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Hi all,

having been elected overall coordinator (thanks btw), I would like to
formally welcome you all to the Birthright Online City Project. I now
declare the project officially open!

Thanks must go to Carrie for not only conducting the vote, but also for her
input (which probably saved the mailing list server from crashing!!) and

I have attached a document (in .rtf format - I hope everyone can read it
okay) which should hopefully outline a lot of things for everyone. If
nothing else, it has at least allowed me some perspective of what is going
on and what still has to go on. To those who do not know what the project
is, I invite you to read the attachment and decide for yourselves whether
you would like to be a part of this unique project. Those who are not at
all interested, you can simply delete this email.

I am going to suggest that the discussion is kept OFF this mailing list,
though progress reports and announcements will be made from time to time.
For those who have kept track of everything more or less, the action at the
moment (concerning the organisation of the steering committee) is at the
message board (please go there and let your ideas be known):


Like I have said, this is only an initial contact to get a few thoughts
down on paper (disk?). Please read the attached document and let me know
(privately) what you think.

As Arnie said "I'll be back" and I look forward to everyone's responses.
Remember, this is NOT *my* project, it is *YOUR* project and so it requires
your thoughts, comments and suggestions.

Just to make something clear, for the moment _please_ do NOT email me with
"I want to do XXX", UNLESS you wish to be part of the steering committee
(whatever shape that takes). If, on the other hand, you can help with
anything specifically mentioned in the attached document (like setting up a
mailing list) or wish to make general comments on it, please feel free to
do so. If at all possible, try and keep general discussion on the message

Now let the games begin......


