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Author Topic: The Roleplaying Rules of Hidden Realms  (Read 753 times)

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The Roleplaying Rules of Hidden Realms
« on: June 23, 2013, 09:31:39 PM »
Role-Playing Rules

Free-form Roleplaying

After glancing around the site, you may be asking yourself, "Exactly what is this free form roleplay?" Free form is essentially roleplay without the numerical measurements and overly extensive rules in traditional RPG's such as Dungeons and Dragons. You could think of free form as collaborative story-telling, where each roleplayer writes his or her own character's part, reacting to what has transpired, and contributing to the further development of the story. Detailed and expressive writing is used to "paint" or describe the characters and scenarios being roleplayed.

More information about freeform roleplaying in Hidden Realms can be found here.


Character Design

In order to roleplay, you are required to create a biography, or bio for short, of your character. Character biographies basically serve as something to reference to, and they give you the opportunity to share about your character with others you role-play with on the forum. They can get a little bit more information about your character then what you put into just one or two posts, therefore gleaning insight into the role-playing post and it simply amounts to a better time all around for you and other players.  Characters must be unique to this setting.  They may not be based off other works of fiction, but instead an entirely original creation of your own.

Once your bio is ready, post it in a new topic in the Character Applications board with your character's name in the subject. Your character bio will be critiqued by various moderators and members. Be sure to listen to them as they may have very good points.

Refer to Willem's Approach to Character Creation and read over the Character Creation Guide if you have questions or want some start-up help for how to design your character.

Balance
Power not only corrupts; it seduces, especially in a free form environment. It is far too easy to create characters or creatures or devices of such magnitude of ability and influence that game balance is completely destroyed. The game's stability must be maintained and spirit "Zero-Sum Rule" helps to serve this purpose: Characters must display weaknesses and encounter obstacles, similar to their strengths, to maintain balanced role-playing. It used to be that you character had to follow this rule religiously, but now we ask that you follow its spirit as per the golden rule, we realize that in many aspects of life, characters are imbalanced individuals, as such we require you act responsibly when thinking of you character. If your character enjoys a great power, he should have an equally great weakness, but not must; and if your character can tap into great energies, he must pay an similar great price for their use.  Governing of this will primarily be down to the Keepers of the Gate and on the whole the moderation staff. Most importantly, the negative aspect should manifest itself in the game at least as in a similar frequency as the positive aspect does (in other words, to offset a power that is used regularly, you cannot claim a weakness that is rarely if ever felt).

Most experienced role-players will embrace and agree with this, and would abide by it anyway, of their own accord. For it is well understood that the unrestrained exercise of power ("godding" or power-gaming) appeals only to poor or misguided players, and that truly enriching and rewarding role-playing thrives on the overcoming of personal obstacles and limitations. If you do not understand this rule, just try to abide by it, and you will learn something about role-playing in general.

Posting

Players interact over message forums using the medium of text called posting in writing expressive prose to describe what their characters think, feel and act. Every settled location or significant environment is represented by a forum, and locales within that location each have their own thread (a collection of related posts arranged in a flat linear format). Interacting with fellow characters and an environment controlled by dedicated storytellers, a broader story emerges that outlines your character's experiences within the Realm.

The normal order of posting is: Player 1 posts. Player 2 posts. Player 3 posts. Player 1 posts. Player 2 posts. Player 3 posts. etc. Give other characters time to react to what your character does. Do not attempt to complete an unreasonable number of actions in a single post and not allow time for others to post their reactions before you post more of your own. Occasionally, characters will not post for a period of time. Unfortunately a missing player can greatly disrupt a scene, often completely stalling all the other players in the story. If a player has not returned within a week, permission should be requested from a moderator for other players to remove his character from the scene, but only in such a way that the character might return, or in fact automate small actions of the character in order to account for the progress of the story.

Generally, we encourage players to have some form of agreement before going into an new thread so that they can resolve all of this internally, as generally a moderator request will require them to digest the thread and inform the players how to proceed.

Writing Style

In Hidden Realms, and forums in general, there are some preferences as to how we write: third person, past tense (though present tense is allowed), without chatcodes or shorthand, and using paragraphs. While we do not demand you are a native English speaker, a firm grasp of English and applying it in grammar and spelling is necessary to be able to play this game. You are asked to use a spelling checker before posting. A continued display of a lack of understanding of English may be reason for staff intervention.

Pro-Active
Be very pro-active in starting your own threads and situations, using previously described landmarks and background. Explore the world provided for you. The more observant and active you are with your character, the more opportunity there is for change and growth, both for your character and the story.

Give your fellow members something to work with; take an action, explore the world, seek things out, talk to people. Don't ignore other players in your thread. Chances are that they are there for a reason. Talk to each other. Find the advantages and disadvantages the other PC has.

Find a Calling
In Hidden Realms, there is no way to "win" or "solve" the game; Hidden Realms is a never-ending adventure wherein characters live out their existences amidst the rich backdrop of high fantasy, powerful magic and wondrous adventure. The Quest for Eternity, as it has been called, is the mission that all characters inevitable face: finding a way to make their mark upon the world. Consider how you want your character to become a part of society. Will s/he be a rogue or scoundrel, or an upstanding member of the royal court? Will s/he be a scholar or academic, or perhaps a practical adventurer or treasure-hunter? The limits of what your character can do are defined only by your imagination. If you can envision it, and if it can be realistically done within the context of the game world, then it is possible.

