Friday, November 26, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 1 - The Importance Of Full Disclosure

Recently many at Haud Pluvia have expressed a sincere interest in learning more about thier Bloodlines Play, how to prepare to serve as a good Liege, and how to better represent themselves and Haud Pluvia when describing our family to others.  To help guide and mentor, Donovan will publish a short series here entitled "Donovan's Point of View".  This series will cover a broad range of topics and should provide useful information to assist all of you. 

Want to overcome the negative image that's affecting the players of our realm?  Want others to not view you with a discriminatory eye when they learn you are a member of the realm?  Want others to learn more about why you find the realm so attractive and rich in role play extension?  Then burn these two words into the forefront of your mind: FULL DISCLOSURE.
Nearly daily I meet someone who isn't aware that their soul is in limbo, or wasn't aware that they were a destroyed vampire or even that their soul was traded to a member of another clan while they were destroyed.  Ignorance of the game plays a small part in contributing to this situation, but most often I find that the person I'm speaking with was unaware due to a lack of full disclosure from the player that bit them, turned them, sold their soul, etc.  I suspect that often this is an innocent mistake by the member of the realm while trying to expedite the process of the bite, the turn or the realignment of souls.  However, this has a very negative effect on future game play and often is the single largest reason that members of the realm become inactive or disenchanted with the play in the realm.  These attitudes or behaviors result in higher garlic use and more destroyed vampires or lycans in the realm, as well as blood dolls that refuse bite requests from honest players.  At Haud Pluvia, we don't want to contribute to this phenomenon.
To ensure happy members of the realm you MUST explain things fully BEFORE the first HUD encounter with a new prospective family member.  Tell them all that you know, and ensure they ask you the hard questions.  If you cannot answer them from experience or direct knowledge, simply tell them you don't know.  Many will respect you further for that.  If you don't know either seek a senior member of the family or simply do some quick research and go find out, for clearly you have much to learn as well.  Once you have the answer return to them and provide the information.  Remember, information is not "assumptions" or "guesses", but rather is what's based in "facts".  It's a fact that you can only use the Electrum Potion "once every 90 days" in the game to force the transfer of your soul from one Liege to another.  Tell them that truthfully.  It's a fact that you can Liege to whomever you want, and there is no requirement that your Liege be in possession of your soul.  Tell them that.  It's a fact that you lose .25 liters of blood each night to the curse, and it's also a fact that if you get to 0 liters of vital blood you will become destroyed if you do not wear a protection amulet.  Tell them that.
If players later find out facts you omitted, or facts that you "guessed" but were wrong or even subjects you "glossed over" to expedite a turn, you'll find they feel a sense of betrayal or deception.  If someone feels deceived that's a difficult perception to change.  I find that it's better to fully explain the realm to everyone.  I then only take under my wing those that have had all their questions answered and still want to enter the realm anyway.  This guideline results in a far higher rate of activity and satisfaction within game for everyone, and has ultimately produced some of the more passionate and proud players that I know to date.
Remember, when you provide full, open and honest information, and fully disclose all the tools, knowledge and resources to a prospective family member "up front"...they then are armed with everything they need to make an "informed decision".  An informed family member is a happier family member, and one that will grow to love and respect you over time.  You have nothing to hide, and we're not about soul counts focus on earning trust and respect.

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