Wizard Wednesday Recap, 2023-04-12
Elf wants to start the meeting by asking Bearsnake how NFTNYC is going so far, but Bear isn't present, so he asks Dotta if he has FOMO about not going to the event. Dotta says he doesn't, because it doesn't feel the same as last year. Elf agrees, but admits he does have FOMO.
Wooden Boy & Other 3D Wizards Update
The first Cult Question concerns community member Slim's feelings about Elf finally revealing the "Wooden Boy" 3D Wizard preview. Elf speaks for Slim, and says he believes Slim is excited about it, because he replied under Elf's post with clear enthusiasm. Dotta uses this to segue into more conversation about the 3D models. He talks about iterating on the 3D announcement landing page for optimization. Elf mentions that the texturing for the models is taking longer than he thought, but says that it is nearing completion. Dotta comments on the quality of the 3D Wizard heads and says they are, "beautiful, colorful, the right level of simplicity — just absolutely stunning... they're so different, but so true to the pixel art."
Henboyd Has a Nice Time
Henboyd briefly steps up to speak and says that he is at the Wizard Meetup in NYC and everyone is having a "nice time".
Elves & Fairies In the Runiverse
Elf is then asked about the elves and fairies that appear in the names of some of the Forgotten Runes items and traits. "They are definitely in The Fey." He says that is where most of them are, but there may be some other unexplored territories of the Runiverse where they could also be.
The team is also asked, "Wen comic?" Elf says he hates saying it every time, but it's true: "The legacy industry just works much slower than crypto. If it was totally up to us, it would have been out two months ago." Dotta also speaks to the failings of past crypto comics. Dotta says the point for Forgotten Runes is to get stories from the Book of Lore into peoples' homes and hearts. He says the way to do that is through traditional publication. Once signed with a publisher, the time between issues will be more along the lines of 1 per month.
Film, Hallucinated Television, & Jelly Donuts
Film & Hallucinated Television
Elf speaks about recently watching the film Everything, Everywhere, All At Once and relates some of the content back to Forgotten Runes. To this, Dotta says: "I really want to watch the Forgotten Runes sitcom that TV hallucinated." On this topic, Dotta says that it is getting scary how content he is to talk with ChatGPT and that he is beginning to spend multiple hours each week with it. Elf says he wants to speak more to that later, as he believes his thoughts on AI last week were misinterpreted by some.
He then says he wants to take the time to riff on Jelly Donuts, a topic that circles back to his recent film viewing (which involves a literal "everything" bagel). Elf likens the circular object back to the ouroboros and how even in completeness, a circle also represents a hole. To this, he says the mystical Jelly Donut of Forgotten Runes is curiously without a hole, and posits that the hole of emptiness has been filled by the decentralized worldbuilders. "The job of the Cult is to fill that hole, and we all do it in our own way."
The Meaning Behind Elf's Name
"For me, personally, the 'J' in ElfJTrul does indeed stand for 'Jelly.'"
"I'm not kidding! The 'Elf' stands for the Magic and the 'Trul' stands for the Machine and the Jelly is the cosmic Jelly that binds them together."
Elf says he won't go too deeply into that "donut hole".
Cult Questions, Continued
Concepts of Time in the Runiverse
On the topic of circular Time, the team is then asked if there is a time system for the Runiverse.
"When we're talking about the Runiverse, we're talking about a lot of different worlds here. We're talking about the physical meatspace world...we're talking about the metaverse, we're talking about cyberspace, we're talking about Plato's Theory of Forms, we're talking about the Dream World, Cloud Cuckoo Land, the Ether, the Eternal Void of Absolute Nothingness. All of these different dimensions of this meta-multiverse are places that we all intersect with as Wizards."
Elf says that while there is a map of the Runiverse that mirrors planet Earth, it is a "waypoint" into all of these worlds. Being a Wizard grants the free traversal through all of these worlds. Elf speaks to all of the major events that have happened in our own timeline. "The actual dates of those are set in our physical world. There's a timeline. We were all there." He then states that there is likely not a conversion table for Time in the Runiverse because,
"The Ouroboros is exerting such a strong influence that when the Blue Wizards attempt to construct a sensible, logical calendar, the Dragons distort it."
The Future of the Runiverse Map
On the subject of the Runiverse itself, Elf mentions that community members Sharon and O will soon host a Twitter Spaces roundtable discussion exploring existing locations on the Runiverse map. He says that he and Dotta want to talk about the lore potential behind map locations. Elf also mentions that they would like to build an interactive map tool on the website.
Progress of an Interactive and Decentralized Map
Dotta takes up the conversation with Quantum Synchronicity and says that they had already been talking about ways to help make the map better. He notes small changes made earlier in the week. He speaks to the question of ownership concerning contributions to the map. Dotta says that they have been brainstorming ideas on tools for this. "We want community members to be able to put their own locations on the Map." To this point, he references Legatus' BlackSand locale.
