ocvictor: (Eris)
Okey-doke. It looks like we have enough tentative interest out there to play! So what follows is a guideline as to how SCAVENGER HUNT ON INFINITE EARTHS will work. I say "guideline" because, really? The rules here are pretty amorphous. As I've said before, it's more Calvinball than anything else. What follows is some Frequently Asked Questions, which I will add to as questions get asked. So ask away!

What is Scavenger Hunt on Infinite Earths?: SHOIE (Wow, that's a lousy acronym!) is a role-playing game, of sorts, wherein each player takes on the role of a character from fiction, history, real life or, in some brave cases, simply themselves. The conceit is that the characters are gathered by a cosmic force (who is almost certainly not the goddess Eris in disguise!), split into teams and sent on a quest across the multiverse to gather up items of historical, cosmic and, in some cases, inexplicable interest.

When will the game take place?: The game will begin on Saturday, August 4 and end Sunday, Sept. 2. You have until right up when the game starts to declare a character.

What skills will be helpful to play? Writing, first and foremost. It's a game about storytelling, after all. A working knowledge of pop culture, literature and/or cinema will be handy. You're split into teams because no one knows everything, so you can split up duties, which means a certain degree of being able to work with a group is helpful. Lastly, social media skills can bring you great advantages.

How do I choose a character?: You can play any character you wish. The previous incarnation of this game had characters from comic books, television, Greek mythology, anime and more. Want to play Wonder Woman? Sure! Want to play the Christopher Nolan version of Batman? Go for it! Want to play your favorite deceased U.S. president, William Howard Taft? I can't think of a reason why you wouldn't! Want to play esteemed Ohio poet and organizer Scott Woods? I have no problem with that, as long as A.) Scott's not in the game and playing himself, and B.) You're not doing anything to make Scott angry. There are really only two rules when it comes to choosing a character: 1.) There can be only one in the game (so you can't, say, play the pre-"Flashpoint" version of Batman if someone has already claimed the Nolan version); and 2.) You cannot libel the living. We're doing this for fun, not to be horrible to anyone. Even if you find libel fun. Characters can be claimed on a first-come basis, beginning NOW. If you want to claim a character, leave a comment on this post, identifying who you are, and who you're playing.  As you have probably figured out by now, it's not necessarily an advantage to play the most powerful character. Someone playing Gregory House is just as likely to win as someone playing Thor. Go with whomever you think you'll have the most fun playing.

Can I play an original character?: Certainly. Just do us all a favor and give us a little bit of background, so we have an idea what we're in for.

Can I play more than one character?: Let me get back to you on that. It depends on how many players it looks like we have.

How is the game played?: Early on Aug. 4, the Moderator will post an introductory post either here or on a designated blog (not sure yet, but the link will definitely be here) which will set the scene and provide the first list of items for the quest. (Supplementary items may appear as the game goes on.) Players will kibitz with their teams, split up duties, and then proceed to tell the stories of their character's quest for random strange objects.

How and where do I tell stories?: There is no proscribed location or format for the how or where the story is told. You can write it on your own blog. You can create a blog special for the purpose. You can put it on a note in Facebook. You can do it in a series of Tweets. It doesn't matter. All that matters is that you tell the story, and then post a link to the story in the game's central "treasure vault," which will be revealed at the game's start. So, if you're playing Harry Potter, and your character is seeking Darth Vader's light saber, you can create a blog for Harry, and tell that story there, or you can create a Twitter account, and describe the event in capsules, or just write out the thing on your personal blog.Whatever you're most comfortable with. Caveat: If you post your story somewhere you have no control over, say, the comments section of the Washington Post, and a moderator there either deletes it or declines to allow it to be published to the Web, you're out of luck.

Won't there be random passers-by and commenters in some of those places?: There will indeed. Treat them as a natural hazard. You can either interact with or avoid the world at large, at your choosing.

(NEW!): Can my story come in the form of a poem/song/YouTube video?: Huh. I don't see why not. Those forms all have their advantages and disadvantages for something like this, but I'd say the potential payoff is pretty good.

(NEW!) Can more than one player claim an item?: Each team can can only go after any given item once. So Team 1, 2 and 3 can all go after Item X, but three players on Team 1 can't. Because that would get boring fast. There are two ways we can handle multiple teams going after the same item: They're either all going after alternate versions of the same item in different universes, or they're in conflict with other players, in which case the details need to be worked out between the players. The first is easier. The second might be more fun, but we'll leave it entirely in the players' hands to sort out.

Can I use a character from a game I'm already playing?: Yes! In fact, you can even have your posts for this game inside another game! The only caveat to this is: DON'T MESS UP SOMEONE ELSE'S GAME! If you annoy the mods at, say, some of the more popular DC and Marvel Comics-based games, I'll probably never hear the end of it. On the other hand, most of those people have pretty good senses of humor, so if you give them a heads up, it'll probably all be fine.

