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  • Streamlining the Chancery

    A group of us are working on a proposition IG for streamlining the Chancery including positions and processes. While we are collecting information IG from people verbally and reading through the available books and IC forum posts, we would like to hear your thoughts, ideas, and experiences with the Chancery in the past. What things do you feel could be improved upon? What things worked well that you would encourage are kept? What made the process good or bad for you? What made the trials enjoyable or not enjoyable? Any information whatsoever will aid us as we move forward and lay down a plan for presentation. We cannot promise your suggestions will all make it into a newly renovated Chancery, but we can promise to read each and every one and take them into consideration.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and help us out.

  • #2
    Here as well for OOC suggestions or observations?
    "In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

    "Although many of us consider ourselves forward-thinkers, we still cling tenaciously to the old values of the system."

    "Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force"

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    • #3
      Yes, please! Anything and everything helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        My take as an outsider (never played a law character for longer than a month before) so perhaps take with a pinch of salt but to get the thread going...

        Review what is great, isn't great about the group and find ways to automate the not great stuff. A good example is the Treasury which used to rely on a few players to do all the coins by hand and has now had a few bits automated. I *think* making dyes and bolts of fabric is the same now with something always having the supplies in - saves about 10 - 30 mins per outfit making fabrics.

        So it is perhaps not anything IG in terms of higher ranks to encouraged people to get involved in the area, but the thought of paperwork.

        Whatthings do you feel could be improved upon?

        Efficiency/Speed - which might be resolved with the above.

        If I can throw out a suggestion - perhaps Nobles/Knights/High Ranking people can act as magistrates in lower-tier cases. It would be similar to Baron's presiding over cases that were not High Crimes.

        What things worked well that you would encourage are kept?

        Formality of the process

        What made the process good or bad for you?

        N.A

        What made the trials enjoyable or not enjoyable?

        Them happening and the formality around it. Felt very professional
        Last edited by Anton; 12-31-2017, 04:10 AM. Reason: I put things in bold so it didn't look ugly. Sparkles ftw.
        "In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."

        "Although many of us consider ourselves forward-thinkers, we still cling tenaciously to the old values of the system."

        "Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force"

        Comment


        • #5
          I suppose if I were to put my two cents in, concerning the nature of the Chancery, in which I once played a character for a time, I would say this:

          First, do not put all the eggs in a single basket. Relying on one prosecutor to get things done is never good. Have several. Sure, have one Royal Prosecutor, but why not have an Adjunct Prosecutor in the event that the Royal Prosecutor is not available to pass judgement. Why not have a multitude of people who can do the job in that stead. For that matter, have cases put before Court of Honor or even an assembly of courtiers, or even Honored Guests for minor crimes. That would improve things considerably. Advertise and recruit, make it something that draws people.

          I would also say, move things along faster and actually communicate. Stop letting people just sit in the dungeons as punishment for weeks at a time. If there is no-one to get the matters handled, then bring on someone from the Nobles/Royals/Chivalry (as per Anton's idea) to give judgement. As someone who has been on the other side of it and sat in the dungeon for weeks in the limbo of waiting, it gets redundant and it becomes increasingly easier to just not sign in at all, or to even quit playing.

          Make the Chancery more accessible for characters to join. Recruit. Help characters advance through the ranks of the Chancery and even through ranks in the Court.

          All of these things would make the Chancery an active part of the game, the Trials would be something people would be interested in attending. All offer the opportunity for rp for everyone, criminals included.
          Vaden Amberthorne
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          Apprentice Jeweler
          Seeker and Treasurer of the Rememberers
          Northern instructor with the LPA
          Mummer of the Unity

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          • #6
            Thank you both for the ideas! We very much appreciate them.

            Comment


            • #7
              As for misdemeanors, the arresting officer has the authority to deal with those right away, get the punishment, be on your way back to RP in the castle. Most of them are relatively quick punishments for misdemeanors. Lashing, hang out in the stocks a bit, a day or two in a cell, that sort of thing.

