Wyrmhero

Long Game 50: News of My Demise

427 posts in this topic

29 minutes ago, Fifth Scholar said:

I’d like to thank Elandera and Orlok for challenging me with questions and debates in-thread and in PMs, which gave me something to respond to when I wasn’t feeling committed enough to perform actual analysis. :P 

Oh, and @Elandera, well done on getting Pewter, again. :P The AG is coming up, so you’ll have another chance at it (or at Elsecaller, which is functionally the same). 

I'm glad you felt challenged by me at all. I felt I didn't contribute as much as I would have liked to before I died, since I found myself in a fairly busy situation.

And yes, another Pewter game. :P I feel resigned to my fate of Pewter-related powers on Scadrial games. Hopefully if this burn pewter mechanic lives on in future games, I'll be less forgetful (but reminders would always be welcome)!

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Aha!  I just read through the spiked doc.  The biggest success of the game: THEY DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HOUSE BUVIDAS EXISTED!  (Actually, it's very possible that a good portion of House Buvidas didn't even know they existed...haha)

I'll read through the dead and spec docs for fun tomorrow.

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On mobile, so I won't quote, but I third the statement of the writeups being wonderful!

When Elandera died, I was so disapointed as I worked so hard to try to get her to trust me... Though in retrospect, I think I tried too hard to sound like a villager in there, and she probably would have caught me even sooner than Orlok did sooo...

I also apperantly have a habit of getting really defensive when targeted.  Honestly, this is something I would have done as a village as well, though that is because I always considered not lynching a villager as something that helps solve the game as well.  Though, statistically apperantly it isn't the case.

Congratulations to Araris for becoming the next Lord Heron, but just as much to Orlok, who somehow found all the spiked turn 5. (Though I still think that "spiked" thing was NAI. : )   )  I completly started freaking out when Orlok started pressuring me in PMs about being an elim.  I wasnt sure how to respond, as if I was a village I would say similar things as if I was an elim.  I wrote a really long PM response to Orlok, in the hope that either he would tell someone, who would say that as Orlok was murdered, I wouldnt waste that much time on the PM if I knew that he was going to die, or so I could be lynched by Bard.  But it was a long shot regardless. : )

@Rathmaskal yeah, we were decently convinced there would be 1 large house, not 2 tiny ones... Though we did consider it n1 I think.

Also, I wish I knew I was a coinshot... That would have made this game much easier for us... : )

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For the sake of clarity, the Spiked thing wasn't what gave away Fura, Bard and Jondesu to me.

Fura was, as she's identified, trying too hard with too little output. Jondesu similarly, in my recollection, hadn't committed to enough, whilst still being semi-active and experienced. Bard was much more gut than either of the other two.

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Yipee! I had no idea what I was doing during that but it all worked out in the end. Complete irrationality sometimes goes well! I think I might play more SE later on :D 

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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.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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OK, just read through the dead doc.   First, though, wonderful final write-up Wyrm.  (the rest of them were great too...just realized I hadn't noted that yet)

The dead doc was a great read.  I definitely enjoyed the fact that I was a confirmed spiked for a rather large part of the conversation (seems like the dead elims were enjoying this quite a lot as well).  Given my early-gameplay definitely warranted some good suspicion.  I appreciate some of the candor in the comments there that can help me to improve my gameplay.

Orlok and Araris really did carry the village - to the point where I pmed Araris about whether or not he was the seeker.

Looking forward to the next game!

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Huh. Hey people, just wondering, why were you suspicious of me?

EDIT: Also, I'm not Voidus, this is an ongoing joke stemming from the Alleyverse.

Edited by Ookla the Ookla
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I just finished reading the house docs... Was I the only person in this game to advise their house to ignore the house victory? I figured that the entire existance of the house victory was a trap for the spiked to fall into, as prioritising the house victory, means assassinating other people, and praising the house.  Which takes the priority away from assassinating the most suspicious and Praising people you have cleared...

3 hours ago, Ookla the Ookla said:

Huh. Hey people, just wondering, why were you suspicious of me?

"Oh Glorious lord of the DA, I am sorry as I have failed you.  My recent detection and capture in Elendel has set your plans requiring a large fortune back significa... Wait, perhaps I should say this in PMs so others can't read this..."

; )

edit: Thanks for clarifying... I hadn't checked, and thought you were Voidus.

To actually answer your question, now knowing you are Ark, you should notice that Gancho and I, the two truly pushing for your lynch, were spiked. Beyond that, you spent a lot of time on the shard, and when asked questions, you consistently only half answered them. When I PMed you, the main purpose was to confirm/deny my suspicions that you were the coinshot, not to figure out if you were spiked or not.

Edited by Furamirionind
Added an "edit" in response to Ark's "edit"
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I followed this game to check out what SE was like, just gotta say you guys made it look fun. Any idea when the next will start up?

Edited by Ookla the Ring
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38 minutes ago, Ookla the Ring said:

I followed this game to check out what SE was like, just gotta say you guys made it look fun. Any idea when the next will start up?

It shouldn't be too much longer for the next MR sign ups to get posted (hopefully within the week). Sign-ups are usually up for about 2 weeks before the game starts. 

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OK, one more thing...  Anyone else find it funny that, given Xino's name and description, that Xino was given the smoker role?

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Well, I made a mistake, and died early. I enjoyed reading the game though, though I couldn't keep up extremely well on the game after I died, due to school and other things deciding to be very busy all of a sudden. So, it's kindof good that I died early. 

My response to the game as a whole is that I wish I could have participated more. It seemed really fun, and I wanted to experiment with the praise mechanic more, because I saw it as something that was potentially very useful to either side if used right. 

And just a quick response as to the reason behind my lynch.

I'm taking a political theory class right now, and we talked about how some of the political theories used in the past were very radical. Like in the French Revolution. They cared more aboutover throwing the current rule, and didn't really have a Government system ready when they succeeded, which made things worse for a lot of people who actually supported the revolution. 

Equally, I believe that I was trying to take too big a bite at once, move too fast, without looking at long term consequences. For this I agree with the lynch against me. 

Though, as stated in the thread, by someone(don't remember who) who came to my defense later on, after I'd died(I think). There are a few experienced players who are practically impossible to read, and no one gets mad at them for trying to not be readable, therefore removing an aspect of Community from the game, but as some have mentioned, that has been their playstyle from the beginning, and while they are generally hard to read, they do offer tremendous help to the village. (Most of the time. I seem to recall at least one game, where Alvron only ever said random words, that apparently have some sort of meaning behind them, but the meaning is only known to him. That was one of my favorite interactions with Alvron though, so I really don't mind.:D)

I have learned that constantly changing my metagame isn't good or fun for the SE community, I also realize that my metagame has only been from one side, as a villager, so up to this point, no one has seen me as an elim, therefore, no one knows how to read me as an Elim yet. But I also think that it is important to allow people to have more freedom past how they play their first few games, to experiment with new ways to play. So, I hope I don't offend anyone, but I may still make small changes to playstyle to see what I can to do make it more fun, both for me, and for others. Hopefully I can keep people on their toes in a good way. 

I do agree with Orlok, my behavior at the beginning was a bit unacceptable, but I do think that change, in and of its self is not an unacceptable behavior. All things in moderation though. 

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1 hour ago, Ookla the Duck said:

Though, as stated in the thread, by someone(don't remember who) who came to my defense later on, after I'd died(I think). There are a few experienced players who are practically impossible to read, and no one gets mad at them for trying to not be readable, therefore removing an aspect of Community from the game, but as some have mentioned, that has been their playstyle from the beginning, and while they are generally hard to read, they do offer tremendous help to the village. (Most of the time. I seem to recall at least one game, where Alvron only ever said random words, that apparently have some sort of meaning behind them, but the meaning is only known to him. That was one of my favorite interactions with Alvron though, so I really don't mind.:D)

I have learned that constantly changing my metagame isn't good or fun for the SE community, I also realize that my metagame has only been from one side, as a villager, so up to this point, no one has seen me as an elim, therefore, no one knows how to read me as an Elim yet. But I also think that it is important to allow people to have more freedom past how they play their first few games, to experiment with new ways to play. So, I hope I don't offend anyone, but I may still make small changes to playstyle to see what I can to do make it more fun, both for me, and for others. Hopefully I can keep people on their toes in a good way. 

I do agree with Orlok, my behavior at the beginning was a bit unacceptable, but I do think that change, in and of its self is not an unacceptable behavior. All things in moderation though.

This brings up a little bit of that discussion about the metagame between Fifth and Orlok the cycle after you died, which I think is useful to return to now the game is over.

In my opinion, finding a new style of play is not inherently bad, so thus should not be discouraged. However, part of the game is attempting to read people. In general, a drastic shift in play style can be a big red flag for a possible new eliminator. It's unfortunate that we jumped on CadCom for trying to expand his style, but I think it was in part how he went about the change that sparked suspicion. A lot of people (myself included) saw it as a style that was anti-village.

From that perspective, there are a lot of styles that can be anti-village, including consistent inactivity. This particular game could have been very different had there been better overall activity levels. (Don't get me wrong, I understand life can happen, and I sure didn't help with activity by letting myself die from forgetfulness. The game actually inspired me to change my pic to a d20 nat 1, since I feel that's what happened to me this game :P )

In that same vein, I understand lurking is a style, but unless that lurking also includes at least offering an opinion once in a while, it could easily be considered against the village goal. I've also seen a few games where players are able to hide as "inactives" while they really aren't totally inactive, just not active in the thread. 

Some have brought up Alvron's "Zunn the Mad" character. I think part of why that is accepted is because it's something we can go into the game expecting, knowing there won't be much alignment information there unless you can somehow crack his code. He's also usually consistent with posting and responses, and though they're incoherent, they can be entertaining.

The biggest thing though, is to make sure we're all having fun. Zunn the Mad is entertaining, but if we all suddenly chose "mad" characters, games would be won by chance rather than strategy, which would take the fun out of the whole experience.

Edited by Ookla the Rogue
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Don't worry CadCom, I didn't find you suspicious! : P

In all seriousness, more than anything, I found your statement about you possibly defending me suspicious... Though I wasn't going to push your lynch, as that statement could have gotten you lynched if I ever was...

My playstyle in these games is much more along the lines of, try to do as much as possible to assume everyone is a villager (Or at least give that appearance publically).  Then pick the ones I find hardest to do that with (Ark, Xino and Bard this game) and try to go after them... Unfortunately, this was what ended up getting me caught by Orlok soooo.... I think I may need to try to change my natural playstyle...

I used pretty much that system in LG49, and it seemed to work decently for me... Though perhaps I just got lucky. : )

Edit: Wow, Ookla season is already getting chaotic to read threads... (Thanks Ookla the Rogue, for changing your title. : )  )

Edited by Furamirionind
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6 hours ago, Rathmaskal said:

OK, one more thing...  Anyone else find it funny that, given Xino's name and description, that Xino was given the smoker role?

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 :P.

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Just now, Wyrmhero said:

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 :P.

My favorite is still the one for Devotary. : )

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2 hours ago, Ookla the Duck said:

I do agree with Orlok, my behavior at the beginning was a bit unacceptable, but I do think that change, in and of its self is not an unacceptable behavior. All things in moderation though. 

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.

 

2 minutes ago, Furamirionind said:

My favorite is still the one for Devotary. : )

Was I wrong? :P

Edited by Wyrmhero
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23 minutes ago, Furamirionind said:

(Thanks Ookla the Rogue, for changing your title. : )  )

No problem! I associate people with their picture most often, so since I was changing that along with my name, I figured a title would be best so people know who I am still. I've been wanting to change my picture for a while now. This game helped inspire the change (since it reminded me of my first Pathfinder character, a rogue with a forgetfulness flaw).

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Great thanks to Wyrm for running this game. It was great to practice my chops in being an Eliminator as well - it's been *ages* since I was once last.

Also, congratulations to my teammates, especially Furamin... Furamirior... OK, I can't spell their name, but Fura did a fantastic job at being an Eliminator, especially for their first time. I'm probably going to be paranoid about them for the next games I play with them.

Thanks to the village for being a stubborn opponent, particularly Orlok and Araris who really carried the village for the latter half of the game -  to turn around what I felt was a sure victory. I think that's probably the biggest table turn back to the village I've seen, period, which is pretty incredible.

