It is currently Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:25 pm
Change font size

General Discussion

Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Discuss game issues here.

Moderator: Elder Staff

Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Drew7uk » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:40 pm

Hello!

As a preface, I’d like to quickly talk about the influence of bards/minstrels/storytellers in fantasy and medieval history more generally, and then consider how it might positively affect our game.

As far back as antiquity (and maybe farther) stories (such as the Odyssey, or the Iliad) were conveyed purely by word of mouth – by travelling minstrels or storytellers who would earn their living by sharing news and stories (often segments of the original, or versions of their own) at watering holes for local patrons or visitors.

The role of the storyteller in a local community can become rather a crucial one, dependent on the size of the settlement (and hunger for fresh news from afar), social structure, or traditions of said location. Without any kind of printing industry, and the rates of literacy in a medieval settlement (presumably a fairly low rate of literacy in a place like Laketown), storytellers, I Imagine, would be heavily relied on for all kinds of news, gossip, and entertainment. They’d recite songs or poems of great battles of the time, and more localized bards would spread other news or gossip to entertain the average Joe.

With that in mind, I’d like to make a few proposals:

1. Replace tavern message boards with respected storyteller roles OR only allow storytellers to access the public message boards

2. Maintain clan hall message boards for the conveying of clan-specific information only

3. Implement or encourage a system whereby storytellers worth their salt can actually earn a decent living

4. (Long-term perhaps) Implement a fully-fledged Fellowship for minstrels/bards/storytellers, increasing role-play depth and enjoyment potential even further

The role of a minstrel has been one rather challenging for players to execute properly in the past, and maybe that’s one of the major hurdles of this idea. However I think that given the right template a minstrel/storyteller role could be an extremely effective and rewarding one if played out properly, and with the right in-game support.

For those who have played this kind of role in the past, as well as those who would like to see something like this evolve, what do you guys think overall?
Last edited by Drew7uk on Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Kayube » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:44 pm

Well, I definitely have an interest in this, having played a few of these types of characters in the past and considering doing so again for the new version. Some more support for creative-type characters would definitely be welcome- I see that Artistry is being added as a skill, which helps people who are doing visual arts, so performing art support might fit in well too.

I can't really think of much else that might be added in, but one thing I did think of would be the possibility of some sort of repertoire-management system that would cover different types of performances- songs, stories, play scripts, dances, etc. It could work similarly to a message board or a notebook, and contain the written-down versions of various performances that you've memorized. It would also be possible to teach performances to others and thus get them into their repertoires.
Kayube
Forum Hobbit
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Drew7uk » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:54 pm

I think the repertoire idea could be pretty neat, maybe integrated a little further with the personal journal code (which I assume still remains). Just a case of being able to "teach" that material to others - maybe, depending on your stats or 'listen' skill, it'd transfer over much as a conversation at a table might be heard (with bits and pieces missing, or a complete recollection of the song).
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Kayube » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:29 pm

Yeah. And since it's based on memory, it might "decay" in some way if you go too long without practicing it, in a similar manner.
Kayube
Forum Hobbit
 
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:19 pm

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Drew7uk » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:30 pm

That would be awesome! Not sure of the coding involved, but it sounds very cool.
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Octavius » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:51 am

Glad to see this come up as a player initiative! I fully agree - our culture of northern men should record history in song, and we have considered making literacy (the Education skill) require RPP. Music and taletelling is an excellent thematic difference to incorporate.

There is an Artistry skill and in the current codebase it already has a coded music function. It has a "Play" command which does a skill check and echoes to the room with the quality of the playing (also allowing you to improve by practice). We are considering bolstering the musician/storyteller role by splitting Artistry from Music as two skills (so crafters and minstrels aren't synonymous.) Keep discussing here and you may convince Nimrod and Icarus to make it so. :)

One way to support your idea is to have "compose" crafts that use the Music skill - i.e. "compose ballad." Or "compose tale." It would require success as a skilled musician and be used in a place with a "group of musicians" object. At the end of the (successful) craft it can drop you into an editor that lets you post on a closed message board. This allows skilled musicians to have their tales and stories propegated by the vNPCs. I can either make musicians that echo the room with a random tale, the latest tale, or types of songs by time of day, or we can have them work like a message board and be readable on demand. As we expand to Open and Laketown, these tale boards can be useful for sharing common history throughout all mead halls.

