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Rules for Play

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Main article: Getting Started

Roleplaying Rules

Welcome to the Rules for Play. This page is a list of rules that players must follow when roleplaying on Thorns.

Basic Posting Rules

When posting in character:

  • Please always use correct grammar and spelling, unless you're taking artistic liberty with your post.
  • While our preference here on Thorns is to write threads in past tense, we understand that there is always a desire to experiment with your writing. You are welcome to experiment so long as your writing partner agrees, and please leave an OOC [offtopic]note[/offtopic] to let your readers know what is happening and why.
  • Please be considerate with the use of styled box codes to express your individual creativity and your character. Attempt to use font choices that are easy to read and color contrast that doesn't give anyone too much of a headache. If you have questions or need help with designing box codes, don't hesitate to ask a moderator!
  • Keep your language in line with the time period - no mentions of computers or machine guns! (See technology.) Refrain from using contemporary slang ("cool", "awesome," "sexy") as well as chatspeak or abbreviations. Also be aware that modern curse words are not used in the same way in the game, and their use can be jarring and take you out of the story.
  • Please try to avoid using OOC in an IC thread. If you must, the OOC code ([offtopic] Example [/offtopic]). Certain solo threads allow for OOC comments in the thread itself, by request of the author; feel free to comment in a reply on these threads, but please use the [offtopic] code. You may allow or disallow comments on your individual lit threads.
  • Try not to make short, one-sentence posts; please write enough to give your readers a sense that they're reading part of a story. Occasionally short replies are necessary, but they shouldn't be habitual. While we do not have a minimum word count, between 250-500 words is a comfortable reply in a collaborative thread, with more words certainly welcome.
  • Do not write about how other characters react to (or feel about) your character, and do not control any Important NPCs.

Actions and Consequences

The biggest thing to remember with this game is that actions have consequences, just like in the real world. If you put your character in a dangerous situation, they can get hurt or even killed. If you harm an NPC, that NPC could try to make your character's life miserable.

Don't take this to mean "never break a rule or hurt anyone." We encourage you to do so! Break the law, start trouble. Just be prepared to deal with the expected and unexpected consequences. So choose your moves carefully. And please don't be offended when a moderator interprets your actions and presents you with the consequences - they're only doing their job.


Roleplaying in Alternative Locations

There are short descriptions of outlying towns and areas in the Geography section; use them to your advantage! If you want to roleplay in a part of Anaxas that has no description yet, please ask a moderator; they can start a thread for you and set the scene.

If you have written a description of a part of Anaxas, please submit it to the Development Section, so that it can be reviewed and made into a playable location!


Roleplaying in the Past

Past RP is a roleplay set in your character's past. The purpose of past RP is to solidify events that impacted your character's history, whether they are relevant to their current plotline or not. They are typically set years into the past.

To start a roleplay in the past, create a new thread with "Memory" in the title. You should specify the time period in which it takes place and include a specific timestamp - view the timeline for a better idea of time passage in Vita. You must also decide the precise location.

Past RP is useful if you are trying to set up a long-time friendship, relationship or competition between characters. It can create strong bonds between PCs, and breaks up the monotony of everyone in the game being new acquaintances. Be sure and hash out a plot with the person or persons you intend to RP with before asking a mod to start your past RP thread.

Since there are limitations to past RP (obviously, your character survives) and it stands the risk of interfering with present-day plots, you might want to make the thread moderator aware of your goals for the thread (aka, you want the RP to explain how your character met their best friend, or came into possession of an aeroship).

An example of how past RP might be useful: your PC runs into another PC in a bar. The two of you get to talking, and your PC realizes that the other guy is his long-lost brother/friend/whatever. In order to provide some background between the two PCs, you create a past RP thread where you work out the details of your relationship - sort of like a flashback in a movie. Then you can continue your current thread or begin a new one.

Past RP threads should be set in the correct section of the forum; for example, if the action took place at Brunnhold, set the thread in Brunnhold. If the location is not available for play, PM a mod.

Be sure to clearly mark that your thread is set in the past. You should include the year in the timestamp.


Moderation Rules

Basic Moderation Rules

  • Moderators have the power to control NPCs and outcomes in threads. You can request that a moderator mod your thread, but you cannot banish them from your thread.
  • If a moderator asks you to rethink or edit a post, do so. This might occur as the result of spelling, grammar or canonical errors.
  • Do not challenge moderator decisions in threads; PM the moderator if you disagree with something that happened.


Assuming Outcomes

You may not assume outcomes that affect the plot of another person. For example, you may not say "Gallius tripped Meghan with his steel-toed boot," but must instead say "Gallius attempted to trip Meghan with his steel-toed boot." The moderator will decide the outcome if asked, or you could discuss the outcome with Meghan's player and decide it for yourselves.


Getting Into Trouble

Help! Help! My character's fallen down a well!

Sometimes this happens. Our setting has fairly clear boundaries for what will get you into trouble; a galdor committing an obvious crime will probably get himself arrested and tried, while a human character mouthing off to a galdor will almost certainly get some quality jail time or a severe beat-down. Picking a fight when you're outnumbered and outskilled will end badly. Even stealing or other crime has its consequences, and you might find yourself staring down the wrong end of the Bad Brothers or running for your life from resistance retaliation.

Here's the reality of the situation: if you put your character in danger, you're going to be in danger, regardless of how much you plead to get out of it via a deus ex machina mod-move. You can choose to rise to the danger and get yourself out of it by arguing, fighting, relying on friends or anything else you can think of, but do not expect the moderators to give you an easy out.

Of course we don't enjoy seeing characters get killed or thrown in prison, but don't rely on our good intentions, especially if you're willingly throwing your character to the bears every chance you get. You and you alone are responsible for the direction your character's story goes. If there is no element of danger, roleplay loses the element of unpredictability, which is almost the only thing that separates it from regular writing.

If your situation is the result of Uncool Moves from another player, we will usually understand. Talk to the moderators and see what can be done. We're not looking to punish anyone, and the ideal situation is one where everyone gets to keep playing. However, your character is not immortal. This is not a video game where you have unlimited lives and a replay button. What you choose matters, and once something is done, it can't be undone.


Character Death

PC death, although it is rare, can and does occur. All actions have consequences, and if you put your character into a dangerous or volatile situation, they stand a chance of being killed. The game is ultimately bound by the laws of physics and realism. If your character leaps into a volcano, for instance, the mods will probably not make your character suddenly impervious to lava or able to fly. You are responsible for judging the situation realistically. If you think your character would die in the situation, you might want to let them die.

If your character is in a life-threatening situation, do not post in any threads that take place at a later game date until the danger has passed.

You can, of course, choose to kill off your own character. Lots of authors do this to great effect.