Search Lead

The dam of the PC clutch is not obligated to be on SearchCo, but it is certainly encouraged! The sire need not be on SearchCo either; this is subject to the discretion of the Senior Weyrwoman.

If on SearchCo, the dam of the PC clutch is generally considered Search Lead. It is their responsibility to advertise, schedule events (flight, clutching, hatching), to communicate with both the SearchCo and candidates about deadlines and other requirements as well as to delegate tasks to her SearchCo.

Being SCo Lead

So, you're leading SCo. Congratulations!

There's a lot to do in the coming weeks. Some of it is required. Some isn't, but has worked before.

Pre-Search

First things first. You're leading SCo. That means you need a SCo to lead.

Any member of the weyr may be on SCo. They don't need to have dragons, but they can't be applying as candidates this cycle. Also, nobody can be on more than two SCos a year.

Recruit a SCo however you'd like, whether that's by just asking a few friends or posting on the Weyr +bboard to ask for volunteers. You'll want at least five members, but it's up to you who you pick.

Get them added to the SCo knot.

addsco <name> - Knots for =sxw, sets Search boolean to YES. Must be done by the Senior WW.

Now you have a SCo. Awesome! The next two things you need are to arrange a flight and prepare the search application.

There are three hard dates for search. You're coming up on the first of them.

If you do '+help search schedule', you'll see something like this:
XAW: OOC Search: Aug 16 - Aug 31; Hatch by Sep 28

ICly, the flight happens at the beginning of OOC Search. It does not have to be exact, nor on-camera. That's up to you.

If you decide to do the flight on-camera, you'll want to post to the flights +bboard (18) with a date and time. Say who you're willing to have chase (just bronzes? bronzes and browns? are NPCs okay?) and whether the flight is predetermined. It's useful to ask those who're interested in clutchsire to contact you ahead of time, so you can think about your decision.

The clutchsire is your choice. However, note that you will need approval from the wizzes for a brown to win, and browns cannot sire golds.

Whether or not you have the flight on-camera, you should post about the winner and the start of OOC search on the general +bboard (1) and to Xanadu (25).

It's usual to offer the flight winner's player a spot on SCo. It's not required.

Once OOC Search opens, players will be able to go fill out the search application. This means that you need to write the application before this time. Fortunately, there's one already from past years, though you can change it if you want.

showquestions/<weyr> - see the application
addquestion/<weyr> <question> - add a new question
delquestion/<weyr><question #> - delete a question
updatequestion/<weyr> <question #>=<updated question> - change a question

So now you have a SCo, a flight, and a search application. Next step: candidates and eggs!

OOC Search

Advertise. Put together a pitch for why Xanadu and this clutch is interesting. Post it to the advertising boards of other Mushes, particularly those with a Pern theme. Post it to the Pernmu forums. This - like just about anything - can be something you do yourself or something you delegate to your SCo.

Which reminds me. Delegate. You can do everything yourself. You may have to, because it is ultimately your responsibility to see that it gets done. You should not try to, because you will wear yourself out and not have fun. You have a SCo for a reason; ask them to do things for you.

Egg-writing is a task that divides well among your SCo. Better yet, it's usually something people find fun and want to do.

Most clutches have a theme. This is not actually necessary, but it can amuse you and make it easier to come up with ideas for eggs. The theme is your decision, but you can ask for suggestions.

Decide on a clutch theme, then decide how many eggs. Most clutches have 8-12. Fewer, and you limit the options for your candidates; more, and you're adding extra work for yourself and your SCo.

Now is a good time to go to the hatching grounds and read through the helpfiles there. Do so. Follow the directions for setting up the clutch.

Assign eggs to writers. It's a good idea to check what they're planning to do with them so you don't have two eggs trying to do the same thing. In general, don't have one person doing more than about two eggs; spread the work so you don't burn people out.

You're coming up on your second hard date: the end of OOC Search.

This is when the clutching happens and IC search begins. This is why you need to get eggs written. All they need now is a name and egg-desc; the rest will come later.

Decide if you want to do the clutching on-camera. Whether you do or not, you'll want to post about it and the close of OOC search.

You'll be getting applications in throughout; be aware that the players may edit them.

As OOC Search closes, it's time to vote on what characters you'd like to have as candidates. When they're added, they'll be sent a letter; now is a good time to write that - or at least edit the one from last year. You can also add it on the wiki.

ex #7663 (while on the builder) - read the previous Candidate Welcome letter. This is an alternate XP designed by R'owan to auto-generate the 'Welcome to Candidacy' letter via +ncandidate
&SEARCH_Email XP=<write new letter here> - updates the Candidate Welcome letter
barracks/<weyr> <dbref> — sets a <dbref> to which new Candidates are linked. (optional)

Some people enjoy betting on the candidates and impressions; we have the betting table to let them do that. If it's not sitting in the caverns, it can be put there. It's stored in the Search Objects Box by the Builder.

IC Search

Read applications, vote, and ask your SCo to do the same.

Personally, I suggest being generous when it comes to searching - some people don't do well on an application, but will shine over the course of RP.

You must search any applicant that has been searched before for any Weyr.

Once the votes are in, you'll mark applicants as search_ok and assign searchriders. Generally, you want to start by offering the chance to your SCo, then ask other riders.

searchok/<weyr> <name> — sets <name> as Search_OK for <weyr>.
searchno/<weyr> <name> — UNsets <name> as Search_OK for <weyr>.
unsearch/<weyr> <name> — removes <name> from being a Candidate.
checksvotes/<weyr> — tells you who voted what for Search.
hidesvotes/<weyr> <yes|no> — hides/unhides 'svotes/<weyr>'. When **hidden, only SearchCo admin and wizards can use 'svotes/<weyr>'. Default is unhidden.

Tell them to read Search Riding.

search/<weyr> <name> - turns <name> into a candidate
+ncandidate <name> - adds <name>'s position to the XAW knot as Candidate and generates the Welcome to Candidacy letter

If you have non-SCo riders searching, they'll have to ask someone on SCo to trigger the commands.

Try to get logs posted for searches.

So now, you've got candidates and partially written eggs!

Candidacy

The next step with those eggs is to get their mindtouches written. The same people who wrote the egg-descs should do this, usually. There are three (sometimes four) per egg. Look at past clutches for examples.

The candidates should be RPing and getting to know each other. RP with them! Encourage your SCo to do the same! Encourage everyone involved to post logs! It's not your job to entertain them all the time, but they're here to see your Weyr - try to give them a fun experience. Besides, you're hoping some of them will stick around!

It's usual to do at least one candidate trip at some point, though that's not required. You can also suggest that candidates do projects according to the object in the barracks.

The next things are egg touches and dragon surveys.

Once the mindtouches for the eggs are ready, you can start running touchings.

ICly, they'd involve a weyrlingmaster or candidate coordinator rounding up a few candidates and bringing them in; the queen would be there, as would her rider, and possibly the sire/his rider. The candidates are told to bow to the clutchparents, not roughhouse, and touch the eggs carefully.

OOCly, you want a SCo member for every 2-3 candidates, to keep track of what eggs they've touched and trigger the messages for them. Egg touchings don't use pose order; just respond to the candidates as they touch eggs. Have them use the code, it makes things clearer for you.

Ideally, you want enough touchings so all the candidates can touch all the eggs. You almost certainly will not succeed at this. That's okay; after the first few touchings, post the eggs and their touches to the wiki so the players can read them.

Over the course of candidacy, the SCo has to decide which of these players to give dragons. There are, broadly, four tools we use for this.

1) Direct Observation - Knot conversations, pages, OOC, RP. Pay attention! This is easy when you've got a schedule in common with the candidate, hard otherwise.

2) Logs - Read logs with the candidates in them! It's like RPing with them, only you don't have to be there for it. On the other hand, you don't get to see their OOC jokes or that they idled for an hour with no warning.

3) Feedback - The candidates can submit notes on each other; sometimes, it's a side of them SCo doesn't see.

4) The Dragon Questionnaire - We've watched them, we've read about them, we've had them to tell us about each other, and finally, we ask them to tell us about themselves.

I'm calling it the Dragon Questionnaire because this is also the place where we ask them what they'd like to see in a dragon if they do impress. There's no reason why you have to put it all together, but having it all in one @mail instead of split over three is certainly convenient.

There's a sample questionnaire, but you can ask whatever you like. Your goal is to understand what's important to them in a dragon (including what of the eggs they'd like it to come from), and who of their fellow candidates they do and don't want to impress with. You'll get a sense of them from your answers, and you can also ask them questions directly.

One place where we generally do ask direct questions is when it comes to potential goldriders. Because goldriders are ICly rare, may someday be senior weyrwoman and admin an area, and we're limited to one per clutch, we ask them some questions to see if they have the ability, desire, and experience. Sometimes this takes the form of an interview; sometimes we just @mail them an additional survey.

From these sources of information, you'll decide who to impress as weyrlings.

Speaking of that impression, there's one more important thing to ask the candidates, generally included on the survey. When can they be there for the hatching? You'll want to ask this of your SCo as well.

Hatching is the third of the hard dates. You must hatch on or before the day given. Usually, a hatching is scheduled for the weekend leading up to it, because that's when people tend to be around.

You want to have surveys in about ten days before the hatching, so you'll have time to write dragons.

The next step is to vote on impression.

You can vote yes, no, or a specific color. Sometimes it's obvious what a SCo thinks of someone; sometimes it's ambiguous, in which case it's a good idea to discuss and share perspectives to see whose opinion can be swayed. You don't need unanimity to impress someone, but it's a good idea - especially when it comes to metallics. You're the one who decides how to call the vote, but the Senior Weyrwoman and Weyrleader can overrule in the case of metallics.

Writing Dragons

As impressions are decided, assign dragons to writers and eggs. It's not a good idea to let anyone work on more than 1-2 dragons; consider pairing new people up with more experienced ones.

The helpfiles on the sands and the dragon-writing page explain how to actually write them.

There are more eggs than candidates to impress; the rest of the eggs will be NPC dragons.

There are several ways to do NPC dragons. Decide which one you want, and tell your SCo who's writing what NPC - unless there's a reason otherwise, it's reasonable to have each SCo member write the NPCs for the eggs they wrote.

The easiest way is to write a single pose for each NPC. It will be triggered on the wobble message (the first time you call +hatch), and includes the egg hatching, a brief description of the hatchling, and their impression to a NPC candidate, all in one pose. It is simple. It is easy. It lets you keep the focus on your PC candidates and weyrlings-to-be.

The most descriptive way is to write a full description and set of messages for NPCs, including some time wandering the sands before they impress to a NPC candidate. It allows you to establish them in detail; it provides visual interest. It can also make the scene spammy and add to the chaos of an already-busy day.

In between, there's doing them in two poses, wobble and crack. +hatch will be triggered twice; the first pose can be of a rocking egg while the second one is hatching, brief desc, and impression. This lets you go into a bit more detail while still keeping things relatively concise.

I recommend doing single pose or two-pose NPCs. The hatching will be busy. There will be plenty for people to see and respond to just from the candidates and your PC dragons - you don't need to add more unless there's a good reason why this particular extra is intrinsicly interesting.

For your PC dragons (and NPCs if you're doing them in full), it's a good idea to have the dragon's writer also pre-write their poses wandering the sands. They can tweak during the scene, but it's good to have something - especially because it might turn out that the dragon's writer can't make it and the dragon will be puppeted by someone else.

We're coming up on the final thing.

Hatching

Schedule the hatching. Your goal is to keep it under an hour; assume the game will lag and it will take longer. Try to time it so as many of your candidates as possible can make it; you'll also want to have at least 2-3 SCo members to help you run.

