Let's get this thing rolling.

Beyond Dominia: 3rd War Mill Planning Board: Let's get this thing rolling.

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 12:48 am:

Since I know everyone's all clammoring at once to get the first post, I'll try to get it before someone pre-empts me. :)

Anyhoo, what do we want to do with this place? Role Playing, storytelling, free-for-all chaos like the original War Mill was, what? I'll try and spark ideas here, but I need some people to bounce them off of.

It seems that epic storytelling has outlived its usefulness and people's attention spans, so that's probably not the right way to go. I also don't think that the setting of the current RPM fits with Magic too much; I was very intent on driving out as many Magic references as I could, but realized at last (way too late) that perhaps on a site of Magic players, the real setting of the Magic story should in some way be more reflected than it is.

Anyhoo. What kind of mill do you want this to be? The original War Mill was founded because a whole bunch of people wanted to cause little "wars" about their beliefs concerning Magic. The first one (as if I hadn't preached this enough to those few who know me well) was the Atog War, and focused quite a bit on the bitterness caused by crappy reprints (such as Sol Grail or any of the Mirage Diamonds) of the originals, and "homages" in unwelcome droves, like Foratog (against Atog, for which the aforementioned war was named). And we thought it interesting, took sides, and *argued.* It was fun. :)

The other mills here arose because there was (at the time) some distinct need for their creation. The War Mill (and Role Playing Mill, as it became) was made because of people wanting to *be* creative. Now that torch is being passed to a new generation. What will you create?

By Rakso, Patriarch & Rules Ayatollah (Rakso) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 01:00 am:

How about:

1) Having some sort of diceless stats system that facilitates interactive storytelling

2) Taking another world, not another fantasy-sort. Maybe a space opera ambience?

By Shadow (Shadow) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 01:01 am:

I know what I want, but I'm beginning to believe that what I want won't quite work for what we're trying to do, so for now I'll just try to raise some issues.

Are we going to have a "world?" Seems like a dumb question to me, but maybe not, and it doesn't hurt to challenge what's taken for granted when you're trying to make something new. Is this new mill going to have role-playing occuring in a coherent and consistent fictional location? Or should things be less constant than that?

One idea I've had is some sort of central meeting-place for characters. Like an extradimensional dining hall that everyone has access to somehow, or something like that. It might be a way to spark more interaction.

Maybe we should look to MUDs for ideas. I don't think any kind of number/statistics stuff is prudent, because it would probably lead to people inventing "characters" and so forth for the sole purpose of trying to make them powerful. That's like mental masturbation, in my eyes. However, some MUDs have come up with some neat concepts in terms of stories and worlds and so forth. I can't think of anything right now, but my brother has done a lot of MUDding, and I might ask him for suggestions.

Whatever we end up with, I will personally offer this:

I don't know if I'm gonna be actively participating in whatever it is that we do, but I will establish a new companion page (sort of like the RPM homepge) that is targeted towards newcomers and offers as much assistance as possible to bringing people quickly and easily end to whatever we end up doing.

I'll mention anything else as it comes to me.

By Serra (Serra) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 01:14 am:

I like the interdimensional dining hall idea...like the Red Dragon Inn on AOL...sure there was a map of the city, but it was on some obscure bulletin board somewhere and i don't think many people knew about it...the bottom line was there was an inn (or rather a string of inns since the max room limit is 23) where people met...than others made other rooms to reflect other things (weapons shops, libraries, etc)...but none of these were given a definite location.

i really didn't pay much attn to the RPM, so i don't know the reason for the downfall...but i do know one of the great things about the war mill was the clans/guilds (you could belong to something)...do we want to get back into that or no? umm, my mind just went blank

By The Maxx,. the Guru of Foolishness (Maxx) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 01:31 am:

I also like the Interdimensional meeting place thing, but it can't simply be that someone wanders into it, and they have a character. There should be a small backstory describing what makes the character "special", and how they came across the place.

As for the way that everyone RP's, I personally think that one person should start a story, and other characters involved in the story should add to it along the way. This keeps the stories from being exclusionary, while doesn't take as much time to develop as an actual dialogue type interaction between two players and their characters.

