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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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.

Seasons

These are the seasons that we have worked out for the game:

120-122 = Spring
123-128 = Summer
128-130 = Autumn
130-135 = Winter
135-136 = Spring
136-138 = Summer
138-142 = Autumn
142-145 = Winter
145-151 = Spring
151-153 = Summer
153-154 = Autumn
154-155 = Winter
155-157 = Spring
157-161 = Summer (ended Day 24, Month 6)
161-165 = Autumn (ended Day 29, Month 9)
165-167 = Winter (ended Day 21, Month 8)
167-??? = Spring

If we learn of canon details that make clear or strongly suggest anything that differs from this, we will try to incorporate those changes (as with any non-canon material on the game). Some things cannot be changed (such as the seasons since the start of the game at the beginning of 158), but the further back it goes, the more likely that we would tweak things to fit canon if it becomes known.

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.

Squires & Knighthood

Since the question has come up from some Guests interested in playing squires, we’d like to note that the official policy regarding when a PC squire can become a knight is that 18 is the minimum age. This is the general minimum age for having been knighted for those who start playing as knights.

Exceptions are made, both when knighthood is a background detail and when it comes to PC squires, for exceptional combat skills (usually Tier III and upwards), the Prodigy asset and exceptional IC actions. In all cases, admin approval is required for being bestowed a knighthood before the age of 18.

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.

Upcoming Event: The King Arrives

This Saturday, October 1st, at 10.00 AM Game Time (that’s equal to Central Time), we are having an event for the return of King Baelor to King’s Landing. The king has been convalescing at Storm’s End for months since his return from Dorne but is now finally strong enough to return to the capital. All characters in King’s Landing can be present and with a few days to go until this event, there’s still time for new players to pick up Cameos or CGed characters to attend.

SP and XP Awards

Based on the nominations for August, a Story Point (SP) was awarded to Farin. Experience Points (XP) were awarded to Albyn, Alyce, Andrya, Ardon, Aurana, Coran, Darius, Jannia, Justyn, Jyana, Luthor, Rachelle, Ryckon, Samara, Talbard, Urston, Victor, and Willard.

For more information concerning the system, see +HELP ADVANCEMENT. For information about how to use story points or experience points you’ve earned, see http://www.westeros.org/BoD/Helpfiles/Category:System::Advancement/

OOC Meetings

We will run a first OOC meeting on Sunday 21st of August at 10.00 AM Game Time (see +time). This will be a trial to see if and in that case how to proceed from there. We are considering trying for monthly or bi-monthly meetings and if we do go ahead with that, we will look at how we can vary the times that the meetings are held at.

The preliminary structure of the meeting will be as follows:

1) Updates on current matters, IC and OOC. This includes current and future plots, code changes, etc. Roughly 10 minutes.

2) Discussion/lecture topic 1. Roughly 15 minutes.

3) Discussion/lecture topic 2. Roughly 15 minutes.

4) Q&A. Roughly 20 minutes.

We will take suggestions for the discussion/lecture topic in advance; we imagine this as matters that need more preparation than what might come up during the Q&A. Suggestions for topics can be made at the forum: http://asoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/topic/55970-any-interest-in-ooc-meetings/

Notes Required

We have tweaked what is required during the last CG room; a private Note detailing some goals for your character now needs to be set. We won’t be requiring existing characters to add them retroactively, but it is strongly encouraged.

We will also, when we find the time, add more categories to Notes to allow for staff-only notes to be set on characters.

Acceptable Behaviour at Court (King’s Landing)

Westeros is not a particularly forgiving place when it comes to behaviour that breaks with what is considered socially acceptable and this is particularly true for women. A woman’s reputation is one of her most valuable assets and once it has been damaged it can be incredibly difficult, even impossible, to repair it.

With King Baelor’s return to court coming up quite soon, we want to stress the importance of an intact reputation for female characters. Baelor may be very forgiving, but he takes sins very seriously. Keep in mind that this is the king that will be locking up his sisters—forbidding them all male contact—so that their beauty cannot tempt men.

In fact, we know that during Baelor’s reign, unwed women are rarely seen at court. It would limit roleplay too much if we went that route, but that makes it even more important that unwed women in particular have near-spotless reputations if they wish to remain at court.

So, what does this mean, in practice? For starters, it means observing thematically appropriate behaviour for unwed women. An unwed woman going off anywhere alone—especially with a man—is highly unlikely, she would always be accompanied by a chaperone, generally a septa if she follows the Seven. If she is not chaperoned, someone will notice. Keep in mind that there are unnamed NPCs all over the Keep and they do gossip.

We do not want to limit anyone’s roleplay but we do want roleplay to fall within what is thematically appropriate. We also do not want to end up in a situation where, once Baelor is back in King’s Landing, some characters may end up being rendered unplayable because they’ll be sent home, sent to a Motherhouse or—later on—locked up in the Maidenvault. But if those consequences are brought on by IC circumstances, they will be enforced.

We also want to stress that this does not just apply to unwed women; they are the most vulnerable to having their reputation tarnished, but to succeed at court under Baelor, everyone will need to watch out.

This includes men as well. Even Prince Aegon will be forced to keep his bad behaviour well hidden from Baelor, so debauchery coming from men could very well lead to them being recalled from court by their families since they will be seriously damaging the reputation of their houses in the eyes of Baelor. As with women, we do not want to render any character unplayable, but we will be enforcing IC consequences when necessary to ensure that Baelor’s reign has an accurate impact on court.

We hope that everyone will see this as an opportunity rather than a limitation; a religious fanatic as king is an obstacle that should generate a lot of tension and complexities.