Furcadia - The Second Dreaming!!



 

Here are 26 principles that facilitate Strict Roleplaying.
Click on one to see a brief explanation.


INDEX

1. OOC speech is heavily avoided, and kept in brackets when it's necessary to address everybody present.

2. Backgrounds that impose large world-assumptions on the Continuity require approval.

3. Favoritism towards your OOC friends is not accepted.

4. Abilities or equipment that put others in an awkward position require rules and/or a neutral authority to see that their acquisition and use are fair.

5. Keep your Alts (your different characters) apart.

6. Keep information that you know only OOCly to yourself.

7. You have a right to protection from an OOC grudge.

8. A "Timestop" is assumed to take place just before any combat occurs.

9. Within reason, you have a right to take back actions.

10. You do not have OOC control of the consequences of your IC actions.

11. Your Alts' experience and knowledge of the game
world are separate.

12. Outside Continuities are NOT accepted.

13. At some point, in order to participate, you need to knowingly agree to a Continuity.

14. Ultimately, somebody has to be in charge of the Continuity.

15. Players have the right to be a valid part of the Continuity. You may not act as if someone else was not there.

16. Every player has the right to fair representation of their character's IC abilities.

17. It is up to the Guild to regulate which kinds of action players are expected to roleplay-out.

18. Upholding the Continuity is everybody's job.

19. You may not take an action with natural consequence that would cause major change to the Continuity unless those in charge of the Continuity say it is okay.

20. The beauty of Strict RP is that your character *can* affect the Continuity, in a way they could not, in Persona RP.

21. In-Character Actions yield In-Character Consequences.

22. To protect the Continuity, Plot Assumptions sometimes must override what players want.

23. Unless the game system says otherwise, you may only have secret knowledge if you learned it during actual play.

24. You have the right to the resolution of an IC conflict.

25. Scenes with pre-arranged outcomes are inappropriate for Strict Roleplaying.

26. In OOC speech, please be respectful to your Guild's staff and all the other Players.



EXPLANATIONS

1. OOC speech is heavily avoided, and kept in brackets when it's necessary to address everybody present. Strict Roleplayers hate the distraction of OOC talk being used for OOC chit-chat, complaints or insults. If you're idling and waiting for others to come RP, have an alt in an OOC area for the purpose of OOC. This is one reason RP Dreams generally need an OOC lounge area separate from the RP areas.


2. Backgrounds that impose large world-assumptions on the Continuity require approval. If you say you are a mind-reader, you have just imposed ESP on the Continuity. If you say you are a vampire, you have just imposed life-beyond-death on the Continuity. If you say you are a king of a country, you have just imposed the existence of a nation on the Continuity and possibly bestowed a large amount of IC power upon yourself.



3.
Favoritism towards your OOC friends is not accepted. There's nothing wrong with playing IC alongside your OOC friends if you can keep your character's actions reasonably credible. But going around in a gang because you're obviously friends OOC is more appropriate for Persona Roleplay.



4.
Abilities or equipment that put others in an awkward position require rules and/or a neutral authority to see that their acquisition and use are fair. This includes poison, traps, invisibility, mind or emotion control powers, and missiles that "home". You can pose having a broken bottle or a knife, but some Guilds require that special items (such as a pistol in a modern-day game) be cleared with the referees first.



5.
Keep your Alts (your different characters) apart. They may not work for another of your Alts. They may not communicate with each other, except through another PC (player character), and they should be kept out of each other's existence and plots as much as possible.

*Exception: A Guild may decide that it's acceptable to roleplay your own character's henchmen, etc. They may require that assistant characters be tagged with the name of their boss.



6.
Keep information that you know only OOCly to yourself. If your character knows something IC, they must communicate it to another in-scene. Revealing IC information OOCly ruins the drama for the other Strict Roleplayers.



7.
You have a right to protection from an OOC grudge. If you suspect your character is being attacked for non-IC reasons, ask a referee to talk to the other player and get their IC rationale for attacking you. If a referee is not satisfied that their motivation makes sense, or if they are concerned that the game is being used to disguise harassment, the referee should have the power to cancel the IC conflict. This kind of protection requires a Guild and referee to enforce; it cannot be done by Guardians.



8.
A "Timestop" is assumed to take place just before any combat occurs. Negotiating combat requires a sort of "slow motion" and if you arrive in the middle of a fight, assume that you *aren't* seeing it. Sorry, but it was over before you got there and all participants may leave before you arrive (Fair Escape).

This prevents use of OOC communications to summon friends into a fight. Please do not even ASK to be included in an ongoing combat scene if you were not present at the start.



9.
Within reason, you have a right to take back actions. This is called a RetCon. (Retcon is short for 'RETroactive CONtinuity.') Sometimes a player makes a mistake, for instance posing that they polish their sword when the sword was dropped elsewhere earlier. The polite thing to do is for the player to make a quick OOC announcement that the previous action didn't occur, and for other players to go on. (Acknowledge the retcon with PRIVATE pages please.)You can only Retcon something that just happened. You can only Retcon your OWN actions.

