Tuesday, December 21, 2010

TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 4 - The Blood Cask or Tank

THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 4 - The Blood Cask or Tank

THE BLOOD CASK (TANK):  It's a common fact that you can only maintain a maximum amount of 5 Full Liters of Blood within your body at any given time.  Though this is a convenient no-cost method of carrying your blood with you, the blood inside your body will deplete over time in the absence of a protection amulet to guard against the effects of the curse.  So therefore, blood in your body is blood consumed over time.  Further, to offer that blood to someone else to feed them has a two-fold effect.  First, it depletes Vital Blood from you, and Second, it requires you physically present to offer that blood to another to aide them.  Wouldn't it be nice to have a way to store more blood, or to make your owned blood available to others when you're not online?  Wouldn't it be nice to have a secure way to leave this blood out for your friends and loved ones without a need to post guards to protect it?  These are all possible thanks to the Bloodlines Cask and Tank storage systems.
The Cask (or Tank) is a storage container that you can use to carry around large volumes of additional blood, and it can be used to drain off excess blood from your body to allow you more room to hunt or feed from others.  They appear as a Cask or Tank respectively (depending on which you procure) and have built in security features that you can set to avoid the theft of Blood you have collected.  They are sold in various sizes and increments at the Bloodlines Main Store, as well as at aftermarket Blood Banks.  The sizes range from 5 Liters to 200 Liters, and each increment can be sold either Full or Empty.  Prices vary for each scenario, so check with the Blood Lines Main Store for pricing options.  To buy a Cask or a Tank, simply stand before the vendor and left click the sign.  A Cask or Tank will appear on the stand in front of you.  Right click the Cask or Tank and choose "Buy".  A purchase confirmation will appear on your screen to alert you that the transfer of Lindens has occurred.  After the purchase is confirmed, then right click the Cask or Tank and select "Take".  This will move the purchased item into your inventory.  When I do this, I always click the sign again out of courtesy so that another Cask or Tank will already be rezzed on the stand for the next customer to buy.  It's a "Take one - Leave one" approach if you will, and is in my opinion simply an act of good etiquette or good manners (like opening a door for someone).
To use your new Cask or Tank, teleport to your home and find the object in your inventory.  Drag and drop it on the ground where you desire to place it.  When you do, the Cask or Tank will immediately cycle through a series of validations to register that cask to you.  Once it's been registered to you, you own it and have full owner permissions to use it as you desire.  The first and most crucial step now is to secure your cask, this will avoid Blood Theft issues.  To do this, left click your cask near the meter and from the drop down menu select "Security", then choose Access, then choose Restricted.  This will close your cask to access by you and others that you approve by name, or by group.  You can always modify or adjust this setting later to allow others to use your cask.  To fill your cask, left click and choose "Fill", then select the amount you desire to transfer from your body.  The system will automatically move that volume of blood from you to your cask if the cask you purchased is not entirely full.  To drink, left click and choose "Drink", and select the volume you desire to consume.  If that amount is available in your cask, and you have that much room empty inside your body, you'll consume that amount of blood.  The blood levels inside your body and your cask are updated with the bloodlines system automatically, so keeping track of levels both inside yourself and your cask is pretty simple.
If you want others to be able to drink from your cask, you have a few different options.  You can leave your cask on open access, you can close access and set a user list, or you can set your cask to group access allowing others in your group to drink from it.  All of these combinations are available through the "Security" menu when you left click your cask.
In my opinion, a cask is the first tool a vampire should purchase after entering the realm.  Prices vary according to size, and whether the container is full or empty.  Check with the vendor for current pricing information and proper details.  Enjoy, and see you in-world! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas Haud Pluvia!

As the Christmas Holiday approaches around the world, it's important to look back and recall all the very special blessings we've shared this year.  Though any attempt to list them would be an exercise in futility, given that we've all traveled varied paths to get here, pausing to recall them strengthens us as a family and ensures our hearts remain focused on the things that are most important.  Isabel Currier once wrote that "It is the personal thoughtfulness, the warm human awareness, the reaching out of the self to one's fellow man that makes giving worthy of the Christmas spirit."  As we reflect on each aspect of that statement we see Haud Pluvia, the family, drinking deeply from that well year round and it brings joy to our hearts.

Each and every one of you make the vision of Haud Pluvia a reality.  It's your collective warmth, thoughtfulness and kindness that make this family the wonderful home it's become.  Each and every one of you has value beyond your understanding, and we're so very proud of you.  This Christmas Season, spend quality time with your family and friends, rekindle relationships and reach out a loving heart to those around you in need.  A time honored Christmas gift suggestion list is still as relevant today as in yester-years: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.

We're so proud to call you all family!  Merry Christmas to you and yours, and safe travels this holiday season.  We love you all so very much!