Also, every once in a while, there should be a Major Event that involves most of the people in the Mill. The Event could be made up by a person posting, or by a moderator, but only one person should do so at a time, and no one person should hog all the glory in this respect either.

As for being attractive to new players, there is only one real thing that can be done. Either don't make this be a "world" with steady rules, and strict guidelines. Keeping the form more open than a mapped out, and history accumulating place would make it easier to jump in. This is what I think killed the old mill, and I know that is why I didn't start anything there.

My two cents anyway,
The Maxx

By humanoid typhoon on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 02:01 am:

i've never participated in an online RPG before, although i've played conventional RPG's with characters, stats, dice, etc.

i have, however, participated in online gaming in the form of titles like starcraft, mech commander, etc. the aspect i liked most about those online communitites was the clan/guild aspect of it. as Serra stated, you belonged to something. competing against other teams was not only fun, but it let a sense of comraderie develop within your own team.

so my suggestion with whatever you decide to do would be to include something like that in your final product. borrowing from L5R, you can have numerous clans of sorts with some loose storyline that either some overall GM or the community agree upon, and then hold 'story tournaments' every once in a while to decide major plot events.

the story tournies would simply be online magic tournies with each player being part of a clan, the winning player, wins a victory for his clan, and the story spins off whatever clan won. i suppose additional deck construction rules would have to be developed concerning each particular clan. as an example suppose two clans, phyrexians and dominians existed and they had an 'invasion' tourney, winner of the tourney would determine the plot of the story.

of course this is not classic 'role playing', but features of classic role playing could be incorporated. players could develop characters that would get involved with the story.

just some ideas, sounds like fun no matter what turns up though.

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 02:10 am:

I'm sure you and I both have ideas of what we want and what we don't want, Shadow. :) I look at things thusly: I've moved quite a bit away from my once strong interest in Magic. I rarely play now, and when I do, and now it's a vehicle through which I meet new people and share a common bond with them. Here, in the "new" War Mill (or whatever it becomes) I'd like to see a place that shares the common thread of Magic as a bond between people, but it doesn't have to necessarily be the dominating factor, nor does it have to relate much at all.

Case in point. I go to a Terry Goodkind (author, for those who don't know, of the Sword of Truth series) chatroom. We rarely if ever talk about the books, but it is something we can fall back on if need be. It's the community I'm most interested in cultivating, and I know we have a burgeoning one in the T1 mill that hearkens back to the early days of the Rumor Mill.

Through storytelling, or guilds, or "write a sentence, build a story", or some other method I can't yet envision, it will be interesting to see what kind of next iteration.

By Tyger on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 02:17 am:

i thought of something interesting the other day in a magic game when i kept trying o steal (illegaly) my opponents land so i could cast my spells. He offered to trade his land for my sol ring. i declined and said "This is Magic, not Monopoly." Thats when i hit me: trading is the most fun aspect of monopoly.

perhaps this could be a "monopoly" mill, where each character has some kind of posession or property that can be traded. There are lots of options, but i think trading of some kind is cool.


ps. thispost DOES NOT belong in the trading mill ;)

By ETP on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 02:27 am:

Perhaps we could use this mill as a fiction mill rather than a roleplaying mill. People wouldnt add their characters and endings into other peoples stories; instead, they would add helpfull critisism to finished short stories and give revision and editing tips to make the stories better. All the stories could take place in the same 'world' but that world would of course evolve and change as more stories are written. This would allow people to get practice being creative and give them a chance to hear input on a complete short story.
This idea is similar to the old mill, but each story would be complete, without the roleplaying aspect, and additions. I want to write stories, but i dont much care for handing the reigns of my entire story to other people.
We would then be making a collection of fiction rather than a history of a roleplaying experiment.

By Krichaiushii, the Chaosbringer (Krichaiushii) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 03:13 am:

I, too, like the idea of it being a pandimensional meeting place (like in the city of Cynosure -- magic works here, guns work there, swords work everywhere). Just watch out when Hell phases in!

(Obscure comic book reference. Any who get it, sound off).

I also think its possible to have multiple stories going on at once -- be they an ongoing interactive (mis)adventure in someone's galaxy/plane/world, a finished product up for review, or just people commenting about reallife RPGs and such.

(About the finished stories, though. While I would hope that no one here would stoop to stealing credit on another's story, especially if the story can be sold, it might be something to consider.)

To keep it manageable, topic headings would have to be specific, and threads could get quite long (is there a length limit on threads?) in the case of an interactive story.

It could keep the moderator busy though, sifting through possible spam, and if necessary (or possible?) to cut individual posts out of threads, at the thread starter's request.

If a Magic-related theme is decided to be necessary, I believe that the original game envisioned the players as planeswalkers, and as even planeswalkers would get lonely sometimes, this board (Inn) is where they go.

Over time, regulars will figure out whose posts merit their attention, and stick to them. Should a type of conversation turn out to be prevalent, we could shift the board content to that topic, or give them a new board.

Personally, having recently sold most of my cards (I kept the chaotic multiplayer decks, though), but addicted to posting on boards, I could see myself coming here to post, participate in, and critique stories. I figure this way, I'll know at least some of those posting, if only by name.

That's all.

By M on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 05:08 am:

I think the main problem that no newcomers went to join the RPM was coz they didn't know where to start.
They had no idea wat was going on, and would have had to read through a-hell-of-a-lot of stuff to start getting it.

I think if this thing is gonna attract anyone new, it's gonna have to be based on magic, but not entirely.

Everyone who comes here would have to know if not a lot at least a bit about magic:the gathering's storyline. eg, phyrexia invades dominaria....

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 09:09 am:

ETP: The RPM has largely in the past year or so been a story-telling forum. Stories were/are episodic in nature, and a lot of people in the past either don't want to post comments (beyond the rare, and despised, "Wow, that was such a cool post!" - there's no constructive criticism. I wanna be told what sucks and what doesn't, not that you liked my story. See what I mean?) or they don't want their own stuff to be criticized.

There was a time, however brief, that the BD chat room (yes, we had one, and have one still) was used for roleplaying, or just settling disputes via the random game of magic played publicly (no Apprentice), out of fun and not taken completely seriously (no rules lawyering - we were settling disputes, not starting new ones). I'd like to see interest in the chat room once again, since it has long laid dormant. We also have at least two IRC rooms that I'm aware of, but there's people like me who don't want to download an additional piece of software to chat when I can chat without making the hassle. Regardless, I think the chat room is tailor made for use with a forum like this. The chat was the primary source of communion between all the regulars at the Role Playing Mill, and I find it to be no coincidence that as everyone got a life and/or just drifted away, that the chat room fell into disuse.

The chat can be used to discuss story ideas, or what works and doesn't - in real time. While this mill here can be used to state ideas, why not utilize the chat so that this game of tag in the mill gets responses faster, *and* any significant changes or ideas that come up may be posted for the convenience of those that weren't present in the chat. Remember, I'm only bouncing ideas out. :)

By Serra (Serra) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 09:16 am:

this just hit me...ya know what would also help...the chat room...that is where i first went and heard about the war mill

i have to disagree with stories and or long-winded posts...i just don't have the patience to read a 100 lines (unless it's Sage Advisor berating someone...there's just something amusing about people having their "rectal voids" invaded)

btw, El, I know what you mean...the only time i play anymore is when my friend (who lives in Aurora and is addicted to the game) and I get together (and they we only play maybe 1 in 3 times we see each other) or when I go to a prerelease (because I love sealed)

By Serra (Serra) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 09:17 am:

cool...El and I are on the same wave-length here

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 09:18 am:

Interesting, no? :)

By spin13 on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 10:42 am:

Hey guys. If I lose you in my train of thought, skip to the 3rd paragraph. Thanks... I think I might have been around here when one of the original 'war mills' was open, but being new to magic and especially the whole online part of it, I didn't start frequenting this place (and even now, mostly the T1 mill) until a couple months ago. Anyway, I had, at one point, been involved in a messege-board at adnd.com. It ranged from rules of the game to new items, spells, characters, to questions about scenarios to put players through, etc. The one good thing was that there was no guidelines (beside ettiquete and curtuosy (sp?)) that the posts had to follow. However, everything thing linked to a central world. Sure there are different D&D worlds (example: Dragonlance vs. Forgotten Realms) but everything tied back to a central game. But -most importantly- while you had to know something to get involved, you did not have to know -any additional- stuff. Sure there were particulars every once in a while, that few people knew or could answer, but any story fed the game, and fell back upon the game.

Here's what happened to me. I came to BD and was checking out all the mills. I stopped in on the RPM and read a few posts. Besides some stories (which I had no backround for, but shouldn't have needed, and didnt always...), I was completely lost. I saw the link to Phaema or whatever, but I simply didn't have the time, nor the energy to 'learn' this new world. This world related nothing to the game I play (magic). The longer you play Magic, at least if you read some Flavor text, you can pick up a little bit of the story. Sure you don't want a RPM that starts off every thread "When I was travelling with Urza..." but I don't think that you want a thread that has zero connection to anything that most people who stumble in will know.

I know I am rambling, going backwards, and probably not making a whole bunch of sense here. SORRY. :) To summarize: anybody who stumbles in here is most likely a Magic player. They don't know about your unique world, they may not be interested in simply writing/reading/adding to stories. They probably ARE interested in fantasy, they probably came specifically into this mill because they were not looking for direct strategy talk, but they probably aren't looking for something completely new.

While perhaps there doesn't need to be arguments (specifically over things specifically relating to Magic play), especially with the decline of Nettiquete, perhaps a forum that leaves room for developing and discussion of the Magic storyline, development of stories (of Magic-like focus, so pretty much fantasy, doesn't need to be an existing Magic setting), and just a place that Magic happens but doesn't get talked about.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that there SHOULD be the global link of Magic. There should be role-playing stuff (if people want it), but it shouldn't be strictly related to a non-Magic, but specific world, and there shouldn't be zero connection. Let people pick and choose what they want to participate in. Let people write stories. Maybe people will be kind enough to grace us with a new world, as long as they do not create a new universe (after all the Magic story line jumps sometimes at like 2000 year intervals, effectively creating separate and unique 'worlds').

There should be nothing set, except the connection to Magic. You don't talk about strategy or actual game play, but instead you talk story, you talk theories behind the game (stuff like actually summoning a beast, or summoning storm clouds for a lightning bolt), you talk about stories that COULD happen in a setting similar to Dominia, and like the website title suggests, sure, you can take it Beyond, you don't have to stay exactly within the bounds, but you don't want to forget to drop crumbs along the way, lest you also forget your way back.

-Eric the kid who doesn't know how to actually register his name on BD :)

By Toaster, the Rumor Guru (Toaster) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 02:15 pm:

I've never been on the RPM (and wasn't around for the War Mill), but I can tell you one thing. A stat system or any similar limitation is a bad, bad thing. For storytelling, limits are bad.

Elro: A fourth Atog war would stir up excitement. (=<

By aprentice on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 03:09 pm:

i would like some kind of story that all could make... without any kind of barriers, as toaster says

By The Maxx,. the Guru of Foolishness (Maxx) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 03:25 pm:

I personally am looking for something completely apart from Magic. I play the game enough, when I RP, I don't want that to be based an the game too. I think there should be a small connection, but in a very vague sense.

What I mean is, using characters in existing Magic storylines is bad because it is a limitation. And using someone elses already developed characters in your stories stunts creativity a bit.

But like I said before, if you want to attract new people, the key would be interaction, and not closed ended stories. Role Playing is what I'm after here. I could write and bounce ideas off of anyone, I'd like to see what interesting events come about from the interactions of all the great minds in here.

The Maxx

By Cividel, the Mime (Cividel) on Saturday, June 23, 2001 - 07:47 pm:

Ok, Upon pain of instant death (or a Rules Infraction heh) I was commanded by the powers that be *cough*shadow*cough* to Post. :)

For those familiar with AD&D or maybe just Tony DiTerlizzi's artwork, you might want to take a look at Sigil from Planescape. It's called the City of Doors because it interconnects about a zillion and a half various infinities. Good stuff, with various factions vying for power, political and not, in the city. Magic is everywhere, but technology exists in kind of a "Steam Punk" kinda way. How does this relate? The realms that Magic is in already touch on the idea of various Planes, Sigil is the gateway in Planescape for the rest of the AD&D worlds, from there you can get almost anywhere. It's not unusal to have fantastic creatures wandering around... it might be interesting. It allows the freedom to have Plane vs. Plane wars or something while still allowing for a neutral ground in the middle. Take a look. *nod*

By Carlos on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 12:01 am:

I would like to have something like a mix between Magic and D&D... i like telling stories, and i'm keen to the idea of adding on to somebody's story... But what I'm really interested in is Cividel's idea from AD&D... what I mean is, have different factions in the mill, and stage, like, mini-wars about stuff.

