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Gareth’s Guide to a Successful Township

Discussion in 'UO Chesapeake' started by Lord Gareth, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    Gareth’s Guide to a Successful Township

    I didn’t have much to do at work so I thought I might share with you some things that I do and use within the Kijustsu Anei Townships and other areas having to do with Ultima Online. These are not rules, regulations or bashes on anyone, these are things I have learned while running townships. Please feel free to take whatever you think will work for you.

    Founding a new township-
    If and when you decide to build a township your first task is to have a solid core group to help build and maintain your new town. This group should be at least three or four people, who come with a good reputation and a history of known commitment. Once you have your core leadership decide on a township charter and create a common building to coordinate from.

    While you are doing this, other townships may want to give you advice. Take the advice you feel is most helpful or just simply listen and do it your own way. Some townships may make you feel like you have to do things a certain way or try to make you change things because they feel what you are doing makes no sense. Ignore these types of people!!! If you understand how you are doing things, then that is all that matters. Remember this is your township and you need to love the way you are running, building and promoting it. If you start doing things their way and not your own, you will find yourself not liking your township and it will show!!

    Leadership-
    Leadership is very important!!! For the most part they will be the reputation of your township. Every action or decision that they make, either for themselves or for the township WILL REFLECT in your townships reputation!!!

    I find it best to have a mixture of people to serve on your town leadership (serve being the keyword here) If at all possible try to find these types of players.

    1. Someone from a different shard that has experience in running a township and very little ties to the politics of the shard.
    2. A motherly figure that is the embodiment of compassion, who will look out for the little guy so they are not left behind.
    3. The embodiment of Alexander the Great. Someone who wants to have it all but still treats everyone with respect.
    4. The Chaotic and loudmouth one who will spend hours writing something like this.
    5. The girl next door.

    Taking Responsibility-
    If you have a guild that is part of your town and members of their guild go out and disrupt an event, harass another township or guild, they will not be looking at that guilds leadership. They will be looking at you. You are ultimately responsible for their actions and you will need to deal with it. If you do not then your town leadership will be seen as the problem. Now you won’t deal with the members directly but you will deal with that guilds leadership directly. Failure for you to take action will result in damage to the town’s reputation as well as your own.

    Township Events-
    Events are a wonderful community building tool BUT should not the driving point of your community. If you rely on events (yours or EM) to be the driving point of your community then you will fail. For the events you do run make sure they are creative and try to run events other townships are not. Many of the best events are centered on community work, which is doing something for everyone without expecting a repayment. Other townships or guilds don’t like you, point blank and simple. It is very easy for them to disrupt your township if events are the only thing you have going.

    *Destructive Events
    Ready? Aim? Shut down!... wait shut down? There are people out there who will create an event to destabilize yours or compete. With over five years of dealing with these types of people and events I give you the following advice. At times your event will conflict and/or be the same exact event as another. Try your best to be the bigger township and work around their events. If you cannot then be sure to contact the other township and let them know why you cannot move it. It’s called having respect for another townships community even if they don’t have respect for yours. DO NOT enter into discussion about the event if you have poor relationships with the town/guild doing the event. All this is going to do is drag you into “big drama” which will NOT end in your favor.

    Another thing you can do is shut down your event for a few weeks. If the people behind the destructive event only created it to destabilize and/or compete with yours, then they will shut down a few weeks later. Why you may ask? They only created this event because you did and if you take away their purpose of creating the event they will not want to run it anymore. When they shut down everyone will notice and know exactly what they were doing. Once they shut down simply reopen your event either on a different day or 1-2 hours before you originally scheduled the event.

    Never ever, ever, ever create a township event to purposely undermine another one. It will NOT end well for you or your township. In fact you will lose ALLOT of respect and limit your ability to grow as a township community.

    **EM Events
    Simply put, they are in charge of the township recognition program, be sure to remember that but also remember no one likes a kiss butt.

    Township Location-
    Location, location, location!!! If at all possible try to build your township near a public moongate or well known area. If your township is in the middle of BFE not many are going to visit. Utilize everything and anything around your township such as moongates, vendor malls, dungeons, resource locations and water.

