User:Leon Art/15 lore Questions for Mod Osborne
Q: You're 'Senior Narrative Designer'. What does that mean? What do you do when in the office?
In the industry, a narrative designer tends to also be a writer and designer of dialogue, stories and character. That’s not quite true of my role. I tend to have three facets to the job. The first is that I am the lore liaison for all updates. So, I am the person you go to if you want to make sure your content is consistent with ingame narrative, or if you want ideas for how to bring your content more into the narrative. These second part is to plan the future for RS story. What quests will we do? What stories will be told over the next five years? How does it all end? Finally, I am also a design reviewer of story content. Basically, a content developer – Mod Ana, Mod Rowley etc – will design and develop something, and I will give feedback on it to improve it.
Q: What do I do in the office? Aside from annoying people with my morning enthusiasm? The things I do have become more diverse recently. Narrative design is a small part of it: I am responsible for organising Scrum 2 – The Guardians; I appear in a fair few podcasts and streams; and I am a stakeholder in polls and Runelabs.
Senior just means I’m old.
Q: Is your job comparable with the work of an author?
So far from it, you wouldn’t believe! There is no writing of dialogue in this role. When an author begins pre-production, doing something we call ‘world-building’ then there is some parity. We would both try to work out the rules of the world, its major players and the stories we would like to tell.
Q: You describe yurself as 'rapid-fire talker' - not hard to know where that's coming from when watching your videos - did you train that or is it simply a talent you were born with?
I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know I talked fast until I started doing the Behind the Scenes videos! It seemed a natural way to talk J
Q: Have you ever thought of becoming...rapper or something like that where rapid-fire-talking-skills can be useful? :D
Don’t give the team ideas! The Elfborne vs Osborne video was originally going to be both of us doing a rap battle. Luckily they changed their minds!
Q: How long do you already work for Jagex and why did you chose your job?
I have worked here for nine years now, and started as an editor, clearing up the standard of English and writing web pages/Questhelps. After years of suggesting game ideas and offering feedback, Mod Mark and the others finally relented and gave me this job!
Q: If you were on a lonely island, which five RuneScape items would you take with you - and why?
My POH bookcase (is that cheating?), my toolbelt (cheating again!), my coin purse (cheat!) and a couple of things that remind me of the work I’ve done on RuneScape – a pufferfish hat and a stack of bacon, most likely.
Q: Did you enjoy being the Elfborne, it looks like you had a lot of fun. :P Will we see e.g. a Tuskborne or sth similar in future?
I was Elfborne on only four separate days! The five Elf City videos were all filmed in one day, so I didn’t actually spend much time in the costume. Still, it’s been lovely to see the response. That said, I am glad to be back to just wearing shirts and jumpers. That costume was itchy.
Q: What's your favorite part of the RS lore - if you have one?
This is always a tough question. My favourite single quest is One Piercing Note, but World Wakes and Fate of the Gods are close. They all had me as narrative designer on them though, so I feel like the choice is a touch arrogant! Of the older quests, I really like While Guthix Sleeps and the cave goblin series. In terms of areas of lore, the notion of the Mahjarrat is lovely. I really like a group that deliberately whittles themselves down to the most powerful.
Q: Some say 'Daffyd', the impling elf in Prifddinas, is based on you - is that true, and are more characters based on real persons (Jmods, players or famous persons) hidden in RS?
He certainly is based on me. I didn’t ask for it – I blame Mod Rowley. The implings in that room are each members of our team, too. 200th Quest has something similar – try to find us as you play the quest.
Q: Are you planning to continue with the 5th age storyline (e.g. the Myreque Quests) or will you only work on the 6th age quests for the next time? (Besides the Quests mentioned in polls that is)
The aim is to vary our quests, and have a balance of continuation quests and 6th Age quests. We will always keep an eye on this. I can imagine that another Continuation Quest, beside vampyres, will crop up this year.
Q: In the North there is snow, in the South there are hot jungles (Karamja) and deserts (Kharid), in the East are the Wushanko Isles; is there also snow further South and are there Western lands beyond the Elves?
I’d like to keep our options open! A world can be too dense with stuff, so it is good to expand outwards sometimes. I definitely know about eastern plans, and I can imagine southern continents.
Q: The Fremennik that went to Deamonheim also made stops at Taverley and Al-Kharid, this means the possible shortest route they would’ve taken is over the river that runs from the Baxtorian Falls through Ardougne and the Castle Wars area and around Oo’glog. But because… ‘Scale theory’, it seems more likely they went past Port Tyras and kept hugging the coast-line all the way to Deamoheim (like Europeans did on their trips to China). This is a very, very… very long way. Since they also know the pirates near Lunar isle and the can also be found just next of the Wilderness agility area, does this mean that there is no North-East Passage? (Similar to the failed attempts of North-Europeans in finding a North-East Passage to China?) Surely the mighty Fremennik aren’t like Unferth and just… never thought of it, right?
Very good question. I imagine that the barbarians need supplies for such a long journey, and the Wilderness has few, if any, settlements. This route is safer since it allows them to stock up.
Q: Why do the Oracle, Vannaka, Duradel, Lapalok, Kuradel (and even some early graphical versions of Mahjarrat), Jiminua, Timfraku, Tiadeche, Tamayu, share the same kind to identical face paintings, is does this have a meaning? There are four slayer masters and three of them are from Karamja, is it a slayer master trait or a Karamja thing or something that signifies strength or... wisdom?
