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    • "Ain't hardly nothin' to do but hunker down till she blows herself out." The man squatted, "Rance, is the name. Been watchin' you, doin' a fine job. You'll do Wheeler, you'll do. Try and get some rest, might end up bein' a long night. Least you won't be ridin' drag come daylight, there's a plus for ya."   He stood and made his way to his shelter to await the grub that was coming.   @Bongo
    • Meanwhile, in the main house, Reb Culverson was visiting with his old friend Fightin' Joe Hooker, who was the ramrod for the fledgling Montana Territory Stockgrowers Association, Northern District. He was there to convince ranchers to join and support the organization, hoping it would take root.   "And just what good is this here association ya got started?" Reb asked.   "It'll give us a voice in the territorial government, Reb, that's what it'll do. Once that happens we'll be able to git us some sortta range police to protect the herds, and the ranchers." Hooker responded. "Rustlin' might not be the threat it was, but you know as well as me, it can come back."   "You get anywhere with Lost Lake, 'er that cow thief on the Evergreen?" Reb asked.   "Can't say as I have, startin' with the smaller spreads an' workin' my way up to them two. I'm well aware of both spreads, and the men that own 'em."   -------------0------------   They swept down out of the trees whooping and hollering and firing off a couple of shots as they closed on both sides of a big group of cattle, just as they had planned. The  lone night hawk knew he had no chance of stopping the raiders, or of saving the cattle while he watched the chunk of the herd moving toward and then into the trees at a run.  He emptied his Colt at the raiders, the whipped out his Winchester  and levered several shots in the area where they had disappeared.   He could not know that one of his shots had found its mark. A man that had just joined took a slug in his back and toppled from his horse. Toole and the men continued to drive the cattle toward the dry riverbed as planned. It was an acceptable loss.   The sound of the shots, mere pops at the distance to the main house and the bunk house alerted everyone, and men boiled out of the bunk house guns in hand, only to watch the night man shooting after the rustlers.
    • Out on the boardwalk they stopped, "So we managed ta git a deal right off, thet's good, it is. Now all we gotta do is convince ol' Wentworth to free up the money so's ya don't have ta use yers right off." Amos commented, "Seems a fair deal but like you say, minin's not no sure thing."   "John and Mary are good folks. It's not a sure thing, but you saw the vein, went to the floor and it looks rich," Speed responded. "And it looks to be wider where they stopped digging. I can't wait to get it assayed to see what we've really got our hands on."   "And it should assay out pretty good from the looks of it, though I know so little about copper ore." Alice admitted.   "Well, you saw the copper ore, which is clearly distinguishable from the surrounding rock due to its reddish, mottled appearance. And that surrounding rock is granite which is not easy to work, but it can be done, and, if we have hit it, the veins could be as much as a mile long, a mile wide, and a mile deep!" Speed explained with a grin. "With that equipment we'll be able to not only dig deeper, we'll be able to tunnel, and we have the property to do just that."   "Jumpin' Jehoshaphat!" Amos exclaimed. Might oughtta buy up what ground ya can aound 'er, jest ta be certain!"   "First things first, let get on up to the bank." Speed suggested.
    • Justus was more than happy to have a chance to get out of the bulk of the wind, although he knew this was far from over.  And he knew they'd be hacking up dirt for days.     With the picket lines set, he moved over to help put up the shelters for the night, pretty quickly deciding that it was a fool's errand...they were all going to be miserable until this let up.   Squinting, he looked out toward the herd, not able to see but a few in the dust, it looked like they had been swallowed by the big, dirty cloud, and weren't even there.  In fact, he had the eerie sensation that all that was left in the world was this small circle of men and horses.   "Ya need me ta do anythin' else?" he called over the din of the wind.   @Flip
    • Doc Gilcrest walked into the bunck house to see Carson on his feet, dressed. "I may not be able to ride, but I can darn sure walk some. Tired of layin' in that bed."   "I reckon you kin do thet, sure 'nough. No body said ya had ta lie there if'n ya didn't want to. Yer stitched up plenty good. Jest leave thet hog leg where she's hangin' fer now, don't need the weight in thet wound."   "So anybody come sniffin' around?" He asked.   "Not so's you'd notice. There's four men down there keepin' watch, but it don't look like Lost Lake's lost any sleep over their man, that is if'n they even know he's gone." Gilcrest offered.   "He seen that brand an' went ta shootin'!" Carson reflected. "I jest shot straighter. Had no choice in the matter. Fool could'a rode on, but, well, that just ain't what happened. Hell of a mess."   "Oh I dunno. So far nobodies come huntin', the boss ain't upset over it, neither's Granger, so you got nothin' ta worry on 'cept gettin' better."   "I should'a been more careful, but maybe there just wasn't no way to be more careful. Up on the side of that mountain is the purdiest view a man could look at. You can see fer miles, see right where they got them cows of theirs. Now that ain't gonna be no easy matter to get to any of 'em. They're deep on Lost Lake range. Gonna be hard to get at, an' worse to get out. We'll lose some men tryin' this one, that's for sure!'   Gilcrest rubbed his chin. It wasn't like Carson to go on about the prospects of a job.

Next Episode: Suggestions and Planning

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Good Day All,

I know that we have several plot ideas up and I promise, we will get to using them as site-wide plots. However, in order to avoid a mega time-jump (which we will almost have to do for part of the winter months because in Montana, no one is going to be doing much during the winter)...I am suggesting the following...

  • We set the time span to September - November for the next episode.
  • We make it an open plot episode (i.e. multiple smaller plots instead of 1 overreaching theme). This way we can bring some of the Steelgrave plots to fruition and some of the ideas that JulieS has for the Wentworths and Miss Katherine. Also, any current plots that span several days / weeks, etc., can be split, moved, and continued.

Discussion and feedback is welcome. However, hold additional plot ideas or post them separately. This thread is for discussing the next episode only. Thanks!


@Members   @Moderators   @Players   @Sr. Moderator

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)
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September-November sounds good.  It will allow me to get the Wentworth brothers moved in and to find jobs.  It will also allow time for my other characters to settle in and do a few things.


I can work with any plot that anyone else feels like doing.

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Thank you all for responding. So, to the second part of this, I am planning on sorting our IC forums into locations. Then, on our topic form where it currently has Setting and Location, we'll change that to Setting Details so if you're writing in the Kalispell forum, you'll just add specifics of where the scene takes place.


So, while the Season, Episode, Scene format is a good idea. I feel like it might be holding people back from leaping into other stories. Once we finish writing The Bear, I am going to change how we do this.


We'll set a timespan (for example the next one will be September - November, 1875), this timeframe will have a theme - My suggestion for the next one is Trials and Tribulations. Plotting will generally be open although we'll continue the backstories that have been building from the beginning of Sagas. A good example is the rivalry between the Steelgraves and Thorntons, we can heat that up a bit in the next story. We will still want to plan, plot, and coordinate so that stories eventually get finished.


Although we are going to a multi-forum layout for IC writing, I don't want to go overboard with creating forums that won't get used. Below is a list of suggested IC forums.

Remember, forums can always be added if we have a mega-active storyline happening in a specific location.


Here's a tentative layout for the IC forums. Feedback is welcome....


Category: Montana Territory

Forum: Kalispell

  • Belle-St. Regis Hotel
  • Lost Lake Ranch
  • Marshal's Office
  • Stardust Saloon
  • Kalispell Open (all other locations)

Forum: Whitefish

  • Saloon (need to lookup its name)
  • Evergreen Ranch
  • Marshal's Office
  • Whitefish Open (all other locations)

Forum: USA

  • States
  • Territories

Forum: The World

(no subforums)

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)
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So while I like the idea of the different IC forums I wonder about let's say Pronto rides into town and stops at the Stardust before going over to the Marshals office, then on to the boarding house, Having covos in each place. Would we be writing in each of those forums? Seems to me it would be easier to open the post in the Kalispell forum and just writing one post on one forum. But maybe I'm not seeing the bigger picture.


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I think Flip has a point.  Maybe we should just keep it as a forum for each location (Kalispell, Whitefish, etc.).  It would be a lot less work trying to keep track of what is going on and where.  It also will save having the confusion of multiple stories/scenes in a location especially as it is sometimes days before people post a response in their scene and the hassle of having others wait to start theirs so that is doesn't break up the flow e.g.


Hotel Topic

Person A posts the start of the scene and waits for Person B to respond

Person C starts their scene (which may be on a different day) and waits for Person D to respond

Person D posts

Person C responds

Person D reponds

Person B responds to Person A

Person C responds to Pereson D


As you can see it would get very confusing after a while.


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Hey there!


@Wayfarer  If you think we'd use it enough, would be happy to add the Redmond Farm...however...


After reading the responses from @JulieS and @Flip , I am rethinking the multiple forums idea somewhat. Another scenario takes the tracking and confusion further, what about threads that ramble from Kalispell to Whitefish? Now, we can continue threads with a link to the "continued from" and "continued in" but that is seriously a pain to do all of the time.


Honestly, I only considered adding the additional forums due to the fact that it's how the majority of forum RPGs do things. However, regarding where each thread happens, if you hover over the title in the topic listing, a popup comes up and you can easily see the thread info (type of thread, location and setting, etc.). I honestly think our current set-up makes it more conducive to reading other people's threads because, hopefully, we write to tell a story that we all read as well as to interact.


1.  Should we leave things as is? One active IC forum?


2. Should we go to "time-frame" forums?


Here's what I mean by time-frame forums..... I'll use our next story as an example...


For our next story theme, we're considering titling it Trials and Tribulations.... it will be an open format story set during the months of September, October, and November. So, the layout would be....


Main Forum: Trials and Tribulations

Subforums: September 1875, October 1875, November 1875


What I am aiming for is that everyone feels comfortable with how we do things and feels free to start their own storylines independent of the main backstory or theme. There are major plusses and minuses to writing in multiple IC forums.


Okay - commence with the feedback, suggestions, ideas!

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)
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12 hours ago, Stormwolfe said:

Main Forum: Trials and Tribulations

Subforums: September 1875, October 1875, November 1875

I do like this format as it will allow those who want to get on with their plots to be able to do so without waiting for others to complete theirs.  It also would be beneficial for times when people are unable to post for a certain time due to sickness, real life issues, etc.  For example, if you are waiting for someone to reply in the your thread in the September forum, you can move on to October or November (unless your character is unable to do so) while you wait until the other person comes back.

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I think we will give the "time block" format a go for the next episode. The only precaution that we'll need to take is that people writing in October or November do not lock the people writing in September into an "ending" for their plots or scenes. That's no different than now though since we have to make sure a scene has ended before our characters can know what occurred. We'll just all have to watch our OOC Knowledge and do some coordination with one another.


It is a little less orderly as far as story progression, but again, not much worse than now as we are event driven rather than date driven anyway. I'll come up with a really short, logical guide before we're ready to change over.

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I have to agree with Wayfarer. I also have to add, simple is better. The early days we wrote our sagas PBEM, then we began this arduous journey into the many brands of forums that allowed for avatars and signatures, and even then we began to see multiple forums within the main one. Now it's all about the beauty of the forum and in many cases the need to understand, or at least deal with code just to get your character registered to write a story. Which is still done the same way as PBEM, typing your words in a box and hitting enter.


And participation has plummeted. First because of 'Star Trek On-Line' and the myriad of games to follow which stole writers by the score. And now by the difficulty of the RPG's themselves. The main reason I'm not on 'Heart Of The West.' Too difficult to become a part of it. Not worth my time. Altho I just wrestled with another game that was just as difficult to get into, only to type my words in a box.


I am not criticizing attempts to improve the games, not at all. I just don't see the need to to go to the extreme lengths that today's RPGs have gone to. In fact, I am working with a lady to revive a PBEM, knowing full well how difficult it will be to attract writers.


Whatever is decided I will remain, I am invested in this game, and I want it to succeed. End rant.


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I also had a look at "Heart of the West" and found it confusing and too complicated.  Keeping scenes in one thread/topic is good especially if the characters are walking or riding to various destinations.


For me, keeping it within time periods i.e. months in one episode is good as it allows me to keep my characters' stories moving without having to wait for other things to happen.  This of course is dependent on what plots my character is involved in but if they aren't doing nothing like, for example, Matt Wentworth at the moment - I can have him in a scene, then skip forward a few days and write another scene to continue his story arc.  If someone wants him at the hotel, this could be just be put down as part of the job and one of the many transactions/events he would have during the month.  Unless, it is important and vital to a plot, like most of us he wouldn't be paying much attention or even remember it fully.


