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Setting Policies

Setting Creation Guidelines

Creating a new setting is not a small feat. It will take a lot of work to ensure all the bases are covered. Not only that but the content also must prove to be interesting to a decent portion of the Player population to ensure the setting will thrive after its implementation, and we also must make sure that when the setting is design it will be done so in a way to keep going even if the population interested in it changes.

The guidelines in place that will hopefully help provide the means to have a very solid starting foundation help keep things consistent and easier to expand over time within the new setting.

A minimum of 40HXP is recommended to officially propose a new setting. This is to ensure the proposer has spent time within the community and has become familiar with its interests and needs. This also ensures the proposer is also familiar with the various Site Policies that are required as part of a new setting.

A new setting can not be proposed when a current active setting is being majorly updated/patched. This is to prevent the staff and players from being too spread out in terms of attention. Our currently established settings need to have priority over any potential new ones to ensure that play in those settings are not disrupted. If unsure if any of the established settings are in the process of a major update or patch just ask.

There are three phases in proposing a new setting:

    1) The pitch - Following the Setting Creation Guidelines the new setting will need to be posted on the Setting forums for discussion and review to make make sure all guidelines are followed and all major elements have been addressed and thought out. This is also a way to help gain player interest in the proposed setting.

    2) Playtesting - If the proposed Setting passes the initial pitch, then it will head on to a playtesting phase. This phase will take two years. During that time 2 SH's and 5 Players must consistently play (No less then 50% activity in the duration of the 2 years) in the setting and ensure it is thoroughly tested and developed.
    During the play testing the

    3) Establishment - If the proposed Setting succeeds its playtest phase then it will be considered fully established.

Pitch Requirements:

  • Clear genre / mood / tone serving a new slice of player-base interest.
      Each setting on the site should differ from each other to feed a variety of interests and to keep one setting from ‘stealing’ players from another. This will also help keep players from potentially getting bored with all the settings, so there must be enough difference between the established settings and the new setting for it to fill a niche, to provide something that the site does not already offer in play.
  • Relative Timeline
      Must have major events that could affect a character background. It doesn’t have to be super in depth but just enough information to get an idea on the general history of the setting and to help keep things consistent when its content starts expanding. Also has to be enough to allow players a relative idea on what to base their character backgrounds on.
  • Relative Geography
      Doesn’t have to be super detailed, but enough to provide a solid framework to help get an idea of what exists, to give players a good idea on where everything is located in general, and help keep things consistent when the content is expanded on.
  • Minimum 1 location for central RP
  • Minimum 2 groups or nations for players to be from
  • Support the “four” types: rogue, wizard, cleric, fighter (reskinned as appropriate for the setting)
      In essence the setting can not prevent any kind of basic character type concept, or force certain concepts into a character. Players must have the freedom to play a type of character as interests them.
  • Clear and concise explanations of major elements of the Setting and what to expect from them.
      While such work will continue during the existence of the Setting, when first being proposed any major elements need to be well documented, especially if they are elements of which will cause potential confusion (such as removing certain everyday concepts we experience in our own lives). This works as a kind of check for costs vs benefits of Setting elements. Keep in mind: The time and effort spent to explain to players. The risk of alienating and distancing the player. The risk of cutting off potential story avenues.

    In addition to the pitch requirements a new setting needs:

    Minimum 2 SHs willing to run regularly in the setting for two years

      This is to prevent one SH holding all the cards and potentially screwing over players in a variety of ways. This will also ensure more diversity in what the setting may potentially offer players. In addition it is good to have that kind of responsibility and work load spread out as much as possible

    Minimum 5 players interested in playing regularly in the setting

      This is to ensure there is a good mix of skills for play in the setting, and opportunity for play in the setting both in casual and session based play. Also we need to make sure there is enough potential interest in the setting to make it worth the time and effort to launch and maintain it for a long term.

In Game Religions, Deities and their agents Handling Policy

In Game Religions, Deities and their agents Handling Policy

Earlier in Vaxia’s history gods and god-like entities were playable NPCs, and the abuses that resulted from that arrangement led to the nulling of god-like influence to re-establish character freedom and the importance of player choices as paramount. Due to the actions taken in the past we had to reconsider how we handle and have religions, gods and related agents in the game to prevent a repeat of such events.

