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Linda

INFO: OOC Meetings?

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With season 2 of Game of Thrones coming to an end, we should be less swamped for a bit and we thought it might be a good time to have another OOC meeting.

If you have anything you'd like to see discussed, post on this topic.

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Topic: bastards

I may sound like half-a-nazi now but I think it's kinda unrealistic how people go along with characters who are bastards. Unless it's a bastard as a brother-from-another mother ( aka Robb Stark and John Snow), bastards are negative. Even John Snow gets the word thrown around his ears all the time and he's the bastard of a high lord! 90 percent of the players play a scion of a house of noble birth but only a few have shown even the slightest amount of disdain for a bastard character. The opposite! In meeting a new character who's a bastard, the disdain of Albyn for a common Vale bastard ( sorry, Andred :D)without position nor fame, is seen as childish, as a flaw. In the books bastards have a negative aura around them. There's even the saying that bastard blood = traitor blood ( if i remember well). So how come most of the people play their character positively towards bastards, almost feeling sorry for them. It's unrealistic to the world George created if you'd ask me. ( P.S. Luthor is an exception. He has his fame and ex-position as warden to rely on)) Tos quote the wikipedia= It's a social stigma. Even Ramsyn Bolton, after being made heir, was still refered to by his father as 'his bastard'.

'Men say that bastards are born from lust and lies, grow up more swiftly than other children, and their nature is wanton and treacherous.'

I could be wrong however, please correct me if necessairy.

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I've actually noticed this, too. I was originally going to make Am sympathetic to Andred, but when I saw all the bastard love I kind of went the other way. I try to remember to call Dred a bastard at least a few times in a scene.

As for topics I'd like to see discussed, maybe something along the lines of what is and isn't appropriate for a player to introduce into a scene without prior permission. I realize this could be an exhaustive topic, but maybe just a few examples?

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Bastards might be something to discuss, though perhaps an article is safer. I am a bit concerned that players of bastards might feel a bit to singled-out, even if it is done with the best of intentions. But we'll consider it.

The problem even with just a few examples of what is or isn't appropriate is that those sort of non-exhaustive lists very easily get interpreted as exhaustive. But perhaps a discussion about the issue can held without causing that problem.

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From the mouth of the beast himself:

The bastard love would be beneficial to discuss. Oft times, I have to NPC people muttering about Andred behind his back, because you guys are so damn nice to him. I know its because I am a naturally likeable guy and super awesome ;) , but you can be mean to my character. I promise I won't get mad. I picked a bastard character purposefully for the disdain and hardship it incurs.

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That is a great point, Andred. I have certainly found myself that it can be like that; PCs want to get along so they will be nice towards you and you end up needing to emit NPCs that give you the evil eye. ;) You certainly set a very good example that way.

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I see Janden as the sort who, because he's a black sheep himself, is a little more understanding of the situations others are in or what they are. He's also friends with Luthor and has learned there's more to what makes a person who they are than whether they're a bastard, baseborn or of high status. Plus, he's as much of a "white hat knight" as there probably is in Westeros and at least in Andred's case so far he's seen someone who might benefit from a lesson or two.

That said, it's good to remember the way bastards are liable to be treated in general, so it's still a good point. I've talked to a couple people here and there and it does sound like many players have tended to create or play characters that are more friendly toward everyone than might be expected. It's good for 'get along with people' RP but sometimes the conflict and stronger opinions toward people is much more fun. Look at Ethos, or how Farin can be, or Kendros and so on. Eventually everyone being nice to everyone else gets boring.

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Yes, I think we could definitely do with more IC antagonism -- without it spilling into OOC.

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Topic: Personal Arms & SP

I know there was a post about this recently in-game (currently Notices 24) and how SP is involved with characters who want to take up a personal coat of arms. Examples 1 & 2 (bastards and variations used in things like tourneys) don't require an SP but 3 (more or less new arms) does.

There was also another post that was just put up today that mentioned disowned characters can fall under the same category as bastards when it comes to personal arms. Since we do have some characters who are black sheep, Janden included, I wanted to see about a little more clarification about it. It'd seem to me black sheep are almost in a worse position in ways in spite of still being part of the House given that the lord of the House hasn't even seen fit to bother disowning them. They just hardly seem to see them as mattering - unless I'm misunderstanding the basic role of a black sheep.

The justify Janden has for that flaw deals with a lot of tension between him and his older siblings, including past fights, and further problems between him and his father. As far as I can tell, he can't really count on his father for anything meaningful and I've played it more like whatever he has, he's earned on his own. This includes tourney winnings and jobs he's held, including the current Royal Huntsman position.

When he was betrothed to Aurana there was very little benefit it brought, as it was written that her father was reluctant to agree to it and would only offer to pay for a townhouse in the city with the rest up to Janden to provide for by improving his station. That reads to me as if, based on what he can count on, Janden was in ways not far removed from living as a hedge knight might have.

If, in Westeros, personal arms are largely unregulated, wouldn't the circumstances provide a very IC reason to alter or select something of his own as a result? It's hardly the same as, say, waking up one day and deciding to change them on a whim "just because."

Essentially this is a question about how the SP may come into play because while I might like the idea of altered/personal arms I want to be careful about how I eventually spend it. It feels to me that if there's really a valid, legit reason for a character like Janden (or Urston, for that matter) to tweak their arms due to their situations, it's difficult to understand an SP being required to actually do it. Is it mainly because it's considered a perk and carries renown within the game? If so, how does that affect someone who's been disowned? Are they pretty much required to change arms and therefore it's not a perk, etc?

