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VonDoom
2012-10-17, 04:12 PM
Less 'carpet baggery' and more 'oppressive company that wants to own you, your family, and everything, really', but yes, I'm with you there, Dark. :smalltongue::smallamused:

(Though I admit that I had to look up what that meant.)

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-17, 04:14 PM
I actually really like Jade's idea of setting this in a recently occupied city after the war has ended. Imagine it, the military officer in charge of occupation and integration, the carpet bagging capitalist who opens shop in town to exploit the locals, the young man whose family was ruined by war and turns to racing, the foreman with connections to the underground, the freedom fighter and the mad scientist...

I can see this as a great setting.

I still want to play Nikola Tesla as Iron Man. :smalltongue:

Swordslinger
2012-10-17, 04:20 PM
Sounds like a cool concept. Plenty of opportunity for conflict and many reasons for people and organizations to start up in the city.

ForzaFiori
2012-10-17, 05:43 PM
Von Doom: I believe you were looking for a human guinea pig to install weapons on?

I may be willing to be said testee come P5. Maybe someone who lost their family in the war, and is trying to become the most powerful thing in the world so that nothing like that can ever happen again as a base idea...

VonDoom
2012-10-17, 05:48 PM
Excellent. I trust you don't mind a couple of safety measures installed in case of rebellion? You know how it is with those super-powerful human experiments and their tendency to become loose cannons and your own downfall. :smallbiggrin:

ForzaFiori
2012-10-17, 06:50 PM
Of course. and I PROMISE I'll never try to subvert the safety measure. :smallamused:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-17, 07:04 PM
And that's when we started rolling in the recruitment thread. :smalltongue:

TechnOkami
2012-10-17, 07:05 PM
So... I have a concept. An old concept albeit, something I originally didn't go with for PG III, but this world seems suitable for him...

A Plague Doctor.

The question is, what would I do? I'm thinking of some war veteran who worked as a medic and scientist for bio warfare, as well as probably the menacing visage of The Undertaker from The Blackwater Gospel (http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=vVkDrIacHJM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvVkDrIacHJM), but would all I do is go around driving people insane so they can kill themselves and I can throw them in coffins? I mean, the Plague Doctor has such a striking visual image, which I really like, I'm just not sure what I'd do as a character...

Any help w/ character motivation for this guy?

(I was also thinking that perhaps the Plague Doctors are part of a cult which keeps the powers of a God in check [i.e. disease] and in exchange he gives them powers, like transforming into a bird monster or something, healing powers, using disease as a weapon through magic, ect.)

Starsign
2012-10-17, 07:16 PM
So... I have a concept. An old concept albeit, something I originally didn't go with for PG III, but this world seems suitable for him...

A Plague Doctor.

The question is, what would I do? I'm thinking of some war veteran who worked as a medic and scientist for bio warfare, as well as probably the menacing visage of The Undertaker from The Blackwater Gospel (http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=vVkDrIacHJM&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DvVkDrIacHJM), but would all I do is go around driving people insane so they can kill themselves and I can throw them in coffins? I mean, the Plague Doctor has such a striking visual image, which I really like, I'm just not sure what I'd do as a character...

Any help w/ character motivation for this guy?

(I was also thinking that perhaps the Plague Doctors are part of a cult which keeps the powers of a God in check [i.e. disease] and in exchange he gives them powers, like transforming into a bird monster or something, healing powers, using disease as a weapon through magic, ect.)

Oh boy... Well I'll try to help, though character expansion is something I'm still working at myself.

I'll start by asking questions in case they might help set you on a good path. What was he before a Plague Doctor? How did he become a Plague Doctor? When did he become a Plague Doctor? WHY did he become a Plague Doctor? How long has he been a Plague Doctor?

And most importantly, what is there to him ASIDE from being a Plague Doctor? I know it seems weird to ask, but thinking about this question helps make a character more dynamic. (by my experience anyway) I had problems with Drallic being a little flat back in Playground 4 and going to ask myself "What is there to my character ASIDE from being a mercenary?" helped me develop him out.

Hope this helped. :smallsmile:

TechnOkami
2012-10-17, 07:32 PM
Well, Murdok was just a Mercenary and he was a pretty cool bro... <_<"

Um, to be honest I have no idea at this point.

Xondoure
2012-10-17, 07:37 PM
My suggestion would be a weaponized plague was released upon the city during the war (developed of course by our lovely megacorp) and you're the clean up crew.

It could be zombies, black death, grey scale, influenza, a disease which causes people to combust, you name it!

I'd suggest it hit hardest in a certain area so there could be a quarantine zone (probably in the slums.)

TheDarkDM
2012-10-17, 08:09 PM
If you're going to create a plague doctor, an essential place to start is thinking through the how, where, what, and why of your plague.

*edit*

Also, planning on using a Story Element to introduce guns, with the technology in the ballpark of 1900 munitions. I hope that's not a problem with anyone?

*edit the second*

Also thinking of using this as the basis of occupation headquarters:

http://www.popbucket.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/The-Shard-Dishonored-1.jpg

As always, feedback is welcome.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-17, 08:30 PM
I thought the point of the tech baseline was that we wouldn't have to use a story element to bring about guns.

However, since we're talking about throwing out specific story elements here, I'd like to point out that the people to get in first will have a striking effect on the way the setting turns out. That said, could I design the City and previous War (Possibly Fey, Elves, BASIC magic and Script Magic for personal ones)? I would be willing to take suggestions and revisions, of course, but I'd like to go for something that will be accommodating to character concepts, yet ballin' at the same time.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-17, 08:34 PM
I thought the point of the tech baseline was that we wouldn't have to use a story element to bring about guns.

However, since we're talking about throwing out specific story elements here, I'd like to point out that the people to get in first will have a striking effect on the way the setting turns out. That said, could I design the City and previous War (Possibly Fey, Elves, BASIC magic and Script Magic for personal ones)? I would be willing to take suggestions and revisions, of course, but I'd like to go for something that will be accommodating to character concepts, yet ballin' at the same time.

I still think they deserve a story element to explain their history and define the common makes and models.

And I'm fine with you handling the war (your idea, after all), I'd like to collaborate as it looks like I'm going to be a member of the winning military.

Starsign
2012-10-17, 08:39 PM
Before I think of my concept more, I'd like to know about what each side of the war was like. Basically what made the two different, what caused the war to break out, and what contributed to the victory of the winning side?

I know it's a lot to ask but I guess you can say I find it important to know about each side of a war.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-17, 08:48 PM
Before I think of my concept more, I'd like to know about what each side of the war was like. Basically what made the two different, what caused the war to break out, and what contributed to the victory of the winning side?

I know it's a lot to ask but I guess you can say I find it important to know about each side of a war.

I think Jade and I will be able to hammer that out tonight.

Tebryn
2012-10-17, 11:32 PM
I thought the point of the tech baseline was that we wouldn't have to use a story element to bring about guns.

However, since we're talking about throwing out specific story elements here, I'd like to point out that the people to get in first will have a striking effect on the way the setting turns out. That said, could I design the City and previous War (Possibly Fey, Elves, BASIC magic and Script Magic for personal ones)? I would be willing to take suggestions and revisions, of course, but I'd like to go for something that will be accommodating to character concepts, yet ballin' at the same time.

I was planning on introducing Elemental Magic of some sort but far more primal and violent than previous incarnations. Less Fire, Wind, Water, Air and more...Thunder and lightning, Earth Quakes, Tornados. Things of that nature. Was also planning on introducing a massive spanning network of trained Killers and Shadow Magic. So...I'd at the very least like to see what you've got planned for magic so I can work with it.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-18, 12:16 AM
Not posting my finished character concept yet, but I will be flying this...

http://i50.tinypic.com/2myb7ec.jpg

Colors not final.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 01:22 AM
Hey, I remember playing a shoot 'em up with a plane looking something like that along, long time ago. :smallbiggrin:

I think I'd have something for flight for my character as well, although much more personalized, and much, much less reliable.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-18, 01:23 AM
The following six story elements may have a very large impact on the game, each of three of the mods (Nef, DM, and me), are donating two of our starting six story elements for laying down the basics of them. We're open to suggestions, though.

The Benefactors' War - Story Element Donated by DarkDM
The world has seen more than its share of territorial disputes. Some last only a short time. Others last for ages, the same land fought over again and again until all that remains are the spirits of the restless dead. Rarely do they engulf an entire nation, or unrelated countries.

Until now.

It started small, as yet another dispute between Auveraine and the States of Torun. It had been thirty years since the Auvers successfully claimed the Crimson Valley from the then-divided Kellish provinces. A new generation had grown up, the provinces had united, and everyone had forgotten that war was less about glorious sporty conquest and more about people getting shot. The Crimson Valley was no prize in terms of anything but bragging rights - the land had been rendered infertile nearly a hundred years before hand. It was plague-ridden, ugly, barren, and probably haunted. That didn't stop two nations stoked on jingoistic pride from declaring war, both convinced that it would be a fast and flawless victory.

For five years the nations remained locked in an ever escalating conflict that drew in more and more resources, allies, and people. Warfare had changed to favor industrial combat. Weapons that could fire more bullets in a minute than a man could hand craft in a year could be heard in between the shots of artillery that pounded the enemy lines day and night. The greatest minds on both sides turned their thoughts to weaponry, and machines took to the sea and skies to carry death to those domains as well.

But it was not to last forever. Slowly but surely, the Torun soldiers began to gain ground. Not content with just one gutted valley, the few people to benefit from the war - the industrial tycoons known as "the Benefactors", many of them part of the government - began to push for true conquest under the banner of Manifest Destiny. And that destiny was indeed made manifest. With nearly ninety percent of its original military dead or expended and half the country occupied, Auveraine's royal family sued for peace and it was granted.

That was five years ago, and no nation involved - and there were many - came out the better for it with the possible exception of Torun itself. Even though reparation payments were not part of the treaty, the loss of industry and natural resources brought about by the war has what's left of Auveraine reeling. Occupied Auveraine - renamed the State of Kellund by the other Torun-affiliated states, still rebuilds to this day. The former Auveraine capitol of Dauphane was hard hit, but also received the lion's share of the reparation effort - indeed, making it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. As a result, refugees from devastated communities flocked to it and some are still trickling in, arriving and setting up in the shanty towns that remain in the still-ruined portions of the mighty city.

Dauphane is still "occupied" - although technically as a conquered city it's the Auvers who occupy a Torun territory rather than the other way around. While the hostilities have ceased, tensions have not.

States of Torun - Story Element donated by DarkDM
Reserved

Dauphane (City of Adventure) - Story Element donated by Jade
Dauphane hasn't been the same since the war.

While that's technically true of every settlement from one end of the continent to the other, Dauphane has undergone a more striking revision than almost any other city still in existence. Shelled for 108 straight days at one point during the fighting, there are entire city blocks and quarters of Old Dauphane that didn't survive. And speaking of Old Dauphane, that's precisely what the surviving portions, primarily on the west side of the city, are called.

New Dauphane, which makes up just over half of the current city, has been reconstructed almost from nothing by the occupying Torun forces. The architecture is different, of course, and the technology is newer, the streets a bit cleaner. A new Dauphane for a new age.

But the city's problems don't end there.

Dauphane is an island of reconstructive effort in an ocean of devastation. Entire areas of Auveraine were scoured barren by the war, and thousands of families were left homeless and/or destitute. Even years later, people flock to Dauphane daily in the hopes of finding a new life, but even the prodigious efforts of Torun's occupying forces cannot match the supply of jobs, homes, and food to the demand. As a result, the city is ringed by a desolate halo of shanty towns and refugee camps even as it is crisscrossed by a series of paved roads, railways, and zeppelin towers.

Due to the presence of so many people who have recently lost a war and have little else to do with their time, a growing, vaguely pro-Auveraine and definitely anti-Torun resistance movement has begun. While not particularly well organized, the movement has so far resisted all overtures - peaceful and otherwise - to end.

Geographically, Dauphane is designed along the rough lines of the original city, surrounded by a circular defensive perimeter that more or less contains both the city and the refugee camps. Three rivers pass into the city and meet, creating the much larger river that empties out to the sea, many miles to the North. It is high enough in basic elevation and latitude that it is cold and snowy in the winter and hot during the summer, and the area it rests in is Old World temperate forest, occasionally marked by battle scars or places where poison gas defoliated the landscape.

Internally, the old Civic Center and antique palace have been rebuilt, but only as a symbolic gesture - the true seat of power is Occupation Headquarters, which sits near the center of town, at a crossroads of two major highways, both of which lead directly to the defensive perimeter at both ends. The city also boasts a world-class train station and zeppelin spire, as well as an airfield on the eastern side of the city.

Finally, the city lays claim to one of the most complex sewer systems in the world, as these were also rebuilt after much of the old ones caved. However, the Torun designers have seen too many wartime spy thrillers to make the passages large enough for easy access - only maintenance areas are big enough to crawl through, and these do not lead under the defensive perimeter, into Occupation HQ, and can be flooded with all manner of nasty substances if the city is being invaded.

However, Dauphane was a very, very old city, and not even the Torun excavators could find every secret. There are crypts and catacombs designed and built by a dozen religious orders and even cults throughout the ages. And these are large enough to pass through, with no recorded layout. Be warned, though: in a world of magic, rats and spiders aren't the only things that dwell there...

Remaining details to be decided with other story elements.

In work

Basics of Magic - Story Element donated by Jade
Magic has been recognized since this world's late Neolithic-age analogue, but lacking a clear and consistent set of rules, it has been difficult to create singular theories concerning the way in which "all magic" works. For the everyday man or woman's purposes, magic is anything that acts in defiance of physics and chemistry.

Auveraine - Story Element donated by Nef
Reserved

Dwarves - Story Element donated by Nef
Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------
These are things I'd like to use my own story elements on.

Mirland
A small island nation to the north known for cold, rocky cliffs and the abundance of greenery atop them, but mostly known for being the ancestral home of the elves. While it remained proudly independent and isolationist for many years, it fell to territorial expansion by Aensland, and tensions have been high there ever since, as the long lifespans, bitterness, and cultural differences of the elves cause tremendous friction that the passage of time is doing little to smooth over. Now a territory of Aensland and being systematically pillaged for natural resources, Mirland's chief export is its predominantly elven citizens, who are now participating in the greatest exodus in Mirrish history.

Ancestral Ghosts
A peculiar phenomena has been observed that is, it seems, unique to elves - while "what happens to you when you die" is a great topic for debate among many, the elves happen to already have an answer. Dead elves become ancestral spirits after passing their soul on to be reincarnated in another elf. Under the right circumstances, these ancestral spirits can converse with the living owner of their soul and occasionally even manifest physically, which living elves accept with varying degrees of enthusiasm.

Eventually, a collection of ancestral spirits disappears and the soul vanishes with them. What happens after this point is anyone's guess - even the spirits don't know. Just as mysteriously, a "new" soul appears, and no one can tell where it came from - only that no haunting accompanies it.

Elves
Elves tend to stand somewhat shorter than humans, and live nearly three hundred years. While having an average lifespan over four times that of a human being's would suggest that elves would be highly skilled at all manner of things, adapting to the changing world coming out of the turn of the century was not one of them. Their longstanding dispute with the nearby nation of Aensland finally ended with the total conquest of their island home, and there are fewer elves in the world now than there have been for the past thousand years - indeed, there is some speculation that there will be *no* pure elves left within a few more centuries. As a result, elves are extremely rare - and while a comprehensive Census is impossible it's estimated that humans now outnumber elves ten thousand to one.

They are no less diverse than their taller counterparts though, and you will find them engaging in most walks of life, from priests of their faith to soldiers to barbers to writers and everything in between.

Elves do still have some physical advantages, though. They move with an easy grace and have far sharper vision, hearing, and smell than most humans.

In Play: An elf without a rank in Perception and Agility is certainly possible, but will be considered oblivious and clumsy by elven standards.

Rune Magic
Rune Magic is a curious branch of arcane study. While not uniquely elven in origins or ownership - anyone can learn it - few non-elves do due to how heavily the discipline favors beings with long life spans and lots of free time.

Rune magic is based on one of the elves' two languages. These two languages are High Sylvan, which is almost never used in normal conversation, and Low Sylvan, known to most of the world as "Elven." The reason High Sylvan is rarely used is because it is, in fact, a descriptive form of magic - words encapsulate and reshape reality, especially when they are written down.

This directly leads to Rune Magic. Rune Magic is two parts memory, one part imagination, and one part projection. The source of Rune Magic's power is memory. The Rune Mage will record an aspect of a memory they have personally experienced in High Sylvan, and upon triggering the rune the effect is reproduced. Given that the quality of the reproduction is directly related to how descriptive the writing is, most runes take some time to create and are finished long before they are ever used.

Imagination allows the mage to transfer that aspect of memory to something else. Upon witnessing an explosion, the mage might be able to sketch a rune onto their bullets or arrows describing it in slightly more general terms than it occurred in, which allows for an effect to be reproduced outside of the exact circumstances that triggered the explosion to begin with. So to return to the explosion example, a rune mage might witness an armory explode, but inscribe it on his or her runes in such a way that they can blow up anywhere, not just at armories.

Nor does a rune have to be disruptive, or etched onto a weapon. An elf seeing someone recover from the plague might write a rune describing it, invoke it elsewhere, and cure someone else of the plague, or at least aid them, depending on the quality of the rune mage in question.

There is one final limit - only one copy of a memory can be made per memory. While the mage does not "lose access" to a memory once it is inscribed on a rune (he or she can still remember seeing that armory explode), even the bending of reality represented by the magic cannot allow for more than one copy of an event to exist at a time - so if the mage attempted to create a second explosion rune without a separate memory of a different explosion to base it on, then that second rune would be reproducing an explosion that never happened and therefore is equally fictional - that is to say, the rune would be a dud.

With such useful magic, it might be difficult at first glance to understand how the elves lost a war so completely, but that's because the disadvantages to widespread reliance on Rune Magic are not as obvious as they are devastating. At the time of Aensland's invasion, the last true war between the two sides had been fought with muskets and arrows. This new, mechanized warfare was one that the elves had no experience with and no memories of dealing with, and as a result the elves had to approach every problem the hard way. They improved as time went on, but by then it was too little, too late. Added to the massive difference in population, and reproduction rate, and history found that the great irony of the situation was that the race of people with a lifespan of three hundred years... simply ran out of time.

TechnOkami
2012-10-18, 01:59 AM
Ok, so here's what I've got with the Plague Doctor.

Plague Doctors:
Basically, Plague Doctors (if allowed) are going to be the commonly regarded name by the people to these particular individuals. Who these individuals are, in fact, are clerics of a deity called Corvix. Corvix is a deity of Death, Disease, and Suffering. Death and Disease are rather self explanatory for a deity, but why Suffering, and why does he have a mass of cultists following him? To this deity, Suffering is bound to death and plague, and is caused by the amount of suffering which the mortals do. If it's small bits of suffering (your typical day to day gripes and worries) smaller and less potent diseases occur, like Colds and Hay Fever. And then Wars occur. Wars which cause so much pain and suffering upon the world is immediately reflected back to the world as a disease, though this time, a disease of impeccable power and spite. The Plague Doctors are, in turn, part medic and part cleric, for the diseases of their God are so powerful that those who are slain by them remain inside the body, unable to pass through the veil of death. This is where the Plague Doctors come in, filling their surroundings with hallucinogenic chemicals to give themselves the visage of Angels of Death (they themselves immune to the effects due to their iconic beak-shaped gas masks). They strike fear and terror into the common people, even if their presence is perhaps for a more overall benevolent effect. They do this for their sake, to remind the people and the world of the terrible power they have, and how painfully it lashes back against them.

Over time the strong diseases ravages shall fade and simmer, cures will be found by the Plague Doctors and administered to the people. In times of low disease, they Doctors do not take their visages, but are always there, acting as the local doctor, until humanity oversteps its bounds once more, and are firmly reminded of the power they hold in their hands, and the destruction they can so easily wreck upon themselves.

Corvix communes to his servants through Crows, which also lead them to those who need their services. As a gift for their long toil of service, Corvix grants his followers boons and powers, such as healing, manipulation of disease as a weapon, or perhaps even taking on the visage of Corvix himself.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 02:02 AM
Then I'll do mine as well

The Jade Masks

Reserved

Shadow Magic

Reserved until the Basic Magic is done

Elemental Magic

Reserved until the Basic Magic is done

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 02:15 AM
Techno I think you might need to add a story element on religion if you're going to have actual gods involved. (My personal vote on that front is no because I like the ambiguity of stories that lack proof as to the nature of the divine but that's just my opinion on the matter.)

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 02:19 AM
Hmm. I'd like to write the Benefactors themselves, if no one feels strongly about wanting to do so, since I intend to place my character among their ranks.

Though, wait, should we be moving so quickly already, laying down Story Elements and everything rather than throwing around some vague ideas to talk about? Didn't you guys want to wait until a certain time period had passed, or is that over? I don't really remember what university/highschool/college/whatever schedules are over in the US, or when NaNoWriMo is, exactly (after all, it's National, not International, so my interest in that is somewhat mitigated by that).

Also, we probably ought to discuss who the game moderators will be, since extended absences and unavailabilities have been a problem in past games.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 02:26 AM
Hmm. I'd like to write the Benefactors themselves, if no one feels strongly about wanting to do so, since I intend to place my character among their ranks.

Though, wait, should we be moving so quickly already, laying down Story Elements and everything rather than throwing around some vague ideas to talk about? Didn't you guys want to wait until a certain time period had passed, or is that over? I don't really remember what university/highschool/college/whatever schedules are over in the US, or when NaNoWriMo is, exactly (after all, it's National, not International, so my interest in that is somewhat mitigated by that).

Also, we probably ought to discuss who the game moderators will be, since extended absences and unavailabilities have been a problem in past games.

Yeah there's also that. Seeing as we're slated to start in december this is all perhaps too preemptive (character ideas and motivations will likely change.)

As for mods, I see no problem with the old team, so long as they are complimented by some fresh faces. Personal nominations would be Vondoom, Tebryn, BladeofOblivion, and well, me. :smallredface:

I'd say Kasanip but she already shot it down over in PG4.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 02:27 AM
Though, wait, should we be moving so quickly already, laying down Story Elements and everything rather than throwing around some vague ideas to talk about? Didn't you guys want to wait until a certain time period had passed, or is that over? I don't really remember what university/highschool/college/whatever schedules are over in the US, or when NaNoWriMo is, exactly (after all, it's National, not International, so my interest in that is somewhat mitigated by that).

Also, we probably ought to discuss who the game moderators will be, since extended absences and unavailabilities have been a problem in past games.

I don't think there's much harm in offering up some initial story elements really. The earlier they're out the better we can tweak them and intertwine them after all.

As for Mods...I don't know if it was decided but I don't feel like we need them much really.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 02:30 AM
I don't think there's much harm in offering up some initial story elements really. The earlier they're out the better we can tweak them and intertwine them after all.

As for Mods...I don't know if it was decided but I don't feel like we need them much really.

Mostly there needs to be a team for vetting recruitment. And there is the rare occasion (once every game or so) where players begin to act totally out of line and need to be reigned in.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 02:32 AM
Mostly there needs to be a team for vetting recruitment. And there is the rare occasion (once every game or so) where players begin to act totally out of line and need to be reigned in.

True...and I'm honored that you'd nominate me as well though I will have to decline. If there is a concerted desire for Mods however, Xondoure and VonDoom are my votes.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-18, 02:50 AM
States of Torun

Think pre-World War 1 Germany with a United States system of governance. Will write up later.

Krauler Family

Three hundred years ago, Berthold Krauler was a blacksmith in the Torun State of Stolitz. While he made an admirable living and provided his young wife with a life of relative comfort, Berthold was dissatisfied with such a simple life. He was a man of ambition, and so in his moments of leisure he tinkered endlessly with various inventions. One of those was a children's toy, a black powder that let out a flash and a small pop. It had existed for decades, but Berhold thought there might be something more to it. He spent months experimenting with the composition of the powder, until it did far more that flash. Soon, it exploded with enough force to send an iron ball through the air, and soon after that Berthold had manufactured the first musket. He was ecstatic, as was the Prince of Stolitz when presented with the magnificent new weapon. Berthold was granted a royal commission on the spot, and soon his weapon spread to the other Torun States and beyond.

In time, Berthold's wife gave him a son, a slight lad they named Johann. Unlike his ancestors, Johann grew up in luxury, his father's success guaranteeing the family a place at the royal court. Tutored alongside the heir to Stolitz's throne, Johann proved an able student. Yet, while he learned the makings of his father's trade, Johann never showed the natural technical brilliance of his father. So, driven to find his own fortune, he left Stolitz and traveled to the State of Wernhalten. With a loan from his father, he obtained a stake in a small lumber concern, and set to work. At once, the instincts that eluded Johann as a gunsmith asserted themselves as a manager, and within the year he had repaid his father's loan. Within ten, the Krauler logging concern was the largest in Wernhalten, and had branches in three other States. However, despite his success Johann's failure to match his father's accomplishments rankled, and so he sought to do with money what he could not do with skill. Hiring some of the most talented masters on the continent, he set the the task of automating the craft his father had pioneered. The process took 20 years, but at the end Johann had developed a system of interchangeable parts that revolutionized industrial production.

Johann fathered a daughter and a son, twins, and doted on them with all the affection his work allowed. While young Berthold II had the finest schooling money could buy, young Sophia was left languishing at home. A precocious girl, she defied her mother at every turn, preferring the noise and grim of the factory to a lady's parlor. And so Johann indulged her, and while Berthold II learned how to expand the family's business, Sophia turned to the family's old tradition. She tinkered, she toyed, and when she was old enough she traveled to visit her grandfather. Long nights of heated technical discussion drove her to new ideas. Accustomed to the stabilizing effect of the heavy, twirling skirts she so despised, Sophia sought to apply the principle to her grandfather's invention. A Johann watched with pride, Sophia slowly developed the first rifled barrel, and her brother leapt to put it into production. By this time, the Krauler's did not simply own an outdated commission and a lumber concern, but a string of factories across Torun. Every nation on earth wanted rifled muskets, and the only place to buy them was from Krauler stock.

