The way the story line (SL) process usually goes is that a player wanting to host an event submits an outline to the moderator team. It goes through an approval process based on the contents of the outline. Once approved, the new GM begins to seed interest in their SL, through events and character interaction, sometimes solo posting basic information about the plot.
Players wanting to get involved should seek out the GM either IC if they can, or OOCly to arrange an introductions. While the GM is responsible for recruitment, which can happen either IC or OOC, but we do not expect them to PM every single player they want to get involved in the story line. Players need to be proactive in getting involved, instead of waiting to be invited.
Once a GM has the SL going and players interested, a GM must make themselves available to the players for investigations and research. This does not mean that a GM is an on demand RP outlet, or that they must immediately GM a scene as a player demands. Again, players should be reaching out to the GM to arrange a time that both can agree upon to play out the investigation scenes.
What this all boils down to is players needing to be proactive about getting involved, and GMs being able to schedule events that works for the majority of the players involved. Communication between players and GM is critical, so don’t be afraid of reaching out to ask a question if you need to. This should help alleviate any stresses that come with handling players during Story Lines.
GMs are allowed to not only auto hit players that aren’t taking damage, or to further the story line, but they can lethally strike players as the story demands. Naturally, this authority is reserved for worst case scenarios for players, and any GM found abusing the ability to kill players will find themselves speaking to the moderator team. As ever, the mods have the final review on lethal scenes.
Players should understand that story lines are not only voluntary, but that they can carry potentially lethal consequences if things turn hairy. Participation in story lines can be very rewarding, but they do carry the risk of damage or death to player characters, depending on the plot.
Treat each other with respect. Keep in mind that your GM is volunteering to run something for the benefit of other players. They’ve spent some time crafting a SL, recruiting people and actually writing the GM posts. They’re getting nothing, while player characters can receive rewards such as money, special notice of nobles and merchants, reputation as an adventurer, and sometimes even noble titles.
In that vein, GMs are not required to GM for everyone. The moderator team allows volunteer GMs to refuse to GM for players they don’t get along with, or due to concerns of god moding, meta gaming or power gaming. GMs can also limit participation in their events to keep the size of the event low, or easier to manage. If refusing players on these grounds, a GM should attempt to include those refused players in a later event, if possible. We’re not going to force a volunteer to do something they don’t want to.