Thursday, 8 July 2010

Stuff to sort out.

Extract from John's mail here. Add your thoughts in the comments box and refer back to which of the points you're referring to or whether it's a new thing.

1) Background stuff - I wrote a lot of stuff prior to last event and I know a couple of you said it would be good to go through and understand what I meant and also to point out contradictions, mistakes, changes and just holes in the thinking.
2) Character concept - what is each person's character all about and what are their goals. This runs the risk of removing some of the spontaneity from the play but I think will add more than it takes away as we will know what the hell Llofan, for example, is all about.
3) Aditu plot - what do we want to see happen to the house story? Where happens next basically and we can then fit play at day events, national events, IC letters and on-line discussions around this end goal.
and finally, given the above:
4) What do we see happening/want to see happening to our group? This is the real key to the meeting but I think the first three things need to be covered first so that we know where we are trying to take the group. This is where we will need to find a happy middle ground between differing ideas. Eg J has a more adventurers ambition, John has a more unimportant grunts ambition. How do we meet both as much as possible without one of us being bored or the other one not feeling they can play the character they have created?


  1. Couple of thoughts from me:
    1) Background stuff. Do we all agree with the creation story? What is skilling/how does it work? How old is aquilla? When did it fall? As Sithi are we a declining breed or are we at our peak?
    2) If everyone sends Alan an html version of their character history (story rather than timeline for preference) and a photo, Alan will publish them and i'll put the links in the right frame

  2. Depending on what we agree or discuss on the 31st we could do a topic by topic Q&A session. Eg I could post my thoughts and ideas on the gods (probably need to cover Ashan and a couple of others in more detail and then the rest in a lump) and then we can all agree/change it/add to/worry at loose ends/etc in the comments?

  3. 1. I too would find the discussion of background useful but as I wont be there on sat I will just have to rely on the feedback from it. However, as John has written most of the stuff recently I think I have talked through a lot of things with him already so may be in a slightly better position at present on that anyway. Of course, any amendments, tweaks, additions let me know!

    2. Please refer to the Ydar character timeline in the aditu excel. Sadly as my home comp soent have excel I cant resend it at mo.

    In terms of character motivation beyond that I have always said it was fairly basic for Ydar - ambition, mainly to make marshal one day. As he is one of the newer Captain (think time line has it past 50 years) and prob one of the youngest (although not necessarily by much or enough to be remarkable - he’s neither young nor old) and as his nature is meant to be very warrior aspeceted (boar spirit guide, ‘red’ name, only ever served as gaesatae) it is perhaps to (try) and make him a more rounded individual that he has been sent out (on what was/is primarily a diplomatic mission in terms of alliance forming) rather than a more obvious choice. Of course, we did have a full blown diplomat in Finwe peacemaker initially heading up this mission who was probably sent as the expert in this field (hence the name!) Of course, the other bottom line is he's not that important that it would be a major dissaster if he dosesnt make it back...there are other Seregs with more expericne afterall...

    In terms of what Ydar thinks about this it is two fold. Initially, probably a bit miffed to be sent away from chance of glory in the North, and away form the direct gaze of the House needed to advance. Probably also slightly confused why he over better qualified individuals of Seregs sent. However, sees it as an opportunity to prove himself in a unique capacity, away from the majority of his band. The North is currently quite quiet, so perhaps the wars of the Sudhod’ja and interacting with the great and good of other nations that gather at festivals is an opportunity not to be missed…. I have always said he is very mindful of the fact that the House now has only one Marshal and no warlord. To his mind, when Amren is made Warlord (whenever this happens, be it one year or 100) there will be two marshal spots available and he wants to able to make a case for getting one! Clearly it can’t be in terms of length of service/experience but the unique nature (for a sereg at least) of his current task with the factions may (to his mind at least) give him an outside shot!

    ***Big note: In terms of game Ydar could never be made marshal as apart from not being good enough, it would totally kill the character’s motivation of proving himself. Plus he wouldn’t than be mucking about with a handful of warriors at festivals, he would be in Aquila***

    Also, please note that when I say ambition I don’t mean in a back-stabbing sense. Everything he does is of course what he thinks for the good of the house; it’s not that he want to be made marshal at the expense of others, just he has the (mistaken) belief he would be up to the task!

