I have been absent for a while now mainly due to IRL - I have not managed to fit Geas into my current schedule wholly yet. But I now have more experience with current schedule, and also, currently holidays. Woop woop.
Despite having been absent mainly for IRL reasons, I too have suffered fading motivation to play. I also know *why* - the last months of playing Geas were very boring. This is in contrast to previous breaks I have had, where Geas had either been very intense - needed breather, or plain-fun-omg-nooo-irl-irl-stahp-what-are-you-doing.
Although it is possible my experience while last playing Geas is not applicable anymore, I doubt it is wholly unapplicable, seeing as this thread is, well, recent.
Let me therefore assess the possible situation. (There *may* be spoilers about my characters below, but I will not name any of them. Indeed, having played around a dozen characters... *cough*)
I am tempted to make general statements, but do not think it will be as worthwhile - let me therefore simply state that most of Geas' observed problems relate to two main aspects: the static/dynamic slider, and the grey slider.
To start with the static/dynamic slider, others have expressed similar problems in this thread, expressing that Geas is stagnant and needs massive efforts of pot-stirring, which are often shot down by other characters. This shows two things ultimately: the interplay between characters is what interests, since characters stirring the pot are very desirable; the coded gameworld as is is not itself interesting (enough).
Going from the assumption Geas is about roleplay (I avoid the term RPG, since it is so wildly misused), it is good that the interplay between characters is what interests - what is bad here is that it is obviously not interesting enough at current, since pot stirrers are longed after. Had the interplay been interesting and nuanced enough to satisfy, no one would proclaim this lack, methinks.
Why then, do pot stirrers lack? This boils down to two major things, methinks:
-reception by players
Since coded gameworld shows up here, it is apparent that these problems are intertwined. I will first speak of reception by players. To do this, I can only extrapolate from my own experiences with stirring the pot - my attempts have been many.
Perceived the sathonites as boring and combat-focused, made a character and tried to join the sathonite clergy. Things went well for a while, gained access to Asador, spent time with various priests. New dreadmaster - character ignored by new dreadmaster. Verdict: ignored - attempt did not fit into new dreadmaster's view of sathonites, unwilling to broaden view and/or stir the pot.
Perceived most tshaharks as unexplainably intelligent, made a tshahark to be explainedly more intelligent than others. Tshahark mocked/overlooked. Generated some interesting RP. Reception by other tshaharks - bad. Was a worse RPer at the time, otherwise the character would not have fled out into the amwards after soapy soapy stuff. Oh well. Verdict: unsuccessful - attempt not understood and/or mocked.
Perceived most tshaharks as unexplainably intelligent, made a dumb-as-fuck tshahark which couldn't even speak common. Tshahark encountered someone, was led to a hub, then ignored by everyone. Conversation turned to... nothing? Yes, just babble. Weak character, couldn't possibly go on a... I should have had the character go on a rampage and attack someone, despite obviously going to lose. My bad. Verdict: ignored.
Wanted to have a character with interesting backstory. Attempt shot down because not code-supported. Received nasty words from other players for attempt, verbally (or writingly?) accused of abuse. Verdict: received nasty words, attempt ignored, "not code-supported", accused of abuse. (We will return to not code-supported in talk of the coded gameworld.)
Made a beggar to try to show that the cities do not only have one beggar each. Sat beside Volog for bunches of IRL hours, pestering all passerbys. Volog received much more money. Verdict: metagaming? Ignored? Iunno.
Teamed up with another player, ic and ooc, tried to make the game more interesting with active non-hiding thieves and establishing a semblance of material temporalness and economy. Received nasty words from other players. General unwillingness to consider idea, "I have worked so much for these items". Verdict: ill-received, accusations of IRL sadism.
To summarise this portion, then, these are the results of my attempts at stirring the pot:
nasty words, abuseaccuse
This is not a very encouraging list, but nonetheless, I have a few stirring things I am currently working on - sadly the major one requires some skills first, so it may take bunches of time ere ready.
I am certain you will all agree this is an interesting set of reactions, though, if we presume everyone desires stirring. "Oh, I wish something could happen...." "What is this, this is not how it is supposed to be, staph!!" :/
Having covered this dull reception, let me move onto the coded gameworld:
the coded gameworld is not very interesting. The loristic gameworld is kinda interesting, but falls short in some ways. Byspel, see http://www.geas.de/?page_id=217
. Notise the thousand year gap from this timetable to our playing time. What happened during that millenia? Now, many might think that it is not uncommon for knowledge spanning a millenia to get lost - but this is Geas. There are individuals alive at the current in Geas who *lived during these events*. While these individuals are largely restrained to a couple of races, and one of these was largely inactive following the history mentioned, we should, at least, have a very thorough, very one-sided millenia long history leading up to current playtime.
