Skotos Forums Closing: September 30

The Skotos Forums are officially closing on September 30, 2020. They will go read-only on that date, and will be removed entirely sometime afterward.

We encourage the games that spun off of Skotos to create new discussion mediums of their own, and some have already done so. But the centralized discussions for Skotos will soon be a thing of the past (just as the centralized Skotos site is).

We've also posted a goodbye message to the community on our main page, which you can find here:
See more
See less

Changes to Court Petitions System [OOC Discussion]

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Changes to Court Petitions System [OOC Discussion]

    Hi all,

    With the in-character announcement of the changes to the Royal Court Petition/Commentary system earlier this morn I wanted to throw together an OOC discussion and thread explaining how this update works and some of the metagame brainstorming that went into it. Please feel free to leave your comments, questions and thoughts also.


    You can read up on the IC thread for the more detailed and bureaucratic explanation of what this system is. For this thread's purposes, the short of it is this; every Royal Court a chest will be placed in the IB Great Hall that court characters can tap to withdraw their allotment of court tokens. This allotment is calculated automatically based on a combination of your character's intrinsic rank and their link on the Chain of Being. Your tokens are submitted with your court commentary, and can be used to either support or oppose any listed court petition. Each petition has a standard 'score' of support required in order to pass, at the end of commentary period all tokens for and against each petition are tallied, and those petitions that meet their needed score are pushed through at Court.


    There are a few reasons why we've decided to try out this system.

    The first is transparency. Often Staff gets the question, "Why didn't this promotion pass" or "What did that person do to earn that?" While we have historically always had a system in place to arbitrate which petitions get through at Court, it's a very 'behind the curtains' system that really only reveals the results of that system at Court without unveiling how we got there. It's my hope that this new structure will provide a clearer goal line, backed by numbers, of how far you have to go or what you need to do to pass a given petition. If you want to obtain courtiership, you know you need X amount of support in order to get there, and can plan out your route with a tangible goal before you and road to getting there.

    The second reason is to encourage politicking. While it is ICly expected that courtiers will 'vote their conscience' and advise the Crown earnestly, OOCly it's fully anticipated and encouraged that people will politic, scheme, make deals, form alliances and trade token support for other favours. You'll have no way of knowing for certain what way other people are going to throw their tokens, and may find yourself in a situation where you think one particular petition you want passed is going to go through based on your calculations and the promises of others, but then you can't really be sure someone else didn't ante against you behind the scenes. Do you risk splitting your tokens in hopes that your calculations were correct, or pad all your tokens onto the petition you really want just to be safe?

    With the success of martially oriented plots and systems implemented in the game over the last few years, Staff's focus is now shifted towards trying to bring the intrigue and politics aspect of the game up to par. We can't really create coded systems and 'minigames' comparable to MCombat for politics and intrigue, but it's my hope that this system is a step in the right direction towards encouraging intrigue based roleplay between player characters.

    The third reason is to force people to weigh which petitions they really wish to stand behind. The Court today has a habit of blindly supporting petitions to be nice, or because a friend asked them to and they didn't have the heart to refuse, or because they like the person put forth, etc. That's... okayish to an extent, wherein Castle Marrach is a favour based game, but it has to come with a certain level of moderation and disfavour to balance the excess favour, and without a system to enforce that, that's something we're not seeing happening enough. With the revised system now placed forth, you're limited to how much support you can throw around, which forces you to back the horses you feel more strongly about.


    We don't want to move too far away from Royal Court's roots. Marrach isn't a Democracy, and the court petition system shouldn't be seen as a straight up voting system so much as forum for the Court to give counsel to the Crown. This in mind, courtiers who submit actual commentary explaining the reasons for their support or opposition to a petition are granted a 'consideration' by the Crown in value of up to 5 tokens but not exceeding half of the amount input. What this essentially means is if you've placed 4 tokens of support towards a petition, but included a good explanation of why, the Crown might bump it up to 6 in recognition of your diligence.

    This is a test run of this new format to see how well it works, whether players enjoy it, whether it generates more roleplay and so on. Depending on how its maiden voyage goes, we may not keep it, but here's hoping.
    StoryHost Kurzon
    Castle Marrach Staff

    The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in.

