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Emissary Game is Over, Time to PartyTopic%20Title
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Hey guys thanks for playing.

I definitely have some feedback for myself but overall I'm really happy with how this turned out and I'm really grateful to all the players and everyone who followed along.

I really enjoyed working with everyone and there were a lot of moments I really enjoyed.

It was flawed, but overall I hope people had a good experience!

Anyway, here are some quicktopics:

Spoiler: Player Quicktopics


Spoiler: Room Quicktopics


Spoiler: Conversations


Last edited by Doctor Nanjo on Tue Jan 21, 2020 2:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Well, I don't have much to point out, but there's a few that I know others will say. I'll post my opinions, since I'm a sub for SC.

First of all, how long the game took to actually be finished from start to end. And how long each game actually took to be finished. It'd be nice if there was a time limit on how long each game should last.

Secondary, I felt like Luka's trip to the past and the interaction with Hazel and Wesley are kind of... eh. It doesn't really add on to the game story, but I suppose it's to help flesh out the characters some more as well as answers some of the unanswered questions that we all have.

Third, I tried my best to play out Hazel as SC have intended her to be played out. But I felt like that I might have strayed off from the path a bit, so I'm sorry if I made Hazel be OOC in some parts. I couldn't help but think like a detective, so it kinda happened.

I'll let the others have their opinions on this game. Overall, it's a great game, even if I got to play out the last half of the game as a sub.
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I’d love to know your rationale behind song choices for this game. You pulled from such a varied selection and lyrical pieces too! Were songs meant as themes or to convey a sense of feeling?
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A lot of the music/artists featured in NG9 have made it into my collection, so I'm inclined to approve. Though on the other hand I often felt the songs linked didn't really fit the atmosphere of the scene?
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Any time the song didn't fit as well is just an indication that I didn't have a deep enough collection of songs to fit every scene. The group of songs I gathered was just everything that inspired the game, and I was just hoping to give it a unique feel.

Certain parts of the game should have been designed differently so we could get through them faster. The biggest offender is round 4 for sure since that was like four rounds in one. I felt most disappointed in my decision to do that game. I definitely wish I had realized sooner that all the games should have been only about a day long.
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Which one was four? Rows? Werewolf?
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It was Heal/Hurt basically iirc.
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Okay so this is probably going to be really disjointed but

I did like most of the characters and the story parts I saw/managed to be involved in

Unfortunately the vast majority of the plot was kind of infodumped at the very end after the Emissary Game segment was over and there's still a ton that wasn't made clear at all (at least to me)

I still have no idea who Zero was or what their goal was, why Iris apparently decided to wipe her own memories, know little to nothing about Max, Astrid, Ember, or Hazel, etc. which feels kind of crazy after a game that went for over two months

Ironically the part of the game I was initially most interested about, the Emissary Game itself, ended up more of a detriment than anything, both to the narrative and my overall enjoyment of the game

Stella already knew what the deal with Luka was so there was no surprise to that and most of the other revelations that took place during the game didn't really relate to her

My only real goal I was given was 'just try to win' but that turned out to be practically impossible very early on because I kept getting screwed over in the first couple rounds and nearly every round after that gave me zero chance to pull ahead of the leaders

It's incredibly demoralizing to have to go through nine whole rounds when you know you have next to no chance of winning

It's also (in my opinion) not very exciting or interesting from a story perspective when the same three or four players constantly clean up in every round while the others just get shafted all the time

I feel like if something similar to this is done again the game should really decide from the start whether it's going to be actually competitive or wholly story-driven because this half and half situation didn't really work; either way there shouldn't be as many rounds as there were

Also if there's going to be a game where the players can't be killed off they really need more than one victory condition in case their primary one is cut off, otherwise you're just kind of dragged along for the ride

But idk take this with a mountain of salt I guess since I'm probably retiring from NGs for real this time (not that this pushed me over the edge or anything like that, I just don't think these games are for me)

Anyway thanks for hosting and putting up with my complaining Nanjo
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Reading over the bios, I have a piece of minor feedback. Reading other bios showed a perspective on my own character that I didn't really realise was meant to be there. I think it would have helped me to better understand Jason, and how to play him, if I'd known some of those things. Similarly I think Jason's perspective on Luka and Stella isn't really reflected in their bios either.
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Okay so that was an interesting game. I had some problems with the pacing, but I definitely appreciated the way it shook up the formula a bit. The characters were also fun, and I enjoyed pretty much all of them. I found myself liking the games a lot more than I expected to as well, but just wished they were shorter in a couple cases.

Obviously as Zero I had a bit of a strange experience with this game since I had little incentive to cooperate and already knew pretty much everything. However, it still felt like I had trouble making myself relevant, mainly cause the role I was disguised as wasn't even a real person. I initially assumed that Iris' death would be more important than it ultimately was, but that didn't end up giving me much to work with. I don't think it was a big deal though. I still was never found out and actually managed to win the game somehow.

