RPR Archive Revamping the Guilds - Now Discussing the Characters Thread

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource Archive' started by DarthXan318, Aug 9, 2009.

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  1. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Revamping the Guilds

    With the prospect of a new Game Master's Guild looming on the horizon, we've been discussing going a step further and revamping the guild system entirely.

    One major reason behind this reorganisation is to acknowledge that there exist several different schools of thought regarding GMing and RPing. Some of us think that game design is unimportant, and all that matters is how you craft the story from the time the game begins to the ending; others think that a well-crafted OP makes the game run itself. Some think that character design is something that can be cooked up in the fifteen minutes after you decide to join a new game; others think that designing a well thought-out character with a reasonable mix of traits is absolutely essential. All of those are valid viewpoints, and it'd be awesome to have all of them represented in Resource.

    The other is, of course, that the current 2-guild system isn't working exactly as intended. The thing is, right now in the absence of an active GMG, the Game Designers Guild has been doubling as one (sort of), and the Character Designers Guild likewise with RPing (again, sort of). The CDG's opening post even has a section that reflects this. As a result they don't really end up covering the ground they should.

    We'd like to change that, and this is the perfect opportunity.

    Instead of 2 guilds, we have 4: Game Designers, Game Masters, Character Designers and Role Players. Their respective charters will explain things in full detail, but in general terms, they would cover:

    Game Designers Guild
    Anything that goes on before the game begins - the setup phase of creating a new game.
    Example topics include (but are not limited to): OP design, game mechanics, player caps, advertising.

    Game Masters Guild
    Anything that goes on after the game begins - the actual process of running a game.
    Example topics include (but are not limited to): the story, the organisation, GM workload, and player management.

    Character Designers Guild
    Anything that goes on before posting the CS in a game - the art of building characters.
    Example topics include (but are not limited to): how to write a good sheet, good sheets vs bad sheets, setting up a playable CS, discussion of character concepts, working your character's history into the game history.

    Role Players Guild
    Anything that goes on after posting the CS - everything to do with playing characters.
    Example topics include (but are not limited to): Character development, interaction with other characters ingame, working out storylines in advance vs playing it by ear.

    Basically, the line is drawn at the post button: before and after posting game opening posts and character sheets.

    Now ... this plan obviously entails the creation of 2 new guilds, and on top of that we'd like to restart both the existing guilds (GDG, CDG) as well. This is primarily to have their OPs reflect changes to their charters - they need to be updated to remove GMing and RPing, respectively, from under their umbrella of subjects. The plan is to have the respective Guild Masters work on this over the next few days and aim for a full rollout as soon as possible.

    Thoughts on the matter, guys? :D
  2. Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 6
    Basically, the line is drawn at the post button: before and after posting game opening posts and character sheets.

    What about after you have posted in a game, but you want to talk about preparation for a subsequent post?
  3. Jedi Gunny Yahtzee Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    May 20, 2008
    star 9
    Sounds like a good plan to me. It'll split up the different aspects of role-playing and give each part a dedicated focus so that it can be looked more in-depth. :)
  4. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Sithy - I'm not sure what you mean. Are you referring to the first post of the story (the one where, after all the CSs are posted, the GM begins gameplay and tags the players), or a post containing information that was split off from the OP due to length issues, like what Chukles did in A Breaking World?

    If it's the former, I think - think - that would fall under Game Mastering and thus the GMG. If it's the latter, then it's part of Game Design and the GDG, it's just the board system that got in the way.
  5. Ramza Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    I think this is a fine idea, seeing as, IMO, the GDG and CDG didn't really cover GMing and RPing in particular to begin with, and there's never really been a good place to post about those two topics.

    To that end... I'm actually the designer of the upcoming Roleplayer's Guild, and as such, feel free to direct any specific comments/suggestions about that guild to me.
  6. DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    I would have an even more radical idea of restructuring . . . but that might disturb the current ongoing process of reform. Therefore do you want to have a look? With "you" I mean the Mods especially with whom I do not wish to interfere.
  7. LightWarden Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I don't think we need both a Character Designer's Guild and a Roleplayer's Guild, since that seems a little too much like an arbitrary split solely for the sake of symmetry. Splitting it at the moment of the first post seems like it's interfering with a theoretically organic process that continues to take place as you change your character.

    Everyone on some level has a character concept (since you're, you know, playing a role). Some are thought out in incredible detail from the beginning, some are relatively loose and unfilled in, but everyone has at least the faintest of what they're going to play and a semblance of characterization that governs decisions (even if it's simply "what would I do in this situation?"). But the thing about RPGs is that (as far as I can tell) it's always a multi-man effort, even if you're playing a computer or console game (in which case the other party is the developer who made the game). Since there are other people, there will be characters and scenarios that you likely can't predict, and no one can teach you how to respond to a situation, because there aren't really right answers (though there may be "this is more likely to have positive consequences for X/this is more likely to have negative consequences for Y" results).

