Tasking

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Training another character hinges on completion of a task or quest. Tasks and quests are loosely defined by various "oaths" that characters agree to during Ordainment. Simply put, a task is an assignment one character will formally give to another at a time before training. From a game mechanics standpoint, tasks and quests are designed to promote in-game role-playing, learning of the history and workings of the dream. Given game balance implications, tasks or quests are a necessary part of training, and game management will investigate and penalise offenders where this is abused.

There are many different kinds of tasks and quests. Some Teachers design tasks to assist their students in learning the technical aspects of Underlight. A task of this type might involve the extensive study of an art or talisman.

Other tasks force creativity in "learning and discovering" geographical or social aspects of the Dream, including character and game history. This type of task encourages a player to participate in the role-playing atmosphere. Related to the aforementioned is a "role-playing" quest, though calling this task a "role-playing" quest in-game is decidedly out-of-character. This task serves to encourage the student to take initiative role-playing in Underlight, but the Teacher must approach this from an In-Character perspective. An example of this type of task might be: "Seek out Asmodan's essence. Three weeks hence you must discard it in the rifts. The effects of the essence on your soul may be perilous, forcing you to seek the help of others. After three weeks, if you can return to me three witnesses, you will prove yourself worthy of third sphere."

Teaching need not only benefit the student. It is perfectly acceptable for a Teacher to have selfish reasons for tasks. Examples of this are tasks demanding some degree of servitude from the student, or collection tasks requesting a list of items. The tasking system can be used to a dishonourable character's advantage so long as the student in question receives an education or performs a worthy endeavour. For example, a Teacher may not send out a student on a task to collect ten high-level chakrams for her personal use unless she also requires her student to discover the correlation between chakram colours and functions (or something of the like). It is also reasonable to assume that Houses will require essences or other "proofs" of loyalty in tasking. Again, a task researching a house symbol may be appended with a request for X number of nightmare essences. But always remember: characters will role-play different reactions to these different methods of tasking, and for everything there is an In-Character consequence.

Lastly, be sure that any tasks your character distributes are In-Character tasks. Tasks that are blatantly Out-of-Character can be considered contradictions of the Third Law of Underlight and penalised accordingly (eg: Organize a Dreamer's version of "Hollywood Squares"). Also remember that webpages, forums, ICQ, IRC and email are considered Out-of-Character, so avoid employing any of these in tasking. Offering, accepting, and reporting on tasks should ideally occur completely within the game world. This both helps ensure the separation of player and character, and serves as evidence that the tasking process took place. For more detailed information and comparison of In-Character and Out-of-Character, please see the Role-playing Guide.

The most important thing to remember when you accept the responsibilities of Teacher: you must always precede training with a task of some sort, that task must result in the student achieving some degree of learning or performing a worthy endeavour, and that task cannot break any of the three laws of Underlight.

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