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 Post subject: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Events!
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:58 pm 
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PART ONE


Alright, as the title suggests, this guide is about events. It is not so much a ‘How To’ as a ‘Info you need to know’ guide. It is gathered together bits of the common threads all DMs share in their Dungeon Master Threads. Also a few tips from the DMs themselves, as well as other useful tidbits.

First off, I would like to thank the DM team, Associate DMs, and other server staff who supplied input for this. These will be listed in no particular order, but will be as inclusive as I can manage. To prevent ‘Wall of Text Psychosis’ this will be a multi-part Guide. Please refrain from posting questions until I have all the parts up. You may at any time send me a PM for further clarification or questions. Bear with me, this one is longer than the others, and there is a lot of information to convey.

So, what is a DM Event?
Quite literally it is anything that a DM does that isn’t tech support and PVP oversight (and actually those can be events too). It could be a mass goblin invasion hack and slash, it could be a small scale NPC conversation to add flair to an area, it could be somewhere between the two. They can be large scale, server changing, or they can be tiny ripples that all but a few might notice. They could be good or bad. They could be utterly random, seem utterly random and be a small slice of a bigger picture, or be very specific to a group of players and characters. They could cover any snippet of any of these things and more.

All in all, they are usually a good time for all involved, especially when a few basic courtesies are extended and a bit of knowledge is passed around. Simply put: There is no simple definition for an Event, save that it aims to add flavor and life to the server. (or in the case of undead, Un-life)
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:01 pm 
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PART TWO

TECHNICALLY SPEAKING…
There are a lot of technical aspects.

This being a game, on a computer system… which can already get maddeningly technical… there are a few things to make note of, when playing.

1) This is -based- on PnP… but it is not PnP.
And while many aspects of the beloved pen and paper do manifest in NWN2, the BGTSCC Persistent World, and said events… You will not find all of them here. Some are simply not mechanically possible, some can be ‘worked around’. In most cases the DMs are willing to work with you on some things. It never hurts to ask.

Sometimes pen and paper aspects of spells or whole spells can be used with oversight and agreement of the parties involved. However, this should not happen outside of Events. In other words just because you can use Detect Evil in an event, doesn’t mean you can RP Detect Evil all over and go on a Tiefling murdering spree. Why? Because the aim of a persistent world is to be amusing for as many as possible, with as few complications as possible. Because players have a responsibility to play within the mechanics when not interacting with the DM staff. I could give a myriad of reasons for this, but it boils down to what is feasible to oversee, and what causes the least problems.

2) “The Proof is in the Pudding”
If you have never heard that phrase, or don’t understand what it means… it is an old long standing one. “I could tell you all day long that my grandmother makes the best pudding around, but the proof is in the pudding.” Applied here, it simply means that any issues should be accompanied with screen shots. Regardless of how trustworthy a player is, or how well known… DMs aren’t given the luxury of taking people at their word. Simply a Technical aspect, yes… but much time can be saved (for events and during events) if players make friends with the “Print Screen” button
(See the screen shot guide for more information)
Subject: MUM'S GUIDES: Screen Shots

3) Crash and burn… Live and Learn.
NWN2 is notorious for bugs. Add in a large scale amount of information over a variation of computers and other electronics… The stability (or instability) of infrastructure for things such as internet, servers ect… and you have what amounts to the occasional, annoying crash. It is especially disheartening during an event. Even more so after an event that has gone on for hours.

So the DM comes back and needs time to set up? Be patient. It’s really late, and set up would take hours… the DM asks for a ‘to be continued’? Unfortunate, but be understanding. In fact, along with a civil tongue and level head, patience and understanding are important, reoccurring themes that you will see here. In this instance, the crash was unintentional and regrettable… try not to take out your frustrations on the DM, who is just as likely frustrated and upset the event got interrupted as you are.

Despite the best of intentions… it is impossible to account for every bug, real life quirk/disaster and so forth. The less fun side of being a DM is tech support. It is demanding and more so during events. Some bugs can be fixed, some can’t be helped… Remember that your local neighborhood DM is not responsible for the software creators’ oversights and such. They are not Atari, Obsidian or affiliated members. In fact, DMs would like you to remember that they are people too… Just like you. “Do unto others” and all that fun stuff. A little bit of kindness and consideration on all sides tends to make the real world… and our imaginary one… spin round.

