A few quick notes before I head out for a week and a half! The Mav Report, Going Away Edition! So as my header suggests, I'm headed away for a few days. Beginning tomorrow, I'll be on leave until August 4th. I will have very limited email...
A few quick notes before I head out for a week and a half!
The Mav Report, Going Away Edition!
So as my header suggests, I'm headed away for a few days. Beginning tomorrow, I'll be on leave until August 4th. I will have very limited email access during that time period and will go completely dark in the middle of the trip as I head off into the wilderness. So long as I avoid being consumed by a wolf or bear (I am going dangerously close to Howie's homeland), I'll return to regular activity on the 5th. In the mean time, expect slow responses to email and low IRC/Telegram presence.
What's in a name?
During creation of ranks for each of our new Orders, it was pointed out that naming an order Enlisted implies a specific military career path. This was not our intention, so after a discussion with the Dark Council, we've decided on the name Loyalist. This name embodies the purpose of the Order as being those driven by loyalty initially (either to the Brotherhood or specific entities within it), allows military involvement without explicitly stating so, and contrasts very nicely with our "Mercenary" Order. The Loyalist order will be for those non-Force users that feel an obligation to serve the Brotherhood or the Clans, either as pilots, soldiers, support personnel... or really, any other profession. This is what we will likely go with for the Order name, but things could change.
Speaking of ranks...
The biggest project I've been working on so far this last week or so has been ranks. Following some discussion on the summit list, we've taken the feedback and begun working on a new set of ranks for our upcoming Orders. We are not yet ready to release any definitive names yet, but I wanted to run by the general theme of each Order's ranks. In condensing Orders, we had to face the fact that we would not be able to please everyone. Ranks are NOT meant to be strong definers of character archetypes at all. You can think of them more as honorary titles, whereas the rank level is a determinant of power (e.g Knight at JM8). Just because you are a Knight doesn't mean you have to wear shiny armor and joust people. :p
Anyway, with the Sith ranks, we went with what we already have more or less for simplicity's sake, and because they embody a war-like group that is constantly growing in power. For Jedi Ranks, we are going with a set of ranks that embody the idea of a defender or peacekeeper and are pulled largely from the existing ranks. For the Gray Jedi ranks, we are going with ranks that embody more of a mysticism. Loyalist ranks will feature some military connection in some form, while Mercenary ranks should engender thoughts of fame or notoriety.
Not long after I return we should have more to share on the rank front, so stay tuned!
As many of you know, units are currently crafting their first Path declaration documents. These documents will allow our units to declare their paths in preparation for our new system. Each Path has its own random join wheel, and units have three slots across all join wheels. Each Path declared must have at least one slot in a join wheel for that Path associated with the Clan. Units can have up to three in a single Path, but must define their choices based on impact on current membership, current unit story, and relevance to the paths to unit history. These proposals will be reviewed following my leave.
Thought it'd also be wise to clarify some of the Path stuff, as we've had some questions about what orders are in which Path, and what Paths mean. Selika was kind enough to write up the base description for each Path used below, which fit pretty well to what we are going for. Thanks, Selika!
Here, Gray and Dark Jedi are actually the same Order in terms of ranks, but we maintain the use of the word Dark Jedi because... well... yeah. ;) While it may seem confusing this way to display Gray Jedi in two different Paths, when members choose Orders, it will be once they've chosen a Path. Thus, they won't have to try to figure out "which gray jedi" they are, because they will be picking from the Orders for their Path, each explained in detail to them!
A possessons teaser
I've been testing a bit of the new possessions system, and damn does it look sweet. James is doing a great job here and we can't wait to get enough into the system to really start showing it off. Seems people really enjoyed James' last set of teasers, so here's another!
We are taking perhaps our most popular feature from the character sheet system and working it into the system. What do I mean? Here's a little teaser below, courtesy of James: (Mav's ENORMOUS caveat: THIS IS TENTATIVE! IT COULD CHANGE! We are still working out details of this "aspect" of the system)
We are not yet ready to discuss the finer details of how this will play out in the larger system as a whole, but I thought people might get a kick out of the idea. :)
Recognizing a Consul
Perhaps the best part of my job is being able to recognize the people that I work with for all they do. It has now been several months since I took over as Deputy Grand Master, and so many of our leaders are showing why they belong in their positions. One such example is A'lora, whose dedication to the Brotherhood and his Clan are obvious.
A'lora served in the Herald's office admirably for months, as V'yr describes, where he lead many projects and oversaw the creation of many new robes and sabers. Just as importantly, A'lora has revitalized Clan Odan Urr. His application for the position was excellent, and he wasted no time in setting his plan into motion. Since then, he has run dozens of competitions, including a major co-op event with Arcona. There is no doubting that he has brought strong leadership and direction to Odan Urr, and for that, we thank him with an Amethyst Kukri.
Other items of note, big and small
- Meleu has been promoted to EQ2 for his hard work in both Tarentum, in my office, and during his time working in the Shadow Academy! Meleu has shown himself to be a devoted member, not just to his Clan, but to the Brotherhood as a whole. Thank you, Meleu!
