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May Office Hour Summary

Posted by Kim on May 30, 2021, 10:30am

Missed this month's office hours? Here's a summary of the questions and answers that happened!

any timeline on an upcoming art exchange?
Signups open one week from now! :D (This was said on Friday!)

one of the new features we considered for 2.0 when you were making it was the option to set characters to private, public, friends only, in progress, etc. Is this still something we can expect to see in the future? Also if it is, do we yet have a timeframe for it?
Oh that's so funny, I was just thinking about this yesterday! I still don't have an exact timeline for it, though my guess is it's a "this year" thing, not a "at some point in the unknown future" thing. I do very much want to do that. It's going to require a *lot* of re-architecting. It's non-trivial. But there's a lot of potential for its uses.

What uses do you/the people who suggested it envision for maps anyways?
So, for me, the biggest, most obvious use for it is for group scenes where specific placement of people is important. Much like how many tabletop gamers break out minis and terrain cards when they roll for initiative, and the DM moves their little goblins around on the board, I think there's a ton of potential to get that same benefits of visualizing positioning here. :)

Another benefit I think of maps and avatars is some people just do better with visuals. I think creating and designing them will interest a lot of people. And for people who it doesn't... it's optional.

But at the very least it can be a bit of a "doll maker" for people who can't afford character art, you know? :)

omg I'm so excited for the avatar deal. Curious, are we going to be able to custom make our own maps for the avatar thing or will there be preset maps to use?

We might have a beta phase with pre-made maps to play with, but the ultimate goal is definitely to build a map-builder so you can set up whatever type of map, in whatever type of genre you need.

So who will be in control of the characters on the map? The owner of said avatar only?

Nothing is set in stone there, but what I imagine right now is: the owner of the avatar will be the pilot of that avatar, except in groups where designated GMs can also move players (and NPCs) around as they need to to represent whatever they need to that is happening in the world. For example, a teleportation trap moving a player elsewhere.

What is this map issue is it something like creating fantays maps?
We've been discussing adding an avatar maker (a teeny tiny protype here: and a map maker, and allowing people to attach maps to specific forum topics if they want. :)

Little bit more info:

Will users be able to make more than one avatar per character or only one? Sometimes with linked characters (like characters who don't rp except for together) I put them on the same page and was curious if this will be feasible in practice with the Avatar deal.
Most likely each character profile will have one avatar associated with it.

Will GM's be able to make NPC avatars too then? for group fights and such?
That's definitely the plan! At the very least for them to have markers that can be used to represent monsters and NPCs, even if they aren't always fully animated avatars.

Again, I want to stress we're still in the very early stages on this, so I can only guess at how things will end up. I may discover something is easier than I thought to provide and be able to add in some things I wasn't thinking of right now, or vice versa.

And, of course, the way things are at launch of a feature aren't always how they stay XD

ah markers, that makes sense. Will it be possible for non-gms to use markers also? for example, a character of twins who is used together, this way the second twin can be marked as well?
Honestly, I don't even have a guess at that one right now!

how are you right now, Kim?
Feeling pretty good! I had a few weeks of pure grogginess after the mad scramble to prep for/do Epic Week, and then another week of vaccine side effects after taking my second dose (which I am SO EXCITED to have gotten btw!) but I seem to be emerging from that fog with good energy and inspiration. Been trickling out new and often unplanned features. :)

Speaking of new features, thanks for the new bit about gender terms on some 18+ LFRP ads. Since this chat is all-ages, can I mention it here?
Yeah, we can talk a little bit about it!

For people wondering what we're talking about, certain freighted gender terms being used in LFRP-AO now pop up a little notice asking people to remember to be informed and mindful about how they use those terms, and links to this article (our first and so far only 18+ help article since it touches on stuff that can show up in some sexy times RPs)

I've meant for YEARS to try and be more upfront about our policy about terms that are sometimes just dead-accurate scientific terms and at other times potentially scary slurs, or spreaders of misinformation, and how to combine that policy with better education on the subject. But every time I examined it I felt discouraged about figuring out the best way to do it. A few weekends ago I just woke up like, "Oh, I'll do it this way, and if it's not the best at least it's something, I can't let decision paralysis have us not address it at all anymore" and shazam there it was. It was very stressful to set up, but I'm really really glad it happened.

