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    • Morrigan

      Please don't PM me questions   05/18/2017

      This is a very important thing that I need to express to the members of the Initiative a little more clearly so you understand why I'm posting this message as I get a lot of PMs and random support requests regarding things on this site and it is extremely overwhelming to get these PMs.   There is a lot of stuff on the site that I manage solo. From the spotlight challenges, to the challenges (when I'm able to get to them), to archiving items, to approving items etc. We have a lot of cool features and trust me when I say I'm not saying we need to reduce because I feel everything that we have has it's place and purpose however I do, do  it all alone. (Shamelessly plugs staff wanted stuff 😉 )   So with that explained I have to explain why I'm asking that members stop PMing me questions. First off, we provide many different places that probably already answer your questions including our FAQ and our Ask Us fourm. We also provide forum avenues for you to contact the staff (in general instead of a single staff member) via our forums through the "Staff Contact Center" where you can either contact the staff publicly or privately. While it is your preference which one you put out there these avenues are more quick for you to get a response.   When you PM me (first off you'll get an auto reply with this information reiterated in it) but it's very likely I will dismiss it and get to it later. PMs are not my priority as they are used for private messages between myself and a member and not something site related which will be explained below as to how my priorities work for managing as I go:   Priorities listed in order from top to bottom regarding sites: Site/Server Down Site/server slowness Hosting issues (any of the initiative hostees having a problem) Payment issues Reported content Staff Contact Center Contact (and of the forums there) Chat Approvals Site checks (looking through forums) Roll outs of any kid that I have created (challenges, content etc) PMs Distant Fantasies   This isn't to say that your PM won't get answered however all of those other things take precedence over a PM and as you can see I'll answer you in the Staff Contact Center before I even check my PMs to see what you need.

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I was thinking about adding a section for "Member Comfort Sheets" (or something? need a better name?) for members to fill out listing the things that they're not comfortable RPing.  The sections would be simple and straightforward:

 

  • I'd like to try:
  • Please talk with me before:
  • I'd rather not:
  • No:

 

Except maybe a little more eloquent on that last one.

 

However, in addition to this, there will also be a disclaimer that certain topics can't be avoided, such as kidnapping, murder, death, etc. since that's part of the board plot.  I also will not make characters change their nature.  So I don't care if someone doesn't want to RP racism; I won't make another member change their  racist character's nature just to RP with them.

 

The pros, of course, are that I get to know my members better and find out what themes they like or dislike.  The cons are that I don't want people feeling like "Well I put it on my comfort sheet that I don't want to play it, so you're a horrible person if you won't let me leave a plot because I don't want to play with Susie because she RPs [classism/ableism/etc.]."  Ultimately people are going to have to play with each other because their characters could be thrown together in a thread.

 

I could also expand it so that it's not simply a "Member comfort sheet" but a sheet of information about the member, including contact information, list of characters, etc.

 

What are your guys' thoughts?

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For me You can post a getting to know you but comforts should be talked between the people RPing. If there is something uncomfortable that needs to be discussed the players involved should discuss it.

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17 hours ago, Morrigan said:

For me You can post a getting to know you but comforts should be talked between the people RPing. If there is something uncomfortable that needs to be discussed the players involved should discuss it.

 

Good thought.  What items would you include on a "Getting To Know You" form that would differentiate it from a comfort sheet?

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You don't have to go into depth with comforts. Express that they can place them there in the thread or discuss them privately with people. Not everyone is comfortable providing with what makes them uncomfortable.

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I usually include this as part of the character app/profile. That way it's easy to reference when you're looking at characters to throw yours together with. I don't get into specifics, but basically just have a field that says "list your triggers, limits, and other topics you would like to avoid playing out." They don't have to get into specifics, and I think it's generally understood to talk with your rp partners before doing anything major or questionable. But it's nice to know, going into a thread, that with x character I should try to avoid certain topics.

 

You could also include this in a sort of member directory post. Where members list the characters they play, a short intro, and their "comforts" as you called them. I've seen these sorts of posts are common in many roleplays (and we use them on my site as well to keep track of our active players), so it would be easy to incorporate.

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We have a comfort sheet as a mandatory part of the application process. It helps people to see what other players are good with writing/reading before they start plotting.

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Like morrigan I would never join a site that this was a requirement on. Why? Because it lowers my chance at finding partners to write with. This kind of thing is a private matter between my writing partner and I, not the entire site. It would literally make me uncomfortable to do so.

Edited by jenneral_jennson
Seriously... typos
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I'm so glad that I asked this question before I made the comfort sheet!

 

@Morrigan, If I may ask, what is your reasoning for not wanting to join a site with one?

 

@Cyn, dang, that's detailed.  I almost had to look some of that stuff up.  Do people have to fill those out with each new character application, or only for the first character?  What sort of feedback have you gotten from it?

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I didn't say I wouldn't join a site with one but one that it's a mandatory part and/or a part of the application process I certainly wouldn't join at all. It's a matter of preference. I don't think I should feel obligated to air my dirty laundry as it were to an entire site.

 

I personally am not a fan of smut but I'll write it. With a method like this if I state "I don't particularly like to RP smut" well now I've been written out of every plot line that involves a little bit of smut.


@Uaithne

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You make a good point. @Morrigan  I never thought of it that way, but I can totally understand because there are some things that I wouldn't necessary like writing unless it unfolds in certain ways.

 

The flipside, however, is that maybe there are some things that I'd like to RP but I don't necessarily want to go around announcing it.  For example, I once RP incest between two siblings.  (Back before Game of Thrones made it cool.)  Since then, I've found out that there are tons of people who don't want incest plots to the point where if they see someone talking about it, they'll turn around and walk away.  Therefore, I wouldn't want to start a thread like, "Hey, who wants to RP incest with me?" nor would I want to PM people and ask, especially if I'm not super comfortable with them.  But a comfort sheet would allow someone to pinpoint who has matching interests in terms of what they want to play.

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The problem with that @Uaithne is that you wouldn't necessarily get that in a "comfort sheet". I'm going to use the Writing Partner search here on the Initiative as an example:

https://rpginitiative.com/writing_partners/

 

If you look at these people have the opportunity to write whatever they want, wants, desires, dislikes hell they can tromp around about whatever they like in their search list. There are only about 3-4 of those that put "actual" limits on what they want and the one I will call out is this one (I  got permission from @Amelia)

She has a specific line about not doing anything illegal including incest. The point I want to be specific about is we don't put a specific section for this because it is up to the member themselves to choose what they do and do not disclose to anyone.

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I have something akin to this on my site, called a Writer Information sheet, where people can write what they are willing to write and what they aren't. It came about because on twitter, there are many people on there who are pushy about doing storylines that people aren't comfortable with because instead of asking, some people just assume that they can do whatever they want and I found myself in situations many a time where people would try to push something and then call foul when you didn't want it. If something's plotted/asked before hand, or if I've had a chance to get to know a writer then some of the things I'm uncomfortable with I might be willing to do. 

 

(I can understand what @Morrigan is saying though, as although I wouldn't want to go straight into a 'ship, if I probably wouldn't say know if I got to know the writer before hand. I think the main problem is that some people want to do it straight off the bat, or only want to write smut and that's a big put off for me.)

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These are some really good points. I never thought about them that way and it's really good to see other people's perspectives on this idea! It sounds like making them optional is probably the best way to do it, or if they must be mandatory, you have the option to ignore fields or something. Or maybe have a "let's discuss it" option in case someone is hesitant in putting in a hard yes or no to something on the sheet.

 

It also sounds like a thread dedicated to plot ideas might be helpful instead of a comfort sheet? Designate a place where you can express ideas for characters/relationships/plots etc. that you want to play out! Kind of like a want ad, but less formal and formulated. And if someone wants to pick that up with you, they could direct message the poster or something? That way it's less about what you don't want to do, and more of the things you do want to do.

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@Uaithne

Some of our members don't think it's detailed enough! For the most part, everyone likes having an at a glance to show others what they're comfortable writing and it shows a lot of maturity and respect between players which is something we foster. Unlike morrigan, I don't think it excludes people in any way, because ours is a rating that is always changeable and there is a 'contact me' section as well. Every is triggered by different things and it's important to be respectful but no-one has felt limited by it in any way. If anything, they feel more in control of what they write and what they're exposed to.

 

Also yes, it's required for every app, but they're expected to be the same for every app since they're based on the player, not the character.

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