For obvious reasons, an A/SH bringing an actual god or demigod into the IC world can complicate things especially if mishandled. We also do not want to force a player to be stuck with just one kind of religious theme to play. Thus it was decided that gods and god-like entities are no longer available for active play and to let religions be fairly open-ended from a play standpoint, allowing our players to have many options to work with.

This is also applied to anything that is tied to gods, such as angels and demons. Their presence affirms the existence of that god and are the agents of their interactions. Gods and their agents can stop characters from directing their own fate, which violates the principle of freedom and player choice. In addition angels and demons tend to lack free will, or it is very diminished, and tend to have a predetermined fate and role as set by the associated god or gods. These violate our playable species rules, and can threaten player choices, along with the problems with gods. Thus angels, demons and similar concepts are unavailable to be an option as a PC or NPC.

We do not have a maximum cap on Stats - meaning with enough XP, players can pump their stat numbers as high as they want to. When you have actual gods in a game, with defined stats and mights you are setting the bar for godhood in a measurable sense. When a character reaches the same numbers, they become literally godlike, which often leads to an arms race to keep gods above and beyond PCs. This can lead to wanting to create gods without numbers or numbers so large that make them completely untouchable regardless of PC efforts - something that violates our Fairness principle, and often Fun and Freedom along with it. The same can be said for agents of gods as well. Per our NPC policy: If the NPC is not beatable - then it's a setting fixture not a NPC and shouldn't be used in play.

There is no easy way to balance deity interaction - it’s the nature of being godlike. The decision to keep gods and godlike entities from directly influencing the IC world is an OOC one to maintain balance and preserve character freedom. Religions do exist, players are free to have their characters call creatures they encounter “angels” or “demons” if they wish to - they may even believe their magic comes from a divine source. What matters is that out-of-character, those influences remain out of play.

See Also:

Half Demonic or Angelic Characters Handling

In the Sirian a half demon or angel type character in any form is not allowed as they do not fit within the theme of the setting.

In Vaxia such characters will have to reviewed on a case by case basis with Setting and the end result will not actual be a 'true' half demon or angel - after all there are many other beings that can be confused as 'angels' or 'demons', so one of their parents may be something that was just confused as one. The character will still able to believe they are a half demon or angel - it is just about keeping those influences out of play OOCly.

See Also:
Setting Approval for PCs


Character Background Limitations

Character Background Limitations

While we do not have many strict rules in place regarding character backgrounds - after all we want people to be as free as possible to be as creative as they want to be! - there are some limitations we have to have. This is largely to ensure that the player is aware of what to expect when they begin playing their character and to ensure that no one tries to sneak something in that doesn't quite fit the setting or gives them something without having to pay or earn it. After all it is just like our Character Creation guide says: These are starting characters.

Character backgrounds must have enough information to give us an idea of where the character comes from and how they fit into the setting. It is entirely to ok to have ‘no one knows this’ information in a background. The character background is only visible to A/SHs and the character owner. So information that is in a character background is not automatically known by other characters - unless your character tells them, or they do some digging into your character’s past. There is a public information section where you can put in information that is completely public and with little to no work another character can find out, but the background is not considered public information.

Once a character is approved you can not just go and add stuff at random to a character background. Expanding on information that is already there is fine, even adding in some smaller elements that really don’t affect anything is ok. -However- major elements (ie being part of some secret government program, related to some major noble, etc) that have a notable effect need to be presented at time of creation especially as many such elements can be subject to Setting oversight and could have changed if the character would have been approved or not.

