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Houses

This out of character forum is for discussion of roleplaying, how to roleplay and roleplay coordination.
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Erasmus
Alliance of the Eclipse
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Houses

Post by Erasmus » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:08 pm

This may be an outdated philosophy, but I'm going to share it anyway. And I don't mean to offend anyone by what I might say, it's just the way I feel.

Most houses are a status symbol now. They don't mean anything. They are a mission board and an art. But they are one of the biggest and most involved systems in the game. Why have they become so unimportant? They are social gatherings.

Some of my best, most fun times were when AoE was in (fair) conflict with another house. Whether that was war, arguments, alliances, whatever. Now, houses could really cease to exist and everything could continue on as normal, for the most part.

Here comes the unpopular part.

Houses need established purpose and/or beliefs. They should be unique. And there should be (some) oversight to ensure this happens.

I'll be honest... I don't love the idea of the Bastion. I love the people in it. Some of the best in the game. Brilliant minds and integral to the game... But the house goes against everything that made houses important. For those that remember, a Freespirit house was a huge request in Lyra days, but always denied, even by players, because houses needed purpose which was contradictory to the idea of Freespirits. The Bastion is essentially a Freespirit house. There are factions in the same house that don't make sense that they would remotely coexist. I understand the reason behind it, the concept and again, love the people in it, but I think it's part of why we are in the position we are in house-wise. If the Bastion split into their actual factions and those factions joined houses, the other houses would grow and it would make sense belief wise.

The Bastion isn't the only example and I'm sorry to pick on them, but they are the most notable because of their size and structure.

I think that houses need a background idea that is adhered to. IE: AoE being peaceful, Keepers being dark/evil, Order being scholarly. Whatever. These are just examples. Keepers could be the peaceful house for all that matters, the point is, there should be a background to them. Why else would the Alliance have "Peace Aura" that protects its members from harm? Would it make sense that the art be a part of a house of war? That lead to abuse in the past. The house should have just been made to be a peaceful house and if it couldn't support it, close it until enough peaceful dreamers existed to reopen it. Caretakers could be like Uber Seneschals or something that semi govern this for all houses. I don't know the specifics.

;tldr Houses are an integral part of them game, but are boring now. They need a purpose. They need to be a big part of the game.
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Dina
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Re: Houses

Post by Dina » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:08 pm

I understand what you are saying, but you need to understand the Bastion before knocking it. If you don't understand, ask in game. The Bastion has "guilds" which were introduced a while back. They all have their own charter and instead of taking up every house in game, they are under one. When you join, you are asked to join one. The way the rules that have been put out, it makes it hard to have your own house now. So many members and etc. When people can come together as one to have a very structured home, but have differences in beliefs and such, that is not a bad thing lol. Things have changed so much in UL and the thought that the Bastion is working GREAT in this type of community, it says something. In SoT, we didn't have the whole drain, imprison, banish, etc. It worked. Don't be stuck in the old ways of UL.

Speak to anyone in the Bastion and they will tell you how great it is. What I don't understand is how AoE is even open for hardly anyone dreaming or even doing anything.
"I have this weird sort of Gemini thing where I can really be empathetic and a loving person. But if you piss me off, I can be one of the meanest, most sadistic people." - Wilhelm Reich
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Re: Houses

Post by Uthanatos » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:11 am

I tend to agree with Erasmus on a lot of this, as far as the Bastion goes, I don't and never have considered it viable as a house, each guild has a guild house and guilds were kind of expected to grow their strength and numbers to open a house. A house is a unified group, with unified goals and beliefs, not just people who will conveniently support your RPs. If you want that, start up something like TASTY again so that the community gets involved. We should be supporting RPs or not based on IC factors, beliefs, goals, direction. Not forming a house to make sure people show up to our events. My two cents.
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PKChrisChan
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Re: Houses

Post by PKChrisChan » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:14 am

Uthanatos wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:11 am
I tend to agree with Erasmus on a lot of this....We should be supporting RPs or not based on IC factors, beliefs, goals, direction. Not forming a house to make sure people show up to our events. My two cents.
Traditional houses do not gather interest anymore. The reason that these beliefs do not work is because....mechanically the essence beliefs they were founded on quite literally do nothing. Any game mechanic founded on essence arts is a shoehorn mechanic which leads to the behavior displayed eventually. This happened in Lyra and in this version where the "beliefs" just turned into reasons to collapse someone. It didn't help that formerly evoking an essence art on an essence would zero out the actual essence....which was counterproductive on strength gathering for a house. Yeah, I know it had reasons to be that way....it just was awkward. Thank god they changed it the way that they did.

I agree on the fact that houses should be unique, but we also need to understand that there is a severe issue regarding 'taking risks'. This leads to some dry role plays and lack of politics (Monastery of the Shadow). Each house should offer a different trope. Research, knowledge, teaching, scholarism, Pacifism (the way AoE was run during the Inzoum/Anasinsa tenure) are not complex enough roleplay styles to merit a house because these can all be roleplayed and enforced....without a house. As was said before, Monastery, OoSM's and EA's beliefs in this version are quite literally the same thing. Neutral homes are problematic because they ALL latch on against a unified threat. There is no division and by god, it was why I only lasted a month in lyra's version.

As far as the City Guard, everyone should know that it was a political farce. That's how Harkyn was designing it. So, it would make sense that they are in a Self-interested home like the Bastion. The rest of the Bastion, I challenge you to look a little deeper to understand the true nature of the guilds. They actually all do align with one another....somehow. :mrgreen:

Your hyperfocus on the Bastion in every post is a bit discouraging, as the rest of the community have moved past these OOC politics. You disagreeing just to disagree just makes every claim you make approach zero.
Erasmus wrote:Some of my best, most fun times were when AoE was in (fair) conflict with another house. Whether that was war, arguments, alliances, whatever. Now, houses could really cease to exist and everything could continue on as normal, for the most part.
Yeah, well DO something. Coordinate with GMs, make events on weekends (Saturday/Sunday), post on the IC forums, send in MotD requests after doing something for your roleplay. This community does care and maybe some of the Inactive community who have similar playtimes to you will have a reason to come back. Right now, the Telescope from the Alliance would be a HUGE benefit for the heart roleplay. You could make a roleplay(I've made a drastic unconvery) and then make a post and I GUARANTEE someone would seek you out.
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Re: Houses

Post by Uthanatos » Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:37 pm

My feelings as a player about the Bastion are what they are. The whole design is essentially a troll shield and it severely hurt the idea of guilds, which had great potential to cultivate groups that could BECOME active houses. Add in to that the mechanical aspect of having guild halls with vaults and sanctuaries and the whole thing just looks bad. It LOOKS like an abuse of the system, whether that was the intention or not.
“Sometimes it isn't easy to be sane, smart, and responsible. Sometimes it sucks. Sucks wang. Camel wang. But that doesn't turn wrong into right or stupid into smart.”
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-Lacie-
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Re: Houses

Post by -Lacie- » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:57 pm

I'm glad to see this discussion and am honored the Bastion stronghold was used as an example. So no toes stepped on here!

The Bastion of the Covenant (roleplay) was created in time of need. When that need no longer exists, well that's another story. When (not if) the Guilds get all self sufficient, maybe the Bastion won't need to be a shelter for them.

The Bastion of the Covenant DOES stand for something. It stands for a place for a group of people to feel secure enough to follow their dreams. Unconventional? Most likely. FreeSpirit house? Nope.

Not to pick on Calenture, but they've managed to hold onto their (outdated) belief system. It works for them. The Essence belief & Illuminated/FreeSoul belief system just doesn't work since the (over) use of DreamStrike. So, if we aim for Erasmus' goals, the houses need to be more, stronger, and differently backed with a NEW belief system. That... sounds like a lot of fun! (no snarkiness impied, I'm serious).

The Alliance is another house steadfast in their belief system. But that doesn't mean that ALL the houses HAVE to be that way! That's why Lace never belonged to another house way back when... they were all the same, but a slight difference in belief wording. Then they always fought over those few words. We're grown ups now, I think we can do better as a group. We're much more intelligent than we were, right???? :D

Thanks for bringing up the topic, Erasmus!

~Lacie~
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Dina
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Re: Houses

Post by Dina » Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:42 pm

Uthanatos wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:37 pm
My feelings as a player about the Bastion are what they are. The whole design is essentially a troll shield and it severely hurt the idea of guilds, which had great potential to cultivate groups that could BECOME active houses. Add in to that the mechanical aspect of having guild halls with vaults and sanctuaries and the whole thing just looks bad. It LOOKS like an abuse of the system, whether that was the intention or not.
I was going to reply to this, but stopped myself....instead I am just going to laugh at it, you are welcome Koi! Have a great day!
"I have this weird sort of Gemini thing where I can really be empathetic and a loving person. But if you piss me off, I can be one of the meanest, most sadistic people." - Wilhelm Reich
Koi-Wish
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Re: Houses

Post by Koi-Wish » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:03 pm

I think a steady growth in population will allow this to self-resolve. For now, what things are, works for the players that are involved in it. Us old school players have to adapt as well. Oddly, and Erasmus, you can attest to this - this is the fundamental core of Eldryck's actual roleplay.
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Dina
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Re: Houses

Post by Dina » Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:40 pm

Koi-Wish wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:03 pm
I think a steady growth in population will allow this to self-resolve. For now, what things are, works for the players that are involved in it. Us old school players have to adapt as well. Oddly, and Erasmus, you can attest to this - this is the fundamental core of Eldryck's actual roleplay.
Exactly :D :D :D
"I have this weird sort of Gemini thing where I can really be empathetic and a loving person. But if you piss me off, I can be one of the meanest, most sadistic people." - Wilhelm Reich
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Princess
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Re: Houses

Post by Princess » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:53 am

Koi-Wish wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:03 pm
I think a steady growth in population will allow this to self-resolve. For now, what things are, works for the players that are involved in it. Us old school players have to adapt as well. Oddly, and Erasmus, you can attest to this - this is the fundamental core of Eldryck's actual roleplay.
I agree, however the family style feeling is gone. It is too exclusive.... that could be improved is my opinion.
You see a pressed seal of wax is etched displaying in the center an empty Sigil. The etching is shaped in the manner of a coat of arms. The top right sector, a teacup, the top left, a dolly.
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Black Cloud
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Re: Houses

Post by Black Cloud » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:15 am

PKChrisChan has made a good point. Before the Bastion, the entire purpose of the Peace Corpse was to offer a house which required no beliefs for entry as a contrast to all other houses. We had a very simple overall goal, to progress and stick together like glue. Within the PC, the only guild-like properties we had were the services we offered at first. Smaller guilds began to develop eventually. We didn't create the house because it's what we thought was the right way, but because this way did not exist previously. You previously -had- to adopt a belief to have the benefits of a house, which is unfair to many. Im sure there have been some exceptions, but for the most part it's been this way.

I agree that the previous beliefs are endangered, and that is a problem, however there should be room for new ideas. Now we can see an evolution of that, where rather than a large house without unique beliefs we have a large house that allows smaller groups to create new belief systems while receiving the benefits of the housing system. And Dina has also made a good point. The Bastion is actually a barrier keeping dreamers from acquiring houses unnecessarily. If you take that away, another will sprout and the circle continues. Not only that, but if other houses adopted this new way allowing smaller guilds to fall beneath their roofs, it would spread the player base around. I believe this can play a big part in reviving old beliefs as well if people just work with it. However, by making them the 'bad boys' all the time, it gives a lot of incentive to join the stronger group.

Further, the major attraction to UL is the ability to alter history and add something to it, and I applaud the GMs for accommodating these new story-lines. It can't be easy to basically wipe two houses away, but it enabled something which works better today.

If I have any problems with houses, its that once people join they cease to interact with others. Fine, join a house and do your RPs.. but players should try harder to interact with the characters they don't get along with, or players who don't fall within your RP.
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Re: Houses

Post by Trisha Pawm » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:18 pm

It's just my opinion but I think part of the issue regarding houses has always been the Illuminate vs Freesoul and Essence beliefs which often times create a false negative in terms of conflict.

Does it cause conflict? Sometimes. Does it feel hollow? yes.

I'm hoping some of the things that i'm trying to do will help assist this issue in game. Because I think a large part of the problem is the linear belief structure of alot of houses. They can be very problematic in creating "Real drama and controversy" versus a sort of contrived version of it.

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Tentacle
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Re: Houses

Post by Tentacle » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:25 pm

There is also nothing from stopping the hardliner fundamentalist beliefs of the past from existing, again, currently. That being said, even within the movements there are always those who are more liberal, or more moderate. At the very least the fundamentalist houses could within themselves have "guilds" centred around these differences in the adaptation and exercising of the belief. It does not have to be a zero-sum playing field.

