Participation Awards for August 2018

Another month has passed and again we come to awarding those who have kept the creative light burning. In August we saw a good increase in our third-party plots being run by others when we opened up our Wordpress site to be used by anyone. In that we’d like to give special thanks to Tim, Liz, KS, and Bucket who all kept everyone up to date on what’s going on currently – thank you.

Another month has passed and again we come to awarding those who have kept the creative light burning.  In August we saw a good increase in our third-party plots being run by others when we opened up our WordPress site to be used by anyone.  In that we’d like to give special thanks to Tim, Liz, KS, and Bucket who all kept everyone up to date on what’s going on currently — thank you.

As a sad note, one of our long-time players have left the game.  School has started for many of us (myself included) and as such it has become increasingly difficult to find time for many to role play.  That makes this list especially heart-felt from myself in particular, since it shows people who continue to participate and keep the server alive.  Our fellow player, writer, and friend t0l has left the game, however, and while he has said that he will be back some day we all know that things don’t always go as planned.  His character Tal Ravis was not only central to many of the plots that took place but was also a refreshing take on a soldier with a gritty realism that highlighted the talent and skill of his player in bringing the character to life.  T0l had the unique ability to write both long-form of several paragraphs even several pages in a sitting and short-form keeping things brief and to the point, to suit the role play situation he found himself in.   I hope that we get the opportunity to read his writing again.

Forum Participation

On the forum, counting by number of replies posted over the last month we have the following:

We thank them for their help in keeping things moving!

Wiki Participation

The Wiki site is really one of the biggest assets of our entire game.  It stores all of our in-game information and really makes it a lot more accessible for everyone to play in.  The participation scores for our Wiki users are:

  • Darktrooper501
  • T0l
  • Dr. Winterdawn

Now, sadly t0l has left the server and as such we cannot really award points to him, but a hearty thank-you goes out to him none-the-less for his extensive contributions to the Wiki and the game as a whole.  Since staff is not counted when giving out these awards, the 30-day list doesn’t have enough listed for Wiki participation to replace t0l, but since we can’t award him I’ll look into the top contributors of all time, which shows us that Ryu ketsueki (formerly Lilac) receives recognition for his contributions to the sum of knowledge stored for our game.

Plot Awards

As usual we are also awarding special points for running plots.  Bucket deserves a lot of points for his multiple parts taken in multiple plot lines.  He played the majority of the roles in a lot of the recent plots, especially that involving the Operation Gray Angel and the corresponding Operation Succubus, playing both sides of the fence effectively well.  For this he gets an addition 1000 points.  Tim is also awarded with 500 points for his continued help in pushing along our political pressure / racial tensions arc.  Along those same lines, Liz gains also an additional 500 points for his creation of the entirely new character and broadcast, he did an absolutely superb job with it!

Final Awards

  • Imperatoris Lacerta#8924
    • 1000 each for both the Forum and the Wiki
    • 500 for Plot Awards
  • Buckethead#3038
    • 750 for participation on the Forum
    • 1000 for Plot Awards
  • Left4Cake#6713
    • 500 for participation on the Forum
  • Dr. Winterdawn#8966
    • 750 for participation on the Wiki
  • HaruyamaX5#0002
    • 500 for participation on the Wiki (see note above)
  • timot1066#8017
    • 500 for Plot Awards

New Top 10

So here are the new score tallies after awarding points.  This will also be the final entry which lists t0l as a member.

UserScore
Imperatoris Lacerta311682
Uther Tibbs249093
Red the 15th243671
ks167603
t0l158699
The Chubby Gamer, Sloth Boi155986
Buckethead110151
Dr. Winterdawn109135
🍃💎Minty Jade💎🍃98184
JumpingScript87965

Thanks again to all of our players for keeping the server alive.

Void of Unfinished Plots

Back when I was doing all Tabletop role play we had a guy that would promise to run games a lot. His name was J.D. and the main GM would get tired of running things so, we’d all roll characters in whatever system he was going to run, play one or two sessions and then those character would be in the void, by this I mean we’d never be able to pull them out because the game was always “going to be” continued and J.D. would just drop it.

I try very hard not to do this but there are a number of plots that have been going on for a lot longer than I wanted them to go. To help with that I’d like to invite any players who want to help restart or resolve the current plots to do so. This will also serve as a kind of primer to different kinds of characters we need to add to the role play.

Incomplete Plots

Ok, so here are the plots currently going on that I recall right now, and where they stand. These, of course, don’t involve PSL’s (personal story lines) that are tied to one or two individual people.