              But high crimes come with punishments that can seriously effect the gameplay of a character in concrete ways. Beheadings, you lose memories and skill ranks (that can be very hard to get). Permadeath if you are enough of a monster. Losing years of hard work and role play effort to get your character somewhere. Such things can make players leave, and should definitely be handled with care and ooc communication to keep "Cooperative RP" part of the mix. Implied consent (your character did -this- so by doing so you consent to -this-) is a good system, but has SERIOUS drawbacks long term and as a whole. People wont take risks, depending on what the thing is you are supposedly consenting to. That causes that weird little disease to spread where nothing happens and no one does anything, except sit around, smile, sip tea or wine, and hope all the time you've invested in something doesn't get blown up on someone else's whim to be oppressive.


              So for me, I am loving the speed things are moving at now. Clearing out files and crimes and letting people get back out there and RP again. Diana for example, was left completely alone for over a year. Granted she was out of the game for some of that, but its pointless to want to log in, if you are just sitting there behind a locked door no one has a key to. And now, after all that, she's lost everything she's spent nearly two decades to get. AND THEN, other people can get disfavored and lose things in game, for being her friend now. Yeah, the castle is cold and harsh, but seriously? There's a point its too much and leans a little hard on the IC/OOC separation wall for a game. Punishments should definitely matter, but not be punitive to the player too. The goals to have fun. If she's having fun with that, great, more power to her. Then I definitely approve, and applaud her for bring such a tragic story to the game..

              But the power kicks some people like to get for controlling the lives of others in this game, needs to be warded against. Cooperation is still key, and I hope that isnt forgotten and indeed grows.

              Before assumptions are made, because people are VERY good at that, Here's what I mean by cooperation:

              judge: "Hey, got a sec?"
              Badgirl:"Sure, what's up?"
              Judge:"Your character did this, that and this other things, its a lot of really bad stuff. Some nasty punishments come from that... I wanna make sure you are okay with that happening.."
              Badgirl:"Woah..i didnt realize it was -that- bad. That's a bit much."
              Judge:"Okay, yeah it would suck to have to do that. But for the rp to be fluid and such, we have to do something that makes the case for the law that says "this cannot ever happen" and still figure out a way that you'll be okay with it in the long run."

              Badgirl: "....Well. I dont want to be beheaded ten times. but if you want to lock me in the oubliette for say ...2 months, i'll rp accordingly how mindfuc*ed that would be"
              Judge: "Hmm.. Oubliettes one of the nastiest places to be, and boring with no RP. Are you sure? I'd rather be beheaded"
              Badgirl "Nah, it would really suck not being able to rp that long but I have alts, So I'd prefer that"
              Judge: "Okay how about Six weeks and ONE beheading, then you can come out really pyscho?"
              Badgirl: "....Yah, I can do that!"
              Judge: "Score, i'll make it happen."

              Disclaimers:
              That conversation could go any which way if both the PLAYERS talk like adults and figure out how to plan the big decision for the benefit of everyone watching to see what happens.

              I'm not saying that this isn't always happening, or pointing any fingers at anyone, i just used diana as an example since its recent. Make no assumptions of my motive here, These are just things I would hope for as a player to see happen more as the chancery grows again.

              Comment of "Power hungry people" Is not pointing fingers at anyone what-so-ever. If you read that and thought I'm talking about you, settle down. I have no one in mind at all, except the possibility of it happening, and ruining the game for other people down the road.



              Comment


              • #8
                I agree with Adahn's P. I would also like to say that before one pleads guilty or not guilty, the charges are brought before them -separately- with an explanation as to why they are being charged with such. I have never been to a hearing, but I would imagine it being as such.

                Judge: "You are, hereby, charged with X. (List examples and what the law says about doing such activity) How do you plead?"
                Bad girl: "Guilty."
                Judge: "You are charged with Y. (Examples of what bad girl did and state the law) How do you plead?"
                (Bad girl wants to challenge her charge because she doesn't feel that any wrongdoing was done)
                Bad girl: "Not Guilty."

