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Wyrmhero last won the day on December 10 2016

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About Wyrmhero

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    Purveyor of Fine Sanderson Elimination Rules and King of Trolls
  • Birthday 01/25/1993

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    Near London, UK
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    Magic: The Gathering, Roleplaying, Board Games, Card Games, Computer Games, Physics, Progamming, Reading, creating far more Sanderson Elimination variants than could ever be played...

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  1. No, only 12 and Tactics (and another thing I can't recall) are Ivalice. 14 is set on a different universe. However, 14 takes a huge amount of inspiration from Ivalice's world: The Ascians are named after the Scions of Light from FFXII (mentioned in the Esper bios)/the summoners of the Espers in Tactics. The Ascians also seem to be heavily influenced by the Occuria of FFXII. The level 70 Raids introduced in Stormblood bring the events of Tactics to FFXIV as history you investigate, along with Tactics/FFXII characters being present (though quite different). Within the above Raid, many of the Espers are boss fights. Shadowbringers will introduce Viera as a playable character race for female characters. I'm not currently playing (will get back into it when Shadowbringers drops or when friends start playing it again), but I mostly play a Red Mage right now, though previously I was a Summoner. I like levelling up the other classes too, as it's a change of pace and it's nice to have everything available on a single character.
  2. They quite literally caused an apocalypse in-game, written into the story, because it was so bad in its original form :P. Seriously - They wrote in a 'meteor' slamming into the planet and then a 5 year timeskip, while they brought the servers down and redesigned it entirely (amusingly, seems to be the only video not put above - Look up 'Answers' for how the original incarnation of FFXIV ended). The only real thing remaining from the original game is that there are a few 1H Thaumaturgist weapons, and that classes exist and you don't immediately begin as jobs.
  3. I play FFXIV (on Phoenix server, if anyone's interested) now and again, and I feel it's probably the best MMO for casual, late-comer use, as it's almost grindless if you're a few months behind the current main quest. The heavy focus on story is good too, and I like the cosmological turn Shadowbringers seems to be taking
  4. Hey, remember that he turned down their money for Children of the Nameless so it would be available for free. He's such a fanboy ...But yeah, more SA4 for now
  5. As far as I am aware, Weisman is not an MtG fan, and hasn't immersed himself in the story or lore to the degree that the fans will have. He'll have been provided with an overview and specifics about each character, and all the information he requested, as we saw with Sanderson and his novella, but you kind of need to know the right questions to ask in the first place. This, coupled with the sheer number of characters that were required to make cameos, meant you'd never get anything more than a shallow examination of everyone. It'd be fine in a TV show or movie, because you can cram so much, much more in frames of film than in the written word. A cameo of Davriel in full costume could be a small bonus in the background of a scene, a quick bit of fanservice in a film, but needs to take up space to explain in a book. I think that's a big part of the issue, as Weisman is a screenwriter, not a book writer. so he probably approached it how he's used to writing things, when it needed a different approach. But really, the book just serves too many masters. It's the payoff for over a decade of plotting by Bolas for enfranchised players, with many call-backs to fan-favourites, but also you have Teyo and Rat giving the new person 'everyman' PoV and exposition. Rat knowing everything about everything in particular is contrived, even more than Magic's storyline usually is. The idea for her character is pretty unique, and would be very strong as a main character in a standalone story, but packaged with her role in the book it just feels 'too special'. I think that WAR as a set is a lot, lot better at telling the story than the book, because it's clear and concise and has a definite purpose. It's also not helped either that the prequel was delayed (it's mad they gave it to another author, in my opinion, and reminds me of the worst parts of Storm and Rath), essentially meaning you have part 2 of the trilogy but not the first book in the series. It's obvious to say this, but they should've treated it as a story for long-time fans, rather than treating it as marketing material for new players. But then, I've read the Ravnica series, Urza's books, and reread Time Spiral lately, and while some are good, ultimately it was never anything more than pulp fantasy/sci-fi. You were never going to get great stories, and while certain snippets of the Uncharted Realms stories were very good (Ixalan as a whole and the Yahenni stories in KLD in particular), it's never been fantastic. It's a story written by committee, which always causes problems. Ultimately, I feel that's the issue - It's not 'one person's creative vision' like Children of the Nameless, where Sanderson had almost total creative control over his story and characters and knew the world off-by-heart, but an exercise in marketing to write a book that hits specific plot points and includes specific characters and explains specific concepts to new readers, by an author who probably doesn't know enough about the game and its world to take anything more than a shallow cut. Don't get me wrong though - I certainly couldn't have done better, I'm not good at longform writing (despite the praise my Sanderson Elimination writeups have gotten :P), but one would hope that someone paid to do it would do better, at least. It's just a disappointment of a novel, more than anything, and the most damning thing I can say about it is that it's mediocre, and won't stick in peoples' minds for good or bad. It's just a very forgettable experience.
  6. I've had some fun playing him in my oldest deck, a Rakdos discard deck - He pairs really well with Lavaborn Muse, Hellfire Mongrel, Asylum Visitor, and even potentially Hollowborn Bargest as a curve-topper. His discard effect is nice to force opponents down to the range where the above cards work, and the fact you can spread it over several turns works really nicely as a surgical strike, rather than something like Mind Rot which is a one-and-done deal. His static ability helps a lot too, as he doubles as both an enabler and a win condition. Sadly not, there's a good number of reasons that say otherwise: I can't see that they wouldn't just call her Tacenda, as there's no 'mystery' as to who Tacenda is. The Wanderer hides her identity, but Tacenda has no reason to. Brandon also only got the go-ahead to create one Planeswalker for the book, and while they might upgrade Tacenda to be a Planeswalker, as far as canon is concerned, she isn't one right now until we hear otherwise. She's 'just' got a Worldsoul inside her, which lets her move between Planes. Similar to, but not the same as, a Planeswalker. As such, she doesn't have a Spark, just an unusual ability to travel between worlds. The Wanderer is a powerful warrior, noted to be one of the best in the multiverse, but Tacenda isn't, she's a Bard-like character primarily. She's monowhite, or at least more White than any other colour, and Tacenda is mostly Red (song magic is emotion). She uses kinetic energy (requiring being hit to have power) as her magic, which Tacenda doesn't. She's apparently known to Sarkhan Vol, though we have no reason as to why. Tacenda hasn't really been around long enough to be known to him, and Sarkhan's been in his personal heaven of Dragon!Tarkir since before SoI. Finally, The Wanderer's style of dress doesn't fit Innistrad, seeming more Asian than Teutonic. Perhaps she's Tarkiri herself? Her hair is also white, while Tacenda's is brown. So, overall, the evidence is pretty conclusive that The Wanderer is a new character, and isn't Tacenda (and definitely isn't Emrakul!). I think it will be a while (if ever) before we see Tacenda again in Magic's plot, though perhaps they'll delve into Worldsouls as a concept more, as Davriel's meant to become a more important character in the future. I think Davriel and The Wanderer teaming up is mostly just because they appeared next to each other, Davriel saw she's a good fighter so doesn't have to do much himself, or perhaps they just know each other, as Davriel's been around a lot and The Wanderer has no choice but to travel as well.
  7. For those who don't know, we've now had Davriel spoiled, Sanderson's canonical Planeswalker creation from his free novella Children of the Nameless. https://scryfall.com/card/war/83/davriel-rogue-shadowmage https://scryfall.com/card/war/84/davriels-shadowfugue Note that he's intentionally a weaker card than usual, as he's one of the Planeswalkers at uncommon in a Planeswalker-heavy set, and so should be viewed more akin to an enchantment. He's a nice discard effect, especially with proliferate, and his static effect means that he's a solid clock late in the game anyway and useful when your opponent has no cards for you to discard. Definitely a solid inclusion in any Black limited deck, and potentially in standard or budget 8-rack decks. I'm a little disappointed he wasn't a two-colour Planeswalker at rare, but that's not too surprising when he hasn't been a part of the Nicol Bolas plotline yet. I'd really like to see his full-power card, particularly since he was designed with a view to becoming more important going forwards.