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\sbknone\linemod0\linex0\cols1\endnhere \pard\plain \f20 Hail one and all,\par
\pard \qc {\b Welcome\par
}to the\par
{\b \par
}{\b\scaps\fs28 Birthright Online City Project (BROCP).\par
}\pard \qj {\b \par
}\pard {\b Introduction\par
}\pard \qj \par
Firstly, to those who are not aware of what this project is, or missed the
mailing list frenzy of a few weeks ago, here is some *basic*, preliminary
information on th
e project. I have to stress that this information is basic, and is compiled
by myself. It is subject to change at any time and is not to be considered
\lquote official\rquote (or anything of the sort) at this stage.\par
This project began with a seemingly innocent post from one of the list
members (whose identity shall not be revealed for fear of reprisals)
mentioning that someone on the another
mailing list had suggested designing a city online. This was very swiftly
followed by about 100 emails which swamped the birthright mailing list. For
those who have never seen chaos
in action, it was a frightening sight. The email barrage persisted for a
few days, with many people reporting more than 180 emails per day on the
mailing list. Chaos grew stronger, and it seemed there was no way out. Just
when it looked like all was lost,
a small, shining light appeared, driving the chaos from this world. That
light was Carrie Bebris, and I think she can be credited with destroying
the chaos with a single email. Anyway, to cut a long story short, order set
in and the barrage subsided. A me
ssage board and homepage were set up for discussion and an overall
co-ordinator was elected to co-ordinate the wishes of the designers.\par
The basic premise of the Birthright Online City Project is that we, as a
group, will completely design
one of the most famous cities in all Cerilia - The Imperial City of Anuire.
The list members (and anyone else) who partake in this unique project will
have the opportunity of being part of a design team that spans the globe.
The uniqueness
comes from the interaction between the designers, both for feedback and
for ideas. The final result will be one of the most detailed accessories
ever seen in any roleplaying game anywhere (no-one said we shouldn\rquote t
set our goals high :-) ).{\b
}\pard \par
\pard \qj {\b Important Notice}\par
This document is my attempt to get in writing some of the ideas and
directions that have been proposed. Please read it all the way through
before responding to it. Because this is only a first draft (
not even in the beta stage yet, consider it an alpha release), it is a
little haphazard and disorganised.\par
At this stage, please do NOT mail me with any requests to reserve
such-and-such for you, or anything you wish to submit for the city. Keep
hold of them until the time is right.\par
Finally, I want to re-iterate what I said in my election speech - I am NOT
the dictator. If you wish to comment on *anything* in this document (I am
sure I have missed something), be it negative or positive, please
don\rquote t hesitate to email me.\par
\pard {\b Relevant Sites on the Internet\par
}The following is a list of sites directly relevant to the BROCP. Let me
know if I have missed any.\par
Homepage: http://darkstar.cyberserv.com/netbook/city/index.html\par
Message Board: http://www.InsideTheWeb.com/messageboard/mbs.cgi/mb41914\par
\pard \qj Note that the message board is web-based. We will have to look
into setting up a mailing list as well, hopefully as soon as possible (see
\pard \par
{\b The \ldblquote To-Do\rdblquote List\par
}\pard \qj Well, having been officially elected as the online co-ordinator
of this wonderful project I think that I will start by presenting this
list of things which need to be done in order for the actual designing to
begin officially. In the meantime, I would like to reiterate what others
have already said - keep working on t
hose ideas, especially those which are unlikely to be taken by others.\par
Well, without further ado, here is the list (in a very rough order):\par
{\i\ul *Setting up a Separate Mailing List*\par
A mailing list is probably one of the best ways for everyone to keep in
contact. Rich Baker said something in an email about maybe setting one up.
I am assuming that this would be on mpgn.com? Does anyone know anything
about this? I do not know anything ab
out setting up mailing lists, so if someone else does, please contact me.\par
{\ul Management Structure\par
}We need to decide on a management structure. What we need to do is decide
how the steering committee will be composed. More on this below.\par
{\ul Election of the Steering Committee\par
}Of course, having decided the composition of the steering committee
, we will conduct elections (if necessary - I am sure that many of you will
be much happier to be part of the design team - in which case it will not
come down to elections) for the positions. In fact, thinking about it now,
there may not even be a need to
resort to elections. I am only guessing, but we would be looking at less
than ten positions, and if we have that many candidates there
is no reason to go to elections at all. Of course, this assumes that some
of the candidates do not mind which position they occupy on the steering
{\ul Collection of Contact Information\par
}There will need to be some \lquote list\rquote
which has all members of the project on it. In addition, contact info (ie.
email address(es)) needs to be included so everyone can be kept informed.
This will be necessary since some people do not have access to the message
{\ul Establishment of Design Guidelines:\par
}As a group, we will probably have to establish some guidelines. However, I
strongly believe that we are all sensible people, and provided everyone
does not introduce 12th level NPC\rquote
s in every corner of the city, we should not need to resort to this sort of
thing. Again tho
ugh, this will be up to the team to decide. It may be necessary to have
different design guidelines for each group. Again, this is something that
will be more concrete once the makeup of the steering committee is
Please don\rquote t ask for when XXX will happen. In the immortal words of
John Carmack \ldblquote When it\rquote s done.\rdblquote \par
{\b Contacting Me\par
Okay, I guess my mailbox is going to get flooded with all of this stuff in
the next few days. The best way to contact me is via email. I have two
email addresses, shown below. In order to help me sort my incoming mail, I
would appreciate it if you could
please put \lquote BROCP\rquote in the subject line.\par
slg@nw.com.au HOME email address. It is probably best to contact
me here, though please don\rquote t go sending me any huge files (say, over
300k). If anything big needs to be mailed it to me, send it to my uni
address (see below), and I
can transfer it. I will check this address every night (well, almost every
night) and try and get back to people as soon as I can.\par
simong@mech.uwa.edu.au UNI email address. You can mail me
anything here - even if it\rquote s huge!!! This address gets checked all
the time.{\b \par
Well, that\rquote s about it for now, I think.\par
{\b The Next Step}\par
Well, I am going to propose that our next major step (in between trying to
get everything in some sort of order) is to decide on how our committee
is going to be organised. I have posted an extension of my original idea
to the message board, which is pasted below for those who can\rquote
t access the message board. Some small amount of discussion has already
begun on this system at the message board, and I will outline some of it
following the pasted information.\par
=============================begin paste================================\par

