SHAMBALA is an intermediate to advanced text-based roleplay, featuring illustrated play-bys.
200 years ago, the Jade Emperor, the immortal ruler of the land of Shambala and founder of its most magnificent city Shangdi, sealed his twin brother, the Demon Lord, away in the Spirit Realm beyond the Heavenly Gate, and his lands have known no war ever since. With that peace finally secured, the Jade Emperor retreated into his palace, leaving the mortal world to turn without his guidance for a time until the promised hour of his return.
Language 3: Objectionable and mature language is permitted.
S. Content 1: Mild innuendo and references permitted. No explicit representations or references to genitalia or acts.
Violence 2: Graphic violence is permitted. Explicit description or in-game narration violence is allowed.
Welcome to SHAMBALA: Abridged.
This is our quick and gritty guide to the game, the forum, and everything in between. It scratches the surface of the countries a character can belong to, how the majority of our systems work, as well as provides easy access to links and resources.
The first stop is, of course, the rules and forum etiquette that you are expected to abide by should you register with SHAMBALA. Generally, the issues addressed here are standard, and people well-acquainted with forum roleplaying should have no difficultly understanding why they exist and what they apply to. If you are new to forum-rp, however, feel free to ask in the questions board or the chatbox about any rules that concern or confuse you! Our staff is always glad to help out a prospective member.
• This is an intermediate to advanced roleplay. Although we welcome people of all different levels, bear this in mind.
• We have no word limit.
• SHAMBALA is a collaborative effort. Everyone is equally important and entitled to their say.
• Please be respectful and helpful towards all members, old and new.
• Do not nag or pressure people into taking your match.
• The cbox is public. Be mindful of uncomfortable personal stories, and generally inappropriate or aggressive behavior.
• Do not name drop other forums or members.
• No powerplaying, unless the other rper agrees.
• Do not break the Proboards terms of service.
• We do not tolerate malicious on/off site gossip, repeated complaints about posting length and frequency, or otherwise passive-aggressive behavior towards other members. Choosing to engage in it will result in consequences should we hear, and our response can end in zero tolerance depending on severity.
• We have a three strike policy regarding severe rule-breaking. Any member who should violate our rules will be sent a private message addressing their behavior; if the problems persist, they will be asked to leave our forum. Any serious attack or harrassment of another member will end in a permanent ban, sometimes without prior warning.
• The staff reserves the right to deny any character if we feel that they break our content rules.
• All members must fill out at least one matched character before they can make a third original character. Matches include canons.
• Treat real life issues, such as diseases, disabilities, sexuality, and others, respectfully.
• We have no character limit.
• Your display name should be FIRST NAME LAST NAME.
• NPC-characters have no activity standards imposed on them.
• Your character's display name can be an alias that they go by, if that is preferred.
We enforce explicit content guidelines and trigger warnings, marked with a [w] for [warning]. Some issues/concepts are immediately considered for denial because of our stance on Proboards terms of service. These are:
• non-consensual abuse of any kind in a romantic light, without reasonable justification. It can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis over private message prior to the profile's creation.
• Slavery of different kinds. Can be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
• Serial murder and/or graphically violent victim-abusers, etc. Goes hand-in-hand with our first mention, due to its ambigious nature.
Note that, with the exception of incest, we do allow these themes and character types. However, given the site's context, we feel it is important to make sure that the player is using them for character growth rather than shock value. If you are interested in our reasoning, read this post.
• All play-bys must be illustrated, no exceptions. We ask that you do not use real life images to represent your characters.
• If you use original art to represent your character, you must be able to provide a source. If you cannot, then we will ask you to change your faceclaim.
• Although SHAMBALA borrows from real-world cultures for inspiration, your character does not necessarily need to reflect these cultures. As a fantasy roleplay, we are not opposed to people with unusual or bizarre (or even impossible) appearances.
• If your character has unusual features, you can add a section in your profile application to provide a more in-depth description. We do ask that the character still strongly resemble their chosen play-by, however.
• A faceclaim/play-by is not necessarily required. Only preferred. We recommend asking in our faceclaim help thread if you cannot find any faceclaim. Should that fail, choosing to go without one is an option.
This briefly expounds on all the countries your character can hail from.
Once again: remember that this section does not cover all the background information
that you might want, and that our countries have a larger and more comprehensive guide here
that will better prepare you for joining the roleplay. This is merely an introduction
The mythical Shambala shares its borders with the desert Nibiru to the east and the hills of Mag Mell to the west. These countries circle the Gulf, looking over an incredible shrine built in the heart of the sea. Each has a rich history, some steeped in wars of terriority and others having slipped deep under the mouths of a cave.
All three countries have dieties that are called Guardians, and these Spirits have existed long since the beginning of time. Upon entering the country, all immigrants and others are given a box and item by an astrologer. These boxes are strange, magical, and often appear after the astrologer summons them with magick.
• The country is Asian-folklore inspired, and the game follows happenings in the city of Shangdi.
• Society is governed by a council of Sages, Princes, Astrologers, and Priests in the absence of the city's Sovereign God, the Jade Emperor, and a meticulous magic system based on Chinese astrology, the lunar calendar, and the Chinese Zodiac.
• Shangdi sits on what its people call the Heavenly Gate, which is a giant door to the spirit realm. Supposedly, this gate is what creates Shangdi's magick.
• It is governed from the Jade Palace by the Jade Emperor, who united the disapparent kingdoms of the old world and is one of the earthly manifestations of the forces that guard the Heavenly Gate.
• At birth, everyone is given a box inscribed with a date and time. They must not open it until said date and time. This box is sealed by a red thread that represents destiny.
• Astrology and astrologers are very important figures in Shambalan society. They deliver these boxes and read the future using the stars.
• If you should open that box before the date and time, or if someone else should open it, you or they will be cursed. These curses manifest in many different ways.
• Many cultural elements of Asia are borrowed for the purpose of world-building. Meaning, yes, it resembles those cultures in architecture, dress, and appearance.
• Currently, people are questioning the existence of the Jade Emperor in the government. As he is bound to the Otherworldly Gate and immortal, he never appears to his people except as a dragon who (unknowingly to the citizens of Shambala) swims though the river that splits the canal or flies a circuit around the nation on seasonal holidays.
• Astrologers are trained in the Astrologer's College, a massive observatory with an incredible telescope on the highest floor of the tower. Astrologers can predict vague aspects of the future, design star charts, summon boxes and items using magick circles, and serve as advisers to the government.
• Shangdi is built in the shape of the Chinese characters for "heaven's doorway."
• War is uncommon to Shambala, and the last occurred two hundred years ago between agents of the Demon Lord and the Jade Emperor and an alliance of guardian beasts. This war ended with both the Demon Lord and the Jade Emperor sealed away from their respective realms. Their absences allowed demons to slip into the world from beyond the Heavenly Gate. Many cursed families came in contact with vengeful demons who cursed them with a strange piece of black glass. This is the only way to curse an entire bloodline.
• Some Cursed individuals are possessed by Spirits and Demons who once fought in the war as part of their curse. These memories remain unawakened.
• A plague spreads throughout the country, echoing the war two hundred years ago. This causes cursed to manifest more frequently and powerfully.
• It has two guardians: the Jade Emperor, the King of Life and eternal ruler of Shangdi, and his twin, who governs death and the other side of the Gate, the Demon Lord. These transform into serpentine Dragons and both the Jade Emperor and the Demon Lord is sealed under the shrine in the Gulf.
• Shambala's prosperous neighbor to the East, famous for its art and architecture. There is a trade road between the two countries that is regularly traveled.
• Many natives of Nibiru are Elementalists, alchemists, sorcerers, and scientists. They have one city named Ba'al.
• The society, customs, and appearance of Ba'al and its citizens are heavily based on Middle Eastern and Hindu culture. Ba'al floats in the sky and is tethered to the ground by a complicated slew of magicked chains. Decorative bridges designed to resemble the night sky and done in hand-painted murals connect each district.
• They also believe in the power of the Heavenly Gate and Spirits. This is because the movement of stars is acknowledged there and influences all countries.
