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Lorpius Prime
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Posts: 184

Delivery comes 28 minutes after midnight!  Phew!


If I were a more cruel moderator, I'd require y'all to adhere to some kind of style guide so I don't spend as much time hammering the different orders into a consistent appearance.  But I won't, because I appreciate your writing orders at all and want to make it as pleasant as possible for each of you.


I considered breaking up Ascension's story this episode into 3 parts, with 2 other character stories between each segment.  Even though I liked the way that felt like there was more interaction among the stories, I decided it would just be annoying and confusing to you readers.  The stories aren't presented in chronological order (I don't imagine there'll be enough actual crossover stuff that we need to clarify when each bit is happening within the year 2076), but what I thought was the most dramatically effective arrangement.


I think that's all the preliminary commentary I'd like to make myself.  Thank you all for playing, please let your colleagues know what you think!

September 6, 2013 at 1:44 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

Overall, a decent story. But if you guys keep creating characters with this many outlandishly ridiculous appearances, it's gonna be very difficult to find Actor Avatars for them to use on the TwikI.  Enormous female bodybuilders with beady little eyes?  Dukes so fat they became circular?  Albino admirals and Irish-Chinese engineers were bad enough. 


Again, I had been asked to consult on Viktor's story, and thus had seen it in pre-edited form. I like the changes made since then, they addressed my few concerns quite nicely.  One concern even I hadn't thought of, initially.  A big deal is made of separating the male and female prisoners to avoid rapes.  But it's not just man-on-woman rape that should be a concern, so while gender-split ships may be a good first step, basic discipline needs to be established, pronto, before they start losing ships to discipline problems even worse than forced buggery. The flashback in Viktor's story this week felt a bit clumsy, as well, with a well-defined beginning but a blink-and-you'll-miss it end, maybe Lorpy should take Ed's suggestion from last week and italicize the entire paragraphs-long flashback sequence. 


Ryoko's story was an improvement on last week.  Nice seeing the way House Tremont keeps pushiung the boundaries of what they can get away with as far as re-establishing the old Christian Federation.  But remember that, officially at least, they regard Vin Dane as literally the second coming of Jesus Christ as foretold in the Book of Revelations, come to rule over all nations as King of Kings.  For them, Emperor Worship IS Christianity.  The emperor doesn't care much HOW you worship him, but as long as you pay at least lip service to the idea that he's a living God, pay your taxes, and obey whatever bizarre direct orders he sends your way, he'll generally let the Houses rule their systems as they see fit. 


Scout continues to be badass.  Can't wait to see him tear the top of Lord Lukas' skull off to the tune of "Lucas with the lid off".  Caal "Patternistic nodes", the Vulthra "True path" contrasted with the "False Path", mage magick, vampire thaumaturgy, and werecreature gifts of gaia...how many different types of magic do we need in one universe?  But the Vultrha true path's seeming reliance on merely nudging along basic physics and chemistry is pretty much the same sort of thing I had planned to do with my never-fleshed-out character, using chemistry and physics to rearrange elements to form new compounds or otherwise muck about with science. 


The first sentences of Thomas' story made me think, "Is it 106 miles to Dynametro?  Because it's dark and they're wearing black suits.  I bet they've got a full tank of gas and half a pack of cigarettes."  This new Dr. Morris character's introduction was...underwhelming.  If he's supposed to be a badass new brains-behind-the-Jackals character, he'll need to do something to prove his credentials beyond studying a mysterious pyramid.  In front of strangers.  The Jackals are supposed to be a secret society, emphasis on the "secret" part.  Nice to see their names in the right order at last, though.  The negotiations between the Jackals and the Giovanni were a bit TOO polite and easy-going, it didn;t seem realistic. 