Amnesia is considered a condition that requires Setting approval, but a player must still provide a background as if they did not have the condition. There are some additional requirements as well and for more information please refer to Setting Approval for Mental Disorders

There are also some background elements that we can not allow due to them possibly giving the character an unearned or unpaid for perk/advantage. When you make a character in either of the settings - their story is just beginning, even if they are getting some transfer XP - they are still considered a starting character. Such characters are starting at the standard starting point (in terms of econ 25, and reputation neutral/0 with everyone). Certain elements - like certain ranks in an organization or certain levels of nobility or being super rich/powerful/famous require something beyond the starting level and therefore can not be allowed. However there are alternatives! Such elements could be mentioned - but there has to be an event that makes that character have to start back at the standard starting level - perhaps their family was well off but they ended up losing everything; the character used to be famous, but something happened and they fell out of the spotlight and their work has fallen into obscurity and now they have to start all over. Certain levels of nobility/caste/ranks are also well within the reach of starting - especially as there is many that are just about having a title and really nothing else. The thing to remember when considering such elements is that they can not elevate a character beyond the starting point.

See Also:


Recent Setting Changes

The following is a summary of some of the major changes the Setting Department has under gone in order to better serve the community of Vaxia.

You'll find detailed summaries under the spoiler tags.

Vaxia: Yeeks retconned to be a type of goblin instead of an individual species.

The yeeks were removed from play a couple of years ago, however there are some parts of the story of the world where a couple of them are still prevalent and have had an impact. With the update to species guidelines for play and their presence as NPCs, it has been decided that yeeks were not a separate species, but a type of goblin in order to offer more variety for a goblin type character.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
Yeeks were a new playable species introduced a few years back. They had an incredible short life span but at the time they filled a niche. In time they became the target or jokes and was not taken very seriously. There was also little interest in playing a yeek, and access was generally restricted. A couple years ago Yeeks were removed completely from play in the game. No reasoning was left as to why. However there are a handful of yeek NPCs which hold important seats within the setting and have a relevant influence. With this in mind the decision was made to retcon Yeeks into a type of goblin instead of a unique species. This enables Goblins to have more variety for play, we can keep those yeek NPCs and have an understandable background for them, and yeeks in their original design were close to goblins with some slight differences which make them perfect to become a goblin sub type.

Vaxia - Halflings merged into Dwarves and Gnomes

The species of halflings offered nothing unique when compared to dwarves and Gnomes Thus halflings were merged into those other two species in order to also help expand the cultural and physical options of those species. The term halfling will now be considered to be referring to a dwarf or gnome, or someone of a small height in comparison.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The original halflings that existed in the Vaxia setting were taken directly from the Dungeons and Dragons type of halfling, and the old wiki article even contained that information. With the new species guidelines we have in place there was no cultural background to build up for halflings. Often they were thrown in with dwarves and gnomes as being culturally similar, but having slightly different appearances.

Also due to the high number of species in the Vaxia setting, and the fact that halflings did not have a distinct culture of their own to build from. The halfling species has been removed, and instead anything that would fit the physical appearance of a halfling/hobbit is a variation of a gnome or dwarf.
This enables us to have more versatility of those other two species and more room for cultural variances as per our guidelines and the direction we are going with the game setting.

Any historical references to halflings will be changed to gnome or dwarf pending on the context.

No more dedicated 'personal' pages to Player Characters in the wiki.

Player characters can still be referenced in some articles, so long as the information is relevant to that article. Any detailed family layouts or history, and expanded information on a player character belongs on their sheet and not in the wiki.

Spoiler: Highlight to view
The site's information has undergone quite a few over hauls, however the wiki format seems to be working out pretty good. We also have a lot more tracking available, such as in session reports we have actual links to the character pages of the characters involved, and our character sheets are a bit more dynamic and as we new fields added it can be done (For example we now have public information slots where players and A/SHs can put information in about a character that could easily be found out by the public, allowing for character backgrounds to have more information that may be not so easy to find in public, and even the player notes.)

Sessions are now automatically attached to a timeline: http://vaxia.org/wiki/timelines?field_realm_value=Vaxia#175
Which is wonderful as that means less time we have to spend updating every little thing and risk excluding someone by accident (that is A LOT of information to track folks, and some characters do fall through the cracks when doing it manually).

To me all of these changes make it less necessary to have player character information in the wiki.
I can understand wanting to be able to link to a page so people can know whom an article may be referring to - however I think that is best solved by just linking to the character page (Not entirely sure how troublesome that may be from the tech end but yeah.)

