Rules, Guidelines, and Joining.   Posted by Truth Construct.Group: public
Truth Construct
 GM, 2 posts
 Red Pill
 Blue Pill
Thu 7 Jan 2021
at 22:57
Rules, Guidelines, and Joining
This game will start as freeform and gradually introduce homebrewn rules.  I'll be using Classic Battletech RPG as a base, because it's my favorite ruleset, and is very comprehensive and realistic.  I'll also be open to suggestions and feedback from players when that time comes.

Fundamental Principles
At the core of all roleplaying are two concepts, Storytelling and Acting.  Whenever I introduce new players, I like to focus on these before introducing die rolls and stats.  You play a character and act in-character to tell a story.  Once I'm confident that a player fully grasps the fundamentals we can introduce more complex elements.

There are two primary rules, no Godmodding, and no Metagaming.  Many roleplayers are very loose on these two things.  Understanding them is the mark of good roleplaying.

Godmodding is the concept of playing your character like a god.  This generally means, being overpowered, effortlessly succeeding at everything, and controlling another player's character.  Human nature is inherently flawed, and coming to terms with human flaws and limitations will enhance your understanding of life and of yourself.  True power comes from understanding weakness.  In fiction, unlike real life, characters on the page can't actually exert any effort.  They have no will of their own.  They succeed or fail at anything the author says they do simply by it being written.  That is why it's not an accomplishment for a character to succeed at a difficult feat.  Rather, the skill of the author and their understanding of reality are portrayed by accurately representing struggle, adversity, and weakness.  In freeform, when there are no die rolls, never declare the results of your actions against another player.  Always describe your attempt and let the other player determine the result it has on them.  Assuming you succeed at something is the essence of Godmodding.  However, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of things you can reasonably assume you succeed at, say tying your shoe for example.  The rule you should always keep in your head is this; If with enough time and no pressure, can you safely assume you have enough skill to succeed at a given task?  If the answer is no, and there is a chance for failure, that is where die rolling would come into play.  In the case of Freeform, where there are no die rolls, you infer the result from the GM or, in the case where you're competing against another player, you infer the result from the other player.

Metagaming is the act of transmitting player knowledge to character knowledge.  It's important, in understanding the limitations of your character, to separate what you know from what your character knows.  It's no easy task, and something that can really only be learned gradually over time through practice.  If you don't have a reasonable in-game explanation for how your character knows something, then your character can't know it.  The challenge will be in how well you can act that out.  For example, if you know there's an enemy on the other side of the door, you have to ask yourself, how much caution would my character take if I didn't know that?  Might they still be very cautious, or just walk in without any suspicion at all?  Metagaming is something that can often be hard to identify, but I always want to make sure that all of my players are making a conscious effort.

If I see slack on these two rules, then I will message those players with a friendly reminder.  If I see too much slack and an unwillingness to make the effort, I will remove such players from the game after several attempts to reason with them.

When it comes to writing quality, I don't have any specific standards, except that you must write in third person past tense, and do not write your character's thoughts or emotions.  Instead of writing that your character is sad, for example, you should write that they are crying, or look miserable, or some kind of description of what other people would see that can infer your emotions.  You should not write your thoughts because other people can't read your mind and shouldn't know what you're thinking.  There are no standards on the quality of writing, but what I look for is effort and creativity.  If you're doing your best, and I see that you're steadily improving, that will be more important to me than if you're a particularly talented writer.  If I see people making lazy posts and one-liners, and that their heart is clearly not in it, then I'm going to send them a friendly private message asking them what's going on.  People often loose their drive and their inspiration in these games, and it can be hard to maintain the initial zeal.  But it's more important to me that people spend more time on their posts, and take longer if they need to, then post uninspired content lacking passion.  If you run out of steam, or real life is taking up too much of your time to post, feel free to take a break and come back whenever you want.  Quality is what I look for, not quantity.  Please don't post just for the sake of it out of a sense of obligation.

When I run games it's often a challenge to stick with a game for a long time.  As a GM, I am prone to overwhelming myself with managing too many storylines at once.  So, for this game I'm going to limit my scope more, and allow players to have their own freedom to write their own stories.  I may ask players to edit their posts if something doesn't fit the lore, or if there's a contradiction.  If a post is too far off, I may remove it and ask them to make certain changes before reposting.  If that happens I'll copy the post in a private message so that you don't loose it, in case you don't have a saved copy.

This game is set in an older version of the Matrix.  Players will start in the Matrix and won't necessarily ever get out.  If I find some particularly skilled and competent players, I hope they may eventually take the role of Moderators to expand the scope of the game.  This setting will also be based on my own personal philosophy of the Matrix, so don't assume anything based on what you know from the movies and comics.  I didn't get much inspiration from the second and third movie, but I draw more from The Animatrix and The Matrix Comics.  Expect the subject matter to deal with topics of philosophy and religion, but I will try to avoid the convoluted mess of supernatural nonsense that the second and third movies had.  I was also not a fan of how they explained away vampires and ghosts as programs from an older version of the Matrix, so ignore that.  We will try to go deeper in our pursuit of truth.

To join simply request access and answer one question.  There is no single right answer, though there are many wrong answers, but answer in your own opinion as you understand it.  What is the Matrix?

If you answer well, then we'll move to discussing what kind of character you want to play, and what kind of story you want to tell.

There's no real set pacing, but I would prefer it if people spend more time on their posts.  I encourage people to proof read and make more than one draft.  Search for inspiration, and write with passion.  Then you may hope to write something worth remembering.  I don't like it when people post too quickly without much sense of creativity or inspiration.  That's most games, and I have to wonder what the point of it even is.  Writing without passion can lead to the death of a game, because when we're uninspired, and we write uninspired content, it doesn't inspire others.  Gradually people get bored and the game dies.  So please, take your time and write something worth reading, and I will try my best to do the same.

Having fun is not a rule, but this is a game.  So try to have fun, and make it fun for others.

The game is Mature, to avoid the hassle of dealing with grey areas of adult content, and to allow people under 18 to participate.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:54, Sat 09 Jan.

Truth Construct
 GM, 3 posts
 Red Pill
 Blue Pill
Sat 9 Jan 2021
at 23:00
Rules, Guidelines, and Joining
Request a Thread
Feel free to PM me if you want me to make a thread for you.  It can be solo, open public, or limited to a specific group of players, and it can of a story or roleplaying nature.  The difference between a story thread and a roleplaying thread is mainly the flow of time.  Roleplaying threads should always be set in the present with players posting in novel format according to what they are doing.  Story threads can be abstract, and don't have the same restrictions on writing guidelines.  When you're playing with other players, I would encourage collaborating and brainstorming via PM's.  You can plan what you'd like, and ask me about it.  I'll try to be accommodating as long as it's within reason.  You can allow others to post in your Solo thread as you wish.  Just let me know who, if, and when.

This message was last edited by the GM at 23:19, Sat 09 Jan.