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sylin city parliament cordially invite you to attend the second annual masquerade ball in order to stave off the dreariness of the season! refreshments will be provided, and formal attire is required. please leave your weaponry at home and dance the night away! ...however, this year not all is as it seems. it appears someone has placed a riddle on the back of the invitations. who-- or what-- could have done this, and why?
ZUGZWANG is an illustrated panfandom roleplay with a twist-- characters must either choose to give up their memories or abilities to play the chessmaster's game. with a progression system that lets you earn back what you've lost and over fifty active fandoms, the sky is the limit!
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Back with another question. And honestly not sure if this'll be in the right board or not. Either ways, I cant seem to find any other threads that have the general answers Im seeking for my question.
So as you guys are probably aware of, I'm still working on my big RWBY au forum. And been thinking on a different way to manage the character app and claiming process... Mostly because I want to encourage growth and character development. I am also sorry if I cant explain this properly.
If you're remotely interested in joining 50 Shades of Grimm (au rwby rp). Would you want the traditional character application process where you make a app, its looked over, accepted ,locked, sorted and just left stagnant?
Or would you be more open to having the freedom to claim a faceclaim with the general idea of what you want your character to be, along with their background and semblance? This option im curious about will give people the chance to build and develop their characters as they play them. Because I know I have a couple of RWBY oc's on another site that ain't fully flushed out, one doesn't even have her semblance worked out.
Once again, Im sorry if none of this makes sense. But if it does, thats great! Anyways, I'd love to hear thoughts and opinions on this question if willing.
I, for one, would love to find a RWBY site where the app didn’t feel like a giant process. I think less is more in these cases, and would definitely be a draw for people who don’t want to spend hours crafting seven sections and two apps to plays some RWBY. I like the idea of being able to update your app periodically, as long as it’s not a monolith initially.
Another thing to consider may be creating a forum/board where people can post updates about their characters and all the things they've gone through. That way, someone could look at the app and see where the character started, then look at this sort of tracker and see how they have grown and progressed? When I was an admin, I personally liked having the app stay the same so I could see what I had originally accepted and so people didn't try and sneak anything by me after the fact. But, that's me personally. I've also never seen RWBY and have no idea what really goes on with it, so none of this may even apply!
This is something I've been struggling with as well.
My site has a progression system that is on the profile and needs to be updated regularly, but frankly even offering the option for people to rewrite personality/history later on tends to never be used and I completely get it. A lot of people view character creation as the annoying paperwork they have to do in order to make a character, and while I disagree with that statement the fact of the matter is that you need to figure out what you want and what the essential parts of the application are and what can either be streamlined or removed.
For the evolving applications bit I just shifted it entirely to what I call Renown Threads. Basically what this means is that every character can get a thread that highlights all the cool shit they have done, but have a limited number of slots to do so. Each entry in every Renown Thread is considered public knowledge, and it is not considered metagaming if someone IC knows everything on someone's renown thread. What my goal for that is for people to have a space where they can brag and get credit for cool things that they do, but have limited space to do so. That means that characters have to pick and choose what they want to throw up there, because new posts and thus achievements they can highlight are only unlocked through character progression and event participation.
I also have the caveat that backstory achievements can only feature in the first post that everyone gets for free, because I realized that the reason I implemented this was to give people the opportunity to publicly display the cool stuff that they did IC. If someone just wrote about their suspiciously awesome and heroic backstory the entire time, that defeated the purpose of the Renown Thread. So they get to talk about their suspiciously awesome and heroic backstory for one entry, and every other entry past that must occur in an IC thread. If you want to brag about doing some super dangerous hunter mission, you need to actually GO on a super dangerous hunter mission first.
For the applications themselves, honestly I've come to the view recently that freedom is good but guided freedom is better. Throwing a bunch of crap at people all at once and going 'You can pick anything!' leads to decision paralysis, and giving expectations of every section you put in your application might help. For example, in the personality/history sections a few things that I really want to see are the following:
What's your reason for being a hunter in the first place? IE what is your motivation for actually participating in the site and its events IC.
What's a bond that connects you to the setting? Everyone cares about something, whether it's an object or a person or a group or an idea. What's yours and how did it come to be so important to you?
Basic sketch of upbringing.
Basic sketch of training, IE how you got the skills to be accepted into a Huntsman Academy.
Basic sketch of personality traits/flaws.
Do they have to do all of this? No. And enforcing that would be a giant pain in the ass. But I recently changed the descriptions of the profiles to be much more guided and walk someone through what I hope to see on applications. Some people will dump a 10k word history and address exactly none of this, and that's okay! I see the point of the character application to actually get to know the character you want to play as and for other people to be introduced to them as well -- but there are other ways to do that!
Shippers are something that some sites do that I really like, and in some ways I prefer that and a bare-bones application. They never really took off in my site because everyone but me hates shippers and prefers to plot on Discord -- which is also fine! Shippers can work for you, though, and I feel like the more barebones the application is the more helpful shippers can be for you as a way to introduce others to your character in a systematic way while doing it in a different way than a stagnant character app.
My views on applications and non-stat progression change every few months, frankly. I'm still very much in the 'Character applications are a necessary part of forum roleplaying games that I enjoy' camp, but even if you are also in that camp you can still strip that application down to what you believe you and your other players need to interact with that character. Endorrain, for example, had a very barebones app but also required a shipper to play. As a player who didn't know a lot about the setting I really loved that and the ability to build my character as time went on starting with only the stats and a basic outline of what I wanted.
It's not a system I'd want on my own site at this point because I feel like for adventure hooks I need to know a bit more about characters and what they might bite on. Some staffers may claim to read a bunch of their member's threads, but I'm not one of them. If I'm not involved in it, unless I think it's interesting for some reason I tend to skip it and I use the app as the only document on the site currently that has the basic outline of the character both personality wise and combat capability. If you're not doing staff run events or feel as though broad events are better than narrow ones, you might not need that much detail at all.
It really comes down to what your needs are and how you can make things as easy as possible on the player side and doing the best with the second without compromising the first. I've been pretty bad at the second in terms of application, frankly, which I don't think is uncommon for sites because staff tend to think about what they need first. That makes sense, but it's also in your best interest to make whatever solution you come up with be as painless for a new member as possible.
I've noticed that a lot of new or lapsed RWBY fans tend to join my site, and a lot of people with zero experience with play-by-post roleplaying. I hadn't noticed this with other fandoms or original sites I've made in the past, which may be something else to keep in mind in terms of accessibility and in my opinion the whole 'Just check the RWBY wiki for information' approach is profoundly lazy and isn't helpful as a solution to that problem because no new person is going to know what to look for on the RWBY wiki and maybe your AU has things work differently. Maybe it has a LOT of things work differently, and those differences may or may not be important to anyone but you. Same deal with the application, imo.
Just go in with the idea of what you need to keep your game running and incorporate those aspects while trying to make it as easy as possible for new members to give you what you need to run your game in a way that is easy for them. I don't think there's a way to convince people who regard applications as useless paperwork otherwise, but if you strip it down to the essentials that you need to run your game and made those essentials accessible you have done the best that you could as an admin.