At the Crossroads is a Multi-User eXperience, a text-based role-playing game run via telnet. The game explores urban fantasy, and the story is set primarily in northern California, offering the large city of San Francisco and the smaller city of Beacon Hills as the major locations. We welcome both original and feature characters, drawing on a variety of sources, as detailed below.
- If you're new to this sort of game, you may want to check out our New User Guide.
As a modern fantasy game, At the Crossroads focuses mainly on modern settings combined with fantasy elements, ranging from urban or suburban landscapes to wilderness areas to, occasionally, realms beyond the human world. Also drawing from some darker sources, the game places creatures like vampires and werewolves alongside witches, wizards, and slayers. In another setting, these might read as horror elements, but in a world like ours there is much more magic to go around. Ours is a modern fantasy world that challenges assumptions about what a real monster is, exploring the relatable, human elements of even the most inhuman creatures.
Uniting characters and concepts from across multiple, similar fandoms, the game allows players to either explore what happens when some of their favorite characters meet or, just as easily, to introduce new characters to the world. The rest of this page serves as a guide to what kind of characters may be played here, how to go about playing them, and how the world fits together.
If you have any questions, you can always contact the staff for assistance.
"We know a little about a lot of things; just enough to make us dangerous."
Shakespeare famously wrote, through the mouth of Hamlet, that there are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in man's philosophy, of things that defy human understanding. Call them paranormal, supernatural...
"There's power in the night. There's terror in the darkness. Despite all our accumulated history, learning, and experience, we remember... when darkness itself was enough to make us cry out in fear..."
For a while, it seemed that most of these things slept, the darkness lurking down dark alleys, in forgotten ruins, in ancient, musty tomes.
Maybe the occasional apocalypse, on a Tuesday.
"Try not to forget we hit the reset button on a supernatural beacon... There's a pretty good chance things are never going back to normal."
But that world may be more awake now than ever before, when despite all modern illusions of human supremacy, the world balances on the edge of a blade.
"Even in winter, the cold isn't always bitter, and not every day is cruel."
There may be great hope hidden in the darkness, but there are also monsters.
"The hardest thing in this world... is to live in it."
Vampires, werewolves, immortals, ghosts, fairies, witches...
Newly awakened or ancient, the monsters come out to play.
But some of them aren't monsters. Some of them just might be heroes. As long as they don't eat us first.
"Don't be a hater, dear."
Main Article: Setting
History of the World Edit
In the BeginningEdit
Once upon a time, some time in excess of fourteen or fifteen billion years ago, there was nothing--or, more accurately, there was nothing of the currently known universe. No known record nor memory exists to tell what came Before. Whether a previous universe, a void of nothing, or something altogether more surprising, there is no clear knowledge to be found on the subject. What is certain is that, eventually, the universe began.
In the beginning, there was Creation. Born first were the most ancient realms of the Nevernever, the lands of dreams and infinite magical possibility. As these realms came into being, so too did the Powers That Be. Each of the Powers manifested within its own realm, each Power taking unique form and each realm reflecting the nature of that Power. These powers included Faërie, Heaven, the Hell Dimensions, Asgard, Olympus, and all the other great realms of divinity, spirit, or primal nature.
The Powers That BeEdit
The Powers manifested in greatly varied ways. Some became divine pantheons, each exerting an influence on what would become the mortal realm. Some remained monolithic and singular in their identity, such as the Kingdom of Heaven and its God (who manifested as both many as one, ranging from parent to child and from masculine to feminine). Others, such as the hell dimensions, were diverse and widely ranging, breaking their power up into many unique fragments. Faërie divided itself into courts, which would in time come to reflect the four seasons of Earth. Most varied of all were the Daemons, existing as seemingly a half-step between demon and fae but, somehow, nothing so simple as that. Some daemons occupied various primordial realms. One of those realms became home to the planet that would, in time, become the Earth.
The Powers would not at all times exist in harmony. Frequently, they would be at odds. The emergence of mortals, evolving from the simplest of lifeforms and shepherded by the divines, would serve as the greatest catalyst for change. Some say that the mortals were, themselves, the youngest of the Powers, their power divided more finely and distributed more widely amongst them than any other Power. Perhaps that is why some of the elder Powers would court human worship so eagerly, such as the divine pantheons who played chess with mortal lives and promised them spiritual rewards in various afterlives as a reward for their devotion. Other Powers sought to gain dominance in this way, creating vast realms to house the souls of mortals who had passed from the physical world. Yet others remained separate from such struggles. The fae, for instance, thrived on both the primal energies of nature and the dreams and creativity of mortals, yet they seldom sought more than passing contact with them.
