ELFQUEST
FORUM ARCHIVE     ABOUT EQ     READ ONLINE     SHOP    
ABOUT     READ     SHOP    

Making a Holt... Do's and Dont's

Willowspring2

Ever wanted to say what you like and dont like about the holts we as fans have created. Well, heres a place you can write down what you think would be good. And bad. Dont be shy, and dont worry about what other people think...

Apogee

*cracks knuckles*


* Have an idea BEFORE you ask people to join. Also: have a clue about how to run a forum if it's forum based. Forum noobs shouldn't start a whole site if they really don't know what they're doing.

* Decide whether that idea is viable as an "elfquest" holt, or if it's just a "fantasy" site with some EQ terms. This ... is a site for ELFQUEST stuff. I would hope that the rp forums out there advertising "elfquest holts" would actually pursue something that still took place on even an alternate elfquest world, or at the very least had some compelling reason for there to be lots and lots of other things instead of Abodean background.

* Allow people to make their own characters. This is the worst offender of the fansites I've seen around here, I won't join if I cannot create something for myself.

* Descriptions and images are vital. Not too many issues there ;)

* Requirements... are not okay. People have real lives. This is a hobby. I don't want something that requires me to not just participate but before putting anything down (this applies to mainly older snail mail holts) having to get permission and such from everyone involved. Not so much a worry during a rp chat or board, but it was very frustrating when I'd done a longish story and illustrated it, having had permission beforehand, and then two of the people who owned characters in that story *left the holt in a huff* and said, "well that's nice, but you have to take these characters out." That's CRAP, already finished. Anyway. lol.

* Visible archives are great. I love reading stories of the existing characters. Timeline is also a good thing, most places have those.

Willowspring2

** Dont play favoritism. And then punish those who do the same thing you do. its not fair to the other players, and its really annoying.

Dont overplay the highone and twin things... Seriously, if you want twins, have you and a friend play them, not just yourself..

Do: Let others create characters. Its easier and its a lot more fun.

Do: IF someone leaves, and they ask the Admin to take their character off the site completely. Do so, dont adopt the character out to someone else... its just plain rude.

dewshine_lover_1

:?
Well thats fine, but sometimes, people like me who have a good idea how to run things but doesnt know all of the ropes, ask for help. If no one helps, I just do the best I can and hope its good. So for a Noob, I dont think we should be unable to start a site of our own based on our ignorance of forum building. Otherwise, we would never advance, and will be considered noobs forever.



*Do play nice with others. You are not the only one on the forum, and You can expect others to post as often as you do. Patience is a Virtue.

* DON'T be rude!!

joyleaf1

From my experiance....and that is what it is.....this is why i dont belong to manny forems and i have tryed a few out but did not last....

the forems I have joined in the past had amazing story lines and compleatly adoptable charactures but in the end it was not mine so i kind of felt out of place....
also if u did not post often enough you were booted...me i have had family members die and others get real sick and almost die more then once...my life is full of turmoil and yet eq and roleplaying and the bonds i have made through it has utterly helped me through it. so when it comes down to it if u want a successfull site...i say give people creative freedom and keep true to the idea u are using.no one with an eq type world is going with an orgonal idea here...W.A.R.P. gave us the passion and shall we not be true to the core of it??? if u cant then dont even call it somewhat eq in style and ask people from here to join...

there in lies a very importaint point for me....
I have been a hard core eq fan for 18+ and over the years I have...become more open minded and yet keeping true to the "vision" and heres where alot of people and forems loose me.....
The elves no matter the tribe or time that they live in,they are eq bcause of fundemental purpose...that we take from elfquest...what I have seen is...people get personal,let there elves or monaters be more about the picking of sides insted of the story.this is why ill never be apart of any of elftanners storys because she dose not like me,there for things are not inparshal no matter the story line or what i could bring to the story....so i have fun with the people who do want me and dont judge me...am i makeing point yet with anyone.....
if u force or deni someone your outcome is as such...so people need to stop being people if were going to play an elf that values life such as cutters incounter with rayek at the bridge of destoney....or how cutter knows even winnowill can not die because of the kind of havoc she could cause............any thougts...rebuttles...??????????

Trollbabe

I'm not into holts, but my husband tried to join a couple of new holts. he was home recovering from surgery, and thought it would be fun. There was a certain amount of enthusiasm when he joined them, but soon he found he was the only one posting anything. Eventually the websites disappeared. So I would suggest that no one start a holt unless they are really serious about keeping it up.

Rainy

I've considered it - but the requirement thing - TOTAL turn off. Like the person said in the beginning ... this is a HOBBY - NOT my life. My life4, my businesses, my jobs, my family and friends, and even more importantly, my artwork and sites take priority.

A holt would be something I'd do for pure entertainment, not a piece of my daily real life commitments.

And the not making my own character thing .... yeah I feel the same way as others in this thread ... I am highly unlikely to adopt someone else's creation, unless it really struck me as a cool character.

Spaz

You have to have SOME rules, tho. In Eight-of-Dreams, one we had was that if you used someone else's character, you HAD to have that usage approved so they stayed in character per the creator's desires. A one line appearance wasn't a big deal....but if you gave someone else's creation a major role, that had to be approved or the story would not see print.

I don't recall much in a way of any troubles...most people were thrilled when someone else used their characters, especially if it was more than just a throw-away line. We encouraged people to involve other characters aside from their own.

