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Thread: The Next Interactive AAR

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    AARs are not games, they are stories.
    That's a tough stance to take, since they're stories about games.

    Quote Originally Posted by thekinguter View Post
    I also had a weird idea the other day. Having the players play as legislators/councillors under an absolute monarch at the start and effectively progressing from AM to PC to HM government. The kings would be NPCs of course, but that removes the thrill of it, I believe. The thing about SOTA was the power struggle and the character build up. I played a dynasty in SoTA and it thrilled me that I developed certain characters that influenced the story of the game and certainly "went down in history" in-universe (My first character developed the idea of a nationalist party, my second character implemented the idea of a chilean SOI, my fourth character implemented fascism, etc). Having an NPC leading the country will force the players to unite against the NPC but it would be boring and limited. Playing against other players is what makes it interesting.
    So what would the players do under an absolute monarchy? The problem I foresee is that there's basically no player interaction at all early in the game.
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  2. #22
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    And that is why any nation might be hard outside of a republican nation. Honestly NPCs shouldn't really exist - I feel, anyway. This isn't DnD and the only NPCs you need are the other countries. No need to give your players any more of a headache.
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  3. #23
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    Not all RPs are "games" (in the sense of DnD or Skyrim). I would consider both Presidents and Andes RPs. People take over a persona, i.e. they play a role (of a person). So yes, RPs can exist in the AAR boards if they are using a Paradox game as a base.
    Obviously a little bit of role-playing is inevitable in Interactive AARs. Even if it's just readers barracking for one party over the other, that usually involves a little bit of role-play. (even if that role is of a nameless party member or plebeian) I am not totally against role playing in Interactive AARs; I am against RPGs masquerading as AARs. When you have mechanics, like say coups in SoTA, you have a game, not a story. When the story itself is dictated by the players themselves, rather than the choices they make, you have a game, not a story. Most importantly, when you refer to your readers as players, you are hosting a RPG, not writing an AAR.

    I would consider those aforementioned to be RPGs. I don't believe either would work very well as AARs in their current form if the "Interactive" components were removed. In contrast, a "Choose Your Own Adventure" story would still work as a story if the Interactive component was removed. It wouldn't be as fun, yes, but it would still work. This is the difference between an Interactive AAR (like "LTRCT") and a RPG (like the aforementioned).

    I am not entirely sure whether a Character-based Interactive AAR would actually work without degenerating into a RPG. I suppose your Idea Mr. C. is a workable one, as the readers are prompting the author (or prompting one reader who prompts the author), rather than directly dictating the story to the author. Provided you can keep full control over the story, I think it could work quite well indeed. I do agree with TH though that AHD has a lot of potential for an Interactive AAR (in my view more so that EU), and I would like to see one for that particular game rather than EUIII.

    That's a tough stance to take, since they're stories about games
    But they are not games themselves. A book about a film is not a film in itself, it is a book. It's not a difficult concept.

    So what would the players do under an absolute monarchy? The problem I foresee is that there's basically no player interaction at all early in the game.
    Point and case.
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  4. #24
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    Well, it is a good thing then that I get to choose what is and isn't over the line and not you, eh? Coups happen, and it is important to have some ground rules so the whole thing doesn't collapse under bickering about fairness and the such.
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Capiatlist View Post
    Well, it is a good thing then that I get to choose what is and isn't over the line and not you, eh? Coups happen, and it is important to have some ground rules so the whole thing doesn't collapse under bickering about fairness and the such.
    Fairness? It's supposed to be a story remember, whatever you say is fair in your story is fair.
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    Fairness? It's supposed to be a story remember, whatever you say is fair in your story is fair.
    I'm not talking about it being fair, I am talking about using ground rules as a means to end OOC fights or complaining.
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  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Capiatlist View Post
    I'm not talking about it being fair, I am talking about using ground rules as a means to end OOC fights or complaining.
    That's why the golden rule of all Interactive AARs is "The Author's Ruling is Final" or some variety thereof. Readers either have to accept that (it's mod enforced after all) or not participate at all. There are no need for "ground rules" or game mechanics.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    That's why the golden rule of all Interactive AARs is "The Author's Ruling is Final" or some variety thereof. Readers either have to accept that (it's mod enforced after all) or not participate at all. There are no need for "ground rules" or game mechanics.
    Ah, but ground rules are the author's way of setting his "ruling" before the problem arises. But as I pointed out earlier, the point is moot: I get to decide when an AAR steps over the line and you don't and I enjoy RP. If an author uses a game to start an interesting and engaging RP and actually utilizes the game in the writing then it is no different than any other Interactive or MP game.
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  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    But they are not games themselves. A book about a film is not a film in itself, it is a book. It's not a difficult concept.
    My stance on the Interactive AAR is that they play the game and I write the story about their gameplay; they can help write the story as well. I fail to see how this is any different from my playing the game alone and then writing the story alone.

    But in a greater sense, I don't really follow why you're so vehemently insistent on this point. I'm not forcing you to run an AAR that you don't want to; I'm just collecting ideas for interactive AARs in general, and there are no bad ideas in brainstorming.

    And with that (and I have no idea why I'm the one who has to say this) I feel like we've gotten a bit off topic. I'd like to put this argument to rest with the common understanding that we can run whatever interactive AARs we want to and go back to collecting good ideas.
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  10. #30
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    Yes, on that note I will announce that in the coming days I am going to start releasing teasers for my interactive AAR. Probably on my blog.
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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Capiatlist View Post
    If an author uses a game to start an interesting and engaging RP and actually utilizes the game in the writing then it is no different than any other Interactive or MP game.
    Firstly it is different from a MP game because the readers aren't prompting the author. Secondly, the problem with so many of these so-called Interactive AARs is that they don't utilise the game enough in the writing. I'm not trying to get Interactive AARs banned, far from it. I like them. I've participated in some of them. I want to see an interesting and engaging Interactive AAR. I just don't want to see another RPG in the AAR forum; I think they're actually bad for AARland as a whole.

    My stance on the Interactive AAR is that they play the game and I write the story about their gameplay; they can help write the story as well.
    I agree.

    But in a greater sense, I don't really follow why you're so vehemently insistent on this point. I'm not forcing you to run an AAR that you don't want to; I'm just collecting ideas for interactive AARs in general, and there are no bad ideas in brainstorming.
    Because I want to see a really good Interactive AAR! I believe that a lot of these Character-driven "Interactive AARs" are RPGs in disguise so to speak. I want to see a great story which I can play a part in and contribute to, and I'm sure a great deal of your readers want the same. The problem is that in these character-driven "AARs" as I have said, is that the RPing takes precedence over the story. Even you yourself referred to them as games and their readers as players. I don't like this mentality.

    If you can't really understand what I'm trying to say from what I've written (my fault, not yours) think of me as a proponent for moderation in Interactive AARs. I want something in-between "LTRCT" and "SoTA", where readers can contribute to the story, help decide the outcome, even offer suggestions to the author on plot points, etc. but whereby the story is paramount. I've seen Interactive AARs fail in the past due to being too decentralised, and I hate to see AARs die.

    And with that (and I have no idea why I'm the one who has to say this) I feel like we've gotten a bit off topic. I'd like to put this argument to rest with the common understanding that we can run whatever interactive AARs we want to and go back to collecting good ideas.
    When did we stop collecting good ideas?! Please don't think of me as a troll or anything like that, I actually want to help you! It just may not sound like that at times, my fault.
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  12. #32
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    You are border-line trolling. I feel as often as they go off topic, Presidents and Andes are "really good" interactive AARs and have helped show what an interactive AAR can really be: a thriving community of characters and players interacting beyond simple polls and basic votes.

    Now, I agree with Thunderhawk, this conversation ends here. If you don't like RPs, don't join one. But as an avid player of DnD and Pathfinder I will never discourage RPing.
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  13. #33
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    Not how I wanted to announce it, but because I need some help getting my mod to work I've posted over in the MEIOU sub-forum.

    Anyway, DDs/background info to come as I get stuff working. Probably use my blog.
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  14. #34
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    I think that a Trade Republic would be good for an Interactive AAR. Players could play as wealthy merchants who decide who is Doge, rather than typical politicians. Perhaps an influence system could be introduced, where a Doge's vote may count for more, but can be easily lost as well. Though it may make the game harder for players who come in later.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Savoy View Post
    I think that a Trade Republic would be good for an Interactive AAR. Players could play as wealthy merchants who decide who is Doge, rather than typical politicians. Perhaps an influence system could be introduced, where a Doge's vote may count for more, but can be easily lost as well. Though it may make the game harder for players who come in later.
    Nice idea, but story wise it would certainly limit the number of countries the story could be set in: namely Venice (my personal preference), Genoa, The Hansa or Novgorod. Unless someone decides to do something wildly ahistorical, like the Merchant Republic of Malacca or something like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanzhang (譚張) View Post
    Nice idea, but story wise it would certainly limit the number of countries the story could be set in: namely Venice (my personal preference), Genoa, The Hansa or Novgorod. Unless someone decides to do something wildly ahistorical, like the Merchant Republic of Malacca or something like that.
    Merchant Republic of Scotland.

    But yeah, the limitation is a given. I mean, we are already kind of limited considering that you kind of have to be a democracy, or at least an oligarchy of some sort, to do an interactive AAR in the first place, in my opinion.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prince of Savoy View Post
    Merchant Republic of Scotland.
    Who's the Doge? Adam Smith?

    But yeah, the limitation is a given. I mean, we are already kind of limited considering that you kind of have to be a democracy, or at least an oligarchy of some sort, to do an interactive AAR in the first place, in my opinion.
    True, but "an oligarchy of some sort" could be translated as a revolutionary Directoire, a feudal aristocracy or an alliance of tribal chiefs. It could be made to extend to any government with enough imagination on the part of the author. I suppose so could a merchant republic, but it just wouldn't be the same reading about the Plutocrats scheming against the Doge in Renaissance Scotland or Malacca than it would be in Genoa or the Hanseatic League.

    That being said, I still like the idea though. At the least it would make a nice change from politicians and generals.
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  18. #38
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    That being said, I still like the idea though. At the least it would make a nice change from politicians and generals.
    I agree. Politicians and generals are all and well, but the idea of an Interactive AAR based off of a bunch of rich merchants seems really cool to me.

    Does anyone else have any ideas? Criticisms? Liking my idea?

  19. #39
    One query about the TR idea, if somebody joined in late, would their character have the same influence as somebody who's family has been around since the beginning and has loyally supported the regime(if it's remained throughout)? In the case of a TR wouldn't those who've been around longer, be more respected and carry more weight in the republic.

    After some more thought, Japan would be intriguing if we instituted a Shogunate system with various Clans underneath the Shogun(just like historically where you had the Ashikaga Shogunate that "ruled" over the Clans, such as the Oda,Tokugawa,Tachibana,Hojo,Takeda etc., and you could have massive civil wars between the various Clans or something, not just them vs the government?), or similary China with the Emperor(and the civil wars could be more than just a change of government in this instance possibly, you could create a new Empire and have another self-proclaimed Emperor- sort of like in the Three Kingdoms period with Shu, Wei and Wu?)

  20. #40
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    There are a few problems with having an "Emperor" in an open interactive AAR. Either the Emperor will have emperor-like powers and the other players will be unhappy, or the Emperor will have to be curbed and then they will be unhappy for not getting Emperor powers and the others unhappy for not having the same title.

    That's how I'd predict it going in real life. Sure a bunch of rules can be made about it. But the Emperor should be an NPC, to be honest, or it would hurt the democratic and ergo interactive portion of the story.
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