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Seminar: The Un-Staffer

Summary: Crenshaw's player leads a discussion on how players who are not members of the staff can create good roleplay, particularly with regard to player-run organizations.

Air Date: 2005.09.18

Note: This log captures the end of the seminar. If you have the beginning, please add it.

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Crenshaw says, "So... anything else we should discuss? Any final advice we leave to the ages?"

Kastaprulyi raises a tentacle.

Crenshaw says, "We're really not raising hands in this seminar so much, so you can just go ahead. :)"

Kastaprulyi adds simply, "Social RP is good... But somebody probably already said that."

Crenshaw says, "Uh... well, no, actually. What do you mean?"

Crenshaw says, "Well, maybe."

Silvereye returns.

Newt kinda hinted at it with his IC/OOC comms but only in a very obscure way. Kas has a point though.

Silvereye wants to say something about Ads.

Kastaprulyi says, "Well, I'll hang around someone giving an IC speech, or combat RP, but only because I know it'll probably lead to some fun IC conversation later on. If it's covered up and never affects anyone's behavior, it doesn't matter how momentus it was, it might as well have never happened."

Crenshaw says, "Yeah, we were discussing the fact that orgs can't usually be successful unless there is downtime RP too."

Crenshaw says, "What did you want to say, Silvereye?"

Newt notes that communicating through means other then direct RP can help that. If say, you're a pilot and you practice on the sims alot, telling the appropriate ppl oocly that could lead to rp in them asking you about it or a promotion or...

Silvereye says, "Advertising can be very dangerous. I'm speaking from the position of the Old Militia where he had a problem that I've seen echoed recently with the Hyperion, the advertising gets so good (in this case from a player hyping the org through word of mouth to newbie) that you end up with people who don't know how to RP and a size that the org cannot support. If you expand too fast you can either burn out the leader as in the case of the Hyperion or simply expand beyond what your leaders and events can support. Do it wisely."

Silvereye says, "And don't be afraid to say 'we're closed'. This is easier for ships than orgs like militaries, but it applies to both cases."

Crenshaw says, "Yeah, it's funny -- you might actually get more applicants by telling everyone how exclusive your org is."

Boomer says, "Sometimes though, those newbie-welcoming orgs turn out some of the most well-known players.. but yeah, I can see the downfall of such a thing as to much advertising."

Kastaprulyi nods to Silver. Marlan's player tries to be very open to newbies who want to RP. But with the IC situation and personalities being what they are, nobody'd bat an eye if Marlan shot down an application. Probably depends on whether it's actually special or not, Crenshaw. :)

Silvereye says, "Open orgs also have to be willing to except high turn over rates in new players."

Silvereye says, "In the vein of what Kast said."

Kastaprulyi eyes Boomer.

Crenshaw says, "I think it goes both ways, really. The AES is actually, as far as I can tell, a fantastic org for newbies -- it's not really cliquish but it gives you a pretty good opportunity to meet other people and make OOC contacts. But other orgs definitely benefit from being more selective."

Crenshaw says, "The other thing is... I think people try to recruit thinking that it will be a solution to their org's problems."

Kastaprulyi says, "Yep, the motley crew of an ancient ship spends a lot of time hanging around getting to know people between adventures, which does seem to give good networking opportunities. Who did that, Cren?"

Silvereye says, "The exception being if their org's problem is that they have no players."

Crenshaw says, "But the truth is, I think each new player you recruit as an org leader is a responsibility, particularly if the player has few IC options by virtue of their membership in an org -- for example, a military org. So people have to determine what they want to accomplish by recruiting."

Crenshaw says, "Expanding an org's size is not in itself a good thing."

Kastaprulyi says, "It means the ones recruiting think making more work for themselves would be fun. :)"

Crenshaw says, "Yeah, and I think it is fun to run an org."

Crenshaw says, "But you have to have realistic expectations of what it means, and also realize that orgs shouldn't be measured only by their size."

Silvereye was speaking from the position that I have tried to recruit to solve my orgs problems, namely that we have no players.

Crenshaw says, "Yeah, having absolutely no players is a problem."

Crenshaw says, "On the other hand, the problem with an org with just two players is not necessarily that it isn't big enough."

Silvereye says, "Absolutely true. I don't think the DM is in a position to have more players."

Crenshaw says, "So... what's next? How can we encourage players to take more leadership and support those who do?"

Silvereye thinks you'll have trouble converting followers like myself into leaders. They just seem to crop up. "We can encourage players to be more active and to take a role in how their org is run, but I think that's about it."

Crenshaw says, "Do you think being active means something more than just showing up?"

Silvereye says, "Yes. Active means taking some initiative. You can see a plot like a vessel that you fill up with your actions or you can see it as an opportunity to explore your character and the others in the org with you."

Crenshaw nods. "I think giving back is really important in RP, whether you're a staffer, an unstaffer or just an active player. So really trying to think of ways to get other people involved, and to give them a chance to grow as well. I think that's part of what makes RP fun, really -- reacting to things, but also setting out opportunities for other players to take advantage of."

Kastaprulyi says, "Keeping everyone active, when they have wildly different ideas of what constitutes entertaining RP, can be pretty tough. Should a leader work to make sure that every event or opportunity has something for everybody, or try to inspire enough events that at least somebody especially likes it?"

Crenshaw says, "Variety is probably always good -- we discussed that a little bit earlier. I dunno, what do you think?"

Kastaprulyi says, "Say you have six people who you know could participate if they wanted to. Do you go for entertaining six people once a week, or two people three times a week? I know it's easier said than done, but personally I think a leader should at least make a reasonable attempt to make an event as fun for as many people as possible at once."

Boomer says, "Having someone act stupid seems to be a great way to involve folks, it seems."

Crenshaw nods to Boomer. "It's a lot easier if you can separate yourself from your character enough to abandon any sense of pride. :)"

Silvereye thinks that's why casual RP is important. That tells you what the players consider important or fun RP. "Also why IC/OOC communication is good."

Kastaprulyi says, "It helps if that comes naturally to your character, :)"

Boomer says, "Aye."

Kastaprulyi says, "Well, sometimes people don't communicate their feelings about types of RP because they assume everybody feels the same way. Somebody made a comment to me one time about how getting involved with Arc events would be great. When I said 'would it?' I think they thought I was crazy. :)"

Crenshaw says, "Yeah, people definitely have different tastes when it comes to RP. I have to admit that I have trouble with the sortof soap-operay scenes, if that makes sense, but some people love them. So it really is about providing opportunities for all sorts."

Kastaprulyi says, "What about using IC communications to jumpstart OOC discussions of what went well and what not so well? Way back when, Porter had some short captain's logs for the Minerva. They looked like a neat idea, but I've never seen another ship implementing something like that. (I tried, but I don't think I have the writing skills for it). Any thoughts on the practicality or usefulness of that?"

Crenshaw says, "Well, that's something any player could take up as their project -- and in fact you seem to have done so OOCly for the Athena."

Kastaprulyi says, "Kas was too enthusiastic and its memory too good for me to keep up with everything -and- filter it through Kas' interests. :)"

Crenshaw says, "But even OOCly -- it's the kind of little project that players can undertake without having any special IC or OOC authority. Only their initiative.""

Kastaprulyi says, "Actually, Marlan's player was the one who really encouraged me. Marlan assigned Kas to internal communications, among other things."

Kastaprulyi says, "Now, I could have gone to Marlan and asked for permission to write IC reports. But the fact is, I didn't think of doing so, and hadn't realized her player doesn't even like handling reports. Did we already discuss delegation of responsibilities? :)"

Newt kinda mentioned it :)

Silvereye lives for bugging Chalice with reports.

Boomer is sure he lives for something.

Crenshaw says, "Marlan hates writing anything. News reports, logs... she'll delegate that pretty much every chance she gets."

Silvereye also writes damn good reports.

Crenshaw says, "Sometimes it's okay not to wait for something to be delegated to you, though. Which brings up the question of what players can do on their own and what they should really talk over with a staffer first."

Kastaprulyi says, "Very important."

Newt says, "I think in part, that needs to be encouraged. Sometimes ppl aren't sure what they should/could be doing and don't ask, either due to not thinking of asking, not wanting to look dumb or whatever. A poke in the eye can be encouraging. :)"

Stargazer belatedly stumbles in.

Mika coughs and totally knew this was going on.

Silvereye says, "If a staffer runs your org then get to know them a little bit. Figure out what they like and dislike and what they feel the direction of the org should be. Then you can usually go from there. You do need some kind of regular contact, though. Makes things easier."

Silvereye waves to the newcomers.

Crenshaw says, "Unless you're killing PCs or stealing lots of stuff or doing really terrible things, I think players are generally safe to plot -- but maybe Mika has some better guidelines on that. :) Actually the other thing people really don't like is making their planet/org's NPCs seem like blithering idiots."

Silvereye says, "You mean like Trueguard blowing up the landing pad?"

Crenshaw doesn't know who Trueguard is?

Silvereye says, "That's right..."

Silvereye coughs.

Silvereye says, "One of our Militia Demarians in the old Militia had kind of reputation for doing stupid things. Even though he left the militia Trueguard still hung around Demaria and bought his own ship, setting a hacker to work removing the safeguards on its reactor. Boom."

Silvereye says, "That is an example of what not to do."

Kastaprulyi can copy it over, if that log isn't on the Wiki. :)

Crenshaw says, "Okay... I'm really talking about, for example, crimes being allowed to take place on Sivad's landing pad without SHIELD NPCs (at least) being involved or Ungstiri firefighters letting a fire blaze out of control or that sort of thing. Things that would reflect poorly on other people's planets/orgs without giving them a chance to participate or set the record straight or what have you."

Crenshaw says, "See, now the seminar is getting started I think... :)"

(OOC) Kastaprulyi says, "Who's logging?"

Stargazer remembers Trueguard.

Crenshaw says, "I am now.."

Tresillian logs /everything/

Crenshaw says, "Usually I do too, I forgot it wasn't set up on this computer. Probably another good hint, actually, for org leaders -- logs are recruiting tools."

Mika says, "I am of the opinion that if your group is not telling a story and recording it, then it is worthless, as far as groups go."

Kastaprulyi sort of said that. :)

Boomer says, "I never log."

Crenshaw says, "Well, then it follows that..."

Kastaprulyi says, "If it's really and truely secret activities that other players can't be trusted with, you should -at least- make sure it has lasting consequences in your character's behavior or some government's policy. Logs are great. IC conversations, letters and news releases are often better,"

Crenshaw says, "How good are players here at keeping IC information separate when they read it in a log?"

Mika says, "Depends entirely on the player."

Silvereye says, "Depends entirely on the player but usually pretty good."

Boomer says, "Aye."

Boomer says, "I usually forget it by tomorrow anyway."

Newt says, "It's why I don't really read logs, Cren."

Newt says, "I'll probably forget, but I'll probably forget where I got the info from too."

Silvereye says, "It's really not difficult, but there are people that abuse it. To be honest I find a function like 'where' or 'listlocs' more open to abuse."

Crenshaw admits that he doesn't read logs all that often due to a short attention span. Although he definitely reads some occasionally.

Mika says, "There are a few people here who are really nasty about it. And yeah -- I agree with Silv."

Mika loves reading logs. Good ones. I really don't like logs that just sort of open and close in the middle of the action, without a clear beginning or end. Those aren't interesting to read.

Newt uses listlocs to find rp when he wants it. better then having to go through every room in an area.

Tresillian lives keeping IC and OOC seperate, or trying really hard to, being an active LARPer

Silvereye says, "After a while you figure out people's habits. I can usually track where certain people are using those features, so it's not like logging would be a big deal. It's better to log and share the good roleplay with newbies than to just close it off because of potential risk. People whoa buse it can be dealt with."

Boomer says, "I don't even know what listlocs is."

Kastaprulyi nods to Silver. "Some big spoilers I feel uncomfortable reading about. But if it's something my character should know I absolutely want to read it. And the ones I'll never be influenced by are fun too.

Silvereye says, "It's where."

Mika will admit to 'tagging' specific people who have abused it.

(OOC) Boomer says, "Ah."

Mika says, "And being really wary of keeping track of what they know."

Silvereye says, "There's nothing wrong with that. Everyone subconsciously tags player and characters they don't like. And to tie that back into an org situation you can even screen for those people. You're an org leader. You have the right to refuse entry to anyone."

Silvereye says, "There's no affirmative action or equal opportunity here. If you don't like them, don't hire them."

Tresillian nods, "There are a number of reasons the Teamhair doesn't have much of an active crew...."

Boomer says, "Because you are an unreasonable ball of hate?"

Stargazer says, "I don't read them when they're fresh. But I think I'm good at keeping out OOC infor from y IC play."

Boomer says, "I don't think I've 'tagged' anyone yet, will see..."

Tresillian says, "Well, my point actually refers back to Mika's first comment on effectiveness but..."

Kastaprulyi says, "It's hard to say what might be too much IC info, but sometimes a spoiler warning on a log might be nice."

Mika says, "*All* logs are spoilers, if you want to get technical."

Stargazer agrees with Mika.

Tresillian says, "On reading logs, it depends on my attention span a bit so I'll only read logs I want to read."

Stargazer says, "Like spoilers I do not."

Crenshaw says, "And sometimes IC information can be used judiciously, in fairness. One can be too strict about IC information I think -- sometimes you look the other way on very minor things just to get people involved. But yeah, I guess I can see it as a problem."

Silvereye says, "But what if you're say, Stargazer on Quaquan and you're reading about Silvereye's personal life on Demaria? That's like watching TV."

Tresillian says, "Unless your character is 'in' the log, Mika, then it might just be looking at it from a different angle"

Crenshaw says, "Mika, we were talking earlier about how far a player's initiative can go before seeking staff assistance? If a player is running a plot when is the time to get a staffer, to ask for permission, help, whatever?"

Stargazer says, "Or reading a bio I guess."

Stargazer's characters have started lots of plots without even trying.

Tresillian believes the key to 'do I need an admin' is 1)does this action lead someone's character potentially getting hurt (I've seen lots of potentiial scenes fizzle like that) and 2) does this action have the potential to effect a world or the wider mush in an significant way

Kastaprulyi adds, 3) will this action be sufficiently fun for other people to be worth the effort and 4) is it stepping on the toes of someone who already had something planned

Silvereye still thinks just open up a dialogue with the admin in your area. Significantly more difficult with ship crews, but get to know your admin's feelings towards RP a little bit and go from there.

Mika says, "Golden rule: before you kick off a plot, run the entire outline by a staffer. +str it if you have to. Granted, all good plots should have 'breathing room' for players to branch out and have their way with it, but they all need a general direction, and making sure you aren't unknowlingly screwing something up before you get started is the best way to open dialogue."

Crenshaw says, "It probably isn't a bad idea to have a sort of staff "mentor" for that sort of thing anyway."

Kastaprulyi says, "Wish someone told me that before, Mika. :)"

Mika nods. And of course, you generally need staff intervention for things like theft or murders, or things of that nature. Anything that would cause an upset.

Silvereye says, "Generally it's not difficult to get into contact with the staffer of your choice, the more comfortable you are with each other the easier things will go and generally the more leeway you're going to get in running your plot."

Mika says, "Bingo."

Silvereye says, "Don't make demands of them either, they're as much a process of making the plot work as your org members are."

Mika says, "Just don't act like a fucktard, or be so inflexible with your plans that you won't hear reason or suggestions, or automatically assume that staff wants to screw you before you even start. And remember that while you will mostly be GMing your own events, staff is *always* the final arbiter."

Mika says, "They're staff for a reason."

Tresillian says, "The reason I dont tend to run plots is I'm not good at expanding my ideas. My Aspergers tends to make me really good at hyper-focusing and missing the 'extra stuff' that makes a plot fun for others."

Crenshaw nods to Silvereye. "I would imagine that staffers get really annoyed by players who basically ask them to run scenes for them. On the other hand, go to a staffer with a workable idea, an open mind and the intent to basically do it yourself as far as you can and they'll probably be happier."

Mika says, "Beware of vanity plots."

Crenshaw says, "Like mine. *eyeshift*"

Mika falls over.

Mika staples herself to the MUSH.

Silvereye hmms at Mika. "Yeah, that makes sense. I've never run into it myself."

Crenshaw says, "Vanity plots?"

Kastaprulyi says, "It wouldn't hurt to have proof that you actually -can- run the plot yourself, and won't be needing to be bailed out. That goes back to having a staff mentor who knows you."

Mika says, "Vanity plots. Plots where you are *required* to succeed, and the outcome can be nothing but you and your group looking good."

Boomer says, "No one likes to fail."

Tresillian nods at Kas, "Confidence is a big part of it too... I like to have the Mechanics and Technical info and knowledge about what stuff can do and what people can do with it....

Crenshaw says, "Well..."

Mika says, "Yeah, well, it's RP, and sometimes you do."

Boomer says, "Aye, sometimes you do."

Kastaprulyi says, "Or where you're required to fail, and end up looking good."

Silvereye says, "Another problem with the Vanity plot is that your members lose touch with reality."

Crenshaw says, "Let's put it this way, though. As a plot creator, you can probably legitimately not want the people in your plot to fail. But if you're running a plot in order to make your own character look good, you really need to reconsider what you're doing."

Silvereye says, "They think that they can get through anything unscathed, and now that Mika has clarified it for me I have seen that. Specifically look at the Nall War arc."

Crenshaw says, "It goes back to the thing about putting aside your character's pride."

Boomer says, "Explain?"

Mika says, "Yes. Crenshaw nailed it."

Mika says, "Don't run plots solely to make your character look like the shit."

Boomer says, "Wish I had that... heard it was nice."

Silvereye may still be lost on the Vanity Plot concept, then, since the Nall War was pretty much pat on the back feel good for OATO forces.

Tresillian coughs, "Another reason I don't run plots...."

Mika says, "And if you're ever upset that your character is not the shit, then you need to seriously step back and reassess your reasons for being here."

Mika says, "Well, there's a lesson there. Sometimes even staff misses. We're all human."

Crenshaw says, "Or at least realize that sometimes being in the shit is more fun than being the shit."

Kastaprulyi says, "Shouldn't good players be able to redirect a potential vanity plot into a more realistic one, just through the course of normal RP?"

Mika says, "Conflict and tension are underrated."

Mika says, "Good players, yes."

Crenshaw remembers Cruyer once accidentally overriding a bunch of RNSers' orders to their Specialists to cease firing randomly into friendly forces...

Tresillian says, "Not that I think my characters are the shit, or anything.... it more I dont' like the idea of my plot not working. :)"

Crenshaw says, "Working OOCly and working ICly are different things, though."

Silvereye hmms. "I don't know. I certainly think some characters like most people want to be the shit, Silver wants to be a good fighter pilot and takes pride in himself when he does things right.

Stargazer says, "I'm wondering. Why even worry about 'running plots' Sometimes just playing your character can create situations that will draw in other players and maybe staff."

Kastaprulyi says, "Working OOCly means you at least made things happen, even if you failed, right Tres?"

Boomer says, "I was talking with Brody about that, one day.. He said that is what he likes most about Chia. That it's more about playing a character, compared to OS plot runs."

Stargazer nods, "I totally agree. I think you're all trying way way too hard to be 'part of a plot' where the life of your own character and how that character reacts, etc is a plot.

Crenshaw says, "It wasn't really my scene, but when Cruyer decided to land on Waldheim the results were ICly disastrous but OOCly great. It had a lot of interesting consequences. And while every character probably wants ICly to be "the shit," as we have decided to call it, if you OOCly want to be "the shit" too (and, what the hell, it's a fantasy, if you want to be a hero, be a hero) you probably shouldn't be running plots."

Tresillian says, "I firmly believe the old pen and paper RP addage: 'Even the best plots break on contact with the players'. I don't write good plots (they're narrow) ergo, my plots will break so OOCly what's the point of running it."

Kastaprulyi nods to Star. Playing your character works 90 percent of the time, but I think OS depends on some really hard work the other 10 percent. We don't have as fully developed politics and social interactions as Chia (or so it seems to a non-player), so we depend on the big exciting plots to get people talking, motivated and in something together.

Stargazer says, "I don't know if the old logs of they time Jasra, Frost and what's his name, pissed off three worlds by being involved with the shooting of a Nall. None of that was staff driven, we created our own mini-arc by accident."

Crenshaw says, "It's like I either said or typed and then didn't get a chance to say... the line between creating RP and running a plot can be very thin. Is it a plot or creating RP when a bear attacks a camp on Quaquan or a shuttle crashes on Ungstir -- and in both cases it's a foregone conclusion no harm is going to come to any PCs? I think if people realized that "running a plot" isn't quite as magical as people think it is, they might be more willing to do it."

Mika says, "In my experience, make your plots the day-to-day of your characters."

Crenshaw says, "What do you mean?"

Mika says, "Jackal was a bunch of thieves and pirates. We'd get together OOCly and say, 'what would be fun to have this lot do?'"

Tresillian is sorry, but he rp's for the slight rush he gets when things don't go the way he expects... If I'm the one leading a scene and I thimk I'm going to lose it... the rush is different and rather not nice.

Silvereye doesn't really have a 'day-to-day' experience with Silvereye so usually my RP is plot oriented in one way or another. "Or a casual scene with someone I know, but those are infrequent. It was like a plot whenever the Faux or Jackal pulled into port."

Boomer says, "I bet..."

Boomer snickers

Mika nods. Plots don't have to be big, grand things.

Mika bwahahas.

Stargazer says, "Nope, the can be little rather stupid things too."

Silvereye says, "H. Christ..."

Crenshaw says, "So you actually planned out OOCly together what you wanted to do? That's something we haven't discussed at all tonight."

Mika says, "Hell, the second Jackalplot was going to be us setting up a salvage yard."

Mika says, "Yeah. We'd get together and kick around ideas."

Mika says, "That's the thing about orgs -- they're only as good as the people in them."

Crenshaw says, "Do you think every org could benefit from doing something like that?"

Kastaprulyi says, "You can try something that can't possibly be messed up, Tres, because you -can't- plan the consequences of it. That's a good idea, Mika."

Boomer says, "The Jackals were really tight-knit... bigger crews, with more varied group of people... may be a little harder. I still think it wouldn't hurt trying."

Silvereye says, "You know, we really should have had more experience in this room from the get-go. We've reached a new revelation after three and a half hours of discussion."

Boomer chortles.

Mika laughs.

Stargazer says, "Like shooting that Nall, stupid thing. But was a great stirrer up of OS doodo. Then there was the Silver Salmon landing in the sacred ravine on Quaquan. That warmed things up for a month I think."

Silvereye remembers that. You'd be amazed how much RP comes from players doing stupid things.

Kastaprulyi says, "It's not really a waste of time. These ideas should last us a good long while."

Stargazer says, "Made them disassemble the ship and take it out piece by piece and reassemble it to take off."

Boomer says, "Yeah, stupidity is a great way to kick of rp..."

Mika says, "Nothing says good RP like getting yourself into a heap of trouble."

Kastaprulyi says, "Or even not-so-stupid things. I had a short but unique RP situation when someone offered Kas a go on his violent video game :)"

Stargazer nods and grins at Mika. "Yep."

Silvereye says, "And thus was born Carnageprulyi, destroyer of worlds."

Boomer grins.

Tresillian says, "I'm not much of a planner Kas, like I said I tend to hyper-focus on tha outcome, or something and miss all thos hooks that let people tug things in their own direction - which creates interest for other people..."

Mika nods. DON'T focus on the outcome. You have no idea what the outcome will be -- if you're guiding people toward a specific resolution, you're not doing a good job as a GM.

Tresillian says, "Not that I'm saying I'm a control freak, I'm not... I just don't like it when stuff doesn't work, ot things change... or whatever"

Mika says, "Let the players write the ending. All you need to do is be there to pick up their slack and push things along if they hit a snag."

Tresillian nods at Mika, "Right. That's why I don't GM" ;)

Boomer says, "I suppose some people are leaders, some are followers, you need both."

Mika says, "Takes both kinds."

Stargazer says, "Then you're in the wrong place. Anyone 'planning' a plot here must know that it won't go they way they want it. It's better to have several possible ending ideas and know that the players will run with any plot and make it their own for good or bad."

Silvereye nods. I know that a plot as a series of actions waiting for the characters to catch up with them is bad, but it's really how I tend to RP.

Crenshaw says, "The other extreme is when players are sortof wandering about in a daze not really sure what they're supposed to be doing -- yeah, like Mika said, it is sometimes necessary to dangle something in front of them to get them going again"

Stargazer says, "I think it's better to leave a plot idea open ended. Start it and then let it run on it's own steam."

Boomer says, "Well, I'm gonna draw this guy out. Thanks Cruyer, for holding this, thanks other folks for showing."

Kastaprulyi says, "Well, you do sort of have to write an outline of what you generally think is going to happen, for Mika's sort of plotting. But Tres, you could also get people moving by tossing out loads of creative ideas and hoping somebody will bite on one."

Crenshaw says, "And as I mentioned before, the greatest opportunity for creativity as a plotter is when players throw you a curve ball. That's when it gets exciting and when you start thinking of other possibilities."

Tresillian has tried tossing out ideas too....

Mika says, "On the topic of followers, however, the worst sort of player is a sheep. One who gives NOTHING to a scene but poses, and does nothing to contribute. We all know 'em -- ten thousand things are happening, they're in the thick of things, they have all kinds of information and things they could be doing to give the scene some meat, and all they can do is ':sticks hands in pockets and looks around.'"

Mika says, "TAKE SOME INITIATIVE."

Tresillian hopes people don't think he's a sheep....

Crenshaw doesn't.

Kastaprulyi says, "That's me sometimes. But it's only because I'm too uncomfortable to be creative. :)"

Mika says, "There is nothing worse than a packed scene of like a dozen people, and like eight of them are doing nothing but standing around with their thumbs up their asses."

Crenshaw says, "But yeah. You get out of RP what you put in most of the time. "Don't act, react" is bad advice on a MUSH. You'll be happiest if you do both."

Mika says, "Seriously, how is that even fun?"

Silvereye is known to lack initiative at times. Usually when there are other players around. "I dunno, I have a very developed sense of each character having their role in a certain scene and not wanting to infringe upon it.

Tresillian says, "I do it sometimes too, often when there are more people in a scene than I can cope with"

Kastaprulyi says, "If there are a lot of people in unspecified locations or a lot of violence, my creativity just shuts down. I just can't RP in any fun way in those situations. Was that maybe the problem, Mika?"

Crenshaw says, "It can also... I'm sorry to say this, and I'm not referring to specific cases here but in general... it's really awful to try to run a scene when you can't seem to get anyone interested in it, or interested in acting with respect to it. It's really discouraging because you end up putting a lot of work into the plot -- and it's only rewarding if you manage to get players to participate in it."

Tresillian says, "I'm not good at thinking on my feet unless I know some 'guidelines' or Steps to follow. Since I've /never/ been clear just what a computer jockey can do - 'Oh you can do anything you could do today' "Right, I'd like to hack into the communications...." 'Oh, you can't do that... you don't have enough time' -- Yes this is a generalization but I have been in this situation a few times with stuff not being 'Set-in-stone' so to speak"

Kastaprulyi says, "Right on, Tres. That's what the Wiki's for. :)"

Silvereye thinks we're all thinking too much in terms of what we suck at. "Which just highlights that there are different kinds of players and that you need a mix of them in any kind of successful org or plot."

Crenshaw says, "I did some theatre when I was in high school many moons ago -- mostly backstage but sometimes on -- and on stage you can always tell when people are engaging and when they aren't. If you're in a comedy and nobody is laughing it's really awful and demoralizing. Even if you're in a drama you can feel when the audience is engaged and when it isn't. So if you're not sure you really enjoy creating plots but you like participating in them, you can help out the person running the scene by trying to engage with it."

Mika looks back at this window and notes that she was not trying to accuse anyone here of doing such things, but admits the aforementioned behavior is just a huge pet peeve.

Crenshaw nods to Silvereye. "And that's the bottom line of this seminar, I hope. If you don't want to be an org leader and you don't want to run plots, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. But don't be /afraid/ to do it, or to take initiative in other ways. A good staff is very important to a MU* but good "unstaffers" are even more important. And when it comes down to it, if you make a mistake, it's a game. Nobody is going to die IRL, and if things go really wrong it can usually be fixed on a MUSH."

Tresillian does like to think he grabs the ball and runs with it when he gets the chance...

Mika suggests that all org leaders, or anyone interested in being one, read Falk's military primer. http://www.jointhesaga.com/seminars. Look at the section on captains. It applies to *all* leaders hoping to be worth their weight in good RP.

Crenshaw says, "And I think that's a good note to end on. Also it's 1 am here and this has been a very long seminar. :)"

Silvereye says, "This may be the longest seminar ever."

Mika says, "And I am technically dead."

Mika shuffles back to the grave.

Silvereye awwwws. Hugs incorporeal MIka.

Crenshaw says, "Really? Already?"

Silvereye says, "You won't be able to get drunk on my bonding night. :("

Mika says, "Nah. Raz will."

Mika says, "HE WILL BECOME A MAN."

Silvereye says, "Yeah, but Raz won't tell Ripplefur dirty stories."

Mika laughs.

Kastaprulyi says, "Isn't Raz being threatened with neutering before then?"

Crenshaw is terribly disappointed you didn't decide to die an anonymous, pointless death as a result of Regisan in his vanity plot. Goes off to mope.

Mika ahahas.

Stargazer says, "Silvereye is getting bonded? Ah poor Moonshadow."

Silvereye says, "Or of scerosis of the liver."

Silvereye eyes Stargazer.

Crenshaw says, "You could have been a statistic. But noooooooo."

Stargazer eyes the kitty back :)

Tresillian wanders off then...

(OOC) Silvereye better mosey back IC.

Crenshaw says, "The landing pad is unprotected!"

Silvereye says, "And why I said that OOC baffles me."

(OOC) Kastaprulyi moseies toward bed.

Silvereye says, "Yeah, well, your hospital bed is cold."

Lucius returns, and thumbs up.

Lucius says, "Great seminar. :)"

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