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Old 10-11-2018, 11:47 AM
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Scene 0 - Connections: backstory and homeroom

Scene zero will have two parts: the background-string assigning part and the homeroom-filling part.

At a table, conversations about this stuff would be easy. With the more impersonal and time-delayed version of PbP, I plan on imposing some structure on it, to ensure that we can all be creative and cooperative, while moving forward at a decent clip. The structure is described below (I'll flesh it out more as we go along).

Background strings
Most Skins have two "backstories" - one where they HOLD one or more strings, and one where others hold strings on them. We'll assign each of those in turn. First, we'll have the "give a string phase", then we'll have the "take a string" phase. I think the "giving" portion will be easier, so we'll start there.

Homeroom
We'll do this in about five rounds. In most rounds, you'll create one new NPC, with a certain type of relationship to you. This will take more rounds than the background strings, but it's less of an interactive process, so I hope it'll take about the same amount of time. I'll have a seating chart (in RPGX table form), and we'll fill that in.
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Last edited by Wynamoinen; 10-31-2018 at 09:09 AM.
  #2  
Old 10-29-2018, 07:28 AM
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Welcome to Scene Zero! Please read the first post of this thread for an overview of how I'll run this process. Read it? OK, good, so now you know that it says that we'll begin with...

Backstory Phase 1: String-giving
Most Skins say that someone else holds a string on you. Each of you will now propose who that is, and why. This is a collaborative process, so we need all String recipients to accept the proposal (if it's acceptable, of course). When someone proposes you hold a string against them, please reply in this thread saying whether you accept it, and/or make some suggestions to flesh out or modify the connection.

When handing out your strings, please use the following format in your initial proposal, so that no one misses it:
String assignment postString description: <type out the backstory from your Skin description in the rulebook>
Proposed recipient: <Which character should hold it? please use both player and character name, so that we get used to "matching names to faces">
Explanation or story: <Pitch a reason why this person would hold this particular string. Strings represent emotional power, so how did this person get that leverage over you?>

Please, everyone be open to proposals. You should only decline one if it seems to violate a core aspect of your character. It's much more constructive to say "I'd like to hold that string, but the story doesn't quite make sense. How about we change it like so: ___". Remember that feelings do not need to be reciprocal, and knowledge does not need to be shared, across characters. Preferably these strings will be nice and spread around. We don't want one character holding six strings, and three of you with none.

Once both giver and taker agree to the terms of the string, the person who holds the string should add it to their character sheet. You'll need a location to keep track of all strings, preferably with a short description of the nature of the string, for example
character sheet sectionStrings
I saw her rolling a joint in the back seat of a teacher's car2 on Jackie
She wears a weave1 on Rapunzel

Two of you (Fae and Werewolf) have backstories that hand out strings to everyone. Please document that here. If you could come up with a one-or-two sentence idea for why EACH other character would hold a string against you, that would be great.

Tim, both of the ghoul backstories give out strings, but the second (the one we're modifying) is an exchange. Let's hold off the exchange one until next phase, and do the "remind you of love" one for now.
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Last edited by Wynamoinen; 10-29-2018 at 07:39 AM.
  #3  
Old 10-29-2018, 10:00 AM
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I'll kick things off with Aurora:

“String assignment post #1 for Aurora”String description: Someone reminded you what love was, when you thought that death had stolen it away from you forever. Give them a String.”

Proposed recipient: Annabelle Lee (Ysolde)

Explanation or story: I see Aurora being drawn to Annabelle’s internal sadness, and Aurora’s low-key attitude and lack of judgment could maybe appeal to Annabelle. They could have had a brief attempt at romance but then decided to just be friends, or Aurora could have developed romantic feelings for Annabelle but was never able to fully express them, and now the moment has passed. Their initial connection could be the result of the guidance counsellor asking Annabelle to help Aurora with her studies (see Aurora’s plot hook relating to the guidance counsellor for context). The string could reflect the fact that Aurora hungered for a romantic relationship more than Annabelle realized, and Aurora still feels drawn to be around Annabelle.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:10 AM
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1st AssignmentString Description: You lack subtlety, give a String to everyone.
Recipients: Everyone. (Enjoy!)
Explanation: Maybe Link isn't keen to fitting into your precious little box, but he's well known in the school and doesn't make much of an attempt to hide what he likes and what he doesn't.