Dreamers of Light, perhaps the most obvious example, could within it quite easily unite the hardliner, moderate, and liberal and have their own little world of themed roleplaying within the organization. Debating and deciding how their beliefs were going to be expressed and carried out.

I am a firm believer that player positions like Ruler, Guardian. Advisor (which is why I suggested Advisor even be a thing. Because at the time I thought it would be cool if I could NOT be a ruler but still drive RP direction), Teacher, Master Teacher, Wordsmith, Forger - ALL OF THEM - are best utilized, when those who have them are generating and inspiring content within the game.

I've seen it time and again that player controllers want a taste of the power. This is not a personal attack on anyone. Often the workload required to really DO something with those power positions is off-putting or ignored entirely. Thus we see the banalest concept expressed as a house belief. This attracts those who can go through the motions and call it a day. There's not much effort required, even less to stay within said structure. Life goes on.

Since I singled out Dreamers of Light, I'll flip to the other side and discuss Alliance of the Eclipse.

Over the many years of Underlight, there have been very few unique expressions of the belief system. No one is at fault, is it what it is. It takes A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT to create new and dynamic systems. Why change what is not broke? Both of these issues make for a situation where over the years the beliefs of this organization have often been expressed as "We're good, you can't fight us!" While THEY think they're good, other players may not think that. When conflict crops up, complaints and allegations of bullying happen. You can be a pacifist, and STILL, CAUSE CONFLICT. Pacifist: 1.a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable. It does not say they cannot, or will not, cause conflict.

Nothing happens in a vacuum in the game. New beliefs and systems need to be dynamic. It can be hard to explore something NEW because to be really successful at it takes work. You have to consider the content your making for those who follow the system. You have to consider the content generation for those who oppose it. People believe this is solved, and thus beliefs are EASIER by doing what was done in the past. They do not, however, realize all the same needs, desires, and work existed "back then" too. But, you had more people sharing the workload. And, you had more people playing who understood that the "power" positions resulted in content generation.

When you had a couple hundred people, like with a mass produced product, a few duds can slip past. When each piece is hand made and they're all under scrutiny, it is way easier to identify defects. In an age of instant gratification, the needs for new dynamic content have to be balanced with the unique requirements of a product like Underlight.
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OfF KiLTeR
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Re: Houses

Post by OfF KiLTeR » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:04 am

From my olden, golden days in the Lyran realm, I always thought there were two polar pillars of HC and DoL. They provided a framework for beliefs whereas the other houses were fringe not in terms of importance, rather they were fringe in that the did not have the requirements to be so rigid in their rulesets. They could be a little more fluid because there was always an absolute that provided contrast. That didn't mean that DoL or HC were the most extreme, they were simply the unmoving bar by which everyone could align themselves.

I think that as time goes on, the polarity will return, giving the groups a starting point. That polarity gives the other houses opportunities to jump in and out of a main story arc and, at times , perhaps unified game-wide endeavours.
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PKChrisChan
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Re: Houses

Post by PKChrisChan » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:27 am

OfF KiLTeR wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:04 am
From my olden, golden days in the Lyran realm,.....
Just reading that made me age a bit. xD
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Raas
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Re: Houses

Post by Raas » Tue Jan 15, 2019 2:55 pm

Some thoughts to chew on: Most of the interactivity between houses (polarity, disposition, priorities etc) is simply in the hands of house leaders.

In real life, nations/tribes etc can manifest variations of the same beliefs over time and place. Think about Christianity in 1990's Illinois vs. Christianity in 1200's Budapest. Think about the wide variety of religious denominations across time and space. Even in America, a relatively secular place - Our disposition and priorities change on a dime, depending on elected leaders.

Leaders can take hard lines or soft lines, adopt and amend new policies, and change them to suit the environment.

I'd recommend leaders think about their characters and what a range of acceptable reactions to particular common events - When attacked, when dealing with an opposing essence belief, when stolen from, when lied to, when at war, etc.

Your character's reaction on Monday to X thing doesn't have to be the same reaction to X thing on Friday, depending on the framework they operate in.
~Ra'as
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