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5 hrs ago
Current Finally got around to watching Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and if I were to describe it in three words, they'd be "DINOSAURS! TOGETHER! STRONG!"
2 likes
9 days ago
Seasonal allergies are like mother nature's pepper spray.
1 like
25 days ago
I have got to stop being so squeamish toward making up places in a modernish setting.
3 likes
1 mo ago
I would have hoped my 1000th day would be met with something special on my part, but I've had too much on my hands, so something worthy of the occasion will have to wait.
2 mos ago
Can the Epic Game Store just buy out Star Citizen already? When are they gonna stop with the small fry and go after the biggest fish in the pond?

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Most Recent Posts

Update 1 - Advanced Game Mechanics (Part 1)
Introduction to Structured Elements and Encounters

I should say first of all that it's unlikely that every RP that comes from me will be with this level of work behind it in mind. When I propose features like character statistics, equipment, skills, and abilities in conjunction with other quantifiable aspects of the game world, I do so in recognition that it's going to put off many potential players that would have gladly joined in otherwise. I know as well as anyone that free time is scarce and most people who have a choice will never willingly perform math.

Furthermore, I can imagine that the more game features are implemented into an RP, granted there's a suitable level of world building that goes with it, the less room that leaves for players to present unique ideas of their own to an extent. That would of course be a regrettable consequence if I should ultimately fail to allow for accommodation where others might have done so.

The topic of creative control is something that I've pondered over a lot in the past. It's hard for me to determine how other players approach an RP that interests them, but for me I can say that I've frequently been guilty of centering my potential involvement in a project primarily on the concepts I wanted to bring to the table. I believe I usually did a good job of keeping whatever I brought to the fore in line with the GM's requirements, but that desire to have something for myself in the face of everything else was a potent one.

And now in contemplating the possibility of making the cross to GMing, I'm mindful that like myself, there are many out there that at one point or another had ideas they've been fond of or imaginative foundations they've held onto that might have made for enjoyable campaigns. But in the end some hold back from inviting people in because on some level they rather not deal with relative strangers who may very well only see the project for what they can turn it into for themselves, and not for what they, the maker, intended.

It's a matter of communication and balance ultimately. I have to be clear on what I expect, and leave room for player expression where I can. I'm not saying that I'll be proficient at balancing these things right away, but I hope anyone that simply cannot work with the inner workings of some of my RPs will at least appreciate my attempt to make something that works instead of either dropping the project entirely or reserving it primarily for myself.

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Okay so this feels like more of a rambling preamble than a real first look into any solid features I have in mind but I'll make sure to have something tangible for you guys in the next update. This one here came late I admit, but the next one should come sooner... if I'm lucky.

- Redirect OOC troubles to your DM box when appropriate. Shutting people down when they have a problem without followup is a good way to damage your GM rep, but having a shitshow in the OOC isn't too great either. If it's something all people should know, of course give replies to the OOC - just don't be too bogged down. If, of course, the person is unreasonable, have no trouble with bringing it up to mods.
Spambot

That does ring true as the way I ought to operate. I of course wish I could stay connected all the time to handle disputes immediately when they spark up, but that likely won't be possible for me, so I may very well rely on Co-GMs to see to lighter matters and things easily resolvable until I make it online.

Discord is something I'll have to start using in earnest eventually, and I foresee quite the learning curve ahead of me, what with its propensity toward getting inundated with messages very quickly. For setting players aside though, guildside PMs are likely what I'll be more comfortable with, but I'll be willing to use Discord if the player prefers it.



- Sometimes things will fail. Go in with that as a distinct possibility however confident you are and have contingencies for yourself and your plot should that happen. Use what fails as inspiration to do something better, get new people, reboot, whatever you need to do.
Spambot

If I'm confident in anything, it's that nothing will be flawless, not even by the second or third attempt. I don't mean that in a defeatist sort of way, but rather in recognition that GMing is a composite of skills that are developed over time, and even the best out there know that not everything can be accounted for, certainly not at the start.



- Express your setting and wishes clearly, but concisely. Attempt to find the balance between providing everything people want to know and could know, and ensuring people can do it without having their eyes bleed. Be clear in what you're striving to achieve.
Spambot

With all I intend to pass through this thread, I will be nothing if not transparent, even before an interest check is released. Some time ago, I heard that a major cause of player dropoff may lie in the RP ultimately differing from their expectations. Looking further ahead, I believe that if any IC I put out can not just inform players of what the RP will be about, but also how the game will function, then hopefully anyone that joins will be less likely to find themselves dissatisfied. All the more work on my part, but it might pay off in the long run.


Thanks again for the pointers, Spambot. If you or anyone wishes to send any more my way, I say go for it. Even if I don't respond right away, I'll of course listen to it.

Reckon my next post will likely be the first actual update. There are mechanics and features I have my mind on and they will shape what my RPs look like, so it's best I address them first. All in good time.
Just to get it out of the way quickly, I should mention that I'll have to back out of this RP. It seems I just don't have the circumstances to support this like I'd want to nor the impetus to force myself to carry on writing for the quest in a timely manner. But @Jerkchicken is more than willing to move forward in my stead and is probably far more capable.

I imagine that even the function of Rowan, my seemingly most important character, can be boiled down to issuing a list of available quests to anyone interested in taking them, you know - gamey stuff. Course, since I'm leaving, it's not like I ought to be the final word as to what becomes of my characters, but I thought I'd just put the idea out there.

Good luck everyone.

- Know your players. I'm not saying stalk the people who joined and their former posts, but on the other hand, stalk the people who join and their former posts so you have a gist of what you're working with and know how to handle them.
Spambot

Such an initiative would be so much more bearable if ghost mode prevented you from also appearing in people's visitor list. Oh, well.

My thoughts after that are along the lines of "I doubt I could alter my approach to a significant extent for any single player" and "Given how the players themselves are in the best position to know just what they're capable of, wouldn't it be more practical to lay down what I/the RP will expect from them and they would decide if they're capable of making it work".

Saying that out loud, it does sound like a rather naive stance to rely on completely. I can't help from imagine that I could only tell so much from public posts with conceivably limited context. It's also doubtful to me that anything of significant detriment will come up in a search aside from perhaps evidence of behavioral conflicts that might arise. In a worst case scenario I imagine, "handling them" might not seem like a suitable option.

Course, I'm probably just unaccustomed to the whole thing, and perhaps a clearer way of working with interested players will come to me in time. I am quite interested in examples and hypotheticals on the subject of player inspection, what to look for and so forth, but otherwise I'll likely just conduct the best dive I feel would be necessary into a player's history and use my best judgement from there.



- I don't think I need to tell you about using too dark colors on a dark background regularly and the stupid tiny-text format if you just carry on with the presentation you've been using. It's pretty good. Keep doing.
Spambot

Thank you. I would have loved to say that the simple presentation I tend towards is out of deliberate consideration and not out of laziness and habit, but it's good to hear that everyone's a winner in that case.

I have used small-text now and again, but never to the extent of full paragraphs on paragraphs of content, as I had seen some others use toward some manner of ascetic effect. It never appealed to me personally, so that shouldn't be a problem if that was what you had in mind.

For better or worse, I am someone who loves his eye-catching pics and imagery, yet I can assure you that I know how to implement them in a manner so as not to ruin a post's structural cohesion (for lack of better phrasing), especially when it comes to large portrait images, which had always been a gripe of mine in the past.

@LuckyBlackCat Thank you very much. I will likely unsub from the RP thread itself, but if you're fine with me passing by the Discord now and again, I promise not to be a bother, not that I was all that active before, but still.
Sheesh. That post really got away from me. I know, excuses, excuses.

Cutting to the chase, I think it's about time I take my leave. But of course I wanted to make an plot-friendly explanation for it. Sorry for the inconvenience guys. I just don't see myself keeping up as I'd like to, I have other RPs that need my attention and my spot ought to go for someone more capable.

I don't at all expect responses to my post, so it's fine if everyone wants to devote their attentions elsewhere. I just thought it'd be a nice way to sign off.

I'm happy I kept up for as long as I have. But the sooner I get a move on, the sooner the enduring players can work together for the long haul.

Thank you very much @SimpleWriter for accepting me, and congrats to @LuckyBlackCat on making Co-GM. Good luck. XP

I kid. If I come across players half as devoted as you guys are, that's when I know I've done something right. I'll be seeing myself out over the next day or so. Thanks for having me guys. See you around. :)


Sofia Rousseau - Noctera



It was night and the raging blizzard continued bearing down on the little girl. There was no shelter for her, only the long rags that she wore over her head like a hood as she knelt down before a meager fire. Her frail hands, which had lifted to take in the flickering heat, were a pale white. They trembled as they drew closer and closer to the light, the skin on her fingers almost taking on a similar glow. They grew more confident with each passing moment, until she was practically holding the flame in her very hands, and she lifted it from its place. The world outside of the fire's modest radius was dark and the blizzard howled at her in its wrath. The small girl drew the flame closer to her face, not even a wince in pain as the fire started burning her hands.

To just hold it in her hands was enough for her, and though it may drift away from her for a time, opposite the turbulent, piercing winds, she could never stop following it.




Sofia's fight didn't end after the factory. There were repercussions that came with a major breach of security of that magnitude, such that couldn't possibly be covered up even if the academy tried. The criminal element had just revealed some of its most fearsome super villains and by apparent coincidence had struck at the hero industry at its most vulnerable roots. To most people, it was an unfortunate trial that nevertheless left the would-be heroes involved all the stronger for it. But for people like Sofia's parents, it was all the excuse they needed.

Her room was closed off to everyone, except of course to her parents, neither of whom wanted anything to do with anyone, their minds made up as to her future. That early Saturday morning was met with a great deal of arguing coming from her hospital room. To anyone curious about her condition, it would be said that she'd make a steady recovery. But any attendant would then immediately reveal that she was being transferred to another hospital by noon and that even after her parents had gone ahead to make arrangements, Sofia herself had denied visitors from coming to see her. The damage was done.



It was a quarter to noon when a knock came on Renard's hospital door, which let in a kindly yet very tired man in his low to mid fifties wearing a ruffled, white formal shirt sans tie along with the accompanying dark trousers and shoes. "Mr. Sparks?... Yes... I wished that we would have met under better circumstances. I am Theodore. I've serve the Rousseau family for many years and-um... (sigh), and Miss Sofia wanted you to have this before... her departure. I'm sorry."

The man appeared duly contrite as he handed Renard a thrice folded piece of paper, while he himself was ready to answer that Sofia was going to make a complete recovery in another hospital, and after bidding Renard and anyone else in the room goodbye, the gentleman dismissed himself quietly. He couldn't bring himself to speak more than that.


- Remember that a game can live or die on your own initiative, and that should things slow down, you are obliged to get them back up. Many failed roleplays due to apathy could have been solved with GM pokes.
Spambot

Very true. For a time when I imagined handling an RP with players numbering more than 7, it felt easy to just assume that Co-GMs would handle things like making sure everyone else is following along. Course, as I'm getting a better idea of recently, it's a bit of a stretch for a GM to expect players to keep engaged with an RP without the content and follow through to warrant it. So while it would be nice to have helpers to oversee OOC discussions while I'm not around and so forth, it's not right to ask others to put in more effort than I'm willing to.



- Do not be afraid to reject something because it fails to fit into your roleplay's vision. Too many games falter because the GM did not have the strength to say 'no'. Conversely, when making judgements, be sure you are able to explain them clearly to avoid a reverse 'gotchya!' for bad decision making.
Spambot

Sounds like something that might be brought up on a case by case basis as far as straight suggestions for the game itself. That said, as time moves on and certainly by the time a project reaches a completed state, I would feel that if not written down explicitly for myself, I should at least have a clear idea of what I want out of the RP in regards inspirations and features. Anything that someone might suggest will have to be considered against both what I want for the game and the enjoyment of players as a whole.

I will definitely make the effort to explain my decisions in such a way as to avoid confusion as well as willful misinterpretation as much as possible.



Sofia Rousseau - Noctera



The world was steadily shrinking around her in the moments leading to her escape up the hole in the roof. Had her wits stayed with her just a little while longer, she would have made a few complaints against their concern in the midst of all that chaos. Instead, neither the chill of Eira's hand, nor the warmth of Renard's truly registered to her, and soon she found herself holding onto Freya's back, the rush of movement pushing her out of her daze in time to assist in reaching Gabby's and Peter's makeshift escape route where needed.

The trail of her own blood ended a good few feet from the newly opened aperture, her arms frantic to dress her leg wound with the first aid kit Peter provided and her wings almost spontaneously thrashing at the assaulting wrens that chased them through the opening and had managed to get passed Peter. For a perilous several minutes, a good number of birds had a fair drop in store after being blown away.

Throughout it all, the pain and exhaustion weighed down on her with an almost overwhelming force, the moment she tied the bandages off nearly being the moment she passed out. But instead, her mind would flare awake from the sounds of battle on the floor below, the cries of her classmates causing her to stir where she lay, her aching body slowly forcing itself upright. On her hands and knee (essentially), she listened to Peter's intention, her head wearily nodding in light of how foolhardy a task it seemed.

----------

She remembered feeling sick, like she was about to give out as she soared through the air. Everything else just seemed to move slower somehow. Even the first flocks of birds that hurled themselves in her direction to run interference were clearly perceived, and she almost instinctively knew how to avoid them, her speed picking up more and more. Even when the sheer volume of avians was such that avoiding all of them was impossible, she endured the brunt of them, her pace unwavering and in that moment faster than the birds that pursued her. It all culminated in a single throw, a softball sized Peter being pitched from her hand and down towards Corvus. Honestly the whole event is rather fuzzy for her, only the screeches of wrens and their thrashing feathers standing out to her before she lost consciousness.
You mean "part 2"? Yeah, I'll get on that when I get a chance this week.
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