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 jalapeno_dude » Wed Oct 21, 2015 2:24 pm

Bluelantern wrote:
jalapeno_dude wrote:I am back! I am too jetlagged to post anything substantial right now and I expect to spend all my free time tomorrow playing the last episode of Life is Strange, but expect posting to resume after that!

Played today! Let me know what you think of it

I liked it! Hmm, let's see if I can do this with no spoilers whatsoever and still be clear: I was not expecting the cliffhanger in the last episode to be resolved as quickly as it was, but in retrospect it worked well. I really liked the dream-sequence stuff in the last third or so of the episode. For the final choice, I made what seemed like it was clearly supposed to be the bad option (definitely the one that was harder to justify from a moral standpoint), but at least the way I had played my Max it was the only option that made any sense at all and I was pleased with the outcome. I do wish there had been a little more time to talk with the secondary characters--it felt like some of the plots got dropped abruptly. I will definitely buy the second season in a heartbeat when it comes out, but I hope they pick a new set of characters and maybe even a new set of game mechanics (though they should definitely keep the journal and examination systems, those worked really well)--it feels like Max's story ended in a dramatically satisfying way and I don't want to see them mess that up in the future.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Bluelantern » Sat Oct 24, 2015 11:19 am

jalapeno_dude wrote:
Bluelantern wrote:
jalapeno_dude wrote:I am back! I am too jetlagged to post anything substantial right now and I expect to spend all my free time tomorrow playing the last episode of Life is Strange, but expect posting to resume after that!

Played today! Let me know what you think of it

I liked it! Hmm, let's see if I can do this with no spoilers whatsoever and still be clear: I was not expecting the cliffhanger in the last episode to be resolved as quickly as it was, but in retrospect it worked well. I really liked the dream-sequence stuff in the last third or so of the episode. For the final choice, I made what seemed like it was clearly supposed to be the bad option (definitely the one that was harder to justify from a moral standpoint), but at least the way I had played my Max it was the only option that made any sense at all and I was pleased with the outcome. I do wish there had been a little more time to talk with the secondary characters--it felt like some of the plots got dropped abruptly. I will definitely buy the second season in a heartbeat when it comes out, but I hope they pick a new set of characters and maybe even a new set of game mechanics (though they should definitely keep the journal and examination systems, those worked really well)--it feels like Max's story ended in a dramatically satisfying way and I don't want to see them mess that up in the future.


I want to talk more, but it is going to off topic. I decided to go with the moral decision for the final choice.
Sorry for my bad english

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

Postby jalapeno_dude » Tue Oct 27, 2015 12:48 am

Infopost V: Infopost This!

The Thirteen Houses and their Twelve Dragonmarks, Continued, Continued

-It turns out the coats of arms of the houses are *also* available in the same place as the depictions of the dragonmarks. I've edited them into the earlier posts as well.

House Phiarlan: Just a Jolly, Innocent Group of Circus Performers

On the Surface: The elves of House Phiarlan bear the Mark of Shadow and run the Entertainers and Artisans Guild, Eberron's premier network of, well, entertainers and artisans, taking advantage of their Mark's powers of disguise, illusions, and shadow conjuration to produce the finest artistic entertainment. Over the more than two millennia since the House relocated from its ancestral home in Aerenal to Khorvaire, the House has specialized across the artistic disciplines; it has five Demesnes, one for each of the heads of the Hydra in its coat of arms, each a center of excellence in one particular art: Memory (specializing in the written word, e.g. novels, poems, and plays) in Fairhaven, Aundair, Motion (specializing in the arts of the body, e.g. dance, gymnastics, massage, and "massage"), in Wroat, Breland, Music, in Flamekeep, Thrane, Shape (physical objects, e.g. sculpture, architecture, and propmaking), recently reestablished by the House in Thaliost, Thrane after the the previous Demesne of Shape struck out on its own (see below), and the heart of the House, Shadow (deception in its broadest sense, ranging from illusion to oratory to acting), located in Metrol, the capital of Cyre.

