[Gossamer's Office] Herein Lies Important Information

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[Gossamer's Office] Herein Lies Important Information

Postby Gossamer on January 18th, 2010, 12:41 pm

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Greetings Players!

As a Founder, I have a great deal on my plate at any given time. That means I often have threads that fall through the cracks or things that slip my mind. Thus I'm setting up this thread to help keep track of what I'm doing gamewise at any given time. This thread will also be a really good place for people to post a nudge or let me know they dropped into a shop and need some moderation there. I do not always notice when people post in shops. So feel free to post to this thread with your nudge or request. As I handle requests or post to requests, I will then delete your request (as completed). If I haven't posted in three or more days, please feel free to nudge and include a link. Also, if you are waiting on a wiki article or need an entry and it's fairly important, please feel free to nudge here.

Thank you!

Gossamer

Things I Will Do :
THINGS I WILL DO


  • Moderate threads in my own domains.
  • Grade badly overdue threads if STs have vanished.
  • Do shopkeeper exchanges in my own domains.
  • Help with development gamewide.
  • Listen if you have issues with things gamewide.
  • Run special gnosis or quest threads for PC's with very little ST contact thus far.
  • Intervene when I see rules or game abuses.


Things I Will Not Do :
THINGS I WILL NOT DO


  • Run quests outside of my domain in active ST areas.
  • Grade threads in active ST/Grader areas.
  • Shop exchanges in outside areas with STs.
  • Run Quests/Gnosis threads with PCs that have already been heavily moderated by STs (aka Mod hogs).


Things I'm Currently Working On :
ACTIVE WIKI IN-PROGRESS LIST


  • Gnosis
    • Mele
    • Truthism
  • Gods
    • Laviku
    • Tyveth
    • Rhaus
    • Xhyvas
    • Tavasi
    • Sivah
  • Skills
    • Jewelcrafting
    • Dagger
  • Special Projects
    • TBD


Things I've Created On The Site :
CREATION LIST


If you have questions about any of the below things, odds are I can help. While some projects (Avanthal, Sylrias, Mura, Endrykas, Riverfall and the Opal Order and Cerulean) have been turned over to others, I still know a great deal about locations and settings as their creator. The gods and goddesses listed need to be used gently and usually with a consultation from me especially before granting gnosis.

  • Races
    Kelvic, Akalak, Konti, Drykas, Vantha, Inarta, and Svefra
  • God/desses
    Akajia, Avalis, Cheva, Eyris, Ionu, Ivak, Laviku, Morwen, Nikali, Nysel, Ovek, Rak’keli, Rhaus, Semele, Sivah, Syna, Sylir, Tavasi, Tyeth, Vayt, Wysar, Xhyvas, Xyna, Yshul, and Zulrav.
  • Alvina
    Zintila, Glav Navik, Marcus Kelvic
  • Factions
    The Inverted, The Shroud, The Savina, Opal Order, Cerulean, The Irst, The Cytali, The Ruv'na
  • Magic
    Webbing, Shielding, Architectrix, Static, Pathfinding,
  • Created Cities
    Syliras, Avanthal, Mura, Wind Reach, Endrykas, Riverfall, Kenash, Syka


My Flaws :
Doing An Assignment Not Assigned Me


Recently, a high ranking storyteller asked his team what their strengths and weaknesses were. As you can imagine the strengths were fairly great things, but when I read the weaknesses, I was somewhat disappointed. They were cautious admissions of minimal personal failings… nothing to personal and nothing to risqué. I was hoping for something more juicy. Nothing was really put out there in my mind that felt honest, just cautious. And in an exercise I thought was worthy of an INTJ I started listing mine.

Why did I do this? Because I guess I felt a real lack in their answers and wanted something I felt was more hard core and honest. Should I share this with you? Probably not. But the truth is most of the things I share in my Scrap aren’t honestly for people reading the scrap. It’s for me. So in the light of that truth (which could be a flaw in itself), I want to list my flaws.

I have all the normal INTJ flaws. I’m an insensitive analytical trouble shooter with a notable lack of compassion. I’m not emotional at all for the most part and have a hard time dealing with people that are purely emotional. I happen to know for a fact this makes me a great admin. Why? I belong to a lot of admin support groups especially in the RPG fields and everyone says so. The fact that Miz has been up and running so long proves it as well. I don’t get bogged down by the BS. It does however make me a terrible leader because the best of leaders have empathy for their followers. Both are not mutually exclusive. It does mean that teams I build are unique in the whole of the world. They have to be to put up with INTJ leadership. There’s not just one of us at the wheel. There’s two. So thats the abstract. If you want the details, read on below. I'm posting this because it will be an interesting and entertaining idea for me to revisit this in the future to see how it has changed or proven true.

Anyhow I figured I’d make a list. Lists are great, efficient, and easily absorbed.

The Flaws


1. I do not relate well to others. Small talk and chit chat makes me kinda crazy and I don’t understand it. This makes me TERRIBLE at community building like people on RPG sites tend to expect admins to be good at.

2. I have a noted lack of interest in things most people consider common human pleasures like parties or social things. I'm notedly 'boring' or 'strange' to most other Meyer Briggs types.

3. I anticipate anything that can go wrong will and plan for it. That is decidedly a glass half-empty type personality. The flipside is that water is stored away for such times that the whole of the group thirsts. The negative side of this is that I am awfully hard to convince to take things in certain directions that might have a possibility of turning out brilliant because of the high chance (in my mind) of the disaster I can foresee happening. I will anticipate failure in every circumstance and steer very clear. So much like the difficulty of teaching an old dog new tricks (because of that dogs world experiences) I am very hard to sell new things too. I’ll listen, but as soon as that Ni-dom trait kicks in its usually game over.

4. I make up my mind instantly on things based on my experience, intelligence, and likes/dislikes. That means I’m opinionated and close-minded about things that aren’t my idea. And this is especially true if someone pitches me an idea and its incomplete without all the bases covered. In Miz terms that means a new skill, magic, god, beast, etc. If you don’t approach me with it complete and all the kinks worked out before hand, I tend to decide negatively about the thing in question.

5. I am overly sensitive, paranoid, and distrustful. This relates to flaw 1. I anticipate people being untrusthworthy and deceptive. In my experience they usually are whether they mean to be or not. The dangers of being ‘real’ on the internet have been proven disastrous and cautioned against by intellects time and time again so I assume everyone is full of BS when they talk about stuff. This has gone so far as to have over time having players claim to have cancer (and not have it), be gay men (and actually be straight females), and even lie about domestic violence. Frankly people are lonely and need attention a lot. I just steer clear of all of it because when I hear it (such as someone logging into chat and claiming they want to kill themselves), I quickly rid the game of it. This adds to my insensitive aura.

6. I do not express my feelings well. I usually bury them in rational facts and then expect others to understand what I am feeling. This makes me hard to get a bead on for those that rely on their empathy to get them through. INTJ’s are obfuscated against empaths. Seriously.

7. I dislike most people outright, like a few instantly, and feel almost neutral to the whole of the rest. If someone does something I consider a betrayal of friendship I will almost always never forgive them for the whole of my life. This is very true of people who have quit the site at one point or another (usually with a whiny accompanying scrap that says something to the effect that they’ve outgrown the childishness of Miz’s pretendness) and then slink back in at some point further down the line – usually within months or a year – and pretend nothing ever happened. They honestly will never ever have my respect again because that’s the INTJ way. We’ve had lots of people get busy, happily leave with lots of tears of sadness, then have marched back when whatever was preventing them from logging on has ended (usually with appropriate joy) and they’ve gotten new free time. I absolutely don’t judge that and don’t react the way I do to the former kind. The former kind can kiss my ass.

8. I guard my ideas jealously and hate it when people adapt them especially if they adapt them in what I consider a less than ideal way. This is true of borrowing concepts and is one of the reasons I harp on Domain’s retain originality. And its why I hate the fact that everyone does a situation of standard threads such as calendars, ooc channels, development forums, codexs, etc. People say that imitation is the best form of flattery. INTJ’s tend to want to kill when they hear that.

9. As a Te I build up a lot of concepts on the game that when executed fall short because of the reactions of others to it. I tend to blame them and let things like quests fold and fade away because I’ve moved on to other things simply due to the fact someone didn’t live up to my expectation. What? What do I mean by this? Let me put it in laymen’s terms. I expect perfection and when a reaction is less than perfect in my mind, I move on looking for the next perfect thing. Yup. Seriously. See why there are less than 3% INTJs in the world and less than 1% INTJ females?

10. I can never tell if people are being ‘real’ with me. Mostly I decide they are kissing ass if they act like they like me or say they love me and treat them with kid gloves while still remaining what I consider aloof. I truthfully suck at intimacy and I don’t get emotionally close to people unless they are those rare compatible personality types that can and will drag us INTJ’s out. They do it by asking hard questions, checking up on us, and being forthright. INTP’s are that way too. I married one. I think its also funny that the one person that can always get the truth out of me without even hardly trying moved halfway across the globe to marry another INTJ. Heh. I hope she knows how much I miss her even if I have zero time to keep up on weird ass schedules.

11. I am horribly impatient and intolerable of what I consider stupid delays or backburnering things. This should be self-explanatory. If you start it, finish it, or I will be there glaring my impatient annoyance. I want things concluded as well, so something sitting open-ended would leave me feeling batshit crazy. That leads to rash decisions based on the right now rather than patiently waiting for opportunities that might arise in the near future.

12. I have zero tolerance of general stupidity and equate ignorance to it as well. A wiser person would realize that ignorance can be educated and taught differently. I have no patience for this and am in a way jealous of the people that can show others better ways rather than just leave them in a stupid category like I would. Huge flaw here. I just feel people should know better already and most of the time they simply don’t.

13. Gross mismanagement and apathy makes me crazy. I demand everyone attack things as passionately as I can and do if I decide I care about the thing in question. Miz I one of those things. You might not realize I'm passionate about something. But If I'm involved, I'm passionate.

14. I find that when people fail to make me out to be the bad guy I laugh hysterically and tend to get a buzz out of it for years. I inherently know this makes me shallow. The same thing happens when people criticize me and claim I’m a terrible admin. I simply point to Mizahar and say it’s still here and will still be here for years to come. Where’s their legacy? That makes me terribly arrogant which is a known flaw of INTJs.

15. The site falls apart when I’m not around. I should have set it up so it doesn’t, but that’s not the way it turned out. I think this is a flaw. Others have told me this is a strength.

16. I don’t care that you don’t care that I don’t care. I only really care about me and the people I care about because they’ve made me want to care about them by showing me they are real people who have wonderful stories and warm bright personalities.

17. I hate compliments. I'm suspicious of any and all of them.

18. I expect people to deal with things just exactly the same way I do. And I’m often shocked and disappointed when they don’t. This is usually reflected back at me by them because my expectations were seemingly so off the wall and alien to them that they label me cold, unfeeling, and harsh.

19. If I tell you how I feel about something, I instantly regret it because I assume and usually correctly that you will use it against me somehow.

20. I delegate things (like authority) poorly because I try to do everything myself knowing I can do it better than someone else can. I then blame myself if things get dropped or unfinished for said delegation.

21. Getting writers crushes on people who do the unexpected in threads that read as incredibly clever instead of getting a hard-on for good grammar and spelling. I should like the attention to detail, but instead I approve of the outside of the box thinking far more.

22. I trust actions over words. I find it tedious that people say things then do things completely the opposite of what they say or fail to follow through with what they promise. I judge them horribly when they pay this kind of lip service to the site (promising to write up skills, run threads, or help newbies for example then give them bad advice). And needless to say I write them off as blowhards and never trust them with any sort of project ever again.

23. I hate unknown variables because I like to know what I have to deal with all the time. It's taxing to even try to manage unknown variables and if I can’t anticipate variables then I can’t pull tools from my toolbox to deal with them. It means that some projects fail before they are even launched because of something I can’t anticipate. I like to anticipate everything. That’s how I live life and manage everything and it drives me crazy until I get vital facts in order so I can proceed in my neat little INTJ fashion. Some of you would call this having all your eggs in one basket. I absolutely have to have them gathered and counted and inventoried and judged. If they aren’t there and I anticipate they are missing I’m going to be going batshit crazy until they are located, cataloged, and placed safely in the basket.

24. I like to live in my Ni world. But real life and Miz life forces me to move into Te world and that leaves me feeling a lack of control. That results in me being stubborn, grumpy, controlling, and the worst of all a full blown micro-managing fiend.

25. I have mastered Bitchcraft. This is definitely a flaw. People shouldn’t enjoy and thrive at the art of pissing people off while smiling sweetly.

26. There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance. That line is called humility. I know as an INTJ I’m full of flaws and humble so when I react with satisfaction, as the saying goes, it’s a smile of confidence, not one of arrogance. However, most people see arrogance and that is off putting and the reason I’m often labeled toxic. This is definitely a flaw because a more approachable emotional and sympathetic person would be instantly read as confident NOT arrogant.

27. Along with the previous one, my humility is scarier than my arrogance because I know what I know and I know what I don’t know. That is confidence embodied and its intimidating to those that have no fucking clue what they know or don’t know. We have zero tolerance for these types so again I label this humility a flaw.

28. People bore the shit out of me. Yea. I said it.

29. I’m that asshat that simply realizes that serotonin and dopamine are the ONLY two things that make you happy and make you enjoy things. I don’t assign anything else romantic to it. It’s all bullshit anyhow.

30. I do not pursue friendships. I figure if people want to be friends they will make the effort.

31. I have a hard time thinking people are super special – you know – like your mom or daddy does. It’s super difficult to impress me, butter me up, or manipulate me. You can spend hours thinking you’re getting on my good side but the truth is I probably have a file a mile long of every negative thing you’ve ever said about me, the site, or something I’ve developed and I am perfectly aware you’re a blowhard.

32. I’m often hugely disappointed when someone wants to talk about a subject but then know almost nothing about it. This ties into the whole stupid verses ignorant point I brought up previously.

33. I make people incredibly paranoid rather than put them at ease. See the flaw about finding you not super special to explain.

34. I truly don’t give a shit about your excuses. I’ve tried giving a shit. It didn’t work out so well.

35. Emotional arguments piss me off and shut me down. However, I will gladly toss out protocol and hierarchy when someone presents me with things that are well thought out and innovative. This can occur to the point where I MYSELF GET EMOTIONAL. Yea I'll tear up over something so well thought out and innovative that its not even funny.

36. I get lost in the detail and often don’t see the bigger picture.

37. I feel abused and alienated because I want honest transparent relationships with people and others tend to just want to show me the best of them. This is a huge flaw. I’m not interested in the best of them like most people are. Perfect people are boring and fake. I’m interested in the whole package. This especially transfers to PCs. Perfect PCs annoy me and offend me because I’m not that stupid to believe it. Where’s the flaws in your cardboard marysue/garystu?

38. I battle irrationality with candor. Huge NO NO if you want people to actually like you.

39. I do not understand what I feel are a lot of arbitrary unwritten social rules. And I do not feel these things should be the deciding factors in determining your acceptance and attractiveness to others.

40. Finally, I fail to really tell people I’m having a good time or enjoying their writing. I’m trying to change this by making an active effort to say “I like your writing”. My normal status quo is to read their threads or everything they write because I like the way they write. This translates to real life as me having a good time and being perfectly content but not smiling or acting bubbly and joyous. I guess this is the resting bitch face curse translated to Miz.


I kinda want extra credit for doing the assignment even though it wasn't assigned to me.


A Little Wisdom From Goss :
A Little Wisdom From Goss
In no particular order...


  • Don’t react to things quickly. Take them in, absorb them, understand them, and then act if you want after you’ve had time to take them in.


  • Have a plan. Benjamin Franklin has a famous quote that goes something like this…”By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Yea. Don’t fail. Best way not to is prepare.


  • Focus on one thing at a time. Too many things on my radar makes me crazy and I get nothing done.


  • Be consistent. Even if your actions are deemed consistently one way, keep them that way because people won’t believe or respect inconsistency. Another great quote, though I don’t know who said it first, is the following: “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.”


  • Be easy to contact/talk too. Most people think I’m not. That’s okay. I talk to the ones I want too and usually ignore the ones I don’t. I didn’t used to be like this, but I learned the ‘ignore it’ trick from other Founders who are fantastic skill wise at this.


  • Show not tell. Don’t tell people what you are going to do. Instead, do it, then show it off. It’s a whole lot more effective of an effort that way.


  • I know inherently that people have some really stupid ideas. And because I think my ideas aren’t stupid, I have learned a long time ago not to react to the stupid that’s out there just because I think I’m right or someone else is wrong: aka stupid. That means don’t retaliate to negative comments or scraps or pms or whatever. Retaliate equates to banning, in case you’re dense. It’s really one of my big unspoken rules that someone’s scrap is their domain and they can do what they want in it. And the truth is I’m more fascinated by all the ire out there than I am angry with it. I’ll often poke it slightly to see how deep it goes because it is so fascinating to me.


  • Be a rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes are cool. They almost never bite without a few warning shakes. They can’t help it if the things they want to leave them alone are too ignorant to recognize a rattle for what it is. Give people a little warning if you are starting to get truly irritated with them. My rattles aren’t subtle either. I’ll make comments in chat or I will send pms that basically say KNOCK IT OFF OR ILL THROW YOU OFF so you have plenty of warning. It’s only fair. I’m sure several people can attest to this.


  • If you are curious about something, ask. I ask all the time. I get asked. It’s super helpful in running Mizahar and often discussions or questions I ask in chat lead to policy changes.


  • Accept course corrections gracefully. If you spent three days writing an article and someone goes through it and corrects your spelling and grammar afterwards, thank them. They aren’t being dicks by pointing out your flaws. They are usually as perfectionist as I am and just editing because they can’t help it. Leave them alone and let them.


  • Try not to be irritated by people who are in reality desperate to help, and are helpful, doing things that aren’t helpful but yet feel helpful in their eyes. A good example of that is that someone recently issued a challenge for everyone to spend the next month – instead of grading – writing lore articles. That’s fantastic but we have no Scribes to approve articles, no one who really wants to approve or proof articles, and I have zero time to do it. So now we have a ton of articles laying around being proposed that I need to somehow find some time to go through and look at and approve or decline. And no one pointed out to lore article writers that they need to write one at a time. It was super well meaning, but now it’s a super amount of work for me. Ugh. I’m not mad though. I’m not even irritated. I’m sad though cause I know the effort will go to waste unless we get a scribe or two in place.



  • Start the day productively. Get at least one or two things done in the morning because by the time night falls I’m tired and my best intentions will be set aside in favor of say things like reading a book, soaking in the hot tub (usually done at the same time), eating, or watching TV. Miz is usually the last productive thing I want to think about at night.


  • Remind myself that while players have a signed written agreement to follow our rules here, I have no such agreement with them. I owe them nothing. Whatever I choose to give them is at my digression and that no one is entitled to my time, effort, etc. Every single Founder account here existed before there was a rules page and a ‘by creating an account here you agree to follow the rules and ToS’. Yea. I actually wrote the rules and ToS. It was hard to decide what to put there. And honestly its an organic process. They do change. This isn’t the public school system where the teachers can’t hit the students or say certain words in public. I grew up in a generation of polite students because we had hack paddles. I enjoyed that. I don’t enjoy now. So I have a ban hammer instead. Get over it. People should have realized this long before now.


  • What I focus on is what I usually end up getting. If I focus on drama, then the site is full of it. If I focus on fun, then the site is overflowing with it. Focus on what’s currently interesting and entertaining for me. That changes day to day.


  • When I’m talking to someone and want information out of them, I find its often more powerful to say nothing. People will blather on and fill the silence nervously all on their own and they will tell you whatever you want to hear if you make enough noises to show you are alive on the other side of the keyboard. Dirty? Yea probably. But its true.


  • Enjoy review sites. They remind you that you often gave people as much grief as they gave you while they were here…. and that they still think about you on and off again long after you’ve forgotten who the hell they are or why they were so annoying.


  • The whole forgetting thing reminds me. Keep better notes. Great ideas? Note it somewhere to jar your memory. Someone becomes a douchebag? Note it in their SS as impersonally as you can. The notes themselves will be enough to jar emotion (excitement, disgust, etc) without taking extra time to say why something is irritating. If it was irritating ten years ago, it will still be irritating ten years from now.


  • Take breaks. If I feel uninspired, often not thinking about Miz for a day or two will inspire me and recharge me again. Keep moving forward. If something flops, shrug and say ‘oh well’ and move on with a ‘lesson learned’ type attitude.


  • If you give up you auto-fail. Don’t auto-fail. Keep trying and something will work eventually and it may surprise and delight you as to why it worked because it will be outside the scope of your thinking.


  • Don't let mouthy or full of themselves players push you around. Pushovers or those folks that try to make nice with everyone have failed websites. Stats prove it over and over again. Successful websites are ran by assholes. If I don't believe this, go read TAZ some more and everyone there will pat your ass and tell you to be an even bigger douchebag than you are. Flies are annoying and persistent too but that doesn't' mean they aren't easily annihilated. Give them, aka annoying players, a chance to calm down and play nice and if they don't, then act.


  • Stand by your ideals. Don't give a fuck if they don't mesh up with others and their sense of fair, common, normal, or decent. That's their problem not yours.


  • Always remember what people think of you are none of your business. The one thing that matters is what you think of you and perhaps what the small amount of people you respect think of you.


Gossamer

BBC CodeHelp DeskStarting GuideRiverfallSyka
Special ProjectsSykafall Coordination


Mon Weds Fri: Mod Posts Tues Thurs Sat: PC Posts Sun: Quest Posts
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Gossamer
Words reveal soul.
 
Posts: 19225
Words: 5235974
Joined roleplay: March 23rd, 2009, 4:40 pm
Location: Cyphrus RS & Founder
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Race: Staff account
Office
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Medals: 9
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[Founder's Office - Gossamer] Requests & Active Threadlist

Postby Gossamer on December 4th, 2013, 6:51 pm

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The Following are my current projects. I'm going to be focusing on them and truthfully because some of these are new projects, my thread pool I can handle is fairly full. If you'd like a moderated thread, I will gladly put you on the waiting list and get to you when an opening comes up. Just PM me or post here in this office. When you are added to the list, your office post will be removed.

Group Projects


The entire city of Syka is my current TO-DO project.

Individual Projects


I am currently willing to take individual gnosis threads on in areas where I storytell. This also includes personal PC development threads where a PC needs to have some interaction with a moderator that can't be handled inside a PC vs PC thread or solo. High powered NPCs and Gods are agreeable to me.


Gossamer

BBC CodeHelp DeskStarting GuideRiverfallSyka
Special ProjectsSykafall Coordination


Mon Weds Fri: Mod Posts Tues Thurs Sat: PC Posts Sun: Quest Posts
User avatar
Gossamer
Words reveal soul.
 
