1. The Summer 2020 RPF Awards

    Greetings Guest, it is awards season!! WINNERS ANNOUNCED!! To see the winners of the Summer 2020 Awards, visit here

  2. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Reference Vox Popoli II - Return of the Interview - Now featuring SirakRomar!

Discussion in 'Role Playing Resource' started by SirakRomar, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. Ananta Chetan

    Ananta Chetan Force Ghost star 4

    Aug 11, 2013
    Have you ever become too attached or invested in a character you have created? If yes, tell the story. ;)
    greyjedi125 likes this.
  2. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Apr 29, 2002
    Hello Ananta, Happy 4th! Hope all is well.

    Have you ever become too attached or invested in a character you have created? If yes, tell the story.

    Oh, great question, LOL!

    I grow attached to ALL my characters, every single one. LOL!! I invest insane amounts of energy on their behalf, because they must feel as real as possible.
    I know a few players here that do the same or similar. ;)

    But the relevant story I'm sharing today took place ages ago, during the height of B.O.P., the game was Balance of Power, LightSide_Apprentice was the GM and I was playing my premiere character at the time, a grey jedi. Long story short, my character was facing-off against Commander Mitth’s character, who was utilizing Ysalamiri to negate my grey jedi’s force ability in order to kill him in-game.

    I remember being furious, not only because of ‘real’ character death ( my first truly beloved force user, nooooo! LOL ), but because Ysalamiri, in my opinion, couldn’t possibly exist and the author who created them had no imagination or understanding of the Force. How could creatures repulse the force, which is the very thing that gave them life ( circular argument follows ). Not to mention the very real competition that existed between the 'Imperial Faction' and the 'Force Users Faction' at the time. So, I recall being still furious and deciding to not only leave the game once my character was killed, but the RPF all together *( it was an epic tantrum, KYLO REN is nothing in comparison, lol ).

    So, my character dies, Commander Mitth gets his trophy kill, and LSA pulls a rabbit out of a hat and resurrects my character, placating me in the process ( yeah, drama, lol ). Oh, attachment: a jedi craves you not, but a grey jedi is impassioned by it.

    Today, character death is simply a part of the story, it furthers the narrative more completely and realistically. I've had several characters die in many games already. The attachment is still there, but so is the balance and harmony of the character’s journey, which in the end, makes it all worth it.

    The circle of life is complete, and All is well in the universe.[face_blush][face_coffee]
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  3. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    If Canon never brings ysalamari back, I will not complain. I mean, I assume they block off our ability to see them in our wavelength, that's all... like the Yuuzhan Vong-specific Vongsense. But I'd rather they didn't come back.

    But more to point; Grey, to know there is a Kylo Ren tantrum in your backstory... I don't think I can look at you the same way ever again.

    chuckles softly

    I jest. I was so heartbroken when @TheSithGirly killed Insipid the first time that I couldn't emote initially, but was GM! Had to get on with it.
  4. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Apr 29, 2002

    Thankfully, that incident took place very early in my RPF career and there's been a great deal of personal growth since then. I think the opposite is true now. When I get quiet, watch out!! [face_laugh]

    And wow!!! I had no idea TheSithGirly managed what I imagined to be a near impossible feat. GASP!!!! That's one for the RPF history books. Thank you for sharing that, good sir!!

    The RPF has been home to us for many long years, it has seen some of us through thick and thin and shall continue to do so. Long Live the RPF!! [face_dancing]
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2020
  5. TheSithGirly

    TheSithGirly Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 26, 2007
    To be honest, I had no idea who Insipid was (and still don‘t know a lot about him, except he seems close to Sinre‘s heart). I just needed someone to be executed by Lord Krayt to show I was not the guy you challenged without consequences. Oh, I had fun.
  6. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Apr 29, 2002
    I think I can safely ascertain that Lord Krayt made his point. LOL!!
    darthbernael and Sinrebirth like this.
  7. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins RPF Awards Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Apr 2, 2007
    Oh I remember how after that scene the „trash talking“ about Darth Krayt stopped immediately and everybody suddenly accepted his leadership with absolute obedience. [face_laugh] The plan worked very well. Loved what you did with that character. Completely forgotten what a terrible Sith you can actually play, @TheSithGirly
    darthbernael and Sinrebirth like this.
  8. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    It was just too perfect.

    Insipid was an arrogant barve, and Krayt crushing him was just perfect.
    darthbernael likes this.
  9. Imperial_Hammer

    Imperial_Hammer Manager Emeritus: RPFs star 5 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 25, 2004
  10. greyjedi125

    greyjedi125 Chosen One star 5

    Apr 29, 2002

    Hello there, sir!! So happy to see you. I believe we would be immensely honored to have a long interview with you!!! Isn't that right? @SirakRomar :)
    darthbernael and Darth_Elu like this.
  11. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar RPF Vox Popoli Host star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 30, 2007
    Last day for questions. Tomorrow my next one goes up. It will feature the Master of Limmie himself, @Trieste
  12. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar RPF Vox Popoli Host star 4 VIP - Game Host

    Mar 30, 2007
    Interview #3: Trieste

    @Trieste, your game Elite League Limmie has recently seen it‘s tenth birthday. Wow. Ten years is quite an achievement! Let us go right to the beginning of it. How did you come up with the game and it‘s truly unique premise?

