Greetings all, I will be without internet over the next 5 days while I go canoe camping in Canada (beware, Panda!), and will be on leave for another 5 days afterwards, where I will have sporadic internet as I return to civilization and get back...
I will be without internet over the next 5 days while I go canoe camping in Canada (beware, Panda!), and will be on leave for another 5 days afterwards, where I will have sporadic internet as I return to civilization and get back into the swing of things. Upon my return I will work to address the most pressing issues immediately but don't hesitate to poke me in a couple of weeks if there is something I did not get to once I get back!
Obvious bit (at least to me) is obvious. I have been trying to build an odd little theme up in my reports. This was all meant to build up toward the 12th Great Jedi War. I tried to time out things so the ‘conclusion’ of this theme would occur on...
Obvious bit (at least to me) is obvious. I have been trying to build an odd little theme up in my reports. This was all meant to build up toward the 12th Great Jedi War. I tried to time out things so the ‘conclusion’ of this theme would occur on the eve of the Great Jedi War. Then word came down of a delay. This which has caused a slight shifting of gears for Clan Naga Sadow. I hope that you all have been having a wonderful July and that you have all took an opportunity to participate in the Phase 1 of Winds of Change, as well as gaming, writing fiction and just being your usual awesome selves.
There has been a bit of a quiet spot (outside of pre-GJW excitement, but even with the change of plans, our Summits have been talking and figuring out ways we can keep you busy while we wait to hear from the Dark Summit on a revised start date for the Great Jedi War. To this end, our own Kojiro Keibatsu is going to be running a three-week-long event for the Clan, and others including myself will be running other competitions in August, so stay tuned.I hope to see folks use the upcoming as an opportunity to shine, to fight hard, to play hard and to show the rest of the club how awesome you lot really can be.
I don’t think I can stress enough how much I am hoping to see the best come out in all of you.
Heh, given the wait for the War now, I guess you could say I am (still)….Holding Out for a Hero…?
The original you can of course find if you click here!
Now, I would normally I would like to have some form of fiction that I would have liked to have prepared leading into an event , but with recent developments I am going to forgo any sort of report fiction this time. I am sure that Sang and I will come up with something as we know more, however.
- Kojiro brought an update on the state of House Marka Ragnos
- Evelynn gave us a quick monthly update on House Shar Dakhan, following it with a notation of the requirements for members of the Disciples of Dakhan
- Lilith dropped a final report for Devil's Shroud before it got reformed into the Disciples of Dakhan
- Meanwhile, Darkhawk put up a report for the Night Hawks
- and of course our Consul gave his monthly report
- **almost forgot! Jurdan also posted an Aedile’s report this month for Shar Dakhan
- **speaking of Aedile-type folks, Marcus Kiriyu is now the Aedile in House Marka Ragnos. Woot!
The Brotherhood At Large
Pravus Posted the 49th Grand Master Report
The Fist’s Office Has Released Another Report
- Centre97 has been promoted to Proselyte
- Sanguinius Tsucyra Entar reaches rank XI: High Inquisitor in the Inquisitorius
- Mactire has reached Rank V in the Grand Master’s Royal Guard
- Darkhawk has achieved Rank VIII in the Inquisitorius
- Bentre recieved a Dark Side Scroll
- Erik Cato has achieved Rank III in the Inquisitorius
- Erik Cato also managed to achieve Knighthood
- Lilith Alema’rha Versea-Stormwind earned a Scroll of hte Master
- Darkhawk was awarded an Anteian Cross for his contributions to the Clan
- Kojiro Keibatsu has achieved Rank VII in the Inquisitorius
- Druda was promoted to Recruit
- Aul Earned his Dark Maven in Writing
- Aul Celsus earned his Dark Savant in Tactics
- Aul Celsus has earned rank VII in the Shadow Academy
- A Clan event, hosted by House Marka Ragnos. Details will be coming very soon soon.
- There is a Great Jedi War on the horizon, delayed but coming at a date to be announced.
So with the near-close of another month, so closes my report. As we approach the end of summer, I hope that you all are still finding both fun and purpose in what you do. The call of summer is much like the call of school, they draw us all away to that mystical place known as real life, but I hope that you all find some time to get away from it all. We are hoping to help guide the Clan forward into exciting times. I hope that you will all continue to be a part of that future vision. If you want to have a greater part in helping events and things to come to bear, you can always contact your respective Summits or even Sang or myself. If you ever have an idea you can always send me an email at sithferus (at) gmail (dot) com. Or you can even contact me there if you just have anything from a simple question to a suggestion or whatever you like really.
Stay awesome, Naga Sadow.
In Darkness, In Service, in Sadow,
Proconsul of Clan Naga Sadow
Greetings Taldryan, As the world turns, so do Alaris reports… or something. Many Happy Returns In the last two weeks, we have seen FIVE people transfer to Taldryan! Please join me in welcoming Destavol, Bobecc, Rathus, Armags and Sirrus into the...
As the world turns, so do Alaris reports… or something.
Many Happy Returns
In the last two weeks, we have seen FIVE people transfer to Taldryan! Please join me in welcoming Destavol, Bobecc, Rathus, Armags and Sirrus into the Taldryan fold, either for the first time or once more. We’re happy to have you back!
The Great Jedi War may have been postponed (though still within smelling distance), so I’m advising all of you to keep that focus up. There are a few things coming your way in the nearest of futures to keep you busy in the meantime. When it comes to activity, I’m not looking for a Jabrill Peppers. Do what you love doing! Even if you just grab a couple flash games and puzzle type competitions, it’s still contributing to the event!
From the ACC Front
I also wanted to take a moment to congratulate those of you who competed in Winds of Change. I’ve seen a few really great stats from the ACC, and I’m sure I’ll be corrected if I’m wrong, but I believe we have only had two timeouts from Taldryan! Considering what our participation ratio has been in Winds of Change, you have a whole lot to be proud of. We’ll find out who our Clan Champion will be as soon as the rest of it wraps up, but congratulations!
This has encouraged me to continue to test Taldryan’s ACC strength. Perhaps some kind of Taldryan specific ACC event (/endhintsaboutpostgjwstuff)
Alaris’s Taldryanite of the Month
This month, I’m giving it to Kaz!
