World of Darkness: Mortal

From From The Ashes Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
WODO title.jpg

The mortal sphere is, too often, a dumping ground for throw-away concepts. A neglected part of the WOD MUSH, or a place where people are expected to make characters that miss every plot, or are there to be red shirts. It is our earnest goal at From The Ashes: Detroit by Night that mortals should get their own TPs and PrPs, and that they should generally be treated like any other sphere - including the same care and attention from staff. The downside for those of you who are used to mortal being an unsupervised pool, is that we will expect the same care and attention to character concepts as we would any other sphere.


Detroit is a city in trouble. Virtually every major group has simply washed its hands of the place, and in many respects that includes the state government. Dark, horrid things are lurking beneath the surface and the usual supernatural checks and balances are largely absent. The only 'thriving' supernatural presence in Detroit, anymore, is The Sabbat and they're not a the kind of presence that mortals would want in their city. New heroes have to step up if humanity's to be more than cattle. This is a place for those heroes that rise from the ranks of mortals to really shine and take back this city of ashes.

Mortal, for us, is a sphere about average people forced to come to grips with decidedly not average events and circumstances. Objectively speaking, mortals are ill equipped to grapple with the supernatural. They suffer from the Delirium, their banalities tend to be high enough that The Mists mess them up, and their only resistance to True Magick is paradox. But this does not mean that mortals are defenseless. For one thing, there are a LOT of mortals. Hundreds of thousands, in fact. For another thing: even a mortal is dangerous with a gun, or fire. Additionally, mortals - as true underdogs - can have some of the most incredible journeys from zero to hero.


Mortals, by definition, are unaware of the supernatural threats that live among them. Let's face it, the odds of your character remaining entirely ignorant go way down the moment you hit grid, but for those who are playing mortals this will be your characters' first experiences with the larger supernatural world. If you want to play a character who is in the know, you're actually contemplating a Mortal+ application.


Mortals sometimes carry the seed of the supernatural. Changelings are just mortal until their Chrysalis. Mages can be just mortal until their Awakening. Mortal+ is another avenue. (Sorry Garou hopefuls, you'll need to be at least kinfolk first.) If your mortal is going to go through such a transformation, however, you MUST clear this with the relevant sphere wizard before beginning the path. It is likely that they will ask you go through an application process, and possibly jump through a bunch of other hoops as well. It's also possible that they will say 'no.' Their sphere, their rules.

House Rules

There are no house rules for mortals that don't impact everyone else, by definition.

Mortal Subspheres

Mortal concepts will fall, generally speaking, into one of five subspheres. These are outlined below.

Law Sphere

(Main article: Law)

The Law sphere encompasses anyone whose work ultimately ends in a court case, or the sanctioned use of force on US Soil. The hallmarks of a good Law app are the demonstration of a willingness to tell stories constrained by actual police procedure (even crooked cops need to /know/ the rules they're breaking) and a delight in puzzle solving. Cops, Attorneys, Judges, CSIs, PIs, Tracers, Repo Personnel and so on are all examples of the Law Sphere. While most of the Law Sphere focuses on Criminal law, if we get civil attorneys there will be stories to be told there, as well.

Our inspiration here is shows like Law & Order, CSI, and NYPD Blue.

Civic Sphere

See also: Measure 2

The Civic Sphere encompasses all government and public sector (NGOs and the like) workers who aren't in the Law Sphere. They generally fall into one of three categories: Bureaucrats (Fire Chief, Head Librarian, Vice Principal, City Planner), Politicians (City Council Members, School Board Members, Technically District Court Judges, See Law sphere for more), and Service Providers (Medical Personnel, Sanitation Workers, City Clerks, Librarians, Teachers, etc).

Your sphere wizard holds a Masters Degree in Urban Planning and Regional Economic Development, an undergraduate degree in Political Science, has worked for two municipal governments and three NGOs. He is also pursuing a PhD in energy policy right now. If you want to tell stories about the lives of the people who keep the lights on, the streets clean, and generally make society as we know it possible? I am all over that. I don't promise much in the way of happy endings, not only is this the World of Darkness - it's also Detroit, but I will gleefully provide content to these characters.

Our inspiration here is shows like The West Wing, the book Challenging The Incumbent, and a certain scene from Jersey Girl.

Media Sphere

The Media is, perhaps, mortal society's single greatest weapon against the supernatural threats. While you'll never get 'werewolf storms steel mill, killing a dozen' on the front page of anything other than the National Enquirier, there are plenty of more subtle ways you can apply heat to the things that go bump in the night. Because the media is such a big force in mortal society, we're keeping close tabs on who's involved, and how. As such, if you want to play a member of the voice of the Third Estate, we'd like you to brush up on things like journalistic standards and practices for gathering information. This is not an excuse to have carte blanche with the media boards, this is a chance to tell stories about people whose lives are all about information.

Remember, even the basest muckraker's been through an undergraduate degree in journalism. Whether or not your character follows the rules, we do expect the character to be familiar with the rules, and any player can spend an evening googling relevant terms online and become knowledgable to the degree we require for you to play a journalist here.

Our inspiration here is basically anything Aaron Sorkin's ever done but Newsroom in particular.

Crime Sphere

Ahhh, crime. The shortest way to get rich. Detroit is stuffed to the gills with crime. A lot of it violent. In 2011 there were over 14,000 violent crimes committed. In that same year the number of property crimes was nearly three times that. On an average day, over 150 crimes are committed in Detroit, Michigan. In 2013 there were 333 murders in Detroit.

And those are for RL detroit. WoD Detroit's got it a bit worse.

Downtown Detroit is fairly under control due to focused police action, but the abandoned, no-man's lands and the sheer, soul crushing poverty of the area mean that other areas of the city are more than willing to pick up the slack, as it were.

We welcome criminals of every stripe, but especially locally-born gang bangers. Detroit is very much a city of gangs and we look forward to telling the stories of these individuals as they clash with each other, clash with police, and clash with the things that go bump in the night. As often as not, criminal enterprise is the first line of defense against other threats as organizations protect their turf and their interests. This perverse neo-feudalism echoes into the supernatural world in a lot of key ways, as well.

Our inspiration here is shows like Breaking Bad and Burn Notice and possibly every heist movie ever, your Wiz recommends Ocean's Eleven and Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels in particular.

Private Sphere

Basically all other concepts: Business owner, 9-5 white collar worker, homeless guy, &c. will fall into what we call the 'Private' sphere. They aren't structural to the makeup of society, but that doesn't mean they aren't important. It just means we have to interact with them on a case-by-case basis, which is cool.

Application Process

(Main article: Applications: Mortal)
While hardly the world's most stringent stickler, The Supremes will process you faster and be more positively inclined towards your app if you follow this simple, three-step process.

Step 1: The Pitch

Want to play a mortal? @mail The Supremes or email (yes, you read that right) with a subject of INQUIRY: Your concept here. Properly labeled Inquiries get processed faster. Email and @mail without the proper subject gets read whenever the very busy wiz gets around to it.

Step 2: Get Ready

Take the intervening time to read our news and/or this wiki's pages on the subject of the Mortal Sphere and the site in general. Please see the Sphere Information Room (it's off the Player Nexus) for Mortal. Read all +views relevant to your concept.

This same information can be found in the main article for mortal applications.

Step 3: Submit

Once you've been given the go-ahead by The Supremes, submit your app according to the process outlined in the Sphere Information Room or the main article.