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Reference The RPF Policies, Programs, and Events Thread - Now Disc.: New User Welcomes

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by Imperial_Hammer, Aug 24, 2008.

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  1. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    The RPF Policies, Programs, and Events Thread

    Due to this community?s wonderful feedback in our prior Rules Discussion Thread, the Moderating Team thought it would be nice to have a more permanent venue to talk about not only rules, but anything (or lack of things) that might be affecting the forum as a whole.

    Because this is an open-ended sort of thread, it has no set agenda. If you think an issue is important or should be discussed, simply speak up and put a post out. If we?re not talking about something, your post will become the current topic of discussion, assuming that enough people care about it to actually create a discussion. If there currently is something being discussed when you post, the Moderators will create a queue of discussion topics, to be handled in a first come, first serve fashion.

    As with any and all policy discussion threads, the Moderating Team offers no guarantees that any ideas raised will be translated into policy. We reserve the right to ignore anyone or anything raised here, regardless of perceived merit (though we will try not to ;) ). We also reserve the right to tweak and change this first whenever appropriate.

    Think of this thread as a venue to talk to your fellow posters, and especially to your moderators, about the RPFs. A soapbox if you will. If you want an event, say so. If you want a new program, say so as well! If you like or don?t like a policy, voice your opinions.

    The only qualification is that we want things to stay on topic?.. the topic being RPF Policies, Programs, and Events. This is not the thread to vent about bad games or terrible characters. You can take that to the appropriate threads in the RPR. Policies, Programs, and Events only please.

    Additionally, rants shall be frowned upon unless they also carry some sort of a constructive component.

    If you have any questions as to what this thread is for, and if what you want to talk about is appropriate, just PM us for an answer!

    Thanks!
    -I_H and Saintheart
  2. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    I think the first matter of business ought to be rebooting the Adoptions Program.
  3. Sith_Lords Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    I second this.

    I have numerous ideas for a new programme - at least a 2.5 if not a 3.0 anyway.
  4. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    Lets hear em then. Adoptions is the 1st order of business.

    -I_H
  5. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    Can we get ankle trackers for our apprentices?
  6. Sith_Lords Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Since Hammer has put me on the spot, or more to the point, I put myself on the spot here - I have below a basic outline of some of the aforementioned ideas.

    The first point is to find new Adoptions Coordinators - through no fault of their own, and due entirely to Darth Real Life, I am sure, the current Co-ordinators are unable to update the programme as frequently as required. Ideally a monthly update, if not bi-weekly, is in my opinion, essential. A new programme, with 2, or more, Coordinators, each of whom can share the updates between them - would be ideal.

    The Relationship between Adopter, Adoptee, and the Co-Ordinator

    Adopters and Adoptee's are, unless one has gone AWOL, in communication with each other - however they are not in communication with the Adoptions Programme Coordinator. A system where a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly update on the status of an adoptee by the adopter is sent to the C-ordinater, to keep track off the adoptee - small updates like this can be placed in the Coordinater's bi-weekly/monthly updates - detailing the progress of the adoptee, and highlighting important changes in the way they play RPGs.

    Community

    I think that one of the largest problems with the Adoptions Programme, as it is, is the lack of feel of community. Bar the relationship between Adopter, Adoptee, and the Co-Ordinator, there is no other feel of community. By the inclusion of Adoption Programme games - reserved for those who take part in the Adoptions Programme - this sense could be acheived. These could take the form of actual RPGs - for example Character driven RPGs, Fleet RPGs etc, all of which have a limited time span - or could take the form of quizes, and tournaments. (I'll get back to this)

    I'll start with Adoptions RPGs.

    One criticism of this idea when it last appeared, I beleive, was of the time limit imposed on the games - or lack there of. Role Playing is not a profession - at least not to anyone I know of - and Roleplaying on these boards is a leisure activity, and as such is reserved for spare time - which for many of us is rare. Therefore I feel Adoption Programme RPGs must follow 5 golden rules:
    1. They must be Simple - a simple setting, easy to understand, and fairly easy to complete
    2. They must stick to a tight schedule, with no game lasting for over a month.
    3. There must be a beginning, and an end - the middle is up to the player.
    4. There must be a role for both Adoptee and Adopter.
    5. They must teach an important lesson.

    A sample game abiding by these rules would be as such - the Adoptee is stuck in a maze, deep underground, with only a torch, vibroblade and commlink. The Adopter is above the ground, and has a map of the maze, and a commlink - the Adopter gives the Adoptee directions to get out of the maze - but it is up to the Adoptee to interpret these directions. Coordinators (Or the Game Master - a rotating system?) are able to hinder the adoptee in anyway they see fit, as well as decide on the fate of their character, and their progress in escaping from the maze - a static generator to intefer in comm transmissions, for example. The goal is to find the way out of the maze, alive.