Kaz has been one of our most active members on Telegram and has been working hard to hype up Taldryan once again. He’s also passed 15 (edit: 19. He’s competed four more since I’ve started writing this report) Shadow Academy courses and earned two Mavens (edit: three Mavens and a Savant) in the interim, and that’s all since Tuesday. I’m looking forward to some more amazing activity from this badass!
Reports from the Brotherhood
The Grand Master gave his biannual report to the Star Chamber and there will be a delay before the Great Jedi War. Alaris note: This is a really good read, and if you haven’t read it yet, go do so. There is a lot of important information in it.
The Praetor to the Headmaster took over for Farrin this report and gave us info on current projects the SA Staff is undertaking. Alaris note: Firstly, congrats to Laren on also being named Aedile of Karness Murr. B of all, this report also features Sang and Kelly, and you get to learn a little about them. It’s a pretty juicy report.
We have a Supplemental Fist Report wherein Drac Magic gives us some new comps and some important Telegram rules.
- Rian asks: If you would roll an NFU character, what would he/she be like?
When I played in forum based Star TREK clubs, I used to love being the helmsman, and indeed, playing any other sims, I always play helm. There's something really amazing about playing as a pilot.
From a personality standpoint, he/she would likely be pretty introverted, but never shy away from raising their opinion when they feel strongly about it. This would make them appear pretty standoffish, but they care a lot about those brave enough to get close to them.
Not sure about alignment, but playing a lighty after 10 years (holy cow) of playing Alaris, who is evil as heck, could be refreshing.
- Vodo asks: If you were a kitchen appliance, which one would you be?
A coffee maker. I don't think I could operate at all without coffee. I'm already cranky, and I'm much more so pre-caffeine.
Edit: After a continued discussion of the values of french press and pour overs, I changed my response to “a kettle.”
- Wally asks: Why do you write like you’re running out time?
- Kaz asks: Cybernetic lekku, y/n?
This is a great question that I've been mulling for some time. I'm going to say "Yes, but" on this one.
Yes, but the dismemberment would have to be halfway up the lekku for it not to cause any neurological damage. A Twi'lek would probably want a cybernetic for balance purposes and communication purposes. So, a soft yes. We'll wanna double check with the Voice staff, though.
- Kaz asks: Should I apologize for SA spam?
Never. Not ever.
- Kooki asks: Are you nuts?
(edit: and PeCans)
Tea Time with Alaris
I’m actually drinking a cappuccino right now, but whatever.
It’s moving time for Alaris. I’ve spent the last week packing and I’ll spend the next week packing and moving. The plan WAS to rent an SUV from Enterprise, drive it to my new city, and drop it off there. This normally comes with a fee of $150ish, which, at the end of the day, is STILL cheaper than renting from, say, UHaul.
Well, Enterprise Toronto is about to buy a bunch of 2018 cars come September, which is awesome, but in order to make room for this new fleet, they had to sell off a bunch of their current cars, which is making their current Toronto fleet rather sparse. Because of this, they will no longer allow you to take a car out of their jurisdiction without returning it to Toronto.
This means, I have to rent the SUV, drive to Sarnia (3 hours), unload my junk into my new place, drive back to Toronto (another 3 friggen hours), return the SUV, THEN hitch a ride with a friend who has a smaller car back to Sarnia.
It’ll cost me less money but it means I have 9 hours of highway travel coming up over the next week. This is part of the reason I never became a truck driver. I’ll never know how Brimstone does it.
- Welcome Home!
- Taldryan is doing amazing ACC work!
- Kaz is awesome!
- Why does Enterprise have to restock its fleet right nooooow?!
I have the honour to be your obedient servant,
A (dot) Jinn.
Update All- As stated in the recent GM Report, the Twelfth Great Jedi War has been delayed. I can assure you, it was delayed for the right reasons, and the DC is working incredibly hard to bring you all the event you deserve. Because of the delay,...
As stated in the recent GM Report, the Twelfth Great Jedi War has been delayed. I can assure you, it was delayed for the right reasons, and the DC is working incredibly hard to bring you all the event you deserve.
Because of the delay, August is open season for competitions again. The Fist office has two events that are available on the site now, and more will come as the month goes on. I’ll highlight those and some rules for the DB Gaming telegram chat room below.
Two New Competitions
[FIST] Diablo 3 Season 11 will run for the duration of Season 11. This competition will be a little different than what we have done in the past. Instead of cluster grinding and rift pushing with one toon, you will have different weekly challenges that allow you to showcase your skills in playing different characters. I’m not going to tell you what the weekly challenges will be, or how they will be built. It’s up to you to subscribe and find out on your own!
This competition will have an overall winner based off the following points scheme:
- Particpation: 1 Point
- First Place: 10 Points
- Second Place: 8 Points
- Third Place: 6 Points
Each weekly competition will award second level crescents (upgradeable if participation warrants it) and the container will award first level crescents to the big winners!
I hope you all enjoy this one!
[FIST] Flash Gaming Bracket: August Flash Gaming is a pod racing bracket! Subscribe to the competition and then pit your racing skills against other members of the DJB playing Star Wars: Racer Rush. Check the competition details for the rules and explanation of the bracket.
Rules for DB Gaming Telegram Chat
As many of you saw the other day, I have instituted a ban on stickers and gifs in DB Gaming. I have toyed with this decision for a while, and am fully aware that I also am guilty of posting a gif or sticker every now and then. The point of this is not to single anyone out, nor is it because I’m just mean and don’t like to have fun. I did this for a few reasons:
DB Gaming is still required for Vendettas and GJWs. Yes, I know you can queue for the bot without being in DB Gaming. For casual events, I am absolutely fine with people not being in the room. But for large-scale events, I want gamers to be able to easily put out requests for matches for whatever platform they are trying to play on. A simple “anyone for x platform” will suffice as issuance of a challenge. I have no intention of changing this rule.
This is the key forum for members to ask questions of myself, my staff, and the gaming community. Sifting through witty stickers and memes (even the dankest of memes) makes it extremely difficult for us to keep track of what is going on.