Posts: 19225
Words: 5235974
Joined roleplay: March 23rd, 2009, 4:40 pm
Location: Cyphrus RS & Founder
Blog: View Blog (24)
Race: Staff account
Office
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Thread (1) Artist (1)
Trailblazer (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Hyperposter (1) One Million Words! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)
Thunderspork (1)

[Founder's Office - Gossamer] Requests & Active Threadlist

Postby Gossamer on December 19th, 2013, 7:51 am

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TO DO TASKS


  • Syka IC Posts
  • Calendars - Better Late Than Never
  • Mercantile & Resources List
  • New Lost Discipline
  • Flesh Out Remaining Gods (List Forthcoming)
  • Grading





Gossamer

BBC CodeHelp DeskStarting GuideRiverfallSyka
Special ProjectsSykafall Coordination


Mon Weds Fri: Mod Posts Tues Thurs Sat: PC Posts Sun: Quest Posts
User avatar
Gossamer
Words reveal soul.
 
Posts: 19225
Words: 5235974
Joined roleplay: March 23rd, 2009, 4:40 pm
Location: Cyphrus RS & Founder
Blog: View Blog (24)
Race: Staff account
Office
Scrapbook
Plotnotes
Medals: 9
Featured Thread (1) Artist (1)
Trailblazer (1) One Thousand Posts! (1)
Hyperposter (1) One Million Words! (1)
Extreme Scrapbooker (1) Power Fork (1)
Thunderspork (1)

[Founder's Office - Gossamer] Requests & Active Threadlist

Postby Gossamer on July 8th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Image

Image




Pulled From The Ethereal Canyon
So You Don't Have To Dig

Plot Scopes & Snags :
Plot Scopes & Snags


So there's something I've been meaning to talk about. That something involves Plot and more importantly Plot Scope. Plot Snags are things that we have to avoid ruining our plots or writing ourselves into a corner. First, lets define scope. It's relevant, I promise.

scope for y
skōp/

noun
noun: scope; plural noun: scopes

1.
the extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant.

"we widened the scope of our investigation"
synonyms: extent, range, breadth, width, reach, sweep, purview, span, horizon; More
area, sphere, field, realm, compass, orbit, ambit, terms/field of reference, jurisdiction;
confine, limit;
gamut
"the scope of the investigation"
2.
the opportunity or possibility to do or deal with something.

"the scope for major change is always limited by political realities"
synonyms: opportunity, freedom, latitude, leeway, capacity, liberty, room (to maneuver), elbow room; More
possibility, chance
"the scope for change is limited by political realities"
archaic
a purpose, end, or intention.
"Plato maintains religion to be the chief aim and scope of human life"

verb
verb: scope; 3rd person present: scopes; past tense: scoped; past participle: scoped; gerund or present participle: scoping

1.
assess or investigate (something).
"they'd scoped out their market"
set the scope of (a projected undertaking).
"it is important that a project is scoped correctly to ensure the budget can be accurately defined"
2.
North American informal
look at carefully; scan.
"they watched him scoping the room, looking for Michael"


So what I really want to talk about is what your Plots entail IE [i]the extent of the area or subject matter your plot deals with or to which it is relevant.

There are two types of plots when we are discussing Mizahar.

The first type of plot is a micro plot that involves just the scope of the thread and the second type of plot is the overarching plot that involves the whole story of your character. Most people develop the first type, micro plots, as they conceive of threads and execute them. So we have a whole host of micro plotting going on.

Overarching plots get ignored. There are some players that have fantastic overarching plots. Don't get me wrong. Many of these people are the kind of PCs that hit the HD when they first start and actually begin to get approval for major things that happened pre-creation. I love those types of pcs because honestly the story just seems to flow out of them. Why? Because they have overarching plots that drive along the micro plotting and everything works towards a singular goal.

Lets use an example.

All this is like a train. The entirety of the train from the engine to the caboose and all the cars in between consist of the overarching plot. Where it travels is the plot scope. And the individual cars are the micro plots. The engine to me seems to always been the Character Sheet (CS) and all the initial ideas that players develop around the character. If you just have a CS there's nothing much there. If you have a whole train, its something beautiful. It's something people will rave about and want to thread with and that will inspire them to gush and shout and maybe hop along or travel the same tracks for a while. It gets super duper exciting when its all there.

Every thread should count towards plot. Every thread is a car on the train. Every thread can be different but they all contribute bit by bit to the overarching plot and give hints at what is to come. If you aren't tying in your overarching plot into the micro plots, your missing out. It's like cooking a five star meal and forgetting to add any seasoning. Why do it? Why ruin something that could be so amazing?

I'm tired beyond belief of threading just for the act of threading. I can barely get them started and keep them going anymore if they involve a PC. I want, no crave, no ... that's not even a strong enough word. I DEMAND that there's a more overarching plot involved in threads I'm doing for my PCs from here on out. I think Plot and Plot Scope is one of the major reasons PCs experience what I consider failure wherein players get bored of them and cast them aside. It's not the PC's fault. It's the writer's fault. It's as if a player thinks that just by the very act of creating a PC they will automatically generate some huge overarching plot that will sweep up their character and keep them longing for the next stage, the next thread, the next meetup, etc. This isn't the way the RPG world works. You have to manifest your overarching plots. They are blood sweat and tear scenarios where you have to work your ass off ooc to really conceive of something ic to form this metaphorical train. Plots aren't out there floating in the great wide RPG nothing ready to be plucked like a ripe apple off the branch of a loaded tree.

You need goals! What goals? It doesn't matter. There are no 'wrong' goals, just awkward impossible ones. You just need some kind of reasonable goals, an overarching one is good. Smaller ones link bigger ones. Goals pile onto goals and birth plot somewhere down the line like some massive writing orgy.

I want to start this 'project' out in Syka, on a small scale, though it would be open to anyone who would be interested even if they aren't in the city. I want it to be focused on the Writer's RPG aspect of Mizahar where we create a micro community of support.

This community would be focused on not only the writing, and by that I mean the act of writing, but on the act of plotting as well. What I mean by 'act' entails so much more than just thinking about doing it. It's a whole act of making that promise, to ourselves more than anyone else, that we’re going to make this whole thing work and that we are going to follow through with it. It's also a 'held accountable thing' by that community. And its perfectly timed with NaNo, now isn't it?

This community is also a promise would entail that we are going to succeed because we can't fail with all the support. And it also includes the fact that the plots we make are going to be cool because we’re putting effort into them. And the community is also help. Lots of help. So that when we don’t know how to do something or if something we want to do seems impossible to make work, it’s okay to seek help, a second set of eyes, and ultimately more opinions. It's a risk, putting our ideas out there, but there's no stupid or bad ideas. And if we don't know how to accomplish our goals it doesn't make us stupid or bad. Such a thing would help us tremendously all get more thorough characters that are created so thoroughly that we know who they are.

This lets us factor in a whole bunch of aspects people often don't want to factor in. Pasts. Past Lives. Bloodlines. Curses. True evil. Ultimate nemesis'. The list goes on and on. All we need to do is avoid Plot Snags and we are golden.

This scrap has dragged on though so I think I'll make Plot Snags a second installment. A Part Two. Tell me though, if you don't mind, what you think of such a thing.



Plot Scopes & Snags II :
Plot Scopes & Snags II


So first let me talk about mindset that derails the ability to plot.

We have all these preconceived ideas in our heads, in regard to writing, but also about life and all it entails. We are taught to 'succeed' at all costs. And the definition of success is often linked with trying harder or doing more or having more than the next guy or the 'masses'. This equates in the world to having a good job, your own home, 2.5 kids, a great first marriage, etc. Who the hell cares if you are a twenty something global corporate startup that runs his business from a beach in Hawaii? You aren't successful if you don't drive the right car, have the right education, or wear the right clothes.

Bullshit. We all know that's not true. But society feels it is true. Before we can really get things going in what I consider the right way in our brains, we need to change some of these mindsets.

What does this mean on Mizahar? Word count higher? SUCCESS. More posts? SUCCESS. Bigger stats? SUCCESS. Again bullshit. Who defines what is better? Do we? Does our fans? No. Whomever defines who or what is better is technically whomever we let define it including society. The truth is a brand new player can have just as much impact on the game as a veteran of 9 years. It's not a stats game. It's a writing game. If you can write the shit out of something you can make it work if you use plot, avoid plot snags, and really master the art of overarching stories connected by micro plots. Remember the train? Keep that in your mind.

Now, I'm still on the mental issues. We all have them to work through. Here's another issue.

When is enough enough? It's almost as if being content with what you have or your lot in life is completely at odds with success itself. Society tells us if you are content, you have been battered down or have given up on the vertical climb. If you can only post every tues and thurs, that's not failing mon, weds, friday and throughout the weekend... yet thats how society conditions us to think. We should instead be thinking of how much we win on tues and thurs when we get to post. So what we have are people who are scared to create things bigger, larger, stronger than what they have at the moment because they might be judged harshly (called a metagamer, a godrper, etc) by the rest of the whole.

Again bullshit. Define your own reality. Think about how powerful those words are.

Define your own reality.
Define your own reality.

Decide what you are winning and loosing at. Make your own rules and start by breaking one of the most damaging detrimental cycles out there when it comes to writing and even when it comes to life.

Break the guilt cycle.

Guilt is a huge snag in any plotting. We hate guilt as individuals, as a society, and even as a planet. We really do. Guilt is like the weight of an anvil on your chest pressing down on you and making it hard to breathe. Yet we get in this cycle where as if we don't post, we feel guilty. We don't celebrate when we get to post, we just think 'Yea! I posted.' Guilt vanishes, and then when someone else posts and its your turn again we panic because between work, job, eating/sleeping/watching Friends on TV there's no time to post until a later date. And boom... guilt has returned. That's probably the number one reason why people quit writing and quit playing characters. There's a reason this is a 'guilty pleasure'. This is the absolute wrong attitude and it drives people away from playing. It drives me insane. If there's more guilt involved than the pleasure of a good post to reply too, then you are doing something wrong.

But again, its only something you can control. You are the one inside your own head making decisions and thinking these thoughts. You are even the one thinking that's what others are thinking. Unless other people are actually voicing displeasure or some other sort of nonsense about how dare you not post or not play or not do things the same way they did... don't assume they are.

And don't think that about them. Its making gross assumptions!

To me those are the two biggest mental hangups for not being happy on this website. A. Definition of Success. B. Guilt. The third is tied to B, but its actually more of a category of its own.... C. What Other People Think. You'd be shocked at how many times people start out a HD ticket or say to me... "I know your thinking __________." And it drives me nuts. First, its not very often that someone gets that statement right. And more often than not what they assigned me automatically thinking about them is so far off the wall its not even funny or realistic... and yet THEY BELIEVE ITS ABSOLUTELY TRUE.

Hasn't anyone told you that your inner critic is a sonofabitch and probably the worst sonofabitch alive? Yea. Ignore that fucker. Its just that voice that protected you as a little kid .... you know that one that said stuff like 'Don't touch that hot burner on the stove, Johnny.." All grown up and pissed off and jaded by life. Who needs it? You smell fine when it tells you that you stink. You are more often than not beautiful when it calls you uglyass. It rarely says nice things. And truthfully it needs to get out more and relax... date... maybe take up drinking as a hobby or learn to meditate or some such shit.

Okay so that's definitely D. Our Inner Critic is A Sonofabitch.

Recapping here's the list.

A. Definition of Success Needs Changing.
B. Guilt Sucks. Why Do We Guilt Trip Ourselves.
C. Stop Caring What Other People Think.
D. Our Inner Critic is A Sonofabitch. Ignore That Fucktard.

So those are the mental things. Lets move on to the physical things in writing we do to fuck ourselves over and then ultimately give up on writing or give up on finding the pleasure in writing. I think I'll do that in a part III.


Plot Scope & Snags III :
Plot Scopes & Snags III


So with mentality discussed and scope defined, what else can we work on as a group or as an individual in writing on this website and even on our own projects? We need to start avoiding plot snags. We do this by knowing what they are - understanding what they are - before we ever begin plotting.

I hope I'm coming across well enough. Define your plot. Whip you mind into shape. Avoid pitfalls that snag up your plots and hold them back.

Good writers get tangled up in snags on a regular basis if we aren't mindful of them. Being mindful means being able to separate ourselves far enough from our writing to recognize and defining these 'snags'. It's virtually impossible for me to actually define all of the snags possible on Mizahar in regard to plot. However, I can point out a dozen or so of the big ones out there and get them on your mind. Perhaps others can identify more? And while snags can be applied to any writing project, I'm going to tailor them to Mizahar since this is our context.

1. Your Plot Is Predictable.

It happens! It especially happens when you've plotted with overused themes or you write in a way that means your making the direction the story is going super obvious. Sometimes this can be offensive to readers because in a way it implies that they need help navigating your super awesome plot and huge glaring road-signs to get from point A to point B. Yea. When you give them too many hints and make things obvious, its the same as calling them stupid. Don't do that. Be mysterious! Be elusive. Drop hints but not sledgehammers upside their heads. They will move on to an author that seems a whole lot less assuming of their readers IQs.

2. Your Plot Is Too Complex.

'If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out' - George Orwell The same can be said of plot. How do you know if your plot is too complex? There's actually an easy litmus test. Try this. Explain your plot to yourself out loud. If it takes a while or you stumble trying to explain it then it is way too complex. If you can explain it out loud to yourself in a short and sweet and completely non-stumbling manner, you've nailed simplicity!

Remember, just because a plot is short and sweet doesn't mean its less clever. A lot of people confuse complexity with cleverness. Don't be one of these people.

Simplification also involves 'events'. Can you accomplish the same thing you had planned for five battles in one battle? Do it if the answer is yes. Can you learn all the information you need to learn from one conversation rather than multiple conversations with an NPC? If the answer is yes then do that as well.

Also remember that too many subplots and divergent storylines will bog your plot down and destroy good writing. Cut them if you can and streamline to make your writing stronger. I would personally keep a list of my subplots and trim them as necessary... limit them to a specific number so you don't feel weighed down or overburdened by juggling all of them. If a new subplot comes in that you are interested in pursuing then cut out one of two more by wrapping them up. Honestly, just keep your A+ subplots that make your main plot more interesting.

3. You Don't Let Your Plot Breathe.

ACTION ACTION ACTION ACTION just kills the joy for a reader/viewer/etc. Lets talk about The Walking Dead Season Premiere. Intense right? If your a fan you saw two of your favorite characters die and the main hero get physically and mentally tortured the whole episode. A week passed then another episode comes on. Was it more of the same where everyone's heart was pounding and all across the world people were shaking their fists at the tv? No. It was a feel good episode with Carol and The Kingdom. The writers of Walking Dead were letting the plot breathe, giving the viewers a break, and drawing them back into the humanity of the show. This Sunday you'll get hammered with ACTION ACTION ACTION again. The break will be over.

Fillers are important. Fillers can be any type of downtime. Fillers can be conversations, characters introspectively reflecting, eating, flirting, or doing their jobs and they can GET THINGS DONE too. Use these types of scenarios to punctuate the action - battles, confrontations, discoveries - and they are important in their own right because you can use them to move plot if your again that word clever.

4. The Plot Is Frankly Boring.

"My parents were killed by bandits. Now I'm out for revenge!" Sounds familiar doesn't it? So does the whole "I was so traumatized in my past that I now have two personalities." These, at least in my mind, are yawnfests out the gate. Why do you have to write a plot that's so boring? Boring is the paving stones that make up the whole 'path to predictability'. Is there a way to make a boring idea a more interesting idea? Oh... wait... your parents were the LEADERS of the bandits and fell in love and gave up the bandit life when your mother became pregnant with you.... and wanted out. Only once a bandit always a bandit unless death parted the posse?

Now we're getting more interesting. We've wrapped a romantic tragedy into the past instead of a predictable one line statement. Sometimes the easiest thing to do is take your ideas and turn them into wild far fetched ideas and then dial them back to more workable elements in your plot. For some reason, its easier for us to come up with far flung extremes than not come up with ideas at all. Just avoid boring... it's a PC killer. A boring PC will soon be an abandoned PC and that will be entirely your fault.

5. Your Plot Is Frankly Shallow

I'm going to be brief here. Some writers feel free to sacrifice plot in the name of other things... things like witty dialog, sugary sweet metaphors, thick symbolism, etc. They stand on what they think is cleverness to make up for the lack of plot. Have plot. Don't just fly by your pants and make it up as you go along. PLOT PLOT PLOT. Give your characters a chance. Let them grow, change, and go through shit in their day to day lives. It honestly makes the writing worth while.

6. Your Plot Isn't Original Enough

"Nothing is ever original." That's what people write and say routinely. I cry bullshit. I honestly read two to five books a week usually sacrificing sleep. I read new ideas all the time. I think that "Nothing is ever original." Is a battle cry to the lazy, weary, and uninspired. They cling to it like toddlers cling to security blankets as an excuse for not being able to think of great plots. Don't let this be you. You can also litmus test your plot by writing it out on notecards and then looking at each element and seeing if you can see it in popular books, tv shows, movies, etc. If there is a 'mimicry' how can you make it different? What twist can you give it? Think about all these things. You are a writer here... a plotter... a planner... a coordinator of events. You don't get the same pleasure as a reader who gets to be entertained. Writing is work... work on this one.

7. Your Premise Sucks.

Google defines Premise thusly. "“Premise” comes from two Latin words, meaning to put before. ... Thus premise is the underlying idea of your story-the foundation that supports your entire plot. If you can establish what your premise is at the beginning of your project, you will have an easier time writing your story." So, naturally, there are good premises and bad premises. The weaker the premise the worse the foundation to your plot will be and thus the worse your plot will be.

A sucky premises consist of anything that is weak, lacks interest, or simply doesn't compel the reader to want to see where the story goes. A premise can be a transformation journey, a survival story, living under the shadow of cruel masters, etc etc etc. Mizahar's whole premise is 'post apocalyptic world rebuilding'. That is NOT a plot in itself. It is an abstract that sums up what will be the backdrop during the plot. But in and of itself, premise is not plot. Your premise should be compelling and make a reader curious about what could happen.

8. The Destruction Of Suspension Of Disbelief.

We are fantasy writers here. We have to set aside the real world rules a great deal of the time. Wikipedia defines the SoD as "The term suspension of disbelief or willing suspension of disbelief has been defined as a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment." We do this as readers ALL THE TIME. However, there is a line in the sand. There is a critical point where instead of asking a reader to suspend their disbelief, you ask them ludicrous amounts of trust and they finally shake their head and say 'that's stupid' and cast you as a writer aside.

The thing is, you can push the SoD a lot further if you prep the reader for what's to come by dropping hints or prepping the canvas so to speak. Many writers don't do that. Many just ask for the reader's belief cold turkey without giving them anything to go on. That's nothing but bad writing. Pave the way for readers to believe the impossible. For example, does the bad guy repent in the end and do the right thing? Why would they off the cuff with no reason behind it. People won't believe that one bit. Changes of consciousness almost never happens unless the bad guy has a series of things happen to him or her to alter their mindsets. Think of the movie Despicable Me. This was the perfect set up for a stretched SoD.

9. Your Sequence Doesn't Work

Sometimes your plot elements get out of order and the whole plot feels jumbled and awkward. That's why when plotting for a PC go ahead and do what most writers do. Note your major events on an index card and put them in the order you want to write them out as. If they don't work, feel free to rearrange your events (ie. Your index cards). Keep working them until you get a spread that works for you. Don't give up. Sometimes it might take an addition or subtraction of a plot element to make the rest flow together well. Just play with your index cards and make sure they work in your mind and more importantly make sense.

10. Unsatisfying Conclusions

This normally isn't an issue on Mizahar since we are an ongoing collective collaborative storytelling situation. But when you write a conclusion, make sure you make it satisfying so the reader can sit back and proverbially hug the book in joy at a good story well written. This is the one place where sometimes more is better. More anticipation. More romance. More suspense. More anxiety. More rage. Sometimes you just need more.


Goal Setting :
Goal Setting

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So many people here set goals and fail. I hate seeing it, though honestly I see it over and over again. There are many reasons for such failures. People site lack of time, others dropping the ball that were critical to their plans, or even cities closing or storytellers dropping off the face of the planet. But from my perspective there's a simple reason that people fail over and over again.... and it stems from their actual lack of planning.

Its a fantasy game, I get that, but honestly planning huge for a fantasy game rarely works and rarely leads to happiness. I have some advice for all of you. It works in a lot of other areas of life too. Its a way to see your goals through. RP wise. Organizational wise. Even paying off bills wise.

Its simple. Make a list of all your goals. Write them all down. Humans are reward based creatures and we need to see progress so we get encouraged. When you make this list, include all the little things along with the medium things and even list the big things. Then... once you have all these goals on paper, organize them. What you want to do is list them in order from smallest to largest. What? Why this way? Why not from the most important to the least significant? Well, I'll tell you. The smallest goal is usually the quickest easiest goal. The largest goal is usually the hardest one that takes the longest to achieve. So say you have all these goals... and you need to tackle them.... once they are listed from the smallest to the largest you suddenly have a doable list. It's a list that doesn't defeat you before you even get started. It's a miracle list that encourages you and teaches you along the way. It's one that will HELP you achieve your goals instead of destroy them.

How?

Lets take an example. It can be an rp one, but right now lets say I need to clean my kitchen because it looks like a wreck. Its the holidays so this isn't far fetched and maybe a costco run happened and nothing got put away... feasible as well. Lets take that as an example from the real world then I'll give you an RP one.

So what do I need to do with my kitchen? I need to clean it. When I clean what do I do? Im going to say there's a sink full of dishes (I hate even doing dishes) and the refrigerator needs cleaning out. There's a bowl of potatoes on the top of it that has something bad in them, and the counters are cluttered and overflowing with stuff that needs to be put away (that costco run?). My spice rack was a victim of a scared cat that climbed it and rather than take the time to organize and repack all the spices neatly... I just shoved them all in (true this, not a made up fact). The breakfast nook needs to be pulled out and cleaned out from under. The floor needs to be cleaned and mopped. The cupboards need to be organized. Under the sink needs cleaned too. The garbage needs to be taken out.

Okay.... so certain things need to come before certain other things. Why? Well, once you clean the fridge out there will be even more dirty dishes. You are defeating your purpose to wash dishes if you make more dishes immediately after you get the dirty ones clean because you don't get that sense of accomplishment. Why take the garbage out if you are going to throw old or outdated stuff in it because that means you'll be taking it out twice or letting food sit in it overnight. Ugh... again... you won't feel like you have gotten anything done. You can't drag all the cobwebs off the ceiling after you clean the floor... because gross... you'll have to do the floor again and holy hell what a fucking waste doing it twice in one session right? Smell what I'm cooking here?

This is actually a big project with lots of little parts, and we need it done this week. So.... lets organize.