We do not discourage epic scale plots in Hidden Realms, quite the opposite.  However, these must be subject to moderator review, specifically a combination of Guardians of the Forge and Sentinels of the Realm.  Epic plots will take time, should they be met with approval, as often, this will require re-writing parts of the library.  This has been made easier, due to the compartmentalization of the library, but will require the staff to moderate heavily.

Realism
This is a fantasy world, yet we like to follow the consequences of this setting in a logical fashion. This may be a game of magic and heroes, but there are certain guidelines and niceties that we observe. Always keep in mind that in-character actions have in-character consequences and fantasy doesn't mean fairy tale.

Membership of a Guild

You cannot assume being a member of an organization. You will have to role play your entrance. Create a character that would be well suited to the description of the organization. Then as one of the first things let your PC apply in the threads that are in the guild forums.

Dealing with the mundane parts of life

You can assume that all mundane things happen in the background and are on average successful. Taking a bath, buying a loaf of bread, sleeping etc. However if you feel like using it as the background for some interesting roleplaying, by all means be our guest. Perhaps you'll have an interesting conversation with the baker. Or when you sleep a dashing rogue with a rose in his teeth will visit your bedside, who knows?

Facing law enforcement

This is a setting that does have laws. It means that if your character breaks that law by doing something like: stealing, ignoring/attacking guards, killing people, or mindlessly destroying property. The likelihood is that your character will encounter law enforcement. What kind of law enforcement depends on the region you are in. In Elentari it is most likely the Royal Guard, in Andune it's Knights of the Crown, etc.

Please respect the setting.  Naturally you can get away with crime, naturally you can get caught and escape.  The setting was labored over to provide detail for the players to create a story, so please include such accuracy in your posts.

Character Death

Most players don't want their character to die. Yet the risk of death of your character and the tension it creates is part of what makes role playing interesting. So character death is a viable option in Hidden Realms. However it will never be done lightly. There can be PC death without the coordination of a Moderator, but only at the express consent of the characters owner. If you seek another PC's death by open duel or secret assassination without contacting a characters owner first you will be considered a power gamer, impeding on the enjoyment of others in the game.

Starting your own shop, organization or guild.

First of all you must have the skills necessary for your undertaking, whether it be shop, organization or guild. Much like everything in Hidden Realms, we expect you to respect the spirit of the law and the setting itself.  There are different rules when starting a guild, but the above does apply.

Interaction with Player Characters

To be alone or not to be alone. There are opportunities to join in stories with other players that can add a richness and depth to your playing experience. We encourage player interaction. Remember that each player is master of his own character and you should never determine another player's actions, thoughts, feelings, or possessions. Play your own character only. The success and outcome of your actions towards another player may only be determined by that receiving player. For example, you can swing a sword at someone, but you cannot decide if it connects and what the results might be. The other character's player must make those determinations. You, in turn, must make the same determinations for your own character.

Deciding to lose a combat is not necessarily a character loss. There is drama in losing, and those who do so gracefully are often admired more than those who win. Everyone else playing knows that a character loses because their player decided to do so. They also know that death is the players choice, so there is no disgrace in either losing or dying. There are only the paths of high drama. The key that you may wish to follow is in preplanning your combat as an event. If you and your opponent work out a loose script in advance, you can milk the action for a great deal of drama.

Creation of Non-Player Characters

An NPC is a Non-Player Character. This term is a bit of a misnomer, because all characters in our game are controlled by players. We keep the term solely because of its wide usage to distinguish main "Player Characters" (PC's) from characters that are primarily meant to provide story support.

Supporting characters, such as peddlers, well-met travellers, kinfolk, or even a horde of monsters add interest and color to the tales of Hidden Realms, and may be incorporated into storylines. These characters are considered to be temporary, however, and are generally used only to support the player's main character or storyline activity. A more permanent supporting role, such as a sidekick or a familiar, is permissible as well.

While NPCs do not require any form of submission to the character applications, they should be created within the same spirit of the law.  It is fine to have villain who out-powers a PC, but having a side-kick of immense power that a PC can unleash on their enemies is not in the spirit of the law.

Prohibited NPCs

The following are prohibited without moderator approval:

  • Deities, Demigods, and the Ultra-Powerful:
    Celestial and infernal creatures, planar creatures who exist on other realms operating outside of the standard laws of existence, and any other constituent creatures or characters thereof cannot be utilized. This furthermore includes any temporary or partial manifestation of said creature thereof, including gods, demigods, planetars, demons, angels, and any and all of their minions.

    Creatures of great power, serving as antagonists to a story are fine, so long as they fit within the bounds of the world.  Said creatures are not acceptable as side side-kicks or 'tools' for a player to use.
  • Storyline Specific Non Player Characters:
    Major characters that are specific to ongoing game world storylines, such as the royals families, prominent rulers and governments, leaders of foreign powers or factions, and any constituent non player characters thereof, are prohibited from being utilized.

    Exceptions to this are during prior approved epic plot lines.
  • Previously Created Non Player Characters:
    Existing NPC's created and used by fellow players may not be controlled by any other player without the creator's consent. These NPC's generally have a name, qualities, and features distinguishing it from just a face in the crowd. Exceptions may be made in the case of the absense of that player.

Credits

  • Original Concept and Write-up: Zivilyn
  • Revised Edition: Davin Ragal & Zyrphath
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 07:49:48 AM by Davin Ragal »