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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:08 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
For me this thread shows in some detail that the game world affects the viability of particular plot arcs ...


This is exactly what I have argued in one of the predecessor threads to this one. You can tell any story in any setting, but you can tell certain kinds of stories much better in certain kinds of setting. When a writer sets out to create a piece of fiction, he doesn’t just set it anywhere, he chooses and creates his setting, down to the specifics, in such a way that it will support the story; why should role players do any differently?

Big J Money wrote:
I prefer the arid south, but I'd also prefer a European medieval architecture and fuedal system. I'm not sold on that last bit though, so let's see what the concensus of imagination is. I'd go so far as to imagine something like an old stone keep, surrounded by the remnants of a ghost village, …


That’s a cool bit of imagery. I can see the hot wind blowing dust and sand into the deserted village; a bit of Wild West imagery. So let’s go with the arid south, but with a civilisation with a Western feel to it.

Big J Money wrote:
… and next to a scorching desert basin that was once a lake. This land is old, and it's still in the middle ages precisely because of the harsh times that only get worse with each generation.


I think that our thematic idea of the people becoming either hysterically religious or starting to turn against their God would be served better if the conditions haven’t been that bad for centuries. This way, with people not yet completely resigned to their land being almost inhospitable and torn by war, it is in my opinion more believable that the people’s spiritual reaction is taking place only now, as opposed to centuries ago. In our setting, old men remember that their grandfathers told them that in their youth the land was lush, and at peace. These days are not so long past as to seem unattainably distant.

Let’s say that not much more than a century ago, the land was still what it had been for as long as people’s memory did stretch back: A savannah, warm and also somewhat dry, but neither hot nor arid. There were some actual scattered patches of rocky desert in it, but those were few, and the real desert lay to the distant south. For the most part, the land was good enough for herding cattle and cultivating crops, or at least for herding sheep.
But then it started to get warmer, and the seasonal rains got less and less plentiful. The less hardy vegetation started to disappear, and the desert patches started to grow. Dried out and unprotected by vegetation, the once reasonably fertile topsoil began to be blown away by the hot winds. Large tracts of land are now parched, cracked earth baked hard by sun, turning to temporarily to mudfields with the now scarce seasonal rains. Crops can only be grown in the oases. Outside of them, one is lucky indeed if the land is still good enough to graze sheep; for the most part, it can only support mangy goats, or, more commonly, no lifestock at all. Cattle herding is by now pratically unheard of, practiced only as an incredible luxury for the elites of the ruling class. Gone are also the herds of wildebeest which once roamed the land, and the herds of antelopes are in the act of disappearing. Hunting is poor these days, and most people were forced to acquire a taste for the flesh of lizards and even locusts.

Now that this is established, we have to give thoughts to the level of cultural and technical achievements. Here, I feel that it would be right for our theme to make our people as evolved and sophisticated as possible. That way, it is even more apalling with what mindless savagery they do fight each other. No excuse of being primitive barbarians who don’t know any better for them!
I do therefore propose to make the early gunpowder weapons form TFoB fully available and not even rare in this setting. I vote for a technology comparable to the early 17th century. It is all cuirasses, fencing and cut-and-thrust weapons, pikemen and musketeers. They have attained a sophisticated architecture, naturalistic capabilities in the arts, and advanced technological achievements like quicksilver mirrors, mechanical clocks, telescopes and eyeglasses are widely known. But for all of this, they behave like savages.
Ian and Big J, what do you say to this?

Then there is the matter of languages and names. To support both our Western culture and the southern flavour, I propose using names that sound somehow Italian or Spanish. Emilio, Ramon, Silvio, Gomez, Dante, Rodrigo, Mercutio, Sandro, Agostino, Alonzo, Carlo, Amintore, and the like seem to fit into this land. Is this ok with you, Ian and Big J? Or do you have any other ideas?

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 5:48 am 
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While I am waiting for Big J’s and Ian’s input, I shall take the time to reflect a bit upon what I have so far learned from this thread, as I have noticed a few marked differences between doing a communal creation face to face and doing it online.

Basically, I have learned that it is suitable for online play, even between people who are like Ian, Big J and myself basically strangers to each other. The biggest difference to doing it face to face is the time factor; doing it online takes of course many times longer. And this is both good and bad.

The good about it is that participants have some time to reflect on each other’s propositions and to think about what they would really want to see. This additional time, which is absent when my group is doing this communally in my living room, is good and conductive to the creative process.

But the added time has also two severe drawbacks. The minor one, which I notice in myself, is that this time allows me to think about the setting in more detail, and that I do already get a quite clear mental picture of it before we have decided on such specifics. The more I think about the setting, the clearer my picture of it becomes, but this clarity is a premature one which will likely clash with my fellows’ vision, which might lead to frustration.

The second drawback is major: a sapping of enthusiasm. Like Ian has remarked, communal setting creation does usually generate a very high level of enthusiasm in all participants, who just can’t wait to play. Dragging the creation process out over days and weeks saps this excitement – it gets bogged down.

So if I would do an online setting creation again – and I am tempted to do so even with my regular group, because of the creative advantages of having more time to reflect – I would try to get all participants to pledge themselves to a certain number of minimum posts each day, maybe two or three, to avoid any drop off in enthusiasm.

Edit: Please don’t take this as an admonition, it is just a statement of what I, who was already familiar with the whole process, have learned from trying it online.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Grettir wrote:

I think that our thematic idea of the people becoming either hysterically religious or starting to turn against their God would be served better if the conditions haven’t been that bad for centuries. This way, with people not yet completely resigned to their land being almost inhospitable and torn by war, it is in my opinion more believable that the people’s spiritual reaction is taking place only now, as opposed to centuries ago. In our setting, old men remember that their grandfathers told them that in their youth the land was lush, and at peace. These days are not so long past as to seem unattainably distant.


The only part that doesn't fit for me here is the idea of long-standing oppression through religious tradition. This idea of a generations old spiritual stagnation that (I thought) we put forward very early on sounds contrary to this. The part that seems somewhat confusing to me is that I don't recall it being implied that the people are "becoming hysterically religious" or "starting to turn against their God". I will go back and reread over what we had decided, because I might have misunderstood. I'm certainly not adverse to what you've stated; I just may have to readjust to reconcile it with the weighty omnipresence of the rigid religious culture. Please offer your perspective.