Gonna be interesting seeing how Ascension avoids pulling a Justine Macoure and getting her whole criminal gang killed by act two.  It did seem a bit TOO easy to get together a revolutionary cabal.  What do they plan to do once they have Kalintos?  Do they think the Emperor will just bless their little rebellion and make them a new House?  Do they think the Jurvain will swoop in and protect them?  Or the K'Nes?  Getting orbital-bombarded into obivion is pretty much how all three of those scenarios end.  Maybe it was being very tired and reading this at 4am, but I had a very hard time following who was who and what the hell was going on in Ascension's story, even more so than is my usual problem with the Yasuyama clan's shenanigans. 


Well, that's my initial reactions at least.  Off to try and get some sleep now.  




September 6, 2013 at 7:17 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Zolo
Administrator
Posts: 52

Good job everyone. I really liked all of the stories this week.

 

In response to Martin The Mess regarding Dr. Morris I doubt we will be seeing much of him during the mini series. He is the character I would run next season if I were to be a player. He is the Napoleon of crime and is similar to Treschi in that he is using the Fearless Jackals as a stepping stone to further his own ambitions which includes over throwing the current HTE regime. Munro and Fearless Jackals are aware of this obviously, but he will also make them stronger so they do not have a problem with it. It is worth noting here that it will probably take more than strength of arms to defeat Scyr Dane, it will also take brains which is one reason I wanted to introduce Dr. Morris in the minieseries. Think of him as the next Samuel Wall.

 

In the scene in which he was introduced, he had just completed a lecture at Olin Industries University as a guest lecturer. It was not meant to be overwelming since the miniseries is about Thomas Giovanni not Dr. Morris. It really would not be possible to reveal Dr. Morris genius level intellect during the course of a short miniseries where he is not the focal character. You will have to assume that his brilliant schemes geared towards advancing the Fearless Jackals and his own ambitions are taking place off camera. So unfortunately, you will not get to see too much of Dr. Morris until the next time I am a player in regular full season, one of the players uses him a lot as an PC or NPC in for season 10, or something else.

 

In terms of there conversation, both Giovanni and Fearless Jackals could have a healty respect for each other. The Giovanni were desperate for allies and the Fearless Jackals wanted more muscle in their organization. The conversation was quite cordial and personally I do not find it to be unrealistic.

September 8, 2013 at 12:33 AM Flag Quote & Reply

MJ, the Original Gangsta
Site Owner
Posts: 143

Martin, I actually had to listen to 'Lucas with the lid off,' which not only brought back memories of that video, but did lead me down an interesting plot idea for next week. ;)


Absolutely loved the Admiral this week, although a bit long in the details, but... hey, aren't we all? And Amanda Kait makes an apperance WITH a Von Shrakenberg! More callbacks! I love the psycho sexton in charge of security.


I agree with Martin - the revised Christian Federation is pretty cool. Curious where the story will take us next...


Lorpy - like the addition where Hector faked me out with the magick. That's something you should expect from a Vulthra War vet and it didn't occur to me. Thanks!


Speaking of callbacks, Munro makes his appearance this week! He is such a fun character to play with that made me wonder something, Chris... what is with all the extra characters? Munro would have been fine; you didn't need Dr. Death. I understand needing another Giovanni sidekick, for your character to bounce ideas off of, but there were too many to keep track of.


Which is similar to the problem I had with Ascension. There were a lot of characters, true, but for me I had trouble with all the 'scene changes.' I was following the smuggling ring up to a point and then I got confused. 'Who is New Badass #72 again?' But the Jackals once again proving their usefulness as a plot device is really fun.


That's it for tonight - glad my New Year didn't cut me off from the response thread. Later!

--

I call myself Albigensia - the once and future Storyteller.

September 8, 2013 at 1:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Zolo
Administrator
Posts: 52

In response to MJ given there is political nature to my story the involvment of NPCs is unavoidable otherwise I would not be able to write the story. And keep in mind my character does not operate in a vacuum, it is natural that he is going to interact with other people. So far about six people have been introduced and I am sorry to say that in order to tell Thomas' story more will be involved as well.

