Young Bard

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1,112 Scadrian Waffle Cook


About Young Bard

  • Rank
    *insert witticism here*
  • Birthday 12/29/1999

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Sydney, Australia
  • Interests
    Reading, playing computer games, Reading, Hanging out on the Shard, Reading, Composing Music, Reading, Reading, Reading, listening to Music, and Reading. And a bit of reading on the side.

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  1. Is there any way to download audio from Arcanum (or can someone PM me the original source for me to download) - I might try running some of the poor quality audio such as the San Diego Signing through Audacity and see if I can reduce the background noise from it to make it more intelligible. (I make no promises, mind - I have literally a couple hours experience with trying to do this from over 2 years ago.)
  2. Young Bard: Voting for Araris Valerian
  3. Young Bard: Voting for Lemonelon
  4. Removing vote for Lemonelon Voting for StrikerEZ
  5. 6 Months Ago Jerol was 14 today. To the children of most houses, this wouldn't mean much - perhaps, there would be some sort of celebration or ball, to commemorate the event, and maybe whispered discussions and back-room deals would ensue to find an advantageous partner for the increasingly eligible young noble. But, in Jerol's House, things were different. When a member of Jerol's House reached their 14th birthday, then it was time for the Threshing to occur. Sometime today, Jerol would be pulled aside, taken into a room - soundproofed with thick, layered, walls, to minimise the distress of any other nobles nearby, and be beaten within an inch of his life. He shuddered at the thought of it. He'd been in that room once before, nearly a year and a half ago, had seen the bare walls, the rusty chain designed to keep people upright as they were beaten, had seen the results of the Threshing first-hand on the last person to enter that room. He never wanted to see that room again. Even the skaa he passed in the hallway seemed to feel sorry for him. They bowed their heads a little more than usual, moved a little faster past him. The skaa were superstitious folk - maybe they thought by not associating with Jerol, they wouldn't be forced to suffer any of the same misfortune as Jerol himself. And so, he was left to wander, and pace, and slowly think in circles as the dreaded hour approached. Relon might have been able to comfort him, except... no, of course he wasn't there. He never would be. Then he turned the corner, and a hand was clasped around his mouth. Then, slowly, he was dragged back towards the room, his futile struggles only causing mild frustration to his captors. It didn't halt their progress as they dragged him back down the corridor. It didn't halt their progress as they passed skaa and noble alike, all of whom turned away as if avoiding looking at the kidnapping it would somehow be less awful. It didn't halt their progress as they arrived in the room, and Jerol was tied to the roof of the room, as the door was slowly shut behind him. Well, that turned out much, much rougher (and quite a bit darker) than I'd planned, because I completely forgot for a few days and nearly missed out on signups... If it isn't obvious, I'm signing up to this game as Jerol. This looks too fun to pass up. And yes, I did steal the name 'Threshing' from Brent Weeks. So what? Questions: How many houses will there be in this game? I'm not sure if I've seen that answered yet.
  6. While we're closing loopholes... In the event that I typed: Voting for Joe or Voting for @A Joe in the Bush Would these votes be counted as invalid? And would I die as a result of deviating from the wording? Could I somehow use this to make people *think* I'd voted for someone, only for the votecount to come out differently in the writeup? OK, now I'm just trying to find ways to annoy Wyrm. It's fun, though...
  7. Doc and Alexis' game was QF21, IIRC. I have no idea how it's similar to this, though. Mainly out of curiosity to see how this will go, I'll sign up to this. Are the mafia permitted to confer in a doc? I'm guessing by the fact that each mafia will take turns deciding who to kill that the answer is no. In the spreadsheet of the results, do you plan on including whether the player was the first/second/n'th person to make that vote, and the order in which votes were made? May I request that you do, if you weren't planning on it? Also, potentially coloring votes green or red when the alignment of the player being voted on is revealed? A quick note on the expected distribution while I still have the opportunity to talk - The first few days will be random, and we can expect a high level of inactivity from this game once the exoticness (is that a word?) of the game wears off. As such, the size of the Eliminator team will be small, giving us longer to find them, but the disadvantage is that it will be a less obvious bloc of people operating with only a smaller group. There's more I want to say, but that's all I feel I can say without going against the spirit of the game, if not the letter. Suffice to say, this should be interesting.
