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So, exactly how meta is URealms? (may contain spoilers)

The reason I ask this is because when I engage myself in a story I usually treat it as being real, giving weight to anything that happens in these stories. However, when the storyteller starts playing with what's real and what's not (the extent to which characters exist), I'm not sure on what 'level' I should be immersed. For example, is URealms supposedly a world connected to ours, existing in its own right (which we can influence) and when the players enter the world, they 'possess' a character or else create a 'fake' to interact with the world. Or is no-one supposed to be real to any extent within URealms, the world is simply a sandbox for the players have fun and explore within, and for us to watch the sequence of events created when they interact with the environment and rules already set up. Of course those are only two examples with many different 'statuses' of URealms being possible. So what do you think? Where does URealms lie on the scale of meta? The reason I'd personally like to settle this is that it interferes with my enjoyment of the show, particularly the 'serious' 10%, because if the show is completely meta (the gist being that in lore the characters are just Rob's puppets and nothing else) it takes away the weight and depth of the story for me. If I am to take the story seriously, when there is a tense scene, such as the finale of Galen Sunsword: Private Investigator, I want to be able to engage fully in the moment. I'd prefer not to have in the back of my mind the thought "So is Galen supposed to be a real 'person' or not? How deeply should I feel for this character? How invested should I be?". Not to mention, making the fact that it is a show part of the show's story (rather than us just looking in on another world), means that the Order of Chaos is really confusing when you think about it...


  • I'd think of it as a real world we have complete control over and so some of the inhabitants think they aren't real as we fill in the blanks and choose what they do at some points removing their free will temporarily.
  • edited March 2018
    It’s actually rather simple urealms is a fictional story, just like any other fictional story. No character in any fictional story has ever been a real person, they are just characters of a story.
    if you’re wondering if you should feel anything about these urealms characters, I ask should you feel anything for the characters of any other fiction. They are all just characters.

    urealms just makes the fact that it is a story a plot point, weather or not it makes you feel more or less about these characters its up to you. for me it make me feel more for these characters, knowing that I can affect them, and they know I affected them.
  • edited March 2018
    I would say its real, but the characters only exist based around the show.

    Maelstrom was able to realize he was a character in a show and as such he was able to ascend. If he was just a character there would be no realization it would just be rob saying "hey guys I'm actually rawb"

    The disconnect for me comes from rob controlling characters that know they are characters in a show such as seemingly quintara.  

    When is rob playing as rob playing as quintara and when is rob playing quintara? What I mean by this is that are the characters always puppets? Or is it just that rob is saying what they say because how else would they communicate.
  • I would say the sandbox metaphor is completely accurate! Urealms is a sandbox, as well as the entire playground too. New things are added and existing things are replaced or repainted every time you visit the park. And only when someone is in the park.

    That's the beauty of it. This is a very interesting and entertaining collaborative art project. And the art project extend beyond the show itself, just as the playground is more than the sandbox alone. I'm not aware of any other art projects that have a similar scale.

    But to get back to your inquiry, as far as I am concerned. The show is more meta than you realize. It is meta for you to question the metaphysics of the show. If I can be so bold, I'd say you should read "The Dark Tower" series by Stephen King. In my opinion, having read it twice and listened to it three times. URealms and The Dark Tower are on the same level of meta story telling. I would never dream of spoiling the plot, but suffice it to say. The shape of Urealms is a torus. A shape that looks like a classic glazed doughnut in other words. It goes in and then back out and then back in. Especially with Rob's bullshit lore. The more he expands on it, the less bullshit it seems. Particularly with the mechanics of believers. Book people, that exist within a shared dream.

    Without repeating myself we run into a problem, that applies to everything. EVERYTHING is turtles. All the way down, it is turtles. And all the way up it is pyramids. I don't think we will ever realize just how metaphysical Rob's "goofy internet show" really is.
  • Embrace the *M E T A ~ G A R B A G E*

    If this was on a meta scale, with Danganronpa and Deadpool being perfect 10/10s I would say Urealms would rank an exceptional 9/10 this ranking could be bumped up to a 10 in the future though so stay tuned.
  • I think you should try and immerse yourself in it on both levels. Try and shift between the two from time to time to get a more enriching experience.
  • For me, Urealms is a collection of stories that follow a certain path. The characters act out their lives how hey would normally, and it isn’t until rob, the players and us interact with them that they lose control.
     Though only a handful of people know about us, so they will view the events of a campaign as normal.
    If it really bothers you, think of a story where a character controls others through magic. Just cause they control someone doesn’t make that person not real, they are just under someone’s control. Think of Urealms like that but with real people being the controllers
  • My interpretation is that Urealms is supposed to be a completely fictional story with fictional characters and Rob/the players take control of these fictional characters using them as puppets
  • Personally, the "meta garbage" of URealms helps me get more immersed within the universe. Sure, the story may break the 4th wall a lot, but because we're given roles of being old gods, it feels more like the show is part of our universe than "just a fictional story". Heck, the themes of the story even play around us.

    The theme of Money is Power plays well both into the characters of the game and us, the old gods. The characters use Gold to learn magic and the old gods use Money to influence the story.

    To get real philosophical, how do we even know URealms isn't more real than our universe? Maybe we're just myths about the old gods being told from the perspective of someone like Malestrom in a universe that's more like URealms...
  • @Sonderp XD i love that last paragraph
  • I feel the relationship Urealms/Old Gods can be compared to the relationship World/Christian God. 
    Characters in Urealms do have their own free will, but there is a greater plan for them crafted by us (and in particular Rob). Sinners could be compared to prophets and the Order of Chaos to the early Christian organizations. (Would this make Maelstrom Urealms Jesus? Discuss.)

    (if this opinion is considered in any way controversial I'll gladly delete the post, I do not intend to offend anybody but just to share a vision that I personally find interesting) 
  • When I watch I like to think of it like a play. Like we are just watching a story of fictional characters interacting with their world. For us on the outside we know the truth but to the characters everything is real. This is their life and the only one they know. They don't know they are in a show, so it's a real world to them. 
  • @Madiso
    I think how it's different from a play is that it is literally an improv show. It's not a story being told, it's a story being made. The story is later told in Nader's Unforgotten Tales.

    Also something I don't understand is Rob's role in the old god lore, because he's clearly above us old gods. There's now this idea that characters in the world are suddenly controlled by old gods which could change how they do things. For example, when Maelstrom is controlled by Rob and starts talking directly to the players, he still doesn't realize he is also being controlled by someone who is not truly himself, but is Rob. Even someone self-aware like Maelstrom can't figure that out. I want tow rite more, but need to think on things more, idk.
  • @FudgyWaffles Yeah I guess a play isn't really the best comparison lol.

    I agree that Rob's part in the story of Urealms is something confusing. I think story-wise I'm not going to think of Rob controlling these characters and just think of them as their own beings.
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