Building the "Majestic Otter"

For the Rules, Character Workshop, and other general discussion of the game.

Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Graybeard » March 23rd, 2020, 10:08 am

Okay, OOC Discussion lives! The soon-to-be-started On The Road thread called "Murder on the Majestic Otter" is taking place on a small to medium (~300 passengers) cruise ship operated by the dreaded Mesuinu Enterprises. (Dreaded by their friends, not their enemies, to be sure.) We have been filling this ship-to-be with passengers including player characters, potential murderers, potential murderees (often the same), crew (same comment), and NPCs just along for the ride. However, we have not been filling it with, well, ship.

How about if we collaboratively "build" this remarkable vessel and fill it with what a cruise ship in this unique culture -- one, important to remember, heavily influenced by Mesuinu crazy magic -- would have? So far we have a cigar lounge, another lounge with a dance floor, another quiet one, an observation deck, all obvious. (And, of course, cabins.) There's obviously room for more. What else should be there? Who should be there? Specifically, what crew other than its redoubtable captain Moriarty, whom we've me, and the odd steward?

Note that this ship-building exercise needn't be limited to JR and myself; in fact I'd be delighted if it wasn't, and somebody new came along with ideas. Beware; newcomers might get recruited as PCs if they're not careful ... and who knows, they might still be playing this game ten years later, as happened to Jack and me!
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 23rd, 2020, 4:14 pm

*racks brain* Okay, i think a games room was mentioned, along with another for crystalnet connections. Online gaming maybe?

If crazy magic is the order of the day, why not have a room that fuctions like a holo-deck in the Star Trek series? An Illusion-deck if you will? Something where passengers can put themselves as characters in famous plays or historical events and interact with the projections there?

Maybe some kind of concession to a gym/training area for the more athletic customers as well. Heavy weights, training weapons.... the possibility of an accident floating in the air...

Apart from that... maybe a theatre? Comedians, performers, singers, actors, live entertainment rather than summoned?

The Captain's cabin of course would be an ostentatious affair and who knows? Maybe Morty is on the prowl for someone to share it with. Elke's on board after all. :D

I'll put up my next post after we've got the details worked out. God knows I've got the time to do it. Just had word from our PM, the UK is officially in lockdown.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2328
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Graybeard » March 23rd, 2020, 9:30 pm

Some excellent ideas here.

*racks brain* Okay, i think a games room was mentioned, along with another for crystalnet connections. Online gaming maybe?

If crazy magic is the order of the day, why not have a room that fuctions like a holo-deck in the Star Trek series? An Illusion-deck if you will? Something where passengers can put themselves as characters in famous plays or historical events and interact with the projections there?

Both of these are consistent with what we know of the Mesuinus. This being a Tsuirakuan ship, I don't know that a separate room for Crystal-net connections would be needed; the whole ship would be wired for it. (I have something in mind for Khoo if he ever winds up with time to himself, which is doubtful, Anna-Lisa being who she is.) But a game room would surely fit. The illusion-deck is a great idea with lots of opportunity for character interactions and development. (Got another idea for Khoo, this time with Anna-Lisa's "help," there. It will involve a callback to a moment in Errant Story; I hope Poe and/or Impy are following this, as they'll love it ...]

Maybe some kind of concession to a gym/training area for the more athletic customers as well. Heavy weights, training weapons.... the possibility of an accident floating in the air...

I really like this for its potential for skulduggery, but we'll have to be careful with it, because "entertainment" by doing hard physical stuff appears not to be an upper-class Tsuirakuan thing, and most of the passengers will be upper-class Tsuirakuans. Maybe as a concession to the odd gaijin passenger? Or something that lets the user look like he's working hard when he (as everyone watching could figure out) knows he's not? I'm semi-tempted to introduce Layla's friend Galina as a fencing instructor here -- her bio notes that she's a champion fencer by Tsuirakuan standards, although that simply means she could hold her own against a typical Veracian nun or some such -- but I'm already going to have lots of semi-PCs floating around here, so would rather not add another to the mix. Let's work on developing this one.
Apart from that... maybe a theatre? Comedians, performers, singers, actors, live entertainment rather than summoned?

