OOC speech is heavily avoided,
and kept in brackets when it's necessary to address everybody present.
Strict Roleplayers hate the distraction of OOC talk being used
for OOC chit-chat, complaints or insults. If you're idling and waiting
for others to come RP, have an alt in an OOC area for the purpose of OOC.
This is one reason RP Dreams generally need an OOC lounge area separate
from the RP areas.
that impose large world-assumptions on the Continuity require approval.
If you say you are a mind-reader, you have just imposed ESP on the
Continuity. If you say you are a vampire, you have just imposed
life-beyond-death on the Continuity. If you say you are a king of a
country, you have just imposed the existence of a nation on the
Continuity and possibly bestowed a large amount of IC power upon
towards your OOC friends is not accepted.
There's nothing wrong with playing IC alongside your OOC friends if you
can keep your character's actions reasonably credible. But going around
in a gang because you're obviously friends OOC is more appropriate for
or equipment that put others in an awkward position require rules and/or
a neutral authority to see that their acquisition and use are fair.
This includes poison, traps, invisibility, mind or emotion control
powers, and missiles that "home". You can pose having a broken
bottle or a knife, but some Guilds require that special items (such as a
pistol in a modern-day game) be cleared with the referees first.
Keep your Alts (your different characters) apart.
They may not work for another of your Alts. They may not communicate
with each other, except through another PC (player character), and they
should be kept out of each other's existence and plots as much as
*Exception: A Guild may decide that it's acceptable to roleplay your own
character's henchmen, etc. They may require that assistant characters be
tagged with the name of their boss.
information that you know only OOCly to yourself.
If your character knows something IC, they must communicate it to
another in-scene. Revealing IC information OOCly ruins the drama for the
other Strict Roleplayers.
have a right to protection from an OOC grudge.
If you suspect your character is being attacked for non-IC reasons, ask
a referee to talk to the other player and get their IC rationale for
attacking you. If a referee is not satisfied that their motivation
makes sense, or if they are concerned that the game is being used to
disguise harassment, the referee should have the power to cancel the IC
conflict. This kind of protection requires a Guild and referee to
enforce; it cannot be done by Guardians.
"Timestop" is assumed to take place just before any combat
Negotiating combat requires a sort of "slow motion" and if you
arrive in the middle of a fight, assume that you *aren't* seeing it.
Sorry, but it was over before you got there and all participants may
leave before you arrive (Fair Escape).
This prevents use of OOC communications to summon friends into a fight.
Please do not even ASK to be included in an ongoing combat scene if you
were not present at the start.
reason, you have
a right to take back actions. This is called a RetCon.
(Retcon is short for 'RETroactive CONtinuity.') Sometimes a player makes
a mistake, for instance posing that they polish their sword when the
sword was dropped elsewhere earlier. The polite thing to do is for the
player to make a quick OOC announcement that the previous action didn't
occur, and for other players to go on. (Acknowledge the retcon with
PRIVATE pages please.)You can only Retcon something that just happened.
You can only Retcon your OWN actions.
The purpose of a Retcon is not to explore a tree of possibilities
relying on different decisions or let a player make up for an action
that results in something they don't like. The purpose of a Retcon is to
repair damaged continuity as quickly and smoothly as possible. Retcons
can't be used to "take back" an action with a dice roll
involved. Whether you succeed, fail or fumble, that action has already
taken place in the game's continuity.
do not have OOC control of the consequences of your IC actions.
For example, In Persona Roleplay, it is appropriate for you to say
whether or not your character fathers a child. But in Strict Roleplay, a
character who has "unprotected sex" may end up a father or
pregnant against both their IC and OOC will! For this to be handled in a
fair fashion requires a referee, who can make an appropriate random die
Alts' experience and knowledge of the game world are separate.
You may not assume that your character spoke to others and therefore
your alt may also know. Resist the temptation to recycle the things your
other characters knew.
Continuities are NOT accepted.
This sentence is the very definition of what is considered
"Strict" Roleplaying as opposed to "Persona"
Roleplaying. In Strict Roleplaying, character backgrounds must be in
line with a Continuity. Compare this with Persona Roleplay, in which
*all* backgrounds must be considered equally valid, even if they
conflict! In Strict RP, you agree not to invoke outside Continuities.
