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CURRENTLY A ROUGH OUTLINE, please read the artist comments before replying to this.

Examples will be the things I know best, in terms of genre. This could potentially apply to any genre. Feel free to try this and tell me how it went! No credit is necessary, but if you do feel the need, then just link this so more people can see it. :D Also feel free to suggest changes or tell me about alternate applications-- I'll put those on here under their own heading. :3

Goals of the system

focus on storytelling and character development.
allow people to practice and hone skills in multiple methods of artistic storytelling
create a multimedia playing experience
Storywriting/art may also promote game activity in times where RP is slow due to one party being bogged down with IRL.

Working notes

You can see the test in action in the comments, which i closed not because it was failing but because I ran out of time. This system in it worked.

A game used this and tweaked it to experience points, in which case it removed non-relevant elements in the rubrics and made each section worth +1. it allowed you to cash in for money instead by requesting money at the beginning, at a rate of 1 XP = 100 money (in a game where simple items = 200 money).

A game has implemented this system WITHOUT the incentives or shop system to tie it to, since they were extant implementation and already had a money and shop system. In this case, they stripped off rubrics and basically everything but the allowance to submit art/short stories/live chat logs, and added a thread where players could provide specific permissions or mass permissions (with the base assumption being that you CAN'T use characters without permission). This has worked well thusfar.

We of course encourage you to change what you think would be relevant; this is made to specifically be as objective/encouraging/rewarding-things-that-encourage-people-to-try-new-things. However, if your game has a different emphasis, switch up the rubrics (or do without them entirely).



heart of this system. forum based (or other.) The system could potentially be applied to other game-bases. participation in this should be encouraged.

Short Stories

A la fanfic. You write all characters involved in the scene, and write the entire scene to completion. permission required (see nessicary game changes- the permission box). make sure to keep in character.
rewards for this should be based on content, rather then length or purple prose. however, what is purple or good is very very subjective. Scene details require length, each character will contribute to the length and quality.
people can make stories involving only of their own characters, but may also use other people.
Major events can be done this way by giving a prompt with the major outcomes of the events, or just the setting. :D

Visual Artwork

images, comics, anything. ruberic should be based on content, rather then quality or effort since those are subjective. content = peices of what's included. background, shading, etc.
There should be /separate/ rubrics for self-drawn art and for art that uses precreated thing.s precreated art still requires skill to fit together and change colors.
balancing these is hard. we suggest looking at it from a time perspective, and keeping it mostly balanced. Also important to keep it simple.  Brief surveys of manippers and painters reveal 4-5+ hours for a complicated manip, 2-3 for a simple one. Variable depending on who's doing it and how many parts are drawn in, which takes longer.. painters often do 10+; quick drawings can be 4-5. again, based on very simple and brief surveys. for this reason, manips and drawn art are almost equal up-- more points can be scored by adding things to the manip by drawing htem by hand or adding them in, whereas in the drawn section more points can be earned by shading.
keeping simple is important; do not reccomend asking artists to time themselves on peices or award based purely on time, because that's almost impossible to verify.
people can make images involving only of their own characters, but may also use other people.

Live Chat

either script-writing, no-meta short paragraphs, or short-paragraph poses. may be ideal for fast-paced events. logs need to be posted for credit.

Necessary changes to existing formats

character profiles needed
personality should be emphasized, appearance needs to be clear enough to draw.
include a permissions box--> ONLY for the short stories/drawn content. People should be able tp specify if they're okay with people drawing their characters, wiriting their characters, what sorts of plot. If it's open permission (which means they can just be written), or if they can be written freely in only certain circumstances, or if all permissions must be established every time the character is used-- e,g, if someone wanted to write a short story, they would contact the owner of the other character and arrnage the plot details ahead of time, MAYBE by establishing an outline, and hten when all events were approved would write the story.
ruberics for writing and art should be publicly posted and very clear
need an existing reward or currnecy system. The ruberics for the storywriting and the art can feed this directly (you get as many game $ as you get points on those ruberic), or can be cashed in at a different rate (10 points on the ruberic = 1$), depending on your economy's scale.

Ownership of resultant media

resultant media considered gift art and should be resulted as such. The recipiants should not be allowed to claim credit for the work but they should be able to show it off on other sites that the character is used on, with credits to the original creator AND the original image, in the form of a link to the original image, and to any artist sites the original creator maintains (as per their own preference).
Individual artits can set their own preferences with regards to stuff, but we really recommend that people regard these works as true giftart; they shouldn't be altered, the credits shouldn't be modified, but if people want to put them in their posts or link them on character profiles, that should be allowed.
works which are commissioned may be subject to separate rules, but it is up to the GM's discretion whether to allow commissioned works to be turned in for points.