Celestial Wars and Unseelie AccordsEdit
As the ages passed, mortals gained greater and greater power. They developed civilizations and tools, and they discovered powerful magics. On Earth, many human civilizations would rise and fall. As the mortals evolved, so too did many of the divines, always finding new ways to maintain a connection to their worshipers. Conflicts between the Powers also grew, with open war breaking out between various pantheons at one time or another. One of the greatest of these conflicts was Lucifer's rebellion in Heaven, ending with the fallen Archangel and all his followers cast into the hell dimension most closely linked to Earth, where Lucifer's followers would organize many of the lesser demonic Powers into the Kingdom of Hell, now mighty enough to rival Heaven, if far more tumultuous in nature and leadership. On the Earth, many lesser supernatural beings began to appear, from the bestial were-creatures and predatory vampires to the demigods and goddesses spawned by the divines--even the mysterious Immortals, empowered by their strange magic called the Quickening.
All the while, the power of the mortals grew. Witches organized into powerful covens, and wizards began to ally with one another. Together and separately, they worked greater and greater wonders. This much potential, this many Powers, all threatening constantly to tip hopelessly out of balance, required something to steady them. In the end, it was Faërie who brought forth the Unseelie Accords, said to be penned by the very hand of Queen Mab of Winter. The Accords did not bring peace, but they provided a way for the Powers to coexist in less open conflict. Now, if one Power should grow out of control--or if other threats should arise--then champions could be appointed to ensure that Creation would endure. If circumstances grew sufficiently dire, then the Powers might even take an active hand in righting them. It was at best a compromise, but it did what was needed.
At the CrossroadsEdit
The mortal world grew only stronger as technology began to rival magic for its strength, forcing many supernatural beings to operate in secret rather than risk exposure to the increasingly dangerous human societies. Hunters and slayers were soon no longer the greatest worry, for as mortal communication became more powerful, the risk of exposure and destruction became only greater. To make matters more complex still, there was no telling when some rogue Power or lone opportunist might risk upsetting the precious Balance, seeking to remake the world in their own image--or, for the even more destructive, to end it entirely. Worst of all, it came to be known that incursions by the Outsiders--strange, alien beings from beyond the boundaries of known reality that corrupted and destroyed all they could--were increasing.
This is the world of today, a world that stands in an ever more precarious position--a world At the Crossroads.
Canon Sources Edit
The canon cutoffs for all primary sources are also noted on the game's Timeline.
When a new source is brought into the game canon, generally two major elements are established: a "cutoff point" that determines how much of the story is being used from the published source and a "timeline" that determines how the timeline of the original source syncs up to the story of the game. In general, up to the cutoff point, any event that is key to the story or was witnessed in the story by a number of characters is immutable.
Handling events that occurred but were not witnessed is a little trickier to handle. It does however open up some very interesting opportunities for role-play. For example, if a character is mortally wounded and left to die, but there is room for suspicion that the death might not have been quite so assured as it might have seemed on the page or the screen, then while it is safe to generally assume that the character is dead, it is equally safe to reveal that the rumors of the character's death have been exaggerated--she may have found a way, in the grand tradition of fiction, to escape in the nick of time, retreating to recover in secret, before making an eventual comeback.
With this in mind, it may seem daunting to alter the course of the books if you wish to take a character along a different route. Certain relationships for example are very long established by the cut off for a particular source. Changing those characters can steer not just one, but many characters along very new paths. Altering the relationship dynamics of the central feature characters is not to be approached lightly as a result. However, it is not forbidden, either. No player is beholden to only role-play the events as they occurred in a source after the game cut off. Caution is suggested though, so please do not take a feature character specifically for the purpose of altering them in this manner.
Nearly anything can be changed with proper explanation and the time devoted to making the change occur naturally through role-play, but the length of time and the nature of that role-play should be discussed in advance with players that will be affected by such a change as well as the staff. We are all here to role play after all, so there should be no aversion to doing that to affect the changes in the canon we would like to see realized. After all anything with having is worth working towards. Note that if a change is going to disrupt the game to terribly, such as a major feature character's death for example, the staff reserves the right to veto it. With this in mind, please for the sake of all parties contact staff before such events start in the game. Give us a brief description of the plot points and planned outcome.
