Award The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

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IC News travels slowly in Mizahar. Fortunately there is a constant stream of news from around campfires, from caravan to caravan and from merchants to merchants. Within this forum lies the best of the best of this talk. Also, within this forum, OOC news from the staff and players can be found. This forum requires all posts to be 'approved' by a Founder before they are displayed. So if you post within, be patient. Your post did display - it simply will not show to everyone until approved as actual 'news'. Please keep all Introductions, Status Updates, and various other discussions in their appropriate forums and leave this area for game news!

The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Gossamer on April 1st, 2018, 8:33 pm

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Hello Fellow Mizaharians!

Keeping with our tradition, the Founders Circle and Regional Storytellers are proud to announce that the Featured Contributor of the Month of April 2018 is Luminescence! Luminescence is one of our intrepid Character Sheet Liaisons. This is a somewhat thankless job that doesn't often make people popular because you spend your day telling people how to improve or fix their Character Sheets. But Anti works hard. So please join us in welcoming her to the elite club of Featured Contributor! Her interview is below!


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The Interview



1. Basically, the Character Sheet Liaison is the first line of welcome on Mizahar. How important do you see this role and how do you think it helps the site as a whole?

CSLs are a vital part of Mizahar; they definitely get a lot of love, but I think people don't quite realize how much work it actually is. I know I didn't until I actually started working as one. As we all know, Miz has a LOT of lore, and it can definitely get overwhelming to sort through as a newbie, which is where CSLs come in. Of course Storytellers are more than capable of helping out, and they often do as well, but they can't take the time to guide every new player by hand; they're busy with ST stuff.

If I could liken it to anything, it's sort of like being the wise old mentor in an RPG game, prepping players to go off on their adventure at the start. It's not just about going through character sheets and saying you did x, y, and z wrong; it has a lot to do with guiding players to where they can find information and teaching them the rules so they can enjoy Mizahar to the fullest without aggravating themselves (or their STs).


2. How did you first discover online roleplaying and subsequently Mizahar? What kept you here?

I was probably around 12 when I first discovered online RPing. I was really big into the virtual pet scene at that age, and one site I was on (I think it was called howrse or something similar) also had forums. I managed to stumble across a forum that had a RP; I had always enjoyed writing even as a kid, so this was a really exciting discovery for me. I stayed on that site for a bit, then decided to branch out via google; lo and behold, Mizahar was one of (if not the) top results. I was still pretty young at this point, and I had a few friends I often RPed with over Skype, so I convinced them to join with me.

That was a mistake on my part, honestly; I let them influence the way I wrote and what I did and ended up not having the best time. They all drifted away from Miz, so I made some new PCs and gave it another shot on my own. It was a lot more fun, but for reasons I can't really remember, I also ended up drifting. Over the next few years I thought of it every so often, but I was always really busy. Recently though, I decided to say screw that, and threw myself back into it; and here I am! I think the originality is what kept me thinking of Mizahar; RPs based on shows or books or whatnot are plentiful and not very memorable. Mizahar was something new and exciting.


3. What do you think the biggest problem new players have in joining the site? Is it the character sheet or are there deeper issues?

Listing 'Cloak or Coat' under their possessions. *Deadpan look*

But in all seriousness, I think the CS is probably the biggest problem simply because of how much information you have to go through to make one. It can be easy to get confused or miss things; I've been pleasantly surprised though, I admit. The majority of sheets I've corrected have been really well done with only a few minor mistakes, so props to all our new players for that!

That being said, there are a few people that seem to have trouble with the concept of Mizahar itself, don't bother reading the rules, try to do what they want, and then get angry when staff steps in. They're rare, but they exist; I think that's more of an issue on their part, though. In any case, it's usually good entertainment. :P

4. This might be a somewhat generic question, but it is an absolutely important one. What made you want to volunteer to be a CSL and did you find the role as you suspected it would be? What parts of your role as CSL are as you assumed and what parts are different?

Characters are and always have been my favourite part of writing. I made it a habit early on to just scroll through some of the character sheets for fun, and I'd always get excited when a new one was posted. I even found myself picking up the mistakes that were being made. I decided very quickly that I wanted to help give back to Mizahar as much as possible, because it's such a great site and the staff can use all the help possible; so being a CSL seemed the natural choice. Storytelling was too intimidating for me to even consider at that point in time.

Being a CSL is mostly as I expected; it was a lot of what I'd already been doing on my own for fun, which was going through new sheets and picking out any mistakes. It's also a lot more work than I expected, though, as I mentioned earlier. I wasn't expecting to actively be in such a mentor role; not only was I correcting people, I was guiding them, and I was answering a lot of questions. I really enjoy it, though. It's satisfying to see new people getting the hang of Mizahar and it makes me really happy to be able to watch others enjoy it as much as I do.

5. How has your experiences as a PC influenced how you behave as a CSL. Give us some examples!

Creating and playing a PC has definitely influenced some of the things I do and look for as a CSL; the biggest thing that comes to mind is history and skills, as well as heirlooms.

Skills and history should generally be in line as a rule anyway; we all know that nobody with 10 experience points in a weapon could take on a whole horde of Zith by themselves. More than that though, your history should reflect skills you've picked up. This became a lot more clear to me the more I wrote and realized just how much skills and their levels affect things; I encourage players to take skills that make sense because of their history even if they won't necessarily use them. An example with one of my own PCs; she spent a fair amount of time with the Drykas, so even though she likely won't have use for it any time soon (if ever), I put some of her SP experience points towards horse riding. It only made sense; she wouldn't have gotten very far otherwise.

