Urgent: State of the Union

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Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Ao on Fri Apr 24, 2015 12:42 am

Hey there ROL

Firstly, I'd like to say I'm sorry if things have seemed a bit...flaky lately. I've been doing my best to post daily, but I'm working crazy hours and sometimes I don't get to it til the next morning.

Most days, I'm posting from my iPhone at 9pm as I sit in the parking lot outside my condo, after work. So it's a little nutty!

And, I'm absolutely committed to this game.

As I know you guys are too.

And so this post is here to air any concerns or frustrations, so we can wipe em out and move on with some momentum.

So - I want to acknowledge those of you putting in the time to get a post up every day. Play by posts are fickle bitches, and without dedicated players they simply do not happen.

Thank you for keeping the momentum. It does not go unnoticed. Custer, Kellar - you guys get honourable mentions for being fucking rocks since the dawn of time. Day in, day out. Love you guys.

Dwan, your posts have been AWESOME and you're posting despite being very busy at work. Thank you man, so glad to have you.

Artimus and Osvald are studs and Ao's OGs. Artimus just bought a new business, and just moved into a new home with his wonderful girlfriend, so he's busy as tits on a mandrake. And still committed.

Osvald booked himself up like a toothless hooker down at the tattoo shop. (Have you seen his stuff? He's legendary) and so he's busy as all get-out. And still committed.

So that brings us to the slightly shittier news. Shorjahl has related to me that he intends on taking a break. It was a really wonderful message he dropped on me, and he might be returning when things calm down for him. He'll always be welcome at our proverbial table.

For now, it'll be the five of us.

So I want to talk next steps. A big thing for me here, has been momentum.

I'm a big proponent of multiple story threads being thrown at the players, and letting the players figure out which ones to chase.

Off the top of my head, ones we have unresolved right now:

1) The demon who possessed barjerohn running amok in BG
2) The black book from Keisan, and the Cyricists. what were they doing in that mountain?
3) The dragon, and the ogre wizard Sothis that razed Esmeltaran. Why?
4) The urn of the flame lord
5) the mysterious Crimson fungus

So yeah, that's a lot of stuff. And many of those are separate stories.

This is a PbP, which means when you guys pick a thread, you're probably going to be on it for quite some time. Months, even. Things can move slowly. It can feel disjointed, if you let it.

It can also be a refreshing way to explore new themes every couple of months, and revisit older threads to close out story lines and/or unite ones that coincide.

Are you guys digging that? Because if it's not making sense to you, I'm more than happy to ditch the multiple thread thing, and go with ONE storyline to usher you through.

Let me know on that one.

Also, it seems like many of you are not enjoying the "urban lead FOLLOWUP / investigation" thing. Is this the case? Would you like me to "can that shit", so to speak?

Please guys, I want us to fucking murder the shit out of this game. In a fun, awesome way.

Let me know what you like. How you feel about those two topics. And what you want to see different/more of

Love you fuckin pack of weirdos

Ao
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Dwan Bolduum on Fri Apr 24, 2015 1:43 am

Thanks for that Ao, sad to see Shorjahl go, I hope he is able to make it back some time later.

I will be a a bit more consistent at posting within the next week or two. Next week is finals week and then I'm free for almost 4 months, so I look forward to that.

As far as your questions go,
1: If Shorjahl has expressed intent on coming back to the group I say we avoid the black book and Barjerohn thread as those seem to revolve around Shorjahl more. That being said if everyone else is gung ho for these threads I'm more than happy to pursue them.

2: I think the lack of responses for your investigation thread was partially due to bad timing. It seemed to occur when Osvald and Artimus were getting busy, and I myself was focusing on my school work during that time. That plus thinking of how how hermit druid Charisma - 1 Dwan would react in a city investigation environment made it a bit more difficult for me to get my posts in. Investigation is not exactly Dwan's strong suit.
I don't think you need to nix investigation all together, it might be worth giving another shot moving forward in this story.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:21 am

I really liked Shorjahl's writing, it will be a pity to miss it.

I don't mind waiting on chasing down the demon, but I think the black book is important to Kesian and Sothis, which Custer is anxious to follow up on after making sure his sister is safe.

I love intrigue. I think good use of a well developed character involves a multitude of rolls that do not involve fighting.

Lets get to this Castle and try to save rich old merchant's son. Custer has a plan.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Ao on Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:10 am

Nice guys, awesome! Kell/art/ozzy you're up
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Kellar on Fri Apr 24, 2015 2:26 pm

The long and short of the campaign has been reliant on how frequently or infrequently we've been posting. This campaign is akin to my consistent use of vitamins in the morning. I check this site almost like clockwork on a daily basis and enjoy what everyone writes. I know that life gets in the way and it is the PBP format. Although we've never met in person, we've all had a commonality that is D&D. It's what's been keeping the group together, and sometimes we've lost players to a great deal of reasons that are out of ours and their control. We wish them the best of luck and soldier on.

Our quests/objectives has changed frequently and often suddenly throughout this campaign such as real life does to it's players. We've had a great many threads to follow-up on and some that have faded because the group found something more interesting to pursue. From my experience, and I'll agree with Dwan on this, the "investigation" portion of the campaign fell flat because we didn't post as frequently as we had been as a group. I think I would be comfortable with AO having narrative control at the point where we tie things off or provide a poll for us to chime in on to see where we head to next. I feel that if we were to "investigations" it could drag out for a week or more depending on what kinds of leads we're following. That could, in my estimation, that it could appear to stale or flat from a character standpoint.

When I played my character true to how I perceived him, he didn't have much choice in what he could do in terms of following leads and determining a path that the group would all agree on. As a player, I've generally not been someone who would tell other players that we're going to do something and that trickled into how Kellar interacts with his companions. One example is that in the beginning, when the group had first come together, Kellar agreed to help others before he requested their help in his task (backstory related). In doing so, the game has rewarded me as a player greatly and did not allow me or Kellar to fall into typical archetype fluff that is so common in high advernture/fantasy D&D.

As for our group's current actions, it fits what we're doing since it essentially ties a lot of different threads together that point to a larger imminent threat. The Harper's being a narrative device has proven to be a decent resource of motivation for the group as a whole. Now that Shorjahl left, we'll be left with wondering what happened to his master and other things related to him. I can say that I'm curious about whether or not Custer's sister is alright, whether Kellar will resolve the mystery of his blue skin and a smattering of other things that are in the background like a dull tremor.

I should probably wrap this up, I do feel a bit rambly about the whole thing...

In closing, I'm still enjoying the game and I'm invested in the character and the actions of our group as a whole. I know that not everything we want to pursue will be viable or even enjoyable for everyone in the group. I felt that a poll of our next major plot device might work better than investigation. That would provide leads for the group, without feeling like we're being railroaded into something we all aren't happy with or not as invested in. I think that's it.

Okay.

One more thing....

Just kidding, see you guys on the threads.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:09 pm

If we do a poll I feel we should have some way to tie the activity into the game. Such as a tradition of using a hat and slivers of paper, drawing straws, anything like that. Something to help develop the dynamic of the group acting as a unit. It could build on the way the characters perceive their association to something greater in what we do. It would also mitigate characters butting heads when trying to assert themselves as a leader.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Kellar on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:12 pm

Could do a roll table. Have objectives in a particular range and everyone including the DM roll to see what's next. Play it out like a tavern dice game? AO's roll would be the tie breaker. What do you think?
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Ao on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:22 pm

I love the idea of establishing some sort of in-character group activity to determine direction. Really cool
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Custer Thickett on Fri Apr 24, 2015 3:59 pm

Custer carries a set of bone dice. Wink
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Artimus DeLonde on Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:18 pm

Hey guys,

first off I want tp apologize for the spotiness of my posts, things have calmed down a little and I will do my damnest to post something each rotation. It's truely a delgiht and privilage to be adventuring with you all.

1. of the currently tabled objectives, I'm get the sense that they are seperate. it may just be my devious mind that I imagine them all to bte linked in some amazing nefarious way. because MYSTERY and INTRGUE what fun.

I'm not super stoked about the fungus. put some ointment on that one and fuck off Smile

that being said I think they all have some merit, maybe cross off the shorjahl strings as they won't AS satifying. I'm pretty open to chasing any of them down. it's not the destination but the journey, and all that.