Maybe. Still trying to figure out the Tsuirakuan attitude toward live entertainment. It has shown up in two places in Errant Road that I can remember, one at the beginning when Argus was getting introduced via a sleazy bar in Kiyoka (incidentally, did you know that Sister Rose gave piano lessons back then? -- although not at the sleazy bar), and the other an abortive thread when Drusia was doing some snooping around while masquerading as an elf impersonator. (She did that more than once, with amusing results.) No, wait, there was a third, the tragic scene in Kiyoka with the very old couple dancing in front of Desiree and Therese, so yes, apparently there's a place for it in Tsuirakuan culture. However, I'm not sure that upper-crust Tsuirakuans would be expecting it, and the auditorium would consume a lot of shipboard space.

The Captain's cabin of course would be an ostentatious affair and who knows? Maybe Morty is on the prowl for someone to share it with. Elke's on board after all. :D

For sure, but Elke would most emphatically NOT be interested in a tryst with Morty or anyone else; she will be wearing a rather ostentatious wedding band, more conspicuous than her real one (which it would have pained her greatly to lay aside for theatrics), to discourage advances. Shipboard affairs, of course, are a staple of the genre, and I have a possible whodunit sub-thread in mind for that; Eve may find herself receiving some unwanted attention ...

One thing I'd been considering, harking back to a couple of VERY non-floating-city "cruises" I've been on, is an opportunity for water sports -- sea kayaking or jet-skiing or parasailing or whatever the equivalent is. We'd have to think of somewhere for them to do it, as time has run out for it in Lorrel and the plot needs to resolve before they make landfall on the Southern Continent. (Or does it? Let's ponder that.) It isn't the kind of thing one does in the middle of the ocean. Maybe some Hawaii/Azores-like stop on the way? Or just skip it?

I'll put up my next post after we've got the details worked out. God knows I've got the time to do it. Just had word from our PM, the UK is officially in lockdown.

Sympathies on that. Response varies state-by-state here; ours is kinda "Please voluntarily (ahem) stay put." This is fine with us; my wife's father is 91 years old with Alzheimer's, we're his primary caretakers, and if he gets Covid-19, he's screwed.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Jack Rothwell » March 24th, 2020, 3:25 pm

Water sports sounds like a fun idea (and another opportunity for an accident to happen). It just occurred to me that the 'illusion deck' could also be a good place for an accident to happen if most of the people there are virtual.

I guess Morty'll have to find his fun elsewhere. Although ever since I called him that I picture him having the voice of Morty in 'Rick and Morty' (hence the 'oh jeez' after Leo called him it). :)



Day one of the lockdown. Things are obviously continuing to escalate atm. The biggest problem with the UK in a situation like this is our population density (9 times higher than the US). Some people assume that because Britain is geographically small our population is too, but we've got 66 million people living here and the worst case scenario according to our health experts is an 80% infection rate. :S

Gonna be a loooooooong summer. I hope your father-in-law is ok, present health concerns aside.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2328
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Graybeard » April 9th, 2020, 9:13 am

Thanks. I personally am in semi-quarantine for another week, not because there's any real risk of infection, but because the states don't play well with others, so to speak. I had to run up to our vacation home in Colorado for a while, and New Mexico wants a "voluntary" 14-day isolation if you leave the state and return -- never mind that the small town in Colorado that I went to is nearly virus-free, unlike Santa Fe, right down the New Mexico road from where we live. (Admittedly, some of the other mountain towns in Colorado are having real problems, so the NM attitude is not completely ridiculous.) So to return to this now that Leo has his "marching orders":

Space is at a premium on any ship, even this one. One thing I haven't thought through is how a magical culture like Tsuiraku would take full advantage of magic to get space to do double duty, get things that are used only occasionally stowed in Pocket Dimensions, and so on. One obvious one is to have the theatre double as the main dining hall; just push a magical button and the seats rearrange themselves, tables appear, etc. Another is that the gear for water sports, which will become a play opportunity as soon as they reach Alctraziel, would be in big Pocket Dimensions at the stern when not in use. I don't know about others; ideas?