  1. Clean out Fridge
  2. Wash a load of dishes
  3. Take out garbage
  4. Dust ceiling
  5. Clean off Ceiling Fan
  6. Wash curtain over window
  7. Wash light fixture covers over sink
  8. Deep clean stove and run a 'self clean' on the oven.
  9. Organize 1 cupboard (x10?)
  10. Clean off counter (x3)
  11. Clean off table
  12. Clean off bench
  13. Clean off breakfast nook seating
  14. Sweep Floor
  15. Mop Floor

That's a hell of a lot of work for 'clean the kitchen' right? But say if you want this all done in one week and are working 40 hrs etc.... you have just broken this task into smaller jobs that are more easily managed and if you start on a monday and do a few each day.... you'll be done by friday with a sparkling clean kitchen. You might just have to repeat taking the garbage out every few days or once you run all the dirty dishes, remind yourself to load the dirties straight into the dishwasher instead of leaving them in the sink.... and run a load when you have enough etc. But you've just broken the task down into a manageable method.

This works for paying off your bills too. List the smallest bill you owe first through the largest bill you owe last and make it a hobby to work on paying them all off one at a time until they are all gone.

This also works on RP. Each of you have a character plotnotes page. Place some goals on there. List them smallest to largest. Work through the list and reward yourself along the way with a sense of accomplishment as you get things crossed off. Don't DELETE Them... just cross them off... so you can see how far you've come. I also list things my PC needs or wants to own as well and cross them off as I buy them IC. That works well for getting goals done too.

I hope you all take this to heart and start using this method go get some things done. Use it here. Use it real life. Start succeeding! Make things easy on yourself.


Threading & Quest Etiquette :
Threading & Quest Etiquette
The Player Section


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Quest Etiquette can be a real make or break thing in terms of a quest. Players sin and moderators sin. Sometimes I wonder if its because players have no idea what true quest etiquette is? Do moderators? From years of D&D tabletop I've formed what MY OPINION of quest etiquette is. I go by it now on Mizahar. Be sure you review this if your in one of my quests and try to adhere to the basic premise of this post. If your a moderator, make sure you are trying to enforce these things in your quests. Otherwise, your quest party is full of douchebags and you should just run their horses off a cliff and end the bad behavior once and for all.


  • Acknowledge the other people in a quest. Note their actions in your post by reacting to them even if its just a brief line or two. Don’t ignore their presence. It’s rude beyond belief to come into a quest and solo it without paying attention to the others in the party. The same thing is true if people break into subgroups and ignore the other subgroups. Subgroups are fine as long as everyone is a part of one and they note each other’s actions and include each other and everyone else in their posts.


  • Acknowledge the actions of others in the quest. You aren’t in a solo moderated thread. Note others actions as part of your response and put some opinion of the action in there. Do you approve? Are they being stupid? Make that part of your post. Argue with their action if you disagree or try to block it. That’s all part of the fun. Agree with it? Help them do the action! Step up and say great idea and lend a hand. The biggest crime in a quest thread is to ignore a fellow quester.


  • Establish what your PC is wearing/wielding/and has on their person. Magically appearing gear is annoying in any sort of quest. That goes double for the whole ‘its in my bag at all times things’. Please make sure in your initial post to establish to yourself and the others what your PC is wearing, holding, and carrying for the duration of the quest. If your allowed to take the time to ‘gear up’ then go get your full gear and re-establish what you have in a post following a ‘gear up’ session. That way one can avoid the magical bag of ‘everything even the kitchen sink is in here’ and yet your pc moves unencumbered through the quest.


  • Don’t poach information. If one character learns of something by their actions, its up to them to share that information with the party. If they don’t then you don’t know it. So long as they are paying attention to you and acknowledging your actions, its perfectly fine to withhold information.


  • Stick to the posting order. This goes along with information poaching. Try very hard to post in the order the original postings were made. This gives everyone an equal chance to post and react in the order they carried out actions and learned things. Skipping posting order is only okay if a moderator says it is or the moderator is tired of waiting for one slow poster to post.


  • Don’t stand and do nothing. No one likes a PC who’s in a quest just to observe. This is a huge waste of time too. Don’t do nothing and don’t actually join a quest thread if you think all you are going to do on your first post is observe. Moderators hate that and might get spiteful towards your PC if all you are doing is lookilooing the whole time. Perform actions, ask questions, and think heavily about what might be going on.


  • Do things you can do. Don’t do things you can’t do. Are you a fighter? Fight then. Are you a wizard? Perform magic. Healers can heal. Everyone can look and observe for things. But if your unskilled at something like say disarming traps, don’t try to disarm traps. You’re going to get your stupid ass killed and probably those around you. Quest parties form organically and come together in a way where everyone has a role. Play your role. Don’t suddenly think your superman when you’re a three inch pycon. Those roles don’t work. Play roles that work.


  • Make quest posting a priority. If you are in a moderated thread, post to that FIRST before you post to your solos or socials. They are important to the moderators and the players so be sure you make it a priority to yourself as well.


  • Keep information organized in your mind. Understand and keep it straight in your mind what is ‘general’ information that everyone learns and what is ‘private’ information that someone finds out. You can act on general information but not on private information unless it is private information you earned.


  • Know your character limits. What is your characters size and strength? Can you lift that? Can you wield that? Does your character know what that thing is even if you do? Make sure you are aware of your lores and your skills. If you don’t have say a huge physical presence, don’t think you can lift a knight in full body armor as an average female and carry him out of a burning building. That probably won’t happen. You probably can’t even roll him over.


  • Be aware of YOUR location and the locations of the rest of the group members. Describe where exactly you are standing carefully in the scene in relation to fixed objects or things that are the focal point of a scene. Are you right next to another group member? Are you standing behind the group ready to heal them? Are you kneeling in front examining something? Be specific. Remember, let everyone know where you are. Don’t stomp on anyone in making an action. Slide around someone if they are in front of you and what you want to do. This goes back to acknowledging someone is somewhere doing something. Acknowledge them.


  • Just ask and you’ll know. Sounds like a simple thing right? But don’t assume anything. If you want to know more about something specifically examine it in your response. Ask in your post. “John Smith wondered how the man had managed to carry enough water to traverse the desert without dehydration. He should have been dehydrated right? So John decided to check his gear and see if there was any evidence as to how it was done.” Boom. You’ve just asked the Mod how something happened and made it clear you were looking for the answer. Now it’s the mods turn to do their job and tell you in their response to your actions. “After a few minutes of searching, John found a bag of holding that had five hundred canteens, most of which were still full, all stuffed inside it.” Don’t assume. Ask!


  • Let the Moderator know how you’re feeling about their quest. Are you bored? Have your PC yawn in boredom. Are you feeling left out or ignored? Write about that. It’s their job as a moderator for everyone to have fun as they tell a story to you. If you’re not having fun or there’s nothing for your PC in the quest so far, let them know by writing about it. They can and will adjust the story accordingly. Though remember, there are two types of quests. One is a sign up quest where a story should be tailored to every PC that signs up. And there are random posted quests you join. The random posted quests are the luck of who shows up first and its less about the PCs and more about the story in that case.


  • Don't criticize the moderator. They are doing it for your fun and their own enjoyment. Go easy on them. Understand that a good moderator might be flexible with the rules to preserve pacing or flow and add an element of the fantastical to the story. This goes for undermining the narrative, too. “This seems straight out of last months' Letters to Penthouse, Jen. What's the deal?” NoteYou know I'm just throwing this in there as a humorous reward for reading this far right? That might not be cool to point out. Just go with it. A good mod will change the ending or the middle and if you hate the quest you can not opt in on another one of theirs later down the line. Also, if you’re noticing inconsistencies, and can’t help it, try phrasing it in the form of a question. E.g., Is this the same begger we met in the last scene? If so, why is his peg leg on the right now instead of the left? Is that really necessary to point out? Probably not. The whole point is that hes a peg-leg dude and leave it at that. It might even be intentional. Is he an illusion that has changed over time? The changes might be hidden clues.


  • Don't engage in non-rewarding conflict or squabbling. Everyone knows that fighting among party members can be hugely distracting. try to limit this type of conflict to those instances which are dramatically rewarding. Contribute to the narrative as a PC rather than distract from it. This game is a social cooperative one. Players forget that. They like to grandstand defiance under the banner of staying true to a character concept. That's bullshit and everyone including themselves know it. The exception to this rule comes when tension or opposition within the party results in dramatic role-playing rewards. In order for the latter to work, remember, all PC’s need to be on the same page and it needs to be fully IC. OOC contempt for another players actions can't creep into the overall narrative or you're violating this rule.

  • Understand your role in a quest as a party member. Your PCs presence in a quest should be to strengthen the bond of the party, support each other player’s character-concept in game, weave your story alongside the other characters’, and finally work together towards your goals. That's it! Everything else like comedic humor or superfluous knowledge is icing on the cake.



    And finally…


  • Don’t void the social contract of quest fellowship! Remember, when you are joining a quest, you are agreeing to join a group and work towards a common goal for the benefit and fun of all the player and the characters in the group. This is a social contract! Avoid slavish behavior meaning a character acting in a way that makes no attempt at originality, constructive interpretation, or development. We all know the pc types. There’s always that pc who won’t go with the party even though the player has joined the quest because they don’t know the others, don’t trust the others, and can see no benefit in it for them. It’s your job as a player to suspend disbelief and find a reason to go and help and be in that group. It’s not the moderator’s job. It’s your job and your social contract of RP QUESTING that you signed. Follow through.


Quest Etiquette
The Moderator Section



In my mind there are two types of quests. There is a quest you want to run because you like the story and think other people might enjoy it as well. Then there's the quest you might want to run tailored to a individual or a group that has a few goals in mind.


  • Always remember who you are storytelling for. Tailor the quest to the party members. Don't force the party members to tailor themselves to the quest. This is especially true of 'sign up' quests where you know who exactly is going to be in your quest. Don't make it a fighting quest when there are thinkers and craftsman in the quest. Don't make it a magical quest when there are no magic users in the party. Always be mindful of who is in your group.


  • Be willing to adjust your story/plans accordingly always. PCs don't do what we want them to do all the time. In fact, they rarely do what we want them to do as moderators. So be willing to adjust your plans and rewrite your quests if the quest gets off track and you can't seem to get it back on track.


  • Don't overplan your quests. At most you should have a brief outline of events, perhaps even broken into sections with an abstract description of what the quest is and what its end goals are about. Any more planning than that and your in for a world of hurt because PCs break the social contract of questing all the time either knowingly or unknowingly and make your life miserable as a moderator. If you have monsters in the quest or protagonist things like evil npcs or encounter npcs, loosely plan them, and be willing to adjust numbers accordingly. Shit happens. Roll with it. Usually downhill. :)


    ... and finally.


  • Don't let one or two PCs grandstand a quest. Get everyone involved and let everyone have a chance to be center stage. Pull the shy PCs to the front and center a little bit. You don't have to do it all the time, but give them EQUAL time. If someone is grandstanding, invent a way in the middle of your quest to sideline them a few rounds. It's more than they deserve if they are stealing the show.


Moving Plots Forward :
Moving The Plot Forward



When Mizahar gets addictive for me and especially when I have a lot of threads as a pc or a moderator, I notice one big blaring problem that becomes a constant source of ire for me. I don't know if I can cure it or not, but I can certainly point it out so people are aware of it and maybe try to avoid it... and that's moving the plot forward.

What do I mean by moving the plot forward? Just by having your PC yammer away or carry out actions doesn't mean you are moving the plot forward. Movement = Change. You need to change up the plot, take it from point A to point B. To many times people assume just because a post is full of stuff like epic battles, heros climbing hero mountain, lovers falling in love, etc... that the plot is moving. So many times it is at a dead standstill and it gets dead boring for readers. Why? Because if a plot isn't moving, a plot is predictable, boring, and stale.

Post for post, if your post ends at the exact same point my post ended at.... even if your PC did stuff in that post... you haven't moved the plot. You've failed your writing partner(s) and your audience. You... have... failed.

I tend to write a lot. I do so because scenes come alive in my mind and I like to hit on a great many aspects of them, not limited to the details of the surroundings but also the details of what my PC (or NPCs) are thinking and feeling. So I tend to throw out quite a few actions in a post that move the story onward. I might ask questions. I might react... but unless I'm feeling like a total bitch, I move the story forward by giving the person something to do in my post or something to react too. If I didn't want to do that, I'd stick to solos.

And if I am being a bitch? I'm doing it purposely because your doing it to me and my inner nasty toddler is out slapping you in the face with it.... though most of the time people don't realize it. How can you spot it? I end my post - like I said above - exactly where you ended yours and refuse to move the plot forward. I did it to someone recently in a whole series of threads until I finally ended the whole thread with a single line of 'taking them home...' After a while it became a game, mind you a frustrating game, of how long I could stall the action in one thread and have the plot be parked at a dead standstill like a car stranded along a deserted highway in the middle of the night. It was a lot of posts, mind you.... a lot of posts.

Why? Because I'm fed up with doing all the work. When you don't move the plot, you aren't doing your fair share of the work in a thread. You are letting your partner tell the story and putting the burden of entertaining everyone on them. They want to be entertained as much as you do, so don't let them down. Don't stall the plot.

It irks me when someone reacts and responds and answers and posts all their alive scene material (which I love) but then stops the scene exactly where I did in my post, thus leaving it up to me to move the story on. Its great for perspective, because it shifts the POV from your pc to their pc (or NPC or whatever) and you see things from their side. But if they don't go further than you went (like you went further than they went) you are left with the ball in your court and you simply get beaten back to the role of storyteller without having someone help you do that task.

Everyone following?

Collaborative storytelling is designed so both parties get to be the storyteller. The most common excuse I hear for a PC not moving a story forward by doing one more action past where the last PC stopped their action or story POV is that they have no idea where the story is going.

*deadpan look*

Isn't that the whole idea? Maybe your writing partner wants to be surprised too? Maybe they don't want to plan the whole thing, tell the story, and have you get your ass dragged along for the ride like a cling-on turd I forgot to wipe off my tushy well enough.

I'm a country girl. We can use turd analogies and not be five years old. This is especially true if a plot is constipated. Turds work as examples. I'm trying to teach you how to add laxatives so you can get the plumbing of a story moving again... so in the end everyone is relieved.

There are also bigger examples of moving plots in storylines themselves. Moving the plot isn't just about threading and moving threads along. It can be about a greater story.

Say you are a small time apprentice to a lazy mage master who tends to take all your work and put his name on it and reap the rewards for your brilliance. He never pays you. He rarely feeds you. All your shit is threadbare even though you work day and night to make him or her wealthy. Okay great. This is a good plot hook and something that we all can relate too and get behind right? Let me relate two scenes to you... one... the plot moves. One... nothing changes and it was all for naught. In both scenes, action happens. Can you spot the one where the plot moved?

You march into his office - which is a mess and hes probably got a hooker or two in there since he doesn't have to actually do any work - and confront him. There's a big epic scene where you get everything off your chest and....

He tells you to shut up, get back to work, and you cower because you have nothing and are no one and kinda spineless in spite of working up the courage to confront the mage.... and go back to work. Maybe he beats you... or maybe he cuts your non-existent salary to negative numbers and you start owing the company store funds.

Or....

He tells you that he doesn't need you. That you have an over inflated idea of your worth, and he throws your threadbare penniless ass out on the street with no place to go, no friends to shelter you, and nothing to your name. Then of course he puts the word out your toxic and that you steal so no other mage in the city will take you on or supply your endeavors.

Now.... one of these scenarios moves the plot forward like a freight train. One of these actually did nothing for your character, not even any real character development. If you can't tell which one is which, you need to give up writing as a hobby or a potential career and possibly enroll in that motorcycle or diesel engine repair mechanic course you keep eyeing on TV every time the commercial comes on during your favorite anime... because there is NO HOPE FOR YOU as a writer.

So how do you do this? Action, action, action... incite conflict. Throw things in from left field. In the case of Mizahar, your reader is your writing buddy. They are your partner. You need to keep them entertained as much as they are entertaining you. And if they aren't, tell them to do so... be open about your expectations. Fill your writing with moments that thrill you and thrill them. These are called Inciting Moments. They are exactly like they sound.
IM's are moments of crisis, threat, or opportunity.

I don't blame you for being boring writers. You see, from day one we are trained that other people are stupid and that if you don't start your writing with a backstory to explain what's going on in a plotline or say a book, then you are going to loose the reader. School teaches us this. Elementary english classes in college teach us this. The world tells us to explain. But is that really true?

What would you rather read? A long and winding road where someone talks about the proverbial dingo eating their baby way back and how much anxiety they have now... or do you want to launch right into a car chase ala Mad Max? I don't know about you... but I'd prefer the action and have some of the backstory revealed as the plot moves along rather than be overloaded with plot before I even get started. People aren't stupid. Your audiences and writing partners aren't stupid. Don't treat them like they are. They will learn a whole lot from your CS that can be translated into Lores later as the plot progresses and the characters get to know each other.

Move your plot forward. Always do that for your partner. If you don't... you are a turd. A big hard iron-infused bowl blocking turd. And we have poop emoji's for you now.


Writing Dark :
Writing Dark

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It’s truly a taboo. No one wants to talk about it but everyone is thinking it when it comes to Writing Dark: Will I be judged if I write certain things? Yes. Rest assured, you will be judged. But, let me clue you in on a little secret. You will always be judged by everyone around you regardless of how you write. You will be judged on far more than your writing. People say they don’t judge. But they do. Everyone does. We judge ourselves the worst. The problem is that you care. Don’t care. There is a freedom to writing something you want to write without that inherent fear of being judged. When you absolutely accept you will be judged and often found lacking, you will stop caring so much. Trust me. Writing Dark purges things from your soul you didn’t even know was there… or maybe you knew but didn’t want to recognize.

If you write about happiness and sunshine, people will find you optimistic and perhaps label you as a nice bright person. I can already feel the yawn starting. I don’t want to be known as nice or happy. That will never stick in anyone’s mind. Are you desperate to be seen that way? Maybe? I’m not. I like darkness. I like when the life and happiness is sucked out of a scene and there is an acute flare of horror, disbelief and even surprise. The key to me is feeling. It’s hard for me to enjoy mundane happy scenes with any sort of emotion. But when you Write Dark and then live that scene in your mind, you feel things. YOU REALLY FEEL THINGS. Why? Because it isn’t like my real life and it is a break from reality. It is a stepping sideways into something flavored different than my every day.

I like to feel things I don’t normally feel. My life is full of comfort, happiness, and the mundane of routine. I can pretty much tell you what I’m doing at any particular hour you throw at me. And that gets old. I can feel things the best when I’m shocked or horrified or even scared. When you see scenes unfolding that you don’t want to experience yet have to as you read on, it changes you. It takes something away and adds something to each of our souls. It helps us feel more… bigger… stronger emotions.

You don’t have to play a dark character to Write Dark. Painting the scene dark is enough, often, to invoke these feelings. Throw dialog to the wind. When you are writing dark, its more important to understand where you are and what the scene is. You need to describe things that will pull at your very core and dig into you like unseen claws and stay with you a long long time after you’ve written or read them. Mizahar is a world that’s just crawling its way back to life from the brink of destruction. Some places are having a better time of it than others. Some settings are nicer and brighter than others. You get to pick these degrees. You get absolute control in your threads.

That’s the setting. It can be broken down by scene, and even further, all of this cumulative writing revealing soul. My tagline has always been Words Reveal Soul… and I feel its incredibly accurate.

Your soul is not a glowing nimbus of pure light. It’s really not. Think about it. It’s a twisting mass of energy filled with deep unseen parts that twist and turn and create deep crevasse and high mountains of ideas and thoughts that manifest in a complex twisted ball of yarn that’s mostly mobius strip. No one can completely and utterly unravel it. And words are magic that manifest these ideas if we choose to dig deep and tap what’s inside. It’s all in there. You know it.

Writing Dark isn’t drenching your pages with pools of blood that run from the walls and flow like rivers through your text. It’s not a splattering of gore. It’s not needless killing or unpurposed violence. It’s not evil characters for the sake of being evil. All things start out birthed into innocence and molded by their experiences. Never forget that. A rougher life will carve out a rougher soul. The path that person has taken to get where they are is as important as where they are when it comes to writing fiction. Purpose everything. Make every action a result of something else, something that over time a reader who is interested can trace back and start piecing together.

You’ll find yourself being admired more often than you will ever realize if you write this way. Why? Because you will make people feel things. They will get excited as they hunt through you words and play detective. You will paint a world that they aren’t used to but are fascinated with. Wait what? Why are people fascinated with writing truly dark worlds?

The reason is very simple. In a dark scene in a dark world anything that shines a little, shines so damn bright it blinds you. Horribly flawed characters, those that are broken and so damaged their pain is tangible but you will still find them having morals, a code, a set of ethics they follow. Just watch them. It might not be your ethics or something that fits your standards, but it is there nonetheless. And then we get the fun of picking through their actions in the dark and piecing together what those morals are and where they came from. It’s like the best sort of scavenger hunt ever.

In the dark, details matter. A field of a hundred thousand blooming daisies can easily loose its meaning and be a dull message. But how impactful is that blooming dandelion that has grown gloriously beautiful out of the tiniest crack in a vast field of half-ruined cement? You remember it. It’s visually striking and it holds a message of hope. The messages in Writing Dark are subtle. But they are all over and it’s your job in writing your darkness to hide them about like a proud parent of a toddler scattering Easter Eggs on Easter morning for that toddler to bumble around and discover. It’s also your job in Writing Dark to scatter the seeds of darkness about. These seeds don’t have to be, like I’ve said before, your character’s actions. But they must be done to or around your character to the point where your character is impacted by them.

And if you play the rare rare character that is dark, give them bits of light in their dark souls. What do I mean? Say a character is a big framed man with an aura of menace. If he’s gruff and judgmental and quick to act, also give him aspects that come off charming. Perhaps he is incredibly articulate or has moments of humor that are unexpected. Maybe in all his darkness, he shows mercy randomly for his own reasons. You are already intrigued, aren’t you? That’s what Writing Dark does for us. It feeds our souls and purges them at the same time because we are all a bit fascinated with death, violence, and the inherent human pecking order that always seems to surface when people are all thrown together in a singular situation like one of our dark themed cities or a quest that has no hope of success.

So that leads me to why people don’t want to Write Dark.

People are cowards... afraid of being judged for what they write. They are afraid if they Write Dark people - outsiders - will see all the damaged twisted destruction and garbage in their souls. Well, let me tell you another secret. We all have that garbage. We are all scarred, maimed, and mangled from life. And it doesn’t take reading someone’s writing to know that. It just takes looking into their eyes. Let your readers look into your eyes. Stop being afraid of being judged.



