Author Topic: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?  (Read 21265 times)

Ath

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Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« on: November 21, 2016, 04:41:27 PM »
So I was having a discussing with another staff member, which I'll invite to this thread if they choose to comment also, but it was an interesting conversation.  So we are a Role Playing mud, though I have a few people trying to argue that we're more code based... i'm sorry, we roleplay here.  I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the role playing.  I love the fact I can play D&D pretty much in a living world.

Anyhow... so we were talking on the topic of Sponsored Roles and also the topic of our Rules on several areas of the game.  We're trying to really revamp the rules to make them more clear, less grey areas, and then we look at Sponsored Roles.  Sponsored Roles by their definition of this doc (http://armageddon.org/help/view/Sponsored%20Roles) is "a role request from staff to play something in the game".  To be honest, the rest of the doc doesn't really help improve upon this definition.

Lots of you want to play a sponsored role, we see it all the time, and honestly, I'd love to give everyone a chance.  The issue though is that some roles sit, they stagnate, or well... the role play doesn't really fit with documentation or expectations of the staff sponsoring it.  A Sponsored Role to me is a role that staff has created that a player can play in, with the expectations that some guidelines from the staff sponsoring it will be followed.  Quality of Role playing in this role is important in my eyes.

What is Quality though?  Well, being realistic to the docs... keeping in mind the virtual world and the clan you're apart of.  You don't have to be fancy with your emotes to be a good role player, but reacting realistically to a situation and role playing appropriately is more so quality in my eyes.  Anyone can do this... and if they run into a problem, they can always ask staff.

Now, why is this coming up?  Why is this even a problem?  Well... because sometimes there are circumstances where a player may not really be playing a sponsored role to the exceptions of staff.  We've  likely tried to voice the issues to the PC, but well... we really have no rules to clearly work with a person in a sponsored role.  In some cases we'd like to free up this role for someone else that may be willing to work with staff and play the role to the expectation.  None of these roles have high expectations, if we do... we'll warn prior.  If anything, I think the roles that have the high exceptions (in my opinion) are the Templar roles, because of the power they wield. 

So what do we do?  Well, we remove the person from the role and then try to get someone else.  This may not seem fair, but if the person is not provided a good experience to those around them, and they are not meeting the expectations of staff, then I see it as necessary.  Now, we did talk about improving upon these rules, so I would like feedback.  If someone isn't meeting up to the expectations of a Sponsored Role, and they have ignored feedback and warnings, is it fair to store them and find someone else that can play the role?  Remember, these are staff sponsored and very much staff supported roles.

Give me your feedbacks!
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Marauder Moe

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2016, 04:55:51 PM »
As an out-of-the-box thought exercise: 

If someone is in a sponsored role but isn't really adding anything to the game through it, is there any harm to simply bringing in another PC to fill that function while leaving the other player around to do whatever it is they do want to do?  Is an inert lump of a tavern-sitting noble not still at least marginally better than a player who quits the game after being force-stored?

(And to preempt the slippery slope argument, if this became a truly rampant problem with more than a few noble/gmh/whatever useless tavern idlers, of course then you start considering a crack-down.)

Drayab

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2016, 05:01:00 PM »
My view on the point of sponsored roles is to allow the player take on the responsibilities of playing an role that has some aspect that is difficult to get right and is really bad if they get it wrong. Maybe that's because they have political power to shake things up (like templars and nobles) or perhaps they have strict roleplay requirements (like mul slaves).

It would be a pity if we never had these wonderful sorts of characters because they add a lot to the game world, but the player that takes up that mantle has to be willing to play along with what is expected. To sum up my perspective, playing a sponsored role is a service to the game, not just an opportunity for a player to tinker with a powerful character. Surely the player needs to have fun with the role or else they won't be in it for long, but it has to be a sacrifice first of all.

