"I think striking the right tone for your story is, if you like, the alchemical work of writing."
- --Julia Leigh
Telling a good story requires maintaining a consistent tone. This file doesn't explain the in-character setting of Dream Chasers, but the out-of-character reasoning in constructing and maintaining that setting. The administration expects players to fit into the game's tone more often than not and, more importantly, to be smart about deviating from that tone.
Dream Chasers is rooted in Japanese console RPGs above all else. We are specifically rooted in a genre that deals with wandering across the world, finding the treasures of the past, and saving the world from threats of an incredible scale. This means that some RPGs will not fit; the administrators love Final Fantasy VI and Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, but these games aren't suitable for our theme. We aren't telling operatic tales of the apocalypse or examinations of morality in politics here.
These games are often heavily adapted. We made adaptation decisions to overcome problems in translation, conflicts created by integrating multiple themes, and to tell the best story possible. However, we still love our source material, even when we deviate from (or lightly poke fun at) it. If you can't stand JRPGs, then Dream Chasers MUSH is not the game for you.
We have five principles that summarize the the tone of the MUSH. This includes both what the administrators will emphasize in their plots and what they expect players to emphasize with their characters. We want people to play mostly inside of these tropes. They form the heart of what the MUSH is about.
Drifters and Explorers
The game's protagonists are Drifters. They explore the world to find secrets of the past -- or, at least, to find relics inside of ruins to sell for money. We expect most played characters, except for antagonists and bit parts, to be Drifters. The conflicts at Dream Chasers are built around Filgaia’s history, and the often dangerous legacy it’s left behind. As explorers and wanderers, Drifters are uniquely positioned to understand and combat the various parties that want to harm Filgaia.
Exploration is the game’s focus. Drifters can come from all walks of life, and are free to have political, military, commercial, or scientific motives--but their main methods of acting on them should be delving into ruins and fighting the game’s antagonists. Staff-run plots will favor these types of activities, and characters who have no reason to set foot in a ruin won’t find much to do. Exploring ruins and fighting the villains in small groups is the story's driving force.
Understanding and Saving a Dying World
Filgaia is dying, and Lunar is precariously built on a vanished goddess's power, ever at risk of becoming the lifeless world it once was. This means that the outlook is often grim, and that your characters are facing odds that seem insurmountable. People see a dry and dusty world, with more violence than there used to be, and wonder if there is a way out. This is not, however, Dark Sun. The world isn't ruined beyond repair; the villains, while powerful and vast, are not unstoppable. Saving the planet is possible, both at the macro- and micro-levels. Drifters, wherever they come from, have the power to make lives better and to save the world... eventually.
Antagonists of Gravity and Consequence
The game's antagonists are powerful and threatening. The exceptions are few and consist almost entirely of comedy relief. While the treatment of antagonists is covered in its own file, and you should read that, it bears repeating: the villains of the story are often more powerful than the heroes, with plans that can shake and have shaken the world to its foundations. Even the most experienced Drifter has not seen all of this before, nor are they likely to find the antagonists' plans to be laughable and foolish. Antagonists can expect their plans to have major, deep impacts upon Filgaia.
Adventures and Journeys
The game's protagonists are undertaking a journey. This is critical to the core themes that Dream Chasers is built on, and we will adapt secondary themes to fit this model. Major characters should be willing to travel, because the game's geographic focus will move over time. This is not a MUSH for sedentary characters, interested in building up their base of operations or homestead. Even antagonists should need to travel to reach their ends, though it may not be as common. The central players in the game have places to go, people to see, miles to go before they sleep.
A Weird, But Wonderful World
Many of the themes integrated here have strange, quirky elements with an underlying sense of humor. We want to maintain that feeling. For every all-encompassing God of Destruction, there are hosts of master swordsmen afraid of barrels, non sequitur-spewing lizard aliens, and hastily made fake shipboard nuptials. Sometimes, weird things happen, and we want that part of Dream Chasers to receive as much focus as epic storylines about fighting literal and figurative demons of the past. Filgaia and Lunar have their challenges, but they also have their bright spots -- or their simply weird spots. We want to focus on both, because both aspects give these themes a lot of their character.