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Social Vox populi ~ Interviews with RPFers ~ Issue#5 ~ DarkLordoftheFins

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by SirakRomar, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    I'm holding out for Fins' views on sex.

    :D :D

    Seriously, that was a compelling read. Really puts a face on the name, guys, hats off to you both for choosing to go with it as you did. Can't wait to see the next one.
  2. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    This is fascinating. :D Compelling, oddly hilarious, can't wait to see the next part!

    Appreciate you guys talking about SoZ. I never encountered the man, but from what I've heard and seen his passing was a great loss to the community. Great to hear the story of how he came to be here.

    Also, I am with Sirak re: coffee-and-milk. :p Black coffee tastes far too strong and gives me a magnificent caffeine spike; the milk blunts both.
  3. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    *brushes a tear from his eye*

    That was heartfelt, and a lovely piece. SoZ as a topic was very well done, and, well, it was nice to be mentioned, as always.

    Rivals? *snorts* Not at all. Amusing concept. Never thought of that.

    My final reaction: part 2 of 3. Wow much.
  4. Sir_Draco

    Sir_Draco Jedi Knight star 4

    Aug 19, 2007
    An amazing kick off which seems to cover not only Fin´s activities but most of the history of the Germans, too. A lot of those parts I have only witnessed as a distant watcher and it is amazing to see it told in such a compelling way. So Part 2 of 3 is eagerly awaited.

    And I can vouch for the authenticity of their dialogue, they are like that. Despite being split up for a few years now, they have the odd habit of behaving as if they have been married for forty years. :p
  5. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    Black is the only way to drink coffee! [face_plain]

    I must say, that was a fantastic read to wake up to. Lots of insight into quite a few things, and we're only a third of the way there? Wowzers. [face_hypnotized]
  6. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Jesus, you two are still friends? That's damn impressive, good on you!

    ...also, the RPing stuff is cool too. >_>

    Seriously, now I want to visit Germany and have a whiskey with Fins!
    TheGoodImperial and Sinrebirth like this.
  7. Sarge221

    Sarge221 Jedi Master star 5

    Sep 9, 2006
    Quite a lot of insight there as I know I'm only one of the many that have yet to hear the story of the Germans :p

    I was briefly in contact with SonofZeus during 128 what with our characters having met up. Unfortunately, being younger and not-as-patient at the time, I had been a bit curt to him over the couple of PMs we shared before his passing. I always felt bad about that. Course, now I just feel horrible after reading all of this :_|
  8. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    Actually I know he held you in high regards, Sarge. He actually asked to play with your guy and I know nobody hated it as much as he did, when he made people wait. So I am pretty sure he was cool with it. The guy had the calmness of a zen-monk, really. At least when it came to online stuff. Not when it was about soccer. o_O So no reason to feel bad about it.

    The Germans, yeah. It is strange how many things people do not know, actually. I think a few things will be revealed about some of us before this interview series is over. If I recall right.

    This interview feels kinda strange now. Actually that stuff was done so long ago, it feels a bit as if I read someone elses interview. I just happen to agree with that guy most of the time [face_laugh] Great job in editing this into a format that actually works for us readers, Sirak. I am pretty sure I could have made it a lot easier for you.
  9. DarthXan318

    DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 12, 2002
    I get that sometimes when I reread my old posts. :p
  10. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Sep 29, 2005
    I really enjoyed it, although I must admit I go either way with coffee, if hot light cream, if dark serve it cool ;) Although this only stands for regular coffee, if I get good coffee, aahhh cream just delutes the goodness =P~

    Surprisingly, I knew about 4/5 or 9/10ths of what was posted here. I remember Sirak being here and then the others, reading the first big game and being in what now appears to be Fins' first. Many good times, and I remember feeling sad that I never would get to RP with SoZ although it felt like you were only gone nine-months instead of a year. I blame Sirak and non-RP postings for that :p

    As for reading old posts, I tried that once when a discussion of first coming here came up, I shuddered at a few things. Always odd doing that.
  11. TheGoodImperial

    TheGoodImperial Jedi Knight star 2

    May 17, 2009
    That is amazing stuff you two did there. As "a German" who never really belonged to "the Germans" but knows most of you guys, I must say this is so much context to things I watched and experienced over the years. SoZ would have loved 133 ABY, Fin. I was only in there for a month or so and it was my initial thought. It was perfectly his kind of game.