- Evant and I have begun updating the text on what will be our new "Test of Identity" for our new orders, a very basic character creation. Much of the coding is done, but we have a bit of testing to do, and making sure we are properly reflecting cannon species etc.
- We've updated the Nepotism policy a bit: Previous, we'd required public disclosure of relationships when exceptions were made to this policy. Right now, it has been modified such that the relationships are recorded but not required to be publicly announced to the club. The recordings are made in a secure location on the site, but it also prevents us from waving people's personal lives out in the open too much for a simple appointment of a Battleteam leader.
That's it for this now!
- Mav is going away until early August.
- Loyalist is the current name for what was Enlisted.
- Work continues on the new ranks.
- Units are choosing Paths.
- A new aspect of possessions revealed.
- AK for A'lora! Congrats!
- Meleu hits EQ2! Congrats!
Telaris "Mav" Cantor
Deputy Grand Master
Good friends, young and old: hello. I haven't written a formal report in a while, unless you count all of the convictions that I've posted. In that case, well, I'm doing pretty well on this report thing. Truthfully, I intended to post...
Good friends, young and old: hello.
I haven't written a formal report in a while, unless you count all of the convictions that I've posted. In that case, well, I'm doing pretty well on this report thing. Truthfully, I intended to post more often, but I've had a couple rough months. My brother-in-law had an accident and is living with us, and the influx of family and drama has cut into my PC time. I refuse to write a report on a phone. Deal with it. (Seriously, thanks for the patience with my lack of reports. I've been keeping up with the daily work of the position, but haven't had the dedicated time to sit and write). I won't be long, some quick updates.
The current terms for the Appeals Panelists have expired. I need three new panelists to serve for nine months on the panel. The Appeals Panel has a very specific role: if the defendant or prosecution feels that a procedural error has been made in a CoJ proceeding, he can write an appeal and present it to the Justicar, who will in turn bring it before the Appeals Panel. The Appeals Panel then decides if there is merit to the objection. There haven't been many appeals, but it's an important role.
If you are interested, apply by e-mailing me and the Hands of Justice prior to 11:59 PM EDT Monday, July 27. Applicants that have passed the CoJ I SA Exam will have preference. I reserve the right to just announce the panel prior to that date if three good applicants submit, so don't procrastinate.
Let's discuss priorities. As set forth in Sarin's master plan that was released recently, the priorities for my position are pretty simple. First, I am to keep an active hold on all cases and new matters brought before the CoJ. Second, I am to work on the Covenant amendments. Third, I am to help with DC projects, an upcoming GJW in particular.
In terms of my first priority, I am happy to say that the CoJ is running on all cylindars and we are staying on top of all of our duties. Halc and Monty are excellent at their roles, and we have made quick work of anything that comes our way. Many proceedings are in private, but you have all seen the cases that have come out in the last few months. We've kept busy. There is barely a day that goes by without something happening that needs our attention.
I have been working in my free time at a significant re-write of the Covenant. I have completed my preliminary re-write of all sections except for the Justice article. Those provisions include a new article about the Star Chamber and some pretty significant re-writes of the rest. I basically re-wrote everything in some manner. I have worked through some comments by Sarin and Mav, and will be gradually working those amendments through the different parties that I want to comment.
Next I will be turning my attention to the judicial portions, which is a much harder task, but incredibly important. I have a slate of people with whom I am going to consult about the judicial amendments, including some people that have been through the process themselves. We are going to re-invent some of the process and make it work much better.
In terms of timing, I am expecting to release the drafts of the amendments in the next 30-45 days and hope to have all of them implemented by mid-fall. There will be some significant debates; it will be a fun process.
Policies and Manuals
In line with the amendments to the Covenant, I have worked to correct, clarify, and implement a good deal of policies. For instance, tonight I just had the pleasure of implementing the new exception steps to the Nepotism Policy. Fun times. We are also working on a series of manuals that will help CoJ transitions and educate members about the CoJ processes. Monty is doing amazing work on that front.
As we work through new issues, we are trying to document how they are dealt with so the next CoJ administration doesn't have to re-invent the wheel. For instance, there have been multiple issues that have arisen lately regarding the implementation of probation periods. We are working on policies that will clarify those issues and make it go away in the future.
James and Kalen rock
With the help of the Hands, I put together a wishlist for the CoJ functions on the website. James and Kalen are already rocking it. Kalen implemented a report that makes it simple for us to track probation periods. James is going to re-work the join process to help us ferrit out clones and duplicate accounts. And there are some other improvements that will be incoming. These guys are completely awesome.
That's all I have for now.
Behave yourselves. Ceiling Jac is watching.
Grand Master Jac Cotelin
Justicar and High Protector of the Brotherhood
Welcome to another update from the Master at Arms office. This report will expand on some announcements and previous discussions. As always, our focus remains strong communication with unit leaders to teach them to pick the right medal/promotion...
Welcome to another update from the Master at Arms office. This report will expand on some announcements and previous discussions. As always, our focus remains strong communication with unit leaders to teach them to pick the right medal/promotion at the right time and, in turn, have less things remanded or denied.
