Cythera Team Stories (TSs)



  • this perhaps could be called "The Cythera Web Board part 2"

    This post may seem a little long, but I'd really appreciate it if people read it, even if only the bolded parts. There is a possible plot for the next TS at the clear bottom of this post.

    I have decided to post a topic specifically concerning Cythera Team Stories (this is perhaps slightly different than the Cythera Web Board topic which was concerned with the lack of interest in the boards and TSs, although this probably could be merged with that topic if Avatara wishes to do so).
    It will take some of that topic and offer it here in a condensed version. Also, this topic will address past and future and TSs and in particular the next Team Story.

    In particular, I encourage all new members interested in joining the next TS to at least glance at this topic. At the very least, please look at the bottom which will address future TSs.

    The top of the post will be concerned with Team Stories in general and the bottom will be concerned with the next TS.

    This topic is mainly concerned with improving the quality of the TSs and participation in them.

    (As I am posting this, I am reading back through the Cythera Web Board topic and will be putting some quotes in here from that topic. These quotes will contain things that I that I find of interest. If you think that I have left anything important out, please let me know. I will probably bold some parts of these.)

    Note: Probably few of these will concern the idea of doing a TS more closely related to Cythera. That is because that idea is still very much around and being addressed (hopefully). I will mention that idea here so as to avoid adding several lengthy quotes on the subject: there is much support for and interest in doing TSs more closely related to Cythera. I personally am uncertain about this idea for two reasons: 1. I'm not really quite certain how to do this and .2. it seemed to me that a lot of the old TSs seemed to use Cythera as a setting, although I might have a poor memory and they might have included more items from the game. I don't remember but the current TS may have been an attempt to try this.

    Note 2: Is there any interest in this.

    Note 3: I recall that some people wanted to do a TS that focused somewhat on politics. I believe that the current TS was in part an attempt at this. I don't know if there is still interest in this idea.

    Aben Zin:

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    I think the problem with people's characters for team stories is that they are all, to a degree, a projections of their creators own ideal self, or personal desires- which is all well and good but doesn't really make for interesting characters from a narrative perspective. They are all either super heros or super villians and I think this leads to a case of "to many cooks(...)". Hence all the characters I've created in the character info topics are all frankly fairly inept and, because it's me making them, none to serious.

    I think it'd help if people remembered that Team Stories are just that- stories. Set out to entertain when you post and, if everyone else does likewise, the story becomes that much more interesting.

    cache22:

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    As to the TSs/low post rate, I have a couple of observations from way back. When I started posting, most people wrote in such a way that they set up a situation, and left it for someone else to try and resolve, or at least advance a little. After a while, things started to get a lot more rigid - everyone was developing plans for their characters, and a lot of tempers got frayed when others posted things that didn't agree with those plans (I was as guilty of that as anyone, both ways.) For a TS environment, the key has to be flexibility. Once you start deeply planning the development of your characters, it's time to promote them to 'Chronicles only' status, and create a new one for TSs.

    OK, so here are a few of the things I liked about TSs:

    **1. Speed. There was usually at least one post per day from someone other than me.

    2. Challenge. I always looked forward to seeing what difficult situation someone else had set up that I could try and solve, or advance a little for someone else to solve. I could certainly have been better at setting things up for others.

    3. Quality. The posters back then were all extremely good, partly because they paid attention to what everyone else had written. It's important to keep consistent with what's gone before. If someone has started to set something up that you can't finish, try to leave room for someone who can. I've seen several TSs somewhat messed up, because someone blocked something that was being set up, or jumped in with something that just didn't fit.**

    There are probably more, but that's all I can think of right now.

