Appendix A: The Houses of the Nexus
House Fleming, aka "Moores": This house is made up of spies, secret agents and other cryptologists, who spend much of their time trying to make the Nexus their personal playground. Masters of disguise, Moores will very often be found infiltrating areas of the Nexus where they do not belong, escaping with vital secrets before anyone even knows they've been there. When an Avatar needs information on someone or something in the Nexus, a Moore is always the obvious choice. For a fee, and IF you can find one.
First Tier Skill: Disguise I. An Avatar with this Skill is allowed to wear an Avatar Button depicting any House. Note that this is not considered to be an illusion. This skill also allows an Avatar to REPRESENT himself as a member of the House (according to the button he is wearing) and be recognized as such UNLESS he uses something from his CC to contradict the disguise (see special rules below). The representation may include Council meetings where a proxy would normally serve a function instead of the Councilor (note that this normally does not include voting even for a real House member), and other official role played functions. Note that this Skill does NOT allow the Avatar to change his perceived gender.
Second Tier Skill: Enhanced Investigation (S). An Avatar with this Skill is allowed to see the entire CC of any other Avatar in the Nexus without invoking a game mechanic need to see the card. This Skill may be used once per hour, and may not be used during Combat.
Third Tier Skill: Disguise II. An Avatar with this Skill can own an alternate CC depicting a name and House designation other than his own. All other actual Stats will remain the same. Note that this is not considered to be an illusion. This Skill allows the Fleming to ACTUALLY BE the person he is impersonating. When he receives his alternate CC, the House Skills listed WILL BE AVAILABLE AND REAL, and usable. This will simulate the time the Fleming took to actually learn the principles of the House. To use his own House Skills (i.e. Investigation), he must do so from his own CC. It takes ten minutes of OOC time for a Fleming to change from his real CC to his Disguise CC or back again. A Fleming may voluntarily change the House of his actual Disguise CC ONLY during a Level change, and will be reset to Tier 1 of the new House he is impersonating just as if he had actually changed Houses. See special rules below to understand how a Fleming maintains his alternate persona and under what circumstances he will be FORCED to change his Disguise CC. Note that this Skill DOES allow the Avatar to change his perceived gender. HOWEVER, the Lilith gender-based Skills can STILL discern the Avatar's real gender.
Fourth Tier Skill: Sleuthing (S). An Avatar with this Skill is allowed to see three Item Cards (drawn at random) of any other Avatar in the Nexus without invoking a game mechanic need to see the cards. This Skill may be used only once every two hours, and may not be used during Combat.
Fifth Tier Skill: Disguise III. An Avatar with this Skill can actually impersonate any other Avatar in the Nexus (he may ONLY impersonate a Nexus Lord IF he is also a Nexus Lord), complete with an authentic CC (including the proper gender, although the Lilith gender-based Skills can still discern the Avatar's real gender). It takes 2 hours of real time to prepare for the impersonation (although an Avatar CAN come to an event with the assumption that he spent his two hours preparing beforehand), during which time the Avatar cannot perform any other game Action (his House button is removed). This is not considered to be an illusion. The Avatar gains ALL of the benefits of his target, including all Powers, Skills and Stats; through the House and his own abilities, he has learned how to simulate just about everything the target does in some form or another, at the same level! Note that he is NOT able to use his own CC during the time he is impersonating another Avatar, and must turn in the fake CC before assuming his own personality (including the assumption of his alternate, ongoing Disguise II persona), which will take the normal 10 minutes of OOC time. Although the Disguise is almost perfect, it is STILL subject to the House Skill rule and the cover will be blown on an Ace draw (although this has NOTHING to do with his ongoing Disguise II persona). Further, a given Avatar can only be impersonated once every 48 hours of real time (an impersonation is considered ended when the Fleming uses any other CC).
Choosing House Fleming
House Fleming is the most unique House in the Nexus; a Fleming character has the ability to keep his true identity secret throughout his "life" in the Nexus, and then to become any other character he wants when he reaches Level 9 & 10. This House has a high degree of angst because of the special undercover rules, but they enjoy a great deal of leverage when big Nexal decisions need to be made and other Houses fight for the support of the House...at least those who they can find, in whatever form they happen to be in.
Special Rules for House Fleming Members
There are three ways to play a character in House Fleming. The first is the easiest: Play it entirely for fun, changing House Buttons and causing general confusion about who you are and who you are allying with. This method has the least angst and simply allows you to enjoy the special priveleges conveyed by the Fleming House Skills.
The second way to play the character is to consistently show only your alter-ego to the Nexus. For the first four levels of the character's existence, this means being in as few Combats as possible, laying low, and preparing for the character's fifth level where he retains an almost air-tight alter-ego. This is very difficult to do, but with care and attention to the slightest detail of your role playing, can be very rewarding and ultimately lead to many dramatic moments. Even if friends know you are actually a Fleming Out of Character, the only game mechanic which would reveal you In Character is a blown House Skill.
The third way is the single most difficult thing to do in the Nexus, and it is the Holy Grail of House Fleming: To create a character which retains his alter-ego both In Character and Out of Character throughout its existence. The day you choose to reveal who you truly are for whatever reason would come as an absolute shock to friends who you may have allied with and played with for literally years!
