Dissecting an Application
Mr.Moloch last edited by
Folks, the DMs are talking through applications a little and our ideas behind them. Originally, the problem we had was DMs giving favors to certain players (subraces, sponsorship by NPCs, gear and perks) creating a perception of DM favortism. Players hate applications though (but think they had favortism more) and it is helpful for DMs to all agree a player deserves a particular perk (or to make sure we all know someone was given a particular perk etc)! So we still need a way to keep track of who has/got what and from whom and why, but maybe applications aren't the best way to do that.
But I offered to dissect a player's application publicly, so here goes, so that while we have applications people know how at least one DM looks at them! What I'll do is show you the questions I try to answer when looking at the application, to emphasize where and what kinds of flags and issues we look for.
1. Janni/Ranger/Bard/Rogue/TN/Keldraav [Hey look, he's got the alignment right for the subrace he's applying for, he must have some vague idea of what it is!]
2. Janni Subrace viewtopic.php?t=151940, basic adventuring gear [Why's he want basic adventuring gear? Is he applying for Janni and gear just for mechanical advantage? Is this a player who is 'bored' with lower levels/lower power and wants to start off right away with better gear and stats thinking it will excite them? Is this a player who has had trouble sticking to a concept or idea lately?]
3. Thune, Kraegus Thune, Syndra of the Sacellum of Fury Has this person been playing characters lately that involve other people in adventure or intrigue? Is this person part of a clique of the same players over and over, or do they get other players involved in things? Does this person take lots of different players on quests, or just quest with the same small trusted group? Your history here as a player is often a KEY factor in getting any favors from the DMs. If I look through our database on quests and see you are always with the same two PCs doing the same four quests, I'm not convinced you are actually looking for a perk so that you can tell amazing stories, my concern is you're looking for a perk for mechanical advantage to make it easier to get high levels for whatever reason it is you feel high levels are important
4. One of the rarest creatures in Faerun, Keldraav has, aside from his parents, [Oh look an orphan, I'd never become a parent in the Forgotten Realms, I am certainly about to die a horrible death or lose my kid somehow to never see them again which is odd for this race of creature who are known to view family as very important. So is this guy being lazy with the background or just not know the subrace he's applying for very well or is there some reason this is important information to the story they're telling that I need to read more to understand?] never seen another of his kind. Born in the Magocracy of Hulruaa as a guest in the Sapphire Synod of Halarahh, Krldraav has always been consumed by a natural curiosity, and a desire to explore distant lands and discover new things [So maybe the story here is one of an earnest explorer and this is why this part of the background is here? I'm still not sure what the story is and the point of this question is to understand the player's story and how it'll involve other players.]. Yet as he grew older, he also realised how extremely lonely he was. He desired to find one of his own kind, a mate which he could take to wife [Hey, we have another PC janni right now, with a girly name, maybe they'll mate? And yes, at this point we will look at how many of a subrace we currently have running around, how will they interact, will their stories compliment each other, is it worthwhile to add another of this subrace?]. Wandering many lands, he searched in vain for one such as he, and finally, consumed with disappointment, he set to kill himself, convinced that he would die alone. It was an epiphany that stayed his hand. To search fruitlessly by oneself was not the way. He would become one of the Great Explorers of the Era, famed throughout the Land. His name would be spoken in taverns and festhalls and palaces across Faerun, and his wife would come to him, for surely, there is someone out there, someone like him, who is lonely. [Okay, I get the story now, this person seeks to fill a void in their life by becoming an explorer. I wish I'd been told this early though and perhaps more succinctly and clearly. It'd make my job easier! if this read as "My character seeks to become a great explorer, separated by his family and orphaned at an early age and growing up an outsider in Halruaa he became extremely depressed and almost suicidal. However, he eventually realized the joy he had from wandering in his early years and so came to Arabel as a new land to explore." Much clearer here what the story is–as a DM I'd expect a character who is frequently going to new locations in the module, doing different quests, meeting new characters--I'd be somewhat excited by the story. Whereas, honestly, this is a very dull cliche character background.]]
5. 1. The Great Explorer
a) Keldraav seeks to explore every cave, every quest, every area, every mountain, swamp, desert and valley. [This is fun…but...just Keldraav? Is he going to take anyone, and how may he try to take them? What'll make this interesting for other people? What would even make this interesting for the DMs trying to tell stories. I'm suspicious this was just put into 'please the DMs' but its not really pleasing. Its like going on a blind date and your date starts talking about how they plan to open up a national business and enter the Senate and make a ton of money...once they move out of their mom's basement.]
b) He will form or join an existing group, with the goal of completely exploring the server in its entirety, mapping and creating a "The Complete Guide to the Arabelese Wastelands" Hey this is more specific than point A, in fact, this is point A but formed in a measureable way! Delete point A.
c) He will sponsor or encourage the production and documentation of all magical phenomena in Arabel, creating a centre of learning, compiling "The Mysteries of Mystra, Arabel Edition"
Hey, its point B in a new flavor…but its beginning to feel repetitive. But okay. Hopefully the player will really do this. Its kind of neat. I'm dubious though because we came from "great explorer" to wanting to write IC books. I still feel a little like this idea isn't thought out too much yet, it doesn't really reflect the janni subrace (or even appear to have anything to do with the janni subrace at all), its unfocused as a story and that makes me think the player will become either quickly bored, quickly distracted, or otherwise just not enjoy or make this enjoyable.
d) He will seek to gather sufficient Mythalite and magical artefacts to form a Minor Mythal for Archmage Aldek, in order to unravel the height of Elven and Netherese Magic.
