim can land critical hits more reliably than any other class.

As a Phoenix Operative: Operatives fill one of two roles: infantry or agents. Infantry focus on combat while agents are given more delicate and specialized assignments. Infantry Operatives commonly badmouth agents as a whole when none are around, but many aspire to the very position they trash-talk. On their off time, Operatives thrive on the competition offered by Mansion sports.

Stat Growth: -Energy, +Strength, -Speed

Signature Skill - Scope Shot, 2E: Deal Strength-based damage to a single target and boost the user's critical hit rate. Only one Stance may be active at a time. (Note: This skill may have its name changed in the future.)

Pariah (Duelist) - Mixed Damage
"Now where did I place those extra rounds?"

Overview: A group of Phoenixes chose to ally with the Shaft Caste of Spectres to fight against the Werewolf threat in a recent war. The Phoenix Syndicate disowned these agents, marking them as Pariahs. In battle, they prefer to use Abilities first and physical attacks second.

As a Pariah Phoenix: The Pariah Division is comprised primarily of former Operatives and Biotics Division Phoenixes. Former Operatives were either infantry or agent specialists, and former Biotics engaged in research of one kind or another. Although these groups clash frequently, being field operatives or academic researchers, all have come together by valuing a sense of honor that they found lacking in the Phoenix Syndicate. They still enjoy Mansion sports as much as they did before, whether for competition or simply to unwind.

Stat Growth: -Sparks, -Energy, +Speed (Note: Duelists now receive a boost to Talent from their weapons.)

Signature Skill - Siphon Strike, 1E: Deal Strength-based damage to a single target, and the user also has a low chance of stealing 4 to 6 Energy from the target. Note: This skill deals less damage than a regular attack.

Biotics (Savant) - Self-Buff and Status Effects
"Jack-of-all-trades, Swiss army knife: whatever way you slice it, we are the best tool for the job."

Overview: Phoenixes constantly push the limits of science and technology, and the Biotics Division fronts these efforts. Their ultimate goal is to prevent deletion completely. In battle, they can boost their own stats, annihilate their enemies, or debilitate foes according to the situation.

As a Biotics Phoenix: The Biotics Division researches anything and everything, employing more hackers than any other organization within the Mansion. Their goal is to prevent deletion entirely, but many opt for weapons, items, and other research according to their interests or profit. When they're not researching, they enjoy a variety of Mansion sports. Many simply seek to unwind, but some can never shake the analytical mindset and will apply it just as thoroughly outside of work.

Stat Growth: +Energy, -Strength, +Talent, --Speed (Note: Savants now receive a boost to Talent from their weapons.)

Signature Skill - Tranquilizer Dart, 3E: Has a high chance of inflicting Disable to a single target.

 

Ebony Claw (Guardian) - Survivor
"You can't kill us, and you'll be lucky if you have enough breath left to beg for mercy."

Overview: The Ebony Claw is an egalitarian tribe where no one is greater than any other. In battle, they can adapt to survive any encounter.

As an Ebony Claw: Ebony Claws will frequently refer to others as “brother” and “sister” rather than by name as a way of showing respect and equality. The Innocence Pact has caused this practice to extend beyond the tribe, although it's still a fairly reliable way to recognize members of the tribe without drawing attention.

Stat Growth: +Sparks, +Energy, -Strength, +Nerve

Signature Skill - Nail, 4E: Deal Talent-based damage to a single target and steal some of their Sparks.

Amethyst Baron (Bruiser) - Strength-Based Damage
"You will break."

Overview: Amethyst Barons believe might makes right, allowing the strongest to rule while the weak fall. In battle, they conquer through pure strength.

As an Amethyst Baron: Among the Amethyst Barons, strength rules above all else. The strongest lead while the weak follow. The Lucian Council has forbidden war within the Mansion, but Barons are quick to leave the Mansion grounds to seek the glory of battle. Those that stay within the Mansion's walls often seek glory in the Arena.

Stat Growth: -Energy, +Strength, --Speed

Signature Skill - Bluster, 2E: Deal Strength-based damage to a single target and boost the user's Strength. Only one Stance may be active at a time.

Crimson Nail (Duelist) - Mixed Damage
"I'll hit you fast, I'll steal your Sparks, and you never had a chance."

Overview: Crimson Nails hold loyalty above all else, and many will pledge their lives to a small group of their closest friends as an adopted family. In battle, they value having consistent options.

