Duality

OOC Salem University OOC (Open)

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Oh yay I thought it was my fault.

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I'm really sorry I've stopped posting I've found it hard to find motivation recently, my bad

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I guess before we commit to either one, we should probably list what worked and what didn't for the RP. No use progressing if we keep making the same mistakes.

One of the big hurdles is that we're supposed to be running a magic school, but everyone has super powers. Not even casting spells or anything. They just think it and it happens. What can we really teach them if using magic is that simple? Another problem is since everyone is confined to a specific element, it's pointless trying to teach classes unless a teacher and enough students also has that element. And I doubt everyone wants to have the same powers. So I say that we do away with the one element specialty and we all have teachers who have a specialty in an element but can do others to varying degrees. Likewise all students shouldn't have any defined powers yet. That's why they're in school. To learn about their magic. 

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Hmm That's a good question. What do I think worked and what do I think didn't. 

What worked: 
The setting/Atmosphere: It's a great setting. There is a lot we can work with here and it takes well to new ideas. I like the general feel of the University. 

Magic system: I like how open the magic system is to interpretation. 

What didn't: 
Too many teachers, not enough students: I think having people only playing either teacher or student is artificially grid locking the rp. I think a compromise should be, IF you're going to play as a teacher, you need to have a student character as well. With how few actual students were in the rp it didn't really feel like a school, and the one class that had students in it had very little to play off of. 

tldr: I think if you're playing a teacher, you need a dedicated student character as well. You don't need to do so if you just want to play a student. 

 Magic system: I think we would benefit having some more concrete rules on how rules work. As much as I like it being open, defining how the world works never hurts. 

Lack of magic feeling: There is merit to the idea that the powers we all have felt more like super powers and not magic. It would be good to emphasize magic this go around. 

 

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Since we're at it, I might throw in two cents myself.

+ Initial magic premise

+ Initial setting

Why initial? Because although in spite of what Buck says, it allowed free interpretation by each person separately to make things work the best way that would work for them. Technicalities they would be comfortable with so they can focus on getting out of comfort zone by playing their characters mainly, to put the effort in making the characters work and develop rather than move energy and focus into trying to fit all the rules and newly presented restrictions.

+ Character interactions

Ley having Ghalan as Nemesis was perfectly natural, so was her competiveness against Druantia. Even though it seemed her and Ghalan were at each other throats, it was perfectly fine for the RP. 

- Upgrading characters OOC

This one probably weighed on me the most. I have put a lot, and I mean a lot of work in reworking original Ley concept, story and,most importantly, powers; to have her work in RP without being broken. I have resigned from number of powers she originally had, put a number of restrictions on some of her spells, tuned everything in my mind to have her, although powerful, still be at appropriate power level with other characters. It was a defined, static character.

But then OOC happened. And characters I was using as templates to balance Ley out were suddenly getting "upgrades". How about I get x? And y? And also this and that. This MURDERED my satisfaction from having created an actually balanced character in my mind, what in turn made it sore for me to RP from a position of potentially inferior power without resorting to upgrades myself.

- World development

Why am I placing this as a negative? When I eas getting into RP I knew perfectly what I'm getting myself into. Now? I do not know really how things work anymore to be honest. There are suddenly governments involved, special forces, etc. So many rules about how, when, why and who can use magic and in what purpose. I am AMAZED how newfound powers which barely got a solid University are already so well researched and have all their laws developed. If all governments worked so efficiently, man :x but I digress. Bottom line of this is that the changes that were being made and implemented were in direct conflict with Ley's story and invalidated it. I had to constantly readjust my view of her and look for exceptions/law loopholes, turning her from basically a tyrannical aristocrat into an open foreign criminal. Basically, with all the changes she stopped serving the purpose and view I was supposed to have her serve.

- Pacing

 I know I had my characters wander off alone, but I did it expecting they will be able to get back into action quickly. My mistake, I overestimated it. Still, some of the scenes dragged on, but more importantly. Some of them escalated way too quickly to have them develop into anything interesting. I think from my perspective the scene with Dru/Ley/Ghalan in corridor where he broke their little game of wits and nerves was efficient. It developed naturally, Ghalan's actions were justified, Ley and Dru both had reasons to see his actions as unjustified and the scene yielded proper result as a followup: the Duel. It served a purpose to further the RP.

