[A] Creating an even playing field

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[A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Sagefire - Dove on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:50 am

Morning all! As some of you may know, I am currently in the middle of a murder arc which I am conducting out of character for anyone interested in game. While none of my active characters are evil or criminal, I would like to find a way to sort of moderate the power levels between the "good" guys and the "bad" guys.

As a lot of us know, most prisons, keeps, cathedrals, and the like have wards against magic. While I personally don't see this as making much sense IC (if Stormwind Keep can have fel/shadow magic users operate covertly within its walls, as well as a number of other in lore deviations from this ward idea) I don't want to dismantle a defined and known feature. However, the person/creature/entity that is currently committing these attacks would have a reason to corrupt or even dismantle such wards, and I believe this would create an avenue for more mages, guards, and followers of the light to join in the investigation and hopefully soon approaching conflict.

The benefits of this move would be that it makes the capturing of magic users a bit more dangerous, and requires forethought, coordination, and resources. These things are always fun to organize from a roleplay perspective. Having weakened or no wards also provides the minority who are on the darker side of the spectrum an advantage against the majority on the other side. From my experience (both during my lurking days and current) I have seen that all criminals, or dark practitioners, that are caught all share similar fates; banishment or imprisonment, with no possibility of a more entertaining resolution on the side of the "bad" guy. Making possible escape easier is more fun, and would actually allow guards to have more depth in their RP. This can even extend to traders and magic businesses, who are contracted to provide resources and means to lock up particular prisoners.

Of course there are downsides. Magic can be abused in character, and people can just pop out of prison with magics answer to Batmans utility belt. It also makes magic users appear like stronger choices for characters. We must remember, however, that the players are a minority of the worlds population. Magical criminals are not usually dealt with by regular authorities, and are usually handled by magical organisations due to the fact that holding onto such criminals for extended periods isn't usually feasible for the town guards or militia. If a Death Knight is found acting illegally, he or she is handed to the Ebon Blade, not dealt with by the standard authorities, and I feel this extends to other classes with non-standard abilities.

So...the villain of my arc would like to corrupt the wards around Stormwind. This will depend on the consensus of the larger roleplaying community, and I am up for any discussion on the matter. I may have appeared a bit rambly, typing quickly at work.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Naroma on Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:31 am

I'll open with saying I think so far you're doing a great job on creating extra RP and so on and I've been keenly involved with your plot line on several characters, and I might stray a bit throughout this but stick with me a moment here.

If someone wishes to pursue a criminal plotline, and they're worried about too many things in place to stop them, they can just act off screen to build momentum (as you have with some murders), where people want to combat the offscreen events we can co-ordinate through forums and whispers in game. OOCly we're on an even playing field, ICly things aren't, because that is just how it is in the game world. There will be guards, there will be wards, there will be defences.

Making choices on affecting the entirety of the city can be a tricky route to take, especially when only a small portion of players access this forum and/or would be involved in the decision, and really I don't think you'd even need to do it. If this villain is already able to slaughter people in the Deeprun Tram and leave bloody messages in Stormwind with no witnesses I'd say things are already going pretty well, and I'd suggest not over doing it.

Of course if you feel it would be their actions IC then that is that, I'd just ask you consider what kind of things following that course of action entails, and what questions could arise. As an example, is this villain able to undo the work of the entire mage tower without them noticing or rectifying it? Would corrupting these wards go unnoticed long enough to actually achieve anything? How would you achieve it?

tl;dr You're already creating lots of RP with your story, do whatever your character would do, but think it through.

Off topic-ish:
I strongly suggest people roleplaying around Stormwind a lot, especially in plots that could involve guards and people being on high alert, complete the Rogue Assassination Artifact questline. Gives a stronger idea of what Stormwind could actually be like when on high alert.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Sagefire - Dove on Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:23 am

Thank you for replying! This is why we open discussions on the forums. The insight and perspective others provide can help make these ideas and decisions shape into something that can be used.

I agree with what you have said. Using the OOC arenas of planning and discussion help build momentum, but when it comes back to being in character it can be a little difficult for those who wish to pursue the darker flavours of RP. It's always tricky to deal with parameters that are defined separately by the lore and the RP. On the one hand, all previous criminals that have operated in the RP setting have only had guard guilds and other players be able to deal with them, making the in world Stormwind forces seem a bit incompetent, whilst in the lore (while I haven't played the assassination artefact questline) I would assume that the cities defences are a lot more potent than our sphere of RP has shown (whether or not wards are involved, I cannot say).

