Organic Growth Vs Player Input

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DylPickle
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Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: Canada

Organic Growth Vs Player Input

Postby DylPickle » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:14 pm

I've struggled with this for a while, but with my new batch of character in the current state of the game, this question has been rattling around my head more and more. How strict ought we to be with letting our characters develop based exclusively on their surroundings/environment VS the sort of "divine inspiration" of player input?

First, let me be clear that by player input, I don't mean CRBs with ingame information and ooc knowledge, but more around developing motivations that may not come around organically, but would have a shot at making the game more diversified and interesting.

Maybe it's just the places I've spawned, but it feels like there has been a major reversion to the mean when it comes to structures. If places have laws, rules, customs, or historical institutions, they appear to be largely ignored by the residents or their players (both?) There are far fewer "factions" , groups, cultures than there were at times in the past.

An organic character shaped by their community may experience very few catalysts for a change to their society, and it feels like it takes a large degree of player input to have a chance at stoking a change that could make a location have an identity greater than simply it's personalities.

This is a bit more of a ramble than I expected, but I'd like to hear perspectives.
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Mafia Salad
Posts: 832
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:53 am

Re: Organic Growth Vs Player Input

Postby Mafia Salad » Sat Jan 18, 2020 7:39 pm

Nobody replied to this? Oh, well I'm not going to waste a good lurk. Do both!

I haven't played in a couple years so my perception is dated: for the most part the unique cultures of the game have died under the constant pressure of newspawns with generic liberal leaning Western sensibilities and a couple decades of people learning what works best and implementing that. So if you let the game define your characters they are mostly going to suck. As I was playing I decided it was more enjoyable and more important for the betterment of the game as a whole to insert life and culture than adapt to the culture that was in place. Unless there was a unique and fun town, then start sucking up and spitting out it's uniqueness.

I still love the idea of the game shaping a character so I start with a personality type (nature, based loosely on a character I like from a book or show or more often a type from the four humors, DISC or Myers-Briggs). Then, since the societal structure of the game has some... repetition, I would overplay minor events as traumatic life changing ones (nurture: That woman didn't share her carrots, I hate all other women now! or that guy drove by in a car and said "hi", so cars make you cool. I must become an autobarron!) Create an interesting backstory out of the boring cards you are dealt. Allude to the back story more than describing it and let other players fill in the blank with a more interesting story that they imagine.

Then hopefully your more interesting characters help shape the other characters around them and that develops into a unique location (This town permits only one woman, the princess, all others must leave within 24 hours of arriving or they will be forcibly deported)

Did it work? kinda. It probably would work better if I played more than 8 months in a stretch and let my character accumulate some influence.
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