Community Roadmap Project

Community Roadmap Project

Greetings community,

I’m excited to announce a new project that our member advocates will focus on during the coming months – a community roadmap.

LARP organizations are unique creatures in function and business model. Regardless of whether they are for-profit or not-for-profit, LARP clubs straddle the line between providing a service and shepherding a community.  In addition to fostering a collective game of make believe, LARP organizations must also tackle difficult social topics: inclusion, the creation of safer spaces, and navigating situations where out-of-game traumas bleed into the gaming community.

This becomes especially challenging given the subject matter that can come up in World of Darkness LARPs, where the setting explores the darker sides of society and the human psyche.  These are issues that our real-world leaders often struggle with handling, yet we place expectations on the organizers of our LARP groups – who often lack professional training – to navigate these topics. This is further compounded by the reality that there are those who are heavily invested in our hobby who may have not developed the communication skills necessary to provide actionable feedback about emotionally charged situations in ways that come across as assertive rather than aggressive.

I’m inspired by the work that has been done so far by the Dystopia Rising LARP organizers and members in putting together protocols for creating a safer LARP space and dealing with issues of conflict and harassment within the community. I feel that we can learn a lot from what they have done, and tap that experience in further developing our own community framework.

I’ve asked our Member Advocates – Doug, Jordan, and Rachael – to work with me in developing a community roadmap for our organization. The idea behind a roadmap is that it serves as a guide to get from where you are now to where you want to be in the future. Much like a roadmap used in travel, this can include places (behaviors) to focus on, and ones to avoid.  Here are the topics that I feel are necessary for a community roadmap:

  • How we as a club define “community”, and what each member’s role and responsibility is in building that community. This includes responding to incidents where we witness others acting in ways that are detrimental to the spirit of community.
  • How we as a club define a “safer space”, and what each member’s role and responsibility is in creating such.
  • How we express and acknowledge consent within a LARP environment, and handle incidents of breeches of consent at community events.
  • How we define and respond to incidents of harassment and assault (building upon our current processes).

Thank you to our Member Advocate Team for being willing and eager to take on this project. If you would like to proactively reach out to them to offer assistance, please email member.advocates@hiddenparlor.com

Jessica Karels
President, The Hidden Parlor

Posted by hpadmin
Upcoming Member-Wide Vote

Upcoming Member-Wide Vote

Greetings community members!

When the membership developed and voted in our National Charter last year, one of the items that was approved by the membership was for our club to have bi-annual chronicle resets. There is a provision within the charter that allows for the membership - by majority vote - to suspend the reset. This empowers our player base to extend the chronicle indefinitely, if they wish, or for them to decide whether we should start anew at the beginning of the upcoming year.

In order to give our Chapter & National officers enough time to either wrap up on existing story arcs or prepare for upcoming ones, the Board of Directors approved to modify the voting time frames for the National Officer Elections & Vote to Suspend Chronicle Reset.

The Vote to Suspend Chronicle Reset will happen in July on odd-numbered years (2017, 2019, 2021...)

National Officer Elections will happen in August on odd-numbered years (2017, 2019, 2021...) and will occur even if the membership votes in favor of suspending the Chronicle reset.

Ballots for the vote on whether or not to suspend the chronicle reset will be emailed to our members on July 1st, with a voting period of 2 weeks.  If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Board of Directors at directors@hiddenparlor.com

Posted by hpadmin in Announcements
The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-04-06

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-04-06

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017 4 6

 

Date 2017 4 6 Start 1811 PST End 2000 PST
Location Virtual Facilitator Jessica Karels Scribe Mike Mack

 

Invitees Board Members: Jessica Karels, Casey Corbin, Jim Lucky, Mike Mack, Rob Bennett

Member Advocates: Doug Fitzgerald

Absent Board Members:

Member Advocates: Jordan Fenty, (Optional, Member Advocate)

 

