Plot Discussion (Chapter 4)

Discussion in 'THE STORY SO FAR' started by Asmodeus, Jun 8, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This thread is for planning and discussing the ongoing story.

    Please take jokes, fan work and chatting to the Ilium Lounge.

    Spam will be deleted.

    The GMs for Ilium are @Asmodeus @Tegan @unanun @Diana and @Jack Shade

    This roleplay was the original brainchild of @Quill, a member who left Iwaku due to real life commitments last year. She first developed the story with some help from Asmodeus, who refined Quill's massive ideas into the themes of the Red, Blue and Green nations. It was then run as a roleplay... twice... before Tegan entered with some fresh ideas that took the story to a whole new level.

    What we have in the end is a Mass Roleplay that is one-third Brain Dump, one-third Meta-Concept, and one-third Ingenuity. A fusion of three very different creative forces.

    We hope you enjoy.
    #1 Asmodeus, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014


    Asmodeus and Tegan would like to discuss some unproductive habits in the roleplay. Please be advised that we are not trying to single out any one group or person, as the instances listed below have occurred in all three of the threads. They are also grievances we have mentioned many times, and yet it continues.

    Some of you may think it would be better to do this kind of thing in private. However, we want this on public record. We want everyone to see the history of frustration, and understand how it affects our GMing decisions going forward.

    This chapter, we have made a strong effort to involve as many players as possible. We have come up with side-plots, messaged people and scooped up whole groups of inactive characters and pushed them into adventures.

    We are exhausted now. We have run ourselves into the ground trying to include everyone. We realize now that this was a mistake.

    Now, onto what we have observed in the three nations:

    1. Players posting a half dozen lines after a giant Mod-Post, in which they simply reflect, say a few things, then leave the scene hanging. This forces the GM to come back and write another Mod-Post, to which the player will likewise respond with a tired scene fragment. This slows down the game and adds extra strain to fellow players and GMs.

    2. Players ignoring the main plots, which have been provided specifically for them, and sitting around waiting for GM handouts or chat moments. They act as if it is "not their job" to help with the monumental events of the story. Instead, they seek out a member of the opposite sex and sit in a corner having tedious back and forths with them.

    3. Players giving ZERO description of their surroundings. GMs put forth the effort to describe the highly vivid and fantastical world that we are in. Players respond with featureless, generic alleyways, rooms, streets and plains that have NO visual flavour.

    4. Players conjuring NPCs and using them to make themselves look cool. The three major incidents of Karma in this roleplay have been because of players slaughtering NPCs as if they are irrelevant and consequence-free. This is one of our biggest pet peeves.

    5. Players writing posts that simply repeat what has happened so far. Some players have 10 paragraphs of reflection and 1 paragraph of action, and the reflection is nothing more than a flat recounting of what the reader has already read.

    6. Players posting utterly ludicrous actions that defy common sense. Actions that even a few moments of thought will tell you are implausible and out of character.​

    - Point 1 makes us think you are lazy, and want the GM to invest huge amounts of time 1x1ing with you, at the expense of other players.

    - Point 2 makes us think you have no imagination, and are allergic to the very genre you are in.

    - Point 3 makes us think that basic reading comprehension has failed to inform you of where your character is.

    - Point 4 makes us think you are a sadistic child and afraid to characterize yourself around other players.

    - Point 5 makes us think you are terrified of moving a scene forward.

    - Point 6 just baffles us.

    Looking at each of these, we could rant forever until your eyes glaze over. But consider the points below, and honestly ask yourselves these questions:

    1. Imagine if this is your favourite TV show, and at the end of your post the camera cuts away. Would you REALLY be satisfied that a scene is left with someone asking a dumb question, opening a door or swinging a sword in mid-air? No. We expect scenes to be MOVED by your actions, from one situation to the next. This game is far too massive for broken interaction. Players are expected to give what they get and move a scene forward in some way or another. That is why this is not a roleplay for beginners.

