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).

———

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. 

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! 

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. 

Room Spotlight

In this segment we take a closer look at one of our fantasy envisioned rooms – Dark World Chronicles.

DWC is a “hybrid” room. Modern fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, and apocalyptic stories are all welcome.

……..

The Interview

Smurfy

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

Phantom:

The concept in Dark World Chronicles can be a little complicated. I guess the best way to state it is that it’s a room that embraces table top “troupe” play and tries to apply that concept beyond just the Old World of Darkness core books. It’s not, I repeat, it is NOT just an old World of Darkness room. Almost all modern genres are welcome! Everything from crime drama to horror can flourish in DWC. And it seeks to find the crossroads between these genres to encourage people to think outside of the box when starting a story. 

Smurfy

Are all players in your room involved in this storyline?

Phantom:

No they are not. We don’t force anything on anyone. I am even encouraging folks to start their own unique campaigns. Yet at the same time , a multitude of room sponsored storylines to choose from is the ultimate goal.

Smurfy

Are character sheets required?

Phantom:

Character sheets are only required if you plan on joining the room campaign. And I will guide you through the process personally if you have any trouble with that. Also, your first two characters in the room won’t require a character sheet. I really like to give folks a chance to get their feet wet. 

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?

Phantom:

Newbies are just eggs that are waiting to hatch in my book. DWC is very newbie friendly. In fact, I take a personal, hands-on approach to helping new folks get comfortable. The room forums are set up to provide a lot of information once you’re registered. Navigating that can seem a little overwhelming, but once you realize that it’s just a matter of taking it step by step, you will quickly be fine with it all. The big storylines are not launched as of yet. (Due to my own notorious procrastination) But the one-on- one roleplay is the start of getting the creative juices flowing, so to speak. There are plenty of chances to learn and explore- allowing you to find out what you are interested in playing. In the coming months I plan on taking a step back from all the other things that I have been doing online so that I can seriously hone in on getting people to bounce around in the room with the characters that they have been mulling over. So in that respect it’s very easy to get started and jump in.  

Smurfy

How many various character types are in your room? 

Phantom: 

Right now there is a heavy concentration on werewolf characters because the first room wide campaign is about a group of newly discovered “cubs” if you wil that will find themselves fighting against a common enemy. They will be thrown together by outside forces and will have to learn to work together, using everything they can, to achieve their goals. All while trying not to bite each other’s heads off. Should be fun!  But again, I have SOA characters that I play in there. And that has nothing to do with werewolves… (as of yet….)

Smurfy

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

Phantom:

It’s free-form to a certain extent. But there is a structure of powers that must be in place for the room wide stories. We need to have a way of measuring everyone’s abilities — And that is not just about say, the ability to do magic or throw a punch. In a given story, your ability to use your wits to get past a bouncer who won’t let you into a club you need to get into is just as important as if you can throw a mean hook. 

Smurfy

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

Phantom:

The main thing is that I want everyone to have FUN. We are a community of writers right? So, in my opinion  let’s just see what happens when we mesh all kinds of personalities to see what trouble we can stir up. I’m all about in-character drama. The out of character drama is for the birds. Come check us out. Or ask me questions when you see me hanging about! The FAQs section on the forum may explain things a bit more so be sure to check that out. (No forum registration is needed in order to read it.)

Hang Around: SoA
Interviews with Tatiana

This month’s interview is with Smurfy.  Enjoy!

1.)  Give us an overview on what rp is currently happening at The Reckoning:  West Virginia.

Right now, there is a lot of chaos beneath the surface. The Beckley boys (a small-time gang from the next county over) have been hired to mess with the Sons. The problem is none of them will talk and state who hired them.

People are getting shot, kidnapped, and it involves both charters in the room. We have two. SAMTWI and SAMRAC. Both are having to work together to figure out what the hell is happening.

2.)  Tell us about your two main characters in your room.  Give a brief history of both.

Oh, Gosh this is hard, because I don’t have -main- characters. I have so many! Let’s go with the two charter presidents.

Truth & Remi.

