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TSC Writers discuss A Brave New World Awaits

Tags: #TSC  #Writers Discussion 
  • Member
    February 26, 2020

    Writers Discuss

    A Brave New World Awaits


    Awwwooo one and all…

    This discussion is slightly different in the fact that it also involves RP members as well as TSC members…

    Many of us in TSC and RP, have based our writing and roleplaying around a central character world like Skyrim. Although we include a large selection of characters, some of which pass through sub plots or even main plots, the game itself which we use for our worlds are single character based. A prime example of this would be Skyrim…


    My own story has a single Argonian although he is joined in the story by a multitude of main characters from the Companions who all of which I try to share ‘Screen time’ with. Many others also write about their chars and the daily lives of their characters and howl they deal with the issues and quests in Skyrim.


    Now though with ESO we enter a new world where not only will Aela and Sotek make their mark on the world but they will do so along with everyone else…. Sometimes at the same time.


    Not everyone can do everything and be everywhere.... This is a massive undertaking to convert from a single char to a multiworld scenario. Just how many heroes of Davon’s Watch are there?


    Feel free to discuss…

    1. How does a story, or RP evolve from a single main character background like Skyrim to the open world of ES, where a multitude of characters roam the lands and dungeons…. How do you handle the transition?


    2. In Skyrim the plots evolve around our stories, RP’s but in ESO, the world is simply too vast and what a lot of people forget is that ESO is a living world… Skyrim stops when you turn off but ESO doesn’t… Cyrodiil is a prime example of this… It can change in minutes even when you are away. Have you ever entered a dungeon knowing there is a chest in a certain spot to find it gone? Or reached the end of a Delve to find the boss has already been killed?


    How do you relay this world in your story, RP?


    3. There comes a time when it’s not feasible or practical for your RP/Story to cover the vast amount of content in your stories, or you may find a particular character is best suited for a particular set of quests…


    Do they integrate with the other characters around you? Or do you skip certain game plots altogether, simply leaving those moments to others and have your characters doing their part? Like the small things which help with the overall destruction of Molag Bal’s plans...


  • Member
    February 26, 2020

    1. More on writing a story than an RP; that heavily leans on what the author is using the setting for. For example, most Skyrim fics use the plot points and story beats of TESIV:Skyrim as an anchor because what they want to write is their interpretation of said events. I mean, the Dragonborn story is just cool and meeting Alduin at Helgen just makes sense to the story and it's plain well familiar. Another example is Harry Potter fics that will almost always involve the Hogwarts Letter, shopping at the alley, etc.


    On the question itself - Just. DO EET!


    The author is basically god - if they wanted to, they can have everyone break into a dance routine at a sad scene. I mean, it'll probably kill the mood but the author could.


    3. Short answer: yes.


    Longer answer (that I'll need to think about more for a better answer): I mean why not write more characters? More characters means I can explore more things, experience more facets of peoples and personalities. Blowing me own trumpet - I feel that Aeda of Duty & Steel and Falrielle of Song of the Faithful are very different characters despite similar vocations and having each character and each plot have a hero, another adventure somewhat independent to the others makes the world feel big. This is one of the reasons why I want to explore things out of the game's hard plotline.

  • Member
    February 27, 2020

    Boy, it's been a howling while since we had a Writer's Discuss.

    To me, ESO is no different than any Skyrim playthrough in terms of roleplay. Each of our character live very different lives despite sharing the same world. Though with ESO we have to separate the roleplay aspect from the gameplay aspect, especially when we, as players, have to keep up-to-date with the latest content.

    For example, my ESO character, Elmerlot, is canonically the Champion of Vivec (though his name isn't mentioned), but he's not the Vestige, nor is he a member of the Thieves' Guild or the Dark Brotherhood despite going through their respective quests. I have another character (which I will create someday later) to fill the role of the Vestige. Instead, I roleplay Elmerlot as the "Sixth Companion" helping the Vestige and the other Companions in their quest to stop Molag Bal's Planemeld. He will be involved in the events of Summerset and Elsweyr, but I don't think he will be for the upcoming Greymoor chapter.

