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Old 11-29-2010, 11:01 PM   #151
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

I more or less meant contribute as in, do something to help the resolution - not CAUSE the resolution. If an arc is based on specific characters doing things with other characters, that's great - but let's not make everyone else wait for that to happen. There are villains and heroes that can do things in the meantime that could matter to the arc, but neither have any real power to stop or continue whatever the plot is.

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Agreed, Nitemare.

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:03 PM   #152
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

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"Hey guys, I'll go back and time and stop it all from starting. Lolz!"
Believe it or not, that actually has been done before.

Hal Jordan as The Spectre took a whole bunch of powerful character deaths in World of Heroes' second season and reversed them with some deal with the devil type of scenario by season's end, totally unannounced to any of the players in the game at the time.

The result? A pretty extensive fight, OOC wise.

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:04 PM   #153
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Believe it or not, that actually has been done before.

Hal Jordan as The Spectre took a whole bunch of powerful character deaths in World of Heroes' second season and reversed them with some deal with the devil type of scenario by season's end, totally unannounced to any of the players in the game at the time.

The result? A pretty extensive fight, OOC wise.
Yeah....I remember reading about that.

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:07 PM   #154
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

I remember reading that (not the OCC stuff)

Let me guess who was playing Hal...

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:21 PM   #155
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

Hey guys. Just wanted to say that I'm down for whatever ideas the majority of you decide to follow through on, despite my lack of ideas to contribute to the cause. I've been a part of this community for years and I want to see the RPGs live as well. So here's to hoping for the best!

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Old 11-29-2010, 11:47 PM   #156
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

I agree with everything that's been said about "Big Arc Syndrome," for lack of a better term. One of the reasons I believe UDC succeeded this time around is because there wasn't really a "big arc." Yes, Star'ro invaded and the JL formed, but it was nowhere near the scale of the Despero arc, and it left a lot of room for the second-tier characters to do their own thing. I think we get caught up in the razzle-dazzle (can't believe I just used that in a serious context) when the most interesting storytelling typically occurs in the downtime between Earth-shattering/the-universe-will-never-be-the-same/drop-what-you're-doing-and-come-fight-the-topical-menace-of-the-time story arcs.

And this is just as true of the comics as it is of the RPGs.

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Old 11-30-2010, 01:41 AM   #157
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

I think I agree; I have absolutely no problem with big arcs, they're some of the best part of the RPGs in my opinion, but there does need to be a wider focus and playability. If the arcs are a bit less strict in their planning (ie instead of saying Superman has to do X, saying a character has to do X), then that might help.

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Old 11-30-2010, 01:55 AM   #158
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

I'm a fan of the big super-events myself, but I do agree that they get overdone, especially when there's little to no downtime in between them. I'd say if you're going to have them in the games, they should be limited to maybe one every other season.

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Old 11-30-2010, 02:07 AM   #159
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Just to prove I'm actually working towards this: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.ph...erheroHypeRPGS

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Old 11-30-2010, 02:22 AM   #160
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

Good job. Of all our problems, the lack of activity is chief among them and new posters certainly changes that.

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Old 11-30-2010, 03:16 AM   #161
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

I'm not saying big arcs shouldn't happen or even that they should be limited. It should be up to the posters in the rpg as to what happens. I just think we should remove the idea from our minds that a major arc must happen every season.

I'm also incredibly guilty of not doing the wiki stuff. Partly, I think it's because I see no one else (for the most part, I know some of you work really hard with keeping things current) doing it, so I have no motivation to do it. And in RPGs like WOH which have been around forever, there's a lot of history I wasn't around for that hasn't been chronicled and most likely won't due to those posters being long gone, so I don't see a point in that regard either.

Perhaps there should be a responsibility among the posters to do it forthright, and among the mods to do it should a poster not do it himself/herself. Or, something to this end, anyway. I'm just throwing out ideas.

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Old 11-30-2010, 08:22 AM   #162
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Syn's 2 cents:

I count myself included in what I'm about to say, hence what I say is in the third person - not first.

1) There's like, nine active RPG posters who are involved in rpgs at this time. Out of these nine, five to seven are in more than one game. That's less than nine people spread across 6-7 RPGs. Most of these nine people tend to play the same characters, therefore, they all tend to interact with one another with the same characters. Despite everyone's talent, it tends to get old.

2) In every RPG, it tends to be the same people running the 'major arcs' that incorporate the whole RPG and essentially classify that season of a specific RPG. Because of this, the major threat that opposes everyone in the RPG also tends to only be beaten by the major heroes (because that's the way it is in the comics, generally), so the people playing the big league characters become pivitol, while everyone else just sits idle until the arc's climax ends.

