Unofficial Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

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Re: Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 26th, 2010, 1:20 pm

Good!
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Re: Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Alice on March 26th, 2010, 7:29 pm

I really like this guide! It's very extensive and informative, and written in a simple, but lively and interesting style that makes you want to read more. Also it draws a clear and original picture of the Dhani and Zinrah.

To put it in other words: This is the best advertisement I've ever seen! :D

And thank you! The part about possibilities for non-Dhani PCs to play in Zinrah actually gave me a thrilling idea for Malia's future. I didn't think that it was possible to visit the city as a non-Dhani, but apparently you can have a good amount of fun even as a visitor.
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Re: Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 26th, 2010, 8:10 pm

Thanks, Alice. That's exactly the kind of thing I was hoping people would get from it, so I consider all of that a hefty compliment.

I wrote the guide because I think it's very easy to take a first glance at Zinrah and see something like, "Brutish, xenophobic, evil snake people murderer types," and automatically decide there's really nothing of interest there. While those descriptions have different degrees of truth to them, the actual picture is far deeper and multifaceted than that, and there are tons of options lots of people might have fun with that they might not have even considered.

So, awesome. Looking forward to a visit from Malia.
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Re: Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Gossamer on March 26th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and be very blunt. I think the concept of this guide is great. I like the humor and all the information that is jam packed in it. But I have some major issues with it as well. There are two that come to mind immediately.

First and foremost I think it pokes fun and even demoralizes other races, particularly the Myrians. I know if I played a Myrian PC, I'd be a little pissed reading this thing. Since its written in an OOC way there's absolutely no need for this. If it were written IC, I can see where that would be necessary and even useful. From personal experience I know it slammed Kelvics, and that was padded by an OOC editors comment - and later totally removed, but still its just not necessary to put down the interests of others in order to build up your own interests.

Secondly, the informal language and first person narrative in this guide means it won't qualify for a wiki entry under the current wiki rules. Tarot is very clear on how things are to be presented in documentation and there are pages in the wiki that clearly outline what is suitable and what isn't. Personal narrative isn't unless its in an IC storytelling format. This doesn't mean it can't be posted in the city forum as an OOC informational thread - in which case that's fine and its more than fitting. And that might be the way you intended it. I know it reads very interestingly, entertaining, and fun. But, in presenting it the way you are Ashivirsthargon, it is clearly YOUR opinion and is represented thusly... and has not a lot of the rest of the game's opinion in it. I'd like to see some of Cayenne's thoughts in this guide and some of her input since the Dhani are her babies. I'm not sure... this is not your vision overshadowing hers and I'd like to hear her comments as well.

I love what your trying to do by promoting the city and giving the readers a clear insight on what you think Zinrah is... and how it should operate. Also, there was one point I flat out disagreed with... let me see if I can find it. Under Pros -

2. Dovetailing with #1, your character will be getting in on the ground floor of Zinrah's power curve. In other words, people who start playing there now will be the most powerful characters in Zinrah. The wave of players that come in at this time will be the ones who become the warrior chiefs, the high priestesses, and the ruling caste. Assuming you wanted to. Even if you didn't, you'll still be more powerful than people who come in later, so when they make fun of your self-imposed low social station, you can beat them to a pulp.


Okay, so by saying this THIS way... you are basically saying that all the 'original' Zinrah players are going to be the powerhouses aka 'the most powerful characters in Zinrah' and that whomever plays now will have a distinct advantage over later players. I find this horribly wrong and assuming because I guarantee there are people who can inject themselves into any established rps and rise up through the ranks to be significant players in any game anywhere regardless of length of time. I have a really big personal peeve about people being favored or stronger because they've been here longer or are more established. I think new players always have opportunities anywhere they go and are as equally important as older established players. This feels, the whole statement, a bit pushy and elitist... even exclusionary to those that come afterwards... and frankly I don't like it.

Now.. that being said... overall its a great informative informal guide.
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Re: Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 26th, 2010, 9:20 pm

Hey Goss,

Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts, and I'm glad you liked most of the guide even if there were some things you didn't like. Totally cool, and I appreciate the feedback.

One thing I should probably make clear that might address at least some of the objections or the severity of them is that I did not intend this to be a canonical publication for Miz. It's purely my own thread and my own opinions and not meant at all to go into the wiki or be promoted by Miz as official information of any kind. I'll add the word "Unofficial" to the title to clear up any misunderstanding. So, hopefully, that addresses your concern about it not being in wiki-ready format or the casual language as well as maybe making some of the other objections less immediately vital even if valid.

