|So Say We All|
|Summary:||The Cerberus Retrospective. 5 years ago, Battlestar Cerberus MUSH opened its door, and Polaris, Tucana, Hydra, and Volans had some of the best pretendy funtimes of their lives. 5 years later, they look back. This is a blatantly self-indulgent bit of nostalgia, a celebration of some of our better moments, a few our of regrets, and something of a look at what our plotting and storytelling process was like. Mostly, though, we got together to talk because we loved this game, and everyone who played it and was part of it. Wander, my friends, wander with me.|
|Related Logs:||The Blameless Tide and all that followed.|
|Cylon Goo, Eternal Quiet|
|Condition Level: 3 - All Clear|
|Post-Holocaust Day: #1826|
Polaris says, "Okay"
Polaris says, "We should probably start this"
Polaris says, "does someone have like, a gavel"
Volans says, "Yes."
Volans says, "Yes we should start, I don't have a gavel."
Volans says, "LET'S JUST START"
Tucana says, "Hello. Welcome to a secret project that is — well, probably not-so-secret now. What is this? This is a look back at a magical time in MUSH history — for us at least. And hopefully some of you out there."
Tucana says, "Why are we doing this? Because five years ago, we came together to play a Hell of a game. That game was known throughout our tiny community as Battlestar Cerberus. And we loved it."
Hydra say, "Hi! The impetus for this was: we all still chat occasionally (we've kept in loose touch over the years off-and-on), and we noticed that the first Cerberus log had been posted exactly 5 years ago this February: http://battlestarcerberus.wikidot.com/new-arrivals And we managed to knock Warday out on the 26th, which is when this goes live. http://battlestarcerberus.wikidot.com/the-blameless-tide So we figured we'd get together, wax nostalgic in a more official way, and pour one out for the gaming experience we all enjoyed so much."
Volans says, "So it's a shameless excuse for self-indulgent nostalgia, basically."
Hydra say, "Otherwise known as a retrospective, but that's probably the more technically correct way of putting it. Volans was always the one who kept us technically correct."
Tucana says, "75% of my life is a shameless excuse for self-indulgent nostalgia."
Volans says, "I thought I might as well stick to my traditional role."
Tucana says, "I think that's just what we do. For example, I insert occasionally useful random chaos and loud-mouthed commentary. That's my job. I have a Plan."
Volans says, "All this has happened before…."
Polaris says, "Sorry, I had something meaningful to say, but I was AFK getting a beer. Back now. And hi! Yes. Self-indulgent nostalgia: activate."
Volans says, "Pol is also fulfilling his traditional role."
Polaris says, "I was about to say."
Tucana Volans beat me to it.
Tucana says, "Since we're cracking 'em open, I have some Trader Joe's branded semi-decent Islay Scotch here, because I like to mimic Ron Moore to a degree."
Tucana says, "Unfortunately I don't have Ron Moore's paychecks so this is like the 21 dollar bottle."
Volans says, "I can't wait to hear what Pol thinks of TJ's brand scotch. Is it awesome or an abomination?"
Polaris says, "I'm sure the answer to that question depends on how much of it I've had."
Tucana says, "It's not terrible. I mean, this is a single malt, they just brand a lot of things that other people make. Like, they have a Belgian style Winter ale that is actually made by Unibroue if you read the label. I like TJ's. It's no Wegmans, but fuck if we'll ever get that on the West coast."
Tucana says, "Anyway, we talk a lot about booze. That's another thing we do."
Volans says, "I like a lot of their stuff, I just figured Pol's scotch snobbery might kick in."
Polaris says, "Incidentally — you may think we've gone off-topic, but you'd be shocked how many plots grew out of stuff like this."
Hydra was going to buy a bottle of Scapa, but I will have to make due with Jameson's and coffee, the drink of my people.
Tucana says, "I like how whisky is somehow a snob's thing, when it was originally a battlefield spirit distilled by strange, angry hillfolk living in a fucking backwater."
Polaris says, "Not stuff like /this/, but. You know."
Tucana says, "But yes - we <3 tangents. Which reminds me. Cerberus. I think Polaris was the first of us to set foot in this sacred space."
Hydra salutes Ron Moore, who taught us we should drink while doing commentary tracks
"Wander My Friends" is now set to play on repeat.