    But you can teach people to think carefully, to try to get some sense of understanding of your character's role. If you know your character, then you can handle just about anything (of course, it's also a good idea to be able to think in terms of the group or problem solving, so you don't do things like "I set the king on fire because it's IN CHARACTER". This is a collaborative effort after all, there's no excuse for being an utter twit about things).

    Anyways, your character is a continuous thing. Character is expressed in everything from the what choices your character makes to how he or she speaks and acts to how he or she interacts with and responds to other characters. Most good characters change on some level (though there may be some noted for their tenacity in clinging to an aspect of identity in the face of overwhelming adversity). You can always expand on concepts or try new things, be it at the start or after playing your character for a while.

    Drawing the line at the post button is utterly arbitrary and serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever other than appease people who like redundantly symmetrical redundancy. It's like the world's most nonsensical gardening tech support system. "I'm sorry, but once you put the seed in the ground, you have to go over to our growing department to learn how to water it, prune it, weed the surrounding area and make sure it gets enough sunlight. All we can do is help you select the seeds and tell you how to dig holes in the ground." It makes no sense at all. "Character concepts" and "working your character's history into the game history" are things you work on both before and after you post your sheet (the second one especially involves work after you submit, since most of the time your character's history has a habit of coming up more than once). The other part, the "how to write a good sheet, good sheets vs bad sheets, setting up a playable CS" is utterly shallow and probably self-evident to the point where you could just put it in the FAQ ("fill in the lines that the GM has given you!").

    It seems like both threads are dedicated to the idea of "how can I roleplay/make this character better", and I don't think that you should arbitrarily divide it by where the player is, since they can improve all sorts of things like characters they're working on, characters they're playing, or general skills that work with any character. If someone in the pre-post thread comes up with an interesting idea and you decide you want to use it to experiment with a character you're already playing, then... what? And if you get a player asking for help with a design in this hypothetical CDG, but if the player ever wants to ask for help on changes, he or she has to go to a different thread, which may or may not have the people wh
  8. Ramza Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    Thing is, LW, the so-called arbitrary division your describing has already happened. People don't go back to the CDG to continue discussion of their characters after the fact, even though it's provided for in the charter. Frankly, I believe this has to do with perception. The Character Designer's Guild, in my opinion, does not seem, at first glance, like a thread where roleplaying is continuously discussed, and as a result it isn't used that way and shall continue to not be used that way.

    A roleplayer's guild wouldn't take anything away from the CDG because it's impossible to take away something that was never there to begin with.
  9. Seremela Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2008
    star 3
    Personally I'm all for a seperate RP guild besides the character designers guild. To me the character design is exactly what it says: there's a game I'd like to join, but I have trouble with creating a good character for it, so I'd go to the character designer guild for advice. Or I have an idea for my character I'd like to ask others about if they think it could work. Etc.

    But I for one would like a place where I can post questions about playing after I've started in a game. For instance when I don't know where to take my character and would love to bounce off some ideas, or, one of the first ones I'd be asking, how do you go about trying to develop something with another player? Is it simply a matter of pm-ing, or are there other ways? I know it happens, but I'm not even remotely at a point where I would know how to go about it. Right now the course I take is pm-ing with the game's master when I have questions, but a place where those things (and especially things I'm not even thinking about just yet because I have no idea they could be possible) would be discussed would be great.

    Like Ramza already pointed out, I would never go to a character designer guild for that, because I wouldn't think of that as a place for questions about actually posting in a game. The RPG discussion thread comes closest in my mind.

    That said, I have no idea what this distinction would mean for the character designers guild, I have a feeling that one might not get too much traffic... which already seems to be the case. Maybe those who have adopted someone can send their students there with specific designer tasks for instance? And then they could get advice about how that kind of character can be developed further in an actual game, etc? All in theory versus the RP guild being about the actual games you're in.

    I know there are newbies out there who joined around the time I joined and asked for a mentor, but I don't see them around. I might totally miss them, but I'd think that those guilds could be places to help them, and even be used by their mentors to specifically have them practice something there. A bit like the Jedi Council and Acolytes of darkness in SWC maybe?

    Just a thought.... And anyway, reading threads like that are great places for newbies to get a feel for things anyway.

