Sparkling Creek Valley is semi-realistic, pbp rpg (play-by-post role-playing game). Its central focus is on wolves, but humans and other animals have since been incorporated into the game, and the Valley has been expanded to accommodate them.
Being semi-realistic, unnatural elements such as magic and fantasy aspects are not allowed. The game is otherwise open and fairly lax on rules, with no established 'breeding seasons' or ridged fighting systems, instead relying more on character interactions and storytelling.
Setting & Time
Though the setting and geography are fictional, the Valley is set in modern day, and follows real-time. Because of this, characters are loosely aged in real time as well, though this guideline does not have to be strictly followed when it comes to young characters, especially human babies.
Sparkling Creek Valley is bordered along the north by the Ochotona Mountains, and to the west by the Croal Mountains. The eastern edge of the land is cut off by the Ferral Sea, and to the south is partially bordered by a stretch of the White River Mountain Range. Noteworthy geographical features are listed below.
Mountain Ranges: Croal Mountains, Ochotona Mountains , White River Mountain Range
Rivers and Creeks: Requiems River, White River, Sedge Creek, Sparkling Creek
Bodies of Water: Pikes Lake, Elk Stand Lake, White River Lake, Lake of the Heavens, Lake Oasis, Orca Bay, Ferral Sea, Ebontarn Sea
Highways Leading to Sparkling Creek Valley: Highway 99, Highway 204(Closed during the winter.)
Most of the northern half of the Valley sits on highly active, natural thermal systems. The best evidence of this is at the Ashen Domes, where many of the vents converge to form an array of geological features - from domes, geysers, lava-filled faults, and hot pools.
The intensity and spread of these thermal systems offers a unique ecology to the Valley, and has allowed non-native species to survive the otherwise harsh and bitter winters.
In addition to sustaining exotic animal species, unusually high ground temperatures in many areas have allowed the survival of non-native plant species as well. While the Valley falls into Zones 2 to 5, thermal hot spots have been found to sustain plants that naturally live in Zones 9 - 10.
Though once inhabited by an ancient civilization to the west, and then later by a mining town in the mid 1800's, the Valley has only one major area of civilization now. Atroe City was established as an offshoot of the mining town, based near the end of Requiem's River, a few miles from the coastline. The town has grown very slowly since its official founding in 1887, and today stands at a population around 16,000. With no official airport or seaport, Atroe City is only accessible via two highways - one of which is closed down during the winter, as it passes through the rugged Croal Mountains. Despite its near-stagnant growth, powerful local organizations have brought a wealth of resources to the area, allowing Atroe City to benefit from the technologies of the day while still remaining small and relatively unseen by the rest of the world.
West Vs East
Built around Requiems River, Atroe City is divided into a Western and Eastern section by the water. Once connected by Carver's Bridge, the new 'H' bridge now links the two sides.
The west side is typically filled with the 'upper-class' and 'wealthy' inhabitants, while the 'lower-class' tends to live on the east side. Although the entire town is largely corrupt and prone to violence, it is the east that really personifies the dark and dingy aspect of society. Apart from the social strains, the east side is also more prone to suffer from weather-related disasters. Backed by the end of the White River Mountain Range, the west side sits upon hills and a stretch of bluffs, while the east portion lies in a bottom land. For this reason, flooding is a major problem during the spring, and following summer storms.
In an effort to focus more on storytelling , most skirmishes are done simply through role-play, where characters can scheme, ambush, and fight with each other without worrying about rules and guidelines that might otherwise impede creativity. However, in cases where fights involve higher stakes (such as fights over territories, ranks, wars ect,), during special Events, or whenever it's requested by players, fights will use a Stat system to determine whether attacks hit, and if so, how much damage was done to the other character.
A set of base stats are giving to a character upon joining, depending on their species and weight. These stats are intended to be a 'behind the scenes' system that players need not worry about. Characters born on the site will have stats influenced by their parents. If you're curious about the mechanics behind how the Stats work, or would like to assist in doing Stats during fights, you can check out the Stat Mechanics.
Earning Stat Points
There are four ways to earn more points - activity, fighting/hunting, participating in Events, and responding to Activity Checks/Birthdays.
- For every 20 posts a character makes (within a two month period), they'll earn a point.
- It doesn't matter how long it takes to reach that 20 post mark (a week or four months), they'll get a point as soon as they hit the 20th post. Only one point can be earned this way within a two month period however, regardless of how many posts are made. This is to help preserve some balance between highly active players and the more casual players.
- For a point to count towards a character, they have to be described in the post by name (if there are multiple characters in a single post).
For Activity Checks
- All characters who respond to the Activity Checks (the first two weeks of every February, June, and October) will receive a point.
- Characters will receive a point on their character's birth day (determined by the date the joined, or when their character was born on the site).
- For every three fights/hunts won, a character will earn a point (up to one in a two month time frame).
- For every five fights/hunts total (win or loose) a character will earn a point (up to one in a two month time frame).
- For the fight to count, the thread needs to be a minimum of four posts long.
- If your own characters are fighting each other, the feuding parties must post separately.
- For hunts to count, they must be done using the Stat system.
- A point can be earned by actively participating in any Event thread (such threads will be labeled with a Event tag in the title).
- Only one Event point can be earned in a two month time span.
- For a point to count, a character must actively participate and reach the conclusion of the thread.
- Once a character has becomes an 'Elder', they can no longer earn new points. Some stats (such as strength and dexterity) will begin to decline on a yearly basis.