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> Planning RP Events 101

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RP Events are a wonderful opportunity for writers to share creative space, make IC/OOC contacts, rub shoulders with the delightfully diverse community, and provide a platform for storylines to advance. Below is a summary of some basic tips and tricks for hosting an event. And by all means -- if you have a suggestion you would like included in this simplistic guide to assist writers with the creative process, please kindly leave a comment! Hopefully this will evolve into a supportive and insightful little compendium on RP Event Planning 101.

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1.) Choosing the Theme
Decide what kind of event you would like to host – will it technically be Cross Faction, Imperial, or Republic? Are you aiming for a gritty Underworld ordeal or a black tie formal gala? Try to environmentally envision the stage your event will be setting for attending characters. Once you settle on what you’re looking for, you can build a backstory around the event to make it easier for writers to participate. Start to work out the details for what you imagine – if it’s a party, will there be a host or hostess? If it’s an auction/market, will players be bidding real credits or RP trading items? Should guests simply kick the dust and blood off their boots before they enter the establishment, or is it formal attire only? There are many different creative avenues one can consider, but try not to make it too complex, you’re fortunately dealing with a very creative crowd who can run with your idea.
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2.) Location
The location is critical. Take into consideration not only the atmospheric scenery, but the ease of access for writers to reach the area. Game locations can be repurposed to stand-in for other (inaccessible) galactic venues, so don’t feel restricted by what is presently available in the game, (although there is certainly a wide variety of environments to choose from). Always scout your location in person to get a feel for the layout if you haven’t been there recently, and if your event is going to move (along a route, as opposed to an open party) size up the pathway you intend to take. Consider posting up a map/coordinates/a description of the location, along with screenshots to offer writers a preview of the scenery. If it is going to be held in a Stronghold, consider designating a “spillover” waiting area, due to the maximum capacity being only 50 players.
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3.) Date and Time
If you’re hosting an event as a Guild, consider polling your own members well in advance to see when the majority of them are free to attend – generally, Friday and Saturday nights seem to be the most convenient for the majority of writers. Before making your final decision, check both of the public events calendars to make sure there isn't already another RP event occurring on the date you have chosen. Try to avoid hosting events on major holidays as well, since many players travel for such occasions. Time wise, please consider starting your event moderately early in the evening (7:00PM EST – 9:00PM EST) to give players the chance to write, especially knowing that it can sometimes take half an hour for guests to even amass together (although some may arrive early as well). Don’t worry about the designated ending time of the event, writers often linger for several hours enjoying themselves, even after the hosts have departed for the night.
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4.) Staffing Your Event
Depending on the type of event, you can choose from a broad range of potential staff members to help enrich the atmosphere of your venue. While not a necessity by any means, it also offers more avenues for other writers to become involved in the event, so it is certainly worth considering as a possibility.

Live Broadcasts are a popular choice, and our Server is fortunate to have many talented and experienced DJs who broadcast regularly from events, including assembling themed playlists to enhance the occasion:
DJ Gruuvan: Lord Adsum
DJ Hydra: DJ Hydra

Active Security Teams are another frequent addition to events, adding both realism and extra writers to assist in handling the large number of guests. The neutral mercenary organization Agamar Risk Control Services is quite experienced in this area. For more information, please contact:
Commandant: Jean Schramme

Wait Staff can also assist in livening the atmosphere by giving guests servers to interact with for beverage orders. Recruiting Guild members or community volunteers works wonderfully, and while not necessary, choosing matching attire can help guests identify the server characters.
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5.) Advertising
This is one of the most crucial aspects to hosting an event. If writers are unaware that an event is occurring, they will be unable to attend. Consider giving the community 1-2 full weeks of warning in advance before the event so they can plan accordingly, and have time to enjoy the IC build up. Always include all the relevant information (such as when the event is being hosted, where it is taking placing, and who players can contact if they need help finding the location/have any questions). Also, be sure to post all of that information up on both of the Ebon Hawk forums, and update both of the event calendars to have the correct date, time, and information link to the event:

Ebon Hawk Community:
http://ebhawk.enjin.com/

The Ebon-hawk:
http://www.ebon-hawk.net/

Also, on the Ebon-Hawk.net site, go to “feedback” (http://www.ebon-hawk.net/feedback) and select “Banner Request” then fill out the information. Their wonderful graphic designer will make a custom banner to advertise your event, which acts as another platform to reach writers. Once you have posted on the forums, post the event announcement on your Enjin wall, and encourage your friends to do the same to help spread the awareness about the event. Advertise in game – talk about the upcoming event (including listing the date and time) in conversation ICly, and whisper your friends OOCly to let them know. You can also write up IC mail messages to copy and paste invitations to players you think may be interested, as a creative touch.

