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 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.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 2 - What Of Obligations?

A key mistake made by many in the realm, and such results much of the negative stigma attached to bloodlines vampires, is that they disregard the concept of "obligation".  When we ask another to transform their second life and enter our realm, either as human or vampire, we must be willing to accept responsibility for ensuring not only their proper teaching and mentoring, but well being also.  I've encountered many a "destroyed" vampire in my travels and the stories of how they came to be destroyed are not very dissimilar.  "I was wooed by a smooth talking vampire and turned, then left to fend for myself without anyone to teach me or support me.  When getting permission to bite became too hard, I just gave up and haven't worn the HUD since".  That's a paraphrase of a typical response I hear day after day as I meet these lost brothers and sisters in the realm.  To avert these trends from following you into your second life as a vampire I've developed the following guidelines for vampires to consider.  I find that in my work they serve me well, and help me to best care for those that I love and hold dear in my family.  I list them below for ease of reference as follows:
1.  If you ask to bite someone, ensure you know them first.  Don't random bite anyone!  Only bite those you know and care for, and certainly only those that you would want to call "family" one day.  If you're not going to be interested in them 5 minutes after the bite, don't bite them.  It's hurtful to ask someone to participate in enriching your second life if you're not prepared to contribute to enriching theirs as well.
2.  Before you bite a Blood Doll (Human Donor), offer an apple from your inventory prior to sending the bite request from the HUD.  This identifies you as a respectful vampire, and not a "Blood Sucker", and also ensures your partner in the bite sees that you have no expectation of them bearing the burden of the cost of the bite when they need to restore their humanity levels.
3.  If you "turn" someone Vampire or Lycan, you're obligated to feed them while they learn the realm.  Before you ask or agree to turn someone consider the question "Am I willing to feed this person for as long as it takes for them to gain their footing in the game?".  If you turn someone, you cannot simply walk away and leave them fending for themselves.  If you turn them, and especially if they Liege to you, you have an obligation to ensure their survival.  Many times this simply requires teaching, coaching and mentoring as they learn the realm and establish their feet firmly on the ground.  For some this is a long and difficult process as they learn to expand the creativity of their role play, for others the extension into Bloodlines is fairly simple.  Either way, if you turn them you are responsible for them and their well-being.  Ask yourself, "am I prepared to spend roughly 450 Linden Dollars a month to support this person until they can support themselves?".  As you know, Vampires lose .25 Liters of blood every night at midnight to "the curse", Lycans lose 2.5 Lumens per midnight and a Human with the HUD equipped loses roughly 5% humanity with each attack on themselves.  Everyone wants to be seen as the bigger stronger Vampire or Lycan, but can you support such goals without leaving everyone supporting you holding the bag?  If not, don't request that obligation.
4.  If you turn a Human Donor (Blood Doll) you are obligated to check the status of their humanity each day on the Bloodlines main site, and replenish them with Apples as they need refilling.  I do this as part of my daily administrative routine each morning.  If my Human Donors need apples I pass them the apples from my inventory in chat, or in offline messages if they are not signed on at the time.  This ensures when they do sign on there are apples and a personal message from me waiting for them when they return.  I never expect my Human Donors to bear the burden of the financial cost of replenishing their own blood to support my game play.  They enrich my experience, therefore I take personal responsibility to ensure they absorb "no out of pocket costs" to make my experience more fulfilling.  I find that my Beloved really appreciate this art of caring for them, and they know if nothing else that they are thought of by me each day.  That goes a long way to developing deep and meaningful friendships in the bloodlines realm.
5.  If you agree to serve as someone's Liege, you are obligated to teach them the art and skills you've learned to ensure they enjoy their bloodlines experience too.  I try to make myself available to all those I care for whenever they need me.  I spend many hours counseling and advising my "minions" and trying to educate them on the nuances of the lifestyle.  This investment of time and lessons learned aides others in developing their bloodlines style and approach, while introducing good practices and habits that generally benefit all that play the game.  Lord knows there are enough uneducated and mentorless players in the realm already, it would be a disservice to us all to not fulfill my obligation to guide my vampires, lycans and humans to a more professional and respectful approach to the role play.  When my minions need guidance, I offer it.  When I'm not certain as to the response, I tell them that and I look it up.  If it's a matter of art, I offer an approach that I would use in a given situation.  The key is "make yourself available".  There's got to be nothing worse than swearing your allegiance to someone, and then feeling left in the cold or ignored when you need advice or assistance.  If you think you're prepared to be someone's Liege, you need to make sure you're prepared to dedicate yourself to the task.  If you cannot, it's okay to tell them that!  But if you feel you must refuse by all means then introduce them to someone within your family that you know will serve as an expert liege to them.  It will make them a better player, and will make your family a better family because of it.
6.  If you've acquired subordinate souls you have an obligation to stay alive, or if not transfer the souls for safekeeping to someone that will.  This obligation is self-evident, others should never suffer the consequences of a decision they could not control.  If you choose to leave the bloodlines realm, and have no protection from the curse, you must transfer your subordinate souls to someone that will care for them properly.  It's not respectful, nor is it fair, to force others to incur a financial burden to repair the results of a decision only you could make.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 1 - The Importance Of Full Disclosure

Recently many at Haud Pluvia have expressed a sincere interest in learning more about thier Bloodlines Play, how to prepare to serve as a good Liege, and how to better represent themselves and Haud Pluvia when describing our family to others.  To help guide and mentor, Donovan will publish a short series here entitled "Donovan's Point of View".  This series will cover a broad range of topics and should provide useful information to assist all of you. 

