Posts by: Lucy Darling

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[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/27/2017
Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post


On a tangent to the issue of workload and stuff - I notice that the Onyx Path Publishing website submissions page doesn't mention Exalted as a game currently looking for writers. Is that because you're not, or because that page hasn't been updated in a while?
Not actively? I am not on that side of the table (I write what I get told to write, and occasionally brainstorm stuff with them about things I am not writing) so I cannot say for sure, but I got hired on from the last round of apps they put out a call for. Well technically I thinkit had closed but John made me write an application because he liked all my other work and I was playtesting anyway.

I am lucky enough to live with socialised health care - that, like it or not, affects a LOT of freelance work. I still get sick, but my three month investigative surgery bout cost me nothing. Unlike the bills I know other freelancers are still paying off for life saving surgery.

Creative industries are utterly unlike other industries, and ttrpgs are a peculiar little subset of that. Unless you have honest to god actual experience, all the whiteroom publishing advicr is missing three quarters of the ruleset and has loaded dice. And if you do? The forum is not the place for it, becausr this is a base for fans, and very occasionally the writers and Devs to talk about the line. Actual concrete business decisions don't get discussed on public forums until there is a decision reached.

I have, on and off, considered doing a 'Lucy vs the Devs' thread where I post snippets of things. What we have been working on, media being consumed, reviews and stuff. I usually decide against it because I don't want to expose my best friends (or me) to the mud that gets slung if someone takes the 'we talked evocations' to mean EVERYTHING DELAYED AND WRONG THINGS WORKED ONNNNN, or even worse, liking the wrong kind of media. But things have gotten better, I have to be honest. So I might run it past the Devs again, see how they feel about it. It won't be a Dev diary of any sort, just a confirmation that we are all still alive and stuff is being worked on.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/25/2017
Originally posted by CapitanTypo View Post

My parents have a farm which they had to buy to run their fireworks business from, but they occasionally get a herd of cows to fatten up as a sideline business. Now, I still don't fully understand how this happened, but my mum ended up with two jersey calves that were orphaned so she decided to raise them by hand and treat them like pets. She named them Caramel and Milkshake, because one was a light brown colour and the other one had these excited spasms prompted by nothing in particular. It wasn't too long before they were looking out for her every time she left the house because she would usually bring a handful of something for them to eat. If they were a paddock or two away, they would run - nay, gallop - at full fuicking speed towards the house and my mother. They would slow down and stop and approach the last few feet slowly, but for a brief period of time there would still be two cows bolting towards her at full speed.

This alone could be unsettling, but then... the next herd of cows were birthed or bought onto the farm. So a small herd of some 50 calves were raised with two role-models who would hungrily sprint towards my mother whenever she appeared. And, the more adventurous ones quickly learned that this strange act of sprinting towards a human would sometimes be rewarded with a tasty snack. So before too long, whenever my mother left the house, an entire herd of cows would go bolting towards her, led by Caramel and Milkshake.

Now... my parents live a little way away and so I only see them every few months or so, which is a long time in the raising of cows, and while I met Caramel and Milkshake as calves, all of what has been described above had happened in between visits. So the first I learned of this new 'happy herd stampede' was when I went for a walk with my mother out of her house, to suddenly find a herd of 50 cows racing towards us at full pace, only to have them stop suddenly and start mooing for treats.

I, too, know the feeling of being scared shitless by cows.
...one of my mother's cows is named Caramel

(others include Tripe, and Brisket, she is not so emotional usually).

And Ghosthead, I am not in the business of sending threats myself, nor in the business of bringing fandoms down on someone's head, when they've been banned and gotten kicked from pretty much everywhere that discusses Ex3 that does ban people. I aim to walk a line between useless gossip and informing y'all of the realities of why some of us are less than keen to interact with fandom. This isn't my first round in a rodeo, I'm not about to pull the 'I just innocently mentioned a name to my rabid followers and oh no some bad people took it too far but it isn't my fault' - not that I have rabid followers, you understand, but there's a whole lot of negative energy just bursting with blame right now. Sure you can imply I made it up because I didn't give you enough information to 'test', but it's rather an antagonistic way of approaching me for information, I suppose.

