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Old 02-20-2011, 05:07 PM   #1
Desultory Dwimmerlaik
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Thumbs up RPG Forums Rules - Version 3.0

(Possibly a work in progress . . . .)

Developed by: Mithadan from "A Measure of Success" thread

A. Number of Forums.

Three (plus Elvenhome). This is, by the way, an issue where your suggestions changed my mind (more than once).

(1) The Game Forum, which will include the ongoing games and their discussion threads. The Inns would either be in this Forum of the Game Development Forum, whichever you all think is better.

(2) The Game Development Forum, for threads regarding proposed new games and related discussions. Each proposed new game should have its own thread which will be closed and deleted or moved after the game starts. Each thread should begin with a basic description of the game, type of game, anticipated length, skill level (if appropriate) and the Game Owner’s thoughts regarding types of characters needed. Members should post to refine the game idea, propose characters, etc. Recruiting can take place here. The Mods will monitor the proposal threads and make appropriate suggestions.

(3) The Rules and Resources Forum, which will include, of course, the forum rules and guidelines, existing “game seed” threads and gamer resource threads, etc. This will be a library of sorts. Most of the threads will be closed to posting except for a current resources thread. By resources, I mean links to websites having information benefiting members, such as sites describing weaponry and fighting, types of ships, writing tips, etc. The rules will be a liberalized (and hopefully somewhat shorter) version of the present Shire Rules revised to conform to this outline.

If as time passes there appears to be a real need for multiple game forums, we can revisit this issue, but I don’t think there is such a need now.

B. Types of Games.

We should have both Plot Based Games (story oriented games), focusing upon writing a tale outlined (and within reason controlled or managed) by the Game Owner, and Character Based Games (more spontaneous, less strictly controlled and scripted).

We should flesh out the definitions better, however a Plot Based Game is one where the Game Owner sets out a relatively detailed plot and character summary at the outset and takes a somewhat more active role in guiding the RPG from start to finish. As some have said, this is more like cooperative writing of a story.

A Character Based Game will begin with a much less detailed plot summary and the players will be able (and expected) to create the story as it progresses. This is where posts with “hooks” for people to respond to and plotting or cooperation between small (and often shifting) groups of players will take a greater role. This is more of a freestyle game.

Originally Posted by Feanor of the Peredhil
Plot Based Games: games wherein the players write with an eye toward fleshing out a story from a series of predetermined plot points.

Character Based Games: games wherein major plot points develop organically from the behaviors of the players' characters.
-- from Measure of Success thread.

The planning threads for each game should very CLEARLY indicate what type of game is being proposed. The planning thread should also include any conditions or restrictions that the Game Owner intends to impose, i.e. “I will be putting up obstacles and challenges as the game progresses” or “I will be controlling the progress of the plot and may ask you to rewrite posts that are inconsistent with what I have planned”.

If the game targets a particular skill level, this should also be indicated in the planning thread. FOR NOW, I would like to see all new games “open to all skill levels”. Later, we can move on to some games that cater to “intermediate” or “advanced” so long as games open to newcomers are always available.

C. Length of Games.

All games (other than the Inns) must have a definable beginning and end and an expected duration. FOR NOW, I would like us to begin with games of relatively short expected duration, less than three months and preferably four to six weeks, until we can see what the forums can sustain and to give interested members a chance to join and participate.

Expected duration is not hard and fast. If you estimate six weeks and the game takes eight or ten, so long as the game moves along and everyone is informed that the game is running over, this is fine. If a six week games turns into three or four months, or if the game is simply not progressing, expect to hear from the Mods.

D. Number of Games Running at One Time.

To ensure that we don’t have more games than our members can support (and to avoid members “doubling up” on games and over-committing), I think that FOR NOW we should limit the number of new games starting and running. I don’t know how many is the right number and I also don’t know how existing and ongoing games fit into this. I am very open to some form of queue system as you may propose. Otherwise, the Mods will have to police this issue.

E. Responsibilities of Game Owners.

Anyone who has participated in a RPG on the Downs previously may be a Game Owner. If you have abandoned a game previously, or have very limited experience, the Mods may require a co-Owner.

The whole concept here is to shift responsibility from the Mods to the Game Owners (or Managers, Facilitators, whatever title you want) to run and complete games. This is the only way this will work.

Game Owners will be responsible for creating and describing their concept in the Planning Threads, recruiting players, making the game move along, replacing absentee members and bring their game to completion in a more or less timely fashion.

Each game owner may recruit and select his or her own players, however, we REALLY need to avoid excluding people, particularly newcomers, until we reach some degree of a critical mass of games. If your game calls for a specific skill level, the Game Owner may POLITELY refuse to allow a less experienced player to join or allocate a lesser role to that player.

If a player goes AWOL, the Game Owner may, after PMing the missing player, replace him with another, or allocate his role to one or more existing players. Do not wait for a missing player to return, particularly if he or she disappears without notice.

Game Owners must identify the game type, Plot or Character Based, at the outset, and once done cannot change the rules in mid-stream. Game Owners must identify any restrictions or controls of game play at the outset. Don’t expect to be able to PM a member to say “change this” in a Character Based Game or if you haven’t otherwise given fair warning.

If a Game Owner abandons a game without notice, they will not be allowed to start a new game for an appropriate period of time. Absentee Owners are simply not acceptable. If an Owner realizes he or she must take time off or leave a game, the Mods must be notified and a replacement must be found.

Expected frequency of posting is to be set out in the Planning Thread with the initial outline and the Owner must get all players to commit to the expected frequency of posting and enforce it via PM and in the discussion thread. PM the Mods if you don’t get cooperation.

F. Starting New Games.

I can hear the cheers already. The formal game proposal procedures are no more. The Planning Threads will serve as the way to flesh out a concept. The Mods will monitor these threads and make suggestions as needed. Once the planning of a game is completed, please PM the Mod and say “we think we’re ready to start”. So long as there are no canonicity issues or questions regarding whether the Forum can support a new game (queue suggestions anyone?) the Owner can start the game and discussion threads in the Game Forum. The discussion thread should include in its first post the Game Outline and any character bios.

G. The Game Outline.

This is the beginning of any Planning Thread. It must include the proposed game name, setting (geographic and in time), the game type, skill level, expected duration and posting frequency, game restrictions or Owner conditions, and the plot outline. As always, the Outline must have a definable beginning and end.

The plot outline should be more detailed in Plot Based Games and less detailed in Character Based Games. It should include roughly how many and what type of characters are wanted. An example of a Character Based Game plot outline is as follows:

“A group of 5 travelers meet in an Inn in a small settlement in Rohan at the outset of the War of the Ring. They exchange stories until the settlement is attacked by Orcs and Men out of Orthanc. The travelers join the settlers in attempting to fight off the attack.”

There is a definable end; the end of the attack, win, lose or draw. There is considerable freedom for the characters to develop the plot themselves. You could have members playing Orcs. You could have an undisclosed traitor in the Inn. The story should tell itself as it progresses.

A Plot Based Game must give enough detail for the players to understand the story to be told and the roles of their respective characters.

H. Character Bios.

At least a minimal Bio must be posted for every RPG (not Inn) character. This must include at least the character name, race, and significant physical and personality traits. The Bio must be as detailed as the Game Owner requires. The Game Owner may require a brief backstory.

I. The Mods and Their Roles.

Piosenniel will continue in her role as chief Moderator of the Forums. We have three volunteers to assist her and she will allocate their roles and responsibilities.

The Mods will monitor the Planning Threads and story outlines. They will also monitor the number of games running and the progress of the games. If there seem to be more games running than the Forums can support, the Mod can ask that the start of a game be delayed. If a game is running too long, they will PM the Owner. If a game seems to be abandoned or on the verge of failing, they will PM the Owner and/or players. Any disputes should be referred to the Mods, as should absentee owners or players. One or more of the Mods will also be involved in the Inns, either directly as Innkeeper, or indirectly. The Mods will try to keep track of players looking for games and insert them into start up or, if appropriate, pending games. They will move games that are concluded to Elvenhome and deal with abandoned games as well.

The goal is for the Mods to be as hands off as possible. But they are responsible for order and operations.

J. The Inns.

It seems that Scarburg Meadhall continues to be popular and desired (perhaps as an RPG rather than an Inn?). There should be one or two other Inns, perhaps one for newcomers and a second for more experienced players. I leave it to Piosenniel to decide if existing Inns should be used or new ones started.

Inns are places to socialize in character and test character ideas and otherwise experiment. They are a great place to practice, to show that you are interested in joining a game or to just have fun. They should be far less informal than games, but members should still assume a character there. Talking generally about games and planning should take place in the Planning Threads or the Game Discussion Threads.

Last edited by piosenniel; 02-22-2011 at 10:23 PM.
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