A Poll played on in game is a neat little device and could be fun.


all the best guys
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:54 pm

Hey team,

Like Artimus, first off I want to apologize for my ridiculous posting schedule.

I've talked with Ao about it a bunch, and I know it's a little jarring to have someone weaving in and out of play. I do really love the game though, I think the work that Ao has put in, as well as the simply FANTASTIC writing you guys all contribute have made this group an absolute joy to be a part of, I only hope as we move forward I can get back to my regular contributions--and we see this thing through for many more quests to come!

I don't have any complaints about the posting schedule, the format, or the execution of the game overall....

I understand Ao's desire to present us with multiple threads to choose from, and the progression of tasks we've followed has suited the in-game char. development along with the overall plot, which felt very natural and fleshed out the world nicely.

I would agree we post-pone Shorjahls threads indefinitely, the satisfaction is obviously diminished without him. There's enough else going on that we can move ahead without any real trouble, right?

Osvald does have some problem being "useful" in a meta sense during out 'In-town' stretches, but it's been so awesome to watch Cuss build Esmelteran for us, and the shifting dynamic with the addition of Artimus and Dwan that I really don't mind taking a backseat in those times.

I'm 100% with the poll system, or at least a forum in which we could say: "I need 1 week in town to do x" / "I vote to pursue x" / "I have nothing else to do here" So we can clearly establish exactly what the time line is and who has things that they still want to achieve before we move forward.
A dedicated portion of the site would be nice, I agree hashing that stuff out is better to do In Character--but perhaps outside of the "main plot" thread so it docent get bogged down with 50 posts of discussion?

I think that's it, otherwise, sorry again for being such a flake--let's go slay some stuff.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Ao on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:03 pm

Great points ozzy

I think we could make those threads in the marketplace?
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:11 pm

Yeah, I don't think it would be needed for wilderness adventures or dungeon crawling, just those "Nexus" in town/village moments where we're turning in quests and doing more advanced stuff.

It could be as simply as a thread entitled:

Baulders Gate Dock, or Outside the Village whatever flavour for each in-town setting as we approach it in-game.

Everyone just posts what they looking to get out of the encounter: New Items, Go see the Wizard, Go straight to investigate the missing Gold, Go see an NPC, Escort the Magic scroll to the king, WHATEVER, and we all agree on what to do first, whose accompanying who, etc.

Take a poll through an in-game mechanism on anything we don't have a 100% agreement on (draw straws, Cuss' Dice, Kellars game, however you'd all like.)

and then go for it.

Accomplish all tasks we set out, move forward with any threads we uncover, or simply screen wipe to the next event.

thoughts?
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Osvald Hale on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:16 pm

though now that I'm thinking of it, that has potential to reaaaally slow things down so it'd best be done only sparingly....
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Kellar on Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:41 pm

I think being done after an arch has completed would be the way to go. The minor stuff like seeing someone for gear, potions, and the like can be handled in Marketplace as usual with the Meanwhile... tag to fill in the time of arriving at the city and having to wait an amount of time in-game before we move forward. When it comes to the "end of the week," I think the poll mechanism could be put into place because we resolved one arch and that lead to: Option, A, B, C, D, E and we do the poll (like over a weekend) to make a group choice and venture forward. I mentioned using a roll, like bracketing a d20 to have some randomness to it in order to skip Group Think and make it random.

So: 1-4=A, 5-9=B, 10-14=C, 15-20=D or something like that. The nice thing is, is that we're not strong arming or rail roading the group with our individual actions. I think doing it on a Friday would provide enough time for rolls/votes and prep time for AO heading into the next phase of the campaign.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:01 pm

I'd rather have a vote in a hat type mechanic. Athenian colored rocks in a barrel. The vote for lord commander of the night's watch. Show of hands. Yadda Yadda.
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Kellar on Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:05 pm

Yeah man that's cool, whatever floats the boat! Just spitballing ideas to keep the discussion going about it. How would we do a vote in a hat? Just a PM to AO with what we want to do? What would break the tie in that instance, AO?
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Re: Urgent: State of the Union

Post  Custer Thickett on Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:57 pm

We could roll the bone dice to break the tie.
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