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Looking Ahead [Prep]

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Doyce T.
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[This is, I think, MOSTLY for Bill and Dave and Mike, but Margie and James are more than welcome to jump in.] We're closing in on some changes for a few characters in the very near future. Jason is clearly coming up (or just passed) some big milestones, and from a strictly mechanical point of view is either going to be a new playbook, a 'paragon of the city, for however long you have left', or a bot-maddened NPC lurking in the steam tunnels beneath Gardner Academy, soon. Bill's been talking about playbook shifting (either shifting Leo, or taking up one of the Newmans). Because of his connection to Otto, Aria, and Summer (and their connection to him), all of the major through lines of his story (Rook, Rossum, the bond with the team) flow uninterrupted and with much of the same force regardless of who the camera's keeping in focus. Also, this showdown with the Vyortovians might tie a bow on the "bull/family" parts of his personal story. Adam is definitely switching playbooks, probably before anyone else. It's not inaccurate to say that enough stuff is resolving either in 26 or 27 (which is really just part two of 26, in some ways), that we could take a 'summer break' and do something else. I don't *want* to (unless everyone wants a short palate cleanser), but it's the best way I can express how MUCH stuff is at a tipping point right now. So. While talking with Mike after last game, and then more in PMs, I realized there was actually a non-zero chance we could (accidentally) go from the team-as-it-stands to two new characters, plus an Adam changed so drastically as to not be Adam for all intents and purposes. And that obviously would have a real tipping effect on the team chemistry. (Not bad or good, but BIG.) Now, I am fairly certain nothing quite that drastic will happen (part of the fun of pondering possibilities with playbooks is to go "that would be neat, but not what we want to do"), but it was enough of a shock for me to say: "Hey, maybe we should put our cards on the table and say what we're thinking, so we can prepare for the next chapter a bit." HOWEVER. While I think it's good to talk this out, I will totally accept "I have a big reveal/conclusion/monologue planned for next session, can we wait til after that to talk about this?"  -- I thought about this today, so I wrote it up today, before I forgot for another week. We don't have to DO anything with it until everyone's ready. I have a pretty good idea of at least some of what Dave and Mike are planning, going forward, but I don't want to sum any of that up until YOU guys say it in replies (on the off chance you want to wait until so-and-so happens in play, or you change your mind(s)). So. Reply. Or wait. Up to you.
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Leo as a character won't change playbook at this point. Nothing else felt right. He's still not sure who he ultimately will be, but he knows what the choices are. He also has enough new drama that I could keep him busy for a bit. So if I do make a change, it's to jump into a new character, one of the Newmans most likely, and see what that is like. And I would most likely do that to play off someone else's story or change, e.g. to be Summer and try helping Jason figure his shit out in this new world. The Vyortovian outcome will shine a big spotlight on this team and he will be in it too. She and I would be unhappy if Jason doesn't make it, but it's Dave's character and his decision what happens. I mostly hope Margie is getting what she wants, and if we haven't heard from her that she is, that sounds like a question to raise.
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Doyce T.
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I need to talk with her some more - I think I saw something really crystallize in last session with the "I didn't do it for them, I did it for the dead" line, but I need to check in. That was really eloquent, and gives her (and me, yay) some directions to take things. We've talked about some tropes that seem to apply to her situation as well, and I think The Family will continue to be a Big Enemy throughout the "Dimensional Wounds" storyline, into which I can also weave some of the "pandemonium catnip" plot. Harry is teflon vs. plot hooks, but there's some fun stuff happening there as well. Surprising parallels between Harry and Charlotte have cropped up in the "as I learn more about my family, they are seriously disappointing me" vein. Bill, I'm good with what you posted on Leo as well. I suspect (based on previous patterns) that when Dave and Mike speak up, that'll also inform your decision, but I want to say I *like* Leo as a point of stability in everything that's happening, if that's what you decide to do, and switching the loves/rivals around will keep him in touch with any new arcs (plus his own).
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Yeah, I'm happy to volunteer for Space Dad duty if that helps anchor other people's changes.
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Doyce T.
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Bill G. said: Yeah, I'm happy to volunteer for Space Dad duty if that helps anchor other people's changes. In case you need a new icon: https://v.dreamwidth.org/10451271/2234651 Or:
HA! So the icon.