Commissioned works?

game owners should choose whether to allow it
pros: promote art communities, promote advertisement.
cons: could detract from storytelling and make the game into an art-collecting or sales focus.



should be optional, though participation in the "Heart" of the system (reccomended is post-by-post) should be strongly encouraged. the goal is to include many options for play, but not to require them.
recommended not to have an activity requirement, since many of these are very time consuming.


should make an effort to balance the rewards for participation in all sections.
participation in all systems should result in roughly the same amount of game $. calculate these based on ideal average circumstances.

For example, this is our scale:
this assumes continues, non-distracted work with all parties having the necessary permissions and all participants being online at the same time.
-- 1 thread with 2 players and 2 characters over 1 hour might generate 4 posts, which is 1 post every 15 minutes, and 1 post per player every half an hour.
-- According to google, the average person can type ~1500 words an hour, which is ~3 pages. no information is provided on information not centered around length, which is not the goal of this system; assume about 1 page of setting information and 2 pages of character interaction?
-- average manip times are between 2-6 hours depending on complication
-- average drawing times seem to be between 4-15 hours, depending on complication. drawn sections will naturally take longer.
-- Live RP can move quickly and it's hard to judge, so points should be awarded based on participation.

Avoid negatives, like detracting points or offense for getting things wrong-- that will happen sometimes, when people are handling new or unfamiliar characters.
Owners should be able to retcon events if they seriously influence their own characters' developments in ways they don't like, but the points awarded for creation should remain. not encouraged to do this often.
Award points for accurately describing things that exist in the landscape, events from canon, and/or things like weather conditions. Owners of characters should be able to, if htey choose, award an additional set of bonus points for keeping their characters IC or drawing htem accurately-- optional and can only be done by the owners of characters' involved, becuase this is so subjective only the owner could make this call.
remember that clarity is important. artistic license can be different in multiple people, as can be interpretations of things.

might be worth awarding personal character plot events, plot progression, etc, in all the formats, to underline the focus on character development.


rewards should feed into a currency system which can be used to buy character creation goodies and/or plot goodies-- whatever they are, they should be things which feed into the game.

whether this is a true currency system, where memebrs can also buy things from other members/etc, or whether it's a token system where your points from the ruberics are traded in for in-game goodies only, is up to the owner of hte game.

Recommended rubrics

ALL NUMERICAL VALUES IN THESE ARE EXAMPLES; edit them according to the scale of your game's economy. These point values assume you get a reward of ~2 points per hour, with extras for IC details and completing character goals.

this is assuming that post-by-post is hte heart of the game already, so that there's already a currency/point/reward/store system in place.
this outline thus assumes rewards for the following, and is meant to operate as a sort of baseline for the other ruberics.
-- per post: +1
-- finishing a thread/meeting a character goal: +5
-- creating a character: +5
-- having correct weather/taking into account season/other small details publically provided: +3
-- "finishing" thread: +5 (Getting to the point where all players agree that it's done and whatever plot event was to come to pass (or not, if none was) is done)
-- participation in site-wide plot event: +10

Art- drawn content
-- uncolored sketch: 2
-- flat color, transparent/flatcolor/gradient bg: 6
- extra character: +5 each
--+1 for every character that you include that you don't own.
- shading (per character) +4
- simple background (cel or no shading, blocked out shapes or textured/abstract background or existing photograph): +4
- painted background (pictoral/scenic background not fitting the above criterea) +8
- interaction with props: +5
- accurately depicting a setting specified in the canon of the game: +5 overall
- Correct season/weather (if specified/relevant)/other small game-specific details: +2 for whatever details are provided publically
- Showing a personal plot event (rather then a portrait): +5
- showing a site event: +7
BONUS +10 may be awarded by the owners of any characters involved for accurate or well-done portrayal, which is optional.

Art-- pre-created content.
All content must be credited in order to receive credit. no credits = no points. Precreated content includes photographs (manips), or grayscales/lines/etc. this requires skill, so it gets credits.
-- transparent or flat-colored background image: 4
-- extra character: +4 each
--+1 for every character that you include that you don't own.
--For manips: Changing the color of some part of the source photo: +4, per character
-- Fitting it into a background: +4
--For manips: creating a background with multiple photo sources: +6
-- Adding aspects to characters not included in the stock/source, using another pre-created source: +1 each section it's relevant
-- drawing in sections of background or character which are not included in stock/source: +2 each (Each portion that has it's own comma would be considered a single thing: mane, tail, 4 paws instead of hooves, horns).
--- INSTEAD of taking the above two individually, if it's too complicated to calculate and you had to make changes to the source so massive it's almost unrecognizable and/or a totally different species, you can instead take: +8. this is optional
- accurately depicting a setting specified in the canon of the game: +5 overall
- Correct season/weather (if specified/relevant)/other small game-specific details: +2 for whatever details are provided publically
- Showing a personal plot event (rather then a portrait): +5
- showing a site event: +7
BONUS +10 may be awarded by the owners of any characters involved for accurate or well-done portrayal, which is optional.

Short story
-- Setting established (time, place): +1
-- Primary character: +2
-- Characters actively involved (whose speech and actions are focused on for most of hte story): +1 each
-- characters peripherally involved (who do something or say something significant but aren't involved in most of the story:) +.5 each
--+1 for every character that you include that you don't own.
-- accomplishing a personal plot event: +5
-- Showing a site-wide plot event: +7
- accurately describing a setting specified in the canon of the game, in ways relevant to your story (light hitting some detail, etc): +5 overall
- Correct season/weather (if specified/relevant)/other small game-specific details: +2 for whatever details are provided publically
- Showing a personal plot event (rather then a portrait): +5
- showing a site event: +7
BONUS +10 may be awarded by the owners of any characters involved for in-character or well-done portrayal, which is optional.

-Posting a cleaned log (removing all OOC content): +10
- using the correct into format: +5 (This should be provided: some form to go at the top of logs that specifies the time, location, provides a quick summary and lists characters involved)
- accurately describing a setting specified in the canon of the game, in ways relevant to your story (light hitting some detail, etc): +5 overall
- Correct season/weather (if specified/relevant)/other small game-specific details: +2 for whatever details are provided publically
- Showing a personal plot event (rather then a portrait): +5
- showing a site event: +7

Games testing it

From The Shadows (created to test this, now closed)
Storm Nexus

IF you test it, let me know! It's not required, but it'd be very useful to see how it works when used and how people make changes to it and how it works with those changes. :D
It would also be nice if games using this system link to this system document-- also not required, but the more people see it and use it then the more testing it gets!
posting this to see if people have any feedback.

I've tried very hard to balance it and keep it coherant (though keep in mind that it's an outline.)
I intend to... clarify things a bit more properly, but I wanted to get some feedback on it.

note that i may not incorporate your feedback, but I really would appreciate it. :D I may also give feedback it's own section; this dependson how well it matches the goal, which may not be clear at this stage of development.

I want this to be as inclusive as possible, and fair to the ammount of itme that people expend.

I tried very hard to balance manips/pre-created content and drawn art, and right now i think it's actually possible to get more points through the manip option, but I also think it's as fair as it can when you're trying to equate two different techniques? I'd also love love love love if story-writers could give me feedback on content that i can include, so it can be less about length and more about quality in the same way i've got it for the drawn section. Really, teh drawn section is the ideal, since that's the one i know. ALSO, anyone who does live-chat, script-writing or AIM RP: similar suggestions would be loved, because right now I only can think to reward participation, and there HAS to be some sort of content that can be fairly rewarded on top of that.


This model was successfully tested at the heavily noncanon game From The Shadows, run by ness. It fell apart due to my own time issues, but, during our run, I consider the multiformat to have been highly successful. :D 
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FRivArts Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Been thinking of building a forum like this back in February, but more for an art rpg focus~ Didn't find a decent free host (though I did find a board with great pre-installed mods, but their uptime failed within months), did figure out how to make a test forum locally, which works, except I'm install stupid. But with what I did manage, think I've got a DARPG system in the works.

Anywho, for quality of story. Despite the whole matter of quality of content being subjective, when one is in a roleplay that involves another person, there needs to be material to which the other's character can react to; it's a give and take. I've noticed people sometimes fall into the mistake of focusing on their own character, inwardly, and unless the other character is a psychic god, this simply does not work.

Second is a matter of portrayal of character. Not so much about how accurate it is, as this is difficult to pin down even for the character's creator, but portrayal of a character rather than going about with some generic movements and gestures. Show that the character is an individual, not some piece of cardboard. Because this is highly subjective, I'd put it down to bonus points allowed by any particular judge, outside of the rubric.