References to concepts, powers, character types, families, factions,
etc., from books, movies, and novels are unacceptable. So, no Jedi, no
Drow, no Saiya-Jin, no Malkavians, no "speaking Feral", etc.,
etc., etc. UNLESS these are agreed-upon parts of the Continuity.
some point, in order to participate, you need to knowingly agree to a
doesn't happen by accident. Control of the Continuity can be enforced by
membership in a Guild and one's presence in the Guild's Dream, but it
starts when all of that Guild's players mutually agree to adhere to one.
If you haven't done so, then you're not a part of the Continuity yet.
Expecting someone to adhere to ANY Continuity, when they haven't already
agreed, is very unfair to them, so it shouldn't be done.
somebody has to be in charge of the Continuity.
(Normally that defaults to the "Rah", the one who owns the
Guild.) Somebody (or a group of somebody's) needs to be able to demand a
change in an individual's background or played-out story events to
preserve the believability of the story. Generally, a
storyteller/referee/gamemaster does not interfere, but players do have a
right to request interference for the good of the Continuity, even to
the point of forcing the RetCon of previously played-out events.
have the right to be a valid part of the Continuity.
If Continuity is being violated, the Continuity's owner or referees must
act, by removing the "offending" character or insisting that
they be changed. You may not take matters into your own hands and act as
if someone else was not there. You may not announce that another
character is not a part of "your" Continuity. In Strict
Roleplay, there's only ONE Continuity for everyone.
A character whose background conflicts should be removed by the one(s)
in charge of Continuity. If a character's actions are not in line with
Continuity, the events should be rewritten by the one(s) in charge of
player has the right to fair representation of their character's IC
Whether or not you may refuse to consent to another's IC actions is
decided by each individual Strict RP Guild, to be listed in their
Charter. As a general default: Unless specified otherwise, if the
character has the approval of the Continuity's owner, you may not refuse
to consent to their use of their IC abilities on your character.
is up to the Guild to regulate which kinds of action players are
expected to roleplay-out.
Some Guilds do
not permit rape plotlines. Some Guilds permit you to
"fade-to-black" on any scene you do not wish to play, but
require you to play out the consequences later. Some Guilds offer
multiple levels of commitment to the Continuity, within the same
As you can see, departing from the simple Consent Rule can mean a LOT of
special-case rules to handle different kinds of situations. For example,
a Guild can make a special rule that if you did nothing to provoke an
attack, that you may automatically choose a non-death outcome.
the Continuity is everybody's job.
For example, if your character looks like a demon and the setting is a
typical medieval village, they would probably get attacked and driven
out or captured. Your character should take appropriate measures to hide
their frightening aspects, or be prepared for that mob of villagers with
pitchforks and blessed arrows.
Similarly, the other players have an obligation to react with suspicion
and hostility if they see your true features, unless they have a good IC
reason not to.
may not take an action with natural consequence that would cause major
change to the Continuity unless those in charge of the Continuity say it
is okay. This
includes such things as destroying a major location, starting a war, or
becoming the ruler of a nation. For example, suppose your character is a
mad scientist. You could only assemble and set off a nuclear bomb to
wipe out your city if your Guild had arrangements for that kind of IC
action. It helps if the major tenets of the Continuity are recorded on a
web page (usually in the Charter); these are the Continuity's Plot
Assumptions. (For example, it's generally assumed that in a medieval
world, nobody is going to invent gunpowder and machine guns.)
Here's another example: Your character might be a vampire completely
capable of revealing their secrets to modern society ("pulling a
Lestat"). Because of the major ramifications, either refereree(s)
must oversee the plot, or, it is not permitted to take place.
beauty of Strict RP is that your character *can* affect the Continuity,
in a way they could not, in Persona RP.
Whether or not something *is* a Plot Assumption can be discussed with
those in charge. For example, suppose your mad scientist character
wanted to unleash a hideous disease on society. The Rah or referee(s)
might decide this is a plot they want to have happen. All player
characters would then be informed of the visible effects of the disease
(looting and riots? hospitals overrun? city gates closed? suspected
victims barricaded into their homes?)
Whether or not *your* character then contracted the disease could be
decided in a number of ways. It might be OOCly voluntary. It could be
checked with a random die roll.
Actions yield In-Character Consequences.
This is the ruling philosophy of Strict RP. If you mouth off to
somebody, you might end up in a fight. If you commit a crime, you might
be the target of law enforcement or the angry grief-stricken relatives
and friends of the victim. Although the actual consequences might not
happen in the game, you should try to play your character as if it was a
Strict RP Guilds can also use a variation on the above philosophy.
"In-Character Actions should yield FAIR In-Character
Consequences." In real life, if you mouth off to someone in a
bar, they might assault you but it would not normally be with lethal
force. Therefore, attacking you with lethal force would not be a fair
In-Character Consequence. Note that "fair" here does not
mean "both characters have equal IC power"; it refers to
whether or not you had ample OOC warning about what you were ICly
protect the Continuity, Plot Assumptions sometimes must override what
Sometimes, to maintain a "dark" atmosphere", a Guild may
have a rule that certain Plot Assumptions of the Continuity override
being able to avoid IC consequences because they don't seem fair.
These include established motives that one type of character has to
spontaneously assault another type of character with deadly force.
Here's an example: The pencil-and-dice roleplaying game "Werewolf:
the Apocalypse" has a Plot Assumption that werewolves are expected
to attempt to kill vampires. A vampire might walk up to the werewolf and
just say, "Hello.", be detected by an IC power, and end up in
a fight to the death. Without this provision for "Deadly
Animosities", this Continuity could not be properly portrayed.
This situation can also arise due to specific character situations. For
instance, a character might have an accepted background they are a
psychotic killer, or deranged combat veteran subject to flashbacks in
which they mistake those around them for enemies. Guilds may insist that
you submit a written background or character sheet, so that what is fair
is more clear. They may alternately opt to disallow backgrounds that
would tend to lead to such unpredictable or unfair IC consequences.
To prevent players from complaining that these "nasty
surprises" weren't fair, we recommend listing them under Plot
Assumptions. You may not get a specific immediate warning that you are
going to be attacked, but you deserve to be warned in general if that is
the kind of IC event that you are expected to accept.
the game system says otherwise, you may only have secret knowledge if
you learned it during actual play.
In a game with character generation, you may be able to buy the
appropriate lore skill. This would enable you to know, for example, the
details of what destroys a specific supernatural creature.
Possession of such a lore may require clearance with a referee. They may
deny your request because a) your character background doesn't merit it,
b) they do not want too many characters starting out with that IC
knowledge, c) they would rather you had to learn it by roleplaying, and
facing the dangers such investigation normally incurs, and/or d) they
simply don't want characters to start with that information.
In most games with vampires, the default for mortals is NO knowledge of
their existence, and many games do not permit players of mortals to buy
vamp lore during character generation.
In Guilds that use character sheets, a referees might even require you
to submit logs of any scene in which you acquired IC knowledge of this
sort, before allowing you to buy a relevant lore skill.)
have the right to the resolution of an IC conflict.
If you get disconnected or have to leave just as a conflict is imminent,
or in the middle of a fight, make arrangements with others present to
continue later. Do your best. Use email as needed.
If your opponent fails to show up, you should ask the head of Continuity
for a resolution. Especially if others are somehow involved, you aren't
necessarily entitled to make up the ending.
with pre-arranged outcomes are inappropriate for Strict Roleplaying.
For example, OOCly agreeing to meet for the first time and become
instantly lovers is unacceptable. OOC agreements of this kind are more
appropriate for Persona Roleplay.
Asking OOC questions about ICly relevant matters is generally frowned
upon, as well. Strict Roleplay is kept exciting by being spontaneous.
Strict RPers may not whisper, "Is your character lying?"
"Are you a shapeshifter?" "Do you intend to attack
me?", etc. unless they have an IC power to back it up, such as
mind-reading or magical divination that actually works. The best answer
to such a question is, "Find out IC."
OOC speech, be respectful to your Guild's staff and all the other
Players. This is
just common sense. We all do our best to be fair and ethical but we're
all humans and we can acquire biases. Do yourself a favor by not giving
people reasons to personally resent you.
After reading this, some of you will think that these things are all
obvious. Unfortunately, they aren't, not to most furres, and that's led
to alot of OOC conflicts. I present this document to show that it takes
a lot of Rah decision-making and effort to accomplish Strict
Many of you will decide that Strict Roleplaying is more hassle than you
want. That's okay! But hopefully you understand why many furres find
Persona Roleplaying very unsatisfying, and why Strict Roleplaying is
relatively rare. In either event, we encourage you to find a Guild
that's to your liking, or even form a new one.