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Cyef'a

Runestone/Invitational/Magic Tournaments in general

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Hello everyone! Due to some of the feedback that we've gotten, alongside some of the responses ICly that have occurred, a question has popped up inside of my head. When it comes to tournaments of magic, at what point would you draw the line? To put it bluntly: And what point do you tell someone "No, you can't do that. It's not normal. People won't like you."

As some of you may or may not know, I help to run the current magic tournament: "The Magus Invitational" where the original Runestone used to be. I won't lie to you and say that we're not a copy. Yes, to a degree we are. We have our similarities due to the structure in which it operates, but we also have our differences as well. However, that's not the discussion I was hoping for nor the question I was hoping you'd all be kind enough to answer for me.

I've watched people, ICly, berate the tournament and what is allowed in it. (The type of magic) Already magic tournaments are not nearly as popular as melee ones. Why that is? Honestly, I wish I knew. Hopefully someone might be able to pop up with an answer for that? Pretty please? Now, I understand that IC does not immediately translate to OOC. Please do not misunderstand me as to think that I'm treating them as one and the same. I say this because I have been told by multiple people that they enjoy the magic tournament and want to see it continued simply because this type of fighting is so rarely seen. They want a place where their magic characters can go and show off, but those same people have to run the risk of being ICly degraded or becoming the center of a witch hunt just because they are trying to be expressive, imaginative, and creative with the magic they display.

Before I start to just ramble on: Please, I'd like to know your thoughts about magic and magic tournaments in this game. The point at which you begin to say "No, that isn't right" to an idea about magic that is, by its very nature, boundless in its possibilities.

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Having seen what you're talking about discussed oocly in linkshells and discords my observation is this: people are very bitchy about magic RP and the degree they want to bash other people's roleplaying choices or how and what other people write, or how what other people write makes their character want to do something violent to them, makes me uncomfortable. Let people have fun, let them be expressive, if you feel the need to police someone elses rp - especially if you aren't involved in the scene itself - then look into yourself and ask what is making you feel so negative and aggressive.

 

I've been to runestone, I've been the invitational, and I was really impressed with the way people wrote magic, especially the unusual jobs. I always thought Geomancer was kind of a lame (like I sighed when it came out in ffxi because there were so many other jobs I wanted to see instead) but  then my character fought someone who was  a Geomancer. And now I'm like: hey, that job is really cool. I actually want to see it in ffxiv now.

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As someone who does RP an IC mage the topic of how to handle magic in roleplay is indeed a very contentious topic. For me the big issues I have with the way most Magic Tournaments end up being held is the open IC allowance of forbidden magic, aka white magic, black magic, and void magic. While of course there are a variety of IC reason that fall well within the lore to explain why people are proficient in these arts, it is still without a doubt illegal to practice these arts in Eorzea. To add on top of that the fact that many of these tournaments like to use Fesca's Wash within sight of the Ul'dahn gates it truly does break your suspension of disbelief, because under no reason would the powers that be in Ul'dah be okay with that. This very thing caused a bit of an issue before, and I have seen some repeats of the issue with other Tournaments.

 

The other thing that sort of keeps me away from most of these tournaments is the... extreme that people will take their creativity to. While there is a great deal of freedom in magic that we can use there are still limits to how things work in the world of Final Fantasy. To compound upon this there are instances where those pushing those limits do so in a way... well that the magic might as well be Void magic an art of necromancy, both of which again are illegal in Eorzea.

 

In the end it all comes down to taste. For non magical tournaments it's beyond easy to deal with those who might not rp in a way that you are okay with when it comes to the lore. Mainly because? It's just plain normal weapons, not much you can do there to shatter the lore to a million pieces. With magic it is a completely different monster altogether so it becomes a lot more difficult, and in some cases impossible, for those who are lore strict and those who play far outside the lore to coexist. This, of course, is 100% my opinion on the matter and should not be taken as me speaking for anyone else at all.

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It comes down to what kind of event you want to lead and what you're comfortable with. If you're not comfortable telling people to hold back, then you shouldn't lead an event where that is demanded of you - So when you advertise the event, you should make a point out of saying that people can go wild w/o repercussions. Then people who are not fond of that can elect not to attend the event, or at least know what they're in for. Likewise, people with offbeat/non canon/controversial concepts will know that they have a safe zone there. You are probably not going to avoid disagreements ever, but having synergy between what you're doing and what you say you're doing is a solid step towards preventing them. Another step would be to not have something that is bound to go off-canon/controversial in a public location, where others who know nothing about your event, also roam.

 

If you want an event where you have a stricter adherence to lore, assuming in this case that you are comfortable with telling people to hold back, then I would probably think of it this way: 
- Does what this person is doing or want to be doing require a player to be equipped with moderate or extensive amounts of information about the character's rationalization of the magic they're using? (Examples here could be white magic, black magic, self-created magic/magic without clear lore support in the present time)
--> If the answer is yes, then that stuff should not be used in the tournament, because you cannot explain this to 20+ people and expect everyone to understand and accept it. You don't have the time, either. 

In this case you would then have to tell the person to hold back, and not bring their A-game, which might not sit well with them - but it is your event and your rules at the end of the day. 

You are dealing with two very different types of roleplayers, and making both meet on the middle is not something I'd attempt to do at a public event. Not to mention, your energy as an event organizer is better spent going 100% on the concept you want, without trying to make it seem palatable to a certain audience. No one is entitled to show up to everything, but on both sides of the fence you'll have people get very insulted that an event isn't for them. These aren't the people I would focus on appeasing with a public event. I would want to appease those who are already having fun. There isn't a roleplay community out there that doesn't need their event creators, and my personal experience and observation tells me it's one of the "types" of roleplayers that are the most prone to burning out, which is why I bring up this whole point of your own comfort-zone as well. It has to be fun for you, or it wont last.

