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Dark Immolation
 
PostPosted: Mon, Mar 14 2016, 15:18 PM 

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Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Location: The downeaster "Alexa"

It crossed my mind a while ago that one sort of RP that's keenly missing in my experience on Amia is "travel" RP. It's a staple in tons of fiction, not to mention a classic in P&P adventures. A rag tag group, making its way from village to village in search of whatever. I think re-watching Samurai Champloo and Lord of the Rings might have made me nostalgic for that sort of thing, so I'm curious if others have considered it or have ideas about how we could incorporate it into our setting. If it's even possible, that is.

There are several roadblocks we have to this sort of RP. The first of which is of course a limited amount of areas and large number of people. As cool as it would be, there probably isn't a feasible way to have a lot of areas on our server with no other purpose than to be traveled through. Or, at least I would imagine that to be the case. Dynamic loading may ease that sort of strain, but it still requires a dev to make areas whose entire purpose is to be moved through, rather than inhabited. A good compromise I think is periodically introducing new areas to travel to, like what was done with Last Lantern or whatever it was called(even though people didn't seem to be allowed to travel to it after the initial group...). In any case, newer, less Amian-ized areas solve the second set of stumbling blocks to RP journeys: portal wands, carts, and ships .

They're great, though. They're a good time saver and honestly, they make navigating our huge servers a bit more bearable for those that don't enjoy the ride, so to speak. But it's a double-edged sword. There really isn't a reason to go many places on foot, IC. Between a portal and a boat/cart ride, there are very few places you can't get to in the module in a matter of minutes. Issues of getting to a new and unfamiliar location is as simple as ICly asking "Does anyone have a portal to X?". And no one can be ICly faulted for that. Traveling is hard. It's not something you would want to do if you didn't have to, no more than you'd walk 10 miles to your job every day, rather than driving or catching the bus. All the same, it makes it very hard to take any sort of get-to-destination RP serious. If you're not there already, you simply aren't trying. Having new areas, new frontiers without ley nodes and Captain Guston eases some of that. You're back to hoofing it.

As much as I like the RP in other games and P&P, my experience with it on Amia is limited, with a group at least. I really do enjoy occasionally exploring out beyond Forstakkr and other long forgotten areas of the server for no other purpose than to see someplace even slightly new or unfamiliar, which is hard when approaching a decade of playing here. But I do enjoy it, especially the idea of setting up a camp and making a temporary place to survive. Which ICly probably makes less sense, given that my main could technically Gate back to his cozy, full-furnished house, and then back to wherever he was after he had rested. But still, I like the idea of camping RP so much that I'd even come up with suggestions for like mechanical bonuses and perks to reward people who bothered to do things like lay down a cot before resting or engage in a meal. This is all to say, my way of coping and getting what I want out of travel RP is what is my answer to so many other things RP related: to slow down. Enjoy it. If we were ever to have a exploration-style quest or event, I imagine that would be the answer too. To have a goal that is less about getting to the destination, which anyone can solve with a Scry and any number of spells, and more about physically searching for something/someone or interacting with locals along the way. I don't know, I can't recall it ever being attempted in a DM event or PC run thing, but I sure would like to see someone take a crack at it.

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GreatPigeon
 
PostPosted: Mon, Mar 14 2016, 15:22 PM 

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Joined: 04 May 2009
Location: London, UK

This maybe is satisfied with the explorer job sort of kind of. But obviously not fully in the way you were lusting for.

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exquisitelyme
 
PostPosted: Mon, Mar 14 2016, 17:43 PM 

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Joined: 26 May 2009

I have absolutely great memories of Oaru and Nana (linlan) spending a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon exploring and mapping all of Ostland In Character. If the players involved are willing to take it slow, it can be a real blast. They would walk around all the maps until there was no Fog-Of-War, stopping at each landmark or point of interest to RP it out (Ruins here? Is that a skeleton? Maybe we can determine how long it's been here? Where would ambushers hide? etc).

I would suggest anyone looking for a similar experience with a low level character these days to keep an eye out for Blue Moon and her character Syllah. The RP sessions and dungeon crawls we've been doing involve traveling with lots of exploration, scouting, walking (not running) between spawns, interacting/RPing with basically any map element and more, without the need for a DM.

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Overneath
 
PostPosted: Mon, Mar 14 2016, 19:38 PM 

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Joined: 08 Nov 2013
Location: Somewhere near the Atlantic (I hope)

I know this isn't QUITE where you meant to go with your suggestion, but I have a sudden fondness for the idea of setting up an Amian Tourism Board.

"And THIS, fine fellows, is where Salandra herself cast Greater Restoration for the first time! Praying, kneeling, sniffing, weeping and cursing are all 100 gold extra around nominal holy sites."

That having been said, phrasing this in terms of 'what-if' feels very disingenuous. The staff have already put mind-boggling amounts of time and effort into expanding and molding the areas we already access - have you been to B lately? I can't bring myself to believe that we need more areas when we don't even use the ones we've already got, especially given that our playerbase is running on a server with space designed for twice the capacity we're regularly using.

I think I'd rather see player-initiative storytelling using the tools at our disposal. That ruined tree in the goblin area looks like it has a history, I wonder what it is? None available, you say? Hah! Then its marvelous tale simply hasn't been invented yet! We don't necessarily need brand-new areas to make the server's landscape more interesting, we just need players willing to get together and craft that interest. Lest we forget that Amia is supposed to be a player-driven experience, rather than a series of requests for the DM team to give us even more X-Mas presents that most of us won't even use because we don't know they exist.