4) Lag happens.
(this will be covered extensively in the Bugs guide, just a BRIEF mention as this effects Events) Lag is something that a variety of things can effect, including objects and placables, visual effects, area of effect spells, party spells, bard songs, number of people in a map, ect… the List goes on. Combat heavy events are the worst, and most notoriously inconvenient sufferers of this plight. It is however, something that only can be fixed by reducing load… and isn’t always something DMs or players can help or prevent. Lag can also be cause by host side/server side issues as well as individual lag caused by a player’s personal connection. If you are level headed about the lag, the DMs are likely to be level headed about the issues caused by lag and even help fix them.
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:03 pm 
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PART THREE

THE CRUNCH ON ENCOUNTERS:
Sometimes the Gnolls Bite…

Less a ‘technical issue’ and more just a fact of the game with a lot of technical aspects… Encounters are things that are usually only one aspect of an event. ‘Bosses’ and other monstrosities for our heroes to -encounter- and interact with… most of them hostile, but not always. I will be using a Gnoll example, but bear in mind that only two things limit encounters: Game Mechanics, and Creativity. Each DM handles Encounters differently, much as they do Events. If you aren’t sure what to expect from a particular DM, follow it through and learn. If all else fails, it never hurts to ask.

So you have fought this monster a dozen times… you can take the standard spawn easy? Then you come across some Gnoll superman. (and it doesn’t have to be just gnolls) And you nearly get your rear chewed off. DMs like to challenge players. Not everything has to be the ‘same old same old’. Usually there is a reason the monster almost won… or did win. Often it takes some investigating and some RP to figure out.

Sometimes the numbers get crunched wrong. Tweaking monsters to be ‘just right’ for a group takes practice. On a server with such a varied population and large player base, it’s tricky to get it ‘just right for everyone’. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Remember that DMs are people too and can make miscalculations. On the off chance the DM accidentally overpowered the monster, the DM is usually good about fixing it, if everyone keeps a level head.

“Some encounters are reminders this is an RP server and not a grindfest. So if you see a huge troll coming...run.”
-DM Quote-


Its okay to run, you don’t have to vanquish every monster. Sometimes more RP comes from that ‘near death experience’ than from dying (which you aren’t likely to remember). It would be boring if we could kill everything in sight, had no fear of death (even if there is no perma-death requirement here) Sometimes even temporary surrender is a good idea. The players, and characters don’t have to be limited to ‘do or die’ scenarios. Fighting isn’t always the only way out of a tough or hostile situation. In truth most DMs do not mind creative thought, and often encourage it.

No one is saying you -have- to run. So you did your best, managed the first battle… the second one you nearly died… the third one you could swear you saw Myrkul. Scenarios like this are sometimes gentle nudges in a different direction. However, if you stay, and die… remember it isn’t permanent, and it isn’t because the DM hates us and wants us to all die horrible deaths. (hehehe Mostly =P ) However, it is extremely bad form to start OOC tantrums because “I beat those gnolls dozens of times a day and one gnoll hits me once and I die? WTF!” (yes I have seen this, it makes me sad) Roll with the punches, crunches and teeth. It never hurts to ask nicely if you need a hint.

Another thing to note with encounters is that the DMs have a mass of buttons, a mass of things to navigate to make them work, and a whole ton of information hitting them from more than one side. DMs are often stuck multitasking, and spread rather thin over a large population. This too can add another level of complexity to encounters. And all that is before we take into account, players, levels of characters, skills of characters, the area, the lore, the event, the time frame and scope… Encounters, and especially events are extremely complex, but when players and DMs are willing to work together for the enjoyment of all involved… It’s worth the effort.
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:06 pm 
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PART FOUR

DEATH COMES TO US ALL…
Some more than others. At the worst possible times.

Death, the ever present fact of life. A contestant in a world of fantastical instances and heroic ends. Sometimes it is unavoidable. Sometimes it is needed to move the plot… Other times… it just happens.

Different DMs deal with death during events differently. An important thing to make note of here is that it never hurts to ask when you are dealing with a new DM. Some see the ‘game mechanical death’ as ‘temporary unconsciousness‘, stating that you are not dead in events unless otherwise noted. Others ask that certain conditions be met for both death and the resurrection of the dead, such as pen and paper time frames and material restrictions, or merely a safe place to work such intricate divine magic.

Death can add to the RP experience, sometimes it can help in character development, or even part of the event. Some other important notes on Death: Very rarely is a character permanently dead… but if it is perma-killed it will be a last resort, and extensively discussed aspect of death. Dying and coming back does have some downsides though. Memory may be fuzzy. General rule of thumb is that a character does not remember being in the Fugue Plane, but it is important to note that the Fugue Plane is -not- an OOC area. If you are unsure how to RP your character’s death, or aspects of it… again, it never hurts to ask.

