About this blog

This is the official blog of Phoenix Roleplaying, a multi-genre simming site, created in August 2010.

Run by the players, we hope to achieve great things.

Where our journey takes us, who knows.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Interview with Silent Hunter

Phoenix's first elected GC Ash Leighton Plom interviews the redoubtable Silent Hunter

It's my pleasure to be here with the administrator of this very blog, the one and only Silent Hunter. You know him from his writings, his characters, and his finely realised sim concepts. But what about the man behind the alias? This blog post tells you more!

Q: Let's start with a few ice-breakers. Circle or square?

A: Circles. They're easier to hold.

Q: Fairy lights; white, or multi-coloured?

A: Multi-coloured, of course. Ideally flashing on variable patterns.

Q: And finally, what is the airspeed velocity of a laden swallow?

A: African or European?

Q: Very nice. Now time for the serious stuff. You're probably currently best known as a prolific sim creator, running sims set in widely diverse genres. What gives you your inspiration when creating sim concepts?

A: A lot of things really. I'm an avid consumer of fiction, particularly cop shows and techno-thrillers. Some things I read in the news also give me ideas. For example, Sierra Charlie Four owes a fair bit of inspiration to the now-ended ITV1 cop drama The Bill.

Q: To what extent does RL inform your sim creations?

A: It depends on the sim. I try to use RL geography and history where possible. In my more contemporary sims, namely the British policing sim Sierra Charlie Four and my planned naval/aviation sim Carrier, I pay a good amount of attention to developments in those respective worlds. There's a lot of procedural stuff that's important for the realism of Sierra Charlie Four, as well as the impact of spending cuts and an increasingly globalised world. There are some developments in the latter that will be of great importance to the story; China's carriers, Russia's stealth aircraft, Iranian ballistic missiles…

My "historical" sims stick as closely to the historical background as I can, although I admit I do make mistakes. At the end of the day, one should not let the facts get in the way of a good story. ;-)
The Triple First is far looser; Doctor Who is far more a fantasy show than some of my more original concepts. Kvant, my Firefly sim, will owe some stuff to RL military organisation.

Q: You're also known for playing a large number of characters. Tell us a little about the genesis of some of these favourites.

A: OK, I'll pick three – Sue Ling, Romana VI and Samuel Arkwright.

With many of my characters, I tend to take an actor and create a character around them. Sue Ling is an example of that. Created to fill the rather undermanned Fire Team on Atlantis, she was inspired by Renee Felice Smith, who plays Nell Jones on NCIS: Los Angeles. I found the character so quirky that it inspired me to create another character. The name came from another female gunslinger, Soolin from the cult British science-fiction series Blake's 7. The concept of the character itself – rich girl runs away to become a merc – was inspired by Domino Harvey, a female bounty hunter who was the subject of the film Domino (which I haven't actually seen). I wanted a character who was still wide-eyed and innocent, to be gradually broken down by the business.

Romana VI, from The Triple First, is somewhat different. Romana is my favourite companion in Doctor Who and as a Time Lord, she seemed an obvious character to use in a sim. Conscious of the "rules" about canon characters; I bent them by creating a new incarnation. In a way, Romana is intended to be the "opposite" of the Eleventh Doctor. Matt Smith's Doctor has been described as "an old man in a young man's body" and I decided to reverse that. The Valley Girl persona was taking a classic fictional stereotype and turning it on its head a little – she may appear dumb but it's a front. I actually had intense difficulty choosing an actor for her.

Samuel Arkwright, who will be appearing in Kvant, is actually a fairly long standing character of mine; he first turned up as a Royal Marines officer several years ago in another work. He's evolved since then and is now a hardened veteran of the U-War, with a few ships after that. He was my first character at our old home. I made him a caring man, who knows the value of loyalty, but also decency; he attempted to instigate a mutiny on his old ship when his CO murdered a Dockmaster. His wife died in the war, so he knows its cost. He's now settled for "stability" in his old age; he's gained a company command in The Eagles of Warsaw. His actor, Serge Soric, makes fairly frequent appearances in British cop shows; using a Slavic actor was part of my vision of a future where names are longer limited to one ethnicity.

Q: How do you keep your various characters distinct and individual? How much interplay is there between your characters and your actual self?
I use pretty broad brushes to begin with and then work from there. A good memory helps to keep them distinct.
There's actually fairly little interplay between them and my RL self. I can't shoot straight if my life depended on it. That said, I may appear as a politician in the near future.

Q: Which brings us neatly to another facet of the legend that is Silent Hunter! Some have called your political career in the old country fractious, while others would say it was characterised by compassionate activism for members against tyranny. What motivates you politically, and how do you decide when and how to act? Where do you draw the lines?

