OOC: Papal Conclave

Discussion in 'OOC Threads' started by Gunnland, Oct 29, 2017.

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  1. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Keep in mind: many of us don't just want "our man" to win, many of us also disagree about whether it would be a better story for Taft or for Meyer to win. (I am sort of indifferent here: obviously I would play the best pope!)

    But remember: it may be better to just lengthen and deepen this story: for both factions to deepen their hatred of one another, elect some old ailing pope, and prepare for a final showdown in a few months.
     
  2. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure if I would play the best pope, I'm not catholic and all my knowledge of the catholic rite and laws and stuff is gathered online, mostly for the purpose of this RP - but I am adamant that I presented the best opportunity for the purposes of our roleplaying game in the form of Taft and I tried to work you guys in as much as I could. For example, I really hoped that Stewart would throw his lot in with the Taft-supporters and would then have to be rewarded with an influental position. Considering the planned storylines for a Pope Taft (and his quest for a Papal State) this would have created numerous opportunities for intrigue RP with Stewart (who, tbh, I perceive as a one-dimensional character thusfar. All that really has been to him is "he wants personal power and is willing to play dirty to achieve that", it would be good to flesh him out a bit more, Gunn) and he could have presented an internal challenge to the Ordo Solaris restructuring the church if he wanted to.

    I don't really see Meyer as a character that, if Pope, would drive RP and create opportunities for others to chime in. He's the "boring" choice, i.e. the status quo pope. I can see why, politically, the Eiffelländer establishment would want a pope under their influence, but I don't think Eiffelland would do much with the pope that would affect other players, since Eiffelland itself is more of a status quo/keep the peace power. Correct me if I am wrong. This also extends to a compromise candidate. So he is more "realistic" - so what? Does the "realistic" choice present us with RP opportunities? I really don't think that the majority of the community is interested in a realistic papal RP, they want a political or a corrupt pope that is more concerned with geopolitical issues than theological ones. That has been clear from the get go with the majority of Cardinals here RP'd as either offensive conservative hardliners or utterly corrupt ones.

    So as for the Ordo Solaris and this being a zero-sum game: they have come within striking range of getting Taft elected pope. Why should they elect someone else now rather than try to keep hammering down on the Eiffelländer bloc until they start to compromise? They negotiated from a position of strength and Taft, from that position, started to offer compromises. For example, the Eiffelländers could have demanded some autonomy over how they handle things in their country or have him sanction their policies and tbh, he would have accepted and done that. When Eiffelland categorially refused to accept any of the RP pitches without putting forth any of his own, I tried to take a radical solution with the whole excommunication pitch. Which was also shot down. At this point I am frustrated and I will be personally offended if my Taft storyline is frustrated by the merit of other players just "boring it down".

    For that reason I will also oppose any attempt to remove players from the RP because they have switched nations or gone inactive. It's a bad precedent that a once active RP that saw people enthusiastically involved in it gets bogged down in fatigue. The people who created that fatigue should not be rewarded for their inflexibility.
     
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  3. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    I don't think you are being any more flexible, even if you have been more inventive with Taft. I did say he was the most interesting cardinal, did I not? (The most interesting candidate... Juun may be the most interesting cardinal.) Furthermore, I think the Taft as pope story would be fun. But I don't think everyone agrees with us. And something has gone very wrong when you start imploring us OOCly to vote for your papal candidate.

    So, regardless of your love for your own character and his prospects, we are at an impasse. I don't imagine that one or two players alone are at fault for this impasse.

    I have a few more responses to your arguments. It's fine if we disagree, I just want to make sure my arguments are understood here.

    1. You misunderstand "realism" as I am using the term. I do not mean a mirror to the RL Catholic Church. By "realism" I mean that we need to create characters, give them depth and realism and independence, and then imagine what it is "realistic" for them to do. Meyer has a set of motivations resulting from blackmail. Stewart has a set of motivations resulting from the election of a queen he had kidnapped (some character development from "The Hidden King"). (He also is a devout Roman Catholic with a pretty good grasp of canon law, which determines many of his preferences.) Taft has a set of motivations resulting from his exile from the SWR; Juun has a similar set of motivations based on being a cardinal in pectore (these carry over from anti-Catholic Kashtan to anti-Catholic Touzen, which isn't ideal, but I suppose can be easily retconned). "Realism" means thinking, What would, e.g., Stewart do in this situation?