  8. We know they aren't emotionally lovers, because Highwater's contract states that she gets his soul if he ever falls in love with her. It's unlikely they are physically lovers because Davriel probably wants to keep her a little at arms length to prevent that, though it's clear they care quite deeply for one another regardless. Also, we have his first set of cards https://scryfall.com/card/war/83/davriel-rogue-shadowmage https://scryfall.com/card/war/84/davriels-shadowfugue
  9. He's definitely an anti-hero, or at the very least a dark protagonist. I think Secret History makes him a more 'good' character, yes, but the Southern Scadrial events make him feel more like he's become a bad guy, or at least one who thinks himself greater than others. Recall, he took a group of them to the north to make his little set of tests for the Bands, which (along with pretending to be The Lord Ruler/encouraging the deification of himself and other Metalborn) seems like a less than Good idea. I'd also posit that 'Good' characters wouldn't make use of Hemalurgy to evade death for no reason (as opposed to 'for the greater good as they have a purpose'). Considering his whole religion is based on the idea of 'surviving, no matter what', I wonder if in a later era he'll become tangled up with the Shard of Survival. Also, those posts above about the combinations are interesting. Discord is a curious Shard concept, but I don't feel that's a 'unique' combination, as anything with opposing elements could really give that. I'd possibly say that 'Ruin' in and of itself is the same as 'Discord', though I suppose Ruin feels more like the force of entropy than actual chaos. But this is very much off-topic for the game, despite the fact that it's interesting .
  10. Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it . The lack of interesting ways to write deaths is kind of true. After a while, you run out of new ways to kill people or write about it differently, and it starts to feel samey, which is why I like to experiment with how I report them. There wasn't any real RP going on during the game, which meant that it was hard to figure out what the characters were like beyond the name. This meant it was hard to write thematically appropriate deaths, so while I referenced the names in the styles of their death (Ookla of Squids dying from water poisoning, for example), I didn't go deep into the actual situation leading to their death. But, as a newspaper reporting on a death wouldn't contain many of the actual details of the event anyway, this was a problem that was already avoided before it happened . At the risk of derailing the conversation from the game to philosophy, you raise a good point with regards to D&D Alignments. They are very reductive, to be sure, and the problem is that sometimes they're based on personal beliefs and others they're based on global or spiritual beliefs (such as the gods of the setting dictating what Good and Evil are). A nice example of this is in 2nd Edition D&D, where Samurai were considered 'Lawful Evil', because their code of honour, the bushido, was so different from a Western society's view of good and evil. Samurai were respected in their society, while they would not have been thought of so kindly elsewhere. I've always considered alignments as useful shortcuts for that reason, rather than specifics. 'Good' and 'Evil' are relative, after all - The Lord Ruler considered himself 'Good', I'm sure, undertaking many necessary 'Evil' acts for the sake of preserving Scadrial and saving it from an all-destructive force. But the people who suffered under his rule certainly wouldn't agree with this. A better alignment system might be a set of scales of aggressiveness and selfishness, but that's a discussion for another day. The question of whether or not Kelsier is Chaotic Evil depends I suppose on how you judge him. I think all of us would agree that Kelsier was a tragic figure in The Final Empire, who was willing to give his life up for a greater cause. But the question is really whether it was revenge or freedom that he pursued. A lot of 'Chaotic' players in D&D think that it means 'selfish, uncaring about others', but I disagree with that. I feel that selfishness is more 'Evil' than 'Chaotic'. 'Chaotic' to me is more about personal and global freedoms, about not respecting law and tradition for their own sake, but finding a way to live regardless of outside influences. I think Kelsier's pretty obviously Chaotic, as he not only works outside the law, but fights against the 'natural' order and seeks to break down society. I feel he's a selfish character, which I would place as Evil, due to his appearance in AoL. Perhaps he became it later, but I think his background as someone who refused to become involved with the Skaa Rebellion until he was personally affected points to him more as someone who doesn't think about people outside of his immediate circle. This is why I think that he was someone warped by grief and rage, who wanted revenge, but who was able to focus that emotion to something positive, whether deliberately or not. There's a degree of martyrdom, to be sure, but I'd say it's more because he was the sort of person to go to any lengths to achieve his objective. He uses the Skaa Rebellion the same way, for example. He's ruthless, and doesn't care about the cost, even to himself. One might potentially argue that guilt makes him want to be self-sacrificing, as he feels responsible for Mare's death at