We DID allow people to own multiple characters, but after awhile we had to restrict that...when you have one or 2 people having creative control over a lot of characters AND those people are doing the majority of the writing, they can end up dictating the course of the Holt...happened to EoD, in fact, although we caught it before it went TOO far.

Owning multiple characters is not an issue if the owner acts fairly with everyone. My wife had 4 she created herself (2 elves and 2 troll...interestingly, they were both m/f pairings) and another male elf NPC she adopted. Although a lot of her writing focused on those character interactions (the elves were in a three-pairing, while the male troll was still courting the female), she DID also involve herself with other characters...both owned and Holt-controlled NPCs.

The Holt NPCs were ones that had either been abandoned by their creators when the left the Holt (and if they declined to leave them behind, we found a way to write them out), or some created by various people specifically TO BE Holt NPCs...they were technically under the direction of me as club President, although I kinda shared them with our story editor, but we made efforts to let them live their own lives.

We also made sure stories were submitted to our story editor....but her main job was really to look for grammar corrections....she did give some suggestions to tighten up some scenes, but for the most part she let things be unless there were GLARING inconsistencies with prior Holt history.

dewshine_lover_1

well i am definately serious about maintaining my holt and keeping it going. The only problem that I seem to have is the fact that no one ever joins.

StarShine

I'd say keep up with keeping page updated (or make it something that's updatable by all the members like a wiki, so they can add the stories and such and characters ect, because one person doing all the work is too much.

Presentation (of 'site') is important, doesn't have to be fancy, but it can't be an ANGRY FRUIT SALAD (ie. light colors on a light background)

Allow people to flower and change. I've seen some good examples of it on other games, but a problem with some of the games out there is the 'stuck' places some characters get if someone leaves due to RL or something.

Try and keep consistancy- Another big problem: sometimes things 'restart' or are 'retconned' (written out of a story as if they never existed in the first place) due to reason.

Keep PLAYERS INFORMED- that is the biggest one I think I could think of.
*Edit* : Keeping players informed is really important, whether it be to let them know that perhaps the game should be closed down, turn over a new leaf or announce plot items or things to possibly get involved in the communications between players (staff included) is VERY important.

Don't try and make a "Do not want/Do not apply' list of character concepts, types or other items,articles or things. This sort of sometimes discourages people, if anything talk with the players and help them to develop the characters.

Examples:
Too many Healers? Have a plot where they begin to specialize or find an innate talent subset to focus on and expand instead of being an 'I fix any/ everything ."

Not enough older elves, or too many young elves who have 'no skills'? Create a plot where there is the discovery of older elves in wrap stuff- and have them impart knowledge through roleplay (a series of scenes, short vineitte's, or other story telling method) to create something for the 'younger' elves to learn.

Willowspring2

keep it coming guys! this is for those who have holts and those who want to make them!

joyleaf1

Quote:
Spaz

You have to have SOME rules, tho. In Eight-of-Dreams, one we had was that if you used someone else's character, you HAD to have that usage approved so they stayed in character per the creator's desires. A one line appearance wasn't a big deal....but if you gave someone else's creation a major role, that had to be approved or the story would not see print.

I don't recall much in a way of any troubles...most people were thrilled when someone else used their characters, especially if it was more than just a throw-away line. We encouraged people to involve other characters aside from their own.

We DID allow people to own multiple characters, but after awhile we had to restrict that...when you have one or 2 people having creative control over a lot of characters AND those people are doing the majority of the writing, they can end up dictating the course of the Holt...happened to EoD, in fact, although we caught it before it went TOO far.

Owning multiple characters is not an issue if the owner acts fairly with everyone. My wife had 4 she created herself (2 elves and 2 troll...interestingly, they were both m/f pairings) and another male elf NPC she adopted. Although a lot of her writing focused on those character interactions (the elves were in a three-pairing, while the male troll was still courting the female), she DID also involve herself with other characters...both owned and Holt-controlled NPCs.

The Holt NPCs were ones that had either been abandoned by their creators when the left the Holt (and if they declined to leave them behind, we found a way to write them out), or some created by various people specifically TO BE Holt NPCs...they were technically under the direction of me as club President, although I kinda shared them with our story editor, but we made efforts to let them live their own lives.

We also made sure stories were submitted to our story editor....but her main job was really to look for grammar corrections....she did give some suggestions to tighten up some scenes, but for the most part she let things be unless there were GLARING inconsistencies with prior Holt history.




Im going to call this a gut feeling....but I think I know whats going on here with this post...
Ok Mr...if your such a know it all and mrs and or miss...someone has the time to edit everyone I would like to know of this perfect site of witch u role play at....yes everyone needs some rules,but you make it seem about impossible from what u say to be apart of "your site"based on someone being on enough to "sencer" what everyone might say.so if ur a noob....then your not going to last with out such person right,ok.well go with that.and about your one liner verces someone else creation...got ua there, most people want to make up and be there own elf not someone elses and that is why most sites dont last,you give and u takeith...people stop coming...so why not give each person creativity to play there characture and not"yours"who ever the turm"yours"belongs to??!!!!!!!!!
nuff said.

joselle

Woah, woah.

