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Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

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Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Erythil » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:32 pm

---
TL;DR: Though I appreciate everything staff is doing, I think Lake-Town has a lot of drawbacks as a setting, and below I outline those drawbacks and suggest two alternatives.
---

We're five weeks into the alpha, and I'm foreseeing some drawbacks to our current intended setting. I'm going to start by covering what I see as the potential pitfalls of Lake-Town as a setting. I will then follow up by suggesting what I see as two different alternatives, both of which are still quite different from what previous iterations of SoI offered.

I appreciate all the hard work staff is doing, and I am having fun, so please do not take this as a condemnation, just as a hard look at what might lay ahead.

PROBLEMS WITH LAKE-TOWN AS A SETTING:

1. Lack of Player Agency

Everything regarding Lake-Town is resolved as a direct result of the events of the Hobbit, which, given SoI's preference to adhere closely to canon, will effectively render the main conflicts and adversaries of the area completely out of the players' hands. We can't kill Smaug, and his presence won't matter until events that destroy Lake-Town. We can't kill Sauron, and nothing is resolved there until the War of Five Armies.

Part of what made Atonement compelling is that there was a real sense of progression. The game evolved on a fundamental level -- the setting changed, the situation changed, and players had real input in how those changes and even the ending took shape. In the particular slice of Middle-Earth we've chosen, our characters fundamentally don't matter.

2. Lack of Interesting Conflicts/Stagnant Setting

If we adhere to canon, there is little we can do in Lake-Town that will provide interesting large-scale conflict. Our chosen time period has no big canonical events. No meaningful conflict takes place, for example, between the men of Lake-Town and the men of Rhun and the Easterlings until the events of the War of the Ring.

The only martial conflicts we have the freedom to invent all for ourselves are warg attacks, spider attacks, bandit raids, and the conflicts between orcs and humans.

And as mentioned above, we cannot actually expect the orc/human conflict to amount to anything but skirmishes. Lake-Town itself will be unassailable both due to being on a lake and for reasons of plot -- it has to survive. Sauron himself will be unassailable -- he's can't be killed by mortal men, and again, the plot requires him to survive.

Thus, we're essentially looking at an eternal stalemate, maybe with some give-and-take over border towns like Utterby, but again, the problem here is we pretty much know exactly how all of this plays out and the only people whose contributions matter are the named characters of the Hobbit.

3. Lack of Diversity in Character Archetypes

Laketown is essentially a norse-flavored medieval Venice, fallen on hard times. What is a trading city, without anyone to trade with? Essentially, it's a fishing village on a lake, with no noteworthy friendly neighbors. We can expect that there will be no nobility, no Dunedain, few dwarves, no hobbits, no magic, and no reasonable motives for elves to hang around. Most everyone is going to be a hardscrabble peasant or a low-level, unsuccessful trader, maybe with room for a few to be less poor than the rest. To me, Lake-Town is a backwater, and is missing lots of the things that could make for a dynamic roleplaying environment. I worry it will lend itself to the 'sameness' of characters we see in Utterby and saw in Parallel/Atonement.

There's a similar possibility of monotony in the evil sphere. Part of what makes the ugliness and cruelty of orcs so compelling is when it's put in relief against less beastly creatures. There's no room in the Mirkwood for the noble evil of Black Numenoreans, or the reluctant evil of the Haradrim, Easterlings, and subjugated western men.

4. Was it Just Because of the Movies?

I worry that this setting was picked because it's 'current,' in that the most recent Jackson flicks center around the Hobbit. But let's be real: They're not as good as the other ones, and there's cooler places in Middle Earth.

(Continued in next post)
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Erythil » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:38 pm

ALTERNATIVE SETTING IDEAS:

If Lake-Town can be seen as the 'gritty' part of Middle Earth, where more realistic people live more realistic lives, I see the unique appeal of Middle Earth being its heroism, its magic, and the great clash between forces of capital letter Good and Evil. I'm suggesting two very different settings. One is in the familiar Third Age, involving events we've all heard about in locales that will feel familiar, The other is a little further back, a little more exotic, in the Second Age.


I. The Wars of Arnor and Angmar

Everybody talks about the 'Golden Age' of SoI being Gondor vs. Mordor over Osgiliath. Here's a way we can bring back that atmosphere.

We've all heard of 'The Witch King of Angmar,' the chief of the Nazgul and the most fearsome of Sauron's lieutenants. For six hundred years, wars raged hot and cold between the successor states of Arnor and the dark nation of Angmar.

And as an aside, the second King of Arnor is Isildur -- I can think of no better setting for a game named for the shadows Isildur cast across history.

What's The History Here?

At the end of the Second Age, the Dunedain founded two kingdoms. One of these was Gondor, which we know from the books and the films. The other kingdom, less well known, is Arnor. Ruled by the long-lived and noble Dunedain, built with the assistance of Noldor elves under Gil-Galad, the kingdom of Arnor was initially more prosperous than Gondor. It maintained many secrets of the earlier Ages, even possessing three of the Palantiri. The kings of Arnor were known as High Kings, outranking even the kings of Gondor.

The young nation of Arnor fielded armies to fight against Sauron at the end of the Second Age, led by their king Isildur. They defeated him, inaugurating the Third Age, but Isildur failed to destroy the ring, and was killed with his sons soon after in an ambush by orcs. The great fighting strength of Arnor was extinguished, and the nation never recovered its former glory. Eventually, following civil war, the realm was split up into three smaller, diminished kingdoms.

And because Isildur did not destroy the ring, his enemy lived on, and plotted vengeance on Arnor.

The three kingdoms descended from Arnor were Cardolan, Rhudaur, and Arthedain. Sauron tasked his chief lieutenant with their destruction. He sent infiltrators to Rhudaur, co-opting it from the inside. Eventually, he slayed its native king, and usurped power in the name of the Hillmen. Initially he ruled from behind the scenes, allowing the native Hillmen tribes to claim pre-eminence. This alliance of hillmen, Easterlings, orcs, and trolls was eventually christened Angmar, and its immortal leader soon claimed power outright.

He became known as the Witch King. His task, given to him by Sauron, was to fully extinguish the power of the Dunedain, and destroy the possibility of Arnor ever rising again.

Cardolan fell not long after Rhudaur, but the remnants of Cardolan allied with Arthedain and the elven forces of Elrond, based out of Rivendell. This alliance successfully checked the Witch King's advance.

Thus began centuries of both cold and hot war between Arthedain and Angmar -- none of which would have happened if not for Isildur's folly.

So What's the Game?

The forces of Arthedain and Angmar -- of good and evil -- fight over the remnants of Cardolan, seeking to prevent the other side from claiming all of its ancient relics, magical secrets, and land.

What Can I Play Here?

On the Good Side: Everyone that makes Middle-Earth what it is has representation here. The Shire and Bree are within the expanse of what was once Arnor. 'Normal' men, hobbits, and Dunedain are all represented in the local population. Elves of all varieties live not far away in Rivendell and elsewhere. Erebor is still at the height of its power, and the dwarves remain a proud, unfallen race.

On the Evil Side: You name it. Orcs, humans, hillmen, easterlings, trolls, wargs, sorcerers, it's all here except Haradrim. The Witch King drew both the truly evil and the merely opportunistic to his banner from all across the world. Even dragons are breeding in the Withered Heath, not far away.


What Will Players Have to Do?

I foresee this setting as recreating the very best of the period of SoI where the forces of Gondor and Mordor fought over the ruins of Osgiliath. Crafting, raiding, warring, exploring, and more.

Isn't This a Lot of Work?

I won't lie, this would be more work than Lake-Town, but I think it has bigger rewards.

--------------

II. The Fall of Numenor

One of the unique challenges of the style of game SoI has gone for thus far is balancing multiple 'spheres' of good and evil characters. Here's an idea, set in the more ancient
history of Middle Earth, where Good and Evil live side by side, with Evil in fact in the ascendant. But it is a more seductive and clever Evil than that which came later, of an
age where Sauron could still take pleasant shape, and operate by stealth and guile.

What's the History Here?

In the Second Age, a race of Men rose to prominence in Middle-Earth, and won the blessings of the Valar. These were the Numenoreans, named for their nation of Numenor, set upon an island raised for them from the sea by the gods themselves. Known also as the Men of Westernesse, they dwelled on Numenor for over two thousand years, blessed to live for centuries, unlike the men to the east, who died after fewer than eighty years.

And yet they grew resentful of what became known as the Doom of Men: No matter how they were blessed, they still must die. The Undying Lands of the West were barred to them. They could not sail to the lands of the Valar and the Eldar. If Middle Earth was good enough for the Elves to dwell in forever, they reasoned, why should Men not be the same?

Full of pride, the Numenoreans began to settle the shores of Middle Earth, subjugating or seducing the native peoples and bringing to them civilization. This brought them in contact with all manner of lesser humans, and even the forces of Sauron, who feared the might of Numenor.

Proud and cruel, the dominant faction of the Numenoreans were the King's Men: They sought immortality through empire, riches, and monuments. They rejected the Elves and the Valar and Iluvatar, and took on uniquely mannish customs. Opposed to them were the Faithful, who believed Numenorean society should remain in fealty to the old and virtuous customs. Over time, the King's Men became more and more powerful. These two factions competed for influence over Numenorean society.

Things took an irredeemably dark turn when Sauron allowed himself to be captured by Numenor. At this time, Sauron had never been killed, and could still take a pleasing shape and hide the depths of his evil. He promised to bring them the secrets of immortality to the Numenoreans if they agreed to worship Melkor, the first evil. In exchange, he offered rings of power and other artifacts, and we know how that turned out...

So What's the Game?

The idea here is that players wouldn't start the game fitted tightly into either a 'good' or an 'evil' camp. Though the 'evil' tendencies of the Numenorean leadership would be slightly stronger, the players themselves would decide through their loyalties and deeds which would have more influence. This would be a more subterfuge, politics,
and intrigue oriented iteration of SoI. The time period stretches for a whole epoch, and so we would have a lot of freedom to decide the ebb and flow of events.

The game could take place either on the island of Numenor -- in which case most of the players would be Numenoreans -- or in one of their colonies. Umbar would be especially attractive in the latter case, as it allows for subject populations of different races, especially Haradrim, and for skirmishes with NPC forces loyal to Sauron in the east.

What Can I Play Here?

Humans, Haradrim, Numenoreans, and Elves would all be viable player choices. With this theme, orcs and hobbits would probably not be sensible. Dwarves would probably work.

What Will Players Have to Do?

The basic gist of this is that it's the Game of Thrones, but with the moral clarity and pageantry of the Lord of the Rings. Intrigue, backstabbing, conflicted loyalties,
deceit, and the struggle to remain true to justice in the face of seductive and powerful institutional evil would be prominent themes. If we want more fighting action, we could
be in an area removed from the seat of Numenorean power, where outlying fiefs and so on could be more openly contested out of public view.

Isn't This a Lot of Work?

This is arguably less work than either Lake-Town or the Witch-King idea above, as it compresses everything into one 'sphere.'



----

Just trying to offer some food for thought here, so that we have the best possible experience when we go to live, and staff doesn't do a lot of work that is wasted if they decide to re-calibrate later!
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby MrT2G » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:50 pm

My general thought on this is that LOTR and all the accompanying stories have already been written and told. The relative obscurity of Laketown allows us to tell our own story without being confined with the already known plot line of LOTR/Hobbit while still living within the Middle-Earth realm.

There plenty of potentials to enhance the environment of conflict and drive plots. I suspect new areas will be added with them new possibilities. It is Alpha.

Not to mention, what you are suggesting would require a near entire re-build of rooms which is probably the most work intensive aspect of MUD development.

I'd rather see the effort put towards developing and expanding the current area.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Icarus » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:55 pm

Laketown was the one place in the Third Age that had a great balance of orcs, dwarves, elves, and humans, with a major IC even coming down the pipe, and enough blank space to write quite a bit in. It flexible, yet also out of the way enough that we can keep things low key. It's a setting that I knew could work, and that wasn't insanely ambitious.

That and I'd always wanted to do it. I loved the Hobbit, it was frankly my favorite of Tolkien's work.

The movies can go to hell >_>
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby toofast » Mon Jul 07, 2014 9:57 pm

I'm really digging the first idea.

I think Icarus has the right of it though. The first idea, is when you take it all in, insanely ambitious. I enjoy the Laketown setting and it's 'grittiness' with the added Lotr sense of morality and I think it has more room for expansion and player-driven plots than you give it credit for.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby radioactivejesus » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:16 pm

Erythil wrote:---
There's a similar possibility of monotony in the evil sphere. Part of what makes the ugliness and cruelty of orcs so compelling is when it's put in relief against less beastly creatures. There's no room in the Mirkwood for the noble evil of Black Numenoreans, or the reluctant evil of the Haradrim, Easterlings, and subjugated western men.

the conflict between haradrim and orcs was usually 'I don't like you guys so I'm going to lift my nose up at you and stay on my own side of the town'. It was super lame
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Jeshin » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:05 pm

I do think Laketown has the limitation of being a more mundane setting in a fantasy world. A lot of games these days aim for more down to earth (middle-earth) feel and miss out on the fun and epic scale that going a little wild in vision can bring.

Personally I would love to see SOI with a much broader and epic scope to its setting. Not to say I haven't enjoyed Utterby, but if left to its own devices it lacks a certain amount of depth. While the other two settings proposed have a bit more going on under the surface to play with.

Besides it's ALPHA so switching to an end-goal of another setting doesn't mean we'd delete utterby tomorrow or anything!

EDIT

Or maybe Utterby/Laketown is our ALPHA and another setting is our live? *Waggle eyebrows*
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby krelm » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:29 pm

Personally, I don't have a problem with Laketown. I mean you can argue that it's boring and blah blah blah, but SoI has never adhered strictly to canon-- at least in the old days. It was more canon-lite. I mean one time there were armies of giant ants.

Will there ever be an RPT as epic as the Fall of Osgiliath in the current setting? Probably not. Am I upset about that? Not particularly.

The problem with shifting to an entirely new age is, mostly, building. I mean it took SoI, what, 3 YEARS to come back? And even after they decided to use the RPI+ engine and settled on a setting and all that good jazz, it took over 6 months to get the game from scratch to ALPHA (my account was registered on Sept. 29th, and the game opened on the 8th of June, so that's 8 months, actually).

Plus, they're going to make someone build it from scratch, and that someone is going to be me, and I'm not okay with that.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby WorkerDrone » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:42 pm

Hahaha. Krelm has built so many of these games. You really gonna make him build one or two more from scratch?

Anyway on the one hand I'm just glad we have a game back, and I'm not too bothered with the Lake Town setting in itself, as long as we're not strictly adherent to canon. I wouldn't mind another timeline divergence and eventually outright alternation of the history.

Plus it's Mirkwood. Encroaching darkness, evil and magic, elves and such. There's all kinds of room for secrets that no one wants you to find out--and no one may ever find out, because upon making the discovery, you were promptly consumed by it, either figuratively or literally.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby EltanimRas » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:47 pm

If nothing else, maybe we can bookmark these ideas for SoI4?

I mean, if we don't move, Krelm's gonna have to build a bunch of new rooms for burnt-out Laketown anyway, right?
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby krelm » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:49 pm

Also, to add:

You mentioned how Atonement felt like it was player-driven, and what the PCs did felt like it actually mattered.

