Don’t Lose Your Wae! – An Exclusive Interview with the Creators of The Crucible
When it comes to media sensationalism in the world of Eorzea, no one does it quite like The Crucible. Based out of Ul’dah, this esteemed paper conveys enthralling matters in a way that will leave you enlightened. With the help from the twins Tara and Ebony Wae (as well as the cited “thousands” that work on staff), you’re bound to make tongues wag with your knowledge of the latest happenings, no matter how ridiculous the tale may be!
We were fortunate enough to snag an interview with the clever minds behind the madness that makes up this tabloid, Safestsephiroth and Brohamut. They’re here to give us the inside scoop on running a fictional RP tabloid.
So the first question I have is: why the name The Crucible?
Brohamut: Okay, so! When we first came up with the idea of having a tabloid, we were bouncing ideas back and forth on what to call it. We were thinking something maybe a pun on the name of the Wae twins, maybe a reference to Ul’dah and Nald’Thal at some point, but the Crucible came up as kind of a throwaway suggestion, and I latched onto that, because if we’re going to be a trashy tabloid I just absolutely loved the idea of naming it after the play, The Crucible, accusing people of being a witch. We are doing something similar, except our thing is tree beasts.
Safestsephiroth: Tree beasts and Vampires.
How about the characters. Tell us about Ebony Wae and Tara Wae.
Safestsephiroth: I got to a point where I basically realized I needed to make another character for a long series of reasons. Then I was spitballin’ ideas here and we realized since Nald’thal are twins, we’d play twins, and that gave us a lot of opportunities to play both these characters together, and that has been a very different experience than anything else we’ve really done before.
You have a lot of characters. Is that a common thing for roleplayers?
Brohamut: I’d say Balmung as a whole is probably 40% alts.
Safestsephiroth: Yeah, Balmung has this bizarre problem where you’ll never really find a genuine newbie. It’s a really strange server. I didn’t realize how strange it was until we began to expand our operations into Diablos, where everything is different.
So on Balmung, do the roleplayers there do a lot of in-character gossip?
Safestsephiroth: One of the reasons we came up with the idea for this tabloid was no one else was really doing anything like it. In the lore you have references to The Raven and The Mythril Eye and The Harbor Herald. You have references to those publications, but no one was making a gossip rag that is just fit to make a newspaper blanket out of and not much more. People need a way to, in a fun way, have their characters get slandered. That’s what The Crucible is for.
Brohamut: We found a niche to fill.
Safestsephiroth: We found a niche to fill and that niche is calling people vampires.
What made you decide to start a fictional tabloid?
Safestsephiroth: We decided our new characters would run different business, because Ul’dah business women. So we were spitballing ideas for what kind of businesses they could run, and at one point we had the idea “What if they just run a ridiculously trashy tabloid? Just complete schlock.” Then we realized that, oh wait, we can just totally write that.
Brohamut: We started the blog very early on, but we kept it a secret and didn’t debut it until October because we wanted to really just arrive on the scene with a bang. We decided that there would not be a better way for us to debut than at Fan Fest.
Do you guys go out and get the screenshots for the covers yourselves?
Brohamut: Yes. About halfway through the previous month, we start our planning on what we want to feature in the upcoming month, and then we spend the rest of the month going out and getting screens, and then we outsource our covers to an artist named Liah Liohto, who does great work.
Safestsephiroth: She is phenomenal at it, too. Here’s a link to her tumblr – http://liah-liohto.tumblr.com/
Besides the two of you, are their any other staff members?
Safestsephiroth: The only other staffer we have was unfortunately not able to make this interview, and that is Elliot. Elliot manages a lot of the behind the scenes stuff. Brohamut and Elliot handle the aesthetics of the page, because I am atrocious at visual design.
What is your publishing schedule?
Safestsephiroth: We publish regular articles every Friday and every Monday of the week. Those are the articles that make the cover. Elliot, on top of his other duties, has taken up writing articles that get published every Wednesday.
Brohamut: Saturdays is when we post our classified ads, and Tuesdays and Thursdays, at least for the month of December, is when we post our letters to the editor. Which are really fun, because people are really starting to get into it now that we’re stringing them along with the promise of free stuff.
Do you manage all these characters yourselves?
Brohamut: So they’re not fully fleshed out characters, we don’t necessarily play them on a day to day basis. I make alts with their appearances on different servers just because that amuses me.
Safestsephiroth: And if we need to get screens, because we’re open to doing articles for people who aren’t on Balmung. We would need an alt on the server to do that, so that’s why we have these.
