Ookla the Paragon

Guild Reform

Please go vote in the Chat Thread poll as well   19 members have voted

  1. 1. Should one’s RP character’s position in a guild be the same as their RPer’s position in the guild? For example, leaders of guilds have characters who lead their guild in the RP.

    • Yes, position of one’s character should correlate to one’s position in a guild.
      11
    • No, position of one’s character should not necessarily correlate to one’s position in a guild.
      6
    • No opinion.
      2
  2. 2. What limits should be applied to people’s membership in guilds? [Note: The ‘set number’ can be determined later if that is the direction we choose to take. Also, the definition of ‘joining’ can be debated if necessary.]

    • RPers should only be allowed to join a set number of guilds (TBD). Also, characters SHOULD be required to join guilds.
      3
    • RPers should only be allowed to join a set number of guilds (TBD). Also, characters should NOT be required to join guilds.
      10
    • RPers should be allowed to join as many guilds as they like. Also, characters SHOULD be required to join guilds.
      2
    • RPers should be allowed to join as many guilds as they like. Also, characters should NOT be required to join guilds.
      2
    • No opinion.
      2
  3. 3. Should guilds with many (eg. 5) active, unique members be given special status? (‘Great Guild Status’)

    • Yes, guilds should be given special status.
      4
    • Yes, guilds should be given special status. This status should give them permission to access greater amount of resources, like armies.
      11
    • No, guilds should not be given special status.
      1
    • No opinion.
      3

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103 posts in this topic

Hi all. This is a big topic (hence why it's been featured). We've been discussing reforms in the Chat Thread, but we've come to the point where we have a few big ideas that need to be condensed into reform proposals, so this thread's been made. So, anyone got any clear suggestions for guild reform they'd like to share? I intend to edit this post with suggestions from the Chat Thread that have already been put forward. That'll take me a bit, so bear with me. 

Goal: To agree on ways to reform how guilds function, to improve everyone’s RP experience.

Background: Currently, anyone who wishes to make a guild may do so. Most choose to create a thread for their guild, which serves as a recruitment area and RP zone for their base. They often create PMs for members, or discord servers, where they have out of character discussions about the RP and their goals. There are no restrictions on the amount of guilds you can be in. There is no requirement that one’s characters have to be in the same guild as they are, or in any guild at all.

The Discussion So Far: (This is a summary of what was said in the Chat Thread on the subject.)

Plans:

-          Guilds should have goals in mind that create plot. There should be fewer individual goals and more group goals.

-          Guilds should be more open in their planning (take it out of PMs). Try for realism? (eg. Come up with reasonable ways for characters to have coordinated plans)

Double-dipping: People being in multiple guilds lessens inter-guild conflict.

-          One guild per person.

-          Make it so you must be in a guild.

-          Characters should be in the same guild as their creators. (Archer could make it a part of character bios)

Activity:

-          Guilds should be more actively involved in the RP

Threads:

-          Make guild threads more like the DA’s (well worldbuilt, mostly just DA members posting, more RP)

Size:

-          More, smaller guilds (to create more conflict)

Edited by Ookla the Paragon
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I don't actually see a problem with how they function, except their should be a minimum to the amount of members a guild can have to be active in Alleyverse. Perhaps four? Because, and this is something I have done, we have guilds, or people, with hundreds of NPCs, but three members, or worse.

I am trying to fix the problem with the super lifeless, and Fiend by putting them on citadel defense force. So, large armies should be tied to cities.

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I disagree, I don't think large armies work even in that case. I don't believe individual members, or small groups, should be able to use armies. Ghostblood, TUBA, DA, that's fair. Sentinels and Black Crusade are iffy, Black Crusade more because it's NPCs can be largely dictated by others.

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The DA tends more towards a horde than an army, both because it's fitting in RP purposes but also as a mechanical restriction so we don't try to invade other guilds, etc.

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G.U.E.S.S is retiring, and I'm gonna start up a roving band of mercenaries, with like 12 people in it. Also, I think 30 NPC's should be the limit for non-guild armies.

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I think, from now on, any guild ideas should be discussed before they are made. (That overlaps with planning a little bit, though.) Even something like a hard limit on new guilds (unless they’re a new and interesting idea that everyone likes) would get more people into older guilds and increase activity in them. But I understand if that idea won’t fly.

I agree with the ‘no more armies’ rule. Having people hire armies from PCs gives more opportunities for RP and decreases power level (in addition to the fact that they’re not just disposable troops any more).

There should also be a codified list of guilds that are considered official, probably in the Alleyverse Guide section. Limitations on this should be 1) that they’re active 2) have 4+ members. Activity means that the guild (not just its constituent members) is making plans and RPing. What do I mean by making plans?

I think guild activity in general could be worked on. I aired the idea earlier of each guild having to come up with a goal for the end of the era, ideally one that brings them into conflict/RP with other guilds. Or someone could introduce a thing that could increase conflict (like a macguffin of great power that every guild wants and are willing to fight to get). A guild tries to ally with another guild that they previously have been enemies with, or vice-versa. Or they try to steal an item that the other guild has. Or they try to kill a specific member (with that member’s approval, of course). Or they try to take over another guild, as how the Ghostbloods were recently ‘acquired’. Or they simply try to ally with a guild they’ve previously been enemies with. Maybe the last idea was simply a ploy to put them in the perfect position to stab their enemy in the back. There’s plenty of ideas to be had.

All I’m saying is that the Alleyverse started from guild conflict. Unfortunately, guilds (especially TUBA, at least publically) have been minor players recently. I’d love to see the guilds begin to take centre stage again.

EDIT: How guild membership is handled also needs to be looked at. I think people (accounts) should be members of at most 2 guilds, and those affiliations should be displayed with their character sheets or perhaps a new section. That way, people more strongly identify with guilds, and one’s affiliations can easily be determined.

Edited by Ookla the Cited
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I think we need to be more realistic about armies. The average character in this RP would never be given command of an army. And those characters who are designed to be officers should have to go through a process of raising and maintaining their army. What causes issues is magicing up massive armies without any buildup. I think a blanket ban on armies is one solution, but we could also look at limiting the power of NPC soldiers you can create. For example, your soldiers have to be uninvested if you intend to use them offensively.  

1 hour ago, Ookla the Cited said:

There should also be a codified list of guilds that are considered official, probably in the Alleyverse Guide section. Limitations on this should be 1) that they’re active 2) have 4+ members.

 How about for official counting purposes, you can only represent one guild (no overlap)? So Persons A,B,C, and D count towards making Guild 1 official, and persons W,X,Y, and Z count towards making Guild 2 official, but if A, J, K, and Z make a guild, it doesn't count because there's only two original members. 

I think everything else in your post is a good idea. Even the TUBA comment.

1 hour ago, Ookla the Phoenix said:

How many people are actually active in the Alleyverse?

I count ~28 active members. There's about four who have very limited involvement in the RP, but hang around anyway. The rest of the 63 in the Homeless PM are inactive. 

The spread is about a third of active members are in the big three guilds, with a little more in the GBs and a little less in the DA. 

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9 minutes ago, Ookla the Paragon said:

The spread is about a third of active members are in the big three guilds, with a little more in the GBs and a little less in the DA. 

Only a third? Wow. I wouldn’t suppose many of the remainder would be taken up by smaller guilds .

In that case, I think we should encourage non-affiliated people to join ‘official’ guilds. Even just having people declare themselves ‘independent’ would help, as they’d have to make an active decision to opt-out (at least temporarily) of a guild or guilds.

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3 minutes ago, Ookla the Meme-Thief said:

So, the question is: am I a Ghostblood or a TUBA member? 

It would be up to you to create a character who can reasonably be in both. Which is pretty easy, given that the GBs often try to infiltrate other guilds under false pretenses. But that implies your first loyalty is to them... *backs away slowly*

7 minutes ago, Ookla the Cited said:

Only a third? Wow. I wouldn’t suppose many of the remainder would be taken up by smaller guilds .

In that case, I think we should encourage non-affiliated people to join ‘official’ guilds. Even just having people declare themselves ‘independent’ would help, as they’d have to make an active decision to opt-out (at least temporarily) of a guild or guilds.

That was a very rough estimate. Overlappers didn't help. 

Wed just have to make sure people don't confuse 'independent' with 'affiliated with multiple guilds'. 

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If you’re affiliated with multiple guilds, I’d think you’d just list all of your affiliations.

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I feel armies should be banned. Armies are only needed to defend yourself against another army. If no one has them, then no one needs them. If inter-guild conflict is going to happen, then it should be between characters and not NPCs. I understand the desire for armies, because some guilds are smaller, or people feel the need to supplement their characters against stronger foes. But if the Character Power level is taken care of, all characters will be on an even playing field, unless you try to make a weak character, at which point you need to stick with the consequences of that. Having an army can be fun and I understand people potentially take enjoyment from having them, but they are OP in their very nature. 

I think there should be a restriction on how many guilds people are in. Because it gets confusing. I understand if you have 2 characters and one fits perfectly in TUBA, the other in DA, but that just potentially breeds distrust and confusion. The one thing here is if we decided to restrict people to one guild(for example), then we would need to enforce it across the board. That would mean people couldn't infiltrate another guild. I don't know how we would want that to work. I alternatively like the idea of needing to publicly state the guilds you are in, so you can still be a member of different guilds, but that again would shut down all infiltration endeavors. I like infiltration existing I think, but we would need to decide how we would allow it to work if we chose to restrict people joining guilds.

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I don't believe there should be a limit, that is just an annoying restriction. I do agree with the whole thing about only being able to represent one guild.

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I agree, artificially limiting people to one guild won’t be much of a benefit to anyone. If there was going to be a limit, I’d put it at three/four or so. That’s enough to be in a major guild and still support smaller ones/allow for infiltration and RP opportunities. 

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22 minutes ago, Ookla the Cited said:

I agree, artificially limiting people to one guild won’t be much of a benefit to anyone. If there was going to be a limit, I’d put it at three/four or so. That’s enough to be in a major guild and still support smaller ones/allow for infiltration and RP opportunities. 

Sounds good to me. And it offers the oppotunity to play a character outside of the moral values of your own guild.

To the planning: For me this is central when we talk about the guilds. I'm not sure I feel comfortable with every plan being out in the open, since it will take away a lot of the surprise, of what you're aiming at. So maybe we could move the larger goals out in the open and keep the actual steps towards this goal secret.

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I think there's a bit of a problem at the moment where too many people are aiming for a big surprise moment or a sudden reveal. The issue is that we don't just have one storyteller, and if we have 20 different people each making their own huge surprise revelation, it kind of devalues all of them because no one is really surprised any more and there's barely time to react before the next big reveal happens.
I think we can trust each other to separate player knowledge from character knowledge which helps with one of the reasons people want to keep plans a secret (to avoid obstruction from other people). The other reason would be that you want to surprise the players for a narrative purpose (To heighten the enjoyment of readers) but I think we may have to accept that having too many of these secrets actually results in the opposite, it makes things really confusing for readers, a bunch of sudden plot changes coming out of nowhere can be disorienting and not lead to the best or most coherent story.

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2 hours ago, Ookla the Lurker said:

I think there's a bit of a problem at the moment where too many people are aiming for a big surprise moment or a sudden reveal. The issue is that we don't just have one storyteller, and if we have 20 different people each making their own huge surprise revelation, it kind of devalues all of them because no one is really surprised any more and there's barely time to react before the next big reveal happens.
I think we can trust each other to separate player knowledge from character knowledge which helps with one of the reasons people want to keep plans a secret (to avoid obstruction from other people). The other reason would be that you want to surprise the players for a narrative purpose (To heighten the enjoyment of readers) but I think we may have to accept that having too many of these secrets actually results in the opposite, it makes things really confusing for readers, a bunch of sudden plot changes coming out of nowhere can be disorienting and not lead to the best or most coherent story.

I'm 100% with you, if we reform the guild to pure in Alleyverse institutions.

But if they remain partially out of it, in my opinion we need to keep some secrets. Posting who will try to be a spy in another pm, ruins all the fun of spying.

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I think that if we plan plot twists in PM's, that allows for surprises while also preventing people stepping on each others' toes.

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To do that, we need to get in the habit of planning with other people, then communicating your intentions. If characters acted as guild members, they'd have to have planning sessions or take the time to receive orders from their commanders in order to reach the level of synchronization we sometimes see them have with others. What happens now is generally the author receives the order, then manipulates their character to support their guild, whether that makes sense or not. I think secret PMs are workable, but we use them out of fear others will see our plans and work to counter them. We've got to decide if we want to continue with the guild-guild spying or not. 

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3 hours ago, Ookla the Paragon said:

We've got to decide if we want to continue with the guild-guild spying or not. 

And we need to decide how guild leadership should work. Because if we move all the planing to the characters, then the characters need to have a position similar than the player. Or at least one of the characters needs to. Which leads to characters with a different powerlevel.

Or we create ooc threads for guild planing and the characters are only lower members.

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I don't think armies should be banned totally, but I do agree that you should have a logical reason why you have an army. I know that the only reason I got away with the 5,000 super lifeless is because I was immediately going into a war with them, but now they are mainly police men. So, if there's an army, you either have a very logical reason, that most people agree with, why the armies exist, or you have a city.

A city, is fairly obvious, because they are defenders, and have you very heard of a city without  an army of defender.

The other part is because of the potential plot points armies bring. Like, a crime lord without and army would be significantly less important, and a world dominating psychopath would be no threat at all.

Edited by Darth Woodrack
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Overnight armies never made sense to me. When someone magics up an army, one day they didn't exist, then the next they do. The buildup isn't there. That takes away the opportunity for characters to react to armies establishing themselves. Big groups like that have a large impact on the areas they're in. I prefer if they're foreshadowed, to provide an opportunity for characters to react to their creation. That can include setting up a business to service the soldiers, attempting to stop it, or changing one's methods of operation to accommodate the army's presence. Some things can be assumed, like that a stock city would have a militia, but others shouldn't be. Dropping armies into a place characters are assumes their reaction to the establishment of them, which is a missed opportunity in my books. 

4 hours ago, Ookla the Clueless said:

And we need to decide how guild leadership should work. Because if we move all the planing to the characters, then the characters need to have a position similar than the player. Or at least one of the characters needs to. Which leads to characters with a different powerlevel.

Or we create ooc threads for guild planing and the characters are only lower members.

The Great Game organizers did something I haven't seen happen very often, they made an in-character PM. That's one model we could look at for how guilds plan stuff. 

I know guilds like the GBs have a very complicated structure of ranks. That'd be interesting to RP. It raises questions like, do recruiters recruit in-character or out? If a guild leader is killed, how do they (the Sharder) retake control of their guild? (I think how that question is answered will also impact how we deal with deaths. There will be more seeking of revenge of the consequences are greater) 

But a big part of leading is planning, and I think that can be RPed easily(ish). 

Edited by Ookla the Paragon
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In relation to in-character PMs, the Thieves Guild PM is completely in character. Everything is planned in character, other discussion is in quote boxes, and it works.  So yeah, I have no hesitation saying that this works as a great model for guild PMs and planning in general.

4 hours ago, Ookla the Clueless said:

And we need to decide how guild leadership should work. Because if we move all the planing to the characters, then the characters need to have a position similar than the player. Or at least one of the characters needs to. Which leads to characters with a different powerlevel.

The thing is, most guilds don't see a need to have leadership in the same sense of the GBs. Sure there is a stated leader, but nothing really is affected by it. That does go back to the way the guilds are run and as I said before, most don't have the GBs hierarchy, so for most of us, the characters don't need a specific "position" or "level of importance" since there's a feeling of equality. Sorana's really describing something that only ought to apply to one guild (unless the DA has some secret ranking system.)  

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