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Author Topic: CDQs and developing roleplaying  (Read 639 times)

mixafix

CDQs and developing roleplaying
« on: February 27, 2013, 08:45:54 am »
Most games in recent months not created by players seem to fall into the category of CDQ and locked quest series.A number of these CDQ games seem to be lightly attended and any RP that develops can be locked away to a very small number of players. Now this may be the private nature of the CDQ - say for an evil or other scheming character etc and there may be a need for private development.But I am wondering if some of that kind of dvelopment could be achieved by PM or on forum.The opportunity for developing PCs in game seems limited to CDQ. There is essentially not much else running. This leaves the option of creating more CDQs (to get a share) which would burden the system even more, or doing without games.I am wondering given this background and the very limited time available for GM run games - Has  the CDQ had its day or should it stay ?Is there a better way for GMs to help to develop RP ?What do you think?  
 

Aphel

Has the CDQ had its day or
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 01:38:17 pm »

Has the CDQ had its day or should it stay? Well, for now, it needs to stay because some things can't be handled differently. I am certain that it would mean a great deal of help for the GMs if there were more players that could help other players progress, but in the end, something needs to be tracked somewhere, approved and checked. For example, I'd love it if there was some sort of active ranger group which could take characters under their wing, test them, make them part of their circle, and then let them have progress in that circle. Same for the Toranites. From what I can see, we just don't have enough time and players to do so, hence, in that regard, CDQs are necessary.

 

 

Is there a better way for GMs to help to develop RP? Yes, there is. Quests, both the small ones and the world-altering ones. Impromtus, too.  I would that it is not the GMs fault that people do not, or late, develop their characters. It is not necessarily their fault either that players let other players not participate in the developemt in their characters. Sometimes, you can't attend a CDQ because you don't have time or weren't invited. Sometimes, you're excluded from a quest series because you can't attend regularly, so, no participation and involvement in (world-altering) quests for you. That is true, not so good at times, and can be quite annoying.

However, there are other ways of developing a character, and I want to refuse the thought that CDQs are the only way to develop a character in game. The only way to develop a character in game is by resolving conflict. To me, no other way is currently thinkable. It sounds rediculous, is derived from my writing experience, and your mileage might vary.

There are a few kinds of conflicts that define characters, make stories readable and interesting:

  1. Conflict of a character with her- or himself
  2. Conflict of a character with other characters
  3. Conflict of a character with her or his environment

The first kind is a player responsibility. The second kind of conflict is dependant on whether it is a deity, an NPC, or a PC. It is GM-player or player-player interaction. The third kind of conflict is always GM-player interaction in one way or another. Quests are a good source for conflict, but so is player interaction. But the main thing to do, to define and play out the conflict, to find means to resolve it, to actually have character development, that's the task of each player for her- or himself. It can be done by ingame interaction, by PM or by IRC. GMs and CDQs are merely parts of a medium with safeguards which provides us with the possibility for character development, and nothing more. Period. Unless the player wishes it, a CDQ does not provide a random new conflict to the character. It should just be a step towards resolving a conflict or achieving a certain goal.

It is understandable that not all players wish to make their character's conflics public or want other players to strongly influence how their characters resolve certain conflict, or at which speed and whatnot.  But it is important to understand even at the charcter creation and especially later in the game which conflics a character is in, and if she or he wants to resolve it, how, when, and with whom.

There are, currently, quite a few opportunities for conflicts of a character with her or his environment out there, all provided by the GM and writing team. To be honest, I do not have the time to participate and use all the conflicts I am currently interested in exploring with my characters. There's plenty of writing to be done, CDT and just for the fun of it, there's plenty RP to be done, maneuvering via PM and ingame conversations, there is plenty of fighting with weapons and magics to be done. One just has to take the time and the courage to get to it, no GM required. Sometimes things don't go too well, or simply slow because of different timezones and available spare time, but that shouldn't keep anyone going.

So let's get those IC conflicts going and OOCly enjoy the path to their resolvement together.

 

mixafix

Thanks for the reply, and
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 05:28:22 am »

Thanks for the reply, and thoughts.

 

In respect of this point re CDQs

Well, for now, it needs to stay because some things can't be handled differently.

 

My point was to see if there was another way forward in this stage of development of the game. I understand it currently needs CDQ for certain mechanical advancements etc, but I assumed any change would be able to incorporate that.

 

So the question still stands  - is there a need for another way forward for GM led RP that could replace CDQs?

 

In respect of other RP development away from GM time - I did not intend to suggest there were not plenty of player led options and I support your thoughts here. Lots of ideas there.