    And you two are kinda special. I still believe (do not let your ucrrent partners read it please) you two belong together. :cool:

    I can´t wait for Part II to begin. As a slave to any bit about SotS I really wanna hear a bit how it came about. I am sure that story hasn´t been told so far.
  12. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    The preparation of installment two are well underway. a bit of editing and Fin´s approval and I hope it is up on Sunday or something.
  13. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    Sorry for double posting, ubt editing the next paert was a bit harder than originally anticipated. I´ll need a few extra days.
  14. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    Honey, I told you you won´t need my okay, but I gave it to part 2 a week ago. go. Post it!
  15. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    Yes, yes, yes, I know it is overdue. Problem is, it needs translation in parts as we skipped into German and I somehow can´t get my head wrapped around it. Anyway, I think I am getting there and I will take the interview AS HOMEWORK to my holidays and I promise, promise, promise, promise to post the second and third part in short succession once I am back! Holy RPer Promise!
  16. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 30, 2007
    The Sins of the Fins Part II - Good games are like sex

    Part 2

    So, at the time of the interview you are about to end The Sins of the Saints. Before we go into depth, tell me more about your path as a GM to you Magnus Opus.

    Magnus Opus? I like that.

    It certainly is, isn´t it? The story you covered in that game is probably more than you did in all other games together.

    Well, it had a very dense storytelling structure, but I prefer to see it as my endpoint as a GM. My natural end point, so to say. After all the game was there before I ever did an RPing post in English. Not in it´s final shape, but the idea. But the road there, okay let me see . . .

    So I would say after you completed 133 ABY you could have done anything. People would have joined. You did something surprising by making yourself the junior-partner in the debut of Sir_Draco´s Bad Day in L.A., actually. Actually you posted the OP. A move to lure players into that game?

    Oh, more of a warning sign, I think. *laughs* Draco asked me to do it, because he wanted to get people to read it. We had lots of games back then. So Disney, 129 ABY, ManCubs were still running. He wanted to make sure someone noticed. I did him that favor, after all I was his RPF adopter after all.

    Oh c´mon on!


    And I bet you two took this adoption thing totally serious!

    Of course! He is like a son to me by now, just because I adopted him on TFN!

    What did you two do all the time? Rant about Sinre´s poshy English and my bad grammar when you got drunk together and called it a training session?

    First of all: I love Sinre´s English . . . but your grammar might have come up once or twice.
    [the following consists basically of Claire swearing at Fin and Fin laughing]

    Back to business. So you did not stay around for too long in Bad Day.

    We had agreed on that – Draco and me. I do one or two storylines, help him get this rather complicated system onto it´s feet and then I´d do player-stuff and not GM anymore. SotS was in it´s final stage of planning by then and I was hungry for it. Draco knew that.

    It did not hold together too well when you left.

    It had problems with players discussing too much from the start. Draco had a very compromising GM nature and players smelled that. He got rid of it later one, so I consider Bad Day a good lesson for GMs.

    No, I think some players who had a special interest in doing things “their way” were in there and to deal with such players you need to be sensible and have authority. If that is too much for you to do in your free-time, you better not approve them. Draco learned that the hard way and soon the game was down to LordT as it´s sole player. 15 to one. I felt so bad for leaving, I can tell ya. Then again, the Germans stick to their games and we kept it up as Max Payne 3 and then went old school and moved it to IRC and we had the most wonderful chat-session finale ever with it last November. Arguably the best part of the game survived. Draco´s friends.

    Never saw it like this.

    Took a bit time to find that spin on that brutal failure. Sorry, I must say.

