v1.0 - 08/22/2019
TLKMuck Feature Character Rules
Feature Character Definition
For the purposes of this document and the MUCK in general, a Feature Character (FC) is defined as any character named on-screen in any of the officially released, theatrical movies, television productions, or other studio-produced/sanctioned media/outlets (including, but not limited to online media, the Broadway production, and electronic or printed books) - also known as story 'canon'. FC status can also be designated for non-canon characters as deemed necessary by the Wizards for the purposes of filling supporting cast roles and/or to ensure continuity of story arcs.
The goal of our Feature Characters is to explore the story that is not seen in the movies by expanding on the events that are only hinted at - or left out entirely. Where did Scar get his nickname? Who is Nala's father? What was life like as a cub for Mufasa, Sarabi, Scar, and the others? And so on...
Feature Characters are not owned by the player who is filling the role and the role can be recast at any time, with or without notice, for any reason by the agreement of two or more Wizards. Because these characters are less extensions of oneself and more a role to play (such as in a stage production, on television, or in a movie), the regularly accepted levels of "personal freedom" may not apply to Feature Character roles.
While the intent is to allow a great level of freedom in playing these characters, Feature Character players may not engage in behavior that would cause the character to stray from the established story arc. For example, Mufasa cannot kill Sarabi nor could he engage in a conflict with a non-Feature Character pride that would lead to his death or receive scars not in evidence in the aforementioned canon venues. Additionally, non-feature characters who wish to engage in conflict with the Feature Characters must coordinate the event with the Wizards in order to ensure the integrity of the story arc is maintained.
Feature Characters will not be granted the authority to make or interpret MUCK policy or resolve non-In-Character conflicts between players. While Feature Characters may at times be played by Wizards, any policy changes will be made public by the Wizard Character and not the Feature Character. Feature Characters will only have the level of In-Character authority generally accepted for the character's station in life. In other words, a King or Queen of a pride will have IC authority of those in their lands, but a cub would have little authority - much like Simba during the "I Just Can't Wait to be King" sequence (despite his proclamations to the contrary!).
Feature Character Casting Process
In the past, the Wizards have used open casting calls for filling the roles of Feature Characters. Because of lower average connection numbers and in the interest of expediency, open casting calls may not be used going forward. Feature Characters may be played by the Wizards, selected staff, and invited players.
This process may change as time goes on. Any changes will be posted to the MOTD and/or the website. If the website is used (due to space constraints), an MOTD will be used to reference the appropriate page on the website.
Feature Character Connection Requirements
Feature Characters must connect regularly and must participate in story arc events that happen weekly. When story arc events involve a given Feature Character, that character must be online and an active participant of the event. When a story arc event is not in progress, connection requirements are less strict, but the Feature Character players should endeavor to connect as much as possible during 'prime time' (5 PM to 8 PM Pacific) to interact with non-Feature Characters. Failure to consistently meet this requirement is grounds for dismissal from the cast.
Feature Character Story Arcs
Story Arc terminology
- Story Arc is the term used to reference an ongoing plot line that will cover several months or years.
- Chapter is the term used to reference events of the Story Arc which occur during a given calendar month.
- Event is the term used to reference sub-chapter events that occur on a Friday or Saturday night between one and five times a month (depending on FC player availability, real life holiday constraints, and other outside influences). Events will be scheduled and posted to the website at the beginning of each calendar month so that players will know when to expect important Feature Character activities on the MUCK.
Story Arc timeline
- The Story Arc is a multi-year arc that has been planned out in advance to provide a framework for storytelling on the MUCK without constraining our players to a fixed script.
- Story Arc Chapters will be released monthly. Chapter Introductions will be posted the night before the 1st Friday of the month in which the Chapter will occur while Chapter Summaries will be posted by the end of the 1st Sunday of the month after which events occurred so that players who are unable to connect for a short period can get caught up on missed events. In other words, the November Introduction will be posted on October 31 while the November Summary will be posted by December 8.
- Story Arc major events will be listed at the end of the Chapter Introduction but to avoid 'spoilers', details will not be publicly available. In other words, the end of a Chapter Introduction might look like this:
- Week 1: Simba's Presentation
- Week 2: Simba's first public appearance
- Week 3: Simba's first trip to the waterhole
- Week 4: Simba vs the Rhino
NOTE: Major events that are included with Chapter Introductions may be adjusted for pacing and may occur later than originally planned. Under the Baobab will be updated as these decisions are made.
Story Arc concept discussion
- As mentioned above, a Story Arc is intended to provide a framework for storytelling on the MUCK by describing the major events that must occur and the times in which they should occur.
- Major events are considered 'fixed' events and will reference keystone moments from the films (such as Mufasa's death, Nala and Simba's reunion, etc.). These events cannot be modified and must occur in order for the story arc to continue. For example, Mufasa is killed by Scar, therefore Scar cannot die before Mufasa. Attempting to role play Scar's death prior to the fixed event of Mufasa's death would lead to the FC player in control of Scar being dismissed from the cast and another player chosen to fill the role.
- Non-fixed events are open to interpretation as long as the interpretation does not conflict with the above rules.
Logging of Feature Character Interactions
Interactions with the FCs are logged by the FC players to facilitate compilation of the month-end chapter. These are room-level logs and not server-level logs. By entering a room with a Feature Character you are giving consent for your poses, remarks, and other actions to be logged and published at a later date.