From the Desk of the Ashen Elf

I'm writing this with a toothache and no coffee, so forgive me if I'm not my usual sweet self in what I'm writing today. Every one here knows me by now and that when I say something, most of the time I mean it, and today is no exception.

Looking over what we Staffer's have done over the past two weeks to make these sweeping changes, (and in hindsight if I could go back, I'd have said to leave well enough alone), I'm reminded that in D&D and in life, common sense is a rare commodity. Rules and books take a back seat to what works and not listening to the players spells doom for any game like this, be it I.R.C or table top. Without them, D&D is nothing more than books with numbers and pretty pictures.
It's hard not to be negative when ops are at one anothers throats, and can't agree on something. We've been making changes to things in an attempt to better the game for everyone, and have failed several times, likening to the tune of “its usually the power gaming crowd that's complaining” which, I will admit that I too have griped about this and yet, I'm reminded of a saying from Knights of the Dinner Table by one Gary Jackson that goes: “In this kind of game, the players can and will try and do anything and really, that's their jobs.”

If the game is not enjoyable for others, it becomes our albatross…more so for others. Players will quit and all our hard work will be for nothing. For some, that to “win” at D&D, for others its good an engrossing role play. The sad thing here is that a marriage of the two is very difficult to manage because you're going to have players who don't want to R.P. while you have those who do. If there was a happy medium, I'd love to see it, but it doesn't seem forthcoming.

The players need to realize as well that we have lives, and for some of us, Therafim has become a chore, not because we don't like the game. Therafim has so much wonderful potential for everyone, but most of the time it's nothing more than rules lawyering between players and infighting when it supposed to be a fun past time. (Then again, I guess some have fun with rules debating too…I'm no fan of it because I'm not a rules guru. Hence why I usually come to those who are more knowledgeable sometimes.). It sometimes upsets me to watch such arguing amongst those of us who we call friends despite such backbiting that happens in private. I myself have done it too, and if I've hurt anyone's feelings, I do apologize.

I guess what I'm trying to say is this…

Therafim needs to undergo some changes, and change is always painful. However, it should always be “by the players, for the players”. We're ALL players first regardless of our positions, be it Lead Op, mechanics op, Story lead, DM, QR, whatever. That's something I'd love to see come back to this game, and make it fun again. The ops needs to listen to players more; I'm not saying just give players everything they want, we have to consider balance in the game of course. So…here's what I'm proposing.

1. The rule: Also, it has been decided to revert our previous decision to give people a choice on if they get GP only, XP only, or both. You now only get both GP and XP when spending UP. In addition, you are not able to "bank" XP and not level up your character, once they breach the threshold for a particular level, they -are- that level. This means that crafters for instance, if they reach 6,000 xp, cant spend xp to craft things and drop below the 6k xp threshold for level 4. I say this is to be suspended until the staff puts their heads together and comes up with a solution. We've essentially broken something that didn't need fixing in my opinion.

2. We have Prestige Classes that have sat on the books now for months that hasn't even been touched. These need to be looked at and given the thumbs up or thumbs down with a reason why. Already some are not going to pass because they won't fit into the game world as written. If Ibis and Jenn are not available to view them, then Scathien and myself can do so in their absence if everyone says its okay. We all know real life has to come first.

3. It's already happening, and its making me smile, we finally have steady quest runners. These are the people who put up with our shit the most, they deserve the respect of a table top DM and should be shown it, even as we make characters (unintentionally or otherwise) to break their quests. Karrius has set up scheduled quests, and I'd like to see more of that from our other quest runners. On the other side of the coin, players should cooperate with your QR's and tell them what you want to do. Don't sit and wait for quests to be ran, tell them you want them, tell them what level you want them to run and see if they'll do it “within reason”.

4. There's other things that Therafim could use, we need to listen to the players more but with scrutiny. If it seems screwed/overpowered/homebrewed/etc, say no and stick to it. Speaking of, when we rule that we should not add anymore races and classes we stick to that too as staff to put and end to the cries of favoritism.

I'm probably just typing this for the hell of it, but…that's what I would like to see. Some fair play for once, and a game that's enjoyable to everyone here so we'll end the bad reputation we have from outside sources. I believe this game can be fun, it's why I've stayed for so long. I've made many friends here (and some peeps I'd love to take my cane and choke with it XD ), so I'd like to keep it that way.