    Currently, Elmerlot is trying to save up gold to buy a house in Malabar Tor which he will turn into a restaurant. One method of him trying to get gold is joining on many of the Undaunted's dungeon quests. 

    As for integrating them into my story, I would only give them passing mentions like "There was once this person..." etc. Elmerlot's whole backstory is that he's going out trying to make a name for himself; to rise above his family's name. Eventually he does, and who's to say his descendants wouldn't appear in the current timeline story?

    Though if I may be honest, I am somewhat cheating by having my story set in an alternate timeline where the Aldmeri Dominion won the Great War and the Empire has collasped. So I do have more liberty in what I can put in my story. 



  • Member
    February 27, 2020

    For me, ESO is a whole new wolf pack and hunting ground. Where before Sotek, Aela and the otherCompanions are in thier own world, now that border has been removed enierly. Its just not feasable to have Sotek's pack to do everything and save everyone. Wil he clash with Molag? You bet he will... Will he be there for teh final battlre or just help pave the way for Molags defeat? who knows... I do want to open the story fo rthe other companions and shift from Sotek being the main character and try to centre on teh Companions as a whole. This will mean giving each member their own story line, lives and broaden each chars own character. ESO would be a major step in the right direction from this. Any story line in ESO can be split between sreveral chars and some arcs can be played at the same time. Take the quest chain in Bal Foyen.... You have to choose whether to fight for the docks or the fort. Now I have an opputunity to do both. Imaginge Kodlak taking charge of the Coompanions and sending two packs there. Aela, Sotek, Farkas, Kul-et Docks. Take Sam with you. Vilkas, Veezara, Sabre Kit eand Ebony with me. We will help the fort.


    Something I will have to come to terms with,(saying it is easy but doing it?) is that Sotek and the others might not even see a quest chain to the end...  With so much going on in ESO, it is quite feasable and dare I say much more likely that they woulld rathert stray into a quest chain and help fo r apart of it rather than see it to the end. Take a basic example. Someone needs to get to a place. They come across a Companion who helps escourt them but then the Companion goes off rather than stay and see what task needs to be done next. 

  • Member
    February 27, 2020
    That's going to cause some issues, Sotek, especially since some of the ESO questlines are linked to the Three Banners War, which only occurred during the Second Era. I am curious how you would tackle the Companions questline. ESO has the Fallowstone Hall Companions who are based in the Rift, and this was way before they embraced Hircine's Gift.
  • Member
    February 28, 2020

    Oh whichever way I go I am in for a rough ride. There is no escaping that outcome. The easiest way would be to start a whole new story but that just isn't an option. Might just be a case of avoiding certain questlines altogether. Hard to say until I reach that point. What I do know is that I need to conclude a few story arcs first.

    1 Dawnguard

    2 Aetherial Crown (Aela's mother)

    3 Arival of Neesha

    4 Stormcloak Rebelion

    Once these are concluded then I can tackle the ESO problem.

    There is no possible way that I get through this without upsetting someone or breaking Lore in such a manner that its near catastrophic. This is one of those roads where you know you will loose readers or cause a rift. Caused a few rifts before in UotW. This won't be the first time and probably won't be the last. 

    So why do it?

    Well, it will drasticly open up the world to my characters and story. Travelling will be open and far quicker without having to worry about everyone spending six weeks at sea just to get from Skyrim to Blackmarsh ect. The amount of content is vast so there are plenty of opputunities for the Companions to have adventures beyond Skyrim's walls. The different areas all have their own styles and cultures. This will give me a goodfew opputunities to place the Companions in situations where they aren't known or recognised and place them in situations where they don'tknow where they are or customs. Kodlak himself can't use his reputation to gather supplies because he doesn't have a reputation. 


    All in all, I think "Some Issues" is going to be an understatement. 

  • Member
    February 28, 2020

    I've got a few thoughts because this is a very interesting topic,  but please take them with a pinch of salt as I'm neither a writer nor a roleplayer in any serious sense of those words. For me, there isn't much of a transition or adjustment from a single-player TES game to the MMO that is Elder Scrolls Online. All I really need is an in-universe explanation as to what is going on around me to be able to accept it. I mean, at first, it's fairly jarring to see the living world of Tamriel and the numerous players shaping that world around me, such as getting to a delve boss only to find its already been killed by another player as Sotek mentions in the OP. Yet I can accept those sorts of things because, while they are difficult to reconcile on a small scale, they do fit with an overall narrative that forms a bigger picture in my mind.

    It's a hard thing to describe but I want to try and attempt to illustrate what that bigger picture looks like. it starts with a book called The Azure Plasm which, to me, addresses the reason for there being multiple people doing the same thing:

    "...where the Mundus was in existential jeopardy. In that case the Heart of Nirn would spontaneously generate such "paragon" individuals as a way of defending itself from destruction, in a manner analogous to the way the mortal body fights off infection."

    That sentence is all I need to accept as a lore reason for what is going on around me. So the next step in terms of acceptance came from Cadwell after completing the main quest. At that point, a player is given a choice to basically start the adventure again and experience it from a different alliance than was originally chosen. Cadwell says it best:

        "Still itching for more adventure? Smashing! Have you ever wondered what would've happened if you'd woken up somewhere else? Washed up on a different beach?
        My new mistress provided me with the means to help you, if you're up for the challenge!"
        Help me? What are you talking about?
        "Touch Meridia's light and see the world through the eyes of your former enemies.
        But fair warning—you will no longer be seen as a great champion. Even familiar faces will see you as a soulless drifter, lost in an unfamiliar land. What say you?"

    Meridia's sphere of influence covers time, which makes the most sense if we look at how she is a goddess of light. IRL, light and time are very much intertwined due to the speed of light being a physical constant in Einsteinian physics. It's the whole special relativity thing - We know speed*time = distance, but if speed is constant as it is for light, then the only two variables have to be time or distance. This causes the phenomena we know as time dilation and length contraction. We can see this in-universe in the book, Exegesis of Merid-Nunda:

    "… thus does Merid-Nunda [ride? slide?] across the rainbow road from end to end, at one end stretching the dragon, at the other end compressing him …."

    A curious passage indeed. The "dragon," of course, traditionally refers to the Divine we know as Akatosh, the God of Time. This seems to suggest that by travelling the "rainbow road" (a reference to the prismatic refraction of light?), Meridia can in some sense alter the rate at which time flows forward.

    What these things mean to me, when boiled down to basics, is that time is a bit screwy right now in that it's being actively manipulated, and that Nirn itself is spontaneously generating heroes in order to defend itself.
    So for me, it isn't hard to accept there are multiple people doing the same thing at different points in time as there is a solid in-game reason for it, and that extends to the characters I make. My characters exist on the same timeframe and narrative: I have three primaries (one for each alliance) and a few support characters who wax and wane in importance throughout the narrative depending on my mood and what I want to play. They each know each other and have common ground in the form of the ship, The Spadetail, which acts as like a central hub and starting point for all my characters. The first thing I do when creating a character is to port to that ship and cement a reason as to why that character was aboard that ship. Maybe they are a part of the crew, or just booked passage to Alinor. Whatever I come up with, the starting point remains the same: Alinor docks and access to the world through Navigator Ciryelda.

    My three primary characters are very much defined and informed by their actions, and each knows of one another and their exploits. Like, my Khajiit DK is Hero of the Aldmeri Dominion and recognises my Nord Warden as the Hero of the Ebonheart Pact. They have both fought Molag Bal and shared the same or very similar experience, and can even discuss it as part of the overall narrative. Again, the in-game lore makes this possible and allows for it due to spacetime being all skewed. Each individual in the world can share the same experience and have those experiences being totally legitimate. It holds up to empirical evidence.

