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      Orphan Attachments   07/31/2018

      I have been doing some housekeeping lately and I've noticed that I had a lot of orphaned attachments. Attachments get orphaned when the PM or post is deleted without removing the attachment first. Deleting a PM or post does not delete the attachment and the file or image remain on the server. I'd like to ask all members to go through their attachments and delete any attachments you don't need anymore or those that have been orphaned. Where can I get a list of my attachments? Click on your display name in the upper right corner of the forums and pick "My Attachments" from the drop-down list. How can I tell an attachment is orphaned? If the PM has been deleted, you'll see a message like this in your attachment list: Unfortunately there is no message if the post has been deleted, so please check your old posts. We do purge old birthday threads every once in a while. Also some hosted projects have been shut down, so you may have orphaned attachments on one of those locations. Thanks!

Choices the Masquerade: Blood Bound

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8 hours ago, AndalayBay said:

I seriously need to catch up with this thread.... :D

This story is so fucked and even though I'm going to cover this point at the end, I'll say this anyway:

Details and Dialogue matter.  Details are the lifeblood of any world, any story, any character, and dialogue is the way by which we discover and explore these details.  Is it super important to the matter at hand that Not-Christian Grey didn't differentiate between New York state vs city?  No, not really, but it is telling about the writers.  Does every writer know every single facet of their story right as they begin to write it out?  No. Never.  And that's fine.  But good lord, drafting is important.  Overt plot holes are easily identifiable, but I would argue that a story that suffers from a Death By a Thousand Cuts is worse.  It indicates that the writers didn't give a damn about the details, which can easily be corrected through small bits of dialogue. You don't have to shoot for Tolkien-Levels of depth, but it's not too much to ask for consistency.  And to borrow from a friend of mine, why not be consistent?  

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On 7/5/2019 at 6:46 PM, AndalayBay said:

Do you think most players would even notice?

For that fandom? A bunch of them gloss over it, getting really worked up when you call out how bland the story is, however, there is a sizable group that feels similar to how I do.  I used to love Choices as a guilty pleasure, starting with The Crown and The Flame, which had fantastic characters and story.  It was simple: You're a fugitive queen, your home was stolen from you from another king, said king is responsible for your mother's death, your friend has flame powers that he has to leave and train up, you run into others along the way that will help/hinder your quest, and to top it all off, there's a bigger bad across the sea. Very simple, but very well done.  This story?  It feels like someone is trying to do their own VtM New York by Night, but without any concept on how to DM a game.

Looking back on previous chapters, I know that I have nitpicked some things, but dammit all details matter.  When I read a story, I want to know how things work, I want to know what motivates the characters, and (considering the app's name Choices) I want the ability to decide how to navigate the world I'm given.  Don't sell me this epic story where my character has to navigate deadly vampire politics where one fuckup can cost a person everything, and then force me into the role of a Meek-And-Mild Midwestern Girl with the IQ of a ruck sack loaded up with rocks.

The ruck sack is still smarter than Too Dumb To Live.

Also, like I mentioned just a second ago, TDTL hails from somewhere in the Midwest of America.  Now, the stereotype of the people from that region of the states is that they are extremely naive.  In many areas, a handshake is a handshake and by god that is binding.  However, they are sick of being viewed as naive.  Have you ever pissed off a Midwesterner before?  Don't.  Do they reach Texan-Levels of pissed? No, but stop painting them (especially the women for fuck's sake) as this soft, overly mild mannered folk who have the spine of a column of jello.  Why can't I RP as a badass?  I don't need to be Jason Bourne, but my sweet lord, can I not hint at that I have some experience in basic survival/fighting?  She's from the Midwest.  Depending on the state she grew up in, she would have very likely would have had some firearm training.  Can she go toe-to-toe with highly trained mercs?  No, but give me something. Anything.

