Author Topic: ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!  (Read 610 times)

Riven

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ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!
« on: July 22, 2017, 12:49:12 PM »
So, yes -- go ahead and ask the old man anything (y'know, anything within the rules of the AMA section, anyway). Also feel free to pop questions about my RP history if that's of interest, as I'm sure I've got a few good stories to tell.

Ask away!
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STUDENTS

Beacon Student: Rory Vogel, "The Scarlet Shield" ~ 1st Year, Team VCVS

Shade Student: Sean Acacia, "Grenadier" ~ 1st Year



OTHERS

Beacon Teacher / Experimental Botanist: Dr. Budonoki Sophos, Medical & Wilderness Specialist

Baker / Retired Huntsman: Alec Chadwick, owner of 'Fabled Goods' bakery

Pirate / Freelancer: Captain Cordell of the Red Corsair ~ Available For Hire!

Mercenary / Infiltrator: Micah Sere AKA "Prowler" ~ Danger, Avoid If Possible

Mercenary / Infiltrator: Maria Sanguine AKA "Bloody Mary" ~ Underworld operative, "The Lady of a Thousand Faces"

Vision

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Re: ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 05:05:36 PM »
As someone completely new to forum RP (had some good games with DnD) I'd love to hear some of what you've done before.

Diana Farran - Beacon First year - Leader and Medic of team Digital (DGTL)
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Bastet Nin - Haven First year - Blinking Glaive Skirmisher of team Rewind (RWND)
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Riven

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Re: ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2017, 06:40:54 PM »
Quote
I'd love to hear some of what you've done before.

Ah, hell, here we go. ;D I'll do my best to stick to the abridged version of things, for brevity's sake.

First thing's first. Before I ever got into RP I'd made a name for myself in fanfic -- not in a good way, mind. If you scope out the original Rules of the Internet for #176 you'll catch a glimpse of my shame. Shy of 'My Immortal', I probably wrote one of the worst fanfic series to grace the early days of the net. Rule #176 is a testament to just how widely hated a poorly conceived self-insert fanfic can get. Trust me, you don't want to know more than that...

(And yes, you all now know my last name. Huzzah. xD)

Anyways... I don't recall the circumstances that led me to my first RP forum (I think I was looking for somewhere new to post my fics) but I'll never forget the place's name: Unrivaled. It had a different ethos than most RP forums of nowadays: a strong focus on what they called Sparring, which was basically RP battles treated like a competitive sport. This was back in the heyday of DBZ on Toonami (late 90s, early 2000s) and so the Unrivaled forum very much took their creative cues from the show. Looking back it was all fairly juvenile and amateur, a sea of half-baked (sometimes barely cooked at all) fan characters and character knock-offs, but what Unrivaled lacked in originality it made up for in determination. The veterans there took me under their wings, hammered the rookie writer out of me (quality, style, and description were emphasized... brevity, not so much) and put me through one written gauntlet after another. I didn't know it at the time, but it was with a larger goal in mind -- something that's largely been done away with as forum culture has evolved: an invasion. The leadership had grand plans to boost their prestige by taking on one of the other major Sparring forums on its own turf, using their own conquest-style RP mechanics as a way to go head-to-head. Our target was the AnimeLeague forums, easily one of the biggest names in RP and Sparring at that time.

The invasion... well, it started with a lot of energy and push, but petered out as the months went by. I think there were a few good fights but I only took part on the periphery: AL's way of doing things was a bit advanced for me at the time. In the end the effort didn't really amount to much and everyone went back to doing their own thing. I think the hype and subsequent lack of momentum sent Unrivaled into a gradual decline, though I'm proud to say that I won the last annual Sparring tournament they held. Afterwards I found myself in limbo for a bit -- something of a running theme of my RP career -- before gravitating to joining AL properly and getting in the mix there.

AL had taken their RP model from "world war" to "multiverse war" by this point and plenty of factions were duking it out. They took things really seriously. Before you could even make a character you had to submit a writing sample and have it evaluated by three judges. Once they did you'd be assigned a 'tier' based on your writing skills, and each tier determined roughly how powerful you could make your characters. It was a smart (but also incredibly tedious and time consuming) way to make sure godmodding and low-quality RP were kept in check, for the most part. That said, when top tier basically permitted making characters with godlike powers... yeah, the abuse was impressive, wordy, and altogether common among the forum's most established members. I'm not ashamed to say I got a top tier assessment on my first try... but I am ashamed to admit that I basically used it to introduce and overpowered version of the Borg into the multiverse battleground under the banner of a faction called the Technocrats. We had some good battles, some crazy shit went down... I vaguely recall another faction causing an event that essentially launched entire planets they owned at various faction headquarters as a way to reboot their group, so that was the grade of sheer fuckery that went on back then. Most of us, whether we admitted it to ourselves or not, were dumb kids in high school or college who thought we were gods of writing...

... when in reality, most of us were just mildly talented assholes with too much free time on our hands, myself definitely included.

A year or two passed and things at AL began to lose steam, shifting away from big strategic cross-faction campaigns to a smaller, simpler RP approach in a casual subforum called CityScape. I did a few things there with a group or two but real life had me burning out pretty hard. I stepped away for a while and lost interest, and by the time school and muse led me back AnimeLeague had shifted away from doing RP almost entirely. I was, for the second time, creatively adrift. I don't recall too much about the handful of small RP forums I wandered into and out of during this time -- one or two Kingdom Hearts RPs, a few generic medieval fantasy sites, and the occasional Sparring forum when I could find one. Not much lasted long; either the forums were hemorrhaging members and activity or I simply didn't connect very deeply. It can be scary how fast an RP forum can form, flourish, and then wither away...

