Game Rules (Please Read)

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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:00 pm

Don’t be an OOC Asshole

This is the cardinal rule of the game. Yes, your character may be a jerk to other characters but don’t be an OOC jerk to other players or staff. Be respectful and give people the benefit of the doubt. Maybe a PM you think is curt was only meant to be quick. When you can try to include other players and help them have a good time in game.

Remember that staff is working very hard to provide you with a free service hoping we can all have fun together. They aren’t out to get you or trying to make you feel bad. Staff is human and will make mistakes sometimes. Staff will also decide things you think are wrong or unfair. Please be kind when talking to them and remember they are just people doing their best. Also, for the game to function someone (the HSTs) has to have the final say. Running a game can be a pretty thankless job with a lot more complaints than compliments. If you think Legacy or Archmage is doing a good job, enjoy the game, or thought something was cool let them know.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:04 pm

How to Play (New to forum gamming?)

This is a play by post forum game based of 20th Anniversary Edition Mage the Ascension and 20th Anniversary Edition Werwolf the Apocalypse. Each player login represents a character or PC (Player Character). The login’s name should be your character’s name, deedname, or nickname. Your form avatar should be an image of your character.

When posting in the in character areas (locations) players and sometimes staff are creating a scene in a story together. The location of the thread (ex: the chantry library) on the boards is where the scene is physically happening. Each player posts what their character is doing or saying in the scene, taking turns to include everyone. Players can also post about the setting of the scene and other minor non-player characters (NPCs) who would be present like saying it is a busy street or two teenagers are making out on a nearby bench. Staff (Legacy, Archmage, and sometimes Henchman Number 3) post as important things and people that happen in the world around the characters.

Scenes in forum games depend on players posting who may not be at the computer playing at the same time; so on average take much longer to resolve then the in person table top or LARP scenes the White Wolf books describe. Therefore you post in multiple scenes concurrently even though they don’t happen in character (IC) at the same time. For more details see Wibbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff. This game is designed to be played daily though it does not need to be a large time commitment each day and we understand that sometimes life takes precedent and you won’t be able to post. See Posting Speed and Etiquette.
Last edited by Henchman Number 3 on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:08 pm

Staff Breakdown: Who to Contact and How

The Storytelling Team
Legend: Head Storyteller of the Garou/Kin side of the game. Legend also handles Influence.

The Archmage: Head Storyteller of the Mage side of the game.

Henchman Number 3: An Assistant Storyteller. Performs administrative tasks, rolls, and may run minor plots and NPCs.

Who to PM
If you need something related to a plot, NPC, or Staff run scene, PM the staff running it/them. DO NOT PM NPC ACCOUNTS. Their inboxes will not be checked. If you need something related to your character’s direction or development, PM your HST.

If you need staff attention on a general scene PM the Storytellers group and one of the STs will get to it. (With more people, you will get a response faster.) For example: something magical or obviously illegal happened in public, you need a roll(s) you can’t do yourself, ect.

When you PM . . .
If you are PMing staff about a thread always include a link to exactly the post where you need something. To get the url of the exact post right click the little circle at the top of the post, under the thread title and next to “by [username] >> [Date/time]”. Select “copy link address/location” (exact wording depends on browser). If you are asking about something that covers multiple posts, link to the first one where the issue starts.

If you are PMing staff with a concern about a rule or genre; please include the book and page number whenever possible. Including a quote is helpful. Just saying that isn’t how x works is not constructive in allowing staff to see what you are referring to. It also is requesting a lot more of staff’s time to go find something you are picturing (if they can at all).

When Not to PM
Some actions and conversations are handled through your personal character forum rather then PMs.
* Submitting steps of character creation is handled by creating threads in your personal character forum.
* Experience spends are handled through a thread in your personal character forum
* Longer actions are “downtimes” and handed in your personal character forum
* Spending or regaining Willpower, Gnosis, or Quintessence is handled through posting on the Tracking thread in your personal character forum
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:24 pm

When you need staff and when you can run it yourself

Even in situations with magic, dice rolls, or NPCs you don’t necessarily need staff. Players handling things amongst themselves reduces staff workload and keeps scenes moving much faster.