I don't think Spaz was being a "know it all" at all. Willowspring asked for opinions on how a holt should and should not be run and he gave some. Never once did he claim that the holt he participates in is perfect, actually he gave examples of mistakes they've made in the past. I don't think his post warranted your reaction at all.

Look the bottom line is a holt isn't going to work if members have strong, contradicting ideas of how it should be run, and it's really irrelevant how anyone outside the holt feels. Not a bad idea to get input at all, but at the end of the day if the players don't jive in their involvement / vision then there's going to be problems.

Me personally, I don't like a requirement of play, but I do feel like there should be some understanding that if you're inactive then you may loose some control over your character.

I would love it if a holt had some kind of random event happen each month....not a planned out story idea but one incident pulled randomly out of a bag weather it's a death, recognition, natural disaster, attack...whatever. I would be way more interested in a holt where you had less control, ---more realistic actually--- where you didn't get too precious about your character. Maybe something big could "happen" at the start of each month....that way you could go through generations of characters and there would be lots and lots of activity, and it wouldn't get stale. I have no idea how one might make that work, never been in or run a holt, but just throwing that out there. lol
:D

joyleaf1

Quote:
joselle

Woah, woah.

I don't think Spaz was being a "know it all" at all. Willowspring asked for opinions on how a holt should and should not be run and he gave some. Never once did he claim that the holt he participates in is perfect, actually he gave examples of mistakes they've made in the past. I don't think his post warranted your reaction at all.

Look the bottom line is a holt isn't going to work if members have strong, contradicting ideas of how it should be run, and it's really irrelevant how anyone outside the holt feels. Not a bad idea to get input at all, but at the end of the day if the players don't jive in their involvement / vision then there's going to be problems.

Me personally, I don't like a requirement of play, but I do feel like there should be some understanding that if you're inactive then you may loose some control over your character.

I would love it if a holt had some kind of random event happen each month....not a planned out story idea but one incident pulled randomly out of a bag weather it's a death, recognition, natural disaster, attack...whatever. I would be way more interested in a holt where you had less control, ---more realistic actually--- where you didn't get too precious about your character. Maybe something big could "happen" at the start of each month....that way you could go through generations of characters and there would be lots and lots of activity, and it wouldn't get stale. I have no idea how one might make that work, never been in or run a holt, but just throwing that out there. lol
:D


I sincerly appresheat your input here, you have some valid points,how ever how is less controle better?if I may, alot of people,waite all people are Indeveguals and thats what makes us human, and even when we get and or "pick said elf's" we are picking some one elses and expected to play as they saught and or see fit....right...so you say less controle,ok I have no problems with that if u wish it so...however me and some others like to be "perfectly us and creative as such" and that means how can I(not being a fallower),play well someone else's idea of an elf based on name age and lifemate and cubs and knowing who there parents were if "said creator has a diffrent vision of said elf"????.........see why people want fredom, this is a mithical characture alot of us modle ourselve's after or make outside of our selves to invision something...what ever it is we need it and or at least desire it and that is why we are here...so why dose everyone have to "fall in line" and this is why holts fall apart,because if u dont fall in line your kicked out right?human-elf-people are loosing sight of it in there forems and maybe,some people come of kinda like...they are right and they have all the answers....who creats a forem for public fighting for gods sake when ur sapost to be an elf????????
what do u think?and please know I am greatfull and respect your reply.

Willowspring2

oooo i like the idea out of the hat Joselle!

dewshine_lover_1

I like that too, it brings more action and unknowing. Its hard to play in a story where there is a script or an idea we have to go by. I like the freedom of creating my own elf for the simple fact that I get to put my own creativity into her/his personality and background. There are times i do not feel up to posting in a story, but thats why i think it is good to pass your character to a friend for a moment if that is what you need at that point in time.
The only problem i see with everyone creating their own elf is that it is hard to tie them all together, relationship wise, wether it be mother, father, sibling or love/lifemates. So in turn, someone would have to find some way to tie them together, which wouldnt be hard if we used some background elves as the connection.

It is simply best to allow freedom to those who play and not give requirements on everything. No "you must post in 7 days when needed to respond." I used to get irritated when i missed my deadline, and was passed up in a story.

People just need creative freedom.

(Now would someone kindly join my holt? hahahaha) Grin

Spaz

Quote:
joselle

Woah, woah.

I don't think Spaz was being a "know it all" at all. Willowspring asked for opinions on how a holt should and should not be run and he gave some. Never once did he claim that the holt he participates in is perfect, actually he gave examples of mistakes they've made in the past.



Thank you...that IS what I was doing. The OP asked for helpful hints...I was passing on things that actually happened....Sorry, Joyleaf, but if you're going to ignore history, you're doomed to repeat it.

EoD lasted quite a few years...1986 through 1992 or 93...put out 45 or so hard copy zines before we ceased publication.

One of the reasons we put in the restrictions on ownership of numbers of NPCs -- something which was NOT imposed by me in a vacuum...the VP (who was NOT my wife...SHE was the zine editor) also helped formulate the rule -- was in response to about three short-term members who DID, in fact, create a lot of NPCs. That in itself was not bad...I created a few that I made general ones for the Holt to use (my 2 primaries were an elf and a dwarf human)...but they refused to allow others to use their characters...and in a social club, interacting is key. Some of the best stories we put out involved about a third of the active members characters in some fairly significant roles...some of the stories I saw submitted had the lead characters be one NOT owned by the writer.