points, but his ego makes him want his death to have 'meaning'. If Vin was chosen of Preservation, I believe Kelsier was of Ruin (and we still don't know why he suddenly snapped in the Pits, do we...?). But it's important to remember that Preservation and Ruin aren't good or evil in themselves, despite Ruin's appearances in TFE. In isolation, the former leads to stagnation and stasis, in many ways exactly what The Final Empire was intended to be. Ruin alone leads to unbridled chaos, destruction for its own sake, the release of energy, and ultimately the dwindling down of the universe from entropic decay. Together, though, they become 'Harmony', a force that can push and pull, but keeps itself in check. I think perhaps a different way the combination could be expressed is 'Creation', the chaos of life that sometimes works against itself, but ultimately strides forward (I wonder if the same two Shards can combine differently to give different Intents?). Preservation keeps what works as it is, while Ruin allows new things to exist, almost like a Shardic form of evolution. Preservation and Ruin can be seen as Good and Evil from an anthropological perspective, but only because humanity already exists, and thus wants to be preserved. Other species that do not exist might see Ruin as Good, and Preservation and the status quo as evil . More generally though, the concept of 'dualistic' gods or forces exists in a lot of religions, where both are necessary and above concepts such as 'Good' and 'Evil'. The most famous example of equal-but-opposite is probably the principle of Yin and Yang in Taoism, Confucianism and more general Chinese philosophy. The two are opposed and neither is dominant over the other, but to a Western point of view, one appears to be 'light' or positive, and the other 'dark' or negative. Both of them are required for balance/Harmony, however, with an imbalance with either being dominant being spiritually linked to disasters. It think it would be very interesting to see an alternative Scadrial, where Ruin put more of themselves into humanity rather than Preservation, and Preservation was the antagonistic Shard instead.
  11. From my perspective, if I was a player, the issue is moving towards being harder to read, which never actually helps the players on either side. If you're a Village, you should be appearing Village so you can help contribute, and the best way to appear Village is to make good contributions that help the Village. There's an exception at times, of course, but this is broadly true. If you're an Eliminator, you should still be appearing as Village, and the best way to appear as Village etc etc. Being unreadable really doesn't help anyone, even yourself, and you should almost always appear as Village as possible. So it's not that change is unacceptable, but that the direction of your change was. The Village would never have sad anything bad about you changing if you'd said 'I'm going to be more transparent and helpful this game' instead, unless of course you actually weren't living up to that. Was I wrong?
  12. Xino the Smoker, Shqueeves 'Ookla that Watches' being 'definitely a Tineye' but actually another watching Role, the Seeker, Severance Greed the coinshot... There were a few amusing ones .
  13. It's wrap-up time! Sorry, it's not in the form of a newspaper :P. This wrap-up will be a little different to my usual ones, as there's a few other aspects I'd like to talk about, and apparently people like my psuedo-philsophical ramblings, so I expect you all to read this. This will be on the exam. Also, there will be spoilers for Bands of Mourning and Secret History, though they're fairly old now. The Game Rules There are three major differences in the rules for this game than the standard, and I think it's important that I talk about all of them. I mentioned it in I think the dead doc, but whenever I make a rule, it serves some kind of purpose. I'm not someone who makes up rules for the sake of it, as I believe a simpler game is easier to balance and more enjoyable, as there's less moving parts. As a GM, it's also easier to actually handle. So, the three changes: Houses These were, in many ways, a PM group that you couldn't choose. PM groups have proven in the past to be a little tricky, as the right group can do so much damage to the opposing side. The prevention of tailoring your PM group helps to avoid this, and means that you can't create a trust group easily, as you are unable to pick and choose who is added to it, such as cleared players. In addition to this, it helps encourage people to talk in a less formal and more private environment - Many people avoid PMs, or only PM people they know well (this tends to be a big fault of experienced players, myself included). This helps people become used to the idea of a private sharing of suspicions and information. As has been noted, I did Houses a bit differently to how people might expect. My previous House War game (LG7, all those years ago...) had House Powers and the ability for Houses to die off over time. I didn't do this, as I felt it added additional rules without any real benefit, and as I've said already, simplifying games whenever possible is better. i arranged houses differently so that they would be harder to guess - The distribution I used had two Eliminators in two Houses, and one in a third, with two smaller Houses with none i them. This was because I expected that people would assume one per House, and I wanted to avoid that. It's