    I’ll come to 3 & 4 shortly, just wanted to get something up asap!

  4. Missed out skill and creation story points, so here they are:
    1.a) - creation story. I am cool with it as stands in the A History of the Elven People doc. Needs soe polishing etc but think this is what should be worked form as it provides a form the ground up approach - which I think is essentail.

    1.b.) I have never really got a handle on the skilling. The bottom line is we, as real people, are not telepathic, so I can’t see how it can work really in game….

    Now I do think it can be incorporated as a background/culture thing, but just no used by us. For instance, in recent years with have mainly had it portrayed as a thing requiring power - the more people you send it too, the further wasy the more power it requires. Hence, if a bunch of top priests in Aquila, pray over the stone of farewell for a while then they can transmit things a fair distance and to a fair number at once. I don’t think we can claim the instant telepathy with any aditu as it just leaves too many questions. Why do we bother speaking? Why anrt our battle orders instantly relayed etc… I personally think it can be kept as an occasional plot device on this scale of momentous news sent by the super powerful but can’t be used by player characters, as we simply cant do it… Of course, we have our own language for private convos if trying to be mystical or secretive in game…

  5. 1. C) On my view of the declining nature of Sithi. Clearly we are not of the level of past sithi heroes like the lords of the ride or ineluki etc. However, there are still some very powerful sithi around: Amerasu, Avarin, Amren etc. Of course, I think it is crucial that all these type of power characters remain as NPCs as the CP system could never support how we view them (nor is any player in the world godlike enough to play them full time!) You could make the argument that these are all old characters and yes we are declining. However, for Aditu at least, we have now (with the taking of Aquila) entered a new golden age. Ok we needed mortal help but the fact we have come out of the wood and engaged with the world to achieve this is itself making strides over however many thousands years of isolation. Now, none of us five are of the skill to the demi-god of the elves in our myths but this doesn’t mean they are not still being born (blan-kiaos for example is younger than any of us but that damn good). Of course we could never play an Sithi like this and the once great heights of Sithi civilisation does point to a overall decline. So I would say we cannot argue to be at a peak (as the age of the garden/cities was clearly more advanced in a lot of way). However, we have now reached a peak in the past 10,000 odd years (again I cant open the excel time line to check but think that was when we fled Aquila) and can be thought of as maybe being to rise up again, or at the very least stopping the rot. So even if we are the echoes of a great song, we are enjoying a decent encore… with hopes of big things in the future…we are expanding out influence even further now with the Al Gaia connection. Maybe there are not so many great individuals anymore but we are learning to form our way in the world in spite of this.

    Long answer I know but I think you are basically asking about outlook Drew. Certainly to all (bar Amerasu) we are at the height of what Aditu has ever personally known and so not, I think, going to be stuck with ideas of decline and decay, and past golden ages that we never knew, but filled with relative hope for the future.

  6. Sadly I am having to break this post down as their is a 4,000 character limit on this blog apparently....

    I am going to answer 3 & 4 together and I hope you will see why:

    In terms of Aditu plot I don’t really think we should have an established plot in the old sense, more just think about our background. Let me explain what I mean…. Basically, there are only 6 of us now. Before we had more bodies, and effectively ran the STA plot with the whole War of Returning thing - hence people wanted to play OUR game. We are now, sadly not in this position. We have moved faction away from those elements anyway (and even if we hadn’t we don’t have the numbers to support our own plot even with such big-wigs as Wol being interested in it). Now I know the CP plot is weak but I think the question should be how do we want to link in with what plot is out there, be that CP generic stuff or the faction/larger group specific plot that’s out there. The whole Sithi background IS immense and, I think, the whole reason we have stuck with this group and still play these characters. And it is a great resources to call on for the group play amongst ourselves or for coming across as having something more than just a background veneer when interacting with other groups. But we can’t really come up with our own plot and expect to get play off it. We are 6 guys, who are not even properly part of any faction, why would people care about our plot? So, in my opinion, the question is how do we link in better with the CP set up and make ourselves a better part of it?