Gold Stars And X's :
Gold Stars And Black X's

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This post is all about who earns what and who deserves what based on writing in a Quest. Its most likely time I talked about this a bit. There are multiple Storyteller Quests going on. We Storytellers run them for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, we want everyone to have fun. Secondly, we run them for the advancement of plot lines – to give your PCs and our Domains more interest – and to round out characters. They take a lot of work, both in preparation and in execution, and after they get rolling we sit around and wait for posts to see how the story rounds out.

But once a quest is going and people are posting, that’s just the beginning. There’s a whole lot going on inside of a quest once it starts. This is the meat and bones of storytelling, and something we try to collect everyone and involve them in. I tend to assign points in my quests and keep a running tally of which PC has which type of points. Why? Because as a Storyteller, I have lots of buried treasure in my plots and potentials for characters to earn big time rewards. My point system is simple…. I give gold stars and black X’s. If a character gets so many stars, they get first shot at some of the fantastic awards or interesting lore that no one else can have. They stumble upon things first or get approached by the NPCs. If they get a lot of black X’s, they get first shot of getting their ass kicked or having bad things happen to them. They spring traps, set off curses, etc. Tough huh? But its all merit based. You get out of quests what you put into them.

How do I break this down? Well, if you read my post on Threading And Quest Etiquette there’s a lot of clues in there. But I thought I would spell it out here for some of the people that might not know or have tried to get a clue before now…

Gold Stars
  • Team Effort Evident – Your Character Acts For The Good Of The Whole
  • Assists In Moving The Plot Forward.
  • Characters Acknowledge and Interact With Other People In A Quest
  • Characters Acknowledge The Actions Of Others In A Quest
  • Character Establishes What They Are Wearing/Wielding/Has On Their Person
  • Characters Ask Questions IC, Take An Interest IC, Speculate IC, Perform Actions Unasked
  • Characters Actions Make Sense And Add To The Quest Story
  • Character Does Things They Are Trained To Do.
  • Character Doesn’t Do Things They Don’t Know How To Do.
  • Characters Don’t Know Things They Don’t Have Lore For.
  • Make Quest Posting A Priority.
  • Keep Action Rounds In The Correct Order – Character 1 First, Then Character 2, Etc
  • Praises A Quest Publicly In Chat.
  • Assists In Keep Questing Party On Task.
  • Understands And Acknowledges Social Contract Of Quest Fellowship




Black X’s
  • Grandstanding, Godmodding, Metagaming.
  • Stalls The Plot
  • Characters Fail To Acknowledge Or Interact With Other People In A Quest
  • Characters Fail To Acknowledge The Actions Of Others In A Quest
  • Characters Manifest Items Out Of Thin Air With An Explanation That Item Was On Their Person The Whole Time
  • Characters Don’t Ask Questions IC, Don’t Take An Interest IC
  • Don't Speculate IC, Don’t Perform Actions Unasked
  • Characters Parrot Back What Others Wrote – Stand And Observe Quest But Don’t Participate
  • Characters Perform Stupid Acts Which Make No Sense – Randomness
  • Character Doesn’t Do Things They Are Trained To Do.
  • Character Does Things They Don’t Know How To Do
  • Character Has Knowledge They Have No Lores Of.
  • Does Not Make Quest Posting A Priority.
  • Jumps Ahead Of Other Characters With No Regard For Order.
  • Disses A Quest Publicly In Chat.
  • Derails Quest By Unnecessary Tangents.
  • Voids Social Contract Of Quest Fellowship


Quests only succeed if the people in them make them succeed. I can write my ass off as a storyteller, but it doesn’t help if all the people in the quest do is stand around and stare. It’s hard as hell to react to people not reacting.. if that makes sense. And its senseless killing if you just slaughter them as a Storyteller because they stood there chewing their cud like a herd of sheep.

So… help us Storytellers help you guys have fun. Put your heart into the quests you join. Be dedicated to them. Make it your goal to have them be at least as fun for the Storyteller to read as it is for the Storyteller to write. This goes for the other PCs as well. Don’t ignore anyone. Don’t dismiss them. Its okay to confront them IC if you think the other characters are making mistakes or being dumb. That’s all part of it. Hopefully they will confront you if they feel you are doing the same thing. Don’t be excessively silly unless the story calls for it. Make quests a priority and if you have irl issues where you can’t post, just talk to your Storyteller and they will either float your character or write them out of the action so the quest doesn’t’ get bogged down. Believe me, they understand. All of us has had irl crop up and affect us.

Get points. Remember. Quests aren’t democracies. Everyone won’t come out equal. There’s lots of grabbing of goodies involved, but unless you work for it, a moderator isn’t going to reward you much. The goal is to jump in and make sure everyone rushes to read responses because the plot is just so damn good. You all have it inside of you. Most all of you are capable writers. If you absolutely don’t have any idea what to do, then voice that in your quest posts. Be lost and own it… talk to the others, get help from them… not ooc, but ic if you are struggling. There are rules to quests… unspoken rules… but there’s no hard fast way to approach them. If you fuck up on a post and earn a few black X’s… make sure your next post earns you a few gold stars. We all move forward. We all learn from what we write. Don’t beat yourself up. POST. I can’t say that enough.


Describing PCs and NPCs :
Describing Our PCs and NPCs


You play your PC day in and day out and know what they look like. When your PC walks into a scene, you have that image of them in your mind and have a good idea of how they are dressed or what they look like that day. Is their hair neatly combed? How about mussed from a blustery wind? Did they go on a drinking binge the night before and have all the signs of a hangover etched across their face? Are they limping or sore from a fight in a previous thread or something that happened out of the scene?

Show us. We all want to know.

As your PC's writer, you know what is going on with your PC, but so often people forget that other writers and other readers do not. It's a common mistake and one that people often make. Sometimes I hear the excuse that someone's pc is 'always' wearing and 'equipped' with what is listed on their CS. That's a lazy person's answer. And in fact, its about as boring as things get in the Mizahar thread world.

Frankly, it is your responsibility as a writer to sketch out your PC's situation immediately when you are setting a scene for a thread. It is also your responsibility as a writer to perform what I call 'check ups' on your PC as you go along. Did something make your PC sad and now their face is blotched from crying or strained with unshed tears? Did someone or something cut your PC's garment and now there's a parting of clothing or a blood stain spreading across and beneath their clothes?

Just because you can see a scene and your PC clearly in your mind doesn't mean others can. Take the time to set the scene and give your thread partners a handle on what's going on in the scene with the characters that are there. Are you in charge of an NPC briefly for your post? 'Check in' on them and then 'update' them with anything that might have happened in the previous post... (e.g. Darcey was now missing his fedora. His rumpled hair matched his rumpled expression as he stared at the destroyed hat laying at his feet.)

Be better thread partners this way. It gives your readers and the people writing with you better road marks on how to respond. And if you give them a little of this, odds are you will get a little back in return as well, making your own writing easier.


The Proper Care And Feeding Of Characters :
The Proper Care And
Feeding Of Characters


When you volunteer to be a Storyteller on Mizahar, its sometimes easy to get lost in the process. To a Storyteller, the Domain becomes everything. It's development is critical. You want everything perfect and you feel like if things are not perfect, its a direct reflection upon you. I know I've seen this time and time again because my first city I designed is not nearly as strong as the last city I designed. The differences are obvious and glaring. I love development. I get lost in it like its a rabbit hole I can fall down loosing hours and hours too. I think its one of my strong points, especially in crafting a story and designing an event or series of events I can unfold over the course of time.

That's all well and good, but my Domain is only as good as the players in it. If you don't have players, and don't cater to their needs, something is lost and all that development goes to waste. I feel like as a Storyteller we sign a pact with the players that pick our cities to write in. It's an unspoken agreement to put them first and make their needs more important than say putting in just more location or updating old framepics to the 'latest' trending style codes.

I am as guilty of this as the next person. Somewhere along the way Riverfall lost my attention and I got caught up in Syka's interesting environment. And as a result of that, Riverfall's activity has waned and Syka's has boomed. I'm going to try to correct this now that I have help. Thank you, Entropy. He's really stepped up and took an interest. However, that doesn't excuse the fact that this happens all over the place. In my case it was a scenario of two cities and one having more of a pull to me because of a real life trip to Panama's beautiful Island area of Bocas Del Toro. I was hopelessly enchanted and I've patterned all of Syka around it.

But throughout the game I see time and time again where Storyteller's put development first, and its not such a good thing. So this is a guide to the proper care and feeding of Characters. Why? Because I need one for myself as badly as the rest of the staff.

And disclaimer... these are my ideas on PCAF not anyone else's. You might not agree and that's okay. But over the years of doing this - and I guarantee this will help.


First and foremost....

1. Get To Know Your Players & Talk To Them

If you make a conscious effort to get to know them, they will talk to you. You don't need to be 'friends', but if they feel you are approachable, they will come to you. This means you need to initiate conversations with them a great deal. Talk to your players. Find out why they are in your city and what kind of things they want to write stories about. Don't just rely on your Character Registry to tell you what you want to know. Many people just pay these registries lip service and don't actually get to the heart of why they picked your Domain and what they want to get out of the relationship with it.

2. Put Actual Storytelling Before Development

Threads you start as an ST need to have priority over EVERYTHING, even over 'fixing' things in your Domain or developing new things. Characters that don't feel like they matter won't stay in your city. Make them matter to you... even if you don't even remotely like the characters themselves. If characters go inactive in stories, keep the story moving for the benefit of the characters that are trying hard and write around the missing character. The single most discouraging thing a Storyteller can do is slow post to a quest or event. Don't do it. It's disheartening to players and I consider it probably the number one sin of a Storyteller.

3. Make Characters More Important Than NPCs

If Characters want jobs, give them jobs over stating things like there are already NPCs in place that do those jobs. Those NPCs can take leaves of absences (traveling to see family) or allow the Characters to work with them in order to resolve this issue.

4. Make Domain NPCs Accessible To PCs And Usable

No one likes a shelf of knickknacks they can't touch. This is exactly what a city full of NPCs that characters can't use or can only use if they jump through hoops with you as a Storyteller becomes. Setting aside a couple - a handful is okay. But overall, untouchable NPCs actually are a waste, especially if you are unwilling to take the time to rapidly moderate threads wherein the PC can interact with the NPC. If you are willing to rapidly moderate, then the NPCs being untouchable are fine. If you don't have the time or inclination, you need to rethink your Domain Design. You want to think of your City NPCs as YOUR CHARACTERS and you want your players to think of those NPCs as THEIR CHARACTERS as well. It fleshes them out so well and makes them actually useful and not knickknacks that are untouchable on a shelf.

5. Always Introduce Conflict

Conflict drives plots. If your Domain is completely peaceful, then nothing ever happens and PCs will get bored. If your PCs are bored, you'll get bored. It's a vicious cycle. I think we've lost more Storytellers to being just flat out fucking bored than anything else. And you know what? It was their own fault. When I'm bored, its my own fault. Introduce conflict.

6. Uncertainty Breeds Inactivity

When players don't know how to do something, like conflict, they avoid it and or feel apprehensive. Take them out and give them little flashes of 'introduction to...' threads where they can get their feet wet and learn our system. You can be incredibly subtle about this or you can openly ask them if they want challenged. Gauge the situation and act accordingly. But instead of telling them how to do something, show them. This is often the case with new players and combat. Running short quick combat threads to give players confidence can often help tremendously.

7. Don't Just Tell A Player Something - Show Them Through RP

Nine times out of ten if a person doesn't understand what your trying to explain as a Storyteller, they will just nod and agree with you rather than ask for clarification. No one wants to look stupid. They figure they will figure it out as they go along. Make it easy on them. Avoid a player getting caught in the "I EXPLAINED IT TO THEM ALREADY!" trap where you talked to them but they didn't understand. Get a clue. Sometimes its not that they are too dumb to understand. Sometimes you suck at explaining things and people are too proud to ask for clarification. I can't say that enough. It might not be their fault. Keep that in mind. Show them what you want to know through roleplay.

8. Reward Creativity & Activity

Pay attention to your active players. Pay attention to your giving players that volunteer by grading and helping others. Reward them with special things like personally moderated threads by you. Give them opportunities they might not have as a here today gone tomorrow player. Help their stories come alive by tossing them carrots and gems. Is someone padding the word count in your Domain by writing a lot? Don't resent that fact or sneer under your breath that they might not have a life or haven't anything better to do. This is bullshit and hurtful. Drop into their threads and do quick posts to reward them for their dedication. It's just a nice thing to do and isn't showing favoritism because anyone can fit into this category... volunteerism and high activity.

9. Make Adjustments To Your Domain And Tailor It Towards The Characters That Are There Currently

No, this doesn't mean you need to completely change your Domain. But what this means is that you need to see what your overall group of players consists of and emphasize things in your Domain that would interest the current particular group. This of course will change season by season based on your current batch. Are these party animals? Create lavish events for them to join. Are these warriors? Combat scenarios need to be injected immediately. Don't let your Domain become so rigid various concepts can't fit within it. By doing this with your Domain Events, it can inspires future plot and story lines from yourself and these characters.

10. Use Rare And Obscure Lore Tied To Your Domain And Flesh It Out Via Storylines

There are story seeds buried throughout the wiki. The Founders have probably forgotten more things they've put in the lore than others have contributed. They can give you plenty of advice and story seeds that can completely change your outlook on your Domain. Just ask Prophet. Gillar recently rocked his world revealing one fun fact about Ravok that the Ravokian Storyteller didn't even know. There's far more where that came from. Lean on them. You aren't going solo or unsupported in your Mizaharian Endeavors.

11. Keep Notes On Your Players, NPCs, And Story Ideas

We are human. We forget. Keep copious notes on players, NPCs, and ideas you have for your Domain. If you can track a PC's progress, even just by chatting with the player, this helps you tailor your Domain greatly. This works very well if you don't have an Assistant Storyteller to bounce ideas off of or you prefer to work alone. Even writing down ideas or keeping extensive plotnotes can help. Five minutes after we have an idea, we can loose it. Write it down! It never hurts anything to keep notes and carry a small pocket ideas.

12. Look For Those 'Movie Moments' And Exploit Them For Dramatic Effect

When a Character has a epic realization or does something incredible in thread that you witness, don't be afraid to act on it as a Storyteller and introduce elements that aren't covered in the established lore. Act when you see these things and the timing is right for you to step in. This is just borrowed drama and cinematic effects that can give players chills and thrill them to the core. These are one time things which can profoundly change a PC's outlook or motivation. This doesn't have to be a material reward for a PC, but it can be an incredible moment in that PC's life that effects them deeply.

13. Request Feedback From Your Players In Your Domain

Hopefully the players will understand honest feedback will help you. Request that feedback! Be frank with them and ask them to be frank with you. Answer them back when they are being forthright. Never ignore a character that states their feelings ooc to you. That's them going out on a limb and such things should be appreciated and responded too.



Earning XP :
Earning XP



This question came up in chat and it honestly deserves a scrap.

To earn XP, you need to go into detail on what you are doing. Just picking up a sword and swinging it will not earn you XP unless you are seriously low level at it... meaning in the single digits. Just saying you are 'building a wall' will not get you carpentry or construction XP. You need to go into detail detail detail. When doing magic, there's a lot more involved than just casting a spell. You can't just cast a shield for example. You have to describe pulling your Djed, tasking the shield, fully forming it over something... etc. All of that counts towards XP.

Here are some things that do not qualify for XP.

Repetitive Action through the same thread and multiple threads.
Fighting/Casting/Crafting below/above your skill level.
Vague descriptions.


These things will get you great XP.

Clearly describing an action thoroughly with lots of detail.
Doing unusual or interesting things AT your skill level with your skill.


This is all really cut and dried. This is how you get XP. This is what kinds of things don't qualify for XP. Remember, as a grader if you are giving XP for things that don't give XP, you are jeopardizing your grading status. Hold PCs accountable... especially when they get past the single digits. Make them write details. Make them push the limit not in doing TOO much but in doing INTERESTING things.

I hope this helps.



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Postby Gossamer on July 8th, 2018, 10:13 pm

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Pulled From The Ethereal Canyon
So You Don't Have To Dig


Kelvic Bonding :
Kelvic Bonding


How do people bond with Kelvics? What is it like? This is one of those questions that is on par with 'What does it feel like to fall in love?' where you have to really struggle to describe a feeling or set of feelings that leads to something deeper and permanent.

First, lets talk about some things regarding Kelvics. They are constructs born to serve humans. They can exist on their own, but they are not truly happy that way. And the kicker is that mostly they don't realize this UNTIL they bond. They instintually look for a kindred spirit, a soul that suits their own with usually a similar sort of alignment and temperament.

Somewhere, deep inside them, they have a burning need to find someone 'worthy' to serve. If a Kelvic is a dark creature, they will look for a dark soul that suits their own and once they find them, the bonding can happen if the other person is of a suitable personality and agreeable to the bond. If the Kelvic is a person with a strong will, they will need a strong-willed bondmate. A weak souled Kelvic of dubious values can serve anyone just about as long as the bondmate they find or are given to is stronger. They look for leadership.

In terms of the PCs... think of Kelvics as an incredibly intelligent sophisticated pet. If your PC is prone to like animals and feels lonely, a Kelvic is probably something your PC would not hesitate to have. They are utterly loyal, and they tend to transform their personalities to buoy up your weaknesses when they bond to you because that's how they were designed to exist. People often covet beautiful things or exotic creatures and Kelvics fit this bill.

The actual process of bonding is not that difficult. Let me say what its not first. It's not two people, a non kelvic and a kelvic sitting down and discussing it and it happening. It is not a ritual or two people saying the magic words to 'click' a bond into place.

It's not like that at all.

More often than naught there has to be the pre-existing attraction there and then it feels like each person has tendrils of energy that spread out from each of them and tentatively touch the other, slowly forming all sorts of links. The PCs, both Kelvic and non-Kelvic can feel these tendrils even though they can't actually see them. I imagine these as invisible ropes of light, woven of emotion and need, that completely link the two souls together. If for some reason one person doesn't want it, they can reject this and stop it. But often, it doesn't even start to happen unless both parties are definitely into it. Then the tendrils tangle with each other, like unseen umbilical cords, and they firm up and fuse the two together.


It can happen slowly over time or it can happen very very quickly without each of the PCs realizing it.


Once fully bonded, the pair knows where each other is at all times... as distance grows further, it might be a vague 'thataway' type feeling. If they are in the same area, they know exactly where the bondmate is. If they are halfway across the world, its far more vague.

The other thing the bond does is allow each of the linked to feel the emotions of the other. Sometimes, at first, it gets confusing because if one of them is say hungry, the other might feel hungry and not understand its not their own hungry. Its very hard for bondmates to lie to each other. And because of the link, some aspects of each of their personalities can sometimes slide.

For instance, if one of them has a situation where they have a set of hobbies they love, the other will start to take an interest in it. They might not pick up those hobbies, but they will find themselves a bit more knowledgeable on them. If one is a fighter and one is not, the one that is not might start moving or acting a bit more like a fighter and find a balance in perhaps an awkward form they'd enjoyed before.

Kelvics do a lot of feeling. Humans do a lot of thinking. When a Kelvic bonds to a human, they tend to gain a bit more humanity and think harder. The exception to this is older kelvics who have not bonded until they've been mature awhile. These kelvics tend to be very thoughtful and intelligent. Kelvics that have bonded early and often tend to be more animalistic. If you are smart about a Kelvic, you would not let them bond to a child because they would take on childish properties that they might not mature out of as their bondmate does. This is, however, fine if it is a short lived Kelvic like a Kelvic Mouse or even a short lifespan of a dog. Bonding to a Kelvic might make a non-Kelvic a bit more emotional, but not necessarily.


Having a bondmate with a dedicated partner can be an awesome experience. You can have someone to rp with that always has your back and is a constant companion in what can be a completely lonely world. This can inject a lot of RP into your life as well, especially if for some reason the two bondmates can't physically be together. Or perhaps one bondmate is owned by someone that isn't the bondmate.


I get this question a lot. Are bondmates romantic? The thing is they can be. But this isn't a necessity. If they are of the compatible sexual orientation, then its a natural thing that they will often come together and become mates as well. But, that being said, its not a requirement and its really up to the bondmates themselves and how they interact with each other through roleplay. They can be best friends, as tight as siblings, or even feel paternal/maternal to a bondmate. It's all up to you and your RP partner.

Breaking a Kelvic bond is as easy as either the Kelvic or the Human(ish) willing it to happen and severing those invisible tendrils. This is very emotionally scarring to both parties, but it can happen and does occasionally.

I would like to say though if you ever find a Kelvic that matches your character's style and personality, snatch them up especially if they suit your PC and you can count on them to be a steady RP partner OOC. A Kelvic isn't complete without a bondmate. It doesn't have to be a perfect match either. It can be a perfectly frustrating match too. Sometimes PCs need a little excitement in their life and a rowdy hard to control bondmate fits the bill just fine. Kelvics can give PCs a vulnerability too, or even someone to protect. Bondmates can do the same for Kelvics... giving them someone to protect and nurture.

It's all up to you and your RP partners or NPCs.


The Magic Of Mizahar :
The Magic Of Mizahar

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Magic on Mizahar is something either players truly love or they run away screaming from. I’m not an expert on magic since I didn’t develop the whole concept but I’ve been around enough to understand that magic here works differently than it does in books, gaming systems, even in real world spirituality. People try to assign statistics to it and in doing so loose a lot of the spirit of how magic is supposed to be treated. It’s mystical, rare, and something that’s different for everyone.


Recently there’s been a lot of talk back and forth in chat about magic, and at times it breaks my heart in a way. Yea, I have one. Don’t make a big deal out of it. Anyhow, I’m not good at interrupting people when they are passionate about something, but everything about most people’s ideas on magic are contrary to the spirit of Mizahar. I can understand why they think it though. Its hard to NOT have a quantifiable way to explain something mystical. Even Gillar, who is rewriting the Overgiving Page to give more clarity is struggling with quantifying it. In one example, a player was saying that he gave himself a few times a day in so many bells to produce a few effects he felt was ‘in his level’. I appreciate the effort and how hard he was trying to guide a new person. I really do. It’s people like that which are going to keep new players enthusiastic because someone has to answer their questions. But its not exactly the way magic is supposed to work.

So I was asked to write this scrap to explain a few things to EVERYONE in my perspective in hopes of giving people a bit of clarity on magic. I want to emphasize this is my take on Mizahar’s magic and is not endorsed by Tarot or anyone else. But as someone who’s played a mage a long time and loves magic, its my hope that this will help.

Everyone has a pool of djed within them. It varies from person to person and isn’t something people can put a number on. Some people might have large pools, some people might have modest pools of djed, but its something they need to discover through rolepaly which each player decides for themselves. As characters become familiar of their core spirituality and their djed, they have more awareness of it. Think of it in terms of a martial artist or dancer slowly becoming aware of their body and its needs as they advance in their artform. They slowly learn their limits and stretch their limits daily, pushing themselves further and harder, until their limits increase and they grow better. Magic is like this.

I equate it to breathing. Everyone breaths. It’s the normal. You can’t live without breathing. We breathe in our day to day lives just as characters use their djed in their day to day lives, many times without knowing it. They don’t overgive without the conscious use of magic because their djed use is normal for them, as normal as breathing.

However, when we get into stressful things like combat, conflict, anxiety, desperation, high emotions, high adrenaline etc, our breathing becomes rapid. We start worrying or say we have an accident where we fall and get the breath knocked out of us, we have issues and can’t breathe well or struggle. Magic is a lot like this. The same goes for magic. Characters can use it all day long so long as they are used to using it in specific natural normal ways. Its only when they are skirting new territory like stretching their powers or exploring new avenues of uses that they have to worry about overgiving. This is different for EVERY character.

Say your reimancer is a chronic smoker that tends to chain smoke every day, day in and day out. He might be more than used to flicking a bit of res together, igniting it, and lighting his cigarette. You cannot say he can only do this a couple times a day at his level, because his magic life and magic mind is conditioned to do this as easily as breathing so he can indeed spark a bit of djed over and over again to light a cigarette. But if he skips out of the realm of normal or zen, that’s when overgiving comes. A fireball with significantly more res and more heat might tax him.

Dancers work on stretching more and more until they can do the splits. They aren’t born being able to do this but it is something they work on daily to get more flexible. Mages are like this. If they take it slow and steady, they can increase their norms. If they do it all at once and try to ‘split’ without the day in and day out, year in and year out practice… they overgive. It’s the same with breathing. When we run a marathon we lose our breath, shut down, experience coughing, wheezing, etc. That’s what overgiving is like. Your characters body reacts to abuses it isn’t used to experiencing.

I played an bard with auristics once. She didn’t see colors of auras. Its not how magic was designed on Miz. Magic is very very personal to each and every character and ten characters might do something with the same effect ten different ways. My bard heard auras. She heard them in tones of music and it told her just as much if not more than people who only used their eyes.

My reimancer who will tell everyone who asks she’s secretly just a geomancer tends to hear her crafted stone sing to her and can get lost to its voice if she doesn’t deliberately ignore it. Sometimes she doesn’t and will stand for hours leaning against a stone pillar she crafted just to hear its voice. She loves the voices of stones. She rose an island out of the sea all by herself over irl years. Yet she crafted her home by transmuting stone to air (a much easier process than producing res to craft stone as in the island) in just a few short seasons. To her, inducting someone to reimancy isn’t just the act of giving them the gift of Res, it’s a complete act of trust and affection. In a way she sees it as her protecting them even when she cannot be there protect them herself.

So, I want each and every one of you to think of magic as not a set process. Don’t try to fit it into boundaries of mana pools and turns and plays. Don’t try and make it fit into dice rolls. Instead, ruminate on your individual characters and try to consider what can you do to make magic your own and very individual to your own character. How can you take what you read in the lore and apply it to the uniqueness of the character, making it your own and individual in your characters own way? Magic is beautiful here. It’s not throwing around a set scope of spells. It’s not a situation where a pc can cast x amount of times a day. It’s so much more than that. Tarot wrote magic to be incredibly beautiful and flexible, something you can absolutely tailor to your own way of thinking and your own way of doing things.

Overgiving? Like I said… its like breathing outside of the normal scope of breathing. When you stretch and push and move past your personal character’s comfort zone, then it happens. How long does it last? That’s something you need to decide for yourself. Only you know the inner crevasses and cracks in your characters soul and how far they can be pushed. Its something for you to decide. ‘We’… the collective group, can only look on and wonder, hoping to discover more about your PC through their words and actions. And if you are a conscientious player that understands game balance well, you’ll do fine at those decisions.

That’s the beauty of the magic of Mizahar.


A Jar Full Of Gemstones :
A Jar Full Of Gemstones

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Some people think they are wise when they are in fact fools. I'm living proof of that. I think we all can point back to times in our lives where we've done the wrong thing (even if we thought it was for the right reason) and regretted it. We've all been fools. We are all living proof. But I've been seeing a very frustrating trend lately and because I'm Goss... and because I feel like time is precious and none of us have enough of it... I'm going to write this scrap. If it reaches just one person, then it was worth the ten minute time frame it took to put thoughts to paper.

You are never to old to learn new lessons, new skills, and new confidences. This is a very important thing. When you stop being a life long learner, you stop having a reason to be here and stop validating your brain and how amazing it can be. It is my belief that some people spend far more time talking than listening, and when they do that they start suffering under the weight of what they know verses what they could know... and miss out picking up some new knowledge.

"Wait! That's not me! I'm a good listener! I never talk over people." Yea, if you just said that to yourself.... It's you I'm pointing fingers at. You aren't and you do talk over people because you just did.

One of the best things you can do for another person in life is be trustworthy. It's seriously a gift to be 'trusted' to someone else. You may not realize that. But when someone tells you something in confidence, and it is important to them that you keep it to yourself, then that is giving them the gift of trust. People give me the gift of that all the time. I'm not talking about game things. I'm talking about just day to day people things. I'm that type that doesn't give two shits what others think about me so when someone tells me something I will never repeat it if they don't want me too... especially to look important or 'in the know'.

But sadly that's not the case with others who do feel its important how others think of them.

I'll tell you why people repeat things. They repeat things because they want to seem important. They want you to feel important because they've taken you into their trust. They want to be the 'cool kid' that entrusts you with the secret knowledge others have given them (even if it isn't their knowledge to give). If someone tells you a secret that wasn't theirs to tell or was told to them in obvious confidence by someone else it reeks of low self esteem.

This is true even if its NOT THEIR BUSINESS. They are often so self centered they think everything IS THEIR BUSINESS... when its not.

Some of the lowest confidence and self esteem I've seen on this site has been covered by nothing but know-it-all bravado. Again, if you said "Not me!" Then you probably need to stop reading because there's no 'take home' for you. Your cup is already full.

But rarely do people realize that if someone comes to them with someone else's secret, there's a high likelihood they will go to someone else with YOUR secrets if you've gifted them with your trust.

And sadly people will often defend their lack of 'trustworthiness' with the age old argument that 'but my use of your knowledge was more important than my keeping your knowledge to myself'.... you know? They had a noble reason for shitting on your trust.

It takes courage to be vulnerable and take someone into your confidence. FUCKING REALIZE THAT. If someone tells you something in utter faith that you won't betray them, realize what sort of standing they have placed you in their lives. Live up to that standing. There's a visual I've always gone by when it comes to trusting others. Everyone in my book gets a jar. When I meet them they get a brand new shiny jar mentally handed to them by yours truly.

The jar becomes a very real almost physical thing over time.

And each time I trust them with something, they get a glittering gemstone placed in that jar. That gemstone is my trust. Its usually polished and pretty brilliant. And after a while their jar becomes fuller and fuller of my gemstones and when it reaches a certain level, its overflowing and those are the people I love and trust and place in my circle of confidence.... my heart circle.

When they betray my trust, I remove a gemstone... just flat out take it away. And like any friend or family member over time those jar levels change and evolve... and thats how my relationship changes and evolves with them.

I want to surround myself with people that have jars overflowing. I want their jars they place in my trust overflowing with their gems. I would rather slash out my tongue than talk about someone something has told me in confidence. It's like taking out that gem they gifted me with and regifting it to someone else. Its just not part of my personality unless its something like 'I'm going to kill myself....' then it becomes something else and something more about saving life than maintaining trust.

There's also many forms of breaking trust. Some forms are so painful you grab the jar and dump all the gemstones out at once. There's also forms that entail someone just fading from your life .... where the jar just slowly fades and vanishes from disuse... and that's after being dust covered and mothballed.

So... what this scrap is all about is a being a jar full of gemstones. Take your importance and your security from being that person whom others entrust with their gems and know that they are tucked safely away in your heart and mind. That's the single best way to be important to others in their lives. Be the kind, gentle, funny, emotionally available person you want others to be for you. If they hand you a gemstone, trust you with it, place it in your jar and fucking cork it shut so it never leaves again. Don't pass it around like an old penny.

It's your life. It's your choice. But there's a right way and a wrong way to be important to someone.


Still People :
Still People


There's a lot of bullshit going on in the world today. You can't read the paper, listen to the news on the TV and Radio, or even just talk to people in general without the bullshit coming up. There's a huge blame game going on. People hating others for something those others had nothing to do with. One example is blacks in Amercia blaming whites for their troubles even though those whites had nothing to do with their issues. Radical religions are killing in the name of their religious laws. Parents are abusing their children. Strangers are killing strangers because of the uniform they wear or the job they do. It's like the whole world has gone bat shit crazy. So I heard this the other day and thought... that's absolutely shareworthy.

Stay Away From Still People


Those who are:


  • Still Broke
  • Still Complaining
  • Still Borrowing
  • Still Hating
  • Still Childish
  • Still Insecure
  • Still Stupid
    and...
  • Still Not Making A Change In Their Lives.

Yup.. that's worthy advice. I thought I'd pass it on.


What Do You Add To The Site? :
What Do You Add To The Site?
Think about it. It really does matter...


Everyone has something to give to others. Mizahar is a community full of giving and receiving especially in regards to our threads and what we write about within them. I would like all of you this week to take a long hard look at the question above. What do you add to the site in regards to your writing? Do you add anything at all? I know myself I think about that all the time. Am I being too heavy handed? Do my means justify my ends? I try to temper that and give a lot in threads, but that sometimes equates to being taken from. Its disappointing and sometimes it makes me bitter.

The more I think about it the more I've decided that some people just don't have this on their radar and that it probably just has never occurred to them. That needs to change. I want everyone to start thinking about this. What do you give? What do you give? What do you give? If you don't give, how do you start and where do you begin? What is adding and giving to the site anyhow?

I'm going to give some examples of how to give.

Make threads about others. They don't always have to be about your PC or what those other players can do for your pc. It's not always about skill building or gaining coin or loot. Sometimes its about just having fun, making memories, and cutting loose. Those threads aren't the dreaded 'socials' but they have so much value as it is.

Do things for other PCs. Throw surprises in character be they parties, trips, outings, or just do something special like drop by their homes with a small gift or a chance to get to know them. Make them feel important. Let them know in thread how they make your PC feel and how much they add to your PCs life. It doesn't have to be a ten thousand word thread. It can be a short one or two post or even a five post thread of appreciation. I rarely see these types of things and it saddens me.

When Moderators post quests, I'm always hugely disappointed to see characters that have already had a lot of heavy moderation join these quests especially when the quests are limited in the number of pcs that can participate. It would be so much better to allow newer players or players that haven't been overly moderated a chance to join. Modhogs are what I call these people and in general they are unappreciative and ungiving in their threading and often very slow at posting. This is just selfish and self serving. So a way to give back is to hold back, let others join, or even spread the word that something is available. Encourage shy pcs or shy players to get involved.

Create plots for others. Sometimes our best ideas might be for others or even the realization that another PC needs to experience something and then making it happen in thread for them.

I know a lot of people give ooc by making codes or helping people get started. That's great and valuable too. But this scrap is about giving IC and adding to the game.

What do you add?

Are you just here for goreporn? Do you maybe just play a PC that does a series of threads where you're tortured and beaten and walk the thin line of bondage porn? That's zero value in my mind. Others might think its fantastic, but truthfully its nothing but thinly veiled disease and overall doesn't really belong here if its the sole reason for your existence here.

Fantasy is fun, but we like realistic fantasy here. And while bad things happen, other things should happen too that balance those dark or horrible things out. Just being here for that is douchbagville extraordinaire.

Giving should absolutely be a priority. What do you add to your city, threads, or even to the game as a whole? And if you can't come up with anything especially IC, then maybe its time you started thinking about what you could give. Shape up. Get on board. Understand the world isn't just about you.

I hope you understand what I'm saying.

I'd really like it if people responded to this scrap with just a line or two... what you give to the game or what your favorite things have been to receive. It might give people more ideas on how to change their ways and be better players.


Quest Etiquette For Players And Storytellers :
Quest Etiquette
The Player Section


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Quest Etiquette can be a real make or break thing in terms of a quest. Players sin and moderators sin. Sometimes I wonder if its because players have no idea what true quest etiquette is? Do moderators? From years of D&D tabletop I've formed what MY OPINION of quest etiquette is. I go by it now on Mizahar. Be sure you review this if your in one of my quests and try to adhere to the basic premise of this post. If your a moderator, make sure you are trying to enforce these things in your quests. Otherwise, your quest party is full of douchebags and you should just run their horses off a cliff and end the bad behavior once and for all.


  • Acknowledge the other people in a quest. Note their actions in your post by reacting to them even if its just a brief line or two. Don’t ignore their presence. It’s rude beyond belief to come into a quest and solo it without paying attention to the others in the party. The same thing is true if people break into subgroups and ignore the other subgroups. Subgroups are fine as long as everyone is a part of one and they note each other’s actions and include each other and everyone else in their posts.


  • Acknowledge the actions of others in the quest. You aren’t in a solo moderated thread. Note others actions as part of your response and put some opinion of the action in there. Do you approve? Are they being stupid? Make that part of your post. Argue with their action if you disagree or try to block it. That’s all part of the fun. Agree with it? Help them do the action! Step up and say great idea and lend a hand. The biggest crime in a quest thread is to ignore a fellow quester.


  • Establish what your PC is wearing/wielding/and has on their person. Magically appearing gear is annoying in any sort of quest. That goes double for the whole ‘its in my bag at all times things’. Please make sure in your initial post to establish to yourself and the others what your PC is wearing, holding, and carrying for the duration of the quest. If your allowed to take the time to ‘gear up’ then go get your full gear and re-establish what you have in a post following a ‘gear up’ session. That way one can avoid the magical bag of ‘everything even the kitchen sink is in here’ and yet your pc moves unencumbered through the quest.


  • Don’t poach information. If one character learns of something by their actions, its up to them to share that information with the party. If they don’t then you don’t know it. So long as they are paying attention to you and acknowledging your actions, its perfectly fine to withhold information.


  • Stick to the posting order. This goes along with information poaching. Try very hard to post in the order the original postings were made. This gives everyone an equal chance to post and react in the order they carried out actions and learned things. Skipping posting order is only okay if a moderator says it is or the moderator is tired of waiting for one slow poster to post.


  • Don’t stand and do nothing. No one likes a PC who’s in a quest just to observe. This is a huge waste of time too. Don’t do nothing and don’t actually join a quest thread if you think all you are going to do on your first post is observe. Moderators hate that and might get spiteful towards your PC if all you are doing is lookilooing the whole time. Perform actions, ask questions, and think heavily about what might be going on.


  • Do things you can do. Don’t do things you can’t do. Are you a fighter? Fight then. Are you a wizard? Perform magic. Healers can heal. Everyone can look and observe for things. But if your unskilled at something like say disarming traps, don’t try to disarm traps. You’re going to get your stupid ass killed and probably those around you. Quest parties form organically and come together in a way where everyone has a role. Play your role. Don’t suddenly think your superman when you’re a three inch pycon. Those roles don’t work. Play roles that work.


  • Make quest posting a priority. If you are in a moderated thread, post to that FIRST before you post to your solos or socials. They are important to the moderators and the players so be sure you make it a priority to yourself as well.


  • Keep information organized in your mind. Understand and keep it straight in your mind what is ‘general’ information that everyone learns and what is ‘private’ information that someone finds out. You can act on general information but not on private information unless it is private information you earned.


  • Know your character limits. What is your characters size and strength? Can you lift that? Can you wield that? Does your character know what that thing is even if you do? Make sure you are aware of your lores and your skills. If you don’t have say a huge physical presence, don’t think you can lift a knight in full body armor as an average female and carry him out of a burning building. That probably won’t happen. You probably can’t even roll him over.


  • Be aware of YOUR location and the locations of the rest of the group members. Describe where exactly you are standing carefully in the scene in relation to fixed objects or things that are the focal point of a scene. Are you right next to another group member? Are you standing behind the group ready to heal them? Are you kneeling in front examining something? Be specific. Remember, let everyone know where you are. Don’t stomp on anyone in making an action. Slide around someone if they are in front of you and what you want to do. This goes back to acknowledging someone is somewhere doing something. Acknowledge them.


  • Just ask and you’ll know. Sounds like a simple thing right? But don’t assume anything. If you want to know more about something specifically examine it in your response. Ask in your post. “John Smith wondered how the man had managed to carry enough water to traverse the desert without dehydration. He should have been dehydrated right? So John decided to check his gear and see if there was any evidence as to how it was done.” Boom. You’ve just asked the Mod how something happened and made it clear you were looking for the answer. Now it’s the mods turn to do their job and tell you in their response to your actions. “After a few minutes of searching, John found a bag of holding that had five hundred canteens, most of which were still full, all stuffed inside it.” Don’t assume. Ask!


  • Let the Moderator know how you’re feeling about their quest. Are you bored? Have your PC yawn in boredom. Are you feeling left out or ignored? Write about that. It’s their job as a moderator for everyone to have fun as they tell a story to you. If you’re not having fun or there’s nothing for your PC in the quest so far, let them know by writing about it. They can and will adjust the story accordingly. Though remember, there are two types of quests. One is a sign up quest where a story should be tailored to every PC that signs up. And there are random posted quests you join. The random posted quests are the luck of who shows up first and its less about the PCs and more about the story in that case.


  • Don't criticize the moderator. They are doing it for your fun and their own enjoyment. Go easy on them. Understand that a good moderator might be flexible with the rules to preserve pacing or flow and add an element of the fantastical to the story. This goes for undermining the narrative, too. “This seems straight out of last months' Letters to Penthouse, Jen. What's the deal?” NoteYou know I'm just throwing this in there as a humorous reward for reading this far right? That might not be cool to point out. Just go with it. A good mod will change the ending or the middle and if you hate the quest you can not opt in on another one of theirs later down the line. Also, if you’re noticing inconsistencies, and can’t help it, try phrasing it in the form of a question. E.g., Is this the same begger we met in the last scene? If so, why is his peg leg on the right now instead of the left? Is that really necessary to point out? Probably not. The whole point is that hes a peg-leg dude and leave it at that. It might even be intentional. Is he an illusion that has changed over time? The changes might be hidden clues.


  • Don't engage in non-rewarding conflict or squabbling. Everyone knows that fighting among party members can be hugely distracting. try to limit this type of conflict to those instances which are dramatically rewarding. Contribute to the narrative as a PC rather than distract from it. This game is a social cooperative one. Players forget that. They like to grandstand defiance under the banner of staying true to a character concept. That's bullshit and everyone including themselves know it. The exception to this rule comes when tension or opposition within the party results in dramatic role-playing rewards. In order for the latter to work, remember, all PC’s need to be on the same page and it needs to be fully IC. OOC contempt for another players actions can't creep into the overall narrative or you're violating this rule.

  • Understand your role in a quest as a party member. Your PCs presence in a quest should be to strengthen the bond of the party, support each other player’s character-concept in game, weave your story alongside the other characters’, and finally work together towards your goals. That's it! Everything else like comedic humor or superfluous knowledge is icing on the cake.



    And finally…


  • Don’t void the social contract of quest fellowship! Remember, when you are joining a quest, you are agreeing to join a group and work towards a common goal for the benefit and fun of all the player and the characters in the group. This is a social contract! Avoid slavish behavior meaning a character acting in a way that makes no attempt at originality, constructive interpretation, or development. We all know the pc types. There’s always that pc who won’t go with the party even though the player has joined the quest because they don’t know the others, don’t trust the others, and can see no benefit in it for them. It’s your job as a player to suspend disbelief and find a reason to go and help and be in that group. It’s not the moderator’s job. It’s your job and your social contract of RP QUESTING that you signed. Follow through.


Quest Etiquette
The Moderator Section



In my mind there are two types of quests. There is a quest you want to run because you like the story and think other people might enjoy it as well. Then there's the quest you might want to run tailored to a individual or a group that has a few goals in mind.


  • Always remember who you are storytelling for. Tailor the quest to the party members. Don't force the party members to tailor themselves to the quest. This is especially true of 'sign up' quests where you know who exactly is going to be in your quest. Don't make it a fighting quest when there are thinkers and craftsman in the quest. Don't make it a magical quest when there are no magic users in the party. Always be mindful of who is in your group.


  • Be willing to adjust your story/plans accordingly always. PCs don't do what we want them to do all the time. In fact, they rarely do what we want them to do as moderators. So be willing to adjust your plans and rewrite your quests if the quest gets off track and you can't seem to get it back on track.


  • Don't overplan your quests. At most you should have a brief outline of events, perhaps even broken into sections with an abstract description of what the quest is and what its end goals are about. Any more planning than that and your in for a world of hurt because PCs break the social contract of questing all the time either knowingly or unknowingly and make your life miserable as a moderator. If you have monsters in the quest or protagonist things like evil npcs or encounter npcs, loosely plan them, and be willing to adjust numbers accordingly. Shit happens. Roll with it. Usually downhill. :)


    ... and finally.


  • Don't let one or two PCs grandstand a quest. Get everyone involved and let everyone have a chance to be center stage. Pull the shy PCs to the front and center a little bit. You don't have to do it all the time, but give them EQUAL time. If someone is grandstanding, invent a way in the middle of your quest to sideline them a few rounds. It's more than they deserve if they are stealing the show.


Wars In Mizahar :
WAR
Or Rather Why War In Mizahar Is Stupid...


So, there are a million theories out there as to why humans make war. We honestly don't know if its nature verses nurture. That means, in essence, we DO NOT KNOW if the tendency to make war for humans is hard wired into our brains and psyche or not. Some of the popular theories out there range from Groupthink to Hawks verses Doves, and even things as seemingly far fetched as the Male Warrior Hypothesis. We even sometimes blame it on Malthusian Overpopulation. I've never really been one to buy into Thomas Malthus' population theories for what its worth. But the bottom line is in the history of mankind war has been waged over one thing and one thing only with any consistency.... acquisition and security of resources. The resources vary of course; land, food, good water sources, deep warm water ports, access to trade routes, and even women.

That's something Mizahar doesn't lack. We're resource rich and population poor. Whether you buy into it or not, Mizaharian cities are never going to make war because they are stretched to the brim and there's no more land or food. The population centers make up far less than 10% of Mizahar's land. If we have enough people, we can always clear more land for food. Land is in abundance.

People aren't.

If you are born to Mizahar, you are super lucky to be born without mishap. You are then lucky to reach maturity. There's no guarantee that you are are going to get skilled enough to survive. If you are orphaned or without support you are dead. If you get hurt and have no support to assist you through an injury you are dead. Certain things are hard to get depending on where you are. Metal is hard to find in Cyphrus and farmable land is almost impossible to find in Kalea. Travel is long, dangerous, and cities are far apart. Sea travel is easier but still not guaranteed.

Then there are the Gods. They are involved in everything. The 'good' gods are strong. The 'evil' gods are strong. They've been locked in an ongoing conflict for a long long time. Sometimes one gets an upper hand and sometimes others do. But none of them can afford wars.

Why? War takes coin, support, and enough incentive to carry out. There's simply NO INCENTIVE in Mizahar - not even religion - to drive a person to start a war - especially cities - because cities don't have things other cities have. Everyone has plenty of land. Everyone has plenty of hunting. Food is harder, but doable.

Are you starting to see the bigger picture here? It's just not logical or feasible and there's no real drive behind hosting a war. The only possible reason equates to 'I'm bored. Lets start a war." And that's just a player or moderator being lazy. Use your brain. There's a million other ideas out there to create plot with rather than the term 'war'.


Quick And Dirty Site History Recap :
This Is A Partial Scrap Involving Other Events


Once upon a time, back in 1991, I sat down and created a world. I created it at the University of Montana in an all-girls dorm with a lot of fellow college students laughing at me. They were into makeup, who they were going to marry, and some of the lame ass majors I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t deterred. I made maps, had a history, and even some cities flushed out. Why? There was a boy to impress, or rather several, whom I wanted to get close enough to in order to get invited into their D&D Tabletop Game. You see, winters are long in Montana. You have subzero temps and you often have weeks of deep snow. If I remember right, Missoula is at around 3,500 feet so double that normal trouble and add in some Rocky Mountains.

Soon Miza’Har was born.

I’d overheard them complaining about the same old D&D worlds and how they wanted something more. I was a friend of a friend, just some natives I hung out with, and eventually when I was ready I presented them with the material.

They loved it. And while I was there, the whole five years, we gamed in Miza’Har’s world. Then, when I graduated it got boxed up and we all moved on. Back then we were playing Muds online and I was really into Dragonlance, including working my way through all the novels.

Fast forward a few years to 2006. I stumbled upon a site that was a play by post through the dumbest means. I was looking at horses for sale and for some reason this RPG site had a barn RP going on with sale horses and that hit my google search. I’m not even sure it was google back then, but it was certainly something. I investigated, was charmed, and joined. By then I was married, settled, and had time to seriously game.

I played this site for a few years… 2006 to 2009 and made a lot of friends. My best one was an Italian guy who played another female PC that became the bestie of my female PC. They were like sisters and had the absolute best adventures together. We joined the staff. Then we were running things in a very sad situation where the site owner was gone. I’d tried other sites. I met other site owners. And universally I found two truths. Either they were almost impossible to get ahold of or they were tyrants. So, when our absentee site owner came back, destroyed years of our work, and then commercialized our rpg site, I got mad.

The evil site owner did a lot of ‘you can’t succeed’. And well, truth be told no one has ever told me that and had it end well for their words. I don’t fail. I haven’t ever and I won’t ever on things that are important to me.

I talked to all my friends. I wanted my own site. I wanted something where I could make the rules and it could be free and have none of the goddamn bullshit that went on with that other site. I had no idea that my best rpg buddy was so talented. I knew he was a computer science major, but that meant very little to me. He’d gone through college, was in his master program, and all while I knew him he tackled his PHD program. He got a little account, played with it, and fairly soon had the skin of Mizahar up and running like you see now. Only… we didn’t know what to call it.

I unboxed Miza’Har and Tarot laughed at the name and instantly changed it to Mizahar. Something about apostrophies being ridiculous on domain names. I bought the domain name and soon we had the site pointed there. It was coming along smashingly. I uploaded maps and the circle of friends we had divided up the map each taking a slice of the pie. Tarot picked Sahova to develop because he was working hot and heavy on the site coding. More things came in every day. It was super exciting! We had the best time. Cayenne took Falyndar. Colombina took Eyktol and later Kalindor because she had a thing for spiders and those two worked on those projects a little at a time until they were going. I started in Sylira, and just as a joke named the main capital of Miz, Syliras, after of course the god Sylir.

Gillar took Kalea, and later helped me out in Ravok. In exchange for his help with Ravok, I developed Wind Reach. Then when I was bored with Syliras, I started on Cyphrus because it felt big and empty to me. Somehow poor Novallas and Karjin never got touched.

I designed the skill/level system. Gillar approved it and made some suggestions. Colombina insisted we have no dwarves, elves, dragons, etc. Tarot wanted functionality and a magic system that was freebase enough that people could have originality.

Liminal, who’s always been an odd duck, claimed the Akvatari Isle and said he’d help if he could make the most outrageous race of all. We let him because if you know Liminal, you know his sense of the insane and his love of word play and emoness knows no boundaries. Mizahar wouldn’t be the same without the butterfly seal mermaids.

Tarot discovered a love of magics because of his beloved Isle and soon started writing magics like crazy. I did a few, but my pet project was gnosis. I’d developed it for the other, more ungrateful site, and was glad I never implemented it because they frankly didn’t deserve it. With the gnosis marks came the pantheon and we all started developing Gods. I think we went a little crazy until Tarot put his foot down and told us to do other things instead of gods.

I got Syliras playable and by August of 2009 we were ready to go. We only took five months or so from deciding to do it to opening. I wrote my ass off and developed the vast majority of the races and city concepts, doing a little in each city to get enough of a shell open to get these cities playable. Tarot coded his ass off, and then did his best to learn some serious techniques to get search engines to crawl us, index us, and put us on the map. He worked some serious magic.

It was a dream team. But nothing is forever.

Cayenne’s family fell into terrible financial problems and she dropped off, a little annoyed and completely finished with PBP sites at the time she did. She was heavily into real time online table top and that’s what she stated doing. There was more to the story, but no need to rehash it here. Colombina finished law school and drifted off shortly after she passed the bar. She got married, had a baby, and overall it was a crazy time. Gillar and I stood here, Tarot as well, and Liminal drifted off due to real life pressures, etc.

Tarot graduated with his PHD and suddenly launched into the ‘real world’ with a very important job and took up violin. We love seeing his violin videos, but he grew more and more apart from the rpg side of the site as time passed because he had new commitments with his new life. He’s always been here, quietly watching over, and he’s always only an email or a text away if we need anything.

Gillar started working graveyard and hasn’t been around much in recent years, though periodically he’ll write a gnosis or work on lore in one way or another. He still loves Miz, just hasn’t been a full time mod. And I’d say hes been the number two contributor to the site lore in the last few years. I’ve been number one.

So currently Gillar, Liminal, and Tarot are all still here in one capacity or another and can for the most part (probably not my college years) verify all I say here. I own the domain names. Tarot has the site account and manages that. He also manages the donations which he doles out as needed to pay for anything from domain names to upgrades on our server to new memory etc. I get copies of the donation notification emails and what we use the funds for. He’s also accomplished the hellish task of migrating us to various new servers over the years seamlessly so you players hardly even felt it.

Who’s in charge? Well, theoretically any of the Founders have an equal say. However, 99% of the time you’re stuck with just me. Good, bad, indifferent… I make the decisions for the site because no one else is here. That includes most of the staffing (for a time some of the RS’s made some decisions too), who stays, who goes, and what gets put in. I almost exclusively take care of all the Help Desk Tickets, and I’m the one that separates squabbling players, squabbling staff, and any problems that arise. I have tens of thousands of hours put into this site and I’m not ashamed to say its my blood sweat and tears built on Tarot’s one hell of a rock solid site frame.

You can’t fire me. You can’t push me away. You can’t separate Mizahar from me. When you play this site, you are in essence playing with my heart and soul brought to the forefront in one capacity or another. That is especially true if you’re playing in one of my cities, acting out one of my races, or worshiping a god or using a magic, or invoking a gnosis. You can’t even remotely vote me off the Island.

All you can do is decide if this place is for you. I’ve seen lots of sites. I’ve played quite a few. I even interact heavily on sites that are designed just for site admins to help each other work out site problems similar to this one. I can tell you with a certainty that I’m far lesser of some of the evils out there in regards to admins and site owners. And that is reflected by the sheer size of Mizahar and the people that play Miz day in and day out.

People take offense at my forthright manner. That’s unfortunate. I don’t play games. I don’t bs people. I don’t lie. I just tell it as I see it and move on. And I have to tell you, frankly, that I’ve been beyond amused that so many people have put so much emotion into saying I’m what’s wrong with Mizahar. I’m one of the big reasons Mizahar exists. I’m one of the reasons it continues to exist and has survived for going on eight years. And I’ll be the reason it will still be here ten, fifteen years from now… maybe even longer into the future.

I’ve gamed here when no one else has been here. I’ve gamed here when we’ve had twenty people online. I’ve gamed here when we’ve had hundreds. A couple of days ago we had 95 online at a time. That was a big deal. So win or lose, like my politics or not, you are stuck with me. You’re also stuck with my decisions. This isn’t a democracy. I’ll hear you out but that doesn’t mean I’m going to take it with a grain of salt. If you can’t stand any of the above or even me, you know how to log out and look further. I might be biased however, but I don’t think you’ll find better. You can’t remotely hurt my feelings. You can’t even change my mind once its made up. I see a lot. I hear even more. People talk to me. I have a close circle of friends and we game. I know you have a similar circle of friends. You aren’t entitled to be here. Your being here is a privilege. You can always go and you can always take your friends with you. Sometimes sites aren’t a good fit. Sometimes ideals clash.


Striders For The Drykas :
Striders
verses
My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
A long overdue post to clarify a few things that people STILL don't seem to understand.[/center]

It is very clear to me that not many people on this site understand horses and even less of them understand Striders or the Drykas Culture as a whole. In a way it makes me furious because I've spent a goodly amount of my time talking about the Drykas, lecturing about them, talking about the web, describing it, working it into plots, etc. And yet, still, there is a huge gap in understanding. Yesterday, on a scale of one to ten in terms of rage - where ten is pretty much me in a full blown rage - I was peaking around fifteen to eighteen. I'm still a bit miffed today but I've calmed down enough to actually post this post. This is something everyone should understand who's Drykas or lives among the Drykas culture even as an outsider.

Cyphrus and its massive Web is like a closed system. Lex hates it. Why? Because it takes souls out of his cycle and keeps them in a smaller more defined closed cycle. Normally when you die on Mizahar, you go before Lex and are judged. Mysterious unspoken things happen and you can have any number of things happen. You become reincarnated, hang out as a ghost, rest, or who knows maybe he snacks on you like a hostess twinkie.

It's different for the Drykas. They cheat the system. A long time ago they developed webbing and a lot of mages have contributed to the web since its formation. Its probably the closest thing to a perfect artificial biodome for souls there is. Why? How? The Drykas are tied into the web when they bond to a strider. Once part of that web, they don't die normally. They die and instead of going before Lex, they get sucked by those ties back into the web. It's like the huge lumbering mississippi river of souls and everyone is together having a party all the time. Its a huge resource of energy made up of the souls people and the essence of those people - their djed. When a Drykas wants to be born again, they have two choices... come forth as a human or come forth as a strider. Striders are special horses, fairly intelligent, but not sentient. They are tied into the web a lot like San Fransisco trolley cars are tied into their trolley lines and powered along through that fragile connection. That is why they can go incredibly fast across Cyphrus where there is web laid down. They tap and utilize the energy of that web to speed up.

Now there's a couple of ways to escape this system. First, a celestial god can steal you for their realm's playground... and you become an Eth to Leth or Syna in their realm. That leaves you with a past life as a Drykas but no current ties to the web unless you get retied to the web as an Eth. You can be stolen back by Lex if you are careless (or die too far from the web). You can also be taken by Uldr or any number of creatures that want your soul and take it. I'm sure there's a couple of other ways too.

Getting into the system is harder. You can be born in the area through whatever reason and then eventually bond to a Strider and get tied to the web by a webber due to earning that right within the Drykas culture. The Drykas bring in outsiders, especially since storytellers routinely give them plagues, kidnappings, slavers, etc... and decimate their populations. So the Drykas steal people and bring them into the system. I'm talking humans though, especially women and children. If you were born on the Sea of Grass to a non-Drykas person, odds are you won't be Drykas, but if you grow up there, you have a high chance of bonding to a Strider because you have your whole childhood to prove yourself to the striders... especially if you aren't a predator.

But ultimately the striders decide. They are horses. Horses are prey animals. They don't trust easily and they aren't always approachable or warm. Drykas horses are even harder because life on the Sea of Grass is rough. Making them tough, suspicious, and iron willed. It's very very rare to find other breeds of horses in Cyphrus because for the most part they don't thrive like the Striders do. Normal horses can't outrun danger, predators, and even things like weather. There are Mele horses, but they are tough as well and sheltered because as fast as Striders are, they aren't as strong as Mele's andthey can't simply pull the weight of the wagons the Drykas own that hold their pavilions and all their household goods. Needless to say though... when the Drykas are on the move and endangered the Mele are the first to fall after all the other random breeds out there, and the striders are the get-away vehicles. An ideal situation is a traveling camp that can be totally packed on striders, not pulled on wagons by Mele.

Striders recognize people who have been in the web or are tied to the web. They don't have any particular 'thats a good person' detector or get knowing vibes on a persons character. They only know your part of or have been part of the web. You feel like it. You buzz with it. The web has a taste of your own essence in it as well. That's the tradeoff.

Now... why am I pissed? People are using bonding with striders as a Deus Ex Machina. They deny it. They say its just rp. They say joining the Drykas was the right thing to do, etc. But the truth is... you are using a plot device to bypass a ton of potentially great rp in terms of being an outsider. Here's a refreshment on what a Deus Ex Machina is.

de·us ex ma·chi·na
ˌdāəs eks ˈmäkənə,ˌdāəs eks ˈmakənə/
noun
noun: deus ex machina

an unexpected power or event saving a seemingly hopeless situation, especially as a contrived plot device in a play or novel..


Now... this is particularly infuriating to me when Kelvic predators do it. Why? THEY ARE PREDATORS. Horses wouldn't tolerate them near. Everything on the Sea of Grass tries to eat them. They could be conditioned to accept them over time, but that would take a lot of rp in the form of physical time and writing. It also puts the strider in danger of letting a real predator close enough to attack due to said conditioning.

IF you are Kelvic, part of you thinks like an predator. Horses are delicious. Foals even more so... juicy tender meat... easy pickings. Sure you are sentient, but if you are even a little hungry, malnourished, etc then this is a huge temptation. Horses know it. And whenever I read these threads, its like these horses turn into friendly giddy little My Little Ponys who love EVERYONE and who practically crawl into the pocket of the said character and hang out there without a care in the world.

Its bad enough most Kelvics deny their nature, refuse to bond, or claim they aren't interested in a bondmate (mostly for ooc reasons). IF you don't want to rp the race, play something else!

Bullshit.

Horses aren't stupid. Yet people keep insisting on playing them as stupid. Kelvics have no reason to be tied to the web past or present and while they might want to join the Drykas culture, they should have picked Drykas as a beginning race. There are, truthfully, very few actual real Drykas in Endrykas when you start looking at the numbers. I really want this to stop. So I've made bonding to a strider as an outsider a HD Ticket situation. Sorry but I've seen too much of this and I want it to stop.


Advice For Winning Mizahar :
A Piece Of Advice



So I keep getting these PMs that ask for advice at being successful at Mizahar. First and foremost, I think folks need to clarify for me what they think 'successful' is. To me, its having a nice well-rounded PC that people enjoy threading with and a decent reputation in whatever flavor your aiming for IC (a great healer, good friend, evil tyrant, awesome blacksmith, terrible lover) and known as a great drama-free person OOC.

How do you achieve that?

You write. Write selfishly. Write for yourself, not for others, and tell stories you want to read. Don't bend or become something you aren't or have no desire to be. Don't write for others expecting them to write back for you. This goes for one thread or dozens. This goes for five minutes or for years. They won't. Trust me on that one. If you write to be paid back and start some sort of tally in your head, you will be disappointed EVERY TIME. I've spent years at a time writing for people in the capacity of a storyteller and have had them ignore me for others in following years. Don't try to be the person you think others want you to be. Be the best version of yourself you can be. Don't be possessive of other characters in intimate relationships with them. It never works out and tends to bleed over to irl which gets very weird.

Don't cling, whine, or blame others for the short fallings in your own threads or with your own characters. If you don't like something, go out and write to fix it. Not enough drama in your life, go write more drama into it. If you don't think your PC is dark/light enough, darken/lighten their world and they will tint appropriately.

Stop waiting for replies. If you don't get them don't take it personally and go write somewhere else or start new threads. If you are attached to the thread, post again to it. It might motivate the person you are writing with to post. Worst case? Send them a pm nudge. If you hear nothing back or worse yet don't get a reply, they truly don't care regardless of what they say.

Come up with your own plots. Don't depend on others to be entertaining. Entertain yourself and others will be entertained as well.

Don't take excuses. I mean one or two is okay, but ten in a row means something else is up and its usually not good. Do you find yourself making excuses? Cut it out, fool. No one buys it even if the excuses are true. Get the hell out of the irl cycle your in that creates excuses and move forward. If you can't, this isn't the hobby for you. That goes for PCs, Staffers, and anyone. I don't care if its mental, medical, or heaven forbid, the ever present writer's block. Writer's block is just your minds way of saying it doesn't want to write. It just wants to play XBOX or watch TV or go drink heavily at a bar or even at your own home wine bar.

Don't let people disappoint you. If they disappoint you once, move on. You have my permission, even if your moving on from me. I get it.

Succeed at Mizahar? Put words out there and feel the joy of doing that. Make a few friends that have your back. If they let you down, it happens, but don't keep letting them let you down. I'm sure they'll have their own excuses, but "I'm sorry" rarely makes up for it and believe me ten minutes later or ten days later they'll move on because you'll be a source of guilt for them they don't want in their lives.

Forgive if your of a mind too. People here are beautifully flawed and they will not make you happy 100% of the time. Forgive them one or a thousand times. Its all about your personality and what you can tolerate and what matches your ethics.

There is no right or wrong way to do things. There's the Mizahar way, and if that sucks, we apologize for inconveniencing you. But then that's a bit uncharitable because we aren't really sorry. We do things the way we do it for a reason and we'll gladly explain it to you. But then we might be sorry, but it won't be truly sorry, it will be sorry we're not sorry kinda sorry. But you already knew that didn't you? Why?

People that play these sorts of online games aren't stupid. They have higher IQ's than usual and they need the interaction socially. I know I do.

Arguing really solves nothing. Feel free to go on the record that you think whatever is bs. I'm cool with that. But just arguing for the sake of arguing because you think your going to sway someone to your way of thinking is kinda not ever worth it. You just alienate people and they tend to start thinking of you as an asshole.

No one wants that. Fit in and if you don't like things, change it from the inside out by showing (because showing is way more cool than just running off at the mouth) us how something could be easier if its something that can be changed.

Don't make empty promises. Say things like 'I'll try" rather than "I will." Most people understand irl. Most people understand irl crapping all over you. Be forthright about it. Don't be cryptic. I know I hate it more than anything when someone is super obscure. "I'm having surgery. I'm having issues that prevents me from writing. I have to take a trip and be away for several weeks." Just tell us whats going on. Why? Cause then we won't make shit up about you in our minds. Reality is usually a lot kinder than imagination. If you have surgery, I'm 99% sure they are removing your suddenly developing twin. If you have issues preventing you from writing, I automatically assume your mom grounded you off the computer because she caught you watching porn and doing something unspeakable at the computer she worked two jobs to buy you. If your going away for a couple of weeks, I think 'rehab'. No one likes Cryptic explanations.

Anything like the truth is far better... even when its something stupid and non-dramatic like Grandma is coming to move in and doesn't approve of the use of electronics and forces us all to knit around the fire at night after work.... just tell the truth.

For that matter, be as upfront and truthful as you can at all times. This goes for Miz and IRL too. It makes you be less of a jerk and more of a genuine person.

That's it. That's my advice to succeed. I truthfully hope my candor doesn't offend anyone, but if you are offended, ask yourself why. :)


How To Fail In Applying To Be A Storyteller :
Jen's Guide To
Epically Failing On
A Storyteller Application

(...or how to succeed?)


Yes, we see this a lot. Don't let this be you. Most storyteller applications repeatedly make us gnash our teeth with frustration and cry big tears of sadness for the Domain being applied for. Why? Because we know we have another mindless sheep that wants to lead the flock to it's demise when we get certain types of answers.

Below is a quick and dirty guide on how to NOT fail at an ST application.

  • What is your name?


    Refusing to give us your real name is a deal breaker. This should be the easiest question in the whole application. Sadly, it is not.


  • What is your age?

    Being vague or withholding this is also a deal breaker. Just tell us. Would it really kill you that we know?

  • Please list any characters you might play.


    Failing to omit that you have X number of alts, were an ex-st that was retired for inactivity, or any sort of lying is a deal breaker.


  • Please list the position you are applying for (RS, DS, AS, JrST).


    OMG I JUST WANT TO BE ON STAFF! I DONT CARE WHERE! Please be specific. We aren't mind readers and if you can't pick out a domain and list what you like or don't like about it, its strengths and weaknesses, etc. then you have no business writing out this application.


  • Please give a detailed accounting of why you want to apply for this position and how you want to improve this area. What drew you to this region? What is special about it? Please be specific.



    The players are amazing. The players drew me. The players are my besties. Anything about the players there is going to get you an epic big X in our book because the players are amazing all over the game. This shows a real lack of knowledge of the domain. This is supposed to be all about the domain. In this case, and in all cases on the application, we care NOTHING about how you feel about the players. Player dynamics change all the time. The people there currently may not be there five minutes from now. Even if the players drew you because they are special, NO NO NO. We don't want to hear about it. Tell us the OTHER reasons why you are there.

    Also, don't you dare tell us you want to write calenders, weather, and locations. If you use the word 'Development' at all, its a deal breaker. Why? Because any player can develop. That's not really a full time storyteller job. It's just a sideline hobby that ST's get to indulge in. The whole World Development Forum is for development. Go there if that's what you want to do.

    Now if you want to talk about concepts and ideas you want to work on, that's cool. New factions? Cool. Expand existing things? Cool. But most domains have set ideas, concepts, and locations in place. They don't need to be developed. Streamlined? Sure. But not .... torn down and built up from scratch.


  • Please list your favorite aspects of Mizahar and why.


    I bet you can guess by now what I'm going to say here. We know the players are special. But again, we don't want to hear about them adnasium for a round two. So many applications have five or six sections on why the players are amazing. We get that. We know we are surrounded by incredibly gifted writers. Say something about the site, the content, the set up, the skill system. This is a critical thinking section. Show us you have a half a brain and aren't some brainless hussy staring at your pretty nails, tossing your head, smacking your bubble gum and telling us how omg dreamy the players are.

  • Please list the aspects of Mizahar you feel need improvement and why.


