Rebuilding the Community

For those who want the short version, I’m looking to have people increase participation by using the posts on this site as a starting point to have characters / NPCs who may not otherwise interact to do so. Short or long doesn’t matter, but use these as a source or a topic to talk / interact on in RP sessions. Next, help others, try to gently pull people in via inviting people into scenes. Finally, help get ideas rolling be constructive, be a sounding board providing feedback on pros and cons and help refine and build ideas for play. Don’t be afraid to be wrong or look silly, just create.

Usage has been on the decline for a bit now. Even before the server split participation has been on the decline. A few have been pushing forward anyway and being active. I want to support those players who have been active. First off, a shout-out to Winter who has been working on some amazing stuff in Embers of Soteria. Her contributions have been aided by many but her writing, effort, and creativity have been exceptional in adding a flavor to the story and components that fit into the greater narrative of the setting nicely.

I still fully believe that the server split was a good idea; though I do question it at times. Regardless the genie is out of the bottle with that one so either way that is how things are set up. I do recognize that it might not have been my best idea.


For those who want the short version, I’m looking to have people increase participation by using the posts on this site as a starting point to have characters / NPCs who may not otherwise interact to do so. Short or long doesn’t matter, but use these as a source or a topic to talk / interact on in RP sessions. Next, help others, try to gently pull people in via inviting people into scenes. Finally, help get ideas rolling be constructive, be a sounding board providing feedback on pros and cons and help refine and build ideas for play. Don’t be afraid to be wrong or look silly, just create.

Why is there a lack of participation?

We did a survey last year about participation. I have discussed the results at some point with the staff and I don’t think the situation has really changed that much. One of the biggest issues is that people don’t have a lot of time to sink into role playing and if they do, they may not want to role play here. It’s unreasonable to assume everyone with time is going to really become a devoted role player / writer here so I largely classify this as an unfixable problem. We cannot make people have more time and we cannot dictate how people should spend it. I myself have very few bits of time to string together and real life often gets in the way.

The other issue the survey brought up was about the games and playing; there is a feeling that the lore is at times impenetrable and there is a general enthusiasm with plots but a general inhibition or hesitation toward posting. People who are here who have a lot of good ideas, want to role play, are even talented at role play, but have no idea what to add to a game. This timidness toward being wrong or somehow screwing up a game is a huge factor, the second of all factors for people not participating (the biggest being time).

What do we do?

What I’d like to do is to use this site as more than just a collective history or creative narrative to add spice and color to the setting. I would like to use this to provide background that then people can use to base role playing on. So we have some recent posts about the Solas Tempus Marines and what their training is like. As an example, we have a lot of military characters and they could talk about or comment about the marines and their training in Finnegans (good or bad). People could NPC a group of marines for character to interact with or even make a marine character to play. This provides a place to go for shorter (or longer) role plays with characters that may not otherwise have a reason to interact. A drunk marine in Finnegans being an asshole and provides a reason for two military (or non-military) characters to react, talk, be brought together over a drink.

Similarly we had a recent post about troubles brewing around Chicago. This is intended as not just the introduction to a story arc (which it is) but also players in the Saevae could be talking about that and that could bring in other characters who normally wouldn’t interact. There’s a lot of fear that would be going on, fear is a powerful motivator. There would be everything from scam artists to heros showing up and with so much social pressure people are bound to get into conflicts. This is a jumping off point for side-RPs.

One of the biggest things I want people to take from this is to really try the dumb idea out, don’t be afraid to be wrong, don’t be afraid to look stupid. Make stuff up, you won’t be wrong. Often the crap that gets made up becomes part of the story arc and there suddenly you’ve participated in the whole arc!

Pulling vs. Pushing

I also want to ask everyone (especially staff) to begin pulling. I say pulling because I don’t think it is a good idea to go and pester people to role play. A lot of people have @here and @everyone suppressed and the server muted. So ping or DM someone whose on the server that we haven’t seen for a while and invite them to do a role play. Look at what characters they have, don’t push… Don’t ping them 3-4 times in a row and then keep at them but offer… “Hey, haven’t seen you around the server for a while, we’ve got some stuff going on, maybe want to do a scene?”