Post the event to the Xanadu and General +bboards. Tell candidates to arrive at least 15min early; find someone to RP with them beforehand. Either on the Xanadu +bboard or in @mail to the candidates, ask those who can't be there to arrange for someone to puppet them. You may offer to let them ask SCo as a last resort, but really, you want that side of it to be someone else's problem. You're worrying about the dragon half of things.

Go read through the helpfiles on the sands again.

Make a script. In what order do you want to hatch the eggs? You generally want to overlap hatchlings so there's two on the sands at a time, but that will get a little fuzzy. Know that at least one thing will not go according to your plan; make it anyway.

Assign eggs to the SCo members helping you. For PC eggs, assign them to the dragon's writer if you can; they're the one who'll have the best sense of the dragon. Besides - they're the one who did the work! For NPC eggs, just try to spread them evenly.

It's useful to make a list of commands as part of that script, as well as to pre-write some poses for yourself. Copy/paste is your friend during a hatching.

For your own poses, you might want a set, a reaction to the candidates arriving on the sands, one or two reactions to certain impressions, and a final pose to wrap things up.

Ask your weyrlingmasters, assistant and otherwise, to come by to help usher newly-impressed weyrlings off the sands; you and your SCo can also emit them. If you know you're going to be doing so, consider pre-writing some poses for that as well.

Now, you've got a script of commands and poses, and you've divvied them out amongst yourself and those helping you.

Go check the dragons. You should be doing this and following up with your writers throughout the week leading up to hatching, but 24 hours ahead of time, read over every dragon. Does it have everything it needs? Is it ready?

If it's not, fix it. Delegate if you can, but get it done.

Breathe.

For the hatching itself, your primary job is to coordinate. You'll be using the SXW knot and your schedule for this, tracking down the list and telling your SCo members when to trigger things on their eggs and impress their dragons. While they're on the sands, the dragons can simply be posed in alternation with their prospective riders - you want to give a chance for the candidate to respond before posing the dragon again - but you need to coordinate the points when the code is triggered.

At least one thing will not go according to your plan. A player will be pulled away, leaving a dragon wandering long after you'd wanted to impress it. Someone will typo a command or hit enter twice. There will be chaos. That's why you're there to coordinate instead of just letting your SCo members follow the plan; you can adapt, quickly. Discussion is slow; the hatching is fast and needs a leader. That's you.

Before the hatching, make sure you're sitting somewhere comfortable. Have a drink at hand. Go to the bathroom. Turn off knots so you're not distracted. It sounds dumb, but do whatever it takes so that you can be fully engaged for that hour.

Run the hatching.

There.

The Aftermath

You're nearly done. Here's what's left:

Thank your SCo for their help, in person and via @mail.

Bask in the happy weyrlings. Someone should be taking them to the barracks and explaining things. It doesn't have to be you, but it can be - or you can just come along for the ride.

Post about the hatching results to the Xanadu and General +bboards, and the Pernmu forums.

If someone is unhappy about not impressing, tell them to @mail SCo and you'll get back to them in a couple days.

The hatching feast is usually scheduled for the day after the hatching so people won't be as tired, but it can be the same day. This is something it would have been good to schedule and post about when you first announced the hatching. If not, do it now or have someone else do so.

Clean up after yourself.

On the sands:

@dec <name> - do for each one of the NPC eggs, and save the info to a file for their NPC character pages
+npc <number> - for eggs not impressed by PCs
+reset here - resets the sands. Do last.

In the Candidate Barracks:

+pro/clear - clears the Projects board of candidate's names

In the Caverns, using the Builder (requires admin):

+table/clear - clears Bets
&EGGS Betting Table=<blank> - clears eggs from table
Do 'take Betting Table' then 'home' and drop into Search Objects Box

Update the XAW knot:

xaw =text <NEW WEYRING NAME>/position=Weyrling
xaw =text <NEW WEYRING NAME>/wing=Pulsar
dtu =text <NEW WEYRING NAME>/weyr=Xanadu
xaw =text <NON-IMPRESSEE>/position=<Resident or Crafter/rank (for example TEC App)>
xaw =text <NON-IMPRESSEE>/wing=<Weyrfolk or Asteroid>

Update the wiki.

* Edit the Hatching log and post it.
* Add dragon pages
* Move Impressees names to Pulsar Wing
* Change character names to new names if they are using honorifics or have shortened them; add the new name to autolog module at the bottom of character page
* Make NPC Weyrling pages
* Make NPC dragon pages
* Move Candidate names back to crafter/Weyrfolk or Former Characters
* Search for pre-Hatching names on wiki and fix broken links by adding player:<NEWNAME|OLDNAME> to player links

And finally, clear out the old to make way for the new.

reset/<xaw - this clears the Search comments, so be sure you've saved them if you want them for future reference
xaw =boolean <player>/Candidates=off - clears Candidates from the XanaduSearch knot
delsco <name> - clears SearchCo knot - removes from =sxw, and clears BBoard #51. The Senior WW does this

Congratulations, Search Lead.

Appendix A: Schedule

Search Schedule of Assignments

Appendix B: Samples

Public (Xanadu and General) BBposts

SearchCo BBposts

Search @mails

Hatching Scripts

Thea's April 2012 Hatching Script

Soriana's Fall 2013 Hatching Script

This script was done as a spreadsheet on GDocs.

Appendix C: Command Quick Ref

During the Cycle:
addsco <name> - Knots for =sxw, sets Search boolean to YES. Must be done by the Senior WW.
showquestions/<weyr> - see the application
addquestion/<weyr> <question> - add a new question
delquestion/<weyr><question #> - delete a question
updatequestion/<weyr> <question #>=<updated question> - change a question
ex #7663 (while on the builder) - read the previous Candidate Welcome letter. This is an alternate XP designed by R'owan to auto-generate the 'Welcome to Candidacy' letter via +ncandidate
&SEARCH_Email XP=<write new letter here> - updates the Candidate Welcome letter
barracks/<weyr> <dbref> — sets a <dbref> to which new Candidates are linked. (optional)
searchok/<weyr> <name> — sets <name> as Search_OK for <weyr>.
searchno/<weyr> <name> — UNsets <name> as Search_OK for <weyr>.
unsearch/<weyr> <name> — removes <name> from being a Candidate.
checksvotes/<weyr> — tells you who voted what for Search.
hidesvotes/<weyr> <yes|no> — hides/unhides 'svotes/<weyr>'. When hidden, only SearchCo admin and wizards can use 'svotes/<weyr>'. Default is unhidden.
search/<weyr> <name>** - turns <name> into a candidate
+ncandidate <name> - adds <name>'s position to the XAW knot as Candidate and generates the Welcome to Candidacy letter

After the Cycle:
@dec <name> - do for each one of the NPC eggs, and save the info to a file for their NPC character pages
+npc <number> - for eggs not impressed by PCs
+reset here - resets the sands. Do last.
+pro/clear - clears the Projects board of candidate's names
+table/clear - clears Bets
&EGGS Betting Table=<blank> - clears eggs from table
xaw =text <NEW WEYRING NAME>/position=Weyrling
xaw =text <NEW WEYRING NAME>/wing=Pulsar
dtu =text <NEW WEYRING NAME>/weyr=Xanadu
xaw =text <NON-IMPRESSEE>/position=<Resident or Crafter/rank (for example TEC App)>
xaw =text <NON-IMPRESSEE>/wing=<Weyrfolk or Asteroid>
reset/<xaw - this clears the Search comments, so be sure you've saved them if you want them for future reference
xaw =boolean <player>/Candidates=off - clears Candidates from the XanaduSearch knot
delsco <name> - clears SearchCo knot - removes from =sxw, and clears BBoard #51. The Senior WW does this

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License