Chehon Region/Policy Roleplay
From Tapestries MUCK
Definitions and Useful Tools
There are some terms which should be defined, and some roleplaying tools which are useful for enabling interesting play while avoiding the boring bits.
- "Retcons" or "declaring retroactive continuity." This is basically undoing a scene or set of scenes, and/or OOCly agreeing that those scenes should have happened in a different way with different results. This is a powerful option to allow players to go back and tweak an event to help set the stage for additional RP that's more entertaining for everyone.
- "Fading to black" and "off-camera" events. Some events which might be inevitable in-character might be, for some reason, something that one or more players in the group either can't or don't want to actually play out. This can range anywhere from detention to beatings or worse, or even really boring, mundane things like mowing the lawn. (Show me someone that likes RPing lawn-mowing to an empty room, and I'll show you a dirty liar.) The assumption that some events happen even when people don't play them out helps to keep folks focused on the FUN parts.
- Non-player characters, or NPCs. Usually, any roleplay environment has far fewer players than there are IC people walking about. By including interactions with NPCs into your roleplay, you can help make the scene feel more realistic...and have a way to assume that various things happen in the background without your character having to personally attend to it. Bartenders, pedestrians, waiters, shopkeepers, and extremely bored customs officers are all excellent choices for NPCs.
IC and OOC
First, all players are expected to separate their own emotions and goals from those of their character. There should be a wall between your character and you as a player which provides distance from disappointment when things go wrong for your character. IC drama and conflict should be interesting and fun to roleplay, not stressful. Maintaining a separation between IC and OOC helps with that.
Areas are marked as either being IC or OOC.
- IC areas are for roleplay; all OOC conversation should be done using the "ooc" command and should either be about the scene, or should be only a brief diversion from the scene.
- OOC areas are for general OOC or OIC (half-IC, half-OOC) interaction. Canon roleplay in these areas is not a good idea, as the areas don't exist in-theme.
One purpose of the Chehon region is to maintain a single unified super-plot which every individual character's own storylines fit into.
- All roleplay falls into one of two categories: canon, or non-canon. Canon roleplay is a part of the region-wide storyline and can be referenced freely in other scenes. Non-canon roleplay is considered a separate "side-plot" which has absolutely no effect on the region-wide storyline.
- All public scenes are assumed to start as canon unless otherwise specified.
- In canon scenes, the actions a character takes and the consequences of those actions are persistent. Altering the actions themselves requires a retcon; altering the consequences can be done via a retcon, or some other thematically appropriate way.
However, there are times when events will clash with what a player has in mind for their character. The player of a character has final say what happens to that character, and has final say over what RP they participate in:
- OOC safeword/time-out will always be respected. In the event of an OOC time-out or safeword, participants in a scene need to stop what they're doing and talk amongst themselves OOCly to try to resolve the issue before play continues. If the cause of OOC discomfort or dispute cannot be resolved, the scene should be declared non-canon and retconned.
- Any player may convert a scene to non-canon if they dislike the lasting effect the scene in progress would have on their character.
Warning: Players who abuse this part of the policy in order to play an unbearable pain in the ass while avoiding any negative consequences for the character will be classified as trolls. Trolling is against policy.
There are types of play which are just unrealistic or unfair.
The use of information obtained via alts or a strictly out-of-character source should not be used in an in-character way. Informational tools such as "WA" are provided to help promote roleplay, not to be used to gain some form of perceived advantage.
Similarly, alt characters or OOC calls to friends should not be used to sneakily get the upper hand in a roleplay without the permission of your RP partner(s). All IC information exchanges with other characters (such as calls for backup) should be roleplayed out or -- if the way you're calling for backup is invisible/inaudible/etc ICly -- should be mentioned OOCly so that other players are aware of the call and, if their character has the means, they can respond to it.
Declaring that an action against another player's character is automatically successful without their explicit OOC consent is not allowed. All actions taken against another player's character should be worded as though they are attempts, not that they're assumed to've succeeded. The other character's player then decides how successful that action is.
- Example: "Teal smacks the wolf across the mouth, then drives a fist into his stomach." is bad. "Teal reaches out to smack the wolf across the mouth and -- if he does -- follows through with a short uppercut towards the wolf's stomach." is much better, and less likely to make people mad.