You have to remember, also, that people get VERY protective of their characters...in many ways, they're the kids of the writers...oftentimes extensions of those people (you could always tell how Sandy and I were getting along by reading how our Star Trek characters interacted....the closer they got, the closer WE got!). That's why we had the rule almost from the beginning that major use of another's character HAD to be approved by that character's creator (or in the case of the general NPCs, by me). In almost every case, the only objections raised were not ones of use...people were always flattered and pleased when their character got some "air time", rather they objections were re characterization...and that was something that was usually and easily dealt with....it's called respect for someone else's creation

The folks who were the cause of the ownership limitation rule, however, did not play well with others...not only did they rarely use other people's characters (typically if they did it would be the Chieftess, who I ran after the creator left the club, her mate, my own primary, who was kinda the 2nd in command (although the running gag was he didn't WANT the job), and a few others that had developed some prominence over the years), they rarely approved anyone else's use of their characters....and I don't mean correcting characterization, I mean "no....you can't even have him walking by in the background."

The stresses that group caused were the beginning of the end for the Holt, as we all had better things to deal with than the stresses these people brought into the group.

So yes...i DO know a few things...I've been there, done that, bought the movie rights. You don't have to listen, but I'm certainly allowed to pass on some real-world happenings if someone asks for such advice.

The thing was...while we were going it was a blast. I even brought my desktop computer with me on a military TDY (temporary duty) to a base in Michigan so I could write in my off-time....heck, the very first issue of the zine was done on a typewriter while I was TDY to England in 86...I kept the typewriter belonging to the hotel owner for 4 months.

Spaz

Quote:
dewshine_lover_1


It is simply best to allow freedom to those who play and not give requirements on everything. No "you must post in 7 days when needed to respond." I used to get irritated when i missed my deadline, and was passed up in a story.

We never had that...we ENCOURAGED people to participate, but some just didn't like writing anything past the character creation stage. However, we DID want to make sure that those creations were protected...hence the rules re approval of use.

So long as you were a paid member of the club ($20 per year to cover production of the zine), your characters belonged to you unless you formally released them to another member or the club in general. if you left the club, you had the right to take the character with you (we'd just write an exit story for continuity). if you left and didn't provide your intentions, the character became general Holt property unless someone else wanted to adopt it (which only happened a few times)

Heck...one time another writer gave my main guy a personality quirk I hadn't considered...but liked it so much I approved it and incorporated it into my own writings.

Spaz

Maybe one of these days -- if I can dig my EQ stuff out of storage -- I'll scan and post the EoD story archive....be kinda nice to get it out in public again.

joselle

Quote:
joyleaf


I sincerly appresheat your input here, you have some valid points,how ever how is less controle better?



I'm not saying it's better, I just said that the idea of having an element of the story that is totally out of your "control" is interesting to me. If I had to guess what the #1 problem of holts boils down to, it's people getting too precious with their characters....and the more "Mary Sue" or "Gary Stu" your character is, the more likely that is to happen; because, let's face it, Mary Sue's are precious characters already.

I like the idea of a random element because it can help things from getting stale and too "planned". But hey! I already like the idea of been given prompts for events....my entire art thread is pretty much me being told what to draw. lol. Besides, some of the most amazing and creative things happen when you have to step out of the box and deal with the unexpected.

StarShine

Random is often a very good way to be.

ElfTanner

I like this thread, it's helpful.

In my holt many of the characters are created by me for adoption, but it is only their basic character info; Name, age, basic abilities, maybe a bit of history I would like included (like how they ot their current name - which can be changed at a later date if apropriate) and some family ties - but none of them are cast in stone. If you want to add abilities or family members from your past (most don't have parents names), or give them an ability from the ability list that is not taken already I have no problem with that.
I think I have said this before but I have a few members that have developed their characters (that I created) in ways that I would never have thought of and I love to watch it and read about it. One is becoming sort of a history keeper that draws what he sees for his records and keeps a library of sorts, another changed her pale skin to purple scales...

We do have rules though, I personaly think some rules are a good idea or things can get out of hand. We like to have people post as often as possible, but sometimes life gets in the way and they can't get to a puter or just can't post for some reason. In my holt, the players let us know if they will be gone for a while, like on vacation or something and either give permission to someone (or anyone) to temp their character(s) or put their character(s) to bed or send them away for a little while so they will be out of the storyline. What I don't like is having someone adopt a character and then never come back. I give plenty of le-way on these things, like emails to these people to find out if they will come back, but if I never hear from them again after multiple tries, then I or another admin will deleted them. Now, if you adopt someone and let me know that you will not be able to post right away that is different. I have a lot of patience. If someone has adopted a character(s), and posts, then disappears I try to get a hold of them. There are times of year that the posts slow to a slow crawl, then I email everyone with a hello email or a just checking in email, I find they like this. Sometimes someone will have lost their link to the site or something and this gives them a way back in.

In most tribes there are no player created elves being accepted as of now, there will be when the other characters are taken, but there are some tribes that do take on player created elves. The tribes that are more like a society - Savannah elves, Snow elves and the Mountain elves. Then there are tribes that elves from other tribes can join, like they Wandering tribe, or if your elf just wants to wander by himself they can do that too. It's a big world, and we have trolls (diggers) that are becoming quite a presence too.

One rule is that any death (of an elf other then yours) or recognition must be approved first so we don't have everyone doing it at the same time.