    If I see one more application that has the obvious big two lacks on it I'm going to vomit. You get negative points for stating the obvious like the game has a lack of storytellers or the lore needs finished. We know this. We understand this. The situation is being worked on. Tell us about game systems that are flawed. Tell us about situations that are awkward and could be smoothed out and how.

    Also, don't tell me you are going to BRIBE players into doing work in your city by using things like perk points etc. That's utter bs. It's been done. Go get an original idea, mkay?


  • Please list any applicable experience you might have with storytelling (can be off site).

    Don't tell us you read your little sister bedtime stories every night. We don't care. We want to know what sort of STORYTELLING experience you might have in regards to putting plots together, including all sorts of players, being flexible... anything that might be related to this such as impromptu theater, work at the YMCA with kids, etc. can be considered pertinent. Do you herd cats for a living? This may just help you on your application if you have wondrous skills we haven't yet looked into as valuable for STs to have. Put it down. We do not, however, want to hear about your toenail clipping art nor your mock up of Mizahar made out of macaroni art. Oversharing is a good thing, but probably not in this section.


  • Please list any development projects you might have been involved with. Why did you get involved? What drew you to this sort of development. What made you enthusiastic about these projects?

    If you don't have any, don't put in an application. Go work on something in the WDF and see if you like creating things for the game first. If you don't.... then you won't like being a storyteller because 99% of your job is crafting plots for your domain. This can be development from anywhere on anything. Just give us lots of examples or take five minutes and donate some time to a city and make a location and a couple of NPCs so we see you aren't a completely uninspired blow-hard here. If you wrote a church play, helped landscape your grandma's garden in a sexy Mediterranean theme... anything. Just talk about it here. We just want to know you are creative and imaginative!


  • Please provide a recommendation from an existing storyteller.


    No recommendation? No deal. And don't ask someone who doesn't know you. Ask someone whom you perhaps did some development for. But you MUST have a recommendation. That doesn't mean you need a 'name' to give us. You need the whole recommendation posted.


Gossamer

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[Founder's Office - Gossamer] Requests & Active Threadlist

Postby Gossamer on July 8th, 2018, 11:04 pm

Image

Image




Pulled From The Ethereal Canyon
So You Don't Have To Dig


What's Wrong With Graders :
What's Wrong With Graders


I think people are missing the whole point on what's wrong with Graders. And this amuses me because if you can't even IDENTIFY the actual problem, how are you going to find a solution?

Even the Graders themselves don't understand. It's a simple enough problem and I think once pointed out its got a simple enough fix. Everyone's making a huge mountain out of a mole hill and it doesn't need to happen. The talk of discussion threads, rewrites, etc. We've talked about opening a forum just for thread award discussions, but the problem is graders aren't a 'group' in and of itself. The Grading Medal is an award, so the forum would be open to all and when that was pointed out, the graders frowned on it so it didn't happen. Plus, there for a while whether you realized it or not new subforums were crashing the code. Tarot has since now fixed that.

So, if your so smart Goss, what's the actual problem?


Oh... glad you asked. Here it is in a nutshell.

People are singular and linear thinkers. They see black and white and not shades of grey. Meaning, it's either this or that (like a cat or a dog), but never both.

Let me give you my AM/PM Graveyard analogy.

You go to a convenience store like 711, Circle K, AM/PM etc.... and they have this fountain drink display. It has everything from coke to pepsi, to diet, to seven up, to sprite, and fifteen other things including five kinds of rootbeer. People grab a soda container and think they have to decide what type of soda they get.... singularly. Coke? Pepsi? A Sports Drink? Orange Crush? But the reality is you can take whatever you want from whatever combo you want to choose and make whatever kind of graveyard you want. A graveyard is a soda that's made up of all the sodas in a fountain.

Huh? So how does this apply to Miz? Easy.

A fight scene on Mizahar is the same way. But most average people can't see it when grading. Two guys are tearing into each other, knocking out teeth and common sense, and all graders want to do is award unarmed combat and bad lores (brawling: It hurts to get your teeth knocked out - not a lore btw). But the reality of the fight is the above graveyard analogy. They could be doing tactics, unarmed, brawling (if someone grabs something laying around to bash someone else on the head etc), endurance, bodybuilding (lift your opponent over your head and try to fling them!), and any number of things. I've rarely seen a fight that's just a fight or just a weapons usage. Think about it.

Two people sitting around plotting world domination? Oh yea.. that's a whole host of things that doesn't equate to just planning. Tactics, strategy, intelligence, leadership, organization... just to name a few off the top of my head. But the average grader will skim the meeting and give ... yea... planning.

*YAWN* Seriously?

It's heartbreaking. And really, that's the gist of the problem of graders on Miz. The lores aren't even that big of an issue anymore. We have that fixed. But I have booted a few holdouts on retarded lores or lores that don't make any sense... (like Wedgies: Are painful... ) etc.

How do we fix it? Do we write more guides? Rewrite guides? Feel better and walk away having solved all the problems on Miz? Hell no... if all the blood sweat and tears poured into the first addition of the grading guide didn't work, your shiny rewrites thinly disguised as discussion threads aren't going to work either. And they are going to step on toes because that first guide was birthed via blood sweat and tears. Stop rewriting crap people. Write new shit. Seriously.

So how then?

People getting the awards need to kick it a little and hold an open dialog with the graders and ask them why they award like they do or why they didn't get expected thread awards. The answer will either be reasonable or it won't. If its not, take it to an ST and get the grader either talked too (if it is reasonable of the person requesting the change) or a further explanation.

If they don't want too? If they don't like confrontation? If they won't speak out? Then they don't deserve any better thread awards.


Poisonous People :
Poisonous People



Truthfully I don't understand it. However, that doesn't change the reality of the situation. Recently Mizahar has had a great deal of what I would call poisonous people. Lets be honest. Not everyone is inherently good and not everyone has your best interests at heart. And unfortunately, when dealing with the internet, its far easier for people to be poisonous or toxic than it would be for them to act thusly irl face to face with others. Here, there is an anonymous aspect where they can walk away at any time and it costs them virtually nothing personally to act however they want to act.

There are two basic kinds of poisonous people in my experience. There are some who are deliberate about it and contemplate their poison carefully and with an eye to just what will be the most damaging. Then there are those that hold their poisonous toxic attitudes like a second skin, the behavior coming organic and utterly natural to them. And they are incredibly easy to spot because they are the people that won’t acknowledge your dreams, your effort, and your dedication and whom deliberately try to sabotage such things for any number of reasons. Mostly they are insecure about their successes and don’t want you overshadowing them. Sometimes they are afraid you will grow past them or never see them or acknowledge them in their own right. They feel anonymous and don’t want to be because they feel better being in the spotlight even though they can’t seem to get the spotlight to shine on them. The later types, the attention whores as some would call them, can’t stand seeing other people have more importance than they do.

No matter what the reason or driving force behind poisonous people, they exist and they are decidedly utterly unhealthy for your life and sites like Mizahar in general. They tend to say and do things, sometimes on the sly, that undermines anything and everything other players and even the leadership has tried so hard to build.

It’s been my experience that truly toxic and poisonous people are inherently lazy. It’s far easier in their mind to shoot down other’s work to get attention than to actually go and do something fantastic themselves. They don’t have a lot of personal energy unless it involves being in the spotlight. I’ve noticed quite a few of these toxic folks will highlight their personal issues such as a disability or a physical condition. They might even stress their race, country of origin, culture, religion, or school of study and social position. The more attention you give them, the more they will take rope and hang themselves with it. It’s like feeding a fire that shouldn’t exist by turning the spotlight on them and giving them any time or attention. You aren’t going to change their opinions and personality. You aren’t going to slay the lazy in them and light a fire under their ass to do something more constructive with their critique time than bash others. They like doing so and are going to stick with it.

I can never understand why someone would choose to fill their social circles with poisonous folks when there are so many upbeat positive people out there that want to expand their circles and get to know more people of a like mind. Speaking of which, if you find it hard to make friends or that friends gravitate away from you, maybe you should reflect on your own words and actions and ask yourself what have you done lately for others? If the answer is nothing, then perhaps you should look closely and see if your behavior hasn’t been slightly toxic or poisonous and work actively to lighten up, brighten up, and be more productive. No one’s perfect. We all have bad days and can have bad moments where we behave badly. It happens because we are all human. But overall, how much do you give to others? Or do you just spend your time tearing folks down and poisoning people’s thoughts against others before they even have a chance to perhaps interact with that person face to face?

self-ref•er•en•tial
(sĕlf′rĕf′ə-rĕn′shəl)
adj.
Referring to oneself or itself: The biographer's account of the poet's life was surprisingly self-referential.
________________________________________
self′-ref′er•ence n.
self′-ref′er•en′tial•ly adv.


One of the classic signs of toxicity is when people become self-referential. Do you even know what that means? Here’s a perfect saying you should memorize. I read this book as a child called “A Woman of the Iron People” by Eleanor Arnason who had this perfect quote about self-referential people. Memorize it. Say it over and over and over in your head. It will do you loads of good. The woman was a genius in her writing, even though she never got much attention for the few books she wrote (all of which I have read and still own). For just a little context, the book is about an advanced technological race studying a very primitive race on a new planet. Cultural anthropology in the form of a sci-fi book.



“I, me, my, mine ---
Each one a danger sign.”


“That’s what the witches used to tell us. Listen for those words, they said. If a person uses them too often or with too much emphasis, then he or she is sinking down into a well of self. And that is a dangerous situation. You may be face to face with a greedhead or a power freak.”



Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about bad moods, moodiness due to stress in people’s lives, or overworked under-rested folks. They need support, understanding, and given some hugs and loves as much as the next person. The people I’m talking about are the “I, Me, My, Mine” chronic abusers. I don’t care why they are toxic. Sure, they might have some situation socially or physically that has driven them to it… but then I must point out people like Helen Keller or Steven Hawkings that let nothing stop them. I’m talking about truly toxic folks that couldn’t be nice if they tried… and if they are nice it’s because you are giving them something they crave – attention, sympathy, an ear to air their grievances too. Stop it. You’re just enabling them and encouraging their poisons.

Now.. how in the heck do you deal with these people?

If you are Gossamer on Mizahar you can uninvited them from places they can easily spread their toxicity like chat. If that’s not enough you can push them off the site altogether. If they are not toxic, they won’t mind not being able to be in chat and will stick around and get back to the business of writing and you can eventually let them reintroduce themselves to chat with a better attitude. But if they are truthfully using chat for poisonous reasons, like attention and advancement of their agendas, then most likely they will claim they are banned and will leave the site, looking for someplace else fresh they can get their attention from.

That’s another reason why I’m always wary of ‘banned from other sites’ people that come over here bashing another site and claiming they were banned. Obviously, in my mind, the admin or site owner probably had a good reason for the boot. And people are creatures of habit. If they weren’t actually booted, they were cut off from their bad behavior in some form or another, and that sent them in search of greener pastures.

Now… back to how to deal with them.

The first method and best method if you can’t cut them off from a venue that allows them to be toxic or poisonous is to steer clear of them. Be busy. In the case of Mizahar, decline further threads with them or make a polite excuse. You don’t have too get in a big confrontation. You can just say your PC is going a different direction and your riding the wave. Blame it on the PC. They take on minds of their own all the time and demand of us players to do one thing or another with them that might be out of character for us. If you’ve tried compassion, understanding, and you’ve been attentive of their feelings and it doesn’t help… move the hell on, folks. Don’t keep trying to fix stupid, bitter, or angry. You can’t. Even shrinks know better, and I’m betting you don’t have a white horse to come riding in on to save them with.

You can’t fix them. You can’t fix them. You can’t fix them.

All you can do is stop being stupid and wisen up and go find people that will nuture you, love you, understand you, and spread patience and compassion into your life without all the drama and negativity and certainly not at other people’s expenses. I think you will find that with these sorts of poisonous people gone, you will find that your whole attitude is a lot better and you see things in a lighter more carefree way when you look around because its almost as if you suddenly have room to breathe, time to smell the roses without someone complaining about the thorns, and people will even gravitate TOWARDS you when you are seeing all this positive because the negative is gone.

Remember, good friendships are give and take. Good relationships on sites like Mizahar are also give and take. I give, you give, we give and we all take something away from all that giving. Don’t you hate the thread partner that takes and takes and takes and never gives you a bone to chew on? You know the kind, the one that never moves the thread on when they could, and instead just seems to want to listen to you storytell? You stop posting as much to those threads don’t you? But when a thread partner gives gives gives and not just reacts to your giving, then you jump to return a post and you fall in love with them as a person because you know they have a generous nature and not just a leaching one.

The same goes in real life with poisonous people. Stop letting them take take take and instead turn to people that give give give.

Here’s another hint. Stop making excuses for them and ignoring them as if they will go away. You aren’t doing them any favors and you aren’t doing yourself any favors. I know you don’t want to make waves and you certainly don’t want to be mean. But if their behavior is toxic and poisonous, then it is not okay. And that means it’s not okay to let them go on behaving like they are behaving without speaking up. This will be really hard for some of you because I see you as gentle well-mannered people that don’t want to make waves.

Previously I’ve already said its okay to quietly skip out by being busy or saying your PC has moved on. But if you really want to help them… speak up, tell them, point out that they are behaving badly in a way that is hard on you. I mean, you don’t let people pee in public on a sidewalk in front of you do you? Do you let people bully you or cut in line in front of you or blame you when its not your fault? All those are equally bad in my opinion, and I wouldn’t stand for it. That’s why I don’t stand for poisonous people being on the site in places they can do real damage.

Recently I’ve asked several people NOT to log back into chat ever again. Why? Because they were biasing newbies against staffers, spreading false information, and being hugely negative. I even saw logs of one recently discussing a long gone founder’s physical disability like they were an expert on that founder and their life and It pissed me off. I know that Founder would have hated the presumptions that person made and what was said about that person by someone who was speculating about her to the n’th degree. And the truth was about as far from that speculation as possible. However, that wasn’t the crime. The crime was the person never said they were speculating. They passed themselves off as an expert and it was all in my opinion poisonous. Now, they are gone from chat and truthfully the RS’s backed me on the decision because she’d been an issue in the past, being on Mizahar to promote her agenda, not really our rp.

If you don’t want to confront them about their poisonous attitude, that’s fine. I understand some people are reluctant. But what you can do is emphasize when you need them to listen to you and when you need them to find your situation or what you want to talk about as equally important as their shit. You can even gently tell them that they are coming off like what you say isn’t as important… like their problems have more priority over your problems (or what happened to you good today, or the great book you just read that you wanted to share with them, etc etc etc)

Obviously I feel passionate about this topic. I want you all to understand that no one can take away your pride or self worth by overshadowing it with their own unless you allow it. Never let poisonous people attack you (even subtly), disgrace you, poke fun at you, mock you, or dismiss you. For heavens sake, don’t let anyone ever DISMISS you. You have worth, and your life is important. But if you allow this to happen you are being a terrible person to yourself.

And sometimes, really calling them out is worthless and a waste of breath because these are the same types that insincerely apologize. You know the type. They say something rude, and you call them on it, and they don’t apologize but instead say something like … “I’m sorry you got offended at my words.” You know? That’s pushing blame onto you. They should be saying … “I’m sorry I offended you with my words.”. That’s a sincere apology. Poisonous people are usually wearing thick blinders to their own problems and if you all them on their poison they will say something like… “I’m sorry you found what I said poisonous/toxic/inappropriate. You shouldn’t take things so personally.” When they do that, they’ve just dismissed and stomped on your feelings hard-core and some of you won’t even realize it.

The problem is, these people can influence you. They can make you just as toxic to fit in. For all that’s sane in the world, don’t let that happen to you. It will be a slow poison, like the proverbial frog slowly boiling to death in the water that is being heated slowly. Don’t be a frog and let some poisonous person heat your bathwater to boiling, right? Don’t let them guilt you. Don’t let them blame you or say its your view that’s skewed. You’ve managed to make it this far along in life without being a pushover… don’t start being a pushover now. Remember --- "I, Me, My, Mine… each one a danger sign.” It is absolutely them being poison, not you. If its not your doing, don’t take responsibility or let them push the blame onto you. Don’t let them sway your confidence and doubt yourself.

Have you seen recent scraps where people are stating they’ve been stupid and feel like quitting or giving up? Yea…. a toxic person has been at them for sure. Nobody can decide everyone might hate them or dislike them all on their own. They’ve had someone at them, for sure.

Don’t make excuses. Don’t assist them in their toxicity by excusing them for personal issues or giving them leeway. Everyone goes through rough spots, but when that rough spot makes up 72 years of an average lifespan, put your foot down. Explore other options besides their friendship. Do things with new people. Experience new things… do so without the poisonous folks who have tainted your life. Give yourself permission to live, love, laugh and be compassionate and experience peace.

Good Luck, folks. I know you can make changes in your life for the good if you believe enough in yourself and gather enough courage to stop lying to yourself and do the right thing. And if you are that toxic person, admission is half the battle. There’s no one I would respect more than a toxic person having an OMG moment of revelation. And please understand, if folks vanish from chat, its most likely because I’ve asked them to stop logging in. I’m not an ogre. But Mizahar is my baby, and I must listen to folks complaining, if enough folks complain to me and end the madness. I also read logs, so please understand if I see things there that are poisonous and attempt to bias new folks against hard working staff, I’m going to act. To sit quietly by and let nothing change is irresponsible.


Writing Crushes :
Writer's Crushes on Mizahar

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It’s Valentine’s Day so I decided I’d scrap about love. No, not the epic romantic “Gone With The Wind” type of love. I’ve never really gotten into stories like Rhett and Scarlets’, which was abusive and damaged from the beginning. Instead I want to talk about the darker side of love. The kind that whispers to you like a drug dealer – just one more hit, one more fix, I can quit anytime, I swear I don’t need this – luring you into the back alleys of your mind. I’m talking about writer’s crushes. I dislike writer’s crushes. I’ve been susceptible to them for years. Now, I'm not talking about jonesing for your favorite authors newest book or for someone you love to write something, anything, out in the real world. I'm talking very specifically about Mizahar Writer's Crushes. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, what a true writer’s crush is, let me explain with metaphor.

In most little girls (and rarer in boys) there’s a horse gland. Scientists haven’t identified it and sometimes it can lay dormant for years. Then out of the blue, they hit a certain age, see something, feel something, and that gland inside of them swells up to huge proportions and start to ooze need. They want a pony, a horse, invent an imaginary friend. They plaster up posters, dream of not knights in shining armor but their white destriers that those heroic boys ride up on. There’s no stopping the gland. It sometimes gets the little girl to talk her parents into riding lessons at a local stable or yet another my little pony or breyer horse.

I think boys (and some girls) might have a similar gland relating to classic cars, first cars, and maybe even motorcycles. I know you have one in regards to Alienware when you go through your gaming phases. But since I’ve never been a boy, I can only write about what I know and that’s the little girl horse gland. Women have it too, sometimes, and I bet you can’t put a beautiful stallion in the room with any woman on the planet and have 99% of them talk to him, brush his mane and tail if grooming tools are available, and add some glitter to his hooves. It’s just truth.

Well, I have a gland for writers. Most of the time its dormant, lying quiet and I’m content to read whatever and whenever my heart desires. That usually equates to a lot of reading. For example, just this week I read three different books. Why? Because I needed something to distract my head from spinning in circles. Sometimes I get a thought in there and I can’t get it out and it becomes boarderline infuriating, so I do my best to distract myself until my subconscious is done processing whatever it was that it felt the need to process. But I won’t get into that story. It’s a long angst filled one that leaves me wanting to punch walls. That’s unhealthy, so I read to cope.

But when it comes to Mizahar, I also read. I browse through threads, find PCs that I think are interesting, and sometimes develop crushes on them. I don’t often write with my crushes because its unhealthy for me to do so. Posting with a crush is the absolute worst thing you can do, as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather wait for them to post to other threads, than experience a wait on a crush. Because if they don’t post, you feel like you’ve been rejected. You sit all alone at your computer, staring at your subscriptions, and seeing only your name as the last post. That’s a rejection. And when you see them posting with others, sometimes multiple times, you tell yourself you’re happy they are really into a thread.

You tell yourself that it’s okay, its fine, you understand, and that you can wait. If its brought up, you shrug your shoulders all cool as a 50’s leather wearing rebel and say ‘its cool, take your time’ …. But the truth is far from the reality. It’s never cool. Its hurtful, and you know that something is definitely wrong with you if you don’t get a post immediately or in a reasonable amount of time. And what they don’t know is how many times you’ve hit refresh on a city forum or pretended to get busy with something else when you see four or five more posts to other people from them or worse yet, them writing for themselves in a solo, and then there’s nothing.

Nothing.

Writing crushes suck. When you post with someone, you are having a conversation with them. No, I don’t mean the dialog in a thread, but the interaction of the two PCs. It’s a dance and a joining of two lives for a brief period of time. And when I crush I crush on people who write intimately, who bare self, and tend to throw things in your face. No, not literally. But I mean these are the people that paint the world around them with color and breathe life with their words. These are the people that when they reveal their characters thoughts and feelings, make you instantly transform to a fly on the wall in their therapy sessions where they bare all to their shrink. Reading a post from a crush leaves me dazzled, breathless, squirming in my chair. I’m a voyeur of the worst kind – a judging one – and if it’s a post for me, my life is complete

Only… my life is complete while I’m reading it… or rereading it. After its over, I’m alone again, looking around, and my writing crush gland is swollen, bleeding, and oozing once more in longing. It was quiet, pure, and shrunk down to nothing while I was getting my hit. I felt warm and complete and utterly without need while I was drinking in the thick sanguine smoke of a crush’s post. Then its over. It’s gone. You’ve crashed… and not yet began to burn.

You burn later… an hour, a day, a week… when nothing more comes. Writer’s crushes are terrible, dark and deadly things that lurk in the not so clean corners of our minds. I can never tell who I’m going to crush on either. I can never put a finger on it until later. I know the factors have to be there. An adrenaline rush when I read their stuff, see their name in the ‘new posts’ list, or start reading their unique voice tends to clue me in that one is developing. I feel invited into their mind, a privy to their inner workings and I love it. Crushing a writer is the worst. And I dread the signs. I usually giggle at something they write. I am not a giggler. I avoid threading with them to avoid the void feeling I get when they post for others and not me. I can tell it’s a crush because I admire the words, fall in love with them, and admire their mind however sane or twisted it might come across.

Writer’s crushes have nothing to do with the players behind the writing. It’s the writing. It’s the words that seduce you in. And sometimes, tragically, it’s the idea of the character more than the concept itself. Crushes aren’t about erotica, romance, seduction, or any sort of physical coming together, but they can actually stimulate the same feelings. Then again, so too can a great meal. To me, sitting down full after a fantastic dinner is a contentment that rivals good sex or even finishing a favorite novel or movie that left you warm and fuzzy. Writers Crushes generate the same sort of euphoric feeling when you get your fix. The words, the beautiful words…..

