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Universities/Schools

Representing the world of Academia and higher education in Withmore brings many great opportunities. Can we please discuss the pros and cons of this, as well as the difficulties that would come with attempting to represent this? This is the only thread I found about it: https://www.sindome.org/bgbb/open-discussion/anything-really/newbie-question-751/ and I think there is much more to this than an ambient, background thing.

The more obvious positive to this would be more jobs in the form of Campus Faculty and Staff, as well as potential Security personnel. It could potentially greatly expand employment opportunities for characters focused on nearly all of the Life Science, Engineering, and Computer Science skills in the form of Teacher's Aids positions. Some of these skills/archetypes might be particularly underrepresented in Sindome, but that's probably something only GMs are able to constructively discuss.

In addition to the direct positive effect of more jobs, there are secondary benefits in the form of PC Academic Personnel tutoring other PCs as a side-hustle. Very RP-generating for those characters who decide they want to go in a new direction, and need a mentor to teach them new knowledge and new set of skills. Sure, there are currently methods to find mentors already. But it only benefits the game for there to be more methods to search for mentors; AKA characters who have something your character wants, which leads to RP. Also, you trade drugs and money for some chemistry lessons, to learn how to make drugs. Or if you're looking to go topside, trade drugs and money for various Certifications that may be useful(another thing that would need to be implemented, which is actually a potential point against the idea).

I know going to school doesn't sound very cyberpunk. But other than the more obvious mentioning of the perceived age of most people of the "Punk" movement and the historical relationship between College students and Organized Protest, there are even more things to consider. don't really know what can be accomplished with Chemistry, but a Chemistry Professor who makes drugs to sell to his students, students who then likely drop out due to drug addiction unless they pay their Chemistry Professor an extra fee on the side sounds pretty cyberpunk, right?

Very important things to consider: Of course this would be a huuuuuuuge project which would take a loooong time. I don't know what GMs have planned at the moment, but this is something which could be considered for discussion after Grid 3.0 is rolled out.

Another thing is, the current population of Sindome might not warrant even a single campus of higher education on Gold, let alone Red (which, as un-themely as it sounds at first is the place which would benefit the most from it).

Also there's the matter of real-estate. Don't know where would be a good spot to put something like this.

Anyway, what do you all think? What other problems, or benefits do you see with this? Does the idea seem worth it in any way, in consideration of how much time and effort something like this would take?

Anyone want to share previous thoughts on this type of discussion? Can't find any useful forum topics, but I am sure this has been discussed previously in the OOC chat or something.

I don't see the benefit. Sindome isn't high school/university roleplay, it's a gritty cyberpunk world filled with action and betrayal.
I'd rather see you pay a decker to fabricate whatever schooling or work experience you might need or want. I REALLY REALLY would like that. :-P
When people play as EMTs or medical roles, nobody responds with "Sindome isn't hospital/nurse roleplay, it's a gritty cyberpunk world filled with action and betrayal." Because in Sindome the focus is on the facet of EMTs and medical roles in terms of how it's most relevant to Cyberpunk themes, like, totally hypothetically speaking of course, some kind of medical personnel (perhaps even an EMT?) being made to make decisions on who to treat based on alliances and relationships, possibly betraying associates?

When people play an HR/PR position at a Corporation, people generally don't say "Sindome isn't party planner/pencil pusher roleplay, it's a gritty cyberpunk world filled with action and betrayal." I think part of that is because GMs might possibly encourage or at least approve of characters in HR/PR roles who form and break alliances to further their own careers? I haven't seen that personally, but I'm thinking that could be a think here in Sindome.

Maybe there are a higher amount of people out there who scoff at Entertainer/Stripper/Joy roles? That can be up for debate... But I have certainly seen those roles used and presented in a themely manner on Sindome. Because there is a focus on the stuff that matters to Cyberpunk themes with those roles. Or at least there's supposed to be.

