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 Tamien » Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:52 pm

i think my ranking is
2 > 3 > 5 > 1 > 4
with 3 and 5 being very closely matched
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby DanielH » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:06 am

I’m starting to regret using a ranking system like this to implicitly define voting method; approval or range voting are both easier to tally and give better answers. After reading about preparedness, I’d like to clarify that my ranking is 4 ≫ 3 ⪆ 5 > 2, with 1 somewhere probably in the low end of that spectrum.

I’ll clarify my position on 1 after learning more about warforged, around Friday evening at the latest. For the moment, my questions are: how biological (vs mechanical, magical, or other form of artificial) are they, how did the typical warforged feel about warrioring before the end of the war (it suited most of them, apparently, but how?), and are there any psychological similarities in the ones warrioring did not suit? How psychologically similar to humans are they supposed to be (most alien races are practically humans in funny suits; is this the case with warforged too), and what sort of mechanisms (conditioning, custom-designed psyche, etc.) were used to make sure they were mostly suited to be warriors? I’d at least like the answers with in-universe knowledge, but am curious about anything out-of-universe you can tell me (although it seems likely that some of that is deliberately hidden). The answers matter because they determine whether “make their way” is most likely to involve integration with the other cultures, setting out and trying to form a primarily-warforged society, trying to conquer other societies, something else, or some combination of the above.

How trustworthy is the world map created by the the House of Running The Telegram Network of the Secret Police State?
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:29 am

DanielH wrote:For the moment, my questions are: how biological (vs mechanical, magical, or other form of artificial) are they, how did the typical warforged feel about warrioring before the end of the war (it suited most of them, apparently, but how?), and are there any psychological similarities in the ones warrioring did not suit? How psychologically similar to humans are they supposed to be (most alien races are practically humans in funny suits; is this the case with warforged too), and what sort of mechanisms (conditioning, custom-designed psyche, etc.) were used to make sure they were mostly suited to be warriors? I’d at least like the answers with in-universe knowledge, but am curious about anything out-of-universe you can tell me (although it seems likely that some of that is deliberately hidden). The answers matter because they determine whether “make their way” is most likely to involve integration with the other cultures, setting out and trying to form a primarily-warforged society, trying to conquer other societies, something else, or some combination of the above.

Short answer: read this--but treat the last two sentences of the Creation section as an exaggeration or overgeneralization. Besides that, on a quick skim everything on the page but the "Notable Warforged" section is typical in-universe knowledge for a warforged or artificer or reasonably well-educated citizen of Khorvaire (though be careful about what you might find in the other articles linked therein). You've already picked up on the general mystery: warforged are created in a manufacturing process (they're not biological at all), and yet they have souls, develop distinct individual personalites (though this was damped for most of the war by the (non-magical) conditioning/teaching process used by Cannith), and they're already born more sapient than people (humans, elves, etc.) -- they start with language and a ghulra and able to learn and follow orders off the bat. Some of the resolution to this mystery is known to the few members of House Cannith who first developed the Creation Forges. Some of it is not known to anyone in Khorvaire. As for what "make their way" entails, answering that question would basically be the point of the campaign. :p

How trustworthy is the world map created by the the House of Running The Telegram Network of the Secret Police State?
Nice catch. No comment.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:43 am

DanielH: "approval or range voting"? I'm not opposed to changing how the spreadsheet works, but I don't know exactly what you mean by either of those.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Anya » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:31 am

My brain has decided it can't do this thing anymore, so count me out. Sorry!
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby DanielH » Thu Sep 24, 2015 11:31 am

@jalapeno_dude: I’ll read those when I have more time. I get that the entire point is to figure out what “make their way” entails, there are still broad themes it could have been. If the answers had been that warforged were all created to love fighting and the ones who weren’t good warriors had the problem of trying to fight with their allies as well, then the such a campaign would look a lot different than when they are basically psychologically standard but with their personalities suppressed by their upbringings.

@Kappa: Approval voting is like the standard plurality “here are the options; choose one” voting scheme, but instead you choose as many or as few as you like. Whichever is chosen by the largest fraction of voters wins. Range voting, also called score voting, is like your spreadsheet now, but where you can assign any number to each option (within the given range) instead of having them ranked. Approval voting is the special case of range voting where the allowed numbers are zero and one.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:06 pm

Aha.

