Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
This article discusses the day to day practice in threading (writing) with other players and moderators. Just what are the mores to create threads? These are just practical notes and if you happen to stumble over them, moderators will be happy to point your mistake out to you, or help you correct it.
We use some tags to define what the content of a thread is about and how much moderation and interaction is expected.
We call it Character Development posts or CD for short. Other RPG's tend to call them Round Robin.
The term Round Robin indicates a post that doesn't need a moderator reply because it is self contained. It has a beginning and an end. They can be co written by more than one writer if that is enjoyable. It is more of a statement, a way to give colour to a story without there being a direct purpose, a piece of the puzzle as it where, important to the player but less so for moderators. It can contain characterdevelopment, training, or just a scene that popped in your head. It is of course completely free form, the ultimate loss of control for the moderator, because it does contain NPC's where necessary. It will have a timestamp, naturally, but it is used to wile away time without making characters strangely silent or absent.
Please put in CD as a code in the title along with the timestamp so we know no reply is requested.
If you are confused about whether a post should be considered as a Character Development consider this:
- [CD] says ‘I want to tell you this about my character’. It doesn’t serve to advance any particular plot or even put out the feelers to interact with anyone.
- Whereas any other post says ‘I’d like to achieve something here’ or ‘I want to interact with you and see what happens.’
MA stands for Moderator Advised, and is a twist on the CD Post.
The moderator development post is still written by the player and is complete in itself, just as a CD post is. The primary difference is that it holds some small development from the status quo, that has been given to the player in their secret compendium.
It's primary use is for the important ongoing relationships within a characters life; family members, housekeepers, husbands and wives, relationships which might otherwise drain mod resources to rp each contact meaningfully.
While CD's are encouraged for a player to reveal the closeness of their npc relationships, players are not at liberty to dream up plot developments for themselves during a CD. The MA allows for 'fresh information' from a moderator, for a player to write up into it's fullness in a similar manner to the CD. The subject Tag [MA] is added, to allow fellow players to understand that the fresh information within the post is mod given, authorized.
Here are some examples of the sort of information that might be provided via a 'mod advisement' into your Compendium, for you to write into it's fullness at your own leisure.
- Your husband has been behaving awkwardly all day, and whenever your char asks what the matter is, he changes the subject.
- During your music lesson you discover your tutor has no time for the new Royal Musician, and you learn that the musical circle do not trust Mr Staggins.
- During your dancing lesson you master a new twirl that's as of yet unseen in English ballrooms.
You might understand how this could add future interest to your characters life, but if written in the normal manner of a thread would have been pretty dull. As a MA however, it adds a point of interest that you may or may not wish to develop further in your characters activity in the game.
Basically a character asks a NPC to investigate some things and receives a written report, to which he can order new actions, all in one continuous thread. Or a character orders his money to be spend in a certain way and gets reports back on what the effects are. Lords might issue orders to their stewards upon the management of the estate.
Obviously it isn’t going to be used in normal threads, but it would be ideal for:
- future investigations where players are given npcs to do their bidding
- setting up of businesses – something several pcs have expressed an interest in
- passing information to circles
- dealing with the mundane side of jobs
- gathering information inside clubs
- the command of troops
- dealing with estates
- organizing events.
The method of Summary RP allows a player (and a mod) to deal with gathering facts, items or facets of the game that would otherwise create many new threads to maintain while it may not be very inspiring to write. This is not to say you may never create mundane threads, but only if they inspire you and if there is something in them that gives an extra edge.
You can create a Summary RP thread either in your Player Compendium (secret for the rest of the community) or in one of the circle forums (other PC's in that circle might ask if you want to share that information with the circle).
So you are playing our game. How do you go about entering threads or leaving them again?
How many threads?
We encourage players to move forward in time. Very much so. Be sure however not to miss a social event on the court calender, posting a placeholder (for instance your entrance) that you can get back at later before posting threads further away in time. You can join any thread created by another and create one of your own per day. Are you sure you want to limit yourself to less? There are boundless opportunities out there. Why not join a few?
We do ask you to limit the amount of adventure plothooks you enter to a maximum of three at the same time, including any follow ups.
Barge on In
Just because there are 2-3 players in a thread does not mean that there is not room for 2-3 more. If it is in a public place, then write up an excuse to happen upon the others, or maybe you are already there. Don't think that you aren't welcome. The more, the merrier. On principle all threads are open, unless there is no IC logic for you to join a thread.
Our moderator resources are limited and we also need to reserve time to make our newest players feel at home. Nobody can expect moderation one-on-one in more than one thread per IC day unless an exception was granted by the mod and certainly not more than three running moderated threads at the same time. Of course you are free to engage in social threads without adding to moderator burden. We find the one on one threads with just one player and one mod to be especially demanding and ask that players limit themselves within reason.
If we find you to be in violation of this common sense rule we might chose not to moderate any new threads of your character until old ones are wrapped up. We might also give you a heads up in your Player compendium.
Plot Hooks & Player initiative
Because we would like to share our limited but essential resource of modding attention equally among players we would like to request that players only select one or two plothooks per character to involve themselves with at the same time. Instead we would like to point you to the opportunity to create your own threads that other PC's might join, or that may become moderated (but might also be freely ignored) if it strikes the fancy of a mod. Help us create more opportunities for everybody.
Once again we heavily encourage threads started by players, and the joining of threads by other people. While the mods will interfere there where we think it either necessary or fun with reactions of the environment, a deepening of your historical sense or even NPC's, this will not always be the case.
Wraping up threads?
It is perfectly alright to wrap up threads that have served their purpose with something general like "The remainder of the afternoon passed in pleasant conversation without anything remarkable."
When all there is to do in a thread for the characters is to chat and make merry (any challenges having been dealt with) we will offer the characters to give us a summary of what they will do in one complete post in PM, preferably written totally IC so that it may be easily included in a larger write up.
Alternatively we might simply end a thread with a small paragraph to indicate nothing more noteworthy happened. For Example:
- They spend a pleasant afternoon chatting before they bid each other good day.
A side thread takes place simultaneously to a larger main thread and is generally a conversation between two or more characters. Occasionally, this thread will move to an adjacent location. It allows for hyperposting between players, without flooding the main thread, or having to wait for other characters in the main to take their turn to post.
It is also used in major event threads, such as balls, for activities, such as dances, so that the action of one does not confuse or get lost in the action of the other.
Once in a while you will see the term "continued" or some shortcut come up in a subjectline. What is it?
When a chapter in the story between two characters (PC or NPC) has not yet finished, but merely changed scenery a PC can ask for mod permission for a continuation thread to stay within the same timeline. Continuation threads are not intended for the next chapter even if it is the same subject.
A continuation thread would be for example:
- a coach ride home
- a promised meeting after the ball with someone you danced with at the ball (and then decided to meet in the garden afterward)
- moving with same PC or NPC to another part of the palace or city.
All other subjects are out of order and should not be solved by using a continuation thread. Remember that we encourage players to move forward in time and not write about every minute in the day.
- mod permission might be granted for an action otherwise out of order. (e.g. an NPC asks the player to immediately go to location B from Location A, but does not accompany them).
- a player can always answer the door to their rooms when someone comes knocking, even if they have posted past that time, as long as they have not posted somewhere else outside of their rooms at the same time of day.
The majority of threads in Age of Intrigue contain two or more PCs.
A multi player thread is a thread where more than one, but usually a larger number, of players have come together for an event, which can be preplanned. For example a Ball would be a multi player thread and you would know some time in advance from the Event calender that was coming. Often these threads are moderated. NPC's will attend as well.
Entering a Multi Player thread
Just like normal threads you can just barge in. It is helpful if you indicate what your character is wearing so that other players may comment upon it. Unless otherwise indicated people are not announced while they enter the room.
Alternatively, if entering at a later time, you can indicate you've been there all along, but have been quietly observing.