Truman “Truth” Bale is president of SAMTWI. He runs the Twilight charter. He has a daughter who is eight years old that he is raising on his own. (with the MC’s help) Because, his wife was a junkie who could no longer be around the kid. Truth is in love with the girl he grew up with, and it took them forever to finally be together (or rather him to convince her!) Truth also has cancer. It’s something that stems from the fracking of the coal mines. A lot of people in Twilight get sick, because of it. So, he struggles with being in charge of this ever-growing MC, and having to battle his illness. He’s a complicated guy. No one wants to mess with him though. The guy is scary!

Remington Legend is president of SAMRAC. He runs the Racine charter. Remi is originally from Darien, Georgia, but was asked to come straighten out Racine. He cleaned house, got rid of some problem members, and is doing his thing. Remi is a total asshole. His old lady is the owner of a porn studio. Even if he refuses to call her his old lady. He’s a dick. Remi is always arguing with one of the members who think that he should have become president. That guy is trying to push Remi out. It’s a lot of fun.

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

Probably to Kanawha county, or to Huntington. They do a lot of business in both Charleston and Huntington.

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

Chuxx Morris – Dead Man Walking

Royal Deluxe – Bad

​Valley of Wolves – We Are Legends

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

Oh, gosh I don’t even remember the year. It was Long Beach, but I don’t remember the site. It’s been so long ago.

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

That would be Carter “The Reverend” Lawson. I do still play him! He’s still an alcoholic, addict, a ladies man, and a mess of a human being, but there’s no guy that can function the way Rev can while being completely hammered. He’s a laugh a minute.

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

Oh yeah. It’s still to this day one of my favorite shows of all time.

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

Oh Gosh, my advice is have fun! Don’t take it too seriously. Just go with the flow. A lot of people take it too serious, and it becomes pressured to stay on track of storylines. Let it zig and zag, and just enjoy the ride!

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 mysterious woman herself – Kaliko

………………………………..

THE INTERVIEW

Smurfy: 

How long have you been roleplaying?

Kaliko: 

I’ve only really been role playing outside gor since 2013, before that the only role play I ever did was all gor.

Smurfy: 

What’s your favorite Genre?

Kaliko: 

SOA/Modern

Smurfy:

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

Kaliko:

I have enjoyed many good story lines, but I don’t have an absolute favorite yet! I have a lot of new stories in progress so maybe one of them will fill that spot!

Smurfy:

What makes a good roleplay partner?

Kaliko

I think it’s someone that gives as well as takes in the story, helping it build and grow and isn’t one-sided with the story line. 

Smurfy:

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

Kaliko

None, I think I have maybe two dead characters and I don’t care enough about them to bring them back lol

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?

Kaliko

I have a lot of characters that I love, but I don’t have an all-time favorite at least not yet!

Hang Around: SoA
Interviews with Tatiana

This month’s interview is with Gabby.  Enjoy!

1.) What year was it when you were introduced to SOA rp? Who introduced you and what room/site was it at?
2014.  Q asked me to come play in Long Beach.

2.) Who was your very first SOA character? Do you still rp him today?
Cairn Fraser.  And, yeah, sometimes.  He’s Vice President of the St Augustine charter now.  He’s come a long way from the playboy Scot

3.) Did you watch the tv series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ before rping SOA? What do you think of the series?
Actually, no.  I started watching it after.  I prefer the Mayans over SOA, funny enough.

4.) Tell us everything about your character, Irons.
Irons and his twin brother, Hammer, were born and bred Dirty Deeds.  His father was DDMC, his mother born into it since her father had been prez of the Savannah charter.  Most of his life, Irons was the jokester, always laughing.  Never seemed to take life seriously, where his brother always took it too seriously.   That changed about two years ago.  He had a baby on the way, engaged to marry the woman.  It all ended in tragedy when a slut hanging at the club caused him to crash his bike while his girl was on there with him.  She drove a car straight into his bike.  His recovery wasn’t easy, physically, and emotionally it pretty much wrecked him.  Six months ago, he and his twin moved to Panama City, Florida, to get away from the memories, start fresh.  They both were made Enforcers for the charter there as they began the rebuild.  He’s made himself a reputation as a hard ass, and most women think he hates women.