I think I should have done a lot more to try and protect Gancho that cycle he died - that really seems to be the cycle where things turned against us. Also, if I were in the same situation again, I might try and kill Orlok a little earlier next time. :P

EDIT: I forgot to post this, and Wyrm in the meantime has posted their wrap-up. That's... really, *really* fascinating. I picked up on some of that, but the whole aspect of making the story of the game a piece of a larger narrative picture is a fascinating one I hadn't really considered or seen before, and didn't pick up on during the game. (it seems obvious in retrospect, I suppose - I thought at the time you were just running out of interesting ways to write up the latest deaths, so chose to get a little creative for the sake of it. :P) Now that I'm aware of that, I'd love to see that in future games, as it's a really intriguing idea. I (as usual) didn't get as much RP done as I wanted to, but that in particular really makes me wish I'd done more.

As for the morality of Kelsier, and how that morality is interpreted after his death, I found that a fascinating read. I suppose the one part I disagree with is referring to Kelsier as Chaotic Evil - but that's probably because I've always found the D&D Alignment charts are kind of a bit too reductive for any meaningful conversation. Even so, I think while Kelsier was primarily driven by a very personally selfish goal of revenge, at least at the start of Mistborn, I wouldn't go so far as to describe him as a bad person, though maybe he is a person who did bad things (or, possibly, good things with bad reasons). The distinction, I think, lies in the ways that Kelsier channelled his anger. If his goal had simply been revenge, and nothing else, he probably could have achieved as much by simply wreaking havoc, and trying to stir up fear and paranoia in the minds of the various nobles due to his attacks. But his purpose seems to be more specific than that - he aimed to make sure that the person who sent him to the Pits and murdered his wife would never, ever, be able to do the same to anyone else ever again. So, to that end, I think he does fit more into the mold of the Marxist man-of-the-people that post-Catacendre society probably takes him to be, at least in some small amount, even though a lot of the details have been lost to time.

The talk on religion was also fascinating, but... I don't have that much to add to what you've said, unfortunately. But thanks for that, Wyrm - that was one of the more interesting things I've read in a while.

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7 hours ago, Young Bard said:

EDIT: I forgot to post this, and Wyrm in the meantime has posted their wrap-up. That's... really, *really* fascinating. I picked up on some of that, but the whole aspect of making the story of the game a piece of a larger narrative picture is a fascinating one I hadn't really considered or seen before, and didn't pick up on during the game. (it seems obvious in retrospect, I suppose - I thought at the time you were just running out of interesting ways to write up the latest deaths, so chose to get a little creative for the sake of it. :P) Now that I'm aware of that, I'd love to see that in future games, as it's a really intriguing idea. I (as usual) didn't get as much RP done as I wanted to, but that in particular really makes me wish I'd done more.

As for the morality of Kelsier, and how that morality is interpreted after his death, I found that a fascinating read. I suppose the one part I disagree with is referring to Kelsier as Chaotic Evil - but that's probably because I've always found the D&D Alignment charts are kind of a bit too reductive for any meaningful conversation. Even so, I think while Kelsier was primarily driven by a very personally selfish goal of revenge, at least at the start of Mistborn, I wouldn't go so far as to describe him as a bad person, though maybe he is a person who did bad things (or, possibly, good things with bad reasons). The distinction, I think, lies in the ways that Kelsier channelled his anger. If his goal had simply been revenge, and nothing else, he probably could have achieved as much by simply wreaking havoc, and trying to stir up fear and paranoia in the minds of the various nobles due to his attacks. But his purpose seems to be more specific than that - he aimed to make sure that the person who sent him to the Pits and murdered his wife would never, ever, be able to do the same to anyone else ever again. So, to that end, I think he does fit more into the mold of the Marxist man-of-the-people that post-Catacendre society probably takes him to be, at least in some small amount, even though a lot of the details have been lost to time.

The talk on religion was also fascinating, but... I don't have that much to add to what you've said, unfortunately. But thanks for that, Wyrm - that was one of the more interesting things I've read in a while.

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 :P.

 

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 :huh:.

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.

Edited by Wyrmhero
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2 hours ago, Wyrmhero said:

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?).

I can track it down if you'd like, but I know I've read through a thread in the Cosmere forum regarding the different combinations of shards and one of the mentions is, and I believe this was confirmed, that Harmony was only one of the ways in which Ruin and Preservation could have combined.  The thread is worth a read. 

OK, I looked it up.  Here's the thread.  (I didn't reread it all to see what the comment was on Harmony...but they have a spreadsheet!)

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I think what Rath is refencing are these

2 WoBs

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/6/#e344

Quote

Questioner

Last time you said that his name, if it wasn’t Harmony, it would be something else. Is it Discord?

Brandon Sanderson

This is relevant.

Questioner

It is relevant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Footnote: The questioner is referring to this exchange.
source

https://wob.coppermind.net/events/370/#e11676

Quote

Shallan's Ward[PENDING REVIEW]

While Sazed holds Preservation and Ruin, could his intent change from Harmony to Discord?

Brandon Sanderson[PENDING REVIEW]

It is possible

source  

 

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2 hours ago, Wyrmhero said:

I wonder if the same two Shards can combine differently to give different Intents?

There is some talk about whether or not Harmony could end up having a differant Intent.  Discord is a common alternate one for him.

 

Quote

 

Shallan's Ward [PENDING REVIEW]

While Sazed holds Preservation and Ruin, could his intent change from Harmony to Discord?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is possible

 

source (ninja'd Rath)

2 hours ago, Wyrmhero said:

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 :huh:

This is why I found it so powerful that when Harmony picked up Ruin and Preservation, as Harmony saw them as Stability and Change.

It always kind of bugged me that Preservation is seen as "good".  Of course, preserving some things I would say is good, but preserving unconditionally... Society loses much. Keeping tradition, or habits for their own sake, I think, is generally a bad practice.

Its kind of funny how when deviding up the shards, Ati took Ruin to try to make it less "ruiness", but as far as I know, none of the other shards were concerned with theirs. Unconditional anything can get dangerous.  Even Honor. Unconditional Honor, can sometimes force you to do the unhonerable thing, like what hapoened to Kaladin in WoR.

I also just realized, Dalinar has a direct connection to all three shards, but Adolin shares attributes with all three. (I am getting sidetracked... Time for another stormlight archive theory I think...)

As for Kelsier, I think Chaotic, Neutral, and Lawful, though boxes with limitations, often decribe characters well.  I cant imagine Kelsier being anything other than Chaotic.  He does whatever he wants. He doesn't care about rules or the "right way" to do something.  As long as it works, he will be happy.

Though all of his desires can be traced back to himself, I hesitate to call him selfish because of that.  My issue, is that if you trace anyones desires far enough back, I think ultimately, the reason for that will be selfish.  For instance, I often give money to people who are homeless.  But why do I do this? Even things like this can be traced back and made to sound selfish.  Ultamately, people such as myself, take these actions because it feels good.  Sure we do want these people to survive in our heads, but to an extent, everything we do is because of how it makes us feel. (I can make this argument way better in person rather than in text. : )   )

I could see Kelsier as closer to the evil end of the spectrum.  But I would probably think of him more as a neutral character, as he has both good and evil in him.  He seems to desire to do good, for selfish purposes.  Though I think this describes humans in general, though we dont like to think of it as such.

Ninja'd by whatever snipexe's new name is.  I am to lazy to scroll up to look.

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Most of what Kelsier does is evil to accomplish good. He is the textbook definition of an Anti-hero (or at least the ones I’ve heard)

Quote

Questioner

At one point, you mentioned that Kelsier scared you. Could you talk a little more about why?

Brandon Sanderson

So, Kelsier is one of my favorite characters. I like them all, whoever I'm writing, right? But one of the things that makes Kelsier tick is (and this was my original pitch for him to myself) in another story, he'd be the villain. Kelsier has this hard edge to him. He's one of those people that, when channeled wrong, he becomes the best and most interesting villain. But he happened to be in a situation that pushed him the other direction, and he became a hero. But he still has that edge to him. And there is a darkness to Kelseir that doesn't exist in most of the heroes in my books. Someone like Kaladin has a darkness to him, too, but a darkness that they're fighting against. Whereas Kelsier has embraced this darkness. It is part of what makes him him. So, Kelsier is a little frightening to me as a writer, just because he's a character that I can't guarantee will make good decisions.

source

From the above WoB and Kelsier’s perspective in TFE we know he was definitely down a path that could lead to him as a Chaotic Evil. However the events in Secret History and what we know of him from Bands of Mourning seems to imply that he has changed course to more of a chaotic neutral, or good. Especially considering what he had done for the Southern Scadrians.

Sorry none of this makes sense. Writing on mobile tends to do that to any semi long post I write

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