    Please note, I am not saying the IC letters, background, online discussions should stop, far from it, I think they should expand as I love them and think they are essential to have any concept or motivation of what we (as in the 6 of us and House Aditu - in which in mean K too) are about. But they should be thought of in terms of tying us in with the bigger picture; why the Gaesatae are with the Al Gaia warband

  7. Now last event was a wash out weather wise and I think that impacted on everyone’s enthusiasm to do …well anything really. And not just our group it must be said, the weather really screwed things for everyone I think. So that would be number one, being more proactive. Easier said than done I know. Now for me this needs motivation. IC motivation. We had our play with eh Steppe and got our treaty. Great. The Al Gaia have come back asking us to add this clause “House aditu recognise and accept as their sovereign the head of state of the al gaia peoples and affirm they shall be loyal citizens of the al gaia”. Now, sadly the obvious answer is we can’t accept that. This is the strength of our background but also why it makes things tricky. If we come back and say “no” where does that leave us (and I mean eventually, after negotiating a final no)? Would we want to still try and travel with the Al gaia? I know we do OOC but we would be in the position of having an alliance with the STA and yet fighting for the Al Gaia…Would they even want us? Would they exclude us form things? I am probably putting too much weight on things making sense in an IC sense but I find it really really hard to be IC if things just don’t make sense and are swept under the carpet. There is also my felling that, supported by what I have read on faction forums etc, that the Al Gaia key players (faction command) are trying to make themselves more of a unified faction. Now, we obviously cant fully join their faction in the “one blood, one land, one people” crap as we don’t share their blood or land with them… The alliance things was meant to be a way round this, of explaining why we have moved form the STA despite where Aquila is, why we care about the Al gaia and will fight (and die) for them. Will The al gaia faction command just think this is an IC & OC f***k you if we don t sign? Now obviously this treaty is not the be all and end all and we still need to get off our asses to get involved but if there are IC obstacles that just don’t make a lot of sense then I, personally, really struggle with things as an Aditu.

    Now I know John reasoned through a way of saying ‘yes’ to the treaty, accepting some land etc and that works in some ways but then you are fudging something else, i.e. Amerasu’s reaction. I guess the question is which is better for us and our enjoyment? The bottom line is they (quite rightly I might add) just think of us as 6 guys with some background and want us to play by their rules, as afterall by playing in the Al gaia we are asking to play their game effectively. And we do want to play their game as our own insular play can’t sustain us. We might as well just meet up the 6 of us and dress up if that’s all we are about.

  8. I know I have not really given many solutions but just brought up points for discussion so sorry about that!

    But to move on to the other point of the 3&4 question, what do we see us as doing/where we should be I think it need to be integrated, with meaning, to the faction we want to play with. Which I think for all of us is Al Gaia. This takes me on to what are we about? Well, just as I have said above in a OOC sense in terms of own plot, I say again in an IC sense. There are 6 of us, none of us special, charged with fostering better faction relations in terms of securing the long term security of the house against an, as yet dormant but still real threat of voice. I see it that we are soldiers on a mission - nothing more, we are none of us heroes and all ultimately expendable to the greater good of keeping the factions sweet if we need them. Or, in the case of the STA, to stop them doing what their fore fathers did 10,000 years ago and attacking us! And if this did happen, what better time to call on the Al gaia… This is our job to the house - we are the payment for this. Now I know this is all ultimately background motivation but without this wtf are our characters doing at these festivals risking their lives?

    I always envisaged that the current situation is one of status quo between us and voice. We have beaten him twice, once in the returning, once in the north but it is not over. Nor can it be for plot reasons. We cant go an solve the voice issue or, quite frankly we would pack up and go home content in aquila. We need that menace to simply brood in the background in a kind of cold war sense - indefinitely! This isn’t hard to explain, we are elves and slow to breed anyway so would we risk as however many warriors it would take to go and crush voice so soon after years of numbers depleting war? Or whatever reasons we want to come up with.

