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An unexpected turn of events

So, you may or may not recall my mentioning some time ago my having joined an online roleplaying game here on LiveJournal, which I had nothing but good things to say about. There have, since then, been some interesting developments on that front.

Specifically, I seem to be running the storytelling side of that game now.

This past summer, the moderator, creator and storyteller of the game went silent on us. No explanation offered, and no sign of what was going on. It actually took a month or so to notice the change, since the game had always been fairly hands-off and player-driven. After two months, though, the game was definitely grinding to a halt as there had been no new plot events or responses to e-mails in all that time. Players began to lose interest and leave, and things began to look very uncertain indeed.

I had put a lot of work into the game just as a player by that time and met some very good friends, and did not want to see the community which had grown up around the game fall apart if the game simply died on us, which seemed likely. Now, I'm a problem solver by nature. I see a problem, and my mind immediately goes towards figuring out what needs to happen in order to solve it. To me, the answer was obvious: There needed to be plot activity which would stimulate player activity and interest, at LEAST until the mod was back at it. And so, I whipped up a package of proposals for various plots, and sent them via what I knew to be reliable means to the moderator, with my word that I would be glad to run any of them until such a time as the moderator was ready to return.

It took some time, but I eventually got a response, and was empowered to run at least one, and more as well, if I should like, and was told that I had any questions, I should just ask. Naturally, being the inquisitive sort that I was, I had plenty of questions. Which I was free to ask. But was not apparently free to expect ANSWERS to. Time went on, and it became more and more plain that I wasn't going to be able to expect any support here. Moreover, it became plain that the original moderator had simply lost interest, despite their protestations to the contrary, and by the time that four months had passed without their being involved in the game in any way, shape or form, I was ready to write them off.

And so now I'm essentially just taking the reigns of the game, creatively, myself, with the blessings and approval of the other remaining staff members.

Now, I'm entirely certain there are those among my readers who are roleplayers. I am moreover certain that most of you are interested in my writing (however sporadic it may occasionally be!). I am furthermore aware of a certain interest among my readers in my interest in Judeo-Christian mythology. Well, dear friends, here's where the three coincide!

The game, as originally conceived, is heavily based upon this mythology, with a good deal of sci-fi, personal drama, mystery and intrigue going on. To say that I have a WEALTH of plot ideas for this game would be an understatement, and I expect to have a chance to explore a lot of my interest in the concepts underlying this mythology in my approach to running stories here.

All of which is to say, you fuckers ought to join this game!

The player base has suffered considerable attrition in these past four months. Games like this always do, by their very nature, which is dealt with in part by advertising, which has not taken place since early summer. The neglect of the moderator has caused a lot of otherwise active players to drift away as well. However, those who are left are all enthusiastic, friendly people, good writers, and interesting people. A good community which would welcome new players. What's more, I can personally guarantee that any new player applications at this point will be looked upon in a very friendly light, and I will be happy to work with anyone interested in joining the game to get their characters ready.

I once ran a game of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, which ran for three and a half years, which I've spoken about here. The stories I've told, the artwork I produced for it, and the fact that a number of my players told me, without prompting, that it was the best roleplaying game they'd ever played in ought to tell you something of what you can expect from me here. But even beyond that, I will sweeten the deal thus: Anyone interested in any personal plotlines, stories and interactions with NPCs need only tell me so, and I will be more than happy to make it happen, if it should be in any way compatible with the game as a whole. I have said many a time before that there is no single activity I more greatly enjoy than a creative collaboration with another inspired person, and you will see this borne out time and again if you should like to take part in this endeavour.

Anyone with any comments or questions, go for it. I'm all ears.  



22nd Nov, 2010 17:08 (UTC)
I'm interested... but I'm not sure if I'm a viable candidate.

Firstly, my roleplaying experience is strictly pen-and paper. I'm not sure of the conventions of online collaborative fiction style roleplaying. I don't really have the time to in-depth study and mimic, so I would need some sort of primer.

Along those lines: what are the time requirements and how does timing work? Realistically, I could only put in 3-5 hours a week on something like this, 2 or maybe 3 times a week.

There's a lot of introductory material on the game's page, but it all seems to assume a base familiarity with the metarules of online roleplay.

Is this game accessible to a neophyte with a limited time window?
24th Nov, 2010 08:04 (UTC)
Hey, sorry it's taken me a day and change to respond. Been sleeping poorly of late, which has been leeching me of my precious verbosity.

I come from the world of tabletop roleplaying myself, as you may be aware, but have found the transition to be a smooth one.

I think that most of your questions can honestly be answered simply by perusing a few threads in the main community and getting a sense of how things tend to go down. In particular, the ones with the "storyteller" tag from the last month or so, as these are threads I've been actively participating in in that capacity.

Conflict resolution is handled in a gentlemanly manner; rather than dice, it is simply a matter of consent between writers. One can leave things open-ended ("He threw a punch, aiming for his target's jaw, hoping that his prey wouldn't be quick enough to dodge..."), and leave it to your co-writer to decide upon the effects of your effort, or you can hash it out through private messages ("It seems like my character would eventually lose the fight, but not before getting a few good licks in, so what say we run the scene something like this..."). Most players are generally friendly to either approach, and a combination of the two often makes for the best storylines.
The amount of time a game like this takes varies widely, depending upon your approach. In general terms, posting a few comments per day during an active thread is considered more than adequate, though there are those that take a more relaxed pace. Sometimes, a pair of players might like to advance things more quickly and meet up via AIM or somesuch program and play out a scene in something like real-time and post the log of their chat as a post in the community. It's wide open in this respect.

26th Nov, 2010 18:15 (UTC)
Thanks for the input.
After giving it a lot of thought, I'm going to pass. It sounds like a lot of fun, but I just don't have the time to give it the attention that I would want to. Sorry, hope you find some other takers.

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