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On Roleplay, Jobs and Baileys

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  • On Roleplay, Jobs and Baileys

    Disclaimer: I am not opening this thread up for tangents on metagame. I am not opening this thread to discuss what Staff can continually do for you. I am not opening this thread for pages and pages of convoluted rants. Once it turns into the aforementioned, I will simply cease to read it. I am opening this up for clearly explained, defined, and well-thought out opinions, thoughts and concerns about the topic I am going to outline below. I do not put this disclaimer in to be rude, mean or otherwise unhelpful, but because at some point the threads I post seeking particular information turn into continual, unproductive complaints and I lack the time and most of the time lack the ability to fix most of the complaints as they are primarily Player issues and not Staff issues, with some (rare) exceptions. Also, "you" is a general, not pinpointing anyone in particular. There are going to be exceptions, but not many, so nitpicking is useless here.

    It has recently come to my attention that there is, amongst the players of primarily Outer Bailey characters, a perception that it is impossible or too difficult to enter into the Inner Bailey or into a job that is related to the Inner Bailey.

    I realize that my first mistake here is to open a thread up that is going off people's perceptions, as I, nor anyone else can really change these, but the individuals with said perceptions. However, I was concerned and disconcerted upon hearing of this perception and wished to address it.

    The issue as I heard it is thus:

    1. It is hard to get to the Inner Bailey.
    2. It is hard to get the higher end jobs, consequently; which are in the Inner Bailey.
    3. Unless your character has rank, your character is not important nor influential.
    4. Higher end jobs are taken and thus unavailable, so people lack motivation to try and obtain them.
    5. Jobs in the Inner Bailey are more important than jobs in the Outer Bailey.
    6. The jobs in the Outer Bailey are not worth doing.

    The aforementioned issues are -perception-. The way you view this subject. I am not invalidating these feelings at all because I have had similar feelings from time to time about other issues. However, the fact remains that if you view the above as issues and because of this you cease to take action In Character, you are essentially cutting your own hand off. If you, as the player AND as the character go "Well, this is hard and people are already in those positions and they're unlikely to cede them to others so I'm just not going to bother.", then it is utterly and entirely your own fault for your character getting nowhere and that's the ugly truth of it.

    There are some cases where it may be the fault of -others-, BUT, and I make that in caps because there are alternative routes to what you want if one route proves to be blocked. Sometimes it's a matter of patience. I cannot count the number of times I have been setting up a PC either with my PCs or my VPs for a promotion or favor and watched it crash and burn because they couldn't see something through *ICly* - be it a week wait or a month or two wait. This could be seen as my fault for not "moving faster", but to be quite honest, I see no need to dumb my PCs and my VPs down to cater to characters who don't want to do the work.

    This is -exactly- how I have felt over the past few years in regards to promotions, rank and influence. I have to make my characters nicer, dumber, more gullible and so forth because the current batch of characters and/or players will not hang in there like almost every other character who is in the Inner Bailey presently.

    Every single character with the exception of Courtier and HG packages had to work in the "unimportant, uninfluential" Outer Bailey to get to the Inner Bailey if that is where they wanted to be.

    It is not the position, but the character.

    The character makes the position. The player makes the character. If you as a player lose the motivation to continue because of misconceptions and perceptions on your part, then again, you damn your own character and thus your RP experience if your goal as a character is to do X, Y and Z on the IB side.

    There are numerous characters who have been (and are) influential while holding no rank, holding OB jobs, being exiled and so forth. These have been influential because they made themselves be influential. They pushed their views, ideas, they had presence, they made themselves visible to the characters they wanted to be visible to and they worked at it. It may have taken months or in some cases years, but this is how they did it. Some of these characters never even had a CHANCE to go into the IB because of In Character circumstances and they still held massive influence.

    Influence is what -you- make of it. What do YOU consider influential? Being able to say what's fashionable? Being able to promote others? Being able to demote others? Being able to create laws? Being able to have people killed? Being able to kill certain people? Being able to induct people? Being able to coerce people to go against someone?

    Interestingly, ALL of this is possible with "unimportant" Outer Bailey jobs. ALL of this is possible with the "important" Inner Bailey jobs. This is based on the character, not the position. Do positions make things easier? Yes. Both Inner and Outer positions make this easier. If you do nothing in either Bailey then again, you shoot yourself in the foot.

    I will take a moment to compare and contrast a few jobs on importance:

    Awakener vs. Cellar Master

    The Awakener at 11th link has more -direct- influence than the Cellar Master at 7th link. Based on JOB alone; this excludes any intrinsic rank the individuals may have. That's almost another topic entirely.

    Why would the Awakener have more influence?

    They are (in theory) the very first person to seize the newly awoken and tell them how things are in the Castle. It is, in theory, possible to build a rebellion by being an Awakener. You say the right things, the right way, you make yourself someone to be looked up to, you build a "power base".

    Boom. Immediately more influence than someone who handles wine; again, based on job alone.

    Page vs. Lord Marshal

    How could a Page be more influential than the Lord Marshal?

    The Royal Page has, in theory, access to -every single member of the Inner Bailey-. They are given mutliple opportunities to impress, they can be given discreet tasks, they can be given sensitive information, they can help people of rank plan and arrange things, they are privy to all sorts of things that the Lord Marshal is generally -not-, because the position is specialized. A Page can weave a web of favor and influence as well as any spider and proceed through the ranks because of this. The right word, conveniently in the right ear of the right person? A Page could see someone demoted or promoted.

    The thing is? All of this takes TIME and PATIENCE.

    Watchman vs. Provost

    A Watchman being more influential than the Provost? HOW?

    Easy. The Provost depends upon the Watchman for information. They depend upon them for reports, to make them look good by their behaviour, they are the public face of their group. If you report, if you play "the game" right, if you make yourself visible where others in your group don't? Bam. You gain trust. With trust comes influence. With influence comes power. With power comes rank if you want it.

    Every job my PCs have or have had has been held by someone else. Some they got by dumb luck. Some they got by subterfuge. Some they got by almost literally working their assess off and not taking "no" for an answer.

    One character (not mine) was in competition with another character and now one character has the other character's head in a jar on their desk.

    If you find yourself blocked, seek others to help you, seek for go arounds, don't just give up.

    Some people are going to disagree and that's perfectly fine. However, over the entirety of my time playing this game (9 and a half years at this point), I have gotten every single character I had into a position to enter the Inner Bailey if they -wanted-. This isn't because I'm Staff (because I wasn't for the majority of that time). This isn't because my OOC friends cut me slack. This isn't because my OOC friends alts got involved in an interweaving information and favor.

    This is because I went:

    What do I want to do with this character?
    I want to be X.
    How do I get to be X?
    I do Y.
    How do I get Y?
    I go to Z.
    I apply to Z.
    I do what is needed for Z to get Y.
    I get Y.
    I work with Y.
    I build their influence with Z and anyone else I need to.
    I work (RP), work (RP), work (RP), work (RP), work (RP) for X.
    If someone is in X and there can be only one X? (I cut their head off and absorb their energy in a Quickening.)
    I work to get rid of them or I alter my character's goal.


    It's not about where you go, but how you get there. That's where the majority of your RP is going to be had.

    - SPO
    StoryPlotter Odjit
    Odjit's observations are - as they pretty much always are - spot on. - Geist
    [4:36:43 PM] Kurzon: You're horrid

  • #2
    A to B to C to D to E

    In conjunction with the previous post I am making a (not comprehensive) list of Outer Bailey jobs that lead or CAN lead directly to the Inner and HOW (vaguely).

    There are some exceptions to these, but these are the direct ones I can think of.

    Battler -> Teacher -> Elder -> Guard/Assistant or Squire to Knight-Noble -> Knighthood -> Royal Equerry

    Deputy -> Watchman -> Armsman/Guard/Inquisitor -> Corporal/Boreas Household/Guard -> Provost/Major/Squire/Knight -> Royal Equerry

    Duelist -> Guard/Assistant or Squire to Knight-Noble/Bertram Household -> Knighthood -> Royal Equerry

    Crafters (Tailor, Jeweler, Hairstylists, Carpenters etc) -> Assistant/Personal Crafter to Courtier/Knight/Noble/Royal -> Handmaiden/Bodyservant/Valet -> Lady in Waiting/Knight/Lord/Lady

    Nurses -> Apprentice -> Personal Healers/Collegium -> Doctors -> Royal Chirugeon

    Chroniclers -> Senior/Court Clerks/Museum/Assistants -> Court Chronicler -> Royal Archivist

    Aide to Chambers/Pages -> Assistant positions to ANYONE -> Senior Pages/Court Clerk -> Scribes of Chamber -> Registrars -> Chief Scribe -> Secretary -> Chamber positions are VERY flexible and available for lateral movement across the board due to their secretarial requirements. This includes: archivist, librarian, various secretarial positions, treasury positions and so forth.

    Unity of the Arts -> Minstrels/Royal Artists/ -> Thespian/Jester/Keeper of Games -> Master/Mistress of Entertainment

    Legalist/Chirographer (9th automatic!) -> Adjutant Prosecutor/Scribes -> Chief Scribe of Chancery/Royal Prosecutor -> Keeper of the Seals/Adjunct Justicar -> Royal Justicar -> Noble

    And so on and so forth! Just some ideas for paths.
    StoryPlotter Odjit
    Odjit's observations are - as they pretty much always are - spot on. - Geist
    [4:36:43 PM] Kurzon: You're horrid


    • #3
      Dully noted. Thank you! *Huggles*

      ~Battler~ Aspirant Chronicler~ and Student of the Embinders


      • #4
        1. I agree with everything Odjit has said so far.

        If a specific example is wanted, lets look at ser Gareth. While it may well have come to a point where his legend is fading, Gareth was arguably one of the most influential characters in the game during the time the character was active. To the point where there was an inside joke about him being "the Mayor of the Outer Bailey." The thing to bear in mind in Gareth's case was that, while he was at one point a Courtier with a 5th link job, the vast majority of the influence he garnered came at a point when IC circumstances had dictated that, by Royal Order, he never be eligible to hold any instrinsic or professional rank whatsoever. He could hold a job, but not one which granted him any sort of formal status.

        Just to say it again, one of the most influential characters in the history of the game, had his greatest level of influence when it was impossible for him to hold a position in or even enter the Inner Bailey.

        Circumstances are, by and large, what you make of them.

        2. Some (hopefully brief) commentary on the symbiotic relationship between both Baileys in terms of jobs.

        As illustrated in Odjit's diagrams, practically all positions within the Inner Bailey are gained through progressive service in Outer Bailey jobs. Partially because of this, not only is service in an Outer Bailey job just about the best way to bring your character to the attention to someone who can promote them, but it can be difficult for the characters in those Inner Bailey positions to function -without- people maintaining those Outer Bailey jobs.

        I'll speak from experience here. To be clear: this is not intended as a rant, nor am I attempting to blame or lay guilt upon anyone.

        It is not easy, practical, or especially safe for a Noble to directly investiage or report on happenings and events within the Castle, particularly those within the Outer Bailey. These considerations do not typically weigh so heavily upon Commoner or HG -- or even Courtier -- characters (except, perhaps, for the safety element). That's why residents of the Outer Bailey make good Chroniclers. As part of the wider community, they have greater access to sources and establish an unintimidating rapport with other denizens.

        Because no one can be everywhere at all times, Chronicles serve as the primary source for accurate, generally reliable information and form the backbone of the castle's modern history. That's what a chronicle is. So, if it comes to a point where no one in the Outer Bailey is interested in serving as a Chronicler, for whatever reason, the castle's historical record falls apart. Huge gaps start to appear which are very, very difficult to fill in if enough time is allowed to pass. There are, for example, no Chronicles detailing the final attack against Ashke, the rescue of Dr. Diana, or the establishment of the Order of the Dauntless. All significant events.

        This makes it very difficult for the Royal Archivist to do her work. There is no documentation to work from or reference. There are no Chroniclers to act as go betweens in contacting sources or conducting interviews to flesh out the details of an occurance. And so on and so forth. But, when there are Chroniclers, the Archivist's role becomes much easier. More detailed histories can be established and shared, solid museum exhibits can be organized, and a number of other things which potentially increase general interest in castle history and encourage new people to pursue positions in areas such as Chronicling.

        It's much the same with being Dean of the Royal Collegium. If very few people are filling jobs in the Outer Bailey, then very few people are elevated into the Court with the foundational background experience necessary for them to be successful within the Collegium, therefore, the Collegium's member roster starts to empty out. The Dean is then left with little to do besides attempt to direct those who approach her into Outer Bailey jobs appropriate to their interests (which she does), and get snarled at by the Chancellor for the organization being stagnant (love you, Frosty).

        Most things, on both sides of the Bridge, are dependant upon each other to work in ways that benefit the greatest number of people.

        3. As a final aside, I would suggest that, as a player, you will have a much richer experience if you set goals for your character which do not emphasize rank. By all means, aim high and work towards such lofty goals as holding a high ranking position, but do it because it is a position your character wants for some reason other than (or in addition to) the intrinsic and/or professional rank it affords. It has been my observation that characters with a set goal defined almost exclusively in terms of rank (I want to be a Noble because that's the highest intrinsic rank), have trouble knowing what to do with themselves once they get there. I honestly think this is why most PC Nobles have not remained active very long after achieving that status.

        Just some thoughts. Take them or leave them as you will.
        Lady Avaria, Royal Archivist & Dean of the Royal Collegium
        Collegium Dean since 30.10.8
        Royal Archivist since 10.11.2
        Previously Senior Chronicler and Counselor

        StoryPlotter Skelly says, "I always knew Avi was evil ... Now I have logged evidence!"


        • #5
          Intriguing thread! A few random thoughts while the coffee brews:

          The single greatest resource that a player brings to their character is initiative. Proactive players will always get more than reactive players. Jonen signed up for the Chroniclers within a week or so of awakening. Since there were (and are) so few of them, being a Chronicler was a great excuse to get a court pass from the Chambers and run around the IB in his ratty 11th link clothes chatting up everyone and generally being his obnoxious self. 11th link, no favor from anybody, and he's in the IB in a month. I eventually had to dial back to preserve my own sanity because Jonen was volunteering for everything: Duelists, LPA, dance recitals, plays, etc.

          The funny thing about initiative (my perception entirely) is that it seems to me that in general people are hesitant to throw themselves out there and take risks, or that they throw themselves out there and expect big brother to come along and save their butts. In such a small community the natural instinct is to not rock the boat, but rocking the boat is what makes things worthwhile. Jonen's been chewed out by knights and nobles, thrown in the gaol, and generally made a nuisance of himself both before and after making HG, but that is partly because being HG is not core to his character. Jonen is Jonen, and he will rise or fall based on his own actions, decisions, and character (and what rises may fall, what falls may rise again, etc etc). If Lady Avaria was stripped of her titles, banned from the library and cast into the Outer in rags, that would be a huge blow ICly, but it certainly wouldn't make her less inquisitive (and likely would make her far more dangerous to certain people).

          Plus, taking the bull by the horns is fun.

          Now my thumbs hurt from typing this out on my phone. Hopefully the parts on order come in soon and I can go back to tormenting you all.


          • #6
            Player mentoring

            I had two thoughts when I read Odjit's first post:

            1) I've never had any concern over difficulty reaching the IB with any character when that was my goal.

            and then...

            2) Well smarty-pants, put your money where your mouth is and help someone else with your fancy-talk!

            I realize that the way that I play is not the way that everyone plays, nor should it be. But what I'd really like to do is assist any player that is having problems reaching their goals, in an OOC fashion. IE: if anyone feels super frustrated and would like a sounding board OOCly, or some advice or even a person to help them brainstorm ideas for their character and goals, I would LOVE to help in that capacity.

            I have a lot of experience in the game with a huge variety of character types, positions, plotlines, etc, and I think that the best way to use that experience would be to help others make the most of their experience.

            Please send me a PM if you're interested, or even send me a page in game. I play Isaria.

            Mistress Isaria
            Courtier of Her Majesty
            Head of House for Lady Charmiam
            Royal Seamstress


            • #7
              I like this so much I've made it a link on the Public TWiki page.

              StoryPlotter Geist


              • #8
                (intriguedly bumped to the top)

                Love this thread, particularly as I'm fighting to establish my char as a viable contribution to the game, and to the society of the IB.

                More comments when I have them; just thought others might be interested in also reading it.

                P.S. Odjit: You rock.

                Sassa Elvari,
                Poetess / Wordsmith

                Aspirant Teacher, LPA
                Harlequin, The Unity of the Arts

                Poetry is the art of falling in love with minutiae.
                Debate is the art of wielding one's mind and tongue.
                ~ S.E.


                • #9

                  This is a thread I have found very useful.
                  Honored Guest
                  Royal Purse Bearer
                  Guildmaster of the Embinders Association
                  Bodyservant to Lord Sicard Dunseny