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Reminders for Success


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Hi Friends!


Since a few old players have returned bringing back older and newer characters of varying degrees, and since we also have a new PC from an older player, I thought it would be a great time to post a few reminders for everyone to help everyone be successful in their RP. I'll also give some examples using a bunch of different PCs which might prove helpful, explanatory, or motivational. 


One logistical thing first, though! Please keep in mind none of we mods are spring chickens. I think I'm the youngest, and I'm 38! We do need reminders and pokes, especially if posting (and thus the timeline) slows down and we may forget something we promised or arranged IC or OOC 6 months ago ;)  PMs are very helpful. Reminders for us will greatly strengthen your IC game. You will note when I post my PCs, I will often leave OOCs for mods to remind them of past threads or things that are established that I referenced in my post. That's what OOC notes are for. If you know a thread that's coming up is going to require the mod to remember a lot of things from (potentially) a year or more ago in their real life, it might be helpful to PM before the thread starts so you start with the same background information. Don't assume a mod is forgetting a detail "on purpose." If we are purposefully ignoring something, we'll generally tell you! Help keep us in the know, we manage lots of PCs and plots, and also have to navigate around the other NPCs and plots of other mods. 


This segues nicely into my first tip for success and RP happiness: not all mods know all plots and not all mods can mod all subjects or NPCs! We may have some idea about another mod's plot with you, but not really, not in a meaningful enough way to post about it with you. If a mod introduces an idea, concept, plot, or opportunity the only way to advance it is generally to stay with that mod to further that line. Or, I'll give another example of how knowing who mods what is helpful. I, Defiance/Frankie, mods the over-arching political plot of the board right now and Blackguard/Brian only knows a certain amount OOC because his PC (Louis) is at the thick of it IC, like covered in maple syrup thick, so B cannot effectively mod a huge political area. He has several other plots as Blackguard that influence the political sphere, but if you never seek out Defiance as a mod, you are excluding yourself from something huge without realizing it. He can't mod that for you because he doesn't know and his PC is finding out ;) 


Similarly, not all mods are interested in all subjects or knowledgeable about them. For me, I hate marriage plots and won't really involve myself with them as a mod; if you bark down my NPC tree for a marriage, you will be disappointed. Other mods may have more interest in that (Aria perhaps, though I don't want to speak for her). I like theater plots, Blackguard generally does not. Marie and I like gay plots (I believe Aria too), Blackguard does not. Blackguard likes mystery themes and secrety secrets, I do not. Blackguard likes Spanish plots, Papist plots, and Jesuits; I have not the first clue about any of it! I generally dislike playing women, although I have a few female NPCs I like to trot out, Aria loves playing women and dislikes playing guys. We're all different, and you will get different outcomes because of that. 


The world is what you (and your PC) makes of it. At least mostly. In our type of game, if you see gloom and doom, or post gloom and doom, you will oft get it. Many times because you write gloom and doom for yourself or fail to find ways to write yourself out of it if you stumble into it 🤣 or fail to heed mod overvoice in threads when we caution you! Sometimes moderators seem to do really well with their PCs, but this is not a nefarious scheme, if anything this is a product of understanding how the game works or just being really good at picking up on things other mods leave in threads because of experience. Sometimes it is persistence, because if George (who is the PC of a moderator) can come back from confessing to murder and being in the Tower through his RP,  your gloom and doom is only your gloom and doom; anyone can recover from pretty much anything. Doing nothing to fix it yourself is the unspoken enemy elephant in that room! 


This segues into failing to approach moderators OOC. If you want a thread, I know this is super hard to believe, ask for it. We're all pretty nice and accommodating. And if we aren't the right mod or NPC for your purposes, we will almost always tell you point blank who is! Also, some of us leave OOC notes on how to go about attempts to join certain plots or things. I left a note on the Freemason thread Blackguard and I did together to help others. 


Drivers also often don't realize when they write their PC into a corner or get themselves stuck, but they do it (quite a lot, even seasoned players). Be wary of writing yourself into a corner. This can be done in a variety of different ways, but I'll highlight a few common ones that players write themselves into a situation that ends up being unhappy.


