CroupierRick: howdy =)
GrayAnderson5: What's up?
CroupierRick: man, it seemed quiet in chat tonight
Could you help me with something?
CroupierRick: if I can, sure
GrayAnderson5: This is a rather long, involved, and extensive analysis of how I've frelled up a character, and I'd like to try and get some feedback.
CroupierRick: ohhh, no problem at all. lemme read
GrayAnderson5: (It's four posts long...I couldn't get the latter thing into one post.)
CroupierRick: no problem
CroupierRick: great posts there. ok, I have a few questions to ask so I can think about this
GrayAnderson5: Alright, shoot.
CroupierRick: ok, one thing I'm not sure of is--are you seeing Bonzo ultimately as going through a dark time and then emerging as a hero? or is his story a tragic one of ultimately being overwhelmed by those shoes (and maybe redeeming himself with one final act)?
GrayAnderson5: I see the latter as being highly likely. I could see both...working with what I've done (and, to some extent, forced onto him), he's managed an amazing turnaround, but it can't last. And in my own mind, he can't live as a hero...it's just not who he is. So, I think he's ultimately going to end up going out tragically, albeit possibly with his exit being on a more heroic note.
CroupierRick: ok, good, that helps a lot. lets see, other questions
CroupierRick: so the problem with being surrounded by too many good people then, is that that puts him on the path of being a hero. and not the path of being someone with conflicting ethics that make a tragic end more plausible. have I got that right?
GrayAnderson5: That's about right. He adapted the morality of those around him when he was reforming things in his own mind, and that involved taking after the Jedi. He could just as easily (and he quite possibly should have) taken after a bunch of crooks, so long as he thought he was picking a better course than he was on.
CroupierRick: ok, yeah. makes sense. And the Jedi ARE a problem plot-wise then, b/c they're definitely hero types.
CroupierRick: which actually raises a related issue: which is that in my interactions with Dooku, I've ended up liking the guy. and I think that's a problem, lol
GrayAnderson5: Note my ending comment.
CroupierRick: yes, I totally follow you on that. but at the same time, I would also agree that he is a very tricky character type to pull off within the context of Milliways.
GrayAnderson5: Agreed. Which has led to some problems; I think that some of that will be resolved once I put him back into the SW-verse.
CroupierRick: probably true
GrayAnderson5: (I think we may be seeing something I've noted before: Milliways ultimately pulls people towards being good)
GrayAnderson5: (If you were on the fence, things will break in favor of "good" when they wouldn't necessarily, all else being equal)
CroupierRick: I mostly agree with that. my usual take on this is that pups end up doing things that traditionally seem good primarily b/c there really isn't any value in being evil. you can't actually do any harm to others in the bar (and 'in the bar' is what ultimately counts), so things default to civil behavior--which to most people seems identical to good. even though in sophisticated social environments, behavior can be 'civil' and yet subtly cruel. but subtly cruel, again, is hard to do in Milliways
GrayAnderson5: Bingo. In reality, there's a payoff to being a crook. In the Bar, there isn't.
CroupierRick: and incidentally, there's a corrollary to that
CroupierRick: gah, spelling
CroupierRick: which is that I believe firmly that victories in Milliways are utlimately empty. b/c heroes can't do harm either. which means, if, say, there was a confrontation between Palpatine and Luke, everyone would know it would go nowhere. and no matter what happened, the next day, both pups would be back in the bar--as if nothing had happened. this keeps happening all the time in bar plots, and I think it rips the heart out of rivalries and conflicts in the game
Agreed. Ultimately, a character can veer heavily to either end of the spectrum, and it means nothing because the consequences of failure are so lacking.
CroupierRick: we're left with variations on, how do I want to put it--the kind of conflicts you would see in a Jane Austen novel, lol. it's about insults and such, not much more. you *could* do a plot about a subtle manipulator (which is what you seem to be toying with), but man, you would need a *lot* of cooperation from several muns to pull that off convincingly. I'm not saying it 's not worth trying, mind. but it wont' be easy
Which is why we come back to an extended IC vacation from the Bar, something that feels inevitable.
CroupierRick: yeah, I agree with you
CroupierRick: Dooku is your pup, right?
CroupierRick: ok, good, that might make things easier
CroupierRick: b/c you have both sides of their interactions
CroupierRick: I'm wondering
It's been a problem, and it's a bone of contention, but it could be used in a very productive way.
CroupierRick: would it help if Dooku was more of an asshole in the bar? would that make him more of the shifty role-model you're looking for for Bonzo? Or would taking that road with Dooku then mess up HIS arc?
