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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: (Perfect -wt) Do you have the proper certifications to wear that waistcoat, sir?  (Read 3333 times)
Chad
Member

Posts: 45


WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2006, 03:15:51 AM »

Hi Joe,

I have been thinking a bit about queen Abigail, and here are some of my thoughts; they arent critisism for or against but just some of the stuff that I have been thinking will figure into the colour equation.

Many of the 'model' dystopian societies that have arisen in history (but obviously not all). The big ones that we think about and shudder have arisen out of a marxist type discourse. With which I mean a revolt against a beurgoises middle/upper class that 'opresses' a working class. Those societies then attempt to subvert that opression by turning the whole thing on its head. In order to do this a heavy policing of culture needs to take place, restricting all forms of cultural producion and expression. Much like your freedoms and status. However, often these reforms have been againts royalism. In an effort to create some eutopian ideal in which the working man is raised to the top of hierarchy.

In general your setting seems to tune into that kind of policed state, which happens after some major reform. Usually the previous order is overthrown, and replaced with a new policed 'ideal'. I think that is what bothers me about the story of Abigail - it seems to clash with that trope. Rather its seems to fuse a kind of fuedal regime (sans fuedal lords), with this classic dystopian state.

Not necesarily a bad thing, but I think people will be drawing on historical models, to some extent, when they role-play the setting. Am I reading your dystopia correctly?

Cheers,
Chad
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 569

Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2006, 04:15:11 PM »

Yeah, Chad...
you were reading it correctly.


There was no revolution birthed in the streets.
Abigailism is a movement that began in the high courts - it was a way for the rich to keep the masses that worked in the factories chasing the dream they were supposed to.

It was always an enforced dream...
But the fact is, it was presented as... "a revolutionary idea, a replacement of the throne with the self-moderation of the people. Avoiding the excess and frivolous indulgence that the kings were prone to. Abigail, the graceful deliverer, is our last monarch."

And it was enforced, and people were reminded of things that Abigailism had removed - war, improperness, impurity, uncontrolled enterprise, uncomformity.

And, the people for the most part were willing to do X and Y, if it meant an abolishment of those things which they were told were evil.
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TroyLovesRPG
Member

Posts: 150


« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2006, 09:36:42 PM »

Hello,

Thanks for answering those questions. The whole air about this society suggests that people are best kept in their place, not so much people should be limited to their status but the status and freedoms they choose are enforced by the Investigators. Equations are balanced and that gives the impression that people should be quantifiably equal. Abigail seemed no better or worse than others. Her purity in mind and action was a transcendental state and very much touches on being a messiah. Low status and freedoms have less stress since there are less things to worry about. Greater status and freedoms place more emphasis on culture, dogma and rituals. Its possible that this purity affords something else that is unspoken and unseen -- ephiphanies and paradigm shifts. I wonder if Abigail was on to something but was unable to articulate exactly what she experienced. Maybe she found a level of consciousness that transcended the normal human condition. The doctrines of behavior were the only gifts she had for people to understand this. Maybe she was the only one who could attain that. Others followed but didn't put their souls into it.

I'm being followed by a moonshadow...

Rebellion is one of the great themes in RPGs. Rising against oppression is a noble and active cause. Its very possible there are two attractive paths for this game: rebellion and submission. Rebellion is exciting and full of civil unrest, intrigue and heroics. Submission is a very simple and self-satisfying way of thinking, immediately providing your choices without ambiguity. The destinations of these two paths is unknown. Possibly, the destination of these two paths are both spectacular in their own rights and are similar. The rebel wants freedom of thought and cannot be caught speaking such blasphemy. The citizen wants freedom of thought and voluntarily remains silent...the tight scarf is an indicator of this. One path suggests chaos and the other suggests strict order. Two paths leading to the same place? Abigail may have died with an unfathomable smile on her face.

That Abigail chose certain freedoms may indicate a progression of ideals regarding society. The freedom shows you can have a full cup as long as you empty it first. Freedoms are gained only when the burden of the past is relinquished. This has great potential to really mess with the players' heads. I like it. The mechanics may indicate skills that are available at a price. To gain an attribute that everyone normally takes for granted, you must give up a list of behaviors or skills. Otherwise you cannot have it. To be free of something is to be free of all of it, or you just can't have that freedom. To achieve a status means you lose the skills of the status you once had. Maybe this is where the objects come into play: they remind you of images of lost experiences. To keep something from your past invites investigation and modification.

This comes from a dream I had a few years ago and its modified to work with this game:

The rules for this game can be simple, but the role-playing experience will be unnerving. I can envision the players having the power as passive Investigators, to point out transgressions by other players. The accusers benefit when they show how the character doesn't follow in accord with their status or freedoms. If they falsely accuse another then they must accept the punishment ordained for the defendant.

Good night.

Troy
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joepub
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 569

Joe Thomas McDonald


« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2006, 09:01:03 AM »

Quote
Abigail seemed no better or worse than others. Her purity in mind and action was a transcendental state and very much touches on being a messiah. Low status and freedoms have less stress since there are less things to worry about. Greater status and freedoms place more emphasis on culture, dogma and rituals. Its possible that this purity affords something else that is unspoken and unseen -- ephiphanies and paradigm shifts. I wonder if Abigail was on to something but was unable to articulate exactly what she experienced. Maybe she found a level of consciousness that transcended the normal human condition. The doctrines of behavior were the only gifts she had for people to understand this. Maybe she was the only one who could attain that. Others followed but didn't put their souls into it.

Um...
*does a happy dance*
`
Being ambigious towards whether Abigail was a good or bad person is a great idea.
It means that deconstructing the cult of personality becomes another element of the game.

Quote
very possible there are two attractive paths for this game: rebellion and submission. Rebellion is exciting and full of civil unrest, intrigue and heroics. Submission is a very simple and self-satisfying way of thinking, immediately providing your choices without ambiguity. The destinations of these two paths is unknown. Possibly, the destination of these two paths are both spectacular in their own rights and are similar. The rebel wants freedom of thought and cannot be caught speaking such blasphemy. The citizen wants freedom of thought and voluntarily remains silent...the tight scarf is an indicator of this. One path suggests chaos and the other suggests strict order. Two paths leading to the same place? Abigail may have died with an unfathomable smile on her face.

True.
Very, very true.

I think that in this game, it isn`t about choosing between the two, so much as it is balancing the two.
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