    This group was conceived almost four years ago to try and let us continue playing Aditu for the obvious reason (background, substance, we all like it), be able to continue playing the type of character we all enjoy (for most of us out and out scrappers) but be different enough from what has gone before to be genuinely different in concept. Hence we shifted the whole group dynamic a million levels down the social ladder of Aditu. The most lowly member of the last group (probably Lanval or maybe arguably even D’deya or the ancient Chuckles) being a lot more important than the leader of our current one -Ydar. Hence, I see the group as having what drew terms ‘grunt ambitions’. But is this enough to provide enjoyment? It certainly was at first but as the gloss has come off does it still? But then I ask myself if another working or emphasis shift for the group would fare any better. Do we just need to work harder at what we have?

  9. I have even toyed with the idea of not playing Ydar as a solution as I don’t really feel I am doing the concept justice as I don’t feel I have been able to really play it. However, if I did quit him what would I do? Another Aditu fighter called Zdar? I jest but you know what I mean. There is not much room for character concepts in CP and I admit this is partly because I cant really envision enjoying playing ought but a sword and shied scrapper. Not to mention the fact that I have spent a lot of time and money on his specific kit. I think I would just end up being a sh1t version of the same character. Short of going and playing something totally different (which I don’t want to do as I want to play with you guys) I don’t think that one can reinvent an Aditu character too many times (we are all meant to be quite similar, same kit etc). I have worked from quite well defined concept for Ydar (and to a lesser extent Lanval) and don’t see how I could come up with something that works a 3rd time. Unless of course one is prepared to try a totally new avenue like Alan has with Renkin. Which I am not, nor do I have the Oscar level acting skills to play a totally different aditu shield fighter.

    Plus I am not sure that would solve anything anyway, apart form give me a fresh start (for half an event maybe). The group dynamic would need reworking and we would just still be in the same situation about group direction, which is totally the big picture here. To be clear I DO like the concept of playing Ydar (he is the most worked out character I have done - in any system) and am not going to give up on it yet (I seriously doubt another one would work any better in our current situation). But then dose anyone currently feel their character IS working? Does anyone think another one would do any better? Does anyone’s character ever actually play out how they think it will? I think the last event was not really helpful as the ‘sort sh1t’ out event that was meant to kick start things as us really playing our characters the event was a total wash out and made things perhaps seem worse than they are. There was very little IC going on anywhere. I still want to play Ydar, play with the gaesatae as some boys with a job to do, but just want to play him more…. Which is up to me to do I guess.

    Anyway, thought I would just end that rambling splurge with a couple of paragraphs of total brain vomit.

    Finally, we all want to be having fun playing together as the characters we want to play - hopefully come next Sat you will have all come up with a solution for how this can happen (which I don’t think is impossible, or ven need be complicated at all by the way once everyone has said their tupence about what they think about it and want out of it) Then Renewal 1110 can be the BEST EVENT IN THE WORLD…EVER!!! (2)

  10. Just gonna make few points so you can see what I am thinking before the 31st meet...

    1) My original Chronicles of the Immortals, John's Creation Story & the PBeM campaign / turns provide us with a substantial history that we need to have for this group.

    I admit, I need to re-read some of them and have them fresh to mind come next Warband event (CP or otherwise) as I do feel we don't actually 'know' enough about our own thing sometimes. That may be an individual thing more than group - not too sure.

    2) I am really getting to grips with my own character motivation now.

    I see Tal'nas as given in his timeline background:
    Ranger to the House assigned to a Warband in which he has strong bonds to, along with the desire to gain favour/glory and do whatever the House hierarchy commands. Be a 'good son'.

    I really want to play more with the War in the North ideas as they are so far removed from stuff we did in the past it gives us a great canvas in my opinion.

    Hence the idea of Avarin's letter to Ydar at last Renewal - here's a little mission for the kind of group that would be sent on a hue & cry hunt (cos the greater element just won't ever happen - Voice being sorted out for reasons we all agree on) which can be played out outside of CP eventing for our own enjoyment on our internally driven elf side without impacting on being more CP immersed when at CP events. (draw breath here)

    I guess I see it as a reason for Tal'nas to exist tbh.

    The story Henry & I have been bouncing between us in the background of post-Renewal needs to be completed and sent out to you all.
    I think Henry's concerns over Ydar progressing into Marshal status are answered within that very story. Without giving anything much away Amerasu has decreed there will be no Warlord until the newborn is of age.
    That could well be sooner than the normal elf gestation period of 400+ years or whatever it may be perceived as being ... again, a blank canvas for our own good.
    Therefore, Amren will not be Warlord and keep his position for the short term or longer. That means Ydar can progress within his own comfort zone and not beyond into pure court based politics that Henry has identified within the Marshal role.

    The final parts of the Henry / Matthew story for the group are being written so it is almost completed and will explain a lot of what I am thinking may be misunderstandings within the group and characters concerning Avarin.
    (We will see I guess as it's the classic LRP conundrum: players will always react the one way you had not thought they would do and that has definitely been the case with this so far which lead ot minor frustrations etc. I am confident that after the 31st meet we will be in a much better place all round.)

  11. Just quickly:

    I have not felt my character has been working as Henry has raised the topic for us all. I do however know what I see as his direction on individual basis (see comment above re, this).

    The only time I have felt him working within the group was at the first May event we went to with the new warband and in shield walls but I must say I don't feel the bond between us as much as I had in past incarnations perhaps.
    It's weird cos I really really like the idea of the warband and the characters. I would NOT want to give up on Tal'nas at this point. Too much invested yes, but also I liked doing more Rangery things like the little camp map and stuff.

    I would suggest that maybe for the group to gel we might need to look at our own characters and their roles more like a band setting...

    IE; Ydar the boss, Llofan the second and spiritual advisor, Tal'nas the Ranger, Shao the Smith, Renkin the Alchemist & Maru the Warband's respected survivor of the Fallen Five and now blooded friend to our new characters.
    That means that for the group to work we need to work together more using the skill bases each one brings to the party. It also allows for individual time when the characters are role playing outside of the warband only and perhaps gives us all options to dip more into CP world than we ever have before.

    Leaving it there for now as I don't want to get misjointed on the topics that were highlighted for discussion.

  12. Jesus can't you guys precis! :¬)

    3) I don't want to become a vassal to the algaia high command. I think there is mileage in the debate to be had around this whatever the eventual outcome.
    4) Is there a two pronged option here? Externally, do we aim to be thought of by the rest of the algay in the same way as we are by the eored? Internally, do we focus more on our defining traits as suggested above?

  13. Sorry Drew, I'm now going to waffle as well.
    Seems we a have touched on one of those very points we need to sort out in terms of how the house works/where it is going - the role and holder of the "Warlord" title in the house. My assumption was this was a merit-based title however I think J sees it as being a hereditary title the male side of the royal line?
    I personally don't see either way being a problem so long as it doesn't screw up motivations/characters etc.
    The way I see it is that the two marshals should cover the two sides of Baradan - ie the mad, angry, savage, berserker side and the cool, cruel, cold murderer side. In the Steven Erikson books he calls these "hot iron" and "cold iron". Amren has definitely been pitched as a cold-iron type so logically his counterpart should be some hot blooded individual. The other marshals we have mentioned/played were Thelion the Bold (hot-iron, after all he got himself killed during the war of returning so that's pretty reckless...) and was replaced D'deya. D'deya wasn't played for long but I got the feeling he was cold not hot. Why did we have two cold marshals? Because the warlord at the time (Navarre) was definitely hot-blooded and impulsive - to say the least ;-) Therefore Amerasu would have made sure that between the warlord and marshals there was that same hot-cold balance. In about 200-400 years the new Third Son (does he have a name by the way?) will be of age and the House will know whether he's hot or cold. At that time another Marshal can be chosen to complement the mix.
    At the moment then Amren will be the most senior warrior (and effectively act as Warlord until Third Son is old enough) and the War Captains will remain as is. He would have been in Amerasu and Avarin’s confidence for ages already and probably more so now than ever before so he’s been kind of pitched in this role since we first thought of him as an idea.
    What does that mean for Y’dar? He’s definitely hot-blooded so hopefully Third Son will be cold like Amren. However give another 200-400 years he will might have tempered himself (with some out-of-the-norm activities like being dispatched to the factions for example?) and become a more balanced commander. Also, given another couple of centuries, some of the other captains may be considered past their prime or have hung up their swords and ceased being warriors so Y’dar’s star will shine all the brighter?

  14. Ok, I am reasoning it through now. If one thinks about it kind of makes sense if Warlord is hereditary - think of like Royals being Colonel in Chiefs of British Regiments, or a Monarch head of the forces. If we think about it this way it explains why Navarre (who was very, very young - if he had been a full Sithi he probably would not have even come of age as we currently have the 18 of Sithi be 120 odd) was Warlord of the House. Clearly he couldn’t have been their on experience etc as their were the likes of Thelion and Amren, plus half a dozen Seregs who would have better claim in that sense. Of course, the fact that Navarre was a very hands on, hot blooded Warlord meant he did get involved directly in command/strategy etc but that was because of who he was (a warrior & nut bar! ;) rather than what he was (3rd son). This way we can say - with confidence- how the new 3rd son WILL be warlord regardless of his character. How much he takes on the role in a practical sense will depend on what kind of character he has. If he shows a great military mind he may take want to be directly involved, if not he may be it in name only really. This is a way I see it as making sense from all angles.

    To carry on the Ydar motivation thing that John mentions, he doesn’t even need the new 3rd son to be ‘cold’ even if the red retains his ‘hot’ nature, as with Amren being cold their would still be a 2-1 balance one way (providing Amren is still alive and Ydar doesn’t totally mellow and this son isn’t cold of course). So it gives Ydar (to his mind at least) a realistic chance of being a Marshall providing he keeps proving himself in the interim, which could be as soon as 100 years if he have Warlord as, this hereditary title, the boy would be called it prob once of age and then grow into the role (or not) as he matures through adulthood. And hene keeps Ydar as eager to prove himself. Makes sense as works for all yes?

    So what do we need to d? Well almost nothing. Clearly this is the way it works, and has always worked in Aditu. So all that needs doing is Ydar never raising the issue of Amren being Warlord as it just doesn’t make sense if now, and J and I will just have to edit the dialogue to remove this in the polishing/finally edit before it is sent round.

    Job done. I think anyway….

  15. Feels that on one issue we’re sorted then.

    Since I’m on a roll I shall continue.
    Following the questions then:

    1 Background: I think the majority of the background stuff is quite straight forward. What I have written I have always tried to tie into what has gone before. In some ways it has been more a case of filling in the gaps between known events and then expanding some of the events our characters should know more about.

    It’s worth pointing out though that obviously what I have written is not canon and can be changed etc if it does make sense or people just don’t think it works. After all it’s not “my” background, it’s the groups story that we are all playing off.

    I imagine we’ll probably not have time on the Saturday to cover background discussion as well as our group-direction discussion so I reiterate my suggestion before of a topic-by-topic Q&A session using the blog is the way forward. Not that I can provide all the answers but we can discuss etc. I’m quite sure that where we have a different idea of what happened we can reach a simple point (as in the warlord discussion above).

    I’m at an advantage with this stuff as I’ve written a lot of it but like J says, I need to re-read it before the next event just to get up to speed. Discussions on the blog will help that process I think.

    2 Character concept: As my character timeline shows (in the big aditu info spreadsheet) Llofan has drifted about the priesthood (served in Grun, Baradan and Jkohl priesthoods) and also different warbands interspersed with these religious stints. I think at heart Llofan is a priest but wants fight as well. Thus he enjoys the warband and the battles but as soon as we return to the wood or to Aquila he disappears off to the temples and holy groves/places etc. He knows that he will never be a sereg (only dedicated warriors would reach this rank) and at some time in the future (long way off non-playable future I imagine) he would have got the fighting out of his system and return to the priesthood proper. Probably to Baradan or back to Jkohl.

    I’ll answer 3&4 in the next post.

