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Re: Remembering Of Nations and States: CAA's Best RP

PostPosted: Sat Oct 02, 2021 4:05 pm
by Peanut
New Era Part 2: Imperium Ships falls everyone dies

There was a twist to this entire RP that I didn’t realize until Dante told me himself. Zarn knew as soon as he saw the map. New Era was actually set in Neverwhen. Everything happening here was a sequel to War and Peace, not a separate entity and the Imperium knew what was going on. Dante always wanted this RP to have an ending. He had a vision in his mind and as we approached the end he told me it. The Imperium was going to invade as the final boss and everyone would have to work together to stop it. Jaden and I, as the two most active players, were given charge of this defense. Dante was nice enough to give both of us resources to aid in this task. I was given a copy of the map that had the location of every resource in Neverwhen. This would allow us to plan our defence to protect the most vital areas in our world. Jaden got a copy of the entire system Dante was using to simulate battles. He could, on his own, simulate battles to better work out his strategies.

I remember having a conversation with Dante when he pitched this idea. I remember that he was wrestling with being fair or treating this realistically. Time had passed in the other RP and The Imperium was a multiple planet society that wanted to expand into a new dimension. They also weren’t alone in this expedition as my own Ninja Monkeys (who were also starting to vie for Galactic Dominance across multiple solar systems) would end up joining them at some point. In reality this should be a very difficult fight that we would likely lose even if we played it right and Dante had some hesitation in representing it this way. But, by the end of our conversation, he decided that was the route to go. It would, at least, be memorable and hey. We could simulate these battles ahead of time so that’s a massive advantage. Oh if it had only worked out that way.

Jaden never simulated any battles. To be fair, the system for New Era was incredibly tedious. It was a collection of formulas across multiple spreadsheets that required you to place data in different places to get the result of a single battle. Dante had had a health scare earlier in the RP and there was a time where it looked like I would be replacing him for a few weeks. I had seen these spreadsheets and learned how to operate them. It was not a fun process. I also can’t be too mad at Jaden either, I didn’t really use the map for planning our defense. Instead I agreed to an idea that just didn’t really make sense but I couldn’t think of anything better at the time. I can now. The way to win as Neverwhen was to use the data we had to target landing sites that the Imperium would go to and stomp them out. Even though they were wildly beyond our technology, they would be split up and isolated and we could have easily dedicated enough forces to take care of them and any other landing. This is what Dante had envisioned since it's the most logical response to a planetary invasion.

What we did instead was to try and repeat the Dark Alliances attack on the Imperium. And I don’t mean the IC parts. Jaden wanted me to surrender and ask for control of a portion of The Imperium’s invading forces. If I had control of 50% of them, I could just not do anything with them and it would cut their forces in half allowing us to easily win. I never felt good about this plan since I A) didn’t want to repeat the past and B) was pretty sure it would just lead to an immediate defeat. Still, I didn’t have a better idea and Jaden was emphatic that it would work. So, the day came and I surrendered. This immediately gave up a chunk of our forces and also, technically, gave The Imperium a staging area for their invasion. It was a massively bad idea and pretty much led to an immediate defeat, even with 50% of their forces doing nothing.

It was around here that the decision was made to restart War and Peace. Everyone who participated in New Era was welcome to bring their characters over and keep the fun times rolling. The only person who did was Jaden which isn’t surprising when I look back at it. Dante, to extra emphasize that we got the bad ending, had the thread locked and thus New Era was done. It was finished and would never be altered again until it was eventually deleted from CAA to free up server space. I still can’t believe that we had an ending to this thing and that we got to it.

Re: Remembering Of Nations and States: CAA's Best RP

PostPosted: Sun Oct 03, 2021 11:16 am
by Peanut
War and Peace will never have a true end

We tried to get War and Peace going again. We thought that the previous RP would generate enough energy to return to the good times we all had there. Instead, it only lasted maybe a few extra months before fizzling out. Things did happen though and I should start with our newest player.

Jaden had read through all of War and Peace so he had an idea of the main plotlines going in. Trying to make a statement, he had Ryuken cross over with the goal of taking on the Imperium alone. Now, I mentioned that I hated Ryuken back then and I did. As time has gone on I have come to become quite fond of the character due to the fact that he really wasn’t any worse then any of our other self-insert characters. I even referenced Ryuken with one of my own characters in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with Jaden that he very much appreciated. Zarn, on the other hand, absolutely despised Ryuken. Zarn had been away, again, for a few weeks and needed filling in on everything going on in the RP. I sent him a pm detailing it out and I seem to recall that when I described what Jaden was doing with Ryuken he basically turned to me and said “Oh, well THAT’s not going to be allowed to happen.” What follows is something that, upon revisiting, I’ve come to find incredibly hilarious. While I don’t think he felt that way at the time, I think Jaden probably finds it pretty funny now as well.

