Badb
Mr. Danya
Joined: February 16th, 2009, 8:51 pm

May 12th, 2014, 3:44 pm #11

wrote:Well, V5 is fundamentally bleak, at least based on my read of it.
lol the version where we had weekend at bernies happen is fundamentally bleak
wrote: but consider that it's a little uninteresting to play a "session that went as planned". It essentially turns the players into background information.
yes, this is why mini is so boring to read and why all of the characters on mini are so dull, flat and lifeless. individual characters are the story not the players and certainly not the ~doomed tragic escape attempt martyrs who broke the system~
wrote: I'm not sure escapes really dilute it much further, as much as they add a different dimension to the game.
yeah escape attempts can create a great narrative when readers are already invested in a character but considering them an intrinsic aspect of the games is narcissistic because the very nature of an escape plan is taking a character and making them the central focus of the plot.
wrote: it just strikes me as the thing that has to be done right as we continue our swing towards realism.
"also stop putting realism on a pedestal everyone like jesus christ realism is not a noble truth we should strive for it is a tool to create empathy and sympathy for characters" - Rachel, 2014.

escape plans are boring as fuck anyway. i'd rather read about characters who are normal people who react to & accept their circumstances in interesting ways than ~look at us~ characters who were created to be part of a setpiece escape. escapes are just too bogged down in OOC bullshit.

like, there's two things that make escape plans boring as fuck and it's:
1. the instigator of the escape plot was made to facilitate an escape plot and thus from the moment their profile is submitted to the moment they die their entire narrative tension is "i wonder if this handler's escape plot will get through staff" rather than "i wonder what will happen to this character!"
2. they rely super heavily on OOC shit b/c if the game is so focused on ~realism~ then how would starving, exhausted and sleep deprived teenagers even come up with the plan that beats a team of mit graduate technicians with zero equipment. there's an underdog story and there's having your characters be tony stark building a robot suit in a cave with a box of scraps
V5:
B035 - [color=EF98AA]Ray Gilbert[/color] - DECEASED - Guy Fawkes Mask - Too Far Gone
G029 - Zoe Leverett - DECEASED - Machete - To Really Be Alone, To Pick At All the Bones
[/spoiler]
wrote:[18:10] <Laurels> WWJD? Fuck corpses, apparently
wrote:[15:16] <Naft> My college once nearly burned down because someone tried to make a bong out of dollar bills and the fire alarm didn't work
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Grim Wolf
Winner
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 5:39 am

May 12th, 2014, 6:29 pm #12

I appear to be starting some flames. My apologies.

To my mind, everything in SotF comes down to two fundamental character reactions. When confronted with the reality of the game and the fact that they're probably going to die, a character a) tries to find a way to give their death meaning (by hunting players, adopting pacifism, leaving art behind, protecting their friends, having sex with as many people as possible, or trying to hurt their captors in some way) or b) tries to survive however they can (by hiding, killing their fellow students, trying to break the game, trying to escape). Often, people vary between these two, and watching that variance can be great: watching an ostensible killer try to protect people they care for, or a pacifist kill someone to survive. Watching noble characters fall or monstrous characters be sympathetic or bad people redeem themselves or friends managing to stick it out even through the nightmare, it's all terrific. Every reaction is an intrinsic part of the game, and all the characters have their own stories that bounce off each other's, changing as they go.

But I think that also means you have to consider escape attempts as an intrinsic part of the game, if only because in Main they are a terrorist act. In BR, they're an Institution: they've persisted for years. Opposing it then is opposing the full weight of a government that sanctions these activities. But in the case of a terrorist act, it's something abnormal, something that can be reacted to and fought against (particularly in light of V3 and V4). These aren't sanctioned events the students have been conditioned towards. They're abnormal, and they demand abnormal responses, which is why playing SotF is so fun.

@Namira

That's a fair point, but I don't think it fully takes the rule change into effect. I'm saying, from a perspective of the very act of attempting an escape can kill you in a way nothing else but inactivity on the site can, it sort of changes the rules a little. It made my V5 attempt exciting as shit and I don't regret it, but it was just a logical problem that occurred to me. The great part about the rolls is they add this dramatic tension and weight to everything, and there's a million ways to die--random killer, suicide, injury, tragic accident, hilarious accident (YOU WIN THIS TIME, GRAVITY!)--so even if you kind of have to jam it right into the middle of a narrative arc it's pretty easy. In the original context (handler can bounce ideas off staff until something works), it would be silly as balls to try and delay anything, because you can easily just say, "Character's rolled, attempt failed, dead."

