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 Saeros retirement

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Saeros
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PostSubject: Saeros retirement   Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:08 pm

I. (I intended to have this posted yesterday, before the new TR outcomes)

I would like to express my discomfort with the fact that two of our three most active and engaged players have left Aftermath due to what us non-GMs can only infer that was a quarrel. That, along with the fact that it’s taking so long for the GMs to come up with a decision regarding the Aelfwine event, makes me think that something is wrong.

In reality, this
Quote :
rightly said “My goal is to put up a good fight only to lose on purpose.” (or something like that)
, posted in the OOC board, is what troubles me the most.

So, in order to make up my mind and determine how much time and effort I’m willing to dedicate to Aftermath, I’d be glad if the GMs could clarify one or more of the following:

1: Who will RP the king (or an equivalent regent) and the nobles?
2: Are or will the events be rigged in favor of the status quo? Or will their results be fair and neutral?
3: Related to 2: If I did everything right, could I start a revolution/major change to the political landscape (for example, murdering three lords and declaring their fiefs free cities)? Or raise a peasant army?

II. To the TROTRE (thread regarding the outcomes of the throne room event)

A brief contextualization: I’m a hardcore roleplayer. In Mount & Blade, I tweak my character and remove ST and AG points every time I’m knocked down. I play all my games in Iron Man mode. And I use Skyrim’s realism mods. So you surely understand my frustration when something like the TROTRE happens. I consider altering past IC-events (along with meta-gaming) a capital crime of the most immoral nature ("cheating", in proper English).

I won’t comment about it line by line (thus leading to more bad blood), though I say I disagree with it in general, and my stance is that no change was necessary (only a warning, maybe). As I mentioned on the Silvemist board, that was a master move of the Griffons, and one of the top moments of Aftermath. Granted: a very serious move, one which would have had equally serious consequences, but I was fine with that.

Unnecessary to say that I was already midway in my IC-responses for the original outcome, and it’s frustrating to hear that it was a time wasted in vain, since the nobles’ reactions has been watered down.

III. What I’ll do from now on.


I will remain in Aftermath and I will continue roleplaying my character, hoping for changes in the mid-to-long term future.
However, I won’t participate in any major plot or scheming, and will mostly keep to writing lore and hosting small events, whenever needed (for example, if anyone is interested in an expedition to the Mystmountains, in a quest in the D’Shar Desert, or in a trading trip to Mettenheim or Veccavia, just let me know).

IC-wise Saeros will go to Poinsbruk and will remain there. If other characters need him for something, he can be contacted there IC. I will no longer deal with the Steppe settlements, the Aelfwine event, and the business of the Silvermist order (Iskar, please demote him if it’s needed).

This is because (re question #2), after the TROTRE, I fear that the game has indeed been rigged (though I’m naively waiting for a negative reply for that). If I can’t expect a realistic result of my scheming, then the game becomes rather childish and I honestly see no point in spending my time in major plots (and will therefore keep to simpler stuff).

IV. final thoughts

By joining aftermath, my main purpose was to see a story grow and evolve naturally, woven by different players and created by their conflicts and alliances. If major negative outcomes such as those of the TR cannot take place without an immense amount of bad blood, then the spontaneity and fairness required for the natural development of the story is destroyed. So, basically, I have two problems with all that happened: one is the (probable) fact that the story will not be as spontaneous as I would like it to, and the other is the fact that such a long discussion was necessary for the GMs to handle a major outcome (thus indicating that future polemic outcomes will trigger the same disagreement).
I can live with a kingdom-wide rebellion of the nobility, I can live with the Snake Cult conquering half of Pendor, but I can’t live with a RPG with limits, much less if these are unknown to me.

I am not happy with Aftermath at this moment, but I am aware that things change, and what I see negatively may be considered positively by other players. I'm not blaming anyone, but only complaining that current rules aren't adequate enough for my oh-so-refined hardcore-gamer expectations. Moreover: I might eventually return to the grand game. Probably.
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Marcus the Shadow Fighter
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:31 pm

I agree on some points and go "meh" on others.

