| Writing Respectfully
Nearly every textual RP bans or warns against godmodding, munchkinism, and such egregious offenses against good writing, and this game is no exception. However, because All Souls' Night is specifically geared toward mature roleplay--mature in this sense not meaning just the sex and violence but also an advanced sense of storytelling and cooperation--a higher level of sensitivity to respectful play is expected.Realism in Fantasy
What does this mean? At the most basic, it means that it's not always about you. A good textual RPG is both a game and an exercise in collaborative fiction. We are telling many stories that all weave together, and no one character is always going to be the protagonist. Sometimes a plot will involve your character only peripherally. Sometimes someone else gets to save the day. Acting in a supporting role in other people's plots can be incredibly rewarding if you'll let it be, and all players are encouraged to communicate with one another and find ways to foster and encourage one another's plots.
In this world, 90% of the population of the United States is totally disconnected from vampires, shifters, zombies, and the various horrors that live inside the shadows of our reality. The 10% who find themselves drawn into the life are not all going to be those who are suited to going toe to toe with monsters and bare-knuckling their way through battles with possessed cultists. Yes, some of those who find themselves in 'the life' will be trained combat veterans. Yes, a few doctors will find themselves drawn into the world of shadows. Yes, some incredibly intelligent and skilled people live in the cracks between 'normal' life and the realer, darker world. But some of the people who end up sucked in to the monster lifestyle will be bank tellers, housewives, high school students and others who possess no immediate skills that make them suited to live among the monsters. This isn't to say that you can't play a powerful or combat-oriented character. But at least consider skipping the twenty years of kung-fu training and instead creating someone who maybe has the potential to be an effective fighter but doesn't know how yet? Or a housewife with three kids who just found themselves infected with hyena lycanthropy? Or a college student just a little too interested in the blood doll lifestyle. There are a lot of options other than being a combat monster who's been trained by Buddhist monks from the age of four to battle vampires, and the journey is often more fun than starting off fully-developed.ICA = ICC
The corollary to this is that no character, no matter how skilled or powerful, is going to win all the time. In many situations, letting your character fumble or fail can create more interesting RP than allowing them to succeed brilliantly at whatever they set out to do. In combat terms, this is partially worked out by OOC negotiations between players, but it should apply to all aspects of their life. Sometimes you stumble running down a flight of stairs. Sometimes you get distracted and drive into a tree. Nobody is perfect, and no character should be either.
It shouldn't need to be said, but it does. IC Actions have IC consequences. If your character acts like an ass to somebody who's stronger/more powerful/has bigger friends than them, expect them to get beat down for it. If your character does something evil, expect them to possibly be found out and punished for it. If your character hurts someone, expect their victim to be angry--possibly for a long, long time.Character Relationships
Interactions between player characters is the core of roleplay, and is most of what makes it fun. Creating friendships, rivalries, grudging respect, games of one-upmanship, it's the best part of the game. However. While playing out romance and sexual relationships is great stuff, it's not the reason for this game and it shouldn't be the reason for your character. Love is fun, it's rewarding, it's satisfying and it's a great plot device, but it's not the end-all-be-all of life, and it shouldn't be the entire focus of any player or character. Similarly, while this board allows explicit sexual content, anyone found to be spending most of their time writing smut and nothing else will be politely encouraged to broaden their horizons. Or leave.Violence in the Game World
On a broader perspective, as players we all find writing partners that we're comfortable with, that we get along well with and whose writing style meshes with ours. There's nothing wrong with having friends who you always enjoy playing with, and even tending to plot and interact more with those friends than you do with others. However, this game is bigger than any clique, and we should all make an effort to play with everybody else, not just the few people we already know best. Exclusivity leads to hurt feelings, but it also leads to bad, disjointed storytelling, splintered plots that end up stale because everybody knows how everyone else will react. Stretch your horizons, try to include people and characters who are outside your comfort zone. The game will be better for it, and more fun for everybody.
This is a violent world, and a violent game. Characters get angry, get in fights, shoot one another, swear vengeance, hate one another, and do their level best to kill each other. Monsters lurk around every dark corner and lost, desperate people roam the world, looking to take anything they can get. This does not mean that the players are mean, and it does not mean that anybody's going to set out to kill your beloved character just to make you, their player, cry. In truth, we try very hard not to kill characters whose players don't want them dead. Just remember, game violence is only in the game--nobody actually wants to hurt anybody else.Removing Characters from the Game
That being said, people get hurt in fights. Sometimes they get hurt badly. Sometimes they get hurt when it's inconvenient, or embarrassing, or a bad emotional moment to feel vulnerable. It just works that way. If you find yourself unwilling or unable to even accept the possibility of your character losing a battle or getting shown up by another character, or if you really can't bear to have your character risk injury, keep them out of fights.
Sometimes you're just done with a character. They're not working out right for you, or their story has been told, or they somehow managed to mess things up so badly that they're no longer fun to play, or you used to really like them but now you're kind of sick of them. That's fine, it happens, and as writers everyone on the board is sure to understand that. If that happens, you have several options:Staff Driven Plots
- Kill them off messily. Always a favorite. This is a violent, dangerous world and character deaths can have a huge IC impact. If you want to kill off a character, just contact Briar and talk it over briefly so that if there's an upcoming plot that the death could impact (or help along) or some other reason to either hasten or delay the death, you can time things for maximum plotty goodness.
- Send them away for a while. If you're not completely sure that you're done with the character forever, but you know you don't want to play them right now, again you can contact an admin and see about setting up an IC plot situation where the character goes away for a while but has the option to come back later. In the interests of tidiness, no more than two characters per player will be allowed to be on hiatus at any given time.
- Drop them to NPC. The character isn't dead or missing, just faded into the background of the IC world. Characters dropped via Activity Checks will be assumed to turn into NPCs unless other arrangements are made.
This game has fairly frequent staff-run plots. Sometimes these might be as simple as a sponsored hunt or a raid being organized, other times they might be multi-week events that change the entire face of the game.Player Driven Plots
Staff-Driven plots will always be announced in the Announcements section, with opportunities for players to sign up, discuss how they want to get involved, plan out subplots and events within them as appropriate. Further, while these large plots will be designed to potentially provide RP opportunities for every single character on the board, if you're having trouble figuring out how to get involved, feel free to PM or IM an admin to talk over how you might get your character(s) into the flow of events.
We love player-driven and directed plots, yes we do. Every member of this board is involved in the story we're telling, and every player should and does have a say in the direction of the game. Nobody wants to sit around just waiting for the admin to micromanage them through every step of their character's lives, and no sane admin wants to do that.Forbidden/Restricted Plots
Players are strongly encouraged to arrange and run their own plots, whether it be small character-driven arcs which concentrate on relationships and personal growth or larger events which impact the world around them. The only thing to keep in mind is that if the plot you've come up with has the potential to impact other characters, you need to not only talk to the other characters involved, but to the admin as well. This can be as simple as shooting off a PM or finding Briar on IM and talking about it for five minutes to get the all-clear, or as complex as weeks of negotiation and brainstorming to develop the full arc, just depending on the scale and scope of the plot. But remember: The admins are exempt from being surprised by plots.
All actions ripple outward in a game, just as they do in real life, and there may be consequences to what you have planned that you're not in a position to know about. Upcoming plots or events might change the results of what you had intended, there may be factors involved that you don't know about until you check with the admin. This shouldn't discourage you from plotting--the admins will will work actively to figure out ways to facilitate your plot and make sure it works out the way you want, but you need to talk to them before you instigate a plot that goes beyond the strictly personal, just in case there's an X-factor you might not know about.
Certain plot events and arcs must be cleared with both admins before they're so much as hinted at in game. Yes, this is censorship. Tough. There are just some events and plots that have consequences which reach beyond the players and characters directly involved and impact the game world enough that they need to be monitored closely to maintain game balance. There are also certain plot arcs that can be profoundly upsetting to players, and need to be handled with sensitivity to that. And, let's be frank, certain plots have been run so often and so badly in games throughout the world that they're just annoying. The storylines restricted in this game world are:
- Player pregnancies, whether they result in carrying the baby to full term or not.
- Rapes and sexual assaults which happen in the course of the game. (Such assaults which occur in backstories/histories do not need to be cleared in advance, but should be included in the character application history.)
- Child abuse in any form. (Again, if it's in the character's past, just include it in their application.)
- Torture of a PC.
- PC being changed from one character class to another, with the sole exception of Humans becoming shifters or vampires.
- Anything involving nuclear weapons or other world-shattering destruction.