    Wow is right--somehow that decade mark just slipped by! Prior to coming to the JC forums I'd been part of a forum-based Star Wars roleplaying group for a number of years. As a way of adding flavor to that world, I casually started a sideline of making sports scores. Sports are something I've enjoyed watching in real life and it seemed like something that would be part of the lives of a lot of characters even in the Star Wars universe. I chose limmie since it was the most popular field sport of canon in the Star Wars galaxy.

    That community eventually began to fade into inactivity. One of my close collaborators who was engaged with limmie was @Vehn, who began scouting for a new place to roleplay with limmie as a standalone game since we enjoyed it so much. He suggested JC as a potential home and after some investigation we thought it was the kind of thriving community that would make a good home.

    Could you tell us a bit about the game for those who had not the pleasure of playing in it? How does it work? What are the mechanics? How does the roleplaying work?

    The mechanics are actually so simple that I'm probably the least-hardworking GM on the board. Every Sunday I use to generate a score between 0 to 30 for each team based on a schedule of match-ups announced at the start of each season. Those scores are what the players use to generate posts for the week. However, if you post during the week you get what we call "bonus potential" where you get a 0 to 40 score for that week. This was suggested by @Winged_Jedi, who counseled me prior to launch. WJ thought there should be an incentive for players to post and it was a brilliant idea.

    So, what is the secret to keep a game running for ten years straight? How the hell did you do that?

    The biggest reason that limmie's gone on so long is that it's really not my doing: it's the work of the players. ELL allows people to tell the stories that they want to tell in the context of sport (and sometimes that's just a loose context). It's a sandbox instead of a guided experience. @galactic-vagabond422 put it so well that it's in my signature: "You can write anything in Limmie if you know what you are doing." All I do is give scores and then folks run with them. Some players have told stories where it doesn't matter whether they win or lose. Others tie themselves deeply to game results. There's no right or wrong way to play it.

    You must have seen many changes throughout the years. Players coming and going, the Move, several Mods. How did it affect your game?

    ELL is built (by chance, rather than design) to weather the comings and goings of players. We transition new teams in and out between seasons, inspired by the promotion/demotion mechanic of a league like the English Premier League. If someone comes back (and they sometimes do!) it's just easy to bring their team back up.

    We got creative to weather it when it became clear that the Move was going to take longer than expected. We decided to say the league was on hold due to an officials strike (well before the NFL officials strike that resulted in the replacement crews that called the Fail Mary) and we ran some one-off events to fill the gap. There was a series of regional challenges for teams, an all-star game, and finally a college limmie season. College limmie later spun off as something that @Bardan_Jusik runs. I'm actually running my main story for the current season in conjunction with him (yes, I actually play as well as serve as the GM--which adds a layer of complexity to the whole deal).

    The biggest thing about the Move was the post truncation. I hadn't saved the thread before the process began, trusting everything would be there when we got back, so there's a lot of writing that took place in the early seasons that's just lost now. Luckily, I keep a local copy of the scores saved locally, so that history is preserved.

    As for changes in mods, I've barely noticed. I think we're a rule-abiding group so we don't have much reason to interact with them, but since Bardan_Jusik is a mod in another part of the forums we'll sometimes run things when we're unsure if there could be an issue. He can usually give us a preliminary opinion to prevent any conflicts before they happen. When I joined ten years ago I was impressed by the extensive rules posts that had already been developed. While I haven't had a need to review them much since, they set a groundwork where we knew what was allowed and wasn't. As some rules have changed (the biggest for our game was when same-sex relationships could be openly portrayed), we've incorporated them.

    Any players you especially miss? Anyone you regret not having around anymore?

    A lot of folks have passed in and out of the game over the years, so I feel a little guilty picking favorites among them! Even so, though he's still around reading the thread and commenting in our OOC thread, I do miss @jcgoble3 as a game participant. He pulled off one of the biggest bangs (literally) in game history and created some iconic characters. In general, the more people in ELL, the better, so I'd be thrilled to juggle 20 different players all at the same time--though I should probably be careful what I wish for!

    So you actually got a very loyal following. Tell us a bit about your players and how you manage them.

    I have jokingly said periodically that I am "a benevolent-ish dictator" (a quote from Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law cartoon that I think is an underappreciated gem), but in reality I try to achieve consensus rather than hand down the law from on high. When I'm considering changes to the game, I put them out there in advance to get reactions, sometimes publicly in our OOC thread and sometimes in private conversations. Because of the way that ELL is structured, I see it not as "my game" but as "our game" so I don't feel right legislating, even if I make decisions in the end.