As a Crimson Nail: More than other lucians, Crimson Nails embrace Mansion life. For many, the war is a distant thought, while the day-to-day affairs within the Mansion's walls consume all attention. Many Nails swear bonds of loyalty to a few close friends, an adopted family, with whom they spend much of their time and activities. In the past this adopted family exclusively included werewolves, but the Innocence Pact has allowed Nails to form these bonds with spectres and phoenixes. Family is family, after all, and there's no need to ask certain questions.

Stat Growth: -Sparks, +Speed (Note: Duelists now receive a boost to Talent from their weapons.)

Signature Skill - Nail, 4E: Deal Talent-based damage to a single target and steal some of their Sparks.

Azure Optic (Savant) - Status Effects
"You don't look well, friend. Is a virus corrupting your Sparks? That must be very painful."

Overview: Azure Optics seek knowledge and position, and most are willing to play the long game to achieve their goals. In battle, they debilitate their enemies with status effects in the process of destroying them.

As an Azure Optic: Position, influence, and knowledge are the aspirations of every Azure Optic. Whether by scheme or plan, Optics seek opportunities to climb social and power ladders. Despite the claim of “peace” within the Mansion's walls, Optics see the Mansion as merely another front in the war, and this is the front where the Azure Optics are best suited for victory. Some rise the ranks in Mansion sports, some partner with hackers and Influencers to shape public opinion, and some seek the forbidden areas of the Mansion. Opportunity lies within every room and behind every corner.

Stat Growth: +Energy, -Strength, +Talent, --Speed (Note: Savants now receive a boost to Talent from their weapons.)

Signature Skill - Infected Spine, 3E: Deal Talent-based damage and has a high chance of inflicting Virus to a single target.

Lunar Jade (Specialist) - Healer
"Creating Sparks merely requires the proper knowledge."

Overview: The Lunar Jade are shrouded in mystery, and rumors hint that they know ancient secrets. In battle, they are healers.

As a Lunar Jade: Outside of the Mansion grounds, beyond the reach of the Innocence Pact, Lunar Jades assist in the war effort while keeping to themselves socially. Rumors among other werewolves claim that Jades have taken a vow of silence, keeping secrets from their brothers and sisters in other tribes. Inside the Mansion, Jades blend in like any other member, taking interest in the various Mansion sports.

Stat Growth: +Sparks, +Energy, +Speed

Signature Skill - Spark Heal, 2E: Restore a small amount of the target's Sparks.

Amber Matriarch (Specialist) - Buff/Debuff
"Suddenly lost the will to fight, eh?"

Overview: An all-female Tribe, Amber Matriarchs command respect from all werewolves for their wisdom and prudence. Matriarchs rarely interfere in anyone's affairs--preferring to trust others to act in their own best interest--and offering advice only at the most pivotal moments. In battle, they can debilitate their enemies and bolster their allies. For plot reasons, characters choosing the Amber Matriarch class must be female.

As an Amber Matriarch: Long ago, Amber Matriarchs taught new lucians the way of life in the world of Sparkbomb. Today, under the Innocence Pact, Matriarchs have taken it upon themselves to welcome new members to the community and teach them about Mansion life. Once a new member begins to find their way, the Matriarch will quietly withdraw and focus on another new member, being remembered as a friend and mentor who can be sought out for advice. It's those moments that the Matriarchs patiently wait for, when their word will carry the furthest.

Stat Growth: +Energy, -Strength, +Speed (Note: Matriarch stats may be adjusted in the future.)

Signature Skill - Skill Block, 2E: Has a high chance of preventing a single target from using Skills. (Note: Skill Block may be renamed in the future.)

Edited by Shattered Rift

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Traj blanched at the mention of their inventories being wiped, but his sharp ears caught the word "nearly" in that sentence.

"'Nearly' everyone's inventories were wiped?" Traj asked. "What's going on with the lucky who few who weren't?"

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In-character questions will be answered with the next update, unless there's a pressing need to give a more immediate answer.

I've been making edits to the class post as I've caught mistakes. If anyone would like help in deciding which class would fit them best, please feel free to post questions here or contact me via PM/Facebook/Discord. It will be possible to play Mansionverse Saga from both role playing and gameplay standpoints, and I'm doing my best to include sufficient information about both without revealing too many secrets.

Also, I want to give a big thank you to Rex and Star who have both been instrumental in providing feedback for game design and writing aspects respectfully.

 

Traj asked a few good questions via Facebook, and I think they're worth answering here.

