This is all in flux. The goal is to create a MU* where people can roleplay Original Quest styled Elfquest, but with book characters (as much as I love reading River Twine Holt's fic!). The problem is, though, that the original quest setting is pretty stagnant. Elves tend to be reactive rather than proactive, and all the momentum comes from outside sources. So how do we make a MU* that won't just slowly die?
My personal solution is to kill off certain book characters and revive others so that the most reactive characters are leaders of each tribe, and then add in a significant outside influence to encourage play. Specifically:
* Killing off Cutter. (Noo!) This could be in the Troll War or after the Troll War, it doesn't particularly matter - as long as Ember is too young to inherit the chief's knot. This would mean that Strongbow would likely take over as the Wolfrider's chief. Strongbow is a reclusive traditionalist, but the new holt is in an area that is quickly becoming the mainway between several different tribes, the majority of which are pretty gregarious. This would cause conflict, and a lot of TP possibilities.
You'd also have the lovely guarantee of intra-tribe conflict as well. You've got several tribe members in the canon cast who wouldn't be gung-ho about becoming recluses now that they've met with other tribes, and even some that wouldn't be opposed to dealing with humans. How would they deal with their new chief? What tensions would arise?
This obviously has the problem of killing off the fellow who is arguably the main character of the comic, though, and it'd have sufficient ripples that people may be uncomfortable applying for a feature character when they'd have to analyse how that change would affect them.
The second change I'd like to propose is:
* Lord Voll surviving. If Voll survives the initial crash, then this changes the trajectory of the Gliders significantly. Winnowill does not take control of the Blue Mountain, for one, and Voll's completely revitalised by the presence of the Palace, and the realisation that there's countless elfin tribes out there, each thriving and living in their new environment. When the group returns to the Forbidden Grove and the Blue Mountain, the Gliders would get one hell of a culture shock as they're slowly forced out of the mountain and into the surronding environments.
This would have several advantages over having Winnowill in control of the Blue Mountain during gameplay. For one, this would offer up players a chance to play *young* Gliders - children born after Voll starts forcing them to leave the Mountain, and thus products of the changing culture. (Not a word that gets used a lot in Elfquest!) It'd force Glider PCs into play with other elves as well, and it'd also create RP opportunities with the indigenious Iceholt population, as the village of elf-worshippers is literally right underneath the mountain and thus would likely be one of the first places Gliders feel comfortable interacting in.
This would also prevent Siege of the Blue Mountain and the death of thousands of Gliders, which would be problematic to explain with Winnowill still in control.
Unfortunately, this puts any potential Winnowill RPers in a potential bind, as they would have to figure out if they wish for Winnowill to try and retake Blue Mountain (with or without Voll's consent) or what, exactly, they'd want to do with her. But I think that anyone wanting to play such a potentially powerful character would likely have to have set ideas where they would want to take her anyawy, so maybe it's not such a drawback?
Those would be the two main canon changes I would probably want to make with the theme, as I'd feel they'd create more roleplay opportunities amongst the cast then sticking with the canon status quo. (They'd also offer up more potential to deviate from canon, since otherwise, the ringing question would be 'well, why aren't the FCs doing what they'd naturally do in canon?' The point of this game, hopefully, is not going to be to re-enact canon, except with people's fanon wolfriders alongside the main cast.)
Minor changes that might make canon more palatable for RP:
1. Knock Recognition pregnancy times down to 9 months or a year, rather than the canon two years.
My idea for a timescale is 1 month IRL = 1 year in-game, to help keep things moving at a steady pace, but that'd still require a player RP a pregnancy for two months IRL, which is not ideal for many. Reducing the length of an elfin pregnancy to a human pregnancy would mean that players would only have to play a pregnancy out for 15 days.
ICly, this could be attributed to the sudden need to reproduce (Gliders), since elves bodies are canonly maleable, or to the proliferance of healers among the tribes. Showing it as something new (ala Recognition) and a transitioning process for the elfin race would also allow for variation - so those who want to play a pregnancy out for two months can, and those who only want to do so for 15 days are equally able. (In this instance, note that different tribes have different pregnancy rates? For instance, the Go-Backs, given their quick breeding rates, would have no reason to develop shorter pregnancies.)
2. Iceholt as island, rather than continent
I actually posted on the forums about this, but canon travel times have Iceholt being approximately half the size of Australia. (Something disputed by Futurequest, which either has very big continents or a very small planet.) Having Iceholt/Sunholt, Hearthstone and Junsland as islands on an archipelago mean that it's easy to tick with the relatively short travel times shown in canon, and thus not have to necessitate using the Palace in order for tribes to meet.
This wouldn't make Iceholt incredibly small, either - keep in mind that the United Kingdoms, from tip to bottom, is 900 miles! (Same length as Iceholt is across, coincidentally.) This would also give more opportunity for players to introduce fanmade holts over time. If Iceholt is part of an archipelago, then it'd be realistic for there to be more microcontinents (and thus plausibly, more areas for elves to be discovered).
Of course, this becomes largely a matter of nomenclature. You could just as easily say 'Iceholt as a microcontinent / very tiny continent'. Essentially, this subsection is just proposing keeping to the comic travel times and thus restricting Iceholt to a certain size, rather than expanding it to a size that could more reasonably be viewed under the traditional definition of continent.
3. Palace for Quick Travel
If Voll survives and is the Lord of the Gliders, then it'd hold that when Rayek comes to the Blue Mountain with Two-Edge in tow, Voll would be more than happy to send Gliders off with him to help raise the Palace. (Maybe even to the point of abandoning the Blue Mountain entirely, which would certainly allow for a more canon-oriented BM!) However, we don't want a repeat of Kings of the Broken Wheel. So what to do?
My proposal is that, without the gliders being dead (and thus offering up their full power), their magic is understandably limited by their physical shell. Exerting yourself too much is shown to exhaust magic users, and things like telekinesis of the level to move the Palace have to be *exhausting* for a tribe that's never done jack with their abilities. The Gliders, while living, are simply too weak to actually take the Palace back into space, and they're definitely too weak to move the Palace through time.
So instead, the Palace just rotates regularly through a set number of locations. (The Plains, the Sun Village, the Blue Mountain?) This could easily be set to follow the +seasons, which change at the end of every week, so it'd work out as:
* Spring / first week: Sun Village
* Summer / second week: Southern Plains
* Fall / third week: Blue Mountain
* Winter / fourth week: Western Plains
This would allow PCs to quickly and easily move through locations. A player who wants their character to move over large distances, but doesn't want to explain away an IC month, can say their PC boarded and left the Palace at an appropriate time. This would also let us keep realistic travel times across the MUD, so the possibility of PC's being beamed up doesn't interfere with the possibility of plots. Sunshine desperately needs to talk to Ryotah and inform him that his lifemate is dying, but the Palace won't come for another season-- so it's time for her and her brother to embark on a desperate charge from the Blue Mountain to the Sun Village to inform him before he dies!