    As for the players (in order of when they joined the game):
    • Vehn has been with limmie since the beginning and we've known each other for over half our lives. I actually went to his wedding--and it was the first time we'd ever met in person (that was an interesting reception toast, let me tell you).
    • @Jedi Gunny has been on board with ELL since it started on the JC Forums and has been a foundational figure. Though he's riding a championship drought of epic proportions right now, he ran the team to beat in the early days (and is looking like the team to beat this season too).
    • jcgoble3, though not currently active, is still part of the family. I still smile when I think about the "NADIEM CHEIFS" joke he pulled the first time his team hosted the championship game.
    • Bardan_Jusik has created an ingenious vehicle for his posts that is so much fun I'm envious of him (more so than the terrific run of championships he--randomly, as we always remind him :p--chalked up).
    • @Runjedirun brings these amazing, character-centered stories week after week. The way that she plumbs the depths of family relationships and emotions blows me away. She's taken some incredible risks in her storytelling and they've all paid off. Heck, she took a running gag and told a fantastic story out of it. (Briefly put, we use to say you could be anyone connected to your team: a player, a coach, a fan, even the guy who puts the cheese on the nachos. RJR played the guy who put the cheese on the nachos and stadium snacks have never been the same.) She also once kept me from sleeping through a flight home!
    • galactic-vagabond422 is the man with a plan. He builds stories over the course of a season that are intricate and well-plotted. For a world with such little presence in the Star Wars canon, he's made Carratos into a vibrant world that I can picture instantly not just due to strife like civil wars and terrorist attacks, but a history of team bars and sea shanties (yes, really). He was also let me poach one of his former characters for use with my team. Considering I might not have returned the favor if he'd asked, his generosity in collaboration is impressive.
    • @SWNerd11 intends to return to the game soon, which I’m looking forward to since he’s resurrecting a longtime team that’s always been fun to have around. He’s been a great collaborator whenever he’s been part of the game and we’re usually in a race with each other to see who can get a player based on a Marvel or Arrowverse character going first. (I’m pretty sure he still hasn’t completely forgiven me for nabbing Peggy Carter a while back.)
    Have you actually never considered starting another game?

    Considered? Yes. Realistically considered? No. The truth is that even though ELL doesn't ask a lot of me as a GM, I love the game so much that I play a team in it so it keeps me busy. I also write a fanfiction (that uses some of the same characters from ELL) and that pretty much takes up my remaining creative writing time and energy. I'm actually a writer by trade (not the cool, Next Great American Novel kind) so I spend a lot of time as it is in front of a computer and don't often have the stamina for much more writing than I already do. I've been in a couple of other RPGs (two that come to mind are @Jedi Gunny's Podracing game and @spycoder9's A War of Kings) and enjoyed them, but they've been the exception, not the rule.

    How many seasons have you actually played in ten years? Did you change the mechanics over the years? Did you adjust the game?

    We are in our 37th season, which is pretty wild. There are people who have played the adult-aged children of characters they played in the past. Every few seasons, or whenever things feel like they're getting stale, we talk and sometimes change the mechanics. For example, when the game started all teams got a 0 to 35 score if they didn't post. This went for NPC teams that we had in the rotation too. It turned out those NPC teams were winning a lot. We decided that wasn't fun and that we should boost the chances of people who posted. As a result, we dropped the non-posting/NPC score range to 0 to 30.

    We've also toyed with the number of NPC teams in the league. For many years there was always at least one and over time those games started to feel like filler. There wasn't any opportunity for collaboration and most of the time you were just looking forward to your next game against a player-controller team. That got me thinking about a year ago: what if we just got rid of the NPC teams entirely? We did that and it's been great to have every game feel like it matters since you're always squaring off with another player.

    One innovation was to do a draft for new players rather than have people make up players out of thin air. It's now one of the most exciting times of the game. I know that at least one player does a draft board beforehand. From a storytelling perspective, it's been a popular way to kick off new characters, even if they're not players being drafted.

    Some changes were minor. I started the game using the Wizards of the Coast Dice Roller to do the scores, but jcgoble3 pointed out not only could generate 0 scores, but it was also mathematically more random than Wizards.

    So what are your plans for the future? We all hope Limmie will be around forever, of course. It has become part of these boards like the banners and Mods really.

    It's pretty amazing to hear someone say something like that. I've always felt like we're in our weird little corner doing our own thing, but you make us sound like we're an institution! I don't have much in the way of plans as GM. The way the game refreshes itself with each season means I don't have to plan. But what would I hope to see in the future? I'd love to have some new players join (there's actually one who's working with me right now which is exciting) because I feel the more people involved, the better the game is. I acknowledge that some people might find it intimidating to join up given the game's been going on so long. The good news is that one of my jobs as GM is helping people settle in and set them up to have fun.

    You are among the most mysterious GMs around here, so would you share a bit about yourself? Only what’s you are comfortable with, of course.

    Maybe I'm a little less mysterious now that I've said so much this interview, but it's true that it's been quite a long time since I was last in Hooper's or any of the general social threads. I will say that if you follow Out of Bounds, our OOC thread (on the topic of changes over time, the innovation of the RPF Resource board had a huge impact on ELL) you'll get to know plenty about me in time.

