I feel it is practically obligatory that I begin this post this way:
”There's a dark jungle next to the village. People who go into it never return. The villagers fear the jungle. Then one day a man with a torch goes in, the villagers scream at him to not, but he does anyway. He returns the next night, crawling back, bleeding to death, claw marks on his back. With his last breath he says 'Within the Jungle lives a Tiger, who is twelve feet long, obsidian claws, and has fire in its eyes...but it is just a Tiger and it bleeds.' After that he dies. The villagers no longer fear the jungle after that day. Oh, it's still scary and they take precautions from the huge Tiger...but it's just a Tiger. No longer is it Unknown or Shadows, perhaps one day someone will go and kill the Tiger...but there is no need for pointless fear.”
The Mystic: ”The Mystic can equal to -Veteran.- Mystic has fought, stores the knowledge of the past, and continues to give support when possible.”
The Hermit: ”The Hermit lives by himself, has developed methods to survive, and is willing to pass on instructions, but has his own priorities, and odds are will not fight as opposed to run.”
The Warrior: ”Brave, Bold, Stupid in that headstrong way, Fights for the sake of the fight, Fights without fear, Only fights on This Side, Can push /Construct/ back to Other Side for a while, cannot beat it. A stop gap, and if they become an /Agent/ then there's going to be a lot of trouble.”
The Guardian: ”Calm, controlled with knowledge, FIghts for others BUT will have nothing left on This Side, FIghts on Other Side, Stays on Other Side and keep Him there for a much longer time, will return when the Vigil is over, or if a Hero emerges.”
The Hero: ”Afraid but pushes on, Foolish but gains wisdom from Sages and Mystics, Fights for those who are important to him, Fights on both This Side and Other Side Only a Hero can kill a monster...but the Hero always dies at the end of the story.”
I like this...
Remember I asked for you to hear me out.
The story painted by Robert Sagel is artistic, inspiring, and heartfelt, it has everything a good story should (or at least the outline of a good story should), including a fair amount of fiction. The very concept on which the Core Theory was founded is flawed, the Construct, as Sagel called him is not bound be the rules of fiction, and naming someone a hero does not ensure His demise, no matter how many people believe in the Hero. Core Theory is not something people should ever have relied on, the more thoroughly I look at Sagel's blog the more apparent it is to me that the man was delusional, he was brilliant in many ways, but his grasp on reality was compromised, and people who live exclusively by his rules are unlikely to survive extremely long.
That said, the Core Theory did provide some interesting points, and it offered something up to the Runners at the time that they needed: Hope. Granted hope won't do you much good when you're bleeding out on the ground, or being ripped to shreds by an inhuman monster, but it isn't a currency that should be undervalued. Of course the one thing I admired the most was the concept of Names that Sagel introduced. Perhaps it's just the avid reader in me, but the concept of naming the players in this battle made it so much more interesting. Of course he was wrong in assuming that his players would be bound by their roles, there is absolutely nothing keeping The Guardian from having something left on "this side", and there is no reason that the Hero has to be the one to make the final blow, or even die at the end, for that matter. Rather I liked the names because they identified people, it showed how they were important, what they thought, and where they came from, I didn't need this theory to hold these people to a standard, but perhaps it would have been interesting to see what would have happened if it had been used to organize people into a unified front, with the titles identifying the officers of the group. I suppose in a way that this is the one true effect of the Core Theory, people have become more organized, and show special respect to the Named and the Sages, however it is done on such a small scale as to be almost irrelevant and so I suppose I shall never get to see such unification. Well I suppose this simply makes my current situation that much safer, but, since I'm feeling creative why don't we add a few roles to Sagel's Theory: (I will be using gender neutral for all of these, as they can be filled by anyone.)
The Scholar: The Scholar is a reservoir of knowledge, it is xis goal simply to learn, xe will never fight if xe can help it, however xe is also unlikely to run, and will always stand xis ground if xis research is threatened. Xe may send people out on errands for xim, but xe will never purposely task anyone with a quest they cannot handle so long as it can be avoided. That said, xexe is often unaware of others capabilities, and will go to great lengths to obtain any piece of new information.
The Merchant: The Merchant is a skilled barterer, and might be known for trying to swindle xis friends and foes alike. However, xe has a way of getting xis hands on very rare or difficult to acquire items, and will gladly trade them for something xe wants or needs. Unfortunately for those who seek xis wares what xe wants is not always something material, as xe is more than capable of getting such things on xis own, rather xe will request favors from his clients, and some can be quite difficult.
The Thief: The Thief may work with The Merchant or may work alone, in fact sometimes the two roles can be combined. However, the thief is far more withdrawn than The Merchant in most cases, preferring to brood by ximself instead of hawking wares and swindling travelers. The thief can find a way into almost any place, no matter how safe, and relive it from its belongings. The thief will always take great pride in xis work, and has some level of honor. However xe is also quite reclusive, and finding xim will surely take a fair deal of work.
The Dragon: The Dragon is a very powerful creature, xe may work for either side, but it is not unlikely for xim to betray xis current allies for seemingly no reason. Xis reasons for fighting are often just the fight itself, and if it is anything greater xe is likely not to reveal it. Often The Dragon works directly with either the Hero or The Construct, and is extremely unpleasant to anyone who tries to become him and his master. The Dragon is also quite fond of flames, and will use fire as a powerful tool or weapon much more effectively than xis comrades.
The Spy: The Spy will maintain the allusion of working for one side for a considerable period of time with the sole purpose of reaching a position to do considerable damage to that side. While The Spy almost never actively sabotages anything xe is a part of, xe will often feed information to the other side subtly. Xe is quite clever, but will often make ximself appear only moderately intelligent so that xe will not inadvertently help the side xe spies on win the war. Xe will either try to come of as needy to gain sympathy, or heroic to gain respect, the damage xe can do changes with each role. Xe is most likely to relay information back to xis side through The Scholar or The Thief.
And because its after midnight, and sleep deprivation makes me do stupid things because they seem funny and clever at the time:
The Princess: The Princess is always in need of rescuing, though xe(Yes I'm still going with gender neutral here, The Princess may very well be male) contributes next to nothing to the group when xe is captured or cut off all other matters take a back seat. Saving The Princess is of the highest priority, as xe will usually be a romantic counterpart for The Hero. Xe is quite concited and foolish, and almost always falls for The Merchant's scams, occasionally endangering the group in the process. If one must choose between saving The Princess and ensuring survival, victory, or the continuation of the human race, one must always rescue The Princess first.
The Expendable Crewman: The Expendable Crewman is a title that should be given to a new person at least once a month, and if someone has held on to the title for longer than a month xe should promptly be sent on a suicide mission. Xe will be someone with very little background, and will be generally considered useless and stupid. For added meaning this title should always be given within minutes of sending xim on a mission that has very poor odds and is virtually obsolete.
The Fool: The Fool has made one very bad decision that has tainted everyone's view of him. Xe exists without respect and is often blamed for the most embarrassing failures. The Fool is actually quite intelligent, and will usually have a plan with good odds for saving the day, however because of the stigma against xim no one pays attention. Sometimes xe will grow very bitter and spiteful and switch sides, when this happens xe is a very destructive force.
EDIT: Well apparently Sagel's back, so in honor of his (fourth? fifth? I don't even know) return I give you a new title:
The Zombie: The Zombie is the one person who just won't stay dead. Whether it's because of proper planning, pure luck, a mistaken witness, or actual necromancy, this person has a talent for raising form the dead.
Well there you have it, the new and improved Core theory. I'm aware that this whole post is probably in very bad taste, and I do not plan on going around and handing out titles to anyone. But what the heck, I put a lot of work into making those characters, so if you want to name someone go right ahead, let me know and I'll even make a separate page to keep everyone listed. Just be warned, names are good for identifying someone, giving them authority, but don't blame me if what you got from here doesn't turn out the way you expected, that's not the way it works, people aren't bound by their roles, merely given direction by them. Oh well, I'm done, obligatory hate for anything relating to the Core Theory goes below, and thanks for hearing me out.
See you around