There is also a strange cognitive dissonance I've noticed.  In other more recent books, there's a very strong Anti-Corporation, Anti-Capitalism sentiment that your character (and you have no control over this) will make at random moments.  Usually after you've encountered an Obviously Evil CEO or Evil Rich Man Who Likely Eats Babies.  If my character is going to say stupid shit, can I at least choose?  Pixelberry is trying to be clever, wanting to provide commentary on the EVILS!!!! of money and wealth and profit--

And they're really, really, really, really bad at it.  No nuance, no creative thought, no allowing the player to state their own piece without being punished in game, just nothing.  Because guess what Not-Christian Grey is?  He's a CEO.  Of a Corporation.  A corporation that produces a multi-billion dollar profit annually.  I guess CEOs of multi-BILLION DOLLAR CORPORATIONS are fine, so as long as he's handsome, treats you to the high life, and "has a kind heart."  I'm sure the company has done absolutely nothing shady in its entire history ever. Nothing he has to account for business-wise. Nope. Nothing.

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So before I begin with the next chapter, I do have to go back and correct a jab I did earlier.  For giggles, I went to see if there were any castles in the United States, and quite a few states do (Texas apparently has some, go figure).  So yes, there are castles in New York.  Go figure.  Many have been converted to venues where you can book and host events like balls, reunions, weddings, while others function as museums or luxury hotels, complete with spas and restaurants. 

Now, why did I mention that last line?  Because it raises a few more questions.

Many of these castles, and castles across the US, are either open to the public or were at one point.  A person can gather rudimentary information on these properties by doing a quick Google search, which begs the question:  What is stopping a regular person within the universe of Blood Bound from finding out about French Vampire Child's castle?  In order to build, he would need to purchase the land from the government first.  He would also have to pay taxes as well under normal circumstances.  But he hasn't aged in hundreds of years, so how was a child-looking vampire able to enter into an agreement for such a thing?  I would assume someone else would have to legally be on the paper for the property while FVC would funnel the money to pay for expenses.  Side note, where is he getting this money from?  What does he do to generate income?  He mentions when the group firsts arrives that he had the castle moved and built "brick by brick."  That's a hell of a lot of money.  Also, would that not raise some eyebrows somewhere?  Dear Writers of the Story, for fuck's sake, what in the goddamn hell is the answer?!  Let me guess, A Vampire Did It?  Is that right?  Is your writing so shit that you have to do the whole, "We wuz puppeet mahsterz" so you can handwave everything that's inconsistent?  

Vampire the Masquerade did this concept brilliantly.  You got the sense that yes, Kindred society was pulling some strings on regular society, but it cost them something and it got progressively harder as time went on and modern technology developed.  Remember LaCroix?  How he would lose his shit every time you threatened the Masquerade?  How when the Sabbat assaulted his building, they had to spin it to the media as a failed terrorist attack?  How even though vampires had a hand in things, there was always this delicate balance of getting what they wanted and keeping things under wraps?  It was literally the whole conflict between the Camerilla and the Sabbat, who consistantly say "Fuck the Masquerade, we're the dominate species here." VtM had tension, had characters with motivations, had characters that had to compromise in the short term to get what they wanted in the long haul.  You could see and expect consequences for particular characters that chose to either go with the general consensus of "don't be stupid about things," and you did.  Even the player could have this happen to them.  You could get a non-standard Game Over for becoming a murderous bastard or a Masquerade violating idiot.  Fucking Smilin' "My Humanity is Barely Above Lucita's" JACK even followed this and he's the one who responsible for the majority of the plot in Bloodlines.

But here?  It's hard to get invested, because the writers just make up fantastical nonsense as they go along.  The care more about the spectacle than the substance of the story.  They want that escapist fantasy that they can sell to any young 20-something who is bored with how dull their life is in a corporate setting, how they aren't experiencing the glories of [Insert Generic Big City Here] from the perspective of someone who can afford it, how they just want some wealthy, handsome bastard (or woman because EMX is an option too) who will treat them like royalty.  Funny how Pixleberry will rag on the EVILS of capitalism and profit, but yet they know exactly who to market that shit to in order to make the most amount of money for themselves as a corporation.  But back to the main point...

There's no sense of urgency, no sense that actions carry consequence.  Why would we?  Look at all these conveniences and handwaves?  Issues with world building?  We're a super secret vampire society and we have our hands in everything!  Ferals roam the streets and no one knows why?  Welp, guess we have a mystery to solve!!!  With what resources?  No idea!  We'll just...do nothing...and blame the Dollar General Anarchs.  Yep.  That's our plan.  Nope, nada. 

More on this will be covered at the end.  Don't. You. Worry. 

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