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Old 02-13-2003, 06:48 AM   #41
Bęthberry
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Maika, I won't reiterate here what I said earlier about how busy the mods are--something which Child has now explained at length.

However, there might be another point which makes Gondor look different from the other realms. This has to do with how the games are planned. Although there are discussion threads, they don't appear to have nearly the extensive interactions which games at The Shire and Rohan have.

In part, I suspect this is because the gamers know how to interact and so less formal planning is required. They also tend to be people who use the discussion threads to discuss the game and writing rather than make chatty comments about RL--it is a writerly interaction rather than social interaction.

But there is another reason, a silent kind of discussion which does not show up but perhaps can be 'felt.' Perhaps you and others are responding to this 'absence.'

I know that a great deal of the planning for both Castle Maladil and Revenge of the Entish Bow goes on 'behind the scenes' via PM or in chat. Certainly all my planning for Saladriel and my next cameos on REB has occurred in chat with Estelyn Telcontar. That is why #Elbereth exists.

I think the best way to 'join' Gondor, in addition to posting at The Seventh Star, is to run a game of one's own in Rohan. If someone is not willing to run one's own game there, it really would not make sense to expect to become one of those eligible to found games in Gondor.

This is, of course, just my opinion. I cannot speak for Gondor's Innkeeper.

And now I must run and fulfil one of those RL obligations. Orual, I will return and answer your question later this morning.

Regards,
Bethberry
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Old 02-13-2003, 06:57 AM   #42
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Sting

If it helps, here's how I got into one of those restricted, invitation-only games: when I saw Estelyn's plan for The Revenge of the Entish Bow (I found it while wandering around the forum: nobody told me it was there) I realised that I had to play it; so I did as she suggested in the preamble and emailed her with an idea for a character. I was admitted. I didn't expect to be, because I hadn't roleplayed since my friends and I had to dissolve our Ars Magica group and I've never written collaborative fiction before, but it goes to show that experience is no object if your writing reaches the required standards.

It really is that simple. You don't have to be a moderator, or a friend of a moderator. You don't even need to have been a member for very long, as long as you can prove to the game's founder that you are the sort of player who is going to be an asset to their roleplay. My advice would be to have a go: the worst that can come of it is a refusal and nobody is going to bite people's hands off for asking nicely.

EDIT: Bethberry got in while I was still writing this. I'd like to add that as one's writing improves it becomes easier to pick up themes and keep things going without talking about it. Most of what I need to know is right there in the other posts. Those chat conversations aren't exactly the most structured of discussions. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ February 13, 2003: Message edited by: Squatter of Amon Rudh ]
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Old 02-13-2003, 07:35 AM   #43
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Quote:
I think the best way to 'join' Gondor, in addition to posting at The Seventh Star, is to run a game of one's own in Rohan. If someone is not willing to run one's own game there, it really would not make sense to expect to become one of those eligible to found games in Gondor.
OUCH! I know a hint when I see one.

But who said anything about founding games? That's not what this is about.

I begin to really regret I for once decided to open my mouth, but we were asked for opinions and I stated mine.

[ February 13, 2003: Message edited by: Maikadilwen ]
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:11 AM   #44
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Hey you meanies,

Leave Maika and Aman alone. You should not be so mean to them. They are different than you so they do things in a different way. There way. You ask for opinions on this tread. Not for comments on others. We have PM's and ratings for such business. So please leave everyone in there values. I rest my case. (For now, so be careful [img]smilies/mad.gif[/img] [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img] )

Greetings,

Anuion

P.S. Don't hit me! Ill be a good boy again. Just wanted to help people here.

[ February 13, 2003: Message edited by: Helkahothion ]
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:30 AM   #45
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Helka, none of this is an attack on either Aman or Maika. I welcome their opinions. I am also friends with both of them. And don't you try to step in between us. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

This is a discussion or debate. We are not being 'mean' to them as you claim, but engaging in analysis to try to understand what they are saying, what they mean. We are analyzing their comments so we can understand them and help eliminate what problems they seem to be feeling. There is nothing wrong with criticism or stating one's opinion, but if the thread is to accomplish anything, we need to know just where or what any problems are, so we can work to overcome them.

The whole point is to have an RPG forum which works to the best interests of all gamers. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

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Old 02-13-2003, 08:37 AM   #46
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Dear Beth,

Ok then. I was just checking of no one was being mean to my preciouses. I need them in the RPG and can't afford to loose them. Glad to know you are friends with them aswell. Arren't they great? [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Well, I'm done with sucking up. Bye bye y'all.

Greetings,

Anuion
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Old 02-13-2003, 08:52 AM   #47
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Hi, Helkahothion,

Just wanted to make a comment on your recent comments here:

Quote:
Hey you meanies,
Leave Maika and Aman alone. You should not be so mean to them. They are different than you so they do things in a different way. There way. You ask for opinions on this tread. Not for comments on others. We have PM's and ratings for such business. So please leave everyone in there values. I rest my case. (For now, so be careful )
I guess I must have been particularly mumble-mouthed yesterday, as "being mean to someone" was the last thing I was trying to do. When I respond to someone in a thread, either agreeing or disagreeing, it's because I value what they said, and I think it merits serious consideration.

Let me boil my responses to Aman nd Maika down to two sentences, and maybe that will clarify things.

1. Aman, you obviously have some real reasons for your concerns. Please share specific examples by pm, and we'll see what we can do.

2. Maikadilwen, I basically agree with you. Because there have been so few Gondor games, people haven't had the chance to audition and play there to the full extent I'd like to see.

3. I also concur with Bethberry that, in order to get added to the list of Gondor game founders, you'd generally need to have founded another game first in one of the other forums.

Hey, Helka, I don't think it's 'mean' to have different opinions and share them respectfully with each other within this thread or any other. That's the whole reason this board exists. Usually, you end up with a better idea by engaging in discussion and debate, even when you start out having different ideas.

I absolutely hate when folk dump on each other with namecalling and such. That was certainly not what I was trying to do. But I feel that, without an honest exchange of opinions it's much harder to get to know one another and solve real problems that do exist.

Cami, Shire Mod
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:03 AM   #48
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Dear Cami,

You meanie leave me alone okay? It's my opinon and you can't change it.

Nah just kidding. I just tought you where taking a dump on Maika and Aman. Glad that's claryfied. So I wish you good luck. I would honestly say I agree with your polecy on the Gondor matter. If you did not do this, you would get all writers on Gondor and might aswell take awayt he class difference. Just a question to test the system. I have founded an RPG in the Shire.(It's still going) When it is done, does that mean I can join the Gondor Forum?

Greetings,

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Old 02-13-2003, 09:14 AM   #49
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It's all these darn adults not using enough [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] 's and !!!s, isn't it? [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] No-one's been 'mean' and indeed the best discussion has emanated from Maika and Aman's posts. So thank you to those two, and thank you to Bethberry, Squatter and Cami for answering so beautifully.

Those three have it, with regards to Gondor. There are few games, and few people with the time to start and run one. This is not a great problem, Gondor was never intended to be busy. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] Neither should anybody feel hurt or excluded. When Entish bow or its sequel finish, Esty and I are starting up a sequel to The Saving of the Seventh Star (a miniature RP at the bottom of the games in Gondor). This will be a large RP, and a slow one requiring a lot of planning and discussion, since it has some small ambition. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

The point being, that there are unlikely to be more than one or two games at a time, but those games are not closed shop. Do post in the Star - but well and thoughtfully. Then, when the Founders of a new game are looking for players they will see your posts, and perhaps will know you from interplay in the Star and you can apply or be invited.

The stronger writers not in a game in Gondor right now, should not fret. There are games available in The Shire and in Rohan and the 'hierachy of skill' (thanks to the hardwork of aforementioned moderators and good writers) is not as delineated as some would lead one to believe. As in, it's hardly that at all. And don't hesitate to PM me and ask a question, or ask if a post at the Star is appropriate etc.

If the other mods and Gondorians want to discuss other potential names for the List in Gondor, that would be a useful discussion also.

[ February 13, 2003: Message edited by: Rimbaud ]
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:27 AM   #50
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*Mithadan whacks Maika and Helka upside the head with a wet trout.

Maika, I don't think anyone is really attacking you here. The issue you raise is valid and is a matter which I have been considering since we reformatted the RPG forums. This very issue was discussed last November in the Chasm forum that was created to discuss changing the way we ran our RPG "program".

I'll first address this by looking at the old problems chronologically, then addressing our solutions, and finally by trying to feel out a way to deal with this "perception" issue. This will be a long post.

April, 2002: in order to meet the demand for more RPGs, we opened the Freestyle Room. See my earlier posts for the results.

August, 2002: recognizing that we had a real mess on our hands, the admins discuss the RPG room and conclude that change is needed. BD is a Tolkien site and board, first and foremost. The quality of our content is and will be one of our primary concerns. We have a reputation as a thoughtful and serious discussion board. This is what sets us apart from all the others. The quality of the majority of the RPGs in the Freestyle Room was poor. There were chat-style RPGs (virtually every game involving one line posts with chatspeak). There were off-topic games (Jedi Knights, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc.). Most of the on-topic games lacked any direction or goal (let's hunt some Orcs...OK, they're all dead...let's find some more). Literally hundreds of abandoned or unfinished games cluttered the board, using up our bandwidth.

The interim solution was to create a set of rules and appoint people to enforce them. One of these people was me. Included among these rules were that your game gets closed if: there are no posts for 2 weeks; the game is off-topic; or it is a chat-style game. We also restricted the opening of threads and required that proposals be submitted to start a game. Finally, we demanded that goals be set in existing games so that every RPG would someday end. In short, we cracked down, and we freely admit this.

October, 2002: it is clear that our Rules are both working and not working. Dead games, chat-style games and off-topic RPGs had been eliminated. But people found the proposal process to be inimidating and very few new games were opened. We ran a mentored RPG to try and help people understand what we wanted, gain skills and confidence. While it was well-received, it was also too complex (my fault) and cumbersome.

November, 2002: (some secrets revealed here) the admins get together again. The initial debate is whether to try and fix the problem or just do away with RPGs altogether. The vote was closer than many here might want to think. The decision was reached to restructure the whole RPG system and recruit help in running it. The restructuring process was to be inclusive; we invited a lot of people into a private forum, The Chasm, to discuss what to do. The outcome was our present system which was put in place in late November.