Hydra say, "But yes, out of that tangent. Let's talk about how we got here, and how we came to staff. Polaris first, since he was the beginning."
Polaris pours himself a 40; kicks back. "I came to BSG MUSHing pretty late, all things considered. I watched the show, googled the genre, and found Battlestar: Kharon. When that game shut down, Genesis and Altair put together a new box. Believe it or not, I originally signed on to curate the wiki. I wrote some setting files and put together the thing that eventually evolved into our Air Wing page. At that point, the guys in charge were like '…soooo, want to run our plot?' Never having staffed before, I was like 'Sure!!~!' And that was that."
Polaris says, "I met Tucana on Kharon. When we weren't scening, we were drinking fine liquor (or in Tuc's case, shit liquor) and complaining about how terrible RDM's Cylons were. So the moment I got the plot invite, I shot it his way. And — well."
Polaris says, "Segue here."
Tucana says, "Heh heh heh. Famous last words. I actually got into BSG MU*ing a /little/ before Pol, technically, by jumping on Genesis on maybe the last month of its existence. From there, I too drifted onto Kharon where I met Pol. I met Hydra in passing too, but definitely Pol and we sort of had complimentary ideas about narrative and character."
Polaris says, "To the audience: He means 'complementary.'"
Tucana says, "To the audience, I mean "fuck you""
Tucana says, "autocorrect. lemme lone"
Tucana says, "I actually at first ambled on to Cerberus as a player in the worst possible slot for someone to transition to staff as — I originally played Oberlin, the Cerberus' world-weary, loserish Intel officer."
Tucana says, "Somewhere along the line the above mentioned talk about plot ideas went back and forth between Polaris and I and I got an invite to plot-staff with Pol. We then commenced doing a lot of the narrative design and worldbuilding for the game, and eventually ended up running a bazilllllion NPCs. I also more or less stopped playing Oberlin, because why would a plot staffer play the Intel officer? Terrible idea. Terrible."
Volans says, "Seriously, terrible."
Tucana says, "Note that I would not be the last one to do this. But, I believe the next person who joined our merry band was not this person, but rather — Hydra."
Tucana says, "We'd already gotten to know Hydra at this point anyway, pretty well. Anyway, let's excellerate this narrative over to Hydra. =)"
Hydra say, "It was actually Volans who came on next as staff, but I was here from the beginning as a player, so I'll roll all that into one."
Tucana says, "Oh right. Shit, it's been a while."
Hydra say, "People forget I wasn't here from the beginning because I was always fairly obnoxious/vocal with you guys. >.>"
Hydra say, "I've knocked around a lot of the BSG games. I love the show (it's in my Top 3 of all time, along with The Wire and Friday Night Lights), and I love RPing online, so it's just where I'm at. I had the pleasure of playing on Faraday's Battlestar Pacifica, and it remains one of my favorite gaming experiences of all times (major props to her and thanks for creating FS3, without which none of this would exist). I played on Genesis and briefly Kharon, so I showed up on Cerberus in its early days as a player. I apped the CAG spot (Cidra was always my main PC, though I had a few others), so I spent a lot of time OOCly coordinating with Polaris and Tucana and the other staff members, but it wasn't until the Aerilon arc (which was about six months in, now that I look at it) that I volunteered to come on as a storyteller. Pol and Volans were both in grad school at the time and Tuc was often slammed at work, so it needed another hand. It was the most intensive STing experience I've ever had. I learned a ton, and I hope it wasn't too tough on the players. I loved every minute of it."
Hydra say, "Which brings us to Vols."
Volans says, "I came latest to BSG mushing, which I hadn't even realized existed when I latched onto Constin's player on another game on one of his rare reappearances there and he invited me. I didn't know anybody but him, didn't know anything about the long history of bsg mushes, I just knew I'd liked the show and an Intel Officer sounded fun. I remember talking to Pol for a while about character concepts and then getting bounced to Cid to run Cora's entrance, so it took me a while to discover she wasn't actually staff."
Volans says, "Pol and I used to talk about music constantly which is kind of funny in hindsight because I really don't know that much about music but Intel and TACCO sort of necessitated a lot of interaction with staff and eventually Pol ran into an applicant with a truly cracky concept that he couldn't manage to say no to and I was literally made staff just to reject this person. I still mourn the loss of that log."