However, even where canon seems quite firm, we do allow some wiggle room--if you believe that altering an element of canon would not be unduly problematic, then you may suggest it to staff. If your suggestion is approved, then it may be added to our canon notes in this file the purpose of this policy is not to keep us in lock-step with the stories as published, just to help keep everyone on the same page, existing within the same continuity.
Buffy: The Vampire Slayer Edit
- Cutoff: The Buffy cutoff is Season 3, Episode 22, "Graduation Day, Part 2." The Angel cutoff is Season 2, Episode 22, "There's No Place Like Plrtz Glrb."
- Timeline: As of the game's IC opening, a number of Buffy milestones have transpired over the two years since Angel left Sunnydale. (See "Notes," below.)
At the Crossroads counts the the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer as canon up until Episode 22 of Season 3 and Angel up until Episode 22 of Season 2. Events detailed in the show are considered to have generally occurred on the game just as they did in the series. The 1992 film can also be used as a source, though the Buffy series is considered primary canon, and concepts from the film may require more adaptation. Some elements of the show may be subject to adjusting, such as last-minute character death and maiming, so please feel free to approach staff with any suggestions.
A player wishing to play a Buffyverse-style vampire, demon, or monster is perfectly fine. Most FCs are playable, and most concepts can be used for OCs. Per the notes below, multiple Slayers are now fully possible, as all the potential slayers have been activated. Other concepts, such as hellmouths, may be possible with staff approval.
- No specific metaplot events from Buffy Season 4 and onward are necessarily included unless stated here. For example, The Initiative has never existed in the At the Crossroads universe. However, In Character, at the time of the game's opening two years had passed since Buffy graduated high school in 2013.
- As of the game's opening, Dawn Summers and Glorificus had never appeared in the At the Crossroads universe.
- Joyce Summers is alive and well as of the game's opening, living in Los Angeles. She and Dawn have subsequently moved to Beacon Hills.
- As of the game's opening, Willow Rosenberg has been involved with Tara Maclay and demonstrated a dangerous affinity for dark powers, but she has never gone full "Dark Willow" as in Buffy Season 6.
- In May of 2015, the Hellmouth in Sunnydale was opened as a result of the Charmed Ones' battle to stop the apocalypse. The town abandoned by panicked citizens, Buffy Summers and her friends battled the First Evil and sealed the Hellmouth, destroying Sunnydale. A spell cast by Willow Rosenberg awakened all potential Slayers. (Notably, Anya Jenkins was not killed in the encounter.)
- Per the "Dislocation" plot, Los Angeles has been divested of all magic. While magic returns to the area normally, this means that anything supernatural that existed in Los Angeles before the start of game play have been transported mysteriously to other locations, such as The Hyperion hotel being transplanted to San Francisco.
- While Darla has not been depicted as pregnant at this point in Angel, we will leave that plot point ambiguous to allow for Connor's existence.
- Cutoff: Season 2, Episode 22, "Be Careful What You Witch For" (Before the start of season 3)
- Timeline: As of the game's IC opening, Piper and Leo are not yet married, and Prue is still alive, while Paige has yet to be introduced.
At the Crossroads counts the TV series Charmed as canon up until Episode 22 of Season 2. Events detailed in the show up to that point are considered to have occurred on the game just as they did in the series. The cutoff is set early in the show in order to give the most freedom and have the most characters available, particularly not establishing Piper's marriage or Prue's death, but later elements are still for the most part perfectly viable.
A player wishing to play a Charmed-style witch, warlock, demon, mythical creature, or monster is perfectly fine. Most FCs are playable, and most concepts can be used for OCs. OC witch-hunters are of course plausible, though original character whitelighters, fairies, or other more powerful or obscure concepts may require a great deal more adaptation and discussion with staff. Use of other concepts, such as darklighters or series Big Bads may be possible with staff approval.
The Dresden Files Edit
- Cutoff: Book 1, Storm Front (Before Book 2, Fool Moon)
- Timeline: As of the game's IC opening, Harry Dresden has had the Doom of Damocles lifted from him after solving a series of grisly black-magic-fueled murders in Chicago.
