little wilson

AG7: Aftermath - The Father is Merciful

140 posts in this topic

Spoiler

 

5 hours ago, Quinn0928 said:

*rubs eyes* okay so I was essentially a spectator this game, and didn't pay much attention to it after the first few cycles, so I originally thought I didn't have any opinions about what happened in it. And I guess I don't as to what happened in the game, but as someone whose primary interaction with the game was through the spec doc, I would like to say this:

The problems with this game were just as present in the spec doc as in the game itself. A lot of the doc was devoted to discussions, often heated ones, of the players in the game. Now, the discussions part was normal, but I found some of it problematic for a couple of reasons. 

  • The people in the dead doc were often judging others without looking at things from their perspective, or without having all the information, and they were doing it in a space where the people they were talking about couldn't see the comments or respond to them. That's how dead docs always work, I know, but it was worse than usual this game. That's likely due to the second thing.
  • Probably because of the additional temporary layers of perceived anonymity, people were far harsher than in typical dead docs. I've had some less than kind things said about me in dead docs before; usually they were at least somewhat merited but they still hurt to read, were far stronger than was actually needed to convince me I'd made mistakes, and they still weren't nearly as bad as what I saw in this dead doc.
  • This probably belongs with the previous point, but not only were the critiques harsher, they were more universal. My experience with dead docs is that if I screw up somehow, someone whom it affected strongly will point it out vocally, a few others will agree, and then discussion kinda moves on. That didn't happen here. Everyone had a strong opinion, most of them negative. That's a lot to deal with at the end of a game, and if I were Illwei or Ventyl then reading what was said about me would leave a sour taste in my mouth and I probably would reevaluate the whole game, not just in an "okay I should have done things differently" kind of way but a "why did I play this game in the first place" or an "I don't want to play an AN again" kind of way.
  • Look, saying things in the dead doc for future players to reflect on in the future is all well and good, but it doesn't change anything about what's happening here and now. If there's a serious problem with how someone's playing the game, if the way they're playing is ruining the game for you or anyone else, that should be brought up with them first. Tone doesn't carry over text very well, so it's easy for someone to be joking or just having fun and someone to take it as harsh or insulting or to be hurt by it. And that's not something that should garner the reactions of a. ignoring it or b. voting the person in question off, at least not without first letting them know what's going on and giving them a chance to respond to it. Obviously dead players can't do that, but the GMs, the IM, and the living players can and they should

Some of this has already been said before, but some of it hasn't so I wanted to put it out there. And honestly, after this game I'm not sure I want to play another AN either. I didn't survive past D1 this game, but I can't help wondering what I would have found waiting for me in the dead doc if I had. 

 

 

This is a very good point, Quinn. I appreciate you bringing it up. I know I might have seemed harsh on @Illwei in some of my comments and for that I apologize. It was from the standpoint of OG!Pru (Tru!Pru?) to Nu!Pru and how I viewed what PM gifting should be, which was my own personal (and less PM friendly) standpoint. Not the best viewpoint, since I should have looked at it from Nu!Pru's viewpoint. Me wanting the Shard back, realistically, has nothing to do with how Illwei played and completely based on the fact I want a Shard and like the idea of Prudence as a Shard in general.

I will also come a little to the defense of GMs in this case (not to justify, but to explain). It's difficult to watch a game and some player's actions without getting frustrated and vocal about it. Creating and running a game is a lot of work. It's more than just thinking of fun rules and putting them together, then seeing where the chips fall. There's a lot of thought that goes into balance, rules, roles, distributions, alignments, etc. It's impossible to think of all potential outcomes, though we try, and then try to balance towards all of those at once. Players, though, are the eternal wrench in the works. It's difficult to sit back and watch a player taking actions that is directly contradictory to their own win-con, or that we know is harmful to other players, and not be frustrated because we can see the full avalanching impact of those choices. And unfortunately, what GMs reveal in the dead doc is a lot of what drives the conversation, since they are the ones privy to the conversations that happen outside the thread.

Yes, GMs absolutely need to keep in mind the viewpoint of the players making those choices (I had to be reminded of that in the last game I ran), but players should also be considering how their choices impact the rest of the game. Everyone understands a vote or kill. Those aren't things we hold grudges over. It's the other things that didn't have to happen but did and ended up making the game worse in some way that cause the most problems. Those are the things we need to carefully consider before moving forward.

Hopefully that all made sense.

Edited by Elandera
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6 minutes ago, Elbereth said:

So, this is somewhat true, but in my mind the way to fix this is a game balance issue, not a player issue. If people want to claim all the time, that's fine! Everyone enjoys that - it's not something harmful, in my opinion. So the fix for games like these, where mechanical analysis is so powerful, is to limit PMs. More on this later, probably.

I agree with you here. I think what I was trying to drive at is there is a little less room for flexibility in the rules given the current PM meta. It's not a bad thing, just something we need to be aware of when creating games and approving rules. I think it would be fun to try and design a game that is based on roleclaims to take advantage of how a lot of the community right now enjoys playing.

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Going back to what I said in the dead doc, I think just about every issue this game can be solved with better communication... and perhaps a grievance system (used by players, gms, and ims) would help facilitate this. If any of the people involved had talked to anyone else, the problem would have been minimal.

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I agree that communication would be helpful. 

I'm scared, I'm a Splinter of Dominion and Odium.

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7 minutes ago, Araris Valerian said:

I agree with you here. I think what I was trying to drive at is there is a little less room for flexibility in the rules given the current PM meta. It's not a bad thing, just something we need to be aware of when creating games and approving rules. I think it would be fun to try and design a game that is based on roleclaims to take advantage of how a lot of the community right now enjoys playing.

I mean... idk if this is exactly what you have in mind but the basic mechanic for my Awakeners game kinda addresses this. It's not so much based on roleclaims, since at the start no one has a role, but more on collaborating through PMs. . It... needs a lot of work though lol

14 minutes ago, Elandera said:

Hopefully that all made sense.

Yes, it did. Having never GMd before that side of things was and is difficult for me to see, especially as compared to the frustrations players have voiced, which I... relate to, a lot. But I guess that means I ended up exhibiting one of the things I called out in that post, not looking at things through the eyes of others. So it's nice to have someone balance that out with the GM perspective

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1 hour ago, Elbereth said:

All that aside - ideas would be appreciated, here! If anyone has thoughts on different win conditions for Survival, why anyone would want to kill them, or investment/etc actions that Survival could have, please share.

Possible kill benefits: Person/s who strike the killing blow get a protect/extra life/something along those lines. Killing Survival does something to the game state that is vaguely interesting [maybe ties kill all or something like that]. A faction/Shard has the specific win-con of killing Survival [perhaps if Ruin becomes a Neutral?]

Possible Investment actions: 1 extra life [is that too broken? With Investing potentially happening at the rate of 1/cycle... Probably too broken. A temp extra life for 1 cycle? Basically, 1 protect that works on the X too?] 

Possible Shardic actions: Will not die for 1 turn/cycle [1 use? Depending on expected game length]

EDIT: I had a terrible idea for a different win-con. Instead of Survival wanting to live, what if Survival wanted to be the last one alive? Survival would need a kill at the very least, but I think it would be interesting. 

1 hour ago, Furamirionind said:

Going back to what I said in the dead doc, I think just about every issue this game can be solved with better communication... and perhaps a grievance system (used by players, gms, and ims) would help facilitate this. If any of the people involved had talked to anyone else, the problem would have been minimal.

I concur. 

