The purpose of this letter is to help clear up some of the confusion about
what Seers are and what they do.
What is a Seer?
A Seer is a player, selected based on their role-playing ability, who assists IGMs (IGM = Interest Game Master and are different from Support Game Masters you call via the help button) in their attempts to introduce quests and events into the game. They do this by acting as catalysts for role-playing. Seers can assist IGMs with Major Plot events or run their own events and role-play their own characters. Seers are NOT Game Masters and have none of the abilities of one. In fact, the Seers have no role in the support of Ultima Online at all. They are there to promote role-playing and to increase the level of quests and events in Ultima Online.
Since they play the role of a character who exists only in Britannia, Seers will remain in-character regardless of the situation. If you encounter a Seer and see them being asked such questions as: "Who gave you that robe?" or "How did you get to be a Seer?", then you will see the questions answered according to the personality of the character the Seer is playing at the time. And often that will mean the character knows little or nothing about such things. In general, if a player asks a question like "Are you a GM?", it tends to lessen the role-playing atmosphere and make things more difficult for those who wish to enjoy the event.
As a result, Seers, whether in green robes or role-playing a character, are likely to gravitate toward role-players rather than those who run around the bank screaming or those who ask about games-mechanics, including things like "what's your magery?" Seers will always avoid contact with players who prefer to spout obscenities or who fill the screen with "spam". Since Seers are unpaid volunteers who use their own time to encourage and facilitate role-playing, avoiding situations that require an out-of-character response is one means of maximizing their effectiveness. This doesn't mean you have to use "thee" and "thou" if it's not comfortable to you. All that is needed is to act and speak as in-character as you are able. There is no contest to find the "best" role-players, so you need not worry about being perfect. But allowing yourself and those around you to role-play while in Britannia will result in a better experience for everyone. Especially during Seer and IGM events.
The Seers can play many different kinds of characters that can appear in many different forms. In particular, there are three roles that a Seer will fulfill: a green-robed character, role-played character, and role-played monster.
What is a Green-Robed Seer character?
Each official persona of Ultima Online has a different colored robe: Support
GMs are red, Counselors are blue, Seers are green, etc. If you open a robed
Seer's paperdoll, you will see that their skin is green also. Green-robed Seers
are invulnerable and can interact with the world (picking things up, carrying
things, using items, and so forth). As opposed to counselors who cannot directly
interact with the UO world.
What can Green-robed Seers do?
Green-robed Seer characters are used by the Seer players for formal or official
events. They're frequently seen at weddings, large shard events, etc. Green-robed
Seers may also visit player-run cities and establishments. Green-robed Seers
often visit such establishments in order to get a feel for the sense of community
there. They then advise IGMs as to whether there is enough public interest and
support to warrant special attention in the form of extra decoration and lockdowns.
An accurate and well-written document authored by Kazola of Kazola's Treetop Keg & Winery (Great Lakes) concerning such decoration and lockdowns is available.
The Green-robed Seers can also help to facilitate or forward an event by answering questions about the events or by providing rumors. Just because a Green-robed Seer is in-game does NOT imply that an event is taking place. The Town Criers are generally better sources for this type of information. If you want the details of events that take place on each shard, the Town Cryer newspaper is also a good place to go.
What can't Green-robed Seers do?
It is important to remember that the Seers are not there as a support character, and they cannot take bug reports or give technical assistance. Green-robed Seers cannot dye your armor or skin or give you colored weapons. If you see a Green-robed Seer, there is no need to ask if there is a quest. If a Seer has a quest, the Seer is going to tell you about it without asking. A Green-robed Seer cannot get involved in PvP combat, including promoting or preventing combat. Certain exceptions would apply, obviously a scheduled tournament would be an acceptable thing for a Seer to attend as an observer or sponsor.
What is a Seer's Role-Playing Character?
A Role-Playing Character, RPC for short, is a special character, who is a living, breathing member of the Ultima Online world. The RPCs are role-played citizens of Britannia. RPCs can be recognizable by one or more uniquely colored and named items. For instance, Crawworth sometimes carries a red sword, and Sage Winslow carries a green staff. These items are used to identify the RPCs. They will not part with them, sell them, give them away or loan them out. If the RPC dies for any reason, these items will not appear on the corpse, and cannot be stolen.
Some RPCs such as Crawworth and Sage Winslow exist on every shard. They are generally used only in the Main Plot events, which span all servers. Other RPCs such as Duma the Blacksmith, Arisa the Healer, and Zephram the Scientist are unique to the shard on which they are found. They will have events that involve and surround them, but their events will be specific to only the shard on which they exist. These events are created by Seers with the assistance of IGMs.
What can RPCs do?
RPCs are normal citizens, and will behave as such. If endangered, then they may attack back and kill their aggressors. Being that the RPCs are connected to events, they may be able to give information about quests. For instance, if Crawworth is talking about the Followers of Armageddon, then one could find out information about the quest. RPCs are also there for general role-playing. As with the Green-robed Seers, the presence of an RPC does not necessarily imply that an event is going on.
RPCs earn a living in exactly the same manner as any other character, which means they might be found tailoring, tinkering, mining, hunting, smithing or grinding reagents. They may be found shopping in the city and from player-owned vendors from time to time.
What can't RPCs do?
RPCs can only do what any other person in Britannia can do. They cannot dye armor or give out colored weapons. They value their unique items very highly, and will not sell them. RPCs don't always know of quests or events. It may be that they are just going about their daily business. If you see an RPC, role-play with them instead of acting out-of-character - if you want to be involved in a quest, that's one of the better ways to go about it. In general RPCs aren't going to fight with other players. Sage Winslow and Crawworth, for instance are both peaceful and just. They would only fight if not given any other choice. Other RPCs are evil and may attack without provocation, such as the members of the Followers of Armageddon. Many RPCs are involved in the local community. This largely depends on the nature of the RPC in question. A scholar of the Britain Library might be interested in a player-run library, but might be less inclined to visit a player-run arena. For issues related to lockdowns and decoration of popular player-run establishments, speak with a Green-robed Seer. RPCs are not nearly as involved in this process.
What is a role-played monster?
On some occasions, a Seer is needed to role-play a monster in a quest. They will usually be recognizably different, especially if they are involved in conflicts. If you see a monster running (since NPC monsters don't run), or if you see them talking and actually responding intelligently, or using superior tactics, it's probably a role-played monster.
What are events and how do I become involved?
Quests and Events can occur at any time on any day on any given shard. Some quests will not involve any combat, but rely on the use of other skills. Others are mass-combat spectacles that only the most seasoned fighters can hope to survive. Even others may be centered around dialogue, problem-solving, or anything really. Some events are short, and may only last around 30 minutes. Others may last several days. The Major Plot, which will be held on all servers, can last months. The town criers, which are located in every major town, and the Town Cryer, which is the on-line newspaper, will list information about the quests that occur in Ultima Online. Role-play with RPCs and your fellow players, and keep your ears open.
How do I become a Seer?
If you show the ability to Role-play well, and seem to have a grasp for fiction generation, then you might very well be suited to become a Seer. The Seers are appointed from a pool of players who have shown the ability to role-play and stay in-character in the face of adversity. The players that catch an IGM, Seer or Counselor's attention will be sent an application, which will require them to write some fiction and display their role-playing ability. If the IGMs feel that this person will make a strong Seer, then the position will be offered to the applicant. Simply asking to become a Seer is not the best way to go about becoming one. If you're a writer, write stories about your character to the various message-boards. If you're good with organization, join or start a role-playing guild. Take whatever it is you do well, and use that in a role-playing situation. Get involved in the UO community, create a town or tavern. Work in the game to support existing role-playing venues in a visible way. Help to build community in a way, which not only provides an outlet for dedicated "hard-core" role-players, but allows the inexperienced role-players to get involved. The most important thing to remember is to be inclusive, not exclusive. These activities will get you noticed in a positive way, give you practice at staying in character, and are quite fun. Even if it doesn't get you an invitation to become a Seer, doing these things will make your time in UO a lot more engaging and rewarding.
--This letter was authored by Seer Lacerta with editing and suggestions from
GM Beast and all of the current seers.