From what the survey from last year said a lot of people don’t know what to contribute, so I ask everyone to try to help fix that. Be vocal with ideas, advocate for the people that you know are good writers and help them with ideas. It’s often so much easier to see ideas for other people than it is to see ideas for yourself! A lot of this is about collaboration no one has all the ideas on their own.

Awards & Prizes

Minty Jade (AKA That Otaku Galaxy) who plays Drem, Nicole, and many others participated in our NaNoWriMo contest; for which I am very grateful. Since it was only myself and her who contributed, she is the top contributor to the story and has thus been awarded her $25 gift card from Amazon. A heartfelt thanks goes out to @jade for adding her flare to the story, which I will be continuing after finals week is over.

For a while now I’ve been doing participation awards, those people who contribute the most, I believe, deserve to be recognized.  However, recently those participating have all been staff members, and I believe that we should focus on non-staff members for such awards.  It isn’t that I don’t appreciate our staff, I truly do, however the idea is to draw people to participate and contribute which staff members usually do anyway.

Whether it is due to multiple languishing storylines or due to everyone being busy with school, work, and/or life the server has seen a drastic dive in the amount of activity.  I am not very concerned with this, activity comes and goes and while I hope things don’t die off, if they do they do.  I wouldn’t be the first time I had to rework things and start again.

That all being said, my contribution / participation recognition has not gone as well as I’d hoped and I am actively looking for other options to accomplish that goal!  Please feel free to contact me with any ideas on how to increase participation, and such awards are on hold until I figure out a different way to do things.

NaNoWriMo Contest Results

This year I did something I’ve thought about doing for a while and opened up a new thread and a challenge.  That is, I wanted the server to write a novel!  There have been other crowd-sourced projects like this, my favorite (and perhaps the most funny) was put on by a guy named Brian Brushwood and was to troll the novel 50 Shades of Gray.  It’s a hilarious idea, while I didn’t want to troll anyone, I’ve seen first hand how creative everyone is.  To give some incentive, I said I would pay money to the top two contributors to the thread (excluding myself of course).  The thread can be read here.  While I do plan on continuing the thread with anyone who wants to participate, I was disappointed in the number of people who took me up on the offer.

Of course, Minty Jade (AKA That Otaku Galaxy) who plays Drem, Nicole, and many others did participate; for which I am very grateful.  Since it was only myself and her who contributed, she is the top contributor to the story and has thus been awarded her $25 gift card from Amazon.  A heartfelt thanks goes out to @jade for adding her flare to the story, which I will be continuing after finals week is over.

Moving Forward

I talk a lot about moving forward, I want to find out what everyone thinks we should do to increase our activity.  We’ve had some new players join, which I hope that they submit characters, and I know it is pretty standard on Discord to join a server and forget about it.  I’d like to try and refocus our strategy, we’ve got a lot of members, and it’s clear that our core people (staff mostly) play really well together.  I ask that everyone try to do a story with someone they don’t play with often, time permitting of course.  The more people we have playing the richer and more developed the setting and its history will become.

Thank you to everyone; happy gaming.

Contribution Awards

Once again, it has come time for our contribution awards.  I have been largely absent from the server recently, for a number of reasons.  I am pleased to pass out recognition to our players for their contributions this month.

Server Contributions

Our top 3 contributors to the server this month are:

  • Dr. Winterdawn
  • Minty.__.Jade
  • Cyber ★

Thank you to each of you for keeping things alive!

Forum Contributions

The top 3 forum contributors are:

Thank you to all of you who keep the forum going!

Wiki Contributions

This month we only have 2 non-staff contributors to the Wiki, so here they are:

Thank you to both of you for enriching our collective role playing world.