What's to stop PCs from setting up a fort out in Mirkwood (a la the Eastern Garrison of old), either orc or human? They could, presumably and obviously with admin support, construct it, stock it, and man it. They could have a crew of people who stayed there mostly 24/7, vNPCs could eventually move out there. Then, one day, the other side decides enough is enough and lays a massive siege to it.

I'd imagine some rinky-dink little fort on the edge of nowhere that was involved in a battle of around 200-500 people in total would have been small enough to have actually happened in the Tolkienverse, but not large enough to merit mention in any of the actual books.

In short, your actions, and those of your PC, can matter, and the story can be as player-driven as you would like it to be, with or without the books.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Rivean » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:15 am

krelm wrote:Plus, they're going to make someone build it from scratch, and that someone is going to be me, and I'm not okay with that.


Oh, you poor man. Here, have a cheesebun. :nom:

Otherwise, as interesting as both the alternate settings seem to be, my thoughts are:

a) Player agency, as a general rule, is vastly overrated. More to the point, player agency on a game changing scale, is vastly overrated. For me, personally, achievements - which are really what agency is all about, getting things done - are more impactful when my PC feels they've done something fantastic. If I'm not getting that feeling after achieving the PC's small scale goals (or large scale goals, depending on the PC) it's usually a good sign that I'm not fully immersed in my PC.

b) I've always been a fan of low level, persistent conflicts, rather than high level, event/army/battle style conflicts. Ideally your low level conflicts will, through player action, spike into high level conflicts, but the fact that there's no fall of Osgiliath here does not bother me in the least - the best RP I've ever experienced was with a handful of PCs, and I cannot remember even one event of 10 PCs or more that was not, at least on some level, a clusterfuck. God forbid those 10 PCs have to actually travel anywhere too.

But in general, the biggest problem here is that Arnor Mud and Numenor Mud might sound fun and interesting, but we don't have those muds. We have Laketown Mud - changing is too massive a project and too unreasonable a demand of our volunteers. We have what we have, and I think we can do really good things with it.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Jeshin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:49 am

Well to be fair despite all the work put into Utterby, Mirkwood, and orc-land. None of those places are laketown. In fact judging by the map Lake town will be a significant distance away so unless those rooms are already built along with the corresponding evil sphere rooms. It wouldn't be -that- much more work than the conversion to laketown further down the line. *cough*

But yes the MUD thus far is going great for an ALPHA and while it's totally possible entertain thoughts of proposing alternate settings no one is saying what we have sucks. Just that there might be a better option.


EDIT
Except changing crafts. That would be a lot of work, I have received 1 death threat if weaponcrafting is redone again.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Tiamat » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:04 am

Jeshin wrote:Well to be fair despite all the work put into Utterby, Mirkwood, and orc-land. None of those places are laketown. In fact judging by the map Lake town will be a significant distance away so unless those rooms are already built along with the corresponding evil sphere rooms. It wouldn't be -that- much more work than the conversion to laketown further down the line. *cough*

But yes the MUD thus far is going great for an ALPHA and while it's totally possible entertain thoughts of proposing alternate settings no one is saying what we have sucks. Just that there might be a better option.


EDIT
Except changing crafts. That would be a lot of work, I have received 1 death threat if weaponcrafting is redone again.


Yeah. And Laketown as we know it already has been built on the game. It just hasn't been used yet.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Hazgarn » Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:49 am

Tiamat wrote:Yeah. And Laketown as we know it already has been built on the game. It just hasn't been used yet.

We have yet to prove ourselves worthy.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Throttle » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:25 am

I think it's difficult to go too far back in the setting's history. If you try to set a game in the first or even second age, you have only the auxiliary literature as reference, and few have read this (because a lot of it is really snarfagling boring) and it tends not to be very detailed. There was an attempt to do it with Lost Tales of Beleriand, but while that game was interesting and memorable, it didn't feel very much like a spiritual successor to SOI.