- Players who indicate that they're in "dynamic" mode [mechanism for this to be determined] are allowed to take mild, non-damaging, non-permanent actions against people flagged the same way and assume automatic success. This flag indicates that the player is comfortable sacrificing a bit of control in order to speed up their roleplay.
- If all players in the room and the scene/event agree upon it, the powergaming rule may be suspended entirely. (Hint: Most people suspend the rule completely or in part for sexual scenes.)
Problematic Character Types
Some character types have more potential for abuse than others. While our goal is to allow players to explore characters of many different backgrounds, there are some who by their very nature can be easily exploited to excessively influence other players' characters and their roleplay.
Abusable characters are those who have the potential for causing trouble but which aren't necessarily banned outright. Players of these characters are expected to be particularly careful in how they roleplay so as to avoid putting other players "in a corner" to the point where they have to roleplay something they hate for fear of the IC consequences. That said, these characters can also be excellent drivers of roleplay if played right, so it doesn't make sense to ban them outright. Still, any time these characters use their skills, abilities, or nature to do something which may derail a lot of ongoing roleplay, people should have the courtesy to ask OOCly first.
- Chehon Authority Figures: Tax collectors, customs agents, policymakers, local nobility, and the heads of corporate/merchantile/mercenary interests are all characters that wield a great deal of in-character authority. Other characters will be faced with a great deal of pressure to comply with the demands of these characters, particularly given that resisting them could be somewhere between social and physical suicide.
- Gods, Gods-in-all-but-name, Characters with no flaws, Archmagi: Gods, extremely powerful supernatural beings, and "perfect" beings suffer the same problems that authority figures do, except for the fact that they have near-unanswerable supernatural power rather than social authority.
- Super-Soldiers, Star-Battleship Captains, Badass Mercenaries, etc: These are less prone to abuse than some other characters and there will almost certainly be quite a few of them about. Still, the fact that such individuals are generally very well trained and are almost always armed means that they can easily escalate a situation to the point of horrible levels of violence in short order. Automatic weapons, kinetic strikes, grenades, and so on are all things that a typical "average Joe/Jane" character is going to immediately fall over themselves to avoid being the target of, and shooting up a market is a great way to derail everyone else's RP with a single pose.
Prohibited characters are those who are forbidden to be played without explicit permission from a wizard. Such characters either hold some sort of absolute authority, are unreasonably powerful, or otherwise cause sufficient problems that their use is restricted in order to avoid their dominating every aspect of thematic RP.
- Wizards: Specifically chromatic wizards. Wizards are the powerful entities that protect Curuoskar and tend to be more "primal force of nature" than "reasonable individual." They are rarely encountered ICly and then usually only as a way to grant a thin veneer of plausibility to an OOC policy action. Regardless, the Wizcorps have a monopoly on this sort of character. It's possible to play an imposter, but those usually have a very short life span. Imposters are delicious.
- Unique and top-level authority figures: The Chehon City Council, the heads of founding houses/corporations/etc of the city, and so on. Basically, any leader, co-leader, or vice-leader of any organization that's been defined in theme documentation. However, certain trusted players will be tapped to provide a believable, IC face of leadership for some of these organizations; those exemptions are listed below.
- Chitter, head of the Lutrai.
- Real people and/or copyrighted characters: This is a legal issue that we just really don't want to deal with. Unless you have written, legally binding permission to use a person's likeness or their intellectual property, you may not do so on Tapestries.
- Any character that automatically causes changes or harm to those around them: Perpetual powerplay. Do not want.
- Layleauxian officials: As per core Tapestries policy.
- Chehon Law Enforcement: Chehon has no law enforcement agency. The criminal justice system is based on bounties and independent contractors with authority limited to their current contracts.
- Chehon Military: Chehon's military is a thematic tool to explain why some areas are safe when others are not. They should be considered powerful enough to protect the region from any external threat that's small enough not to trigger a wizard response.
- If a scene calls for it and all players are on board, a wizard with free time on their hands might spoof a military response for you when asked. Official duties do take priority, though.
- Impromptu roleplay designed to provoke a military response where other players weren't consulted and where the RP is disrupting others' scenes is discouraged. At best, someone will object and the scene will get retconned. At worst, everyone will go along with it and your character will probably end up dead.