Circles and RP

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  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Abigail said:
    Kanna took this as a sign of betrayal and abandonment and, choosing the memory of her God over Stavenn's don't-give-a-damn attitude, abandoned them and joined Magick instead.
    Which is absolutely hilarious, because she went to Kinsarmar, which is the city that unleashed the demons that killed Malkav and then showed absolutely no remorse about it.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    Kari
  • OhmOhm Member Posts: 235 ✭✭✭
    Since there are only so many good combatants - they get away with a lot. Remember Tek and Dregaur moving to Khandava - RP'wise it was a major faux pas
    image
  • AbigailAbigail Member Posts: 332 ✭✭✭
    Khizan said:
    Abigail said:
    Kanna took this as a sign of betrayal and abandonment and, choosing the memory of her God over Stavenn's don't-give-a-damn attitude, abandoned them and joined Magick instead.
    Which is absolutely hilarious, because she went to Kinsarmar, which is the city that unleashed the demons that killed Malkav and then showed absolutely no remorse about it.
    Kanna went to Kinsarmar because she thought the demonic circle abandoned Malkav and her. Even Malaclypse said, "Up with madness, down with demons."
  • KryssKryss Member Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭
    If circle changing was a skillset, I'd be transcendent in it. :]

    OhmJeremy SaundersSarciossisIniar
  • TekkorTekkor Member Posts: 1
    Honestly if the orgs currently didn't kick and enemy someone for dealing with someone from an opposing circle the issue with switching professions could stay as it is. Cause then you wouldn't get forced to switch professions because of RPing with someone from a different circle. Which seemed to be the biggest complaint on that front. Otherwise it should cost you to switch circles. This solution though is more in the hands of us the players, then you the admin, as it is the RP we have been using for quite some time, and some of us don't like to change.

    As for what this thread was started for, I would love to see more events that caused cross-circle alliances I would like to see during these times of alliance some extra benefits for all parts of the alliance. Take for instance the alliance during the last event share the obelisk benefits from the demonic and anti-magic circle across the alliance, because all orgs from those circles got involved in the alliance, while magic was devided, so their obelisk benefits are not shared. Or some such setup.
  • EnrykEnryk Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    Okay, I know this topic is long dead and probably none of this matters anymore, but it fits in very nicely with some of the thoughts I've been having recently and I wanted to put this rambling down somewhere.

    I quite like the Circle concept of Imperian, but I think it has become terribly overplayed to the point that most other differences in competing motivations, unique backgrounds and value systems are almost invisible beneath the big Three Teams. 

    Heavily exclusive mechanics and insanely black and white morality perspectives seem to me to play a big role in making the game feel much smaller and more generic than it really deserves, because your character's sphere of influence and meaningful non-psychopathic interaction is shrunk to a third of its potential because of your circle choice alone. I would imagine that there is a wildly different game experience depending on which circle you start in, because I see hardly any cross-circle player interaction other than in adversarial combat, so you're essentially playing with entirely different player populations.

    Anyway, I'd like to offer some suggestions on what I would personally like to see, take them with a grain of salt.

    General
    1. Make conflict about competing motivations instead of prejudice and unreasonable hatred

      Too much of the circle RP conflict is based on an irrational hatred of an intrinsic property of the Other. Anti-magick hate magickers for being magickers, not because of what they do that actually harms them. Not only is this a terribly outdated and simplistic message, it leads to stale roleplay where nothing players on either side can do will actually make a difference. Magick is selfish, heretical and dangerous. Demons are evil, corrupting and destructive. Anti-magick is... well, right most of the time. 

      I think a big change for the better would be to refocus each Circle on their own exclusive powers or sources, and have the tension arise naturally from where those areas come into competition for dominance, resources or goals. Why not have the source of AM's power and protection come from the integrity of self, an expression of inner strength and spiritual cleanliness and purity, which is driven by the number of converts and naturalists who have decided to live by the same credo? Killing magickers or demons won't by itself improve their city or council one iota, but the more townes and areas that have significant populations of anti-magick adherence the more their organisation becomes a centre of trade and influence, increasing income and resource generation. 

      It's not about removing the dislike between circles, but I do think that dislike should be primarily derived from present actions and power struggles. "Your city hurt my city thousands of years ago and we will forever hate you and all your children" doesn't leave much room for interesting new dynamics, and any temporary alliances are going to have to be somewhat artificial by necessity.

