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Guide to Canonization


What is the canon?

The canon is the body of Valucre's lore. The end result of years of effort and collective, creative contribution from board leaders and site members. It is a living, breathing document that is constantly added to, updated and patched.

As a disclaimer, in any threads goal or task oriented threads with an eye towards canonization (artifact threads, quest threads, etc), users that stop posting without warning should expect to have their characters minimally controlled in the interest of the overall story. 

What is canonization?

Canonization is how we approve and integrate relevant activities from players into the Valucre canon.

Writing to influence canon is encouraged by Valucre's administration but isn't a requirement for most threads. It should not be thought of as an impediment to plots and characters that you want to write. It's merely an organizational tool board leaders use to maintain some degree of consistency in a game where improvisation and revision are standard tools in the kit. Many members can, and have, had a great deal of rich storyline and character development in threads spanning over a year or longer without seeking approval for canonization. Canonization should only be submitted if you are effecting a change to established lore.

What are the requirements?

Posts in the thread should be no less than 80 words for the purposes of influencing the canon. To canonize your thread, a canon post should be a summary of the events the thread contains which includes the below sections, and then send a private message to the appropriate board leader for their explicit review:

  • A full summary: A full summary (1-3 paragraphs) must include all important details. Transparency is required here as anything not included is not considered approved. It may not seem fair but this is the most efficient way to handle a forum of this size, activity and still offer the level of creative freedom we do.
  • A minor summary: A minor summary (2-5 sentences) should be included in the Summary as well as this is what will be included in the lore article. 
  • Consequences and Opportunities:  Itemized list of the aftermath of your thread as well as at least one opportunity so  everyone who contributes gives others a chance to contribute as well.

It is both allowed and becoming more common to do a Checkpoint post which canonizes relevant detail until that point and even the final conclusion of the thread while still allowing roleplay to happen after the fact.

Example of final canon post: Dragons are forever

Example of checkpoint canon post: What's up with Last Chance?

What if I don't submit a canon request or it isn't approved?

If you don't submit a canon request, then your thread is not considered canonized. Not every thread requires canonization to begin with, so this process does not apply for every potential action that a character can take.

If your request is rejected, it means the same as not submitting a request to begin with. A board leader may reject your request outright, reject parts of your request and approve others, or approve your request on the condition that certain parts of the thread be modified.

Why this whole process?

The idea behind the canon process ties closely into user agency and the ability of players to protect works that they spent some amount of time creating. It allows them to decide what changes and how. It isn't about saying your content isn't valid unless rubber stamped, but about being able to track and organize substantial change to shared assets by hundreds of people over many, many years.

In the past some members have felt a bit helpless in terms of impacting the lore, failing to realize that canonization isn't necessary to have a grand storyline.

We've automated the process as much as possible to avoid unnecessary wait time. It allows board leaders to strike the balance between the freedom of the members to impact the setting and the ability of the creator of those settings to be able to shape the impact to some degree.

And to roleplay themselves. Who wants to spend all of their time reading and none of it writing? Not me. Who wants a project they spent a year writing up and working on to be destroyed by the passing fancy of a member that spends a week on the forum and then vanishes? Same answer.

Examples of actions that you can canonize:

  • Completing a quest, which is the most common method of canonization. When completing quests, you must still generate an an RP opportunity for other members.
  • Assassination of a canonically significant figure, which would require board leader approval and likely canon defense.
  • Destroying, rebuilding or renovating an established business or organization.
  • Amassing an army, making preparations for war, or other large-scale actions that would reasonably draw attention and likely canon defense. 

Examples of actions that you don't need to canonize:

  • Most slice of life type threads
  • Assassination of an important figure in a personal plot (i.e. your character's mother where the mother is not a governor, etc)
  • Your character's death (unless your character is an important figure).
  • Destroying a ready-made (NPC made and destroyed at players discretion) town or village.

Reasons why your request might be rejected:

  • You exceeded Mild Powers rules.
  • You introduced something incongruous to the local lore.
  • The means does not justify the ends, i.e. the amount of effort undertaken does not justify your desired results.
  • Using copy-written content (Sonic the Hedgehog, Goku, etc).

Examples of roleplay opportunities: 

  • Add a bounty for your player if they destroyed property or killed people
  • Rebuild something that was destroyed / destroy something that was created
  • Follow up on new information (names of people, cults, organizations, etc) 

Who do I submit my canon request to?

The board leaders of the appropriate section as listed in the world landing page.

Edited by supernal

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