In order to help plots flourish, get spread around, and stay at a comfortable playing speed for all involved, we have set down some rules for running stories, plots, and ONSen.
- ONS is an acronym for One Night Stand, and represents any GM'd scene that has been constructed with the intent of lasting for only one scene. Not all ONSen are combat-oriented, though most usually are. These do not need to be approved by the wizzen unless they include powerful spirits or NPCs from any of the playable spheres (see below). Weak antagonists (mortals, NPC heroic mortals, formori, etc.) don't need to be applied for (apped) or otherwise approved unless their presence would cause some major upheaval. If in doubt, talk to a wizard.
- ONSen involving any big baddies (Black Spiral Dancers, rogue/Sabbat Vampires, Dauntain, tainted mages...), that have the possibility to significantly affect the gameworld, or that provide significant material reward should be approved by a wizard. This can be as simple as paging or @mailing a wizard for a chat, or as involved as sending a large application to the wizard email; see below.
- Stories or plots that involve a large supernatural presence, major cross-sphere interaction, a large chunk of the game population, or that will last for a significant period of time should be apped and sent to the wiz email at darkforcesmush at gmail dot com. We're looking for theme, general idea, goals, timeline, expected consequences, things of that nature. You are more than welcome to brainstorm with the wizards, of course.
- Multi-night stories that aren't big overarching stories like the above don't need to be apped. However, you do need to run them by our plot wizards so we can be sure the story in question does not interfere with current plots running, and we can help link it up to current events. Otherwise, these work just like ONSen.
- The creation of talens/fetishes/wonders/talismans/etc. (and the necessary Spirit Summoning/Finding/Rituals etc.) or going into an Umbral realm should be discussed with and approved by a wizard.
- Small ONSen without significant follow-up can be run without consulting the wizards. If it turns out to have big follow-up (and as Puck reminds us, the GM decides the follow-up and 'you find nothing' is a valid response), then take the story and follow-up to the wizards.
If you wish to contact a wizard about your story/plot/ONS idea, please check the Wizard Roster and direct your questions to the appropriate wizard.
When GMs are Needed Edit
A GM (Game Master) or Storyteller may be required to preside over and manage certain scenes in an impartial manner. GMs who do not act impartially will be considered as acting disrespectfully, with all the consequences that entails. Anyone can act as a GM, though most scenes do not require a GM presence. It is, however, the right of any player to call for a GM at any time.
A GM is required...
- During the running of any ONS, Multi-night Story, or Plot; see above.
- During any scene with spirit interaction. Some spirit-scenes require pre-approval; see above.
- During any scene with Game NPCs.
- For any combat scene or scene that involves opposed dice rolling (unless the participants are able to respectfully determine a conclusion amongst themselves without the need of a GM).
- Whenever a player asks for one. This is not to be used as an excuse to avoid consequences, but as a way to solve disagreements fairly and amicably. Sometimes, players simply can't come to an agreement about how to conclude a certain scene; this is when a GM should be called.
The Rights of the GM Edit
Acting as a GM grants a player some temporary power over other players. Abusing this power will result in disciplinary action, and will be considered as an act of disrespect with all the consequences that entails.
A GM may (after obtaining consent from all parties involved)...
- Decide the ultimate outcome of any argument with the intervention of dice or some other method that will allow them to impartially determine a victor.
- Harm a character.
- Kill a character. There are some caveats here; see Consent.