    2. Make intra-Circle (or even cross-Circle) organisation levels distinct and in competition - refocus nation-states on Townes instead of Guilds.
      One of the things I don't really 'get' at the moment is the relationship between different levels of abstraction in the various organisations. It seems at the moment that the main "team" that actually matters is your circle, and everything else is kind of RP-fluff. You have townes, city/councils, guilds, cults, sects within each faction, but the way they all relate to each other is really confusing - guilds end up with any number of different professions despite apparently seeming to be formed for a particular one or two, cities and councils are more like a forestal/civilization toggle than distinct and competing cultures, and townes are... a flavour choice about where you do your racy RP?

      My suggestion is to make it clear that the six main cities and councils are nation-states, with either a capital city or governing council, while the townes are the place most of the population actually lives and works. Have anyone without a selected towne default to temporary residence within the city/council itself, perhaps even with their own towne channel representing the major Inn or Tavern. Then either get rid of the guilds entirely and have each towne represent different idealogies that fragment the nation-state, or alternatively link each guild to a towne so that there is more of a sense of presence and relevance for each of them in the world.

      Also, have the townes actually compete amongst themselves for dominance within their nation - surely some of them might be able to buy more influence with wealth, or gain that influence from their citizens being more visible in the defence of the nation, or through their craftsmen and craftswomen selling more items of prestige. Being able to compete with players you can talk with and later work alongside seems much more fun to me.

      A further note is that I would like to see each nation-state in competition with all five others, not just those in other circles. Ideally, the boundary of each nation-state would be fairly well-defined but also fluid, so that if Celidon expands the territory in which  they benefit from Nature Magick affinity, it might overwrite the territory in which Kinsarmar benefits from Ritual Magick affinity, even though citizens of both will personally enjoy the underlying magickal power equally.

      On cults and sects - they seem a bit invisible and intangible at the moment. I don't know whether that is just because they are still being rolled out, but I would hope there are going to be shrines or pilgrimages or whatever that lend an outward, physical presence to the organisations. I'd also really like these to potentially welcome cross-Circle characters, with the option to refocus their entity's source of power at the discretion of the leadership. Why couldn't a demonic character be devoted to flame, even though the sect can only be empowered through magickal offerings and efforts. Religion seems like the one thing that is actually common to all factions, and could be a way of allowing some shades of grey and alternate perspectives and disagreements into an otherwise insular community.

    Circle-Specific
    1. Anti-magick becomes Elysian.
      Right now, I'd say most areas of the game are written with an anti-magick perspective -magick really is dangerous, demons really are evil, etc. I think the problem with this is that anti-magick's motivations seem constantly justified, making it much easier to maintain a single cohesive community set against the demonized Other. In contrast, Magick has the same Othering against demons but not really any reason to blindly hate all muggles, and I can only assume Demonic relies entirely on player RP as to where their motivations lie. This imbalance in perspectives probably has a chance to change now that the Gods are dead.

      I'd suggest that instead of being 'Anti-Magick', AM become pro-something exclusive to both magick and demons. My suggestion would be that they access some sort of spiritual after-realm that represents an idealized Aetherius as if the Breaking had never happened. This eden-like Shangri-La is a metaphysical reflection of the world without demonic, magickical or Godly influence, and Priests and Templars draw on this ideal now that they no longer draw on the Gods directly. Ithaqua too could find (different) aspects of this utopian realm empowering, perhaps in the idealized strength of a potential natural world free of mutation and corruption. Note that it is not implied that it is necessarily possible to make the Elysian realm "real" and thus wipe out demonic forces and magick, it's merely an untouched version that exists on a heavenly plane only accessible by those who don't embody magickal or demonic forces.

      The reason I think it is important that Anti-Magick move away from abstinence of any "power" is that such a stance factually undermines any advantage that those powers could provide, as long as not having them is equally as empowering. It's not a choice between three different types of powers, its a choice between two completely unnecessary powers or being able to magic up the same benefits of those powers without bearing any of the risks. That's just not smart, and it makes for mostly terrible arguments against an Anti-Magick philosophy.

      The discovery of this realm and its power could be a result of the faltering of "divine" powers against magick/demonic such as consecrations and so on, now that all factions are harvesting raw diachaim directly. Perhaps it becomes a sanctuary that players use to survive and eventually overcome a newly researched magickal spellcloud that descends upon towne after towne, betwitching unprotected players and denizens alike into a dazed madness.

    2. Magick is dangerous because of its power, not because Magickers are fools
      If there is one thing that annoys me the most about the Imperian view of magick, it's that every practitioner is some sort of bumbling mad old professor who is as likely to blow up her tower or open a doorway to hell as to produce a useful potion. Magick should be risky and dangerous, but not because all mages are bloody imbeciles.


      I'd like to suggest magick become more about manipulating hidden worlds and powers that have been awakened in the physical realm through the Breaking, and less about a tangible element in itself (at least no more than you can gather up strands of demon or God). Neither good nor bad in itself, attempting to enter the world of magickal creatures and enchanted places carries a risk of being charmed or altered in ways that one cannot predict, but masters of the arts can control and manage these effects on themselves.

      I would like to see the risk with magick not being "to harm the world at large", but rather to the practitioner's integrity as an unchanged being existing apart from magick. An elemental mage may grow to understand the quintessence of flame and allow it to pass through them like a conduit, but if they are not careful they may become more and more kin to the efreet than their own kind over time. A druid who calls in the tongue of trees and has spent years studying the secrets of the dryads may find themselves strangely avoidant of naked flame and unwilling to range too far from the sheltering forest canopy.

      Bearing this theme in mind, I'd like to see some of the 'neutrality' of the Magick circle go away in favour of being pro-Magickal creatures/things. Why can't there be relatively dark mages just as often as there are light-hearted helpful ones, as long as all of them work towards the goal of awakening more elementals throughout Aetherius? Demons are not part of the magickal world and therefore opaque to the magickal arts, and the Elysian realm is untouched by any magickal influence, but it is not that either is inherently more "good" or "bad" in a moral sense than magick - they are just alien to it. Attempting to awaken the nymphs and fey and sandlings and weirds and whatever else throughout Aetherius doesn't depend on magickers being good or bad - only on the flow of magickal energy itself.

    3. Demons aren't always "evil", Seraphs aren't always "good", Magickers aren't always "mudsexers"
      The alignment of the circles is way too D&D - good, neutral, bad with lawful and chaotic along each axis. If professions could move along these dimensions then it would probably be okay to align each organisation with a single "morality", but as they don't, I think there should be way more shades of grey involved in every circle.

      Instead of alignment, I'd like to see each circle be defined by the source of its strength and unique powers - and then each player organisation can decide whether it wants to use those powers for good or ill. For example, what if it was revealed that in addition to omni-power shards, the generators for each nation-state can also be empowered through circle-dependent energies that are discovered throughout Aetherius.

      Anti-Magick (Elysian) can discover and sanctify temporary Sanctuaries that form through the manifestation of the Elysian realm in random places with matching affinity, and by defeating a Guardian be rewarded with ambrosia which can be put in the generators of either Antioch or Ithaqua. Magick can find and evoke Convergences of magick throughout land with suitable affinity, which tends to draw Underfey that must be defeated in order to allow a new magickal creature to awaken, gifting a gem that is placed in a generator. Demonic can discover and open Hellgates in certain demonic affinity areas that are guarded by Gatekeepers, and defeating them allows their demonsblood to be taken and placed in the generators of Stavenn and Khandava.

      Maybe these collection quests are actually towne-based, so that the total still counts towards your nation-state, but the relative position of your towne can be improved ahead of all others.
    Anyway, I know this is way too long and it's unlikely to be read, let alone agreed with, but I wanted to share these thoughts just the same.

    SarriusCaelyaZiatVelion
  • IniarIniar AustraliaMember Posts: 3,213 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    Too much of Imperian is based on an irrational hatred of an intrinsic property of the Other.
    wit beyond measure is a Sidhe's greatest treasure
    Enryk
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭

    There are not enough players to set the intra-circle cities against each other, much less the intra-city townes. Imperian was overly ambitious at the release and opened with too many organizations, but people are too invested in those organizations now to really remove them.

    So the circles, over time, became a sort of over-org that allows the individual cities/etc to stay individual entities, but which formally group them for the conflict systems, because the populations are too small on their own.

    If you divide the game up more, all you do is make it look smaller.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

    IniarAhkanVelionAzefel
  • AhkanAhkan TexasMember Posts: 2,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    A lot of the things covered in this post really address pre-existing roleplay. It's really hard to get roleplay to take for a lot of reasons. A big one is there's no story line behind skillsets. We don't care. The people who write them don't care. Do you really -need- to know why you heal an affliction every 11 seconds or have to die twice? Nope! Any attempt to address this briefly has momentum, has no follow through and fades off into oblivion with the rest of the misfit toys. Speaking from experience, the Tzolkin (mostly Aleutia and Kanthari) have been fighting tooth and nail to nudge the tzolkin skills (naming, abs) to be more tainted nature spirits instead of demons demonlogy demonistic demon-like, demon-steve. Right now they have a heap of promises and 0 to show for it.

    Also, to be fair. Dudes (admins) are incredibly busy and have real lives. It's going to take time to push through anything meaningful if it's done right. You just have to sit back and be patient (Summoner revamp, hello?). Most people give up and revert to whatever they did before they had their great idea. You can really build and keep momentum if you keep the top down approach, with the leaders sticking to at least some vague outline. We could call it 'trickle down roleplay.' All this being said, a lot of what you mentioned is already in motion, it's just incredibly slow. Geologically slow. 