We also have to consider what happens when a player stops playing that character as discussed here:

I would like to recommend removing player character pages from the wiki and just having all that information on their sheets.

    This would ensure the player has control over the information about their character (as some players didn't even know their character had a page in the wiki). This also means that someone else can't go in and change that information when the player is not around.

    Should that player leave for whatever reason, this also ensures that another player may not 'kidnap' the character as it may possibly be mistaken it for a NPC.

    The timelines automatically track anything that is put in as a session report - so that information is already up for all to see.
    This help furthers the idea of a player must be around and somewhat active to keep their character presence known.

    Also this would mean we wouldn't have to go through and put up pages for every single character. Every character affects the world in some way, it isn't fair just to have pages for a select few and not everyone. Even the smallest action may change the course of something bigger - this should be left to the auto-updating timeline.

    Players can email themselves their characters, so they can have a copy of that information on hand (forgot about this one). http://vaxia.org/forums/new-features

Should a player turn their character into a NPC then that would be cause to put that information up in the wiki, as that is what we are trying to encourage with NPCs - to make them all open. So such NPC pages give us all the information we need to be able to pick up those NPCs and keep on playing. So when a character is turned into one - they must follow that format as well. This is just so we can keep things a moving.

I also think it is fine to make such pages for characters of a player that has passed away - we actually have had a case like this. Such situations come on suddenly, and well you just never know. (This is also why we encourage everyone to write things down at least some place someone else can see so that information can continue). In such a case, especially if there was like no 'will' left, the site can safely turn those characters to NPC status to help keep what projects the player's characters may have started or been involved going, meaning we would need that character information somewhere on hand to keep them 'alive' so to speak.


I think there are circumstances where it's warranted to have a PC on a wiki page, for example should the PC be elected to an important office or somesuch. But beyond those very limited circumstances, I would really prefer to keep PCs out of the wiki as much as possible, or at least quarantine them. For a new player, the wiki is THE way to make heads or tails of the world, and if it's spammed with a million 'personal' pages, it loses that functionality.

To clarify: This is about removing a dedicated wiki page to a player character - not removing PCs from being mentioned in the wiki completely (hence the suggestion about seeing how hard it would be to link character pages). So this is more about cleaning out 'personal' pages and letting that information be on the character sheets.

So if a PC starts up a group, they will still be mentioned, and any major information relevant to the organization will still go up. Etc. Just that they will not have a 'personal' page like our NPCs have for the reasons mentioned in the op. This would also apply if a PC got into a major position of some sorts, and other cases where such mentioning would be warranted. (just wanted to add that in, as my example was kind of limited)

Vaxia: Replacing the old magic school categories with more open and broad themes/flavors

By moving to a more theme or flavor idea of magic, players have more variety and freedom to build magic skills. Limitations are covered by the System itself and the three aspects rule.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view
    The old way of trying to group everything magic could do into specific schools made things very messy. Some schools were way too broad and others were way too narrow. This was not fair and it also took away some player freedom in their skill condition. Such a grouping also tended to override System, which it should not do. Thus by moving to thinking about magic groupings in more like themes we open up more ways to encourage creativity skill making, streamline ruling, and remove arbitrary restrictions that made no sense.

The old philosophy of 'Seeing' no longer used or accepted for site decision making.

What it says on the tin. 'Seeing' is a personal philosophy, and not appropriate for making site decisions. The original announcement is here:

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    For older players, you may be very familiar with the concept of "Seeing". The newer, are not. So first, a quick overview: In "Seeing", the A/SH doesn't consider himself as much of a creator or a "god", deciding who lives and who dies and what happens next, but more of an "observer" impartially communicating the consequences of actions. And the players are generally considered to be doing the same, impartially communicating the actions of their characters.

    It may have started out as a method to try and explain what the difference was between "In Character" and "Out Of Character" and possibly even as a means to introduce people to what role-playing is in general. In truth over time many people became confused on what exactly the philosophy was and there were several versions running around.

    However over the years the concept has changed and has become a source of confusion and abuse. It was removed from the A/SH course since we moved to the Drupal site in 2013, but lacking a formal announcement many of our older players have brought the concept back into play or made it clear they were still operating under the "Seeing" concept.

