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You're a villain. How would you change the world? Contest with prizes. (Spoilers for ZEITGEIST)

Which factions' plots do you support?


  • Total voters
    85
  • Poll closed .

Ajar

Explorer
The Pyre is a villainous plan. Well-intentioned, but flawed. Take our world and remove all technological progress but increase empathy and sympathy. Great, you have a peaceful world where people agree easily, but then it stagnates. It can't progress, because you've removed the mechanism by which progress occurs. In my view, that's actually a dystopia. It's not so far removed from the Watchmakers.
 

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gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
The Pyre is a villainous plan. Well-intentioned...
Nice way to contradict yourself from the outset. "Well-intentioned villainy"? I think this demonstrates the absurdity of your counterargument quite nicely.

Take our world and remove all technological progress but increase empathy and sympathy. Great, you have a peaceful world where people agree easily, but then it stagnates. It can't progress, because you've removed the mechanism by which progress occurs. In my view, that's actually a dystopia. It's not so far removed from the Watchmakers.
Miller's Pyre does not seek to 'remove all technological progress'. That is a misrepresentation. I might go on to argue that 'progress' is subjective, but given that we don't seek to stifle it, that argument would be redundant. If by 'the mechanism by which progress occurs' you mean conflict and suffering, I can only assume that by 'progress' you mean 'enhanced means to inflict the same on one another'.

Finally, to describe a world in which people understand one another better as a 'dystopia' reveals the warped nature of your own Panarchistic viewpoint, for only someone truly twisted could view it that way.
 

Ajar

Explorer
"Well-intentioned villainy" isn't an oxymoron. No need to be a jerk about it; this is, after all, just a game.

Miller's Pyre replaces the plane of Jiese. The Cunning trait of Jiese is what has enabled the technological progress in this setting, making it distinct from conventional fantasy settings that generally exist in a technological vacuum. Obviously it isn't certain that technological progress would be completely halted, but it's likely enough that I wouldn't risk it -- however appealing the rest of the Pyre's changes might be.

Edit: If it wins the voting, though, that does give me a good hook that will pretty much ensure my players (three of whom are engineers, as am I) will oppose it.

Edit 2: On an unrelated note, Panarchism also has a very significant side benefit -- with everyone regenerating, all but the worst accidents and ailments will be a thing of the past.
 
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gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
"Well-intentioned villainy" isn't an oxymoron. No need to be a jerk about it; this is, after all, just a game.
Er... I know that. I was engaging in a bit of fake banter in a fake debate about a fake conspiracy on a fake world. Until you called me a jerk, I assumed you were too. :erm:
 


Ajar

Explorer
Er... I know that. I was engaging in a bit of fake banter in a fake debate about a fake conspiracy on a fake world. Until you called me a jerk, I assumed you were too. :erm:
Oh, okay. Then I retract and apologize. When I'm not explicitly the writing as a character, I'm writing as myself and making my own actual arguments - which may differ from those I put in the mouths of characters.
 

Herobizkit

Adventurer
I misinterpreted the poll and thus didn't choose a major faction. But if I did, I would have went Arboretum/Sky League/Trekkers. Control nature, fly around, and secure resources from other planes.

Why yes, I do love Stargate...

Also, more Bards. Because there are never enough.
 

Ajar

Explorer
You can change your vote if you wish - click the red "unvote" at the top right of the poll.
 

DonTadow

First Post
Voted Miller's Pyre. It had the most layered plot plan than the other plans. It's a very subtle, almost passive agressive, approach to the situation, which kinda falls in line with whats been going on right now. No one is forced to do anything, but the pain of doing some things is quite potent. I can see really good people backing this up, and I can see really evil people wanting to support the PCs. I love moral quandaries.
 

While I don't realistically expect everyone who has voted so far to check in and change their votes, I wonder if those who have been particularly outspoken for one faction or another would like to propose alliances or compromises?

Watchmakers and Colossus look like they might need to coordinate to have a chance of victory, and a compromise might involve letting those with the proper truename powers resist the "no free will" aspect of the Watchmaker plot.

That would force the other factions to seek a compromise. Miller's Pyre, currently in the lead, could pair with the Panarchists, though the two groups seem a bit ideologically opposed, with harsh words being thrown back and forth. And the Pyre cannot easily ally with the Arboretum without severely curtailing their plans, since both factions use the planes of air, earth, and fire for different purposes.

It's unclear how many votes the Pyre could pick up by offering to support some of the minor factions. Mortal Mind has a lot of support (perhaps partially due to the typo in the poll changing its name), and it seems less compatible with the Watchmakers, but will they support the Pyre or the Panarchists? The Sky League certainly seems to favor Panarchists.

This thread is both exciting and vexing, because I'm writing Adventure Seven now and am having to work around not knowing how the vote will go. Plus, I'm pondering which of the posters here I want to ask to let me write them into the plot. Thanks for your involvement; it's been a great boon.

(Oh, and a reminder. We're still running a Kickstarter, and we're about ten pledges away from hitting probably our most important stretch goal at $11,000.)
 

[MENTION=85901]Ajar[/MENTION], [MENTION=79141]gideonpepys[/MENTION], [MENTION=6706195]Shilubi[/MENTION], [MENTION=6673222]Hitomi Camacho[/MENTION], [MENTION=12882]ltclnlbrain[/MENTION], [MENTION=78958]Empirate[/MENTION], you've all put up one or more detailed posts in support of a faction. Care to discuss deal-making?
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
@Ajar , @gideonpepys , @Shilubi , @Hitomi Camacho , @ltclnlbrain , @Empirate , you've all put up one or more detailed posts in support of a faction. Care to discuss deal-making?
It's all so close to call, and I'm not entirely sure what deals are possible, given the technicalities. If it were possible for one plan to embrace the core concepts of another without losing too much of its own identity then I would happily engage with the panarchists, perhaps even colossus.
 

Shilubi

First Post
To our esteemed Nicodemus,


I have been discussing, at your request, with my fellow Watchmakers possible alliances to reach a consensus.
I'm afraid we will fail you.

First, according to the planes we intend to meddle with, we are fully compatible only with...the Pyre.
But performing both plans at the same time, while it does suit the watchmakers, won't be popular amongst Miller followers. They have something against the length of time and the lack of free will.
Still, we will talk to them about this.
(consider it done, dear followers of Miller reading those lines: a watchmaker/Miller's pyre plan is possible at the same time!)

And i cannot consider any other merging, as the watchmaker's plan is so precise that the slightest deviation on the plane aspects might prove fatal.

Then, it's obviously too early for most of the Obscurati to consider such a drastic move as the thousand years plan, but we have time.
Speaking for myself, i will support factions whose agenda will allow a change of path to be made in the future, such as Arboretum and Colossus.
Millers' Pyre environment won't allow something like the secret Obscurati, and the Panachists will rigidify the world beyond any hope of change with their soul-binding contracts.


Yours sincerely,

(unreadable)
 

ltclnlbrain

First Post
As the conversation begins to move toward talk of alliances, Leyander taps his mithral cane thoughtfully against the bottom of his chin. After much consideration, he speaks again.

"If the philosophy of the Pyre is compatible with any of the other major factions, it would most likely be the proponents of the Colossus. It is true that the Pyre's vision puts a lot of faith in the good nature of people, and there still may be some bad eggs out there who resist or rebel against our forcing them to be sympathetic to their fellow men. We may find it necessary, then, to have a small group of world leaders to maintain peace and order on the rare occasions when it may prove necessary. This could also help quell those dissenters who fear the increased threat of extraplanar incursion our re-configured planes might invite. For our visions to coincide, we'd have to keep the Pyre's plane of Space with the Empathy trait. This would mean the Colossus' desire for easy teleportation to problem spots would be impossible. However, we already count among our number several individuals who can make use of teleportation magic, and if they are among the few chosen to be granted cyclical power, then this becomes less of an issue."

Leyander smiles and peers at his fellow Ob members. "What say you, Colossus supporters. Could this be the beginning of a beautiful friendship?"
 

Ajar

Explorer
Constance, who has been writing rapidly in a tidy hand ever since sitting down, finally sets down her stylus and rises again.

"As I look and listen to you, fellow planners and dreamers, I see many common traits: conviction, passion, logic, cunning, understanding. These traits, while common to us all, are emphasized most by the plans of the Pyre, the Arboretum, and the Panarchists. Unfortunately, overtures for alliance between these factions have thus far been unsuccessful, as each side does not wish to become secondary to the other.

"But as the debate continued, I saw a possible path foward to a truly different future: a future where pointless deaths are a thing of the past, a future where debates such as this one could flourish, a future that would encourage the progress of industry and exploration.

"To reach this future, I propose the following: instead of replacing or realigning two or three planes, let us incorporate the best ideas of the various factions into a single GRAND DESIGN! Each of us would need to sacrifice elements of our desires, but the combined whole would be greater than the sum of its parts.

"Jiese, the plane of Fire with its Cunning trait, would remain untouched. This is a sacrifice for the Pyre, but is essential to preserving and continuing the tremendous progress Lanjyr's nations have made in recent years. However, the Pyre's Expression trait can be achieved by other means. I will return to this shortly.

"Avilona, the plane of Air with its Calm trait, would be replaced as per the Pyre's plan, with one half of a new binary plane. It would carry the Speech trait, fostering debates such as this one. This is essential to a vibrant society and complementary to the goal of progress.

"Av, the plane of Life, would be replaced as with the Arboretum's plan. Its traits of Reflection and Dream would be replaced with Craft and Artifice. But this can be done without severing the Dreaming and the Bleak Gate! Craft and Artifice would foster progress, both of industry and of agriculture. The Arboretum's goal of plentiful harvests for all is the foundation of a vibrant society.

"Mavisha, the plane of Water, would be replaced. This was not part of the plans of any faction, but my calculations suggest that a new plane of Water could be aligned to support the Panarchists' desired Healing trait. It would function slightly differently: it would confer lesser resistance to physical injury than the Panarchists seek, but would empower the blood of all living beings with resistance against poison and disease. Imagine the lives that would be saved! Mavisha's current Mystery trait has no beneficial properties, while the Healing trait will save countless lives. When combined with the primacy of logic and reason in the new society, it will substantially improve the lot of the individual.

"Urim, the plane of Earth, would be replaced according to the current plans of Miller's Pyre, with a new plane carrying a Logic trait. All factions should support the goal of emphasizing logic and reason in the new world!

"Apet, the Distant Plane, would be replaced according to the current plans of both the Panarchists and the Colossus: with a new plane carrying the trait of Empowerment. In the new alignment, this plane would remain distant and be weaker than the Colossus and Panarchists would prefer, but still far superior to what the fey are able to do in our world today -- and available to everyone. The importance of individuals and their need for governments will be greatly reduced. It is possible that some will still choose to create governing bodies, but these choices will stem from logic and reason, not from bloodlines or wealth. The Pyre must sacrifice its Empathy trait, but the primacy of reasoned discourse in this new society will still lead to a more empathetic and caring world, even without the mild empathic powers this trait would have conferred.

"Now we come to Reida, the plane of Time. I initially balked at making changes to this plane. Tampering with it does carry some risk, which is why I cannot support the Watchmakers' radical changes. But a subtler change is possible! The new plane of Time will be a binary pair with the new plane of Air, and will carry an Expression trait. Shifting from the Pyre's plan to have Expression associated with the plane of Fire allows us to incorporate the goals of the Long Now: with Expression governed by Time, people will inherently frame their positions with heed to the future. This is only right and proper in a knowledge-driven, rational society.

"As with the Pyre's plan, this binary pairing will allow a demiplane to be added. A small body in orbit around the Distant Plane will be given the trait of Flight. As the new Distant Plane will carry a trait of Empowerment, the Flight trait of the new plane will be strong enough to allow for the crafting of zeppelins and the exploration of worlds beyond our own.

"Last among the existing planes is Nem, the plane of Death. This plane must be replaced if we are to explore the worlds beyond what we now know. The calculations are complex, but it is possible to realign Av into the current position of Nem! Death being a reflection of life, Av would become the plane of Death, preserving its traits of Reflection and Dream. The fey would not be cut off from the Dreaming and the Bleak Gate, which would have risked angering the Fey Titans and bringing calamitous war upon us.

"We must not forget the strong support for the Mortal Mind. While this plan does not directly eliminate the possibility of irrational superstition, it does create a society where logic and reason are the prime movers. The beliefs that flourish will be those that can be supported by persuasive logical arguments. This, I hope, will be enough to satisfy followers of that faction, some of whom are fellow scientists.

"To summarize: This comprehensive realignment plan partially fullfils the desires of the Pyre, Arboretum, Panarchists, Sky League, Trekkers, Long Now, and Mortal Mind. The newly replaced and aligned planes will carry traits of Cunning, Speech, Craft/Artifice, Healing, Logic, Empowerment, Expression, Reflection/Dream, and Flight. I believe this compromise position is the best way for members of these factions to accomplish their goals, since this debate has made clear that no one group can proceed alone!

"Thank you, and I hope you will earnestly consider the framework I have presented."

Out of Character Summary:
I'm proposing that we replace seven of the eight current planes, by combining the proposals of the Pyre, Arboretum, and Panarchists. The planes and traits are:

Fire - Cunning (no change)
Air - Speech (Pyre)
Life - Craft, Artifice (Arboretum)
Water - Healing (Panarchists)
Earth - Logic (Pyre)
Space - Empowerment (Panarchists)
Time - Expression (Pyre)
Death - Reflection, Dream (previously Life)
New demiplane orbiting Space - Flight (Empowered)

Who gets what, and who gives up what?
Of the main factions, Miller's Pyre, Panarchists, and Arboretum all get some of what they want. Of the lesser factions, the Long Now, Trekkers, and Sky League get what they want. The Mortal Mind gets part of what they want, since logic and reason will be paramount in the new society, leaving less room for superstition and religion. In a bit more detail:

- Arboretum gets their Craft/Artifice plane, but we don't sever the Dreaming/Bleak Gate, so Macbannin won't be thrilled.

- Pyre gets 3/4 of their desired traits: Speech, Logic, Expression. They give up Empathy.

- Panarchists get 2/3 of their desired traits: Healing, Empowerment. They give up Possession. Healing goes through blood rather than straight up regeneration, so it isn't quite as powerful, but disease and poison are diminished or maybe even go away.

- Long Now gets Expression in the plane of Time, so arguments will tend toward the long view.

- Mortal Mind gets a society in which logic and reason are paramount. They give up the explicit elimination of religion, but people will inherently favour logical arguments over appeals to emotion, superstition, or faith. Religion may persist, but its importance will diminish considerably.

- Trekkers get to explore other planes. The blocks on this go away.

- Sky League gets ZEPPELINS! No way could I leave that out. :D

What Will Society Look Like?
Physically, people will be stronger, healthier, resistant to disease/poison, and able to teleport significant distances (but not across miles as Colossus would like). Average lifespans will be significantly longer. Individuals will be far more powerful and far less reliant on government. Any government that existed would therefore truly have to be by the consent of the governed, rather than by hereditary fiat.

Socially, people will be more logical, and will take the long view when framing their arguments. People will also be more willing to listen to the arguments of others -- speech and debate will carry more importance.

People will be far more able to engage in these sorts of intellectual and philosophical discussions because taming nature will greatly reduce the scarcity of the goods needed for people to live -- notably food. Debate will replace war, since disagreements will largely be ideological rather than territorial disputes over fertile lands, because any land that is tended will be fertile.

People will also be more mobile, and not just because they can teleport -- air travel and planar travel will be possible.

When combined, all of these effects suggest multiple vibrant societies, some governed, some ungoverned, where reasoned debate is the paramount mode of persuasion and decision-making. Coercion will be far more difficult and far less likely. People will be able to readily travel between societies, facilitating the spread of ideas.

Technological progress will continue apace, and the new, stronger, healthier workers will have a much better lot in life than they did before.

Such a robust, multicultural, technologically advanced society will be able to band together when needed -- when logic dictates -- such as in the case of an extraplanar invasion. It would also be able to develop mechanisms for controlling the stronger storms that will arise, and compensating for any changes in sea level that may occur.

What of the Obscurati?
Perhaps we will no longer be needed. But more likely, the new society will be a true meritocracy, where knowledge, reason, and skill are recognized and rewarded. This means that we in the Obscurati will naturally rise to positions of respect and influence.

Since this proposal is a mix of Miller's Pyre, Arboretum, and Panarchists, I suggest we call it the MAP for short.
 
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gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Glaz du Sang Magi responds that he is very impressed by Constance's grand vision. He recommends a period of reflection and sufficient time for a 'practice plane' to be readied. In the absence of Kasvarina Varal, he would not like to vote away the key element of empathy from the Pyre faction without proof that this alignment of planes would have the desired effect - particularly since Miller's Pyre has taken a recent lead. But the overall plan is well thought out and deserves the applause of the conclave.
 

Ajar, I have read your idea, sound interesting but, from the DM perspective I don't see the flaw and the evil part of the plan. Before we continue with this discussion please everyone take a moment to read page 4 of the campaing guide. I feel that everyone can agree that the Moral Mind is CORE for the Obscurati.

Also, I don't know you but everything there screams http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism to me
 

It's all so close to call, and I'm not entirely sure what deals are possible, given the technicalities. If it were possible for one plan to embrace the core concepts of another without losing too much of its own identity then I would happily engage with the panarchists, perhaps even colossus.
Gideon I really appreciate you insight and the contribution to the campaign with the log of your adventures.

I now you are a supporter of the Miller Pyre and as a DM I would like to know what evil outcomings of that plan can you imagine.

I have clear ideas of the potential for absolute evil in the Panarchist cause disguised as really good intentions but I can't see them on the Pyre.
 

gideonpepys

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Gideon I really appreciate you insight and the contribution to the campaign with the log of your adventures.
Thanks. I enjoy being able to use the forum as a sounding board for campaign ideas, so its useful for me too, and doesn't take too much extra effort, as I write the journal for my players anyway (and just tweak it for the boards).

I now you are a supporter of the Miller Pyre and as a DM I would like to know what evil outcomings of that plan can you imagine. I have clear ideas of the potential for absolute evil in the Panarchist cause disguised as really good intentions but I can't see them on the Pyre.
Neither can I. I didn't really consider that to be the role of this debate, or my part in it.

But I do think that the 'evil outcome' could derive from something above or beyond this debate: perhaps there are inevitable casualties as a result of the huge changes wrought by the Ob? Could it be that one use for the huge lighthouse-sized Wayfarer Lanterns is to protect key areas from the chaos that will rip through the rest of the world? (This may in fact be something RangerWickett already has in mind.)

So this new utopia will be built on deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions, and the Ob think that it is worth it (or in some cases are unaware that this will be the outcome).

Add to that the fact that the plan fails and you have a conspiracy that gambled everything - and I mean, literally, everything - to get what they thought was best, and having taken that gamble and lost, then go on to insist that they be allowed to continue, at even greater risk, to set things 'right'. (Again, in their own subjective view.) I like the idea that the players might even agree with the proposed outcome, but have to fight to wrest the dice from the Ob, who have already staked too much on their next throw.

Add to this the idea that the central leaders of the conspiracy might be having everyone on and the plot thickens even further. Perhaps Nicodemus has a hidden, secret agenda which will come into play regardless of what the conclave decides.

Thing is, I'm not the writer of the AP, so I don't know how any of this will turn out. What I do know is that I would find a benign conspiracy using malign means to achieve their ends more compelling than one with evil ends to begin with. And, as you point out in your post, I can see what's wrong with Panarchism from the outset - I can see how people might object to it.

To be honest, I can see how folks might object to the idea altering reality in any way. If you take that as the basis for your objection - the fact that the Ob have no right to do what they are doing - none of the twists I have mentioned need to be involved.

One more point - I know that Nicodemus now holds a 'twisted' view of the ideals he once did. Again, I never saw this debate as an attempt to embody those views. It can't be can it, unless we're pretending that every fictional character who is taking part has also read the Campaign Guide! So we have to assume that Nicodemus has something up his sleeve, don't we? Or maybe his 'twisted' view is simply that realty itself needs changing - no matter what the cost - because humanity can't be altered, improved, or persuaded, by any other means.
 

Shilubi

First Post
It's very interesting, knowing that the thread title is "you're a vilain", that the most popular choices are the benign/good ones: Miller Pyre, the Long now and the Moral Mind.

And so?

I rather like it :)

They act like vilains, but their goals are noble...that's something my players will have to ponder about.
I just have to make sure that as a DM i will have to hit them hard and personally during the campaign, so that it becomes more personal...
Does the end justify the means?
Will it end like in Watchmen?

They, or I, might even propose to join the Ob. (in which case something will go wrong, blood spilled again, terrible misunderstanding etc...)
 

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