At 27, Berthold II married, ushering in a new generation of Kraulers on a changing world. The dwarves had recently released steam power on the world above, and dozens of eager entrepreneurs tore themselves to pieces trying to capitalize on it first. But not the Kraulers. To be sure, great lady though she was Sophia desired nothing more than to take one of the vaunted engines apart, but Berthold advised patience, and he was right. Of the dozens of ventures that sought to use steam, almost all failed, leaving hundreds of engines rusting in scrap heaps or on auction blocks. Berthold grabbed the opportunity, purchasing works of misguided genius for pennies, and giving them to his savant sister to deconstruct. To guard against competition, he also purchased one of the few remaining steam ventures, the mining company of one Renee Montclair of Auveraine. He had devised a way to drain mine using a steam pump, and Sophia saw potential. Working together, they refined the steam engine beyond even dwarven craft, and eventually fell in love. Their marriage ceremony took place on the first prototype of the steam locomotive, and soon the first Krauler line cut from Wernhalten to Stolitz.

By the time of the fourth generation, the Krauler family was one of the wealthiest in the world, their industrial holdings anchored by the advances in transportation and weaponry they still held tightly. Berthold Montclair-Krauler, Vivienne Montclair-Krauler, Hanna Krauler, Niclas Krauler, and Paul Krauler enjoyed childhoods matched only by royalty, and at the unyielding insistence of Sophia both boys and girls were educated by the finest tutors. Though none of Sophia or Berthold II's children would shake the world as they had, all drove the family to greater heights. Berthold M. Krauler served as surface ambassador to the dwarves for twenty years, and is widely credited with drastically increasing the supply of coal the stout overseers allowed sold each year, driving surface industry ever faster towards the future. Meanwhile Niclas and Paul followed their grandfather's footsteps and used loans to start their own rail lines. Soon, the Krauler West Line and Krauler East Line were running in conjunction with the core Central Line, a friendly competition between brothers that saw each one's fortune increase. Meanwhile, Vivienne M. Krauler married the heir to the throne of Torun's largest state, Ghetzen, and Hanna Krauler married the second son of the Prince of Stolitz. With their influence, they guided the two States to an alliance that paved the way for the Torun of today.

Here, the family splits into the five primary branches that remain today. Despite his father's passion for all things dwarven, Berthold M. Krauler's son Wilhelm had little taste for the rail business, eventually dividing the Central Line and selling it's pieces to his cousins in charge of the Krauler East and Krauler West lines. His attention freed, he found himself in munitions, greatly expanding the Krauler arms factories and taking an active role in developing newer, more powerful weapons. Content to allow their cousin to expand the arms business, Lena Krauler and Mathias Krauler acted aggressively to expand the Krauler lines. Purchasing a vast lot on the outskirts of Torun's capital, they linked their lines at what would become Empire Station, and expanded outwards. By a stroke of luck, Lena managed to woo the son of [country to be inserted]'s most influential rail tycoon, an alliance that spread the Krauler East by hundreds of miles in a single marriage ceremony. Not to be outdone, Mathias Krauler began blasting tunnels, cutting the first straight path through Torun's northern border. Meanwhile, the Stolitz-Kraulers and Ghetzen-Kraulers involved themselves in Torun's burgeoning democracy, safeguarding the family's investments through ruthless politicking.

The most recent stroke of good fortune to truly shake the Krauler family occurred while the son of Lena [Initial to be filled in]. Krauler as he was exploring for a new well location along their southwards route. Digging deep into the earth at a random spot, Markus [?]. Krauler was surprised to find a black, viscous substance bubbling up from the earth. It burned with surprising endurance, and though he thought it nothing but an amusement his cousins in the central branch knew the truth. Turning one of the lesser Krauler arms warehouses to the purification of the black liquid, Berthold Krauler III produced kerosene without the aid of whalers. It was only a matter of time before another brilliant mind refined the process even more, and only a matter of time before they were bought and paid for by the Krauler empire. The age of oil had finally arrived, and the Kraulers moved with unified and blinding speed to secure the one great fuel source the dwarves did not control.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 02:58 AM
So if I'm reading that right, all of the major breakthroughs of the industrial revolution appeared in one family? I guess my only question is how there was anything other than a curb stomp. :smalltongue:


True...and I'm honored that you'd nominate me as well though I will have to decline. If there is a concerted desire for Mods however, Xondoure and VonDoom are my votes.

But of course, the nations game you tried to run was shaping up quite entertainingly (if with a few kinks.) And I'm still a little sad the Naruto game never got off the ground.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 03:01 AM
But of course, the nations game you tried to run was shaping up quite entertainingly (if with a few kinks.) And I'm still a little sad the Naruto game never got off the ground.

Ya, the Court of Lord Ho is a really fun system but only like...you and two other people were sending things in. I'd love to start it up again with a full host of active players. Same with the Naruto game though, just not enough interest. I will take that frustration out here however and play the Ninja I always wanted to be. Or something like that.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 03:13 AM
Ya, the Court of Lord Ho is a really fun system but only like...you and two other people were sending things in. I'd love to start it up again with a full host of active players. Same with the Naruto game though, just not enough interest. I will take that frustration out here however and play the Ninja I always wanted to be. Or something like that.

My first game here on these forums was actually a nation game much like it (the big difference was diplomats were mostly sent through IC PMs as opposed to the game being about said diplomats sitting at a table together.) Every player had a different race and things were going along quite well with a whole host of interweaving plotlines and alliances until war showed up. After that things went south as players quickly became enraged over the effectiveness of their forces and the whole thing got ugly (Basically I, as a small rebellious kingdom of elves completely outmaneuvered the double player controlled Diva Human empire in a brilliant gambit. The plan worked too well and the whole thing snowballed.) Still it's left me wanting to try something similar ever since.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 03:17 AM
So if I'm reading that right, all of the major breakthroughs of the industrial revolution appeared in one family? I guess my only question is how there was anything other than a curb stomp. :smalltongue:


More like they hoarded all the major breakthroughs and took credit for themselves. :smallbiggrin:

But as how it goes, technology, like ideas, never really sprout from one place alone, like how Newton and Leibnitz both made their own version of calculus, or how Edison and that other guy created the light bulb separately, or how the jet engine was developed by the US, Britain, and Germany simultaneously. So in that vein, I guess we are free to put in other sources of such technologies, maybe those that Auveraine embraced and developed, which could also have been inherently inferior and ultimately led to their defeat.

Or something like that.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-18, 03:22 AM
So if I'm reading that right, all of the major breakthroughs of the industrial revolution appeared in one family? I guess my only question is how there was anything other than a curb stomp. :smalltongue:


Hey now, I tried to leave things! I didn't touch textiles, or sea shipping, or aviation (I think Nef has dibs), or electricity, or the assembly line (though I suppose that's inferred, I'm hoping someone creates a Henry Ford to perfect it).

And they're an unholy amalgam of Rockefellers and Hapsburgs. Gotta give them some big guns. :smalltongue:

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 03:25 AM
So to me it seems like we're looking at a world history where germany won the first world war as a result of being the heart of the earlier parts of the industrial revolution (as opposed to the British Empire) and is now occupying Paris. Oh, with magic in the mix as well.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 03:27 AM
My first game here on these forums was actually a nation game much like it (the big difference was diplomats were mostly sent through IC PMs as opposed to the game being about said diplomats sitting at a table together.) Every player had a different race and things were going along quite well with a whole host of interweaving plotlines and alliances until war showed up. After that things went south as players quickly became enraged over the effectiveness of their forces and the whole thing got ugly (Basically I, as a small rebellious kingdom of elves completely outmaneuvered the double player controlled Diva Human empire in a brilliant gambit. The plan worked too well and the whole thing snowballed.) Still it's left me wanting to try something similar ever since.

Ya...I had some internal mechanisms but most of the plotting was taking place through PM. First time I almost filled my box actually. As it stood, you and the Tanuki...were going to have the run of the game. Boar was totally screwed.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-18, 03:31 AM
So to me it seems like we're looking at a world history where germany won the first world war as a result of being the heart of the earlier parts of the industrial revolution (as opposed to the British Empire) and is now occupying Paris. Oh, with magic in the mix as well.

I have no idea what you're talking about. :smalltongue:

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 03:34 AM
It does seem a bit centralized and reads a bit like that'd be -their- official version of their own history, what with the huge success story and everything. :smallbiggrin:

Actually, what do you guys think of the idea of presenting Story Elements as IC lore, that might also make it easier to elaborate, expand and even change things via blaming an unreliable narrator if they start to clash.

'Habsburger' is the name in its own language, incidentally. :smallsmile: Austria kind of shrunk a little since their hay-day. Heh.

---

Is manipulation of biology via pulpy pseudo-science (and maybe magic) still within the scope of Diesel Punk? Because I'd like to claim that, then.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 03:36 AM
Ya...I had some internal mechanisms but most of the plotting was taking place through PM. First time I almost filled my box actually. As it stood, you and the Tanuki...were going to have the run of the game. Boar was totally screwed.

It's funny. You'd think the giant militaries would crush everything in games like that. But it's always the nations with a larger focus on diplomacy (and backstabbing) that tend to pull ahead.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-18, 03:41 AM
It does seem a bit centralized and reads a bit like that'd be -their- official version of their own history, what with the huge success story and everything. :smallbiggrin:

Actually, what do you guys think of the idea of presenting Story Elements as IC lore, that might also make it easier to elaborate, expand and even change things via blaming an unreliable narrator if they start to clash.

'Habsburger' is the name in its own language, incidentally. :smallsmile: Austria kind of shrunk a little since their hay-day. Heh.

---

Is manipulation of biology via pulpy pseudo-science (and maybe magic) still within the scope of Diesel Punk? Because I'd like to claim that, then.

Well, I'm planning on playing one of them, so I just wanted to hit the high points. I'm sure I glossed over some scandals, some backroom dealing, and more than a few convenient deaths.

And yes, Frankenstein pseudo-science and horrific Moreau mutations are surely Diesel Punk, so go right ahead.

TechnOkami
2012-10-18, 04:02 AM
Is, eh, my take on Plague Doctors ok?

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 04:02 AM
I was thinking a bit more refined than Frankenstein, some sort of Captain America-esque Super Soldier experiments with a long line of far from perfect (though powerful) results. Though, pending on how magic works and how that could be incorporated, how refined the thing is in style if not actual effectiveness might jump ahead by leaps and bounds.

Though I was more curious about the one part of my message you didn't respond to. :smallbiggrin: The one about making Story Elements from an in-world perspective as a general rule.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 04:06 AM
Actually, what do you guys think of the idea of presenting Story Elements as IC lore, that might also make it easier to elaborate, expand and even change things via blaming an unreliable narrator if they start to clash.

Actually that would make more sense, making them as not absolute truths but the popular take on what is and what were. After all, history is written by the victors. It should also make Story Elements serve as less limiting to others who would like to put in certain Story Elements later.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 04:22 AM
Is, eh, my take on Plague Doctors ok?

I'd refer back to my question about gods, and how you intend to handle that (or if you're in support of there being an existing pantheon of known deities.)

Kasanip
2012-10-18, 04:24 AM
4 pages, I will try to read soon. :smallredface:

Starsign
2012-10-18, 05:20 AM
Do you guys all live in Australia or something? You all seem to skyrocket ahead while I'm asleep. :smalleek:

Anyway, I do have a concept but I was holding off a bit as I got the feeling some of you might... Well vomit at the idea. I haven't read over the story elements yet so if there might be continuity errors, please forgive me there.

Considering some Diesel Punk seems to revolve anywhere from the 1930s to 1950s, do you think there could be any sort of propaganda for superheroes ala the Golden Age way back during WWII? I had the idea of whichever side was the winner having a prime "superhero" of sorts (which would be my character) that was used to motivate the soldiers and warriors during the war. From there the game would be about how a Golden Age-ish superhero might adjust after a war; perhaps something like deconstructing the idea of Golden Age superheroes (you could think of it as how M once referred to Bond as "a sexist, misogynist dinosaur -- a relic of the Cold War") and perhaps reconstructing it in some way as the game goes on. Thoughts? :smallsmile:

The_Snark
2012-10-18, 05:28 AM
@Starsign: that seems like it'd work very nicely to me. All sorts of interactions with other proposed characters spring to mind, which (I think) is the hallmark of a good concept in these games.


Is, eh, my take on Plague Doctors ok?

Well, first off: I love the idea of secretive gas mask-clad priests wandering across battlefields and plague-ravaged slums, conducting mysterious chemical-fueled rites to ease the passing of the dead. It is a very evocative image. The notion that plague is a divine manifestation of suffering is intriguing too (and presents interesting ramifications for the field of chemical warfare).

Like Xondoure, I'm a little unsure about gods being an open, acknowledged force in the world. Religion and churches, sure, but not gods. As written, Corvix feels like the kind of deity you'd find in a pseudo-medieval D&D setting, where that thing is commonplace. Here... well, there's nothing forbidding a more modern setting from having those, but like Xondoure (again) I personally would prefer a bit more ambiguity. Perhaps make the religion a mystery cult (in the Greco-Roman sense); they aren't exactly secret, but they don't proselytize much, most people don't understand them very well, and some of their sacred practices are reserved for those who are initiated into the faith. Communion with the god should probably be reserved for dreams and hallucinogen-inspired vision quests—which is not to say they're not genuine, but it keeps the right air of mysticism.

Also, I would recommend a change of name for the god; something like Old Father Crow seems appropriately enigmatic.

I'd actually love to collaborate with you on this sort of thing, as it ties in with some ideas I've had about bio-weapons and chemical warfare and stuff. Would you be open to that?

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 05:34 AM
Not sure what others might think, but as a huge comics fan, I think it may well work if suitably dressed up -- I'd put it more along the lines of the 'masked adventurer' genre, with pulp hero influences, along the lines of 'The Phantom'.

Since ordinary people can reasonably have magic and technology, adding some street-level superpowers akin to the 'artificial human peak' types or just using a combination of veteran fighting skills, athleticism and magic very effectively while acting as a masked inspiration shouldn't really be a problem as a concept.

All pending execution, of course.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-18, 05:42 AM
Not sure what others might think, but as a huge comics fan, I think it may well work if suitably dressed up -- I'd put it more along the lines of the 'masked adventurer' genre, with pulp hero influences, along the lines of 'The Phantom'.

Since ordinary people can reasonably have magic and technology, adding some street-level superpowers akin to the 'artificial human peak' types or just using a combination of veteran fighting skills, athleticism and magic very effectively while acting as a masked inspiration shouldn't really be a problem as a concept.

All pending execution, of course.

This is pretty much my stance on things.

Some (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_Savage) other (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rocketeer_(film)) examples (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Shadow) of period heroes.

Starsign
2012-10-18, 05:47 AM
Not sure what others might think, but as a huge comics fan, I think it may well work if suitably dressed up -- I'd put it more along the lines of the 'masked adventurer' genre, with pulp hero influences, along the lines of 'The Phantom'.

Since ordinary people can reasonably have magic and technology, adding some street-level superpowers akin to the 'artificial human peak' types or just using a combination of veteran fighting skills, athleticism and magic very effectively while acting as a masked inspiration shouldn't really be a problem as a concept.

All pending execution, of course.

Hmm, that is an idea. Golden Age did have a time when masked adventurers were in their moment. I will definitely keep that in mind as it could be fun. :smallbiggrin:

However I was more thinking of Iron Man; a guy in an experimental suit of special armor (run by magic in this case) who went on the battlefield, inspiring the troops on his side and lifting their morale by his sheet presence. I always found the charisma or inspiring propaganda to make up a good part of Golden Age superheroes and I thought about exploring the ideas of it and what happens to such a hero AFTER the war is over. How might that sound?

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 06:00 AM
Yikes, I think our characters would have lots of parallels, although he would be making his own things. He really is like Tony Starks, except he's not a billionaire and he won't be making an actual suit of armor.

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 06:03 AM
Yikes, I think our characters would have lots of parallels, although he would be making his own things. He really is like Tony Starks, except he's not a billionaire and he won't be making an actual suit of armor.

Would you like to be in my character's employ, Guy? We could use a skilled inventor and engineer. Plus, The_Snark may be cooking up a crazy scientist to head the science department of my character's company (not definite yet, but we're talking about the possibility), so you'd have someone else to throw ideas off of (and to turn your inventive enthusiasm towards evil purposes). :smallbiggrin:

Starsign
2012-10-18, 06:10 AM
Would you like to be in my character's employ, Guy? We could use a skilled inventor and engineer. Plus, The_Snark may be cooking up a crazy scientist to head the science department of my character's company (not definite yet, but we're talking about the possibility), so you'd have someone else to throw ideas off of (and to turn your inventive enthusiasm towards evil purposes). :smallbiggrin:

Do you think your company could use a hero's service for good publicity? Considering how my character would pretty much be out of service after the war, he would be looking for a way to still make use of that charisma and influence he gives out while having something of a day job/life. :smallsmile:

Anyone else looking for backstory connections? DM? Jade? Tech? Xon?

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 06:15 AM
Well, pending on how things shape up for the game ... probably not, unless you want to be a total puppet with brainwashing out of the wazoo since that sort of character, if he's actually good and everything he's made out to be, is a huge, huge, huge security risk. Particularly if he's an inspiration to the people.

Starsign
2012-10-18, 06:16 AM
Well, pending on how things shape up for the game ... probably not, unless you want to be a total puppet with brainwashing out of the wazoo since that sort of character, if he's actually good and everything he's made out to be, is a huge, huge, huge security risk. Particularly if he's an inspiration to the people.

...Yeah that might be a problem for both of us. :smalleek:

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 06:19 AM
Would you like to be in my character's employ, Guy? We could use a skilled inventor and engineer. Plus, The_Snark may be cooking up a crazy scientist to head the science department of my character's company (not definite yet, but we're talking about the possibility), so you'd have someone else to throw ideas off of (and to turn your inventive enthusiasm towards evil purposes). :smallbiggrin:

Yeah, I was thinking about that as well. But the way I envisioned him, he would have probably broken off at some point in the past. Maybe he is a close friend of your character, but he did not share his ideals, he just wanted to make stuff and test them out himself on something...or someone. He would have started out making stuff for the company, but being the greedy bastard that he is, he just wanted to make stuff that interests him and he could use for himself. And he did not like deadlines, So he broke off. :smallbiggrin: But they are still in good terms, and maybe your character would come by his shop once in a while to look at his ideas and maybe fund one or two that you see would be useful (I see your character as some sort of visionary right? So he would be good at that) and of course to convince him to come back.

How's that sound?

@Star

Ooh, how about that suit that your character is using is actually made by my character, but given to yours to use. This could be another reason why he left Von Doom's company, because he could have been that Superhero everyone is looking up to but isn't. And he's one egotistical lunatic.

What do you think? :smallbiggrin:

Starsign
2012-10-18, 06:23 AM
@Star

Ooh, how about that suit that your character is using is actually made by my character, but given to yours to use. This could be another reason why he left Von Doom's company, because he could have been that Superhero everyone is looking up to but isn't. And he's one egotistical lunatic.

What do you think? :smallbiggrin:

Well I don't see a connection with VonDoom's character happening, (y'know, unless I want to be a brainwashed psycho, which at best would satisfy my self-loathing habit) so I'm not too sure really. :smallredface:

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 06:25 AM
Right, right, I read that part a bit late. I keep forgetting his company is eeeevil! :smallbiggrin:

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-18, 06:27 AM
I decided my fighter looked better facing the other direction (which is to say, in the conventional propeller configuration).

http://i50.tinypic.com/j8pbbd.jpg
On the right, the Torun mainstay, mass produced fighter, the Hartmann K-112 Orkan, armed with four Krauler Machen V 8 mm machine guns.

On the left, the Auvers air superiority heavyweight, the Rochefort C-17 Destrier, armed with six Krauler Machen V 8 mm machine guns.

Yes, I'll be playing a (former) fighter ace. However could you have guessed?

Not entirely finished with the shading and details on the Orkan, but you get the idea.

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 06:29 AM
Well, how 'eeeevil' it'll be will be highly dependent on how openly ruthless and ambitious he can afford to be, which is directly related to how politically and financially influental he can be within the scope of our game and characters.

The_Snark
2012-10-18, 06:41 AM
Plus, The_Snark may be cooking up a crazy scientist to head the science department of my character's company (not definite yet, but we're talking about the possibility), so you'd have someone else to throw ideas off of (and to turn your inventive enthusiasm towards evil purposes). :smallbiggrin:

Indeed. My working concept at the moment is an Auverlaine-born weapons researcher, who worked for the government during the war but signed on with VonDoom's EvilCorp afterwards in exchange for amnesty. (Bribery was probably involved at some point.) Her field of expertise may or may not involve chemical warfare and bio-weapons. Considers herself a patriot, and resents the occupation of her homeland. A lot.

From a certain point of view—a narrow and unenlightened point of view, I hasten to add—she might be considered a supervillain. Should be an interesting contrast with your hero of the Torun States, Starsign...

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 06:41 AM
@VonDoom Well, in a war-torn city, I think that's easy. Plus we don't have other characters who are actually going to be a big factor, like a competing company or something.

BTW, is your character already the owner of the company when the game starts or will he still be in the 'taking over the company' phase?

@VonDoom and Starsign Actually, with Star's hero being a brainwashed puppet of justice, what if he actually broke out of brainwashing? That would be nice to play IMO. He'd be like that Jason Bourne or something, only everyone knows him and revers him as a hero.

@Nef I liked the look of the first Rochefort better. More diesel-punk looking IMO.

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 07:32 AM
Reserving Story Elements. For now just with short descriptions of general intent.

Non-Personal:

The Great Beasts (better name pending)
Big, powerful magical creatures. Pending the setup of magic, may be strongly rooted with its source or a potential source for magic bonds via essentially selling your soul/fate/will/body to the entities.

'Eastern Folklore Country/Island/Nation' (better name pending)
A country that adds an asiatic component, combining various cultures and folklores into one whole. Distinctly different from how Ikoku was set up in Playground 3. Taking suggestions for how to differentiate, but I think it might be a 'lost continent' instead, with their proper culture having been an ancient civilisation and with remnants of its people, magic and culture spread over the world.

Personal:

'Evil Corporation centered in Adventure City' (to be named)
Mikado's company. It's as big and powerful as we can reasonably make it at the start and, while Mikado may be its head, may not yet be fully under his direct control, explaining any differences between the theoretical corporate scale and what the character can actually do.

Major provider of weapons and a factor in winning the war. Develops on all fronts as long as it can be weaponized and (The_Snark's character or a different biologist-type pending) also started experimenting with human/elf/dwarf/whatever biology awhile ago. Quite naturally reputed for being a war-profiteer and ruthless.

As I mentioned earlier, I'll be re-introducing Mikado, but not as an intruder to the setting -- rather, a heavy rewrite, with him being hopefully more of a villain character rather than a 'reluctant hero with villain traits and ultimately evil but better than what's there right now intentions' this time around.


From a certain point of view—a narrow and unenlightened point of view, I hasten to add—she might be considered a supervillain. Should be an interesting contrast with your hero of the Torun States, Starsign...

Very narrow and unenlightened.

Starsign
2012-10-18, 08:10 AM
From a certain point of view—a narrow and unenlightened point of view, I hasten to add—she might be considered a supervillain. Should be an interesting contrast with your hero of the Torun States, Starsign...
Possibly. It's going to depend though. Won't have time to look over all the story elements until at least tonight sadly. I'll also need some time to improve my mood. Right now I'm... Conflicted to put it kindly. Going to need to chat with someone if anyone is able.

Speaking of which, is it possible we can have a link on the first post leading to each of the story elements that have been developed?


@VonDoom and Starsign Actually, with Star's hero being a brainwashed puppet of justice, what if he actually broke out of brainwashing? That would be nice to play IMO. He'd be like that Jason Bourne or something, only everyone knows him and revers him as a hero.
I don't think we decided on the brainwashing part. Breaking out could be a good idea however I'm not sure if VonDoom would appreciate that.

And if we go with the brainwashing as something still held, I'll probably end up hating my character... Is part of the point of playing a villain to hate the character you're playing? I've always wondered about that to be honest

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 08:26 AM
What? Hell no. Well, it normally isn't. Maybe for some it's the 'love to hate' thing, but there are as many reasons and motivations to play villains as there are reasons to -be- villainous. Not to mention that 'villain' is a construct and label we simply apply to characters with certain personality traits that a benevolent society, at large, might reject.

But, anyway, if someone breaks free after having been a puppet and subjected to copious amounts of brainwashing, the 'heroic frontman' would be workable and fine by me. Some remnants and implanted fake memories or remaining conditioning might be nice for a twist (say, a key phrase that temporarily reactivates his old conditioning, but that would, of course, have him seek its removal once discovered).

I ought to warn you that that'll likely be a fairly involved concept, particularly since it comes with lots of psychological issues (since even if you break free of it and don't have any traps still in there, that's not something to just shrug off) and built-in enemies. You were a bit surprised at the reaction to Alf's monstrous appearance back in Playground 3, so figure I ought to spell out the implications, to be safe.

Swordslinger
2012-10-18, 08:33 AM
VonDoom, do you need a head of security/ right hand man kind of character?

I have plans for an intelligent commander type character that leads the mooks and makes sure the job gets done. And he probably has an agenda of his own.

