Patronly Duties

Whether it is replacing lost keys or creating new additions to cities and communes, Patrons and the Divine Pantheons of our organizations have a wide variety of “jobs” that they do. However, the scope of patronly duties isn’t found in the instruction manual for new gods. I think of myself as a generally active administrator for Hallifax and so my idea of what a patron “does” has changed over my time in the Havens.

When I was an innocent ephemeral, Elostian very much encouraged me to look into becoming a Hallifaxian god so I could help him out with the city. After I flirted with the idea of becoming Manteekan or Thax, I eventually became the great and mighty Zvoltz and settled into the pantheon of the Beacon of Harmony. At this point, it was clear to me that Hallifax really needed help. Population was low and so was morale. The city had a great group of players, but it really seemed like an uphill battle.

I did the usual things like building new expansions that the city requested but I also tried to be present in the city. I would talk on the city channel, show up to chat with citizens, and publicly roleplay with Isune in the hopes that players would feel that the city was livelier and had deep roleplay opportunities. When new city purchases were finished, Isune and I would set up roleplay events instead of just dropping the new thing into the city (anyone remember the long story of Klayok Pavok?). I would congratulate the city when they won villages and I tried to be a good cheerleader for the players even when they were on the “losing” side of conflict.

As time has passed, the population of Hallifax has grown and, in my opinion, morale has as well. I’ve begun to see myself as less of a cheerleader and more of a behind the scenes role. I don’t appear in the city much anymore. I still do the obvious jobs like handling city purchases and expansions but my order is the only group that I make regular contact with. I’ll do the odd job, like judging a contest or giving feedback to elected leaders when they ask for it, but I must confess that I’m still not sure what being a Patron really means!

I always try to keep my ears open for feedback to be a better patron, but I hear mixed messages. Some people think the gods need to be more interactive, some think they should shut up and let the players play the game. I think the correct answer, if there is one, is somewhere in the middle. The job description for the patron is still coming together for me but I’m always looking for a new perspective.

In the end, my opinion is only a small part in the job. It is the player who truly decides what makes a good patron so I hope you’ll share your comments in the space below, including experiences you’ve had with your own patrons!