Grettir wrote:
Let’s say that not much more than a century ago, the land was still what it had been for as long as people’s memory did stretch back: A savannah, warm and also somewhat dry, but neither hot nor arid. There were some actual scattered patches of rocky desert in it, but those were few, and the real desert lay to the distant south. For the most part, the land was good enough for herding cattle and cultivating crops, or at least for herding sheep.
But then it started to get warmer, and the seasonal rains got less and less plentiful. The less hardy vegetation started to disappear, and the desert patches started to grow. Dried out and unprotected by vegetation, the once reasonably fertile topsoil began to be blown away by the hot winds. Large tracts of land are now parched, cracked earth baked hard by sun, turning to temporarily to mudfields with the now scarce seasonal rains. Crops can only be grown in the oases. Outside of them, one is lucky indeed if the land is still good enough to graze sheep; for the most part, it can only support mangy goats, or, more commonly, no lifestock at all. Cattle herding is by now pratically unheard of, practiced only as an incredible luxury for the elites of the ruling class. Gone are also the herds of wildebeest which once roamed the land, and the herds of antelopes are in the act of disappearing. Hunting is poor these days, and most people were forced to acquire a taste for the flesh of lizards and even locusts.


Sounds like a great proposal.

Grettir wrote:
Now that this is established, we have to give thoughts to the level of cultural and technical achievements. Here, I feel that it would be right for our theme to make our people as evolved and sophisticated as possible. That way, it is even more apalling with what mindless savagery they do fight each other. No excuse of being primitive barbarians who don’t know any better for them!
I do therefore propose to make the early gunpowder weapons form TFoB fully available and not even rare in this setting. I vote for a technology comparable to the early 17th century. It is all cuirasses, fencing and cut-and-thrust weapons, pikemen and musketeers. They have attained a sophisticated architecture, naturalistic capabilities in the arts, and advanced technological achievements like quicksilver mirrors, mechanical clocks, telescopes and eyeglasses are widely known. But for all of this, they behave like savages.
Ian and Big J, what do you say to this?


A couple questions. Are you talking flintlock muskets without rests, matchlock muskets without rests, or pike and matchlock arquebus formations (with early long-barreled matchlock muskets on rests also making an appearance)? I think we'd want to keep steel and swords in the game, so I'm assuming at least matchlock here so that bayonets and mobile armorless troops don't replace the need for armored pikemen to resist cavalry. I read the flintlock didn't become standard issue until around 1700 anyway. I would also think that mastery of craft is important to these people, so might masters in older schools of traditional sword fighting be available? I suppose if the land was recently bountiful, then it would make sense that technological advancements had become possible for that very reason.

If, however, we go with the land having been barren for quite some time, it's harder to imagine the society to find the time to make the developments in agriculture needed to boost resouorces and allow other technological advancement, so here is a counter proposal:

Ages in the past, the land had been fruitful and villagers and slaves worked the land during a time when their masters were kinder; for they set their eyes on the conquest of foreign lands. However, great waves of heat, bringing famine and drought eroded the foundation of prosperity year after year, until rulers stopped dreaming of new lands and turned inwardly to exploit the people inside their borders. Whatever intrument religion was before, it had mostly become used as a rod to beat the populace into submission when it became useful to those most skilled at wielding it. These days, after many generations of harsh conditions, a commonly preached ideal is that God punishes those who thirst for growth and expansion, but he favors those who are obedient, meek and maintain the order of status-quo and society. They will always be provided with just enough to barely get by; which is better than the executioner's block, or being cast away to starve. Corrupt rulers seek to take whatever they can (by creating outcasts of others to legitimize robbery [versus conquest]) and maintain hold of their positions of authority (by rigidly upholding the codes and trappings of the old cultured society everyone seems to fondly remember and accept [versus anarchy/despotism]).

So, I see two proposals on the table that hinge on whether we feel the land has been dead for a long time, or only in the last generation or two. I am fine with either one, myself. I don't view my own proposal as necessary.

Grettir wrote:
Then there is the matter of languages and names. To support both our Western culture and the southern flavour, I propose using names that sound somehow Italian or Spanish. Emilio, Ramon, Silvio, Gomez, Dante, Rodrigo, Mercutio, Sandro, Agostino, Alonzo, Carlo, Amintore, and the like seem to fit into this land. Is this ok with you, Ian and Big J? Or do you have any other ideas?


Sounds cool. This could flavor character ideals of values and organizational structures as the game is played.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 4:35 pm 
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Big J Money wrote:
The only part that doesn't fit for me here is the idea of long-standing oppression through religious tradition. This idea of a generations old spiritual stagnation that (I thought) we put forward very early on sounds contrary to this. The part that seems somewhat confusing to me is that I don't recall it being implied that the people are "becoming hysterically religious" or "starting to turn against their God".


This was merely implied by me:

Grettir wrote:
The common people suffer greatly from the constant warfare. Most turn even more fervently to religion for solace, but a few turn against it in anger.


The way I see it, religion has always been a strong force in our setting; the strongest single one, actually. While it is basically well-meaning and views itself as beneficial, it still is a religion of guilt – “you are a sinner undeserving of God’s grace, you have to be eternally thankful and do penance for your shortcomings, following religious law is rewarded with paradise in the afterlife even though you are not really deserving of it, failing to follow God’s law leads to damnation, blah blah blah”. This has been the state for many centuries, and the people have swallowed it, and this tradition is deeply ingrained in them. The violent strife you have proposed, and climatic deteroriation in the climate Ian has proposed, serve to unbalance this age-old situation – people begin to feel that God has forsaken them, and the priests tell them it is because of their own sinfulness. As a reaction, many people go from deeply religious to hysterically religious, while a few turn against God wholesale.

That’s how I view it, at least.

Big J Money wrote:
Are you talking flintlock muskets without rests, matchlock muskets without rests, or pike and matchlock arquebus formations (with early long-barreled matchlock muskets on rests also making an appearance)? I think we'd want to keep steel and swords in the game, so I'm assuming at least matchlock here so that bayonets and mobile armorless troops don't replace the need for armored pikemen to resist cavalry.