    So I guess my process is not to ignore what goes on around me and pretend it's only happening to me, it's more a case of figuring out why I'm seeing what I'm seeing and accepting what my eyes and ears are telling me, then integrating that solution as part of the overall narrative.

    I think the above covers questions 1 and 2, but 3 is a little bit harder.

    I'm ok with my heroes having done all these things because I feel the weight of time and the age of each character keenly. Sir Paws was a young cub when he got washed up on the beach of Khenarthi's Roost, but after so many years and new stories, that moment feels a long time ago now. He has grown from being a kitten to mature lion well in his prime and feels the weight of those years and experiences settling on his shoulders. So I'm fine with him and the others embarking upon the next big adventure because months and years have passed since their last.

    That is where it gets a bit tricky: Those years, according to the in-game lore, haven't happened. It's still 2E 582. Despite having an in-universe reason for time being a bit messed up, I struggle to reconcile the lack of the passage of time when those passing of years are addressed by NPC's. Abnur Tharn's story is in no small part about age catching up with him, and he talks openly about being older than the Tharn we first met all those years ago. That remains unaddressed by lore, and now it's at the point where the Valley of Blades for a new character resembles Schrodinger's Cat - It's destroyed and rebuilt at the same time. That needs to be properly addressed for me to be 100% and thoroughly comfortable. I'm at about 98% comfortable as it stands.

    As for Sotek's continuity issues and the different Eras his story is set in, I think the time dilation issue and Nirn's spontaneous generation of heroes can perhaps address that: If time flows at different rates relative to where you are (which it does irl with special relativity) then the future has already happened. Ie, you're brand new to the game but what you will experience has already been experienced by me, and the two of us can meet in-game. My character could tell your character about events you will not have yet seen. Empirical evidence then suggests that the future is already fixed. Kodlak and co. exist in this fixed future and are accessible by time dilation. So to me there are two in-universe examples of how they can exist in-game. One is that they have been recreated by the Heart of Nirn as Heroes like Pelinal (who was "from the future time") or they have been dragged back by Meridia who can compress the dragon. Give typewriters to an infinite amount of monkeys and an infinite amount of time, and they will reproduce any given piece of literature an infinite number of times. Same is true of tamriel and the Heart of Nirn: If it's infinitely 2E 582 and Nirn generates an infinite amount of heroes, Kodlak as we know him will be reproduced infinitely.

  • Member
    March 2, 2020

    Had a good read of this but I want to take a bit of time with it Paws. Will try to put my thoughts on it this week.


  • October 13, 2020

    1. I feel that in my story, Hasir fits really well with the background of Skyrim. He strarts of being forced into a certain role by his mother and father. (To become a follower of Molag Bal.) He soon discovers, however, that it is exhausting trying to have others shape your own outcome. Through the origin story part of my book aptly named the blood ritua, he has to decide whether he wants to continue carving out his parents' path that is already laid out of him or carving his own path and make his own decisions. He soon decides, by being gifted with Lycanthropy to worship Hircen because, for him, lycanthropy opened up a whole new world to him. Something being a Whetfang (An argonian vampire) was just not doing for him.

    2. Throughout my book, Call of the Wolf, I have only minutely touched on the many facets of ESO. So far, I have only focused on Molag Bal's domain, the dreaded realm of Coldharbour. In my story, I might focus more on a mix of ESO and Skyrim as my story progresses. I feel that ESO's world is alltogether too broad to focus a chapter or even an entire story on. If I do that, I might just focus on small tidbits of ESO that applies to my story, plot or subplot. 

    3. Like I said above, I have not touched on ESO on a large scale so I have only had Hasir interact with the companions of Skyrim, periodically hr, or he and Inigo (a modded companion) would go to Akavir to, again progress the story. He, or they, would interact with the denizens of Akavi. So far, he only interacted with a tsaesci who is, well, was Hasir's mentor in the way of the shadowscale. I haven't delved into any sidequests in Skyrim or ESO so I do not skip any quests as I simply have not covered yet.