Events and Gatherings
Getting role-players together can be difficult, even on a RP server. Each server/faction has it’s own “style” and gathering places – some need “life” breathed into them with role-playing events. While this can be a good way to find role-playing, someone has to get things in gear and get people interested.
Thinking about going to one?
- The main rule of thumb is to find out the info, check with the host or other sources that your server uses to get news about events.
- Find out if there’s any rules and follow them.
- Don’t grandstand or try to take over the event. It’s rude.
- Be respect of the host and others at the event.
- Try not to disrupt the event.
Thinking about creating one? Here’s some tips!
Getting the word out
This can be the hardest thing. Letting folk know your event exists – without pestering or spamming. Word of mouth is good, promoting it IC and OOCly can be a big help. Never set out to irritate, spam or do anything to violate the games ToS or makes people not want to come. Start advertising it at least two weeks before – and start focusing the week of. Over time it’ll become “standard” in players’ minds. But don’t let them forget. Weekly mentions help!
Check what avenues are available to you to use:
- RP Chat Channels on your server
- Your Server/Realm Forums
- Your Server/Realm’s wiki site
- Friends, guildies and other RPers.
Organizing (Things to nail down now – not later)
- When? Start/end. Start with an hour or so, or be flexible to a point if schedule and interest is good.
- Where is it to be held?
- What rules are there, if any for the event?
- Is the location lowbie accessible?
- If not, how will you get lowbies to the event if it’s open to them?
- Themed gathering or free for all?
- What type of outline will there be for the event?
- What type of environment are you wanting to create?
- Is it a dangerous locations or a safe one?
- Is there a lot of NPC chatter and movement in the area? It can distract from the event, so keep an eye when scouting a location.
- If telling stories a good time frame for story length is about 10-15mins max.
- If hosting a story night, have “canned” stories ready. Good/decent ones. Write your own of borrow, the adapt with the game’s lore.
- Content: Language and types of stories if it’s a story night. How far do you let it “go”? G, PG or R?
- Make sure folks understand what they are coming into – but don’t best them with a club.
- Repeating Events: Same Bat time, same Bat channel? Rotate locations or mobile?
- The event’s “backstory”. – Yes, it needs one like a character. Having a reason why the event exists makes it more immersive.
- Hosting persona? What makes a host? Adapt your character to fit the role if you need – or create a new one!
- What is your IC motive/goal for these events? It will come up somewhere down the road.
- Plans can be like a house of cards – but stack the deck in your favor.
- Never show all your cards as a host, but be as open as you can allow with intent and goals. Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka did a great job.
- Have a good idea of what you want to do.
- Make sure no one is doing the same event or at the same time and causes a conflict.
- Research and plan with some flexibility.
- Prepare content, event materials and ideas in advance.
- Get people interested and gather support.
- Have a backup plan if you are delayed or cannot attend.
- Find a good time on your server to have an event.
- Think about how people will be traveling to the event.
- Promote good RP before, during and after the event.
- Gather support from other RP guilds and RPers you know.
- Remember that it’s for all, for rp and for fun.
- Be polite and respectful to all. They are people – not pixels.
- Thank everyone in some way, via whisper, chat channel or post.
- Be open to newbies and non-rpers.
- Toss out the “rp elitist” mindset. All of it.
- Be open, yet firm. Accept suggestions, but remember your task.
- Defuse possible volatile players – if a unknown face comes near, explain what’s doing down and politely invite.
- Remember every new face is a possible new RPer. I’ve had griefers do a 180 on me – true story.
- Remember that RP may be a portal to a whole new world for some folks. Open the door – don’t slam it in their face.
- “Love” every player as best you can, even the ones that drive you nuts or try make you mad.
- Be an good example, or as best as you can be. You are part of the event for good or for bad.
- Be approachable as many ways you can for ideas, questions and feedback.
I find trying to please everyone will not work. Ever. But! —> Please as many as you can. Make the experience the best it can be. The rule of respect really can bind the evening over time. Be as consistent as you can. Moving the days/times only makes it harder for people to find you.
Ask yourself: What do you want to do with this event? What do you want them to walk away with?
Expect a rocky start. You may encounter fickleness, loyalty, rudeness, comments, cheers, flames… handle each of these with both a grain of salt, grace and integrity. You, as a host, while not 100% responsible for the fun of everyone – are responsible for leading this ship from dock to destination to the best of your skill. Just watch for Kraken and iceburgs!
Had a bad night? Chalk it up to experience. Try again next week. Learn from any mistakes. It will happen, so be prepared for it.
You will make mistakes. You will have griefers. You will also have folks that want to come! Some are still learning, others will be supportive. You can possibly have the best times of both rping and promoting rp to others.
I find “questionable” content and language damages the event and it’s loyalty base. Open gatherings are just that. Open. Getting reported, banned or a bad rep helps little. If folks don’t want to come, the interest and event will die. Having rules is not a bad thing, nor is having standards.
Pace your text when speaking. Walls of text will crit the eyes. One, two sentances max at a time, based on amount of words and the story pacing. Think how you would tell the story in RL. Great help in timing your “words”.
Make a good first impression: For some – it may the first RP they have seen… What will they walk away with? A good feeling? Fun? or another case of rpers getting a bad rep.
Final word: Remember it’s not just you – Don’t forget others that hear about or come to these events. Without them – you’re standing alone.