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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by DarkLordoftheFins, Sep 11, 2009.

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  1. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I think userbase definitely makes a big difference.

    I've lurked another RPGing site for quite some time now, although the more perceptive people who've known me a long time can probably guess which one it is. Time to confess: I have branched out and started up another RPG over there to see what it's like.

    Biggest impressions: necessity and starvation for a playerbase raises the bar substantially. On this forum, the userbase is, I've come to realise, tiny. Therefore competition for players is very real. But from one perspective that's a good thing, because it means you either bring your A-game or be prepared to watch your thread sink slowly towards the bottom of the page. Sad fact of life around here. But it generates a pretty good "baseline" GM, I think; if most of the GMs we regard as competent to experienced were to take their standards and dedication (albeit maybe not the freeform) to at least this other forum I'm on, they'd be respected. Least as far as I can see.

    Second impression: like I said before, but it bears repeating, boy, our userbase is tiiiinnny. When I first posted up an advertisement for my first RPG over on the other site, I was swamped with player requests. I had six spots open and took twelve applications, and I've spoken with people who've had to winnow out four spots from twenty. Try and imagine that scenario happening here -- last time IIRC was Titanomachy, and we all know what happened to that. Yet, on my lurking headcount, on my other site that seems to happen three or four times every two weeks or so; you'll get a playerbase together, sheets submitted, ready to go, and poof! The GM disappears. Over there the playerbase and GM base is big enough that everyone seems to just shrug and go on with their lives. Here I think we'd be about ready to don sackcloth and ashes if that happened again.

    On the other hand, when you're spoiled for choice with players, the average quality of GMing apparently goes down. I'm not sure if it was one of my players blowing smoke up my proverbial (I tend to think not because he already had his spot for some time) but he was a forum regular and indicated I'd not only met the informal RPG standard for that board, but exceeded it. And this is my first shot at doing it on that board we're talking about. I therefore think on this board, which has literally tens of thousands of users, you don't have to be very good or very attentive to your players to get some people together and play ... which means as a DM you don't have to dedicate yourself to improving or attracting players.

    It may be a community thing, of course. Over on that board, to borrow SithGirly's line, it's much more "back and forth". Updates are faster; if people are doing deep character work I don't see it, although it might be the nature of the RPGs run over there or the fact they don't last long enough. People tend to RP in present tense rather than past tense, which annoys the heck out of me, but when in Rome ... and I might add that freeform is much, much rarer on my other site than it is here.

    So the takeaway is -- I think on a very, very quick average I think we do a better quality of games, but a large vs. small user base I think has a lot to do with it.
  2. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Hmm. Well, I once read an article about how early adopters shape the makeup of a community, even online communities where one can belong to more than one without any problems. It was about how Facebook and Myspace demographics differed (differ, really) greatly and how people tended to be members of one or the other, not both. The conclusion was basically that birds of a feather flock together. Facebook's early adopters were university students (it began as a university yearbook) whereas Myspace was used mainly by bands, and over the years, their respective userbases grew in entirely different directions to the point where most people (not all, but most) were members of one or the other, not both. You can use both - signing up costs nothing - but most people didn't.

    My point is that our early adopters here in the RPF were interested in freeform, intensely planned, character-driven games with loads of OOC coordination to make it work. They were also (as I understand from those tales of WOTG) highly interested in taking each other down. :p So: in the dawn of the RPF we had a handful very bright people doing their level best to murder each others' characters, undermine each others' plans, and do it in style while they were at it. That's coloured our games ever since. Arguably we've made multiple changes and improvements upon the model, but the heart of it remains the same.

    So I do think userbase numbers definitely do play a part in things here, but whether it's a cause or an effect - if our small userbase drove quality up, or if the comparatively high standards of quality drove the masses away - I couldn't say.

    (Also, that's a pretty neat game you have over there, Sainty. ;) [face_whistling])
  3. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Then I hope you're taking notes for board features to suggest to your current and my former colleagues, Xanly one. :D :D :D Surely I should be able to make attempts at e-humour using strikethrough text without having VIP status, as I can with my other site? ;)
  4. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    It's on the list. First up is functionality, but then ... who knows? ;)

    Seriously, what I love most about this move is the sheer amount of potential for new features. :D It's gonna be a lot of work to get it looking and feeling like the JC, true, but we're moving from ten-year-old board software to a setup that's substantially more modern. Strikethrough text ... spoiler tags ... heck, maybe even proper mobile device support. I think it's gonna be awesome.