 

If I had to do a tournament of either kind, I would honestly make it a sign-up based event so as to make sure that there will be attendance, and people know what they get. Sign-ups gives you some important control as an event creator, and makes things easier to coordinate with certain types of events. I can admire the Grindstone for being what it is, but I think it's the exception to the rule for fighting tournaments. The fact that it is still here makes it an exception to the rule for any kind of recurring RP event.  


--
On a more general note I think that in respecting the different roleplay styles out there, it is also important to be able to look inwards and accept that you're not going to like everything you see, so it's best to focus on attending and supporting what you like, and then not caring about the rest. There is no one person in this world who has had a good experience with someone calling them an elitist, or a lolroleplayer, so whatever you do don't do that. Being called one thing doesn't justify or give anyone any right to go out and call people the opposite.

 

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A problem that many people had with the Runestone was the fact that it played very fast-and-loose with the established lore by allowing Black Magic, White Magic and Void Magic practitioners take part without consequence. (At least during the tournament and from the folks that supervised it.) It didn't make a whole lot of sense for such a thing to be allowed on Ul'dah's doorstep, especially on a weekly basis. From what I recall, the allowance of forbidden magic existed to make the tournament more accessible to more types of characters, but ultimately it had the reverse effect as many players didn't want to be associated with it. In my opinion, I felt like allowing illegal magicks there made the concept of illegal magicks less impactful - The practitioners wouldn't feel like elusive, powerful, frightening boogeymen to me if I could bump into them strutting their stuff on a weekly basis, so generally I opted to avoid it.

I mentioned that (even though I'm basically repeating what has already been said aaaaa) because I believe that public events thrive when they're as adherent to the lore as possible with minimal stretching of it. There should be a little but of wiggle room, sure - but the majority of people should be able to happily take part without having to suspend their disbelief. It's my contention that lore-bending too much in a public event should be avoided as much as possible, as it requires far more people to adhere to the ideas of a smaller group. It makes more sense to be more moderate with how far things should be stretched when they being held in places where they can be held up to mass scrutiny. (Different groups of lore-benders have to justify their ideas to one another more than lore stringent groups would amongst themselves.)

That being said, I think people should be creative with how they write magic, provided that they can justify it somehow. Magic has some established rules in this universe and a common problem I see is that some people don't write their magic in a way that convinces other people that it has those restraints or guidelines. If you can convince somebody that you do know the lore through your roleplay and that your ideas have roots in it, then I think more people will be accepting of the idea's deviation from what is written down in black and white.

Another problem is that some potentially creative ideas seem slightly illegal within the game world. I've seen mind control, blood magic and things of that ilk during tournaments. While there might not be anywhere (that I know of) that specifically says that it's illegal within the lore, ideas that make people ask fewer questions are generally better for a big, public setting. In a smaller event people might be able to talk and justify their ideas that way, but such a thing is difficult to do in such a crowded space, I feel many are judged at face value.


I think any event that wants to build up a large and diverse audience should advertise themselves as lore-friendly, while politely asking anybody that lies outside of that zone to tone it down a little if they want to attend. It's much easier to do than the other way around, I think.

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I’ve never attended the Invitational or any solo magic tourney, so I’m not sure how qualified I am to offer my two cents on the matter, though I guess it’s useful to chime in with the reasons why I don’t attend! (I do occasionally go to Spellguard with a friend, though, and that’s great fun but set up a little differently since it’s 2v2, and I haven’t gone in a while because schedules.)

 

I never attended the Runestone when it was around because of the allowance of illegal/forbidden magic. I’m all for lore-bending and creative ways of using magic, but a lot of what I see done is for aesthetic purposes. Frankly, I think it’s really fun to see how different people write the way their characters use magic, from using fire magic to melt sand into glass to just using magic to manipulate a physical object and give yourself a bit more range with a weapon that would otherwise be considered melee. (Both things that RP partners of mine have done; it’s really neat.) I’ve even seen the use of magicked/enchanted arrows. But I don’t really jive with people who openly show off how big and bad their BLM/void mage/etc character is, while also making no attempt IC to conceal the fact that that is what the character is doing.

 

That said, I do think that if effort is shown on the part of the player and the practice of forbidden magic isn’t being like, openly advertised, then it becomes a question of aesthetic rather than mechanics. If you, OOC, know a character is a Black Mage, and they happen to use flashy magic that looks cool but can be handwaved, IC, by extensive practice in an art that’s not illegal, then does it still qualify as using forbidden magic if there’s an alternative explaination readily offered IC? Or would getting onto that character/player constitute metagaming? (I believe that it would.) It’s one thing to use magic in creative ways or in such a way that you get to stretch your descriptive/writing muscles. You can only write a fireball being flung at someone so many times before you want to spice it up a little bit more, just like you can only write a character swinging a sword at someone else so many times before you want to spice it up a little. It’s another thing, though, to straight-up summon a familiar from the Void in the middle of a magic tourney.

 

Things that defy alternate IC explaination are where I, personally, draw the line. It doesn’t have to be a short one, in fact I think stronger explainations have to be longer, though not so intricate as to implicate that a person is making it up; this is pretty much how I approach real situations too though. There’s a happy medium that needs to be reached. If your explaination is basically a one-liner and a shrug I’m gonna squint at you, but if it feels like you’re spinning me a tale then I’m also going to squint at you. No one who isn’t IC/OOC curious/skeptical doesn’t necessarily have to hear it or know. If people are willing to just shrug and move on with their lives (and implicitly just assume that whatever magic is being done is SUPPOSED to be legal/allowed as per tourney rules and/or law) then no explaination is really necessary.

 

THAT said, though, once an event gets to a certain size then it gets harder to run and to moderate. At that point it becomes a question of what you and your other event-runners want to do with it. Would you rather have a high turn-out where some participants might take some... Liberties, to the potential dismay of others IC or OOC (and potentially the vision you had in mind for the event in the first place), or would you be ok running a smaller event where it’s easier to maintain/enforce your standards/desired style of RP on participants and are more likely to be playing with people who feel the same way about writing magic and the lore behind it as you do? I’d personally pick the latter, but I think that’s a question that every event organizer in general just needs to answer for themselves.

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20 hours ago, Cyef'a said:

I've watched people, ICly, berate the tournament and what is allowed in it. (The type of magic) Already magic tournaments are not nearly as popular as melee ones. Why that is? Honestly, I wish I knew. Hopefully someone might be able to pop up with an answer for that? Pretty please? Now, I understand that IC does not immediately translate to OOC. Please do not misunderstand me as to think that I'm treating them as one and the same. I say this because I have been told by multiple people that they enjoy the magic tournament and want to see it continued simply because this type of fighting is so rarely seen. They want a place where their magic characters can go and show off, but those same people have to run the risk of being ICly degraded or becoming the center of a witch hunt just because they are trying to be expressive, imaginative, and creative with the magic they display.

Before I start to just ramble on: Please, I'd like to know your thoughts about magic and magic tournaments in this game. The point at which you begin to say "No, that isn't right" to an idea about magic that is, by its very nature, boundless in its possibilities.

 

This is the part I wanted to comment on.

 

To begin: Magic tournaments aren't as popular melee ones because of three things I can think of: 1) There isn't any established magic tournament that didn't get a management reboot every couple of months. 2) The power level at most magic tournaments is gonzo bonkers and that is extremely divisive. 3) Melee's easier to explain ICly.

 

ICly, people are allowed to have opinions. Trust me, I understand it can be hard seeing people shit-talk something you have a hand in creating or organizing, but there needs to be a hard divide between IC and OOC. Now, that's not to say that people don't use IC chatter to voice opinions they themselves maintain OOCly (and it's usually super transparent when that's the case) but remember that character dialogue is not 100% representative.

 

To that end, people who are willing to expose the fact they're using [illegal, banned and dangerous magic don't get to complain if ICly people take issue with that. The reason these players will be degraded or become the center of a witch hunt is because is is illegal, banned and dangerous. It's similar to the same danger that Garlean roleplayers face: If it becomes widely known you're the enemy, people are going to treat you that way AND be justified ICly. Disclaimer: That isn't me saying it's cool for people to act like dicks to people for no reason, but part of the appeal of playing the dangerous seedy stuff is that it's dangerous and seedy. Once you remove the danger and seediness, what's the point?

 

Also, there are boundaries on magic. The game's lore establishes a lot of it. Again in my opinion, if you handwave away anything you want with "Oh, it's magic" then you don't even need FFXIV as a setting for your RP. It's taking some of the elements you agree with and ignoring the ones you don't.

 

As to the event stuff, there's a complex simple answer: People get burned out or don't realize what they're signing up for when hosting something. Weekly events that toll long hours can take a lot out of you. When an event is created, there's always going to be some ironing out of the problems and learning process, and when the actual stewardship of an event changes hands, it's a lot like recreating it. Runestone changed hands multiple times. Hell, Grindstone changed hands multiple times. There have been lots and lots of combat tournaments made that only lasted a couple of weeks, if that.

 

Lastly, my generic advice for anyone running anything: Care for the audience you've got, not the one you want. If you're starting out and you get a dedicated (but small) number of people, don't let yourself think that you're not achieving anything. Especially don't compare to other events. Focus on polishing your experience for the folks who are enjoying what you have.

Edited by Warren Castille

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I think this thread has made it clear that there are some people who like an 'anything goes' magic tournament, and many who prefer a strict adherence to lore. On something like this, you're not going to be able to find a middle-ground that pleases everyone. So my suggestions are:

 

1- Figure out what kind of tournament you want - freestyle or strict - and stick with it.  Or even do separate events and alternate between the two. If one proves to be unpopular, then you don't need to continue it. And by 'unpopular' I mean in attendance, not what people say on forums, discord, etc. The idea is to be fun for those who DO show up, not for those who do not.

 

2- Figure out what the rules for what is acceptable and not acceptable. Even in the 'anything goes' category, there are limits to what magic can do. A good way to limit some things is to say the spell requires too much time and/or preparation to be useful in a duel. And when you make a rule, stick with it and enforce it!

 

3- When you post/advertise it, make it very clear what you doing, what the rules are, and what people should expect. That way, when people do show up, they should have no reason to complain.

 

4- Don't be afraid to ask for people's input and ideas before making final decisions.

 

Events based around magic can be fun, It can be wonderful seeing the creative ways people come up with to utilize magic - the game provides us with a framework, and we can build on that framework.

Edited by Tregarde

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Hi y'all. I created an account here for the sole purpose of putting in my two cents. Anyone who goes to Invitational or Grindstone should know who I am by now, lol.

 

As an RPer, I like to hew as close to established lore as possible for any game I play. If I'm portraying a Sith character in SWTOR, I'm not going to have them casting Alohamora to open gates. If I'm playing a Spellslinger in Wildstar, I'm not going to have him shooting Esper spells out of his hand cannons.

 

Other people may not care as much and that's their prerogative, but I ask: Why RP in this universe at all if you're not going to follow it's rules? You could just as easily do anything you want in any other universe, so why bother? That's my biggest problem with the use of certain magics. That, and the looming specter of portraying magic that exists in the FF universe, but has yet to be portrayed in FFXIV. Giving people room to be creative is fine; I've seen Red Mages portrayed at least seventeen different ways. But people should be able to find ways to be creative within the constraints of the lore.

 

As to forbidden magic? At Runestone, there was an explicit understanding that you used forbidden arts at your own risk. Especially when it still happened at Fesca's Wash. A rule like that creates more RP hooks than it destroys because, as Warren said, the draw of playing a dangerous character is that it's dangerous. People can be upset that the cops got called, but an IC situation is an IC situation.