As mentioned before:
**Side note on corpses. If you try to raise them from the dead before they have loaded into the Fugue Plane, it WILL BUG THE CORPSE. This goes for any situation. Especially when the server is laggy. If you intend to resurrect or raise a character, please give them time to load in before you do so, or send them a tell asking them to tell you when you are there before you raise them. This prevents the bug where the character remains stuck in the Fugue Plane, and saves the DM team loads of time, and confusion. If this happens though, it can be fixed. Please remember to be civil to the DM. (This and other bugs will be covered in a later Guide.)
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:10 pm 
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PART FIVE

DICE
The game’s game of chance…

Dice are useful in game. Vital in Events. Each dice has a function and can greatly effect the outcome of an event. It is important, especially in large events with lots of people to pay attention for notes and nods from the DM, either in tells or as chat, ect.

The DM will usually communicate what he wants you to roll, often with a set Dice Check in mind. Depending on the roll, and the result, you will be given information of some sort. An important note on dice rolling in an event: That is a lot of numbers.

Give the DM time. It may be that each different number nets different details, more or less details, depends on place and direction or other variables and the DM needs time to sort and give info to each person participating.

Generally it is best to only Roll when asked. If you see one person roll, but do not see the DM telling you to roll also, don’t toss the dice. Situations like this are when the DM is working with a very specific aspect, and if Everyone rolls, it can get confusing. The DM will tell the whole party to roll, when needed.

However, it is not to say that you can’t -ask- to try something. Going back to the previously mentioned thought that DMs encourage creativity, send the DM a message and ask if you may attempt something, and what dice roll or rolls would be appropriate. It gets confusing to the DM if there are random dice rolls flying all over the place and no indication of what they are for.
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:12 pm 
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PART SIX

COMMUNICATION
It isn’t just for married couples…

In a Role Playing game on a RP Persistent World such as this, Communication is vital. There are several types of communication, and methods. It is best to keep your IC chatter true to your character, and Always keep your OOC chatter civil and polite.

OOC communication is meant to be kept to a minimum in general chatting, and marked // (( OOC: or some such, so as not to upset the flow of IC communication. Some OOC is needed though, especially in events. Alternatively OOC communication can be done in Tells (the green chat /t “Character or DM name” TEXT HERE). Bear in mind that NWN2 chatting system is different than NWN1. (/r “Name here”) will attempt to send a Tell to the very last person you got text from, even if it is an NPC.

General DM Communication in the DM channel. (/d TEXT HERE) This is a direct line to the DMs that are online. Note that whatever you type does not show up in your chat box, but shows up for EVERY DM to see.

Shouts. (/s TEXT HERE) This is available only to DMs on this server, and shows up yellow. It can convey a great deal of information server wide, or large scale events for groups that are spread beyond ‘hearing range’ of normal chat.

Whispers. (/w TEXT HERE) This is for more private conversations. Or just when you don’t want everyone in twenty feet hearing you. It isn’t a guarantee of privacy by any means, it simply means that those out of the ‘hearing range’ are not going to see your text. It shows up gray, and does not pop up over your character’s head.

Perhaps the most important and most used aspect of communication in events is Party Chat. (/p TEXT HERE) While party chat can be used to communicate OOC, it is viewable by the DMs and only those in -your party-… so too much of it can clog things up. It is also a bad idea to mouth off to or about DMs in party chat because… they can hear you.

Most DMs, when running events, will ask players to avoid using party chat unless in the event. It is a good way for the DM to keep track of what the whole party is doing, even when he isn’t in hearing range of every one involved. Similarly it allows the party to keep track of each other. It is useful when a group in an event is spread over multiple areas. Most DMs will ask that you keep to one party, and stay in party chat for this purpose during an event.
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:36 pm 
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PART SEVEN

RESTING
More than just a two second pause…

Resting, on a whole as a game mechanic can be RP’d any way you see fit… When you aren’t in an Event. During an event, when, why, how, how long, what you gain, and whether you live through it, are solely up to the DM in charge. In fact most have a policy of punishing those who rest in events without permission… and it can be harsh. Best rule of thumb is to ask. Always. If you accidentally rest by hitting your R key, it can quickly be canceled by bumping the movement keys or moving your character with the mouse. If you do accidentally rest, let the DM know it was an accident and apologize. You may be asked to limit your abilities by what you had if you didn’t rest. Repeated ‘accidents’ will be frowned upon.

