The Wizard of Oz

[A candid peek behind the curtain Q & A with the Administrator of ReVo]

Hello Everyone, and welcome to the Emerald City! This will be a candid, behind the scenes, one of a kind look at how things are run here on ReVo and just what goes into the day to day and everything that we do, and we’re going to kick this segment off this month. Each month (or more than once a month depending on how we adjust things later) I will be fielding questions sent in by you guys either to myself (on the forums) or the ReVo account (also on the forums) or directly to Smurfy or Rivers to pass on, and attempt to offer as much insight into things that I can, as candidly as I can. 

While it is that I may not be able to answer every single question that is floated in my direction, I will attempt to address each one that comes across in some fashion. We do after all, have to keep some tricks of the trade behind closed doors. 

So without further ado, lets go ahead and jump into fielding some questions and get candid.

Q:  Now that you’re back to work, how does that change the time constraints, do you ever feel like it’s a second job?

A:   Yes, because it is. It always has been. But moreover while that sounds like a complaint, it’s not, because it’s a labor of love. A passion project if you will, and there’s an old saying, ‘love what you do, and you’ll never work a day’. As far as time constraints goes, it definitely changes things, but that’s why we have a team. We try and provide as much around the clock coverage for everything that we can, though it does slow down the turnaround time on some things. Some things are a little more involved and can’t be done on the side or on my phone, or everyone’s at work, so it gets taken care of when we’re available or at home.

Q:   Following up to that, how does that affect your roleplay time?

A:    What roleplay time? *laughs It does a lot, and that isn’t an excuse not to do it, but there are some days when things are really busy that you just wanna go somewhere where NOONE knows your name *snickers* Its like Murphy’s Law, where it never fails, getting out and involved into some roleplay or just chillin and something happens that needs to be fixed. It comes with the territory though, and is what we signed up for, so its kinda like knowing what you’re getting into from the very beginning. Even when in a room or chilling and rping there’s usually multiple discord messages being passed and things being worked on behind the scenes, being updated, etc. 

Q:   Have you ever went with a chatter suggestion or put something into the site that you didn’t necessarily agree with or think would work?

A:    This might be my favorite question for this month, and makes me chuckle, because the answer is absolutely yes. From site rules to room innovations, we’ve pushed a lot of boundaries over the years. Though it’s not often when an idea is brought up to Cabinet that it gets veto’d, especially when we know its something that the chatters want (if its something that can actually be done), but sometimes we might feel it might not work in the long run, or its a little redundant, but if its for the greater good, we do it. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t, sometimes they get iterated on again and again and turn into something completely new or are tweaked and then ‘BAM’, you have that ‘huh, should’ve thought about that earlier’ moment, which is always cool.

Q:   How do you guys decide when to run drives for the site?

A:    We’ve had this question before, (not here in the blog) but the answer isn’t too complicated.

Whenever we want!

>.>

<.<

Ok not really. We usually try and run them twice a year, sometimes it could be three. Sometimes this can coincide with holidays, site events, or something else, but we usually try and have it spread out over the course of the year to assist in financing the site when it’s needed. This usually coincides with like ‘springtime’ and then maybe something in the summer, and then around the time of our Anniversary in November, though we will often try and tie that one in with something for the holidays since they’re so close. The site of course costs funds to run and is solely funded by the memberships and purchases that come into the site. We do these drives in order to finance the site in chunks just in case something were to happen out of the ordinary so that we can ensure that we stay operating (like the pandemic, etc). 

Q:  How much time actually went into coding? Because sometimes the ways the rooms work amaze me

A:   Allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the hours. *laughs* I’m not a coder. I dabble. I know some things. But when Q started ReVo the chat software that we purchased (the same pretty much everyone else uses) was already old and antiquated (which we’re working on fixing), at least in the way it looked. But we wanted it to look sharper. The old rooms didn’t do what we’d wanted them to, and so we started with the layout. Many hours of testing on a private copy of the whochat for a couple of weeks straight just to get the layout and look right, then taking what was learned and applying it towards other little things and touches in the room. Some things came later, but never really easily, such as the file manager and the code’s manager, connecting them to all the rooms, adding previews, etc. The little touches were something we were very excited about, and worked on the coding for the site before we even initially launched for almost a month straight. Work during the day. Meetings during the evening. Coding all night long. Then after that, it was a few more months of adding things in phases, constant testing so it didn’t break anything. There were many nights of staying up all hours of the night until I was finally able to run into Q’s office at 5am and yell I DID IT! I figured it out! Only to see her eyes light up with joy, then summarily tell me she broke the site. That’s when the coffee came in. But there’s a lot of little things out there and available in the rooms that a lot of people don’t even realize, and its fun when they find them out (I’m looking at you, revo world, zenpad, and other things).