I have been thinking of pike and early flintlocks (around on Earth since about 1600), with the specifics (rests or not) to be determined only by use of Director Stance during the game. A bit like the European Thirty Years War, so definitely no bayonets or mobile armourless troops. Cavalry, though, would probably be largely nonexistent anyway – horses need not only good pastures to be raised and kept, but also incredible amounts of water, which would cripple the operational capabilities of many armies.

Big J Money wrote:
Ages in the past, the land had been fruitful and villagers and slaves worked the land during a time when their masters were kinder; for they set their eyes on the conquest of foreign lands. (...)


A possible problem I see here are the foreign countries; it might be better if there are none at all, if our people are rather isolated, if they have no other place where they can go. If God destroys their land, they will simply die. This might be used to even heighten their despair. This isolation could be achieved by bordering their land on one side by a trackless desert, and on the other by a vast ocean. The sudden surge in internal warfare can easily be explained as following an erosion of the traditional social order, similiar to the Italian Renaissance, where the urbane development led to burghers and the minor nobility taking over from the old major nobility, with the resulting self-made men and condottieri and the proverbial Machiavellian mindset, which seems just perfect for this setting. But let’s see what Ian has got to say on all of this.

Edit: Thinking about it once more, I found the right words to express why I think a rather recent turn for the worse is much better for our setting:
We want it to fuel doubt about God, or at least his mercy; this question has to be on everybody’s mind. But if the changes would have taken place centuries ago, the problem would in all probability already have been resolved one way or another; it would have been pressing back then, whereas we want it to be pressing right now.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:01 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
I do therefore propose to make the early gunpowder weapons form TFoB fully available and not even rare in this setting. I vote for a technology comparable to the early 17th century. It is all cuirasses, fencing and cut-and-thrust weapons, pikemen and musketeers. They have attained a sophisticated architecture, naturalistic capabilities in the arts, and advanced technological achievements like quicksilver mirrors, mechanical clocks, telescopes and eyeglasses are widely known. But for all of this, they behave like savages.


Perhaps throw into this, at a high level, an underlying conspiracy -- the wars are needed to reduce population to a level that is sustainable with current resourcing (the ever-reducing water problem). Those in charge aren't prepared to see their standard of living reduced, technological innovation is seeing surprisingly successful advances in water recycling and water usage, yet the current population levels are simply not sustainable and what is sustainable is reducing with each passing year. So the Riddle here might over time lead the characters to discover just how orchestrated the religious fervour and the constant warring is -- yet, in the end, they themselves struggle to come up with a better solution to the intractable problem.

Early 17th century sounds good to me -- gunpowder weapons produce carnage on a scale that is difficult to meet with hand-to-hand weapons.

The setting feels Spanish to me with the mix of Moorish and European architecture -- exotic yet familiar.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:15 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
A possible problem I see here are the foreign countries; it might be better if there are none at all, if our people are rather isolated, if they have no other place where they can go. If God destroys their land, they will simply die. This might be used to even heighten their despair. This isolation could be achieved by bordering their land on one side by a trackless desert, and on the other by a vast ocean. The sudden surge in internal warfare can easily be explained as following an erosion of the traditional social order, similiar to the Italian Renaissance, where the urbane development led to burghers and the minor nobility taking over from the old major nobility, with the resulting self-made men and condottieri and the proverbial Machiavellian mindset, which seems just perfect for this setting. But let’s see what Ian has got to say on all of this.


My suggestion here is that the oral history that describes the pre-Change world includes the idea that great trading caravans once headed off from our city on a months-long journey and eventually returned with fabulous goods. When the Change came the journey went from arduous to hazardous to impossible in a handful of years. The location of the destinations is unknown. However there is a subversive faction that hold to the idea that as our city has become crippled by a lack of water there has been a commensurate increase in water resources at the unnamed other place. This belief simply fuels a hatred of the others and a despair that perhaps their god finds the inhabitants of our city unworthy -- but the others worthy. In other words, god has already made his judgement and there is now nothing that can be done. Despair, despair, despair...

Grettir wrote:
Edit: Thinking about it once more, I found the right words to express why I think a rather recent turn for the worse is much better for our setting:
We want it to fuel doubt about God, or at least his mercy; this question has to be on everybody’s mind. But if the changes would have taken place centuries ago, the problem would in all probability already have been resolved one way or another; it would have been pressing back then, whereas we want it to be pressing right now.


I agree -- it has to be recent so that people are still coming to terms with what has happened. Families are still deciding what to do, as Grandma recounts the things she remembers being told by her Grandpa, Father tries to keep the family fed and sheltered in a world of crippling shortage, and the children come to think of Grandma's stories as make-believe -- no different than the other stories she tells them.

Regards,

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:54 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
I agree -- it has to be recent so that people are still coming to terms with what has happened. Families are still deciding what to do, as Grandma recounts the things she remembers being told by her Grandpa, Father tries to keep the family fed and sheltered in a world of crippling shortage, and the children come to think of Grandma's stories as make-believe -- no different than the other stories she tells them.


Let’s go this way, then.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
Perhaps throw into this, at a high level, an underlying conspiracy -- the wars are needed to reduce population to a level that is sustainable with current resourcing (the ever-reducing water problem).


That’s a neat idea which would explain why the ecclesiastical authorities don’t speak up against many atrocities. We can kep this in mind for the game without having to already decide wether this conspiracy does actually exist or not; it’s simply a distinct possibility.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
My suggestion here is that the oral history that describes the pre-Change world includes the idea that great trading caravans once headed off from our city on a months-long journey and eventually returned with fabulous goods. When the Change came the journey went from arduous to hazardous to impossible in a handful of years. The location of the destinations is unknown. However there is a subversive faction that hold to the idea that as our city has become crippled by a lack of water there has been a commensurate increase in water resources at the unnamed other place. This belief simply fuels a hatred of the others and a despair that perhaps their god finds the inhabitants of our city unworthy -- but the others worthy. In other words, god has already made his judgement and there is now nothing that can be done. Despair, despair, despair...


Nice idea, provides some colour without really changing anything about the setting. This might be to the distant south, beyond the actual desert. The drying up of only a single oasis is sufficient to undo any route through this desert for good.