Speaking of which, I was a little disappointed with the ending. I definitely assumed that Wesley and Forrest being outed would just be required to happen in the game, since it usually was in the other games. I probably should have made that more clear beforehand. I didn't want to confess at the end of the game though, because I would have preferred the others figure it out first. I was more or less fine with the scene in the alternate timeline, but I thought more could have been done.

Also, the circumstances of the other timeline were kinda weird. I'm ultimately not sure how I'm supposed to feel about Jason, because the timeline where he died was in no way worse off, it was just different. Not only does Iris live, she also gets a hot wife, and while Jason did save Luka it was only for like maybe a couple months. It was like a sad version of It's a Wonderful Life. I guess it's more realistic but just kinda lame from a narrative perspective. I think it would have worked better if at least one character was better off in Jason's timeline. Like maybe Ember dies or something idk

And as for winning the game, I really didn't expect that to happen at all. I pretty much just got a huge gain from the Apologies and then immediately discovered I actually had a chance, so I just kept going. I didn't lie about my dollar amount because I intended to win though; it was mostly to keep the Zero reveal from happening in the middle of the game. Also, I never cheated or abused my power as Zero in a major way to win.

But anyway, it was a ton of fun, and I'm glad I got a go at playing Zero this time, especially since it was such a unique role.
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Great job Nanjo! Some minor thoughts, I haven't read the qts (yet).

Overall I did like the game but it wasn't without its problems. It was definitely ambitious, and I liked that it was so different from NGs. Even if some of the differences were things I wouldn't have preferred, it did make it feel refreshing. The music didn't really work for me personally, but stuff like that and the lack of giant narrative dumps did really make the game feel distinct. I think it's really cool that you just made it your own style and kept it that way until the end.

The story and how the twists played out was good for the most part. Some characters weren't too relevant, but that seems to happen every game. The lack of death/danger was definitely a big choice and the game definitely worked better than I thought without it, but it still could've been better. The twists didn't really play out with properly climactic points of the game. And while I was fine with no deaths initially by the end I definitely think there should've been one death. Something in like the middle of the game that immediately raises the stakes and mystery, but I get that that was a direction you were avoiding. But I still think people could've had more serious reasons for needing the money, stuff that would make cooperation solutions unreasonable.

Also a minor point but the Wesley trans twist could've added a lot more. Like the way it is now, it's not really different at all if Wesley is still a man controlling a female drone and Max is just gay and in love with him. If Wesley were somehow alive from the combine in the main timeline, and then became the Vivienne we know then it would've added a lot and would've explained a lot (Jason not recognizing him, etc). That's just an example but hopefully what I'm trying to say is clear.

But I'm not gonna complain about what I would've preferred the game should be and instead take it for how it was. So overall I did enjoy it, I especially enjoyed the games that were more closely tied to the story points (though people less connected to the story had problems with those). I also really loved Luka, and he was pretty much the exact character I wanted so thanks. I even wanted him to live in the main timeline when given the choice so people who know me should be able to gleam some significance from that. I do think I would've liked him regardless of who played him because he was just one of those characters who had the right balance of story relevance and personality, but I guess I would get it if someone hated him too. But I liked him. I thought Jason and Hazel (and props to Hanzo for subbing in so well!) were the other standouts, and unfortunately didn't think much of the rest of the cast. Nobody was bad, but nobody was that great. For a character like Astrid for example, I had zero issue with how BP played her but she just felt fundamentally limited in how she could impact the game given her connections (again I haven't read the qt).

And cut by PB but I thought Max was Zero until his post oops. Which I guess is another nitpick I'd have, it should be clear from the game itself who Zero is. It's not even that clear to me why the game and its emotional torture existed, there seems to be no grand purpose. But yeah I don't have a problem with Wesley winning at the end given her involvement.
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(in reference to Franzise's post)

I think unfortunately game mechanics were not conducive to the story-driven game, yeah. I don't know if it's possible to achieve a great balance between them. So, looking at the cast and the storylines, yeah I wish all the games had been less cumbersome.

The ending was pretty tricky because yeah without multiple endings, nobody had laid their heart bare. I see this as another format issue. I was always trying to make sure people were talking about story stuff but I had to do that too often I think to sustain it over the entire game. It should've been better facilitated.

I do want to again thank the players. I think they did their best to bring the characters to life, and even if it was hard to get a full grasp of each player's story, they felt lifelike and interesting. Hanzo did a good job and I'm glad he was able to step in.
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Personally I like Wesley being trans as-is. I don't think being trans should really be a "plot twist", when it can instead just be a character trait.