That's why I'm focusing on a very specific case, because I think it's kind of a hole in the new escape rule. Because an escape attempt now carries so much baggage behind it now (with potential unrolled deaths), it's a riskier proposition that's changed the nature of escapes. Success in this case happens under specific conditions and the entire act of doing so can be undone if you succeed and then die apropos of nothing. It's a mechanic that I'm trying to address to see what the consensus is.

In this situation, I think obvious protocol would be what happened to Polanski--send in a team to stop her while also putting a bounty on her head for the players. That could easily and quickly end in an escapee's death, but given the risk that now goes into making an attempt possible it feels contrived/heavy-handed/self-defeating to have a character (possibly) escape, only to get shot or trip and die in a way that's totally unrelated to the act. It totally destroys the risk the character was taking by making the attempt in the first place, and it's a narrative change that other characters don't have to deal with as much. It's easier to write a good death-as-conclusion when you know the actual specifics of what's about to happen. The rolls give you a chance to choose the manner of your death, even if the timing isn't ideal.

If the consensus on the board is "Just the way it is", so be it, but I think it's worth addressing. Maybe rolled escapes are inherently doomed or forbidden. But the escape rules are a heavy rule change that ultimately turns escape attempts into "possible character angles" into "fully committed decisions with tangible consequences that almost no other act on SotF has." There wasn't that much discussion going into it, and while I'm sure this hypothetical situation is almost never going to happen, it's worth thinking about.

@Kalopsia

Wasn't saying that at all. Considered that of the escapes we've seen, one was a concerted, planned effort on the part of the whole board (V3) and one emerged organically from a variety of actions across the board (V4). The little attempts have helped in their small ways, but ultimately some of the things (the virus in V1, Ethan Kent and Polanski in V4) were at best minor contributions to otherwise existing structures or cool but ultimately fruitless distractions. Escape attempts are part of the landscape: successful ones, up into this point, have been pretty much entirely at staff fiat.

I don't think we're in any danger of escapes totally corrupting the SotF narrative. I've made my own stance on realism (useful insofar as it tells a better story) pretty clear, and I'm pushing for a broader board consensus on certain game details because it'll put us all in an even more coherent universe and so make the stories we tell better and more strongly connected.

All of SotF demands willing suspension of disbelief, from the terrorists to the escape attempts to the student battles. I like writing bleak, no hope scenarios because you can really push a character's limits while doing so, but some characters are going to try to beat the system and the new escape rules mean that such a character has to be wholly focused on doing so, because they risk dying unrolled. Yes, it's going to make escape attempts fewer and probably way more awesome, but it's a major change.

And no, that doesn't mean escape attempts are going to be the centerpoint of SotF, but it's irrational to assume that they aren't part of the landscape, particularly since they've happened before. It sort of feels like you're saying "The very act of attempting an escape downplays what everyone else is doing", but it's just one among many stories happening. Yeah, some people do want to make themselves the protagonists of SotF, and most of the time those people pay a heavy cost (there's a great inspirational speech one of the SADD members tries to give during the V3 attempt that like everyone else just shuts down and I always thought that bit was great). But some people are going to attempt their own thing and if they succeed that doesn't negate what anyone else is doing.

Some people give up and some people play the game on their own terms and some play it on SotF's terms and some try to break the game entirely. None of these stories downplay each other. I just thought of a potential murky area with the new rules and wanted to address it, since it changes the nature of escapes to "good in context of characters" to, essentially "handlers versus staff". If people are going to be playing such a game, the rules should be as clear as possible.
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."
[+] spoiler

G053 Karen Idel, DECEASED: Game over.

B040 Tyler Lucas, DECEASED: I had fun. You?

B046 Xavier Contel, DECEASED : "G-gotta...trust people, Arthur. G-g-gotta try. C-can't be afraid."
[+] spoiler

B054 Raidon Naoko (DECEASED): "Dying like this isn't so bad..."

B072 Simon Grey (DECEASED): "I never was a hero, but, God help me, I tried."

