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Final Word on Settings: Questions

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  • Final Word on Settings: Questions

    I'm a part of a WtA board that is located in a semi-wild part of the northeastern US. It's a new setting and right now most of the Garou characters are mingling. The ST wrote a brief description of the Sept setting (kinds of trees, a few examples of local wildlife, etc) at the beginning. I've noticed, however, that one of the species mentioned as living in the area does not range that far south and would not be found in the area, according to local department of natural resources websites. Also, in interacting with another character on the board, the character mentioned being near a river, but if you look at a map of the area, there are streams and lakes, but no rivers in that part of the state and local area. My questions are: Who has the final word on the details of the setting? If it's the ST, then do I ignore information about local wildlife ranges and just go with what the ST said lives there? Do I bring up something like a river when there is really no river there to the other player or just ignore it and go along with it? I don't want to be pedantic or come across as "one of those" troublesome players, but I feel like setting details are important. What do you all think? And can you bring up setting issues with the ST or is it better to just ignore them and go with whatever the ST puts down?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Ruadhan View Post
    Who has the final word on the details of the setting? If it's the ST, then do I ignore information about local wildlife ranges and just go with what the ST said lives there?
    The ST. And yes.
    Generally, when I run a game I try and get things close to realism, but if there are minor details I miss about local wildlife, it isn't worth worrying about.

    Originally posted by Ruadhan View Post
    Do I bring up something like a river when there is really no river there to the other player or just ignore it and go along with it? I don't want to be pedantic or come across as "one of those" troublesome players, but I feel like setting details are important. What do you all think?
    For the river thing, I would informally ask a ST. It is most likely a small oversight on the part of the player. There is a small chance though, that it's a clue to a hole in the character's (not player's) back story. Unlikely, but it is worth asking about if you want to.

    Originally posted by Ruadhan View Post
    And can you bring up setting issues with the ST or is it better to just ignore them and go with whatever the ST puts down?
    I would ask. Especially if you're new, there is no harm (or shouldn't be) in asking questions to get a feel for the game/setting. Minor changes from the real world are probably because the ST didn't look it up so thoroughly. In game though, the WoD is a different place and those differences can be chalked up to that.


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    • #3
      It sounds like you had to specifically look up whether these tree species would be in the location in question, which makes it sound like a pretty small detail. The reason these games are being played is to tell a story and have fun, not agonize over a myopically realistic portrayal of the universe.
      ---
      Since it was brought up, I wouldn't even consider a river to be a problem, since the game you are participating in features werewolves and caerns. Even whole companies or potentially cities can and have be made up without things getting too out of hand (I make up/flesh out small towns on the regular). Unless you are getting mauled by polar bears I would chalk up such 'inaccuracies' as the difference between real world and the WoD. I understand the devil is in the details, but the World of Darkness isn't our world, and there is stuff in the books that is basically straight-up inaccurate too. If you need rationalization, it is entirely feasible that the actions of some WoD denizen (whether directly or otherwise) is responsible for this river existing where there is none IRL. I think you might enjoy the game more if you were to focus less on making it a precise reality simulator and more on trying to tell a communal story.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by idpersona View Post
        In game though, the WoD is a different place and those differences can be chalked up to that.
        I couldn't have said it better. The way I see it, WoD is like a movie or any other fictional story set in our world: it mirrors our world, but it's not a perfect copy. It's okay if there's a fictional town east of us, or a river that's not there, or that Concrete, WA and its surrounding area is actually tribal land with a Caern on it.

        Incredibly drastic, "unrealistic" changes (such as there being flocks of arctic terns in New Mexico) may get an eyebrow raise, or even a quick OOC, "Wait, what?!" if my filter doesn't kick in quickly enough. Funny how I'm willing to accept the presence of cadavers but not arctic terns. Anyway, if you have a question about it, I'd ask. But ask from a standpoint of clarification, not a standpoint of correction. When in doubt, ask the ST privately so you don't throw something/someone/some plot device under the bus.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Ruadhan View Post
          I don't want to be pedantic or come across as "one of those" troublesome players, but I feel like setting details are important. What do you all think? And can you bring up setting issues with the ST or is it better to just ignore them and go with whatever the ST puts down?
          I absolutely agree that the setting details matter. I guess where I disagree is the exact level of detail you've mentioned and how relevant it might be. For instance, if you have to go to somewhere like the Department of Natural Resources just to determine whether or not a specific animal is native to a region? That's not something I'd find relevant. I mean, unless we're talking about a polar bear chilling in the U.S., or something like that. If it's found one or two states away? No biggy.

          As for the river bit; also subjective. I mean, I don't know the technical difference between a river and a stream. I see a body of moving water too wide for me to jump across? I'll probably end up calling it a river. If this supposed river is in a dry, arid region? That's one thing. If the river should be called a stream but is still called a river? No big.

          I'd like to know though what prompted you to go to the Dept. of National Resources to see if a specific species existed in the area?


          Writing up Clanbook: Aabbt

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Vysha View Post

            I'd like to know though what prompted you to go to the Dept. of National Resources to see if a specific species existed in the area?
            About the rivers vs. streams, I see your point. What made me wonder about it was when I looked on a map of the area (a state park map and also Google maps), it showed streams and lakes with names, but no river. No blue lines on the map had a name and river at the end of it and it's a relatively small state park (less than 1,000 acres).

            Anyway, what prompted me to look at the Dept. of Natural Resources and check the species range is I was thinking of writing a post about my character going hunting or setting a trapline and wondering if he'd run into that species. I happened to be looking at their page and incidental trapping of the species caught my attention. I read that and that led to an article about two members of this species, which is listed as threatened, had been shot and DNR was offering a reward for information about the shooting. That somehow led to the map of the species' range, which is only in the northwestern part of the state, whereas the Sept is located many, many miles away in the northeast part and there have been no sightings of that species there.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Wakuwa View Post
              Anyway, if you have a question about it, I'd ask. But ask from a standpoint of clarification, not a standpoint of correction. When in doubt, ask the ST privately so you don't throw something/someone/some plot device under the bus.
              The other stuff written is also good, but I wanted to highlight these 3 sentences specifically. They're important imo.

              Originally posted by Ruadhan View Post
              Anyway, what prompted me to look at the Dept. of Natural Resources and check the species range is I was thinking of writing a post about my character going hunting or setting a trapline and wondering if he'd run into that species. I happened to be looking at their page and incidental trapping of the species caught my attention. I read that and that led to an article about two members of this species, which is listed as threatened, had been shot and DNR was offering a reward for information about the shooting. That somehow led to the map of the species' range, which is only in the northwestern part of the state, whereas the Sept is located many, many miles away in the northeast part and there have been no sightings of that species there.
              Doing additional reseach for the area a game takes place can be loads of fun. But inevitably, you stumble across information like this that seems out of place. It is a relatively minor detail that I'm betting was overlooked and that the intent wasn't to rewrite the species range for the game. In the end, it is most likely not a big deal. But you can always ask if you are curious.

              Last edited by idpersona; 01-09-2017, 10:51 PM.


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              • #8
                Thank you so much, everyone! This was a big help!

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                • #9
                  Keep in touch and let us know how it goes. Always fun to hear stories.


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