worth noting that if we had a third Eliminator, I'd have put three Eliminators in one House . I wouldn't have done small Houses if we had more players, though, that was more a necessity than something I really wanted to do. One of the small Houses was even smaller than expected though, due to an error, but it wasn't as bad as LG7 when it caused problems overnight. Pewterarms This one's fairly obvious as to what it was for, it was meant to catch out inactives and ensure that neither side had to deal with inactive Pewterarms causing problems. I'm not a fan of how this worked out, due to Elandera's death. It caught out a very active player who was just a little forgetful - And who was only a few minutes late on sending the order in. Other people (including Elandera) have said that they think the mechanic is good, though, so perhaps I'd just need to include more warnings or reminders for the Pewterarms. Praising The big one that I've wanted to include for a while, this mechanic was intended to force players to re-consider how they thought about people they'd considered as 'cleared'. Too often we fall into the trap of assuming someone is on our side, when in actual fact they've just convinced us of it and we never revisit that thought. Praise was intended to make you think about how you'd rank players in terms of Village to Eliminator, as well as how useful they are to the Village, rather than just thinking of them as either Village or Eliminator. We had some runaways in score, which I was a little disappointed by, but it did make sense in the circumstances, which is fine. It was also intended to be a helpful mechanic to the Eliminators. As a parallel to the lynch, which can advise Coinshots on who to target during the Night by seeing who the Village isn't sure on, Praise votes were intended to highlight to the Eliminator team who the most Village/most useful Villagers were, and could help them make a decision if they weren't sure or if there were newer players. Obviously, what is actually happening in the game takes precedent over this for choosing targets, but it's there to help. It could also be another level of subterfuge for the Eliminators to utilise, if they became trusted enough. I'm also quite pleased that we only had two times when needing to Praise was forgotten about, so people seemed to engage with the mechanic well. I think the fact that it was forced upon players who were voting helped, as it would've been too easy to simply ignore it otherwise. This is definitely a mechanic I'd like to see used again, though I'd advise against making it much more complicated. The Gameplay Let's talk about the obvious problem, inactivity. I've spoken at length about this before, so I'll keep it short - It doesn't help the Village, and it doesn't help the GM or the game. There were several power roles this game that went inactive or had sporadic inactivity, and there were also some experienced players that disappeared too. I understand that sometimes it can't be helped, but it's not great when we struggle to go above 50% activity in a Cycle. It's quite demoralising for the GM, and for several players. The Seeker was an inactive this game - Jondesu was actually scanned Night 2, but the Seeker never told anyone. They Seeked two more people, Fifth (who died that Night) and an inactive (Joe), and never told anyone what they had found. Things would have been very different if the Seeker was active. Moving onto actual gameplay, we experienced a huge turnaround near the end that I was not expecting. In the Turn that Gancho was lynched, we went from a certain Eliminator win to a certain Village win. I think this was a combination of leaving the people rallying the Village alive a bit too long (Araris and Orlok), and the, perhaps premature, bandwagon on Gacho being the tipping point where they could no longer outvote or steer the Village. I think if their Rioter was online at the time, the game would've gone quite differently. Speaking of Rioting, the Praise vote. I was surprised that throughout the game, the Smoker never protected the Influential character. I sometimes question whether Vote Manipulation Roles are good Roles for Villagers to have, as it's rare that changing votes around is actually helpful for the Village. It tends to just cause more confusion and lead to lost opportunities. My advice to xineohp, or any players in a similar game like this, in the future is to protect people who have been made Mayor from having their vote changed, as generally speaking they've got that Mayorship by being trusted by the Village, so they're unlikely to be scanned anyway, and keeping their vote from being changed is quite valuable. I arranged the Tineye Roles a bit differently as well, this game. Well, actually, I randomly picked them and then was pleased with the random assignment (always be as random as you can, for this sort of thing. If you guys can play the metagame against the GM/Eliminators and not the actual game, I consider that a failure of setup). Orlok and Aonar are both experienced (and usually active) players, and I expected them to die very quickly. This would almost deny the Village PMs, if not for the Eliminator Tineye. I was curious as to whether there'd be a tension from both sides about the Eliminator Tineye, with the Village wanting to keep them alive, and the Eliminators considering whether to let them die, to kill off PMs. Unfortunately, PMs were hardly used, and neither died early on, so this was a missed