Shifting, Secrecy and the Adan'f Safe Spot
I don't think I really need to introduce this topic.
Yes. I DO read the Empath boards, specifically the complaints and shifting boards. They're about the only boards I read on a regular basis.
Yes, I am an Empath who shifts. Yes, I do it at the Adan'f (not so) safe spot, in full sight of other adventurers.
Why do something so blatantly not secret when we've been told to not do it in public, told it's illegal, taboo, etc., ad nauseam?
For that matter, why does everyone who sees me do it whisper dire predictions to me and then leave before I can defend myself? Must I put reasons on macros just so I can get a word in edgewise?
Since no one seems to want to discuss it with me in game, I'll just rant about it here.
1) No, I don't make a lot of money shifting. I actually make very LITTLE money shifting, even though I have a lot of money and I can do a lot of shifts. I'm not a member of the coalition. I'm very happy not being a member of the coalition. More power to them, but I'd rather earn my money in dribs and drabs at a consistent rate, thanks. Repeat customers wanting the same things shifted time and again don't hurt, either.
2) I LOVE seeing people dance around in joy and smother me in hugs and snuggles when they finally get that feature they'd been desperately saving for until they heard of me by word of mouth or stumbled across my website.
3) Whatever history the GMs have written for Shift, the RP behind keeping it a secret has gone so badly that I am not about to lift a finger to help them get it back on track. What does it take to send out an GM-wide email telling the GM/GH population to disavow any knowledge of such things? What does it take for a GMNPC, when asked directly about shifting, to ask an advisor or the person presenting the question what the heck shift IS?
4) Jomay has been running around force-shifting people in Shard, and lately in Crossing, for years in game. With the blatant offers to reverse whatever malicious shifts she's done being broadcast over the gweth, the crowds that gathered to help the shifting empaths in doing so and to cheer them on and WATCH such a spectacle, shift is no longer a secret. Period, end of discussion. I refuse to treat it as a secret in Shard.
5) The Adan'f (not so) safe spot is NOT a public place. It is only perceived as such by some because it has good life/holy power and is not frequented by hunting area creatures(namely Adan'f), and therefore has been adopted as a healing/rejuving/resting/teaching/etc. place. The only people who go there are adventurers, admittedly a tiny fraction of the population, mostly mid-to-high level, nearly all of whom have been shifted at least once. Most of the few who aren't are just-rolled scavengers from Crossing. Aside from that, it's in the middle of the woods, one room away from certain death to the majority of Elanthian adventurers, and a hop, skip, and jump away from two herds of war mammoths, catapults, and who knows what else. The only way to get there from town is to go through at least one other hunting area. Snowdrift mechanics notwithstanding, non-adventurers aren't going to want to go out there.
6) When I ask if anyone cares if I do a beauty treatment, the only answers I get are wise cracks and "I don't care" and "Can you grow my beard out when you've recovered?". The only time anyone says anything negative about it is when they walk in in the middle of it, and then only in whispers. I can't whisper back in the middle of a shift. And whispering doesn't exactly promote ROLEPLAY. The only other time someone said anything critical was also in the middle, and just after saying that remark, the person in question left, again not giving me a chance to respond. If you're so hellbent on my NOT shifting there, or wanting to know why I do, at least give me the chance to defend myself. I will, and gladly. Better yet, ask me to take it somewhere else. You might actually get what you ask for.
7) A great majority of the time when I'm doing shifts, I need help to do so, in the form of CJs, predictions, and/or links of various kinds. The easiest to get by far are links. Many times, when I'm performing a shift, I end up linking to all or nearly all the people at the Adan'f (not so) safe spot. Why move? It's an inconvenience to me, to them, to classes, to other people training who may need the empaths/clerics/people to steal and/or hide from/etc.
8) Yes, I can do height/sex/blue hair shifts. No, I can't do them on my own. Which is why I sit at the Adan'f (not so) safe spot and let any decent level moonmage who wants to predict on me. If I happen to get a good bonus, or a couple of good bonuses, and all of a sudden I can give someone lavender hair or red eyes or give them a lithe build, there's no way in hell I'm going to waste it. "Ok, who wants blue hair?" By the time I get a patient and get to an inn, especially if it happens to be at night, the bonus might well be lost.
9) Shift is a wonderful ability. There is no doubt about that. The GMs then made it IC'ly so secret we couldn't be IC in advertising, so we had to resort to OOC methods--IMs, websites, etc. Without any kind of system or tool to be able to advertise our services in an IC and secret fashion, the majority of shifting empaths--those who can, but can only do lower level shifts--are left out of the moneymaking loop because they don't have the contacts or 'prestige' that higher level empaths do. I disagree with that--so strongly I'm campaigning to bring it into the open.
10) Consequences. Or rather, the lack of them. At this point, the only things that are happening to me is that other EMPATHS, most of whom weren't more than casual acquaintances, ignore me, or that I spend ten minutes in jail and spend 3 gold to get my stuff back after getting charged with disturbing the peace. Without pushing the issue, I'm not convinced anything will change. Either shifting will cease to be 'secret' or it will be FORCED into secrecy with real tangible mechanics-wise consequences. Which is highly undesirable, but better than the infighting that's going on now.
11) The introduction of shift was done with entirely too much hullabaloo and fanfare to remain secret. At most, a GM post or news announcement should have said "Empaths, go talk to X NPC about Y subject. Thanks and enjoy your new toy." As it was introduced, everyone knows about it OOC, and some hear about it without the added warning that it's supposed to be a SECRET, damn it! This isn't the noncommoner's guild and password quest, which can be changed, moved, and reset. There's no use in locking the barn door after the horse has escaped.
12) It's been said many times that I do public shifting in blatant disregard for the history of shift, the quest, and the meaning of life for OOC reasons or no reason whatsoever or just because I CAN. Not true. I roleplay shifting as publicly known, at least as far as the tiny fraction of the vast population of Shard that frequents the Adan'f (not so) safe spot is concerned, for IC reasons. If you want to take it up with me IN GAME, please whisper to me and I will be more than happy to argue it THERE, in 'public,' as part of ROLEPLAYING. I would even go so far as to donate reasons I shouldn't be doing it ASIDE FROM the pathetic "It's illegal!" and "In the days of the Empire, you'd be tortured and killed and run out of town on a rail." arguments. For one, it isn't illegal--it's Ilithi, not Zoluren, and even if it WERE illegal in Shard, last I heard the town guards don't patrol beyond the city walls. That's why they're town guards and city walls. For two, the Empire is dead and buried. You want it back, hunt down Lanival's resting place and revive him.
12a) For that matter, it's not even supposed to be illegal anywhere else, either. Something that's so secret it isn't known about can't be on the record books. Just another example of how poorly the GMs have kept each other informed. They're the ones with the reins to this RP. It's not my job to make sure all the horses are running in the same direction. I can't think of TWO that are running in the same direction. I have an enormous amount of respect for the GMs, but I'm tired of watching Solomon try and herd cats.
13) The irony kills me. The only people I've ever heard complain are A) Empaths who can shift, but aren't up to my level yet, or B) Empaths who can shift, are above my level and are members of the coalition. There's a reason why I have more patients lined up than I can shift, and people waiting on me to learn enough to do shifts currently out of my reach. Jealous is as jealous does, and I'm not doing other empaths' coffers much good.
14) I'm not the only Empath who shifts at the Adan'f (not so) safe spot. I'm just the one who gets picked on, since I happen to be of higher level and skill than the others I've seen shift there.
15) The idea of a non-public place being an out-of-the-way, little used area according to ADVENTURERS is ludicrous. Favored shifting spots in town, aside from inns(often bars, lobbies, and greatrooms) and private homes, are taverns, the museum, Kukulakai's Grove, and other such places. While non-adventurers aren't going to poke their noses into the Adan'f (not so) safe spot, they would be in places like those. Would you consider your local art museum, bar, or public park a 'private' place? Didn't think so.
16) Lately, the argument against bringing Shift into public knowledge is that it disgraces the guild and puts its other guildmembers in danger. If Shift is so dangerous, regardless of historical whatever the GMs have come up with to explain the dangers behind shift, the Guild is disgracing itself and endangering its members by NOT acknowledging its existence and at least attempting to put some kind of controls on who does what to whom, when, and why.
17) Shifting as a secret in game has become little more than a standing joke. It would be far far more *interesting* to play out the 'discovery' and subsequent controls set in place at this point. /end rant
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