Eventually I discovered an anime called Soul Eater and took a shine to it, deciding to search out an RP forum after binge-watching the first season. Soul Eater has an interesting dynamic: characters operate in two (occasionally three) person teams of a weapon-wielder ("Meister") and a weapon-shifter ("Demon Weapon"). The forum I eventually found myself on capitalized on this; much like RPers come together here to form Teams, the SE forum had members pair up. I went with a Meister and met another member who'd created a Weapon character. I won't go into details -- it's a bit personal and painful -- but we got along really well at first. Really well. That well, in fact. It turned into a relationship that lasted several years, during which time we ended up leading a significant breakaway group from the SE forum to start a new forum of our own, with rules and ideas we felt better suited things. It... didn't last as long as I would have liked, both the forum and the relationship. Still, in spite of heartbreak and discovering just how damned hard it can be to admin even a good RP community, I'd have to call the whole experience a net gain. I try to, at any rate.

Adrift again. I took a long hiatus from RP at this point to deal with some serious life stuff that had come up. The occasional forum here or there, but nothing too serious. At this point I'd given up on Sparring completely, having finally matured enough to see it as the clash of egos it really is. Don't get me wrong, it was an excellent learning experience and forced me to grow as a writer far faster that I might have otherwise... but everything has its time and season. The RPing I pursued at this point was basically story-focused and non-competitive. I had a brief stint in a few cool medieval fantasy forums, made some memorable characters and had a few adventures, but one thing or another led me away.

I've always been a fan of Monty's work, ever since the Haloid and Dead Fantasy days, and when RWBY began to premiere I could tell there was a LOT of RP potential. The setting seemed, and still seems, so flexible and inventive, the character typing and powers impressive without being out of balance or unreasonable. It seemed like the perfect RP setting, but try as I might I couldn't find a RWBY RP forum that wasn't needlessly stat-based while having a decent, active community... until I found you guys, that is. ;D

I swear, that's the short version. I hope I didn't bore you too much with all the grumpy old man "back in my day!" bullshit... ^_^;;
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 06:46:47 PM by Riven »
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STUDENTS

Beacon Student: Rory Vogel, "The Scarlet Shield" ~ 1st Year, Team VCVS

Shade Student: Sean Acacia, "Grenadier" ~ 1st Year



OTHERS

Beacon Teacher / Experimental Botanist: Dr. Budonoki Sophos, Medical & Wilderness Specialist

Baker / Retired Huntsman: Alec Chadwick, owner of 'Fabled Goods' bakery

Pirate / Freelancer: Captain Cordell of the Red Corsair ~ Available For Hire!

Mercenary / Infiltrator: Micah Sere AKA "Prowler" ~ Danger, Avoid If Possible

Mercenary / Infiltrator: Maria Sanguine AKA "Bloody Mary" ~ Underworld operative, "The Lady of a Thousand Faces"

Vision

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Re: ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2017, 11:36:37 AM »
As I've said I haven't touched forum RP or fanfics before this site (even just got into DnD last year) so interesting to hear the progression from site to site.

And really? Brevity wasn't practiced? You don't say ;)

Interesting to hear that there were such large scale things going on in AL, even just that much sparring. Here on the site I haven't touched anything but the casual banter (and stats) so not something I know much about.

That's a really good attitude, important to see the positive even when things don't pan out ideally.

Now that you've been here a while how are you finding the site? Anything you wish there was more/ less/ different?

Diana Farran - Beacon First year - Leader and Medic of team Digital (DGTL)
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Bastet Nin - Haven First year - Blinking Glaive Skirmisher of team Rewind (RWND)
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Re: ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2017, 01:10:19 PM »
Quote
Now that you've been here a while how are you finding the site? Anything you wish there was more/ less/ different?

Honestly? Not really. If the approach to RP was very stats and rules heavy I might say that, but the way things are right now is pretty much in the sweet spot between freeform and guided -- plenty of creative freedom, but people are expected to be realistic (well, "RWBY realistic", at least) and keep track of their shit sensibly. Works just fine for me. :D

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STUDENTS

Beacon Student: Rory Vogel, "The Scarlet Shield" ~ 1st Year, Team VCVS

Shade Student: Sean Acacia, "Grenadier" ~ 1st Year



OTHERS

Beacon Teacher / Experimental Botanist: Dr. Budonoki Sophos, Medical & Wilderness Specialist

Baker / Retired Huntsman: Alec Chadwick, owner of 'Fabled Goods' bakery

Pirate / Freelancer: Captain Cordell of the Red Corsair ~ Available For Hire!

Mercenary / Infiltrator: Micah Sere AKA "Prowler" ~ Danger, Avoid If Possible

Mercenary / Infiltrator: Maria Sanguine AKA "Bloody Mary" ~ Underworld operative, "The Lady of a Thousand Faces"

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Re: ARA -- Ask Riven Anything!
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2018, 09:16:12 PM »
Following my habit of reviving AMA's from the dead and with the recent completion of Hunt for the Howling Storm, consider this a question from  a newbie to an rp veteran: what's your creative process when it comes to running plot threads, and where does your inspiration come from? As someone who's completely new to the idea of running a plot thread but wants to get into the business, do you have any advice?
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