In all honesty, the high level of gif/sticker utilization is becoming disruptive. Replying to a comment with a sticker or gif isn’t helpful.
What will is and will remain acceptable is posting of links associated with gaming. Sales, information on upcoming games, how to guides for a mission or event you or others are struggling with are all allowed. Try to not post a bunch in a row, though!
I ask that you all adhere to this restriction. For now, I’m going to use the big boy/girl rule. You know the policy, so just don’t do it. In the event that someone violates this policy, the following actions will be taken:
First offense: Deletion of sticker/gif/media post. You’ll know when it happens.
Second offense: Draconian moderation of your posting ability. In simple terms: I will take away your ability to post anything other than text messages.
Third offense: This will only come up if a member decides to become disruptive once they have had their ability to post moderated. If that happens, I’ll institute a 24-hour ban from DB Gaming. This action will become progressively longer should the member continue to be disruptive after being allowed back into the room.
I appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through the details for the GJW. I’m particularly excited about the gaming events that are in the works. I think you’ll all be very pleased.
See you all in August for the next FIST report!
Victory-II Star Destroyer Paladin, Main Hangar "Not a prisoner," that vexatious voice cut in, sounding almost bored. "A guest." "A guest, then," Laren replied curtly with a nod toward the cloaked figure. "You...
Victory-II Star Destroyer Paladin, Main Hangar
"Not a prisoner," that vexatious voice cut in, sounding almost bored. "A guest."
"A guest, then," Laren replied curtly with a nod toward the cloaked figure. "You take me as your guest, and for what? I'm flattered that I'm considered important enough by one with the power of a Star Destroyer in their possession, but frankly -"
His voice cut off again. There was a tightness around his throat that made it difficult to breathe. He reached up, attempting to loosen the collar of his dark shirt, but he found it was already loose. It was as if the air itself was suffocating him, tying invisible threads tighter and tighter around his slender neck. He sank to his knees, spots beginning to appear in his eyes. He could faintly see polished boots striding forward toward him, the dark brown cloaked figure stopping inches from where Laren suffered helplessly. Frantic golden eyes looked up, and they bulged. A gnarled, tree-like hand was out-stretched, fixed on Laren, and he could see the faint shape of an eyeless face contorted into what could be a grin of pleasure. It seemed he had walked straight into the clutches of a Sith.
"Release - me," Laren struggled hoarsely. His vision was beginning to fade, and he knew his face must have been flushed dark blue with effort to continue breathing.
What felt like an eon later, the pressure around his throat disappeared. Desperately he drew a powerful breath, though he quickly regretted the act. His chest heaved and swayed as he coughed, his body filled with the sweet bliss of air once more. He turned his eyes toward the gnarled tree-like man - it was a man, considering its deeper tone, he decided - and his gaze burned with fury. He did not like being taken by surprise, let alone by one who could wield the Force. Feeling helpless to anyone made memories of his enslavement, so carefully shoved into the distant corners of his mind, bubble to the surface with his rage.
"Have I come to be tortured," Laren said after a time, rising to his feet. "Have you brought me here to satisfy some debt?"
"Nothing so petty," his tree-like captor replied. "No, you're here to be tested."
You can find the ongoing Shadow Academy Run On here. If you like what you're reading, you catch some typos or other mistakes, or both, feel free to contact me over Telegram or by e-mail (see dossier for e-mail).
Now some of you might be asking yourself, “Wait a minute, where’s the real Headmaster? Like all of us do from time to time, he’s off enjoying himself on a fantastic cruise somewhere until sometime. Until that sometime elapses completely, I have all of the power. And all I’ve really done with that power is force Ood to take less naps, send Kelly away on errands with a bad mood, and leave Bentre a massive pile of paperwork that had to be done two months ago. And burn the office down. Notionally.
In all seriousness, however, this report is (as usual) going to cover a few bits and pieces. First off the mark I’ll actually be handing this report over to two staff members, Kelly Mendes and Sang Entar. Before Farrin left, he agreed that it might be kind of a neat’o idea to highlight a small portion of our wonderful staff, and have them talk about their experiences with the Shadow Academy. Following that, this report will cover our ongoing projects, some exam numbers, as well as the #AskthePHM portion, which turned out to be quite interesting this go around.
Without further adieu, let’s get started.
SA Staff Highlight
- Kelly Mendes, Magistrate to the Headmaster
Hey all, for those who don't know me, first that's a lot of rocks to be living under and secondly well I'll tell you just a bit (can't have a bunch of strangers knowing everything about my life.). I've been around a little over 3 years, all spent in Plagueis. #darksyde4lyfe I've been known to dabble in everything, though my passion for the club first expressed itself in the venerable halls of the Shadow Academy (overseen by Dacien at the time I believe). Now this is still a passion of mine, though I really need to do more of it (will have to make sure that's allowed).
Anyways, I've been trying to get a SA staff position for a while now, this being my third or fourth attempt. It just goes to show that if you bother someone long enough they'll give in. In all seriousness, persistence pays off. Before the move up to Magistrate I was the professor of the Leadership blah and blah department. It was fun and a promotion from just handling Leadership Competitions, which was part of my role as M:MAA that I carried on since nobody was put in place to replace me.
Now, jobs in the SA, there's a good many of them that exist. Most of them are Professor roles, where you'll be responsible for grading certain exams. Some courses still have Docents too, which are a junior version of professors and a more manageable workload than a whole department at once. Be on the lookout for these when they come up. If you want a promotion, shiny, or just to give back to the community, PROF and DOC roles are great ways to get your foot in the door. Of course, the current Praetor and my murder buddy Laren didn't start off with a lower role. He went straight in and claimed his place as Farrin's second. (though we know Ood is always first in his heart) This is also a possibility and by no means am I suggesting anyone wait forever until Sang's graded a billion exams and calls it a day. If you're interested in a job and one comes up, go for it.
Seeing interest in what the SA does motivates us to be the best staff we can be, keep courses up to date, (the error form is also quite useful) listen to suggestions for courses (Laren handles that but it's something we as a staff like to see.). The goal of the Shadow Academy is to expand members' knowledge and for some courses skill sets. We want to make the best members we can and I think the SA does a damn good job of it. Now, Laren asked me for a paragraph or two, this should be enough and sorry for the wall.
