A read-only archive of discourse.darkjedibrotherhood.com as of Sunday May 01, 2022.

The World Of Shells - A GM report - Dark Jedi Brotherhood


A shortish report, Wherein Muz talks a little bit about setting personal goals and puts out a call for some help needed on some high profile projects.

For the past week or so, I've been on the Low-DB diet, although for a decent reason. Toady is my birthday, and I had promised myself that I would finish my first novel by today. I've been published before, but this is my first actual novel. This last week or so has been kinda wild, and considering that I had a good friend from out of town show up and rob me of a day and a half of time (we went and shot machine guns), I managed to put 40,000 words on the novel. It's finally done, after twenty years or so worth of rewrites and reboots.

Why so many reboots? Well, to be completely honest, my writing has gotten a lot better since ack then, and my storytelling had improved rather drastically as well. So every time that i was reading old work, i would groan and try to redo it and make it better. That said, I think that one of the big reasons that my skill has gotten better is because of this club. Between the friendly competition of regular events and the ACC to the collaborative things like running events and penning stories for the vendettas, there was certainly no lack of experience to be had.

So, here's the teachable moment to this. If I hadn't made the committment to myself that I would be done with this by today, I very well could have sat on it and continually rewritten it until I died. The important part is that I set that goal. Not that someone else did. You can always tell someone else off. It's much harder to fail your own expectations. You'll work double hard to try to get beyond those, and there is a fair bit of pride in doing it.

How does that relate to the DB? Infinitely. It's a pretty common thing to go to your Quaestor, your Consul, the DC to ask for work to do. It's an easy question to ask, and it's easy to get an actuial gig to do. It's also very easy to forget about the job, or have real life blossom up and take away the time that you need to do it. We've all been there. That's life.

That's only easy because it's an external goal. You're not failing yourself, you're failing some guy that you've never met in the real world, and likely won't. The penalty for failing is only that you'll not get the promotion or medal that you would have if you had completed the work. It's all too common for someone to beg work off of us as DCers, and only get one update, maybe two, then never hear back on the project again. It's a damned shame, because those projects still need to get done, and letting it linger in development hell for that long only stalls them out and keeps them from getting done sooner.

The flip side of that is that if you invest yourself in such a thing, if you tell yourself that you'll be getting your part done, regardless, there's a much higher chance of it getting done. And then, that previously mentioned sense of acheivement will actually trump the cool awards and promotions that you may score from actually doing the work.

So now, the opportunity.

I need graphics people. The Alchemy Guide and the Hand to Hand combat guide are both in need of some graphics so that we can release them. If you want to leave a pretty big mark on the way that the DB handles combat or alchemy, shoot me an email. It'll be fun work, and rewarded fairly nicely. Also, if you have any sort of comic-drawing skill, you should email me for a gig that will take up a lot of time, but get you mad exposure and plentiful awards.

It's worth reminding that there are some specific rules for the ACC ladder under fading light. There's been too many disqualifications for my tastes, and all of them have been avoidable. 1000 words is the hard limit, just as a reminder. Hit preview and adjust accordingly. I absolutely HATE it when people work hard, then lose on a technicality like that.

Also, I'd like to take a moment to thank those of you who have taken part in the ACC so far. There's been a lot of great work going on there, and the very nature of the 'TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES' ACC can be disgruntling. That said, keep putting up your best work, and you'll have made the most important victory, and that's the victory over the voice that tells you that you shouldn't bother.

As we're looking at the next Great Jedi War (Korriban!), and Raken, Sarin adn I are plotting the story, There's a discussion piece that is of concern. Frankly, we're running a little late, on account of all the Crusade/Fading Light goodness. It's taking us off the normal work of getting the GJW sorted. While we're trying not to let it throw us off our game too much, the lack of time may have a repercussion on whether or not we have a comic book for this war. I know that in the past, people have said that it's not a big deal, but those voices have been the sort of people who were going to read the big fiction anyway.