"Executives having their signature skill be high damage only - was that intentional?"

A lot of intentionality has gone into the battle system and class design. As for how much damage Executives take and deal with Spark Burst, you'll have to wait and see. For now, Executives are unique among Guardians by having the highest Spark count (as opposed to a defensive stat like Kaieta and Ebony Claw) and a way to deal significant damage (both through Spark Burst and Trained Shot).

"In fact, none of the classes you've mentioned as "ally buffers" appear to be able to buff their allies. At least thus far."

I don't want to reveal full Skill Lists, as I think it will be fun to unlock new skills over time. Suffice it to say that each archetype has a fairly consistent approach: Guardians are about survival and support, Bruisers focus on physical damage, Duelists focus on mixed damage, and Savants focus on special damage. I've tried to give an idea about how each class will grow and how it's intended to be played over the course of the game, and Rex should point out if anything seems misleading. As a minor spoiler, it will take a few levels before support skills become available.

As an important point, all skills are intended to remain viable throughout the course of the game. I expect there to be situations where Spark Shot is preferable over Spark Bomb, for example.

"Crimson Nails and Ebony Claws have the same signature skill - intentional?"

Yes. Pariah nearly had Kaieta's Siphon skill as well, but the decision to turn it into Siphon Strike was actually the most recent change to any class' kit.

Both Ebony Claw and Crimson Nail have their stat distinctions to change how effective the Nail skill is. The Crimson Nail's superior Speed and Talent (with Talent-boosting weapon) will allow it to deal damage sooner and harder. The Ebony Claw's Nail might have an advantage that isn't immediately apparent...

There are a few overlapping skills in the game, although the majority are unique. As you might imagine, coming up with a slew of skills for 14+ classes was a challenging endeavor, but I'm very excited with how it's turned out. I think every class will have a variety of options to keep combat dynamic. I'm especially proud of how the Bruisers turned out (since it would have been easy to leave them as "Mash the Attack Button" classes).

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The Sparkbomb Mansion

The Mansion is the hub of the Sparkbomb world. All members first enter through the Front Gate and follow the path to enter the Mansion itself. Many forums and lounges await within, each dedicated to a different game, sport, or activity. Four towers, each at the Mansion's corners, represent the most exclusive areas. Beyond the Mansion are two auxiliary buildings as well as the Mansion grounds. Many members live their entire lives never leaving the Mansion grounds: untold danger is said to lie beyond.

Locations

Public Spaces
Parlor (1st Floor South Main Entrance)
Random Chat Cafe (1st Floor North Rear Entrance)
Grand Ballroom (2nd Floor North above Random Chat Cafe)

Forums and Lounges
General Forum and Lounge (1st Floor Southwest corner)
Mafia Forum and Lounge (1st Floor Northwest corner)
Art Forum and Creator's Lounge (1st Floor Southeast corner)
Role Playing Forum and Developer's Lounge (1st Floor Northeast Corner)
Games Forum (1st Floor Southwest)
Sports Forum (1st Floor Northwest)
Media Forum (1st Floor Southeast)
Electronics Forum (1st Floor Northeast)

Towers and Lounges
First Tower and Lounge (3rd Floor Southwest corner and 2nd Floor Southwest corner)
Prismatic Tower and Lounge (3rd Floor Northwest corner and 2nd Floor Northwest corner)
Irregular Tower and Lounge (3rd Floor Southeast corner and 2nd Floor Southeast corner)
Glass Tower and Lounge (3rd Floor Northeast corner and 2nd Floor Northeast corner)

Quarters, Storefronts, and Other Public Spaces
Your Personal Quarters (2nd Floor)
Dozens of Member Quarters (2nd Floor)
Aurora Bazaar (Marketplace: 2nd Floor)
Umbra Alley (Marketplace: Northeast of the Mansion, Between the Mansion and The Garage)
J.B. Flea Market (Marketplace: Northwest of the Mansion, Between the Mansion and The Arena)
Alaris Farmers' Market (Marketplace: North of the Mansion and the Auxiliary Buildings)
Assorted Storefronts (2nd Floor)

Auxiliary Buildings
The Arena (Northwest of the Mansion)
The Garage (Northeast of the Mansion)

Commands and Quests

Explore (Location – Role Playing): Include a location (above) and experience story-based activities happening in that location.
Your Quarters (2nd Floor – Role Playing): Visit and decorate your personal quarters.

