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British guy, twenty one years old and counting, history student/enthusiast, fond of medieval fantasy, sci-fi and supernatural fiction, but I pretty much dabble in all the nerdy things. Pretty good at Arena combat as well. Little cynical, little blunt, but mostly just interested in creating some cool stories and having fun. Catch you around, if I haven't already.

Credit to Shard, my adoring fan.

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The wiry gentleman’s voice was filled with genuine interest, curiosity piqued by subtle mentions of some sort of curse or consequence had always served to arouse such feelings in the explorer in the past. Ancient temples of long extinct peoples always had to include a curse, an oft-times empty threat designed to deter one from seeking the riches within. In Mathew’s case, he had discovered the threats were not always empty promises, but the age-old adage once burned twice as shy did not apply to a spirit such as his. Likely he would keep going, keep searching and prying, until he met an unfortunate end. Until then, he’d live each day to the fullest.

Invitation in hand, the British explorer sought out the tournament of this Liaison. When he set his mind to a task, he found he was awfully good at achieving it, and obtaining entry was easier than most of the more outlandish pursuits he had undertaken in his short life. For him, a mostly rational man, the entryway was a solid limestone arch descending into the bowels of the earth, and as he passed through some unseen portal his surroundings changed completely, causing the hairs to raise on the nape of his neck. In excitement.

He cut an unusual figure to any watching the entrants to the lobby, but by no means was he as remarkable as many who had proceeded him. Of average height and quite slender, his clothes were functional but also quite fashionable, a light brown hide jacket and black trousers adorned his frame and he wore classic knee-high boots. His only noticeable weapon seemed to entail two overly large lead bolas attached to a belt across his shoulder. Despite his profession, he was clean cut and well groomed, and inclined his head respectfully to the receptionist.

“Mathew Hawthorne at your service, I have an invitation.”
Registering interest

He snorted, steam pooling from his reptillian nostrils. Concern him?

“Never said it did.” Hraakir retorted. If he wanted to fight, he would. He didn’t ask for permission, though if Reed had made his real feelings clear, that he wanted the glory of defeating his enemies alone, then Hraakir would have understood the sentiment completely and left him alone, to die heroically.

Yet the great dragon god thirsted for blood, even with its maw clamped around its own tail it still slathered for the occasional morsel delivered to it by its devout followers. That was how Hraakir saw fate, and the inevitability of coming conflict. His yellow eyes narrowed down to slits, not even blinking, barely aware that he was joined by one of the furred ones or that a short one spoke pitiful words of peace. When the bloodthirst settled over him like this, his perceptions narrowed down to that of a fiery pinprick, and woe betide the centre of his horrid draconic focus. He was snarling now, but the sound did not reach his own ears. The snarl deepened, emenating from somewhere in his chest as fire gurgled deep within him, the heat coming off his scaley hide so palpable that the snow melted at his feet and water vapor smoked off his damp furs.

The Sons charged, and Hraakir let loose a bellowing roar unlike anything any human vocal cord could produce. It was a throwback to his draconic ancestry, a sound that frightened manling children in their beds at night and raised the hairs on the nape of their hairy necks. A sound that reminded them they were fleshy, soft little creatures in a world of real predators that need not clothe themselves in steel or carry their claws in fragile little paws. They could fight their instincts all they wished, they would know they were prey before he fell upon them.

He ran forward towards the stupid humans who forgot their most important little tools. They had not brought their shields, and would die for it. All of them were outranged by his vicious halberd, their armour was weak, it would take no particular skill to teach them to fear the spear. Ancient weapon of the first peoples, first and best, Onion Head’s bulk was such that upon realising all too late that the Dragonoid was charging straight at him, he left himself no room to stop and approach more cautiously. He swung an axe, desperately trying to offset the point of the halberd, but parrying the sharp point at the end of a halberd was no mean feat at the best of times, and these were not the best of times. Hraakir’s bellow had been on the cusp of tailing off, until his heavy thrust shot eight inches of steel into the manling’s breast and through his right lung. Once more he roared as he drove the dying man before him and into his fellow, a fat man(?!) carrying a club. Blood pooled onto the snow and the screaming started, delighting his ears, feeding a hunger in the dragonoid that could not be satiated with burned meat alone.
@MelonHead Personal gripes are a perfectly valid reason to voice complaints of how things are run. Just because something negative doesn't affect you doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all. Questioning the motives of people is just fine, but assuming the worst of them with no proof beforehand is plainly foolish. You immediately assumed Odin was trying to morally crusade to make himself look better when he had done nothing to indicate that was his goal. You immediately assumed Nyt hated this site when he also had gave no indication of this. You even said some shit about misdemeanors or whatever as if that would invalidate someone's opinion just because they had been banned before. I was banned before for literally no reason other than Mahz being upset with me despite not breaking any rules. Is my opinion invalidated? Or here's a better question: wouldn't my experience be a good example of how there are problems on the Guild?

It just seems to me at this point that your only investment in this thread is to decry the people posting in it.

Having personal issues with people or organisations is also a great way to blinker yourself and ignore the real reason why you're campaigning for change. Being completely oblivious to your personal biases is plainly foolish, and expecting other people to overlook them even more-so.

At no point did I state Odin was on a moral crusade, I did argue he likens himself to a freedom fighter as he says he has had to fight not to be branded as a terrorist, I will not insult you by explaining the correlation there and the link I am drawing.

At no point did I assume Nyte hated the site, I was however aware that he had been banned before, rightly or wrongly, I perceived that his motivations for seeing problems with moderation would very likely be influenced by that experience, an experience not shared by the vast majority of RPG members, who haven't been banned. See how this would cause me to find his viewpoints as representative problematic?

The point is, if I decry 'you people' it's because most of you, at least seem, like a very select and vocal minority on RPG who have, for the most part, all had your run ins individually with the administration of RPG, and I strongly suspect that your motivations are intrinsically linked with those experiences. In short, I'd like to see someone who has proven they can co-operate and work with moderators and engage in realistic and respectful dialogue with them be a spokesperson for the guild. Not you guys, to be honest.

But it's not a perfect world. Ideally, if this matter concerns the general populace of RPG, they'll engage with this chat and it won't become just another echo chamber. However, considering the toxicity that seems to bubble beneath the surface here, I think they'll likely stay far away. Time will tell.

All I really want to get across, j8cob, is that when these things come up I'm struck with the foreboding feeling that the only people talking are a vocal minority who want to shout the loudest because they have all these personal gripes, while the vast majority of the site is perfectly content with how things are and feel no need to engage in the debate. If the people laying down the critique can't handle critique, then it highlights a larger issue. I think the moment you open the doors and start questioning how things are run, people like me are perfectly in the right to question your motivations. The worst thing that could occur in my eyes is the moderators don't see anyone on the site who have any concerns with all these proposed changes, so they start making concessions to a vocal minority that don't have the best interests of the site as a whole at heart. I mean, considering Mahz has most of the power and he is admittedly an absentee Dad, it's only a slight possibility, but it still exists.

Not what I'm suggesting.

What exactly are you suggesting?

I guess we never should've installed those brand spanking new robots with fully automated AI. The hand-crank 'robot' cranes we had before worked just fine, don't fix it if it ain't broke I guess!

Nah, just because it works doesn't mean there aren't better alternatives. Who is being nitpicky now?

We didn't fix those handcranks, we replaced them entirely with clearly better technology. Of course, while comparing scientific advances in technology to labels for RP rule formats is an awfully amusing concept, it's also entirely irrelevant. There is no automatic AI for labelling roleplay formats, there are just lots of shittier methods.

That's a pay off that I honestly would prefer over manually doing it because it makes the entire system a lot easier to go through, as in, you no longer have to type out an entire PM, the moderator no longer has to go through the efforts of responding to it, and can just ban, warn or something else directly from 1 screen. If properly implemented I can see the report system being a step up.

Also, do note that if a report system comes into existence I also expect a new rule to be made for false reports ;) that seems like common sense and I imagine you already thought of that since you're a smart guy.

So now we implement a punishment for people who report things erroneously? With your other statements regarding the subjectivity in the rules, and the multitude of ways in which someone could file a false report accidentally, that sounds like a terrible idea to me. Not to mention it would simply create more reluctance to push that report button, for fear of getting it wrong.

These are suggestions from 5 months ago and stickying help guides takes like.. what, 2 minutes. Having to read critique on the moderators to find a suggestion like that hardly seems like an excuse not to do it anyway? But please do come back.

EDIT: also, Hank is no longer a moderator but a co-admin. Just a small tidbit of info for you.

The fact that the suggestions are from five months ago is irrelevant to anything I said. The stickying guides thing was something I picked out of a whole host of ideas that I personally believe are wrapped up in individual bias and are highly unlikely to be representative of the average complaint of an RPG user. The guides idea was a good idea, I'm pretty sure all mods can do it, I'd be semi-interested in finding out what there reasons are for not doing it. It wasn't really a question for you at all.

I'm sure I'll come again?
Yeh @MelonHead, these boogeymen totally dislike the Guild, that's why they spend their time writing long diatribes and responses to the administration because they just hate the Guild and want to watch it burn (Southern Californian Sarcasm). IDC how much of your life you've wasted on this shitty website; I joined 2011 and I find myself agreeing with alot of the gripes voiced nowadays. You don't need to poison the well and decry everything Odin has posted because you don't agree with some of his opinions.

See, you would fall into the category of people who dislike the site, so your bias is pretty plain. Hence why I would be sceptical of you, hence why I am sceptical of you. I think change is pretty much always going to be better coming from a positive place, rather than a negative one.
<Snipped quote by MelonHead>

In odin's defense, hank has agreed with him on points he has brought up in the past. Including the changes to the Free, Casual, and Advanced. Ask him yourself if you feel like I'm someone who "actively hates the guild", which I'm not, thank you very much.

If I actually hated the guild I would have left long ago.

Have you been banned for a misdemeanour in the past? I don't want to make assumptions, but in that case you'd still fit under the umbrella of people who I would assert have a bias against the moderation. I'm not saying your opinions or ideas are irrelevant even if that were the case, but neither could you really blame me for my scepticism or assertion that you may not be representative of an average guild member.

Hank is one person, albeit a moderator. If he wants to argue why he thinks the descriptors are unsuitable, I'm all ears. I think it's a pedantic concern, personally.
The thing is Odin, you yourself state that you 'generally shit on moderation' you surround yourself with people who actively dislike the guild, or have been banned for misdemeanours in the past, and yet you still put yourself forward as this freedom fighter standing up to moderation and speaking for those who won't or can't do it themselves. Have you really thought about your ideas and wondered how many of them are misinformed by your own biases and the people you surround yourself with?

I'd honestly want to know just how populist your ideas are. I find myself in a position where I don't really have a weighted interest in either side of any debate, I'm just a guy who's been on this site for six years, and I rarely if ever find myself sympathising with your position.

I find the majority of the issues you raise incredibly nit-picky, demanding to know what moderators do for example is a bizarre concept to me, are you paying them? Do they have some responsibility to you personally to declare their activities? Some of the changes you recommend are frankly non-issues, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. For example, free, casual and advance aren't descriptors of players, they're descriptors of the rules for the style of roleplay. Do I want to roleplay in a free environment, a casual environment, an advanced environment? The descriptions work fine for that purpose, they have for as long as I've been here.

Making reporting easier will certainly increase the number of reports, of course, it will also massively increase the amount of spur of the moment reports that waste moderator time because they hold nothing substantial. If people are seriously concerned about something, they will go to the slightly greater effort of reporting it with the current system, and they can send their report to every moderator if they want a speedy response time.

That being said, some of the smaller issues and fixes like stickying help guides and the rules on each sub-forum seem reasonable enough. It's just a shame that some of the good ideas in here are intermingled with the mass of general 'moderator' critique that I can't help but find myself highly sceptical about. Anyway, that's my two cents, maybe I'll remember to check back in and see what the general opinions are of people on the guild.

The snow elves were cowards. This single statement ran through the Dragonoid’s head and danced on the tip of his tongue throughout the ‘briefing’ he was forced to endure. They always ran and hid, never surfaced, never spoke, his tribe knew of them only as the shirking ones. In their periphery when traversing the northern snowfields, lithe figures agile enough to dance on the surface of the lightest drifts, but they never made contact. They feared the Redscales, it had seemed, and Hraakir knew in his heart that the snow elves were not warriors, so how then would they help the Resistance in its fight? A different man may have voiced this concern, but Hraakir knew better. Let these manlings have their false hope, let it drive them to the field where steel and blood would decide their fate. Getting to that legendary day was all that drove Hraakir. The battle in which he would gain glory in the eyes of his god, perhaps be elevated to that of a true dragon, he’d do what he must to see it come to pass.

Fortunately, none of the ignorant cow-people saw fit to join the group heading North. There weren’t many in the camp to begin with, so it was not all that surprising. Minotaur favoured the apotheosis, it seemed. Unsurprising that they would throw their lot in with godless manlings, the fat cows were cowards beneath all the fat and fur, they wouldn’t choose a losing side. Good, good, Hraakir would have hated to have to kill another of the party so soon, he might need some of the others to look upon him if not favourably, then at least not with outright hostility. The North was dangerous for one alone, even if they knew the wilds well, and it was in Hraakir’s blood to co-operate in a tight-knit group. They were bound to be poor replacements for his tribe, but he would make do with what his god had given him.

The Gate

Unbound by any ties to the camp, the Dragonoid slowly meandered towards the Northern gate of the impromptu fortifications, ignoring the light rain that drizzled down his furs. All he owned he carried with him, and he had been prepared for travelling through wilderness all his life so last-minute purchases were unnecessary. He made just a short stop to climb a nearby tree in which he had placed his halberd, a steel-bladed weapon that was very unlike the bone-axes at his side, a weapon that had already taken a life. Eventually, fully equipped and breathing heady reptilian fog from his nostrils, he arrived at the gate and awaited the arrival of the manling chief.

However, arriving early had put him close to a brewing conflict. A scant ten minutes after he arrived, the sounds of argument reached his ears from close by. Sitting atop a large horse was what seemed to be a manling in armour, and in front of him other bald manlings swaggered and cursed. A fight, then? Amazingly, the manling abandoned his mount in favour of fighting on foot with a huge hammer, an act of courage that caused a swell of admiration to rise in the Dragonoid’s breast. He could have fled his foes on the horse, or fought from on high, but he chose to die with his feet on the ground and a weapon in hand. So impressed was Hraakir with this foolishly brave act that he pushed himself from his position beside the gate and sidled over, clawed feet making sure purchase on the wet ground, reaching the ensuing battle before it had chance to begin. He plunged the haft of his halberd into the slushy mud beside the armoured man and barked a declaration, for good or ill.

“I fight with this one.”


Summary: Hraakir accepts the quest on the odd chance that upon succeeding he'll get his big battle, he then promptly wanders into the ensuing skirmish at the gate and after being satisfactorily impressed by Reed's bravery, decides to randomly join him should it come to bloodshed, despite not even recognising him as one of his own party.
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