A: Well, I'm active-ish in RL politics; being a member of the Labour Party. I'm motivated by a desire to see justice done. I don't really have a set of fixed criteria about when to act and when not to act; it's kind of personal feeling. However, I have a fairly strict moral code and there are certain behaviours that I will not do. I generally try to avoid deliberate violations of site rules. If I can't win a political struggle on a site fairly and the struggle is impacting RL (as happened in the old country), it's probably best for me to go.

Q: Speaking for myself, I believe your contributions will always be welcome in Phoenix RP. Thank you for your time and for your answers!
And a happy New Year from me to all our readers.
- Ashley Leighton Plom

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas

I'd like to wish all our players a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Phoenix Roleplaying on SimEnc

We now have an entry on the Simming League encyclopedia.

Created by Alliance Building Officer Robert Longtin, a presence in the Simming League should help boost the profile of this nascent RPing site and increase our membership.

Thanks Rob!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Coming soon to Phoenix Roleplaying: Set Europe Ablaze

The flak flashes in the distance. It's not aimed at you, but the other poor guys heading for the Ruhr. If things go wrong, not for you the flames of a burning Lancaster.

As your Lysander flies low over the French coast, you remember the code words and who you're supposed to meet. The radio in your bag could save your life - or end it.

You know your mission, you have your supplies. In an hour you will be there. You will meet people ready to die on their feet rather than live on their knees. You will meet some of the most evil people ever to have lived. Your life and the lives of thousands of others will depend on telling them apart.

It's January 1944 and the Prime Minister's instructions are clear. Your mission - Set Europe Ablaze.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Interview with Robert Longtin

Q: I’m here with Robert Longtin, our recently elected Election Coordinator and creator of one of our new sims, The Witcher.

So, Robert, tell me a little about yourself.

A: Well I'm from Hamburg, New York. I'm in college for Mathematics Education, but I already have a BA in Mathematics. And I'm very fond of gaming in all its forms: tabletop/LARP, online post-and-reply, and video gaming.

Q: So, who or what is The Witcher?

A: The Witcher refers to both a single character and a group of people. Witchers are alchemically mutated human men (as it currently stands there has never been a female Witcher, at least none that I can find apart from Ciri who only went through the training, not the treatments). Witchers train in the arts of both physical and magical combat to defeat monsters. They have vast resources in both knowledge and training specifically for this task, and there are few others that can or generally do slay monsters. Geralt of Rivia is The Witcher, the main character from the books and the games and is a member of a small group of Witchers hidden in Kaer Morhen, a secret keep far from the rest of civilization.

Q: Which books and games would these be? Would I have heard of them?

A: If you haven't heard of the The Witcher, then you wouldn't have heard of the computer game which carries the same name. The books on the other hand, at least the ones translated to English, are called The Last Wish and Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski. Both books follow the story of Geralt of Rivia, but Blood of Elves is the first in a Saga which has already been released in Poland, but the next book is supposed to be released in English next year. The Last Wish is the first book as far as timeline is concerned. The next book is not Blood of Elves but rather Sword of Destiny which has not been released in English as far as I know, but having read The Last Wish followed by Blood of Elves I wouldn't say anything was missing, apart from the rest of the Saga of course, which I am looking forward to. The Sequel to the computer game, The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings is set to release in this coming May and I would recommend checking out the E3 Trailer Online, this game is going to be big, far bigger than the last one. It picks up where the story of the last game left off, but from what I can tell you won't need to be well versed in The Witcher to get into the new game since the story in the new game involves a plot twist that has not yet been introduced via The Witcher to the English-speaking world. I'll be pre-ordering it soon.

Q: So, please tell me a little about the universe of these games.

A: Well to start I suppose I've told you enough about The Witcher, so I'll tell you a little bit about the history. The realm in which the stories take place is generally referred to as the Northern Kingdoms which is between a third and a fourth of what was once the Empire of Nilfgaard. What was once a massive Elven Empire, Nilfgaard was conquered by humans coming from across the sea many years ago. Intolerant of the humans who took their lands, most Elves retreated to remote areas and avoid contact with the humans, while some few Elves embrace the humans along with the Dwarves, Gnomes, and Halflings.

The world as it seems is run by humans, with the exception that mages and sorceresses who play a major role in politics have mixed human and elven blood. However not too long ago, the Elves reappeared and reclaimed land in the south from the humans, mercilessly slaughtering humans whether knight or peasant. Though a tense stalemate, the rest of the Northern Kingdoms remains relatively untouched apart from a rogue group of non-human bandits who call themselves The Scoia'tael, or "The Squirrels". That pretty much sums up the events to date as far as The Witcher is concerned.

For some time the Northern Kingdoms suffered monsters, vicious beasts both magical and non-magical that terrorized the lands both within and beyond castle walls. This is where Witchers found their calling - slaying the beast and collecting the reward. They often travel between cities, visiting anyone who has work and accepting the offers that were attractive enough.