Brohamut: Yeah, we’re actively trying to spread to other servers.
Safestsephiroth: But we don’t actually “play” them.
How do you get the ideas for your stories? Are they submitted by your readers?
Brohamut: We try to do a mix of current events but we also try to stay plugged into the community and see if there are any people we know that will provide us inspiration.
Safestsephiroth: There’s the fine line that on the one hand we don’t want to just be writing about our friends, because that would be really self indulgent, but on the other hand we want to make sure that the people we are going to write about we know well enough that we’re able to ask them “Hey, so, we kinda want to slander your character super hard.”
Brohamut: Yeah, we don’t want to piggyback off of someone’s reputation, but we also don’t want to focus too much within our own circle. Like, issue one, we had our friend Sasha and we also featured Zamidra from Atheryte Radio. In issue two our big cover story was about Limit Break Radio. Sometimes we have friends that will be like “Hey! I have an idea” or “you wanna write about me?” In fact, earlier today our friend Sasha pointed out that the Alchemist Guild is right next to the children’s hospital, and then someone else put two and two together and linked a Full Metal Alchemist GIF, so now we’re going to go there! We try to limit cover stories to about 5 maximum.
Safestsephiroth: We have a guarantee that if an article title is on the cover, it will be written. Because I really personally hate when you see anything that is false advertising in that respect.
Brohamut: We don’t want to No Man’s Sky people! We also very much admire Koji Fox because we ourselves try to sneak in easter eggs and references at every chance we get!
Is there anything you’d like to add before we wrap up?
Brohamut: I would like our tabloid to stand as proof that even if you have a really stupid idea, that you think no one will care about, give it a shot, because sometimes it resonates with a lot of people and it goes over really well, because that’s what this started as.
Safestsephiroth: Everything about the Crucible has been a bad idea that has spiraled out of control that it is out of our hands now, and we love it.
Brohamut: The Crucible would like to thank TMP for doing this interview, Wanderer Sabaku and A Stage Reborn for the great work they’re doing and the support/partnership we have going forward in the future, and Ethys for the shout-out when we were starting out of the goodness of their heart, and Koji!
Meet The Staff!
The general mindset we’re going for with how these characters interact with each other is like the show It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, where they’re just bad people, and they’re bad to each other. We divide articles up based on who’s personality they go best with.
Ebony Wae – Editor in Chief – Mostly absentee, just stops by to get a power trip. Her entire reason for running the tabloid is because she thought it would be cool to be able to go “yeah, I totally run a tabloid”. She has absolutely no interest in actually reading it.
Tara Wae – Only pops by once a week to answer letters to the editor.
Anthony Hawke – Second in command when Ebony is absent. He’s arrogant, he’s bossy and he is always looking to undermine Kagome. When Ebony bought the tabloid out, he was the only original employee to stick around (out of stubbornness more than anything else). He is the de facto head of the tabloid 95% of the time and only writes articles when he’s bored or gets a hilarious idea.
Kagome Voulaizunlezotre – Second to the second in command, kind of (there’s a lot of power plays between them). She is a snobby, elitist weeaboo. She loves Doma more than the person on the staff that is from Doma, but is wildly misinformed about it. There’s always friction between her and Hawke because they hate each other. It’s a toss-up whether she or Hawke are the most awful person on staff. She is officially banned from Ishgard, her home city, because she was so incredibly annoying they exiled her.
Mountain Dew – The cover artist and illustrator. He is a hellsguard rogue. He’s very cheery and optimistic but also kind of an idiot, and sort of just goes along with whatever the people around him are doing.
Minaji Maji – The staff lalafell with a mouth that is disproportionately big for her body. She is so loud, so obnoxious and so thirsty. She specializes in articles that boil down to “Ul’dah is great, everyone else sucks.”
Yomiko Kusinagi – The only person on the staff with a soul. She is a good person and a good writer, but she has to work with these assholes because she needs this job to survive. She is constantly looking for another job but the fact she works for The Crucible is such a black spot on her resume she’s unable to get hired anywhere else. There is also a bit of drunken history between her and Kagome you can find hinted at in some past articles. Basically, she hates her life.
Edel Geraldine – The staff follower. When you get him in a room by himself, he is basically a blank slate. But whenever you pair him up with any of the other Crucible staffers, he just becomes a miniature of them and just parrots them. He is the writer that ends up writing the articles that no one else wants to write and in general does the work nobody else wants to do – he’s the janitor and the gopher, basically.