An Observation about 1898

As the 1887 election approaches, I can’t help but realize that 1898 will be the first Fallen London election where there could be three former Mayors competing for a non-consecutive second term. It might be sort of interesting to throw Jenny, Feducci, and the Contrarian against one another and see who is the most popular. It would also be the only fair way of bringing them all back, as any one of them on their own would probably crush the opposition, while together you’d have a potentially tight three way.

Hm. Excellent observation. I wonder if Failbetter takes notice?

It would also be a nice way of further fleshing out their respective mayoral terms. All three candidates would spend time discussing what they did and also criticizing each other’s respective terms. Between Jenny’s feistyness, Feducci’s insolence, and the Contrarian’s sarcasm, it could get pretty vicious.

It could also be entertaining. I’d be all for it–but I’d like to see some fresh blood first. Miriam Plenty, for one, perhaps.

Great idea but I hope it doesn’t happen! I love Jenny’s practical idealism but the Contrarian turned out so competent.
Then again on his second run he might govern as an agent of Feducci. You never know.

Feducci’s term was a huge disappointment. I don’t think he’d stand a chance against Jenny and the Contrarian.

I joined the game part-way through Feducci’s term and I honestly never laughed as hard as when he blew up the mayoral mansion on the way out. I got some very strange looks since I was playing on my phone.

It would be interesting to see if people would still vote for him though. I imagine he would blame some hidden agenda for his failures, so there’s that. On the other hand, Failbetter would have to let us know if he is married to the Princess or not - this was quite a lost opportunity in the Princess’ election run.
edited by Jolanda Swan on 2/23/2019

[quote=Jolanda Swan]It would be interesting to see if people would still vote for him though. I imagine he would blame some hidden agenda for his failures, so there’s that. On the other hand, Failbetter would have to let us know if he is married to the Princess or not - this was quite a lost opportunity in the Princess’ election run.
edited by Jolanda Swan on 2/23/2019[/quote]

The issue with that is, that if they’re married (or not) then people would have universes where the opposite happened and the Fate Story might have to be edited, and there would be consequences either way. Better/worse relationships between London and the Elder Continent, the legalisation of the Red Ribbon Duels, legalisation of Feducci’s fighting rings (or the destruction thereof) etc.

I dunno, he has a lot of fans.

They’d probably handle it like they did when the Princess was running. During the fate locked encounter with her Royal Highness, there was a small bit of text about her relationship with Feducci, and it was different based on your actions during the wedding. I imagine they’d only have to change one bit of dialogue to account for the different universes.
edited by Anne Auclair on 2/24/2019

You’re right, but this is one of the reasons why I think it’s an interesting idea!

On their own, Jenny or the Contrarian would probably defeat Feducci, thanks to morality and satisfaction with their terms. Even a new third candidate or past runner-up might just steal votes from Feducci. But there’s been strong overlap between Jenny and Contrarian fans, even since 1894. Plus, some newer players wish they could’ve fully experienced their terms. If the first three mayors ran against each other, Jenny and/or Contrarian supporters would agree that Feducci needs to be blocked…but they’d disagree on who had a better term and who’s more likely to defeat him.

It’d be somewhat similar to the divide between Detective and Campaigner voters in 1895. It could be more intense, since Jenny and the Contrarian have strong existing popularity and tangible successes to cite. Or it might be more relaxed, because both sides are adaptable. It’d be interesting to see whether their presumably idealistic supporters would rally behind one of them; or if Feducci would have a shot if the vote is split; or if Feducci is so unpopular he clearly becomes hopeless from the start. Tbh, the last option is less likely than it seems. Loyalists aside, he’d be considered the most chaotic/amoral candidate. He’d grab some Slowcake and Princess voters from 1896 - who got 53% of the vote, combined.

Like I said, this is just one of the reasons why I like the idea. And I don’t know whether it’s a coincidence, but this suggestion briefly came up on the FBG Discord server a few hours ago. :p
edited by sharkie on 2/24/2019
edited by sharkie on 2/24/2019

It’s a good idea, in my opinion - the Election is inherently limited by the ability for the writers to create interesting scenarios through the candidates, so when a recipe for political engagement like this emerges naturally from the storytelling, then the opportunity would be good to utilize. The Contrarian provides significant flexibility as well, since his position can bend to fill in the gaps between Feducci and Jenny while taking appeal from both (as a revolutionary and a supposed supporter of London).

