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Changes in the Air... Part Two

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  • Changes in the Air... Part Two

    Hey all,

    First, I suspect that I was as surprised by this turn of events as most of you are. I am ready, willing, and eager to take on the role of Lead StoryPlotter, but under these circumstances it is certainly bittersweet. So much of what I know and understand about how Castle Marrach operates - on so many levels - I owe to Reveur and her unending creativity, wise guidance, and infinite patience. Fortunately, she's not disappearing and she and I have been talking regularly, and will continue to do so, about past and current issues and ideas. Believe you me when I say that I plan on wringing every spare moment out of her and exploiting them shamelessly...

    But still, it has to be a surprise to most. I haven't been a Plotter on the Marrach staff for all that long, after all, and that's part of the reason I'm truly amazed and honored that Reveur would suggest this and that Xios and the other Leads would agree. I also know that there’s been a bit of unrest in the community of late and a change in the Lead StoryPlotter position only serves to further churn the waters. So, in an effort to hopefully alleviate some of that, I’m going to publicly introduce myself…

    My name is Tom Dowd. I am currently employed as a Lead Game Designer for an un-announced Playstation 2 project that will be out for Christmas this year. As lead game designer, I'm responsible for setting the tone of the project and maintaining the vision of its design and focus. There are currently five other designers working for me and it is my responsibility to set their schedules, oversee their work, facilitate their efforts, and keep everything running smoothly...as best as possible when it comes to game development.

    I've been in computer game development for about 8 years now, and before this project I was the lead designer on MechAssault, which was the lead release for X-Box Live Christmas before last.

    Before shifting over to computer game design, I was in the paper-game role-playing game industry and I worked for FASA Corporation, the creators of the BattleTech, Shadowrun, EarthDawn and other game lines. I spent five years there starting out as a developer/designer and eventually acting as development supervisor for all of FASA game lines.

    I got into the industry by writing part of the Shadowrun role-playing game. After that I went in-house at FASA and oversaw and wrote the 2nd Edition of the Shadowrun rules and wrote or contributed to maybe a dozen of the game rulebooks and supplements. I also wrote two Shadowrun novels and contributed (as a freelancer) to the Vampire: the Masquerade rules somewhere in there...

    Recently, I also completed a stint as the administrator and lead storyteller of a live-action fantasy role-playing game in the Chicago area that had been running for seven years, the last five of which were with me running the show. We ran monthly with a regular attendance of 30 to 50 players. Our final game was this last November where we had 70+ people, many of whom flew in from all over the North America for the finale.. If you're interested, you can find the website for it at www.shadowpath.com/gateway.

    So, that's me, in case you were wondering.

    More about what comes next in the next post…

    StoryPlotter Geist
    geist@marrach.skotos.net

  • #2
    So, what now?

    Well, my first objective is to insure that this transition occurs as seamlessly as possible for both the staff and players. It’s going to take a bit of time for me to get caught up on everything and get my head wrapped around what’s going on in-game and backstage. So please be patient with me. There are some cool things in the works that are going to have both subtle and broad impacts on the game. We’ll be going public about at least one of them in the not-to-distant future, so keep watching the boards.

    I'm a big believer in continuity of vision, and since I'm staying in touch with Reveur I expect the things that she put into motion to stay that way. Sure, there will be confusion and miscommunication - that's to be expected - but I'm hoping we can minimize them. For that I’m again asking for your patience and understanding.

    In the long term, wait and see is all I can say.

    In the very short term, I’m planning on holding an open “meet and greet” OOC gathering at some point in the near future where you can come by, say hello, and praise or vent as you see fit. All I ask – as I always do – is that if you want to vent, be civil about it. I know many of us have been disappointed about the level of civility on the forums and that’s something that needs to be addressed. Frustrated or not, the first, best, line of defense against it is you and the decisions you make about how to communicate. Everyone is entitled to be frustrated or hurt, and it’s a testament to Castle Marrach that it does affect so many of us as deeply as it does, but its not an excuse to be cruel or callous. You believe that something is wrong or needs to be changed, let’s talk about it. But lets talk, not flame.

    So, on that note – here’s my email geist@marrach.skotos.net. Feel free to let me know about anything you like related to Marrach – hopes, dreams, rants, raves, gripes – whatever you like. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

    Until then…

    StoryPlotter Geist (aka Tom)

    P.S. – I still play a couple of characters in the game, and with this change I’m not sure what exactly will be going on with them. I do ask, however, that if you know who they are not to discuss or reveal that information with other players. I’m choosing to remain anonymous while I play, and I’d like you to respect that decision.

    P.S.S. – Reveur mentioned that StoryPlotter Kinbote and I would be sharing co-Lead roles… That’s mostly correct…but hard to explain. Kinbote is leading a special project…one that I was proud to be part of until just recently, and that’s where his focus is going to remain. For the moment, bug and hassle me about Marrach stuff and leave him alone to scheme in peace…

    StoryPlotter Geist
    geist@marrach.skotos.net

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