  8. As some of you may know, there was a discussion on Discord about a week ago about what several players perceive as problems in SE right now. A number of players have pointed out several things that they've been enjoying less and less about the state of SE as it stands now, mainly to do with how it's both harder and harder for new players to be able to understand the meta of SE and fit in with it's increasingly complicated plot, and, more directly relevant to a lot of the older players, an increasing lack of enjoyment with recent SE games. This was due to a number of factors, but in fair amount due to the reduced amount of camaraderie between players, which is what drew players into SE in the first place. (There are other reasons for this as well, which I intend to discuss below.) The Metanarrative and New Players In regards to new players and the increasingly complex meta, a number of suggestions were made about how the metanarrative could be made easier for new players to understand and begin contributing to. One of the ideas that was suggested was some sort of Wiki. This was one of the ideas I used to be a proponent of, going so far as to create the "SEncyclopedia" (which promptly failed due to me being busy and unable to properly work on it), but I've found more and more flaws in that idea as time goes on. The big problem is, new players have no investment yet towards the meta, and yet, in order to fit in, they'd essentially be forced to read a fairly long backlog on Shards, Snakes, Swords (e.g. (S)laughter) and basically everything else under the sun starting with S in order to understand the metanarrative and injokes of the games. As such, I no longer feel that this is the right way to approach how to deal with the metanarrative for new players, because it sets the bar too high for new players to be able to understand and fit in as a group, something which I feel is a steep learning curve already. A similar, yet slightly different proposal which I’ll quickly address is something more akin to metanarrative inspired stories you see in the SEAcropolis thread as a way of getting new players up to speed. While I think it has the potential to be more fun to read through if we direct new players to a relevant RP on Snakes or the history of Kiireon/Edaan, I think this would merely mitigate the issue, rather than dealing with it completely. A system like this would still mean new players would have an extremely steep learning curve in order to understand the meta of the community. Many of us in the conversation agreed that a system like this wouldn’t resolve a lot of the problems we agreed were there. A more extreme change that was suggested was a reset of the meta, and a new metanarrative that would be constructed out of the ashes of the old one, with a focus on making it easy for new players to have a low threshold to understanding the metanarrative as it stands at that moment. There are a number of ways this could be achieved, (and I’d love to hear your input on this) but the way I envisage such a system operating is an overarching metanarrative, which has 'arcs' or 'beats' to it. All a new player would need to understand in order to start contributing to the metanarrative is what's happened in the current arc/beat, which on its own is shorter and more free-standing in order to be easier to understand. Then, only if they decide that they're sufficiently invested and want to know more, would they dig into some of the older metanarrative arcs in order to understand the backstory, which is relevant but by no means necessary to understanding the current position of the metanarrative. I think a system like this could be useful. My main concern is that it arguably places too much structure on a system that I think some players like to be unstructured and freestanding, which is unfortunate, but I think a necessary step if the goal is to have a less steep learning curve for new players entering SE. I think this balance between structured and free-form meta-RP is something we’re going to need to focus on balancing if we go ahead with this plan, and is something I’d also love to hear your thoughts on, or if you have any alternative suggestions to deal with the issues I’ve raised. Camaraderie and the Desire to Win in SE There was also a lot of discussion around why a lot of older players were also finding it harder to engage with the more recent SE games. After a fair amount of conversation, this came down to a lot of issues. There’s a lot less camaraderie than there used to be, when a lot of the older players enjoyed the game because of the more social aspect of the game, to be able to enjoy finding Eliminators together, trying to read each other, and generally having a good time. An increasing focus that’s developed in players over time to focus just on winning, and less on the community of the game. Higher and higher levels of inactivity in games. We were discussing what might have caused these, and generally agreed that it might have come from a couple common issues. The way in which people play SE now is fundamentally different now to how it used to be played. Two of my earliest docs are also my two favourite docs of all time - the Shard Zero Doc in LG21 and the Venture Docs in LG23. What’s common between them - and what I haven’t seen as much in any of the later games, is the community and social aspect that is a large part of what a lot of the older players enjoyed about the game so much. Part of this, perhaps, is the Discord Chat. A lot of the social conversations moved from docs and PM’s to Discord round about LG24, when the Discord was created. As a direct result of that, less attention in SE was placed on the community and regular socialising, because we now had the Discord Server for that. Now, arguably, this isn’t a bad thing. It’s possible to say that these things simply develop, and that simply because there is an old way of doing things doesn’t necessarily mean that the new way is any worse, and that SE can still provide a fun setting for many, even if it’s not what a few of the older members originally came into the community for. However, I would argue that some of the ripple effects of this change have caused more, clearly negative changes in how SE is played. A natural consequence of people socialising less in SE results in people focusing more on winning, on achieving the goal, occasionally at the cost of what is fun, for yourself and others. An environment like that, with an increasingly competitive game, is more likely to lead to a less inviting and friendly community, and more likely to lead to people taking things too seriously, leading to clashes and arguments which might once have been avoided, as well as a higher amount of stress with the game overall, meaning people are less invested to want to play. This last part, especially, might attribute both to the number of older players who are considering not playing SE anymore, and the increasing number of inactives on a game to game basis. Which leaves the problem of how to resolve (or at least mitigate) these issues. Realistically, I think the Discord is here, and here to stay. Many people, including myself, get something worthwhile out of the community we have there - however, I don’t want that to come at the expense of the community here, and I feel that we can do more to at least mitigate some of the effects mentioned above. On top of that, I don’t think that the Discord chat is the sole source of these issues (as much as some of what I’ve said above might have unintentionally implied that), so much as it has aggravated and revealed some of the issues that I think we would have eventually had to deal with anyway. Many of the suggestions in the Discord Chat were centered around the ideas of introducing (or rather, reintroducing - some of these ideas existed a while ago, but weren’t carried on) ways to promote a more open, friendly, environment. One idea I think works as a good start is the ‘paper plate awards’, like you’d see in Cross Country Tournaments, or Model UN Debates. These awards essentially are a way to promote open, friendly gameplay, features less dedicated to competitiveness such as roleplay, and whatever else is fun, memorable or fitting for that game. For example, you could have awards for the best RP, and you can also have awards for things such as nearly being lynched the most times. I went digging, because I know I’d seen them on the old site before the great overhaul, and I found some examples that on Alv’s profile, if you’re curious to see the kind of thing that I mean by this. As I said before, I think this is a good idea, at least as a starting point. I’m worried that on it’s own, it might not do much, as it deals with some of the symptoms, instead of addressing the root of the problem itself, but I believe this definitely works as a starting point in changing the focus of the community away from a purely competitive game to a more social one. Another idea that was suggested had to do with the revival of Cosmetic Roles. I’m… less certain this will be effective, though I’m interested to see the argument in favour of it. Cosmetic Roles, to me, seemed like a way of prompting people into RP’ing more, if they hadn’t really thought of it as an option. Personally, I feel that if people are going to RP anyway, then Cosmetic Roles will be unnecessary, on account of the player having their own RP ideas, and those who weren’t planning to RP probably wouldn’t anyway. I’m not so sure it’s likely to very many players attitude very much, unfortunately. Perhaps I’m missing the point of this, and if so, I’d love to hear the perspective of other people when it comes to cosmetic roles. The Role of the GM The final point I’d like to ask people about is what role the GM has to play in dealing with the issues I’ve mentioned above. So far, I’ve placed a fair amount of focus on what the community as a whole is doing that is potentially causing problems, and what the community could do to fix it. However, that’s only one side of the coin, and I think there are a few things that GM’s have done that have potentially aggravated the problem, and a few tricks the GM’s could use to potentially mitigate or resolve them. The elephant in the room with this topic is broken games. Sadly, I think that these have been on the rise. Partially, I think this is due to GM’s want to experiment with more outside-the-box games in an attempt to make something new, different, and exciting. (One could make an argument that this is the response to players being more and more focused on the mechanics of games in an attempt to win instead of more socially based games as it used to be. Or, perhaps that’s a stretch too far. I don’t know.) Sadly, in their attempt to achieve the first two of those, they sometimes fail at the third. However, I’m not going to talk about this a great deal right now, because only recently, the GM’s created the Balancing Committee, and I’m optimistic that this will be an effective strategy in reducing the number of broken games. As such, there’s not a lot I’m going to say about this, though if this continues to be an issue I may create a follow up post about this later. That said, if anyone else had something they feel should be added to the conversation about broken games, I’d encourage you to do so, because it certainly forms a piece of the overall problem. What I am going to refer to is the tangentially related issue of non-standard