I decided to scrap the scientist I had planned when I figured out that everything I actually wanted the character to could be done better by a different one while still keeping all the key elements.

As of now I don’t really have anything concrete about the character personality and motivations other than some vague images of how I want him to be... so a work in progress xD

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-18, 08:35 AM
I don't have much time to post, but suffice to say that I actually flipped my character concept 180 for better RP and story opportunities. If anyone wants to step into the resistance spot, they most certainly can.

I *am* still looking for backstory connections, although it might be best to hold off until I can provide what my concept actually is.

Also, the concerns about a premature SEs have been noted. We might very well want to either hold back, or else actually start a Recruitment thread - but to do that, we need to hammer out those ambiguous rules, which means I need to get back to work collating suggestions.

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 08:42 AM
I'm more for keeping it at the 'state intent for Story Elements' at the moment, and then when we're ready to get rolling to put them down in an IC Lore manner.

@Swordslinger: I sort of already promised Tebryn a spot as a bodyguard/assassin-type and I figure he'll probably want a position of authority along with that rather than being a glorified mook, so between that and The_Snark's head scientist, I don't have anymore proverbial hands left.

However, that said, a head of security would be excellent to have, though I'd prefer someone trustworthy in that position. Not that someone can't be both trustworthy and still have an agenda -- that agenda might be perfectly compatible with doing a good job, after all.

@Jade_Tarem: So, if you're at a 180, you're now an oppressive government agent? Hmm. If I'm not totally off here and it's viable within your concept, would you like to be the spy liaison the government is occasionally sending over to keep an eye on their weapon supplier?

Starsign
2012-10-18, 08:45 AM
What? Hell no. Well, it normally isn't. Maybe for some it's the 'love to hate' thing, but there are as many reasons and motivations to play villains as there are reasons to -be- villainous. Not to mention that 'villain' is a construct and label we simply apply to characters with certain personality traits that a benevolent society, at large, might reject.
Ah... I think then my view of a villain I might play greatly differs from everyone else then.

I think part of the problem I have is that I see myself playing a villain more to torture or to get a good, hard look at myself, exaggerating all my flaws and place it in the body of a PC that I use to berate myself over my complete lack of idealistic beliefs. I can't seem to find it fun to play a villain so I wondered about playing one to look at everything wrong with me. I have such a severe case of self-loathing due to all the times I un-rightfully anger, accuse, annoy, or yell at someone (Playground 3 comes to mind...) or make a mistake or suggest an idea that turns out to be venomously horrible. I end up thinking sometimes that I should view MYSELF as a villain and try to exaggerate that in a roleplay; yet I chicken out at every opportunity to do so. It's why I generally prefer playing heroes, people more confident and unshaken and idealistic; people that I aspire to be, yet cannot do so right now.

In case you are wondering, yeah I had this bottled up for a long time. I had to let it out eventually. :smallfrown: I've heard (and seen) that such breakdowns and problems can make for amazing literature. Does anyone think that might be the case here? As they say, True Art is Angsty.

Please disregard this. The crossed out part, though true, came due to an emotional breakdown I had this morning.


But, anyway, if someone breaks free after having been a puppet and subjected to copious amounts of brainwashing, the 'heroic frontman' would be workable and fine by me. Some remnants and implanted fake memories or remaining conditioning might be nice for a twist (say, a key phrase that temporarily reactivates his old conditioning, but that would, of course, have him seek its removal once discovered).

I ought to warn you that that'll likely be a fairly involved concept, particularly since it comes with lots of psychological issues (since even if you break free of it and don't have any traps still in there, that's not something to just shrug off) and built-in enemies. You were a bit surprised at the reaction to Alf's monstrous appearance back in Playground 3, so figure I ought to spell out the implications, to be safe.
Oh boy, I'm not too sure about this when I think about it. I would probably want to stick with someone more sane than what we have here. (more sane than myself at least)

Back to the drawing board I guess...

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-18, 09:18 AM
@Jade_Tarem: So, if you're at a 180, you're now an oppressive government agent? Hmm. If I'm not totally off here and it's viable within your concept, would you like to be the spy liaison the government is occasionally sending over to keep an eye on their weapon supplier?

As the adjutant to "The Man" who runs the town's peacekeeping/military force, that will be one of her many duties, yes. :smallamused: Given that it's generally better to play characters with some depth, she'll be a bit more than the jackbooted right hand to DM's character - even if the actual day uniform does feature jackboots.

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 09:33 AM
Ahh, so you're going for something like that. I vaguely remembered Dark mentioning he was going to be a guardsman or something like that, not the effective overseer of the town, but we can work with that. (Assuming no one has any problems with it, of course.)

I figured more on a country basis rather than the local town militia-guard -- whose jurisdiction weapon supplying and engineering contracts for the national war effort definitely wouldn't fall under.

Though that doesn't mean there can't be various side contracts and local deals going on that connect the characters, at least, since the 'supply weapons for the nation' thing is more of an abstract background process, anyway.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 11:33 AM
Wow, busy busy.

I was planning on adding an Eastern Themed Country for the Jade Masks to come from VonDoom though that is easily changeable. Incidently, I'll be around for a while if you want to coordinate over Skype.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-18, 12:50 PM
Ahh, so you're going for something like that. I vaguely remembered Dark mentioning he was going to be a guardsman or something like that, not the effective overseer of the town, but we can work with that. (Assuming no one has any problems with it, of course.)

I figured more on a country basis rather than the local town militia-guard -- whose jurisdiction weapon supplying and engineering contracts for the national war effort definitely wouldn't fall under.

Though that doesn't mean there can't be various side contracts and local deals going on that connect the characters, at least, since the 'supply weapons for the nation' thing is more of an abstract background process, anyway.

Ah, must have mentioned it to Jade and Nef last night and not here. Planning on playing the Military Governor.

VonDoom
2012-10-18, 01:12 PM
Aye, we should definitely be able to work something out, then. Discounts. Maybe if you're corrupt, a few extra crates of the new stuff that just so happened to fall off the transport wagons. You know, the usual.

We should get something out of the way, though:

With positions so important and potentially holding power over most other characters, we ought to clear first what the general consensus in regards to holding high positions in general is from the start, just so no one's going to be upset later.

Since we're establishing the basic things of what will be available and how things will be set up, now's the time to speak up about stuff like that, folks.

Once we establish that politically or economically powerful characters, who can strongly exert that sort of influence in the game, are absolutely fine to have, it's a done deal, no further complaining about the basic principle of it. (Though of course players are still expected to not be a jerk about it, but that really ought to be a given.)

This goes for my own character idea as well, by the way -- a powerful company may not 'be the boss of you' by default unless you take out a credit or work for them or some-such, but it's still very influential.

I'm going to throw my coin into the 'it's cool' hat, obviously.

Starsign
2012-10-18, 01:26 PM
Aye, we should definitely be able to work something out, then. Discounts. Maybe if you're corrupt, a few extra crates of the new stuff that just so happened to fall off the transport wagons. You know, the usual.

We should get something out of the way, though:

With positions so important and potentially holding power over most other characters, we ought to clear first what the general consensus in regards to holding high positions in general is from the start, just so no one's going to be upset later.

Since we're establishing the basic things of what will be available and how things will be set up, now's the time to speak up about stuff like that, folks.

Once we establish that politically or economically powerful characters, who can strongly exert that sort of influence in the game, are absolutely fine to have, it's a done deal, no further complaining about the basic principle of it. (Though of course players are still expected to not be a jerk about it, but that really ought to be a given.)

This goes for my own character idea as well, by the way -- a powerful company may not 'be the boss of you' by default unless you take out a credit or work for them or some-such, but it's still very influential.

I'm going to throw my coin into the 'it's cool' hat, obviously.

How much time might we be given to speak up about this? I just want to consult something with a friend of mine (who I'm waiting to come online...) before I go state an opinion. If I don't mention something by around 12:00 PM EST, assume my opinion is "I'll live with it." Until then though it's up in the air.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-18, 01:36 PM
I think it's okay. I mean we do have equal number of advantages. While someone is the top dog of the government or a company, I expect all your advantages will go to reflecting that. The rest who aren't so big shots get to have all the stuff for themselves. So if some big shot makes an ass of himself, don't be surprised to have a super-sized, extra hot ball of lava flying at you when you least expect it, for example.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 01:38 PM
I think it's okay. I mean we do have equal number of advantages. While someone is the top dog of the government or a company, I expect all your advantages will go to reflecting that. The rest who aren't so big shots get to have all the stuff for themselves. So if some big shot makes an ass of himself, don't be surprised to have a boulder of lava flying at you when you least expect it, for example.

Indeed. Couldn't put it better. In a world where there are people who can bend the fabric of nature to their whim, being a petulant little turd only lasts as long as you've not made any number of such people angry with you.

TechnOkami
2012-10-18, 02:08 PM
@Starsign: that seems like it'd work very nicely to me. All sorts of interactions with other proposed characters spring to mind, which (I think) is the hallmark of a good concept in these games.



Well, first off: I love the idea of secretive gas mask-clad priests wandering across battlefields and plague-ravaged slums, conducting mysterious chemical-fueled rites to ease the passing of the dead. It is a very evocative image. The notion that plague is a divine manifestation of suffering is intriguing too (and presents interesting ramifications for the field of chemical warfare).

Like Xondoure, I'm a little unsure about gods being an open, acknowledged force in the world. Religion and churches, sure, but not gods. As written, Corvix feels like the kind of deity you'd find in a pseudo-medieval D&D setting, where that thing is commonplace. Here... well, there's nothing forbidding a more modern setting from having those, but like Xondoure (again) I personally would prefer a bit more ambiguity. Perhaps make the religion a mystery cult (in the Greco-Roman sense); they aren't exactly secret, but they don't proselytize much, most people don't understand them very well, and some of their sacred practices are reserved for those who are initiated into the faith. Communion with the god should probably be reserved for dreams and hallucinogen-inspired vision quests—which is not to say they're not genuine, but it keeps the right air of mysticism.

Also, I would recommend a change of name for the god; something like Old Father Crow seems appropriately enigmatic.

I'd actually love to collaborate with you on this sort of thing, as it ties in with some ideas I've had about bio-weapons and chemical warfare and stuff. Would you be open to that?

Hum... okieday. I think I can work with it being secretive & whatnot (maybe it's just the Cult's belief that the crows guide them or something, though I really do like the name "Corvix".) Sure, we can collaborate on this.

Swordslinger
2012-10-18, 03:31 PM
@Swordslinger: I sort of already promised Tebryn a spot as a bodyguard/assassin-type and I figure he'll probably want a position of authority along with that rather than being a glorified mook, so between that and The_Snark's head scientist, I don't have anymore proverbial hands left.

Ah ok.

Hmm then perhaps I could try to add a military spin to the character and have him be a part of the occupational forces.

Tebryn
2012-10-18, 03:46 PM
Ah ok.

Hmm then perhaps I could try to add a military spin to the character and have him be a part of the occupational forces.

Honestly, I think there would be room for both your character and mine. I had more envisioned my character being in charge of something similar to the Turks from FF7. More covert and small numbers than...anything spanning general security for the company. So...in all something answering more directly to the head hanco as it were.

The_Snark
2012-10-18, 03:49 PM
Hum... okieday. I think I can work with it being secretive & whatnot (maybe it's just the Cult's belief that the crows guide them or something, though I really do like the name "Corvix".) Sure, we can collaborate on this.

Crows as a sign sounds cool. I mean, crows are naturally drawn to corpses and graveyards, right? It's nothing out of the ordinary. The priests are just interpreting natural behavior as omens from their god, right?

... right?

*cough*

Which is to say it has the right degree of ambiguity, to me; whether or not it's genuine (and it well could be), it's easy to dismiss or accept. As for names... I'll admit I feel the opposite. There's something about the name Corvix that makes it sound like people are on a casual first-name basis with him, to me, and that feels off. (Even though there are several real-world religions, past and present, that do the same. I didn't say it was completely logical.) I dunno; possibly Corvix is the name used by priests in the secret innermost rites, and Old Father Crow what he's called in rural folktales. Perhaps I'll try and catch you on AIM this evening, since you have that now; we can talk about this (and how it might intersect with me).


Also, the concerns about a premature SEs have been noted. We might very well want to either hold back, or else actually start a Recruitment thread - but to do that, we need to hammer out those ambiguous rules, which means I need to get back to work collating suggestions.
By which you mean the rules issues you're collecting in the first post, yes? How to handle followers, challenges/adventures, and other advantage-related issues?

Starsign
2012-10-18, 03:50 PM
Actually Tech, have you been on AIM recently? I added you yesterday afternoon but didn't see you on there.

Xondoure
2012-10-18, 03:59 PM
So now my head's starting to spin. I've got ideas ranging from an artist with secret messages in the paintings, to an editor in chief of a local newspaper, to an overseas journalist reporting on the occupation, to a boy with a half finished robot.

Starsign
2012-10-18, 04:00 PM
So now my head's starting to spin. I've got ideas ranging from an artist with secret messages in the paintings, to an editor in chief of a local newspaper, to an overseas journalist reporting on the occupation, to a boy with a half finished robot.

Any way you might be able to help me? Right now my old idea went kaput so I'm looking for new ones now. :smalltongue:

TechnOkami
2012-10-18, 04:18 PM
I actually haven't been on AIM... I don't really like it all that much, to be honest. Call me picky, but I also feel the same way about the Chocolate Hammer thingamajig. I'd rather just talk on here to be honest.

Also, I'm cool with changing the name of Corvix to something else, though why Old Man Crow, if I might ask?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-18, 05:06 PM
So now my head's starting to spin. I've got ideas ranging from an artist with secret messages in the paintings, to an editor in chief of a local newspaper, to an overseas journalist reporting on the occupation, to a boy with a half finished robot.

Why not all four? You'll be this world's late-arrival Leonardo da Vinci! Given that "Artist" and "Editor" would both be rare-grade advantages, you could become quite good at both for a low advantage investment and still have resources left over to be good at investigation and building robots.


By which you mean the rules issues you're collecting in the first post, yes? How to handle followers, challenges/adventures, and other advantage-related issues?

Yes.

Starsign
2012-10-18, 05:09 PM
So I watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark again.

Guess what character I decided to go with? :smallbiggrin:

EDIT: Also, what would the setting be like if it didn't have a rebellion?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-18, 05:37 PM
EDIT: Also, what would the setting be like if it didn't have a rebellion?

The same, but with slightly fewer explosions.


So I watched Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark again.

Guess what character I decided to go with? :smallbiggrin:

God? That would be my pick. :smalltongue:

Starsign
2012-10-18, 05:42 PM
The same, but with slightly fewer explosions.
We were planning this to be a Michael Bay flick with the rebellion? :smalltongue:


God? That would be my pick. :smalltongue:
Clever pick, but I'd rather ask my friend Ladorak to play a deity. He's better on the philosophical ideas than I am. :smallwink:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-18, 05:50 PM
We were planning this to be a Michael Bay flick with the rebellion? :smalltongue:

Ouch. No need to get nasty.

The rebellion is - probably - either a real thing or else an incipient one is simmering just below the surface. Out-of-work malcontents who know that people they hate are prancing around in the good parts of what used to be their city are probably going to form some kind of violent movement. From there, the only real difference between a bunch of rioting angry people and an actual rebellion is a cause, a supply of weapons, and organization.

Given that no one seems to be doing rebellionish things with their PC, it seems unlikely that an organized rebellion will be a big theme right away. On the other hand, we aren't even to the recruitment thread yet, so there's still a fair possiblity that we'll have one.

The lack of a bona-fide rebellion will have all of the usual effects of reduced civil disobedience. The police state will be less in evidence, things will be more peaceful, the economy will be slightly better - unless those in power are more interested in plundering the area than rebuilding it...

Starsign
2012-10-18, 05:53 PM
Ouch. No need to get nasty.
Whoa, I was joking there. You actually thought Michael Bay + Grimdark could work?. :smalleek:

EDIT: By the way VonDoom, I have my opinion now. I'll be alright with things, so go nuts. Well, maybe just before the omnipresent sort of nutty. :smallwink:

VonDoom
2012-10-19, 03:27 AM
Not to worry. I can do plenty with just basic omniscience and -potence. Omnipresence will not be necessary. :smallamused:

Starsign
2012-10-19, 05:31 AM
*grumblegrumble* Well I lost motivation for my character idea. For some reason I'm really not feeling this setting right now. Can't really think of something that is able to hold my interest while fitting the mood and tone of the setting. :smallfrown:

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 05:36 AM
*grumblegrumble* Well I lost motivation for my character idea. For some reason I'm really not feeling this setting right now. :smallfrown:

Then pause, take a break from it, collect your thoughts/self, and come back to take a second look. We have like 3-4 months to plan this out, and if anything, it should not be causing you stress already. Motivation and inspiration will come, if slowly ( I mean, hell, I just thought up a great God concept and I'm almost itching to get back into a LoC game right about now). Just teak a break and give it time Starsign. Hey, that rhymes...

Xondoure
2012-10-19, 05:38 AM
Then pause, take a break from it, collect your thoughts/self, and come back to take a second look. We have like 3-4 months to plan this out, and if anything, it should not be causing you stress already. Motivation and inspiration will come, if slowly ( I mean, hell, I just thought up a great God concept and I'm almost itching to get back into a LoC game right about now). Just teak a break and give it time Starsign. Hey, that rhymes...

Dischord of Harmony could use some more gods. :smallwink:

TheDarkDM
2012-10-19, 05:39 AM
Then pause, take a break from it, collect your thoughts/self, and come back to take a second look. We have like 3-4 months to plan this out, and if anything, it should not be causing you stress already. Motivation and inspiration will come, if slowly ( I mean, hell, I just thought up a great God concept and I'm almost itching to get back into a LoC game right about now). Just teak a break and give it time Starsign. Hey, that rhymes...

Unless I'm mistaken, you're already in a LoC game. :smalltongue:

Also, I've brought this up to Nef, Jade, and Doom and been surprised and saddened every time. Is there anyone in this group who knows who the Gurkhas are?

Starsign
2012-10-19, 05:40 AM
Dischord of Harmony could use some more gods. :smallwink:

How are the LoC games going btw? I've never followed them (mainly because God games intimidate me; I struggle enough playing a mortal already :smalleek:) and all I really know is that they've lasted a LONG time.


Also, I've brought this up to Nef, Jade, and Doom and been surprised and saddened every time. Is there anyone in this group who knows who the Gurkhas are?

Sounds familiar, but nope, don't know.

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 05:40 AM
Dischord of Harmony could use some more gods. :smallwink:

Sorry Xon, but unless its a rules-light kind of system where I don't feel like I'm trying to play catchup with the rest of the Pantheon, I really don't like starting in the middle of a LoC game.

Edit: Also, Discord of Harmony screams ponies in my head- ...oh god, the cantering, it won't stop!!! -and even though it isn't ponies, it's another aversion reason for me.


Unless I'm mistaken, you're already in a LoC game. :smalltongue:

Funny you mention that, I only told C'nor this, but I basically left the game for those very same reasons, and that I couldn't get behind the goddess I was trying to create.

Xondoure
2012-10-19, 05:45 AM
Sorry Xon, but unless its a rules-light kind of system where I don't feel like I'm trying to play catchup with the rest of the Pantheon, I really don't like starting in the middle of a LoC game.

But it's just a week in and you get the opportunity to work for me! :smalltongue: Clearly there's no downside.

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 05:47 AM
But it's just a week in and you get the opportunity to work for me! :smalltongue: Clearly there's no downside.

*clears throat*

No. Thank. You.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-19, 05:49 AM
How are the LoC games going btw? I've never followed them (mainly because God games intimidate me; I struggle enough playing a mortal already :smalleek:) and all I really know is that they've lasted a LONG time.



Sounds familiar, but nope, don't know.

It started as a horribly broken, abusable system that attracted newbies with the promise of openness while allowing a small contingent of toxic players to run the games like their own little fiefs. This led to a great deal of backstage drama and an eventual meltdown between the three main factions of "core" (read, terrible and immature) players and a split. With their departure, each faction attempted to "fix" the rules, which to them meant enabling whatever specific flavor of abuse they preferred. Meanwhile, the aforementioned newbies who had no stake in their meaningless forum drama gathered the ruins of LoC and managed to forge a legit game system (with more than a little help from the Heroes and Godhood rulesets). It's now a good system, though I find the general mindset has not progressed as far as it should have away from "trololol look at this thing I built to pwn you."

*edit*

Well then, Techno, why not bring this new god idea into the game?

The_Snark
2012-10-19, 05:51 AM
Then pause, take a break from it, collect your thoughts/self, and come back to take a second look. We have like 3-4 months to plan this out, and if anything, it should not be causing you stress already. Motivation and inspiration will come, if slowly ( I mean, hell, I just thought up a great God concept and I'm almost itching to get back into a LoC game right about now). Just teak a break and give it time Starsign. Hey, that rhymes...

*nod* Good advice. There's no point trying to force yourself to participate—may as well wait until you're in the mood for it. It's not like there's a deadline.


Also, I've brought this up to Nef, Jade, and Doom and been surprised and saddened every time. Is there anyone in this group who knows who the Gurkhas are?
Vaguely. Nepalese fight-y guys, yeah?


I actually haven't been on AIM... I don't really like it all that much, to be honest. Call me picky, but I also feel the same way about the Chocolate Hammer thingamajig. I'd rather just talk on here to be honest.

Also, I'm cool with changing the name of Corvix to something else, though why Old Man Crow, if I might ask?

I dunno. It just feels right for me; hits the right mixture between sinister and benevolent. We may be aiming for different moods, I don't know. I keep thinking of this through a strange occultism, vaguely Lovecraftian lens (minus Lovecraft's xenophobia; just because something is Other doesn't make it unspeakably horrible). The Plague Doctors say that sickness is a curse sent by their god to remind mankind of his folly, and any god whose punishment for suffering is to heap more suffering on top seems at least a little... odd, ethically speaking. On the other hand, the Doctors also claim that the intent is good, and their cures and holy rites do seem to work, so who's to say they're wrong?

That was what I took from your write-up, at least, and I quite like it. I don't know if it's what you intended.

The reason I take a particular interest is that I'm thinking my character's primary field of research during the war revolved around chemical and biological warfare, possibly including a weaponized plague, and I'd love to get her involved with your god at some point. At the very least she will probably clash with the Plague Doctors.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-19, 05:56 AM
Vaguely. Nepalese fight-y guys, yeah?


Thank you! :smallsmile:

To be precise, Nepalese fight-y guys employed by the British who are so renowned for their professionalism and badassery that the Taliban think they're demons. They'd sneak into German camps in World War 2, kill all but one of the men in their sleep, then let the last man go to spread the story. A Gurkha in Afghanistan fought off 30 Taliban, alone, eventually resorting to bludgeoning them with his bipod when he ran out of ammunition (he'd forgotten his kukri, you see).

Ahem, sorry. Just struck me as a decent historical chassis for this game's time period, and was surprised when people didn't know who they were.

Xondoure
2012-10-19, 05:58 AM
Thank you! :smallsmile:

To be precise, Nepalese fight-y guys employed by the British who are so renowned for their professionalism and badassery that the Taliban think they're demons. They'd sneak into German camps in World War 2, kill all but one of the men in their sleep, then let the last man go to spread the story. A Gurkha in Afghanistan fought off 30 Taliban, alone, eventually resorting to bludgeoning them with his bipod when he ran out of ammunition (he'd forgotten his kukri, you see).

Ahem, sorry. Just struck me as a decent historical chassis for this game's time period, and was surprised when people didn't know who they were.

The wikipedia page neglected to mention this. :smallamused:

TheDarkDM
2012-10-19, 06:04 AM
Let it never be said I don't cite! (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/02/soldier-cited-for-holding-off-up-to-30-taliban-by-himself/)

Xondoure
2012-10-19, 06:09 AM
Let it never be said I don't cite! (http://news.blogs.cnn.com/2011/06/02/soldier-cited-for-holding-off-up-to-30-taliban-by-himself/)

The second highest award for bravery? Do you have to be James Bond to get first prize?

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 06:09 AM
Well then, Techno, why not bring this new god idea into the game?

Because: a.) I'd rather get into a God Game with a completely clean slate to work with, and b) my interest took an interesting nosedive when I read something of, roughly, "a divine-spark powered space laser".


I dunno. It just feels right for me; hits the right mixture between sinister and benevolent. We may be aiming for different moods, I don't know. I keep thinking of this through a strange occultism, vaguely Lovecraftian lens (minus Lovecraft's xenophobia; just because something is Other doesn't make it unspeakably horrible). The Plague Doctors say that sickness is a curse sent by their god to remind mankind of his folly, and any god whose punishment for suffering is to heap more suffering on top seems at least a little... odd, ethically speaking. On the other hand, the Doctors also claim that the intent is good, and their cures and holy rites do seem to work, so who's to say they're wrong?

That was what I took from your write-up, at least, and I quite like it. I don't know if it's what you intended.

The reason I take a particular interest is that I'm thinking my character's primary field of research during the war revolved around chemical and biological warfare, possibly including a weaponized plague, and I'd love to get her involved with your god at some point. At the very least she will probably clash with the Plague Doctors.

If anything, my character would probably be blessing your concoctions (those plagues have gotta be made somehow, and what better way than to have man bio-engineer its own demise? Also, now that you've explained your reasonings in a more in-depth manner, I can't help but notice how I nodded as I read it. Lets keep the name.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-19, 06:11 AM
The second highest award for bravery? Do you have to be James Bond to get first prize?

Sadly, I think you have to not be Nepalese. :smallannoyed:

And Techno, I hear you, man. That game quickly got into territory that sets off my "no, this is a dumb idea, be better at creating coherent settings" alarm.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-19, 06:12 AM
What the hell were the three other soldiers doing when that was all happening?