    [Claire/Me swearing again]

    Okay and you left to do The Sins of the Saints, the original game which pretty much changed the way players saw you, I´d say. After that, you were always SotS-Fin.

    Well, we are defined through the game we do here. Nothing bad, if you ask me. People enjoy a game and they remember the GM fondly.

    Okay. The Sins of the Saints is a pretty unique and spectacular game. Much appreciated by players and pretty successful. Did you dream it would turn out so well?

    Did it? It isn´t as big as everybody says. We have twelve players in both games and we had probably fifteen in the first. It is hardly a flagship or a behemoth as it was recently called. It is a good size to GM and concentrate on players and yes, I feel my story is appreciated for which I am very thankful.

    But compared to Ibop, 128 ABY, AFAS or ToRR it is still a rather small game with a very small but sworn-in community. We have about 1500 posts in total at the time of the interview. I think that is barely more than 133
    ABY had. It is a game of a perfect size for what we do there. It would probably not work any other way.

    I think it is arguably the most artistically respected game so far.


    Really. Look at the Awards. Look at the Pieces group or the discussions. Look how often it is mentioned by people not even in it.

    Well, getting mentioned is always nice. But ultimately I feel what counts is what

    As I said, what counts to me is that I satisfy my players in the game and if people outside hate it or love it, good for them.

    Well, at least you gotta admit it was a very healthy game and had quite a following for an idea 100% original, right? I don´t think any other original game had that kinda impact. It became a brand.

    Yes, but I did not aim for an original game, it was just the game I wanted to do.


    Dunno. It kept me interested. Much like Winged said in his interview I have a bucket full of ideas and some survive and many not. SotS kinda killed all others, no matter what I threw into that bucket. So I had to play it to get rid of it. Good games kind of are like good sex, once you have it, it´s is pretty hard to stop.

    Like sex?


    Did you really just say that?

    Well, what would be more scary. Me saying it or you imagining me saying that?

    Oh Fin. Fin, Fin, Fin.


    Nothing. You´re getting personal.

    Am I?

    Aren´t you?

    Shall I?


    Get personal?

    More so than you already did?



    I had another reason to do the game, Claire. I wanted to impress you.

    Me? Why the hell did you wanted to impress me? We had split up?

    Yes, we had and I was still in love with you and despite all this . . . you are just so damned hard to impress. I wanted to impress you and I thought that game would impress you. I also thought you would not join because of us.

    I joined first.

    I know. All history now Claire. But I can tell you I was kinda confused when you joined up and then I decided to treat you just as if nothing had happened and give you THE ROLE.

    I was impressed. I am still impressed.

    Yes, but by the time it worked, it wasn´t what I wanted anymore. Love is a loosing game, you know?

    Okay, I don´t know what to say.

    Next question, Claire.

    Okay. Okay. How did you come up with it?

    The Sins of the Saints?

    No. Your Nick.

    Just happened.

    Of course I mean Sins of the Saints, you [sweaing…]

    Long story or short?

    Too late for short stories, Fin. And please keep it PG 14, okay?

    Okay, I try.

    I think it were a number of factors, but it´s true birth hours was probably in a boring lecture on philosophy in my short attempt to get a degree in it. Partially the huge influence of Nietzsche and Kant who I had studied in my early years did make me to do it. It had actually also a lot to do with a young black haired woman I was totally having a crush on that I ended up in the most niche lecture in existence. Theological determinism. I had no idea what it was about. It is one of those things you don´t find on Wikipedia. It is forbidden law. It´s the quantum physics of philosophy. In a very simplified way it asks if the existence of God means that everything is predestinated to happen. If Gods decisions affect all of time always and have therefore been made once or if he actually decided “on the way” and if so knowing or unknowing the consequences? Actually it leads to the question if an omniscient creature is not unable to Change anything, because everything happens how it is supposed to be with the very first decision he/she/it makes. From there it goes really wild into temporary physics and stuff. Nelson Pike. Sir Kenny. It is a source of so many incredible ideas about how we relate to creation and it . . . just by the way . . . brings evolution and God into balance with each other. The idea of “we can change our future” or “we can´t” just doesn´t hold together very well for very long. It goes deeper than the “I kill my grandfather paradox”. This lecture challenged me and it was addictive. It also redefined my idea of God and through that the idea was born to make his nature an important plot point in an epic story.