As noted in Sarin’s master plan, performing an update to the two MAA Shadow Academy courses is currently in the draft phase. Primarily these are wordage reductions, competitions include Clusters of Earth, and rewards expands its example recommendations to include those awarded crescents in recent months. These changes are being tracked among my staff and will be implemented in the near future.
Upon request, we had the Chamber of Justice take a look at our policies for any thoughts or advice. Montresor and Jac gave great feedback that Howie has since implemented in the Wiki page. There are no major additions or alterations, mostly wordage, with one notable addition on the Deletion Policy about permanent deletion of a dossier being, per definition, permanent. Click me to take a look. We continually look to refine and expand upon our rules and guidelines per feedback from leaders and members.
We are working on turning the long, confusing, and god awful Writing Recommendations Wiki page into a catalogue of golden recommendation winners. This page will list the recommendation along with a brief explanation of why we liked it. Note, super note, super double note that these are not templates. They are examples. Context is key.
Congratulations to Xen for grabbing June’s award for a great EQ2 recommendation. We skipped May and are working to remedy that.
Xen’s EQ2 promotion for Mayda stood out as a great example of tackling an overdue promotion in a clean and concise manner. First, he talks projects and accomplishments not quantifiable. This is the stuff we cannot look up on a dossier, so it’s great to be the first thing we read. After that, dossier history is summarized with competitions, crescents, and medals. The recommendation shows Xen’s appreciation for Mayda’s membership without being filled with “Mayda is amazing amaze amazeballs” fluff.
The Wiki page will continue to be updated with recommendations and explanations of why we liked them. In combination with the Shadow Academy courses, we hope these resources will be a first stop shop for leaders hoping to gauge current MAA standards.
Landon brainstormed and is helping run a quick and easy MAA competition just to keep everyone thinking: click me if you like seeing things. Don’t put too much thought into it, have fun, and note I am a huge fan of any reference to Archer!
In previous reports I mentioned our willingness to take a look at medal or promotions ideas/recommendations via email or Google docs. While true, I pushed it too hard and skewed things. The website, thanks to James, continues to have the best way of processing these. You submit the request, it shows us the recommendations, makes it easy to check dossier history, we can comment, remand, or deny it. A remand is not a bad thing. It just means something needs work.
If you and your team think Bob is ready for a promotion and want an extra set of eyes, email email@example.com. Key thing is is “you and your team.” The MAA is not the first step toward figuring something out. Ask your summit first. If no one can agree, email us.
Additionally, if you gather recommendations and are ready to submit, just submit it. Especially if you’re confident in what you want. If you aren’t sure if something is a Steel Cross or Grand Cross, shoot us an email. If you want to give Bob a Steel Cross, submit the Steel Cross.
I clarify these because submitting through the website will mean your requests are handled faster. It’s easier to check requests on the site than going between a dossier and Google docs, commenting, reply to emails, so on. The website was built for these things.
Finally, a note that any Elder promotions come from the Grand and Deputy Grand Master. If you think Bob is ready for Dark Side Adept, reach out to Sarin and Mav. Feel free to CC me, but if Sarin doesn’t buy it, I won’t even bother.
Email us if you have questions, concerns, or complaints, but email has turned into the first step recently when it is meant as a “in case of fire, break glass” option. As always, I send thanks to all leaders for being respectful and professional when talking things through with my staff…particularly when you don’t like the answers!
Shadow Academy course updates and the new Golden Recommendations Wiki page will be live within a week or so. Until then, keep submitting medals, promotions, transfers, name changes, and (coming soon…) updated path changes! Nothing too major will change when the new path stuff goes live, but we’ll speak more to that in the future.
Check out my highly positive review of the latest Star Wars novel, Dark Disciple!
- MAA Wiki Category
- Promotion Guidelines
- Medal Statistics
- Rank Statistics
- Leadership Rewards SA Course
- Leadership Competitions SA Course
Dark Disciple: A morally ambiguous Joyride into the intricacies of the Force Review by Aabsdu Dupar Dark Disciple, written by Christie Golden, now stands as my favorite Star Wars novel of the new canon. Golden takes eight (yes, eight) unseen...
Dark Disciple: A morally ambiguous Joyride into the intricacies of the Force
Review by Aabsdu Dupar
Dark Disciple, written by Christie Golden, now stands as my favorite Star Wars novel of the new canon. Golden takes eight (yes, eight) unseen episode teleplays of The Clone Wars featuring one of the EU’s best characters teaming up with one of TCW’s most developed characters and charts them on a head first dive into the dark side. The novel on its own is excellent, but the story is made more exciting when one imagines how awesome this series of episodes would have been…with sadness we will never see them.
Minor spoilers ahead… Unlike Lords of the Sith, where I found the premise of forcing Sidious and Vader to go on a mission for the sake of story, the partnership between Jedi jester Quinlan Vos and Sith-turnedbounty hunter Asajj Ventress fits naturally. The Jedi Council votes to assassinate Count Dooku, tasking the morally ambiguous Vos with the job, but reaching Dooku will require insider knowledge of which outcast Ventress is privy. Vos isn’t happy about it, Kenobi isn’t happy about it, Windu isn’t happy about it. This is the situation the Jedi find themselves in as the Clone Wars stretches on.
