Skotos Forums Closing: September 30

The Skotos Forums are officially closing on September 30, 2020. They will go read-only on that date, and will be removed entirely sometime afterward.

We encourage the games that spun off of Skotos to create new discussion mediums of their own, and some have already done so. But the centralized discussions for Skotos will soon be a thing of the past (just as the centralized Skotos site is).

We've also posted a goodbye message to the community on our main page, which you can find here:
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  • Fateplay

    It's a little dusty in this unused corner of Skotos, but I finally found a good topic to start some conversation here.

    Today I was introduced to the concept of Fateplay , which is a method of LARP narrative devised in the Nordic community.

    The essence of the method is that characters are given a set of imperatives that they are to carry out at predetermined times or in response to particular triggers. These individual imperitives are woven into a "fateweb" that together compose the entire story to be told over the course of the event. Fateplay differs from the usual plot or quest goals assigned to characters in traditional LARPs because they are not open ended. While players are free to improvise in regards to dialogue, characterization, and other dramatic particulars, the ending of the scenario -- and the fate of each character -- is known from the start.

    In MU* terms we might call that a "scripted plot", which personally I have no objection to (on a limited basis, with the understanding that the "script" is flexible enough to adapt to unforeseen intervention), but I know a lot of players object to being railroaded to a pre-determined dramatic destination.

    My thoughts wander to the viability of doing a full-blown "fateplay" in an online environment, either in an isolated environment like a stage, or worked into the fabric of the freeform storytelling going on in a regular theater-type game.

    Would MU* players resist this kind of controlled plotting, or would they welcome it as an opportunity to explore dramatic directions they hadn't considered or dared before?

    To me, a big benefit would be the elimination of the "always must win" mindset that many players have that keeps them from taking dramatic risks. If you know your character has to take a dive in the fifth act, you're going to focus your efforts on making it the most dramatic dive possible!

    On the otherhand, it diminishes the communal sense of online storytelling, in that one person (or group) is ultimately the author, and everyone else is an actor. True surprise is eliminated from the drama because everyone already knows what they're going to do, even if they don't know what everyone else is going to do.

    I'm interested in hearing what others have to say on this idea.

  • #2

    I say ...
    " cake on your makeup , bright the lights,
    certainly pull the curtains back and lets put a show on tonight , stage fright is no worry ,no anzity attacker,
    spot light provided by Hewett Packard"

    I swore I wouldnt come back here !

    By the way .. Hi Staci


    • #3
      Not a lot of activity in this forum, eh? I'll proffer my thoughts.

      I think this idea could work, but it would only appeal to a certain type of player. The advantage of this approach is that it frees the player from trying to achieve their characters "goals", and just working on presenting the story in the best possible way.

      Now, I have been involved in plots which were to some extent like this, where the primary people know what they need to do, and work toward that. Everything between the specific required actions is just freely role-played, but at certain times they take specific actions.

      In a larger theatre (like Marrach), the satisfaction comes from having a dramatic story develop which other people can be peripherally involved in, and which they can relate to (the duel of Morte and Martel comes to mind). It affected everyone greatly, even those not directly involved in the plot, and makes for a great "tragedy" to add to the history of the Castle.

      Now, I would say that you have more chance of success with this with a small, core group. The more people you add, the harder to manage, and the harder to ensure everyone sticks to their role. Also, if run in an existing theatre, there is the risk that those without assigned parts will get involved, and take the fateplay totally off track. Then you either have to quickly adapt, or else (which seems to happen more often with some planned plots) you try and force it back onto the rails, but it becomes apparent that what ensues is contrived.

      If it was instead run in a dedicated stage (a bit like Tomb of the Desert God, I guess), then I could see this working. If all the players in the stage have their own imperatives to follow, and know that everyone else is committed to helping tell the same story, then I could see that a well planned one would make for a wonderful story. It would have a coherent, central story written by one or a few people, but the creative input of all involved when it came to the actual presentation.

      And while the surprise element might be eliminated for the character they play, it is not totally eliminated, as they will not know what the other characters are going to do. It brings to mind those "How to Host a Murder" games, actually.

      In fact, just thinking about it, you could add an element of surprise. The advantage you have in a MU* is that you could privately talk to players without the other players knowing (eg. in Skotos games with the "page" command). Maybe you could hold back certain of the imperatives until the right time, and then privately inform the player that their character must now do "X".

      Would it be welcomed? My guess is that it will appeal to a subset of online RPers. But then again, the same could be said of any online game. And this style of game does not look to me to be capable of handling large player-bases (imagine trying to write the plot and directives for 100+ players). Another appealing factor is that it would generally have a limited run time, so will attract those who do not want to make lengthy time commitment.

      I'd be interested in other thoughts, and seeing if anything comes of it.



      • #4
        Nice story
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