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If you’ve ever watched an episode of Mythbusters, you’re aware that the world of story and the world of reality don’t always match. In films, cars explode when they crash, bullets can be dodged and the winner of an arm-wrestle is always the one with the bigger biceps.

A friend of mine told me about some roleplay a while ago where his character was taking shelter next to a diesel truck which exploded after someone threw a grenade at it. ‘Diesel doesn’t explode’, I said. In that setting, however, it turns out diesel does explode.

Pick half the action films or games out there and diesel explodes. It’s pretty much impossible to make it blow up in real life, but it’s like nitroglycerine when it’s in the flicks. Star Wars has some interesting reality-benders as well.

Lightsaber duels take a long time, when every form of real world swordfighting tends to be over pretty quickly - that one’s usually pinned to force-user precognition, but it happens with non-forcies too. Goons are usually disposable and ignored. It’s pretty rare in Star Wars to see an organization where the guy at the bottom even has a say about where his head ends up rolling.

Skill is almost always the deciding factor in any fight with Star Wars. Luck rarely has anything to do with it, and all fights are usually fair, with the better or more resourceful warrior winning.

These are all things common to a lot of settings. Star Wars’ specific mix of themes and tropes make up its general tone, and tone can differ between media, era, and even the character being followed. I’m sure any military realist novels set in Star Wars will have a different tonal setup. But we roleplay in SWTOR in which the villains are hammy, the heroes are plucky, and that level 70 Mynock will still give you trouble no matter how many rancors you’ve killed.

You can use this as a guideline for roleplay. Many do. Most pick and choose what they like. I can’t imagine many people stick with the killer mynocks. On the other hand, there’s another, less tonally sensitive guideline: the real world. In the real world, sword fights are abrupt, goons have opinions, and combat is largely unfair to a single, highly trained individual.

Gunnarr Rook o If it was good enough for MacGyver and the A-Team, it's good enough for me. At the end of the day it's all ab...
The Green Witch It's easier to revert common grounds when confronted with something seemingly unexplained in full detail, while we ...
The Lisk The point of the article is that varying opinions on how a fictional world works can cause conflict and here are some wa...


Many SWTOR players will remember the move from Galaxies and all the hope and homesickness it brought. It can be a difficult thing to leave behind assets collected over many years and to turn away from hours of investment in one game to move to another.

SWTOR remains in full swing with expansion packs arriving consistently and the looming shadow of maintenance mode (the MMO graveyard of No More Content) seeming far less of a threat than before the surge of new expansions, and the release of The Force Awakens.

On the other hand, now Star Wars is owned by Disney, there has been a significant upturn in new games, films and TV shows being released, and with the films being the flagship of this convergence giant, there’s definite pressure to move focus closer to the the Battle of Yavin and away from the Old Republic.

It’s possible that in the coming years, we may see a new Star Wars MMO, focused on the world of the new films.

It’s all conjecture at this point, but how would you feel about a new MMO to explore? Would you relish a breath of fresh air, or would you not want to leave SWTOR’s world behind?

Uzlisa In my opinion swtor isn't a good mmo. Honestly if It wasn't for rp I would have dropped it and forgotten all a...
Zoel Got instant nostalgia seeing those screenshots, and I admit I'd be excited even just to hear a new Star Wars MMO wa...
Paloma I honestly fear this is the last one we're getting, in the classical MMORPG sense. When the utopian MMORPG-bubble b...

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Chut-chut gizkas. Which is it? Is your small-scale guild a font of quality content provided to a limited audience? Is it a nook carved out for your personal headcanon? Or is it just an echo-chambre to boost your e-penis? What’s the dividing line? 

Let's have a dig around.

I’ll just get this off my chest right now: I myself operate a small-scale guild. I will be using it as an example hereafter. A dozen members with a following wind, of which nine are active and six are active more than once a week. It was created to slot into a very specific niche: showing the contrast between the vibrant workaday aspects of a Living, Breathing Galaxy & the Big Damn Heroes we see in it. To its members (most of whom have either come from or are still part of large-scale guilds), it’s a hideaway. It’s a redoubt. It’s somewhere they can be free from drama and politics and just get some writing done. To a certain number of vocal outsiders, it’s a heinous little den of villainy. A terrible bastion of elitism and circlejerkery. It’s not alone.

So, why? Is it specific to the members of any given small-scale guild? Or is it a fundamental byproduct of the small-scale model? Is it both?

I'll tell you: I don’t know.

I can’t give you a broad-sweeping answer. I can only tell you my personal experience, and the reports I’ve been given by other members of Filthy Elitist Cliques. For the broad majority of interaction with other guilds, especially other small-scale ones, OOC doubts and suspicion have muddied the waters. Small-scale guilds walk a knife-edge by nature. Whether by a niche concept or internal lore, or simply by the inherent skittishness of members who, as stated before, are often avoiding the trials and tribulations of Large Scale Guilds.