Ryuken wanted attention so he went up to an Imperium embassy and started to make it shake wildly with some sort of non-descript power. Zarn, obliged by having his super soldier Storm Crows show up to have a “chat.” Everything seemed to be leading to an epic showdown and duel. And then Zarn had the Storm Crows teleport away and the ZPEBs started to fall. Jaden pulled a whole “Ryuken blocks them with his fists!” thing but Dante pretty quickly shot that down. As Ryuken was being carried away, singed, bruised and broken more ZPEBs fell. Eventually Jaden went ahead and declared him dead. Zarn had repeated my Blade through the torso moment but in a significantly better fashion. I know this sounds kind of horrible. Sort of like Zarn bullied Jaden into submission, and yeah he kind of did. This isn’t what I find funny about the whole thing. What I find funny is that this all took place outside of an Imperium embassy. This was civilian space, likely in an ally nation (Or a part of the Imperium itself, I can’t remember) and Zarn wanted Ryuken dead so badly that he spent thousands maybe even millions of lives to kill him. He threw IC out the window for one glorious moment and, in an act of sheer irony, made Ryuken even more legendary. I can’t tell you what the last post involving Zarn Ishtare, or Puritan or even Peanut was but I can tell you where and how Ryuken left this story. It's pretty great. Jaden would go onto create another nation and start playing more in line with War and Peace. I don’t remember exactly all that he did at this time, but I think he finally learned his lesson after that incident.

For me this part was about establishing the next villain and I felt like I had the perfect candidate. Kali was fully entrenched into being Co-GM with Dante and he had invited me to bring Chaos to the world. Chaos is another 40k concept that is basically taking the phrase everyone has their own demons and playing it out literally. Kali pulled some ideas from that universe but also mixed in a lot of lovecraftian horror ideas. This was still in my “I’ve heard about 40k but know nothing of its lore” phase so my contributions were all on the lovecraftian side. I’ve always had a love for absurdist kinds of humor and with Of Nations and States, this had a tendency to creep in. I’d make some sort of joke that was completely off the wall and then shift it into something more seriously. In the past this had resulted in the creation of characters like Dr. Strangemonkeylove who was literally just Dr. Strangelove but as a Ninja Monkey. As time went on he became the actual leader of the Ninja Monkeys and a much more serious character. I made a decision to do the same here. Something that was going to be ridiculous, memorable, slightly disturbing and result in a completely serious change of direction for things. If I had had my way, it would have been the end of Peanut.

But first, Peanut joined Chaos. To do this I ripped from Charlie the Unicorn and had them go on a quest for the “Banana King.” They met the Joker on it (a Magician as they called it) and it was great. This lead to one of my favorite posts I’ve ever written in any RP I’ve participated in. This is possibly either 1A or #2 to the time I had Michael Jackson sing “The Candy Man” while giving refuge children candy in the unoriginal character RP (I wish someone had saved that RP just so I can have the post preserved). Having Charlie the Unicorn and friends find Peanut, send him into a vision that was never revealed, and then have him turn to chaos by screaming his admission that he is the banana king is the type of absurdist idea that I love to go to. I had a very good reason for this and, to this day, I wish we had played things out long enough to see how this would have resolved.

My thinking was simple, the Ninja Monkey’s never forgave the Imperium for its multiple defeats and ultimate exile from earth. Now, they were significantly more experienced in a form of warfare that the Imperium just was getting into and possibly even had a resource edge. There was definitely pressure in my mind to go to war just to get revenge for the past. A war would have been incredibly costly to both sides. Peanut’s vision showed this and he wanted to stop it. But to stop it they would need something bigger to fight. Taking a page from Watchmen, Peanut would give them that bigger thing. He technically was two individuals so Lotan could bear the brunt of the Chaos corruption while Peanut could operate independently. He’d recruit allies, and bring them into the world to commit atrocities. All the while taunting Zarn to come out and fight him. My hope was that eventually he would come to Peanut’s fortress in Antarctica. There, Peanut would reveal his plan and Zarn would kill Peanut. Saving the Imperium and uniting the two nations as long as the lie continued to exist. Of course, I don’t remember if Zarn was actually even a character at this point or had died or something. I came up with this idea under the assumption that he was still around somewhere and I think I had confirmed that through rereading old posts but, in hindsight, I might never have done that. There was a lot more to all of this plan. Details that I’ve come across again that I had forgotten about but I’ve rambled on long enough. I need to end this thing and I haven’t even talked about what Dante or Kali were up to.