    This melted with three more elements. I am a sucker for occult thrillers. Always been, always will. The Prophecy. Constantine. Seventh Seal. Dante, Milton. Faust? Man I love Faust. Both Marlowe but even more Goethe´s version of it. Kaballah and all of that makes such good material for stories. And yet most of todays movies and novels is based on Medieval ideas of how these things work. I read that one day in an Empire issue and was kinda frustrated I had not realized that myself earlier. Modern theology was very different. The second idea was born. Leave behind the old ideas and try to tell that story with new interpretations of these things. The Bible is seen as an object for interpretation where I come from. It is a book by humans telling as much about us as about our faith.

    The third thing was that some time after the first two I saw Legio Angelis and Aria of the Soul by Saintheart and darthRamza succeed. I realized my game would be totally different from theirs, but it might attract players so if I ever wanted to do that story, it might be a good environment in my favorite RPing board. Aria of the Soul gave me the Nepal storyline and I saw everything folding around this. Not plotwise, but from there I build it. Like you don´t paint the shape of a character first, but a detail when you begin painting. Without that I would probably have not found a good entry point.
    The fourth was when I told a friend something and he misunderstood me and thought I´d go for something like Garth Ennis Preacher. Preacher what? I ended up owning the ten books and read through them in one four days sitting. Amazing, adult, smart, respectless, character driven books with really just one true villain who happens to be God. I realized the final key to my story was, that no matter how deep into the big topics I wanted to delve, I needed to make it an absolute human story.

    And then suddenly it was there. Everything fell into place. I realized I did not wanted to make my LOST. No flashbacks and core group to go through it and limit my view. That was my take on it until then and I loved LOST. But suddenly I understood I wanted to do a Gibson-novel. I wanted to do it Walther Kempowski style. Many narrations lead into one picture. A portray of it´s times. A tapestry of stories, showing the big one main event from the view of many. And I realized it could only be the end of the world I was talking about. And one unlike any seen before. A world changed by a God who wasn´t what he was meant to be. THE CHANGE was born.

    Did you outline all stories from there?

    No, I outlined THE CHANGE and then I allowed players every freedom to develop characters inside of this story. I agreed with myself on four settings. The Desert Inn, Boston, Hamburg, Nepal. All characters would be positioned in one of those setting and experience the end of the world. I had a rough outline of events and a core of a story which actually happened in Africa and would not be revealed until much, much later. I had the three as reinterpretations of classical “angel”-characters and I made a lot of effort to give them a modern, deterministic background. And then I waited for characters to be submitted and crafted the game from there. With the background and a very talented and creative co-conspirator called LordT at my side.

    Only one character was influenced with the background in my mind and that was yours.

    Did you already know back then, that God would be a pedophile German Professor?

    I already knew that was what you would see him as, yes. If he actually did any of it I left unconfirmed for a good reason. But yes, I wanted to have a flawed and dysfunctional father to take that role and I choose you for knowing you can play inner torment to play his equally damaged daughter. Everything else, as you might recall I left to you. But even that came all naturally to me.

    How did LordT end up in it?

    Well, I told him about it, he loved it and offered his services. He liked the unusual villains I had in mind and he took them and gave them an extra degree of depth, really thinking himself into Carl Weber, Caine and those guys. It was essential for the later game I believe. About half the good idea came from him. Once inspired by me, he was overflowing with ideas. Probably we had ideas for another ten games.

    How long did this process take?

    About three month. I took my time with it.

    Are you proud of the result? I mean all of that actually worked. Not anything anybody would have expected beforehand, right?

