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The Dawn Treader Role Playing in the Land of Narnia

View Poll Results: Vote for the changes in forums (poll will close in 90 days).
Don't delete the top section (sub forums) 2 20.00%
Delete the top section (sub forums) and all the threads 5 50.00%
Delete the top section (sub forums) but leave threads active (state which ones in your post). 3 30.00%
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2014, 11:06 AM
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I vote delete the top sections...

I'm not involved enough in any rpg to have a say either way on the actual threads.

Have many old members expressed interest in returning for the sake of the pirate threads? Because if we only get one or two, it might not make much of a difference...

Excited to see the new changes.
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  #12  
Old 06-27-2014, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbarianKing View Post
We especially would like to hear from those who have role played here before. Let us know what worked and what didn’t and why you stopped participating.
I wonder if this is how the Pevensies felt when they were first called back to Narnia...

First of all, it should be noted that one of the reasons I didn't continue to participate is simply because I was growing up. When all these changes were happening to the Dawn Treader, my life was also changing significantly. In 2009 I finished college, got engaged AND got married (to Machiathemarshwiggle, for those who are keeping score at home). Then we didn't get internet until last year. That alone makes it difficult to RP effectively. Anyway, that's one reason (excuse, whatever).

As for the more technical reason why I honestly had little interest in the Dawn Treader overhaul....

While I fully understood why the mods/Specter felt the DT needed more...focus (as opposed to the half dozen HP threads, various vampire, random "we're all in HS threads", and so on) and was not going to make it any more difficult for them, it seemed to me that the success (not to mention popularity) of the pirates could have been carried over to the new format. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but the new DT seemed over-structured and rather stuffy. (i.e. "We'll be playing as though we are in LWW and will follow its structure.") BK, not to call you out, but I also noticed a thread you started that had a Roman Numeral outline of the events that occur from beginning to end. Which means: When the story's over, it's over. When we get past this point, there's no going to back. If something isn't working, we just plow through it anyway. Some people may love that style of RP, but since I'm explaining why I wasn't interested in the new DT, threads like that are why.

Yeah, that just doesn't work for me. Which brings me to my point: Why was pirates so much different? Well, I think there are many reasons but the main one for me is structure.

While the FF (The five "leaders" of the pirates) would often carry on long PM conversations as to where we were going to go and what we were going to do, our "plot" boiled down to: "We are pirates who were transported to Narnia by way of the Bermuda Triangle and therefore have powers of teleportation. We sail around Narnia having adventures." Sound ridiculous? It was. For those who are new or those who have forgotten, we were Duffers first. None of us had any real interest in RPing, not realizing that that was exactly what we were doing. In fact, we were a bit outraged when the mods moved us over to the Dawn Treader. (What?? We aren't an RPG! We're just teleporting pirates! Wait, did my post count just quadruple? Maybe this isn't so bad after all... )

We did eventually "structure" ourselves a bit more, though by way of adding in a few rules and limitations and basic storylines. Two important notes here, though:
First, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the rather defining role PrinceOfTheWest played in our making the successful acclimation from Duffers to RPers. Our posts would be one or two sentences of RPing nonsense, and PotW would come in with his "Morning Reports", long, in-depth, entertaining reports as to the various things that were happening. Those encouraged us to not only make our posts longer and more interesting, but to actually discourage new pirates from coming and posting something like, "Billy walked up on deck and waited for someone to talk to him." Because of that, it was possible to create rather intricate scenes and stories on the fly.

Also, when we did write storylines, they were very loose. Imagine a family deciding that they are going to spend a month traveling across the US, but all they know is that they are starting in Maine and ending in southern California. There are a whole lot of roads to chose from and things to do before reaching the end of their trip. And that's just one vacation!
The other important note is that if we did end up on a storyline that just wasn't working, we quickly abandoned it and either pretended that it never happened or we just devised some quick way to get ourselves out of it. I'm still not sure why some storylines worked and others didn't, but nothing killed the post counts quicker than a dull story.
Structure is not just with stories, but also with characters. Two thoughts on characters as well:
First, I'm not sure how many of the new DT threads allowed canon characters, but personally, I'm not a fan of people playing canon characters. For one, I think it takes a lot of cheek, especially if you're playing a Lewis character on a Lewis forum. I think added canon characters creates a difficulty in that both the person playing them as well as the other characters interacting with them have to be incredibly careful not to defame them at all. I think if a canon character is very occasionally needed to do something in the story (i.e. Aslan forgiving someone an offense), it can work if done carefully. But that's just my personal feeling about canon characters.
The other note I'd like to make about characters is that we cherished ours. Maybe other RPGs were the same, I don't know, but in pirates, our characters were us and we were them. We might occasionally bring in an occasional secondary character, (Fish at one point in time "adopted" a little girl who seemed the only survivor when her village was attacked) but these secondary characters' purposes were to add depth to our main characters. I think when you choose to play as only one character, you essentially ARE them. Perhaps a little less so if you are the villain, but I know I rarely had to "think" about what Fish would do or say in a situation because I am Fish and Fish is me. Or at least, Fish is how I might be in an alternate universe. Just like any story (be it a book, TV show, movie, etc) will fall short if it doesn't have well-developed, interesting characters, so will an RPG.
A few comments on the other posts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperfox
In the event that a roleplay requires player-versus-player combat, I have substantial cause to doubt that we can expect refereeing that pays any attention to what actions would really work.
(Emphasis on CF's post is mine)