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So that’s another sneak peek behind the curtain for our second installment of The Wizard of Oz and hopefully (surely), there’s plenty more questions that people might come up with, or thoughts and things that they’d like me to expound upon in upcoming segments. I’m also open to taking suggestions and feedback for this format and willing to branch things off and talk about my thoughts on other things you guys would like to hear about. 

Until Then. 

A Tour of Gor … 

In this segment, Unwritten will take you on a journey through Gor. Find out the latest happenings, what it means to play in Gor, and other amazing tidbits surrounding the genre. 

 This month I wanted to gain insight from two Gorean roleplayers on opposite ends of the spectrum – a long time player and a newer player returning to the realm after a long absence.  We’ll be talking to Addiction and Daz.  Sit back and enjoy the read!

——————————————————By Unwritten

Daz, I understand that you played on Gor a long time ago and then left, but recently you’ve made a return.  I’m curious about this choice and I think the readers will be too!

Do you recall what made you step away from the realm years ago?

You know how it goes – people come and go, room popularity wanes, etc.  The people I played with moved on, the room went unused, I made some new non-Gorean friends online so I tried out some other genres of roleplaying and opened a medieval fantasy roleplay room.  I never really forgot about it or had anything against returning to Gor…just never had the opportunity really.  With Calista (who I knew from my time on Gor and before), I was even co-leader of The House on Landon Lake / The Talendar Society on Imaginechat, a D/s roleplay room with ties to Gor.  It definitely influenced me during my “early years” online! 

What is it about Gor that lured you back in?

Some of my favorite people play in Minus and I wanted to be able to play with them!   Gor was also the first “roleplaying” experience I had – I followed some people to Gor from general BDSM chat rooms.  So, when I was thinking of making a character for Minus, part of the appeal was “returning” to Gor now that I have all this roleplaying experience under my belt. 

Would you like to tell us about your Gorean character?

Sure!  Camilla belongs to the caste of Cloth-Workers.  She is originally from Vonda, where her parents arranged a Companionship for her to someone she considers unsuitable.  So, she fled Vonda and travelled to Minus because The House of Lar-Torvis  advertised for a seamstress, and she thought she could escape the unwanted Companionship, earn some coin, and prove she can make it on her own.  She enjoys creating elaborate gowns and would one day like to open her own dress-making shop, but for now she is resigned to boring, simple work.  She is beginning to settle into Minus, meeting new people, obtaining an introductory job, etc.  But she hasn’t yet been able to shake the worry that her old life in Vonda (parents/intended Companion) will come looking for her. 

What are you hoping to get out of this roleplay with your Gorean character?

Nothing in particular – I made her just so I could hang out in Minus.  I did write the backstory of fleeing an unwanted Companionship to leave Templar an opening if he ever wanted to make a char for Minus, so he could be the Companion come to claim her and take her home. 

Have you encountered any pitfalls or stumbling points in your return so far?

It’s been slow getting started and roleplaying out all the “introductory” stuff, but that just takes time.  Soon, I will have “met” all the people in Minus and the real fun can begin.    It’s also been interesting (and tough) because I am starting in a new place I know only very basic information about.  This is different than just making a new character for Marvel because, even though it’s a new character, I have intimate knowledge of the genre, setting, and system. 

What is the best or most exciting thing that has happened involving your character so far?

She was “detained” during the Sardar Fair by an unsavory character and questioned about some silly meteorite (The Star of Ar) that she knows nothing about!

How do you find the realm of Gor as compared to other realms you’ve played in?

It isn’t better or worse than other types of rooms: it’s the players that make or break a room.  But one of the most interesting things to me is that because Gor is a whole world, there’s lots of potential for cross-room roleplay, where most rooms in other realms are self-contained.  I wouldn’t be able to take Dazzler to play in an LKH room (or even another Marvel room and keep her “room history” intact) but I could travel around with Camilla to other places on Gor.  That’s both an advantage and disadvantage though.  The downfall is that with so many other rooms, the actual players are scattered across them and if you don’t have a reason to travel, you miss out on interacting with them. 

Have you read any of the Gorean novels by John Norman or do you have plans to?

I read nearly all of them long ago during my first time on Gor, so I only remember basic things.  But I don’t really plan to read them again.  Heh, that sounds sort of snobby, but I didn’t enjoy them that much the first time around, and I already have a dozen books going unread at this very moment. 

Do you have any advice for someone else who might want to either try Gor for the first time or make a return like you did?