Cleanliness should not be within the rubric, but may be a bonus. Like there are some people that you simply cannot figure out what they're trying to say and often bounce around in a trainwreck of thought. It shouldn't be punished, but having something written and is well followed should be rewarded. I do not mean purple prose, I mean clarity.

Inclusiveness. Not just having a character stand around, but actual interaction of your character with theirs. They're not lawn ornaments. It's somewhat similar to my first point, about giving a character something to react to, but more a matter of not overshadowing the others. I don't mean you can't Sue-it-up where there's one character that is clearly the focus of the whole event, but even spectators have a role, like a journalist pacing about ground zero or people who talk to their TV as if they could affect the game--they experience things, too.
brbarkham Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I actually tested the RP system you're commenting on this summer, and have yet to revise the system. There were a few changes, but overall the thing I made worked, including the non-subjective nature of it.

But my systems are also meant to be bases or formats; people should change them to suit their own games. There is no right answer, and not every game needs the same thing. 

I personally would not put cleanliness in there, because I enjoy different styles of writing, and my own is disjointed and not technically clean. We didn't have much issue with the focus-on-one-character, but this was mostly because of the way people were used to roleplaying. Not everyone was willing to give permissions for other people to write their characters without consulting theirs first, so unfortunately, there weren't that many options for a lot of my writers to do other then that. Also, I think that focused third-person perspective is a reasonable stylistic device. 

In general, if something was subjective, I was going to find an objective way of quantifying it or not include it at all, for a few reasons. The biggest reason is that any game I do is more about exploring concepts you haven't done before then not, and that can be wooden at first, and sometimes that fails. I also don't think that my version of a rich, intricate character is the same as a close friend of mine's version of a rich intricate character. Same with good writing and stylistic devices. 

That said, my games are incredibly loose and free-form, and tend to be very small and centered around a group of less then ten players. All of us knew each other beforehand and knew our abilities. So it worked really well within that context. Changes would be needed for different formats of game; differently structured rubrics, etc. 

I will eventually clean up the full system writeup that I used on the game I tested this with, and put it up along with some discussion of results and things, so people can see what the rubrics I used were effective at doing, and what they weren't so much. It was a pretty cool expirement to do, and the game itself is/was really fun. (it's kind of on pause right now, because kitten with parvo + school.) 

Your feedback makes me happy, though. :D I absolutely encourage you to make some kind of multi-system RP; if it works, then in a few months maybe we can compare notes? :3 nothing works out kinks like live testing.

For hosts- 
I really really like jcink. I used it for my tester game and it did wonderful for me. 
FRivArts Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yeah, I did check the date (usually do before I dump a comment or a reply anywhere XD), but figured that the question of quality in the written-format rubric would still be open ^^ I did begin with literary roleplays before artistic ones and found that there are some things that consistently make a good roleplay post, not always what makes a good story, as roleplay posts are meant to be responded to, and some actions result in walls or writing the story into a corner.

Yeah~! It looks like a good format, although I like smaller numbers, myself, and would gather up points from various systems to see what can be considered and junk what is unnecessary for a particular game format, but that's a given.

While a linerar storytelling is easy, I meant less about the complexity of liquid time and more about being able to follow the action. Even if you cut suddenly into a flashback, it should be clear that it is not happening in the now, or people will respond out of the actual prompt with a belief that some deux ex machina was suddenly activated. There are people who have English as a minor language use, they are not the sort to make poetic tales, however, they are still capable of making what is going on is clear, or as clear as it takes to move forward, even if the character's some ADHD psychopath XD

While the length of a profile means nothing, there's a difference between cardboard and an undeveloped character/incomplete profile. Consider a character who defends a child solely on the basis of "ohgodsavethechildren" and one who truly believes that there's something to lose (even if they've a standard view of children), rather than have a generic response to the matter that feels stiffly inserted by the author. I think it can be measured (or rather, rewarded--I wouldn't give it a scale of one to ten, but I'd consider it to be counted). It's not something everyone will use nor should they be forced to use, so I'd consider it a bonus--indeed, the only way to justify making a device standard in a rubric is if you are able to find and insert every plot device known to philosophers, but that would be a looong rubric. Short stories tend to have cardboards, where the purpose is to move the plot forward; the story is not character-driven, nor should it be. (It'd actually be quite nice to consider activities focused on using and awarding particular devices you otherwise wouldn't have tried!) Anywho, you can award based on success, but you can also award based on just trying. (My teachers used to give you two points just for writing your name ='D) When you judge an effort show entry, it may be judged according to a judge's taste, but they'll usually have a rubric so that all use of backgrounds are equal.