Ventress is equally reluctant to take on the random stranger (Vos) who shows up wanting to be her partner. The interplay between the two as they grow to know and trust each other reads exactly how these characters spoke on TCW. When Vos reveals his Jedi mission of assassinating Dooku, Ventress agrees, but stresses he will need to leave behind his Jedi teachings and dive into the dark side. Vos agrees, and their fates are set.
Leaving your true self behind while reaching for “the greater good” stands at the heart of Dark Disciple. The Clone Wars wages without an end in sight. The Republic wins here and loses there without any ground being made. We know this is because Sidious and Tyrannus are purposefully dragging the conflict out and the Jedi thin, but the Jedi are oblivious. They are pushed to the edge, and in this moment make the ultimate decision to forgo the light path and order an assassination. The move is thematically striking. Killing Dooku is the obvious need to end the war, yet the intentional murder of another being is absolutely not the Jedi way. Kenobi objects furiously with the militant Windu, the Jedi whose decision to assassinate rather than arrest Palpatine leads Anakin to revolt, arguing the plan’s strengths.
The moral decline of the Jedi Order as we near Revenge of the Sith manifests itself in Vos’ arc. He allows Ventress to tempt him with the power of the dark side, and as he falls deeper into the darkness he loses the ability to say it is “for the mission.” The power of the dark side is blinding - the Jedi, Ventress, even Vos do not realize how far they’ve fallen. Thus, the last third of the the novel is a suspenseful chase around Quinlan Vos’ fate. The Jedi think he remains true to the cause, Ventress thinks their partnership (a romantic one that fits the grayness of both characters) keeps him dedicated to their life together, Dooku, always the puppet playing the puppeteer, thinks he has turned Vos to his side, and Vos is so deep he no longer realizes the consequences of his actions. His decision has fatal consequences for one well known character.
The downfall of the Jedi is further shown when, realizing Vos has fallen to the dark side, Windu and company (again Kenobi strongly objects) immediately jump to “he’s turned against us and must be executed.” Oh, how blind the Jedi are, and we all know where it leads. This conflict of watching the Jedi destroy themselves is one of the more intriguing aspects of the prequel films that George Lucas’ inability to write leaves by the wayside. Luckily, Katie Lucas (who penned the episode teleplays) and Christie Golden are here to help.
Let’s talk canon, an ever important feature as we anxiously search for EU references. There are several: Taris is referenced as a planet (I don’t think KOTOR is canon, technically), and Quinlan Vos’ master, Tholme, is referenced as being killed on the battlefield by Ventress. Young Boba Fett and his bounty hunter gang, including Embo, make an appearance during a rescue sequence. Finally, Quinlan Vos has just enough of his EU “gray Jedi” personality and instinct to be satisfying.
Dark Disciple inspired me to rewatch The Clone Wars Season 3, Episode 9 “Hunt for Ziro” featuring Vos and available to stream on Netflix. It’s a good episode, one of the lighter tone ones (the line “From the bottom of my fluid sac” is spoken), and damn if Vos would’ve had a crazy experience in these episodes…and technically now has, canonically.
Speaking of Clone Wars episodes, it remains humorous or at least noticeable when anytime an author wants to reference some event in a character’s past they are forced, right now, to utilize an episode of Clone Wars. I noticed this in New Dawn and Tarkin as well. A minor note.
Dark Disciple would have made an excellent arc of The Clone Wars and holds up well as a novel. Disciple brings significant canon impact both in how we view the moral downfall of the Jedi Order during the final year-ish of the Clone Wars and in the fate of certain characters left hanging by the show’s cancellation. Disciple is a great read and a must for any fan of the animated series. It is both joyful and a burden that LucasFilm has been open to discussing stories never produced. We’ll never see them on the screen, but at least we now know the whole story.
Title: Dark Disciple
Author: Christie Golden
Release: 7 July 2015
Page Count: 336
Canon Timeline: Sometime late in the Clone Wars
Official Plot Synopsis
Based on unproduced episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this new novel features Asajj Ventress, former Sith apprentice turned bounty hunter and one of the great antiheroes in the Star Wars galaxy. The only way to bring down the Sith’s most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side.
In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.
But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. So the Council makes the bold decision to bring both sides of the Force’s power to bear—pairing brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served at Dooku’s side still runs deep, Ventress’s hatred for her former master runs deeper. She’s more than willing to lend her copious talents as a bounty hunter—and assassin—to Vos’s quest.
Together, Ventress and Vos are the best hope for eliminating Dooku—as long as the emerging feelings between them don’t compromise their mission. But Ventress is determined to have her retribution and at last let go of her dark Sith past. Balancing the complicated emotions she feels for Vos with the fury of her warrior’s spirit, she resolves to claim victory on all fronts—a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy... and her own doubt.
If you're interested in writing a review for DarkJediBrotherhood.com, please email the Recruitment Tribune with your proposed review subject as well as a sample of what you'd be reviewing. Thanks to Aabs for this great review, and congratulations on your Dark Side Scroll!
One of the first pieces of fiction (if not the first?) dealing with the post-Return of the Jedi era will be released on September 4th. Star Wars: Aftermath, as has been discussed previously, deals with the aftermath of the second Death Star...