It is a lot easier if you have some pre-existing knowledge of Gor and how things work.  Even with my previous exposure, I find myself worried that I will make a roleplay faux-pas (what kind of shoes do Free Women wear?  Are there spoons on Gor?) so I try to be as generalized as possible for now and scrutinize other posts until I find my footing.  And for your first time, definitely make a character that will fit your OOC personality and any knowledge you do have.   For example, don’t make your character a seamstress if you know nothing about sewing (*coughcough*).  You will have a lot more fun if you aren’t worrying about all the little details. 

If you could change something about the realm for your personal benefit or for the good of Gor as a whole – what would it be?

Haha, and risk stepping on people’s toes?  No, thanks… though actually, I will mention one thing I recently thought about:  The Sardar Fair.  I noticed that there’s a Fair room on Revo and there was one open on PoD – in fact, we thought about doing the “tent detainment” roleplay at the fair room on PoD but didn’t.  So my thought was, “What if the different sites (are there other sites besides those 2 anymore?  I have no idea) each took a turn to host the Fair and everyone had to congregate in one room for its duration?”   I’m sure it’s been tried before, and rivalries exist for good reasons, etc.  But it was just a thought I had. 

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Addiction, you’ve been playing in the Gorean realm longer than I have.  That’s really saying something!  Let’s dig into what it is that has kept your interest for so long!

When did you first start to roleplay in Gor?

The cretaceous period? It’s really hard to remember. I was having a conversation with a friend about this as I was answering these questions and realized it was right about the time I had graduated from High School or right thereafter. 97? 98? It was pretty much during the “heyday” of all things Gorean.

Would you like to tell us about your Gorean character?

Would it give things away if I did? Likely not. Dephyrius Talon, the son of the same. Though to be fair I have a couple of characters now (what a long way we’ve come!) that I play. The Son of the character that I played for almost a decade was roleplayed years ago having been sent to Ar with his sister to be raised behind those 7 walls to become an educated swordsman and garner an education to build a lifestyle for himself well away from the confines of the life that his father lived as an Outlaw. He was given a different name that He lived by for years, forgoing his family name until one day while traveling to Viktel Aria, where He was confronted by a man from Port Kar whom he had business dealings with in his travels and had long ago recognized him. The man laid his namesake’s weapons on the table of the tavern in front of him and explained his past to him, who He was, a dangerous secret that could undo all He’d worked towards if it were to be revealed. He then left Ar after earning his robes as a member of the merchant’s caste and joining the vosk league a couple of years later to seek out his heritage in Port Kar.  It was there that he confronted the ghosts of his past and made the choice to embrace them, spending the better part of his early adult years embracing and learning everything of his fathers legacy and building a steely determination to carry on that legacy.

What is it that attracted you to the realm to begin with?

Naked women, big titties, slave girls, and swords. I was an 18-year-old with a head full of wonder, already into writing, but was basically told there was a world out there where I could be Conan and all these chicks would bang me. I was sold from that moment on.

What keeps you interested in Gor after all of these years?

That very same thing that attracted me all those years ago. The wonder. The excitement. The stories that you can tell and that carry us through the years. The fact that almost everyone in Gor still to this day have been around for a while and there’s history there. There are threads, tendrils of things in the past that can still be played upon, and yet new stories to be made anew. The thought of power, of glory, the revenge in the feeling of defeat. The fact that no matter where you’re at, what you’re doing, whenever someone walks into the room you never know what’s going to happen. What they’re there for. There’s an edge to it that’s indescribable.

Can you recall an event or roleplay situation you were involved in that got your heart pumping the most?

Oh man. Quite a few. So many.

Raids with Viktel Arian Lair. MSR. Every time they came into a room somewhere, you knew some shit was gonna happen and go down. Had to be immediately ready. But turning the tables, and raiding THEM in return, was intense.

Confronting the Rencers in a massively crazy open combat situation where everyone just went ham on one another.

The tournament fights back in the day, the brackets, waiting post for post while sparring with someone, and then the anticipation of the judge’s judgement the next day.

Sitting in that Tavern that day that Devon Maddock came down and open fired on me in open combat. Being so confident in not having lost in open combat, and then knowing as the tables were turned, that the fate of your character that you’d had for a decade was in the hands of the judges. (p.s. My slave was still in the way of that bolt you slimy bastard).

Fighting Cimber. Every. Goddamned. Time. Sparring in general, but there’s something about a really good opponent and the thought of going writing for writing in combat that gets the blood pumping.

What is the funniest thing you’ve encountered during your time on Gor?

Besides Dillinger being killed like 4 times by myself and resurrecting every time, along with 3,481 times by everyone else?

My first day on Gor. I showed up to Kassar on Chatro, and Raggs and Garr were at the gates. What my buddy failed to tell me, is that while its “Conan and shit”, there’s no magic on Gor. I threw lightning bolts at them for an hour. That of course, was after being booted twice after being killed and coming back flying on the back of a dragon. They thought I was trolling. I had absolutely no idea.  It was later that night (what a long night that was) after I got a re-education to things, that BLADES gave me a trial membership, pending I learned some shit, of 30 days. Man those were the days. I had a chance to meet them years later on in life, and it was still laughed at years later.

