Approach To Play

Not long after Corwin became Regent I posted some thoughts on play, explaining a bit about how I approached things and why my play manifested the way it did. It was generally well received and so I thought I'd update it now that Corwin's gotten a promotion.

Corwin or Someone Else?

From my "Some Thoughts on Play" post in November:

"There are a lot of people in roles that are between Regent and everyone else. People like Culver, the Lord Exchequer, a very powerful bureaucrat; Connor, the Commander of the Black Gulls; Erasmus, the head of the Hounds; the various Military Princes; and let us not forget Florimel, who ran the Court under Eric as if she was his Queen, and who looks to be continuing in that role under Corwin. (This is not a comprehensive list.) If you try to run straight to Corwin when you have an issue, you may very well be cheating yourself, and some other people, out of interesting RP, while at the same time causing them IC insult."

And of course now there are many others. Llewella is now Exchequer (replacing Culver). Random heads the Foreign Ministry and Godfrey serves as Ambassador at Large. Addison is the Court Counsel. Dylan has a Letter of Marque that places him in charge of the Amber equivalent of the X Files. Lucretia is Royal Physician. And so on…

Editor's note: Positions keep on changing due to the vagaries of IC play and OOC issues, so the above may not reflect the present IC slate.

A full list of appointments can be found here

As a general rule, if there is an appointee with obvious jurisdiction over a specific subject matter, you should try to seek out him or her first, rather than going directly to Corwin.

Smash-Mouth Politics

One of my MUSH peeves over the years has been IC monarchs who take interest in things that simply shouldn't be on their radar. Similarly, I do not think it is appropriate to take actions which, due to the imperfection of MUSH as a simulation of "real" politics, can be done relatively cost-free even though in reality the cost would be quite dear.

As such I try to always check myself, before reacting to things, to see whether it makes sense for Corwin to care, let alone to actually do something about it. And I will almost always err on the side of not getting involved, because by and large people don't want their play to be unduly interfered with. (If you do want to be interfered with, feel free to let me know!)

(Similarly, I try very hard to say "yes" to IC ventures that will give rise to play for people. This led to the nickname "Rubber Stamp Regent," but that's okay, because I think some good stuff came out of it.)

That said, against this basic backdrop, there are a couple of overlays. The first is, there are a lot of IC problems confronting Amber in the game, and Corwin has little patience for people who engage in conduct which is likely to divert Amber's resources from the main "battle fronts" threatening the realm. The second is, Corwin has fought quite hard for the throne, passionately believes it belongs to him, and isn't going to sit idle as people threaten his position. If you choose to venture into either of these territories, and aren't good at covering your tracks, you should expect aggressive reaction.

Storytelling Versus Openform RP

Here is my own personal view regarding storytelling versus openform RP. If you want to discuss a cool story that involves strife, and with an outcome that is limited in consequence, the time to do it is before-the-fact, not after you get busted or fail. If you venture into those territories discussed above, that's fine, but in my view that is also a conscious decision to accept whatever reasonably foreseeable (and likely harsh) consequences may come your way. This is to me a basic matter of courtesy.

The MUSH has a storytelling system in place to manage large plots that go beyond the limits of the basic conflicts system:

If you have any questions or concerns about this, I'm happy to discuss potential plots in very broad terms or very specific ones.

The Time Factor

We all have to deal with RL. On top of that, on MUSH we have to deal with different other people's RL. Timezones, work schedules, access. Most larger issues that present themselves to Corwin require input from different people, ranging from a few to many. So it takes time to make things happen on his side of the ledger.

In contrast, often times people who are on the other side of a plot from Corwin do not need to vet their "next move" past anyone but themselves. As such there is often an asymmetry in plot pacing. Quick moves on one side, slow moves on the other. This can be frustrating, but at times is simply unavoidable. Please don't automatically assume a few days' delay is an IC response, and more generally, if it seems like I have dropped the ball in an OOC sense, please feel free to prod me.

The time factor also plays into the courtesy issue I raised in the preceding section. I spend a lot of time dealing with basic management and supporting the plots of others, and that is fine with me. Ditto being involved in plots that very clearly are going to create a lot of fun and play for a lot of people. Please be kind when you plan plots that are likely to consume lots of Corwin time, and do not hesitate to talk to me about your ideas.

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