  • #2
    Just my 2 cents but I think the amount of tokens needed to get a promotion should be a bit lower. 20 for HG and 50 for Courier would feel a bit more achievable and free people up to use their tokens on more than one task.

    I'd also like to see something in place to keep tokens out of the hands of alts that are only logging to vote and will then fall back to sleep until the next court. I think Alt crossover could be a serious problem with a more structured system like what is being enacted here.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kona View Post
      Just my 2 cents but I think the amount of tokens needed to get a promotion should be a bit lower. 20 for HG and 50 for Courier would feel a bit more achievable and free people up to use their tokens on more than one task.
      Disagree. It would be too easy for a single individual to see their favorite get a promotion. There needs to be a system of checks and balances. I think the sweet spot of getting a person through puts the decision in 2+ people, 3+ for courtier.

      I'd also like to see something in place to keep tokens out of the hands of alts that are only logging to vote and will then fall back to sleep until the next court. I think Alt crossover could be a serious problem with a more structured system like what is being enacted here.
      Definitely agree.

      Ordained Knight of the Realm
      Equerry to Prince Bertram
      Rangers Recruit
      Embinder Hobbyist
      Story Chimi says, "O_O I just found something weird in your body. Hang on a sec...."


      • #4
        An interesting idea, and I'd definitely like to see how it plays out in game. The real politics of CM have been lost over recent years to the players showing preference to gaining martial skills and acquiring coins for the Treasury. The concept of using a set amount of tokens for Court promotions should encourage some scheming, pleading, and good ol' favor bartering.

        Insofar as the required tokens for promotion, I'd argue that the amounts are a bit low? But I can see how the numbers work with the current population, and how "cliquey" things can get. Though if I'm being honest I wouldn't be upset if each requirement was increased by five, while keeping the distributed numbers the same.

        While I'm not saying people won't log in their alts "out of the blue" to vote, there have always been systems in play behind the scenes which prevent a player from padding the support of their friend's characters. At this point you've got to put your trust in the staff who work hard at curbing "cheating" behaviors. They see everything.


        • #5

          I can see where you're coming from, I don't want it to be too easy either.

          However, I'm mostly worried about the current active player base of couriers and above not being large enough to achieve a couple promotions alongside supporting unique petitions that will make the game better, I'd rather see progress in both regards rather than a one or the other situation and to those that would seek to promote commoners and HG below them I'd like to see them have a minimal amount of tokens left over to toss into crowd funding whatever unique petition they find appealing. .

          I'll readily admit that I think it'll be nearly impossible to determine which way the math should go until we actually see it in action once, especially with the possibility of Alt abuse hanging it's head.

          But, I do think a 5 point drop on both HG and Courier would help to keep some more tokens in the pot to further unique petitions. I wouldn't want it to go much lower than that especially with the possibility of gaining tokens from commentary.

          After it's ran once we'll have a good grasp of how to tilt the scale to make it a fun experience for everyone involved and it's very likely my concerns aren't going to be an issue at all, which would be great.


          • #6
            I think it has its potential and drawbacks.

            Can staff put a system in place in which they check who is sending ookens in to what petitions to check for alt abuse? It doesn't have to be every pakage that comes in, but a random one like manufacturing does it to ensure that people know that they could easily get caugght?

            I disagree with lowering the cost of promotions. They shouldn't be easy to get, and 20/50 sounds too easy to get. Just my agreement with Edstave on that one.

            I also think that tokens shouldn't disappear between courts. Make bags for them and let people save up for that special petition, perhaps? Just a thought.


            • #7
              I actually think the token #s required for promotion are too small. We already have a considerable # of Courtiers. You'd basically only need Sinvy + Josie with nobody opposing them to get someone elevated to what should be a fairly difficult rank to achieve. Even with a small active playerbase if you get each waking Household + one Courtier putting all their tokens into one person you're ending up with something like 5 or 6 Courtiers and that's not including the tokens that remain for Knights, Courtiers in the Army, etc.

              I agree about alts - I think you shouldn't be able to spend tokens on the same person if your alt has spent tokens on them.

              I'll be interested to see how it works out though with the test #s and whether or not people actually commit to politicking RP in game.
              Acolyte Natura of the Faith
              Head of Household for her Ladyship Sinvy
              Leader of the Stylists
              Ordained Knight of the Realm
              Patron of the Duelists
              Royal Artist
              Ranger Recruit


              • #8
                Originally posted by Josie_Brennan View Post
                I agree about alts - I think you shouldn't be able to spend tokens on the same person if your alt has spent tokens on them.
                I think the issue then would be people voting for who they wanted to promote with their main and using their alt towards the unique petitions. I seriously think we should consider not giving tokens to inactive alts. If you haven't woken for 6 months, too bad you don't get to vote in court and then go back to sleep, stay awake until the next one and you'll get tokens then.

                I also see where you're coming from Josie. At a certain point households could just promote from within and gain more and more power, that might kind of be the point though. Does the house want to pool their tokens and promote someone to courier so they can have more sway in the next court? Probably so.

                We could also consider separating the tokens for promotion and unique petitions so the option to double up and give one a promotion is even less possible but everyone get a say in what they want from petitions, that is opening another can of worms entirely though.

                Just throwing out some ideas.


                • #9
                  Hi all! I thought I would drop my two cents in since my alt, Lilly, is in the Chambers and pretty much is one of the few (aside Launfal) who collect and organize ALL incoming petitions, who they are from, what their comments are, etc. and THEN submits it all to Staff in a pretty little text bow.

                  So here are a few points, and Staff is free to correct my on this, as this is my perspective and knowledge of Petitions, Commentary and Voting:
                  1. Petitions are received and put into a single folder for QV to review and make comments on.
                  2. Said Petitions are then posted for Courtiers and Up to comment and vote on.
                  3. ALL votes, commentaries and names associated with those votes and comments are placed into a Twiki file that only Plotters and Lilly can see. ALSO, The original IC scrolls with votes/comments are placed into a folder and given to Launfal and then to QV In-Game, for transparency and so that Staff can compare Twiki with the comments/votes for any possible discrepancies.
                  4. On the OOC side of things, I believe that if the player has more than one Court Member Alt and they vote for the same character, some of them might get cancelled out, especially if it is clearly obviously cheating - but I defer to staff on this one, as there might be factors I am not aware of that change that or make exceptions for.
                  5. I believe that it would be impossible for players to cheat with their alts because they STILL have to ICly include who they are supporting along with their tokens and I am 100% positive that Staff knows who plays who and will deal with it accordingly with anyone who tries to cheat.

                  LASTLY, being a courtier is supposed to be HARD to acquire, it takes a lot of favor, a lot of maneuvering the ideals of the Court, being visible and actually being involved and active. We want high standards, not low standards (in my opinion), if we lowered the points someone needed, then everyone is going to be a courtier because someone decided they liked that character (and sometimes it is ooc favoritism instead of legit IC earning that s#*!). So I think the points are fine as is. IMO.

                  Thanks! That is all!


                  I FORGOT SOME!

                  Kurzon I love the idea! <3
                  Last edited by Lillian; 09-02-2019, 03:41 PM.
                  Lillian-Rose Annabella Grace (aka "Lilly")
                  * Courtier
                  * Royal Jeweler
                  * Chief Scribe of the Chambers


                  • #10
                    Lillian Sounds like we have nothing to worry about then. Thanks for clearing that up.


                    • #11
                      To hopefully alleviate the alt concern,

                      We ALWAYS vet the petitions for this. Always. The tokens aren't an automated system, real people will still be looking at it to verify legitimate commentary, signatures and use of alts during this process. There hasn't been a single court in the 13+ years I've been on staff where we haven't gone over these with fine-tooth combs to ensure the fairness (OOC wise) of promotions. We even go so far as to discuss commentary and signatures with the individual if it looks like they are trying to abuse the system in some way.
                      StoryPlotter Odjit
                      Odjit's observations are - as they pretty much always are - spot on. - Geist
                      [4:36:43 PM] Kurzon: You're horrid



                      Debug Information