 

I get the position that you're in and I'm even sympathetic. I know you guys don't want to feel like you're crippling people's creativity or bullying people. But, for me? Having standards isn't bullying. It's just having standards and those standards are different for everyone.

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For additional clarification, my line is the same as my FC's line: If it doesn't exist already in the game world and it can't be reasonably extrapolated, then it's probably lore-breaky and shouldn't be used.

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As someone who was a Champion of the Mystic Runestone (ironically the week before I won the Grindstone), I didn't see anyone stepping out of bounds with Forbidden Magics, but there was a rule stating that its use, while not forbidden, was highly discouraged as an investigation following the tournament may ensue if any such magics were used. In other words, it was understood that if you used them, the overseers wouldn't do anything to you, but you just ousted yourself for an investigation by a third party witness to it. Worst I ever saw, personally, was someone trying to literally destroy the bridge. An overseer had to step in and overrule their post stating it didn't actually happen, how, and why.

 

That said, I agree with most of what's been said. Public events that pertain to aether should adhere as closely to IC laws and boundaries, as well as the majority of character base, as possible, so as not to attain the ire of Authoritative bodies and leave out as few people as possible. Immersion, I think, is key in a public event. I will also agree that the location of the Mystic Runestone was odd, but, ICly, if I read the lore behind the event correctly, the tournament wasn't actually supposed to be held in Thanalan. Instead, everyone was supposed to be taken to an undisclosed location. At least, that's how it was supposed to be presented in the original event posting. How long that lasted, I'm not sure. I don't think it was intended to actually be right in front of Ul'dah's gates. I just think the overseeing of the event just changed hands, and that little detail got forgotten, at least long enough to say 'screw it' and just didn't mention anything about it ever again.

 

What I -would- like to see is an event actually held in a more discreet locale, like in front of Haukke Manor, with an elaborate ploy to mislead and distract the authorities in order to properly hold the event. While it's often safer to just adhere to laws, there -are- ways around them, but for such things to be done well, they have to be done right, and it should be announced in the event's posting, and bolstered event itself to give players a chance to decide if they should realistically participate or not. Rule of thumb: The more against lore something you want to do is, the more ducks you need to have in a row to convince its validity. In other words, if you want to hold an event that caters to a minority that is lore-bending, the more you have to work to make it plausible and fun everyone else who aren't part of said minority. If you can't do that in a plausible way, then you should obviously rethink the event.

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For the record, there is *one* tournament held in an out of the way location that is lore strict and employs masks and aliases. So, it's not impossible to create an event along those lines. And you can still have an audience, even with rules in place to prevent people from doing lore-breaky things. (Disclosure: It's called The Masquerade and it's operated by people from my FC. I don't want this to be construed as a plug; just proof of concept.)

 

My experience with the community at large is that *most* people don't want to completely disregard existing lore and are perfectly happy to agree to common sense rules. For me it goes back to my other point: Why RP here? People *want* to live in this universe and *want* to follow it's rules.

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Grindstone have been the only tournament I've enjoyed cause all others I've been into had people that destroyed the lore.

 

Half-Dragons, White mages and whatnot. Complete disregard.

 

The problem is also the organizer's reaction to criticism. Not gonna say any names but the general reaction is that people that do not enjoy the event just stay silent and leave, and those that ruined it compliments it with their enjoyment. Result is the people pointing out lore violations are dismissed as a minority. Really bad.

 

Taking criticism and acting on it is a skill. One that takes people far in life. And we as a community need to grow the balls to give it, too (within respect). Only then people will finally enjoy living in this setting in a public space.

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Koro's not totally off-base either. I've kept my mouth mostly shut about things. Not just at Invitational, but at other tournaments. But I've seen characters who have aether that's over-aspected with ice...Who ignore the downsides or fatal nature of such a thing. People who use, like, blood magic and tribal shamanism; things that we don't really have good sourcing or information on. It's possible that they don't know the lore well enough. That's fine. But I don't think the answer to that is "just let them go buck wild."

 

(Edited because I'm an idiot who can't read people's names.)

Edited by Jebei Dotharl

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So the posters above me have already touched on pretty much all of my key points, but to throw my two cents into the mix...

 

We used to call this the 'A Wizard Did It' excuse. Throughout my roleplaying career, I've regularly encountered a subset of individuals who believe that magic - by virtue of being 'magic' - has the capacity if not the right altogether to encompass and create as many effects as players themselves and conjure in their minds' eye.

 

Now in a handful of cases, that is actually true. Usually these are less orderly worlds in which the creators have decided to say "you know what, just let whatever happens happen". Off the top of my head, these are all superhero-esque worlds ala City of Heroes / Champions in which you already have a world oversaturated with superpowered individuals capable of bending reality three times over, and everything is already at peak ridiculousness enough that adding in one more time-warping nether-demon isn't going to bat too many eyes. World of Warcraft is a more prominent example of this where the game's lore has been a series of escalating powers and events in a world populated moreso by champions than by normal people. They're trying to re-introduce some logic with the Chronicles sure, but the playerbase there has already been conditioned to view things through a lens of 'anything is possible, and the more its fueled by fratboy fantasies of hurrdurr epic, the better".

 

Final Fantasy XIV however has rules.

 

Magic and aetherology are governed by laws of nature that are not only core to how much of what we have as playable characters operate, but even history itself. There is cause and effect, action and reaction, and limitations to how far reality can bend before you - or it - break. Now as players and characters both, we still don't have the full breadth of these rules, but we have a damn good foundational understanding. Enough so that anyone serious about playing a denizen of this universe can educate themselves on what is or isn't feasible with relative ease.

 

Now other people have already touched on this (and the whole 'legal vs. not' element of magic, which primarily has to do with cultural boundaries and historical prejudices, but I won't dig into that here...yet.), but the one sentiment I want to really double down on is that when establishing a public event, sticking to these baseline rules is a pretty safe bet. Again, we're talking about ground-level reality; yes, some people may choose to break away from these rules either as individuals or as groups, and while I don't personally agree with or like it, it is their right to do so. But when talking about the 'public', the best baseline is the one that already exists: that of the game itself.

 

To put this into another perspective, imagine heading to a chess tournament. Presumably you and the majority of participants are going in with the expectation that this tournament will follow the same rules of chess as have existed for centuries. You are paired up, sit down, and begin your match. You're well on your way to winning, when suddenly your opponent grabs some of his captured pawns from your side of the table and places them back on the board. As you stare at him dumbfounded, he explains: "Oh, my King is a Lich King. He can resurrect his minions every time I capture one of yours as a sacrifice." Presumably you have a 'WTF' moment, and when the organizers let him carry on, you probably start to avoid that tournament the next time it comes around.

 

Of course, this is all to do with what is or isn't possible within the 'rules' of the world. But something that hasn't been touched on yet, which I don't think many people are (or perhaps want to be) considerate of, is also the feasibility with which our characters can or should be capable of inventing their own techniques and magics in the first place, even within the limitations of those rules.

 

Again using World of Warcraft as a comparison, as I stated above that is a universe populated primarily by forces of relatively super-powered individuals where player characters are often part of a legion of champions. Final Fantasy tends not to have anything even remotely close to this. Perhaps in the days of Allag or Mhach/Amdapor/Nym where unfettered scientific/magical pursuits were the cultural zeitgeist, but in modern playable Eorzea the vast majority of individuals are relatively unexceptional. The challenge here is remembering that everything we have at our fingertips in terms of jobs/classes and even certain game mechanics are meant to facilitate our experience through the MSQ as the Warrior of Light, not the average (or above-average) joe that most of us realistically should be. And if you look at the myriad NPCs we have been introduced to over the years, you'll notice a trend: at the end of the day, none save the ascians bypass the 'rules' as we know them, and most don't even begin to reach the levels of power we're portraying as our WoL-selves.

 

Now I get it, people don't necessarily want to use the escapism of MMO RP just to be another average joe in a fantasy world instead of the real one. And I'm not saying that people should be limited to portraying a soul-crushing desk job without a hint of magic or adventure. But there's still something of a 'baseline' that I feel people can be conscious of when considering how their characters are portrayed in order to keep them reasonable within the context of the universe. And to that end, I don't know that any of our characters should be so masterful in their given crafts that they are inventing new spells and skills that none of their predecessors over the millennia have themselves managed to do.

 

At the end of the day, people are going to RP as they choose and everyone has a different threshold, but it's important to remember that we're in a shared universe with many other players. The closer we adhere to what is 'standard' in that universe, the less 'WTF' moments we risk exposing ourselves and others to.

Edited by Zalitai

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Post above mine is excellent. Something I've always considered when looking into custom magic and stuff: If you're inventing something that would revolutionize the world (Someone creates at-will teleportation with no cost, or someone figures out how to cast Fly, etc) then we can presume that it WOULD revolutionize the world.

 

Tangent: I've had long conversations with people about both Canon Teleporting and Red Magic since both of these things sort of break the hell out of the setting. They're canon, though, so that's my No Fun Allowed kicking in.

 

If there are suddenly people with forbidden or new magical techniques walking around and demonstrating them, you can bet your ass they'd be researched by the world at large. Imagine if you were driving to work and someone in a legit flying car just buzzes over the expressway. There's zero chance that person keeps their tech secret. Same goes for reasonable fantasy settings: as soon as someone figures out a better way to do things, it would become the standard and not the exception.

 

And if you resist, the Ossuary/Syndicate/Alliance/WoL would probably just kill you for being a threat.

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13 hours ago, Jebei Dotharl said:

My experience with the community at large is that *most* people don't want to completely disregard existing lore and are perfectly happy to agree to common sense rules. For me it goes back to my other point: Why RP here? People *want* to live in this universe and *want* to follow it's rules.

 

Well, again, my experience is limited to what I saw in the Runestone which could be vastly different from what people have seen in this new event. I haven't been to it to give a proper response, sadly. However, to answer your question "Why RP here?" I'm assuming the question is in line with disregard for set rules, and I would agree with you. But let me take it a step further. How much do we actually -know- about aether? I think it's perfectly plausible for other forms of its use to exist that aren't damaging to the realm like the use of Elements, White Magic, and Black Magic. However, in those three realms alone, you're perfectly right. If you want to disregard set lore/rules regarding specifically Forbidden Magic, there's little place for it in the open here, hence in an event held out in the open.

 

If what Koro says is happening is correct, then yes, I'd be rather critical of it too, but I would also feel like the minority and keep my head down rather than say something because it's not just my $15 and not just me enjoying the game. That said, if one doesn't like an event, they're welcome to not attend. On the other hand, I don't think being silent and keeping your head down is wrong though because, even though it might not be the minority, it's respectful to do so during the event itself and contact the overseer of said event afterward to speak your opinions in a civilized manner, or by way of suggestion. I think that's really the correct way to go about this. Criticism is great and all, especially if it's constructive, but there's a time and place for it, and in the middle of the event isn't that time whether you're right or wrong.

 

Edit: For typos

Edited by Suko'to

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On 4/2/2018 at 6:36 PM, Warren Castille said:

Also, there are boundaries on magic. The game's lore establishes a lot of it. Again in my opinion, if you handwave away anything you want with "Oh, it's magic" then you don't even need FFXIV as a setting for your RP. It's taking some of the elements you agree with and ignoring the ones you don't.

 

On 4/6/2018 at 8:55 PM, Jebei Dotharl said:

Other people may not care as much and that's their prerogative, but I ask: Why RP in this universe at all if you're not going to follow it's rules? You could just as easily do anything you want in any other universe, so why bother? That's my biggest problem with the use of certain magics. That, and the looming specter of portraying magic that exists in the FF universe, but has yet to be portrayed in FFXIV. Giving people room to be creative is fine; I've seen Red Mages portrayed at least seventeen different ways. But people should be able to find ways to be creative within the constraints of the lore.

 

14 hours ago, Zalitai said:

-snip-

Final Fantasy XIV however has rules.

 

Quote

-snip-

 

Again using World of Warcraft as a comparison, as I stated above that is a universe populated primarily by forces of relatively super-powered individuals where player characters are often part of a legion of champions. Final Fantasy tends not to have anything even remotely close to this. Perhaps in the days of Allag or Mhach/Amdapor/Nym where unfettered scientific/magical pursuits were the cultural zeitgeist, but in modern playable Eorzea the vast majority of individuals are relatively unexceptional. The challenge here is remembering that everything we have at our fingertips in terms of jobs/classes and even certain game mechanics are meant to facilitate our experience through the MSQ as the Warrior of Light, not the average (or above-average) joe that most of us realistically should be. And if you look at the myriad NPCs we have been introduced to over the years, you'll notice a trend: at the end of the day, none save the ascians bypass the 'rules' as we know them, and most don't even begin to reach the levels of power we're portraying as our WoL-selves.

 

Now I get it, people don't necessarily want to use the escapism of MMO RP just to be another average joe in a fantasy world instead of the real one. And I'm not saying that people should be limited to portraying a soul-crushing desk job without a hint of magic or adventure. But there's still something of a 'baseline' that I feel people can be conscious of when considering how their characters are portrayed in order to keep them reasonable within the context of the universe. And to that end, I don't know that any of our characters should be so masterful in their given crafts that they are inventing new spells and skills that none of their predecessors over the millennia have themselves managed to do.

 

At the end of the day, people are going to RP as they choose and everyone has a different threshold, but it's important to remember that we're in a shared universe with many other players. The closer we adhere to what is 'standard' in that universe, the less 'WTF' moments we risk exposing ourselves and others to.

 

10 hours ago, Warren Castille said:

Post above mine is excellent. Something I've always considered when looking into custom magic and stuff: If you're inventing something that would revolutionize the world (Someone creates at-will teleportation with no cost, or someone figures out how to cast Fly, etc) then we can presume that it WOULD revolutionize the world.

 

Tangent: I've had long conversations with people about both Canon Teleporting and Red Magic since both of these things sort of break the hell out of the setting. They're canon, though, so that's my No Fun Allowed kicking in.

 

If there are suddenly people with forbidden or new magical techniques walking around and demonstrating them, you can bet your ass they'd be researched by the world at large. Imagine if you were driving to work and someone in a legit flying car just buzzes over the expressway. There's zero chance that person keeps their tech secret. Same goes for reasonable fantasy settings: as soon as someone figures out a better way to do things, it would become the standard and not the exception.

 

And if you resist, the Ossuary/Syndicate/Alliance/WoL would probably just kill you for being a threat.

 

Where have you people been all of my (FFXIV) life? It's good to finally read my thoughts coming from another player that isn't my wife or one of my company members. This has been a sticking point for me in all of my MMO-RP experiences, but especially here in FFXIV as it has been my personal experience with this community that the large majority wish to toss lore aside whenever it gets in the way of their character being particularly bad-ass or "interesting". It's the main reason that I have stopped going to public events altogether, because even if the event holders somehow announce that the event is meant to be 100% lore-abiding (or as close to as possible), you'll still have open black mages, au ra dragoons, etc.

 

It's also the main reason that my wife and I have decided to go off to make our own company... because even those that we spoke to or joined that claimed they follow the lore had at least one member that blatantly broke it. And when we brought it up with the leaders of said companies, it was almost always a case of "Oh yeah, but that's Bob. Bob's an awesome roleplayer so we just look past it." (paraphrased, of course)

 

Even when we moved on to our own company we'd still get applicants that were blatantly ignoring lore, and then arguing about it when we explained the issue with proof.

 

Au ra that were part of the Holy See. Direct rips of characters from anime/books/etc. without even bothering to make it FFXIV friendly. Literal openly practicing white and black mages. The list goes on and on.

 

So, again, it's refreshing to see people speak out so strongly FOR the lore... especially with the rhetoric of "why play in this universe if you don't intend to follow the rules?"

 

Of course, it's their $15+ a month so their choice on how to play.... as always. Which brings me to this....

 

18 hours ago, Koro Dotharl said:

Grindstone have been the only tournament I've enjoyed cause all others I've been into had people that destroyed the lore.

 

Half-Dragons, White mages and whatnot. Complete disregard.

 

The problem is also the organizer's reaction to criticism. Not gonna say any names but the general reaction is that people that do not enjoy the event just stay silent and leave, and those that ruined it compliments it with their enjoyment. Result is the people pointing out lore violations are dismissed as a minority. Really bad.

 

Taking criticism and acting on it is a skill. One that takes people far in life. And we as a community need to grow the balls to give it, too (within respect). Only then people will finally enjoy living in this setting in a public space.

 

While I completely agree that events that allow such destruction of the lore aren't particularly fun for me either, I don't think it's fair to outright call them bad. 

 

Again, going back to that whole "their $15+" thing, it's not really our place to tell people how to have their fun at their own events. Now, I haven't really looked into any of these events (outside of the Grindstone) as, as I mentioned above, I don't really bother with going to any public events anymore... so I don't rightly know if it's explicitly stated on the event page that they strictly follow the lore, or if the organizers themselves say as much in shout in game or whatever. So, if they DO say no lore breaking/bending/whatever, then yeah... I agree that participants should be able to offer criticism should someone/something be out of the boundaries of the event's rules... and the organizers should very much be open to hearing it.

 

However, if the rules don't specifically state anything about lore then... well... we're just out of luck with regard to that event. You can, of course, bring it up and perhaps ask them if they mean to stay within the boundaries of the lore with their event, but I don't think it fair to say "Jimbo over there is blatantly being a black mage. Your event is ruined because you allow lore breaking in it!"

 

To each their own. I feel that if event organizers want their event to go a particular way, be it with regard to lore or otherwise, it needs to be explicitly stated in their rules, event page here on the RPC (or official forums or tumblr or where ever), and/or even shouted OOCly there at the event itself. And those of us that don't like particular events because of their stance on lore (or whatever else) just don't have to go. 

 

Edited by Saravahn

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3 hours ago, Saravahn said:

Where have you people been all of my (FFXIV) life?

 

Reclusive and cloistered away from the nonsense of the world at large? :P I try to take a 'lead by example' approach when it comes to my own perspectives on 'quality' roleplay, but there's something exhausting about trying to do that in an environment that is more like to give me an aneurysm than not. It takes a certain level of mental stamina to field /tells from people who want to know why your search info invalidates their character, and its often just easier to stick to known circles - even if at the end of the day it's only doing more harm than good to the overall environment and visibility of more lore-abiding citizens.

 

3 hours ago, Saravahn said:

...because even if the event holders somehow announce that the event is meant to be 100% lore-abiding (or as close to as possible), you'll still have open black mages, au ra dragoons, etc.

 

So here's an interesting snippet.

 

I think this demonstrates one of the challenges those of us who try to adhere to lore more closely than others continue to face: even amongst ourselves, we have varying degrees of tolerance. To one person, au ra dragoons are wholly nonsensical. To another, they are feasible but in limited capacity. And to someone else altogether, the idea of player dragoons of any race is anathema.

 

The problem is that while we can probably agree on some core facts (e.g. Ishgardian dragoons trained as such in their backstory would have come from a culturally-limited pool of hyur and elezen), there's still room for varying degrees of allowances.

 

From my end at least, my company has made an attempt to solve this via what we affectionately coin the 'snowflake system'. What this system does is take a look at what the 'average' is in the world, and asks that any character traits which tread beyond that threshold come at the expense of a snowflake, of which characters may only possess a limited amount. So using dragoon as an example, if a character is a hyur or elezen with natural training as a dragoon written into their backstory, then we don't require the use of a snowflake. But if it's any other race and/or a hyur or elezen without that kind of backstory, then acquisition of a soul crystal requires the expense of a snowflake.

 

This allows a degree of flexibility for unusual combinations or the acquisition of more 'rare' jobs, but at the same time places an upper limit on how 'special' a character can ultimately be. And that system is applied to everything from jobs, to special traits, to rare equipment (and even has limits on how many snowflakes of a given 'type' can be applied, forcing players to diversify instead of just throwing on as many rare magics as they can afford).

 

Now, for my take on lore stringency, this is a reasonable threshold. It permits creativity and player 'uniqueness' without creating overblown characters who are little more than the sum of their tropes. But someone else might still look at us and say "oh no, you have no right to call yourselves lore strict!". So I don't think there's an easy way to define that as a community, but I do think we can at least all be open about what 'lore strict' means to us, so that people know what to expect.

 

3 hours ago, Saravahn said:

Even when we moved on to our own company we'd still get applicants that were blatantly ignoring lore, and then arguing about it when we explained the issue with proof.

 

Au ra that were part of the Holy See. Direct rips of characters from anime/books/etc. without even bothering to make it FFXIV friendly. Literal openly practicing white and black mages. The list goes on and on.

 

This is another really good point, and ties into one of the OP's questions about levels of animosity that are directed towards lore-breaking/bending characters and events.

 

Being lore-strict is not easy. It requires constant vigilance. Not only of the characters which a company may be recruiting, but even of ourselves. Its way too easy to lose sight of checks and balances and find yourself taking an incremental step here and there that perhaps don't seem problematic in the moment, but one day you take stock and look back and realize that you crossed your own line. I know for my part I did something of an audit for EC at the start of 2018. Not just for our characters, but even some of the conceptual elements that had stuck with us for quite some time, and ended up making revisions and cuts where necessary to remain in-line with my own expectations for lore stringency.

 

My hope is that people aren't actually approaching others with any degree of malice, but I do think there's an innate level of frustration that seeps through when these conversations arise, because at the end of the day those of us making the effort to remain lore strict are putting in a lot of effort to do so. We're educating ourselves, weighing our choices against the lore, engaging in constant debate, and it's easy to feel like it's a slap in the face when we encounter those who disregard it or worse - actually take offense to our desire to be lore strict.

 

3 hours ago, Saravahn said:

So, if they DO say no lore breaking/bending/whatever, then yeah... I agree that participants should be able to offer criticism should someone/something be out of the boundaries of the event's rules... and the organizers should very much be open to hearing it.

 

To add on to this, it's important that such communications still remain respectful. As I said above, even among the 'lore strict' crowd there are going to be differences, and so I think transparency in what 'lore strict' means for a given company / event is important. But so is acceptance of those who are going to look at an event and decide it's either too strict, or not strict enough.

 

If my rules are clearly outlined, then you're entirely in your right to question me when something appears to fall outside the scope of them. And if I haven't outlined something, then we can open it up to debate and create guidelines where needed.

 

But I recall an individual who - I'm not sure if they were honestly inquiring or just trolling, and I don't really care - sent me a tell a month or so ago effectively asking "If your company is so lore strict, why do you have so many male miqo'te when they are supposed to be rare? Do you just pick and choose what lore to follow?". The first part of the question is fair - I'd have happily explained that given the population and breadth of Eorzea, having a small concentration of ~5-8 man-cats doesn't exactly impede on anything. It's because the person approached the question from an antagonistic "your lore-strict is dishonest" viewpoint from the start that I never bothered to entertain them with an answer.