Q: Sounds interesting. So what’s this particular sim about?

A: This Sim takes place before the resurgence of Elves in the Northern Kingdoms. I can't reveal too much, but essentially the major plot element is that a local Lord is assembling a group of mercenaries, Alchemists, Mages/Sorceresses, and Witchers to eradicate the nearby monsters for expansion and safety. Were it just a group of mercenaries, or just one Witcher or just one Mage or Sorceress, it would make sense, but a large force such as this draws a little more suspicion and rumors are circulating... Suspicions about what kinds of monsters are out there, whispers of upcoming War, tavern discussions that the King suspects a threat within his own court circulate, or hushed conversation that the King has gone mad; everybody has their own spin on what is going on now that signs are posted all over requesting the aid of warriors and spellcasters alike. The King has the intent of finding Elves after hearing a few rumors about people seeing Elves in the nearby vicinity. Whether or not those rumors are true has yet to be seen...

This story will largely take place outside the walls of Brugge, a city in the Southern edge of the Northern Kingdoms. The story being told here predates the stories of Geralt of Rivia by at least a century if not longer - I was intentionally vague on the date because I want to emphasize that none of what happens in this Sim is directly related to the games nor the books, as we will be exploring a time when Monsters really were Monstrous, as opposed to the time of Geralt of Rivia when monsters have started trying to fit into society, i.e. the Troll living under the bridge charges his tolls so he can afford to repair his bridge while making an honest living so he can afford to buy food instead of eating passersby and the horses they rode in on. This is a time when Mercenaries and Witchers could find work anywhere and might not feel the need to travel to find new work.

Q: Many don't know very much about the world of The Witcher, what might you compare The Witcher to that would be more familiar to Fantasy readers and gamers?

A: Well I would say The Witcher is very similar to Middle Earth in many ways. Actually you can draw a great many similarities between Geralt of Rivia, the main character from The Witcher, and Aragorn's alternate identity Strider from Lord of the Rings. The Witcher has all manner of mythical creatures and races, most of which also appear in Lord of the Rings. You have Humans, Elves, Dwarves, and Halflings. Then you have similar character elements, such as spell casting, mages, and sorceresses, mercenaries and warriors, commonfolk, nobles, priests, and so on. And then you also have wild beasts and creatures of evil that attack travelers and are hunted by mercenaries.

Technology is also very similar, bows and arrows, siege weapons, castles with walls, and wooden boats with sails. In Lord of the Rings there was a brief appearance of alchemical weapons in The Two Towers during the siege of Helm's Deep when a bomb was used to destroy the wall. Alchemical concoctions, both potions and small handheld bombs are present in The Witcher, though are rarely used by untrained people or alchemists who are often dismissed as mad scientists. The people and nations also have prejudices, injustices, social classes, and wars; common themes for many Fantasy stories and games."

Q: So what will players be doing?

A: The players will be playing characters in this group of monster slayers, going out and looking for trouble and taking on the beasts. They will be commissioned by the King to do so, so there will be some interactions with Royalty and the city of Brugge itself, but they can expect to be investigating monster appearances and problems in the outskirts, trying to locate monsters to defeat. The story will unfold from there, but that's the starting premise.

Q: So how do people join? Will they need to have read the books or played the games?

A: Players will need no experience with The Witcher to join. In fact knowledge of Fantasy settings in general is truly all that's necessary. Players that are interested in any non-Witcher class can for the most part rely on their own knowledge of Fantasy games to decide the aspects of their character both during design and gameplay. Players interested in playing spellcasters will be contacted by me personally to get them up to speed on where magical energy is drawn from and how that restricts spellcasters (and by restriction I mean preventing them from being Gods among mortals, apart from that the sky is the limit), and anyone interested in playing a Witcher, whether they have read our discussion here or if they have read the Witcher blog will already know as much as they need after receiving the information on spellcasters (though a Witcher doesn't necessarily need to be a spellcaster, there is one in the game who suffered a hand injury preventing him from casting spells). All other information that a player might want (and not necessarily need) is linked to on the Witcher blog I created.

Q: A dedicated blog. Excellent. Who knows, I may join. Thank you very much and I wish your game every success.

HMS Nelson seeks new players

I run a BC-304 sim in our Stargate section that is looking for some extra players.

If you're up for space battles and visiting new worlds, defending the Milky Way against the forces of the Ori, join up today!

The Wheel of Time starts turning

Jason Andersen and Dondi Ratliff are starting up their new RP,Wheel of Time, based on the fantasy novel series of the same name.

If you're interested, please head over here for more information and to apply.

A further clue to my competition

Nobody's got this yet.

So I'll give you a further clue. The character was played by a person who would later star in Dempsey & Makepeace. So if you look at IMDB, you should figure it out fairly quickly.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A second first...

Yes, I know that sounds a bit strange.

I am now probably the first player here to use a star of British soap opera Coronation Street as a main character.

I was watching this week's episodes (I don't normally watch the show) and I've found Georgia Taylor from among the cast.

I'll let you have a guess; her recent wedding was in a rather different location as planned...

Friday, 10 December 2010

Election results in full

Robert Longtin has posted a graphic showing the full election results:

See here.

These were landslide victories for all the "incumbent" candidates.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Elections Results

Here are the elections results:

General Coordinator (GC): Ashley Leighton Plom
Contender: Jason Andersen
Technical Coordinator (TC): Euan Reid
Elections and Voting Coordinator (EVC): Robert Longtin

You can refer to my post here for further information.


Election results imminent

Today we’re going to learn the results of our first elections; the result announcement should appear on here soon after it is made on the forums.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Election Reminder

Just to remind everyone that you can vote in the Phoenix elections until 23:59 EST (04:59 GMT tonight).

Results will be announced tomorrow, both on the site and here.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Phoenix Wiki launched

Phoenix Roleplaying has now opened a wiki on Wikidot:

See here.

It's still early days, but the wiki will soon hold a history of our club, profiles on key members and information on resolutions.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Firefly and Doctor Who peg dolls!

Adorable, aren't they?

A Kingdom for A Stage raises the curtain

Just to let everyone know that A Kingdom for A Stage has commenced RPing.

It's not too late to join this tale of 15th century intrigue. We won't be taking 10,000 troops and pillaging Geneva, but there will be a good skirmish or three.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

We have a Steam Group!

For those of you who use the Steam online gaming system, Phoenix Roleplaying now has its own dedicated group!

See here.

Now you can find out just how good Silent Hunter (Silent Hunter UK is my handle) is at Counter-Strike!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

A competition - just for fun!

I've just submitted a new character to Atlantis. I'm probably one of the first RPers to use the actor Renee Felice Smith as a character avatar:

This is her.

For those of you going "Who on Sihnon is she?" - she plays Nell Jones in NCIS: Los Angeles (which might be obvious from the URL)

I digress. This sparky young new merc is going to be called Susan Ling - or Sue Ling for short.

The competition is to guess which cult science-fiction character she's named after - and as a bonus, how Firefly uses a bit of dialogue from the show (and by extension, a classic Western) in one of its early episodes.

I'll give you a clue; the show is British and the creator created something very nasty.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'd like to wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all our American members! Enjoy the holiday!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

World War Three comes to Phoenix

Krista Backman has created a new sim for the site, End of Peace. This sim is set during a fictional Third World War which will involve nuclear weapons. Although full details are not yet available as to the plot, it will start in the Middle East.

PS I've been asked to clarify that the Voting Booth security breaches took place a month ago.

Election Voting open

Members who have been active in the past two weeks have been sent emails inviting them to vote in the first General Election in Phoenix Roleplaying (these may have gone into your spam, so it's best to check there too). A link to the off-site Voting Booth was placed on Phoenix, but has now been removed due to security breaches, which have now been dealt with; Election Coordinator Robert Longtin plans to move to our own system in due course.

If you currently inactive, you can contact Robert Longtin to be registered as a voter.

Voting is open until 23:59 Eastern Standard Time on 7 December (04:59 GMT on 8 December) and the results will be announced the next day.

As well as electing the three key positions, you can also vote on how long terms should be and how you would not wish to be informed of elections and resolutions.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Two new sims launched: The Academy and A Kingdom For A Stage

Two new sims have been created on our site.

Firstly, we have a new Firefly sim, The Academy. This revolves around the educational facility that harnesses the psychic talents of the most "gifted" children in the 'Verse and sometimes turns them into emotional wrecks. Kevin Diamond has described it as "teen angst school drama with abnormal powers and brain surgery", while a concept page can be found here. This idea was originally planned for AJJE before the Schism; I'm glad we have it here.

Secondly, is Silent Hunter's medieval sim, A Kingdom for A Stage. Set in 1410, it revolves a team of travellers as they head to England in the twilight years of the reign of Henry IV. With knights, nobles and intrigue, you'll need to get your sabatons on fast!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Candidates for election

The Office of General Coordinator (and Contender)

Ash Plom
Jason Andersen

The Office of Technical Coordinator
Euan Reid
Kevin Diamond

The Office of Elections and Voting Coordinator
Robert Longtin

Friday, 12 November 2010

Something I discovered yesterday...

I am quite probably the first player here with a character whose "actor" is going to be on I'm A Celebrity...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Euan Reid outlines Phoenix 2.0

Euan Reid, longstanding tech expert and general all-round good egg, has set out a rough plan for the full version of Phoenix Roleplaying.

It's still very rough and subject to change. A key tenet though, in the graphical sense, will be the option to either view posts as a conventional forum, or in the PARS-esque style many of us are used to from our days at a certain RPing site.

Suggestions can be made here.

Campaigning is now open for the elections

Candidates for the elections are posting their statements here and taking questions here.

A list of candidates will follow once the acceptance period is over, but Euan Reid has already set out his stall for the Technical Coordinator role.

HMS Nelson looking for players

Our Daedalus-class set Stargate sim, HMS Nelson is looking for more players.

If you want to fly F-302s against the Ori fleet or just see the universe, HMS Nelson is the place for you. We're just getting started, so there's plenty of opportunity for people to join.

Sign up today!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Election Season

Nominations have been pouring in for our first elections; a dozen players have been nominated for three elected positions:

  • General Coordinator (with the second place candidate becoming the Contender to the General Coordinator, a sort of Leader of the Opposition))
  • Technical Coordinator
  • Election Coordinator
Nominations can be accepted up until 15 November, but campaigning will begin on Monday 8 November.

It already looks like it will be a real contest for General Coordinator.

The Elections and Voting forum has all the latest news.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Three new sims in development from Silent Hunter

Silent Hunter, the creator of at least half a dozen sims, including Sierra Charlie Four and The Triple First will be bringing three new sims to Phoenix this coming year.

A Kingdom for a Stage

Six centuries ago. A time of knights and knaves. When a group of travellers head to England in the twilight years of Henry IV, they discover a sinister plot to revenge an event in England's past.

Georgia Taylor

She's a girl on a quest. A valuable artefact that could alter the balance of power in a world on the brink of total war appears to have been unearthed. With her trusty gang of fellow archaeologists, she must travel the world in a race against the forces of totalitarianism to get the treasure first.

Get your bullwhips and your hats ready; it's going to be hot.

Kvant ["Quantum"], a Firefly sim

There are mercenaries. Then there are the Eagles of Warsaw. Join up with this company, you can get a regular paycheck, organised training and good dental coverage. Because looks can kill.

Not every job is glamorous. Crashing a cargo shuttle into a skyplex is a way to end up with a non-glamorous one.

Assigned to guard a group of female rock musicians who don't get on with hotel rooms, the crew of Kvant must use all their skill and finesse to guard against crazed fans and rabid stalkers. As well as all their self-control to avoid killing their customers.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Interview with Bill Comnenus

I’m here with Bill Comnenus, Captain of the Republican Corvette West Star. As the ship comes towards the end of its career, how do you feel she will be remembered?

BC: I would hope that would be for her long years of service in defence of the Republic and galactic civilization, specifically against pirates and Separatists.

The Separatist Crisis troubled us all. How soon do you think we will be able to defeat their remnants?

BC: The galaxy's a big place. But they can't hide forever. And there will be a reckoning.

Should we have seen the Crisis coming?

BC: That depends on who you mean. The seeds for the conflict were sown decades before the First Battle of Geonosis, but the Senate led us right into it. I don't think it's fair to say there was much the military could have done differently, though.

What was the best moment of the war for you?

BC: There are no 'best moments' in war, only moments which are less grim than others. Those are the moments characterised by camaraderie, by a crew striving towards their common goal, and by noble self-sacrifice. It is my privilege to serve with such sentients the likes of which the galaxy has never seen, and so there were many moments of my war less grim for that.

What are your plans for the future?

BC: The same thing we always do. Fight 'em until we can't. There're still separatist holdouts and other dangers in the galaxy, and the Weststar and her crew will continue safeguarding the civilian population. The fight isn't over yet.

Thank you very much for your time and keep up the good work.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Sim descriptions

Euan's adding descriptions to some of the forums to tell you a bit more about the sims.

Great work!

I'm, like, a Time Lady!

After the three months I spent back at the site that shall not be named waiting for one sim to be launched, I'm more than pleasantly surprised to announce that The Triple First, Phoenix's Doctor Who sim, has launched.

Featuring my favourite companion in a new, well radical form, this sim allows you to travel the universe with Romanadvoratelundar.

Yes, we've squared the Time War circle quite nicely. Thanks to 'Lex for that solution.

Sign up now!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Vampire/Lycan sim

If you like Vampires and Werewolves then Will Smith might have something for you. Check out the proposal in the Management forum.

(off-screen howl)

Hang on, it's not a full moon...

Monday, 27 September 2010

MARS negotiations collapse

In a piece of news I missed, Euan Reid announced on 13 September that negotiations have ended with DDC Games.

He said:

"Negotiations between ourselves and DDC had been progressing along, with occasional minor hitches, for a while, but we've eventually reached a point where it's become clear we're not going to come to an accord - DDC wanted a "company and client contract", but felt we wanted "a partnership". Unfortunately, this has resulted in negotiations being dropped".