Aklanin and Donovan

Friday, December 17, 2010

TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 3 - The Soul Reaper

THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 3 - The Soul Reaper

THE SOUL REAPER:  Have you ever had a minion ask you to move their soul from their former Liege, to entrust it to you, and you don't have the Lindens for the Electrum Potion, or the trade soul that's required to force the move?  The Soul Reaper is an advanced tool that's sole purpose (pardon the pun) is to retrieve souls from another avatar at no additional expense.  When I've been able to use this tool I've been very satisfied with its performance and effectiveness.  However, getting to use it can be a challenge at times depending on the avatar that holds the soul you desire to take.  People leave families and change allegiances for a variety of reasons, but most typically it's due to some form of hurt feelings or other drama where feelings are strong.  There's a disagreement of some kind, someone takes offense and leaves a family, and then wants their soul moved to their new family.  This sounds reasonable, and in fact I advocate allowing the souls to move freely to wherever the avatar desires.  Not all Liege's think the same, and some may even outright refuse to allow the soul to leave their possession.  This, in my opinion, is usually some form of juvenile "Soul Counting" behavior whereby the Soul Count is more important to the soul holder than the desires of the minion.  But we'll address those types of etiquette in another posting.  If you cannot get the soul holder to agree to a soul reaping, you have no other option but an Electrum Potion.  If however, through diplomacy, you're able to arrange a reaping the process is smooth and simple.
Here's how the Soul Reaper works.  To use it, you must locate the item in your inventory and right click to wear it.  The Soul Reaper will appear as an ornamental object on your left wrist.  You must be in the presence of the person you desire to reap the soul from when you use this tool, and within 5 meters of them.  Stand in front of them and turn off your Animation Override (AO).  Left click your reaper, and a menu will appear.  Choose "Specific" and follow the menu prompt and type the avatar's name you desire to reap into the Local Chat.  Click done.  The other avatar will receive a menu prompt asking if the reaping is agreed to, and will need to confirm the transaction for the animation to take place.  Once they agree the soul will transfer to your custody for safe keeping.  Easy peezy again.  At the time of this posting The Soul Reaper retails for 599L$.
The next posting will cover Blood Casks and Tanks, how to purchase them, how to use them, and how to safeguard them for security.  Enjoy! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 2 - The Spike

THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 2 - The Spike
The Bloodlines system has many tools that perform a wide variety of functions, and a good knowledge of these tools will serve you well as you gain experience. 

THE SPIKE:  Have you ever tried to drain 5 Full Liters of Blood from an avatar during a turning.....using only bites?  Or have you ever had need to retrieve large quantities of Blood from one of your Human Beloveds to share with your vampires in need, and wished there was a faster way?  These are situations that arise daily in the Bloodlines Realm, and without the proper tool can be time consuming and frustrating events.  I mean seriously, to drain a new turn of their humanity from scratch using only bites would take an inordinate amount of time (20 bites or more).  Thankfully, the Bloodlines System has a tool to assist you with these situations, and it's reasonably priced.  It's called The Spike.
The Spike is designed to assist in the rapid draining of Blood from an avatar.  In fact, as much as 75% of an avatar's humanity can be drained with one strike of the Spike if you are sufficiently drained yourself as the tool user.  This makes for an efficient and handy way to withdrawal large sums of blood in less time, making the process of draining less cumbersome and burdensome on those participating.
Here's how the Spike works.  To use it, you must locate the item in your inventory and right click to wear it.  The Spike will appear as an ornamental object on your right wrist.  Before you attack with it, ensure you've drained yourself to the lowest level possible while avoiding accidental destruction of yourself.  I typically drain myself to a half liter of Blood (0.5 Liters).  At this low level of blood in my body I'm able to spike the maximum amount of Blood in one strike (75%, or 3.75 Liters).  Once you've drained to an appropriate level, you left click the spike on your arm, and watch for the menu to appear.  Choose "Attack", then choose the avatar near you that you desire to Spike Blood from, then choose the amount you're requesting to take.  The other avatar will get a menu asking them if this is okay, and will ask them to confirm the amount they will allow you to take.  Once they accept, the animation will proceed and you will be able to see in local chat the amount you successfully collected.  Easy peezy.  At the time of this posting The Spike retails for 499L$.
The next posting will cover the Soul Reaper.  Enjoy all! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 1 - The Coffin and Sarcophagus

THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE - Part 1 - The Coffin and Sarcophagus
The Bloodlines system has many tools that perform a wide variety of functions, and a good knowledge of these tools will serve you well as you gain experience. 
                THE COFFIN/SARCOPHAGUS:   The coffin (for vampires) and sarcophagus (for lycans) are tools that make it possible to feed other Bloodlines equipped avatars with the blood or lumens that you personally own.  The tool works in conjunction with a cask or tank in your possession, and does not require the receiving avatar to be present for the feeding to take place.  In essence, gone are the days of watching in sadness as a friend or minion becomes destroyed from the effects of the curse due to no fault of their own.  If their computer crashes and they can't get online, no worries, you can feed them.  If they forget to feed before heading out for a business trip or for the holidays, no worries, you can feed them.  If they need to take a break for a few weeks to decompress from stress, no worries, you can feed them.  In my humble opinion, it's the finest tool supplied by the Bloodlines Creators that can assist a Liege with genuinely "caring for" their minions.  What says you care more than ensuring your loved ones don't succumb to The Curse?
Here's how these tools work.  To use it, you must have a cask that is registered to you with at least the amount of blood or lumens you desire to transfer stored inside.  Ensure the cask (or tank) is set to "Group Off", and rezz your coffin (or sarcophagus) within 5 meters of the cask.  Once fully rezzed, left click the coffin and choose "Transfer".  Do not click the "Next" prompt yet.  The second step is to left click the cask and choose "Select".  Now choose "Next".  Now go to Local Chat and Type /88 and the avatar's full name (for example /88 First Last), then hit enter.  Then select "Done".  Now choose the amount of blood you desire to send the specified avatar.  Once you click the amount, the system will automatically transfer that amount to the avatar's body.  The transfer is immediate, and you can verify receipt by opening the person's Bloodlines Webpage and hitting the refresh button to check on the transfer.
It may sound complicated, but I assure you, once you've used it once or twice it's really no trouble at all.  You can feed anyone, not just your own minions, and you can do this as many times a day as you wish.  The only limitations are that you can only transfer blood that you have in your cask, and each individual avatar you feed cannot exceed 5 Full Liters of blood at any given time.
Since purchasing this tool I've found that I use it more often than my Spike or my Soul Reaper, and the peace of mind it gives me knowing that I can care for my loved ones is gratifying. I highly recommend this tool as a part of anyone's inventory.  The coffin comes in three material finishes; metal, velvet, wood and stone.  At the time of this publication it retails for 599L$.
Tomorrow I'll cover the Spike and the Soul Reaper.  Enjoy! :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Library Feature in the Tavern