Well then, I think we have a reached workable consensus on the vital setting details. At this point, it is usually the referee, in this instance me, who wraps it all up, makes up a few names and locations and draws a sketchy map of the land. To restate what has been determined:

Grettir wrote:
Religion is the single most powerful force both politically and individually, in people’s lifes.
At its core, the religion is basically beneficient and well-meaning towards its flock, but its standards and demands are incredibly high. All people save saints frequently fall short of these demands and are almost constantly in a state of penance. Failing to do sufficient penance promises incredibly dire consequences in the afterlife; outright deviation from the religious law promises incredibly dire consequences already in this life.
Politically, the setting has for quite a long time been torn by wars. The eneies are not other cultures or religions, but basically of the same culture, and the wars are not fought over philosophical differences, but only for power and domination. Political entities are small and mostly ruled by self-made men, condottiere-like types with an “everything goes”-mentality. Alliances and frontlines shift constantly, and the religious apparatus supports those contenders who best serve their ends – and undo those who don’t.
The common people suffer greatly from the constant warfare. Most turn even more fervently to religion for solace, but a few turn against it in anger.


Grettir wrote:
A religion of guilt – “you are a sinner undeserving of God’s grace, you have to be eternally thankful and do penance for your shortcomings, following religious law is rewarded with paradise in the afterlife even though you are not really deserving of it, failing to follow God’s law leads to damnation, blah blah blah”.


I would like to add here that the religion has, for reasons of familiarity, parallels to Catholicism. Most of all it holds the central idea of an ancestral sin burdening down all people. God created the world a paradisical garden for man, but due to his sinfulness, this Golden Age passed in some big Judgement Day, something like Sodom and Gomorrah. Religion holds that man has only himself to blame for the state of the world, but that the merciful Lord is prepared to take those who lead virtuous lifes (= lifes adhering closely to religious commandments) back into his fold in the next life.

And of course there is an inquisition, and public executions of heretics – though not by burning, as firewood (and even more so building wood) is scarce in a land with poor vegetation.

Grettir wrote:
Picture the following:
Lifestock slaughtered methodically by enemy troops.
A frothing priest promising hell and damnation from his pulpit.
Marauding bands of deserted mercenaries.
A procession of chanting flagellants.
A priest sheltering dispossessed refugees.
Barely adult sheperdboys pressed into service as musketeers.
The pillaging of a village, rape and murder.
The mad raging of the inquisition.
Wondrous and inspiring temples almost touching the heavens above, glorifying God.
A general ripping the crown from the still-warm brow of his former ruler, murdered by no other than himself.
The same general, gracefully acknowledged and anointed as ruler by the local high-priest.
The same general again, torn to pieces by a mob incited by priests’ sermons.
Streets crowded with severly crippled beggars, mangled by the war and tended by a few hopelssly overtaxed priests.
Somebody asking: “How can God let all of this happen?”, and a priest answering: “Because of your sinfulness.”


Big J Money wrote:
An old stone keep, surrounded by the remnants of a ghost village.


Grettir wrote:
Not much more than a century ago, the land was still what it had been for as long as people’s memory did stretch back: A savannah, warm and also somewhat dry, but neither hot nor arid. There were some actual scattered patches of rocky desert in it, but those were few, and the real desert lay to the distant south. For the most part, the land was good enough for herding cattle and cultivating crops, or at least for herding sheep.
But then it started to get warmer, and the seasonal rains got less and less plentiful. The less hardy vegetation started to disappear, and the desert patches started to grow. Dried out and unprotected by vegetation, the once reasonably fertile topsoil began to be blown away by the hot winds. Large tracts of land are now parched, cracked earth baked hard by sun, turning to temporarily to mudfields with the now scarce seasonal rains. Crops can only be grown in the oases. Outside of them, one is lucky indeed if the land is still good enough to graze sheep; for the most part, it can only support mangy goats, or, more commonly, no lifestock at all. Cattle herding is by now pratically unheard of, practiced only as an incredible luxury for the elites of the ruling class. Gone are also the herds of wildebeest which once roamed the land, and the herds of antelopes are in the act of disappearing. Hunting is poor these days, and most people were forced to acquire a taste for the meat of lizards and even locusts.


I’d like to add that the old major nobility with its long tradition of ruling the city states has during the preceding century been overthrown by the minor nobility and by rich burghers and mercenary generals. This new ruling class of social climbers doesn’t feel constrained by the traditions and values of the former ruling class and ascribes to a very Machiavellian mindset. A bit like Renaissance Italy with its constant warfare between tiny nations.

Grettir wrote:
A technology comparable to the early 17th century. It is all cuirasses, fencing and cut-and-thrust weapons, pikemen and musketeers. They have attained a sophisticated architecture, naturalistic capabilities in the arts, and advanced technological achievements like quicksilver mirrors, mechanical clocks, telescopes and eyeglasses are widely known. But for all of this, they behave like savages.


Grettir wrote:
Pike and early flintlocks, with the specifics (rests or not) to be determined only by use of Director Stance during the game. A bit like the European Thirty Years War, so definitely no bayonets or mobile armourless troops. Cavalry, though, would probably be largely nonexistent.


Very suitable melee weapons would be the rapier, the main gauche, the stiletto, the halberd, the backsword, the cut-and-thrust sword, the pallasch, the schiavona and the sidesword., maybe also still or already the katzbalger, the smallsword and the partisan.

Grettir wrote:
Names that sound somehow Italian or Spanish.


Big J Money wrote:
This does also flavor character ideals of values and organizational structures.


IanPlumb wrote:
Spanish, with the mix of Moorish and European architecture -- exotic yet familiar.


The social elites are referred to as “Grandees” and adressed as “Don” or (female) “Donna”. Priests are addresses as “Fra”. The people themselves are of olive skin and have dark eyes and hair. Moustaches and goatess are common.

