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Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by DarkLordoftheFins, Sep 11, 2009.
Q. F. Bloody. T.
Okay, now I gotta ask. I know Q.F.T. is some form of agreement with the above, but what do those letters actually stand for?
Quoted For Truth. Originally it went two ways - either agreeing with the comment quoted or preserving it to prevent an escape via edit (The latter typically came with a disclaimer), but over the years it's been Flanderized to being an explicit form of agreement - which, incidentally, is how I used it.
Well ... right. There is an element of 'discrimination' here. The dark side of a meritocracy (and the RPF is one) is that people who don't demonstrate sufficient caliber - whether through lack of time, interest, opportunity, or plain ability - can't find a place. I firmly believe that the RPF is a place where anyone with sufficient RPing savvy can get in without too much trouble. We always give newbies the same advice - play in games, get to know people, prove yourself - because it works ... if you have worth. If you don't, you'll never get anywhere. I read an article recently arguing that a meritocracy is actually the most cruel form of society for that very reason - in capitalism, for instance, the less capable can still find a place by being cheaper. That's not possible here. Either you can get in on your own merits or you can't.
It's a difficult problem to 'fix' as it's an inherent flaw in the system.
If we're talking about lack of opportunity for newbies, on the other hand ... yeah ... there is a bit of that. We tell newbies to join games, but most GMs running small games won't take the risk of signing on an unproven player when they can get their friends on board instead. Bit of a catch-22 there. Sure, there are always ways to get an 'in' - if you read the guides and chat with people and generally are willing to prove you know what you're doing, you can find a foothold - but that again comes back to ability and the meritocracy.
So I think Sinre has the right of it here - if you see a newbie game that might be interesting, sign up. I used to do that sometimes myself. It's usually good for a couple weeks' fun, and sometimes you might even learn something.
A user with the courage to speel it out sounds like a good beginning to me, I must say.
QFT. I know exactly what you mean. Sirak.
No no - well yes, that's true - but what I mean is that it's like saying democracy's problem is that people can vote. You know? You can put checks and balances around it, but you can't really fix that without ceasing to be a democracy entirely.
That said, I'm encouraged that people see this, yes. Without newcomers, we would stagnate entirely, and I'd hate to see that happen.
Are we really a meritocracy? A meritocracy would imply that any "newcomer" with sufficient skills would find his or her game filled to capacity or his or her application immediately accepted while a "veteran" who failed to produce a product of sufficient quality would experience the opposite. I don't think that's really the case, I'm under the impression that the name trade is a key factor, which is a higher barrier to entry for newcomers than ability is. You can be a good player or GM, but that won't matter much if you can't get your foot in without making sure they know your name and jumping through hoops.
That being said, Xan, we have made some tremendous strides to be more newbie-friendly via our increased relationship with the New User Forum. But I feel that was initially set up as a measure when things got quite dire around here. Well, more or less a lot of forums headed over to the New User Forum and made various outposts, but the RPF one is the one to stay.
If we are a meritocracy, we are well on our way with the mechanics of improving it, now all we need to do is improve the mentality that created it; creating virtue out of necessity, but genuinely doing so.
All the players (including both GM's) in STAR WARS: INTERVENTION (A story-telling style OT starfighter game)---Always taking new players! have taken that risk on newbies. And sure, over the course of our running time since June of 2009, we've hit some rough patches with players---although most were lost not because they were newbies, but because of the start of the school year in 2009 mostly. Since that (and before the massive lost of players we had), we have kept our doors open to all players---newbie and oldbie. And it has, as did the start of the school year, hit with success and rough spots. We had some newbies join and fall off, other newbies join and stay as much as they could.
Now, the downside of losing so many players (not just newbies) and having players come and go, is Intervention's storyline is moving extremely slowly. We're barely breaking the tip of the ice burg on the storyline. Regardless of newbie status or not, GM's who lose players and have players who come and go (as Intervention has had), the GM or GM(s) (in Intervention's case) must be able to adopt and hang in there. In Intervention's case, we've had a core group of players that have hung on through thick and thin and that core group is growing.
Ultimately it comes down to time: is the GM or GM(s) willing to hold out and hang in there through thick and thin? If not, the game will die. If so, the game will keep on going. I feel, on a personal level, that Intervention and its players and both GM's have kept on busting through thick and thin and have really set a model for hanging in there. For a game that's been around since June of 2009, we have yet to drop to the second page, as far as I know. And that success goes to the players and both GM's.
This has probably always been a pet peeve of mine, although I'm pretty susceptible to it as well. I think it's about comfort zones - it's easier to play with people whose styles you're accustomed to. Let's face it - while RPs are hardly serious business, they take some effort to get going. If you're a player, you have to figure out the basic framework of your character, and also get "acquainted" with them for lack of a better term. The process can be a bit draining, and by the time the CS is completely done, you've invested just enough time and creative energy into it to want to see the character through as far as you're willing to take it. From the GMing side of things, OPs and a coherent vision are an absolute *****, at least for me. Then you've got to manage the game, write regular updates, and put your reputation on the line every time you start a game. By the end you've put so much work into your game that failure is a decidedly unpleasant prospect (No comment about when you overtax yourself, for obvious reasons).
Because of both of these factors, newbie GMs and players are a somewhat scary prospect. While a good newbie can bring energy to a game, a bad newbie (Let's be honest, they're out there) might be a no-show, taxing, or - worse - actually ruin the enjoyment of the game for the other players. It's a scary prospect. Older GMs and players with proven, or hell, even just familiar track records, are "safer," and thus easier to get behind.
Do I necessarily think this is okay? No, but it's a reality we need to face. As far as remedying it goes... I have no idea.
Look at the newbies in SotS. I think less newbies left than veterans, right? Not an expert on users here, but I think most of Fins new recruitments stayed at least for a descent while . . . while some old blooded left. So much for "reliability" of new users. I think these ideas are illusions. People feel safe with it.
Fact is. Few people leave thrilling games.
That's precisely my point. The perceived unreliability of newbies isn't necessarily true, but we tend to think it is even given a lot of counter-evidence.
Actually I would go so far to say that all games who did somehing innovative and became great pieces of storytelling had a strong input of innovative newbies and their approach on things to make that happen . . .
You need new ideas to do a masterpiece around here. I mean it.
Get the best oldbies into on place and you got a good game. Get a few new guys into the mix who give impulses and you grow beyond the rodinary RPing . . . I really like our newbies.
A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away, we RP?ed in the EU forms?and many times our threads got locked because of it. I think that WoTG started there originally and then when they finally opened up a role playing forum for us, we moved it.
For a short period of time I was part of a Triumvirate GM for WoTG (the first reincarnation.) I remember the hours spent designing strategy (I still have note pads for fleet strengths and possible battle plans, the IM conversations over AOL (I still have transcripts,) and the diagrams...oh, the diagrams. I don't remember who made it, but someone had the GFFA mapped out and would change colors of the worlds depending on whose faction held what planet. It really was a special thing.
To be honest, however, with Jello and Pot and Mitth; I did feel inadequate. Of course I?m older than Jello, but the kid at, well, whatever age he was had more brains than I would ever know what to do with. It was intimidating to try and come up with a valid and well scripted strategy. It was a challenge to not only come up with these strategies, but to employ them in a graceful manner. In ?playing? against these people I learned how to not only think clearly, but I learned how to flesh out a story, focus on dynamics, and create characters that I believed in. But it was essential if you were going to survive in WoTG that you put effort into it, with death on the line, one had to be VERY cautious about your maneuvers, or you would risk having an ?i.hada.field.AD? moment where you were checkmated and had to try a Godmod so your beloved character didn?t die. Here?s the thing about that, though: when the character was killed, it rarely made anyone leave the game. New characters were created (or if you were Jello, cloned) and we went about our merry. It was hard, but it was fun.
But the GM?that?s what it boiled down to. When you have so many people with so many egos trying to do so many different things; you have to have a GM who is 20% diplomat 20% tyrant and 60% Story Teller. It all depended on WHAT type of story that the GM wanted to tell as to if the style that they were using would be successful. Some were lenient, and let anything go. I remember an RP game that we setup that you weren?t allowed to post unless you were Godmoding. There were some which were exceptionally restrictive?where you would PM the GM your action and then they would put it into prose along with whomever you were conflicting with?s ideas with the result. There was even an RP that spawned off of one singular event in WoTG?I believe it was the trial of Kane Lavos, and it was a courtroom RP. It all dependend on style. The reason everyone was so serious about it was the fact that the story was important to us. We weren?t just about ?acting out? our Jedi fantasies?we wanted to tell a good story.
When I hear people say the oldbie?s are too serious, or too structured I can see their point. But the reason behind it comes from our love of the ability to tell a story; and really if you think about it, that?s why we?re all here. The Flannel God got struck by lightning and was able to come up with a story that everyone here can relate to, and everyone here wants to have a part of. But note?he?s very stingy on who he lets play in his sandbox, and that creates a continuity, it creates a creditability and ultimately it allows people to see places and niche?s where they can fit, and stories within those stories to tell. The order, the structure, actually propels individual creativity.
Circling around to my point: The GM team is solely responsible for the success of the game, and that comes from the GM team knowing what KIND of story they?re trying to tell. They must balance tension, excitement, gratification, and heartache consistently and orderly. Even a n00b player can find gratification in a game under a good GM; one who can help the n00bling flesh out his or her ideas in a way that they say ?Yeah, I meant THAT!? It all comes back to the story, and even if their beloved character dies; if its consistent