Good news everyone! The Queen has located an extensive library of classics, epics, fantasies and more in two bookcases inside the tavern (around the fireplace ) for all to enjoy! Over 100 selections available in notecard form to take, read, copy and distribute as you wish.  So, stop in and grab a loved one and a cozy spot by the fire, and break open the binding on some traditional reads that will fill your hearts.  Hope you all enjoy! :)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 9 - Know the Potions You Need


A big part of serving as an effective and good Liege is knowing the tools that are required to assist your friends and minions with the various pitfalls they may encounter in game.  Knowledge of the potions needed for each scenario and how to use them is critical to your success in providing advice and counsel.  The potions are very simple to use, and arrive in the purchasers inventory as a crate that needs to be rezzed, opened and copied before being worn.  Once worn from the inventory, left click the potion in your hand and follow the on-screen menu.  Below is an explanation of the various potions, what they're used for, some notes specific to that particular potion and a cost valuation as of the date of this publication.

This potion will rescue a soul from Limbo, and return it to the avatar that was in a Limbo Status.  Once taken, the soul will be available once more for the taking if the avatar is ever bitten again.  Transfer of the soul to your count will require still that the avatar purchase and wear the Bloodlines HUD.  I find that avatars that never knew they were bitten in the past really appreciate the gesture of returning their soul to them and "fixing" their problem.  Who knows, down the road that simple act just might change their perceptions of Bloodlines and give way for them to seek you out in the future should they decide to play.  Incidentally, this will be the potion you most often work with as a Bloodlines player.  This potion can be bought and carried in your inventory, and can be splashed by the owner on an affected avatar who's soul is in Limbo.  There is no need for this potion to be directly purchased by the affected avatar themselves.  The cost of the Wormwood Potion at the time of this posting is 249L$.

This potion will cure the Vampire that purchases and drinks if from Vampirism and restore them to Human Status.  The effects of this potion convert units of Vital Blood remaining in the Vampire at the time the potion is taken to a percentage of Humanity.  Once taken the avatar may again become Vampire if desired by simply being once more drained of all humanity and consuming the required 5 Liters of Vital Blood.  A note of caution regarding the Nightshade Potion:  Be sure that any souls in the possession of the person taking the potion are retrieved using a Soul Reaper BEFORE they take the potion.  If this step is missed, all souls in the possession of the person taking a Nightshade will be cast to the Abyss, and would then each require a Hemlock Potion to rescue them.  This potion cannot be gift purchased, nor splashed, on the avatar that desires to use it.  This potion can only be bought directly by the avatar themselves, and then can only be used by them to cure their own Vampirism.  The cost of the Nightshade Potion at the time of this posting is 249L$.

This potion will rescue a soul that has been lost to the Abyss due to the destruction of the avatars previous Liege.  Taking this potion will restore the soul from the Abyss, and place it in the hands of the next Vampire or Lycan to strike them.  This potion can be bought and carried in your inventory, and can be splashed by the owner on an affected avatar who's soul is in the Abyss.  There is no need for this potion to be directly purchased by the affected avatar themselves.  The cost of the Hemlock Potion at the time of this posting is 249L$.

This potion is used to move an avatar's soul from the possession of one avatar to another avatar of their choosing.  This potion can only be used ONCE EVERY 90 DAYS, so I advise it be used carefully.  This potion must be purchased by the avatar desiring to move their soul, and can only be used by them.  This potion cannot be gift purchased by a friend or family member, and cannot be splashed.  The second key component of this potion is the "soul trade" required by the person desiring to receive the newly transferred soul.  So if avatar A wants to retrieve their soul from avatar B, and pass it to the safekeeping of avatar C....then avatar C must offer a soul in trade that is then sent automatically to avatar B in exchange.  This process does not require the consent, approval nor presence of avatar B for the transaction to take place.  The cost of the Electrum Potion at the time of this posting is 999L$, and a required soul trade for the potion to work.

This potion will cure the Lycan that purchases and drinks if from Lycanism and restore them to Human Status.  The effects of this potion convert units of Moonlight remaining in the Lycan at the time the potion is taken to a percentage of Humanity.  Once taken the avatar may again become Lycan if desired by simply being once more drained of all humanity and consuming the required 50 units of Moonlight.  A note of caution regarding the Wolfsbane Potion:  Be sure that any souls in the possession of the person taking the potion are retrieved using a Soul Reaper BEFORE they take the potion.  If this step is missed, all souls in the possession of the person taking a Wolfsbane will be cast to the Abyss, and would then each require a Hemlock Potion to rescue them.  This potion cannot be gift purchased, nor splashed, on the avatar that desires to use it.  This potion can only be bought directly by the avatar themselves, and then can only be used by them to cure their own Vampirism.  The cost of the Wolfsbane Potion at the time of this posting is 249L$.

If you have any additional questions, or feel that you need further clarification before assisting a friend or minion with a Potion transaction, please contact Aklanin Montpenier or Donovan OHanlon in world for assistance.  Tomorrow I'll focus on other tools you may need knowledge of as a Liege including the Spike, the Soul Reaper, the Coffin/Sarcophagus and the Blood/Lumen Scanners.

URGENT - Please Read Immediately


Welcome to Haud Pluvia, home to the Haud Pluvia Horde, a family comprised of Vampires, Lycans and Humans alike.  A recent unfortunate event has prompted the urgent need to clarify some basic expectations of Standards of Conduct on the home SIM.  For that reason, Part 9 in the teaching series regarding the various Bloodlines Potions will be delayed till tomorrow so that this urgent matter can be addressed.
The SIM located in the 00 Jesso Region is our home residential territory.  You are welcomed and encouraged to use and enjoy this SIM as your home base, and feel free to set your home location on the family terrain if you desire.  The 00 Jesso Region is our common home base if you will, and people live there.  Therefore, there are a few Standards of Conduct we request you observe on our land to ensure the ambiance remains consistent and that we do not compromise other's enjoyment of the SIM.  Please respect these basic rules at all times, and enjoy yourselves.

