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Suggestion Canon Pony Mechanics, also 'Season Runs'

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by CyberneticPony, 10 September 2012.

  1. CyberneticPony

    CyberneticPony Ab alio expectes alteri quod feceris.

    8 June 2012
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    I have two things I thought about that I'm willing to share. Although the RP is still in its infancy, and has been running really very smoothly at the moment with the current implementation, there are a few things the setting could use.

    Firstly is the idea of interaction with canon ponies. Ponyville does of course contain canon ponies, and it is unusual for a complete absence in terms of interaction with the other roleplayers. Although we want to keep to the canon, and avoid canon-setting interaction by including those characters; their absence is also unusual, considering they are quite noteworthy in their roles (Rainbow Dash for example, has probably spoken with nearly every Pegasus in Ponyville due to her important role in the weather committee.

    I propose a few possible alternatives which may work, and that have worked in other RPs I've been in, but of course, there may be others I haven't considered yet.

    • Functional characters; simply put, the canon ponies can be introduced into a roleplay as a functional character, with permission of the roleplaying mods. Then, they would either be played by a roleplaying mod, or a person part of the roleplay with their permission. This would not apply for every roleplay; the canon characters should be invoked sparingly and probably reserved for roleplays revolving around important events. Their presence should be a 'fun addition' rather than a 'placement from the show'.
    • Dedicated roleplayers; players that have shown good service to the roleplaying community may be nominated to play a canon character. This works well when good roleplayers are chosen for the roles, as they can often create a realistic version of the character. It would require dedication however, since playing a canon character requires very careful roleplaying to avoid inaccuracies (via canon-setting, misrepresenting the character's intentions or personality, etc)
    • Non-canon label; simply put, canon characters can be added by any roleplayer, and the non-canon label is just stuck on to the roleplays. Probably the least fun because it takes out the feeling of authenticity created when roleplaying in a setting, but a quick and dirty solution.
    • Non-direct placement; a canon character could be restricted to appearances that mean they are not quite present; essentially, Rainbow Dash may be mentioned in a leaflet, Cheerilee might be mentioned when speaking of teachers, but the characters themselves will not appear.
    One other idea I've had is 'Season Running'. The idea is that with Season 3 coming up, we'll have slow additions to the canon. This will likely mean that the town itself may be affected. An idea is for the roleplay mods to host a 'season run', which is basically a short roleplay session dedicated to an episode (with a timelimit). This will allow the characters to roleplay as part of the events in the episode, although of course they will have to avoid excessive canon-setting, (for example, in the Discord episode, it might be acceptable to include a conversation with Discord, it would be inappropriate to claim to have given Discord the idea for chocolate rain.)

    Feedback and further discussion is appreciated, especially by the roleplay mods!
  2. Rizae

    Rizae Rainbow Swag

    22 March 2012
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    See, the main problem with someone roleplaying a canon pony is there's always going to be arguments over whether that's "how they'd really act" in a given situation. Very subtle references are fine, heck I've even done it in a post but I bet not many people picked up on it. Somewhat like your "non-direct placement" idea, but the pony in question wasn't even named directly. There's also of course going to be the fact that a lot of people are going to want to be given the chance to RP said characters, and demand is going to be higher than the number of suitable candidates to do so. This'll lead to some canon characters being unable to be played for a while, some players playing multiple canon ponies, or them just plain being badly played by those that can't handle it responsibly.

    Another issue I have is a more personal one, in that seeing someone mention canon ponies lessens the impact of their own characters, as though they are trying to use them as a tool to enhance their own OC. The character applications that have done this make me cringe.
    Aethelberdia, Blaze_Midnight and Pon4 like this.
  3. Blaze_Midnight

    Blaze_Midnight Isn't it great to be different?

    20 March 2012
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    You do make some very good suggestions Tomasz. The "non-direct placement" idea could work, aslong as people are careful with how the character is portrayed within the flyer, ad, ect, then it might be ok, but the placement of such things would have to be taken into account aswell. We don't want ever few posts to have a flyer with Rainbow on about different weather related things as that could be taken as someone trying to over use a canon character that could lead to having them actually shown in the thread.

    I really appreciate the thought you have put into your suggestions though, and I will discuss you ideas with Pon4 when he comes online and is free to have a chat about them. If needed to we could always have a private chat about your ideas aswell if needed, if that is ok with you of course.

    I'm sure Pon4 might post his own personal opinions here aswell before we do have the chat.
  4. Pon4

    Pon4 Unloved by Al

    13 June 2012
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    Rizae pretty much summarised my opinions. I typed up some additional explanation yesterday to someone, so I'll just copy-paste that quickly:
    Essentially the "non-direct placement" thing is pretty okay, but as a rule of thumb if it's logical to assume you'd have an interaction with a certain character, it's not a problem so long as it's not too much. Rainbow Dash is on the weather team, Pinkie Pie works the counter at Sugar Cube Corner and Applejack sells apples and apple accessories. Maybe it seems a bit harsh to not allow this interaction beyond a low limit but all the staff involved were pretty unanimous about it at the time and, to be honest, my own opinion hasn't changed much since. There are a few other complications to having them play a larger role, one being potential copyright problems which I'm similarly avoiding, even placing them in the hands of trusted individuals means relying on certain people to do things for you, and waiting on them is a chore. All the above problems also just get shifted into their and our hands anyway.

    On the other hand, the idea of season running seems appealing but I'm not sure if making time limits like that is worthwhile. Why not just let people have those events occur as they come up as a background occurrence?

    The rules will be fiddled around with Season 3, there is no doubt about that. Anyone who has seen spoilers of the season knows we'll have to add things in, and we'll be making sure we try to get things added as soon as we can be confident about it.

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