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Why I have NOT left the Codex.

Posted September 4th, 2017 at 04:14 PM by TGRF
Updated September 4th, 2017 at 05:43 PM by TGRF
Greetings, gamers, writers, designers, builders, enthusiasts, general fans, and unknown lurkers. Greetings HeroScapers. Do not be alarmed by the title. I simply felt the sudden urge to set a few things in stone. Or in virtual data files. Nah. Stone sounds better.

A few minutes ago, I finished reading Xotli's only blog post. In that post, he detailed why he left the C3V, and I highly encourage you to read it. Not because I want you all to judge the C3V; because it is highly enlightening on how to run anything fan-made, which is the entire base for this whole site.

I'm going to address a few points in that blog post here, so I recommend you read his post first. It's not necessary, but his thoughts seem to be a lot more organized than mine likely will be, so you will probably get a better picture of things by reading his blog first.

In his post, Xotli details how (some) aspects of the C3V work. It made me realize that the general public really doesn't know much about the inner workings of any private group. They can speculate, and after reading Xotli's post, they might well wonder what other dark secrets such private groups are hiding. As a private group, I have now realized that the Codex is likely the target of some speculation. Or at least it is possible, if not actual. For that reason, I wanted to tell you exactly how the Codex works and exactly what systems are in place (for good or ill).

The fact of the matter is that the Codex was founded by Ninja Status, El T, and Joseph Sweeney. I was contacted about featuring some of my fan fiction for one issue. Given half a chance, I basically forced my way into the group, took over my department after I got my bearings, and then leapt at the first chance to control the whole thing. In fact, I was never supposed to be allowed in the private forum in the first place.

A bit disturbing, isn't it? This is why I wanted to set the record straight. Or set it down in the first place. To do that, I have to go back to...

Fan Fiction

I came from the fan fiction forum originally, and in that forum, I run a contest. The idea of the contest is that there is a prompt, and writers submit one-shot stories to fit the prompt. The winner issues the next prompt, and the process continues.

I have always - and do to this day - maintained the right to change anything and everything about that contest. And I have exercised that right quite a bit. But I have always, ALWAYS consulted the other writers in the contest before-hand.

Still, I basically control the whole thing. And the same structure holds true for...

The Codex

I am the only person running the Codex. I set the deadlines. I collect the articles. I assign departments. I organize the contributors. The process of checks and balances you usually find in government, even the debatable ones Xotli describes in his post - those aren't there in the Codex. The closest thing is that the contributors could petition and the admins could kick me out if I did something they all disliked. But that's only if it's obvious. If I were to do something subtly, with enough people on my side - as Xotli describes - there would be basically nothing stopping me.

Note: Any sense that I could continue the Codex without the invaluable help from the contributors should be completely ignored. I merely organize; they write.

That's how the Codex is run. Yep - like a dictatorship which promotes free speech. If that makes sense. Because that is what the Codex does. It listens to...

The Contributors

Just like with the Fan Fic Competition, I try to gather public opinion. I try to listen to people. If there's a problem, I try to fix it asap.

That's not to say there isn't any executive action. The majority of things are just that. I change deadlines, edit articles, run the Facebook page... all without any communication with anyone else. I didn't even run this article past anyone. It's completely spur-of-the-moment.

The reason this works at all is very simple: I only do things I'm sure will help the Codex. There is no personal agenda.

At this point, a lot of you are probably thinking:

'This guy is great'

Or, more likely, 'this guy thinks he's great'. Neither is true. If you've read Xotli's post, I can tell you that I am one of those people who has to lead. I have to be in charge. I think it comes from my inherent desire to design everything, but I don't know.

The point is, I always think I have a better way to do something, and having someone else be in charge just irks me. Even if they're doing a great job, I still try to get my hands in the pie (or is that fingers?). Oddly, I can share a leadership just fine, but only as long as we're equal. In fact, that's how the Codex is still technically run: me and Ninja Status are technically both editors. NS has moved on though, effectively leaving me in charge.

*At this point, TGRF wonders where he was going with all this.*

Okay, so you're probably wondering where I was going with all this. I guess it all comes down to...


