Author Topic: AMA: Servitude Q & A  (Read 431 times)

Bebop

  • Posts: 3999
AMA: Servitude Q & A
« on: March 13, 2019, 12:01:29 PM »
To piggy back off of isFriday's leadership thread let's talk about servitude in game.  If you haven't seen the original please check it out and contribute here -

http://gdb.armageddon.org/index.php/topic,54522.0.html

Good leadership is crucial to the game, but they only make up what?  10% of the player base?  20%?  I don't know, but the point is at any given time most people are going to be playing mundane, commoner, non-sponsored roles.  Specifically, I'd like to talk about everyone's advice for how to keep things going, shake things up and play out a long lived clannie or servant when you've got restrictions from being employed.

I can't lay out the deets but not long after I returned to the game I had a PC that I loved but I made some uncouth decisions and ended up paying for the consequences.  I think the general reaction was why would you do that?  You were so close to moving up the ladder!  And the real reason?  Was because OOC I... was... BORED!  My leader wasn't around much and I was feeling crunched and it was hard to balance the restrictions of play vs the isolation.   I have a theory. 

Restrictions + Good Interaction = A fun vivid game world
Isolation + Freedom = Opportunity for a fun vivid game world
Restrictions + Isolation = Not a fun time

So, am I the best person to ask about this topic since I like to play risky?  Probably not.  I would love to learn from those of you that have had successful long-term servile roles and also about how the leaders in your clans subtly or unsubtly helped make it a fun playing experience for you.

To start us off here are some questions I have for all of you.

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What was your favorite role as a long-term servant/clannie?

Regardless of long-term or short-term what has made playing a clannie fun for you?

If you've played as an "underling" in a clan what made it fun, sustainable over long term?

What do you do to engage when your clan hits a low population point?

What guides do you have for yourself when playing a commoner/servant/clannie?

What did the leaders of your clan do or not do to help it come alive?

How much do you feel leaders are responsible for shaping the underling experience?

Riev

  • Posts: 5545
Re: AMA: Servitude Q & A
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2019, 02:06:37 PM »

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What was your favorite role as a long-term servant/clannie?
A while ago, I played a Salarri recruit in Tuluk, under Omar I believe. Firstly, one of the ways to prove I was worthwhile, was to find 2 other people to join the ranks as well. I found 4. This was back in the days around the Expansion Division, so there was a role for "Left Hand" and I was always angling for that. I would pay people off by reverse-pickpocketing pouches of coin into their inventory, and just generally do the weird stuff. I didn't last very long, but I do remember being arrested for trying to plant a tube of spice on a Jihaen (he asked for one, I thought it would be a good show of skill to not even have to hand it to him, and convince him he already had it. Did not work.). I think I stored that PC TO become a Jihaen, myself.

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Regardless of long-term or short-term what has made playing a clannie fun for you?
Being in a clan where there is at least a visible overarching plot. Not "go kill things" or "we will be the best" but more of a "We plan on overtaking House Dumbledore in rankings". Or at least the idea that there IS something to why you're going on these foolish outings. I once, as a Kadian hunter, had to go out and bring back like 20 duskhorn hides, because some noble wanted a chair. Did they need all 20 hides? Hell no. But it had to be perfect, a good kill, etc etc... so I wasn't "just hunting", I was doing something for the clan. Being a part of it. A needed part of it.

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If you've played as an "underling" in a clan what made it fun, sustainable over long term?
Over the long term? Consistent leadership and/or contentious elements I could play with or against. Having promotions available is helpful, but a lot of times they're meaningless because you can do "whatever your leader says you can do". Aide positions where you DO get to meet with your Patron are good, especially if you can act as a Proxy. Unfortunately, being in a clan means that there has to be -some- leadership, at least for me. So to make it sustainable in the long term, there needs to be some sort of overarching plot/goals that everyone can participate in, and see progress or failures on.

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What do you do to engage when your clan hits a low population point?
Normally I go to the bar and look for who else might be around, to start trying to pull them into whatever plot threads I might still be clinging to. If I can convince someone to go bring in meat, so that I can have another do the cooking, so I can present some salted/cooked meats to some starving population to make it look like "a gift from Fale, who wants everyone to be healthy enough to dance", I'll do it. But that only goes so far and takes up so little of my time. Often I'll end up just trying to twink up my skills, whatever they may be, so I see some sort of progression in some way.

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What guides do you have for yourself when playing a commoner/servant/clannie?
None. I actually wish I had the willpower to have used more. Something to flesh out the background to explain why they'd work for <x> House, and why they'd continue to do so after being treated like shit. Do they prefer to take orders? Is it temporary? Are they leveraging the status into something else? I never thought about these things, just waited until someone gave me a hook.

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What did the leaders of your clan do or not do to help it come alive?
The best ones had an ability to make it seem like there was always something you could be doing, outside your normal routine, to advance "the cause". Whether it was 'allowing' your presence at meetings, or giving the odd job that seems menial but... hey.. I guess you really need  dozen more smelling salts. Some of my favorite Byn memories are Runner 'Gortok piles' in the Gaj where one person would be overly surly or aggressive, just to see if someone was drunk enough to try and start a brawl, even with the other 3-4 of us at the table just waiting to jump in. Or, I used to drop scraps of cloth or innocuous items around the Compound to make it look like there are other NPCs doing things (only in rooms WITH an NPC, never to make it look like someone was always there).

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How much do you feel leaders are responsible for shaping the underling experience?
Very much responsible for SHAPING the experience, but not 100% responsible for servicing or providing it. The leader's job is to provide enough structure in the clan to give you something to hook into, and check in with them on, but not necessarily be the one leading you around by the nose. Even a "bad" PC can be a good leader by communicating whatever the goals of the clan, or group, may be at the time. Are you a Byn Sergeant who cares more about bringing in just enough coin to keep Copper of your balls while you get your dick wet? Fine, make that known so your unit isn't expecting you to train them in drills. Are you a Noble who has more fun threatening to kill any commoners you deem below you, than trying to strike a deal? Let your aides know that, and let them decide how they want to serve you in this threatening. But be communicative, and consistent. Underlings are a godsend, when you have a good one, but without direction they're just an NPC.
Masks are the Armageddon equivalent of Ed Hardy shirts.

Tuannon

  • Posts: 1338
Re: AMA: Servitude Q & A
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2019, 08:50:14 AM »
What was your favorite role as a long-term servant/clannie?

Probably Buhz, although really for 2/3 of his life he was a waste of time because of things and stuff that I won't go into. He was great fun early when shit was dynamic, less fun when nobody had a clue who he was or what he had done. Some of this is my fault though.

Regardless of long-term or short-term what has made playing a clannie fun for you?

Getting team projects or goals done, transparency apparent to the peons or not.

If you've played as an "underling" in a clan what made it fun, sustainable over long term?

Good leadership of a specific and compatible type with a leader who will take your mistakes and triumphs and run with them rather than just bulldoze what efforts you make because gotta stick to their idea of what should be going on.

What do you do to engage when your clan hits a low population point?

I think I have seen two people at the most my current role was active from my clan, next question.

What guides do you have for yourself when playing a commoner/servant/clannie?

Be real, map out a personlity check list and stick to it. You're not omnipotent, you're not inclined to stare at anyone who walks past (unless that's your thing). And if you get interacted with, have a plan. Just because some people have (seemingly) unrealistic character attributes it doesn't mean you should follow suite. I often like to have two strengths and a flaw to a character, or something like that.

What did the leaders of your clan do or not do to help it come alive?

Think about operations of the servile types from the ground up, not just the macro plan for getting the best harvest of Byn berries this year. Think about who is doing what and who needs help or watching. That said it's also important to have an air of fallibility which means your sub directives may fall through or not be adequate. I think Raleris Winrothol was an excellent example of this.

How much do you feel leaders are responsible for shaping the underling experience?

It's hard to put to numbers, a fair bit but not solely responsible. The underlings need to give the leader the impression through RP or actual task accomplishment that they are competent, or not competent or whatever. A lot of byplay I have seen is implied but not actually carried out or even shaped in play. You didn't ask Amos, why act like he answered you?

valeria

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Re: AMA: Servitude Q & A
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2019, 11:03:24 AM »
What was your favorite role as a long-term servant/clannie?

My favorite role as a long-term servant was Sherris Keshmar, who served Raleris for a while in Tuluk.  Most of my other servants haven't lasted that long, usually because they die (Fatima in the Legion, Ji in Kadius, Koatl in the Sun Runners) or transition away (Onyxi in the Byn) or I store or have them staff killed for a sponsored role.  I think it's notable though that Sherris was also a family role with Tallis, which gave her some interesting aspects beyond just being a Cavalier.

Regardless of long-term or short-term what has made playing a clannie fun for you?

Playing a clannie is fun for me when the clan has a lot of interesting personalities for my character to play off of, and when the clan comes together for some purpose on a regular basis.  It could be sparring, it could be hunting, it could be crafting, it could be singing around the fire, it could be 'this is an RPT where we just play cards.'  I don't have fun when each of the clan members is off doing their own thing all the time.  I like to be where the people are.

If you've played as an "underling" in a clan what made it fun, sustainable over long term?

Having the freedom to be my character and do things that would make sense for my character, but also having a schedule that puts the people in the clan together at certain places and times.  The Byn is a good example of this.  You have sparring in the morning, and chores in the afternoon, and then off days where you can do what you want.  I also like clans who say "if there is no one around at this time for an hour, you can go do what you want," so that I don't get stuck solo RPing standing around scratching myself.

What do you do to engage when your clan hits a low population point?

Recruit.  I sit in bars and try to get people to join my clan so that I can have some people to play with.  I also just sit in bars and make other friends, since not everything has to be about the clan.

What guides do you have for yourself when playing a commoner/servant/clannie?

Play my character, not my role.  Sometimes this is very difficult when my character is in a poor role for them but they really want to be there.  Or when playing my character is going to get them in trouble in the role or possibly even killed, like the time my Kurac mul almost went off in the barracks about something.

What did the leaders of your clan do or not do to help it come alive?

One of the things I liked that Raleris did was always check in with me to see if I had anything to report.  Even if my answer was that I had nothing to report, it created that opportunity for interaction.  I also like when my clan's leaders drag my characters into plots instead of treating everything like A Huge Secret All The Time, especially when my characters have shown some loyalty.  I like it when my clan's leaders give assignments that play to my character's strengths and, if they've been around long enough, ask them for advice.

How much do you feel leaders are responsible for shaping the underling experience?

This is a hard question for me.  I think that the leader should shape the underling experience by playing their character, and that doing so should be what drags the clan along into plots and intrigues.  The only type of leader I don't like is the one who is constantly unavailable, even when they're logged in.  If your leader is never physically present and never answers over the way, and the clan is never doing anything, I'm going to get bored.  But at the same time, not everything about the clan is on the leader, and I should be bringing things to the clan as an underling.
A Kuraci regular shouts, in sirihish:
     "Bad move, fool!"
A Kuraci regular slashes a filthy grey rat on its body.