[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on January 11th, 2018, 5:38 am

After all the bullshit and broken promises...
I still believe.

-S.L. Heaton
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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on January 12th, 2018, 2:24 am

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.
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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on February 9th, 2018, 12:34 am

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.


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Postby Gossamer on February 14th, 2018, 3:04 am

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.


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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Prophet on February 14th, 2018, 3:19 am

I've added your Quest Etiquette post on all of my calendars.. I now have to decide if I like this one better. This is very well written, thank you.
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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on March 8th, 2018, 3:49 am

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.
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Postby Gossamer on March 14th, 2018, 5:11 am

The Proper Care And
Feeding Of Characters


Background Info :
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.

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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on March 18th, 2018, 10:46 pm

Kelvic Bonding


This scrap was a request by Shiress... so here it is.

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.


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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on April 6th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Grader Rant


Why do you have a Mizahar Grader Medal? With the huge list of graders on Mizahar...


Adelaide Sitai, Adon, Aladari Coolwater, Alaia, Alea Davenport, Alexandra Gainsborough, Aliana Hilt Terras, Alija, Allassanachassanya, Ambrosia Alar, Amora Jade, Anuk, Ashar, Ashka Windrunner, Asterope, Avela, Ayviss, Azmere, Baelin Holt, Balian Martell, Ball, Bartholomew, Brandon Blackwing, Caela Dorin, Caelum, Daedalus Dagwood, Daegron, Devi, Dove Brown, Dovey, Dravite, Elin, Elira, Epifanio Snowsong, Erick Barnett, Estrellir Konrath, Faradae, Firenze, Gale Austin McCenry, Garland, Grim Ravenwood, Haeli, Haena, Hwyn, Ialari Pythone, Ixtli, Izuyanai, Jade Laken, Jashkataal, Jasmine Stormblood, Junco, Karyk, Katelyn Marks, Kavala, Keene Ward, Kelski, Khara, Khida, Kiva, Kyo, K'irr Darkwater, Madeira Craven, Maro, Marrick Corvis, Matthew, Merevaika, Meville Brightshade, Minnim, Naia Whitewater, Naiya, Nayato, Nephti, Nieve Glass, Nya Winters, Okara, Orin Fenix, Orion Michaels, Ornea, Pearl, Pulren Marsh, Redd, Rohka, Rook, Roscoe, Rosela, Rufio, Saiyin, Salara Kel'Halavath, Samuel Longwell, Sebastian Whitlock, Sezkero, Shai, Shane Wallsly, Shimoje, Sira, Sloane, Solemn Warborn, Tailyn, Tanna, Tap, Taurina, Theo Popcampio, Timothy Mered, Timshel, Una Tanta, Vanari, Wikus, Wymez, Xira Hezmek, Zandelia


You'd think we'd have more grading activity. We don't. Instead, its become an 'in thing' to have a grader medal. This bothers me to no end. If you are a grader, you should be grading at least once a week. We shouldn't have these huge backlogs of grading. We shouldn't have a whole bunch of new grades because those who are threading should be grading... and should grade their own threads as soon as they get finished.

But that's not what happens. It's almost tragic.
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[Gossamer's Scrapbook] The Ethereal Canyon

Postby Gossamer on April 12th, 2018, 1:24 am

"We need you to come in to talk about your Bloodwork.


"I finally have an answer for you as to why all this has been happening. You have tested positive for a serious autoimmune disease that has no cure. I'm fairly certain you've been suffering from this for a few years."

Then the PA just looked at me, watched me, and I could tell he was letting me process. The interesting part was that I wasn't exactly hearing what he was saying so much as wondering how hard his job was telling people news like this. I didn't say anything for a long time. Then I said....

"Can you elaborate?"

He looked thoughtful for a few more minutes. Maybe it was just seconds, I don't know, but he continued on as if he felt the need to fill the silence with words to help me process this news more.

"It really bothered me, this whole situation, and after you left your appointment Thursday, I couldn't get it out of my head. So my next patient canceled and I sat down with your blood work from the last few years and noticed something that stood out immediately. Your white blood counts are high. Dangerously high. Higher than a mere infection would have merited. I didn't notice and the previous PA missed it as well because you always came in with an infection like Pneumonia that could account for high white cells... but they were always on the top of the high side until this last blood work which was over the top of the high side. I called the lab knowing we'd taken six vials of blood and ordered some additional tests, and sure enough you came back positive for the autoimmune markers in every single case. I can't tell you which one it is because there are about five varieties and it requires more testing... plus as a PA I can't definitively diagnose this disease... so I need your permission to send you to a specialist. You need to start treatment immediately because this disease is fatal without treatment. Back in the 80's and 90's when people were diagnosed with this, they had a life expectancy of another five years. Sometimes that's still the way it goes. But now, so much later, you can have a life expectancy of 15-20 or sometimes even 25 more years..." He said.

I sat there, looking thoughtful, and just processing. I didn't have a lot of questions at that point. It was a lot to take in. So he continued on.

"Do you get tired a lot? I mean not just worn out, but exhausted where you feel like you can't move?" I nodded.

"Joint pain, stiffness, general soreness that's unexplained?" I nodded.

"Do you get a flushed rash in the shape of a butterfly across your face?" I nodded.

"You have a history of extreme anemia. We thought it was period related at first. It's another symptom of this disease." I nodded.

"Do your joints swell randomly and at odd times?" I nodded.

"Do you get unexplained fevers? Sleep no more than 3-5 hrs at night? Do you feel the need to nap at least an hour each day after doing a normal work day?" I nodded.

"You have chronic pneumonia and bronchitis. That's another sign. You also acquired Whooping Cough as an adult, which is very rare. Another sign." I nodded.

"Have you ever been hospitalized for chest pains thinking you had a heart attack?" I nodded.

"They should have caught it then. When they don't have any other reason and test your heart and find its function fine.... they should test for this... if they didn't, that's sad. About 80% of the people that have this disease are women and most find out in their 40's. We could have had a diagnosis back in August when you told me about your ER trip during the eclipse. Jen, all the signs of this have been here for a while. Right in front of me. I just didn't put it together because this one is a hard one to diagnose. I'm glad I called the lab and ordered those extra tests." I nodded, frowning, but what else was there to say?

I finally spoke. "This is a lot to take in." He nodded at that.

Then his overseeing doc walked by. My PA leaves his doors open so people don't feel trapped. He closes them if its like a serious physical exam or something, but otherwise he leaves it open. That doc walked right in, patted my shoulder, and said... "I looked over your chart. This is definitely autoimmune. It was a heck of a lucky catch over just BP. Someone's watching out for you." Then he gave me a little half squeeze hug/not hug and nodded to my PA as if to say Good Job... and headed off. I felt oddly comforted.

"Jen, this is a very serious chronic disease. This is going to change your life. Its going to explain every bought of pneumonia and every thing you've ever been in to see me with in the last few years. Your body is attacking your organs, your brain, your muscles, your joints, everything.... we need to get this under control because this is fatal if it goes untreated. You will get worse until you can't walk, can't think, and your organs shut down." I nodded again.

He wrote the name of it on a slip of paper so I could research the varieties but said not to be too upset by what I read in the internet because a lot of it was drastic and extreme, and this was manageable. He looked me directly in the eye and said... "If we can get you on a good treatment plan via a specialist, I promise you that you will be feeling 100%, no 1000% better in two to four weeks if you get on the right meds. Not everything works for every one, but a specialist well versed in this will know where to start and how to progress you so you're not this sick." His eye contact was intense. My PA is young, passionate, and absolutely driven. I believed him.

"I can't emphasize enough. You are sick. Very sick. And you need to get this treated." He knows I'm a 2x4 to the forehead kind of person. I don't take off work for illness so he writes me prescriptions for days off. For some reason it becomes more tangible to me.

I didn't think this journey would lead me here. You see... I went to see him outraged because I had flunked a DOT exam. I've been passing DOT physicals since the nineties with flying colors and to be told you have dangerously high Blood Pressure is scary. You can stroke out, you can have all kinds of things happen with BP like that, including internal bleeds. And I was scared too because with high bp I can't get my DOT Physical renewed. I need my job to pay the bills, things like the mortgage and to support my small hobby farm and my lifestyle. My work needs me too, badly. They were devastated when I came back from my DOT with only a 3 month temporary card. The good news is I'm on BP meds and I can get a 1 year card each year... and if I get on the treatment, I can probably get off the BP and start getting two year cards again. So work is secured. I was really scared when I thought I might loose my job in three months because my health had so drastically declined that I couldn't pass a DOT. And that's sad because a lot of truckers out there aren't prime physical specimens and still pass.

So... I'm dealing with this. It's very real, very scary, and very eye-opening. In the mean time we are short handed at work because two of my team are out with the flu and its incredibly busy. When I mean busy, I mean, I worked over two hours today just to finish what I normally finish in 5 hrs. I'm hopeful by Monday everyone will be back on their feet. But because half my team is missing, I have to work Saturday now and will get a lot less rest that I need to get until I get on this treatment. And it will mean I have a lot less energy for Miz until I get my head wrapped around this and move forward.

I'm glad its not a death sentence. It's a sentence to live approximately as long as everyone else can expect to live.. and its something of a relief that I'm not crazy, lazy, or going mental because I'm constantly tired. And I was also told today that having this disease automatically qualifies me for full disability and Social Security at any age so long as I have a full diagnosis. That's scary too... I don't want to stop working and stay at home. But it puts it into perspective that this is nothing to mess around with.

I wanted you all to know. I don't expect you to care. It's not about attention. But if you see less of me, you'll know why. I will try to prioritize quests and individual moderated threads for people. But I'll be slow with the rest of it unless I have bursts of energy and good news and some rest.


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