Ages ago, so long in fact that other than myself, Shadow is perhaps the only person who could recall, a I made a prophecy. I no longer even remember the exact words, but the essence is still etched in my memory. I've left this place "for good" and returned so many times that the only new blood here...seems to be my own.
When I am gone, the War Mill will die. Sure, the War Mill became the Role Playing Mill, but the words still apply. After numerous trials, I have slight amounts of time to spend online once more, at least for a little while. But in the preceding absence, I left in my wake a great deal of time for the RPM to die. Posts come rarely these days, if ever. Shadow I've not seen post in a while, Ravyson and Jerreck as well. Wicked Darkman/Quark and myself seem to be the only ones left at times.
I return to a tomb. A place choked upon its own history. I believe we now stand at a crossroads. What we know as the Role Playing Mill had its first inklings in October 1996 - a history of nearly five years. In that time we've (I've) more clearly defined the world, but in doing so, we have left no room for new people.
They may arrive, look around, find it interesting, but never join because they don't know where to begin. When they do try, most likely they get jumped on for "violating what we know" and never return - I'm one of the biggest contributors to this. The result is that our once massive clientele has dwindled to a paltry one or two.
There's probably no one who cares anymore, but I figured I'd try. Crossroads. We can continue on as we are in the world of Phaema, knowing that we are a breath's whisper away from death. We can restart, try something new. Or we can accept the inevitable, and close the Role Playing Mill. Yes, it conceivably has come to that.
Hoping for more than one reply,
I have a pretty good understanding of what's happened. Think about the demographics of the people who started it. When it started, most of the people there were young teenagers. It lasted three or four years pulling in a few new people from time to time. However, around the time one turns 17, the amount of free time one has starts to drastically decrease. We call it the Junior shift in my house, and it's a sometimes frustrating phenomena for many other reasons. Basically, the whole generation with a few exceptions ran out of time to participate effectively.
Also, to some extent, the guilds were responsible for perpetuating the life of the War Mill. They marketed it fairly well so that people at least knew that the War Mill existed and had some vague idea of what it was. When their creators started to fade out of the mill, the guilds started to dwindle and disappear as well. Without the guilds, there was no marketing. Now nobody knows that the RPM exists.
Now, what you're saying about the RPM not being friendly to young people is quite true. It was one of the reasons I objected to that old movement to add more rules and structure that you guys were talking about with Armageddon. Believe it or not, I've been trying to work sort of slowly towards some of those points, but I've been subject to the Junior shift as well and my time is getting cut thin. I was planning to largely blow up the world here with my characters and make an entrance portal with some concise and approachable FAQs and guides to getting started. I hope this summer I'll have time to do some of this.
But all that aside, we'll never get anywhere if we don't have marketing. Somebody has got to find a new generation of rpers to come populate this place. I don't know where or how, but that has to happen too.
I vote that we restart. Full new start for the world. Destroy it, start anew. Finish what Tara couldn't. You could rewrite creation, Jake.
I have something in mind, I swear. Just give me two weeks to finish my classes.
And I might even get started tonight...
I've got an abominable headache and I'm tired, else I'd comment further. My vision of a "restart" is to leave what we have alone and just go off in another direction. No apocalyptic destruction of Phaema or anything, we just quietly retire it and begin from scratch.
Did you know they are coming out with a Jurrassic park 3? (I'm going somewhere with this I promise.
I rember as a kid I sat in the theater watching Jurrasic Park with my mouth agape thinking "Damnit, this is one hell of a movie". Then I saw Jurrasic park 2. It somehow managed to be both crap and poop at the same time. It was a shell and a mockery of the origanal. (And how the hell did a jewish guy father a pure black daughter?) And now they are making a third one...Crap, like they haven't done enough already to destroy that first kick ass movie. I upsets me and I wish they would just leave me with my found memories of veliciraptor and Newman getting slimed by that gila monster thingy.
What I'm trying to say is that we have all had fun here at one point or another, and isn't that good enough. Why should we try to make people care. Just let a good thing die, the more you fungle it, the more you distort its found memories.
And honeslty, we are all pretty much to old to have fun here anymore. I am not the same person I was six years ago.....I'm not little Jakey Krejci anymore, I'm not even ~Cup~.
I'm a 20 year old man working towards his adult life trying to raise a little girl. The desire to create a fake reality is less apealing to me now that I have a real life.
Damn Jake, Why are you clinging to a little fun you had half a decade ago? There is a world out there with your damn name written on it...Conquer it make mistakes, have problems, but for god's sake LIVE.
Wow, Cvppy's getting off track, but hell, I like the track I'm vering onto. Life is to short and WAY to beautiful...the orchard is ripe and everyone needs to reach out and grab that shiny blue and green apple by the head and sink your big old buck teeth into its juicy ass.
If that quivering little mass of self pity ~Cup~ can do that so can you, you silly little puto...
Jacob Stephen Krejci
"Its absouelty clear to me that solitude is not the same as singularity"-Harvey Danger "Why I'm Lonely"
I have discussed this mill at length with shadow in Irc, trying to figure out how to contribute. He stated clearly and concisely the ease with which a character and idea could be formed, and stressed that the rules where few and very simple. However, there was always a wall i ran into whenever attempting to write. That wall is the relatively vast history that has been created. And despite shadows insistance that it is a scalable wall i remain stuck on the other side.
The roleplaying mill's history is just to big to 'jump in' with ideas. i would not know where to begin (neither in dealing with story, character, history, and most of all geography).
If this mill is to attract new people like me, something must be done. I like the idea. But as i have said, i cannot scale the wall that has been set up.
It is not my place to suggest pushing the reset button on the whole world, but i will suggest it anyway.
I will have to agree with what some people have already said. In the beginning, I too felt there was a big wall to climb, that of the vast history of the place, and that some characters here were as old as the world itself.
I think a good thing to do, would be to perform an "RP Wipe". Let me explain what i mean by that, before you come chopping off my head. I don't mean that we should forget the history of the place. Just make it less important. Characters that are ancient and with "godlike" planewalking powers and such, should be a thing people could talk about, but not play unless it's for a short time as an NPC.
So, what i am suggesting is this. Let's all make new characters. Let's not wipe events that have happened, let's just make them "history" and let us perhaps have history affect the world, but not in such a way that it becomes a wall. Let's all start as equals again.
That's my feeling. Perhaps the words "RP Wipe" are not entierly accurate to describe what i suggest, but it catches the severity of the action, i believe.
Once this is done, and we have the world set for new RP (perhaps this could be done by Elro and Shadow), we can all start over. Nobody should create a character that is a relative of some old godlike being, thus gaining status above others. Let this be built perfectly fresh from the start, with everybody on the same footing and conditions.
Hmmm... to be honest, i am not sure this is exactly what should be done.. but it's an idea that for some reason has been in my head. Right or wrong, i just figured i'd throw it out there, since it seems to somewhat coincide with other people's thoughts.
Lastly, Jacob, I never knew you on here. I think it's great that you have "moved on" and are getting married and raising a baby girl and that you are tasting life. I don't think, however, that we should just let this place die, "because once it was so fun and it will never happen again". I'm a gamer. I love my life, I am tasting its richness every day and i have a lovely girlfriend since three years, lots of good friends and a family that i love. This doesn't mean i can't spent an hour of two per week on here, posting my stuff and read others posts, enjoying the stories. It's just a small part of the whole big juicy apple that is life. It sounds like you think RP Mill is something that prevents people from living life, while I mean the RP Mill is actually a *part* of many people's lives that they, lo and behold, live.
Ah well... enough ranting... it's good to see there's people who still care about this place, and together i'm sure we can keep it alive, and attract new players (yes, i see this as a game as well as a story telling forum).
/Anders Warrby (a.k.a. Jerreck)
I suppose we should put this to an official vote. The options are three:
1. Keep the RPM and its Phaeman history.
2. Drop Phaema like a bad habit and create something new from the ashes.
3. Kill the RPM for good.
The consensus seems to be leaning toward dropping Phaema in favor of something different. That is how I would vote as well. Shadow seems to be hell bent on "rebirthing" the world, or destroying it, or something. If creating something new truly is the consensus, I have some ideas about what should or shouldn't be done with the new world, and I'll discuss those when/if they become relevant. Until then...cast your votes. It shouldn't take long to have an official tally. I'll give everyone until midnight Saturday (which is technically Sunday) - two of my working days.
