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Muster Lists

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Muster Lists

Post  Marashar on Sat May 03, 2014 11:47 pm

This is probably only relevant after our move, but could we have the muster lists in their own area in the same section as the char profiles? I think logically they belong there, and it would be easier to keep them up to date in future.

People could then post their PCs, NPCs and other changes as replies to the list, and whoever created it or a Mod could then bring it up to date.
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Emma Vickery on Sun May 04, 2014 6:31 am

This sounds like a sensible suggestion. (I hate keeping and updating lists, copying/pasting something is much the easier way of doing it...)

I will in face head over and make a muster List section right now in preparation... Very Happy

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Bastien Prayon on Sun May 04, 2014 7:57 am

Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy  notworthy 
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Emma Vickery on Sun May 04, 2014 8:14 am

See here - along with other such useful things as Applications, Accepted Characters, Plotting, etc. Adoptables is a sub-forum of Applications, where I thought it'd fit best.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Bastien Prayon on Sun May 04, 2014 9:08 am

Yup, good idea! There it has best chance of being seen, I think.

Uhm, something else that is ... well not exactly bothering me a bit, but irritated me when I first joined: We call characters that have no approved profile, but are still played by only one or only a select group of players NPCs. Now in my previous experience, a NPC is a Non-Player-Character, who by definition belongs to no specific player, but is free for all to play.
With this understanding, if you see the muster list and there are lots of names marked as NPC and only few PCs, it could leave the impression that you had very few characters to interact with. For example: If somebody looks at the list of the 17éme, it looks like there are only two people to talk to where it is certain that another player would respond, since nobody is responsible for the NPCs and it could well be that the hypothetical new player would have to write them themselves. In truth, however, a new player could walk up to the Colonel and interact with him, and I would respond, since he is my char - only I never got around to make him a full char.

So I would suggest that perhaps we call such persons "Support Cast" or "Secondary Chars" or something, and mark such NPCs that can really be taken by anybody seperately. That would also avoid such confusion as "Can I send the Captain's steward into the room with a message or does he belong to somebody and I would inadvertently be powerplaying?". Thoughts?
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Sun May 04, 2014 9:55 am

Kins suggested the same thing. It's something I will have to think, partly because I don't much like having threads with loads of posts from an OOC or player account - it looks a little weird and can give the impression, rightly or wrongly, that we're an account-per-player game rather than an account-per-character game.

And as the new board will allow for as many accounts as you like to share one email, plus the sub-accounts mod, is there any reason why you couldn't make them into full player characters?

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun May 04, 2014 10:05 am

I think one of the reasons for not making them a full player character would be that you would have to write a whole big profile for each and every one of them, as opposed to making the short 'note' on what the supporting cast character is like knowing that you might use them once or twice, maybe longer maybe not, maybe never as much as to account for them having a big profile.

And as for one character per account problem - the new players could just as well read the rules and prove their reading them, by understanding that PC's are character-per-account and not all characters in one account.
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Sun May 04, 2014 10:15 am

But if they are being used regularly, as I understand your 'supporting cast' is, then that's simply a player character being posted from an IC account.

Characters that show up only once or twice, or very infrequently (such as my own Tom Roper and Joe Cavender), are never going to be more than NPCs, but characters that started out as NPCs and who got to be played more as themselves got an app and their own account. Among these are Button, both Oxleys and Thompson.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun May 04, 2014 10:25 am

Some are being used more regularly than others. Some may be lent to someone else temporarily, and then played again by yourself. They are not main characters and writing up the 'big profile' would be too much work for the amount of use that they'll have.

If you want to lend them for a short time, or choose who may play them etc., you really can't treat them as your PCs but also not as NPCs, as mar above said, as they don't fit the description of - anybody can and should play them for themselves.

So to sum it up: The support cast in the case of 'not real NPCs' are characters that usually appear infrequently or you don't want to consider as PCs, they don't have the 'big' profile but rather a 'note' on who they are, are still yours to play most of the time, and only with your permission, for someone else.
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Sun May 04, 2014 8:42 pm

Actually, rereading this there was another thing that came to mind just now about the SP option:

When in muster list marking the characters we could mark them as:

- SP (supporting cast - minor side characters, that are created by one person, have a 'note' profile and can usually be only played by that person unless the player decides that they will let them be borrowed for a short time by someone else. Even animals could go in this section as, while they are by no means PCs or even NPCs, they usually belong to one player.),

- NPC (real npcs. Free for all, anybody can play them and use them when they want, wherever they want, however....ok, nevermind that part Razz) and

-PC (Main characters, the ones that have their own big profiles, have their own accounts and cannot be borrowed and are played only by one player. Well you know, PCs!).

This way we would not need the confusing * beside the NPC. This might make it much clearer to whoever looks at muster list. Smile

Another benefit of marking them that way would be that people would know how many NPCs and how many SPs and how many PCs there are in one group or regiment and know right away, without needing to open their 'note profiles' which names they can use or borrow. Kind of making it simpler.

Another would also be that people would know that if they want to create a character in a certain group, they will be able to play with someone even when there are only very few PCs in it. It might motivate people to join those groups which would be more fun for everyone, I think.

And the last example of possible benefits: If somebody wanted to play a soldier, but saw that only officers exist in that group, they would not get discouraged to do it, because they would also know that there are SP soldiers, who will engage in conversation with them.

And of course SPs can still become PCs if someone decides that they want to use them regularly and have the big profile for them and 'elevate' them to the higher status. Smile
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Sun May 04, 2014 9:11 pm

It is a good idea.

The only issue is, where to put them, as I don't want to have loads and loads of forums and sub-forums in the Characters section as it's the main place a newcomer looks and too much stuff there can be very off-putting. There are six sections there already even without a separate section for Supporting Characters. Seven, if you include the Adoptables sub-forum.

I am still tweaking stuff over there - and will likely continue to do so for some time to come to try to make it as good as I possibly can.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon May 05, 2014 3:06 am

I took a look at the page, to see what sort of solutions might work.

I think Plotting could be shifted elsewhere, as it doesn't exactly relate to Characters but more to the story creation OOC wise? It's hard to decide where to place it, though maybe the first one - The Times? It kind of fits under - Questions about the site, and plotting for the site?

Ok, as for the rest of the list:
Not quite sure we need a retired characters section. My reasoning would be that:
- People who leave, might not want their character profiles to remain on site or in public view. This goes especially for Original characters which are their private property.
- If the retired characters section is for Canon characters, people who want to play them, might want or better should make profiles on their own, otherwise they would be taking the ideas and vision of someone who made those profiles. And if this section should exist, maybe shift it to the archive area since it would follow the theme of - what used to be, but is now in the past?

Wanted to suggest shifting adoptables, but looking at it again, they could just as well stay where they are. They do fit with - either make your own character, or here are some suggestions, if you want some help, thing.

So maybe for the topics to have it like this:
- Applications (subforum addoptables)
- Accepted characters (PC?)
- Supporting Cast (SC) (here i'm not sure, but can be subsections of People , Animals, or just one subforum for Animals) ... and why on earth did I earlier write SP??? o.o.
- Non Player Characters (NPC)
- Muster lists for regiments

It makes a gradual progression from, most 'personal' to most free for all. And at the very end a list to sum it up and finish off the Character section.

-----
Ok, checking it further, these are just a few thoughts and suggestions that came to mind, while scrolling through:

Maybe have a way to clearly show which is IC and OOC? It's clear for the most part except, at first glance, for the Mail Packet. And that one only since not many places have a section for that sort of interaction. I do really like the way it is kept separate though, as it makes finding letters or similar so much easier! And it deff. fits at the top somehow. Smile

The order of themes feels logical and good and follows from - how to join. - to - playground (from most exact, ie, regimental area, to less: other area, or battles) - to - if you want to advertise, can do it here -

The thing I would add is a section for the French side. It would encourage more players to play French characters as well and thus offer greater interaction between the two sides, and also, help make sense as to where to post Threads in which the French do the same as the British -which is, that they sit by the camp fire, talking to each other, that they interact in official business with their officers, without heading of to battle, or doing minor interactions with the irregulars, Spanish, etc.

My two cents *hides them* Wink
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Marashar on Mon May 05, 2014 11:30 pm

Could we simply add " - OOC" behind the names of those sections that are OOC? And " - AU" behind AU ones maybe?

That way the actual play sections would be the ones without any additional tag ... probably not best solution.

I would support French section, of course Razz

I think "retired chars" should be a subforum of the accepted chars - that is where I would logically search for it. Support Cast ... hmmm. Treat like normal applications but only with short writeup and SC in the title? Or like NPCs, only that NPCs get NPC, and Support Cast get SC behind name?
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Mon May 05, 2014 11:42 pm

Yes, was thinking something like that. OOC and IC though.. or perhaps OOC only for the OOC, and leaving the rest unmarked to make it clear that it was the playground area? Smile

And also yeah on NPC, PC, SC something like:

Musterlist:
John Doe (PC)
John Doey (SC)
Johnnie Doo (NPC)
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Tue May 06, 2014 3:43 am

I am not entirely happy with this. Because there would be nothing to stop someone creating a whole raft of these supporting characters in order to start RPing without going through the application process to make them full NPCs. (You've pretty much admitted as much, too.) Or applying for one character, hardly playing them and making a ton of these supporting characters.

And this brings it back to people treating it as though it's an account-per-player game.

It's understandable to do this on the software we're currently using, where every account has to have a different email address attached to it and then be switched over by an admin later on. But we're moving to a software where you can have numerous accounts from the same email address, all linked to the same OOC account which will eliminate the logging out and logging in.

Our application is not that long (that some of mine are quite long is simply because I'd been playing those characters for a while before we went to the new app form, and I had more detail I could include). I know of places where they ask for 200 words or so just for a description and another 500 on a personality.

Pared down to its basics, our actual app doesn't ask for much more than the NPC form does. It replaces the 'personality' bit with a bullet-point requirement for strengths and weaknesses, and asks for three paragraphs of history. And the writing sample is only a requirement for those applying for their first character.

Having all your characters with their own accounts and applications also means that, should you choose, they can all have their own individual signatures and avatars, and they will also be put into the respective group, giving us a much more accurate showing of how many actual characters there are on the board when looking at the memberlist.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Keiju on Tue May 06, 2014 4:02 am

I can see the merits of both lines of thinking. However, I do believe that the use of supporting characters (NPCs or the more minorly-labelled SCs) has gotten a little out of hand. Or at least I have found myself employing them rather more than is strictly necessary. If such characters end up being used in posts on a regular basis, they should be considered PCs, properly, and thus need a complete application.

It strikes me that a limit, at least initially, on supporting characters should be laid down. 'Initially' meaning, for new players. Further, new players must successfully complete the application process with a full character before then being able to trot out supporting characters or NPCs. Whichever.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Bastien Prayon on Tue May 06, 2014 4:05 am

Just to make sure i understand correctly: So basically in future we should register and write up Support Cast as regular PCs, only limiting ourselves somewhat with the details, and make a note somewhere if somebody else is allowed to play?

I understand your concern, although I don't see what is preventing people from making only one PC, not playing him and flooding us with NPCs now. I would of course request the first Char to be a fully written up and approved PC. I also second Keiju's idea of imposing a limit on NPCs, at least at the beginning.

