You have been taken by the Mists

Author Topic: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM  (Read 2423 times)

Ehver

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« on: January 06, 2015, 08:25:51 AM »
From reading through all the comments in the last few threads that popped up, I've come to the conclusion that there is probably a bigger problem here than I at first considered. Many of the posters expressed their concern about the lack of DM presence (and oversight) being a contributing factor in the boredom/slap-stick of the high level community, and really just in general.

So I'd like to propose a suggestion. I can understand that accepting new people onto the DM team can be a very sensitive matter, and while those that are currently running things are great, I think most of us can agree that there needs to be more. Obviously these people cannot be around every hour of every day - and no one is asking them to. DMing is, half the time, as much a job as it is a game. Since accepting people willy-nilly into a position of power and, at times, stress would probably cause more problems than it solves, why don't we meet in the middle ground?

Why not institute a second type of DM whose main purpose is to improve the atmosphere of the server. And I mean just dropping yellow text around or possessing the occasional NPC to help make the server feel more alive and authentic. It can be as simple as popping into Bianca and emoting her cleaning dishes behind the counter at the inn, or serving drinks and foods to guests. Or maybe Radu giving people the stink-eye as they pass. Or it can be ghosting along with people through a dungeon, adding flavor text here and there - like hearing the howling of wolves and seeing the occasional glint of their eyes reflected in the moonlight.

Honestly, it wouldn't have to be much, but even these small clips would do wonders. Not only would it improve the atmosphere, but it would make that mundane dungeon run that you've done a thousand times feel fresh and dangerous. It would give a voice to the NPCs that are generally ignored throughout the day, and it would certainly make people more conscious of their actions.

The ADMs wouldn't even necessarily have to have access to the DM forums. They wouldn't need to have a bunch of sensitive information that could, potentially, be used against the server by alienating players. And, if after a time an ADM proves trust worthy - who knows, perhaps they can get a "promotion" to full DMship.

Personally, I think this idea would solve a lot of issues. Improving the atmosphere and authenticity, giving NPCs and dungeons new life, and even adding a bit of oversight so that players aren't running around being silly and exploiting the lack of attention. Better yet, ADMs (if implemented) should be allowed to give out small gifts of xp to those they see making an effort to RP. Naturally there would need to be an application process for such a position, but since you wouldn't be handing too much power or sensitive information to them, I doubt it would be that hard to find people fitting the bill.
Ilinca Cristescu - Urban Witch
Player Faction: The Mistraiders

Purist

  • Vallaki Guards
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1729
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2015, 08:44:14 AM »
I like this idea. I always wanted to help in a way like this. Possessing minor NPCs, just to spread life around.

Mereyn

  • Church of Ezra - Refuge of Fifth Light
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Resident Observer of the Freakshow
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2015, 08:54:45 AM »
Now, I may shoot completely off, but as I already stated my opinion in the scrolls thread, this suggestion just leaves all the work for atmosphere to non-players, essentially. Why can't a PC do as an NPC would do? Hell, I see people leaving their dishes in the Lady's Rest every day. Is that something a DM has to take care of with Bianca? I beg to differ. It is and stays a problem that has it's roots with the players, and how they act. Or in short, I feel that most opportunities at atmosphere are easily ignored. No fingerpointing in that, everyone does that, it's natural.

Atmosphere is not and /should/ not be completely controlled by non-players (DMs, etc.), for it kills that which makes out a Role-Playing-Game, the actual decisions and paths a character can offer to others in a consistent (!) world. At least it should be logical for our characters to be changing and interacting with eachothers lives, thus determining the atmosphere at hand. I think I'm trailing off, though.

Purist

  • Vallaki Guards
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1729
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 09:25:06 AM »
An atmosphere DM could take control of Radu and kick troublemakers out of the Lady's Rest. We don't need a DM for that, DMs are busy doing big stuff.