    2. Is a falling city not enough? Is the invasion of your home not enough? Is an insect cult uncovered with insidious ties to religious extremists not enough? Does this not excite anyone? What are you looking for in a high fantasy roleplay if not these kind of cliches? Because trust me, they ARE cliches. We are giving you standard fantasy tropes to work with, and STILL - STILL players are opting for static conversation. You are the protagonists of this story. You are the heroes. You are the ones who will find the divine weapons and shape the course of history. If we are not making this clear enough, let us know.

    3. Setting is fifty percent of your characterization. Why should we care about anything you say or do if it's not in the context of the things around you? We have to be convinced to care about your character. You cannot do that by monologuing in a vacuum. We don't expect paragraphs upon paragraphs of prose, but we would like something beyond 'in a room' or 'in a sandy desert.'

    4. Not much more to say. NPCs are real people in this world, with families, hopes, dreams and frailties. If you abuse them, there will be repercussions. They have powers too, and Aux, and friends. They will fuck you up if you push them. Just like real life. You can't just exact horrific cruelty and embarrassment upon them and then talk or magic your way out of the consequences. We are not going to let that happen. If you use NPCs to make yourself look cool, you are not impressing anyone.

    5. Readers know what happened. They are readers, and they have been reading. Don't patronize them by repeating the events like a parrot. We don't care what your character thinks about every little thing that just happened. We are interested in the emotions driving you forward, not the emotions you felt five minutes ago.

    6. Would your character do this? What will be the outcome? What will other characters say? What would YOU say if you saw this happening? Have you checked the facts, even on Wikipedia, before posting them? Remember that GMs are reading your posts and trying to incorporate them into a continuous narrative. If you read your post as part of a novel, or saw it as part of a film, would you accept what had just happened?

    If you are a roleplayer who shudders at the thought of writing a vivid and concise post that moves a scene along and illustrates your character through definitive action, then this is not the roleplay for you. And please, take this to heart, because if we sense that a player isn't up to this challenge, they will be asked to leave, join other roleplays and try again later when their skillset has improved.

    There will be no more scooping up of inactive characters. There will be no more spoon-feeding of plots. Players are expected to work together and with GMs to write their own stories, not the other way around. If they can't think of something to do in this massive, well-developed, high-stakes fantasy world, bursting with talented players, then perhaps they have come to the wrong roleplay.

    Ilium is meant to challenge players in every aspect of their roleplaying. It is difficult. Characters are meant to suffer, think differently and grow. That's what happens in a good story.
    #2 Asmodeus, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
    • Thank Thank x 12
    • Like Like x 6
    • Love Love x 1
  3. I for one am glad that the GMs choose to share their frustrations with us in public. I think it helps greatly to see things from your perspective.
    • Thank Thank x 2
  4. I have two observations to add.

    There are three kinds of characters in ilium:
    1. An ilium protagonist that starts with nothing.
    2. Characters that start with some kind of power: Lut, Amaltas, etc.
    3. Big baddies (ilium, ghoul sage, etc).
    Be aware of where you fall when you post.
    1. Characters in category 1 have been growing since the start of ilium. They start off with nothing, and at the grand end of the ilium, will be champions of evil or good. Most of you fall here, i.e., Amalia.
    2. Those in category 2 cannot use their powers to have an easy time. Your time comes LATER as the roleplay increases in grandeur and scope. For now, your responsibility should be to help category 1 players GROW.
    3. Characters here are finished. Their purpose is to largely drive story and help all other characters, and introduce plot waaaaay later.
    Please keep in mind the role that you yourself have created when you make the character sheet. How would you like it if every time anyone came close to finding a Divine Weapon, the Ghoul Sage shows up and rips your aux out, turning you into a crux vegetable? Lut can't solve all of Amalia's problems, or use his powers to do coups / cripple Kaustir against the Czar, because it's boring. It is not time yet. Additionally, it stifles Amalia. How can we expect Amalia to grow or even have a journey if Lut shows up deus ex machina every time she faces a crisis? When you create a character in category 2, you've said: my growth journey is over. Don't ruin other player's growth journey.

    So far Ilium has been focusing on players in category 1. We want to see them grow in power, ideals, philosophy, and ambition to match category 2 players. As additional chapters and books play out, things will even out, and the stakes will increase.

    P.S.: The GMs hold all the cards.

    What I mean is that the way I've seen Asmodues/Tegan handle ilium is eerily similar to a DnD campaign (of which I've never participated in one .. but ..). GMs hold the plot cards, which in turn conceal reward cards. You complete quests we've designed for you, and get the treasure chest at the end. Ilium has a nearly infinite amount of freedom, but you can't solo adventure and expect to have excalibur drop out of the sky.

    This doesn't mean we're discouraging players organizing among themselves and creating their own plots and stuff, because ilium is in that sense not a DnD campaign. Asmodeus and Tegan have actively encouraged you to do that, and in doing so we also reward the efforts of your home grown quest. But it has to be a quest, you have to struggle with players and the monsters and tasks that we will throw in if you aren't making it hard for yourself. Why do we ask you to make it hard? A group of adventures finding excalibur falling out of the sky is the same as one who solo-adventurers .. you've only shown the extra initiative of organizing.


    Ilium is a free form epic dungeon crawler, but in the end it's also a good story. So don't tunnel vision on either too much. It's a combination of both ...
    #4 unanun, Jun 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2014
    • Thank Thank x 10
    • Like Like x 3
    • Love Love x 2
  5. I like the blue part. Especially that first point. Dot is a kinesthetic learner...but anecdotes about television will do in a pinch. Hooray for metaphors!

    Oh. What unanun said is nice, too.
    • Thank Thank x 2
  6. *Snaps to attention* I shall cause the lease bit of annoyance this time around and add more detail in my posts.

    Took me forever to figure out what the hell I was doing...
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Yeah thanks for sharing this with us guys. Reading it was an eye opener to bad habits I still have and should really be pushing myself out of. I'm gonna keep this on reference for whenever I post.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Agreed Porg, Thank you Asmo! and thank you to the GMs for all their hard work. I too will strive to better myself =D
    • Like Like x 1
  9. I would like to think that everyone who makes these kinds of mistakes are genuinely trying to do a good job, but for whatever reason, fall short. I personally know that I am guilty of at least one of those things listed, and it was done with the best intentions for the RP, though could have been handled better in hindsight.

    I can't speak for everyone, but I'll say that I will likely make mistakes in the future. I say this because I will not make promises that I am not 100% positive I can keep. I will say though that I will do my best to stay within the boundaries and do what I can to make this RP as great as possible. There will be hiccups, of that you can be sure. But I will learn from my mistakes, and I will accept any consequences for them along the way.

    You're absolutely right. This RP is very challenging and very difficult. I've been in the RP biz for almost 15 years now and this is probably the most challenging experience I've ever had. Let that sink in for a moment. 15 years of serious RP experience, and yet this RP still challenges me more than any other I've done. I know there are others with more experience than me, but if I'm finding it difficult with 15 years under my belt, then I can imagine how much trouble some with less experience must be having.

    With all that said, I want to thank all the GMs involved in this game, not just Asmo and Tegan (though definitely with special attention to them) for putting so much effort into this RP. I love huge epic games like this, and I've led some in the past, but the level that this game is on is beyond anything I've ever done. As difficult as some of those big RP's I've done in the past have been to run, I can imagine how difficult it must be for you guys in this one. In a way I envy you GMs. You've done something that I never could. Something I never thought could be done. When Zen told me about this RP and wanted me to come back from my RP retirement to play it with her, I thought it was just gonna be another disappointment. I was against it, I thought it had nothing to offer me that I hadn't already done countless times before. I can say with certainty that I was very wrong.

    This game has given me everything I was missing, and promises more to come. It brought me out of a long hiatus that I honestly didn't think was going to end. It's shown me that there is still more to do, that I can still be challenged, I can still improve, and above all, I can still have fun. Again, I won't speak for everyone, but I want you guys to know that I appreciate everything you've done and continue to do here. Your work has done more for me alone than you know. Not only has it done everything I just listed, but it's even brought me closer to my fiance (Zen). I met her through RP 6 years ago. It feels great for both of us to be doing what brought us together in the first place, after a long time of being away from it. For that, again, I thank you. I can honestly say that if this RP ended for some reason, I would probably be inactive on Iwaku again.

    And finally, more than for any other reason, I thank you guys for your patience with our many mistakes and flaws. I know how frustrating and even downright infuriating dealing with some of the stuff you listed can be. It can make you feel like all the hard work you're doing is pointless. It can make you feel like the players you build this story for don't care enough. But I hope that all the GMs know that your hard work does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. I (and I hope others) will continue to do the best I can, learn from the mistakes I will undoubtedly make, and try to give back my share of the hard work done for me. I'll help in any way I can.

    Keep up the great work.
    • Love Love x 5
    • Like Like x 3
    • Thank Thank x 3
  10. Um.

    *is uncomfortable by the mushy gushyness*

    Yeah, what Kino said. I make mistakes too and will probably continue to do so, while still trying to give it my all. I greatly appreciate all of the hard work our GMs are doing and I hope you guys know you're very appreciated.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. *Hacks his way into the thread through the thick underbrush of mobile internet*

    GOD FUCKING DAMMIT. A'ight, we're getting our delicious new fibre optic broadband set up in three days, so after that posting should return to normal for me.

    • Like Like x 3
  12. Yes, you guys are awesome!
    I've learned so much just by watching you work, and I love the way this RP is pushing me to step away from what I've become so used to.
    Thank you!


    That is the key word. <3 There's a lot of us here willing to help players collaborate on their wishes for their characters, to give you plots to work with, ideas, and such. But you have to meet us halfway and also be willing to share your own ideas and push your plots forward. DON'T BE SCARED! Make things happen in your posts! Take risks! The people that are taking risks and making things happen for themselves are the people that are giving us the best characters and stories to read. O__O I love reading someone's story play out. I love even better to help people make these stories come to life. >:3

    • Thank Thank x 2
  14. I thank you all, skilled players and GMs alike, for bringing this wonderful experience to Iwaku.

    This is my advice to everyone: be proactive. Don't wait for things to happen. Just like in real life, it's 15% opportunity, and 85% how you react to said opportunity. We are the x factor in any given situation here. If we get a good grasp of what is going on by reading as much as we possibly can, and are reasonable when it comes to the meagre set of rules laid out in stone, and are not karmicly irresponsible, then we are just about free to do anything we want. ANYTHING. That has been my experience anyway.

    Whenever I take innitative and present the GMs something that is obviously well thought out and that has respect for previously esablished scenes or premises, I am rewarded and praised. In fact, I've never really been chastised by the GMs, because I make it apparent in my posts that I care. That's the main thing here; care about what you post, make it matter, take pride in it, ask yourself "Is this something I would enjoy watching in a badass show on TV? Is this something that would excite ME if I were reading it?". The main error I've made int his entire RP, in my mind, is not taking more initiative with my new character in the last chapter.

    I can tell I've made it harder on the GMs by not meeting the challenge. The more one procrastinates and second guesses, the better the chance of all out abandonment and derilection. This is not to say you should post the first thing that comes to mind; as I said before, care is the most important thing, but it means nothing if you don't post at the right moment or, even worse, at all.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Thank Thank x 1
  15. Okay, I love everything that was said. Really I do.

    I'm looking for someone in Pegulis that works with herbs and such for medicinal purposes. Working on a branch of Darin's up and coming story that will need someone who can do that.
  16. There is entirely too much friendliness going on here, and I hate it.

