Character Creation and Ownership
Temporary Ownership Leniency!
As we gather steam here at Torn World, we want to encourage character ownership. Until otherwise announced, there are no support requirements for characters, aside from the very necessary obligation to reply to character approval requests. For the month of April, 2013, character adoptions are free and will cost you no karma! Adopting a character is a wonderful stepping stone to getting involved in Torn World and feeling invested in the project. Now, it's fun and free of pressure, too!
How are characters created?
Characters are created as a way to earn karma points and to populate our world. One character may be created per month of membership. When you have been a member one month, you may create one character, for 10 karma points. You can check your current character allowance at your account page. You can only have one character before the review board at a time - the first character must be finished and approved before you can submit the next. The review board will make suggestions and indicate any continuity problems with the character. You will not receive karma for the character creation until the character is approved. Please note that the review board will make changes they feel are necessary to overall continuity without consulting you if you have been contacted multiple times over a period of 6 weeks or more with no reply. You will not receive karma in this case.
When you adopt a character, you are staking a claim to an existing adoptable character, and have plans to use and direct their personal storylines. This costs 40 karma points and gets you 3 months of character ownership. You get one free adoption with a paid supporter account, for the duration of your paid account only (for the year of 2010, you may take a raincheck on your free adoption - it will last from the time that you choose a character for the length that your supporter account was paid, whether your supporter account is current or not).
The character is then reserved to you and writers who use the character in their own stories and artists who depict the character must gain your approval for their use, to make sure their use doesn't conflict with your proposed storyline or visual ideas. You are able to expand the character sheet, provided it does not counteract canon.
An adopted (owned) character must be supported, either with creative submissions, or with karma.
To support a character with a creative submission, you can write a story, a poem, a character vignette or do a piece of artwork or create a craft. You will receive karma at the usual rates for the piece, and it doesn't matter if it is accepted as canon or non-canon provided it isn't rejected from the site.
If you aren't a writer or artists, no worries! You can sponsor a piece to support your character. You'll be listed as a patron, and receive karma as if you had created the piece. (The contributor who creates the piece will also receive karma!)
Support for the character is counted from the time the submission is approved. Because submission approval may require some time, the character will not expire while a submission is under review. Once approved, if your deadline is 6 months or less away, your adoption expiration extends to 6 months. If your deadline is less than 6 months away, your adoption expiration is extended by 2 months, to a maximum of one year total.
To support a character with karma, it will cost you; we want to encourage creative contributions! 100 karma will extend your adoption expiration by 6 months. You cannot get a longer extension solely with karma, nor do you earn a grace period.
If, for any reason, you have a problem meeting any of these requirements and still wish to keep the character, you may appeal your case to the character board. Extensions to ownership may be granted at their discretion, or the character may be temporarily put into non-adoptable status until you can get a submission (or enough karma) to support them.
If you wish to, you can release an adopted character back into the adoptable pool at any time. You will get 25 karma points for doing this.
To permanently adopt a character, it costs you 300 karma, and you must either have a supporter's account, OR have 3 pieces of work already accepted to canon for that character.
The canon board may elect to award permanent adoptions as a reward for consistent participation and strong character and storyline development. This award must be proposed by an active canon board member and be approved by 3/4 of the board.
Character Useage and Limits
Reader and contributor accounts are permitted no more than 3 total characters for each year you have been a member. (If you've been a member for 2 years, you may have 6 characters, 3 years, 9 characters, etc.) However, karma points and pay units may be spent to allow for extra characters. (TBD) Supporter accounts have higher limits and allow 5 total characters for each year of membership.
Memberships are periodically purged from the database. If a member has not logged into the webpage in a full year, the membership is deactivated. Characters become non-adoptable characters and contact is attempted with the member by email. If contact cannot be established in 6 months, the characters become adoptable NPCs.
Major figures in our shared world may be non-adoptable characters, created collaboratively, and are not available for ownership in any fashion, as they are considered people of such visibility and importance that they are functionally a part of the world itself.
You are welcome and encouraged to use all characters in your work, including non-adoptable characters! All use of these characters is to be approved by the story board. You do not need to own any characters to be an active Contributor at Torn World. Likewise, you may own characters without being a Contributor, if you have a particular attachment to a character, you may commission work for them, or spend your own Karma to have control of their future.
Work that is commissioned (paid for in Karma, Credits, or any transactions outside of the Torn World site) pays off in Karma for both parties and can count as character support for both the commissioner and the comissionee (provided the characters in question make an appearance in the work). Both parties must contact Torn World at the time of the submission to receive this bonus.
We do ask that every character in stories who is named have a character sheet at the site as a character to maintain continuity. If they are very simple characters (referred to by name and little else), we have a short form available for tracking bit characters.
If you, as a Contributor, make a good faith effort to get character approval for an owned character and cannot, the Torn World staff will mediate such cases. In the case of lost contact, we may approve character use in absence of owner approval. We will only do this in extreme cases when the owner cannot be contacted after several tries (and we have not been notified of a pre-arranged absence), and cases where the character use does not in any way conflict with the established character. We will not approve major lifestyle or plot changes unless the use has been pre-approved. In cases where a character owner does not wish to give permission for the use, the Contributor is simply out of luck. The story board will make suggestions for alternate character use.
Death is a valid, interesting and common plot device. At the risk of sounding bloodthirsty, we encourage deaths. However, we don't allow 'you have to kill my character' requirements when a member leaves. If a character owner leaves the club for any reason, they are not permitted to stipulate that their character dies. They are, however, encouraged to write or draw the character death, as any Canon piece that establishes the action would effectively kill the character.
All members who have been supporters a total of 24 months (not necessarily consecutively) will receive a 'assasination coupon,' which can be applied to any character except those owned by another member, or non-adoptable characters. Does than adoptable character completely annoy you? Apply your 'assasination coupon' to them, and they will be dead. Their exact method of death may be created and written up by any Contributor, or they may simply die quietly offscreen. You may also apply it to your own beloved character, in the event that you leave the club, preventing any future user from adopting them and continuing their story.
Or, subscribe and support individual creators!