  10. Saintheart Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Only thing I'd add to this very worthwhile debate is much the same point I mentioned back in the "Policies" thread when the idea first came up: you are talking about four guilds in operation at once. That means you need four people who are willing to run them and propel them forward on a continuing basis - and not moderators, either, IMHHO. It was difficult enough for Light and Imperial_Hammer to run the CDG and GDG, respectively -- Hammer in particular took on a very heavy load in my respectful opinion in keeping the GDG as active as it was as well as patrolling threads <strike>wiping out Jedi vs. Sith RPGs</strike> offering constructive advice :D

    Likewise I recall Light's analyses of characters as usually being both in-depth and pointed, which again struck me as a significant investment of his time. I say those things because, let's remember and be very frank about it, we've had a Game Mastering Guild before. It lasted a few pages and then collapsed. I won't get into my personal views as to why I think that happened. People are free to browse the threads here and look at its bones a few pages back.

    Suffice it to say that, at least for the first few months if not a lot longer, the "guildmaster" in those threads has to take personal responsibility to keep them alive. Watching Hammer's approach to guildmastering with its characteristic thoroughness and Light's detailed critiques of character and repeated castings of his Wall of Text spell, it strikes me that being a guildmaster is probably as onerous, if not more onerous, than being the GM of an RPG. These are, in effect, quasi-mod positions in the sense that it is the primary responsibility of the guildmaster to welcome new arrivals in the thread, offer thoughts, stoke the fires of discussion, and keep his guild an interesting place to be and contribute to.

    I offer that warning because I personally would be very sorry to see the notional Game Mastering Guild and/or the Role Playing Guild wither and die off because of these factors. As I've said before: the biggest contribution that the guilds generally, and the GDG in particular, make to the RPF community is to raise the standard. And as I've said before, imagine what could happen if the same phenomenon takes off with respect to the playing of characters and mastering of games in here. These two areas IMHHO are the biggest areas in which the community could improve solidly, and I really think a better standard in these two areas will contribute immensely to RPG longevity, which is really an important goal around here.

    Equally, those of us who want a thriving guild community really need to get behind these guilds when they're launched and support them - mention them to new members, talk about them in social threads, contribute to them. Because in a sense a death of the guilds due to this factor would be even more frustrating than the loss of a guild for guildmaster slackness or ineptitude. The community has said it wants more guidance, and more guilds, so I would hope from the bottom of my soul that it then supports those people willing to stick their mitts up and take on such a heavy responsibility.

    Phew. Not exactly my $0.02, more like $2.00, but that's where I stand. On a positive note, though, this is a good concept and one that needs, in my view, to be pursued vigorously. I look forward to the results. :)
  11. LightWarden Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    You do not need a separate character design guild. There isn't really function it can provide that cannot be better served by the roleplayer's guild. Asking for help with a character design before you submit it is something that you can do just as well in the roleplayer's guild, assuming that it isn't going to be some sort of "we are all discussing this topic now" thing.

    Though if you guys insist on going forward with this, I'll make a new thread.
  12. blubeast1237 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 10, 2007
    star 5
    I agree with LW. I still go to the CDG often because I know what its for. Though I may not post characters as often, I still go in there and read and comment when I think necessary.

    Looking at Saint's points, 4 new guilds is not necessary. Although I do understand the problem that has been coming up where people don't know where to take their discussions. And it does take a hell of alot of time for these projects and keeping them active is more than a one person job. Its a community job and I don't think the RPF will get behind this as nice and neatly as suggested and wanted. It would feel too structured, way too structured, so here's my alternative.

    If we do anything, it should be relaunching the GDG, CDG, RPF Introductions, and the RPF Discussion thread. With new "charters" people will know what and what not they can discuss and what the Guild is for. This has been a problem as of late with some users, so to solve it is not implement newer guilds, just renew the old ones. It is actually somewhat evolution. The players have changed, the Guilds have not, so the simple solution is to renew them.

    Like Saint, I recall there was a GMG and a RPGuild I think. They both failed because people just went back to the GDG and CDG.

  13. LordTroepfchen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    bluebeast is right. I am sharing his opinion and I am not alone in this. But we should probably go even further. Let me elaborate . . .

    I am not sure if we are doing this the right way. It is not the first attempt to reboot the Guilds I see in my relative short time here. It is not the first time I see change being watered down in a discussion or those members who want to develop something being . . . calmed by the environment.

    But it is a different time than it was used to be. Because we can for the first time beyond true and relevant doubt say: We got a few problems here. And they are PROBLEMS. Not lows or seasons . . . they are coming from within´the system.

    How could it be? Is it our mistake? Has anybody done anything wrong and if so who and when do we permaban him?

    Nope, nobody did anything. We changed and our system didn´t. End of the story.

    We have less oldbies and more midbies now, have more foreigners (from the US perspective) and have more short games and have less NSWRPF activity. Fewer Newbies come into our domain and if so they find more story-heavy games. With restricted player-bases and shorter life-spans. I assume the standard age around here has rised considerable. Many players have become more than players. They have become fans. They celebrate their games. In public. Game theories have spawned experiments. Some of them too successful. A drift has occured between the olbies, who consider themselves as such and those middle agers challenging their position. Colours have become everything. Games are about prestige. Some people are called "Stars" around here. Some people behave like ones. Many treat them like stars. When the Awards are coming people get aggressive. When a tournament is held there is pressure applied. Games that open draw their players from one of three groups of members (maybe four, I dunno) and none of the others. Cultural differences are now a topic. Time-zones a problem. Games have their players before the opening post. Players join games when the trailer comes out. Trailers actually do come out. How strange is that? Hints are dropped. People are hunting hints. My god, we had SPOILER discussions for games here . . .

    And let´s face it, having restricted player-bases have made us less reliant on new blood and therefore has made them less welcome. Some of them haven´t found games to join.

    The Guilds have been active, living things when I arrived here. But they have changed, too. The few members who are hanging out there, seem to enjoy criticizing. Too much. Those who go there find themselves "watered down" by various opinions from different "schools-of-thinking". The focus has become so narrow that it has actually become pointless. GDG has become a place to discuss Opening Posts only. In the absence of most people who are good in doing them, actually . . .
    New games prefer the "discussion thread" or a certain members PM box. There is one guy on the board who has helped create more games than the GDG in the last six month. Story-advising and development teams are now meeting in chats.
    And the CDG has become a place with no meaning for the RPF-Games. It´s a theory thread. When has someone used it to develop a character for a game? Or for use in general? Lately characters posted are not even discussed anymore.
    The Social Threads have become Schoolyards for different idealists. Coold kids and less. Open speech is no longer possible there. Games discussion, oh no! They discuss what is actually allowed to discuss there. Anything beyond chatter is actually a problem. And why do they slow down soooo much when they are "cleaned"? Because people seem to be more interested in discussing other things. Which they do in their own groups, then. FanForce has major RPF discussions for germans. Codex has become a platform for game-theorists (and I apology I have brought it more to chats, lately) and if you play in a certain kind of game, you got your own universe thread. So other people do not feel bothered by you. You got a ghetto.
    Adoption has become rare and if used ha
  14. The Great No One Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    ok, i'll bite LordT. what's the rest of what you're thinking?

    anyway, i find myself agreeing more and more with what T just said the more i think about it. i'll probably give a more... thorough opinion later, after i've had a chance to actually think and consider this even more.
  15. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Honestly, I don't think revamping the RPR is all that radical an idea.

    If nothing else, just cull the useless threads and restart many of the old advice and tips threads. Relaunch a few things, and suddenly, bam, renewed interest and involvement.
  16. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Fins and LordT, let us know what you're thinking, hmm? Send a PM or catch us on MSN sometime if you prefer not posting it here.

    We are trying to change things around here. We've been trucking along the same way for so long we're in danger of stagnation. But a long list of grievances with no resolution isn't all that useful.

    I will say this though, I do not agree that we don't need opening posts for games. Maybe we don't need the fancy colours, pictures and soundtracks in the OP - there are some successful games in the RPF without them - but you still need the opening post.
  17. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    Alrighty folks, here we go.

    *Cracks knuckles*

    I have thought about your post, LordT for a majority of the day. I first thought I was going to sit out and see what comes about from the debate, but this evening, I came to a conclusion. In order for this debate to even proceed, we need to establish a ground floor first.

    You are quite correct in saying that everyone agrees there exists a problem. However, I find myself taken aback at the direness of your interpretation. It is worrisome that a person or group of people could paint a picture of our RPF in such dark colors. This needs to be fixed first, we need to see reality for what it really is, light or dark. Two groups seeing two different versions of the same history are rarely going to agree on anything at all.

    So lets not get ahead of ourselves. Lets understand the problem before we rush to solutions. Its not just enough to agree there is a problem, we need to agree on what exactly the problem is.

    So lets begin then. I'm going to walk through your post, LordT, and paint an alternate picture of the RPF/RPR. The stuff I don't talk about, you can consider me in agreement or at the very least, not opposed to.

    We have less oldbies and more midbies now

    Maybe. Remember these are dynamic titles. Oldbies now were midbies before, and midbies now will be oldbies late. I don't know that this is 100% accurate, as I believe there have always been more midbies than oldbies by definition. So I wouldn't know if this really is a change

    and have less NSWRPF activity

    Also debatable. NSWRPF has always been the laggard of the two. I'm not sure this is a unique problem.

    Fewer Newbies come into our domain and if so they find more story-heavy games

    Yes less Newbies. This is a function of the boardwide slowdown. But I don't agree with the point on story-heavy games. The old old games, IBoP, GAW, WotG, and most Greyjedi games have been story based. So I also don't think this is unique.

    I assume the standard age around here has risen considerably

    Maybe, but not considerably. The old oldbies were old! This assumes a young RPF in the past, and I'm not 100% sure that is accurate

    Many players have become more than players. They have become fans

    IBoPers were the most dedicated group of fans out there. The 007 series had fans, Podracer had fans, System Lords had fans. Again, I'm skeptical here

    Game theories have spawned experiments.

    People have always played around with ideas. I've been doing that since I came here. Prenn, Reynar, Peng are/were some very consistent experimenters

    A drift has occured between the olbies, who consider themselves as such and those middle agers challenging their position.

    Firstly, this is not unique. Those who seek prestige always need to rise. I started off at the bottom of the ladder in 04, and worked with a focus. Secondly, to consider it a struggle between the two seems improper. If Midbies are as good as oldbies, they will be considered as such. Prestige is all in the eye of the general public. Oldbies can't prevent midbies from rising to power. There simply is no means to do so. Even the most shadowy conspiracy theory can't tell a user to think something he or she doesn't believe.

    Colours have become everything. Games are about prestige. Some people are called "Stars" around here. Some people behave like ones. Many treat them like stars. When the Awards are coming people get aggressive.

    I would say this is both non-unique and healthy. Awards spur people. It makes them rise to the top. It gives people opportunities they normally wouldn't have. It gives people a goal to work towards and something to take pride in. Again, there is no manipulation. Who wins is the belief of the masses. And />
  18. Sith-I-5 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2002
    star 6
    I think Lightwarden's are closest to mine on this.

    DarthXan's position splits between my modus operandi in confusing ways, and I cannot think of a simpler way to phrase that query of mine.

    I think keeping the existing CDG and perhaps re-stating its purpose, would be fine.
  19. The Great No One Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2005
    star 8
    i'm not gonna go into a huge amount of this right this second, but i will say this. imp you are not painting the most accurate picture either. it almost looks more like a case of devils advocate rather than trying to bring about a truly accurate picture of the situation.

    the true situation is somewhere between what you and lordt said. in some cases more you, in others more him. i will have to go into more detail later, as it's too late for me to type something of that length right this second. suffice to say having thought about the situation, i do not fully agree with either one of you.

    on the CDG, it COULD encompass both an RPers Guild and what the CDG should be. i can see that working, BUT it would need to be restarted. quite frankly, i have never seen a thread retasked and actually end up what it was trying to become. for that a fresh start is best. i have no qualms about combining the two at all, but here is a thought. maybe have two people who try to keep things going forward, or active. one deals with the business of creating the character, the other deals with developing it in the game. that way the load would be split, and should one of the two people be unable to contribute for a while, there's redundency built into the system.

    HOWEVER. there HAS to be a place for the things that are not being discussed to be discussed. period. there are no end of times i wanted to discuss a character after i had created it, but where was i supposed to do this? the CDG may have that as part of it's charter, but it NEVER actually covered anything that had to do with that particular subject that i could find. maybe i should have brought it up, but it didn't seem like nayone else was terribly intersted i ndiscussing it. i'm reasonably sure that i'm not the only one that wanted this.

    now, the GDG and GMG... they do need to be kept seperate i think. frankly, while they are two sides of the same coin, it is such a large coin that i can not see any one group being able to adequately fulfill the needs for both.

    and imp, this is the ont thing from your post i will comment on. yes, OPs are important, but that is NOT all that there is when you're designing a game. but that is what the GDG has become. i have not seen any discussion concerning ANYTHING other than that in over a year. i'm sorry, but that does not cut it. there are a number of things that should have been covered there, such as how to build a story to START your game, but i never saw that one either. or how to get people interested in your game. or any of a number of other things i coud mention. i know you recognize this, but it has taken far too long for anything to be done about it. that is not only your fault, but all of us who let things slide so far.

    anyway, this is already longer than i wanted, so i will leave with this. changes need to be made imp. holding onto traditions just for the sake of them being tradition is a surefire way to stagnate and eventually die. without CONSTANT change, you are in danger of having that happen, be it in your life, or on the boards. the pricinpel is a constant. HOWEVER, i am not saying that you toss out those traditions. i'm saying that we as the users of this forum need to realize what ones it is time to put out to pasture, remember what they have helped us to build, and then figure out what eeds to come in their place. with those that stil work, we need to learn how to refine and build from those. in all honesty, it doesn't feel like much of anything has changed in my time here. and to me, that is cause for worry. the only thing that is really different is the number of people, and who those people are. this, to me, speaks of a combined fear. a fear to succed in something that we all love, and a fear of failing and seeing it crash and burn. something we shoudl all remember, great things have come from the ashes of what once seemed the pinacle. in reality they were only a stepping stone to even greater hieghts.
  20. LordTroepfchen Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    Okay, I´ll split my reply into two sections. My general conclusion of my argument and an answer to the points IH has adressed, because I felt some people agreed with me and I am so unlucky and unwise to make myself their organ of speech. Now I must stay true to my role.

    First: Let me begin with the first and most shocking fact: I wouldn´t have needed IH´s reply. I could have almost written it word by word myself. I knew them.

    Second: If all is well, we don´t need a discussion any further. I recognize that my limited perception may be right or worng and continue to do my thing. And time will tell if I´ve been right. Change on creative boards is something very "touchy" . . . it isn´t my first discussion of this kind and even though I´d like to believe otherwise, I surely won´t be my last.

    Third: IH: Think about the experiences that have caused your opinions, and if these experiences accurately reflect the larger realities here.

    Dear Imperial Hammer, consider me doing this before I post.

    Fourth: IH: Reform that fixes problems, not create new ones. Reform that is intelligent and elegant, not one that chases phantoms. If there are grudges or feelings of unrest, now is the time to air them (within the TOS and rules of course). Its time to be honest with ourselves and others.

    That´s what I did. Seriously, I have analysed the situation and certain crisis that the Mods might not be as aware of as others. In the end I came up with the solving our problem mainly through the one Reform most unlikely to happen. System-Refom. That doesn´t mean you end a system, that means you update one. And I knew I was fighting a lost battle when I began. It´s a strange kind of loyality that makes you driticize the very thing you consider yourself a part of.

    Fifth: IH: We do not turn people away and say sorry, there is no room for you.

    We don´t? You seriously think we don´t?

    Sixth: I think my second cent goes to the bank and waits for a good time for investment. I think it is no longer necessary in this discussion.

    Seventh: I must say I don´t like the way I am painted (again only implied, a far less sharper edge than anybody thinks around here: implication) that I am seeking reform out of the will to reform. I am low on time, much to old to discuss on such matters and generally quite happy with what I got. Actually next February might be a point were I will go . . . permanently. RL stuff. So I do not need the Reform. I don´t wanna invest time into it when my clock is ticking. And in general those who know me know it was a pretty daring step I took here. I did so out of a (maybe wrong) feeling of responsibility to answer a question asked in here. As a user.

    I don´t want reform.

    I think the RPF needs it.

    But . . . I won´t avoid commenting your comments. A Gentleman would never let you down . . .

    Point by Point . . . my final say.

    We have less oldbies and more midbies now

    Maybe. Remember these are dynamic titles. Oldbies now were midbies before, and midbies now will be oldbies late. I don't know that this is 100% accurate, as I believe there have always been more midbies than oldbies by definition. So I wouldn't know if this really is a change

    I talked the self-defining groups. Not the titles. There are midbies by age, who are olbies by habit. If you think there are no problems here, no rift . . . you´re the mod. I may simply be wrong here. Well. Hm. Maybe not.

    and have less NSWRPF activity

    Also debatable. NSWRPF has always been the laggard of the two. I'm not sure this is a unique problem.

    It is far less from my entry into the boards. 2007. When the current system seemed to work fine. Actually less than half the activity a week.

    Fewer Newbies come into our domain and if so they find more story-heavy games

    Yes less Newbies. This is a f
  21. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6

    Regarding the CDG/RPersG: so far it sounds like most people agree a place to discuss Role Playing is needed, but not necessarily that a separate thread is. So perhaps one new guild for it will suffice - I do still think that the CDG as it stands now isn't fulfilling that function, whether simply by its name (as has been pointed out, people look at the 'Designers' bit and don't bother) or by what it's evolved to over the years, so it could probably do with a restart regardless...? The floor is still open on this one, so keep 'em coming.

    Regarding OPs and the new GMG/GDG, I_H knows more about this than I do, but I do envision the new GDG taking a more active role in the rest of game design rather than just OPs. It should cover worldbuilding too, for one thing, and all the other things that need to be planned before a game begins. There's also no reason why a GM can't go first to the GDG for game design help and then to the GMG for game mastering help. If a GM reckons they don't need help with one or they other they can skip the Guild in question.

    Now, about the other thing.

    Careful here guys. We want you to tell us what you think is wrong - we encourage it! We can't fix what we don't know is wrong! - but be nice about it. We all want what's best for the RPF here, even if it goes against tradition, but there are a couple of bits here and there that are getting kinda close to the line.

    Nobody is painting you as a rabble-rouser LordT ... far from it. It was simply a fairly dire picture of the RPF you painted there and we want to know what prompted it. We still do - we still don't know exactly what's in the shadows, what's under the table. Again, if you're not comfortable bringing it up in the thread, those PM boxes are always open.

    Couple of specific points that I'll address:
    • The unofficial line with social threads is that they should be free of game planning, but the discussion of games in progress is fair game and always has been. We make a distinction between the two. Nobody's ever shut down ABY discussion in Hoopers or Naruto in TROTSTATEOTG.

    • Cliques are a problem, I agree. However, I'm not sure what we can do about this - people like to play with their friends, that's all. We can't make people not play with people they know and like. The current liking for small, player-capped games does make it worse, though - the solution then is for more games with unlimited players, like Oz and AFAS, but that's up to users to make.

    • I seriously do not think we turn people away for being newbies, and if that's happening I want to hear about it. On the other hand: newbies not making it into the RPF system (or making it here without any clue how to fill in a CS and so on) is what the RPF Adoptions in the WNU was supposed to address, but obviously that's not working. It's next on the drawing board.

    • I am not sure what you mean by 'That´s not a change within´the system?' ... harassment is against the rules no matter how much illicit organising goes on without us knowing. But we don't know and can't do anything about it until it's reported.

    I don't mean to sound as if I'm disregarding the rest of your POV - understand that I'm not, and neither is I_H in his post. These are just the things I wanna mention before they become solidified somewhere in the RPF's pool of common knowledge. That would be bad. :p
  22. Saintheart Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I'm going to stick my nose in here and raise a couple of things here:

    LordT: Well, dear Imperial Hammer. Shall I quote a certain PM you once send to a GM (and he used it against his players) that pointed a special thread was not needed? We had the social forums to discuss our games?
    Sorry. But this policy is indeed new to me . . .

    I wouldn't start quoting PMs, either in jest or seriously - reason being that publishing material from any PM onto the forums is a very strong argument for banning. That is a board policy, it doesn't just apply to the RPF; PM stands for Private Message. As in, private.

    As for the policy of "no special threads for games, discuss it in the social threads", it's something that's been around for a while. The rationale, while I was still active and which I presume remains the case, is simply this: we don't provide dedicated OOC threads for most games simply because the level of OOC chatter on these boards usually isn't high enough to justify a separate thread. I concede the Role Playing Resource forum is an "ideas" forum, but my view was always that it is a "library" forum first. Where the player base was large and the OOC discussion extensive, we made case-by-case analyses of the RPG asking for it and in a few rare cases provided it. The issue actually came up in my own game, Tide of Flames, which oft-times had massive OOC contributions. I asked Hammer for one, I was knocked back, I accepted the decision and got on with it.

    Therefore that leaves the social threads as the places for discussion of games, or, gods forbid, the home thread of the RPG. That policy is in similarly because I take the view that it isn't a smart idea to start cluttering up the RPF or NSWRPF with OOC threads; it's hard enough for people to orient themselves on the boards without having to trawl through separate OOC and IC threads.

    One other item to mention:

    I hope I'm misreading that remark, but in case I didn't: making sarcastic remarks to the effect that "I could have written IH's reply myself" really doesn't help the situation. Air your grievances, by all means, but skip the personal attacks. Nobody needs them and they help precisely zip.
  23. DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4

    Okay, I really, really wanted to stay silent. But I think I better reply now, before the posts get even longer. I want to say a few things. And hopefully calm down everyone.

    I. The Official Part

    In LordT´s absence due to vacation, he has asked his lawyer to speak for him. I thought that is good idea, then I realized . . . it´s ME!


    Serious. The PM in question was for public use. The GM (me) asked the Mod (IH) for a decision he could quote to his overactive players (The 133 staff minus one or two) about a social thread. He gave me that quotable decision and I quoted it in the game itself and the Social Thread, I think. And silenced the calls for an own discussion thread.

    It was a public message delivered by PM. No case of PM misuse here. Actually LordT doesn´t know the PM, only the very short part I was meant to quote. The rest was pure nonsense that would actually destroy my and IH´s aura of utter seriousness.

    I won´t comment on how this quote and IH´s comments here can be compared.

    II. Speaking for LordT

    He is on vacation but I called him about something else. He wanted to clearify his comment "I could have written this myself" was not meant hostile and he wishes to apologize. He is very sad (the word he used traurig) that there was no common ground in the awareness of problems. LordT suspected that and knew there would be a denying answer by the mods. The common ground he looked for he considered an important base from which he would have presented a possible solution he and some others had worked on.

    He thinks it is possible that he was a little to disappointed and his words were chose unwisely. He asked me to send his apologise to Imperial Hammer. And if needed will give them himself later on.

    Lawyer out.

    III. The Personal Part

    Well, I guess what LordT has intended as a well placed calculated provoking has worked by far to good. It made certain people ask ME certain questions I want to answer for myself in public.

    First, do I agree with LordT? Nobody asked me that but most people considered it a fact. In 80% I agree and totally disagree in the other 20%. Instead of analysing what I agree with (nobody except Trimaj seems to do that) I´ll bring out my own opinion.

    A. I do not think anything is wrong with the RPF.

    We play games there and we play great games. I love the place. It has problems, sure. Who doesn´t. As a responsible user I am worried about some of these problems. I think three should not go any further. But it´s healthy. It Is Healthy.

    Anyway. My list of probs.

    1. Accessibility
    We have a newbie problem. I agree with LordT there. Totally. We are at a point where we make them feel not welcome anymore. I had PMs from newbies that showed in what a terrible state we are when it comes to that.

    2. Cliques
    They are there and it shouldn´t go any further than what has come so far when it comes to isolation and hostilities among them.

    3. Specialisation of Threads
    Having so narrow topics makes no sense. We need to have a wider range to make things of groups/guilts/whatever to make sure they´re useful.

    The Mods are doing a great job keeping these three at bay successfully. We surely are blessed there but we should not leave responsibility on the mods shoulders. I don´t know. But if a RPR Reform can help us with these evil three, I/>/>/>
  24. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    First: OPs must never, never leave our games.

    Second: social stratification exists because we make it that way. So...talk to everyone with a smile on your face!

    Third: newbie problem? I'll tell you the sure-fire solution to this "problem," and the sure-fire way to get more newbies into the RPFs. Ready? Here goes:

    George Lucas needs to make another series of Star Wars films to bring in the newbies en masse.

    When the Lucas projects were steady and big, there were more players here than you could shake a stick at. The interest was there; it just isn't anymore. If the RPF as a whole has such an elegiac longing for those days, then the news will be unwanted and unwelcome that those days won't be coming back any time soon.
  25. DarkLordoftheFins Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    So, I´ll keep my entry into the discussion short. It comes all down to one question, really?

    What do people need?

    The reason nobody is in the RPR anymore is there is nothing it offers to users. The RPR doesn´t get you into games. It doesn´t help you learn about new people, it doesn´t make your game successful.

    The two areas it had moderate success was player-recruitment. The Introduction-Thread and RPF Discussion Group are checked regularly for new games. The GDG serves this purpose too, but that´s really sad, if you ask me.

    Everything else is gone. I think changes have made existing systems obsolete. Without newbies flowing into the systems the CDG and GDG have nobody left to educate. And they have failed to adopt to the areas they are needed in.

    So what do we need the RPR to do?

    We simply need to make a list and decide how we best get it from it?

    The idea of reviving guilds and so on . . . that´s the wrong direction. We can name the things once we know what they shall be about.

    Character´s and Player´s Club
    Character design AND development. People can discuss how they could link their chars together. People can go here with a character and ask how to do it, who wanna have him in a game . . . It also would cover all the problems characters and players can cause. The problems with GMs. How to get into games. Where to go for help. In a perfect CPC GM´s would show up to talk about what kind of characters they are looking for in their new game, so people can develop and think about. Regular Challenges. This thing has to focus on newbies, as most begin as players therefore . . .

    The First Game

    Not a training-game or a tutorial. A game which is actually cool. High quality. But made so it fits the needs of both newbies (especially it should be accessible any time) and elder players alike. AU Tatooine shows how this can work. We would need a GM who has an eye on it. And whenever anything happens you need to intervene about . . . go over to the CPC and discuss it, after you made a decision. There is a much more detailed plan on this, and how to learn from the mistakes of the past that someone else did. Please post it, once you´re avaiable.

    GM´s Club

    GM´s daily affairs thread. Everything that happens inside the game once the OP is out. Much like the GMG but with some extras. A training program, first and foremost. Take a GM and have him do a week of GMing if he wants to. Explain stuff, share your methods, ask your questions. A place where a lost GM can get help. Where GMs might also look for a heir for their games. GM lore should be discussed here.

    Game Development Group

    From the very first idea to the first in-game post. Not only the beloved OPs, but everything. It should serve as a place to test interest, to recruit even players, it should develop ideas, draft OPs and help with PR. Do story advising and serve as a place to recruit support. Find people you get yourself as supporters with whom you can continue in chats and so on . . . it should not be a critics place. But a support module. Regular challenges.


    Trailers, Player Recruitment, Co-GM search, event proclamation, GM heirloom

    Game Theory

    Right now it´s split all over the place. Concentrate it and if we´re at it, put the Game-Analysis thing into it, too . . . a library of advanced information. Where interesting questions can be posed as a challenge.

    Well i guess I have at least spend 0.005 cents of LordT and some others here . . . but basically it´s been my 0.02 cents. Euro cents, of course.

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