One of the first pieces of fiction (if not the first?) dealing with the post-Return of the Jedi era will be released on September 4th. Star Wars: Aftermath, as has been discussed previously, deals with the aftermath of the second Death Star blowing up and how the galaxy reacts to the news of the Emperor's Death.
Now, an excerpt of the novel has been released! I don't think it will spoil much, but if you really don't want to know anything until the novel is released then go ahead and avoid that link. Otherwise, if you're like me and read every scrap of information, then click on the link and enjoy!
The excerpt is pretty dark and shows you that things are not all nice and happy. Remember that "celebration" scene at the end of RotJ where we see people celebrating on Coruscant? Well, they show you what happened immediately after that scene, and it's not pretty. The excerpt also focuses on Wedge, who will be one of the main protagonists of the novel.
So, what do people thing? More hyped about the novel? Less? The same?
This will be a quick report where I go over a few topics that have come up over the past week to share with everyone. An important (at least to me) reminder that I am trying to build an awesome staff to help me shape the fiction of the...
This will be a quick report where I go over a few topics that have come up over the past week to share with everyone. An important (at least to me) reminder that I am trying to build an awesome staff to help me shape the fiction of the Brotherhood, and some competition details in case you find yourself with some free time wanting something to do.
What’s in a name?
Just a quick note - on naming stories. Or giving your piece of work a title. You might ask, does it matter? I mean.. you can tell a story without it. I’ll just answer and say yes - it does matter.
Of course it should be something appropriate, something that draws your attention. Fortunately in the format of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood, you kind of have the grader as a captive audience, but at the same time your story is trying to compete. A title can help frame an entire story and help the reader (or grader) immediately get in the right mindset of your tale.
There are many resources out there to help you come up with a good title. Sometimes you come up with it at the start, sometimes it comes at the end after you’re done, or somewhere in the middle it comes to you. In the end - I just encourage naming your stories.
While there are plans to possibly expand the number of pre-written aspects available to the membership, the most flexibility and creativity to develop characters will come from custom aspects. There are standards in place around writing these custom aspects, for standardization, readability, and balance, and during the review process the Voice Staff and Combat Master will as necessary step in to help correct anything problematic with as much useful feedback as possible to correct the issue. I don’t want the creative freedoms of anyone to be stifled, but at the same time, as a collaborative and collective group of writers, we strive for a certain standard that allows everyone to work together and understand each others characters.
I am still collecting applications for Magistrate (M:VOICE), if you are interested in being part of the Voice staff to fictionally develop the DJB and join the team please send in an application. From my original announcement, I am accepting applications through July 17th (tomorrow) before I’ll start making some decisions and reaching out to people about accepting and taking on certain projects. I encourage anyone to apply who is interested, even without an impressive list of prior work, there is a chance you could end up being a great fit for a project.
An Objective History: Andrelious from Clan Arcona is still running a DJB wide competition focused on different items your character has owned that will run for the rest of the month until July 28th.
Boarding the Zephyr: Bentre Stahoes from Clan Naga Sadow is running a DJB wide where you come across a floating ship, and write about what awaits inside, that will run until July 20th.
Keeping it together: This competition ended last week. Congratulations to Calindra Hejaran of Clan Scholae Palatinae who placed 1st. I enjoyed reading all the submissions, and getting an idea of how the membership views the Dark Council. I’ve concluded that of top priority to the DC would be: Getting members to spy on their Clans or Clan members, killing things, or stealing things. So, truly a Dark Council.
Chaos Ensues: Has concluded, and congratulations to the placing team from Clan Naga Sadow of Bentre Stahoes, Scarlet and Tasha’Vel Versea. It was an interesting new take on fiction to run it cooperatively, and the staff learned a lot about how this was run to better address future collaborative coop fiction events. Arden (the other half of the Voice staff that isn’t the Combat Master) is currently drafting up some key learnings and hopefully we can get another cooperative event running in the future as we gauge interest in it as an event versus a Run On.
Clusters of Ice
Reminder again: Organizers must send their pins and word counts to me, for Clusters of Ice to be awarded. Format: Pin#wordcount.
I wanted to get another update out ahead of the deadline for anyone who might be interested as joining the staff as a Magistrate, of course there are always opportunities to get involved in a less official capacity. As well as some updates on fiction opportunities, I expect to see more coming as I get some new staff and want to give members an opportunity to potentially influence the DJB through their submissions. Think of Mav’s create an NPC competition with some possibilities to look into where some of those GJW NPCs ended up and what they might be up to. I’m sure you’re all super curious what happened to Rhiaen Ust’essi and might want to help her stay on a path of the Light… and/or help her fall to the Dark.
If you ever have any questions, ideas, feel free to let me know. I do my best to reply quickly.
Voice of the Brotherhood
The rundown The SA Society changes that I announced last month seem to be working smoothly. The rank progression does now sort of resemble a pyramid, but with plenty of people filtering through the low-to-middle ranks and unlocking all of the...
The SA Society changes that I announced last month seem to be working smoothly. The rank progression does now sort of resemble a pyramid, but with plenty of people filtering through the low-to-middle ranks and unlocking all of the shiny new accessories (but everyone is just going to start opting for the swank ribbon cases, right?)
