Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

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Aelryn Bloodmoon
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aelryn Bloodmoon » Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:00 pm

Is my understanding that on your tenth death you automatically roll as the character is deleted flawed for the Marks? Whether the deletion is automatic because it's the 10th death or not, you're still functionally deleting a character, not sure why that wouldn't proc a roll at the appropriate levels.

Maybe give a "Life Counter" rather than a Mark of Despair, if the penalty of a roll not occurring is due to the Mark of Despair normally being reserved for punishments- same function without the extra tap in the sack when the character dies. :lol:

P.S. While I wish the change hadn't been necessary, I'm one of the people that thinks this change was starting to wander into the territory of overdue, and I appreciate the work that went into it.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by KT28 » Wed Jun 26, 2019 11:00 pm

I like this list. Gives me some ideas for future outcasts that I'll be inevitably rolling up someday. Outcasts are fun!

I'm glad that outcasts don't necessarily have to be evil. Not all neutral outcasts are necessarily striving for some kind of 'redemption arc', nor are all neutral outcasts trying to be accepted on the surface, nor are neutral outcasts necessarily even trying to challenge the status quo. Some of them are just trying to survive and retain some semblance of their humanity while living in a hive of scum and villainy for whatever reason (and this is exactly the kind of dynamic that attracts me to outcast RP in the first place). If the "tragic/poor me/redemption" trope does become prevalent and problematic it should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, in my opinion.

I also just wanted to add, on the topic of whether being "insane/mentally ill" is enough to be driven from the surface - I think that all of the options in the list require some creativity on the player's part in order to be successful, and insanity is no exception. Is just "being insane" enough to go off of to justify your character being an outcast? No, of course not - not on its own. Something must have happened, due to your character's insanity, to make him infamous enough to be recognized by NPCs. This is where your creativity comes in and you get to come up with a fun, impactful backstory that you think would be fun to explore in-game. The same goes for any option on this list, really. Every single item on this list could be executed extremely well or extremely poorly depending on the creativity and skill of the player.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Durvayas » Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:27 pm

Kuma wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:38 pm
Irongron wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:36 pm
but I would be greatly concerned if it became entirely commonplace.

Isn't this what caused the recent shift in NPC/settlement mechanics against them? If not then uh. Yikes. You've a knack for coincidences I guess because yes that's Very commonplace.
Its not at all uncommon for outcasts to be neutral in action, and if they are allowed to be neutral in alignment, you can be sure that a fair number of them will be simply because it invalidates Paladin and CoT smiting.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Cerk Evermoore » Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:48 pm

Medium reward to make a good outcast? Seems fitting because it is the same reward level as neutral pale masters.

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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Ebonstar » Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:40 am

this whole shift is to make up for What I see has been an abuse of the system. For the past it was an honor system, now after everyone takes advantage its being enforced mechanically.

Face it outcasts are evil in some sort of fashion. there should be no reward to play a good or neutral one. Which is why redemption arcs are under DM supervision and earn the MoD. There are penalties to actions.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Kuma » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:10 am

Cerk Evermoore wrote:
Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:48 pm
Medium reward to make a good outcast? Seems fitting because it is the same reward level as neutral pale masters.
i mean technically this already falls under the "good monster" reward tier but i would honestly never want to see it
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Sea Shanties » Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:14 pm

It would probably make more sense to be able to use an award to start as a good slave in the UD instead of outcast.

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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Subutai » Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:35 pm

Which brings up the tangential question, why is starting as a good slave restricted in the first place?

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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Irongron » Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:50 pm

Subutai wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 9:35 pm
Which brings up the tangential question, why is starting as a good slave restricted in the first place?
I think I didn't want slavery in the UD to be a 'constant rebellion' deal, with paladin slave leaders smiting their way through Andunor.

PvP is a lot of fun, in moderation, but I didn't want to have vast good aligned community in Andunor making the city a battleground. I also think the theme of the city would be heavily undermined if it was a starting location for good aligned surfacers.

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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aodh Lazuli » Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:16 pm

I really do think the entire "outcast" thing is a mistake - We've run ourselves into a strange little hole and don't quite seem to be able to climb back out... partly through player weirdness, and players wanting to shut the castle doors and make it so only their vision is workable, and partly through a long period of silence on certain matters from those with authority, leading to some people perhaps getting some mistaken ideas about those things.

The root of the problem isn't much to do with outcasts, really, and more that there is no clear statement on how much roleplay crossover should exist between surface and UD. On one hand, we're told it is a trading hub, a place where barrier between surface and UD is thin. On the other, we're being told that outcasts should have little to nothing to do with the surface... And that surface humans being below ground is somehow poor RP.

This nonsense with monster races, outcasts and restrictions on where they can and cannot be, is only an issue because the level of interaction and crossover there is supposed to be between these two worlds is unclear. If that could be clarified and explained, it would go a long long way to resolving the issue.

Is that a statement that can be made, or is the policy and creative direction in this regard actually a little bit undecided? Ambiguity is fine, provided the nature of that ambiguity is intended, and its reasoning can be properly communicated.

On a related note... I think the name "outcast" is a mistake. I don't think we should (on the whole) be confined to the expectation of "most UD humans in andunor are local arelithians". instead we should probably do away with the entire notion of "outcasts", and instead just have "underdark human"... A far broader concept which likely reflects the nature of Andunor slightly better, that accommodates a much wider field of character concepts... Concepts which have been rendered unworkable by recent changes and announcements, despite being valid and positive contributions to the RP landscape of both the surface and Andunor.

Once again, this most recent set of changes to Outcasts seems to be another case where people consider mechanical solutions to problems that are either not-really-problems, or that can be better resolved through communication and observation/response to context - instead of broad-brushstroke mechanical enforcement.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Nitro » Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:35 pm

And that surface humans being below ground is somehow poor RP.
I don't think I've ever seen any of the staff say anything remotely like this.

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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by sarithia » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:38 pm

I'm not really sure what the whole outcast war lately has been about. I'm just seeing a lot of negativity towards it, and that's fine; player opinion is awesome, but somehow I get the feeling that even if one thing is tweaked mechanically, there's always going to be some people who aren't happy. Bottom line is, I'm of the understanding that if you choose to play an Outcast, you choose to play mostly in Andunor. I don't understand why not being allowed to freely roam the surface is being severely question; you're a bad guy, you actively chose something that is seen by the majority as something that is bad. Granted, the concept of 'outcast is bad' is a relative notion, but overall, outcasts are, for all intents and purposes, bad guys. It's sort of, to me, like choosing to roll a gnoll and then complaining because the Grove won't accept you as one of their besties.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Subutai » Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:30 pm

I do think some better guidelines not on how Arelithians should view Outcasts, but on how Arelithians should view Andunor living or visiting surfacers could be a very effective solution to this problem, perhaps more than a mechanical one.

When I played Arelith for a while many, many years ago, it wasn't uncommon at all to see surface drow cuddle parties in Cordor, with good Drow running all over the place giggling and skipping through the streets. It seems, however, that Arelith's stated guideline that surfacers do not trust Drow has been effective. A drow who shows up on the surface won't be instantly in the middle of an adoring flock of hugs and praise. They'll probably be run right out of town, and if they wanted to be accepted, they'd have to go through a tremendous amount of work just to not be murdered on sight by most people.

This is what seems to be lacking for Andunorian-friendly surfacers. Before the change, it was common to see outcasts who many people knew hung out in Andunor wandering around just fine, with no questions, and even when it was revealed that they spent time in Andunor, it seemed to be fairly often that no one really cared. As long as they weren't openly summoning demons or enslaving elves, they might as well have been any other surfacer for all the thought people gave them.

I think this is where some relatively strict drow/monster race-type guidance could come in more useful than a mechanical ban. A strong suggestion, "Andunor is known by people throughout Arelith and the surrounding islands to be a wretched hive of fiend summoning, slavery, and torture, where drow and monsters roam the streets and murder is unrestrained and unpunished, where good and right surface dwellers are thrown into the arena for sport, or tortured to death for fun. Anyone known to spend time there will be assumed to be just as despicable as the drow, and shunned everywhere. Even rumors someone is an Andurnorian or enjoys visiting the vile city are enough to find someone extremely suspect."

This would allow a human or someone else who lives or spends time in Andunor to come and go as they please, as long as they're extremely careful not to be found out. Once they are, and their name is passed around, they might suddenly find themselves pariahed all over the surface, and shunned by many, since discovering they're from Andunor might as well be discovering they torture children for fun. Sure, a lot of Andunor might not actually be as irredeemably evil as all that, but for all the average surfacer should know about it, the halls might as well be lined with victims chained up to the wall, for Andurnorians to torture as they walk by on the way to the shop.

This would also allow for human and other surface races to live in Andunor as something other than as outcasts who have done something so awful as to be kicked out. It's entirely reasonable, I think, for particular types of people, especially the morally bankrupt and more evil, to simply move their of their own accord, without ever doing anything so heinous as to be forever banned from every surface settlement. It would also avoid the difficult RP situation we face with outcasts now.

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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aodh Lazuli » Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:57 pm

Nitro wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:35 pm
And that surface humans being below ground is somehow poor RP.
I don't think I've ever seen any of the staff say anything remotely like this.
No. That's mostly been players. But player-culture is extremely influential. That sentence was more tied into the "players wanting to shut the castle doors and make it so only their vision is workable" bit.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aelryn Bloodmoon » Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:22 pm

And that surface humans being below ground casually, without treating it like it is the home of many of the awful nightmares and stories the average child is frightened with/by, is somehow poor RP.

I fixed this. Not to tell people how to RP, but to apply a bit of (opinionated) rationalism to the sentiment. Neither extreme is good, and I suspect the extremes are the true nature of the complaint on both sides - as well as the motivating factor behind the mechanical change.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aodh Lazuli » Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:34 am

Aelryn Bloodmoon wrote:
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:22 pm
And that surface humans being below ground casually, without treating it like it is the home of many of the awful nightmares and stories the average child is frightened with/by, is somehow poor RP.

I fixed this. Not to tell people how to RP, but to apply a bit of (opinionated) rationalism to the sentiment. Neither extreme is good, and I suspect the extremes are the true nature of the complaint on both sides - as well as the motivating factor behind the mechanical change.
This "fixing" of the statement does not reflect the nature of andunor, which is seemingly intentionally and notably cosmopolitan, diverse, and closely tied to the surface.

This is evidenced in the largely human facilitators and organisers of Andunor's slave trade (go have a look at the NPCs), who are a core and central structural part of the city's economy. The former wharftown waymen guards at the ogre fist, and so on...

"The home nightmares" is a question of who is doing the dreaming.

We could fix and counter-fix one another's statements... and that is precisely my point.
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aelryn Bloodmoon » Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:48 pm

Aodh Lazuli wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:34 am
This "fixing" of the statement does not reflect the nature of andunor, which is seemingly intentionally and notably cosmopolitan, diverse, and closely tied to the surface.

This is evidenced in the largely human facilitators and organisers of Andunor's slave trade (go have a look at the NPCs), who are a core and central structural part of the city's economy. The former wharftown waymen guards at the ogre fist, and so on...

"The home nightmares" is a question of who is doing the dreaming.

We could fix and counter-fix one another's statements... and that is precisely my point.
Your argument that the nature of Andunor doesn't match up with my view of it centering around slave traders who just happen to be human reinforces the point in its entirety.

When discussing who is doing the dreaming, it is clear we are discussing the ordinary commoner who farms or maybe sells paper for a living, NOT a flesh peddler who more than likely has a different definition of terrifying nightmares than you or I can properly conjure up. The people who usually thrive here are not good people.

Andunor is in the underdark, and the underdark is a dangerous, scary place, where if the monsters don't eat you, your own kind might make you a slave and sell you to one of them. Yes, you can go buy a keen sword of pointy death plus three there as a human, but it's not a casual trip, it's a trip into the underdark where you might be taken slave in the midst of a city full of monsters.

No one's telling you your character has to be afraid of the underdark - however, the setting very clearly reinforces that the average, non-evil surface human is, and that's the view the masses (the NPC's underscored by this change's mechanics) tend to take.

I'm not referencing anything that hasn't been mentioned before by the administration in terms of the atmosphere, but I believe your sentiment that there is room to "interpret" the gravity of this atmosphere is a shadow of the spirit that necessitated mechanical change. Everyone has a reason why gravity shouldn't apply to them- until gravity slaps them in the face with hard, solid ground, at speed.
Bane's tyranny is known throughout the continent, and his is the image most seen as the face of evil.
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Aodh Lazuli
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Re: Outcasts - What they are & How to play them

Post by Aodh Lazuli » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:48 am

Aelryn Bloodmoon wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 4:48 pm
A polite snipping of your post in the quote so you get the notification

Dude.

Read carefully. At no point did I say "it should be taken lightly". Nowhere did I use the term "casual" for surface trips to the UD. I do not know why you are behaving as if I did.

YOU inserted that into my post.
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