Storyline Awards

The following people are getting recognition for running plot lines this month:

  • Cyber ★
  • Archer Red the 15th
  • ks
  • Chaos Sorcerer Spartan889
  • Buckethead

The above people have been running plots through the month of October, in particularly, Chaos has turned a character introduction into several successful threads on the forum, something which I heartily congratulate.

Final Awards

So our final award tallies are as follows:

  • Chaos Sorcerer Spartan889 gets 2000 points
  • Cyber ★ gets 1500 points
  • Dr. Winterdawn gets 1500 points
  • Minty.__.Jade gets 1250 points
  • Archer Red the 15th gets 1000 points
  • Buckethead gets 1000 points
  • ks gets 1000 points
  • AscendingCanadian gets 750 points

New Score Board

Archer Red the 15th318872
Uther Tibbs261116
The Chubby Gamer161909
Dr. Winterdawn119531
Cyber ★64592

Thank you, again, to everyone for all of your contributions to the game, keep it up.

Weekly Creative Discussions

As I mentioned to some of the staff not too long ago, I’d like to start having discussions on where we’d like the plot to go and the status of what’s going on within the game.  I know I myself (and many others) have not been around a lot, during the school year like this it is incredibly important to keep everyone on the same page and continue to move plots forward.  I’ve taken a number of steps to ensure that we can do this but one thing that is lacking is in communication.

The idea is to have a discussion among Staff and Founders about where we would like the game to go and how we can push it forward.  There are three parts to this of course.

Pushing Plot Forward

We have got far more dead or dropped plots that I would ever like to have in a game, especially in our less-used settings of Angelic Sins and Embers of Soteria.  So the first thing we will be trying to move for is more staff involvement in soliciting RP to move plots forward with a focus on pulling in new players who have just arrived and seasoned players who have fallen off the map and may not know where to get back into things.

New Plots & Direction

That being said, there is never a time to rest on existing plot lines and direction of the game.  The other half of the coin is I would like to have a discussion of where we want to go with the setting, new plots, new ideas, and keep the game fresh.  Sometimes plots fail, even if they are good ideas life gets in the way and a lot of things can happen.  As such, I’d like to really dig into what we can push for in the direction of the settings and a discussion of how we get there.

Issues & Resolutions

An important part of these meetings will be trying to figure out how to resolve the issues with the game as it is.  This can include issues with players, plots, how plots are being run, but with a focus in how do we resolve issues.  It is very important to me that everyone  makes an effort to keep problems, solutions, and commentary constructive so we can move forward and continue to build all of our settings.  The best and most robust creativity comes with we all get together.

Attending & Participation

I don’t want to make this sound like a job; if someone cannot be here for the meeting then they cannot be here for the meeting but I would like everyone to not only show up but to really try to be an active participant.  We’ve got a lot of really good creative minds on this server, this is a chance to bring everything to the table and see what we can make of it as a group!

Since not everyone can be around for this, I do plan on putting together a post about what is talked about and decided and make that available for public viewing here on the WordPress site.  This gives our players a chance to talk about things and then bring any concerns, ideas, questions, or just general commentary to our attention.  It goes without saying that resolutions or issues regarding particular players will not be made public.

Participation Awards for August 2018

Another month has passed and again we come to awarding those who have kept the creative light burning. In August we saw a good increase in our third-party plots being run by others when we opened up our Wordpress site to be used by anyone. In that we’d like to give special thanks to Tim, Liz, KS, and Bucket who all kept everyone up to date on what’s going on currently – thank you.

Another month has passed and again we come to awarding those who have kept the creative light burning.  In August we saw a good increase in our third-party plots being run by others when we opened up our WordPress site to be used by anyone.  In that we’d like to give special thanks to Tim, Liz, KS, and Bucket who all kept everyone up to date on what’s going on currently — thank you.

