Microscope Game Thread

Text-based gaming!
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:03 am

mwchase wrote:
Supahewok wrote:A single faction begins its conquest of the world, using a strange source of energy (Dark)
I like this one.
Energon!
PossiblyInsane

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by PossiblyInsane » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:14 am

mwchase wrote:
Supahewok wrote:A single faction begins its conquest of the world, using a strange source of energy (Dark)
I like this one.
As do I.
User avatar
Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:39 am

If you guys don't mind, I'd like to shift the opening bookend backwards just a fraction (and by "a fraction", I mean "a fraction of a century"). We keep going for a cataclysm theme, so I would change the first bookend to something more like:

A large and destructive meteor, radiating a bizarre form of energy, strikes the planet.

From there, the country where the meteor hits, or some force within that country, figures out how to weaponise that energy and then we go into the factional conquest story. It doesn't have to be a meteor, but some kind of destructive disaster would be nice.

Also, rules question; when we write about events, do we do so in an out-of-universe or in-universe fashion? I'm very tempted to write from the perspective of a historian.
User avatar
Supahewok

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Supahewok » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:15 am

Hmm. It'd be cool to have a formerly pacifistic people get hit by a meteor or something that almost destroys their civilization, but imbues the survivors with power, and they transition into conquerors. But are you proposing that that's the cataclysm, as the opening bookmark? I'm not as against the idea as I was a couple weeks ago, but I do want to make it clear. Because if it isn't, then we have some more work to do in order to make the two events not redundant.
User avatar
Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:51 am

Supahewok wrote:Hmm. It'd be cool to have a formerly pacifistic people get hit by a meteor or something that almost destroys their civilization, but imbues the survivors with power, and they transition into conquerors. But are you proposing that that's the cataclysm, as the opening bookmark? I'm not as against the idea as I was a couple weeks ago, but I do want to make it clear. Because if it isn't, then we have some more work to do in order to make the two events not redundant.
More or less, yeah. I'd kind of like there to be a bit of an explanation for where the power source came from, and I guess I was thinking "space" because everyone keeps going on about cataclysmic themes? I mean, maybe it's the discovery of some mad scientist, that's cool too, but I've always read the word "cataclysm" as being more of a random chance event than a deliberate one.
User avatar
Supahewok

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Supahewok » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:18 am

Hmm, I wonder. How about "A meteor strikes a pacifistic country, causing almost total destruction in said country whilst leaving the rest of the world alone. The meteor is actually a parasite that infests planets; it grants power to the survivors, but the more those powers are used, the more mind control the parasite is able to exert on those individuals. Since the survivors use the powers to rebuild, the parasite has near total control of them, and uses them to wage war on the rest of the sentient creatures of the world?" (Very Definitely Dark")

It's a little wordy and detailed for a bookend (if a bookend is supposed to be as light as we've been doing), but I really like it in that it injects a little horror into the mix, and we can establish the ending through play if we keep the ending bookend as-is. Does the parasite take over the planet and that's how the planet gains sapience, or does the planet become sapient to fight back? It's something we can develop as we go and answer at the end.

Granted, I'm probably being a bit influenced by FF7 and Chrono Trigger here, but I think it's an idea with room to play with.

We can pare it down if the rest of y'all like it since we're not supposed to have that many details established yet. The more I think about it, the more I think I'm probably jumping the gun, so we should probably leave it at "A meteor devastates a country yet embues the survivors with power, and they go on to attempt to conquer the world." I do really like the parasite idea though. If y'all do too, maybe that should be incorporated into the Big Idea?
Last edited by Supahewok on Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:35 am

Supahewok wrote:Hmm, I wonder. How does "A meteor strikes a pacifistic country, causing almost total destruction in said country whilst leaving the rest of the world alone. The meteor is actually a parasite that infests planets; it grants power to the survivors, but the more those powers are used, the more mind control the parasite is able to exert on those individuals. Since the survivors use the powers to rebuild, the parasite has near total control of them, and uses them to wage war on the rest of the sentient creatures of the world?" (Very Definitely Dark")
That is... more or less exactly what I was thinking, actually. Too specific for a bookend, yes, but I like it a lot.
User avatar
dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by dudecon » Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:32 pm

So, I'm fine with:
End: The planet becomes sapient and mobile. (Light)

But further discussion may be merited.

As for:
Start: A single faction begins its conquest of the world, using a strange source of energy (Dark)
It's open and brief enough, but it seems to run counter to the premise of "An apparently mundane disaster..." since it introduces strange energies right at the beginning. Are these strange energies related to the disaster? If so, then it isn't really apparently mundane. And if not, why is this a bookend?

The main thing at this point is that it seems a lot of you are getting way ahead of the game. Yes, there are lots of cool possibilities at this point, but by offering extensive detailed possibilities, you are effectively attempting to hijack control of the creative process. Elegant open-ended simplicity is (especially at this stage) crucial.
Related, a warning. Do not become at all attached to your current vision for where, or how the story will progress. It will be almost certainly be crushed by the emergent improv'.

Anyway, how about this:
Start: A powerful faction begins its conquest of the world. (Light)
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:30 pm

dudecon wrote:Are these strange energies related to the disaster? If so, then it isn't really apparently mundane.
Why not?A volcano erupts,as they do,and after a while,people find out that they can now magic.Theres your mundane disaster leading to strange energies.Or they find that the ashes in the air make sunlight do weird shit,or that stuff goes weird where lightning strikes.

dudecon wrote:The main thing at this point is that it seems a lot of you are getting way ahead of the game. Yes, there are lots of cool possibilities at this point, but by offering extensive detailed possibilities, you are effectively attempting to hijack control of the creative process. Elegant open-ended simplicity is (especially at this stage) crucial.
Agreed.Which is why I didnt elaborate anything.
dudecon wrote: Start: A powerful faction begins its conquest of the world. (Light)
How is that light though?Unless the faction is gold dragons,which I approve of.
User avatar
dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by dudecon » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:12 pm

Daemian Lucifer wrote:
dudecon wrote:Start: A powerful faction begins its conquest of the world. (Light)
How is that light though?...
That's what we're going to find out! Mostly I like the symmetry; If the crux is a disaster, then it will work best with contrast.
PossiblyInsane

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by PossiblyInsane » Tue Jan 05, 2016 2:52 am

We don't have to confine ourselves to just one faction. Each of these could be present in the world and add to the story after the disaster. An apparently benevolent mind control parasite might be interesting to explore, for example.

Perhaps to consolidate some of these:
Start: A few powerful factions begin rebuilding in the wake of disaster. (Light)

I do like "End: The planet becomes sapient and mobile."
User avatar
mwchase
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by mwchase » Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:11 am

I still like the idea of establishing a bit of what came before the disaster. In that spirit, perhaps something like Disaster strikes, but several factions spearhead reconstruction. (Light) To push it just a little earlier.

Alternatively, start with the disaster, and include some archeology of some kind in the historical events we do cover.
User avatar
AFancyQuestionMark

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by AFancyQuestionMark » Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:12 am

So it seems that we've achieved a consensus on the end Period: The planet becomes sapient and mobile. (Light)

The start Period is less clear, so I think it would be best to pick a vague Period that leaves us with a lot of room to maneuver.
As such, I recommend PossiblyInsane's suggestion: A few powerful factions begin rebuilding in the wake of disaster. (Light).

Is that fine with everyone?
User avatar
dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by dudecon » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:24 pm

Sure!
Just to be clear, is this the same "apparently mundane disaster" as in the summary, or possibly a different one?
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:44 pm

Im ok with it.
dudecon wrote: Just to be clear, is this the same "apparently mundane disaster" as in the summary, or possibly a different one?
The same one if its the start of this era.
PossiblyInsane

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by PossiblyInsane » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:03 pm

I'm alright with these bookends.
User avatar
mwchase
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by mwchase » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:29 pm

Sounds good to me.
User avatar
Lachlan the Sane
Location: I come from the land down under, where women blow and men chunder

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Lachlan the Sane » Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:32 pm

I also vote yes, for the sake of completeness.
User avatar
AFancyQuestionMark

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by AFancyQuestionMark » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:07 am

It seems that we have reached a consensus on the bookends.

