Watch Database Tutorials

What is the Watch Database?

The Watch Database is an IC/OOC tool that supplements storytelling on Gloom MUX. In-character, it's a database accessible to members of the Watch that allows them to keep track of what's going on around them. Out-of-character, it's a section on the game's site that provides storytellers with the opportunity to hand out assignments to their players, and players the opportunity to give IC feedback on these assignments.

How do I use the Watch Database?

Using the Watch Database is easy. Go to the Watch Database page and click on either 'Add New Assignment' or 'Add New Report' depending on what you want to do, and the site will take you to a simple form that you fill out with the pertinent information.

Hit 'save' and you're done! You can always go back and edit reports and assignments as necessary.

How do I create an assignment?

Before you click 'Add New Assignment' on the Watch Database page, you need to give the assignment that you're about to file a name. Although the Watch is based in London, it has operatives all over the world, so what's viewable on the website does not reflect all the records in the system that may be available to the game's character's, so when you enter the name of the assignment, don't worry about it being the one that should come right after the last one filed.

What you do need to worry about are the first few digits of the assignment number.

The first two digits should represent the year. The third and fourth digits should represent the month. The final three digits are where you have some flexibility — it's fine if you're a handful ahead of the other files that have been recently posted. In fact, we encourage it, since the gaps between files are an accurate representation of assignments that are being pursued in other parts of the world.

The final three digits always start low at the beginning of the month. So, for example, if it's beginning September of 2012, I might choose to enter 12-09-033 to represent the 33rd file entered into the Watch Database in September 2012.

Once you've entered the number of the assignment you're filing, click the 'Add New Assignment' button, and the site will take you to the form that you need to fill out.

Under 'Title', you'll see the number you previously entered. You'll want to make a slight change here so people can tell, at a glance, what the assignment pertains to. Let's change our example of '12-09-033' to '12-09-033: Hyde Park Killings'.

Under 'Date', I'm going to put the current date: September 9, 2012.

Under 'Assignment Type', you have three options: Investigation, Assessment, and Other. An Investigation is when you're sending members of the Watch to investigate something. An Assessment is used when you're asking a member of the Watch to talk to someone or want their recorded opinion on a subject. Other is a catchall for everything else that doesn't fall into the other two categories.

If you know which character(s) you want to give this assignment to, choose 'Yes' when asked 'Has this been assigned?' Choose 'No' if you want to put the assignment up for grabs. If you choose 'Yes', be sure to put the name of the character you want to be in charge of the assignment under the 'Assigned to' field.

If the assignment is urgent, select 'Yes'.

When creating a assignment, always be sure to choose 'No' when it asks you if the assignment has been completed. Upon completion, either you or the character in charge of the investigation will go back and edit the file accordingly.

The last section is for you to enter whatever information you feel is necessary for the character(s) to complete their assignment. Try to be as thorough as possible and include any and all instructions their higher-ups would have for them.

Hit 'Save' and you're almost done.

Lastly, if you've chosen someone for the assignment, you'll want to tag the page 'active-assignment'. If you haven't, tag the page 'unclaimed assignment'. Remember, if you're creating an assignment specifically for someone, be sure that you've spoken to them about it OOC first — no one likes being assigned work that they're not interested in doing.

If the assignment is up for grabs, be sure to let other players know using the in-game +bboards!

How do I claim an assignment?

Open assignments are posted to the game's +bboard by the storyteller responsible for running them. If you see one up for grabs that you want to pursue, @mail or page the storyteller to let them know you're interested.

After you've spoken with the storyteller and they've given you their consent, edit the assignment's page on the site and select 'Yes' where it asks if the assignment has been assigned, and then enter your character's name in the appropriate field directly beneath.

Change the page's tag from 'unclaimed-assignment' to 'active assignment'.

From there, it's just a matter of scheduling scenes with your storyteller until the assignment is completed! Be sure to change the tag to 'complete-assignment' when the assignment is finished, and edit the Yes/No field to reflect this as well when your assignment is over.

Most assignments have room for more than one investigator — if you're the first one to show interest in an assignment and your storyteller wants to run it for multiple people, ask around to see who else might be interested. Your character will be the one calling the shots for the assignment if their name is the one on the form, but you should always try to involve other players and include them if possible.

How do I file a report?

Follow the same directions for naming your report as detailed in the 'How do I create an assignment?' section, but be sure that you're clicking 'Add New Report'.

Let's call this theoretical report 12-09-039 and pretend it's being filed by the character who claimed the assignment we created earlier. Enter 12-09-039. Click 'Add New Report'.

Under 'Title', we'll change '12-09-039' to '12-09-039: Investigation Report for Hyde Park Killings'.

Under 'Date', we're going to put the current date.

Under 'Report Type', you have three available options: Investigation, Incident, Assessment, Other. If you're filing a report for an assignment that was listed as an Investigation by the original poster, you will choose 'Investigation'. If you're filing a report for an assignment that was listed as an Assessment by the original poster, you will choose 'Assessment'. If you're filing a report about something unexpected that your character witnessed or was involved in and need to share the information with the rest of the Watch, choose 'Incident'. If you're filing a report for an assignment that was listed as Other by the original poster, you will choose 'Other'. 'Other' is also an appropriate choice when your character is sharing information with the rest of the Watch unrelated to an investigation, an assessment, or an incident.

If further action is required, select 'Yes'.

If urgent, select 'Yes'.

The remaining space is for your character's report. Be sure to include as much information as possible, especially if the Gloom or an Other was involved. If your character encountered an Other, describe what it looked like, how it behaved, where it was sighted, and what your character did, if anything, to combat it.

If you decided that further action was required, be sure to recommend what that further action might be.

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