B079 David Meramac (DECEASED): "Running towards nothing. Running from nothing."

G072 Mirabelle Nesa (DECEASED): "I'm a weak little girl who couldn't save anyone, even myself, but god damn it I beat you and god damn it you are going to remember that because I am Mirabelle Nesa and I am a hardened goddamn warrior and I am not going to fucking give up now!"
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Emprexx Plush
Mr. Danya
Joined: June 26th, 2011, 8:09 pm

May 12th, 2014, 6:51 pm #13

I have some big issues with the first bit that I don't think have been touched on much yet, so I'll add my two cents.

The fundamental problem with a lot of escapes, that I've read, is that people are approaching them from the OOC perspective that they want to succeed. It completely consumes the characters involved, and often throws a very weird group of people together that really either don't belong together or aren't being written as a cohesive unit with purpose, but instead a group of individuals standing around waiting to escape. This leads to a lot of character stagnation, and the escape itself becomes the character we're following and reading, rather than the individuals involved with it.

The idea that a successful escape attempt would nullify a character being rolled basically personifies this issue. I'm going to choose to interpret this as something other than an attempt to circumvent the rules of death within this game and instead see it as an attempt to continue and support the escape despite complications. This is actually where the much bigger problem comes in, because it further relegates the characters to being vehicles of the escape. They don't live because they should live, or because it betters their story, but because for the escape to work using survival as a success/failure metric, it needs them to live.

This is kind of disheartening to me, because I think really good, realistic escape plots can be written, if you assume the escape will and should fail because these are untrained, exhausted, terrified high school students. Actually escaping is a really neat idea, but if you want to talk about realism, realistically we're dealing with a group that's handled this situation multiple times, has almost complete control of the flow of information for it, and controls all of the assets that these kids are going to have at their disposal. Escape should not happen without outside assistance. So what would be really refreshing is seeing people write escape plots that are intended, 100%, to fail. To try to legitimately approach insufficient the resources and knowledge that our students would have focused through the lens of their increasingly chaotic and fragile mindset and watch the entire thing unironically flame-out in glorious failure. Don't try to create an attempt that's actually going to work using OOC resources, don't try to lobby back and forth to survive, don't plan around rolls and try to hero out "important" members to keep the escape alive, let it dissolve into the unabashed clusterfuck that it would almost certainly be in this scenario.

In short? Use a story to serve game mechanics, rather than trying to bend and lawyer mechanics away to get the story you want. Embrace them, don't break them. Regular escape attempts are a great idea. Regular successful escape attempts, however, are poisonous to the tension of the game and in my opinion we'd be better off if we didn't see one for a couple versions.
[+] spoiler
[+] spoiler
G056, Alda Abbate(Adopted)
It was difficult to nail down exactly when the anger started. Remembering a time when it wasn't there, coiled up and waiting to strike or alive and thrashing, was growing more and more challenging. It'd been with her for so long that it no longer felt like an intruder in her mind. It felt like a part of her.
[+] spoiler
B062, Garrett Wilde
I multiplied. Then I subtracted. That's what we do now. That's how we keep the most people around.
[+] spoiler
B014, Joachim Lovelace(Adopted)
Your turn.
[+] spoiler
[+] spoiler

Abby Floyd:This place was vile. Overwhelmingly, terribly vile. Character Theme: Everything's Alright-Emily Scholz
Ty Yazzie: You ever wonder if you still got a home to go back to? Character Theme: Warrior People-Medicine For The People
Isaac Brea(Adopted from Espi): Isaac's well of fucks was bone-dry. Character Theme: The Whiskey, The Liar, The Thief-Patent Pending
Caedyn Miller:So...how did you wanna do this? Feeling an open casket? Or is that dumb? Nah, don't say it, that's dumb. We'll be soup by the time they send us home anyway. Character Theme: Sleep-My Chemical Romance
Irene Djezari(Adopted from CicadaDays): Death was not worse than Meme Hell. Character Theme: A Beautiful Lie-30 Seconds To Mars

