How to Apply to Form a House

One of the things we get asked most about is how one might form their own House in the Game of Tomes. This article will go into some detail about that process.  

What You Need to Know Before You Start

  • You cannot form a Major House. There are only six active Major Houses at any given time (seven, including the Undead Horde) and the game does not function if this does not remain a constant. Major Houses are "elevated" or "ascended" from existing Minor Houses. The Organizers decide when, or if, to do this, and it's entirely at our discretion.
  • We do have some specific things we look for, but they're difficult to quantify. In general, they include such things as membership numbers, House enthusiasm, community contribution, involvement of the House Leadership, outreach and encouragement, reliability, and stability, and we won't be looking unless a vacancy opens due to some unforeseen circumstance or emergency, so it won't happen often.
  • However, because it might happen at any time, and because a Major House Leader becomes one of the Organizers by definition, we look for particular qualities in a potential House Leader.
  • A House Leader is, first and foremost, a leader. We expect House Leaders to be a shining example in our community, visibly encouraging and inspiring others, helping new Tome Knights, lending assistance where needed. We expect to see this from you before you apply to be a House Leader.
  • A House Leader is also an ambassador of sorts for the Game of Tomes. You need to be personable (though being an extrovert is not required!), friendly, approachable, and willing to guide people to where they are best suited. We also keep an eye out for "red flags" that indicate that someone might create issues, and we may decide not to allow you to form a House if we see any.
  • It's a lot of work. We expect House Leaders to do work behind the scenes, get involved in the roleplay and the Lore videos, check on the Tome Knights they lead to support them, help new Tome Knights, and be visibly active and writing in the event themself. If you end up as a Major House Leader, there's even more work involved. Don't do this if you don't have the time or energy to put in the effort.
  • Don't bother trying to do this if your goal is your own self-aggrandizement. We don't want those sorts of folks on our team, and if that's your motivation, we can usually tell. We want team players whose ultimate goal is writing together, not glorifying themselves or making other people look bad. There's nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, but it takes a backseat to the environment of support and encouragement we try to foster here.
  • We also limit the number of active Minor Houses at any one time to a total of six, for similar (game-related) reasons. There may not be a vacancy when you want to apply, so you might have to wait for your opportunity.
  • How to Start a New House

  • You must have at least two other people who are willing to join your House, in order to prove that people are willing to follow you.
  • You must be a streamer. Ideally, you should already be an Affiliate and have streamed for Game of Tomes before, so you know how the system works and so that the Tome Knights know you. You should already be streaming Writing related things, and frequently enough that we can go and watch your streams if we don't know you well, so that we can get to know you and your community.
  • Come up with a concept for your House, a banner that represents your concept, and a totemic symbol. This will be presented in a "heraldic" fashion, but does not have to obey the traditional rules of heraldry.
  • We have a standard graphic that we use as the basis of the Minor House banners, and we have certain conventions that we use in the formation of a House banner. Please get in touch with Misades, head of our Graphics & Art Team, to get your banner made; whether you want to do the art for it or whether you would like help with that. You can reach her on our Discord server.
  • We reserve the right to come up with your House description, but you can give us input and we'll take it into consideration.
  • Be prepared to pitch your idea to the Organizers in a written application, and await their decision. This is decided by a simple majority vote among the Organizers. It is usually done in a private channel on the Discord server.
  • It helps if you display an awareness of the individual challenges facing you, and a strategy to overcome them.
  • That said, don't be afraid to sell your strengths, either! We're especially interested in how you and your House can help and improve the GoT events and community.
  • We're busy, and we do this entirely on a volunteer basis. There's a lot of work involved. Don't pester us about your application. The surest way to get rejected is to show us that you're going to be a pain in the ass.
  • Sample Applications

    Below are two examples of successful applications to form a Minor House that we think are shining examples of the kinds of things we want to see. In both cases, the House Leaders were already known, liked, and respected within the community, and they had done work to help things run smoothly before they applied. Note that one of the strengths Basil was selling was their sense of humour, which they chose to incorporate directly into their presentation in a delightful example of "show, don't tell."  
    House Ocelot by Misades
    Dear Sable,   I would like to apply to lead a new Minor House; Minor House Ocelot! I will be happy to support whichever major house is in need of minor house, or I can equally choose, whatever is best.   I have two 'knights' that will be by my side. My brother, who is known as 'Rhinowater' who loves Camp NaNo and will be active on the chat, and my partner 'Gregalecorous' who is a very shy sage on WorldAnvil who keeps most of his work private. He's looking forward to getting to know the writer community on Twitch, and he'd love to join via the Minor House.   While I can be softly spoken, I feel confident that I can be a good, regular streamer and a friendly voice to everyone participating in the event. I love to be encouraging to others, and I have had good feedback from giving other people in the community feedback on their writing and articles! Streaming is something that gives me a lot of joy, and now I've moved to the UK, I am excited to make it one of my ongoing hobbies.  