    Township Guilds-
    Attracting different guilds to your township will open up many new opportunities but will also add to your daily management load. Be sure to welcome ALL guilds that show interest in your township. Get to really know the guild and decide if they will be a positive addition to your township. Remember you need to attract them, not the other way around.

    When deciding if a guild will be a positive addition, make sure to check your personal opinions at the door. Just because you may not get along with one member out of 30 is no reason for you to exclude them. If you start doing this, then your township will be nothing more than a private social club. Remember that even if the guild does have a few rotten eggs, they will more than likely see themselves out of the guild and your township on their own.

    Township Government-
    There are many different types of government. I highly advise AGAINST a dictatorship. Having one person who decides it all is not the best idea. They do not know a vast majority of things going on in your township and/or the shard community. I recommend going with an adaptation of a republic so you have multiple people making the decisions. With this group at least one person should have the knowledge that others may not. When it comes to role play, not many players like to be dictated to or feel they have to bow down and be loyal. I say this because there is a real life player behind the character and they already have enough government in their life.

    Your township government should listen to the voices of its people!!! Without them you have no community, you have a bunch of dictators, dictating to each other. It’s that old saying…”to many Chiefs and not enough Indians.”

    I advise against having one single guild being the government of your township. For example the township of Kijustsu Anei Village does not maintain a single guild government or single township guild. The reason behind this is because you exclude everyone else. Once you exclude you cut off your ability to grow and if your guild destabilizes or splits, so does your township.

    *Dealing with township mechanics
    I highly suggest you do not deal with all of your mechanics through Role Play. Simply put not every single township and player on the shard does role play. If you do things this way then you are FORCING players to participate in something they may not wish to participate in. Once you force them to do this they will hate it and they will not be joining your fan group.

    Certain areas I advise against dealing with in RP are alliance, guild inclusion into your township, situation disputes, township setup (house placement, establishments etc), township regulations and communication. One area I will focus on more is communication. If your only source of communication is by in game means and through your RP character you will not be getting the information to everyone and once again you force players to role play. You need to take responsibility for information distribution and perhaps use your news service, website or forums.

    Dismissing Citizens and Guilds-
    No township ever wants to dismiss anyone but depending on the situation you may have to. If the problem is very severe you will need to act quickly. Failure to do will result in the person or guild making the decision and more often than not, it will be the people that you want to keep. When making this decision, take away the numbers game. If you base your decision on numbers and not who is in the right and who are the quality members of your community you will only cause further damage because now you are stuck with the rotten eggs. These rotten eggs will soon seep down into the very foundation of your township and you will be helplessly forced to their will. You will also find the group that did leave will more than likely build a township that surpasses your own, who wants absolutely nothing to do with you, your township and the town community. Can you blame them?!?

    In the end, guilds come and go. Guilds become large and overly active, and then become small and less active. Sometimes they disappear or they build back up BUT one thing is constant, your township.

    Spawners and Spawn Guilds-
    I beg of you, do not form a guild for spawning in your township. If you do this you will be caught up in TONS of politics and you will limit your ability to work with others. I highly suggest pointing people in the right direction of a spawning guild if they want to spawn. This only works if your township is not run by a guild. If you want to spawn then create a relationship with a spawning guild and also remember to assist them with kegs, apples, Band-Aids etc deliveries, help them help you. Despite popular belief many of the “I’m so bad, I’m badder then bad, they don’t even have a word to describe me” pvpers, are actually softer then a teddy bear and some of them even make you sing in ventrilo! To be completely honest you will find that PvPers are some of the most helpful players in Ultima Online, so don’t just write them off.

    News, News and More NEWS!!!
    Your news service is a vital part of your township. They are the ones who distribute the towns information to the shard community. Remember that distributing your news to as many outlets as possible is the key, the more areas your news is posted in the better. If you only post your news in one location you will find the town news limited to a select community. Another thing to remember is making sure your news is true and accurate. If your news reporters make things up and do not take the time to research the storyline they could put your news establishment in a bad light. They will also create a negative feeling towards your community. Randomly making up news stories without good knowledge will result in people no longer reading your news, which is something you really do not want to see happen.

    When adding people to your news team make sure you don’t just look at their immediate capability. Not everyone has a shinny resume with tons of experience and how do you expect them to gain experience if you don’t give them the chance? Look for the willingness to learn and improve. Not everyone is going to be a Super Star Reporter but given the chance and the opportunity they can be. So be sure you’re the one who gives them that chance and opportunity to grow.

    Outside Advisement-
    Seeking Counsel outside of your own community is a very wise course of action to take. I can honestly say the advice I decide to take from the following groups has never once failed me.

    -BRPA on Baja
    -RBG Elders on Chesapeake
    -PGOH on Catskills
    -News Admins on Stratics
    -Event Moderators (Chesapeake, Pacific, Sonoma, Catskills, Origin and Baja)

    Before any barks of favoritism about the EMS listed, I get advice from the topics that they post on stratics and from the meetings they hold on their shards. I go in under cover and listen to what they say when addressing the communities they were put in charge of. I highly recommend you do this and see the results of their decisions. I don’t recommend joining a guild or town as a different name to get advice. Ask them for advice or look at the decisions they have made which were successful.

    Another area to get advice from is your own leaders and the leadership of your alliance or entity, which I think is a given. Also never put the past to rest, make sure you consult your own townships history to see what mistakes you may have made.

    RP Storylines-
    I won’t tell you how to role play but I will give you a few examples of what I do and do not do.

    1. I never create a storyline that affects the entire world and other townships (without first consulting the townships it would affect) for example: If I wanted to make an earthquake on the entire island of Homare-Jima, I would contact any township on the Homare-Jima Island. I would do this because it’s just respectful and you don’t know what the other township is doing. What if they just built a machine to stop earthquakes?
    2. Whenever I want to involve a township in a storyline I consult them first. If you throw them into something they are not going to like it, you will lose respect and I do not foresee them wanting to take part in your future storylines.
    3. Whenever entering into a RP storyline created by another, I contact them so I know I don’t do anything to undermine the basic foundation of the story.
    4. If I ever use an EM structure for example ransacking Lord Balandar’s house, I make sure the EMs are not using Balandar’s house. If they are then that could invalidate my storyline or make things difficult for the EMs.
    5. I never write a storyline out of anger or frustration. If you do this then whatever is making you angry will result in a destructive storyline which will have unforeseen consequences not only to you but the guild and or township you are part of.
    6. I highly suggest not using someone’s character name or township in a storyline without their permission. This is sort of a duh suggestion.

    Township History-
    History is important but do not make it the number one important thing in your township or you will become the history book. No matter how long your township has been around you are not entitled to a single thing. You still need to gain the respect of players, guilds and townships on a daily bases. You should always conduct yourself in a humble manner and just because you created this or built that does not entitle you to the respect of the entire community. In fact tossing that around will drive people away from you. If you feel that everything you have done in the past is good enough then you are wrong. The community does not stop because you have been there and done that. Always remember and appreciate your townships history, but there are many more pages to write in. Do not become stale, unchanging or unwilling to help others because your town is 2+ years old or more.

    Establishments
    Those wonderful little structures where your mind can be as creative as the game will allow. There are many different types of establishments but the best ones you can have in your township are community involved ones. Establishments like a Library, Tavern, Dueling pit, Altar, Blacksmiths, Jail (I love jails, so many ways to break in and free prisoners)

    These types of establishments allow not just a few players to partake but a wide range of players to partake. You can use them for a storyline, event or even a place to gather. I advise you not to always think that an establishment needs to be an 18x18 plot. Having large, wide open areas will just make your establishment feel empty. If your establishment feels empty then players most likely will not want to hand around. I suggest taking the at home feel when building your establishment. Make sure it is decorated (don’t overdo it), shows style and creativity. If your establishment is plain marble with pure white floors it will give off the impression of being cold and uninviting which is something you don’t want.
     
  2. Mirt

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    Gareth this is a great article and thanks for giving away all our secrets. Oh and by the way if you try and break someone out of my jail I am throwing you into a small cell!:thumbsup:
     
  3. QueenZen

    QueenZen Always Present
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    *smiles*

    Hey now some of us peculiar weirdos, happen to like chilly looking pure white marble house tiles, with snowy white floor tiles, [esp. in Dec.] :)

    Although I do have a bloodwood red floor and an heartwood green floor too.

    White, red, green and frosty blue upon whites ...tis the season ! :)

    Ima gonna get the wild turkeys in my yard *tamed up* to killzor you !

    *goes off to polish her white marble tiles*

    lol Then again RivenMyst is too small to become a township, so I can do white marble !

    Great guidelines btw.
     
  4. Jamlyn

    Jamlyn Guest

    While some of the points you made are valid, I believe most of this entire post has to do with personal opinions. Therefore, I will explain my own. I also have added a few other headings that needed to be addressed.

    Founding a new township

    I believe the most important way to start a township is by getting people together that you trust. It does not matter if these people have a good reputation or not. If you set yourself a goal and stick with it, you can make it happen. just because people like or dislike your reputation is not going to get you anywhere. Having a town charter is important like you stated so that you have rules and regulations to build upon, which gives everyone a common goal.

    Leadership

    What this consists of should be the township body as a whole. Everyone who is part of the township community needs to include feedback on what they like and dislike. There needs to be one or two that makes the final decision however. Your descriptions fit what I think very nicely.

    Taking Responsibility

    You have made a good description as to how this should be dealt with.

    Township Events

    Having township events are very important. You should create events that are unique to your township, and possibly involve the "character" of your township into these events. Additionally, participate! participate! participate!! Step outside your town limits and/or alliance. Go visit and see what is going on elsewhere.

    Destructive Events

    Your going to usually have someone who wants to come along and "shut down" and event. Living in Felucca with Aryslan, we have learned to live with this fact, and at times, involved it into the town's history. Usually, it is just someone looking to be a part of the event, in a different way. For example, a player killer comes to kill the group of players. They will usually succeed, but after speaking with the player killer, they usually decide to become part of the event. Stick with the event you chose to run and do not change the date and time for anyone or anything. It is your towns event and if it is a failure, keep trying because it will eventually work out.

    EM Events

    Yes indeed, nobody likes a "kiss butt". EM events need to be recognized as not a time to get your "pixel crack on" but should be a time to show how your township can interact with a storyline, and if your lucky, you can get involved in it someway. Whether it be the character (s) you play, or the township you help run.

    Township Location

    Location is important but remember, the location can and WILL build what the character and personality is of your township. A great example is Merxmere and the pond they built around. If your out in the middle of nowhere, you now have a chance to change all of that!

    Township Guilds

    There are many guilds that can be involved in townships. Those that can be good and negative to the building of the town. You need to realize that this will help your town if you allow it to. Take negatives and turn them into positives. Allow all guilds to play a role in which they want to.

    Township Government

    Simply put, make sure everyone who is part of the town, has their voice heard and let them help with ideas. in the end, the leadership needs to make the decision usually, by voting.

    Township History

    Equally as important is not dismissing the towns and players who have stood the test of time. These towns and players, as well as others deserve respect at all times.

    Town Bigotry

    When a person is so devoted to their own opinions about how things should be run in a town that they express unnecessary animosity toward those who differ in belief or even how a character is played there IS no right way or wrong way to role play or run a town.

    Dealing with township mechanics

    Role playing has its time for dealing with mechanics. Never force others in your township to be part of the role playing story that has been created. Communication is key and like Gareth said, role playing will not get you everything you need. You DONT have to be liked or loved. Go outside the proverbial good box and play EVIL, or be neutral. Sometimes being famous is simply being infamous.

    Dismissing Citizens and Guilds

    The way UO mechanics work, if you can dismiss citizens and members of your guild that your part of, but you can never truly remove anyone from your town unless they choose not to come. You should never dismiss anyone or any guild, it has to be that person or groups decision to leave.

    Spawners and Spawn Guilds

    Make this part of your township meetings, events, or whatever you choose. These things are part of the game and enjoy them. The pvpers that you run into at these spots can be for the good and the bad. Many of these people will turn out to be nicer than you would expect them to.

    'Roleplay

    RP stands for Role Playing. I have yet to encounter a town (outside of Pitmuck and very few others) that actually have interactive role play of characters. There doesnt have to be an established storyline to interact with other player characters.

    RP Storylines

    Roleplaying storylines are necessary for a town go get its character and personality. In my opinion, when you to build each storyline realize that it can be changed, and affected by others that interact with you and your storyline characters. Do NOT run it like a soap opera or a play. The things people do can ans should have an affect on the outcome of the storyline!

    Township History

    When you start your township have an idea and goals in mind to set forth to create the beginning of your history. This can be built upon a story written out by the guild (s) or player (s) involved to show how everyone contributed to its creation.

    Establishments

    in time you will get more than one of these but starting off, I suggest having one and spend as much of your time as a group building upon it to get your town character.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    You may have noticed that I had mentions character, and personality a lot in these descriptions. I believe that you need to have that as your main goal for your township. it is what will set them apart from everyone else.

    Also remember some important things.
    1. You can still be a township even if the EM's of GM's did not place a banner for you. There were townships before this system was implemented and there will be townships after its over.

    2. It is NOT a popularity contest to make your town better and bigger then the others.
     
  5. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    Yes that was sorta the point. They are my personal opinions and hens why it says Gareth's Guide. I just felt like sharing it and am glade that you were able to share yours as well because your opinions are really great as well.
     
  6. Merik

    Merik Guest

    AHHhhh!!! Sorry Queen Zen I didn't mean to take shots at the marble. You are one of a select few that, in my opinion can pull off the marble and your not to small to be a township. Only takes 1 - 3 houses to be a settlement *Grins*.

    (PS) Grrrr I was posting news to the EVI Forums on here and forgot I wasn't logged in as Gareth so this is Gareth btw hehehe.
     
  7. Winfield

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    Nice ideas in this thread. Lots of opinions. There's no best answer to any category. A lot of what is said depends on whether people treat a township is a real life club, or a role-played town. You could probably take many of those categories in your descriptions and have one list from a Roleplaying perspective, and another from a Club perspective; some may not apply to both. I try to keep the two very separate... running an RP township versus running a club. Mixing the two up can be disasterous, as we've seen in the EM township series already.

    Personally, I like to focus on the role-played town aspect where anyone can join and have a role, be it the High Priest or the Mayor or the Street Sweeper. People can jump into the RP interactively ... with the only rule being to keep it realistic within the venue and genre. Interaction between townships are in-character and done in-game as much as possible. It's when a township is treated as a real-life club that it gets complicated with lots of rules and behind the scenes things, like having votes for decisions, etc.

    Even the type of RP leadership should be based on the type of RP nature of the town ... The leadership can be a council, or emporer, or king & queen, or governor, or mayor, or dicator. As for leadership of the "club", that can be whatever people are comfortable with (elections, ruling council/board, club leader/founder, etc.).

    A few years ago, I published some thoughts:

    Regards,
    Winfield, Old Man
     
  8. QueenZen

    QueenZen Always Present
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    :) Esp at christmas time white marble and snow tiles and red and green are kinda IN.

    Well I do not have to be a township, since half my home/s are already on Pitmuck where those lil impy goblins are established, and my Brit home is really only a short or long walk N NE to Guardians Gate so...me and my guild mate also in Brit are sorta a non official neighborhood to both of them real established player run townships anyhow.

    RivenMyst has grown though, anyone sporting the KRM tag used to be just myself and my own *kin* but I have added my Siege guild mate and her newly made on Ches. Chrs. and she is tranferring some of her chrs from Catskills to HERE, to whom I am also adding to KRM.

    So KRM is growing we be 3 homes now, 2 in Brit area, with her home closer to the Brit tram moongate, mine north of Lord British's moat, and my one home in Pitmuck, so ifn ye see the KRM tag now it will not be *alts of ME* only it may be my guildie from Siege^Catskills whom I convinced Chesapeake is a fine shard for her to come play upon ! :)
     
  9. Lord Gareth

    Lord Gareth UO Content Editor | UO Chesapeake & Rares News
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    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful personal opinions all around. I hope everyone shares what they believe works for them. As with many discussions and opinions please be careful not to judge anyone or tell someone they are wrong. These are just opinions of players and should not be taken as how towns are run, what type of town it is or how to do it. Just express yourself and maybe players might find something they like in your guide that will help them. *Smiles*

    Again wonderful work by everyone.