NPCs:
Jacob Brooks: ... Character Theme: 1812 Overture-Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
[+] spoiler
Blaise d'Aramitz: Blonde Hair, Black Lungs-Sorority Noise
Helena 'Hel" Fury: Okay, but riddle me this: where in the rulebook does it say it's not a series of automatic critical hits if I Flurry of Blows an ogre's nutsack like a speedbag? Bad Liar-Selena Gomez
Jeremiah Widdlestone: NOT--FOR--YOU 911/Mr. Lonely-Tyler The Creator
Damian Riccardo Maradona Reyes: I'll go all day, all week, all year if I gotta, big guy. Just try and stop me. Years Of War-Porter Robinson
Barbara "Babs" Mulaney: One. Deux. Tres. Vier. Fem. Yug. Haft. Aath. Dyev-yat. Dez. Might Tell You Tonight-Scissor Sisters
Zyzzx Rigs: Last of the first, folks. Light me up.You Know You Like It - DJ Snake ft.
AlunaGeorge
[+] spoiler
Some Guy Probably: A thing he said? Character Theme: Flyers-Bradio
Alex Darby: Let's weigh what everyone brings to the table, and find a suitable compromise. It's in your best interest. Character theme: Devil's Gift-Shaman's Harvest
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Plush Wants To Read Your Dead Things and your Living Things! As of 8/14/2017, the Living Queue is Closed, and the Dead Queue is Open!
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Ciel
Mr. Danya
Joined: May 26th, 2007, 12:17 am

May 12th, 2014, 7:45 pm #14

Lemme put my two cents in here. I feel like the details of the collars, specific details, should be left up in the air to discourage people. If there were honest to god schematics of the collars available for everyone to read then everyone will be gunning for it. SotF isn't about overcoming a terrorist plot it's about killing your friends and dying and stuff. It also confuses me when people bring realism into the equation. V5 has a stuttering cowboy and a girl who ate someone's guts because she wants the terrorists to like her. Suspension of disbelief yo.

Seriously though, Grim. if you've got an idea that is awesome and you think it'll work then this was not the way to do it. It's just going to stir the pot to a boil and get people salty. You're a nice guy and I'm very certain you wanted to start a discussion without tomatoes being thrown.

For anyone thinking of an escape plan, not just grim, here's my advice. Do not put in insane amounts of planning and put your plan into action without warning. If you have an idea you should talk to staff and be transparent. The staff are not going to talk about you behind your back, FFS these people are here to help you, not hinder you. I know staff well enough that they do not want to see people throw their characters away. They are not going to give you the answers and they are not going to make special exceptions just because they like you, but they will be able to assist you if you've got questions and maybe, just maybe, if they see how willing you work with them, maybe they might consider the notion of letting you succeed.

The only technicality to this I can think of is that I don't think a staff member's character can be directly involved with the escape. So if you were looking to rope Sean into riding a pirate ship off the island then I got bad news for you son.

In general V3 burnt me out over the idea of escape so I am a biased fuck. Way I see it, though, if you can manage an escape plan that shakes things up for everyone on the island and not for a select group of people that would be best. Everyone gets salty over Liz but at the end of the day that shit affected everyone not just her. (Also I like Liz fight me)
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Grim Wolf
Winner
Joined: November 9th, 2009, 5:39 am

May 12th, 2014, 8:07 pm #15

I see what you mean, Doc. If success is the sole metric by which you're measuring the attempt you're not playing the same SotF as everyone else on the board.

And Ciel, I agree that there are many details that can be left kind of vague, but some (particularly the nature of collar explosions) can't. I should alsom mention that these aren't thoughts towards a future escape attempt on my part--if they were, I'd probably have just PMed a staff--but more thoughts I had both before, during, and after my own escape attempt in this version that I thought I should bring up. In general, I feel the new rule's solid, but this is the one specific case I kept coming back to that I felt iffy on, and since I had some general thoughts on SotF/new rules/collars/realism, I thought I'd bring'em up here and see what people had to say.

Roll null's dumb and would change the nature of a game, I yield that point immediately. But again, in this situation where an escape is conceptually possible, I just wondered what would happen this specific case wherein the format of SotF requires they die but story execution makes more difficult. Which...I guess could wait until the case itself emerges, if it ever does. It was just a rule hole that occurred to me.
Want to buy my book? See my short stories? Read my fanfiction? Visit my website!

V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."
[+] spoiler

G053 Karen Idel, DECEASED: Game over.