Do you have any regrets about your past or present roleplay on Gor?

No regrets on the past, absolutely not. I’ll remember those stories, the people that were involved, the time that we shared, the stories we had, until I’m old and gray. Most presently? Not really a regret, but to have more time for it amongst this thing that we call life that we all grew up into.

Do you miss the “old days” when the realm was more populated and busy?  Why or why not?

The “old days”? That COULD be a loaded question, but talking on population? Absolutely. I do miss it. It was intriguing to look at the whochat and see who was where, see a bunch of people in the crossroads, or the stadium, wondering what was going on and popping in there just to see. To see people in all the rooms and thinking if I wasn’t in my own home at that time “hrmmm where can I take a journey to tonight?” What can we build? Can we raid? Do they have enough? Are they going to raid us?

I think it’s fair to say that anyone would miss it in their realm but even if its through my own nostalgia tinted glasses I don’t believe there’s any other realm where it held and still holds that kind of wonder.

What sort of advice might you have for someone new to the realm or someone curious about trying it out?

“Do it”. Get in there. Talk with people. Explore. A MAJORITY of us started out without reading the books, learned as we went, took our lumps and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it, but like in any genre, don’t be afraid. There’s a metric ton of information out there and shit to learn but its not the begin all and end all. If you have a story that you want to tell, talk with people. Find a room or a “location” in Gor that speaks with you and go with it. Just like in any realm its easy to get intimidated by the most mundane things but if you talk with people, you can find a place, and make some magic happen.

Do you have any words of wisdom for Gorean players that have been around a while and can feel that the intensity of newness has worn off?

Get daring. Get brazen. Explore a different path. Throw a rock at someone’s head. Make an “oops” moment. Add humor. Think about where it is that your character might go, what they might do, or even dare to reinvent them. Take on a different role. Create a secondary character (if your room allows it) and challenge yourself and those around you.

—————————————

There you have it.  Two vastly different people and perspectives.  Though this is just a drop in the bucket of what is Gor, of who plays on Gor, I think it shows nicely how exciting and intriguing the realm can be.  So…are you waiting to take that plunge on a new beginning or a spectacular return?  Stop waiting!  Come play with us!

In this segment we take a closer look at University of Wizardry in our Fantasy Envisioned section!
University of Wizardry takes us on a journey through the world of The Harry Potter Universe, with some dark twisted turns along the way. Today I sit down with none other than the Brit himself – Russ, to discuss this amazing room. 

……..

The Interview

Smurfy

Describe your room, ie: the concept and main theme?

Russ:

The room is based on the Harry Potter Verse. It’s set 15 years after the film. We explore the concept of what comes after, in a couple of ways. First what came after Voldermort, how does the world change. Secondly, what comes after school in the HP realm. But the HP cannon is only a starting point, we have grown and expanded, to have vampires, secret societies, new threats. We also have explored the idea of the Salem witch trails and based the University in an area steeped in history with Witchcraft. 

Smurfy

What kind of storylines go on? Also, can anyone get involved?

Russ:

Absolutely, anyone can get involved. We have a big storyline involving an evil Vampire and A werewolf dating back to the witchcraft trails and their attempts to rule the world and restore the pureblood ways. We have the idea of the Inquisition existing and taking a holy war to witchcraft, dating back 100s of years. And we have a university with Quidditch, relationships and lessons. It’s a vast world limited only by peoples imaginations. If you are new to the world we will of course happily discuss with you and find ways to help you bring ideas to life or jump into the existing stories. 

Smurfy

Are character sheets required?

Russ:

Yes but we have very much simplified the form, it just allows us to ensure that people do understand the magic powers at play and no one is looking to make overpowered characters. 

Smurfy

What do you do when you have a newbie come into the room? How do you help them learn about the world you’ve created? Is it easy for them to jump into storylines?

Russ: 

I hope it’s easy! But yes we welcome them in, point to the forum where there is a lot of information on the world of HP, and we are all too happy to help people come in and be involved. We have a range of people who are avid fans too much more casual fans of the world. 

Smurfy

How many various character types are in your room? 

Russ:

We have, a variety of Characters, a lot conform to the know types of Fantasy; Wizards, Witches, Werewolves, Vampires. We have staff, students and non university staff and a variety of HP type chars, Animagus for example. It’s a very broad universe and anyone interested in playing just needs to talk to me or Smurfy to discuss, and we will do our best to fit your idea in. 

Smurfy

Is there a set structure for powers, or is it free form?