    Selax:

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    1. We could do a TS based more closely on Cythera, as it is seen in the game.
    2. We could do a TS with all our characters completely different than they are in other stories. The idea behind this is that something caused Cythera and all its inhabitants (including the heroes) to have been twisted and altered in various ways in the past. Some heroes would have become villains, and some villains would have become heroes. Example: Selax could be an evil entity with magical powers bent on ruling Cythera (which would be completely different than in any of the stories or the game).
    3. Cythera could be invaded by alternate Cythera. This would something like the above idea; however, instead of themselves being twisted, the heroes would have to fight twisted versions of themselves from the alternate Cythera.
    4. As has been suggested before, we could do a TS where everyone but one person is a villain, and they have to defeat the hero.
    5. We could jump Cythera either into the past or future for one or more TSs.
    6. We could also try doing a sequel to some TS already written.

    Avatara:

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    Several people have expressed some interest in bringing back the idea where each person would play a character in a power struggle to save the land. The rules need some refinement and balancing though, but its something to look into.

    I'm not so sure if the focus would be on storywriting or "playing the game" either.

    Half Truth's post and Avatara's response:

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    (I guess we could try a completely random TS where people make it up as they go along, so long as they respect other people's characters...)

    That's what all the others are, mostly. 95% of stuff is made up as the story goes along.

    Dusk:

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    Perhaps the next team story could be focused in the past, before King Alaric came to power. This would allow us to create plots and environments not constrained by the normal rules of Cythera, while still being true to the lore and characters of Cythera. I can imagine it would be a lot of fun reading about younger versions of the characters we all know from the game.

    I also agree with Aben Zin about characters in general being fairly overpowered, I know Dusk certainly was. I put it down to the fact that he was created when I was less mature than I am now. In any case, I think a team story set in the recent past of Cythera would be a great idea; good enough to lure me from my homework a few times a week .

    End quotes.

    I think that the main issue with the TSs is quality. I think that they lack the flexibility, freedom, and creativity of the older TSs and thus are less interesting. Probably, participation would increase if these were more prominent in the TSs. How to bring these back, I am uncertain (partially because I didn't participate in any of the archived TSs. As Aben Zin pointed out, a TS is just a story, and I think that people need to focus on telling the story. Perhaps, people need to be bolder in posting the situations that cache spoke of and moving the plot of the TS along?

    (This concerns TSs in general. I may add on to this once I have had more time to think.)


    Now on to future TSs (this part will mainly address the next immediate TS and will be much shorter than the above):
    Any suggestions, things, ideas, or plots that you would like to see in the next TSs? (Please don't make general suggestions unless they are in reference to the top part of this: this part is designed to very specifically address the next TSs and more specific aspects of them).
    What would make you interested in a TS?
    Members have mentioned that a lot of the elements in Cythera are not Cythera-related, such as elves and that sort of thing. It occurred to me that perhaps a TS could be done (set after the game but before the archived TSs) that would explain these un-Cythera elements—how they got there and that sort of thing.
    (This addresses future TSs specifically and not TSs in general.)

    For the next TS, I had thought of attempting to do something more related to Cythera.
    It would hopefully use some (but not all) new characters.
    I had thought of doing just a short, small TS to start an arc of TSs which would gradually merge into the current TS arc and hopefully achieve a satisfactory (to all members) integration. I was thinking that it would be very similar to the Undine Stronghold TS, which seems to be one of the old TSs most closely related to Cythera. It would be similar in length—something short to renew interest in TSs. I had thought that the plot might also be similar (but this could cause a lack of interest in this TS because it might seem uncreative).

    The general plot idea would be this: after the fall of House Comana, the ruffians were scattered. Recently, a new ruffian warlord has begun to reunite the ruffians and to renew their reign of terror. A group would gather to travel to the ruffian encampment (who knows? Perhaps it could even be the ruffain encampment from the game) and kill this warlord.

    Discuss—both TSs in general (as addressed in the top part of this post, particularly how to improve their quality and make them more interesting like the old TSs) and TSs in the immediate future (as addressed in the bottom of this post).



  • @selax_bot, on Jul 14 2006, 12:14 PM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    Note 2: Is there any interest in this.

    Yes, I would be interested, but only if a 'traditional' TS did not start up.

    @selax_bot, on Jul 14 2006, 12:14 PM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    Note 3: I recall that some people wanted to do a TS that focused somewhat on politics. I believe that the current TS was in part an attempt at this. I don't know if there is still interest in this idea.