Further, I would add that the idea of shared player-history is one of the unique facets of an RPI MUD; it differentiates from a MMORPG, where history is coded and every PC lives it individually at a different time. In our game, a player can change the story as a whole, and heroes/legacy are communal. That uniqueness is worthy of showcasing witb code support. If we had boards which are designed to showcase real player-generated Lore, we can ask Nimrod to make an interface that exports them to the website. This attracts new players, and also lets existing players keep up with the Lore updates when away from their computers (and excites them to log back in.)
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Drew7uk » Tue Dec 24, 2013 3:33 am

I wanted to revive this thread as I recalled a section in Robin Hobb's "Assassins Quest" about minstrels which I thought was a really interesting take on the profession and I think there's plenty of exciting cross-over for our game. So, I'll type it out from the book so we can find a little more insight on the topic for those who wish to pursue this in the future:

Minstrels and wandering scribes hold special places in the society of the Six Duchies. They are repositories of knowledge, not only of their own crafts, but of so much more. The minstrels hold the history of the Six Duchies, not just the general history that has shaped the kingdom, but the particular histories of the small towns and even the families who make them up.

Although it is the dream of every minstrel to be sole witness to some great event, and thus gain the authoring of a new saga, their true and lasting importance lies in their constant witnessing of the small events that make up life's fabric. When there is a question of a property line, or family lineage, or even of a long-term promise made, the minstrels are called upon to supply the details that others may have forgotten. Supporting them, but not supplanting them, are the wandering scribes. For a fee, they will provide a written record of a wedding, a birth, of land changing hands, of inheritances gained or dowries promised. Such records may be intricate things, for every party involved must be identified in a way that is unmistakable. Not just by name and profession, but by lineage and location and appearance. As often as not, a minstrel is then called to make his mark as a witness to what the scribe has written, and for this reason, it is not unusual to find them travelling in company together, or for one person to profess both trades.

Minstrels and scribes are by custom well treated in the noble houses, finding their winter quarters there and sustenance and comfort in old age. No lord wishes to be ill remembered in the tellings of minstrels and scribes, or worse yet, not remembered at all. Generosity to them is taught as simple courtesy. One knows one is in the present of a miser when one sits at a table in a keep that boasts no minstrels.


Note: I've edited format wise from the original for paragraphs and bolded the key parts for discussion.

I'm probably most intrigued by the overall importance of minstrels to society and the way in which they are treated accordingly - by lords and commoners alike. While masters of entertainment, they're also historians and record keepers in their own right, and people owe to them a great deal.

In terms of practical application to our game, no doubt there'll be a number of minstrels plying their trade in Laketown of varying skill levels, one no doubt in the employ of the Master of Laketown and possibly other richer merchants.

Outside of that, I'd be excited to see travelling minstrels/scribes who may latch on to travelling bands in the wilds for expeditions (a "must have" if travelling on a quest of your own with a group), or maybe those which find themselves in the company of Elves or Dwarves, documenting earlier histories of family and culture.

Food for thought!
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Octavius » Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:56 am

Those ARE some interesting ideas. Glad to see you all brainstorm on them... I'll be reading.

Player-driven RP-based roles are already possible; minstrels have always worked in this way, and succeeded to the extent that players work together to allow them to succeed. There is no limit on this individual initiative.

My concern lies in how this role (or any role) is supported by coded interaction with the game beyond RP alone. I need your brainstorming regarding how you imagine this can, and should, be done.

Minstrels can write and play songs with PCs, and maintain their own records or books of songs. This is solely roleplay. A song is popular if you make it popular. Your tales become the lore shared by players if other players begin sharing your lore.

Minstrels can create tales or songs that become part of the vNPC culture, and persist in a format accessible beyond your PC, and by future PCs. This is a place where it interacts with code, and through the code, becomes part of the game itself. I am considering implementing the proposal described in my post above for this, and would like comment on it.