    2. To be frank, I think back-channel OOC discussion among players has devastated the IC story between cardinals. Lots of OOC Discord discussion about Taft. Very little in the way of posts showing why Taft's supporters actually support him. (With the exception of Juun.) It is clearer why the Burgundian and Eiffellandian cardinals, in the main, support Meyer: the papacy crowns their kings. Of course, if Eiffelland hadn't flushed my damn poison dart down the toilet, I could have killed off Meyer or Taft and moved the ball along...

    3. What about the other cardinals? Ipato, Espinoza, Passos, Lishke, and Castelar haven't said a word in a month. We have players playing the voting game (I think) that aren't committed to the storytelling project (I think). We can be committed at different levels, but there isn't even any indication who these cardinals might vote for! I think voting needs to be made public in the thread, and that voting is a privilege for those invested in the story.

    4. An ancient compromise pope isn't the end of Taft's story. Part of the deal might be making Taft the cardinal secretary of state, guaranteeing that the ancient compromise hands out Gallian crowns, etc. Before the next conclave, Taft could do the things necessary to be elected pope, like reassuring the Gallogermanian cardinals that he won't just appoint a bunch of radicals to the college of cardinals, that he will protect their interests, etc.​

    In a way, this conclave ought to be deadlocked. It is split between political liberals/moderates and political radicals. Taft and Strelecki are like night and day. But so are there supporters, for now. There is no conservative/moderate bloc like in the RL Church with theologically conservative priorities that allow them to compromise on what they think are political leanings. Unfortunately a lot of the real god-fearing cardinals (e.g., Lishke) have gone silent.

    Again, it's fine if we disagree. I just want to make sure my ideas for the future of this little game are clear. We can take an OOC vote on whether/how we want to bring the conclave to an end when everyone has had their say.
     
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  4. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    NB Kashtan is still a thing ICly, so Juun is still Kashtanese. Kashtan isn't gone, I've merely expanded the scope of my canvas back to what I had a few years ago.
     
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  5. Bourgogne

    Bourgogne Well-Known Member

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    Well, I will introduce a break shortly so we can perhaps either work things out or develop factionalism.
     
  6. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    I am only "imploring" you guys to support Taft in OOC as far as we are discussing how to move IC in a direction that gets us results. Seeing that there had been numerous pitches on how to conclude the story IC that were, quite frankly, just thrown back in my face (you had your own taste of that, hilariously, with your dart being flushed), I am currently developing doubts how far the commitment to integrity of IC motivation is actually there, and how far that is just an excuse to keep refusing to compromise.

    So in theory I am not opposed to an "interim pope" which would move the story along with a period in which Taft and his supporters would scheme and prepare for the next conclave. However, I am fearful that this will set a bad precedent. Instead of accepting the developements in the conclave and trying their best to preserve their own position against a Taft majority and strike some sort of compromise, people are just biding their time. The Cardinals are locked away and really, the pressure should be rising to come to an agreement, not subsiding. We as players can wait, the characters can not. Coupled with talks about removing players from the Conclave or setting up a future conclave with other players involved, this leaves a really bad aftertaste of OOC manipulation to avoid a result that is deemed inacceptable on grounds of OOC, not IC.

    And tbh, the "lots of discord talk about Taft" is a good thing. I got people enthusiastic about church RP (for christs sake!). The prospect of a radical pope with veiled sympathies for terrorism against at least certain targets, antisemitic views, an independent geopolitical agenda and a strict anti-communist platform (in times of Kadikistani expansion, no less) gives most players in Europe something to work with and promises to make the church an interesting contribution to RP even for those players who do not RP a catholic nation. The failure to see that enthusiasm and work to adapt the ongoing RP of other players, which would have allowed us to form some sort of synthesis between the RP goals the most active players in this thread (Gunn, Eiffel, me) had for their contributions, is our real failure as a community here.

    So really, maybe what we need is not less OOC-communication between players at this point, but more, to introduce some sort of understanding and facilitate a developement that would allow us to conclude that in a satisfactory manner and not in one that leaves players frustrated as to the merit of even contributing and dedicating to it.
     
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  7. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    All of that sounds reasonable. We disagree about "bad precedent"; OOC pressure to compromise is bad precedent, and the conclave will have been a success for starting a new papal rp. And we may disagree on one more important point: I think the players that don't RP shouldn't vote. But, either way, I agree with you on your last point: now, we need to have an OOC discussion.

    Perhaps we can democratically invoke collective mod powers and hold an OOC vote (one player, one vote) about how to conclude the conclave, and then RP within those guidelines:

    (a) Continue with no changes.
    (b) Continue with rule change:
    death match round, majority player vote wins.
    (c) Continue with rule change: cardinals who haven't been seen in a month disappear, vote totals become Eiffelland (3), Bourgogne (3), Pelasgia (1), Gunnland (1), SWR (1), Kashtan (1)
    (d) Assume some ancient, infirm, inactive bishop is elected as a status quo compromise.
    I think options (b) and (c) are both unacceptable. If (a) remains unenjoyable, my suggestion is (d).

     
  8. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    I think I made a post sort of explaining why my person has simply been abstaining, I would have liked to voice my opinion but at the time I had schooling and exams to deal with. I am part of the problem with not providing any quality RP into this and I am sorry for that, I will try and think of something to post in the RP to put some more effort into this.

    Also I love how my person is the "Real God-fearing Cardinal."
     
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  9. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    Nobody should skip Christmas, quit their job, or fail out of school to make time to RP, and nobody needs to apologize. I am only saying that "pay" (contributing to the richness of the story) for "play" (voting) will help us get this RP over the hump. The players that have been less-invested so far may be the ones whose contributions can help us see new ways forward.

    Also, nobody needs to wait for Donnet's cues, which is probably just burdensome to Bourgogne, or feel like they have to post in chronological order. So Cardinal "Y" had a secret meeting with Cardinal "X" three months ago to make a secret plan for the fourth round? Go for it.
     
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  10. Geotri

    Geotri Active Member

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    Btw we are following the most recent Canon Law published by the Vatican right? Because if so I would double check Canon Law 1398 because that changes things...
     
  11. Bourgogne

    Bourgogne Well-Known Member

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    Well Ive kind of built in the "nuclear option". Lagier is corrupt as shit and could control the scrutineers if we absolutely need some manner of resolution but this could also just be a ruse with him. Just an idea I built in.
     
  12. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    I certainly do not try to OOC-pressure anyone into agreeing with me, nor do I think it'd be even possible to force either you, Eiffelland or Bourgogne to compromise simply by bitching enough. But allow me to present my assessment of the situation - and my fears of what the consequences of a postponing might be, whether they are intended by the players in question or not: it could create the impression that in this community, one can simply bide his time to get the results he wants IC.

    And where you speak of basing our RP on the dynamic of our characters themselves rather then OOC motivations (which, btw, I am mainly motivated by: having a fun and writing an exciting pulp storyline in cooperation with others. I am not creating world class literature here.) I feel it is important to point out that there is a major discrepancy at play here: we spent our christmas with our friends and families, our characters did not. So while the pressure on our characters should be rising to come to some form of conclusion, the pressure on us as players is subsiding because it is getting tiresome to play a deadlocked conclave and we can just keep on voting the same as before without consequences for us as players. We are not locked in.

    Either way, there are two more options not included in that list, both I feel would make for good storylines:

    (e) with Aschenbach and Strelecki's vote considered illegal by the Taft-faction, they consider their candidate to have won the vote. So they proceed to proclaim him pope. This obviously relies on how many of not only the present cardinals but also the "beuraucratic apparatus" of the catholic church are willing to share this assesment. It will lead to Eiffellands cardinals (and others outraged by this move) having either a schism or leading an internal opposition where they try to get Taft ousted or force him to resign.

    (f) Bourgognes option of rigging the vote via Lagier. Since it should not be public knowledge that he has the ability to do so, he will have to be proactive about this, however, approaching either candidate with the suggestion. In case of Taft he could easily rig the vote, then approach Taft after the fact and reveal his involvement. Taft would reason that Lagier did a lawful deed by correcting a vote tainted with excommunicated voters and would reward Lagier - which would allow us to then explore whether someone like Lagier will manage to exorbitantly profit from being a corrupt as hell man in a court of ideological fanatics or whether he will run afoul of them in the long run.

    Either way, we as players should choose that option which presents us as community with the most enjoyable and lasting RP options and not just for ourselves, but for other players that may want to get involved later.