The key pieces of the puzzle were promoting new games without the proposal process (The Shire and its "seeds"); the opening of an intermediate level where people could create their own games through a better proposal process (Rohan); the creation of an "advanced" level where the better players could create and open their own games without a proposal process (and could be trusted to do so with restraint); the creation of the Inns.

The idea is that people start out in the Shire, hone their skills, move on to Rohan where they can propose and run their own games, then move on to Gondor once they have shown that they can create and run a game. At the same time, anyone can join a game in any forum if their skills are up to it. Even so, players or entire games can be moved out of Gondor or Rohan if they are not up to snuff.

Now let's focus on Gondor. It was always recognized that Gondor might be viewed as elitist. We went around and around on this issue and simply couldn't work out anything that could avoid this perception entirely(even though what Child and others have commented on about including RPers in Gondor games is absolutely correct).

However, the real problem is not that Gondor exists, but rather that no one is trying to get there. Not enough games are being created in Rohan by members. To date, no one has asked to be approved for Gondor either (one person PMed me asking what is up with Gondor...why are there so few games and why are they invitation only, etc.). If you want in, do it! Make your proposal in Rohan. Run the game. There are people here who have the skills to do it.

Not enough time? Run the games slowly, control it through the discussion board and by PMs so that it doesn't run away from you. No ideas? Read the books, haunt the Inns, ask an Innkeeper. There are lots of ideas floating around. Too young? By whose standards? There are 14 year olds here who write better than 30 year olds. Need help? ASK FOR IT! A game can be run by more than one person. Its happening right now in The Shire.

We are trying to make our RPG system the best that it can be. You can make of it whatever you want to make of it. You want to stay in the Shire? Fine. You want to play without the responsibility of running a game? Also fine. You want to run games and join Gondor? Do it.
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Old 02-13-2003, 09:42 AM   #51
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Dear Mithadan,

You got some points there. Let me just comment from me out. (I'm not being mean Helka! Oh wait I'm Helka silly [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] )

Quote:
However, the real problem is not that Gondor exists, but rather that no one is trying to get there.
Well, there is one over here. As soon as my RPG in Rohan is finished and I have played my own to completion in the Shire, I will start one in Rohan. Just give it a month or two more and you will have an extra writer.
Was that arrogant?

*looks at sig*

Hm guess not. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Quote:
Too young? By whose standards? There are 14 year olds here who write better than 30 year olds. Need help? ASK FOR IT! A game can be run by more than one person.
I SO agree with you here. I am 15 and if I may say so, I don't write all that bad. And help is a good thing. If it wassn't for Pio, I would not have gotten my RPG ready until next week. (BTW thanks again for that Pio.) So do not be shy to ask for help.

Greetigns,

Anuion
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Old 02-13-2003, 11:27 AM   #52
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I would like to add another point to the criteria for choosing writers for Gondorian RPGs – good posts on other forums are an excellent recommendation. When I decided to put the Entish Bow up as an RPG rather than writing it myself as a fan fiction, I wanted writers who could write that style. I noticed several who wrote on Books, Movies or N&N with the sense of humour I was looking for and with well-chosen words and well-formulated thoughts. Those I invited to join my game – some of them I even pestered because I really wanted them!

To guarantee high quality on the Gondor forum, game founders must have the option of choosing players. Those must be able to write in the style of the game, and they must be able to cooperate with others. (Impolite and aggressive posts are not a very good recommendation for cooperative qualities!) That includes a thorough reading of what the other players have written. When I choose players, I want to be sure we can do what we’re all here for – have fun!
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Old 02-14-2003, 02:50 PM   #53
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Sorry, Orual, for not replying yesterday to your question about qualifications for Rohan and joining Inns.

Any gamer can post in any of the Inns, the Dragon, the Horse or the Star. No one needs an invitation and there are no restrictions other than the standard of writing.

If an Innkeeper feels that the gamer's posts do not meet the standards of writing for that realm, he or she will contact the gamer via PM with help and advice about the writing. If I think someone would benefit from being in The Shire, I will suggest that.

Anyone who is interested in joining a game at Rohan can contact the game owner, who makes the decision about who to accept. If I think a gamer is not writing up to Rohan standards, I will contact the game owner with suggestions and he or she will pass them on to the gamer.

The standards for Rohan are explained in the thread The Golden Hall. To see them in action, read any of the games currently here. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Bethberry

[ February 14, 2003: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 02-14-2003, 08:49 PM   #54
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Quote:
If an Innkeeper feels that the gamer's posts do not meet the standards of writing for that realm, he or she will contact the gamer via PM with help and advice about the writing.
That's the part that I wasn't sure about. Thanks! I'm fairly confident about my writing skills, but I'd hate to make a real faux pas and get people irritated at me. I don't know if other people are as hesitant as I am...all I know is that I wasn't clear on that point, and new players may be unclear on it, too.

Namárië,

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Old 02-15-2003, 12:05 PM   #55
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Oh boy. I post once and it leads to all this?

May I just make something clear; no offence was meant and I didnt mean to insult anyone.