Mereyn

  • Church of Ezra - Refuge of Fifth Light
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Resident Observer of the Freakshow
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 09:30:02 AM »
Exactly. And what would an ADM be any different than plenty busy to create every bit and bob of atmosphere for the players? It's not like the playerbase of this server is small enough to keep track of /everything/ at once. What I would also like to adress is how many factions can be viewed as being glorified NPCs. The Garda for instance, have a perfect way of creating atmosphere. The Ezran faction most certainly would fit that description aswell. And that is because members of any faction I could think of more or less become part of the world, and help building said atmosphere up.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 09:32:21 AM by Mereyn »

Ehver

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2015, 09:47:26 AM »
Exactly. And what would an ADM be any different than plenty busy to create every bit and bob of atmosphere for the players? It's not like the playerbase of this server is small enough to keep track of /everything/ at once. What I would also like to adress is how many factions can be viewed as being glorified NPCs. The Garda for instance, have a perfect way of creating atmosphere. The Ezran faction most certainly would fit that description aswell. And that is because members of any faction I could think of more or less become part of the world, and help building said atmosphere up.

I'm not exactly certain what you're arguing, other than that players themselves should be responsible for creating all of the atmosphere in the game. Which is a fair point, I suppose, but not one I agree with. If such were the case, you could further argue against the existence of DMs, as what an ADM would be doing would be the smaller aspects of what a DM also does...

An ADM isn't there to run quests, but there to spice up the world by possessing the occasional NPC or tossing out the occasional yellow text to give a bit more detail to the world as you traverse it. As a player, I cannot dictate the reaction of an NPC. I also can't dictate the details of the world, though I can certainly do my best to rp my surroundings and my character's reactions to them. The suggestion of an ADM is not a manner of removing any responsibility - nor even freedom - from the players. It's a way to enhance the world and help players become more immersed in their surroundings.

There are plenty of people who ignore the presence of NPCs. Even if you personally don't, doesn't change the fact that many do. Rules and overseers exist for a reason - to combat unwanted behavior. An ADM would essentially be a gentle push in the right direction for those who choose to ignore the setting (rather than a direct punishment) and an enrichment for everyone.
Ilinca Cristescu - Urban Witch
Player Faction: The Mistraiders

Purist

  • Vallaki Guards
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 1729
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2015, 09:49:32 AM »
The way it is/was in the past months, there is/were few DMs around. The Garda for example, I collected money from an executed criminal, I spent days carrying 70k in my inventory because not a single DM that was present had the time to remove this money from my inventory. And it is not like I play in a totally unfriendly hour. In order to be a DM I believe the candidate has to fulfill a few criteria. An assistant DM could have less criteria and be limited in which ways he should work to impact the world. Many times we need a DM to help setting someone up, why not give that task to an assistant DM?

The way I see it, an assistant DM could take control over some preexistent monsters in a dungeon in order to increase the challenge. A DM on the other hand would prepare the whole dungeon and monsters for the event, and give a remarkable effects to the characters involved.

Mereyn

  • Church of Ezra - Refuge of Fifth Light
  • Undead Slayer
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
  • Resident Observer of the Freakshow
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2015, 09:56:10 AM »
I think I worded it poorly, it was less an argumentation and more food for thought, as I think some people just don't see many of the possibilities.
As for ADMs itself I don't think it would change all that much for me, but others might find it to be better and I'm certainly not a one-man-army,
nor the best roleplayer or a great consultant on atmosphere. It really just makes me think that if there were a compromise as to give factions
(PC leaders would be an option, they should more or less work with a faction DM, no?) a bit more tools to give flavor text
(I can see the abuse of yellow text, though, I'm not blind. Just an idea floating around.)
would also be benefitial, without directly having to appoint people out of their way to create atmosphere, it would be a bit more organic, in theory.

That, however is only a partial solution. As not every faction is always active, etc. It just is an idea as to how help without having ADMs for that case, to be exact.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 09:57:54 AM by Mereyn »

Bluebomber4evr

  • Head DM, Developer and Ravenloft Trivia Guru/Community Council
  • Administrator
  • Dark Power
  • *
  • Posts: 20692
    • http://www.nwnravenloft.com
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #8 on: January 06, 2015, 09:57:38 AM »
You can't be a half-DM. Neither the D&D game rules nor the NWN game engine support this. Besides, if we're going through the trouble to train someone to be an "atmospheric" DM, we might as well train them to be full DMs. We could always use more active DMs, and DMs are supposed to be able to do the "atmosphere" stuff anyway.

