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Old 02-16-2011, 11:13 AM   #247
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Originally Posted by Bęthberry View Post
If I may offer a few modest observations here . . . .
And they are well taken--perhaps I have been getting carried away in saying things like "most of the people commenting here." However, it's also possible I've overstated things in making a point...

Originally Posted by Bęthberry
I think back to Mithadan's comment that the RPG fora have "become somewhat rundown and shabby" (post #218 on this thread). And I also think back to the several comments about different styles of games, those highly structured/organised and those more spontaneous or interactive. I thought the new incarnation would allow for both styles, whereas the current one allows only for the first, and would free gamers up from the tightly controlled structure that now exists, encouraging Downers to take a more active role in gaming.

So I was under the impression that what was going on now was an attempt to reincarnate the gaming at the Downs under guidelines that would be encouraging and positive where the current system can sound discouraging (just a whole lot of hoops) and patronising (if I can summarise some of the thoughts here), however well meant.
Reading through that, I agree with you, and if this is the point Durelin was making, then I withdraw my responses as entirely too pedantic. However... I am reading you as saying that it's the system we go through to get at the games that is discouraging and patronising--not the games themselves. Since the rules we were/are quibbling over deal with the basic elements of interaction in the game, it seems to me that they would implicitly stand--at the very least as an informal etiquette. It is a valid critique to say that not everything needs to be codified into rules (and my last post, at the very least, would happily have verged in that direction), but that doesn't mean that the etiquette governing intra-game interactions is invalid.

Meanwhile, though, the point is well taken that in directing new members towards an understanding of this etiquette, the "rules" as posted should be less meticulously legal and more inviting. As far as that goes, I agree... but with regards to removing the principle altogether that a player ought to have the final say where his own character's characterisation goes? Even if that were not written into the rules anywhere, I would assume this principle unless I saw it stated otherwise--and if I did see it stated otherwise, I'd be much less inclined to sign up for a game.

Originally Posted by Bęthberry
I suggest that if the current rules are simply carried over with some modification or tinkering, nothing will change, nothing will encourage new gamers to join, nothing will reinvigorate the RPG forum, because the framework will continue to stiffle creativity and fun. It will sound too much like the old fora and still seem just like too much work.

Consider the Guidelines for Forum Posting which Estelyn Telcontar wrote, found in N & N. They uphold the Downs style without sounding too heavy-handed. Granted that RPGing is a different context, but surely those differences can be incorporated in a framework that doesn't sound onerous and that gives ownership for gaming to the people doing it.
Insofar as I agree that there needs to be a distinctly inviting tone, and that the actual procedures involved should be as simple as possible, I agree... and I accept any rebuke due to me that I've been encouraging discussion in a legal direction, which is counterproductive. That being said, however, "upholding the Downs style" is exactly what the new rules should do... and in that respect I feel like what I've been trying to say all along is that the new RPing forum(s) will be Downs forums, and that the in-game etiquette that is the practical expression of Downer courtesy and cooperation right now will continue in very similar ways in the future.

Originally Posted by Bęthberry
So, I don't think it's just a matter of streamlining what we have, but of reinventing how we describe what we do and what we would like to see.
Perhaps "streamlining" is the wrong word... but I had difficulty finding the right word. What I've been attempting to defend--and perhaps the need of any defence thereof was never present--is the idea that different etiquette will be found in the new forums. I've been calling this "ethos," or "Downer style," and I'm not referring to the process by which someone can start a game, or by which they can join a game, or even the style of game, but rather the interaction of people once they're involved together in a game.

Maybe different rules would be necessary then, for looser, open-ended, games, as opposed to more "traditional" games--in which case, I not-so-subtly suggest that we need distinct forums, ala my Doriath/Rivendell proposal . However, even in a looser, open-ended game, my impression was still that individual players would have individual characters, which implies a sense of investment and ownership. Given that, it seems only common courtesy to me that the player with that ownership would still be deferred to where that character is considered.

If we're talking about collaborative story-writing, where there is no identification of player with character, but merely mass ownership of the entire story without authorial division by character, then we're talking about something that hardly qualifies as role-playing, and might be more akin to co-written fanfiction. And while I'm not saying there's no room for that on the Downs, I guess I didn't think we were discussing that far outside the box.

In retrospect... seeing where I've come and all, I stand by what I said about "new Downs forums resembling the old." It was an unfortunate way to phrase it, but what I meant was that we would still be playing games recognizable as roleplaying, and that we would be interacting therein with a similar etiquette to what we have now.
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