• Long ago, the city of Ba'al nearly fell victim to an opened gate to the Spirit Realm. To rescue their city, the ancients of Nibiru lifted it into the air on a tremendous flying carpet and sealed the hungry hole opened in the desert sands. This wild gate below Ba'al is akin to the Heavenly Gate and is called the Well.
• Like Shambala, and all other nations of the world, they receive an item at birth Their items arrive in beautiful glass lamps delivered by a spirit doctor.
• Half-spirits called djinn exist in the forms of Madrid or Ifrit. These govern water and fire respectively, and have inhuman luck.
• These Djinn are long-lived; up to two hundred years or more. This is attributed to a legend about a goddess stealing the life from the Earth to give her to people, leaving the land barren and harsh.
• Djinn led the previous empire, now called Old Nibiru. Eventually, they were overthrown in a squirmish between humans and Djinn, and many were exiled to the ruins outside of the country's borders.
• The current Caliph recently died after ruling for several centuries. The Kings of Nibiru are bestowed power by a tower called the Hand of Heaven, and this grants them the ability to supposedly see the future prosperity of their country. Anyone can become King if they can find this legendary tower.
• Envy and warped patriotism continues to exist between the Djinn and the humans of Nibiru. This has led to the creation of many clans throughout the Desertlands, who all strive for control of the land outside Ba'al.
• It has one guardian: the goddess Nebu, who transforms into a white genie clothed entirely in gold and silk, a hairless cat, and a vulture.
• A cursed land to the North, in which all its natives died long ago. Very little information exists on what brought about the curse that left all in the Mag Mell as ghosts, but they say something sank the whole city underground in a night.
• Like Shambala, it has one city called Carneval. Based loosely off the Victorian Age, Parisian cultue, the Jazz Age, and old Venice, it is below ground. A steampunk nation, machinery, elevators, and sky trams connect three layers. Because expansion was halted, Carneval was designed to be built upwards towards the ceiling of the cairn.
• There is a border-crossing and the gate to the cairn of Carneval is closed for passage inside. This is because eating food in the Mag Mell can curse and thus kill a human being.
• This border is crossed in one of the Kells' bordertowns. The Kells are a series of islands that once existed alongside the Mag Mell and are not cursed. They dislike the Sidhe, and many citizens of the Kells were once abducted along the border during the first century of the Mag Mell's curse.
• It is governed by an oligarchy called the Seelie Court. Members of these royal orders are currently non-playable.
• Most Sidhe, the proper name for the fae, are considered demonic or undesirables because of monstrous creatures called Unseelie. The Unseelie devour other Sidhe and the emotions of humans. Fae or faerie is considered an insult for its natives.
• Sidhe are oftentimes gypsy entertainers who were discriminated against in their home country, and they live in the Cour Des Miracles. They have some control over illusions, and can create pacts that bind others to their will.
• Pacts can be broken by creating or fulfilling another promise with the same Sidhe.
• They receive an item as part of acceptance into Shambala's society.
• You cannot kill a Sidhe, but they are weak to light. With the ability to travel as flickers of light called the will o' the wisp, some have been captured and sold as lamps to ward off bad luck.
• The Kells and Mag Mell have two guardians: the goddess Ferganda and the god Taliesin, respectively. The first appears as a horse, a rough woman, or a capricornus and the second a large flying fish or a ghostly owl. The guardian Taliesin fell with his country. They are sister and brother.
Items are personalized, staff or member crafted, and have many uses.
Given to all the peoples of the world at birth or another point in their lives, these represent the secret inner desires and struggles of the individual to which they belong
. We spend a great deal of time designing items that match the character's personality and help to shape them as people who belong to and impact the setting.
Items are, at the core, meant to be agents of character development and conflict
. How a character uses these items is entirely at the discretion of the roleplayer, unless they choose to become involved in our random events system
. Whether an item is cursed
, they are structured to cement the character's goals in the story and provide them with interesting abilities and powers that are uniquely their's
The random events system
, otherwise called "subevents", are staff and member coordinated
. They effect individual characters
and their purpose is to change a character's circumstances and position in the setting
. These events can be designed to involve other characters on-site
or will strictly effect only the member's characters
. They also allow for new conditions to be added to curses over time, as well as link different cursed items to effect one another as characters interact
• Members provide a preference page. This gives the staff information on what type of curse, item, and plot the member is interested in developing. These do not have to necessarily be detailed, and can be changed over time. Their purpose is to help design items the member actually feels reflect and match the character.
• The preference page for the plot should ideally give some idea of what your character's goals are, if they have a certain kind of plot they are looking for, or are in need of other characters.
• Members can create their own item and curse or request that the staff do so.
• The staff will, if asked to design the item, give the member the option of asking for another item should they feel that the first does not suit the character. In this case, due to the fact that it is an unusual response, we will be willing to discuss what it should do with the member.
• Curses are uncontrollable forces that have a negative impact on the character. They are designed to create trouble and many have time limits and other conditions imposed on the character that can be developed over time.
• Curses, should the member participate in the subevents system, will be changed monthly. Their effects will worsen or lessen depending on the character's actions in-game.
• They can be member-designed or staff-designed.
• You can include wanted and unwanted aspects of curses in the preferences page. If you are entirely against certain effects, we will be sure to take that into account while designing them.
• As characters meet and members plot, they can request that items have effects that are linked or connected as an aspect of the matches system. These will be staff-created effects.
• Linked items will have effects on the curses or items of characters that they regularly interact with. These can be positive or negative, depending on what the member requests.
• Members can provide what characters they want to be linked.
• Linked items can eventually lead to the breaking or creation of curses, as well as changing circumstances throughout the roleplay. Members can give information in the sign-up sheet to make sure these match their character goals.
• The subevents and linked/matches system are both related to each other. They, as a whole, make up what we call "the subevents system."
• Subevents are character-specific events that get updated monthly and change a character's position in the roleplay. This might involve changing the effects of curses, linking items of different characters, or causing horrors to befall the character. There is a preference page to be filled in the sign-up sheet.
• Members can incorporate other characters in the game that they regularly roleplay with. The subevents will then be built around these characters.
• It is a random system, and thus we allow for members to back out or request changes if the need arises. However, bearing this mind, understand that this is what you agreed to when you signed up for it! Opting out of it is always an option.
MATCHES & PLOTS
• Matches are part of the linked items system and refer to specific characters requested by the member. A "match" is a character who the member asked for in order to complete their plot.
• A member can add more matches over time. These are found in the profile, because the profile tends to have more views then the wanted ads section of our forum.
• Members can request changes for matched characters as well. These requests are assumed to be more specific than others, as the characters are designed around each other.
• All members must fill out at least one matched character before they can make more original characters. Matches include canons.
Subplots make up the larger plot and help to personalize the game's setting.
Members are free to provide their own subplots as they become more comfortable with the story's progression, as well as incorporate their existing characters into roles that the story demands or asks for.
Subplots, before anything else, are not set-in-stone
. Although we will often provide a skeleton of the subplot as it takes shape, other members are free to make suggestions and see if they can find a place in our current subplot. Oftentimes, events will be designed to further these individual storylines
, and this will offer further opportunity for any member to get involved! We will do our best to make these story-heavy events as open as possible, with staff often using their regular-use characters as NPCs
to keep things moving.
• Subplots are staff or member created stories that effect the site's plot. They are oftentimes interconnected and many can be going on at one time. Their descriptions include a list of participating members and characters.
• They are member driven and designed for both canon and member involvement. The subplot is created organically; members can discuss what role they want their character to play in it with the staff, and the subplot will be designed to reflect this. They are not staff-directed in regards to plotting.
• Subevents allow for members to ask for story-driven subevents that will let them become directly involved in the storyline if they cannot find their own niche.
• Canons are free-reign, but some require that the member be a player here for two or more weeks. We also have villian canons that can have a list of different evils that they will happily engage in!
• Members must provide a sign-up sheet that details their subplot. This will then be incorporated when the staff puts up the subplot for the rest of the forum to see.
• Staff is usually assumed to be somewhat involved in the subplot's design, for the purpose of keeping things clean and regulated.
• Members cannot build their subplot around themselves.
• If the subplot requires canons, members can ask for us to include those in the canon list and provide what canons are needed.