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Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

Well I don't have administrator control over this site, so I'm posting this thread in the general area until someone can spin off a specific section.


I wanted to leave the first comment on the Prologue by saying: thank you all very much for letting me do this!  I'm proud to have the chance to run a TI game, and I hope to do as well as Marcus did.  None of it's possible without you folks, so you get all of my gratitude.


I also want to note one bit of mechanical minutiae.  Obviously I let one of the players create a Vulthra character, even though the Vulthra aren't listed in the generation rules.  To keep everything honest, I should let you know that we agreed to a racial ability bonus for the Vulthra of +1 to Combat and +2 to Magic.


All right, I appreciate any feedback y'all might have for me on how I can do better, and I'm sure your fellow players are even more eager to hear what you think of their stories!

August 29, 2013 at 1:16 AM Flag Quote & Reply

ChaletPol
Member
Posts: 45

Are there really only five of us? Well, it's enough, I guess, and the prologue has me excited to be getting into the swing of things again.

The vampire story is off to a slow start, a fact almost acknowledged within the story itself. It will be interesting to see where it goes, though.

The other three stories-- besides my own-- wasted no time, and I can't wait to see what's in store next week. I'm going to guess that the Vulthra is Martin's character, perhaps still on a quest to take down the emperor?

--

"That than which no greater can be conceived must necessarily exist."

August 29, 2013 at 3:22 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

I'm not playing.  I was unable to come up with a character or plot that excited me to the level that writing a story would be FUN each week.  Trying to write orders each week would feel less like a game and more like a homework assignment.  What few ideas I had come up with will either be further developed and used for the upcoming season ten, or turned into a standalone short story. 


Miscellaneous comments:


Every previous act of the story opens with a quotation of some sort.  Literary, song lyrics, or quoting from some fictional in-universe source.  Why was the quote for this prologue moved to the end?  And this story's title is Little Pool of Light, it won't have enough episodes to have episodic titles, so while "never walk away" made a good act-quote title, the prologue itself does not need a separate title. 


As I told Chris when he was still planning his character, names do not work that way.  Giovanni is a last name for Giovanni vampires, not a first name, so unless they're operating in the Middle Kingdom, it should be Thomas de Giovanni, Antonio de Giovanni, etc., not the other way around. 


Vampires and Ghouls drink blood by mouth, they don't inject it via IV bag.   The only time we've seen IV bags and vampires in the same scene, it was the poor victims of Tzimisce fleshcrafting who had been left without the ability to eat and drink due to not having a face any more who had to be sustained by intravenous feedings. 


I know Chris likes having Wraith allies for his characters, but they never seem, well, ghostlike.  He writes them as ordinary people who have the ability to dematerialize, not as ghosts with ghostly personalities or priorities. 


Very minor nitpick, but it should have been "a clear liquid" rather than "some kind of clear liquid" when the Ghoul was testing the blood.  Never imply that the omniscient narrator doesn't know what the hell is going on. 


I did like the bit with the werewolf blood in the unlabled wine bottle, it was the first really vampiric thing the characters had done. 


So how did Ascension get out of the Kalintos system and to Ilbo?  Space travel is no longer easy. 


The Jurvain language bears enough similarities to Korean to make comparative linguists tear their hair out in frustration trying to explain it, but that doesn't mean you can talk to them in Korean and expect to be understood.  Spanish and Portuguese are very similar, but not necessarily mutually comprehensible. 


I can buy smuggling a few cargoes of K'Nes weapons into Kalintos, especially if the local authorities are getting a cut.  But smuggling enough K'Nes merchandise through Kalintos to supply the Jurvain?  That's gonna be some trick with the jumpgates down.  Keeping the Nhur and Urrin from finding out about it will require the Jurvain to keep buying from the Nhur and Urrin. 


I'm not sure I can buy Viktor's trial and appeals taking a whole decade.  An entire purge of the officers' ranks complete with show trials has gone on in the meantime.  Why would his trial have bogged down in so much red tape? 


Warrior Bugs are not without magick of their own, to counter such obvious spells as sabotage of their weapons. 


Since when do Vulthra have Horadrim-style soul web nanobots enabling shapeshifting? 


A ship named for a White Zombie song?  Nice. 


Crap, I got to study the Yasuyama family tree all over again. 


I gotta admit, just when I was getting sick of all the hyper-ritualized Japanese formality and Japanese names for special types of table and doormat, to have Ryoko muse to herself about how even she doesn't care about such things any more was refreshing. 


All in all, a pretty good prologue.  I'm looking forward to seeing Viktor and Scout's stories the most, but all of them seem worth reading. 


Looks like we've got our work cut out for us getting all these new characters and setting details up on the TwikI.  How about Terrence Stamp as Viktor?  Any other actor avatar suggestions?