I'm a fan of that new 'fade to black' icon.
Aaaaand since I was in there, I also ended up creating that new icon for optional "fade to black" scenes for 18+ RPs that aren't necessarily actually that sexy. ;)

I didn't do a news announcement for either because, well. It was LFRP-AO centric. But I sort of suspected it would come up in this chat ;)

Kim, that new 'fade to black' icon is really appreciated, would it be possible to get them for characters and groups in the future. I think it would help clarify people's stance and comfort levels with their RP in what they want and are looking for. :)
So, the answer to that one is "maybe."

If you don't have any actual sexual content described on your character profile, you don't need to flag that profile with the "sexual content" warning flag just because you might RP it in private at some point. So having a warning icon for something you might RP or refer to at some point in private ("fade to black" or similar) but that also doesn't appear on the profile doesn't make much sense to me.

In either case, whether you're planning some explicit 18+ content in every RP, or open to it but not requiring it, or happy enough for fade to black if it ever comes up, writing a note on the profile is probably the best way to handle it.

Similarly, if the group allows players to play sexy times on their forums where other players could stumble across it whether they were taking part in it themselves or not... then yeah, it needs to be set to 18+ only and properly flagged with a sexual content warning. If the group does not allow playing that content inside itself, I'm not sure an icon is needed or better than writing out what expectations players can have.

The new LFRP-AO notice about those terms is a good start, but as both a question and a suggestion, why does the notice only have a button to dismiss it, and no button to insta-activate the new filter setting?

If the goal of the initiative is to educate and reduce harm, It just seems off that users most likely to benefit from education can just dismiss the notice, and users most likely to be harmed have to do a bit of navigating to be advised of the very welcome feature. It would make more sense if there was a button for both (or neither), just less so one without the other.

I don't think there's a more meaningful response to that than "It was built too quickly" and "I almost didn't include a button to dismiss it at all and then decided grudgingly I didn't want to get a thousand messages about it and added it after the fact." Your suggestion to better balance it is excellent, I am writing that down.

Actually scratch that, I added it.

This is the lightning speed that RPR 2.0 promised.... :O

The lag actually does seem to be long gone.

Good point, it was pretty slow a few months ago and works great now. Anything change on the backend?
I optimized and optimized and adjusted indexing constantly until we had adequately greased all the internet lightning :D

I still spend a little time tuning once or twice a month to try and keep it that way/see if we can squeeze any better out of it, but it's pretty well balanced right now it seems.

hey kim question on status's why are we limited to 500 characters?
The statuses are meant for mini updates about people's status and availability, not for RP or long journal entries. They are kept short so that they do not overtake people's home feeds, where they are monitoring other things like active RPs. They are also temporary, with each new status completely replacing the last, making them a bad place to invest tons of writing energy. If you really want to go long, text widgets, forum posts, character journals and direct messages have a limit more like 65,000 characters. :) There's some more discussion of this here:

hey kim is there a way to delete an old RP without having to go through and remove all your characters and when i mean delete i mean like not being able to be found by a quick search through the inbox?
Nope. You can remove it from your main inbox, but conversation searches will still turn it up for you.

Because there's only the one copy of the RP, and everyone in that RP has a "key" to look at it, if it was fully deleted when you deleted it from your inbox, your RP partner would lose it as well, not just you. So it's not totally deleted in that way.

Will the farm game be phone/tablet optimized if it reappears next year at Epic Week?
I don't know if it will come back next year, but if it does, definitely. I made an attempt at optimizing it for touch screens for this year but just totally ran out of time on it. =/

That goes for future RPR maps/avatar support, as well; should be fully usable from mobile.

Was there a feedback form for epic week this year?
No, I think the only time I did that was last year when I drastically changed the format and removed the riddles/trivia. The feedback was overwhelmingly "Give back the riddles/trivia" so... I did XD

hey kim why can text only be increased from a size of 1 to 7? why not 1 to ten?
That's how our BBCode processor came set up, with sizes 1-7, and I never changed it.
I didn't change it because I felt that was plenty big ^^^ ;)

Is there a limit on the number of characters you can have?
Yes, basic accounts can have 10 characters for free. Purchasing an epic membership subscription raises that limit for the duration of your subscription, OR you can just buy à la carte permanent extra character slots. :) This helps us keep the site open and free for everyone who can't afford a subscription or digital items. :)

Unless your question is, is there a limit to how many extra slots you can add, in which case, no. I think last I checked there was someone with over 300 characters.

I meant more in terms of purchases more slots. Like if I wanted to buy enough to have 150+, is that possible? Because I myself have over 300 characters in total. Not saying I will ever put all of them on here, but in case I ever decided to drive myself crazing, I'd like to know I had that option. lol
In that case, no, there's no upper limit. :) We do have someone with over 300 character profiles set up! :D They could go higher, but I think they are the current record holder.

Oh, the character slots go on sale? I know it's usually like $18 something if you buy them individually, but you get a bit of a discount when you purchase them 5 at a time.
Rarely, but every once in a blue moon. It used to happen more. The only time you can rely on a further discount above the dragon tooth is in December when Enchanted Wardrobes are out. :)

How many slots does the Enchanted Wardrobe give, and how much does it cost? 5 slots, unless you get one which has a masquerade mask in it (quite rare) which could take you down to 4 slots. I think last year it went for $11.25?

Since masquerade masks go for $10, you could probably trade it for several more cloaks ;)

i was thinking that perhaps we could have the basic membership character slot allowance extended to 20. For those who are using the site and all... and want to have a good amount of characters... but can't afford to pay for an Epic Membership... but yet want to enjoy all there is in the site in whatever way possible.
Sorry; using the site may be free for most users, but keeping the site running is very far from free for me. I keep the cap at 10 free character slots, and depend on people who are able to buy more to help keep the site open and free for everyone else. Raising that limit would do financial damage to the site.

It costs money to keep the site up and running, so I can't give everything away for free.

The dice roll tombola is currently offering a month of epicness, and the next prize up will be 5 permanent extra character slots, so I'd urge you to make sure you're participating in that daily while it's going on. :)

Are you doing okay Kim? The pandemic has us all in less than 'normal' mental health status i think, and we all know you have a lot on your plate. Are you making sure to take care of yourself? Get plenty of rest, hydrate, money for your daily needs etc
That's a bit of a complicated question. I think I'm doing relatively okay, but I'm also keenly aware I'm no longer totally sure what normal is supposed to feel like anymore >.> I am, at least, fed, watered and sheltered adequately.

Do you have any plans for Memorial Day weekend?
If all goes well, I'll be running a D&D game for my quarantine pod. We're going to be doing a city-based mini campaign, rather than a wander in the wilderness. :D I haven't really DMed since the pandemic hit, so I'm excited.

Kim, I have been curious do you role play too? which one of your characters is your favorite?
Totally! I have adored RPing since I was a teen. :D My favorite character right now is actually a Zkirax I'm playing in a friend's Star trek campaign -- Zkirax are an alien race invented as part of our collaborative world building event we ran last year :D



May 31, 2021

Thanks for all this info and everyone who asked the questions. I'm excited for the art trade sign ups, and also about the freighted word filter. I often found myself very upset at seeing some terms and I'm glad I can hide them now.


May 30, 2021

Sorry, looks like I cut off the s on the end of the link. Try this one:


May 30, 2021

Thanks a lot for the summary, it is most informative and useful to study, just want to mention this link leads to 404 Erorr: