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Sae

Open-Lore?

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Is there any sort of best practice for allowing members to contribute to lore? What about copyright for submitted concepts? I've just kind of been winging it, but I want to make sure I'm doing some of the things right.

For me, the forum will have species and races. Species are a more broad generalization of types of humanoids in the world. For example, one species' defining trait is the presence of animal features. Races will be what members can contribute. In this example both Nikino (catlike beings with bells on the tails and no vocal chords) and Koari (birdbrains) are under the same Species, but are different Races. Species will probably never be open for contribution, but races can always be defined and redefined.
 

Locations... I'm not sure how to go about letting people contribute to them. Same for cultures based on area (not race). Or just permanent assets to the world in general. Should I have some sort of strict approval process, or use a wiki-style structure in IPS and just let members go at it? How would I handle hijacking of concepts if a member isn't around to moderate their own content?

I spent my life thinking "sandbox" defined this subgenre of board, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Is open-world or open-lore more appropriate?


Sorry if this is a bit winded, I want to do it right!

 

 

Edited by Sae

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Generally, I ask my players what they want to see, and then work it in as I see fit into my setting. That way, they can make as many suggestions as they want, but I maintain my control freak status and get to right it just so . 

 

Locations in the last fantasy RP I ran, I made a very general world map with four countries, capital cities, and major geographic features. I then let my players make up whatever additional NPCs they needed for their backstories, and fodder villages to be attacked by zombies.

 

When a player contributes a lore to my setting, I keep it even after they leave, unless they tell me not to - it's a pain in the ass to rewrite things in the middle of the campaign. However, once it ends, I'll take it out (and possibly replace it with my own version) for the next iteration of that campaign.

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For my site, we tend to listen to complaints and feedback. If players have issues playing a certain species, we know that we're too restrictive with the rules of that species. If players hate a certain piece of the lore in a not so fun way, then we change it.  I don't necessarily allow people that are not my co-admins to change the lore itself, but I will have trusted members review it after edits have been made to see if it fits the overall consensus. What I do allow members to be directly involved in writing and changing are factions. For example, we have just opened up a witch coven to be headed and entirely structured by some of our dedicated members that volunteered for the task.  We also allow site wide plots to be driven and structured by members too. I think keeping some direction to the forum is important, but asking for opinions and listening to members is the best way to keep the lore open for all parties and not necessarily worry about the copyright/who owns what issue to be a problem. Let them mold the site in other ways that are just as impactful.

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I have yet to start revising our lore for my sword and sorcery fantasy reboot. What we are going to do is create some basics and guidelines. Our members can work with us to develop other kingdoms, creatures, and what-have-you. The goal is to engage our Players in developing the world, its races, species, and lands without it becoming an unmanageable free-for-all.

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There are various ways you could go about it. I don’t think there’s a best practice since it all depends on what the admin would like to do.

 

At the moment we have a set of races players can choose from, though more will be added with the expansion of the world map. To open up new areas players need to complete a number of threads to reveal a “gatekeeper boss”. Bringing the boss down unlocks the new area, and with new quests, races and other goodies. We have the luck of being an MMO rp so we base it all on game expansions.  

 

We have our members work for these, but we’re also very open to suggestions. If the staff agrees on an idea someone might have brought up we go with it. For example, in our current event, we had a member mention they were disappointed the city was not on fire. A few posts later the city was on fire. Haha, we listen.

Your idea for species and races sounds really similar to what I had originally for my own website (Program: Actuality was actually adopted from someone else). Because of that, I think it’s a great idea. It gives members more freedom and choice.
 

For locations on your site, it depends on what you’d like… There was an rp I was in that had members contribute Locations, beasts, and lore through a store purchase. The would get, for example, a Cartographer’s map item, and with that came a questionnaire the member could fill out however they wanted for the addition of a new area. If it got approved it was added to the rp. There were rules in place that stated that the content added would stay in the game unless stated otherwise by the creator. A lot of the people that left did not take their content with them, so that was never an issue.

 

You could have these items accessible to members after a number of posts? It doesn’t have to cost in-game currency.



Sandbox is when there aren’t so many limitations in place for a player, and promote exploration and player-driven change. That’s my take on it at least.

 

Also, I'm curious about your game. Sounds like my kind of place.

 

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