Does the Front Matter Matter?

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If you cruise around and visit different fellowships, you’ll see all sorts of front matters describing various fellowships. Some are very brief – “Recruiting Gems.” Others are very long, explaining attitudes, telling everyone what the player boosts are, offering up the rules of the fellowship, and more.

I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone when I suggest that the front matter … matters. It’s the first impression people get of your fellowship. Are you friendly? Is it a mature fellowship? Is it well managed? Those are all impressions you give folks when they’re cruising around looking for a the best home (fellowship) to fit their needs.

So, what do I (this is a blog, and my opinion matters) put in the front matter?

  1. First, any recruiting you’re doing: “RECRUITING for planks and silk. Full up on elixir” tells people a lot right off the bat
  2. Tell people about the flavor of your fellowship. Are you competitive? Avoiding competition at all costs? Friendly? For advanced or large players? For beginner players?
  3. Indicate any hard rules you might have. “Visits required 4x per week” is a pretty solid rule, and if someone knows s/he can’t meet that, they’ll save both of you some trouble and look elsewhere. I’d recommend keeping the rules you post few, short, clear, and friendly in tone.
  4. Anything else they need to know about your fellowship.

What are common things we see in front matter?

  • Rules
  • “Flavor” of the fellowship
  • Boosts in the fellowship
  • How to join
  • What the fellowship is recruiting for, if it is recruiting
  • A story to draw you in

Tool for Growth: The Round Robin

One of the basic tenets of a truly successful fellowship is teamwork. One aspect of teamwork is goods-sharing – trading to balance goods, and trading to support your fellows.

Trading to support your fellows sometimes takes the form of “bad” or unequal trades. For example,  a cross-tier trade from Silk to Planks lets one get plenty more planks than one could get from a Tier 1 Marble for Planks trade.  LINK: Basics of trading

Another way that you can support a fellow is through a ratio trade within a tier. Normally, the Elvenar trader wants to equalize trades: 100 marble for 100 planks. It is possible, however, to post 100 marble for up to 400 (a 1:4 ratio) planks, using a ratio to increase the number of goods you get at someone else’s expense. It’s a great way for a large city to help a smaller city build up goods.

Example Tier 1 Round Robin

Small City: I have 500 planks and nothing else in Tier 1. Help!

Larger City: Okay, I can help. Here’s what we’re going to do:

  • Post 500 planks for 2000 Marble
  • post 500 Marble for 2000 Steel
  • Post 500 Steel for 2000 Planks

End result: 2000 planks, 1500 each of marble and steel in the small player’s inventory.

You can do this Round Robin several times to boost someone’s goods within a tier or across tiers. The more goods the smaller cities have access to, the faster they and thus the fellowship will grow.



Using the Stats Sheet

Quick Instruction Set for using the stats spreadsheet

First: Add the new columns to the end of the spreadsheet

  1. Select the last three columns.
  2. Right click (PC) or Ctrl-click (Mac) to open a shortcut menu
  3. Select “Insert 3 right”
  4. You should have three empty columns at the end of the spreadsheet.
  5. Label the columns: current date; Change; and % Change

Screenshot 2017-07-23 13.50.03

Second: Reset the data range to include the new columns. In the image below, you can see a thin green outline. That outline defines the data range for our spreadsheet.

Screenshot 2017-07-23 13.54.14

  1. Select the entire row containing the containing column headings (e.g. Change, %Change in the images above). To do this, click on the row number on the far left hand side of the spreadsheet.
  2. Select the Data menu; choose Turn Off Filter
  3. Leaving the same row selected, select the Data menu; choose Filter
  4. Check to make sure that the green box now includes the new columns, as shown below.

Screenshot 2017-07-23 13.59.25

Third: Enter the formulas and test them

  1. The change formula is the current date minus the last date.  Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.03.59
  2. The % Change formula is the Change value divided by the last date.Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.06.56
  3. To test the formulas, enter a value into the current date column. Let’s use 200,000. Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.09.24
  4. Now wait, those figures don’t really look right, do they? That’s because they need to be formatted. Select the cells containing the sample value and the change formula and, using Google’s formatting tools, change the formats to a Number format with no decimal points, as shown below. Ah! Much better.

Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.11.36

Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.13.45

Fourth: Copy the formulas down the column

  1. Highlight the cells with the formulas in them
  2. There is a small blue box in the lower right corner of the selection.
  3. Click and drag the blue box down the column to copy the formulas.Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.15.57

OPTIONAL Fifth: Hide the columns that you’re not using anymore. We’re adding three new columns every week, and after a while, you’ll have an enormous spreadsheet if we don’t take steps!

  1. Select the column(s) that you don’t need to see anymore
  2. Right-click (PC) or ctrl-click (mac) to get the shortcut menu
  3. Select Hide Column

Screenshot 2017-07-23 14.48.51

All done! Great job! Now enter the scores for your team for this week and you’re all set. Make sure you do it on the same day each week!

Purpose of the Archmage’s Handbook


Originally, this site was about having archmage resources for the Starfleet family of fellowships, but the thoughts and ideas have broadened enough to become a handbook for any budding archmage, really. So…. if this is you, please enjoy and I hope you find it useful. Your feedback is welcome. If you’re an experienced archmage, please feel free to offer additional information, insights, and critique.

This site contains a variety of resources, a fair bit of opinion, and a little bit of philosophy. It is not a basic how-to for players.