So all the cards -- I've been considering the playbook change for a while (as Doyce mentioned in the OP), and last game Bill and Doyce handed me what I think is the perfect point to change playbooks: a scene interacting with the Keynome.  I've thought about it a lot since Monday and my only conclusion is that whatever happens in that scene is going to be a  singularity for Concord--a moment so full of possibility that the other side can't be accurately predicted. For a game, this is great.  The main principle of all the various *World games is "play to find out what happens," and that is exactly what this fuels. For planning, it's a bit of a no-win scenario.  Nothing without just predetermining the outcome of the scene feels like it treats the situation properly (at least for me).  And that makes my end of this conversation very difficult.  I've got a whole host of possible playbooks Concord could move into following the events of this (the Newborn, the Nova, the Protege, the Transformed, maybe a couple of others) but without knowing how the events of that scene shake out... I don't know which I'm going chose. So since I've go on at length about things I don't know, let me bring up some things I do know.  I've talked to Doyce and one of the things I think I want to have happen (maybe during the Keynome scene, maybe later) Sol as mentor no longer being in the picture for Concord for one reason or the other.  I know he hasn't been around for long, but I think the next step in Adam's arc is exactly was Super Chica said to him: "stand on your own."  So far, Adam's been a kid with a crap ton of power and a lot more codependency: on his parents, on Charlotte, on Leo, and on Sol.  It may or may not have been obvious, but I really haven't had Adam make a decision on his own... pretty much ever.  Severing some of those and seeing how Adam can do on his own sounds very interesting after whatever the rest of the team shake up winds up being.
So I have some definite ideas and directions, but am also wanting to let the dice provide some direction in the resolution of Jason's outstanding DOOOOM issues. So no big reveal yet, but big reveal to come. (Which, in an earlier life, I would have probably insisted on doing as a big in-game reveal, but will likely announce more publicly beforehand.)
It's not inaccurate to say that enough stuff is resolving either in 26 or 27 (which is really just part two of 26, in some ways), that we could take a 'summer break' and do something else. I don't *want* to (unless everyone wants a short palate cleanser), but it's the best way I can express how MUCH stuff is at a tipping point right now. And, for the record, I have no desire to swap out for something else at this point unless everyone else feels strongly about doing so. I'm having a blast (both in my own part of the story and in seeing what is going on with others).
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Doyce T.
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^ +1 I mention it only because I've been looking over everything and muttering "MAN this is going to be a tipping point we're really going to be able to look back on."  It really does feel like a season (not series) finale. :)
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What I'm hearing is "Mike and Dave are gonna let circumstances and/or dice in the next session or two influence their choices of new playbook/character, and Bill is going to look at options that support or play with those decisions", which all sounds fine to me. I think we handled a transition like this before (cast changes during Onderon, where the old and new characters shuffled together into a new party and Backup kind of did the same Space Dad role), so I'm confident we'll weather it fine. :)
Doyce T. said: ^ +1 I mention it only because I've been looking over everything and muttering "MAN this is going to be a tipping point we're really going to be able to look back on."  It really does feel like a season (not series) finale. :) Hmm. So maybe 27 becomes the stand-alone Christmas Special, and any further casting changes can be that s2e1 stuff that has everyone watching the credits carefully. 
Bill G. said: I think we handled a transition like this before (cast changes during Onderon, where the old and new characters shuffled together into a new party and Backup kind of did the same Space Dad role), so I'm confident we'll weather it fine. :) That's a good point. On the other hand, there's been a certain special lightning in a bottle nature to the game to date, and while change is inevitable (and necessary), I would hate to damage that. But I also have faith in the player team. 😃
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Not sure if this belongs here or in the session thread, but changes in the team may actually support GG's story line. Something in the Sepiaverse or maybe just watching Jason's somewhat self inflicted drama has pushed Charlotte. Before this moment, her entire re-life has been about supporting the team. They have been her anchor to the real world. Even her research into her family was for the team. Helping them solve a problem. She has gone with the flow and let the team define her purpose. But now she has her own purpose. The barrier between the worlds needs healing and she may be uniquely qualified to repair it. Ghosts have problems too and they are an important piece of her re-life.  Purpose! Anchors! Maybe that is why her current existence continues. Maybe that is why she is sometime corporeal. The Magus would be interested in the hypothesis. All the more reason to stay anchored and find purpose.
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Leo had planned to approach Ghost Girl and say "thanks for what you do, but how can we support you better", looking forward to seeing how that turns out now.
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Doyce T.
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Margie K. said: But now she has her own purpose. The barrier between the worlds needs healing and she may be uniquely qualified to repair it. I'm fist-pumping over here. Sounds a cool arc!
Sounds nifty! 
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And now that I think about it, Aria/Pneuma would probably like to hear more about this plan, and or come along if GG visits the Magus again. She might be artificial, but she is still potentially more useful to GG than Leo for this sort of plot.
Margie K. said: {snipped for length but very cool sounding} Purpose! Anchors! Maybe that is why her current existence continues. Maybe that is why she is sometime corporeal. The Magus would be interested in the hypothesis. All the more reason to stay anchored and find purpose. I'm excited to follow up on this.
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Doyce T.
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*** Dave H. said: So I have some definite ideas and directions, but am also wanting to let the dice provide some direction in the resolution of Jason's outstanding DOOOOM issues. So no big reveal yet, but big reveal to come. (Which, in an earlier life, I would have probably insisted on doing as a big in-game reveal, but will likely announce more publicly beforehand.) This ended up being hashed out more over here: https://app.roll20.net/forum/post/6103413/so-about...