As a sad note, one of our long-time players have left the game.  School has started for many of us (myself included) and as such it has become increasingly difficult to find time for many to role play.  That makes this list especially heart-felt from myself in particular, since it shows people who continue to participate and keep the server alive.  Our fellow player, writer, and friend t0l has left the game, however, and while he has said that he will be back some day we all know that things don’t always go as planned.  His character Tal Ravis was not only central to many of the plots that took place but was also a refreshing take on a soldier with a gritty realism that highlighted the talent and skill of his player in bringing the character to life.  T0l had the unique ability to write both long-form of several paragraphs even several pages in a sitting and short-form keeping things brief and to the point, to suit the role play situation he found himself in.   I hope that we get the opportunity to read his writing again.

Forum Participation

On the forum, counting by number of replies posted over the last month we have the following:

We thank them for their help in keeping things moving!

Wiki Participation

The Wiki site is really one of the biggest assets of our entire game.  It stores all of our in-game information and really makes it a lot more accessible for everyone to play in.  The participation scores for our Wiki users are:

  • Darktrooper501
  • T0l
  • Dr. Winterdawn

Now, sadly t0l has left the server and as such we cannot really award points to him, but a hearty thank-you goes out to him none-the-less for his extensive contributions to the Wiki and the game as a whole.  Since staff is not counted when giving out these awards, the 30-day list doesn’t have enough listed for Wiki participation to replace t0l, but since we can’t award him I’ll look into the top contributors of all time, which shows us that Ryu ketsueki (formerly Lilac) receives recognition for his contributions to the sum of knowledge stored for our game.

Plot Awards

As usual we are also awarding special points for running plots.  Bucket deserves a lot of points for his multiple parts taken in multiple plot lines.  He played the majority of the roles in a lot of the recent plots, especially that involving the Operation Gray Angel and the corresponding Operation Succubus, playing both sides of the fence effectively well.  For this he gets an addition 1000 points.  Tim is also awarded with 500 points for his continued help in pushing along our political pressure / racial tensions arc.  Along those same lines, Liz gains also an additional 500 points for his creation of the entirely new character and broadcast, he did an absolutely superb job with it!

Final Awards

  • Imperatoris Lacerta#8924
    • 1000 each for both the Forum and the Wiki
    • 500 for Plot Awards
  • Buckethead#3038
    • 750 for participation on the Forum
    • 1000 for Plot Awards
  • Left4Cake#6713
    • 500 for participation on the Forum
  • Dr. Winterdawn#8966
    • 750 for participation on the Wiki
  • HaruyamaX5#0002
    • 500 for participation on the Wiki (see note above)
  • timot1066#8017
    • 500 for Plot Awards

New Top 10

So here are the new score tallies after awarding points.  This will also be the final entry which lists t0l as a member.

Imperatoris Lacerta311682
Uther Tibbs249093
Red the 15th243671
The Chubby Gamer, Sloth Boi155986
Dr. Winterdawn109135
🍃💎Minty Jade💎🍃98184

Thanks again to all of our players for keeping the server alive.

Contribution Awards for July 2018

Along with some of the other recent changes to how we do things, I’ve decided that staff members are no longer going to be able to get awards for contributions to the forum or the wiki. The idea is that we’d like to use these awards to encourage people to play in our game. It was recently noted by more than one person that almost all of the role play is done by a select few, mostly staff members. As such, we would like to encourage players to contribute as well.

As a recap, we will still be doing awards for anyone who assists or runs a plot but contributions to the forum and wiki will contain only non-staff players.

Plot Contributions

First off, I would like to thank Liz, Imperatoris Lacerta#8924, for his continuing excellence in assisting the story move forward. Recently Liz decided that he would rather not be staff anymore. For a lot of people this might mean that he stops playing or stops spending time helping with the plot. He hasn’t done that, so Liz gets a special shout-out with my gratitude for the good job he continues to do.

Moving along there are a few other players I’d like to give credit for their efforts. Bucket, Buck Approves#3038, has pushed forward with his villain plot and has been doing an excellent job of it. Both KS, ks#0908, and him have done a superb job of not only moving plot forward but creating their own sub-plots which tie into the major things going on. We also have to give credit to Tim, timot1066#8017, who has been of great help in moving plot forward and playing around with the idea of the racial tensions in the game increasing.

Last, but not least, I’d like to thank Red (Red the 15th#2304) for continuing to play in the Angelic Sins setting which all-too-often gets ignored by me when I’m trying to push things forward.

Forum Contributions

This award is based on the number of replies a person has posted to the forum.

  1. Buckethead AKA Bucket
  2. Darktrooper501 AKA Liz
  3. timot1066 AKA Tim

Wiki Contributions

This award is based on the contribution score provided by a MediaWiki plugin.

  1. Darktrooper501 AKA Liz
  2. Thatotakugalaxy AKA Jade
  3. NigrantibusAlis AKA Aytise


The following is being added to the guild scores of each person mentioned here.

For Liz, the breakdown is 1000 for plot contributions, 750 for forum contributions, and 1000 for the wiki contributions with the total then being 2750. Bucket gets 1000 for plot contributions and 1000 for forum contributions with the total then being 2000. Time receives 500 for plot contributions and 500 for forum contributions with the total then being 1000. Following that ks gets a total of 1000 (for plot contributions), Jade gets a total of 750 (for wiki contributions), and Aytise gets a total of 500 (for wiki contributions). Finally, Red gets 500 for contributions to Angelic Sins.

New Point Score Totals

So here are the new score totals.

Name Score
Imperatoris Lacerta 278293
Titan Shadow 241197
Red the 15th 212793
ks 159403
t0l 156906
The Chubby Gamer, Sloth Boi 151492
Dr. Winterdawn 104357
🍃💎Minty Jade💎🍃 93308
Buck Approves 90268
JumpingScript 87047

Hints About Stories and Participation

The subject of participation has been troubling me for a while. Specifically how to increase participation within the site. It was clear from the survey that a lot of people don’t participate not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know what to do or don’t feel they have anything to contribute. That is why I’m going to attempt to put, at the end of every news post going forward, a little blurb about what the storyline needs or suggestions about how to participate. My hope is that people can read that and get a feeling for what they might be able to contribute.

Further, another comment on the survey was regarding people not knowing where to go with a storyline and thus people having to wait for me. Since my time is very limited this gets into a bad situation where storylines die when I cannot be on. I end up owing a lot of role plays and I, likewise, end up without time or energy to do them all.

I feel that we have a lot of very creative minds here and people with an extremely varied set of perceptions. No one on the server should feel they cannot or should not contribute to a story that is ongoing. I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to why people feel the way they do and I think a lot of it is because people have made a lot of seriously combat-based characters who are pigeon-holed into those roles and this gives us the current situation where you really can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who is a skilled fighter. I will be addressing this in a further posting and possibly with the staff about how to fix this problem.

In the meantime, these measures of putting information at the end of a post as to direction of a plot arc and the potential for participation in that arc should help with the indecision. No one should feel that their indecision about how to play a character or where to fit that character in is abnormal. On the contrary, it is extremely normal. I’ve talked about this before — the fact that a person is here doing role play means that there’s probably some social anxiety going on or some other kinds of anxiety and other issues connecting with people. That’s pretty normal too! Some of that boils down to not being able to figure out where we, as people, fit into the grander scheme. It is only natural to presume that this kind of feeling is going to cause issues deciding where our characters fit in.

I will being doing further posts on the Burning Sweetly section of the forum on this very issue in hopes of helping people overcome problems associated with how to develop a character. I’m by no means an expert so, commentary will be welcome.

June’s Top Contributors

First of all, I would like to start off by thanking our staff members Liz, ks, and t0l for participating in the recent storyline done by Bucket, if even tangentially. I will be posting more about that in an in-character post from the news service.

In addition to the scores posted about previously, since our top spots are entirely staff members right now, we will be adding a new spot for each (forum and wiki) for the top non-staff contributor each, which will be worth 1000 points each.

For Running Plot

Buck Approves#3038 is awarded 1000 guild points to his score for running his plot involving the Vex on Soteria un Blazing Umbra. Thank you Buck, we appreciate it.