Okay, I have expanded my original system of organisation and would like to
know what people think of it. This system of organisation is based on my
original posting to the mailing list (which is shown on the Homepage at
k/city/index.html). Of course, there will undoubtedly be many things that I
have not thought of which will need to be added. As it is described,
there are 8 categories (plus an extra if the MAGIC one is split in two,
and an additional 1 if the NPCs idea is included - you'll know what I mean
when you've read it). I would suggest maybe that this be rounded to 10 (as
a nice number) by either splittin
g the MAGIC heading, and/or incorporating a couple more groups.\par
\pard \par
\pard \qj It may also work well to have a single 'group' working on all the
NPCs, using information supplied by other designers. For example, the group
designing the city watch might forward details of
any required NPCs to the 'NPC group' (for lack of a better name),
including any information that has already been decided on (eg.
sex/race/class/level/special abilities/...etc). The NPC group would then
flesh out the NPC fully, which would then be followe
d by consultation with the original designers. This way, a single group
could keep track of all of the NPCs in the city and keep a watch on things
like game balance. Like I said though, it is only a suggestion.\par
\pard \par
\pard \qj It has also been suggested that the city be
split on the basis of holdings (source, law, temple, guild). This would map
very easily to the system I have shown below, though there would be quite a
few things aspects that do not fit under the holdings headings. This would
simply mean having at least o
ne miscellaneous group to carry all of the other stuff. \par
\pard \par
Anyway, here is my list:\par
- - Possibly split into both WIZARD & PRIEST\par
- - WIZARD: includes the College of Magic, rogue mages, sages,...\par
- - PRIEST: includes temples to all the gods,...\par
- - possibly control over the number of high-level magic-using NPCs and/or
monsters in the city\par
- - the ruling 'council' (or whatever) structure & members\par
- - Local laws/crimes & punishments\par
- - City police/sheriffs\par
- - Courts/magistrates/judges\par
- - Jails & Dungeons!!!!\par
- - Imperial throne??\par
- - Imperial Heralds & Royal Heraldic Academy??\par
- - Roads\par
- - Important buildings (eg, Old College of Magic?, Imperial Palace); perhaps
these should come under CITY ATTRACTIONS??\par
- - Transportation system (ferries)\par
- - Harbour/boating\par
- - Sewers!!!!\par
- - City guard/watch\par
- - City defences (incl. military units)\par
- - Imperial navy\par
- - Mercenaries guild (or equivalent)\par
- - Bounty hunters\par
- - Imperial Heralds & Royal Heraldic Academy??\par
- - Thieves guild(s)\par
- - Assassin(s) (organised??)\par
- - Spies\par
- - Red light district/whorehouses\par
- - Smuggling operations\par
- - Trading houses\par
- - Markets\par
- - Noteworthy shops (weapon/armour/horses/...)\par
- - Historical Sites\par
- - Imperial Palace??\par
- - Old College of Magic??\par
- - Taverns/bars/drinking establishments (eg. Darkstar's tavern)\par
- - Universities\par
- - Imperial Theater\par
- - Museum(s)/art galleries\par
- - Places of accommodation (inns, hotels...)\par
*NPCs* ???\par
- - see note at the beginning of this file\par
- - take charge of fleshing out NPCs and keeping track of number/type/level
for purposes of game balance.\par
- - Powerful/interesting/important NPCs, not fitting anywhere else\par
- - Imperial Heralds & the Royal Heraldic Academy (don't know where to put
- - Iron Throne??\par
- - perhaps this final group could oversee all high-level NPC's\par
Well, that's it ("thank goodness" I hear you say).\par
Any comments/suggestions (positive and negative)?\par
What are everyone's thoughts on this system?\par
If you don't agree with the system, *why*?\par
Any major flaws that anyone can think of?\par
How would you change it?\par
Is there anything I have forgotten in the lists above?\par
I will try and collate all of the responses to this for when the time
Simon Graindorge (simong@mech.uwa.edu.au)\par
\pard \qj \par
++++++++++++++++++Response from Kevin Moss++++++++++++++++++\par
\pard Hello,\par
\pard \qj I think Simon did a generally nice job with the city
organization. I have the following suggestions in response to the post:\par

1) NPCs should not be a separate group. People who are designing specific
areas of the city should have creative control over the NPCs relevant to
their area. This will make the whole thing more consistent.\par
2) Why wouldn't Defence/Military be a considered part of the Law/Government
holdings? After all the political power usually belongs to those with the
military might to back it up. \par
3) I think wizardly and priestly magic are significantly different as to
warrant separate groups.\par

4) I'm not sure, either, where the Imperial Heralds would fit in, but
probably with the Law/Government. (BTW thank you for including them, I hope
they can be a part of this effort!) Anyways they are an arm of the
Chamberlain, and as such they have politica
l clout, even though they don't actually control holdings of their own. But
they also have a connection to the University (the Royal Academy being a
part of it) and thus to the cultural elements of the city. (FYI I'm
currently working on a re-write of
my history of the Heralds...coming soon.)\par