5.) Describe Irons’ motorcycle. Where in the world would he like to travel with it?
Irons’s bike is one of the newer models.  The guys give him a bit of ribbing over it since he went a bit more sporty than most of them do.  His ride is the Harley Davidson FXDR 114.  It’s a cruiser, but not a common one.  It has that sleeker jet-fighter inspired lines with the 34 degree rake.  It has a more extreme look and stance, while also giving him the performance and handling not commonly found in a cruiser.  It has minimum weight for maximum performance.  There are a lot of bells and whistles on this baby, not least of which is the Milwaukee-Eight, V-Twin engine.  Or the sleek design to the stretched fuel tank that lengthens the profile of the bike to give it an aggressive look.  He loves this bike that he purchased the moment he was able to walk again.  His plan is to someday travel the States on it, but he doesn’t really want to travel outside of the States.  He’s a Georgia boy that is perfectly happen staying in the United States.

6.) Tell us about your other SOA character, Seraphine. What is her story so far?
Seraphine isn’t actually an SOA character.  She’s a Dirty Deeds MC princess.  Her father was the vice president of the charter in Panama City, her older brother was an Enforcer.  Her mother had died when she was about 3 or 4, and the club women raised her within the clubhouse that is an old abandoned and remodelled mall.  Center of her entire world was the club.  Every woman and patch within it had a hand in raising her.  When the Kingsley family attacked and slaughtered the club and all its patches, women and children, she was taken from the clubhouse and held by one of the Kingsley boys.  The twins, Irons and Hammer, rescued her a few days after the slaughter.  It was a horrifying experience, one that she still is recovering from.  But, she’s strong.  She proves it every day.

7.) How did you like this year’s rally?
It was fun, a bit closed in with only one or two playing at a time.  I believe it should become more a biker rally, than a SOA only rally, since there are more rooms opening that aren’t Sons rooms.  Allow more creativity to rp.

8.) What advice would you give to someone who is new to SOA rp?
Remember that SOA is merely one person’s POV of the biker life.   Trust your own creativity and maximize the potential of roleplay with others by being open to playing with others, not just one or two people.

9.) Besides role-playing, what else do you enjoy partaking in?
Horseback riding, reading, video games, am a RDR2 addict.

Thanks for reading.  See you in December!

Revealing Roleplayers By Smurfy

In this new 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 our very first interview, we will be delving into the mind of none other than the wild woman herself – Wildthing

………………………………..

THE INTERVIEW

Smurfy: 

How long have you been roleplaying?

Wildthing: 

Since I was 18, and I started in mIRC which when I look back wtf was I thinking… that is so far stretched from where I am now it’s hard to believe it was that long ago.

Smurfy: 

What’s your favorite Genre?

Wildthing: 

Comics.  I love comics… it lets me be free, wild, crazy, experience so many new things without the insane and at times crippling rule sets that some other genres have.

Smurfy:

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

Wildthing: 

That’s hard… but one in truth does stand out and that was the Rikers prison Role Play here on ReVo.  We did a slow burn that teased in December back in 2017 when the room opened… and there were bits and pieces here and there… in March more ‘hints’ were dropped as to what was being foreshadowed and then in May the verdict of guilty came down that sent an innocent woman to prison and led to a maniac who was hired trying to kill her both in jail and then the hospital once his first attempt failure left her in a coma… all in all it spanned almost a solid year of work to get from point A to point B and had most of the room involved, so I think that’s probably my proudest and favorite role-play ever.

Smurfy:

What makes a good roleplay partner?

Wildthing: 

Someone who can listen, ask questions and provide ideas and insight as well.  It is not about one-persons needs, wants and end game… it’s about both people having an equal say and being heard.  If someone is not having fun, then that needs to change because role-play should never be a chore.

Smurfy:

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

Wildthing: 

It would be my medieval character Gwynn who was murdered by a vampire back in my mIRC days… I was a new role player then and this really overly powerful guy having a bad mood basically wiped her out before I ever got any traction with her and I had always wondered what if and what would, have become of her.

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?

Wildthing:

X-23.  100% no questions asked, hands down, my favorite character I have ever played is X-23.  She is so bent she looks broken and by all rights should be a bad guy but is not, and I am always finding new ways to put spins on her to try to keep her exciting and interesting.  If it is a friends’ character it would be my friend Neo’s character of Deadpool…. I am telling you that is someone who woke up born to wear that horrible red and black suit, and he does it amazingly!

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 to how things are ran 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 then 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 and every one that comes across in some fashion. We do afterall, have to keep some tricks of the trade behind closed doors. 

So without further adieu, lets go ahead and jump into fielding some of the initial questions that were sent forth. 

Q:  How do you all keep up with messages that come into various places, day in and day out, and does it ever get tiring?

A:   This is a great first question, because coming off of vacation and turnaround, the end of the year, a shift in staff, etc, I constantly feel more behind above and beyond the day to day as it compiles. But I’m not alone. While the short answer is twofold. A) very carefully, and B) I don’t., that’s part of the team that we’ve built here at ReVo and part of our daily duties. 

I’ll explain the “I don’t”, first. We receive tons of messages everyday from posts on the forums, support, to personal PM’s, to the ReVo account, emails, and discord. These are checked on a regular basis and passed on to where they need to go and answered as they can be, and sometimes when it comes down to Discord (especially), things may get lost in everyday conversations, sometimes I/We get busy doing other things, don’t see the messages when they pop up, or don’t get a chance to respond (though we always try) right away if someone else has already answered it. I admit I’m personally a little notorious for that.

When I say “we”, its absolutely a collective effort. As far as it getting tiring? Sometimes. But that’s what we signed up for, and for the most part its rare that it becomes overwhelming, and is simply part of our day to day around the other things that we do in our lives. Sure it can be a little tiring sometimes after a long day at work or checking things before going to work, or when something breaks or a situation arises right when you try and settle into some roleplay, but its what we do and that communication is never lost. Our team will always see it.

Q:   How are decisions made on how the events will go. How are the ideas born and put into effect.

A:    Another great question, and one that’s been quite fluid over time as we’ve worked to develop our strategy for coming up with and delivering events and ideas that everyone will love. Normally I’d want to pass this onto Rivers, our current event coordinator, but working with her and that team (and everyone else on staff, including our chatters!) I’ll offer as much insight as I can. Please note, however, Im speaking strictly from an ‘event’ standpoint in the rooms and not say the monthly flavors, as those ladies and that team have some wizardry going on that plans these things out months in advance (though these ‘themes’ will often correspond to what type of event we’re throwing that month, but not always).

The first thing that we do while mapping out events is looking at each month, what we’ve done in the past, what was successful, what wasn’t, and begin building from there. We then begin taking into account holidays, events that our chatters might be putting on, various genre events that the chatters might like (like the gorean fairs), suggestions from our chatters and our teams (we keep notes and lists), and then build a rough list of ideas and begin brainstorming. Brainstorming is an integral part of the process (and probably the most fun!). Tossing out a ton of ideas and seeing what ‘sticks’. Sometimes we’ll source others with random ideas and see what they think of them, if it excites them. If its something they think people might be interested in. Sometimes we just go random and take the constant feedback we get and build the next one from there with a little trial and error.

Most of the events that we try and plan are built to encourage ‘roleplay’ and to get everyone that we can involved, regardless of what genre they might roleplay in or how familiar they are with a particular setting. Once we have an idea in mind, that’s where the magic happens. We decide this is what we’re going to do, then begin mapping it out. What’s the theme. How do we wanna do it. Is this going to be a dice game, roleplay, how long is it going to be? What are the prizes going to be? Do we need Dj’s for it, how do we promote it, etc. Then its advertised and parceled out to the teams and people that are going to support it and we knock it out of the park.

Most events are planned and ready to go weeks before they’re actually announced. 

Q:   How are things are decided, such as new ideas, chatter suggestions, etc.?

A:    This might be my favorite question for this month, because I’ve actually gotten asked this alot over time and know Q did beforehand. The short answer is, if I don’t like it, it doesn’t get done! 

………..

Bueler….

Bueler…..

KIDDING!

Its actually a little more in depth then most people would think. We get alot of ideas floated around to us through all mediums, from our chatters, to our staff, and keep a running list of most all of them. As staff we brainstorm alot amongst ourselves with things that we see moving forward (being chatters ourselves) and toss out there ideas we hear ‘on the grapevine’ since we work to keep a pulse on the happenings around the site. There’s alot of them (and this is a good thing).

We take all of the suggestions put forth by pretty much anyone from anywhere and they all get discussed. Some of the bigger discussions (such as site policy or site changes and suggestions for implementation or improvement to process, etc) will get discussed at our Admin and Cabinet level first, and then passed down to the rest of the staff on what they’ve been seeing, with a collective brainstorming process on how we can implement things, if its good for the site, the best way to go about it, etc. From there if agreed its good, it goes back up top and if its something that we feel that we can and should do, then we draft a timeline to implement these things and communicate it out as soon as we can.

Sometimes it works much quicker then that. Sometimes chatters will have great suggestions be it on something we’ve recently done on how to iterate on it and improve it (we’re always looking for suggestions!) or come up with something completely brand new. Sometimes these are something we’re able to implement and do/will while going through a quick vetting process, and other times we may feel its not something that we can do, or roll it over into another suggestion and combine the two. Sometimes we may feel its better to roll out down the line. 

Its actually quite rare, that decisions are made and new ideas are put forward at an Administrative level without conferring with others. This is usually reserved for quick changes or clarifications to other things. Even while I think it is that I have bright ideas, sometimes, not so much. Every idea and suggestion goes through a discussion and vetting process. 

———

So that’s a little insight and a sneak peak behind the curtain for our first 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 include thoughts on things you guys would like to hear about. 

Until Then. 

A Tour of Gor … 

In this new 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. 

The Home Stone By Unwritten

Upon being asked to write a blog piece about Gor my mind was instantly overcome by a multitude of potential topics.  You see, dear reader, I’ve been a part of the Gorean community for more years than I care to actually admit and, of course, along with that comes the reading of many, many Gorean books.  I do not lack for inspiration or information.  In fact, sometimes it feels as if I harbor way too much of both!  So when it became time to choose a topic to write about I had many ideas, but soon I realized that there was no more perfect, more meaningful place to begin than at the center of it all – the Home Stone.

What is a Home Stone?  A mere piece of rock?  Is it only a legend?  Is there just one true Home Stone?  Does everyone on Gor have one?  The answers to all of this can be considered simple, and yet, they are complex as well.

The Home Stone is the figurative heart of any Gorean settlement be it a big city, a small town, or even the most tiny, dilapidated hut.  Without the Home Stone the settlement, in the minds of Goreans, ceases to exist.  People may remain and the walls may be standing still, and yet they are only a shell of something whose life has been lost, much like the human body.  The body does not cease to exist if the heart is gone, but also the body does not hold any life within it without the heart.  The city does not make the Home Stone.  The Home Stone makes the city.  Even if an entire town is razed to the ground, completely destroyed, not a single building left standing – if the Home Stone has survived, the town, too, has survived and can be rebuilt.  Men will sacrifice their lives fighting to protect the Home Stone and, I hazard to guess, women would do the same, or at the very least, they may sacrifice their freedom, if they felt it was necessary to protect the Home Stone.  Men of the same town who may be at odds or even hate each other to the point of coming to blows against each other would lay aside their quarrels and fight, side by side, together, to protect their shared Home Stone.  It is something that is infinitely more important than any personal values, desires, or grudges.  A shared Home Stone means protection for the Goreans it is shared with – both men and women.  It is something that is revered and often evokes great emotion and pride, much like the flags and other iconic symbols of the various nations upon Earth.  In some cities, even, a Gorean’s citizenship is contingent upon ceremonies revolving around the Home Stone in which oaths are pledged and offerings may be left.  One’s birth within a particular location does not always denote them a citizen, as it may upon Earth.  Citizenship and, along with it, the right of sharing a Home Stone is not taken lightly and must be earned by way of showing one’s intentions and virtue to that of the Home Stone which will be shared with all the others who have done the same. 

The name of the planet is Gor and, in each language spoken upon the planet, the word “Gor” means the same thing – Home Stone.  However, that being said, the Home Stone in its actual existence, beyond the planet as a whole, is, actually, just a rock.  It may be small or large, smooth or ragged, plain or fancy.  The amount of adoration a Gorean will have for their Home Stone is not based on its size or richness, but merely its presence.  A Gorean will not care if his city’s Home Stone is small.  It is his Home Stone.  He will cherish it and protect it no matter its size or appearance.  So yes, it is just a piece of rock and yet it is so much more as it means everything about the literal life and survival of his locale.

To many Goreans the Home Stone of any other place outside their own home is a myth of sorts.  A man of Ar would likely believe that the people of Tetrapoli had a Home Stone of their own and perhaps even have heard tales of the Tetrapoli Home Stone, but he’d probably not have the chance to actually lay his eyes upon it.  So, to him, the Home Stone of Tetrapoli would be akin to a legend – something he’d heard of, possibly believed to be true, and yet had no solid proof of.  It would be basically unheard of for any settlement to not keep their Home Stone in an exalted location and also, most probably, under protection, perhaps even by way of lock and key and armed guards. They are that proud of their Home Stone, and it is that important and vital to their lives and the continuation of their city or town.  Strangely, there is a bit of a paradox here, however.  Whereas men will fight to the death to protect their own Home Stone and any attempt to steal the Home Stone would be viewed as the most atrocious crime to be ever committed, it is seen as a great victory to steal or ruin another location’s Home Stone.  The man that manages this feat would be hailed as a glorious warrior, perhaps the most superior of warriors within his city.  On the other hand, the man that managed to let his Home Stone be taken would be then seen as a mere stooge, a laughingstock, and it is very likely punishment would come, perhaps even in the form of a cruel, public spectacle of death.  Punishment, again even possibly being that of death, could also come into play another way in regard to Home Stones.  For one to claim a Home Stone as their own when it is truly not is a vile crime in the eyes of the Goreans.  The telling of such a lie would be a huge risk to take.

There are many Home Stones upon Gor.  As I already said, each location, no matter how big or small, claims a Home Stone of their own.  Though that means the numbers of these stones are many, to a Gorean, there is only one true Home Stone – his own.  Those outside of his city only have the value of exaltation through his victorious attempt to steal the Home Stone.  It is known, however, that many Goreans, while pledging to their own Home Stone, may recognize the significance of another man’s Home Stone and choose to honor its importance by way of not interfering with the other Home Stone.  Perhaps it comes down the choice between the lust for status and the adherence to personal honor.

Not all Goreans have a Home Stone.  Outlaws, those who lay claim to no particular town, city, or exact culture and those who have been shunned and cast out of their town, do not have a true Home Stone.  The Priest Kings, those who rule over much of Gor via their control of the Initiates who act as agents on their behalf, do not have a true Home Stone.  It could be postulated that, in their control of nearly the whole planet, which in itself is, literally, the definition of Home Stone, that the planet itself is the Home Stone of the Priest Kings.  Slaves, who can not maintain citizenship nor hold legal status as people, but instead are only chattel and property, also do not lay claim to a particular Home Stone.  A slave has no rights upon Gor, including the right to pledge their loyalty to anyone Home Stone and in turn receive its protection.

Within the scope of online roleplay many people use the term “home” and “Home Stone” interchangeably.  In Gorean reality this is not entirely accurate.  The location is not truly considered alive, or existing, without the Home Stone and, in turn, if the Home Stone is taken or broken, the locale would be considered dead.  Therefore, they can not possibly be the same, or synonymous, because the existence of one is contingent upon the existence of the other.  A home and Home Stone are definitely interdependent, however.

Thinking again of Gorean roleplaying online, I am proud to say that my characters hearts beat because the heart of Minus, Her Home Stone, exists in eminent, illustrious fashion.  Do you have a Home Stone?  If so, have you portrayed the act of pledging your loyalty to it?  If you have not – you should.