I really like Joselle's idea of puling something from a hat. I might have to incorporate that.

dewshine_lover_1

Only cause you draw so beautifully joselle!!!

Eh, i just like to have fun with it, holts and stories are suppsed to be fun!

Willowspring2

So many helpful things, keep them coming people!

And YAY ELFTANNER LIKES MY THREAD Grin

Eregyrn

Quote:
joyleaf

Im going to call this a gut feeling....but I think I know whats going on here with this post...
Ok Mr...if your such a know it all and mrs and or miss...someone has the time to edit everyone I would like to know of this perfect site of witch u role play at....yes everyone needs some rules,but you make it seem about impossible from what u say to be apart of "your site"based on someone being on enough to "sencer" what everyone might say.so if ur a noob....then your not going to last with out such person right,ok.well go with that.and about your one liner verces someone else creation...got ua there, most people want to make up and be there own elf not someone elses and that is why most sites dont last,you give and u takeith...people stop coming...so why not give each person creativity to play there characture and not"yours"who ever the turm"yours"belongs to??!!!!!!!!!
nuff said.



If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like you are disbelieving that a group could have people who have the time to edit submitted stories, and survive as a group?

Well, for a current example: River Twine Holt is 3.5 years old, and still going. We have an editing *team* of 5 people (so that the burden isn't on just one person), and in the 3.5 years that we've existed, we have published over 300 stories (some as short as 500 words, some over 10,000 words in length). So, you know -- it's possible!

Does this mean it's something that every holt should try to do? Of course not.

What it means to me is that there are several "right ways" to create and run a Holt, for it to be successful.

RTH is all-adoption, for example; yet, we have almost 30 active members (who own characters, I mean; some of whom are more active than others), which is an increase of at least 10 over when I joined a few years ago (and yes, adopted in order to do so), so that format of play must appeal to at least some folks in the fandom!

I can certainly understand what folks are saying about strongly preferring to be able to create characters. I understand why that's a dealbreaker for people. We all have our own dealbreakers, don't we? I wouldn't try to tell anyone that something shouldn't be important to them, personally. But I would argue with the idea that it's an iron-clad "Do" or "Don't" that you MUST allow people to create characters. In RTH's case, being adoption-only hasn't hurt us as a group, even if it means that we won't appeal to everyone.

I can also understand the variety of opinions about having rules and participation requirements. Again -- yes, RTH has requirements. We require approval whenever someone uses a character belonging to someone else (THAT is a dealbreaker for ME! I would never join a group that didn't have that as a rule); although we build into it that if someone asks you for approval, you have 2 weeks to reply, and if you don't, the approval is given by default. We have a required editing process for stories. And we have a "participate or lose the character" rule, although in sympathy for the fact that people do have lives, we try to make it lenient (it's "1 story of 500 words, or 1 piece of art per annual quarter", and if you miss a quarter, you have the entire next quarter to submit something before you lose the character; so effectively, the minimum you have to do is 1 submission every 6 months!). But then, I think maybe that's easier for a group that isn't RP-related (I can see why an RP group might need stricter rules for participation, due to the nature of the activity that the group is based on).

The thing is -- there are REASONS behind the decisions we've made as a group, for how to be structured, and for what rules to have. A lot of thought went into it. Many of the rules and the structure were chosen because the group wanted to create a particular kind of atmosphere and experience. So, the decisions that RTH made work for it, but I think it's fair to say that there are other valid choices that groups can make and still be successful.

For a thread like this, I almost think it would be more interesting to hear people talk about why this or that group does things the way it does -- what are the decisions meant to accomplish? Does it work? Did it have to be tweaked? (For example: RTH played around with its participation requirements and definitely tweaked it when it wasn't working for members; we discussed it as a group, and arrived at the format we have now.)

I know we all can't help saying whether this or that thing appeals to us personally... but the question of whether a group is successful isn't the same thing as whether it appeals to a certain individual. For a group to be successful, it just has to find enough people for whom the group's format DOES work.

StarShine

I'd say that being adoption only doesn't appeal to everyone, but offering a mixture of things for chracters to do or be is a good thing to do.

Allow people to create their own characters offer relationships and possible story building potentioal (but that's also a bonus of adopting characters that have some of the details filled out.)

Its a mix and match sceneario.

Eregyrn

Quote:
StarShine

I'd say that being adoption only doesn't appeal to everyone, but offering a mixture of things for chracters to do or be is a good thing to do.

Allow people to create their own characters offer relationships and possible story building potentioal (but that's also a bonus of adopting characters that have some of the details filled out.)

Its a mix and match sceneario.



*nods* I think, in a way, that it can be a communication issue.

I can totally understand that, from the viewpoint of someone who would strongly prefer to create your own character, that ANY adoption scenario would look restrictive.

However, I would imagine that most adoption-scenario groups offer customization options. That once you adopt the character, you have quite a bit of freedom to customize and develop. Of course, you're always going to be restricted by what is already established for the character (which you can't erase, and therefore must take into account), but there's usually the chance to put your own stamp on the character (change their look; refine or even change their personality, within in-story reason; establish new relationships for them; have them decide to take up/learn a new skill; enter into a new plot).