opportunity. Now the most difficult question, balance. Balance is always a tricky thing, and generally speaking it's relatively okay if nothing super-high variance happens. It's for this reason that we rarely, if ever, have Eliminator Coinshots, for instance, or multiple Lurcher Roles on the Village side. There was no danger of super-high variance in this game, so in that regard it's fine. The quantity of Village inactives however makes me question whether it was balanced. It's difficult to say whether those players would've been a help or a hindrance to the game, but it would certainly have made the game go longer, which favours the Village. I think I would probably have gone for a more experienced player on the Eliminator team instead of one of the newer ones, or perhaps given the 5th Eliminator a Seeker Role, but nothing drastic like a 6th player. The Writeups I've always (or almost always) spent a decent chunk of time on writeups, because I enjoy doing them, and I know that people enjoy them (which, as an amateur writer and amateur game designer, are my most important objectives). But I've done quite a few games now, and it gets hard to think of new things to do to keep it fresh and interesting. Thus, I always try and do something a little different in my writeups to keep myself from retreading old ground. I've done some which are more story-like, I've done some which ignore the presence of the players of the game, and I've even done one where I tried a slightly different style each Turn. This time I did something I've really wanted to do for ages, which is do them in the style of a broadsheet. Obviously I can't quite get the style right, but I hope I got close enough to the canon version that it's passable. I'll talk about this more in the setting below, but a lot of what I wanted to do with these writeups was show the context of this game, and how it affects the broader world. Well, not just that, but also that the city still keeps going even when there's these murders happening. Usually when we do one of these games, it's kind of the 'big' thing happening within the setting at the time, and so it is here too, but it's more subtle than that. If the Eliminators had won, it would've had massive effects on the world as they frivolously spend House Heron's money on things to bring down civilisation, or perhaps they're the initial founders of The Set, etc. The Villagers winning means that life continues on, more-or-less, in the same way as before. Either way though was intended to be a possible 'fit' for canon, and either side's victory could lead to the setting of Alloy of Law. Also throughout the writeups were several different story threads, of which the players were only made away of the smallest details. They're not important to the game, but inspirations and jumping points for people to wonder about. The House Hasting vs House Izenry public argument mimicked many of the real-life complaints and worries about early train transportation - though I'm sad I forgot to reference Stephenson's Rocket somehow. The Dibbleworth XII Saga is inspired by Cut-My-Own-Throat Dibbler from the Discworld, imagined here as a sneaky, cynical and above all fraudulent noble, who at the culmination of his arc lets his businesses fail, runs away from his creditors with the cash, and fakes his own death - or attempts to. The House Tekiel Inquiry (Which I'm pleased to say Orlok leapt at the chance to respond to) was a reference to the conditions that the working class lived in at the time of the industrial revolution, and the forming of the unions and collective bargaining. Also included within that thread was a suggestion of Kelsier as a Marx-style character, which I'll talk about in the setting. And then finally, the Governor and Councillor's dispute is just one of many political arguments that have littered history, but more specifically I see them as the Conservatives and the Liberals respectively, circa the 19th century. But I'll talk about all these things in the next section further. And if you're wondering what Araris' prize is, it's a writeup just for him :P. The Setting Alloy of Law-era Scadrial is almost a strange mix of cultures and environments. The area around Elendel is African, with wildlife such as giraffes and lions. It exists within a fertile valley, almost like the Fertile Crescent, or 'Cradle of Civilisation' in North Africa. But there's also heavy American influences, as we associate the heavy gunslinger-styles of AoL with Western America, and there's the 'planned' nature of the city of Elendel itself. But to me, Elendel itself feels a lot like Victorian London, with its heavy industrialisation, its reliance on water transport, and the fact that it's the 'hub' of the known world. Its political system also has shades of British democracy, as it is presumably based on the parliament that Elend tried to create in Well of Ascension, which its like a proto-parliament or House of Lords. Governor Aredal being the first non-Noble Governor does not definitely say that the working class are disenfranchised and cannot vote, but I wouldn't be surprised. It's only in the last 50 years or so that most democracies have had universal sufferage. In Britain, it was only in 1918, after the First World War, that all men above 21 could vote, and all women over 30 (who owned property). Before then (which would fit AoL's timeline), it was only male landowners and shopkeepers who could vote. This would suggest to me that only the Nobles and