All rolls that are not made by staff need to be made on the game diceroller. Post your results on the thread even if other PCs would not be aware of it. To do this, copy the small grey text at the bottom of your results that reads "[dice=#]Charterer Name's Action[/dice]" and paste it into your post. If you want to do something that is secret OOC you need to involve staff.

You can run it yourself when . . .

* You are using coincidental magic or gifts that aren’t related to pursing a plot and whose effects are short term. You may roll vulgar magic if it is in a place it wouldn’t cause paradox such as your sanctum.

* At the start of scene, when a PC enters a scene, or when a PC posts using a supernatural ability you may roll awareness or primal urge if appropriate. (Detecting the Supernatural rules post coming soon.) Players are especially encouraged to handle this themselves as it is a very common roll that will otherwise dramatically slow down game.

* You feel you should make a frenzy check in a scene not being run by staff.

* Using abilities to show off (awesome guitar solo); for minor accomplishments or struggles not related to plot (scoring some drugs at a club); and to create things for social or story reasons that you do not intend to use in combat/plots or enchant/bind spirits into (painting a portrait, making a child a toy robot).

* You may run unofficial competitions (race you!), using abilities on or against another PC with only short term consequences (hiding in the bushes unseen, empathy), and nonlethal sparring.

* To keep scenes going and immersive you may post as random people (the waitress looks hesitant but gulps and approaches the ahroun cautiously) so long as this is not abused. You may not post as random authority figures such as police officers or random supernatural templates.

* You may post as NPCs that are dots on your sheet (your kin secretary, your shoulder pet familiar) or character fluff (your 3 year old daughter). This is encouraged if the NPC is less powerful then you and shows up regularly. If you rely on staff to play an NPC on your sheet their appearances will be limited.

You ALWAYS need and ST when . . .
* You are working on a plot or interacting with a staff NPC.

* You are using magic or gifts that have long term effects, are vulgar, or cause harm to another PC.

* You botched a magic roll, gift, supernatural ability (awareness), or supernatural background (ancestors) roll. (If you botch a batch of cupcakes, you may RP that yourself.)

* You are attacking another PC or sparring with lethal or aggravated damage.

* You frenzy.

* You are in an official challenge or wizard duel.

* Something obviously illegal or obviously supernatural has happened in a public place.

* You are interacting with NPCs who are supernatural, authority figures, or more powerful then your PC. Dots on your sheet that represent NPCs more powerful then your PC like mentor and high dot allies should be played by staff.

* Any player in the scene would feel more comfortable with staff handling other player’s rolls that impact them.

You don’t need to roll at all when . . .
You don’t need to roll dice for mundane tasks without serious consequences for failure unless you are trying to show how good your PC is at something or it amuses you. So your PC can make dinner without a roll but if you want to show how awesome of a cook they are you may roll so other players see the successes. You are also always free to decide your PC did a bad job at something without rolling.
Last edited by Henchman Number 3 on Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:34 pm

Posting Speed and Etiquette

Posting Speed

Players have different availability both in terms of times of day and overall time to dedicate to posting. The goal is for players of different speeds to cooperate so that we can all have fun together. To that end . . .

* Don’t “shotgun” other characters: Take turns and wait for a player who isn’t online or hasn’t responded to a thread yet rather then just posting past them. If you have already posted twice since another player posted, someone asked them a direct question, or said or did something they would likely want to respond to, please stop and wait for them. If your character is quiet and just listening please post this on the thread so others know and things don’t stall.

* 24 Hour Rule: This is the exception to “don’t shotgun”. Plot scenes need to move at least every 24 hours so the stories of the game can resolve. If you are unable to post for some reason please let staff know and though the scene will likely need to continue they will avoid penalizing your PC. This also applies in social scenes with multiple people. If it has been 24 hours without a response from a PC everyone else can post again. However, if a player communicates about their lack of availability please avoid holding it against the character and make an effort to accommodate their situation. (Check the Comings and Goings section to see if they posted there.)

* Consideration goes both ways: Just as faster posters should endeavor not to fly past or exclude slower posters, slower posters should also be considerate of faster player’s fun. If two people are rapid posting a social scene together and you don’t have the time to keep up with them, consider if it would be most fun for everyone for you to join that scene or ask to start a different one with one of those PCs.

