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World of Darkness: The Academy - OOC Talk -- The Lounge

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Thanks Dawn! Woot 1000 posts!

balloonnana

Originally Posted By: Deacon
...these 'kids' are in-fucking-sane and if Lucia Blake didn't have an ass that I've been wanting to grind my pelvis into forever and a day... I'd prolly let her wander about the universe blissfully ignorant and eventually get eaten by a T-Rex... in a jet... that's a Nazi or something... you get my point."

LMAO...Deke, just beautiful. popcorn

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Rorx: This is a gentle push for you to answer Renata; your further mission, should you choose to accept it, is to post going through the door, possibly after throwing Renata through first.

Anyone other than Sylvia and Sean: ditto, save the pushing of Renata. Or not. laugh

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Sorry peeps, thought I had a couple of days ago! Looks like my cell ate it rather than post it, everything's a critic wink

I'll repost once I get the kids to bed wink

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So we spent 2 months in a thread getting together a trip to go get Lucia...

We get there and not even go 20 feet from the door before all come home where we're now going prolly spend another two months taking stock...

What a complete waste of time.

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Sorry folks were disappointed; I can't be a perfect ST all the time. wink I'll try to be back in top form in the coming chapters. While I get things sorted around here, could people give me an idea of what kind of arc they'd like to be in? Please don't say "Something that isn't a waste of time." Give me something solid, like, "I want a high-energy story that will let me test my character's manipulation skills." I can't promise that your suggestion will be the next utilized, but it will give me an idea of what people are looking for in the future.

Also, thanks for your patience as I beat real-life back down with a stick. smile

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I really found it funny more than anything else. All that build up lmao...Drawing up battle plans, people are literally gearing up, Deacon's inventing shit! And then it's like a bunch of kids walked into a liquor store and locked eyes with the security guard before turning and running out the door.

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Well, I guess, Sean was going to check his room (or maybe the main admin building) seeing if his father and/or sister has arrived. He wants to check on 'Blaize' but figures he'd have an easier time if Candi is there.

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Jim is back from surgery, but working his way into things slowly. I don't know if you want to wait too long on him. Just FYI.

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gurg ... yes I've been gone since the 29th of last month, slowly trying to catch back up but work is busy and life has been as well.

Hopefully I'll have things in hand by the end of the month but I ask that you don't wait on me to move forward as I honestly can't say how quickly things will proceed.

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Dawn, it's officially been a month since the last post in this game.....Are we dead in the water?

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Maybe. I want to do for this game what I just did for DR - take a weekend to catch up on admin stuff I've been lax. However, unlike with DR, I also need to see if this is still viable. I think so, but need to square some things away.

I'll try to do that this weekend.

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Hee...I've lost my way in this game. Renata's only plot-related motivation was to try to find Lucia. Now that that's gone to pot...since we have no idea what kind of feather she used...I guess she just goes back to her room and stews.

Overall, I'm not sure what to do. There's a cool setup; a school with a magic door to other worlds. But it's hard to do anything with it, for character reasons and for practical reasons. Feelings of impotence ensue, leading inexorably to a feeling of irrelevance, and finally to ennui.

You'd think I would have learned by now, not to make a character who depends on others to reach out to her, rather than being willing to reach out to others. Oh well.

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I just had a massive disconnect from everything awhile back and haven't posted since. I wouldn't mind picking things up again, the story was initially interesting enough to get me to play NWoD.. wouldn't mind trying again.

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I myself had a disconnect, though that was due in part to RL.

Ok, let me delve deep and explain what my initial idea was for the game. I wanted to set something up where you could have a 'real life' and yet get to explore wonderful places, too. The school idea was a revival of a TT game, while the other worlds through magic doors was just a homage to so many books and movies I've loved. I needed an over-arching plot, so created the Caramines to serve as an enemy. I made a decades-old war, tied in plot history to give the game some depth and had the bad guys poke you to get them into your sights. And I gave you guys fun powers to counter the lack of magic in your world.

On paper, I did all of those things, and I think I did them pretty well. So I'm not sure why things don't feel right. Do you guys have any suggestions for where things went off track? It would help me assess where to go next.

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For my part I can only say I was genuinely caught off guard by how quickly everybody else decided to accept magic was real. I never intending Ryan's evasiveness to become a problem, but that's what happened.

For me that's where the problem was, we started in a "real" world, had some slightly odd stuff happen that quickly turned into an avalanche of truly and sincerely fucked up weirdness. During that process I played it straight and unfortunately that meant Ryan was on the outside.

I'd like to try and get back into this but I don't know that its possible for Ryan to do so. As a player I'm confused and unaware of anything resembling the "plot", and as a PC I don't how to bring Ryan back into things in a way that doesn't require changing the character.

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There's a few things that come to mind on this:

1) Mixing students and faculty/staff character types. Fine in a 'slice of life' game, but here it means that we've got people on very different social/legal footing trying to work around each other. That doesn't mean it can't work, but it definitely makes it more complicated (as well as putting the faculty/staff characters in a position to need to act like NPC's at times in order to make it all work).

2) PC realism vs. effective game cohesion. We made people, with well-rounded personalities and personal storyline, which is good. We didn't make them with a backstory that would get them to work together effectively, which is not so good. The 'normal life' hasn't really been played out, in part for lack of anything particularly interesting to do in said 'normal life' and in part because that sort of thing in this setting can take an enormous amount of time and effort on the part of the ST (many NPC's to come up with and social intracacies to create as backdrop). When the 'magical' part of the game came about, there wasn't a good feel for social heirarchy on the part of the characters or an established leadership to build our 'Scooby Gang' out of to go world-hopping and fight the Caramines. We all had our own ideas about who, what, where, and how to go about this, and we all scattered off to pursue those goals without a strong enough personality to bring it all back together and get on with the game in a coherent fashion.

3) Distractions and the lull on the site. The ST got very busy, the players got busy, and at the dip that pretty much always occurs after the 'shiny' of a new game has worn off, most everyone wandered away. The game stalled, sputtered, and then just -stopped-. PC's were working around each other instead of with each other, and that has meant that any bumps or major obstacles along the way have pretty much stonewalled going forward. The game lost steam and no one even knew where the fire was anymore.

Suggestions:

If you want to keep going with this game, I don't think it can be run like DR. At least not yet. The characters aren't developed enough and the setting does need a bit more constant ST input than DR does. I think an approach like SGU was supposed to have might help things: get people into team(s) like arrangements and set up 'missions' for those teams to tell out. Or think of it like episodes of Buffy; seasonal enemies/themes are great, as is an overarching metaplot, but we still need a plot for each episode.

That's my $.02.

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Hmm! It is hard to say for sure, but let me just ramble a little in reaction to those objectives. And true to form, I will be rambling in a numbered list:

1) I feel like the Real vs Fantastic duality is a little inaccessible. Using the door requires foreknowledge and opportunity that most characters simply won't have. If you haven't got the Shopping List of Keys, then using the door in any practical way impossible. If you somehow know what key to use to get to the world you want (essentially random at the moment, since there's no way to tell one world from another on the list unless already know about it), you have to get through the cloud of teachers and students that are hovering around it (in most fics). This means you're either joining a 'tour group' of other characters, who are going with the approval of the current Listholder...or you're not going anywhere except to your next class.

In a related note, the entire focus of the game so far has been on fantastic events. Have classes started yet? I don't know. Have we registered? Bought books? No idea.

2) The ages-old Caramine war is a really interesting plot idea. My feeling is that it's SO interesting that you really wanted to get it out there and into place so we could get involved. That may have been a mistake though. What draws me into a plot is not answers, but questions. Finding the answers is what it's all about. What we had here was some strange things happened...which were then rather promptly explained. So now there's a sense of, "what now?" I think it's fairly realistic for high school students not to be generally eager to march off to war against magic dimensional foes. smile

This is harder to fix, since the cat's out of the bag already. It might be possible to twist things away from what we know, and introduce those elements in more gradually to re-acquire the sense of mystery. Of course, I think it would also have been cool to introduce the notion of magic doors and how they work more gradually too. Start with the normal, introduce incongruous elements, lead us through perilous journeys to discover the answers.

One solution might be to destroy the magic door. Life at the school goes back to normal. We reset to 'zero.' Then we start to hear strange noises in the janitor closets as we go past. There's damp trails of slime on the tiles after hours. We discover that Dalton's problems are not so easily solved...

3) The powers the students have, or will have, is a cool idea as well. I have sometimes gotten the feeling that you don't like to talk about these powers though, or that you might even regret including them. Technically they've been enabled, but I feel inhibited from using them. I haven't spoken to you though, and I realize this is all probably just paranoia on my part. I guess part of it is also that I don't want my character's ability to be 'mundane.' I don't want to be in a situation where it manifests, and my character says, "Wow, I couldn't do that before. Neat," and then it's over and done, and no one cares and it's boring and why did I even bother.

I'd like the powers to have a sense of drama. Not just MY powers, but everyone's. Again, a sense of mystery and fear and excitement. It might, for example, be cooler if the initial manifestations of the powers are controlled by the GM...not the players. It might be cool if the GM decides who gets what (an idea I doubt will be popular :)). It might be cool if the players don't know the rules for the powers, and if we want to use them we describe to you what we're trying to do...and you make the roll and tell us what happens.

At least until the character can credibly understand the powers sufficiently.

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Originally Posted By: SalmonMax
I'd like the powers to have a sense of drama. Not just MY powers, but everyone's. Again, a sense of mystery and fear and excitement. It might, for example, be cooler if the initial manifestations of the powers are controlled by the GM...not the players. It might be cool if the GM decides who gets what (an idea I doubt will be popular :)). It might be cool if the players don't know the rules for the powers, and if we want to use them we describe to you what we're trying to do...and you make the roll and tell us what happens.

At least until the character can credibly understand the powers sufficiently.


whistle

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Hmn. Interesting. See, that's exactly how Lucia's power has gone: Dawn picked it, Lucia's got no idea obout it and the conversation I had with her on powers was that they'd manifest a little bit at a time or in desparate situations only, until the character figured out that something was going on and started -trying- to use it.

And yeah, Max nailed it pretty well on the head IMO, too.

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One of my gripes is that some of the PCs had these long, convoluted story lines, like Sean. He was some mage, he was left with pretty much all the info he needed (which trumped the research Deacon did, which wasted my time) then was some supposed to protect this person and that person... Player 'A' has so much going and some of us felt (myself included) 'why am I even in this story? Player 'A' pretty much has the low down on everything and the spotlight hasn't left them since day one.'

I was kinda just going through the motions near the last bit of posting. I felt my PC was more filler for the story than actually a part of it.

I ain't gon' bullshit anyone. I liked the characters that were made. Some of their grasp on all the sudden oddness was about as believable as me trying to say I' Mala's and Dawn's RL bastard love child, but hey we all know we got different styles of play. I think the psycho janitor and Sean's balls out 'kill em all!' attitude was poorly done and I felt they only backpedaled their intentions simply because someone called them out on how moronic and psycho the PCs made admitted themselves to being.

Introduction of PCs... seriously? I mean seriously? Really now? Every Tom, Dick and Harry that 'stumbled' on to us talking we just told them everything!, oh but it gets better... they had no problem with any of it and were 100% accepting! It was like being railroaded and having to totally make my genius PC out to be complete moron because someone stumbled into our business and now we all had to be okay with telling them everything. That part sucked.

Where's the character interaction? Besides some guy telling Deacon that he could use anything Deacon made for him (which is a mistake, because arrogant douche bags like that find all of Deacon's toys work for everyone but them) no one really seemed to talk about or do anything except revolve around the doors and the Caramines. I tried to introduce some levity and humor with Deacon, specifically some hints that he and Lucia either had a past or some kind of falling out in a previous year (probably due to their views towards success and education) but then just started wondering to myself 'what's the point?' since the plot didn't seem to slow long enough for anyone to do anything but plan for months for a three minute trip.

I was at a school with no schooling or free time or parties or... well, anything but Caramines, Magic Doors and the epic tale of Sean and how he was going to save us all.

Did I like the game? Yeah, had fun up to a point. Interesting concept, especially since Avatar was released. I'd love to imagine a PC of mine exploring a world like that. As Max said though, the venue seems to be heads and tails of a coin "Power Laden High School Students"/"Awesome Worlds to Explore". The problem in my opinion is it's two sides of totally different coins at the moment, one's on a dime the other's on a quarter.

Our best bet is to find a happy medium and get everything on one coin. smile

Would I give it another shot? Not if nothing changes. It needs some love and Max hit a few good points.

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OK. I'm going to throw out a couple of ideas and see if you guys like them.

There is a way to retcon this, but it WILL be a deus ex machina, and it WILL be grossly an ST fiat. But the end result would to put the cat back in the bag, at least for a while. The problem is that you guys already know the cat pretty well, so I'm not sure it'd be fun.

The other way to fix things is to focus more on the powerful high schoolers or the exploring. I know how that could be done either way, easily. So I'm going to ask which you guys prefer - super powered high schoolers or super powered explorers?

Or are we done? Please reply and let me know which of the four options you want:

1) Bagging the cat;

2) Super-powered high schoolers;

3) Super-powered explorers;

4) Or throwing in the towel.

As a last note, I'm sorry about the way I did this. I have had issues in my ST style in the past about dragging things out too long, until the players lost interest. I was trying to make sure it didn't happen with this game and apparently overcompensated. Live and learn, but I am sorry about the screw up.

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I'd have to say 1) or 3) as well. Spoiling some of the surprise sorta sucks, but we're all adults (at least, I think we are), but we can make it work, I'm sure. And traipsing across the Multiverse sounds a mite more interesting than study American History smile

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Alright... let's try this a bit differently. Order them in favorite to least favorite option. That way, I don't end up with a bunch of '1's or 3's' and I have to grind on you guys pick between one. We'll just do it now. smile

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3) Super-powered explorers

2) Super-powered high schoolers

1) Bagging the cat

4) Or throwing in the towel

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3) Super-powered explorers

1) Putting the cat in the bag

2) Super-powered High-schoolers

4) Throwing in the towel

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1) Putting the cat in the bag

2) Super-powered High-schoolers

3) Super-powered explorers

4) Throwing in the towel

Reason: without doing 1 (by whatever means, even destroying the Door), it'll be hard to do 2. I think we *need* to do 2 to build the basis for the entire "Dalton Academy" concept and get the interrelations functioning as such; that will add a *lot* to when we shift gears over to 3.

I was really looking forward to the academic setting; I'm hoping that doesn't wind up lost in the shuffle.

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Hmn. I have an alternative suggestion to 'bagging the cat': 'making a new cat'. I think if we try to 'bag the cat', it'll feel fake and lower people's desire/ability to get back into character and the game in general. Coming up with new mysteries/issues to deal with on top of the Caramine threat could help revitalize the mystery of the Doors. Say, who made the Doors and why? Are the Caramines the only interplanetary empire? Are the other worlds actually other worlds, or are they other planes of existance? If they're other worlds, does anyone have spaceships for travel, too?

As to the academic setting, Slyvia, my slight issue on that is that in comparison to exploring new worlds, regular school is boring. Unless there is something specifically plot oriented occuring in a class, or a side-story that takes place around/within school, it's just not that interesting to rp out. If you mean 'academic setting' some other way, please do say so, but the saving-the-world-and-still-getting-an-A-in-English-Lit stories/movies/shows pretty much give a an 80/20 split to adventuring vs. actual school academics. And that's if the school stuff is a big deal in the story.

The trend in voting so far seems to show that the players are more interested in exploring than in acing English Lit. Not that we can't show the struggle to do both (especially for those characters that have a lot to lose personally if they abandon Earth and/or Dalton in favor of becoming the next Han Solo), but I think the group wants more adventure than social drama, at least right now.

My own opinion:

1) Making a new Cat

1.1) High-Powered Explorers

1.2) High-Powered Highschoolers

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15) Throwing in the Towel

16) Bagging the Cat (I think it'll just mean a slow painful death of the game)

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What sort of options for Bagging The Cat are you considering, Carver? My reaction kind of depends on the specifics, if you're at liberty to share. smile

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There were a couple of ways to do it, but honestly, I don't think that's going to be the option I go with. So far, the majority of the players seem to be against it.

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