Threads of Pern


  • Pitcrew

    Mirrim was featured in a few of the books as a secondary character - she was the rejected child of a rider who basically had so many strong female role models that it gave her kind of identity crisis...she was bossy and bitchy and often misunderstand but generally well meaning (no personal self-identification there or anything) who was in the stands during a Hatching when out popped a green who proceeded to Impress her after no woman had Impressed anything other than a gold in like, 500 years.

    There was also a Pern "choose your own adventure" novel she was the protagonist for, which I adored. She wound up hooking up with T'Gellan who became weyrleader of Southern; she was a greenrider, so she was not weyrwoman and she was totally cool with that.


  • Creator

    Mirrim and Green Path .

    PArt of that whole 'no other girls were allowed on the sands unless their was gold' egg.

    And I've often thought Pern was bad /Sci-fi Fantasy, at times. I mean if you look at from a modern perspective its horribly, jsut /WRONG/ on a bunch of level (Sexist - any more who rides a green dragon is becomes gay' (kind of wrong. I think Anne actually said it).

    I think the problem is that Pern'ssystem was literally something that couldn't be changed. As long a Thread Falls, Weyrwoman will have power (because their dragons can only breed).

    But it also means Holders(farmers and townsfolk), and Crafters just don't have any reason to change.
    And once there is no more thread (Dragons become glorified taxis, in a world without phones)

    It why I prefer alt-pern.


  • Pitcrew

    I loved Mirrim.

    Admittedly, a part of me wants gold. But only because I've had this image in my head of a gold based on the White Witch from the Narnia books and so many MU*s are flooded with the happy motherly best at leading golds that I want one who is just a total stone cold bitch whose poor rider has to keep her in check.

    ...it'd also mean she'd never ever be good for Senior and I'd be fine with that.

    I briefly had an infertile gold on PernWorld, but they had this policy that you could only have X amount of golds at a weyr and yes an infertile counts... So no one wanted me when High Reaches closed and I had to put her away.


  • Creator

    Yeah I am kind a tempted to put togther a forum game, but see what I can do about it not being Pern.


  • Pitcrew

    @Songtress said in Threads of Pern:

    Yeah I am kind a tempted to put togther a forum game, but see what I can do about it not being Pern.

    How to Train Your Dragon inspired maybe?


  • Pitcrew

    @Songtress said in Threads of Pern:

    And I've often thought Pern was bad /Sci-fi Fantasy, at times. I mean if you look at from a modern perspective its horribly, jsut /WRONG/ on a bunch of level (Sexist - any more who rides a green dragon is becomes gay' (kind of wrong. I think Anne actually said it).

    Just think, a whole new generation to tell the tent peg story to!


  • Creator

    Ugh no... @Cupcake!

    @Auspice I am wavering HOw to Train Your Dragon doesn't feel quite right. I've decided that the 'Majestic Flying Partners' (MFPs) (until I figure out what they are). Are definately intelligent, living species, that lives separately from humanity. They are intelligent, and have speech, and society (at least in their weird, 'animal society'-style you see in fantasy books).

    Humanity having been forced to this new world via a disaster in their old one, so now their stuck.
    Downside humanity turns out to be metaphysically attractive 'darker' things.

    So this begins a set of cycles (ala dark souls or Final Fantasy) prosperity & calamity points in history.

    Rulership &Religion become touch stones for different kingdoms.

    Their biggest ties, :Wardens ( humans with animal bonds,)-- I am gonna go match this seperate thread now. Sicne I got stupidly offtrack.



  • The greens are female, IIRC so any male rider would be in for a hell of a confusing time when their dragon rose to mate. I don't see why that would automatically make the rider gay, but whatever. Anne sure did have some messed up ideas about homosexuality in general.


  • Pitcrew

    I've maintained radio silence for years, but I'm going to put this out there for those looking for a Pern game: this is more like Pern coming out of a time capsule than Pern breaking new ground.

    The people running it seem very nice, and my interactions with them have been positive, but I feel like they need a while actually playing Pern games to understand how and why the genre has evolved over the years. They're taking positive steps - building a real website, for example, because the doors opened with a Facebook page as their web presence - but it's still a little bit of a train-wreck over there. Things they're billing as "new and inventive" are either things other games have been doing for years, or things other games STOPPED doing years ago because they just don't work.

    They still don't have a full separation of IC and OOC responsibilities. Their head Weyr and Search admin is also their Weyrwoman, who is already massively idle and not RPing; when asked how they plan to cope with her not being an RP presence, the answer was essentially that the head wiz would badger her to get back online (which is exactly what you want - the most high-ranking PC in the hands of someone that doesn't actually want to roleplay), or wait 3 months and replace her (which means you have a minimum of 90 days with the head IC and OOC presence completely incommunicado).

    The last time I was poking around, they had a finite number of insta-riders (who were only being offered grudgingly, it felt like), so you basically HAVE to play a teenager if you want to eventually play a dragonrider. They're running 4:1 time, which most games abandoned because most of us who actually play Pern are now grown-ups with jobs and kids and can't RP every day but don't want to miss huge swathes of our characters' lives if we take a week or two off for RL.

