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Exclusive Interview with The Reaper Lords - Submit Your Questions!


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RDR2.org is proud to announce that we've scored an exclusive interview with prolific GTA Online / Red Dead Online crew The Reaper Lords and what's more, you'll get to ask the questions!

The Reaper Lords are a world famous crew that have been featured in numerous publications such as IGN, Kotaku (three times), Polygon, the Rockstar Newswire, VICE and soon to be RDR2.org.

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The Reaper Lords were founded in 2013 and rose to become the most well-known and respected motorcycle club on GTA Online. Today, Reaper Lords are a thriving online outlaw gang in Red Dead Redemption 2.

They are a highly structured and disciplined crew, with well-defined operating protocols and hierarchy. Members of the club having voting rights over major club decisions, the ability to run for elected officer positions to assist with club leadership and operations, and members enjoy in-game support and activities as well as real meet-ups worldwide.

 

The Reaper Lords have raised thousands of dollars for real world charities like Make a Wish and Breast Cancer Research. All members of the club are expected to show respect to all other members and to uphold the honorable reputation of the club.

They decided to collaborate with RDR2.org to give the Red Dead community an opportunity to ask questions about the club, what they do online, and any other questions you may have.

 

Reaper Lord membership is a privilege earned by few and only after commitment has been demonstrated and trust has been earned. Thousands have applied to join the Reaper Lords, but only about 1% of applicants earn full membership. All prospective members must go through a multi-week evaluation period prior to earning membership in the club.

If you've ever wanted to know more about what it takes to run an elite crew, what the Reaper Crew do exactly, what makes them special, how they handle griefers, or how to kick ass in Red Dead Online, then this is your chance to find out.

Submit the questions you wanted answered in this thread and we'll do our best to get them answered. Submit all your questions by December 15.

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It's obvious R* took a different tack from GTAO when they created RDO.

With that in mind, how do you see the Reaper Lord's role differing in the RDO game world than it does in GTA?  

Now that you're expanding into RDO, how does a members standing in the group change between games or does it?

Are you finding a lot of current TR members showing an interest in RDO?

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Usually organized groups, call them guilds or crews, develop around games with a more involved RP component, like MMOs. Is it more challenging to keep a group organized in GTA Online/Red Dead Online than in traditional MMOs? What unique challenges do you face?

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Sweet! I got a few!

What qualities do you look for in Reaper Lords hopefuls? How difficult is it to become a member?
What motivated you to use your influence for charitable goals in the past? Do you plan to continue in that vein?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I gotta say how impressed I am with the thoughtfulness of the questions posted to this thread. I've done many interviews on behalf of the club and never received so many challenging and insightful questions. I think it speaks very highly of this community. Thank you very much for providing this forum and opportunity for us to discuss our club with your members. 

I'll reply to each question individually. There are some things which we consider club business and do not discuss outside our membership, however, I'll be as open and candid as possible.

Much love to LORD_Artorius and the admins of this site for creating this opportunity.

Edited by LORD_DirtyWorka
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On 11/21/2019 at 4:45 PM, Kean_1 said:

It's obvious R* took a different tack from GTAO when they created RDO.

With that in mind, how do you see the Reaper Lord's role differing in the RDO game world than it does in GTA?  

Now that you're expanding into RDO, how does a members standing in the group change between games or does it?

Are you finding a lot of current TR members showing an interest in RDO?

A remarkable amount of what worked for us on GTA was very transferable to Red Dead. The primary difference for us has to do with combat rules. On GTA we followed what's referred to as the 1% code. It's essentially a set of combat rules that apply to GTA MCs, which dictate that clubs will use freeaim and only Assault Rifles or less in combat. While there's much debate within the community about the specifics of the 1% code, that's a reasonable distillation. Obviously, these rules do not transfer into a world with auto-aim and magical potions, so we had to adapt our combat rules and approach to combat in general. GTA is a very hostile environment. Whenever we logged on, we were almost assured of a drawn out battle and thus, much of club culture revolved around the defense of the club and preparing for conflict with other crews. In Red Dead it is a much more chill environment and large-scale battles are far less frequent. I think this has allowed us to focus more on peaceful pursuits and it has resulted in a pretty big culture shift within the club.

A LORD is a LORD regardless of platform or gameplay environment. Full members on GTA remain full members on RDO.  Membership applies across all games and consoles.

Activity is as high on RDO as it ever was on GTA. The transition was not without strain, but ultimately it has proven to be a great move for us. Many LORDs have been in the club five or more years on GTA, so having a completely new environment to adapt to has, in many ways, reinvigorated the club. 

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On 11/22/2019 at 7:15 PM, Thirty7 said:

What is the process that takes place when a member chooses to leave the club? Similarly, what is the process for removing/kicking members out of the club? 

Membership within the club is a privilege that many have worked very hard to earn, however, the work does not end when the patch is earned. For some the burden of maintaining our high standards can be too much, or life simply gets in the way.  We've seen many members have children, change jobs, go off to college or military, etc... While some are able to carry on their membership, others simply can not and chose to move on. In those cases, we wish them nothing but the best. Many come back to play with us from time to time. All we ask is that former members remove any reference to the club from their social media and gaming accounts.

We do have processes for removing members that violate our oath. I can not discuss specifics, but will say that it is taken very seriously and never the decision of just one member. This is not like some gaming crews where essentially one person has unlimited power. In Reaper Lords we have a constitution which ensures the rights of the membership and provides a system of checks and balances to ensure that no single LORD has too much power over another.

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On 11/26/2019 at 7:17 PM, KVNknowsbest said:

What is the “origin story” of the Reaper Lords? Were you always aiming this high, or did a regular group of friends end up ballooning into this community?

Unlike many role play organizations, we don't really have a story that we follow. Our form of role play is very light. We essentially agree to abide by certain rules, follow a chain of command and treat each other like family. The club was founded by a small group of very driven individuals that enjoyed riding motorcycles in real life, but also had a passion for gaming. They took knowledge of real life motorcycle club hierarchies and bylaws to form something resembling an MC in GTA. Based on what I know of the founding members, I think they always had their sights set high. In particular, the person that conceived of the club and took the first steps toward creating it is a very talented, confident, and driven individual. As in business or other endeavors, it often takes borderline fanatical vision and drive from a very small group of individuals to get something like this off the ground. The passion and do or die attitude at the founding of this club absolutely laid the solid foundation that we've built on in the years since. 

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On 11/26/2019 at 7:27 PM, SageNinja said:

Usually organized groups, call them guilds or crews, develop around games with a more involved RP component, like MMOs. Is it more challenging to keep a group organized in GTA Online/Red Dead Online than in traditional MMOs? What unique challenges do you face?

I can't really speak to our challenges relative to traditional MMOs, as I've not had experience in those realms. I can say that our form of role play is very light and revolves primarily around how we run the organization. For example we do not act out character roles or storylines. We do all agree to dress like bikers on GTA, or wear a uniform in Red Dead, but we don't talk like bikers or outlaws per se. We do host weekly meetings in which officers report on activities and members can motion for votes on rule changes, but our meetings look more like something you'd expect to see in a corporate board room, than a shadowy backroom at a strip club.

From a role play challenges perspective I think one of our biggest challenges is managing the balance between individual self-expression and maintaining a cohesive theme that identifies us as a unified group. For example, some members may wish to dress in a flamboyant or whimsical way, but if we're representing ourselves as being a badass biker club or outlaw posse, at some point we would lose that identity if individual style drifted too far afield. To strike a balance we have set uniforms for certain occasions or activities, but outside of that members are largely free to dress as they like, within the overall theme. I think most LORDs understand that part of the appeal of the club is the sense of belonging to something special. They know that when 10 or 20 of us ride up on someone and we all have LORD in our gamertags and are all wearing a blue uniform, and moving in a controlled and synchronized fashion, it makes a big impression. For the type of people we like to recruit, the impression we make in lobby will be instantly appealing. I think our members take pride in that and it helps to self-regulate based on our shared values.

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On 11/26/2019 at 7:43 PM, CrabApples said:

How much time do the senior members have to put into managing the Reaper Lords? Are you left with free time to pursue other interests?

A ton!!! Seriously. It takes a tremendous amount of work to keep the club running. As National President, I probably spend 15 or more hours per week dedicated to club work. Other positions within the hierarchy may require a little more or a little less, but it is damn near a part time job. The officers of the club often forgo game play time or other leisure activities for meetings, membership administration, conflict resolution, training, club promotion, event coordination and on and on. Serving the club requires a lot of personal effort and sacrifice, which leaves all of us with a high level of satisfaction. There's no pay and you don't usually feel the appreciation until your term is up, but knowing that serving the club requires so much personal sacrifice, even if no one else knows it, provides a great sense of pride and satisfaction.

As for other pursuits, I personally have a family and a job that always come before anything, but I do find time for other pursuits, based largely on the outstanding team of individuals that run the club. We back each other up and cover down on each other's responsibilities when life or leisure calls. I fly 50-100 times per year for work, so nearly every week I'm flying somewhere. That provides me with lots of time in hotels at night to work on club business or get online to play with the LORDs. I also like doing motovlogs riding Harleys in some of the cities I visit. 

Edited by LORD_DirtyWorka
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On 11/27/2019 at 12:34 AM, SaulGoodMan said:

How does the Red Dead Online branch of the Reaper Lords differ from the GTA Online one? Are members of one automatically members of the other?

There's a lot of commonality between RDO & GTA for us. The primary difference, beyond the obvious environmental difference, is related to combat. In GTA we were a strict freeaim only club with a limited weapon wheel based on GTA 1% MC rules. Where Red Dead is an autoaim game with all kinds of potions and ability cards, early on we made the decision not to limit use of in-game content. Our members are free to use any weapons or other features the game has to offer. On GTA we took pride in limiting our weapon wheel and strictly adhering to voluntary standards. In Red Dead we just have fun and the combat aspects of the game have far less significance than on GTA. 

Reaper Lords are Reaper Lords no matter what game or console we're on. Membership applies to the individual, not the account or platform.

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On 11/27/2019 at 12:45 AM, Coyote said:

Sweet! I got a few!

What qualities do you look for in Reaper Lords hopefuls? How difficult is it to become a member?
What motivated you to use your influence for charitable goals in the past? Do you plan to continue in that vein?

We're looking for good human beings. Qualities like honesty, maturity, compassion, and integrity are important to us. It's hard to quantify the precise mix of qualities or adequately describe how we go about evaluating prospective members, but we take it very seriously. We've had thousands of people apply to the club, but only about 1% earn full membership. One of our biggest challenges in recruiting is that most don't understand that all the high ideals we talk about inside the club, are only accessible to members. We expect members to treat each other with the utmost respect at all times. We laugh and clown around endlessly behind closed doors. We are kind and compassionate and value the dignity of others.....however, we are downright degrading to prospective members. We have a complex and grueling prospecting process that allows us to carefully scrutinize individuals prior to allowing them into the club. It's very hard for outsiders to understand the process and not take it personally. We put prospective members in stressful and unreasonable situations to see how they respond. We're watching to see if they work together to solve problems, if they carry on with their duties even when times get tough, and if they can show the utmost respect when dealing with someone acting in an irrational or hostile way....because when you become a member you will be faced with all these challenges. If people quit when times get tough, put themselves before the club in their decision making, or continually escalate when conflicts arise, we would not be able to maintain the beautiful environment the club provides and which has allowed us to go on successfully for as long as we have. We expect members to stay for years, but we only have weeks or months to evaluate someone's character before voting them into the club. For that reason we condense the stresses to suit the time frame and the very large majority of candidates do not hold up. Which is exactly the way we like it. Once membership is earned, there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment and feeling of belonging. Every member can trust and rely on every other member because they know what that person had to do to earn membership. 

The charitable work we do is really just a natural extension of our values. As much as we like acting like badasses on the video games, our members are great people from all walks of life. As we have gained some minor recognition within the gaming community it just seemed natural to try to do some good with it. Benefits to the club are immeasurable. It provides an incredible sense of pride within the membership. Gaming is viewed by some as a waste of time or a self-indulgent activity. By using the time we've invested to help people facing challenges in the real world helps give membership in the club a little more meaning and significance. We will absolutely do more of this in the future. 

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On 11/27/2019 at 7:09 PM, redscrew said:

What kind of hierarchical structure do you use to manage the group?

We follow a traditional Motorcycle Club hierarchy. 

National President sits over all charters of the club.

Within each charter we have:

President

Vice President

SGT at Arms

Secretary

Road Captain

Enforcers

Treasurer

Tail Gunner

 

We have a constitution that ensures the rights of members and accountability of officers as well. All major club decisions are put to a vote and any full member can motion a vote on any subject they wish. Members are also free to run for elected positions within the hierarchy. This structure provides the authority necessary for officers to lead the club, without the ability to run roughshod over it.

 

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