I built this site because I wanted a place that was different than others that I've been on and maybe you've been on as well. I wanted someplace different, where people could come together to create a sustainable community. Roleplaying forums are made by someone, yes, but the lifeblood and soul of the site often isn't in the administration. It's in the members, and the stories that you all create and cultivate over time. Because the lifeblood of a site is in the member base, I believe it is imperative for that member base to be encouraged and allowed to contribute and move the site along as much as possible. For the members to feel like this is a project worth investing their time, effort, and passion into for the long term.
I deliberately chose a region and starting point that in the Remnant timeline that I believe to be sustainable. Mistral is home to bandits, Grimm infestations, a thriving black market, and more. The level of technology is also lower and less refined that in the show in several key areas like the lack of a Cross Continental Transmit System (CCTS) and the low starting power of dust. These will change over time as the site participates in events that will do things like fill out the Bestiary, acquire and protect higher quality dust, and assist in the creation and maintenance of that CCTS.
Instead of having these things as the baseline for the setting, I think it would be a fun thing to allow members to make their mark in the setting by making these things and more happen. New species of Grimm will be encountered, but the first one to fight against those new species will get the credit for giving the information back to the Academy if they choose to. Advances in dust refining will be made and spread to Mistral, but students will help in several key ways to allow them to write their names in the history of the Kingdom at large.
Instead of thanking NPCs for doing these things, you will be thanking characters who put their lives on the line to advance not just themselves, but the entire site. Doing things not just for oneself, but for the betterment of the greater whole is what being a huntsman (or woman!) is all about. Taking these same principles and making a site structure with it is the site that I wanted to make. I want to make something sustainable, and something that can give members a space to be creative and have fun in for very long time to come.
I want to create a place where there is no high and impassable barrier between member and staff, between new member and old guard. We all engage in this hobby because we're creative people who want think playing make believe in a fictional world is fun and exciting for us. We all want to create stories that excite us and hope that those stories excite other people too. I think that should be the focus of every roleplaying site, the act of building each other up and coming together so that together a community can create something special.
This site starts and is meant as an outline. To use an analogy of a painting, it is the canvas and the colors. Acting within those constraints of having one canvas and one set of colors, magic can happen and some of the greatest works of art ever created were made with just that. This site provides the canvas and the colors, but it is the members who decide what to paint and what direction this site goes. You are the ones who will color in the margins and add detail and life to that canvas, and together I think we have the potential to make something special here.
Just like every writer starts from somewhere, so does every site. Just like a new writer could be torn down, they can be lifted up and helped along the way by people who care. The road ahead is not going to be without bumps, and some big ones too. Not everything will go smoothly, no matter how badly I want it to. There will be growing pains, and mistakes will be made. We are all human, after all, and nobody is infallible. It is my sincere hope that instead of armoring up and lashing out in response to these errors, we can come together and put our heads together in order to come up with solutions to any problem we may face.
This is the site that I've been too scared to even attempt to make for years. I've been staffing roleplaying forums through various hosts and genres for almost a decade now across sites that ranged from fifteen to over one hundred active members. While I can't promise that every decision I make will be correct… I can promise that I will do my very best to uphold every value that I have written into this document. Trust in a site, and trust in a staff team needs to be earned and maintained over time. Transparency is one of my key values, because I firmly believe that the best way to build trust in a staff team is to prove every day that we are consistent and that we are working to improve the site just as much as any member. Writing a nice sounding document and slapping it up as a mission statement is one thing, but in the months and hopefully years to come it's my job to prove that I'm worthy of your trust as members. I hope to earn it each and every day with you, so that we can come together and create a site that we can all be proud of.