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Zelkova

A forum site with little-to-no administration?

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In theory (and perhaps in practise if anyone's tried), do you think it's possible to make a forum RP that had virtually no admin/staff?

 

As in, the one who made it makes a regular OOC account, gets others to join and so on and so forth, and then people just play. No app reviews, no staff-run events or missions, et cetera. Nothing that's staff-reliant. Members could sort their own accounts into the membergroups they want. Just members among members. (Of course, the one who made the site would still have access to the admin account in the case they did have to intervene, even if from behind the scenes assuming they were still at the site.)

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Not just theory. This is currently how I run my sites. We do have events but they are just background noise for anybody that wants to use it for a plot. No apps. People sort into their own groups. Claims are all automated. That way I can focus on what I want to focus on which is the writing. 

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Also how I run my sites, so can secondarily confirm this is viable. We don't even have events. If people want them, they can make them, but I don't do them. Self sort, no app, auto claims, all I do is kick the server when it gets dumb. The affiliates system is even mostly auto.

 

There was also a site, maybe a few actually, that ran the same way and the admin were in the same group as the players, so telling which were which was not cut and dry. I don't always do that on mine because I like people to know who the staff are for player disputes and technical issues, but not making it obvious who the staff are is also a thing that can work. 

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@Liannisis correct. I had to shut it down for personal reasons as I have to shift focus.

 

I actually find sites that self manage to be more mature in general because the players are self-motivated to plot etc.

 

I'll be honest sites that can't self manage frighten me a little bit. We claim to be running sites for mature members (at least most sites that are advertised are 18+) and yet we micromanage stuff so much that I often feel like I'm being treated like a child. It doesn't inspire confidence in me as a member.

 

I also find the less you have to do as a staff member the more you get to enjoy the site and the less likely it will shut down save for personal reasons (like my aforementioned one for my own site).

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@Zelkova You can run a site like that? but it's a bitch and a half pardon my language, and most sites do not require admins to come in and do anything at all? lol the only thing on my site for example that the admins need to do is adjust your skills in your profile so you get your experience distributed properly the reason why admins have to maintain control is because people will then use the system against you, add points into their skills randomly and furthermore lie about how much they earned or whatever etc you need an admin system in place for the basic of needs such as skilling your player character or OOC you need admins to go through and rate your thread, your post, your writing to make sure you actually did good and based on that determines how much points you get, without that? people will just add whatever they want and use OP characters with little to no development whatsoever and then try to lie or make up reasons why they do it, you have to have a system in place so people do not run the site and make it a problem for newcomers who wanna do things, your theory would only work if everyone on  your site was out for everyone else not themselves, and only writing for the sake of writing whatever other than that, its a failsafe because you still get people who are nefarious and then if you try to ban, block, or remove said people that cheat the system you have in place? then the fault falls on you because your system technically allows that kind of thing no matter if you tell them not to cheat its in the system for them to cheat so to them its a gray area.

 

@Morrigan I understand where you're coming from? but if we for example allow people to just do it themselves? then you will get people like I was explaining to@Zelkova that come in and cheat your system and overrule everything, you need a small basic system in place so that people do not cheat with their OOC account, a player character who has the power to put points into their skills? will cheat, will lie, and furthermore tell you there's something wrong with your site when there could be nothing at all wrong with it. I feel like Sites without some kind of admin control just invites people to come in and do whatever they want without any kind of punishment and then when they do get punished because the fault lies on the makers?

they pretend and act like oh we warned you that its against the rules, yeah but your site specifically allows me to do it, you can't make a rule that contradicts the freedom otherwise your at fault and people are getting banned or in trouble over nothing. 

hence why a simple system in place such as a marketplace for gold, and a mastery point system that only the admin can edit for you once he or she has graded your thread its not about what you can or cannot do has everything to do with what people will do given the chance they catch on that they can do it.

I am not saying your way is wrong I am saying that your way of running is obsolete because its been tried before and many of those sites that your seeing closed down close down because of that, its not about making people inferior its about earning trust with your community, if you don't trust your admin to do the right thing? the site or the system is flawed, not fleshed out? or it just doesn't work.

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I don't see it from your perspective. I've always been a proponent to build the site that you would want to join and I have had the exact opposite experiences to what you're describing.

 

I find that people that are given a system that CAN be cheated that of course it will be cheated. I know plenty of DnD people that Min Max instead of building a fleshed out character all the time. That's the nature of having systems that can be cheated unfortunately.

 

The systems that don't have those "bumpers" so to speak are catering to a crowd that doesn't care for that mentality and if someone joins that does they often identify it of their own volition and avoid it or assist in pointing it out to the person without the need of staff to intervene and tell them that their character is stupid or breaking rules etc. People tend to flock to people of similar mindsets, even here on the Internet.

 

As for systems that's just micro-managey. I personally don't join sites with systems primarily because it makes it literally impossible to flesh out a character especially as a new member that is older which I play characters that are often in their late twenties to their 50s normally on average as far as regular life spans go and having a 30 year old werewolf that grew up their whole life in a werewolf family, strong bloodline, etc that can't outmatch a smarmy 18 year old mutt because I haven't been on the site long enough to "buy" the skills doesn't interest me. I'm in it for the story, not winning.

 

Also this statement is BS:

Quote

they pretend and act like oh we warned you that its against the rules, yeah but your site specifically allows me to do it, you can't make a rule that contradicts the freedom otherwise your at fault and people are getting banned or in trouble over nothing. 

 

Just because you don't have it in the rules doesn't mean that its "inherently" okay or that you should cater to those sorts of people. I've said it before and I'll say it again but rules are intended to set up a guideline for members to follow just because its not in your rules doesn't give the go ahead or green light for a free for all.

 

You're not writing a term of service for legal reasons so your rules don't need to be written that way.

 

 

I'm pulling out these three notes specifically:

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Don't force ratios. No one likes them, good sites will balance out naturally and really they just piss people off. Restricting a type of character should be plot defining/breaking not annoying to keep numbers within a spectrum. Members that don't want to play the other type of character will fill their ratio and never create another character. The unfortunate part for you is that this player may have given you more active characters but your restriction limited them so they had to stop.

 

Don't put silly limits on characters. This goes with the above. Restrictions on character amounts, character types (unless it's setting breaking) is just silly. I know that you're trying to mitigate the fall out if that person leaves but really, there is going to be fallout regardless. Just let them be creative, you'd be surprised at how good of a member some of those chronic character makers are.

 

Make sure your fears of the worst are kept away from the rules. When you put your fears and start banning things without having a reason to this often can mean that you are paranoid. Paranoid staff members don't make for good staff members as they always look for what someone is doing wrong and is highly likely to push members away. When something you fear comes up, deal with it then, not in the rules.

 

@valaso

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I don't know what genre you're running in @valaso, but that's just not been true in my experience. And I run sites that either have systems or attract people that expect a system. It's not about having a system in place to stop them from doing things like that, because there's no foolproof guaranteed way of stopping people like that before you get them. It's about having the balls to tell them to fuck off when you do get them, because some genres just always will, and I've never had issues doing so. People may occasionally come into my sites thinking they can game the system, but they find out different really fast. I am really not a pushover and I will put my foot down if I find something on my sites that I don't like, and I've had the most luck being that kind of person. They won't try to overrun you if they find out they can't. That simple.

 

P.S. I DO have game-y systems like tabletop style rollers and whatnot on occasion. Even on such sites, I don't have a problem, because my game-y sites run my battle suite which allows the rolling and skill tracking to be automatic, with no way of cheating it, and I still won't hesitate to call people on their crap. And if they get mad and decide I'm the one that's wrong? Fine. They want me to be the bad guy, that's fine, I'll be the bad guy. They still don't win!

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@Morrigan 
the issue is that no matter what system you make for someone to follow is that people in general are never satisfied with that system even if the said system is fair and balanced. If you make a system that makes it so you have to skill up, well then people don't join because its takes up too much time, so then you join casual and play as whatever you want and do whatever you want, then get bored of it and leave lol then people complain there aren't any good DND sites, which is true most are not good but I like to think the site my friend and I created is good, because logically fair, but when you make a system thats fair for everyone you get people who wanna cheat or get special treatment for whatever reason and on our site? you cannot cheat or get special treatment everyone is treated equally and everyone has to grind and they all start off the same, we do that so people cannot get ahead of others without working for it so we handle that traffic, but then you get people who are salty if they didn't get enough points even if we graded it based on actions and the length of their writing within each post lol they write a character talking or just sitting there but their character doesn't actually "DO" as in action anything lol then they complain because they didn't get anything for doing nothing, its a pain in the ass, people are never satisfied, its like why can't you just be creative, write a lot? and go from there, people just aren't in some cases so then you get people that complain instead of trying to be more creative or giving their options and feedback come up with ideas lol but people don't because Idk reasons I guess, also people get bored easily and if they are on a site they themselves didn't write the lore up for but then they don't wanna write any lore they just wanna complain they complain because its not what they would do, if people in general were more patient, understanding, open minded, and not so demanding about about what they get or don't get an RP site? then RP sites in general would work better.

for the record there's nothing wrong with competitive gameplay, if it doesn't interest you that you can make a character and work to develop that said character to make them into something then you need to stick to casual, yeah casual rp sites exist but they are just as imperfect as premade sites with original lore and ideas with a dnd system already set up the only difference is that I like to think the site my friend and I made AGAIN is pretty good, but that's how I think because our system is fair and balanced, it just might not be for everyone.