August 29, 2013 at 11:06 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xinjao
Moderator
Posts: 164

I moved this thread over to the "Special Features" section. :D

--

=^_^=

August 29, 2013 at 1:09 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184
The Jurvain language bears enough similarities to Korean to make comparative linguists tear their hair out in frustration trying to explain it, but that doesn't mean you can talk to them in Korean and expect to be understood. Spanish and Portuguese are very similar, but not necessarily mutually comprehensible.

 

It may have been only passingly similar to begin with, but after so many articles in popular science magazines talked up the amusing coincidence, it generated such widespread public misunderstanding that most people began to think that Jurvain is almost identical to Korean.  Now the power of Consensus Reality has made it so.


:P

August 29, 2013 at 1:56 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

So if it isn't Martin, who is playing Harvey Birdman, attorney of death?
I have to make the guess that Andy roled the Asian, and I guess Ed already owned up to Viktor, Martin already clarified that Chris is Thomas, no doubt intended to be pronounced with the long "o" just to be difficult...  So who does that leave that is actually playing?  Marcus, Frank, or the one I don't know?
I have to be honest, while he seems like the most cornered character of the batch, Viktor sounds like he'll make quite the interesting NPC if his story pans out well.  The one thing I am curious about...  Am I right in assuming this character is human, or is the twist of its true identity yet in store?
I like the Giovanni's being almost crushed and yet still infighting, how very vampiric...  I don't know what to think about the story itself yet, other than I think it is either going as slow as it says it is, or that it is in fact moving much faster than it's letting on...  Either way, it was entertaining enough to look past Martin's criticisms (seriously, no time to play, but you gonna nitpick at everyone ;P).
Scout had me at the opening lines, though...  While I feel a little robbed as he seems to be doing something not so different from one of the character concepts I originally wanted to do, simply being a Vulthra puts him ahead of the curve.  I can't wait to find out more about what is going on with this story line...
Ryoko's story seems almost like the little pool of light, while most of the characters have themselves cornered into a story on some level or another, Ryoko seems like the only one who isn't already about to be knee-deep in death (or criminal dealing that may or may not involve death for Thomas)...  Now, I'm inclined to say she's a mage from some of the magical lingo going on in the story, but I didn't feel like that suspcion was ever confirmed in the story...  I did, however, think it would be REALLY ironic if she wound up being a powerful spirit mage...
All in all I'm really stoked about this game, and honestly only having 5 players right now makes it easy to keep up on...  That puts us at about a 25 page limit per "installment" which would make the whole of the miniseries 150 pages or less...  A light read, perhaps, but one I'm rather looking forward to.
Also, You'll have to forgive me, Martin, I didn't really mean to imply that my character was using Korean to commmunicate with the Jurvain, but in some regard I couldn't really think of how else to write it without making up a term like "Jurvanese", which seems both comically appropriate and in terrible taste.

August 30, 2013 at 4:55 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xinjao
Moderator
Posts: 164

Marcus is Scout - yes, he actually gets to be a player for once! 

 

 


Personally, I don't mind each act having a title, especially since the game is so short.  And I don't really care which end of the text the quote is placed.

 

 


THOMAS: (Is it "TOM-ahs" or "toe-MOSS"?) Well, the story's off to a good start, with an interesting hook.  I loved the bottle of werewolf blood and how cautious Thomas was with his blood supply.  I admit, the name reversal did confuse me at first, too (Giovanni of the Thomas family?), but it's your character, and you can call him whatever you want.

@Martin: We actually have seen vampires taking IV blood before in TI9.  Both David Marcus and Mellissa Cortona took blood intravenously - however, both were recovering from injuries at the time, so I just assumed it was some sort of bizarre vampire medical practice.  Not sure why Thomas is doing it that way, though... maybe he's a blood snob who can't stand the taste of mundane blood aged less than twenty years in an oak barrel?

Chris, one of your strengths as a writer is your attention to detail - you always tell us exactly what people, places, and objects look like, which helps to create a vivid setting.  That said, there IS such a thing as too much detail.  You don't really need to spend two full sentences telling us the precise order in which blazers were placed on a coat rack, for example, or who sat on which chair, or all the steps involved in going from your car to your living room.  Such mundane details are ultimately not important (or even relevant) to the plot, and take up page space your could be using to push your plotline further ahead.  A couple people have already mentioned that Thomas' story is off to a slow start, and this might be why.  There's a limit to how much story you can cover when it takes you an entire paragraph to say, "He poured three glasses of wine."

 

 


ASCENSION: First of all, is Kalynn pronounced "Kay-lynn" or "kalon" like "talon"?  Hey, I think we've found James Welthammer's future bride!   loved the reference to K'Nes politics, of course, but that goes without saying.  Also liked how you handled the Jurvain, and hope we get to see more of their culture.  Interesting plotline and well written.  Martin has a point, though: how ARE they going to use a jumpgate-less system as a trade hub?  I guess the K'Nes and Jurvain could both jump into the system with grav drive - but in that case, why stop in Kalintos at all?  Why not just keep going to Ilbo?  Oh, and is she supposed to have a drinking problem?  You kinda hinted at that, but it wasn't clear...


 

 

VIKTOR: Sure, Terrence Stamp works as Viktor.  Yup, Viktor's just a plain ol' vanilla unawakened human.  And yes, I was aware the long gap between crime and execution was a problem.  I had a handwavy explanation, but didn't have the page room to explain it (and probably won't).  But basically he became a political football in inter-house rivalries that made the whole affair drag on and on until one side finally beat out the other - unfortunately for Viktor, the side that wanted him dead.


 

 

SCOUT: HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!  That's not just a badass, that a beer-battered deep-fried badass with a side of cool and a can of whoopass!  How on earth did the Federation ever defeat these guys??  Seriously, though, I'm loving the way you're developing the Vulthra culture so far, and Scout's bird-like movements and unusual voice make for great characterization.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading more of this story.

@Martin: Well, a better question to ask would be "Why wouldn't they have Soul Web-like nanotech?"  From what little we know about the Vulthra, they sound pretty advanced - they've fought the Caal before and won.  Given the Horadrim also fought the Caal for thousands of years, it wouldn't be surprising if they allied or traded tech with the Vulthra at some point.


 

 

RYOKO: Wait, Andy gets a twenty-six-year-old flashback, but I can't get an eleven-year-old one?  (grumble)  Oh well, doesn't matter now.  Maybe when Ryoko visits San Angeles, she can go to the zoo and research that "humiliating and embarrassing freak accident" that killed Thomas' fiance (which I have to admit made me giggle when I read it).  I'm curious to see where Ryoko's story is going.  It sounds like a romance is brewing...?  Oh, by the way, that reminds me, did Kim Wen and Shinsuke ever get back together?  Or did she finally get over him and move on?

@Martin: I used to have the smaller version of the Yasuyama family tree memorized... but this is a different branch.  With two Hikarus.  Apparently, Asian culture in the future has a chronis shortage of first names.  That, or Andy is trying to drive us slowly insane ans some part of some larger nefarious scheme.


 

 

We actually have TWO female PCs!  I don't think that's happened since the tabletop days!


 

 

Great job, everyone!  I'm looking forward to the next act!

--

=^_^=

August 30, 2013 at 2:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

I like attention to detail, but Chris' problem in that area isn't that he has a lot of scene-setting details, it's that so few of them are sci-fi-ish or horror-ish to be worth mentioning.  Some details tell you something about a character: a carefully chosen wardrobe tells you something about the personality of the person who would dress like that.  Some details tell you something about the setting: a nanotech necktie that can change pattern and color at the press of a button on the tie tack not only tells you that the wearer likes to dress differently for different occasions, but helps establish the future-tech setting. Some details can be skipped, if one is short on page length, but still help the reader visualize the scene or empathize with the characters: I myself can rarely pass up the chance to describe in detail the food eaten onscreen, to engage more of a reader's various senses. 


Chris could stand to use more technobabble and fewer in-joke references to the contents of his own living room.  (Specific references here are mostly to his abortive "christmas special" from a year ago, since that had better examples, and I didn't have a problem with the detail level in his miniseries prologue, he does seem to be getting better in this department). 


About the Vulthra, we know they have had some form of contact with the Caal, but whether that was a full-fledged war or a brief skirmish with a small Caal scouting party, we don't know.  I've been assuming it was the latter, the Vulthra have met the Caal and survived the experience, and were terrified enough of the Caal to fight TWO brief wars with humanity on the mere SUSPICION that humans had been taken over by the Caal.  Once they realized it was a false alarm, they quickly made peace, and since they were kind of kicking our butts, we let them.  The K'Nes got left twisting in the wind when the Vulthra puilled out, and the K'Nes on their own, the Fed could beat. 


And part of the reason I'm not playing is I can't come up with a character or story arc that will stand up to my own harsh standards of self-criticism. 


August 30, 2013 at 3:55 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

Well, of course we can't expect Martin to lower the bar, that might just un-weave the universe...  So if/when season 10 starts, you plan on sitting out on that as well?  Honestly, if you don't play, we may never learn to do this right ;)
Ka*lynn (short a sound)
TBH it was somewhat intentionally meant to resemble the pronunciation I imagined Kalintos would have...  So creative, right?  >_<  There was a reason for this...  It wasn't a good one, though, and for the time being telling you what it was might ruin the fun of it all.
See, it's no wonder Martin doesn't want to play, Ed took the human fleet junkie role >_<  While his position may be a bit remote presently, I can't help but feel like it would be wildly hilarious to have actual PC in season 10 have to stroll past him and his prison fleet on the edge of bug-space...  Maybe you have bigger plans than that, but even that makes him seem fun.  If it helps you get over feeling sour about your bug battle, I had already decided that at the end of this series, I was going to pull apart each of the stories into seperate text files for the sake of loading them onto this kindle I happened into, and I had planned to throw your battle scene on the front of Viktor's story line...  Almost nobody but me will ever see it, but hey, I'm not your mother, so get over it :P

And hooray, Marcus!  How does it feel to be on the other side of the pen?

