World building can go on forever, but it must start somewhere. This section discusses the reality that some members of the WBC will inevitably leave the coalition. When this happens, ownership of their creations may (and probably should) fall to others. Otherwise, members of the WBC who want to use or suggest changes to the person’s possessions cannot get resolution.
The WBC should agree on a rough time frame to complete shared items, such as gods, continent maps, and names of world oceans, for example. Some suggested options for a WBC to decide upon follow. Whether these options exist should be included in the WBC’s Covenant.
Option 1 – Perpetuity
In this option, a WBO never loses their rights. No one can alter what they’ve decided and codified in written world building files.
Option 2 – Transferred
A WBO can transfer their rights to another WBO, whether that person is an existing member of the WBC or a new, replacement one brought in for this purpose. This transfer must be approved by the WBC. The WBO must advise the WM of this request, upon which the WM will help coordinate discussion, voting, and transfer (or rejection), and any appeals or counteroffers by the WBC to the WBO. The WBC should have good, defined reason for rejecting the transfer. These include assessing the new WBO as unskilled or not a good fit personality-wise.
Option 3 – Suspended
A WBO might be unable to participate for long periods of time, due to illness, bereavement, loss of interest, or just needing a break. The result might be inability to meet requirements, such as voting on shared resources, another WBO’s request to make changes to the WBO’s creations, or use them. In these cases, the WBO might intend to return and not lose stake in the WBC. The WBO will suspend their participation, but since this may negatively impact the WBC, the WBO may agree that another WBO, such as the WM, will take over responsibilities in limited fashion as a WBO Regent. Given the possibility of monthly expenses for shared hosting, an WBO might still be required to pay their share or risk expulsion.
Option 4 – Abandonment
In the event that a WBO abandons their stake in the WBC, ownership can be assigned or taken by someone else with agreement by the remaining members of the WBC. The definition of abandonment is important and may include a timeframe upon which members are expected to reply to WBC business and failure to do such results in a declaration of abandonment. A three-month window seems plausible. A formal decision by the WBC should follow several written notices to the WBO with adequate time to reply.
Option 5 – Quitting
A WBO can simply quit, permanently forfeiting all rights to their possessions, including using them in any way, such as in stories. To do this, a WBO must submit, in writing, their resignation, which becomes final upon acceptance by the WBC. However, the WBO can ask to come back at a later time at the discretion of the WBC. Another member of the WBC can take over the WBO’s territory but must abide by many previous decisions so as not to impact other members of the WBC who were given rights to use material in this WBO’s domain.
Option 6 – Terminated
To protect the WBC’s investment of time, energy, and the integrity of the shared world, a WBO’s participation in the WBC may be terminated due to violation of the covenant. Termination should be majority, not unanimous, because two WBOs can engage in collusion to violate the world’s principles. The terms under which termination may occur should be explicitly stated, as with everything, in the covenant.
Option 7 – Expirations
A WBC might decide in its covenant that membership in the WBC is automatically renewed annually, provided that each WBO reaffirms their continued interest in remaining.
Option 8 – Death
The death (or permanent incapacitation) of a WBO automatically transfers all WBO rights to the WBC until such time as the WBC formally votes to assign rights to another WBO. Until such time, any changes to the WBO property requires a simple majority vote of eligible WBC members.
Option 9 – Disbanding
All good things must come to an end, and that can include the WBC, which should prepare for this eventuality and determine what happens. It seems obvious that future world building will not occur, but what about usage of the WBC’s properties? This can be permitted for use in stories, for example, provided alteration of the world no longer occurs, unless that alteration is only to territory or items controlled by the former WBO of it.
If shared files are online and require payment for access, this can be achieved via downloading to each former WBC member’s personal computers. However, if using sites that do not provide for downloading, continued access could become a problem. Consider the platform that is intended for this purpose at the outset.