But really, it's the one who wrote the article's fault for being as vague as it was.

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 06:13 AM
And Techno, I hear you, man. That game quickly got into territory that sets off my "no, this is a dumb idea, be better at creating coherent settings" alarm.

*chuckle*

Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought so.

Kasanip
2012-10-19, 06:27 AM
Then pause, take a break from it, collect your thoughts/self, and come back to take a second look. We have like 3-4 months to plan this out, and if anything, it should not be causing you stress already. Motivation and inspiration will come, if slowly ( I mean, hell, I just thought up a great God concept and I'm almost itching to get back into a LoC game right about now). Just teak a break and give it time Starsign. Hey, that rhymes...

The game is not planned to start for 3-4 months?


Incidentally, some ideas were had for character, but I have to read rest of thread to find out already discussed ideas.

Of god games, to be waiting for TheDarkDM again. :smallamused:

The_Snark
2012-10-19, 06:29 AM
If anything, my character would probably be blessing your concoctions (those plagues have gotta be made somehow, and what better way than to have man bio-engineer its own demise? Also, now that you've explained your reasonings in a more in-depth manner, I can't help but notice how I nodded as I read it. Lets keep the name.

Oh? Intriguing; I had pinned the cult as more benevolent, curing plagues and reminding mankind of what they mean but leaving the business of actually spreading sickness to their inscrutable god. But I suppose I don't know how your character fits in with the Plague Doctors, and they're probably not monolithic (what human institution is?)... and who am I to protest if I'm acclaimed as a dark messiah?

(That's not quite what you said, but you'll have to indulge my megalomania here. OR ELSE.)


The game is not planned to start for 3-4 months?
I believe the reasoning behind that is that November is NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and will sap a lot of time for anyone participating, and most universities have finals of some type in December, which can also slow things down. But that's more like 2 months at this point, and I'm not sure we'll end up waiting that long. There's a fair bit of momentum and enthusiasm built up.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-19, 06:31 AM
More like 2 to 3 months, since I think we're avoiding November and NaNoWriMo mostly? So it'll be december to january-ish.

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 06:33 AM
Oh? Intriguing; I had pinned the cult as more benevolent, curing plagues and reminding mankind of what they mean but leaving the business of actually spreading sickness to their inscrutable god. But I suppose I don't know how your character fits in with the Plague Doctors, and they're probably not monolithic (what human institution is?)... and who am I to protest if I'm acclaimed as a dark messiah?

(That's not quite what you said, but you'll have to indulge my megalomania here. OR ELSE.)

Oyi, oyi, I'm the one doing the blessings, I'll be the Dark Messiah here. Go get your own religion. :smalltongue:

VonDoom
2012-10-19, 06:41 AM
Alright, let me summarize where the company that I'm working up is at so far, player-wise:

Mikado, my own character, as head of company. He doesn't fully control every aspect yet, since it's a big one and we'll likely be unable to represent that to start with.

The_Snark's character as the head of science, with a super villain-esque specialty in biology and a serious chip on her shoulder in regards to the occupation.

Tebryn's character, an assassin-mage who is likely going to be involved (or heading?) a mystical Eastern-inspired order thereof, who will be heading Internal Security/Company Police/something of the sort. To avoid certain tropes, I'd personally suggest just making it 'Internal Security', but I'm probably cool with whatever you have in mind, Tebryn.

Possibly Swordslinger's character as head of the companies' armed forces and external security.

Since the company's main product is the creation, engineering and advancement of weaponry, their main customer is, of course, the government. Most of this will be in the background since we're not actually in the nation capital and just 'happen' off-screen, but since DarkDM will be playing the local governor, we'll probably get some smaller contracts going with his character to arm (and possibly enhance?) his local forces. Maybe rent out some of our security, should they have need of it (probably only if there's a rebellion, since suppression measures won't need to be as excessive if there's none).

----

Do we have anyone else who'd like to be involved in a big oppressive corporation that'll slowly drain your life and eventually suck out your soul? :smallsmile: (Figuratively. Because we're an eeeeevil company.) I remember GuyFawkes mentioning he might want to formerly have worked for the company, which is of course also a possibility.

As I said earlier, I'd also be very, very happy to see someone take over a revised and game-adjusted Chiyome. For those who weren't in Playground III and may be interested in taking control of and expanding upon an otherwise NPC'd character (who may not actually show up until much later, since a big corporation will needs a lot of Advantage points), ask me via PM who she was and I'll gladly provide some info.
----

And it's true that if our starting motivation and enthusiasm is up for everyone, NaNoWriMo and finals shouldn't prove as much of a hindrance to get the game started. We just shouldn't start it too early before that, as otherwise we'll probably have trouble getting (and retaining) players who aren't involved in this discussion right now.

Starsign
2012-10-19, 07:56 AM
Oh? Intriguing; I had pinned the cult as more benevolent, curing plagues and reminding mankind of what they mean but leaving the business of actually spreading sickness to their inscrutable god. But I suppose I don't know how your character fits in with the Plague Doctors, and they're probably not monolithic (what human institution is?)... and who am I to protest if I'm acclaimed as a dark messiah?

(That's not quite what you said, but you'll have to indulge my megalomania here. OR ELSE.)


Oyi, oyi, I'm the one doing the blessings, I'll be the Dark Messiah here. Go get your own religion. :smalltongue:
Do you have story elements for this cult already Tech? Sorry but I do seem rather confused on what the cult's goal/objective is.

BTW, have you done NaNoWriMo before VonDoom? If so, how has it been? :smallsmile:

VonDoom
2012-10-19, 08:06 AM
I have not. To my understanding, it's called national novel writing month. As such, it's not really something for me to get involved in until they change it to international.

Tebryn
2012-10-19, 11:30 AM
Tebryn's character, an assassin-mage who is likely going to be involved (or heading?) a mystical Eastern-inspired order thereof, who will be heading Internal Security/Company Police/something of the sort. To avoid certain tropes, I'd personally suggest just making it 'Internal Security', but I'm probably cool with whatever you have in mind, Tebryn.

Which tropes would those be exactly?

VonDoom
2012-10-19, 11:54 AM
You know. Maybe tropes was a bad word. Couldn't think of anything else. Let me illustrate what I had in mind with a short dialogue sketch:

<Company Board Meeting>
A: So, guys, we've called this meeting to decide on a cool name for our special internal security guys.
B: Why not just call 'em Security?
A: Because we're an evil company and, by golly, we need our stuff to have dramatic names!

:smallbiggrin:

Though that was just an idea. If you want a cool name, by all means.

Tebryn
2012-10-19, 12:17 PM
You know. Maybe tropes was a bad word. Couldn't think of anything else. Let me illustrate what I had in mind with a short dialogue sketch:

<Company Board Meeting>
A: So, guys, we've called this meeting to decide on a cool name for our special internal security guys.
B: Why not just call 'em Security?
A: Because we're an evil company and, by golly, we need our stuff to have dramatic names!

:smallbiggrin:

Though that was just an idea. If you want a cool name, by all means.

Ah, I see. Won't be anything to fancy no. :smalltongue:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-19, 01:18 PM
You know. Maybe tropes was a bad word. Couldn't think of anything else. Let me illustrate what I had in mind with a short dialogue sketch:

<Company Board Meeting>
A: So, guys, we've called this meeting to decide on a cool name for our special internal security guys.
B: Why not just call 'em Security?
A: Because we're an evil company and, by golly, we need our stuff to have dramatic names!

:smallbiggrin:

Though that was just an idea. If you want a cool name, by all means.

Some suggestions:

Focused Area Specialist Certified Integrated Security Team
High-Importance Target Light Emergency Response
Extensible/Variable Internal Legion
Heavily Armed Technicians for Emergency Response Situations

Tebryn
2012-10-19, 01:24 PM
Some suggestions:

Focused Area Specialist Certified Integrated Security Team
High-Importance Target Light Emergency Response
Extensible/Variable Internal Legion
Heavily Armed Technicians for Emergency Response Situations

We're going with that one.

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 01:36 PM
Do you have story elements for this cult already Tech? Sorry but I do seem rather confused on what the cult's goal/objective is.

Nope, I don't.

Although, with all this talk of Neo-Diesel Shinra, I'm more than half tempted to play a Neo-Diesel Cloud, or a Frankensteinesque Sephiroth (I'm lookin' @ you VonDoom), or Frankensteinesque Vincent, one of the three.

Starsign
2012-10-19, 01:36 PM
Nope, I don't.

Although, with all this talk of Neo-Diesel Shinra, I'm more than half tempted to play a Neo-Diesel Cloud, or a Frankensteinesque Sephiroth (I'm lookin' @ you VonDoom), or Frankensteinesque Vincent, one of the three.

That's uh... I don't want to imagine any of those really. :smalleek::smalltongue:

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 01:38 PM
That's uh... I don't want to imagine any of those really. :smalleek::smalltongue:

I do, and have, infact. :smallbiggrin:

The_Snark
2012-10-19, 01:40 PM
Some suggestions:

Focused Area Specialist Certified Integrated Security Team
High-Importance Target Light Emergency Response
Extensible/Variable Internal Legion
Heavily Armed Technicians for Emergency Response Situations

I like the way this man thinks. Can we hire him to do our company logos, boss?


Oyi, oyi, I'm the one doing the blessings, I'll be the Dark Messiah here.
Crush a girl's dreams, why don't you. :smallfrown: Ikid

VonDoom
2012-10-19, 01:43 PM
That was just an early comparison for the basic idea. It's not ShinRa, TechnOkami, nor is anyone trying to ape Final Fantasy VII here.

... look, our crazy villainous scientist is female. Big difference.

(That was a joke. Earlier point still stands.)


Edit:
I dunno, I'm not sure I want to call our internal security H.I.T.L.E.R. Can't we just harvest Jade's brain and put his malicious humor to our use instead?

Starsign
2012-10-19, 01:46 PM
Y'know I keep forgetting about the Final Fantasy vibes that there are in this game. I kept thinking of this game as a non-Cyber Shadowrun in the 1920-1950s for some wild reason. :smallredface:

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 01:49 PM
Crush a girl's dreams, why don't you. :smallfrown:
Anytime Snark. :smallwink:

That was just an early comparison for the basic idea. It's not ShinRa, TechnOkami, nor is anyone trying to ape Final Fantasy VII here.

... look, our crazy villainous scientist is female. Big difference.

(That was a joke. Earlier point still stands.)

Aw... Okay... ... Wait, doesn't that just mean I would have to play fem versions of Cloud, Sephy and Vincent? :smalltongue:

Ok, I kid, I understand.

Starsign
2012-10-19, 02:05 PM
Alright, so I've been thinking more on a concept and I'm starting to lean more to the masked superhero idea, though without any sort of brainwashing in the backstory preferably. My question is what would it take to consider a superhero costume a "disguise" from a real identity? Would a domino mask and change of clothes be all it'd take or will I need to go the full mile and have a wig, white makeup, two sets of full-body clothing/guard armor and an eyeguarding visor for this game? (I'd rather not go with the former if it's going to bother people that their characters can't figure out what is practically a paper-thin disguise)

Xondoure
2012-10-19, 02:13 PM
Alright, so I've been thinking more on a concept and I'm starting to lean more to the masked superhero idea, though without any sort of brainwashing in the backstory preferably. My question is what would it take to consider a superhero costume a "disguise" from a real identity? Would a domino mask and change of clothes be all it'd take or will I need to go the full mile and have a wig, white makeup, two sets of full-body clothing/guard armor and an eyeguarding visor for this game? (I'd rather not go with the former if it's going to bother people that their characters can't figure out what is practically a paper-thin disguise)

I'd say in true heroic fashion a paper thin disguise is the best sort of disguise!

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 02:27 PM
A mask + an alter ego/personality could work well too.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-19, 03:32 PM
I dunno, I'm not sure I want to call our internal security H.I.T.L.E.R. Can't we just harvest Jade's brain and put his malicious humor to our use instead?

Fairly infeasible. While I've no doubt a corporation with your resources could capture me and harvest my brain, anyone accessing its contents will go blind. :smallamused:

VonDoom
2012-10-19, 03:51 PM
Fairly infeasible. While I've no doubt a corporation with your resources could capture me and harvest my brain, anyone accessing its contents will go blind. :smallamused:

That's cool. Where we're going, we won't need eyes.

http://0-media-cdn.foolz.us/ffuuka/board/m/image/1278/97/1278978153424.jpg

:smallamused:

Starsign
2012-10-19, 05:10 PM
Alright, thinking a little more, I've come down to about 2 concepts that I'm juggling right now. The first would be the masked hero we discussed before, using gravity and time magic for super-athletics and super-speed. Now before anyone panics, gravity magic is just used for lowering the planet's gravity level for himself while time magic is only for slowing down the world around him. Time travel is NOT used.

The other concept however is the character I used back in Playground 3, Alfnierado; better known as the alchemist made of thousands of spiders :smallbiggrin: I sadly didn't really get motivated enough to flesh his personality and story elements out more. He came off too similar as the character I based him off of. (which was another one I made long ago) If I bring him back here, I plan to rewrite him as a slightly-cuckoo but socially talkable alchemist that lives and works among the citizens of the city. Please do not confuse "works along" with "works using." World of difference there. Hopefully I might have a more developed version of him here rather than way back in P3. I somehow have a fondness for shopkeepers/merchant characters in these games; they let me stay neutral and friendly to most PCs without having to choose sides. (barring other players forcing me to, which I hope won't be a problem) The larger starting advantages should also make it easier to select all those advantages I wanted him to have considering his unique biology.

So I'm rather torn with which idea to go with (though I'm leaning towards Alf) and would anyone mind if they gave me their opinion please? :smallsmile:

TechnOkami
2012-10-19, 05:17 PM
Alright, thinking a little more, I've come down to about 2 concepts that I'm juggling right now. The first would be the masked hero we discussed before, using gravity and time magic for super-athletics and super-speed. Now before anyone panics, gravity magic is just used for lowering the planet's gravity level for himself while time magic is only for slowing down the world around him. Time travel is NOT used.

The other concept however is the character I used back in Playground 3, Alfnierado; better known as the alchemist made of thousands of spiders :smallbiggrin: I sadly didn't really get motivated enough to flesh his personality and story elements out more. He came off too similar as the character I based him off of. (which was another one I made long ago) If I bring him back here, I plan to rewrite him as a slightly-cuckoo but socially talkable alchemist that lives and works among the citizens of the city. Please do not confuse "works along" with "works using." World of difference there. Hopefully I might have a more developed version of him here rather than way back in P3. I somehow have a fondness for shopkeepers/merchant characters in these games; they let me stay neutral and friendly to most PCs without having to choose sides. (barring other players forcing me to, which I hope won't be a problem) The larger starting advantages should also make it easier to select all those advantages I wanted him to have considering his unique biology.

So I'm rather torn with which idea to go with (though I'm leaning towards Alf) and would anyone mind if they gave me their opinion please? :smallsmile:

I'd go with the superhero if the spiderdude gave you problems before. The superhero's also more thematically close to the setting, so there's that too.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-19, 09:03 PM
I'd also like to point out that there are both easier more interesting ways to have a hero that's faster and stronger than normal without resorting to gravity and time magic, both of which would have rather large impacts on the setting that would need to be worked out.

On the friendly neighborhood man-spider, I'd like to once again point out that unless you're creating an entire species of guys like that, then few, if any, people have seen a dude made of spiders before - and it might be rather difficult to run a successful business when your customers are fleeing and screaming for military intervention. Remember - the NPCs can't read your background blurb. They don't know that Alf is a nonviolent, personable entity, so most people are going to err on the side of caution and run from the pillar of spiders coming at them.

***

On the subject of rule changes: I'm all done with the OP now, and would like to make a note concerning Unique advantages.

Advantages can be Unique if they are considered "one shot" - this was taken to mean "one shot per chapter" since a player that used said advantage would swap the defunct one out for a new one of the same type at the end of the chapter anyway. If we get rid of chapters, though, then someone would need to offer another solution, or else have Unique advantages take a big nerf that they probably don't need.

Mine would be to install an in-game time limit. Three days seems reasonable to me. What do the rest of you think?

The_Snark
2012-10-20, 12:04 AM
Fairly infeasible. While I've no doubt a corporation with your resources could capture me and harvest my brain, anyone accessing its contents will go blind. :smallamused:

As a mad scientist employed by an evil corporation, I am not only encouraged but contractually required to tamper with dangerous forces beyond my understanding.

Aaaanyway. Time to (finally) weigh in on rules stuff:

On Leadership: I favor reverting to the Playground 3 system, in which followers have the same value as other advantages: a rank of Weapon Expertise (uncommon) gets you +2 in combat, and a rank in Leadership that nets you a quartet of guards with Weapon Expertise (uncommon) also gets you +2 in combat. Simple. The only difference is that your followers can be detached from your main character, which is both good and bad.

The bad, obviously, is that your followers might not be around when you need them—armed bodyguards are probably a no-no in an audience with the local Emperor, for instance—and therefore are slightly less applicable than an innate advantage. So I can see the reasoning behind the change in 4. But there's an upside, namely that your followers can be tasked to go off and do something else. You can assign your bodyguard to another PC for a while, if you want, or have your spies tail an enemy while you're at a fancy dress party. Can't do that with a hardwired advantage; more applicability! (The same goes for items and such.)

Furthermore, the Playground 4 setup results in an odd phenomenon that I'm going to call the Jeeves Effect: it's easy to make followers actually superior to a PC. During character creation, I toyed with the idea of giving my noblewoman-ish character a maid who'd been trained as an assassin and bodyguard, and found that it would be very easy to make her a serious threat in combat, and not all that much harder to make her close to a versatile PC. Theoretically, you could assign all your advantages to a single follower (or small group of followers) and end up with a supercompetent henchman at the expense of an indifferent "main" character.

Of course I didn't end up doing this, and I suppose we could just rely on people not to abuse it, but... nonetheless. I feel like the current iteration of Leadership overcompensates for the disadvantages of followers.

On Challenges and Adventures: I don't have much to say here, except that Challenges sound sort of nifty and I see no reason not to include them (whether or not we keep Adventures).

As for Adventures... those are tricky. As far as I can tell, the problem lies in the fact that running something online is tough, even a short one-shot. Nobody has yet come up with an easy solution to this. Do we keep them around but encourage people not to overextend themselves? Try to give guidelines about how to run them well ("keep them short" seems to be the consensus). Do we feel that the unresolved/unsuccessful adventures detracted from the game? They slowed things down, yes, but also provided some interesting situations we might not have gotten otherwise.

I'm not sure.

On Advantage Acquisition: I'm leery of giving out new Advantages based on real-life time. The pace of the game is hard to predict and doesn't stay the same in any case; it seems like it'll be very hard to find a rate that doesn't seem too fast (when the game hits a slow point) or too slow (when it's moving along at a good clip).

I think I liked the system of giving out Advantages at the end of each chapter, or at least at arbitrary mod-defined intervals (there doesn't have to be a timeskip). It can be a bit slow, but if the game is moving quickly it doesn't have to be. (There's also the practice of handing out more than 1 Advantage at the end of a chapter, which I recall happening a few times when they dragged.)

I feel like increasing the starting advantages to 10 makes acquiring new ones a little less urgent. When we only had 4 starting Advantages, many people found their concepts a little restricted by the low number—you were only competent in a few areas. 10 Advantages gives us some more leeway, so we don't feel like we have to get more just to bring our character up to how we originally imagined them.

On Advantage Classification: I like the current system (barring my reservations about Leadership, above).

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 12:26 AM
I don't necessarily disagree with any of that personally, but I'm going to in the thread because I'm the devil's advocate mod (assuming I'm still a mod).

Reply to Snark on Leadership: The lowest number of characters ever obtained by Leadership was 5, back in playground 1. Since then, the mods agreed to call hax on anyone using them to play by proxy through a Leadership-led avatar or two in an obvious bid to beat the system. I don't know if that changes your mind or not, but it did need to be said that the possibility of breaking the game that way did cross the minds of the mods before playground 4, and it was agreed that it would be mod-screened out.

It's really a gamble, isn't it? How useful followers are is determined by what you invest in them versus how frequently they can't help - and bear in mind that the city coming up is an occupied police state. Remember, also, that followers have reduced plot armor (virtually none where the results are nonlethal).

Out of curiosity - and I only ask because you didn't comment on it at all - did you read the other suggestion for it? The separate system with the multiplicative stacking?

...on Adventures: The same situations can arise with Plot Tickets, it's just up to the players to be more enterprising with them. Ultimately the big gain of Adventures was reward for effort - something that didn't exist before adventures did.

I'm on the fence about adventures myself. If we keep them I'm all for making sure whoever is running them, at least, can commit to it.

...on Advantages: You're right about why we added more advantages, but the real reason that the advantages have stayed increased is that the die size got bigger, making bonuses worth a bit less.

Since then, someone suggested via AIM that we add a couple more advantages with the restriction that they have to be spent on some sort of non-combat whimsy. Something like Salsa Dancer or Profession: Chef. It never took off, though...

TechnOkami
2012-10-20, 12:55 AM
just btw, I actually don't mind the google IM if people wanna chat w/ me through my g-mail. it's techn0kami@gmail.com

ForzaFiori
2012-10-20, 02:30 AM
Alright, let me summarize where the company that I'm working up is at so far, player-wise:
Do we have anyone else who'd like to be involved in a big oppressive corporation that'll slowly drain your life and eventually suck out your soul?

I was interested in being a test subject of some sort I believe, if you still need one.

The_Snark
2012-10-20, 02:42 AM
Even the devil needs advocates!

On Leadership: I admit, I only skimmed your revised suggestion, and my first reaction was along the lines "Eeek!" This is because I lean towards simplifying things and moving them closer to freeform, rather than introducing more number games. I could live with the revised system, I think, but it would not be my first choice.

It's good to know you've considered the Jeeves issue (though I could have sworn at least someone had a singular henchman in one of these games), but that wasn't really my main objection; I just don't think taking followers is enough of a gamble to warrant the extra benefit.

Your point about this setting being a police state is noted, but... I can't help but think that, if we award bodyguards and magic swords increased benefits to compensate for the fact that they're not allowed into demilitarized zones and fancy parties, it opens up a whole lot of other little balance concerns. You can't take a greatsword into a fancy dress party either; should Weapon Expertise (greatswords) then be ranked differently from Weapon Expertise (daggers) and Martial Arts because greatswords aren't always available? If we do, have we just disadvantaged anyone whose fighting style isn't dependent on props (like most mages) because suddenly choosing to use a weapon provides a larger benefit in a fight...?

The funny thing is, those are all questions I've actually wondered in the past, but I don't think trying to quantify everything will be productive. Like I said, I favor keeping things simple. If an Advantage has an obvious, significant handicap—like vehicles and locations—then a boost is good. If the handicap is small and debatable, I think it might be better to just let those slide.

On Advantages: huh. I thought that the die increase was originally instituted to compensate for the higher number of Advantages and make contests a little less predictable...? Ah well, no matter.


I was interested in being a test subject of some sort I believe, if you still need one.
Always. :smallamused:

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:02 AM
So I'm pretty happy with falling back on an older idea after all this vigilante nonsense got me thinking.

I've decided to go with a "Shadow of Dauphane" at least for the time present. The idea is a shadow mage, and not the throws bolts of darkness kind, but the kind that turns off all the lights. Combine that with a mask that let's him see in the dark, and well, you've got a pretty potent combo for any would be assassin. Modus operandi is using his charisma to attend upper ranking events, turn off the lights and finish his mission. When the lights come back on he's either gone or just another frightened guest. As the game starts these blackout crimes have probably just begun, possibly with a list of targets winding up on the governor's doorstep. :smallamused:

Anyways depending on how fleshed out the rebellion is he'll probably have some ties there. Or to go a different route, if I can convince someone to be his "benefactor" and supply him with the credentials and inner circle knowledge that allows him to be much more efficient I won't have to waste advantages there.

This means Shadow Magic is a reserved Story Element.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:11 AM
Then I'll do mine as well

The Jade Masks

Reserved

Shadow Magic

Reserved until the Basic Magic is done

Elemental Magic

Reserved until the Basic Magic is done


So I'm pretty happy with falling back on an older idea after all this vigilante nonsense got me thinking.

I've decided to go with a "Shadow of Dauphane" at least for the time present. The idea is a shadow mage, and not the throws bolts of darkness kind, but the kind that turns off all the lights. Combine that with a mask that let's him see in the dark, and well, you've got a pretty potent combo for any would be assassin. Modus operandi is using his charisma to attend upper ranking events, turn off the lights and finish his mission. When the lights come back on he's either gone or just another frightened guest. As the game starts these blackout crimes have probably just begun, possibly with a list of targets winding up on the governor's doorstep. :smallamused:

Anyways depending on how fleshed out the rebellion is he'll probably have some ties there. Or to go a different route, if I can convince someone to be his "benefactor" and supply him with the credentials and inner circle knowledge that allows him to be much more efficient I won't have to waste advantages there.

This means Shadow Magic is a reserved Story Element.

Beat you to the punch there Xondure. :smalltongue: Shadow using Masked Assassin and all.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 03:12 AM
Mrm. Can't have your cake and eat it too, Snark. In this case, the adage applies to making the game simple vs. making it fair.

For instance, the correct answer to your above question about whether you should take Weapon Expertise Dagger or WE Greatsword is "Neither, because Weapon Expertise is provably worse than an item advantage and/or martial arts involving being a soldier." Why? Because the item advantage will give you more bang per rank, and the martial arts one can't be taken away. Weapon Expertise combines the worst of both - it has the lower bonus and is useless without having the appropriate item on hand. We can fix it, but that requires a new rule - that the Greatsword expertise is worth more. Or we can reduce the rules, but that leads to a different exploit. Even in playground 1, the fact that all advantages were equal made the broadly-scoped advantages the clear winners.