    In short the old philosophy of "Seeing" will no longer be used as far as Setting is concerned on Vaxia.org and will not be accepted as a valid argument in decisions made by the Setting department from this moment forward.

    Some more details on why we've made this decision:

    Over time, "Seeing" became a go-to excuse that allowed people to separate themselves from the consequences of their character's actions. It was used all too often in the form of 'I couldn't stop my character, I have no control over them, I just saw them do it.' This allowed players, or A/SHs to duck any responsibility for their own choices so that they could avoid blame, or blame others for the decision made.

    It was also used to justify decisions made in the Setting that made no sense whatever in the context and allowed for the arbitrary approval (or disapproval) of setting elements so long as someone could make a convincing argument on how they 'saw' it. Worse, it was often the fallback to justify favoritism and biased decision making, even if the game system said otherwise.

    It even leaked into the A/SH Course there were A/SHs that didn't have a very good grasp on the game system and would instead invoke the philosophy of "Seeing" as a way to perform their rulings. I.E. having someone succeed even though by the dice and numbers they failed or having someone fail a task even though they succeeded. While 'fudging' the dice happens in sessions, it should be an exception not the standard by which an A/SH operates.

    It quickly became a tool used to remove agency from players and A/SHs who were not in the "in crowd", and to avoid responsibility on the part of those invoking "Seeing". It became a tool used by those in power to secure that power.

    This is a problematic philosophy to have at the center of any game and setting development because the truth is we DO have control over our characters, our settings, and our decisions. And we DON'T have the right to take the agency of others away from them.

    To simply say "I see it happening like this, so it must happen like this" tends to violate the settings we have and often the game system as well. This use of seeing has led to some content being added that was not very thought out, some that made no sense, or some that has been changed so much the original concept has been lost over time.

    In matters of adding IC content, we simply cannot arbitrarily add content. It must fit within the flavor and intended genres of the setting as well as within the guidelines of the game system. It must make sense and we must have a way in place to ensure we have a protocol for people to be able to add in well thought out content. Ideally, submitted material that is rejected should be rejected with clear guidance on why it failed to be approved, and what could be done to make it more fitting for a later submission. This is why we are steadily working towards detailed Pitch requirements for content, so that our Setting department has a way to judge if a new element is ready and fits the setting.

    While in play, we do keep to what is "In Character"- but there are limits! Especially in situations where not all the players may be comfortable in continuing. There are always consequences to deal with in regards to the character's action that may also have an OOC effect. How we deal with those consequences is how we manage our expectations and disappointments in regards to what happen "In Character".

    In addition, we must respect other player's boundaries. Some forms of role-play some players will have no interest or comfort in participating in. To use the excuse 'I can't stop my character' violates those boundaries and is disrespectful to other players. This is why we request that players get consent, enthusiastically, before hand. The Social Department may want to go into more detail on that in the future to provide guidelines on situations where you may want to check in with your fellow players to make sure they're on board with the scene.

    In regards to the game system we simply just cannot have people eyeballing the numbers or flat out ignoring them, especially in matters that can affect the Settings. In casual RP this a lesser issue, but even still a habit we would like to try and avoid in general, as it is in effect cheating in most situations. It isn't fair to the players in a session to develop these habits either. The System Department may have more to say on that matter as well.

    System's take:

    No major additions from a System side, just to reemphasize that a character's abilities from a system standpoint are reflected only by their numbers and the descriptions of their skills, and should be used according to the rules of the site. For instance, Elves do not automatically get keen senses or an affinity for magic just because a given player sees elves that way. Those are abilities which have to be paid for and written into a skill just like any other. Someone who sees their character's magic as being natural and automatic still needs to roll it to use it, etc.

    Similarly, we encourage SHs to run sessions for the enjoyment of the players, not out of a sense of obligation to the metaphysical characters and NPCs involved. Any fudging of numbers or choice not to call for a roll at any given time should be done out of a sense of fun for the players only, not out of courtesy to the characters themselves, and should follow the same guidelines outlined in the SH Course

    System wholeheartedly supports dropping 'seeing' as a basis for site decisions. Individuals are welcome to whatever philosophy they find harmony with, but in terms of a basis for site decisions, 'seeing' is simply not an appropriate approach.