For the Wiki

As previously discussed, this is based on the Contribution Scores extension for MediaWiki over the last 30 days.

  1. Cyclops
  2. Red
  3. Darktrooper501

The user Ks0908 is a close 4th place.

The user Spartan889 is the top non-staff contributor to the wiki.

Those users produced a combined score based on number of revisions and new content added to the wiki. We thank them for expanding our collective universe and helping to create a more robust setting.

For the Forum

These are awarded based on replies to threads over the last 30 days and does not take into account new threads started.

  1. Titan Shadow
  2. Red the Heretic
  3. TheChubbyGamer

With a close 4th place of Spartan_889, who is also the recipient of the new non-Staff award for participation and contribution, being the top non-staff contributor on the forum by number of replies.

Thank you all for keeping things going on the forum.

Bonuses and New Leaderboard

  • Titan Shadow#1701 gets 2000 points (1000 for Wiki and 1000 for Forum 1st Place)
  • Red the 15th#2304 gets 1500 points (750 for Wiki and 750 for Forum 2nd Place)
  • Imperatoris Lacerta#8924 gets 1000 points (500 for Wiki and 500 for Forum 3rd Place)
  • Chaos Sorcerer Spartan889#7660 2000 points (1000 for Wiki and 1000 for Wiki Top non-staff Contributor)

New Leaderboard Direct from Tatsumaki

User Score
Imperatoris Lacerta 252032
Titan Shadow 233498
Red the 15th 192832
t0l 155285
ks 153304
The Chubby Gamer, Sloth Boi 144860
Dr. Winterdawn 99202
Thatotakugalaxy 88248
JumpingScript 83913
Buck Approves 79577

Some Notes about Contribution and Participation

While our overall forum participation has gone up as well as wiki contributions, it is still mostly staff doing the role playing. We do like this! However, we’d also like our non-staff members to participate more. Thus, I would like to encourage all Staff members to reach outside of the bubble of other Staff members to new players or even players that have not participated in a a while to see if they’d like to participate in role plays.

We have some superb role players here and everyone has something to contribute to the game. This is why we recently put out our participation survey. This survey is here to help us (me) determine how to better run the server. We’ve got some great responses so far, but there is a lot of talk in the comments about plot and people not feeling like they have anything to contribute or not sure what to do if they do participate.

This is entirely normal! Putting ones self in a position to participate in a plot without the defined structure of a dice-based or video-game-based system is difficult, there are a lot of options. Thus, I would like it if any player unsure what to do would ask, just simply ask for help. I realize that the group has gotten a bit… Well, a bit less-than-supportive as we’ve gotten a core group of role players but we’re working on changing that. I invite anyone who has been here a while but hasn’t played in a while to pop back in and if you’re not sure what you can do or contribute, just ask. If any issues crop up, don’t hesitate to bring them up!

The strength of our community relies on the simple idea that everyone can contribute something and have fun doing so. Not everyone has to get along perfectly, not everyone has to have the same political or religious views, not everyone even has to agree on what morning is. The goal here is to have fun writing stories where the world can turn out better than the one we live in. I personally think that is key to staying sane in the times we live in, where so much is up in the air.

Again, thank you all for your continued contributions and support.

Awarding for Wiki and Forum Contributions

So I’ve been trying for a while to figure out how to reward people for adding content to the wiki or using the forum. So what I have come up with is that each month I’ll award, via the Tatsumaki bot on Discord, guild points for the top 3 contributors for the last month. The Wiki site is the easiest, as I just installed a handy extension that does exactly this. Discourse also has a nice feature, which will use the number of replies, since this is a role-play community, replies are everything! I may consider adding a bonus or something for the number of topics started or some such.

Here is the breakdown for the points awarded. The forum and wiki are treated separately in this case.

1st Place gets 1000 points.
2nd Place gets 750 points.
3rd Place gets 500 points.

Point totals may get adjusted in the future as needed.