WotG RP: How to handle the past?

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WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Verence on Tue Dec 30, 2008 8:16 am

With people RPing again, questions are bound to pop up. One big one is, "We screwed up the past once, what's stopping us from doing it again?" Obviously we need some mechanism that will both prevent another catastrophe, yet allow for any possible WotG mission plot changes to kick in. Ayvaen and I were discussing possibilities before he went on hiatus, but we never reached a 100% solid set-in-stone conclusion. However, one notable theory did spring out of our discussions, which I now propose as a solution.

Changing the entire world to the alt-setting, then changing BACK created tremendous stress on the timeline between Then and Now. The timeline fractured into multiple parallel ones, and any change done in the past gets run through all of them and lost in the 'signal noise', in effect being averaged out and canceled. Some changes might be powerful enough to reverberate through multiple timelines however, and take hold. Alternatively, maybe Cait Sith or Atomos would exert influence to make the changes take hold. The latter is hard to judge without knowing more of the plot, but this could cover possible WotG plotted changes.

In practical terms, from an IC perspective, the past is no longer changeable. If and when we start RPing WotG missions again, our characters may learn differently.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Xenedra on Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:28 am

I'm personally for Cait Sith handling things nice and vaguely since the characters don't really know how it all happened and would be hard pressed to figure it all out. She can just throw some explanation at them and promise to not let them mess up again?
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Sabriel on Wed Dec 31, 2008 1:56 am

There are a few potential hooks floating around for people to investigate the past. Perhaps in the interest of maintaining the quo.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Mhuirnin on Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:34 pm

The problem with letting Cait Sith handle things is that we don't know enough about Cait Sith, and won't without doing more missions. They might be a bad guy for all we know... It's a sticky situation because we can't RP without figuring something out but we can't really figure it out without RPing.

Just flat-out saying "We don't know" won't work either, because then you'd have people like Sphinx and Verence actively hunting down and preventing (maybe even trying to kill) people who go and mess around in the past without knowing if it'll just make a repeat of everything that just happened.

I think we DO need some sort of explanation that, even if only OOCly, we know and can explain otherwise we'll just run into problems. Besides, it's not like we can't retcon if something that works better comes along, we've done it before and one of the big elements of an interesting plot is a twist or a revelation that what went before isn't actually that way, it's this way.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by DarkValkyr on Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:41 am

DV from Saudi Arabia here~ I'll be back tomorrow, by the way.

I've been thinking this now and then when my thoughts drift into IC ideas on how it'd work. Cait Sith idea would be nice, but like some say, we don't know enough about our favourite mascot.

Muir does bring an interesting point, and Vere's first idea also can be used, though the problem with THAT idea is that well, it'd be pretty much impossible to tell unless some greater power tells them.

I had an idea that we could say that there've been strange things happening in the present, so the only solution we can think of is going back into the past as that's the only viable option. In that way, it would actually force us to do things in the past and then we run into Cait Sith (iirc most of us who went back to the past has already met him/her at least once) and then follow the story from there, starting from Lion Springs?

Its a bit of a complicated idea, and given some characters weird thinking patterns (well, more like the ones that think about everything more rationally than an immature tigertaru) it'd probably end in more conflict.

I'm just glad I'm finally going back and I'd better start RPing with you all NAOWZ! >Very Happy

See you soon~
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Verence on Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:00 pm

I'm not really fond of 'strange things happening in the present' as it's likely to create a panic that everything alt is happening all over again, not to mention undermining the entire point of this discussion, which is 'how do we keep our characters from screwing things up again'. As for the not-knowing bit, not knowing ICly is fine. Even makes for good RP. As long as we know something OOCly to be able to structure and organize and explain things. There's no need to force past-RP as at least two characters have already resolved to track down Cait Sith to ask him/her/it what the hell happened, most likely with more soon to follow.

However, the argument about retconning goes both ways. We could say Cait Sith for now, and if they turn out to be a subversive element say "No, actually it was Atomos/parallel timelines/moon cheese."

I'm far more comfortable with something WE control and can explain however, since the entire alt timeline was 100% non-canon. Therefore to explain it, it only makes sense that we need a non-canon explanation. We made the mess, we fix it. If something crops up that work better, we do that instead.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Sabriel on Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:09 pm

I agree that having a non-canon explanation for non-canon events is a good idea, I don't see the need to rush to an explanation right now though. It's my understanding that most people are on or around the Cait Sith mission. Perhaps some details have revealed themselves in the cut scenes that we haven't seen yet.

For now we have several motivations for mucking around in the past again; though not all of our characters share those motivations.

1) To find out what the hell happened.
2) In the interest of maintaining the current timeline.
3) In the interest of triggering the alternate timeline again.

I say we pick up RPing the missions again and keep several explanations in a "pool" of ideas, once we have enough info from the cut scenes we'll pull out the one that fits and make it official.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Xenedra on Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:29 pm

Do we know who controls the Maws? Is it Cait Sith, Atomos or a combination there of? If it *is* Cait Sith a simple, "Yeah, you glitched the Maws with your past bending, but I fixed them could work." We could pick one or two (or more) specific things that people did in the past that were big nonos cause I'm sure there were some (I think DV was trying to meet his family, for example?) and have Cait Sith point them out as the very specific type of thing that will mess up the past. The characters then make a conscious decision to avoid (or not avoid, which could be interesting too) such actions.

On a tangent, in the case of not trying to avoid messing up the past, can you imagine everyone having to do something crazy like blow up part of Bastok or something to make up for one of the others of us saving it? Weirdness >.>
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by DarkValkyr on Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:09 pm

Yeah, but you see, there's a problem with the second thought, really...our dear
Spoiler:
Lilisette, the main character in WoTG wants to change the future, which obviously conflicts with what most of what we want to do.

Even if Cait Sith told us what we can do and what we can't do, I doubt given our characters personality most of us would really think about that and go 'no messing about period'. unless there was an absolute reason to, which makes me point out to the WoTG story which seems to imply that

Spoiler:
the future's changing on its own (for the worse) because there's some inconsistency in the past to begin with - probably because of Atomos/Cait Siths/Something else that used the power to travel back and made the beastmen stronger or more cunning, or even Lilisette herself can be the fault of it all.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Verence on Tue Jan 06, 2009 4:20 am

Xenedra wrote:Do we know who controls the Maws?
As of where we've RP'd to in CPM, no. I don't know if it's even explained at all yet, we'll have to find out.

Xenedra wrote:We could pick one or two (or more) specific things that people did in the past that were big nonos cause I'm sure there were some (I think DV was trying to meet his family, for example?) and have Cait Sith point them out as the very specific type of thing that will mess up the past. The characters then make a conscious decision to avoid (or not avoid, which could be interesting too) such actions.
I'd really rather not. The 'screwing up the past' plotline is over now, I don't want to kick the corpse and hope it dances. This will only usher in renewed conflict, IC and OOC. It also creates scapegoats for the alt-plotline instead of keeping it vague. What do you think DV's life expectancy would be if he was squarely pegged as a deciding factor in all of that, then it was revealed he could potentially do it again? Not long.

Unless people have independently progressed past CPM canon in the plot, we don't even know if Cait Sith has the ability or authority to do this. Best to avoid godmodding NPCs in ways that may necessitate hasty retcons in the future.

I think our best bet is to go with Sab's suggestion and shelve it for now. We can say "We can't change the future unless the WotG plot says so," have an official stance of We'll Figure It Out When We Know More, and figure out how best to RP the WotG missions. If necessary, we can say Cait Sith deflects inquiries or doesn't give our characters a chance to speak until we have a more complete picture.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Sabriel on Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:43 pm

Not having a chance to question Cait Sith is pretty much how the plot has played out so far.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Reinbach on Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:18 pm

Mhuirnin wrote:
Just flat-out saying "We don't know" won't work either, because then you'd have people like Sphinx and Verence actively hunting down and preventing (maybe even trying to kill) people who go and mess around in the past without knowing if it'll just make a repeat of everything that just happened.

Why is that bad? Isn't conflict between the characters our bread and butter?
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Sabriel on Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:23 am

Conflict is good.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by DarkValkyr on Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:01 am

It is good, though it wouldn't do if it ends up in us being in a standstill.

I am for whatever though; DV's in a bit of a free-esque position and he's not really bound by anything. (Since when is he?)
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Sabriel on Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:18 pm

I think we're a creative enough group to avoid any lasting standstill.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Verence on Thu Jan 08, 2009 4:01 pm

We just finished a long plotline full of it. It's very difficult to resolve since we don't have systems that really satisfactorilyallow for it, and many times there have been situations where characters really should have been killed but we have to 'play nice' and it stretches believability. We've had enough conflict to last us a while, can't we give it a rest? Conflict is not at all enjoyable for me to RP here in CPM since we have no good means of resolution, and I know it actively stresses Muirnin.

Character conflict is not and has never been the bread and butter of CPM.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Reinbach on Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:37 pm

The consensus is our system. This is "free form". Not godmodding isn't playing nice, and while yes, maybe it stretches believability it promotes fun. Plausibility needs to come second to fun. Sometimes it seems like you prefer a rigid idea of the plot to what's fun to play. (Please don't take that as an attack, it's just an honest concrit.)

Conflict is the bread and butter of storytelling. Isn't that what we're doing here? I'd rather have a thousand conflict plots than one more "let's sit around and do nothing but get wasted" session.

I know you guys are only going to put little stock in anything I'm saying because I'm leaving the game, but I just thought I'd throw that out there.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Sphinx on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:07 pm

Given how little I'm around to do anything I doubt people are going to put much stock in what I say either, but even so I feel compelled to chime in my two cents to this conversation. Personally I take credibility as the very core that makes roleplaying, roleplaying. Credibility, to me atleast, lends a great deal to what exactly makes roleplaying fun - rules I'd agree with you. Rules can well enough be sacrificed for the sake of fun, but credibility - not so much.
Take away the credibility of characters, then you take away any thing that makes them the way they are. And this puts to waste any effort you've put to working out details in their history and / or nature.