August 31, 2013 at 3:47 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

Hopefully, by the time we start season ten, I'll have a workable plot/character idea in hand and will be able to play.  But having such an idea is very much a requirement before I can play. 

August 31, 2013 at 6:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Zolo
Administrator
Posts: 52

Good job everyone! I really appreciate the comments from those of you that participated. You know how tough it can be to write these stories sometimes so your feedback means a lot. I think Thomas' story will probably be slow developing and more political in nature. Sorry to those that prefer combat action stories.

September 2, 2013 at 12:05 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

I actually did really enjoy your story, I'm just a little taken a back that you've chosen to develop a slow progressing story in such a short series...
I'm already super anxious for the first episode...  I hope everybody will have their submissions in on time so that we might be able to get another early release...  ED...  >_<

September 2, 2013 at 9:31 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

The Emperor asks the Orb whether we'll see another early release this week...

September 3, 2013 at 12:00 AM Flag Quote & Reply

MJ, the Original Gangsta
Site Owner
Posts: 143

Okay, Lorpy, I've given you Admin access on this site so you can move threads wherever the heck you want.

So far, I've been enjoying the mini-series, although writing this week's submission over Labor Day Weekend somehow caught me off guard.

THOMAS: Okay, you've set the stage for your story, detailed the characters, but I'm hoping the conflict will appear in Act 1.

ASCENSION: Your description of the Jurvain was pretty awesome - and the concept of using smuggling for good, instead of greed, had a nice twist to it. I'm curious to see where this goes.

VIKTOR: Yeah, I know Scyr's playing an emperor, but he just didn't seem wacky enough like the ol' psychpath we all remember. Great setup for a story, though.

SCOUT: I think that although the Ra's (as I figure the humans called them) are so caught up with their warrior ethos that they don't always survive the initial long range attacks. Although this strategy works pretty well on the ground, in space, it's really hard to get close range. So the Earth Fleet came up with an ambush that put the Ra's racial bias at a disadvantage.

RYOKO: Hey, at least we got to see more of the Yasuyama family tree! Since we're sending her away from the family, it'll be cool to see how you negotiate in Imperial circles.


Ah, it's good to be on this side of the game for a change. Later!

 

--

I call myself Albigensia - the once and future Storyteller.

September 3, 2013 at 3:07 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

So, can anyone calculate the margin of error on the Orb?  Who is to blame that I might flame them repeatedly!
I should note as well, since more than one person has praised my character's story as it represents the Jurvain, that was largely LP's doing.  I wrote a very minimalistic interaction with the Jurvain, and he fleshed it out to a full scale interaction.  Largely because I didn't get around to finishing up on detailing my prologue, but he did better than I could have, that is for sure.
Smuggling for good...  Yes, that was it...  My plan all along...
*whistles and walks away*

September 4, 2013 at 2:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

There is no one to blame but me. Everyone got orders in on time, but I haven't been able to make progress with editing at the speed that I'd like or even that I should be capable of.  I've still got the final part of an outlined story to write up from scratch and another set of orders to run through my editing gauntlet after that.  I think I shall be able to finish both of those tasks tomorrow after sleeping, but the final release may come very late at night.  I apologize to everyone for that, and I will do my best to improve next week.  But that is where Episode 1 stands at the moment.


I was impressed with Marcus' turnaround rates even before trying this myself.  Now I really don't know how he managed.

September 5, 2013 at 3:31 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

He's a beast, that Marcus.  That said, I think we'll all excuse you for the delays.  Myself I'm happy just to be playing again, so I'm kind of in overdrive (I'm sure you've noticed, lol).  Besides, all you ever said is that the episodes would be out on Thursday, with no specification as to time that I'm aware of, so it technically ISN'T a late release unless you miss midnight...  I'm a little saddened that I won't have it to read over whilst I do my dumb bullshit today, but I'll live...  Best of luck finishing up on your schedule, looking forward to the output!

September 5, 2013 at 10:05 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

Better a day or two late than badly edited or badly written.  Take your time, do it right. 

September 5, 2013 at 5:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

I agree with Martin, though if it takes more than a day extra, we should change the orders due date, but other than that, I fon't mind waiting to enjoy the higher quality of the story.

September 5, 2013 at 10:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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