 

Last edited by Wynamoinen; 10-29-2018 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:21 AM
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@ Shylocke: I edited your post, adding a spoiler. To avoid too much chaos and confusion, I'd like people to wait on the "taking a string" backstories until we've finished the "giving a string" phase. There will already be five proposals floating around at once. Let's let the dust settle from those before adding 5 more.
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timplausible View Post
I'll kick things off with Aurora:

“String assignment post #1 for Aurora”String description: Someone reminded you what love was, when you thought that death had stolen it away from you forever. Give them a String.”

Proposed recipient: Annabelle Lee (Ysolde)

Explanation or story: I see Aurora being drawn to Annabelle’s internal sadness, and Aurora’s low-key attitude and lack of judgment could maybe appeal to Annabelle. They could have had a brief attempt at romance but then decided to just be friends, or Aurora could have developed romantic feelings for Annabelle but was never able to fully express them, and now the moment has passed. Their initial connection could be the result of the guidance counsellor asking Annabelle to help Aurora with her studies (see Aurora’s plot hook relating to the guidance counsellor for context). The string could reflect the fact that Aurora hungered for a romantic relationship more than Annabelle realized, and Aurora still feels drawn to be around Annabelle.
Accepted!
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:15 PM
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“String assignment post #1 for Anabelle Lee”String description: "Someone knows that you’re dead and how you died. They gain 2 Strings on you.”

Proposed recipient: Aurora (timpossible)

Explanation or story: Anabelle was just helping her study, but part of one of the assignments was to find out something about people in the school. Wouldn't you know that Aurora found the 1936 Yearbook and right there inside it was Anabelle Lee. So, she had to tell her about it, well most of it anyway. Okay, really just that Anabelle is dead and that she hung herself due to bullying. The love story...Anabelle wasn't really ready to mention that part she'd been burned really badly and wasn't ready to reveal much. Not even to a "friend" not even if she thought the two of them could be more...
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Old 10-29-2018, 05:24 PM
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Giving out stringsString Description: Someone’s seen through your invented past, and realized it’s all lies. They gain 2 Strings on you.

Proposed Recipient: Avner hasn't posted his character yet so it's possible he changes his like I did and throws a wrench into my plans.Seamus O'Malley (Avner)

Explanation or Story: As far as anyone knows, Ella is a foreign exchange student from England, which was the place that the wish put her. But Seamus being a native of Ireland and more familiar with the British would probably notice that her accent isn't quite right. On top of that, his Fey nature and connection to magic tingles around her in a way and he just knew that she wasn't what she seemed. So he probably did some digging (maybe on the other side of the veil) and found out the truth. Maybe he's even confronted her about it, but that might not be necessary.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ysolde View Post
“string assignment post #1 for anabelle lee”string description: "someone knows that you’re dead and how you died. They gain 2 strings on you.”

proposed recipient: aurora (timpossible)

explanation or story: anabelle was just helping her study, but part of one of the assignments was to find out something about people in the school. Wouldn't you know that aurora found the 1936 yearbook and right there inside it was anabelle lee. So, she had to tell her about it, well most of it anyway. Okay, really just that anabelle is dead and that she hung herself due to bullying. The love story...anabelle wasn't really ready to mention that part she'd been burned really badly and wasn't ready to reveal much. Not even to a "friend" not even if she thought the two of them could be more...
Accepted!
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Last edited by timplausible; 10-29-2018 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackinIrons View Post
Giving out stringsString Description: Someone’s seen through your invented past, and realized it’s all lies. They gain 2 Strings on you.

Proposed Recipient: Avner hasn't posted his character yet so it's possible he changes his like I did and throws a wrench into my plans.Seamus O'Malley (Avner)

Explanation or Story: As far as anyone knows, Ella is a foreign exchange student from England, which was the place that the wish put her. But Seamus being a native of Ireland and more familiar with the British would probably notice that her accent isn't quite right. On top of that, his Fey nature and connection to magic tingles around her in a way and he just knew that she wasn't what she seemed. So he probably did some digging (maybe on the other side of the veil) and found out the truth. Maybe he's even confronted her about it, but that might not be necessary.
Accepted
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Old 10-30-2018, 12:14 PM
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Giving Out Strings
String Description: You wear your heart on your sleeve, give a string to everyone

Proposed Recipient: Everyone

Explanation or Story: Seamus is very much an outcast living on the 'wrong side of the tracks' but he uses it to his advantage. You immediately know where you stand with him as he doesn't mess with civility or pulling any punches in true irish fashion. After all if your a wanker he will blood well let you know it. If you cross him well, lets just say its not something someone has been known to do twice. Of course he is just as generous as he is unforgiving and when someone is truly desperate and in need of help its always Seamus that they say to go to. He has a heart of gold and is always willing to help... for a small favor of course.

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Old 10-30-2018, 01:41 PM
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OK, I count 5 string handouts. Please take a day to make sure your character sheet lists all the strings you've received (don't forget Avner and Shylocke's "Everyone gets one" handouts). If you want to flesh out what that string looks like - what's your connection to Seamus and Link - that'd be good. I'll post the prompt for Phase 2 of background string allocations tomorrow.
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Old 10-31-2018, 07:38 AM
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Great, phase 1 went easy! Thanks, all, for being accommodating and accepting. It bodes well for the future of the game. Let's start part 2 of 2 in the backstory portion of scene zero.

Backstory Phase 2: String-taking
Most Skins say that you hold a string or strings on someone. Each of you will now propose who you hold a string on, and why. As before, when taking your strings, please use the following format in your initial proposal, so that no one misses it:
String taking postString description: <type out the backstory from your Skin description in the rulebook>
Proposed recipient target: <Which character do you hold strings on? please use both player and character name, so that we get used to "matching names to faces">
Explanation or story: <Pitch a reason why you would hold this particular string. Strings represent emotional power, so how did you get that leverage? Are they aware of the leverage? Do they like it? Or not?>

I think this phase might take more negotiation than the last. Before, you were giving others power over you. Now, you're gaining power over them. So, when someone proposes to take strings on you, I urge you to accept as long as you're comfortable. But you should be clear if there's anything you'd want to change or modify about the nature of the string, and your relationship with the character who holds it. Again, please try to spread strings around. Try to build connections to characters other than the ones you're connected to already. Once both giver and taker agree to the terms of the string, the person who holds the string should add it to their character sheet.

@ Tim, please be clear in your proposal that your modified backstory, (saw you rise from death) is an exchange rather than you simply gaining strings on them

@ Shylocke, could you please re-post your "taking strings" proposal that I spoilered, just for the sake of organization and clear accounting? Thanks for holding off on that. Sorry if I wasn't clear on the process.
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Last edited by Wynamoinen; 10-31-2018 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-31-2018, 09:43 AM
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@ Wynamoinen, you were perfectly clear, I just happened to jettison reading comprehension for new-game-excitement.

String TakingString Description: You've spent weeks watching someone from a distance. Their scent and mannerisms are unmistakable to you now. Gain two Strings on them.
Proposed target: Ella Day (JackInIrons).
Explanation: Everyone knows she came out of nowhere, but he's seen her holding court comfortably in multiple cliques. It can't all be about her being a foreigner. After awhile, he just had to know what makes her tick.


@ timplausible, I'm not sure if it'll fit what Avner envisions, but I really like your proposed explanation. It's a weird dynamic off the top, knowing that someone else should be dead and you need to work together on a presentation with them in Geology.

@ JackInIrons, My taking of Strings on someone is basically: Link turns stalker on someone for a couple weeks, and I'm mostly openminded about who that could be, but I chose Ella mostly because Link thinks he's got the other three (more)pegged as it were. So accepting these are sort of a comfort level thing for you and possibly how you might imagine Ella would handle the big guy constantly cropping up in her periphery.

Last edited by Shylocke; 10-31-2018 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 10-31-2018, 10:25 AM
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“String assignment post #2 for Aurora”String description: Someone saw you die recently (not your first death) and rise from the dead. Gain 2 strings on that person AND give 2 strings to that person.
(NOTE: this is a modification to the Backstory in the Skin. Since Aurora's first death is a mystery, this Backstory applies to a subsequent death and resurrection resulting from her Skin move Short Rest for the Wicked.)

Proposed recipient: Seamus (Avner)

Explanation or story: Aurora had stolen a car, and she was giving Seamus a ride (reason for this TBD). The two were run off the road by a drunk driver who fled the scene. Seamus was only mildly hurt, but Aurora was ejected from the car because she wasn't wearing a seat belt. She went head-first into a tree and died. While Seamus was trying to figure out what to do about the situation (dead girl, stolen car... lots of implications if you just call 911), Aurora rose from the dead.

A few extra comments:
  • Just to be extra clear: Seamus gets 2 strings on Aurora and Aurora gets 2 strings on Seamus. Win-win (or lose-lose?)
  • I mostly chose Seamus because I thought it would be interesting if the guy who makes deals and collects favors is the one who has this secret information about Aurora.
  • I chose to put them in a car crash together to help explain why Aurora also has strings on Seamus, instead of just Seamus having strings on Aurora. However, I'm open to other scenarios.
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