Now, the Leadership suggestion I put forth was meant to solve an issue that's bugged several players I know - including myself: that of a character with a few ranks in butt-kicking related advantages from being able to carve through thousands of dudes just because they don't have the Mad Ninja Skillz to stop him. A character with Magic Sword 3, Magic Shield 3 can and will defeat even the horde available to a Leadership 3 with no contest - the horde can't win. What's more, you can't take a horde everywhere, meaning that the clear answer is to select the fewest possible followers available and, as you said, go jeevesing. But let's say that we take the Leadership upgrade out - now the leadership characters can't keep up with a dedicated combatant at, well, anything.

And that's just one of several bizarre leadership scenarios - no thought is put into how the group of followers is equipped, fed, or maintained. You could end up with a group of highly trained warriors following a highly indecisive adrenaline-junkie hobo (also known as an Adventurer) for no clear reason. And where do they sleep? Yes, the player taking the advantage should answer all these questions, but then if they don't it's now up to the mods to call them on it and then people get hurt feelings and/or panic.

Alternatively, there's also procurement/decimation - if you have a horde of thousands, then the PC's can kill them with little issue. They don't have plot armor, after all, and there are always more. But if you've only got thirty and the PCs start axing them, then you've suddenly got a staffing problem. If half of your followers are killed, shouldn't your follower advantages only count half as much? Because right now followers are like hit points - anything more than zero gives you the full benefit regardless of whether or not their big strength is "there's a lot of us."

The followers are worse than a PC at combat (regardless of numbers) and aren't good at anything else except splitting up and dying. It's good for spying, but not much else. We put a big band-aid labeled "common sense" over that for the last two games and implied that the badass character should sort of let the horde win, and that only powerful people should have followers, but it's a big failure in the rules and I was hoping to fix it. Making the followers weaker doesn't really seem to fix the issue.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:12 AM
Beat you to the punch there Xondure. :smalltongue:

Bah, fine fine. Still, now I'm forced to ask what you're planning on doing with it.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:13 AM
Bah, fine fine. Still, now I'm forced to ask what you're planning on doing with it.

As in the Advantage or...my character? Because you basically detailed it already in what you were planning. Less "Turning off the Lights" and more...Embracing the darkness to be sneaky however.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:14 AM
As in the Advantage or...my character? Because you basically detailed it already in what you were planning. Less "Turning off the Lights" and more...Embracing the darkness to be sneaky however.

Hmmm, there may be room for both then. (though the mask part would be reworked as that makes it way too similar.)

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:15 AM
Hmmm, there may be room for both then. (though the mask part would be reworked as that makes it way too similar.)

He could be part of the Jade Masks as well? The Shadow Magic is going to be tied in with the Masks themselves.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:19 AM
He could be part of the Jade Masks as well? The Shadow Magic is going to be tied in with the Masks themselves.

Could work although then you have the issue of why he's on the other side of the conflict... Perhaps as a defector.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:19 AM
Beat you to the punch there Xondure. :smalltongue: Shadow using Masked Assassin and all.

Couldn't Xon go for it as well anyway? His idea gave me motivation to use my masked hero. Me and him could have been sort of a contrast of a hero and anti-hero, both friends with a different way/ideal of improving the city. :smallbiggrin:

Now Jade I did notice your question earlier so apologies that I didn't quote it. I didn't really think of using something like Genetic Engineering as a way of my character being stronger and faster than others. Is that feasible in a Diesel Punk setting such as this?

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:20 AM
Couldn't Xon go for it as well anyway? His idea gave me motivation to use my masked hero. Me and him could have been sort of a contrast of a hero and anti-hero, both friends with a different way/ideal of improving the city. :smallbiggrin:

Now Jade I did notice your question earlier so apologies that I didn't quote it. I didn't really think of using something like Genetic Engineering as a way of my character being stronger and faster than others. Is that feasible in a Diesel Punk setting such as this?

You realize of course that story logic dictates my character will eventually push things too far and we'll become bitter enemies fighting for the same cause right? :smallamused:

BladeofObliviom
2012-10-20, 03:21 AM
Couldn't Xon go for it as well anyway? His idea gave me motivation to use my masked hero. Me and him could have been sort of a contrast of a hero and anti-hero, both friends with a different way/ideal of improving the city. :smallbiggrin:

Now Jade I did notice your question earlier so apologies that I didn't quote it. I didn't really think of using something like Genetic Engineering as a way of my character being stronger and faster than others. Is that feasible in a Diesel Punk setting such as this?

Genetic Engineering is so late 20th century. Try "exposed to phlebotinum." :smalltongue:

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:21 AM
Could work although then you have the issue of why he's on the other side of the conflict... Perhaps as a defector.

Who said they were taking sides? The Masks are...a neutral party. So they very well could be playing all sides really. Would you like me to PM you what I've got for them?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 03:21 AM
Now Jade I did notice your question earlier so apologies that I didn't quote it. I didn't really think of using something like Genetic Engineering as a way of my character being stronger and faster than others. Is that feasible in a Diesel Punk setting such as this?

If it isn't, that hasn't stopped VonDoom and everyone working for him. :smallamused:

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:24 AM
You realize of course that story logic dictates my character will eventually push things too far and we'll become bitter enemies fighting for the same cause right? :smallamused:
Wait, everyone else is shooting for grimdark now? :smalleek: In that case my character should be permanently brainwashed by VonDoom over the course of the game! :smallbiggrin:


Genetic Engineering is so late 20th century. Try "exposed to phlebotinum." :smalltongue:


If it isn't, that hasn't stopped VonDoom and everyone working for him. :smallamused:

Welp, forgetting that then. DOES the Phlebotinum make for an interesting story element? I never really considered it as such.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:25 AM
Who said they were taking sides? The Masks are...a neutral party. So they very well could be playing all sides really. Would you like me to PM you what I've got for them?

That would be most appreciated.

Edit@Starsign: Grimdark? Well, maybe, but what I just described is a pretty classic set up seen in all sorts of genres. I'm sure there's a trope for it...

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:28 AM
That would be most appreciated.

Edit@Starsign: Grimdark? Well, maybe, but what I just described is a pretty classic set up seen in all sorts of genres. I'm sure there's a trope for it...

Let's You And Him Fight? :smalltongue:

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:29 AM
Let's You And Him Fight? :smalltongue:

Found it. Rival Turned Evil (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RivalTurnedEvil)

Edit: Looking at it, that's not quite it either. More the relationship between Professor X and Magneto

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:30 AM
Found it. Rival Turned Evil (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/RivalTurnedEvil)

And here I was hoping you'd follow up on my joke... Oh well.

But anyway, why not have both rivals turn evil? (me via brainwashing) You think that would make things more interesting or would it cause an issue?

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:33 AM
And here I was hoping you'd follow up on my joke... Oh well.

But anyway, why not have both rivals turn evil? (me via brainwashing) You think that would make things more interesting or would it cause an issue?

Well it's an interesting twist on convention, so I don't see a problem with it.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:34 AM
Well it's an interesting twist on convention, so I don't see a problem with it.

Yeah, it's based off my experiences. In P3 I tried going against the flow regarding a specific issue... You know how well that turned out. So instead of trying to fight the mood here, I'm just going to embrace it instead whether I like it or not. Besides, angsty plot and heavily cynical stories always make for great literature as I've seen.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 03:35 AM
Wait, everyone else is shooting for grimdark now? :smalleek: In that case my character should be permanently brainwashed by VonDoom over the course of the game! :smallbiggrin:


You seem to have confused "not the Comics Code golden age" for Grimdark.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:38 AM
You seem to have confused "not the Comics Code golden age" for Grimdark.

Well it's not the only thing I've gotten confused before. I DO know of the Silver, Bronze, and Modern Ages. (and the Silver Age was very silly compared to the others) In this case though I'm just thinking there's two ages for this setting, Golden Age and Dark Age. :smallwink: (I know there were some really good comics in the Dark Age, but for the most part the 'heroes' there were made solely of flaws)

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:52 AM
Wait, everyone else is shooting for grimdark now? :smalleek: In that case my character should be permanently brainwashed by VonDoom over the course of the game! :smallbiggrin:


Where did you even get this assumption? :smallconfused:


That would be most appreciated.


Info has been sent. It's not touched up, I was waiting for both the Basic Magic write up and what ever VonDoom has planned for the Eastern Lore area before fleshing out the full connection with them and Shadow/Elemental Magic and...their home of origin.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:53 AM
Where did you even get this assumption? :smallconfused:

Well for starters, which of everyones' characters isn't morally cruel at best? :smallwink:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 03:54 AM
It would be remiss of me not to point out - the Torun occupying force is also recruiting, and I promise we have the snazziest outfits.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:56 AM
It would be remiss of me not to point out - the Torun occupying force is also recruiting, and I promise we have the snazziest outfits.

Where's the fun in playing the winning side when you can be an underdog? :smalltongue:

Starsign
2012-10-20, 03:58 AM
Where's the fun in playing the winning side when you can be an underdog? :smalltongue:

Because the winning side is stronger, crueler, and more ruthless. That's the whole idea of it, being that is the only way to live, thrive, achieve true happiness. It's the idealistic and nice people that are nieve, foolish, and doomed to fail. :smallamused:

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:59 AM
Well for starters, which of everyones' characters isn't morally cruel at best? :smallwink:

Mine? I don't know how you can make that assumption when most peoples characters aren't even posted. :smalltongue: I'm also confused by the term "Morally cruel".

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 04:01 AM
Because the winning side is stronger, crueler, and more ruthless. That's the whole idea of it, being that is the only way to live, thrive, achieve true happiness. It's the idealistic and nice people that are nieve, foolish, and doomed to fail. :smallamused:

...which is why being the under dog is so much more compelling! Who cares if it's futile, think of the stories that could be told!

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:03 AM
...which is why being the under dog is so much more compelling! Who cares if it's futile, think of the stories that could be told!

Or don't bother. Come on, futility makes for uninteresting stories and are just depressing. Just join VonDoom along with me already. Be evil to be happy!

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 04:05 AM
Or don't bother. Come on, futility makes for uninteresting stories and are just depressing. Just join VonDoom along with me already. Be evil to be happy! That's why you made Marcoth, did you not?

While I don't particularly care for his writing style, H.P Lovecraft proves that futility can make for compelling stories. I would say A Song of Ice and Fire also plays along those lines. Or any number of the Greek Tragedies or...Romeo and Juliet or any of Shakespeare's Tragedies. Depressing=/=bad.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:06 AM
While I don't particularly care for his writing style, H.P Lovecraft proves that futility can make for compelling stories. I would say A Song of Ice and Fire also plays along those lines. Depressing=/=bad.

Sorry, but in my ideas, futility equates to suicide. If you can't win, why bother?

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 04:06 AM
Sorry, but in my ideas, futility equates to suicide. If you can't win, why bother?

Because it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 04:06 AM
While I don't particularly care for his writing style, H.P Lovecraft proves that futility can make for compelling stories. I would say A Song of Ice and Fire also plays along those lines. Depressing=/=bad.

Besides which, in a game such as this, who is to say that the rebel might not come out victorious? So long as they outmaneuver the oppressors.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:08 AM
Because it's better to die on your feet than live on your knees.
Alright, we should probably take this to PMs as... This is going to get rather personal for me. :smallfrown:


Besides which, in a game such as this, who is to say that the rebel might not come out victorious? So long as they outmaneuver the oppressors.
With DM and Jade at the helm? Yeah not happening.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 04:09 AM
Besides which, in a game such as this, who is to say that the rebel might not come out victorious? So long as they outmaneuver the oppressors.

I added it in the edit but the very fact we're still discussing Oedipus Rex in classical Theater classes at the college level shows that Futile doesn't make uninteresting stories. Or any number of Greek plays. Futility against the Gods, against Fate and against yourself were majorly important themes.


Alright, we should probably take this to PMs as... This is going to get rather personal for me. :smallfrown:


I didn't mean to make it personal, I was merely trying to answer your question. :smalleek:

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:12 AM
I added it in the edit but the very fact we're still discussing Oedipus Rex in classical Theater classes at the college level shows that Futile doesn't make uninteresting stories. Or any number of Greek plays. Futility against the Gods, against Fate and against yourself were majorly important themes.

Well when I think about it, I am going for both at once. My character both teaches that being mindfully evil is a better lifestyle for all while showing the futility of being good. That should definitely get me some sort of academy award. :smallbiggrin:


I didn't mean to make it personal, I was merely trying to answer your question.
No it's alright, I didn't really explain myself in the first place. I can explain if you can come on AIM. :smallredface:

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 04:12 AM
With DM and Jade at the helm? Yeah not happening.

Pshh, Jade and DM are certainly worthy opponents, but you'd be surprised what advantages there are to be gained in not being part of the system. Mostly how easy it is to break the system. :smalltongue:

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:15 AM
Pshh, Jade and DM are certainly worthy opponents, but you'd be surprised what advantages there are to be gained in not being part of the system. Mostly how easy it is to break the system. :smalltongue:

Don't make me "borrow" Jade's mod book so I can throw it at you! :smalltongue:

Kasanip
2012-10-20, 04:16 AM
We should get something out of the way, though:

With positions so important and potentially holding power over most other characters, we ought to clear first what the general consensus in regards to holding high positions in general is from the start, just so no one's going to be upset later.

Since we're establishing the basic things of what will be available and how things will be set up, now's the time to speak up about stuff like that, folks.

Once we establish that politically or economically powerful characters, who can strongly exert that sort of influence in the game, are absolutely fine to have, it's a done deal, no further complaining about the basic principle of it. (Though of course players are still expected to not be a jerk about it, but that really ought to be a given.)

This goes for my own character idea as well, by the way -- a powerful company may not 'be the boss of you' by default unless you take out a credit or work for them or some-such, but it's still very influential.

I'm going to throw my coin into the 'it's cool' hat, obviously.

I think that it must be said, such a character must still be the same of other player characters. That is to say, if it is desired to show the influence, such a thing should be shown with advantage.

I want to make a small example:

Player A wants to make a King Fighter.
Player B wants to make a wandering Fighter.
If both players use 10 advantage of combat, it should be equal influence. If Player A wants to be King, advantages must show such a thing. That is to say that other players who want to play [specialized role] should be better than [influence player] at such a role.

I think it is expected such an [influence] player character will take appropriate advantages.

But I think it is important to talk about this, because also it is seen some ideas to change how [Follower] system works to make them better to fight or do action.


Now, the Leadership suggestion I put forth was meant to solve an issue that's bugged several players I know - including myself: that of a character with a few ranks in butt-kicking related advantages from being able to carve through thousands of dudes just because they don't have the Mad Ninja Skillz to stop him. A character with Magic Sword 3, Magic Shield 3 can and will defeat even the horde available to a Leadership 3 with no contest - the horde can't win. What's more, you can't take a horde everywhere, meaning that the clear answer is to select the fewest possible followers available and, as you said, go jeevesing. But let's say that we take the Leadership upgrade out - now the leadership characters can't keep up with a dedicated combatant at, well, anything.

I think there is a little concern how it is done. In Playground 3 and 4 followers are balanced against player character. It should be expected that a player character can defeat a follower of same style. That is to say that [combat follower] will lose to [combat player]. Not all players do this [combat] style, so of course [combat follower] is still useful.

It seems complaint of Jade_Tarem is leadership characters cannot compete with a dedicated combatant. Of course if it is [Combat] a [dedicated combatant] should defeat a [dedicated leadership]. And if it is Persuasion, a [dedicated persuader] should defeat a [dedicated leadership].

If it is not that situation, then it is unfair to play any class besides [leadership] character.


Well for starters, which of everyones' characters isn't morally cruel at best? :smallwink:

Mine. I am trying tonight to make a claim to story element and character style, since it couldn't be posted when everyone made the setting.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:23 AM
Mine. I am trying tonight to make a claim to story element and character style, since it couldn't be posted when everyone made the setting.

Sorry, I had referred to everyone's character posted so far. :smallredface:

EDIT: Alright I'm gonna try to get to bed before I become criminally insane... Or clinically depressed; possibly both at this rate. :smallfrown:

Kasanip
2012-10-20, 04:37 AM
Sorry, I had referred to everyone's character posted so far. :smallredface:

It's ok!
Please understand my frustration and stress that everything being decided while I am trying to read and understand intentions of other players. Starsign has changed ideas several times, but I hope you can relax patiently and it can be thought about. I think [stress of trying to participate] is more than [stress of character design] now. It is the same problem for me. :smallredface:


~*~

Actually I am curious since it is written a lot about Torun occupation and VonDoom corporation, but I have a question, to be about story elements, so can avoid to overstep of other players.

What are others that are thought about?

It can be seen as expected VonDoom and Tebryn to design [oriental country]. Also it can be seen [assassin] group. Already it has been chosen [elves] and [dwarves] too.
A situation of [Basic Magic] and [Shadow Magic] and [Elemental Magic] and [Rune Magic] are thought about for magic.

Were other things missed by me?

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 04:42 AM
It can be seen as expected VonDoom and Tebryn to design [oriental country]. Also it can be seen [assassin] group. Already it has been chosen [elves] and [dwarves] too.
A situation of [Basic Magic] and [Shadow Magic] and [Elemental Magic] and [Rune Magic] are thought about for magic.

Were other things missed by me?

I think you've got the basics there yes. Technokami is making Plague Doctors and The_Snark is making a Mad Scientist.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 04:43 AM
It's ok!
Please understand my frustration and stress that everything being decided while I am trying to read and understand intentions of other players. Starsign has changed ideas several times, but I hope you can relax patiently and it can be thought about. I think [stress of trying to participate] is more than [stress of character design] now. It is the same problem for me. :smallredface:

Thanks. I'm just rather torn up with the fact that I haven't found something I truly want or like to play for this setting yet, and end up juggling between whether to play something other people would like to roleplay with or to play grimdark for the sake of grimdark, (my emotional state be damned in that case) which could reasonable coexist alongside something other people would like to roleplay with. I know it's not the best way of thinking but it's how I've been so far.

VonDoom
2012-10-20, 05:13 AM
Yeah, um, Starsign, after reading all your posts, I'm pretty sure you playing a brainwashed person is not a good idea. At the moment, you seem conflicted enough that I'm also not sure it's a good idea to connect yourself directly with any of the more 'evil' characters.

That said, I think you're forgetting. My character, too, is not that exceedingly cruel.

Pragmatic, ruthless and ambitious, certainly, and that leads to a willingness to do a lot of things that end up being and are ultimately cruel, but you won't find him watching over someone being experimented on and grinning a sadistic smile. Or going out of his way to inflict pain and suffering when something else would be more profitable.


@Kasanip:
There was also 'Great Beasts', from me. Though I'm not sure what those will specifically be until someone puts down how magic works and it's just a general idea I'd like to see implemented, so still very open to input.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 05:14 AM
So I've been thinking about what other options would allow me to be a charismatic rebel constantly mingling with the very people he's trying to bring down. And well, the answer was obvious. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1ZVKmMyxP0)

Probably without the mind control though.

VonDoom
2012-10-20, 05:16 AM
So you'd be part of the occupying countries' nobility, yet for one reason or another, fighting for the freedom of the other, perhaps to hurt and eventually defeat your more powerful relatives rather than out of altruism?

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 05:18 AM
So you'd be part of the occupying countries' nobility, yet for one reason or another, fighting for the freedom of the other, perhaps to hurt and eventually defeat your more powerful relatives rather than out of altruism?

Along those lines yes. I haven't decided if he's actually Torun nobility, or an acclaimed war hero yet, but his alternate identity will be the brains behind the revolution.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 05:24 AM
Along those lines yes. I haven't decided if he's actually Torun nobility, or an acclaimed war hero yet, but his alternate identity will be the brains behind the revolution.

...Just to ask, is mind control going to be part of your character? Would like to get that out of the way now due to how... Problematic it can be.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 05:25 AM
...Just to ask, is mind control going to be part of your character? Would like to get that out of the way now due to how... Problematic it can be.

Haven't decided yet, leaning towards no. If it did, it obviously wouldn't be as broken as Geass.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 05:27 AM
Yeah, um, Starsign, after reading all your posts, I'm pretty sure you playing a brainwashed person is not a good idea. At the moment, you seem conflicted enough that I'm also not sure it's a good idea to connect yourself directly with any of the more 'evil' characters.

That said, I think you're forgetting. My character, too, is not that exceedingly cruel.

Pragmatic, ruthless and ambitious, certainly, and that leads to a willingness to do a lot of things that end up being and are ultimately cruel, but you won't find him watching over someone being experimented on and grinning a sadistic smile. Or going out of his way to inflict pain and suffering when something else would be more profitable.
Yeah, I... Was in a miserable mood at that time. (and being up late did not help) I might just drop out altogether depending on how busy college gets. For now I'm still thinking of an idea I'd enjoy, which isn't going anymore.

And apologies for misinterpreting your character. DM once told me that I might be thinking a little too straight, something more akin to a "linear, controlled story." (which I'm unsure of it's meaning, but I'm presuming it means a story with less ambiguous morality like P3... To an extent of course :smalltongue:)

It's sort of a reaction for me to think of some characters in a dark setting such as this as exceedingly vile, (because I know you both love those characters :smallwink:) regardless of other traits/virtues. (if they even have virtues; I mean usually they do) And... Yeah I'm usually horribly wrong in those cases. :smallredface:

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 05:31 AM
It's sort of a reaction for me to think of some characters in a dark setting such as this as exceedingly vile, (because I know you both love those characters :smallwink:) regardless of other traits/virtues. (if they even have virtues; I mean usually they do) And... Yeah I'm usually horribly wrong in those cases. :smallredface:

I think this is the main issue, from what I've seen. You equate "Not Good" with irredeemable. Which isn't always the case.

The_Snark
2012-10-20, 05:48 AM
*stuff*

Intriguing. I begin to think the reason we disagree is because we have different goals. To borrow a phrase from GNS theory*, I'm approaching it from a narrativist perspective, while you're edging towards simulationist. I want the conflict and Advantage rules to be a reasonably simple conflict resolution system. Complicating those rules for the sake of realism—like introducing special rules to handle large groups of people, and assigning certain Advantages prerequisites—is not a step forward from my point of view.

*Which I'm not terribly familiar with and didn't look up before writing this, so don't read too much into the reference. They're just convenient terms.

I don't mean to demean your work here, because you've clearly put a lot of thought into making it functional. It's just not a direction I really care for.

I... have more, but it ran a lot longer than I expected. Spoilered in case people want a more detailed look at why I don't mind the current system:
Now, the Leadership suggestion I put forth was meant to solve an issue that's bugged several players I know - including myself: that of a character with a few ranks in butt-kicking related advantages from being able to carve through thousands of dudes just because they don't have the Mad Ninja Skillz to stop him. A character with Magic Sword 3, Magic Shield 3 can and will defeat even the horde available to a Leadership 3 with no contest - the horde can't win. What's more, you can't take a horde everywhere, meaning that the clear answer is to select the fewest possible followers available and, as you said, go jeevesing. But let's say that we take the Leadership upgrade out - now the leadership characters can't keep up with a dedicated combatant at, well, anything.

I guess my rejoinder to that is: darn right, your three ranks in Leadership should not be able to overcome my entire combat-dedicated character. I've sunk six Advantages into being good at combat and nothing else, and you've only invested three. Realistically, a single guy can't beat an army. Narratively, though, he has more weight than the army, and so the players involved should find a way for him to achieve his goals in the scene if they come into conflict with the army's goals.

(Incidentally, I also think your example illustrates why boosting Advantages too freely can get messy; that's a +18 bonus. Rare Advantages should not be something that's applicable in combat by default.)

As you say, it stretches belief for a single swordsman to beat a huge army single-handedly, but it's up to the players to make this make sense. For instance: maybe the swordsman charges straight for the general, kills him, and escapes in the confusion. Maybe he draws them into a nearby forest, or runs into an alleyway, and starts fighting them on a smaller scale. Maybe his terrible magic sword of doom and shield of invincibility do make him capable of slaying hundreds; a rank III Rare Advantage is a seriously powerful magic item, after all. Or maybe the combat-focused character is a powerful fire mage, and it actually makes sense to break the army in a fiery holocaust.

Or hey, maybe the guy with the army contends that army-scale combat is a different arena than personal combat and calls for a no-contest (unless the other guy can come up with a way to justify using his Advantages on that scale).

The point is, it can be worked around. It's not a perfect system, but it's worked pretty well so far.


And that's just one of several bizarre leadership scenarios - no thought is put into how the group of followers is equipped, fed, or maintained. You could end up with a group of highly trained warriors following a highly indecisive adrenaline-junkie hobo (also known as an Adventurer) for no clear reason. And where do they sleep? Yes, the player taking the advantage should answer all these questions, but then if they don't it's now up to the mods to call them on it and then people get hurt feelings and/or panic.

Yeah, but... again, this is getting into simulation territory. Are we going to make a rule that, say, a halfling can't have the Strength advantage because he's only three feet high and there's no clear reason why he should be stronger than the average human? Because that is something that requires justification, but it's not something that needs to be hardwired into the rules. There are some things that are better left to common sense and (when necessary) mod discretion, I think. Ensuring that characters make sense is one of them.


Alternatively, there's also procurement/decimation - if you have a horde of thousands, then the PC's can kill them with little issue. They don't have plot armor, after all, and there are always more. But if you've only got thirty and the PCs start axing them, then you've suddenly got a staffing problem. If half of your followers are killed, shouldn't your follower advantages only count half as much? Because right now followers are like hit points - anything more than zero gives you the full benefit regardless of whether or not their big strength is "there's a lot of us."