Meeting Administrativa
Topic Details
Approving Minutes 4 Aye 0 Na 0 Abstain

 

Membership Feedback / Action Plan
Item # / Date Feedback Suggested Solution Action Plan Next Steps

 

Special Assignments / Old Business
Assignment Leading Update Due Date
VIP for Access Codes/ Other Incentives Jessica Karels Jessica will be research the technical side. Talking about possible other incentives like Rewrites, Extra Character slots or Minor changes to sheets. 4/13
Animal Succulence Consumption Casey Corbin Going to wait to see what BNS says on the subject. Casey will contact the ST and see if this issue can wait until then. 4/13
MailChimp/Marketing Jessica Karels Possibly using new graphic Marketing Tool for flyers and other Advertising for each chapter or events. Vote on “Monthly Marketing Program: 4 aye 0 Naw
Membership Engagement Survey Mike Mack Mike has not finished the revisions put forth from Jessica at this time, should be done and completed by this weekend. More questions have been submitted lately on people, currently working on a rough draft. 4/13 for onboarding

TBD on BNS Rules

Chapter Requirements Casey Corbin He is going to be working on them this week.
Handbook Cleanup Jim Lucky Still working on it. 4/13
Census of Chapters/Players Casey Corbin Questions for NST. Working on round 2 of people to reach out.
Basic Reports Casey Corbin Tabled for next meeting
True Independant SSD Casey Corbin Going to continue to discuss during the moving
Fill positions of NST and Member Advocate Mike Mack Putting together questions for the NST canidates
Global Continuity NST Tabled till we have an NST.

 

New Business
Item # Presenter Topic Details Next Steps
1

 

Motion to Adjourn:  5 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstain

Posted by hpadmin in Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-31

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-31

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017 3 30

 

Date 2017 3 30 Start 1810 PST End 1941 PST
Location Virtual Facilitator Jessica Karels Scribe Mike Mack

 

Invitees Board Members: Jessica Karels, Casey Corbin, Jim Lucky, Mike Mack, Rob Bennett, Doug Fitzgerald

Member Advocates:

Absent Board Members:

Member Advocates: Jordan Fenty, (Optional, Member Advocate)

 

Meeting Administrativa
Topic Details
Approving Minutes Aye 4 Na 0 Abstain

 

Membership Feedback / Action Plan
Item # / Date Feedback Suggested Solution Action Plan Next Steps

 

Special Assignments / Old Business
Assignment Leading Update Due Date
Zero Tolerance Mike Mack Additional Actions have been taken. Emails will be sent out to the parties involved. 5 aye 0 Naw 0 Abstain 4/6
Membership Engagement Survey Mike Mack Still need additional review of Onboarding, Questions are being put in a format. 4/6
Chapter Requirements Casey Corbin Casey is continuing to move forward on the Chapter Requirements.
Handbook Cleanup Jim Lucky Also looking at the Bi-Laws then moving on to the Handbook to make sure both of the work in tangent.
Werewolf SSD Jessica Karels Being added to the Documentation
Fill positions of NST and Member Advocate Mike Mack Announcements have gone out. Member Advocate has not had any issues come up at this time. Talked about possible candidates for NST.
Census of Chapters/Players Casey Corbin About possible NST duties. Maybe adding more duties for the Admins
Basic Reports Casey Corbin Still holding off till be can gather more on other subjects.
True Independant SSD Casey Corbin Will be working on that on his next day off, maybe adding certain Merits for them only.
Global Continuity NST Waiting to go forward for NST

 

New Business
Item # Presenter Topic Details Next Steps
1 Jessica Karels VIP for Access Codes/ Other incentives Moved to beginning of next meeting
2 Casey Corbin Animal Succulence+ Consumption Moved to beginning of next meeting
3 Jessica Karels MailChimp/Marketing Moved to beginning of next meeting

 

Motion to Adjourn:  4 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstain

Posted by hpadmin in Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-23

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-23

 

