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Operations Manual (Welcome!)

Started by Senkusha, Sunday, May 15, 2022, 07:10

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Hi everybody, and welcome to the Site!  I hope that you'll choose to make this little corner of the Internet a part of your home.  Anyway, I want to explain what this site is, why there is a need for it, how to use it, and where it came from.

Table of Contents:
1.  What is the Anime Brigade?
2.  The Site Rules.
3.  The Benefits of Playing by Post.
4.  So, you wanna play? Right?  RIIIIIIGHT!!???
5.  Some Site History.

What is the Anime Brigade?
This is an online community where like-minded adults who enjoy classic anime can not only discuss their favorite anime shows, characters, and anime hobbies, but also for us to start and play in role playing games that are based on these anime shows that we love!  But what does all of this mean?  I'll explain.

Classic anime, in my mind is the anime that was popularized around the same time that Sailor Moon aired in America, until about 2010-ish.  During this time, most of the anime was still hand drawn with limited use of computer graphics technology, the themes and plots of the stories had an element of innocence and this was a time when anime was really beginning to blossom in America.  However, although it seems that there is a rigid cutoff time frame, that's not to say that it's a strict cutoff time.  In truth, the term classic is difficult to define.  It can mean different things to everybody.  I just feel that there is something different about today's modern-era anime compared to the anime of the 90's and early 2000's.  It's also not to say that conversations about older anime from before 80's aren't welcome either, in fact, they are welcome!

How to Become a Member?
Because we live in the world of Spam-bots and trouble-makers, I've had to employ some dastardly settings in an attempt to block unwanted behaviors.  So, I'll outline the various hoops of flaming fire you'll have to jump through.  Although, I promise, it's not as painful as it sounds.

First, you'll want to click on that little Login/Sign-up button in the upper left hand corner.  I've found a way that you can just Register by using FaceBook (Google, Twitter, and other ways are slow-coming, (and technically challenging)), so you can either enter your new member information the standard way, with coming up with a username and a password, or you can click on the Facebook login button. You'll also need to know the Site Key of qQfOFTrahcsp0Hm95Jqs0tUXQPIYJCa3 (You can just copy and paste it at the bottom of the Registration form.)

Second, you'll want to set up your profile.  Again, in the upper left-hand corner, you'll click on Profile.  There are many options here, but you'll want to let us know some basic information about why you're here, come up with a cool Avatar, and maybe a signature too.

Third, and probably most important.  You'll need to make an initial post in the New Member's board.  Make an introduction, follow my example.  Include things like why you enjoy anime and role playing, what's your experience, and what are you hoping to find here.

Finally, Start writing posts!  I can't do all this alone, and it gets down right depressing when I see nobody posting stories, adventuring, or just debating what a Hyper-dimensional Mallet of Doom is used for, and where in the heck does a girl store one, anyway??  I need your help, and I appreciate you sticking around and hanging out with me, and all of us, right?

The Site Rules:
First, Be nice.  There's really no good reason to be hating on people, anime, game systems, or anything else that interests other people than what you like.  As Mama always said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it.".  Having a difference of opinion is different.  That's the point of discussion, right?  You can have disagreements, but let's not devolve into trolls or flamers.  In fact, if I, or any member of the Moderation team sees this going on, we'll put the fires out, and if they continue, certain sanctions will be enforced.

Secondly, this goes with with first rule.  There shall be no harassment, bullying, or discrimination of any member.  This site is considered a safe place for members of the Alphabet Mafia (LGBTQAI+ community), and people of any ethnicity.  We may be different human beings, but really here, we're all digital, we're all numbers, and this is a place of fantasy and to have fun.  The above will not be tolerated.  If you are found to be breaking this rule, you will be outright banned from the site.

Third, since a good portion of the topics here will be involving role playing, it is considered good player ethics to not god-mod another player's character(s), unless they have given explicit permission to do so.  What is God-Modding you ask?  It's taking control of another person's character and choosing that character's actions instead of letting the player who created that character decide the actions that character will take.  This is a very easy thing to have happen, as I've done accidentally before.  However, since we all have to click on the POST button, please review your post after you've typed it out before you post it.

Fourth, this goes with the above, if you're not going to be available for a period of time, please let your players know ahead of time, so that arrangements can be made.  Whether the Game Master has to "write your character out of the current happenings or they play as your character, you should let people know of your intentions.  Life happens.  A game shouldn't die because somebody just stopped posting / playing.

