The RP boards are a mess, and it's saddening to see it like this. As many of us have said before, we need to get this place running smoothly, and i agree. However, I say we lay down some ground rules, to avoid dead zones like right now. These don't have to be set in stone laws that can't be broken, they should be more like guidelines for how to improve a RP. Here are a few of my concerns and suggestions:
1: This is a big concern of mine, and as far as i can tell, a big reason for the lack of activity, AND quality of our recent RPs. Too many players. I'm not saying we should be turning people away to keep the numbers low, but for certain types of RP, it is difficult to support large groups of players. Having a large group often causes problems in two ways, the first being the fact that if someone goes AWOL, the whole RP grinds to a halt until they get back. Large groups also tend to make the RPs chaotic and difficult to follow, due to the massive lineup of characters. Still lets make sure this doesn't lead to a closed community of people who won't accept new players just to keep the party small, though know you guys, i doubt that will be a problem.
2: A player should not spread their grubby little fingers down EVERY throat. What i mean by this is that a player shouldn't join every RP on the board. Fist off, they will overextend themselves and be able to pay less attention to each RP they are in, but more importantly, should that person go missing, even for a short time, all RPs in question will be held up by their absence. A good example of both these problems would be Sledge; he was in most every RP on the board, and look what happened once he went AWOL.
3: Another issue i've noticed is how often people will rush their post in order to react to a situation before somebody else. Not only does this lessen the quality of the RP by creating simplistic and rushed posts, it's also an excellent catalyst for starting an argument. One way to help dampen this problem would be to have the DM set down some rules (and when required, in game reminders) of how to respond to this situation. Let me give you an example:
Kazek and Gnarko are playing a game of cards. Kazek seems to have the upper hand, but Gnarko has sets down four aces. Kazek has an ace in his hand, so he knows that Gnarko cheated.
Here is what i see as a typical response, from the player in Kazek's situation:
"You're cheating!" He pulls out his revolver and shoves it in Gnarko's face. "I should'a seen you for the dirty snitch you are" He pulls the hammer back and growls.
This responce is unfair, for the player of Gnarko had no chance to react. The player may say 'But Gnarko would have flipped the table into Kazek's face at the first sign of trouble!' And so a time wasting argument would ensue, and the DM would have to get involved. In most cases, all three parties would walk away from this angrily. The response is also all action, no detail. Details are important to set the scene and better convey characters.
Now, here is an example of a much better response:
Kazek was pleased with the current turnout of the match, he had been on a role, and due to his opponents lack of skill, soon he would walk away significantly richer <"Heh, this sucker just don't know how to play... Once i get mah moolah, i can bail out jimmy from the jail, and we'll be back on our way to rob them wagon trains..."> The smug grin on his face dropped however, when he saw the four aces hit the table. A fire began to rage behind his eyes, and his claws began to dig into the wooden table. <"I should'a known that lout was a dirty cheat! He's gonna regret ever setting foot in this saloon!"> Kazek's paw shot towards his revolver, quite ready to blow this scaled scumbag's puny little brains out.
This response is better twenty-fold, if not more. Why? One: It goes into much more detail, which not only helps convey the story, but also describes the more subtle aspects of the characters and environment. Two: It describes the feelings of the character both through his thoughts, and his actions. This helps define the character, make him more interesting, and improves the feel of the RP significantly. Also, notice that Kazek's thoughts helped explain other events in the story; this is helpful to keep everyone on the same page, and in all reality, make the character's thoughts realistic Three: It give the other player time enough to respond with his own actions, and if this player does the same, OH MY GOD, where did the argument go!? Another bonus of this, there can be just as much action and just as intense situations, but without the chaos that so often clouds our RPs.
I mean, go back and reread them; just look at the difference! THIS is what determines if an RP is awesome, or sub-par. When the staff said that the RP board is bland and boring, they were both right and wrong. While our RPs are pretty cool, the stuff they'd been used to was probably so much better. If we can create stories just as enthralling, i know they'd have more respect for us, and being respected feels good.
Now that we know what to aim for, lets show them staff what we's capable of once we know what the hell we's doin!