- Sang Entar, Professor, Department of Lore
Hi, I'm Sang.
I've been in the club for going on 8 and a half years now. During that time, I've been involved with the Shadow Academy in one way or another as a Docent or Professor for 7 and a half years! I started off as a Docent marking Clan Arcona's History exam and from there somehow managed to blag my way into becoming one of the longest running SA staff members outside of Ood, my beloved Belgian manservant.
I've gone through several different Headmasters; Taigikori, Ronovi, Solari, Dacien & Farrin, Each one of them brought something different to the table, a way that bettered the Shadow Academy and made it a more fun and useful experience for our members, new & old.
I've marked 1162 courses during my time as a staff member, ranking just behind Ood and dbbot (who has THOUSANDS!!!!) and I've loved every minute of it. When I see an exam from someone who has truly put time and effort in and given me a fantastic answer, it makes my day a little brighter.
If you're wanting to get some cool stuff for your dossier from the SA society, or you are a Journeyman grinding to Knighthood or an Equite earning your Mavens, your exams often light up my day. Keep up the good work, guys and girls!
Just like Farrin did in his last report, there will be a double reminder about the Google Form we use to track troubleshooting. E-mails or direct communication on Telegram is great, but submitting to this form (it’s quick I assure you) allows us to track all issues with the Shadow Academy, and have them all co-located in one spot. This form will also be linked at the end of the report, in case you didn’t read all the way through. :)
Ask the (P)HM!
“Ask” portions are always a blast, and this time around was no different. We had a good variety of questions from loads of folks. Take a gander below and see what people have asked the P:HM.
Let’s begin with our featured question, by none other than the former (and super amazing) Praetor to the Headmaster, Marcus himself!
- #AskThePHM what is the most exciting thing you have in store for us in the near future?
God I really like this question. Besides our on-going project (which isn’t all too exciting) making some upgrades and changes to the Leadership courses, not much in the ‘near’ future. But I suppose it depends on what you consider the near future. If we can consider the ‘near’ future to be within the next six months, lots.
As some may know, and others may not, the Shadow Academy works heavily across departments. In fact, some departments write their own courses, providing us with quality, completed material that simply needs to be implemented on the site. As of now some of these projects have slowed for the upcoming Great Jedi War, but they are by no means in the dust.
One of my first projects as Praetor was to work with the Fist and create a new Advanced Warfare course. My hope is in the future to continue a revamp of our available warfare courses, with the Fist’s cooperation and approval. I would love to see our current selection of warfare courses updated to reflect Star Wars canon, and perhaps to expand the department with another new course or two about warfare in the Star Wars universe.
Other departments, such as the Voice and Herald, also have concepts and courses in mind. In the near future, expect Wally and his crew to work with us to release another updated writing course or so. And let’s not forget Atra’s beta testing with the writing workshops, as well.
Speaking of workshops and interactive learning… no. You know what, I’m going to stop there and leave you all thinking. Let’s just say it’s an upcoming proposal, and you’ll hear more once action has been taken.
Terran Koul asks:
- #AskThePHM What did you do to piss off Farrin?
Might leave his office a little messy upon his return. Besides that... perhaps a few too many eager messages over Telegram. I think I’m at a five or six-to-one message ratio. I swear I’m not annoying, okay?
Kojiro Keibatsu asks:
- #askthePHM will the leadership and communication savant be updated anytime in the near future. Last update was waiting on a new CoJ course.
The CoJ courses themselves are an ongoing project and the purview of our friends in that department. The current goal now is broad: we're attempting to overhaul the existing leadership courses where possible. In short, it's in the pipes, but no action has yet been taken. Yet. :) Please stay tuned.
Marcus also asks:
- #AskthePHM Lotus or inquisitors?
Both? Neither? Perhaps I’m just Plagueis #darksyde4lyfe #selikafanclub #abadeertooiguess . In all seriousness, however, Laren currently doesn’t openly align with either party, preferring his loyalties to be in the hands of powerful individuals rather than larger organizations. It’s easier to serve a master with one head, rather than numerous.
- #AskthePHM Will we ever see courses that rely on material outside of the notes getting more readable materials? There's at least one course that uses a hard to read document.
Oh yes. Here’s a prime example of a fantastic non-notes oriented course right here, and the notes found here. The magnificent Wally himself just hammered out this fantastic course. There are other examples of non-notes courses as well that are easy to read and super informative, though I would hope you folks will take the time to explore the Shadow Academy, do some courses, and find out which for yourself.
And regarding that one example, I think you’re referring to Alchemy? I know I found it difficult to read, though I appreciate all the work that went into creating the document.
Dek Ironius II asks:
- #AskthePHM Does the Shadow Academy have any events or involvement in the GJW at all?
Perhaps. :) Stay tuned for more.
Maximus Alvinius asks:
- #AskthePHM I am horrible with acronyms, what does PHM stand for?
Phat Headmaster. Or in reality, Praetor to the Headmaster.
Qor Palpatine asks:
- #AskthePHM How's the history courses? You better not have ruined them -.-
I like to think they’re excellent! The entire team worked super hard on getting these courses done. Besides the Advanced Warfare course, the history courses were my first ‘big’ project coming into the Praetor’s chair. And as I said in the chat, without Marcus’s and Lexiconus’s work that they left for us, none of this would have been possible so quickly or efficiently. And to that, I tip my hat to you folks, as well as to the awesome Magistrates who helped the SA Staff make these courses a reality: Celevon and Bentre. For more information, check out this report for more information.
Marcus finally asks:
- #AskThePHM You get to give yourself any title you desire, including Supreme Purple diktat of snazzyness. Which do you choose?
Well after using the assistance of a medieval name generator, this is what I got: Phillipos Flambard Al’Rheanion, Lord of the Supreme Purple Diktat of Snazzyness, First Lord of House Plumbuss, Defender of the Gumdrop Fairies and Shield of the Unicorns.
Does that work?
Thanks for all the questions, folks!
