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 On Canon Characters, Discussion
Star Catcher
 Posted: Aug 19 2016, 10:55 AM
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So, a few of us seem to be running into a few issues around here as to what to do with canon characters. Do we allow them? Do we deny them? How do we prevent hoarding, or canons never seeing play?

Well, thing is, there's positives and negatives to every argument out there. Allowing canons on a first-come, first-served basis would get people to fill those positions, but would leave later members high and dry for canon play. Allowing anyone to play any canon without restriction, on the other hand, would make for a jumbled mess, what with the various takes on different characters doing different things. Finally, there's the argument that canons should be removed altogether, which - while the idea's certainly there, removes the possibility to play out how their stories fold out different from established canon.

Then, there's the idea of hoarding characters. Now, I think we can all agree that nobody should be allowed to claim a highly desired character and never use them - and that nobody should be allowed to lay claim to multiple characters at once.

So, all things considered, how would you suggest we go about implementing canons into the site? Please - leave your thoughts below, I'm genuinely curious as to what people think about this.

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Qaline Verglas
 Posted: Aug 19 2016, 03:39 PM
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I'd say that if you want to play a canon character, there should be some sort of test to see if you're good at roleplaying them, since not everyone will be. and once you have them, there should be a rule in place so that if you go a certain amount of time without using them, you lose them and someone else can try to claim them
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Zealot
 Posted: Aug 19 2016, 04:42 PM
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Well, I have already set out my arguments against canon characters at all to Star, but I will do so again for posterity.

Firstly, there are issues with consistency. One portrayal of a canon is invariably going to be different from another and there are issues if someone's OC forms a relationship with that canon, and then that canon goes to another player. What happens there exactly? Either way, it's a bit of a mess.

Secondly, there is the issue of jealousy and drama associated with these characters. Of course, people always want to play canons. I have done, and they are a blast to play, certainly. However, if I am playing Rarity, and then all of a sudden someone else comes along and wants to play Rarity, we have a problem. We can't both play Rarity, so who gets to play her? Of course, we could have some sort of test of RP ability, but then that creates a hint of elitism. People shouldn't be stopped from having fun simply because they're not good enough writers. It's not really right in many ways. They're a source of drama that is best left out of it.

Thirdly, I find they actually detract from OCs and roleplay in general. An RP with a canon character quickly becomes 'yay it's my favourite character' and that is it. They take over the roleplay and they detract from the role of OCs.

Fourthly, if I can play with a canon, why bother with an OC? More often than not you get people hoarding or jealously guarding their favourite characters and only playing them with their friends. It creates a bit of a click in a ways of people just playing their favourite characters and it takes away from the creativity of roleplay. It becomes less roleplay and more... well... playing ponies in essence.

I think we should have as few canons as possible, if not get rid of the idea entirely. I can understand having several canon characters who are important to the storyline, but otherwise, I feel it would be best to leave the adventure and the important roleplay to OCs. It makes it more personal, creative and ultimately, we get to do something of our own which may become a little special.
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Pyro Blaze
 Posted: Aug 19 2016, 07:58 PM
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I agree with Zealot, actually. The points they brought up are all valid and make a lot of sense, so I would say either don't have cannon characters, or play them like NPCs, where they are less important so the OCs can shine through more.
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Star Catcher
 Posted: Aug 20 2016, 02:03 AM
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Huh.

Well, first off, thank you for responding to this, to those who have to this point. To be honest, I'm not at all surprised by the support the argument against canons has received, but that does raise a few possibilities to shift the roleplay a bit.

Starting with the board storyline proper, how do we explain what happened to the canon characters? A few of the earlier members and myself did have some ideas as to what might have happened to each of the Mane 6 had the Rainboom never occurred, but the change would only be minor at best, the forum had admittedly been made with the idea of the main cast never really playing a major role in the story. If we're to extend that same obscurity to every pony who has made an appearance in-show, however, things get a bit more complicated.

The first, and easiest, method for ensuring canons don't get played? We fast-forward the setting a bit, have it focus on a later generation of ponies. The catch is, we do this, people will inevitably expy their favorite characters (I've been guilty of this in the past). Second issue, are we willing to accept descendents? Given the nature of life, being descended from a canon pony, no matter how obscure, is bound to happen rather often. In any case, I don't feel this should be a problem so long as they're not carbon copies of the ancestor pony. What are your thoughts on this?

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Pyro Blaze
 Posted: Aug 20 2016, 02:57 AM
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Moving the timeline ahead could work, and I'm fine with a descendant of a canon pony, since these would still be ocs.
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Qaline Verglas
 Posted: Aug 20 2016, 07:41 AM
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actually, I'd kinda prefer to have things take place when Nightmare Moon's reign began.... but I don't have any better solutions, so... *shrugs*
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Zealot
 Posted: Aug 20 2016, 08:51 AM
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Mmm... there are still some issues with moving the timeline along. Instead of, 'i want to play that canon' arguments you will get 'i want to play that canon's grand-daughter' arguments. And I concur with Qaline, I would prefer the RP to start at the beginning of her reign.

I think it would be fine if they just faded into obscurity and lived normal happy lives. They never become the heroes we know of, and instead their destinies are taken up by OC characters and such, our characters fill the void as it were. I don't see why that's such a problem. Sure, they're still around, but I mean... can't we just ignore them? Or better yet, just say they never existed in the first place. Why not?
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Star Catcher
 Posted: Aug 20 2016, 11:30 AM
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Right then.

To everyone who's participated in this discussion, either on the forum or via Discord, I want to thank you, and let you know that I've come up with a decision that'll hopefully cause as little drama or tension as possible.

Expect an announcement to be made later today.

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