Date 2017 3 23 Start 1800 PST End 1930 PST
Location Virtual Facilitator Jessica Karels Scribe Mike Mack

 

Invitees Board Members: Jessica Karels, Casey Corbin, Jim Lucky, Mike Mack

Member Advocates:

Absent Board Members: Rob Bennett

Member Advocates: Doug Fitzgerald, Jordan Fenty, (Optional, Member Advocate)

 

Meeting Administrativa
Topic Details
Approving Minutes Aye 3 Na 0 Abstain

 

Membership Feedback / Action Plan
Item # / Date Feedback Suggested Solution Action Plan Next Steps

 

Special Assignments / Old Business
Assignment Leading Update Due Date
Ad for Midwinter Jessica Karels Reiterated plan for Midwinter 2018

  • Volunteer in room to help answer questions and promote the club
  • Chapter creation materials (

Vote on Room for Midwinter 4 aye

Zero Tolerance Mike Mack Waiting for the Response from the parties involved 3/23/17
Membership Engagement Survey Mike Mack Onboarding Mike will look over revisions set forth by Jessica and will vote on next week, Questions are still coming in 3/23/17
Chapter Requirements Casey Corbin Starting to do it will Fresno as a test run
Handbook Cleanup Jim Lucky Working on it at this time
Werewolf SSD Jessica Karels Tabled
Fill positions of NST and Member Advocate Mike Mack Tabled
Census of Chapters/Players Casey Corbin Tabled
Basic Reports Casey Corbin Tabled
True Independant SSD Casey Corbin Tabled
Global Continuity NST Tabled

 

New Business
Item # Presenter Topic Details Next Steps
1 Casey Corbin Conspicuous Consumption + Animal Succulence Email from a storyteller asking if feeding from animals using Conspicuous Consumption would cause Beast Traits
Discussion started by email on 3/21
Table to next meeting
2

 

Motion to Adjourn:  3 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstain

Posted by hpadmin in Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Elections: National Storyteller & Member Advocate – Application Period Opens Today

Elections: National Storyteller & Member Advocate – Application Period Opens Today

Over the past few weeks, we have heard from our membership regarding what they would like to see from the NST office going forward. The Board of Directors is in the process of reviewing that feedback in order to update the duties and responsibilities of the National Storyteller. While those changes are still being finalized, here are some items of note (in case that may influence anyone’s decision to apply for the role):

Plot Kits/Metaplot: In order to support our Chapter level storytellers and build cohesive story elements across our chapters, members wanted to see the National ST team create plot kits that can be run in the local games.

Event Games: We also received feedback that Chapters are interested in event game support. This includes help with plot hooks that can be used in other Chapters as lead-ins to the special event.

World-Building:  Based on feedback, the National Storyteller will be responsible for the development of a living document that details the history of our chronicle. Information about publicly known events will be available to the general membership, while more “behind the scenes” information will be made available to the storytelling staff. In addition, the NST team will be responsible for tracking and overseeing Cannon and National-level created NPC’s.

Today begins the application period for our National Storyteller (NST) position. Interested candidates can email directors@hiddenparlor.com with the following:

  • Name + preferred email address
  • Home Chapter
  • Relevant experience (related to storytelling on a multi-chronicle level)
  • Goals

If you are interested in running for the National Storyteller role, please submit your application by end of day on April 7th.

 

The goal of the Member Advocates (MA’s) is to provide our community with individuals outside of the officer structure who can advocate for their needs. Member Advocates serve as a neutral third party for gathering feedback and providing mediation that doesn’t explicitly in the scope of disciplinary investigation.  A more detailed description of the Member Advocate role and responsibilities can be found in our membership handbook. Our current Membership Advocacy Team is listed on our website as well.

Application period for 2 Member Advocates opens today!

Member Advocates serve for 18-month terms. Since we have 3 MA’s, we space out their elections every 6 months (April and October). One seat is open for possible re-election, and another has opened up because Casey Corbin (a former Member Advocate) was elected to the Board of Directors.