Treat this SIM as you would your own home, and conduct yourself as you would at home.
Interact with others on the SIM and develop lasting friendships with other visitors.
Respect others privacy while interacting or changing indoors.
Respect the sanctity of the Private Residences.  These are other's homes.
Have fun and be yourself.  The SIM is here for your enjoyment, it's the only purpose.
Donate to the maintenance and upkeep of the SIM as your heart and ability allow, though there is NO EXPECTATION or REQUIREMENT to donate.  If you can, great, if you can't, that's okay too.

Grief or otherwise harass visitors on the SIMs.
Employ extensive profane or overly vulgar language in Local Chat.  Save profanity for Private IM please.
Change clothing or display your avatar in nude situations outside of the buildings, in public common areas.  Keep all nudity indoors please.
Ignore Local Chat in favor of Voice Chat.  Not all visitors have voice capability, ensure they remain included to the extent possible.
Engage in Sexual Activity or Sexual Gestures in outdoor public common areas, keep that private. (Private areas have been provided for that activity indoors, we encourage the use of those indoor areas.)
Bring private drama onto the SIMs.  If you don't wish for family members and visitors to discuss the matter, keep your private business to yourself.  What you do in your private SL life is none of the family's concern, unless you make our concern, so keep that stuff private.
Make a donation to the SIMs and then think that you have purchased some form of amnesty from the Basic Standards of Conduct on the SIMs.
Rezz objects or crates that you do not intend to pick up when you are finished with them.  We are a PRIM based residential SIM, so please leave nothing behind when you are finished visiting.  (If you reside on the SIM, please adhere to your agreed PRIM usage limit.)
Violate a person's private home.  If you don't live there, don't go in there without permission, and this includes "camming".  Just as you expect and demand privacy in your RL home, so others should expect that here. (The Tavern and mausoleum are public areas to use.)

Age play, or adult role-play with child avatars, is strictly forbidden, and any references or play in Pedophilia will be cause for Immediate and Permanent Banishment from the Haud Pluvia SIM and family.
Employment or placement of malicious script, copy bots, chat bots, or other tools that Violate the Terms of Service of Linden Labs Second Life User Agreement.
Forms of hate speech that violate Racial, Ethnic, Religious or Sexual Orientation as it pertains to another person's First Life (Real Life) experience and are not within the realms of strictly agreed upon Role Play.  (These role plays if agreed to between parties, should be limited to Private IM only.)
Stalking behaviors will not be tolerated under any circumstances.  No means no.  No excuses.
At Haud Pluvia the concept of family is very important to us.  We intend to take the concept of family seriously to ensure that all who commune with us know how much we love and care for them.  To us, family is far more than simply a group tag or affiliation.  It's also far more than a place to come hang out and meet new friends.  Family genuinely cares about what's happening to you, and goes above and beyond what's expected to be as supportive as possible when you need support.  We accept all people, in whatever form they choose to express themselves each day.  None should ever feel like an outsider in a family.  At Haud Pluvia we don't judge others.  All are welcome, vampire/lycan/donor or not.  Neko or Fae, Human or alien, Dog or Cat, Elemental or even Mushroom.  No matter who you are, if you're above the age of legal majority, there's a place for you at Haud Pluvia.  You simply need to reach out to others.  Families are patient, loving, kind, accepting, and when needed.....well....tough loving as well.  There's a saying that "Only your real friends will tell you the truth".  Well, truth be told, only your "family" will ever give you the entire truth about yourself when you need it.  And they do this out of love for you.  At Haud Pluvia we are open, and honest.  We are accepting and forgiving.  We love each equally.  There is no status barrier here.  The Queen is no more important than our most junior vampire.  We all make contributions that make our family stronger.   Each of us has our strengths and weaknesses, but no one person's strengths are any more important than another's.  We're a family, and you should reach out to us for support and guidance when you need us.  Don't ever sit back silent waiting for others to notice something's wrong.  Reach out, get involved, offer your talents.

If you have any questions, or require any form of clarification of the SIMs rules, please contact Aklanin Montpenier or Donovan OHanlon directly.  We'd both be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 8 - Know Who You're Interacting With

This skill takes practice and an understanding of the various categories of results that can appear when you "scan" someone using your HUD.  I find that my habit of scanning people has gotten rather keen over time, and in fact I do it in stores even when I'm not hunting.  It's interesting to know who's around you and what contact, if any, they've had with Bloodlines Players in their past.  There are a few basic categories that all avatars fall into in Bloodlines.  I've provided a short list below for your quick reference, as well as an explanation of what you'll need to successfully "hunt" a person in that category.  All the information to identify the proper category a person is located in can be found in the Local Chat area on your chat screen after completing a scan of that avatar.

A Fresh Victim is an avatar that has never allowed a Bloodlines Player to interact with them in the past using thier HUD.  They've never accepted a bite request in the past and have never worn the Bloodlines HUD in game.  In my experience, it's exponentially more difficult to bite a Fresh Victim as their avatar ages.  For example, to convince a 30 day old avatar to accept your bite request is quite different than convincing a 1200 day old avatar.  The more seasoned avatar has in many cases already decided to decline Bloodlines play for any number of reasons, and at some artificially determined point in time, started to consider it a badge of honor that they had never been bitten in the past.  This is not meant to discourage you against fresh victims, but merely to alert you to the correlation between avatar age and success rate.
To be bitten a Fresh Victim must be older than 15 days of age.  To claim their soul they will only need to have and wear the Bloodlines Thirst HUD.
Proper sequence of events: Bite them, Buy HUD, Wear HUD, Configure HUD.