3) It's not the availability of the character's that drives interest in an RPG - it's the availability of the posters who control the big characters in an RPG. Or, not even the big characters - just the characters who are pivitol in a specific season of an RPG. The more available the posters playing the core characters are, the more interest in the RPG there will be.

4) The major arcs driving a season tend to be centric around a certain class or group of characters. It may start out as expansive, and open to any character, but it always ends with a specific group of characters as important to the arc at hand.

5) A lot of the recent major arcs tend to be action and disaster - big monumental threats solved by brute force and perserverence. Not everyone has a character who has super strength, speed, invulnerability, etc. What happened to threats that occur on a psychologic level - threatening the characters' status or roles, as oppossed to their physical stature? It always seems that at the end of these arcs, the only ramnifications are characters die (who will be revived next season anyway), or easily restored alterations to the status quo. It feels like the arcs serve no purpose to the rpg as a whole - the arc just becomes a way for characters to have interaction on a major scale together, which is fine, but after multiple seasons in multiple rpgs? It gets old.

5) Not every major arc needs to follow what's happening in the comics right now. We just read it - I don't want to re-enact it with slight varients in the RPGs. (This is not just referring to DC RPG - it's been happening since I've been here).

These are just some things that come to my mind off hand. There's probably more, but I think that's enough from me right now anyway. This is not meant to offend anyone, nor is it directed at any poster specifically. I'm guilty of these just as much as anyone else, but it doesn't mean it doesn't affect the RPGs. Hopefully this helps.
All these points are pretty much variations on the same complaint, so I'll handle them in a single response. I for one HATE the whole "it's a clique where only the favorites get to do anything important in the RPG and the rest of us are stuck on the sidelines" argument.

When I first joined the DC RPG, back when the first Dark Alliance story was well underway and I had no part of it, I just came up with my own independent storyline and went ahead with it, and other players started to become involved with it organically as it went on. Nobody is holding a gun to your head and saying, "You need to be a bit part player in the big mega-arc." It's just the onus is on you to do your own thing. The slump isn't down to the "Big Guys" spoiling things for the "Little Guys". Back when the games were at peak activity both had plenty to do. But activity is down right now across the board equally.

The reason that it's the same people in control of the major arcs every season is because THEY'RE THE ONLY PEOPLE INTERESTED IN ACTUALLY DOING IT. If Byrd or Watchman or wiegeabo or whoever didn't come up with a storyline, odds are there would be no storyline. I remember one time in the past, when Red X became incredibly outspoken about being frozen out of plotting arcs, so we gave him pretty much complete creative control to do his own Civil War in the Marvel RPG.... the fact that we later had to reboot says it all. And similarly, perhaps it's the same people involved in the big climax every season because they're the only people with the drive and commitment to see the game through to its end each season? Don't complain that the current story sucks if you're not going to offer anything of your own in return. The best remedy is to bring your own thing to the table. I'm not involved in the big season arc every season, but every season I find something for The Joker to do.

I do agree that re-enactments of recent comic book events don't work too well. With incorporating Blackest Night into the DC RPG, it was an attempt to line up our continuity with the comics and introduce a slew of popular characters that didn't exist in DC continuity before our cut-off point. In theory, it would have been this slew of popular characters being picked up by players - we were careful not to proceed until the major roles at least were all filled by player - but the mass drop-out of activity once the saga started pretty much hobbled the story and left it NPC-dominated. But we're better doing our own thing in the games, I think, rather than aping what's trendy in the real comics.

I don't, however, agree with your complaint that heroes fighting huge, world-threatening foes is wrong. Welcome to the superhero genre. Intimite, personal, existential dramas tend to be found in other genres, though I'm impressed with how much character work many writers have been able to work into the tapestry of these large-scale stories. Similarly, the concept of characters dying and getting brought back to life is very much reflected in the comics that inspire the games. As for the status quo of characters never really changing, I think we have a responsibility to leave characters largely as they were when we picked them up, so as to make it easier for new players picking up the characters to do their own thing rather than be beholden to what we put them through.

None of this is meant as a personal attack, Syn. You just brought up some points, and I'm trying to present the other side of the argument.

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Old 11-30-2010, 10:30 AM   #163
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

To be honest, Soze, I don't find your argument to be any more compelling. The "no one's forcing you to participate in the big arc" argument isn't a particularly strong one, either.