In the case of the Karamjan characters, the face markings will indeed be tribal, denoting a particular trait. For the others you mention, I hate to say it but it was probably some asset reuse! There is no intended connection.
Q: Where did the Grey, Green and Red wizards go to after the destruction of the First wizard’s tower? I have a faint hope the Grey and Green wizards settled on Crandor and started the thriving city-state mentioned in the Dragon slayer quest.
That does make a lot of sense. I imagine the destruction was a wake up call for a number of wizards. A number of green wizards would have become more extreme in their need for balance and peace and become druids. The grey wizards were always cliqueless, and would likely have broken up, becoming wizards about the world. The red wizards might have joined the ZMI, become infernal mages, monks of Zamorak, etc
Q: Zanik and the Mystics say that the area with Sacred clay is a different world (they call it the Primordial realm); where is this world; will the mystics ever finish their creations; and should we consider Sacred clay as one of the Elder 12 Artefacts?
To me, the Primordial Realm is simply an unfinished planet that the Elder Gods got bored of making, for whatever reason. It will simply be a formative world.
Q: Some gods are thought up to make a point about godhood: Tuska = gods aren’t necessarily intelligent; Skargaroth = gods not necessarily want followers; Bandos = gods aren’t necessarily moral; Marimbo = gods don’t necessarily are obsessed with power; Guthix = gods don’t necessarily pursue godhood; Armadyl/Zaros = gods aren’t unchanging. Could you give us some more examples (I know there was something interesting to be told with eh Karamjan gods and with V-----)?
Bandos = gods aren’t necessarily interested in the flourishing of mortality. Icthlarin = gods aren’t all jobless and self-interested. Amascut = gods aren’t always involved in the 6th Age. V---- = Gods don’t always have their origin stories away from Gielinor…
Q: We were told that one can reach godhood by killing a god or by spending enough time with elder artefacts that leak elder energy. It seem that consuming enough souls (Nomad) or Anima Mundi also has the same effect. Is this a correct observation and are there more ways?
Not convinced that sheer power will make you a god. I believe there is a power-ceiling that characters like Nomad might want to overcome. Anima mundi is nurtured and grown by Elder Gods. It is also effectively their food. So, it share properties but is also a little different – note how the anima mundi was used to make a god nullifier: i.e. you.
Q: Mortals can ascent into godhood, gods can ascend and descend in godhood-tiers, can gods also descend into mortality again – without being killed?
Stunning question. Yes, they could.
Q: How do citadels stay up? Some sort of force flux as in the Avatar movie??
Stones of Aviansie origin. They have special gravitational power.
Q: Are Evil trees and Spirit trees related in some way? I get the creepy feeling that Evil trees aren’t evil and that Spirit trees want to get rid of potential competition; that they have convinced Leprechauns, Gnomes and humans alike that ‘Evil trees’ are really... evil.
Haha, that would be an interesting revelation! Yes, I see evil trees as the huorns to spirit tree’s ents.
Q: Can ‘mutilated’ places (like the Wilderness, Poison Waste, Lumbridge crater, Yu'biusk, etc.) be cured or revived if we would try breathe life into it with enough divination energy aka Anima Mundi?
I have submitted an idea of a quest on these lines at several points! I love the idea of a lab or similar trying to reclaim the Wilderness. What would happen if they were successful?
Q: All life (except the very basic life created by the Elder gods) has evolved, but this takes quite a long time. How old is the RS universe/multiverse; how much time would there be between the creation of worlds; would Anima Mundi ‘speed up’ this evolution?
Strong anima mundi would speed up evolution, yes. Gielinor is comparatively young, but the universe itself is hundreds of thousands of years old. And that’s just this iteration. There would be hundreds of years between worlds.
Q: Why does our character only seem to think he can get healthy/high-healing food from fish, and not from animals that we kill with hunter, slayer or normal combat, and… what about a good vegetarian dish, why are those not good options?
Customs are strange in Gielinor! We don’t eat horse, rabbit or kangaroo, even though they are all widespread and – supposedly – quite tasty. Perhaps there is a stigma in Gielinor!
Q: Quests are in many ways a main source for lore, but making quests takes a lot of time. While there are other ways that can do the same these are not as much utilized as I would want. Would it be possible to see more books/letters/journals, memoriam crystals/divination memories or chronicles, normal NPC-dialogues, or just stories on the website (‘God letters’, ‘Postbag’, ‘Lore and History’: Twice Burnt, Daemonheim Asunder, The Fall of the Six – some of my favourites), etc.? Dungeoneering is great at this! Divination planned to do this to, but this was later scrapped. However, this could still be a great addition; similar things could be the case for Summoning, or dialogue of Hunter experts or lore drops for slayer beasts, or finding stuff while mining… lore drops from any skill really, like the Shattered Heart DnDs do. Could this become a real possibility?
I think we’re getting better at this. Look at the crystals in Elf City, or the books in Broken Home, or the Penance King notes released on the forums. Still, I see where you are coming from – there are fewer postbags and lores than there used to be. We will try to add it where possible, and keep telling us when you like something!