Thursday, October 18, 2007

The making of MacTavish - RK19 (long post)

I am probably spending way too much time in the Renaissance Kingdoms at the moment. Still, it is great fun and there isn't much else to do at night until the weather warms up and my wife returns from Scotland ...

At the moment my character is treading water with his cash flow, but has a small reserve (about 6) HHWs of pork at his home and about three days corn feed for the three healthy pigs he has in the field. The fodder shortage seems, for the moment, to be over.

What is taking up all the time is the fact that I have got involved in creating a clan.

I was originally asked to join the Wallace clan (amongs others), and did so. Only thing is, someone said they'd let me know when they formally added me to the list. They didn't. I didn't know if I was in the clan or not. I started thinking about clans, and had a looksee about the clanscape of RK in more detail while I waited my chance to claim the Wallace name.

I waited and waited and waited. I sent queries - if you are to deny me my birthright, will you not do it to me face?! All to no avail. I decided to make my own clan - that of MacTavish.

First, I had to remove myself from the Clan Wallace (having invited several folk already to join me in MacTavish before discovering that I had actually been signed over to Wallace, I couldn't let them down) - She who raised me is Wallace. She who birthed me was MacTavish. I knew this not until recently. It explains many things that made no sense before.

The important thing was then to make contact with other characters and convince them to adopt the MacTavish name. Rather than send short blunt out-of-character messages in a mass mailing fashion (= spam), I instead started tracking along the 'trust' links on suitable character profiles.

Thus, I'd be tracing networks of players who had already met in game. If they spoke to their neighbors of having received a clan invite there was a fair chance that the neighbor had also received such an invite.

I target those I mail to. If I know of and like them and they aren't part of the power structure, they might get one. If they are active players of about my ingame age or of artistic flair (using profiles to judge character), they might get one. I run their names off against a publicly available list of who's in which clan (still a minority overall, but definitely a majority of the most active players).

Before I started doing this clan membership check I got a couple replies that a player is already in a particular clan. That's why I started checking names. Each invite is a lot of work and I don't want to waste the effort. So I don't send my invites intentionally to members of other clans.

No two invites are the same. They each tell a a story as to why I am writing them, link them and Clan MacTavish, provide a sentence long history of the clan, and include a brief summary either of an ancestor's 'famous' quality (strong, wise, beautiful, good drinker, oathmaker, etc) or of their deeds (raised his kilt to distract the raiders, ate a pig in a sitting as a matter of honour, fed the valley on crop of potatoes during famine).

The invites explain what will happen next if the reader accepts - I will wait until there enough MacTavishes behind me and I then intend to go to Highland Hall to claim our hearth (subforum) and our vote.

They conclude with a toast - (raises glass) To the honour of MacTavish and the glory of Scotland!

I have sent out 20 of these mini-essays so far.

I have had five positive responses in about 48 hours, a couple queries, and a couple who have declined because already members of another clan. When I receive one more acceptance of the invitation I will get us on the forums with our own private subforum, as well as a vote in the Hall of the Clans (who I suspect will one day chose a King for Scotland).

I am thinking I will set up a (group?) blog for the Clan as well.

There are four towns in the County. I have sent messages to characters in three of them, mainly my native Whithorn and the nearby coastal village of Dummore. All members of the clan so far come from these last two villages.

Of the 20 invitations I've sent, none went to level 3 characters, 1 went to a level 2, about 15 went to level 1, and 4 have gone to level 0. Thus, I am creating a clan whose membership will be composed of those like myself, committed beginners.

A small clan, we will all have more of a say than in the big clans. A fairly egalitarian clan, we won't end up all dancing to "the leader's" tune. A developing clan, we will change as we grow and level up. Lots of room for fun.

Over time this might become an adventure in itself. As one of the acceptees put it to me in his reply email...

Well i am gladly to join your humble clan and try making Mactavish ancestry and Scotland a good name.

Looking forward to it!

I have put a link to this map of England and Scotland in my resources page.

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