The other thing is heirlooms. I don't always say anything, because people are usually fairly set on the heirlooms they pick; but I can't recommend enough taking an heirloom that is actually useful. Useful doesn't necessarily mean it has to be equipment or a weapon! But it should definitely either do something for your PC, or contribute to their story in some way or another.


6. Is there anything you’d like to see the players gamewide become more involved in? Why?

Quests!!! I cannot stress this more; please get involved with the quests and events your STs set up! Last season was really awesome in regards to this; there were some great quests going on with a lot of participation, but I would love to see that more. I think it's so so sad when quests don't get a lot of interest. Storytellers work really hard on coming up with them and trying to make them fun and engaging for the players, and writers and PCs both can get a lot out of quests. So get involved in quests! If you can't for whatever reason, then I suggest at least mentioning to your ST that you were interested or that you like the idea; I can guarantee you that they'll appreciate it.

7. What is your favorite part of Mizahars operating system - meaning how it functions as a game? What keeps you coming back numerous years?

I think the way skills work is really great. While Mizahar is focused a lot on writing, it is still a game; and getting tangible rewards for the writing you do is really satisfying. It's awesome watching your PC get better at things as you go along, and I find I like it better than the classic 'level up and gain X amount of points' system. Lores are probably my absolute most favourite thing though. They're not always super useful, but there's just something about them that's really fun; I love seeing how many I can collect.

I think the mix between being writing based but still having a system for rewards is something that definitely keeps me attached to Miz; a lot of other RPs just focus on the writing, and while collaborative storytelling is fun, it can get kind of boring. Mizahar makes it easy to get out of writing slumps because you want to keep improving your PC.

8. If you could share something about Mizahar that you think makes it stand out from other games, what would it be?

Maybe a bit of a generic or broad answer, but I think the detail is something that makes Mizahar stand out a lot. While I love the originality, there are other RP sites with original settings and even races; but they lack the detail Mizahar does. There's so much lore that a lot of it has yet to be fleshed out, but what is tends to be very in-depth. Not only is it useful and helpful for in-game stuff, but it also really shows how much effort and passion went into creating and establishing everything about Miz, and I love that. It's not something I've seen anywhere else.


9. What is the number one biggest problem you see on Character Sheets and how would you suggest we as a game-wide community help correct it?

There's nothing really specific that I see as a problem a lot; if anything, I think the most common problem for new players in their CS is trying to force a pre-determined concept into Miz, or into a city where it won't fit. People tend to have a concept for a character already in mind before they start delving too deep into the lore on races and cities, and as a result, they try to force things that don't quite work, which can discourage them and frustrate the STs.

I'd say the community already does their best to avoid this and help correct it; everyone in chat is always super helpful, so I can only advise you all to keep doing what you're doing. If you see this happening (or think you do), the best thing to do is to mention that each city works differently and so some concepts don't always work everywhere, and then point the player in question to the city's ST.

10. Histories arguably might be the hardest section of a CS that players have to fill out. Do you have any tips or suggestions on how to deal with your character’s history?

It's super tempting to write some crazy, dramatic, and insanely detailed backstory for your PC. We all want to have 'cool' characters with awesome (and probably tragic) histories; but I think the biggest piece of advice I could give for writing a PC's history is to keep it simple.

You should do research into your character's race and city you chose to be born/raised in to make sure you're sticking to the lore; you also need to keep in mind your PC's skill levels when writing your history because no, you did not kill an entire colony of Zith on your own with only 10 XP in Unarmed Combat. But outside of that, don't go wild and make anything overly elaborate. Not only is it just easier, but it gives you room to play with your character concept as you and your PC grow and evolve. If you really want to flesh out your background with details, then you can write flashbacks; doing it that way also lets you get to know your character better.

11. This next question is your soap box. Use this space to talk about whatever it is that’s on your mind. People actually read these interviews so know that this section will get noticed.

I just want to really sincerely say thank you to both the other staff members and the players alike; as Antipodes said in her soapbox last month, it's really humbling to be asked to do this. I haven't been on staff all that long, but everyone has been so encouraging and welcoming. I'm still feeling my way around being a ST as it's a lot different than being a CSL, and you've all been really patient with me as I do so. (Especially you fellow STs; I'm sure I've asked a few dumb questions already, and there will definitely be more to come haha)

Mizahar is amazing, and I love it, and am so glad to be a part of it. It's so fun to be able to write here and be involved with the community. I want to give back to this site as much as I can, and I hope to be around for a long time to do so. Writing with all of you has been a lovely experience so far, and I can only see it getting better; I'm excited to see where we're all heading. :nod:

~Lumi :idea:

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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Madeira Craven on April 2nd, 2018, 2:19 am

Well deserved, Lumi!
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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Rook on April 2nd, 2018, 3:29 am

Congratulations Lumi!!!
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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Kreig Messer on April 2nd, 2018, 3:41 am

Congrats Lumi! *Curls up in lap*
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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby K'irr Darkwater on April 2nd, 2018, 10:30 am

Congrats, love.. very much deserved! So happy to have you as part of the team; your help has been absolutely invaluable <3 Looking forward to seeing you make your mark on Lhavit!!
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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Prophet on April 2nd, 2018, 11:19 am

Way to go, Lumirope!
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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Shane Wallsly on April 3rd, 2018, 2:06 pm

Congratulations, Anti. I've seen only the surface of all the things you do around here and I'm already impressed.
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The Featured Contributor For April 2018 Is...

Postby Allassanachassanya on April 5th, 2018, 9:04 pm

Super well done Lumi, and lovely interview! I'm looking forward to your new escapades as an ST. :D
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