Rules and Advice
Citadel Help
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ID: 6396


July 22, 2011, 10:52 pm

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Cheka Man

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Silveressa's Voting Practices


A similar sub to Mourns Voting Practices, simply how I vote on subs/vote in general.

After reading Mourngrymn's Voting Practices sub, and commenting how useful it would be for each person to have one for others to better understand the inner workings of why they vote the way they do on subs; I figured I might as well lead by example and do so.

(I almost added this as an idea to Mourn's sub but figured this way it would be better to have it separate so people can find my submission easier when looking for info on how I vote.)

The current voting texts reads as follows:

1-1.5 Needs some serious work - not ready for public consumption

2-2.5 Okay idea but flawed. Has a few issues but can still be useable by some

3-3.5 Good solid idea, nothing fancy, just a great, useable, quality submission

4.0-4.5 Sweet idea with some artistic flair or increased usefulness that really set it apart

5.0 Exceptional Submission. Extremely useable, well written, and organized.

Now to take them apart, elaborate what they mean to me, and how often each gets used by me:

1: This is borderline spam, a sub so far removed from anything coherent it's a total waste of space better devoted to a sub that has at least a glimmer of hope of being something useful to someone, somewhere.

1.5: Horrid spelling and an absolute lack of grammar make this nearly impossible to read, yet somewhere in there is the hint of an idea a very desperate (or bored) Gm may be able to turn into something useful. Not quite a complete waste of space, but close.

2.0-2.5: Now we're getting somewhere! This is the rating I give subs that present an idea but fail to fully develop it beyond the "here's a concept" stage. When voting this low I take extra effort to give the person feedback on the idea presented and tips on how to turn it into a fully finished work, with perhaps some added encouragement if it's one of their first few subs to the citadel.

3.0-3.5: This is the rating I give subs I read and think "nice idea, I can maybe find a place for this in one of my games someday." While it may not make me stare in wonder, or impress me with its originality it does present itself clearly, and with enough detail to be readily useable by the average GM.

4.0: Similar to my 3.5 but reserved for subs that show the author has put a lot of work or thought into it, and gone the extra step to provide additional information to make it easier for a Gm to work it into their game with minimal fuss. (Plot hooks, variations, extra histories/origins etc..)

4.5: This goes to subs that are unusual, or a unique (to me) take on a familiar item/creature/location etc.. These ones are the subs I want to use simply for their refreshing appeal or variety that will make my next session feel less typical and add something special. A lot of the well written subs on Strolen's wind up getting this from me simply for the creativity and well thought out presentation/usability they contain. (Articles that provide useful feedback also get this vote from me as well.)

5.0: I save this one for the subs that have immediate use in my games due to their quality and content, and for those that are an obvious labor of love and quality the author has spent a great deal of time on. It's also the rating subs get that give me the "whoa" feeling upon finishing reading it due to the usability of info provided, or an appealing presentation that hooks me, and makes me want to run a game (or start a new game entirely) just to use that sub.

HOH's: These I give out a bit more freely, either on a sub that I notice hasn't gotten much attention and could deserve more publicity, or subs that strike me as particularly memorable/useful in some way. Subs that have gotten a recent overhaul/update will usually get a HOH from me as well, to help encourage others to give the piece a second look and perhaps re-vote.

Up/down voting comments:

I like to use about 1/2 my available votes to up (or rarely down) vote comments on various subs, as a way of thanking the author for taking the time to provide a useful or friendly/witty/amusing comment, especially one that leads to an improvement of the sub. Hopefully it'll start a trend and encourage others to do the same, but if not at least the commentor will know someone out there found the comment notable.


Whenever someone does an update to a sub I've voted on, (assuming I'm aware of the update) I make a special effort to go back and review it and adjust my vote upwards if the sub has improved significantly. Sadly getting people to re-vote on subs is difficult, and many authors feel it's a lost cause to update because of this, so I go out of my way to let them know the enhancements are appreciated, and worthy of a second look.

Penalizing for grammar/punctuation:

There was a time 3 or so years ago when I used to take off a half point for misspellings and lack of punctuation, but I've since realized upon my return, (after my 2 year absence) it's not worth it. Why? Well mainly I'm not a English teacher, and playing at one was tiring, and often such critiques added nothing to the piece and only served to detract from discussion of the idea/sub itself.

These days I'm willing to ignore the occasional misspelling or misused comma and focus on the idea itself, which is the reason I'm reading it in the first place. If I do notice something obvious I'll possibly mention it in my comment at the end, but won't penalize my vote over it.


With that said, a lack of line breaks is my one peeve, as it turns the sub into a giant wall of text and makes it otherwise impossible to read (by me anyway) without inducing eye strain and a headache in short order.

When encountering those subs I usually refrain from reading any further (or voting) and leave a comment about the formatting with a promise to read and vote when/if it's fixed. (Assuming I'm made aware of the fix at any rate)


So there you have it, why I vote high/low and what the different ratings mean to me, for better or worse.

Also when commenting I usually try to cover the points I liked and didn't like in a sub, and if voting lower then 4.5, some ideas on how to improve the sub to make it more useful/higher quality. Anyone who does wish me to elaborate on a comment with further info needs only ask on the sub, or contact me via PM and I will happily do so.

Oh and kindly remember, this is only how I vote, not how I feel everyone should vote, or what I think the "best" way of voting is. To be succinct, I view there's only one "good" method, the method that works good for you.

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Comments ( 13 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

July 23, 2011, 0:20


This should have something like a front page sticky. To aid new and old.

July 23, 2011, 9:14

Good, and concise. Written with what feels like a minimal amount of personal emotional involvement. This would get a thumbtack from me, to keep it up front, or when someone starts going on about misspelling words or what is the most appropriate way to vote.

Voted Cheka Man
July 23, 2011, 9:37
Only voted
Voted Pieh
July 23, 2011, 13:34

Very nice article. It certainly makes a lot of sense, is logical, and an easy read. I doubt it will change the way I vote much (Though I find it already creeping up on my as I vote on this one). My voting practices, like much of what I do, are nowhere near as coherent as this. I applaud and thank you for being able to write this and for taking the time to write this. Good work.

Voted MysticMoon
July 24, 2011, 1:20

A well thought out set of guidelines and definite food for thought.

Ancient Gamer
July 24, 2011, 5:51

Nice effort, and I would like to add that people vote as people will.

This one fact has caused untold amounts of anguish here at the citadel.

I have experienced my true 5.0 subs, voted that high by a number of my peers, been torn from its lofty perch by a 3.0 vote, and worse. It has even been by people who openly dislike me.

I know how emotionally entangled we get with our subs, and with the votes we receive, but I wish to echo valadaar: "Be thankful for a vote. Be thankful for a comment. Dance with joy for both, for many subs receive little, or no, attention.

I have myself been hammered in the past. Accused of voting subs low with spite and malice (and against people I adore even). This was one of the main reasons I stopped being an active citadel member. This is also the reason why I am so harsh and unpalatable in my reaction to "vote whining". Yes, yes, I have myself, on multiple occassions been the primary whiner. :)

Not my intent to hijack the comment thread of a well written sub with very helpful advice on voting patterns. I just want to point out that we need to give leeway to the less than stellar critics we receive as well, even when the criticism is delivered by people we despise, or who might despise us.

They only have one vote you know. Multiple user accounts are usually detected.

July 28, 2011, 14:37



the rating system described above  evaluates subs based on their ability to add fresh material to genre items and their usefulness in relation to the game.  

Thus the literal message of this sub is that a sub that expands the gaming universe of the reader is a good sub.  Yet this sub does not do this, it dives right into the meta content of this website.  

For a post that is all about the author, it lacks self awareness.   A self aware aside sometimes distracts from posts that are pieces of fiction or ones that are trying to make a point, but this post is all about you. It doesn't even have an argument or a purpose. It is already self aware, no need to cut corners.

Perhaps Pieh was commenting on when said it may be effecting his vote.  Maybe this is so apparent to everyone that pointing it out just seemed banal, but if so I didn't catch an intended irony in anyones' response.

July 28, 2011, 15:23
So you're saying Mourngrym's similar sub falls into the same category and a better understanding how some people vote is of no use to you?

Perhaps you over looked the section this article falls into: Articles
Rules and Advice: Citadel Help

This was an article for citadel help, as in helping Strolenites understand how I vote, (and perhaps give them pause to consider the reasons behind why they vote the way they do?)

Somehow this intention eluded you and you find the sub to be of no use to you; in which case feel free to move on, ignore it and post on something more useful to you.
July 29, 2011, 8:41
Did you down vote my comment? Your intention did not elude me and you should know that. I believe that you are upset by comment and being condescending and dismissive. Will you own that?

I am saying that the literal message of your post regarding the value of posts and how that system would rate this post smacks of irony. I think it is funny. I didn't speak to the value of this post, but I hoped my comment might give you something reflect on and to consider even more why you vote the way you do. Are you saying that you don't see your post as ironic?

As your question, I don't remember Mourngrym's similar sub, but if I had to pick a favorite meta-sub it would cheka's 30 ways to be a good strolenite. And in that case I liked it more for its organization and pastoral qualities. Yet its does get at some of the mores of the website, which I would have found useful years ago. But was it Mourngrym that said "if you read something comment on it."
July 29, 2011, 19:09
As the author of a sub an up or down vote is worth + or - 5 points from me, so if I down voted you it would show -5, not -1. (If you like I can down vote the comment to show the -5 in action? :P j/k)

As for Mourngrym's similar sub, I mention his sub, complete with a link to it in my very first paragraph, so I'm a little surprised you don't remember mourn writing one.

As for my reply, I understood the unintended irony, but did feel as if you were singling out my sub as somewhat useless, which I tried to point out was not my intent in my original reply. (Given you didn't vote on my sub and only commented I saw no reason to up/down vote your comment.) Regardless thanks for clarifying this with your followup post, it makes more sense to me now.
Voted valadaar
April 30, 2013, 8:12
Only voted
Voted Kassy
May 30, 2013, 7:14
Revising my vote.


The level of detail and points covered more than deserve it.
Voted Aramax
October 28, 2014, 9:41
very nearly the way I think about voting here! 4/5

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