To some extent, I'm basing my own concept here on an "un-cruise" (the literal name of the outfit, more about them here if you're interested -- very definitely NOT the stereotypical floating-city cruise ship) that my wife and I took in Alaska a few years ago. The Majestic Otter is quite a bit bigger than the ship we were on, yet much closer in size to it than to a floating-city mega-liner. However, the clientele for the Otter is probably more like floating-city clientele, which we are not, so I may be missing some important features (and also maybe trying to include some that wouldn't fit). All that I know about the monster ships is what I've read plus accounts from friends who do go on them, so let's collaborate here.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Jack Rothwell » April 9th, 2020, 4:44 pm

Well, with 300 passengers you'd expect half that many rooms with an average 2 to a room. So two passenger decks with rooms arranged in blocks of 25? Or three with 50 on each and the entertainment rooms split between them? Doubling up those rooms seems like the best way to save on space. The pocket dimension tech for the illusion room could always be implemented for the cargo/storage areas too.
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2328
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Graybeard » April 9th, 2020, 7:39 pm

On doing a little research on real-world cruise ships, I think we'd better add a couple of decks to this thing. Figure one more for passengers, one for "amenities." So 80 or so passengers on the top (first-class) deck, 40 cabins; 110 or so on each of the two "economy" class decks, 50 cabins each (some will be triple or quadruple occupancy for families, etc.). Add a couple of luxury suites up top, where Khoo and Anna-Lisa are, with room for a few more VIPs. If this meets with your approval, I'll do the minor retcons.

Still not sure where to put all the fun stuff; researching that.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Jack Rothwell » April 10th, 2020, 6:55 pm

Sounds good to me. Sorry for slow posting. I'll try and update the threads tomorrow. :D
User avatar
Jack Rothwell
Teller of Tales
 
Posts: 2328
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 7:35 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Graybeard » April 10th, 2020, 11:28 pm

No prob, I used to have a life too ...

Retcons done, no significant rewriting required. Still trying to find a good real-world comparison for this thing. It would be maybe 350 feet long, with five decks plus the bridge (and VIP suites). A common configuration seems to be that the first-class passengers are on the deck right below the bridge, "amenities" on the next deck down, and the (relatively) cheap cabins below that. That works here. However, we still need to populate the amenities deck, and figure out where the places are that have viewing platforms or other more or less unimpeded access to the water. That ... could be important.

I'll think about this more when I'm awake.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos

Re: Building the "Majestic Otter"

Postby Graybeard » April 12th, 2020, 9:53 pm

As I think about it, I realize that there's one pretty obvious thing for the "amenities" deck that we're missing and is on every large-scale cruise ship in creation (wasn't on ours, but again, that was an "un-cruise"): a casino.

The layout, staffing, etc., are simple enough, as is the range of possible trouble for our heroes to get into. A harder question that might be fun to think about is: what kind of gambling would be possible in a culture where pretty much everyone is magically capable, and therefore, potentially able to bias the odds, affect the roll of dice and roulette balls, read minds, form illicit teams (just think of what Telepathy could do if two people at a poker table were in cahoots), and so on? And furthermore, where at least some magic use is all but undetectable? About all I can think of is that the casino would be set up as a no-magic zone, maybe with some manner of Inanire 312-like capability to null out magic in the room, but permanently. However, that can't be that easy to do; there were lots of places in Errant Story before the final battle where it would have come in handy, but none where it was done except as a quick, temporary Dispel (which didn't always work so well either). Having magic use be viewed as particularly odious cheating, to the extent of earning the magic user a knife in the gizzard from one of the bouncers, would work in Farrel or the Southern Continent or maybe Veracia, but on a cruise ship ...

Any thoughts on how to handle this? Or is it just so hard to handle that the casino wouldn't be there? As I recall, we haven't seen much evidence of gambling among Tsuirakuans, so maybe that's the answer.
----
Image
Because old is wise, does good, and above all, kicks ass.
User avatar
Graybeard
The Heretical Admin
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 8:26 am
Location: Nuevo Mexico y Colorado, Estados Unidos


Return to OOC Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron