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State of the PPG - 01/08/98


As some of you might have noticed, things have started to pick up.  This is meant to be a kind of 'State of the PPG'.   First, though, I'd like to go through a little recent history that some of you may not be aware of.

In mid spring of 1997, PPG industries (ppg.com) made a statement to us that our use of ppg.org was detracting from their site, and therefore they felt that they had the right to make us either drop the domain name, or sue us.  Instead of dealing with the possible law suit, we opted to take the $2500 settlement that they would give us to drop the domain name 'peacefully'.   This was finished ~September, with the registration and move to the pyropilots.org domain.

Since we had all this money, now, we opted for a quick expenditure, so we wouldn't have to worry about holding it.

First of all, we decided that an investment in our own server would be well worthwhile.  It is a P166 with 32 MB memory, running linux.   It is connected in Kansas, administered locally by StephenC.  We now have our website on this server.  Along with this, we decided to register our own Kali server daemon, which is also running on the system (We also have the Kahn server daemon, though it didn't cost anything).  The ip address is, though the Kahn/Kali server name is simply "PPG", and the website is www.pyropilots.org.

We do have a moderate amount of money left, and if anyone has any ideas as to what to do with it in ways that would benifit the whole of the PPG, we are certainly willing to take suggestions. (nothing stupid like 'give it to me!' and such, please)

There have been some other occurances and changes in the heirarchy of the guild, as well.

Near the middle/end of the summer shadz, the previous guild master, felt that he should step down from the position.  I was voted in by the council as the new guild master.  As my replacement for Events Master, Ralgha was appointed.

The elder list underwent a change due to several members feeling that they did not have enough time to spend with the PPG to make effective judgements for their position.  As such, Spinvert and Drac have stepped down, and in their place, shadz and existence have been appointed.

Most recently, SeaDawg and GreyK have left the PPG (if you want the full story, the truth, please contact me personally, do not send stupid rumors or speculation or other nonsense to these lists). In their place, donut has been appointed as Personnel Master, in charge of GPR records and their automation and the mailing lists.  StephenC is the new Webmaster, and is currently working on a complete redesign of the webpages.

With these new positionings, expect many new things to come soon.

The PPG has been founded on friendship from its very conception.  The tie that binds us is more than just the game that we play, or skills we have.  Our friendship, the fact that we can sit and chat as friends, play a game, go back and talk about it, and talk freely about other things, is what makes the PPG special over other groups.


As many of us that have been playing descent since the day the shareware version has come out have noticed, we are beginning to feel the effects that time has on such games.  Most of us have played one or both of the Descent games for over a year, some of us over two or three years.  This is an -incredible- life span for a game, as it is.  And as some of our newer members have observed, we just don't play as much any more.  New games have come along, taking our attention away for the moment.

Because of the nature of the PPG, though, we have stayed together even though our original interest has become secondary.  Some of the best friends that we have made are on irc, #ppg, and we still meet there and talk.

And this is where our newer members responsibility lies.  By bringing their fresh blood into the PPG, they are allowing us to see a fresh perspective in Descent, in several ways.  Every person has a different style, and when we play a game with a new player, it is almost a whole different experience, sometimes.  Many of our older players are warehouses of Descent knowledge.   Playing new players is fun... but teaching them is almost as good, or better.   Beyond simply the game, there is the fresh perspective of the person as someone to talk to.  It is this influx of new, active members that keeps Descent alive in this guild, and I hope that many of you will take it upon yourselves to seek out the 'older and wiser' players and members.  Take advantage of the Sages, in particular, but they are not the only ones.  Visit #ppg, and you will find many members, all willing to help, chat, or maybe to play a game or two.

There is another aspect of this, however.  While the PPG does indeed have a completely open door policy, the very basis of the guild denies the fact that everyone will become a true member of the PPG.  Because we are indeed a group of friends, not just a group of descenters, we have to realize that because of human nature, not everyone will get along. With a little bit of thought, though, there can be typically very little hardships when making new friends of the PPG.  (If you feel you need some particular tips, feel free to email me.  I'll be very glad to help.) We are very glad to accept new members that are fun and interesting to be around and talk with, as well as enjoying a good game of Descent (or even other games).  Just remember that, as with any group of friends, it takes time to add someone, yourself, into a closely knit group such as the PPG.

Finally, some words about a few orders of business that need to be addressed.

Everyone, of course, wants to know about the status of the PPG hats.  I, too, am curious about this.  After several attempts, we have run into constant troubles with Algamesh getting the situation completed.  It is my intention to get this completed, in some form or fashion, in the -extremely- near future.   I will attempt to update everyone as more information comes in.   If you ordered a hat, and have since changed the mailing address that was initially given with the order, please email me with the new information, including the old.

Various upcoming events will be scheduled soon.   However, several of our recent events have shown lackluster support and attendance, if that.  Aside from a very few newer members, and several of the longer standing ones, there has been little to no participation.  While this could possibly be attributed somewhat to the lack of a working pyromatic at the time, the hopes that with the new cgi and a call to arms for all the members of the guild will give us more participation in the events to come.  The PPG is -about- these events, especially the ones where we simply get together with other members to play, whether structured or not.

Another of the key portions of the PPG is the archive.   From here we are able to see each other's games, an extremely good learning experience, as well as simply the enjoyment of watching a good game.  Being able to share our gaming experience is one of the great things about the PPG, and the demos and screenshots are an almost perfect media for allowing us to vicariously experience the games that we have played.  Not only do we encourage everyone to download and look at the archives, but to upload, as well.  After all, if noone uploads, noone can download. ;]

Finally, I want to mention the LAN fests.  I can't say well enough how awesome and how much fun every single fest I've ever been to has been.   Being able to play without lag is only a minor (if awesome) part of the experience.   The best part, though, is being able to sit next to (or across) from your opponent or teammate, yelling and jeering at each other across the room.  It is a joy for almost every gamer, of any kind, to play on a LAN.  So, I encourage everyone who can possibly do so to make it to any fests that occur in the area.  If there are none coming up in your area, feel free to work with those who have set them up before to host one in your own area.  As of now, I believe the next planned fest is in March, in the Denver area, hosted by Munro.  Look forward to it. ;]

Look forward to many new things to come, including the completely reworked website, GPR handling, and events.

See you in the mines,

PPG Guild Master

taken from www.pyropilots.org


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