Saturday, November 27, 2010

Donovan's Point of View - Part 2 - What Of Obligations?

A key mistake made by many in the realm, and such results much of the negative stigma attached to bloodlines vampires, is that they disregard the concept of "obligation".  When we ask another to transform their second life and enter our realm, either as human or vampire, we must be willing to accept responsibility for ensuring not only their proper teaching and mentoring, but well being also.  I've encountered many a "destroyed" vampire in my travels and the stories of how they came to be destroyed are not very dissimilar.  "I was wooed by a smooth talking vampire and turned, then left to fend for myself without anyone to teach me or support me.  When getting permission to bite became too hard, I just gave up and haven't worn the HUD since".  That's a paraphrase of a typical response I hear day after day as I meet these lost brothers and sisters in the realm.  To avert these trends from following you into your second life as a vampire I've developed the following guidelines for vampires to consider.  I find that in my work they serve me well, and help me to best care for those that I love and hold dear in my family.  I list them below for ease of reference as follows:
1.  If you ask to bite someone, ensure you know them first.  Don't random bite anyone!  Only bite those you know and care for, and certainly only those that you would want to call "family" one day.  If you're not going to be interested in them 5 minutes after the bite, don't bite them.  It's hurtful to ask someone to participate in enriching your second life if you're not prepared to contribute to enriching theirs as well.
2.  Before you bite a Blood Doll (Human Donor), offer an apple from your inventory prior to sending the bite request from the HUD.  This identifies you as a respectful vampire, and not a "Blood Sucker", and also ensures your partner in the bite sees that you have no expectation of them bearing the burden of the cost of the bite when they need to restore their humanity levels.
3.  If you "turn" someone Vampire or Lycan, you're obligated to feed them while they learn the realm.  Before you ask or agree to turn someone consider the question "Am I willing to feed this person for as long as it takes for them to gain their footing in the game?".  If you turn someone, you cannot simply walk away and leave them fending for themselves.  If you turn them, and especially if they Liege to you, you have an obligation to ensure their survival.  Many times this simply requires teaching, coaching and mentoring as they learn the realm and establish their feet firmly on the ground.  For some this is a long and difficult process as they learn to expand the creativity of their role play, for others the extension into Bloodlines is fairly simple.  Either way, if you turn them you are responsible for them and their well-being.  Ask yourself, "am I prepared to spend roughly 450 Linden Dollars a month to support this person until they can support themselves?".  As you know, Vampires lose .25 Liters of blood every night at midnight to "the curse", Lycans lose 2.5 Lumens per midnight and a Human with the HUD equipped loses roughly 5% humanity with each attack on themselves.  Everyone wants to be seen as the bigger stronger Vampire or Lycan, but can you support such goals without leaving everyone supporting you holding the bag?  If not, don't request that obligation.
4.  If you turn a Human Donor (Blood Doll) you are obligated to check the status of their humanity each day on the Bloodlines main site, and replenish them with Apples as they need refilling.  I do this as part of my daily administrative routine each morning.  If my Human Donors need apples I pass them the apples from my inventory in chat, or in offline messages if they are not signed on at the time.  This ensures when they do sign on there are apples and a personal message from me waiting for them when they return.  I never expect my Human Donors to bear the burden of the financial cost of replenishing their own blood to support my game play.  They enrich my experience, therefore I take personal responsibility to ensure they absorb "no out of pocket costs" to make my experience more fulfilling.  I find that my Beloved really appreciate this art of caring for them, and they know if nothing else that they are thought of by me each day.  That goes a long way to developing deep and meaningful friendships in the bloodlines realm.
5.  If you agree to serve as someone's Liege, you are obligated to teach them the art and skills you've learned to ensure they enjoy their bloodlines experience too.  I try to make myself available to all those I care for whenever they need me.  I spend many hours counseling and advising my "minions" and trying to educate them on the nuances of the lifestyle.  This investment of time and lessons learned aides others in developing their bloodlines style and approach, while introducing good practices and habits that generally benefit all that play the game.  Lord knows there are enough uneducated and mentorless players in the realm already, it would be a disservice to us all to not fulfill my obligation to guide my vampires, lycans and humans to a more professional and respectful approach to the role play.  When my minions need guidance, I offer it.  When I'm not certain as to the response, I tell them that and I look it up.  If it's a matter of art, I offer an approach that I would use in a given situation.  The key is "make yourself available".  There's got to be nothing worse than swearing your allegiance to someone, and then feeling left in the cold or ignored when you need advice or assistance.  If you think you're prepared to be someone's Liege, you need to make sure you're prepared to dedicate yourself to the task.  If you cannot, it's okay to tell them that!  But if you feel you must refuse by all means then introduce them to someone within your family that you know will serve as an expert liege to them.  It will make them a better player, and will make your family a better family because of it.
6.  If you've acquired subordinate souls you have an obligation to stay alive, or if not transfer the souls for safekeeping to someone that will.  This obligation is self-evident, others should never suffer the consequences of a decision they could not control.  If you choose to leave the bloodlines realm, and have no protection from the curse, you must transfer your subordinate souls to someone that will care for them properly.  It's not respectful, nor is it fair, to force others to incur a financial burden to repair the results of a decision only you could make.

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