Content Creation Guidelines and Templates

We are developing a set of standards to judge submitted material by. That way we can clearly say why something is or is not ready for play and give guidance on how to improve it. Submission guidelines for content are available here: http://vaxia.org/wiki/posting-templates-and-content-creation-guides and http://vaxia.org/wiki/setting-policies

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    With moving all of our Setting reference material to a wiki format we needed a way to make sure all that information for both settings was following the same format. This to make our reference materials as clear and easy to follow as possible. This also helps ensure that content for either setting is not arbitrarily added and that all facets of the settings have as much information out there as possible to maintain the tone and theme of the settings.

    This also helps the Setting leads in having a way to help explain why and what would cause them to not accept content as it was submitted, so the content may be revised to something acceptable.

The transitioning of the voice setting information in the wiki from IC to OOC

Our reference material will be in OOC voice from here on out, to provide an authoritative answer for Storyhosts in a shared world. IC material will be considered story or biased source only.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    In the past our setting reference material was handled in the ICpedia format - which was where all reference material had to be re-written in an IC voice by characters and NPCs. While a potentially fun project and could provide some IC flavor, the IC voice does not provide the kind of concrete information needed to help introduce new players to the setting and made it difficult to make sure everyone was on the same page.

    With the move to a wiki format for our reference material the voice of the materials are going to be put into an OOC voice. This is to ensure that the information is concrete to help players know the setting and what expect when they play in them.

    Anything in an IC voice once that is done will be considered a story and is merely there to help provide some flavor should a player desire to play off of that, but that information is not more then just flavor and not considered the official information.

The development of policy for characters that require Setting approval

We've expanded on the requirements to get approval for characters and set guidelines for when those approvals are needed. Setting Approval for PCs and Setting Approval for Conditions

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    The past methods of approving characters that fell under 'Other' or had specific conditions felt too arbitrary and had high risk of being abused, or having favoritism shown. In order to alleviate those feelings and ensure a more fair method of approving characters that required Setting approval a policy was developed to follow.

    There are some additions to what would require Setting approval beyond species that are not on the standard list (our species drop down on our character sheets reflect the current standard list) and certain conditions. Conditions are something that can affect any species.

    Current conditions that require approval:

    Both Settings:

    • Mental Disorders Setting Approval for Mental Disorders http://vaxia.org/forums/new-condition-mental-disorder-rfc

    • Underage Characters (both actual age and appearance) This is mostly a legal precaution as any mature roleplay with a character that is a child or even looks like a child may catch legal attention and be flagged as child porn which is a legal nightmare. There is also the need to make sure the player is ok with potentially their character having their consent taken away from them as older characters would treat them like a child in the real world would be.


    • Werebeastism

    • Vampirism


Sirian becoming a Hard Sci-Fi setting

The tone, theme and setting of Sirian setting is being moved to a more hard sci-fi feel.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    This is to provide a truly different feeling setting for our players to play in from the Vaxia setting. We already have the fantasy fans covered - we need to get more of the sci-fi fans set up with a setting they can enjoy. This means taking down some of the less-grounded elements in the Sirian setting - such as magi-tech and Star Wars style fantasy-in-sci-fi robes.

    For more information on what is hard sci-fi visit: http://vaxia.org/wiki/hard-sci-fi

Crowd Sourcing Setting Projects

We are actively encouraging player development! The Setting leads are more like editors than sole-creators of content. We'll be regularly setting up Setting projects to fill gaps in the settings.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    The Setting leads are not the sole creators of content for the settings of this site. Their role is largely that of an editor where they make sure that content created by the players match the theme and tone of the setting as well as that content follows the templates and guidelines that are developed. It is also worth repeating that this also means Setting leads must also explain why and what would cause them to not accept content as it was submitted, so the content may be revised to something acceptable.

    Any player is welcomed, and even encouraged, to create content for either of the settings of the site.
    On occasion the Setting leads will post up a crowd source project when we are looking for contributions for specific content projects for a setting or even both settings. It is a great opportunity to try your hand in adding to our community. All contributions will be evaluated and will be worked with to try and make the contribution work.

Working with Storyhosts as a Team

We want Storyhosts on the site to view their efforts here as a team. We want the A/SH crew to work together as a group to keep the settings moving and vibrant.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    That means if you get stuck on a saga, you should feel free to call in a second for help. If your saga and another's saga cross over - that's a good thing. Keeps things up and unexpected for the players.

    It also means if you have secrets about an NPC or an item: We *need* you to share them with the team. If you ever find yourself writing down "please see me for details" you're doing it wrong - that's what the private SH notes for NPCs, PCs, and Items are for

    If it's not written down, it doesn't exist and Setting may fill it in regardless of the original intentions of the SH.

Encouraging Use of Open NPCs as the Standard

Going along with the SH teamwork - we want to encourage use of Open NPCs in smaller regular roles to give players a familiar world to play in. In addition, all major NPCs are to be Open NPCs and are not individually owned.

    Spoiler: Highlight to view

    An open NPC is basically a NPC that can be accessed by all A/SHs. The more we use and re-use the same NPCs as quest givers or even just casual interaction (the same bar maid or the like) the more we can convey a consistent and engaging world for our players. The more the players will get to know their 'regulars' and the more likely we can inter-weave plots. Ideally almost all NPCs should be considered for open-NPC status if possible.

    What is meant by a major NPC is like a king, or empress, military commander,etc. In essence it is a NPC that is seen as a major figure head or aspect in the setting. These kinds of NPCs tend to be the givers of major plots, would be involved in many storylines of the setting, and are a large part of the consistency of the world they exist in. Hence it is important that everyone can access these NPCs. This also ensures that no matter what happens to a SH we can keep the major aspects of the setting up to date, involved, and keep the plots that players are involved with those figure heads going.





Player Character to Player Character IC Relationships

The following are the basic rules and guidelines to help players manage their character relationships with other player characters in the game.

Why is this important?
To protect and ensure player boundaries are respected
To ensure a player is not taken advantage of
To help manage expectations

Just like in life there are many kinds of relationships that may develop ICly between characters: child-parent, sibling, romantic, employer-employee, protective, etc, are just some examples. These may put a player character in an authoritative position over another player character. This is a lot of responsibility and work both OOCly and ICly and can easily end up hurting another player if one is not careful.

Player boundaries take precedence above all else when it comes to these kinds of relationships, especially as between some characters it can become quite negative. Some players may not be interested or unable to pursue certain types of rp for any reasons. It doesn’t matter if the character would do it, if the player doesn’t want to do that kind of roleplay, do not force them to. It can be extremely harmful for the player to be put in that kind of situation. Even if they do not share the specifics for their reasons, they are to be respected.

So if a player says no, then do not do it. No comes in many forms, the rule is - unless there is an absolute and clear yes that they are ok with the direction of the relationship rp as is, anything else should be taken as a no - period.

A player wishing to partake of such relationship rp must make regular OOC check ins with the other player(s) to make sure they are ok with the direction and tone of the RP as it progresses, as well as to make they are not blocking the player’s ability to play their character. Never assume that the other player will be ok with any change in the rp, even if it is a type of rp they have done before, always ask!

When a player comes along that is not aware of the relationship and what the players have agreed upon, the players involved in the relationship should make sure that the other player is made aware of what could happen, and why some of the roleplay may go the direction it does. This is to help prevent the unaware player from feeling uncomfortable in the situation, and understand that everything going on in the RP is ICly and agreed upon.

If at any time a player becomes uncomfortable or feeling like their boundaries have not been respected with the relationship or begins to feel like they are being blocked and can’t do anything on their character due to the relationship they are encouraged to start a conversation with the other player(s) involved and let them know. This way the players can work out an alternative way to take the rp to resolve this. If the players on their own can not come to a resolution, then the player is encouraged to bring the situation to the attention of Social. Social can assign them a mediator to help come to a compromise or to help work out an exit strategy from the IC relationship with Setting on hand to advise as needed. Remember at any time a player has the right to opt out of an IC relationship.