    But enough with the derail, I think. [face_blush] That stuff goes in Comms or social threads and such. Back to game mastering!
  5. Sir_Draco Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    Well, I think I am the one to break the bad news back then. I think the perception of the RPF is pretty much . . . based on years of isolation. There is a huge gap between what people see in this who come from other boards and what the community sees in itself.

    The RPF is a great troupe. Great users. And it got some of the best games I´ve seen around (although not THE best, I gotta say) and it can be proud of it.

    But then it got some strange habits. Like olbies. A while back a Mod discussed with a user about the age of the RPF. And the user mentioned there were games predating the RPF. Even when the Mod made pretty ridicilous claims of age of the RPF (his year of first RPing made him seven at that age :p) he just got a cool shrug from the User. Who is probably twenty years older than him and played before the other guy could even speak. RPing in the Net has been around since the early ninties. Little known fact is some of the first IIRC posting-lists used this media for RPing. So, the first thing is: The RPF is not old. Not by any means.

    The second is, people start crying about loosing five players or ten. When actually this board was always a small one. There are single projects of playing out there who have more players. I myself have recently joined a game on another board that has 9 threads and 3 chatrooms dedicated to it. Only for IC. Listed 200 players. Active 130. 25 GMs. Brilliant plot. With people are programming environments in Oblivion-code for showcasing or cutting music for a soundtrack. That puts any TFN-flagship discussion into perspective. At least five users of this board play there, too. And it´s not even in English. Means, there are some huge projects out there. From my experience the really big ones are those not playing on sites, but spreading through boards, using their own system. St. Louis. Reign of Steel. Imperiales Zentrum. Great names of the past. I am not up-to-date iwth todays "lists" but I was told there are some. That´s the ambitious RPing-branch. The places where you need an invitation to get to. Then come the huge pages. And the fine little ones, where everything is intimate and cozy. And the last one, that´s the RPF. So: The RPF is not big. Not a major force. But: The RPF is unqiue and a very great place.

    What does the RPF have to offer? Well, I think the community that small sized brings forth more specialized, more attuned games than the huge ones. You can feel a certain vibe, familiarity in the games that huge communities do not have. When I see SotS today, you feel that Fin has played with most of the people there before. ManCubs, ToF. The same. If I got a question I know people who chat with Mods. In Monomyth I file a request and wait two weeks for anyone to read it. Or call someone, I know. Here you know people. There is trust. That is the TFN-RPFs greatest strength.

    Ironically some users heavy disagree. And some users simply loose trust over time. But that´s also . . . the nature of trust. It can be lost.

    So, no idea what GMing on other boards is like. I think GMing in the RPF might be a little more intimate, though.

  6. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    I personally think a huge issue (in regards to the player base and community on the JCF RPF) is that no one really wants to say, "These are my boards."

    There's still that degree of separation - it irks me, but that's life.

    When I got this cushy mod gig (:p) Imp told me to take ownership of the boards. I suspect a lot of people are instantly going to think "OMG the Peng is insane and thinks the boards bow down to his every thought," but that's not what I meant by taking ownership.

    To me, it implies having a certain level of pride in the RPF and supporting it willy-nilly. I'm not really afraid of saying it: I love the RPF, warts and all. These are my boards as much as they are your boards. They're here for everyone - so enjoy and get invested! :)
  7. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    OMG Peng is insane and thinks these boards bow down to his every thought!:eek:







