A bit of shameless promotion for Blood of Dragons, our A Song of Ice and Fire MUSH. We are, as always, looking for more players for the game (I want enough of a population to open Dorne, darnit!), especially now that the usual summer slowdown has claimed a few more victims. We did have a well-attended execution yesterday, though, so maybe some of those idlers will end up a little shorter…
One of my semi-regular blog reads is Deep Genre, where a number of sf and fantasy authors post about writing and related subjects. This morning, a post from yesterday by David Louis Edelman caught my eye. Its called Building Character(s) and contains a concise list of ideas for how to make a fully fleshed-out main character.
Of course, some of it doesn’t quite translate to a collaborative environment such as a MUSH, and some doesn’t work so well for having a character that evolves during play. Personally, I like starting with a more-or-less fully fleshed-out character, but I know that a lot of people prefer having more of a sketch to start with and letting the rest come from being on the game and interacting with other players. Both approaches are equally valid, though from the point of view of a game admin, I prefer the former since its easier to deal with at the application stage.
In any case, I think I will have to write up an article on how these ideas could translate to MU*ing, though I am thinking it will show up on the Blood of Dragons webpage rather than here. Given our rather extensive CharGen system, that sort of thing could perhaps be helpful.
This is a bit of a repeat of something I wrote on ElectricSoup a little while ago. I figured it would fit right in here, as well as give me a chance to plug what did come out of that discussion, the new MUSHlist at community.pennmush.org.
Javelin (formerly the maintainer of the PennMUSH codebase and still the owner of M*U*S*H) has been running a series of MU*-related podcasts called Tinytalk for a while now. Some time ago, he contacted me and asked if I was interested in taking part in a segment he wanted to do focusing on women and MU*ing. Since I like what he’s doing (and okay, since I like talking, too ;), I said yes.
About a week ago, he sent some questions (originally, it was supposed to be a discussion with several women, but he had to do it as a montage instead since times conflicted) and last Friday we did the interview over Skype. As usual when I talk ‘in public’, I forgot to breathe and talked a bit too fast, though Elio insists I don’t sound too stupid. So, since I foolishly trust him, here’s the link to the show.
One thing that I’ve always wanted done are portraits of mine (and Elio’s) various MUSH characters. I’ve toyed with the idea of commissioning art, but the kind of artists I tend to really like have a habit of being rather far out of my price range. I also have such specific ideas for my characters that I’ve sort of resigned myself to the fact that the only way I will get what I want is if I learn to paint really, really well myself.
That still holds true when it comes to ‘real’ art, but in the mean time (while I am trying to learn to paint, that is) I have found one way of at least what I think are pretty good representations of my characters: Second Life.
It sort of started with GRRM’s Second Life appearance. Elio already had an account, though he had only used it a few times to check things out, but for this event we spent a few Linden dollars to make his avatar look more presentable. And it was then that it hit me that this could be a really neat way of creating character portraits. As a result, I ended up creating an account, and now I’ve spent more than a few hours the last few months creating a custom avatar shape for each of my characters. In addition to that, we’ve purchased skin, hair and pretty clothes, and the first few portrait pictures are now up in the Art gallery.
Since the beta opening of Blood of Dragons, we have had a few prospective players question our decision to a) use a tier-based system and b) require anyone wanting to apply for the higher tiers to be a ‘friend’ of ours. A few have even suggested we abandon this system as it is ‘unfair’. Now, we have no plans to change the system (though there’s always room for refining it—that’s why the MUSH is currently in beta), but the questions raised have still prompted me to once again ponder these issues—fairness vs unfairness, application processes, etc—quite a bit. This is the result.
A lot of people probably thought it would never happen, but never underestimate just how tenacious we can be. ;)
Yesterday, Blood of Dragons, our A Song of Ice and Fire MUSH, opened for roleplay. Granted, its a beta opening, not a full opening, and this is even a bit of a sneak-start since the official start will happen when the first ships return from Dorne with part of Daeron’s forces and the Dornish hostages. That will be in a week or so.
But, these buts aside, we have a game!
Since I made that decision to start going through my logs, both to edit as many as possible and to put up select ones on the site, I’ve managed some slow but steady (more the former than the latter, though) progress with both these tasks. I still have hundreds of logs filled with OOC clutter, but also a growing collection of tidy ones, including some that I’ve deemed fit for public consumption. I’ve tried to pick logs that aren’t too boring, though in general I imagine all logs that involve characters you know nothing about or have no connection to are pretty darn dull. Still, there are degrees of dullness, and I think some of these might at least be of some interest to people we’ve role-played with over the years. Especially if they’re nosy. ;)
In a fit of procrastination (in regards to my work for the literature class, that is), I decided yesterday to start on the Sisyphean task of editing and labelling 10 years worth of logs. Roughly 900, all in all, which makes me feel almost fortunate (just almost, though, because there are scenes that I still wish today I had managed to get logged) that I didn’t have a good client for my first year or two of MU*ing, considering how extremely active I was then. If I had been logging everything back then as well, that number would probably have been a few times larger. And 900 logs, give or take a few, is more than enough to keep me procrastinating for years.
However, as usual (I’ve tried this before, you see), my grand idea of starting at the beginning and just pushing along until I reached the end was soon abandoned. Instead, I decided that I would start by cleaning up some good logs suitable for publishing here on the site. As a result, the Logs section has finally had its first few contributions added and I expect a few more to go up today and within the coming weeks.
Hilarious. I sent a DMCA notification to LiveJournal since one of the charming imbeciles from WORA decided to repost one of my posts from this journal to his lj. And wouldn’t you know, he sends a counter notification, claiming that its not copyright infringement. He claims that a) I have provided no proof—such as a registration—that the material is copyrighted, b) its fair use and c) I didn’t submit a proper DMCA notification. I’ve seen plenty of stupid stuff from the WORA crowd, but this one almost deserves an award. Maybe I should just have copied & pasted in his whole counter notification, since he seems to think that’s a good way to approach things. I am not, however, as impolite as to do that, given that it includes his full RL address and all. So, my recap will have to do.
This little write-up was inspired by a recent discussion on Electric Soup, which is a pretty good place to talk about MU*ing related stuff. Its been pretty slow from time to time, but lately there have been some interesting discussions going on, and I hope it will continue that way. Constructive MU* forums are far and few between, after all.
I know, I know. This doesn’t really have all that much to do with MU*ing any longer, even though it all started with one of my world-famous descs. ;) Then again, it does show that there’s an amazing number of really stupid people involved in MU*ing. There’s the ‘leaders’, who seem delusional enough that they actually believe what they think they’ve learned about copyright law, and there’s the ‘herd’ that blindly follows them, cheering on their stupidities and the false information they spread around like manure. But, fear not. Not all MU*ers are criminally stupid, and some of us actually care about the truth, too. That is why I don’t feel inclined to just ignore the crowd over at WORA and to let them spread their lies without anyone contradicting them.
Note: If SWOFA or WORA means nothing to you, then the following entry will make no sense, so just skip it. Or if you’re really, really curious, ask me. Commenting is enabled, but moderated.
One pretty good way to get a group of MU*ers to argue is to start a discussion on ‘the art of descing’. Another, of course, is to start one on role-playing in general (in particular, length and style of poses), but that’s a topic for another day. What I plan to deal with in this little write up is only descing. But before I dive into presenting my thoughts on the matter, here’s a few things to bear in mind ...