But Helka, Maika youre sweet. And youre both my 'preciouses'. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-15-2003, 12:07 PM   #56
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No, Aman.
You post once, then I open my mouth and it leads to all this. *sigh*
I should have learned something by now.
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Old 02-15-2003, 02:50 PM   #57
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Don't worry your pretty heads on that,

We are all guilty in a way. And like was said before, no one was being mean. So you did something good. If it still bothers you, just blaim it on me. They always blaim it on me.

Greetings,

Anuion
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Old 02-15-2003, 05:43 PM   #58
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Now, you guys are apologizing for...what? Proffering criticism when we solicited it? Particularly when I conceded that your comments are valid, at least from the perspective of appearances.

Some people are just too polite...
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Old 02-16-2003, 04:37 AM   #59
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Mith, you can't be to polite. In this world, any form of it is valuable. That is one of the mainresons why I am staing here.

Greetings,

Anuion

P.S. Yay, I am the precious of Amanaduial the archer. Go me.
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Old 02-16-2003, 06:56 AM   #60
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Hmmm, apologising....nope looking through my post, I see no mention of the word sorry... [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

Helka- [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 02-16-2003, 01:39 PM   #61
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I little suggestion about the Rpg sections.

We have the seeds already, but what if a downer can't put the short summaries onto a story. Many are affraid to ask the mod's for this. Maybe we should set up a section where we can assist downers with making an RPG story or a character. I here by volunteer(sp?)to do that. If you think I can be of help that is. What do you think?

Greetings,

Anuion
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Old 02-18-2003, 06:22 PM   #62
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Hi,

I don't know the old layout, but these RPGs are awesome.

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Old 02-19-2003, 05:26 PM   #63
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I would definitely agree that the RPGs have much improved. The old system was just sifting through the mass of long running, or even dead games before you could find one you were interested in, and even then there was no guarantee it would ever get off the ground.

It seems a lot easier to stay interested in a game with the new system, and to work out where you feel comfortable.
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Old 03-15-2003, 12:43 AM   #64
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Greetings all downers,

WOW

Reading through this thread makes me realise how much work and thought has gone into the RPG structure and just how successful it has become.

As a new member of the downs only a few weeks ago I was first shocked at how much there was to read, and then impressed with the simplicity of the layout. I have struggled for many years to find an online roleplay format that allowed for high quality prose writing, but without success, and now here it is, laid out on a plate for me... cool! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

Now, only a couple of weeks later, I am running a roleplay in Rohan! All thanks to the moderators who were friendly and welcoming from the start, without their help and enthusiasm I would have fallen at the first hirdle, who answered all my questions no matter how stupid...

So basically thank you, especially Bethberry, Squatter and Estelyn for all you have done so far.

Peace

Palando of the blue robe

[ March 15, 2003: Message edited by: Palando ]
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Old 06-11-2003, 04:21 PM   #65
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I'd never RPed before discovering the Barrow Downs. I haven't played a game yet, though I'm working on that, but I am immensely enjoying posting in the Green Dragon and the White Horse.

Just as a response to something someone said about a page ago, none of my characters are Half-Elven, Elves, vampires, etc. Two are human and one is an Enting (no, I'm not entirely sure how he came to exist. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] ) In the two RPGs I'm hoping to post on, both my characters are human. New posters are not necessarily going to have fantastic creatures as their characters. (Incidentally, while my characters in the Inns have mysterious pasts, it makes them more interesting. Besides, I couldn't think of a history for the first one. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] )
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Old 07-02-2003, 01:52 AM   #66
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I love to rp especially in Tolkien's perameters, but I am really struggling. I posted in the Green Dragon, and applied for a role in the Corsair story which is just starting up, but it is difficult for a new person to be creative in such a strict envirionment.

I compare this to perfoming Shakesphere to doing improvisation. I actually love improvisation, but Shakesphere is much more difficult to create.

So far my experiences with roleplay have been where a gm controls almost everything, (a style I'm not too fond of), and free form boards such as you have described the old style of the Barrow-Downs to be. I have spent quite a bit of time rping on one such board, where there is little moderation, and plenty of chaos. Moderators do become involved when a member is very naughty, however, breaking the forum rules, etc. (There not many rules, though. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img])

So coming to this style of forum is a difficult transition, but I love that there are no one line posts, or god-like characters, or people controlling other people's characters. What I am wondering about is can there be some sort of less controlled board? I don't mean complete chaos, but somewhere where beginners can get there feet wet, and start their own stories?

I apologized if this is out of order, but I am hoping someone will bear with a newbie, who is also a fellow rper and lover of all things Tolkien. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ July 02, 2003: Message edited by: Wren ]
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Old 07-04-2003, 12:03 PM   #67
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I'm going to get this one out of the way first. A suggestion about possibly a new part of the RPG section: in the future, maybe there could be a section of RPGs especially for slightly less Tolkien orientated RPGs? Its just a thought, but it would be quite interesting to have a fantasy RPG section for this- many people I have found do have good ideas for games which would involve worlds or creatures that do not appear in Tolkien, and with the standard of writing here, I think these would be able to thrive and prove to be quite a valuable part of the RPG section. Thoughts?

Now, Wren:

Of course you're not out of order- it's your opinion, and God knows everyone is entitled to that.

The controlled way of the forum is just the way it has evolved to be, and it seems to work quite well. There was a freestyle RPG room before the changes made to the RPG section, as mentioned before in this very thread, and, I admit now, although it was much more relaxed, it was rapidly descending into 'complete chaos' as you said. It did work for a fair amount of time, and games were started by anyone, and anyone could join with whichever character they wished. But this did soon lead to problems- lots of games were created, and many were left unfinished, when the owners got bored, or had other things to do, and the players lost the plot, didn’t have any real guidance, or lost interest. Characters were sometimes not really thought through- they would be slammed hastily together, and could only have profiles consisting of a few rather sparse sentences. Because there was no one to check up on this, they could get away with this. Sometimes games turned out well, very well even- in the case of The Lonely Star, for example, and Rivendell, although neither of those RPGs would be allowed now, as one included creatures not featured in Tolkien, and/or places not featured, and Rivendell, for one, had no real storyline at the start. But there were soon far more unfinished games than such successes as these two; both of these have produced excellent gamers, many of whom still game here, but there were others- you know, ‘Mary-Sues’- perfect, beautiful elven witches, who can shoot flames from their hands and do every imaginable sort of magic, who are wonderful and always have hundreds of admirers, but at the same time can sword fight better than Aragorn and Eowyn put together and shoot more accurately than Legolas, while all the time not putting a hair out of place.

The way the freestyle room is set out now is really going to the other extreme, but its settled down nicely now. There are fixed storylines for games (these don’t need to be entirely revealed to all gamers in the discussion thread by the way), a discussion thread and RPG thread are necessities for all games, there are moderators and reviewers to sort out the real rubbish that may come in, and all games need to be within Tolkien’s limits (although a few further up may slightly stretch these limits a little). This way of doing things does of course have its downsides- the moderating is quite strict, especially in the Shire, and proposals do have to be quite detailed, but the moderators are always there to help, with games or general information. There are only certain characters you can play, and the storylines are prefixed, but this does mean that you don’t end up with half breeds between Shelob and a dwarf who can have all sorts of powers, and morph into any sort of creature, but have somehow decided to join up with an elf going on a quest for the Eru only knows what, for no apparent reason, and one the same point, games don’t end up with several different storylines at once, all of which are completely random, none of which make very much sense, and all of which seem somehow to include all the characters in several different places at once.

Sure, its strict, and does come as a shock to many people like yourself who come from other places, or who haven’t played before, and it does sometimes take a wee while to get used to- it came as a shock to the system to many of the gamers who played here before, including myself, and caused a few problems initially. But, when you measure up its success, it must be admitted that it has worked out well- its settled down nicely.

Look, a sample from earlier on in the thread:
Quote:
I do not think you will find a site with Role Play this well moderated, with this level of care, respect and attention, anywhere on the net. No substantive post is deleted or edited silently.
They are important points, and that and the standard of writing found here make it such an excellent forum.

And the best bit: real Mary-Sues are only seen in parodies such as The Revenge of the Entish Bow and its sequel, thank Eru. It’s a pity that things aren’t as free as they used to be, maybe, but it’s a good system really, now it has settled down. The teething problems are long gone, and the Downs has grown into probably at least one of the best RPGing sites on the net.
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Old 07-10-2003, 10:55 AM   #68
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Quote:
A suggestion about possibly a new part of the RPG section: in the future, maybe there could be a section of RPGs especially for slightly less Tolkien orientated RPGs?
This won't happen at the Downs. We have always been completely Tolkien focused, though many times people have requested an 'off-topic' forum or section. Adding such an addition to any portion of the Downs (discussion or RPG) would lead down a dark road we have never been willing to tread.

There have been many previous discussion on this topic in our other forums, so I won't give a long explanation. But I will say that if we were to allow games to go somewhat off-topic, how long would it be until people began to ask for permission for completely non-Middle-earth games?

We've drawn a line of excellence that has worked fabulously to date. To change our standard would serve no purpose except to regress to a a lower quality.
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:00 AM   #69
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Quote:
A suggestion about possibly a new part of the RPG section: in the future, maybe there could be a section of RPGs especially for slightly less Tolkien orientated RPGs?
As a lover of the RPG's on the barrow downs, I don't like the idea of it. But since people want it badly, maybe it is an idea to try one at Middle Earth Mirth. Just to see how it goes. I think that if it is less middle earth related, it should still be bound to most of the rules of the RPGsection. So they can draw lightsabers, but not defeat an army of 200 orcs by themselves. (this considering the no superhero character rule)

Just an example. Of course it could prove a great laugh, but it should be well discussed, planned and guided by someone experienced, Rimbaud, or Mithadan for example.

Abedithon le
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:06 AM   #70
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This is off-topic, but must be addressed:
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I think that if it [Middle-earth Mirth] is less middle earth related
That is why Mirth is constantly on the verge of being closed and deleted. People confuse being allowed to be less serious with being allowed to do anything. That's a mistake that results in periodic purges of frivolous posts. Freestyle RPG suffered the same problem and had to be changed. Perhaps it is time to use the RPG template as a starting point to reform Mirth.

*** Please, do not continue this line of thought here. Back to topic. ****
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:11 AM   #71
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I would like to reinforce the answer that The Barrow-Wight gave with one more comment - The Barrow-Downs is only one of various Tolkien-related forums. There are others that allow for more general discussion or non-Tolkien related RPing. So there are plenty of possibilities for people to choose what they prefer and find a place to do it. The limitation to Tolkien discussions and RPGs is what makes this site unique.
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Old 07-12-2003, 12:58 PM   #72
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Alright, it was just a suggestion. Withdrawn.
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Old 08-12-2003, 01:37 PM   #73
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It’s been a while since this thread has been active, and I think it’s probably been open longer than it was intended to run for. But this is good, because I now have found my feet in the Downs RP system, and have had a chance to step back and look at the system as a whole. I’ve looked about a lot, I post in games in the Shire, and at the inn in Rohan and I’ve also read much of what goes on in all three forums.

This is what I’ve observed: a bustling and smooth running Shire, a struggling Rohan, and a largely empty Gondor.

I realize that the purpose of Gondor has been discussed ad infinitum on this thread already, and that it is fully intended to be the most slow moving of the three, but seeing a total of one new game open during the course of my half-year of gaming is not encouraging. The purpose of the levels (in my opinion) ought to be to encourage improvement and upward movement among the members. This is not what I see happening. What I have seen, in my half-year of gaming on the Downs, is vast improvement in my own writing, and in the writing of the majority of the Downers with whom I have gamed.

However, this hasn’t contributed to a sort of mass migration to Rohan where my “generation” so to speak, moves upward and leaves the Shire to a new batch of baby-gamers, perhaps paying a few visits back to help the newer players learn. What has happened instead is that the overall skill level of the Shire has gone up. The games which are being started now (including my own) are of a much higher complexity level than the ones that I was playing in when I first began. I can imagine that most of the maturing writers are feeling a little frustration with the (intentionally) beginner oriented standards of their playing environment, and as a result the games have become much less beginner friendly. In fact, gamers that had previously been playing in Rohan are coming to the Shire looking for well plotted games. This seems somehow off kilter.

Why aren’t we moving on to game in Rohan? Bethberry’s recent revision of the White Horse Inn has been a huge success, becoming overnight one of the most well written threads in the RPG section. Why aren’t we building our games there as well, crafting stories there where the standards are a little higher, and we don’t need to worry about taking on a few newbies to even out the playing field?

Here’s what I think. 1) The gamers in the Shire are abundant. There are always enough people looking to take on another game that we can feel confident about filling our rosters. All the action is in the Shire right now, “go where the players are” seems to be the mindset.

2) The new requirements of gaming in Rohan (while understandably designed to up the standards of writing there) make it necessary for any aspiring Rohan gamer to lead a game in the Shire. These gamers are people who are wanting to move on to Rohan because they are tired of gaming at the Shire level and want to move upward. They don’t want to play in another Shire-level game, much less run one. Therefore the game they start might be Rohan-level (my own included, though I didn’t realize this until well after it started).

***I don’t have any realistic suggestions for changing the standards, as anything that based movement on actual assessment of writing skill would make more work for our already overworked innkeepers and also put them at risk of accusations of bias. However, I think the idea of “running a game in the Shire” before moving to Rohan sets an unnecessary block in the way of mature writers and opens the way for less experienced (but more confident) writers who might still need time in the Shire.***

3) Many of us lack confidence and need a nudge out of the door. The mods might want to be on the lookout for this and encourage people to make the switch when it is time.

The inactivity of the Gondor Forum makes it an unattainable goal for most of us, I am more inclined to move forward if I have something achievable to reach for. Gondor isn’t this kind of a goal for the majority of the Downs RPers. While it needs to be fairly exclusive to maintain the high level of play (and freedom) that I have seen there, it also needs to be open for people who honestly want to work toward those standards. While the people currently on the list of founders decidedly deserve their positions on the list, they are (as Mithadan pointed out), some of the busiest among us, and therefore don’t have the time to lead new games. I believe there are other gamers currently playing at the Downs (many in the Shire, unfortunately) who could maintain the standard of play in Gondor, but who can’t get there, simply because there isn’t a game to prove themselves in. At present there isn’t even an inn that is active in which to test the waters. I think that making Gondor an attainable goal would encourage more gamers to leave the Shire and help make the three-forum setup what it was intended to be.

Sophia

Note: I have been slightly concerned about posting this, lest it be taken as a long string of criticism without any attempt at finding solutions. That isn’t how I intended it to seem at all, but to avoid making my post too long to read and follow, this post is really just the first few “cars” in a long train of thought on the subject.
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Old 08-12-2003, 02:26 PM   #74
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HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE THE BARROW-DOWNS, SOPHIA! [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img]

Actually, you raise some valid points. I am not troubled about the dearth of games in Gondor. It was always anticipated that there would rarely be more than two or three games in that forum at any time.

However, there have been far too few proposals submitted in Rohan. This has resulted in Bethberry opening planning threads as an experiment to work up game plots. Can anyone suggest any reason why there are so few proposals if people do want to RP in Rohan?

The requirement of running a game in The Shire was put in place for two reasons. First, we consider the mechanics of running a game are the key to being able to RP at a higher level. Second, The Shire needs game owners or there will be no Shire games. Pio, Aman and Child simply can't help run every game. If there is an alternative to this approach, I'm willing to listen to it.
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Old 08-12-2003, 03:06 PM   #75
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The three tiered system does have it's problems and advantages obviously, as those have been stated, and on the whole it works quite well. The problem being people just seemingly don't want to move ahead, as there are too many limited options in the upper levels. Being able to play in Rohan and Gondor is one thing, but actually proposing games in the sparsely populated fora is another.

I think, and this is just being thrown out on a whim by me, that we need a new system for moving up. I was thinking of this, and when reading Mith's post I realised why our current system is in place, the fact that we do need game owners to take burdens off the Moderators, something I had never considered. While making it to Rohan is supposed to be considered a goal, it seems to not be considered one by quite a lot of people in The Shire, for reasons Sophia pointed out.

I think we obviously do need to keep the game ownership system in place, but, I think having moving to Rohan be the reward for running a game is unneccesary, as that doesn't seem to be the reason people are starting games. They seem to be starting games simply for the benefit of seeing their own ideas in action, which, is a perfectly wonderful reason.

One idea that occured to me is that we could have a reviewal board of certian RPGers. People who wished to move to Rohan and above would submit pieces of their RPGing to the board, that would then review them, and decide whether or not the poster needs more time in the current place of residence, or that they deserve to move up. One of the obvious problems would be favoritism of the people on the board, but I'm sure if we can have a more than one person on it, that favoritism would be near nil, and the members would be objective. I realise this would be a certainly voluminous amount of work, especially on the part of the reviewers, but it does work, and if enough candidates for the board could be gotten...well, then I think it could actually work. I think people would be more inclined to try and move up, if the system worked something like this.

Like I said, this is just one proposal, so far there hasn't been a terrible lot of new suggestions...so, this might as well be posted. Feel free to criticize or add to it as you will. Any thoughts?

Edit: A lot of this is probably incoherent, and not to mention irrelevent, but some solution need proposing, and being I'm now a member of the Green Dragon, and want to move to Rohan at some point, I felt this in some way applied to me.

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: Beren87 ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 05:22 PM   #76
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I have to agree the majority of players seem to be lingering in the Shire, or even moving down to play there. I notice this mostly in my own rpging habits - I started off in Gondor, in Castle Maladil. Once that finished, I went to In War in Rohan - that never finished, and there was a lack of games to play in, so I felt that if I really wanted games to play in, I had to go to the Shire.

This seems to mean that the Shire is becoming less and less about a beginner level - Corsairs and Corsets, for example, does not seem Shire game quality - I'm sure it's higher than that. There are many people currently playing in the Shire that are certainly at Rohan standard, or Gondor.

I do agree Rohan needs more games - the problem is getting people to submit proposals. I feel a tad hypocritical saying this, as I often mean to do that myself [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] but never get round to it. I also think there is a lack of confidence among the players to a certain extent - like I said before, a lot of games started in the Shire, I feel could be in Rohan. Perhaps if the Shire moderators feel a game may be up to Rohan standard, it could be started there. This would mean more activity in Rohan, a place I really only go for the Inn.

The board could be a good idea, but it seems quite time consuming and a lot of work, and it seems the moderators in the Shire have a lot to do already.
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Old 08-12-2003, 06:23 PM   #77
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I like the idea of gamers owning games, but I think that many of the games being proposed in the Shire (the only forum open to many) are not really suited for beginner play. The games being proposed have multiple storylines and require a good deal of politics and internal characterization on the part of game players. To my way of thinking, ownership and moving up should be separate.

I like the idea of some sort of non-affiliated writing standard. (Good idea, Beren). Volunteers could be found, there are plenty of qualified people. I also believe that people should be required to play a certain number of Shire games before moving up (I suggest at least two) in order to get to know the Barrow Downs system.

My idea for the game ownership is as follows. Proposals would be made to and assisted by someone not affiliated with any particular gaming forum. In other words, there would be a central proposal process that would not be associated with the Shire, Rohan, or Gondor. Once developed, the proposal would then be assigned to a forum based on several characteristics, some of which might include: complexity and number of the storylines, amount of freedom needed by the characters, how external or internal the action would be, and what level of the fora the game owner will be qualified for by the time the game begins. In this way we keep the ownership system, have more appropriate games for each level, and have a draw for people in Rohan to propose and join games.

I hope this is all clear and sensible. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

[ August 12, 2003: Message edited by: The X Phial ]
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Old 08-12-2003, 07:21 PM   #78
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Quote:
Perhaps if the Shire moderators feel a game may be up to Rohan standard, it could be started there.
Just a quick thought which I suppose could only really be answered by a mod.

That's a great idea, but what about Bethberry's list? You must be on that list to actually play a game in Rohan. I'll use C&C (Corsairs and Corsets) as an example. I do think that could easily be a Rohan game, but here's a thought. When Child suggested the idea of a 'women's RPG' on one thread, Manardariel, Sophia, and I all PMed her proposing to start a game like that. The three of us became game owners, and we began to plan the game. So let's say that while reading through the C&C planning thread, they thought the game might be better suited for Rohan and they decided to move it there. Would this mean that the players who showed interest in the game and were not on the Rohan list would be told, "Sorry, you aren't on the list," and that I would be removed as a game owner, or would an exception be made?

I felt as though I had to write this, even if only to satisfy my curiousity. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-12-2003, 10:10 PM   #79
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Nurumaiel,

I read X-Phial's suggestion, went away to scribble out a reply, and then came back to post. But you've already put your finger on the problem.

As long as we maintain the present three-tier system, I don't think a centralized proposal board would work. Whatever credentials you adopt, the present ones or others, you'll have some people authorized to play in the Shire, while others will also have their names on the Rohan list or even be qualified as a founder in Gondor.

Let's say the board felt that the planning thread for Corsairs and Corsets was of such complexity and depth that the game qualified for placement in Rohan. What would happen to the many posters and founders on the planning thread who worked long and hard, but who weren't on the Rohan list? (You could have a similar situation with dedicated characters listed on an application even without a planning thread.)

It wouldn't be fair to catapault a game forward and leave those people behind. It also wouldn't be fair to "promote" someone permanently to the next level (or even two levels up) merely on the basis of a single RPG proposal. Whatever requirements are applied, they should look at a person's entire contribution.

And if you simply let games fall where they may according to the reviewers, and grant "temporary" promotions to whichever posters happen to be listed on the proposal, there's really no reason to keep a three-tier system at all.

There's another problem. Many game founders on the Rohan list have chosen to submit a proposal to the Shire. This happens frequently; of the 18 current and past game founders in the Shire, 8 (almost half) were on the Rohan list and might have submitted a proposal there.

I would guess some of these individuals wanted to game with friends who might not be on the Rohan list. Again, I would not want a centralized board to take away that option and require a person to go forward with a game to Rohan if that truly wasn't that individual's choice.

Having said that, I do think Sophia and others have pointed to some important issues. I am speaking here only as an individual rather than a mod. There are already discussions under way about trying to encourage Rohan posters to come forward with more game proposals.

Before we get into any questions of changing the system or the rules, I personally feel our first obligation should be to those individuals who have met the current requirements for promotion to the next forum, or will meet those requirements in the next month or so.

Bethberry would be the one who can and should determine those on the Rohan list. I do know that this is something she's giving thought to with help from those of us who primarily work in the Shire.

In a sense all of us have been caught in the summer doldrums. The new rules were put into effect right before vacations started so implementing them has gone slower than expected. Hopefully, the process of review and discussion will speed up now that most of the mods and posters have unpacked their bags and settled down to business again.

Again, thanks for the ideas. Don't hesitate to list more suggestions here or write us individually (at least after we get our pms fixed!).

Cami

[ August 13, 2003: Message edited by: Child of the 7th Age ]
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Old 08-13-2003, 12:25 PM   #80
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I guess it is now my turn to add some ideas to the pot which is bubbling here. Not Stone Soup but something just as creative I hope. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

A crucial point, to my mind, is how to encourage and inspire people to start games in all the forums. After all, the writing's the thing wherein we catch desire's imaginings. It was to that end that I tried to create a new White Horse Inn which would make writing there attractive.

I think that Beren's point, that people start games for the fun of the idea, is crucial. I game for the enjoyment and challenge of interactive writing and I would hope that all the rules which come into play would support this creative urge in everyone as well as myself.

I still think that the three tier system is viable and important; even with fewer forums, we would still be faced with the questions of different writing and gaming interests and abilities. However, I won't into that now. My interest here is to think about how games can best work.

Rohan needs a more responsive proposal system. I have not been part of that in the past, but we are now working on creating a process which encourages game development. I would like to see Rohan be the place where gamers learn to trust themselves as gamers, where they can feel comfortable if they make mistakes and where they can learn from those mistakes, and where they can demonstrate that they can follow a game's vision with some supervision and help. This is, I think, the next level up from learning basically what is involved in gaming--which is alot in itself, as witnessed by the tremendous work which The Shire Mods do.

With the new list of Rohan gamers, identifying new gamers has become crucial also. In the past, I did this informally, via PM. Now, with pio's and Child's help and advice, it will be done formally and regularly. As Child acknowledges, summer brings RL obligations which cut into time spent here. I am really appreciative of their help because keeping up with two forums is a scramble. Sophia, if you want nudges, I'll be giving them!

The list has made it difficult to fill places in games which have come up when gamers have been called away by RL obligations. This has affected all of the Rohan games. Speaking for myself, perhaps we need to think of how to augment that list in special cases, or expediate movement from The Shire to Rohan, always being careful to preserve fairness, in truth and in appearance.

And, speaking of RL forcing disappearances, In War is on hiatus because the game owner faced serious family problems. We are trying to contact him so somone else can take over the game, but his PM box is full!

I would say that, if someone can provide major input in developing a multiple-layered story with well-developed characterization (and in the process show some sense of interpreting Tolkien), then something is out of kilter if that person cannot be categorized as writing for that level of game. Surely the basis ought to be the evidence of that person's posts and contributions to games. Is the complexity of the system creating problems?

I guess we are still working on the question of how games can work best.

Bethberry
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