B040 Tyler Lucas, DECEASED: I had fun. You?

B046 Xavier Contel, DECEASED : "G-gotta...trust people, Arthur. G-g-gotta try. C-can't be afraid."
[+] spoiler

B054 Raidon Naoko (DECEASED): "Dying like this isn't so bad..."

B072 Simon Grey (DECEASED): "I never was a hero, but, God help me, I tried."

B079 David Meramac (DECEASED): "Running towards nothing. Running from nothing."

G072 Mirabelle Nesa (DECEASED): "I'm a weak little girl who couldn't save anyone, even myself, but god damn it I beat you and god damn it you are going to remember that because I am Mirabelle Nesa and I am a hardened goddamn warrior and I am not going to fucking give up now!"
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

May 12th, 2014, 8:59 pm #16

Usual my thoughts deal:
Grim wrote:On the note of escapes-as-narratives, yes, I get that it's a little strange to see repeated successes, which is why I'm mostly okay with the rules, but consider that it's a little uninteresting to play a "session that went as planned". It essentially turns the players into background information.
I think this is an agree to disagree thing, and comes from a pre-V3-escape vs. post-V3-escape point of view. Basically, way back in before there were any escapes, the focus was on the game itself and the stories unfolding within; it wasn't building towards anything big and the story was that of the class as they struggled, not as they overcame. In fact, general consensus among the first three versions tends to favor V2 as the most consistently compelling, and it's the only game where everything has gone as planned (what with V1's terrorists on the island).
Grim wrote:My main concern with escape not acting as a roll null is that it becomes narratively awkward if the escape attempt was successful. Like if a character had all the supplies and guts ready to attempt an escape and it succeeds, handling it so that they die right after strikes me as pretty much narratively impossible. It seems like something pretty easy to monitor for abuse (for instance, if they had no prior thought of escape, they can't just decide to do it).
The issue here is that it'd involve a ton of fiddly details and judgement calls on really subjective stuff, which we try to avoid. It also would open up loopholes no matter which way we took it, maybe encouraging handlers to just have their favorite kids plan escapes early. Plus, there are plenty of great ways to kill kids after initial success in escape attempts.
Grim wrote:I also don't really have a problem with the roll still applying, just at a later time. Maybe a successful escape on a roll could function as a roll delay? Your name is simply automatically added to the next rolls? I realize the risk factor is mitigated somewhat because the student can then just delay until they're rolled to try and escape, but then, the very act of preparing for an escape might cause them to die unrolled, so it just strikes me a fair balance so that a successful, risky escape can be written well.
In my opinion, this gets a little overly fiddly. I imagine staff would be willing to consider extensions due to narrative circumstances, but the big issue I see here is an automatic extension would likely lead to the kid spreading their info as far as possible during that period, making it way more likely that other characters also break free. The deck is stacked such that escapes are a very tall order, and I don't really want to see anything introduced that works against the challenge.

@everyone: I feel like this is getting a little tense; can we be sure to stay chill, please?
Rachel wrote:yeah escape attempts can create a great narrative when readers are already invested in a character but considering them an intrinsic aspect of the games is narcissistic because the very nature of an escape plan is taking a character and making them the central focus of the plot.
I'm not sure I agree here, unless an attempt ends the game. While an escape attempt would certainly force a reaction from the terrorists, so does, say, setting a new kill record or winning BKA or making them blow you up out of defiance. I don't think escape attempts are an intrinsic part of the SOTF experience but I don't think they're outside or alien to it either. If they were, we'd just flat out forbid them and call it a day.
Rachel wrote:escape plans are boring as fuck anyway. i'd rather read about characters who are normal people who react to & accept their circumstances in interesting ways than ~look at us~ characters who were created to be part of a setpiece escape. escapes are just too bogged down in OOC bullshit.
I would argue this is true of any terrible plot. Escapes aren't immune, but I don't even think they're more subject to it than, say, high kill count players. Compare, say, V3's escape to V1's island terrorists.
Rachel wrote:1. the instigator of the escape plot was made to facilitate an escape plot and thus from the moment their profile is submitted to the moment they die their entire narrative tension is "i wonder if this handler's escape plot will get through staff" rather than "i wonder what will happen to this character!"
This is also true of premade players and honestly of a lot of hero sorts. I think separating escapes isn't really necessary. Premade anything tends to suck, if you're not subtle about it.
Rachel wrote:2. they rely super heavily on OOC shit b/c if the game is so focused on ~realism~ then how would starving, exhausted and sleep deprived teenagers even come up with the plan that beats a team of mit graduate technicians with zero equipment. there's an underdog story and there's having your characters be tony stark building a robot suit in a cave with a box of scraps
This can depend. I think there are elements of it for sure. On the other hand, random flukes and brilliant ideas sometimes pull through in real life. It's just extremely rare.

