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Since the upgrade, There have been issues of some post and threads vanishing among many other issues that are being worked on. If you have a post or thread that does not show up, contact a moderator to have the issue fixed. It may happen periodically to some members. These issues are of course, being worked on. For more information on what is going on, see this post by Mahz, or the Admin Changelog.
For this issue's interview we spoke with ★LunaLight★, GM of the long running RP "The Art of Magic", for which she wrote an article explaining the Combat Mechanics she made for the RP, as well as being the hostess of Luna's place, a social thread in the Member's lounge. As the interview progress it became evident that her organizational skills were one of her biggest strengths as a GM, alongside her friendly, positive attitude. Check out the interview and see if you are inspired by anything she has to say, This GM certainly was.
We really appreciate all the time that the interviewees put into these interviews, be sure to let them know if you enjoyed it. Want to re-read one of these great interviews again? They are all put into this thread for easy locating.
We are actively looking for GM's to interview (the list is getting rather small) so if you know of one you'd love to see interviewed please PM their name to Lillian Thorne.
Lillian What do you feel is your most successful RP?
★LunaLight★The Art of Magic(TAoM) is by far my most successful RP. TAoM is currently full, containing 12 Rpers, and I have a few requesting to be waitlisted. Not only is it my largest and longest running RP, but it also has kept a good tempo despite being such a large group. In the Summer, I had players posting once every three days, and now it is once a week. It really is a rare thing for an RP to remain posting regularly after the initial hype, so I would say that is a good sign that TAoM is going to last.
LillianWhat do you see as the reason for its success?
★LunaLight★Attempting to keep it brief:
1. The Cast- They are dedicated, aren't afraid to ask questions, take above average interest in the Rp, take pride in their characters, and above all are able to rise to or above my high expectations for them. I am very happy to have them.
2. Effort- I have put, and continue to put a lot of work into maintaining the thread. I have created an entirely unique magical combat system just for the purpose of TAoM, and created a guide. Also, I am on as frequently as possible to respond quickly. It is my opinion that it is the job of a good GM to put forth the most effort towards the launch, betterment, and continuation of the thread.
3. Continuous Improvement- I am always trying to find ways to make TAoM better. The Rp actually failed twice before, but each time it came back more thought out. Even now that I've found something that clearly works, I still experiment and request user feedback. I want my thread to be the best it can be.
4. Sense of Community- TAoM allows players a lot of freedom and flexibility through both the IC and OOC. Rping is a great way to see new ideas, network, and just have fun. The interactions I have with my Rpers are all meaningful, and I can honestly think of them as my friends. The amount of loyalty and trust between me and my roleplayers is what I believe makes me feel the need to go out of my way for them.
5. Zata sama- My Co-GM Zata has been around a while, and I trust him with anything and everything. He has been with me for over a year now, and was a large part of why I took an interest in the idea of a magic school. He helped me learn how to make better characters and posts. He has even helped me through real life struggles. I could have no better person to Co-GM my Rp because I know that even if I am cut off from RpG for a month he will be able to keep it going.
Lillian What inspired you to GM in the first place?
★LunaLight★I was inspired to GM by Zelpheon when I first joined the guild. I was still a shy little noob who had never done a Rp before, yet I already had an idea for a story. It was with his encouragement that I set up my first Rp. It failed miserably, but it managed to get to the IC launch, so it opened me up to what GMing was like and most importantly taught me the skills I lacked to be an effective GM. So I spent a few months just trying to learn the basics from other GMs, and then once I got a grip on things started trying my hand at GMing again. I've failed a number of times, but each time, I just thought back to that first experience. Knowing that I can always become better if I am willing to learn from my failures is what continues to make me enjoy GMing, and I owe that to Zelpheon for encouraging me to put out my ideas back when I was new.
LillianHow clearly do you plot your RP, do you plan for an end?
★LunaLight★I always have a plan for the major plot events, especially the end, but a majority of the plot is planned very shortly after players act or a plot action suggested by a player is acted on. Letting players suggest what happens next allows for a range of creativity far exceeding my own, and it is simply more fun. I wouldn't say that it is smart to make up everything as you go along because plots are always better when there is a clear connection between events; however, a flexible plot in which you are able to modify based on player input can be a valuable tool. I plan my plot as a flagged progression(the line shows the more subtle events going on that are only hinted at towards the players, while flags represent an event in which players are directly effected), so that way if I want a new event, I just stick it somewhere on the line. To more directly answer the question, my plots are very well thought out, but easily subject to change.