    Players really just need to be more flexible. One of the best roleplays I've been involved is the ongoing Olanre role. The idea was to have a pet god. What we got was an angst ridden tween that shoots lasers out of her eyes and spends her days hating/loving the citizens of Khandava. No one wrote it. No one plans it. We just show up and **** goes down. You're not always going to be heroic knight 143 (we're chock full of this **** as is). You can't always get your way. A lot of people don't get their way, get butt hurt and leave. Sometimes you're going to have to pick up that oscar for best supporting actor. Every now and again, you may have to actually lose something. At the end of the day, who really cares.

    Edit:
    After glorifying Khandava, I think it's time I share a story highlighting how we're a bunch of jerks. One night, some celani tried to roll up and start some arghpee with Aleutia and I. They took control of Kit the barkeeper. Kit was acting crazy, clawing her face and just acting like a lunatic. The point was Kit was possessed by something and we needed to help her. Instead, the Khandava coalition went all nose-to-the air, head up the **** and trolled the poor Celani. Kit was then impaled by a bone in the bar, because we're jerks. 

    The lesson here is they're people too. Chances are, they're going out of their way to get you to have fun. 

    image
  • EnrykEnryk Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    @Khizan By "divide the game up more", do you mean allow separate guilds/townes to continue to exist within cities, or city/councils couplets to function as separate organisations?
  • KhizanKhizan Member Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You want the townes to compete amongst themselves for things. There are just not enough people for any of that to work, and it's a bad idea anyways for various reasons, mostly relating to the way it will generate huge amounts of stupid in-city drama combined with the fact that there will be a single optimal way to do it for many things, and cities will rig it.

    "On the battlefield I am a god. I love war. The steel, the smell, the corpses. I wish there were more. On the first day I drove the Northmen back alone at the ford. Alone! On the second I carried the bridge! Me! Yesterday I climbed the Heroes! I love war! I… I wish it wasn’t over."

  • AhkanAhkan TexasMember Posts: 2,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    What you're going to make are 3 empty townes, 1 super town, 1 mudsex-topia per city-state. We don't have the dudes to populate that many bases.
    image
  • EnrykEnryk Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    That seems more than a little defeatist. :P

    I don't agree, but I guess we're each entitled to our opinions.
  • SarriusSarrius Member Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭✭
    Enryk said:

    That seems more than a little defeatist. :P


    I don't agree, but I guess we're each entitled to our opinions.
    Count the number of effective fighters in every circle. Or effective administrators, or etc. Basically, resources are spread too thin as is. If you ask that townes become the scale, you will find that most townes will be barren newbietraps, and one town will get the lion's share of useful people. We do not have enough people in this game to effectively populate townes in the way you want to.
  • AhkanAhkan TexasMember Posts: 2,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2013
    There would be super orgs because people like obelisks perks, easy fill generators, pk backup, and shard research. Your option takes that away from most of the world and forces them to fight their current pk backup.  When people have to FIGHT for the quality of life upgrades, you're going to have super town. P.S. Super town would be 3% of the available game and something like 33% of the population. 

    The people who don't like these upgrades are generally people who log on to throw down and bone. Mudsex-topia.

    image
  • EnrykEnryk Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    I think there might be some confusion on what I was suggesting in relation to townes.

    I see both townes and guilds as different types of sub-organisations of cities, except they are both a bit ill-defined at the moment. Why not have townes take on the function of guilds, instead of having both at the same time?

    Townes would still be part of the nation-state, so any contribution you make to a towne goes towards the city or council "pool", but why not allow individual townes (or guilds, if you want to ditch townes so badly) to have their own internal politics and competition with other townes in the same organisation? And by competition, I don't just mean "if you get the most power, you get these powerful combat buffs", I mean any type of competition.
    Velion
  • SarriusSarrius Member Posts: 1,353 ✭✭✭✭
    Enryk said:
    I think there might be some confusion on what I was suggesting in relation to townes.

    I see both townes and guilds as different types of sub-organisations of cities, except they are both a bit ill-defined at the moment. Why not have townes take on the function of guilds, instead of having both at the same time?

    Townes would still be part of the nation-state, so any contribution you make to a towne goes towards the city or council "pool", but why not allow individual townes (or guilds, if you want to ditch townes so badly) to have their own internal politics and competition with other townes in the same organisation? And by competition, I don't just mean "if you get the most power, you get these powerful combat buffs", I mean any type of competition.
    Because pitting a circle against itself is stupid and only serves to be divisive to an already tiny population.
    EnrykVelion
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