blackflame2180 (blackflame2180) wrote in strangehonor,

Something Just Occurred to Me

In thinking about the Democratic Presidential primary, something just occurred to me:

It's as if it's being written by Carlos, possibly in a PtK Larp style (maybe Reinhart and Ken are helping him out there).

I mean seriously, think about it. Not in terms of Obama and Clinton being PC's, but as though the game was a split game with PC's playing members of the Obama campaign, and others being part of the Hillary campaign.

This would be a story that was based around the 'campaiging' of the two campaigns as they continue to run across eachother, criss-crossing the states, each trying to set forward their particular arguments for their candidates.

One side (the Obama camp) clearly has the org advantage. They raise the money better, they have the better 'good guy' message, they have the better organization on the ground, they learn rapidly for all the curve balls thrown at them-- just like PC's. The Hillary camp isn't that far behind-- they represent the smaller group of PC's. Then there's the unaligned, the groups who are for the second tier candidates, and the slightly smaller group that is organized but doesn't have the numbers (John Edwards). In the distance is John McCain-- almost a classic Carlos arch-villian, the guy that used to be on your side but sold out, so now he has all your inside secrets and all the power of the dark side. He's the bigger external threat to both sides that occassionally the ST team uses to prod the PC's into doing something.

Things were hard fought up to the Iowa Caucus-- you could view the pre-Iowa stuff as the first few games. Everyone's still friendly, still hob-nobbing and the like. Iowa is where the money starts to happen-- the first major showdown between the two PC factions. Obama wins it on the numbers. Then it's on to New Hampshire-- Obama's group still has the organization and technically speaking the momentum-- but to make the story good Obama has to take a dive, and Hillary has to come out on top. Never mind that the Hillary success doesn't really fit into the equation-- a slim enough reason will do ("all the independents and Republicans crossovers voted in the Republican match-off for John McCain! That'll work!"). That sets the stage for a dramatic exit by John Edwards, and sets the stage for Nevada, which works out as a tie-- Obama wins the delegates (which the ST team knows will matter more down the road) while Clinton wins the state just barely. Whoever is playing Bill Clinton botches his bid to play the race card, and then it's on to North Carolina, where Obama turns up smelling roses. On to Super-Tuesday!

Super-Tuesday comes, but they've decided to extend this whole PvP portion of the game, because it's going so well. They'll have to shorten up the last half of the game, where the PC's coalesce against the bad guy later, but that's doable. The Super-Tuesday game-- the game where the PvP portion was supposed to wrap up-- turns into a highly dramatic setting, where once again things are split. By this point, it's clear that the Hillary camp has fewer players, and hence fewer background points to bring to bear in BGAs or BEA-- Between Election Actions. The Obama people probably wrapped up a larger chunk of the independent characters and found a deal with the Edwards folks. Hillary's camp wins the big states that they targeted their limited resources after the Obama camp hits on the brilliant strategic move of focusing on the small states as much as the big ones. Obama builds up a delegate lead, and carries more states.

The Clinton camp, looking at it's limited resources decides it will head to Ohio and Texas, and focuses all of their efforts there. This cedes everything in between to the Obama camp-- including dangerously the Potomac Primary, which was probably the game after the Supertuesday game. Potomac puts the Hilary camp into a panic, so they spend some of their limited BGA's to try to do something in Wisconsin, but it's not enough.

However, someone in the Clinton camp-- probably whoever is playing Mark Penn-- decides to go Dark Side. If you've ever played in a Carlos game, you know that going Dark Side will net you huge returns-- in the short-term. The Hillary camp goes negative, producing that 3am phone call spot. They go at Obama with the kitchen sink, everything in their arsenal. They even get the support of that most diabolical of NPC's, Rush Limbaugh. The ST team still has to consider the incredible amount of resources the Obama people are throwing at this, though-- so Hilary wins Ohio by a margin, and Rhode Island... Texas plays screwy, with the Texas two-step ultimately working out in Obama's favor in terms of delegates, but giving the Hilary camp the 'win' they needed to move forward.

Now it's on to Pennsylvania-- where quintessential dramatic questions will be stuff like whether or not more Hillary campers will go dark side, but also be a real test to see if the Hillary camp can get it's organizational game together. The bigger question is how far the Hillary players will go. Mathematically, at least, they know that unless they pull off a goddamn miracle they're going to lose, because they let themselves slide too far down the delegate count. The Hillary players are probably considering the option of burning out their current PC's at the end of this season (Juneish), and then GNCing as McCain supporters afterwards for the final couple arcs of the game.

Carlos-- you had better have a good goddamn ending planned out for this one.

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Holy shit, guys. I'm so sorry that my month-long LJ (and non-work internets in general) vacation had me miss this post when it first came out. This is great shit.

Jason, you've almost got the plot but you're missing the overly complicated modern mythic cycle as parallel story and multi-part riddle. Also remember that my main enemy is ALWAYS an ideological extremist.

Right now I'm seeing the Hillary/Obama thing to be a modern reworking of the Epic of Gilgamesh with one as the golden but wild child of the city (Gilgamesh) and the other as the wild man of the woods (Enkidu). The fight is supposed to end in a draw and the law of stories dictates that they will come to join forces and storm the monsters and demons raised by the Old Gods. (The traditional Military-Industrial-Congressional complex)

This points to the identities of the major villains, the ideological extremists represented by the story's traditional antagonists: Ishtar (Media) the daughter of Sin and consort of Anu (the American Public). The PC darksiders will have to sell out to Sin's children to help bring one of the destined candidates low by unleashing the Bull of Heaven.

The point of this whole battle is, of course, for the soul of Babylon (modern society). A scrappy helper faction (also another one of my stock elements) is available to help clarify if the PCs know where to look. Their mythos is pulled from Rastafari teachings that view Babylon as the abhorrent result of the selfish meddling of men and gods (a work that only ended up destroying the people of Babylon and bringing down the Tower) and wish to oppose any who stand to benefit.

The primary person who will benefit (although he doesn't know it) is McCain, who play the part of reliable and static Marduk (Which the weird riddle-speak of the helper faction will refer to as "iman") who is destined to supplant everyone by default if no one takes action.

Reality itself will throw weird symbolism to the players as protests and news reports keep synchronizing with the details of the stories. Iconography from anti-establishment artgroups like "A Silver Mt. Zion" and "Godspeed You! Black Emporer" start surrounding the player faction. The song "The Richest Man in Babylon" starts blending into the dark side's actions like some unsettling paradox effect.

The ending involves finding another (probably PC) sacrifice for the Bull of Heaven (the scandal/circumstance/mysterious assassination of Clinton or Obama engineered by an enraged Media Ishtar after her love is soundly rejected) and stalling the ascendency of iman/Old Babylon/Marduk/McCain in order to pull off a rebirth and transformation into Zion.

It's all almost enough to take up writing and running another Larp.


-- Carlos
This is why you need assistant writers... that ending is too cliche.

You have to set it up so that if McCain wins, there's room for a sequel (probably to be run, oh, say 4 years later), first off.

Second off, you need to find a third option where the PC's don't need to find a sacrifice for the bull, and probably split that option in two-- one where the sacrifice for the bull is ended and need never be performed again, and one where the sacrifice is averted-- for now at least. (also room for sequel material). Inevitably, the 'no sacrifice' option is the one the PC's will pick, but that just makes it easier to plan for.

Also, you need to write in the potential for McCain's redemption-- something that will depend entirely on the PC's and how they run their campaign(s), but also something that you should let them know is possible.

This way, if things really do go down the crapper-- it's because the PC's really screwed it up, they could have at the very least worked on redeeming McCain. Their downfall is therefore their own fault, for being too self-centered to run a responsible campaign for the soul of Babylon.

If they choose to sacrifice to the bull-- it means more because they didn't have to, it was what they chose. It both makes the sacrifice more meaningful, and darker, bloodier, because then they can't tell themselves they had to do it to get the good ending.

I think you also need several more cabals of independent actors that can help different factions in different ways, and one or two more sinister ones.

On the sinister side-- the current administration. On the helpful side-- a cabal of helpful internet hackers, willing to help the PC's connect with and speak to the soul of Babylon in a way they couldn't other wise (and also to produce plenty of YouTube videos).
If you DO write this, you gotta let me help you with your near east mythology, bro; Marduk is almost always the ally of man, like Hermes; but he could be reworked to be the ethos of shallow brand culture; the true zeitgeist of our times. Or he could be the academic elite, as represented by his god of wisdom aspect. Or he could be George Soros or Karl Rove, as represented by his clever trickster aspect.
Well I did throw the above plot proposal together in an hour spending half of it reading a single website. At least it wasn't wikipedia. I was an actual university's site.

So yeah, I did miss some stuff. I know Marduk also has an aspect of being the god of the city. So I decided to shoehorn the aspect of Marduk being the Inevtiable Force. This makes the story a sort of cosmic fight between the kids to prove something while mom and dad are away. Sooner or later the Supreme Authority shows up and the game is functionally over.

Probably a better god to use for that. . .