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  #76  
Old Nov 17th, 2021, 03:15 AM
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@Phettberg Sounds fun. Good luck with the next chapter!
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Iím having a cold, and changing job this month. My focus is elsewhere at the moment, I apologize but I will be back. Thank you for your patience!
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  #77  
Old Nov 17th, 2021, 07:50 AM
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Threads blowing up, lots of stuff to read up on.

Thanks MZ for the well wishes.

What S said stands on its own anyhow, so no need for me to go into that further. I don't disagree, but let's get back to looking at applications.

@Lunarc I tried to hint at that earlier, but there almost isn't a "no-questions" application for me. It's how I engage with a character idea, so when that's entirely absent it can actually mean the opposite of it being a great app.

Let's cut the other thing short: I disagree with almost all of your arguments, so I am not convinced. I don't think me elaborating more and us going back and forth about details is a good use of our time, so I won't.

I'll be happy to talk about the next character idea when it's ready.

@ironbeard Welcome! I love the idea of an artist and craftsman in the group, though admittedly we might need to do a little extra work to really tie them up in everything that's happening.

It's why I ask the question of how they influence power and one of the downsides of being a commoner, which I take from what you wrote the character is, is creating the situation where they are still involved with all the big things happening even at their station.

Though I absolutely want to encourage people to break the mould when they can - not everybody needs to be a samurai from the get go.

Fortunately, it's not too hard to see a weaponsmith being highly valued just for what they do, so they would be on the high end of the commoner social sphere as it is (represented by the default status of 2). We might do well to describe a personal relationship to some of family members or even the Lord himself, just to establish them as a person trusted to give their advice and partake in certain activities.

You may even want to give them more roles than just a smith, just so that they have a broader call to action. With few people requiring high quality weapons (as an artist I take it he's not just there hammering away at broadswords for the guards) he probably has enough time on his hands to have other functions - maybe the executioner, or the magistrate for one of the businesses or villages that Tokunaga controls. These are things that can also be done by a non-noble.

Then again, you can also make this character an asset one brings along for things by further specialising his skill set. Many Oni are frighteningly strong - so if you doubled down on that he might be the man to ask when something needs lifting or breaking.

So that's some of the things that popped into my head when I read about your character, and I hope that might help you out. There are more general questions that might fill in some blanks, and you may want to consider being clear on these also: Is he from these lands or from somewhere else? Who were his parents? Is he married or has children? Is he a self taught smith, or did he have a master? Does he have a special symbol or element that he uses in the making of his swords, for the guard, handle or otherwise? How old is he? Did anybody train him in a 'proper' way of fighting?

Just a little more food for thought - I'll add you to the applicant table in a little bit!

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 17th, 2021 at 07:53 AM.
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  #78  
Old Nov 18th, 2021, 02:12 AM
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@Phettberg: Oh well! I think I came up with something better anyway.
I updated my application.

So I hope for questions now!


@Saratek: I see your point about recruitment and admittedly I have no idea how Phettberg's mind works.
Player involvement is definitely something I look for in my players when I GM. I just didn't think that the level of interest of someone could be judged on a forum but after rereading a few of my posts I guess my excitation about the game is palpable in some ways.

Oh I totally understood how our characters could have worked together from a roleplay point of view. I had doubts about the mechanics. Turns out, I checked the warfare rules a bit more in detail and I have to admit that ultimately that could have work. What they do I actually pretty clever. Don't know how that would pan out with PbP but the idea is pretty epic. Still, my point about the situation of the clan remains and I had difficulties figuring out what I wanted to do with him during those god damn 15 years of peace.
At the end, my new character was super fun to create and it is beautifully quirky. It will be a blast to play.

No worries about he secret posts, I was just trying to explain Phettberg why I couldn't get his clues.

I am not too stressed about my application honestly. God knows I have better things to stress about. I will be a bit disappointed if my character is not chosen of course but I learned plenty on feudal Japan an its mythology. Whatever happens, I didn't waste my time here.
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  #79  
Old Nov 18th, 2021, 09:17 AM
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@L Looking good. I get the idea and feel of the character, so I think all we need is to fill in some of the details.

Now when it comes to that, since you have a character that might well rely on having a mysterious past for their reputation you may want to keep certain things genuinely hidden from the other players so it doesn't even work on their subconscious. In that case you can put down certain parts of the biography in secret tags - the shh button above, just remember to put in my username so I can read it. You might otherwise want to rely on their ability to keep player and character knowledge apart, that's fine too.

So a few questions that come to mind in no particular order:
Who are the actual parents of this character and where are they now?
Where was he born?
Who was Hanami to the local lord and did she take this child with no resistance?
How was the training conducted and what were the things that he learned, besides what would constitute the spellcraft?
How did he come into the service of Lord Ren?
When did he start working for the Clan?
Especially: How did he build up trust when it sounds like he appears menacing to some degree?
Do they lean into the frightening image at all, or do they work against it?
What sort of spellwork does he actually do?
Where, when and how did he acquire his monkey?
What is the status of the character currently, as relative to a Samurai (higher, lower, same)?
How does the character view the philosophies with competing or overlapping worldviews - i.e. buddhism and confucianism - and the people that practise or preach it?
What, if any, is the moral code of the character, and if it isn't bushido, how does it relate to that?

As a general note I would not emulate the western-european "changeling" mythos so closely, because that leads to something sounding like a misinterpretation of kami.

I say this mainly because there are no kami that are all good or all evil - they are of nature and in nature. It can be frightening or destructive, but mostly in the same way a volcano or violent waterfall can be. I see Shinkai more as an attempt to square away the fact that you can't see them even though they share space with the material world. I don't think that marks a place that a material being could be dragged to, and if they did it wouldn't be inherently bad either.

However, the cosmology is not entirely "fixed" anyhow, because in some of the main texts you have a clearly separated heaven, material world and the world of unclean spirits, and then Shinkai doesn't factor in at all - as in the gods are not hidden, they are just somewhere else. This in turn does not make sense with some of the other beliefs, but it's a very fluid body of thoughts.

Basically, being touched by a Kami is strange so could frighten a lot of people, but it's not like being touched by the devil. And when it comes to Kami dragging souls away - that I would replace with unclean spirits dragging you away to the underworld, which is truly supposed to be a desolate space.

But that's mostly changing the wording, thematically the character has no issues.

In a way it's a concept that should work well for us, as we can slot it in where the previous sorcerer was. That would theoretically make for a very quick and easy transition.

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 18th, 2021 at 09:40 AM.
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  #80  
Old Nov 18th, 2021, 09:43 AM
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@Sirius I'm very sorry, I actually had overlooked that you posted a full application for your character already, and two days ago at that! You posted it while I was writing another response and just before Saratek, so when I published mine was when I saw Saratek's, though I didn't think to scroll up to see if there was another one - it happens so rarely to ninja two people at once!

I will write feedback as soon as possible, sorry to have kept you waiting there!
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  #81  
Old Nov 18th, 2021, 01:21 PM
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@Phettberg, no worries! I was gonna give it until this evening until I made a mention of it, figuring you were either busy or happened to overlook it. It happens. So, again no worries but thanks for letting me know feedback is incoming.
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  #82  
Old Nov 18th, 2021, 03:27 PM
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Here are the extra details about Keishi:

The parents were commoners from the Tokunaga clan and they have been killed during the civil war.

Hanami was an elder from a sizeable settlement of Tokunaga clan and a seer, she was a respected and well-loved member of the community. After the rebellion, Lord Ren needed more than fear from the common folk so adding her as one of his advisers was a way to gain their respect by association. Her ability to see the future was also a motivation of course. Being her apprentice, and a sorcerer himself Keishi took her place after her death quite naturally.

I don’t think Hanami needed to take the child by force. In fact, I was thinking the complete opposite. Keishi, being a crippled, had poor prospects in life. It would have been a relief for his parents to have their child get a “job”, even if it was at a young age.

Hanami would have tried to teach him her craft of course because she could feel his latent abilities but she wasn’t able to awaken this power in him. Once in the service of lord Ren, and as a potential future advisor he would have received the same kind of education as the other scholars.


So, about his appearance, I don’t see Keishi as particularly threatening. He is actually a rather friendly dude when you take the time to know him but the fact that he talks to his monkey almost constantly tends to put people off. In general, him being a crippled added to the fact that everyone expects him to have some kind of power but almost none knows what it really is, makes people uncomfortable. Some people fear him, some avoid him, other just see an oddball but a rather clever one and some don't even believe the story.

What brings me to the monkey. I don’t think of this Kami as a demon that would bring people souls in hell to torment them, but rather as an innocent and playful spirit that tries to steal souls because they are beautiful and shiny, without realizing that he could hurt people in the process. Now I understand that the Shinkai is not a bad place and in itself going to a place populated by spirits of nature and meet some of your ancestors could even be appealing to some, but having your soul ripped out of your body when you are still alive does sound unhealthy.


I think that covers your points. Did I raise other questions?

Last edited by Lunarc; Nov 18th, 2021 at 03:29 PM.
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  #83  
Old Nov 18th, 2021, 08:45 PM
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@L Looks good I think, but don't forget that you need to also take these thoughts over to where you are formally making your application to round that post off. It's not uncommon to have a long multi-post conversation, but when the time comes I look to one post and one post alone to weigh up if a character would be a good fit.

Takes a bit of curating, as you don't want to take every little bit that you ever said over. Not every question is important for every character - that's why I ask as many as I can think of.

Two extra things I can think of though: I would not phrase in a way that suggests that the Lord actually needed anybody else to gain respect from the lowest of his subjects - that's close to the total collapse of the social order. Ultimately he receives his power from the Emperor himself, so things have to be beyond dire if respect is not given. Even if it's actually a tiny bit more egalitarian in this neck of the woods due to the dominant philosophy and it's true that Ren would not desire to rule like a tyrant, that's just a fact of this world that is close to inalienable.