maybe merchants/shopowners could vote for the Governor, and certainly not the working class Another curious thing about the setting is that, like The Final Empire, Alloy of Law-era Scadrial is 'stuck'. Technology has stopped improving. At one point, Harmony laments that he made humanity too comfortable, and that they never faced the adversity that would cause them to innovate. I would agree with this statement to a certain extent, that humans have been so successful because they can work around and create things to overcome their environment. I'd disagree in that convenience can also be a driving factor here, but the broad idea is something I can agree with. This is quite different to The Final Empire, where technology is supressed except in a few areas (such as astronomy) because it could lead to threats against The Lord Ruler. This is why, despite being set less than a century into post-Catacendre Scadrial, we see the birth of some of the technologies within Alloy of Law, such as the pairing of the railroad and steam engine (which historically have both existed long before the train was created, but separately). In fact, judging from the books, it's only really electricity that's a 'new' development over the next 300 years, and only The Set have access to radio technology and similar. Even projections are a surprise to Wax. Alloy of Law's approach to technology is interesting, because it plays with the idea of continual technological growth in such a way that the 'medieval stasis' trope doesn't feel forced. Religion is also something that I find very interesting in fantasy, and Mistborn is no exception. There are three main religions in Elendel; Pathism, Survivorism, and Sliverism. None of them are, strictly speaking, incorrect, as the deity in each faith (Harmony, Kelsier, The Lord Ruler) have each taken on the powers of a god at times. But it is 'known' that Harmony is the current wielder of the two Shards, and furthermore, is now one of the most powerful beings in the Cosmere because of it. So why do Survivorism and in particular Sliverism persist? These aren't questions we can really answer, but as I say, faith and spiritualism really interest me. In fact, I wouldn't really be surprised if we saw these three religions combine in a later era, giving us almost a Christianty-esque more wrathful 'Old Testament' god in TLR, a Christ figure in Kelsier (perhaps with Vin attached), and a more peaceful 'New Testament' god in Harmony. Further, I think it's a real shame that we don't have much information on the religion of TFE and Sliverism, because I think they'd be very informative on how The Final Empire was run. But speaking of religions, Kelsier. A man who we know far more about than his followers, but who we also know very little about. We know he's alive, and we know he'll be in future Eras. He begins as a man who has lost everything, but who always smiles, even as he plots the downfall of the man who was responsible for his wife's death, and the freedom of the skaa. He sells the Crew on the idea of stealing The Lord Ruler's atium, but secretly has plans to turn himself into a martyr. Would he have intended for his deification after his death? He asks Sazed about what makes religions persist, but seems to only want to inspire the skaa to rise up, rather than be turned into a religious icon as such. I made heavy use of Kelsier and his imagery in the writeups, because he's a very useful icon to write about. He acts as a constant call for the downtrodden and suffering to rise up against their circumstances and their oppressors, and we see very often that the skaa in The Final Empire resonate most strongly with his 'kill all nobles, regardless of who they are' message, without knowing that he changed his mind before his death. In Alloy of Law, I see him as having become almost a Marx-like figure, with people using his imagery to call for a fairer society without nobles, and with equality for all. I think he would most be used by anarcho-communist groups to support their ideal of breaking society down and rebuilding it for the common man. However, I don't believe this is what Kelsier himself would believe in or truly strive for. I think he's anti-oppressor for reasons from his personal history, but doesn't care too much about the political side of things. A 'rebel without a cause', as it were - though unlike most examples of the trope, he finds a very good one to rally behind. His appearance in Alloy of Law and his desire to be worshipped there make me feel like he's become a much more evil character, or perhaps it was always there, and just masked by his good actions. If the road to Damnation is paved with good intentions, can the opposite be true as well? I'm beginning to see Kelsier as the Chaotic Evil to The Lord Ruler's Lawful Evil, with Kelsier being (or becoming) vain and selfish, but ultimately channeling those desires to good ends as opposed to evil ones. He's a flawed character, a very human 'saviour'. The question is whether he's flawed but well-intentioned, or flawed but channeling those flaws. I would not be surprised to see him as an antagonist in a future novel. That... was a lot more than I intended to write (totalling 3.2k words), but perhaps that's no bad thing if it makes people think about the points and comments I've raised. I'd be curious to see what you guys think of some of these points, and how I've used them in the writeups :). Once again, thank you for playing, and I hope you enjoyed the game.
