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Op-ed: Where's the WoW in CotH?
Not all major guilds are run by GMs. The Earthen Ring is a player-lead guild with GMs supporting it, but it's not necessarily run by GMs. Though I'm afraid ER is inactive currently.

Lore-based guilds nevertheless still need GM support and approval, especially big lore groups. We encourage players to build guilds that focuses on lore based RP, but they don''t have to be GM run. Supervised, perhaps, but not run.
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Only the Argent Crusade was needed to be run by a GM. The Commoner's Party had two incarnations, the latter being run by Rosencrat by happenstance and nostalgia. Solidarity was run by Rigley, but again, that wasn't entirely necessary for the storyline, as it was not a large lore-heavy group.

Players can affect the world if they try!
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(10-23-2013, 07:28 PM)Werewolf Wrote: So @Jonoth it was the roll bonuses and power struggle that led to the failure of the prestige system, in your opinion? I genuinely don't know the answer, of course, since I wasn't around for it. Would you say, then, that the community is unwilling to accept a slope based upon power?

I think the main issue isn't that characters in general are more powerful than others. Rather, I think that players tend to fall into the trap of translating it too much into the perspective of game (a player attaining a victory over another) as opposed to translating it into the perspective of story (character learns through defeat or finds glory in victory, but either way the character develops). In the case of prestige, it became too much of the former, and not to say that it was -every- prestige that did so, because there were certainly responsible players as well. In the end, though, I find the current variant system to succeed in clarifying what many of the prestige were in the first place: specialized classes.

The purpose of the slope for role players in my opinion is to define the difficulty in the stages of their journey. My farmer that's only fought with a bunch of crows trying to settle in his crops defeats your Death Knight that's a veteran of 5 wars because the one blow with his pitchfork he manages to land hits his "Achilles' heel". That's not supposed to be the important part in this, though a fight can be a great piece of storytelling if it's allowed to flow. The important part is what happens after. Does the farmer go off and brag that he took down a DK? Does the DK vow vengeance on the farmer? Does the DK realize he's ignored his Achilles' heel too long and decide to do something about it? Does the farmer enjoy the rush of victory so much that he begins to train in combat?

That's my main point about that. Power is meant not to define whether a character in a story wins or loses, but how he grows from the experience. A victory without struggle can be a hollow one, and powerful characters exist to create that struggle.

(10-23-2013, 07:28 PM)Werewolf Wrote: Now, please don't take this as an offense, and please do correct me if you feel I am in the wrong, but this is the sort of thing I think about when I think of "intangible" or "imaginary" slopes.

Consider: this form of slope relies upon roleplaying in a setting and with a community that supports one's goals--and so without the proper setting or community, this system loses steam.

For example, the short-term goal of Peebles the Paladin is to beat the snot out of undead and demons. The long term goal of Peebles the Paladin is to achieve fame and recognition for his heroic acts of valor in service of the Light. Thus, if Peebles the Paladin is perpetually placed in a position of peace (lol), that is to say, in the absence of a setting involving vanquishing evil and a community (guild) around him to laud him for his exploits, none of his goals will be satisfied.

Additionally, there's still nothing tangible for Peebles to strive toward. If, for whatever reason, Peebles becomes separated from his community (for example, if his guild becomes inactive), he effectually loses all that he has achieved. Thus the player is committed to Peebles only insofar as his guild stays active; when the guild winds down, Peebles can be retired or deleted, for all the player cares.

No offense taken at all! I appreciate the discussion a lot, as I think it cuts into the heart of where CotH is, and what it needs to be, whether that's continue in the direction its in or to adjust into a new one.

I like the Peebles example you use here, because it touches on another idea people have recently discussed, which was character stagnation. The idea of a restart was debated because of thoughts that perhaps some characters have been around such a long time and had seen so much that, as I mentioned previously, they had become effectively "retired", meaning there was not much else to achieve. I think that what happens beyond the long term goals of the characters ultimately falls into the lap of the creator. They have a few choices:
  1. Continue on and enjoy the fruits of their success, if any.
  2. Define new goals to achieve and continue on, working towards them.
  3. End the story of that particular character, and begin anew with a new character with new goals and motivations.
Some characters may not have very outlandish goals. They might say, "My character's goal is to live life to the fullest and enjoy it to the end." OOCly their goal may to be simply to interact or have very simple adventures, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In relation to this discussion, that type of character doesn't need a slope. The same is true of a character that has achieved his/her goals.

Peebles up there has defeated the evils of the world and lives in a land of peace, and he's achieved his fame. So without ending his story, he can continue on by:
  1. Retiring to the quiet of home and spending his life retelling his heroic feats as to keep his fame and nostalgia.
  2. Find a new enemy to fight, and train and grow to take it on.
  3. Fight to keep that peace he's won, whether by word or by sword should the threat present itself again.
And that's a choice for the storyteller. So he can decide if he/she wants to continue up the slope, or stay on level ground. Relating it to games, each newly defined set of goals would be like an "expansion". In MMORPGs, you beat the game and replay the content for achievements while the game developer works out the next set of goals and achievements. Roleplaying is a lot like this. You either choose a new "game" (a new character that's different from the last), or you go into the next "expansion" (same character, but new achievements and goals to gain).

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