    A game like this, to me atleast, seems to fit all 5 of these rules - it is basic, has a role for both Adopter and Adoptee, can easily be completed, fits into the time span, and teaches a important lesson - co-operation and integration with other players.

    This is just an example of a RPG that the adoption programme can run - and with RPGs such as this running over a set period of time, and constantly changing, I feel that a sense of community will be restored - another game could have a similar situation, but with one adopter-adoptee pair in the maze, and another adopter-adoptee pair on top of the maze, guiding them - thus giving much more player integration.

    Quizes, and Tournaments

    To add an edge of competetiveness to the Adoptions programmes, Quizes and Tournaments could be easily added; perhaps going over simple RPG basics, good english, politeness, God Modding etc etc - and g
  7. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    I think a great way to at least start the program fresh is to literally start a new thread for it. The current version is a bit jumbled and posts from those operating it get scarcer and scarcer. I don't know how comfy I'd be with running the entire program, but I'd be willing to keep it coherent with updated lists at least bi-weekly.
  8. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    If we're talking about who'd run it.
    I'd be glad to do so, but why do I get the feeling nobody's gonna go for that...
  9. Sith_Lords Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    Perhaps the best way to decide on Coordinators for the Adoptions Programme would be to have an election? Or have a mod decide, by assessing the candidates free time available, devotion to the programme, ideas, etc etc etc
  10. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    I agree...

    In terms of freetime though I have more than any human should. MOst of it I spend in the JCC but I mean that can easily be moved to my time here. Hehe I think sithlords already laid down a really good way to take this, though. But perhaps and election is in order. Or Hammer can pick one himself...
  11. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 5
    It saddens me that only four people are talking about this...the Adoptions Program of days gone by was excellent! Let's get that quality with our modern level of class and organization!

    ...okay, just organization.

    ...okay, neither.
  12. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    (facepalm)
    I have to agree with Peng, the adoptions should be a big deal. More people hang around the social threads than worry about this. We all should really have our hands in this anybody with an apprentice should really be asked to give their ten sense.


    I think maybe a poll/survey needs to be put out to assess what people enjoyed, thought could be improved and such. Both masters and apprentices.

    I personally wish it was easier to stay in contact with apprenctices. I have the Aim adress of mine but they aren't on at any certain time, nor do PMs work well enough. Perhaps pairings also establish times and points when/where they are able to converse.


    I support the idea for adoption games. My apprentice expressed something along the lines of a general confusion over the games in the RPF (star wars). She understands them, but they are all underway and gathering too much snow going down the mountain, newbies don't want to go near it.

  13. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    The EUC is very interested in the Adoptions Program getting back up and running, actually, as we have people who would like to learn how to RPG in a few fan clubs. If the Program gets back up and running, the Senate is quite willing to direct people via the Senators.

    The Senate would like to request an Ambassdor from the Adoptions Program to ease the joints of communication, equally, rather than myself sending information back and forth - the Chancellor is not a go-between, per se.
  14. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    Hmm ambassador sounds easier than coordinator.
    If you'd be willing to to go a bit in depth on what would be requird I'd take over as Ambassdor form the RPF and th EUC
  15. Sith_Lords Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    On the subject of the fact only 4 people are discussing this - Could Imp not put a notice in the sticky thread titles in the various RPFs?
  16. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    I've never been a part of any Adoptions program, and to be entirely honest, I'm not convinced it works. Sorry, but it's true. :p Buuuut ... I had the great good luck of joining a newbie-friendly game full of good players right off the bat. So.

    The impression I get from the Adoptions program is that its aim is to make it easy for newbies to get into RP. You sign up, you get an adopter, and they help you and you have fun. It, in other words, is for the newbies.

    Thinking back to my newbie days, I had no idea what the hell RPing was about - I played around with the whole *throws a ball at you* sort of deal and thought that was RPing. Character creation was just "Ok fill in this form" ... I had no idea I was actually supposed to put thought into my character's personality, direction, whatever. That, and I was (and still am) a videogamer, so I thought RPing was like a videogame except instead of clicking things you typed stuff. Character development - what's character development? What's a tag? You mean I should contribute to the story and not just follow the GM around? Etc. I muddled through, but it took a while.

    ... Yeah. Obviously people who've played DnD or RPed elsewhere won't have quite those problems. :p

    Anyway. What I'm trying to say is ... the main question here is, what do we want newbies to get out of the Adoptions program? And then how can we convey that?

    I think an Adoptions game is good, and I pretty much agree with what Sith_Lords has to say about that. But Rule #5 (They must teach an important lesson) is a bit vague - what is an important lesson, exactly? Perhaps we could have a checklist of things the adoptee should know by the end of the program and tick 'em off as we go. Entries could be, say ... uses IC/OOC/Tag/Location conventions, uses proper spelling/grammar/capitalization, doesn't godmode, doesn't create Mary Sue characters, uses tags correctly (Tag: ALL is not. a. proper. tag. kthx), and so on.

    I don't think a scoring system or a Hall of Fame system is the way to go. It's bludgy, involves a lot of bookkeeping ... in the end they're just hoops to jump through, and I would hate to have to jump through hoops as a newbie. If you're pitching it as a community-building exercise for everyone to join (not limited to the Adoptions program) then yes, otherwise no.

    Adoptees disappearing: people come and go. Such is life. You get that problem everywhere (I think the culture of disappearing is worse here than elsewhere, especially when it comes to games, but I digress).

    Staying in contact: kinda on a case-by-case basis, here. AIM is a fantastic tool but not everyone's able to use it, nor should it be required ... you can communicate just fine through PMs.

    Does anyone know how the other forums' Adoptions programs work? WNU would have the best-organized one, I guess, so is there anything we could, er, borrow from them?
  17. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4

    It's really a problem, one that is way too common and becomes a little "accepted/expect".
    I knew of pairings who never spoke never interacted and then the newbie just left.
    My first newbiw disappeared, and I haven't spoken to my current one in a week but I understand she's busy in RL.

    I think the idea of bi-weekly updates will service the program greatly and encourage the pairings to keep in better contact. Thing with AIM and PMs, is if they have an AIM adress and you can't reach them on it, you have no chance of getting a response in PMs. User tend to socialize off boards on AIM more than they'd check in here.
  18. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    Yes and no. Yes, I tend to know people better when I can chat with 'em over AIM, but I've made some very good friends on the boards through PMs alone.

    The problem I believe is not AIM vs PMs but the lack of anything for the adoptees to do - if you're just chatting, they can chat with anyone anytime without being adopted - hence the adoptions game, the Things To Know Checklist, and so on.
  19. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    I agree, I just bring up an issue that most find difficult. If you can't contact your adopted one you can't get them into a game.


    Perhaps we could begin discussing the adoption games and get the ball rolling. Never ending deliberation won't getting us anywhere.
  20. Sith_Lords Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2004
    star 4
    As I said above, Xan, the ideas in the post above were literally just that - ideas. A community building, Hall of Fame/Acheivements programme would be beneficial for the whole RPF, as opposed to just the Adoption programme, and if this is the case, then I suggest we leave this subject out of discussion for the moment, at least when talking about the Adoptions programme, perhaps to come back to later. (I know I bought it up in the first place...)

    I am afraid I disagree with you, CermeroX, I feel the first point would be to create a checklist for an adoptee to complete before becoming a valued part of the community - other than what Xan mentioned, listed below, what else could be included - Ensure posts are detailed, rich, and are given as much time is available, could be one, (A one lined post stinks of lazyness) - once we have a suitable list, I feel that is easy to build up an adoption game tailored to fitting one, or more, of these factors.

    The Adoptee Must:

    1. Use IC/OOC/Tag/Location conventions,
    2. Use proper spelling/grammar/capitalization,
    3. Not Godmode,
    4. Not create Mary Sue characters
    5. Use tags correctly (Tag: ALL is not. a. proper. tag. kthx)


  21. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    Well I suppose devising the list was included, but I guess I should've been more clear in that.
  22. Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs

    Member Since:
    Sep 25, 2004
    star 5
    Alright... time for at least part of the modly weigh-in thus far...

    1.) Although I haven't discussed this with anyone, I'm willing to fight to make the adoptions coordinator here VIP red, dependent, of course, that he or she does his or her job. Again, I'll have to check around to make sure that this can happen, but I, for one, would be for it. And it goes w/out saying that I would enforce this very stringently.

    2.) I'm happy w/ an Adoptions Game. I think this could be one duty of the Adoptions Coordinator (to make his/her colors more appropriate).

    3.) As to who this coordinator will be, I'd be more comfortable with a list of people who are interested, and the Mods making the choice. Whoever does this needs to have a very good record, and must must must be a people person. These forums simply cannot afford a snarky/mean "gatekeeper" being the first contact new users have here, and its my job to assure that that doesn't happen. The coordinator must be friendly and serve as a good role model for new users.

    4.) Sith Lords: On your list, I raise a concern to your items, numbers 2, 4, and 5. There is an distinction b/w them and 1 and 3. For 1 and 3, there elements are absolutely essential to game play. The others are essential to *good* gameplay. And lest we all forget, RPing hasn't been reduced to a scientific formula just yet.

    For #2.) Spelling is good, but we shouldn't be Grammar Nazis. IMO, our system now of social enforcement is enough. A reminder that these boards are not here to teach English, but to have fun.

    For #4.) This is the one I will draw the hardest line on. Not only does it violate the fun rule, also, I'm sure my definition of what is a Mary Sue would be different than Lightwarden's. Because we all have different standards for what is or is not a Mary Sue, there is no way to enforce this rule. Even the test you link to varies wildly depending on who is entering the info for the character. Its the exact same as a rule saying only good games can produced. Who is the arbiter?

    For #5.) Tag all is not a proper tag? Really? Are you sure? What if I want everyone to respond to my post? Wouldn't tag all then be the appropriate tag? You're probably looking for just using tags, as opposed to using tags correctly. B/c again, what is a correct tag? How is it different from an incorrect tag? Who decides this?

    5.) Just as a holistic note, as my #4 foreshadows, RPing is an exercise of leisure and fun. Making an adoptions program tries to bring order and standards to the art of writing. It is very natural then, to try to impose too harsh a standard. To systematize and "science-ize" RPing too much not only robs our hobby of its creative soul, but also of its attraction. The discussion should continue, because we need to teach people how to make art and to graduate from scribbling and crayons. But beyond that, the mark of a wise adoption program is to know when to step back, and let people do their own thing.

    So yes, that's what I have to say. :)

    -I_H
  23. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    I guess I'll be the first to throw my name onto the list.
    I'm a nice guy and have a good amount of experience.

    I've been tought by Greyjedi125and know a a good amount about what is require. I don't feel that I'm a generally hard person to get along with anymore so I guess I'll go for it.


    As for ideas on the mod games

    Since we have a rough list of what they need to learn, I think it can begin discussion. We know they need to know what we know now essentially. First I think they should be SW strictly. Some players have an affinity for one or the other, but they joine this site, which promises they enjoy Star Wars, so it's common ground.

    I suggest in the adoptions game the mentor and apprentice obviously take on those roles. The Coordinator,alogn with Hammer and Saint would act as the jedi council really. Assign missions, guide the "story" along and provide structure.

    In terms of standards, those need to be self created. I don't rp the same as Chanbill, Grey, Hammer, Xan, Saint,Penguinator or anybody else.
    There are obviously formalities of posting that will need to be displayed, but your style is something you'll create on your own.

    Just throwing out ideas.
  24. DarthXan318 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 2002
    star 6
    You're right in that 2, 4 and 5 are "good" RPing conventions rather than essential, but I contend that they're important as well. None of the things on the checklist are a 'hard line' but what exactly they mean depends on the adopter checking things off. I envisioned the checklist as a sort of semi-private thing, between an adopter and the program coordinator to measure an adoptee's progress, not a scoreboard.

    By 2) I don't mean that they must have proper grammar as exacted in English class. I mena dat if tehy tipe liek dis in long, run-on, wall-of-text posts it's going to be bloody hard to read, and we should (gently) encourage some kind of standard.

    By 4) I mean Mary-Sue as in a character like, say, the 14-year-old human ace pilot Sith Lord who owns a Sith Interceptor and wields two lightwhips and a lightsaber. Oh, and is completely self-taught. I think it's important, because a Mary Sue character can legitimately pull things off that for other characters would be godmoding. (You could also say that no sane GM would accept such a character, but...)

    5) Actually, you're right. "Tag: All" can be a proper tag if you want everyone playing in the game to respond to your post, but if what you really mean is "Tag: The other two people with me in the ship" you should say that instead. Just "Tag" alone isn't, however, and I've seen that too - it's like putting "IC" followed by no character name at the start of your post. Who are you tagging? Etc.

    ... but I believe we may have a basic misunderstanding of the aim of the Adoptions program, which brings me back to the question I posed earlier: what do we want newbies to get out of the Adoptions program? I thought the idea was to turn out good RPers (hence the inclusion of good rather than essential conventions in the checklist) but if we just want to teach the bare minimum, you could certainly pare it down to 1 and 3.
  25. DarthCemeroX Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2007
    star 4
    2) I agree, but if their spelling is fine, punctuation and usage is good, then that's that, this is not a college course for writing. It's a role playing forum, emphasis on playing, suggesting it should be fun, not a hassle. I don't run every post through spell check, there's not a real need to so long as I have what's needed to convey the ideas.
    But there should be a standard I agree.

    4) The Mary Sue issue is as Hammer said relative.
    He made a strong point, I have nothing to say on the matter as such.

    5) Character can tag none on occasions if they work alone at the time, have no story point yet, are simply posting for individual plot movement. So leaving the Tag: none, isn't really the same as leaving the IC EMpty

    Newbies aim to learn what we know. The Adoptee passes on what they have to share. We aren't teaching the bare minimum but we aren't training an Arian Society of posters, we need standards which we're forming as we discuss, but we can't be so harsh on newbies.

    I think there however should be an evaluation period where we assess the newbie and if they are ready to meet higher standards that their masters are required to uphold.



    Edit: Might I also suggest a sticky in the the "Welcome new users" forum advertising the RPF and the adoptions program.
Moderators: Penguinator, Ramza