Bluebomber4evr: The Justice, not you, since 2002

Syl

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 2474
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #9 on: January 06, 2015, 09:58:23 AM »
On some types of characters its a lot of fun to do that. I know depending on the toon I'll bring up the dishes or not.

I know i wish Druids had a little Atmospheric tool to help RP some of the skills they have, I remember sitting on a diffrent server and I would RP a druid getting upset with someone and so they would make the squirrls in the trees suddenly throw nuts down at the person... But i can't do that here because i fear people wont see that as RP more as cheesy not possible.. Which is possible...

Monica O'Sullivan: Master explorer
Tsubaki Yamamoto: Shadow Thief
Roesor Cryso: A slave for the Masters.
Sokol: An Unlikely Hero

Ehver

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2015, 10:01:34 AM »
You can't be a half-DM. Neither the D&D game rules nor the NWN game engine support this. Besides, if we're going through the trouble to train someone to be an "atmospheric" DM, we might as well train them to be full DMs. We could always use more active DMs, and DMs are supposed to be able to do the "atmosphere" stuff anyway.

Well, there's a pretty definitive answer I think. Case closed!
Ilinca Cristescu - Urban Witch
Player Faction: The Mistraiders

Syl

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 2474
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 10:08:35 AM »
You can't be a half-DM. Neither the D&D game rules nor the NWN game engine support this. Besides, if we're going through the trouble to train someone to be an "atmospheric" DM, we might as well train them to be full DMs. We could always use more active DMs, and DMs are supposed to be able to do the "atmosphere" stuff anyway.

Might i ask what is required to be a DM? like if you would want to be one. I've wonders but never really asked in thoughts of it might seem stupid to ask because soemone will say. " Well its on the forums go find it"

Not saying i would want to be one, not sure if i would be able ot handle that.

Monica O'Sullivan: Master explorer
Tsubaki Yamamoto: Shadow Thief
Roesor Cryso: A slave for the Masters.
Sokol: An Unlikely Hero

IDreamofDaleks

  • Guest
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2015, 10:22:01 AM »
You can't be a half-DM. Neither the D&D game rules nor the NWN game engine support this. Besides, if we're going through the trouble to train someone to be an "atmospheric" DM, we might as well train them to be full DMs. We could always use more active DMs, and DMs are supposed to be able to do the "atmosphere" stuff anyway.

Correct. As far as I understood it, most newer DMs , especially those new to all the systems, default to this role anyway. I think the argument is less that we need more of a specific type of DM, and more that more DMS would be awesome. But you always hear this stuff during certain times of year, and right after the winter holidays,when everyone is busy is one of those times. I think the reason it's become especially noticeable is because all the DMs were predictably busy with Holiday stuff, but a NCE was thrown at the same time, kind of bringing light to an elephant in the room when a problem may not even really exist

EO

  • Assistant Head DM/Developer
  • Head DMs
  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 15396
  • The one and only, the one everyone wants to be!
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2015, 10:26:08 AM »
As Blue pointed out you can't be a half-DM. That being said, there are multiple roles available to players to help with the server: MPC, AMPC and Community Council member. The first two are mainly for atmospheric purposes while the latter is for helping making things run smoothly.

Obviously we always are looking for new DMs.

Might i ask what is required to be a DM? like if you would want to be one. I've wonders but never really asked in thoughts of it might seem stupid to ask because soemone will say. " Well its on the forums go find it"

Not saying i would want to be one, not sure if i would be able ot handle that.

You can find more information here: http://www.nwnravenloft.com/forum/index.php?topic=21486.0

Quote
--You must be willing and able to commit at least 10 hours a week to the module. Any DM spending less time then that will be placed on inactive status.

-- You must be willing to enforce the rules agreed upon by the POTM team and you must be willing to abide by the decisions of the POTM team.

-- No prior DM experience is required, but if you have none, you must at least have been an active roleplayer, either online or PnP.

-- You must review and agree to the POTM rules draft posted on these forums

-- Most Importantly, applicants must agree to treat all players and members of the POTM staff with respect and due deference at all times.  This includes not swearing at staff or players and using respectful communication at all times.

Ehver

  • Dark Lord
  • *****
  • Posts: 701
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2015, 10:47:17 AM »
You can't be a half-DM. Neither the D&D game rules nor the NWN game engine support this. Besides, if we're going through the trouble to train someone to be an "atmospheric" DM, we might as well train them to be full DMs. We could always use more active DMs, and DMs are supposed to be able to do the "atmosphere" stuff anyway.

Correct. As far as I understood it, most newer DMs , especially those new to all the systems, default to this role anyway. I think the argument is less that we need more of a specific type of DM, and more that more DMS would be awesome. But you always hear this stuff during certain times of year, and right after the winter holidays,when everyone is busy is one of those times. I think the reason it's become especially noticeable is because all the DMs were predictably busy with Holiday stuff, but a NCE was thrown at the same time, kind of bringing light to an elephant in the room when a problem may not even really exist

For me, and arguably most European players, it isn't as simple as that. There are plenty of people who simply aren't around at the high traffic times when DMs usually run their events, and there are just as many people who are around but, for one reason or the other, never manage to get involved. It's nice when you play in a timezone that lets you sync well with all the DM quests, but I'm constantly faced with a dilemma - do I get a normal amount of sleep, or do I stay up until 3am (or even later) in order to take part in this event/quest. I even remember an event when I had to wake up at 3am... for Laine's public beating by the garda. XD

Increasing the number of DMs on the team would be awesome. I was just trying to think of some kind of middle-ground...

While I understand that it's impossible to have a half-DM mechanically, it is entirely possible to set regulations in place that restrict the AUTHORITY of an ADM, which amounts to the same thing. Even if technically they can do all the same things mechanically that a DM can, in this situation they simply wouldn't be ALLOWED to. And, of course, they wouldn't have access to the DM forums.

Bt the idea has already been denied, so on to other things. : D
Ilinca Cristescu - Urban Witch
Player Faction: The Mistraiders

Syl

  • Dark Power
  • ******
  • Posts: 2474
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #15 on: January 06, 2015, 10:58:17 AM »
Quote
For me, and arguably most European players, it isn't as simple as that. There are plenty of people who simply aren't around at the high traffic times when DMs usually run their events, and there are just as many people who are around but, for one reason or the other, never manage to get involved. It's nice when you play in a timezone that lets you sync well with all the DM quests, but I'm constantly faced with a dilemma - do I get a normal amount of sleep, or do I stay up until 3am (or even later) in order to take part in this event/quest. I even remember an event when I had to wake up at 3am... for Laine's public beating by the garda. XD

Pppft i would have said Fudge that. if ya'll want to do it you work with my time lol... But i will agree that it is difficult to get into some of these loops for DM events or DM plots. especially when getting involved they say on the forum contact me IG on how to get involved.. Well if i'm state side and say the DM needed for the story is in a diffrent country that could range from 6 hours or more ahead of you. makes it rather difficult to figure out how to get the shinanagins to happen.

I remember i had to sacrifice a whole night of sleep because i was wrapped into one of Mac's stories which was A LOT of fun mind you but out of the group that did the small story i was the last one and when i looked at the window the sun was begining to Rise when i was finally free and done. It was a lot of fun and i would do it again in a heart beat.\
Edit: ( I think i got off topic sorry my mind is all over the place at the moment.)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2015, 11:00:19 AM by Syl »

Monica O'Sullivan: Master explorer
Tsubaki Yamamoto: Shadow Thief
Roesor Cryso: A slave for the Masters.
Sokol: An Unlikely Hero

Xarnata_Mobile

  • Guest
Re: ADMS - Atmosphere DM / Assistant DM
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2015, 01:11:05 PM »
If they impliment this I would apply for it. Maybe add a key to a room to be added in the OOC lounge that would allow someone to posess an invisible entity capable of spawning various creatures based on location that will be monitored and given suggestions by dms (a good crowd wrangler). Personally I would simply scare the shit out of unsuspecting smugs thinking "Monsters don't come here."  It's always scarrier when there's no warning, no tell for the player. Like the werewolf attack at the fishing lodge.  "Area clear? Lets pv- oh sh*t that S.O.B is huge! RLH!' Or my near death to a sneaky wererat that literally showed up all in my grill like "Spare some cheese mate? I WILL GNAW YOU!" Jump scares, Ironic scares, and Hagrids favorite, "I should not have said that.." scares