By spin13 on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 02:20 am:

I'm not saying that using WotC created characters is required, or even recommended, but I think that something that explores the same theories as the Magic world of Dominia is important. Something where there is Mana, different forces (the colors), summoned beasts, etc. I heard a mention of space, and though that would be cool, it seems better in a different place. And WotC has no hang-ups when creating new lands and ages. Why couldn't we? Mercadia and Rishad (what is it exactly?) are different from Rath and the settings of Antiquities, which is different from The Dark. Create your own world, but have the general theories that Magic players have come to accept be part of it. Lightning Bolts CAN be cast down from the sky at will, and mighty artifacts (like Tomes) can bring more power to a mage's hands. Let there be fierce monsters like Orgg's or create your own, but I think that a Mana-based, no stat system (similar to MTG) should be in place rather than AD&D style stuff.

And YEAH DiTERLIZZI! Wahoo! I've only seen the pictures, but I still know what you are talking about. The City of Doors, or such a similar place might be an interesting thought. After all, Magic is based on the stories of Planeswalkers, et al.

I think that somebody or a select few (I nominate Shadow, Cividel, and Elrohir, along with anybody they suggest) to create a final version. But try to find a medium. My plea here is towards the random kid who wanders in here looking for a Magic site, and finds a wonderful world of role-playing. I WANT that to happen. Stats are bad. Magic:TG THEORIES are good. Stories ARE good. Limits are bad. Also, I replied to the Guilds thing. Guilds are good, but still not THAT easy to slip into. Who wants to go through all the trouble if they arnet' even sure they want to participate? Some may love it, but some who might wont even try. SUPPORT THE NEWBIE! I used to role-play, but I am just as new as anybody else!


By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 09:52 am:

I'd like to take the opportunity now to address as many of you as I can about your ideas. I keep seeing a lot of things that exactly describe what the RPM is now or will make the new mill become the RPM anyway. I'm amazed at some of the ideas being presented that, through being already in action, precisely are why the RPM is for all intents and purposes dead, and are why we need to change things.

Starting with Rakso: Statless is good, and the RPM already operates under that structure. Problem is, lots of people like to "fight" with each other and want to know who is really more powerful. Being a better story teller doesn't mean someone will win a battle, but a person with an imposing will is more likely to have their way, even if their writingis weak. Invariably, people will fight here, and they will want to win. Nobody wants to be a loser. As for taking another world, we should keep near Magic-type stories. Even WotC has imbued their game with technology with all their Phyrexian monsters. Amidst all the low-techiness in the RPM now, we have some incredibly advanced technology that only a few know about, and even fewer can actually use. So, it can be implemented.

Shadow: I would think, as interesting as a pan-dimensional diner would be, it's perhaps worse in some ways than having a given setting where everyone had their adventures. After all, if there is an infinite supply of places to go, and everyone went to their own world for their own adventure - interactivity would be completely lost. Yet we're looking for a community. JoeBob on Phyrexia is going to have a hell of a hard time communing with SallyMay in Mercadia and PhreddyPharkas in Rabiah. And so on and so forth. At least on one world, people can get together and do things in a communal fashion. If we get a lot of people to come here (and I mean a hellalot), then there would be more than one person per world and some interaction would take place. And yes, I realize that not everyone's going to go off to their own silly world - it's my worst case scenario, but one that's very likely to happen.

Serra: Basically the same as the answer to Shadow. Sorry Jeff. :)

Max: We've tried the "one person starting a story and having other people add to it." Its most recent iteration was called the Red Bastion Storyline, and lasted for more than a year and a half because the person who started it was unable to keep it moving, and those participating didn't have an idea what they needed to do to help meet the maker's goals. Without they key person running the story, it went nowhere for months at a time. A person starting such a story *needs* to be able to devote his time, cutting into sleep (the most important thing in life!) if need be to get around his or her work schedule. The RPM has been dead for this reason for over a year: All the active "player-writers" were tied into this one story that wasn't moving and didn't have much freedom to extricate their characters.

Every once in a while, there has been a major event, and usually I was behind it or otherwise deeply involved in its generation. It takes a lot of work to keep track of everyone (when there are a lot of people) and find ways to divert them from whatever story they're involved in and affect them in some way without using contrived plot devices to drive them together ("In your dreams, DarthBob speaks to you, and you feel an overwhelming urge to go *here*"). I hate storytelling like that, because I like to write (or attempt to write) believable fiction. I will often start a side story that seems unrelated, but work them towards character meetings and imparting useful information (and sometimes dragging the other person's character along) to get them where I need them to be. What I've seen in the whole dream thing can be accomplished with some extra effort, and the passage of a great deal of time. Yet to avoid this hokiness requires a lot more work than people enjoy putting into something, so I'm just weird.

As for rules and guidelines: A list of them is on the RPM homepage (http://www.elrohirs-elaborations.com/rpmhp/guide.html) and it's not anywhere near as long as it was. It was specifically tailored through experience to help us avoid a lot of undesirable things that were better off avoided. As for mapping things out and keeping track of history: A map was constructed so that we could see where things/concepts/places were in relation to each other that otherwise were floating in the void. This falls back on the concept of if we have infinite places to go, how do we keep a large number of people in the same place? We took a lot of the places people had invented (or blatantly stolen) and stuck them relative to each other, so that they could still be far away yet logically would be able to interact. History developed because the places and people had been around and together for such a long time it seemed a shame to lose it all. I put a lot of work reconstructing things I had forgotten years ago that others had done. I just have a personal interest in the current Role Playing Mill probably above anybody else, due to the amount of time I've invested over the years.

Now I'm seeing I have a billion other people to respond to, so I'll just steal bits here and there and run with them.

Guilds/clans. My God, how history repeats itself. When Innate Mak announced the intention to create a "War Mill," instantly (or so it seemed - within a week at any rate) the concept of guilds jumped into Beyond Dominia. Here we are again, announcing a "War Mill" and here again come the guilds. One of the things I hated about guilds was people's need to fight with each other for the most petty reasons. Two guilds since the beginning went out of their way to avoid conflict: Oor-Tael and Kaat'n. This is not to say they weren't involved in their share of conflict, but they survived years after guilds had been beaten down and destroyed as an idea. Even then, these two guilds were maintained by two people, myself for Oor-Tael, and Kaat'n by Shadow, existing more as remnants of story than fulfilling the purpose of having real people with a common purpose (since we had no one to be members!) If guilds could work towards more constructive things than destructive, I wouldn't object to them so much. Human nature tends to conflict.

ETP mentions standalone stories. For all intents and purposes, the RPM has been bidirectional for the past two years. My own stories in that time were pretty much written for my own amusement and had no intention of involving others. Other stories such as the Black Monolith War and the Red Bastion Storyline had interaction (really only two people for the BMW, and as many as twenty overall for the RBS). People need to remain interested in moving things forward. Without that nothing gets accomplished. I have no problem excluding people from my stories, but I admit it gets quite boring a lot of the time.

As for people impinging on other's stories: I don't know about other people, but when I start to interweave my stories into those of other people, I go out of my way to secure permission to screw with what their doing, and find out as much of their plans so that I can accomplish what *I* want, and yet still let them do what they can with respect to my intrusion. I've even gone so far as to submit rough drafts to the person whose character I'm using so they can approve or disapprove what I'm attempting, and allow them to have their imput before I post something, because once I post something, I consider it "official." Again, that's a lot more work than others are willing to put out, but it avoids stepping on toes. Shadow on the other hand will often have a general idea of what he wants to do with a character and just throw them randomly around for chaotic effects. I'm used to it, so I can just as easily actually role play and learn his motives or allow him to drag me around, as long as I can lead back to what I was doing. The randomness adds an element of spontaniety, and I know my stories have tended more often of late to be way to predictable, hackneyed and just...blah. I'm not pleased with my current writing, though I have a lot of things going on in my life that also demand my attention. Ah well.

Spin13: I somewhat take offense at the statement that "Phaema had nothing to do with the game I play (magic)." We use the concept of planes and planeswalkers, and mana. Phyrexia has and still does play a vital role in some stories. Hell, the world was spawned by the Atog Wars (though Atogs are now extinct except for one named Strak). Kobolds rampantly populate areas, and come from Hammerheim in Northshir. Oor-Tael was a guild in the first Magic novel, Arena. We maintain the distinctions between the five colors of mana, and have a variety of landscapes devoted to them. Those are the cyrstallizing structures around which the world was constructed, and thus has quite a few concepts taken from the game. It's the hidden interface, but perhaps it was a bit too hidden, which is why I want to make it more of a focus somehow, without everyone degenerating into bickering planeswalkers each with the power to blow up everything as has been done too often in the past.

Ironically, it's Maxx who wants some small connection to the game but not to have it be overwhelmingly noxious. We have that vagueness, but as I said, it's too vague. People coming to a Magic site will want to find something relating to the game. Those of us who no longer play actively (or much) yet persist in coming are in the minority. I'm sure even Shadow, who runs the site, does not play as often or with the enthusiasm as he did when he first came here, if at all.

Anyhoo, the rest of the people I didn't respond to had ideas similar to others or were just repeating their assent to ideas already addressed by this reply. My intent was to address what I believe didn't work in the old mill, or to at least illustrate that a lot of these ideas have been tried (or are in action) already. The one thing I'm sensing is that maintaining history is bad because of developing a backstory no one save the fiendish (re: me) will have an interest in. I cannot imagine writing a conglomeration of stories that don't build on the past, because I'm a stickler for continuity. I don't like when people tell me "What you just did...didn't happen!" Well, for 5 years, the War Mill and Role Playing Mills DID happen for me, and their history and a quarter of my life are as one. I doubt people would willingly give up that much of themselves. :) And now I'm rambling, so I'll end it.

By spin13 on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 03:25 pm:

I apologize if I offended. I will admit that I only went through the Phaema website once, but I guess what I am trying to say was summed up in the paragraph directly related to me. You want SOME connection. I suppose I just did not read the website well enough (I actually didn't read much at all) to discover that is revolved around theories similar to the material planes of Dominia. I was wrong in my judgement there, but I still stand firm that there must be some tie to bring in the newer and uninitiated Magic player to the world of Role-playing. I happened to go the other way around, but it is not the case for everybody. I just hope those who create this world will remember that.


By Burn, the Keeper of the Flame (Fereno) on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 09:24 pm:

ok, i had a big long reply posted and AOL kicked me off.....dammit

but i realized something and am just gonna say this:

on a warcraft3 fan site i go to they have a fan fiction forum, and anything goes. no stories are related except for the fact that they deal with a blizzard game. they have everything from poems to epics on there. and interaction is common, but it doesnt have to happen if you dont want it to. and its very popular. also, all stories have one and only 1 thread. plus theres a page (recently created, like days ago) that showcases some of the better stories. theres 2 sections and 3 subsections. the 2 sections are currently grand archives which is newer stuff nad fn fiction which is older stuff.(i beleive) but eac one has asection for poems shorts, and epics.

im not saying we have to do anything like this, but consider it food for thought.

By Shadow (Shadow) on Sunday, June 24, 2001 - 11:42 pm:

There are one or two things discussed here I may address in new threads, because I think they warrant or will likely lead to slightly more extended discussion.

Standalone stories: I think what ETP was suggesting was a writer's workshop. I love the idea of online writer's workshops; I think Elfwood has had some success as a facility of that sort. I don't think that the new RP-Mill should be exclusively a writer's workshop. However, as it will likely be populated by several people who enjoy writing, we could make a note that in addition to the rping people may post stories or bits of writing for perusal/comments/suggestions/etc. There shouldn't be any problems as long as the writer notes that they are writing a non-interactive thing. Non-interactive writing could use elements from the rp-world(s) but would not impact on their history, etc. Hmmm, that might be kind of awkward. They'd be like the Star Trek novels, side stories of a sort. Maybe. Could always leave it open as an option and see if it takes. No harm done as long as it doesn't interfere with anything else.

