Threads of Pern
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.
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.
Second Pass that closed this year or last year did most if not all of these. It had its own failings, of course, and I don't have any experience with any of the more "classic" Pern games, but it seems like it did a decent enough job being a "modern/alt" Pern game.
Of course, that doesn't help if you'd like to play on it, because it's gone now.
Three-Eyed Crow last edited by
'Second Pass' is one of those games I regret missing. I only stumbled upon it a year and a half or so ago, when it seemed definitely in its twilight days, but I really liked its rules and the way it handled Pern as a setting.
I admit I've never understood the 'games set during an Interval.
But I also invite people over to Crumbling Crowns, thread if you want to dicuss other similarthings.
Come to think of it:
Pern's main driver is the 'Flight-Clutch-Hatch' cycle as its how new Riders are produced. What is a way to.. eliminate or change that up. Its a 'locked system'. (as per before only Golds produce clutches).
How does a group of people change that. I've seen plenty of different things in PBP games (alternative timelines (set far in the future and other things).
But Pernese MU* activities rise and fall with that Flight-Clutch-Hatch cycle (usually an influx right before flight/or clutching.. and an mas exodus as people leave after a hatching.
I just wanted to post that the game is coming into activity again. RL issues hit staff really hard there for a while. But now there is regular activity and RP, as well as a more fleshed-out CG, and Search is due to begin very soon (descs for eggs were collected this past week and PCs can now flag themselves for Search).
I do know that after a couple Search cycles, they had planned to go into a Pass. Basically build up a couple PC fighting wings before Thread comes.
(if ever this gif was relevant...)
Threads died off for a good while because of Staff business and a lot of players (myself included) being RL-occupied. HOWEVER, the Staff has returned and decided they want to get things up and going again.
There will be a Search cycle soon to help kick off this new activity, so it’s a good time to get in and get acclimated. I will warn that these crazy folks have asked me to step up as Senior (mostly because I’m the only gold rider still around- bonus! means there will prob be a gold egg!). I have a lot of experience as SCo (I love writing dragons, y’all), but not so much in running things and I will likely try to find a WL who can handle most of the OOC leadership (tbh I kind of dislike how Pern games traditionally make the IC leadership also the OOC).
But if that doesn’t scare you away, please check it out: http://threadsofpern.wikidot.com/
(For those potentially curious: http://threadsofpern.wikidot.com/news-gender - women are fully equal to men on ToP and while women impress gold and men impress bronze as normal, there’s no sexuality restrictions and trans* are welcome. The only caveat is that while it’s been decided that there are herbs available for hormone treatment type things, the level of medicine does not allow for surgery. So be a gay bronzerider, a bi gold rider (my char is!), or feel more than welcome to play a trans char.)