Interested candidates can email directors@hiddenparlor.com with the following:

  • Name + preferred email address
  • Home Chapter
  • Relevant experience (related to community management and mediation)
  • Goals

If you are interested in running for the National Storyteller role, please submit your application by end of day on April 7th.

Posted by hpadmin
The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-16

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-16

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017 3 16

 

Date 2017 3 16 Start 1808 PST End 2002 PST
Location Virtual Facilitator Jessica Karels Scribe Mike Mack

 

Invitees Board Members: Jessica Karels, Mike Mack, Casey Corbin, Jim Lucky

Member Advocates: Doug Fitzgerald

Absent Board Members: Rob Bennett

Member Advocates: Jordan Fenty, (Optional, Member Advocate)

 

Meeting Administrativa
Topic Details
Approving Minutes 4 Aye 0 Na 0 Abstain

 

Membership Feedback / Action Plan
Item # / Date Feedback Suggested Solution Action Plan Next Steps

 

Special Assignments / Old Business
Assignment Leading Update Due Date
Membership Engagement Survey Mike Mack Still waiting for others to have a chance to look at it, still collecting data from the populus. 3/23/17
Chapter Requirements Jessica Karels Casey should have access to look into the folder and see who is in compliant and who is not.
Global Continuity Board Awaiting appointment of NST. TBD
SSD Process Jessica Karels Was added to the member handbook. Done
Handbook Cleanup Jim Lucky Some of it has been reviewed, will check back in next week 3/23/17
Werewolf SSD Jessica Karels Reviewing for directors, waiting for feedback. 3/23/17
Ad for Midwinter Jessica Karels Look into having someone to volunteer to hand out onboarding packages and we will be working out further details. Voted to move it to the first topic next week and have it voted on. 3/23/17
Fill positions of NST and Member Advocate Mike Mack Going to put out announcement that people can send us a preliminary application for NST. 3/23/17
Zero Tolerance Mike Mack Moving forward by getting details. 3/23/27
Adding new Feature to Dashboard/Portal Casey Corbin Add in reports
Census of Chapters/Players Casey Corbin Table for the Discussion for next meeting 3/23/27

 

New Business
Item # Presenter Topic Details Next Steps
1 Jim Lucky True Independant SSD Casey will work on it as soon as able 3/23/17
2

 

Motion to Adjourn: 4 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstain

Posted by hpadmin in Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
Member Advocates: Our Community Troubleshooters

Member Advocates: Our Community Troubleshooters

Greetings Community,

We wanted to take a moment to make sure that you are aware of a resource that is available to our membership: our Member Advocacy Team (MAT).

The goal of the MAT is to provide our community with individuals outside of the officer structure who can advocate for their needs.  Member Advocates serve as a neutral third party for gathering feedback and providing mediation that doesn’t explicitly in the scope of disciplinary investigation.  While we encourage our members to bring up their concerns directly to our club officers, we understand that some participants may not feel comfortable doing so. In some instances, the member simply wishes to speak to another participant in the club for guidance. In other cases, there may be a situation where the member wants to give anonymous feedback.

 

Example #1:

Maxine joined the club a few months ago and struggles to get involved in her local game. She feels hesitant about talking to her game’s storytelling staff, as she believes that they there’s little that they can do to help. They can’t force the other players to include her, after all! She reaches out to the Member Advocacy Team to express her concerns. They talk with her to find out more about what happens during the game sessions that lead her to feeling excluded.  Maxine is encouraged to write out her character’s backstory and goals and share them with the storytelling staff to give them ideas on how to build plots with which she can directly engage.

Example #2:

Charlie is frustrated with the type of plots that are being run in his local game. He is friends with Shannon, his chapter’s storyteller, and worries that his feedback may come across as a personal attack. He reaches out to the Member Advocacy Team for guidance. After discussing various options, they agree that having a Member Advocate reach out to Shannon on Charlie’s behalf (anonymously!) is the best course of action. This empowers Charlie to give candid feedback about the game (and for Shannon to receive and act upon it).