---

Ordinarily in this format, shop inventories and available Quests would be listed outright. I've decided to lock some of the initial Quests and Store inventories behind the Explore command. Note: You may visit Your Quarters (presumably retrieving your reward) and Explore in the same set of commands.

The Explore command may result in the discovery of new Quests, or it may simply result in new role playing opportunities. As I've mentioned before, this game is in ongoing development, and while I've spent quite a bit of time developing the battle engine I am also working on a heavy role playing element. Ideally, it will be possible to focus on combat quests, story (role playing) quests, or a combination thereof.

As a reminder, your command for next update should include your final Class choice, visiting your Personal Quarters, and Explore with a location to explore. Once a store's inventory is discovered, it will be added to this post (which will eventually be included in the first post), and all players will be able to purchase from that store. So if you're all in a rush to check out the various marketplaces, it'll only require one of you heading to each one. :P

Speaking of the marketplaces, I should point out that Umbra Alley is considered a sketchier place to do business. Some of your characters might be the type to avoid it. Several storefronts are also closed at night (such as the J.B. Flea Market and Alaris Farmers' Market). At some point very soon I'll accelerate you to morning, but I haven't quite decided when that will be yet. It might make the most sense to have you all return to your personal quarters after your meeting with Shattered Rift, sleep, and awake the following morning. I haven't decided yet.

Edited by Shattered Rift

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Star stayed quiet upon reboot, shuffling along silently with the others, shifting absently through her mostly empty command panel, back and forth through the limited menus with their incomplete knowledge of her past, following the others whom she assumed also had the dated PM from the admin.

Upon reaching him, she spent the time staring off into the distance, into the nothingness that he had pointed out, only barely taking note of the fact that everyone had everything had been wiped with a look of chagrin at her bare feet, her thoughts turning to her collection of socks now lost into the abyss of ones and zeroes.

She didn't take it quite as hard as others would, she imagined. 

She had not been here nearly as long as they. She remembered that much. And she remembered she had a sock collection.

Maybe that re-log had jostled a few things back into place after all.

Star's eyes moved back to Shattered Rift with a steady contemplativeness as he spoke of Spark Coins, and then asked further for their help.

She did not let any of her uneasiness with being near him feather towards the surface of her features, letting it flit within the pit of her stomach alongside a notion of saying and doing nothing that might indicate her willing or unwillingness to assist him in the future. 

She did not know what to make of him. She wasn't sure she ever had.

And she found solace in neutrality, wishing to remain unnoticed and in the background.

At the reminder that they had lost their usergroups, Star's eyebrows knit together in a consternation that quickly led to her bringing up her HUD again and finding the menu that would have held her status for such a thing depressingly empty.

...who am I here?

Bits and pieces floated along her memory, but nothing substantial for now.

As her eyes forlornly scanned the Overviews for each Usergroup, she desperately wished that one or another of them would stir something inside her, something that would give her a clue to what she had once been, if anything.

Her silent desperation grew into a knot inside her as she ran over and over the lines of text and completely missed the admin's absolutely valid follow-up question as to their whereabouts for the last several hours.

In any case, she felt she would have little to add to that particular conversation. She didn't know and had little to say that the others wouldn't be able to articulate more precisely what with their older knowledge of the Mansion and its properties thereof. 

Star released a quiet breath of a sigh from her lungs and half-heartedly chose her Usergroup as they stood there--if only so she could return something of a normalcy to her existence--releasing her panel into the air and listening to any others that might speak up, waiting patiently for everyone to either be dismissed or for others to begin breaking away before silently slipping away herself at an opportune moment, hoping to go unnoticed as she attempted as much.

She would return to her room, tension only slightly relieved when she found her feet managing to auto-pilot her in the right direction before she took direct notice of her path, and hope to find some answers there-in.

Also Spark Points.

Command(s):

Become Werewolf ((Lunar Jade))

Travel to Personal Quarters

Explore Personal Quarters

~!**!~

((I'm not sure if you meant for us to actually Explore our Personal Quarters, but given Star's reaction to things so far, it made the most sense for her to do. I am updating my actions now because I'm not super sure I'll be able to hop on SB over the next couple of days--which should also explain why I wrote Star's reactions the way I did--so if you do decide that we go and rest and awake in the morning to do our Command, Star is perfectly content to go collapse and then explore her room upon awakening.))

Edited by TheLastStarMaker

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My personal thoughts aren't coming together in a way that will add anything meaningful at this time, so I'm going to forego that post.