GrayAnderson5: Now we get into a complicated game of causes and effects. He's been putting a good deal of pressure on Bonzo in unwritten out-of-Bar scenes. One thing that has been kriffing things up is that now Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the picture, and that is making things hard to do.
If Dooku took up a more asshole-esque line in the Bar (I'm thinking having him come out a bit stuck up, egotistical...a big problem here is that I have very little canon to work with now)
GrayAnderson5: And here's one thing I failed to write...
GrayAnderson5: Dooku took on Bonzo to outdo Qui-Gon.
GrayAnderson5: "Oh, he can make a non-Force Sensitive into a Jedi? I'll take someone who's more questionable and make them a successs!"
CroupierRick: omg, with all these Jedi interacting like this--you have a GREAT plot here. but it would be SO MUCH easier as a tabletop RPG.
CroupierRick: are Qui-Gon mun and Obi-Wan-mun people you can talk to and RP with easily?
GrayAnderson5: Obi-Wan-mun? Yes. Qui-Gon-mun? There's been a big glitch.
GrayAnderson5: I haven't gotten a full RP out of her in 22 months.
CroupierRick: ahh, ok. that's too bad. but it happens. and anyway, I guess it makes things less complicated if there's just Obi-Wan to deal with.
CroupierRick: even if it limits the awesomeness of this plot idea
CroupierRick: but I think we agree that, at this point, the key to success with Bonzo really likes with making Dooku a successful pup?
CroupierRick: likes > lies
GrayAnderson5: I think that makes sense, considering what's on the table.
CroupierRick: ok, I have a suggestion, but it will be a little involved--so let me run to the bathroom and put on a pot of tea first, ok? lol
GrayAnderson5: Sounds good...lol
CroupierRick: hee. ok, brb
CroupierRick: ok, tea brewing
CroupierRick: lemme see, where do I start
CroupierRick: let me ask this--have you read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies?
CroupierRick: that's ok. there was a reference I would make, but it's no biggie
CroupierRick: I admit, I haven't read every Dooku thread, so you might already be doing this--and if you have, then the fault is on me for not keeping up. But for a conflicted pup like him (and for Bonzo), I think in Milliways you need to add as much internal dialogue as you can when RPing with anyone other than Obi-Wan. b/c that way you might be able to telegraph better to other muns why Dooku or Bonzo is doing some of the things he does. in an IDEAL game, we'd never have to do this--b/c it robs the story a bit--but I think it's a reality of the game. where I'm going with this is with Dooku....
CroupierRick: ...b/c I think making Dooku more of a jerk in the bar is a good idea, but that always runs the risk of pissing off other muns and making them not want to interact with him. putting in internal monologue will help to ease that annoyance. and THEN you could make him much more shifty and a jerk, but also make him interesting enough to keep other muns wanting to engage with him
CroupierRick: and that goes for Bonzo too
CroupierRick: none of this solves the problem, mind. I'm just suggesting it as a ground to build on
There's another thing that's goofed things up. There's a disincentive for a jerk to be a jerk both to the character and to the mun.
CroupierRick: YES.and that really limits a lot of potential plots
CroupierRick: and it's frustrating. b/c I see a lot of muns having this problem and I wish I could tell them--open up a bit. let the other mun know more of what's going on.
CroupierRick: b/c in too many cases, they try to play it straight. and that SHOULD be enough. but in this game it just isn't
CroupierRick: b/c ultimately, I could see Dooku being a guy (and this was my HP ref--to a pup named Lucius Malfoy) who is a jerk 9 out of 10 times. but then when you're about to write him off--he suddenly comes through for you
CroupierRick: that's a hard pup to pull off in Milliways--but a really cool one if you can do it
CroupierRick: and that 10th time, he might STILL be looking out for number one--but he's willing to give other peopel what they want sometimes too. he's not evil--he's self-centered or ambitious. not the same thing at all
CroupierRick: *runs to get tea* brb
There's another thing: This is pre-falling Dooku.
CroupierRick: yeah, that is a problem. b/c I just assumed he was coming in after the movies somehow--which I would know isn't the case if I read his profile (I'm assuming you have that in there), but a lot of times you don't get a chance to. you just jump into thredas
CroupierRick: but you could maybe get that across in the internal monologues too, somehow.
GrayAnderson5: Lemme explain my initial (intended) plot.
CroupierRick: the other thing I would suggest, is that if you see an opportunity in a thread, for Dooku to act like a jerk--to really help establish his personality that way--every time that happens, make sure you get talking to the other mun in chat first and tell them wha tyou have in mind--so they can get on board with you
CroupierRick: yes, please, lay it on me =)
GrayAnderson5: Dooku came in. He was supposed to get Bonzo on board with him with those lightsaber lessons and so forth. He then goes back and falls. He re-enters the Bar sometime around Ep. 2, perhaps, and Bonzo goes crashing down with him, not realizing what he's agreeing with or siding with.
