Originally made for: Skyuard Weyr
Aspects of it which will thusly not apply to other games Mentions of morrigan and Luchienne. Mentions of banshees, and other skyguard specific creatures. Probably a lot of the more advanced military application stuff, but that may be applicable to some games even if they aren't a military sub-weyr like morrigan is.
Original Link: I'm A link!
Meat of the article!
These are just an outline of basics for candidate lessons at Morrigan weyr. Any lesson plan made by the standing candidate master takes precedence. This has ideas for lesson topics, private lessons, etc. It can be added to at anyone's leisure. People can pick and choose.
AWLM's and ACM's are great, because they can host lessons while the WLM/CM is busy/away, or just themselves for the hell of it. Ideally, each AWLM/ACM hosts at least one cycle as needed, but that's really up to the individual masters and AWLM's. The strongest point about having multiple AWLM's/ACM's is that if one gets busy, there are at least two others who are hopefully around to post too. :3 We all get busy,
Masters! Please use your Assistants! Let them host one lesson, etc, if you want a break. There's no stigma, and so that everyone gets a time to host a lesson, I recommend that you ask each of your assistants if they'd like to run one lesson, and which. Also, there's no stigma for missing lessons. There is a reason that candidate and weyrlingmasters don't last long OOC on sites. Even the best player is going to get burned out eventually, and as kind of nature of the beast, lessons are repetitive. We want to prevent burnout! So please, take breaks when you need to, or even when you just want to.
Assistants. If you want to host a lesson, by all means, do so! Please just run it by somebody, probably the master in charge, so that you know you're not stepping on their toes. If they haven't been active for awhile, ask the admin in charge of the area.
Remember, these are general suggestions, not end-all-be-all-how-to-do-things. ^^ Deviating from these is not the end of the world- it's not even always bad.
Get into the meat of the lesson.
Lessons frequently go for one post and then taper off, after everyone arrives. To solve that, try to jump into at least a little bit of the meat of the lesson in the first post. Of course, call everyone- that's a given. But because you can expect at least one post from most of your students, make sure they do something for that first post besides just show up. Ask them a question- either for an introduction, or ask a homework question. If your lesson is lecture heavy, post at least part of the lecture in the beginning. Just so that there's something to respond to.
Break up lectures/have things to respond to.
Lectures are boring, kind of by the nature of the beast. They're also a lot of work for us masters to write. So, it's really nice to see your students playing out some effort too, after you just spent an hour or more typing up that really awesome lecture you just used. After all, a good student's really only going to be taking notes, which is one line of roleplay at most. Thus, break up the lecture with activity, or, if nothing else, with questions. You can direct questions at specific people, or at the whole class. It's best to make the questions broad so that everyone has a chance to respond. Students— please have questions and use them to interrupt lectures! Also, teachers, please rewrite your lectures every time you give them- don't just copypasta the same lecture you've used ten times before? Why? Because while all the characters are different, your players have probably done this lesson before. It's nice to have something new to read. To an extent, there's only so much things you can do to make something we've all done at least 10 times before interesting, but every little bit helps.
Try to plan interactive activities. Get individual riders or your assistants in on the thing. Stage a false threadfall. Get the firelizards of the weyr [semi]organized to play an elaborate game of hide and seek with the candidates to sharpen their eyes. Have your weyrlings stage skits with their dragons. Corny or not, do it! Activities make lessons less boring and make people interact with one another. Try to make the activies something can do in groups [and group your active people together, since not everyone wants to do more then post once in a lesson to prove that they were there, and that's fine], or try to make your activity engage everyone present. For example, if you're running a false threadfall, stage a thread-event for every player who posted last round to respond to, even if that's 10 mini-events in one thread.
Hold extra lessons
On this game we do have mandatory lessons. People with LOA's are typically excused, but mandatory lessons can be a drag for people who've done it hundreds of times before, or for people who are busy. After all, our characters are new to this, but the players behind them aren't and have to deal with school/work/RL. Thus, hold extra lessons. The minimums on skyguard for lessons are as follows: candidates must attend 3 lessons, and the touching counts as one of them; Weyrlings must attend 6 lessons + a final test. So, in addition to making it interesting, hold more lessons then you need to. That way, people can miss a lesson without shooting them in the foot. NEed to hold six? Great, the main master can host the six, and then each of the AWLM's can host two more. That's 10 opportunities to get the required six lessons that the weyrlings need. This is very much dependent on time and energy- after all, if someone's away for weeks [as often happens for school] it's not gonna matter quite that much. Extra lessons are usually good to be funner, lighter activities, and posted near school/vacation breaks.
Private lessons are great because the move faster and encourage development. If someone can't be around for the main lessons, then maybe they can do a bunch or private lessons [time/energy permitting— it's not always possible, and I do understand that]. Private lessons can also be done with anyone. AWLM's, WLM, CM, random rider, even a knowledgeable crafter/lower caverns person. Please don't hesitate to ask for a private lesson, students, and please don't hesitate to offer them, riders! Use them as make-up for lessons you missed, use them as extra practice (oh no, character A is uncomfortable flying in the air- better get over that come hatching time, with the help of some adult riders willing to give some joyrides!), or totally separate/unique lessons or activities themselves.
Lesson plan/topics- feel free to mix and match
Candidate Lesson Topics
- Introduction Day! The weyr and you, and who your fellow candidates are.
- Ranks, hierarchies, and who not to piss off.
- What candidacy means, what it demands of you.
- What it means to impress, the demands of impression, the rigors of weyrlinghood, and horror stories of adult riding, along with some of the good points: Aka, a realistic dose of what it means to be a rider, and your last chance to get out while you still can.
- if needed, literacy training
- Meet some dragons! (bathing, just saying hello- suggested to use multiple riders. Have candidates get up close with dragons and riders.
- Maintain a dragon day— get some of the largest dragons in the weyr and let the candidates bathe/oil them so that they know how much work it is. Also suggested you use other riders, can be combined with meet some dragons.
- Basic hand-to-hand combat
- Basic hunting/tracking
- Basic Field Medic
- Basic survival: how to camp out in the woods and not die, what berries to eat, etc.
- Meet the dragonkin: Firelizards!
- The dreaded egg experiment. :D Give candidates an egg, a firelizard hatchling [have a hatching for them], or someone else's borrowed firelizard to care for while they're candidates.
- Meet the dragonkin: Whers. Have candidates meet the whers, teach respect for whers. Use friendly whers. Alternatively, if your weyr is not wher friendly, have them teach that whers are inferior beasts. :D
- Meet the dragonkin: banshees. Use friendly banshees.
- Anti-gravity lessons! Flight- enlist other dragons in the weyr. Take candidates up in the air and give them a taste of flying and/or drills. Possibly even accompany sweeps/ordinary rider duties. Good private option.
- Shadow a rider day. Candidate follows a rider around for a day ot figure out what it's like to be a rider. Good private option.
- Hatching day: What to expect, what to do, what not to do, how not to get hurt.
- Touching. As many as you can get permission for. This game is typically one touching per hatching.
- Weyr history lessons.