But I digress again. How long have we been stuck in same hour/timespan? I think we have advanced time only once. While we could have done it more often, develop relations in OOC offscreen and then recap in retrospect while playing out scenes we WANT to play out and need to play out.

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8 hours ago, Passion said:

But I digress again. How long have we been stuck in same hour/timespan? I think we have advanced time only once. While we could have done it more often, develop relations in OOC offscreen and then recap in retrospect while playing out scenes we WANT to play out and need to play out.

Unbelievably agreed. Getting through a Class session should not take literal months to complete. I don't even want to look to see when that class started because of just how long it took to get completed. Time ground to a halt in the rp and it was exhausting. For a reboot we're definitely going to want to restructure things so that doesn't happen again. Maybe we can decide what happens in the class via OOC, and then do a post in the RP that shows what happened in a more narrative focused way. I mean there's a reason Harry Potter and the like only focused on a class scene when it was pertinent to the plot. 

I also agree that getting a more concrete idea of what this world is and what its rules are would help a great deal. When I started the rp I thought Magic was a relatively recent development, and research was still being done on the subject, but that time table kept getting pushed backwards as the rp went on. 

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On 10/19/2019 at 1:13 AM, Denim&Venom said:

One of the big hurdles is that we're supposed to be running a magic school, but everyone has super powers. Not even casting spells or anything. They just think it and it happens. What can we really teach them if using magic is that simple? Another problem is since everyone is confined to a specific element, it's pointless trying to teach classes unless a teacher and enough students also has that element. And I doubt everyone wants to have the same powers. So I say that we do away with the one element specialty and we all have teachers who have a specialty in an element but can do others to varying degrees. Likewise all students shouldn't have any defined powers yet. That's why they're in school. To learn about their magic.

On 10/21/2019 at 12:31 PM, Buck Testa said:

What worked: 
Magic system: I like how open the magic system is to interpretation. 

What didn't: 
Magic system: I think we would benefit having some more concrete rules on how rules work. As much as I like it being open, defining how the world works never hurts. 

Lack of magic feeling: There is merit to the idea that the powers we all have felt more like super powers and not magic. It would be good to emphasize magic this go around. 

21 hours ago, Passion said:

+ Initial magic premise

+ Initial setting

Why initial? Because although in spite of what Buck says, it allowed free interpretation by each person separately to make things work the best way that would work for them. Technicalities they would be comfortable with so they can focus on getting out of comfort zone by playing their characters mainly, to put the effort in making the characters work and develop rather than move energy and focus into trying to fit all the rules and newly presented restrictions.

So to recap on the magic system side of things:

Denim - magic had not enough practical restrictions and too many theoretical restrictions. Also, emphasise magickness.

Buck - magic was great lacking theoretical restrictions but also needs more theoretical restrictions. Also, emphasise magickness.

Passion - magic was perfect lacking practical and theoretical restrictions because we're mature enough to impose personal ones. (No need for emphasising magickness because due to personal restrictions Ley was by far the most magickness character in the RP.)

Correct me if I'm wrong ('magic' is a horribly subjective word when compared to superpowers), but I think the main point being raised here is that the theoretical side of magic is great to leave open because nobody really knows how it works yet, but it also needs some practical restrictions in terms of implementation of magic (i.e., eye of newt, burnt-up scroll and fancy hand-wiggle type of things).

Denim's Miko and Buck's Dru were rather ironically the most superpower-not-magic characters in the RP as I saw it (even Ghalan with his trash-slurping black holes had a staff and drew sigils to do things), which lends credence to Passion's implied premise that restraining yourself from a superpower aesthetic is probably the best way of preventing an overall superpower aesthetic. Even doing things with a mere thought isn't inherently a superpower aesthetic - Duality's magic is literally mere-thought magic but you'd surely be hard-pressed to call it superpowery.