 

Alatriel

I have often asked people if
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 07:40:13 am »

I have often asked people if they want to have a private cdq or if they want to have an open quest in relation to their goal.  The same cdq requirements would apply for the cdq-er, but as it is less controlled by the person and who is involved, and leaves it more open to those who could totally mess things up for them, a lot of the time people choose to keep things simple.  There are plenty of ways to start rp on your own in relation to things.  If you need a GM to facilitate something beyond the point where you can handle it on your own, I know that there have been many times that a GM can and will step in to help out with the things that a GM needs to do.  Putting a cdq process into forum rp or PM seems to me like character development isn't "important enough" for game time, when in my opinion it is more important than the average "save the cat" quest.  The community, from what I've seen, seems to go through stages of what they want.  Sometimes people cry out that all they want is a bunch of "save the cat" quests.  Then when they get those, they want plot quests, then they get tired of plot quests and just want a few cdq's to pursue their own goals.  This too shall pass, and I'm sure that we'll move on into something else in due time.  There are quests running weekly, and not just the standard series quests that have been going on such as the PnP series and the Katherian series.  If you have a request for an open character-driven open quest in a certain "pseudo-cdq" type manner that you think would be interesting as something for the whole community to have access, find a GM and ask if they can run it. 

 

Alatriel

//duplicate post
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 07:40:00 am »

//duplicate post

 

mixafix

thanks for the reply and the
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2013, 09:38:48 am »

thanks for the reply and the comments.

"I have often asked people if they want to have a private cdq or if they want to have an open quest."

Interesting insight to your procedure and peoples preferences here. I like that possibility but note most people in your experience opted to keep it simple. A shame perhaps.

"Putting a cdq process into forum rp or PM seems to me like character development isn't "important enough" for game time" 

Here I think where there are only one or two people involved then given the current game time restraints I think that is what I do mean.

Take this month as an example 6 CDQs and potentially as many as 5 offered locked games, (either by party size or alignment/role ) and three player efforts.

Indeed the only games that were open were player led events. So if no GM games are being run then it is against this background I question if CDQs are the only way forward.

 

"The community, from what I've seen, seems to go through stages of what they want." 

I think individuals change what they want and when they do more power to a variety of options being available. Quests I would say are GM led and so there are no options really right now. CDQs have been here forever and the increase in their demand may be a chosen cause of or a result of the lack of "save the cat games" (only Psuedo ever actually ran such a game but I get what you mean!)

..and just want a few cdq's to pursue their own goals.  This too shall pass,"

 

They have been increasing for years to the point they are and I don't think there is anything to suggest CDQs will go away.

As it stands it seems the only way to get into a game is get an evil character or start asking for CDQs -Psuedo or otherwise.

 

It was this state of play my original question addressed - is this still the best way forward for RP on the server?

 

 

Dremora

Had a quick read and find
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2013, 11:04:54 am »

Had a quick read and find myself strongly against the idea of closing down CDQs, the reasons being as follows:


My first point would be that CDQs are private quests for one or a small number of companions to pursue personal goals, the key word being personal. Why is this a valuable tool? It is valuable because it enables you do pursue things of interest to your character and their allies in order to develop and achieve whatever cool perks it is your after be it title or shiny violin. These are supposed to be applied for only when a GM is necessary to achieve something that can not be achieved on your own. As far as I understand it, unless you go to another PC to formally uplift you or grant you whatever you want, or you can craft it or grind for it; CDQ time! Its an RP server with a rich lore and a story-telling core, that means personalized quests that develop ones character are valuable, removing them is a bad idea and even if you do come up with an alternative method.. why should you eliminate an ingame presence as opposed to simply expand your options? All you achieve is a empty server and even if your character is currently unavailable, more people online tends to encourage more to log in.


In terms of expanding options, as apart of my CDQ series, not everything was achieved on the NWN server in game. RP was done via the IRC with the GM in a room and all of it was RP and rolls using the digital dice functions to progress the personal story arc. Alternatives are seeking out and RPing with World Leaders if they are relevent or creating new characters with a group of players and agreeing to spend time working together to achieve and ingame guild so you can grant things suggest by Aphel to upcoming rangers for example. If player number is an issue, well then CDQs can solve the problem as he said.


It should also be noted that public quests themselves are not always chase the cat series and they also do not have to be long running series set on a particular day all the time that can advance one's character. During my CDQ series there was a chance for involvement of many outside players through an unmentioned (but alluded too OOC) link between the actions my character had done and the response of NPCs. Essentially a public quest spawned of Nym's IC actions, where what I did and how I did affected the difficulty and circumstances you might find yourselves in (this opportunity has arisen more than once now). That to me screams of multiple-character involvement AND development. Even singular quests that do not advance anywhere else can lead to developments in your character that can be pursued later, especially if you speak to a GM who announces a quest in advance of what character youll be bringing. Maybe they can tailor things to provide unique opportunities for similariites in the groups? For those who believe in the phrase "Nullius In Verba" (probably spelt that wrong), I pursued a quest that had two parts of which I only attended one; to acquire objects for a particular noble guy from a city. The end result was a writ of patronage where that lordling owed me any one singular favor within reason for the part I played. Ta-da, I just forged an albeit temporary debt and alliegance with a nobleman to use as I see fit  pursuing, continuing or helping out another PC in, development (Pseudonym can confirm this and I even have the writ IC if he needs a reminder).


It should also be noted that having spoken to both Alatriel and Miltonyorkcastle, I know for a fact that CDQs consume time on the side of GMs as opposed to us, what do I mean by that? I mean that my desire for another CDQ in a different direction this time with a buddy would be on a waiting list behind/around public quests, other CDQs and of course real life obligation. So why stop people from applying for CDQs when they should not detract from public quest time? Can you be certain that CDQs are infact stopping GMs from holding public quests that they might want to? If so whats stopping the GM making it known that he intends to hold something around that time and will be willing to run you a CDQ after? Nothing really, seems awfully unfair to presume one should come before many especially if plans were already in motion. It is also not uncommon for GMs to temporarily shut down running CDQs in order to concentrate on other projects be they stand alone or series, we have seen this done before too. Nothing said so far has actually indicated a good reason (in my opinion) for shutting down the CDQ system, the only thing I agree with is that character development can be done in other ways (IRC, PC RP, etc). When these are not options, the GMs step in.


Lastly on account of closed CDQs with only one or more people, this is simply a product of cliques. Groups of players forming factions that lock out others whom are not deemed suitable, worthy whatever. It makes sense that evil people do not invite good people to witness their dastardly deeds and vice versa (provided one side knows the other is what they are) and its just simply the way it is. The only solution to this I see is players and their GMs find ways to include others in their CDQs, maybe even as opposing forces to include more people. Many times do people who do not get along simply walk away from one another because the characters would not tolerate the presence of the other. Generally I try to avoid this and find some reason to stay in the area if only for RP and I know others do too but not everyone, but sometimes RP reaches a point at which your character really would either kill the other person or leave (why not RP out a little duel and fight and end it creatively other than someone being corpsified). If you want more people involved, then everyone needs to ensure they put effort into Rping with passer-bys as opposed to running by to grind something or buy/sell things. If not then obviously there will be less RP and less development between PCs and then you've got less people to take along for the ride and are more likely to do things by yourself than not. 


 


P.S  Just thought of this: its related to factoring people in as opposing forces but lets say OOC players enjoy Rping with one another, but would'nt necessarily contact one another character-wise for help with something (they arent enemies IC though). One could talk to the player and GM in order to organise some sort of convenient circumstance in which character B is in the right place at the right time, for whatever plausible reason, during character A's CDQ in order to join up and help out (and benefit from perhaps?). I can think of examples where Jehoram might have been in Arnax at the time and it was my bad for not thinking of this and then asking whether he would or would not like to get in on the action going on with Nym and mercenary guilds and gangs. Could have been fun, they could have developed that way as characters together and both enjoyed a CDQ even if Nym would not necessarily go out of his way to get a message to the Corathite. Just a thought and very dependant on context and individuals involved but theres a suggestion for people to ponder.

 

RollinsCat

Agree with above (or below
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 03:59:55 pm »

Agree with above (or below depending on your settings).  Beyond the examples there, Andrew's had a PvP character quest where Kurn, Jehoram, Ni'Hear, and others ended up mutinying vs him and the captain of the ship they were on (until we let them kill all the crew...long story...).  Ty's had very select group consisting of "anyone who was logged on or logged on at any point during the quest" help him with a char quest, and when Andrew was kidnapped in the Deep, his character quest was taken over by Elly and others and became in essence a semi-open rescue quest (semi because of level requirement only).   And that doesn't touch on all the other open or semi-open char quests that my characters have been on or stumbled into.  I've also had people hang around rping without knowing that a quest was even happening and end up part of it (Emwonk!).  So yes I believe the character quest is an essential part of character development for those who wish to pursue it and is something that sets this server apart from other games.

 

mixafix

  Thanks for the last two
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2013, 08:28:51 am »

 

Thanks for the last two comments and thoughts, will try to reply to both as one entry

 

"I find myself strongly against the idea of closing down CDQs"

I was trying to explore alternative methodolgy and so I should be clear I support and agree of the need,desire and benefits of individual tailored events and gains. RollinsCat mentions the fun to be had when an event involves others in some fashion and I like this idea too -even if it is a chance necounter on the day, one engineered by the gm as part of the journey but still allowing the key characters to keep their secrets.

"why should you eliminate an ingame presence as opposed to simply expand your options?"

Good point and I'm not sure we should. However there is only a certain amount of time for all etc and the calendar shows it all. My thinking was that if the current GM base and player base favours these type of events, drawing what is good from them could maybe be expanded.

Although rallying to CDQs in detail what is the draw...

detailed/controlled outcomes?

some/total control over a balanced group?

More intense interaction? 

something else?

Can these be expanded into a bigger game?

I am drawn to the idea of voluntary inclusion of other players for small to all parts of a cdq with some set goal given by the gm as suits the particular game. This could apply to more types of game than what is currently labelled CDQ. Short (rather than year long quest series) could have this same idea and I cannot make the USA timed katherian event but it seems to have some of those interesting elements (so maybe someone there could add a thought?)

All you achieve is a empty server and even if your character is currently unavailable, more people online tends to encourage more to log in.

 

"It should also be noted that public quests themselves are not always chase the cat series and they also do not have to be long running series set on a particular day all the time that can advance one's character. During my CDQ series there was a chance for involvement of many outside players through an unmentioned (but alluded too OOC) link between the actions my character had done and the response of NPCs."

I like these ideas and think it is a good way to expand involvement in any particular event and still safeguards some secrecy but gives more people a role.

 

"Essentially a public quest spawned of Nym's IC actions, where what I did and how I did affected the difficulty and circumstances you might find yourselves in (this opportunity has arisen more than once now). That to me screams of multiple-character involvement AND development."

Absolutely. 

 

"Even singular quests that do not advance anywhere else can lead to developments in your character that can be pursued later, especially if you speak to a GM who announces a quest in advance of what character youll be bringing. Maybe they can tailor things to provide unique opportunities for similariites in the groups? For those who believe in the phrase "Nullius In Verba" (probably spelt that wrong), I pursued a quest that had two parts of which I only attended one; to acquire objects for a particular noble guy from a city. The end result was a writ of patronage where that lordling owed me any one singular favor within reason for the part I played. Ta-da, I just forged an albeit temporary debt and alliegance with a nobleman to use as I see fit  pursuing, continuing or helping out another PC in, development (Pseudonym can confirm this and I even have the writ IC if he needs a reminder). "

I have such a writ too *coughs* and this is a good point you have made, it is a simple way to link one game to another -the world breathes, I love it!

 

" It makes sense that evil people do not invite good people to witness their dastardly deeds and vice versa "

I get this point and the paragraph around it and it is here I was hoping to make inroads. Mentioned elsewhere by yourself and others I think  gm driven encounters, moments in the game where good and evil come together, as uncertain allies, enemies or rivals for information/goals etc but therefater allows the questors to go on alone. This allows a certain involvement, hints that theire are things going on, maybe gives a chance of discovery? but breathes life into the concept of one game effecting another. As mentioned there may be deaths in such quests and health warning might apply and some players may only be scheduled to play for a certain part of that game, and all in a voluntary basis which alatriel alludes she already tries.

Some of the best moments I have experienced are spontanious meetings that Rollinscat refers too and watching others play out conflict in some situation a GM has driven, maybe the rival aligned pc holds a needed clue, or the strength to get by a monster etc.

 

 

Aphel

These are some very
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2013, 01:16:15 pm »

These are some very interesting ideas, and in part, I have seen them mentioned like slightly different in other discussions. I guess it has to do with the fact that the possibility of having one's character's evolvement influenced in a way that one doesn't want to isn't exactly something thats generally liked. Or, in short, I'd like to add to your comment mixafix that we need to dare: dare to ask somebody OOCly if they need or want a villian in their game, via PM or /t; that we need to make certain things our characters do public (via "Roumors has it" or similar things) and generally strife to create a lot of stories to enjoy together. I'd like to participated in other people's RP, projects and so on, but oftentimes I don't know (or don't have the time/resources/character) or don't dare to intrude other people's RP.

Again, providing ooc information of what you are up to for other players is nice, using the roumor section is nice, and letting the RP roll with conflicts and the solution thereof might just be a step in the right direction. One could create a plot from this, and finalize the archievement either with a CDQ or some other form of GM checking and approval (writing might help).

For example, a GM runs a quest which spawns the desire for one character for a follow-up. Other characters enter the RP stage, and the final is a struggle to achieve one's goals. Using some sort of Faction quest (Warring factions?) here might be what you are looking for (or not), since it would allow a huge possibility for character development that is approved by a GM. That'S a lot of work, tho.

Generally, I'd suggest to just get the ball rolling. Tell other people about your ideas (even the crazy ones) and see what you can make of it. Involve a GM who has time and likes the topic. And then just get the ball rolling.

 

 

anything