Shadow Academy Staff are currently engaged in the following projects:
Core Leadership Courses Audit - Laren, Kelly, Bentre: Farrin has tasked the staff proper to give the Leadership courses an overhaul. With the exception of Report Writing, which was completed by the ever-amazing super worker known as Wally, we intend to keep the current courses and department structure. The audit has us examining the finer details, everything from the current course notes to question. Estimated completion: end of 7/2017
DJB History I & II Update/Rewrite - Alishu: Alishu has completed first drafts of both courses and they've been sent to the DC for approval. The DC has a lot on its plate right now, but I think we'll see some movement on this soon to get these courses released for all to enjoy. Estimated completion: TBD
Operation Remodel - SA Staff: In an effort to streamline the organization of the Shadow Academy and make it easier to initially get to information and then to find similar information, the SA will see a fairly extensive reorganization. The first phase of this is done, and the graphical elements will begin shortly. Estimated completion: end of 8/2017
Operation Remodel (Degrees) - SA Staff: The reorganization, as well as the addition/removal of various courses, has left some of our degrees a bit outdated. With the release of the new History courses, we’ve asked James to rework the History and Legends degrees as outlined above in my report. The Leadership and Law degrees are still being sorted, and I don’t have a timetable for their completion. Estimated completion: TBD
- There are a couple of things in the earliest planning stages, but aren’t quite ready for prime time. Stay tuned for more.
Top Exam Takers
|Name||# of Exams||# of ACs|
|Professional TuQ'uan Varick||31||85|
|Augur Atra Ventus||21||27|
|Neophyte Casey Denimore||19||6|
|Warden Celevon Edraven Erinos||17||40|
|Proselyte Angel Snow||15||4|
Note: these numbers cover the period from 6/15/17 to 7/19/17 and count both initial attempts and retakes.
While Farrin looks something like this on board an awesome cruise ship:
We the Staff continue to serve. Grading times have been excellent, and exam takers have been fairly diligent. Keep up the good work on that front.
The Shadow Academy is an amazing resource, created and administrated by some imperfect human beings who strive for perfection. We try our best to catch and fix any and all errors before we release courses, but we're not always successful. Because of that, we will always need your help. If you spot an error, please report it to the SA Staff using this simple form; if it's a major enough error, or you spot enough, you'll be rewarded. With cookies. And an SA team thankful for pointing it out. And a Headmaster thankful to scold his staff. I kid, he gives us cookies, too.
In Darkness -
Praetor to the Headmaster of the Shadow Academy
Just a few updates to get out of the way, but first War Game results! Wargaming Results The Wargaming event is complete, and it was a nice little event that drew out some excellent competition. We saw a number of people placing across the various...
Just a few updates to get out of the way, but first War Game results!
The Wargaming event is complete, and it was a nice little event that drew out some excellent competition. We saw a number of people placing across the various events, with no one member absolutely dominating across the board.
Week One Events
|•||Puzzle||•||Flash Gaming||•||Word Search||•||Gaming||•||Fiction|
|1. Oric Ral||1. Ronovi Tavisaen||1. Silent||1. Kelly Mendes||1. Ronovi Tavisaen|
|2. Azmodius||2. Oric Ral||2. Teylas Ramar||2. Azmodius||2. Tra'an Reith|
|3. Vanessa Rhode||3. Obsidian||3. Furios Morega||3. Teylas Ramar||3. TuQ'uan Varick|
Week Two Events
|•||Gaming||•||Jedi Hunt||•||Flash Gaming||•||Graphics||•||Fiction|
|1. Kelly Mendes||1. Tra'an Reith||1. Silent||1. Furios Morega||1. Ronovi Tavisaen|
|2. Teylas Ramar||2. Kelly Mendes||2. Taranae Rhode||2. Azmodius||2. TuQ'uan Varick|
|3. Silent||3. Ronovi Tavisaen||3. Azmodius||3. SIlent||3. Kelly Mendes|
We saw a good number of entries, especially given that we only had five events each week (unlike our normal 7-8 events). Congrats go out to Kelly, Furios, and Azmodius on their hard fought victory, especially with that one point allowing Furios to edge out his competitor and claim second place. A decent number of participants and a good number of entries, especially for a low key event that was running during the ACC portion of the Great Jedi War prelims. Which is a nice way to segway to my next point...
Great Jedi War Delay
For those that haven't read it yet, I'd highly recommend giving Pravus's recent report a read. Amongst many other salient points and plans, the news has reached us that the Great Jedi War originally scheduled to kick off in less than two weeks has been delayed. Pravus and his Dark Council have decided to delay and present the Brotherhood with a product that is everything it can be, as opposed to a sub par product now. In the interim, however, we'll be looking for something else to keep us busy of course. It is likely that we will be exploring competitive options with other Clans, or running another large scale event internally. So, keep your eyes open for further updates, same Sith time, same Sith channel!
Malice, Aedile of House Karness Muur, recently let me know that she was going to be stepping down due to real life time and availability constraints. As always around here, real life comes first! As such, I've decided to move an old face into the vacant position, everyone's favorite Mercenary, Laren Uscot. Additionally, in my quest to
brainwash welcome new members to the summit, I've asked TuQ'uan Varick to take over for Laren as Battleteam Leader of The Circle. As you should see from how many times his name pops up in the results for the War Game event, TuQ'uan is one of the bright, ascending stars of our Clan. Everyone give him a hearty welcome to his new job!
Greetings Everyone, I will be running a G Hang tonight with a first come/first serve basis. If you have any questions or just want to Bs, please feel feee to hop on. Tentative time: 7-9 Eastern. I'll plan on running a few more this week too.
Covenant: Section 3.04 (b) Grand Master's Semi-Annual Report The Star Chamber will work with the sitting Grand Master to ensure that there is a workable long-term plan for the Brotherhood. On at least a semi-annual basis, the sitting Grand...
Covenant: Section 3.04 (b) Grand Master's Semi-Annual Report
The Star Chamber will work with the sitting Grand Master to ensure that there is a workable long-term plan for the Brotherhood. On at least a semi-annual basis, the sitting Grand Master of the Brotherhood must send a report to the Star Chamber detailing the following:
(i) the current state of affairs, including details of positions assignments and training of leaders;
(ii) the short and long-term plans for the Brotherhood;
(iii) relevant membership metrics indicating the health of the Brotherhood; and
(iv) any hardships or problems in the foreseeable future.