    Obviously (a) leaves us with what he have and runs the danger of just having a good RP end inconclusively and amount to nothing. (b) Will probably get a Taft victory, but it would be a very anticlimatic ending and would beg the question why Taft would even do his excommunication stunt if his faction knew all they needed to do was keep voting until the last round with just simple majority would occur. (c) I feel would be unfair to players who simply took to the sidelines or were occupied with real life. We shouldn't punish players for being less active, because it might discourage players with real life obligations from even participating in the first place. (d) Can be acceptable if the players involved, especially Eiffeland, are willing to commit (and have time) to active intrigue RP in the meantime. In that case, the interim pope should be actively RP'd as someone being influenced from both sides to appoint cardinals. It has the possibility to be an enjoyable political intrigue RP, but it also runs the risk of being a source of conflict over how to determine success of different plots with little productive activity otherwise as players are tied up in other storylines. It also begs the question why Taft should now step back and elect an infirm pope instead of doubling down on his most recent action. (e) We end the conclave with a bang and get to RP something dramatic! (f) We get results and have different options for how to proceed from here. Most notably, it leaves the conflict between the liberal and the radical faction burning below the surface, so Eiffelland has more room for his characters to stay within the church and begin scheming internally, instead of forcing a schism, if that is more desirable to him.
     
  13. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    I'll see what I can do.

    EDIT: THe statement above was my reaction to Gunnland's request to come up with a compromise candidate. I have an idea for that, but that candidate will not be a man of ill health who is intended to die before the summer. This will probably lead to Lagier becoming Pope, so option Revy's option F. That is a favourable option to me.

    Revy's option E is also favourable to me: Taft c.s. continue to put forward the opinion that Strelecki and Von Aschenbach excommunicated themselves before the conclave started, so that their votes do not have a value, and that because of that Taft is the Pope. He and his supporters crown him Pope, leaving the others behind. This will definitely become a schism, and also cause some trouble in Eiffelland. For the status of Herzogenrode, I don't have a problem with it if Taft continues to reside there. ICly, that would depend on the Abbot's stance, and maybe also on the stance of the monks. We can OOCly determine that stance.

    At this moment, I am equally in favour of Revy's option E and Revy's option F.

    For the dart having been flushed down the toilet, I'm awfully sorry but what else should I have done with it after Stewart gave it to Meyer? No matter what kind of character Meyer is, he will never use it. He knows that Herzogenrode is Eiffellandian soil, and that the Eiffellandian police will conduct an autopsy even on a Cardinal who died during a conclave. After then, it will become known that the victim of the dart died an unnatural death, resulting into a lot of publicity and undermining the authority of the future Pope, and with that weakening the position of the Church. Sorry, but indeed, it is not part of my own nature (and maybe therefore ICly not part of Eiffellandian nature) to develop ideas about how to become better of weakening institutions. Maybe if I would have been a different type of human being, I would have been able to see how Meyer could benefit of that dart.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  14. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    Oh, one other remark, it is not that Eiffelland wants to continuously stick to the status quo at each price. It is more that Eiffelland wants change to be an improvement of the current situation, and wants change to be implemented in such a way that things going wrong can be corrected on time. So indeed Eiffellandians are not fans of big changes coming over night only for the sake of change.
     
  15. Touzen

    Touzen Administrator Staff Member

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    As for residence, let's keep in mind that our Pope is moving about so probably is never in one place for a long time normally, with the former Pope being cloistered in Herzenroge being an exception given his long-term health issues.
     
  16. Socialist World Republic

    Socialist World Republic Well-Known Member

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    In case of the "coup"-option, we could have the Captain of the Papal Guard be an Ordo Solaris member. So when the Taft-supporters rush forward to declare him pope, they get backed up by force of arms to prevent other cardinals from stopping them. It'd be a literal Putsch in the conclave. The question is whether all players involved would be comfortable with such a "flashy" ending?

    Edit: fun thing is, thusfar the most radical candidate (Taft) has represented the most lawful faction. No torturing people, no blackmail or plotting murder. I find that ironic.
     
  17. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    The man is even radical in being lawful, so it seems.
     
  18. Gunnland

    Gunnland FTR

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    A downside of the road to schism is foreclosing the possibility of more conclave RPs in the future including all of us, which (a few now-public gripes aside) I have enjoyed immensely. But these are, as you say, indeed ways of going forward that might be fun.
     
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  19. Eiffelland

    Eiffelland Well-Known Member

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    That is indeed a disadvantage. However, there are many other RPs that we can conduct.
     
  20. Bergenheim

    Bergenheim Active Member

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    So we getting a New Pope or not? Seems like not, really, at this stage.
     

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