And don’t misunderstand me. I’m happily married. My crushes aren’t about age, sex, faith, or anything you’d consider them to be perhaps dealing with. I’ve crushed on male and female writers and characters, gay and straight, married and unmarried, young and old. In fact, two of my biggest writing crushes ever were on two male writers who wrote female pcs and there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for them to get my fix from them… in one case being the female’s best friend in game for years, and in the other case telling years’ worth of plotlines for the other. That was back in the day I thought crushes were fine. And it wasn’t the writers. I’d turn my nose up at them writing other characters. I wanted THOSE characters voices and actions in my mind… and I wanted new fresh stuff all the time. When I couldn’t get it, I’d re-read the old stuff… push back from the computer, pat my stomach, and think my eyes just ate filet mignon.

But over the years they’ve taken too much from me. They’ve made me too obsessive. They’ve hurt me too badly sitting alone in the dark wondering when my turn for their attention is going to be. These crushes have left me too rejected, to abandoned, far too alone. And so I run from them now, like a coward runs from things that need them to show true courage. If I like someone’s words, I avoid them like the plague. And if I do make a mistake and thread with them, I know I’m opening myself up to all kinds of yo-yoing. Did they log on today? Did they log on their PC I’m infatuated with? Did they post? Who did they post for? It’s too hard. It’s too painful. And I really can’t stand it. And I know, sooner or later, if I’ve avoided them or pushed them aside, they will come and try to inject themselves into my life again. Why? People can’t stand the thought of others not wanting them. I can’t stand it myself. Unwanted is a terrible state of being, regardless if it’s just a small angle in your life. It’s as bad as unconcerned or tolerated. I want my crushes to crush me. And to my knowledge, that never happens.

People are users.

Not everyone, of course, but enough that if they know you are somehow tangled up in something like a crush, then they can get what they want from you for the price of a post or five minute of plotting. I hate that. It generally doesn’t apply to everyone, but I know the other staffers know how this feels. I’d rather not want them first then be the one that wants and then gets cast aside all for the love of words – a fix. Does that make me a douchebag? Of course it does. But what else can I be in the course of things and under the heavy yoke of a writer’s crush?

I’m not sure this scrap will make any sense to anyone. I honestly don’t care if it does. I’m writing it more for myself anyhow, to get those thoughts out there, to try and explain to myself why I care enough about me to stop reading certain threads, stop doing certain things, and stop worrying if my approach is the right one. I know it is. I’ve done all the wrong things first. That’s in my nature too.


How Multiple Unplayed Alts Waste Our Time :
ALTS Done Incorrectly
Waste Our Time & Resources


I understand a lot of you make it a hobby to create characters. That's all well and good, but here on Mizahar we have a hard fast rule. FIVE ALTS. That's all. And guess what? Because people abused this so much asking for so many PCs to be retired after just a few posts, we put another rule into place saying you had to have 50 posts before you could retire. Now.... why is this annoying?

I'll tell you. Of course I will. You are just thinking of yourself when you become one of those people that makes countless alts and never plays them past 10-20 posts... why? Because you have NO IDEA the time that goes into helping people get started.

You create a Character. Okay... hard, time consuming, etc... but generally its just a character for you until you create another one after becoming bored with this one.

Now... for each character, most people need.

  • CS approval - CS Liaison or AS/DS does this when the PC registers in a city. This entails reading the CS, posting any changes that may be needed and approving it or giving it an intervention. (10-30 minutes +)
  • JOB - Character needs a job. AS/DS or Founder does this when the character creates because the PC wants an income so they can pay seasonal expenses. (30 minutes +)
  • NPCs - HD ticket... Founder/RS does this... takes time. (10-30 minutes)
  • RESIDENCE - AS/DS/Founder if no ST at the domain the PC starts out at. (10-30 minutes +)
  • GNOSIS - HD Ticket... Founder/RS does this... takes time. (30+ minutes)
  • SPECIAL APPROVAL FOR CIRCUMSTANCES - Special characters, back stories, deformities, appearances, etc... (30+ minutes)

Okay at bare min... if they got all that stuff and taking the minimum amount of time, your looking at an hour and a half of staff time NOT counting special approval time at all. That's if it takes 10 minutes for things, not thirty.

You times this by your dozen alts or so and WTF people why are you utilizing all these staff resources selfishly when you could be happily playing one or two? And you wonder why I go ballistic when I see someone with a shit ton of characters hanging out claiming they knew nothing of the 5 alt rule or didn't know half of them were retired? It's equally annoying if you play one to the limit and then retire them without giving them a shot.

Now... that's just YOU with your PCs. Times that by a whole domain or a whole game and you are talking HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS a day spent on helping people with new characters.

See where this is going?

PLAY A CHARACTER OR TWO AND LEAVE IT AT THAT FOLKS. Seriously, having five is fine... its well within the rules... but play those five and don't waste our time and energy because the more this happens the more you are going to WAIT and WAIT for your approvals.

Goss

Oh and PS... it equally wastes our time when you do this with items, quests, perk point stuff, etc. I've about had it up to here today trying to help ungrateful silly people that just want what they want and that's it.


The Secret To Happiness :
The Secret To Happiness


I always want to start scrap posts out on a positive note. But I’m having a hard time finding an angle to hit this Scrap topic that isn’t negative. Maybe its just my perspective, but people seem to have a rough time figuring out what to do in life and how to find happiness. It’s really no big secret. Anyone that is truly happy knows this. But lately it seems like there’s been a lot of negativity and people who log into the site – especially chat – and just want to talk about why they are unhappy and whose fault it is. Mind you, rarely if ever is it their own, according to them. Which, truthfully, is something I DO NOT BELIEVE. You are in charge of your own happiness. And the secret to happiness is incredibly easy.

Stay tuned. I’ll tell you all about it.

People think I’m a hugely negative grouchy bitch 99% of the time and that’s pretty much as far from the truth as possible. I have friends that tell me daily I shine with a very bright light and when I show up to events my friends host, there’s a lot of positive that comes with me. In fact, one of my friends just booked SJ Tucker at her home for the first weekend in August and she let me pick one of the songs SJ is going to sing! I felt amazing given that privilege. Of course I picked Hymn to Herne. It’s going to be a fantastic night. If anyone is in the PNW and a fan, I can arrange for you to come.

I’m getting off topic. But Hymn To Herne always reminds me to Walk In Your Power. If you don’t understand that concept, you should do a little studying. I don’t care if you are Christian, Pagan, or Atheist. We all have power. And if we embrace it, we do a lot better in life than we do if we let others take our power or we borrow power from outside of ourselves. But I can talk about that in another scrap. This one is about Happiness… which granted is linked, but not in the way you might anticipate.

Happiness isn’t about a few things. Let us talk about those first. It isn’t about stuff. Stuff won’t make you happy. New cars, fancy houses, rings and makeup and kittens with bells on their collars are nice. Happiness isn’t about how you look, your nationality, the amount of money in your bank account, or if you are with the right guy. Happiness isn’t about what people think of you or what people say about you. You enter this world alone and you leave it alone too. Just ask someone at the beginning of their life. There are no lonelier people in the world than young children and the elderly that have been forgotten. Remember back to when you were in grade school. Most people didn’t feel understood, like they fit in, and longed for something else, something better… something more suitable. I think sometimes it takes us the whole of our lives to get comfortable in our own skin and be happy with ourselves.

So now we know, or should, what happiness isn’t about.

So what is the secret to happiness? It’s a really simple thing. The secret of happiness is love. If you love yourself, what you have, what you are gifted with, and who you are around then life has a whole lot more meaning and richness in it than you can ever imagine otherwise. Happiness is about building a micro world about you and dwelling in that world to the fullest of your ability. You can pick your friends. You can pick your location. You can pick what you choose to surround yourself with. Nothing is far better than the wrong things. And loving what you do have and what you can have goes a long long way to building more wealth in your life.

Self love changes you.

It allows you to expand and to glow and to recognize the gifts you have. And once that happens others love you as well. And that love builds your own love and reflects back and builds up their own love until it magnifies outward and becomes this huge thing in your small sphere of influence. And I don’t care if those people are people you have never seen or interacted with in real life. Influence is influence and love connections are love connections. There are so many people here I love. I’m not ashamed to say it. Sometimes they love me back and that’s such a blessing its not even funny. I could make a list and it would fill up a thousand pages on how people have touched me and what they mean to me. And the same can be said of people in the real world. Sometimes when I’m lucky, the real world has touched the internet world and the two things have overlapped. Sometimes they never can.

But I see so many people on here struggling. I see so many people on here unhappy and just waiting… sitting around waiting for life to move them forward in their minds. Life isn’t about the future, folks. Death is a reality and you could be staring at your last day on this planet any time. Happiness and life is about right now. And honestly it doesn’t matter if you are experiencing happiness by writing a scrapbook on a site out in the middle of AZ that no one has ever heard of… or if you are simply sitting in your home painting a small flower on a ceramic vase that maybe only ten people will ever see in its lifetime of existence. And it doesn’t matter if my sphere of influence is different than your sphere of influence and what I choose to fill mine with is different than what you choose to fill yours with. It would be boring if we were all the same.

The point is. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Life is now. Life is not tomorrow, or when we graduate or when we move out from under our parents thumbs. Life isn’t when we retire or when we find Mr. Right or when we finally get that pony we’ve been wanting our whole life. Life is now. Happiness is within your grasp. Build your own sphere… live in it. Live every day in it. Be happy. Allow yourself that. And don’t let someone else dictate what should manifest that happiness for you. Manifest it for yourself. I don’t care if that means you need to as a man dress in women’s clothing. Do it. I don’t care if that means you quit your high paying job for one that is more fulfilling but pays a lot less. Do it. LIVE FOR NOW. It’s okay to plan for the future, save money, and grow in ways like education and do things like get healthy or fit. But while you are doing that, put more emphasis on the NOW.

LIFE IS NOW.
LIFE IS NOW.
LIFE IS NOW.

Life isn’t tomorrow. It’s not Friday. It’s not two months from now. It’s not when you turn 21 or 50. Life is about living each day fully and building that center universe that you can touch the things that move you and dwell in the space that makes you happiest.

Don’t forget it. Pick your friends. Invite people you admire into your sphere to visit. Go visit theirs. Overlap the two if you find it pleasing. But please… just go out and do it. If you don’t, you are like those sad chatters that are always in chat talking about the fantastic threads they want to write, but never do. Instead be that person that is in chat talking about the fantastic thread you JUST WROTE because you just LIVED and you just made yourself HAPPY.

That is the big secret. It shouldn’t be a secret at all.


Children And Having Babies In Mizahar :
Children In Mizahar & Having Them


Female PCs have approached me countless times in regards to children they've wanted to have in Mizahar. They've asked who decides sex, condition, even race at times depending on the combination. I have, without fail, answered them all the same way... "YOU AS A PLAYER DO." They have then asked me if they could have rare or usual types of children. Without fail I've always answered sure. Some have even questioned why I answer this way and I tell them repeatedly all the same thing. "PCs are the rare exceptions, not the rules. That means you can have anything you want to in terms of a child... color, sex, even race." One of my PCs has kids herself and two are Akontak and one Konti. The first one's race was determined by a random roll of the dice by SOMEONE ELSE tee hee in chat with witnesses. And there are still chatters around to verify that. The second and third one was determined the same way by me. I selected the sex in all three cases. I honestly didn't care what my pc had, but I went with it, and it was fun. That's my policy: It's up to you. PCs get priority over NPCs and PCs are always the exception, not the rule, which is why I keep NPC stats towards the regular end of thing... average... rarely high end. The latest pregnancy I know about is a woman who's having an Akontak girl. I was totally cool with that. You should be too.

Also, babies and children under 12 years of age in Miz cost players nothing to support.


The NPC Issue :
THE NPC ISSUE


We have a full article on NPCs and how to acquire them as well as what stats they can have via what type they are in the wiki now. Please read it!

You are always welcome to make up NPCs and play them. Casual encounters with them such as barmaids, folks on the street, guards, etc are almost always fine to just post without permission. You might want to give a shout to your local ds with something like.. "hey would a guard react to this?" but otherwise its fine. However, when you start making up named NPCs that have skills and stats that are significant, and do business with them, kill them, or plot with them to further your PC in which your PC benefits, then you'd BETTER GET PERMISSION and catelog the NPC somewhere... like a local NPC submission thread.

If you don't, then you are going to have issues with me especially in my domains and Cyphrus as a whole. We have made it INCREDIBLY EASY to document NPCs and play them without waiting for ST approval. You just need to write them down (fill out a form) and let us know what they are up too. It is our city/domain/region after all and we like to know what the NPCs in it are doing.

I hope that clears up any confusion you might have on NPCs and the rules on them. Most domains have a codex that clearly outlines this as well. If you don't find the rules or aren't sure, just PM the local DS and they will explain it. Easy as that.


High Level PCs :
High Level Well Established PC's
Otherwise known as PC's that get the shaft.

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There has been something on my mind that has wanted to come forth in a scrap for quite some time. It’s a dicey subject, for sure, because depending on the reader the view of the issue will change dramatically. That being said, doesn’t every reader have a different view that may be dramatically different from others? One would hope that's true since we thankfully don’t all live in a world of clones. Anyhow, I have somehow managed to get off track before I even hopped on the train so let me try to get to what I wanted to say as quickly as possible.

Having an older character on Mizahar isn’t easy. I don’t mean ‘agewise’ older, but I mean older in terms of being established and having been played for years. These characters have usually been there, done that, and have numerous baggage to show for it. Their thoughts and dreams are fleshed out. Their needs are well defined. They have goals and things they strive for and frankly their players have had a lot me time to think about them in terms of real fake people than the newer pcs that have just been birthed. And sometimes, equally important, their players know how to drive plot, write threads to max out whatever the purpose of the thread was, and to overall have fun. So basically when they write they get XP seemingly effortlessly. And when they plot they get things done.

Amazing right? Everyone wants one of these characters. They have it all. The term ‘all’ tends to include gnosis marks, high level skills, money, power, and sometimes even rank in a city or domain where they exist. To the outsider looking in, this is a perfect world and something all newbies tend to sigh over and either say 'someday' or 'grrrrrrr lucky bum'. The reactions vary drastically.

But I'm here to tell you something you might not understand about high level older characters. Life isn't easy for them. Why? Let me tell you. People often don't want to thread with a pc that could crush you with a single thought or a flick of their reimancy. They think the PC won't like them or won't be impressed by them or might not have anything in common with a less established new pc just starting out. Lots of times these older PCs have to scramble for threads, ask people to plot with them, and you know what? They rarely get invited on adventures or included in group plans unless those adventures or group plans are their ideas.

This wouldn't e such a big deal except it always irritates me to no end that you have a CS there you can read for another PC, know a lot about them by just reading that CS, and make decisions for your PC based on their PC's CS. That means you shouldn't in all reality KNOW what their skillset is IC. So you shouldn't know they are powerful, wealthy, or batshit crazy... whatever the issue might be. Pure and simple, by doing this you take OOC straight IC and let fear of what might happen IC dominate OOC activity.

Another thing people don't realize is that well established PCs are capped at 100/100 skill points. There's no way to go higher. So everyone that logs on and creates a pc has an opportunity to tap and shatter that glass ceiling and join the top ranks of PCs in terms of skillset at any time. They just have to put some effort into it. For instance... this season, I've written and soloed my way to competent in two new skills where my pc hasn't had any prior experience in the skills. And really, I didn't take the three months to do it. I did it in a month. So.. taking that road, in a year I can be master, sooner if I really want to push it - as fast as four months. So that means those high skilled pcs mean less than ever if there's no restriction on people joining them.

And still they get the shaft.. often in big ways. Modertors don't design stories around them too often. Generic stories usually fit newbies better. People are intimidated to post or ask them for threads. Folks don't realize they often want to help get new folks started and perhaps springboard some RP for them... so with that mind I thought I'd make a little DO's and DON'TS List.


DOs DON'Ts
Assume they want to thread with you. Assume they'd rather not thread with you.
Ask them for threads/loans/advice/knowledge. Ignore them and pretend they don't exist.
Talk to them IC & OOC. Clam up and be too nervous to chat. They are just RPers like you.
Approach them. Wait for them to approach you.
Accept they exist. Get jealous since they've worked hard and have earned it.
Respect their PCs. Be afraid they will automatically kill your PC.
Plan things and approach them with a plan. Rely on them to plan everything since they are more experienced.
Talk to them about your dreams. Ignore their wants and needs.
Offer to help them. Odds are you can. Leach off them by taking and never giving to their plots or stories.


I hope you guys think about this in the future.


RP Consumers Verses RP Producers :
THOUGHTS ON RP
RP Producers vs. RP Consumers


I’ve been thinking about something for a few days. It’s been on my mind hot and heavy and dictates by and large who I rp with (if I have a choice) and whom I find myself really enjoying rping with. Tarot, whom we all affectionately call GP, either coined a couple of phrases or introduced them to Mizahar in one of his blogs. Those phrases are RP-Consumer and RP-Producer. These terms have to do with a character and how the player chooses to play that character. The definitions should be obvious. An RP-Consumer is pretty much an IC turd. They sit on a patch of grass, deposited by a player, and wait for something to happen. And much like the visual I’m trying to paint, they stink. At first they might not be that offensive, but over time it gets worse and worse and worse. And in my head, I picture these turds as having little cartoon faces and thought bubbles that pop up and say “I’m bored. Entertain me.” Now, RP-Producers are like the flies buzzing around happily on the scene. Have you ever seen flies photographed in micro? They are astonishingly beautiful. They are never bored. They are busily buzzing around happily here and there, having adventures and gathering friends. They might not be perfect entities. I mean no one is going to ever accuse a fly of being a unicorn that farts glitter, but by and large they are INTERESTING things. Each one is a tiny gem. They don’t mind getting down and dirty and investigating things. They stick their nose in shit. Sometimes it gets them in trouble, but by and large they live their little RP lives and go from point a to point be never holding still long enough to grow sedentary.

So when I think people say they have lost their character’s voice, I just shake my head. That character is alive because the players birthed them. All you need to do to find their voice is just write. Every character has a story that’s just itching to be told, but it’s up to you to tell it. It’s up to you to be that fly and buzz around producing plots and rp. It’s up to you to have conflict and drive adventure. It’s not ever a good thing to sit around and wait for something cool to happen and then complain or feel bad when no one pays you attention and no one shows up to make things happen.

I’m definitely an RP-Producer. I have an incredibly low tolerance of RP-Consumers. This runs the gauntlet from people who can’t think up a good Konti gift (I can probably brainstorm twelve in twelve seconds no kidding.. and I’ve seen people in chat that do the same thing) to the reactionary PC that always response to what other people do or say in plot but never adds anything to their post so when their posting buddy suddenly replies, they have nothing to go on and have to move the story on all on their own.

I’ve tried yelling at people. I’ve tried asking them to think up things and do things and you know what? It rarely works. You can’t make people excited about their pcs. You cant force them to find their pc some direction and get them involved in things. Sure you can include them in big quests or ask them to do this or that, but in the end, it is what it is and I’m fairly sure no one can change them. I certainly can’t. So, I’ve hit pay dirt this season and have been threading with someone who is equally driven to promote plotlines and advance stories. I’m sure they know who they are. It’s almost the type of thing I want to go down on my knees and thank the various deities for because I’m enjoying the hell out of it. I don’t have to ask them for threads. They just come up with them. I don’t have to muddle through things they think I want to read or write about because I get to work on their issues, and their issues are pretty complicated. At the same time I get to get my pc’s issues worked on like no one has ever offered to do before, and that makes me jump for joy as well. I don’t say thank you enough. But I’m saying it here. Thank you. You’ve given me a fresh start and a new enthusiasm for my PC that I kind of thought was long gone. And its really good to have an IC good friend that is a good friend due to threads we’ve written and not because two people like each other outside of the game and decide two of their pc’s are going to be bffs but never thread.

People ask me all the time what I think a successful PC is. A successful PC is an RP Producer. That’s it in a nutshell. People gravitate towards those sorts of characters, because they want to be part of their plots. They want to jump on the thread bandwagon the RP Producer is producing and go somewhere. Could you imagine what it would be like if every PC on Mizahar was in some aspect or another a RP producer? And that way those of the group reading this who are pc producers would get a break once in a while and get to jump on someone else’s pc producing bandwagon and not always have to be responsible for coming up with fantastic threads or plot ideas or even beating pcs into posting or urging them to move the plot in their posts.

Honestly being a RP Producer is hard work. I can see why so many pcs, especially newbies, are RP Consumers. It leaves you drained sometimes and at other times resentful. When you go to plan things and if people don’t want to plan with you it leaves things all up to you. So you go make your plans and put your motivations into action and if things work out they work out and if they don’t you really have no one to blame but yourself. But in general, if you are a motivated person, they work out. And the reward is the combination of story and skill points you’ve just told and earned. To me that’s a hell of a payoff. And it makes people want to be around you. I can tell you this from experience.

Unlike what some people might think of me, I do want people to want to be around me. Not only as a moderator, which is important, but as a PC which to me is even more important. I don’t want to ask people to play with me. I want them to WANT to play with me. I can always get threads with Goss. I suspect that’s less about my ST abilities and more what my blue name can grant THEM in thread. So to me the litmus test is how and when people approach my PCs and post for them or generate plot for them. And lately it’s been telling. And I know why. Somewhere along the way in the last perhaps three seasons, I’ve gotten tired of being a Plot Producer and wanted something more. I get tired of people coming to me and telling me their character is this and that and the other with no thread work to back it up. I want to be able to point behind my PC at her timeline and say… “This is who she is and this is why she’s like this.” Meaning, NOT because it’s in my head, but because the who of what she is and the stories she’s told in her past. And when I say ‘she’ I don’t mean one specific character, but any number of mine. They happen to be all girls atm so she works well. And because of this, I like playing with new folks. I’ve seen quite a few good ones lately, thankfully most in RF where my primary lives. It gives me a wide choice of Sundae toppings to put on my creation when I have a craving for some new story icecream.

So I guess this scrap is more about my thankfulness for the people around me rather than a complaint about what folks don’t do when they rp. We have a lot of people that show and don’t just tell. That’s another great phrase. SHOW don’t TELL. Who cares what your PC is all about if you haven’t threaded about it? No opportunities? Bullshit. Make your own. Oh, and if your PC has no driving motivation, no goals, and nothing you want to really accomplish with them? Do us all a favor and go get some long term plans. Because if you don’t have any goals, you’re a turd. And that’s just not going to be pretty for very long. Stop stinking and start buzzing around making things happen. That gorgeous fly is in all of us. Channel your inner fly.

Gossamer

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Gossamer
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