To put it another way: if you want a more magical less superpowery aesthetic, why not make your own aesthetic less superpowery? Pardon the sleepiness-induced metaphor, but I didn't leave the blankets open so you could bounce on the bed, I left them open so you could wrap yourself in them most comfortably. If you want me to tuck you in, I can do it fine, but it's usually less comfy than blankets you curled up in all by yourself. It's rather hard to impose eye-of-newt practical restrictions without cramping a lot of people quite considerably, myself not the least of these due to Duality's intensely theoretical magic.

That said, I do like Denim's option of everyone having a potential share in all types of magic - all magic from the same source, just expressed via different manifestations in accordance with the personality/nature of the mage. Bob Jones may be most talented at fire magic but that doesn't mean that he can't try out a bit of water or air or ramen magic too if well-tutored in its use. Also, fair warning, if the setting allows it Deedah is going to be studying as a ramen mage in the next RP iteration if y'all pick that path.

I therefore propose the polar opposite of what you fine folks appear to be saying overall. Rather than restricting the practical side and leaving the theoretical completely up to interpretation, if it's some sort of single-source continuum of magic manifesting differently in each person then I can implement general theoretical principles of magic that blend together across all types of mage while keeping the nitty-gritty magical details personal and subjective. Everyone does different types of magic, but teachers can teach those of completely different magic alignments 1) because every student has at least a tiny amount of potential in all forms of magic due to participating in the same continuum, and 2) because there are principles underlying all forms of magic in a way that allows those of radically different magical alignments to have something in common. This would still be open to interpretation, it would remove the requirement to keep powers to only one or two elements, and your character is essentially free to have wildly unique forms of magic as you see fit. This will, however, require personally-imposed limitations on your magic to keep it non-superpowery, rather than me having to impose sweeping practical restrictions as I see fit.

Let me know your thoughts on this - if anyone definitely wants me to impose practical restrictions I'll need a range of examples for people to debate on.

On 10/21/2019 at 12:31 PM, Buck Testa said:

Too many teachers, not enough students: I think having people only playing either teacher or student is artificially grid locking the rp. I think a compromise should be, IF you're going to play as a teacher, you need to have a student character as well. With how few actual students were in the rp it didn't really feel like a school, and the one class that had students in it had very little to play off of. 

tldr: I think if you're playing a teacher, you need a dedicated student character as well. You don't need to do so if you just want to play a student. 

This one's guaranteed a spot in the next RP iteration if that direction is chosen. 1:1 student-teacher ratio or higher with minimal fuss.

23 hours ago, Passion said:

- Upgrading characters OOC

This one probably weighed on me the most. I have put a lot, and I mean a lot of work in reworking original Ley concept, story and,most importantly, powers; to have her work in RP without being broken. I have resigned from number of powers she originally had, put a number of restrictions on some of her spells, tuned everything in my mind to have her, although powerful, still be at appropriate power level with other characters. It was a defined, static character.

But then OOC happened. And characters I was using as templates to balance Ley out were suddenly getting "upgrades". How about I get x? And y? And also this and that. This MURDERED my satisfaction from having created an actually balanced character in my mind, what in turn made it sore for me to RP from a position of potentially inferior power without resorting to upgrades myself.

- World development

Why am I placing this as a negative? When I eas getting into RP I knew perfectly what I'm getting myself into. Now? I do not know really how things work anymore to be honest. There are suddenly governments involved, special forces, etc. So many rules about how, when, why and who can use magic and in what purpose. I am AMAZED how newfound powers which barely got a solid University are already so well researched and have all their laws developed. If all governments worked so efficiently, man :x but I digress. Bottom line of this is that the changes that were being made and implemented were in direct conflict with Ley's story and invalidated it. I had to constantly readjust my view of her and look for exceptions/law loopholes, turning her from basically a tyrannical aristocrat into an open foreign criminal. Basically, with all the changes she stopped serving the purpose and view I was supposed to have her serve.

The world development was primarily as a result of character upgrading, albeit in a roundabout way. I was trying to give concrete self-supporting in-canon justifications for preventing people from upgrading their characters in various ways, but ended up making both situations worse as more and more people jumped on the upgrade train. Most likely I'll be ditching the University-external lore (all the government shenanigans and superfluous outside-world junk) along with all significant character-upgrade ability in any further iterations if decided on. Natural narrative upgrades as people learn more and 'level up' obviously wouldn't be out of the question, but actual retcons are a pain to accommodate and rarely benefit the story.