Since Jamez sorted out how to run Discourse comments and discussions off of our news posts (Wooo JAmez!), you guys should all be able to weigh in on whether or not you think it is important or not.

In the past few weeks, I've been taking an hour here and there and doing character images for what seems to be random people. You can check out the video made on youtube where I made Brimstone's avatar here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9ODOLhyyBQ

Some folks have asked me what it takes to get one of these done for themselves. There's no real requirement (aside from the Guardian/Defender rank), but a couple bits of information will be what i ask from you before i even add you to my queue: 1.) Do you have a reference image and 2.) any distinguishing marks.

What I am really asking for is a character description here. What color eyes/hair, how the face looks. A few people have said 'It looks like me, here's my picture', and that is awesome, making it very easy for me. That said, if you shoot me a picture of a video game character and ask for a little scar to differentiate, I'm probably either not going to take you serious or ask you to change your mind. Keep in mind that every one of these that I do is about an hour or two of my own time. When I was doing professional graphics work, the company was billing my time out at $35/hr. You're getting it for free. Please be respectful of that. ;)

Ask the GM Time!

Miya asks "When writing fiction for a promotion, is word count really all that matters, or will the members it is sent to actually take the time to read what you send them?"

Word count is important for logistics, but you should always write as if the person is going to actually read the work. I know it's been a while since I was Quaestor, but I read every one of them, and most of the leaders I talk with on a regular basis agree that they do, too. But don't let that discourage you, or scare you into not doing it. We will try to help you improve your writing, for future work. It's a win-win.

Andrelious asks "In terms of the galactic economy, how rich is the Brotherhood?"

In short, as rich as any other empire that spanned as many planets as we do. I mean, if you look at it from a realistic model, the Brotherhood survives kinda like the united states does. The clans and houses pay something to Antei, and they get services and such in return. The Brotherhood itself does things that the smaller (and often more discreet) couldn't really afford without help, like build full-bore shipyards, and provide training and troops, recruitment efforts in the core, et cetera. We're not rich for the sake of rich, like the banking clans or conspicuous with out wealth, but we're not scraping by and feeding our people canned beans, either.

Malik asks "Dear AskTheGM, why are you writing a report on your birthday? Shouldn't you be taking a day off?"

Probably. That said, since I have been working on my book constantly the last bit, and my two real jobs had crushed my face all last month, I felt guilty. Have a Dark Cross. :P


• Set your own goals!

• Can you do graphics? Muz Needs You.

• It's Muz's Birthday.

• Avatars are cool.

• Miya, Lenzar and Malik all get DCs for Ask The GM.

And that is about all for this time. Have fun out there!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.darkjedibrotherhood.com/news/reports-the-world-of-shells-a-gm-report

Testing the cool functionality!


First! (also testing)


I personally love the comics. However, having helped fund them for Horizons and watched all the work it took for the artists and handlers to do, I can understand not having one.


Personally, I don’t think a full comic book is necessary. I do like the occasional image - especially to give appearance to major scenes, or a major bad guy - but I actually prefer reading the story to the comic books, and I think the fiction typically conveys the story a bit better than the comics do.


First, Happy b-day you old bastard! Yay machine guns.

Congrats on accomplishing your goal!

I’m with Mav and agree that a full-on comic is not needed for us to enjoy something.

Instead, I think it would be really awesome to have a few (like 3-6) custom drawn sketches/images that highlight key moments in the story. Muz stabbing a darkity One Sith, someone facing down a rancor with no weapons, a giant fleet materializing in a WTF moment. It would be more like a storybook where you have one single image–then a few pages of fiction (or however long) stemming from that image that helps highlight the scene. You can get really quality pieces of art work like that for ~30$ these days, and maybe each one is featuring a different artist in the community or multiple artists from DA. (So, have JAT do maybe one drawing, for nostalgia, instead of a full-on comic)

For fundraising options- I think for once we should crowd source. I know I would not mind donating 5$ or so to a pot-fund to help fund some graphic work to help enhance the story we are telling and using to draw in people who look at our GJW’s and go: “WOW I WANT TO BE IN THAT.”

I say this with a heavy heart, as this might be the only time I would have ever gotten at least half a pannel in a djb comic :/. I was just a baby-QUA last time it happened :|.

Also- if people are open to it, once I’m finished with this short film/DB trailer I created in live action this last week–and depending on time, I could make a live-action “Trailer” for the next GJW assuming I’m given a bit of time to make it happen. I’ll let the work I finish speak for itself and you guys can decide if you think it would be worth it.


Muz does graphics for free?? Whut??? May I have one :smiley: And I ask out of respect that if you need me to help in anyway, I will do it. I know i’m still young in this club and it might seem as I’m trying to gain more than needed, but I am asking for nothing in return.


Pressing buttons because I can. Also because I’m adjusting to forums-replying.


I’m more than happy to help fund the comic.

I do like Marick’s idea, though, of maybe doing something more… scene based, perhaps, instead of necessarily needing page after page of “Raken entered the room. “Hi Deputy!” Muz said.” etc, and possibly just focusing on the “key moments” if that helps (a) get it finished in time for the GJW, and (b) helps reduce the costs, even if you’re not seeing the “full story”.

If you can remember the old Visionaries and Tales comics that Dark Horse once did, you got a lot of very, very cool short stories in those and most of them barely ran more than a few short pages-- but like a short story, the few pages you got were good and told enough to make sense of things, even if a meeting was compressed into a short exchange, or a duel into just one battle image.


Whilst the comics are very nice to look at, surely there are better things the DB could spend its donations on?


I know I’ve said this before, but since it’s been asked I’ll just say it again. While the comics can be cool, I do believe that the cost associated with them are just not worth it, and are not sustainable. If we’re going to throw a bunch of money somewhere, we could probably find better areas to spend it that will have a larger impact on the club. However, I don’t believe we should be spending that sort of cash on the club, other than the “bare” essentials (ie. server costs). We donate our time, which for the most part should be enough.

Also, the comics themselves are not a useful storytelling tool…at least not the way we do it. The storylines are much larger and cannot be properly told in a single 22 or 24-page comic book. That’s why we needed the fiction supplement, because no one would have a clue what was actually happening. The comics became “scenes”, rather than the actual story. As others have mentioned before, if we really wanted to have some form of art in the stories than a handful of scenes can be chosen. Maybe instead of relying on someone outside the club to do the art we get people from within the club to work on the graphics? We have a number of talented members of the club, and have different members work on a specific scene would make it that much “cooler”.

Lastly, relying on a comic also means having a lot less freedom to change a story as required as well as generally delaying whatever Vendetta the comic is being made for. There are too many factors outside of our control when having a comic made.


I agree with Halc that there are other expenses the club has that are a bit more vital. If we have no in-house graphic artists that can create the artwork for a couple pictures of scenes, I think we can live without them…


It’s not as if the DB has really been funding them in the past. There have been a few donations for the cause, but by and large, it came straight out of my pocket. It came out of my pocket because it did increase readership of those stories, as well as served as a recruitment tool (and one with a pretty decent impact).

To some extent, it is not really sustainable. I wouldn’t push that sort of bill on anyone. But I thought maybe having one big last one would be cool.


Testing out the functionality of this forums-replying feature. Happy Name Day, Muz!

Also, I’ll be taking New Media and Art classes in University this Fall. If I can get to the point of being able to sit down and hammer out a full-blown illustration, I’d happily consider making some comics in the future.


The comics are nice if they don’t get in the way of anything else (ie: unnecessary delays, people buying their way into DB Wide Stories by Crowd-Funding Efforts) and they compliment the story-lines well… and they’re well executed. GJW X Comics? Awesome. Horizon Comics? Not so much.