I think that for some folks, that can become an exercise that's quite interesting and appealing. I certainly felt that way when I joined RTH, where I had to adopt to join. Naturally, I looked for a char with elements that appealed to what I might have done had I created one myself. But, I liked the challenge posed by fitting in with what was established, yet making him feel like MINE. I enjoy the task of figuring out (in a role-playing sort of way) what to do with the character to keep him within the niche he's supposed to occupy in the group's storyline (which, again, might not have been what I would have aimed for on my own).

But, that's just me, and to an extent, where I am regarding what kind of experience I want out of this fandom at this time in my life. *shrug* Naturally, it wouldn't work for everyone.

dewshine_lover_1

I think there are alot of really good points in this thread, so I will probably be coming back to re-read it! I will certainly take from it what will help my holt. I still have one main problem...... *I still need members to join!* I only have 4 and that includes me! Unhappy

Willowspring2

*hugs the Sgaana* Those are some very good points.

Also, there are a lot of times, a lot of holt admins or creators dont want to have the job of making... 10 adoptable characters. It gets hard after awhile. I know cause i have made a couple of holts, and my own Shadowpaw as a total of 14 people. Which surprised the heck out of me (ill be on there again soon, gotta tweak a few things)
And even then, i made about... 15 of adoptable characters, but i also gave the joiners, the choice of adopting one and making their own. I always thought that would be fair..

I do like the thought of someone asking me for my characters, and in fact, i went go for it everytime, even when my character was the bad guy ^.^ i was happy about that Fanfic :D I never got to be a bad guy before. And one time, I used Dewys character without her permission, because at one point her major character reminded me of this girl i hated, so i used her character to have my character Sunbird and Tigerclaws recongition. (i think the story's on my Fanart thread.... Wink ) I didnt get in trouble but i was asked to get permission first. So, thats what i except.

I love the thought of adoption. Like Sgaana, I like looking for characteristics of a character that say " HERE LOOK AT ME!!!! IM THE ONE YOU WANT!!!!!"

Though the Edit *team* is a good idea. Having only one person do the whole thing is just scary and would take a lot of time out of their day.

Eregyrn

I should have also mentioned that both RTH's editing team, and its moderators-council, have rotated members over the course of the group's life so far.

That's a way to address the problem that a group that is run by only one person, or where some job in the group depends on only one person, then the group itself can be in trouble if anything happens to that person! Spreading out the work is good, and it's also good to provide for people needing to rotate out of the job, so that you can get someone else in place to help do it. I think this goes for any work that goes into running a group, really.

Willowspring2

I am seriously glad i made this thread. Its extremely helpful.

And i dont want to seem omg mean. but i think sometimes the Twins and the Highones are a bit overplayed.

Apogee

lol Oh yeah they are. I've got plenty of my own mistakes in terms of how big a holt is, how many healers, etc - but those are my own private fanfic areas, rather than actual multiple-person holts.

And I think I need to say again: that online posting-based holts do seem to be tremendously different than the old snail-mail ones. It was mentioned earlier, as long as you pay your 20 bucks to get the newsletter you don't have to do anything more. But for a "live" holt I can see where "if you start something, finish it" is a suggested requirement. Guilty there too, I have started other genre rpgs and managed to abandon them :( I hate that about myself...

"Keep people posted" is extremely important. Even if you're gone for a weekend or so, don't start something right before that and then say "I'm not coming back for x days sorry". Just keep it under wraps until the time is right for it.

Willowspring2

Thats why in holts, if you are gonna be gone for a period of time, let people know! that way you will be able to have someone else play your character for a while until you get back.

Ive done the same thing with the starting something and not finishing it... and sometimes i feel like crap for doing it.

Eregyrn

Quote:
Willowspring2

I am seriously glad i made this thread. Its extremely helpful.

And i dont want to seem omg mean. but i think sometimes the Twins and the Highones are a bit overplayed.



No, I think that's a valid point to bring up. I think it's part of a larger topic about creating the "feel" of a group, and figuring out what you want to emphasize, or don't want to. I think it's as subjective as any of the rest of this stuff is, of course.

I think it's also related to the question of: how do you take the wishes of a lot of individual members, and negotiate between them to create a *group*? I tend to think that being a part of a group is always going to involve at least some compromise on the part of each member -- everyone should get to do things that they want, but for a group to function, you can't have everyone getting to do *whatever* they want, if you know what I mean.

... Or maybe you can? I don't know -- maybe it's a failure of my imagination, that I can't picture what a group that did allow each member to do (or not do) whatever they wanted, without requirements, would look like or function like. Perhaps that's just because I haven't seen it or ever participated in such a group, though.

It kind of sounds to me like you're touching on the idea of, "what makes a character special?" Rare traits are an obvious hallmark of special characters, but... what do you do when something that people desired because it was rare becomes common?

One answer is obviously to restrict its use/distribution, so that it remains rare (whatever "it" is -- twins, various magic powers, odd hair colors, whatever). Another, I suppose, would be to help people figure out how to make what they do with a trait interesting/unique, even if it has become not--particularly-rare within that group.

The groups I've been a part of have tended to use the "restrict use/distribution of rare elements" strategy, so that's what I'm used to. I'd be interested to hear if folks have been a part of projects that used a different strategy.

Eregyrn

Quote:
Apogee

lol Oh yeah they are. I've got plenty of my own mistakes in terms of how big a holt is, how many healers, etc - but those are my own private fanfic areas, rather than actual multiple-person holts.

