Then he touched on death."
Starlight has room for many stories, the setting of "World of Warcraft" is one that bears the scars of war and the horrors that come with war. This does not mean that everybody wants to play out that part of the setting or character development.
While we have a healthy "right to opt-out" mindset, this is often not enough, since it puts the weight of taking action on those that wish to opt-out. Not to mention that, having to opt-out due to Out of Character reasons, can feel like you are giving up parts of your character, or worse - that somebody stays in RP that they did not want or wish for, because it would be character breaking to leave.
The concept "Midnight Team" (MT) is an attempt at giving a space for the darker stories, as well as making the participation in such stories, a consensual choice.
Opt-in:In other words - joining the team should be "Opt-in"
Events and storylines should be given a trigger warning
We try to limit what is said outside of the MT team
Forum posts can be given an MT tag, to warn people.
We will talk about pre-event negotiations on triggering themes
There is a higher expectation of consequences due to what takes place.
You need to speak to Nomine to be invited to the MT team. IC or OOCly, you are welcome to join with alts.
If this idea works, we will set up a sub-forum and make lists of what sort of themes people are interested in exploring.
You can join as a player - using alts.
People can only make a conscious choice to take part if they know the themes a story will touch upon. For instance, the first plot - one of Nomine taking vengeance:
The following subjects may be part of the story: Descriptions of violence, performing torture, incarceration, going against the King/SI:7, and emotional suffering.
Triggers warnings can be posted on an event post, whispers in OOC chat/Party chat. They should not be posted in OOC Starlight chat.
With an MT as a trigger warning on the forum - we recommend separate stories and add an ("MT") after the name of the story.
Limit what is said to the MT team.
MT will not work (and will be disbanded) if it does lead to cliques within Starlight, we wish to give more room for stories, not split the guild.
MT stories might spill over, or draw in innocents (Also by choice of the said innocent). But we will try not to make them a key point in the Starlight story. MT should be focused on a personal level, and stories that are likely to become so big that they will force Starlight as a whole to take part will be discouraged.
At first, we wish to focus on the personal journey of the MT members and the high cost of actions/choices.
It is always done OOCly and is used when a special subject/story is one you want to explore with your character or wish to tell as a GM.
For instance, a story where your character gets kidnapped suffers and manages to break free.
Or two characters relationship are likely to turn to violence, and you want to make sure the other party are ok with this development.
Part of the pre-event negotiation is to set hard limits in advance:
For instance: No loss of limbs, no emotional torture, no death, etc.
Higher expectations of consequences.
For stories to matter, they have to impact characters- physically, mentally, emotionally. We ask that all people who are part of the MT stories, try to find one concrete change/effect of each story.
"My character will now react to sudden loud sounds."
"My character has a new scar."
"My character lost a hand."
"My character will not be able to sleep for weeks."
"My character died"
Also, challenge yourself - how has this impacted a character positively, affirming beliefs, changed existing beliefs. So that it does not all become about the dark and how a character slowly becomes unplayable.
"My character feels more firmly that they need the support of others in danger."
"My character is confident that they can draw on the void, to save others - without being hunted down for this."
"My character knows that character A will be there for them."
Consequences can also come from internal reflection, - What is the cost of magic? Of Fel, of facing your demons, of hurting somebody who did not deserve it.
Having said this, ownership over a character has not changed - Meaning, you decided which and to which degree a character experience consquences. This also means, that you decide if a consequence is positive, negative, or both - or how many there is.
With events having trigger warnings and ideally also themes listed in advance, it will be easier to know if an event is on a topic that is interesting for your character or you as a player.
Hard Limits - Breaking these hard limits, will lead to a Kick/Boot from Starlight"Let us stop using the term "Cost"
It carries with it a very strong sense of loss - and as soon as it is used, people start having an idea of what will happen
Let us rather use the term "consequence" - as in I did something and then as a result, something else happened. There was a change
On the MT events/stories, there should always be a consequence.
The one who decides what this consequence is, is the player
A consequence may be that something which strengthens a character takes place, or something that weaken the character.
For instance, if Nomine gets his knee healed, and there is a strong plotline on this, a consequence may be that he stops to limp.
If we said, there should always be a "cost" then - we close the door on him stopping to limp.
It is much easier to talk about negative consequences, as it is much easier to imagine and describe, as a lot of the negative consequences are visible to others: Loss of a limb, sleepness, scars etc.
While many positive consequences are something that takes place internally a character: How do you show that a character believes more strongly in the support of others, that the light will be there to save/protect them"
Internal consequences are often tied with the beliefes and cornerstones (what makes a character stay true to their believes in face of adversity, gives them energy/hope).
Playing out rape scenes, or being the active/aggressor party in such a scene. (Characters with sexual violence in their backstory - written or "lived" can of course work through this, we strongly recommend pre-negotiation in those cases.)
Questions/Comments are welcome