Thursday, March 01, 2012

Tips for the Owner of RPGs/SIMS,PBEGs

Greetings everyone!  Today we discuss more helpful tips for being a great Host of a writers group, role play group, simulation group, play by email group!

As the Host or Hostess, you should have co-hosts or Administrators, Moderators who understand the group, who know exactly how you want each story, mission, to proceed.

These tips work for any group, it does not matter if it is Science Fiction, or Fiction Romance, General Audience to Adult!  To be successful, you must keep people interested keep them in the story.

One of the biggest let downs in the Role play world today is a person joins, excited and ready to sim with everyone, only to find out that, they must adhere to the rules; most groups have a rule post one post mission, story related once a week.  Okay that is great but here is the problem.
The new people see other's joint posting, and or tagging their friends, colleagues that have been in the RPG for a long time.  Now, that is perfectly alright, but what we are recommending is this; also include the new people in some joint posts and tags, have a side part of the mission or story that includes everyone.

Remember, your goals are to gain experienced writers who are excited and want to contribute to your group.

And onto a topic all Hosts are have dealt with.  The writer that always complains, they see you online and hit your IM screen with the same complaint.  "I don't know what to write! "

For this type of person, I recommend that you proceed this way.  Explain to them that you are busy online at the moment and will send them a outline via email or in the OOC *Out of Character group, a list of topics that they can write about for the current segment of the mission/storyline.  This way they know that you care and are including them and you do understand their 'Writers Block'.

And it is always a good thing when the Moderator posts up a good informative mission/story moving post at the beginning of each week that gives everyone good ways to remain in the story and contribute in a positive and inclusive manner.

Now to discuss the problem writer.  At times people join your writing group and right off the bat, they 'God Mold', they may not even be aware that they are 'God Molding', I have a rule in my Star Trek Sims:  No one may play a "Q/All powerful immortal" character as their regular character!  And they must get my approval to bring one into the mission. 

The reasons you never allow a writer to be a "Q" as their main character is obvious, for those of you who remember the "Q" episodes, you know this, Q reeks havoc, and they can do anything.  Thus that messes up your mission since they can blow up the Ship, the Base, hurl you into never never land and back.  And that is not fun for the rest of the writers. 

Then there are the Chronically Ill Officers.  Remember, in the real Military, a person would be sent out of Star Fleet with a Medical release.  And I have a rule, if your Officer is a main officer and not a NPC, they cannot be in Sickbay all the time.  Think of it, if the Captain is in Sickbay dying, a borg survivor pistons clogged, gasping for breath all of the time, your mission dies....  I call this type of Character "Chronic Sick Character Syndrome."  And, I have gotten all sorts of reasons from writers as to why their characters are always sick. 

One:  I feel sick so I make my character sick so that I feel better.

Two:  I am depressed so I use my characters depression to talk to the Ships Counselor and I get help that way.

Let me explain why a Host should NEVER allow this type of thing to occur, much as you feel for the person going through disability, illness or depression, other mental problems etc..  A Simulation, RPG Ships Counselor, a RPG Doctor is not a professional Counselor or Doctor *They are writers, creating their part of the storyline and they are not qualified to write advise for the persons who use their characters illness and mental problems to talk to the Writers of Doctors and Counselors for real help!  That is not the responsibility of another writer to advise a person about Real Life illness and or depression, mental maladies.

Much as we all feel for people going through real life hardships, a writing group is just that, Fiction, Fantasy and not real life.

We create RPG/SIMS for entertainment, to write with others and enjoy creating stories! 

Another topic I am going to discuss today is this.  No one, Moderators, Administrators should ever take out their real life frustrations on their writers.  If someone writes you and has a question, or they write something that 'YOU' as the Host/Hostess do not feel fits the storyline, rather than deleting their post, email the writer and ask them to edit their post, give them specific reasons and a outline of suitable material to write about in their post, and be cordial about it.  I can truthfully tell you that when a Host/Hostess gets on conversation and goes 'Off' on writers, they usually go into hiding and jsut stop writing, and when they do write they become so overly cautious that the Host/Hostess then wonders why, the people only write their character, filing their Officer reports and or going to the Mess hall or a resturant?

This type thing happens when the Hosts/Hostesses are unclear in their communications, and also keep changing RULES on people.  You must remain clear and concise in rules, continues changes and having one set of rules for yourself and your click!  People soon read between the lines and give up and vanish.

One way to destroy the confidence in a simmer is to approve their characters and then go back on the agreement and try to force the writer to make her/his character do something that are not what the characters are about.  Remember, a story is enhanced by creative people, and if one of the Hosts approve their characters as being Civilian and not a part of the officer groups, then don't go and cause disruptions and hurt feelings later on by insisting that the person must 'NOW' cow-tal and conform under another Hosts iron fist!  I have seen many a great writer, leave a group due to it becoming nothing more than one rule change after another.

I have a friend who is a most excellent writer, and the Writer has specific characters that do specific jobs.  They are always there to assist if needed, but they can and so operate on their own. 

This type of character works out well for the Open minded Host/Hostess.  But it turned into a huge headache for my friend, a few months ago, they had been approved by the Main Host.  But then as the characters were written into the storyline, problems cropped up for their writer due to a rather stubborn Host who would listen to the writer.  Long story short, the writer ended up departing the group after many attempts to work and write in the original format that the characters were approved.

So, as a collective of Moderators when the Lead Moderator approves characters, the XO should not come into the mix and raise heck to the writer, it is unprofessional and makes the Host/Hostess come off like a hash, critical and none working with everyone person.

So, today we learned more about the role of Hosting RPG, SIMS, Writers Groups.



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