Ponies AMA [Prep]

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We've talked about this a few times, so here's the thread that collects everything. What is it? An AMA (Ask Me Anything) involving Link (originally) plus anyone else on the team who wants to come along or can be dragooned into doing so. We take over a coffee shop and talk to these people who have been around for us, and are relying on us. This would be happening in the next couple of game days. What's in it for the GM? This is a vehicle for world-building and introduction of new plot elements via rumors and questions. e.g. "what are you guys doing now that Iconoclast escaped?" "Icono-what?" "Concord, what do you know about the older you that is flying over New York?" "There's a huh?" What's in it for the players? Hopefully some fun NPC interaction! It's also an opportunity for character development (e.g. WADWJQ, more on that below) in ways the characters themselves might have resisted. What's in it for the characters? It's a good chance to spread our message via our generation's social media channels, and not rely on HHL mythologizing or AEGIS PR flacks. We get to talk about what matters to us, in a way that's comfortable for us. Specific PCs might also get specific benefits. If the players are interested in seeing this happen interactively, and/or there's interest from Margie and K who are not normally forum active, we can do it as part of a regular session. If the only people who care are on forums, or if we think we can do it offline, that's fine too.
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Win A Date With Jason Quill: Originally posted here:  https://app.roll20.net/forum/permalink/5953890/ Bill G. said: The rules are simple. The contest is open to anyone present for the AMA plus anyone to whom anyone in the Menagerie extends an invitation. Essay question: what good do you think the Quill Foundation could and should do under Jason's direction? Jason himself can also enter, if he wins, he can spend the day as he likes. Entries are evaluated by our secret celebrity guest judge (really Dave). This is Numina sneakily, or not so sneakily, trying to get Jason more socially engaged, out of his "castle of ghosts and regret", and in a way that does him some good even if nobody wins the date. Even if he's grumpy about it, Jason will hopefully get a bunch of thoughtful essays about how outside people see his Foundation and his potential. And it will hopefully get the Ponies to seriously look into what Jason Quill actually does, and hopefully get the Foundation itself some positive attention from more people. If other players want to join in (Win A Date With Harry Gale?), I'm all on board with that too.
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If whatever Mike & Doyce are cooking up lands by then, or Adam's secret ID is no longer a limiting factor on him (and it sounds like this is the case, so I'll go ahead unless Mike says something), this is also a venue where Link could unmask (and see where that goes....) I can't think of any other public setting where he might be comfortable doing so.
If the players are interested in seeing this happen interactively, and/or there's interest from Margie and K who are not normally forum active, we can do it as part of a regular session. If the only people who care are on forums, or if we think we can do it offline, that's fine too. I have pinged the respective parties. Though, to be fair regarding their forum activity, I think the volume of my posting averages out between the three in this household to just one normal person's volume each, so we are maintaining a certain balance.
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I'm hoping they're interested and have fun stuff they'd like to see come of it. :)
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Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: If whatever Mike & Doyce are cooking up lands by then, or Adam's secret ID is no longer a limiting factor on him (and it sounds like this is the case, so I'll go ahead unless Mike says something) This is less me cooking things up and more me telling Doyce, "Hey, here are some ideas.  I'm open to any or all of them, no matter how contradictory they are."  I'm sure Doyce would accommodate anything I'm dead set on doing, but I'm more of a "gardener" storyteller than an "architect" one: Set up all the pieces on the board and then let them free to see what they morph into.
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I'll go ahead with my thing then. :)  It's certainly going to morph into something , though I have no idea what.
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Mike
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Regardless of Adam's identity status when we get to this, I'm excited. I can imagine there being a lot of questions directed towards the Universal Concordance and Sol just stonewalling with "This is not information this unit is at liberty to share." "Man, they just want to know how you're enjoying Earth..."
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I wonder how literal he still is. "CEREAL ENJOYMENT STATUS IS NOT AVAILABLE TO CIVILIANS." "Sol, Cap'n Crunch is not actually a Captain. It's not a military rank." "THEN THIS INFORMATION MAY BE DISCLOSED?" "Affirmative." "IT IS SUFFICIENTLY CRUNCHY."
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Mike
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Bill G. said: I wonder how literal he still is. I never really thought of him being overly literal or particularly liked that trope in general.  Funny?  Yes.  Sensible?  Not really.  Since he uses a form of telepathy to communicate, the ideas should flow naturally (filtered through both Adam's understanding and Solaris' own cultural assumptions).  Now once he's a focused, free-roaming, non-terminal repeating spirit to help communication that doesn't involve Adam relaying info for him... probably still not. Now cultural differences.  I can get behind some cultural differences. "Have you watched television." "I am aware of your emotional manipulation devices.  The technology is primitive in comparison to other species' we've encountered, but others have so much voluntary involvement in public sacrifices of dignity.  You are a very giving people." "Sol, are you snarking?" "'Snark' would be unCompassionate.  I am merely being critically Truthful." "What's the difference?" "Functionally, nothing."
