I think the lesson here is pretty clear: don’t violate the boundaries of space-narrative if you aren’t ready to have a lot of suddenly self-aware non-people angry at you and not really sure what to make of themselves. If I didn’t already have a pretty clear idea of what Larp Trek should be about, I might explore this whole situation in its own right further, but I’m pretty much ready to put this weird trip to bed and get back to the actual DS9 stuff. I miss colored backgrounds.
But this has been an interesting diversion for me, because (and there’s a decent analogue here to the dilemma of a free-form game, really) as soon as you start lifting the constraints on something there’s both a wonderful freedom to Do Whatever You Like and a seriously terrifying realization that freedom to move means freedom to muck things up in profoundly new ways. How meta is too meta? How much more of a problem is consistency when you’re flying all over the place? What are the rules, what are the metaphysics of this storytelling environment suddenly unburdened from its more or less reliable boundaries? Does it work? Is it satisfying? Is it actually a story or just a lot of faffing about from one conceit to the next?
And the tricky thing is that locking it back down to the old constraints may not really get rid of those questions. Cat meet bag, toothpaste meet tube, knowledge meet apple. Certainly I’ve given myself some things to think about in terms of how I plot and characterize in the strip. I think that’s all in all a good thing, but it’s also a weird thing.