Crone
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Mercy of the Icons part 2

Tue 27 Oct 2020, 13:06

Have anyone else read the second part of the Mercy of the Icon?

Any thoughts?

Personally I have mixed feelings about the ending... kind of a huge change of the setting, at least for me and my future plans or the plans I had haha.
 
Konungr
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Tue 27 Oct 2020, 15:34

I don't own it yet and haven't read it.

I don't mind spoilers though. Mind posting what your talking about inside of a spoilers tag?
 
Crone
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 09:46

I cant find how you make spoilertags, searched for it the FAQ but only found other posts that says it isnt possible in the forum.
Is it ok to post spoilers here in the GM forum?
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 09:57

There is no spoiler tags (sadly), but this sub category is the GM Only section.
“Thanks for noticin' me.” - Eeyore
 
Crone
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Wed 28 Oct 2020, 10:12

Okay... what happen in the end is that the Monolith on Kua is destroyed and so is the Coriolis space station that crashes on the surface on Kua.
My thoughts are mixed as Coriolis, at least in my setting, is the center of the horizon for the PC. Me and the group like the political mind games and intriges but with Coriolis destroyed that kind of change the setting quite a bit.

I havent landed yet in what i think, just wanted to hear your thoughts and how you would plan forward... sort of.
 
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Sgirra
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Thu 29 Oct 2020, 09:25

My thoughts are:
Luckily we haven't started the campaign yet, which makes it easier to ignore it. 8-) We are just finishing our “first season”. Actually, I wanted to ask my players whether we want to start with Mercy of the Icons or continue with another (own) storyline. I made preparations for both in “Season 1”. Now I will skip the question.

I really can't see the benefit beyond being a shocking effect – which is a lame and overused tool of storytelling. Maybe I will understand it with Part 3 and change my mind. Until then, the campaign is another example of: “Don't start until the last book is published.”

Best advice: If it does not fit your plans and what your group wants to experience, ignore it.
 
Konungr
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Thu 29 Oct 2020, 12:44

I like to "kill my darlings" so to speak. So in a not too distant dnd game they got a gnome NPC to kind of act as owner/operator of an adventuring guild for them. He would take a cut of their spoils and then get them supplies, handle behind the scenes requests and tracking down of items and find them jobs so they could get to doing the busy work of adventuring. I made him super useful and the party really enjoyed him. And the very moment they enjoyed him was the moment I knew I was going to have him killed. I was going to build the party up. Success after success and then I was going to take some enemies they made and while they were gone they were going to murder that gnome, steal their money and supplies and take their foundation out from underneath them. Not only does it make them have to make some choices but their emotional investment means there is emotional pay dirt sitting there.

Thats what this is. You gave them a home and a hub. You invested them in it. You built a circle of general political stability not just for the players but the whole 3rd horizon. When that is gone both players and NPCs start needing to make some hard choices in uncertain waters. Stories are built on conflict. This is some of the biggest, most wide spread and impactful conflict you can get. Reap it. See what the players do. Good stories are going to come out of it.
 
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Chutnik
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Thu 29 Oct 2020, 13:05

I really can't see the benefit beyond being a shocking effect – which is a lame and overused tool of storytelling. Maybe I will understand it with Part 3 and change my mind. Until then, the campaign is another example of: “Don't start until the last book is published.”


This sums up my mind pretty well. Especially destroying the station in the middle of the campaign seems very rash. I will also wait until the release of Mercy3 before playing it.
I also feel that it’s rather forced, as the players can’t really affect the outcome. As it is written, it’s inevitable that the station is destroyed by the Second horizon. These are also the "Good guys" from Mercy1, that the players have been encourage to cooperate with during Mercy part 1 and its aftermath.
It feels like basically a giant trap to make the players become complicit in genocide and feel bad.

The author argues that its meant to make the players realize that it’s the factions are all just shades of grey. But as it seems now, it’s more grimdark shades of black. All major factions that you encounter in Mercy 1 and 2 turn out to be genocidal backstabbers and all the places that you visited (Kua, the Monolith, Coriolis, the Conglomerate, the Uharu-system) are destroyed or inaccessible.

The reactions in general have been quite mixed, the Facebook-group is divided into those who enjoy the shocking effect and those who feel that the setting is mutating into something else than was advertised. Most see it as the sort of grand finale endgame to the third horizon.
 
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Sgirra
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Thu 29 Oct 2020, 17:07

I also feel that it’s rather forced, as the players can’t really affect the outcome.
This! It’s funny that the campaign is announced with: The players and their characters will not be passive spectators in the emerging story. The outcome of The Last Cyclade is the opposite. PCs as spectators. That’s so 90’s.

I agree that it feels like a kind of endgame for the setting. And that’s weird. For so many players around the world, Coriolis is new and exciting. We have not known it for over 10 years. In fact, our group has only been playing it for two. It is frustrating that the first major campaign makes 25% of the corebook (rough estimate) obsolete and turns the setting upside down. The twist that the supposedly good guys are not as good as expected increases the frustration. Frist: This trick is sooo old. Second: The PCs are fooled and cannot change anything at the outcome.

Thats what this is. You gave them a home and a hub. You invested them in it. You built a circle of general political stability not just for the players but the whole 3rd horizon. When that is gone both players and NPCs start needing to make some hard choices in uncertain waters. Stories are built on conflict. This is some of the biggest, most wide spread and impactful conflict you can get. Reap it. See what the players do. Good stories are going to come out of it.
I hear you. And I love a good twist that puts everything in jeopardy as much as you. But here’s the thing: This needs to be executed really, really well. And if seen (and did) as much as often good than bad. This case is a bad one. It puts the PCs on the sideline in a role that it doesn't even matter if they are there or not. There are no real choices. Just consequences. And if I want consequences without a choice, I watch a movie or read a book. But this is roleplaying. The Player’s choices should matter and form the story. With as much conflict as you like.

By the way, your example is a good one. It is a very personal story. And the gnome died because of the enemies they made. Their actions led to a bitter consequence. This is brilliant. And on a level that you can still understand. The catastrophe in the book is too big. Just effect, no impact.
 
Konungr
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Re: Mercy of the Icons part 2

Thu 29 Oct 2020, 20:26

Noting that I do not have the book and have not yet myself read the story, this is chapter 2 and thus it's empire strikes back.

My players in my dnd example were not there to stop the gnome from getting killed. They had no choice. Just consequence. And that consequence gave them a new normal in which to make a lot of choices. It took them out of what could be a linear story and dropped them in the sandbox. I feel like this is the same. The players are off doing whatever they are doing in the part 2 and they make their small or large victories. But events outside of their control conspire to rip the rug out from under their feet. Part of emulating a living breathing world (galaxy) is that events can happen when the players are not there. The aftermath of loosing Coriolis is a sandbox with nothing but choices. Where do they go? What do they do? Do they run towards the chaos and try to be the helpers? Do they flee and seek new refuge? What organizations do they turn to? Who CAN they turn to?

This is a major set up. I don't see it as a bad thing at all. Of course, I need to read it first.

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