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Open Letter to the Serpentlords

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  • KakotasKakotas Posts: 261Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Aerek said:
    Yeah, I don't read a lot of Cult-specific hate going on, it's just assessing the balance of probability. Achaea is littered with the decaying remains of clans and high clans, alike, that thought they were cool enough to survive with zero city/House support. The Serpentlords are entirely welcome to prove us wrong, but they have some major hurdles to clear.

    In addition to the question of role, ideals, and practicality of the organization, I think folks are underestimating the challenge of maintaining membership. A high clan, even a great one, doesn't have the recruiting potential of a House, because it isn't advertised to newbies coming in; they have to find it on their own or members have to recruit them. This means that the Serpentlords are basically going to be working full-time just to keep new blood in the org, and because even the best High Clan doesn't have the "legitimacy" of a Garden-established House, people don't have the patience for House-level tasks/requirements for advancement. This leaves you in the difficult position of having to relax standards to keep people interested/involved, which comes at cost to your member quality and reputation, or establishing high RP standards and slowly atrophying because quality players generally want to be involved with the game's major factions. It's not a pretty picture, and while the possibility for success exists, the chance for failure is large.

    I don't say all this from a position of idle speculation. What the Serpentlords are doing now isn't really that different from what the Order of Thurisaz is trying do, having devolved from the Wardens' House to keep Knighthood alive. What I've outlined above are basically the challenges that we're currently facing, and we have the full support of a city and its Houses to prop us up. It's cool that the SL were permitted to strike out on their own, and I don't wish failure upon them, but they have their work cut out for them, to say the least.
    The cool part for Serpentlords on this whole issue is it actually opens up roleplay especially if perhaps they established a high secret clan and then the generic high clan was their newbie clan. It's going to be tough but possible. And I think more possible and easier than some of the other transitions.

    The issue here is Knight clans are basically in the same boat we are trying to keep things alive but we had everything taken away overnight literally in most cases and have been trying to just keep things going long enough to get our feet back under us. The difference is that when a person chooses a Knightly class with chivalry the concept of Knighthood is a pretty attractive option so people will try and be active just for that sake and because there are few other options. Serpents have tons of options and I think that might be the weakness but also the strength if that makes any sense.
    (Blades of Valour): He just has that Synbios Swagger enough said.
    (Blades of Valour): Draekar says: "Synbios if sunbeams sparkle off that I'll kill you where you stand."

    (Party) Halos says, "Disbar?"
    (Party) Draekar says, "You know here we have disbar."
    (Party) Draekar says, "And over there we have datbar."
    Aodfionn
  • TaelTael Posts: 1,197Member @ - Epic Achaean
    edited November 2014
    To throw in my perspective:

    I think there is one particular way high clans can salvage single-class RP and other, similar things that renaissance houses are largely replacing.

    I think people are completely overlooking the possibility of nested organisations and I really hope everyone realises this before it's too late and we lose so much of the wonderful history of a lot of the single-class orgs.

    Like @Addama, I am really hoping that the Occultists survive. The loss of the Occultists would be a heartbreaking blow to the rich, largely player-created history of the world if they don't find a means of surviving the renaissance - I honestly don't think any other house comes close (and I've been in practically all of them over the years) to having the depth of history and complexity of ideology of the Occultists, nor the unique place in history and the mythos. The loss of the Occultists would be crushingly sad.

    On the other hand, I think it's very unlikely that they'll be turned into a renaissance house. Nor do I think they should be. And I think it's also fairly unlikely that they'll survive as a totally independent high clan. But if one of Ashtan's renaissance houses houses a sub-organisation, specifically a high clan, of Occultists that carries on that legacy, then you solve most of the problems. You still have a way to feed members into the clan via the house. You still have the ability to restrict membership in the clan to people who have narrower interests than houses normally involve. You still have an org that can hold property like the current house estate of the Occultists (good lord if that library gets deleted...that is one of the neatest things in the entire game).

    Similarly, I was sad to see the Naga go - but they can still be saved! It would be pretty easy! A high clan in Mhaldor that only accepts serpents is a perfect solution. The city/houses can feed members to it, it doesn't stand in opposition to the city/houses, and it provides a place for people who enjoyed the serpent RP. Hell, I can think of so many cool directions to take it - make it invitation only, really play up the thematic elements of the Naga. Making orgs like the Naga into high clans does offer a lot of opportunity to deepen those organisations RP-wise because you no longer have to worry about keeping the orgs extremely inclusive (and thus fairly milquetoast) like you did when they were houses. Keeping them as sub-organisations of cities/houses ensures that they can survive.

    If you've ever played Morrowind, imagine this conception of the Naga as similar to the relationship between the Bal Molagmer and the thieves guild.

    Or think about the Qashar or the Anointed - lovely examples of sub-organisations that were pretty compelling.

    And that concept makes even more sense for orgs like serpent houses that want to RP secrecy and intelligence-gathering and whatnot. Having such orgs exist within larger orgs that essentially serve as "fronts" would be both appropriate and fun (which is how I wish, for instance, the Luminai had been handled - an org within the Harbingers).

    In the end, nested orgs solve two problems of renaissance houses: (1) they allow for class-specific RP and the continuation of well-developed orgs that the renaissance houses are replacing and (2) they help to reduce the homogeneity imposed by the new, more-inclusive houses without interfering with their ability to be so inclusive.

    The problem that the Serpentlords face is that they're not a nested organisation - they're functionally just a citiless house that doesn't have any of the mechanical benefits of other citiless houses (like the CIJ) to make recruitment of newbies feasible. They don't have a city or a house to feed members into them. What I find likely to be problematic about the Serpentlords is that they're setting themselves up to compete with houses as a sort of degenerate, single-class pseudo-house. That's why I think they're in a substantially harder spot than, say, the Order of Thurisaz (even if it has had a rocky start), which is not trying to do the same thing.
    BluefSiduriSherazadNakari
  • JacenJacen Posts: 2,281Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I don't have a problem with the idea of nested orgs, but I think the idea of the current Houses persisting as a nested org is a bad one. Part of the purpose of the Renaissance is to transform the Houses into suborgs of the city, as opposed to the largely independent orgs they are now. 

    Historically, a lot of people have been Black Lotus, who happen to live in Hashan,  or Occultists who happen to live in Ashtan. we're transforming into a city-focused world, and you don't want to carry over those faults when you don't have to. You'll just end up diluting the city's identity and bringing in old problems that you missed a perfect opportunity to get rid of
    image
  • BluefBluef DelosPosts: 2,176Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Jacen said:
    I don't have a problem with the idea of nested orgs, but I think the idea of the current Houses persisting as a nested org is a bad one. Part of the purpose of the Renaissance is to transform the Houses into suborgs of the city, as opposed to the largely independent orgs they are now. 

    Historically, a lot of people have been Black Lotus, who happen to live in Hashan,  or Occultists who happen to live in Ashtan. we're transforming into a city-focused world, and you don't want to carry over those faults when you don't have to. You'll just end up diluting the city's identity and bringing in old problems that you missed a perfect opportunity to get rid of
    I agree with Jacen about not having an issue with nested orgs (pretty cool idea, really), but my agreement with what he said about it not being a particularly good idea in every case comes from the opposite space:

    I think some High Clans need the freedom to be who they are (and what they may become) without the persistent burden of city-dependent roleplay. For the Occultists, I think it absolutely makes sense to be a nested org; they are very unlikely to ever go against Babel, Vastar, etc. However, for others I would argue that because cities are always going to be move toward the proclivities of whoever is currently in charge, and what divine are active at the time, a High Clan (or regular clan for that matter) as an independent org is a  better route to maintaining their history, RP, etc. while still offering chance to embrace city RP down the road too. 
    Shirszae
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAPosts: 1,813Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Nested orgs make perfect sense, and to use the example of the Occultists, honestly makes more sense as a not-so-secret sub-society of a front organization. One issue I do have with the Renaissance is the tendency toward "Everything old must go!" Yes, we're rebooting Houses to fix some of the more persistent problems with them, but that doesn't mean we have to re-invent the wheel in every aspect, and we don't need to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to the good Houses that really were working, or would have a good chance to work in the new era.

    One of the "new" Houses adopting one of the old Houses as a High Clan seems perfectly reasonable to me, provided that the old House fit well with the city, fit well with the new House, and that strong leadership put its foot down and said "Listen, we saved you from Renaissance deletion because we liked what you were doing, but you have to realize that some of the rules have changed. You're part of us, we're part of the city, get used to it."
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
    TaelBluefNim
  • AntreusAntreus Posts: 131Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    edited November 2014
    Tael said:

    In the end, nested orgs solve two problems of renaissance houses: (1) they allow for class-specific RP and the continuation of well-developed orgs that the renaissance houses are replacing and (2) they help to reduce the homogeneity imposed by the new, more-inclusive houses without interfering with their ability to be so inclusive.

    The problem that the Serpentlords face is that they're not a nested organisation - they're functionally just a citiless house that doesn't have any of the mechanical benefits of other citiless houses (like the CIJ) to make recruitment of newbies feasible. They don't have a city or a house to feed members into them. What I find likely to be problematic about the Serpentlords is that they're setting themselves up to compete with houses as a sort of degenerate, single-class pseudo-house. That's why I think they're in a substantially harder spot than, say, the Order of Thurisaz (even if it has had a rocky start), which is not trying to do the same thing.
    Yeah, glad to see someone else notices this. Nesting is very important and I made sure to bring it to the Lord of the Carnivals attention last week, similarly with other clans I contacted. High clans have a potential to take on niche, class specific RP while still being apart of a larger organisation. The difference between an Institute that studies the Occult versus the Professors, Adjuncts, and tenured faculty who work together to advance understanding on a whole. These higher echelons in the House inspire and draw from the 'well' to pass on a particular legacy.

    A male voice is heard through the membrane, "Hey, girl."

    A male voice is heard through the membrane, "Are you an Apostate? ..because you just tore my heart out."

  • HellenHellen Posts: 163Member ✭✭✭ - Distinguished
    Whatever happens, good luck to you all.
  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandPosts: 1,897Member @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I see points on both sides concerning nesting. I think it can work in certain instances but not all. I know the Institute would not have succeeded if it was not closely tied with Hashan. From the outset we intended to create a highly mutualistic relationship and it worked rather well. We built bridges with the city and the Spiritwalkers, respectively, and I think it bolstered all three organizations.
    image
    Hellen
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