Well... yeah. I mean, the number of followers is pretty much arbitrary in the first place, right? If I make a character who commands a small mercenary company, it's not because I want to keep track of exactly how many guys I have, and how well equipped they are, and all the other factors that (logically) should influence how effective they are. I just want to be able to say "hey, I've got a few mercenary buddies at my back here, so I get a +2 bonus in this upcoming fight."

This style of play also avoids the "how can your 1 guy fight my whole army at the same time" issue, because I'm not typically using my whole army.

I didn't really think of using something like Genetic Engineering as a way of my character being stronger and faster than others. Is that feasible in a Diesel Punk setting such as this?

If it isn't, that hasn't stopped VonDoom and everyone working for him. :smallamused:

While the phrase "genetic engineering" will never see use in any of my IC posts, selective breeding is quite possible. Other possibilities include: grueling training regimens, creepy occultism, and experimental scientific procedures.

Also, I think Jade was pointing out that it's possible to be impressively strong or fast without having special magic or inhuman superpowers.


Along those lines yes. I haven't decided if he's actually Torun nobility, or an acclaimed war hero yet, but his alternate identity will be the brains behind the revolution.

Nice. I'm glad we have someone doing something like that, since my character has strong revolutionary sympathies. We'll have to see about crossing paths at some point.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 05:52 AM
I think this is the main issue, from what I've seen. You equate "Not Good" with irredeemable. Which isn't always the case. People are either Good or Evil, and Evil is bad.

Well it's not ALWAYS the case (had it'd been, I would have probably labeled Mikado as evil too way back in P3) and I have liked some evil characters, (like DM's one back in P4 despite the little time he had there and the whole advantage issue) I tend to label everyone in two sides like a team when I shouldn't be, causing all sorts of problems. I think I have a couple reasons why I tend to do that, even if they might be weak.

I... Have a low-to-nonexistant faith in humanity and tend to think amazingly cynically as a result. So I have these ideas like that man is easily corrupted and doing something as simple as roleplaying an evil character can drive one to be evil in real life if they enjoy it. DM in particular terrifies me as his entire image seems based around the obsession of evil. I know that my idea here is outright ludicrous, (especially in the case of VonDoom) but I tend to feel that I might be vulnerable to it and my mind un-rightfully leaks it out to everyone else as a result.

Another problem is that I sometimes tend to not care about the past events of characters and simply focus on the present. This is probably one of the biggest reasons for my irrational outcry against the Shadow Court in P3; I cared not a bit for their backstories or motivations and simply focused on everything they were doing in the present. I was really, really wrong for thinking that way and I'm still beating myself over it.

Lastly I tend to look at the negatives of everything. I just struggle looking at the virtues and positive sides of most things and just tend to view the problems and negatives of every character. This is probably why I didn't enjoy A Song of Fire and Ice; I never looked for the positive ideals the more ruthless characters had and just looked at the horrible things they do compared to those that don't. I apply this sort of view to myself as well as I usually don't think of myself as someone upright, in a good situation in real life and is rather sound. Instead I view myself as an emotionally fragile, socially awkward, broken child in the body of a 20-year old and a pitiful excuse for an adult.

I don't know how much of this might help and it doesn't excuse everything that I've done wrong, but I wanted to state it so at the very least, everyone might understand a little better. Does this help for anyone? :smallredface:

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 06:05 AM
Nice. I'm glad we have someone doing something like that, since my character has strong revolutionary sympathies. We'll have to see about crossing paths at some point.

What is your character concept again?

Edit: The bioweapon expert right?

VonDoom
2012-10-20, 06:06 AM
More stuff.

Honestly? This. This is ... entirely my stance. Every word of it. I have a tendency to let myself be drawn too much into discussions and technicalities and then go on with those in the back of my mind, but if we have a chance to re-define the existing system, I'm absolutely on board with everything The_Snark just said.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 06:23 AM
Along those lines yes. I haven't decided if he's actually Torun nobility, or an acclaimed war hero yet, but his alternate identity will be the brains behind the revolution.

Point of order - Torun is a representative democracy, so while the nobility exists it is largely powerless in a political sense. Obviously, old money remains powerful because money. The concept is still perfectly valid, just something to keep in mind.



While the phrase "genetic engineering" will never see use in any of my IC posts, selective breeding is quite possible. Other possibilities include: grueling training regimens, creepy occultism, and experimental scientific procedures.

Also, I think Jade was pointing out that it's possible to be impressively strong or fast without having special magic or inhuman superpowers.


Hey there, Ms. Mengele. :smalltongue:

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 06:25 AM
Point of order - Torun is a representative democracy, so while the nobility exists it is largely powerless in a political sense. Obviously, old money remains powerful because money. The concept is still perfectly valid, just something to keep in mind.

Hey there, Ms. Mengele. :smalltongue:

Good to know. Leaning more towards war hero anyways but I guess it'll depend on how familiar I want to be with the other high ranking characters, and that'll depend on what things look like come true character creation.

Kasanip
2012-10-20, 08:55 AM
Character Concept: Lynks Observer and Ambassador of the Lynks Federation.

http://i1015.photobucket.com/albums/af275/umbrellako2/rinkusumaik.jpg

At least role now is to talk, learn, and to be a meddlesome and fun cunning cat.

Maybe is to help rebels to make independence (in exchange for claim of territory for Lynks' nation?) It can't be known how to gain advantage so soon. :smallredface:

Story Elements Claiming:

Lynks:
A cunning and agile race of cat-like beast-men. They are very cunning, agile, and technologically advanced of especially airship and motor technology. They were a fearsome [world power] until a great disaster 10 years ago. Their homeland was turned to desert. Now to be nomad mostly, organized in the in the airship and hovercraft [Lynks Fleet] and search for new land to claim. Every Lynks serves properly in some role of this socialist system. For Lynks their people are in very difficult situation, so it is [mandatory military service] and many also act as merchants to support the Federation.

(To finish later)


Lynks Federation: 
The Lynks race government. To be a council and rule of a [socialist] style. Rules from the [Great Fleet], to be the surviving most of the Lynks people. Ambassadors and tribe people are sent to other nations. Because of power and technology of Lynks, they were once very fearsome, but after disaster when homeland was turned to desert 10 years ago, to be a waning strong power. Still to have some political influence, but even if military is fearsome, relying strongly of trade negotiation. Because of their political situation, to be good mediators, but some are afraid Lynks are only trying to stabilize and find a weak target, to take land for their own.

The 3 Missions of the Lynks Federation:
1) Ensure Survival of Lynks People
2) Make a Harmonious World through Any Method To Ensure Disaster Doesn't Repeat.
3) Maintain Superiority of Lynks People

(to finish later)

Formation of International League:

After the last terrible war, and the devastation of the Lynks's homeland before, it was decided to try to make more peaceful international relations. Now all nations can send ambassador together to the International League to talk. Also to be first attempt of [Peacekeeping Observer] in some places. Though it can't be agreed of many nations about this, so [Lynks Special Forces] to perform this role currently in small capacity.

(to finish later)

Resonance and Forbidden Arts

(to finish later)


Radio

(to finish later)

GuyFawkes
2012-10-20, 11:17 AM
For ease of access, here's a compilation of the Story Elements presented so far. Feel free to copy paste this along with your SEs if I missed them.

Jade_Tarem

Alright then... here goes. The following six story elements may have a very large impact on the game, each of the three of us (Nef, DM, and me), are donating two of our starting six story elements for laying down the basics of them. We're open to suggestions, though.

The Benefactors' War - Story Element Donated by DarkDM
The world has seen more than its share of territorial disputes. Some last only a short time. Others last for ages, the same land fought over again and again until all that remains are the spirits of the restless dead. Rarely do they engulf an entire nation, or unrelated countries.

Until now.

It started small, as yet another dispute between Auveraine and the States of Torun. It had been thirty years since the Auvers successfully claimed the Crimson Valley from the then-divided Kellish provinces. A new generation had grown up, the provinces had united, and everyone had forgotten that war was less about glorious sporty conquest and more about people getting shot. The Crimson Valley was no prize in terms of anything but bragging rights - the land had been rendered infertile nearly a hundred years before hand. It was plague-ridden, ugly, barren, and probably haunted. That didn't stop two nations stoked on jingoistic pride from declaring war, both convinced that it would be a fast and flawless victory.

For five years the nations remained locked in an ever escalating conflict that drew in more and more resources, allies, and people. Warfare had changed to favor industrial combat. Weapons that could fire more bullets in a minute than a man could hand craft in a year could be heard in between the shots of artillery that pounded the enemy lines day and night. The greatest minds on both sides turned their thoughts to weaponry, and machines took to the sea and skies to carry death to those domains as well.

But it was not to last forever. Slowly but surely, the Torun soldiers began to gain ground. Not content with just one gutted valley, the few people to benefit from the war - the industrial tycoons known as "the Benefactors", many of them part of the government - began to push for true conquest under the banner of Manifest Destiny. And that destiny was indeed made manifest. With nearly ninety percent of its original military dead or expended and half the country occupied, Auveraine's royal family sued for peace and it was granted.

That was five years ago, and no nation involved - and there were many - came out the better for it with the possible exception of Torun itself. Even though reparation payments were not part of the treaty, the loss of industry and natural resources brought about by the war has what's left of Auveraine reeling. Occupied Auveraine - renamed the State of Kellund by the other Torun-affiliated states, still rebuilds to this day. The former Auveraine capitol of Dauphane was hard hit, but also received the lion's share of the reparation effort - indeed, making it one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. As a result, refugees from devastated communities flocked to it and some are still trickling in, arriving and setting up in the shanty towns that remain in the still-ruined portions of the mighty city.

Dauphane is still "occupied" - although technically as a conquered city it's the Auvers who occupy a Torun territory rather than the other way around. While the hostilities have ceased, tensions have not.

States of Torun - Story Element donated by DarkDM
Reserved

Dauphane (City of Adventure) - Story Element donated by Jade
Dauphane hasn't been the same since the war.

While that's technically true of every settlement from one end of the continent to the other, Dauphane has undergone a more striking revision than almost any other city still in existence. Shelled for 108 straight days at one point during the fighting, there are entire city blocks and quarters of Old Dauphane that didn't survive. And speaking of Old Dauphane, that's precisely what the surviving portions, primarily on the west side of the city, are called.

New Dauphane, which makes up just over half of the current city, has been reconstructed almost from nothing by the occupying Torun forces.

In work

Basics of Magic - Story Element donated by Jade
Reserved

Auveraine - Story Element donated by Nef
Reserved

Dwarves - Story Element donated by Nef
Reserved
------------------------------------------------------------
These are things I'd like to use my own story elements on.

Mirkland
Reserved

Banland
Reserved

Elves
Reserved

Rune Magic
Reserved
TechnOkami

Ok, so here's what I've got with the Plague Doctor.

Plague Doctors:
Basically, Plague Doctors (if allowed) are going to be the commonly regarded name by the people to these particular individuals. Who these individuals are, in fact, are clerics of a deity called Corvix. Corvix is a deity of Death, Disease, and Suffering. Death and Disease are rather self explanatory for a deity, but why Suffering, and why does he have a mass of cultists following him? To this deity, Suffering is bound to death and plague, and is caused by the amount of suffering which the mortals do. If it's small bits of suffering (your typical day to day gripes and worries) smaller and less potent diseases occur, like Colds and Hay Fever. And then Wars occur. Wars which cause so much pain and suffering upon the world is immediately reflected back to the world as a disease, though this time, a disease of impeccable power and spite. The Plague Doctors are, in turn, part medic and part cleric, for the diseases of their God are so powerful that those who are slain by them remain inside the body, unable to pass through the veil of death. This is where the Plague Doctors come in, filling their surroundings with hallucinogenic chemicals to give themselves the visage of Angels of Death (they themselves immune to the effects due to their iconic beak-shaped gas masks). They strike fear and terror into the common people, even if their presence is perhaps for a more overall benevolent effect. They do this for their sake, to remind the people and the world of the terrible power they have, and how painfully it lashes back against them.

Over time the strong diseases ravages shall fade and simmer, cures will be found by the Plague Doctors and administered to the people. In times of low disease, they Doctors do not take their visages, but are always there, acting as the local doctor, until humanity oversteps its bounds once more, and are firmly reminded of the power they hold in their hands, and the destruction they can so easily wreck upon themselves.

Corvix communes to his servants through Crows, which also lead them to those who need their services. As a gift for their long toil of service, Corvix grants his followers boons and powers, such as healing, manipulation of disease as a weapon, or perhaps even taking on the visage of Corvix himself.
Tebryn

Then I'll do mine as well

The Jade Masks

Reserved

Shadow Magic

Reserved until the Basic Magic is done

Elemental Magic

Reserved until the Basic Magic is done
TheDarkDM

States of Torun

Think pre-World War 1 Germany with a United States system of governance. Will write up later.

Krauler Family

Three hundred years ago, Berthold Krauler was a blacksmith in the Torun State of Stolitz. While he made an admirable living and provided his young wife with a life of relative comfort, Berthold was dissatisfied with such a simple life. He was a man of ambition, and so in his moments of leisure he tinkered endlessly with various inventions. One of those was a children's toy, a black powder that let out a flash and a small pop. It had existed for decades, but Berhold thought there might be something more to it. He spent months experimenting with the composition of the powder, until it did far more that flash. Soon, it exploded with enough force to send an iron ball through the air, and soon after that Berthold had manufactured the first musket. He was ecstatic, as was the Prince of Stolitz when presented with the magnificent new weapon. Berthold was granted a royal commission on the spot, and soon his weapon spread to the other Torun States and beyond.

In time, Berthold's wife gave him a son, a slight lad they named Johann. Unlike his ancestors, Johann grew up in luxury, his father's success guaranteeing the family a place at the royal court. Tutored alongside the heir to Stolitz's throne, Johann proved an able student. Yet, while he learned the makings of his father's trade, Johann never showed the natural technical brilliance of his father. So, driven to find his own fortune, he left Stolitz and traveled to the State of Wernhalten. With a loan from his father, he obtained a stake in a small lumber concern, and set to work. At once, the instincts that eluded Johann as a gunsmith asserted themselves as a manager, and within the year he had repaid his father's loan. Within ten, the Krauler logging concern was the largest in Wernhalten, and had branches in three other States. However, despite his success Johann's failure to match his father's accomplishments rankled, and so he sought to do with money what he could not do with skill. Hiring some of the most talented masters on the continent, he set the the task of automating the craft his father had pioneered. The process took 20 years, but at the end Johann had developed a system of interchangeable parts that revolutionized industrial production.

Johann fathered a daughter and a son, twins, and doted on them with all the affection his work allowed. While young Berthold II had the finest schooling money could buy, young Sophia was left languishing at home. A precocious girl, she defied her mother at every turn, preferring the noise and grim of the factory to a lady's parlor. And so Johann indulged her, and while Berthold II learned how to expand the family's business, Sophia turned to the family's old tradition. She tinkered, she toyed, and when she was old enough she traveled to visit her grandfather. Long nights of heated technical discussion drove her to new ideas. Accustomed to the stabilizing effect of the heavy, twirling skirts she so despised, Sophia sought to apply the principle to her grandfather's invention. A Johann watched with pride, Sophia slowly developed the first rifled barrel, and her brother leapt to put it into production. By this time, the Krauler's did not simply own an outdated commission and a lumber concern, but a string of factories across Torun. Every nation on earth wanted rifled muskets, and the only place to buy them was from Krauler stock.

At 27, Berthold II married, ushering in a new generation of Kraulers on a changing world. The dwarves had recently released steam power on the world above, and dozens of eager entrepreneurs tore themselves to pieces trying to capitalize on it first. But not the Kraulers. To be sure, great lady though she was Sophia desired nothing more than to take one of the vaunted engines apart, but Berthold advised patience, and he was right. Of the dozens of ventures that sought to use steam, almost all failed, leaving hundreds of engines rusting in scrap heaps or on auction blocks. Berthold grabbed the opportunity, purchasing works of misguided genius for pennies, and giving them to his savant sister to deconstruct. To guard against competition, he also purchased one of the few remaining steam ventures, the mining company of one Renee Montclair of Auveraine. He had devised a way to drain mine using a steam pump, and Sophia saw potential. Working together, they refined the steam engine beyond even dwarven craft, and eventually fell in love. Their marriage ceremony took place on the first prototype of the steam locomotive, and soon the first Krauler line cut from Wernhalten to Stolitz.

By the time of the fourth generation, the Krauler family was one of the wealthiest in the world, their industrial holdings anchored by the advances in transportation and weaponry they still held tightly. Berthold Montclair-Krauler, Vivienne Montclair-Krauler, Hanna Krauler, Niclas Krauler, and Paul Krauler enjoyed childhoods matched only by royalty, and at the unyielding insistence of Sophia both boys and girls were educated by the finest tutors. Though none of Sophia or Berthold II's children would shake the world as they had, all drove the family to greater heights. Berthold M. Krauler served as surface ambassador to the dwarves for twenty years, and is widely credited with drastically increasing the supply of coal the stout overseers allowed sold each year, driving surface industry ever faster towards the future. Meanwhile Niclas and Paul followed their grandfather's footsteps and used loans to start their own rail lines. Soon, the Krauler West Line and Krauler East Line were running in conjunction with the core Central Line, a friendly competition between brothers that saw each one's fortune increase. Meanwhile, Vivienne M. Krauler married the heir to the throne of Torun's largest state, Ghetzen, and Hanna Krauler married the second son of the Prince of Stolitz. With their influence, they guided the two States to an alliance that paved the way for the Torun of today.

Here, the family splits into the five primary branches that remain today. Despite his father's passion for all things dwarven, Berthold M. Krauler's son Wilhelm had little taste for the rail business, eventually dividing the Central Line and selling it's pieces to his cousins in charge of the Krauler East and Krauler West lines. His attention freed, he found himself in munitions, greatly expanding the Krauler arms factories and taking an active role in developing newer, more powerful weapons. Content to allow their cousin to expand the arms business, Lena Krauler and Mathias Krauler acted aggressively to expand the Krauler lines. Purchasing a vast lot on the outskirts of Torun's capital, they linked their lines at what would become Empire Station, and expanded outwards. By a stroke of luck, Lena managed to woo the son of [country to be inserted]'s most influential rail tycoon, an alliance that spread the Krauler East by hundreds of miles in a single marriage ceremony. Not to be outdone, Mathias Krauler began blasting tunnels, cutting the first straight path through Torun's northern border. Meanwhile, the Stolitz-Kraulers and Ghetzen-Kraulers involved themselves in Torun's burgeoning democracy, safeguarding the family's investments through ruthless politicking.

The most recent stroke of good fortune to truly shake the Krauler family occurred while the son of Lena [Initial to be filled in]. Krauler as he was exploring for a new well location along their southwards route. Digging deep into the earth at a random spot, Markus [?]. Krauler was surprised to find a black, viscous substance bubbling up from the earth. It burned with surprising endurance, and though he thought it nothing but an amusement his cousins in the central branch knew the truth. Turning one of the lesser Krauler arms warehouses to the purification of the black liquid, Berthold Krauler III produced kerosene without the aid of whalers. It was only a matter of time before another brilliant mind refined the process even more, and only a matter of time before they were bought and paid for by the Krauler empire. The age of oil had finally arrived, and the Kraulers moved with unified and blinding speed to secure the one great fuel source the dwarves did not control.
VonDoom

Reserving Story Elements. For now just with short descriptions of general intent.

Non-Personal:

The Great Beasts (better name pending)
Big, powerful magical creatures. Pending the setup of magic, may be strongly rooted with its source or a potential source for magic bonds via essentially selling your soul/fate/will/body to the entities.

'Eastern Folklore Country/Island/Nation' (better name pending)
A country that adds an asiatic component, combining various cultures and folklores into one whole. Distinctly different from how Ikoku was set up in Playground 3. Taking suggestions for how to differentiate, but I think it might be a 'lost continent' instead, with their proper culture having been an ancient civilisation and with remnants of its people, magic and culture spread over the world.

Personal:

'Evil Corporation centered in Adventure City' (to be named)
Mikado's company. It's as big and powerful as we can reasonably make it at the start and, while Mikado may be its head, may not yet be fully under his direct control, explaining any differences between the theoretical corporate scale and what the character can actually do.

Major provider of weapons and a factor in winning the war. Develops on all fronts as long as it can be weaponized and (The_Snark's character or a different biologist-type pending) also started experimenting with human/elf/dwarf/whatever biology awhile ago. Quite naturally reputed for being a war-profiteer and ruthless.

Kasanip

Story Elements Claiming:

Lynks:
A cunning and agile race of cat-like beast-men. They are very cunning, agile, and technologically advanced of especially airship and motor technology. They were a fearsome [world power] until a great disaster 10 years ago. Their homeland was turned to desert. Now to be nomad mostly, organized in the in the airship and hovercraft [Lynks Fleet] and search for new land to claim. Every Lynks serves properly in some role of this socialist system. For Lynks their people are in very difficult situation, so it is [mandatory military service] and many also act as merchants to support the Federation.

(To finish later)


Lynks Federation: 
The Lynks race's government. To be a council and rule of a [socialist] style. Rules from the [Great Fleet], to be the surviving most of the Lynks people. Ambassadors and tribe people are sent to other nations. Because of power and technology of Lynks, they were once very fearsome, but after disaster when homeland was turned to desert 10 years ago, to be a waning strong power. Still to have some political influence, but even if military is fearsome, relying strongly of trade negotiation. Because of their political situation, to be good mediators, but some are afraid Lynks are only trying to stabilize and find a weak target, to take land for their own.

The 3 Missions of the Lynks Federation:
1) Ensure Survival of Lynks People
2) Make a Harmonious World through Any Method To Ensure Disaster Doesn't Repeat.
3) Maintain Superiority of Lynks People

(to finish later)

Formation of International League:

After the last terrible war, and the devastation of the Lynks's homeland before, it was decided to try to make more peaceful international relations. Now all nations can send ambassador together to the International League to talk. Also to be first attempt of [Peacekeeping Observer] in some places. Though it can't be agreed of many nations about this, so Lynks Special Forces to perform this role currently in small capacity.

(to finish later)

Resonance and Forbidden Arts

(to finish later)


Radio

(to finish later)

GuyFawkes
Here's what I have in mind for story elements:

General:

Moons of the World
Descriptions and current knowledge on the world's [insert number here] satellites. Reserved.
Soulwield
Soul Magic or similar but different concept. Reserved.
The Link
A system of suspension railway that runs all throughout Dauphane. Reserved.

Personal:

Arcane Weapon Synthesis Project
Supernatural source of energy for technology, as well as weapons that use magic or other supernatural forms of energy. Basically Magitek++. Reserved.
A new type of metal and/or a new type of processing metals
Reserved.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 01:35 PM
I think that it must be said, such a character must still be the same of other player characters. That is to say, if it is desired to show the influence, such a thing should be shown with advantage.

I want to make a small example:

Player A wants to make a King Fighter.
Player B wants to make a wandering Fighter.
If both players use 10 advantage of combat, it should be equal influence. If Player A wants to be King, advantages must show such a thing. That is to say that other players who want to play [specialized role] should be better than at such a role.

I think it is expected such an [influence] player character will take appropriate advantages.

But I think it is important to talk about this, because also it is seen some ideas to change how [Follower] system works to make them better to fight or do action.

I think there is a little concern how it is done. In Playground 3 and 4 followers are balanced against player character. It should be expected that a player character can defeat a follower of same style. That is to say that [combat follower] will lose to [combat player]. Not all players do this [combat] style, so of course [combat follower] is still useful.

It seems complaint of Jade_Tarem is leadership characters cannot compete with a dedicated combatant. Of course if it is [Combat] a [dedicated combatant] should defeat a [dedicated leadership]. And if it is Persuasion, a [dedicated persuader] should defeat a [dedicated leadership].

If it is not that situation, then it is unfair to play any class besides [leadership] character.

Mine. I am trying tonight to make a claim to story element and character style, since it couldn't be posted when everyone made the setting.


Intriguing. I begin to think the reason we disagree is because we have different goals. To borrow a phrase from GNS theory*, I'm approaching it from a narrativist perspective, while you're edging towards simulationist. I want the conflict and Advantage rules to be a reasonably simple conflict resolution system. Complicating those rules for the sake of realism—like introducing special rules to handle large groups of people, and assigning certain Advantages prerequisites—is not a step forward from my point of view.

*Which I'm not terribly familiar with and didn't look up before writing this, so don't read too much into the reference. They're just convenient terms.

I don't mean to demean your work here, because you've clearly put a lot of thought into making it functional. It's just not a direction I really care for.

I... have more, but it ran a lot longer than I expected. Spoilered in case people want a more detailed look at why I don't mind the current system:

I guess my rejoinder to that is: [i]darn right, your three ranks in Leadership should not be able to overcome my entire combat-dedicated character. I've sunk six Advantages into being good at combat and nothing else, and you've only invested three. Realistically, a single guy can't beat an army. Narratively, though, he has more weight than the army, and so the players involved should find a way for him to achieve his goals in the scene if they come into conflict with the army's goals.

(Incidentally, I also think your example illustrates why boosting Advantages too freely can get messy; that's a +18 bonus. Rare Advantages should not be something that's applicable in combat by default.)

As you say, it stretches belief for a single swordsman to beat a huge army single-handedly, but it's up to the players to make this make sense. For instance: maybe the swordsman charges straight for the general, kills him, and escapes in the confusion. Maybe he draws them into a nearby forest, or runs into an alleyway, and starts fighting them on a smaller scale. Maybe his terrible magic sword of doom and shield of invincibility do make him capable of slaying hundreds; a rank III Rare Advantage is a seriously powerful magic item, after all. Or maybe the combat-focused character is a powerful fire mage, and it actually makes sense to break the army in a fiery holocaust.