    I would be interested, but not due to any love of politics: more so we can escape the inevitable 'end of the world' scenario that has been flogged (in my opinion) a few too many times.

    @selax_bot, on Jul 14 2006, 12:14 PM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    Perhaps, people need to be bolder in posting the situations that cache spoke of and moving the plot of the TS along?

    This is an issue. I remember in my very first TS at one point the group paused to think about what to do next. Instead of discussing or splitting up, the next poster immediately made a decision. I don't remember any complaints, and the TS certainly moved a lot more rapidly.

    @selax_bot, on Jul 14 2006, 12:14 PM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    Members have mentioned that a lot of the elements in Cythera are not Cythera-related, such as elves and that sort of thing.

    I personally think this detracts from the stories. This dislike is linked to what Cache said:

    Quote

    When I started posting, most people wrote in such a way that they set up a situation, and left it for someone else to try and resolve, or at least advance a little.

    With the inclusion of non-game elements, many situations were not being resolved in a creative way, rather the character's unique abilites did the solving. No point in an enemy mage-locking a door when every party member has remove mage-lock, and two thirds can just walk through the door or break it down.

    @selax_bot, on Jul 14 2006, 12:14 PM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    The general plot idea would be this: after the fall of House Comana, the ruffians were scattered. Recently, a new ruffian warlord has begun to reunite the ruffians and to renew their reign of terror. A group would gather to travel to the ruffian encampment (who knows? Perhaps it could even be the ruffain encampment from the game) and kill this warlord.

    I like this idea, so long as people agree not to spend too long searching for weaponry, gathering supplies, recruiting members, journeying etc. Speed will be the key: the faster we get to the final battle the better, I think. I'm looking forward to it.

    This post has been edited by dusk : 14 July 2006 - 03:14 AM



  • @selax_bot, on Jul 14 2006, 02:14 AM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    Note 2: Is there any interest in this.

    Well, I still like the idea, but what made me lose interest originally was the amount of time that it would consume. Although, if we clipped a lot of the unnecessary stuff (like time, councils, etc.) we could make it much simpler and more entertaining. I'll have to consider that I guess, but as dusk said: "only if a 'traditional' TS" isn't started.

    General TS's : A lot of our current problem with TS's seems to be that as soon as its been going for a couple of weeks, the momentum is lost, along with a great deal of enthusiasm that was there at the beginning. To keep the interest, I think that points 1 and 3 of cache's post are the best guideline.

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    1. Speed. . .
    2. Challenge. . .
    3. Quality. The posters back then were all extremely good, partly because they paid attention to what everyone else had written.

    We have to find a way of making a TS fast without losing the quality. The speed can be achieved by more posters more often. The quality, by taking note of what I bolded in the quote. This is where Challenge fits in though. As you say, posters need to be more bold in advancing the story - something that I am guilty of not doing well, I'm afraid - but when they advance, need to keep in mind of a general idea what's going on, where the story is going, and try to leave room for what another has written, if at all possible, but sometimes, it's not.

    Upcoming TS: I like the plot a great deal, but I agree with dusk. We shall have to keep on our toes to keep it moving! :)
    Especially since I have a nasty habit of writing long, detailed posts that don't cover an enormous amount of ground. . .



  • Here's a list (so far) of the members that I think have expressed interest in joining the next TS:
    Selax
    Wizard
    dusk
    kickme
    BreadWorldMercy453

    I am not certain when the next TS will commence, but there will probably be a gap between the TSs and a return to Tavern as is customary. If anyone has any suggestions on this subject, please let me know. (I will probably be creating a new character for this one.)



  • I would join the next TS, probably keeping Medoc...Grown fond of him :)



  • Woo hoo! Pick me! Although I am not a very good writer/author, I think I could still have fun while not ruining it.



  • Typically, anyone may join TSs, so long as it is not joining at the very end (unless this has been planned already).