There's a trickle-down effect. I'll use an example that I think we're all familiar with, which you were involved in. The infamous "Brotha-Man" incident. Admittedly, the blame for that particular situation falls on Brotha-Man for being laughably ignorant about the RPG continuity. However, let's say Brotha-Man really wanted to tell his story in Metropolis. Well, he can't. Because of the big arc going on at the time, half of Metropolis was dead and the air was toxic. You tell people to do their own thing, but if the city of Metropolis is decimated, it puts a bit of a damper on other people in Metropolis doing their own thing.

I'll use another, more recent, example from WoH. The Teen Titans were doing our own thing, but we were called into the big fight against Darkseid. What choice did we have? This was the fight-to-end-all-fights. As one of the major superhero teams in the DC Universe, we were obligated to be there. And that's how a lot of people feel. If you're playing a superhero, and there's some big climactic fight, it's often difficult to justify not being there. Say I wanted to play Green Arrow. How could I have GA ignore the Black Lanterns and Anti-Life drones flying around? In the name of creating a believable continuity, there's no way I can have Ollie decide he's going to sit out the fight.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:23 AM   #164
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I know that I sometimes let my excitement get the best of me, but for the most part I find the current Season breaks to be a joke. Four days? Why even bother ending the Season?
Way I always saw it, whether it was the times where we had a few days or a week break the point in the end was that when you start a new Season it is understood a gap of time normally passes by in-game. And the "start" of a new Season sometimes entices people to stir with ideas and apply.

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Except, there is something to be said about making them play someone else. But, if they're not interested in anyone else...
Ah, ok. I see the other side of that coin on your original comment now. Yea, it would push for more characters to fall into the mythos of the RPG. Often times you have the same core of characters just swapping writers more than new characters grabbed and tossed in unless it is a 100% new player to the games.

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I agree with everything that's been said about "Big Arc Syndrome," for lack of a better term. One of the reasons I believe UDC succeeded this time around is because there wasn't really a "big arc." Yes, Star'ro invaded and the JL formed, but it was nowhere near the scale of the Despero arc, and it left a lot of room for the second-tier characters to do their own thing. I think we get caught up in the razzle-dazzle (can't believe I just used that in a serious context) when the most interesting storytelling typically occurs in the downtime between Earth-shattering/the-universe-will-never-be-the-same/drop-what-you're-doing-and-come-fight-the-topical-menace-of-the-time story arcs.

And this is just as true of the comics as it is of the RPGs.
Not taking this personally, but you cannot equate my small Despero arc in UDC to "Big Arc Syndrome". It wasn't a big arc it was a "JLA mission" pre-JLA that was small that took so long because about 2 of the people from the group didn't post often or didn't post. You might have felt it was "big" because the cast of the UDC RPG at that time overall was small but it was in no ways a big arc.

But in terms of "Big Arc Syndrome" thing in general I agree on the points made.

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I just think we should remove the idea from our minds that a major arc must happen every season.
Agree 100%. I've been talking to Soze and a few other PC JLAers in DC saying how I just want to have several small JLA missions and not some huge arc.

And I just want to say this because I know that I've done a ton of big solo Aquaman stuff in my time here: while I may have big arcs for say my Aquaman work pretty frequently those are often confined to myself for 80-90% of the story and then that least 10-20% I have maybe one or a few players interact or come in to close.

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I'll use another, more recent, example from WoH. The Teen Titans were doing our own thing, but we were called into the big fight against Darkseid. What choice did we have? This was the fight-to-end-all-fights. As one of the major superhero teams in the DC Universe, we were obligated to be there. And that's how a lot of people feel. If you're playing a superhero, and there's some big climactic fight, it's often difficult to justify not being there. Say I wanted to play Green Arrow. How could I have GA ignore the Black Lanterns and Anti-Life drones flying around? In the name of creating a believable continuity, there's no way I can have Ollie decide he's going to sit out the fight.
While I agree with Soze's post this is the only thing that hinders it the most. In the comics small big events happen in Superhero-A's book that affects Superhero-B and Superhero-C's too...but we all think that "well...technically it could/should/would affect Superhero-D and his world too" and it makes us scratch our heads when DC and Marvel do that.

But at the same time, this argument only applies BECAUSE the arc being talked about is an Earth-wide scale arc. The Dark Alliance II arc was BIG also...but the scale wasn't something that literally every player had to be involved or else it didn't make sense to the unknown reader. But that reason alone doesn't make the DAII arc so much better than the War of Light/Darkseid thing arc.

So I guess for the future to please everyone when we consider introducing a "big" RPG arc as in it is BIG for the RPG we consider also very strongly the scale? Even though we don't THINK everyone has to be involved if they don't want to...we should ask ourselves first "well is this a story where it wouldn't make sense if Superhero-A was there but Superhero-B is?"