  • A player can not control a character that is not theirs.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to prevent another player from taking the involved character to sessions.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to prevent another player from rping with other players on the involved character or other rp in general.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to force another player to give their character items or silver.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to force another player to do RP topics that they do not want to participate in.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to harass, abuse, or threaten another player OOCly.

A player is not obligated to play out every single moment of any kind of relationship or employment and can not be force to do so.

Underaged PC relationships

    Underaged is defined as any character that is physically or mentally under the age of 18 or even looks under the age of 18. In these games underaged is flagged as a special condition that requires Setting approval in order to play. This is due to that in that some scenes underage characters are not appropriate for as well as the expectations of many IC interactions from both PCs and NPCs already put older characters in a kind of authoritative position over the underage character.
    Underage characters are not permitted to partake in romantic or erotic RP. It may be implied, but it can not actually be roleplayed out on this site ever.
    Players of underage characters should be prepared for their character to be treated like a child at any time. This can manifest in many ways but usually in the form of being commanded to do something with no explanation, to leave a potentially bad or extremely dangerous scene, physically be dragged away from something perceived as harmful or to get them out of harm's way, or scolded or reprimanded for their actions. Setting will cover these expectations with the player submitting an underage character after reviewing the character and the player’s history. This is to ensure the player understands what may happen in play, and to encourage them to open OOC channels with other players to let them know what is ok to do to exercise authority over their character and that they expect it.

    Players interacting with an underage PC should keep in mind ways to also exercise their character’s authority over the underage in a way to help keep them involved in the session or rp in some way. Checking in with the player of the underage PC with a heads up on what may happen is highly encouraged.

Employment of a PC by a PC

In addition to the above there are some extra rules in regards to IC employment between PCs.

    The hiring process is handled like a recruitment session between a NPC and a player. The players of the characters involved will make a request on the SH forums for a SH to run the numbers and officiate the hiring for them. The PC employer should ask questions related to the position being offered as well as request a demonstration of the potential PC employee’s skills that would apply to the job. At the end the SH may recommend an econ score boost, but the PC employer shall determine what is earned if the potential PC employee was hired. Then the SH will record the recruitment on the forums and make any adjustments to the econ score as needed or available. (This follows the same rules as other econ score bonuses and can not go past the +15 max gain per character.).

    If the PC employer plans to give the employee a raise or promotion, there should be RP to point to that shows the promotion was earned. In cases where there is the possibility of an econ boost it must also be handled like a recruitment session so there is a record. If there is no boost to econ or other character Stats then a scene can be made to help record the RP that proves the promotion was earned. Similarly, to demote or fire someone, there should be an IC reason to point to, and can also be made into a scene to help keep a record.

    The PC employer player can not make one of the terms of employment to have the PC employee give their employer a set amount silver or demand their PC employee make their character items because they work for them. This is in essence forcing another player to give them silver or items. ICly it is already implied that the PC employee is already contributing to the business in some manner, and while it could be said that the employer does take something (especially in regards to commission) no actual exchange of silver or items takes place.

    This policy also helps keep PC employers as a viable option for other PCs for work, as if a PC employer takes away actual silver or items, this will make a PC employer less appealing than a NPC employer - who gets no actual silver or items and still provides all the perks of being employed. The perk of a PC hiring a PC is the opportunity for RP and collaboration for those characters.

Be sure to also review the rules on Transfer of items or money between characters for additional considerations linked to IC relationships.

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'Rule of immortality'. The idea was the following: All mortal things that live, and are meant to die, must die. Rather simple. Now, the point is the following: Whenever you bargain in some way for Immortality it comes along with a price tag. As one can't exist 'alive' forever. This isn't about 'resurrecting', as with resurrecting you'd still be mortal. It's about when you become immortal in the above sense. The price can have multiple things, but in the end it comes to the fact that you have to take the 'life' in some way from somewhere. In the case of Vampires that happens in a very physical way like with drinking blood (as a life essence). For Lichs it is the loss of the soul, conscience, ability to feel emotions, among other things.

This is mostly due to the simple fact that mortals aren't fit to be immortal, so you have to trick the universe greatly in order to get the universe to believe you don't die.





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