I'm also of the opinion that the highly malleable, player-directed sphere is a pipe dream. There's a number of reasons why it doesn't work, but mostly it boils down to the fact that the playerbase becomes like a high school for particularly irritating kids whenever you give them the idea that they can all have a significant influence on shaping the setting. Players become super combative and hysterical, and there's really no way for a collection of mostly strangers, who aren't supposed to communicate too much OOC, to create something that makes sense. The game becomes too much of a race to win so that your idea gets to be the one that happens.

I think an RPI's setting has to be fairly set in stone. It doesn't mean there can't be room for players to have an impact, but the game's stage needs to be backed by canon. The foundation of the setting needs to be an immovable object, and players shouldn't get to be unstoppable forces. This also means that I'm against settings that are destined to end in some way within a reachable timeframe unless there's a concise and sensible plan for the next step.

People always talk of player agency as some kind of RPI holy grail, but whenever I've seen it attempted, it has just led to this annoying arms race where players feel like they don't have the time to relax and roleplay for the sake of it. Most characters are then visibly designed from a point of "how can I make sure my PC gets to matter in the big changes?" rather than "how can I play an individual who suits this setting very well?"
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Rivean » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:31 am

I very strongly second Throttle's opinions on RPI settings vs. player agency.

You need not BECOME the world in order to AFFECT it.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby EltanimRas » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:36 am

Rivean wrote:I very strongly second Throttle's opinions on RPI settings vs. player agency.

You need not BECOME the world in order to AFFECT it.

That said, a lot of the specific ideas for player involvement and activity suggested in Erythil's examples (and particularly the latter of the two) sound like precisely the kind of low-level, persistent conflict you normally advocate.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Rivean » Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:44 am

EltanimRas wrote:
Rivean wrote:I very strongly second Throttle's opinions on RPI settings vs. player agency.

You need not BECOME the world in order to AFFECT it.

That said, a lot of the specific ideas for player involvement and activity suggested in Erythil's examples (and particularly the latter of the two) sound like precisely the kind of low-level, persistent conflict you normally advocate.


Yes - and the pictures he paints of Umbar under the Numenoreans is particularly enticing, though again, I suspect the best thing to do now is to stay the course.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Jeshin » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:18 am

As I often tell people. You can plan ooc game design and wrap it up ICly however you want. If you want to have a grand epic setting but keep things low-level persistent conflict. You can position that. If you want a mundane setting like laketown and make it big expansive changes. You can do that too.

My main point is that the two proposed settings have a bit more going on to play with. Anything can be achieved through proper RPA involvement and good management. Especially if we diverge from canon. <--- referring to Laketown with anything can be achieved.
Last edited by Jeshin on Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Hawkwind » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:25 am

We are not even at the setting we have planned, how is this gaining traction? :roll:
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby LuckyV » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:26 am

I don't really see Laketown as part of the game, but that's just Alpha.


The only thing that really really troubles me is that this is a lot more Atonement and a lot less Shadows of Isildur.

Sure you have the theme, different races, different people and different setting. But you still feel like you're playing Atonement, which wasn't my cup of tea.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby EltanimRas » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:29 am

LuckyV wrote:But you still feel like you're playing Atonement, which wasn't my cup of tea.

Do you mean that more in a stuff/skill/gameplay way or in a roleplay theme and flavor one?
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby kestrel » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:37 am

I know it sounds absolutely ridiculous, and I know I'm always harping about SOI needing to be more in line with canon, but if I were dictator for the day I'd have us match Tolkien's timeline right up until the events of the Hobbit...and then I'd diverge.

What would happen if the Battle of the Five Armies had ended differently? Or if the Elves and Dwarves refused to work alongside one another? There are a ton of "what if" questions in which you change just a few tiny little things and suddenly the future is wide open, both in terms of low-level regional conflict and in terms of how the Larger Story eventually ends.
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Re: Problems with Lake-Town, and Alternative Settings

Postby Throttle » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:38 am

I think he means that the setting is very shallow, i.e. there's no real NPC presence or a society other than what the players make, and resource scarcity overshadows every other aspect of the game so that it becomes kind of an arms race.
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