 

People on both sides of the aisle need to be respectful of one another. And that means at the end of the day, if you make the decision that the Invitational is going to carry on in front of Ul'dah with some of the craziest magic imaginable unimpeded, the people who prefer something more lore-strict need to either accept that and avoid it, or refrain from disrespectful commentary if they choose to attend. And similarly, the people who want to exercise more freedom need to accept that their 'creative liberty' is actually impeding on the experience of others, and people are entirely within their right to choose not to pursue interactions with a character that disrupts their understanding of the world.

 

But that also means you're making a conscious decision to promote a public affair that clearly breaches the more clear-cut aspects of lore, and you need to be prepared to both own that fact and be considerate of the potential disruptions you are causing by having it be so public. As the saying goes, you can't have your cake and eat it too. And I think there is still an argument to be made that if you are going to choose to go a less lore-strict route, there's a responsibility to the communal 'reality' to keep those sorts of events a little further off to the sidelines where they don't pose a risk for disruption.

Edited by Zalitai

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"You don't pay muh sub" is not an argument that makes you immune from criticism. If you play an Au Ra that was part of the holy see you are effectively ruining the time of everyone around you so yeah they should be limited to their own bubble instead of making events difficult to attend. If you are hosting an open events at the gates of Ul'dah where people are summoning the void and white magic at the very least they should be raided by the authorities and hunted down by the WoL. Common sense etc.

 

But no common sense doesn't apply here. For the sake of political correctness we just let other people ruin themselves for I'm pretty sure letting them do whatever is a disservice to them. If you explain to them why an Au Ra in the holy see is completely bonkers then you'd probably help them make a character that fit the setting and can actually get into FCs and be involved. But no let them run themselves into a dead end character.

 

Having standards is not a crime. And wishing to RP in the setting accurately is not an exception or a minority. You shouldn't be made to be alienated from public spaces when they are the ones breaking the rules and not you.

 

And this goes back to the organizers just either not caring about providing a good, accurate RP or not having the courage to do what an admin does. Provided they aren't lore-breakers themselves that ban you for pointing out that no you can't be half-dragon and half-cat.

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In a perfect world, it would be easy to do as you're saying. And I would love that perfect world as everyone would conform to what I perceive as lore-abiding. As Zalitai mentioned, and demonstrated, above... everyone has a sliding scale as to what they believe to be lore-abiding/strict. In my opinion, his particular view is still too lax, but as I don't "pay his sub" he's more than welcome to stick to his area of that sliding scale.

 

From what I gather from your posts, it would seem that you and I are closer on that sliding scale. We want everyone to stay as close to the known lore as possible, and not have any "snowflake points" as Zalitai mentioned. We want everyone to conform to that as we don't have fun dealing with characters that don't conform to that. It "ruins our immersion" and, quite frankly, makes RP less fun for us.

 

Where we differ is how to approach it. At one time, I did try to "fix" those that didn't meet my standards. Unfortunately, those that I tried to fix didn't care to be fixed... no matter how civil my approach to the topic or the circumstances of the approach (random out in the world, friend from another LS/FC, or an applicant to my own FC, for instance). Often times, in fact, they got quite upset and offended.

 

You can't teach those that don't want to learn. And after a while it becomes akin to bashing your head against a brick wall - the wall still stands and all you have to show for it is bruising and a headache... probably a concussion. 

 

So, yes. I agree... having standards is not a crime. Wishing for people to RP accurately in the provided setting should not be an exception or a minority. It would be lovely to draw the name of an event out of a hat and be able to go to it without "fear" of lore-benders/breakers also attending. And in a perfect world, people would listen to our opinions on what is right and wrong and conform to our standards. Unfortunately, this isn't a perfect world... we don't pay their subs and, as such, have no control over what they will or won't do outside of the companies and linkshells we manage... and everyone's method of having fun in this game, especially when it comes to RP, is vastly different. 

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18 hours ago, Suko'to said:

How much do we actually -know- about aether?

 

That's the whole "burden of proof" thing. You show me where the lore specifically says I can't fly, or summon meteors, or turn invisible, or teleport, or whatever. We don't know a lot about aether, but we know we don't know a lot. That's why people tend to color inside of the lines until the game reveals more of itself. "They didn't say this is impossible" is frankly shitty rationale.

 

3 hours ago, Koro Dotharl said:

If you explain to them why an Au Ra in the holy see is completely bonkers

 

Sidurgu exists. His backstory is very specific and not liable for large groups of people, but he does exist.

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No. Sidurgu was NOT in the holy see. He was a victim of it. And a Dark Knight.

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4 minutes ago, Koro Dotharl said:

No. Sidurgu was NOT in the holy see. He was a victim of it. And a Dark Knight.

 

Oh, I misunderstood "In the Holy See" as "located therein" and not "A part of the establishment." English is a wonderful language, carry on.

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For reference, I quoted a line from the dark knight quests for said applicant:

 

Spoiler

"Look at me, [playername]. Tell me what you see. The first Ishgardians to encounter Au Ra saw Dravanians. We had fled Garlemald's armies only to come to a land where we were mistaken for another nation's mortal enemy. They bared steel and came to kill us... but we did not die so easily. We spared them and sent them on their way... and how do you think they repaid our kindness? With fire and blood, [playername]! With death for every man, woman and child!"

 

Told them that pretty much up until the end of HW content, au ra were seen as potential enemies of Ishgard because of their draconic appearance... and probably are still very untrusted in Ishgard. Told them that because of the claim that their Au ra was part of the Holy See, we weren't accepting them into the company, however beyond that one particular point they seemed like an interesting person. Should they rewrite that particular part of their character, we would be willing to look again.

 

 

Their response:

"We have a difference of opinion then. My interpretation of that passage was that initial contact was like that but per your own post that racism is pretty much nil in current year.

Regardless however I respect your choice to run your FC the way you see fit. I hope you find members that can conform to your exacting standards. Unfortunately, that was the only one who I thought might fit your template."

 

*shrug*

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