    Oh, I had the feeling it would work if I got the right people who got the vibe and I was blessed with plenty of those. Again, my players had to awake the world. They had to give me realistic characters and think out of the superhero-box. But you know what? I kinda believed in them doing so.

    Not all did. You had plenty of players, but nevertheless about ten left the game pretty early on.

    Well, we have some players who always get lost. They came and got lost in SotS, too. A bit harsh, maybe, but no need to be untruthful. Certain people stay around rarely. And then some players expected this to be Aria of the Soul II. I had three Lucifer submissions and two demons and I knew if those guys created new chars and then would see what this game was truly about they would probably run for the hills. What can I do? I cannot tell too much, I cannot send them away. I accept their CSes and hope they fall in love with my game. But no game is universally loved. That´s all part of the process of finding your player-base I believe.

    And there was a third GM at the time. Republic_Anvil, how did that happen?

    Well, when I had too many submissions I send out a call for a GM. And I had only one submission. Then again, I would have picked her anyway. We knew each other from “Asylum”, a pretty dark SW game I had played. I knew she had the right hand for that kinda game and she was very creative and enthusiastic. She brought a lot to the Caleb-storyline and made it a very [REC]-like event. I greatly appreciate her help.

    She left later on.

    People leave. DRL take us all sometimes. By then I was down to 70% of my players and could take over. LordT helped out a bit, too. But that should not diminish her great work she did there as a GM. I believe she brought the “horror” to the game, while I dwelled more in Sci-Fi, conspiracy and thelogical stuff.

    Was X-Files an inspiration?

    Why do you ask?

    I sometimes thought it seemed to be.

    Subconsciously certainly. I was a real X-Phile when that TV show aired. So I think the FBI agents and so on certainly had a bit of a familiarity to the fans of that show.

    How did you hand out the roles?

    What do you mean?

    Well, something that was confusing me in the beginning and that stands out today is that you gave some of the most prominent roles to absolute newbies around here.

    Well, I never believed in seniority. I know the board did back then. If someone who wasn´t a newbie won an award of a tournament it was a scandal. The whole thing wasn´t so subtle, but more of a public secret. But I believed . . . and still believe . . . all you need to make a good game are a few newbies who really dive into the game. You never get the fever again you get from your first game. So when someone approached me with a good role, I gave them space to play them. I needed them. I was doing something new , I believe. I also felt many lesser known players and newbies were more into the idea than the established crowd.

    Did it work out for you?

    I think the answer is well known. Yes it did.
    If it wasn´t for those players who trusted me and my idea above their doubts . . . newbie or not . . . I think we would not have made it past page 2.

    Did you know it would be such a sad game?

    Well, the end of the world is not a comedy, except you really really wanna make it one. So I think I aimed for something melancholic and heavy. The soundtrack was a collection of very sad songs I believe. Most player submitted quite sad characters, too. A lot of death and failure and a lot of complexity. I liked that. So the vibe was sadness, especially for the first part. It had other sides. I loved how Draco and Sinre made the thing a Film Noir tale in Nepal, how TheDarkOverlord made it a Bond-movie in his parts and how Republic_Anvil made it a straight, honest horror-tale. But especially LordT did his “God´s Army- the Lars von Trier version” thing and that quite much dictated the tone for me. Did you know we sometimes wrote posts for each other?

    Did you?

    The beginning with Tony and Milton on the bench? LordT wrote it and I just added it. Who posted what was sometimes a very fluent process.The famous dialogue so many people complimented me for . . . LordT wrote it and insisted I take credits.

    "A wicked mind, the most dangerous weapon of Mass Destruction." "I prefer nukes." That one?

    Yeah. LordT 100%.

    That was brilliant stuff!

    I know.

    Wow, I did suspect sometimes you did writing for him, but otherway around . . .

    Many of those sharp oneliners were his, actually.

    Good, let´s go into detail. The game had a lot and I would like to talk about a few aspects and scenes, if you don´t mind.