Ultimately though, for the purposes of the competitions? These almost always tend to be purely cosmetic. We need the stories to go along with it, because for the competitions, we need as much detail as we get and comics leave a lot to be desired at getting information out there.

So yeah Muz, I appreciate it if you want to spend your money on commissioning an awesome comic to go along with the GJW Plots. They are nifty little pieces of art that can be looked back on with fondness by the people who participated in the events, but I would suggest that if the comics themselves are interfering or delaying things? They can be easily thrown to the wayside without a whole lot of negative ramifications.


Again, in case I wasn’t as clear:

I meant that crowd-sourcing was a potential option, not really the best option for anything. The second anything in this club becomes “If i donate my actual money I get something better than someone else”…It should never be that way, but I don’t think there is harm in having a pot we can all throw in a 1$ into to go towards getting some outside artwork done for a once-every-few-years event like a GJW. If everyone of us puts in a $1 (if you can, of course) we’d probably end up with a nice little 40$ even that funds 1 piece that could enhance the story that Raks/Sarin are working hard on.

  • I agree with Halc on not stalling a Vendetta or War waiting for a comic, and by having a full comic done you lose

Think about it though. On our wiki’s, we have single frames from a comic involving our character sometime. “Here is Halc stabbing his brother”. So, in the same concept, capturing select moments could be really cool. Not even full color, what if they were even just sketchbook type things? Different styles, uniformity? There are endless creative possibilities.

  • I agree that walls of text aren’t inviting, but having those pieces of art work would make them pop a bit more to get that retention you are looking for.

  • Maybe by featuring different artists from outside the club (people like Slag have good luck finding talented artists who don’t charge a lot for work) and convince them that having their artwork displayed in our organization would be good for business. You point to how many commissions Jet and JAT have gotten from members…maybe we can even convince certain artists that having a single piece of work in what we consider our most EPIC story that only happens every few years…maybe we can get some work done that way. It’s like buying an advertising spot, so to speak, but for the artist maybe it only takes a few weeks and in the end it nets them a bunch of character commisions.

Internal-artists is a good idea. And if we have it, we should use it. I think that the potential to possibly draw in other artists (and our continued push to use Deviant Art–feel free to back me up here or not, Solari) to join us.

Just my ramblings, sorry.


just do a stickfigure comic, that way we can have the GJW ASAP. if you wanna pay me i’ll do them.

also: congrats on your second publishing, Muz. i hope your effort and hard work pay off.


Having helped fund the comic in the past, I have to say that I enjoy them alot.

That said, I also agree with Marick’s idea of story capturing those big moments in single shots inserted where appropriate. If the text was written to wrap around them, helping to emphasize the impact of those moments, it would generate more readership of the actual story and help to break up the wall of text.

Also, by having single frame moments, especially if made by our top notch quality people in house, we get to highlight the work of our own without having to sink money into it that could easily go to James for Hosting or to other things that the club might need.

If we have people willing and able to pony up the cost without you having to endure paying for most of it, then awesome! Even last time though, I think you bore about 80% of the cost personally, which isn’t fair to you.

Also, per Halc’s point, as I know this had been an issue prior in at least two previous vendettas, it does make it much, much harder when it has to be redone because of position change etc.

Single frame moments limit that issue dramatically.

Happy Birthday. Congrats on getting the novel finished. May it garner you much reward and praise.

Also, might I ask to Beta read it?


After looking over and reading the comics I instantly questioned how much a production like that must cost as it was visually stunning and professionally done in a very asthetically pleasing way. The viability is a clear issue and one of utmost importance hopefully in the future perhaps there can be a solid manpower pool to pitch in and contribute the graphics in house if possible.


All changes that are being made to the DB plus the incoming GJW and the new movies gets me itchy to come back. I hope my actual and stressing job in real life gets stable enough to allow me to come back soon.

Happy Birthday Muz! And indeed, take a rest!