    That said, this shit does make me think about everything I write. I hate that, too, but then I hate the treadmill at the gym, and I guess that *also* keeps you healthy. Ugggggggh challenges are the worst and also kind of neat.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. I have a few ideas Id like to run with people depending on what I figure out here will be what I decide to do with my new character. I have handed Wolfsin over as an NPC because I failed him and that isn't good to me or anyone. So Ill list below the three possible plots I am looking to work with.

    Straight up mercenary group that wanders the lands of pegulis and hunts in the wild: This will be a much smaller group of skilled warriors/Huntsman. I am hoping by doing this I can push myself to join the battle at Tavark that is bound to happen in the next chapter, and we can come in and help make a difference their. This is the one I want to go with the most and it may turn into the character disbanding at the end of the battle and choosing to join the main force of Pegulis, after realizing the true danger they are in. I need at least 3 others to join me in this little group and plot with me about it. This also could allow for some pre-made characters to possibly have roots with the group if they desire. Please let me know Like I said this is the one I wish to do the most.

    Illusion Mage/jester like character: This plot is designed for a more neutral ground in Pegulis, where I will create a character that is heavily based on comedy, but also has a sinister plot of his own. he might work to toy with characters and npcs and such to manipulate situations, and such. Eventually that will lead to him trying to expand a group of like minded individuals, that most likely just want to see the world burn. mad men that wish for nothing but chaos and strife. (Probably more tangible reasons behind it all honestly but I need to work that over with GM's) Basically this is more of a solo role and Im just asking what people think concerning this one.

    A survivor coming out of the wood work of the Siege of Tavark: this is a young blooded character that would instantly need to attach to someone and grow with them. he will be very vengeful and have lots of work and need for story growth. Still having that teen flair and childish mindset, he might be bitter but can also be very pleasant. I have played with this archetype once before and it worked well according to more than just myself. I only feel I can refine it to a whole new level in this rp if I were to choose it. This would require interaction with a strong combat type or general or something of that sort, someone to mentor him etc. IE: Darin the paladin would be almost prime in this case, but their are others and depending he could become an archer, or a swordsman, or a scribe he could go anywhere. This is my second choice personally but I still want to ask what people think about these ideas.

    These are my three ideas I am hoping to run with. and for a little further detail Ill just say all three are male characters. All three I feel have some chance for growth and development though 1, and 2 seem the most prominent. This is my second chance with Illium to do things right and show that im not as novice an rper as i have been displaying. So please help me choose which would be the best to go with whether on here or pm me. =)

    1. will be an Anima Wolf/man with a sword and shield/Bow at his back. honorable but is pack orientated with his group. Also pretty kind hearted. Think like traveling rangers more than Mercenaries. A strategic unit that has mastered their skills together. (have an epic pick for this.)
    2. Will be a very harlequin like male human that is quite flamboyant and tricky
    3. Will be a Human boy with practically no experience but a burning desire to stop the Ghoul Sage and kill Eimund.

    Let me know. =D
  18. Pick one of the ideas that will drive you to move forward in the story, one that inspires you. One that has direction, that will move forward in this word that Asmo and Tegan have created. Like they said in the introduction think carefully about what role you want to play as your character because that will be a huge part of your experience. (I think anyway)

    For example: The child could be interesting but children often naturally latch on to adults especially if he's a survivor. Also when playing a younger character you need to think about their physical weaknesses when in comparison to an adult. In terms of mentoring don't single anyone out. You never know who your character is going to get along with, it's like meeting people for the first time. The person who you try to latch on to might not want you there.

    Just think about stuff like that and I reckon it'll come quickly to you. All those characters have their merits but I don't think anybody wants to decide for you - your character is your story and it's up to you to have the passion and drive to bring it into the world.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. You know, this is honestly refreshing. More often than not mods on sites and for things won't do things like this, or at least they haven't in my experience, for fear of offending anyone or some ridiculous bull crap like that. You guys took the high road though and went:


    Stop being dumb! It's grating our brains like cheese!

    ... not really like that, but you get the general idea. It's a push in the right direction telling players to actually take charge of their plot and mix it with others'. You're like an annoyed parent who wants their 25 year old child to move out and get a place of their own.

    So good on you guys.
  20. *delays working on the next chapter*

    I cannot believe that people are still trying to play travelling mercenaries, after all that we have said.

    How many of the thieves, assassins, sellswords, treasure-hunters, drifters and mercenaries have achieved something in this roleplay? None. They are dead weights. They join up with their awesome powers and then are utterly surprised to find that nobody wants to talk to them and they have no way to relate to the plots sweeping these nations.

    Please stop.

    I don't know why the first instinct when players read the Ilium intro is to imagine an unaligned character with no connections and an effortless ability to find food and shelter in this post-apocalyptic world. Someone who has to hang around looking for jobs or hoping that someone notices their talents. I suppose this mercenary will be an expert in poisons as well, and have an ability which means they never get lost?

    Everyone, sense my frustration.

    How many mercenaries are there in Game of Thrones? Bronn? Nope - he's a personal bodyguard to Tyrion, who kills the right people and hides behind his employer's influence. The guys in the Watch? Nope - they're sworn to a life of celibacy and border patrolling, and are essential narrative tools for the extreme evil beyond the Wall. The lieutenants of Daenerys? Nope - they're military leaders who have a fledgling nation to run. The Hound? Nope - he's carrying around the heir to the north and trying to ransom her while simultaneously linking a dozen subplots. Ramsey? Nope - he's a slave to his family's expectations and political decisions.

    None of the unaligned drifters in Game of Thrones survive unless they are shoved up the arse of a major character or TRAPPED within a major plotline. They are slaves. They are struggling and desperate, clinging to relevance in the shadow of others.

    It disappoints me that I have to keep relating back to Game of Thrones. You are probably all sick of the comparison.

    Look through the Applications thread. Find the assassins, sellswords, loners, drifters, treasure hunters, and people-for-hire. They have ALL FAILED.

    People who choose these roles tend to be ones who don't want a challenge. They don't want to roleplay having something to lose. They don't want to roleplay having to work and struggle to find food and shelter. They don't want to have to research medieval politics and social customs. They just want to flash their cool outsider badge around and be free from caring about what happens to others.

    I know we are online roleplaying, but some level of sociability is needed. If you don't want to become emotionally invested with other players, then don't join a MASS ROLEPLAY.

    In Ilium - in this post-apocalyptic feudal world, where communities are clinging to one another to survive - a lone drifter who stumbles into town would be lynched on sight. This is not Troma. This is not a Western. The villagers are not waiting for a well-hung stranger with whiter skin and better cheekbones to arrive and save them from their misery.

    Family. Legacy. Connections. Rank. Infiltration. Authority. Influence. Look at any character who survives in Game of Thrones, and you will see these pillars to their character. Look at the leading characters of Ilium and you will see the same.

    It is HOW the story is told.

    @Wolfsin - do not choose the first one. Do not choose the second one either, because being the "crazy fourth nation guy who manipulates everyone" would require you to actually be persuasive. You can't expect people to roleplay falling for the clunky dialogue of some random guy. It is not fair on other players.

    Choose the third one, and crawl up someone's arse. I suggest Darin - he has the potential to rebuild the Paladin Order if he succeeds. Or General Horrikson - he could use a squire.

    Do what Ethelwen has done. Do what Ai and Castigarian have done. Do what Nu has done. Do what Rakar has done.

    Find a rock and cling to it.

    That is what the low-status characters must do in Ilium.

    *puts away his bludgeoning hammer*
    #20 Asmodeus, Jun 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2014
    • Love Love x 4
    • Like Like x 3
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.