The Guide To Hosting by Psychoreality: How to get voted and host to acclaim!

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The Guide To Hosting by Psychoreality: How to get voted and host to acclaim!

Post by Psychoreality on Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:04 am

Alright, this is going to be a long topic, so stick with me. I've already written 3 essays today, so I'm prepared to do another, especially on this topic. You see, I've been a host of basically every RP there is in the room for over a year, so let me get this off my chest; Host quality is on the rise right now. For a fair while, host quality was on the decline, but I see a genuine rise in quality over the last few months. By making this guide, I hope to stimulate that growth in quality further, so read on if you're interested in hosting an RP any time soon.

First up: Decide what you want to host.
Can't stress this enough. You need to know not just what RP you're making a document for, but how you'll construct your RP to stand out from the crowd and bring something interesting to the table. Be it a Conquest variant, or a sprawling Kingdom, nobody wants something that never changes. Introduce new elements to the formula. Your first RP run is experimental; use it to choose what you'll chunk and what you'll chuck. (Chunk and chuck is a strategy of adapting what works and removing what doesn't.)

Second: DRAFT your document, then polish it.
The three golden rules of doc-making are: Content first, Make it readable, Don't add superfluous info. I once lost in a Trainer hostpoll to a guy whose document was literally a table and pictures of legendary Pokemon. Couldn't host for the life of him, but his document was eye-catching and people didn't read it through. However, this is not being a good host. If you want to make people vote you again and again, your doc must be readable, relevant and interesting. Play with fonts a bit (colours are a lot more restricted with the black text on white background rule/recommendation) and catch the eye of others with clever plots and cool mechanics rather than pretty colours. Just please, make sure you don't need any less than what you have.

Third: Try and win a hostpoll.
Pick your opportunity wisely. It's important for a first hosting opportunity to happen when nobody expects a good RP. If you can exceed expectations you've already won over your "audience". If you lose, don't worry. Sometimes name power is stronger than you'd expect. Since I changed my name from SeriouslySkar to Psychoreality, I've barely ever won hostpolls, but every time I have I've exceeded expectations. This is important. All you need are a few good RPs to get your name out there and you'll have some guaranteed votes on a hostpoll from then on.

But wait. How do I actually host?
Good question. Let's go through every RP one by one, starting with some general tips.

General Hosting Tips
Please, please, PLEASE type properly. If you mess up word after word after word, you are leaving a bad impression on people as someone who is uneducated and therefore cannot host well. Make sure to spell-check everything (I do all the time) and it helps a lot.
Listen to your participants in a DnD/custom/Cruise/Kingdom. If the pacing is too slow, speed it up. If there's too much RNG, break it up with some interactions that are based on responses. A good tabletop host knows when to chop and change for the good of the players. A good RP host must do the same.
Please make sure your cohosts aren't terrible. Good RPs are destroyed by bad cohosts. In the space of 10 minutes I saw a cohost turn a very interesting custom into a shitshow. Nobody likes a disruption to their fun and intriguing RP by a bad cohost who has permission to bold and takes it as an opportunity to spam and annoy others.
Make it make sense. If you want a surreal RP, make it known that it's a surreal RP, because something that is surreal by accident is never fun to watch.
As a host, you can make your characters more powerful than players. That's fine, it allows you to create an interesting exposition for your players and gives them a sort of role model. However, many people simply get frustrated if you flaunt exactly how powerful your host characters are. This is especially the case in DnD and customs, where theoretically any level of power is achievable by players given enough time. Showing off what can be after 100 hours total of RPing isn't a good way to drag people in, it can actually make you look a bit narcissistic which you don't want.

Murder Mystery Hosting
Please keep edge to a minimum. I have a saying for this: If you laugh at death, you hate fear and you sympathise with killers, your character's too edgy. You can be apathetic or intrigued by mystery, you can assist the players for your own gain or theirs... but don't drag them around so they can die. 80% of MMs have the host/cohosts (who are generally disruptive and shitposty - see General tip 4) dragging around a group of Pokemon just so they can die. If this is the plot, then at leave give a reason to drag them around! I'll use my MM, The Preliminaries, as an example. The host character is a scientist experimenting on morality. The "killers" are Pokemon that have snapped, and he plans to thin out the crowd so he can find those Pokemon and turn them into warriors. There's a reason he wants the innocents to die! It's to further his research! Do any other MM host characters have a motive? I hope so, because most MMs I see don't make it look like they do. These host characters are as one-dimensional as they come, and it makes the players think they have to be one-dimensional too. I once did an experiment where I cohosted for a stereotypical edgy MM, and played a character who wanted nothing to do with the situation, and the host:
-Almost killed me by freezing
-Outcasted me
-Caused the players to completely block me out despite my character being the sane one of the two hosts
This is the power of host influence. It causes players to abandon the sensible response for a stony-faced completely unrealistic character. This is why I feel MM is the only RP still in the downhill. Hosts relied too much on gore and edge to host, and now that a super-critical former MM host (me) has come into staff I guess people dropped gore and put nothing in its place. No story, no character, nothing interesting. I could (and was going to) write a guide just for MM hosting, but one super-guide for hosting of all types is better in my opinion.