Russ:

It’s reasonably free form, if you know the spells used in Harry Potter we base it off there. It’s more about the story than the winner. We don’t do God mode and the other person will always have a right to reply. Characters can die, but only at the typist’s agreement. 

Smurfy

What is the main thing you want everyone to know about your room?

Russ:

We are a small room, but passionate about the world we’ve created. Just pop in and say hi if interested! 

That’s British: with Russ

May Day

We love a bank holiday in Britain. Any excuse for a day off. Maybe it’s because we don’t have huge public holidays; Thanksgiving is not a thing here, for example. So Queen’s birthday, yup will be happy to put our feet up thank you very much.

I’ve touch on our quaint British customs before, but May Day has some of the weirdest and quirkiest, as well as one even us Brits poke fun at; Dancing round the May pole with Morris dancers.

To the best of my knowledge Morris dancers are older men who want an excuse to sit in the sun and drink real ale. And not the new hipster stuff I’m a fan of, the stuff they brew in their cellar and seem to ferment in socks. Fair enough, each to their own, who doesn’t love a bit of day drinking? Why in means you get kitted out all in white, tie bells to your legs, and “dance” while waving a hanky, that’s the bit I don’t get. Here is an example of it:

Alongside this a May Queen is crowed; which is in essence a personification of the springtime. She will ride or walk at the front of a parade. Her duty is to being the May Day celebrations.

In Oxford, it is a centuries-old tradition for May Morning revelers to gather below the Great Tower of Magdalen College at 6 am to listen to the college choir sing traditional madrigals as a conclusion to the previous night’s celebrations. Since the 1980s some people then jump off Magdalen Bridge into the River Cherwell. For some years, the bridge has been closed on 1 May to prevent people from jumping, as the water under the bridge is only 2 feet (61 cm) deep and jumping from the bridge has resulted in serious injury in the past. There are still people who climb the barriers and leap into the water, causing themselves injury

Padstow in Cornwall holds its annual Obby-Oss (Hobby Horse) day of festivities. This is believed to be one of the oldest fertility rites in the UK; revelers dance with the Oss through the streets of the town and even though the private gardens of the citizens, accompanied by accordion players and followers dressed in white with red or blue sashes who sing the traditional “May Day” song. The whole town is decorated with springtime greenery, and every year thousands of onlookers attend. Before the 19th century, distinctive May Day celebrations were widespread throughout West Cornwall, and are being revived in St. Ives and Penzance.

Kingsand, Cawsand and Millbrook in Cornwall celebrate Flower Boat Ritual on the May Day bank holiday. A model of the ship The Black Prince is covered in flowers and is taken in a procession from the Quay at Millbrook to the beach at Cawsand where it is cast adrift. The houses in the villages are decorated with flowers and people traditionally wear red and white clothes. There are further celebrations in Cawsand Square with Morris dancing and May pole dancing.

As much as I mock these rituals, I love our little traditions, quirks and folklore. To me the more the world becomes homogenized, the more these little differences in our country can remind us off our identity. The country has an uneasy history with the Empire, so it’s nice to have these little events to look back on and see how they shape and define us.

Russ Old English word of the blog:

‘hugger-muggery’ (16th century): secretive, clandestine behavior for the purposes of deception.

Storytime with the Smurf – By Smurfy

In this segment you the reader will get a chance to mail in questions to Smurfy. She will take those questions, and respond with the most ridiculous answers imaginable. “It is my belief that laughter is everything – so, why not share a little silliness with others along the way?” – Smurf

Please send all questions to Smurfy’s pm.

(Please note: Revo does not necessarily agree with the words and opinions of Smurfy. In fact, we reserve the right to deny association with her at all.)

……………………………………
Question Submitted by Shy

Why can’t girls pee standing up too? How is that fair?

Response by Smurf

Who’s to say you can’t? Go ahead and do it. Sure, you might end up with pee streaming down your leg, and your boss might walk in just in time to see the wet spots all over your pant leg. Try splashing water on your pants to cover up the fact that it’s piss. Sure, you might smell like pee, but you can cover this scent up by pouring pickle juice on your pants. You’re welcome. 

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Question Submitted by Detta

What do you think Dolphins are saying when they eee eee eee at us?

Response by Smurf

“Well Larry, here they go again stupid humans once again peeing in our house.” Mind your manners don’t piss in the ocean. It might be a dolphins living room. Just saying. 

Hang Around: SoA : Interviews with Tatiana

This month I interviewed Seven from City of Saints.  Enjoy!

1.)  Give us an overview on what rp is currently happening at City of Saints.

Currently in City of Saints,  The entire MC was brutally murdered

2.)  Tell us about your two main characters, Viktor and Ramsey.    Give a brief history of both.