So yeah, I think if a player isn't up to par with the sponsored role they are in, they should be removed. This should not be done capriciously, though. There ought to be an opportunity to grow as a player in these challenging roles. I think it's good to let new players have a chance at it because they are a lot of fun. They are also a lot of work and we need younger players with more time on their hands to fill them as veterans get older and don't have as much time for the game as they used it.

I think it's good to have well-written expectations. The most important thing to make to work is good communication on both sides. The player needs to be flexible and willing to compromise, and staff need to be patient and wise before they forcibly remove someone from a role.

puella

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2016, 05:08:02 PM »
As an out-of-the-box thought exercise: 

If someone is in a sponsored role but isn't really adding anything to the game through it, is there any harm to simply bringing in another PC to fill that function while leaving the other player around to do whatever it is they do want to do?  Is an inert lump of a tavern-sitting noble not still at least marginally better than a player who quits the game after being force-stored?

(And to preempt the slippery slope argument, if this became a truly rampant problem with more than a few noble/gmh/whatever useless tavern idlers, of course then you start considering a crack-down.)

I was going to write something just like this.  If a player is violating a rule -- ignoring the virtual world being one of them, although I'm not sure that's stated anywhere, and maybe should be -- then sure, go to them with the worry you have, allow them to explain what they were doing, and establish a three strikes policy.

But if the player isn't actually violating a rule, but not discharging the preconceived function of a sponsored role, then maybe just draw up a new sponsored role call.  (For instance, if the role was meant to train a number of PCs to be gladiators, but the player wanted to play a drunk who failed to do this, sure have the IC world react, but there's no need to store them or punish them OOCly.)

Pale Horse

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2016, 05:16:09 PM »
To sum up my perspective, playing a sponsored role is a service to the game, not just an opportunity for a player to tinker with a powerful character.

I share this point of view as well.

I can't say if I'm any good at being in a sponsored role (it's been a few years), but the mindset of "what can I give to the game" instead of "what can I get from the game" is a good one.
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Samoa

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2016, 05:34:38 PM »
If they're useless, let them continue to be useless and bring in another player to fulfill the purpose that one was supposed to.

If they're detrimental, store them or use their corpse as fodder for an RP event.
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Nergal

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2016, 05:41:33 PM »
One of staff's many projects includes updating guidelines as needed, and one of the guideline sets under the spotlight is the sponsored roles helpfile. We would definitely like to stress the viewpoint that playing a sponsored role is a service to the game - however, playing a game in and of itself is an activity people undertake to have fun. So, our desire for sponsored roles is twofold:

- Define a sponsored role as someone who enforces the themes and cultural norms of the game world, in order for that impression to rub off on other players, particularly newer ones, so that they're doing their "job" for the game world
- Allow ways for players of sponsored roles to put their own twist on the way they play their role, so that they're having fun

Keeping around underperforming players contributes to the game's stagnancy and lowers the overall quality of roleplay. A "shape up or ship out" approach helps maintain quality, but being too harsh is inappropriate for a game. As for an approach to this, we're looking at a process that emphasizes staff-provided feedback before anything even remotely disciplinary occurs. Players in sponsored roles would be given ample time to adjust their play if it's far outside the defined themes and culture of the game world.
  

Reiloth

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2016, 05:56:04 PM »
I have many thoughts on this, having played many sponsored roles over the years. But I can sum it up with 'Set Them Up For Success'.

The roles i've played where the Staff member really sat me down and gave me the 'lay of the land' and really told me what was going on, what my predecessors were up to, what the House is up to and some minor goals they have in mind...It not only gave me a lot to work with and bring to the table, it gave me a great outline for what was acceptable with the Role, and what wasn't. Adding to this -- "This is what we hope to see, more or less, from a role such as this" and "this is what we hope to not see from a role such as this" would be incredibly helpful, up front, or even along the process (a month into playing).

The roles i've played where Staff basically said "Go for it, have fun!" ended up being much more nebulous. I don't blame Staff for doing this -- In effect, they were saying do what you want within the confines of the role. We don't want to dictate your fun or tell you what to do. However! There's a fine balance here. I think Players want some outlines, some direction, because it makes it feel like a two-way street.

Just as well, there should be an obligation between Staff and Players to do due diligence  with leadership requests (even if they are Indie leaders, say the Guild). There is nothing more disheartening than putting time into a request, only to have a 'Thanks, got your request!' response. I think there should be a commitment from both a Leadership PC, and their Staff, to do due diligence with requests. Spend the extra 10 minutes to make it a conversation rather than a sounding board. I think this conversational quality makes the roles more intriguing, because you feel that you are being heard.

There's a fine line there of course -- When the Templates were rolled out, I think Nyr was saying Players should be playing the game, not the request tool. But I know my leadership requests (at least) were cut in half if not more by using the Template. I imagine the times of 18 page long requests that are freeform poems are now a thing of the past.

Building into the Sponsored Role helpfile that Staff will give you unsolicited feedback, and you will need to not take it personally and view it as an assassination of your character. Again, if requests are kept conversational (equal responses from Staff and Player) it will not appear to be as out of the blue.

Anyways, some food for thought. I don't perceive this as a slight towards players of current Leadership PCs, or even the stagnant ones. It's a good conversation to have -- When is enough enough? I don't think every PC should be around for 2 RL years just because they aren't in mortal danger. It's a sticky pickle!

In essence -- Set them up for success, and make it a conversation.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 06:08:55 PM by Reiloth »
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Reiloth

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2016, 05:59:07 PM »
As to the 'Just app in another <insert role here>' it almost invariably ends up with the longer lived PC who has:

1 - All the contacts
2 - All the Templars in their pocket
3 - All the Indies in their pocket
4 - All the criminals in their pocket

Saying 'newp' to most of your ideas, and basically running over everything you try to start, even if they aren't up to much.

You are truly fucked if you try to fuck with them or do anything besides 'yessir' their whims. It gets boring to app in someone who is so incredibly disadvantaged, and most 'new' apps seem to store pretty quickly, probably due to something along these lines.
"You will have useful work: the destruction of evil men. What work could be more useful? This is Beyond; you will find that your work is never done -- So therefore you may never know a life of peace."

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Marauder Moe

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2016, 06:13:15 PM »
A web of influence like that requires maintenance.  I can't imagine a PC who wields that much power being considered "under-performing".


Anyway, staff, not sure what you're looking for here.  You ask is it fair to store under-performing nobles?  Some suggest maybe it isn't necessary.  You reply no, it is necessary.  You seem to have answered your own question.  (Or at least Nergal seems to have answered it for you.)

Nergal

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2016, 06:16:23 PM »
Well, it's more that we're looking for a balance between two extremes (allowing underperforming sponsored role characters to continue vs. discipline and storage when sponsored roles fail to maintain basic game themes) and wondering whether players have any feedback on what the ideal balance would be, or how they would prefer to be treated if they were in a sponsored role themselves.
  

Drayab

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2016, 06:18:47 PM »
- Define a sponsored role as someone who enforces the themes and cultural norms of the game world, in order for that impression to rub off on other players, particularly newer ones, so that they're doing their "job" for the game world
- Allow ways for players of sponsored roles to put their own twist on the way they play their role, so that they're having fun

That's a great start. I think you're spot on that the trick is to make the 'job' fun. I think a sponsored role ought to come with a basic job description so they know what kind of framework they are working within, and that first point above can be applied to all of them, I bet. For me, having fun in a sponsored role meant being able to make meaningful progress on my goals while having time to nurture long term relationships with other characters. One of the more obvious differences in playing a sponsored role was in the kind of goals my character had. With my sponsored role, I was willing to set aside certain fun things I usually like to do with my characters (combat stuff) because I was able to find new kinds of fun that aren't even possibilities with normal characters. That's a really fun thing for a player to explore, especially if they haven't played a sponsored role before.

In Dreams

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2016, 06:19:06 PM »
To me the most important part of roleplay in a text medium is characterization. Things that a PC does that make them stand out. Things that define them in even small ways.

How do they walk? What's their posture like? Why?
How do they talk? What words do they use? Why?
How do they dress? How are they trying to appear? Why?

My ideal I guess is that if you could take away my PC's name, their sdesc, whatever else until you just see what they're doing and how they're doing it, or even just what they were wearing, you could still tell who they were. People are like that in real life, with their mannerisms, with their phrasing, with their posture, their style, their overall "swagger".

I think if a roleplayer really has characterization down at the roots, it seeps into everything else they do no matter how long and pretty their emotes are or how exactly they wind up expressing it. They'll get better over time the more familiar they get within the skin of that particular character.

So, I'd say, the most important part of quality is just that: characterization.

I know that has nothing to do necessarily with a role being sponsored or the leadership aspect, but if our most visible, prominent PCs aren't well-characterized, they won't have the magnetic effect that well-RPed PCs just do. They won't draw in RP or inspire others to be their best. If a PC is there to lead and enhance their world, it's absolutely important that their player is able to simply make a PC that's compelling to begin with, without the weight of authority, influence or power. No amount of authority, influence or power piled on a PC that interests no one does anything positive for the game world.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 06:21:08 PM by In Dreams »

TheWanderer

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2016, 06:24:36 PM »
There have been several occasions over the years where I was strongly of the opinion that it was needed.

You should attempt to calmly explain the issue in an effort to remedy it beforehand. If this fails to produce results, storage is the next step. I'd personally prefer this sort of approach were I the subject of disapproval.

As for letting people continue on and just sliding in another player? Stockpiling those who don't know what they're doing and placing them in positions of power greatly diminishes the atmosphere.

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Marauder Moe

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #14 on: November 21, 2016, 06:29:58 PM »
So I if I were playing a noble or something and was burnt out on plots/leadership/whatever but still enjoyed logging in and hanging out, I would not want to be force-stored.  Who would?

As long as I wasn't draining staff attention or monopolizing clan resources, I don't think it would feel fair.

I don't think I'd be upset if IC superiors encouraged more action and/or threatened to revoke stipends.  I don't think I'd mind a note from staff along the lines of "It looks like you may not be enjoying your role to the fullest.  Are you considering storage?  Is there anything we can do to help make things more interesting?"  Maybe I'd snap out of it and get back into things.  Maybe I'd consider how stagnant the role has become and voluntarily store.  Or maybe I just want to play an atmospheric flavor role for a while.

TheWanderer

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2016, 06:33:39 PM »
I suppose my views on what sponsored roles should be attempting differ from others. There's room for breaks, but there's a finite number of these positions in the game. I'd prefer people not openly cling to them.

Edit: If they expand these numbers to accommodate more atmospheric roles, I'd likely be more open to it.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 06:35:26 PM by TheWanderer »
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Armaddict

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #16 on: November 21, 2016, 06:58:11 PM »
Quote
So we are a Role Playing mud, though I have a few people trying to argue that we're more code based... i'm sorry, we roleplay here.  I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for the role playing.  I love the fact I can play D&D pretty much in a living world.

I think that's kind of a mischaracterization unless you're talking about someone else.  But no one has ever talked about ceasing roleplay in the name of code, only in keeping in mind that we're a code-based mud to allow it to augment roleplay and allow you to do things without endless argument about grey areas that are literally completely unnecessary and usually inconsistent from event to event.  No one comes here to not roleplay, that would be incredibly counter-intuitive.  But the 'playing D&D in a living world' is exactly what I say that reliable code and what it delivers allows; a persistent world with rules of behavior that do not require a constant DM.

For the actual question, though:
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If someone isn't meeting up to the expectations of a Sponsored Role, and they have ignored feedback and warnings, is it fair to store them and find someone else that can play the role?  Remember, these are staff sponsored and very much staff supported roles.

I've been in the position of having a leadership PC force stored, but I kind of agree with it at this point even though I was upset at the time.  Simply put, I was trying to do things with the role that simply weren't being allowed, and it was frustrating, which I think is akin to the point you're making about not fulfilling staff expectations.  For me, it pretty much turned me into a layabout noble with no real goal in mind.

I didn't really get much a warning on the matter, which from what you say is already an improvement, but what I would say is that if you've made your expectations clear, I'm not sure what else you can do with it.  That comes with a couple of 'if' statements, though:

a) Are they providing content, just not the kind of content you wanted?  Because removing that may not be the best course of action, particularly if it's over a conceptual idea of what's wanted.  If you have a sponsored Byn Sergeant who suddenly starts hunting contracts and trips all the time, that's against the long-standing theme of the Byn.  But if you have a Byn Sergeant that's being more cutthroat than you intended but therefore engaged in a lot of political intrigue...I think that's why there was the whole shift towards more player control in the first place.

b) Are they trying, but just disagreeing with you on a direction?  If so, it's worth examining whether or not they're just being completely disconnected from the previous status of that role, or whether you're shifting things in a direction unconsciously towards your own goals for the clan and thus making that player just your tool.  That's not a very fun position to be in as a leader; even when plots were staff-guided via NPC's, it never got to that point.  I imagine it can feel like the player is essentially a staff-run npc played by a player.

As long as those previous two things aren't true, as in if they're just genuinely burned out and not contributing or are outright hostile to a working relationship, go ahead and remove them without mercy.  But if they're just having trouble finding something to guide the clan towards that fits your criteria, it would be really good to have ideas for them to run in its stead that provides meaningful content.  When I have having trouble coming up with things for my Scorpions to do, and I pitched ideas and got a lot of 'nope', it would have been really helpful to get twists or ideas in return instead of flat denials.

I will also say that if you do have to force them out of the role, unless their behavior is very purposely offensive (I mean where they're being outright disrespectful, not just trying to argue a point of contention with you), I don't think they should necessarily suffer a -negative- note as much as 'I disagreed with their direction for the clan and we couldn't really come together on it.  Might be able to lead elsewhere.'  I don't think not working out once should disqualify you from the future opportunity.
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SuchDragonWow

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2016, 07:39:02 PM »
I'd like to get away from the idea that there's any other reason to play this game other than to enjoy yourself (and make it enjoyable for others).  Sponsored roles are there because they fill a role in the world that can't (and shouldn't) be played from creation.  If they aren't running the clan into the ground, the guidelines should be a middle ground between the player and the staffer, and their respective visions of the role itself.  If they are running the clan into the ground, well, there's some basis in reality for that, too.

I'm of the mindset that you should only be storing people if they're breaking rules, though.  I have stored all three of my leadership roles, and each one was because I was no longer available to play the role as needed.  That was my choice, and while there was some nudging for me to play more, I thought the suggestions were fair, and ultimately, the decision was left up to me.  I appreciated the trust from on high to do the right thing.

Edit:  to qualify my opening statement, sponsored roles very often feel like a second job, and maybe even more important than setting guidelines is figuring out how to make these roles less demanding while still contributing to the world.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 07:58:21 PM by SuchDragonWow »
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Lizzie

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2016, 08:01:41 PM »
As someone who actually enjoys the "subordinate" role of a minion/employee/aide - I can't tell you how frustrating it is to play in a role where your character's boss is either a) never around when you are, b) disinterested in your place in his clan, c) takes weeks-long sabbaticals and leaves the subordinate without the authority (coded or otherwise) to make decisions as/when needed in the boss's absence.

I get people need to take vacations, and don't want to play while they're on the beach being served pina coladas by half-naked cabana boys. I totally get that. But if you're going to go on vacation, then come home for a day, and then spend the next month "in the process of moving," and then come back for a couple of days, then be "scarce for at least the next two months" while you study for your doctorate - just please store, before you go on vacation.

That's what bothers me most about sponsored roles; the availability, or lack thereof, and hiring people who they already know in advance won't be playing around the same time they do. How are we supposed to tell our boss about what's going on, if our boss is never around when we are? If we ARE the person people pass messages to, to get word to our boss, then saying "find someone to pass messages to" is frustrating at best. Annoying at worst.

Don't hire me if I tell you I'm around this time of day, and you know you're about to change your schedule so that you are never around this time of day. I'm okay with you going OOC to tell me, the player, so that you don't have to RP around what is essentially an OOC scheduling conflict.
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Barsook

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2016, 08:28:16 PM »
+1 on the availability issue and also on the service to the game, in terms (to me) of leadership and stewardship to newbies and veterans alike.

What I found out from my first and only sponsored role for at least the Merchant Houses, is that I had a hard(er) time settling myself into the existing system of the sale of the crafted items crafted by PC crafters to NPC shops.  But this might be just me or certain things need to be maintained constant throughout the lifetime of that clan AND documented, so there is a same page for all leadership PC's, sponsored or not.

Akaramu

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2016, 08:39:48 PM »
The words 'forced storage' are a red rag to me by now, and I probably shouldn't comment on why.

However, I feel it should only be a last resort after everything else has been tried and failed, and only in severe cases. For instance, if a player exploited a bug to kill a PC they couldn't defeat otherwise. Or if they played a sponsored role but vanished for 3 months with no indication of when they'll be back. If a player has never exploited any bugs, never acted on OOC information, reliably communicates with staff, is active and roleplays well, then I don't see how storing their character helps anyone. In the worst case, the active player count goes down by one. And we all want more active players.

I've been in situations (in clans, not necessarily sponsored roles) where I wanted to do much more for the clan but wasn't given the opportunity to do so. For instance in the last case, I had 0 clue what was going on because my IC superior didn't log in during my times and the underlings I groomed for mutual information exchange and plotting died / became inactive / stopped logging in during my times, too. The clan PCs who often sat down with me to discuss ideas and exchange information died, and no one replaced them. Instead of pursuing my personal entertainment, I idled on the clan compound so I would be available to recruits. Bottom line: I did absolutely nothing but train recruits. It was such a waste of a highly skilled, fiercely loyal and motivated PC who earned badges of merit during the ratsucker RPT. Did I mention highly skilled? She kicked her Lieutenant's ass in training. I would have liked a bit more support from staff to fill the gap until I could connect with other clannies during my offpeak times again. If communication with staff had been different, I believe I could have contributed a lot more to that clan. And I would have been less frustrated.

If a player doesn't fulfill your expectations, show them how to do better. Throw them some breadcrumbs. Give examples of how they can contribute to the clan in a way that that's productive to everyone. If they're temporarily out of the clan loop due to playtime mismatch, an NPC or even some pointers in email could help a great deal.

Edit to add: a bit of praise for the things they DO get right would go a long way, too. ;) I sometimes feel the amount of negative feedback for relatively minor, honest IC mistakes was hugely disproportionate to the amount of effort the player put in to make good things happen. Even if effort doesn't bear fruit due to IC / OOC circumstances, it should still be acknowledged in some fashion.


« Last Edit: November 21, 2016, 08:48:43 PM by Akaramu »

Samoa

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Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2016, 08:43:56 PM »
Given the clarification made by staff, I would re-iterate: yes, put them on a performance plan, and if they fail with the plan, force store. But only put them on that plan if they're detrimental (to the setting) -- if it's a role that needs filled for technical reasons (Byn Sergeant, templar) just add another. It stands to reason that there would be lazy, do-nothing templars in the world, after all (even if that is not 'helpful' to the characters in-game).

As a proposal for how to fix this from being an issue in the first place, I feel Reiloth touched on what I'm about to say a little bit, in that it's difficult for many people to find success with a role where they're just told to go at it and have fun.

I think we've been seeing more stagnant sponsored roles in recent years as a result of there not being any staff-fueled 'stuff' going on -- it takes a fair bit of time and work staffside to get something going, but it takes at LEAST something like five times as much (with the accompanying slowed pace) to do it player-side, and consequently you have nobles, templars, and other leaders just languishing about while gears very, very, very slowly grind to try and accomplish something.

Even having the occasional semi-weekly tarantula-nest hunt for the AoD to go on, or the old sewer crawls, or other just active *stuff* gives a springboard from which to act upon, and I think we'd see more active and lively action from these roles were there foils to coax it out. Out of the two roles that I used to consider more or less 'mini-staff', we lost one -- sorcerers -- and I would wager that the percentage of players who can successfully get a psionicist off the ground (and happen to be playing one, of course) is a pretty small percentage indeed.

We have things like the recent festival, and those are nice and I think the effort is appreciated by most, but if there aren't PCs shaking something up to give these sponsored roles something to act against, I think there is some real merit in just creating something, however off-the-cuff, to provide them with something to act upon. It doesn't always have to be Game of Thrones intrigue. People (and by extension, characters) come alive when they're tested, and when you're at it on your own, it's hard to test yourself. Burgle someone's estate. Send out an assassin. Stick some monsters in the sewer. More broad existential threats (gith activity is up/the weather is getting steadily hotter/someone burnt the crop fields) are nice and a valuable part of the game, but characters in Armageddon truly shine when confronted with direct ones.

If we're concerned about fairness, allow players to set a non-consent flag like the review flag that only staff can see that acknowledges their willingness to have bad things visited upon them by staff. I think you'd see a surprisingly massive amount of people with it on (and this, perhaps, can be spun to its own thread to discuss if there's real interest).

People falter in leadership roles because there's honestly not a lot to do the vast majority of the time -- I know I'm not good with them for that reason specifically. Give 'em stuff.
<SanveanArmageddon> d00d
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[Laeris] (11:52:53 AM): If penicillin started spilling out of your butt, what would you do with it?

650Booger

  • Posts: 596
Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2016, 08:51:46 PM »
Here is my opinion: If the player of the sponsored role is not living up to the desires of staff, have them killed ICly in a visible and setting-appropriate way, as a punishment for the perceived flaw.

For example, a GMH sponsored dealer PC who refuses to deal?  Have them publicly confronted by NPC seniors, and if that doesn't do the trick, have them publicly executed.

This seems like it would be much less upsetting than a forced-store.
"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson

Armaddict

  • Posts: 6193
Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #23 on: November 21, 2016, 09:03:03 PM »
Here is my opinion: If the player of the sponsored role is not living up to the desires of staff, have them killed ICly in a visible and setting-appropriate way, as a punishment for the perceived flaw.

For example, a GMH sponsored dealer PC who refuses to deal?  Have them publicly confronted by NPC seniors, and if that doesn't do the trick, have them publicly executed.

This seems like it would be much less upsetting than a forced-store.

That's an IC solution for IC transgressions.

Maybe I misunderstood, but I was under the impression that this was about OOC behavior with the role.
She wasn't doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together. --J.D. Salinger

650Booger

  • Posts: 596
Re: Sponsored Roles and Role Playing - Quality... what?
« Reply #24 on: November 21, 2016, 09:27:18 PM »


That's an IC solution for IC transgressions.

Maybe I misunderstood, but I was under the impression that this was about OOC behavior with the role.

I think we've talked about both, poor RP ICly and also just not bothering to show up (which I guess is OOC behavior)
"Historical analogy is the last refuge of people who can't grasp the current situation."
-Kim Stanley Robinson