Confidence in me, confidence in the Codex, I don't know. I wanted to assure anyone stopping by that there are no back-room deals in the Codex. There are no additional private forums. There is no keeping members out of discussions. There's no vote shenanigans going on. In fact there is rarely any voting at all - we just discuss things and implement the results.

In fact, if anyone - contributor, reader, anyone - feels like something is wrong with the way the Codex is run, please bring it up. Publicly, privately, to me, or to anyone else. Bring our attention to it. We want to fix it. The whole point of the Codex is for the fans. It doesn't make much sense if they don't like the way it's run.

This all brings me to...

The (long-awaited) conclusion

I've always been amazed at the community of this website. I haven't joined many communities, but even brief glances have shown me that nothing is like HeroScapers. The respect, open-mindedness, maturity, and overwhelming support of the people here are astounding.

I was therefore equally astounded to read Xotli's post. I had no inkling of an idea that private dealings existed here, or opinions were being smothered, or any of the other things Xotli enumerates.

I realize at this point a lot of people might emit cries of outrage and say that nothing of the kind exists. That's great, and I'm relieved to hear it. But I'm still astounded. Why?

Because the thought should never have even occurred. Consider: here we are, a forum unlike any other, with a community praised by everyone. If there is even the slightest, most obscure chance that we are not worthy of that reputation, then I for one see that as a call to action for a scrutiny of the most detailed kind. The simple fact that someone thinks the very things which makes this community great are being ignored is something I find frankly disturbing.

And to me at least, that alone warrants investigation. This is a community worth preserving. The first step down a gray path is the one best avoided.


Okay, so what am I saying here? Am I calling for a full-scale investigation of the C3V? Absolutely not. I have no right to meddle in their business.

I do, however, have a right as a member of HSers. I have a right to preserve what I see as not just a great community, but an extraordinary one.

So no, I won't point any fingers, because with all honesty I'm quite isolated on this site and haven't the faintest idea what happens in over half of it. But I will encourage anyone who reads this to not take our community for granted. It's something special. The day you stop fighting for something special is the day you lose it, be it a community, or a beloved game.

Total Comments 3


Tornado's Avatar
First off, it has been a privilege to know you and work with you TGRF. I doubt anyone but you could have maintained the Fan Fic Contest as long as you have.

You are a true leader and a gifted writer and your rep is seriously low for someone who contributes as much as you.

I agree that we have the best community anywhere and we should all feel lucky to have found each other here.

I would not worry about what goes on in smoky private message rooms as it does not really affect a lot of us directly and those that it may have the choice to leave.

They continue to put out an incredible product regardless of methods and I hope that things are pleasant now for all involved. This is coming from someone who has been critical in the past who is trying to be a little less judgemental and more hopeful.

You are one of the good ones The Grim Reaper's Friend and I consider it an honor to share a birthday with you.
Posted September 7th, 2017 at 03:00 PM by Tornado Tornado is offline
kolakoski's Avatar

Just Getting Around to This Now!?

Well met!

A recent lesson learned:

One's emotions dictate how one interprets what one sees.

Or, more accurately in a lot of cases, misinterprets. This is perhaps even more likely in a forum such as this than in person. It's far too easy to take another person's subjective opinion as a personal affront. What do you mean, my custom has to be tested first?! Can't you see its elegant brilliance on its face?

Anyways, Most Powerful One, respect for all you do. Although I can't comfortably confine myself to a deadline, if I find I have written anything worthy of a wider distribution, I shall PM it directly to you for your consideration.

Sensei Kolakoski

Posted April 18th, 2018 at 10:37 AM by kolakoski kolakoski is online now
TGRF's Avatar
@kolakoski Thanks mate. Just remember since the blog format, we're looking for a range of 1000-1500 words, more or less. We'll be happy to break a long article up though. You can just send anything straight to codex@heroscapers.com if you want.


I have a tendency to do things without thinking them through, and writing this article was one of them. I fully believe our community is something worth guarding and preserving, but I also believe what I said: I have no right to meddle in the affairs of the C3V. It's like you said: I was genuinely shocked by Xotli's article, and that spurred me to write mine.

Still though, I'm not part of the C3V, and as Tornado pointed out, how smoky back rooms are run isn't hurting anyone else, so no harm done.

Posted April 20th, 2018 at 11:39 PM by TGRF TGRF is offline
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