The following special rules apply to all Fleming members, but they are obviously most important to those players who are attempting the second or third method of being a part of the Fleming mystique.
1) House Fleming members who are Tier 3 and above and are able to use Disguise II will be able to utilize ALL Skills of the House they are impersonating as if they were the proper Tier within that House, UNLESS they decide to change houses after their first disguise card is made. That means that immediately upon getting the Disguise II Skill, the Fleming is able to create a fake CC which will allow him to use the first three Tier House Skills of the chosen cover House. If he changes cover Houses (either intentionally or because of a "blown cover"), he will begin at Tier 1 of the new House just as if he were a regular player changing Houses. Unless he changes his actual House from Fleming to another House, he will retain his Tier standing within House Fleming. If the Fleming stays in the cover House through to Tier 5, he WILL be able to gain the Tier 5 Skills, provided he has not "blown his cover".
2) It is assumed that a Fleming who is using a cover House is doing so with excruciating care, and is somehow faking the use of the House Skills which he would not normally use. A Fleming who has achieved Disguise II is ready to use those Skills in public without challenge, HOWEVER, if the single card pull which needs to be made for the use of House Skills results in an Ace, he has not only failed to fake the Skill properly, but he has done so in such a spectacularly dismal fashion that he has revealed unequivocally that he is a Fleming impersonating a member of the cover House, and all of his methods of faking the other House Skills become immediately apparent. At that moment, he will immediately drop to Tier 1 of the cover House (with the assumption that he has perfected some OTHER way of faking the easiest Skill of the House). He may either stay in the cover House beginning his Tier ladder from the start, OR he may then decide to change to a different cover House, at which point he will begin at Tier 1 in the new House (and allowed to use the Tier 1 cover House Skill as per normal Fleming rules). This will allow him to convince people either A) That he has become a real member of the original cover House, or B) That he has become a real member of a new cover House. For all they know, he really HAS left House Fleming after the disaster!
3) A Fleming who is Level 4 and under may still find himself in a situation where he must use a Skill of the House he is tentatively courting. An Avatar can NEVER be forced to use a House Skill under any circumstances, and this includes Possession and other Mental Skills. However, sometimes a Fleming may need to do something extraordinary. To represent the learning process of the Fleming who is trying to fake the Skills of a cover House before he reaches Tier 3, the Fleming is allowed to try to use either the Tier 1 or Tier 2 Skills of the House he is currently wearing a button for. On a single card draw of (11 - Level) or higher, he has successfully faked the House Skill. Otherwise, he has failed. For example, a 4th Level Fleming using Disguise I to wear a House Avalon button is trying to fake the First Tier Resistance to Illusion House Skill. His card draw must be a 7 or higher to do it successfully, otherwise, he fails. Note that since the single card draw ONLY affects Flemings, he will of course be revealed as a Fleming at that point.
4) The Nexus will NEVER recognize a House Fleming member as a member of any House other than Fleming. A Fleming may never become a Council Representative of any House other than Fleming without blowing his cover (including the penalty), and if any other situation where the Nexus is challenged to bless the Fleming as a member of a different House arises, the same result will occur. Note that this rule is also intact for Disguise III.
5) The Nexus will NOT allow a Fleming to purchase additional Skills as if he really had the prerequisite Skills of his cover House (i.e. the Weapon Familiarity series of Ares). So a Fleming using Disguise II to build an alternate persona must be very careful in the Skills he does choose, because any use of Skills other than Tier 1 and 2 House Skills WILL call for revelation of the back of his CC, and sharp eyes might note subtle discrepancies (i.e. the purchasing of Edged Weapons I and II even though the CC says the Avatar should have Weapon Familiarity).
6) Any House Skills which have lingering effects after their use will be considered "cancelled" at the exact moment that a Fleming changes his representation of his House. For example, if a third level Fleming successfully uses the Avalon Skill "Summon Familiar", the Familiar will disappear as soon as he changes his House Button (but not when he goes OOC, assuming he is sticking to one House and does not represent himself as anything OTHER than that House).
7) The actual condition of having a blown cover is a mechanical process, not a role playing process to anyone other than the ones who saw him blow his cover. In other words, these rules protect a Fleming from any game mechanic which would uncover him against his will as a Fleming, UNTIL he blows his cover, but he is still allowed to role play it any way he wants. So even though he has officially LOST the ability to fake House Skills higher than Tier 1, he MAY still be able to convince others that he is still the same fake Avatar, assuming he manages to convince or otherwise make the witnesses to his blown cover keep their mouths shut. Eventually, he will probably be challenged and will have to reveal his CC with its telltale "Tier 1" designation, but that time may come just far enough in the future for him to finish his current business with his cover House.
8) It is understood that at no time should the revelation of the back of a Fleming's CC showing Fleming Skills be construed as In-Character knowledge of the fact that he is Fleming. Thus a Fleming who is following the Third Way will still want to keep it a secret, but a Fleming following the second way does not necessarily have to. Failing the Skill check of the usage of a House Skill is still construed as both In-Character and Out-Of-Character knowledge of his true House.
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