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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Winged_Jedi, Jan 18, 2012.

Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza
  1. Winged_Jedi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 28, 2003
    star 4
    An occupational hazard, to be sure.
  2. Sir_Draco Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    Actually this would need a bit of preparation, but why the hell not? A writers room, where a GM explains the story-arc of the season and sets in stone the three big events and then everybody develops an episode farther down the line or not, with thelead GM taking the plot-heavy ones, while the others try to do something special. All you need is GMs willing to read the whole game. Dunno, but that might turn out to be very fascinating. It also could proof to be a perfect breeding-ghround for first timers. A few questions arise though.

    1. How long does every GM have the floor? How is an episode defined? By length, events, time?

    2. How much freedom does a GM have? Or is this the right question? Maybe collaborative development of the story is what we need here.

    3. Can players be GMs? Otherwise we pretty much limit our player-pool.

    4. The same players with the same characters through all of it?
  3. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    That is why we need a head-GM. Anyway, some things have to be decided. But . . . my take on it would be:

    1. How long does every GM have the floor? How is an episode defined? By length, events, time?

    One Episode including a timecap. Let´s say 3 months. If he hasn´t finished by then the Head-GM has another month to bring the game into a state in which the next GM can take over.

    2. How much freedom does a GM have? Or is this the right question? Maybe collaborative development of the story is what we need here.

    Meta-plot is done by the head, story of the Episode is done by the GM with minimum i8nput by head. Like "okay, in your Episode the Zombie outbreak occurs and player Z should begiven a chance to kill player P at the end" and everything else is done by the GM. Does he focus on the zombie outbreak or is it more like background noise? His choice.

    3. Can players be GMs? Otherwise we pretty much limit our player-pool.

    Well, that is the question, is it? I´d say YES within certain limits. I guess if the GMs take over NPCs for a while (and probably prepare their own games through them, already) that might be totally acceptable. But we would have to have pure players and GMs. Anyway, this might be the challenge for the HEAD-GM to determine and might depend strongly on what kinda game he plays.

    4. The same players with the same characters through all of it?

    Of course. That is how I understand it. It is an ordinray game, just with different writers.

    5. Not a question posed yet, but what genre? RPing genre I mean? My question. Anyway, I´d say give it a testrun Sirak and if it works out, let´s get into the the operating area and try to patch something together that IS ALIVE! ALIVE!
  4. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I will ask the Mods to have a planning thread probably. I actually have an idea, a game and all I would need to do is assemble a few GMs to write Episodes . . .
  5. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
  6. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Okay, interest around here hasn't been too high, but i like the idea and at least one GM has expressed support. So with ramzas allowance above, I plan to bring up a group within the next week. Let us see where this leads us.
  7. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    Okay, so I have a question.

    As my tenure here grows year after year, I have come to appreciate and respect the greater world of education and knowledge surrounding any given role playing game on the RPF. I have come to understand---through college and work experiences---the importance of references (aka works cited), managing players and storylines, and having a clearly defined set of policies and protocols by which your game runs by.

    My question is, at least from my view point of the early 2000's to now, is having "handbooks" (like Intervention in our Quick Reference Library Thread) more of a necessity today then it was in the early 2000's (with a more aware world in terms of the internet)? Or has the need always been there...or has it never been there? Looking back at my early role playing days, while we had great players that seemed like teachers walking among us to help us new players out ( @GrandAdmiralJello, @CmdrMitthrawnuruodo, and @greyjedi125 to name a few) and we still have great teachers today ( @Sith-I-5, @Mitth_Fisto, @Penguinator, @Ramza, @Imperial_Hammer, @DarthXan318, @DarkLordoftheFins to name a few) who do the same as our predecessors, a handbook would have really helped a young player out like myself back when I first started RPing. It would have gave structure to the teaching of a larger world by these great teachers.

    Or, is the Handbook idea too much for newbies and more of a luxury for those who already understand the ropes of RPing and just want more of a concrete outline to a game?

    It was just a thought overall with rules and policies specific to each game, since I can see a change in how our world society has approached written role playing. At least from my point of view. [face_dunno]
  8. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    We actually have two "Our games and how to play them" stickies in addition to an FAQ, they've just all been hit by the truncation bug that should actually be sorted out in a couple of weeks if my information is correct. Are you saying those need updating or... what, exactly?

    The other way I'm reading your post is that you seem to be advocating a large, comprehensive listing of in-game policies. My position on in-game rules is best summarized by my most recent game's rules section:
    I don't have a lot of respect for them, they're superfluous unless they introduce new information, which they very rarely do. Often they rehash details that players can gleam by simply being around for a day or two, asking the GM, or just reading those stickies I mentioned earlier.