I think what I like about the ranking system is that it's constrained enough that I don't have to go "well is this ~really~ more of a 3 or a 3.5?" or whatever, I just put everything in order of how much I want to do it. But if people want to do the range voting thing, I'm cool with that.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:41 am

*prods this thread gently with a stick*

With no overhaul of the voting scheme, the spreadsheet currently seems to have scenarios 3 and 4 tied, with 4 being more people's first choice but some people's last, and 3 being more of a lukewarm compromise option beloved of few but approved by many.

Should we overhaul the voting scheme? Should we try to reach consensus on whether to pick 3 or 4 or something else?
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:28 am

Yep, we should have a runoff vote between 3 and 4, the clear front-runners. I'll post some more detailed thoughts on what each of those campaigns would entail in practice later today, so please hold off on voting until then.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Fri Sep 25, 2015 2:30 pm

Thoughts, as promised:

To reiterate, the differences in theme/tone between #3 (The Planes are Wrong) and #4 (Is Knowledge Power?) are that the former is concerned with prophecy and desperation while the latter is concerned with progress and lies. (Y'all picked up on that last thing, right?) Desperate discovery through and about prophecy looks a lot different than progressive discovery that reveals the lies of the past. This is obvious, of course, but let me unpack it a little bit anyway.

First off, the nature of revelation is very different in the two scenarios. In #4, discovery comes through effort, often long and sustained effort; the characters earn knowledge by working for it. To take an example that I'm not planning to use immediately in the campaign itself, learning that "artifice can't accomplish anything fundamentally beyond what a well-trained wizard can do" might first mean hearing reports of something seemingly impossible, travelling to inspect the seeming impossibility first hand, conducting an investigation to figure out what's going on, and determining why it contradicts the commonly understood truth, and finally (and this is why it's about progress and not just discovery) using, or trying to use, this new understanding to make the world a better place. In #3, on the other hand, things are very different. From an out-of-game perspective, revelation through prophecy is a deus ex machina; if we do things correctly, it won't seem that way inside the story, but it will still be the case that knowledge gained in this way isn't really *earned*, except by the choice to create/play a character who's in a position to receive it.

Second, the amount of required knowledge of lore, and consequently effort needed to understand it, is very different. I primarily mean this from an out-of-character/storytelling perspective. In #4, plot/setting elements can be introduced fairly slowly: you only need to know what a wizard can, indeed, do when you encounter something that your characters would know shouldn't be possible. And because the characters will presumably have different areas of specialization each individual player only needs to feel comfortable with a limited set of knowledge about the setting. But #3 is about prophecy, which means that everything is connected, and desperation, which means that there's only a little bit of time to realize the necessary conditions. I think we've agreed that whatever story we tell should have a happy ending; the failure mode of a campaign based on #3 isn't *really* the world ending, it's the campaign stopping. But I think you'll get much more satisfaction out of playing in this sort of campaign if you're willing to put in some work to learn about the setting so you actually pick up on things as they're revealed.

Finally, the dramatic structure I have in mind to implement these campaigns is very different. I tend to think of most of my campaigns as episodic in nature with some overarching dramatic arcs, like most TV dramas these days. #4 works particularly well with this structure: it has a natural "discovery of the week" format, in which the characters take on a discrete problem or situation and carry it through to some satisfactory ending, hopefully in such a way that new "episodes" continue to build on each other. But what I have in mind for #3 is very different. For something concerning prophecy, I feel the need to pull out all the fancy postmodern stops. This means surrealism, symbolism, allegory, maybe even pataphor if I can manage it, playing around with structure, potentially multiple simultaneous timelines (via time travel or reincarnation), possibly even some tasteful breaking of the fourth wall. I will, in short, view #3 as license to unleash my most ambitious weird creative impulses, and while I *think* I can pull it off you should be both willing to play along and aware that it could all go horribly wrong.

___________________________________

Whew, glad I got that off my chest. Okay, let's go ahead and vote. Because it's Friday afternoon my time I guess we should wait until sometime on Monday to give people with different schedules a chance to weigh in unless my vomit of text changes peoples' minds such that there's now an overwhelming consensus in one direction or the other. Once we've picked something we can move on to collectively creating a set of characters.
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