As population numbers continue to dwindle on DarkMyst, and other networks with RP communities, we realize that in order to reach out to a new generation of roleplayers, we're going to have to make a big effort. With our expansion into Discord earlier this summer with the introduction of Orwell the Discord-IRC Bridge Bot, we are finally beginning to see that reality. We've seen a number of new joins from Discord, who are enjoying participating in our setting. We would've seen more if we had continued recruiting at the outset, but we decided that we needed to build an infrastructure to accommodate that expansion.
It should be of no surprise to anyone that reorienting our focus from IRC to Discord is just the beginning in attempting to recruit new players. Discord's superior to IRC in terms of the needs an RPer has, with the exception of the small, 2000 character buffer limit. The persistent back log is a boon to players, especially those that can't afford to host their own BNCs or pay for a subscription to IRCCloud. This is a free option that benefits all Discord users. While our focus will be shifting to Discord, this does not mean that we're going to forget about IRC. We will continue to have the linked channels from IRC to Discord. Players will continue to be able to pick the platform that bests suits them. But we're going to be focusing on the greater setting available with the Discord server's multiple channels.
The wider setting outside of Drache and Transdariania, is a large, rich tapestry of different countries and places, and we feel it's criminal to see these setting pieces fall by the wayside. We, as a team, want to be able to tell non-Drache focused stories. We want to free Tuil Siannach from the Pentlander empire, we want to journey into the heart of the cursed ruins of Amas'skyaa. We want to skirmish with orcs, and dance in the faery realms between worlds. While some of this is certainly partially available on IRC, it would definitely require a lot more coordination with only one channel to focus on another location, a thing that not everyone would immediately understand. We feel that the limitations of IRC are no excuse to limit what we could be expanding into on Discord.
We will continue to support our IRC channels, and people are certainly welcomed to continue their Drache-centered RP. But we'll also be utilizing the other channels on Discord to start telling stories outside of Drache.
Towards this end, with our attempts to refocus on Discord and the ability to tell greater than Drache stories, a number of changes have been made to policies. While we'll go over the biggest ones, you really ought to head over the policies page, and read the changes yourself. Due to Discord's very strict terms of service regarding content about minors, the minimum age of PCs is raised from 16 to 18 going forward. Additionally, players must be 18 before they can join BDI, and anyone found underage will be immediately removed from the server/channels. As stated, both of these policies are due to Discord's terms of service. Our OOC content is frequently not very appropriate for minors. We will be relinking the IRC OOC channel #BDI*OOC to a NSFW OOC Discord channel, #nsfw-ooc. This does not mean we are condoning pornographic or graphic violent content in the OOC, just that when the conversation inevitably gravitates towards dildos, the people connecting from work know what they're getting into. #ooc-media, #cute and #character-profiles will continue to be SFW-only. We will be updating pinned messages in all of these channels to reflect this.
We've codefied how we'd like combat to go in most cases. This simplifies actions and reactions, and will hopefully reduce the number of people who have half a dozen actions per post. We've outlined the expectations we have of the GM-Player interactions, intending to foster communication between the GMs and players, and putting the onus of getting involved on the player.
That forums post from last year reminding people that BDI isn't Tindr is officially a policy, as we have no intention of having to go over this more than once now that it's added to the policies.
We've defined how we'd like character progression to occur. While some people feel comfortable using randomized dice rolls, this is not going to be the norm. We have zero intention of adding more structure to the game than we already have. We've also added in caveats regarding noble characters or more setting-involved characters. As has always been our policy, if you want something, ask the mod team about it, but now it's written down because people seem intimidated by this.
We've added restrictions to the usage of magic in regards to those characters that have a spell or potion for everything. The changes to magic are not only attempts to dampen what we feel cheapens the risk of combat and adventure through story, but to force players to think of other ways to accomplish what they want without just pulling some magic out of their ass. Teleportation was becoming abused with how rapidly people were doing it, and how easily it was being done by characters. Magic should not be effortless, it should be just as energy taxing as physically fighting.
We understand that this nerfs some characters, including our own, which sucks, but we feel this is the better attitude towards magic as a tool, and not the overreaching cure-all that has been detrimental to storytelling, past and present. We acknowledge that this is a new frontier for BDI, and squarely moves us into the structured or semi-freeform designation as a game. You'd be kidding yourself if you didn't think that was already the case given our very defined setting.
As we're trying to steering BDI to be more of a storytelling game like it was in its roots, we've instituted a very mild posting requirement, asking players comprise their posts of at least three complete sentences. We've also asked that players utilize grammar and punctuation, such as at least the usage of quotation marks to denote speech, as colours don't transfer from IRC to Discord.
We have plans about the next Sithire that we hope will help engage players with the local setting more so than before. We admit that this has been an issue in the past, especially as Margo is very gunshy about putting players in positions of power when they inevitably just bail after a month or two. But we'd like to introduce additional positions that players can get involved with. If you've been around in BDI for a couple of months, speak to a mod about making a floxod (baron) of Arangoth. Or maybe you think you've got the chops and the steadiness to fill in one of Transdariania's two empty Margrave positions. Remember that magistrates and members of law enforcement such as the Civic Guard, the Aerial Defense Corps, Port Authority, and Provincial Guard are all positions that anyone can apply for on the website under submissions. We are always looking for more members of these teams, especially the magistrates. The next Sithire will be in a position to reward loyal citizens of Drache. If you have ideas, please come forward.
As ever, we're really hoping that people will -want- to get involved. It seems to be this communication disconnect between the mod team and players, but we're gonna sign off on a lot more than not if a player just comes to us and asks for something. Do you want to be a prominent member of the Merchant's Guild? Ask. Do you want to play a Floxod? Ask. If you wanna lead a revolt against Pentland on behalf of the poor, oppressed Oneidhae... well, that one will require a story line submission, but ask, please. The basic bottom line here is that if you've got a story you want to be telling, and you think that making your character a prominent trader will help, chances are we're just gonna okay it. Naturally, the more grandiose and more involved you want to be, the more oversight there will be, but seriously, please, I'm begging you, just ask the mod team.
If you have any questions or comments about the changes we've made, we urge players to do so respectfully, and to come into #BDI*Ops on IRC, or self assign themselves the help role in #roles to join us in #bdi-mods on Discord. Tantrums in the OOC about these changes will be treated swiftly. While we encourage players to discuss these things, we would like for them to do so in a manner that isn't just going to create more drama. We understand that some of these changes are not going to be popular, and while they aren't set in stone, feedback must be handled like adults.
All out of character announcements and news about the channel and site.
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