    In particular I despise the unending occurrence of the phrase "Obey the TOS." You agree to the TOS with every post, that's a completely unnecessary reminder. :p
    Last edited by Ramza, Jan 10, 2013
  9. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    All of my links to them---last time I checked them---aren't even bringing them up anymore. Hope it is fixed soon, their a great resource!

    I think their fine as are, but a update never hurts. ;) I'm not really hinting to anything in particular, was just trying to generate a interest of mine into discussion. I know, I'm weird. It's okay, I said it first. :p

    That's where I wanted this discussion to go! I disagree with you, respectfully, a course. You may be looking at it from a general point of view of a average of games and, in which case, I would agree with you. However for larger games that have been around for many years, Intervention being one of them, I can say that it was time consuming to have to go through with each few new players of the game specific rules, such as Force use, realism, etc. All of these players each had their own specific well rounded and reasonable questions for the game and no one set of rules could address them all, unless I wanted to create a novel (which, I guess, the Intervention Handbook is oddly enough). Furthermore, some of Intervention's players came from a series of games or different types of games where they were allowed to play a specific way for a long time. Well, Intervention had slightly different rules, different enough to cause undue conflict with different types of game "cultures". The way I solved, as I saw it, the biggest conflict issues when players come from one type of game to another game or is new to a game...

    • Force usage
    • Realism
    • Alternate verses limited to no Alternate Universe
    • Writing and spelling

    ...is I made the handbook. It solved players from having to ask questions and when they did ask questions, they were able to more refine their question and make the answer more suitable to their needs, because I had more of a specific way to respond to their question. It solved the biggest issue that I see between games: the difference between the more Force-focused games of 2005 to present verses the more limited Force usage games of the early 2000's (where I started RPing). Now, players had a base of their Force usage (or lack thereof) and concrete rules in place for usage of the Force when it was used. Realism was addressed (aka God-moding), which helped newbies and transition players (coming from one game to another game) adjust their playing style to better fit it with the already established players in the game, it completely addressed AU with realism, and, as a old fart like me around here, it addressed my biggest issue: quality writing and spelling.

    So, yes, for newer Game Masters or even games, yes, I would agree that maybe a Handbook is a bit overrated. But, for more established, larger or longer running games where rules can change and bend over time, I think a handbook is a great idea. In development of that statement, I feel that the Rocketjock provided a means for the players and staff to communicate on a unparalleled level like never before, since I came from the days of email and AIM, where if other players didn't have access to that, it was hard to communicate quickly about game ideas or questions, except over PM, in which case, you couldn't share with more then one person on the old boards. In short, the Rocketjock provided me the understanding for a need for a game handbook for Intervention.
  10. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    The link issue is actually a separate matter - the way threads are linked changed with the software. That probably won't ever get fixed, so I'd recommend just updating your links to the new ones.

    As for the rules, I guess what I'm saying is I don't really see the need for even most long running games to have very intricate rules write ups, unless they use an actual system that players are expected to be familiar with (Which I guess your Force system sort of does). But 99% of games, regardless of length, probably don't need even the rules they include, since even "No godmoding" and "PM all CSes" are really just superfluous formalities designed to keep the thread "clean" so the GM doesn't have to fix things in OOC later. Which really just reminds me that I was never terribly fond of the "No OOC in the thread" rules that were in vogue for a bit, either. Roleplaying is supposed to be a casual, social, and above all else fun activity and it seems like everybody goes out of there way to make you have to work for the fun, shuns the casual nature of the hobby, and is secretly ashamed of the social aspect. Fie I say! Fie! Fi! Possibly even Fo and Fun with the blood of an Englishmun. :p
  11. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    Well poop. :p

    I see your point. But, also, aren't you assuming that all players will have some level of common ground among each other when it comes to written role playing rules and standards? Personally, if it wasn't for @GrandAdmiralJello and a few other veteran RPers back in 2001 when I first played War of the Galaxies, I would have been lost at the prospect of navigating the complexity of role playing. I was 16 years old, just turning 17. I had never given thought to role playing before that age; I just had a love of Star Wars. Role Playing Games, and I guess it fits into any type---but for me is written based here (or do we have a official style name, other then "written role playing games"?)---can be the great bastion for fun, but also can disenfranchise people wanting to play because of a lack of firm rules because of the vast information overload for new players to the world of written role playing.
  12. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Are you talking about handbooks for specific games, or handbooks for the RPF at large?

    For specific games, I agree with you: long-running games like Intervention, or WOTG back in the day, need some kind of handbook/tutorial/summary to better ease new players into things. It's unreasonable to expect a new player to read everything that has transpired thus far, and it's taxing on the GM to have to explain everything again and again to each new player. So yes, if you need one, you should write one.