Polaris says, "It's probably on a hard drive somewhere, along with eight million dollars in lost bitcoins and drafts of old term papers."
Polaris says, "I mourn the loss of the log most."
Volans says, "I hope so. I search through mine sometimes hoping it's there somewhere. Bourbon, we miss you."
Tucana says, "Sometimes it's just easier for someone else to say "no.""
Volans says, "For someone other than Pol to say it? Nearly always."
Tucana says, "Unless it's no to more wine."
Volans says, "He's the only staffer in history to be labeled 'too nice' by WORA."
Polaris says, "And I took it as a /compliment/."
Volans says, "It mostly was."
Tucana says, "Ah, WORA — that was a thread of legend."
Hydra say, "I think it actually recruited quite a few players."
Tucana says, "That is pretty telling."
Polaris says, "Anyway, that raises another interesting point. I've done a lot of MUSHing, but I've only staffed once. So it took Hydra to point out how crazy it was that we all, shockingly, got along. And talked to each other, and got to know each other, and — after the end of the game — stayed in touch with each other."
Polaris says, "Because that, Hydra tells me, happens in approximately 0.00001% of cases. More often, the world ends in fire and nukes and megatons."
Tucana says, "I've staffed at a couple places, but always grudgingly and never more than a few days. This was the first time I really dug in and held on."
Volans says, "Cerb was my first real staffing attempt, and by far the most successful."
Polaris says, "MEGATONS, I SAY."
Polaris says, "I think that's because — well, we adverted to this earlier — we all enjoyed different aspects of the job, and took on different roles as a result."
Tucana says, "Yeah, we have /very/ different things we enjoy and are good at"
Volans says, "We complement each other well."
Hydra say, "I guess I'd staffed more than most at Cerb, outside of Genesis and Altair, who had run games before. I've been MUSHing since 1998-ish. My first ST bit was on Alere Flammas, a Harry Potter MUSH, and I was on The Greatest Generation, a World War I/II game after that. I still respect the hell out of the other admins on those places, and I hope they showed me how not to do it /wrong/ or abusively. Cerb was a lot more hands on as far as storytelling and thematic development than I'd ever done before, though. I think we were all sort of faking it, to one extent or another."
Volans says, "A Harry Potter MUSH where, we discovered several years later, our characters had been set up on a couple of mediocre dates."
Volans says, "Super important tangent."
Hydra say, "There are no new players, only players who did not know they'd gone on mediocre dates together."
Hydra say, "But yeah, I was thinking about that recently, too, and it does kind of warm my heart that 5 years later, we all still like each other, and respect what we did together."
Volans says, "Yeah, especially given how the game sort of slid apart at the end, that we managed to come out of that without bad blood is pretty surprising."
Polaris says, "I think it's testament to the fact that, for better or worse, it was pretty obvious to everyone that all of us loved that fucking game. Embarrassing as it is to admit to loving a MUSH."
Hydra say, "Yeah, I sort of came to terms with that recently. I really and truly loved this place, and loved creating it with the players and you guys. Not like you love a person, of course, but we all have things in our lives that we loved, and this is one for me. I'm just gonna own that."
Tucana says, "I staffed at Metro once. I'd rather not talk about it."
Volans says, "It definitely felt like something special and different, and something I felt privileged to get to be a part of. I feel a little bad for the friends who missed its heyday, and not only because they have to endure us still talking about it five years later."
Volans says, "But I love your Metro stories."
Polaris says, "Something something cheeselog."
Polaris says, "NEVER FORGET."
Tucana says, "I can't forget. :("
Hydra hugs Tucana. It's OK, you're safe now.
Volans says, "Werewolf nightclub abortion cannibalism"
Tucana says, "This game, though."
Tucana says, "To be fair, that was thematic."
Volans says, "Is that really better?"
Tucana says, "Arguably."
Tucana says, "What I loved about Cerb"
Tucana says, "I think a lot of the plot talk initially stemmed from the fact that Polaris and I are both horrible nerds."
Tucana says, "Talking about Hannah Arendt and the nature of evil blah blah blah"
Hydra say, "Since I think it was the story itself we were all invested in more than anything else, let's talk a bit about that. I guess my question is for Pol mostly, since he was the most involved with the early thematic work, but we can all chip in. What do you feel the story was about, in a larger sense? Both the individual plots, and what we did with our lines of Cylon models."