Or hey, maybe the guy with the army contends that army-scale combat is a different arena than personal combat and calls for a no-contest (unless the other guy can come up with a way to justify using his Advantages on that scale).

The point is, it can be worked around. It's not a perfect system, but it's worked pretty well so far.

Yeah, but... again, this is getting into simulation territory. Are we going to make a rule that, say, a halfling can't have the Strength advantage because he's only three feet high and there's no clear reason why he should be stronger than the average human? Because that is something that requires justification, but it's not something that needs to be hardwired into the rules. There are some things that are better left to common sense and (when necessary) mod discretion, I think. Ensuring that characters make sense is one of them.

Well... yeah. I mean, the number of followers is pretty much arbitrary in the first place, right? If I make a character who commands a small mercenary company, it's not because I want to keep track of exactly how many guys I have, and how well equipped they are, and all the other factors that (logically) should influence how effective they are. I just want to be able to say "hey, I've got a few mercenary buddies at my back here, so I get a +2 bonus in this upcoming fight."

This style of play also avoids the "how can your 1 guy fight my whole army at the same time" issue, because I'm not typically using my whole army.

:smallsigh: Look, that's great, and I agree with everything the two of you have said. But neither has addressed my point(s). I'll be more abstract and clear on it this time.

Under normal circumstances everything you've said is true - your followers will not all be in one place and a dedicated combat character should be able to plow through the extras in a given combat. That's fine, and completely correct that a dedicated combat character should usually win vs. a dedicated leadership character, and I have never suggested otherwise.

What I was trying to bring up in the previous example was that a leadership-based character, without the follower boost, *cannot* overcome a combat oriented character. Sword-and-shield guy won't just usually beat the 10,000 man army - he literally cannot lose. If we give the leadership people 3 more ranks in, say, their own equipment, then Sword-and-Shield guy will beat them most of the time with his +6 advantage over them - in short, one guy wielding Excalibur and a really good shield will almost always beat 10,000 guys who are also wielding Excalibur. This means that if someone wants to attack and take over a city, then, by the rules - and this is an exploit of the kind that the players claim to abhor - It is vastly more effective and efficient for me to learn Kung Fu and buy an enchanted codpiece (gotta have some way to knock down the gates :smallamused:) than it is to raise an army and build siege weapons. If DM wants to keep the peace in the city and/or crush the resistance movement, he can do it better by purchasing a few ranks in Divination to know where the insurgents are and then buying a really good artillery piece than by placing troops to guard and patrol strategic areas or, hell, having troops at all.

Now, if we want to run this game on the Exalted Warfare principle, that's fine. If we want to bandage it with judicious use of the no contest rule, that's fine too, but that takes me back to my statement about having cake and eating it too. I am all for having the players justify possessing a 3-rank sword (such a thing would be the stuff of legends), but I wanted to point out that every "downgrade" into a simpler rule set makes more work for the players and the mods as grey areas grow larger. Most of these increases in the complexity of the rules came out of arguments between players when the rules weren't sophisticated enough to handle the situation that had arisen.

In point of fact, all of the rules other than Story Elements and Plot Tickets came into existence that way. I'm against pulling tweak-changes out of the rules because I know we'll be adding them back in later anyway - precisely because that's exactly what happened before.

So no, I'm not trying to arbitrarily overpower leadership characters, despite the fact that as it stands any dedicated warrior character is a larger mechanical threat than every military in the world combined. Which brings us to the Catch-22 paradox: are you willing to devalue the personal-combat based advantages by making players pretend that they can be killed in the current rule set despite the fact that they actually can't? I'm willing to go along with that (that's how we've operated before), but as a mod I'm trying to anticipate future problems.

Which is why we're discussing it now.


It's ok!
Please understand my frustration and stress that everything being decided while I am trying to read and understand intentions of other players. Starsign has changed ideas several times, but I hope you can relax patiently and it can be thought about. I think [stress of trying to participate] is more than [stress of character design] now. It is the same problem for me. :smallredface:


~*~

Actually I am curious since it is written a lot about Torun occupation and VonDoom corporation, but I have a question, to be about story elements, so can avoid to overstep of other players.

What are others that are thought about?

It can be seen as expected VonDoom and Tebryn to design [oriental country]. Also it can be seen [assassin] group. Already it has been chosen [elves] and [dwarves] too.
A situation of [Basic Magic] and [Shadow Magic] and [Elemental Magic] and [Rune Magic] are thought about for magic.

Were other things missed by me?

Basic Magic might or might not end up being a story element. To Everyone: do we want an underlying set of rules concerning all magic, or will each kind of magic operate on its own system? I could use the story element...

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 01:42 PM
Basic Magic might or might not end up being a story element. To Everyone: do we want an underlying set of rules concerning all magic, or will each kind of magic operate on its own system? I could use the story element...

I think there should be a base "Mana" of some kind. Lifestream, Lethe, call it what you will. A basic power source that runs through the world and it's people. I have an idea for a Basic Magic system that follows the above, keeps it clean and simple for any kind of magic that people may want to introduce. If you want to save a Story Element, I'll give one of mine for it.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 02:11 PM
I think there should be a base "Mana" of some kind. Lifestream, Lethe, call it what you will. A basic power source that runs through the world and it's people. I have an idea for a Basic Magic system that follows the above, keeps it clean and simple for any kind of magic that people may want to introduce. If you want to save a Story Element, I'll give one of mine for it.

That's not quite what I meant. If we have magic at all, then it can generally be assumed that there's something to power it and that magic users have to tap it in some way. That doesn't require a story element (or at least, it didn't for the last 4 games). I meant something like "all the magic comes from Lord Cthulhu at the center of the world and no one can get at it without praying to him" or something. That's a silly example, but more of what I had in mind (and also why I'm not sure such a story element is necessary.

Also, having different sources of power for different kinds of magic can be fun. So long as the different magics interact in a way that promotes versimilitude, that's not a problem.

The_Snark
2012-10-20, 02:34 PM
What is your character concept again?

Edit: The bioweapon expert right?

Correct! I -

Hey there, Ms. Mengele. :smalltongue:

Oh yikes.

I... suppose I should have seen that comparison coming, but nope. Time to elaborate, because otherwise it'll bug me.

My character is someone who was badly scarred by the war, and can't/won't let go of it and move on. She can't stand the thought that the invaders might not only get away with their warmongering but profit from it, so she fights back. Because she is a scientist and not a soldier, she fights back by devising new and progressively more horrible weapons. In the pursuit of this, she's going to sink to some pretty low things. And the further she goes in pursuit of revenge, the harder it is to say "wait, this is too far" and stop, because then everything she's done already will have been for nothing...

I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to say here, except that there is—to my mind—a difference.


Basic Magic might or might not end up being a story element. To Everyone: do we want an underlying set of rules concerning all magic, or will each kind of magic operate on its own system? I could use the story element...
Do you have an idea in mind already? If so, I'd be interested in seeing a basic outline, at least.

More on Leadership & related issues later, when I've had time to think it over a bit.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 02:40 PM
That's not quite what I meant. If we have magic at all, then it can generally be assumed that there's something to power it and that magic users have to tap it in some way. That doesn't require a story element (or at least, it didn't for the last 4 games). I meant something like "all the magic comes from Lord Cthulhu at the center of the world and no one can get at it without praying to him" or something. That's a silly example, but more of what I had in mind (and also why I'm not sure such a story element is necessary.

Also, having different sources of power for different kinds of magic can be fun. So long as the different magics interact in a way that promotes versimilitude, that's not a problem.

Actually I believe I've thrice used story elements to explore the base of magic. One that caught on very well (spirits, PG1) one that was almost entirely ignored (heart of magic, PG3) and one that was rejected (magical addiction, PG4.)

As a general rule I favor magic that is either specific to the person in question, tied to mysticism, or entirely unpredictable in some way. That's what makes it magic and not just an alternative power source.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 02:45 PM
That's not quite what I meant. If we have magic at all, then it can generally be assumed that there's something to power it and that magic users have to tap it in some way. That doesn't require a story element (or at least, it didn't for the last 4 games). I meant something like "all the magic comes from Lord Cthulhu at the center of the world and no one can get at it without praying to him" or something. That's a silly example, but more of what I had in mind (and also why I'm not sure such a story element is necessary.

Also, having different sources of power for different kinds of magic can be fun. So long as the different magics interact in a way that promotes versimilitude, that's not a problem.

Ah, I see. I'd go with...option B then. More for story weave and the like. If people want Magic, let them introduce it with the story element for said Magic.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-20, 02:53 PM
Here's what I have in mind for story elements:

General:

Moons of the World
Descriptions and current knowledge on the world's 17 satellites. Reserved.
Soulwield
Soul Magic or similar but different concept. Reserved.
The Pits
An underground fight club in Dauphane. Reserved.

Personal:

Arcane Weapon Synthesis Project
Supernatural source of energy for technology, as well as weapons that use magic or other supernatural forms of energy. Basically Magitek++. Reserved.
Fawkes Process
A new type of processing metals. Reserved.

VonDoom
2012-10-20, 02:59 PM
Guy, since you're planning on writing up the entry on it, please bear in mind that weaponization of magic and other supernatural stuff is something I've been talking about for awhile now, as well. Were you still intending to be a former employee, or are you going another route?

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:07 PM
I'm thinking the revolution is going to put the Diesel back in Dieselpunk. So we'll have a roughly organized army made of scrap metal and running on a prayer, against sophisticated magical weaponry and armaments.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-20, 03:10 PM
Yeah, still intending on the former employee. Or even someone who was there at the beginning with your character, a la Jobs and Wozniak (hence your eviil company shall now be named Apple *dun dun dun!*). I was thinking my character either pioneered the project or did some very big breakthrough in it. But your character wanted to use it for his schemes, mine wanted it all for himself. So he upped and left.

@Xon Hey, my character and his inventions are available at the right price. :smallwink:

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:14 PM
Yeah, still intending on the former employee. Or even someone who was there at the beginning with your character, a la Jobs and Wozniak (hence your eviil company shall now be named Apple *dun dun dun!*). I was thinking my character either pioneered the project or did some very big breakthrough in it. But your character wanted to use it for his schemes, mine wanted it all for himself. So he upped and left.

@Xon Hey, my character and his inventions are available at the right price. :smallwink:

What a coincidence, mine is quite wealthy.

GuyFawkes
2012-10-20, 03:25 PM
What a coincidence, mine is quite wealthy.

Actually I think VonDoom's company does provide arms to one and all, so I think you're all good in that department.

But with mine you get the more radical ones. Only my character rarely makes them if he won't be the one to use them himself. He's crazy like that.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:27 PM
The River of Light

A river runs through the world yet not one that every man can journey to. Deep in the dark heart of the world, beyond the physical realm runs a vast river of light though to the eyes of any who see it one could compare it to an ocean on the physical plane. This river is tapped by every living thing yet like any river, tributaries flow in different strengths. Some men are born dry as the desert, unable to see or touch the ebbs and flow of the River while some are awashed in it’s light, possessing feats that until the advent of technology was far out of reach for the common man. Some speak of swimming the river, tales of an entity deep in hidden caverns of azure stone and starlit skies tunneling ever deeper, connecting and repairing the rivers many branches to the world and beyond. What it could be can only be guessed at yet those who touch the River in more intimate ways all know, there is a mind behind the flow of magical energy in the world.

Primal Magic

Primal Magic is to the River what a tidal wave is to an ocean. Vast churning waves of magical energy plow through the river, some claiming these massive waves cause powerful storms and disasters on the physical world. Primal Magic calls upon the elements of nature, capable of summoning powerful storms of lightning and thunder, tapping rich veins of molten rock or pillars of stone from the earth itself, deluges of water capable of flooding city streets and shattering metal with a motion. The end results of Primal Magic are difficult to conceal howerver and displays of it’s magic can often times be just as hazardous as the end result.


Shadow Magic

Every light casts a shadow and the River is no different. A mirror to the River that flows under the Earth and in the world beyond the physical lies what many term the Deep Flow. Those who touch this River speak of a similar presence as with the River of Light though it takes more active interests in those who draw from it’s home. The energy from this parallel river is dark and muted much like the power from the River is bright and vibrant, granting those who use it’s powers control over the shadows and the light that casts them.

Elementals

Stewards of the River of Light and the Deep Flow, Elementals are physical representations of the magic on the physical plane as well as the shores of the Rivers themselves. Elementals range from vasts beasts of myth and legend to tiny microscopic entities more similar to plankton and bacteria. The later are understandably the most common, found almost everywhere yet not in large enough to effect anything around them. The largest Elementals are understandably less common, found deep in the earth or in the most unspoiled regions of nature. Such beasts are ancient, temperamental and difficult to reason and as such are more often depicted as monsters.

Internal Execution Division

-Reserved for VonDoom’s Company-

The Jade Masks

Stories whispered in dark places speak of an ancient order of assassins who stalk the streets of the developed world, taking jobs even a desperate man would take. No one knows from whence they came, some speaking that the shadows themselves spit forth the Masks to punish the wicked and harry the pure. Their methods are unspeakable, destruction and havoc left in the wake of one of their agents yet no indication of how the agent entered is ever found. Those who claim to have seen the illusive members of the Masks speak of black clad phantoms with demonic masks hopping between the shadows, lightning and flames trailing from strange blades that rend flesh and steel with equal ease. These rumors of course are only the words of men brave enough to speak of them in public for speaking of the monsters may bring their attention upon you and any sane indivdual would rather fight a pack of rabid dogs than attract the attention of the Masks.

In truth, the Jade Masks are merely mortal men and women hailing from the long lost -insert Eastern Country VonDoom is working on here-, scraped from the remnants of a long lost yet proud warrior priest class. Shattered in the various wars of their homelands, the warrior monks retreated into seclusion as more and more of their members were hunted down by jealous and spurned nobles who resented their neutral stance until all but a few remained. What once was an proud order was reduced to clinging to the darkness but the darkness had always been their allies. Donning masks to conceal their identities and to strike fear into the hearts of those who had slain their loved ones and children. No longer the neutral agents they had long strove to be, the order rebranded themselves as the Masks, taking jobs to hone their skills until they stood atop the world of assassins in their home country where no man or woman ever dared to confront them out of terror.

Their home remains in the East to this day, members trained in the hidden villages until they are ready to be unleashed. Members of the Masks are trained in hand to hand combat as well as martial combat in a variety of weapons ranging from throwing knives to kamas, katanas to juttes. However the true strength of the Masks lies in their ancient and arcane origins as warrior monks. Calling upon the powers of darkness that have long been the ally of the Masks and their esteemed organization and the fury of nature itself, each Mask is trained to control the raw essences of magic to aid them in their tasks. Contracting the Masks is simple enough, agents have long since spread across the world to further the goals of the Masks leaders. No job is beneath them, even those that have proven impossible for the common man. However, regardless of their job or location an angent of the Masks is expected to adhere to several binding tenants that have existed as long as the Order has existed.

1. A Mask is to never slay their fellow members, to do so is the first sin

2. A Mask is never to show his face to his employer.

3. Honor is everything, do not yield to the lesser man.

4. A Mask that is slain must be burned, their ashes scattered and their Mask shattered. Failure to do so is the second sin.

5. A Mask is to never reveal former employers or current employers if they are hired on to more than one job.

6. A Mask may not return home until the job is done.

7. It is the task of any Mask to issue punishment should a fellow Mask break any of these tenants. Failure to do so is the third sin. The only punishment for sin is death.


Mushi Shi was a major influence for the River of Light and the Elementals.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 03:36 PM
Someone's been watching Mushishi hasn't he? :smallamused: I love it.

@GuyFawkes: Well that's the thing, the rebellion is a rebellion, they can't purchase their arms from the local dealer. Mostly what isn't stolen they purchase elsewhere and shuffled through the shipping process until they can't be traced, or smuggle just enough steel from the mills to build their own. But a freelancer with access to the best new prototypes in town who doesn't care where the money is coming from so long as he's paid? That's an excellent resource.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 03:49 PM
Mushi Shi was a major influence for the River of Light and the Elementals.


Someone's been watching Mushishi hasn't he? :smallamused: I love it.


I openly admitted it! :smalltongue:

It's easily my favorite anime of all time. I wish I could watch it though, my Tower doesn't have a DVD player and I don't own a TV.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 04:20 PM
I'm all for having magic sources unique to the kind of magic. I'll try to finish up my story elements tonight, but we do need to resolve this rule thing so that we can get a proper recruitment thread going.

On another note, when the hell did I ever say that, Tebryn? I don't even know who Mushi shi is and that link leads to a different post. I'm not upset, just confused.


Besides which, in a game such as this, who is to say that the rebel might not come out victorious? So long as they outmaneuver the oppressors.


With DM and Jade at the helm? Yeah not happening.

With DM and Jade and no one else so far. While we're no dummies, the revolution seems to have the popular support of most of the players. Other revolutionary advantages include:

1. Aggressor's Initiative: the revolution can focus all available resources on the times and places that they're attacking or sabotaging. The Torun forces have to cover everything all the time.

2. Accountability: the revolution only has to avoid angering the population enough to turn on them. Colonel DarkDM has to explain to superiors exactly why half the city is on fire if things get out of hand.

3. Home Support Fatigue: the revolution doesn't have to rout the Torun military, they just have to be aggravating and expensive enough that Torun elects to withdraw.

On the other hand, Torun gets a little help in the form of:

1. Media Control: One country's freedom fighter is another country's terrorist. And frankly, if the revolution is sabotaging public works then it really is their fault that the power is out and people are hungry. Even in a setting where people have freedom of the press, the government is going to be able to get their version of events out to the public faster and more efficiently than an underground resistance.

2. Resources: A bit sketchy, since two players are up against X insurgents, but there's an actual military force running Dauphane, and they can obtain weapons, munitions, supplies, training, and reinforcements openly and legally. Discipline can account for a lot - a good portion of any revolution is going to be people who aren't making it under the current system (due to being criminals or just incredibly impoverished) and recognize that their lives will be easier the more anarchy there is - and as such will be more interested in looting than complex political agendas.

Also, money falls under this heading - as a government entity, the occupying force can spend money that it doesn't actually have, although it isn't recommended (see accountability). The resistance isn't going to have nearly that kind of freedom in their budget.

3. Local Support Fatigue: the flip side of home support fatigue is that after enough violence and devastation, people eventually get tired of fighting. Anyone still fighting the American Civil War today is considered a lunatic - the Union won, that's not going to change, and trying to reverse it anyway is just hurting people that would rather live in peace. That sentiment becoming common thought is the win condition for an occupying force - and the longer the occupation goes on, the more likely that becomes, meaning that time is on Torun's side.

Basically, it's not as one sided as it looks. Given that we have a very grey/grey morality going on in this setting (Auveraine was not the "good guys," if you'll recall, just the losers), there's no reason we can't have a few more join the Torun side of the equation. So I'll reiterate: anyone up for a snazzy uniform and clean living? :smallamused:

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 04:24 PM
On another note, when the hell did I ever say that, Tebryn? I don't even know who Mushi shi is and that link leads to a different post. I'm not upset, just confused.


I am just as confused as you are! :smalleek: I fixed it. No idea what happened there.


As for the followers and other Rule changes...I've weighed in on the ones I feel I have a place to. I have no dog in the Follower fight.

VonDoom
2012-10-20, 05:10 PM
@Jade:
Also support from our company in the form of very good deals on weapons and lent armed guards, since the big bad oppressing country is our major contractor. Even if we have crazy scientists that actually want to kill the lot of 'em. :smallbiggrin:

(... and may or may not be funneling weapons secretly to the rebellion. It's just good business to make sure more weapons need to be bought to quell those insurgents, y'know?)

Also, weren't we going to not be hasty and wait a bit before starting things off? Probably something to discuss, too. And I'll have something to add regarding Followers soon, just need to gather my thoughts.

@Tebryn
Nice stuff! Also a huge fan of Mushishi, by the way. Were you intending for your character to be a regular, always masked member, or an exception?

TechnOkami
2012-10-20, 05:13 PM
I openly admitted it! :smalltongue:

It's easily my favorite anime of all time. I wish I could watch it though, my Tower doesn't have a DVD player and I don't own a TV.

*slams hands on the table*

Damnit man, I wanna make a Mushishi now. :smallfurious::smalltongue:

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 05:14 PM
@Tebryn
Nice stuff! Also a huge fan of Mushishi, by the way. Were you intending for your character to be a regular, always masked member, or an exception?

Probably the former. At the very least, masked most of the time.


*slams hands on the table*

Damnit man, I wanna make a Mushishi now. :smallfurious::smalltongue:

My cunning plan has finally come to fruition.


Really, I don't know how you can't be a fan of Mushi Shi if you've seen it.

TechnOkami
2012-10-20, 05:22 PM
My cunning plan has finally come to fruition.

Actually, now that the cat's (or I should say catgirls: see Kasanip's newest race) out of the box, something else I was thinking of doing is being something of an antithesis to the setting and going full on nature. However... my opportunities to interact with people would be few since I'd be rather anti-technology, which everybody has some of to a degree, so if anything, I'd have to be fighting you to say hi.

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 05:26 PM
Actually, now that the cat's (or I should say catgirls: see Kasanip's newest race) out of the box, something else I was thinking of doing is being something of an antithesis to the setting and going full on nature. However... my opportunities to interact with people would be few since I'd be rather anti-technology, which everybody has some of to a degree, so if anything, I'd have to be fighting you to say hi.

I most certainly won't be in fact. While I'm not casting the Jade Masks as Anti-Tech, who ever I play will forsake such "New Inventions" for the ancient ways.

TechnOkami
2012-10-20, 05:59 PM
What's your character again Tebryn?

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 06:00 PM
What's your character again Tebryn?

Mystical Masked Assassin from far off lands working for VonDoom's company as a body guard and personal hitman as well, apparently, as the head of the I.E.D

TechnOkami
2012-10-20, 06:17 PM
Ah, ok. Hm... how could I introduce something naturey to this diesel doused world?

Tebryn
2012-10-20, 06:25 PM
Ah, ok. Hm... how could I introduce something naturey to this diesel doused world?

There is only one way I know of. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpXM9bj-WPU)

Valgunn
2012-10-20, 06:33 PM
Oh no! Not again! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=6RmOBfnKINc&NR=1)

TechnOkami
2012-10-20, 06:42 PM
Oh no! Not again! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=6RmOBfnKINc&NR=1)

I am like so happy right now to know that someone else knows the works of the Sexual Lobster. :D

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 07:08 PM
I am like so happy right now to know that someone else knows the works of the Sexual Lobster. :D

Aaaand this is why I sometimes regret clicking "jump to latest" when moving to this thread.

The_Snark
2012-10-20, 07:26 PM
On Leadership, continued:

I think there are a couple of different things I'm arguing against here, and I'm going to try to separate them out. The first is why I don't like the Playground IV's version of Leadership. The second concerns why I don't care for the revised proposal.

Issue the first: I really do think that boosting "external" Advantages like followers and magic items is skewing the system. You say that a person with Magic Sword III and Magic Shield III will beat someone with Leadership III every time—but this is only the case because your standard unit of measurement is +3. If you make Rare Advantages commonplace, it means that even a small difference in advantages is significant. If we were dealing with Common Advantages, it wouldn't be a big deal; the contest would be +6 versus +3, hardly insurmountable. Even Uncommon Advantages would not result in a no contest.

Under Playground III's rules, the example given for a Rare Advantage was Dragon-Slaying. That is a genuinely Rare Advantage; you will run into all kinds of situations where it's not useful at all (unless you're in a very dragon-centric setting). A Magic Sword or a set of Bodyguards are applicable most of the time. There are situations where they're not useful, but that's the exception rather than the rule. (Compare Locus and Vehicle Advantages.)

I understand the intent behind the change, but I think this particular fix a) introduces problems with the system by making it easy to accumulate large combat bonuses, and b) devalues Common Advantages by comparison. Someone who takes Soldier III, a consummate professional who's spent three advantages at being good at fighting, is no better off in a fight than a guy who picks up a single rank of Magic Sword. I suppose we could change the current advantages, replace Weapon Expertise with broader Uncommon Advantages like Brawler, Soldier, and Martial Arts (and keep specialized Rare ones like Magic Sword). But that doesn't do anything to address problem A.


Which brings us neatly to the second issue, of whether we should keep the rules simple at the expense of making more work for the players and mods. In brief: Yes, I think we should.

I think the current iteration of the rules strikes a good balance between simplicity and functionality. It's pretty easy to pick up, the holes aren't too hard to patch over or ignore, and there's just enough nuance in it to keep things interesting. I don't object to fiddling with the rules to try and improve them, but I do not believe that introducing specialized sub-systems to handle each grey area is a good plan. There will always be more grey areas that need tweaking. There are systems that try to balance every factor and simulate a logical world at the same time, like GURPS, but… those aren't what I would like this system to be.

Yes, simplicity will sometimes come at the expense of fairness. A system with only three or four grades of classifying Advantages can't accurately represent all possible Advantages. And sometimes there'll be odd situations that the rules don't seem to cover, and we'll have to pretend it makes sense or come up with an ad hoc solution.


Ah, ok. Hm... how could I introduce something naturey to this diesel doused world?

Figuring out what it has to do with the industrialized city that the game is going to center around is probably a good first step. It's not like the entire setting is covered in factories and urban sprawl; there are presumably oceans and forests and mountains and countrysides, and there's even magic that can call down natural catastrophes. (Aside: one of my discarded character concepts was a rebel sorcerer-general known for calling storms and manipulating the weather. May turn up as an NPC at some point.) It would be simple enough to make a primitive tribe or settlement that's more "in touch with nature". It just wouldn't be terribly relevant.