Male names sound like Emilio, Ramon, Silvio, Gomez, Dante, Rodrigo, Mercutio, Sandro, Agostino, Alonzo, Carlo, Amintore, Domingues, Santiddio, Arturo, Fedrugo, Zaronno, Sancho, Octavio, Luiz, Villagro, Diego, Pedro, Guzman, and Llope, female ones like Sancha, Isabella, Esmeralda, Anna, Margarita, Chabela, Luisa, Carolina, Nieves, Agueda, Dolores and Zarita. Places are called names like Guarralid, Korzetta, Jerida, Zingara, Kova, and Sidonia.

Next, I will sketch and post a rough map and few visuals.

Edit: Oops, forgot to address the supernatual. I feel very strongly that the people of our setting should believe in magic, but in magic as being evil and heretical. Anyway, it should better remain an intangible force, something which might be real, or which might simply be superstition, as determined during play. Making the supernatural tangible might provide hints to the question of wether God exists in the way taught by the religion or not, which would be undesirable.

Alternatively, minor magics, like levels 1 and 2 of the six non-spiritual vagaries, might not disrupt the flavour of the setting. What do you two think? Pertinent to this question s of course also if any of you would like to play a magical character right away; if not, much can be left open.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:02 pm 
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I want to take a moment to quickly jot down an observation I have made about this shared Setting creation style that I would not have forseen just discussing it.

The Setting creation is not completely done from a "God's eye view" like I had imagined it would be. In the past, when I have created Settings for RPGs, I generally tried to know as much about the things I was creating as possible. For example, "Are the gods real and, if they are, what are their precise motivations?" A question like that would have a specific answer, unless I really didn't know yet or didn't think the players would touch it. The drama would be in the way the player characters go about discovering the truth, if they chose to do so. Creating a Setting this way, you still have the option to leave questions unanswered and allow players the option of making that same discovery. Only this way, they get to make the discover they feel is the most aesthetically desirable. I think it's a nice trade-off. It allows players to actually explore a theme, rather than being simply immersed in one.

I think people who possess a very strong sense of determinism(?--Maybe that's not right) might have trouble with this concept at first, because they may feel a need for the truth to be determined outside the scope of their player (immersion through verisimilitude). This is kind of an odd distinction, but it's one I can see myself having made about RPGs a couple years ago.

The major lesson for me is to not get too specific when creating a shared Setting, but give yourselves unresolved issues (possibly even world defining ones) to attempt to address in play.

-- John M.


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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 12:05 pm 
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I have drawn up a sketchy map of the setting. It does not yet contain any settlements; these would be added as needed, starting out with character creation. Thus, players have complete freedom to make up any background fitting the setting for their characters.

Image

Prevailing winds in The Parched Lands (proposition for the name of the setting) is west to east. What little moisture the winds bring from the sea does mostly come down along the Windward Shore. Here, the Guarded Lands are especially favoured due to their situation on a bay. This has made them the goal of many an exodus, which has led the rulers of this land to close it down for any and all imigrants; their relative prosperity and still dense population has them enabled to enforce this by and large.
Travelling east from the Windward Shores and the Guarded Lands, the landscape becomes noticeably drier, until one reaches the valley of the Guadajoz, the Last River. A century ago, the seasonal floodings of the Guadajoz, then known by another name, served to irrigate large tracts of land to either side of it, but now the floodlevels are low, and only little land can be irrigated; not even a kilometer from the banks of the Guadajoz, the land is already parched.
Further south, the Guadajoz traverses the Gorge, a steep canyon of over fifty kilometers length. With a few exceptions, the Gorge is a continuous huge and violent cataract untraversable by boat; to follow this stretch of the Guadajoz, one has to travel in the desert atop either side of the canyon.
Immediately to the south of the Gorge, there is a huge depressed lowland which has never been crossed by anybody. These are the Cannibal Swamps, an incredibly viscious and completely trackless marshland infested by terrible diseases, crocodiles, and, most fearsome of all, primitive tribes of savage black cannibals. The very real threat of raids for human flesh did formerly lead to the people of the Parched Lands forgoing to settle immediately to the north of the Gorge, but with the present desertification, this has become an unaffordable luxury. Thus, groups of displaced people were recently forced settled the frontier area known as the Cannibal Marches, where the eke out a primitive existence under constant threat of cannibal raids.
The lands to the east of the Guadajoz were already a semi-desert before the climatic catastrophe of the recent century, and now they are the driest region of the Parched Lands. To the east, it blends into the Desert of Morning, a waterless desert which has to anybody’s knowledge never been crossed; nobody knows what might lie beyond it.
The Sea of Sands to the south of the Parched Lands has in the past been crossed by the rare trading caravan, or so the stories go. If there ever was such a route into other lands inhabitated by civilized human beings, it became unusable already a century ago when a vital oasis dried up. Nowadays, the Sea of Sands is waterless and untraversable, even if one wouldn’t loose one’s bearing amid the ever shifting dunes.
The people of the Parched Lands were never great mariners, but for all they know, the Endless Ocean is just that – endless, and devoid of any other land. Even if there were, the Parched Lands do nowadays lack the wood to build seagoing ships large enough for long voyages.

And right here you can download a 2 MB file of imagery which is hopefully evocative for the setting.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:49 am 
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Big J Money wrote:
In the past, when I have created Settings for RPGs, I generally tried to know as much about the things I was creating as possible. For example, "Are the gods real and, if they are, what are their precise motivations?" A question like that would have a specific answer, unless I really didn't know yet or didn't think the players would touch it. The drama would be in the way the player characters go about discovering the truth, if they chose to do so.


Exploration of the gaming environment as a key motivator for playing -- a textbook example of Sim play. Most of my gaming as a player has been in this same fashion. The referee spends hours (and hours, and hours...) building the game world and then invites the players to come and play in this world. As a player if you like the referee's world then you're in for a treat because it will all be internally consistent and there will be much to learn through the character's eyes, much to explore and discover. Of course if it turns out that the world view does nothing for you then, oh well, there's always the beer and the pizza to keep you coming back...

Big J Money wrote:
Creating a Setting this way, you still have the option to leave questions unanswered and allow players the option of making that same discovery. Only this way, they get to make the discover they feel is the most aesthetically desirable. I think it's a nice trade-off. It allows players to actually explore a theme, rather than being simply immersed in one.