    Keeping with the sports theme, by chance I'm a fan of teams that aren't exactly bad, but also never quite pull it together. I also play adult league hockey every week. Though we're on a COVID break right now, it's usually the highlight of my weekend.

    On the fun side, anyone who's read my writing knows I'm a redophile (you get in much less trouble typing it than you do saying it because people usually hear something else). It's pretty much a guarantee in my posts that whenever you meet a redhead she is going to be pretty awesome.

    I also get asked periodically if I'm ever going to write a novel by friends and the truth is that the JC Forums scratch that itch for me. More than that, I get to write with cool people who tell great stories here. If I was to ever seriously give it a go, I'd probably have to stop what I'm doing here and...well...I don't know if I'll ever be willing to give this up! ;)

    Thanks a lot for the interview, I open the floor to questions.

    Any time! Glad to talk more about anything folks are interested in. By the way, I have this clipboard with ELL sign ups if anyone's interested...just saying. :D
  13. The Jedi in the Pumas

    The Jedi in the Pumas Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 23, 2018
    Oohhhhhh buddy I been waiting for this one.

    Will return from my morning workout and breakfast with QUESTIONS!
    darthbernael and Sinrebirth like this.
  14. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004
    I must confess, @Trieste, I am sport-illiterate. I have read your game a hundred times since it began, and even tried to draft a sheet but knew it was far beyond me. All I can say, more than anything (and notwithstanding how much you claim that your players are doing all the heavy-lifting), how the heavens do you keep track of the game?

  15. SWNerd11

    SWNerd11 Jedi Knight star 1

    Dec 19, 2017
    Far be it for me to speak for our illustrious GM, but I believe the answer is rum... lots and lots of rum. :D
  16. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    I'm the first to admit that there's probably a lot I don't keep track of. By way of example, at the end of the season we have in-game awards that the players vote on (like most valuable player, best coach, and being demonstrating dedication). I routinely ask for input from the game on who they think should be nominated precisely because I'm not keeping all of the info in my head. I figure not everyone has every detail of what I'm doing in their mind too.

    That said, I definitely work to keep a focus on the broad strokes of each player's story. Over time, people develop touchstones that we can use as reflexive characterizations. These can be about individual players or team identities.

    And, since you mentioned it, folks who consider getting it, but find it daunting aren't alone. As I mentioned in the interview post, part of my job (perhaps the biggest thing after creating scores) is to ease the transition for folks looking to make it, precisely because there is so much to wade through.
    I can neither confirm nor deny. ;)
  17. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Best GM Summer 2020 star 4 VIP - Game Winner

    Apr 9, 2007
    Did you imagine it would last that long?
  18. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    The short answer is no, definitely not. I didn't have any expectations about longevity when I started. When @SirakRomar pointed out the game has been around for 10 years I didn't believe it at first. I still kind of can't wrap my head around it even when I look at the dates!
  19. jcgoble3

    jcgoble3 Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 7, 2010
    Aw, thank you. I'm still amused that my ongoing PM thread with you is still titled "Big boom" from when I initially sought approval for that idea.

    For anyone who is wondering what the "biggest bangs (literally)" reference is, here's the link to the post: It's a long one, clocking in at almost 6,000 words, so make sure you have an hour to kill (and a snack) before you dive in. It was the middle climax of a multi-season plot, so some of the details reference previous posts, but you should be able to get the gist of it.

    Honestly, this really shows the breadth of stories that ELL enables you to tell. It's not just about sports. Even in this game where Force-sensitive athletes are prohibited, I was able to spend multiple seasons writing about a team of Jedi fighting against a group of terrorists. Later in this plot, Jado's sister, who was a player in the ELL, would
    join the Jedi on a secret mission, where she would personally help rescue her brother from captivity and fire the shot that would ultimately kill Rosty Bassell.

    ELL is a place where you can tell virtually any story you want to tell, even a story that has only the most tenuous connection to sports. And that story can be of any length, from a couple of weeks to many seasons. This game is a sandbox in the truest sense of the word, with no beginning or end, and only the lightest of plots (in the form of scores) imposed on you. That, I am certain, is why Elite League Limmie has survived for so long, when many other games have come and gone: because the game is exactly what you choose to make it.
  20. DarkLordoftheFins

    DarkLordoftheFins RPF Awards Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

    Apr 2, 2007
    Great interview! Very, very insightful. Now, I got one question, really. How does Limmie work? Is it baseball or more akin to rugby? My main problem always was not having the slightest idea what the sport itself actually looks like.
  21. The Jedi in the Pumas

    The Jedi in the Pumas Jedi Master star 3

    Jun 23, 2018
    Question 1:

    Is a hotdog a sandwich?

    Question 2:

    What sports teams... specifically are you a fan of, if you want to go further?

    Question 3:

    Sports, in Limmie and in the real world, feel like the glue that connects all the storylines and people in the world. Was that what you set out to do or did you set out to just have a game about a sport?

    Question 4: clearly, Limmie abides by different GM “rules of engagement” and you say it’s organic; that is to say that you GM the way you do because the players play the way they do. Would you coming GMing a strictly strategy/method based endeavor or should it be done however the game and players decide they require it to be done?
    darthbernael likes this.
  22. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    Excellent question. Based on what little we know about limmie from the canon (largely from the old HoloNet News that used to run on, it was probably conceived of as being close to soccer/football (in fact, "limmie" is actually the Core term for the sport, it's more widely known as "bolo-ball").

    However, when I started the game, I thought that was boring. Star Wars sports should be more exciting than what we have here! Therefore I defaulted to a sport that I watch from time-to-time (crazy story about that): Gaelic football. The rules are documented in our library thread, but put simply it's a tackling game with a spherical ball that you can kick or carry that you try to put into a soccer-sized net for 3 points, or between uprights for 1 point. @Winged_Jedi actually counseled me to keep things as simple as possible on the rules because it might be a barrier for people to join, a point he was right in. I smoothed over some of the rougher edges of Gaelic football to make it a little more straight-forward.

    To your question, it is much closer to rugby than anything else.

    The cool thing is that over time we've had the game be elastic and people have been able to lay their interests on top of it. For example, I'm a hockey fan (as I'll discuss more of below) so I make hockey references all the time. @Jedi Gunny has said that he sometimes uses what's happening with the real-world Ottawa Senators (a hockey team) as inspiration for what happens with his Coruscant Senators. @Runjedirun makes lots of basketball references. @Bardan_Jusik brings college and pro football in.

    But the best answer to your question is to just watch a little Gaelic football:
    Though I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up this video of stills that @Vehn made years ago:
    I use the cube rule of food. The hot dog is a taco. Come at me. :D
    Thus begins my tale of woe:
    • The California Golden Bears, specifically in college football. They have the longest Rose Bowl drought in the Pac-12 (yes, the University of Arizona has never been to a Rose Bowl, but only joined the conference in the 1970s, whereas our last appearance was 1959).
      • I am also a casual fan of their rugby program, which is highly successful, both in sevens (their 5 titles at the College Rugby Championship is the most of any university) and fifteens (roughly 33 championships since 1980--it's complicated, but undeniably the most). They are one of the outliers.
    • The San Jose Sharks NHL hockey team. They were the fastest team to lose 100 games as a franchise and famously have excellent regular seasons only to fall flat on their face in the postseason (to the point I now expect them to lose in the first round of the playoffs despite loving them). I will admit sometimes good things happen to them though. ;)
      • I'm a more-than-casual fan of the Buffalo Sabres NHL hockey team. Not only are they oldest team to never win a Stanley Cup, but they purposely tanked their franchise to increase their chances of getting a transformational player with the first overall pick in the 2015 draft...and they are still terrible.
      • I'm a very casual fan of the Arizona Coyotes in the NHL as well. They are the oldest team to never go to a Stanley Cup Final.
      • I should mention that I still have a soft spot for the New Jersey Devils, a team that's actually done pretty well in my lifetime.
    • I'm an incredibly casual "oh that's how their game went, that's nice" fan of the San Diego Padres in MLB. They are the only MLB team to go to more than one World Series without having won any. They have a combined 1-8 record in those World Series.
    • I used to have a preference for the San Diego Chargers in the NFL, who were guaranteed to implode at just the right moment, but couldn't care less about them today.
    It was definitely "let's have a fun game about sport," but I think part of the reason I was inspired was because of the way that sports brings communities together and the role they have in many people's lives. A number of players have had elements to their posts about the positive impact sports can have on people's lives, though we've also addressed the issue of concussions over multiple seasons and acknowledged the complexity of modern sports.
    If I understand the question correctly, you're asking about my idea who drives structure: the GM or the players. Ultimately, the GM should define those rules of engagement. While I believe in a collaboration and invite player feedback, I think games in general need strong (but compassionate) GMs. To illustrate, when I started the game my philosophy was "run it as realistically as possible, like a real sports league." This resulted in me handling a game event that I'd do differently now. Luckily, we rebounded from it. Now my philosophy is "help players to have the most fun while being fair to everyone." I try to say yes to as much as I can.

    If I GMed a more traditional game, I'd probably try to use a D&D DM model: the more work players put in to selling their vision via their post, the more likely I'd be to say they're successful, within reason.
  23. Bardan_Jusik

    Bardan_Jusik Mand'alor - Manager of EUC/SWC star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Dec 14, 2009
    Limmie? Bolo-ball? @Trieste, surely you mean meshgeroya?
    darthbernael, jcgoble3 and Trieste like this.
  24. Trieste

    Trieste Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 10, 2010
    I don't know what that random combination of letters are, burc'ya. :D
  25. Sinrebirth

    Sinrebirth Mod-Emperor of the EUC, Lit, RPF and SWC star 9 Staff Member Manager

    Nov 15, 2004

    I have been given the exceedingly great honour of interviewing the interviewer, @SirakRomar. A long time staple poster and now GM in the RPF, there is a lot to say, and not nearly enough time to cover all of her contributions to the forum, but I will do my best and ask the rest of the community to pick up the slack.