When I started conceiving these plans, I worked with an assumption I based off of how the guilds were behaving at the time. Many began operating away from the cities largely, taking their forces to the Broken Isles, and I felt that representative of the whole kingdom, and possibly the whole Alliance. So, under that idea, Stormwinds forces are fairly preoccupied, leaving the people that were left behind to handle these events.

Of course, we have to suspend our disbelief. These murders cannot possibly be the only crimes occurring within the city limits, but because we see no evidence of them occurring it can be easy to think that Stormwind can provide all it has to track down this lone criminal.

In the end this plot will move from largely OOC to largely IC, with the creating of a faction (or two) I have been thinking up that will be made or broken by player interest and run by the players themselves. The reason I am asking currently is to secure possible ventures by others in the future, assisted by myself or otherwise.

Everyone is welcome to chip in on the subject! It will be great to brainstorm and collaborate openly Smile

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Hutchins on Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:49 am

I've only quickly read through this as I'm at work, so correct me if I'm wrong in presuming you're talking about the anti-magic wards.

To my knowledge, they were only present in the cells of jails (although the Cathedral may have had something done due to some RP a while back, can't remember).

But I must admit my opinion on this is... Well, what's the point? If you want to keep a magic user from casting a spell just make sure their hands are tied behind their back and in extreme cases that they are gagged. SO yeah, get rid of them wards.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Sagefire - Dove on Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:08 am

I completely overlooked that point...most, if not all, spells require both verbal and somatic components when cast, so why go through all the effort to ward areas at all when that is a cheaper alternative.

If that was the primary method in restraining casters, it would be a happy medium. Effectively disabling them, but captors must still be cautious when allowing prisoners to eat, speak, or locking them up with other prisoners who may wish to unbind them.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Naroma on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:00 am

I don't think a server wide decision needs to be reached regarding Stormwind's magical defences if individual characters want to go around raising hell.

But I think what you do need to avoid is creating some form of headcanon (for want of a better word) that the city is useless against magical threats. Where niches aren't filled with RP guilds, things such as the entire Mage District still exist, and the city is still one of a booming population even in wartime.

By all means through roleplaying wards can be destroyed, guards can be duped, defence measures can be compromised. But anything that isn't something that as a player base was added to our server lore, isn't really something we can go getting rid of. It's really quite hard to make a cohesive point of what exactly I mean, but I hope you follow.

As an example, if the unseen murderer compromises some player created anti-magic wards, this will never mean that Stormwind city is now more inhabitable for dark cults as it was the first time round. I've done it before, and many other players have, that we seek problems in our concepts, but really just playing them out we probably won't encounter the problems in the first place. Ever decided to RP a criminal and immediately find yourself discouraged over hypothetical arguments with guards? The potential for being questioned OOC about how you couldn't have pulled off X/Y/Z without being caught? so on and so forth. I know I have.

Of course I'm just reeling off hypothetical situations, but a lot of these things can just be your ammunition for RP rather than something to discuss here, you want to destroy the wards? Go ahead, it will then lead to a mage replacing them. Just roleplay and see what happens, I find we all far too often discuss ways to enrich a finale, or an end result (in this case being the ways to escape inevitable arrests) when we could be focusing on the interactions to be had along the way

tl;dr we don't need to change how a city's defences exist off-screen to enable "evil" characters to flourish.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Izzifix on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:24 am

Always felt wards is a cheap godmode. Look at the effort it takes Koltira,  dk and belf, to maintain an antimagic field for long enough in the quest where the player dk rescues him from the scarlets. Look at how very fallible every ward in every quest ever is, the questing adventurer touches the focus for a few consecutive seconds and down it goes. Look at the enourmous crystals that generally serve as focii for wards in quests. Damn it, look at the wards placed by the kirin tor and the sunreavers on isle of thunder and how wildly inefficient they are. Look at the wards on queldanas that require 4-6 murders per building per day to maintain.

Idk. Effective and reliable wards or anti-magic fields just seem really unlikely to be available to me unless your character is the lovechild of Khadgar and Medivh or something.