The rest of this is mostly response to Elro.

Perhaps my phrasing was a little misleading. Though this meeting area could be a gateway to many dimensions, I was thinking of it simply in terms of a meeting area. I meant "extradimensional" as in outside of the normal world. That is, a place that everybody (or more viably, every guild) can reach easily. I think it would be helpful as a launching pad for stories, sort of like the ever-present "Adventurer's Tavern" in D&D adventures where people come to find stuff to do, except this one's easily accessible to most of the people on the mill, though they may be living on different parts of the world (or worlds if we wanted to go that route).

I understand the problems with single-person-led stories, but what's the alternative? Also, I'm not sure that a little chaos and war and guild competition wouldn't be a bad thing, but there are ways we can keep guilds in line: laws. One thing we never established in the War Mill or RPM were In Character laws. These might eliminate the need for a lot of OOC participation rules. If there are laws that are readily enforced (probably going to start a new thread about this idea) then the guilds could be kept from unleashing total chaos on eachother.

By Dark Lance on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 02:07 am:

Well, what if the stories and RP happened all over Dominia, many years after the Phyrexian War since we know nothing of that period. Then people can write almost any story they want within the bounds of Magic. If you really want to go off in other directions, you can have your stories take place on a different plane in the multiverse. This would also allow newcomers to have an idea of what is going on and what can happen, since they know the cards and the general setting but can still tweak some things.

Any comments?

By ETP on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 03:45 am:

Here's an idea to throw into the think-tank:

Someone begins a post outlining a possible scenario, including the goal, threats, and some plot twists etc. (for instance a tiny version of this summary could look like this: there is an abandoned mine south of which had caved in killing all the workers, spirits of the dead miners have begun haunting the area. People are asked to help out to find the reason for the spirits. The cave has been enhabitted by a necromancer and has been built into an underground fortress. You invade, meeting the necromancer in an attempt to save the souls of the miners"

Posts in reply will be from people who would like to contribute characters.. they write a description, along with powers, and personality traits that are important. ie "Gan is a stocky warrior (5'7" 200lbs) who wears leather armor and carries a short sword. He is a skilled brawler and prone to dirty infighting. He is inexperienced dealing with the supernatural, but is unafraid. Has a tendency to charge first ask questions later"

Then once a few characters are set the man who began the post writes the story based on all the information. He developes a story in which the necromancers controlled spirits are able to cripple the young warrior through mystic methods which he is inequipped to handle, yet the warrior tricks the necromancer into coming close enough for a cheap dagger attack, breaking his concentration enough for a bare and unsatisfying win, having killed the man before he finds any way to put the spirits to rest. etc...

This is just an example.. and a pretty bad one at that, but is an alternate format which some people could try. Its similar to being a DM in ad&d except you control even the characters actions, as you see them, based on the descriptions given.

Each persons character will have gone through many adventures by various writers, adn you could always make your own stories with the characters, or include them in your own 'DM'ing sessions. This way they can gain a history and people will get a greater chance to interact with and learn about other peoples characters.

Well, tell me what you think of that hair-brained scheme.

By Elrohir (Elrohir) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 10:09 am:

I don't know, but I for one would kill any man (or woman) who tried to use my characters as their own without my express permission. I'm very protective of what I consider my "intellectual property," so I would not go in for people telling the tale of my characters for me.

Of course, if I understand right, it's more of a "Whose Line Is It Anyway" sktech where you poll the audience for ideas, and then have one person take those ideas and write something. Even better, let everybody take those ideas and write their own version, and see what each person does differently with the same vague information.

Shadow: I think I get what you were talking about. I'm still wary about having multiple worlds, but having one world with an "extra-planar" (fits the setting a bit better than extra dimensional) meeting place does sound intriguing. But then, I'd say we've already done that, in not quite the same form, when the chat was bustling, because that's where all the WM/RPM regulars *always* hungout and exchanged ideas, and knew each other better. Here I think we're referring to an IC meeting place where adventurers go for a little downtime.

By Shadow (Shadow) on Monday, June 25, 2001 - 11:26 am:

ETP, Intersting idea. I'm tempted to say I don't like that, but that's just because of what I'm used to and enjoy doing personally. Very original though, others might find it more appealing.

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