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That's quite helpful and interesting, +1 :)
+1
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
I'm going to jump in here and say: Please RP some NPCs for a second and post AMA questions that the Ponies would have gotten (and to whom the question is directed, if that's relevant). Anyone can play, everyone will win!
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I'm sure Kaylee could contribute questions too, in which case everyone wins except Leo's love life. More seriously, if there is an actual audience for the game itself, I think their questions would be neat to hear, and probably surprising too.
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Doyce T.
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The Ponies ask their fans for help.
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
Doyce T. said: The Ponies ask their fans for help. Holy crap it worked.
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Mike
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I've also put the word out to my folks who follow the game.  At least a few questions should trickle in tonight and tomorrow.
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Pro: within a couple hours of posting, you're getting responses via social media, which I think really validates the fiction too. Con: you have to read Youtube comments, not normally recommended.
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Some of the questions might need some adjustment (e.g. I see one of those comments asks about Link's AI, which he hasn't explained to the public yet ), but the spirit of the question should be easily transferable and/or seen as a followup to the necessarily first "how did you..." question.
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Doyce T.
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Mike, I need to get your friends' AMA questions. I am compiling a list...
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I asked some folks I know to contribute as well, I'll go nudge them.
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
With all the news dropped last night, I have a sneaking suspicion we may not get to the AMA in the coming session. UNLESS we do it as a flashback, this-happened-during-the-holiday-break thing, which may be fun. Thoughts? Might make an interesting contrast to the rest of the episode.
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I'm okay either way, though I feel like something to bridge tone from "a world got blown up by two crazy fathers" to "let's go for coffee and shenanigans" would be helpful, so I'm kind of okay with it not happening immediately?
I'd like to do the AMA after this particular stuff gets resolved, as it may influence some of those answers. Though I hate to push it away for everyone else.
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
So, I have a few thoughts: 1. I don't see any questions - or at least not any Jason questions - that would substantially change from before/after the Sepiaverse excursion. 2. Even if the answers do end up being dated, I'm okay with that? Part of the benefit there is to see the progression/change in character. 3. I was thinking of this being a flashback to the Christmas break before the most recent stuff went down, so ... before the trip to Florida and the Team Practice thing. BUT... and I'm not sure if I'm smart enough for this - one really cool thing to do would be a flashback/flash-forward thing where we have the AMA happening and switching the scene back and forth to current 'action' events at appropriate moments. Again, not sure I'm smart enough for that, but I like that kind of Jhereg -style "this whole shopping list will make sense by the end of the book" trick. :)
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I'm kind of with Dave, as not only did we want to answer questions but also get a message out and do a couple bonus things. If that means Jason and Summer and Charlotte walk in an say "a lot happened", I'd be okay with that. If we can't even guarantee they will make it back, then sure, flash back to Christmas. I don't see an immediate benefit to having us flash around except to try and be clever with the narrative, and clever takes preparation no matter how smart we are. Did you have something more specific in mind which that approach would make possible?
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Mike
Pro
Doyce T. said: BUT... and I'm not sure if I'm smart enough for this - one really cool thing to do would be a flashback/flash-forward thing where we have the AMA happening and switching the scene back and forth to current 'action' events at appropriate moments. Again, not sure I'm smart enough for that, but I like that kind of Jhereg -style "this whole shopping list will make sense by the end of the book" trick. :) Well the answer to that one is to pick questions relevant to the next scene. Alternatively, flashback to question being asked, flash forward to scene, flashback to answer that may or may not be relevant to the scene.  Certainly the more time consuming answer (and it seems like we never have enough time), but could be fun. Regardless of how you decided to run it, I'm looking forward to it.  Or just seeing how things turn out in the Sepiaverse.
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Mike
Pro
Bill G. said: I'm kind of with Dave, as not only did we want to answer questions but also get a message out and do a couple bonus things. If that means Jason and Summer and Charlotte walk in an say "a lot happened", I'd be okay with that. If we can't even guarantee they will make it back, then sure, flash back to Christmas. I don't see an immediate benefit to having us flash around except to try and be clever with the narrative, and clever takes preparation no matter how smart we are. Did you have something more specific in mind which that approach would make possible? Just read this (damn you concurrent posting!) and I'm in agreement.  Clarity should trump cleverness in the narrative.  Last time we weren't all on the same page with the narrative, things got confusing and I'd like to avoid that.
