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Author Topic: Bad news  (Read 10514 times)
GreatWolf
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« on: April 19, 2004, 08:39:59 AM »

Hi, everyone.  I have some bad news that I need to tell all of you.  No, Legends of Alyria isn't cancelled, but it does affect certain aspects of the publication of the game.

THE NEWS
About a year ago, I was contacted by Scarlet Jester, who told me that he did not want me to use the Diverse Lunacy system.  He then essentially refused contact for the duration of this time.  It was only last week that he finally got in touch with me again, and that was to confirm his desire that I not use Diverse Lunacy.

We discussed this via instant messenger last Monday, and, finally, I agreed that I would not use DL.  Specifically, this means that I will not use Moon Phases in the resolution system of Legends of Alyria.

Now, do I think that Jester is right in doing this?  No.  Do I think that he can legally enforce this choice?  Probably not.  So why am I doing this?

WHY I DID IT

In the book of Matthew, Jesus said this:

Quote
You have heard that it was said, "An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth."  But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.  And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.  And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two.  (Matthew 5:38-41)


And in Romans, Paul says:

Quote
Never pay back evil for evil to anyone.  Respect what is right in the sight of all men.  If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.  Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Lord.  "But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a dark; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head."  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  (Romans 12:17-21)


As I look at the Bible, it seems clear to me that the way that I am called upon to fight evil is by doing good.  Part of doing good is a measure of non-resistance to evil, as Jesus describes.  It is not for me to give myself justice.  Rather, it is my responsibility to do good to those who do evil to me, trusting in God to take care of me.

I want to be clear about something.  I am entering into this with my eyes open.  Scarlet Jester has not pulled the wool over my eyes.  Instead, I am willingly accepting this hurt and betrayal.  Yes, I would call this betrayal.  I truly thought that Scarlet Jester was interested in helping me with my game.  I believed that he approached me in good will, and I believed that he would be honorable in his dealings with me.  Obviously I was mistaken, and that hurts me deeply.

And yet, what Jesus requires of me is clear.  So, I do not do this because I think that Jester is right (because he is not).  Nor am I doing it for some legal rationale (because I believe that the law is on my side).  I am doing this because I believe that it is what Jesus would have me do.

And Jesus is able to take care of me.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

So, what do we do now?  I say "we", because there are still those of you out there who are interested in this game and have been very supportive of me in my quest to see this game through to completion.  (The butt-whuppins, both real and virtual, count as "support", BTW.)  So now I am turning to you for your thoughts.

The harm that this causes to the Legends of Alyria system is purely in the area of Color.  The details of Virtue, Attributes, and Traits remain.  Inspiration and Corruption are untouched.  All that needs to be removed are the Moon Phases.

It would be a simple matter to replace the Moon Phases with a word/number system.  E.g Gibbous Moon Translates into 8+, which can be called a "Good" Trait.  This would work.  However, it does not provide the Color that I would like for Legends of Alyria.  So i'm hoping that the good folks of this forum could provide some suggestions.

SOME RULES FOR THIS THREAD

I'm pretty much limiting discussion for this thread to the system Color issue.  So, to be precise, the following rules apply to this thread:

--"Scarlet Jester is a jerk" or similar sentiments are off-limits for this thread.

--Declarations of support for me (if so desired) should be brief (or PM me).

--Debating my decision is off-topic (although you may PM me if you like)

If you have further thoughts about this situation, then feel free to PM me.  However, I would really appreciate hearing thoughts on how to introduce a different approach to Color into the existing Alyria system.

And (to quote Bartles & Jaymes), thank you for your continuing support.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
BPetroff93
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Posts: 114


« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2004, 09:00:49 AM »

Keep the mechanic and color identical, just change the name.  Call it "flux" or something.  As a stat powers up the degree of universal force that flows through it is represented by it's degree of fullness.  This also saves you a lot of time and energy and will allow you to maintain your honor as all moon references will be removed.
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Brendan J. Petroff

Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.
Love is the law, love under Will.
Valamir
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2004, 09:20:17 AM »

Having been in on this development for a while now due to geographic proximity, I've been mulling it over.

The key question is how to preserve the color of Alyria.

Moon Dice had color because they tied into the importance and imagery of Alyria's moons, particularly the blood moon.

However, when you think of the important imagery of Alyria, what is even more enduring is good vs evil as personified by Unicorn vs Dragon.

I would love to see the full moon replaced by a Unicorn Icon, and the New Moon replaced by a Dragon Icon.  I'm sure some enterprising soul could figure out a way to make dice side sized icons.  But ultimately even without the iconography, I would go with color.

White for the Unicorn / Full Moon
Black for the Dragon / New Moon

I'd keep the Blood Moon, as an image of a moon as its clearly an Alyrian derived image distinct from the diverse lunacy system.

That leaves us with Crescent, Half, and Gibbous.


So:

    Full Moon  ---->  White Circle (ideally a Unicorn icon)
    Gibbous  ---->  Half White Circle
    Half Moon ---->  Full Circle, Half White / Half Black
    Crescent ---->  Half Black Circle
    New Moon  ---->  Black Circle (ideally a Dragon icon)
    Blood Moon ---->  Red Circle
    [/list:u]

    I thought of using squares rather than circles to add further distance from moons...but half a square is not as easily distinguished an icon as half a circle is.


    I think this translates the basic concept of "closer to full vs closer to new" into "closer to white vs closer to black" in a manner thats distinct from Diverse Lunacy
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Valamir
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2004, 09:25:07 AM »

A second completely different iconographical concept.

Play off of the imagery of the Weeping Moon and the outsiders.

Use tears as the principle icon.  Basically this would be like using your number idea but instead treating tear drops like pips on a d6.

    Full Moon ----> no tears/pips, instead a sun icon
    Gibbous ----> 1 red tear / pip
    Half Moon ----> 2 red tears / pips
    Crescent ----> 3 red tears / pips
    New Moon ----> Red Circle (use the blood moon as the new moon image)
    Blood Moon ----> dragon head icon, or a black sun icon[/list:u]
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quozl
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2004, 10:03:17 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
White for the Unicorn / Full Moon
Black for the Dragon / New Moon

I'd keep the Blood Moon, as an image of a moon as its clearly an Alyrian derived image distinct from the diverse lunacy system.

I thought of using squares rather than circles to add further distance from moons...but half a square is not as easily distinguished an icon as half a circle is.


I like it.  Although if you do want to use half squares, use a triangle as that gives you the easily distinguished icon.
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--- Jonathan N.
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Shreyas Sampat
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2004, 10:29:18 AM »

I think Ralph has something here - you have strong enough iconography in the game that you can capitalize on it in your dicing system.

Incidentally, this gives you the opportunity to examine the distributions of icons and see whether you are happy with them.
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Spooky Fanboy
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2004, 11:07:35 AM »

Quote from: Valamir
I would love to see the full moon replaced by a Unicorn Icon, and the New Moon replaced by a Dragon Icon.  

White for the Unicorn / Full Moon
Black for the Dragon / New Moon


I'll second that, with the option of appropriately-colored triangles for Gibbous/Crescent, a half-white/half-black square for Half-Moon, and for the Blood Moon (if no one thinks it's too cheesy), I'd make a red circle with a red slash through it. Or maybe a red "X". Or heck, why not a red eye, if we're using icons?
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xiombarg
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« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2004, 11:09:34 AM »

All of you seem to be assuming that Seth is willing to just use the same system as always and just disguise/replace the "Lunacy" aspect of it.

I'm not sure if that's what Seth wants. It sounds like a "letter of the request" rather than "spirit of the request" sort of thing. What do you think, Seth?

Then again, Alyria is very tied to its mechanics, and for that reason and other reasons that Seth has forbidden talking about in this thread, I support the "disguise and continue" method y'all are attempting, here.
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Shreyas Sampat
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« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2004, 11:37:04 AM »

The question is to determine which elements of the system Alyria rests on, and which are (relatively) easily excised.

I'm not clear on what aspects of the system are clearly identified as "Diverse Lunacy", personally, and which are Alyria-specific extensions of that; here I'll assume that it's solely the dice mechanic that's at issue, and even more specifically the Moon Phases.

What's important about the dice mechanic is twofold - it creates a curve out of a linear roll, and it is more Colourful than numbers.

Re-marking a die slightly differently than with Moon Phases does satisfy the letter of SJ's request - in my previous post, I alluded to the possibility of reexamining the resolution system in total, specifically the frequency by which it generates its results. I wonder whether that angle's worth looking into.
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GreatWolf
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« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2004, 11:43:31 AM »

For clarity's sake, the removing of Diverse Lunacy from the system has been defined as the removal of moon phases.  So, actually, alternate iconography is pretty much what I'm looking for.  The underlying system (and the probabilities) is staying put.  That's why I say that this is primarily an issue of Color, not System per se.