One other SA-related tidbit that some of you may not have picked up on relates to the new Cluster of Earth medal for PvE gaming. Val noted in his last report that the Dark Sage - Warfare degree had been changed to match the new GMRG progression system. What that means is that each CF is worth two CEs. To accomdate that change, the "Warfare point" system for the sage degree has been increased from a 1000 point scale with 1 CF = 1 point, to a 3620 point scale where 1 CE = 1 point and 1 CF = 2 points. The change also affected which medals will count. Previously, only CFs and PoBs earned beyond the GMRG Rank X requirements would count for points. With the new expanded point pool, all CFs, CEs, and PoBs now count for points, so you will be earning Warfare points for every gaming activity you submit. The change should not impact degree attainment, unless you had a ton of PvE-earned CFs that have transmuted to CEs (and hence are worth fewer points).
Finally, yesterday marked the twice-yearly Scroll of Foundation deluge for my staff (and those silly ACC judges who grade exams from time to time). In total, 157 SoFs were awarded to 35 members for their work over the past six months, which included grading a total of 1219 exams with an average grading time of 27.5 hours. Of course, our goal is to grade all exams within 24 hours, but in this case the number was a bit skewed by Mr. Wally, whose average of 336 hours per exam was a bit outside the normal range. :p
Of Courses and Profs
Zagro, professor of CORE Studies has resigned due to real life time constraints. He has done an excellent job, helping to clean up some of the dust left by last year's audit pass through the department, and he graded a high volume of courses (277, to be exact) with an average grading time of a mere six hours. Impressive. He has left some big shoes to fill. However, for now the position will remain empty and Ood, Farrin, Qormus, and I will take over grading duties for that department. With the upcoming path and order changes, the CORE department is due for a major renovation. If the CORE department survives the transition (and it may not), then I will seek a new professor for the job.
I do have some new courses to announce: first, Philosophy 1: Views has been revised and published; second, Philosophy II: Cults has (finally) been rewritten and will be released soonish; third, the first two of four planned new Astronomy courses are being coded and prepped for launch as I write this report. Written by Zednich, Seraphol, and Lexiconus (who is apparently now a wookiee :p), the revised Planets and Stars and brand new Regions courses include a good amount of actual sciencey stuff and are quite interesting.
All of these courses have some now questionably-canonical information in them. As we learn more about the brave new Star Wars universe, we will revisit these and other courses and either revamp or retire them. Tentatively, my plan for non-canonical courses is to place them in a new Department of Legends -- this is where the current six CORE courses will probably end up by the end of the year. I will flesh that plan out as the Force awakens some more.
Top Exam Takers!
Since my last report, the top five exam takers at the SA are:
|Name||# of Exams|
|JK Darknyte (he's not new :p)||22|
|PRT Juliana Kelrune||21|
|DJK Marcus Kiriyu||15|
|PRT Khal Xanderi||12|
Great work, everyone!
As always, I'd like to close this report by asking for your help. The SA is a massive wall of text that covers ever-shifting topics and is prone to typos and run-on sentences. If you spot substantive or grammatical problems, please let me, Ood, and the course PROF know so that we can fix them ASAP. As we work through the Departments during the audit, we're also going to be asking for help reading and editing -- if you have any particular expertise, let us know when we announce the next Department being audited. There are shiny things available. :P
Dark Side Adept Dacien Victae di Plagia
Headmaster of the Dark Jedi Brotherhood
Exit: light Welcome to my first Herald report. To say that I’m hyped to be in this position is, quite frankly, an understatement. Yes, I’m very hyped, however this hype is somewhat tempered by the amount of work that needs doing now and in the...
Welcome to my first Herald report.
To say that I’m hyped to be in this position is, quite frankly, an understatement. Yes, I’m very hyped, however this hype is somewhat tempered by the amount of work that needs doing now and in the future. A new website design, Possessions, new Robes, Sabers, Accessories, Crusade Cases...Fiction Society? Jesus, Mary and Joseph I’m gonna be a busy Herald. But that’s alright, because I enjoy my work. That’s why I do it, and that’s why I’ve been doing it for almost eight years.
See eight and a half years ago I started doing some Photoshop thanks to the Shadow Academy exam at the time. I sort of played around with functions, colors, effects and such. I took me a good part of a year to make solid graphics. It started with forum signatures and avatars and soon turned to sabers and the like. But all that time Muz kept me on as his Magistrate. Later Shikyo elevated me to Preator, first term. I truly started working on sabers and robes (my robes really sucked at the time, though). Slowly, slowly I started learning. Then I had to step down and take some chill time from the DB.
Eventually, somewhere in 2013 or 2014 I returned to the Club, became a member of Odan-Urr and also started working as Orv’s Magistrate. He wanted my help with sabers. At first I was afraid, I was petrified… yeah, really :P ....that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I did. Somehow the knowledge and experience - the muscle memory more like - of making sabers sort of stuck in my head. I made my newest set of gradients and * bam * there you are. From then on it’s all uphill.