Course, there will always be stories where you won't be able to do that but I guess to try to be more considerate that should be thought of.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:31 AM   #165
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All this crap about "Big arcs" we've talked about this, and talked about this, and talked about this. We can keep on talking until we're blue in the ****ing face and it won't help us.

Everyone has an opinion on it and every big arc is handled differently. You want to do a big arc involving people? Bring it to the RPGs GM and talk it and make sure everything works right and that the arc can be big, fun, and done in timely fashion.

Serious, I've been hearing the same **** about big arcs for years now. Just getting tired of it, it's the same old argument rehashed.

We just need to do a better job making sure they're thought out and the people behind it have the drive and ability to finish them out.

On to the next topic, please

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:34 AM   #166
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As much as it seems that every character should acknowledge and be involved in a big scale arc like Blackest Night, in actuality, they don't.

You have the power to ignore it. It's done in the comics all the time. A giant arc doesn't touch someone's book (maybe it uses them in a tie-in, or the character shows up in the arc's main story). If you're doing an arc, and the end-of-the-world arc starts up as well, you can still do your own thing because you can still be in your own timeline. Your arc can take place before the crisis, and you can address it in a throwaway line afterwords.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:35 AM   #167
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All this crap about "Big arcs" we've talked about this, and talked about this, and talked about this. We can keep on talking until we're blue in the ****ing face and it won't help us.

Everyone has an opinion on it and every big arc is handled differently. You want to do a big arc involving people? Bring it to the RPGs GM and talk it and make sure everything works right and that the arc can be big, fun, and done in timely fashion.

Serious, I've been hearing the same **** about big arcs for years now. Just getting tired of it, it's the same old argument rehashed.

We just need to do a better job making sure they're thought out and the people behind it have the drive and ability to finish them out.

On to the next topic, please
And that there's a backup plan in place in case the arc's driver suddenly disappears.

*curses JB's name once again*

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:38 AM   #168
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As much as it seems that every character should acknowledge and be involved in a big scale arc like Blackest Night, in actuality, they don't.

You have the power to ignore it. It's done in the comics all the time. A giant arc doesn't touch someone's book (maybe it uses them in a tie-in, or the character shows up in the arc's main story). If you're doing an arc, and the end-of-the-world arc starts up as well, you can still do your own thing because you can still be in your own timeline. Your arc can take place before the crisis, and you can address it in a throwaway line afterwords.
Yep. I did that in UDC. Flash dealt with Starro while Nygma and Question were at the finale of the Holiday storyline. I took part in the arc as Flash, but I just said Nygm and Q were doing their thing post-Starro.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:39 AM   #169
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

...which is why I want longer breaks between Seasons. If people insist on "big arcs," then I want everyone to be sure they have them planned out thoroughly enough that they can get done in a timely, unobstructive fashion.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:43 AM   #170
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

When things get planned out too meticulously, that's when it gets so intricate that it slows down.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:44 AM   #171
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EBJ this is irrelevant to the topic at hand and I know this most likely won't change a thing but...gah I wish you would change your avy.

That chick is fugly I tell my bro that every time I catch him watching that horrid show.

I just want to...kick her face in at the chance she might be more pleasing to the eyes.

Sorry...just a lot of build up...only have vented to my brother how much I've hated her entering that show--not that the show wasn't already doing bad--and just her looks.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:44 AM   #172
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

And when the only plan is, "Bah! Inescapable peril for our heroes!" no one knows when to wrap it up.

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Old 11-30-2010, 11:45 AM   #173
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

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Originally Posted by Catman_prb View Post
When things get planned out too meticulously, that's when it gets so intricate that it slows down.
yup

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Aquaman can only be whole when he loses that hand again and reclaims the super-awesome water hand. It's one of comics' great paradoxes.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:46 AM   #174
Catman_prb
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

And something more than "Inescapable peril" does not require weeks of planning. That said, I am in favour of having a longer break between seasons. It makes everyone that much more up for playing again, rather than getting bored by the monotony of a seemingly neverending season.

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**** went down.

It may or may not have also 'got real'.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:48 AM   #175
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Default Re: The RPG Soapbox: Let your voice be heard!

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Originally Posted by Catman_prb View Post
When things get planned out too meticulously, that's when it gets so intricate that it slows down.
Now, I didn't take part in it, but I think JB's Thanos arc in Marvel's fourth season is a good example of how things like that can work out.

JB had a beginning, middle, and finale in his mind and how he wanted it to go. But everything was up in the air, everything down to the last few posts were up for the RPers to decide.

I think that's how is should go with these big things. Most of the stuff the DA2 arc did was off-the cuff for the most part. Just start with a basic idea and let the RPers fill in the gaps with interactions.

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