    :p
  8. LightWarden Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2001
    star 4
    I don't know Saintheart, I'm more tempted to invoke Sturgeon's Law with regards to board size. While it's true that Gaia is both the largest forum on the planet and has a roleplaying section that is to PbP RPGs as Fanfiction.net is to fan writings about licensed characters, it probably has more to do with the environment than anything else, being as it had its origins as a social network site for preteen anime fans. I'm removed from the site enough that I can describe the existence of good RPG on that site in hypothetical terms, though a long-term user of the community would likely take offense to that sort of description and point out the various good games and the like. While there may be more challenge trying to uphold a standard of behavior on a large group, that doesn't necessarily mean the inverse is of any value. You did not do well on that forum because of this forum, you did well because you're you. As a player you were exposed to a great GM and great players, and you were the sort of person who used that to push yourself to be better. By taking that attitude with you, you'll do well anywhere, even Gaia. A tiny board is no guarantee of great players, great GMs and great games, it just means that you can exhaust all possibilities a great deal faster than with other boards if you don't find what you're looking for. As starved as we are for games, it doesn't necessarily mean anything, as there are plenty of games that go up, get few to no players and then lock down.

    The urge for quality and improvement is self-directed on the part of the GM and players; if they don't have it, it won't matter. And if you lose it, it won't matter; it's easy enough for a player or GM to look around and think "I am the best damn thing on these boards" and then fall into stagnation if that individual buys into the hype and stops thinking about ways to improve (and the "Roleplaying SUPERSTAR" problem occurs with groups of all sizes). Of course, sometimes it's because you're unsure of wherever else you could go and you need to see something new to widen your horizons. In that case, all other things equal, you might be better off going with a larger board because all other things equal the larger player base means that the chance of going without seeing an interesting outlier decreases. Being as getting what you want out of a board is pretty much a gamble, might as well go with the one that gives you more chances at the same odds. Barring, of course, the larger board having some sort of poisonous miasma that saps the drive for self-improvement. But assuming you're on a board where it's not uncommon for players to want to improve, I'd prefer a larger one because I can always filter things until I find what I like and work on making questionable elements better (as is the great circle of roleplaying, though admittedly I'm no Anne Sullivan), but I can't magically conjure up new people to fill a small board sapped by the entropy of real life.
  9. Sir_Draco Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2007
    star 4
    I think you have to play a lot, to make the size of a board matter. As you usually only play in one game nad if people in there are stellar, it actually doesn´t matter what the other 800 do. Only the people you play with count, right? What does it matter to a single player what quality the "whole board" has?

    Also on Peng, to say something like that a board must actually be my "e-home" . . . oh man how I hate these e-terms . . . and as much as I apppreciate the TFN, it is not more than 25% of my RPs based here. And I value all my games the same.
  10. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    I think I never made a secret about the fact the RPF is my home. I never played anywhere else. When I designed SotS I was asked by a lot of people to do it osmewhere else. Somewhere bigger. Get people involved. I never gave it a single thought. It was always a RPF project for me. Because this is where I play.

    My RPF.

    As Peng would say.
  11. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    If it's not your "e-home," then it's not, that simple. :)

    I'm just saying that it would be excellent if more people came to see it in that sort of light - it generates a greater sense of community, I think.
  12. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    IMHO, this is 'my' RPF, but more importantly it's our RPF. It's for everyone - all you guys - and whether or not this is your e-home, whether you post five times a day or once every five days, whether you've been here for years or weeks, whether you like dice or not, whether you're a RPer or a GM or someone who drive-by posts in Hoopers every once in a while ... you should feel welcome here.

    There are bigger boards, sure. There are boards that do things differently; some of those boards have features and practices I would totally love to have here (native dice rolling! *covets*), and others have features and practices that I find downright bizarre and wouldn't be caught dead trying (massive nested-quote-thread PbEMs come to mind).

    But this place is ours. [:D]
  13. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
  14. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    *Cheesy Full House group hug music*
  15. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Gone for a few days and Ramza is playing cheesy music.

    Well, anyway. I think actually these two topics are connected. The TFN-RPF identity is usually a lot more defined than the usual RPer identification with his board. A huge difference I like a lot about TFN.
  16. Bravo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 6
    I've been part of the RPF at TFN since 2002 when I started with War of the Galaxies. I've played various other RP games through the years here under various usernames and I've never RPed any place else. I've checked out other boards, yes, but I've never RPed in a game outside of TFN RPF. With that said, the RPF at TFN is home to me and I have a very close connection to a lot of the RPers here, both past and present, that have been a huge part of my memories throughout my life thus far.

