Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Not the kind with cardstock and pawns. Mostly play by post Mafia so far.

Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:33 pm

It works! It works!
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Bluelantern » Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:39 pm

BWAHAHAHAHA *THUNDER AND LIGHTING*

okay, sorry that just seemed apropos.

Not an actual suggestions, but would a Frankeinstein story fit this setting?
Sorry for my bad english

"Yambe Akka take the stars, they’re zombies!" - Isabella Amariah
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Wed Sep 23, 2015 1:22 pm

PlainDealingVillain wrote:You see why I like Eberron? Just to add my favorite tidbits you missed: There's actually a more direct Casablanca analogue in the setting; the headquarters of the House Lyrandar (ships and weather) is an independent island up north, which is kept at a nice climate and was a hotbed of spies all war long. Also, there are conspiracy theories about the Day of Mourning, since one of the dragonmark houses had its HQ there but had literally everyone important out of the country that day. Oh, and there are 12 dwarven clans, including House Kundarak, but there was formerly a 13th. (And I'd never noticed the Baker's Dozen joke before.)

Thanks for adding these notes! I decided not to write a whole section infopost about the Dragonmarked Houses but will do so if it becomes relevant. But yes, the Mourning totally screwed up House Cannith (whose headquarters were in Cyre); it's now split into three separate branches. And House Phiarlan, bearers of the Mark of Shadow who are artists and performers and totally not spies (and better than that upstart House Thuranni which split from it during the Last War -- there's another 12+1 for you!), mysteriously had its leaders absent from Cyre despite being based there.

Re Throneport and Casablanca: there's actually a sidebar on p. 96 of Forge of War talking about this:
If you’ve ever seen Casablanca or the classic noir thriller The Third Man,you’ll understand why Throneport is here. Like real-world Vienna or Berlin in the wake of World War II, Throneport is a city divided up among the nations that survived the war. Instead of an American, a British, and a Russian district, it has zones controlled by Aundair, Breland, Thrane, and Karrnath—but the point is the same. It is a hotbed of international intrigue, a place where no nation
holds sway but every nation has a presence. When you play in Throneport, try to keep those classic movies
in mind.


The Day of Mourning is the central mystery in the setting, and it's not something whose cause will ever be revealed in a sourcebook. I've tried to come up with a completely new explanation in each of my Eberron campaigns, and I'll do the same here if it becomes relevant!

(And I actually knew the thing about the dwarven clans but didn't want to admit it out of shame)

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Bluelantern wrote:It is possible to worship your own glorious self? I am tempted to combine a few things with a stray character concept in my head and play as a oddly/monstrously-shaped warforged cleric.

Totally! And it's super easy to explain weird-shaped warforged; there were lots of stages of prototypes before mass production, after all...
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Thanks for rehosting, Tamien! The Khorvaire map is actually a little smaller than the full one I linked (2745x1935 instead of 4575x3225)--mind uploading the larger one?

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Kappa wrote:But some of the things I didn't bold were because I didn't understand the references. Heart of Darkness? Casablanca? Like, I've heard these phrases but they don't expand into plotlines in my head.

Obviously each of these have specific plotlines but I meant more the mood/tone. So for Heart of Darkness that's some combination of a descent into savagery, the futility of civilization, the incalculable vastness and indifference of nature, man's inhumanity to man--think Cthulhu mythos except the Great Old Ones are actually our barbaric instincts ineffectually suppressed by a thin veneer of civilization, or the Pig's Head in Lord of the Flies, etc. And for Casablanca, see the quote about Throneport above. The mood/tone is noir filtered through grim Cold War espionage movies: something like "war is hell", "we're the same as our enemy", "all of this is just a game to our superiors", "it doesn't actually matter who wins, I'm just doing this job to get paid."
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Thanks for bolding things--it's very helpful. Feel free to bring up other things besides what I mentioned too, in terms of setting elements or character concepts or themes you want to explore--as I said, that was just off the top of my head.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:25 pm

Ooh.

So I'm moderately intrigued by both of those mood arcs, but very much from the perspective of having Miles sitting in the back of my head going "How fast do you think I can turn that around into a hopeful story about good people helping each other and succeeding in the face of opposition?" - which is very much the kind of story I prefer. An insufficiently optimistic mood arc tends to make me a sad kappa.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Tamien » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:09 pm

huh, weird. apparently if you upload from your computer, imgur shrinks it, but if you upload from the web, it maintains it full size? i had specifically downloaded them to avoid the risk of the weird image resizing issue -_-

anyway here's khorvaire at 4575 x 3225

i like struggles against the vast unknown, the banality of evil, deception/mistrust/betrayal/failure to cooperate, temptation, moral uncertainty, alienation, corruption/loss of innocence, helplessness, isolation, and probably other stuff i'm forgetting about. man's inhumanity to man is okay assuming that it's not framed such that evil is somehow the unavoidable true nature of man - i'm cool with stories that assume it's *hard* to be good but not with ones that act like goodness is fake or impossible. tragic misunderstandings are usually frustrating as hell, but struggling to communicate/be understood/coordinate is good. umm. struggles against vast, unjust, uncaring systems/institutions are cool. villains who are good, competent people with different values from the protagonists are cool. allies who care deeply for each other/their cause but fail each other/their goals due to major character flaws are cool. i'm big on exploration and discovery, and on social maneuvering, and moral ambiguity, and stuff. hopefully this gives you some ideas i guess?
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Wed Sep 23, 2015 3:48 pm

For stories about struggling to do good in the face of circumstances and one's own flaws, I can think of no better purple template than a StevenChainsaw.

For character-naming purposes, what's known about the languages and naming customs at play here?
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:54 pm

Thanks for imguring, Tamien!
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Okay, let me try to distill some of the discussion that's taken place into a few concrete scenarios:

#1: The Measure of a Machine

This is a story about discovery and identity and struggle. The warforged were literally forged for war, and for some (but not all) this was a fitting purpose. But the War is ended, the armies disbanded, the warforged seemingly unneeded and often unwanted and decreed unable to be produced. Provided with neither purpose nor answers, it is up to the warforged themselves to make their way. And finding a future will require finding the past.

#2: The Many and the Few and the Twelve

This is a story about discovery and intrigue and miscommunication. Supposedly, the Twelve dragonmarked houses remained neutral during the War. Supposedly, the Twelve is an organization funded by the Twelve houses that exists only to facilitate theoretical research in arcana and artifice. Supposedly, Alder d'Cannith had a reason for insisting on thirteen tiers on the keep that floats above the city of Korth and houses the Twelve. Supposedly, no one besides him knew what it was. Supposedly, the Twelve are united. Supposedly, none of the Twelve had anything to do with the Day of Mourning. Supposedly, all of the Twelve supported the Treaty of Thronehold wholeheartedly. Supposedly, none of the Twelve are preparing for the Next War.

#3: The Planes are Wrong

This is a story about discovery and prophecy and desperation. There's a reason that the Day of Mourning happened. There's a reason that Siberys dragonshards don't fall upon the continent of Sarlona. There's a reason that Eberron once had thirteen months. There's a reason that each moon grows brighter in the month named after it. There's a reason the barbarians of the Icehorn Mountains worship something suspiciously like the Silver Flame. There's a reason maps don't tend to work in Xen'drik. There's a reason for the dreams you've been having lately. There's a reason the world is about to end.

#4: Is Knowledge Power?

This is a story about discovery and progress and truth. Elemental binding was invented in Zilargo in 793 YK. Fundamental limitations mean that the lightning rail can only travel at 25 miles per hour. Only a marked heir of House Sivis can operate a Speaking Stone. Artifice can't accomplish anything fundamentally beyond what a well-trained wizard can do. Magic can't create or destroy souls. Daily life today isn't that different than it was in the time of Galifar. Every law of magic has an exception. Every sentence in this paragraph is a lie.

#5: A Short Victorious War

This is a story about discovery and politics and good intentions. The Treaty of Thronehold established a Tribunal to arbitrate a number of lingering territorial disputes and bring those responsible for the many atrocities of the war--the destruction of the White Arch Bridge between Thaliost and Rekkenmark, the Sack of Metrol, the Massacre at Arythawn Keep--to justice. The Tribunal is located on the neutral ground of Throneport itself, housed in fact in the only wing of Thronehold Castle not closed by the Wardens of House Deneith until the return of the true heir of Galifar. Each of the signatories to the Treaty pledged their enthusiastic support, and the dwarves of House Kundarak made their island prison Dreadhold available to house the convicted offenders. Any citizen of Khorvaire is welcome to travel to the Hall of Judgement to make an accusation and present evidence to the tribunal. The Tribunal represents the conscience of Khorvaire, and it takes its responsibilities extremely seriously. Only the best officials and soldiers from all the nations of Khorvaire are assigned to it.
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Obviously there's a key theme all of these have in common, but I doubt people will object to it. ;) I got a little artsy in writing some of these scenarios, so ask if you have questions. (At the risk of spoiling the joke, the statements in #5 don't really represent the true reality of the situation...) And again, I hope it's clear that none of this is set in stone yet--I'm open to altering pretty much anything, I expect and welcome attempts to subvert some of the more depressing ones, and I'm always up for trying to mash things together into something totally unrecognizable.
Last edited by jalapeno_dude on Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:04 pm

@Kappa: This page collects the published material in the sourcebooks. A few additions: last names have a ir' attached to show nobility (e.g. Galifar ir'Wynarn, the first king of Galifar). Members of dragonmarked houses have a family name used within the house (House Sivis is made up of several families) but outside the house they use the house name as their last name. Only people with dragonmarks (a minority of the members of the dragonmarked houses) add a d' to it (e.g. Merrix d'Cannith, the current head of the faction of House Cannith based in Breland). It might also be helpful to scroll through the list of people on the wiki to get a sense of names.

Re languages: Galifar was united until 100 years ago, so at worst the various human-dominated nations have mutually intelligible dialects (think Spanish/Portuguese or Finnish/Estonian, maybe). Pretty much everyone in Khorvaire should have a language in common. Exceptions are probably isolated/xenophobic areas like Valenar, Droaam, the Demon Wastes, Talenta Plains. Dwarves/Goblins/Gnomes also have their own racial languages but most of them will speak the language of Galifar as well.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Wed Sep 23, 2015 5:58 pm

When I look at those scenarios through the lens of where I think a StevenChainsaw would fit, #3 stands out, followed by #2 and #1. A StevenChainsaw is best suited to being a mostly ordinary person, not overburdened with interesting origins or destinies, who coincidentally ends up in a position to make choices with far-reaching effects.

If I take the StevenChainsaw out of the equation, #1 looks like a good fit for a warforged Hall/Asterion instance, #2 like a good fit for a Libby, #3 like a good fit for... most purple templates really, #4 like a good fit for a Tony or maybe someone in the Jni-Ike-Lazarus region of purplespace, and #5 like a good fit for a Libby again or maybe a Miles or a Sherlock.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby atheistcanuck » Wed Sep 23, 2015 6:08 pm

I think 3 and 4 sound interesting! Magical mysteries are my favourite.
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