23 hours ago, Passion said:

- Pacing

 I know I had my characters wander off alone, but I did it expecting they will be able to get back into action quickly. My mistake, I overestimated it. Still, some of the scenes dragged on, but more importantly. Some of them escalated way too quickly to have them develop into anything interesting. I think from my perspective the scene with Dru/Ley/Ghalan in corridor where he broke their little game of wits and nerves was efficient. It developed naturally, Ghalan's actions were justified, Ley and Dru both had reasons to see his actions as unjustified and the scene yielded proper result as a followup: the Duel. It served a purpose to further the RP.

But I digress again. How long have we been stuck in same hour/timespan? I think we have advanced time only once. While we could have done it more often, develop relations in OOC offscreen and then recap in retrospect while playing out scenes we WANT to play out and need to play out.

14 hours ago, Buck Testa said:

Unbelievably agreed. Getting through a Class session should not take literal months to complete. I don't even want to look to see when that class started because of just how long it took to get completed. Time ground to a halt in the rp and it was exhausting. For a reboot we're definitely going to want to restructure things so that doesn't happen again. Maybe we can decide what happens in the class via OOC, and then do a post in the RP that shows what happened in a more narrative focused way. I mean there's a reason Harry Potter and the like only focused on a class scene when it was pertinent to the plot. 

I also agree that getting a more concrete idea of what this world is and what its rules are would help a great deal. When I started the rp I thought Magic was a relatively recent development, and research was still being done on the subject, but that time table kept getting pushed backwards as the rp went on.

This has been the main issue of the RP ever since the Abomination - somewhat ironically, the main timeskip seemed to have been when the bulk of the pacing issues began. If I'd ever had an idea for fixing pacing issues, though, I'd have already implemented it, so I'm quite devoid of original solutions.

Planning out everything OOC before playing it out has always repulsed me, since in my admittedly somewhat limited experience organic unplanned interactions are by far the most compelling and engaging. All of what I consider to be my best posts with Duality have been spur-of-the-moment late-night flows of thought.

Speaking of whom, Duality's class seemed to go pretty well compared to the mundane class, which may be because I didn't go into the curriculum in depth besides introducing it and concluding it (with a bit of bonus interaction with Dru when she seemed interested). Most likely it would be best to not soliloquise on magical theory in any depth, instead implying it through character-interaction posts instead since character interactions are invariably more fun for everyone. Posts intended as a monologue with everyone else listening or to elicit a set reaction from all involved characters are significantly less pleasant to be a part of - I think it's an issue that could be resolved most readily by keeping in mind proper collaborative storytelling etiquette/technique and actively seeking to leave things open-ended for the other people involved.

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@Duality@Buck Testa@Denim&Venom@Passion

Well the way I would have structured that class. would be a practical demonstration but also a mental exercise. Like should I used my highly volitile magic around the mundanes who tolerate me? Then a time skip anmd a mere question at the end then done with the class.

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On 10/23/2019 at 1:05 AM, Duality said:

Denim's Miko and Buck's Dru were rather ironically the most superpower-not-magic characters in the RP as I saw it

I totally agree, which is why I brought it up. I really like Druantia's powers, but it could definitely use some retooling to be more magical. 

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@Duality@Buck Testa

Hmm I could drop the telekinesis power if that's what you  guys want that seemed like a super power....ANd no he couldn't read minds.

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4 hours ago, Buck Testa said:

I totally agree, which is why I brought it up. I really like Druantia's powers, but it could definitely use some retooling to be more magical. 

Indeed, but retooling of character vibes has always been your prerogative - I've done it plenty of times myself with Dr Duality over the course of the RP varying with my mood and life circumstances at the time, and nobody so much as batted an eyelid. No need for general premises to make things more magical if a simple personal retool can be implemented instead, after all.

2 hours ago, dragon4111 said:

@Duality@Buck Testa

Hmm I could drop the telekinesis power if that's what you  guys want that seemed like a super power....ANd no he couldn't read minds.

Ghalan's pretty all right, I should think. Staff and sigils and spells are all very non-superpowery.

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So I've had an idea bouncing in my head for a bit. We've kinda been approaching Salem as a place where magic is just normal. No one's bothered by it. And I think that's limited the scope of what we can do with magic and how creative we can be with our world. 

So I say we introduce some contrast to show the extraordinary aspects of the Salemverse, and we do that with the classic fish out of water premise.

We throw in characters from our mundane world into that of Salem. Characters who've never experienced an alternate earth shaped by magic (and furries). We witness them grasping brand new concepts in a strange new world. It can also be something to play off of in our worldbuilding, detailing how different the history of Salem's can be from our own. We have a lot of chances to be creative here. 

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19 minutes ago, reader8363 said:

@Denim&Venom

So, kinda like muggleborn from harry potter?

Weren't those the same as mudbloods? 

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mudblood is a rude name for them

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I'm gonna say no. Now it's been a long while since I've read the books but the only notable example of a muggleborn that I recall was Harmonie, and she seemed to have a solid grasp on magic and it's world. 

 

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On 10/28/2019 at 11:28 AM, Denim&Venom said:

So I've had an idea bouncing in my head for a bit. We've kinda been approaching Salem as a place where magic is just normal. No one's bothered by it. And I think that's limited the scope of what we can do with magic and how creative we can be with our world. 

So I say we introduce some contrast to show the extraordinary aspects of the Salemverse, and we do that with the classic fish out of water premise.

We throw in characters from our mundane world into that of Salem. Characters who've never experienced an alternate earth shaped by magic (and furries). We witness them grasping brand new concepts in a strange new world. It can also be something to play off of in our worldbuilding, detailing how different the history of Salem's can be from our own. We have a lot of chances to be creative here. 

I myself am not particularly fond of that trope, particularly in the context of RPing. There's a colossal inherent power /knowledge asymmetry between the magic people and the mundane fish-out-of-water people - it's a vaguely tacky way to make the magic people seem specialer and it's an overbearing cliché of an exposition technique.

Even with that aside, who would want to play the people from this earth? They're basically in for being a perpetual monologue crutch, and judging by the general reaction to Miko's somewhat monologuey class there's not much demand for that sort of character interaction. If they're just relegated to NPC status it would be even cheaper - ourselves blindly tooting our own horn in lieu of making half-decent self-sufficient characters, world and story.

I've seen plenty of extraordinary creativity and magic use in this RP and all of it has been through simple exploration of characters and their relationships with others on the same level as them. Creativity is not about breaking every limit set before you but about creating perfection within the countless limits imposed on you by yourself and others.

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Okay so the last idea didn't go over so well, but how about this one?

Rather than from alternate dimensions, what if some characters came from different times? The oppritunity to play characters from different time periods, all reappearing at Salem for some unknown reason.

Heck, the dissappearences could be isolated to Salem itself. Students and staff disappear, and the only thing known is that the magic that took them came from 'x' day in the future, and that the school needed to stay open for their return. Could be fun playing a character decades or even centuries out of place depending on how long the school was open for. 

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that is an interesting idea

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9 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

Okay so the last idea didn't go over so well, but how about this one?

Rather than from alternate dimensions, what if some characters came from different times? The oppritunity to play characters from different time periods, all reappearing at Salem for some unknown reason.

Heck, the dissappearences could be isolated to Salem itself. Students and staff disappear, and the only thing known is that the magic that took them came from 'x' day in the future, and that the school needed to stay open for their return. Could be fun playing a character decades or even centuries out of place depending on how long the school was open for. 

I can feel that, though this could pivot the direction of the plot. Sort of a mystery of "what is this school" "where is it?" "when are we?" ect 

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4 hours ago, Denim&Venom said:

@Duality are we redoing this or what?

I was hoping for one or two other people to respond to your new idea before redoing things with it included. There seemed to be full consensus about wanting to go ahead with a reboot but these extra ideas have had a relatively low response rate and are disconnected enough from the original premise that they could easily alienate people if implemented without their input.

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seems like fun alright

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