An avatar who's soul is in Limbo has been bitten by a vampire before.  Some don't even realize that they have been bitten in the past, if you can believe that.  Many vampires are deceptive when they bite, and fail to explain to the victim the full implications of the bite request.  When you scan someone and it tells you that their soul is in Limbo, it will also identify who bit them, as their soul is prepared to go to that person in the event they equip the Bloodlines HUD.  To prevent that person from obtaining the avatars soul, and to ensure you receive it, they must be provided with a Wormwood Potion before they equip the HUD.  Those who's souls are in Limbo tend to be more open to Bloodlines Play than others, as they've encountered it before.  The level of their receptiveness tends to be based on their prior experiences with Vampires and Lycans.  More previous negative experiences will translate into more work on your part to prove that you're not like all the others.
For a bite to count when the person is in Limbo, the avatar will need to have taken a Wormwood Potion first.  This will restore their soul to them, whereby they can then be bitten by you and have it dog eared in your name.  If they equip the HUD, then their soul will transfer to you.
Proper sequence of events: Buy Wormwood, they Drink Wormwood, Bite them, Buy HUD, Wear HUD, Configure HUD.

This avatar has been bitten in the past, has already taken a Wormwood Potion, and is ready to be bitten again at their own discretion.  They tend to be open to Bloodlines play, yet are very fickle about whom they choose to allow to bite them.  This category can be tricky in that they tend to be saving the bite for "the right one", with no clear definition of what makes someone the right one.  For a bite to count in this category, they only need to allow you to bite them.
Proper sequence of events: Bite them, Buy HUD, Wear HUD, Configure HUD

This avatar has equipped the Bloodlines HUD System and has a registered status in the game.  They are either a Vampire, a Lycan or a Human in the Bloodlines System.  If they are a Vampire or a Lycan, any bite you proffer to them will draw Vital Blood from them in proportion to the amount of Vital Blood they have remaining.  If they are a Human and have been bitten before, you will drain roughly 5% of their remaining humanity if you bite them.  If they are Human and have never been bitten before, they will be more of a challenge.  Many times these folks have chosen to equip the HUD simply for the scanning benefits you enjoy as an equipped player.
Proper sequence of events: Bite them and enjoy the Role Play

This avatar was bitten before and became a Vampire or a Lycan, then did not feed as required to avoid being destroyed by The Curse.  Basically, their Vital Blood or Vital Lumens were depleted to Zero.  When they became destroyed the subordinate souls they had in their care were lost to the Abyss.  All a destroyed Vampire or Lycan needs to become restored to life is either consume Vital Blood or Vital Lumens.  Often this is simply accomplished by allowing them to bite or scratch you.  A caution on the Destroyed however is that many who are destroyed are destroyed for a reason.  Reasons vary, ranging from lack of interest or lack of funds, to outright dissatisfaction with their previous family or not fitting in with the group.  Talk to these avatars and listen carefully for their individual stories.  Though each story is unique to that avatar, you'll find that many consistent themes arise as you get to know people.
You cannot bite a destroyed Vampire or Lycan until they have restored themselves.  This can easily be accomplished by allowing them to bite you twice.  This will ensure that there is enough Vital Blood or Lumens in them to remain restored after you bite them back.
Proper sequence of events: Allow them to bite or scratch you twice, Bite them and enjoy the Role Play.

This category of Avatar has been bitten before, became a Human Blood Doll, and was fully drained of all their humanity.  These avatars are basically the walking dead.  They have 0% Humanity remaining, and only need to consume 5 Full Liters of Vital Blood or Lumens (depending on the HUD they own) to become a full Vampire or Lycan.

An avatar that has worn the Garlic Necklace has explicitly and overtly decided not to participate in Bloodlines Role Play or Game Play.  Please do not disturb persons in this category as it's considered rude behavior.  All residents in Second Life have the right to determine the fate and destiny of their individual avatars, and those who have equipped a Garlic Necklace should be respected in their decisions.  Please do not disturb these avatars under any circumstances with talk of Bloodlines play.

If you run across an avatar that has a status result showing their soul is in the Abyss, this means they have been bitten, equipped the HUD and became either Vampire, Lycan or Human, and later, their Liege became destroyed.  To save them from the Abyss, the avatar will need to consume a Hemlock Potion.  I often find that persons in the Abyss had no idea they were in the Abyss to start with, and aren't very active players.  Often they are humans that agreed to entertain the Second Life of a friend that played Bloodlines, but know nothing of Bloodlines individually.  The benefit to meeting a person in this category is that should you be successful at inspiring them to resume play, this avatar will merely require a single Hemlock Potion to retrieve them from the Abyss and then later be bitten by you after they consume the potion.  Once that process is completed, that soul will transfer to your possession for safekeeping.
Proper sequence of events: Buy Hemlock Potion, they Drink the Hemlock Potion, Bite them, Reconfigure HUD settings to pledge allegiance to you.

Tomorrow I'll explain the various potions and other things that Bloodlines provides to assist you with restoring or repairing avatars in the various categories we've described above.  Check back soon!  :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Welcome home Vinto Darkfire!

On behalf of the entire Haud Pluvia family, we extend a warm welcome to Vinto Darkfire. Welcome to our family brother! :)

Donovan's Point of View - Part 7 - Some Basic Principles

As with any activity in life, there are basic guidelines and principles that you must follow to achieve success.  Were a sports team to simply run wild on the field without rules or structure, basic principles of their approach, they wouldn't be very successful in achieving their stated goals.  Our stated goal is to find long term friends that are like minded and desire a broader and more rich enjoyment of their Second Lives.  Here are some very simple principles to follow to achieve that stated goal.
                The single most important lesson that vampires lose sight of is the art of respect.  This means accepting all for who they are, in whatever form they express themselves and respecting them for what they each individually bring to the table.  The bare naked truth is that vampires do not exist in any realm without their human counterparts.  Too often clans are interested in growing their numbers and such things, and fail to retain respect for the human contributions to their cause.  To randomly approach a human fresh victim you've never met before and simply proffer a "Bite Request" is short-sighted and rude.  Many find it so overtly offensive that some areas have banned Bloodlines play within the realms of their entire SIM.  It can be seen as a form of unwanted harassment, and not unlike the annoying calls from telemarketers, can drive many to simply "Reject" the request of all vampires on the basis of guilt by association. 
                That's the precise reason I do not bite request anyone that I do not deeply care for, or know on an interpersonal level.  The fact is, of all my souls collected and minions who Lieged to me only one was ever solicited by me directly.  And even that request by me was to a friend I'd grown very fond of, and felt a deep sense of reverence towards.  Parenthetically, some clans refer to their human counterparts as "Blood Dolls", rather than how the Haud Pluvia Horde refers to our human members as "Beloved" family.  But that issue will be discussed in further detail in another section.  It's of the highest importance to remain respectful in all your dealings with others and bring credit upon the lifestyle you've embraced.  Every action you take and every word you speak influences how others perceive all of us, and what you do or say today will have positive or negative ripple effects throughout the realm.  Remember, each person that has a bad experience is statistically more likely to tell three friends about it than even one person about a good experience.

                There are few things that sadden me more than meeting a Vampire or Lycan that has been in the Bloodlines Realm for a while, yet still knows nothing about the system.  In fact, it's nearly embarrassing when I meet a year old Vampire that has no idea how to restore a Human's Humanity with Apples.  Look, we all could stand to learn more about the game, but the basics should come naturally from you due to your own research and knowledge.  This type of skill and knowledge base lends itself to your credibility, and further it communicates your seriousness to others when you are involved in an activity such as hunting.  If it's embarrassing for me to meet a year old Vampire that doesn't know anything about their own game, imagine the perceptions of the person you're speaking to during your hunt.  There are many resources to turn to for information about Bloodlines Game Play.  An excellent place to start is on the Bloodlines main webpage, reading the Game Guide (http://www.slbloodlines.com/guide).

                3. KNOW YOUR HUD
                You must be able to use and navigate your Bloodlines Thirst HUD Attachment with ease to be successful at hunting.  Everything you do as a Vampire or Lycan depends on your knowledge and use of your HUD.  Just as a Soldier's success on the battlefield depends on his or her knowledge and use of their weapon, so too can your success be measured as a hunter by the knowledge and use of your HUD System.  There's only one way to learn your HUD, and that's to use it.  I never detach my HUDS.  My screen is always active with both my Thirst and Rage HUDs.  When in public I use them to keep myself reminded of their functions.  Wear your HUD, and while you're out and about in public, use it to scan others around you.  Just be sure that you are on a SIM that will allow your HUD to function.  Thankfully, Bloodlines has also prepared basic instructions for the HUD.
For Vampires please visit (http://www.slbloodlines.com/instructions/thirst)
For Lycans please visit (http://lycan.slbloodlines.com/instructions/rage)

                4. KNOW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
                This principle is extremely important to you as a "hunter".  You wouldn't walk off into the forest to hunt bears without first stopping by the Ranger's Station to get a map and some general advice on the land would you?  Okay, that said, every SIM you port onto has information available about their rules and restrictions right in your viewers information bar, and often they supplement this information with note card dispensers, and signs.  What is the Rating of the SIM you are on?  Is it PG, Mature or Adult?  Are scripts allowed on the parcel?  This will determine if your HUD will function or not, so very important.  Is the SIM combat enabled?  Can damage be dealt on that SIM.  Look the list of what you can learn is endless, the point I'm trying to make is this: Don't just port onto a SIM and think it's okay to start hunting away.  Some SIMs in fact ban Bloodlines Play throughout their SIMs.  Are you on a SIM like that?  If you're not in the habit now of knowing what's going on around you, get into that habit as soon as you can.

Tomorrow I'll try to delve into a topic of knowing whom you're interacting with at all times.  I'll try to explain further the various categories of "Scan" results that are possible from your HUD, what they mean, and what is required of you or them in order to interact with them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 6 - Avoiding Simple Errors

