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[personal profile] watchtower_editorial posting in [community profile] watchtower_ooc
We're a bunch of nerds who like to write collaborative fan-fiction about DC Comics characters. That's about it. Most of us used to do exactly this over on LiveJournal, in a place called jla_watchtower. Life being what it is, and LiveJournal being the drama lightning rod that it was, it was sort of surprising that Watchtower ran from approximately May 2004 to March 2012 as a going concern. It had picked up steam as a way of rejecting some of the continuity the founders hated about Identity Crisis, and its demise had a lot to do with waning enthusiasm in DC Comics' output in the wake of the New 52.

And now, DC's bringing back a lot of its classic elements, and we're getting interested again, and we've had four and a half years to forget a lot of the hassles and arguments. Plus we're older, and more mature, so if you make fun of our rose-colored glasses, we can beat you with our kryptonite canes.

This community can be described as collaborative fan-fiction, or as free-form play-by-post role-playing. Each player has a number of characters for whom they write. They control what stories and scenes the character will appear in. Story conflicts are resolved by mutual agreement - there are no dice, no game masters. We have moderators to maintain the community, but any player may devise and run a story, using hidden posts in our OOC (Out of Character) community to coordinate who should be where, what the desired outcome is, et cetera. Players are strongly encouraged to write their posts in an 'open' fashion, allowing the respondent to determine their reaction.

For example :

Deadshot shoots Batman square in the chest, impacting the armored plates beneath his suit and knocking the wind out of him.

Assuming Deadshot's player wrote that, we might have a problem, as it is a closed post - Batman's player should have a say in whether or not he gets hit, how badly it hurts him, and so on. If Deadshot's player wants to write the whole thing, why should Batman's player even show up?

Deadshot takes aim, leveling his wrist magnum at the enormous bat emblazoned on Batman's chest, and squeezes the trigger.

This allows Batman to dodge, to get hit and injured, to get hit and not injured, or whatever the player chooses. It allows both players to participate in crafting the scene.

We also allow people to use unplayed heroes and villains to enhance a scene - we refer to this as 'NPCing' - based on 'Non-Player Character' - or 'temping'. If no one has claimed the Red Hood (Jason Todd) and the Batman and Deadshot players would like that character to appear, one of them (or a third writer) might use their journal to temporarily write for the Red Hood, to bring him in and complicate matters for both Batman and Deadshot.

Scenes can get very complex, involving more than a dozen players, multiple comment threads, and lots of things going on at once. LiveJournal and Dreamwidth's nested comment styles allow us to manage these larger scenes with a minimum of confusion.

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