Most people here still have no experience whatsoever with weaving stories or building characters - exceptions go for DD, Mordred, Saeros, and me as far as I know.

Four people who know how it should be done? Not enough.


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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:03 pm

Hmm, it seems there is much and more I need to explain:

1: Regarding the king we have resolved to do the following for which I'd like to quote from the GM board:
Quote :
Update on the voting system: Tubby and me have come up with the following suggestion:

Step A: Break an issue at hand down to Yes/No decisions. This will usually be simple since most issues are of the kind "King agrees/does not agree to endeavour x." or "King grants/does not grant y.", etc.

Step B: Briefly discuss the issue among the GMs (= court officials), then let everyone cast a vote. Votes count +1 for yes, 0 for abstinence and -1 for no.

Step C: Roll 1d9 with range from -4 to 4 and add it to the sum of votes.

Step D: Evaluate: if the sum is less than 0, the king disagrees, if it is more than 0 he agrees and in the rare case that is is 0 he is undecided and will be swayed by the next best player argument.

By including the die roll the king's decision are never completely foreseeable, even by the GMs, while they will not be completely random, for the more GMs vote for one way the less likely it will become for the value to got the opposite way.
We can also use the magnitude of the outcome to roughly determine the strength of the king's reaction: -4 = he burst into rage, threatening everyone to have their heads for treason, -1 = he just shakes his head, 2 = he smiles and nods, 4 = he raises from his chair and almost applauds this splendid solution.

The system can also be applied to other NPC characters, such as dukes in cases of important decisions, where the final decision value can be further modified according to their own agenda. (E.g. a militarist lord will get a +2 when deciding on whether to choose a more violent option or not.
I hope that sufficiently answers your question. If the king's decisions seem too random one can add positive or negative modifiers according to his nature (which has not really been developed yet) to make him lean towards one or the other kind of solution more.

2. see the last paragraph for this.

3. Yes.

Now to get into greater detail with the Griffon plot and its tweaked outcome: This was a rather difficult issue for us to decide since we had two big problems: What you call a master move was not roleplayed at all. It was developed, discussed and declared done purely OOC. That is, strictly speaking, it never happened roleplaywise. Unfortunately the outcome did happen roleplaywise. We thus had to resolve a situation where we had the highly controversial RP outcome of a purely OOC planned action. If we had kept the full results with what legitimacy would we be able to deny other OOC plans immediate RP consequences? If we had declared it to have never happened the tweaking of the outcome would have been maximal and would have irritated hardcore RPers just as well as the whole order of the Griffon. Further taking into account the missing logical consistency regarding literal quotes where no scribe was present we thought that a slightly weakened noble bomb would be a viable compromise in this dilemma. You see, there was no way out of this without breaking one fundamental rule of the RP. We hoped breaking two a bit would be easier to bear. For future events we will take considerable care that such dilemmata cannot occur again, i.e. such tweakings will no more be necessary.

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Sir Haegon
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:36 pm

I won't waste time giving my opinion on the throne room, since I purposely kept Aelos out of it.

But I am interested in the Mystmountain expedition and things like that. (like what I'm doing with Pravenstern right now.)

Edit: let me add something..
As far as the plotting and character development goes, I don't think I've done a bad job.. I've been working to make something credible that looks like my grand rebellion thread. Ofcourse, i'm telling this OOC, but the sudden frustration about being a squire, the death of Sir Roland and his noble origin all add up to something I wasn't sure I could pull off in the previous climate.

That's why I was so happy with the Voice of Nobility and the possible uprising.
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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:51 pm

Quote :
Most people here still have no experience whatsoever with weaving stories or building characters
The point is that the story is unintentionally created by their actions. They don't have to actively seek to write history. The point is that this requires the minimum interference possible.

Quote :
But I am interested in the Mystmountain expedition and things like that.
Alright, we'll wait for the IC-trigger (when an expedition becomes necessary for some reason).

