"When all the details fit in perfectly, something is probably wrong with the story."
- --Charles Baxter, Essays on Fiction
Dream Chasers is a plot-heavy MUSH. The admin intend to tell a lot of stories on the game; we also want to make a game that is very friendly to players who want to tell their stories. Filgaia and Lunar are expansive worlds with a lot of room to tell a lot of different stories. Plots will be a driving force for the game, which determines where characters go.
Plot, at Dream Chasers MUSH, is akin to a factional conflict or regular social interactions at other games: it is the core of the MUSH, which provides things for characters to do. We are interested in telling engaging, entertaining stories that combine the themes of the MUSH together in new, exciting ways. To that end, plot isn't a simulation or a war game to be won. It offers guidance on the game's themes, what to do, and where characters will be.
You might have noticed -- for example, on the login screen -- that Dream Chasers is divided into chapters. The admin use the chapter system to communicate a few things to the players. First, we want to make the current focus of the game clear. The chapters determine what themes are receiving a central spotlight, and which antagonists are receiving their moment in the spotlight. Chapters are how admin pace the content of the game. We do this to make certain that the dozen or so major antagonists don't all drop their world-ending threats at the same time, which would rob them of their narrative weight. We also make certain that characters have some breathing room, and that player-run antagonists have room to shine too.
This also means that some themes can't be applied for at start. For example, Wild ARMs 2, Megaman Legends, Final Fantasy X, and Gun x Sword have much of their action focused on different regions than Chapter 1 takes place on.
Each chapter will typically last a bit more than a year. During this time, the admin won't run plots back to back. Often times, they will use posts to provide information on how to further the plot by exploring dungeons, and antagonists (both player- and admin-run) will provide threats. At key intervals, staff will run more intensive plots that last a few weeks. We will keep our plot outlines flexible, with an eye towards incorporating good ideas and being certain players can participate; we will also work to make plots respond to what characters do.
Participating in admin-run plots is optional to an extent. We respect that not every plot will appeal to every player. However, the chapter will determine where characters are located and threats that characters cannot simply ignore. Participation in individual plots is optional, but restraints on travel and other resources -- detailed in the following section -- are mandatory.
Geography and Travel
The core themes at Dream Chasers are Japanese console RPGs, which feature travel as an important element. At the beginning, characters are often limited in how far they can travel. Moreover, the act of traveling is important to the MUSH's thematic core. Please see our file on tone for why. The overall plot of the MUSH will geographically limit characters, especially in earlier chapters. This happens in two ways.
The first is that nearly every played character will be limited to a specific region. Our grid is divided into sizeable regions, and at points, only a few of these will be available for PCs. This means that your characters must travel and must have a reason to be in those areas. The admin will always provide a reason, but you're free to find your own.
The exception to these rules are antagonist groups such as the Solarians. Even then, one can assume that the Solarians will frequently return to Solaris -- but they will mostly operate in the region that the other PCs are locked into.
The second restriction placed by the overall MUSH plot is on travel. Drifters do not have reliable access to air and sea travel at the start of the game, with a few clearly spelled-out exceptions. Eventually, PCs will gain access to sailing ships and even flight. Eventually, even crossing from Filgaia to Lunar won't be difficult. However, at the start, characters don't have access to these vehicles and are unlikely to for some time.
We encourage players to run their own plots and participate in ours. Antagonists are especially encouraged, as the admin cannot hit every beat of every theme. As mentioned in our discussion of antagonists, we will provide a great deal of support to them.
In general, if a plot takes more than a couple of scenes, needs to have a customized dungeon made, or would permanently affect a location on the grid, the admin want to know about it beforehand. Tell us about it through the +request system, with an idea of what the plot entails, what scenes are expected to occur, and what (if anything) is needed from staff.