How is the game scored: Each team receives 10 points for each item found. 5 points will be deducted for shoddy storytelling. NO points will be given for ABSOLUTELY lame story (the, "I bought the Infinity Gauntlet at Target" scenario.) An extra 5 points will be awarded for exemplary storytelling, and lastly, an extra 10 points will be awarded for pulling off something UNBELIEVABLY cool. (For example, if your character's quest is to find Buffy the Vampire slayer's stake, and you somehow convince Buffy creator Joss Whedon to post a brief YouTube video explaining that your character, let's say Katniss Everdeen, won the stake by beating Buffy in an archery contest, then you will receive the maximum score of 20 points. Because let's face it. that would be awesome.

Can players collaborate with each other?: Yes! In fact, it's encouraged! You can either work together on a short story, or interact through Livejournal posts, or anything else more creative that you can think of! In fact, creative methods of collaboration may result in the Exemplary Storytelling Bonus!

Can my character start with any of the items on the list?: No. In fact, if they normally would have the item, it's gone missing, and they'll have to tell the story of getting it back. So there.

Who decides the points? The moderator (me) and possibly a panel of Super Cool Cosmically Aware judges. We're working on that.

What do I get if I win?: Uhm ... uhm ... love and admiration? The respect of your peers?A righting of the cosmic balance? We'll think of something.

In short: You can play (almost) anybody. You can play (almost) anywhere. It will be utterly madcap. Worlds will live. Worlds will die. The Internet will never be the same. It's gonna be awesome.

Got anymore questions? Leave a post! And again, feel free to reserve your character now.
ocvictor: (Eris)
Attention: fan-fic writers, role-playing gamers, writers willing to spend some time being silly and good-natured folks of all strips up for a lark.

So ... it's like this. In 2005, I perpetrated the silliest thing I have ever done on the Internet. In the Internet community Sages of Chaos, which is one of those online role-playing game communities, where people play a wide variety of fictional characters, I set the players out on a game called Scavenger Hunt on Infinite Earths, wherein people playing characters such as The Black Panther, Bill from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Deadpool, The Shade, Milk & Cheese and The Cheshire Cat from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland scoured the the multiverse for a number of rare items, including the contents of the lost Library of Atlantis, on microfiche; A compression coil for a Firefly class transport vehicle and the original text of the Shanshu Prophecy. They were set off on their quest by The Monitor, from DC Comics' Crisis on Infinite Earths, who was revealed eventually to be the Goddess Eris, in disguise. It was all very silly. There were more than a thousand posts, all told. It was much, much fun.

At the time, I said I'd do it again someday. And ... well ... I'm kind of up for it again. But Sages of Chaos seems a bit quit these days. But I think it can still be done, just as ridiculous as the first time, but maybe with a tad more structure. (Which is to say, some structure.)

I've got ideas. If I can get a dozen people that are interested in playing a silly game that will involve some rather outlandish storytelling, I'm willing to do it again.

Still sketching out rules, but here's the rough outline:

1.) Characters: Players can play any character from fiction or real life, including themselves or a character of their own invention. Once we know who's playing, they'll be split randomly into teams. (Real-life characters may be disallowed if it appears there is an intention to libel living people.) THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE OF EACH CHARACTER IN THE GAME. So one Buffy, one Doctor, one Harry S. Truman. Whatever. First come, first serve. Claims can begin NOW.

2.) The Quest: Players will have to write out a story of how their character obtained the item on the scavenger hunt list. That story will have to be posted SOMEWHERE on the Internet. It doesn't matter where. They can create a blog for their character, post it in an open Facebook message, put it in a series of Tweets. Doesn't matter, so long as it's somewhere anyone can read it.

3.) Keeping score: Players will post a link to their narrative of their character in a designated blog post. The moderator (me) will keep a running tally, and post the scores per team once a week. (This time around, I figure it'll take about a month, so no one has to rush through writing things. Remember, the more you write, though, the more points you score.) Extra points will be awarded for particularly excellent storytelling, whether it be hilarious, gripping or whatever. Likewise, points will be deducted for lameness. (Writing, "I walked into Target and bought the Infinity Gauntlet" will get you no points, whatsoever.) I may enlist judges toward these last goals. Or possibly just take opinions. We'll see how it goes.)

All in all, it's meant to be fun, nerdy and silly. It's an exercise in both individual and collective storytelling. There will be an overarching narrative that  will make less sense than a Rob Liefeld comic.

So. Whattaya say? Anyone up for some silliness?

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Victor David Infante

April 2017

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