I like how the first three mayors already have history with each other, to an extent other characters usually don’t when they’re from different factions:

[ul][li]Election 1894: The Contrarian called his rivals ‘pompous’ and ‘self-important’, but donated to them when his campaign was hijacked and may or may not have wanted Jenny to win by the end. He was a good sport and discouraged his supporters from challenging her victory.
[/li][li]Mid-1894 to mid-1895: On Jenny’s mayoral card, she asked Contrarian voters if they’d “been exposed to a few too many of [his] about-faces”.
[/li][li]Election 1895: Jenny supported DTC against Feducci. Feducci moved into Blythenhale early and argued with Jenny about her term; she threw a loud party under his room and he insulted her curtains. They seemed okay with each other by the time the results were revealed.
[/li][li]Hallowmas 1895: Feducci sent an ideal student to Jenny’s Finishing School, apparently out of goodwill towards the kid (the VPC’s poor illegitimate daughter). He also admired the Contrarian’s actions as an orphan and arranged to meet with him, saying that they have similarities.
[/li][li]Election 1896: Jenny was bitter about how the Brass Embassy helped Feducci in 1895. Judging by that reaction, she might’ve supported the Contrarian, though he called her and Feducci ‘ineffectual’. Feducci refused to leave Blythenhale throughout, then blew it up after the Contrarian won, possibly as a callback to his argument with Jenny.
[/li][li]Fruits of the Zee 1896: The Contrarian poked fun at the mayor’s office by bringing Feducci’s empty chair to Mutton Island.
[/li][li]Hallowmas 1896: The Contrarian inexplicably had a stockpile of replicas of Feducci’s lances. He couldn’t have found them lying around, since Blythenhale exploded. And he may have visited and become ambassador to Arbor, where Feducci once made an ill-fated pilgrimage.
The biggest problem with the idea: repeating candidates/mayors uses up opportunities to develop other characters. But the election doesn’t have to be the only event where NPC’s make new appearances - it’d be weird if it is, since not everyone has goals achievable through politics. Hallowmas 1896 developed the Duchess, the Gracious Widow, and the Injurious Princess. The Arbor premise suited them very well; the story made good use of their dynamic with each other and the player character, through the confession/betrayal/clue mechanics. Hypothetically, I feel like that story wouldn’t have worked as well in an election. (Although maybe they’ll run this year and Hallowmas was a hint, lol.)

The princesses’ backgrounds have similar themes of displacement and loss of power. The first three mayors share themes of hypocrisy and indecision - and on the flip side, idealism, though Feducci’s is warped. Arbor was perfect at Hallowmas, which is typically when NPC’s reflect on their pasts. The fifth election would be a great time to address the first three mayors’ loose ends, especially if the Contrarian doesn’t get a Fate story this year. They wouldn’t even have to win to receive some closure.

Ι can’t help but feel that fun as the premise might be, it would also be perceived as something of a cheat.
Every election, we had three Fallen London NPCs fleshed out. Returning to previous candidates would “rob” us of the interesting stories other NPCs have to tell. Plus new players who haven’t been around four years ago, would gain significantly less from the election experience.

Oh I dunno, they’d be reintroduced to three characters that they mostly or entirely missed and could only find out about by reading old threads, wiki entries, and journal posts.

I’m not so bothered by replays, provided they’re fair. The number of characters who can plausibly run for London’s Mayor is finite after all, so replays are kinda inevitable.

I agree that Feducci’s term was a disappointment; I expected much more from him, frankly. Ah, well.

What then do you say about last year? Were we robbed of a story by the Contrarian’s second run, or did Failbetter demonstrate the ability to fulfillingly flesh out a candidate over multiple years?

What then do you say about last year? Were we robbed of a story by the Contrarian’s second run, or did Failbetter demonstrate the ability to fulfillingly flesh out a candidate over multiple years?[/quote]

I’m really curious about this, too!

I admit, the Contrarian might’ve been a special case. In 1894, he hinted that his story wasn’t finished; no other runner-up has had such a big hook for continuation. (iirc the Campaigner and the Detective sounded like they’d oppose Feducci, not really that their own stories would continue.) It was also predictable that he’d ‘switch’ platforms if he ever ran again, and it seemed natural he would.

However, his 1896 campaign didn’t rely on players’ knowledge about 1894. It didn’t directly continue 1894 so much as draw from it. There were references, like his campaign colour and lantern; he mentioned the hijacking and January made a cameo. But those pieces of continuity were bonuses for older players instead of crucial information. His main focus shifted from the Council and LoN to fighting the Ministry. More experienced players could appreciate the development, but that context wasn’t necessary in order to understand his characterisation or platform.

The Contrarian’s very character relies on his ability to change sides. So he is, indeed, a special case: to flesh him out, he needed the whole arc.
Again, I am not against seeing the candidates return. Mostly I want to see new NPCs fleshed out!

[moved to]

edited by Jeremiah Oathes on 3/8/2019