Lillian You sound really organized. Do you have specific organizational tips for Aspiring GM's, such as a way you organize your OP?
★LunaLight★I am going to say that every RP deserves a personalized organization system, but there are a few tricks anyone can use. First of which, make your OP a tool, not information to be memorized. Many GMs make an information dump that they expect everyone to read entirely, but it is proven that walls of text scare away potential new recruits as well as make it harder for current players to find relevant information. Instead, make an effort to say things in an effective manner, separating up your material into easy to handle hiders. Place the most commonly used information at the top, and least used at the bottom. Also, try playing around with the formatting and asking your cast for their opinion, after all, it is them who you are trying to help. When applicable, tables are a great way of organizing information. Sora explains how they work here. Lastly, the latest trick I've come up with is having a newcomer's package. It contains everything someone would need to join the RP in a nice little hider at the bottom so that current players don't have to bother with that information. If you are doing things right, the player should not need to read everything, but always know where to find the information. When answering questions that were already answered in the OP, don't get mad, just respectfully answer their question and then direct them to that part of the OP so that your cast becomes increasingly self managing.
Lillian How much control of the story do you allow your players?
★LunaLight★So long as they don't break any rules, players are only limited by their ability to create material. I have to approve any new NPCs, locations, and plot events, but it isn't so much for me to decide if I want to use it or not. The reason I require approval is so that I can help expand on the idea, I can add it to my plot diagram, and possibly fix up small hiccups.
Lillian How have you handled the inevitable dropouts?
★LunaLight★Simple, I write them out. I actually can avoid/predict most dropouts because of my harsher screening process. When a long term member leaves, it is a bit harder, but I can take control of their character long enough to write them out. More often than not, I blame everything on the school counselors .
Lillian What is your Screening Process?
★LunaLight★My screening process involves a detailed scan of their post history, previous RPs, and join date. Whenever a user is under a week old or has under 25 posts to their name, I always ask them to check back in at a later time before accepting their character. This is because new members who intend to stay will stick around a few extra days, but the ones that don't will quickly get bored and never be seen again. Furthermore, you don't want a crowd of only new members as they are more likely to leave or have bad habits. Don't exclude new members entirely as they are a valuable asset, but don't over invest in them because you have no real way of knowing how they will behave since they have no posting history. Checking through the post history, make sure they match your expectations of site activity, and more importantly look to make sure they don't have a habit of vanishing. I have often found gaps of several months in people's history, and looking at their Rps, they never rechecked in. These people are more than likely going to vanish again, so tread cautiously with this kind of Rper. Regardless of why they left, Rps can only handle so many vanishing players before they are forced to restart. Lastly, I ask for a CS higher quality than the standard post. The amount of effort someone puts into their character will carry through to their initial excitement about the Rp as well as serve as a double check that they can post at the level they say they can.
Lillian Have you encountered any Problem players or trouble between players and if so how have you handled it?
★LunaLight★Yes, despite all my precautions, I still have had problem Rpers, the most common of which is metagame and whiners. Whiners are the kind of people who make a real fuss when you tell them they need to change something. These people are very rude, and try to make you feel bad for them by lying through their teeth. The only real way to handle these is to kick them out, and if they continue whining report them. It is a bad idea to be a weak GM, but always try to be as fair as you can be. Part of the reason I have a Co-GM is so I can differentiate between when I am being difficult, and the other person is being disrespectful. For metagamers, I usually tell them over private messages that their character is using information he/she shouldn't have. Metagaming, unlike other forms of problem Rping, is most often not intentional. It is often a result of the person attempting to insert themselves into their character on some level, and leaving a small slip up. It is a bad idea to embarrass people by pointing out their mistakes in the OOC, unless it is just something simple, or it is a mistake others are likely to make. Most instances of metagaming have been cleared up for me simply by having a peaceful talk over PMs. The key to handling anyone is to be calm, be fair, look out for the thread's best interests, and stay in control of the situation. I have yet to have any major conflict between my cast, but if I did, I remember Zata sama stopped a really big conflict in an Rp I did not GM in the past. From what I observed, having a sense of authority, and making quick and powerful judgement was an effective way to cut the losses.
