Weyrling Lesson - Mating Flight
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Mating Flight Handbook

First, Some IC Points:

  • Bronze dragons and chromatics reach sexual maturity at about 1 turn of age.
  • Gold dragons reach sexual maturity around 1.5 turns.
  • Green dragons will generally rise two or three times per turn once they've reached sexual maturity.
  • Golds will rise approximately once every turn.
  • Bronzes, browns and blues can all chase green dragons.
  • Bronzes and the bigger browns are (usually) the only ones who'll have a chance at catching a gold.
  • Green dragons are infertile (blame the firestone).
  • Golds flights always result in a clutch; there will be more metallics, and a chance for a gold, if a bronze catches; the number of eggs, the chance of a gold egg, etc. depend on the point of the Pass that you're at. Normally, as Interval draws nearer, dragon clutches will decrease in size. Because of our funky Interval, the clutches will probably stay large as long as there is Thread.
  • In most cases, the rider of the female dragon will end up having sexual intercourse with the rider of the dragon that catches; it is possible for the female's rider and the winner of the flight to go with other people, but this usually needs to be planned in advance, and often involves having the female's rider hidden off in a weyr with whoever it is the rider's planning on being with at the end of the flight. The winning dragon's rider will just have to find someone else. ICly, though, this is pretty frowned upon and considered bad etiquette. HT is a bit more lax with this, but this doesn't fly on a lot of other games.
  • Gold flights are pretty intense, and will tend to effect the entire Weyr. Green flights are more commonplace, and won't have influence on such a wide scale.
  • Male dragons will often begin blooding their kill in preparation for the gold; "The bronzes are blooding their kill!" is a pretty reliable sign that a gold is about to rise to mate. Not so with greens. The female herself won't always blood, and if she does, the males are lucky if they can get some too before it's chase-time.

Some OOC Points:

  • It's the job of the rider of the female dragon to organise and run the mating flights. It is the job of the rider of the male dragons to obey the rules she has set out, and to accept her decisions.
  • Mating flights can either be pre-determined (meaning you know who will win before the flight is played out), or can be open (any of the male participants can win; the female's rider will decide near the end of the flight). It's common courtesy to let the chasers know whether or not the flight is pre-determined.
  • In a pre-determined flight, except in the case of some leadership flights (see below), it's only the female's rider and the winning dragon's rider who have to know the outcome; so long as the other chasers know they will not be catching, you don't have to tell them who the winner will be- it can be a surprise.
  • In an open flight, the female's rider may choose whichever male she wishes to catch based on whichever criteria she feels approrpriate. (For gold flights that will result in a PC clutch, it's good to have the chasers state whether or not they wish to catch, as PC clutch-daddy usually implies some degree of OOC time commitment.)
  • Flights can be planned in advance (usually @send *ann or *weyrs to alert people of when you will be holding the flight), or can be impromptu (the @party is good for this).
  • Flights are often RPed in two parts; the dragons in the sky, and the riders waiting it out at the entrance to the ground weyrs below. Of course, it's up to the female's rider to choose if she wants to play out both aspects, or one or the other.
  • The female's rider should decide whether she will allow NPC chasers, and, if this is the case, whether the NPC has a chance at catching.
  • A general plan for the flight can be helpful; for example, two poses at the corral, three poses in the air, then catch pose. These will help with time management, and will help the players to know roughly what stage of the flight they're in. Of course, these plans can be changed, just make sure everyone involved knows.
  • It's a good idea to get a channel specifically for the flight; this allows for easy OOC communication and commentary during the flight.
  • Sometimes females' riders will have a theme or gimmick for the flight; for example, a playlist to listen to while RPing the flight, or poses that should conform to a certain theme. This can make flights more original and interesting, though does tend to involve a little more organization.
  • TS, or TinySex- that is, RPing the entire sexual encounter- is never to be pursued without the consent of both mature players. Most flights will end with a handy Fade-to-Black, which can either close the scene, or be used to skip to a point after the sexual encounter. And keep in mind, anything not PG-rated must be played out in a private room.

Planned Flights- the @send:

If you are going to have a planned flight (meaning you've picked a specific time and date to host it), you'll probably want to @send *ann, *weyrs, or *iw (depending on who all you want to know) announcing it. The @send should include:

  • Date, start time, meeting place, and (if there is a time limit) approximately how long the flight will run
  • Whether the flight is pre-determined or open
  • Whether NPCs are welcome or not
  • If a gold flight, whether it will result in a PC or NPC clutch

Setting the @party:

Whether planned or not, setting the @party will encourage people to show up for the flight. See 'help @party' for how to set the message. If there's already a message on the @party, maybe try paging the person to who set it to see about adding yours. Your @party message should include:

  • Whether the flight is pre-determined or open
  • Whether NPCs are welcome or not
  • Where to meet to participate in the flight
  • The name of the flight channel (if you choose to have one)
  • If a gold flight, consider mentioning if it will result in a PC or NPC clutch
  • If there's a theme, mention that too

During the flight:

Again I'll reiterate how handy a flight channel can be. It can be used to communicate various things during the flight. And here are some things you may want to sort out:

  • If there are NPCs, find out which player is controlling which NPC
  • If you have a 'flight plan' (number of poses per room, something like that) you should mention it before the flight starts. Then, throughout the flight, let the participants know what's going on ("Okay, let's take off from the Corral." "One more pose each, and then catch pose.")
  • If there are sudden changes ("Oh my god, my dog just fell into a pile of cacti and porcupines and I have to go pull him out before that skunk gets too close! I'm doing the catching pose next!") you can let people know

Leadership Flights:

Sometimes, when a Weyr is changing leadership, there will be an open contest. In these cases, staff will usually have called for all eligible brown and bronze riders who are interested to fill out some sort of application or something, and will have chosen their new Weyrleader. The new Weyrleader will more often than not be announced during the leadership flight. In the case where it is an open contest, often the candidates for Leadership won't know who won until the end (it's like candidacy- you don't know who Impresses 'til Hatching). In these cases, it ought to be clear that only those who applied for the Leadership have a chance of winning.

Closing Statements:

Mating flights are a good break from your normal 'klah-sipping in the caverns' RP. They're generally easy to organise (no matter how complicated this page may have made them seem), and can be a good opportunity to play out a fun- and quotidian - aspect of dragonriding, and can sometimes serve the dual purpose of furthering a plot line.

The best way to host a successful mating flight is to make sure everyone has a fairly good idea of what's going on, and to try make sure that no one is made to feel uncomfortable. Communication is the key, man.

Green or gold riders: you don't have to hold mating flights if you don't want to. Your dragon can fly off camera if you don't have the time. You don't have to hold public flights; if you just want it to be you and a few friends, that's fine too. It's just another avenue to explore on the game.

Bronze, brown and blue riders: you should keep in mind that the word of the female's rider is law. She's gone through all the trouble to hold a flight, the least you can do is follow her rules. Remember, no whining about not winning, no gloating if you do… Just be a good sport.

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