Deeper: The hydra has five heads, but it also has a shadow, and so too does Phiarlan have a sixth Demesne, the Serpentine Table, whose location is either variable or an incredibly closely-guarded secret (or both). The Table coordinates House Phiarlan's true profession--espionage. In Aerenal, phiarlan used to be the name of a profession, a sort of combination of ritual storyteller and the elvish equivalent of an agent of the Trust. These days Phiarlan's services are for sale, but only to those worthy of purchasing its services: the aristocracy, both landed nobility and dragonmarked heirs, and royalty itself. Phiarlan claims to be scrupulously neutral, its services available to all who can afford to pay, but of course everyone else claims that too...

House Thuranni: Just Another Jolly, Innocent Group of Circus Performers with a Blood Feud against the Other Ones

On the Surface: The elves of House Thuranni bear the same Mark of Shadow as their Phiarlan cousins, and indeed until 972 YK Thuranni was just one of the families within House Phiarlan. In that year, though, the Demesne of Shape in Atur, Karrnath developed irreconcilable creative differences with the other demesnes and split from them, declaring a new House and themselves the True Shapers. Indeed, if you're a serious student of architecture, painting, pottery, or the like (and able to cross national borders despite the War, as most such serious students, being members of the idle nobility, generally are) you'd certainly prefer to study in Atur rather than Thaliost.

Deeper: The shadowy elves don't share much, but it's clear that while Phiarlan used to consist of five major families who bore the Mark of Shadow, the Shadow Schism left them with three: one of them, Paelion, the House's assassination specialists, was (supposedly) exterminated and then the perpetrators, Thuranni, were expelled from the House. Presumably both sides decided they couldn't take the risk of a war between them dragging their activities into the War, and though Phiarlan grumbled it didn't resist Thuranni's entry into The Twelve when Tharashk sponsored them. Thuranni's equivalent of the Table is the Shadow Cabinet, and it takes a blunter approach than Phiarlan: it doesn't restrict its choice of clientele to the proper sorts and it makes no pretense of neutrality...

House Medani: The ones with Detective Vision

On the Surface: The half-elves of House Medani, based in Wroat, the capital of Breland, bear the Mark of Detection, which, straightforwardly enough, grants its bearer the ability to detect things ranging from magic to poison to, some say, the true nature of reality. House Medani operates the Warning Guild, which provides the services of bodyguards, sentries, and the like. But it's best-known for its inquisitives, widely agreed to be the best in the business, who sell their services as detectives and investigators to all who can afford to pay its rather hefty fees.

Deeper: The Twelve almost lost the War of the Mark fifteen hundred years ago, though they don't like to admit it. It was (one must assume) pure good fortune that the Mark of Detection emerged during the War; without its powers, it would have been immeasurably harder to hunt down the bearers of aberrant marks. But House Medani doesn't get much credit for this, because that origin makes an upstart, the youngest house save for Tharashk, which is hardly a proper house at all. Even in the years before the Last War when the Twelve maintained a more-or-less united front, House Medani frequently flouted it, in two ways in particular. Firstly, the families that make up Medani were all located within Breland, and the House has not had time to diffuse geographically throughout Galifar like most of the others have; in the Last War, Medani has barely kept up a pretense of neutrality, and it's an open secret that King Boranel ir'Wynarn of Breland and Baron Trelib d'Medani are fast friends. Secondly, Medani is a House of half-elves, and very consciously aware of this: it shuns both the numerous human houses, who frequently stick together, and the shadowy elves who frequently find themselves on the opposite side of the law from the inquisitives. Yet at the same time the House's idea of what it means to be a half-elf focuses on integration into the wider society of Khorvaire, very different than the strident racial ideologies of Lyrandar (see below). In short Medani has no allies among the Twelve, and Tharashk has shown no hesitation in taking advantage of this (see above).

______________________________________________

And that's tonight's Thousand Words on Eberron, folks. One more post to finish up The Twelve (taking us to thirteen total, of course), than another to discuss the Once and Future Thirteenth Houses and, I guess, the Twelve itself, and then we should be good. (I will probably also want to write some posts about Stormreach, your starting point in Xen'drik, but I think I can do that after we talk character creation.) Sound good?
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Tue Oct 27, 2015 5:56 am

:D

Your infoposts are so good and I appreciate them so much.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:13 pm

Quick post to let y'all know I haven't abandoned this -- I just first got distracted by a video game (Lord of the Rings Online, the previously mentioned World's Nerdiest MMO, has now reached Minas Tirith) and then got extremely busy to the extent that I haven't had the mental energy to spend two hours writing an infopost. When I am slightly less busy, posts will resume (even tonight is possible, but don't count on it).
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby jalapeno_dude » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:32 am

Infopost VI: Infopostier

The Thirteen Houses and their Twelve Dragonmarks, Concluded

House Deneith: Fun with Mercenaries

On the Surface: The humans of House Deneith bear the Mark of Sentinel, which grants powers enabling the protection of others from physical harm and direct threats. Deneith has thus always provided elite bodyguards to the powerful through its Defenders Guild. But beyond that, the Mark's direct abilities in front-line combat drew the house into the martial professions; the Korth Edicts permit Deneith (and only Deneith) to maintain a standing army for the service of Galifar, and accordingly the Blademarks Guild serves as a clearing house for the finest mercenaries in Khorvaire. The two Guilds together comprise the vast majority of the House's activities (and profits), but a third, much smaller, force (that coat of arms I just linked is presumably a chimera; feel free to assign lion, goat, and snake to the three branches as you see fit) draws a disproportionate share of public attention: the Sentinel Marshals, first established by Galifar himself to police his nation (as well as actually guarding the palace of Thronehold, a duty still carried out by the Throne Wardens a century after anyone last sat on the throne of Galifar). Since the destruction of Galifar, the Marshalls have been put in an awkward spot: none of the Five Nations have explicitly challenged their right to operate across national borders, but their investigations into atrocities committed during the conduct of the War have frequently fallen on deaf ears...

Deeper: Once it made the decision to remain neutral, i.e. to sell its services to all available sides, the early years of the War were extremely lucrative for House Deneith. Decades of continual fighting sapped the pool of manpower, but luckily Deneith had an alternative ready. In 878 YK Lord Cail d'Deneith had led an expedition into the caves of the Seawall Mountains and convinced the goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears) present there to allow recruitment from amongst their number. As the war continued, the Blademarks Guild increasingly relied on goblinoids (goblins, hobgoblins, and bugbears) rather than humanoids to meet the voracious demand for troops. (This problem of manpower was a general one; it also lay behind the massive success of the warforged and the Cyran decision to hire elven Valenar mercenaries from Aerenal.) So it was problematic, to say the least, when tens of thousands of goblinoids under Deneith contracts to Breland and Cyre turned on their employers in 969 YK and formed the nation of Darguun. Deneith eventually brokered a deal where the Lhesh Haruuc, leader of the tribes, agreed to continue to provide mercenary forces in exchange for recognition of his nation, but irreversible damage had been done to Deneith's reputation. This is in large part why Tharashk was able to become such formidable competition (see above).

And, of course, this failure has had repercussions with the House itself, destabilizing the leadership and empowering those with radical views. The decision to remain neutral, in particular, has come under attack: Deneith is largely based out of Karrnath, and many of its prominent members would prefer to cast aside the obsolete Korth Edicts and join together with Karrnath to enforce a new world order...

House Ghallanda: Everyone Trusts the Innkeeper

On the Surface: The halflings of House Ghallanda bear the Mark of Hospitality, which allows things like purifying water and cleaning clothes and finding shelter. These things came in handy for the nomadic halfling tribes of the Talenta Plains (who, just a reminder, ride dinosaurs)--and still come in handy for them, for that matter--but they also come in handy in letting the Hostelers Guild enforce a price-fixing cartel across the vast majority of the inns and restaurants across Khorvaire. Ghallanda runs some of its own inns (and luxury apartment complexes, and seaside resorts, and more), but practically every establishment of quality displays the Ghallanda Seal, submitting to occasional inspections, regulations, and quiet suggestions from the Guild in return.

