[TRIAL] Loner Groups

Loner Groups: A Trial Run

What's this?

We recently got a suggestion about creating "loner groups" -- while loners have been able to form independent groups for some time, these groups are heavily restricted and don't get any "official" recognition. The suggestion was to give groups more legitimacy and visibility to encourage participation.

This is a trial run of the system, and will run for a few months. At the end of the trial, we'll decide whether the system can be implemented as-is, needs adjustments, or is worth keeping around at all.



Loner Groups

Groups are collections of Loners who have an affiliation to each other. The main idea is to allow for establishment of group-type affiliations that are more flexible and transient than packs, which have many more requirements, but many more perks, accordingly.

Groups are Not Packs

In Character
  • Groups may have an IC leader or leaders, but it is not required.
  • Ranks and basic hierarchy is allowed, but not required. Advanced rank structures, categories, and tier advancements are not permitted.
  • Cohabitation of group members is permitted, but not required. Groups may try to establish territory beyond typical Loner "den claims," but borders are not officially recognised, nor do board-wide trespassing rules apply.
Out of Character
  • Groups are not alloted any official resources, such as a website or subforum.
  • Groups' territories are not marked on the official map.
  • Groups are not allowed pNPCs. NPCs cannot belong to a Group.
  • Groups cannot have Pack Games with prizes sponsored by the 'SA - so, if your game has icons or titles as awards, they must be paid for.
  • Groups are not listed in Board Statistics, but Loners belonging to Groups will have their Group icon shown.**
  • Group information will be listed in a topic similar to, but separate from, the Active Pack Summary.
  • Groups have no officially recognised OOC leadership. Members are free to designate roles for themselves or each other and to decide amongst themselves how decisions are made, but as far as the administration is concerned, each member of a group has equal weight and say in decisions pertaining to the group.
    • That is to say, if a group member is unhappy with the decisions/direction of the group as decided by the rest of the group, they're SOL. However, a single player or a minority of players in a Group cannot assert authority over the rest of the group and make decisions against the collective will of the majority of the Group -- doing so would be a rule violation and should be reported.
    • This also means that all members are expected to have a good understanding of board-wide rules and procedures, minimal realism or other issues, and good conduct records. Excellent communication skills are necessary for well-formed groups, especially where there is no formally recognised leader.

**Not implemented for Trial Run.

Technical Specifications

  • Groups must have a minimum of 3 players and 4 played characters.
  • Groups cannot have more than 7 players, 10 played characters, or 15 total characters. This means if there are 9 played characters, there can only be 6 NPCs (of any type) in the Group. NPCs attached to characters in a group don't have to be in the group (for example, Wolf's yNPC Wolfdog can roam as a regular loner instead). Keep in mind ages and loner realism.
  • Groups must designate a "contact point." This is not a leader, but merely a member who will be the main "point of contact" for SA communication. If the contact point goes inactive with their Group character, a new contact point must be established.
  • Groups will get a name, ranks, and a small 13x13 icon overlayed on the loner icon. Group names will be a subset of 'Loners'. See examples here:
    [Image: KUhvbYP.png] [Image: kHKBBYN.png] [Image: GlwxftF.png]

  • As there are no OOC leaders, groups can only be dissolved by an OOC majority vote or when their membership falls below 3 players or 4 played characters.
  • Packs disbanding for failure to maintain suitable membership will be made into groups rather than dissolved completely, and packs can become groups at any time with auto-approval as long as their membership numbers fit within group requirements. (Packs disbanding for disciplinary or similar reasons do not automatically become groups.)
  • Groups can be made into packs via the typical pack formation procedures.
  • Normally there is no limit on how many groups can exist at one time - however, during the trial, we may place a limit if the number becomes too great.

Forming a Group

Members must fill out a group application form and post in the Requests forum.

  • Group Name: What is the name of your group?
  • Purpose: Why did this group form?
  • Location: Where is your group located?
  • Contact Point(s): Who are the contact point(s) that will communicate with the 'SA, packs, and other groups on behalf of your group? (Maximum of two (2).)
  • Members: Please include the players and characters that will be a part of this group, including all NPCs.
  • Ranks: If your group has ranks, please include all ranks and what each character would be ranked upon group formation. Otherwise, group members will be "ranked" as their species, the same as unaffiliated Loners.
  • 13x13 icon:


Please remember that this is a trial period and we welcome feedback. If you feel that guidelines are too strict/too lax or that they might have loopholes or unintended interpretations, etc, please let us know.

In addition, we want to emphasise again that groups are not packs. Groups do not have OOC leaders, and instead are an OOC collective. Points of contact do not have OOC authority over the rest of the group like pack leaders do with packs. OOCly, members can decide to let contact points make certain decisions, but this is not "official" or enforced by the 'SA, and can be changed any time by agreement of a member majority. If a conclusion cannot be reached, or there are realism breaches, feel free to contact the 'SA.

Essentially, these "new" loner groups function almost exactly the same as existing/prior "unofficial" loner groups, but with title/icon perks.


Loner Group Clarifications

We've made some small updates to the Loner Groups Trial stipulations and procedures above.

In particular, to further emphasize that Groups are not packs, advanced rank systems, categories, and tier advances are not permitted. Group members should really only have "ranks" as far as their basic role in the group, but while some hierarchial structure is okay (they're canines, after all), it should be relatively minimal.

In general, our goal with Groups is not for players to form what are essentially pseudopacks. Groups should not look and function like traditional packs. We intend for Groups to be relatively casual in nature, comprised of individuals with some common interests or goals, but who don't necessarily wish for a highly structured collective (which would basically be a pack).

Thanks for those who have participated in our trial run so far. We're figuring stuff out together!


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