    As we all know (or should know), your first entry to the RPF was as the famous and infamous Kira Kara Romar, in 128 ABY. I had the pleasure of GMing you via the NPC Simeon. As a player, what drew you to the game, with an original character to boot, and what made the experience all the more enjoyable for you? (I had to get that question off-my-chest first).

    Oh actually I think I originally joined two terribly short-lived AU games where I played some canon character and it was terrible, so I decided to go looking for something more long winding. What I was looking for was my Star Wars movie. Everything in Star Wars I feel tries to be an OT movie, or it fails upon arrival. Clone Wars tries to be 25 minute Star Wars movies (or ninety if you take the three parters into consideration). Mandalorian is a 5 hour Star Wars movie cut into 10 parts. So when I saw 128 ABY it felt like this might be a Star Wars movie, happening to come in the shape of a game.

    So I had my character immediately in my head. A stubborn, strong, lesbian Jedi. Found out I can‘t address the lesbian, so I went with stubborn, strong, loyal Jedi and I made her out of an inside joke a „Romar“, which is a bloodline I used in other games in other places. Then I began planning with Fins - who joined with me - our antagonistic relationship that was meant to end in a lot of lightsaber fighting. I think in the beginning we had to deal with two GMs. @Darth_wanderguard GMed Fin actually and you @Sinrebirth GMed my character and GenOochy. I pretty much felt not part of any community. I was just a player in a world of inside jokes etc., but that did not matter, because I had my Fin back then and we two would have fun and get something going. We usually played allies before in our RPing history, so playing antagonists for the first time was fun and Fin made such a good villain. The first battle ended with his Eydan Skorne beating me up so badly. Kira was mortally wounded and in her desperation called upon the force for help ... and then we come to the point what made all of this so enjoyable . . . the force responded. @BobaMatt playing Kol Skywalker felt my cry for help all the way to Yavin and responded to it. I had never spoken a word to BobaMatt, but he made an effort to make this a major point. @sprintabm as Ratep Sentarin joined the call and he mentioned that his guy knew my girl and he knew she was stronger than she thought. We would develop quite a nifty side-plot over the next two years of Ratep and Kira knowing each other. He mentioned a Jedi apprentice he had lost to the Imperial Knights. I thought that could be Eydan Skorne, the character of Fin. The next thing I knew was there was an update with a flashback and under it was sprintABM saying „thanks to Fins for letting me use his character“. I think very few games pull that off like you nad your players did back then @Sinrebirth. I mean . . . I did not know sprintABM. I never talked to him. He was suddenly part of my story and I was part of his and both stories got better through it. I liked that a lot. It sold me the whole idea of playing with a large bunch of strangers.

    I feel this energy of doing a game like this together is strongest when it happens the first time. It became quite addictive.

    Indeed, in a more wider question - you joined the forum with your friends, among them Fins, LordT, TheSithGirly and Sir_Draco. How would you say this has influenced your time on the forums. As we all know, friendship groups evolve and change over the years. The names we played with, and considered comrades, they shift. How has that played out for you in your relationship with them and indeed the RPF?

    Actually that is not entirely true. I joined with Fin. None of the others wanted to join. I remember LordT saying he had no interest in doing Star Wars in English. We made fun of him, because Star Wars is originally totally a German movie, right? Fin and him lived together back then (or where short before moving together?) and when Fin joined he followed and then we contacted the rest of our old German group. Some did not join, because the language barrier was too high, but SonofZeus and his wife TheSithGirly joined us actually. Sir_Draco appeared a little later I believe. He was my little brother and always looked up to Fins and LordT and always wanted to play with us, so finally the internet gave him a chance to execute his dream I guess (haha, I know you are gonna give the nastiness back to me, bro). I think this story has been told a few times, but I guess this is my day to add my perspective.

    We were originally a group of people who met in school. We are a tabletop roleplaying group. Actually when we all began to depart from home and spread into all directions of the earth we knew our tabletop group was probably about to end (spoiler, twenty years later we still play. One damned slow death scene, I guess). Then Fin told me about this place, I believe. He had stumbled upon it when browsing Prequel spoilers and all that. Me and Fins were a couple, like five times. Not even sure if we were on, off or in between at that point. LordT and Fins got one of these impenetrable bromances. That did not always work out well between me and LordT back then. If you look at our early games you realize I interact quite little with LordTroepfchen. That was probably a little intentional. Nowadays LordT is one of my closest friends, as we life in the same town and he is The Godfather of my little princess. He also teaches her to play with Lego stormtroopers when he babysits her. So she becomes an early indoctrinated Star Wars fan thanks to him. TheSithGirly and I go way back and actually did not do so much roleplaying together. The Seeking is our first collaboration in ten years or so. In real life we basically never even mention the place when meeting. But we call twice a week at least and talk about life and stuff. I sometimes even forget it is actually her when I interact with TheSithGirly. It is funny, how the worlds became more and more parallel planes of existence. So I would say somewhere around 2010 our personal lives began affecting out RPF activities less and less.

    What I think you can say is that no matter what happened outside the forums, we have this silent consent that the GAME MUST GO ON. We come here and play. No feelings from outside penetrate this holy sphere of making up stories. Which is remarkable and allowed everyone to stay in contact. I believe it also is the reason we are all still around. Truth is, we might have the feeling we can only quit together. A thousand things happened in real life. Some of us worked for other members of the clique, children were born, people died and everyone had his crisis at one point etc.. I represented most of my friends as a lawyer over time. Many of us are lawyers by trade. TheSithGirly, Fins and me all studied legal sciences. But all of that aside, the board is always the board. No matter what happened in real life, we always had games to play here. Nowadays I don‘t talk to Fin half as much as I would like to, but I come here and we do a combined on DROWN or I read his update in The Seeking.

    It is a privilege having such talented friends who basically join every game I do. The main difference my friends make is probably I know I got some good players when I put up a game. That is totally awesome. Lately they even talked me into taking over the Crossingverse, but I guess we come to that later.

    Another big name in your player repertoire is of course Laura Blohm, from the Sins of the Saints. Tell me; how do you feel now about an arc that saw you play God?! That's quite a feather in any players cap.

    Oh I wish I had known from the beginning. Seriously, that lead to the strangest GM/player interaction ever. After two years of playing her, Fin dropped the bomb in an update.

    After the reveal I called Fin and told him I got now a million questions. He laughed and said he got no answers. Me: Wait, what? Why the mouthless girl? Fin: You tell me, you are God. Me: Okay. Obviously they are sacrifices, probably a test. Fin: That makes totally sense, wait I make notes. Haha. He reinterpreted the whole damned game with me that night. Why did Laura do this and why did that happen. What is her damaged psyche causing here or there. Because the whole game turned out to be her doing. Then he gave me every freedom to bring it to an end. I asked if he is not worried I ruin it and he just replied: „Totally not.“

    So I played God. A disturbed young woman who may or may not having been abused by her dad who suddenly had acquired the power of God, because her Daddy wanted her to see the truth that he never did anything to her. The mastery of Fins to to never reveal what happened and who of both had lived with a lie all his life. For me the abuse story is more of her core than the godlike status she had inherited suddenly. For me this was always what she was about, what made her angry and made her suffer. I actually consider her just a very challenging character. Lately I got a chance to reprise her in ORIGINAL SIN and I gotta say it is much easier now, as she has wandered around in my head for so long.

    You've undoubtedly seen a lot of changes in the RPF and Star Wars generally, what with the reboot. I think many of us had an adjustment period when Disney took over - how do you feel about the franchise now?

    Star Wars has kinda ceased to exist in it‘s original form and now we got a FanFic universe done by other creators. A lot of D&D influences lately. Both in the franchise and these boards. The new creators are a mixed bag. Some know what they are doing and some do not. It has become another fandom now to be served content. It no longer is striving for the perfection it once tried to achieve. It is alright. Guess the alternative would have been no more Star Wars and that is not better. I cannot say much about the topic though as I gotta admit the corporate Star Wars world never got me. I just watch it with some interest and still enjoy occasionally go through old West End Game books or watch Return of the Jedi or Empire Strikes Back.

    One of those welcome changes we've seen is your transition from player to GM! What encouraged you to make that leap, and indeed at that point in time? Correct me if I was wrong, it was a time of change on the forums, as well, so a leap of a leap, it could be said.

    Yeah, my first game went up in the depth of the dreaded MOVE. I did it in the now lost TempBoards, actually. A prologue to Castaways. I wanted to GM for a while, feeling I got a bit of a different take I wanted to try, but the whole „marketing games“-side made me hesitant. Therefore: Actually it totally made sense to use the Move! Everybody felt like having a break and when I went to the temp boards I had the RPFs finest sitting there bored and out of games. So I drummed them up and called them to action. The game was simply LOST in the Star Wars universe. The cast made it great and I only had to do the Lost narrative trick of hinting much and never ever revealing anything. Worked so incredibly fine, it was amazing. What made me finally do it? Dunno. I think not having any game and having been thinking about it for a year or so, simply made me wanna try GMing. It was an attempt to try out different ideas. Episode format, adventure narratives, flashbacks. It felt not so much as a leap. It felt like sliding into that role. Had it failed, I would have simply buried it in the temp boards. So I had a failsafe.

    Now you've been added to the big GM names of the Crossingverse - and I gather you're taking the reins for the finale(!) With such a monumental task, how are you doing? What can you tell us about this epic venture?

    Oh they talked me into it! I got no idea what I am doing there!

    Seriously, in the beginning I just felt like it was an honor being given the world of LordTroepfchen and his successors. They basically told me to do whatever I wanted with it. They did not wanted me to take myself back as an author, but quite the opposite. They wanted my specific voice! That sounds so cool. You go all hyped into this and feel energized and then you sit in front of a blank page and wonder: What exactly IS my „specific voice“? Whoa! Do I have one? How do I do what came before me justice? How much do I adapt and how much do I invent? It is a complicated business to make a sequel to other GMs games. I enjoyed reading about @greyjedi125 doing a similiar thing in Xavier.