But to address that last little bit of pokery, "You can feel what you want but please don't express your feelings publicly ever":

Feel what you want, and take some responsibility for what you actively say. The Devs get held to that, regardless of the chasm between what they said and what the interpretation was, or how fatigued they were that day, or how many times they've answered that exact question, how many nasty PMs they've gotten that day etc. I try and extend some courtesy to fans - afterall, we're all here for something like the same reason - so I'm mostly campaigning for some usefulness to the conversations. Thinly veiled 'well I have it worse' or 'too sensitive' or 'making shit up' or 'but censorship' are not useful. Pie in the sky fantasies about what you would do with the business end of things, also unhelpful when we're not sitting around discussing 'let's pretend we have endless money and time'.

And I asked a genuine question - exactly what do you want to happen now I have read your post? Exactly what was your aim in typing all of that out, including all the implications? I am trying to understand what it is that someone can say, or explain, that will allow some level of understanding to be reached.

As a pointer though, what you're playing, what you're doing with Ex3, workshopping campaigns, characters and homebrews, telling stories? That's all useful, or at least fun. Getting clarification on stuff? Also fun and useful. Community is not created by eating our own, not when we have such an AMAZING wealth of people doing awesome things that we can feast on instead.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/25/2017
Originally posted by Totentanz View Post
I would not say my life has been easy. I've had multiple, major, painful surgeries, some with extra-shitty recoveries (at least four by the time I was eighteen, maybe more I've lost count). I have two different major medical conditions, one of which is so rare there are peer-reviewed medical articles about my specific case. I've lost family and close friends to terminal conditions, including cancer and dementia. I've felt the backhand of the universe on more than one occasion, and it fucking stings. My heart goes out to anyone that has suffered any or all of those things, and I wouldn't dream of competing on suffering. That's a sad and immature game.
Then don't.

Yes other people do this differently. Different projects are different, people are different, creative methodologies are different, people's support networks are different.

I appreciate that you are worried about the line. I understand you are frustrated. Thus far, the concerns about Ex3 being a 'bust' are fairly unhelpful, as is the Chicken Little routine about delays and the audience, and haven't be borne out by the sales or the general reception. Note I said 'unhelpful' - you can feel however you want but what matters is why you want the devs to read this? Or Rich? Or me? What are you seeking to accomplish?

Also either you can count it as 'out in 2015' or you can count it as 'still not out because backer copies are waiting to be shipped' - I've seen both statements made on the forums and by fans, and that doesn't help matters either.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/17/2017
(But thanks everyone for restoring my faith a little - I was anxious to come back and check the thread so it was good to see so much support, including more evidence of cows being terrifying)

(And bereavement leave sucks everywhere - I was 'lucky' and could take extended unpaid leave when my best friend died a bit over a year ago but most of that was also child wrangling on school holidays and it only has just started feeling like a new normal to not have her there)

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/17/2017
The other thing I wanna reiterate is that there is a huge difference between other players, STs, and fans doing the critiques and workshopping stuff and me or a Dev or another writer doing it. We don't wanna tell you that you're playing wrong! And any critique kinda does that (and if it's a rule thing then there's also 'you wrote it wrong' as the best, and outright accusations about personal character at worst). It tends to crush more creativity and enthusiasm than inspire it.

As the Monday notes said - schedule is shifting, and I don't know what that will look like either. Unless we are having a work meeting, we often shy away from discussing work stuff in favour of pretend nerf fights, personal drama, game design in general, or our other hobbies. I do know that there hasn't been a point where they stopped working. Holden was here, answering questions, the week afterwards. There is a LOT of work you don't see (like after the Backer release there was still a lot of work to get it to public, even if you didn't see the changes yourself).

I do have a suggestion though - we don't go trawling through threads so if you have a question that nobody else on the forum has been able to answer, send me a PM and I will have a looksee. No guarantees, but first stop should be here with the other fans because there are more of you than there are of us! And you all have a lot of passion for the game and a genuine desire to help each other (mostly). And chances are someone else has had the same thought process, or can walk you through an answer.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/17/2017
So it isn't like my fear of spiders, I will pat nice cows and I think they're lovely animals. As long as they aren't staring at me through my car window and blocking the path to the house.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/17/2017
Originally posted by hippokrene View Post
Wait... you're scared of cows?