Which is something I tried to explain in my first post... The ways that Academic roles can be themely in Sindome. Corrupt Chemistry professors who sell drugs to their private students. Corrupt Biotech professors who funnel grants from Virii-Soma into their own illegal[i/] personal projects. Professors who give preferential treatment to students based on gang affiliation, or even outright set up a somewhat wealthy student for a mugging or kidnapping.

Also, hiring a decker to do that sounds good too, Mobius. I'd also like to mention that having Systems/Programming academic positions available would encourage a further development of a rich decker scene on Sindome. I don't really know if that's an issue, or even desired on Sindome, but if there are not as many deckers as GMs want there to be, Academic positions could be an answer to increasing the decker population.

I'd support a university in game. Good opportunity for more hoity-toity rich ass corpies and one more place for the Mix to attack for what it represents.

The corp-sec protecting it have to strictly use melee though, and beat you down with heavy ass tomes, and scold you for not using your inside voice while they do it.

In our current world, universities have lots of little ways of gatekeeping and drawing out money from its students. In a cyberpunk world, this might be amplified to the point where only people who live on Green or above could ever attend such a thing.

Not to mention *when* you would have gone to school. It's probably expected, in a world like Withmore's, that you did so right out the gate of high school. It's probably even frowned upon for any kind of immy to attend a Withmorian university when they clearly weren't born in the city. All that exclusion is probably what makes a place like that thrive.

"Community college? Hah. Might as well get your education from the Grid like every other broke baka out there."

Sounds like it would end up as an R&D range for ZMI and WAI products.
Being an EMT/corpie is part of the 'cyberpunk theme'. Teachers/universities/schools are just not represented in cyberpunk and it is not worth the effort of building/coding and all that. Maybe you want to play a corrupt 'teacher' but the playerbase will not and going through the effort of all that just to please one player out of seventy is simply not worth it.

Nobody will bother going to class to do studyRP and ".learn about biotech" when you can be out there plotting and hustling. There are some aspects of the game that have "classes" but those are for jobs which require ACTUAL knowledge on what you need to do and that you need to OOCly learn.

Corrupt chemistry professors selling drugs to students? Drugs are already legal and if you wanna cook up illegal combat drugs instead building an entire university campus isn't worth it and there are easier ways.

Corrupt biotech professors for their personal projects? This also doesn't need an entire university campus and -if- there was one I doubt the university campus will have no security to allow you to do your illegal projects without anyone seeing you in an -university-. If you wanna do your own illegal drek, then you can do that like other PCs do in the game.

These already exist, you just want to give them an 'official' job title in an university as a side thing. People who do these kind of stuff already do and have side-jobs and adding another like a 'university teacher' when people already hardly apply for biotech/chemist jobs topside is too extra and not worth it. Fill up the current spots first, and if there's a need, make more jobs.

Staunchly against this unless there are coded lockers I can cram nerds into.
Thank you everyone for the great replies so far!

Great insight, Supermarket. I do think a lot of Gate keeping being involved, but I don't think that it would be frowned upon for an immy to attend a university in Withmore. Exclusion and class separation are integral to Withmore, but at the same time there seem to be a good amount of success stories of immigrants reaching very high echelons of recognition in Topside society. Not only that, when Withmore *does* get Corporate Immigrants, they don't seem to be overtly discriminated against.

Grizzly, good point that I will touch up on in a moment.

Ranger, EMT/Corpie like many roles and archetypes in the game have a facet that's "cyberpunk theme" and a facet that is not. When Corpies are sitting around the bars, shooting the shit, socializing, schmoozing, and generally not actively plotting against one another... That's not really cyberpunk. Almost every single Corporate position available to PCs has large facets to them which are not Cyberpunk, which do not get focused on because it's not cyberpunk.

And as I have already said, "studyRP" would be one of those things that are not focused on. Professors/Researchers would be treated like any other Corporate position, where you don't focus on the boring shit, and instead focus on the parts where you plot against other faculty members to get better positions, or stab fellow faculty in the back to secure better funding from Saedor. But As Krauser has pointed out, at that point you may as well simply focused on what Corporate stuff IS available.

And Security? Like how there's security all over the whole dome, but people still manage to do illegal shit? There's always the chance of you getting caught for your scheming, isn't that part of the whole Cyberpunk deal?