Fifth, because this is on the Internet, and anybody can access this site, I'm going to ask that you please keep your discussions and game-play PG.  That means that I don't want to be reading anything overly erotic or profane anywhere on the site (unless your game is locked by Membergroup Invite Only.

And lastly, the best rule of all:  Be sure to have FUN!  Stay positive, kind, and goofy!  We all know everybody is just a little bit CraZY.  ;)

The Benefits of Playing by Post:
The other thing to discuss is what exactly is Role Playing, especially using an online medium like a community forum (like this one).  I shall begin with a stereotypical vision of what Role Playing looks like:

QuoteRole playing is a life function where you spend gobs of money on a ton of fantasy books, read those books, and imagine that you would like to live in that world....
Okay, maybe that could be a catalyst for wanting to become a Role-Player.  Role playing is all about the imagination.  Whatever you can dream up, usually can happen in a world of fiction that you build yourself, along with a group of other like-minded people.  Usually happening in groups of four or five players, we would all gather over at a friend's house, clear off the dining room table, and lay out our rule books, character sheets and our favorite, pretty, pretty multi-sided dice and talk, break out the chips and soda, and maybe order a pizza...or tacos (but they're really messy...).  We would imagine ourselves as made up characters and describe our actions (and yelling at the d20 that lands on a Natural 1) in a world that somebody called a Game Master (or Dungeon Master) would administrate.

So, as you can see, this sounds like a lot of fun, right?  It is!  However, for many of us, we simply don't have the time to dedicate toward a role playing group like that.  This is where this Site comes in, and I will explain the following awesome benefits that playing online provides:

  • Play anytime, day or night.
  • No dedicated time block to schedule.
  • No boring down time waiting for your turn.
  • No distracting Out of Character chatter.
  • A written, searchable, persistent history of the game.
  • No crunch time spotlight when it is your turn to play.
  • Be as descriptive and detailed as you'd like.

Sound like fun?  Of course it does!  So here's how it works here.  We obviously don't have a table, nor chips and soda, but we do have these awesome advantages!  Basically, a group of us discuss a game world we'd like play in, decide upon a game system (if any) to use as core foundation for the mechanics and order of playing the game, and then somebody will step up (usually all but one person takes a step backwards...) and lead the game by telling the tale of the world and deciding if the darn dice allow a character to do an action.

We're not limited to four or five people, we can have dozens of people playing in one game, (and if you don't like Doritos, you can bring whatever chips you want to your desk!)  If you're going to play, join a game that you find interesting.  It helps if you know something about the background setting, since most of the games here are based upon an anime, you should be familiar with the characters and maybe even a few episodes of the anime.  You should also know how to use the game system that the game is using.  We don't provide core books here for free (unless they are offered freely by the game designers), so spend the $30 on a core book and read it!  (Bonus, you don't have to spend gobs of money on all the pretty, pretty dice to play with...and lose as your cat decides it's a new toy to bat around... (stupid ball of a d100!!)

In typical role playing games, there is an ordered way of game play, using an Initiative system.  Usually everybody rolls some dice, adds some number based on their character sheet and the order is determined by the person with the highest result, following each player to the lowest result.  While you can do that here in a play by post format, it usually doesn't work out that well.  In the nearly two decades of experience I have, first come, first serve is usually the way to go.  It keeps the game moving forward.  We all have busy lives and other more important things to do in life, like laundry, than sitting around goofing off.  So, whenever you have chance, come online, post something that your character would do (please be sure to read all the other replies that others have posted before doing so), even if it's only a single sentence.  Usually though, you'll find that you will be writing paragraphs of actions and dialogs within a single post.  I'll provide an example in another post.

Since we're all not sitting around the same table, and we can't all see, hear and feel all the dice that we roll (if you can smell the dice, you're dice might have an infection or something!  Damn Nat 1!) we will either roll privately and post the results in the post (see example) or (hopefully) I'll get a die-roller installed that will add the results to the post for you.  We use the honor system here.  Nobody enjoys a cheater, and it destroys the fun of the game-play.  Of course, there is the option to play diceless.  If this method is agreed upon (and I have found that this works best in play by post environment), then it's up to the Game Master to decide if an action is feasible.  Usually in another board related to the game dedicated for discussion, rather than playing.