Blazing Umbra

  • Akron Mystery (currently on Act 3)
  • Political Pressure
    • Operation Succubus / Operation Grey Angel
    • Racial Tensions
  • Infinity Wave Investigation (currently on Act 2)

Akron Mystery

The Akron Mystery’s current state is talked about here on the forum but also in these tagged posts. Currently, there is one open thread on the forum where Flask is stuck on the USS Akron. Aside from that I’ve asked repeatedly for someone to go ahead and start playing some creation player-character of the Akron to interact with people and be a problem, that hasn’t happened so I’m trying to figure out a way around it.

What do we need?

Akron currently is in need of scientists and magic specialists to study the Malitae.

Political Pressure

So because of the expansive nature of this plot line, a lot is included within. The basic idea is talked about here as well as here and here of the forum. The basic idea is that Onyx is using covert measures to apply political pressure to undermine Solas Tempus. In doing so, they are attacking the organization on multiple fronts.

Since the game mostly takes place on Nimbus Station, that is where the bulk of the role play is focused. In this, we’ve gone through a few things already and I’d say that the main plot is on Act 4, but that act is going to wait until we’ve completed one of the related sub-plots, which is the Abduction of Megan Shepard, this abduction is part of a larger effort on the part of Onyx and the residual Imperial forces in the Blazing Umbra Universe.

The the abduction of Megan and the rescue efforts are talked about in Operation Gray Angel posts while the Imperial efforts are talked about in Operation Succubus, on a wider-scale the Imperial / Onyx efforts can be also looked at with the Imperial Intercepts category.

What do we need?

While we finally found an interrogator for use on Megan, currently one player is playing the three starships searching for Megan, which is spreading one person a little thin! So we need people who are willing to play additional assets, preferably with ships of some kind to help search for Megan and then later engage Imperial forces.

Infinity Wave Investigation

This mission began with the Infinity Wave that had the entire group stuck in 1509 orbiting Saturn for an extended period of time while the Lilith went to stop the wave from happening. The initial act of this plot saw that Onyx had successfully constructed or obtained some ALR-X Missiles, which were accidentally used on Earth’s moon before the birth of the United Federation of Planets and it wiped out of current timeline. After disabling the missiles, the Lilith returned having allowed everyone to return to the 24th century.

I put out a general call for participants and only found 2 players willing to participate. That’s fine, but we could use some more players to take on this mission. There will be both investigation and combat as things get underway. Anyone wishing to join are welcome and should contact me directly.

Angelic Sins

The main unfinished plot line here is with Symbols in Blood and Sorrow, currently on Act 3 after being reboot. The plot is currently stuck at waiting for players who play witnesses. The overall arc is talked about in this forum thread which has links and goes over the plot to-date. We need people to play witnesses in order to continue this plot. The witnesses should be RPed out, murders will go along with these notes which outline the kinds of things people would be seeing. I’d like to get a few people to actually play these witnesses.

Embers of Soteria

The generalized overall plot of Embers of Soteria is really about how the veil between worlds is breaking down. The current incarnation of this is in the Daemoni Attack. Since it is just beginning there is a lot of room to play in. Right now, experts in magic (and counter-magic) are needed, people who are knowledgable in monsters, spirits, and demons. Anyone wishing to play in this arc is more than welcome to do so.

Helping Me Out / New Category

Managing Updates

I have spent a long while trying to figure out exactly how I was going to keep up with everything going on. People are making their own stories but I don’t have a lot of time to keep up with what’s going on in them. This is an excellent problem to have but I had to discuss things with Staff in order to decide what to do about it. I want to keep everyone updated on what’s going on but I don’t have time to be updated myself! Thus, I’m opening up this WordPress to be contributed to by anyone who runs a story.

Anyone can join the site and after verification of who you are on Discord (anti-spam reasons), a Staff member can upgrade your access. Contributors cannot publish directly but their posts will be saved to be reviewed by Staff and published once they are cleared. This is so we can maintain consistency on what is posted where and the like.

Thus, I encourage all of our players who run stories to please join the WordPress and when appropriate make a post about what’s going on to keep everyone informed. Once it is saved it will get reviewed and posted. This will make a significant difference in the ability of our site to flourish.

New Area

We’ve also added a new posting area, Liz (Imperatoris Lacerta#8924) is going to start helping us out with the general political tension in Blazing Umbra by doing an Alex Jones style broadcast / postings here. The new area is called Providence Files and will have a very similar feel to it’s real world analog.

Upcoming Staff Elections

Starting today we will be going through nominations for Staff members. Existing staff will not continue their places unless they are both nominated and win except for those members of the SysOp group who are preeminent staff members. The purpose of holding nominations for so long is to allow those server members who are not online very often a voice. The election process will begin and elections will be held starting on September 14th and go until September 28th (the server’s birthday).

Number of Moderators

So far the poll on how many moderators there should be is centered pretty heavily on 4 moderators. So we’d then have a total staff of 3 SysOps and 4 Moderators. Thus, the election process will take the 4 nominee’s with the highest votes (see further down for details).

Criteria for Staff

Before nominating staff members consider the following suggested criteria for staff members.

  • Be able to remain calm and rational even while being insulted, trolled, or otherwise baited.
  • Be able to assist others with role play and writing; such as creating NPC’s to facilitate role play or help refine ideas during the creative process.
  • Create a foster a creative environment that is safe to express new ideas in.
  • Exhibit a lot of patience in the face of problems, particularly the attitudes of others.
  • Is well spoken and articulate while also not being afraid to speak up to other staff members or SysOps

I would like to build a server where the staff supports each other and the server. Thus, any one person having a bad time of things or perhaps losing their cool has the other 6 staff members to rely on to reign them in and keep things steady. As such, anyone elected to a staff position should be willing to listen to their fellow staff members.

Nomination Process

Nominations will be done via DM and the source of nominations is kept private and will not be disclosed. Once nominated, the person will be contacted privately and asked if they would like to accept the nomination. If they do not accept the nomination, their name will not be released onto the server. Public nominations will not be recorded and are considered to be unacceptable.

Nominee Approval

There is also the potential for a reverse-nomination, that is if a person would like to bring up a potential nominee who they feel would not make a good staff member, they are required to do so via DM to a SysOp only, public declarations against a potential nomination are not acceptable in any way. In the event of the nomination of someone who 2 or more people have presented concerns with, the SysOp’s will privately decide if the nomination should stand. Again, this will be kept private.

Election Process

Once we have the final nominations in place after the 2 week period, elections will be held. If there are 4 or less people nominated it does not mean that they will automatically become staff members, they will still need to be elected.

Number of Votes

Any nominee who gets less than 2 votes cannot be elected to staff even if there are still slots to be filled. This means if we only have 3 nominee’s and only 2 of them get 2 or more votes, we will only elect 2 staff members.

Filling Vacant Slots

In the event that there are still vacant slots after elections, the SysOps will decide if they wish to appoint other members or not. Such appointee’s would not necessarily require to be listed among the nominee’s. The appointing of a new staff member would be voted on by the SysOps alone to fill out the vacant moderation slots. This same process will be used in the event of a staff member leaving the group, unless a SysOp leaves and then the new SysOp will be appointed by myself, the server owner.

More Information on What is Needed

So, I posted a request not long ago for witnesses for Angelic Sins. To help with that, here is a post to the forum about what is happening and what people might witness, to give a good starting point. I also would like to point out a few other things that we need for various parts in the Game.

Thanks to Liz, there is the idea of an Alex Jones (Infowars) style character, which I think is a great idea, I posted a request for this kind of character to the forum. Not only that, but in our story with the Imperials and abducted Commander, it would be helpful to have someone do an interrogator.

I’m trying to push things along on all fronts, so finally here is what I’m looking for for Embers of Soteria. I’d love to get some ideas, it is largely undefined what is coming but we have some pretty powerful characters in play so it should be mysterious and vague at first but end up being huge and incredibly powerful / dangerous.

Requesting Players for Murder Witnesses

So, I’ve been thinking about how to advance the plot in Angelic Sins. We have a murder mystery / supernatural killer plot going on there. A team has been assembled to work on it but I realized they have no work to do yet. Thus, we need to provide witnesses.

To that end, I’m going to be putting it out there for people to bring forward witnesses. We’ll do the RP for the murder’s on the server, live. Most of the witnesses will be NPC’s, more than likely, so people are free to bring a character into that without approval. Some of the witnesses could be full characters as well.

I’d like to get this rolling as soon as possible, anyone wishing to participate, let me know.

Contribution Awards for July 2018

Along with some of the other recent changes to how we do things, I’ve decided that staff members are no longer going to be able to get awards for contributions to the forum or the wiki. The idea is that we’d like to use these awards to encourage people to play in our game. It was recently noted by more than one person that almost all of the role play is done by a select few, mostly staff members. As such, we would like to encourage players to contribute as well.

As a recap, we will still be doing awards for anyone who assists or runs a plot but contributions to the forum and wiki will contain only non-staff players.

Plot Contributions

First off, I would like to thank Liz, Imperatoris Lacerta#8924, for his continuing excellence in assisting the story move forward. Recently Liz decided that he would rather not be staff anymore. For a lot of people this might mean that he stops playing or stops spending time helping with the plot. He hasn’t done that, so Liz gets a special shout-out with my gratitude for the good job he continues to do.

Moving along there are a few other players I’d like to give credit for their efforts. Bucket, Buck Approves#3038, has pushed forward with his villain plot and has been doing an excellent job of it. Both KS, ks#0908, and him have done a superb job of not only moving plot forward but creating their own sub-plots which tie into the major things going on. We also have to give credit to Tim, timot1066#8017, who has been of great help in moving plot forward and playing around with the idea of the racial tensions in the game increasing.

Last, but not least, I’d like to thank Red (Red the 15th#2304) for continuing to play in the Angelic Sins setting which all-too-often gets ignored by me when I’m trying to push things forward.

Forum Contributions

This award is based on the number of replies a person has posted to the forum.

  1. Buckethead AKA Bucket
  2. Darktrooper501 AKA Liz
  3. timot1066 AKA Tim

Wiki Contributions

This award is based on the contribution score provided by a MediaWiki plugin.

  1. Darktrooper501 AKA Liz
  2. Thatotakugalaxy AKA Jade
  3. NigrantibusAlis AKA Aytise

Awards

The following is being added to the guild scores of each person mentioned here.

For Liz, the breakdown is 1000 for plot contributions, 750 for forum contributions, and 1000 for the wiki contributions with the total then being 2750. Bucket gets 1000 for plot contributions and 1000 for forum contributions with the total then being 2000. Time receives 500 for plot contributions and 500 for forum contributions with the total then being 1000. Following that ks gets a total of 1000 (for plot contributions), Jade gets a total of 750 (for wiki contributions), and Aytise gets a total of 500 (for wiki contributions). Finally, Red gets 500 for contributions to Angelic Sins.

New Point Score Totals

So here are the new score totals.

Name Score
Imperatoris Lacerta 278293
Titan Shadow 241197
Red the 15th 212793
ks 159403
t0l 156906
The Chubby Gamer, Sloth Boi 151492
Dr. Winterdawn 104357
🍃💎Minty Jade💎🍃 93308
Buck Approves 90268
JumpingScript 87047

Hints About Stories and Participation

The subject of participation has been troubling me for a while. Specifically how to increase participation within the site. It was clear from the survey that a lot of people don’t participate not because they don’t want to, but because they don’t know what to do or don’t feel they have anything to contribute. That is why I’m going to attempt to put, at the end of every news post going forward, a little blurb about what the storyline needs or suggestions about how to participate. My hope is that people can read that and get a feeling for what they might be able to contribute.

Further, another comment on the survey was regarding people not knowing where to go with a storyline and thus people having to wait for me. Since my time is very limited this gets into a bad situation where storylines die when I cannot be on. I end up owing a lot of role plays and I, likewise, end up without time or energy to do them all.

I feel that we have a lot of very creative minds here and people with an extremely varied set of perceptions. No one on the server should feel they cannot or should not contribute to a story that is ongoing. I’ve been giving a lot of thought as to why people feel the way they do and I think a lot of it is because people have made a lot of seriously combat-based characters who are pigeon-holed into those roles and this gives us the current situation where you really can’t throw a rock without hitting someone who is a skilled fighter. I will be addressing this in a further posting and possibly with the staff about how to fix this problem.

In the meantime, these measures of putting information at the end of a post as to direction of a plot arc and the potential for participation in that arc should help with the indecision. No one should feel that their indecision about how to play a character or where to fit that character in is abnormal. On the contrary, it is extremely normal. I’ve talked about this before — the fact that a person is here doing role play means that there’s probably some social anxiety going on or some other kinds of anxiety and other issues connecting with people. That’s pretty normal too! Some of that boils down to not being able to figure out where we, as people, fit into the grander scheme. It is only natural to presume that this kind of feeling is going to cause issues deciding where our characters fit in.

I will being doing further posts on the Burning Sweetly section of the forum on this very issue in hopes of helping people overcome problems associated with how to develop a character. I’m by no means an expert so, commentary will be welcome.

Fresh News Area for Antagonists

Since we are finally going to start getting into a place where we’re having active play as antagonists for the story within Blazing Umbra, we need an area to keep those players informed. After our recent survey of players, it is clear that many players aren’t sure what’s going on or how they can contribute. This is going to be the first phase of an ongoing effort to keep players of both sites informed about the changes to the setting. Since these news posts are designed to be in-character and the characters not engaging in activity with the antagonist organizations such as Onyx and the Galactic Empire forces within the setting will not have access to information about what those sides are up to until things are already in motion; I have decided that there needs to be a separate place to post such information. This is analagous to the Solas Tempus COMs category only for the opposite sides.

In practice this area is going to take a while to solidify as to what is actually in it and will take some effort to get used to. As the story goes, things posted here and intended two fold, as previously stated we want to keep players informed when they can’t be on more than once or twice a month (or even longer). In addition to that, we’d like to foster creativity between players, posts here should also be seen as invites to consider how things can go and how people might contribute. Suggestions can often be replied to in one of these posts via the forum (a link to the appropriate forum topic is at the end of every post). In addition, a new topic can be started in the Phoenix Nebula section of the forum.