My two Main Chars  Ramsey Grayson  Ramsey Is Nomad, He is a loner and has come to a new town to see about perhaps join a new charter. He misses his old brothers, but things in the past haunt him. His club thought he went rat on them but, He didn’t at all, he actually set it up so they would be in the clear, and he took the wrap for it. So he took off his patches, and threw them down on the VP’s boots and left. Some still stay in touch, and the VP knows what really happened but to save his own ass, won’t speak up. He was in Baton Rogue and is now headed to NO.

The Other is Viktor Petrov   The Petrov Family is one of the Top Leading Drug and Gun Runners in Russia. Viktor was sent by His family to start arrangements and dealings with a club in Oregon. He has contacts in Seattle so He roams between Seattle and Roanoke. He will more than likely settle in Portland and have a store front to hide all of this dealings. More than likely His Brother Dimitri will join him sooner or later and the hell they will rain down upon The West Coast. He left his brother in charge of Seattle, and is headed to NO, to start doing business with the Sons Chapter there.

3.)  Your two main chars are heading out on a road trip, where would they travel?

Ramsey would go to North Carolina Probably, and head to the beach to chill out.  Viktor would likely go to Seattle to see his brother, and fuck shit up.

4.)  If City of Saints could have 3 songs to describe what happens inside the room, what 3 songs would that be?

House of the Rising Sun

Numb – Linkin Park

disturbed – Sound of Silence

5.)  What year was it when you were introduced to SOA rp? Who introduced you and what room/site was it at?

2019 and the Rally at Revo

6.)  Who was your very first SOA character? Do you still rp him/her today?

Ramsey was my first char and yes I still play him

7.)  Did you watch the tv series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ before rping SOA?

No I did not, I saw maybe one or two episodes but never anything consistent until Pandemic then I watched it all.

8.)  Someone is interested in rping in the Rebels and Reapers section, what advice do you have?

I would tell them to just go for it, and don’t worry about trying to fit in, jump in and enjoy the story line and find people that enjoy it too.

Revealing Roleplayers By Smurfy

In this segment, we will be interviewing roleplayers at random. This is a way to get to know the roleplay community, find out what makes them tick, and delve a little into the raw meat of what makes roleplay special to them

For this interview, we will be delving into the mind of none other than the Monster herself- Xams

………………………………..

THE INTERVIEW

Smurfy: How long have you been roleplaying?

Xams: Since the dawn of time. I mean 20+ years!

Smurfy: What’s your favorite Genre?

Xams: I like fantasy free form. But my first real love was World of Darkness.

Smurfy: What’s your favorite storyline you’ve ever done?

Xams: I have had a lot of awesome adventures in my rp life, to pick a favorite is haaaard. -lmao- One that sticks with me lately is actually an LKH free form story. The Master of the City wanted independence from the Council and to be exposed to the world and to live free and powerful. There was a war. It was hard because there was only three of us playing but fun AF because there was only three of us playing. -lol- It started small with secondary storylines and they all joined into one big storyline where we played all of our characters that we could at the same time and we wrote for each other and it was massive. Our characters stood with the Master risking it all and the Council and others came down on us hard. My friends worked hard making this an intense and rewarding experience and the impact of that war still is present now. We did this a few years ago. It was great because we all are very close and know each other, we just let our creativity and imagination go wherever it wanted.

Smurfy: What makes a good roleplay partner?

Xams: A good roleplay partner is someone you can feed off of and they feed off you. You don’t need to think, you just do it and inspire each other. It has to be someone who understands you and your character (or is trying to understand cause that is how you make friends and how you start the rp experience) and has a goal of both of you having fun. You must have imagination, creativity and be willing to take risks and surprise while respecting your partner. It is an inclusive bonding experience where both partners benefit. A good roleplay partner earns your trust. It is someone who plays WITH you, not AGAINST you. A good roleplayer does not only consider themselves or focus on their own enjoyment and wants, they focus on their partner and the roleplay at hand and realize it is not just for them it is for you both and everyone involved. You are writing for each other not just for yourself. You are giving of yourself.

Smurfy: If you could bring any character back from the dead, who would it be and why?

Xams: I have only had one character die and it was to surprise my friends in a very intense roleplay and I thought it would enhance it. (They might still be mad at me for that. -lmfao-) She was a young necromancer but not an evil one, she had the utmost respect and empathy for our dearly departed, and she helped them rather than use them. The character sacrificed her life to save her friends. I would bring her back because her life was cut short by a circumstance that was overwhelming and too big. She handled it better than most and deserves a second chance at life.

Smurfy: The most important question to a roleplayer of course… Who is your all-time favorite character you’ve ever played, or watched someone else play?