I would add to this by saying you are less likely to explore a theme that relies on the relationships of the player characters to each other and possibly the non-player characters of the gaming world in a game where exploration of the game world is the main reason people are playing. If the detail of the gaming environment and the discovery of new facets of the game world is what the players are enjoying then exploring themes, which rely on the depth of the player characters, may not happen as often.

Big J Money wrote:
I think people who possess a very strong sense of determinism(?--Maybe that's not right) might have trouble with this concept at first, because they may feel a need for the truth to be determined outside the scope of their player (immersion through verisimilitude). This is kind of an odd distinction, but it's one I can see myself having made about RPGs a couple years ago.


I used to game with a referee who refused to exert any control over the direction the story was heading. For him, the goal was to be impartial and to be seen as impartial. So his scenarios never contained things like "If the players do X, villain C will go to Prince Kryass and tell him N." Instead they would look like "If the players do X, then there is a 28% chance that villain C will do NN, a 44% chance that he will do OO, a 22% chance that he will do PP, and a 6% chance that he will do nothing." When the event occurred in game the referee would literally roll the dice to determine what the NPC did under the circumstances.

If exploring the game world is what brings your players to the gaming table week after week then Shared Setting Creation will not suit them or at least won't tap into that sense of Exploration and Discovery that they enjoy about exploring the referee's game world. It might though stir in them other reasons to play and broaden their sense of what gaming is all about. Or not! Like anything new nobody knows until you try it out with your players.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 8:22 am 
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Big J Money wrote:
The Setting creation is not completely done from a "God's eye view" like I had imagined it would be.


I would say it very much is. The difference lies not in us, the creaors, not having or not exerting these powers, it lies in us not finishing the creation. No six days of creation and a seventh day of rest for us. Instead, we reserve the right to switch back into "God-mode" (Director Stance) at any time after the sixth day, right during ongoing play, to add something to our creation or to change something about it, provided this doesn't disrupt what the PCs have already learned about this creation. In that way, we exert maybe even more godlike powers than regular setting creators; the latter impose limits on their own powers (in the guise of what hey have already created), we don't.

Big J Money wrote:
I think people who possess a very strong sense of determinism(?--Maybe that's not right) might have trouble with this concept at first, because they may feel a need for the truth to be determined outside the scope of their player (immersion through verisimilitude).


Role playing is about the suspension of disbelief. We pretend that a certain fantastical place and the people and the events in it are real, when they clearly aren’t. Why not take this suspension of disbelief a step further?

In traditional Exploration-heavy gaming, the setting is like an immensely huge stage set; the part where the action is set is lit by a spotlight, but everybody knows that the stage is full of scenery beyond the light patch, too, and as soon as the action moves there, the spotlight will as well and the scenery will be revealed. But is this in effect any different from the dark part of the stage being empty and the scenery being placed there by stagehands only immediately before the action and the light moves to this part of the stage? It doesn’t make a difference for the actors, it doesn’t make a difference for the spectators – and it doesn’t make a difference for the PCs in a role playing scenario. The difference is merely in the head of the players, it is their disbelief in the reality of the setting beyond what lies currently in the spotlight. All that’s needed to overcome this is a little suspension of disbelief, of an extent that shouldn’t be too big for people who can suspend their disbelief in Middle Earth and Weyrth.

The fact is that there is no need for any “truth outside the scope of their PC” (I think that’s what you meant to say), any such truth hasn’t even the slightest claim to existence. A play, or a movie, or an rpg secenario, is about the charaters. Without the characters, there is no action. And without action, the very stage itself has no right to existence. The truth of setting, and the very existence of the setting, hinges on the PCs.

Something that’s very hard on referees who have often spent hundreds of hours creating a rich setting is that they need to let go of the notion that the PCs are there to enrichen the setting, or to somehow breathe life into it. The causality is the other way around. The setting is completely subservient to the PCs, it is merely there to faciliate the PCs revealing themselves to us through their actions and decisions.
And the PCs are merely the creative figment of the thematic interests of the players, meaning that the setting is ultimately subservient to the chosen theme. This is exactly what we have done with the Parched Lands – we have communally sketched a setting subservient to the theme “Can you retain or regain your faith, and is it even worth it?”.

Big J Money wrote:
Creating a Setting this way, you still have the option to leave questions unanswered and allow players the option of making that same discovery. Only this way, they get to make the discover they feel is the most aesthetically desirable.


A prime example for this, and for the question of an absolute, underlying truth, would be Ian’s idea of a kind of conspiracy to decimate the population of the Parched Lands by war. This is nifty, and it may well be true, but there is absolutely no need to set this in stone now. Doing so would only detract from the story if the conspiracy seems not to go well with what other facts and events emerge over the course of the story. And worse, it might create the well-conditioned role player’s response in both players and referee that the game is somehow about discovering this conspiracy and doing something about it. Leaving this as yet undecided and settling upon one way or the other no sooner than the story demands it, allows the PCs to make the discovery that the players and the referee feel is the “most aesthetically desirable” right at this point in the story, as opposed to one that doesn’t quite feel right, but is simply unavoidable because we constrained ourselves before – and unnecessarily.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I would add to this by saying you are less likely to explore a theme that relies on the relationships of the player characters to each other and possibly the non-player characters of the gaming world in a game where exploration of the game world is the main reason people are playing.


Absolutely. A refereee who has created a rich setting wants, like any proud craftsman, to show off his creation in all its niftiness, and he wants to make it seem real by having a lot go on all around the PCs. This can really be wonderful, but if you want to tell a focused, thematic story, there is a danger of it getting sidetracked and mudled by the many side and background plots. An editor friend of mine told me that writers are always told by editors to cut down the side plots to a minimum, to prevent their stories from getting sidetracked. Exploration and addressing of Premise can therefore easily be at cross purposes, even if the referee evades the siren’s call of playing his beloved setting instead of the story.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
I used to game with a referee who refused to exert any control over the direction the story was heading. For him, the goal was to be impartial and to be seen as impartial. So his scenarios never contained things like "If the players do X, villain C will go to Prince Kryass and tell him N." Instead they would look like "If the players do X, then there is a 28% chance that villain C will do NN, a 44% chance that he will do OO, a 22% chance that he will do PP, and a 6% chance that he will do nothing." When the event occurred in game the referee would literally roll the dice to determine what the NPC did under the circumstances.


