Swamped Talk

Swamped Talk
In general I've been less concerned with the physical aspects of the greblings than with the societal space they occupy, so I haven't really given that much thought.

Or, to put it another way:
Its a mastery
Shorty is as short as a grebling???

One of the nice things about swamped is its recton-ability, but it's a little jarring to realize an established character has had claws and a tail this entire time.

We know there are at least 2 races in this world, but whose to say there aren't more? Who's say that these species of sentients haven't already been introduced but it was never mentioned because the world of swamped isn't concerned with petty details like what kinds of appendages you were born with, you tail-hater.

I guess the question is, DF, are humans the most common race in the swamp-verse, or is this more of a zootopia thing?

(If it's the former, I call dibs on the "Swamped (but it's zootopia)" adventure)
I vaguely recall saying that greblings are about two-thirds of average human height. But since I don't actually keep notes I might be misremembering that.

There's a lot I haven't decided on about this world, but humans are definitely dominant. (At least on the continent we've been focused on; who knows what it's like on the side of the world Stinger hails from?) This is even more true in the swamp; they're about the only ones willing to put up with it at all.

It's also worth noting that Crosswinds is the only grebling desperate enough to flee to the swamp. That's not to say there aren't others facing more trouble; just that they weren't willing to brave the swamp. For whatever reason, Crosswinds was. There are no greblings in the Bogknights, either.
Although I have to admit, after I typed that last sentence I had a mental image of Captain Long's introduction scene with him as a grebling, and that's pretty wonderful.
Sorry DF! I called dibs!

Grebling Long is my IP now. Poor rabbit-man Marshall is going to have a rough time making it in the waterbuffalo- dominated Bogknights, but maybe with the help of Actually-A-Crow Corvus they'll crack this case and earn that big promotion.
It's interesting when you think back on your own work and notice a theme you hadn't consciously intended but it's all over the place.

I just realized that there's this recurring pattern of "character tries to act like a badass and take on a problem by themselves, which generally makes things worse even if it resolves the immediate issue".

See: Dean's midnight run for the fly eggs, Long and Rider's duel, Rider trying to intimidate the Dune Wanderers, Long offering himself as a hostage. That's just off the top of my head.

I guess what I'm saying is, look forward to more of this now that I'm aware of it.
One of the hallmarks of the story is that no character is superhuman. Rider is larger than life and Lisa Black is a master of games, but they all make mistakes when we push them into crazy situations. You've done a pretty consistent job of wrangling back wild suggestions, or at least giving them clear negative consequences.

What are some other themes you've found?
Well, the most obvious one is "war is hell". This is something that I've noticed coming up a lot in my writing, even though I have no actual experience of any sort with the military. If I were to guess, I'd say it probably comes from becoming politically aware around the time of George W. Bush's administration invading Iraq.

It's pretty straightforward to see how this is a theme in Swamped. There's these two sides fighting over stuff that the actual grunts barely even know about, in a deadly swamp, and on some level they're not even really enemies. They're just fighting each other because that's what they're expected to do.

The casualty rate isn't even at all high at this point, and yet the fighting itself is still clearly exacting a toll on everyone involved. Even the people who usually aren't on the front lines.
So, while I won't stop anyone from reading back in the adventure to see what today's update is all about, this is what I'm referencing:


I thought it would be less obtrusive to point to it here than in the actual update.
It was hard for me to make today's update.

This was because I only had one suggestion, and I wasn't inclined to use it.

I felt that making the list into a forgery would just introduce a bunch of complications that I wasn't up for fitting into the plot.

But once I said "I'm not doing that", well, it makes it hard to confront Quill about a forgery if I'm not having it be a forgery (or even taking that as a misleading plot thread).

To be clear, I'm totally fine with the suggestion that Quill has a history of forgery. I just didn't have a place to really use it now.

And I didn't want to use Crosswinds' name as the tell even if I had gone down that route. I would have used Mudviper's name instead (which is why it's a tell that the list is real).

But without that, all I had to work with was "the list is mostly Rider's officers". So, that's what the update wound up being about.

I'm not using this to criticize the suggestion or anything. Keep making suggestions you think are interesting. I'll use them if I agree, and even if I don't, I'll try to get something out of them.

I just felt that in this particular case, it was important to share my thought process. Make of it what you will.
DF you rock! And any suggestion you take or don't take is up to you!

And I really appreciate you sharing your thought process. You're at a place in Swamped where you know some secret plot points and want to resolve existing ones.

Suggestions that expand the storyline at this point are taking a shot in the dark. Maybe we'll hit one of those plot points, or maybe we'll get close enough to it to influence the story in that direction.

I'm not the storyteller here, I'm the kid in the back of the class who chimes in whenever there's a pause.

On a related note, I've noticed that most of the person vs person conflict in Swamped tends to arise from secrecy and miscommunication. As soon as we dialogue with a character long enough, we realize they're decent folk and come to an understanding. While this is a good life lesson, it can ignore the other kinds of conflicts that arise. The kind when two characters care about conflicting things and don't have the time or desire to sort out their differences. Sometimes it's not clear what really drives a character. It's not established what they care about, so instead of helping them reach their goals, I assume their goals are in line with the "generic swamped character".

I love the scenes where a character's desires make then do something unexpected. It could be as simple as Mudviper saying "I am too tired for this BS" when someone tries to hide in her room. Or Starling knocks out a Grebling because she hates being cooped up and wants to see new animals.

Regardless, this is a still a great adventure, and (I don't say this enough) the fact that you continue to update it daily is phenomenal.
MrBear was taking art requests, so I asked for a drawing of Rider.

This was what he produced:

Talk fictional languages to me!

What are you using as your reference for them?

Also, I've been thinking that if there is a traitor in the Marshguards higher ups Claws is the most likely candidate. The most recent update makes me think that if that is the case then Crosswinds is as well. Especially with the whole "desire to blow away fate" thing going on. I enjoy the idea that we've been controlling one or more of the primary antagonists for a while without realizing it.
I'm not using anything as a reference, just going with what sounds good to me in the moment. When I only have to come up with a few words, that's good enough.
I was just doing a reread, and I noticed something that contradicted a later post.

In this post, I said that Dean had gone solo on the lifeboat, but Nina was actually there with him. Slightly tweaked the conversation to reflect this, since it didn't change anything major.
Some questions about Eighth and Ash

I thought that Eighth was likely making the invention /for/ Ash, or that Ash had informed the design/purpose somehow. How was Tom wrapped up with Ash again?

My assumption was that Ash attracts knights that want to really defeat the Marshguards and end the war, as oppsed to those that just want to get along and call the swamp home.

Tom is fiercely loyal to his fellow knights, and after losing Third to the rain, it made sense that he would decide the best way to not lose any more comrades was to end the conflict by defeating the Marshguards. This would have drawn him towards Ash's camp.

Actually I get the impression that, aside from those that enjoy the conflict, the bogknights have two major camps: those who want to end the conflict through peaceful means, and those who want to end it by complete victory.

The Long/Rider era seems to have focused on giving the former group policy making power, which forced those who would prefer ridding the swamp of the Marshguards into a more secretive group who felt they didn't have a say in the matter - especially since Long came down hard on any actions he deemed reckless or inhumane.

Ash, whatever his real motives are, probably identified this schism early on and took advantage of it.

This whole commander election is likely the first open conflict between these two groups in a while. Postmaster (and maybe recordkeeper) is one of the few officers who recalls earlier, more agressive commanders, and given all of the changes occuring, he isn't sure which camp is the right one to back.

I'm not sure if I'm reading the situation here right.
Okay, there's a couple of things to get into here.

First, regarding Eighth's invention. There are a lot of things in this adventure where I introduce them but I don't entirely know where I'm going with them for a while.

The invention is not one of them. I've known what it is since not long after it was introduced. Well before Ash was a character. And I've dropped some significant hints about it already.

All I'll add to that now is, it wouldn't make sense for this to be something Ash asked for. It's important to Tom Eighth for his own reasons.

That brings me to the second point: where does Ash fit in?

I wanted to get this in the update, but in the final version I didn't feel like I had a good place to put it. Ash knew Eighth was working on something, and used it as an opportunity. He offered Eighth access to tools and materials he'd need to finish, in exchange for small favors. Eventually, if Tom had continued, those would have turned into large favors.

I hope that clarifies things a bit.
I should probably add that I deliberately included some misdirection about Tom Eighth's motives around when I dropped one of the biggest hints. I guess it worked better than I expected.
Hey I just read through this over the last week or so, and it's very good. It started off a bit dull, but it got much better, I'd say around the point where we started switching to multiple characters' perspectives.
An interesting thing to me is that, well, most forum adventures usually start off with some sort of game, or with an incredibly simple objective, or with almost no information about what's going on given to the reader. It's in no way a bad thing, its just that there's usually more difference between a forum adventure and a conventional story than merely that the former is influenced by the readers.
Swamped, though, starts off with an introduction that could be from any novel. It's the most actually book-like forum adventure I've ever read, which is really interesting, because it kind of isolates the whole 'collaborative storytelling' aspect from all the other idiosyncrasies of forum adventures, if that makes any sense.
Yeah, I can understand finding the early stuff slow. A lot of that is just me trying to get my bearings, and develop the world beyond the tiny fragments of ideas I had when I started. So there's a lot of updates that are just "this is daily life in the Bogknights" because I'm still trying to work that out for myself.

It's definitely been fun coming up with characters and trying to make them stand out, though. It got even more fun when the Marsh Fortress was the focus, because I could play around with the viewpoint character's familiarity with the new people, and also most of the Marshguards have secrets so I could hint at their pasts.

That said, I'm glad I checked in on the Bogknight base for the first time in a while, because there's a lot of fun people there too. And Tom Sixth has definitely gone in a direction I wasn't expecting.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate anyone willing to push through my ever-growing archive.
Another art request fulfilled by the erstwhile MrBear, here's Captain Long: