Blood of Dragons: Announcements

Blood of Dragons is the only author-approved MUSH based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. Play the Game of Thrones and become a part of the history of the Seven Kingdoms:

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Sites of Interest

Updates

The MUSH and the “Worldbook”

With this update we hope to clarify how The World of Ice and Fire will affect Blood of Dragons MUSH.

To start with the basics, The World of Ice and Fire, or the “Worldbook” as it often ends up being called, is a project that we have been working on together with George R.R. Martin and which is now nearing its completion after a very busy autumn and an only slightly less busy spring. The book is a companion volume to A Song of Ice and Fire which gathers previously established information about the Seven Kingdoms (and beyond) as well as fills out many of the gaps in our current knowledge with new information. There is, for example, a lot of new information about the history of Westeros, not the least about the reigns of the various Targaryen kings.

When we started Blood of Dragons MUSH, we based out storyline and our family trees on the existing canon information for our chosen time period as well as on some unpublished information from GRRM. We always knew that this unpublished information was subject to change and as such we have always maintained that if conflicting information was ever published, we would try to alter matters on the game to fit the new canon. However, we have also always said that some information may not be possible to work in as it would disrupt the game too much.

As you can guess, The World of Ice and Fire does contain new canon information that conflicts with some of our established game history and, in particular, our family trees. We will be able to work in much of this information quite smoothly—and the game will be enrichened by it as it fleshes out areas we have been hesitant to speculate on—but it is not the case for all the new details. Some will require compromises between the new canon information and what we have established as true for the game. What we have said so far is that we will be able to avoid invalidating any current PCs (this was very much a key priority for us), though some may require tweaks to their backgrounds.

However, for the time being we are left in a slightly problematic situation when it comes to new PCs. We cannot make all the necessary changes to family trees and game history at the moment; not only are we swamped with work during the airing of Game of Thrones, but naturally we are also unable to release formation from The World of Ice and Fire prior to its publication.

What this means is that the situation may be somewhat confusing for prospective players at the moment. Characters that are listed as Open may, unfortunately, be turned down because they belong to a House that will undergo extensive changes. Given this, prospective players are encouraged to check with myself (Nymeria) or Balerion before requesting a character; we are then able to provide guidance on whether their chosen character will be affected or not.

We understand that it is an added inconvenience for prospective players, but we think that everyone who is interested in this particular time period will agree that it would be a shame to not be able to work in some of the fascinating new history when the book comes out.

Idle Timeout Added

For a long while, we’ve had no idle timeout set on the game. However, we’re not sure this presents the game in the best light—some people are put off by seeing players idle for days on the WHO when they check out a game—so we have shifted to a 12 hour idle timeout. We have no problem with someone hanging out on the game while they work or keep busy with other things—a MUSH isn’t just for roleplay, the social aspects are important too—but we don’t quite see the point of someone leaving their character connected when they’re sleeping, for example. Given this, we ask that players do not use automated de-idlers to keep themselves permanently connected. If your router boots you if you don’t keep up regular activity, send the IDLE command (it will not de-idle you but will keep your connection alive) and/or use the KEEPALIVE flag.

CharGen Notes

We have had quite a lot of characters CGed lately and this has revealed certain trends in setup that we find troublesome. As such, there will be some changes in what needs to be Justified and also how we will be handling certain Assets and Flaws.

In terms of the Justify, we are changing what needs to be covered for Stats. Any stat below 35 or above 54 will have to be Justified. This allows characters to stay within the Average and the Above Average range without needing to explain how the unusual stat(s) have affected their character. We will be on particular lookout for female characters who go low on Mobility and Physique while boosting their Mental stats high and for male characters go low on their Mental stats and boost their Mobility and Physique. As an aside, we might note that should we ever get around to a full combat system, Mental stats will most definitely play a part.

In terms of Assets and Flaws, we are seeing overuse of the Fast Learner and Prodigy combination, especially from squires. We feel this is too heavily motivated by people wanting to play squires but then wanting to get out of it as fast as possible (before the age of 18). As such, we will be looking carefully at how well these things fit with the overall concept and the long-term viability of the character. We may also look at reducing the bonus from Fast Learner as it may have proven too unbalancing.

We are also seeing an overuse of Educated from female characters and we will be looking closely at how this is Justified; it starts becoming unthematic if we have to assume that every keep has a Maester willing to educate female students beyond what is common instead of them learning the things noblewomen ought to be learning.

For Flaws, we are going to give a heads-up that there are changes coming to give more Flaws system effects. For example, Phobias will be moved under Afflictions and will have to be publicly known so that it makes sense with a hit to Renown/Reputation.

Cap on SP

We have made a change to SP and added a cap on how many unused SP a player (this is across all alts) can have at any given time. Currently, that cap is 3. This may be tweaked up or down in the future if we feel it would be a benefit to how SP are used on the game.

For more information, see the helpfile on SP.

+cdb/all Added

We’ve added a +cdb/all <name> command which essentially is a shortcut for viewing all of the CDB information for a character in one go. As you can guess, this will be very spammy on a CGed character.