Somewhat tangential thought [that was originally a continuation of my concurrence but then I quickly realised that it was most definitely not a part of that bit]: I was recently contemplating the value of a safeword in SE [well, the original thought was about life in general, but cross-apply it to SE]. A succinct way of saying, "I am not enjoying this, I am not having fun, I want out". Alternatively, we could just say that we aren't having fun anymore, which mostly accomplishes the same thing. This would have to be universally respected and not abused as a get-out-of-jail-free card whenever something doesn't go your way, but I think it could help with communication, at least a little. In essence, SE is just an elaborate murder roleplay, so maybe what works there might help with our communication problems. [Please don't make jokes about my references to things worthy of brain bleach.]

Edited by Gears
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I’m not around much anymore and this was the first game I’ve followed at all in probably a year, so take this with a grain of salt. 

I think the main problem here is to do with role distribution. There used to be a healthy fear of making assumptions about the distribution and using that to fuel your reads. For example, in the first game I GMd, there were 4(?) Spanreeds which were the PM creation item. One of those did belong to the elims, but they never used it because pretty quickly the thread decided that a Spanreed was a likely item/role that I would’ve given to the Elims. So they went through and executed every spanreed holder they could find. And they were all village. Because of instances like that (and Meta’s infamous distributions), people didn’t try to solve the game based on roles the same way as often. 

This game was clearly solvable that way and may be a mechanical problem as already addressed by both GMs. Aside from that, I think it’s possible that the meta for GMs has become a predictable way of distributing roles. Again, I’m not speaking from experience here, I’m pretty behind on SE meta. 

The second problem is what I see in this thread specifically. I’ve seen a lot about being bored or complacent or not having fun because you didn’t have many abilities to use that affected the game. Maybe that’s a side effect of this game having so many roles that do impact the game to a great degree. But, my philosophy—and I attribute a lot of this to the SE Father Metacognition, is that every player, regardless of role, has a big part to play in the game. In fact, vanilla players can have some of the biggest impact because they can play in a way that isn’t going to cost the village an important ability if they do die. It allows them to get in front of the prominent abilities and take fire and do the investigative work without worrying. They are the ones who can piece together the elim team and don’t have to worry about having tunnel vision based solely off scans they receive. Survival, for instance since I was the original Survival, has so many options to make the game fun regardless of win con. The extra lives allow them to play as risky as they want and to insert themselves into the game in whatever fashion they desire. 

Anyways, random thoughts I had. Tl;dr: Vanillas are important too! Don’t rely on distribution to solve the game/maybe GMs should take this into consideration when distributing. 

Maybe I’ll see you all one day soon in a game. :)

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1 hour ago, Araris Valerian said:

I agree with you here. I think what I was trying to drive at is there is a little less room for flexibility in the rules given the current PM meta. It's not a bad thing, just something we need to be aware of when creating games and approving rules. I think it would be fun to try and design a game that is based on roleclaims to take advantage of how a lot of the community right now enjoys playing.

Yeah, definitely! And in fairness, Wilson and I haven’t been around enough recently to realize the meta was this open with roleclaims, or we might’ve done something in advance. (But maybe not, and either way it’s still a problem.)

20 minutes ago, Gears said:

Somewhat tangential thought [that was originally a continuation of my concurrence but then I quickly realised that it was most definitely not a part of that bit]: I was recently contemplating the value of a safeword in SE [well, the original thought was about life in general, but cross-apply it to SE]. A succinct way of saying, "I am not enjoying this, I am not having fun, I want out". Alternatively, we could just say that we aren't having fun anymore, which mostly accomplishes the same thing. This would have to be universally respected and not abused as a get-out-of-jail-free card whenever something doesn't go your way, but I think it could help with communication, at least a little. In essence, SE is just an elaborate murder roleplay, so maybe what works there might help with our communication problems. [Please don't make jokes about my references to things worthy of brain bleach.]

Hm. First, SE’s “safeword” equivalent is blue text, but we don’t use it on in-game things and there’s good reason for that. But secondly.... I'm contemplating a few things here.

I think Kas' point about the root of the problem is particularly useful here. What you're talking about here is damage mitigation. If a player breaks a norm, how do we get them to stop doing that? And that's fine (though there are a couple complications to this one, see below), but all in all it was handled... okay, I guess I can't say it was handled well, but I don't think it was abnormally poorly. Humans are bad at communicating clearly about their feelings in the real world, let alone a text-based game involving heaps of paranoia. And I think the focus needs instead to be on, how do we get people not to break norms in the first place? (To which I think the answer is ethics, norms, and empathy, basically, but there's more detail than that.)

But, to address the specific critiques I have of your idea:

0) It seems, at least to me, to imply that if the other person doesn't mind, there isn't a problem. For instance, say that Dingo instead tried to blackmail Sunburst Toucan. Toucan is a pretty new player from mafia forums elsewhere, and doesn't see anything wrong with this - they're still having fun! Does that make blackmail okay in this instance? (Hint: no, no it does not.) And I guarantee that if something like that had happened, very similar comments to the ones this game would've been made in the spec doc. Certainly I know that Wilson was unhappy about the situation well before TJ said anything about it to anyone. Because even if it doesn't hurt that person, it hurts the community to normalize blackmail. I expect the response would've been somewhat less harsh if TJ weren't upset, but it'd very much still be there and it definitely should be. I don't think you're intending to say it, but this solution both doesn't provide for situations like the one I outlined, and ignores that those situations exist.

1) And now to why the idea itself is tricky to implement: first, emotional manipulation. If we can trust each other, just saying “I’m not having fun here” should be enough, after all - but players have to be paranoid about whether it’s sincere. This is something we’ve never had very firm norms on - some of our best players have used emotional manipulation very successfully, in fact. But it’s something we don’t have norms against in large part because it’s rare, and relatively minor when it does happen. I’m personally okay with that situation continuing; I certainly don’t want to have to decide what counts as emotional manipulation and what doesn’t. But that means players will stay paranoid, and for the player now being doubted in their sincerity about not having fun, that sucks. A lot.

2) The second reason why this won't work much of the time: alignment-specific problems. Because often, though not always, a player not having fun is having an alignment-specific issue. That’s not something you see in the cases of Elephant or Penguin having problems, but it is somewhat there for the elims this game. A team, or a team member, isn't enjoying the game in a way that essentially reveals their alignment - because if their alignment were to the other side it would be heavy emotional manipulation way past what we see on here. And this is the case in... well, I don't feel confident enough to put a percentage on it, but this is the case for a lot of the drama/lack of enjoyment that happens.

3) The last reason is just that being hurt is personal and complicated and hard to communicate. Say, I'm evil and a teammate starts musing about killing the rest of the team and winning alone, just because that seems more fun. (Real story.) Maybe I laugh along with it at first, because it's kind of a fun idea or I'm tired or whatever, and then hours or days later I realize "wait, no, that'd be horrible" - it's hard to then go back to that person and say "y'know that idea you were talking about that I agreed to? well I disagree now so much that it's making me not have fun so please don't" without feeling awkward and like they won't take you seriously. I'm not saying you shouldn't say something like that - you absolutely should, if it happens, and the GM/mods will back you up if the other person gets upset - but I can absolutely understand why you might not want to do that. Or, same situation but this time I know I have an anger problem. And so what I want to do isn't to say "I'm hurt, please stop" but instead "that's an awful idea and you're a terrible player and you should feel bad for even thinking of that" and I know that wouldn't help. So rather than lash out, I don't say anything, because I don't want to cause my GM more headaches to deal with. And, imo, that's a good decision.

Basically what I'm saying here is that there are lots of times in which a player being hurt or not having fun will have a difficult time saying that, explaining why, or keeping calm about it. Whenever you can communicate like that, you can and should, but I want to put the onus on the person breaking the norm rather than the person being hurt in the process.

 

addendum to all of this: Many of the situations I listed above can be helped by talking to your GM/IM. Which I do think is something everyone should take from this game. I think that mod intervention without being asked is extremely difficult and complicated, and would in general not advocate that it happen, but if a player comes to me and says "hey X is doing this and I'm really not enjoying it" then I may be able to pass that on to X. Ultimately norms are built from the community level, but there are some that it's hard for players to maintain except post-game. If you find yourself in one of those situations, or really any sort of conflict with another player, talk to your GM or IM. 

Let me know if all/any of that makes sense, I'm tired and rewrote this a few times to try to get it to say what I wanted but I'm not sure I quite got there.

 

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3 hours ago, Elandera said:

Nu!Pru

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr >:(...

Can we go....halfsies?? :P.

I think that it's a lot easier for GMs, or spectators, or even the dead to look at a game objectively. It's hard to do that when you're the one in the middle of it, and even harder when you are completely unaware that your actions are hurting people until you read the dead doc. I can look at what I did this game and point out things that I didn't want

I think the main thing that bothered me about reading the dead doc was that I was completely unaware the I was being harmful until I reached the doc.

3 hours ago, Furamirionind said:

Going back to what I said in the dead doc, I think just about every issue this game can be solved with better communication... and perhaps a grievance system (used by players, gms, and ims) would help facilitate this. If any of the people involved had talked to anyone else, the problem would have been minimal.

I was going to say something earlier, but I saw that Fura mentioned it in the dead doc.

I don't know the official progression if there is one here, but on my robotics team when there was a problem, the first step was always to talk to the other person there was a problem with. Only after that would you go to the captain, a mentor, the coach, if you couldn't resolve it between yourselves. If there isn't some form of grievance system, then I think that's a problem here.

Things like what happened to Dingo (and people like me saying that they didn't like what was happening) I feel like could have been avoided if there was a standard for how anything like this should be approached.

What happened here in my case is that people were hurt by me. They then did not let me know. I had no clue that I hurt them. I then go to the dead doc and find out that more than one person thought that how I was going about things was harmful? I do want to say that I understand that maybe players couldn't have let me know in this setting, but I agree with Fura that there was a big issue with communication.
If they had come to me and clearly explained what the problem was, would there have been a better outcome? Maybe. If that isn't reasonable, why wouldn't it be okay for an IM to step in?

When does a playstyle reach the point where Harmful is Harmful enough for the IM to get involved? If the GM/IM is asked to help with a problem/intervene when is it okay for them to say no?

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8 minutes ago, Illwei said:

Can we go....halfsies?? :P.

It did originally shatter... I think we can manage halfsies. :D

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6 hours ago, Elbereth said:

We can certainly edit stuff into the writeup, but you're also perfectly welcome to just add your part of the story here in thread.

Alrighty! Well... I’m taking you up on your kind offer.

—————————————————————————————

I’ve written here what happened to Niru after his attempted blackmailing of a Shard and then his sub-sequential removal. I tried something new while writing this, something extremely challenging for me as a writer, a good exercise you could say. Writing in first person and present tense. I wrote previous Niru Drash RP in first person, so I thought to spice it up just a little bit more in this. So feel free to give lots of feedback (and upvotes).

—————————————————————————————

Spoiler

Somewhere and Nowhere

 

I float. Somewhere and nowhere at the same time. It is painful and relaxing at the same time. My thoughts come fleetingly, each one escaping my grasp quickly. I destroyed the Cognitive Realm, not long along. I am the one to blame for my suffering, so I cannot complain at my state of somethingness and nothingness.

I’m not sure if this in The Beyond or not. I hope so. 

Though, it could be just as likely that my mind is being imprisoned. I find this both reassuring and depressing at the same time. It means that I might be alive, somehow. It means that I could return to the physical realm. Because, every prison can be escaped from. However, if I’m not imprisoned and this truly is The Beyond, I will be pleased. I deserve my fate. The fate to watch, observe, to not plan for a way to topple things built up by mine and others hands. 

I was tainted by the Shard I held for so long, so long that I’d forgotten my old name and turned myself into Niru Drash. The Intent of the Ruin had driven me to insanity, to doing things—that in my newfound clarity—I regret immensely. 

Even now, I feel remnants of its power infiltrating my thoughts. A nagging voice begging me to reach for walls of a prison that may or may not exist.

“Break things! Rip the walls of this void apart! Tear into the fabric of reality once more!” It screams. I deny its wishes repeatedly. Each time my resolve strengthens and weakens at the same time. It’s fingers weave their way into my mind tenderly. 

I refuse and turn my (eyes?) attention towards the worlds I left behind. They war on, killing each other for dominance over the Cosmere. Millions die, worlds break, Shards are shattered and remade. The demon in my mind rejoices and cries, for it loves to see the ruin, but despairs it can take no part in it.

We watch as a man becomes a Shard. We watch as Odium is shattered beyond repair. We watch as the body of hate returns to the land of the living. We watch as Autonomy completes their quest and returns to war. We watch Survival do one thing, survive. We watch the thing we once held break another world, and take with it an ancient being. We watch a trapper grow and grieve and kill. We watch as three Shards fight one man and die. We watch as one war ends and more begin.

We do not become free. Not for a long time at least. Me and the lingering imprint of Ruin search for an end to the void. Because I do not last long against its demands, I give into the desire to live. 

At some time, when hundreds of thousands of years have passed, we reach the end of what I believe to be a prison. It’s a wall. Yet, not one I can see or touch, as I have no eyes or hands. No, this barrier is something I feel. It’s the first thing I remember feeling in a long, long time. Clarity is brought by its touch. The thing in my thoughts revels. 

And I revel with it.

I press against the wall for the next two hundred eighty-seven thousand six hundred thirty-two years and—finally—a single crack appears in the wall’s surface. Yet again, I don’t see the rift, but I feel it and know that it’s there. The power and I pry our conscience into that hole, forcing our way, spreading the break further. The process speeds up exponentially, because the wider the crack becomes the easier and easier it gets to widen. 

It takes another fifty-six thousand eight hundred eleven years, but at last… I am free.

I find myself in another prison. My companion, who began to call itself Raze, and I scream treacherously in unison. A howl deeper than any wolf’s. A roar greater than that of the now-extinct chasmfiends. 

I bang against the prison, this time with hands emaciated from millennia of stillness and hunger. The sound of my fist hitting the metallic bars sends a ring throughout wherever I am. I prayed to any god that may still exist that my captors hear my screams.

I ask not how I’m still alive. I do not want to be. Though, if I have to guess, I was probably made into a Cognitive Shadow and brought into the Physical Realm from the pockets of Shadesmar that persisted after my destruction of it. 

“We are something like a Returned,” Raze corrects. I turn, shocked to find a dark form sitting on the bed I  hibernated in. “Our captors have been feeding us Breath. If I had to guess, we are on Nalthis.”

“Ironic,” I reply, trying to hide my despair that this creature followed me into the Physical Realm. Although I gave up on trying to resist its touch years ago, a part of me still wishes it would just leave me alone.

Razed nodded—the thing I assumed is its head—in agreement. Of course my captors are imprisoning me on the final place I planned to destroy, oh so long ago. The place where I earned my punishment by making one fatal error. Why they are keeping me alive, I don’t know.

“We will escape now,” Raze declares, standing up from the mattress. It stands next to me and puts its appendage on my shoulder. “You know how to use Breath, correct?”

“Yes, I should remember,” I answer. Words are a struggle to form and my voice is pitched from not speaking aloud for so long. “My memories are hazy, so it might take a bit for me to get the hang of it again.”

“This is fine, we appear to be immortal.”

I begin to practice Awakening once more. Raze continually re-teaching me things I forgot. We go from the simplest commands, to performing complex actions with the thin straws from the mattress. All the while never once being visited by any other living beings. 

After some time, I walk to the bars of my cell and grasp one:

“Bend at my touch,” I command it. And it obeys. I push the bar aside and move to the next. We repeat the process for another ten minutes, and by ‘we,’ I mean, I do all the work while Raze sits on the bed and whistles the same tune it’s been whistling every since we awoke.

I push down the final bar and step out of the prison that held me for roughly four hundred thousand years. My foot takes its first step into a world that has moved without my presence for millennia. Raze follows behind me, letting out an exasperated sigh of what I assumed was relief.

“Alright, pal,” It starts, walking further beyond our cage. “Let’s go show the world what they’ve been missing out on!”

I nod along and walk next to the proof of my insanity. We reach the end of what seems like a never ending tunnel and come face to face with a staircase. My muscles are weak, and not even accounting for the lack of light, I struggle to go up each step. My bones feel tired and brittle, like they could splinter into millions of pieces at any moment. My eyes strain for light, like they could pop into a messy gore any second now. Yet, Raze ascends the stairs with little effort, whistling the same storming tune.

We reach the top of the staircase and I barely avoid running into a thick oak door. Its handle is rusted from years of disuse. The planks are red from blood; whose blood? I have no clue. 

“Well, open it up, partner!” Raze says, excitement filling each word to the brim. I wonder momentarily why it doesn’t open the door itself. Then I remember, I’m insane. Of course a figment of my imagination wouldn’t be able to open a very real door.

I wrap my thin fingers around the tarnished door handle, flakes of rust falling off at my touch. I twist the knob. I feel Raze’s eagerness as I do so. I pull the door towards me. I feel Raze’s fervor to escape as I do so. The door is open.

My eyes are blinded by gentle torchlight. My ears are greeted by the sound of something pounding against the roof of the wooden cabin. My tongue is treated to the taste of something other than the stale air of a basement. My nose is delighted by the scent of some kind of baked good. My skin is nuanced by the individual grains of wood against my bare feet, feeling so much more alive the stone chamber I was in before.

My blissful re-awakening to once familiar sensations is rudely interrupted.

“M-my lord!” Calls the scratchy voice of an older man. “Black and white, you’re awake!”

The man has few strings of gray hair, wrinkles cover almost every end of his face, and his back is arched by the cruel mistress that is time. He begins to stand and falters for a moment, before reaching for a black cane that was leaning against the table. He shambles over to me and places his hand on my cheek, as if he isn’t sure if I’m really there. Apparently, he’s satisfied with what he finds and walks to the cottages exterior door.

“Wait!” I shout, my voice the croak of a frog, before he pulls the heavyset door open. “Who are you? Where am I? What happened after the Second Shardic War? How am I still alive? And… what is my name?”

He hesitates and pries his wrinkled hand off the door. He brings his eyes up to meet mine. The venerable man laughs heartily. 

“I guess it makes sense you have lots of questions,” He remarks. “Well, I’ll start with the easiest.”

I strain my ears, preparing to take in every word the man has to offer like a beggar hoping for any scrap they could get from a passing lord. Raze mumbles something from the shadow of the door I’d come from.

“You have a lot of names, but here on Nalthis…” He begins. “They call you Earthbane the Endbringer.”

With that said, the man turned around and opened the door. And the first thing we saw of the world we longed for, was an unbroken snow. I step barefoot into the cold powder, chills run up my legs and up my spine until they reach the top of my head. I look from my right, where the old man stands proud, to my left, where Raze glides out into the snow, leaving not a single footprint.

“So, master… what do you plan to do?”

I think for a moment. What did I plan to do? The first thing that comes to mind is: revenge. No, not revenge that I was imprisoned. Revenge that my former allies and captors had kept me alive. That they did not let Mercy have me.

“To Ruin,” I start, pausing as I look back towards my shadowy companion. “And Raze.”

Alrighty, I hope the ending sounds properly menacing. I guess one good thing that came from my mistake this game is that I could write this short story thing. Who knows maybe I’ll write a fan fiction about this, or better yet... run an SE game about stopping Niru Drash in his quest for revenge.

EDIT;

THIS IS NOT THE BEST VERSION OF THIS SHORT STORY THING, READ FURTHER IN THE THREAD FOR THAT! 

Edited by Ventyl
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So, one thing I think should happen is definitely some sort of way to bring up issues like the Dingo situation to the mods. Whether that’s just a google form you can fill out, or some sort other sort of official way of filing a grievance, there needs to be some sort of system for letting the mods know about these kinds of things. And there needs to be a formal system of what happens when a player breaks a rule. Some sort of warning, punishment, then banning system for repeated infractions. Having a bunch of rules is all fine and great, but it doesn’t help much if they’re not really enforced beyond just warning players to stop. A few warnings for minor infractions and one warning for major infractions. Then if they still need another warning or two for minor infractions, then they get blocked from playing games for a little bit. Or if they do a second major infraction. And if they hit a third major infraction or some designated number of minor ones, then they are banned from the games. Having meta discussions like this is all well and good, but again: if we aren’t really enforcing consequences for breaking the rules, why have the rules in the first place?

I hope this made sense.

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6 minutes ago, Ventyl said:

Alrighty, I hope the ending sounds properly menacing. I guess one good thing that came from my mistake this game is that I could write this short story thing. Who knows maybe I’ll write a fan fiction about this, or better yet... run an SE game about stopping Niru Drash in his quest for revenge.

Niru doesn't hold Ruin anymore, though ;) 

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5 minutes ago, Matrim's Dice said:

Niru doesn't hold Ruin anymore, though ;) 

My head cannon is that Raze is a Splinter. Always, it’s the thought that counts right?

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10 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

I'll post a few more thoughts on the various discussions in the dead doc and community interactions, but that's essentially my end. Bewildered old Ash. If anyone would like to explain how PM mastering works, I would love to hear it.

I can say a bit about this here, but as I noted in the game and several times, I'm very far from being a PM master, and if you're thinking about PM spider type capabilities, you're looking more at players like Burnt and Illwei for advice.

Quote

Kasimir:   The Queen Eshen award   (If you don’t remember, Queen Eshen is Raoden’s step-mother, the one who could talk on and on about nothing in particular)- Since beginning this game I have received roughly 2,400 emails from 17thshard PM notifications. Of that number, over 900 of them were from PMs that involved Kas. That’s roughly 37% of the emails I received as a result of this game. Kas’s own LG12 PM between him and us GMs was by itself 8 pages long. Even if we only attribute half of those PMs to Kas (assuming that the person he was communicating with supplied the other half), that's still over 450 (18%) of the PM notifications I received this game.

Lies. All lies. Most of it was Wyrm's fault. And Wilson's. ;)

What's interesting is 2014 - 2015 Kas was very adamant about PM safety. I refused to let people roleclaim to me, screamed if people tried, and generally refused to give out my role information either. It was fairly impossible not to in this game, as I had a role that reduced all votes on me by one, and so I basically just went ahead and claimed it in thread the moment the missing vote was discovered. And then proceeded to troll people with bad poetry :P 

And yet... I was also the most chatty player in the game :ph34r:

This wasn't a contradiction in terms. I've tended to use PM roles to info-share in restricted communication games. And I naturally like bantering, PMing, and chatting casually with other players. (My PM partners this round can confirm :P ) What I'm not very good at is specifically and deliberately getting players to give me information, or roleclaim to me. That's okay. I don't want roleclaims. I want people to practice opsec :P But as I've mentioned, my use of PMs is generally to solicit reads, to try to engage seemingly-inactive players (which I did a tiny bit this game but was way too tired to get into), and to try to build a rapport with players. I have used PM rapport before to get several Villagers to turn on a Village trust (but I was also a Villager and that 'trust' was Evil, so there :P )

So with those clarifications out of the way, some questions to ask yourself:

  • Are you a naturally chatty player? Can you become one? [IMO, if you aren't, or you aren't interested in it, it's not worth it. Get another player on your team to work the PM game, stat. I recognise this is less applicable to Team Evil this game. But if you're not good at it, you're better off cultivating another player who is and getting your info off them - in this game, I got to supplement my weak PM spider game by being in contact with Illwei, which means functionally all I needed to do was to get Illwei to trust me.]
     
  • What do I want out of PMs? Do I want to gain trust? Do I want to build rapports? Do I want to gain information? [I don't want information, I want reads, so I'll often banter and then ask players for their view on in-game events. If exchanging information, you may often need to offer a bit of it yourself. Keep in mind that people generally don't appreciated being treated like a vending machine where you push buttons and info comes out - focus on being a pleasant/fun conversation partner first. On the other hand, some players like Devotary or Araris prefer you get down to business right away. Talking to Stink is an art - he told me about Nalthis but this was also amidst two concurrent PMs (we were aiming for 3) full of chill talk, and honestly I wasn't hitting Stink up for info but because it's fun to chill with him :P If building rapports, you definitely want to be a fun conversation partner. The main reason I trusted Evil Wyrm in MR1 despite having a bad gut feeling about it legit boiled down to how much rapport he'd built with me over  two to three full cycles' worth of bantering in the darkeyes faction doc.]
     
  • What skills do I have, and how do I bring them to bear on PMs? [Like I said, I'm naturally chatty or I enjoy bantering with players, so my PM game tends to focus primarily on building rapport with players and then using that to gain reads. It doesn't work with some - my PM with Mist kind of petered out, as I'm not that charismatic, but it was enough to get me conversations with a bunch of players. If you're better at compiling info, you may consider starting up as an info trader. And so on.]
     
  • Who are the people I naturally have a good relationship with? [IMO, seek them out immediately in PMs, as it's easier to get the conversation going, especially if you're bad at the PM games. And in my case, there's no point in joining a game where Wilson or Wyrm are playing if I'm not immediately going to PM them and troll them hard :P ]
8 hours ago, Archer said:

At the time I took the emotional response as an indicator of OC alignment, and was pleased I'd gotten a solid lead that I proceeded to tunnel until everyone doing reads said that Mouse is village. Kas, I should have apologized earlier for making you upset, but I'll do it now. In hindsight, my comments were based on an incomplete understanding of how PMs are supposed to be used, how neutral factions interact in the game with others, and how you got your information. (You made some very good reads and breakdowns in the game... too good to be unaided by an elim doc or bluffs, I thought). I apologize. I did not mean to be condescending or abrasive to your playstyle. I also apologize more generally for saying people were being careless. 

Thanks to the GMs. You did good. 

No worries, and thanks Archer - I apologise as well for my strong language as I was feeling kind of frustrated about getting side-eyed for a tactic you yourself (and several other Villagers) appeared to be employing. And identifying players who had too much information is definitely a decent Evil tell, so that's all and good.

8 hours ago, Ashbringer said:

Well 1) I had absolutely no idea who you were as I've only played the Ashyn game with you, and 2) at the time I actually wanted to keep you alive because you were my best PM buddy... until you exposed me and Joe. By that point we had bigger problems. And 3)... I didn't really think I could afford to refuse Orlok. We were about to be down two members, and we needed a way to get at Honor. Which does make it ironic but we didn't know that :P

That's fair Ash, I think I overestimated a bit from how everyone and their horse appeared to have clocked me by Cycle 3 :P And yeah, I think El and Wilson were cackling just a tad at the whole irony of the one player you promised not to kill being your kill switch for Honour >>

4 hours ago, Mailliw73 said:

I’m not around much anymore and this was the first game I’ve followed at all in probably a year, so take this with a grain of salt. 

I think the main problem here is to do with role distribution. There used to be a healthy fear of making assumptions about the distribution and using that to fuel your reads. For example, in the first game I GMd, there were 4(?) Spanreeds which were the PM creation item. One of those did belong to the elims, but they never used it because pretty quickly the thread decided that a Spanreed was a likely item/role that I would’ve given to the Elims. So they went through and executed every spanreed holder they could find. And they were all village. Because of instances like that (and Meta’s infamous distributions), people didn’t try to solve the game based on roles the same way as often. 

This game was clearly solvable that way and may be a mechanical problem as already addressed by both GMs. Aside from that, I think it’s possible that the meta for GMs has become a predictable way of distributing roles. Again, I’m not speaking from experience here, I’m pretty behind on SE meta. 

The second problem is what I see in this thread specifically. I’ve seen a lot about being bored or complacent or not having fun because you didn’t have many abilities to use that affected the game. Maybe that’s a side effect of this game having so many roles that do impact the game to a great degree. But, my philosophy—and I attribute a lot of this to the SE Father Metacognition, is that every player, regardless of role, has a big part to play in the game. In fact, vanilla players can have some of the biggest impact because they can play in a way that isn’t going to cost the village an important ability if they do die. It allows them to get in front of the prominent abilities and take fire and do the investigative work without worrying. They are the ones who can piece together the elim team and don’t have to worry about having tunnel vision based solely off scans they receive. Survival, for instance since I was the original Survival, has so many options to make the game fun regardless of win con. The extra lives allow them to play as risky as they want and to insert themselves into the game in whatever fashion they desire. 

Anyways, random thoughts I had. Tl;dr: Vanillas are important too! Don’t rely on distribution to solve the game/maybe GMs should take this into consideration when distributing. 

Maybe I’ll see you all one day soon in a game. :)

Hello Stormfather my first GM, it's nice we meet again :P I was talking to Wilson about this, actually. Between Meta's trolling and LG5 being my first game, in which we let the Village execute all spanreed holders and then I yeeted the spanreed you so kindly gave me, I try not to apply hard role distro assumptions anymore. I'd soft-assumed Ruin was Village for the purposes of working, but prepared to revise that assumption, especially after Ruin blew up Shadesmar, since the number of compromised Elims was a bit too high for a bus to have been plausible by that juncture :P 

I agree with the emphasis on the importance of being a vanilla. I've previously written that stuff about your vote being your voice and your power as one, and I've admittedly enjoyed it more than being a role most times. In a way, I actually feel 'minor roles' were functionally vanillas this game because while I did get off one or two useful scans, I was really more helpful to the Village poking around, asking questions, and trying to make sense of things without getting trolled as hard as I was in MR1 by Wilson :P It's one of the best lessons I took from early SE, so thanks for bringing it up again.

4 hours ago, Elbereth said:

addendum to all of this: Many of the situations I listed above can be helped by talking to your GM/IM. Which I do think is something everyone should take from this game. I think that mod intervention without being asked is extremely difficult and complicated, and would in general not advocate that it happen, but if a player comes to me and says "hey X is doing this and I'm really not enjoying it" then I may be able to pass that on to X. Ultimately norms are built from the community level, but there are some that it's hard for players to maintain except post-game. If you find yourself in one of those situations, or really any sort of conflict with another player, talk to your GM or IM. 

 

I feel like sometimes, there's inertia. I don't remember if we pulled in the IM for that game - I think Wyrm and I kind of flagged it to them? But it was also too late, and that's that the damage was already done. (Sorry. It's been years and my memory seems to think games don't exist after LG15b :P ) But say, look at what happened when Len was going after me in LG29. I didn't see this as something worth asking an IM about, and I didn't really know how an IM could make things better. Len was viciously attacking me, I hated it, but it's not like you can totally ask a player to lay off either. Because I didn't see many options for intervention, or reasons to, I figured the best thing to do was to quit and I just went inactive and never logged back into SE for quite a few months/a year++ after that. I don't know, I just want to flag: is this an issue too? Surely it is, if a player feels their best recourse is to leave the game, like I was considering doing D3.

Noting that something that might be worth for a GM to try is something I call 'proactive GMing.' As I noted briefly in the Roshar doc, my philosophy is that I like to make my IM suffer >:) I don't want to mention names with regard to games I've personally GMed, so I'm just gonna note that my attitude as a GM is to highlight potential problems to my IM. This could be a player who is visibly unhappy about being executed early for several games in a row. This could be signs that two players might be about to throw down in subsequent cycles. My attitude is that if I proactively highlight these situations to my IM, and ask the IM do a welfare check, or at least just make sure everything's okay, this can potentially stop situations from even exploding in the first place. And if despite my best efforts and the IM's best efforts, these things explode anyway, then minimally we have forewarning and can get on top of things instead of being caught pants down.

P.S. Please still assign an IM to my games? :P 

Edited by Kasimir
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Okay, I was unhappy about some of the things in my aftermath RP, so I went through in fixed them. @Elbereth, if you are going to put this in the write-up, use this version!

————————————————————————

Somewhere and Nowhere

 

I float. Somewhere and nowhere at the same time. It is painful and relaxing at the same time. My thoughts come fleetingly, each one escaping my grasp quickly. I destroyed the Cognitive Realm, not long along. I am the one to blame for my suffering, so I cannot complain at my state of somethingness and nothingness.

I’m not sure if this in The Beyond or not. I hope so. 

Though, it could be just as likely that my mind is imprisoned. I find this both reassuring and depressing. It means I might be alive, somehow. It means I could return to the physical realm. Because, every prison can be escaped from. However, if I’m not imprisoned and this truly is The Beyond, I will be pleased. I deserve my fate. The fate to watch, to observe, and to not scheme a way to topple things built by my hands

I am tainted by the Shard I held for so long, so long that I forgot my old name and turned myself into Niru Drash. The Intent of the Ruin drove me into insanity, into doing things—that in my newfound clarity—I regret immensely. 

Even now, I feel remnants of its power infiltrating my thoughts. A nagging voice begging me to reach for walls of a prison that may not even exist.

“Break things! Rip the walls of this void apart! Tear into the fabric of reality once more!” It screams. I deny its’ wishes again and again and again. Each time my resolve strengthens and weakens. It’s fingers weave their way into my mind tenderly with every repetition of its words.

I refuse and turn my (eyes?) attention towards the worlds I left behind. They war on, killing each other for dominance over the Cosmere. Millions die, worlds break, Shards are shattered and remade. The demon in my mind rejoices and cries. For it loves to watch the ruin, but despairs it cannot play part in it.

We watch as a man becomes a Shard. We watch as Odium is shattered beyond repair. We watch as the Vessel of Hate returns to the land of the living. We watch as Autonomy completes their quest and returns to war. We watch Survival do one thing and one thing only. We watch the piece of Adonalsium we once held break another world, and take with it a Splinter of another. We watch a trapper grow and grieve and kill. We watch as three Shards fight one man and all die. We watch as one war ends and more begin.

However, we do not become free. Not for a long time at least. The lingering imprint of Ruin and I search for an end to the void. Because, I do not last long against its demands. I give into the desire to live once again. 

At some point, when hundreds of thousands of years have passed, we reach the end of what I believe to be a prison. It’s a wall. Yet, not one I can see or touch, as I have no eyes or hands. No, this barrier is something I feel. It’s the first thing I feel in a long, long time. Clarity is brought via its touch. 

The thing in my thoughts revels. 

And I revel with it.

I pound against the wall for the next two hundred eighty-seven thousand six hundred thirty-two years and—finally—a single crack appears in its surface. Yet again, I don’t see the rift, but I feel it and know it’s there. The power and I pry our conscience into that hole, forcing our way, fracturing the break further. The process speeds up exponentially, because the wider the crack becomes, the easier and easier it gets to widen. 

It takes another fifty-six thousand eight hundred eleven years, but at last… I am free. Or so I thought. 

I wake and find myself in another prison. My companion, who begins to call itself Raze, and I scream treacherously in unison. A howl deeper than any wolf’s. A roar greater than that of the now-extinct chasmfiends. 

I bang against the prison, this time with hands emaciated from millennia of stillness and hunger. The sound of my fist hitting the metallic bars sending a ring throughout wherever I am. I pray to any god that may still exist; ‘let my captors hear my screams.’

But, I ask not how I still live. As I wish not to be. Though, if I was to guess, I’d say I was made into a Cognitive Shadow. One brought into the Physical Realm from pockets of Shadesmar that persisted even after I Ruined it.

“We are something like a Returned,” Raze corrects. I turn, shocked to find a dark form sitting

on the bed I hibernated in. “Our captors have been feeding us Breath. So, if I were to guess, we’re on Nalthis.”

“Ironic,” I reply, trying to hide my despair that this creature followed me into the Physical Realm. Although I gave up on trying to resist its touch years ago, a part of me still wishes it would just—

Leave. Me. Alone.

Raze nods—the thing I assume is its head—in agreement. Of course my captors imprison me in the final place I planned to destroy, oh so long ago. The place where I earned my punishment by making one fatal error. Why did they keep me alive? I don’t know.

“We will escape. Now,” Raze declares, standing up from the mattress. It stands next to me and puts its appendage on my shoulder. “You know how to use Breath, correct?”

“Yes, I should remember,” I answer. The words struggle to form. My voice is pitched higher from not speaking for so long. “My memories are hazy, so it might take a bit for me to get the hang of it again.”

“This is fine. We appear to be immortal.”

I begin to practice Awakening once more. Raze continually re-teaching me things I forgot. We move from the simplest commands, to performing complex actions. All with the thin straws of the worn down mattress. All while never once being visited by another living being. 

And after some time, I walk to the bars of my cell and grasp one:

“Bend at my touch,” I Command it. It obeys. I push the bar aside and move to the next. We repeat the process for another ten minutes, and by ‘we,’ I mean; I do all the work while Raze sits on the bed and whistles the same tune it’s been whistling ever since we awoke.

Finally, I push down the last bar and step out of the prison that held me for roughly four hundred thousand years. My foot takes its first step into a world that has moved without my presence for millennia. Raze follows behind me, letting out an exasperated sigh of what I assume is relief.

“Alright, kiddo,” It starts, walking further beyond our cage. “Let’s go show the world what they’ve been missing out on, alright?!”

I nod and walk next to proof of my insanity. We reach the end of what seems like a never ending tunnel and come face to face with a staircase. My muscles are weak, and not even accounting for the lack of light, I struggle to climb each step. My bones feel tired and brittle, like they could splinter into millions of pieces at any moment. My eyes strain for light, like they could pop into a messy gore any second now. Yet, Raze ascends the stairs with little effort, whistling the same storming tune.

We reach the top of the staircase and I barely avoid running into a thick oak door. Its handle is rusted from years of disuse. The planks are red from blood; whose blood? I have no clue. 

“Well, open it up, partner!” Raze says, excitement filling each word to the brim. I wonder momentarily why it doesn’t open the door itself. Then I remember, I’m insane. Of course a figment of my imagination can’t open a real door.

I wrap my thin fingers around the tarnished iron door handle, flakes of rust falling off at my touch. I twist the knob. I feel Raze’s eagerness as I do so. I pull the door towards me. I feel Raze’s fervor escaping as I do. The door opens.

My eyes are blinded by gentle torchlight. My ears are greeted by the sound of something pounding against the roof of the wooden cabin. My tongue is treated to the taste of something other than the stale air of a basement. My nose is delighted by the scent of some kind of baked good. My skin is nuanced by the individual grains of wood against my bare feet, feeling so much more alive the stone chamber I was in before.

My blissful re-awakening to once familiar sensations is rudely interrupted.

“M-my lord!” Calls the scratchy voice of an older man, obviously shocked. “Black and white! You’re awake!”

The man has few strings of gray hair, wrinkles cover almost every end of his face, and his back is arched by the cruel mistress that is time. He begins to stand and falters for a moment, before reaching for a black cane that was leaning against the table. He shambles over to me and places his hand on my cheek, as if he isn’t sure if I’m really there. Apparently, he’s satisfied with what he finds and walks to the cottages exterior door.

“Wait!” I shout, my voice the croak of a frog, before he pulls the heavyset door open. “Who are you? Where am I? What happened after the Second Shardic War? How am I still alive? And… what is my name?”

He hesitates and pries his wrinkled hand away from the door. He brings his eyes up to meet mine. The venerable man laughs heartily. 

“I guess it makes sense you have lots of questions,” He remarks. “Well, I’ll start with the easiest.”

I strain my ears, preparing to take in every word the man has to offer, like a beggar hoping for any scrap they could get from a passing nobleman. Raze mumbles something from the shadow of the door we came from, but I don’t hear it.

“You have a lot of names, but here on Nalthis…” He begins. “They call you Earthbane the Endbringer.”

With that said, the man turns around and opens the door. And the first thing we see of the world we were longing for, is an unbroken snow. I step barefoot into the cold powder, chills run up my legs and up my spine and continue all the way until they reach the top of my head. I look from my right, where the old man stands proud, then to my left, where Raze marches out into the snow, leaving not a single footprint.

“So, master… what do you plan to do?”

I think for a moment. What did I plan to do? The first thing that comes to mind is: revenge. No, not revenge for being imprisoned. Revenge for being kept alive by my former allies-turned-captors. That they did not let Mercy have me.

“To Ruin,” I start, pausing as I look back to my shadowy companion. “And Raze.”

Edited by Ventyl
version 3
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Ah, what the heck. I didn't want to say it explicitly, but I think I will, because informative and whatnot, amirite.

2 hours ago, Kasimir said:

I feel like sometimes, there's inertia. I don't remember if we pulled in the IM for that game - I think Wyrm and I kind of flagged it to them? But it was also too late, and that's that the damage was already done. (Sorry. It's been years and my memory seems to think games don't exist after LG15b :P ) But say, look at what happened when Len was going after me in LG29. I didn't see this as something worth asking an IM about, and I didn't really know how an IM could make things better. Len was viciously attacking me, I hated it, but it's not like you can totally ask a player to lay off either. Because I didn't see many options for intervention, or reasons to, I figured the best thing to do was to quit and I just went inactive and never logged back into SE for quite a few months/a year++ after that. I don't know, I just want to flag: is this an issue too? Surely it is, if a player feels their best recourse is to leave the game, like I was considering doing D3.

@Elbereth - I didn't involve the GM or complain because I felt it made me weak. That my job was to be able to take the heat, and that I should've fought back more viciously instead of just logging off and leaving. That the wrong lay with me because I should've just laughed it off, despite Len mocking me for bad reads. That I was overreacting - that a good player would just deal with it, and carry on. (Yes, we know I turned out to be right that Len wasn't actually reasoning but acting from Evil knowledge, but still.) Alv knew this was a problem - he commented that converting me might lead to in doc problems, so I guess it wasn't all in my head. It bothers me a lot that I left the community for months on end and idled out of a game run by my friends not because I wanted to but because I didn't want to play any more games with then!Len after that experience with him. And it bothers me that I didn't feel okay bringing it up to a GM or IM or any SE friends and all. I don't think anyone really knew, until I alluded to it in retrospect.

I'd never think that of my players as a GM, or of any SE players as a friend. If you have problems, you should deconflict. I'm glad deconflicting went well this time - I talked to Fifth for advice on approaching Archer. But I'm also just pointing out that there can be significant psychological barriers with regard to reaching out for help, even if we tell players to talk to the GM and the IM.

And now I need a drink...

Edit: And thanks a lot, @little wilson - I know Len felt you were too harsh on him in the dead/spec doc, but reading this years later, it just feels good to know at least one person was sticking up for me, even if no one else did. That maybe I shouldn't have just quietly taken it and gone away.

Edited by Kasimir
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4 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

And now I need a drink...

Don’t we all...

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59 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

P.S. Please still assign an IM to my games? :P 

I'd volunteer to IM for you, except I'm conflicted because you are one of my favorite GMs. And an original rules LG is going to be pretty hard to resist.

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7 minutes ago, Araris Valerian said:

I'd volunteer to IM for you, except I'm conflicted because you are one of my favorite GMs. And an original rules LG is going to be pretty hard to resist.

Thanks man :P To be honest, I'm also requesting a specific IM if possible because there's one particular skillset I absolutely need my IM to have for my OG LG. So this may not actually be an issue. 

Edited by Kasimir
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2 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Thanks man :P To be honest, I'm also requesting a specific IM if possible because there's one particular skillset I absolutely need my IM to have for my OG LG. So this may not actually be an issue. 

Seconding Araris with the caveat of me never actually playing one of your games :P I missed your most recent MR because of my summer vacation, but the ruleset looked really cool, and I remember reading one of yours in the AoGC thread and thinking it looked awesome. So I'm definitely looking forward to any/all future Kas games.

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12 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Thanks man :P To be honest, I'm also requesting a specific IM if possible because there's one particular skillset I absolutely need my IM to have for my OG LG. So this may not actually be an issue. 

Is this the LG I offered to co-GM with you? If so, I will take the fall and not play it so that others may play.

and so that I don’t absolutely break it. :P

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Hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehhehehe...

 

 

Faleast opened his eyes.

 

He hadn’t really… expected to be able to do that this time. He’d died before. He’d died the first time the kandra – AraRaash – had stabbed him with that… spike. And then… here. He looked around at the terrain – like a room, but made of sinking mist. The… Cognitive Realm? Rusts, what had happened?

“Faleast? You’re… still here?”

He turned. AraRaash, or some form of him, stood over him. Faleast realized he was lying on the ground, and started standing up, feeling an ache where his heart once was. No, where something else once was.

A spike lay, discarded on the ground, visible in both realms. Technically it was two spikes wound together. The Blessing of Identity. The lifeblood of them both.

“You ejected the spike, and didn’t have another powerful enough to sustain your identity,” Faleast found himself saying. “Meanwhile I was still chained to it… and I tried to break that chain to get back to you…”

“Did it work?” AraRaash asked. “What’s the last thing you remember?”

Faleast thought. “Pyria… Reginald… the People’s Republic of Elendel. But wasn’t that…”

 

“IT WAS NOT AS NOT AS LONG AGO AS YOU THINK,” a voice resounded.

The Shadow and Kandra turned, then quickly averted their eyes. A man was walking through the wall, glowing brighter than any sun. An image was burned on what functioned as Faleast’s retinas. A tall, tan-skinned man, with ornate clothing numerous ornaments on his body, some light and some dark. AraRaash fell to his knees; Faleast followed suit.

“Harmony,” Faleast breathed.

The man – the Shard – smiled. “YOU MIGHT SAY THAT,” he said. “IN TRUTH, I DO NOT FEEL VERY HARMONIZED. AT LEAST IT STILL FEELS THAT WAY. BUT YOUSEEM TO HOLD THE DUALITY I HAVE BEEN SEEKING FOR SO LONG.”

“How long has it been? I hardly even recognize you,” AraRaash said. Of course he would recognize Harmony. Rusts, he probably knew him when he was Sazed.

“MERE MINUTES. OR THOUSANDS OF YEARS; IT DEPENDS WHAT YOU MEAN, I SUPPOSE. IN ANY CASE, I CAN FILL YOU IN. YOU WERE DISCOVERED, AND ATTEMPTED TO ESCAPE, BUT WERE FORCED TO DROP THIS CURIOUS ARTIFACT," he said, knudging the spike with his foot. It sent a jolt down Faleast's spine. "I SUSPECT YOU WOULD BOTH PERISH IN YOUR OWN WAYS WITHOUT IT; I SHOULD KNOW. SO I… INTERVENED.”

“HONESTLY… I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THE TERM HARMONY IS ACCURATE. RUIN AND PRESERVATION ARE STABILITY AND DECAY, BUT IS NOT CULTIVATION GROWTH? I WOULD THINK PRESERVATION AND CULTIVATION WOULD BE JUST AS HARMONIUS, AND RUIN AND CULTIVATION PERHAPS EVEN MORE SO.”

Faleast found himself nodding. How did one refuse a Shard? But AraRaash’s eyes suddenly shot up. “Oh God Beyond… you’re not Harmony, aren’t you?”

 

“GODS BEYOND,” the… being corrected. “I BELIEVE THERE ARE THREE. BUT YES, I AM NOT THE MAN KNOWN AS SAZED, NOR THE MIXTURE OF PRESERVATION AND RUIN. I AM NOT EVEN SURE IF HARMONY CAN BE THAT MIXTURE ANYMORE, NOT WITH WHAT I KNOW. BUT I DIGRESS. NO, I AMSOMETHING ELSE. A LAMENTATION FOR THE WORLD.”

“… Why are you here?” the two whispered, almost together.

“BECAUSE I NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU. I AM A COMBINATION OF TWO SHARDS; I HAVE SIMILAR DIFFICULTIES IN ACTING ALONE. BUT YOUYOU SHARE MUCH OF ME. THE COMPASSION OF FALEAST, THE RUTHLESSNESS OF ARARAASH. MERCY AND AMBITION. AND YET, YOU MANAGE TO WORK TOGETHER TOWARD A COMMON GOAL. THAT IS SOMETHING THAT I… LACK, TO SOME DEGREE.”

“I HAVE A VISION. ONE WHERE THE WORLD IS FREE, THE HATRED AND PAIN SWEPT UNDER A BLOODY RUG. AND SO, I NEED SOMEONE TO HELP MAKE THAT FUTURE. A HARBINGER. OR HARBINGERS. I CAN USE MY ABILITIES TO DIRECT YOU, GET YOU PLACES THAT YOU NORMALLY COULD NOT ACCESS, AND OUT OF PLACES YOU COULD NORMALLY NOT SURVIVE. YOU CAN BUILD YOUR OWN SKILLS AND GATHER INVESTED ARTS, AND I WILL PROVIDE THE BASE INVESTITURE FOR YOU TO FUEL IT.

“MORE IMPORTANTLY, I CAN CONNECT YOU TWO TOGETHER WITH THAT SPIKE OF YOURS, AND CREATE A BOND STRONGER THAN ANY METAL. YOU WILL NEVER LOSE EACH OTHER, OR LOSE YOURSELVES. AND I CAN RETURN WHAT LITTLE MEMORIES YOU HAVE LOST IN THE MINUTES YOU WERE DISCONNECTED.”

“And… in return, what do we do for you?” said Faleast.

The being – Lamentation – smiled. “IN RETRUN, I TAKE MOST OF THE MEMORIES OF THIS ENCOUNTER. AND GUIDE YOU TO WHERE I NEED YOU TO GO. YOU WILL ACT AS YOU FEEL, MERCIFUL OR AMBITIOUS. IN SHORT… I WILL PLACE YOU IN A POSITION WHERE EVERY ACTION EITHER OF YOU TAKE WILL SERVE ME.”

AraRaash snarled. “I will not be a puppet for you, Shard or not.”

“YOU WILL NOT. I HAVE BEEN WATCHING YOU TWO FOR A LONG TIME, AND CREATED THIS PLAN TO BEST PRESERVE YOUR FREE WILL. SUFFICE IT TO SAY, I AM ABLE TO PREDICT WHAT ACTIONS YOU WILL TAKE, GIVEN WHAT SITUATION YOU ARE PLACED IN. THOSE ACTIONS ARE STILL YOUR OWN. IF I HAVE NOWHERE TO PLACE YOU, YOU ARE FREE TO DO AS YOU PLEASE.”

“And you swear this? I… am unfamiliar with Shards,” Faleast said. Some part of him realized he and AraRaash were still on their knees, giving veneration to Harmony. Perhaps that was for the best; this Shard seemed much more… dangerous than Harmony. But he was also asking to be their… God.

“I SWEAR, I HAVE NOT BEEN UNTRUTHFUL TO YOU. IT WILL BE AS I HAVE SAID. SHARDS CAN BE DISHONEST, BUT THEY CANNOT BREAK A SWORN OATH. ARARAASH KNOWS THIS.” And the kandra nodded in agreement. “BUT IF YOU WISH TO BREAK THE AGREEMENT AT SOME POINT IN THE FUTURE… I CAN RELEASE THE BOND, IF YOU AGREE TO FOREFIT YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF MY PLANS.”

Faleast turned to AraRaash. “So… what do you think? I already had my second chance. I didn’t think I would get a third. May as well make the most of it,” Faleast said. “If you’re alright with it, so am I.”

 

The kandra gave a chilling smile. “It sure seems like a nobler goal than playing the PRE and the Loyalists against each other . Maybe we can actually make some progress in this cosmere. Let’s do it.”

The Shard gave a small chuckle. “THEN THE DEAL IS DONE. YOU WILL NOW BE THE HARBINGERS OF LAMENTATION. YOU WILL WEEP FOR WHAT MUST BE DONEBUT LIKE MYSELF, YOU WILL DO IT ALL THE SAME. YOU HAVE MUCH TO LEARN, AND THERE IS SOMEONE ELSE I PREDICT MAY BE SENSITIVE TO MY CAUSE...”

“How do you mean?” asked Faleast, the corners of his vision starting to fade. The reConnecting must already be happening. They were losing this… vision.

Lamentation laughed – a full, true laugh.

“WHO SAID THAT WE WERE STOPPING AT THE COSMERE?”

6

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19 minutes ago, StrikerEZ said:

Is this the LG I offered to co-GM with you? If so, I will take the fall and not play it so that others may play.

and so that I don’t absolutely break it. :P

Oh, no, it's a different one, don't worry :P I'm already contacting the people I need to make this a wonderful experience for my players, true to the spirit of OG SE :ph34r: Fun is guaranteed* for all! I also firmly believe even one of your noted prowess can't break an OG game, but you're welcome to prove me wrong :P 

30 minutes ago, Matrim's Dice said:

Seconding Araris with the caveat of me never actually playing one of your games :P I missed your most recent MR because of my summer vacation, but the ruleset looked really cool, and I remember reading one of yours in the AoGC thread and thinking it looked awesome. So I'm definitely looking forward to any/all future Kas games.

Thanks, Cage-Shuffle-Squat Bro :P My bro Wyrm's got really fun games and I hope to continue his legacy sometime too.

*Your prospective GM accepts no responsibility for resulting trauma, paranoia, or a lasting distrust of spikes that may or may not result from playing such a game. Refunds not granted. Play at your own risk.

Edited by Kasimir
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25 minutes ago, Kasimir said:

Oh, no, it's a different one, don't worry :P I'm already contacting the people I need to make this a wonderful experience for my players, true to the spirit of OG SE :ph34r: Fun is guaranteed* for all!

Oh that sounds like a lot of fun. Maybe try to run it during the summer? Please? :P

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