 

The Fearless Jackals is a crime syndicate which has been a loose association smugglers and gangster groups spread throughout the HTE that has grown greatly over the past several decades and now given the HTE environment is prospering. And, while Munro may be the nominal leader of the organization there are still others that actually do the grunt work. The Fearless Jackals fosters leaders such as Morris that emerge over those subgroups and cells so it should be no surprise that he could be behind the Jackal activities on Jennifer Star under the oversight of Munro. It would be impossible to involve the Jackals in a story dealing with their objectives by only having Munro present and not someone else actually in charge of the operation.

 

So I disagree with you. Referring to Morris as Dr. Death is a slight exaggeration to say the least. On the Bax Bad Ass scale he probably just a punk, but a punk with a lot of potential which is why Munro has taken an interest in him.

 

Lastly, keep in mind one of the goals of the miniseries is to create new NPCs for the next season. And at some point, all of my NPCs will be entered into the Wiki for easy reference. But for now you will just hold tight. Once again, he could be future potential character. So not only did his introduction fit the story, but it provided an opportuntity to introduce some that I believe could be a cool character.

 

Out of the stories I read in the last Act the only one that has me concerned is Ed's with the admiral. It could be just me, but he could be writing himself into a corner by making his character's situation so bleak and hopeless that nothing short of a Deus ex Machina could save them. I could be wrong though, and I am interested to see where it goes.

September 8, 2013 at 4:57 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

In all honesty, I may have generated a character whose story/plot is a little more than a miniseries can handle, but I'll be damned if I let that stop me from trying to shove it all in there anyway...
The scene changes I apologize for, that trend will continue for at least the upcoming episode...  Like I said, way too much trying to go on in this story...  From my original character outline, I may go a somewhat simpler direction for the remaining 3 story parts to try and compensate for this.
As for the characters, you're actually just lucky...  As the code-names "Thorin" and "Gloin" imply, I originally intended to introduce 12 of the 13 dwarves from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien as members of a Former TI mercenary group under my employ...  A 6 episode limit with a mere 5 pages per episode has greatly shielded you from my particular breed of "diarea of the word processor" as I've heard you refer to it before...  In fact, I actually wrote up two entirely different story boards for the upcoming episode already...  After consulting with the moderator on the first one when it was almost finished at just over 4 pages, I decided to go a different direction and have now submitted what I actually just realized is a touch over 5 pages...  Now that that is fixed, you'll be pleased to know that because I changed my story line completely I wound up NOT introducing anymore NEW characters...  I think...  Though I do try to begin to flesh out some of the characters I've introduced more...  That as opposed to introducing at least 2 new characters from scratch...
Really, though?  You try running a revolution with only two named NPCs, one of whom is an alien that won't give a fuck about your revolution...  By my count I only have 10 named characters in my story so far, and one of those is my character...  Ever seen Game of Thrones?  lol

I loved the Vulthra in a bar scene entirely.  Honestly, a quality scene like that makes me appreciate your complaint that I have too many scene changes, but alas, I have already set the bar so high for my goals, and some of them are already not going to have time to pan out...  I'm also getting really curious about where Scout's story is going to end up...

Really enjoyed the Christian Federation bit as well, and the little part about her time magic, which confirms my suspicion that she was a mage!  I don't know why I feel like knowing that is important, but yeah.

I'm leaning a little bit towards what Chris just said about Viktor.  His story was great fun (and very funny) and interesting, but it definitely seems like an abysmal situation...  You've definitely painted your corner, I'm curious to see the color of the rest of the room...  If you smell what I'm stepping in.

I did kind of feel like the introduction of Dr. Morris seemed partially forced or irrelevant, but I guess since he was your planned character I can see why you might want to.  Otherwise, I felt like the interactions between the criminal elements wasn't far off base, but it was more political seeming than criminal seeming (other than the "kill this dude" part, which is obviously criminal).  I also don't really follow the complaint about # of NPCs involved...  Is this like a major taboo or something?  He's a vampire trying to run the Giovani, sounds like an NPC heavy storyline...

I'm a human trying to "liberate" a planet while leading a band of revolutionaries, also seems legitimately NPC heavy.

September 9, 2013 at 1:37 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xinjao
Moderator
Posts: 164

VIKTOR: Yeah, Viktor's story this week was very info-dumpy; I tried to spice it up with dialogue and humor, but with such a short miniseries, I pretty much had no choice but to vomit all the details onto the page and hope I didn't bore the audience too much.
@Zolo & Josh:
As for being written into a corner... well, obviously, the Fifth Fleet isn't going to win the Bug War in this miniseries - my goal is just to have them up and running well enough to handle a small victory, like a Bug raid or scouting party or something.  I should be able to do that much in six parts... unless the moderator throws a curve ball at me that screws up my outline (which has happened before).  In that case, all bets are off.
@Martin: Yeah, I didn't handle the flashbacks as artfully as I could have, but again, that was a consequence of trying to cram tons of info into as few words as possible.
@Marcus: Yeah, I don't know where the psycho Sexton came from - he wasn't pre-planned, he just popped out while I was writing it.  I kinda like him, though!  :)

 

RYOKO: I'll join the chorus of, "Nice reinvention of the Christian Federation!"  I can't help liking Simon Tremont, though, and that kinda disturbs me; I fear he's got something nasty up his sleeve.  Stroy's moving a little slow, but I'm still interested in seeing where it goes.

 

SCOUT: "So a gangster, a mage, and a Vulthra walk into a bar..."  More badassery, more excellent characterization and dialogue, more interesting cultural tidbits (like notches on the beak to signify their training).  I'm actually kinda glad Lorpy inserted Hector getting in one good shot - in any even remotely balanced fight, if the hero doesn't get hit at least once, a fight can quickly lose tension and grow dull (or, worse, silly - see any Riddick movie for an example).  Martin brings up a good point about multiple magical systems, though: are they all completely separate and different?  Or all they all essentially the same magick system (consensual reality), but with different philosophical approaches and methods of understanding and using it?

 

THOMAS: First of all, Zolo, congratulations on cutting down on the unnecessary details this week! (unless that was Lorpy's editing)  Were I the editor, I would be hard-pressed to find ways to condense and tighten the text.  Better still, after a slow prologue, the story seems to be moving along quite well - the goal and central conflict are clear now, and we know where the story is going.  I'm sure you'll have enough room to handle one assassination and join the Jackals during the miniseries.  That said, I admit to being a little confused over the Fearless Jackals' organization.  I can't quite tell if Munro is the head of the Jackals and Morris is one of his lieutenants, or if Morris is the head of the Jackals and Munro is his... er, lawyer, I guess?  On the one hand, you say Morris is in charge of the organization, but on the other hand, you say Munro is the "nominal leader".  I'm also surprised to see Zolo describe them as a "loose association."  I guess I had always assumed that, in typical Treschi-esque fashion, he would have built a highly-organized, tightly-run, efficient crime syndicate.  I also somehow got the impression in the past that the Jackals were a powerful galaxy-wide organization, but now it sounds like they're more of a regional organization based mostly in the galactic west...?  That would make sense, I suppose, as that's the Treschi's old stomping ground in Resistance/Terran Republic territory, where the Jackals could presumably operate with the blessing of the local government.  In the end, I guess the answers to all these questions don't really matter that much because the Jackals generally only show up in Zolo's stories and don't affect other player's plotlines at all, so Zolo can do whatever he wants with them.  

 

ASCENSION: I was able to keep the multiple characters straight, but it was the ending that lost me.  I couldn't quite tell what had happened with Davidson that resulted in Ascension being bombed.  Also not clear if she was IN the place being bombed, or somewhere else.  Other than that, though, it's an enjoyable story so far, and is definitely keeping my interest.  The Countess looks like a fun and distinctive character/rival/antagonist.  As for an actor avatar, how about Olga Kurkulina? (see pic below)


--

=^_^=

September 9, 2013 at 5:21 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

Honestly, I'm somewhat behind the idea I read somewhere about not using actor avatars (or any human avatars for that matter), but not so much so that I'll tell you you shouldn't assign one...  I don't EXACTLY see anyone getting wued over it, being as backwater as we seem to be, but I don't see a need for it either.  I picture what I want, you picture what you want, and we won't have any issues until someone decides to follow through on the crazy idea of turning TI into a comic book series, cartoon, or other types of television show (chiefly Sci-fi Drama, as I think that might be the only other category it fits into)...

As for Viktor's story, I just couldn't help reading the part about the fighters and thinking, "Who can this guy actually trust to fly most ANY of those?"  Granted it isn't like someone is going to try and steal them, but it seems like something you might need some in depth training for...  That coupled with the staff that is being assembled out of loony bins, max. sec. prisons, and all other types of criminal refugees, basically just has me curious as to how you are going to pull all that together to form a fleet...  I'm looking forward to episode 2, since I suspect some answers may come then.

So, as it stands, she was just outside the place being bombed, the location of which had been sold to the Countess by the Davidson character or his higher ups who found the offer from the Countess more appealing than the offer from my character...  The whole bit about being bombed was not my idea, for the record, so questions about the specific details beyond that would have to be directed at the Lorpy.  It has helped to rid me of some uneccesary plot agendas, however, I'm rather hoping I don't get bombed again at this point...  >_<

September 11, 2013 at 2:30 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

 

"As for Viktor's story, I just couldn't help reading the part about the fighters and thinking, "Who can this guy actually trust to fly most ANY of those?" Granted it isn't like someone is going to try and steal them, but it seems like something you might need some in depth training for..."

 

The Ghost of Scyr laughs maniacally.  He eagerly awaits Admiral Molotok's apology for insulting his beautiful LAF-1Bs, which were specifically designed to be operated by pilots of questionable skill and loyalty.


Everyone should brace themselves for a late release this week.  I've had a couple of sudden obstacles arise today that have negatively affected my output.  However, I have pretty much decided that the orders due date will be moved back to Thursdays from now, so I hope to at least still give you plenty of time to work on orders after the release.  Apologies.

September 11, 2013 at 4:08 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Xinjao
Moderator
Posts: 164

I second the notion that actor avatars, although it helps to know what a character looks like, aren't really necessary and definitely shouldn't be required.  I tend to find a random picture of someone who looks like my mental image of the character, rather than a specific actor (mainly because I don't really know a lot of actors by name, but rather "that guy who played so-and-so in such-and-such a movie").

 

As far as Viktor's story goes, I should probably clarify that Lorpy gave me an extended time frame to work with - six months instead of six weeks.  Sure, it's still hard to turn psychos into sailors in six months, but it's slightly more believable than six weeks.

 

I think pushing back the due date to Thursday is a good idea.  That'll give Lorpy the whole weekend, if needed, to work on the new episode.

--

=^_^=

September 11, 2013 at 11:15 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

With regard to VIktor'a fleet, what everyone is forgetting (including me, dammit) is that for the 20 years before the Ascension War, the draft was truly universal.  EVERYONE, awakened or not, who was 16 to 32, served a five year term in the military during the chairmanship of Arthur Clarke, 2244-2264..  Anyone in the fleet between the ages of 26 and 62 has spent at least some time in military training, even if they got a draft deferrment due to good grades or work in a key industry.  The unawakened served in either the Light Infantry or Earth Fleet, but they got some training in weapons and equipment maintenance.  Any random group of adults in human space is gonna be about a third of them ex-Earth Fleet, minimum.  Anyone who was in high school some point during Clarke's reign, or more than 10 but less than 30 years before the present time in the miniseries, took military training classes instead of gym.  Now, a lot of these jailbirds likely dodged the draft somehow, fell through the bureaucratic cracks, or got kicked out for incompetence or bad behavior.  But the ingredients are there for a solid leavening of vets to form a core NCO staff to train the rest, even if most of them just served their 5 year term and go the heck out. 

September 11, 2013 at 2:39 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

Touche, Martin!
Late release is fine, as well...  As well as the later orders due date...
Supposed to start work training next week, so Thusday or later sounds splendid to me...

September 11, 2013 at 8:26 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

Oh yeah, we're definitely going to be late.  Certain events and the Comcast Corporation have conspired to ensure that I got almost zero work done today.  Fortunately, tomorrow promises to be less busy than I'd anticipated, so I should make up a little bit of ground, but not nearly enough to make my target.  Right now I'm estimating Saturday.

September 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 17

I've been hopefully checking my e-mail every 30 minutes or so, then I realized, it's still Friday...

*facepalm* or *headdesk*...  Decisions, decisions...  lol

September 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

You'll be disappointed if you do the same thing tomorrow, I'm afraid.  I'm 3/5 of the way through right now.  I wish I could blame distraction for that, I have had an oddly stressful week outside of TI, but this delay is mostly down to me not working with the diligence I ought to.  I fear I may be burning out on this already; which idea irritates me, but nevertheless may be true.


I'm not giving up, don't worry, but I'm still probably at least 24 hours away from the finish line for this episode.  I apologize, you guys deserve better than this, and I'm capable of giving it.  I'll see if I can figure out a better working strategy for next week.

September 14, 2013 at 3:59 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 5

Well, I've only actually checked it twice so far, mostly because I couldn't get the monitor to turn on at the other place I was at, but I guess i just won't look for it until tomorrow afternoon...  I'll have some stuff to distract me pretty well until then, but once the week starts, I may not have time to read/write like I usually would, as I have job training this week...  One positive effect that is likely to have is less e-mails from me to burn you out before you even start working on the story...  Maybe, anyway...  That or lots more smaller ones >_<

September 14, 2013 at 6:15 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Martin The Mess
Moderator
Posts: 247

Lorpius Prime at September 11, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Oh yeah, we're definitely going to be late.  Certain events and the Comcast Corporation have conspired to ensure that I got almost zero work done today.  Fortunately, tomorrow promises to be less busy than I'd anticipated, so I should make up a little bit of ground, but not nearly enough to make my target.  Right now I'm estimating Saturday.

Better it be even a week late than put out a rushed piece of crap that's badly edited and creates a bunch of plot holes we're gonna be stuck with forever.  Take your time. 

September 14, 2013 at 7:17 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Josiah
Member
Posts: 5

How much are we truly stuck with them forever?  Is there no Board of Tech Infantry Review?  Honestly, if we were going to release these as works of fiction there would still be an editing process involved for typos and such, but I suppose many of you have more important commitments than re-hashing stories to fill plot holes...  Though with proper editing in the first place it shouldn't really be a concern, but in either case, written stories like the play by e-mail games are a lot easier to "fill" plot holes in than the regular table tops...  At least, it is a little easier to manage doing so, as it wouldn't require going back and rolling a bunch of dice...
That last sentence made me picture Lorp sitting at a desk reading through our stories and rolling dice for our various activities with a cup of coffee...
In either case, the point stands.  Good story trumps impatience...  Just as long as you don't pull a Starcraft II and make us wait for a terrible story.

September 15, 2013 at 4:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Lorpius Prime
Administrator
Posts: 184

Okay, status update. I have got 4/5 stories through initial editing and plugged into the full document. I am part-way done with the final story that I've been beating my head against for a while. Call Episode 2 90% complete.  Given how much trouble I've been having so far, this last leg may still be painfully slow to finish, but I am hopeful that I can complete it tomorrow.  After that, I still would like to make a final-pass edit to try to discover any huge glaring errors that may remain and look for opportunities to tie things together.  That's usually a 1-2 hour process, but is preferrably done before I'm passing-out tired, so it may not happen until Tuesday morning.


Obviously, there will be a significant delay of the due-date for your next orders (if I still ask for them before Noon this coming Tuesday, you may safely conclude that I have been possessed by a Caal).  I do once again apologize for my tardiness.

September 16, 2013 at 3:14 AM Flag Quote & Reply

MJ, the Original Gangsta
Site Owner
Posts: 143

Lorpy - I'm just glad you're still on the case! Clear skies and good winds, my friend...

September 16, 2013 at 8:42 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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