The partnership with DDC will continue; players will be testing their desktop games.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Character interviews

If anyone wants an IC interview with one of their characters, please PM me via the site.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Advert: After The Turn


Half a century ago, mankind learned it wasn't alone.  Witches, Vampires, Weres, and a host of other inderlanders came forward when a virus wiped out a quarter of the human population.  Now, living along side them, a new society has settled, living along side each other, sharing the same daily routine, and same daily struggles.

In Pittsburgh, things are no different.  Weres make up the Burgh's championship sports teams, Witches mix brews up on the Hill, and a vampire runs the hottest night club on the south side.  Things change, when a Demon shows up on this side of the Ley Lines, and petitions the mayor to become a permanent resident.

To join, email `Lex Pendragon.


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Advert: Join the Odyssey!

The Odyssey, a small transport vessel flying around in the Firefly universe, is still looking for those who seek thrill and adventure? Think you have what it takes to live on the edge, always looking for the next badly payed job? Then join the crew! We're currently still looking for a doctor, mercs and passengers. Seek us out at http://phoenix.reide96.com/

-Mischa Brendel, CO of the Odyssey

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

MARS vote declared null and void in dramatic day

In a day of dramatic twists, Chris and Daniel may have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

The 24 hours began at around 10pm London time yesterday, when Chris and Daniel posted their email correspondence with Ash; he had heavily criticised their behaviour over the affair. They thought that he was threatening to publish and acted pre-emptively. The emails included a statement that they would have preferred Ash to make the decision himself:

"If you could give a straight answer as the admin of your club, instead of putting it to vote, we could've gotten this done sooner, democracy doesn't always work and it isn't always the answer."

This caused several supporters to change their votes, the first being Silent Hunter who was on the site at that time.

Early this morning, Robert Longtin, Election Coordinator, decided that the two had changed the terms enough and did not want to run the vote every time, so issued the following ruling:

As Election Coordinator, given that the terms of the lease to be voted on have changed, I hereby declare this vote NULL AND VOID until such time that new terms are settled upon for a new vote. Any terms to be decided are to be processed by Robert Longtin - the Election Coordinator - to be put to a vote. Once the terms are decided, they are to be made available in full to all members and put to a vote.
Once a vote is opened, the terms of all items within a vote are considered legally binding for the purposes of a vote and if at any time changes to the terms are to be made, then the Election Coordinator is required to nullify and void any votes prior to the changes being made on any votes relying on the pending changes.
Once new terms are decided, votes dependent on those changes may be reopened for the same length of time given to the previous vote(s), starting with the date on which the vote(s) are reopened.

Ash later ended the vote and removed the poll: the "result" was 8-14-2, although two of those first votes were by Chris and Dan, who wished them to be discounted. With 22 out of 46 members participating, this was nearly a 50% turnout.

The state of play is now as follows: Ash and Euan will take to negotiate terms with Dan and Chris. If these are agreed, it will go to a vote.

It's been a very interesting 24 hours.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Chris Wilkinson and Daniel Taylor may resign as MARS seems headed for defeat

Chris Wilkinson and Daniel Taylor this morning stated they were considering leaving Phoenix Roleplaying. Their stated reason was that the polling results so far showed a majority against using MARS and so they were not needed.

There are still nine days in the vote and Deborah Leighton Plom, GM & Facebook Coordinator called their departure "premature".

Robert Longtin raised the possibility of no option getting a majority; plans are being discussed at present.

The vote currently stands as follows:

Accept the MARS lease4   (25.00%)
Decline the lease and develop our own system9   (56.25%)
Accept the lease on a temporary basis while commencing work on our own3   (18.75%)

Edit: On further clarification, both players still have accounts and have not made their decision final, so I have edited the headline.

Sims to bind them

Three sims based in The Lord of the Rings are opening in Phoenix. There will be sims from the Second Age, the Third Age and the Fourth Age.

The Ages probably don't mean much to most people, but those looking for a sim set during the movie series would be best placed in Dol Amoth, the Third Age sim. This is currently taking applications, with Olee Bass as the sim owner.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

MARS lease vote

In a surprising twist, Chris Wilkinson and Daniel Taylor have asked Euan Reid and the Tech Support Team to halt development on MARS, Phoenix's planned posting system. Instead, they wish to develop it themselves. The options would be a free licence for general use or paying a lease fee for full control of the code.

General Coordinator Ash Leighton Plom has put the matter to a vote, with three options:
  1. Accept the lease
  2. Develop our own system
  3. Accept the lease temporarily while developing our own system
The vote will run for 13 more days and is available in the Tech Support forum; it currently stands 1-3-0.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Welcome to Cydonia!

We have a new planet based sim on Phoenix!

Cydonia, small town on Deadwood, has just opened. Run by Deb Leighton Plom of old Akers Bluff fame, it promises to be a great success. Hey, it's got Kelvorn Sun-Campbell.

Tempted to join myself...

Friday, 13 August 2010

First post: Sierra Charlie Four

2000, Saturday 22 August 2015, Greater Manchester Police Headquarters, Manchester M16

The lift doors opened on the eighth floor of the brown and grey office building that housed one of the largest police services in England and Wales.

The rain-soaked woman stepped out and turned left, opening the door into the area marked "Serious Crime Division - Teams 1 to 5".

Stepping down the corridor, she found the second door on the left and opened it with her key.

The open plan office that housed Team Four of the Serious Crime Division, "Sierra Charlie Four", was fitted with four sets of twin desks, each with two workstations. Paperwork filled in the office; a marker board was on the inside wall, currently empty. At the rear was a single officer for the Detective Chief Inspector of this team.

She removed her brown raincoat and hung it on a coatstand. She'd need to find a towel to dry her hair at some point, she looked like a drowned rat.

She was slim and pale, possessing a slender beauty and a slightly dangerous air about her. Dressed in a white blouse and long black skirt, she was dressed to kill. Or nick.

Their shift would start in half an hour, but it paid to be early.

Detective Sergeant Hannah Barclay, the terror of Stockport's criminal fraternity, was starting her first shift in Serious Crime.

This would be fun.

Sims everywhere!

Euan Reid has worked his technical magic and Phoenix has basically quadrupled in size overnight.

We now have added to the site; two Stargate sims, two Star Trek sims three Star Trek sims, a detective sim and The Drake, a 1909-set gentlemen's club tale.

It's going to be fun, that's for sure. I wasn't expecting us to grow so quickly.

We may have some of these fall by the wayside, but let's enjoy them for now.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Setting up new sims

We've got some new sims starting up here from our original three Firefly sims..

First up will probably be my detective sim, Sierra Charlie Four. If you want to join, please email or PM me.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mission Statement from Ashley Leighton Plom

What follows are the ideas Deborah and me bounced off each other on the drive home from the meet up in Portsmouth (which was awesome, thank you again to Nick for hosting and Paul for GMing!!). But all of what I'm writing about here is AMENDABLE and the central notion is one of setting up a truly FAIR AND DEMOCRATIC community for us to enjoy; that this isn't a proprietary creation but is a vision and a way ahead that can be altered or turned from according to what is right.

So here's a summary of Deborah's and my thoughts, with some short-term and some longer-term frameworks, but it's all accountable and none of it a 'Decision' or a 'Ruling' or any other kind of thing like that.

Immediately, we need an voting coordinator. All members can make nominations, all members get a vote. 
Once elected, this Voting Coordinator will run an election within the next three months to elect two positions; a Technical Support Coordinator, and an 'administrative/operational' overseer of sorts. I'm reluctant to use the terms 'President' or 'Leader'... Let's use the simple descriptive word Coordinator for now. These two elected Coordinators (the Technical Coordinator and the general Coordinator) would serve an initial term of, shall we say, three months. We could vote by referendum through the Voting Coordinator on how long the next term after that should be (a year?).

The Technical Support Coordinator's and the general Coordinator's roles will be twofold. First, we want to keep getting sims opened on the new temporary forum and we want to act on discussion on the forums, and second we want to find a proper site to serve as our permanent home. So the Coordinator will be overseeing both these processes, the Technical Support Coordinator will be handling the technical side of things - running the technical side of the current forum and planning the programming etc. for our future site.

The two elected Coordinators will build teams of people according to need. What I mean is we're not going to have permanent positions like 'Stores Master' or 'Advertising Coordinator' which will stand empty for ages; rather we're going to facilitate dynamic growth by identifying needs and then having people meet those needs.

Remember this is all interim. We need to get things rolling now, and we need elections as soon as possible to get things representative. And we need ongoing fairness and sharing of ideas if this is going to last in the long term.

We have a blog, we have a Facebook group, we're getting a Hyves group, a Myspace, a newsletter, a Twitter... social networking facilities exist to increase participation, cohesion, etc. We can make them successful in these roles from a standing start.

The vision Deborah and I got really excited about is one which eschews centralisation or any form of tyranny and instead works towards empowering and upbuilding and constantly unlocking people's potential, gifts, and vocations, and has a widely dispersed base of power... ultimately positions which oversee project teams will likely be elected positions in Phoenix RPGs.

Let's not have a situation where a handful of people hold onto control, but rather let's see to it that everyone be enabled to excercise the fulness of their potential as far as they are able and willing. For example, when we find a website we can use to make an exceptional RPE community, the general Coordinator will be responsible for funding it; paying the fees. The title should could come with responsibility: NO MORE BLAND RESUME FILLERS AND TIMEWASTERS!

Let's not have a 'Board of Founders' who despite the illusion of democracy actually retain oligarchic control; let's not have a 'you can do what you like as long as I agree with you' style of leadership; let's have an ELECTED MEMBER serve as OWNER of the community for the duration of their term. An analogy might be that instead of it being like we're all playing round someone else's house, let's have it so we elect a representative to rent a house on all our behalf, and we'll all play there equal under law.

And again, in the spirit of assigning people to projects according to need, one general Coordinator might appoint a treasurer, a fundraiser, etc. to delegate the task of covering the fees to if the Coordinator's own gifts weren't in that direction, whereas another general Coordinator might handle it personally. So we're not looking for set-in-stone 'Roles and Responsibilities', but a dynamic process of playing to our strengths and meeting the necessary needs.

We propose that the community be governed by referendum; by vote. One of the first things we'll want to vote on will be whether the Coordinator appoint COs for roleplay environments, or whether this process work some other way. Let's do away with the rule that a player can be CO of only one sim. Sure, it's a good rule of thumb because of the dangers of a person having to leave in a hurry and multiple sims being left leaderless, but let's not set it in stone. Players who are capable and willing to run several sims simultaneously should be given the chance to do so.

In fact, some sims might have a panel of 'COs' where appropriate, or two friends might jointly start and run a sim. What we're saying is, let's escape the constraints of corrupt rules and structures and instead build an environment which facilitates growth and doesn't compound it! No more hoops to jump through and boxes to tick, but just good sensible guidelines.

As for rules for member conduct, let's have a body of law: the rules of our host site and THE ACTUAL LAW. I don't want to see a situation where someone breaks the law in their conduct towards another member and yet we all shrug and say "well, we don't have an actual rule against it..." But we don't need to reinvent the wheel by writing legislation for a gaming community when well-qualified and paid professionals have already done the work! Ultimately, the trick will be to find a balance between enough rules that everything doesn't come down to two or three folk calling shots, but not so many that we need several people to spend all their time learning them just so we can know what the rules expect.

The whole thing can and should remain AMENDABLE. Even the position names (Technical Support Coordinator, etc.) and the very structures of coordination might change. What we're getting at is that none of us want to paint ourselves into a corner by creating a situation fundamentally liable to abuse. All systems are liable to abuse, but the one being envisioned here is at least ultimately ACCOUNTABLE and dynamic.

Whatever we do should be changeable by referendum without obstructive 'Unchangeable Elements' or the undemocratic process of rule by an unelected 'President' or 'Board'. And no position will be permanent, none whatsoever. 

Let's make it so THE PEOPLE WITH THE POWER ARE THE PEOPLE. That the 'leaders' are just coordinators and facilitators, not tyrants, and that they're accountable in elections and they're accountable by impeachment vote of, say, 66% of the active membership.

This is all a lot to take in, I know, and it's only scratching the surface of what we'll all do together. Most of it is not going to be achievable until we find a site of our own which we can build the way we want it, as a group. For now, we need to focus on what's in front of us, and that's to keep up our reforming momentum, and OPEN SOME SIMS! :-)

In summary at present, then, (at the start of day two of Phoenix) we have:
three Firefly sims currently open with at least four more coming soon (including a space station and a planet sim as well as two more ships on the way) and an additional handful planned for a little later down the line (the Academy, the Blue Horizon, and something an early colonisation era Irish-dominated planet)

three Star Trek sims opening imminently (including the USS Repulse, set five years after the signing of the Khitomer Accords that brought peace between the Federation and the Klingons)
at least three Stargate sims opening imminently (a 304 spaceship called the HMS Nelson, a base HQ, and at least one team sim on adventures like those of SG-1)
15 Star Wars sims imminent (to be opened like a cascade of awesomeness probably starting with a sim set in Invisec on Coruscant soon after Order 66, a ship called Triple Zero set at the same time, and a ship set in the Knights of the Old Republic era)

a range of other genres including Farscape, Tolkien's Middle Earth, D&D, a vampires and werewolves sim, a modern fiction zombie sim (perhaps set in The Hollows), a modern-day detective sim, Doctor Who, Cthulu, Wheel of Time (perhaps set just before Rand's rise to power), XComm:UFO Defence, Steampunk, and Starship Troopers

Let's make it happen.
And remember, this 'martial law' is temporary. If you like the notion of Phoenix RPGs but not these ideas for how it should work, you can vote me down in the imminent elections, you can vote the ideas out in referendums. This isn't rule from above, it's a class action. Who's game for it?

Every blessing,

Monday, 9 August 2010

Starting on our journey

Welcome to the official blog of Phoenix Roleplaying.  We're a new simming site, created by those who left AJJE Games in July 2010 over an issue that will described later.

Hopefully, we'll be far more than those who left AJJE.

Our journey starts here.
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