Asuming something like that may be realistic in real life, but that’s exactly why real life is in 99% of the cases more boring than fiction. Fiction presents the essence of real life, it does not copy its incosequential details and intricacies, so why should role playing, which is a subset of fiction? Determining the reactions of an NPC in a semi-random way, is, while maybe realistic, not conductive to creating interesting fiction; real writers don’t work this way. When I decide the actions of an NPC, I base them on two things:

1) What would feel right for the NPC, based on the information that has been revealed to the PCs – not based on what I have already determined about the NPC in secret beforehand, and not based on what the players know. Putting that little constraint on me, I can turn an NPC around by 180 degrees, if this does not clash with what the PCs do already know about him and thus not disrupt the plausibility of the NPC as he appears in the setting. Being thus much more unconstrained than a traditional referee, I have lots of freedom for the second base of my decision:

2) What would make for the most interesting and dramatic twist in the story.

Telling an interesting and believable story is what role playing is all about for most gamers. Freedom of choice among the many possible plot twists is essential to arrive at the most interesting one. This freedom can be provided by leaving as many things as possible undetermined, both about NPCs and their relations and about the setting at large – as demonstrated in this thread.

Which takes me right back to once again donning the fictional referee’s hat. If we were my regular group, we would still be within the first session of the new campaign, no more than three hours into the evening. We would have in a loose discussion and brainstorming determined the theme and flavour of the upcoming campaign, and we would have communally sketched the setting, just the way we did in this thread. The second part of the evening would be about creating characters, again communally and out in the open. Everybody would come up with a concept, and others would comment on it and maybe make suggestions. SAs and character goals would be decided upon, character backgrounds would be told, and everybody would briefly introduce a few key NPCs from this background; players might also startout by linking their PCs somehow very loosely together by creating intersections in their backgrounds and/or goals. Most important of all would be the creation of the Kickers for the various PCs, also out in the open and with suggestions from all participants. That way, we would start to flesh out one or two specific locations in the Parched Lands in greater detail.

We would then call this first session quits. Until the next meeting, the players would stat out their characters, doing what is usually called character creation. I would do what I have already done for the Parched Lands – sketch a rough map and find some hopefully evocative imagery and mail it to the players. I would also take my notes on the backgrounds and goals and SAs of the PCs and especially on their Kickers and create a relationship map and link the PCs into it with what Iknow about them. Then I would prepare a few possible Bangs for every PC.

And that’s it. I woud take these notes to the second session, the first one of actual play, and watch how the reactions of the PCs to their Kickers will unbalance the relationship map. Whenever the action went slow, I would hit a PC with a prepared Bang. My one guideline for refereeing these days is to simply put pressure on the PCs, to propel them into crisis, for it is in crisis that characters reveal themselves.

It has been said that existence is a question, and every single human life is an individual answer to this question. If this is so, then a PC is a statement about the world. All I, as a referee, do, is simply test this statement and see wether it breaks or holds in the face of adversity:

“So, your character thinks that the religious institutions are not to be questioned. Fine. But what if this priest here exploits his flock? Still? Fine. But what if the inquisition victimizes his friend? Still? Fine. But what if the church plots to overthrow this great and noble, but sadly impious ruler to replace him by a bigotted fool? Still? Fine. But what if …”

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:40 pm 
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Hey guys, still thouroughly enjoying this thread, was wondering though where it goes from here? Will you be making PC's and NPC's etc, to show us who it is done communally?

Also, the one suggestion I'd have made as a Player regarding the naming of Characters is I'd have opted for more Dutch sounding, or rather Afrikaans sounding names. Interestingly the early history of South Africa share many details with the Parched Lands. It was a lush land settled by European Peoples, where the real world people had dealings with the original inhabitants there is no parralal in the Parched Lands, althought the Black Cannibals of the South can be loosly related. The Age and era is the same, the Dutch that first inhabited South Africa used similar weapons and armor. And the peoples were deeply Religious (though most were fleeing persecution rather than enduring it).

Anyways, like I said I'm enjoying the thread, and hope to see more.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:37 pm 
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Crow Caller wrote:
Also, the one suggestion I'd have made as a Player regarding the naming of Characters is I'd have opted for more Dutch sounding, or rather Afrikaans sounding names. Interestingly the early history of South Africa share many details with the Parched Lands.


Ah, yes, I seem to remember that you have got South African ancestors. But, well, I think that Afrikaans isn’t as evocative to many people as Spanish names and a corresponding culture; I certainly didn’t think of the former, even though they would be a distinct possibility, especially if somebody can relate to them on a personal level.

Crow Caller wrote:
Anyways, like I said I'm enjoying the thread, and hope to see more.


I am also very pleased with how this thread did turn out; I think it served its demonstrative purposes very well. From literally nothing we arrived within not three pages at a very evocative setting, the uniqueness of which isn’t forced. Almost all details of the setting evolved naturally from the theme, without forcing anything.

Basically, the thread has served its purpose, the demonstration of the communal development of a thematically oriented setting, and I don’t see any need to continue it at all. But if parties are interested to go on with demonstrative character creations, I am happy to continue the thread. So if you like, Ian and/or Big J, go ahead and present a rough first draft of a character concept, and I/we will comment on it.

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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 1:27 am 
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Grettir wrote:
...But if parties are interested to go on with demonstrative character creations, I am happy to continue the thread. So if you like, Ian and/or Big J, go ahead and present a rough first draft of a character concept, and I/we will comment on it...


Arcelia (First Draft)

Arcelia's parents were prospectors. They discovered and worked small claims in the rocky wastelands. Like all the prospectors they hoped one day to strike the ultimate prize -- wetdirt, a new commercially viable water source. Their main income though came from semi-precious and precious gemstones. Arcelia's mother, Adelina, had the skill of cutting and polishing the stones. Arcelia's father, Gaspar, had great skill in selling their stones and had many contacts throughout the Parched Lands. Both her parents were, of course, skilled at working a claim and in surviving outside the towns and cities of the Parched Lands.