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6.) IC Preparations
While often overlooked, the IC build up to events – from Underworld fight clubs to formal galas – can be just as fun as the events themselves. Talk up the event IC! Have your character invite romantic interests, challenge their rivals, hunt down the perfect attire for the occasion, gossip about the latest rumors swirling around attending characters, and make bets regarding who can get the first dance on the floor or throw the first punch in the ring. We’re all creative individuals being offered a fun stage to showcase our characters, work with it and enjoy.

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7.) Traffic Flow
Make sure that players have a name they can contact in their faction if they have trouble finding the location of the venue. Consider starting an Ops Group to assist people in arriving, even if they drop group once they have found the event. If it is an especially difficult location, post a welcome message in the Planetary General Chat to alert players that they may whisper you if they’re searching for it. If the event is being held at a Stronghold, please consider handing out keys ahead of time for ease of entry, especially in the case of Cross Faction public Stronghold listings (which are notorious for glitching). Designate a spillover area beforehand in case the maximum capacity of the stronghold is reached, and consider having staff and security members that can “step outside” into that area to attend to guests, and free up more slots.
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8.) Enjoyment
One of the most important aspects to remember is that events are what we bring to them. The actual event itself is a creative concept, an interactive backdrop being provided to the community so that writers may showcase their characters. It is an engaging manner in which to meet new players, establish IC contacts, and spark storylines. Hopefully writers will step forward and let their characters soak in the atmosphere, interact with servers, cheer along with the crowd, take to the dance floor, join in the bidding, or jump into discussions. We’re all here to write, and we’re all here to have fun. It’s a small Galaxy – let’s continue to bring it to life together.
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Posted Mar 26, 15 · OP · Last edited Mar 26, 15
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Very well written, great job! I was considering doing something like this myself, but mine would have been more for the ongoing/story arc RP.

As always, graphics are beautiful. :d
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wrote:
Very well written, great job! I was considering doing something like this myself, but mine would have been more for the ongoing/story arc RP.

As always, graphics are beautiful. :d

Thank you most kindly!

And agreed, this is more of a guide for "singular instance-focused public RP Events" as opposed to "ongoing storyline/story arc RP events" which strikes me as an overlapping but different category as well. I think you should definitely considering doing a guide for that, as you certainly have a wealth of experience to draw from, and it could be quite helpful to other writers. :)
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Posted Mar 26, 15 · OP
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Awesome guide! Like Beviin, I think this caters more to social-oriented events, although definitely a great starting point for players who have very little experience to begin with. If people were interested in a brief overview of other event types that I would classify as Objective-based or Development, I made a comment in a thread doing just that. If anything, this definitely falls under Cayle's first point: choosing a theme.
Posted Mar 26, 15
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Great guide, this is definitely going to come in handy.
Posted Mar 26, 15
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Posted Mar 26, 15
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Very nice guide Cayle, definitely an excellent resource for us to draw on! :d
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((Sig courtesy of Beviin!))
Posted Mar 27, 15
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Great guide. :) Though I admit, it feels so weird to me whenever the participating players are referred to as "writers," but that's just because I've always had the mindset of in-game RP being more akin to acting, and forum RP more akin to writing. But meh, trivialities! I'm definitely going to be referring to this thread. :d
Posted Mar 27, 15
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My stance on roleplaying is, it's collaborative and we are all writing in something together. We play the roles and we are 'acting' them, and 'writing' them in real-time. I do like calling us writers, because-- That's what we are doing. Together. I'm repeating and rambling. We're writers.

Nice guide, Cayle.
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Posted Mar 27, 15
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Very nice guide, thanks!

I used to host multiple events a week back in SWG days but haven't hosted anything since. I've been thinking about it for years though and this is pretty inspirational.
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