And Shadow - I hope you're just doing a "Tara-like" reset button; if at all possible, I want Phaema to survive what you're doing. That's all I ask.
i vote 2. start a new world.
DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT START OVER...
Though i liked to JURASIC 3 example I do not agree...
This mill (I liked the WARMILL name better)
is not a dead thing but is constantly evolving...
JURASIC 3 is a finished story, it will never evolve because its a dead thing.
This mill is the sum of all its reader/writers that are attracted by it, and its having a crisis that would be equivalent to starvation...
Lately it has been feed with protein low diet and since it has had an aggressive past but lately havent got a chance to eat meat it is dying...
Vegetarians may scream "hey but wait",
but its to late I wont listen, because if this starvation is not physical then it is mental and the mill needs to tear some flesh appart and feast in blood...
WHAT DOES THIS MILL WANT:
It wants what we want...
The other mills are based on knowledge and since we want this knowledge we keep those mills alive...
From this mill we want ENTERTAINMENT...
If its out of entertainment, yes it will die just as fast as a jokemill would, since a jokemill only features onetime entertainment unless you are extremely senile...
What is happening now???
The mills habitants are frustrated because their entertainment is gone, so what happens, we whine and cry out the pain...
This outcry attracts a small attention because humans are somehow attracted to misery and we lick up emotional scripture like spunges with our emty brains LICK, LICK, LICK...
Does the word LICK seem offending to you now...
DOES IT STIR ANY OF YOUR EMOTIONS NOW...
Hey, relax its just a word, and for a moment I probably made you feel something, it could be any feeling but we all like to feel...
Next stage is that the few habitants outcry is read by someone who only looks into this mill when extremely bored, unfortunately Im that kind of person, but at least I admit it, I long for this place to turmoil and fester and thrive all at the same time, because this place is the only mill that has a free will in BD, the others are restricted by rules and knowledge...
Those of us who were back from when people fought mental combats with words against or for things like racism, social classes and all the relevant worldwide events, we have seen the life of this mill...
One thing has stopped this mill, and that is rules, I have a very high respect for all of those who have striven to put rules into this mill, but evolution is only as grand as the frame it is set into...
This place has stopped evolving for a time...
The roleplaying mill...
Sorry to say it but the name insinuates NERD NERD NERD...
Im a roleplayer, ive only been a dungeonmaster almost through all my life, Im 29...
All my friends play evil characters and my dungeonworld is ruled by a wast 1000 dice table with CONTROL EVENTS that for ever changes my world, Ive got vulcanoes to change landscapes, politics to change the cities and so on...
My players never tire of my world since it is a living thing...
WHERE AM I HEADING:
Well this place has to evolve, and it can only evolve within its given parameters...
My final point is, if this place has absolutely no rules it has endless possibilities to expand and evolve inside...
FREEDOM FOR THE WARMILL.....
WICKED DARKMAN and CO...
Having spent some more thought on this, I think I know one of the reasons new people who come here leave again as soon as they've read a few posts.
Posts are too long. They are too relying on events that happened earlier (and that the new reader has no grasp about). I think what we need is more interaction between players. Has anyone here played on a Mud? You would know what I mean. Make posts more like a long emote. Just make it a little more to the point and filled with information, than mud emotes usually are. We couldn't have people go
"I lean back in my chair and smile, saying 'Yes.'"
as is possibly on a mud where you get the response right away. This would be too time consuming considering people post maybe once a day at the most. Instead have it be something like
"Jerreck leans back in his chair, judging Ravyson's words carefully. Finally he speaks, "Yes, but why should I give you five hundred Red Fists for a mission like this? As far a I can tell a small unit of perhaps fifty would be enough." The scarred warrior studies his friend with a curious look.
This would leave more open ends for new people to chip in, and they wouldn't have to worry about what the heck Jerreck and Ravyson are talking about. This, they could find out as the RP continues and by listening in on the conversation for a while too, perhaps.
I admit, when I came here a couple of years ago, this was often the kind of RP people were doing. Shorter, smattering posts with quick replies and good opportunities for people to join in. My posts were from the beginning more of the narrative sort, mostly because I felt that I didn't know anyone here, and I wanted to give a good introduction to my character (at the time called Defender but later renamed Jerreck). As things went, I kept on with these longer posts (longer than most people anyways...) and when Elrohir came back from absence and was writing even longer posts (more like chapters of a story) it became a trend. New people that came along and that I rped with (Shara, John, Ravyson) picked up this style, and the rp forum changed into a story telling forum, basically. I guess I should take some of the blame for this, but at the time it seemed like a good thing. We had more descriptive posts, more feelings, more intricate plots.
The problem was that outside of those taking part of the stories, nobody understood them.
Now, when we have two stories going (BIS and Shadow's story), i bet nobody except for the participants (heh, that would be Ravyson and me for BIS and Shadow for.. well Shadow's story) are really sure about what's going on.
Erm.. alright. Therefore, I am not so sure it would help to just restart everything. Sure, i'm positive it would help for a short time. We'd have new players who could be in it from the new beginning, but after a while we'll be back in the old ways. Long, extremely confusing stories that no new people will want to join, because they don't feel like reading a thousand old confusing posts by whatever people was in it from the beginning.
What I suggest is a twofold solution.
1.) Restart things from the beginning. Null all old RP and let's keep it in fond memory. Keep Phaema the place if necessary (Elrohir seems to want to, and i don't see why not) but let's have it populated by some new folks... played by us and the new players that will hopefully come here.
2.) I suggest we try to keep rp more down to earth. Let's play more normal characters, that might end up great heroes one day, perhaps even kings. Let's not play strange, extraplanar beings that float around in a confusing reality, and that people really can't envision, take to heart, and even less join for some RP. When we do this more earthly rp, let us try for more interaction. More loose ends for the next person to pick up. More interesting little rp in normal life situations. Perhaps some people simply gather at an inn to have an ale and talk about their latest adventure (i know, big generalizing here but you know what i mean). Great opportunity for someone new to join in.
Most of all, let's have fun! We might need some rules and such, but i doubt we need anything heavy. We will do fights with common sense. If i think that the nasty villain/monster/trap did a good post and should have been able to hit my character with its weapon or whatever, then i emote... er sorry... post that in my reply.
"As Ravyson stands up and lunges forward with his longblade, Jerreck is caught by surprise and can't quite avoid the strike. Taking the blade in his shoulder, he winces and backs off. He places a hand over his shoulder, trying to stop the blood from flowing out of his body."
(Btw, my apologies to Ravyson for using you in these examples.. your character is by no means a villain, as far as I know )
As for magic, we'll just have to use common sense, and come up with some sort of guideline as to how powerful mages should be compared to fighter types. If more powerful, we might need to control them somehow.
Alright... long post again, and for this i am sorry. I care a lot for this place, and would like to see it thrive.
Anders Carl Gösta Warrby
(yeah yeah.. don't know if you can read weird Swedish letters but what the heck, everyone else is posting their full name )
You're right, stories became too long, but for me, that's something I like to write. I plot and plan and leave little open to change. In short, I like being in control of my stories these days, much to Shadow's chagrin. It wasn't always that way, but I would find it very difficult to go back to writing snippets two paragraphs in length. But this need is something I also had foreseen. We need a drastic change in format.
I did not mean to imply that we keep Phaema in the restructured RPM. In fact, far from it. I want to get rid of it entirely. I simply don't want to eliminate it by means of complete destruction of the world. Retire it, and it's gone, *poof*. Why not keep it? It is rigid and inflexible. It came together from many people's random ideas, forged into a whole by Thrakkiss' pencil. Those ideas meant things to those people, 99% of whom are no longer here and haven't been for several years. Outside of those of us remaining, who is going to care about the Atog Wars or Northshir? If we keep Phaema, and I swear this, we will keep history intact and continue to rely on what has gone before. I will enforce this. I do not wish to do this, but I will be compelled to as I have been for so long anyway. Though many places and people were creations of others, I think that, more than anyone else, Phaema has become an extension of myself and it holds the most meaning for me.
Despite Cvppy's continued bad spelling, his message is correct. I *am* still clinging to a bit of fun I had years ago that no longer holds the same merriment and wonder for me. A complete restart will have serious repercussions for everyone, myself included. We need to cut the ties of our past, forge a new beginning, and create new history. Perhaps we can walk the path as before, knowing what problems to expect. Perhaps the RPM will remain a storytelling forum. I see that as too rigid now. As Wicked Darkman continues to show me - there is a whole realm of possibilities untapped and some no longer being tapped. Read his posts as you have read no others. His rambling chaos is EXACTLY what formed this mill in the first place. While we have gone a different direction since then, his return gives a glimpse of what this place was once like. You may like it, you may not. But that's the way it was. A part of me wants to go back, but part wants to move on. I believe my course is already set, I just need to see where it leads.
One more little comment that in my haste to finish the above post, I forgot to include the very inspiration for it.
Thrakkiss once described to me something I'll call the "Tolkien effect." Because several characters here used names from Lord of the Rings (Elrohir, Gandalf, Thorin, etc.), he would not be able to read LotR without associating those names with the deeds of the people he knew here. I'll admit, I experienced it the last time I read through it about five months ago. The point I'm trying to make is if we keep Phaema and it's history, we can't "null all old RP and keep it in fond memory," because even keeping place names like Dantimos and Oor-Tael will have at least myself remembering what went on before. We don't want those influences if we want to revitalize this place, and that is why, if we restart, Phaema must go.
As an avid gamer for most of my life, I see an old familiar happening here. Sadly to say, it has little to do with gaming, or Rp'ing, or even Phaema in particular.
I came here to read a few times, but even before I considered writing anything in, I was sort of "shut down" by the immense history and tradition of the place, it's rather intimidating you know.
What is getting described here is age. Not in human terms, but in Role Playing terms. Think of it this way...
When you're young, you say things in a shorter, more truncated, and simplified manner. As you get older and experienced, you put things more eloquently and descriptively. But by the time you reach advancing years, what once flowed eloquently, now comes out in a rambling, sometimes meaningless and jumbled, rant. Pay attention to nieces and nephews, or little siblings. Then go sit for a few hours with your grandparents, and you'll see my point.
It's sad to say, but the three or so "older" character players here are going to fall into old ways. Unless there is a completely new system of things, or a system shock of some sort, there's not a lot that can be done about the problem, unless the older players don't play, or perhaps, if they are very strong willed, try to keep it simple.
If the former occurs, however, there is not much hope for this place, because so few come here anyway. It would wither away and die unless some serious and intense advertising went on by the newer guys to draw some attraction. WD doesn't seem to have a problem advertising, but losing the backbone of this place would be a sad occurance.
I would participate, because, if you knew me in real life, you'd definitely know how I so love to start things anew.
A new start should definitely kick this place in the pants, but it is very likely that it will quickly evolve back into the long-winded, exclusionary evironment that it is now, unless there are some strong convictions, and (shudder) rules(or at least strong suggestions).
That is my opinion anyway...
I just went back to the PAL, to see all of the history here, and it's no surprise this is happening, some of the characters here are over 4000 years old. And it is my belief that life imitates art, and some premature mental aging is occuring.
Resharpen your tools, wield your razor-like wit once more, because there is nothing sadder than an unnecessary death.
Well, I'm not sure what we're going to end up with after "restarting," but I guess we'll just have to see. However, I have some things to say about the end of our present mill.
It was a good story. It had interesting characters, interesting conflicts, and was perhaps the biggest story that's ever been committed to text since Tolkein died. A whole land. Think about the magnitude of it! A Whole World. And when you think about that you see how staggering it is, and you start to understand at a fundamental level how hard it is for new people to dive in. I understand it now, at least.
The world, however, has gone as far as we can take it. We don't have the strength or the numbers to make anything more of it and now we're just sort of sitting there playing out slightly revised old stories like a bad Star Trek rip-off.
So should we just leave it there? Maybe some of you wouldn't have a problem with that; it is beginning to grow tiresome. But, personally, I need some closure. A good story deserves a good ending. Thus, I'm finishing it. I always sort of wanted to do it, anyway. I'll end it, and I'll make it final. And then we, whatever's left of us and whatever new blood is found if any, can try to start over on a whole new canvas. But I want to finish this painting before we do.
Give me three weeks, and read my posts.
Whose Gods Are These?
Creating a whole new world has my vote.
And Jer, you can't be 100% sure that I'm not evil.