One thing I, personally at least, really liked about the story was the cross-dimensional relationship between Wesley and Max. Not just the romance, but also the interesting idea of having a computer that connects the two timelines and can access information from the other timeline's internet, stuff like that. But, none of this was *really* present in the game proper, it only came out afterwards. I think I'd have liked to see more of that. Just a really cool sci-fi concept I guess.
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I mean it’s fine as a character trait, but in an NG it could totally be a twist especially when it’s something that would make complete sense but still be unexpected (plus it still was a minor twist in this version).
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You’re welcome for the win honey!

Yeah let’s do some thoughts on the game. I’ll echo PB in that playing as the Zero team felt REALLY strange and not playing with the full set of information I should have also was strange.

To be clear...it’s more in character I should know everything. As Zeros hands in this timeline Forrest set everything up and programmed it all. Could have aced nearly every game he wanted to (wasn’t lying about holding back) but some things would outright surprise me or make no sense in hindsight. I assumed there would be a point where the crew had to identify Zero as well, so Forrest was basically there to be as suspicious as possible as bait was basically how I interpreted role.

Then the keykeeper game came up and I was like “Wait why would I even design this?” The only solution to get the game forward was to choose Forrest. Why would I have even bothered with a fake identity if I was going to leave the place plastered with little clues to my identity? Maybe Forrest was just mad when designing the game but it did feel really weird to not have the full information of something I should have.
Another example was when Ember told me that Luka had put in “Church” as an answer in the quiz round. I snorted to myself and was like “Well he screwed that up” and then Nanjo was like “Actually that works.” And I was like “What? Why? Who is Church?” That’s just a little example of some of the confusion.

I’ll agree that the game aspect of it was skewed towards other people and shouldn’t have been. It’s not a problem for Forrest who had little stake in the game other than observing and studying the others. I think the cruel trick of the apology game was the massive deciding factor there. While being a clear indicator that the real Wesley was in the game, it pretty much executed any chance of this being a legitimate game. Too many endgame things were pandering to the “protagonists” both in terms of plot and game mechanics. I mean...if Vivienne had been an actual villainous character then setting up the Wesley Apology Trick would have suited her but it didn’t feel that way.

This next problem is personal taste really but I don’t like the level of magic in this game. In the same way that Zero Time Dilemma earned my ire from involving ALIENS, this game involving some weird cult necromancy voodoo stretched my belief to points I don’t like. I also feel it comes apart under the slightest examination. A lot of the game hinges on Luka being there but Luka’s existence and reanimation was entirely beyond Zero Squads control. None of us had a clue about what Luka was other than he looked similar to the kid back then and stuck him in. Where did Stella get the choir needed to resurrect someone? How has this not made massive news already? Luka doesn’t have a song to revive himself by and Stella didn’t know of Jason’s existence (AND HATED HIS GUTS) so the power of friendship argument doesn’t fly for whatever reason Luka revived at first and probably doesn’t at the end either though there’s no reason for him to have died then either I can see.

It’s all very unscientific!



But what I liked!

The non-Violent Nonary game format was really interesting and great! I loved the start with people out to compete and the prospect of making people play different but significant games each time I thought was better than standard room exploration and puzzles!

I liked a lot about the characters we saw and especially the diversity you included in it!

I had a lot of fun playing someone who hardly had to care about the deep stakes going on! More than I probably should have! But it was really refreshing to not be playing a Zero associate who is out and out trying to ruin the party.

I really like the idea of giving people personal flashback sections, that was great and and idea I had juggled for if I was to do another Nonary game. Give people that really personal focus and spotlight. Only problem was the timing and length of it meant that other people had to sit in silence for quite a long time which maybe contributed to some people feeling secondary in the journey. If I was to pull it again with the benefit of this hindsight I’d do something for everyone but simultaneously. Put em all in a sensory deprivation pod (which btw was great and something everyone shoulda done) and give them a private RP moment on their own. Bring them all back at roughly the same time.

I’m short on time but that’s what I got to say for now.

Thanks a bunch for running this Nanjo!
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Pierre wrote:
Then the keykeeper game came up and I was like “Wait why would I even design this?” The only solution to get the game forward was to choose Forrest. Why would I have even bothered with a fake identity if I was going to leave the place plastered with little clues to my identity? Maybe Forrest was just mad when designing the game but it did feel really weird to not have the full information of something I should have.

I mean, he likes games and games are meant to be fair. I think he just designed a mystery that he wanted the cast to untangle, that makes plenty of sense to me. Games are meant to be winnable.

I agree it is strange that the Zeros didn't know everything but I'm not sure what a reasonable solution could've been because otherwise they'd just win every game.

Your post also made me realize that my problem with the cast was less so the individual characters but moreso how they functioned as a unit. The dynamic was lacking something, but I'm not really sure what so this is kind of an incomplete thought but w/e.
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Well I never know what to say in these.

Anything I could add to the conversation has already been said by someone else, so I just want y'all to know I'm glad everyone had fun and I'm a little surprised some people even seemed to enjoy Ember. For a first Nonary Game it was a pretty unorthodox experience and I have to give props to Nanjo for the character writing and for a lot of the games. Rich/poor country, fruit stand, and rows really stood out to me as really fun and good fits for a format like this, even if they were so divorced from the plot.
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Quote:
This next problem is personal taste really but I don’t like the level of magic in this game. In the same way that Zero Time Dilemma earned my ire from involving ALIENS, this game involving some weird cult necromancy voodoo stretched my belief to points I don’t like. I also feel it comes apart under the slightest examination. A lot of the game hinges on Luka being there but Luka’s existence and reanimation was entirely beyond Zero Squads control. None of us had a clue about what Luka was other than he looked similar to the kid back then and stuck him in. Where did Stella get the choir needed to resurrect someone? How has this not made massive news already? Luka doesn’t have a song to revive himself by and Stella didn’t know of Jason’s existence (AND HATED HIS GUTS) so the power of friendship argument doesn’t fly for whatever reason Luka revived at first and probably doesn’t at the end either though there’s no reason for him to have died then either I can see.


You only need a choir for the Symphonic Warblers because their songs are too complex to replicate in any other way. Luka, as a sentient human, doesn't necessarily need the same thing, humans can apply far more semantic meaning to simpler things. (In Stella's bio you can see what revived him, it was the poem Jason recited when confessing to him. It was something that held deep, specific meaning for Luka.) I think you're just taking the Warbler's revival method too literally: it's an unexplored pseudo-scientific field so it's not weird that things aren't always one exact way.

However despite that, while I think the pseudo-science explanation for necromancy is fine, I guess I don't particularly care for it as a plot point to begin with. I like it when the pseudo-science does something weird and interesting, like cross-dimensional communication. Necromancy has potential to be pretty weird but in the end it wasn't used for *that* much, it was background information rather than a primary focus. (Whereas in NG7 the clone things were weird but were also a primary focus).
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Fwiw I liked the whole revived thing and I'd wanted to get into a discussion about what it really means to be 'alive'... but by the time it actually came up in the game I was too done to bother, plus the whole Jason reveal and scene with him and Luka happened while I was working and by the time I did have a chance to post nobody cared anymore so

Also Stella didn't 'hate Jason's guts', she hated what he did to her and how (apparently) callously he was treating her by not even talking to her; the simple comment he made at the end about just being friends again at the end just made her snap
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I might as well post my thoughts here too, it's been long enough. Before I start though, I want to preface this by saying that I think this game was definitely interesting and unique and I appreciate how it tried to set itself apart from the others. I do think Nanjo deserves a lot of credit here for working so hard on the game and I think it shows how much he put into this. The main reason I'm saying this is because, uh... I'll be frank, I didn't like the game. Or at least I didn't like playing it. A lot of it was for personal reasons but the game itself didn't feel like a satisfactory experience to me ultimately. I think a lot of my problems started from the very beginning, because I wasn't really feeling hyped for the game itself. But it sounded interesting enough so I figured I should try it. Then I got my role PM and it was... confusing, to say the least? I honestly think Hazel was a mismatch for me (surprised JM thought she was a standout?) and I think it felt strange just from the role PM. The personality characteristics felt weird to me and not stuff I'd have gone with so I had to alter her to something more suitable. It was hard to really get invested in a lot of the game, from the story to Hazel herself because of the way it was worded and it felt very, very disjointed and confusing. I came back to it several times throughout the course of the game and still couldn't figure out a lot of it, leading to it being pretty frustrating for me. I get that it being disjointed was its purpose but ultimately it was super disadvantageous and infuriating for me.

The game itself was also severely mixed for me. For one, I really wasn't fond of the cast and I don't think they stood out much. Forrest/Max was definitely my favourite due to the sheer class and flair he had, he never let down for a second and was consistently entertaining. Jason also had a good backstory and felt interesting enough (though I feel like he lost a lot of his flair once the mask came off). Astrid felt alright too even though her role felt way too vanilla for my taste by the end. The others were mostly just sort of there for most of the game honestly, I didn't feel anything towards a lot of them till like the very end (except Luka, who I honestly disliked though I get that it was sort of the intention in a way). Vivienne/Ember definitely suffered the worst from it, I honestly couldn't get a read on Vivienne for most of the game at all (though her posts calling Astrid ugly and searching the church room really quickly were funny). I could also tell Matt was having a lot of trouble with his character too, which I can't even blame him for because I share his frustrations to an extent. It's really infuriating feeling out of the loop and it can be difficult to play your character because of that too. I'd be struggling too if I didn't even know who I was for most of the game. It must be even more frustrating not being shown for like several rounds and just getting stuffed in a broom closet as well (tangentially, while the chat bit at the start was kinda fun conceptually I think it felt needlessly long and kinda draining at the end? I would've preferred a more traditional intro to suit Hazel from the start, it wasn't something I was prepared for at all). This isn't really an attack on anyone though, the cast just really didn't mesh with me and I feel like the lack of connections I had to everyone from the outset hurt my investment and ability to care a lot (which goes back to my frustrations regarding my vague role PM). The story was hard to follow too, there were plot points I weren't able to follow even while I was in the game. Like the robot thing, where did that even come from. I couldn't even be bothered to read back and see for myself.

