Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic


  • Pitcrew

    No idea if this should even go here, but it's ostensibly related to MU*s, and I'm sure @Arkandel can yoink it into a more appropriate place if necessary.

    Have any of you ever thought about what your characters or MU* settings would be like in an alternate universe? I don't mean like a mirror dimension a la Star Trek where people are really mean and have implausible facial hair (although I suppose I don't not mean that). I'm talking about things like putting a medieval MUSH into the present day without magic, or vice versa, or switching your VtM MU* with a superhero one.

    We had a brief entertaining discussion on Arx today about what Space Opera Arx would be like (tldr: very silly).

    What would your favorite game be like in a radically different setting? What would your character be like?



  • This is how I end up with 90% of my characters. 'What if (Thing from one setting), but in (the specific setting of this game)?'



  • @Rinel In some respects, HorrorMU is a perfect example of this principle in action. It is a lot of fun that way.

    While the characters are more different from setting to setting than it would be in a traditional example of this, it's a similar thought experiment in some ways, with recurring themes/general traits/etc.


  • Admin

    @Rinel said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    No idea if this should even go here, but it's ostensibly related to MU*s, and I'm sure @Arkandel can yoink it into a more appropriate place if necessary.

    You're good. :p Stop worrying and love the fanfic, I guess!



  • I have a deep hatred of fanfic (as an author, the ones I've seen that pervert the author's characters make me angry) so it's hard to approach this.

    But. I don't mind stories set in a world so long as the FCs aren't present. (Comic chars are an exception but with so many writers....my feel is so long as they stay to the spirit of the original, I'm good.)

    Which is what this sounds like? Sort of. It feels like a blend of the...two concepts? Like: let's take all the same characters and plop them over here.......which again would give me weird feelings for being done to someone else's character.

    Ugh. The more I think about this the more awkward it feels. I'm gonna give myself hives.

    LSS: I'm against using other people's characters (which is why it took me so long to adapt to the idea of rosters: the constant terror of 'I'm doing it wrong!!!') but I'm cool with worlds/settings being used.

    ......but then if you're altering someone else's setting too much does that not fall into the same issues as characters?

    ....yeah this concept may not be for me.


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice

    Does the idea of "[setting] three hundred years down the road" bother you as much, where it's just a sort of silly prediction of what sort of things will have happened or what sort of tech will be present?



  • @Rinel said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    @Auspice

    Does the idea of "[setting] three hundred years down the road" bother you as much, where it's just a sort of silly prediction of what sort of things will have happened or what sort of tech will be present?

    No, that doesn’t. Not as a thought exercise for sure.

    Now if someone copped Arx’s theme and just went ‘it’s Arx, but 300 years in the future!’ I’d prob be pretty bothered on behalf of the people who made it.

    the era of GOMO games bothered me a lot, too (the ‘ha ha we snuck in and nabbed the DB and now it’s the same game but with a new name and us in charge!’).



  • @Rinel said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    Have any of you ever thought about what your characters or MU* settings would be like in an alternate universe?

    You know what? I don't think I really ever have.

    Maybe I don't have imagination for such things, but probably because I'm a no-fun killjoy when it comes to world building, which is evidence that I need to go out and get drunk more often.

    I am, however, excited with a concept relayed to me by @Coin wherein it's a superhero game but the world is attached to every possible alternative dimension so nobody would bat an eye if there were fifteen Batmans and six Spider-Mans. Mens. Peoples. This makes me giddy, which is strange for someone who is at best lukewarm about superhero comics.

    Me. I'm talking about me.

    I did once want to reimagine Dark Metal MUSH in a turn-of-the-century steampunk setting called "The Darkness of our Mettle" because a) puns, b) why not take something infamous and play around with it, and c) puns.

    I've loved other things with the conceit of throwing ideas into another setting, such as Clone High or Brad Neely's Washington (video nsfw: swears and foot-dicks) and RPG's Famous John Wick came up with a game conceit on how to do this cheeky and wonderful "how the future looked back in the past" game called Yesterday's Tomorrow that's worth checking out.

    So yes, I guess I have thought about it, just not with my own characters. My characters live in a specific world. If you take them out of that world, they're not the same character. Rad would not be Rad if he wasn't a Silent Strider in the middle of a once-irradiated nuclear power-plant. Vera wouldn't be Vera if her mother hadn't sold her out to the faeries. I could start in the same place from these people, but I hope they would end up as very different people.

    ... I seemed to have waxed philosophical.

    Again.



  • Some games I've been on (usually those run by @Tat) have a really neat concept of a what if/AU week the week of April 1st. During that week you can roleplay all kinds of wacky non-canon stuff, and there's usually one overarching AU premise that lots of people will participate in for their random non-canon accents. For instance, on the Mass Effect game, there was an AU one year of "what about these characters... but adapted for Dragon Age?" So biotics as mages, etc. And then the AU week is done and everyone goes back to normal RP.

    I think that can be a lot of fun.

    (As for fanfic, I honestly don't think it's that harmful. If the canon content isn't arriving fast enough, I will read it. Sometimes I will write it. And if I ever publish one of my various fictional worlds publicly, I don't care if others come and play in it. Please don't show me your playtime, for a whole slew of reasons—I've had two published friends have really disturbing fanfics of their characters sent directly to them—but definitely go have fun writing it.)



  • @Sparks said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    (As for fanfic, I honestly don't think it's that harmful. If the canon content isn't arriving fast enough, I will read it. Sometimes I will write it. And if I ever publish one of my various fictional worlds publicly, I don't care if others come and play in it. Please don't show me your playtime, for a whole slew of reasons—I've had two published friends have really disturbing fanfics of their characters sent directly to them—but definitely go have fun writing it.)

    I think this is why I’m so opposed to it. I’ve often said, when asked about fanfic, that part of my terror in ever getting published is having someone come up to me all ‘I THINK <Char A> and <Char B> ARE TOTALLY IN LOVE HERE’S MY FANFIC OF THEM FUCKING’

    ...and this isn’t just because I’ve seen such horrifying fanfic, but because I’ve personally run into those people with their tales of ‘I hope I can meet <creator> at the Con so I can give them a copy of my fanfic!’

    :|



  • Certainly I've had times where I thought things were going to steer in one direction (ah, my PC will end up with that other PC! or something like that) and then, by luck or by judgment, they just go in another direction entirely. But then I usually have my "aw, wouldn't it have been cool if..." thoughts about where it all could have gone!


  • Pitcrew

    I feel like Arx in Space would be Fading Sunsish.



  • @mietze said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    I feel like Arx in Space would be Fading Sunsish.

    You're half-right. I think it'd be more like Fading Suns crossed with Event Horizon.



  • A lot of Great Literary Classics are basically fanfiction. I mean, the Divine Comedy is self-insert fanfic, of all things.

    That said, I sometimes enjoy other people's weird alternate universe takes on things, but I don't really tend to make up my own.

    That said, a lot of MU*s are coffeeshop AUs anyway.


  • Pitcrew

    Anyone who knows me knows that AU is my jam. If I play on a game long enough, chances are that, staff-willing, I will absolutely run a mirror/AU plot so I and others can play alternate versions of their characters, often with and in contrast to their normal versions.

    It's my thing.

    Ask anyone.


  • Pitcrew

    As for the actual question posed by the thread: yeah, all the fucking time.



  • @peasoupling said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    A lot of Great Literary Classics are basically fanfiction. I mean, the Divine Comedy is self-insert fanfic, of all things.

    You could make an argument that Virgil's Aeneid is crossover fanfic of Homer's Illiad, too, inasmuch as it takes an otherwise minor character from Homer's work, writes a big heroic story around him that basically starts right at the end of the previous "canon" work, and then retcons him into the backstory of another franchise (by making him Romulus and Remus' ancestor) in order to justify a preferred headcanon (or, in this case, to tie together a bunch of historical events and justify the legitimacy of the Julio-Claudian dynasty).

    Yes, I'm simplifying that, but the analogy isn't really inaccurate.


  • Pitcrew

    @peasoupling said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    A lot of Great Literary Classics are basically fanfiction. I mean, the Divine Comedy is self-insert fanfic, of all things.

    "And then Virgil, who was now my bestie, took me to meet Homer and Ovid. And Virgil was like, 'hey guys, this is Dante, he's awesome.' And Homer was like, 'he is awesome, he should join our club.
    "And also everyone I hate is in Hell."


  • Pitcrew

    @insomniac7809 said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    @peasoupling said in Alternate Universes, OR, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fanfic:

    A lot of Great Literary Classics are basically fanfiction. I mean, the Divine Comedy is self-insert fanfic, of all things.

    "And then Virgil, who was now my bestie, took me to meet Homer and Ovid. And Virgil was like, 'hey guys, this is Dante, he's awesome.' And Homer was like, 'he is awesome, he should join our club.
    "And also everyone I hate is in Hell."

    Especially relevant to this analogy is how, while people really into Dante have read the entire Divine Comedy, most people have only read the first part, most cultural knowledge and references are about the first one, and even among academics, it's really only the first one that seems to merit any attention.


  • Pitcrew

    If we're really getting into classical crossover fanfic, though, we have to talk about Jason and the Argonauts.

    "Every culture hero from the Greek city-states team up and have an adventure."


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