Is it really the end of the world if fantastic things happen? We were fairly good at policing ourselves against "god-modding" (we did have one player who repeatedly insisted on god-modding and needed the mods to step in), but if two people were dueling and their characters were doing fantastic things, as long as the players didn't have a problem, why should it matter? Granted, much of our fighting was friendly dueling, but even when it wasn't, we were not going to kill or seriously maim other people's characters. The few times we actually went to battle, it was always against enemies that we would make up on the spot and would each write our characters' own individual duels within that battle. So there again we could write our characters doing as realistic or fantastic dueling as we wanted. (Sometimes I think we'd write something particularly fantastic just for the entertainment value of it!)

Now, the other thought with that, if two characters are dueling and one is being a little too ridiculous, the other person can post something ooc and ask them to tone it down a bit. If the first person doesn't, then the second person can simply have their character walk away and again post ooc that anything the first character to theirs is void.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GG
If the RPGs have dedicated role players then they will not inexplicably disappear.
With this debate, I have to agree with GG. Pirates had a multitude of characters, some of who posted all the time, some who posted occasionally, and some who would waver between being really active and hardly active. But it worked out that was a natural correlation between a person's involvement in the thread and their importance to whichever storyline we had going at the moment. Again, because our structure was something that rarely planned for one certain character to do one certain thing at one certain time, we rarely (never?) had to deal with days of "downtime" if that one character disappears. This is probably also because that in the several years pirates went on, I can only remember one reasonably-involved character who inexplicably disappeared. (Our ship's cook, Apollo.)

(I have one more point to make, but apparently my post is too long. The rest will come shortly... )
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  #13  
Old 06-27-2014, 02:51 PM
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(Sorry for the double post, but my response was too long to fit on one.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BK
I'm not sure that's a good idea to take over someone's character to keep the story going.
I would like to make one point about "taking over" people's characters. I think there is a difference between using a person's character in a way that allows you to write a plot exposition as long as you are not developing that character at all. For example:
Fish ran up on deck and found the Captain yet again showing Headless Bill (a random filler character any of us could use) how to tie a square knot.

"Cap'n, ye've gotta see what I just discovered on the charts!" Fish shouted. "IOWW, ye'd better come, too!" she added, motioning to the navigator.

Exchanging a quick glance, the two followed Fish below deck.

"Look," Fish said excited as she pointed toward the lower right corner, "Do ye see the................"
And from there I would go on to post whatever long and involved thing I had discovered. This is an example of using while not developing another person's character. There is absolutely nothing odd or out-of-character about the ship's captain and navigator being interested in what one of the other leaders has found. It makes perfectly logical sense that they'd follow Fish.

It would, however, be inappropriate for me to post something like this:
Fish ran up on deck and found the Captain yet again showing Headless Bill (a random filler character any of us could use) how to tie a square knot.

"Cap'n, ye've gotta see what I just discovered on the charts!" Fish shouted. "IOWW, ye'd better come, too!" she added, motioning to the navigator.

"Fish, I don't care what the heck ye found!" the captain said. "And what are ye doing going through my charts?!" She walked up to carpenter and shoved her to the ground.
Once again I'm using QA48's character, but this time in a way that develops her and puts her in an unnecessary negative light, not to mention will probably cause some future rift between Fish and her Captain.

Going back to the first example, some might ask me why I didn't just wait until QA48 and IOWW didn't post themselves that they were following Fish down. If they were online, I probably would have ended my post with Fish coming up on deck. It's more fun to play off their reactions, anyway. But if they weren't online, then Fish is stuck frozen until they come on and respond, and once they do respond, they are stuck until I come back on and explain what Fish found. It's much faster, easier, and makes for a more entertaining story if I can just post something nice and long, even if it involves "moving" someone else's character to a different place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lossėndil
Have many old members expressed interest in returning for the sake of the pirate threads? Because if we only get one or two, it might not make much of a difference...
I know Machia and I are interested in coming back to at least get a new generation of pirates off to a good start. I imagine Twilight and QA48 will be interested, too. Currently I have the good fortune to be a housewife so I should have a reasonable amount of time to dedicate to getting the new pirates started. However, Machia and I are starting the house search, and somewhere around New Year's our lives are going to be shaken up with the arrival of our first baby, so I can't guarantee how active we'll be in the long-term. (Which begs the question, just what does the offspring of a fish and a marshwiggle look like??? ) But.....once a pirate of Narnia, always a pirate of Narnia...
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Last edited by fish_wwjd_frog; 06-27-2014 at 11:47 PM. Reason: Noticed a horrible grammatical error!
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  #14  
Old 06-27-2014, 03:17 PM
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Thanks for the lengthly post(s), Fish. I have a much better idea what pirates looked like now. I only have vague memories of watching on the sidelines and not entirely sure what was or was not allowed. I shied away from rpgs in general, so once the pirate thread was moved I kind of stopped paying much attention.

Has anyone discussed the possibility of moving the pirates thread back to Dufferland? What difference would or wouldn't it make?
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  #15  
Old 06-27-2014, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lossėndil View Post
Has anyone discussed the possibility of moving the pirates thread back to Dufferland? What difference would or wouldn't it make?
If the mods wanted to leave the DT alone but bring Pirates back, then I think we would fit better in Dufferland. However, as Pirates really is more of an RPG and I'm pretty sure the point of all this is that the DT is dead and is essentially getting "re-overhauled", then it would make more sense to let Pirates stay in the DT and do its part in breathing new life into the RPGs.
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  #16  
Old 06-27-2014, 04:06 PM
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Thanks for chiming in Liz and Lossy!

I tol' you on FB, congrats to you and Machia. So exciting!

I do not have any experience in RPG'ing but I know the mods who do will take note, and I expect PoTW would be glad to see a revitalization of pirates, especially.

XO
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  #17  
Old 06-27-2014, 05:27 PM
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Thanks, Inkspot!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lossėndil View Post
Have many old members expressed interest in returning for the sake of the pirate threads? Because if we only get one or two, it might not make much of a difference...
I agree that if we tried to bring the Pirates thread back and pick up again exactly where we left off... 3?.... years ago it probably wouldn't make too much of a difference. While I'm sure a handful of the old pirates would come back and be active, I would want the new thread to focus on adding as many new people as possible, in essence starting over with a "new crew", in addition to whatever "old pirates" want to return. Welcoming new people has always been a huge part of the Pirate RPG "culture" and I would hope that would continue in any new thread.

That's what would be most exciting to me about having the pirates thread. Sure, It'd be awesome to see some of the old characters coming back, but I'd love to welcome new members and some new pirates and see what they can bring to the extensive TDL Pirate lore. Because in the Pirate RPG everyone was free to add things to the storyline, every single pirate in one way or another added to the overall story. I would want any new thread to be a "brand new chapter" in the Narnian Pirates history, not just an exact continuation of the old story

(P.S. I also have some thoughts on the "People holding up the RPG by disappearing" dicussion. Hopefully I'll get time to post those later.)

EDIT: Liz tells me it was 5 years ago since the Pirates were active... Now I feel really old...
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish
Also, when we did write storylines, they were very loose. Imagine a family deciding that they are going to spend a month traveling across the US, but all they know is that they are starting in Maine and ending in southern California. There are a whole lot of roads to chose from and things to do before reaching the end of their trip. And that's just one vacation!
Couldn't resist... (This joke probably goes over a lot of people's heads).
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  #19  
Old 06-27-2014, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gondorgirl View Post
Couldn't resist... (This joke probably goes over a lot of people's heads).
"I understood that reference!" - Captain America
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:09 PM
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>> Is it really the end of the world if fantastic things happen?

Since I do roleplays which are _about_ fantasy, I am hardly going to object to fantastic events in a fantasy. I'm trying not to name names and give details; but sometimes an event is played, and even judged, in a way that is _equally_ as absurd in a fantasy story as if it were in a non-fantasy story.

I'll describe a situation _analogous_ to what has irritated me in the past.

Suppose, in a roleplay, two of your typical ultra-Amazon superwomen are having a swordfight to the death. Each woman is determined to win, indeed _needs_ to win, for each woman has something even more precious than her own life riding on the outcome of this fight. Neither one has any spell on her to make her give up or make her commit mistakes; neither has either one been given any special magic that makes her immune to the results of a foolish tactic. Although it's a fantasy, for this _particular_ scene it has been established that a regular _physical_ combat is happening.

Now, suppose that one player, for some odd reason, declares that her character leans back to whirl her sword around _behind_ her for twenty or thirty turns, claiming that this is a wind-up that will result in an unstoppable blow. The other player, naturally, reacts as _anyone_ would react, fantasy or no fantasy: she says, "I don't wait for my opponent to finish this long wind-up; I thrust into her immediately!"

The second swordswoman should automatically win the fight, because the first one made a virtually suicidal error. The story being a fantasy is completely irrelevant at this point. So, if the judge awards _victory_ to the character who did something that would _never_ work, that is flawed judging. And I have encountered something similar to that.

When I joined the last Narnian roleplay, the first character I created was intentionally designed by me to be a nerd and a weakling: a timid Satyr called Exeter the Expendable. I did this in order that I _wouldn't_ be part of any competitions of "I'm _twice_ as omnipotent as you are!" I figured to let others be tough; I would be there to provide someone they were tougher than. So no, it is not a matter of me pouting if I can't be 100 percent invincible; it's a matter of recognizing that _logic_ in a roleplay combat helps it to be fair.
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