Dante was fully entrenched in the Imperium at this time. Pascal had disappeared and in his place were the Vons. The Vons had ruled the Imperium from behind the scenes which was a convenient way for Dante to justify having control of the whole nation while Zarn was indisposed. Zarn returned when he could to (besides nuking Ryuken) actually run the Imperium. I think Dante’s eventual plan was to have the Vons try to depose the emperor of the Imperium which would have been another major conflict in all of this. Kali was running Chaos with me as well as the Obsidian Empire. We both had pretty big plans for that whole arc and I remember sitting around with Kali, researching different lovecraftian monsters to throw at our opponents. But this was never meant to be. Zarn was incredibly busy at the time and soon faded away again and life started to get in the way of the rest of us as well. And so, while it started with a bang, War and Peace ended with a fizzle. Forever incomplete, with no true ending.

Re: Remembering Of Nations and States: CAA's Best RP

PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:22 am
by Peanut
I’ve been chasing a Ghost for 12 years

I can’t stop thinking about Of Nations and States. It keeps coming back to my mind. I can’t stop thinking about the experience that I shared with everyone else who played it. I’ve wanted for years to distill it down into some sort of actual Tabletop RPG or miniatures game or something so that others can experience it. Our writing could have been better. There were definitely a lot of things that were very “Cringe'' within its pages but the world that was built is one that was unique and excellent.

I have tried to do this as well. As things fizzled out back in 2009, we talked about creating 3.0. Jaden had tried his own thing and it failed. A year after War and Peace had died I created Of Nations and States: Reborn as my attempt to resurrect it. I made my own system, even created a way for countries to wage economic warfare with each other. I thought it would create something special, but it fell apart due to drama and someone making multiple accounts. The experience I had from 2006-2009 is something I wish everyone could have and yet I’ve not been able to do it. I’ve been chasing a ghost for 12 years. Some sort of silky specter that every time I think I get my hands on it, it slips away. Even now, with talk about a resurgence for CAA, I find myself going back to this. Trying to take another stab to create something that can let others have an experience like this. The document I have open on my browser right now that contains some rough ideas for some sort of Of Nations and States related thing is probably never going to amount to anything. It's the fourth or fifth time I’ve done something like this in the past 12 years. And yet it's not entirely pointless. It stands as a testament to the power of collaborative storytelling. The impact of allowing multiple individuals with very different views on things to go wild and work together to create something.

I find that I’m not alone in this. Over the years, Dante, Kali and Jaden made plenty of references to this game throughout threads in Goof Off. Years ago, Zarn did an ask me anything thread in Who’s Who. I asked him for his top 5 CAA moments and he listed Of Nations and States as one. This RP means a bunch to us for the experience it gave us. It's something I doubt any of us will fully ever forget even if truly ever disappears forever.

This series is not a perfect account. There are other things I can remember that I just didn’t talk about because they were too short to really comment on. For goodness sakes, I didn’t even talk about Scepth. Hopefully by now others who played the game have popped in and filled in gaps. There were plenty of other players who I didn’t even mention in both games as well who all played a part and contributed something that I just didn’t cover. Still, hopefully you have now all learned what Of Nations and States was and why several guys on the internet keep making jokes about Space Vampires, Ninja Monkeys and PASCAL. Hopefully you now appreciate what was accomplished on our very own Role Play forum. Hopefully, you all will have an experience like this in your life. That’s all I can give you now. That hope.

Former Ruler of the Peanutter-Butter Empire

Re: Remembering Of Nations and States: CAA's Best RP

PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 5:45 pm
by Kaori
So, although I haven't commented a whole lot, I've been following along with this thread, and last week when you posted this final post, there was definitely some sort of comment I wanted to make . . . which kind of got washed away in the busyness of my work week.

But I think it had something to do with how I think collaborative storytelling is a very human thing, which has been around since the dawn of time (folk tales, fairy tales, and basically any kind of literature passed down orally would have a collaborative aspect, as it would change based on who was retelling it).

Also, though I think I mentioned that RPs aren't really my thing, and they aren't, there was a time in my life when I used to play tabletop RPGs, and so I do get how great it feels when your character has a moment of glory or plays some sort of key role in something. Even I have a few of those (not many, but a few). So I can sort of extrapolate and imagine the feeling of having created a huge, epic world and story together with a bunch of friends.

Anyways, if nothing else, at least I now know the origin of those inside jokes if I ever see them. Thanks for sharing all of this!