At the Crossroads counts the novel series The Dresden Files as canon up to the end of Book 1, Storm Front. Events detailed in the series up to that point are considered to have occurred on the game just as they did in the books. The cutoff is set early in the series in order to give the most freedom and have the most characters open to interpretation, particularly not delving too much into the overarching plot of the books as they go on, such as Harry's dealings with the fae or the Red Court/White Council war.
A player wishing to play a Dresden-style wizard, vampire, shifter, or other mythical creature may well be able to do so; most FCs are playable, and most concepts can be used for OCs. Note that Dresden concepts may require a bit more adaptation, particularly wizards and any sort of fae characters (due to potentially very high power levels and extensive political and thematic impact). Use of other concepts, such as specific elements of Dresden magic, lore, or cosmology may be possible with staff approval.
- Per the "Dislocation" plot, Chicago has been divested of all magic. While magic returns to the area normally, this means that anything supernatural that existed in Chicago before the start of game play have been transported mysteriously to other locations, such as San Francisco.
- Cutoff: The original Highlander film
- Timeline: It has been many years since Connor claimed The Prize in 1985.
At the Crossroads counts the film and television series Highlander as canon through only the first film. Events detailed in the franchise up to that point are considered to have occurred on the game just as they did in the film. Conceptually, ideas from later films in the series or from the television show are all fair game for sources, though none of the specific events from the show or later films are considered to have explicitly happened unless established by approved player application. This cutoff is designed to allow the fullest range of characters and concepts to be playable.
As such, players may create Highlander-style immortals. Most FCs are playable, and most concepts can be used for OCs. With staff approval and if it makes sense based on the story and Highlander lore, humans from other sources may potentially be reborn as immortals.
- For the purposes of the game, we are following the canon that The Gathering was not a solitary event, and that rather than defeating all other immortals, the winner simply had to gather a certain measure of Quickening, which was accomplished when Connor MacLeod took the head of The Kurgan. This explains how immortals such as Duncan are able to exist after Connor had claimed The Prize.
- For the purposes of the game, The Prize that Connor claimed was great power, allowing him to actually redefine the rules of The Game. Connor chose to end the need for violence among immortals, disbanding The Game and ending the reoccurrence of The Gathering.
- While there may still be immortals who hunt other immortals for sport and to claim their Quickening as an accelerated road to personal power, the removal of The Gathering has led to increased peace among them, so that violence and duels between immortals has become rare. It is now known by all that there is no more Gathering and no more Prize. Connor's choice redefined the most famous rule of the game, so it is no longer true that "there can be only one."
- Immortals are watched over by a division of the same Watchers Council as the one that monitors Slayers.
- Cutoff: Season 1, Episode 19, "Provenance" (Before obtaining The Colt)
- Timeline: As of the game's IC opening, January of 2013, Sam and Dean are still in their first year of hunting together.
At the Crossroads counts the TV series Supernatural as canon up until Episode 19 of Season 1. Events detailed in the show up to that point are considered to have occurred on the game just as they did in the series. Conceptually, ideas from later in the show or the anime can also be used as sources, though the indicated elements of the show are considered primary canon, and other concepts may require more adaptation. The cutoff is set early in the show in order to give the most freedom and have the most characters available, but later elements are still for the most part perfectly viable.
A player wishing to play a Supernatural-style vampire, demon, or monster is perfectly fine. Most FCs are playable, and most concepts can be used for OCs. OC hunters are of course plausible, though original concepts such as Angels, Knights of Hell, or Leviathans may require a great deal more adaptation and discussion with staff. Use of other concepts, such as the apocalypse events or The Colt may be possible with staff approval.
Teen Wolf Edit
- Cutoff: Season 3A, Episode 12, "Lunar Eclipse" (After the defeat of the Darach and the Alpha Pack)
- Timeline: As of the game's IC opening, Scott and his pack are entering their junior year of high school.
At the Crossroads counts the TV series Teen Wolf as canon up until Episode 12 of Season 3A. Events detailed in the show up to that point are considered to have occurred on the game just as they did in the series. The 1985 film is not viable as a direct source. The cutoff is set early in the show in order to give the most freedom and have the most characters available, but later elements are still for the most part perfectly viable.
