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Author Topic: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules  (Read 741 times)

Offline Soul Reaver

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Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« on: November 23, 2021, 06:19:16 AM »
Hello everyone,

Since taking over as Administrator for the site and The Eye of Terror campaign coming to close, I had hoped that my somewhat more frequent updates would help rekindle posting on the boards.

However, it looks like that hasn't really come to pass.  The Eye Closes was started on 21 March, 8 months ago, and still on page 1.  Replies are starting take longer than a month to be posted.

I think it's time to implement some solid rules around inactive board battles, inactive posters etc again.

Veldanya came up with a good idea, which I've refined a bit.  Here are my thoughts:


Rules for the Battle Host:
The Battle Host is the person that keeps the current battle moving forward.  If they do not do so, then everyone else has to wait.

- The Battle Host must post at minimum once a month
- If the Battle Host has not made a post in a one-month period, then someone will need to god-mod them to move the story forward:
--> In the first instance, the god-mod post should be made within 1 week of the one month period by either the Administrator or someone from the Inquisitor team (eg, Veldanya)
--> If a week has passed with no god-mod post incoming, anyone else is free to post the god-mod in our stead to keep the plot moving forward
--> If the above happens repeatedly, the Battle Host may be relieved either temporarily or permanently the Administrator or by an Inquisitor.
- A Battle Host may, with mutual agreement, hand this responsibility off to someone else.
- A Battle Host may miss their deadline if they post up a good reason for not posting, but this should come with a clear deadline of when the post will be forthcoming.
--> If the Battle Host needs to take a long break, they should hand the Battle Host duties over to someone else


Rules for All Other Players:
Players need to respond to the Battle Host's posts - if they don't, the Battle Host can't post, and so they become a roadblock to story progress.

- Players normally have at maximum 1 month from the Battle Host posting to respond to the Battle Host's latest post.
--> If they player has more than one character participating in the current story for some reason, they must post for all of them.
- If a player hasn't responded to a Battle Host's post before this time is up, that player's character(s) can be God-moded:
--> The god-mod may be made by the Battle Host, the Administrator or an Inquisitor.
- If a player had to god-moded due to the above rule, they are 'On Probation': the amount of time they have to respond to the Battle Host's next post goes down by 1 week.
--> This is cumulative and if it ever hits zero, the character will be (non-permanently) removed from the battle via god-mod and may only be re-added with the Battle Host's and Inquisitor/Administrator's permission.
--> If someone posts on-time twice in a row while 'On Probation', the amount of time they have to respond will go back up by 1 week.  This continues until it is back to the normal 1 month.
- A player may, with mutual agreement, allow someone else to temporarily take over (ie, god-mod) their character, in which case they count as having posted if the nominated person posts for them.
- If a player needs to take a long break, they need to arrange with the Battle Host how this will be handled.
--> It is usually recommended to either let someone else temporarily take over their character or remove them from the story temporarily


And just so it's clear:
What is a 'God-Mod' Post?:
- A god-mod post is when you post the actions of a character/important NPC that is not 'yours'
--> It's typically fine to post the actions of less-important NPCs, like 'mook' bad guys in a fight or incidental NPCs
--> Most non-player characters typically 'belong to' the Battle Host
- In most circumstances, a god-mod is frowned upon and against the rules
- However, when a god-mod is needed/warranted (see above) anyone writing the god-mod post should endeavor to keep it as in-character as they can and avoid actions that would have significant or permanent affect of a character's personal plot arc as much as possible


I'd really like to hear what our current members think of the above proposal.
If you think it's great as-is, please respond and say so.
If you have other/better ideas or any objections, please share them.
I'm provisionally leaving one week from now for discussion but if ends up being contentious I'll leave it open longer as needed.

Thank you everyone, now please share your thoughts!
« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 07:03:41 AM by Soul Reaver »

Offline Shadow Chorus

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Re: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2021, 03:16:28 PM »
The rules look good, though I don't know that the addition of the rules will do much to curb the slowness of the board; people often are just either busy or not inspired to make a particular post. I think it should be expected that you might end up needing to alter these rules as necessary based on the reaction since after all; if these rules are firing off on everyone, the board's not moving forward so much as one person is telling a story by themselves.

Offline Soul Reaver

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Re: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2021, 05:49:01 PM »
The rules look good, though I don't know that the addition of the rules will do much to curb the slowness of the board; people often are just either busy or not inspired to make a particular post. I think it should be expected that you might end up needing to alter these rules as necessary based on the reaction since after all; if these rules are firing off on everyone, the board's not moving forward so much as one person is telling a story by themselves.

The problem with the battle host system is that it takes only one person to hold everything up - if the battle host (or whoever is driving current events) doesn't post, nobody else can either even if they want to.  And if people don't respond to the battle host, the battle host can't continue the plot without leaving them behind.  These rules are designed to remove that barrier.

However, the main reason for the new rules is that I think it's important to create a set expectation of a minimum posting amount for everyone (which for now I've suggested as once per month).

This is because I'm of the belief that everyone can create time to post - it's just that after a long period of the plot dragging for so long (and there being no consequence for that) we've gotten slack at checking the boards and mustering up the effort needed to write something.  It becomes self-reinforcing, because we see no posts and feel no urgency to post ourselves.
I believe the trick to finding time for posting (or really doing just about anything) is to just decide to do it and MAKE the time.  Not every post needs to be the best post ever.  If we're not feeling inspired, it's ok to put something down that keeps things moving forward at least.

I think once a month isn't an onerous expectation.  Anyone who can't stick with that either has significant personal circumstances (in which case I would recommend they bow out, even if it's temporarily, so as not to hold up others) or isn't very invested anymore (which is fine too but again means that maybe it's time to throw in the towel rather than hold up others who are still invested).

You are right that if it fires repeatedly for everyone it would defeat the purpose of the boards.  But to me, that might be a sign that nobody has time for them anymore/nobody's invested in them anymore.  And if that does end up being the case, maybe that would mean it's time to close up shop.  There's no point in writing a tandem story together if only one of the authors wants to.

So one topic worth discussing: is (minimum) one post a month from everyone reasonable to expect from people who are still interested in the boards?  If not, what would you propose instead?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 07:28:14 PM by Soul Reaver »

Offline Veldanya Venalla

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Re: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2021, 08:19:27 PM »
I think these rules are fine.  Might wind up having to adjust them here or there if we discover an issue with them or whatever but as they are now I think should be good to put into effect.
When you can't see a future, all you can do is do the next right thing.

Offline Fallen Templar

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Re: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2021, 08:31:26 PM »
I can understand if there's schedule issues or writer's block - it happens to everyone at some point - but when new posts for a group roleplay are coming in around once or twice a month at best, it does sound like a problem to me, particularly as I am interested in joining the roleplay in question. I may have only recently joined this site, but I've been in the hobby long enough to know how bad things can get where inactivity is concerned. The idea of putting a contingency in place for this kind of situation sounds like a prudent one.

The proposal itself certainly looks thorough enough, though as a new member I wouldn't know how well it might work in practice for the community here. I suppose the biggest hurdle in setting up this kind of rule would be making sure everyone involved knows about it by the time it takes effect.

So one topic worth discussing: is (minimum) one post a month from everyone reasonable to expect from people who are still interested in the boards?  If not, what would you propose instead?

I think a month seems reasonable to get a post from each, if everyone's got a lot going on in their day-to-day. But in case that ends up being too long a timespan by the others' standards, I'd volunteer two weeks as a sort-of middle ground, but we'll see.

Offline Soul Reaver

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Re: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2021, 06:04:39 PM »
So far I'm seeing most people consider the rules as written to be ok - the only real concerns I've seen are:
1. whether people will actually post more often with these rules in effect
2. how we'll disseminate the info on the new rules to everyone.

For 1, we'll just wait and see.  Personally I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with someone either being too busy to post or no longer interested in the boards - but in either case, I'd request that they do take the time to bow out appropriately.  These rules are designed to ensure that if someone doesn't do that, it will be done for them.

As for 2, I'll put up an announcment, send a PM, send an email and put a discord message up - that's about all I can reasonably do.  There will be a short grace period before the rule starts being applied (but as it has been quite some time already I'm not sure I'll wait a whole month).

Offline Soul Reaver

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Re: Rewriting the 'Inactive Battle' Rules
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2021, 04:52:07 PM »
Ok, we've had a week for feedback and I've had nobody give a strong objection to the rule change, so I'll be implementing it shortly.  I'll make an announcement and let everyone know once it's up/done.

EDIT: Aaaand done now.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 05:19:48 PM by Soul Reaver »