So, you wanna play? Right?  RIIIIIIGHT!!???
This brings me to describe how the game rooms are set up initially.  So you want to play a game?  You let me know in the appropriate topic, describing the game, what system you want use, and what anime the game is based on.  I will then create three separate boards for you to administrate.  The Name of the Game board, for all the actual game=-play.  A Characters board, where all the characters that have been created (or chosen) by the players are to be found for quick reference.  And a discussion board, where all the Out of Character chit-chat will take place.  I set this distinction up for a reason.  If I'm a new member on the site here, and I want to join a game.  I would take on the responsibility of reading all the previous play actions of a game I'm interested  in joining.  I don't want to read all the tangents, I just need to get up to speed on what has happened in the game thus far.  On another note of experience, you may want to break up your posts, into "chapters".  Create a new topic in your game board for each major plot point that has been achieved.  So for example, one of the game plot points is to rescue the Princess, upon completing that quest end that chapter by creating the next post in a new topic under...say "Chapter Two:  Revenge of the Overlord" or something to keep the game play flowing, and also to help new player join the game.

Some Site History:
Now I will tell you the tale of how all this began, if you're still reading and interested, awesome for you, I have a prize for you. 

I tripped into anime back in 2002 while I was bored at work and was tired of staring at the Windows 95 (anybody remember that? -- geez, I'm older!), so I started looking for different wallpaper.  I don't remember how I found her, but I found an image of who I would later discover was Ranma Saotome.  A gender-bending anime character from the series Ranma 1/2.  When doused with cold water, he becomes a girl, a hot red-head.  Hot water returns her back to himself.  After watching a few episodes that I could find on the Internet, I shortly discovered the world of fan-fiction by reading the story The Magical Mystery Hibiki Tour.  It was in that story that I was introduced to the the character Kiyone [Makibi] from the series Tenchi Universe.  In that wacky space-opera themed harem I quickly fell in love with the Princess Ayeka... as she was probably considered the underdog of the love-triangle between Tenchi, Ryoko (a space pirate) and Ayeka, and I have apparently have a thing for underdog characters!  I was hooked, and at the same time, I worked for a software company on their help desk team.  I had met a friend, Mark, who introduced me to building webpages, and of course, I jump head first into making my own little corner of the web.

Ayeka's Bliss was born.  A site that was dedicated to the fun, chaos and crazy world of Tenchi Universe (Tenchi Muyo, it's predecessor)  I had met a lot of awesome and interesting people through exploring and experimenting with website forum technology.  Anybody remember YABB and YABBse?  Anyway, this site was a discussion board all about Tenchi and its characters.  Somebody random on the Internet posted a comment one day, and said "This place is pretty boring.  You should have a RPG." (or something like to that effect).  I took her advice and created Destiny's Fear, a Tenchi Universe based game world.  I played as my favorite character, Ayeka, but I modified her slightly, and slowly other people showed up, joined the site, and we began the adventure that almost resulted in the known (and probably unknown) universe exploding before the game abruptly ended -- how could we have continued without the Universe in tact?  I had met many wonderful friends through that game.

It was around that time that I also found a role playing game, Big Eyes Small Mouth 2nd edition in a local comic book shop.  Seeing this, I was super excited and read that small book cover to cover, and implemented it's simple rules into Destiny's Fear.  The game was mostly just a multi-authored story with a little game mechanics thrown in to help flesh out the characters and to make them appear in a uniform format.  When 3rd edition came out, I started a couple of other games using it as the backbone.  I installed a die roller, and created the multi-anime high school / academy game Sparks!  These characters were made up completely from scratch.  Totally original.  And a core group of us played everyday, every time we could post.  (Thanks to all of you Ayeka's Bliss members!.)  Those were fun days.

Unfortunately, life took me in another direction abruptly, and I was unable to maintain the website, and it vanished.  I had lost the motivation to rebuild it, and most of the time that was needed to care for it.  I was raising a family, going to college and working full time.  Fast forward about ten years.  I no longer have those commitments in my life (long story), and I re-located my life.  Got a totally new career started but still have my love of anime and role playing.  Over the last two years, I have tried to rekindle the fun website I once had, and shared with many of my online friends.  Covid, a new job, technology problems, and a lack time all contributed in the failure up until now.

*balls up fists*  I'm going to do my best!  As most anime characters say when determined to accomplish some epic goal.  This is my goal.  I will rekindle an awesome role playing-anime website, and make a bunch of new friends to laugh together with, and perhaps even through a party at some point in the future.  So I invite you, to help me.  Let's build this site into an awesome temple of anime conundrums and chaos!  Welcome, and have fun!  ;D