The core theme of Dark Metal remains what it has always been: a grim future world, a huddled, caste-bound megacity like a tiny, corporatocratic, tech-worshipping country in a desolated landscape, terrified of and violently inclined toward the supernatural creatures that the population now knows to be reality.
Old-style Dark Metal, the dinos will remember, was pretty dog-eat-dog. These days, dying right out of chargen doesn't play as well. So DM staff is letting folks group up to run their storytelling by whatever rules suit them, what we're calling troupe-style.
In troupe play, the troupe's rules... rule. If you're just puttering around the grid, you can just walk if a scene's not to your tastes.
Rough-drafty stuff and general thoughts.
Story and gaming work best in a familiar group, with as little overhead as possible. We have opted to permit characters to request any level of additional XP and any gear they wish (after creating the character at baseline chargen), encouraging greater diversity and allowing for different kinds of story to be told. Troupes, rather than staff, decide their own rate of xp advancement, how they choose new members, their territories, and other relevant details.
Troupes implement their own degree of non-consent, both within the troupe, and within their relationships with others. While consent is the baseline rule (in other words, troupes which have no level of agreement with each other are automatically at a consent level, as are troupes and solitaries), the troupes are expected to decide their own level of rivalry, alliance, violence, and non-consent play with other troupes. Both sides have to agree, but this can range from full-consent roleplay between two allied coteries to a Black Dog PvP-heavy brawl between rival Sabbat packs. Rules interpretations, canonical differences, and other similar details will be worked out between troupes, with optional staff assistance.
Concise and cohesive thematic/setting statement
A one-page document provides the baseline theme. Anything not included is 'blurred' in play, and troupe interpretations are welcome to vary. There will be three basic types of grid; public domain, public but troupe-maintained areas, and private troupe areas. Public areas must fit with the thematic statement; private areas are up to the troupe. We won't be policing - if you want to run a Hind-Manchu campaign, or go back in time to pre-Fall for a plot, great; but LATMA 2047 is the baseline to which new arrivals will be directed. While there is additional thematic material available for those interested (largely in the other FAQ documents), these are not required reading and considered canon in only the loosest sense.
Activity is driven by activity, and the OOC Masquerade is largely counterproductive. We intend to encourage communication; logs, +bbposts, +watches (view activity in enabled rooms), etc. Troupe archives are a means of advertising for new members-- or auditioning to become one-- and of contributing to the game's IC canon (which others may decide to use in their own plots)-- enhancing the setting without encyclopedia posts.