Tei'kaliath clan discussion and announcements.

FAQs: Path to Power! Ask your questions here!

Postby Madea on Sat May 26, 2007 11:09 pm

Alright, everyone; Im sure there are tons of burning questions for the new Path to Power site! In just a few lines here, I'm going to post the preliminary FAQ as it stands. Reply with your questions, if they aren't answered, and we'll get them taken care of. Then, for posterity, we'll make sure a finished version gets on the wiki.

Also, take a look at the New Reader Guide! It's got some good information and also happens to be oh-so-pretty.

So, without further ado:

What is "Path to Power"?
Path to Power is a web-based interactive clan-building game set in the Drowtales universe. Listed under the "Challenges" section of the Drowtales site, subscribers to Path to Power become members of a minor clan that was nearly destroyed; its survivors exiled. Forced to start over, subscribers must advise the Ilharess, the leader of their clan, in her important decisions; good decisions make the clan prosper, bad decisions cause it to weaken. The fate of the clan is in your hands!


What's it like?
Path to Power is best described as a simulation game, in the sense that you are interacting with the game as though you were a part of it. Whether encouraging your leader to make peace or war, managing resources or watching as your clan grows, your choices affect the clan and the clan's choices affect you!


What about the back-story? (NEW)
Hailing from a city on the isolated outskirts of the underground Drow nation, your group are the surviving members of an attack which wiped out the ruling clan and threw the population into chaos. Led by the youngest daughter of the former Ilharess, you fled the lands seeking refuge and a new start. In a journey which took many weeks, several refugees died of hunger or injury and almost everything of value was sold to pay for food.

You have now reached an area where the light of Chel'el'Sussoloth is visible, although this place is unfamiliar to you. None of the refugees have ever heard of the great pillar of light, the Great Clans, drowussu. For you, this new land will be full of wonders and fraught with peril, and you must band together with your fellow clan members in order to survive this dangerous new territory.


What is the limit of a ranked member actions?

While Visual roleplayer offer a full control over a character, path to power is more about managing a clan as a whole. By taking a rank, you take a position in that clan and thus can perform actions that are limited to what your rank is. A scout can select area of the map to explore , find people, search buildings. While it is not possible for the scout to join a battle, make weapons or engage in diplomacy. Another exemple would be a blacksmith. A blacksmith can use the ressources available to create various metal based objects for the use of the clan. But cannot train soldiers to use them. Forget individuality and heroic feats. Path to power is about the management of the clan in a big group.

So consider well which rank you truly want before subscribing to the first one you see.

How does it work?
The Path to Power page contains links to two comic archives and a map, a shoutbox and the numerical statistics of the clan. The Leader Archive contains the Ilharess' personal actions, as decided by the votes. All subscribers have access to this archive, may submit actions for consideration, and may cast one vote. The Events Archive covers more broad happenings that affect the clan as a whole and the results of decisions. All subscribers may read this archive, but only Ranked members may submit actions. Additionally, Ranked members may vote twice for any actions, and protest once against an action in this archive. Everyone may view the map, which will be updated as the Clan grows and explores.

The shoutbox will, eventually, have additional functionality, where you can click on a members name and pull up their statistics, whether they are ranked or not, positions filled and other info.


Wait, what's all this stuff about ranked members? (UPDATED)
Ranked members, story-wise, are individuals who have risen from the residents of the Clan to special leadership positions. These individuals help shape the Clan by choosing how its resources are used, and what projects it undertakes. Additionally, Ranked members will design a character that may appear in the comic at appropriate times, becoming a personality within the Clan. The number of ranked positions will be limited, but will expand as the Clan grows and more jobs become available or viable.

Individuals interested may apply for an untaken position and, once accepted, will have to get an upgrade subscription in order to fill the slot. However, you must first be a Basic member in order to apply; nobody will be allowed to just sign up for a Ranked position.


Limited Ranked positions? That sucks! (NEW)
There are very specific reasons why this is so, first and foremost being that the value of being a Ranked member becomes more diluted as the number of Ranked members increases. There would be arguments, chaos, and an ultimate ruining of the game, not to mention limited face time for any of the characters. As it stands, the initial list of Ranked members will not be large, nor will there be multiple individuals, but keep in mind that the Clan begins small, and so there is not a need for them.

As the Clan grows, more slots for certain positiosn and new positions will be unlocked, allowing more Ranked members to join. As a group of refugees, some jobs and roles are considered luxuries, and will not be filled until there is a need. So be patient! You still can have a major effect on Clan politics as a Basic member and there will be multiple opportunities to advance.

