A prop, in MUSH vernacular, is any element of the setting that's not a player character. Examples of props include:
- Places, such as Amber City, Arden, and Begma.
- Organizations, such as the Amber Navy, the City Watch, and the Church of the Unicorn.
- Businesses, such as Bloody Bill's (et.al.).
- Mystical powers, such as the Pattern.
- Personal items, such as your sword, your clothing, and your home.
Every prop has a prop owner (also known as a prop controller, sometimes abbreviated to propco), who essentially "owns" that prop. The prop controller of a prop has consent control, or, more broadly, GameMaster (GM) control, over that prop. This control is known as prop control.
Most props are informal — there's no need for a system to keep track of them, as they are personal items and it's obvious who controls them.
The larger props of the setting, however, are formally tracked by the game's prop system. The prop system is hierarchical, so props can encompass smaller sub-props. For instance, the Amber prop encompasses the Amber City prop, the Royal Palace of Amber prop, and the Amber Military prop (which in turn encompasses the Amber Navy prop).
Because props are hierarchical, prop controllers higher in the chain have control over the sub-props. For instance, Benedict has prop control for the overall Amber Military. The Amber Military's sub-props include the Amber Navy, which is owned by Gerard; however, since the Navy is a sub-prop of the Military, Benedict also has prop control over the Navy.
The prop system gives you a convenient way to keep track of who's in charge of what — who the OOC contacts are to talk about something. For instance, in any location of the game, you can type +propco here to see the prop control chain for where you are.
Prop Owners vs. Co-Propcos
Prop owners, from the staff perspective, are where the buck stops on a prop (save for any staff control). They are the staff point of contact for that prop. If you are a co-propco, you should be discussing things with the owner and making sure they know what you know, and probably copying them and the other co-propcos on OOC communications.
Co-propcos are considered subordinate to the prop owner. Prop owners decide how much say they want to give to their co-propcos, and how much information they want to share with them. In general, when the staff sees prop-related requests from co-propcos, we will also go back to talk with the prop owner.
The Prop System
All props in the system have:
- A name
- A prop ID number
- A public description
- An owner (prop controller), who has OOC authority over that prop
- Optionally, one or more co-prop controllers
- Optionally, one or more keyword tags
Some props can be drawn upon as resources. Resources are the mundane, yet important, things that characters have control over and can draw upon in order to accomplish their goals. Resources include various forms of portable and non-portable wealth (a farm, a business, a stash of gold, etc.), as well as assets such as organizations.
Resource props also have the following:
- A formal prop charter
- A level, indicating the depth of resources the prop has available, and its importance to the setting
- A Focus pool, indicating the currently-available amount of resources associated with the prop ‘
- An IC leader, who has in-character authority over that prop
- Optionally, one or more delegates, who have the IC ability to draw on that prop’s resources
A prop charter is the formal "contract" for a prop, and is essentially a list of facts about that prop. Charters are only necessary for resourced props (top-level resources, not ones that have been allocated resources), and their use on the game has been largely deprecated.
When you create a charter for a prop, you must write a certain number of facts about the prop. Facts should be short — a single sentence, a line or two at most, such as "Bayle makes the finest wine in Amber."
For every fact, you must discuss a qualifier with the staff, that usually amends, complicates, or limits the fact with a statement that begins with "but…", "and…", or "so…". For instance, a qualifier to the previous statement might be:
- … but they also make some of the worst.
- … but their best vineyards have just been blighted.
- … but the secret of their vinting died with the last Lord Bayle.
In general, qualifiers are intended to be play-generating and/or balancing. The more potent the fact that you state, the more significant the qualifier will be.
To obtain a list of the props you own or control, use:
To view a prop, use:
OOC Prop Control
The prop owner, and any co-prop-controllers (co-propcos) he designates, has OOC control over the prop. Prop controllers can add or remove co-propcos.
To add one or more co-propcos, use:
+prop/co list-of-players for prop-number
To remove one or more co-propcos, use:
+prop/unco list-of-players for prop-number
IC Prop Leadership
Prop controllers can change who the IC leader of a resource prop is. Use:
+prop/leader player for prop-number
Only one character can be the IC leader for a prop. Only the leader has access to the full resources of the prop.
Prop controllers, and the IC leader, can change the delegates allowed to use the lower levels of the resource prop (i.e., the characters who have IC access to portions of the resource).
To add one or more delegates for a level of the prop, use:
+prop/delegate list-of-players for prop-number/level
To remove one or more delegates for a level of the prop, use:
+prop/undelegate list-of-players for prop-number/level