Xams: I don’t really have a favorite character of mine, I play them according to my mood and level of inspiration at the time. One of my favorites is my third character ever who is a World of Darkness Black Spiral Dancer. I did not think she would last this long! Basically she is a warrior type who culls the weak (even her own kind), is a cannibal and works to keep packs strong and efficient in service of the Wyrm. She has had so many adventures and is still around somewhere! As for other people’s characters, my friends have very diverse characters and to choose a favorite would be hard.

Contrast Blending Modes By Kitten

Well that was an extended break. Hey everyone it’s your favorite… ok that’s pushing it, it’s kitten!

So much has been going on with closing out 2020 that I’m sorry the blending modes explained was put on a hold. But we’re back! And we’re on to the favorites of everyone from newbies to veterans of graphic design……… Contrast Blending Modes queue studio cheering

These blending modes are a mixture between the Darken and the Lighten Blending Modes we discussed previously. They create contrast by both lightening and darkening the result colors by using complementary Blending Modes to create the blend. (You look so gooooood – see complementary).

PS checks to see if the colors are darker than 50% gray or lighter than 50% gray. If they’re darker than the 50%, a darkening Blending Mode is applied… you can guess what happens if the colors are brighter, whispers a brightening Blending Mode is applied.

Except for Hard Mix cause it’s a bitch … but all blending modes in this category turn 50% gray transparent.

Let’s get to it!

As always these are the two images we’ll be using

Overlay
This is one of Photoshop’s most widely used Blending Modes. A combination of Multiply and Screen with the base layer always shining through. Overlay uses the Screen blending mode at half strength on colors lighter than 50% gray, and the multiply blending mode at half strength* on colors darker than 50% gray. If it’s 50% gray itself, it will become transparent.
*half strength doesn’t mean “Opacity at 50%”

Basically think of Overlay as shifting mid-tones. Dark blend colors will shift mid-tones to darker colors and light-tones will shift the mid-tones to brighter colors.

What differentiates Overlay from the other Contrast Blending Modes, is it makes calculations based on the brightness of the colors in the base layer(bottom). All the others make theirs based on the brightness of the blend layer(top).

Soft Light

A lot like Overlay, it applies either a darkening or lightening effect depending on the luminance values.. but more subtle. It’s like a softer version of Overlay without the harsh contrast.

Hard Light

Comibining the Mulitply and Screen blending modes using the brightness values of the blend layer to make its calculations. This differentiates from Overlay that uses the base layer.

This causes the resultes to tend to be intense, often you’ll want to lower the opacity to get better results.

Because of it’s name you’d think it would have something in common with Soft Light, but nope! It’s actually more closely related to Overlay.

Vivid Light

Think of this blend kind of like the extreme version of Overlay and Soft Light. Anything darker than 50% gray is darkened, and anything lighter than 50% gray is lightened. This is definitely one of those blending modes you’re going to want to adjust the opacity, since 100% opacity is generally too strong.

Linear Light

This uses a combination of Linear Dodge on lighter pixels and Linear Burn on darker pixels (reference past postings for information on those 2). Typically, the result is going to be extreme and you may want to use Opacity or the Fill sliders to adjust it.

Pin Light

This is an extreme blending mode that performs a Darken & Lighten blending mode simultaneously. It can result in patches or blotches, and completely removes all mid-tones.

Hard Mix

Finally our last in the Contrast blending modes. This blending mode applies the blend by adding the value of each RGB (Red, Green, Blue) channel into the blend layer to the corresponding RGB channel in the base layer. Your resulting image loses a lot of detail and the colors can only be black, white, or any of the six primary colors (Red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, or yellow).

As it’s an extreme blending more, you’ll want to use opacity and fill to reduce the effect. Fill most likely is your best option for reducing the effect cause it’ll give you better results than opacity.

As always I hope y’all enjoyed this. Remember to be safe out there and tip your delivery drivers!

Storytime with the Smurf – By Smurfy

In this segment you the reader will get a chance to mail in questions to Smurfy. She will take those questions, and respond with the most ridiculous answers imaginable. “It is my belief that laughter is everything – so, why not share a little silliness with others along the way?” – Smurf

Please send all questions to Smurfy’s pm.

(Please note: Revo does not necessarily agree with the words and opinions of Smurfy. In fact, we reserve the right to deny association with her at all.)

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Question Submitted by Lexie

Why do hot flashes come at 2am?

Response by Smurf

Like most things women go through, the patriarchy has demanded from the gods that women be tortured even after they stop having aunt flow visit. It is unfortunate that the male gender has chosen to beg the gods for another form of torture towards the female gender, but here we are. Why they happen at 2am, is because it was a specific request from one such dude, we’ll call him Frank – who begged the gods that his wife  give him oral in the middle of the night, unfortunately, her refusal ended in a curse for all women everywhere. So, the moral of the story is – you should just get on your knees when a man asks you to. 

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Question Submitted by Xams

Do you believe in Big foot?

Why yes, I had him over to the house just last week. He drank tea, and ate crumpets. We discussed the theory of evolution. He believes that he evolved from a human, and is the superior species. I of course believed him, because that guy knows his shit. He dazzled me with commentary on Shakespeare’s works, but got a little snotty when we had a heated debate on climate change. He also pooped behind my couch. That guy was a hoot! I doubt that stain will ever come out.

A Tour of Gor …

In this segment, Unwritten will take you on a journey through Gor. Find out the latest happenings, what it means to play in Gor, and other amazing tidbits surrounding the genre.

Gor – Is it just a fancy or odd sort of BDSM? By Unwritten

First and foremost, let’s define BDSM to be sure we’re all on the same page.  Basically BDSM is an acronym to describe a relationship or occurrence involving one or more of the following groups: Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism.  Defining that in greater detail could take up an entire post (or more!) on its own, but we’re here to talk about how BDSM and Gor might be related, so I won’t delve too deeply into the definition.  I do feel that the Gorean realm and BDSM have some aspects linking them, but they are two pathways that are different from each other, although they may run parallel at times.

The Gorean novels, which our online roleplay revolves around and stems from, are based on varying areas of society where, for the majority, what is known as the “natural order” is a key part of daily life.  The natural order basically states that men are the stronger, more dominant gender and women are not necessarily inferior, but hold a distinct role of being weaker and submissive.  Upon Gor there are two basic types – free and slave.  Men and women can be a part of either category.  So, while there is the natural order to say women are submissive (generally speaking), they can be free.  In fact, when looking at the series of Gorean novels versus the history of online Gorean roleplay, there is a discrepancy in regard to the role women hold.  In the books only a small fraction of women were actually enslaved.  Most were actually free women with the rights, abilities, and property afforded to them within their societal status.  Online, however, it seems as if the majority of the women are, or have been, enslaved.  In both aspects there is definitely a usage of Domination and Submission, or D/s.

Naturally, where any sort of D/s is concerned, there is likely to be aspects of Bondage and Discipline involved.  We see this outside of Gor and also within it.  Bondage can refer to the actual act of being tied up or otherwise secured, but also to the mere fact that one is held within a level of servitude.  Discipline, of course, is necessary to maintain order and control and this can be applied to all sorts of people and property – not just the slaves.  Of course slaves are disciplined, should they error, but so too are both free men and women.  The women perhaps more so solely for the fact that they have the ever present threat of the collar (slavery) hanging over them if they should make grievous mistakes.  Men, however, are not immune to some level of control being put upon them.  The threats they must attempt to steer clear of, however, are usually death, shunning/banishment, or financial loss.  A fine, enslavement, a beheading are all forms of discipline, just as a spanking is, though obviously some hold heavier consequences than others.

In my opinion, where Gor veers away from BDSM entirely is within the level of Sadism and Masochism, especially within the novels.  It is said that Gorean men were generally not cruel or sadistic.  Yes, they often desired control, and although pain and, at times, even torture in some form could be a part of gaining this control the goal was always control, not the sexual thrill of dispensing pain.  In turn, the women were not seen as chasing the arousal from being hurt.  Once again it is more about control, or rather, in the case of the women, being controlled.  Even the free women sought a level of being controlled, both online and in the books, by learning their boundaries and sticking within them.  As already mentioned, should the woman stray too far from what is allowed or acceptable, she is likely to find herself enslaved or, perhaps even, killed.

I feel as if the biggest difference between BDSM and Gor is centered upon the focus of each.  BDSM often (though not always!) is centralized around a sexual aspect or a singular scene depicted for a specific purpose.  Gor, although holding key components of a sexual aspect, is more than mere sex or a particular scene.  Given the fact that we have an entire series of books to draw from, in which a rich, varied planet is displayed and explored, Gor has the ability to allow for more than sex alone or limited purpose.  Online, within our roleplay, we have a whole host of options available to us in which we can portray the Gorean tendencies while our characters actually live within the Gorean world.  This roleplay can vary from scene to scene, day to day.  We are not secured in a dungeon or a bedroom where only carnal activities take place.  We have an entire world to relish and grow within.  Relationships, including the Master/slave dynamic, but also beyond that alone, can be explored.  The caste system comes into play as Goreans tend to their greatly varying jobs, tasks of which are vital to keep the planet alive, active, and under control.  Beauty, or even the lack thereof, can be taken in upon a simple stroll just as easily as it might be witnessed from a collared woman serving prettily.  Families and factions can vie for power or wealth.  Gor, as a whole, and even within each room specifically, has a lot to offer, but it is up to us to seek it out and forge our own avenues within the world created for our use.