Leave of Absence and Retiring Characters

If you need or want to leave game for weeks or more please talk to staff about it so it can be handled appropriately IC. If you talk to staff about taking a leave of absence or retiring your character then it can be handled in a way that makes sense for your PC and that you are happy with (whether you want them to move away, die, or something else).

If you don’t talk to staff and just disappear then eventually staff will need to explain what happened to your PC and you won’t have any say. It is also unkind to other PCs involved with yours (such as lovers, pack mates, cabal mates, ect) and in threads with you to simply ghost them. If you’ve disappeared for a month or most of a month (ex: posted a bit in the middle then disappeared again) and staff can’t reach you they will write you out as they see fit. You may or may not be able to come back as the same character.

Open and Closed Scenes

* Open Scenes: Putting “(Open)” in the title of your scene indicates that other players are welcome to join. (You may also include a PCs name or list of PCs and Open.) These threads generally take place somewhere that other PCs could conceivably show up.

* Closed Scenes: Putting "(Name, name, Closed)" in the title of your scene indicates that only the named PCs or NPCs are welcome to join this scene. These threads MUST take place somewhere that other PCs are unlikely to stumble upon. All public areas of LA are appropriate for closed scenes as the odds of you running into another PC in such a large city is very low. You cannot make a closed scene in an area that is specifically highly trafficked by other PCs. This includes: the general areas of the chantry, the general areas of the sept, the main rooms of a shared housing situation, and the main rooms of a shared business. If your characters want privacy they can retreat to a private space such as a bedroom or office. They may also request it IC on the thread.

If a scene has been marked as closed but you feel your PC would be present for some reason you need to talk to the players in the scene or staff for permission. Please consider whether your PC showing up is either necessary or more fun for all the players involved.
Last edited by Henchman Number 3 on Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:36 pm

Internal Monologue

Players have many different types of writing styles some more detailed then others. If you want to include your character’s internal monologue, memories, or unspoken opinions in your thread posts that is your prerogative. However, whatever you post other characters in the scene can pick up on. So if you post putting on a brave face while feeling torn up inside, other PCs can see through your brave face. If you gave more details they have at least a general idea of what you’re feeling or thinking.

This is especially true if you post things about other player characters. Even if it doesn’t make any sense for the other characters in the scene to be able to tell they all get a very clear impression of anything that has been stated about a PC in OOC text. Please minimize any non-obvious views on other PCs in OOC text. Avoid making any specific statements about other PCs and what they have done in the past.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:46 pm

Wibbly wobbly timey-wimey stuff
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually — from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly... timey-wimey... stuff."
— The Tenth Doctor, Doctor Who, "Blink"

Forum games are made up of often concurrent threads that run at different speeds. To make this work we ask that all players be flexible about the timeline and roll with some timeline discrepancies as a natural result of the game’s format.

When do threads take place?
Technically speaking threads take place on the day and time they are posted unless their title lists a different day or time. As the game takes place in LA times are based off of Pacific Standard Time not the location you are posting from. You may always post a thread at a different time of day but need ST permission to create a thread on a different day. The exception to ST permission is if you continue a thread to a new location and include a link back to the original in the same post. (Ex: Two characters meet in a grocery store then change forum locations to drive to one of their homes – a week hasn’t passed.)

When do injuries and death take place?
Injuries and death go into effect when you end or exit the scene they happened in. Any other scenes you start before the injury or death scene is resolved are not affected. So you don’t need to hold off on starting new scenes just because your PC is in danger. However, if you know your PC has died (injured is fine) on a thread please don’t start new ones.

This is the case so that you always know entering a scene how injured or not your PC is. In a world of unexpected danger and magical healing (including resurrection) it is never sure what your condition is until a thread resolves. Also, this ensures damage recovery times matter and prevents situations where PCs have recovered from injuries by the time they resolved them.

When do tempers spends take place?
Most tempers (willpower, gnosis, quintessence) spends take place on the day they are spent OOC. Rage refreshes each night so is not tracked across days. (You can still never spend more then your total pool in one thread unless you’ve been gaining in that thread). This is the case to make tracking easier for players and staff and to avoid situations where a PC spends gnosis only to realize they used it all up three days ago and couldn’t have done that.