Tucana says, "It was very important for me to have a believable, understandable conflict /and/ for the Cylons to have an understandable purpose. Even /if/ it was cracky and batshit. But more on that after Pol speaks."
Hydra say, "Amusingly, I think for both Volans and me, our interest in the story is both what drew us to staffing here and what made us resist asking for OOC input for so long. We didn't want to be spoiled."
Volans says, "I tried for so long to avoid being spoiled."
Volans says, "Like long past the point where it was reasonable."
Polaris says, "Haha. That's gladdening! And Tuc has described it perfectly. Our whole story grew out of one question: Why did the Cylons massacre humanity? RDM never bothered to give a coherent explanation. (LOLANGELS?) One night Tuc and I got to talking. And all of a sudden we hit on an answer: What if the humans were planning to obliterate them first? That was what triggered the original Cylon War, after all. And ideas just started flowing. The crazy experimental carrier Areion and the Cylon-killing gun; Allan Rejn and QUODEL and all his antiwar advocacy; et cetera and so on."
Tucana says, "Credit where credit is due — I think I stole the "Humanity tried to deactivate mechanical cylons which is what /actually/ triggered the first Cylon War" idea from Mass Effect. Which stole its whole Geth plotline from BSG. And other things. :P"
Volans says, "Speaking of spoilers I still haven't played Mass Effect yet, don't ruin it for me."
Tucana says, "btw Darth Vader is really Luke's dad"
Volans says, "Yes, I am late to everything. OH MY GOD TUC"
Hydra say, "You will LOVE Mass Effect."
Volans says, "I DIDN'T EVEN KNOW HE WAS IN MASS EFFECT"
Hydra say, "anyway."
Hydra say, "That's something I wish we'd made a bigger deal about. It came out ICly at certain points, but I don't think we ever stamped our feet hard enough about it. Essentially, on Cerb, the Cylon destruction of humanity was a preemptive strike. The whole thing with Admiral Hawke and the Areion was part of an anti-Cylon killing machine development program. They found out about it and nuked first."
Volans says, "Hauck"
Hydra say, "Hauck, right."
Volans says, "Get BioWare out of your head"
Tucana says, "And yes, Admiral Hauck, the Areion, all those black projects —"
Polaris says, "Bingo, Hy. And yeah, like — Mass Effect, original BSG — all /that/ came from Thucydides, hahaha. 'The Spartans declared war on Athens because they feared the growth of its power.' Anyway, that's how I thought about the game: I wanted to explain the geopolitics of the Cylon genocide, if you will, and explore the human response."
Tucana says, "Jesus Pol, that's some nerdy shit"
Tucana says, "::)"
Polaris says, "Shut up I read it in a book"
Hydra say, "We are nerds."
Tucana says, "Books are good."
Tucana says, "I like 50 Shades of Twilight"
Hydra say, "We're nerds sitting around nerding it up about a nerdy thing we did half a decade ago. There is no hiding it."
Volans says, "Please don't ever call 5 years 'half a decade' again, it's already horrifying enough as it is."
Hydra say, "Sorry."
Polaris says, "Anyway. That's half of the story. The other half: Who exactly were the Cylons? What exactly is their God? For that matter, who were the Lords and Ladies of Kobol?"
Tucana says, "Emperor Shaddam decided to destroy House Atriedes because he feared their power — yeah, science fiction is full of these."
Tucana says, "Bwahaha, this goes back to an idea presented by Ron Moore back in the early miniseries and season 1 days"
Polaris says, "That was Tuc's big thing. So. All yours bro."
Hydra say, "What Cerb did with 'new' Cylon models wasn't unique. I think a BSG game or two had done it before. But I do think the way we developed the Cylons helped this game has its own take on the story, and make it its own thing more than anything else we did."
Tucana says, "He said something like this — "The Cylons looked at humanity and decided, well, 'there are really only twelve of you.' Dividing humans neatly into archetypes.""
Tucana says, "We sort of had something in mind from the beginning. At least I did."
Hydra say, "The Models were sort of taken from the Greek pantheon, weren't they? Each one representing something about a god/goddess?"
Tucana says, "Cylons are humanity's children, for sure, but you know what? Their identities and destinies are forever tangled and intertwined."
Tucana says, "Loosely/roughly, yes"
Tucana says, "See, here's the kicker"
Tucana says, "the Lords of Kobol were real"
Hydra say, "One of my Big Regrets is not unmasking all the Models on-camera, but we can get into regrets later."
Volans says, "We got through nearly all of them."
Tucana says, "Originally, in our setting, the Lords of Kobol on Kobol were actually originally 12 unique Skinjobs."
Tucana says, "Skinjobs from long ago."
Tucana says, "Each one a "god" to a tribe of humanity"
Tucana says, "but maybe they were built in the image of early god-constructs. That's the beauty of this kind of mythical writing. You can be purposely vague and undecided."
Tucana says, "And let the viewer/player come up with a satisfying extrapolation."
Tucana says, "Except there were 13 tribes and 13 skinjobs back in ye olde Kobol days — one of them was an asshole. But more on that later."
Volans says, "THE THIRTEENTH"
Tucana says, "Here's the real kicker to both humans and cylons"
Tucana says, "Humans, lol you are literally worshipping old departed skinjobs"
Tucana says, "Cylons, lol, humanity were once your charges and friends, and you held a sacred duty to assist and protect them in accordance with some old long-forgotten covenant"
Tucana says, "YOU ARE BOTH WRONG (and both right at strange times)"
Tucana says, "That was driving the whole metaplot."
Tucana says, "This is a theme I actually believe in strongly so the story had a certain from-the-heart significance for me. There are heroes and monsters on all sides. The people who probably are the most terrible are the hawks. Or — haucks, if you will. ;)"
Tucana says, "And the Threes, and Fives, and Twelves, and the Kepners"
Hydra say, "For me, what I love about the story circles back to one of the Cylon NPCs. Yazdah/one of the 11s. I got to NPC her a bit and she was my favorite of our kind of individualizd Cylons. Particularly because she'd been fundamentally changed by an encounter with a PC on Leonis (a char made a decision /not/ to shoot her, and it made her think humanity was worth saving). At times I think we had too much of a Plan, maybe more than an ST ever should, but that was a fairly major pivot point that a character impacted probably more than most realized."
Volans says, "And that was really sort of the heart of the series in a lot of ways, the grey area questions of humanity and monstrosity and ends and means, I always thought. But you guys wove it into mythology in a way that was more immediately compelling and that was what really drew me in early on."
Tucana says, "I ran that scene. I ended up trashing the whole plot I had planned that day because Sitka (the player in question) didn't shoot Yazdah like I thought he would. The choice was put in his hands. And — that was an amazing scene. One I want to revisit at some point."
Tucana nods at Volans. "Right — I'm glad you mentioned that. I wanted this to compliment its source material while fixing some of the source material's inherent problems."
Tucana says, "Complement"
Tucana says, "Fuck"
Volans says, "There weren't a lot of moments like that, that I'm aware of. To be honest in hindsight it's amazing to me how much this game managed to stay on rails, both in terms of there being that much of a plan and players going along with it."
Polaris says, "And that's another point. It wouldn't have worked if it /wasn't/ on rails."
Tucana says, "God Did It"
Tucana says, "But yeah, there /was/ some kind of higher intelligence in our plot. I purposely never defined it, but that was by design. I don't think any of you did either."
Volans says, "I tried to make you a couple times, but no."
Hydra say, "I think it was both more on the rails than the players realized and less than we at times thought it was. My favorite scene I ever ran here - and to this day, my favorite that I've ever run - came out of one of the Raptor players having a random question about some coordinates I'd name-checked and promptly forgotten about in a scene. It wasn't something I'd ever planned to develop, certainly not anything /we'd/ planned. But it turned into Leyla and Marko finding the Ark of Kobol, which we kind of reverse-engineered into having a place in the end game."
Tucana says, "I always wrote and ran with the assumption that the Cylon God and the Colonial Gods were just aspects of the same loosely defined higher consciousness — neither interpretation was quite right or quite wrong"
Tucana says, "OH GOD the Ark"
Volans says, "I really wanted there to be an answer that I could unravel and discover, and it took a while to realize that while there were some answers and resolutions and things, there wasn't AN ANSWER THAT EXPLAINS EVERYTHING in the way I'd been looking for one."
Tucana says, "That was beautiful hy"
Hydra say, "Ark, yes. It was a lovely scene and I still reread it from time to time."
Polaris says, "BSG has always been a storyteller-intensive setting. Co-op games are like that. The big enemy isn't another player; the big enemy has to be this omnipresent threat from Outside. And so even though Tuc and I never wrote it down, we always had a sense of what the Outside was, and why it did what it did. And that let us take whatever the heck the players wanted to think up — and fold it into our story like It Had Always Belonged There."
Volans says, "Let's not talk about all the things you never wrote down."
Tucana says, "lulz, Volans. I think you wanted what the players wanted."
Tucana says, "Which is a pretty sane and understandable thing"
Tucana says, "I mean, I thought about eventually answering some of this stuff more specifically"
Volans says, "I mean I think it's a compliment in a way, too. It felt like the plot was coherent and tied together and leading towards some specific realization."
Hydra say, "One of the terms we've thrown around among ourselves, about how we treated the game, is that it was like a Writer's Room. I think that's closer than anything. We knew what the major, over-arcing story was, but we were scrambling day-to-day to fill in the details, and that's what some of the best stuff came from."
Volans says, "And it was and it wasn't."
Volans says, "Yeah, I'd forgotten that we made up the ark on the fly"
Polaris says, "To be honest, we only /really/ defined the Beginning and the End. The Beginning — well, that was the whole military buildup and the Cylon genocide in response. The End — well, we'll be getting to that in a Later Installment."
Hydra say, "I made up less good things on the fly as well. :P But the Ark worked."
Polaris says, "Everything else we came up with based on what we thought the Cylons, plural, would do."
Volans says, "I still wish we'd done a MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE CYLON RANCH scene like we talked about."
Polaris says, "Tucana and I would actually debate Cylon war strategy in pages for hours on end. Which helped, incidentally, when we stepped into the skinjob NPCs we played in game."
Polaris says, "One of my favorite scenes ever was the one where Rejn and McQueen — two of the anti-genocide Cylons — got into a veiled debate over what the Cylons should've done ICly. And /nobody noticed/."
Tucana says, "Yeah, we had a lot of exercises in character personality and motivation"
Tucana says, "That was as much for our own fun as it was deliberate"
Tucana says, "those two were great proxies for us"
Tucana says, "Because they were notminally on the same side"
Tucana says, "but they kinda fucking hated each other"
Polaris says, "Anyway, the point was: We were flying by the seat of our pants the whole way through."
Polaris says, "And somehow, miraculously, shit worked."
Tucana says, "Not somehow"
Tucana says, "Because of this."
Volans says, "Well, worked to a point."
Tucana says, "I think we came up with the majority of our understanding and ideas this way"
Hydra say, "Some of this probably sounds pretentious as hell. And, it is. We're all more or less aware this was a pretendy funtime game based on derivative material, and that the time and energy we sank into it is sort of insane. It was a LOT of fun, though, and my only regret is that I didn't sink MORE time into it and give it a proper ending."
Volans says, "I really enjoy your commitment to being the voice over narration/panel moderator, H."
Polaris says, "That was always her role. And yours, actually. :P"
Hydra say, "I am nothing if not an embittered ex-newspaperwoman."
Polaris says, "Had the game been left up to me and Tuc, it would've cratered in about 2 weeks."
Volans says, "Not true, you guys had it to yourselves for a long time before Hydra and I came on board."
Hydra say, "And had the game been left up to me and Volans, it would never have had the ambition and scope and energy that it did. We all sort of self-corrected each other's best and worst tendencies."
Tucana says, "I am sorry but I must post an external link that describes us"
Hydra say, "We're all so deeply imperfect. Looooooooooooool yes."
Polaris says, "Looool."
Tucana says, "The idea here is that there are "order muppets" and "chaos muppets" and only together can muppetry succeed."
Tucana says, "I am a chaos muppet."
Hydra say, "I'm totally an Order Muppet."
Polaris says, "I'm much less chaotic than Tuc. But on balance? Yeahhhh. Chaos."
Volans says, "I was hoping this was going to be a quiz and not a whole article I have to read so I'm whichever kind of muppet is lazier."
Polaris says, "Volans made the trains run on time."
Polaris says, "While Tuc was doing his Elon Musk 'WE NEED A HYPERLOOP' thing."
Hydra say, "One thing I think Pol and I have in common is that we /loved/ running scenes, and we were both probably more willing to make up random shit on the fly than was occasionally wise. Some of it dead-ended, some of it was pretty cool, I think it ultimately worked out OK."
Tucana says, "I just loved being characters"
Polaris says, "Yes, Hy. That was pretty much all I did — I dropped NPCs into scenes and had them DO Shit."
Hydra say, "The long con with Rejn's reveal as a Cylon came off pretty well. I don't think anybody had him pegged as a skinjob (though now, of course, somebody reading this will totally have predicted it)."
Polaris says, "Hahaha. Yeah, that was fun. But really, all of us ran NPCs, not just me. And we had the luxury to experiment because the playerbase was so good at hitting us with +requests to explore what they thought was cool. Kincaid and Sawyer pretty much unraveled the entire Areion plot before the mutiny went down because they got hooked by our Areion NPCs."
Polaris says, "And as much as we like to think we did it all ourselves — which if you're reading the above, you'd be forgiven for thinking we think — we definitely couldn't have done it without buy-in from pretty much everyone."
Polaris says, "Even the little things, really. Like Samuel, who got ATED by pretty much every wild animal under the sun during the game."
Hydra say, "Bwahahaha Samuel. He was attacked by an amazing variety of animals."
Volans says, "He really was."
Hydra say, "Another of my regrets is not doing more to bring the civilian sphere of the game to life, since I think it's the character of Laura Roslin and the military/political push-pull that makes the show special. But individual PCs did a lot to bring out aspects of the theme we just didn't have time to concentrate on. Sawyer and Rose and others I'll kick myself for forgetting. Even beyond the civvies, the characters all felt very human in both good ways and bad."
Tucana says, "Yeah, let's face it. Civvies are /hard/ on these games."
Tucana says, "Way harder than military characters."
Hydra say, "Definitely harder to build plots around. I am glad we had a space for them, even if we didn't always fill it out well enough. It's easy to say 'civvies don't work', but Sawyer probably got deeper into the metaplot than any other PC."
Hydra say, "Just by being a nosy reporter."
Polaris says, "So true. I think she posted a memoir that pretty much unveiled the whole story — Hauck; Areion; all of it."
Hydra say, "There's a lot, in retrospect, I think we'd do differently if we had all this to do over again. Tho looking back, it's the things that didn't work and that exasperated me that remind me how much I loved it, as much as the things that did. We had a ton of arguments, but they were always respectful and mostly came from a good creative place. We were all trying stuff I don't think any of us had ever tried before."
Tucana says, "Yeah, shoutout to Sawyer — she was a great character run by a great player who never ceased to generate great RP for everyone."
Tucana says, "I can say that about a lot of people but I am /always/ appreciative of these folks whenever I find them, whether I am a player or staff."
Tucana says, "Yeah, there are plenty of places where we went wrong or beat our heads against a wall."
Hydra say, "We've talked about doing more of these, about individual plot arcs, and about the end-game we never got to. Maybe I'll get my bottle of Scapa for those. For this, mostly, I want to say thanks. To everyone who played, to Genesis for setting this thing up and Altair for coding it and Serpens and Antares for doing their time as staffers here and helping push this enterprise along. To Pol and Tuc and Volans, for bringing out the best in me and curbing my tendency to go the easy, un-ambitious route. Thanks to every single person who RP'd even one line of text here, or added anything large and small to the wiki. This /is/ a dumb pretendy funtime game, but it's also a period in my life and in my gaming experience I really treasured, and I look back on it fondly. Nothing that brought me this much joy can be entirely silly."
Polaris says, "One of those places — and this is what Volans was talking about — was Tuc and I not writing anything down."
Polaris says, "Oh, Hydra was saying something profound. Strike that last."
Hydra say, "Lol profound."
Tucana says, "Yep there was that but that is what we do :( Although to be fair"
Tucana says, "A lot of not writing stuff down was driven by aggressive separation from plot and avoiding spoilering."
Volans says, "You had a whole separate wiki."
Tucana says, "LOL sorta"
Volans says, "Which I was led to believe was full of information but was not"
Hydra say, "Bwahahahahaha."
Tucana says, "Yeah"
Hydra say, "As much as there was a Plan for a lot of it, I think we were better at bullshitting the existence of more of a Plan than ever existed."
Tucana says, "Well"
Tucana says, "We were better at pretending there was a Plan than Ron Moore was"
Hydra say, "The players came up with theories a lot more detailed than we ever put down anywhere or intended to follow through on."
Tucana says, "And he has real TV shows"
Volans says, "Yes, this is all true."
Tucana says, "Some players have theories"
Hydra say, "He does. We have this, tho, and I'm OK with that at the end of the day."
Tucana says, "Some people are more detail oriented than others."
Polaris says, "It was full of information to the extent that if Tuc and I needed to log something, we put it there. And we very rarely needed to log something, because Tuc and I preferred to plot by conversation. So when I faded out — and that is something I still seriously regret, not only because it thrust the MUSH onto the rest of the team but because I desperately wanted to finish telling Cerb's story — a lot of the plot went with it. So."
Tucana says, "And I did similar. Time management is a horrible thing and one of my weaknesses."
Hydra say, "We all faded out. I think we sort of fell apart without each other. Even more than that, I think endings are just hard. There's a part of me that's very afraid any 'finale' wouldn't have lived up to the players' expectations, or my own."
Tucana says, "To be honest, though, a lesser-planned game would have suffered less from this. Cerberus was very hands-on staffwise, by design. Which was as much a curse as it was a blessing."
Polaris says, "Yeah. All of the above. And really, what made the game so flexible was also what made the game impossible to sustain in a particular form."
Hydra say, "We burned bright and fast and left a good-looking corpse of a wiki."
Tucana says, "Maybe if we were paid to staff a game full time ;)"
Tucana says, "(hire me please)"
Polaris says, "Hear that, RDM? Pay us to staff a game full time."
Polaris says, "In the meantime, we'll always have Paris."
Tucana says, "We'll always have Mt. St Michel"
Tucana says, "Wait, that's another game"
Tucana says, "You guys."
Tucana says, "I just want to echo what Hydra said."
Tucana says, "I /never/ could have produced something I was proud of without your presence."
Polaris says, "That includes his children."
Volans says, "And his mixtape."
Hydra say, "Hahaha."
Wander my friends, wander with me
Like the mist on the green mountain, moving eternally
Despite our weariness
We'll follow the road
Over hill and valleys
To the end of the journey
Come on my friends and sing with me
Fill the night with joy and sport
Here's a toast to the friends who have gone from us
Like the mist of the green mountain,
Polaris says, "I was going to try for Johnny Cash but … probably that one is more apropos."
Volans says, "I think you meant to paste the link to Run This Town but something's gone wrong"
Polaris says, "I am totally Rihanna in that comparison."
Hydra say, "We'll save Johnny Cash for the inevitable Areion Day commentary."
Volans says, "I don't recall Johnny Cash being the song we all sat around listening to afterwards"
Tucana makes a mixtape
Volans says, "Because Johnny Cash is a song, guys. Did you know."
Tucana says, "I've been really into Wovenhand lately, which is like the most evangelical christian depression dust preacher thing ever."
Polaris says, "I'm mostly just listening to Katy PErry songs while watching a leftshark gif on repeat"
Tucana says, "ew"
Tucana says, "I fished you out of that shitty pop music mire, son"
Hydra say, "So, do we have any profound closing thoughts? I'm leaving it with Wander, My Friends, and my love for you guys and this thing we did together."
Tucana says, "never forget"
Tucana says, "Profound closing thoughts? I do."
Tucana says, "If I may"
Tucana says, "I got to tell a story"
Hydra say, "You may, bebe."
Tucana says, "Albeit one in somebody else's toybox/sandbox using a familiar set of images and motifs"
Tucana says, "But I got to tell a story that talked about some of the most important things in the world to me — the nature of power, what makes well-meaning people do awful things, are we born into fate or can we make our own, and something that is a callback to the very early miniseries — "Are we worthy of survival?""
Tucana says, "I don't get to do this very often. This was a silly, nerdy thing we did, but I got to do this. I hope I get to do it again someday. Maybe even with you guys."
Tucana says, "For my money, you're at the top of the list of the people I'd want to do it with."
Tucana says, "That is all, really."
Tucana says, "…for now."
Hydra say, "So say we all."