And I think I need to say again: that online posting-based holts do seem to be tremendously different than the old snail-mail ones. It was mentioned earlier, as long as you pay your 20 bucks to get the newsletter you don't have to do anything more. But for a "live" holt I can see where "if you start something, finish it" is a suggested requirement. Guilty there too, I have started other genre rpgs and managed to abandon them :( I hate that about myself...



I also started my fannish experience back in the snail-mail 'zine days. And while I agree that after someone has paid their $20 to get the 'zine, nobody was ever REQUIRED to do anything else... it does strike me that people who pay their $20 (or who, today, join a group) and then don't do anything are basically taking for granted the idea that somebody else in the group WILL be active enough to keep the group afloat.

That is -- if everyone paid up $20 (or joined a group), but then NOBODY ever did anything (ever wrote or drew regularly enough for there to be material to PUT in a newslatter, or post to a forum or a website), then... there wouldn't be a group, would there?

My perception is that a lot of groups have participate requirements (even light ones) for that reason. That way, a group isn't solely dependent on a core group of people (who might quit) for its vitality.

But, I also have the perception that a reason for participation requirements is because the group is trying to set up ways to control a scarce resources (characters). In RTH, that's certainly a reason for it -- at present, anyway, we have a finite pool of characters. But, that's because RTH wanted to set itself up to be a certain kind of experience. Groups that design their world differently may not have that problem or need that as a solution.

[quote:a8c84dd1b1]"Keep people posted" is extremely important. Even if you're gone for a weekend or so, don't start something right before that and then say "I'm not coming back for x days sorry". Just keep it under wraps until the time is right for it.[/quote:a8c84dd1b1]

Yes, I very much agree with this as an important "Do" for any group!

I also think it bears mentioning (and perhaps spelling out in your group's rules! or "guidelines"?) that this should be a two-way street. Whoever's running the group should keep the members posted about things. But, individual members should keep the group-leaders and their fellow members posted, too.

At RTH, where we have a messageboard as a part of our group's life, we have a dedicated thread where folks are encouraged to post if they're going offline for a while. That helps others so that if they have a story using someone's character, they aren't left hanging about why the other person hasn't responded to a request for approval.

In relation to RTH's participation requirements, we also spell out that so long as the member contacts the council about it, they can request to have the requirement waived for a quarter for any personal reason. (Therefore, in effect, they'll be fine so long as they submit 1 story or piece of art sometime in the next 9 months.)

Willowspring2

Sgaana, you are so awesome.

elf_queen_vik

Quote:
joselle


I would love it if a holt had some kind of random event happen each month.


I agree. Some shape or form of driving plot or important event is key to player interest. you would not read a boot if it did not have some interesting plot. I think it is a good idea to come up (kinda like in writing a book) is come up with some driving plot and main plot plot and have a begging but leave it open to the player, and have back up ideas in case that plot is not brought into the Story. Course the hat thing is a neat idea too, or at least some shape or form of randomality.

Willowspring2

Which Holt was that???
Cause that would be horrible.

Spaz

Quote:
Huntinghorn

It was. I'd rather not name names, as these people are still active on the SoC.

Another thing to be avoided: the tribe of all-completely-evil Elves vs. the tribe of all-goodie-two-shoes Elves. Personality is more complex than that.



Definitely....you have to have room for the characters to grow (in either direction). 2 dimensional characters are no fun.

Trollbabe

What is the general approach that fans use when they start a holt?



Is it to come up with an idea, create a holt, and then try to draw other fans into it? Or do they draw together a group of fans that are interested in starting a holt, gather ideas from the others, then come to a vote or a concensus on the concept and design of the holt?

Trollbabe

FWIW, anyone interested in building a Holt should visit the Golden Wolf Awards website at goldenwolfawards.com.



According to the website, "The GWAs are special awards for ElfQuest™ fan clubs. Participants nominate their favorite characters, members and groups in a variety of themed categories. The Judges then vote to select final winners."



The writing and links on this website may give readers some insight into what makes a Holt attract and maintain participants.

Trollbabe

When creating a Holt, retain backup files of all critical elements. Holts have disappeared completely, regardless of where they are hosted.

Tehaar

Very interesting thread! I'm happy to RP any kind of a character, so even though I prefer creating a character of my own, I'd be willing to adopt almost any character. As silly as it is, the looks of the adoptable character are almost more important to me than the characteristics. :D

What I really dislike about any character is too much of Mary Sue elements. So I think that one of the biggest mistakes a holt creator can do is to make their own character a huge Mary Sue. That's just me of course, I know that loads of people love playing Mary Sue characters.

I'd personally like to RP in holts that are as close to the original EQ as possible, world-wise. This is a completely personal preference of course. But I'd like to RP in Holts that have the same tribes as the original storyline. (I don't mind if they're in different worlds, but I mean that I prefer a wolfrider tribe to a bear rider tribe and so on.)

Feyhowl

Since I'm looking for a holt, here's some of my thoughts:

- An actual EQ based holt
Not a blend of Star Trek, or following the Lord of the Ring. I love those fandoms but seeking, well, ElfQuest. There is a reason I love it after all. The blended ones seem intent on shouting "HEY LOOK HERE! WE'RE DIFFERNT/AWESOME!!" rather then a stable holt. Odds are already low to surviving the first year -- gimmicks only increase those slim odds.

- Not merely RP based
Too stressful. I feel pressured to contribute. Either nobody is doing much (this interacting feeling forced and tedious), or so fast paced one either must be glued to the computer or fall far behind. I prefer mainly Stories & Artwork. Perhaps a designated day(s) in the month for an RP Event.

- Real Fantasy Deal
Oxymoron, but it fits. I want a reason for things to be consistant. If something is rare I don't want to see five of them pop up. I don't mind Alternate Universes. The trouble is how much EQ remains since that is what I'm looking for.

- Characters
Honestly I enjoy either adopting or creating. My main concern with creating is how realistic the restrictions are. Nothing makes me turn away faster then seeing various wanderers 'sudden show up', with loner types hanging around 'just because', or NO RESTRICTIONS AT ALL!
Adopting says my elf has a place already. Letting me exercise creativity as I learn more about it. They tend to grow in amazing ways during my playing. And life tends to allow change/growth easily enough.

- Presentation
I love art. It's a feast for my eyes to see the holt ALIVE. Another reason I often feel off-put from RP Forum based ones is that I see a page of posts (avatars rarely count high enough). It's the details the show a craft of love.
Not being an artist myself I allow for fonts, backgrounds, how easy to navigate the site... they have a big impact too. The best are those on the characters themselves. Always.

Crucent

Feyhowl said

Since I'm looking for a holt, here's some of my thoughts:

- An actual EQ based holt
Not a blend of Star Trek, or following the Lord of the Ring. I love those fandoms but seeking, well, ElfQuest. There is a reason I love it after all. The blended ones seem intent on shouting "HEY LOOK HERE! WE'RE DIFFERNT/AWESOME!!" rather then a stable holt. Odds are already low to surviving the first year -- gimmicks only increase those slim odds.

- Not merely RP based
Too stressful. I feel pressured to contribute. Either nobody is doing much (this interacting feeling forced and tedious), or so fast paced one either must be glued to the computer or fall far behind. I prefer mainly Stories & Artwork. Perhaps a designated day(s) in the month for an RP Event.

- Real Fantasy Deal
Oxymoron, but it fits. I want a reason for things to be consistant. If something is rare I don't want to see five of them pop up. I don't mind Alternate Universes. The trouble is how much EQ remains since that is what I'm looking for.

- Characters
Honestly I enjoy either adopting or creating. My main concern with creating is how realistic the restrictions are. Nothing makes me turn away faster then seeing various wanderers 'sudden show up', with loner types hanging around 'just because', or NO RESTRICTIONS AT ALL!
Adopting says my elf has a place already. Letting me exercise creativity as I learn more about it. They tend to grow in amazing ways during my playing. And life tends to allow change/growth easily enough.

- Presentation
I love art. It's a feast for my eyes to see the holt ALIVE. Another reason I often feel off-put from RP Forum based ones is that I see a page of posts (avatars rarely count high enough). It's the details the show a craft of love.
Not being an artist myself I allow for fonts, backgrounds, how easy to navigate the site... they have a big impact too. The best are those on the characters themselves. Always.



dunno if this is what you have in mind, but it seems to tick off all your boxes, possibly with exception to the last one http://oakleafholt.boards.net/

Embala

Check out River Twine Holt, Feyhowl!

My apologies to every other Holt I might left out. I'm not a player myself and don't know much about the Holts around - but what you describe screems RIVER TWINE for me.

ElfTanner


I am seriously glad i made this thread. Its extremely helpful.

And i dont want to seem omg mean. but i think sometimes the Twins and the Highones are a bit overplayed.



LOL, I can see where you are coming from. My world has Honored Ones (Highones) in each tribe but it's because of the situation of their coming to this world and how they dispersed. As for twins, I can think of one set in one tribe (born to a twin) and a set of triplets in another tribe. You definitely don't want to over due those.

ElfTanner

Spaz said

Quote:
Huntinghorn

It was. I'd rather not name names, as these people are still active on the SoC.

Another thing to be avoided: the tribe of all-completely-evil Elves vs. the tribe of all-goodie-two-shoes Elves. Personality is more complex than that.



Definitely....you have to have room for the characters to grow (in either direction). 2 dimensional characters are no fun.



Unhappy I like my tribe of evil elves. They are uniqueUnhappy

Embala

Unhappy I like my tribe of evil elves. They are uniqueUnhappy
As far as I got it being an "evil Neeloc" didn't hinder character developement of single elves in your complex World of Danen, ElfTanner! *hugs*

Starfall

What got me is everyone who join was able to post a lot during the work day when I was unable to post. My job is a cashier at a fast food place, so there was no way I could keep up, so I felt left out...I'd love to join again but that's a turn off for me. By the time my character could speak up about anything, everyone else had moved on.

Trollbabe

What got me is everyone who join was able to post a lot during the work day when I was unable to post.


As a cashier, I know the feeling. I wonder if these people are even supposed to be online during the workday.

When writing character descriptions, I agree that there should be plenty of room for the player to develop the character. One formula consists of listing personality traits that appear to contradict each other: "She is ___, but she is also ___. He likes ___, but he also likes ___." That should be up to the player to decide.

Also, characters shouldn't have personalities or positions that clash with their wardrobe. Hunters don't heap themselves with jewelry. A shy, modest character doesn't wear high-cut briefs.