Seth Ben-Ezra
Great Wolf
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Seth Ben-Ezra
Dark Omen Games
producing Legends of Alyria, Dirty Secrets, A Flower for Mara
coming soon: Showdown
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2004, 11:45:01 AM »

Crossposted with the wolf himself. Said the same I did.

Quote from: Seth

The harm that this causes to the Legends of Alyria system is purely in the area of Color.  The details of Virtue, Attributes, and Traits remain.  Inspiration and Corruption are untouched.  All that needs to be removed are the Moon Phases.


Seems to indicate keeping the dice. I for one think that the unicorn/dragon dice would work quite nicely. Put a stylized horn (black on white, silhouette with the traditional screw effect) tagged onto a curve (the head it's protruding from) onto the unicorn side and a dragon wing (white on black, only the bone structure similar to a bat and faint lines marking the ends of the flaps between fingers.; spread wing coming from the side) on the dragon side. I'll make some if you can wait a couple of months ;)


Have courage, the game will come out.
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Ben Lehman
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Blissed


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« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2004, 03:38:17 PM »

May I suggest the following iconography, which directly moves from good into middling into evil, with the outsiders are creepy morally neutral things:

Full Unicorn: (Full Moon)
Horn: (gibbous moon)
Human: (half moon)
Wing: (crescent moon)
Dragon: (new moon)
Blood: (blood moon)
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M. J. Young
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2004, 12:38:17 AM »

I very much agree with Ralph--my first thought was unicorns versus dragons.

The middle steps are the problematic ones. I considered whether the garden (a tree) and the sea of mist (perhaps a ship) would be reasonable for the gibbous and crescent phases, although Ben's thoughts are good. I also think you can keep the blood moon, as although I don't know for certain what Diverse Lunacy looked like before it was adapted to Alyria, I do recognize that the blood moon was part of the setting before Diverse Lunacy was in the picture at all.

The other problem, though, is that all character scores are rated by these symbols, and so they have to be kept simple enough to be used on a character sheet and still be intuitive enough that new players aren't constantly going to be confused by the symbols themselves. It's perfectly fine to say that the unicorn horn stands for the second highest value, but it's not necessarily going to be clear to the player that this puts it between the unicorn and the human. (The same must be said for the tree, so I'm not picking on Ben's suggestion.)

It also strikes me that all scores in Legends are ticks off the center point (or really in some very strange sense steps from the end points to the middle, but that would be so difficult to represent by another means that it would take a lot of thought). Thus in terms of scores, Full is equivalent to +2 and New to -2. I don't know how that helps, though.

Regarding Ralph's concern about squares, it would be fairly easy to do quarters of the square--either diagonally forming triangles or using interior rectangles.

As a different possibility for color, the clock in the Citadel has possibilities, but I'm not sure how to use it. The extra hour when the clock is dark could replace the blood moon--either a dark circle indicating that the clock is shut down, or the silhouette of an hourglass keeping the time for that hour. I'm not really clear, though, how I get five other values--maybe setting the clock for two, four, six, eight, and ten. Anyway, it's an alternate color idea that would be easier to draw on the papers (set the hour hand instead of draw a picture of a unicorn).

--M. J. Young
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2004, 07:53:09 AM »

Quote from: MJ Young
The other problem, though, is that all character scores are rated by these symbols, and so they have to be kept simple enough to be used on a character sheet and still be intuitive enough that new players aren't constantly going to be confused by the symbols themselves.

That is my main concern as well. The moon symbolism is intuitive because the symbols are obviously linked together in a progressive order, while I don't believe any of the suggestions thus far can claim the same, despite their color and relevance to Alyria.

Is there something else unique about Alyria that would make a good symbol, not a set, but a singular one with different faces which could substitute for the moon phases?
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
quozl
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2004, 08:17:58 AM »

Quote from: greyorm
I don't believe any of the suggestions thus far can claim the same, despite their color and relevance to Alyria.


Valamir's suggestion was to use a progression from black to white.
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--- Jonathan N.
Currently playtesting Frankenstein's Monsters
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