Versions and Visions
Elf says that he would like to give descriptions of the places that he knows on the current map, perhaps with associated artwork, as a "Version 1". However, he would also like to be able to zoom infinitely to allow everyone to add a pin, give it a name, append artwork, etc.
Dotta theorizes that gating map modifications to token-holders already provides a high bar of quality control. He then questions moderation styles for adding this type of content. Elf says, "I guess we should launch and see what happens and go from there." Elf also states that he doesn't see map additions so much as "staking out land" as much as telling stories about locations.
Dotta recalls a Final Fantasy game in which the map of the continent changes over thousands of years. He would love to see the Runiverse map evolve similarly.
AI & Forgotten Runes
Dotta points to Stanford researchers that created a simulation of Generative Agents which model human behavior and how that kind of structure could help to establish locations within the Runiverse. He likens training models with Runiverse lore as the "Photoshop of storytelling." He uses this analogy to explain that not every aspect of content creation needs to be human-controlled; however, he notes that he would like for a human to sign off that the content is good.
Elf says, "We always have to balance the Magic with the Machine...[and] leverage the power of both." He goes on to say that he believes Magic Machine's role is to provide a top-level structure in terms of narrative, tech, and tokenomics while letting individual token-holders fill in the details of the "bottom branches of that tree". Elf clarifies that he does not mean that AI tools shouldn't be used, but instead that it only becomes problematic when human creativity is 100% outsourced to the machine.
"Don't just copy/paste a ChatGPT result into the Book of Lore and say that's your lore. At least curate it."
Elf reiterates talking points from the previous Wizard Wednesday.
"If you are already outsourcing your identity to the machine, I think we're in trouble."
Elf is asked if a Rune is synonymous with a soul (not Soul), to which he says, "You could say that. That's one way to put it."
HustleGPT & Machine-Identified Human Inefficiencies
Elf also speaks about a tweet in which ChatGPT was given a budget of $100 and told to make as much money as possible with the author acting as human liaison. Elf wonders what will happen when the machines begin to see humans as inefficiencies to their processes. He says it is more critical than ever to assert our existence as humans and to put our true Runes on the Door.
Dream Master Lore
With the last ten minutes of the meeting, Elf gives lore for the Dream Masters: He says that we go through life recognizing a clear distinction between the Waking World and Dream World, which is accessed through sleep. Most call one of these worlds real and the other fantasy.
A Lake of Dreams
"Though we spend around 1/3 of our lives in this dream world, it is often relegated to unimportance." He notes that, "Dreams appear to be an amplifier of our greatest hopes and fears, yet they are only accessible through the doorway of sleep." However, this is not true for the Dream Masters and the Sandman.
"The Sandman walks in the physical world and has the ability to instantly transport anyone he meets to the Dream World, for better or worse. The Dream Master occupies the Dream and the Waking World simultaneously — a Quantum Superposition where the so-called fantasy and reality are experienced at the same time."
The Astral Arcanist also possesses these Dreaming abilities, specializing in Astral Projection. Truly masterful Wizards are able to bring these reality-bending abilities from one world to the next.
"But With Such Awesome Abilities, What Costs Do They Incur?"
The power of these Wizards comes often at the expense of sanity. Sleep deprivation is common in Dream Masters, Sandmen, and Astral Arcanists. Elf suggests that the Wizzypedia entry for the Dream Master, which states the Dream Masters are logical, critically thinking beings, is a bit incongruent with this notion and theorizes that the natural logic of the waking world is the exact type of force that the Dream Masters work against. He theorizes the entry describes a specific Dream Master — "a fish out of water, a diamond in the rough...a character whose unique individuality is at odds with the cultural mainstream group to which they find themselves in." He implores the owner to keep this and expound on it.
Cult Questions, Continued, Continued
Farmland In the Runiverse
Dotta touches on a few other Cult Questions after Elf wraps up the Dream Master lore. "What landmarks on the Runiverse map would there be farmlands?" Dotta hypothesizes an overlay for the Runiverse map that shows all of the climate regions. Elf says he believes the breadbasket of the Runiverse is around the Brown Wizard Delta. The land is very rich and he thinks the Brown Hat Wizards supply food for much of the world. However, he suggests that Brown Hats could likely make a fertile crop grow anywhere.
Comic Book Content Origins
"Will the comic books be written with preexisting lore or fresh stories from the characters?"
Elf replies, "Fun! It's a mix of both." He always tells writers that the Book of Lore is the source material and encourages to bring as much of that into what they create as they can.
Elf closes the meeting by saying that he can't believe Bear didn't come up to speak at all, and jokes to the Cult to DM Bearsnake about displeasure with his absence.