Have you ever made a simple oversight, not recognized it, and the error was so obvious...yet...you missed it, and you end up smacking your own forehead afterwards saying to yourself "Man, how did I make that mistake"?  Well, that can happen all the time as you learn your Bloodlines HUD and Equipment.  There are some basic mistakes to watch out for, and paying attention to these easy to make mistakes will help you to avoid them and add to your professionalism when interacting with your friends and minions.  I've listed them in the form of principles to follow, with an example of how a mistake could trip you up in game.
                1.  Always wear  your HUD and your Fangs or Claws.
                This one is pretty simple.  If you don't have your HUD on, you can't use it's features.  If you don't have your fangs or claws on, you can't get the HUD to recognize the action you're wishing to take.  A good practice is to just keep them on at all times.  That way, you don't need to search for them and waste valuable time trying to find them.  Fangs and claws can both be set to hidden on the HUD, which makes them not visible on your avatar, and even in "hidden" mode they still function normally as if they were exposed.  Just, bottom line, keep them both on all the time.  Imagine if you will that you have found a Fresh Victim that desires to allow you to bite them.  You have on your HUD, so you think all is fine and dandy.  You attempt to send them a bite request, and for some strange reason after you've selected the avatar to bite.....they get no Accept Box to approve the bite.  You stand there, and try again.  Nothing happens.  So politely tell them that you're sorry, your stuff isn't working, and you try again.  It doesn't take many attempts before the person that had agreed to your role play will lose interest, and you'll appear that you don't know your own game.  Later, when you realize you didn't have your teeth in, it's already too late to call them back.
                2.  Don't walk around completely full on Blood or Lumens.
                I keep myself hovering at just above 4 Liters of Vital Blood, and 40 Units of Vital Lumens.  I rarely allow my avatar to exceed that, and certainly do not stay full if I achieve that amount.  This is because you cannot bite or scratch another player unless you have room in your avatar to take the Blood or Lumens from the other player during the attack.  You must have room to take.  Once the gas tank on your car is full, you're not getting more gas down that nozzle.  Same principle applies in Bloodlines as it pertains to Blood or Lumens.  Think back to the previous scenario regarding your teeth.  Now imagine your frustration when you have your HUD and Fangs or Claws on, but still can't bite your victim.  The results will be similar.  No bite or scratch will happen, but this time simply because you don't have room to collect the Blood or Lumens.  And the fact that you're full might be the last thing you consider as you attempt to troubleshoot your avatar.  If you find you're getting somewhat full, go to the family casks and drain off a bit.  You can drain very small or very large quantities as you wish.  Just make sure you don't drain completely and become destroyed.  If you're at 5 full units of blood, drain off 1 Liter to the family cask by left clicking the cask, then choosing "Fill", and then choosing "1".  This will make enough room for you to attack at least 4 other avatars before needing to drain again.
                3.   Don't try to attack an avatar that's less than 15 days old.
                Simply put, you can't.  It's built into the system.  The only way to bite an avatar that's less than 15 days old is to get them the HUD and ask them to wear it first.  It's designed that way to ensure new avatars have a chance to understand Second Life a while before agreeing to something when they do not understand the ramifications.  Interestingly also is that you cannot "Gift Purchase" the HUD for someone under 15 days of age either.  You must bring them in person and pass them the Lindens, and they have to buy it themselves.  This will force a consent to Terms of Service  prior to the purchase.  These restrictions may seem silly at first, however, if you think about it they are making an effort to protect the new players in world.  That alone is commendable.  You don't even have to try to imagine the scenario I'm about to describe.  I've seen it so many times in my Bloodlines Life it's become routine.  You meet an avatar that's fairly seasoned and get to know them.  You know from scanning them that their soul is in Limbo.  They've been bitten in the past and never wore the HUD.  When the topic comes up and you tell them of this, they're shocked!  They had no idea they had ever agreed to such a thing.  They get angry, and their disgust for ALL Vampires and Lycans is suddenly magnified by emotion.  To avoid this, just never bite someone under 15 days old, and by all means ensure that anyone you do bite is fully advised of what's happening.  Remember, full disclosure up front pays long term peace dividends down the road.

Always keep learning, never allow a new found experience go unshared, and just have fun everyone!  :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 5 - What Exactly Is Hunting?

To correctly define hunting as an activity requires first a more full clarification of hunting as a concept.  To many families in Bloodlines hunting is the process of finding others in Second Life that are not currently members of Bloodlines, and convincing them to join to increase that family's soul count.  To see hunting this way is a critical mistake made by many, and further alienates Bloodlines members from others in Second Life.  At Haud Pluvia there is NO REQUIREMENT to hunt, and in fact I would go as far as to state that "hunting" outright doesn't exist in this family.  What DOES exist here is "outreach".  Haud Pluvia is about family, relationships and friends.  That's the bottom line.  But this is not to suggest that Haud Pluvia is a clique, or an inner circle in any way.  Far be that from the truth.  Rather, Haud Pluvia seeks to welcome anyone that desires similar relationships in their Second Life, whether they desire to become a Bloodlines Member at all, or not.  In fact, several of our family members are not even Bloodlines Equipped at all, yet we see them no differently.  Many though who do come to us in a Bloodlines way are seeking a better path in the realm.  For those we offer our hand of friendship, and our closeness and guidance to assist them.  At Haud Pluvia we outreach to others that are searching for something different or better in their Second Lives, and in some cases they find it a fit with our family and our way of existing in this place.  In summary, if you view hunting as a "hunt" you'll only seek numbers, whereas if you view hunting as an "outreach activity" you'll find only hearts and souls that desire your deeper friendship.

This is a very simple question to answer.  There is only one correct answer.  Our stated goal is to find long term friends that are like minded and desire a broader and more rich enjoyment of their Second Lives.  If you bite or turn someone for any other reason than the goal stated above you're setting yourself, and the person you've interacted with, up for failure and a disappointing experience.

Donovan's Point of View - Part 4 - Monitoring Your Minion's Status To Care For Them

If you're a Liege, you should carefully monitor the status of your minions to assist them as they learn the basics of the system and to help them develop good techniques and habits to avoid trouble in the realm.  A basic way to do this is to invest a few moments each day on the Bloodlines Website to verify recent activity and look for warning signs of difficulty.  You will see that as you do this daily the amount of time required will decrease, and will become a normal part of your daily routine as a Liege.  This practice will also help you better understand your minions as well (i.e. how active are they, do they need reminding to feed, have they taken subordinate souls, etc.).  The better you understand your minions on a personal and game level the more effectively you can aide them as their leader.
To use the Bloodlines site, open your internet browser and go to www.slbloodlines.com and you will access the main page.  On the main page, in the search box, enter your own Second Life avatar name.  Ensure there is one space between your first and last name.   Use of capital and lower case letters is not required.  Now, either hit enter, or single left click the right directional arrow to the right of the name you just entered.  This will bring up your avatar's official Bloodlines Page.  You will note that this page contains information regarding your Bloodlines activities, to include your name, your race, your amount of Vital Blood or Lumens, the name of your Clan or Horde and your Liege's Name.  Also you will see that the page displays all avatars you have attacked, or that have attacked you, and the date of the attack.  A grey name indicates an avatar that you have bitten, but who has not equipped the Bloodlines HUD, and therefore has their soul waiting for you in Limbo.  Avatars who have a white dot to the left of their name are souls that you have taken in an attack, and those with a purple dot indicate a soul that has been lost to the Abyss.  Below your basic information you will see an area regarding Souls, Minions and Total Souls.  To check the status of a minion, simply left click their name from your minion list.  This action will bring up their page for you to view.  It's really quite simple to navigate through the website, and as you practice you will find the information easy to interpret and understand.  Make this process part of your daily routine.
If I find that a minion is not feeding or is approaching half full on Blood or Lumens as indicated on the website, I merely send them an Instant Message in world as a gentle reminder that they need to feed.  Often they are grateful for the reminder (as it's easy to slip someone's mind), and feel assured that I am caring for them by looking out for their status in Bloodlines.  Besides, who wouldn't want to know that someone cared enough to think of them each and every day?  See my point?  Ensure they have a landmark to the family casks or tanks with your reminder to make the process of feeding less cumbersome (as they might have lost the landmark, or misplaced it in their inventory).

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 3 - The Curse, Destruction and the Amlulets


Each night at Midnight Standard Linden Time (United States Pacific Standard Time) Bloodlines Vampires and Lycans are subjected to a blood or lumen deduction known in game as "The Curse".  Human players are not subjected to automatic deductions in their humanity based on time.  Vampires and Lycans require Vital Blood or Vital Lumens in order to survive (not starve to death) and avoid becoming what's known as "Destroyed".  Avoiding destruction is crucial to game play, and requires the daily consumption of blood or lumens to stay alive.  Should a Vampire or Lycan become destroyed, the souls of the players they have collected along the way will be cast into the Abyss, and stripped from that Vampire or Lycans soul count.  Basically stated, if you die, your souls go to the Abyss and your soul count goes to zero.  This is not only problematic for your individual soul count, it's also costly to the players you were guarding to recover themselves from the Abyss.  As a liege or leader you have an obligation to fully understand how this situation occurs in order to avoid it.
As stated earlier, the curse takes away vital blood or vital lumens each night at midnight.  A vampire holds, when full, 5 Liters of Vital Blood.  A Lycan holds, when full, 50 Units of Vital Lumens.  At midnight, the game automatically deducts a quantity of blood or lumens from each player that does not have "Protection" that wards off the effects of the Curse.  We'll discuss Protections at the end.  The amount stripped from a Vampire at midnight is .25 Liters of Blood, and for a Lycan it's 2.5 Units of Lumens.  At this rate a Vampire or Lycan (without Protection) that is full can survive without feeding for 20 days, but will become destroyed on the 21st day at Midnight SLT. 

To avoid destruction, a Vampire or Lycan simply needs to feed to maintain their Vital Blood or Lumen levels.  A good habit to get into is wearing your HUD all the time (don't take it off), and scan yourself each day to monitor your blood or lumen levels.  To do this, click the small left circle under your hud that looks like a skull, and select your name.  Then, watch the Local Chat feed to see your Vital Statistics.  If you're getting low (in my estimate anywhere below half full) simply eat.  At Haud Pluvia we provide Casks of Blood and Tanks of Lumens for all our family to use freely.  There are other ways to eat mind you, and those will be addressed below.
Each time a Vampire or Lycan attacks a registered Bloodlines Human, they collect one days requirement of consumption ( .25 Blood or 2.5 Lumens respectively), and thus live to play another day and avoid that days effects of the Curse.  If they attack another registered Vampire or Lycan the amount is reduced based on a formula in game that determines the exact amount collected.  Note, that the amount collected is only approximated as it is based on the percentage of Vital Blood or Lumens remaining in the player they've attacked.  Conversely, if you allow another player to attack you, you will lose a percentage based on what you have remaining to give, and will reduce your amount of time remaining before being destroyed yourself.
The simplest way to avoid destruction without protection is to eat from casks or tanks.  The next most simple way is to bite or scratch a Vampire or Lycan.  The third most simple way is to bite or scratch a registered Human.  If none of those options are available to you, the final way to avoid destruction is to purchase Curse Protection at an authorized Bloodlines Location or Vendor.

Curse Protection is the act of wearing an Amulet or Totem that nullifies the effects of the Curse for a stated period of time.  There are varying lengths of time available for purchase ranging from 10 Days to Forever Protection.  Wearing Forever Protection is highly recommended by me if you are caring for more than 5 subordinate souls, or if you foresee amassing 5 or more over the course of your game play.  Forever Protection is an expensive undertaking to say the least, however, there are advantages to this Amulet or Totem  strategy that pay for themselves over time.  First, as you will no longer be subjected to the effects of the Curse, you no longer need to feed to stay alive.  A blood shot at the Main store retails for 14L$.  Basic arithmetic will show that at this rate to remain full for 20 consecutive days will cost a player 280L$ (or roughly 420L$ for a typical 30 day month).  Simply never allow your Blood or Lumen levels to hit Zero from any other act or circumstance (i.e. draining yourself to zero by accident, or allowing too many other players to feed off of you).  Voluntarily or incidentally dropping to Zero will still destroy you.  The Amulet or Totem simply means the Curse can't get you anymore.  The second benefit is the peace of mind that both you and your minions will have knowing there's a far reduced worry of your soul ending up in the Abyss due to an accidental destruction (should your internet connection fail, and you cannot return to game in time to feed for example).  As a Liege, I strongly recommend you seriously consider Forever Protection.  It may seem expensive now, but will pay for itself as well as large dividends over time.