Vote for Head Narrator

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Who would you like to be Head Narrator?

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Total Votes : 15

Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:22 pm

Nathan -
I truly am sorry to see you go. While I was not always the most ardent supporter of your character (and Baelon-the-character even less so, though he was largely ignorant of your activities), I do feel that losing him - and you - is a tremendous loss to the game. Your IC posts were always filled with wit, brilliant character work, and excellent writing.

If my tone or the aggressiveness with which I argued my points had anything to do with it, I sincerely apologize. It was never my intent. It probably won't make any difference, but I do wish to say that I only said what I did because I felt that doing so could make a difference - that is, that with those concerns addressed the game could move forward quite successfully with you as Narrator. I also felt like we were making progress, and that had you not decided to depart, the concerns I had raised would have been addressed as satisfactorily as I could have hoped in short order, and I was looking forward to the game resuming with you at the helm.

Thank you for your compliments and words of support. If I do become the narrator (I will address this and Theo's concerns in a separate post), I hope I can live up to them. I will certainly do everything I can to do so. Also, have no fears - I absolutely would not, under any circumstance, kill off Nathan.

I wish you well in your other project and in life; if you decided to return to Nathan, you would be most welcome.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Ereth Redwain on Tue Jan 17, 2017 7:33 pm

I'll give it a try with Baelon as HN, but I'll reserve my words on the matter since it won't change things at all and no point adding to it. I believe Corrine voiced what I wanted to say before the lock on the thread.

Anyway I hope we see Nathan back I always enjoyed reading your posts.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:15 pm

Hello everyone,

We have once again found ourselves without a head narrator - a situation which I think we can all agree is not what any of us wanted. Clearly, if this game is to continue, we must resolve that in some way.

Nathan's kind words and encouragements aside, I am keenly aware that I have become a controversial figure here. Baelon-the-character was always intended to be so, however I never wanted that for myself as a player. I also meant it in the other thread that I would not want to just become the narrator by default because Nathan stepped down from the position.

Here is my proposal:

1) Sometime this evening or tomorrow (in my timezone) I will create a new thread with as detailed a plan as I can about what I intend to do (and not do) if I become narrator. The gist of it has been posted in fragmented form in this and other threads, but I will collate and update it into a single post.

2) Next Monday I will create a poll as to whether or not you the players will accept me and my plan. This may seem far off, but I feel it is crucial to give as much time for discussion on not just me as narrator, but on how I plan to approach it. I think this thread alone is sufficient evidence that how is as important as who.
3) Profit - by which I mean I either start to implement my plan or we are all saved from trying to make an unworkable situation work.

Of course, if anyone wishes to throw their hat into the ring and provide their own plan, I welcome it wholeheartedly. I would recommend that my general approach regarding feedback (see below) be followed.



I welcome any suggestions or feedback, publicly or by PM, before or after I post my plan. I can be quite thick-skinned when I set my mind to it, so don't feel the need to hold back. I will do my best to address all concerns raised in a timely manner. As I am a firm believer in public discourse, I prefer that issues be posted publicly, but of course recognize that some may feel more comfortable expressing themselves privately.

I intend to post the PMs I receive - paraphrased and without names, to respect privacy - and reply to them here, rather than reply by PM. The only exception to this is if I feel that the PM or response cannot be sufficiently anonymized, in which case I will respond by PM. If you are concerned that your PM cannot be sufficiently anonymized, say so in your PM and we can discuss it - if I disagree I will PM you the proposed anonymization for approval before posting.

My greatest concern in this process is to make sure that everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves. No thoughts are unimportant, no voices to be discounted. Old players, new players, those I have gotten along with and those I have not - this is all of our game, and all of your thoughts and opinions matter.

I will address Theo's concerns in a separate post, this one has gotten quite long enough as it is.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:29 pm

Theo has posted (to my eye) three concerns and two proposed solutions.

Concerns:
1) The game was intended to become more collaborative, but such a change must happen gradually, not quickly.
I'm going to disagree with the fundamental premise. This game has always been headed towards civil war. It's even named after that war. I see Story 2 as the abnormality, as unlike Story 1 where the politics were present alongside the events and flavored them greatly, Story 1 politics did not have us going head-to-head quite as much as they did in Story 2. That, I believe, is the intent in Story 3 - the two sides are still competing, but not in a winner-takes-all fashion. That is, we are all striving towards the same goal - defeat the Triarchy in the Stepstones. However we are competing for honors and advancement for good service and seeking to advance our houses at the same time. It is not Green vs Black (yet), it is Green and Black working together but striving to out-do each other. That to me seems to be a return to the style of Story 1, not a wild new direction for the game.

2) "Baked in" OOC conflicts will persist under Baelon as a Narrator.
Yes, they probably would. The past cannot simply be erased. This was true with Nathan and it would be true with me. For that matter, it was true under Reader. It is not whether or not such conflicts exist that is important, however, but rather how we operate going forward. I will not make promises I cannot keep, so I will not promise that those old OOC conflicts (which in our case predate this game) will not affect narrator/player interactions. I will, however, promise to do my best to minimize those effects. Being open and honest about them is the first step. If anyone feels they are being unfairly treated because of prior conflicts, they are welcome to say so at any time; I will take any such concerns quite seriously.

3) Baelon-the-character would be lost.
Yes, this is true. I have made my views on DMPCs quite clear. I would work with Reader to find a mutually acceptable way to keep Baelon out of the battles and events of Story 3. I know Reader had some special side-story stuff intended for Baelon, regarding the growing feud between him and his nemesis, Ser Lorent Marbrand. as something that Reader has already developed, I would want to see that play out, likely in a narrative form. Other than that, Baelon would only make appearances if specifically sought out by other players, or depending on what Reader and I work out about why he's not involved, perhaps as stage setting to other scenes. He would have no role in plot development beyond anything that Reader may have already incorporated into Season 3; other than the aforementioned material with Ser Lorent, I don't know of any.

Special mention is deserved of Baelon's role as the head of House Drakeson, and his close tie to Gwyn. Needless to say, that will have to be carefully considered when figuring out how to shift him from PC to NC. However, as Baelon would have been off at war in the Stepstones anyway, it should not be much of an issue for Story 3.

Proposed solutions:
1) Baelon-the-player starts a new game.
This is, as far as I am concerned, a non-starter. First, the idea of abandoning this game for a new one (regardless of who runs it) has already been considered and rejected. Second, I have no interest in starting a game from scratch. Should we be unfortunately unable to agree on who should take over and how this game should be run, and if someone else were to decide to start a new game, I might be interested in joining. Creating one from scratch is simply not something I have the time or mental wherewithal to deal with at this time.

2) Uncontroversial additions to the Narrator team.
I'm not sure there is anyone whose addition would be uncontroversial... I think everyone would be at least somewhat controversial to a portion of player base. Originally, I had hoped to have Nathan as a Story Narrator, primarily to run the social side of NCs (dialogue more than intrigue mechanics) and to assist me in keeping track of player-driven story elements and incorporating them into the pre-written events. However, that is now unfortunately off the table. If anyone feels that they would be up to the task, please PM me and we can discuss it.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:32 pm

Ereth Redwain wrote:I'll give it a try with Baelon as HN, but I'll reserve my words on the matter since it won't change things at all and no point adding to it. I believe Corrine voiced what I wanted to say before the lock on the thread.

Anyway I hope we see Nathan back I always enjoyed reading your posts.

I encourage you to tell me your specific concerns, here or by PM. I take all of them seriously, and cannot address criticisms that I do not know about. For that matter, even if something has already been said, if it is important to you than it bears repeating. Better that than my remaining ignorant of issues and thereby failing to correct them.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Reader on Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:55 pm

I've messaged Nathaniel privately to respond to a PM he sent me and his public message, proper public response soon (busy at the moment, about to do dishes and had to do stuff for other project instead of give a post here the care and attention it deserves) ! Smile

Let me very briefly say Nathaniel's message is gracious, encouraging and has the right tone. He was a great player and I hope to welcome him back one day if I'm the narrator. cheers

Just wanted to confirm Baelon's point 1) in his post above - it is a valid concern that's been raised, but I tried to structure Story 3's competitive element closer to Story 1, based on the Feedback thread. Baelon's post summarises this well.

Point 3) - If I stick around in a limited capacity I can probably handle something interesting for Baelon (should he take over as head narrator) while removing him from the theatre, just as we were planning with Nathaniel.

Point 2) - I dispute Baelon's point that I was ever influenced by OOC factors. Wink I held (and hold) you all in equal contempt.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Loreia on Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:34 pm

Long-term > short-term, and the way people have been discussing that particular issue when picking a new narrator gives me some concern that the bridge will burn before we get a chance to cross it. Still I am looking forward to getting back in the game, rousing rabbles and so forth!
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Theomore Tullison on Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:51 pm

I don't think we're disagreeing much about point #1 there, chapter 1 was on the right level, IMO, chapter 2 pushed it too much into competitiveness between players, chapter 3 looks to be back to where I think is a good spot. At least judging by the house objectives that I know of and general comments from reader about how he thinks it will all work out. As for #3, that's the outcome almost no matter who steps up, anyone with the drive to successfully run this thing is going to leave a big hole which won't be easily filled.

My main concern, and it's what I feel is the source to the OOC issues involved here, is that for two years (and a bit in BITW, too), you have struck me as a very rigid person, you have a tendency to stick rather forcefully to your original position, and argue for it in rather strong terms that on occasion makes other feel as if you try to "win the debates" by attrition and constructing arguments simply for the sake of discrediting the opposing opinions. On a personal note, there have been multiple cases of you openly speculating about what Theo has done or has not done, sometimes coated as facts, most of the time you've been dead wrong to such a degree that I sometimes wondered if you deliberately smeared it on thick. Once you claimed "Theo didn't mean it as a joke", as in me, the player, without bothering to check with the only person who actually had any idea about the meaning. Maybe I should have reacted to all of that, but truth is that I just grew tired of bothering with that sort of thing, and consulted with other people who said that it basically was just you who thought that way.

And in my view, a gamemaster needs to be flexible and willing to negotiate with players, because there will always be mishaps in text based communication, one understanding not carrying over to the other party, difficulty in reading how others react and so on, and what people really hate are surprises slapped in their face. So part of me saying that I think you starting a new game is better than you taking over this one is that what I perceive as your style and personality works bests when we can make our characters and build our story within that framework, while I feel that the "you" that we know as a fellow player is going to collide with the characters we have now and the story we have built.

A secondary concern that ought to be raised is that there's things in my forum (and from what I gather, others, too), that have been written on the assumption that only reader would ever see it, and I'd probably want to save that which is relevant for chapter 3 and beyond, and wipe the rest, but that would likely mean that bits and pieces of correspondence between me and reader is lost in the process that could be valuable to be able to look up goes in the trash with it.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:47 pm

Theomore Tullison wrote:My main concern, and it's what I feel is the source to the OOC issues involved here, is that for two years (and a bit in BITW, too), you have struck me as a very rigid person, you have a tendency to stick rather forcefully to your original position, and argue for it in rather strong terms that on occasion makes other feel as if you try to "win the debates" by attrition and constructing arguments simply for the sake of discrediting the opposing opinions. On a personal note, there have been multiple cases of you openly speculating about what Theo has done or has not done, sometimes coated as facts, most of the time you've been dead wrong to such a degree that I sometimes wondered if you deliberately smeared it on thick. Once you claimed "Theo didn't mean it as a joke", as in me, the player, without bothering to check with the only person who actually had any idea about the meaning. Maybe I should have reacted to all of that, but truth is that I just grew tired of bothering with that sort of thing, and consulted with other people who said that it basically was just you who thought that way.
I was once described by someone very dear to me as "opinionated in the good way - you have a reasoned opinion on just about everything, and if you don't, you think about it and come up with one".

I have an advanced degree in a field that holds as a virtue the ability to set aside one's own beliefs and look at the merits and flaws of differing perspectives and arguments. A good portion of that is looking for flaws in reasoning, not just in others but in oneself. It is a necessary skill in that field - to submit papers with faulty reasoning is a surefire way to fail classes. This leads to being able to develop a strong case for one's own position. Within my graduate program, I had a similar, but somewhat different reputation to what you have described. I would stubbornly defend what I felt was correct, yes. However, I was also respected for my willingness to engage with and consider opposing views fairly, and even play devil's advocate for positions I did not agree with but felt were being given short shrift. It was more than once joked that I didn't sit on fences, I straddled them - which is to say that I was not wobbling back and forth, but rather had a foot planted firmly on either side. It made me a favored discussion partner of a number of my classmates, as I would fairly consider what they had to say, and help them hone their arguments.

However, that was among people with the same training as I had. They too were careful and cautious to avoid faulty reasoning, and had great incentive to do so (Philosophy is a highly competitive field, so getting even a single bad grade can significantly impact future job prospects). However, most people do not have that training, or that kind of incentive. Most people do not appreciate having their ideas argued with, or faulty reasoning pointed out. I get that; I wasn't born a philosopher. Learning to appreciate challenges to my arguments was a long and difficult process. It is not easy for me to turn my reasoning skills off, however. Especially when I care about something. To allow something I feel to be a bad idea to be adopted based on faulty reasoning is anathema to me. So yes, I can seem inflexible and rigid. However, that is not because I am unwilling to change my mind, it is because I have a higher standard of reason necessary to be convinced. It drives my political activist friends bonkers because I don't just jump on their bandwagons, and I will point out the flaws in their positions and defend their opponents... even if I largely disagree with those opponents.

Theomore Tullison wrote:And in my view, a gamemaster needs to be flexible and willing to negotiate with players, because there will always be mishaps in text based communication, one understanding not carrying over to the other party, difficulty in reading how others react and so on, and what people really hate are surprises slapped in their face. So part of me saying that I think you starting a new game is better than you taking over this one is that what I perceive as your style and personality works bests when we can make our characters and build our story within that framework, while I feel that the "you" that we know as a fellow player is going to collide with the characters we have now and the story we have built.
I agree with you that a gamemaster needs to be able flexible and willing to negotiate. More so than a player that merely needs to present their perspective and arguments and then accept whatever ruling the gamemaster makes. The "me" you know from me as a player is not the same "me" that you would have gotten to know had I been a gamemaster. They are different roles and require different approaches. However, I do not see how that relates to continuing this game vs. starting a new one. I would be the same "me" in charge of this game or in charge of a new one. Moreover, I have already said that developing a new game from scratch is off the table for me at this time; that makes this a bit of a moot issue.

Theomore Tullison wrote:A secondary concern that ought to be raised is that there's things in my forum (and from what I gather, others, too), that have been written on the assumption that only reader would ever see it, and I'd probably want to save that which is relevant for chapter 3 and beyond, and wipe the rest, but that would likely mean that bits and pieces of correspondence between me and reader is lost in the process that could be valuable to be able to look up goes in the trash with it.
Aye, there's the rub. It's the same rub that would occur under any change in narrator, no matter who took up Reader's mantle.

It is thus necessary that any new narrator be able to deal with criticisms and complaints, old as well as new, and be able to separate prior attitudes, beliefs, political affiliations, and so on from the present tasks of narrating. I feel I am up to that task, if you or anyone else disagree I welcome that to be said clearly.  I have no interest in taking over if there is no confidence in my ability to do so. That would be a waste of everyone's time and a source of great frustration.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Reader on Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:00 pm

Nathaniel was confident that Baelon could do this, if the other players will have him, and he was appointed one of the co-narrators in BITW. I support both of these motions of confidence in Baelon's abilities.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

Post by Loreia on Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:58 pm

Regarding the sensitive content of house/personal threads: I've seen a forum (the system) just chop off a thread at 40 pages and lock it, and continue with a new thread with the most recent posts of the locked thread, under the same name. I've seen two examples of this, the threads just got too long.

Maybe Reader could do that manually, and keep access to the locked thread locked off from Baelon, while allowing the new narrator access to the new one, and players who had access to the locked thread wouldn't lose the privilege of reading through it.
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Re: Vote for Head Narrator

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