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My friend Drew is FINALLY getting around to adding comments, so might want to check the Youtube video once more at game time to see if he actually came through. :)
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
I'll keep an eye out for the youtube notifications, though it's pretty clear the best thing will be to put it off a bit. At this point, the AMA will be all part of the Halcyonicon episode :)
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So is Jalycia wrapping up tonight then?
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Doyce T.
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I think the group consensus is "let's focus on what's going on right now." So... yeah? Maybe?
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Mike
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Bill G. said: So is Jalycia wrapping up tonight then? Doyce T. said: I think the group consensus is "let's focus on what's going on right now." So... yeah? Maybe? I am both excited and terrified at this possibility.
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
It will be interesting to, after 24 sessions, finally have Alycia actually speak directly to Jason. And vice versa.
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Well there's only a few ways it feels likely to break for me. Alycia escaped from Byron's containment (she's apparently got nanobots now and it's not like Byron or Rusty can touch her, if they were telling the truth) and is probably heading to the Hecate-Chin love nest. Menagerie peeps go home for the time being. Alycia escaped, Jason runs after her, we split the party for the next 20 sessions. Alycia's in the brig having done (whatever she came here to do) and Jason talks Byron into giving her to him, after Byron explicitly whammied Jason not to do that very thing. Good luck fella. Alycia's in the brig and Byron doesn't relent. Jason either goes home or stages an escape. Meta-wise, option 2 is very unsatisfying, unless Dave feels like playing another character with the rest of us for awhile. Option 1 puts a quick end to the Sepiaverse rescue arc but turns it into a shaggy dog story. Option 3 is RP negotiation, option 4 is the action-filled escape. I'd find option 3 personally most interesting, because I want to hear Jason's arguments why the world's cutest security risk should be placed in his hands, and I imagine wielding guilt against Byron would work the best there. I'm also curious what the actual Alycia will actually say (and Numina/Summer's advice to Jason earlier comes in here: "don't make her a vehicle for your hopes and dreams, listen to her"), but I'm a little worried that Jason's pent up angst will make that take a long time. :) Ultimately, whatever gets us back together soon has my vote, if we're voting. :)
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And holy shit Drew (Grey Pawn) came through.
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Doyce T.
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Sheet Author
Indeed he did. :) Jason's going to have to push hard on Byron, which scene I plan to open with, both because it advances the Jalycia arc and because it airs out a lot of the Byron/Jason stuff, so two birds, one planet-killing rail-launched boulder.
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Mike
Pro
Doyce T. said: It will be interesting to, after 24 sessions, finally have Alycia actually speak directly to Jason. And vice versa. Crap, while describing this setup to one of my friends I realized all the fake!Alycias running around are reverse Doombots. You're (mostly) certain its not the real Alycia. They're very open about not being the real Alycia. They don't further her plans really (though they do cause Jason quite a bit of grief, so there is that). No one (at least not Jason) wants to defeat them. You deal with them in a very social, diplomatic manner. If they is multiple of them around, they team up rather than battle for dominance. Alycia (probably) didn't make most of them.
Doyce T. said: It will be interesting to, after 24 sessions, finally have Alycia actually speak directly to Jason. And vice versa. Indeed!
Mike said: Crap, while describing this setup to one of my friends I realized all the fake!Alycias running around are reverse Doombots. You're (mostly) certain its not the real Alycia. I did leave open the possibility that at least one encounter (the bathroom break) was the actual Alycia pretending to be Travelycia. Since I had no idea where the real Alycia was at the time, it seemed a fun way to be ambiguous about it.   Alycia (probably) didn't make most of them. Alycia was responsible for ... well, the initial nanobot trojan horse, and the info from that has been recycled into Travelycia, at least. SecuritytapeAlycia was about the real Alycia, but seemed to take some actual action at the end of the review (bang). Li'lycia (sniff) incorporated aspects of both, but was not, I'm fairly certain, an intentional creation.
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When Victor von Doom needs to keep the carpets clean in his castle in Latveria, he uses Doombas. Some random AMA questions from Ponies: Duskshine: "Mercury, I love your hair. Have you ever considered growing it long, or would that interfere with running?" My Little Power Ranger: "Does the Menagerie need a social media director?" NoNo Rodriguez: "Jason Quill, would you ever consider being a super-spy? Or maybe supplying equipment to one?" PowerPony: "Ghost Girl, what's your advice for how to approach someone you like with some class and style?"