    For the RPF at large, I think we already have enough literature on how to play.
  13. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Well, first of all I strongly believe that those rulebooks are NOT very attractive to players, yet any GM has the right to write one if he feels like he needs it. I certainly never felt anything but the standard rules were needed to get the most out of my players. Creativity is not found in rules . . . concerning roleplaying and life in general. That is my humble take on it as someone who spends his life with rules.

    Bravo, your Intervention is probably a bit of a special case here. You guys love rules and you have a lot of them. No problem or critic, but it is totally understandable to have a "rulebook" at some point. Also the amount of rules might tie in with your last topic of recruiting new players, which is considerably harder if you have "to go through rules" with them just to get them playing. And that is my final argument against them. They are newbie unfriendly because they give people the idea they have to study to play, instead of "they have to enjoy wrting and spend time" to play. Any barrier to enter a game must be reviewed carefully by a GM concerning it´s necessity. Because players make games and players join games they feel comfortable joining.Rules make people uncomfortable because you can never guarantee you keep true to all of them, if you do not know them by heart.

    A "general" rulebook would not make sense either, if we have so many games not easy to categorize. So those games would need to begin with "the general rulebook written by Ramza III. does not apply to this game"? No, I think that is a bit too much. If I wanna start a new game (hypothetically, I don´t plan to do so) I don´t wanna read a lot of rules about it or keep it within the boundaries of any kind of rules . . . I can handle a game without them. Everybody can.

    So that´s my opinion, which is of course limited and based on my little experience as subjective as it is. But I really think to keep everything obligational as short and rudimentary as possible is actually the right way to do it.

    I strongly believe everything you need to tell can be summarized on one sheet. We could use such a sheet one day, though.
  14. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    Specific games.

    I don't mean the handbook to replace the easy to find (and read) rules of the game. More so, if a player has a specific question or we run into a debate OOG over a event in the game, we have the handbook to fall back on as the final word and not the Game Master's feelings on the issue (unless required). Or, if I am out of town, I can safely assume that Intervention's staff has the resources they need to handle any problem that may arise.
    Last edited by Bravo, Jan 11, 2013
  15. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Well, to answer you honestly and straight . . . are your Co-GMs so bad you need to hand ressources to them to make a decision? I got no idea who is the "staff" of your game, but I would assume they are smart guys and have experienI actually always feel they are a direct breach of RULE 1 of most games: GM word is law. Which is btw a rule which . . . from the lawyer side of things . . . makes all other rules unnecessary.ce in the "art of RPing", so if someone Godmods they can identify it and intervene in your absence. Why write a book for them? You are out of town they take over with GM authority. I find the idea of Player X desperatly going through the pages of his handbook to find a solution to the players latest question, because he can´t reach you . . . a bit strange.

    So, if you feel uncomfortable with the decision based on "what you feel" to quote you, a book of rules and laws might help you . . . but again I strongly doubt that many other GMs share that kind of need. To me all my GMs have absolute authority. That is why I choose my games so carefully. So again, the liberty to write one is always there. But I don´t think it will become mainstream. If I imagine I had written something like this for SotS and it´s sequels . . . it would never have been used, probably. Not once.

    Concerning OOG discussions. I always felt they were a direct breach of the standard RULE 1: The GM word is LAW.

    From a law-philosophers perspective that rulecmakes all others unecessary.
  16. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    By no means. I have said it before and I'll say it again: I feel that anyone of Intervention's staff could fully run any game as a head Game Master. I never, ever, view Intervention's staff as below me, rather, I view them as equals. They have the same Game Master authority whether I am here or away. The handbook, as a reference tool for the staff of Intervention, came about when I started to watch and see a trend:

    1) Over the last 3 years, a few players have either refused to listen to the other GMs or play the "I'll wait for Bravo to get back" card; both are not okay with me and I feel extremely offended that Intervention's staff gets treated like that. Intervention's staff have worked their a**** off and I don't take kindly to a lack of respect towards them; so, in short, it overrules a player's ability to throw a fit when I am gone.

    2) Some of Intervention's staff, through respect for me and the game we've helped create together from players to staff, were very cautious to step on my toes or rule "above my head," when I was gone, even after I gave them the okay to do so prior and that I would back them 100% on any decision they made. The Handbook simply gives the staff a baseline to go off of, so if they have a worry or question regarding about a ruling they make, the Handbook will most likely have a answer for them if they're in doubt.

    3) The Handbook gives the staff the ability to make a ruling and have a "official" stand from the game to make the ruling from; it eliminates the need for he said, she said when it comes to Bravo making references to rules and then, when I'm gone, no one can find what I said in writing.


    In the end, it gives the staff the official "thump card" in writing and protects the staff for the decisions they make. I may be wrong DLOF---since it appears you have lawyer experience, so please correct me if I am wrong----but anything in official writing, whether a signed agreement between two persons or a work memo sent out via company email or traditional mail to its employees, would always have the upper hand in a court of law. Because, unlike a hear-say, there is a documented proof of what was being said.

    Now, lastly. And, what I'm about to say, I may have been reading too much into. Imperial_Hammer and myself shared a grand total of 2 or 3 PMs years ago, a few months after Intervention started. I won't go into the detail of those PMs, since private messages is the whole point, but I had asked him a question regarding Intervention and references to other works outside of TFN not of our creation. His response was simple, yet thankful with what Intervention was doing in terms of making references to other people's work outside of TFN's boards. You may take it anyway you want, but at least that spoke to me two things:


    1) Handbook (in which there is a reference section for staff and players to read) makes it extremely clear that references should be used for work not our own.

    2) In the extremely other universe possibility that LucasFilm would come pay us a visit (as they did years ago with requiring TFN staff to display their full names on the boards if I remember correctly???), they can see that Intervention does its best, from a management point of view, to adhere to the respect and creative wisdom of LucasFilm and we, as a game, can rest safely knowing we won't get any nasty letters from LucasFilm.


    On the last two points, yes, there is plenty of copied Star Wars material out there that LucasFilm allows without their graces because, frankly put, it promotes the Star Wars name brand and generates sales. Second, I know a reference comment could be made on a opening page of a game. Well, with the size of Intervention and the truncated problem as of late with much of the Library Thread, Rocketjock, and game thread losing large pieces of data, I didn't want to take the risk of not having it posted if something did happen.
  17. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    The point is . . . there is no court.

    I don´t think there is any legal argument to have the handbooks, Bravo. Legally they aren´t very relevant. And if we wanna protect us against highly hypothetical legal issues with LucasFilm (which I don´t see coming) this is not the way to go. A written "manifesto of intent" is no proof for or against any actual actions. And everything is written down here, it´s a server-based forum. But the moment we even discusss this topic with Lucasfilm (or Disney by now), these boards vanish immediately and probably never come back.

    Concerning the staff-stuff (haha, couldn´t resist), I feel we slowly drift into a discussion about Intervention and it´s staff and their past issues. That´s not a topic I know a lot about. All I can reply is, no such problems ever occured in my games or with my staff. Maybe we were just lucky. But discussiing other GMs games is something I am never comfortable with. So if this is wanted, I´ll leave it to others to do so.
    Penguinator likes this.
  18. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    I see your point and well taken.

    I would never say Intervention ever had issues with the staff. Intervention was very lucky to have a well-rounded, well educated, and polite staff that handed any issue immediately and with professionalism. Any "issues," as to reference your post, would come down more so to your usual questions, confusion, or concerns any game runs into when players play a game; rules get broken----sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose---and interesting situations arise throughout the course of a game that rules don't account for or a GM didn't think of before. The staff intervenes to help in those issues. Maybe because of our almost 3 1/2 year running time, we might have ran into more then your normal amount of those everyday RPing situations regarding rules and questions.

    With that said, I think we've exhausted this issue. Everyone has had good points on both sides of the fence. And I hope this discussion promotes a positive outcome in the end, regardless of the side of the fence your on.
  19. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    I'm pretty sure the board owner, Philip Wise, would be forced to pass on a cease-and-desist before any further legal action can be taken. And Rick McCallum loves us, or at least fan film folk. This isn't a university course, this is escapism; citations kind of ruin the fun, IMO.
  20. Intervention Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 2
    What dos cease-and-desist mean?
  21. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    It's the legal equivalent of "Stop or I'll shoot." Basically if somebody in corporate ever objects to what you're doing, no amount of citations will save you. Heck, just go look at the rather impressive list of authors we don't allow as source material over in NSW Fan Fic.
    Last edited by Ramza, Jan 15, 2013
  22. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    I think that these things are less "discussion"-heavy than most people think. You don't spend money fighting them, if there is money in it. At least that is what lawyers advise.
    Penguinator likes this.
  23. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    It's a non-profit website for fans of a billion-dollar franchise - we can't affect their profits. If LucasFilm had any serious objections, this site would've been down ages ago.
  24. Intervention Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2012
    star 2
    Random question: do we know if the truncations will be solved in the SWRPF Achieve as well? I was trying to look up a post from 2005 (to add into a current storyline) and have found that most of the pages from the New Jedi Outcasts RP are, well, screwed up for a lack of better word. Any hope that any of that history will be saved?
  25. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    Truncation is still being worked on. Also, before the move, there was a JC Backup Tool that Xani had made that would allow users to back up anything they wanted to hold on to in case of problems. Many users saved many threads, so you'll have to put out some sort of an APB for that if you didn't make use of it yourself.
Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza