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Messages - Levi Kornelsen

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Quote from: JamesV;767405
Not that Levi isn't doing a bad job of defending himself, but throwing out the content of a personal conversation is a jackass thing to to, Pundit.

Eh, there was some expectation that we'd both talk a bit online about what we talked about in person, then.  That's not my beef.

The weird

Quote from: RPGPundit;766620
and got him to admit

quote-fishing and bending of my attempt at hospitality and "show the man a good time among awesome and even flirty people", into a means to score cheap and insulting points for no gain, though?

That was pretty much exactly where all my "friendly debate" feels evaporated.

Quote from: RPGPundit;767352
Dude, you'd had a bit of scotch, but those were pretty much your literal words out of your own mouth "He should not be a mod".

"Well, I would not have made him a mod."  (True, though only half the story - and I wasn't about to share the rest)


"His style is very much a callback to the whole wild west period" (Also something I felt was true at the time)

Both delivered half-joking in a "let me defuse this whole shitting-on-my-friends deal by throwing him a conciliatory thought of sorts" moment to someone that, as it turned out, was fishing nice and hard for some sweet gotcha lines, and got ones to twist into place.

Once again, go fuck yourself.

Quote from: RPGPundit;766620
got him to admit that he thought Darren was a terrible mod who should never be in that position.

Your ability to get that from what I said is an indication to me that you're willing to stoop to exactly the kind of bullshit fact-and-quote-warping that has been pointed at you, and which you decry as a great travesty.

Go fuck yourself.

'm a big fanboy for Clash's On Her Majesty's Arcane Service, to the point of having a light hack of it I'm working on pretty often elsewhere.  But I want to hack the setting, too, right from the ground up, with a bunch of stuff added in.  Figured I do that here, where I can get lots of eyeballs on it.  And, to take advantage of said eyeballs, I have some questions for people in general on what they'd want to see.

So here we go.

Note that when we hit "the Arcane Service", that's the player characters.

Before The Beginning
Henry the VIII, father of Queen Elizabeth, reigned in England from 1509 until 1547.  Attempting to acquire a son, he took six wives in series.  To allow him to divorce, he split the English church from the Catholic, spreading many church holding among his nobles and emptying out many monasteries.  These actions made for some tumultuous times in England after his death.

A Most Rapid Succession
Henry's son Edward (the VI) was a protestant, crowned at the age of ten, and died at the age of sixteen through illness; he faced rebellions and unrest over his continued protestant reformations.  
 He was succeeded by Lady Jane Grey, his half-sister, by his own wishes, who was Queen for nine days before her claim was challenged and ended, by Mary I.  The Lady Jane Grey was executed shortly afterwards for treason.
 Mary (the I), also a daughter of Henry, and a Catholic, took back the kingdom, declared it Catholic again, and began to burn protestants – for which she gained the sobriquet “bloody Mary”.  Mary I reigned for five years, died of a tumor, and the throne passed to Elizabeth.

The Rise Of Elizabeth I, And Her Circle
Elizabeth, the remaining child of Henry, raised a protestant, became queen in 1558, two years ago.  Her innermost circle may be said to consist of:
  • Sir William Cecil, Lord Burley, a moderately stuffy and conservative fellow who seeks stability in the nation, and encourages Elizabeth to marry for such cause.  Burley also works to advance his ally, a certain Lord Walsingham, a ruthless, ambitious, and bloodily loyal maestro of spies.
  • Lord Robert Dudley, Elizabeth's favorite, but not favored for marriage for plain reasons of politics.
  • Doctor Johnathan Dee, the Queen's Astrologer, a noted arcanist.
Naturally, the foremost aims of this young queen are centred on consolidating her powers and her country.  Her Majesty goes about these ends through a fairly simple stratagem.  She has enacted a number of sweeping reforms, and now seems to be playing for time.  At present, her pattern is to accept any major power as an adviser, and listen to what they have to say, but make almost no changes or take any actions of significance, as her early reforms slowly become the status quo.  So, let's look at the three greatest reforms...

Religious Uniformity
To the great aggravation of the Catholic church, Elizabeth has passed a new settlement of religious uniformity.  It echoes the break her father made with Rome, but grants significantly more leniency to priests wishing to employ various Catholic trappings (in the real world, Elizabeth's settlement is enduring; this marks the real foundation of the Church of England).

Uniformity establishes a common book of prayer, common rituals, and much else.  Officially, England is Protestant, and there are legal penalties for non-conformity.  However, these penalties are both relatively lenient (no Catholics are burned, for example), and are not usually applied at all; it seems in general that Elizabeth is perfectly fine with variety in faith, so long as it keeps it's head down.

Naturally, Uniformity is not popular in Rome; the Catholic church has declared that Elizabeth is not Queen, and that Mary Queen of Scots ought to be.  This has fomented a fair bit of support among the discontented and those unwilling to convert to heretical Protestantism, and it is likely that Elizabeth will see a number of revolts and uprisings through her reign, relating to this claim.  There are, in addition, always rumours of Jesuit assassins, of gold from Rome to pay for raising of forces in unrest, and much else besides.

Magical Regularity
England is home to a vast profusion of temples, lodges, fraternities, and societies given to the study of Thaumaturgy, Theurgy, and Fairy matters.  Many of these societies possess actual magicians – other possess mystical lore.  Such societies often lay claims as inheritors of the Druids, the Rosicrucians, or of the Templars.  Others are far more foreign, and at least one, Freemasonry, is a wholly new synthesis of older groups.

Her Majesty has taken the advice of Dr. Dee in regards to these groups, and has passed an act of Regularity.  This act has a number of different effects; the three greatest are:

First, in order for a human being to practice arcane or fairy magic in England, they must pass examination, and swear an oath of loyalty to the crown, and register in a census.  They can be drafted in time of need.

Second, the examination in question is to be administered by an arcane college that is chartered by the Crown.  A large number of such colleges were created on the day that Regularity was passed – these were, in truth, existing groups that had been carefully screened, and endowed with lands (specifically, empty monasteries remaining from Henry's break).  

Third, such arcane colleges are to be overseen by a Master chosen by the Queen; in addition to overseeing those colleges, that Master will also hire and maintain agents to enforce these rules and deal with oddities and incidents.  These agents are referred to as Her Majesty's Arcane Service.  The first Master of Arcana is John Dee himself.  

Those arcane groups which possessed relatively significant power were almost all chartered into schools, and those without have now been given an opportunity for gain.  As a result, Regularity may be said to be a qualified success, much as Uniformity is.  

There are magicians offended by the idea of examination – and those that fear it due to some malign or infernal dealings in their past. As of yet, not a single fairy that teaches magic has shown any interest into sending their pupils into this new system, nor have any of the arcane schools yet managed to acquire a fairy professor (and when one does, there's likely to be some trouble over that, too).  These objectors are often capable of voicing their grievances by supporting revolutionaries, by setting up their own underground schools, and by desperately grasping for more power, the next couple of decades will likely be interesting, to say the least.

Fairy Ambassadors
Kings and Queens in England have long treated fairies as enemies; as agents of demoniacal evil on one hand, and of foreign powers (the fairy lands) on the other.  Elizabeth, however, has a general policy of keeping communications open with the enemies of her state, and does not consider fairies to be demonic.

There are many fairy kingdoms that lead into England by one route or another, but two of these kingdoms are both ubiquitous and powerful – the kingdom of Oberon, and that of Mab.  Both of these kingdoms have been invited to send ambassadors to Elizabeth's court, and both have done so.

Mab, who once mentored Morgana leFay in the days of King Arthur, is also known as the Queen of Ice and Darkness, a title that is borne out in her lands.  The interests of her court in England have traditionally been the taking of human servants by force, and swapping of fairy and human infants, in order to place potential agents throughout the country.  With changelings rapidly embracing the new Regularity, and spreading knowledge of the means and routes by which her raiders enter England, her usual methods are stymied.  Mab's ambassadors, newly arrived at court, seem to simply be trying to learn the shape of human politics.  Mab herself has not yet visited; it is unknown what she plans beyond trying to understand the changing shape of affairs.

Oberon, often called the Summer King, visits court regularly, where he seems to delight in verbal sparring with the Queen and her advisers.  Over the course of seemingly endless debates on minute points of law and land, claims and rights, it appears that Oberon's court is building, one tiny deal and agreement at a time, a solid foundation for regular interaction between his court and England.  

Many of the resultant compacts of law between fairy and human are reflections of tradition, now formalized  For example, it has been determined that should a craftsman leave out milk, entering his workplace on the same night he does so, expressly in order to aid his work, even without his knowledge, is not necessarily criminal, something a number of Oberon's boggans and knockers insist upon.  There is some question whether Oberon is engaging in playing an absurdly long joke, but relations have been much improved regardless.

Of course, the petty Kings and Queens of smaller fairy lands, having heard of all this, take their non-invitation as the greatest insult.  Their plotting and raiding have increased hugely.

And now, the Questions:

Anything here that makes no sense to you - stuff you can't follow?

Anything here strike you as especially hot or as no damn use to you?

The next bit would be "what the Arcane Service actually end up doing" - adventures, basically.  So, what kind of adventures would you want to know are available in this setting, as a player of GM?

Other Games / Have you read and/or played Dogs in the Vineyard?
« on: December 11, 2010, 01:21:01 PM »
Quote from: Elliot Wilen;425113
So, Pundit, can the poll be made public? I think everyone's had fair warning.