Aside from it being best to have permission… it isn’t a good idea to try to make camp in an indefensible, hostile area… knee deep in the corpses of your slain foes. That is just… unwise and unsanitary. The DM may tell you that you can rest, even if conditions are not ideal or safe… however, don’t be indignant or surprised if you get flash backs to the original Baldur’s Gate games where you are ambushed while making camp. All in all, do what you wish, but understand the risks.

No one is saying that you -will- get ambushed every time though, as that sort of ruins the surprise… no one is even saying that you are limited to a simple ambush. The beauty of a creative DM is a wonderful and terrifying thought. Though who is to say which it is? Wonderfully fortunate or utterly horrific? You get to decide… within the bounds of game mechanics and DM permission, ideals and such for the event.

Sometimes it may merely be a ‘pause to catch your breath’ or ‘camping with sleeping in shifts’ or any other possible variation you can think of, and likely some you can’t. A lot of how rests are treated are personal preferences of the DM involved. Some of it can be time constraints or the flow of rp too. I’ve found over the years that you don’t actually have to ooc ask either. If you emote little things like ‘looking winded’ ‘or seeming to have less energy and fewer resources’ that sort of thing, often a DM can cue into it. They like creativity. In fact most DMs will reward thoughtful RP in some way or another, even if it is just letting you make it through the night with one eye open and a dagger close at hand…
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 6:45 pm 
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PART EIGHT

RUNNING AND TRANSITIONS
Watch out for that first step… it’s a Doozy!

One of the biggest pet-peeves I have heard of to date is running during events. Rushing ect. Sure there is a time and a place, and moments when time is indeed of the essence, but often… it isn’t needed. Why? Well, take time to stop and notice your environment. You might notice some important detail… Find some discarded bit of treasure, or gain some other pearl of wisdom that you would have missed by running ahead, including important conversations.

If that weren’t incentive enough to slow down and pay attention, consider for a moment the amount of technical and behind the scenes stuff that is required of a DM. Don’t know? Well it’s there… in spades. DMs contrary to popular belief, are still people too. Two arms, two legs, two eyes and ears… and one mind going a hundred ways at once. If you run, you cut down on the amount of ‘set up time’ the DM has. A lot of stuff in events can be pre-made and set up ahead of time, but a fair portion of it is ‘on the fly’. Compound that with limited DMs to a large player base, and remember all the technical support DMs do on top of events, and well… those few extra seconds while you walk the map and RP on the way… they are precious gems that the DM will hoard worse than a dragon.

A parallel note to running is the use of transitions, doors, portals ect. Just because you are going ‘in that direction’ doesn’t mean you are going to that door at the end of the hall, or the transition on the edge of the map. Who’s to say that you aren’t going to get teleported by a mad wizard? OR that the DM simply wants to move the party to a DM Area for added spice and ease during the Event.

A split party across areas, while occasionally called for, can make things very difficult for a DM. Some prefer to keep groups together, others will split them up if it is called for. It is always best to check with the DM running the event before the party decides to ‘split up’. If the party does split up, please bear in mind that the DM is now answering and interacting with two different groups. DMs for all of their omnipresent superpowers, and god-like abilities… can only answer one question at a time, be in one place at a time and all that fun stuff. Again, I stress the need for civility, patience, understanding and clear communication in an event from all sides involved.
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:18 pm 
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PART NINE

WORKING TOGETHER
United we stand… divided we fall?

The most endearing feature of an event is that often it will give each character involved a chance to do what he or she is best at. After all, you are in a group because you can’t do it all yourself right? The DMs know this, and like to see groups working together. Well, the evil side of them no doubt enjoys seeing a bunch of rag tag adventurers running about like chickens missing heads… because they are easier to kill… but over all group RP is important. Utilizing strengths and protecting weaknesses can make or break an event.

Working well in a group allows the DM to throw together more challenging encounters, puzzles, plots, more detailed stories, with more complex solutions and multiple endings… Why? Because it doesn’t all have to be the same cookie cutter stuff. Again, communication is key. Besides if you have to die… you may as well not die alone, right? Or you might get surprised at the healer who, while not good toe to toe, kept you alive… or the improvising rogue that got the door unlocked forging the way to riches? There is no one character who is good for all situations all the time. Even a ‘Jack (or Jacqueline) of all Trades’ type is going to run into a stone wall at some point.

Why you work with a group is just as important as how. DMs like to see well thought out characters and interesting, if not complex friendships and stories. Why you ask again? Because it gives them a creative spark to work with… or a wrench to toss at a group, a twist to the plot, a surprise ending. You might even be surprised. Friendships are truly tested in dire situations… your best friend leaves you to die? You get saved by one you thought wanted you dead? It opens up a whole new level of dynamic, both in events and in your role play… And this is something DMs like to encourage.