    The process for the first week was pretty terrible. I was not knowing how to tackle the challenge. Then I kinda cracked it (some unsung hero was incredibly supportive there) and since then it has been nothing but fun. I know my game is not easy, not comfortable and not very mainstream, but hell . . . Neither was the original Crossing.

    Indeed I plan to end the cycle of games with The Seeking. There will always be room for more, but this game will be then end of the The Source-Cycle, as I call it.

    As a fellow lawyer offline (which I hope you don't mind my sharing), I am interested to hear how you approach writing. I personally consider most of the law to be good time management and indeed managing the client's expectations - skills which translate well to GMing. What is your view?

    Actually my very first job was being a writer, so I think that was my major influence. But I agree, being a lawyer is a lot about communication and also know when communication does not make sense. It also is about being impartial, which I always feel is most important for GMs. The time management thing might actually be very true, I have never considered it. You got a point there. What it really does help with is effectiveness. Both as a GM around here and as a writer of novels my legal studies have taught me a „the next project is the next project“ mentality. I got six hours writing a chapter. So the chapter will be done in 5 1/2 to have half an hour for rewrites. Go! An hour for an update, then I get my update in that hour done.

    Without this mentality I believe I could not GM. I got my daily drive to work and my hours between midnight and 2 in the morning for writing my stuff and a certain amount of this time is the RPF. That is when I update.

    Castaways, Castaways Season 2, Candlewood, The Dark Sun, The Seeking, The Darkening... which was your most enjoyable experience as GM? Indeed, what is your stand out moment from these games?

    There were so many, so this will have to be a selection.

    Castaways the stand-out moment was simply feeling how it came together and worked out. You did a GM update and people went crazy and everybody constantly updated and discussed and developed and I felt like this was working beyond my wildest dreams. It was a lot of fun, until it got complicated. Castaway Season 2 is simple: The insect swarm besieging the escape pod was one of my all time favourite scenes in the RPF in general.

    Candlewood stand-out was probably the Beach. The one moment I felt I made good on my promise of being a horror story. Funny enough I was not involved there, but LordT wrote the updates and I just posted them as the GM. @Reynar_Tedros and a girl on a platform in the water only hearing and not seeing how a monster killed their friends . . . That felt like an instant classic. Generally I feel the game could have been better. It had great little character moments, especially in the first half.

    The Dark Sun had the standout moment when I saw the submissions. I got four submissions. Not one more not one less. Four submission for four characters I needed. @DarkLordfotheFins and @LordTroepfchen, not a surprise, pretty much my regulars. @Ktala, which was great as we got a spiritual successor of Castaways here and she was amazing in that one. @greyjedi125, who I always wanted to play with. In short, I had my dream cast, an all-star cast for the game. Since then I just add a little here and there and they do the rest. Having such talented players in a game makes things really easy. Standout scene: I loved the Droid ZERO and his rant about how he harvests humans for spare-parts. Greyjedi125 had such a perfect reaction to it. Wonderful.

    The Seeking - well still a young game - but I feel like all characters are now firmly on their path through the story. That feels very good, knowing we are just moving towards the second event. Also Anna Talbott being killed was a surprise for all those who thought they had figured out how this was going to play out. So that was fun and @RachelTyrell (knowing I was gonna off her after a few posts) did a great job in playing as if she wrote the intro to her next great adventure as if she wasn‘t doomed at all. @Jerjerrod-Lennox executing her and facing of against my very own Laura Changte (my character from The Reckoning doing a cameo) was great.

    The Darkening is still a little young, but I loved every post so far.

    My all time standout moment in the RPF was probably the very end of Candlewood. When players left and stopped posting and I had some killed the game was clearly in trouble. I felt suddenly I had only Fins left, who is an awesome player, but only one guy. I wrote him to say he was the only one left. He wrote back. „Don‘t worry, I got you.“

    I realized the only way this game would not conclude was me giving up, because he would be there to the very end. Gotta say, I got a little emotional there. It was just heart-warming.

    One thing I can say about you is that you're a voice for the perceived underdogs on the forum. What would you say to that perception?

    That is just me. I am a lawyer for underdogs, representing starving artists and migrants whenever I can. I have been a human rights activist for many years. I also was bullied as a kid, so I think I am just made like this. Social pack building leads to people being cast out and consensus to move against them. That is how bullying starts. I feel like someone should stand next to the one singled out, no matter what. I must confess I was oversensitive in the area from time to time and got called back by the very victim. But also this has been a long time ago, I remember when the tone was rougher around here and nobody seemed to care. We have grown into a much more friendly, fair and just community over the years, I gotta say and that is something I actually am pretty proud of as a community member.

    Otherwise, now you're 'in the chair' so to speak, who are you looking forward to least asking you questions?

    I know Fin is going to try and be funny, but I fully expect my little brother Sir_Draco to harass me with something especially nasty. Bring it!

    Very nice. Thank you so much for being a good sport and allowing me to take the reins for the day. But, without further ado, because I think I've made you squirm enough - I will open the floor to any further questions you have for our host-come-victim!