As far as conflict goes - I agree and not, with what Rein's said. Conflict /is/ the bread and butter of RP, but at the same tone it shouldn't necessarily be conflict between the characters. Of course this probably is just my opinion, because the character I happen to play (have played?) deals with it very poorly and I don't want to be put into a situation where the character should - by all accounts true to her nature - kill some other character. Because that's not fun to me, and quite likely not fun to the player of that other character.
In this situation, you could say that we can fudge the credibility of my character, and say she doesn't go with it. Quite likely this would be said, and I'd be happier than the alternative. But I still wouldn't be happy having to act against what my character would do in the situation, so ultimately I'd rather not have my character in that situation.

Mind you, I do agree with that conflict might and would be fun to RP, but in this event that conflict stems from some of these people trying to (or atleast thinking they're trying to) save the world. If someone else threatens the very existence of Everything, friend or foe my character would take their life. She wouldnt love it, but she'd do it. And so would likely any other character I could come up with, even if I decided to scrap Sphinx and start with a new one.
So yes, conflict might be fun, but not necessarily so when it goes to killing off other people's characters. And in the current situation, that's where conflict can very easily lead to.

Like you, Rein, I'm not saying this to stir up debate or say your opinion on anything you say is wrong. Of course it's not, different people leads to different ways of having fun - and that's what playing a game /should/ be about. Simply chiming in the way I feel about it - with the notion that it likely doesn't matter since, again, I don't play that much anyway.
On this topic, it's sad to see you go. But judging from when I last saw you in game I'm sure you've the reasons for it, so in case this is the last I get to say something; hope everything goes well and life'll keep good for you^^
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by DarkValkyr on Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:57 pm

Awww, Rein's goin bye bye D:

We'll miss you~ had a lot of fun with you too!~
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Reinbach on Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:37 am

Thanks, guys. You guys are awesome, but I'm just sick of FFXI. But let's not make this thread about me.

Who's better poised to be an antagonist than any of the player characters? That's the big question here. Nobody really knows yet, do they?
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Verence on Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:32 am

That's just it. Something Went Wrong. We don't know exactly why. We're after Cait Sith for answers, apparently so is Lilisette. Why force conflict when it would be, if anything, a distraction from the plot? Let's see where the WotG plot takes us for now. Besides, as Ayvaen and I have noted in the past, IC and OOC, constant, incessant conflict stresses your characters to the point of lunacy. They start getting unable to handle it and it's just not fun. I'm not saying All Conflict Is Bad, there has been some fantastic inter-character conflict based plots. They are, however, the exception and not the rule, which is how I think they ought to remain. We just finished a long-running plot with more of it than there's ever been in CPM history. There need to be breaks sometimes too.

As for the rest, I think Sphinx said it better than I could have. It's not a matter of Rules To Obey, it's a matter of if you put Verence in a situation where he'd kill you and he can't for 100% purely OOC reasons, what then? By not doing what he'd do, he's not being himself. I'm not being allowed to roleplay Verence. Tally up enough breaks from character and it just gets aggravating and not at all fun because it is, in effect, reverse godmodding. If your character isn't your character anymore, who are they? I'd rather avoid situations like that.
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Xenedra on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:25 am

"Keep on trucking" seems good to me. Us not knowing is pretty acceptable for now; we usually don't have a problem integrating stuff we've made up with existing story elements as we go. School start up again soon, so what say we try and do some mission a few weeks after it starts up to give ourselves time to become familiar with our new schedules. Then let the meshing begin.

On that note, it's sort of nice that we're starting up again and we have a tight-knit group to start with, but it would be nice to branch out again. For those of you hiding in the shadows, CPM is trying to pull itself back together, log on and say hi. As for the rest of us, keep an eye out for potential members. I may make a post, similar to Ayv's, advertising us on Alla on the not so distant future. I feel shouting is probably a bad idea with FFXI the way it is : P
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Re: WotG RP: How to handle the past?

Post by Mhuirnin on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:57 pm

I know I'm weighing in a little late, but I guess I may as well. Personally, I hate most conflict plots. There's enough stress offline, I really don't need more of it in my relaxation. I don't mind if other people want to do character conflict, it can be a lot of fun and I enjoy it myself sometimes. Please don't make it so central to the plot that everyone HAS to get involved, like it or not, though.

Besides that, our current group is so small, can we even afford conflict without seriously hurting our ability to RP with each other? Right now, we have Verence, Narne, Lyre, Muirnin, Xenedra, Rabican, Sabriel, Sphinx, Valkyr. Rakuyu and Psy may be around but they don't sign in or RP very often (If you guys are reading this, this is your cue to sign in and RP a ton and prove me wrong!) Nine characters and six people. In an ideal circumstance of 4 vs 5, that still severely limits our options of who we can RP with, unless the conflict is limited to disagreements that still allow them to work together.

I guess I'm a bit confused at what people MEAN by 'character conflict'. Do longstanding disagreements and arguments count? Or are we talking coming down on opposite sides of a conflict that may turn violent? I've been in and enjoyed a fair amount of the former, but I don't like what the latter does to RP and the ability to RP.
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