The purpose of a Retcon is not to explore a tree of possibilities relying on different decisions or let a player make up for an action that results in something they don't like. The purpose of a Retcon is to repair damaged continuity as quickly and smoothly as possible. Retcons can't be used to "take back" an action with a dice roll involved. Whether you succeed, fail or fumble, that action has already taken place in the game's continuity.



10.
You do not have OOC control of the consequences of your IC actions. For example, In Persona Roleplay, it is appropriate for you to say whether or not your character fathers a child. But in Strict Roleplay, a character who has "unprotected sex" may end up a father or pregnant against both their IC and OOC will! For this to be handled in a fair fashion requires a referee, who can make an appropriate random die roll.



11.
Your Alts' experience and knowledge of the game world are separate. You may not assume that your character spoke to others and therefore your alt may also know. Resist the temptation to recycle the things your other characters knew.



12.
Outside Continuities are NOT accepted. This sentence is the very definition of what is considered "Strict" Roleplaying as opposed to "Persona" Roleplaying. In Strict Roleplaying, character backgrounds must be in line with a Continuity. Compare this with Persona Roleplay, in which *all* backgrounds must be considered equally valid, even if they conflict! In Strict RP, you agree not to invoke outside Continuities. References to concepts, powers, character types, families, factions, etc., from books, movies, and novels are unacceptable. So, no Jedi, no Drow, no Saiya-Jin, no Malkavians, no "speaking Feral", etc., etc., etc. UNLESS these are agreed-upon parts of the Continuity.



13.
At some point, in order to participate, you need to knowingly agree to a Continuity. This doesn't happen by accident. Control of the Continuity can be enforced by membership in a Guild and one's presence in the Guild's Dream, but it starts when all of that Guild's players mutually agree to adhere to one. If you haven't done so, then you're not a part of the Continuity yet. Expecting someone to adhere to ANY Continuity, when they haven't already agreed, is very unfair to them, so it shouldn't be done.



14.
Ultimately, somebody has to be in charge of the Continuity. (Normally that defaults to the "Rah", the one who owns the Guild.) Somebody (or a group of somebody's) needs to be able to demand a change in an individual's background or played-out story events to preserve the believability of the story. Generally, a storyteller/referee/gamemaster does not interfere, but players do have a right to request interference for the good of the Continuity, even to the point of forcing the RetCon of previously played-out events.



15.
Players have the right to be a valid part of the Continuity. If Continuity is being violated, the Continuity's owner or referees must act, by removing the "offending" character or insisting that they be changed. You may not take matters into your own hands and act as if someone else was not there. You may not announce that another character is not a part of "your" Continuity. In Strict Roleplay, there's only ONE Continuity for everyone.

A character whose background conflicts should be removed by the one(s) in charge of Continuity. If a character's actions are not in line with Continuity, the events should be rewritten by the one(s) in charge of Continuity.



16.
Every player has the right to fair representation of their character's IC abilities. Whether or not you may refuse to consent to another's IC actions is decided by each individual Strict RP Guild, to be listed in their Charter. As a general default: Unless specified otherwise, if the character has the approval of the Continuity's owner, you may not refuse to consent to their use of their IC abilities on your character.



17.
It is up to the Guild to regulate which kinds of action players are expected to roleplay-out. Some Guilds do not permit rape plotlines. Some Guilds permit you to "fade-to-black" on any scene you do not wish to play, but require you to play out the consequences later. Some Guilds offer multiple levels of commitment to the Continuity, within the same playgroup.

As you can see, departing from the simple Consent Rule can mean a LOT of special-case rules to handle different kinds of situations. For example, a Guild can make a special rule that if you did nothing to provoke an attack, that you may automatically choose a non-death outcome.



18.
Upholding the Continuity is everybody's job. For example, if your character looks like a demon and the setting is a typical medieval village, they would probably get attacked and driven out or captured. Your character should take appropriate measures to hide their frightening aspects, or be prepared for that mob of villagers with pitchforks and blessed arrows.

Similarly, the other players have an obligation to react with suspicion and hostility if they see your true features, unless they have a good IC reason not to.



19.
You may not take an action with natural consequence that would cause major change to the Continuity unless those in charge of the Continuity say it is okay. This includes such things as destroying a major location, starting a war, or becoming the ruler of a nation. For example, suppose your character is a mad scientist. You could only assemble and set off a nuclear bomb to wipe out your city if your Guild had arrangements for that kind of IC action. It helps if the major tenets of the Continuity are recorded on a web page (usually in the Charter); these are the Continuity's Plot Assumptions. (For example, it's generally assumed that in a medieval world, nobody is going to invent gunpowder and machine guns.)

Here's another example: Your character might be a vampire completely capable of revealing their secrets to modern society ("pulling a Lestat"). Because of the major ramifications, either refereree(s) must oversee the plot, or, it is not permitted to take place.



20.
The beauty of Strict RP is that your character *can* affect the Continuity, in a way they could not, in Persona RP. Whether or not something *is* a Plot Assumption can be discussed with those in charge. For example, suppose your mad scientist character wanted to unleash a hideous disease on society. The Rah or referee(s) might decide this is a plot they want to have happen. All player characters would then be informed of the visible effects of the disease (looting and riots? hospitals overrun? city gates closed? suspected victims barricaded into their homes?)

Whether or not *your* character then contracted the disease could be decided in a number of ways. It might be OOCly voluntary. It could be checked with a random die roll.



21.
In-Character Actions yield In-Character Consequences. This is the ruling philosophy of Strict RP. If you mouth off to somebody, you might end up in a fight. If you commit a crime, you might be the target of law enforcement or the angry grief-stricken relatives and friends of the victim. Although the actual consequences might not happen in the game, you should try to play your character as if it was a possibility.

Strict RP Guilds can also use a variation on the above philosophy. "In-Character Actions should yield FAIR In-Character Consequences." In real life, if you mouth off to someone in a bar, they might assault you but it would not normally be with lethal force. Therefore, attacking you with lethal force would not be a fair In-Character Consequence. Note that "fair" here does not mean "both characters have equal IC power"; it refers to whether or not you had ample OOC warning about what you were ICly getting into.



22.
To protect the Continuity, Plot Assumptions sometimes must override what players want. Sometimes, to maintain a "dark" atmosphere", a Guild may have a rule that certain Plot Assumptions of the Continuity override being able to avoid IC consequences because they don't seem fair.

These include established motives that one type of character has to spontaneously assault another type of character with deadly force. Here's an example: The pencil-and-dice roleplaying game "Werewolf: the Apocalypse" has a Plot Assumption that werewolves are expected to attempt to kill vampires. A vampire might walk up to the werewolf and just say, "Hello.", be detected by an IC power, and end up in a fight to the death. Without this provision for "Deadly Animosities", this Continuity could not be properly portrayed.

This situation can also arise due to specific character situations. For instance, a character might have an accepted background they are a psychotic killer, or deranged combat veteran subject to flashbacks in which they mistake those around them for enemies. Guilds may insist that you submit a written background or character sheet, so that what is fair is more clear. They may alternately opt to disallow backgrounds that would tend to lead to such unpredictable or unfair IC consequences.

To prevent players from complaining that these "nasty surprises" weren't fair, we recommend listing them under Plot Assumptions. You may not get a specific immediate warning that you are going to be attacked, but you deserve to be warned in general if that is the kind of IC event that you are expected to accept.



23.
Unless the game system says otherwise, you may only have secret knowledge if you learned it during actual play. In a game with character generation, you may be able to buy the appropriate lore skill. This would enable you to know, for example, the details of what destroys a specific supernatural creature.

Possession of such a lore may require clearance with a referee. They may deny your request because a) your character background doesn't merit it, b) they do not want too many characters starting out with that IC knowledge, c) they would rather you had to learn it by roleplaying, and facing the dangers such investigation normally incurs, and/or d) they simply don't want characters to start with that information.

In most games with vampires, the default for mortals is NO knowledge of their existence, and many games do not permit players of mortals to buy vamp lore during character generation.

In Guilds that use character sheets, a referees might even require you to submit logs of any scene in which you acquired IC knowledge of this sort, before allowing you to buy a relevant lore skill.)



24.
You have the right to the resolution of an IC conflict. If you get disconnected or have to leave just as a conflict is imminent, or in the middle of a fight, make arrangements with others present to continue later. Do your best. Use email as needed.

If your opponent fails to show up, you should ask the head of Continuity for a resolution. Especially if others are somehow involved, you aren't necessarily entitled to make up the ending.



25.
Scenes with pre-arranged outcomes are inappropriate for Strict Roleplaying. For example, OOCly agreeing to meet for the first time and become instantly lovers is unacceptable. OOC agreements of this kind are more appropriate for Persona Roleplay.

Asking OOC questions about ICly relevant matters is generally frowned upon, as well. Strict Roleplay is kept exciting by being spontaneous. Strict RPers may not whisper, "Is your character lying?" "Are you a shapeshifter?" "Do you intend to attack me?", etc. unless they have an IC power to back it up, such as mind-reading or magical divination that actually works. The best answer to such a question is, "Find out IC."



26.
In OOC speech, be respectful to your Guild's staff and all the other Players. This is just common sense. We all do our best to be fair and ethical but we're all humans and we can acquire biases. Do yourself a favor by not giving people reasons to personally resent you.



After reading this, some of you will think that these things are all obvious. Unfortunately, they aren't, not to most furres, and that's led to alot of OOC conflicts. I present this document to show that it takes a lot of Rah decision-making and effort to accomplish Strict Roleplaying.

Many of you will decide that Strict Roleplaying is more hassle than you want. That's okay! But hopefully you understand why many furres find Persona Roleplaying very unsatisfying, and why Strict Roleplaying is relatively rare. In either event, we encourage you to find a Guild that's to your liking, or even form a new one.



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