What ECC Players Should KnowEdit
Is ECC about the Wizard of Oz?Edit
No, not really. The Emerald City that the characters find themselves in is -NOT- a literal version of the location in L. Frank Baum's books. But the characters are going to be told by everyone they meet that they are citizens of the nation of Nonestica which has Emerald City as a capital. Nonestica was name of the continent in the Oz books. A good look at a map of Nonestica gives some geographical landmarks that are identical to the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest. But none of the NPCs show any sign of knowing anything about "Puget Sound" and very little about "The United States" or "North America".
This is intentional.
Depending on the direction that your Storyteller takes you, your character might very much know everything -you- know about the United States and world history: but they are going to wake up alone, in a strange room, surrounded by strange things, and encounter lots of people who act as if they're crazy when they start talking about it. Possibly every PC in the ECC chronicle will know that Emerald City should be called Seattle and the most popular cola brands are Coke and Pepsi. But if that's the case, they are the only ones- and no matter how much Mind or Correspondence magic the cabal can throw out, they can't seem to change the fact that according to the Consensus wrapping around them, they are in a country called Nonestica that appears to be some bizarre alternative reality- or maybe a Horizon Realm- or something that just isn't real.
Except it seems perfectly real and normal to everyone they encounter.
Is Nonestica part of the World of Darkness?Edit
Yes, absolutely. Nonestica is to the Puget Sound what Gotham is New York City: it is darker and yet more grand. Page 20 of M20 paints disturbing, powerful images of what the World of Darkness is like and describes it as "somewhere in between the end-of-an-age decadence of the 1990s and the desperate fury of our our new millennium...This World of Darkness is both immediate and timeless- a dark satire of our own times." The landscape of Nonestica isn't Oz, its a reflection of the Puget Sound area- but it isn't the "real" Puget Sound. It isn't even the Puget Sound that your character grew up in, or maybe visited, or possibly saw as the backdrop for a popular TV show they watched.
Your character- unless your Storyteller says otherwise- wakes up one day in a strange place in a strange city with a few select possessions that may or may not have actually belonged to them. They were born into a World of Darkness setting and they are still in a World of Darkness setting: but its not the place they're SUPPOSED TO BE. It isn't part of the consensual reality they grew up in, and yet it seems to be very much a consensual reality for everyone else except them.
As time passes in the chronicle, the player characters will learn more about Nonestica and start to develop their own theories on where they really are- and how they can get home. It is also possible that the player characters may decide they prefer Nonestica to the reality they remember- or come to believe that their fragmented memories of another world were nothing but some kind of paradox burn or information implanted into them by a powerful mind mage, possibly a marauder. All these details will express themselves through collaborative roleplay, step by step.
Why Can't My Character Just Leave?Edit
There are a lot of possible answers to that. Mages are powerful- extraordinarily powerful. Starting level characters have relatively low Arete and ability to manipulate the patterns of reality compared to say, a Master- or an Oracle. Your character knows that they are a mage- their fundamental understanding of magic, quintessence, patterns, and spheres hasn't changed. Yet every Effect that a Disciple (aka Arete 3) mage- or even a cabal of them- is able to muster should not be enough to allow them to click their Ruby Slippers and chant their way home....
.... maybe they need to find better Ruby Slippers. .... maybe they need to become Adepts. .... maybe the truth in their head is actually the lie, and on some subconscious level, they know it and therefore they lack True Belief in their "home world". .... maybe someone actually won the Ascension War and rewrote history while they slept. .... maybe their own Avatar has them on the most complicated Seeking they've ever known and the secret to leaving Nonestica is to unravel its mystery and learn what it is about themselves and the universe their Avatar wishes for them to learn.
Your troupe's Storyteller will have something in mind before their chronicle begins. They might refine it over time as the stories unfold. Characters might be driven by the goal of getting "home": as a player, your job is to fasten your seat belt and enjoy the ride. It is the adventure, not the finale, that will be the most fun.
What Kind of Reality Zone is Nonestica?Edit
In a traditional MtA setting, Technocratic Reality has a symbiotic relationship with Consensus, especially in the Industrialized World. The core reality zone, Earthly Foundations, is incredibly fixed. M20 provides for reality zones, where the patterns are often a little more mutable, however, because of local beliefs and culture. Individual Storytellers are free to tinker with the ECC setting in terms Reality Zones. As envisioned by the creator, -most- of Nonestica reflects the same core reality zone as an equivalent place in a "normal" WoD setting would. The majority of Nonestica's citizens appear to be Sleepers who just drink a slightly different flavor of Consensus cool-aid than Sleepers back home. They might not recognize the Nike trademark, but they don't think people can jump off buildings and fly.
Which Optional Rules Are Used In ECC?Edit
Individual Storytellers and Troupes are encouraged to decide for themselves to which Optional Rules to use. To see which Optional Rules will be used in the LAS ECC chronicle, go here.