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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2020 2:17 am 
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Truth and Blood


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2020 10:34 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
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Yeah, I admit this was my biggest problem with the story. I don't have a problem with the way this character interacts with canon; I would say that your Ultimatum stories or your "Sorin v. Tibalt" are both more problematic in terms of that. I just didn't particularly like it as a story, because it felt more like walking through a museum of canon paraphernalia than anything "new." And being more or less a flat retelling of his life (and unlife) story, I don't even feel we get all that much of a sense of Ceth himself, except perhaps right at the end.

I think my biggest issue is just one of overkill. I liked the connection to Serra and to Bangir, but with each successive canon vampire or canon vampire society you connected him to, it just felt increasingly forced to me. Going through Sorin, the Innistrad vamps, and Ugin, I was thinking to myself how little I liked how much he was running parallel to canon. By the time we got to Ixalan, I was at "Oh, come on!" levels. It really just sort of felt to me like he followed chronologically along with every canon mention of vampires from Alpha to Ravnica. I didn't like that anyway, just because I like steering clear of canon period, but it also just felt like the coincidences were piling up a bit too high.

As for the story itself, I like the overall concept at play here, if not the details. I don't know how I feel about having another vampire planeswalker, but when the canon writers don't even know how the Spark is supposed to work anymore, I guess I have no ground to stand on with that one. The idea of an inter-planar vampire trying to sponge up other vampire traits is interesting enough, and it might be interesting to see Ceth interact with Huey's Kalit, who seems to have some feelings about vampires in general. But like I said, I don't have a solid grasp on the character just yet.

Thanks for posting, Barinellos. Solid writing as always, even if it wasn't my particular cup of blood.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 3:14 am 
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Barinellos wrote:
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Yeah, I admit this was my biggest problem with the story. I don't have a problem with the way this character interacts with canon; I would say that your Ultimatum stories or your "Sorin v. Tibalt" are both more problematic in terms of that. I just didn't particularly like it as a story, because it felt more like walking through a museum of canon paraphernalia than anything "new." And being more or less a flat retelling of his life (and unlife) story, I don't even feel we get all that much of a sense of Ceth himself, except perhaps right at the end.

I think that's a fair estimation and I won't argue. A good chunk of this was done largely to be reliant on audience knowledge filling in gaps largely because I've been stewing on this character concept for ages.
And I also think that's why Ceth's personality is downplayed too, since I was really playing into the Byronic tropes, so it just felt natural to take those traits as an extrapolation, but it's probably because I'm too close to the subject, likely.

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I think my biggest issue is just one of overkill. I liked the connection to Serra and to Bangir, but with each successive canon vampire or canon vampire society you connected him to, it just felt increasingly forced to me. Going through Sorin, the Innistrad vamps, and Ugin, I was thinking to myself how little I liked how much he was running parallel to canon. By the time we got to Ixalan, I was at "Oh, come on!" levels. It really just sort of felt to me like he followed chronologically along with every canon mention of vampires from Alpha to Ravnica. I didn't like that anyway, just because I like steering clear of canon period, but it also just felt like the coincidences were piling up a bit too high.

That was really, honestly, laziness on my part. As mentioned above, I wanted to rely on the audience's knowledge for shortcuts, in no small part because I didn't want to spend too much time having to worldbuild to explain the significance of each stop, and I'll admit, it's not too healthy for the story. Aside from that, perusing our own canon and we really aren't very vamp heavy in a lot of our worlds.

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As for the story itself, I like the overall concept at play here, if not the details. I don't know how I feel about having another vampire planeswalker, but when the canon writers don't even know how the Spark is supposed to work anymore, I guess I have no ground to stand on with that one.

In the same way I hate that wotc has screwed with some of OUR concepts, like a medieval ghostbuster or twin royalty. TWICE on that one...

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The idea of an inter-planar vampire trying to sponge up other vampire traits is interesting enough, and it might be interesting to see Ceth interact with Huey's Kalit, who seems to have some feelings about vampires in general. But like I said, I don't have a solid grasp on the character just yet.

Thanks for posting, Barinellos. Solid writing as always, even if it wasn't my particular cup of blood.

s'all good. Thanks for reading.
This was way more about getting the character concept out into the wild, I just hated the idea of dropping a dossier out without at least giving it SOME kind of narrative stroke.

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Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2020 6:16 am 
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I think I'd largely agree with Raven's assessment: I think there's a good character here but I'm not in love with a lot of the details. I don't super mind the canon-ness of it all, but it does feel a bit like it's running through a checklist, hitting the same narrative beats each time for a series of different kinds of vampires. as a dossier I think it works, but as a story I wish it was a bit more subtle, y'know?

:duel:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:18 am 
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I liked it, but I agree that it feels a bit formulaic. I would have liked to have at least one bit in there which wasn't lifted from canon just to keep us guessing a little bit. The writing itself is solid, though.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:05 am 
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All good notes, and I appreciate you guys reading.
At the end of the day, I think why the formula of it doesn't bother me so much is, it really is more a dossier, just with some framing, and that the potential the character has isn't in retreading where he's been. With the heavy hand I had, it really was just setting him up. Part of me does think it would be mildly interesting to follow up more Sengir stuff on other worlds, but everything else is pretty much just out of the way now.

As before, I really don't disagree with the assessments. I at least partially phoned it in just to get the character set up.

The one thing I will defend is his ignition though. I thought the heartbreak was a novel angle to take for that.

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At twilight's end, the shadow's crossed / a new world birthed, the elder lost.
Yet on the morn we wake to find / that mem'ry left so far behind.
To deafened ears we ask, unseen / "Which is life and which the dream?"


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:23 pm 
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Barinellos wrote:
The one thing I will defend is his ignition though. I thought the heartbreak was a novel angle to take for that.

Yeah, I liked the ascension well enough. Like I said, I thought the stuff with Serra and the Baron was all good.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:48 pm 
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I personally didn't mind the canon-skimming, so to speak*, and I undoubtedly find potential in the character. I must say, however, that his physical description sounded pretty pretentious, but it was probably intended. ("If he were given to vanity"? Yeah, "if", sure) Cool ending, as much as I'm a Dimir fan it's always fun to see deceivers deceived.

Thank you for sharing!

*I would side with Raven if indeed the piece mentions all canon vampiric "strains" and only them; adding or swapping in an original strain would probably make it look less like a "checklist", I guess.

@Raven: Kalit's not especially obsessed with vampires, but vampire lords own and exploit their subjects in a way that scream "tyrant" oh so clearly Kalit cannot just walk away from that :D Not he wouldn't kill a hunting vampire if he found one in his way, though, completely missing the hypocrisy of looking down on people who kill people for sustenance and power...

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