The other thing, I would again not lean too hard on the idea that a kami would ever steal a soul, as Shinto and Buddhism have very different ideas about souls from western philosophy to begin with. In Shinto one often finds the idea that there are four souls in one body, Buddhism doesn't actually have permanent souls at all. I only bring it up so you know what the attitudes of the people around you will be like.

@Sirius Sorry for the delay, the app looks very good overall.

I have fewer questions here, so I'm also making some statements as I wrap my head aroundthe app.

So if I understand this correctly the family of this character are definitely considered Samurai or Kuge ("court nobles, i.e. non sword carrying aristocracy), but they are on the more rusticated side or don't have a huge amount of wealth or influence? You may want to specify their lifestyle a little bit more just so I have an idea where they would be on a social scale.

Do you see this family running a clinic in or near the castle of the Tokunaga, or by the only larger settlement on their lands? I take it that it might be the latter given the connection to the commoners, but it never hurts to ask. Not all retainers of the Clan have to be "at court" all the time anyhow, as people need to run the lands too. Basically, her living situation now could be interesting.

Or actually we could straight up ask - how exactly is her relationship to the Lord of the Clan, Ren and to his sons and close advisors, beyond simply saying she is sworn to them? Is she a face that is seen very often in the castle, or does she only come when there are severe wounds? Healthcare in this context might also contain dietary advice, acupuncture, massages, all of those things - but this depends on how she splits her time or how close she is to the Tokunaga.

Given you talk about her desire to dive deeper into the Nichiren-Shu philosophy, maybe you'd want to specify what sort of religion - if any - her family prioritised before. That's also especially interesting since her mother knows some magic, which is often wrapped up in ideology in terms of how it manifests or is wielded (not mechanically, just narratively). I take it we might be talking about folk Shinto or Confucianism here, a general belief in the order of nature or the world.

On the topic of magic - is the family known to work blessings of that kind, or do they do it semi secretly? Maybe the answer is different for mother and daughter.

How do you see her sick father working throughout the game? Not to be callous here, but if he genuinely requires permanent care, then that could be a bit difficult to square away with other things that might be happening. I wouldn't want to necessarily force you to go disney on him (i.e. he is dead when the story starts), but I am curious.

There is a similar thing with the commoners here as I just talked about above - generally, from the very biased view of the nobility the happiness of the common classes is often only interesting if it makes them work harder. This attitude is softened in the southwest, but definitely not entirely gone. Peasant rebellions are exceedingly rare because they are dealt with severely and beyond cruelly when they occur.

That's not said to discourage you at all - it's actually always fantastic to have different attitudes present. It's to temper expectation as to how people around you might react if you were to ask to help the peasants or something or other in a similar vein. You'd have to know how to sell it, and her argument of "together we are all stronger" would certainly hold some weight there.

This got a little long, so I think that's where I will cut it for right now - thanks!

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 18th, 2021 at 08:45 PM.
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  #84  
Old Nov 19th, 2021, 12:45 AM
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It should be all good. Thanks again for taking the time to run me through it all.
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  #85  
Old Nov 20th, 2021, 06:25 AM
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Alright everybody. As it seems that this ad has grown a bit cold I will set a deadline by which I will stop accepting new applications, which should also serve as a loose date by which already posted characters should be about finalised. If we have late-comers at all or people need a few extra days beyond that to finish up that's fine too, but I would like to start introducing new characters in the coming week. For some characters this might take more time, others could be slotted in where previous PCs sat in the Clan order, so there may be a bit of a staggered process.

TL/DR: Deadline for new apps of the 23rd of November

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 20th, 2021 at 06:25 AM.
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  #86  
Old Nov 21st, 2021, 11:01 AM
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Unfortunately, the looming holiday season and some unexpected family news has made me reconsider applying to another game. So, with regret, I'm withdrawing my application for Mei as I feel I won't have the additional time needed to dedicate myself to learning a new system, fleshing out the character, and posting at a regular pace in time with my other commitments.

That said, thank you so much for your feedback Phettberg it is greatly appreciated. While I may not put it into practice for this character I think the questions were compelling and certainly something I should have thought about. I wish all the applicants the best of luck and hope those selected, Phettburg, and the current players have a ton of fun.
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  #87  
Old Nov 21st, 2021, 01:42 PM
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Sorry to hear that S, but I understand. Take care.
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  #88  
Old Nov 23rd, 2021, 07:40 PM
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Alright, I don't believe we are going to see any more movement for this, so without further ado:

Saratek, Lunarc, you are in.

Hop on over to the game folder.

You can deposit your character descriptions with the others already but post your sheet separately in the now unlocked "Final Character adjustments" thread - previously used for some tidying up about the Clan. I just want to wrap up things (mostly qualities) that might need expanding on in a place away from the general ooc thread. Please don't yet dive into the story threat either while we are still fiddling with those last details - I'm sure we'll be quick about finishing up the last details anyway.

Last edited by Phettberg; Nov 23rd, 2021 at 07:40 PM.
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  #89  
Old Nov 23rd, 2021, 07:58 PM
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Yeaaahhhh!!!!
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