GrayAnderson5: He's vulnerable to being misled if he trusts the person.
GrayAnderson5: Ultimately, when that fall hit its worst, he'd be as much as, if not more of, a jerk than he was when he first came in.
CroupierRick: yeah, this looks very good to me
CroupierRick: working Dooku through canon at this point--great idea
CroupierRick: solves the pre-falling question for one thing! lol
GrayAnderson5: Well, there's a problem.
GrayAnderson5: That's why this got messed up: He knows about canon.
CroupierRick: Dooku does?
GrayAnderson5: Too many Jedi around for the other shoe not to drop, and I chose to let it, unfortunately.
CroupierRick: I don't think it's necessarily unfortunate
CroupierRick: b/c there's an interesting angle to that
CroupierRick: let me lay it out if I can
GrayAnderson5: If he goes too far in trying to stop Palpatine?
CroupierRick: he's going to fail and die, right? and he knows that now
CroupierRick: we can assume he's NOT going to do that. b/c he's not stupid. but:
CroupierRick: is he choosing not to b/c he realizes the wrongness of him staying on that path? or is he doing it only b/c of self-preservation and he really hasn't learned anything from it? now THERE is an interesting ambiguity =)
GrayAnderson5: It's definitely the latter.
CroupierRick: and Obi-Wan probably knows this, right?
CroupierRick: or at least suspects it?
GrayAnderson5: I'm not certain.
CroupierRick: when is Obi-Wan from, btw? the Alec Guinesss PB makes me think the later trilogy but I'm not certain
GrayAnderson5: Post-Ep. 6
CroupierRick: ok. well, it would be reasonable for him to doubt Dooku anyway. if the mun wanted to go there
CroupierRick: so there you would have interesting conflict over Bonzo
CroupierRick: that would *completely* appropriate to play out in the bar
CroupierRick: in terms of arguments, etc, which are allowed
GrayAnderson5: Agreed...and doing a forced custody transfer wouldn't be a bad move, either.
CroupierRick: yeah. I like this, b/c now the conflict and pup development can happen in the bar as well as outside it
CroupierRick: I'm not sure that really solves the problem, but maybe it's a step in the right direction?
GrayAnderson5: I'll talk with Obi-mun about it. My one concern is that Obi-Wan will be too much of a positive influence (though Bonzo is already gravitating towards him, to be honest)
CroupierRick: well positive influences can piss off ambiguous guys like Bonzo, though. lol
CroupierRick: "You're not my dad!" lol
GrayAnderson5: Yeah...that would be something to bring out, too, b/t Bonzo and Dooku.
CroupierRick: But I really think there needs to be a lot of internalizing in Obi-Wan and Dooku threads, so this story can really be brought out for other muns who are following along but may not be catching every thread
CroupierRick: if they can see where you're going, that will keep them coming back
CroupierRick: especially when they see you really have a plot playing out here. without opening up about what Dooku and OW are thinking, there's no way for them to know that
CroupierRick: and if you can contact other muns through chat during threads and get them to agree on scenes where Dooku or Bonzo are jerks--but the other mun knows WHY it's happening--that could really get your plot moving and make it more visible in the bar too
CroupierRick: Aaand I just thought of something else you could do--though it would make things more complicated
GrayAnderson5: Oh? One question, btw.
GrayAnderson5: How do we account for his general taking of an inferior position to the other Jedi?
CroupierRick: who? Dooku?
GrayAnderson5: Dooku, Obi-Wan, etc.
CroupierRick: do you mean Bonzo being deferential toward the Jedi?
CroupierRick: well, couldn't that just be an acknowledgement that these guys can kick serious ass?
GrayAnderson5: Yeah. And that Bonzo wants to be like them, etc.
CroupierRick: sure, that would make sense, even if Bonzo wasn't a goody two shoes
CroupierRick: in fact, it would make MORE sense if he was deferential
CroupierRick: his imagination would be more free to imagine what a guy could DO as a Jedi
CroupierRick: if he wasn't so ethical himself
CroupierRick: anyway, my other thought?
CroupierRick: the way you're describing this--it really seems like Dooku and Obi-Wan are eventually going to get into a stance--if they aren't there already--of trying to convince the people around them that each one is the 'right' one. the one who's really the 'sensible' one
CroupierRick: so they may try to draw other people in the bar to be on their 'side'--if only for the sake of arguments and the general mood of the bar
CroupierRick: this could be a great opening for them to approach other pups and get them involved in the Bonzo arc. if Obi-Wan and Dooku start trying to think of ways to win over other members of the bar. like helping them to achieve their own goals so they would owe either Dooku or Obi-Wan for the favor
CroupierRick: this would be a way for Dooku to be 'nice' and yet the internal monologue could signal to the other mun that there are always ulterior motives at play
CroupierRick: which may hook muns to say--this Dooku guy--I can't let my pup trust him too far, but damn, he's *interesting*! lol
CroupierRick: of course, this kind of party-building can get *very* complicated. but if you and Obi-Wan-mun keep in touch about it--and let the other muns who are also heavily involved keep in the loop too. well, that could be a very interesting mega-plot there
CroupierRick: does any of that make sense?
GrayAnderson5: It makes a lot of sense.
GrayAnderson5: Hmm...I've got an interesting thought.
GrayAnderson5: At some point, Bonzo bounces back home and does his thing there. He comes back in, and we get Dooku blaming Obi-Wan for Bonzo's failures.
GrayAnderson5: In fact...that could be a nice root cause of the breakdown.
CroupierRick: I think it would, yeah
GrayAnderson5: And...I could definitely see Dooku suffering a breakdown with Obi-Wan over that.
CroupierRick: yup, and it would build on what you guys have done. you wouldn't have to regret it--you could still build on it
CroupierRick: at least, it still fits with what's happened so far. it wouldn't be a sharp break, I don't think
CroupierRick: btw, if it would help to post all this in Bonzo's LJ for further reference or something, feel free to do that.
CroupierRick: I mean, if that would help
GrayAnderson5: It's going in there.
CroupierRick: honestly, I would be happy to have plot chats like this with other muns
CroupierRick: they're always fun and *I* learn a lot from them
CroupierRick: they just rarely happen
CroupierRick: so I'm really glad you asked
CroupierRick: PLUS, you have me thinking if I can get one of my pups into this, lol
CroupierRick: b/c Dooku is sounding a LOT like Wesley Wyndham-Pryce, my Buffyverse pup
CroupierRick: and I didn't realize that before
CroupierRick: and, of course, there's the connection between Bonzo and Malcolm
CroupierRick: And I've already established tha tmy pups don't like each other already, lol. now two of them might have a *reason*
CroupierRick: b/c Malcolm is more of an Obi-Wan influence
GrayAnderson5: Hmm...and it would be interesting if some of those rhetorical questions wound up being not so rhetorical.
CroupierRick: wouldn't it?
GrayAnderson5: Well, think about how Dooku will take it if Bonzo decides to come out and admit that he really likes Petra?
CroupierRick: oh yeah. you've been building that nicely--it's clear Dooku is NOT happy about that
I'd like to take a moment to note that Bonzo is turning into Anakin Skywalker without the Force at an alarming rate.
CroupierRick: yes! very good point
CroupierRick: I hadn't thought of that
CroupierRick: why doesn't his not having the force make me feel any less nervous about that? lol
GrayAnderson5: I've been smelling it in the air, so to speak, but he was looking like he'd succeed.
GrayAnderson5: Hmm...I thought of something.
GrayAnderson5: What if Dooku dumps Bonzo as a Padawan over that issue?
CroupierRick: hmmm. where would Bonzo go then? wouldn't that just drive him straight over to Obi-Wan, which is where you'd rather he not go?
GrayAnderson5: True, true.
GrayAnderson5: Let's make it a major bone of contention instead, and something that can blow up further.
GrayAnderson5: And let's have Obi-Wan trying to get Dooku to lighten up.
CroupierRick: yeah, THAT certainly seems true
CroupierRick: yeah, that's also good
CroupierRick: lol, oh the 'lightening up' thread--I can tell THAT is going to go really well! rofl
GrayAnderson5: If by well, you mean Dooku nearly starts throwing furniture, then I agree.
CroupierRick: what's the Jedi phrase for "Bite me!!"
GrayAnderson5: We'll find out in a hurry!
CroupierRick: seriously, Gray, you have some great plot potential here
GrayAnderson5: I agree, and I saw bits and pieces before.
CroupierRick: oh, I know you did, b/c you've been developing a lot of it well
CroupierRick: but getting the big picture is usually easier if you have others to bounce the ideas off of
CroupierRick: I've had people do that for me lots of times
CroupierRick: I've had many facepalming moments of, "Why didn't I see that I was doing that?"
CroupierRick: anyway, bedtime for me I think
CroupierRick: hope that helps
GrayAnderson5: Thank you very much! It was helpful.
GrayAnderson5: I think I've got a lot of stuff I needed to actually get things back under control and have my character going in a direction he should be going.
CroupierRick: glad to hear it! talk to you later
CroupierRick is away at 6:06:13 AM.