Members of the Star Chamber and Members of the Dark Brotherhood, welcome to my #49th report as Grand Master of the Dark Brotherhood. This special report will fulfill both my semi-annual obligation to the Star Chamber as well as provide an update to all of members on the upcoming future of the Dark Brotherhood. I decided to combine my report to the Star Chamber with a regular report in order to maintain a high level of transparency and ensure that everyone in this club, from the Grand Masters to our newest members have the same information on the health of our club as well as my plans for the remaining time I will serve as Grand Master.
In March of 2018, I will meet the three year term limit imposed on Grand Masters. At that time, I will nominate Prophet Telaris "Mav" Cantor as my replacement. Mav and I have worked in a highly collaborative relationship over the past three years and that will continue on all of the projects identified in this report. My goal is to ensure that we do not start a project that does not have Mav's support and therefore will not continue throughout his reign as GM. It would be silly for me to create new changes only to have Mav overturn in them in the future. We will work to ensure that does not happen.
This report will include a large volume of information and will be broken down in the following format:
- The Current State of the Dark Brotherhood: The Dark Council
- The Current State of the Dark Brotherhood Membership
- Short and Long Term Plans: A focus on the next eight months
- The Great Jedi War: A Decision to Delay
- Ask the GM: Great Questions from the Members
- Final Thoughts: Including Future Concerns
The Current State of the Dark Brotherhood: The Dark Counciil
The Dark Jedi Brotherhood continues to evolve as a system of integrated systems designed to off our members a high level of activity and content. These systems are driven by a Dark Council that operates under the simple vision to improve our member's experiences. Our current Dark Council is a diverse group of talented individuals who have been empowered to make decisions, take risk, and make rapid changes to any systems within their area of expertise.
The present Dark Council is composed of five first time members and five members with past DC experience. We have a combined 235 months of current DC experience and an average of 23 months in our positions. This ranges from Howie with just six months of current experience as the MAA to James with 62 months of consecutive time as the SCL. Our ranks include members from different continents, multiple countries, and has an educational and professional background that includes tax lawyers, academics, government servants, three technology based professionals, a student, a teacher, and two Officers in the United States Army.
The Dark Council currently operates under a construct that allows for us to surge on projects in cross functional teams. It is not out of the ordinary to have the Fist ask to work on MAA projects or to see the Herald working with the Voice on fictional updates. Due to the manner of our systems and processes requiring integration, the Regent is a jack of all trades working with nearly every member of the DC on the possessions system.
I am extremely comfortable and confident with our current Dark Council and believe they are the right leaders to continue moving the Dark Brotherhood forward. I am also confident that this Dark Council has the potential to fill any positions that could become vacant in the near future. I assess that we have no less than 3 current DC members who could serve as the Grand Master and I would be confident to place most of the Elders into the position of Deputy Grand Master. Likewise, I also believe that we have a key demographic of Consuls and Clan membership who possess the leadership traits and understanding of team work to move to the any vacant Dark Council positions. This includes the position of Justicar which could be filled immediately in the event Jac died in a buffalo stampede.
The Current State of the Dark Brotherhood: The Membership
The membership of the Dark Brotherhood has remained relatively consistent in the 2014 to 2017 era of automatic AWOL. In those years we had a peak membership of 450 in 2016 with a low membership of 296 in 2014. The automatic AWOL era has an average of 369 active members with our present number of 373 just over that. I have also placed the pre-automatic AWOL era of 2013 on the spreadsheet to give a little context to the roster sizes from the days when some Clans would simply leave APPs on the roster for over a year without activity. It is hard to measure numbers from 2013 and prior without looking at detailed participation metrics in order to make some sort of determination on just how many members were active.
These automatic awol era numbers have remained relatively stable and should give pause to all of us when making value judgments on the Dark Brotherhood's health. Our club has always had membership and activity swings that have mirrored major Star Wars events (the 2016 numbers are after EPVII and right before Rogue 1) and I do not see those trends changing in the future.
I am satisfied with our current membership numbers, but I will also detail a series of initiatives in the upcoming months designed to look at how we self organize (Clans, Houses, Teams), how we award recruitment, and how we continue to develop immersive content that can attract old members and future members to the club. The latest Newsletter for the Rogues just went out to 470 of our Rogue brethren and will hopefully bring some of them back for the GJW and/or to check out all the new stuff. For those curious to what we sent out, a HTML version can be found at Rogue Newsletter. Our goal is to bring back members to participate in the Great Jedi War and to engage them for a consistent activity in the club.
Short and Long Term Plans: A focus on the next eight months
The Dark Jedi Brotherhood must continue to evolve as an online club in order to attract new members, keep our current members, and give us all something to do for fun. The following collective plan is the brainchild of our Dark Council with additional tasks that I have directed.
1) Something New: The Dark Brotherhood has used the same method for story telling dating back to 2008. We create an enemy for a Rite of Supremacy or Great Jedi War, we write stories to explain why that enemy is a threat, and we build competitions on defeating them during the RoS or GJW. We have used this "Vendetta" cycle without creating an immersive environment for our members to actually care about our stories. Who are these enemies? Why do we care about them? Why would a JA FFA player care about a 25 page story? Why do we do more research on an ACC match than we do on a Vendetta fiction?
I have decided to stop using this cycle have tasked the Dark Council with developing a Dark Brotherhood enemy that uses our systems. The DC will begin working on a "enemy" that utilizes "like" systems to existing DB Clans. In other words, you can expect an enemy to have a credit account, possessions, character sheets, order-like backgrounds, and nearly every other aspect that our existing Clans have. This "enemy" will also persist for a period that extends beyond a single Vendetta.
James, Mav, and Evant have all allowed me to sell them on this idea and for the most part it is feasible to create in a relatively short amount of time. Which is rather important and highlighted in the GJW section below.