LD.OOC Well year I tried to make the Crime Suppression Division on Coruscant on the Prognitor happen, but beween not many inter...
Diregrin I like this a lot. I can't find a like button for the article, so I'm just going to say that I like it. Thank...
Captain Shanks ''To a certain number of vocal outsiders, it’s a heinous little den of villainy. A terrible bastion of e...


In an
earlier article, I talked about the problems with confusing IC and OOC authority. The comments section brought up a lot of other issues regarding guilds, so here goes the beginning of a short-lived, flame-griddled series on roleplay guild management and culture.

The Numbers Game is the basis of almost all open-recruitment guilds in SWTOR. It’s so ingrained into the culture of the place that if you ask a guild, "why do you need new members?" the answer you’ll probably get is "so we can grow." Which would make sense in a game of Agar.io, or even the likes of EVE Online, but seems like an empty answer in an RP guild.

If you’re unlucky, you might even hear, "so we can be more powerful!" in which case you’ve stumbled across some basket case who hasn’t managed to work out roleplaying isn’t method acting. Either that or they’re for some reason obsessed with power on the internet.

If the answer is, "to give lone players people to RP with," that’s a lot harder for me to poke at with the cynicism stick, but introducing lone players to a bad atmosphere is worse than just leaving them alone, so it’s not always good.

Troels/Oldstead/Morg o As an example of why IC and OOC separation of power/leadership are beneficial, I have an old story from SWTOR about a gu...
Mebeth Thank you for posting this. I'm in the process of setting up a small guild at the moment, and one of the discussion...
Diregrin The guild I'm an officer in at the moment is 100% designed in response to everything you've said. Both myself ...

Extracts from the travel diaries of Sally I.; scholar and philosopher. This documentary series, Galactic Misunderstandings, is brought to you by Starwire Discovery Programmes

Galactic Misunderstandings: Mandalorians

Perhaps the most basic factor in any culture is the presence of some kind of hierarchy. For complex systems like the Galactic Republic—a sprawling, multi-layer comprehensive bureaucracy supporting a democracy—it is quite frankly hard to keep track of power, money and resources. As you might expect, the Mandalorian system is mercifully bureaucracy-free.

In fact, the position of Mand’alor—the ‘sole ruler’—is barely defined or officially described. It is a title claimed, and if unopposed, kept. If opposed, it must be defended; traditionally violently. It is a level of accepted seniority and respected skill and wisdom to which the vast majority—if not the entirety—of the Mandalorian clans owe enough respect to obey. You could viably cry ‘dictator’ but bear with me here. Remember how much like family Mandalorians are, and join me for the final nari of the Resol’nare.

 


There’s
no shortage of content on what I’m going to talk about here. If you don’t know the term ‘purple prose’, you may be new(ish) to the field of writing, chronically short of a drive to self-improve, or just lack the necessary Google-fu. I’m going to write all of this addressed to the first and last groups because the one in the middle will probably be at the comments section by now anyway.

Purple prose is, at its most basic, writing too much. Stuffing too many words where they don’t have a place. Spotting it is a matter of counting the adjectives and judging what they do (and don’t do). Reading it is a matter of eye-gouging distress. Most people skip purple prose when they see it. I can usually soldier through about a line of the most florid shavit imaginable before I have to give up and go lie down with a damp towel on my head.

Which is all very strange. You’d think it wouldn’t be so painful to read through what is just ‘too many words’. There’s something more fundamental going on here.

Kathryl Oriana No, I strongly disagree with this article. Yes, no one wants to read a five paragraph emote at every action and no one w...
Lae I don't understand why so people are arguing against the article? No where does it say 'description when neces...
Aresand/Vasraan RP is an interactive medium. Making me wait a couple of minutes for some verbose emote which doesn't give me much n...

It's probably same to presume that in the Star Wars universe, Force sensitives are the eternal FOTM. In other non-gamer words, they're the most powerful beings in the galaxy. In all the eras of the Star Wars saga, we're exposed to heroes and villains of all types, but the ones that stand out the most and do the most good or damage are the ones with the Force as their ally, be it dark or light. There are very few instances where non-Force sensitives have celebrated victoriously over their fallen Force sensitive opponents. 

In The Old Republic, we're told that our characters in their chosen classes are the best of the best. This statement is true for both Force and non-Force sensitives. Troopers, smugglers, agents and bounty hunters are supposedly just as powerful as their saber-wielding counterparts. But is that really the case? Can a character without the aid of the Force triumph over someone who does?

In today's Force Reflection, tell us whether or not your character could kick the booty of a Force wielder. Of course, we'd like to know why and how. So get to it, and flood the comments box with your ideas!
LD.OOC Depends what of my character we are speaking of, both my fully trained police officer and my detective can restrain a un...
Savage Sterling Think all the people linking HK's famous lines from KOTOR are forgetting the argument is not whether it's poss...