  14. Fixed. Did you like your prize?
  15. Morning Edition: Epilogue The Elendel Daily Newsworthy Content for Every Octant! The 30th of Doxil, 68, Morning Price 2 Clips Rooftop Chase Leads to Spiked Capture Like something out of a Jasdorn Izenry fiction, Madion Ways in the 1st Octant awoke this morning to the sounds of feet on their rooftops, as a Spiked individual known as Furamirionid was under pursuit by one Severance Greed, Special Constable for the Elendel Constabulary. According to eyewitnesses, they fought a heated battle using Steelpushing on the rooftops, though Special Constable Greed was careful to avoid endangering any onlookers. The battle ended when Furamirionid became badly injured after an exchange of coins, but his condition is not lifte-threatening, even after his Spike was removed. It has been theorised that he is a natural Pewterarm, and was using stolen Steelpushing via Hemalurgy for the duel, though a full investigation is pending. Severance Greed was present at the Constabulary conference afterwards, injured but not seriously wounded. He was introduced as the first of, hopefully, many Special Constables hired under Governor Wilson's new Misting Initiative. The Chief Constable stated that Special Constable Greed was responsible for several of the Spiked deaths. He further stated that orders were to bring the Spiked in alive to be questioned, but circumstances at the time meant that this proved too difficult, and that Special Constable Greed was permitted to use lethal force where necessary. Preliminary interrogation of the captured individual has suggested that there are no more Spiked plaguing our city. When questioned as to why Special Constable Greed did not appear on the Constabulary employee lists before today, the Chief Constable quickly stated that they do not comment on specific employment contracts. The Change for Elendel party has speculated that this employment has been backdated to save face, and that it makes a hero out of a vigilante murderer. They have attacked the Governor viciously for allowing this to happen, claiming that he has used the situation as a political stunt. The Governor has not responded to this publicly, but initial polling suggests that approval rates for Governor Wilson have increased, and a source close to the Governor has heavily hinted that an election will be declared in the near future, to challenge Change for Elendel and Councillor Jernaq once and for all. The other man of the hour today is Lord Ookla Heron, previously known as Ookla 'The Curmudgeonly' Erikell. The New Lord Heron was invited to see the previous Lord of the House this morning. Initial questioning of his peers has shown that he was chosen for his forthrightness, intelligence, sensible attitude towards the crisis, and, in spite of his nickname, likability. It also seems that Lord Heron does not care about his age - The new Lord Heron is not young, at 67, and it would appear that this is something of a stop-gap for the time being. The previous Lord Heron may be hoping that Lord Ookla Heron will find another suitable heir, as he has more time to search. But with Lord Ookla Heron being well-liked and well-thought of himself, it would also seem that the old Lord Heron is hoping to continue his House's attitude towards industry, while also forging stronger links between House Heron and other Noble Houses. Already some are suggesting that House Heron and House Erikell (the House Lord Ookla Heron previously belonged to) will be working closer together than before, though not all are pleased to hear that. House Heron has not released any statement as of yet other than announcing the adoption of Lord Ookla Heron. Likewise, Lord Ookla Heron refused to say anything to the press as he left the Heron Mansion, though it must be said that he seemed quite disturbed. One can only assume that he has realised the monumental change in lifestyle and responsibility he has just agreed to, and that he will settle into the role in time. Regardless though, everyone will be watching the career of this newest Heron with the greatest of interest. Krea Erikell Commercial Advertisements Previous Editions Other Headlines This Evening Nobles Win! Ookla the Curmudgeonly of House Erikell is the new Lord Heron! House Erikell has been raised up in standing, and will enjoy many prosperous years from their stronger association with House Heron. As always, I will post my thoughts on this game the following day. I hope everyone enjoyed playing this game and reading the writeups Total Influence Docs Player List