As to the point of slamming other races, I personally don't see it, but of course I wouldn't and would be happy to review any section or wording you thought was offensive. The Myrians are savage, warlike cannibals responsible for the genocide in Falyndar. If I have misunderstood this and have described them unfairly, I'm happy to revise. This is what I understood the wiki to say about them, and if this is wrong, I definitely want to correct it. If I have explained this in a way that is particularly insulting, I also want to correct that. I'm just saying I don't see where I've been as severe as seems clear to you as a moderator.

The main point I wanted to make with the Myrians is that it is exceptionally common for me to run into players who feel that Taloba is, essentially, the jungle version of Syliras while Zinrah is a haven of brutal evil. I believe this is grossly incorrect, but I don't want to make that point in a way that insults Myrian players, so if you could show me the places that seem unnecessarily rude, I'll refine them.

As for the Kelvic thing, there was a place where I took a very minor dig at choosing the Kelvic race in terms of it being a common player choice. I followed this with a disclaimer explaining that I was only kidding, that I played a Kelvic myself, and made it quite clear that all races and regions in Miz were just as good choices as Zinrah or the Dhani. In private conversation, you told me how this could be taken personally, and I agreed, and I changed the comment to its current form. I haven't changed it since or removed anything about it. However, I don't think referring to it -now- is a valid public criticism since you told me about it privately and I agreed and fixed it. If you still think it sounds bad, please let me know and I'll change it, again.

This may not come across well in print, but let me be completely clear. I do not at all want to deprecate other player choices and if I have actually done that or demeaned them, then I want to change that. I'm just saying I'm not seeing it, myself, and I need help seeing exactly how / where I could change that. The observations I have made about other races seem to me to be very lighthearted or rather accurate, but I wrote it, so of course I'd see it that way.

I also understand what you mean about my power curve comment. All I meant is that players who play longer who are active and are diligent in their threads will, by nature of the case, be more "powerful" and have come a longer way in all respects than someone starting up much later. That's really all I meant to say and nothing about veteran entitlement or any of that sort of thing. I see how that might be unclear, and I'll revise that part so people don't get the wrong idea.
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Re: Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Gossamer on March 26th, 2010, 9:45 pm

Ash-

Okay, I'm fine with the 'informal unofficial' like I said in my previous post, I wasn't sure what you were intending, but I thought it needed to be pointed out that there are standards of language for cannon. If you aren't intending it for cannon there's no problems whatsoever in my mind.

If an explanatory note in parenthesis that is actually almost as long as the whole introduction itself is needed to clarify one little comment in which everyone knows the word 'popular' has been used to replace 'kelvic' then there might be an issue with how you state things. This looks a lot like an apology or explanation to forthcoming offense - which should never be needed in any sort of documentation - official or unofficial. I could be wrong (and have been lots), but again yes it probably does need to be brought up. I'm standing by that. Rewording might be appropriate here. Again, same with the VART verses Wrong statement.

I'm a big fan of SHOW not TELL. Your doing a great job of showing here, but you get lost in TELLING first at times when its totally not necessary.

In terms of the Myrians... every race that is within themselves feels what they do they do for a very specific reason. Myrians follow Myri. They are her children and they feel their behaviors are in the right. Everyone is in the right, usually, in their opinions. Its how the world works.

Something that I do not get at all is how many players view the Myrians as sort of the "good guys" in the Dhani / Myrian struggle and somehow think it's easier or more realistic to RP in Taloba than Zinrah. I have to say, I think this is an enormous misconception and probably based more on the fact that Myrians are human and the Dhani aren't.

To understand what I mean, I want you to think for a moment of Nazi Germany. Now, imagine the Nazis not singling out one race, but extending their persecution to any non-Germans. Now, imagine that the Nazis are cannibals. Now, take away most of the rigid regulation. You're getting pretty close to the Myrians.

The Myrians swept through Falyndar and exterminated every non-Myrian race in it, even leaving the ruins of other cities as testimony to their power. The only reason all the Dhani aren't dead is because of a peace that Siku brokered with Caiyha to save her "children." Read the Myrian and Falyndar material in the wiki. Entire races are completely gone from Miz because of the Myrians, and if you read how Taloba deals with the remnants of other races when they find them, you'll see they revel in torture and suffering as much as the most sadistic Dhani.


