Samarkand RP Kicks Off

by onder on 09/08/07 at 7:16 pm

by Onder Skall


I caught one of the kickoff events at Samarkand saturday night. (Here’s the SLurl.)The place is gorgeous, the role players really and truly role play, andI got pictures. It’s good to wear my “games reporter” hat sometimes!(Even if it has holes in it from the horns.)

Here’s a quick summary from the press release:

As one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in theworld, Samarkand is an international city set along the mysteriousCentral Asian/Persian/Arabian Silk Road. It is here, in ancientSamarkand (2000 BC – 1200 AD), that a group of outcasts have settledand begin to blend into the tribes of the land. These multi racialtribes–consisting of vampires (Vampire: The Masquerade clans, as wellas vampires without clans), demons, nekos, drows, mages, mortals,shapeshifters dragons, angels, lycans, among many other species andcultures–draw all travelers into their ancient rivalries until, soon,Samarkand lives up to the meaning of its name:”land of war!!!”…

As role play areas go, I have to say that Samarkand is unique inthat they control the style, but not really much of the content. Youget “Masquerade” vampires and human goreans, sword fighters and magicusers, angels and atheists, but in conversation they all seem to be onthe same page about the tone and style of the environment. It’s anopportunity for people to take characters they play elsewhere and bringthem into a new culture to see if there are new ways to make things fit.


The architecture is a mix of Arabian, Persian and Indian opulence,and I found myself looking forward to the day when Windlight lets uscontrol the lighting effects. This kind of build will really win outagainst others when shadows and light can play against each other in amore subtle way. It’s running on a class 5 server so the details poppedinto view fairly quickly too.

The “Queen of Queens” in Samarkand is (currently) Pierce Malick, whowould tell you that all of her subjects are loyal to her. That’s notcompletely true, however. There are always plots to overthrow thethrone, but of course, none of the tribes will openly admit that to theQueen herself. Secrecy, politics, and strategy play as much a part inthe daily lives of the city’s residents as DCS combat does.

Of course, every sim needs a club. Samarkand’s is called “The Silk RoseClub” and keeps with the multicultural feel, broadcasting dance radiofrom China, Afganistan, Russia, Iran, and even a little European mixnow and again. Like most clubs they hold regular events on Fridays andSaturdays, and they’re hiring dancers and escorts now if you’reinterested.


If you want to join in the general exotic fun at Samarkand, TP inand you’ll get notecards telling you how to join a tribe and meetinteresting people. It’s nice to see somebody trying something unique,and I have a feeling old-time role players are going to love therefreshing change.

7 Responses to “Samarkand RP Kicks Off”

  1. Reality

    Aug 9th, 2007

    I never liked VtM or any other White Wolf game much …. Their view on the races is far too limiting, not to mention the emphasis placed on the dice.

    give me a good old fashioned free form RP any day of the week …. Persons not able to actually think to respond to a hostile or possibly hostile action need not apply.

  2. SqueezeOne Pow

    Aug 9th, 2007

    We don’t have nearly enough RP that includes every kind of popular av style in lieu of consistency and a solid story. It’s like Medieval CoLA!

    When is there going to be some solid, original RP in SL?

  3. Solar Legion

    Aug 9th, 2007

    when is there going to be original RP in SL? as soon as I am able to afford to buy a Private Island …. unless someone else wants to do the purchase …. It’ll take me a while.

  4. newbreed

    Aug 9th, 2007

    pay homage to doomsday

  5. Dusk

    Aug 10th, 2007

    Not to be a doomsayer, but I’m not too optimistic. While I’ve always hoped for better roleplay in SL, the free-form, structureless nature of this is what will ultimately doom it. It’s a shame really, SL is such a rich environment for RP, but it’s all crap.

    Without a solid rules-system, clearly world/environment/genre, and storytellers/dungeonmasters/moderators to keep things balanced and fair RP ultimately devolves into garbage with absurd god-mode type characters that are mishmashes of every little thing the player has ever heard of.

    Can’t wait to see the legions of “500year old 2nd Generation Assamite, Ahroun White Howler Abomination with Telekinetic powers and a talking, hyperintelligent, katana infused with the soul of a demon,” type characters that free-form always vomits forth.

    Nice try though!

  6. Dusk

    Aug 10th, 2007

    Also Reality – you must have played with some crummy “dice-fiends” who were roll-players rather than role-players. Just like with all systems, you can roll for every little thing or very sparingly. I’d argue that White Wolf’s V:tM system is very basic and over simplified for a lot of what it does. I can’t comment on V:tR as I haven’t looked much into it.

  7. Reality

    Aug 12th, 2007

    Dusk, my problem is with the notion of dice itself. Yes, it creates an element of chance – but there are those out there who seem to base quite a bit on a single roll of the die.

    Case in point: An Online spar I had with a few Guild friends once (Yes, AOL – hold the comments please) … Most of the people I have role Played with will actually react more to the actions described in each post before reacting to the roll of the dice. In this case however, the person I had chosen to target in this mass spar ignored the attack post entirely – simply due to the roll not being high enough to cause any damage.

    In any other system, such an action would have resulted in the attack striking the target. Now, the system I actually use forces you to think.It does not rely on the player’s typing speed or how many words one can cram into a single post. It has a large amount of freedom in what you can create character wise … The only catch is that you must be able to explain a character’s abilities if you are asked to. You must be able to make it make sense.

    That goes for attack and defense.

    The system even has a workaround to prevent God-like combat characters: Simply put, Gods and God-like characters are Non-Combatants. You are not allowed to start a fight – You can finish a fight with such a character – but not start one. In fact, a Non-Com is expected to avoid fights no matter what – this is to prevent the abuse of power normally seen in free form role playing.

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