I'm not Droll, but here's a start:
Invited Roles must be posted publicly, though the exact details of that role are not necessary.
Invited Roles must follow the guidelines for equipment, stats, and skills for currently available races and roles.
Invited Roles may be available to any player regardless of current or former RPP.
Players caught abusing their Invited Roles may be subject to losing the role entirely/forced retirement, turning the character into an NPC.
Players can only be accepted for ONE(1) Invited Role a year.
So, let's say the pbase was invited to play a Silvan Elf. An Elf is considered a 5RPP role, so the Elf is given the standard level of equipment, skills, and stat-boosts of a Silvan Elf. The equipment might be prettier, and maybe it's more durable/lighter, but otherwise remains the same as any(let's assume) good-quality equipment available for this PC. He was one of many people who applied, but you liked his application/history best, and he was picked. You worked on his character, giving it the same boosts you'd give to any 5RPP race, and he gets the same -equipment- any 5RPP race could hope for, though it might be race-specific and slightly better in its own way.
I'd be satisfied by that sort of thing. It'd require documentation for what XRPP gets you, and what races are at what RPP, but otherwise I'd be happy.
I'd normally snip out the quote to save some space, but I think this post is very important, so I'm going to quote the whole thing.
The Sponsored Roles rules at Arm is basically what we're looking to do. Thanks for the link. I've only tried to play ARM one time for a very short period of time. Nothing against them at all, I'm sure they're a great group, but I just couldn't get in to the world.
The Special Roles link basically echoes the discussion that we've had about these.
All of this is very good and aligns with the intent of our staff discussions on these topics. The only thing that I have a hard time with is the static rule of being allowed only standard items (or craftable items), stats and skills.
For instance, if we're going to bring someone in to run a farm, I would expect to give that player a bit of a boost to their farming and some crafts so they could actually do their job rather than having to spam craft some low-level stuff so they could actually make a living.
On the combat side of things, if I bring in an orc to fill a sponsored role, it seems ludicrous to have to force the player to grind out skills enough to be able to hold his own against other orcs if he was brought in be a leader of that clan.
On the darker side of Laketown. How about the experienced thief that ends up taking a sponsored role and comes in to game with his pick skill at 25? His background states that he's an experienced lock picker. Should he be forced to spend six months twinking up his pick skill?
We've discussed a lot of this type of thing and we always end up throwing up exceptions to the rules. That's one of the biggest reasons I balk at just laying down black and white rules. It'd be nice and easy to say we're doing this and this and this... but we have to consider as many variables as we can. Covering all the bases when trying to come up with a set of rules is impossible. Thus we try to allow for staff discretion as much as we can and apply the 'spirit of the rule' language.
We've been burnt by language, even in this iteration of SoI, so you can understand my reluctance to make such sweeping statements.
Amending rules creates confusion as well, so I want a simplistic solution that communicates the spirit of the rule rather than providing fodder for nit-picking later. Static rules can tend to stack up as well. We have a rule for this race, that race, this skill, that skill, this instance, that instance. A rule for how to apply, a rule for how to retire, a rule for how to act in the tavern, a rule for how to respond to player abuse, a rule for what to do when someone power emotes, a whole set of rules for how to act on the forum... *breath* ... and then a whole set of sub rules for each of these, and then more rules that turn in to a convoluted mess that no one can keep up on and is rarely updated and then you get contradictory rules and people get upset because this rule says this, but he did that, then another old rule is quoted.
Nobody is going to keep up on all these rules upon rules upon rules.
We need a simple, broad stroke that covers these things as well as the understanding that just because Joe got something doesn't mean that Jerry will get it. Circumstance change for every player, every situation, every role, every race, every location. We cannot write a set of laws for everything.
So yes... a simplistic, short, easy to understand set of rules that are interpreted by Elder Staff when something doesn't quite fit.
Heck! Even the Supreme Court of the United States is split in half on many things. How can we expect to write a set of laws that everyone will agree to the interpretation that staff makes on them? It's impossible.
I know not everyone is going to like this, because there are some that just don't trust me. Well... you trust me enough to play this game and trust me to not boost my character to extreme levels based on my word. If you don't think I can cheat and get away with it, you're naive. I can easily modify stats, skills, coin, anything I want without being detected by anyone. Even Grommit wouldn't be able to catch me without specifically watching for it.
We, in turn, trust you, our players every day as well, though it's much more difficult for you to cheat than it is for us. But you can cheat in many different ways than I can and some things I consider cheating that you may not.
So, just by playing this game you're trusting me to some extent. I guess it's just a matter of how far will you trust me?
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.