So with the cast not doing it for me, what about the game? Ehhhhh. Honestly I feel like there was a poor emphasis on the gameplay for a lot of it, and it comes down to two major reasons. The first is the puzzle rooms. The two sets of those we had, anyway. After playing through NG8, I was excited for the puzzles in this one since Nanjo was a puzzle lord and the puzzles were a highlight of NG8, but they were both only really at the start of the game. Neither of them really did it for me either, with there not really being a clear objective in my eyes and the lack of full fledged puzzles making it feel like "interact about story stuff till the phase changes". Which I guess NG7 also did but I dunno, I was expecting something more from this one? It also really didn't help that the game's story didn't do much for me. So those felt wasteful so that left the 'games' to carry the whole thing. So how were they? Well, the early rounds themselves were fine, rich country/poor country was honestly interesting too. I think my favourite ones were generally the ones which involved the players, their backstories and the information that they all knew- quiz bowl and rows were genuinely interesting and fun even if I sucked and won zilch from both. It felt well planned.

So what's the problem then? The second reason I mentioned earlier comes here sadly. A lot of the minigames felt long and hard and needlessly tedious to finish. Heal/hurt went on for too long obviously but Werewolf was crazy long and its conclusion was just generally weird. I just got tired of waiting and for most of the game it didn't even feel like I was playing properly. I feel like my role in Werewolf was just Nanjo feeling bad for me because I wasn't doing shit for most of the game, I was completely lost for most of it and only gave my own weird observation which even then I wasn't sure of. I felt kinda pathetic admittedly, and the issue of my self esteem honestly persisted throughout the game. Was I doing good at all? Was anyone enjoying anything I wrote? I felt super unmotivated and borderline self-loathing, it was honestly bad. I agree with Franzise's thoughts when it came to the games in the grand scheme of things. I felt like I was on a losing path for basically most of the game and unable to rectify it (which the apology game would have rectified but it was too late by then lol) until the rows part, which was honestly the highlight of the game to me. The twists surrounding that part genuinely felt interesting (if not weird) to me and it was when I was the most immersed into the game and wanting to see what happens next. The twist surrounding Jason was also interesting in hindsight (Even if that may have skewed the game in hindsight) and our QT was super interesting and emotionally raw. I was almost getting into the game again (I'd considered dropping out at least three times before this point). Anyway you guys know what happened, I couldn't find myself to post during the apology part and just fucking broke and realised the game wasn't for me. It was a long time coming, I couldn't stop it. I was frustrated enough before, so why continue? I didn't want to tell Nanjo this at all because I didn't want to seem like a dick, I'm just saying this now because I need to get it off my chest. That's all my role in the game was, and on the whole I cannot say I liked it. It was tiring, frustrating and just not for me.

With that I passed the baton onto Hanzo and just watched on from the sidelines. I don't super care for how he played Hazel but I don't really care about that now so whatever. The rest of the game was honestly whatever, it was relieving not actively ruining the game by playing and it seemed that people were enjoying it. I do agree the end was dumb and lacked payoff though. Like all the important scenes just happened posthumously and we never got clarity on the important stuff? I think a lot of us would've just gone on thinking Max was Zero if it weren't for PB's post. It felt really poorly clarified and the flashback scenes didn't do much for me and ultimately just served to drag the game on even when it seemed to be at the end. Some of the twists were cool admittedly but they should've been put way earlier, the lack of a proper reveal scene was super disappointing. Anyway that's it. I know I came off like a fucking twat writing this and I'm sorry. I cried a lot writing this and I know it'll be bad manners to come off so needlessly critical about the game but I really did not enjoy it. I'm sorry I bothered writing this and ruining the mood and I really do think that the game was cool conceptually and Nanjo did his best probably and I'm undermining his efforts. I can't think of a good way to close this diatribe so I'm just hitting send.
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For what it's worth I can understand not thinking Vivienne was particularly impactful as I didn't really know what I was doing with her for most of the game. I put a bit more thought into Wesley's personality cause I thought she'd get more posts at the end. I think a lot of it was that I was lacking in direction but I've been pretty busy lately anyway. I did kinda want to go a more antagonistic route but there weren't many opportunities to do it without making myself too suspicious.

idk why everyone thought Forrest was Zero though. Like obviously it could have been made more clear but it literally said Wesley was with Zero Games in the last post and like Forrest lost the game lol
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I will preface this with two things: I overall didn't enjoy the game, and I share most of SC's sentiments. NG9 felt very compelling at the beginning for me but dropped off incredibly hard towards the midgame.

When I first got my role PM I had very high hopes. My character looked legitimately cool and I never really played a secret character in NGs before. I was pretty stoked to potentially have a big part in the plot, so I was very much looking forward to the game. As NG9 went on, I still liked it and I kept trudging on thinking 'maybe next round will have a BIG reveal', you know, like the timelines in VLR where Sigma remembers shit, but eventually it reached a point where everyone was involved in all sorts of intra-dimensional conspiracy or whatever and I still had no clue who I was actually playing. For a lot of the game my character wasn't even physically present. Being only in a chatroom is compelling for the first few days, and then it just gets repetitive and annoying. I literally knew nothing about the cast AND my own character for 99% of the game. I pretty much only knew who I actually was in the endgame. I had zero relationships with people, very little actual plot involvement during the game or even character development moments. And that kinda shafted me. I was so confused about who my character was that I had trouble solidifying a personality, because I had very little material. Then again, I'm not the best roleplayer out there, I'm probably worse than everyone that plays these games - so, it's probably on me, or so I think.

And then came the endgame info dump. A combination of my semester ending with tests left and right, me shitting up my maths grades and that, I pretty much lost all interest. I didn't really want to read most of it, but I did anyways for completion's sake. As far as it looked to me at the time, I thought there were pacing issues - and it made sense. I'm not sure if we missed clues or that we should've brought them up more to get memories or whatever - for example, I caught a lot of the ones that hinted towards me being Iris, but it was just confusing. Because I knew from the evidence I got that I was Iris, but then I got nothing in my QT for days - so I went, "am I supposed to know this? Does my character not know this yet?" And I ended up doubting it, because saying IC that you're some dead person did not seem reasonable. That's just the most relevant example of the overall confusion I felt during the game, it looked like all important info was crammed into the lategame and there were only very tiny bread crumbs in the prior phases.

Something I found to have hampered my will to play a lot is the non-lethal nature of this game. It's pretty known that I'm a sucker for high stakes in nonary games and danganronpa games. I figured it would have much less of an impact if I made myself play one of these and, well, I probably shouldn't have. It ended up mattering far more to me than I thought it should've. So, if any of these happen in the future, I'll most likely just not sign up. But experimentation's cool in my books - I just didn't expect for this kind of NG to not attract me.

I still appreciate the experimentation and I appreciate everyone who GMs these kinds of games. You guys are great and we wouldn't be here without any of you, so I really, really hope this isn't hurtful, but I don't think I'm one to sugarcoat stuff.
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I’ll give full thoughts later but just because of the last few posts I just wanna say I don’t think anyone did a bad job RPing, and while there were certainly some characters that were more bombastic (everyone knows I’m talking about Max) nobody stood out negatively to me.
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For what it's worth I desperately wanted to do a reveal at the end xD Even had a scene with Vivienne where Max pleaded to do it.

Max got permission to reveal his role but figured there wouldn't be a way to do that without implicating Vivienne as well so I held back on it.

I think both of us really expected a little question or need to pinpoint Zero at the end. Otherwise what's the point in having Forrest act as a decoy? Eh I guess I imagined that.


Also if Forrest hadn’t been married from the outset, I’d have absolutely shipped him with Stella. She shared a similar level of class and bravado and disregard for personal space xD.
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Alright, well, this was a ride.

First of all, kudos and thanks to Nanjo for running the game. There was a lot to manage and put together, so good job!

I did like it overall, but there were definitely plenty of flaws (which I'm pretty sure everyone noticed).

I really liked the story behind the game, and thought it was really cool and deep! Unfortunately, it was presented in a really really really bad way. Or rather, it didn't really fit the Emissary Game. The Emissary Game ended really anticlimactically... both in terms of having one player suddenly screw everyone else over at the last second, and in terms of Zero going "Vivienne wins," answering a few questions (but no Big Questions), and then everyone just leaving. We did get a bit more context from the final scenes, but even then a lot was left in the air--the fact that it seems most of the players were wrong about Zero's identity upon the closing speaks volumes about how well some parts of the plot were conveyed. Also, while the backstory was pretty cool, Zero's motives for everything was pretty amorphous, and this method seemed pretty contrived for her stated goal, even by Nonary Game standards.

Nanjo tried to do something totally different with this Nonary Game, and it kinda worked, and kinda didn't. It seems everyone was into it at the beginning, and then enthusiasm kinda... dissipated a bit. Games were both too long and too short--they dragged out too long in real time to keep people engaged, but once it was clear that pacing was an issue people were locked out of actions/strategies that would have required more planning/timing. I think it was only the Werewolf Game that went on too long, though; the Attack/Defend game was fine. (Yes it was a bit long, but no individual phase felt too long imo.)

The games ranged from pure strategy games to thinly veiled plot devices. Nanjo sometimes struck an awesome balance in the middle (Rows is the particular stand-out), but the plot device games... well, felt more like plot devices than games we could actually play. Apology Game in particular felt bleh, since it was nothing more than a windfall to the characters connected to the Jason plot. (It ended up being the sole reason Vivienne was able to win.) Even the game after that felt better, since even though it wasn't a "game" and was clearly there just to make esper powers/morphogenetic field stuff explicit, it still had some interesting stuff by giving Pink so much power and discretion. However, while I did like the mixed plot/strategy games, they also tended to feel like they were decided by the whims of the GM, and how much/what info Nanjo decided to give us. The fact that we just gave up on Rows and couldn't figure out the keykeeper, despite several hints from Nanjo in both of these, speaks to this.

Also, in terms of incentives for the players--I think allowing multiple winners was a big mistake. Part of the reason this wasn't a death game was to make people more willing to backstab and whatnot. But since everyone could win, cooperation just seemed a much easier strategy. I think the rule should have been if multiple people crossed $1m at once, only the person with the highest amount of money would win. This would've prevented people from teaming up for life, since cooperation would eventually stop paying out.

Alright this is where my post is gonna get rambly cuz I feel like a better place to discuss this would've been a couple paragraphs above but I just thought of this now so too bad. The pacing when games weren't happening was also off, especially at the end, when I just wanted closure/resolution to things. I think GM prompts would've gone a long way here--just small stuff like "[Will move on once I have a few reacts]" or "[Will proceed a bit later, feel free to react]". Just so we knew what we were actually supposed to be doing, since sometimes it wasn't clear whether you were waiting on us or we were waiting on you or what-have-you.

Having two methods for bringing dead people back to life (interdimensional drones and necromancy) felt a bit weird. The interdimensionality was pretty cool, but it felt like it would've been even more awesome if the Emissary Game had been able to take advantage of the physicality of that even more, rather than just having all the timeline B people be in timeline A for the game.

As I said, I thought everyone did a good job RPing. It's not the case that all the characters were super awesome uber-unique memorable characters, but everyone felt good, and consistent, and with depth.

Hazel as a person was eeeeh, but having a decrepit old woman in the game I thought was a really unique character archetype for the genre.

Pink definitely had a personality--a kind, earnest amnesiac who was trying to do right by everyone because she literally didn't know better--but... yeah, I definitely see where Matt is coming from in his complaints. The fact that Pink was trapped in the closet for so long feels weird since nothing came of it. It would've been one thing to isolate Pink for the first game or two, or for the entire game, but doing it for half the game without any apparent reason for it is eeeh. The fact that nobody (including Pink) had anything definite about Pink's identity/backstory even as the games became more and more about the plot and the specific characters also seemed incredibly bizarre to me.

Falling behind in the games also sucked. You could definitely tell where people got screwed just because this was a forum game and they didn't get on in time. This was definitely a prickly issue, since a huge pot could put someone behind back in the running... but could also just end the game prematurely. Making games that had the ability to lose money may have given people more of a fighting chance as the game went on. Or maybe people would have to ante a certain percentage of their current winnings (so players ahead would be putting in more--and you could even increase the percentage for players ahead). No matter what you did, the fact that this was an RP instead of a scripted story would introduce lots of potential for things to go very screwy.

uhh that's all i can think of atm, so i guess i'll just put down my thoughts on playing astrid. I could tell from Astrid's profile that she was going to be The Lotus. It was slightly disappointing, especially after being The Ace in NG7, but I figured I had to take my turn out of the limelight, and I was pleasantly surprised because Astrid's warblers ended up more plot-relevant than I had expected. Also Astrid's character traits made it so I could go at the games with full force without feeling bad for trouncing everyone :karma: I kinda wanted Astrid to have more of a personality than being the group nag who wants everyone to cooperate, but... oh well. I kind of wanted to try playing a ruthless character for once (Teddy is #1 dad who did nothing wrong), but having the environmentalist selfishly screw everyone else over seemed to OOC. Especially at the very end, running away was very tempting, but... I just couldn't bear to have Astrid face everyone if she betrayed them after spending the whole game trying to get everyone to cooperate.

also the fact that in the final game the run payout was nearly exactly what astrid needed to hit 1m proves that astrid was the true protag all along, wesley and jason and luka can move aside


edit: also nanjo i'm gonna burn your house down (a purple beanbag is making me do it i'm sorry :sob: )
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Question: What WAS with the voice that came through the stone to the cult?
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I thought that was timeline B Hazel?
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Wait so Hazel was just trolling these cult guys? Hazel told them that Stella’s dad specifically was dragging them down?
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Oh wait I think I misread the question, I thought you were asking about the voice that was coming from the stone in the Church Room.
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Werewolf was pretty much the only game I did like since it was basically the only one where it felt like what I did mattered and didn't just leave my fate entirely up to the other players and/or luck

Conversely I hated the quiz round and Rows since they punished players who revealed too much information when the whole point of the Nonary Game is supposed to be about uncovering information to solve the mysteries
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Oh yeah if I'm being real Rows/Quiz weren't very good in hindsight either, the people who knew less (like me) really suffered and in Quiz it basically just came down to me guessing which players would get the answers right which was basically just luck in the end, it really favoured players who had more knowledge of stuff. Rows also felt weird in hindsight because nobody could have really figured out a lot of it solely from the hints. I had the greatest chance of winning for a lot of it and obviously I screwed up a bit but I feel like people would have been onto me even if I didn't do that? So it felt like telling the truth was the only good thing to do in the situation, and that didn't work out so we just ended it in a stalemate.
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The idea behind the Quiz Bowl round, to me, was that the winners are the ones who can form deals with players to learn all the answers and get a good idea of who might know what. It wasn't necessarily about what you knew beforehand; what you were able to figure out during the game itself about other people was more important. Though that does, as Franzise said, mean it could have been beneficial to stay quiet about things in advance instead of dropping hints.
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Also that's heavily weighted towards the players who actually had allies they could trust

Forrest and Wesley were a team from the start and I guess Ember worked with them too; Jason, Luka, and Astrid formed a power trio basically immediately, so who did that leave me with? Iris and Hazel, neither of which seemed to have any idea as to what was going on and the latter of which I wouldn't have even had a chance to interact with until like round 4 (not that I'm blaming Matt or SC in the slightest, it's totally understandable given the circumstances)

I don't think it's a coincidence that the players who didn't have a good time are the ones who didn't have any reliable teammates to lean on, probably a good idea to force different groups together like a lot of previous games did
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I mean I only had like one QT with Max for the whole game but I did have prior knowledge as Zero. I’m not sure how much that really helped me, and I pretty much bombed the quiz to avoid arousing suspicion. I also didn’t even intend to lie during the Rows game since I assumed the game was designed around Vivienne instead of Wesley.

Anyway even having won I don’t think I ever understood the “strategy” for the game. Even I thought some of them were kinda frustratingly random though, like the ABC game. It seemed like the easiest way to do it was to go with the flow and see what happened.
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Franzise Deauxnim wrote:
Also that's heavily weighted towards the players who actually had allies they could trust

Forrest and Wesley were a team from the start and I guess Ember worked with them too; Jason, Luka, and Astrid formed a power trio basically immediately, so who did that leave me with? Iris and Hazel, neither of which seemed to have any idea as to what was going on and the latter of which I wouldn't have even had a chance to interact with until like round 4 (not that I'm blaming Matt or SC in the slightest, it's totally understandable given the circumstances)

I don't think it's a coincidence that the players who didn't have a good time are the ones who didn't have any reliable teammates to lean on, probably a good idea to force different groups together like a lot of previous games did

Well there definitely required a degree of proactivity. For me at least there were no real teams and they were all a round-by-round basis. Helping Astrid only had benefit to either of us during the quiz bowl round and there was an attempt to strategize an apology with "Wesley" but that couldn't work either because he wasn't Wesley. But it definitely wasn't limited to people I knew before the game or anything and to win and you definitely couldn't just wait for fortune to happen, not not having a reliable teammate.
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For what it’s worth Franzise I did think your solution to the quiz bowl round in spite of not having the knowledge was ingenious.

It was also a shame that that round came up so early as well as it would have benefitted from a greater amount of time to allow players to piece information together.

Max and Viv coordinated on the money pool round and partially in the heal hurt round. Ember helped out and tried to betray Max as well. I clocked that Ember probably tried to talk to everyone and decided I may as well go for it too which is when I opened up to cooperation with everyone.

But yes it was definitely too heavily weighted towards certain characters. The game/plot balance was an uncomfortable mix.
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I think it's fair to say Astrid was one of the strongest performing players, and she didn't know much about the plot and had no real connections to any other character. That's where deals and scheming and such come in.

That said though, the apology round was definitely the most biased, assigning large amounts of money to only certain characters for, mainly, story reasons. Someone like Astrid had very little chance to make any money there, whereas Jason had an absurd amount of chances, ruined only by the apologies to Wesley going to 'Vivienne' instead.
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