A more detailed description of the Member Advocate role and responsibilities can be found in our membership handbook.

To reach the Member Advocate team, email member.advocates@hiddenparlor.com.

Member Advocate Elections are happening soon. Since Casey has been elected as a Board Member, he can no longer serve as a Member Advocate. Also, one of the other Member Advocate seats is up for re-election. More information will be available after the upcoming Board of Directors meeting on Thursday.

Posted by hpadmin in Announcements, Community Programs, Development
Help us find our new National Storyteller

Help us find our new National Storyteller

Earlier this month, our members elected Rob Bennett & Casey Corbin to fill our two open Board Member seats. With Rob now on our Board of Directors, this means that we need to find a new National Storyteller (NST).

Last week, we reached out to our membership (via the Facebook discussion group) for suggestions on how to fine-tune the NST role. By putting together a more defined list of responsibilities and expectations, we will be better able to select a new NST who meets the needs of our growing community.

What would you like to see from the office of the National Storyteller? How would you like us to balance local player/storyteller agency with the ability to influence the larger setting? What resources would you like to see the NST team focus on during the coming year?

Casey Corbin (one of our board members) is collecting your suggestions to share at our upcoming Board of Directors meeting next Thursday. Send your ideas and insight to ted.maddog.mattox@gmail.com

Thanks in advance for your suggestions and feedback!

 

Over the past week, we heard from several members who are interested in running for National Storyteller. We are excited about the level of enthusiasm over this role and don’t want potential applicants to feel like they have to wait in order to reach out to us.

While the NST application period officially opens on March 25th (the Saturday after our next Board of Directors meeting), we welcome potential candidates to contact the BoD prior to that date with their intent to run for the position and to ask questions about the role. To do so, email us at directors@hiddenparlor.com.

 

P.S.: Thank you to our Austin, Texas chapter for these stunning photos!

Posted by hpadmin in Announcements
The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-09

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017-03-09

The Hidden Parlor BOD Meeting Notes – 2017 3 9

 

Date 2017 3 9 Start 1810 PST End 1930 PST
Location Virtual Facilitator Jessica Karels Scribe Mike Mack

 

Invitees Board Members: Jessica Karels, Mike Mack, Casey Corbin, Rob Bennett, Jim Lucky

Member Advocates:

Absent Board Members:

Member Advocates: Doug Fitzgerald, Jordan Fenty, (Optional, Member Advocate)

 

Meeting Administrativa
Topic Details
Approving Minutes 3 Aye 0 Na 1 Abstain

 

Membership Feedback / Action Plan
Item # / Date Feedback Suggested Solution Action Plan Next Steps

 

Special Assignments / Old Business
Assignment Leading Update Due Date
Membership Engagement Survey Mike Mack Just got a nicely presented revision on the onboarding, still working on the Questions for BNS
Chapter Requirements Jessica Karels .Will be moved over for Casey to start working on
Global Continuity Board Awaiting appointment of NST.
SSD Process Jessica Karels Final Draft should be moved over to Jessica to add in proper place
Handbook Cleanup Jim Lucky Going to start working on this
Werewolf SSD Jessica Karels Will start working on this 3/16/17
Board Role Distribution Jessica Karels Jim Lucky as VP
Ad for Midwinter Jessica Karels Still discussing, revisit at next meeting
Fill positions of NST and Member Advocate Mike Mack
Zero Tolerance Mike Mack Still talking to those involved.

 

New Business
Item # Presenter Topic Details Next Steps
1 Casey Corbin Adding new Feature to Dashboard/Portal
2 Casey Corbin Census of Chapters/Player What players want from an NST

 

Motion to Adjourn: 3 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Abstain

Posted by hpadmin in Board of Directors Meeting Minutes
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