Why are cows scary?
They are really big and the breed my mother raises have horns and they KNOW I have enjoyed their brethren on burgers. They just know.

Mostly just that they're really big and I am much squishier. And ma's cows are not scared of people at all and will have a go at the car if they get grumpy.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/17/2017
Originally posted by DrLoveMonkey View Post
Very happy to see work on evocations becauseeven now I'm somewhat unclear on how they differ from just being whatever kind of charm you want stuck to an artifact, kind of. I'm really looking forward to seeing more in arms, the ones in the corebook are cool and I can't imagine their dedicated book won't be even cooler. Although I am saddened to hear that it's still being written considering how much post writing work must be done before it's released, I don't mean to come off as too negative but it can feel like having a manned mission to mars pushed back another ten years because of budget cuts. I get why, but I can't help but feel bad that I'm waiting another decade to see the first manned interplanetary mission in human history.
Negative and oh my god man, the hyperbole.

Evocations in some form. It was likely for Arms (Holden mentioned it on twitter, for the curious). And yes, after the way 2016 went for them

(Redacted because I am tired of offering up personal trauma to plead for more humane treatment of the Devs and the writers, y'all can look it up if you want, I am not repeating myself)

Yeah, there are still things being written and rewritten and worked out.

It'll get there. I appreciate the excitement but this is the exact kind of negative reaction to one single sentence of update that makes me want to retreat to my mother's farm and raise cows.

(Note: last week I screamed and threw my phone across the room because there was a tiny spider on it and I once got trapped in my car because I am scared of cows, just to illustrate how not-lucy-suitable a cow farm hermitage is)

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 1/17/2017
Huh. So this isn't a thread about rushing the enemy. Dang.

Okay, so I have done this spiel before, forgive me for the succinctness but - the Devs are dealing with the death of a family member, the damage that does to every single aspect of your life when an integral member of your household dies after almost a decade of battling cancer. That sort of thing doesn't just...go away (I saw her favourite chocolate today and had a stab of grief and I never met the woman, I just know her through the devs). That isn't even touching on things like money or other work or personal illness. Be kind, be understanding, and we are likely to work it out in the end. When every single preview I have seen has had at least three people calling it 'the end of the game line' or evidence of some enormous personal failing of the Devs, or inherently unbalanced (with nothing known about the system...), it gets difficult to justify why this is integral to the process.

So there's that.

Also the books aren't just single topic textbooks, they function as repositories of lore too. So it isn't just a matter of 'here is some dice stuff'. I know some of you want that but it isn't the only way people play the game. The Devs are serving all, not just the most vocal or the most angry or the most negative.

As for the game fandom - most of y'all are somewhere between awesome and good value. Others are less so. Including the lovely and somehow fondly remembered chap who threatened the Devs with rape. That was great. You wanna know why I am not the biggest participant? Because more than one of the 'positive' fans has expressed missing that guy, because even though he was a vile asshole he was 'fun'.

(I am a lady type on the internet, I often keep a low profile anyway)

And we have, unofficially and completely on my own personal time, tried the whole 'announcement from the Dev then I trawl through and find the actual questions and pass it on'. That was...well it wasn't fun for me! And unpaid! And unsurprisingly the fans who ask, for the fifteenth time, about Pet Peeve #64, don't actually accept anything as an answer. They aren't interested in an answer so much as a chance to talk at the Devs. And then there's the 'you answered but not the way I wanted' and it gets unwieldy.

And I have seen two sections I am writing held up as examples of AWFUL TERRIBLE BULLSHIT and SEE AT LEAST SOMEONE KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING, by the same person in the same post. That was not fun either, although was kinda funny.

Sometimes the rule question is 'it depends' and nothing seems to shit people more than that. But it's true! It depends on the character and the situation and the dynamics of the table.

(But, personal updates are they are alive and got through the holiday season mostly unscathed, we chat most days and have a variety of projects going and I know Evocations in some fashion have been worked on this week.)

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 11/24/2016
Originally posted by Arteliex View Post
Siiiince the thread cant get derailed much further....

*Stares at Lucy with big hopeful shining eyes*

Is...is The new Dragon Blooded book cool? In your opinion? I need to know.
It is SO FUCKING COOL.OMG.

The way lore and mechanics mesh is almost levelled up I think - there are a lot of fantastic niches for campaigns to live but enough heft to overthrow the joint if you want as well. That desire to remake the world was something I tried to keep in mind (I think we all did) even as I wrote teensy little niches. And stuff to just be a platform for an ST to take and make their own or expand on.

I think the relationship between lore, setting, and mechanics is gonna be really evident in Arms too. It is easy to get caught in making something cool, or more real, or even making sense, and forget it is part of a game and should play a part in a game for someone. Not everyone but someone.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 11/24/2016
By a non-American but who cares just go with it.

I am grateful for the crazy mishaps that led to me and John meeting each other.

I am grateful for being able to read all the adventures people have in this game I am part of.

I am grateful Holden has the knack to keep me excited for all the new stuff.

I am grateful for all the new stuff coming through.

I am grateful I am here and y'all are here and we can play this game and have fun and I hope y'all have a great turkey day.

(Also I pay my respects to elders past and present from the first nations land I stand upon)

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 11/24/2016
Also, 'zero activity' is untrue - Holden has posted recently and John's appearance on rpgclinic already has a thread. Limited activity compared to heydays but, well, I remember those...

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 11/24/2016
What questions have not been answered? Bear in mind Monday's timeline is an answer on 'where is X'. And that questions about the dev process are neither quick, nor easy, to answer and are often not actually about the game or the process but about something else. And are not a sign of not engaging with the fans, more a sign of this is where the devs draw a line on privacy.

Twitter and rpgnet (where Holden is also a mod, so that has its own demands) have a higher number of users, threads, and questions, and it also seems...unfair to jump into threads and give dev/writer answers other than "go for it!" or "make it up". That's often the one I struggle with - I don't wanna tell you how to run your game, because that leads to accusations about how HORRIBLE I am for hating people playing the game wrong. even though someone asked me to comment and what I am supposed to lie? And I dont know your group or anything so if they are keen and it works, do it. That's the crux of it all - ask us to comment on an idea about the game or for the game and we might think it is dumb. It is much more fun overall to not jump on other ideas, and it certainly seems to make for a healthier fanbase to not be arguing with the devs about chargen and so on. Ask a question about how to roll a thing and it seems much more likely to get an answer than 'comment on my campaign idea' or 'why didn't you so this headcanon' and so on.

Same goes for 'what is the status on X' and 'where is Y' - depending on the product obvs but the answer is usually "we are working on it" and that, as an answer, is it. And asking us to tell you stuff about Liminals or Lunars is lovely! Hype! But it isn't something we are regularly gonna answer even if we know the answer, right? Because it might be a great idea right now but when we write the rule it might not work and then we have to go back on that answer and ugh. It is just not worth it. And responding with "we are working on it" got accusations we weren't and demands for more info and more info got people extrapolating wildly and yelling at us for things that they extrapolated from there and we have settled on this as something sustainable for the moment. It may change later but right now this is what we can manage.

And I am surprised that with all your managerial experience you have not come across the intersection of emotional labour and OH&S that means constant community management is a ...not great idea. Esp when someone is hired to do something entirely different. Every time I post I wonder if I am going to fuck something up and I rather dislike it - I enjoy the game and writing for it and most of the time I like reading the crazy awesome shit people come up with for the game too. This stuff though? The navel gazing and demands for attention and endless rehashing of shit from years and years and years ago? That is tiresome and each bout.of it means I am less likely to engage like this again. And since I don't often give mechanical advice/feedback, it means I just don't post.