Want to overcome the negative image that's affecting the players of our realm?  Want others to not view you with a discriminatory eye when they learn you are a member of the realm?  Want others to learn more about why you find the realm so attractive and rich in role play extension?  Then burn these two words into the forefront of your mind: FULL DISCLOSURE.
Nearly daily I meet someone who isn't aware that their soul is in limbo, or wasn't aware that they were a destroyed vampire or even that their soul was traded to a member of another clan while they were destroyed.  Ignorance of the game plays a small part in contributing to this situation, but most often I find that the person I'm speaking with was unaware due to a lack of full disclosure from the player that bit them, turned them, sold their soul, etc.  I suspect that often this is an innocent mistake by the member of the realm while trying to expedite the process of the bite, the turn or the realignment of souls.  However, this has a very negative effect on future game play and often is the single largest reason that members of the realm become inactive or disenchanted with the play in the realm.  These attitudes or behaviors result in higher garlic use and more destroyed vampires or lycans in the realm, as well as blood dolls that refuse bite requests from honest players.  At Haud Pluvia, we don't want to contribute to this phenomenon.
To ensure happy members of the realm you MUST explain things fully BEFORE the first HUD encounter with a new prospective family member.  Tell them all that you know, and ensure they ask you the hard questions.  If you cannot answer them from experience or direct knowledge, simply tell them you don't know.  Many will respect you further for that.  If you don't know either seek a senior member of the family or simply do some quick research and go find out, for clearly you have much to learn as well.  Once you have the answer return to them and provide the information.  Remember, information is not "assumptions" or "guesses", but rather is what's based in "facts".  It's a fact that you can only use the Electrum Potion "once every 90 days" in the game to force the transfer of your soul from one Liege to another.  Tell them that truthfully.  It's a fact that you can Liege to whomever you want, and there is no requirement that your Liege be in possession of your soul.  Tell them that.  It's a fact that you lose .25 liters of blood each night to the curse, and it's also a fact that if you get to 0 liters of vital blood you will become destroyed if you do not wear a protection amulet.  Tell them that.
If players later find out facts you omitted, or facts that you "guessed" but were wrong or even subjects you "glossed over" to expedite a turn, you'll find they feel a sense of betrayal or deception.  If someone feels deceived that's a difficult perception to change.  I find that it's better to fully explain the realm to everyone.  I then only take under my wing those that have had all their questions answered and still want to enter the realm anyway.  This guideline results in a far higher rate of activity and satisfaction within game for everyone, and has ultimately produced some of the more passionate and proud players that I know to date.
Remember, when you provide full, open and honest information, and fully disclose all the tools, knowledge and resources to a prospective family member "up front"...they then are armed with everything they need to make an "informed decision".  An informed family member is a happier family member, and one that will grow to love and respect you over time.  You have nothing to hide, and we're not about soul counts focus on earning trust and respect.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What's this my eyes behold? Snow!

Donovan wakes gently to a bright hue glaring through his window, and stretches his arms out before him warding off the temptation to return to slumber.  As his sleeves slip up along his wrists he notes a new crispness upon the air of his bed chamber.  Withdrawaling his comforter, he slides his feet from beneath the covers and places his feet to his familar floor.  As he stands and presses his feet to the boards, he shivers at the coolness of the planks and lazily maneuvers to the hearth in his kitchen to prepare morning coffee.  As he looks up from his labored steps he stops firm in place near his kitchen window.  His body stands firm upon the creaking floor as the hearth pops embers behind a chain-mailed curtain.  He gazes in wonder at the site that has overtaken his eyes beyond the panes of diamond shaped glass, obscured now by a hue of natures frost.  Snow!!!

Dear ones the holiday seasons are upon us, and in that spirit the Queen has worked very hard to provide the magic you've all come to expect.  Snow and wonder-land have decended upon the Haud Pluvia home SIM in Second Life.  Snow, winter camp fires, trees that have captured the crystaline aura of ice, ice name it...the magic his here!  Oh, and if you're feeling festive for a feast, visit the Tavern and have a gander.  The Queen, Nessa and Donovan have been cooking around the clock to provide you all a feast fit for you!  Stop by and have a look, bring your friends and frolic in the magesty of a winter landscape provided especially for you. 

We love you all so very much dear ones.  Let's make this year's holiday seasons some of the best and most memorable we've all known.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Family SIM Relocation and Renovation are now complete! Enjoy Dear Ones!

We wish to thank everyone for thier patience and understanding over the course of the past three days as the family SIM was moved to the Jesso Region in Second Life.  We're happy to announce that the SIM rebuild is now complete and we're certain none will be disappointed.  The lag issues that prompted the move are inconsequential at our new location, and the terrain is spacious and abundant.  The theme has been kept consistent, though much more "magic" was incorporated into the design to enhance the ambiance and feel that you've all come to know and love.

We've added a Haud Pluvia Guest House for visitors and friends to the new design.  This will allow your friends that currently lack a home location to have a place to change, as well as a place to log from when visiting you on SIM.  Please make full use of this facility as you require.  It's there for all to share.  The Blood and Lumens have been stored on the groud floor of the Guest House should anyone have difficulty finding them on SIM.  As always the casks are open to you for your use, simply remember to display your Group Tag when you need to feed as they are set for Group use only.

Meet us in the Tavern Saturday, November 20th, 2010 between the hours of 5-10pm SLT to celebrate the SIM Grand Re-opening.  It would be wonderful to see you all there if you're able to make it.

With much love and best regards!
Blessed Be!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Haud Pluvia has moved to a new SIM in Second Life!

Wonderful News everyone! Haud Pluvia relocated to a full region SIM last night, and we're in the process of re-landscaping the SIM at this time. Our previous residential SIM in the Barlenga region was experiencing tremendous lag due to heavy employment of scripts by all residents in the region.  After a bit of debate, the Queen and Donovan decided it would be in the best interest of everyone to upgrade the family's land to a full estate region.   This option offers more control and greater sprawl distance, as well as better control of privacy on the SIM.  Please delete all old landmarks for the family that are connected to the Barlenga region.  All items have been removed from those parcels already, and we're returning that land to the Realtor today.

The Queen has placed everyone's residence before her own, and will complete landscaping and ambiance features early this afternoon.  After that design and the Tavern are complete, she will begin restoring her own home.  Donovan has placed the Blood Cask and Lumen Tank on the new land near the Tavern.  They should be very easy to find should anyone require immediate access to blood or lumens.

We ask everyone's patience through this very brief transition period, and apologize for any inconvenience this move may cause as we get settled.  Stay tuned for details on the progress of the sim. We'll send out a notice when it's ready for prime time....probably later this afternoon. We love you all very much! :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Congratulations Hard Rust and Candace Flossberg!

The entire Haud Pluvia Horde extends our warmest wishes and fondest regards to our dear friends Hard Rust and Candace Flossberg on thier marriage.  It's always a wonderful time when we're able to share in the joy and happiness of our family and friends, and this event was absolutely first class.  Our own SufferingFrom Lockjaw officiated this wedding for the happy couple, and did a magnificent job decorating the SIM and coordinating the entire wedding party through the process.  Our own family Price, Donovan O'Hanlon was honored to serve as a groomsman for his friend Hard Rust.  Rumors abound about Donovan's attention to details while taking photos of the event, but that matter is a story for another day.

Congratulations Hard and Candace, may you always find the joy and happiness that brought you two together.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Great Party and a Wonderful Family!

Last nights party at the new O'Hanlon's Corsets and Kilts Pub was a riot, and again went well beyond the published hours.  We all had such a wonderful time, and many new snapshots from the event are now posted our Flickr Photostream.  We have a great family, and great parties happen when that family comes together. 

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.
Thanks again to everyone who attended last night's event!  So wonderful to call you all our family. :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

O'Hanlon's Corsets and Kilts Grand Re-Opening

Dear Ones, our renovation project for O'Hanlon's Corsets and Kilts Pub is now complete.  We have arranged a DJ for a Grand Re-Opening Party on Monday, November 8th from 4-7pm SLT (Standard Linden Time).  We are so pleased to offer this tavern to all of you as a family gathering place, and are excited to re-open it in style.  The theme naturally will be Corsets and Kilts, but all are welcome to come as they are, in whatever attire they have available.  So, bring a friend and let's all have a wonderful time!  Hope all can make it.  We look forward to seeing you all there!  :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

O'Hanlon's Corsets and Kilts Renovation

The O'Hanlon's Corsets and Kilts Pub that you all have grown to love and enjoy as undergone a major renovation yesterday.  Not only has it been expanded to a much larger size, it's been newly refurnished to include many features that the previous tavern didn't have.  Stop by and see the new location and enjoy the open space.  We're planning to hire a DJ to rock the re-opening party.  Keep your eyes peeled for a group announcement regarding the party dates and times.  We'd love to have you there to celebrate this major improvement to our family and our sim!  :)