The New Workflow

Pushing along with the efforts to improve the server and revive role playing, another thing that was discussed in our thread discussing server changes was the fact that storylines are few and far between and people have trouble with coming up with plots. Some of the plot difficulty deals with how powerful Solas Tempus is in Blazing Umbra, however that isn’t the only issue. We’ve gotten similar feedback before, about how easy / hard it is to come up with plots for different settings.

TL;DR: New links to Trello boards are posted (please read on for details):

Moving forward we’re still going to be using Trello for project management but I’ve reorganized the Trello boards to demonstrate how a story idea moves from initial inception to a completed story that has been played. The goal is that every user who wants will have a definite say in what goes on from the brainstorming process onward to actual playing. Our ultimate goal is two-fold. We want to both utilize a system where the work of writing and running new plot lines and through use of that system, teach others how to make use of it as well. I know a lot of people have different workflows, the goal is not to squash anyone’s personal way of doing thing. For the server, the intention is to provide a framework where a project can be started and completed by the group in an understandable and easy-to-follow way.

I am also working on templates for what questions to ask / answer in order to fill in the necessary gaps of a storyline or story element. I will, of course, be seeking input on these as soon as I get them up and running. The idea with all of this is to create a way for more people to make and participate in more stories. To this end story ideas will be posted, even if incomplete, and players / staff alike will be invited to take up and story that is incomplete and continue it.

Following that I will be personally casting a more narrow net with regards to story writing. Personally, I will be only moving forward with stories if they inspire me to the point that the ideas flow out nicely during the brainstorming process or when there is broad support. Previously every time a story idea was brought up, it was followed and an attempt was made to develop it. I will personally be seeking support to write elements of the story from players and other staff members. Ideas will still be posted on a regular basis, Trello makes it incredibly easy to just toss an idea up into the system to be followed up on later. A mix of brainstorming posts and their responses along with potentially polls on Discord will be used to determine support amongst players.

I’m not here to force anyone to use a system they do not want to use. I do encourage people to at least try the new system in developing a story. It may seem too much / overdoing it. My broader idea in this is to allow us to link together smaller plots into larger overarching plots, the way I have tried to do before.

The server cannot survive without plots being written and played. While I have a lot more time than I used to, I also am not able to write everything without getting a serious case of burnout. I hope this redesign and addressing of issues makes it easier for players to get and stay involved.

New Positions Filled

The posting of the positions list has proven very effective in the short time since it went live. We already have 3 of the many positions filled, one in each setting.

The posting of the positions list has proven very effective in the short time since it went live. We already have 3 of the many positions filled, one in each setting.

In Angelic Sins we now have a new Master Vampire for the city of Chicago, Victoria Romana played by Dasfier. Victoria is going to be a major player in future plots taking place in Chicago, being the most powerful Vampire in the area.

In Blazing Umbra we have the new Master Systems AI of Nimbus Station being Neo Akazuli played by Jumping Script. The old character is seeing new life as an AI as discussed with Jumping Script last year. The character was a valuable addition to the station before and now has new plot opportunities open as an AI and the adjustments that must, by definition, come from being an AI that was once flesh and blood.

In Embers of Soteria we now have an owner of the Hearts Refuge Inn. Previously it was stated to be two local brothers, but this didn’t come into play very often as they were not actual characters. Now the owner is Rachel Oxen, played by Dasfier, a minotaur woman who has an appropriately tragic backstory to build off of.

Please seek out some role play with one of these fabulous characters! Thank you to Dasifer and Jumping Script for their contributions.

Open Positions Lists are Live

A list of key roles for important positions in each game are now live and available. This lists may change, those wishing to apply character for such a list should submit a character application through the forum and note which position they are applying for. There is a dedicated list for each setting and additional positions may be added as needed.

The lists are available on the WordPress site listed under Applications (or you can click here).

Applicants will have their character application reviewed by all the staff and the staff will vote to approve / disapprove or request the player to make changes. Characters in positions of power make for more responsibility for the player. Players should consider how they want to play a particular position and if they have the free time to do so before applying.

Upcoming Server Changes

Our survey on things to potentially change on the server was fruitful and we got some really good feedback and discussion, which is still ongoing as we make some changes. Two of the biggest problems for people were about how character applications are processed both for moderators approving characters and players submitting characters. There was not a lot of love for the Google Forms approach. To solve this we’re going back to something we did early on, that is using the forum for character applications. The difference is now there is a default template that can be just filled out then cut/paste directly into the wiki with minimal modifications.

I will also be creating a list of open character positions soon. The page, Current Positions, is up now but I haven’t filled it in yet. Each setting will have a list of open / available positions in that setting. Once the list is up it will have each open spot with a spot for the location the position is in and any notes associated with that role.