1. I'm not sure anyone thinks the Myrians are the good guys. I myself think they are pretty messed up, but being inside their culture would be really fun from a players perspective and being the children of Myri I think their actions are justifiable. Anyone related to Myri, considering the Goddesses history, is totally messed up. She basically won her immortality by slaying the old god of war through the biggest ballsy move in the history (thus far written) of the Gods. Cayenne set Falyndar up in a wholly awesome manner with built in conflict and tragedy. Saying one side is right and one side is wrong (even in modern day history) can lead to problems. I'm just pointing that out at this stage. You have a really cool thing going with this writeup. I wouldn't tarnish it with an us against them - common opinion is right/wrong - because I'm not sure you have a good grasp on what common opinion is. Seems like an assumption to me that everyone thinks Myrians are better.

2. Equating the Myrians to Nazi's.... not probably the nicest thing to do ever. This is a huge leap and not even remotely appropriate. I thought that would be evident. There's better ways to show this dilema without bringing in something wholly unrelated to the game. You could bring up the history here, specific events cleared with Cayenne, etc. Plus, no one wants to offend the Jews or the Germans here. That's probably a poor choice. And I know from first hand experience that some of the Myrian players have already mentioned offense at this... and those that haven't probably are anyhow and just haven't said anything. I am their voice because I don't mind being the bad guy and pointing this out to you for them.

3. Myrans are not human. They are their own race. You should probably know that before you start dissin them. :)

As for the rest.... please heed this advice. That's all I ask. LET THE DHANI SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. You can show them to be awesome cool amazing folks without making remarks about other races in order to do so.

And I do appreciate the dialog. These aren't easy comments for me to make because I know your a wildly popular dude and people absolutely think your amazing. I do too. But someone has to be a voice here for those that aren't as popular or vocal... and that has always been my job in this game. I'm simply doing it.
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Re: Unofficial Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 26th, 2010, 10:10 pm

Hey Goss,

I'm not offended in the least. I may not see all those points exactly the same way you do, and I hope that's ok, but in no way do I feel picked on or attacked or offended or anything like that. You're a Moderator, for Caiyha's sake. If I can't handle criticism, then I shouldn't be writing stuff and posting it. ;)

In that vein, I do feel that maybe the Kelvic thing is having a bit more weight put on it than the actual statement warranted. It said nothing insulting about the Kelvic race at all. The quip was about lots of players playing Kelvics, and I took that out. I do feel that, since the guide is about how great Zinrah is, that it was worth putting in a disclaimer explicitly stating my opinion of other choices. I'll go back and change it, again, to be more generic, but I do want to note that in this specific instance, I do feel that more weight is being assigned to that comment than I really would have counted on. Maybe I'm just too used to people being jerks on the Internet for my own comments to seem remarkable. ;)

As to the Myrian side of things, I do appreciate you sharing that people had complained. I would have been perfectly happy to hear from them directly and change things accordingly, but I also understand not everyone is comfortable doing that. The last thing I want to do is actually offend people OOCly with a guide that is supposed to be helpful and occasionally funny.

The reason the Nazi analogy was used was because I wanted to effectively make the point that the Myrians are Bad Guys. Of course they believe what they're doing is right. Any force that has ever persecuted another people group believed that what they were doing was right. I'm sure that very few people, no matter how evil they are, actually believe themselves to be evil. And I would also say that if a player is uncomfortable playing a genocidal race, then they probably ought to think twice about playing Myrians, just like someone uncomfortable playing a sadistic race ought to think twice about playing the Dhani. I understand being upset by the analogy, and I would like to apologize for that and I will change it. But the point the analogy was making I believe is quite valid, and if someone were upset that I was pointing out that the Myrians have, in fact, killed and tortured various races to extinguish them from Falyndar, or that the Myrians are cannibals, I can't help that. The Myrians are those things near as I can tell. In fact, other players have complimented me on the analogy for how apt they believe it to be.

On the other hand, the analogy is not a necessary one, and I definitely had no intention of either trivializing the experience of Jews in Nazi Germany, nor did I intend for Myrian -players- to feel like I was comparing -them- to Nazis. It's obviously inflammatory and unnecessarily so, and I would like to publicly and unequivocally apologize to any Myrian players or any Miz players who are Jewish or German IRL who were offended by that analogy. No intent could have been further from my own, I truly am deeply sorry for it, and I will take it out immediately.

As for the calling Myrians human, that was an error and I will correct that. I am a new player and do not know the Myrians as well as you or others. Actually, I don't know the Dhani as well as you or others, either.

Thanks for the input. I'll make the revisions and please don't hesitate to let me know if the changes haven't satisfactorily resolved the issues.
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Re: Unofficial Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Cayenne on March 27th, 2010, 4:38 am

I apologize in advance for how long this is going to get.

Okay here. Cay's bits:

that are known for a wide diversity but have no inherent, unifying factors.


-- Syliras does have that in that it is a haven. It's a fortress. It's meant for people who want a peaceful life. Every settlement has some sort of unifying factor - else it wouldn't be a settlement.

Zinrah is pretty self-contained. Not only is it underground, all Dhani are under a Myrian death warrant if they poke their scaly heads outside the city limits. This does not make travel impossible, but it does mean it probably won't be a common reality for your character, and finding a realistic reason why your character would travel in the first place is a challenge all its own.


-- If they're smart about sneaking out... it CAN be done, if you go as a snake. Going in another form is asking to get yourself shot and killed.

and if you read how Taloba deals with the remnants of other races when they find them, you'll see they revel in torture and suffering as much as the most sadistic Dhani.


--There's one very big difference here. The Myrians don't tend to spend several hours playing with their food like the Dhani are wont to do given their opportunities and ability to eat live food at leisure. Sacrifices are often tortured for hours on end, stretched and pulled and suffocated to near unconsciousness, and 'artfully' rearranged and cut into, all the while making sure not to kill them until the final climax. The Myrians are going to cut their throats, spill their blood, and eat them. Sure, if they're making a roast, they might beat the victim to tenderize it, but usually they're unconscious pretty quick. The Myrians don't really waste time torturing unless they're wanting information.

The truth is that Taloba is just as dark and hostile concerning other races.


--Taloba is hostile, absolutely. They don't like outsiders. But if they can come up with a good reason for being there... there's a chance they may not get eaten, and they don't need a mark from a picky, elitist Alvina to do it. ;) It's also not underground and lit by glowstones, with a chance of slipping to death, and for the claustrophobes, it's not all enclosed and underground. But my point here is that there are non-Myrians (and half-breeds) who can make a decent life here. Do most get killed? Yes. There are exceptions.

In ZInrah's case


--Zinrah

Because of Zinrah's low player population, your stories can easily be supplemented with NPCs.


--Keep in mind the NPC rules in the wiki. You may want to link them. Also, there are a lot of powerful movers and shakers in Zinrah - very little of which, I admit, is known about them, because I have yet to post them, or have only made mentions of them... the Queen, the lesser Queens, the High Priestess, for example... Zinrah, while it offers a chance of PCs being high up, isn't ever going to be player-run. NPCs hold the keys to power, but how PCs access that key ring is something else.

A child of a Constrictor noble family - perhaps even the Queen, herself.


--You might want to make sure and clarify that this means of the lesser queens, not Tanabis herself... as Tanabis has no children yet. Also, I'd prefer it if they contacted me first before claiming a Queen as a mother or sister. :)

Run some kind of "establishment." The bad news is that you won't make any money. The good news is you can set up in some cavern with virtually no expenses. Even communes need their pubs, their medical centers, their massage parlors (that last one was for me).


--The priestesses/priests generally look after the medical. :)

----

Okay, now, otherwise.

When I first started working on Falyndar, I wanted a place where surviving was a major challenge in different ways for the different inhabitants.

As you know... the four main types of conflict are as follows:
  • Man vs. Man,
  • Man vs. Society,
  • Man vs. Nature, and
  • Man vs. Self

I wanted people in my area to be able to have all of those open to them in some way or form. It is not a walk in the park to survive anywhere in Mizahar, but I think, personally, the most dangerous areas, nature-wise, are probably Eyktol and Falyndar, and that's the way we designed them. All of the races in Falyndar have developed means of survival... and most are simply by 'however is necessary'.

The Myrians are not meant to be a sympathetic race, and quite honestly, neither are the Dhani. It's easy to romanticize the underdog, because that's what everyone sees themselves as, yeah? They're always the underdog. We tend to root for them. Both races are meant to be screwed up in some way, shape, or form. The Charodae were warped by the Valterrian. The Myrians are savage, territorial war-mongering cannibals... and haven't really changed at all. The Dhani are vicious shapeshifters with an appetite for torture and eating whatever form of meat they can get their hands on... who like fighting just as much as the Myrians do, but are at the brink of extinction and cannot afford an all-out battle... because Siku cannot save them in a fight against Myri, and Caiyha will not step in again. Besides, they know it drives the Myrians nuts that the Dhani are essentially sitting ducks, ripe for the plucking, and they can't do nothing about it until they leave Zinrah. If you had to sympathize for any one race in Falyndar, it would be the Charodae, who get hunted for sticking themselves on land or near it. Not only did the Valterrian totally change them, other races have discovered they taste GREAT, and they don't have the bellies for the fighting anyway.

All of which sets up to make the Dhani sympathetic, yes?

The Myrians, in their history, have ruled the jungle long before Myri united them into one group. Any outsiders they caught in 'their' area they devoured. Cannibalism wasn't something they did for fun - there was very literally a LOT of savages, and a LOT of unused meat from the constant battles. Meat spoils easily. They always liked Caiyha--no way around it, really, considering the jungle--and she doesn't approve of waste. Sure, if you leave hundreds of corpses around, your predators are going to get very fat, but you're hunting everything else instead... and so cannibalism became a very handy way of making sure you always had rations.

So historically, they have pushed everyone and everything out that isn't them. They do not like them there. So what did anyone expect them to do after this war between the gods?

If you think they're going to have tea parties with these foreign invaders, I've got a bridge in Kalea to sell you.

All of Falyndar belonged to the Myrians before the Valterrian happened. They come out from under Taloba, and found that there were THINGS living in their old ruins. It wasn't going to fly. So they did what they usually do... they got rid of them. Why? War and battle is a way of life for them. They do view the jungle as theirs. They are going to drive out or annihilate anything that they feel should not be there. The Dhani are included in this group, but they're there, and the most the Myrians can do is get rid of them when they do stick their scaly heads above Zinrah. Do Myrians like non-Myrians? Generally not. But equally, as Dhani find other races useful, the Myrians do as well. It's important to remember that they are not mindless killing machines that kill indiscriminately.

As an IC perspective, I can see the us-vs-them mentality you're trying to encourage here to show that the Dhani are 'not the bad guys'. But to the Myrian perspective, they are. They are trespassers. And Navre, one of their worshiped deities, hates his half-sister, Siku. Myrians pay a lot of homage to Navre... and some of his favourite sacrifices include Dhani. This just adds fuel to the fire.

But the point I'm trying to get across here is that neither race is really sympathetic... and there have been people saying that this guide demonizes the Myrians, even if you're not doing it intentionally, and that really spoils what is otherwise a great piece of reading for them, including the bit on WWII, which I know you've apologized for and removed. But the bottom line is, all of my races are messed up in plenty of ways.

TL;DR: I like this, and it's a WIP, but it's looking pretty good, though some things need to be adjusted and/or changed. For the most part, this is quite cohesive with Zinrah, and you've provided plenty of good ideas for new players, which is your objective. I appreciate that you want to attract non-Dhani to the place as well, but Zinrah is not easy for non-Dhani, and it was never meant to be really accessible for them. It's doable, but it's very difficult for them to pull off. I know it's hard to write something like this when the city isn't finished, but I'm glad you're making the attempt. :)
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Re: Unofficial Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Ashivirsthargon on March 27th, 2010, 6:06 am

Ok, so let me admit to what I feel is my biggest mistake in this whole thing. Calling it a "guide."

What I should have called it is "My More Detailed Than Usual Thread Designed to Give You Some New Ways to Think About Your Character and Zinrah That Are Purely My Opinions and Observations Because I Think Zinrah is Cool and This is the Discussions Area So Here Are My Opinions Enjoy Them or Disregard Them They're Not a Big Deal So I Really Don't Care."

That seemed a bit long, so I called it a "Guide." I realize now, in retrospect, that this was an enormous mistake on my part, because by calling it a "Guide," it appears that I am trying to submit some kind of official document that other people are supposed to accept as an authoritative representation of Zinrah and how to RP there as opposed to something more along the lines of "Why I Like Zinrah and It Would Be Cool if You Thought So, Too."

I am not trying to solicit feedback or critique on the nature of the document, itself. Discussion is fine and great - that's what this forum is for. People can and have expressed disagreement with my views and that's 100% cool. But I'm really not looking for suggestions for revision. And it's not because I don't care about improving it or that people haven't made great points. In fact, I look at that post Cayenne just made and I'm both amazed and flattered that someone would expend that much effort into commenting on what I wrote.

The reason I'm not trying to get feedback is that this is not meant at all to be any kind of lore, or canonical statements, or the Official View of Zinrah, or the Official View of Taloba, or My Version of Zinrah's Lore Forget What Cayenne Thinks, or the Reasons Why Myrians are Horrible People Both IC and OOC or any of the other things about it that have been directly stated, implied, or belonging to any genre besides "personal post" that would merit such a high level of scrutiny, critique, and reaction. It is merely a series of posts reflecting why I believe there is a lot of potential in Zinrah that people at large might not be aware of, and the ONLY reason I even mentioned Myrians at all is because it is relatively common for me to hear players be perfectly willing to send their character to Taloba but be very afraid to send them to Zinrah -as if- there is some large qualitative difference in how the two areas view other races and -all I intended to show- was that they are actually reasonably similar in that specific way. I have a deep respect for the Myrian players we have, and a deep regard for them OOCly as people and as friends, and if I haven't demonstrated that in my brief time, here, then I guess I don't know what to tell you.

I did NOT mean that the Myrians are the most evil thing on the planet. NOT that the Dhani are their moral superiors. In fact, I state this -extremely- clearly in the guide, itself and have done so even more blatantly in response to people's concerns.

That is my personal take on the Myrian race's treatment of other races and that is all that represents. Full. Stop. Maybe I'm completely out to lunch on the Myrians, and that's 100% fine. Cayenne did an outstanding job of outlining a number of details that would counter my own opinions and that's absolutely great. Heck, people can write their own "Guides" and I was hoping they might. But all this grief and backlash about how my guide demonizes other players and is offensive and hurts people's feelings and demoralizes new players and all this other stuff - look. All I was doing was stating my own views of the Myrian attitude to other races. That's it. That. Is. It. My opinion on the foreign policy of a completely fictional people group that has no authoritative or definitive power whatsoever.

If this is somehow deeply emotionally upsetting to someone, then I'm sorry, but I think that someone is overreacting. People say things about the Dhani being evil on a regular basis in both joking and non-joking contexts, and it does not upset me, because A) that's their opinion which I am not obligated to hold, B) the Dhani are not my actual race in real life and therefore is not a personal insult of any kind, and C) they're pretty much correct in broad brush strokes even if I might disagree on some of the details, and if I have a problem with the Dhani being portrayed as evil, then I should probably play something else rather than get terribly offended that somebody out there might think this horrible, sadistic race who is pretty much anti-everyone else is a horrible, sadistic race who is pretty much anti-everyone else. If I had any clue about the firestorm my pointing out that the Myrians are bad to other races - something I assumed was reasonably obvious from the wiki - I never would have mentioned them at all, and believe me, I totally regret saying anything I ever thought about them. All the other things that are being attributed to me about implying that the Myrians don't have any valid reasons for their behavior or what not - those things are not things I said or even implied. The racial justifications Myrians have for their own culture belong in a Guide to Taloba and are completely outside the scope of anything I was trying to speak about. I -thought- I was painstakingly clear in the guide that I wasn't saying the Myrians were worse than the Dhani, but I guess I wasn't.

People are just being way too serious about this.

And I take some blame for this because, once again, my opinions were posted under a rubric that made it look like I was angling for some kind of official, authoritative, publication, and you can be sure that I wish I had some kind of time machine so I could visit Ash's player two days ago and say, "Dude, I know you're thinking you're just writing a funny and cool advertisement for Zinrah, but people are going to go ballistic on some of this stuff. They will tell you in private that they love your guide and then complain about you behind your back or otherwise rake you over the coals. It will not be interpreted the same way other posts other people make all the time are, because your structure and title and everything suggest a "Work" and not a "post." You will not get the benefit of the doubt. You will not be interpreted in the most charitable manner possible, but instead, anything you might say that could possibly even remotely look like you might be speaking poorly of someone else will be taken as a grave insult. I'm telling you, just keep doing what you're doing being a good Dhani player and watch people trickle into Zinrah and don't do anything more elaborate than that, because, dude, it is SO not worth it."

