Mortal & Mortal+/Theme/Plain

From From Dusk till Jawn
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Plain

 Philadelphia is the home of The Plain. The movement began here, and the community that fostered it exists a short drive up Highway 30, in Lancaster County. Every year, young Amish kids leave their communities on Rumspringa, and every year some of them don't return. Many of those, as it turns out, wind up in Philadelphia among the Plain. The steady influx of new blood keeps the movement growing, replenishes those who grow disillusioned or who perish in the pursuit of radical pacifism, and keeps its beliefs fresh and vital.

 Amish country isn't the only source of Plain in Philadelphia. The movement finds young leaders across all faiths, all creeds, all ethnicities. A young Christian from Senegal, a young Rabbinical student from Moreland township, and a young Hijabi from Kensington make a point of meeting every weekend for an interfaith peace roundtable. And participants in it often leave believing that peace in the Holy Land would be possible if these three were the ones brokering it.

 This movement's impact on the city cannot be understated. Though they are few in number, poorly funded, and easily killed, their impact on the level of violence within the city is entirely out of scope. Some of their number have joined with various activist groups within the city in an effort to keep these causes nonviolent. Some reach out to the local white supremacists in the hope of fostering a dialogue. Some use police scanners to shadow and hound the Philly PD in the city's non-white neighborhoods in an effort to stem the abuses of the department on the public. Some immediately insert themselves in turf battles between the city's street gangs, offering their own blood in place of further reprisals. These actions win column inches, screen time, and endless social media posts.

 They would decry terming their activities as a war, but if it were a war? It's a guerilla one. And they're starting to win it.


Rules and System

 All Plain merits found in Hurt Locker are approved for play. In addition, there are a pair of merits created specifically for the Plain here in Philadelphia to reflect the movement's roots existing within the city.

(Dot-filled.pngDot-filled.png or Dot-filled.pngDot-filled.pngDot-filled.pngDot-filled.png, Supernatural Merit)
Prerequisites: Mortal, Plain Reader

 Your character has a seat at the Roundtable. Once per chapter (week) your character may call upon the members who attend the roundtable and enlist their help in your current project. You must clearly describe the scope of your current project when you invoke this merit. This allows you to assign one or two merit dots spread among resources, allies, contacts, status, library, or safe place; one dot for the two dot version of this merit, two dots for the four dot version. These 'borrowed' merits last until the week is out, or until the problem is resolved, whichever is shorter. These merits may be lost through the normal course of play and are not subject to sanctity of merits, as they do not belong to your character. These merits represent the support given to your cause by other members of the roundtable, and therefore cannot be used for any purpose other than support for your cause. You must describe the merits you are claiming when you invoke Roundtable, stating the contacts you are gaining, describing the ally you are gaining, the form your new status takes, etc. You cannot alter these choices until the week is up, or the task is completed. With the exception of Allies, these 'borrowed' merits may stack, though they need not do so.

(Dot-filled.pngDot-filled.png or Dot-filled.pngDot-filled.pngDot-filled.pngDot-filled.png, Supernatural Merit)
Prerequisites: Mortal, Plain Reader

 There are occasions when the Plain do not benefit from being beaten to death in pursuit of their beliefs; where the continued operation of their bodies is preferable to succumbing to their wounds. When there is a job left to be done, the Plain have a way of enduring. Not simply by shrugging off their accumulated damage, but by forestalling it entirely. The two dot version of this merit provides 1/1 armor, while the four dot version provides 2/2 armor. This armor is inherent to the Plain, and stacks with worn armor, though not with other magical sources of armor. However, it only manifests when the Plain is pursuing their ideals or actively engaged in pursuit of an active Aspiration. Furthermore, the armor may be voluntarily dropped if the Plain wishes to receive damage at any moment. Put simply, their beliefs become their armor.

Joining the Plain

 When making a Plain, one should consider how the individual came to espouse the views of the Plain Blog. One need not be religious or even Amish, but it is necessary to explain how one came to follow such an eccentric ethos. Pacifism is one thing. Pacifism unto standing still to receive a beating to one's death is quite another. How does your character engage with the community of the Plain here in Philly? What causes do they support? What causes do they oppose? Are they opportunistic, only responding to violence that manifests in their presence? Or are they proactive, seeking out violence to oppose, and working to alleviate its causes within the community?

 Plain must take one dot in the Plain Reader merit. This merit is not free. It is a prerequisite for every Plain merit, so make sure it's on your sheet at character creation. Vanilla mortals can become Plain by being introduced to the Plain Blog and by investing 1xp into the Plain Reader merit. With that purchase, they can begin to spend XP into amassing the other merits of the Plain.

 It is not necessary that a Plain character have contacts or allies within the Plain community, but it is highly encouraged for established Plain, as this is the global hub of the movement.

 When you are ready to prepare your application, consult our application guidelines.

Theme and Society

 Given that Philadelphia is the founding home of the Plain, they are particularly empowered here. They are comparatively numerous, have access to a great deal of centralized resources, and even have the support of their former communities to varying degrees. The local news loves to cover their activities, especially their more audacious or eye-catching ones. Civic leaders sometimes seek their endorsements of public works activities, and hardly any socially progressive movement in the city lacks one of the Plain within their ranks.

 While the movement has no leader per se, the Plain here in Philly hold regular meetings at what is called The Roundtable. It is part community forum, part bully pulpit, and part political summit. Plain from across the region visit the Roundtable, share their successes and their failures, discuss potential next steps and share best practices. In it, they jockey for support for their pet causes and seek the resources and support needed to carry them out. The Rountable takes its name from the Sunday afternoon coffee meeting of its three founders. A young Jewish rabbinical student, an equally young Senegalese immigrant, and yet another young Hijabi immigrant from Iran. They are often present for it, and are its nominal chairpersons in the absence of formal leadership roles.

 Perhaps you are one of the many Amish Plain that stayed among the English after their Rumspringa. Perhaps you read the blog and it spoke to you, and so you sought the community out within the city. Maybe you were one of those saved by the sacrifice of a Plain, and now do your best to pay that kindness forward. They count among their number both the devoutly religious and the most cynical of atheists, though all of their number are devoted to a thoroughly humanist cause; the cessation of violence.

 Here in Philly there is no shortage of violence to confront. Street crime, the police, the armed forces; they are all pervasive in the region. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and much of the violence in the region has its roots in the desperation of the communities afflicted with it. So some of the more proactive members of the Plain have taken to attacking the violence at its roots, working with community leaders to provide better resources for working families. Running cost free childcare centers, supported entirely by donations. Operating community gardens from empty lots to address food insecurity. Fundraising to pay off water and electricity bills for families facing foreclosure for unpaid utility bills. Any potential avenue for hopelessness to seep into the soul, they seek to address directly.

 It's a bit like dropping a sponge in the ocean, but it's starting to have an impact. How will you stem the tide of violence?

Current Plots