As the BlkDragon Inn quickly approaches its 21st anniversary, I'd like to take a few moments to go over and address a few things. This players' renaissance could not have happened without you.
During the course of this post, I'm going to discuss a number of different topics. In no particular order:
- Playing demons & vampires
- Applying for Guard PCs or Crown Officials
- Regarding the Royal Guard
- Regarding meta gaming, power gaming & god moding
- Regarding cubicle or bubble play
- Submitting material
- What requires prior op approval
- Nobles wanted
- Possible upcoming changes in the rules
- Operator & volunteer recruitment
Playing Demons & Vampires
As people may be aware of, as far as the In Character world of Drache is concerned, demons, devils, vampires, undead and other "parasites" of life are generally considered evil. There is actually a section in the Arangothian legal code that directly addresses the undead as having no legal rights and there are standing bounties on vampires' fangs at 50 crown a pair. Generally speaking, these threats to mortal life are not accepted by the regular townsfolk because they are, after all, grave threats to life and normal townspeople.
On the flip side, these races are favourites for players to chose to play. Which is great, because we don't restrict or prohibit anything specifically. However, it's come to my attention in the last two months that the majority of players that are playing one of these parasitic races are doing so in the most flamboyant manner possible. While it's not possible to play the reactions of a hundred NPCs, it should be something that is kept in mind. Most people will not react favourably to the presence of a vampire or demon, least of all the inn staff. It's impossible for the operators to monitor this closely and it falls on the player to exercise a bit of restraint and discretion in the matter.
If you intend on playing one of these races, it would behoove you to do so with some care. It's not fun for anyone else if Fangy McBitey is flashing his fangs around and talking about all of his blood drinking habits in the middle of the inn. It's certainly not fun for the ops that are going to have to send in a guard PC to have to deal with it. For one, it makes the player feel targeted, but on the flip side, it makes the op feel like they're having to babysit or police the IC. Just be discreet! These races are NOT an accepted part of the In Character world and should not behave as if they are.
Applying for Guard PCs or Crown Officials
The Royal Guard and the Magistrate and other positions of law enforcement or government have always been in player hands. This has not changed, despite the decline in player participation in law enforcement. I'd like to remind everyone that they're more than welcomed to apply for a character to become a guard at any time. Applications are perpetually open and listed on the main site under Submissions -> Character Applications. For Magistrates and other positions not listed there, please speak to an op and we'll get you sorted out quickly.
Players that wish to have a character represent the Crown or the IC government must request permission from the op team beforehand.
Regarding the Royal Guard
As mentioned above, there has been a steep decline in player participation in the channel's In Character law enforcement. At the moment, there are two players with a guard character (Cyan Highwind & Tagert) and three ops (Alex, Ayanula & myself) with guard characters. Despite this low number, the NPC guard roster remains steady and in line with the estimated population of the city of Drache. While the Royal Guard has not had a strong In Character presence due to this OOC attrition, do not take this to mean that the roster is empty and that the city is free reign for lawless shenanigans. This is not the sort of environment that we'd like to encourage in the channel. To that end, I'd like to remind everyone that a city of Drache's size and variance would have a strong Guard presence and relative handle on criminal aspect of the city's population.
It may be assumed that during a city-wide crisis, such as the recent undead invasion and the nightmare curse, that the Royal Guard is working as hard towards a solution as the player characters, even if it's not being played out in channel. There is no focus on this particular aspect because there are few players playing Guard PCs at the moment; there is no need to focus on the actions of the NPCs. (IE: the PCs are the adventurers.) Just as the bartenders and other townspeople are assumed in the channel, the Royal Guard may also be assumed in a like manner. This means that behaving foolishly or lawlessly in public areas is discouraged because the Guard does have an active, if NPC presence. If you don't want to be busted IC for questionable behaviour, don't behave that way in areas that the Royal Guard is known to patrol, such as the King's Inn.
Nobody wants to play CSI: Drache. The last thing the op team wants is to have to come down on players with a few Guards and ruin the RP fun. To help avoid that, try not to have your character behave in a way that would call Guard attention to themselves. (Unless this is exactly what you want, then by all means, go ahead.) For example: leaving corpses on the Inn's doorstep in broad daylight, flashing vampire fangs at Dulcina while you're ordering an mug of ale, or threatening other inn patrons with weapons.
Regarding Meta Gaming, Power Gaming & God Moding
Just going to quickly review what each of these items mean in BDI and why they're not permitted.
* Meta gaming: This term applies to the act of using out of character knowledge that the given PC shouldn't have in character.
* Power gaming: The act of bringing in another character to either defend one's first PC or to target another PC.
* God moding: The act of being virtually untouchable and indestructable both in combat, as well as avoiding any negative consequences or situations resulting from one's own actions.
The first item in this list isn't strictly prohibited by the letter of the rules, but is strongly implied and generally considered bad form in most channels. The other two items are both restricted by BDI's policies. We're reviewing them so that everyone is on the same page as to what these terms means in terms of the channel. With the channel's play open to any location in the city, there are a lot of opportunities for a player to inadvertantly meta game by merit of watching another encounter occur between players.
These behaviours are quick and easy ways to bring down the environment for everyone else in the channel. While it might be fun to be the awesome badass, you can be sure that the other people around you aren't quite as thrilled to death about it as you are. It's often times viewed as trying to game the system. Yes, there's no system in BDI, but that doesn't mean that you aren't annoying people by trying to orchestrate the best possible outcome for your character at the cost of everyone else's fun.
We will be cracking down on these behaviours as we see them come up.
Regarding Cubicle or Bubble Play
Cubicle or bubble play basically refers to the act of exclusively playing with one or a group of people to the exclusion of all others, to the point of outright ignoring people attempting to interact with them.
While it's entirely acceptable to have your character ignore someone or a group of someones in character, it's not really awesome to just refuse to acknowledge that the other player(s) is trying to interact with you. A little of out of character acknowledgement goes a long way to make the outside person not feel completely blown off by the group. If it happens enough, it can engender feelings of resentment or outright hostility towards the offending player. As a channel, we're trying to make this as welcoming and inviting a playing environment for everyone, and some of that responsibility is also on the player base.
Ignoring someone in character while acknowledging them in narration is simple: Aezra sees Shuunen's attempt at a little wave, but does not respond in any way and continues talking to the wall.
We're always accepting new submissions for both setting pieces and storylines. Forms for both can be found on the Submissions page of the main site. Storylines have a streamlined, up/down vote from the ops team to process, a quick tally for those in favour or again and a fast turn around time. Setting pieces may require a longer deliberation while the op team works with the creator to fit their submission into the rest of the world.
For gnitty gritty setting details, Alex is probably the best person to speak to in regards to hashing out the details. Setting pieces must require the template formats found on the wiki's template category. (Disregard the subcategories section as those are all technical pages.)
Anyone can submit material. We'd like to encourage everyone to do so, especially storylines. Hell, run storylines without submitting them formally. As long as you're aren't destroying huge swathes of land or expecting the ops to provide support in terms of changing the topic, the weather or the entry message, go for it. Run all the storylines you'd like. Don't wait for someone else to do it.
What Requires Prior Op Approval
* Destruction of any property in the city
* Playing Crown or governmental officials
* Official and canon additions to the setting
* Storylines that will involve any of the above or need op support in terms of additional GMs, changing the topic, the weather or entry message
We've been wanting to run something in the channel for a while that involves the nobility of Arangoth. There's a small number of active players playing actual noble characters in the channel. We'd like to extend the open invitation to players to create and play noble characters for an upcoming storyline event. Having a decent sized character pool to choose from is necessary before we can move forward on running that particular storyline.
If you need help with creating a noble character, please talk to me or Rav. Help with Arangothian names.
Possible Upcoming Changes In the Rules
The rules have not been updated in the last three years and change and will be reviewed this month. Any additions or changes will be announced in channel. At that time, all players are expected to reacquaint themselves then.
Operator & Volunteer Recruitment
If our numbers and activity persit, we'll be opening up operator applications probably later this spring or early summer. Haven't been around long? Not really a problem, we've got a bunch of other oldies on the op team and we'd be looking for newer faces with fresher ideas.
I'm always looking for volunteers that are willing to help with the slowly going website revamp, datamining the old mailing list and converting it into wiki format, Eggdrop bots, running the in character newspaper The Rumour Mill, and storytellers. If you're interested in any of these things, or have a different idea, please feel free to get a hold of me.
All out of character announcements and news about the channel and site.
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