I'm admittedly one of the persons who collects "personalized" NPCs and dreads the work of having to write them up fully, even if it is only in short form ... *shameful face*
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Tue May 06, 2014 4:24 am

Another board I'm on has a rule to the effect that NPCs can only be used when in company with a main character and their dialogue and actions may take up no more than 50% of the post. If they begin to take up more and more room in posts, the player will be asked to actually make them as a full character.

This works really well on their board, however I don't think that would work so well here.

And you are right, there isn't anything to prevent people from doing that now - which is why I think we have this issue at the moment.

I think if people begin to rely more and more on using their NPCs as actual full characters, they should be encouraged to make them into full characters with their own accounts and applications.

I completely understand why people don't like writing them up fully - I am exactly the same, which is one reason it took me so long to turn Terry Button, Sam Oxley and Emma Vickery into full player characters.

Once we have come to a complete decision on how NPC, SCs and PCs should be dealt with, I will add it into the rules so that future members will know the standards we have set and that all players will need to abide by.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Tue May 06, 2014 4:35 am

And no. I meant, make these 'Supporting Characters' into full PCs with all the same limits and posting rights as every other PC.

Because if you're going to limit who plays them anyway, it comes to the same thing: They become as much a Player Character as Sewell, Pye or Vickery.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue May 06, 2014 5:38 am

Sharpiefan wrote: Because there would be nothing to stop someone creating a whole raft of these supporting characters in order to start RPing without going through the application process to make them full NPCs.

Not exactly.  As Keiju and Mar have said a first timer would have to create a PC to be accepted into the game, same as they have to now (in this case it being a NPC that can't be created without a PC being created first). So that would not change with SCs either. Also as Mar has said, what is stopping people from doing the one PC who is not played, and a ton of NPCs that are?

What I said is, that I would not want to make a whole out profile for each and every minor character, that may appear with my own, or on its own once or twice in their life time or be pretty much what one can label the unshared support cast for a story/ies. I did not say, that they would replace PCs, however SCs could become PCs by making the big profile for them. We even now had some, that basically fit under the SC description of being not free for all, albeit not PCs, and they became PCs later because we as well as your example, decided to make them one. But there are some, that you may not feel like having as anything more, or some that are there to help, but not intended for the story to be about them.

The SC label as opposed to NPC and NPC* is only making it clearer which are free for all characters and anybody can take, and which actually, although not PCs are not free for all and should you want to borrow them, you have to ask for it or even ask to be played for your chars needs or sth. PCs have the 'no-borrow-rule' of course.

I have very long profiles for some of my characters. It's not that I would not be capable of making them, it is that I don't see the point for characters with traits more befitting SCs and that they are more effort than they're worth to do them for minor Support cast.

Additionally it would leave me with 50 or more character list.. from which I would be looking for one or two.. maybe at most five characters? That would make things on finding them on the list much harder.

Muster Lists that we've made can show people what actual characters there are, which they can borrow and which they can play with and how many are there.

When accessing a site, I admittedly never check how many accounts there are, because.. accounts don't give me the feeling of how many people are roleplaying, or active.

Also, sometimes characters are needed that are not your PCs. They are needed to develop the story of a character belonging to another player. The rule (which you mention for the other site, but as you said, would not work here), which would require that they have to have a PC along, would mean that you would be forcing someone to impose their PCs presence even when not needed, when not logical or wanted.

So in short, the SC is just making it clearer it's not a free for all, but that its not yet a PC. It might never become, it might become that.

Maybe you could have a rule where if you are a beginner you can begin having SCs after you have had at least three or four PCs of which atleast one or two are actively played? Not sure, but yes, as Keiju said, they could be limited for new players or atleast for a certain amount of time. SCs are actually quite useful for the development of other people's stories :)and some people just don't want to share their characters (no matter how minor), even if they are made just for someone else's in game development or story.
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Tue May 06, 2014 6:23 am

Minor characters are NPC. We do not currently require anyone to fill out an NPC form for the random minor characters who may appear in a thread - such as an un-named barmaid.

That is not going to change.

NPCs who show up once and then again and again and again have stopped being NPCs in that form. These are the ones who you want to style 'SC's.

If a character is being used like that, then he (or she, as the case may be) ought to become a full character with his or her own account and application.

Otherwise we get whole threads where two players are posting only from their OOC accounts with characters that nobody else may play.

That is patently silly in a game that is account-per-character, and not account-per-player, where there is no limit on how many accounts may be registered with one email address, or linked to from one main account.


Last edited by Sharpiefan on Tue May 06, 2014 6:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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Private Tom Oxley, Royal Marines drummer
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Boy 3rd Class Terry Button, Royal Navy
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Keiju on Tue May 06, 2014 6:23 am

Obviously I was not clear. I should have said was, "The rule ought to be, new players must successfully complete the application process with a full character, &c."

It having happened before that players have begun RPing without an accepted PC. That was my meaning and I have obviously erred to not have made it more plain.

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue May 06, 2014 6:40 am

Which is what I meant as well. The new players should (or must) have a successfully accepted PC, before they can ever consider a NPC or a SC. Preferably maybe to also add, that they have to have a successfully accepted and actively played PC, before they create or at least before they use NPCs or SCs. That way we can avoid the - writing up a PC profile, for the sake of being able to write up a ton of NPCs or SCs.

Did we have people who joined and played without firstly having accepted PCs in the past?

Ok, this is a really random question Smile but, why are we against people having many SCs or NPCs? Is it because we would prefer having character-per-account or something else? Not saying we should have many of them, just curious!
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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Sharpiefan on Tue May 06, 2014 6:52 am

We didn't... because I set things up that people can't post anything in the IC areas unless they're a member of an IC group or the overall Players group.

What has happened is that people have several different character accounts and then ignore all of these (seemingly) to concentrate on RPing only from their OOC accounts with NPCs that only they can play - the accounts you wish to call 'Support Characters'.

As I said above, I am not going to force anyone to write up any sort of profile of the barmaid who appears in one thread set in one tavern.

However, if she then is 'adopted' by one particular player and joins the army as a camp follower, showing up in several threads and interacting with several characters, she should then have an account made and be applied with in the usual way, to turn her into a full Player Character.

This eliminates the 'halfway point' that the 'Support Characters' seem to be.

We are not against NPCs as a whole because every game needs them. But StC has always been an account-per-character game, and I would like to get back to that, to make it clear to potential members that that is what our set-up is. Because looking through certain threads we have here, it is very hard to tell that that is the case!

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Re: Muster Lists

Post  Étienne Saint-Hilaire on Tue May 06, 2014 6:54 am

NPCs are minor chars everyone can use, no permission needs to be asked of to be able to use them, they may or may not have also a little note profile.

SCs are minor chars only one person can use, or if that person decides, another person can share, but initially, they are still that person's. They can appear once or twice, or they can be more frequent in use but they do not climb to the importance of PCs. Unless of course the player decides he would like to make them full fledged characters, in which case they become PCs.

A good example are the French I own. They would fit the term SCs. They are minor supporting characters and there are quite a few of them. I do not want others to play them. I also don't intend to make them PCs. My PC is Saint-Hilaire. He has a story that evolves, develops etc. The SCs help that story do that and that is what their role mostly is. They also appear so that we have a French regiment and not only two officers talking with each other. However again, I would not allow them to be played by someone else unless I happened to decide to do so, and then they would be shared. Saint-Hilaire would not be shared.

And yes, it will happen that sometimes players will need to play SCs interacting with each other, to further the story of a character, not in the picture, but talked about and probably in the background somewhere. But that's just not possible to avoid. Because really, to avoid this would mean - if we exaggerate - making a whole regiment of PCs (I don't want my SCs to be shared, simple as that) and that would prevent other people from being able to join the regiment as well, which is counterproductive.
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