I had an inkling of starting a Guide Service a long time ago, and started the task with a text document that went area-by-area mapping out all the entrances, exits, NPCs, stores, quests, items, transportation objects and points of note. A mind-boggling solo task, yes, but it kept me busy and introduced me to areas of the server that weren't just brand new to me, but had recent updates of their own, like HAK-skinned sea trolls near the Cordor Festival Grounds or the faction chest off by the Ruined Hill Enclave just north of that. And that's not even 35% of that particular section of Amia A, let alone the whole of both servers. If we want to explore, tour, provide, and arrange, the tools are already available to us. Personally, wanting more swathes of space for that purpose is asking a little too much - like having a lamborghini and, instead of performing maintenance on the engine, getting solid gold rims for the tires.


EDIT: I got wrapped up in a tangent again. In terms of the idea presented by the thread title, yes, I really don't think giving XP rewards for entering a new area would hurt anything. In fact, it gives incentives to really explore, like we agree there should be. I just don't think we need additional areas to make that worthwhile.

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Blue Moon
 
PostPosted: Tue, Mar 15 2016, 9:08 AM 

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Joined: 11 Oct 2012
Location: Florida

Exploring is just about one of my favorite things to do on servers... unfortuntely Amia was the first one I played on that, no offense, didn't feel like I was encouraged to do it? There's also many many rules and restrictions at least I feel- please correct me if I'm wrong- about what kind of characters can go where, who's banned or who would just get killed... between holy cities, the UD, alternate planes, elven territory, places that ban/would kill wizards or magic users... I almost feel like I have to create separate alts just to experience or even go to all of these places. I've probably only been to 1/3rd of Amia because of it. :(

Maybe that's just my fault for being too chicken shit to go places I might get killed or kicked out of- and no I don't just mean as a tiefling or evil PC, I'm just thinking of my main Jovi!

Exploration XP would definitely help incentivize this, foster more RP and get more people to bump into each other and.. maybe go where they'e not supposed to go, stir up some trouble ;)

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Dark Immolation
 
PostPosted: Tue, Mar 15 2016, 10:43 AM 

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Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Location: The downeaster "Alexa"

No, that's a totally valid assessment. It didn't cross my mind how many settlements have restrictions like that, but that may well add to the lack of travel RP. Though that's probably tied to a host of other issues. It certainly adds flavor to settlements and gives them their own identities, but as an aside, I always thought it sort of incubated the already present problems between different factions/alignments. It's died down in recent years, but it used to be almost expected that you're gonna find a reason to fight someone opposed to your race/religion. A paladin sees a necromancer, shit "has" to go down. While I always figured there would be much more of a working relationship between opposing views. There are plenty of people who you can outright, absolutely disagree with and hate 90% of what they do, but you're not gonna come to blows with them every time you see them. You you ignore them or do your business and move on. The way our settlements have grown, you can stay in one and never see someone who's going to challenge or oppose your PC's views. So when they DO see someone who challenges them, there's a lot more pressure to do something drastic. Or was, at least.

But anyway, that's a different direction. But you're right. I can remember early on in my server days randomly coming across Guldorand and meeting the Thunderbeards there at the Logjammer. Now that place has a racial gate. Which is a totally natural thing to happen IC, but yeah, that whole part of PC meeting them and hanging out there would not work today. Our settlements are a lot more... protected? Insular? And as opposed to older years, everyone is more aware about metagaming guards, almost to the point of not bothering going places you might not be welcome, for fear NPC forces that may or may not be combatable. Or at least that would be my fear. I can remember another time(long ago, mind you) where my main had a plot-marked Winya archer sicked on him while scoping out the Nexus Falls. The attack was totally validated, but I just remember seeing that "0" damage show up above the NPCs head, and what I immediately internalized then was "Oh, I'm not supposed to be doing this. I'm not supposed to be able to influence this thing, beyond just running away."

I'm not sure if XP would really give people an incentive. I don't feel it would, but then I've been around for a while. If it was a perfect world, I'd say we go on some Minecraft shit, with randomly generated areas, towns, ruins, etc... but that's again more mechanical stuff. It's probably more beneficial to focus on what steps we can take as players and DMs to encourage this type of RP. For instance, maybe some sort of fantasy geocaching. Place a treasure or unique item somewhere and give hints or clues about where it is. That works either as a PC effort or a DM mini-plot or two.

Edit: Of course as soon as I say that, I actually feel like typing up an idea I had for IA... bah.

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You think Magic is your ally... but you merely adopted the Art. He was born in it. Molded by it.
Sometimes, an angel is simply a devil with better intentions.


 
      
Dark Immolation
 
PostPosted: Sat, Oct 01 2016, 7:08 AM 

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Joined: 20 Apr 2008
Location: The downeaster "Alexa"

I know it's a long shot, but I'd really love it if we could take a crack at this as a server. What would be some locales near enough to Amia and the Trackless sea that might might good mini-additions to the module?

Or, perhaps to save time, what are some areas we already have that could be revamped or fleshed out to make them worth exploring again? I was very fond of all the wilderness Forstakkr additions way back when. But as cool as they were, they're kind of cobbled together and there's not much to see or do while you're there.

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You think Magic is your ally... but you merely adopted the Art. He was born in it. Molded by it.
Sometimes, an angel is simply a devil with better intentions.


 
      
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