5) Having an "Other" category is a good idea, there's bound to be things
that don't fit in anywhere else. Personally I'm a "clumper" not a
"splitter", which means I'd rather see fewer categories than more. Having
served on innumerable committees and projec
t teams I have found that the fewer "chiefs" there are the better, as long
as we're sure all the main interest areas are being served. Plus a steering
committee is just a lot easier to co-ordinate as a smaller, mo
re focused group. So maybe the OTHER group should contain sub-categories
like: accommodations
(inns, taverns, adventurers shops, etc.), cultural centers, historical
sites, public works and anything else that doesn't fit anywhere else.
Things like the Imperial Palace could fit under Law/Government. I guess my
concern here is that we don't have too
many categories to work with, since there could potentially be a lot of
6) Just something to think about --- do we want to split Guilds into
underworld an
d legitimate businesses, or make them two parts of one category --- GUILDS?
There is potentially some overlap here, too, namely with guilds who might
have a legitimate front but a shady or black market business on the side.
(Guilder Kalien springs to mind.
..) Just a thought!\par
All of this is IMO of course.\par
Kevin M.\par
++++++++++++++Response to the above by Simon Graindorge++++++++++++++++\par
Firstly, I just wanted to say that as of now, there has been NO election of
an official co-ordinator (unless I missed it too?), so, as you say, all
this could be moot. I just wanted to start some discussion on the
Just some replies to your points:\par
1) Separate NPC group:\par

This idea came from the possible need to have some control/say over the
introduction of high-level NPC's. By having all the NPC's developed (or at
least recorded) by a single 'group', it makes this aspect easier. BUT,
having said that I feel very strongly
that as long as people don't go overboard on NPC's (ie. very high
level...etc), this sort of 'policing' should not be necessary.\par
2) Law/Govt + Def/Military:\par
The idea behind separating them was that the Military/defence group could
include all fighting aspects such as mercenary companies (there's one I
forgot), guilds, training academies (for young nobles - another one I
3) Wizard + Priest magic:\par
Again, I lumped these together so that some record of magic (all magic)
could be easily kept. But I agree that the two are very different.\par
4) Imperial Heralds:\par
Don't thank me for including them - I love the
idea. I'm their biggest fan :-) BTW, the history that was posted to the
mailing list was really cool. Perhaps the plot that Celeban (sp?) foiled is
the 'Plot of Five' that Ed referred to (hope I'm not jumping anyone's
territory on this one)??? Keep up the
good work with the IH's\par
5) Other Group:\par
I agree that the number of groups should be reduced (thinking back now, 10,
as I suggested, is too much). It would be easy to group the City
Attractions group together with an Other group. Some of it could probably
be passed on to the Public Works group too.\par
6) Guilds:\par

Now I *like* this idea. I suppose I should have though of it myself, but it
escaped me that sometimes the boundary between legal and illegal is quite
grey. This would work really well, and allow people developing any sort of
underworld activity (say the as
sassins guild) to design a fully legitimate front for their business.\par
Well, using the Kevin's ideas, it brings the number of groups to 6 (if you
combine the merchants/guilds and the law/military groups, remove the NPC's
group and combine the City Attractions group into the Other/Miscellaneous
Like Kevin said, all this is at the moment 'unofficial' (and only in my
opinion, of course)\par
================================end paste==============================\par
Okay, a few other posts have been made to the message board about this
subject, mainly to do with whether a separate group should exist to deal
with NPC\rquote s as in my original idea. I want to hear (see) other
people\rquote s response
(s) to any of these ideas. If anybody has any ideas of their own, please
feel free to put them on the board as well. If anyone does not have access
to the board, then you can mail me your ideas (attach them as a plain text
and I will put them up for you so that others can see them.\par
I am going to leave it there for now, since I can\rquote t think of
anything else that needs to be put down on paper. Let\rquote s not expect
this thing to come together overnight - we need to take it slowly, set our
goals high and then work *together*
towards exceeding them.\par
I hope this at least gives people something to think over. I will try and
post something more soon(ish).\par
Simon Graindorge\par
email:\tab \tab slg@nw.com.au (home)\par
\tab \tab simong@mech.uwa.edu.au\par

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