Replies to the next three posts coming in a few. Posting now so this isn't too huge.
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MurderWeasel
MW's Private Rank
Joined: February 18th, 2009, 7:01 am

May 12th, 2014, 11:19 pm #17

@Grim: I understand the rationale behind the idea of giving a delay. It's just something where I can't see any hard and fast rule going not leaving a lot of holes for abuse and unfortunately historically some handlers have been very give-an-inch-take-a-mile.

To use a V5 example: It's sort of like how, in the V5 attempt, you asked staff if we could hold off and not just post the results with Help, and we said sure 'cause it was better for the narrative even though that's actually an exception to the rules as written. I feel way more comfortable having strict rules and then loosening them when we know that a handler isn't going to abuse that loosening than having loose rules and then scrambling to fix things when an abuse case comes up.
Grim wrote:Maybe rolled escapes are inherently doomed or forbidden.
We actually kicked that about during the planning phase and decided against it because it seemed too narratively heavy-handed. I'll need to go digging 'cause the discussion was a couple years ago, but we did hash through this a lot staffside.
Grim wrote: The little attempts have helped in their small ways, but ultimately some of the things (the virus in V1, Ethan Kent and Polanski in V4) were at best minor contributions to otherwise existing structures or cool but ultimately fruitless distractions. Escape attempts are part of the landscape: successful ones, up into this point, have been pretty much entirely at staff fiat.
This isn't exactly accurate, though it may be difficult to see from an outside the staff perspective.

In V4, we actually had a certain setup going in: There was a spy in the AT's midst and there was gonna be an attack that killed Danya. In the very early planning stages (late V3, before I was actually staff), the idea was that there would be a rescue apropos of nothing, but as time went on the staff didn't like the idea at all because it felt too metaplot focused for something impacting the game. As such, we decided to roll with Danya dying instead, and established that STAR lacked the information necessary to save anyone.

That changed over the course of V4, when a. Ethan's team got the location of the island out and b. Liz forced a restructuring in how the collars' signals were transmitted. Staff looked at these ideas and actions and went "Hmm, what would this do to the game?" and realized it would give STAR an opportunity to act (we knew they had the resources given the original idea, but they lacked the few key elements provided by the kids on the island). Without Ethan and Liz and the others, there wouldn't have been a V4 rescue and the landscape of the game would've been very different.
Grim wrote: I like writing bleak, no hope scenarios because you can really push a character's limits while doing so, but some characters are going to try to beat the system and the new escape rules mean that such a character has to be wholly focused on doing so, because they risk dying unrolled.
I disagree here! I think it means that a character's resolution must include the possibility of an unrolled death in the attempt, but I think there's a ton of potential to go further than that. To grab V4 examples, for that matter, I know both story and Rugga knew their kids would die as a result of their escape attempts. Ethan kicks it effectively in one post after starting. At the same time, a lot of what's interesting about Ethan is less his actions and more the rationales behind them, the way he balances some pretty negative motivations and feelings with his desires to help certain people and get revenge. It's an internal story, and one that could've worked if he became a player instead, with minimal changes.
Grim wrote:But some people are going to attempt their own thing and if they succeed that doesn't negate what anyone else is doing.
I 100% agree with this. The one meta thing staff does do when it comes to escapes is do our best to ensure that any successful escape will not result in the entire end of a version for handlers who don't want any part of it. Basically, it's important that people who came to play bleak island deathmatch have that option even if someone finds a few puppies and rainbows in a shoebox somewhere.
Grim wrote: I just thought of a potential murky area with the new rules and wanted to address it, since it changes the nature of escapes to "good in context of characters" to, essentially "handlers versus staff". If people are going to be playing such a game, the rules should be as clear as possible.
I disagree on the handlers vs. staff thing, though some of this may be due to internal workings. The way staff have it set up is we've got a playbook and we rule based on it, no matter how much we do or don't like any escape on a personal level. The adversarial mentality certainly can come up, but usually it just makes things more frustrating for everyone involved. It's also part of why we'd rather have tougher rules; if a handler decides to try to push every limit in an OOC way, we want to have an answer ready.
Doc wrote:The fundamental problem with a lot of escapes, that I've read, is that people are approaching them from the OOC perspective that they want to succeed.
This is an interesting point. We have seen escapes doomed from the start, though I think they fly more under the radar because they usually communicate with staff at the beginning what their aim is, at which point we tend to be pretty hands-off unless some kind of issue comes up.
Doc wrote:In short? Use a story to serve game mechanics, rather than trying to bend and lawyer mechanics away to get the story you want.
I think this is perhaps a bit too little credit to most of our escape attempt handlers. That said, we've had a few instances where a handler basically declares that they're going to do their best to leverage every possible opportunity into an escape. That's fine, but it leads to the rules being written with that mentality in mind. It's an unfortunate situation where the rules have to be pretty firm and loophole free for the 5% of potential escapees who would abuse them otherwise.
Ciel wrote: I feel like the details of the collars, specific details, should be left up in the air to discourage people. If there were honest to god schematics of the collars available for everyone to read then everyone will be gunning for it.
It depends! I think the collars should react the same way every time for sure, because that gives enough clues that people can work off of something. That said, actual schematics and workings being announced was part of an April Fool's joke for a reason.
Ciel wrote:Seriously though, Grim. if you've got an idea that is awesome and you think it'll work then this was not the way to do it. It's just going to stir the pot to a boil and get people salty. You're a nice guy and I'm very certain you wanted to start a discussion without tomatoes being thrown.
Grim's been nothing but polite and this is the exact forum and style for this sort of thing, so I 100% support this thread and method of handling stuff.
Ciel wrote:They are not going to give you the answers and they are not going to make special exceptions just because they like you, but they will be able to assist you if you've got questions and maybe, just maybe, if they see how willing you work with them, maybe they might consider the notion of letting you succeed.
We'll succeed or fail you based on the playbook, no matter how much we personally like or hate your plan. That said, how painful the process of getting to that conclusion is depends a lot on communication and style. I know you're not specifically addressing Grim here, but I just want it to be known he's consistently been one of the best handlers to work with re: escape stuff and interfacing with staff across two versions.
Ciel wrote:The only technicality to this I can think of is that I don't think a staff member's character can be directly involved with the escape.
This is a thing that really needs an on the book rule, but basically yeah, staff have way too much inside information to be allowed to do any sort of initiating. I don't think we'd slam a staffer if their kid was attached to someone else's escape attempt in a small role or whatever if they weren't abusing their position, but they'd blow up like everyone else (and also definitely be off the success/failure committee). But... yeah, if a staffer's character is leading an escape attempt, abandon all hope ye who follow.
Grim wrote:I see what you mean, Doc. If success is the sole metric by which you're measuring the attempt you're not playing the same SotF as everyone else on the board.
Mm hm! This is also the same as the people who gun to win from Day One. People do that. It will never make sense to me.
Grim wrote:And Ciel, I agree that there are many details that can be left kind of vague, but some (particularly the nature of collar explosions) can't. I should alsom mention that these aren't thoughts towards a future escape attempt on my part--if they were, I'd probably have just PMed a staff--but more thoughts I had both before, during, and after my own escape attempt in this version that I thought I should bring up.
Yeah, this is a good talk. And some of these are things that staff came to conclusions about during the attempt ourselves.

Not to get too overboard before it's fact, but my thoughts on collar explosions are that any collar explosion related death is gonna probably require a look-over by staff in V6 onwards. The issue is that if one handler writes something that implies things work a certain way (for example, a collar starting to beep when damaged instead of just instantly exploding) and staff see it another way (protip: collars instantly explode when damaged) that can be a serious issue for a handler reading along and gathering info. It's actually why we retconned Joey's death; communications got a bit complicated, handlers didn't have quite the right read on how collars reacted, and we knew there was an active escape attempt and didn't want them to get the wrong idea.

Again, just my opinions and stuff.
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