Variety really is the spice of life. It is good, and healthy for DMs to see an interesting mix of things going on… It gives everyone, including the DMs some creative base and spark. It also gives characters a chance to grow RP wise, and keeps players from getting bored. Bored players lead to bored Dms, and let’s face it, a bored DM can be unhappy. An unhappy DM leads to unhappy players. Getting stuck in ruts leads to boredom. See the cycle here?

Now no one is saying you -have- to get along with everyone, or hate everyone or be a master at finding the middle ground. Just bear in mind that it is a large group of people, not just DMs but players too. In a persistent world where the population fluctuates between 50-100 (yes at one time… remember the two server days?) It is impossible to avoid groups. Not saying characters have to be social butterflies… but it is useful to at least have basic people skills on an OOC level. Sometimes the biggest killer of events is OOC grumblings and all out fights. Civility and basic human decency on a -player- level is very important.
~~

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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 Post subject: Re: MUM'S GUIDES: Everything DMs want you to know about Eve
Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:51 pm 
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PART TEN

IN CLOSING
For now…

**All in all, the most important thing to remember about DMs and events is this: It is a game, and we are all meant to have fun. This includes the DMs as well as the players. Don’t forget (and I know I have said this a lot) DMs are people too. This is a game after all, a hobby… it comes with a measure of responsibility and implied respect for everyone in the spirit of the game and a good time.

**Sometimes loose ends can be a good thing, and leave more opportunities for growth and plot later. We don’t have to have all the answers, as much as we might like them. Some things we may change and some things we must come to understand. As players in a game dealing with the mechanics, and as characters in a world where things are scarcely as controlled as they seem.

**It isn’t all rainbows and roses, but this isn’t Ravenloft either. To quote from some other posts, this server does have a rating of PG-13. ERP (Erotic RP) should not happen. For those who do not understand the PG-13 rating, here is an example supplied by someone else. If further clarification is needed on how this applies to your RP or in an event, it never hurts to ask… you may also send me a PM on the subject.
Subject: MUM'S GUIDES: PVP Basics
WeWhoEat wrote:
* PG-13 - Parents Strongly Cautioned - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. These films may contain sex references, up to four uses of explicit language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/political themes, moderately long horror moments and/or moderate action violence. There are usually no restrictions on non-sexual nudity. However, bloodshed is rarely present. This is the minimum rating at which drug content is present; with the exception of Austin Powers and Click. Marijuana smoking is the only illegal drug use that can be depicted in a PG-13 film, with the exception of Forrest Gump, in which a brief scene depicts an actress snorting cocaine. While PG-13 films usually have more profanity than PG films, this is not necessarily the case. A film that is given a PG-13 rating due to profane language and/or racial insults is given this rating because it contains more of these elements than a PG rating would permit, or the film contains uses of stronger profanities than a PG would permit. A film rated PG-13 for "intense violence" is given this rating if blood is present in a violent way. The films Gremlins and Indiana Jones: Temple of Doom are well known as the movies that PG-13 was created for. In recent years, this rating has been used for the majority of American films released. Some films that have received a PG-13 rating have a director's cut with an R rating. Daredevil is just an example of this practice.[14] Examples include The Simpsons Movie, Eat Pray Love and Casino Royale.


**At all times it is a good idea to know and understand the rules of the server and of the forum.
Subject: SERVER RULES AND INFORMATION
In fact it is immensely helpful to the DMs when these rules are obeyed and adhered to. The less time they have to spend baby-sitting (and I use the term good naturedly) the better.

**Knowing your lore is important, being familiar with it at least. Some things you can learn as you go, and there is a host of information just on these forums. There is also a lot of server specific info on the forums, and a good deal of Event specific bits to be found. I have found that sometimes the most helpful thing we can do as players is to keep informed, second only to staying civil. This isn’t to say that it is a lore-crazy regime run by lore-pounding nuts… But as an RP server, in a lore-rich environment… Lore is an intricate part of everything that happens on the server.

It never hurts to say: Thank you! Sometimes all it takes to make a bad day better is a thank you.’
Subject: Thread of infinite appreciation!!
~~

At this point I am fairly certain I have ticked everything off my list. Again, thank you very much to everyone who has taken time to supply input for this particular project. If I have left anything important out, or missed something… If you have further questions ect… Please do not hesitate to send me a PM.

_________________
"Play nice." Mum
"Mercy, even to the least deserved."
"Revenge is beneath me, but Accidents happen..."
"Even Echoes fade to silence."


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