    Challenges

    My sound quality isn't always the best and I'm not yet affiliate, but I have a new mic coming in the post which will arrive in a couple of days, and I believe I can reach affiliate by the 18th March.  

    Positives

  • I am a firm and well known member of the 'Blopsquad' community (run by community leader akatripzz who has over 2k followers on Twitch), which includes a lot of writers. There are many people from the community that may be very interested in Game of Tomes, and may join it.
  • Now I'm in the UK, I can use social media regularly and can advertise the event through my social media channels.
  • I'm also involved in two communities that are offline, who may also be interested in joining in if they know I'm involved.
  • I would encourage anyone interested to take a look at all the Houses & Minor Houses, and choose which fits their interest/personality.
  • I can be very flexible with times at the moment, and I'm happy to have regular streams.
  • I withdraw from drama, you can trust me to be fair and friendly with everyone!
    — Captain "Sailing" Ocelot, Leader of House Ocelot
  • A dark green banner surrounded by light green trim, featuring a green plant. Text:
    House Verdant by Misades
    Dear Organizers,   Thank you for all your hard work and dedication in nurturing this community. I'm Seth, recently accepted as a GoT streamer on Twitch as cottonspun, and I seek to found a new House for participation in July Tourney of Tales, as you are likely aware from the activities of my GoTsona, Baron Basil in rp-3. House Verdant would embody the growth I have experienced as part of this community, and serve as a welcoming common ground.   Before being introduced to GoT just prior to last year's July Tourney, I didn't have the confidence to commit myself to a long project of writing, or share my drawings. However, for these past eleven months I've been crafting an endeavor that involves both. Along the way, I've made friends in Felis, too! I, and my GoTsona Basil, have been loyally committed to Felis, and have nurtured the idea of Verdant with the support of my Felis family. I understand that it may be necessary to support other Major Houses beyond July, and would do so by marketing satellite greenhouse locations.   To found Verdant as a Minor House, I have the werds of myself, contributing the motto "Grow Beyond"; moonflower's commitment, "Only for July"; and a new server member, Flubb2 "Okay... I'm verdant", as well as an "I'm thinking about it" from an anonymous Felis away on vacation.   I'm plotting Verdant to be intentionally lore-light, rooted in the Kittering Community Garden of House Felis, so that it feels accessible to new players. I know from my own experience that the amount of lore and its importance to the community can be an intimidating learning curve to newcomers, so I seek ways to aid fellow players. As a grassroots, beginner-friendly House, Verdant would abstain from large-scale politics and seek to foster peaceful ties with all houses.   Verdant is inspired by Victory gardens throughout history and Basil hopes to someday empower Literomancers everywhere against the Horde. But for now, it is a barely-begun Community Garden in Kittering, seeking to incorporate as a Holistic Organization Unlocking Sustainable Eating in order to increase potential reach by participating in the July Tourney.   Verdant would not be a place to discuss restricted recreational plants - jokes on that trajectory would stop at catnip. Also, it would not be a place for political discussions related to food politics - diet is a personal decision. As a moderator, I already have the tools to nip these topics in the bud should they occur, and prune message history if necessary. I hope you will consider my application for Verdant and I will be happy to answer any queries as promptly as permitted by timezones.   (I understand your current meeting is on other topics and I do not intend to interrupt; today's submission timing is due to finding a third committed writer, the seeking of which had delayed my formal application until now).   Thank you.
    — Basil, Baron of the Leaf a.k.a. "Cottonspun," Leader of House Verdant
      Questions? Don't hesitate to ask any of the Organizers, and we'll be happy to help you! And good luck on your application! We look forward to hearing from you.


    Cover image: Iron Tome by Misades

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