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by Onder Skall
I caught one of the kickoff events at Samarkand tonight. (Here’s the SLurl.) The place is gorgeous, the role players really and truly role play, and I got pictures. It’s good to wear my “games reporter” hat sometimes! (Even if it has holes in it from the horns.)
Here’s a quick summary from the press release:
As one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world, Samarkand is an international city set along the mysterious Central Asian/Persian/Arabian Silk Road. It is here, in ancient Samarkand (2000 BC – 1200 AD), that a group of outcasts have settled and begin to blend into the tribes of the land. These multi racial tribes–consisting of vampires (Vampire: The Masquerade clans, as well as vampires without clans), demons, nekos, drows, mages, mortals, shapeshifters dragons, angels, lycans, among many other species and cultures–draw all travelers into their ancient rivalries until, soon, Samarkand lives up to the meaning of its name:”land of war!!!”…
As role play areas go, I have to say that Samarkand is unique in that they control the style, but not really much of the content. You get “Masquerade” vampires and human goreans, sword fighters and magic users, angels and atheists, but in conversation they all seem to be on the same page about the tone and style of the environment. It’s an opportunity for people to take characters they play elsewhere and bring them into a new culture to see if there are new ways to make things fit.
The architecture is a mix of Arabian, Persian and Indian opulence, and I found myself looking forward to the day when Windlight lets us control the lighting effects. This kind of build will really win out against others when shadows and light can play against each other in a more subtle way. It’s running on a class 5 server so the details popped into view fairly quickly too.
The “Queen of Queens” in Samarkand is (currently) Pierce Malick, who would tell you that all of her subjects are loyal to her. That’s not completely true, however. There are always plots to overthrow the throne, but of course, none of the tribes will openly admit that to the Queen herself. Secrecy, politics, and strategy play as much a part in the daily lives of the city’s residents as DCS combat does.
Of course, every sim needs a club. Samarkand’s is called “The Silk Rose Club” and keeps with the multicultural feel, broadcasting dance radio from China, Afganistan, Russia, Iran, and even a little European mix now and again. Like most clubs they hold regular events on Fridays and Saturdays, and they’re hiring dancers and escorts now if you’re interested.
If you want to join in the general exotic fun at Samarkand, TP in and you’ll get notecards telling you how to join a tribe and meet interesting people. It’s nice to see somebody trying something unique, and I have a feeling old-time role players are going to love the refreshing change.