    All that said, I do wish the game luck. If they manage to get over the initial year or so of growing pains, realize why a lot of the things above don't work and make changes, it would be nice to have another decent Pern game. Right now, the only really solid (and active) one is Harper's Tale, running on MOO, which turns off lots and lots of people just because of the code base.

    (In the interests of full disclosure, I do play currently on HT. It definitely has its problems - hello, crazies~ so nice to see you hanging around Pern still~ - but it's a little more in-touch with modern M*ers than ToP has shown itself to be thus far.)


  • Creator

    So I guess my question is:

    What would a Modern Pern/Alt Pern game have to look like?

    IC/OOC Seperation is a must (i.e your 'staffly types' can have a IC leadership position or they must be NPC ( and and staff can use them as mentors and help people obtain the IC positions.

    +It'd be need to be Inclusive
    +It might need to be during a Pass (or what ever other 'calamity time' if its alt pern).
    +The Magical Flying Partners ( shouldn't have Gender/heirarchy locks (Color/Gender/ what have you.- I really don't know why anne thought that was good idea..)



  • @Songtress said in Threads of Pern:

    I really don't know why anne thought that was good idea..

    Because it was 50 years ago and she was a middle aged, Irish Catholic woman. It's why I give her a pass for her extremely ignorant and very strange ideas about gays. Despite them, her (admittedly few and secondary if not tertiary) gay characters were generally portrayed in a positive light. For her time and circumstances, she was pretty progressive.


  • Pitcrew

    @TNP

    She was also heavily lost to dementia for a chunk of the last of her life. The views espoused were awful, but she was very old.


  • Pitcrew

    I've always harbored a secret desire to be the harper who rediscovers rock n' roll.


  • Pitcrew

    @Songtress said in Threads of Pern:

    What would a Modern Pern/Alt Pern game have to look like?

    These are two totally different questions. What a Pern game looks like and what an alt-Pern game looks like can be approached much differently. Just to address a "modern" Pern game, though, here's my wish-list/manifesto.

    • IC/OOC separation of duties. HT does this by giving each area its own game staff, made up of volunteers. Sometimes, these volunteers are also the IC leaders, sometimes they aren't. Then the areas each have two members serving on the game staff, and the game staff answers to the wizards (who don't actually play; they just make sure the code works and the kids don't throw sand at each other). NorCon ran (runs?) similarly, with wizards there to handle code, and everything else managed by volunteers.
    • Require approval. Make new characters write some kind of history (even if it's just a rough sketch), description, etc.
    • Don't make a billion areas. PW still tries to run with like 500 Weyrs, and they basically just constantly have to be running Hatchings. Having one or two areas is perfectly acceptable. Personally, I prefer just a single geographic region (i.e., a Weyr and a Hold), but having two seems viable. Just be prepared, if you do more than one area, for there to be constant bickering between the two areas.
    • Set it during a Pass. There are a few Interval games out there, but most current Pern gamers would prefer a Pass game. That's why HT did a reboot three years ago to start the game over during a Pass.
    • Provide non-Thread conflict. HT originally had this by way of the Oldtimers vs. Nowtimers plot, but that's unraveled, and you can start to see the game devolving into typical "Pern" stuff: Impress, get a boyfriend, have some babies, rinse, repeat. Instead of trying to write Pern's conflict out (color hierarchy, gender issues, non-riders mistrusting riders, etc.), use these as fodder to help drive a story.
    • Have stories/plots. There was a game a few years back that looked promising in the sense that it did most of the things above, but the game owner said in no uncertain terms that she wasn't going to be guiding plots. She wanted all plots to be player-driven. After a few months, the players wound up wandering off when it became apparent that she honestly meant that. We had some fun, but we also needed a game that was being guided by someone (or a group of people, whatever) with some kind of plan. HT is currently the most successful and active Pern game because - although there are issues - both areas on the game have active OOC leaders that try to come up with plots. Some plots are more successful than others, but it does give people something to RP about in between baby-making and vying for gold dragons.
    • Make dragons easy to get. It's called the Dragonriders of Pern. People will play other walks of life, but dragonriders are going to be the go-to. Allowing easy access to insta-riders makes it so the game isn't littered with nothing but adolescents waiting for Search.
    • Don't try to get rid of Hatchings. Like it or not, they still excite people, and they still get people to create new alts and branch out. Just roll with it.
    • Slow down time. Pern used to be hard-core with the 4:1 aging. People gradually got comfortable at 3:1, which is what HT and NC currently use. I'd go a step farther and suggest doing 2:1, since current Pern friends of mine have expressed that 3:1 still feels too fast.

    Those are some of my observations for what has and hasn't worked over the ~20 years I've been playing silly Pern games.

    glhf


  • Pitcrew

    @krmbm

    To hit a few points, re: Threads and talks with Staff I've had. One, yeah, Kyriana hasn't been active. I was hoping it was just the lead up to Dragon*Con (she has very heavy involvement and tends to be very busy), but it seems it may not be. She's a good friend of mine, a good Staffer, but she shouldn't be playing the Senior WW.

    For the rest...

    • Threads has just the one area. Fort Hold, Fort Weyr, and Harper Hall
    • Threads is currently in an Interval, but the Pass is due to start around February. aka give enough time for people to get situated, at least one hatching, and go
    • We've been discussing possible conflict options and I know Lexi has asked for input on ideas from people in the Hold
    • Their view on dragons is non-metallics (really non-gold) is that yeah, you're pretty much guaranteed. It isn't in the help file, but you can't say 'everyone who applies for a chromatic gets one,' because you need some protection for situations in which that's not feasible. You don't want Bob not RPing, not contributing, or worse: being a Problem to others... to be able to cry 'BUT I WAS GUARANTEED A DRAGON.' In talks with Staff, yeah. You want a chromatic? You get it.

    Honestly, easier to get dragons is a shift a lot of games have finally taken. I remember when you had to apply for Search but somehow make it seem like you didn't actually care about / want a dragon or else they'd go 'Oh this person just wants a dragon, no to them.' Of course I want a fucking dragon. It's DRAGONRIDERS OF PERN (the only time this differs is if the game has Dolphineers in which case GIMME A 'PHIN BITCHES).

    Threads is new. They're not gonna be perfect. But a lot of these points are things they're already working on. But some things, like plot/story? Can't be all on Staff. Players need to be willing to step up and contribute, too.


  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice said in Threads of Pern:

    Threads is new. They're not gonna be perfect. But a lot of these points are things they're already working on.

    I totally understand, and I don't disagree. :)

    Speaking as someone who plays in the genre currently, I can confirm that several friends and I logged in, looked around, spoke to the wizards, and left without creating characters because:

    • No insta-riders were offered. I understand that they allowed (or are still allowing?) a very limited set of insta-riders, but being forced to pick from a very small selection of options sucks, and their availability and approval seems to be controlled by Kyriana.
    • Which brings us to Kyriana. The OOC and IC head of the Weyr is massively idle. This doesn't bode well. The only policy in place to deal with her requires that she doesn't log in for 90 days. There's no clause about her actually RPing. She may be a super-duper nice person, but that doesn't make her the right person to play the highest ranking character on a brand new game. That needs to go to someone that wants to RP. It was a bad choice, and it's one the wizards don't seem to be handling.
    • And that segues into IC=OOC leadership. Lexi runs the Hold because she's the Lady Holder. Kyriana runs the Weyr because she's the Weyrwoman. Presumably, the Masterharper will run Harper Hall and the Masterhealer will run Healer Hall. This is a huge turn-off. The separation of IC and OOC leadership was a huge shift in Pern gaming, and it's not one that most of us want to rewind.
    • 4:1 time. This isn't a deal-breaker, necessarily, but it is a step backward.

    So, if they are looking for feedback, I hope they take that to heart. :) If/when the game makes some positive changes, I'm sure I'll be back to look at it again. In the meantime... There are other Pern games out there that already offer "guaranteed" Impressions (HT does this), which seems to be the game's biggest selling point?


  • Pitcrew

    I'm personally a fan of sped-up time on Pern games. With, mind, willingness to be flexible.

    No one wants to play being a weyrling for an RL year. Esp. on a game set during a Pass. You want to be in your wings and DOING STUFF that isn't just RPing handing off bags of firestone.


  • Pitcrew

    @krmbm

    This whole list is spot on, in my opinion (as someone who played Pern back in Ye Olde Days and briefly revisited it a few years ago). The one that really stands out to me is:

    Provide non-Thread conflict. HT originally had this by way of the Oldtimers vs. Nowtimers plot, but that's unraveled, and you can start to see the game devolving into typical "Pern" stuff: Impress, get a boyfriend, have some babies, rinse, repeat. Instead of trying to write Pern's conflict out (color hierarchy, gender issues, non-riders mistrusting riders, etc.), use these as fodder to help drive a story.

    This is where most Pern games honestly lose my interest. Pern is weird in that a lot of the obvious conflicts have been written out of the theme. War isn't really a thing (Fax apparently having been a bizarre exception due to the lack of dragons at the time). Technological advances are (usually) considered unthematic. Most Pern games don't do a lot of with crime.

    You REALLY need something to keep things moving when Threadfall becomes the same old hat. Politicking can be great if you have players who do it well, but to me, a good Pern game is one that says yes, you can advance technology, yes, there are mauraders who aren't easily stopped by dragons, or a Weyrleader who simply refuses to get involved, or... something. Some story. Some external conflict. Something to RP about.



  • Seems like it's definitely not for me then. All other quite valid complaints aside (and I agree with almost all of them), I have no desire to go through Impression and be a weyrling. Not for a year, not for 2.5 months. I have no desire to play a teen. No instariders to speak of? Not even worth logging on to look around.


  • Pitcrew

    I do wholeheartedly agree that they need to allow instariders. I'm not sure of why they don't, but I will gladly update this thread if/when they change it. Because I completely understand not wanting to be a weyrling or a teen.


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