Then came Socorra’s term. The most active in my career as Herald staff. I really learned a lot from the folk I worked with, and with that I would like to thank everyone that worked with me, and still does so to make shiny new graphics for you guys.
Expect even more ;)
Up until now I’ve been Proconsul in Clan Odan-Urr, a place I love very much, and it still sort of stings that I’ve had to step down from that position. It was very, very fun and engaging. I built up great friendships there and am still doing so, however now it’s time to step up and pass my knowledge and share my gift with the whole Brotherhood in a more substantial manner.
I have several important announcements in my first report. All of these have to do with the work the office does on a daily, and not-so-daily basis. Let’s start with
The Praetor position is very important in our office. I’ve handled it successfully for some time now and I can honestly say it’s equal parts hard and rewarding. You constantly need to be on your toes, learn new techniques and designs and keep ahead of the game. Basically it’s a steep learning curve where you have a very short amount of time to study, learn and do a project (often days). But for all its intensity, it was always fun. If it weren’t I’d never have applied for Herald.
The important thing in this section, though, is the actual appointment of the Praetor to the Herald. Rhiann Baenre has been a constant presence in the office for a very long time. It’s time she stepped up. Congratulate her next time you see her on IRC. ;)
Magistrate applications open!
The Magistrate’s duty in the office is to maintain the day-to-day workings in the office. Warbanners and Leader requests being two of those, and the primary. Some Magistrates get the chance to work on higher tier projects, though. But onto the important part...
I’m officially opening applications for Magistrates to the Herald. Do you have skills in computer graphics, using Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel or any other program? Maybe this is your shot.
Send all applications, with portfolios to my mail. The applications are open until the 23rd of July (One week from now).
Avatars - on hiatus
An announcement from this department, since many people have had questions. Project “Avatars” will remain on permanent hiatus until Baxir gets back in a more permanent manner - then, and only then will we talk about it in an official fashion. Sorry if this is bad news for you, but that’s how it is.
The whole project was based on Baxir’s style of drawing. No one can truly replicate it, nor should we. Unfortunately, we do not have the time nor resources to handle this type of project on a day-to-day basis without outside help (such as Baxir). With what’s coming in the next several months (Website redesign and Possessions), there are more pressing matters to attend to.
Herald Style Hanukkah
...continues on as planned, this year. However, come New Year, a new system will be set in place that releases graphics more frequently, all year-round. You can expect more on this in the future...
The Custom Robes remain a DC-only privilege for now. However, I will hold two competitions per year where you, the members, will have the possibility of winning a custom robe.
To see what i mean, you only need to check Aaleeshah’s dossier. She won the last comp that Socorra held a few months ago.
Take my hand
Crusade Ribbons/Cases Project - Done!
Ladies and gents,
The Crusade Cases, with Ribbons of course, are now available to everyone and anyone who has participated in the events of the Dark Crusade, Fading Light and Great Jedi War XI. You'll find your Crusade cases in your Accessories selector.
NOTE: If you have participated and cannot find your Crusade Case, please inform me immediately via E-mail.
To explain a bit more about the project. We were tasked with creating custom ribbon cases for each contestant of the three events mentioned above. To put into perspective how huge this project has been I'll just mention several numbers: The file created for all of these was 105 layers (for those who don't understand Layers, they are basically overlapping images, one over top another), there were 341 contestants. Each individual case is a separate image that had to be cross referenced on a spreadsheet, created, saved and then uploaded. It was monumental work and I have two individuals to thank for their hard work on this project: Rhiann Baenre, my Praetor, and Mirus Hi'ija, who volunteered to help us complete it in time (and helped he did). Thank you both for your hard work.
You can find all the ribbons and all the options here:
The gist of it? For each event you participated in you won a certain ribbon, clusters and or nova laurel, depending on your achievements. The list below shows exactly what I mean.
- Dark Crusade
- Phase 1 & 2
- Highest ribbon decoration: basic ribbon + double cluster (plus nova if won)
- Rest of Phases with 6 Events
- 1 to 3 events > Basic Ribbon
- 4 to 5 events > Ribbon + single cluster
- 6 events > Ribbon + double clusters
- Rest of Phases with 5 Events
- 1 to 2 events > Basic Ribbon
- 3 to 4 events > Ribbon + single cluster
- 5 events > Ribbon + double clusters
- Rest of Phases with 4 Events
- 1 to 2 events > Basic Ribbon
- 3 events > Ribbon + single cluster
- 4 events > Ribbon + double clusters
- Phase 1 & 2
- Fading Light
- 1 chapter > Basic Ribbon
- 2 chapters > Ribbon + single cluster
- 3 chapters > Ribbon + double clusters
- GJW XI
- 1 to 5 events > Basic Ribbon
- 6 to 10 events > Ribbon + single cluster
- 11 events > Ribbon + double cluster
For more information check the Crusade Ribbons wiki page which will be updated in the coming days.
We're off to never never land
There’s a Form for that
There are two new forms you should consider using:
- Complaints - Allows you to send any issues to the Herald’s staff, which we can then process quickly. E-mails tend to disappear in various filters, folders, etc.
- Herald FAQ - Ask any questions you want through this form. Some of them may be introduced in an extensive FAQ on the Wiki, while others will be addressed in my reports.