A player wishing to play a Teen Wolf-style werewolf, ritualist, or monster is perfectly fine. Most FCs are playable, and most concepts can be used for OCs. OC wolf-hunters are of course plausible, though original concepts pertaining to any of the series "Big Bads" or alpha wolves of any stripe may require a great deal more adaptation and discussion with staff. Use of other concepts, such as advanced druidic magic or series Big Bads may be possible with staff approval.
- Vernon Boyd and Erica Reyes were not killed. In an adjustment to canon, Derek Hale was able to rescue them from the Alpha Pack and send them into hiding for months after. As of summer 2015, both have returned to Beacon Hills.
Secondary Sources Edit
Unless otherwise established by staff, Secondary Sources are not considered to be part of game canon. However, they may serve as good sources to adapt characters and character concepts from. What is essential, though, is that characters from Secondary Sources must be adapted to fit with the game's theme. Thus, for example, if you want to app a vampire or werewolf from one of these sources, they must fit the criteria we have established for vampires or werewolves on the game. Additionally, some sources may use terminology differently (like Lost Girl using the term "fae" to mean "any supernatural creature"). On the game, characters should use the terms as we have established them, such as "fae."
Currently allowed Secondary Sources are:
Connecting Sources Edit
As we reference in our theme overview, Shakespeare's Hamlet is known for having remarked that there are more things in Heaven and Earth than are dreamt of in most philosophy. Not only does this mean that there are forces and creatures that defy human understanding, but it also means that what holds as absolutely true in one source may not always carry over, fully intact, to the game. Here, various sources must bend a bit to be able to coexist successfully with each other.
I'm from series "A," but would I know about "B" from series "C"? Edit
- Generally, a character's knowledge can be assumed to extend beyond their own "series" as is appropriate. Harry Dresden has probably heard of Slayers. Rupert Giles has almost certainly heard of Wizards. Alan Deaton might or might not know about The Watchers Council, but he's almost certainly heard of The White Council. Said councils definitely know one another exist, and can reasonably be assumed to have some sort of working relationship.
- If it makes sense for a character to not know something, then that's probably fine. Buffy Summers may be surprised to learn, for example, that there are certain vampires who avoid the sun for reasons quite different than she would expect. Sam and Dean Winchester may be surprised to learn of deviations from their hunting experience, if it suits them.
But, character "A" is the most powerful "something-or-other" in the world, right?" Edit
- In various source canon, it may be that The Charmed Ones are the most powerful witches of all time--or, perhaps, Willow Rosenberg is the most powerful--but, are they more powerful than a juiced up Harry Dresden or Myrtle Snow? The answer is essentially, no, not necessarily. The Charmed Ones and Willow are definitely some of the most powerful witches in the world, but it is not reasonable to assume that any one of them is the end-all and be-all of magic.
- The significance of most central characters to their source material is essentially a function of narrative causality. In his own story, Paul Bunyan is the most formidable man alive, but despite his immense strength and the mighty sweep of his axe, he runs up against his limits when he encounters John Henry's ability to drive steel. This is why the power levels on our game are simplified. It allows for characters to be significant and powerful without trying to steal the show so that other characters, who in their own universes are equally significant and powerful, are not made less important.
In series "A," the world is destined to experience outcome "B." It's fate! Is it still true? Edit
- Whether it's the destiny that "Death is your gift," that you will be a key player in the Apocalypse, or that you and your brother are somewhat inexplicably the two most important humans ever born, destined to serve as the vessels of Michael and Lucifer when they finally have their big throw-down, the source material is replete with prophecy, destiny, and all manner of major doings that have been teased or outright revealed to lie ahead for our heroes and their villainous counterparts. Does that hold true here? Well, no, but also yes.
- Prophecies may certainly exist, and if you work it out with staff, they may even be true--but remember that prophecies are often riddled with caveats and half-truths, and they may be widely open to interpretation. Our goal, here, is to strike the best balance we can between being true to the characters who play here and to preserving the integrity of the game's world and narrative. Please bear in mind that just because something is "destined" in a canon source does not mean it is decidedly so here, but at the same time if you're very interested in pursuing a plot arc for your character, we will try to work with you on that to make it possible.
Of course, part of role-playing is playing the character in a reasonable and responsible manner that fits with the game's theme.
- Main article: Role-Playing Rules