2) Increased Recruitment Awards: The Dark Brotherhood's current members have the opportunity to be our best recruiters. I have tasked Evant, James, and Mav with developing an increased incentive program for recruiting new members to the Dark Brotherhood. This program will use the existing Trophies System, Possessions, and Awards as an incentive to recruit your real life friends. Evant has submitted an initial proposal that will reward our members when their recruits meet certain rank gates in their DJB career. These gates will consist of multiple ranks and will rewards credits and unique possessions only obtainable through recruitment.
3) Graphics Society: Vyr has discussed this in the past and it is a project that we intend to see go live in the next eight months. The Graphics Society will introduce a criminal element into the DJB and will be integrated with many of our other systems. This continues our trend of developing societies to award activities our members already do, encourage them to do more of that activity, and provide our artists with additional room to progress in the Dark Brotherhood. An incredible amount of work has already been accomplished on the society to include testing of ranks/activities/awards and Cluster balancing.
4) An XP Based Promotion System: If the Dark Brotherhood is truly an integrated system of systems it should provide our members with a promotion system that appears to be less subjective and a lot more objective than current promotion rules appear. Don't get me wrong, Howie has done a fantastic job as the MAA and his adherence to policies has made our award and promotion systems operate at nearly unheard levels of smoothness. This is probably the first time in my 4+ years of combined GM time that I have not seen a complaint about a promotion in a 3 month window. However, we have toyed around with an XP system for promotions for a long time, it provides an additional layer of immersion, and the proposed point system will take away some of the mystery from our members. Howie and Mav will have the lead on this moving forward and you should expect to hear more from them in the next several months.
5) Arx: Wally and his team have worked very hard on putting together our new capital planet. This was a painstaking process for several members of the team due to my revisions and constant desire to have things look like Colorado Springs. The Wiki Article for the planet is on standby and we should see it launched over the next seven days. Wally and Vyr will launch a series of Graphics Competitions to help fill the article in with visual depictions of some of our new key locations and structures.
6) Sacred Cow Review: The Dark Brotherhood has operated under the same command structure two decades. We have Clans, Houses, Teams, and a set of leadership positions to usher those units along. This command structure has worked well for us over the years, but I will direct the Dark Council to review these structures to help determine if they are the right organizations for DB 2017. Organizational structure, team studies, and a host of other relevant literature may point us in direction that could see the DJB alter it's units. This same review will continue to look at short term evaluations of current positions within Clans. Don't worry, I intend on eliciting feedback from our members during these processes.
Great Jedi War: A Decision to Delay
The Dark Council has done an outstanding job putting together competitions, a set of rules, and a story for the planned August Great Jedi War. Wally, in particular, has written a story that provides a conclusion to the past two years of our Darth Pravus hunting down aliens and Jedi across the galaxy.
Unfortunately, it is not the Great Jedi War I want to deliver to the DJB. This is my fault. I painted Wally into a corner in our DJB plot by artificially using the story to explain OOC events. The plot explained our OOC decision to remove certain alien species from the club in order to stay in line with Disney Canon. The plot explained our OOC decision to conduct another fleet reset. These events resulted in a story that I have have lost faith in. This is also my fault.
As mentioned in point 1 in the above list of projects, I have asked the DC to begin working on a more immersive vision of what a DJB war could look like using our website. Why in would I make a PPT battle plan rules page when our members could simply go to the enemies possessions page? Why would I make a dozen word document profiles of the enemy when I could just make a character sheet? These are something that I want to deliver upon.
So now what? The DC is going to do some work, Wally is going to release a series of plot updates and host some fiction competitions to give everyone closure, and then we are going to progress to something a little different. Who that is, or what that is, has to be a Dungeon Master secret for now.
I know this decision is going to upset some people and I apologize for that. Our Clan leaders altered some of their own internal schedules to make a August GJW work for their members and it is unfortunate that I have decided to delay again. However, I truly believe this is the best decision for the DB. A good GJW is not good enough.
Once we understand the requirements (data input, coding, graphics) behind what I have asked the DC to design, I will release an updated time table. The intent....although no promises, is to get this thing done as soon as possible.
Ask the GM
1) Vic Asks: Have you considered whether the number of Clans needs adjusted? Answer: Yes. I am not opposed to closing any Clan if they show an inability to keep their current and prospective members engaged. Mav and I keep a pretty close eye on the pulse of each of the Clans and will stealth-mode inquire when we believe things are off course. However; I will not close a Clan without putting them on probation first and allowing them an opportunity to rally. Tarentum is a fine example of why we should give Clans a chance to rebound.
2) Turel Asks: How do you feel about Consul Term limits? Answer: I don't see a need for Consul term limits. It is my job to monitor the activity of our Consuls and the health of their Clans. Example: If I receive a complaint about a Consul, I will make sure it's not a move for powah, review the Consuls activity in detail, review the Clan's Group Email, review the Clan's Telegram Channel, and speak to senior members of that Clan in a discrete manner. In some cases a Consul is given the opportunity to resign or be fired that day. In other cases we let a Consul know that an anonymous concern was raised and give them an opportunity to fix the situation/perception on their own.
3) Evelynn Asks: What is the purpose of restricting gaming to a handful of platforms? Answer: The Fist staff is awesome, but they have a limited amount of time to review a game, determine if that game can be exploited, balance it with our other games so the CF/CE value is fair, and establish a manner for members to submit submissions. We can't do this for every game. This is why I, not the Fist, instituted a number of players policy as a general guide for when we add a Game to the DB Roster. We just can't expend the time on games that only two people play.
4) Anonymous Asks: There are only so many leadership positions in the DJB. Why do some members hold so many of these limited positions? Answer: Bottom Line, no one applies. I know this isn't true in all cases, but in many cases we will open a position and no one will apply. Or we will receive an application, but the applicant has shown previously that they are unsuitable for the job or they simply lack the technical know-how to hold it. Arcona, one of our most popular Clans, has a hard time filling leadership positions. Our "Recruitment Position" has not been filled in nearly a year because the applicants have had a hard time showing any vision that we would trust for the position.
But, I do see and understand a member's concern when they see another leader with 3 x current positions. QUA/PROF/M:Whatever seems like a lot of work. Mav and I take this into consideration when we review the staffs and often discourage our DC from making those selections, but sometimes...the best person for the job is simply the best person for the job.