Ask the Herald
Cable: Are there plans for any more 'Design your own...' competitions or something similar in the future?
Yes. Read the "Custom Robes" section. That is what Iw as talking about. However the comps themselves may take on a different form. We'll see.
Celevon: Is there a wiki page that explains the Crusade Ribbons? Such as what planet the particular ones are for, stars, etc?
Not yet as detailed as I want it, but here it is: Crusade Ribbons. I will add more detail in the coming days.
Celevon: "What is your policy regarding designs? To be more specific: how do you feel about regular members sending in designs and/or sketches for future lightsabers and robes for the DB as a whole?
By all means, go for it. if you think you have an interesting design for the next selector saber or robe, send it to me and I will consider it if I like it.
Andrelious: What does the Herald do RP-wise? Does he still do the job you do OOCly?
It is mentioned under Fictional Role on the Herald’s page, though it should be expanded further. Basically he is a diplomat and emissary for the Dark Council, constantly in communication with the Clans and the rest of the galaxy. I’m the guy you don’t wanna see carrying a lot of paperwork. :P
Esca: When can we see some uniform robes for those military types, especially with the non-force paths possibly showing up soon? :D
Hopefully very soon. I’m not sure what kind of robes you can expect at the moment because it all depends on the Paths, but I do believe the “Enlisted” path will have some.
Wrooshuu: Now that you have your orders from Sarin to revamp the main website, are we sticking with the planets and stars theme? Does this revamp include Clan Logos?
We’ll see about the theme. We’re still a long ways off from a final product on this front. To answer the second part of the question, no I don’t believe Clan logos will change.
Omega: Do you have a lil green hat, and how often do you expect to "Stop The Presses"
I do have a lil’ green hat. I use it on Patrick’s day often (mostly to not get pinched or whatever). I don’t expect I’ll “Stop the presses” for a while to come. Come August we start on the Website redesign and Possessions later on. much work to be done.
Teylas: Has any thought been put into the expansion of custom Herald-type stuff, specifically robes?
Check up there for robes. As for the rest, we’ll see. Right now nothing of the sort is being talked about, but you never know what the future brings. ;)
NeroInferni: With the incoming new Orders that are not force users are there going to be more non-force user friendly weapons selectable in the selector?
For those specific paths, probably yes. But now that Possessions is coming out fairly soon, i do believe you’ll be able to buy your own.
Uji: If you could name one specific attribute you want to bring to the Herald office, one leadership characteristic, personal touch, or way of design. What would it be?
Whether I bring anything positive into the office will have to be determined by the membership and their reactions to my work. However I do believe I bring with me a new style of graphics that has not existed in the DB so far. For so long we’ve had vector graphics dominating (which is only natural, since both Muz and Shikyo use them). Now it’s time for a more realistic approach.
Ood: What underwear are you wearing right now? Oh, and any ideas for new sabers?
Non-a’ yo business :P There are several ideas for new sabers. Some good, some bad, all just ideas so far.
Atty: Vyr, Firefly is getting a second season one day...right?
My first herald report has come and gone. Hope it was informative and useful for you guys. Use the forms available to you. Send us groovy ideas to work on and expect the unexpected. That is all.
See you Space Cowboys. ;)
Greetings! First off, I would like to thank a certain tree for his long service as Proconsul to Odan-Urr. He's been a fern to me for longer than I can remember, and I wish him well as he makes like a tree and leaves to fill Socorra's shoes...
First off, I would like to thank a certain tree for his long service as Proconsul to Odan-Urr. He's been a fern to me for longer than I can remember, and I wish him well as he makes like a tree and leaves to fill Socorra's shoes as Herald. He's remained rooted in Odan-Urr for a long time, so please throw in a tree joke when requesting your next lightsaber from the Herald office. Thanks for sticking around with us for so long, V'yr Vorsa.
Second, this means that the Proconsul position is vacant. We'll be taking in applications for two weeks, until the 27th of July; however, I will reserve the right to close applications ahead of schedule if the right person is found for the position. Previous experiences, fictional ideas, a basic knowledge of Odan-Urr and outstanding participation in Brotherhood competitions and events will all be taken into account. Keep in mind that I'll be looking for applications that go above and beyond expectations, so a monthly planner isn't something that I would recommend.
Those aspiring to be a Proconsul should be in this for the long haul. A consistent presence is required - both one the mailing list and IRC (Although we make use of Telegram for several Clan-related channels). Management and oversight of the Houses will be a core responsibility - this includes giving guidance to House-level or Battle Team Leaders when asked, as well as approaching those with concerns. Because of this, a Proconsul must be able to keep a level head at all times. The Proconsul will also aid in writing and releasing events and assist with grading where needed.
Wiki expertise, or knowledge of a different area will be a boon to applications, but not a requirement. While I don't expect applications as long as this, the link below is an example of what might look good for the application.
In closing, get to it, and make us sweat when it comes time to choose a Proconsul. We'll be looking forward to it!
All, Please join me in congratulating V'yr Vorsa to the Dark Council and the position of Herald. V'yr has provided a tremendous amount of work in the Herald Office and we all look forward to what is to come. Congrats V'yr!