Deeper: The leadership of Ghallanda is still based in the Talenta Plains. The nomadic tribes are, well, nomadic, but there is a semi-permanent tent-city, Gatherhold, where the tribes come for their periodic conclaves. This is where the Ghallanda enclave is located, as well as a few concessions to modernity like a Lightning Rail stop and a Sivis message station. Even though the vast majority of Ghallanda heirs are located elsewhere, and few identify much with their less-settled cousins, it's still ultimately the halflings stationed here, and those who accompany the various tribes across the plains as part of the Wandering Inn, who are in charge of the House, as they have been since even before it was recognized as one of the Twelve.

House Lyrandar: Definitely not running a Weather Protection Racket

On the Surface: The half-elves of House Lyrandar bear the Mark of Storm. The Mark of Storm grants powers of water and wind, at its height granting the ability to fully control the weather, whether (sorry) by ending droughts or calling hurricanes. One of Lyrandar's guilds is indeed the Raincallers Guild, which offers such potentially lifesaving services to those villages or armies or nations willing to pay. The other portion of Lyrandar, the Windwrights Guild, is devoted to using said wind and water powers for purposes of trade, travel, and transportation. For centuries this simply meant providing ship pilots who could ensure a sailing ship made its way to its destination on a regular schedule with no inconvenient storms or calm patches. The Last War suddenly shifted vast amounts of trade from (often Orien) overland trade routes to (almost always) Lyrandar water routes, and with the windfall (sorry), plus cooperation from Cannith and the elemental binders of Zilargo, Lyrandar developed first the elemental galleon (and its more martial cousin the stormship) and then, only 4 years ago in 994 YK, the elemental airship, as yet a fantastically expensive prototype technology but one already beginning to revolutionize both combat and overland travel.

Deeper: Like the Kraken on their coat of arms, Lyrandar is twisty, and it has its tentacles in everything. Start with its origin story. Most houses have tales of the first few people who bore their respective marks, but Lyrandar's is different: according to House doctrine (and no other house has "doctrine"), two half-elves, Lyran and Selavash, received not only the first Marks of Storm but an accompanying vision from Arawai and Kol Korran, two members of the Sovereign Host mentioned back in the first infopost. The vision and the doctrine go something like this: humans originated in Sarlona, elves in Xen'drik, but the children of the two were a new, blessed race (something something hybrid vigor), the only one native to Khorvaire (and never mind about the goblinoids)--the Khoravar. (In Lyrandar half-elves are never half-elves; they're always Khoravar.) The Mark of the Storm is a gift, both signalling and enabling the power of the Khoravar over nature and commerce; those who bear it, namely Lyrandar heirs, are the Princes of the Khoravar (and never mind about Medani).

You can probably extrapolate from there to the views of the more extreme House members on inter-house relations and geopolitics. Or, perhaps, consider the Korth Edicts one last time:
-Dragonmarked houses can't own land. When Thrane became theocratic, Lyrandar moved to Aundair, and transformed the frozen northern island of Stormhome into a balmy island paradise. Technically, of course, an Aundairian garrison keeps the peace. And when the Valenar elves carved out a new nation in the south of Cyre, Lyrandar was quick to offer its services as a go-between between them and the rest of the Twelve, in exchange, they were explicitly granted holdings in Valenar in direct violation of the Korth Edicts.
-Dragonmarked houses can't maintain a military force. Lyrandar has sold stormships to the Five Nations, but it maintains a sizable force--supposedly merely to protect shipping, but when the Brelish navy attempted to seize a Karrnathi agent from Stormhome in 943 YK only a single Brelish ship was left to report on its defeat.

___________________________________________

So that's the Twelve. I have a bit more I'd like to cover, but please start thinking about and discussing characters.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Kappa » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:52 pm

<3 <3 <3

I'm still pretty set on a StevenChainsaw, but now I'm debating whether or not he gets an aberrant dragonmark. Probably not. It wouldn't quite fit the template, even though it does in some ways.
Last edited by Kappa on Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interest Check -- Play-by-Post RPG?

Postby Bluelantern » Thu Nov 12, 2015 2:14 pm

The Ghallanda are the token good teammate?

Anyway I am a little lost about what to do for my character.
Sorry for my bad english

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

Postby Bluelantern » Sat Dec 12, 2015 6:14 pm

So what is the current status of this thing?
Sorry for my bad english

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

Postby Tamien » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:37 pm

*pokes thing*
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