**[HOW?! To what end. What specifically can be done in game, how will this make for fun things for other players to do? What if no DM wants to be part of this idea? Here the DM team will discuss if the idea even is suitable for our plans. Hopefully the player has already talked this through so a DM is already on board saying 0h hell yes, I'm going to have fun with this.[/b]
e) He will seek to introduce a new magical method, that will allow for recharging wands and staves through the use of Mythalite Dust, which is ground up Mythalite. A special "Kaleidoscope Alter" would be needed to be made via adventuring and gathering of a wide variety ofspecific reagents, metals and minerals, hence Kaleidoscope.
[Is HE going to script it and develop it? Do DMs want this done at all? Oh, even better, does he even know this is already IN the module? Maybe we can, as DMs, nudge him to learn about this somehow. However, why does the janni subrace seem a necessary component of doing this? Couldn't a human do all these things? What's the point of the subrace beyond, wanting a subrace?]
f) Create a Explorer Repository which has all area maps, a Creation Repository which lists every single craftable item and its properties.
YEAH RIGHT! You'll get bored after a week trying to do this.
And so I'm pretty sure the DM team would say "No, this application was not approved. Feel free to talk about it. If you talked to me, I'd tell you all these things–mostly in the form of"
I don't see why you need the janni subrace. Nothing in your application indicates any story linked to the janni or being janni. Just play a human.
The request for basic gear makes me think you're honestly just bored/frustrated right now. Is that so? Just play something regular and find your groove again, you won't find it in application ideas if you don't have the groove at all.
The story seems unfocused.
I think you'll become bored with your own goals, is that really what you want to do or is it just something you're telling the DMs because you think we want to hear something specific? All we really want is to know what you'll try to do to interest other players in your story, hopefully interest us in your story. This needs work.**
Solid advise Moloch.
khammy last edited by
When I apped for my very first subrace long ago, a DM (Snowstorm) gave me advice to have at least three main goals/storylines (server, personal and for others) and with at least 3-4 bullet points underneath each goal with as much detail how you plan to go about it. Each goal needs to involve other people, most importantly! Five subraces, five factions and two official clergy approvals later, that advice has never done me wrong.
Audiographic last edited by
Bookmarked this for if i ever decide to app for something, but i doubt i will, i quite like being a background character, aiding others in their stories
Zool last edited by
Don't need to apply anyway. Most my favourite characters weren't application ones.
Dedagin Andagin last edited by
been turned down every time myself– still having a blast :-)
Lizard last edited by
I thought we rejected Deadagin's application to "have a blast"? I'm afraid we're going to have to force-retire this character of yours.
Dedagin Andagin last edited by
Har har :-)
Ponies last edited by
It should be noted that Thune has in the past recieved massive IC perks from dms. Like being pc leader of the city for a brief period during the shadovar war, and being able to direct the war effort. He got that because his story, and accomplishments ig merited it, as well as because he involved tons of other players, and created fun.
This character, as Moloch outlined failed to impress onto us that the app pc would be capable of doing the latter, and because it is an on creation app, has earned nothing IG yet, to merit being rewarded, and as a result, is not something we would be inclined to pass.
It also shows the importance of a well though out narrative, based around what your apping for. Hence "why you need it" to tell this kind of story. And more importantly why this story will be fun for -others-.
SinisterPlank last edited by
Very nice to get a bit of insight into a DM's thought process in picking appart an application. I've heard alot of times, how people are "afraid" to ask a DM to share their thoughts on a denied app, or an app draft, wich is silly since every DM I've ever talked to has been more than happy to provide feedback.
If you have an application pending, and it gets denied, my advice would be to find out who voted against it, seek them out and ask them what you need to change to win them over. Chances are they're uniquely qualified to tell you exactly what it is your concept needs to go from Meh to Badass.
Mr.Moloch last edited by
Most DMs really want to see applications get approved. I get the hesitancy and fear people sometimes have, but we DMs really want to see awesome stories being told.
Also, typically, when an application is approved or denied, its a 0-X decision. We tend to be pretty unanimous and often see the same issues.
Darlene Te'len last edited by
my first accepted application was pretty much picked and helped by a DM as far as what would be good for my play style. It worked rather famously, I had fun, and I like to think that character aided other people in quests and I quested a lot with that character
my next one accepted….i do not like to talk about it, it was a dismal failure, it was something i could not possibly play and it really showed.
would i ever apply again? highly unlikely, i do not really play enough now to warrant applying (now i am on perhaps 3 or 4 times per week). and frankly i do not think there is anything i could apply for now that i could pull off (both time wise and as a player)
i am still trying to get a grasp on v5 arabel, and as most people know, progress made by me is always going to be quite slow