I guess a militant neo-Luddite (bleh) could work, if you're willing to play that. Or somebody from a more primitive society, who's traveled to the big city for some reason?

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 07:44 PM
Well, first I'd like to reiterate the point that Jade made earlier, that the Toruns are not vicious warmongers as some people seem to think. If you'll look back on the Story Element about the war, you'll see it was a mutual dispute between Torun and Auverine in which Auverine had most recently been the aggressor. And before we go romanticizing the resistance, let's keep in mind that's the faction that will be bombing cafes, murdering collaborators, and sabotaging essential infrastructure. We have another word for that - terrorists.

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 07:52 PM
Well, first I'd like to reiterate the point that Jade made earlier, that the Toruns are not vicious warmongers as some people seem to think. If you'll look back on the Story Element about the war, you'll see it was a mutual dispute between Torun and Auverine in which Auverine had most recently been the aggressor. And before we go romanticizing the resistance, let's keep in mind that's the faction that will be bombing cafes, murdering collaborators, and sabotaging essential infrastructure. We have another word for that - terrorists.

Grey wars are the best sort of wars. But honestly DM, I'm not sure what you were thinking when you mentioned bombing cafes. Everyone knows the hearts of the people lie in convenient places to have tea and coffee while munching on biscuits. What right minded revolution would jeopardize that?

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 07:58 PM
Leadership

Alright then. This will require cooperation from the players. The mods won't/can't arbitrate every interaction. If someone invests in Having Dudes and all of them show up, then the players in question need to be sporting about whether or not it's feasible from a narrative perspective for the one guy to take them all out - and under this system, precedent is nigh-useless. Just because Player A and B agree that Schooly McCool can wipe the floor with all of Player A's guys doesn't mean that Player C agreed to lead an army of extras in a Chuck Norris movie. Similarly, the many, many resistance players need to agree that they cannot simply run roughshod and do whatever they please whenever they want (because mechanically, any two of them are capable of obliterating the Torun military, starting a war with Torun, and single-handedly winning it). That's on the players, now, as well.

And if the players really want to drop the extra bonus boost to items and leadership, then that's fine too, I guess. People were super-excited about it when we made that rule, and it wasn't as though it stopped people from taking non-item advantages.

(I *would* like to point out that my leadership revision does not make it "super easy" to get a "huge combat bonus" unless you're willing to invest more ranks in it than any player has ever had in any of the Playground iterations and then bring all of their dudes to the same fight. It is still difficult to raise an effective army, but now it is possible.)

Based on all of that, what if I made a counter-offer? Have item advantages (and Wealth or Authority, I guess) be the only kind of advantage that can be picked up from adventures. A material reward is likely to be the only kind of advantage that can be picked up "suddenly" in a reward-like fashion. Players can purchase anything else at other times - although if we're keeping chapters then we have to find a way to speed up the turnover on those - to represent personal growth, but they won't *ding* (which has always been frowned on - you don't suddenly become 50% stronger without something crazy happening).

Important

This is just a note that if you don't weigh in on the rules, that's a tacit vote of support for the status quo or popular opinion. If you have any complaints about the system, this is the time to get them out. Otherwise, I'd like to start a genuine recruitment thread to put all these character ideas and story elements.

Nefarion Xid
2012-10-20, 08:00 PM
Headline: WHITE KNIGHT UNHORSED
"White Knight" Locke surrenders his pistol after an emergency landing at Faber Airfield.

Locke's fighter appeared to have sustained only minimal damage in a skirmish north of Dauphane, but ruptures to both fuel lines forced the ace to land in Torun territory. Guided down by a four man escort, Locke was greeted on the ground by Major Krauler to accept the gentleman's surrender and take him into custody. Captain Locke appeared composed as he was lead away, reportedly quipping, "Spaetzle and onions tonight, Herr Krauler?" Torun authorities have denied requests for an interview with Locke, saying only that he was being properly accommodated as an officer and a noble.

Pending ransom to his native Aensland, Sir Harvey Locke exits the stage with 57 aerial victories, ranking 6th among aces in the war and 1st among Aenslish pilots. This, combined with the total loss of the 4th Squadron, may signal as ceasefire for Aensland.

Rumors that Locke was downed by a sniper's bullet have so far been unsubstantiated.

Aviation

Rochefort C-17 Destrier
At the onset of the Benefactor's War, the Destrier was arguably the best engineered one-man fighter available. Unfortunately, the high cost (220,000 Torunmarks) and tricky handling prevented mass production of the air superiority fighter; only 300 were built before Rochefort Industries shifted focus to the K-30 Corbeau. The Destrier is famously agile despite its heavy build and has one of the highest ceilings of operation and climb rates of any modern fighter, owing to its twin Bellamy 7-50 engines. A short range fighter, the Destrier saw service in the Benefactor's War as an interceptor. A solid steel frame, twin engines and an armored cockpit allowed the craft to go head-to-head with bombers. Torun pilots quickly learned to never engage a Destrier one-on-one and instead work in pairs, luring it into lower speeds to make the tight turns required stay locked on an Orkan. Such strategies relied on the assumption that the Destrier pilot was not an expert gunner. The Destrier is one of the last fully modern biplane models.

The Destrier was most famously piloted by the Aenslish ace Harvey Locke who often relied on ambush tactics from a high ceiling and the excellent range of the high velocity Machen V machine guns. Locke would target planes at the rear of a formation, engage at 500 yards and retreat to a high altitude. Many inexperienced pilots fell prey to his goading and would stall out in pursuit.

Price: Ŧ195,000 Used
Crew: 1
Length: 37 feet
Wingspan: 41 feet
Empty Weight: 7,325 lb
Max Takeoff Weight: 8,810
Powerplant: 2 x Bellamy 7-50 supercharged V-12, (1950 hp)
Maximum Speed: 458 mph
Combat Radius: 480 miles
Service Ceiling: 44,000 feet
Rate of Climb: 3,300 ft/min
Armament: 6 x 8 mm Krauler Machen V 320 rpg
Hartmann K-112 Orkan


The Orkan served as the Torun mainstay fighter during the war and continues to do so today. A lightweight, long range fighter, the Orkan is ideal for bomber escorts, light bombing and dogfights. It's capable, easy to handle and tremendously agile, making it a forgiving craft for novice pilots. While able to easily outpace the Destrier, the Orkan lacks the tight turning radius and climb speed of the twin engine Auvers fighter. The Orkan cannot take much punishment and the craft is known to have weak fuel tanks; Auvers pilots nicknamed them "Firecrackers".

Price: Ŧ54,000 New, Ŧ36,000 Used
Crew: 1
Length: 34 feet, 3 inches
Wingspan: 39 feet
Empty Weight: 1,720 lb
Max Takeoff Weight: 2,710
Powerplant: 1 x Lencher-Katz Ross 12 radial engine (960 hp)
Maximum Speed: 534 mph
Combat Radius: 710 miles
Service Ceiling: 39,000 feet
Rate of Climb: 3,100 ft/min
Armament: 4 x 8 mm Krauler Machen V 320 rpg
Krauler-Hartmann-Rochefort X-2 Tosen

The newly unveiled Tosen is the pinnacle of aviation technology and, to many, the final word in air superiority. Years ahead of its time and equipped with twin jet engines, the sleek (and radical) flying wing fighter outperforms other aircraft in nearly all areas. The Tosen has been described as nightmarish to control by all but expert pilots; the jets are capable of ripping the aircraft apart if handled without finesse and care. Development began eight years ago as a response to the Destrier, but a prototype never actually saw use during the war. It's been joked that the war would have lasted 5 months instead of 5 years if the Tosen had been available at the start of the conflict.

Price: Ŧ435,000 New
Crew: 1
Length: 25 feet, 4 inches
Wingspan: 58 feet
Empty Weight: 9,890 lb
Max Takeoff Weight: 15,240
Powerplant: 2 x Krauler/Lencher-Katz Blitz-A turbojet (2543 hp)
Maximum Speed: 605 mph
Combat Radius: 645 miles
Service Ceiling: 54,000 feet
Rate of Climb: 4,280 ft/min
Armament: 4 x 32 mm Brandstelle III 670 rpg; 2 x KF7 Feurhammer rocket banks (12 per bank); 2 x 1100 lb bombs

Valgunn
2012-10-20, 08:00 PM
Grey wars are the best sort of wars. But honestly DM, I'm not sure what you were thinking when you mentioned bombing cafes. Everyone knows the hearts of the people lie in convenient places to have tea and coffee while munching on biscuits. What right minded revolution would jeopardize that?

Because Torun military officers are dining there.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 08:03 PM
Grey wars are the best sort of wars. But honestly DM, I'm not sure what you were thinking when you mentioned bombing cafes. Everyone knows the hearts of the people lie in convenient places to have tea and coffee while munching on biscuits. What right minded revolution would jeopardize that?

The French Resistance? The Vietcong?

Xondoure
2012-10-20, 08:07 PM
The joke makes contact with the bat, it's flying high but too far to the left and- foul ball!

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 08:10 PM
The joke makes contact with the bat, it's flying high but too far to the left and- foul ball!

:smalltongue:

Sorry about that Xon, I figured you were joking, I just wanted to make the point.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 08:16 PM
I planned to go a few days without posting, but I'm just coming in here to quickly ask something.

DM, I'm not sure whether the bombing cafes part was a joke, but if it happened to be, could I ask you to tone down or not make such jokes again please? I know they fit your sense of humor, but I find jokes of killing, death, cruelty, and terrorism to disconcert me as a person and as a player. I'm hoping you might understand. :smallredface:

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 08:26 PM
I planned to go a few days without posting, but I'm just coming in here to quickly ask something.

DM, I'm not sure whether the bombing cafes part was a joke, but if it happened to be, could I ask you to tone down or not make such jokes again please? I know they fit your sense of humor, but I find jokes of killing, death, cruelty, and terrorism to disconcert me as a person and as a player. I'm hoping you might understand. :smallredface:

I think you might be in the minority (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BlackComedy). Dark Comedy has been part of these games since PG1 (and part of real life ever since death was a thing), and so long as it stays within the Forum Rules we have no reason to no-no it for the players. Also, it was Xondoure making the joke, not DM - the joke being that cafes would never be bombed because of a universal liking for good tea and pastries.

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 08:29 PM
I planned to go a few days without posting, but I'm just coming in here to quickly ask something.

DM, I'm not sure whether the bombing cafes part was a joke, but if it happened to be, could I ask you to tone down or not make such jokes again please? I know they fit your sense of humor, but I find jokes of killing, death, cruelty, and terrorism to disconcert me as a person and as a player. I'm hoping you might understand. :smallredface:

...why would you think it was a joke? Every covert insurgency in the history of ever has targeted those of their countrymen perceived as supporting the occupation. Hell, not even if they can justify the collateral damage with enough enemy casualties. Add into that the fact that different resistance groups might target each other if they feel each others' politics aren't "the right way."

Resistance movements aren't nice.

Starsign
2012-10-20, 08:38 PM
There was a post here, but I decided to remove it due to it not being something that should be on this thread.

Valgunn
2012-10-20, 08:46 PM
No pressure then. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjVW6roRs-w)

TheDarkDM
2012-10-20, 08:56 PM
Well Dark Comedy mostly just bothers me in the sense in that I don't get why it's funny. That and sometimes it can come off as insulting. (like the time a friend of mine joked about my grandfather unknowing that he passed a week from then) I wanted to simply ask at least.


No they aren't and that's why they shouldn't be joked about, but joking about it is kind of what I expected from you really. You just have this love, almost obsession of evil that distresses me and that's about the extent of what I know about you. Knowing only that gives me false ideas and interpretations about you that I don't want to believe. It's why I want to talk to you more, get to know you better, and think of you as someone more than what your image entitles. :smallfrown:

So, because you have a problem with one of the most common brands of humor in existence, you feel we should all refrain? And you feel satisfied, after all of two games of an RPG forum, to judge that in real life I am some sort of vicious, murderous monster? You know, I'd be surprised, except I'm not. Let me make this as perfectly clear as I can for...what is it now, the fourth time? I play evil characters because they're often more active, have better toys, fashion, and music, and are immensely cathartic. Also, constructing a suitably rounded villain is a process I enjoy and find an interesting challenge. It does not mean that I actually find myself capable of doing what I write about - you see, it's this thing called fiction, and I can differentiate it from reality. I'm also capable of recognizing that moral complexity isn't the same as angst, and that one makes a story better while the other makes it unquestionably worse. I'd thought we'd managed to communicate some of that in the course of P3, but if you're willing to take a statement of historical fact, misconstrue it as a joke, decide to be offended by that joke, and then use that as a jumping off point to attack my moral fiber and then expect me to justify myself to you, we're obviously back to you making obvious, passive aggressive swipes at Turel because he didn't fit your desire for all villains to be imported from Saturday morning cartoons.

Valgunn
2012-10-20, 08:57 PM
So, because you have a problem with one of the most common brands of humor in existence, you feel we should all refrain? And you feel satisfied, after all of two games of an RPG forum, to judge that in real life I am some sort of vicious, murderous monster? You know, I'd be surprised, except I'm not. Let me make this as perfectly clear as I can for...what is it now, the fourth time? I play evil characters because they're often more active, have better toys, fashion, and music, and are immensely cathartic. Also, constructing a suitably rounded villain is a process I enjoy and find an interesting challenge. It does not mean that I actually find myself capable of doing what I write about - you see, it's this thing called fiction, and I can differentiate it from reality. I'm also capable of recognizing that moral complexity isn't the same as angst, and that one makes a story better while the other makes it unquestionably worse. I'd though we'd managed to communicate some of that in the course of P3, but if you're willing to take a statement of historical fact, misconstrue it as a joke, decide to be offended by that joke, and then use that as a jumping off point to attack my moral fiber and then expect me to justify myself to you, we're obviously back to you making obvious, passive aggressive swipes at Turel because he didn't fit your desire for all villains to be imported from Saturday morning cartoons.

To be fair to Starsign, you do live in LA. :smalltongue:

Starsign
2012-10-20, 09:05 PM
So, because you have a problem with one of the most common brands of humor in existence, you feel we should all refrain? And you feel satisfied, after all of two games of an RPG forum, to judge that in real life I am some sort of vicious, murderous monster? You know, I'd be surprised, except I'm not. Let me make this as perfectly clear as I can for...what is it now, the fourth time? I play evil characters because they're often more active, have better toys, fashion, and music, and are immensely cathartic. Also, constructing a suitably rounded villain is a process I enjoy and find an interesting challenge. It does not mean that I actually find myself capable of doing what I write about - you see, it's this thing called fiction, and I can differentiate it from reality. I'm also capable of recognizing that moral complexity isn't the same as angst, and that one makes a story better while the other makes it unquestionably worse. I'd though we'd managed to communicate some of that in the course of P3, but if you're willing to take a statement of historical fact, misconstrue it as a joke, decide to be offended by that joke, and then use that as a jumping off point to attack my moral fiber and then expect me to justify myself to you, we're obviously back to you making obvious, passive aggressive swipes at Turel because he didn't fit your desire for all villains to be imported from Saturday morning cartoons.

We did communicate some of this back in Playground 3... But I have not taken it to heart. No I wasn't right in anything I said or did back in Playground 3; no I shouldn't have mentioned it back here again; no, I have not learned anything from my experience. I asked a question about Dark Comedy that I thought was at least decent, but was in fact utterly ludicrous and I am ashamed of myself to have asked it in the first place.

So I give my thanks for you being rightfully blunt, brutal, and correct in chastising me. And I give my apologies for being immature, not understanding, and overall being someone who is not helping make this game enjoyable for everyone else. I will be off the thread for awhile, probably get a therapist of some sort.

Jade_Tarem
2012-10-20, 09:12 PM
Well Dark Comedy mostly just bothers me in the sense in that I don't get why it's funny. That and sometimes it can come off as insulting. (like the time a friend of mine joked about my grandfather unknowing that he passed a week from then) I wanted to simply ask at least.

There's a difference between decent dark comedy and putting a foot in one's mouth. Let me start with a quote from Bill Watterson (he wrote Calvin and Hobbes for years, also known as one of the few newspaper comic strips that many consider funny).

"If we couldn't laugh at what doesn't make sense, we wouldn't be able to react to a lot of life."

This, plus timing and phrasing, are what make a joke funny - and that includes jokes about death, one of the most arbitrary and unknowable phenomena in all of the universe. But you can't just take death out of context or in a realistic sense and expect laughter, nor can you make the joke about an emotionally charged situation (hence the question, "Too soon?") - it's the unexpected twist that could make it funny.

Let me give you an example (paraphrased) from Penny Arcade, cleaned up slightly for language.

Tycho: "Our teams are balanced, except for Kiko. We're going to go with King Solomon's suggestion from the Bible and cut him in half."
Gabe: "Fine, but we want the head and torso."
Tycho: "Nope, no bartering. We're cutting him directly down the middle."
Kiko: "Do I get a vote?"
Tycho (grinning): "You're about to get two."

There are a couple of jokes there - the first is that King Solomon's "cut the child in half" solution was a bluff, meaning that Tycho is taking it way too seriously. The real joke is that they're treating the whole thing so flippantly. That's the unexpected part. If Gabe had responded "No, because that would be murder and therefore illegal and immoral and tragic," then it becomes a sermon instead of a joke. Instead, Gabe tries to work out the most rational way to carry out an entirely irrational killing.

Ultimately, people as a whole joke about death because the alternative is letting it grind on you. Making jokes about an emotionally charged death isn't funny because people are trying to find separate ways to cope with that. In the abstract, though, it's a great way to cope with the idea that it all ends some day.


No they aren't and that's why they shouldn't be joked about, but joking about it is kind of what I expected from you really. You just have this love, almost obsession of evil that distresses me and that's about the extent of what I know about you. Knowing only that gives me false ideas and interpretations about you that I don't want to believe. It's why I want to talk to you more, get to know you better, and think of you as someone more than what your image entitles. :smallfrown:

DM's character in this game is doing nothing that hundreds of postwar officers haven't done throughout history - moving into a devastated annexed area and rebuilding. A sinister demon plot this ain't. He also didn't make a joke about the cafe bombings. I don't know where you're getting that from. Based on those facts, I'm guessing that this is a leftover complaint from DM's time as Turel.

The expression goes that good heroes need great villains. That's DM's interest in overall villainy over the last three or four playground iterations. If everything is awesome then you have no conflict, no drama, and nothing to read or write about. This is a bunch of adults deciding to engage in online roleplay, not an episode of Care Bears.

And while we're on the subject of image, I'd like to take a moment to address yours. This is at least the seventh motive rant you've dropped on one of the OOC threads. We fully understand that you have extreme difficulty with the concepts of implication, nuance, shades-of-grey morality, and subtlety, or with the idea that complex motivations exist and that not everyone falls perfectly and easily into the category of hero and villain.

These issues, however, are unique to you, and the mods are not going to put a moratorium on everything that would make this unsuitable as the plot of a Disney film. This is officially your Adult Game warning. While we *will* adhere to the forum rules, we're also willing to explore relative morality, deeply flawed characters, and quite possibly a fantastically complex and dark world where it might very well be hard to tell if there even are good guys and bad guys, let alone who they might be. And while input was asked for, you are not our Moral Guardian and this is not an episode of Rainbow Brite. If this is going to be a problem for you, you may wish to seek a more kid-friendly game at this time.

Kasanip
2012-10-20, 09:42 PM
About Leadership:

I am not sure what the discussion is about. Maybe I made a mistake of the thoughts of The_Snark and Jade_Tarem? So I want to make my position known. I am in support of Playground 3 and Playground 4 rules about Followers. Since the position of Jade_Tarem is to change it, I do not agree. I think it is ok with Playground 3 or Playground 4 rules.



What I was trying to bring up in the previous example was that a leadership-based character, without the follower boost, *cannot* overcome a combat oriented character.

A leadership-based character without the follower boost shouldn't overcome a combat oriented character. Just like how a combat oriented character without the combat boost shouldn't overcome a persuasion oriented character.

I want to make the point that while it is being compared of one very powerful champion combat character, it should be said that many players in these games do not make such a character.

To think in Playground 4 rules, it is

Leadership Character:
Leadership IIIIII (Common: Soldiers +12)

Player Character:
Magic Sword III (Item: +9)
Magic Shield III (Item: +9)

Isn't such a fight really this: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php?mode=big&illust_id=26614304

Yes it can be seen it is not equal. Like it is said by The_Snark, to compare Rare advantage to common (follower) advantage. Using Playground 4 rules, how about:

Leadership Character:
Tactics I (Rare +3)
Leadership III (Uncommon: Sorcerers: +3, Uncommon: Snipers +3, Uncommon: Swordsmen +3)
Vehicle II Tank: (Toughness +3, Cannon +3)


Both Saber and Welkin can have 6 advantages. Now it is 18 - 18. Suddenly Saber has much more difficulty.
It can be argued then that maybe advantage is too strong? But all of such a Player Character's power is to be in item that can be lost or neutraled.
Of complaint about leadership characters being unavailable sometimes, it is equal.

Such an above situation shows that maybe sometimes Leadership PC has sorcerers, but maybe not sniper and swordsmen (+12), but if Combat PC doesn't have sword, suddenly (+9). Of such a powerful magic item, it can be said that it cannot always be available. But that is purpose of RP. A character who has such a Magic Shield and Magic Sword must have a very interesting story too!

To make example in game, Playground 4, Mystletinn was very powerful weapon for Non, but not always available. If pirates had caused trouble at Bukiya Inn, actually it would have been a problem for Non!

But I think it would be foolish for Koumei to attack Saber at front. Probably it is better to negotiate or to steal such a magic item or to make a weakness. To fight against [combat oriented character] of course it is to be unfavorable strategy.



So no, I'm not trying to arbitrarily overpower leadership characters, despite the fact that as it stands any dedicated warrior character is a larger mechanical threat than every military in the world combined. Which brings us to the Catch-22 paradox: are you willing to devalue the personal-combat based advantages by making players pretend that they can be killed in the current rule set despite the fact that they actually can't? I'm willing to go along with that (that's how we've operated before), but as a mod I'm trying to anticipate future problems.

I think that because purpose is to have good story and RP, of course players should work together to make a good story. I don't think rule must be changed for this. It is important to think about [victory condition] or [outcome] of such a judgement between characters. But I don't think there has been a problem in Playground games about this.




On Leadership, continued:

I think there are a couple of different things I'm arguing against here, and I'm going to try to separate them out. The first is why I don't like the Playground IV's version of Leadership. The second concerns why I don't care for the revised proposal.

Issue the first: I really do think that boosting "external" Advantages like followers and magic items is skewing the system. You say that a person with Magic Sword III and Magic Shield III will beat someone with Leadership III every time—but this is only the case because your standard unit of measurement is +3. If you make Rare Advantages commonplace, it means that even a small difference in advantages is significant. If we were dealing with Common Advantages, it wouldn't be a big deal; the contest would be +6 versus +3, hardly insurmountable. Even Uncommon Advantages would not result in a no contest.

Under Playground III's rules, the example given for a Rare Advantage was Dragon-Slaying. That is a genuinely Rare Advantage; you will run into all kinds of situations where it's not useful at all (unless you're in a [i]very dragon-centric setting). A Magic Sword or a set of Bodyguards are applicable most of the time. There are situations where they're not useful, but that's the exception rather than the rule. (Compare Locus and Vehicle Advantages.)

I understand the intent behind the change, but I think this particular fix a) introduces problems with the system by making it easy to accumulate large combat bonuses, and b) devalues Common Advantages by comparison. Someone who takes Soldier III, a consummate professional who's spent three advantages at being good at fighting, is no better off in a fight than a guy who picks up a single rank of Magic Sword. I suppose we could change the current advantages, replace Weapon Expertise with broader Uncommon Advantages like Brawler, Soldier, and Martial Arts (and keep specialized Rare ones like Magic Sword). But that doesn't do anything to address problem A.


Which brings us neatly to the second issue, of whether we should keep the rules simple at the expense of making more work for the players and mods. In brief: Yes, I think we should.

I think the current iteration of the rules strikes a good balance between simplicity and functionality. It's pretty easy to pick up, the holes aren't too hard to patch over or ignore, and there's just enough nuance in it to keep things interesting. I don't object to fiddling with the rules to try and improve them, but I do not believe that introducing specialized sub-systems to handle each grey area is a good plan. There will always be more grey areas that need tweaking. There are systems that try to balance every factor and simulate a logical world at the same time, like GURPS, but… those aren't what I would like this system to be.

Yes, simplicity will sometimes come at the expense of fairness. A system with only three or four grades of classifying Advantages can't accurately represent all possible Advantages. And sometimes there'll be odd situations that the rules don't seem to cover, and we'll have to pretend it makes sense or come up with an ad hoc solution.



Figuring out what it has to do with the industrialized city that the game is going to center around is probably a good first step. It's not like the entire setting is covered in factories and urban sprawl; there are presumably oceans and forests and mountains and countrysides, and there's even magic that can call down natural catastrophes. (Aside: one of my discarded character concepts was a rebel sorcerer-general known for calling storms and manipulating the weather. May turn up as an NPC at some point.) It would be simple enough to make a primitive tribe or settlement that's more "in touch with nature". It just wouldn't be terribly relevant.

I guess a militant neo-Luddite (bleh) could work, if you're willing to play that. Or somebody from a more primitive society, who's traveled to the big city for some reason?

Maybe what I tried to say is to agree with The_Snark. :smallredface:


However, to make one proposal. I think [no contest rule] is not good. I think it should be removed, because all decision should be either agreed of players, or to agree to roll judgement. [No contest rule] is unnecessary and does not help cooperation atmosphere.

About Resistance:
It can be said that additionally there are foreigners who maybe will support the Resistance. :smallsmile: Lynks Federation was designed to help make such a more interesting international situation.