And it absolutely has not been worth it, and I really don't know what to do at this point. The only reason I don't just take the whole thing down is because that seems kind of petulant and childish to me, and I like to think of myself as neither. Also, I think there's good information and I wish I hadn't screwed up that good information by poking lighthearted fun at other areas of Miz or stating my own opinions about relationships with other races. I'll leave it up to the Mods to decide what to do with it, as I will not be revising it further. I think it is just fine as it is. I actually thought it was just fine in its initial form, but I wanted to be responsive to what I thought were valid reasons someone might get upset. But we are seriously getting into territory that I feel is just putting way way WAY more weight and intentionality into my posts that I ever dreamed they should merit, and where I have contributed to that, I am quite sorry in every sense of the word.

It is not a work in progress in any sense other than I had planned on adding more stuff to it as I went. It is not something I planned to revise to be "publication worthy" because it was never intended to be anything other than thought-provoking Discussion material posts and, like I said, I regret the misunderstanding here. I hope this clears things up. If people want to continue discussing what they do and don't like about the posts or places where they agree or disagree, that's totally fine with me. Perhaps I, too, am being too emotional and overreacting. I totally own up to such a criticism. It's been a hard week for me in a lot of ways and I'm super-tired, and I'll probably wake up in the morning and think about this specific post and go, "Dear god, why did I do that?" But to be honest, I feel, along with our nameless mystery Myrian friends, that I myself am not being viewed in an entirely fair light along certain lines that have been brought up and way too much is being read into what I said despite numerous clarifications, revisions, and disclaimers.

I'm just going to go back to my caverns and try to forget I ever posted this. I am very very sorry for all the trouble and passion it caused. I am very sorry for putting Goss and Cayenne in awkward positions. I never would have foreseen it, but it was a good lesson to me, and I will be way more selective and circumspect about how I discuss these kinds of things in the future.
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Ashivirsthargon
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Re: Unofficial Prospective Player's Guide to Zinrah

Postby Aneira Haimati on March 27th, 2010, 3:02 pm

I thought it was best not to post anything at this point and add fuel to the fire, but I'm pretty taken aback, so I will. What I don't intend to do is cause more argument. What I do want to do is to say some good things about this piece of writing, and preface it by saying I can understand some of the various concerns.

I understand that the Administrators are always looking to be the balance, and that is a great part of what makes Mizahar so successful this far, and a truly enjoyable place to be. It's fair. There is room for everyone. No one is favored. That's important, and things stay organized this way. So, in that light, I understand some of these concerns, and there are certainly some things that are very reasonable and deserve consideration, which I think Ash happily addressed. I am not attacking the Admins.

I just think that the way this has blown up is a real shame, because what Ash wrote is, overall, a great piece of work that is very inspiring and insightful. This is a place where players take a massive part in expanding and enriching the world and what's already in place, and not just through roleplaying itself. With that said, I totally understand the precautions the Admins need to take when less, um, talented and innovative people try to take the reigns a bit too much, and add things that are just way off track (especially for official bits) but I just don't get it, here.

I thought he tweaked what was possibly offensive, and it was all groovy. I thought his Editor's Note was more than appropriate, humble, and clarifying, and gave a very lighthearted tone to the rest of the piece. I thought the twists he might have added - which, as far as I could tell, were not straying far, if at all, from what is already in place about the Dhani, Myrians, or Zinrah - were thought-provoking. And if they did stray too far, he changed them. I thought the style and content were very engaging, and that anyone who plays a race mentioned within it would be able to laugh along and appreciate any playing around or poking fun.

The criticisms were accepted very gracefully and changes were implemented. I think it's really unfortunate that such creative expression is being judged so harshly, and taken so seriously that it actually disgusted or hurt people. And, having known Ash in a few different gaming worlds and having seen a great bit of his writing, I think I can safely say that he could write this "guide" about any race or region and approach it just the same way, poking lighthearted fun at races he plays and loves, and not intending to cause offense to anyone. I really don't think it should've been taken as though he had a personal agenda against the Myrians.

Mostly, I think that a few "off" matters threw this whole piece into a negative light, when it deserves quite the opposite. It is full of entertainment and information at once. It's a smooth read that provides just enough laughs to counter such a huge amount of great, solid information. It's an opinionated piece that displays a lot of passion and promise for an entire region and an entire race. I would hate to see this sort of writing discouraged in the community.

And Ash, as you have edited any offensive matters, I hope that you won't take it down.
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