Scaling, often used in the context of land-scaling or time-scaling, is a practice in world 42 public roleplaying that allows players to circumnavigate many technicalities that otherwise inhibit desired scenarios or plot/character progressions. The core idea of this practice is that, because game mechanics are limited and built for traditional gameplay rather than roleplaying, the roleplayers must take it upon themselves to manipulate the given setting in imaginary ways to meet their needs and desires.
What Scaling Means
To "scale" something is to manipulate the presented setting such that it is no longer exactly as presented in the live game, but rather is something similar which is represented by the tools available.
In the context of "land-scaling," this can mean one of two things:
- A given area that exists in the live game has been duplicated
- An area that does not actually exist in the live game is implied to exist somewhere relative to the live map
So, for example, a roleplayer who wished to play in a spirit realm may wish to represent the landscape with the Runespan. Since the Runespan is not actually the desired spirit realm and their characters may even have trouble accessing it without the Runecrafting Guild's permission, all players involved would land-scale the area by agreeing preemptively that they all understand their characters are not in the Runespan, but rather are in a parallel spirit realm which happens to look a lot like the Runespan.
Another example of land-scaling is the Renderran Isles. This location does not actually exist in the live game, and is not particularly similar to any known city. Instead, it is represented by a carefully tailored player-owned house. However, the roleplayers involved with this location don't wish for their backdrop to actually be just a fancy house, and as a result agree to land-scale the location. In doing this, they agree that the backdrop is not a house, but rather is representing a location on a set of isles in the open sea off the coast of Yanille.
In the context of "time-scaling," this most often means one of two things:
- The player is aging his character at a speed independent of the passage of time in-game or in the real world
- A given event in-character is not taking place in chronological order
For example, a role-player with a vampyric character wishes for his character to advance in strength and rank over the foreseeable future. Because a vampyre's age is often heavily tied with his power and the respect he is given by his peers, a vampyre that ages normally at a ratio of one year in-character to one year in the real world is not likely to ever progress, as aging doesn't become very significant for vampyres until centuries start to pass. So, to enable the desired development, that role-player may start to age his vampyre at a rate of 100 years in-character for every one year or one month in the real world. In other words, once a month that player would add 100 years to his vampyre's age, or would add 1200 years to the vampyre's age once a year.
Another example of time-scaling is also known as "flash backs." If a role-player wishes to play an event in his character's lifetime (or before), but his character at present has already progressed past that event, he and any other role-players involved in the game may agree preemptively that these events are occurring at a specified time in the past (e.g. "this happened one year ago, today") rather than after all other events which have already occurred, like most role-play.
There are a few misunderstandings that commonly occur when players begin to use scaling to enable their role-playing endeavors. These include but are not limited to:
- When someone land-scales a house in a city, he is not using the same house; he is using a house that looks similar and happens to be in roughly the same location.
- Land-scaling an entire establishment, e.g. the Citharede Abbey, does not necessarily remove the associations of the establishment; a land-scaled Citharede Abbey can still be an abbey dedicated to the honor of St. Elspeth that happens to be somewhere in the Kharidan desert - it isn't limited to being just a similar-looking building. The only guaranteed change implied by land-scaling is that it is not the exact same building and is located in any different location. That said, if desired, it can also be a completely different building that just happens to look similar. This is entirely up to the land-scaling individuals.
- Time-scaling the age of a character does not mean that all others around that character age at the same rate. Two characters may meet when they are both 20, but if one is running at 1:1 while the other is running at 1:5, in two years the first will be 22 and the second will be 30. These players, as a side-effect of using scaling, are expected to behave as if this is normal in-character so that both may progress at their desired rates.
- When time-scaling the age of a character, it is usually a good practice to check with any of that character's older blood relatives to as to avoid any tricky scenarios like the daughter of a 40-year-old woman being somehow 76.