MUsings

It’s Troll Season

It appears we have acquired a particularly dedicated troll on WORA, a bold hero determined to continue his epic struggle to inform the world of the horrors of Blood of Dragons. And the horrors of Firan, too. Somehow he has managed to lodge two sticks up his ass at the same time, a pretty impressive feat I must concede. Apparently he has a habit of randomly dragging BoD into all sorts of topics, just to demonstrate how very unhappy we’ve made him. I was pointed to some choice quotes and one of the most recent was the most amusing, since it referenced a discussion on the Public channel that I witnessed around a week ago. That means that our troll—who signed up to WORA in 2011 and has been bitching about us with some regularity since then—is still on the game. Masochist, much?

Some of my favourite claims follow:

“I’m only familiar with Blood of Dragons, not her blogging. I know that she is very restrictive of who plays what on her game (i.e. I wanted one time to play a Tyroshi ambassador at court and she blew me off). I was not aware of the racism on her blog. Is she aware that George R.R. Martin himself as a creative producer to the HBO series is also responsible for approving casting? Or is she more knowledgable than the man who wrote the book and built the world?”

Here it seems we get some fun cross-over with the Tumblr social justice trolls and their screeching about racism because we stick to what’s clearly described regarding the ethnic makeup of Westeros and Essos. Yes, we’re very restrictive on foreign characters because we stick to canon as much as we can and we don’t want to make up a bunch of stuff about Tyrosh. I am pretty sure I didn’t blow anyone off, however, unless explaining policy counts as blowing someone off. Oh, and as an aside, George R.R. Martin—the person Elio and I have been writing a book together with—has very little say about the casting. He gets to see the tapes, he gets to comment, he doesn’t get to decide anything. Also, the same George R.R. Martin has more than once (and, we think, only half jokingly) said that Elio and I know more about the world than he does. That’s why we’re writing The World of Ice and Fire with him, after all, and provided the material in the official A World of Ice and Fire app.

“The majority of the plots involve supporting people in their own little personal peccadilloes while level IV characters get pushed to the side. Maybe with the exception of players like Reyna, Dagur, Jonn, and Jaesin, not to mention the characters that Nym and Bal play, there’s nothing else for people to do.”

The vast majority of players are IVs. Just like on most games, where the vast majority of players aren’t playing Features or whatever you have as your restricted type of role. Clearly, this isn’t an issue for all those IVs that are roleplaying daily, developing plots, having fun, etc.

“If you propose to play a character from a house that hasn’t been developed by her yet, she poo-poos you and says, ‘We are still waiting on info from GRRM about who’s who in House X.’ Well, they aren’t exactly playing Baelor and Daena to perfection, so what the fuck does it matter?”

There are a few houses we have said that we will not touch because we know George is likely to develop them further. Others, we have left out for other reasons (we don’t know their seat, their arms, etc), and inserting a whole family tree—making the connections to other trees, etc—is not something a player can do. As for not playing Baelor and Daena to perfection…well, to start with, we don’t play them as regular characters. They are staff NPCs. Furthermore, people will always disagree about how to interpret a canon character. But the fact that we know a lot more about Baelor and Daena than anyone else without access to GRRM’s notes might suggest that we have a better shot at portraying them correctly. Even so, we do use them quite sparingly, and not all the time as another complaint from the troll suggested. We much prefer having time to roleplay our regular characters, so the Features are trotted out only when needed and to add that bit of colour from time to time.

“When I initially came there a few years back, there were several openings in the Kingsguard. I spoke to Bal and Nym about wanting to play one of the Kingsguard characters, specifically Alyn Florent. I wasn’t interested in romantic rp, was willing to play a celibate, whatever. I was just interested in some good political roleplay. Well, she told me, ‘Kingsguard characters are restricted because there would be really no plots for you to participate in.’ Yet, the player of Jaesin Lannister gets to play a kingsguard member. What’s up with that? ‘Well, his player gives money to keep the server running and he helped to build the game so he gets to play one.’”

We still maintain that Kingsguard are not suitable day-to-day RP characters because of the restrictions placed on the role. Such as, for example, how it should be an exception—a rare exception, at that—to see a Kingsguard out and about if not one of the Targaryens is out and about. Jaesin was allowed to become a member of the Kingsguard because the player was going into semi-retirement/retirement from the game. But you are absolutely right that we wouldn’t do that for just anyone because we’d like to know and trust someone for that sort of exception. He does not, however, pay for the server, nor has he ever done so. None of our players do.

Nice little try there, with the invented quotes.

“And fuck political intrigue. Hardly any political intrigue goes on. If you don’t like tourneys then you are shit out of luck. Baelor’s reign has to be the most uninteresting time to start a game. It’s like what would happen if Pat Robertson were made King of Westeros. And besides, what makes GoT great is the fact that the country is in chaos. In this part of the timeline, the Targaryens are in power and things are relatively stable. I’m sure the game was randy back when Daeron was conquering Dorne and the shit hit the fan, but this is just dumb.

This is why I’ve always been an advocate of starting a Westeros game that takes place in a time that provides chaos. Like the Dance of the Dragons. Or shortly before Aegon’s Landing. Or the Long Night (a Night’s Watch MU* would be awesome).”

Ultimately, this is just a matter of taste and what you think makes for a good game. We aren’t interested in running an all-out conflict game and after seeing GRRM’s write-ups for Aegon’s Conquest and for the Dance we’re even happier that we didn’t take a stab at it. Those periods would probably work nicely as table-top campaigns, but not as MUSHes. And the Night’s Watch ... well, if you really don’t want any female characters except for a few whores and spearwives, I suppose that could be of some interest.

We’re running the only A Song of Ice and Fire game that is approved by GRRM and we’re doing all we can to make sure that our players get to have fun while experiencing a version of the Seven Kingdoms that is as authentic as possible. It isn’t a game for everyone, but it is the game we want to run. There is still a lot of things we want to improve, but this particular troll doesn’t exactly hit any of those issues. No, it is all about sour grapes and how he didn’t get approved for special things. Boo hoo.

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