And as I have also said before, particularly in the first post that you replied to within a single minute of me posting, this is not about trying to please one player out of seventy.

This idea was about creating additional opportunities for RP for everyone due to archetypes that are literally mentors(who maybe eventually get stabbed in the back by their pupils?), and for encouraging more people to play characters that use Life Science, Engineering, and Computer Science skills. Like giving more people the chance to have both a legit Programs/Systems job, and also doing it for side hustling.

I have no idea how often people apply for biotech/chemist positions, but maybe more people would if topside biotech/chemist positions weren't as Corporation locked as they are now? In game that is so focused on the RP, I can see how people might shy away from some decisions which could lead to much higher difficulty for doing RP with a sizeable portion of an already kind of small population.

But yeah, just making more jobs would be great, if the Staff feels like it would positively impact the game in any way.

In any case, as pointed out in my first post, this is about getting people's thoughts on the matter, and I'm very happy I'm getting that.

Whilst I definitely appreciate your idea, this would require significant staff resources that in my opinion, could be better spent in many other areas. As I'm sure you can understand, we only have so many man hours to use for the numerous different features the game could use. I don't see the benefit this would give to the game as a whole would offset that given what it would take away from other areas of the game.

Go out there and meet people that can teach you. If you want to do it and you're an expert in your field (Have absolutely no idea on this, as this advice is good for pretty much everyone), go out and work towards making it happen ICly. In the many years I've been involved with Sindome, both as a player and as an admin there are SO many things that have been driven by player activity or ideas like this. I'll even go as far as saying in this instance, we actually have coded support for what you're trying to accomplish.

But you said these faculty staff jobs would be corporate positions anyway. So they'd be corporate locked per say - what exactly would be the difference between a VS biotech or chemist or a faculty member if they both do almost the exact same thing? One would just have the job title of biotech teacher, and that's it; while the other is biotech in VS. From what you're saying their focus will just be plotting against other faculty members. VS biotechs plot against other VS biotechs to climb the ladder. So what is this going to add other than the flavor of calling yourself a biotech teacher in exchange for so much staff support and building resources (which we already have problems with right now).

And you'd be surprised but corpies (at least the good ones) plot and hustle even while socializing. They're playing the game good if you haven't realized that yet or found out about it.

Hey Glitch, thanks the reply.

Yeah, I was already thinking something like this could be a very long-term project which is aimed at increasing "archetype" variety and representation. But I can totally see how something like this could not be worth it compared to the immense amount of resources it would take.

I don't know about the demographics of PCs in Sindome, and I don't know about what Staff collectively want for the game in terms of what "archetypes" you want represented more. But from my perspective, there is an appropriately very sizeable portion of the population that is combat oriented. It's a cyberpunk game, so that makes sense. The intent of this idea was to encourage a more PCs into those Life Science, Engineering, and Computer Science based "archetypes" to provide cool support services and enable more kinds of RP for those many combat characters.

Similar to how I believe when Grid 3.0 is out, there will be more interest in the Decking, although I have no idea if Decker characters are as represented in Sindome as the staff wants.

But yes, there are much more efficient, less resource intensive ideas to suggest which could be beneficial to everyone.

Rangerkrauser: The specific point that you're referring to has already been conceded.

"But As Krauser has pointed out, at that point you may as well simply focused on what Corporate stuff IS available." - from the post you're responding to. It's a concession; as in: you're right and have a good point right there. I'm conceding the point. The one thing a Teacher/Professor position would have over other corporate positions is it would be easier and more accessible to find people to teach your characters esoteric things, like some kind of engineering. But that's not a good enough reason for this kind of idea, so I'm conceding the whole thing overall, and just taking away from this the good replies and insight I've received on this.

And while Glitch has already stated that this kind of thing doesn't really have a place in Sindome, an example of Mix Schools could be Martial Arts dojos. Steal signs from other schools as signs of disrespect and shit. But, similar to the point Krauser has already made, all that is, is alternate flavor to gangs and stuff.