5) Kaz and others asked: After two stints as the GM, how do you see your retirement? Answer: I am only retiring as the Grand Master. I have no plans to go to the Rogues or step away from being a contributor to the Dark Brotherhood. I will more than likely transfer to a Clan that appeals to me, has a sense of community, and is willing to put up with an active GM. I plan on participating in our writing and gaming communities and more than likely I'll look to fill the void where people are interested in having me help out. At present, I have not made a decision on where I will go.
6) Mark asked: Are Clan Named members defacto Summit Members. Answer: No. Clan names are honorifics for members who have long and productive careers in a single unit. The honorific does not extend beyond a name on the dossier. Each Clan has their own culture and views the name holders in various lights, but the DC does not view a Clan Name holder any different than any other non-positioned member.
That was a long report and weaved and bobbed on a series of different topics that encapsulated some of my concerns as well as updated everyone on our plans for the next few months. The GJW announcement is a bummer, but I believe it is the right one. I left the last ASK the GM for this section because I wanted to just take a moment to convey a few things.
Qor Asked: Have you learned anything about leadership in this tenure? Answer: Of course. The Dark Jedi Brotherhood is an eclectic mesh of cultures, attitudes, and beliefs. Our members come from all walks of life and have experiences that have shaped their views on how the world works or should work. We might not always agree, but the value of dialogue to solve our problems and make the club a better place cannot be underestimated. Sarin/Pravus 2.0 is a much kindler and gentler GM compared to 1.0. That is because I'm older, because I've grown as a person, and because of the great interactions I have had with our members over the years. I've learned a ton from everyone and hopefully that has made me a better GM.
I'd also like to highlight the few leadership qualities we really value in our members right now. We want resilient leaders capable of handling adversity, capable of building teams, capable of identifying problems and fixing them, and having a desire to improve the club daily. Those are the traits we look for when selecting Consuls or DC members. One of the biggest things I have learned is that we might have members who are machines at content creation and activity, but if they can't work as a team....then they aren't right for the DC/Leadership. We aren't a real empire and we can't order anyone to do anything (even though a lot of our 14-18 year old past selves might have tried that in this club or similar clubs), so having the ability to team build is paramount.
Okay, that was a lot. I hope it was informational and provided some insight into our plans for the future. I know the GJW decision was a bummer, but I believe it was truly the right thing to do.
I'll be around most of this week, with a lot of G Hangouts up, to talk if anyone has follow on questions (or post them here). If I didn't answer your Ask the GM question, please engage me privately one more time and we will chat about it.
Grand Master Pravus
Do You Want To Play a (war)Game? So, things are rather busy around the Brotherhood and Plagueis right now. First, we have a clan event that’s in its last stages, the Plagueis Wargames. We have 5 events that are ending tomorrow, several of which...
Do You Want To Play a (war)Game?
So, things are rather busy around the Brotherhood and Plagueis right now. First, we have a clan event that’s in its last stages, the Plagueis Wargames.
We have 5 events that are ending tomorrow, several of which are easy effort. Since we’re coming up on a major event where participation is going to matter, this is good practice in getting in as many things as you can. In the end though, the important thing is having fun, but given the variety of activities we have available, that shouldn’t be a problem. So do all the things, much like this guy:
Selika should be posting the results of the event early next week and there might just be an interesting fiction update for the run up to the war.
While I’m not going to continue to beat a dead bantha about this war thing, there is another event to talk about right now. There are a couple more days to get a match in the ACC War Event. To get in on that, and get an all important GJW Seal, you’ll need to pull a match by Monday (Midnight UTC, 8 PM EDT) and finish by the 24th. So go, do some ACCing and beat up on some folks in other clans! I know for one I’ve had a blast in some of my battles and you will too. Even if you aren't qualified, if you hurry you might be able to do so quickly and get in on one last battle. Also, while I know folks have been doing so, feel free to ask in the clan channel (or PM me if I'm not busy) if you need help proofreading a post. Thanks to all those who have been helping out fellow clan members with polishing their posts. I personally have one last battle going with a certain Consul from CSP myself. So get involved and get one of these:
Oops, sorry, not those kind of war seals. Well, maybe that kind if we lobby the Herald enough...
New Arrival and a New “Knight”
Since my last report, we’ve had a new addition to the clan in Vestiil. It’s always good to see new faces in the clan, so let’s be as welcoming as we can. This is a tricky but yet rewarding time to be a new addition to the Brotherhood so let’s be sure to support all of our “younger” members.
Also, we have had a new addition to the ranks of the “Knights” (sorry, I’m old school, JM4 just doesn’t feel right). Earlier this week, TuQ’uan got promoted to Professional in what was a relatively short time. I look forward to his continued progress in the Clan and the Brotherhood as we roll into our next big challenge.
Reports and Such
- Our illustrious Grand Master seeks your questions on the remainder of his term.
- The P:Fist details useful gaming info and provides info on new comps as well as where to spend money on cheap games.
- Atty delivers a brightly colored P:Voice Update with helpful information on character sheet approvals and remands as well as a word of the “day”. *Karness Muur and Ajunta Pall deliver information on war preparations.
Moment of Zen
So after all this serious stuff, I thought I’d end with something much more light and, of course, fluffy. One of my friends in Minnesota posted something about an interesting event that combines racing corgis and eating cupcakes. Intrigued, I had to find information on such things on YouTube. It is every bit as adorable as one would think. Thus, enjoy the Running of the Corgis Keep it evil (and fluffy) mes amis!
Greetings everyone, The Covenant requires the Grand Master to submit a report to the Star Chamber two times a year. I will be publishing this report within the next 24 hours. The report will also include standard report areas to include an ask the...
The Covenant requires the Grand Master to submit a report to the Star Chamber two times a year. I will be publishing this report within the next 24 hours. The report will also include standard report areas to include an ask the GM.
I am taking questions via Telegram private messages during this window, but will also respond to questions posted on this news thread. Please post your questions in the comment section. Questions may focus on any area you like, but my report will focus on the next 8 months of DB activity as I conclude my term as Grand Master. That may help you scope some questions.