Also, IMO opinion the simpler it is to join up and get going, the better.  Those new to RPGs will also be looking for something that is easy to follow.  If they know they can jump right in only remembering they have stay within the time frame of the game (and other game rules), might be a plus e.g. they can just write their own story without having to get involved with others, while they learn how the game works and get to know others to work out future plots.


I hope I've explained this clearly 😐

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@Flip @JulieS


Thank you both for your feedback! I honestly appreciate it.


And I do agree that one should not have to know how to code in order to write a story ;) I can do minor code things and I loathe post templates. I am on Heart of the West and it is a lovely site with great people. However, I find that I do not find it conducive to reading scenes that my character isn't involved in. I still enjoy it.


I chose the single IC forum format because I am a very linear / chronological thinker. On top of that, my meds impose memory restrictions on me so if the threads are "in order" then I don't have to try to remember who did what when or where who is when. It's also why we changed over to being event driven rather than absolute dates on our scenes.


On the "scene date" score, nothing would change there. We would just need to be careful and communicate with one another so that we don't trap ourselves into an outcome for an event. So far, we've had zero issues with that and I don't see it becoming a major stumbling block. Basically, we couldn't have Character A state in November that he and Character B did X in September unless the writer owns characters A and B. 


What I am hearing here - I think - is...


Keep it simple but open it up a bit so people don't feel restricted by the timeline? I would add also that we don't want to have to remember exact dates.

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@Admin @Moderators @Players @Sr. Moderator


Good Day Y'all,

So, I have been working on the site and have added some location-based IC forums. I chose to keep it fairly simple. Also, we'll keep "where" we post simple. If the thread starts in Whitefish, but the majority of the scene takes places in Kalispell, go ahead and start it in Kalispell. We can add specific location info via the tags system. Also, we can put a specific location at the top of each post. Ditto for time of day changes, etc.


When you start a new thread (topic), you will see that the long, complicated template is gone! Instead, you will see: 


Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 12.09.01 PM.png

  • Title: This is the same as always, a title for your thread.
  • Tags: This is new, but easy to use. It is not IC tags. These are tags that describe your topic. Click on the + sign and type in a few keywords that designate information about the topic. Examples are specific locations such as Whitefish-Kalispell, Date such as Sept. 1875, etc. 
  • Prefix: After clicking on the + sign and filling in tags, you will see Item Prefix appear after you add your tags. Pick one of the tags that best describes the post such as the location or time and click on it. The prefix will appear next to the thread's title in the topic listing.

Then choose your character, fill  out the short header template, and write your post. Trust me, the instructions are far more involved than the actual set-up.


When you create a new topic, a simple header will auto-load into it. See below....


With: List characters and NPCs in the thread.
Location: Add specific location information here.
When: May 2017
Time of Day: Time of Day (morning, afternoon, evening, etc.).


Start your post here.


Just replace the notes with the thread's information.

  • With: If this is an open thread, just put Open there. If the thread is private between certain characters, list them here. You do not need to add your own character (thread starter).
  • Location: This narrows down where the thread happens. If you have put the thread in the Kalispell forum, then maybe this one is Lost Lake Ranch (hint: this should be your prefix tag).
  • When: Replace this with a more specific timeframe (example: Sept. 3, 1875) or even just the month and year. We are not going to be ultra concerned over the exact dates except where we need to have a specific event happen before another one.
  • Time of Day: Give a general time of day such as Morning, Early Afternoon, etc.

I will add the post template into the guidelines at the top of the topic listing page so that it can be easily copied and used in posts if you need to indicate major location and TOD changes but it doesn't warrant starting a new thread.


Hopefully, this will make everything easier and give us an at-a-glance view of what, when, where, etc.

Edited by Stormwolfe (see edit history)
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Plotting and Planning

Does everyone still want a three month timeframe for the next threads and plots (September thru November)? We are in August 1875 right now.


I do not have a major site-wide plot in mind at this moment. Instead, I was planning on focusing on smaller character-driven plots and maybe introducing my new guy (Hunter Morgan). Also, I thought we might focus more on Steelgrave shenanigans.


Remember, if you come up with a plot thread, contact the other player(s) here or in Discord to make sure the characters you want are available. It'll help us not trip over one another.


Post any questions and feedback here.


@Admin   @Moderators    @Players    @Sr. Moderator  


PS: I am going to move our "lore" off of our Wordpress site and onto pages I've set up here. It will be one less site for me to maintain.



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