  16. 3 Aditu Plot: I think we all agree that our group plot isn’t going to be driving much more than our own conversations and individual day events. Gone are the days when our “elf” plot will change the actions of a faction. Our wealth of background *is* our plot really. We left a lot of loose ends when the play-by-mail finished and none of them had been tied up by the time Chuckles et al met their ends.
    I don’t want our overall story to be static and at an eternal “as is” state where nothing changes. I think there should be a slow change all the time. This could be managed by a scene setting piece before each event – ie that there have been several greenskin incursions into Aditu lands from the east. Amren has taken a couple of warbands to put them down. This then gives us something to discuss at the events (why have the greenskins been acting up, worried about friends in the warbands fighting, jealous that the warbands sent are able to have a good scrap as an entire band etc). Or maybe there are mutterings of unrest in the local human villages about the taxes we are charging them – we then have a discussion point about our relationship with the mortals in our lands, the nature/benefits of Ulunat sat right on Aquila’s doorstep, should we be taxing the humans or driving them out etc? These events don’t need to change the overall shape of our house (ie the threat from voice etc) but they would add to the feeling of a living world where things are happening that we cannot effect and in our current jobs do not affect us. This I think is key to generating that sense of not being the top dogs anymore. Y’dar et al are sat at some faction gathering, 1000’s of miles from home (having not been there for months) living off news from home (letters delivered by Sithi runners or the Steppe – not something that needs to be played but something that can be alluded to – more rarely skilling from Aquila when something momentous has happened) and hearing that three whole warbands have been sent east to crush some orc warboss or whatever. I think it’s fair to say we would have opinions, feelings etc about all this but being as we are grunts not lords, we cannot change anything, we cannot just ride off to join in (we have our own mission after all) and in truth we are unlikely to be affected unless the warbands were all killed or a key individual was killed.
    The benefit of interacting in the north is that we have a) painted this as a pretty savage place with multiple enemies there and b) none of the other CP groups are really effected by what we say happens there as it’s an ill-defined area that doesn’t really show up on the CP map therefore not stepping on anyone’s toes. Our actions in the north can either be plot or we can use the setting of the north to run a standalone event.
    Eg the event that Drew and I were going to run on Marsham heath would have fallen into the latter category. The overall idea was that Ithir has spent months up north gathering intelligence (on what isn’t clear – maybe it’s something to do with voice, the wildmen or the Krell – doesn’t matter since they are all there) and finally has enough to act. Given he needs his whole warband, scattered across the north at the time, to do so, Y’dar was sent north to reinforce Ithir and carry on patrolling etc whilst Ithir kicked in some doors and had fun. Whilst on patrol a message would reach Y’dar of something that would automatically interest Aditu (I won’t say what because the principle can still be used) and the group would investigate. What they stick their noses into related to the plot that has happened before and might resolve a couple of old questions from the play-by-mail (though also pose as many new ones) but would not affect the larger picture (which might be affected by Ithir’s actions though not necessarily). This to me felt like the right use of a day event – fun, related to our overall story/plot/background, advances the overall story but doesn’t resolve it.

  17. I’ve done a J and Henry and written so much I’ve had to divide it over 2 posts.
    First half then:
    4 What happens to the group: I think an awful lot of this answer will be given by what we have already discussed. A couple of key things need to be agreed though.
    Firstly, what is our relationship with the Al Gaia? I’m not going to try and cover this here (that’s the point of Saturday after all – to cover these thorny issues) but I’ll sum up a couple of points and a couple of my thoughts:
    1 The Al Gaia evidently don’t want to sign an agreement with an individual group unless that agreement is tying the group into the Al Gaia. This leads to some questions:
    1.1 Could Aditu ever actually sign something like this? It feels like the answer is no, they wouldn’t want to surrender their ability to act independently.
    1.2 Should we do so anyway (and ignore/adapt some of our background) because it’ll give us more play? Not sure we wouldn’t be shooting ourselves in the foot by doing that. If we dilute the nature of our aditu-ness would we just end up with a weaker idea than before. Would we really be getting better play by being more tied in? I’m not sure this is true – being up for it and getting stuck in will deliver far more rewards than being officially part of a faction. If we are aggressive, elfy (by which I mean the hissing, the offering of scouting, our language, gestures, gods – the whole shebang that shows how much material we have to fall back on), regarded as being good/able to hold our own (which in LARP terms just means that we don’t suck – we’ve got this rep on the field already so it’s a case of keeping it) then I think we’ll get the play.
    1.3 I’m with Drew here when he says “I don't want to become a vassal to the algaia high command. I think there is mileage in the debate to be had around this whatever the eventual outcome.”
    1.4 At the last event I did quickly think of a way that we could accept the terms of the Al Gaia but on further thought I’m not sure it’s not too much of a surrender that wouldn’t really work anyway. And I also can’t remember the whole thing anyway. Useless bugger that I am.
    1.5 Would it cause us problems if we withdraw from this option? I don’t believe that, as henry asks above, it would be seen as an IC and OOC “f*ck you” however we do need to think about what problems it might cause and what we can do about it.
    1.6 In fact that last point is true of what ever we do – what problems is it going to cause and what do we do about it. Sometimes the problems will be IC, sometimes background, etc.