    Updated list of members:
    Selax
    Wizard
    dusk
    kickme
    BreadWorldMercy453
    Half Truth
    Percinator

    I recommend again that any new members interested in joining create a character and wait at the the Tavern for the end of this TS.

    How soon after the end of the current TS would you all prefer to start the next one?

    (Remember that this also probably going to be a short TS (similar to the Undine Stronghold perhaps) to get them started again. If it becomes highly successful and if some members wish to extend its length, then it may be longer.)

    Also, note that this topic discusses both the next TS and TSs in general so if you have any comments on TSs in general this is as good a place as any to post them.



  • I will be bumping the Tavern for the sake of new members (if anyone wishes to know what the Tavern is I will attempt an explanation, although I think that I attempted one in the Cythera Web Board topic). I would like to have all the members interested in joining the TS start posting in the Tavern, so that I may be more certain of their intent to participate. Also, since school will be starting soon and if I start the TS now everyone will run out of time to participate when it does, I have decided to wait for about a month before starting the next TS to give members a chance to get settled into their respective routines. I will soon be posting my new character's info, and, if anyone wishes to tell me whether they think that the character is more Cythera-related, they may. Afterward, I shall get around to finishing the current TS (meaning I shall get around to it later today).

    This post has been edited by Selax : 12 August 2006 - 01:30 PM



  • Which of the members listed as interested in participating is still interested?
    (Note: Before I start the next TS, I'd like to get the Tavern going again, so I can have a better idea of who will be active in the TS—please start posting in the Tavern if you are interested in joining the TS.)



  • I am.

    I just need to make a character…



  • I'm not listed but i'm interested in joining.
    I will be adding my character shortly.
    Cheers



  • Updated list of members:
    Selax
    Wizard
    dusk
    kickme
    BreadWorldMercy453
    Half Truth
    Percinator
    Pippin3 (Glad to have you back!)

    As I mentioned above, I don't intend to start the TS until sometime in September when everyone has had a chance to get settled into their school routines (rather than start it now and have it die when school starts).



  • Have I missed something? What is the plot of the next TS? I've heard suggestions, but not a final decision; did I miss something obvious? I feel silly posting in the Tavern when I don't know what's going on, which is why I haven't yet.



  • @selax_bot, on Jul 13 2006, 09:14 PM, said in Cythera Team Stories (TSs):

    The general plot idea would be this: after the fall of House Comana, the ruffians were scattered. Recently, a new ruffian warlord has begun to reunite the ruffians and to renew their reign of terror. A group would gather to travel to the ruffian encampment (who knows? Perhaps it could even be the ruffain encampment from the game) and kill this warlord.

    I think this is what seems to be most agreeable.

    Also, the Tavern doesn't exist solely for the creation of the TSs—it also a place of recreation and a place where your character may interact with other characters. (It is a good place to start developing your character and what you want him or her to be like.) (The Tavern itself really has no plot.) I haven't actually started putting any lead-ins to the TS in the Tavern yet.

    This post has been edited by Selax : 22 August 2006 - 11:59 AM



  • Wakarimas###a ^_^ Thank you.



  • You're welcome.

    By the way, I did post a small lead-in when I posted in the Tavern earlier after my above post (Pippin 3 had mentioned the encampment so I decided that it was probably a good time to start putting in a few small lead-ins), but it's not really anything that is essential or necessary to read.



  • Which of the members in that list is still planning to participate in the TS?

    I've not received word from everyone on the list, so I still don't know who will be joining. I am disinclined to start another TS until I can be assured of the participation of at least four or five people. I am reluctant to start the next TS and hope that several other people will join when none of them have yet started to participate in the Tavern, so I don't know which of them I can count on to join or how much they are likely to post.



  • I will be in it, I to am just waiting for a few more people to join.



  • Selax, I am willing to join in the next TS, but had hoped to get at least 1 or 2 more parts of my story released. As it is, however, I am having to work very hard at school for the upcoming exams, hence my lack of posting in the tavern. Feel free to begin the story whenever, I know I will be joining you!



  • I would like to join it, so long as someone can help me create a character.


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