Conquest Doc-Slaving
Be succinct. If two people ally, make it known that those two people ally and don't say ANYTHING ELSE. When people say "Flaming Bronzong alliance" I get so mad because while it's obvious what types are allying, I don't know why you don't just say "Fire/Psychic/Steel alliance" instead. Even WORSE is when people don't put the proper alliance on the document! I mean, COME ON! I don't understand why you'd make it so hard to understand something so simple! Also... don't change type names on the doc. I saw Yo-Kai Watch CQ once and it was absolutely ridiculous. Instead of actual type names, there was names of 18 Yo-Kai, which had only just dropped in America with no distribution in Europe yet. Guess what? They got lynched as host in TYPECALL. Don't be a Yo-Kai Watch host. Be a sensible one.

Events in Cruise and Kingdom
Rule 1: No rap battles please. Literally -2 people want to rap battle in Cruise, but they feel they have to when it comes up because "Oh, it's an event, we should do it." This pretty much removes the RPing from the RP for up to an HOUR depending on how many people join. When you have an event, make it clear that these events are a) not compulsory and b) not disruptive. If there's a tornado heading directly towards a cruise ship, there's generally panic. Rain is fine, sharks are fine (people shouldn't be in the ocean when you're on a cruise), a twister from Hell is not. Same goes for Kingdom. Make events an extra stimulus for an RP, not a disruption to existing ones.

DnD, Customs and Kingdom: Roles and Powers
The hardest part of creating a tabletop campaign is deciding how your world feels. Apply the same to these 3 RPs. Create your world first, then create roles to fit it. In DnD, everyone is an adventurer... right? Maybe add a few non-combatant roles, like a Healer or a Merchant. It adds a dynamic to the party, and means people can do whatever they please.
In Kingdom, how many people do you see use god roles? Depending on when you saw the most Kingdoms, it was either too much or not at all. Both scenarios have a simple solution; just take out the god roles. They require host perms (and after Godbrawl Summer last year most hosts are SUPER reluctant to hand out perms) and they're too powerful for anyone to get a kick out of actually using them. Theoretically a Kingdom can have 2 roles, but many people can have up to 200 in theirs. Don't overcomplicate the system, and add everything that thematically fits. Giving people freedom while still having stimuli (like a good old non-compulsory event) for good RPing is the key to hosting a good Kingdom/freeform custom.

Closing Statements
I hope that this guide can help general hosting quality get better. If you don't agree with anything I say in this guide, let me know, I'll re-evaluate and adapt this guide as time goes on. Sometimes I might just think "Did I actually write that shit?" and fix stuff, so you never know.

I just spent two hours writing a guide nobody's actually gonna pay attention to... I'm a no-life, aren't I?


Last edited by Psychoreality on Wed Sep 14, 2016 4:22 am; edited 4 times in total (Reason for editing : Removed irrelevant information)
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Re: The Guide To Hosting by Psychoreality: How to get voted and host to acclaim!

Post by Cruella on Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:14 am

Not sure if it was in there but I'd say also managing bold. Keep unnecessary bold to a minimum and make sure what you are bolding is actually relevant. The amount of shitpost bold which is just pointless that I've seen. Also with kingdom, don't feel pressured into doing events. Kingdoms can run perfectly fine without excessive events. Doing things like chocolate rain or shitpost dragons is pointless. Finally, godmodding. You might be the host but you really shouldn't have to put yourself into every rp and try to make yourself a godmoddy presence. I've seen it with customs and dnds where the host make the rp purely about their oc and godmod everything which takes away a lot of the fun.
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Re: The Guide To Hosting by Psychoreality: How to get voted and host to acclaim!

Post by Psychoreality on Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:39 am

I'd hope bold abuse is self-explanatory. Don't just type everything in bold. Just don't do it. You'll probably get kicked out of your position if you shitpost.
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