The following is a generalized example about a systemic issue. It is not about you. If you read it and feel that it is similar to something you’ve experienced, it doesn’t mean the article is about you. It means the article is
for you.

You’re part of a guild mostly focused around Imperial roleplay. Your character, a Sith desperately trying to earn a promotion, has just finished a training session when they’re called over by the guild leader’s character. They have a private conversation. Aggressive flirting enters the scene. You don’t have any interest in penning Fifty Shades of Lightsaber, but this is the guild leader. If they wanted, they could cast you out from the guild, demote you, or just have your character executed; and you’ve spent months working up to where you are in the guild.

One way to see this is that it’s just a plot and that it’s indicative of the sort of scum and corruption at the heart of the Empire, that no-one should write Sith if they don’t want to get involved in scuzzy stories. But we’re not in the Empire. We’re not Sith. We’re roleplayers in a community of roleplayers and if you’re pushing someone into a sex scene through OOC social pressure, you are just getting your rocks off at the expense of others. This is more of a problem than we’d really like to admit. It does happen. It is bad. Most people don’t roleplay to be objectified as the literary equivalent of sex workers. Now that’s not to say you shouldn’t write a prostitute, but you probably shouldn’t feel like one.

I’m not saying that it isn’t possible to enjoy that sort of plot from the position of the entrapped party. I’m not saying it isn’t possible for the guild leader in the situation to be entirely story-focused and not just trying to get his or her rocks off on a power trip. If the guild lead is happy to let you slip out of the scene because you are uncomfortable, or is fine with off-screening what happens, you may well be in a healthy situation. The issues come when IC and OOC authority get confused - and the above issue isn’t the only one that arises from this. Plots are ruined, characters killed and players silenced routinely because of someone overly invested in the idea of being In Charge.

Captain Shanks Well, i agree with everything in this article. I have to say one thing, however. I envy those guilds where the guild le...
Viskan Guilds are definitely a collaborative effort. I have heard some weird stories of OOC power structures before and it isn&...
Kiyosa o As mentioned somewhere in the article itself, it's all too easy to blame others for whatever predicament one finds ...

Who are the most powerful and fearsome beings in the Star Wars universe? It's a topic that's open to saber-swinging and blaster-firing debate as the fantasy universe we know and love is full of heroes and villains that are, in our eyes, practically god-like. 

Sith
use the mystical-yet-corrupted dark side of the Force, making them a power to be reckoned with. Jedi also use the Force, but it's not as dark and gloomy. With the Force as their ally, these magical beings are capable of causing absolute havoc to the universe, just as we've seen in the many eras of Star Wars lore. 

But is the Force the be-all and end-all? Are there beings out there capable of greatness without the use of the Force? I bet you Boba Fett has something to say about that! Which of course leads to today's topic. 

Bounty hunters are also capable of greatness, or chaos, depending on how you look at it. However, is being a bounty hunter just about taking and completing a contract? Is there a hunter's code, just like the Sith and Jedi code? Are there rules, regulations, an organisation to regulate the hunters? That's today's topic. Tell us what it means to you to be a bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe. 
Cae Roth @Takrael really hit the nail on the head there. Like our real-world cowboys, knights, vikings, etc. Bounty Hunters have ...
Takrael I think it's something that's been romanticised because of all the famous bounty hunters in Star Wars. People ...
Mahlak Daseon, M-D To me, being a bounty hunter is being an individual who could be hired to capture or kill a designated target.

BioWare has been pretty keen on moving the story along, lately. It’s understandable, especially after a few years bogged down in “Where’d we leave the Emperor again?.. Oh no. Who saw him last?” Unfortunately some of the time they move the story along faster than realtime to keep things rapid, and while that doesn’t hurt the story, it’s difficult for roleplayers. How do you handle a skip in time?

You could have your character frozen, like the Outlander, but that might seem a little forced, considering it's exactly what happens to the story's protagonist.

You could ignore the timeskip completely and keep roleplaying pre-Zakuul. For die-hard critics of SWTOR’s latest developments, this might be the best option, but it does shut you out from a lot of plots involving the wider community.


One of the most popular choices I’ve seen is handling the skip in-time with BioWare; crafting some story to have happened in the intervening years, then just picking up where you left off with the character however many years older. This has a lot of advantages, but those intervening years are never going to be as fleshed out as they would’ve been.

Alen Ugh, Timeskips. We've done our best, and we had some storylines. One half of the guild lost in uncharted space aft...
Iradox A couple of us arranged the Escape from Corgon II RP, in order to offer a unique way of playing out the timeskip. Some o...
Super Secret Account WoooOOOoo "You could have your character frozen, like the Outlander, but that might get a little forced if you use the sa...
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