Impractical Applications (A New Timeline)

Yes, I spent the week talking about searches—but not only would the events that inspired those posts make a whole lot less sense without context, but we’re still in the middle of one of my major search plots, and I’d like to keep some of the spoilers to a minimum.

It started with my original solo game, which was running into issues. We’d had to go on hiatus for about two months due to schedule changes at my library, the point in the timeline was one at which my main group had had no small amount of difficulty (and they knew the world better, even if they didn’t have Kiriko’s semi-insider position), we were dealing with a certain amount of reactive player/reactive GM clash (word to the wise: as I’ve learned from this game and from my own experiences playing Morgan, a proactive PC is very important to the flow and success of a solo game), it was getting steadily likelier and likelier that I was going to have to actively cameo PCs whose players I hadn’t so much as made contact with in about a year, and I had the additional handicap of trying to make sure I didn’t paradox my initial timeline. After a while, I realized that this wasn’t working.

Then one night I found myself trying to figure out how to work around it. I didn’t want to start a new game in a new world; I have little enough energy as it is, am still running my game, and making up new worlds tires me out. Instead, I got it into my head that what I needed to do was create an alternate version of the timeline. Something that would let me render the former-PC issue somewhat less relevant. That would let Kiriko do whatever she wanted (within her limitations, anyway) without my having to worry about avoiding time paradoxes. Catching the solo game up to my timeline would never happen, but it might make my life a little easier.

It probably says something interesting about me that the first idea that came to mind was “What if, at the end of the first arc, Jalil had won?” Yep—give me a timeline to try to branch off of the main, and I immediately go to the one that most closely resembles The End of the World As We Know It. I wasn’t being completely unreasonable; I had ideas for this one, ones that just kept flowing from each other. It made sense, in the same disturbing way that’s created some of my most bizarre plot twists. It gave me Something Urgent to throw at the player, an excuse for the PC to be particularly useful (as she was in a perfect position to be underestimated and ignored by the enemy, giving her near-complete freedom as long as she didn’t do anything too foolish), and a built-in excuse to kill off two of the former PCs I’d have the most trouble with. Heaven is occupied, and its best hope is a co-op full of gods that were once a wide variety of animals.

We’re about a month in, in the second of two search plotlines, still establishing what happened to all of the original characters Kiriko knew. This will be fun.

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