I guess a larger part of the question is just what an SP can be used for. As I understand it from reading things and talking to others they mainly come into play with improving chances in tourneys, bynames, personal arms and perhaps plot-related elements (maybe something like using one as a 'defensive' measure when something threatening happens). IIRC I think two are required for a potential tier bump? Maybe this is better off discussed in private with staff, but I thought it might be beneficial for those who did earn one and might not be clear on how it can be used.

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On the topic of IC antagonism. It might be a good use of the OOC meeting to brainstorm some ideas to spark IC conflict. Or if that's going to take too much time in the meeting perhaps a thread here in the forum for people to throw out some ideas and let people know they're looking for some conflict.

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I love the idea of antagonists. I'm working on it myself and support Martellian's point.Though for my part, Ammon is definitely on a darkening character arc, so I wouldn't be too surprised if he started butting heads with other characters.

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I agree with Andred about the bastard topic. I chose to play Jack Flowers because I wanted to play the outcast and be socially awkward when it comes to the nobles of King's Landing. I also think this could tie into conflict in the game, I could see a character come into power and start trying to push his own agenda. This player could be an antagonist character, who by giving Jack attention, gets Jack to become his lackey and do all his dirty work. Sorry, got on a bit of a rant there with ideas I had. Another topic I have noticed as a Newb is that some newer players don't think of repercussion for their actions ICly. If I make a PC who decides to flirt or mess around with other characters a lot, that is going to start rumors in court. That is my 2 cents.

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Just to address some of your questions a little briefly, Janden:

I am going to be reworking the file on personal arms when I find the time to allow both bastards and disowned characters "free" personal arms. This is because neither of them have the right to the house's arms. A black sheep still has that right, so to take personal arms needs an investment of an SP, no matter how much of a black sheep the character is.

It was always our policy that personal arms had to be approved and we decided to make this more clear-cut by requiring an SP since personal arms, like bynames, will provide a boost in the renown system. Bastard and disowned characters are already taking a big hit to their renown (bigger than black sheep), so it made sense that they'd get their personal arms for free for OOC as well as IC reasons.

While it is true that personal arms are not regulated by any laws in Westeros, social pressure still regulates them -- how many do we see in the books? Social pressure does not work the same way on a MUSH; just look at the discussion on this topic about how bastards are often not treated by PCs as they ought to be treated. That is why we have to OOCly regulate it, or we'd see an inflation of personal arms. We felt the best approach was to attach a value to personal arms and require them to be purchased except for those characters whose IC circumstances necessitate personal arms.

In terms of what SP can be used for, you pretty much have summed up the current options. :)

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Good to know. Thanks.

Also, as near as I can figure I'm assuming I'm playing the black sheep role well enough. At least, nobody's said "You're doing it wrong!" in acting like there's little to nothing Janden can count on from his lord father or not relying on his family for support.

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The Staff have been talking about a conflict document for awhile, and that's in queue -- it should hopefully address some of the comments regarding bastard bias/treatment. I did just throw up a post regarding negotiating scene outcomes, which should hopefully help with ensuring there are clear lines of communication when we're dealing with conflict points.

There was also a conversation recently about thought-posing and "how much thought-insertion is a good thing"; a conversation about that could be helpful.

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Topic: Retention.

I read Nym's post on recruiting this morning and I really think retention is a bigger problem than recruitment. A number of really good players joined BOD during the airing of GOT and a lot of them just passed through, briefly--and it looks like we just have two experienced players last month over an issue that wasn't that big of a deal except that it aggravated other issues.

So, I'd like to suggest a discussion concerning retention--I think, perhaps, there was a similar discussion about getting new players involved during one of the previous OOC meetings, although I think recent events merit a discussion about retention as it pertains to new and experienced players.

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Retention could definitely be something to discuss, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind about new players who join us, especially when the show is on air. We get a lot of people who have never tried MUSHing before and text-based gaming just isn't for everyone. Those who are looking for things to happen quickly will leave within a week or two.

Even experienced players often find that some of the limitations that come with being a canon game aren't to their tastes.

But beyond those points, a discussion might be worthwhile.

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I agree, on both points. There are so many MMO's out there that, I think, a lot of new players are expecting something akin to WoW. I think Dei, Luthor, or Farin might have said something like this. Regarding things happening quickly, I actually have a suggestion regarding this--well at least for next spring/early summer when season III of Game of Thrones airs.

The Princess's nameday tourney was an excellent idea--especially given all the new players we have had--and I thought, perhaps, next spring/summer we might have some of the experienced players run small events each weekend, on Friday or Saturday, before GoT airs. This would get some of the new players involved more readily. None of these events need be huge staff/admin managed events. Things like Reyna's Savory Pork Pie Night at the Three Hills Inn would work perfectly.

I also agree with you regarding the challenges of a cannon game and I have a few suggestions regarding this, too. The biggest thing that comes to mind is maybe putting out some player level jobs for describing the current state of existing houses, so that new players don't butt heads with cannon in their efforts play a character in a house with no Baelorian primer.

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Regarding player retention, can't speak highly enough for players who help super n00bies like me. I've had a gander at BOD before but found it pretty inaccessible and overwhelming since I've never played a text-based roleplaying game of such depth before. But one of your players (Bessa) gave be a ton of pointers to me the other day when I wondered back in and now I'm pretty much certain to return in the future.

And regarding bastards, one of the big reasons I was thinking of playing a bastard was for all the potential (sometimes unfriendly!) banter to be had between uppity lordlings and lowly baseborn characters. That's surely one of the best things about being a bastard? :P

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Touching on character advancement, I'd like to propose a discussion on adding flaws with XP much like we can add assets now. I think flaws are just as viable for a character's advancement as an asset is, and would like to see this in play. Right now, all of my flaw slots are full ( or there are +jobs out there to make them full ), and they are all important to Ammon's character. I think it would be beneficial to be able to add more.

Or at least discuss the ability to add more.

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