One day Adelina and Gaspar were working a small sapphire claim nearly five days journey west of the Guadajoz and well north of the Gorge. This far from the river gave them a window of two weeks before they would have to make the return journey or risk running out of water should bad weather interrupt their eastward journey. A week into their work returns were good with small sapphires in green, blue, and burnt yellow revealing their presence. Late in the day Gaspar was preparing the evening meal while Adelina assayed the day's finds. Gaspar heard movement at the edge of their encampment though in the dusk nothing could be seen. Taking a brace of pistols and a lantern he ventured out in the direction of the sound while Adelina prepared the arquebus and took a position between the claim and the camp -- where she could see anyone entering the camp by the firelight. It wasn't long though before Gaspar called to Adelina and when she reached him she saw the awful sight of a man near death by dehydration -- the fate all fossickers feared.

With an extra mouth to water they could only afford to work the claim for four more days -- yet the man was in no condition to travel even if he had to. So they continued to work the claim while he recovered. He was quite delirious for the first couple of days but on the third he awoke lucid and hungry. He revealed his name to be Javier, a fossicker like themselves. He had spent the last three months pushing ten days into the dessert, working a claim for a day, and then returning to the River. On the fourth such run the claim held great promise and he'd made the mistake of working it not for a single day or even two but for four days. On the return journey he'd been delayed by a sandstorm and then ran out of water -- a long way from the River. Pure chance had led him to their encampment, delirious and close to death.

Gaspar let him know that they would be breaking camp the day after next and making for the River. Javier would be able to ride the donkey that carried the water as most of the water it had carried from the River was now consumed. It was a long day working the claim as Gaspar and Adelina tried to get as much done as they could before leaving the claim the next day. Well into the night they returned to camp to find Javier had prepared the evening meal. Gratefully they accepted his kindness and exhausted they settled down for the night.

That night Adelina had an amazing dream. In it she was with child and as she approached the time of the birth she heard the voice of a Messenger of god saying, "You bear Arcelia, a Saint of the people. She will be one who bridges the gap between the Divine Will and the people's understanding. She will be both hated and loved. When the time comes she will lay down her life willingly for the sake of the people. Through her many will understand and obey."

In the morning Javier was gone. His tracks headed out of the camp to the north. Gaspar followed them for some way but they ceased once they reached a rocky outcropping. Gaspar returned to camp. With Javier gone they could work the claim another day but they decided to return to the River anyway. On the return journey Adelina noticed a slight change in her body though she did not tell Gaspar about her dream or her suspicion that she was now in the very earliest stages of pregnancy.

Arcelia was duly born some nine months later much to the delight of Gaspar and Adelina. As her time approached Adelina and Gaspar went to stay at Adeline's sister's home. Martita was married to a wealthy cloth merchant, Olegario, who doted on his wife. Gaspar and Olegario were good friends and Olegario always made them feel welcome in his home -- though their visits were rare given the nature of their work. Adelina stayed with Olegario and Martita while Gaspar continued fossicking.

Years passed and Arcelia grew up amidst the extended family of her mother and aunt and uncle and cousins. Her father visited periodically and when he did he stayed a week while her mother cut and polished the stones. During this time several people would visit the house to view the stones and make their offers. This was always a time of great excitement and fun.

Just after her tenth birthday her father took her on her first fossicking run with her mother. Her mother had taught her much but nothing really prepared her for just how harsh life was amidst the western Sea of Sands. Over the next eight years Arcelia made two or three runs each year -- while the rest of the time she lived with her aunt and uncle. There she received an education with her cousins and learned the business of the cloth merchant.

Approaching her nineteenth year Arcelia remains undecided as to whether she should join her uncle's business or join her parent's out in the badlands. Yet this seems like such a small issue compared to the ever-pressing problem of water shortages and the general air of despair that clutches the residents of the town each mid-summer. This in turn seems to lead inexorably to the madness of the warring season in Autumn. Then one night Arcelia has a dream. In it she is with her parents, working a claim out in the badlands. Working the rockface with a pick she breaks through into a cavern. It is quite large. Carrying a lantern she steps through. The light from the lantern is caught by the stones embedded in the wall. It makes the wall shimmer like the stars of the night sky. Arcelia reaches out towards one of the rough stones -- and her fingers reach into the rock and pluck out the stone. She thinks to herself just how beautiful it will be when it is cut -- and as she thinks this the stone is transformed into a cut gemstone. It catches and holds the light from the lantern, and glows. She looks at it, astonished -- and it transforms into the heart of a man, and she can see the man and his heart glowing. A voice in her head whispers, "You must free them from the rock that keeps them bound to this petty world Arcelia."


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 Post subject: Re: Experiment: Creating a Setting
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 6:03 am 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
Arcelia (First Draft)


Well, Ian – just wow! For onc, this is a good example of how all participants can flesh out the world by creating new facts about it – your character background enriched the Parched Lands by wetdirt and wetdrit prospectors, which are thereby a new facet of the setting.

But I haven’t really much to add to say about your character; Arcelina looks just fine, but she is already quite fleshed out, far more than a simple first concept. This is probably a result of the additional time you have using the medium internet as opposed to doing this whole creation process of setting and characters life and real-time, as I have commented above. In my group, the first drafts are usually only simple character ideas being tossed out and around. Your Arcelina might jave started out something like that:

Quote:
A young, messiah-like character, maybe for real, maybe not. Her mother, a person of humble standing, conceived her under strange circumstances, and had visions about her daughter’s future role. The character has visions herself, but I want to let it open wether these are the real thing or simply delusions.


From beginnings like these, we would have proceeded by suggesting and commenting. Arcelina doesn’t need much of this, which is fine. Just one, although major, point:

I feel that Arcelina’s Kicker, the dream, is quite weak as it is. A Kicker should always require a tough decision from the character, he/she should never be able to ignore it safely. Arcelina can ignore hers without any perceived cost to her. If you went with this Kicker, which is your right as a player, you would have to be ready to have this Kicker spiked by me – and spiked heavily. If you were to change it, I would recommend making it harder on Arcelina to actually follow or ignore this (prophetic?) dream. Maybe she is in love with her uncle’s son and heir, and he wants to marry her, having her give up prospecting and move into a more comfortable the city? Or maybe Arcelina knows that a band of marauders has recently made the mountain where the cave from her dream is located their base?

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