    Sure. Looks like this will go on the whole day anyway. You think you ever post this, Claire?

    I certainly hope so. If not, I have my own private Q&A, do I?

    [The Details are probably not of such public interest I have to post them here. Those hungry for more on the original game and it´s three sequels will soon be able to read it in Pieces of the Jigsaw]

    Then it ended. I remember how sad I was and yet so happy. You actually grew to big for an RP, right?

    I wouldn´t say that. I simply sold the idea.

    Yes, which is quite something, if you ask me.

    Yes, well for a year a game studio did work on it and tried to make it into a working graphic adventure game. Hell, I walked through Corben´s inn. I think it was the post Heavy rain era, when studios wanted to do something daring. It never got funded, actually. But I still have the concepts and some voice samples. They actually were quite serious. They did a FPS instead, which earned them a LOT of money. Now they are working on f2p MMO´s and are quite successful there, too.They probably made the right decision. I was sad nevertheless.

    How did this happen? How did you get into touch with them?

    I worked for them back then, earning a few bucks besides being a moderately busy lawyer. Then I told them about the idea and they loved it. They said develop more and I told them I have it all developed. After two days of talking, they paid me money and made me sign a contract which was pretty clear I had to stop using the idea myself. Later I found out they were totally not objecting the idea of Post-by-Post RPing, but back then I considered this to be the end of SotS. I was proud, obviously. I was hysterical about the idea of seeing this as something of a product on the market.But the game ended with a mysterious post leaving me room for a sequel one day. But seriously, I never thought I´d do it.

    And then you did it.


    Felt good?

    Oh yeah.

    [And after this SotS heavy issue, we´ll end up with the Sequels and the Finale next time and then go into Fin-the person and how he lives and what is up next for him in our next and final issue]
    Winged_Jedi likes this.
  17. Ramza

    Ramza Administrator Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA VIP

    Jul 13, 2008
    Wooo more Vox. Loved it. And the stuff about Preacher confirmed a nagging suspicion I had once I had finished reading that series.

    *Cough* I have no idea what you're talking about.
    Penguinator likes this.
  18. spycoder9

    spycoder9 Jedi Master star 4

    Jul 23, 2008
    :D Love these interviews. Especially when talking about SotS.

    It's good to have a little background info on how it was created. Makes me miss it even more. :)
  19. Sir_Draco

    Sir_Draco Jedi Knight star 4

    Aug 19, 2007
    Not that I did not suspect it, but I love the honesty about how the end of their relationship affected the SotS creation. Really. Lovely to see you two having so much fun with each other. The one proof of friendships after relationships there is. Also kudo for going so public with it :p

    The part about deteminism is something I waited to hear for quite some time. I still don´t get it fully, but I think it shows where SotS came from.
  20. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Immortal Mod-King of the EUC, RPF and SWC star 8 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    My English is not posh.

    Okay, it is, but shush.

    Kudos to the interview and the intriguing tension between the interviewer and subject. [face_batting]
  21. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    Once again, a great interview. If you liked Legio Angelus, it took a fair amount of inspiration from In Nomine, a Steve Jackson tabletop RPG which is a bit like CoNtinuum -- wonderful to read, but you'll never play it.
  22. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2007
    [face_laugh] Very flattering, but it was really Fin making my posts better, when I was Co-GMing and not the other way around.

    You two sweeties will end up married one day. Mark my words.

    And Saintheart, Fin and me actually played I Nomine, quite a bit I´d say.
  23. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    Well, I never played it [face_phbbbbt] :D :D
  24. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 2, 2007
    Again, it is like reading someone elses interview. So long ago AND translated into English. That is kinda strange.

    Can´t believe I was so honest to Claire. I hearby declare that it cannot be ruled out I was drugged while doing this interview. Claire might have put something into my coffee!
  25. Penguinator

    Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    May 23, 2005
    Whiskey? :p

    The fact that SotS is the result of some very personal and touching stuff is heartwarming. Kudos for the honesty!