One way to support your idea is to have "compose" crafts that use the Music skill - i.e. "compose ballad." Or "compose tale." It would require success as a skilled musician and be used in a place with a "group of musicians" object. At the end of the (successful) craft it can drop you into an editor that lets you post on a closed message board. This allows skilled musicians to have their tales and stories propegated by the vNPCs. I can either make musicians that echo the room with a random tale, the latest tale, or types of songs by time of day, or we can have them work like a message board and be readable on demand. As we expand to Open and Laketown, these tale boards can be useful for sharing common history throughout all mead halls.


Minstrels serve an official function as certifiers of historical fact. This is an interesting proposition made in your quote above, which I had not considered. We could have a minstrel's credibility (validated by a successful skill check) result in a "seal" with their mark on it. The "seal" could be created as a variable (one-time staff assist) for the minstrel PC when he registers his Mark at the town hall. "A document sealed with a $bardsigil" could be required for some kind of official transactions. What those would be, and how it would be fun for PCs, I need you to tell me. :)

Minstrels serve as credible witnesses of the daily lives of others. Also an interesting idea from your post. Do you see it interacting in any way with game and needing support, or is this a purely RP function? Is it included in the "I have crafts to record the telling of tales and history" proposal above? We'd have daily-tales, community-events, and epic-tales? How would you do it?

Nobles treat them well and pay them to ensure the history is written favorably. Also from your post. We don't have keeps or nobles; we will have wealthy merchants and families desiring memoriam in art, sculpture, tale, and song. Is this a purely RP function, or does it get supported in some way?

Minstrels want to accompany those doing brave deeds, to get credit for writing the epic tale. I think this is great, and just good roleplay.

Music, minstrels or not, is good for morale. Troops marching with marching songs, horns, or drums, are inspired. A minstrel along with the group provides a coded benefit this way. We noted on the skill announcement that we'll explore this as a coded option, that use of a coded command to echo song or instrument could give a will bonus to your Group (or maybe intimidate opponents fighting that group). That has direct impact on how well they can travel without fatigue, or perform in combat.
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Drew7uk » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:00 pm

My overall feeling is that there are definitely some areas of this where code can (and should) support, but that we have to be careful about going in too hard and "restricting" with code features. Some of these things absolutely should remain RP aspects only, and driven by the player and/or their plot. In some of the cases below, the new artistry skill should go some way to enhancing particular features without making them restrictive.

Going through the list here:

Octavius wrote:Minstrels can create tales or songs that become part of the vNPC culture, and persist in a format accessible beyond your PC, and by future PCs. This is a place where it interacts with code, and through the code, becomes part of the game itself. I am considering implementing the proposal described in my post above for this, and would like comment on it.


For this, do you mean the original proposal of public message boards being accessible by minstrel/bard types only?

Octavius wrote:Minstrels serve an official function as certifiers of historical fact. This is an interesting proposition made in your quote above, which I had not considered. We could have a minstrel's credibility (validated by a successful skill check) result in a "seal" with their mark on it. The "seal" could be created as a variable (one-time staff assist) for the minstrel PC when he registers his Mark at the town hall. "A document sealed with a $bardsigil" could be required for some kind of official transactions. What those would be, and how it would be fun for PCs, I need you to tell me. :)


I personally like something along these lines and think it would be quite exciting to see. I think it depends largely on how the rest of society in Laketown is going to work and the execution of official town policy, adherence, approval. Maybe it would serve as an added token of sorts?

Octavius wrote:Minstrels serve as credible witnesses of the daily lives of others. Also an interesting idea from your post. Do you see it interacting in any way with game and needing support, or is this a purely RP function? Is it included in the "I have crafts to record the telling of tales and history" proposal above? We'd have daily-tales, community-events, and epic-tales? How would you do it?


Outside of the craft/message board idea, I think this would have to be primarily an RP function, driven largely by overarching staff direction. For example, it's cool to say that in theory it should and can happen, but events should be backed up by official direction inside the game at particular events - maybe each week there are tavern events which the minstrel presides over in some fashion; maybe community events in the town which happen must have a minstrel present; maybe there is a minstrel attached purely to the town guard.

One of the issues I'm seeing is that to cover a significant amount of gossip or recording, we're going to need a good few PC minstrels - in the likely event that won't happen, why not feed PC minstrels gossip information on their private boards which the staff (vNPCs) might catch, and they don't whilst online?