  18. Second half of answer to question 4:

    2 How do we want to play in the future? Despite the sense that CP can fail to deliver I think it’s still the best system for us to play these characters in. Unless someone can present an alternative that hits the spot I think we should take this as a given. Therefore we are looking at 1-2 CP events a year (ideally I’d like us to get back on track to the extent we at least want [and maybe even do] attend more CP events but 1-2 seems more realistic) and 1 day events if we can organize them. I’m quite taken with the idea of a pre-event “update pack” getting everyone up to speed on general events in the house/world (granted a lot of the topics we can update on – eg great wood houses, Ulunat, settlements, etc don’t exist in the CP world but I think that richness is what makes these characters worth playing and therefore we shouldn’t abandon things) and what we have all been doing since the last event/time our characters met. This blog can continue to be a space for us to add richness to the entire idea. I quite like writing little stories with a couple of pics attached either retelling bits of recent history in more detail (like Drew’s story of Shao’s fighting in the tunnels does), stories that involve characters (or others we know) from before we played them or even stories from ages ago. All good to my mind. It can also be used to further develop the events we want to refer to. Let’s say, for example, that between Renewal and May-event next year Third Son is named in a ceremony at the stone of farewell. This would obviously form a part of the pre-event update pack. However J might also want to write a short description of the service which all of us attended (Maru invited because of his links to Navarre etc) and therefore we would now have a shared experience, in however much detail J would go into, that we can collectively refer to etc. I note that a lot of what I’m referring to is Aditu this and Aditu that but I just want to reassure K that I’m not forgetting L’Retel (in fact some stories from your side of things would be awesome – as would ones from other houses if people are feeling creative but want a slightly cleaner canvas to work from) and much of what I’m talking about should be read as “Sithi” not “Aditu”.
    3 Drew made a good point earlier about an inward and an outward focus for our characters. Our group should have an approach and an ethos (as discussed above) to encourage play and also let us get involved in plots. Our individual characters also have a role to play too as J listed before and individuals can use this to get play separately either for their own play or because the group needs something done. Alan for example will always be talking to alchemists etc but sometimes his actions etc will be driven by a group need for a particular potion or ingredient. I think everyone has a good role now so we need to make sure we play them and use the skills that the group has.
    Enough from me now (thank god I hear you say). I think we’ve got a good start for our talk on Saturday but don’t let that stop people adding more tomorrow!

  19. Who the fuck are the Krell?

    This is exactly the kind of shit we need!

    Anyway, Y'Dar is a cunt for not being there this weekend.

  20. "This to me felt like the right use of a day event – fun, related to our overall story/plot/background, advances the overall story but doesn’t resolve it." Llofan / John.

    - that's exactly how I was viewing the proposed 'hunting mission' put forward for all of us via Avarin (or me I guess in a gender bending kind of way) at Renewal last.

    Sorts out an Aditu/Sithi internal aspect (the key) which gives us a bit more Aquila based story to fall back on at times (along with a jolly good adventure romp!) and one that has no bearing whatsoever on CP world and does not resolve Voice always being a thorn in our side ... you see?
    How's that for brevity ;o)