                With this, the only charges that are brought to trial are the ones she plead not guilty to. It saves people a lot of time, and they can focus on just one charge rather than all charges.

                If you put all of the charges together and give explanations, it would look like this.

                Judge "You are, hereby, charged with X and Y. (Examples) How do you plead?
                (Bad girl knows she did X but Y she didn't do. Since her only choice is guilty or not guilty, how does one choose? If she says guilty, she's being charged with both, but if she chooses not guilty, the whole case -both X and Y- are brought to trial.)
                Bad girl is puzzled by her thoughts.
                Taite Morrison
                - Seeker in Natura Balanus
                - Assistant Guild Leader of the Awakeners
                - Unity
                - Junior Page
                - Senior Seamstress
                - Battle Guild
                - Sculptor in the College of the Humanities

                Comment


                • #9
                  Diana's situation is complex. Of course you can be disfavoured for associating with her. She went to the Queen for mercy, and the Queen had her arrested instead. That says a lot.

                  Taite, hearings are very simple and unless the prisoner is difficult, takes like ten minutes. It's 'you are charged with these crimes. If you plead guilty this happens. If you plead not guilty this happens. How do you plea?'

                  then the plea is brought to the justicar/chancellor. If it was guilty the justice decrees a sentence. If ng, we start setting trial dates.

                  the biggest issue in the past was having wakening chancery members. We have that so as the army gives us cases we act on them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Makes sense.
                    Taite Morrison
                    - Seeker in Natura Balanus
                    - Assistant Guild Leader of the Awakeners
                    - Unity
                    - Junior Page
                    - Senior Seamstress
                    - Battle Guild
                    - Sculptor in the College of the Humanities

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Aptaliesin View Post
                      So for me, I am loving the speed things are moving at now. Clearing out files and crimes and letting people get back out there and RP again. Diana for example, was left completely alone for over a year. Granted she was out of the game for some of that, but its pointless to want to log in, if you are just sitting there behind a locked door no one has a key to. And now, after all that, she's lost everything she's spent nearly two decades to get. AND THEN, other people can get disfavored and lose things in game, for being her friend now. Yeah, the castle is cold and harsh, but seriously? There's a point its too much and leans a little hard on the IC/OOC separation wall for a game. Punishments should definitely matter, but not be punitive to the player too. The goals to have fun. If she's having fun with that, great, more power to her. Then I definitely approve, and applaud her for bring such a tragic story to the game..
                      I'm going to respectfully call bullshit on this part. I want to say of the roughly year that Diana was imprisoned? She was gone for about 80-90% of that, which is WHY she was in there for so long. It wasn't just a matter of being pointless to log in...she literally posted on the forums about the struggles of RL that kept her away. The punishments she received would have been received whether she was out of the game for 10 hours or 10 years.

                      As for everything she's lost, there's more to it than just what she did most recently..if anything it's added up from all the stuff she DIDN'T do that she was told before even committing the crime. Hell, she had several people on board with a petition for her DEMOTION because they knew this, they knew about the different things the Royals were asking her to do and not to do, that she just willfully ignored to do the Diana thing. There was I'm pretty sure, more than enough support to have her demoted and Vivienne saved her from that only for her to still turn around and join the Shadows. My level of sympathy stops at 0 or else it'd be in the negatives by now for Diana.

                      Originally posted by Aptaliesin View Post
                      Judge:"Your character did this, that and this other things, its a lot of really bad stuff. Some nasty punishments come from that... I wanna make sure you are okay with that happening.."
                      Badgirl:"Woah..i didnt realize it was -that- bad. That's a bit much."
                      As for the being shocked about what punishments you actually get for crimes? More bullshit...the laws and punishments for breaking those laws are available for EVERYONE to read, I mean...literally the first link on the Public Twiki main page. They are there for the very reason of, if someone wants to play a criminal character, the expectation is that YOU get a loose idea of the punishments for the things you're about to do. It should never, ever be some out of the blue surprise to you as a player that your character can possibly be beheaded because they murdered someone. We're all adults here (or at least we all should be 18), which means there's a certain level of accountability that falls on each and every one of us as players to do even a small bit of research. If you're completely ignorant of what's going to happen to you...I don't really feel bad.

                      I will say that yes it's good for the law characters and criminals to try and come together and compromise on the more serious punishments. But OOCly in a game where you come back to life...a beheading is not a serious punishment. Expulsion is a serious punishment, Furnacing is a serious punishment...THOSE are the things that I hope a Law character would go, "I wouldn't want my character to be gone forever, let's see how we can make this a good punishment without possibly pushing someone out of the game."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        With all respect, this thread is not about Diana. Let's not make it about her. Thanks.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Raoul View Post
                          With all respect, this thread is not about Diana. Let's not make it about her. Thanks.
                          With all respect, Diana is an example of a recent and relevant Chancery case, so I will use her. Not to mention it was a direct response to someone ELSE using her as an example, and me explaining why she's not the best example. But you're right...it's not about her, which is why I included 2 other paragraphs
                          Last edited by Atmos; 01-14-2018, 11:26 AM. Reason: Clarity

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                          • #14
                            I must say as a player of a character that was recently tried for a crime the process went very very smoothly. I was able to even RP with people throughout the process while Maia was in the dungeon which made me feel like I was not just rotting in a cell without any opportunity for gameplay. Though I did have to actively seek it out as a player. The whole process once I came back online from a 7 year absence of my own doing took....a week? a week and a half at most and then Maia was back in the castle after her execution. I am happy thus far and I would have to second many of Anton's suggestions too.

                            As an aside, I echo what Atmos said completely. As a player of this game for 10+ years I knew exactly what I was getting into when I chose to accept the plot that the staff gave me when Maia was taken by the shadow and committed her murder. This was my choice. Making that decision for my character actually made things much much more interesting now. Yes, Maia is stripped of any respect and titles that she had prior (the little there was) but I obviously knew that going into it. I mean she did kill someone. So prior to Maia going through with the act, I as a player tried to foreshadow how the future may pan out and I was okay with that. Fast-forward 7 years, I know that I am basically starting from scratch with my character. So I spent the week it took for Maia to be tried and executed I sought out RP, meaning I messaged Army characters letting them know I was active and in the dungeon. Getting opportunities where I could...also about 8 other characters visited Maia in the dungeon without even pursuing it. I tried my best to bit by bit put my feelers out into the game again knowing that when the axe came down I would have to recreate Maia but that she wouldn't be totally fresh. I knew based on my past decision as a player I would have the oldies totally hold animosity toward her. Yes, this can suck sometimes but this also is such a gem of an opportunity for quality RP including intrigue, mystery and dramaaaaa. This is a story that we all play parts in...know that before you make your character commit a crime...we aren't playing alone with NPC's, our actions for our characters meld with actions/reactions of other characters to be part of this huge story!!! **Marrach cheerleader move**

                            The End. Baiiiiii



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                            • #15
                              To be honest, I don't think there's abundant need for streamlining of the judicial process. Over the years its been streamlined so many times and unnecessary bits cut out or made smoother, I feel we have a fairly effective system at this point. What we've lacked and what we often do, are people to run it.

                              The system has come a long way from 'back in the day' when the average prison stay for a high crime was 6 to 9 months (that's not an exaggerated figure). Today it's unusual for people to be there more than a few weeks, the only reason we have somewhat of a handful of people in the dungeons right now is because A) a bunch of people committed strings of crime around the same time due to the ongoing plot, B) A few old players that were arrested an age ago returned to the game and had to be processed as well, C) We actually had no one in the Judiciary to process their hearings since the last player who was handling it, uh, died. Bearing in mind that until about 10 days ago we did not even have anyone in the judiciary, we've had 3 hearings and 2 sentencings since the first new members of the Chancery were inducted less than two weeks ago, which I think attests to how well refined the system already works if there's a few players available to handle it.

                              A lot of the suggestions or comments I've seen in this thread are things that are actually already implemented. For the purposes of clarity, I'll lay it out:

                              1. You commit a crime.
                              2. The Watch/Army doesn't even immediately arrest you anymore unless they know for absolute certain you did it (ie: they witnessed you stab someone). Back in the day you used to get arrested as soon as you were suspected of a crime, and you sat there in a cell for months while law enforcers pursued leads. Today we don't even arrest you until your case is complete and ready to send to the prosecution, unless, again, you literally stabbed someone in public, there's no room for doubt as to your guilt and you're a danger to the public.
                              3. Your case gets sent to the Prosecution. The Watch/Army has an extremely refined case format that highlights key evidence and makes it as quick and efficient as possible for the Prosecution to skim the important parts and grasp the case without having to spend a week reading through scrolls and testimonies and trying to make sense of the case. Every key piece of evidence is placed in a list with hyperlinks to the relevant evidence/testimonies so that the Prosecution can familiarize themselves with your case as soon as possible.
                              4. The Prosecutor contacts you OOCly to schedule a hearing. We use a combined Justice mailing list that all law enforcement groups are on to communicate, to make sure there's no miscommunications or missed information. Normally the Prosecutor will ask for the hearing at X time and one of the 10 or so Army people on that mailing list will reply within an hour saying they can make the listed time, and then that person escorts the prisoner for the hearing.
                              5. You have a hearing. Each charge is read to you, you plead guilty or not guilty to each. Nine times out of ten you plead guilty because you're busted as sin and why drag it out? The hearing takes about 10 minutes typically.
                              6. If you plead guilty to all charges, your plea is given to the Lord Chancellor during his bells (every Wednesday) and your sentence is rendered there on the spot. If you plead innocent to any of the charges, a trial is held using the same scheduling means as step 4. Normally the Justicar does this instead of the Chancellor but we don't have one so hey.
                              7. The Chancery contacts the Royal Provost with the sentence and the Royal Provost if necessary files an assist for Helve to come lop your head off. The first staff player available who sees you online in your cell will usually log on Helve to redecorate the gaol with your bodily fluids.

                              That's the process as it stands right now. To be honest it's pretty straightforward and doesn't really have any unnecessary steps involved, other than I suppose if we wanted we could skip step 7 and have Boreas file the assist directly. This wouldn't really make a difference in the duration of your dungeon stay however, as this has never ever been the cause for delay. The vast majority of all delayed cases have boiled down to the prisoner not being available OOCly, or us not having an active prosecution.

                              The latter of the two is the more common problem, and it stems from the underlying issue that crime is a lot less common these days than it once was, and so there's nothing for the prosecution to do during "downtime". This results in people getting bored and moving on, or not having enough opportunities to practice the process and familiarize themselves to the point where they can carry it off without a hitch. We've had two high crime trials in the last decade or so, compared to 12 years ago when we used to have one every month or so. The lack of an active criminal society results in the lack of roleplay opportunities for prosecution members, which in turn leads to an inactive prosecution when we need them. This happened at the last two trials, and the Chancery had to scramble to find two fill-in Prosecutors with no experience to handle those cases (resulting in various clerical errors and at least one person getting off basically scott free due to a mishandled prosecution).

                              Anyway, the TLDNR version of this is that the real underlying issue is not that the chancery needs refinement, in my opinion, but that we struggle to keep active prosecutors around to handle that side of the judicial process. And this stems from a lack of opportunities for prosecutors to actually prosecute, and thus a disinterest in the job in general. I don't have an easy solution to that, other than we need more brigand criminals willing to be the fall guys, and perhaps that the Prosecution needs to start doing mock trials or other activities to keep them interested during the down time - I feel like this later suggestion will get old real fast though and not make it beyond one or two cracks at this.
                              "I am not afraid, I was born to do this."

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