Also, binding the mage's hands or such just seem so much more elegant.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Naroma on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:41 am

Caldwyn wrote: Idk. Effective and reliable wards or anti-magic fields just seem really unlikely to be available to me unless your character is the lovechild of Khadgar and Medivh or something.

This kind of hits the tone of people looking for solutions and not RPing, going on assumptions that allow them to be discouraged. Do we as a player base assume that because someone says something is warded that it can be undone?

I really don't think its detracting from anyone's RP, has anyone had a personal experience where being in a prison cell that was warded has resulted in some sort of power play?

Wards or not, still shouldn't be a barrier to your RP, and if someone makes it one? Talk to them, be vocal, discuss it, very much as we are now.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Izzifix on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:43 am

Not really saying it limits RP, but I personally find it distasteful.

Edit: speaking of barriers etc I'll make a post in the conflict thread, a bit too off-topic here.


Last edited by Caldwyn on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:58 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Naroma on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:46 am

I don't specifically mean you find it that way, I just feel it meets the tone of what I was trying to say. Sometimes players instantly work off the assumption, that if a safeguard is in place, its permanent and impossible to remove.

I think Sagefire is doing a good job with their storyline, and I feel that many others could pull of similar things regardless of what 'barriers' may be in place.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Sagefire - Dove on Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:27 am

I agree that we don't want to create a headcanon, but I also don't want to create a situation where people are uninformed into why something happens, like why someone was able to escape. I have had a situation where I had to retcon an old character of mine because when he was locked in the prisons, he would die due to the magical wards that suppressed and blocked magic; it was his life support basically, as a very old human. I brought it up with those involved and it pretty much came down to it can't be changed. Another personal experience had me in trouble when a character of mine had the resources to escape provided by a traitor amidst her captors, but it was denied because it wasn't mentioned before (which is fair, and the reason why I have taken to stating my intentions earlier than before).

Unfortunately it feels that some of the defences which aren't lore proven are now player birthed headcanon, and a god-mode solution. Of course, like Naroma has said, we aren't bound to these assumptions, and we define the nature of our own RP, but I really like the feeling of continuity on these servers as a whole, and I like the idea of creating my story around the world, and not changing the world around the story, hence looking for IC solutions.

The purpose of this thread is to see if there is interest in some changes that will be partially determined by the other spectrum of RP, and not just the "good" side of it. The wards were just the first thing I was thinking about, as it fits the story I am trying to tell Smile

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by siegmund on Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:51 am

Yet to go through the posts besides the OP, but i'm just curious how people plan to deal with the fact when everyone who wants to join in and stop the plot jumps at the villian at the same time. If you want an equal playing field gonna need some minions or like you said other people steping up to do other "criminal things" or something along those lines.

Becouse from experience I know everyone and their mother will try and get involved, but there is only so many people who can go about invasigating a series of murders. Same for villians they can only handle so much at once, entire cities can be overwhelming solo.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Sagefire - Dove on Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:54 am

I have considered that. At the moment most of the attacks are happening OOC, so they sort of happen when no one is available to counter it. I am making motions to get minions and other characters involved on the criminals side, and when that is sorted head it into the IC scene. It is not the perfect solution, but viable for now.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Cid on Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:05 am

Certain wards are really easy to remove, as seen in the book 'Wolfheart'. But since magic isn't my area of expertise, I head out again. I'll be delighted to hear what you come up with however.

EDIT: Voted the first option, as long as whatever happens can be reversed/cleansed/cured/whatnot later on etc.


Last edited by Cid on Tue Oct 11, 2016 2:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Skarain on Fri Oct 07, 2016 2:59 pm

I do not really know about the cathedral catacombs. I'll share my thoughts about SI:7 and Command Center prisons tho.

To my understanding, Wards in prison cells were placed down to prevent prisoners simply from magically disappearing. Even if you tie their hands and gag their mouths, there is a chance that someone simply "concentrates really hard" and boom, their shackles are undone. I do not claim that this was good roleplaying, but it happend sometimes, reason why the concept of "anti-magic zone" was estabilished within prisons.

As for the wards themselves, what has been created by a character can be broken by another character. As a general rule though, I believe you need to do it from the outside, or otherwise reach the power-source by non-magical means. While doing it from the inside might be possible, I'd bet that it takes multiple times the time it takes to do from the outside.

Obviously, if any magical defensive spells such as that were to fail, at some point someone would pay notice and proceed on to investigate why the wards have failed and by whose hand.

So, in my opinion, as long as you are outside the nullifying effect of the wards, you are able to work to damage them. As long as one bears in mind that those areas are usually guarded, so walking in from the main entrance may not be the best approach. Unless somehow guised as one of the local guards/guardians.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Amaryl on Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:25 am

The magical wards started in the cathedral catacombs - mostly to imprison old-timey dark sphere cultists, for prison/trial plots, and the general, we captured one of the biggest bad guys which is cool and stuff.

they weren't there simply to prevent escape but the provide a platform for a different Kind of RP, that wasn't based around simply having a means to lock up prisoners and then not think about it.

but then, in the normal cop and robber RP, prison breaks were Sooo common, mostly because being in prison without guards interacting with you 24/7 is soo extremely boring, guards started placing more magical wards, since more magical people became part of the general criminal rp. Because generally what happened is this:
1, "There are no guards to entertain me while i'm in prison"  
2, " want to RP, but I cannot RP"
3. I escape.

and the truth of this interaction you cannot break.
- prisoners are frustrated because they cannot escape and get annoyed as shit because they can't rp their characters.
- guards get frustrated and annoyed because prisoners escaped even though you put in all the magical wards and locks and what not to prevent them from escaping! That's just sloppy RP!

So my advice - and take this as you wish - magical wards and locks and keys and chains - need to be fluid, as in they need to serve the plot and the interest of the people RPing said plot. Which is not a trivial matter - but it does mean there isn't a set solution or decree that people need to abide by to be considering as good rping.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Azapha on Tue Oct 11, 2016 5:31 am

OOCly.. i dont agree with magic wards on every damn building used ICly, i mean sure if your a death knight or mage who expects bad magic company then setting up wards before hand like the anti magic in the cells seems fine, but the truth of how costly it would be to make and maintain wards that are permanent.. and even then, if the said caster is more powerful than the wards then like the books (i refer to Gul dan going into sargeras's tomb .. there was wards, gul dan simply out powered most of them without any tact to his work) they can be simply shattered with power

as such if your criminal is powerful, its fully possible he/she could brake wards with shear force, if he/she is educated in wards and magic well enough, i imagine able to brake them with less force and more tact

on the wards IC in the city, half the server does not know of them being there .. most guards wont tell you when your put in there, and even if said guards do (if i had not been arrested IC 3 times i would not know of it, because the first time i was not told of any wards or anything) the guards ALSO often dont know anything more than its "anti magic"

my final point i will make on wards and such are, sometimes someone can simply find a way around the wards. no ward is full proof, all have weaknesses! its why if you make a ward it needs to really be given enough depth that it allows for the smart person to be able to think about it, such as when i make wards, there breakable and often come with a condition of how they trigger and how they work before i even implement them in game, i dont want to have to guess if someones smart play would work or not against it.. an antimagic ward can for example ether nullify magical items in the area until they leave, or it could prevent magic (maybe of a type such as arcane) from being cast but have no impact on magic already present

i stand by the fact if your criminal CAN and would brake wards (or even corrupt them) use it if it feeds the RP, i doubt any is willing to claim to name the caster who made these wards as most was from my understanding, an after thought to deal with mages just popping out of the cells , i dont agree that they should just be able to "focus REALLY hard" and get out, but thats bad RP

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

Post by Nare on Tue Oct 11, 2016 9:52 pm

My rogue uses a set of different wands, scrolls and other magical items to bypass/disable/break magical wards. I have put some thought on how he does what he does naturally, yet I have actually rp:ed going through a ward only once. That time there was a player who was maintaining the actual ward in order to notice trespasser. That was quite interesting rp I tell ya.

However unless the magical ward does not create rp in anyway and unless the said ward has some important meaning in the plot, I then count that ward bypassed by my toon off-screen. I see no point writing emotes in some corner without anyone seeing them.

Even as I personally am allergic to godmode wards that limit rp, I would still like to see a bit more often those wards that are maintained by a player.

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Re: [A] Creating an even playing field

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