Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Victorian Vampires

Legacies 1891 is an intruiging RP sim combining the Victorian age and, well, vampires. To quote from the notecard,

Legacies is a beautiful dark universe for the demented and twisted....Mature, extremely dark and cold[,] no mercy is found here....Set in the Old Victorian/Gothic time period, that of the late 1880s [and] early 1900s of London, England. The time of beautiful gowns, intricate hair, lavish masquerades and smoke-filled brothels.

The build is quite intricate and very atmospheric. The initial landing spot is high above the surface and contains information about the role-playing and various locations on the surface, and a number of shopping kiosks. There one can also join the Legacies group and receive a meter (required for participating in the RP). One small annoyance: the managers of the sim request that visitors wear an OOC tag, which is fine, but to get one requires joining the Lagcies OOC group, which apparently doubles as the chat forum for OOC comments by role players as well as group announcements. Yes, it's easy to both join and leave the group, but those at the group limit who want to explore as a visitor must either drop an existing group or ignore the request to wear a visitor's tag.

I started at the docks:

The wood-framed houses, some of which contain shops, look as though they have been withstanding the elements for centuries:

Naturally, I had to visit the pub:

Upstairs at the burlesque theater, which looked more like an opium den than anything. I swear, I didn't inhale:

Downstairs at the burlesque theater:

Crossing the graveyard didn't seem wise, but I did it anyway. Was that a ghost flitting by?

I was more than a little nervous about the performances at the Theater of the Back Alley. Fortunately, the place was dark when I visited.

I don't really understand the fascination with vampires, but a lot of people love 'em. I don't judge. The combination of the Victorian era and vampires seems to be a natural one, both because of the prominence of Stoker's Dracula in our collective consciousness and because the image of Victorian-era London - dark, smoky, full of repressed sexuality, seeking to push scientific boundaries but lacking a more modern understanding of science - is one in which one can easily imagine vampires and other creatures holding sway.

When I visit RP sims, I try very hard to avoid people there, who may be trying to engage in role play and for whom a visitor is something of an annoyance. (Unlike, say, Caledon, where a visitor is at the very least given directions to a clothing shop and/or a pub, and may be invited in for a cup of tea.) My impression was that only a handful of role players were in the sim, and in such small groups that it would have been hard for any overarching story line to be played out. As a "hard" RP sim, I suspect Legacies will suffer from the same problems as other such sims (e.g., Rivet Town): difficulty creating and sustaining a critical mass of players who have the time, energy, and inclination to commit to a full-time RP environment.

The building exteriors are masterfully done, but the interiors were almost bare. I don't know whether that was because the owners had yet to get around to interior decorating, or whether the sim's prim allowance was spent on the exteriors.

Despite the "1891" in the name of the area, Victorian-era clothing was little in evidence. One or two women wore period gowns, but the rest had the standard goth/vampire outfits, showing a great deal of skin. The shops at the landing point were all vampire-themed, where one could buy clothing or accessories for the modern vampire (which apparently means a lot of latex - what would Count Dracula think?), but nothing remotely Victorian that I could find. Buy your bustle elsewhere.

Still, this looks promising. I'll have to revisit it in a few months to see how they're getting along...

[A tip o' the bonnet to Miss Orr for her mention of the sim.]


Dr. Rafael Fabre said...

Outstanding review, madam - I must agree with your circumstances regarding researching during visit to RP areas, and do concur with you analysis of "hard" rp sims. Maintining the continual interst of any genre will always be a challenge in SL, but one can always hope they will find a successful formula.
Nonetheless, do keep up the excellent reporting - your work is excellent, madam!

Rhianon Jameson said...

Thank you for the kind words, Dr. Fabre!