Violating rules or norms unintentionally. Sometimes people get excited and pop up with things that would be considered conversation pieces, personal NPCs, or some other hefty advantage without prior okay or prior permission. Or follow suit of doing what another PC is doing, not realizing they can do it because of something on their character sheet that allows it or some prior permission. For example, Louis and Francis both have business in shipping from their character sheets, and they are allowed certain things with their established "goods" because of that business benefit (and they can't just pop up with anything from anywhere at any time); it's a benefit from their character sheet. Nicci has her Apothecary shop and can gift people "goods" from there; lots of what made that possible originate on her character sheet but also were crafted through RP and connections IC both from her character sheet and RP. Beverley has an influential (but not real) NPC father from a (real) historical family who is RPed; that is also from his character sheet; we don't and can't play everyone's real or imaginary NPC family, though sometimes we do if it interests us. Sometimes if you pop up with something that's not really allowed, the mods will ask you to edit it out or tell you that you can't; sometimes we will just ignore it and not give you an IC advantage for it. Sometimes we might not catch it right away and it's easier just to ignore it than ask you to edit it. But if you keep posting things that kinda violates those rules expecting to get some sort of advancement or acknowledgement for it, that could lead to unhappiness. 


Violating realism...the era has certain limitations in it inherently. Some things are easier to work around than others. When something really violates realism, we are very unlikely to mod it ever happening, no matter what you do to achieve it. From my perspective, it's oft kinder to tell you that it's not going to happen than to watch you work and work and suffer and get frustrated and annoyed, but other mods may just let you believe as you may with nothing ever coming of it even if you RP the heck out of it. That said, if it seems a mod is trying to direct you toward a different goal or purpose or NPC or situation...there's likely a kind reason for that. I'll use an example from an old PC bc it's an easy on: It was common knowledge at court that FitzJames was a Scottish viscount's bastard son from a nobody commoner. That was how he entered the game and it wasn't a dark secret or anything. It was just out there for all. In our era, that stigma takes generations to wash off if it ever does among the upper class (royal bastards excepted to a degree). Douglas did super well for himself and could have even gained other things, but the limitations of social mores and rules in our era would prevent him from gaining a title of nobility. When you take that kind of challenge on your character sheet, there are limitations that come from it. Just like a cripple isn't going to walk tomorrow in this era. If you make a cripple, don't be surprised when people comment on and react to that stigma. When we talk about violations of realism, that is what we are talking about. We are perfectly ready to RP things that likely would not happen as long as they are possible while keeping to some historical realism. We will bend things for ya, but we aren't ripping apart the fabric of society that makes our time period our time period for ya!


Expecting the mod to drop the advantage in your lap. You gotta join our threads or hooks or seek our NPCs out! Sometimes it takes one fortuitous thread where you say or do the right thing with the right item, but most often it takes a lot of RP. Nicci bought an item in a shop intending it for one purpose (I think for Louis' son maybe), but instead then gifted it right to the previous owner without knowing it was his and having no hints that it was at all! Not only that but she gave one piece from it to a PC, Francis, before she knew who had originally owned it (and by happenstance, his father would have played with it as a child too). I, as a mod, thought it was going to go to Louis and then many seasons down the road, CR or Buckingham would see it and it would be something positive looming in the background for Louis and thus also for Nicci...So it was just an amazing bout of perfect choices for Nicci's situation that she skipped right to the culmination by changing the recipient without knowing anything. I just stood by flabbergasted on the sidelines, watching her choices! But that's not normal; Nicci's driver hit the RP jackpot and is reaping the benefits (though she also did a bonkers amount of RP besides the perfect gift to earn it). Sometimes it takes many threads to get an advantage. Don't get discouraged, but realize we, as mods, probably aren't going to chase after you to realize your plots or desires; you are going to have to find the opportunities, create the threads, and make the relationships with the NPCs. Trust us, we have to do the same things with our PCs; we have to remind our mods and ask for threads too LOL. Some stuff requires more IC work than other stuff, and some stuff takes years to materialize (like involvement in huge boardwide plots - Basildon is crammed in one right now that he still only knows a small bit about!). Ultimately, it is about your choices both IC and OOC that make your game. Don't try to follow the blueprint of someone else, because they have a different foundation (character sheet). 


Another mistake I see over the years is getting modded by the wrong mod! If you are involved in a plot with one mod, you should seek out their NPCs about that plot. Not everything overlaps well between mods. This goes to not every mod modding everything or even knowing everything. For example, if you want a political King, I/Defiance would have to play him for you to get into that big-board political plot that Basildon is in; Blackguard doesn't know enough about it to even insert your PC into it! Unless, of course, you want to go thru Basildon and what he knows. That could work quite well.


Similarly, sometimes we mods have to play another mod's NPC. Sometimes this is because we generally try not to have two mods in a small/personal PC thread, and so we might in a minor way post another mod's NPC. An example of this was my Buckingham had a party but Blackguard (who was swamped IRL) plays a good chunk of the Merry Gang, who would be in attendance and who I mentioned were there. A PC who knows him was looking for Middlesex/Dorset. I could have played Dorset limitedly while B was busy (the PC and Dorset's usual mod were fine with it), but if I had done so I would hope nobody else would think it's the perfect time to meet him or to discuss a serious plotline from Blackguard's arsenal with me instead of him! In the same way, sometimes we have to play another mod's NPC for their PC character; please, for the love of God, do not approach us with your PC in those instances! We are not the typical player of that NPC and for us to play them for someone we do not have to play them for can introduce a ton of problems. It is actually quite stressful to play someone else's NPC for them and their PC out of necessity, but bonkers difficult if someone else comes along with their PC. Like I said, we do not all know everything about each other's NPCs, plots, or threads as mods. Blackguard or I will have to play Karoline (who Hope plays) for George (who is Hope's PC); it would not be the time for Davina or Sophia to approach her (not that either of you would), because Brian and I honestly have no idea how Karoline feels about anyone and nor should our brief impressions of PCs become IC canon that Hope then has to use for Karoline moving forward. 


One mistake I sometimes see is interacting with an NPC like a fountain of information you want your PC to have, rather than as a person/individual. Or, rather, seeking information too soon or abruptly, where I more hear the driver's voice wanting OOC information for their PC, rather than the PC wanting to talk to the NPC au naturale. Would you say to a person IRL, in a roundabout way, "tell me your secrets," and then actually expect them to do so? 


Not letting the NPC (Mod) lead the scene. If you join a thread with a mod or start one for one of us, the mod sets the scene and makes the determinations; if you set the scene, it limits us if not entirely stifles our creativity, making the thread rather impossible and no fun for us, or even impossible for us to join you! Obviously, there are certain situations where you do have to set the scene, like if you invite an NPC somewhere where you have made the arrangements. We don't know WTF is supposed to be happening in that case, so you do need to set the scene 🤣! If it's your event, you need to bear some leading responsibilities, but for our threads and events and when we join yours, it generally is the mod that does the leading. For example, my NPC can move your character/PC in a thread ("They met outside and the sun is in *PCName's* eyes"), but you cannot move my NPC ("They didn't meet outside, they met inside in the light of stained glass").


Another example of letting the mod lead the scene...if you look to join an NPC (nameless or named)  in an event thread, you should relinquish control at the joining and leave all the action and conversation open; the only time you should write anything specific about the scene or NPC is if you have Blounting privileges (it's a personal NPC or part of your household that you've RPed with often or you a part of theirs in some cases). For example, Blount (where the term originated) arriving with his wife or Basildon with his wife, Beverley arriving with Rupert or being in Rupert's quarters in the morning, Francis arriving with the King Sat/Sun bc it's established that's his rotation or noting that Buckingham is or isn't home (they live together). Other than those sorts of instances, if you want to include an NPC in your posting or are looking for them, you should always PM their driver/mod. Don't assume that you can post an NPC just because someone else is doing so with an NPC (they either have permission or are Blounting within the guidelines). If you are looking for an NPC, bolding their name and that you are looking for them sometimes works if the thread isn't super busy, but mods probably aren't going to notice tags for them in threads they aren't posting in or modding! That's why PMing the mod that drives the NPC is a good idea if they don't pick it up in a decent amount of time.  I think there's a list somewhere that I will bump of who generally plays which NPCs.


Staying on the back end of the timeline or always joining big event threads late...if you come in when something is wrapping up, you're not super likely to get a lot of time in that thread from mods to advance your plotting. If too many of us end up caught on the back end of the timeline, not enough people move forward and create new threads, the whole board timeline starts to lag. You may have to summarize the end of threads, skip days, or do CD days to stay closer to the impactful area of the timeline if you lag too much, too often; ultimately this is smarter as an RP strategy than lingering in older days trying to accomplish something before moving forward. Let's say you're in a situation where you should tell an NPC something IC immediately for some reason but you're really far behind in the timeline, I would advocate PMing the mod of the NPC and letting them know rather than making another thread that will lag behind the timeline (even if you haven't posted passed it). Sometimes, for the sake of the timeline and moving forward, we will decide to "overlook" that it wasn't immediate even though it should be if it's something that should be RPed, or we'll just allow you to behind the scenes the info. All of us are guilty of lagging for one reason or another. Try to keep moving forward in the timeline in your minds more often. It's really a group effort and makes the board more lively and encourages the laggers to unlag themselves!


Plotting with other PCs...including other PCs in your plots or going to another PC first before approaching an NPC leads to more frequent success. We've mentioned this a few times as mods in various out of character threads, but including pertinent PCs in what you are up to increases all of your success rate. Also, utilizing the framework of the time to maximize success will also help maximize your success. If you want to schmooze Rupert or get an appointment with him, schmooze Beverley. If you want to pass a message to CR, make friends with his mistress Nicci or his Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Francis. If you want to aim closer to the Queen, make nice nice with Lord Mountjoy or try to become friendly with Davina. Buckingham? Francis, Nicci, Basildon all have connections. If you want a meeting with any number of NPCs  with court appointments like Buckingham, Finch, Fosbury, Basildon has connections to many of them. There is almost always a PC you can involve to help spread the love around. There are even more examples of this with many other PCs. PCs often can help get your things done in a bigger way than many NPCs, and don't forget that. Consequently, falling on the bad side of people's "favourites" also has consequences. 


I know this is very verbose, but hopefully it is also helpful to those of you returning to the game and wanting to really dig in and be a part of the action and doings. It can be intimidating after an absence, and it can seem like everyone's doing a lot better than you are. The long and the short of it really is to be pro-active, and if you get stuck talking a mod can be very helpful in giving you ideas of how to move forward or how to get into a plot. If you are proactive, we might even throw you a freebie to help you along. 


Happy RPing!





PS - These issues and examples are absolutely not pertinent to anything any one person, driver, or character is doing or has done, but this is rather meant to be helpful of the entire collective playing our game rather than a commentary on anyone's actions! In other words, nobody is doing anything *shame on you* wrong that I'm trying to get at with this post ❤️ I know quite a few of you have anxiety issues and will fear it is. It isn't. The information is pertinent to a large number of y'all!

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Total agreement with CB! It was a good read and a good reminder.  It was informative and exactly what I needed reminding of.  

Also, anxiety and writing seem to go hand in hand. 😂 I know with each paragraph I was internally going, 'Oh, gwad! Did I do that? I might have done that... I better go check when I am done. Who do I owe apologies to?!'. And then I got to the last paragraph... 😐 Well played, Frankie.  Well played! 😂♥️

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It helped, for george, that you can't legally murder an already dead person, true. But we had most NPCs ultimately believe his humors were out of whack and he was temporarily bonkers with grief, culminating in his crazy confession. But that ended up being the perception mostly bc of the choices George made when he came back. He could probably still be a court oddball for it if you hadn't played out of it. 



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He is a very good example of what you wrote in the above


In our type of game, if you see gloom and doom, or post gloom and doom, you will oft get it. Many times because you write gloom and doom for yourself or fail to find ways to write yourself out of it if you stumble into it

For George, 'Little Whitgrove' was a catalyst for a change in his life views.  It was remarkable actually, how big of a difference that a nephew made for him.  :) 

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