    I first became friends first with people at the RPF here and that extended to my local fan force (Rocky Mountain Fan Force) in due time. I can now proudly say that I know and have fellow Star Wars fans and friends both in the Rocky Mountain Fan Force and in the RPF.

    I've meet people in person from the RPF here at TFN that I have formed extremely close friendships with, friendships to the point of us not only meeting in person but becoming like family. And I would extent that family title to everyone here at the RPF and the Rocky Mountain Fan Force. As Star Wars fans, we share a interest, hobby, and desire in a form of entertainment that not only shaped the United States of America's (and I'm sure some other countries) culture, but our lives as well. Our lives, on one level or another, were so transformed by Star Wars that it has become a cornerstone in our life. It (Star Wars) has defined us to one degree or another.

    With that said, I say, hello family. :)
  17. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    Well, hello, Bravo!

    *seizes ladle* Now go get in thar and wash yer hands! It's time fer dishin' up th' soup! :D
  18. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    It is funny. I am fully aware I might make myself not exactly popular with my post here, but I always found the TFN-SW boards a little . . . over-protective. Less tolerant and less friendly to people. This whole Awards tension. These "what can we talk about and what not" talk. The conservative take on changes. The racial division (which made me a french/swiss girl actually a German. Interesting enough). The rivalry between games, never to be spoken out. Don´t get me wrong, I love my TFN. But my E-home? I don´t know. I always thought a few things could really change before I settle here. And most of them never really did. Would unfortunatly the wrong games close tomorrow, I am not sure if I would search for new ones to "stay around". Don´t think so.

    Especially some users seemed not to be very welcoming to New Users who arrived here.

    I can really only tell of my own experience with other boards, that others are different and often more open in that resepct.

    So I actually always was with Lightwarden in this. Sort of a silent supporter. :p Not in many things, but in one. The RPF might be a nice place. But there was always room for advancment.

    Am I to honest here?

    Maybe.

    Nevermind.

    Most people don´t listen to me anyway. :p

  19. NickLitYouAFlame Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2007
    star 5
    QFT
  20. LordTroepfchen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2007
    star 4
    I third that one. True. True.
  21. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    That's nice. What do you think we should do about it?
  22. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6


    Sirak - it saddens me to hear that you think those things. I honestly don't know what to say except we're trying. It's a two-way street, though. A lot of recent drama has been the result of miscommunications. Yes, someone has to offer an olive branch, but someone else has to accept it.

    I'm sad and I'm angry. I'm sad because it seems like no matter what I do, I won't change anyone's mind. I'm angry at myself for not being more proactive about these sorts of things.

    That being said, I have to disagree. I have to. Not as a mod - just as me - because the tensions that do exist are there because people want them to be. The drama is there because people want to get angry, upset or feel slighted. This notion of any group of RPers being a persecuted bunch - it is nonsense. I know I'm not the most popular guy out there, but having heard some of the things that have been said about me...that ain't fun by any stretch.

    So what I'm getting at, I suppose, is that it's easy to complain and be a victim, but it's much harder to discuss and solve the problems. I'd rather be a problem solver.

    Consider this the olive branch.
  23. SirakRomar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 30, 2007
    star 4
    Oh, I did not directly refer to resent events. It is not about Mods of discussions. There is something about my beloved TFN-RP boards which I strongly dislike and it´s all of us. Myself included.

    It is a habit. It was there since I arrived. I remember coming from my old games and thinking some things around here were odd. And then getting used to it. And then joining those very strange habbits.

    Only lately I realized what it was. Tjhere is a dertain way people take things to . . . serious here. Bad word. My english is getting to it´s limits here. It´s a certain loss of perspective. A self-importance and authority we all claim around here we simply do not possess.

    You know when I arrived here I was welcomed by a few people. Sinre, and a few posts into the game BobaMatt, sprintabm. Then when I dragged more people in here I realized . . . I was lucky. I was lucky people wanted to play with me. But I was told I was good in RPing and what if I had not been . . . ? Would I have not have a place here? I forgot about that. Became totally part of it. And I really thought it is important if someone thinks I can do something or not. If social boards become discussions grounds or not. I argued about that. I fought about it. When I saw a newbie I waited for them to vanish again. Never ignoring them or not playing with them. But I assumed they would. And they most of the time did.

    I assumed even my brother would.

    When someone told me they did not have to. You just had treat them right, I thought he was really idealistic, but not reasonable. Then he proofed me wrong and I remembered that it is wrong to think we "owe the RPF" or to think "people have to proof to us". It´s a forum for games. It´s a playground. There is no reason to fight over it.

    And the Mods, no matter if Saintheart, impHammer, Xany,Peng or whoever are not what I talk about. the users are. Like SirakRomar.
  24. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Actually, I'll agree with Sirak on that. There is a certain degree of anti-newbie-ism in the RPF. Maybe it's became more evident as our roleplaying games by necessity have grown smaller (maybe more elite), but I've always been very willing to try a new player, and give them space to learn. I'd say the success rate of these new players is 50/50 (at least for me), but at least there is the success rate. I let Fin, Lord, SoZ, Girly and Sirak go for it. I didn't know a great deal about them, didn't think of them as particularly special people. They roleplayed with passion, which is what I enjoyed watching and nudging. Roon was my choice of a world; but what happened was not my invention. But imagine if nobody had given relative newbies like MiB, Hero, spycoder9 and Yuul a chance? They've done some great stuff.

    But, on the other hand, in smaller games, you can't afford for 50% of the new players to vanish. Look at 129 ABY; massive potential, which abruptly died and a lot of the losses were new players... but that being said, I recall how two oldbies took on two relative newbies in 128 ABY, and it devolved into a squabble about realism. So it's there, certainly.

    I don't disagree. I've been quite guilty of it. It's difficult to remember, when you look at the much dismissed Jedi vs Sith games that many seem to belittle (and I've had many games which have suffered that criticism), that once upon a time, Jedi vs Sith was cool to us, and for these newbies, it still is - it is their first roleplaying experience, and it is cool. A group of Jedi hunting down and defeating the Sith Lord the GM has invented is fun. It may not be as fun for our maturer roleplayers (in e-terms), but it is at that point in their progression. Humour them. Maybe even join in - add something to it.

    Oh, and if it wasn't evident; the RPF is my home. My actual TFN home, as well, mostly.

    This isn't a knock on anyone, remember - it's a fair critique of how things seem to be run in places. Games like Shattered Galaxy and 100 ABY could have done a lot better had they not been so dismissed. I'm speaking personally about 100 ABY. I can't remember who, but there was a clear criticism of how we had 'yet another' one Sith character taking on the galaxy alone, which was hardly my fault that nobody joined it and I was the only player bringing a Sith to the game... I remember the sting quite clearly.
  25. Mitth_Fisto Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 6
    Well, I have to throw in my two cents into this pot that has been started.

    There is descrimination a little bit, I remember when I first started. Alot of individuals didn't like my ideas and some just didn't want me in their game. I was feeling like a thread killer already as the couple that accept me died by a disappearing GM, luckily that doesn't happen as much now.

    Still this was the first place I ever tried RPing, and for that it will always be my 'home' in a loose sense of the word. I still remember being shocked when people stopped calling me a noob around the boards, and if I remember correctly I had a debate with the person asserting that I was a noob no matter what they thought. Yup, fighting for noob status a few years ago, because from my experiences and all the corrections I felt I deserved it[face_laugh]

    I think I did that somewhat with LSA as well when he adopted me and said he couldn't do much to improve my posts. But we change, we learn, and inevitably we. . .ramble off the tracks of what we were meaning to get to...a point I had one I know.

    Well, since I lost it hopefully this one will do in it's sted. I have seen what Sinre and Sirak mentioned but as for a cure I do not know if it exists. When someone disappears it's not like in DRL where you can use multiple means to hunt them down, they are simply gone and can't be brought back until they already have as Nick demonstrated recently when he became the talk of the boards as people scrambled trying to see if there was a way to find out what had happened to him. (I really like some the conspiracy theories those created by the way)

    The only one I know is the one that worked for me, realizing one's limitations and trying to push beyond them, while being to thick skulled, tough skinned, or stiff necked to realize anything has gone wrong or been demeaning. Solutions elude me, perhaps as GMs one could ask if a player is willing to play an extra sith, or adding thanks for the sheet and signing up to be in on this ventures long haul.
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