This rant will be about the elusive subject of PLOTTING and CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT.
//So I wrote a rant. Looked at it. And then said, "No way will I get away with this even if my tone is neutral. So, edited, cleaned up, less ranty, more philosphical//
RP sites are here for a purpose: to RP at. I want S&S to be one of those fun RP sites, full of plots and fun things going on. I care less about the length of your posts, as toward the importance of the context. Of course, I will never be light on spelling - that is one of my pet peeves, and at a forum where all RPing revolves around writing, grammar is necessary. But I digress. I want S&S to be a forum where anyone can do a myriad of different RPs, the IC rules loose enough to allow any number of crazy plotting.
RPing is supposed to be FUN! You are supposed to be a member of a forum because you like to RP! So, I rather expect people to RP because it is FUN and not be forced to. Or, lacking that, you love to plot! And I know which ones at S&S are the plotters like me. They probably know who each other are too. Only the major plotters are the ones who come to me with ideas in their minds, crazy character developments, ideas for major roleplays.
I suppose everyone would agree with the statement: "I want my character to be unique and special". All my characters are unique and special. I can't tell you why, necessarily, but I can tell you that ALL of the have rough times ahead, things that will break their spirit or make them stronger. I like crisis. It is fun to RP it. I would think others find it fun to RP. I do it for my characters not because I am the creator of S&S and give them special rules. No, if anyone came up withthe same ideas, as well thought out and planned as I make them, then I would approve it without hesitation.
I can actualy even give people an example of a crazy plot come to fruition. Yes, everyone knows Fahima forcebonded Aeron. Maybe not everyone bothered to see the dozen threads before that /setting up/ the RPs, the character dynamics, that created the rivalries between Aeron/Deirdre/Fahima. I've been planning it with Aeron and Deirdre since February. So the plots take time to come about. You need patience and willpower.
You also need a /good/ reason for them. RPs are for character development. They are not for "Oh! tee-hee! I want a bondmate!" NO. If I get a whiff of that reason, I will put you through hell in IC RPing to make sure that yoru characters are realistically involved with each other enough to bond. I went through enough hell pushing out RPs three nights in a row between 2-6am just to get Fahima bonded. I don't think I want to get another character of mine bonded for a looooong time, and dont think I'll be any easier on others than I am on myself. And I don't allow RPs that are completely meaningless. Unless there was really good RP scenarios to come out of this bonding I did, I would not have done it. It all ties together - ALWAYS! This is just the tip of the iceberg, because that is how I plot. I develop my entire character before she gets really into much RPing, because the plots always turn out better that way.
But..back to fun and plotting. Want your character special? SURE! I'd love it! I love new and crazy things going on! I try to involve other members in my own characters' RPs that will end up crazily, with lots of action and plot twists. But I can't involve *everybody*. There is an RP scenario coming up that will affect everyone. But it will be quite a while before all members - SM and JM - can RP
So my rant is comignback to my original purpose. Inactivity. I give everyone free reign to wreck havok! Novices and Soldiers - run away from the tower! People - Find Dead Bodies! Accepted - Steal Ter'angreal! Younglings - Get yourselves bonded! Channelers- wander the Waygates and let loose the blakc wind upon the world! Get Stilled! Get caught on a damane collar by darkfriends in Altara! Battle in the Blight and discover New Rare Shadowspawn! SMs - create an RP the would release a Secret! Create a member who will get killed off! Go Into Tel'Aran'Rhiod and Do Crazy Things! Find out the Queen of [insert question] is a darkfriend! Create a character that is one of the Kin, or a sul'dam in Seanchan, or a Wise one, or a Windfinder, or one of those who inhabit the Isle of Madman, or a Whitecloak, or a 50 year old wilder!
The ideas are endless, but I can't always be the one to suggest them. I can only be there to receive the plots as you have made them up and approve/disapprove/make them better. I've plotted so much recently, and have so many plots going on in my mind, that I really can't organize anymore, especially since my own characters are so strongly involved with these plots.
How do other members get these cool ideas and plot devices? By IMing or PMing or chatting in IRC, offering ideas they want to do. How did Aella manage to be the one to find a dead body? She was in IRC asking to RP Koreliel's death so that her character could become Sitter smoothly. So she got it. How did Aeron manage to get into a forcebonding before being raised? He makes a good Victim, as IRCers all know. How come there are so many Sharan characters when there's been no announcement recruiting them? They have all come to me, been involved in the first stages of Sharan planning, proven their worth and been rewarded by involvement in this RP.
I need members to take the initiative. I need members who look at their character and think "What could I do with him/her that would be really interesting?" Then you need to get some IM device, or download IRC, or start PMing people who might be interested. Test the waters, then, when they agree, hit them wiht the full load of an already fully planned RP. That's what I do. I do not succeed just because I am an administrator and can bully people: I succeed because my RP plots give character development to ALL characters involved in them, and the opportunities I offer are rather unique.
Find someone who will agree to do a scenario with you. Want to bond but need to RP background? Create a really unique scenario, PM/IM me for advice/approval, and then RP it through. Don't bond randomly in an inn or the Tower gardens. Go to Amadacia, get surrounded by Whitecloaks, then bond. Or be fighting at the Blight and one person nearly dead. Do something interesting! It makes for better reading, and its so much more fulfilling for members to have really cool things to do. Without that, S&S is just like any other RP site that just dies out of inactivity and boredom.
Back to inactivity. So many members only RP when they are required to. No soldiers or recruits RP in their dorms. So many JMs only RP in their required threads. Unless I *personally* know you, i.e. you have a second character who is involved with lots of plots and have therefore shown your ability tomake the site great, or unless your character has been involved with other RPs BEYOND the requirements, you will not be raised to SM status. I cannot stress this enough! There is a reason there is a requirement for Accepted/Decicated/Youngling to be raised that says you must plan and RP an RP that develops the site atmosphere. Through this, I can find out which of you can plot and come up with your own ideas WITHOUT me figuring it all out for you. If you PM me with a few ideas, even if none of them work, I know you are trying to really think about how your character will develop. I don't mind giving help here, thinking up ways for a member to be involved.
BUT I really want to see effort on our members to make RPs that are cool and exciting. I don't want members to only RP threads they feel 'forced' to RP in. This goes for SMs too. Why do you only post in training threads for requirements? You can visit the ENTIRE world, and yet only Resolute & Foryest actively wander the Westlands. Gaidin/ar, you should be creating fun threads in the practice yards, not just institutional feeling training sessions. Throw something at the recruits that will make them have to crawl back to their dorms out of sheer exhaustion. Aes Sedai - in yoru training threads, don't be just the nice Aes Sedai. And novices, don't be just the obedient novice. In the books, the training sessions were horrible, with strict Aes Sedai and impudent novices. Punishments were everywhere, and one of the reasons I don't have chore groups at S&S is because I expect characters to get into trouble and have individual punishments to develop their character. Who has gotten into trouble so far? Fahima, Deirdre, both as novice and Accepted. Caena as novice. Aeron as a recruit and Raizel as a Youngling. Anyone else? Not yet. Why? Is it because you don't want to have yet another RP to post in beyond requirements? Aren't the requirements loose enough so that you can RP them in any way you need in order to develop your character?
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO UNDERSTANDS MY 10 PAGE RANT?!
Yeah.. I realized how long it was.. decided to stop writing and ranting and talking condescendingly to all you little people.
Until next time...
-Your Amyrlin Seat