Per Session and per Story
Anything that happens or can be done "once per session" is once per week. "Per story" is once per month. (In many cases the text has already been adjusted.)

Don’t be an asshole
Be a team player about timeline discrepancies. These are OOC issues that should not be held against characters IC. For example, if the scene you asked someone to do something in just resolved don’t complain IC it’s been two weeks and they’ve done nothing. Communicate politely with other players about timeline issues and be accommodating.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:51 pm

No Cheating or Metagaming

This should be self explanatory. Don’t play your character having capabilities they don’t have. Use your actual dice pools for rolls. Apply penalties form your flaws. Generally, be honest and follow the rules of the system and game.

Metagaming is using out of charchter knowledge (things your PC doesn’t know) in character. This is a kind of cheating. While you may read public threads your PC isn’t on you cannot apply any of this knowledge to your in character decisions. It can be hard not to let this OCC knowledge influence what your PC figures out even accidently. If you know about something OOC err on the side of not guessing it quickly IC to counteract this.

OOC Grudges
OOC grudges have no place in game. You don’t have to choose to be lovers or packmates with a player you don’t get along with; but you cannot just magically dislike or cause problems for characters because of a problem with their players. Even if they screwed over your previous PC or OOC friend keep it OOC.

Acceptable and Good Metagaming
It is okay to let out of character considerations influence your IC decisions when it is to make the game run more smoothly and doesn’t screw over any PCs. It’s encouraged when you are doing it to include another player or make sure they are still able to have fun in the game.

For example maybe your character would feel that given her enemy your PC's sister would be safest accompanied by a bodyguard at all times. However, the PC who would guard her best posts more slowly then she does so your sister’s player would be unable to play at her own speed which isn’t fun. So you decide to talk to staff about hiring a less powerful NPC bodyguard she can post as herself or coming up with magical or spiritual protections that allow her to do threads alone. Even though these options might make less sense IC they are what is best for the goal of the game which is everyone having fun.
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Re: Game Rules

Postby Henchman Number 3 » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:55 pm

NSFW, comfort, and mature content

NSFW and Fade to Black
If your thread includes descriptions of nudity, abuse, or particularly gruesome injuries/mutilation please put a NSFW (not safe for work) tag in the in the title of the thread. This may apply to plots. If you are providing a link to a graphic image please include a NSFW tag with the link. It’s always better to err on the side of caution here as some players do post from work.

If sex or torture is going to happen there are two options. The players (and possibly staff) involved can choose to “fade to black”, discuss what happened OOC, and then pick up the scene after the event in question. If all players or staff involved want to continue a more graphic scene then they may take it to PMs or a private form. Ask an HST to create a private form if you need one.

Player Comfort and Mature Content
This is a World of Darkness game for adult players. Many of the villains and situations in WoD are, as it reads on the tin, dark. That being said if there is a specific subject or situation that is very difficult for you to handle emotionally please make sure all of staff knows so we can do our best to accommodate you and come up with reasons your PC wouldn’t be present for such plots. If we are unaware this may be sprung on you unintentionally.

If you find yourself already in a scene or a character situation that you feel is impacting you negatively emotionally please communicate with staff about it. For example maybe your character rage healed while pregnant and staff rolled your battle scar was a miscarriage. However, you have personal experience with miscarriage and don’t want to bring back up those feelings by RPing it out in game. Privately communicate with staff that this would be an issue for you.

Obviously accommodations can only be made within reason. If violence or gore in general is difficult for you then playing a garou would be a bad idea as would pursuing many plots. This is also not a way to get out of consequences or bad things ever happening to your PC. In the above example the character would still receive a different battle scar some of which can be debilitating.

Sexual Aggression and Coercion Between PCs
A character can choose to be physically sexually aggressive or use various powers (more or less subtly) to coerce others into sex. However, if a player want to target another PC for coercive sex or rape they need to make sure OOC that the other player is okay with this. (Many players will be.) If it’s not a story the other player is interested in for their character than that is the end of it. Also, be aware that even if the player agrees there may still be very serious IC consequences if you are caught.
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