(Ftr yes Holden is dev, John is dev, both write on the line, the rest of us writers and again, if you don't have a handle on what each of us do it is probably kinder to not try dissect our percieved failures)

(Interesting side note: I have seen threads where a post from the devs is held up as SO MEAN or dismissive and it turns out knowing their voice changes how the post is received. Because most of the time it reads as "Holden's horribly dry almost British sense of humour" or "John's absurdist streak got loose again".)

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 11/24/2016
Just as a note though: Opinion isn't necessarily wrong, nor unwarranted - it isn't objective proof either.

But this thread, along with others, doesn't make for a welcoming kind of space (and I already have an aversion to forums even without this kind of thing), because the opinion is couched in terms like 'driven out' and 'trying to show...beloved...cancerous' and so on.

[#][F] Lucy Darling - 11/24/2016
*sighs*

Fine. You can wave your unspoken qualifications all you want, but my point about the management thing was as much for the onlooker as your wiki-link, except mine was pointing out that any chef would ask 'what kind of egg and is it room temp' before claiming some kind of empirical incontrovertible timing for boiling an egg, for example.

And if you want me to extend good faith to you for your claims, try extending it to the Devs, Rich, and the writers. But to address your specific points about mismanagement:

Originally posted by Daerian View Post

Because:
- the product was at least 2,5 year late when compared to stated official publishing time (and if I remember correctly after all these years that stated time was already late when compared to starting promises);
- the final product has few very big quality issues (that none of lead developers except for Robert Vance comments or explains here), as we can find from discussions on this very forum;
- actual developers pretty much killed 2nd Edition promising fast development and start of 3rd, as we know it didn't happen;
- from what we know some of actual developers are responsible for driving one of the best authors from Exalted and then trying to show his beloved by many work as cancerous to the line (Infernals);
- community got divided and many people who have been strongly invested into Exalted have been driven out by developers, their ideas and especially their comments and ways to talk to community;
- I will even add that they don't feel like posting official info or interviews on official forum of product;
- and now we know that second big book in line is going to be late (with no idea when it will be out, I think?)

Seriously, tell me why shouldn't we assume there isn't any mismanagement.
- delays have been discussed, multiple times, and while they may not meet your criteria for 'okay' that is not an objective criteria and the devs are not entirely responsible for every single step in the process (see: Rich's comments about 'art shenanigans' in the Monday Meeting notes a few weeks past).
- opinion and ftr, Vance is a great writer, esp. on Charms, is not a Dev and both Devs have explained things about, say, BP/XP (*throws salt over shoulder*), counterattacks, Charm intent and so on, and have clarified a bunch of things including Holden's 'how to roll hitting someone with another someone' very recently.
- I am struggling to parse what you even mean here - Ink Monkeys maybe?
- opinion again, and I assume your comments are about someone who has gone on record to state that he left of his own accord and wishes everyone well. And we're talking Infernals, in terms of Lilun etc? Because distancing oneself from things you find abhorrent, and distancing ones work from directions you disagree with, are both totally okay choices to make, but try not to conflate the two as you read them. The Devs have chosen to do Creation differently and this doesn't have to be seen in a combative fashion BUT the more you insist they defend every creative choice the more combative the conversation will get.
- it's been divided since forever, and the bigger attachment you have for one iteration of a thing the more likely you are to loathe anything about another (hi Sherlock fandom!) and asking the Devs to make a product without ever making a choice that upset anyone, or anyone with strong feelings, is impossible.
- I touched on this in my previous post, but just how much bereavement leave for 'not posting in a space where people tell you that you're shit' should someone get in your opinion, and how many times should they have to be personally insulted before they are allowed to leave?
- Arms is on its way, the Devs have pulled back on setting dates because even when every single thing is going right, there will be some horrible fuck up at the last moment (see: Gencon) and people will focus in on that instead of assuming with good faith there must be a good reason.

Pursuant to that last bit - management includes a lot of people, and personnel management. Rich tags it in the comments about art shenanigans, but none of us are in the business of throwing people under the bus. That is what a lot of these posts ask us to do - offer up someone to blame and when the Devs don't, they take the heat. From the outside there is very little any of us can know about personnel management and it is not okay to push to try and work out who did what, just to satisfy your own curiosity.