A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

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Do you approve of Baelon as narrator, and of his plan?

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A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:45 pm

Hello everyone,

As promised, here is the poll to vote whether or not I should take over as narrator, following the plan outlined below. It is the same plan as the other thread, updated to account for the concerns expressed. If you have kept up on that thread there should be no surprises below.

1) Scope, Duration, and Schedule
At this time, I cannot commit to years of narrating - not even a single full year. I am expecting - even hoping for - a major upheaval in my life sometime this year. I do not know what the full extent of it will be, or when precisely it will occur. I am confident that I can implement Story 3 with no difficulty, even during/after the upheaval (I may need a week or so off, but that would be it) due to the fact that it has already been developed. However, I cannot be certain that after the upheaval I would have the time or energy to develop Story 4. It is not a guarantee that I cannot or will not continue to narrate; however, I want to be clear that I may not be able to. I should know well before the end of Story 3, though, so a more orderly and less disruptive transition would be able to be arranged.

I anticipate Story 3 lasting at least 4 months, but it could be anywhere from slightly shorter to significantly longer, depending on a number of factors. At this time, I do not have a schedule for how often game events would be released, as I do not have the details of those events. Further, I woudl like to keep the schedule somewhat flexible, at least to start - I would like to gauge the pace of play before committing to a specific schedule. There would always be at least a week's notice before events come to an end, however.

2) Content
At this time, I do not intend to deviate from Reader's prepared story. Circumstances may necessitate tweaks or even major rewrites - no narrator can predict in advance how the players may impact the planned events. In fact my greatest joy in game mastering is the unexpected things that occur as the  players interact with the ongoing world. However, my priary objective will be to maintain Reader's vision for Story 3 and to allow all of you to tell the story of your characters.

I do not intend to create any events beyond those intended by Reader, nor any narrative side stories. I wish the focus to be on the PCs. Of course, players are encouraged to interact with each other and with NCs for character development, advancing character or house goals (mechanical or otherwise), or for any other reason. In the case of player-created events, I will consult with Reader regarding their inclusion, though I may make tweaks or modifications if I feel it is appropriate. IC schemes created by characters are of course welcome; to a great extent they are the driving force behind this beautifully complex story we have woven.

If a thread would need my involvement I would recommend discussing it with me in advance, preferably laying out the purpose and desired scope of interaction. This is more to help me manage my time than to control PC actions; I may simply ask the player to write up a scene and then make tweaks to better represent the NCs personality. This approach has been used with good result by Nathan, myself, and others (Septon Arlyn, I think?).

3) Mechanics
I do not intend to unilaterally make any major changes in mechanics. All of Reader's decisions will still stand, regardless of whether I agree with them (Maneuver action, Tourney Knight, others too). Obviously, there will be matters that need clarification and issues that have not come up before. For simple matters of clarification I will likely just make a decision, but for more complicated issues I would solicit input first. As with everything I do, constructive feedback is always welcome. If a thread is being held up by a mechanical matter, I may make a temporary ruling to allow the thread to be wrapped up while the issue is discussed. Mechanics heavy threads typically move slow enough as it is. If there is a desire on the part of the players to revisit a house-rule, I am open to discussing it.

I have noted in the past that I am fond of exploring various combat options other than the standard "Charge, Knockdown, Aim and Attack, Reckless Attack" over and over again. This is something that Reader has been doing, particularly for non-Westerosi opponents, and I will continue to do so (and non-Westerosi opponents will be a prominent feature of Story 3). NC opponents will fight to their strengths and their personalities, much as I would expect all of you to do. It adds variety and character to the combat opponents.

However, some have expressed concern that this would require a level of fight mechanics greater than what players have. I will however point out that at this point, only the most significant of NCs have the raw numbers that PCs have. Most opponents, no matter what style or combat actions they use will be overwhelmed by the raw superiority of the PCs [note: events that may cause non-combatant PCs into combat situations will have weaker opponents; PCs who start fights have no such guarantees]. Furthermore, should anyone feel that their knowledge of the mechanics is insufficient, I encourage you to say something in a public OOC thread (mechanical discussions would be appropriate) or ask me for advice. Having varied mechanics in use is intended to keep combat interesting, not make it more difficult. This applies to all mechanical matters, not just combat. The rules are there to facilitate the character, not get in their way.

4) Team
I have given this a lot of thought. I would have liked to have a story narrator to help with RPing NCs and weaving player-driven story arcs into the existing events. However, we have just lost my preferred candidate, and not too long before we lost another player. To be frank, I don't think that it is a good idea to lose any more characters.

For that reason, I would prefer to have a pool of volunteers that I can call on to handle various tasks as needed rather than a single Story Narrator. These volunteers would assist in running combats, battles, intrigues, and even NC roleplay as needed, with guidelines for NC behavior set forth by me. This is a bit of an expansion of the player volunteers we have had so far. However, just as you the players would need to trust me the narrator, I too will need to trust you to have NCs behave appropriately and ask for clarification or further guidance where necessary. I do not know how often I will need to call on volunteers, but having a pool of volunteers in advance would allow me to select the right volunteer for the job at hand.

5) Communication
It is my opinion that communication is the most important aspect of being a narrator. I have said that I don't expect that being narrator will be easy, nor do I expect it will always be fun. However, I hope we can work together and make sure that everybody is having fun. If you are having fun, I will be having fun. If something is not fun, let me know, and i will strive to fix it. I may be smart, but I am not psychic. I do not always pick up on problems. All I ask is that you give me the benefit of the doubt and that if something is bothering you, tell me. I want everyone to feel comfortable talking to me about both what is good and what is bad. I would ask that you try to be polite about it, but I'd rather you say something without being polite than not say anything at all. I can't fix problems I don't know about.

Like Nathan, I do not particularly like the PM system here, and (once I have access) would prefer to communicate in private forum threads rather than by PM. Further, for matters that are of public interest, such as asking about event mechanics, the schedule, etc., a post in the game discussion OOC thread is better than communicating with me directly. Other may have the answer, and if not, others will probably want to know the answer. Private communications should be reserved for matters that involve IC secrets, discussions about volunteering tasks, and so on. Of course, communications of a personal matter should be discussed privately, as well. The more public the communication can be though, the better. General OOC is preferred to House OOC threads, House OOC threads are preferable to Personal OOC threads.

If I have not responded in a reasonable timeframe - say, 48 hours, a post in the "narrator summoning thread" would be appropriate. If 48 hours have passed from that post and I still haven't responded, PM me. Of course, on occasion there may be time sensitive matters. If 48 hours is too long to wait, indicate that in the message; I will do my best to respond sooner, but I cannot make any guarantees.

6) Baelon (the character)
As I have stated elsewhere, I will work with Reader to develop a reason why Baelon will not be directly involved with the story events. He may appear in RP or pure narration scenes, but that would be at the instigation of other players or things that Reader has already developed as part of Story 3. I have no details as of yet because I do not have the Story 3 materials yet. That is something that would necessarily have to wait until after the vote.
To be clear, Baelon will not be a part of the story in either narrative or mechanical ways, unless other players make him a part of the story (i.e. seek out for interaction) or if his presence is necessary for a part of Reader's events. Either way, he will not contribute mechanically to events, earn Green/Black points, House Goal VP, or personal story VP.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Ser Alfred Haigh on Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:49 pm

Does this poll have a cut-off date ?
Also I'd like to apply for inclusion in the volunteer pool, if there are still vacancies and a still somewhat loose knowledge of the mechanics isn't exclusionary.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Wed Jan 25, 2017 8:00 pm

Oh, yeah, I put a 7 day limit on the poll. People's schedules vary, so I wanted to give a full week for responses.

Thank you for volunteering! You are actually the first to officially ask to be included, I'm hoping that others will follow suit soon.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Loreia on Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:18 am

I thought it went without saying that those who volunteered to support Nathan would also be volunteers under you as storyteller.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Gwyneth Drakeson on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:13 pm

It's best not to assume anything goes without saying, I think. Saying is pretty important.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:49 pm

Checking in here too. Smile

Sorry, busy with work/secret thing.

Wife in Berlin this weekend so probably a good time for me to do back end transfers, admin access etc.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Baelon Drakeson on Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:28 pm

Hello everyone,

Thank you for your patience and support. The vote having passed, I will begin working with Reader to get the game rolling again as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, I would ask that you start preparing a list of things that need to be addressed to move forward. My top priority is finishing the off-season wrap-up, then resolving the existing Story 3 events, and then finally moving on to new material.

On a final note, I will be creating a new account from which to perform my narrator duties; please do not PM this account as I may not see it. I will post from that new account as soon as it gets approved.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:03 pm

Just sorting out the new account - forumotion seems to hate Baelon's alternative email address.

Luckily we've got our best people on it. Best People.

[Read: we'll try an alternative address!]
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Gwyneth Drakeson on Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:11 pm

Top men?

Or is this more of a 'we have all the best people, everyone says so' thing? Smile
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:18 pm

Gwyneth Drakeson wrote:Top men?

Or is this more of a 'we have all the best people, everyone says so' thing? Smile

We're all over it, like a cheap suit from Top Man. Wink

Baelon's having a good with a secon address so the glorious handover (I'll still be around as support!) should take please over the weekend, I hope. Baelon can then set an appropriate timetable. Smile
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Valar Dohaeris on Fri Feb 03, 2017 6:50 am

Picky forum software appeased. I have my new account, and I am prepared to serve...
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:42 am

Have broadened Valar Dohaeris's access privileges and made him an Admin.

Will email spreadsheets after I've been tot the tailor, we're updating our team photo at work and I want to have one of my less shabby suits patched up and dry cleaned. Embarassed
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Valar Dohaeris on Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:58 pm

...and with my new awesome power, the first thing I did was...

*drumroll*

Turned on name coloring for House Drakeson. Fear my awesome powers. Rolling Eyes

I was going to give them the Coldbrook color to show affiliation, but there was already a color set, so I went with that. Now it will no longer look like new users are part of House Drakeson.

Anyway... the point is that I am learning the board admin stuff, too. There's a lot more to this job than just the game. I am gaining a new appreciation for everything that Reader has been doing behind the scenes that we players were only slightly (if at all) aware of.

Thanks, Reader.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Sat Feb 04, 2017 2:04 pm

Thanks for the kind words! This kind of thing is a labour of love, but there's a significant degree of unseen labour.

Let me know if there's any admin stuff that is a particular pain or that I can help with. Lets you concentrate on the actual game. Everyone, please be patient with VD (rofl, unfortunate abbreviation) while he learns the admin tools.

I sent the key narrator files to your Lycos address: one spreadsheet (excel format) and two word documents. Let me know here or via email if you need these to be converted to Open Office.

I think my secret project is announced next week, I'll announce it here when it is public.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Triston Tollett on Sat Feb 04, 2017 3:44 pm

Running games is always a labor of love.

It truly is work, and people who don't realize that need to run a game and find out Smile
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Sat Feb 04, 2017 5:34 pm

Triston Tollett wrote:Running games is always a labor of love.

It truly is work, and people who don't realize that need to run a game and find out Smile

Very rewarding too, having been a PC and a narrator. It was fun seeing both sides of various schemes/misunderstandings etc.

Delighted that Baelon is willing to take control while I'm busy.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Valar Dohaeris on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:01 pm

Perhaps go with V instead of VD. Clearly didn't think of that when picking a screen name. Embarassed
I chose the name because I felt that there were interesting parallels; a different face of the Stranger, giving up my character was sort of like giving up my 'self', and a narrator is inherently many-faced. I went with the 'serve' side of the phrase because that is how I see the role of a narrator - to serve the players. That and 'all men must die' might give a bit of the wrong impression.

I've run games before, so I more or less knew what I was getting into on that front.
I've run websites before, so I more or less knew what I was getting into on that front, too.

This will be the first I've done them both at the same time before, so I apologize in advance if there are any hiccups; as I've said before, I am quite open to feedback.

Reader, I got the docs (MS formats are fine, I can convert if I need to). Now, ot borrow *your* name, I have some reading to do. Very Happy
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Loreia on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:28 pm

Would that I could! I don't have the mind for it. Embarassed

Usernames can be changed! Shorthand VoDa, or Valar? Or change to Morgulis for VM? It is true after all...

Necessity first. Things of significance to story that need to be concluded:
Looking After Lily
Trials at Riverrun

Combats
Velaryons on the Docks
Jorah and Baelon are out, leaving behind poor Kevan with too many named NCs for one man to handle. Perhaps someone who's come out of their combat relatively unscathed could volunteer their character, and someone could control Jorah? I wouldn't mind doing that. People who have already fought tertiary characters would not get cumulative rewards.
Seven Against Wyl
Tournaments: Drakeson, Coldbrook, Bartheld(?)
Again, I could control Jorah.

Other: see various house/personal forums.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:37 pm

I can wrap up a bunch of that stuff tomorrow/over the following week, going out for tea tonight. Smile

Thanks for the list Ser Loreia.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Valar Dohaeris on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:48 pm

VoDa, I like that. Makes me sound wise. Also small, green, and 900 years old, but at least I'd look good for my age.

I see no reason why Baelon would disappear from prior events, so the Velaryon fight for instance can be resolved as-is; Baelon would not be eligible for any PC-only rewards of course, but where he already was inextricably involved he can operate as any other NC - fade into the background where possible, participate where necessary.

I'm working up some ideas to pitch to Reader about why Baelon would not be involved with Story 3 events, I'll include some ideas for resolving his participation in existing events, too. Of course, all of that will ultimately be Reader's call.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Reader on Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:53 pm

Valar Dohaeris wrote:VoDa, I like that. Makes me sound wise. Also small, green, and 900 years old, but at least I'd look good for my age.

I see no reason why Baelon would disappear from prior events, so the Velaryon fight for instance can be resolved as-is; Baelon would not be eligible for any PC-only rewards of course, but where he already was inextricably involved he can operate as any other NC - fade into the background where possible, participate where necessary.

I'm working up some ideas to pitch to Reader about why Baelon would not be involved with Story 3 events, I'll include some ideas for resolving his participation in existing events, too. Of course, all of that will ultimately be Reader's call.

Definitely having Baelon present at the Velaryon dock event.

Baelon/Stepstones - easiest option is have him involved in a different theatre of the fighting, another of the Stepstones for example. Open to other interesting ideas however. Smile
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Ayleth Bartheld on Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:22 am

Reader wrote:I can wrap up a bunch of that stuff tomorrow/over the following week, going out for tea tonight. Smile

Thanks for the list Ser Loreia.

I hope it went well
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Theomore Tullison on Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:17 am

I think trials are both concluded? Save for some IC maybe. Some wrap-up (and maybe first over the wall) needed at Wyl, and Ser Jorah's battle.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Valar Dohaeris on Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:29 am

Quick update - I'm working with Reader to get Baelon squared away and off season/ongoing story 3 events wrapped up. I'm hoping to have some of that ready soon, and some new Story 3 content out, too.
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Re: A vote to move forward with Baelon's plan

Post by Gwyneth Drakeson on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:58 pm

Good deal! Thanks for the update.
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