Egads, man - stop plucking the thoughts from my head. Though I don't agree with everything you say, I bloody well agree with everyway your mind works and how you envision 'the way it should be'. It's a rotten shame that I live 3k miles from your game, 'cuz I think it would be a blast to roll with you kats.Deadlands said:On the whole, we have no problem writing fifteen pages on a message board about whether or not flame bolt should be a fourth level spell, but we shy away from asking other chapters what the hell they’ve been writing plot about for the last six years? ...
I gotta agree with this. It would probably be different if there were more chapters readily available for me to play in, but as it is now, I help out with plot for Oregon and I PC in Seattle. I would like to keep the two separate since they are very different experiences for me.jpariury said:Personally, I'd rather not know the behind-the-scenes descriptions of what other plot teams are doing, mainly because I play in the one chapter near me, and if I visit another chapter, I want to experience the surprise and wonder at their local plot from fresh eyes, and not feel the need to impose a certain level of ignorance on myself. Knowing what's going on in my own chapter and having to keep secrets is a burden I chose for myself. Having to do that for other chapters is a burden I didn't really sign up for.
I think this is where I see the biggest problem with the proliferation of "fluff" titles (and I've definitely witnessed it over time; without question it's a huge, marked difference from the first few years that I played). There are players who will take advantage of the "sound" of a title, esp. with NPCs who don't know better. I have seen many, many new or new-ish NPCs get bamboozled in *extremely* unrealistic (for the IG world) ways by more experienced players who used these "fluff" titles to abusive advantage. There's a lot of people in this thread saying "so what if Joe says he's a Lord of Such-and-where or a Chief of the Something Tribe or a Squire of Nothingville? Why does it matter?" - this is why it matters.jpariury said:Cross-chapter traffic confuses the issue a bit more - Gregor, back in his early days, loved using it to his advantage. Again, he was a gypsy given a noble title, and he used it some very (oog) abusive ways. For example, when a magistrate tried to arrest him, G sent him packing under the guise of "You're only a Magistrate, not a Lord Magistrate, you have no authority, go away". When some gypsies had been arrested, G walked and said "Okay, thanks for capturing them, I'm a knight, I'll take them into custody, shoo shoo." and then letting them go. Those are cool in terms of a single character's story - gypsy gets authority and wreaks a bit of havoc. From an out-of-game "players should respect what it took to get the title" kind of way, it's probably not a shining example of what anyone would want advertised as "this is how you become a knight".
Part of it, of course, is that neither the NPCs nor the plot team were quite ready for these sorts of things - they never had to deal with it before, and had no standard "how to deal with this" in place. Add to that the social support the character had in establishing his title, and it becomes more problematic from the standpoint of the plot team to deal with it in a way that is rewarding to the player, expanding on the story, supportive of what the local plot team wants to tell as a tale, and constructive to the overall player community. I.E. do you really want to lay down the hammer on such a character if it subverts your awesome story about the nobles representing truth and justice and turns the weekend into an adventurers' civil war?
There needs to also exist a certain greater degree of plot support. For Oregon, we make sure our "townfolk" NPCs are aware of who the local ranked nobles are and try and make sure they treat them with deference. It helps make a clear distinction between "fluff title" and "rank title", which in turn helps prevent dilution of the importance of those titles. It also makes sure that the local titles are given preference over the visitors.
I'd put it a little differently - people who earn their titles over years of roleplay and effort are more likely to value them and not treat the *title* like dirt, while people who gain their titles through little conscious effort on their part (the aforementioned card games, "surprise, here you go!" titles, buying them outright, or being given an off-stage title) treat their *title* like a joke - which makes them seem like jerks for the position they are claiming.Deadlands said:So, for the most part, people who do earn their titles don't act like a******s, and people who don't do?
And the predominate worth of a title has devolved to one's capacity to make another kneel?
If so, sounds like the problem is having too many a******s, AND too many titles.
EDIT: I just want to make it clear that I'm not trying to be cheeky. I was thinking that people would probably still respect relatively easily gained titles if the people who earned them were worthy of them, that is, respectful and worthy of respect. But I don't care how earned a title is, if the guy who earned it treats people like dirt, few will respect him, even if he's the king, and conquered the continent for his crown.
I dont think plot should ever be so focused on having a specific outcome that they loose site of responding to player actions. I agree it would be unfortunate if that one random noble became the focus of something that they shouldnt, but if they are creating a situation for themselves or the town, it should be responded to. Ignoring the choices players make in order to keep a story on track will only lead to very linear story telling.jpariury said:I would remain worried about derailing your plot line in favor of running a weekend of "smash the visiting noble!".
I suspect you're reading something into what I said that I didn't intend.Jevedor said:I dont think plot should ever be so focused on having a specific outcome that they loose site of responding to player actions. I agree it would be unfortunate if that one random noble became the focus of something that they shouldnt, but if they are creating a situation for themselves or the town, it should be responded to. Ignoring the choices players make in order to keep a story on track will only lead to very linear story telling.
Actually dont think i miss read you at all. I think I perhaps didnt explain myself well... I do agree that having to split NPCs would be unfortunate, and I think it could be even detrimental to the weekend story arch... but i think the difference is (or at least what i am reading) I feel in regards to your question "which is more important?" that responding to player actions is almost always more important, where as perhaps you feel it might be the other way around. If i am incorrect in this do please correct me.jpariury said:From the perspective of the story, you should be able to do both: invading goblin army, and a localized civil war of sorts. I dig it. But your OOG resources restrict that. So now you have to pick and choose: which is more important? The story as it was set up to be, or supporting your local nobles? Could you split the difference? Sure, but I think that cheapens both endeavors at that point. An invading army has no teeth if it's repped by four guys, and supporting your locals with three out of the supposed fifty local soldiers that should be on-hand. You simply don't have the number of NPCs to do both.
It also creates unintended resolutions: about to get invaded by the ravening hordes of critters statted with stuff you don't want to take on? Kill the sheriff; now you won't get invaded because plot has to send in NPCs to handle the murder.