games that I touched on in the paragraph above. To this day, I love non-standard games, as they’re different, and fresh. However, I love them because they are the exception to the rule, so I wonder if it’s a good thing that they become the rule itself, as, more and more, it seems to be becoming. Is there a responsibility of GM’s to try and make sure that non-standard games are the exception to the rule, not the rule itself? Is that the responsibility of someone else, like the new balancing team, or the mods? Should we let things be, or is that going to aggravate the problem of broken games and place an overly strong focus on mechanics - at the cost of making people view SE as a social game instead of something that’s interesting solely because of its mechanics. I’m divided on this issue - on the one hand, I like the relative degree of freedom that GM’s have in creating games, but I can also see the issues that might arise from it, so I’m hoping to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this before I make my mind up one way or the other. Finally, I do think that GM’s definitely can and do have some responsibility in this area. The first games that come to mind when I mention this are MR17 and LG30, both of which were run by Aman, and both of which had incentives placed on posting RP. These games were highly successful, and I think struck a perfect balance between incentivising RP and not making it absolutely necessary for those who really weren’t interested in RP to participate. I think something like this is another solution to reducing the focus of winning at all costs in SE, though I’m interested to hear your thoughts. If you have any other ideas about what role the GM has to play in influencing the focus of games, or any of the other issues I’ve discussed, I’d love to hear them. I’m currently planning for my upcoming QF, and I do intend to take on what was discussed here and in the Discord Chat when planning for my game, and experiment with what works in creating a fun game, and I would be interested in hearing your suggestions as well on what else a GM could do to tackle these issues. Conclusion I’ve written up a fair amount by this point, but I’m only one person, and I’m sure there’s a lot I haven’t considered, or might have wrongly dismissed out of hand. If you have anything else you feel needs to be discussed surrounding the SE environment, or have alternative suggestions, I’d encourage you to post your thoughts and opinions - even just your two cents on the ideas presented here if you don’t feel you have anything to add - as it would be help us understand what the major issues SE players are finding with SE, and how they can potentially be resolved. If you have any concerns with the direction SE is heading, now is the time to voice those concerns, so we can hopefully make the SE experience better for all involved going into the future.
  9. I'll be doing it again this year. My final exams end in the early part of November, so I'm hopeful that I'll have the rest of the month free to work on NaNo and perhaps win it this year.
  10. Spoilers from the sample release chapters (link will download a Microsoft Word file) of the Liar of Partinel (an unpublished novel by Brandon).
  11. If you have less than... say, 18 players, by the time this is due to start, you can sign me up for it. It sounds really fun, but I'm hesitant about clashes with RL, as I'm the middle of my final exams right now.
  12. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who found Voidbringers playing Magic to be odd, to say the least. This theory will probably be disproved within 24 hours (because I'm lazy and couldn't be bothered typing it out last Tuesday/Wednesday), but here goes... The white and red marbled Voidbringers that Kaladin saw are different to regular Voidbringers. Their job is to act as strategists, advisors, and tacticians in the Desolations. That's why, when they transformed, they were less immediately aggressive than you'd expect from the Voidbringers, choosing not to attack their local village, but instead band together and begin a strategic march to somewhere (possibly Kholinar, but that's outside the scope of this theory). It's also why they play a Magic-esque strategy game when Kaladin observes them. They are performing their duty as they've been made to do, but that isn't to slaughter and kill all those around them, but to organise and strategise. It explains their - at first glance - less terrifying appearance and strange behaviour patterns, their strange movements, as though they're going for a subtler, yet more devastating, way to kickstart the Desolation whenever they arrive. I don't have any idea yet what their goal actually is, though I think this theory could begin to explain why they're not immediately attacking those around them, like had been expected. The 'strategist' Voidbringers, I believe, are also responsible for why the ships were stolen from Thaylen - crippling its economic ability, and caused the Voidbringers to negotiate with the Azish - allowing them to be kept out of the conflict and preventing a united front from forming among the peoples of Roshar - a much more cunning approach than it seems they'd take from the brief experiences with them on the Shattered Plains.
  13. Well done fRR for a very entertaining mystery! I'd love to see more games like this in the future. I found trying to work out the puzzle intriguing, even if I did go on a red herring right up to the point I died.
  14. I understand if you don't want to add names. If there are any roles that the thread doesn't know about, could you at least name what the role is and tell us what you know about what they do? That could still be enormously helpful.