Everything considered, even word count is subjective. You can tell more of a story (and take more time and effort thinking up the perfect execution for) in "For sale: Baby shoes. Never worn." than a whole epic poem.

And yeah. There are pros when it's a community, but the con of these is that when the owner goes on vacation, everything falls apart, even if you don't need the owner to roleplay with you. Quite sad.... I still prefer homey forums ='D

Yes, absolutely =D I'd love to~ So jcink is a hosting service? Is your forum phpbb-based?

I'd screwed up a couple of times, as I am a n00b, but patient enough to reinstall from scratch and figured out how to insert the dang mods. I'm considering uses the ultimate points system for the board, but I'd like to replicate the system to be used for different currency other than activity-won. The medals system is good for breeders' licenses, considering the game it's meant to be adapted for, and the shop with limited item ownership for breeds with limited ownership slots. Groups good for guilds, and most of the system's already set. Just sad I can't make a clicky pet sub-game on it, but it's not even necessary XD It'll work for my breeds, at least, and I hope that promise of imports will interest the folks that already have them into helping me out on testing P=
brbarkham Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2013  Student General Artist
I've got ten minutes so i will only answer the question right now--

Jcink is a forum host. You sign up, they give you a board. It's not the same as installing a php based script on your own webhost, but in my experience it works better. I tried both major phpbb installations on my website, and both of them had major maintainence and spam issues, even with the filters and blocks and everything i tried to do. Jcink being it's own host meant that they have to deal with all of that and they do it very well.

The downside is that you can't host as many images yourself through the forum itself (I always told people to use photobucket anyway, so that was not a major issue with me), and that you're much more restricted in terms of content. on your own host, you ahve no limits. Jcink does not allow mature content in terms of illegal activities or graphic sex or anything. Again, this is a pretty pendantic issue and not many people I know actually had trouble with it.

I do believe that jcink is php based, but the thing I love about it is that they have a number of scripts included that you can choose to turn on and off. You can have multiple skins, there's a shop and money system through the forum itself, and a portal if you want it. etc. The currency systems award an amount of points per post; you'd have to add more manually if you wanted to grade stories and artwork (hence the point values in the rubrics), and the staff has to do it- i do not think there's a way for players to give themselves points. That said, you can make them track their own values like they do in nordanner and shit, and then award the points yourself at regular intervals based on their trackers. etc. 

I ramble. Anyway. the currency system ended up working really well as a sort of effort/work-based point reward that could the be traded in for rarer story elements, but I'm sure it would be absolutely fine with just a store as well. 

I'll actually make more coherant words when i don't have to catch a bus in five minutes, lol. 

FRivArts Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmkay~ I've been looking for something with more flexibility, found makephpbb, but despite it having all the mods I'd need, it also stopped working for something over a month at some point. I also don't remember the amount of attachments you can add, but I'd rather have a base payment for attachments same as with posts, rubric later or no. There are multiple anti-spam mods--had you tried those?

Don't really like any pre-made skins in existence--I'm absurdly picky. I know it's minor, but there's so much that just pushes my attention (and interest) away XD; Always something.
brbarkham Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2013  Student General Artist
I tried every anti-spam mod I could find, and some of them worked okay, and some didn't work at all. All of htem required a lot more me-work then I'd've liked, which was the benefit of using a host like jcink: I had to do nothing and the work got done. :3 all my work was forum setup/game maintenance, and everything.

The plus side too is that it's super easy to do your own skins for jcink if you know css/html. :D Which is good because there's not that many premade skins for it. But having multiple skins also means that players can choose what skin that they want. I wasn't coding my own, so i just found every remotely appealing skin that i could find and installed it and let my players do as they liked.

The downside to tHAT was that if i wanted to add something to the page-- like a note above the forum, or OTM's, or anything, I had to add that separately to every skin I had installed, or it wouldn't show. so if you have like a news fader at the top of the board, multiple skins would get really old really really fast.

I will also add that the two main php hosts I tried on my own webspace was phpbb and simple machines forums. So there's some other that I don't know about that has better support then either of those, that I just didn't try. :C So my experiences are fairly limited; I've got a lot more experience with hosting sites like jcink/invision/proboards/etc, and a handful of others that are less popular. 
FRivArts Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There are some nice new ones out. You have to drag and drop between columns of related things, for example ='D
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