Quote :
That's why I was so happy with the Voice of Nobility and the possible uprising.
Me too. I wanted to create an autonomous Southeast and Aelfwine's rebellion was perfect for that (no point in hiding that now since I won't deal with major happenings anymore).
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Sir Thash Kor
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:02 am

Well I am new here so not qualified to give my thoughts on these things but I will say two things.

1. I am a firm believer in pure, boundless, RP despite my own weakness in the area.

2. A trip into the D'shar desert sounds awsome!
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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:50 am

I have an idea: would it be desireable or possible for the GMs to not have simultaneous GM and player factions' roles? Instead of continuing their roleplay with their current Order characters, they could roleplay one or two nobles each - that is, NPCs. That would solve the problem of omniscience and the problem of absence of a voice of the nobility. This was my one of my main concerns about the current multiple GM system.
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Mordred
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:11 am

It's something I have considered in the past, problem is that those GM's also tend to be among the most active members of their respective Orders. It would be entirely possible to end up with more GM's than active players, and this was a situation I was very keen to avoid.
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:27 am

Iskar wrote:
Now to get into greater detail with the Griffon plot and its tweaked outcome: This was a rather difficult issue for us to decide since we had two big problems: What you call a master move was not roleplayed at all. It was developed, discussed and declared done purely OOC. That is, strictly speaking, it never happened roleplaywise. Unfortunately the outcome did happen roleplaywise. We thus had to resolve a situation where we had the highly controversial RP outcome of a purely OOC planned action. If we had kept the full results with what legitimacy would we be able to deny other OOC plans immediate RP consequences? If we had declared it to have never happened the tweaking of the outcome would have been maximal and would have irritated hardcore RPers just as well as the whole order of the Griffon. Further taking into account the missing logical consistency regarding literal quotes where no scribe was present we thought that a slightly weakened noble bomb would be a viable compromise in this dilemma. You see, there was no way out of this without breaking one fundamental rule of the RP. We hoped breaking two a bit would be easier to bear. For future events we will take considerable care that such dilemmata cannot occur again, i.e. such tweakings will no more be necessary.

While I can understand your sentiment I think you ask to much. Here we had an event with a whole bunch of people that was constantly moving and advancing then later even had time limits. Where was the room to really roleplay these niggling details with such a rush on? I'd come back from a day at work and the entire landscape was changed nearly every time. I never saw much time for RPing outside the courtroom. Hell I barely kept up with doing things in the court room, not that my character had much to say. If we had to roleplay all that? We would have never had anything happen and it would have been another boring meeting where dull things happen in the magical land of uninteresting.

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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:39 am

@Saeros: It could also cripple orders where the most active player who is also GM keeps things running and in most cases is also grandmaster, i.e. plays a character rather important to the RP as a whole.

The thing is, one can either have a single head admin who determines all outcomes in case of doubt, but then this one must be independent of all the orders, or one can have GMs also playing an order character, but then one needs roughly one GM from each power block/order to keep the balance, both internally as well as in the perception of the players. In the latter case the head GM/admin acts more like a chairman or primus inter pares. I personally favour the first system, but since Mordred retired we were pretty much forced to resort to the latter, because all remaining GMs are involved into the RP itself, playing leading characters.

A solution might be for me to quit playing Iskar and act as Lord High Admin, just like Mordred did before, but with you retired, too, it would leave the Silvermist half crippled and honestly, I do this for fun in my leisure time. I have invested a lot of the latter to build up the Silvermist from scratch and I do not know whether I really want to give that up just to spend the rest of my Aftermath days as admin with people crying "Abuse" whenever I grant the Silvermist a success or rule against their rivals.

@Kamos: I do see your point, but why not just ask for more IC time out of council instead of resorting to OOC discussions?

EDIT: The quote you refer to indicates that you talk about the Griffon plot rather than the backroom. As for that it would have been simple to just make up some roleplay in your chapterhouse, taking place during the pauses or after the last council session.

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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:50 am

Addendum: I hope you can see the dilemma this plot caused for us. Basically, if we had kept the consequences as before, we wuld have been forced to explain to the rest of the community why an OOC plan that was never played out had stronger consequences than most elaborate IC scenes before.

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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:28 am

Quote :
It's something I have considered in the past, problem is that those GM's also tend to be among the most active members of their respective Orders.
Quote :
It could also cripple orders where the most active player who is also GM keeps things running and in most cases is also grandmaster

Indeed, they are the most active players. Which is why they would be a great asset if they could RP two lords each.

In the event an Order becomes leaderless, the regional lord (i.e. the GM) could intervene - he owns their lands, anyway. For instance, Iskar could RP Stephan in Laria and intervene when Laisha and Aldric are not able of making decisions due to time constraints, for instance.

Alternatively, Orders could pay 500-3000 RP to have an advisor (you and Aranor) organizing their accounts. For example,
a) DrSane says: "I want you to make a list of the buildings for this month. Priorities are trade in region XXXX and military in region YYYY."
b) Then you send him the weekly order. The efficiency of the list would depend on how much RP the player spends in your consultantship (500-3000).
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Tubby McChubbles
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:43 am

If you move all the GMs to NPC roles, they are still going to have the issue of having (whether intentional or not) attachments to their previous order.

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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:07 am

And, since the are usually among the most active players, one would be in danger of having an NPC environment more active than the actual players, unbalancing the RP as a whole, and we would constantly have to watch not to play our dukes and lords too actively, lest we wanted to render most player actions useless.

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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:58 am

I realized that something was missing in my initial post, something no less important than the rest:

- I apologize for leaving the main part of Aftermath.

I am aware that we need every player to keep things running in an acceptable manner, but I simply can't stand some principles that are guiding the current system. Again: they are not bad, but they are undesireable for me.
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PostSubject: Re: Saeros retirement   Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:04 am

Definitive retirement

Gents, lasses,

Following the example of all voices, I now see myself forced to retire from my current role. I won’t make a long explanation, since some points of my last one still apply. At any rate, the admins have been informed of my problems and have already taken measures to fix some things I see as problems.

What changed from the last time was my patience. For a long time I disagreed with the path Aftermath was taking, but still I had decided to continue contributing for the sake of dedicated roleplayers, people like Pravenstern, Psychozoa, DrSane and others, but the cost for that has become too high for me. My time, as yours, is limited. So when I found myself spending it less in designing lords and coming up with interesting nobility plots for you, and more in explanations of what a certain lord did what he did or why he reacted in a certain way, I had to rethink my choices. This is partly a personal issue, but partly also a systemic issue. Please know that I have attempted to contour the latter by any way I could, e.g. reducing the main lords I was playing (so as to RP each one with more quality) and implementing formulas for quicker responses, but the cost/benefit ratio was still too high for me.

Another reason is professionalism. Even though Voicing isn’t a proper job, I have the duty to RP the nobility with fairness. I am no longer in the position to do that. My disagreement with Aftermath’s path includes the way that some inter-order issues are or were being handled. This annoys me greatly, and I feel that this might influence, or might have influenced, the decisions I make for the nobility. Therefore, for the sake of fairness, I resign.

I won’t disappear, as there are still two major contributions I’ll make in Aftermath in following months. One is the Pop boardgame, and the other is Aftermath manual.

Besides, while trying to solve the problems I was seeing, I began meditating about what I expect from Aftermath, and my answer was: "a good story". So I will no longer contribute directly to the RP, but I will post my own stories. They will be written by me and shared with you, but not created collectively by all players. I do expect some feedback for them in the coming months. Oh, I’ll also post about a side project in another thread.

I am genuinely glad to have been part of Aftermath for so long. This community is great, as is the setting and most of the rules. I admit that the project has taught me a lot about gaming and human psychology. I am sorry for leaving you.

That’s about it. Thanks for the interesting stories, and I wish my best for Aftermath.
Saeros

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