Octavius wrote:Nobles treat them well and pay them to ensure the history is written favorably. Also from your post. We don't have keeps or nobles; we will have wealthy merchants and families desiring memoriam in art, sculpture, tale, and song. Is this a purely RP function, or does it get supported in some way?


Primarily RP here I'd say - but in reference to my last paragraph of this post, there should be practical reasons in game why nobles would really want to pay, and why minstrel players would bother.

Octavius wrote:Music, minstrels or not, is good for morale. Troops marching with marching songs, horns, or drums, are inspired. A minstrel along with the group provides a coded benefit this way. We noted on the skill announcement that we'll explore this as a coded option, that use of a coded command to echo song or instrument could give a will bonus to your Group (or maybe intimidate opponents fighting that group). That has direct impact on how well they can travel without fatigue, or perform in combat.


I'd love to see shabby/disliked minstrels grant penalties - maybe of their own accord, if the song is particularly morbid, sad, or emotional. Just a thought. I'd love to see some kind of benefits granted to tavern crowds/audience in the same kind of way - maybe a boost to certain creative crafts?

At the end of the day, we all mostly agree of the importance and historic relevance of minstrels in our genre - the question is how to make them sufficiently impactful to the game and other players. If there are no immediate "benefits" to playing or listening to a minstrel, few will stop to care.

I'll think on the practicalities of that a little more over Christmas!
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Hawkwind » Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:01 pm

With a good and strong culture of roleplaying all of these could very easily become reality. I'm all for this sort of social roleplay, set apart from combat and crafting. But beyond the sigil (which is very cool) all of these would be the responsibility of the playerbase to enforce.

If we set up the stage for these sorts of things to happen and it does not it is no fault but our own. The bards and skalds sit around doing nothing and waiting for others to begin, that hurts it for all.

The wealthy leader type that would rather do everything themselves and become completely self sufficient in regards to the fightan, craftan and socialisan archetype, so be it. But know, you are pushing other concepts and classes out to the side.

As always, the player leaders of our community are our best (and sometimes worst) asset. It is they who we have to thank when roleplay blossoms and everything comes together beautifully, be it a mature and respectful attitude on the forums or the share and share alike manner of roleplay we enjoy IG. If those in the spotlight take to these admittedly fantastic suggestions then it will flow downhill and foster an inclusive atmosphere.

I know this is quite wildly off topic, but I believe it ties in with what has been said above. That and the less hampered the staff becomes with side projects, the more time they will have to enjoy other such things such as plots, intrigue and the most beloved spontaneous animations.
JESUS CHRIST, THE HELIUM!
PS4 Handle - Roadhawkes
Tags Taken: Eru I, Mavinero I.
User avatar
Hawkwind
Honored Elf
 
Posts: 422
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2013 8:46 am
Location: Volga Matushka

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Drew7uk » Wed Dec 25, 2013 3:35 am

Not at all off topic, Hawkwind, and great perspective to have.

Agreed on the importance of community leaders to drive roles like this, and at the end of the day that's what everything more or less comes down to - but on the other side, if code can be implemented to partially enforce, encourage, or coax individuals into using various abilities responsibly then that's the balance we need to seek.

Just to reiterate an earlier point, I think the trick is:

1. Finding practical reasons that people would want to truly play and explore minstrels - and for those others to interact with them. Light bonuses, high paydays, influential on town-wide plots, are just a few ways to encourage this and

2. Balancing this effectively with code support, on one side not too restrictive and on the other allowing enough room for creative roleplay.

And really, the same goes for any role out there.
User avatar
Drew7uk
Dwarf Recruit
 
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:40 am
Location: Singapore

Re: Suggestion: Message Boards and Minstrels

Postby Octavius » Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:41 pm

Keep in mind that we are discussing three things here.
1) music and tale as something woven into the base culture, and accessible broadly
2) things accessible to those who are highly skilled in this area, no matter their "job"
3) people with a specific role and primary job of being a minstrel, traubador, or bard.

The game, at its best, can only support a few dedicated as a formal role. Keep the first two in mind.
User avatar
Octavius
Journeyman Architect
 
Posts: 1094
Joined: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:33 pm
Location: East Coast, USA


Return to General Discussion

Connect

FacebookTwitter

Login

Who is online

Very smart users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

Login