Video Intro to Blood of Dragons

While off on vacation, we decided to record a little video providing some basics about Blood of Dragons MUSH, the on-line, text-based roleplaying game we run on Westeros.org with GRRM’s approval. Now’s a pretty good time to give the game a try, as much of the court is off to the riverlands for a Tully wedding at Riverrun… and perhaps some trouble from the Brackens and Blackwoods. Here’s the video!

Important New +Prefs Option

We have added a new option to +Prefs called “Staff”. See +HELP +PREFS for how to set.

You can set it to either Yes or No and it indicates whether you are interested in having Staff develop surprise plots for your character based on your background, past roleplay, etc. No guarantees are made as to what these plots may contain, nor does setting this option to Yes guarantee that something will be developed for your character. But having a lot of information—such as Events, Notes (for example about goals) and Relations—definitely makes it more likely. If there are any questions, please let us know.

Addressing Some Common Misconceptions

Blood of Dragons opened for beta on October 1st, 2006, and opened fully about a year later. By the time the beta started we had had George R. R. Martin’s approval for the game since 1998 and been working on it on and off for several years. Initially, we had had the (foolish!) notion of not opening until everything was completed. It turned out that two people working alone in a vacuum wasn’t a good way of completing a game and once we did open we found ourselves reworking many of our initial ideas. The CharGen was tweaked, the application process was streamlined (it was a beast to start with!), and so on.

Of course, once you open a game, the on-going maintenance may make it hard to continue developing things at a good pace. Especially when you’ve setup the game to be pretty maintenance-heavy and made much of that maintenance too intricate to easily be delegated.

We haven’t accomplished everything we wanted with the game. Its not perfect and there are definitely things that could be better. But we now see it as a perpetual work in progress and are determined to keep developing it. During the last year, we vastly improved the documentation available on the website in order to help the many new players who’ve found the game thanks to the rising prominence of the series. This year, we’ve been reviewing policies and working on code to enhance the social and political roleplay that we see as the primary focus of the game.

In addition to various shortcomings that we want to and hope to be able to address, we’ve always been very upfront about the fact that we know that certain decisions we’ve made for the game aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you don’t like consent games, you won’t like our game. If you don’t like a game that follows the canon history of the setting, you won’t like our game.

That said, there are some misconceptions about the game that we would like to address seeing as they were made public with the claim that they, in part, are based on information from current players. This would suggest that there are issues that need clarifying.

Conflict Webs

We have added a visual conflict web for King’s Landing to the Illustrations gallery on the website.

The conflict web illustrates, in broad strokes, the relationships between key individuals at court.

Upcoming Events

With the second season of Game of Thrones just around the corner, we have a lot of plans for things to happen on Blood of Dragons MUSH that we hope will interest current as well as potential players.

This week, expect some shocking news at the royal court in King’s Landing (as if it wasn’t enough that Baelor has already expelled all whores from the city). At the same time, trouble continues in the Boneway, as Lady Yronwood persists in defying Prince Marence.

In April, expect at least one and perhaps two tourneys as well as a wedding or two, one that includes a small trip to a large castle. Following that, in May and onwards, there will be some new faces at court. Finally, during the summer we will be heading to the Riverlands for more weddings and some surprises.

New Staff

Please welcome Missandei to Staff. She’ll be doing ... whatever it is our Junior Staff does; we haven’t had one for a while. ;)

More seriously, we hope that adding more Staff will help us deal with the likelihood that the game will, once again, see an increased activity when Game of Thrones airs.

Web-Based Guest Connection for the MUSH

Thanks to Walker at M*U*S*H and his Banana back-end for MU* clients, we have added a web-based guest connection to Blood of Dragons. This will allow prospective players to check out the game without downloading a software client to their computers. Once you load the linked page, it will log you into the MUSH as a guest. To communicate with the MUSH, type your commands in the input window at the bottom of the page.

In the future, we may look at also installing the back-end on our own server and creating a front-end that allows not just guest connections but normal character connections. However, it is a little beyond our abilities with both the server and JS-coding, so we’ll see how that goes.

FAQ Updates

We have reworked some of the FAQ entries in the Policy category, specifically those regarding the game’s consent policy and on why we have applications and quotas for some characters. This is mainly of interest to prospective new players, but it is appreciated if current players keep themselves up-to-date in case they answer questions for guests or newbies.

Helpfile Updates

The THEME section of the Helpfiles has been overhauled, with a History and a Society section added. Feedback is welcome on what else might fit in here, but keep in mind our objective for these files: a basic overview meant to give players a general idea about these aspects of the setting.

Nameserver Change

We changed our name server last night, and while that change propagates, some players may not be able to reach BoD. There’s three ways to address that:

1) First, try to flush your DNS cache. On windows, Start -> Run -> cmd -> ipconfig /flushdns at the prompt. On Mac OSX, see here.

2) If the above doesn’t work, your DNS resolver doesn’t have the information yet. You can skip needing it, however, by just changing the address in your MU*/Telnet client from bod.westeros.org port 3000 to 69.56.178.186 port 3000.

3) As an alternative to the above, you could try using a public DNS—such as Google’s Public DNS—to resolve domain names for you. So far as I can see, the Google DNS is up to date, as is OpenDNS (another public DNS server system). But I’d suggest the first two steps.