- Do not drown out the slower posters or people not in the same timezone who may be asleep while you are posting with a flurry of posts. Please wait for everybody in your group first before posting again. Note that means if your actions are affecting the entire room, you should wait for all others to give reaction to your actions before posting again!
- If you are in a moderated thread, this means waiting for your moderator too.
- If a player is absent, watch the moderator for clues to start to post around the PC. Maybe the PC was simply daydreaming or didn't contribute to the conversation. After waiting two or three days it is generally accepted to move on without the player.
- If a moderator is absent from a thread, in the case that it has slipped our notice, please give us a heads up in your compendium.
- if you want to have a faster conversation please go to a side location and create a Side Thread, where you can hyperpost at leisure without making it difficult for other people to keep up with the thread.
- Pay attention to etiquette of the time regarding titles etc. However, this is still a game, where we aim to have fun, rather than a historical accurate re-enactment. Although etiquette might otherwise require an introduction to a lady before a gentleman invites her to dance, here ladies should feel free to cast inviting glances at men that attract their interest and men should feel encouraged to find some excuse to introduce themselves, even if they cannot gain a more formal introduction.
- Feel free to snub other people, have nasty thoughts, make untrue assumptions etc, but be sure to indicate in your writing that this is an IC disposition.
Extra lay out tips
- It helps the moderators of the game, and the players if you indicate in the subject line, or as a title above your post in bold what group of characters you are currently interacting with.
- Louis, Frances and Isabeau at the Refreshment table
- Please bold the names of the player characters you interact with so they do not overlook your post. You only have to do this once per post.
- Julia looked around the Ballroom, giving Henry a nod, noticing he was talking to Francis de Courtney
- When you describe the gentleman or lady your character approaches, please put the characters name in parenthesis to assist identifying them.
- Adam approached the lady in red (Isobel) and introduced himself with a bow "The Lord Alyth, enchanted."
Dangling threads are threads were nobody has posted for several days and it is unclear when posting will start again. Dangling threads will start to slip under the radar and in general cause the general excitement of the game to slow down, especially if they become the majority of threads. A game that is not active looses its appeal.
Remember that in general we expect everybody (mods and players) to be able to post once or twice a week at the very least. So if this is not happening, or a single thread out of several is being ignored, something is up.
There are different types of dangling threads, with different solutions.
Threads that do not receive moderator attention
You posted something to be moderated and the mods either did not determine which of them was to pick it up, or missed it. Some times several of us play the same NPC. Some times, we aren't sure which NPC is being sought by the player.
Post in your player compendium that you are awaiting moderation and indicate which mod or npc you are expecting. A link to the thread would be appreciated.
Threads that are waiting for a single player
One player is holding up a thread. It happens. Hopefully, it is just that the player has forgotten about the thread (it happens a lot in big threads). Some times a player has posted an away message, so we know to expect a delay in a response. The worst scenario, of course, is when you are waiting on a player that just disappears from the game for more than a week or so. This is rude, especially when other players cannot move forward until that player has posted. It causes the excitement of the thread to wither and die.
We mods will start posting reminders to the player. If we do not hear anything from the player for one week real time, we will reserve the right to post something for the player. Again, this is only where a player is holding up other players without notice. If it is a solo thread with a player and a mod, we don't care. We are content to wait until you return. But, destroying the fun of a story for other players is not cool.
We will moderate the effected PC to remove himself or herself, as much as possible, from the thread. Maybe they will go in search of a drink, after apologizing. Maybe they get a message from their servant. Maybe, they have a sudden urge to visit the privy. We'll try not to do anything dramatic. The key is to remove the impediment from the thread so that the other players (who are still motivated to write) can carry on the story.
Threads that are waiting.. for just about everybody
The thread has become boring. Usually big threads die of their own weight. Balls, church service, parties, and the like, become boring after a time. Players stop posting because they aren't sure what to write. It happens. Yet, it can happen in small threads too, especially social threads. It is no indictment of the thread's creator or sponsor.
The mod will call for a summary post. If no one responds, we will simply archive the thread. There are dozens of other threads in which players can write, so there is no reason to keep a thread on life support.