If the sites staff aka the admins and mods wouldn't power trip or place themselves on a pedestal higher than other players and give individuals special treatment based on dumb reasons, and then we wouldn't have discussions like these lol where we are depicting whether we like casual RPS where everything is up to the players and nothing in it truly matters except the people writing their individual stories with their partners, or we have dedicated rps who prefer basic systems and rules to depict player character skill and power like in a video game sandbox such as skyrim, Ark survival, DArk souls, etc, no matter what people are not satisfied with what is in front of them and they want the impossible of what can't exist lol.

 

@Arceus if you haven't experienced it doesn't mean it doesn't happen all sites are different and all people do things differently and experience them differently, I was just telling you my experience and how I look at it most sites stifle creative freedom and don't allow people to do what they want, or if they do then they punish them for doing it even though their system allows it lol, Idk what genre your going into? but your experience hasn't been my experience with rp sites.

@Arceus ps on our site? its literally IMPOSSIBLE to cheat, because our systems rules and mastery systems keep everyone at the same playing ground so then you have to be more creative about cheating and when people have to be creative? they don't cheat because its to hard for them, you make a system where people can do anything and everything, they cheat because they can and then the staff powertrips and bans them even though its their fault for setting it up that way, like I said our experiences are different, and I no longer have to worry about it because I help my friend run our own DND site, the issue is recruiting people who wanna invest time into writing and creating characters that have to go through the experiences to get good at something, not everybody wants to or has time to.


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@Arceus 
well to answer your first paragraph that's basically what we do, our system is set up a certain way and as long as you don't do anything that interferes with how the RP world works like say bring in 21rst century technology to a medieval setting or if your going to add something to lore then it needs to make viable sense to how the world itself works, you can't just add lore for the sake of adding lore I have seen sites that do that and you know what happens? well from my experience and multiple people I have talked to about this everything gets disorganized, and people get confused with what's actually going on or happening, or what the site is actually about, your also probably referring to a site that isn't lore heavy or the lore gets created by the people so there's a hundred different lores and there's no core to it that doesn't work for everyone Your response to me sounds like your site has two pieces of lore that either you only care about? or you only made and that's why you don't care and because your so open and don't care and that's cool because you don't have it set up where its fleshed out or makes any sense you have a community do it for you and that's why it works for everyone else probably, if it works it works right? more power to you friend! happy it works for ya! ^_^ not everyone likes to run sites like that.

 

Quote

 

But you know what I also don't do? I don't treat new players like they're rule breakers out the gate-
yeah this is what's happened to me and my friend on other sites so you just pointed out what I was trying to say I have been dealing with, and that's why my friend and I made our own site so we wouldn't have to worry about getting treated this way.

And the funny thing is that oftentimes if you treat people like dirt from the outset, the ones that stay are gonna act like dirt, because everyone else that's not going to doesn't tolerate that kind of treatment.- well this is common sense bro, I understand but this doesn't apply to me, I just treat others how I wanna be treated, which right now we are just having a conversation we are just talking lol we have two separate experiences we see things differently I have nothing against you over it, I like topics like this.
 

. So maybe you should be looking at your methods because if it's not working out for you, then there's something you're doing differently that's making it not work. -

 

that's good advice actually, we have been doing that, so it then boils down to maybe our site is just not interesting enough, Idk what more people could want? equal respect and treatment based on a case by case point of how people are interacting with one another or handling things accordingly as far as the site itself I mean demons, vampires, Werewolves, bestials, elves, rat people, avians, dragonics, jingsunes or fox spirits, etc creative freedom, a system that determines skills so people cannot cheat to win so it's fair for everyone and not just people that want things handed to them, multiple game modes for extra options such as free roam, partial free roam, DM events, the ability to become a lore master and add your own lore to the site? a lore heavy site with plenty of reading if you desire it? but don't have to? you can be a DM and run your own DM events? a wiki, a discord, and a marketplace? If I am missing anything on this list? by all means tell me what's wrong with it? nobody has to cover all of the lore on our site it's just there as options to read? just get to know the base game system and your fine to right whatever you want in the contents of the medieval setting, that's not asking a lot I don't think but please I am being serious if you think I am doing something wrong or not doing enough or whatever please give me your advice if its working for you I definitely would like to learn from you.

 

Quote

 Don't tell people sweeping generalisations like "oh this doesn't work because blah blah blah" because it doesn't work for you. It can. It has. It literally is working on several different sites. Just because it doesn't work for you doesn't mean it flat doesn't work. It's one thing to share your experiences. It's a whole other situation to say "this isn't viable because I can't do it." 



well? for starters I actually typed out reasons people are having problems with systems I didn't just type blah blah blah lol but okay bud.
and like I always say if it works? it works? more power to you friend, I am happy for you, mazel tov to you I never said it wasn't Viable I know rps that thrive that's what I am trying to figure out, I tend to generalize when I am trying to figure out the best way to go about getting my point across in a conversation I Am not doing it to be an ass so sorry if I was coming off like that, it wasn't my intention.

how they are making them thrive? and so far all I see are people making it so kindergarten preschool easy that it's like playing a child's game, and for a guy like myself that's boring, I don't wanna play children's games I am an adult and at this point of my life acting like superman, boring stoic characters, that are mary sues, have all the answers and are just super strong for the sake of being overly OP is not interesting to me, thats boring as hell I wanna earn my place when I make a knight that slays the dragon? I get to say yeah that was me I did that, obviously with help because our system has a fight class system, DPS, TANK, Healers, etc you can be crafters you can be whatever you want essentially you just have to write and develop your characters to that point where you can build a mansion you can slay a dragon, just handing people things makes it boring for me.

I never said it doesn't happen again i am trying to figure out what I am missing that's just not working? so far the experience has been because people have to write, but isn't that the point of an rp forum? is to write? people have to write specifics to what that character is doing so that the person grading your thread or post can understand whats going on and not reading something that a 4 year old wrote not that you say that to someone but come on as to not sound rude not many people can write specifics but thats where practice plays in, when you tell someone they have to practice to get better at something they get offended and they flake, like grow up dude? I am not saying you suck I said need practice, you need to fail, you need someone to tell you that you have to get better in order for you to realize oh shit? this isn't working, if you quit because it's hard you're never gonna get better or learn? which is exactly why we are trying to make our site the best it can be.

I am just saying write more lol I don't get how that's offensive by telling someone to write a little more seriously 200 words is not asking for the sky to fall lol that's seriously not asking much XD LOL you practice to get better it's why I am here having this discussion cause I am trying to figure out why everyone is flaking because they have to read or they have to write a little more what's working for everyone else, or if they are dyslexic and need help why they don't ask when we ask them if they need any help feel free to ask us we will help you! that isn't working for me because I wanna help people get better at writing? lol I guess man.


"Death before dishonor"
"My rights don't stop where your feelings begin"
"do unto other what you want done unto you"
 

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2 hours ago, SithLordOfSnark said:

My sites basically run themselves. Yes, staff have to fill in claims for you, but we don't require approval of characters.

 

Honestly, I find that a player's first app usually (but not always) has at least one blaring error in terms of lore and/or mechanics for my current site, but by the second+ chars, I really don't need to review them because they never have errors. Our app reviews are mostly in place to make sure people fill their claims because we had a very bad problem with virtually no one filling their claims for the first four or five months. I got tired of nagging people to fill claims, so, made it essential to the app process.

 

So, in that regard...

  

20 hours ago, Zozma said:

Not just theory. This is currently how I run my sites. We do have events but they are just background noise for anybody that wants to use it for a plot. No apps. People sort into their own groups. Claims are all automated. That way I can focus on what I want to focus on which is the writing. 

 

I'm very curious about automated claims. How does that work?

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Okay well on self hosted software using PHP, it’s actually pretty easy. You just need to call the variables like included member groups and the claims themselves. Like my Pokémon site has lists for face claims, shifts, and jobs so people can get a quick overview of each. 
 

when I was on jcink I did it through the member list. Jcink now has it as a html template so it’s really easy to do. You just edit the template to include the desired custom profile fields. 
https://pkmnbattlecry.jcink.net/index.php?&act=Members&photoonly=&name=&name_box=all&max_results=50&filter=ALL&sort_order=asc&sort_key=name&st=0

 

You can make it fancier looking but I just used the basic template and added face claim field to make an automated list of faces. I also turned off staff and player accounts from showing up. 


you can also add other fields and make the list sortable by the fields. 

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9 minutes ago, Zozma said:

when I was on jcink I did it through the member list. Jcink now has it as a html template so it’s really easy to do. You just edit the template to include the desired custom profile fields. 
https://pkmnbattlecry.jcink.net/index.php?&act=Members&photoonly=&name=&name_box=all&max_results=50&filter=ALL&sort_order=asc&sort_key=name&st=0
you can also add other fields and make the list sortable by the fields. 

 

That is brilliant. Thank you for sharing!

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