Another thing to consider is the fact that without subscriptions, the Clan won't grow, which means that more Ranked positions won't become available. So if you want to be a Ranked member, it is in your best interest to subscribe!


What does a Basic Path to Power subscription cost, and what do I get?
Basic member subscription costs 5 USD per month and gives you read access to both the Leader and Events Archives. You may input advice to the Ilharess and vote once on any of the options in the Leader Archive. You will also have access to the shoutbox and, later, the forum (when it becomes available, though that will be much later). Additionally, you may approach the appropriate Ranked member and get trained in a specific profession (for example, being trained into a soldier by the Warmaster), thus becoming a living resource for the clan.


What does a Ranked Path to Power subscription cost, and what do I get?
A Ranked member subscription costs an additional 10 USD per month, for a total of 15 USD, and gives you read access to both the Leader and Events Archives. You may input advice to the Ilharess and vote once on any of the options in the Leader Archive. You may input suggestions for the clan, vote twice and protest once on any of the options in the Events Archive. You will have access to the shoutbox and the forum (when it becomes available, though that will be much later), in addition to having a character persona that may appear in the comics at appropriate times. You will also be able to train Basic members into specialized units based upon your job, allowing them to become resources for the clan.


How do my votes affect the game?
For the Leader Archive, the votes are one-for-one, meaning that it is a flat tally and the winning option is used, though exceptions can occur (such as in the case of two options coming close/tying, while fitting together well). For the Event Archive, tallies of both votes and protests are taken. After the protests are subtracted, any option with zero or less votes is discarded; the remaining options will be carried out in order of popularity, as resources can support. If two people suggest spending most of the money, the one with more votes is completed and the second option stops due to lack of funds; many things can happen at once.


How often will the pages update? (Updated)
When everything is up and running, each archive will be updated once a week, so that means eight pages a month! While the current site isn't ready yet, the Leader Archive will be updated with preliminary story as the Clan starts settling in.


When is it appropriate to contact the storyteller? (NEW)
If and only if you are having account troubles. If you cannot access the page, if you cannot login, or if you cannot view any of the pages, you may email kern@drowtales.com to report this issue.

All other interaction with the storyteller, especially about the story, will be done through the Path to Power site; that's what it's there for. Advise the Ilharess through voting and speak to other members via the shoutbox (and later, the forum), and the storyteller will reply with the weekly updates.

And of course, any questions may be asked here.


Sounds good, where do I sign up?? (Updated)
Currently, only Basic Member subscriptions are available, and can be accessed from the subscriptions page. If you had a Demonic Courtship subscription, your membership was automatically rolled over into Path to Power.

Please remember that when Ranked membership becomes available, you will have to apply for a desired position and you will not be able to apply unless you are already a Basic member.
Last edited by Kite on Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:56 am, edited 10 times in total.
Reason: turned into sticky so that announcements are easier to see
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Postby Starsickle on Sat May 26, 2007 11:11 pm

I think I got in here a bit too early...

*waits*
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Postby Madea on Sat May 26, 2007 11:15 pm

Alright, it's up now!
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Postby Starsickle on Sat May 26, 2007 11:24 pm

I think it's a neat idea.



But I have to take my obligatory jab. :P


Any clan that has an Illharess that has to take constant votes to decide things...there's no wonder why they almost died out. :P
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Postby Madea on Sat May 26, 2007 11:52 pm

Hehehe, not everyone can be Quain'tana, as Kel'noz so wisely put it.

The Ilharess is still young; she's just watched her family and clan get wiped out, for the most part. So, to start, she's going to depend on the advice of those older than her for now. But later, she will grow into her own personality and might not react quite as the members want her to.
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Postby Starsickle on Sun May 27, 2007 12:08 am

Cool, what's her name?
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Postby Madea on Sun May 27, 2007 12:25 am

Well, the current option to be chosen is the clan name. The next choice will be her first name, though its going to be played as though that was her name her whole life.
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Postby Avenger2099 on Sun May 27, 2007 5:40 am

So, I'm curious, if you became say, a soldier, how would your responsibilities change? Would they? Or would you have the same responsibilities but at the same time be adding to the clans military/economic/social might?
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Postby Finish on Sun May 27, 2007 10:28 am

Will the able to change the outfit of the Illharess later? Nothing beats a chainmail string. ;)
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Postby kirio on Sun May 27, 2007 12:31 pm

*sweatdrop*
Let me see if I followed the explanation correctly:

Basic Demonic Courtship members become Basic Path to Power Members

Basic members are survivors of the clan.

Only Ranked members have characters in the clan that can appear in the comic.

Ranked members may have to recruit unranked members for personal projects of their characters.

All members may attempt to advise the ilharess (which advise is followed is subject to a vote).

Only ranked members may propose actual actions taken by the clan.
all members may vote, but ranking members get special voting privileges.

Apparently unranked members' characters will also be defined by character stats that will be available to other members through the shout box (a necessary aid to ranked members looking for recruits for their projects).
How will these stats be determined and how will the characters' names in the story be determined?
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Postby Madea on Sun May 27, 2007 1:55 pm

*HUGE DISCLAIMER*
I'm going to answer the questions with the best information available to me at the moment.
If Kern corrects me because I misunderstood something, then I'll edit it, so keep in mind that this is me answering to the best of my knowledge until I get it verified for sure.
*END HUGE DISCLAIMER*


Avenger2099 wrote:So, I'm curious, if you became say, a soldier, how would your responsibilities change? Would they? Or would you have the same responsibilities but at the same time be adding to the clans military/economic/social might?


Your responsibilities won't change, but you will be adding to the clan's resources, which in turn enables the clan to successfully complete more activities.

Anything else it affects is up to you; as a regular resident, would you make the same suggestions that you would as a soldier? Would you vote the same way? If someone suggests we go to war, would you welcome the chance or would you be hesitant to attack, leaving the rest of the clan vulnerable?

This is up to you how your 'character' reacts; Path to Power is a simulation challenge, but there's also opportunity for a little roleplay in that respect. Have fun with it!


Finish wrote:Will the able to change the outfit of the Illharess later? Nothing beats a chainmail string. ;)


Yes, this will be a possibility. As I understand it, the appropriate Ranked member can submit a design, which others will have the opportunity to vote upon. In the case of outfits, or armor, the Seamstress or Armorer will upload the design.

There is nothing stopping the basic members from making suggestions to the Ranked member or helping them with the design process.

In OOC terms, the Ranked member doesn't have to be artistic - there's nothing saying that the designs uploaded have to be drawn by their hand, but they are responsible for managing that aspect of the game. I'm sure there are plenty of basic members who will be artistically inclined and willing to help.

Ultimately, those designs will be translated by the Path to Power artist, so as long as they get the picture, it'll work.


kirio wrote:*sweatdrop*
Let me see if I followed the explanation correctly:

Basic Demonic Courtship members become Basic Path to Power Members

Basic members are survivors of the clan.

Only Ranked members have characters in the clan that can appear in the comic.

Ranked members may have to recruit unranked members for personal projects of their characters.

All members may attempt to advise the ilharess (which advise is followed is subject to a vote).

Only ranked members may propose actual actions taken by the clan.
all members may vote, but ranking members get special voting privileges.

Apparently unranked members' characters will also be defined by character stats that will be available to other members through the shout box (a necessary aid to ranked members looking for recruits for their projects).
How will these stats be determined and how will the characters' names in the story be determined?


In order!

1) Yes. Basic DC translates directly to Basic Path to Power subscription.

2) Yes. Basic members are survivors of the clan. (I'll just put in that Ranked members are also survivors, just ones that have stepped up/been chosen to fill an important slot).

3) Yes. Ranked members will have to come up with a description for their character, and those characters will occasionally appear in the comic.

4) Yes and No. Certain Ranked members will be able to specially train clan members to specific jobs (such warmaster training soldiers). These numbers will then allow the clan to complete actions undertaken in the events archive; for instance, you can't fight without skilled people. Untrained members might be able to step up in defense of the clan, but they will not be as effective as a standing army.

Of course, some Ranked members might have personal agendas, but it all depends on the person occupying that slot. =) It makes for an interesting dynamic!

5) Yes. All members may submit advice, and vote once on all the advice to the Leader.

6) Yes. Ranked members get additional voting privileges; specifically the Events archive which is what projects the clan undertakes as a whole. Many things can happen at once in the Events archive, but are limited by the resources of the clan!

I think it's important to note here that the Ranked members and regular Clan members interact in the same place. Just like real life, who you know is important and if you can convince a Ranked member that an idea is a good one, you still might be able to influence the actions.

By the same token, there's also nothing saying a Ranked member's position is set in stone. If they do a bad job, get crooked and start making bad decisions, or aren't around very much, then they can be demoted back to basic member status and someone else can take a swing at it. The Studio isn't going to let the game be ruined because somebody isn't holding up their part of the bargain.

Even though Ranked members are paying more, we operate under the Play Nice rule here, and just because we're paying members doesn't mean we get to say or do what we want.

Think of it this way; if your Ilharess discovers that her trusted warlord has been acting selfishly and put the lives of her people at risk, do you really think that poor sap would be left alive? >:3

7) The shoutbox functionality right now is still in its alpha phase and is subject to change. But right now, as it's been explained to me, everyone will have stats. Basic members will not have a special character name (they are known by their username), and their shoutbox window will display whether they are a Resident or other specialized job.

Ranked members will show their character name and positioned held. At the moment, I don't know what other information will be in the shoutbox, but it will be passed on as it is developed further.


Okay, that's all I've got for the moment, and I'll post again after I've made sure everything is correct, with edits if necessary. Keep those questions coming!
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Postby Madea on Sun May 27, 2007 10:15 pm

Some extra notes from Kern.

Additionally, in regards to abuse by Ranked Members, remember that the votes in the Events Archive can be vetoed; at the end of the voting cycle, the votes are tallied, the protests are subtracted, and any options that are zero simply do not happen.

Thus, the Ranked Members are encouraged to police each other up and do their best to keep order for the Clan.

Additionally, the Ilharess can indeed become displeased with a bad Ranked member. If the Ilharess can die, so can Ranked characters, so keep that in mind!

"Off with her head!" tends to put an end to troublemakers rather quickly.
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Postby kirio on Mon May 28, 2007 1:02 pm

Madea wrote:Some extra notes from Kern.

Additionally, in regards to abuse by Ranked Members, remember that the votes in the Events Archive can be vetoed; at the end of the voting cycle, the votes are tallied, the protests are subtracted, and any options that are zero simply do not happen.

Thus, the Ranked Members are encouraged to police each other up and do their best to keep order for the Clan.

Additionally, the Ilharess can indeed become displeased with a bad Ranked member. If the Ilharess can die, so can Ranked characters, so keep that in mind!

"Off with her head!" tends to put an end to troublemakers rather quickly.


yay! 8)
I hope Kern means it this time. His patience as a DM never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes the infighting that is excused between players really should have gotten them jailed, killed, or even the whole party massacred. I realize it's hard to clamp down on players who are paying good money to participate, but I really don't think it's fair to the other players or the readers to let a couple of players' egos ruin a good senerio.

Seriously everyone, Kern has come up with a very exciting premise this time *beer* don't let arrogant posing and posturing turn the plot into chaos. Remember, the hero of this story is our wonderful young illharess who led us away from certain death and gave us hope for a better future. Please don't let your desire as a player to grab the spotlight with your charector undermine the common goal of great storytelling.
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Postby Sukrai on Wed May 30, 2007 12:34 am

Question regarding the positions... is each one going to have its own Ada budget to work with? Or are all the ranked positions sharing one budget? Cause if they're all sharing, I can already see some problems coming our way....

Also, what about the food for the refugees? How is that being handled?
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Postby Madea on Fri Jun 01, 2007 11:47 pm

Sukrai wrote:Question regarding the positions... is each one going to have its own Ada budget to work with? Or are all the ranked positions sharing one budget? Cause if they're all sharing, I can already see some problems coming our way....

Also, what about the food for the refugees? How is that being handled?


To start, there is no influx of money; we'll have to establish an income through trade or mining. The ranked members are sharing a budget, and it is the success of votes which determines the priority for the money to be spent.

If an architect proposes an ambitious project which will be very expensive, and the warlord proposes to upgrade the army's equipment, and the highest votes favor the equipment, the architect's plan won't have the funding and will not progress much (this is an example of how things can work out). Any sort of policy beyond that is something the ranked members can vote on.

Food is not something strictly tracked; that will detract from the flow of story. Story-wise, we've sold all our valuables to afford food, so we have a small supply for now. Once we set up camp, the ranked members will need to establish some sort of steady supply, either through farming, trade, or a combination.

Keep in mind, also, that the events archive not only shows what is voted on, but what happens. Problems occur all the time, and it will be up to the ranked members to deal with those issues. The storyteller could very well throw something like "we've lost a mushroom crop!" or "our food supplies have spoiled" which leads to a shortage that has to be dealt with.

Just like, in most stories/movies you don't watch the characters eat, go to the bathroom, buy groceries... you can reasonably assume that these things happen. So, unless special attention is drawn to something, we will most likely assume they happen in the background.
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