I should clarify: Each of you should post which class you'll be joining. Your fellow players will be aware of your decision. In-character, we'll have some explanation for how these choices are private.

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Still awaiting commands from: Bed (Explore command), Rexozord, TheLastStarMaker (Class decision), Trajectory, Blacjak, and Ward.

Update may be delayed tonight as I've caught a cold. Depending on how commands are shaping up, we could spend this update talking to Shattered Rift and visiting your personal quarters without exploring the Mansion.

Edit: In response to inquiry about Stances...

All skills with the "Only one stance may be active at a time" bit are considered Stances. Right now, only the ones that deal Talent-based damage explicitly have the word Stance in the name.

The bonus of a stance is applied to its own effect. Shaft Stance boosts the Talent dealt by itself, Scope Shot boosts its own Crit rate, and Bluster boosts its own Strength.

The stat boosting effect of a stance only lasts for three (3) rounds of combat, including the round used.

To give an example of use, a Shaft player might use Shaft Stance -> Spark Shot -> Spark Shot over the course of three rounds. Shaft Stance deals Talent-based damage (and receives its own boosts from the Stance). The boosted Talent can then be leveraged during the following two Spark Shots.

Edited by Shattered Rift

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First Blacjak explained what he had saw to Rift,

"I'm sure you might be aware of most of this, but after we defeated the Script Kiddie we were sent somewhere outside the ordinary borders of the Mansion to a location one could only think was a beta ground for something else. Objects were not interactive, and the rooms were filled with motionless Spambots. The other acrobats and I discovered a path blocked by fences that lead to a Werewolf who identified themselves as the Ordnance Sergeant. They were significantly stronger than us and we were all fragmented. I can only assume the others faced similar trials."

Blacjak looked over the list of classes very carefully. He knew most of his pack would continue their lives as wolves, but something else tempted him to stray. The sleek technology of Biotics, the merging of man and machine, was so tantalizing. Before, he had reached new heights in physical prowess with the power of the lucian form, but with Biotics there would be no upward limit.

You know? I always wanted to be a cyber ninja. Sign me up.

He thought to himself.

Blacjak turned to Ward.

"Well it's been fun. Whichever group you choose, I hope you'll enjoy it. I'll see you around!"

He waved a final farewell to his pack and headed out to explore his new life.

Phoenix Syndicate Blacjak chooses the path of Biotics.

Travel to Personal Quarters > Acquire Currency.

Explore Umbra Alley.

Edited by Blacjak

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5 minutes ago, Blacjak said:

"You know? I always wanted to be a cyber ninja. Sign me up."

Blacjak turned to Ward.

"Well it's been fun, we'd love to have you in the Syndicate, but I'm sure you'll have just as much fun pulverizing faces with the Werewolves as a Baron."

As a reminder, The Innocence Pact is still in effect. :P If you want to include this, I'll have Shattered Rift specifically comment accordingly. If you'd like to edit it, please do so before the update tonight.

Edit: Let's go a little more in-depth on this point...

The Innocence Pact forbids stating/sharing/etc your usergroup or the usergroup of others within the Mansion's grounds. Outside of the Mansion's grounds, there is no such law. You'll likely all learn each others' usergroups during the course of gameplay.

While walking around the Mansion, everyone essentially looks the same. You're all people. You all do whatever you decide to do while spending time in the Mansion, whether that's a game of Mafia, paintballing, browsing the Gallery, etc. There's nothing to outwardly identify anyone as being part of any usergroup. There's no special way to identify the usergroup of others. (Phoenixes wear masks that conceal their identities while on-duty.)

The class descriptions posted above are only known out-of-character. In-character, you might not even know all of the classes exist within the other usergroups. We'll, uh, handwave the fact that you're somehow making educated decisions in-character right now about which class suits you best. (The simplest solution might be that you do choose your usergroup, and then some mystical code determines your class.)

For all players, a set class will have a set skill progression. So every Biotics Phoenix will learn the same skills at the same levels. However, in-character, this progression is not set. So two Biotics Phoenixes might have different skillsets. And anyone could know Bluster, or Spark Heal, or Siphon Strike (even though these are Amethyst Baron, Lunar Jade, and Pariah skills for you as players). Only a few skills are usergroup-specific, such as Spark Shot/Shoot/Slash. I'm still in the process of determining if I should mark a skill as usergroup-specific or how best to handle that.

Edited by Shattered Rift

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