... is very scientifical.
SPECIAL CULTURAL INJUNCTION IIPREFACE
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There has lately, as there has always been when the server is on a noticeable uptick, an increase in the amount of cultures new characters and old characters who have been retroactively changed claim to be descended from. This is generally a good thing: I’m grateful for all the creative people on the server who try to bring people together and be inclusive enough that an entire group is doing their own thing. This part is fundamentally healthy for the server, and should be encouraged.
However, what is a less optimal state of affairs is the proclivity of how many cultures are being produced, and seemingly out of nowhere, with no cultural recognition and at startling speed. Languages and ethnic groups do not arise from nothing, there is typically a long and slow burn of cultural shift from an existing one. From Rome descends a myriad of cultural influences on even the modern western world, we didn’t just choose latin as a cool thing for many of our official terminology arbitrarily.
The issue of realism and taste aside with reference to this, however, is also the issue of too many cultures having the opposite desired effect. When there are a limited amount of cultures to choose from, then there will be many people within each, and those people will ideally share a sense of camaraderie and familiarity for being of the same culture. Without ever having roleplayed with the person, two people speaking Rede or Elven already are on a level of intimacy you don’t get from, for example, a halfling and an earthspawn interacting. When there are too many cultures, then no one has any familiarity with one another, and when a new culture can spring out of nowhere instead of encouraging recruitment into a culture it encourages cliques.
Lastly, with those two points above in mind, the real reason for this thread ultimately comes down to quality control and how we want the server to be. We don’t want the server to have so many cultures that it completely throws new players, there’s already way too much to read and it’s hidden behind way too many clicks on the forums. We also don’t want to be hiding all of our best player-submitted cultures under a mountain of submissions that needed to really be thought out more before being submitted.
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CALL TO ACTION
So, no more creation of new languages or dialects without approval. And no more submissions of cultures without approval. A new section will be created where people can post their player-submitted cultures and, I hope this is acceptable compensation, if they are of sufficient quality and meet certain guidelines then they will be officially acknowledged as cultures on the server, and endorsed as such. In the same way that Soolerans and Anhalders are.
What does not count under this:
- Any idiosyncratic beliefs your character may have which you make no pretenses of a vast NPC culture also having. If they think that the sun is made out of jello and they teach that to their friends and family, that’s fine, but this is their personal mythology and not that of a nation.
- If your character creates a coded language. If your character is a linguist and they elect to write an in character conlang, that’s on them and I don’t particularly mind. However, it has to be something they spread, and it must follow a realistic progression. No character should be able to learn a language in a day.
† † †CULTURE SUBMISSION
The method to submit a culture:
At your leisure, you may make a ticket with the lore staff via the system on the forums. Make a thread in there with your writeup, title the thread the name of your culture, and someone from the lore team will read it and give input on the culture.
From there, after we have approved it based on the quality of the writing and whether or not it follows our guidelines, then your culture will be reposted by a staff member under the Races and Cultures section on the forums. Either in the appropriate race’s section, or the multicultural one, pending whatever you have written.
If the final product is not accepted, we will explain to you why, and you can resubmit it as often as you want. However, you will have to make a new ticket. Make sure you number the ticket in the title for how many times you have submitted it when you do so. If it takes five tries, then the fifth try should be titled #5. This helps us in our record keeping.
And lastly, the guidelines for approval:
- The culture requires a notable amount of players to be invested in it and actively roleplaying it out. As above, people’s friends, families, and colleagues following whatever idiosyncratic beliefs are not considered an official culture, and we expect that to be how a culture will initially begin
- It will help the culture’s odds of approval if they are descended from a preexisting culture or association. First there was the vague human culture listed way back in 2012, then Arcturus began, then Lavoy and Anhalder both split off of the same group. This sort of cultural progression is something we want to encourage on the server, not “despite having not having been played or acknowledged even once before, this arbitrary ethnic group has been here for generations.”
- And again: the depth and quality of the submission. Every official server culture submitted by a player since the beginning has been of absurdly high quality, often surpassing that of the lore it was based off of. It doesn’t necessarily need to be high in word count, but cultures have depth, and that is also something we will be looking at.
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In summary, no more cultures are to appear out of the blue and without approval. This applies retroactively to existing unapproved player cultures which make pretenses of being more vast and broadly spread than the players who play them. Doubly so: no more languages not apart of an existing culture are to be used, spread, or acknowledged as existing. If it requires the use of <Language:> then it falls under this injunction, and is considered from this point unacceptable. If the language is unreadable to someone who is uninitiated because it is too full of jargon and non-english words, then it is considered unacceptable. This applies retroactively to all existing cultures people play as but which are not officially listed as a server culture.
I hope you all have a nice day.
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