The loristic gameworld is a wholly different issue than the coded gameworld, though. The coded gameworld is boring by the following main issues:
-lack of detail
Lack of detail is the simpler problem, both to do something about and to fix. Let me illustrate lack of detail with a small story.
Aforementioned thiefcharacter once burglared into Queen Gwenlanea's bedroom. The bedroom was full of nifty worthy items, amongst them a golden haircomb. Sadly, none of these items could be taken. NONE ARRRGGGH I WASTED 30 MINS BREAKING INTO THIS ROOM.
While lack of detail is theoretically simple to fix, it is practically hard, requiring immense time. The theory is "just add in everything that might be interesting/worth adding in". The practical side is plagued with time, and the question of what to add in. Most people would likely never care if Queen Gwenlanea's golden haircomb could be stolen or not - at least not until someone shows up, brandishing it.
Lack of detail is also apparent in the items in the game:
-misc. such as compasses and dice
all of these items are in some regards meant to be adventure-related. But while adventure may involve roleplay, roleplay can also be done without adventure.
One may argue that haircombs are not essential for Geas, but one may also argue that they are, as they would *most likely* make the gameworld seem more real and thus facilitate RP. My favourite item is Zehren's robes, thanks to some nifty details making them feel quite real. And while one may RP having a haircomb through emotes, well, it makes it much easier to steal that haircomb if it is a coded object.
Lack of detail is very apparent in locations: Elvandar and Arborea are not loristically tiny huts, but codedly, they are not far off... Bandama is quite the village too, with... one inn, a garden, some alchemist lab and... two houses? Yay.I know that in medieval england, there was at least one village with 150 inhabitants. 2-3 were likely related to the small church there, then perhaps, Iunno, <8 the manorial something, the rest lived in those cool farmhouses... Of which I remember there being fewer than twenty, so minimum 7 average a farmhouse. Of course, Bandama is not an English medieval village, but the comparison is striking. The best portrayed establishment IG is the Underground outpost, methinks. It feels vast, and is not even a whole loristic city, but a mere outpost. Way to go, beardmen, way to go.
Now, let us embark on the most controversial point of all: staticness.
While roleplaying is about taking on a role, and this might be done in a static environment, it is not good for a persistant world, aka, a gameworld in which roleplaying occurs, to remain static.
A peristant world must be dynamic to be interesting, otherwise all possibilities are eventually exhausted. Furthermore, lack of dynamics removes consequences, making all efforts ultimately futile. Yes, you can rescue Virle's books, no, the gremlins will never die off, no, Virle will never keep his book. Yes, you can clear Ulfmoor's hut of nibblers, no, he will be back in the inn in an hour. Yes, you can get rich, no you can't buy jack - economy is wholly bonkers.
Consequence-free is boring. The one recent historical event in Geas I can think of having heard tales of is the Asral church thing being burnt down in Arborea - a dynamic event. A change in the world. Optimally, for a roleplaying experience, the entire world would be dynamic - the easy of dynamicness in P&P is one advantage over coded systems, taking no efforts other than declaring the changes. In fact, most gameworlds are pretty static. Fallout 1 & 2 come to mind as being very dynamic when it comes to population - everyone can be killed off. Permanently. However, no one in those games breed, so no new population is born. Halfway dynamic, in other words. To make Geas wholly dynamic would take an immense effort. If it could be done, though, it would also make the Geas gameworld objectively the best in existence. However, even small steps towards dynamicness is good - building buildings, slaying populations, having populations spring up elsewhere.... See viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2049&hilit=goblin
for some discussion.
The last major problem I can spot is the grey slider. That is, things are varying shades of black and white, instead of septachromic or whatever. Geas loristically has potential for sevenfold dilemmas (sevenfold pantheon), but instead it usually ends up with good vs bad (oh, and there are some non-carers here too). I am not going to tell anyone how to roleplay - that is for my roleplaying thread
- but simply state that this twofold conflict is much less interesting. To make conflict more multifold, I can immediately think up the following static solutions: introduce underground as player-run similarly to Arb and Elv and As. Introduce Narv. as player-run similarly to Arb and Elv and Und and As - a total scummy place. Suddenly, five cities instead of two(+1). Introduce some sort of player-running in Ironhold, too, for the bitches. Sixfold alliances possible! And then there are Elor and Ormian! Eight! Also, make clergies for all the gods. Guilds are not wholly necessary in this endeavour, though it might need to take the guildslot. If someone could chitter with Thor, and gain some Zhakrinite powers and allegiance... Well...
Of course, one may argue against most of this with "not enough players". The question, then, is: Do we lack such things because we do not have enough players, or do we not have enough players because we lack such things?
Anyway, this is all the major components of my last-faded motivation to play. Hopefully it is an interesting enough read.