Lillian What was your biggest mistake and what did you learn from it?
★LunaLight★I would say that my largest mistake concerning GMing was trying to make a Rp which relied entirely on the players to provide plot events. The fact of the matter is that people join Rps because they want the GM to have a well thought out idea, and they want that GM to keep things orderly and interesting. If you haven't put any effort into your idea, expect a lot of problems to pop up later on. On the other side, putting a lot of information on a page is not effort, when I put too much to read I scared away a large number of players. What the majority players really appreciate is when the GM is able to condense information in a way that is easy to understand, and I'm still learning how to become better at that.
Lillian Do you take a hands on or hands off approach to GMing? i.e. do you have characters you run that are a little bit more than NPC's
★LunaLight★I am actually a part of my Rp. My character is just as much affected by the plot as anyone else. However, both me and Zata sama have one teacher character which is highly powered, and does help quite a bit for steering the plot and dropping hints. Though more often than not, plot events are discussed in the OOC, and reacted to IC. I would say that my GMing style is about allowing for players to decide how they would like to see things work out with the occasional surprise to keep everyone on their toes. It works well for slice of life, so that element shows up in all my Rps.
LillianWhat would be the best bit of advice you would give a new GM about how to run a successful RP?
★LunaLight★This is going to sound really corny but... If I had to pick out one thing I saw in every successful Rp, it would be that people were involved in the story. By encouraging people to share, and making an idea in which people can unleash their creative outlet, the GM provides a medium in which people can connect to on multiple levels. GMing is quite the challenge because you have to make everyone accepted care about their role in the story enough to keep them coming back regardless of other factors. And the funny thing is, people have found a lot of different ways to make it happen. Some Rps have their own chatroom, OOC chatter, creative works, social groups, and I've even seen one with a fanfic. Somehow someway, all the really successful Rps display interaction beyond just the IC. Figuring out how to bring out this extra level of connection is really something that just comes with experience, and if you are lucky just happens to pop up all on its own. Personally, I try to bring it out by sincerely caring for others, and I just hope that if I care enough, I might just have the feelings returned. I advise new GMs to find a way you enjoy running things, an idea that you are really interested in, and friends to call on who support your ideas and GMing style. And lastly, I wish them good luck and an open mind.
Role Playing News
Featured Interest Checks
Title: Cowboys and Angels RP
I came up with this after listening to the song Cowboys and Angels by David Lynch. The rp takes place in the old west, and is about a bunch of cowboys, their guardian angels, and some demons trapped in the bodies of bandits, cowboys, or other people in the old west.
Title: Ascension - Adventures Revisited
Ascension - Adventures Revisited is a revise of the pretty popular RP created around 8 months ago on this forums. The RP used a different system compared to the others you'll see here - it involved unique party VS party action, puzzle solving and combats etc. After the first trial, a few bugs in the system were discovered. I plan to iron out the kinks in the system, and revise the gameplay to handle the different scenarios in RPing. Hopefully, this revision would prove to be even more successful than the previous one.
Interactive RP & Concept
Welcome to the interest check for Ascension - Adventures Revisited. The RP here uses a unique system/concept created roughly 8 months back to add more interactivity to the RP genre. The original idea revolved around the element of time, and how it affects people's posts and how the roleplays eventually turned out. The system also pitted the factions of the Dumitru & Seraph against each other, with RPers from each faction facing off each other to reach the goals first.
Puzzles, traps and obstacles needed to be overcome to progress the missions (and occasionally had nice rewards) . Failure often resulted in delays, and other penalties.
The revised version of the concept will still focus on time as a major element - failure to figure out the puzzle, react to a situation etc will automatically garner a certain outcome etc. A dragon's tail whip may knock your character off balance, or rolling stones could block your path etc.
However, we will be removing the concept of groups of players playing against each other. We felt that it could help speed the RP up, and allow the players to move along at a comfortable pace. The previous version required ALL members of a party to post, before the GM could reply. That led to one (or two) less active players delaying the whole team. This made the game less enjoyable for the others, and we felt that it would be beneficial to everyone, as a whole, to revise this concept. Players will form groups, and go against 'AI controlled' parties now instead. Characters will also be independent of each other, and replies will be largely individual-based, rather than group based. This will also reward the more active ones, and the ones that post with greater detail.
Also, what do you guys think on awarding quest rewards, based on character's contribution, post quality, creativity, activeness etc?
Any other suggestions too?
Your story will most probably take place in a fantasy world, with medieval technology, with magical spells available to the properly trained. RPers will start in a city/town/village, and the world will eventually unfold as the game progresses. It won't be totally open world, but players would often be given multiple choices for travel destinations (won't be streamlined).
Feel free to add your suggestions, ideas and comments below. Also, do give a +1 vote if you're interested
Title: Don't Turn Out the Lights - a Supernatural RP
I'm new to the site - RPG'd on other forums and wanted to pitch my idea somewhere big that's solely based on RPG's!
DTOTL will be a Supernatural horror about a small group within the SDU (Supernatural Defense Unit) which is a division of the military that hunt and kill the supernatural. This team will be some of the elite members and will be based in Los Angeles, taking on everything from Werewolves to Wendigos. Unlike other RPG's we will work in story arcs, much like a TV show, which highlight a certain threat before moving on to another.
EDIT: Since there hasn't been much interest I figured I'd give a better idea of the plan. Basically each character on the team will be of a certain skillset (Swordsman, Marksman, Stealth, Boxer, Demolitions expert etc.) and will have their individual personality. As well as hunting demons there will be side plots - whether that be romances or filler missions. The fighting scenes won't just be guns but in-depth martial arts, which is quite difficult if you aren't used to writing these type of scenes as it's very hard to make the scenes vivid and as realistic as you may wish. There can be a blend of genders in the team, a friend of mine whose already involved is Female and will be playing a bipolar tech-expert called Harper, played by Emma Stone.
That's right, we give our characters actors. This is so everyone is easier to visualize. To add to the detail I also have a website where the information on the DTOTL universe will be kept, such as Character Bios (which will be very detailed), Locations and Creatures, so we can all have easy access to the information we need. As a team we will suggest and criticize ideas on story lines but sometimes I will keep back the result of a plan to add an element of mystery for the characters too. We won't just be handling petty creatures but thinks like Cults dedicated to demons, the Apocalypse, the Vampire hierarchy, Hybrids, government corruption, going undercover. We will be more of a Black-operations team than just a few soldiers. In fact, the SDU is closer to the FBI than the Army. In between missions we will have homes, spend time at HQ and do civillian things. Elements of romance and comedy will also be in the mix, letting your character really have a 3-Dimensional personality rather than being a killing machine. Think parties, drinks at the bar, health problems, helping NPC's. This won't just be an RPG but we will be the characters, we will be inside the lives of our creations and save the world from satanic threats. This isn't Lord of the Rings, this isn't Twilight, this is Don't Turn Out The Lights.
I suppose another key fact is this will be in 1st person. I'm guessing a lot of you are used to 3rd - overviewing your character. No, this time you will be your character, the 1st person view giving room for infinite development and showing the thoughts of the characters.
With DTOTL I hope to set a very epic tone, yet still keep it grounded (what it'd be like if the SDU were in the modern world).
As for the writing, we'll be focusing more on character development & awesome writing skills, not just doing a paragraph each post but going into fine detail and really putting in effort. I hope to carry this on for a very long time so commitment and dedication will be needed.
If you're fans of such things as Supernatural, Flashpoint and The Unit, this is going to those shows all muddled together to create the perfect mix of horror, mystery, action and drama. I already have a few writers onboard so I'm really looking for the highest standard to join the team.
As for joining up, it's a matter of applying. Just send me a PM with a short story (any length but a few paragraphs is fine) that MUST include a supernatural/paranormal element, one emotional scene and one fight scene. Feel free to tie these together in any way you want. From your entry, I'll decide whether you're in.
Title: Blackstar Academy
Welcome to Blackstar Academy! This isn't your average College no this is a College for magical and mystical beings. The Headmistress and owner had control of the College till things settled down and she handed some things like fund-raising, events, parties, etc. over to the Student Council. For a time the Student Council was made up of the Presidents from each Sorority, but now the Witches and Wizards has taken control over the Student Council. So the school is now ran by the Witches and Wizards, but not for much longer. the Presidents and other members that has been in the college for over a year has seen first hand what has happened since the Witches and Wizards took over the Student Council and now their planning on taking back the College. Which side are you on?
Title: Rosario X Vampire: Yokai's New Troop
It all started when a letter arrived...
Greetings students you have been accepted to your first year here at Yokai Academy! You will now get a chance to enjoy a world without humans getting involved in your everyday lives. At this school you will learn how to interact with the humans once you leave and together we will make a world where everyone can live together be it they are monsters or humans. We hope you will enjoy your stay here but remember...becareful....this school is known for having violent students...don't stray to far from the school grounds or otherwise the rules won't save you.
The school for monsters, by monsters, and only for monsters. The school known as Yokai Academy had sent these notes to all year students with various changes depending on year. The day has finally arrived it was a bright sunny day near the shore with that normal sea salt in the air and everyone was excited for their first day of school. No humans to insult you, scare you, mock you, and or hurt you.
A group of new first years to the school are now about to go on a journey that will test them as their Headmaster Dr. Jon Squire watching them and Mr. Ren Sashi as their homeroom teacher they will have one interesting year.
Title: Surviving: The End (Season 2)
A group of people held in a CDC containment facility after the outbreak were shook from their routine one morning when there was a loud, unexpected CLICK at their door. Less than 24 hours, the group was met with obstacles, tragedies and betrayal. There were over a dozen survivors prior to that fateful CLICK.
Now there are 3.
Managing to escape hordes of undead, costly mistakes and each other, the three miraculously piloted a helicopter off to what they thought was safety only to realize that the machine was critically low on fuel. They successfully guided the bird well enough to avoid an all out fatal crash, but the chopper made a hard landing in some mud and water. Luckily there were only fumes left, because a small fire broke out immediately that otherwise would have exploded at some point.
Instead, the survivors were strapped into the bird and their status was unknown.
The world had been changed forever. Humans were now a minority and undead zombie hordes ate everything in their path.
All you could do was survive.
ArenaTitle: Arena Omniverse
Type: Arena Persistent world
In short, this is a battle orientated persistent world. Built by the combined efforts of the Arena inhabitants, this is a place for us to come together and build upon our characters and stories, in a smaller scale world.
So it was written, foretold in the Manifesto of Existence, the rise of a new world; brought together by a merge of planes.
Off Topic News
Role Playing Discussion
Interesting discussions are always going on, come join in and chat about our mutual hobby
Grif of Hearts asks what you believe makes or breaks a horror roleplay, and what genuinely scares you in horror settings.
Don’t forget about RPG’s Official Monthly contests: Artists of the Month & Writer of the Month, the prize is a nifty colored user title not to mention the glory. The contestants work really hard and put out some outstanding work. Stop by and check it out and while you are there don’t forget to vote and comment on the contest entries. The more votes and comments, the more satisfying the victory is! The contests could always use more people. If you want to get involved and send in an entry, please see the Contest section of the site for rules and directions. Remember the more, the merrier!
This month's theme for WOTM is Creation and voting is still accepting entries!
AOTM has just ended! Stay tuned for the next contest.
RPG has a lovely Gallery section that didn’t see enough encouragement and attention. If you have some scribbles lying around or some art you’d like to share start up a gallery and show people what you can do outside of an RP! While you are there take a moment to offer some encouragement and insight in another user's gallery, maybe they will return the favor. If you'd like your gallery to be featured be sure to send a PM to either Lyzan or Guru
Art Gallery: Asuras' Gallery
Asuras has a gallery up with some of his sketches covering a variety of subjects. Check them out and offer some encouragement.
Writing Gallery: Maiden's Creations
A mix of Character Sheet's, poetry, fiction and even a few Graphics, Maiden's gallery has much of interest to offer. Head on over and see what she's got!
All featured RPs and Linked threads have been chosen by random based on the number of responses to the thread and how active they are. If you'd like to have a IntChk, Roleplay, or Gallery featured in the next Newsletter, please send a message to Guru. Your thread may or may not be used, depending on the number of entries and random choice. We are also always looking for banners to top the newsletter.
This Newsletter is brought to you by your Comrades. Enjoy!
Guru, Lillian Thorne, Grif of Hearts, Lyzan
Next Guild News: November 9th, 2012