Time to move on to the next stage of the set-up - defining The Palette, meaning the elements that we want or don't want to appear in the history.
In this stage the players take turns adding one story element or concept to either the No list or the Yes list.
No list items are things that you don't want to see in this history, while the Yes list is precisely the opposite.

Note that, while items on the No list can't be used in the story at all, items on the Yes list need to actually be introduced by someone over the course of the game to appear in it.

Feel free to ask players precisely what their additions mean if they are unclear to you.

The turn order that we'll be using is the list of players in the opening post, so the first turn is mine, the next one is for mwchase and so on.
This stage will continue until a player decides to add nothing to any of the lists on his turn, at which point we will let the remaining players in the turn order (if there are any) to add something and move on to the next stage.

For my turn, I say that there will be No generic fantasy races in this history (elves, dwarfs, goblins, orcs and other medieval fantasy regulars), as I consider them unnecessary at best and actively detracting from the story at worst.

As mentioned, the next turn goes to mwchase.
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Thu Jan 07, 2016 6:49 am

AFancyQuestionMark wrote: For my turn, I say that there will be No generic fantasy races in this history (elves, dwarfs, goblins, orcs and other medieval fantasy regulars), as I consider them unnecessary at best and actively detracting from the story at worst.
I need some clarification for that.First,is this a ban on non standard interpretations of said races as well?For example,what if the goblins are fire breathing lizards like in artemis fowl?Or if elves are cannibalistic tribesmen like in dark sun?

Second,how does this affect gnomes,hobbits,humans,dragons and lizardmen?
User avatar
AFancyQuestionMark

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by AFancyQuestionMark » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:08 pm

If your races are different enough that they are unrecognizable as their generic fantasy counterpart (I don't want a long-lived forest dwelling race with long ears, for example), just call them something else and there won't be any problem with their inclusion.

Hobbits and gnomes are out (unless you mean the versions that predate Tolkien), dragons and other mythical creatures are fine.

I don't count humans and lizardmen as generic fantasy races, because there aren't any generic cultural elements that immediately come to mind when you mention them as opposed to dwarfs or elves.
User avatar
mwchase
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by mwchase » Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:53 pm

I'd like to ban unlocking any kind of ability or power through any near-death experience. No getting magical abilities or superpowers solely from being in a lot of danger, or due to any severe injury.

I don't think I want to rule out dangerous training, I just think we shouldn't have the formula of 'mortal peril = get superpowers or die'.

This is me trying to prevent magic-ability eugenics from being Extremely A Thing.

Next up, Supahewok.
User avatar
dudecon
Location: Camarillo, CA. Paul Spooner IRL & blog comments
Contact:

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by dudecon » Fri Jan 08, 2016 9:04 pm

mwchase wrote:...This is me trying to prevent magic-ability eugenics from being Extremely A Thing...
A lasting impression I see.
User avatar
Supahewok

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Supahewok » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:48 pm

Oh, I'm very sorry, I had no idea y'all were waiting on me. I was busy last week with field camp for school. It was a time-consuming course, but I shouldn't have problems of that sort going forward.

Hmm. I would like magic to be systemized. I don't like bull-shit magic powers being pulled out of asses. I like a system forming a cohesive whole, like in Wheel of Time or Sanderson's books. You can still do unexpected things, new discoveries are of course possible, I just want for there to be a structure to it all. What exact structure that is I think we should talk about collectively at some point.

Edit: It occurs to me that I might be stepping on mwchase's contribution here? Let me know if I should change.
User avatar
Daemian Lucifer

Re: Microscope Game Thread

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Tue Jan 12, 2016 7:43 pm

Dragons are a yes

Preferably chinese looking ones(loong,snakelike,with kickass mustaches),but I dont mind western ones either.

Lachlan the Mad,your move.
Post Reply