It is.  Click the poll numbers.

Quote from: flyingmice;423971
Baseball, Pundit. Baseball. I'm doing it knowing there's no market. I don't care. It's on my Bucket List! :D


I am all kinds of "What?  Why?" on this one.  I don't have any idea what the characters would do in a game about baseball, other than play ball.  It has my puzzlement.

Also: Check yer mail.

Clash makes good games.

I swear, every time I run one, I meet another handful of things that cause me to raise an eyebrow.   The number of times I've thought an ability was rough  and found out it played smoothly and naturally is ridiculous.  

It's always odd to me that he doesn't have a much larger, more active fan base.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: December 02, 2010, 03:49:29 PM »
Quote from: Elliot Wilen;422406

"imaginisation" is a terrible word.  But that's a very interesting piece.

Quote from: IceBlinkLuck;421577
There was a game in the 90s called 'Immortal' that had a large 'lexicon' of unusual and thesarus-straining terms everyone needed to know to play. It seemed excessive.

You missed Aria, then?

Because it was mind-burningly terrible at just this.  I cannot do it justice.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: November 28, 2010, 05:31:52 PM »
Quote from: John Morrow;420675
If the conflict resolution rules are relatively generic and don't take much or any input from what's actually being said and done by the PCs as input into the resolution

The bolded bit there is not even remotely the case.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: November 28, 2010, 05:08:14 PM »
Quote from: ggroy;420669
Who/what else is doing it, besides story games?


Greg Stolze (Reign, In spaaace...), John Wick (Houses of the Blooded).  Some (not all, just some) of the stuff from Evil Hat - though many of their moves also tend towards the metagame mechanics of story gaming (the stealth stunts in FATE, say).  Plenty of weird parlor-games, but I think of those as LARPs first, RPGs second.  I've also seen a few games that lauded by story-gamers as being "in their thing", which I thought weren't, really (Red Box Hack fit this mold).

Games with absolute descriptions, that assume you will decide how those apply, are doing it too.  When Clash says "This exerts X amount of force over Y area", and gives you some numbers, you're being left to sort out on your own what you can do with X amount of force over Y area.  When a game says "this does two damage", you know what it does exactly - it's a weapon; the presentation itself leads you away from "I use it to dig handholds in the clay cliffside".  The old schoolers with tales of flooding dungeons out of nearby rivers, and other insane crap, know all about this - more recent dungeon runners, and their designers, have apparently forgotten.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:43:28 PM »
Quote from: Benoist;420666
The fact that this computer game might not exist is not the point. My point is that it's covered by rules, and if it's covered by defined rules, you can replicate it with a computer program.

If anything, in my mind, what story games did provide is a direct comparison between RPGs and other media, and actually weakened them as a medium of their own. Potentially crippling them for good. See this post about this very thing.

So they don't help make RPGs stand out, no. They are relegating them to the role of pale copies of other types of media which are performing MUCH better than RPGs on their own terms. Which is like... exactly the reverse of what you were trying to imply.


I think you're wrong.  You think I am.  There it is.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:37:00 PM »
Quote from: Benoist;420663
Nope, I disagree with that as well, because what story games do is basically provide rules for narrative structures, or authorial input on the game etc, all of which is basically covered by game mechanics and can be replicated by computer programs.

So no. They haven't even participated to those efforts to cover the ground that computers cannot replicate. At all.

Show me a video game where I can pick a target, and initiate a conflict for any stakes I choose to imagine - not just "I beat him up", but anything, whether the designer conceived of it or not - and I'll agree.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:27:14 PM »
Quote from: Benoist;420659
So your argument that somehow the ground that cannot be covered by computer games has been mostly supported by story/plot/type games and mechanics? Complete, utter, 110% crap, as far as I'm concerned.

Let me put the emphasis here, for clarity:

Most of the recent moves in that direction have been dominated by story games.

They aren't the only ones doing it.  They're the loudest.

The RPGPundit's Own Forum / Incorporating Dogs in the Vineyard into D&D
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:14:49 PM »
Quote from: ggroy;420654
In what sense of "Computers can't do this"?  (I've never played Amber).

In the case of Amber, because the entire environment of play can be shifted to something you, the player, just thought up two seconds ago.  and so very, very much more.

In Dogs and other conflict resolution systems, all conflicts work one way, but a conflict can be anything; it can't be done in a video game not because of the rules, but because the rules go all sorts of odd places; anywhere you want.

Here's "computers can do this":

If that map is the strength of a game?  I say that game has no truly long-term future.  And in D&D 4th edition, handling that map really, really well is the strength of the game.

4th edition isn't like "an MMO on the tabletop".  But it has, I think, positioned itself perfectly to lose players to MMOs, not to steal them away.

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