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By Talzhemir (last edited October 11, 2006)
Based on Pocket Universe by Talzhemir and Jeff Dee
© UNIGames, 1999-2003. Used by permission.
What is "Roleplaying" about?
Well...Roleplaying is much more than just being in-character. It's also about respecting the shared reality (the "Continuity"). The goal is not to "win", the goal is to participate in an ongoing story that's meaningful and makes sense to all the players. Playing by a set of rules makes this easier.
In Furcadia, we make a distinction between two kinds of Let's Pretend. The most popular and common one is "Freeform"; we call it "Persona Play" because all it requires is taking the very first step towards roleplay: choosing to play a Persona. The other is "Strict Roleplay" (using capital R helps to indicate it's a little different than the many casual definitions of `roleplaying').
If you haven't officially agreed to any kind of limit to your character's power or background, then what you're doing is Persona Playing. It doesn't mean that you can't have a very coherent adventure, or that you have no background or that what you're doing is in any way inferior to any other form of roleplay. It simply means that the standard is (of necessity) relaxed.
We say "Strict Roleplaying" to mean playing in a well-defined world ("Continuity"). It's unlikely that you'll find "serendipitous" (spontaneous, instant) Strict Roleplaying. RP takes alot of absorption of source material, familiarity with conventions of play. RP is quite fragile; it's heavily disrupted by mentioning OOC things. Because of this need for more control, there's alot of Roleplaying in Furcadia, but it tends to take place in private areas, and, at this time, Furcadia's Staff has no time to monitor or regulate it. Nor do we wish to.
If you want to maintain higher standards, you need to be in a controlled environment, for example, your own Dream or a Dream controlled by a Group. The extra work involved in R oleplaying pays off in that you tend to get a more interesting experience, and it makes possible the use of character sheets, rules, and dice, all of which are optional on Furcadia. If you're looking for RP, we recommend taking the effort to find and join an RP Group.
The goals, setting, and rules of a Group may be explained in a web document called a Charter. Furcadia's website includes links to Groups that demonstrate, through their Charter, that they can contribute to the game. There are four categories: Social Groups, Persona Play Groups, Roleplay Groups, and Adult Groups
1. Choose your Type
Mythicals: Dragon, Phoenix, Gryffe
Mundanes: Equine, Canine, Feline, Musteline, Lagomorph, Rodent, Sciurine
|Dragon||9||8||7||8||(flame breath, toughness, wings)|
|Equine||9||7||8||8||(+1 Hit Point)|
|Canine||8||8||8||8||(+2 Skill Points)|
|Feline||8||8||8||8||(+1 level Unarmed damage for Claws)|
|Other||8||8||8||8||(a 1 point Advantage)|
The base for all stats is 8.
The next step in making this character is to decide how to spend 10 points between the four Attributes. You may not add more than 4 points to any one. Here are the four Attributes and what they mean:
- Physique (PHYS) Physical strength, fitness, and health.
- Deftness (DEFT) Manual dexterity, speed, reaction time, and agility.
- Intellect (INTL) Intelligence, intuition and education.
- Willpower (WILL) Personality and appearance, as well as fortitude, empathy, and resistance to mental assault.
Individual aspects of stats (such as appearance, for Willpower, or Hit Points for Physique) can be raised or lowered with Advantages and Disadvantages. You may lower a Base to 7 to acquire 2 Advantage Points.
3. Advantages and Disadvantages
You can choose up to 5 points worth of Advantages. For every point of Advantage, the character must have at least 1 point of Disadvantage.
- Addiction - Alcoholic (2 Points)
- Addiction - Clothes (1 Point)
- Addiction - Collectibles (1 Point)
- Addiction - Euphorics (2 Points)
- Addiction - Smoking (1 Point)
- Addiction - Ostrixes (1 Point)
- Addiction - Raptors (1 Point)
- Age Kid (1 Point)
- Deaf (2 Points)
- In Debt (1 Point) You live in a rented room. Start with X1/2 coins.
- Hard of Hearing (1 Point)
- Illiterate (1 Point)
- Oathbound/Code (1 Point)
- Poor Vision (1 Point)
- One handed (1 Point)
- Tailless (1 Point)
- One-legged/Slowed Move (1 Point)
- Wanted (1 Point)
- Mute (1 Point)
- Foreign (1 Points)
- Uneducated (1 Point) Start with 3 Hobbies and 1 Job.
- Homely (1 Point)
- Dense (2 Points) Base INTL is decreased by 1 point.
- Fragile (1 Points) Hit Points are decreased by 2 points.
- Weak (2 Point) Your base PHYS is decreased by 1 point.
- Slow Reflexes (1 Point) -1 to your Initiative result.
- All Thumbs (1 Points) All hand-eye skills (including weapon skills) are performed at a -4
- Clumsy (1 Point) Base DEFT is decreased by 1 point.
- Poor (1 Point) Start with only X1/5 coins.
- Unknown (1 Point) Orphan of unknown pedigree.
- Mindmute (1)
- Mindwhipped (2 Point)
- Mindslave (3 Points)
- Drone (2 Points, Bugge Only!)
- Boss (-2 Points) You are the head of 3 to 20 NPCs.
- Skyship (-1 Point) You own a flying ship.
- Night vision (-1 Point) Feline Furres still need to purchase this Advantage, or else they are limited to ordinary vision.
- Eagle vision (-2 Points) Range penalties are 1 point lower.
- Super-keen Smell (-3 Points) needed to be able to track someone by scent.
- Foreign Nobility (-1 Points)
- Beautiful Singing Voice (-1 Point)
- Respected (-1 Point)
- Celebrity (-2 Points)
- Natural-born Mimic (-1 Point)
- Contortionist (-1 Point)
- Garrison (1 Point)
- Lucky (1 Point) Make Serendipity rolls at a +1.
- Attractive (1 Point) +1 in any roll where handsomeness/beauty would be a factor.
- Gorgeous* (3 Points) +3 in rolls where handsomeness/beauty would be a factor.
- Sharp (2 Points) Add 1 to base INTL.
- Hardy (1 Point) +2 Hit Points.
- Toughness (3 Points) 1 point of natural "armor" vs physical and energy damage.
- Strong (2 Points) +1 to base PHYS.
- Small Stature (1 Point) (This is an Advantage because there is a -2 penalty to hitting you with a missile weapon)
- Large (1 Point) +1 to Hit Points.
- Quick Reflexes (1 Point) +1 to Initiative
- Clever fingers (1 Points) +1 to rolls such as carving, painting, etc. NEVER applies in combat.
- Ambidextrous (2 Points)
- Graceful (2 Points) +1 anywhere balance is a factor, including Dodge but not any other Combat-related scores/rolls
- Wealthy (1 Point) Start with 1000 instead of 500 Coins. You own a house or a small business with home attached. You get up to 3 employees/dependents.
- Rich (3 Points) Start with 2000 instead of 500 Coins. You own a small estate. You get up to 6 employees/dependents.
Lesser House (1 Point, Furres Only)
Your Pedigree is 11.
House Kithain (Raideth) Felines; descended from sea raiders.
House Kelmothand (Malcom) Semi-aquatic Mustelines; dates back to the Kingdom of Tellish.
House Kosani (Lithe) Rodents, mostly Mice; famous as a banking family.
House Broderick (Aldric) Canines.
House Keung (Kosh) Tigers; trace their lineage to exiled Taigorian warlord Jiyarr Keung.
Furre Greater House (3 Points, not available to Bugges)
This Advantage doesn't mean as much in Drakoria as in Kasuria.
Your Pedigree is 12.
House Yasmeen (Raideth) Equines; famed for their opulent quarters.
House Kavillaur (Malcom) Heavyset Mustelines; dates back to the Kingdom of Tellish.
House Sabine (Lithe) Feline; stereotypically swashbucklers, and connoisseurs.
House Carthamine (Aldric) Lupine/Vulpine (Wolves and Foxes) Rivals to Giovarri; Lord Dragar ti'Carthamine rules Aldric.
House Giovarri (Kosh) Dominated by Wolves. The most prestigious Canine clan.
Wyrmme Greater House (3 Points, Wyrmmes Only)
Your Pedigree is 12. There is only one Wyrmme Great House:
Imperial House Kaut
Highborn (2 Points, Wyrmmes only)
Your Pedigree is 11. Wyrmmes do not have Lesser Houses. They must come from the following famous heroic Bloodlines:
Tragauth, Margaith, Hellikaun, Yarsha (It's possible that a Furre might have a Highborn Wyrmme ancestor, but a Furre child amongst Wyrmmes would be such a disgrace that they could never use it for status in Drakorian society)
- Educated* (-1 Point) +1 level on the Skill Slots chart.
- Scholar* (-3 Points) +2 levels on the Skills charts
- Pet Dracosaur (-1 Point)
- Pet Scarhawk (-1 Point)
- Pet Kiwi (-1 Point)
- Pet Ostrix (-1 Points)
- Pet Minidrake (-1 Points)
- Pet Watchwyrm (-1 Points, Furres only)
- Wyrmme Heritage (-1 Point)
- VampFurre (-3 Points)
- Faerie Furre (-3 Points)
- WereFurre (-3 Points)
- Mage (-3 Points)
- ElvenFurre (-2 Points)
- Demifane (-2 Points)
- Psion (-2 Points)
|7||1 Job, 2 Hobbies|
|8||1 Job, 3 Hobbies|
|9||2 Jobs, 2 Hobbies|
|10||1 Vocation, 1 Job, 1 Hobby|
|11||1 Vocation, 2 Jobs, 1 Hobby|
|12||1 Vocation, 3 Jobs, 1 Hobby|
|13||2 Vocations, 2 Jobs, 1 Hobby|
- Easy Skills (-1 penalty for use without having the skill)
Weapons - Specify a weapon type
(based on DEFT): Axes, Blades, Bludgeons, Flails, Staves, Spears, Thrown Blades, Thrown Spears, Whips, Slings, Bows, Crossbows, Shield Use
(based on DEFT): Acrobat, Climber, Courtly Dancing, Escape Artist, Ostrix Rider, Scarhawk Rider, Stealth, Valgorian Dance, Bitefighting, Clawfighting, Fisticuffs, Kickfighting
(based on INTL): Cooking, Matchmaker, Physicker
- Hard Skills (-4 penalty for use without having the skill)
(based on DEFT) Lockpicking, Pawmagery, Pickpocketing, Forgery
(based on INTL) Detective, Disguise, Streetwise, Voicetricks
(based on INTL): Alchemist, Architect, Cartographer, Astrologer, Astronomer, Etiquette, Heraldry, History, Religion, Shipwright
(based on DEFT) Drummer, Flute, Harper, Lute, Pennywhistle, Recorder, Reedwind (can only be played by Equines), Trumpet
(based on INTL) Composer, Jester, Poet, Singer, Ventriloquist
(based on INTL): Baker, Bird trainer, Boater, Brewer, Butcher, Distiller, Dyer, Farmer, Falconer, Fuller, Gambler, Glazier, Merchant, Miller, Sailor, Survival, Tanner, Teamster, Tinker, Vintner
(based on DEFT): Armorsmith, Basketweaver, Blacksmith, Bowyer, Carpenter, Cartwright, Chandler, Cobbler, Cooper, Coppersmith, Finesmith, Fletcher, Glass blower, Illuminator, Jeweller, Leatherworker, Locksmith, Netmaker, Oculist, Paintersketcher, Potter, Ropemaker, Saddler, Sculptor, Spinner, Stonemason, Tailor, Weaponsmith, Weaver
- KASURIA: The base language of Kasuria is Kasurian.
- OLDE WORLD: Alemans (Alemanish States), Anglish (Albion), Barabic (Barabia), Erish (Eriu), Criptic (Aegypt), Espallish (Espallia), Frrench (Frrance), Kantenganese (Katenga Tribal Lands; many dialects), Kohazzi (Kohazzah), Latalian ("the scholar's tongue"), Portigese (Portiga), Pawlish (Mountain Lands of Vorsava), Rrussian (Moscavy), Taigorian (Taigorian Lands), Valgorian, Therian (Catolia), Croadan ("gutterspeech")
- DRAKORIA: Buggish, High Drakorian, Low Drakorian, Smargish, Glimmerish
- WRITING (based on INTL): Therian, Barabic (used for Barabic and Kohazzi), Taigorian (used for Taigorian), Magian
5. Finishing Touches
|7||5||an elderly person with fragile bones|
|8||6||a child or younger teen, a typical phoenix|
|9||8||a typical musteline, rodent or lagomorph|
|10||10||a typical canine or feline|
|11||13||Indiana Jones, Lara Croft. A typical equine or dragon.|
|12||17||Conan the Barbarian, Wonder Woman|
|13||22||The Terminator, Metropolita|
|Typical Furres don't do much damage to one another with their fists.|
|PHYS||1-2/3-8/9-10 on a d10 roll|
|DEFT||1-2/3-8/9-10 on a d10 roll|
|DEFT||inches/diamonds in 1 Round|
Each character starts with 500 coins, unless they have taken the Poverty Disadvantage.
It is assumed your character rents but does not own a place to live. (Money for this doesn't need to be tracked)
If a weapon is wielded 2-handed, reduce its PHYS requirement by 2. If the character's PHYS is too low, subtract one point from their effective weapon skill per point they fall short. All costs are in Coins.
|Cat o' 9 Tails||20||+2||1/2/3||8|
Range = 3+character's PHYS - weapon's PHYS requirement. (Staves and whips can't be thrown)
RANGE MODIFIERS FOR THROWN & MISSILE WEAPONS:
|Point blank (adjacent square)||-2|
Sling stones - 1 coins per 5
Arrows and Quarrels - 5 coins per 3
Armor softens the impact of attacks in battle. The DEFT limit is the maximum DEFT a character may use while wearing that armor (affects initiative and all DEFT skills such as attacks and Dodges).
|Full Helm||100||+2/+1 (-1 to perception type rolls)|
Helmet bonuses are added to the character's overall armor.
* This table does *not* follow the Pocket Universe formula precisely. Small changes were made to produce a smoother progression of numbers.
Different flavors of RP
Within the category of "Roleplayers", there are many different ways to RP. One of the most crucial decisions a Roleplaying Group has to make is what kind of RP to support, encourage, and enforce. This helps prevent future confusion and conflict. Each Group or GM shoulds to decide:
- what, and how much, every participating player can be expected to have read
- what "mature themes" are permitted- what kind of language (profanity, explicit) is acceptable
- what circumstances obligate a character to die
- whether or not to permit OOC questions relevant to your own or another question.
- how Combat is to be handled.
- how Injury is to be handled.
- how Captivity is to be handled.
The best roleplaying seems to grow out of a single unified basic philosophy and level of strictness, instead of having varying levels of strictness for all the different features. There are MANY different "optimums" not covered here. You should consider devising your own "formula", of course, for your own Group. Here are three possibilities:
- Cool 1: "Except for what the game world does not permit, I control my character almost completely." This level of Cool keeps the suspense, violence, and tragedy limited to what you might see in a Saturday morning adventure cartoon. Your character can't die under Cool 1.
- Cool 2: "I exist in the Continuity. I have partial control of my character." This is the level of adventure you can expect from a prime-time TV show or a PG movie. Under Cool 2, your character can't die unless you choose to let it.
- Cool 3: "I embrace my destiny, and I shall live like a hero in a chaotic world." Under Cool 3, your Furre may be killed without your permission. The action is *still* limited to what is "PG" but the flavor of the game can be much more grim. This is the kind of action you might expect in a horror movie. At Cool 3, your character dies if that is what circumstances and chance dictate.
Awarding Experience Points
For a game with a GM: 1-3 points may be awarded per session.
- Portraying the character, 1 point
- Surviving lethal combat, 1 point
- Furthering plot & reinforcing continuity, 1 point
For a persistent game generally run by a bot:
A player may commend another player's RP for portraying the character, furthering plots, and/or reinforcing the continuity. A player may commend another player up to once every 2 weeks. Players may not commend characters from their own IP.
Commendations translate into experience points by the following schedule
1 -----> 0.5
2-3 ---> 1
4-6 ---> 1.5
7-10 --> 2
11-15 -> 2.5
16+ ---> 3
Spending Experience Points
|Skill Slot Costs:||Cost to upgrade from previous level|
|Attribute+0 (a hobby)||1|
|Attribute+1 (a job)||2|
|Attribute+2 (a vocation)||3|
Furre! only requires 2 10-sided dice for each player. Dice are simulated on Furcadia! using the Roll command. Just type: roll XdY where X is the number of dice and Y is the number of sides. roll XdY+Z where Z is added to the total also works. ROLL XdY will tell you the specific results, which is useful here because it matters if your roll "doubles" in Furre.
In an online game, the attacker poses what their character is attempting, then relevant die rolls are made. Then it is the defender who poses the outcome.
Combat is accomplished in "Rounds", made up of "Turns". Each player rolls a d10, and translates this to one of three Initiative numbers. At the start of each Round, players announce what they are doing, in order from worst to best Initiative. They take their Turns in order from best to worst. A furre may hold their Turn indefinitely, interrupting to pre-empt the Turn of anyone without an "older" saved Turn. (They may not save up more than one Turn)
|DEFT||1-2/3-8/9-10 on a d10 roll|
A Turn may consists of Actions (things that require a die roll), and Movement. A Furre may do things other than what they Declared, at a penalty of -4 to all Actions. Movement may include trivial things like picking up a weapon, drawing a weapon, etc. A change in location of up to 4 squares is permitted (no diagonal movement). Movement may be done either before or after the die-roll Action(s) but it may not be broken up into Move-Act-Move.
IMPORTANT: Doubles are Criticals
Any roll of doubles is either a critical success or critical failure. (Use 'ROLL' instead of the 'roll' command) Players who "overextend" by daring to take too many Actions, etc., are risking a greater chance of rotten consequences. Roll a d10.
|1||Target's armor damaged, losing -1/-1 before attack damage is applied. For no armor, use 2.|
|2||Attacker gets an extra Action after this one, with no further Multiple Action penalty.|
|3||Target falls down, requiring a full Turn to get up again.|
|4||Target gets only 1/2 normal armor protection (round down) vs this attack.|
|5||Target takes its own PHYS roll in damage; its armor does count towards damage.|
|6||Target drops something. If nothing is droppable, use 3.|
|7||Free Head Shot. Target gets only Helmet value for armor. If any points get through, target must roll their PHYS-2 on 2d10 to stay conscious. (They can make regular rolls to regain consciousness)|
|9||Target disarmed. For no weapons, use 3.|
|10||Roll twice & combine.|
|1||Strike wrong target (Target's player chooses) Roll 2d10 to get 10-new target's Defense Modifier to hit.|
|2||Target gets a free roll to hit.|
|3||Attacker falls down. Takes a full Turn to get back up.|
|4||Weapon jammed. Takes a full Turn to unjam it. If not possible, defaults to 5.|
|5||Attacker takes its own PHYS roll in damage. Its armor counts.|
|6||Attacker drops something. Defaults to 7.|
|7||Weapon stuck. Roll damage. You must roll that amount or higher on your PHYS roll to free the weapon. It takes a full Move to try.|
|8||Attacker's armor is damaged, losing -1/-1 protection.|
|9||Attacker off-balance, and loses 1 point of Defense until they take their next Turn.|
|10||Roll twice & combine.|
A character that takes over 1/2 their remaining hits in one blow falls unconscious.
- Punching. The player rolls 2d10.
- To hit, they must roll: (DEFT + Punch Skill Plusses - Opponent's Melee Defense) or lower.
If successful, they roll d10 to determine one of the three possible Unarmed Damage amounts. This is compared on the Total Armor table, to find the points of damage that get through.
- Kick. The player rolls 2d10.
- To hit, they must roll: (DEFT + Kick Skill Plusses - Opponent's Melee Defense) or lower.
If successful, they roll d10 one level higher on the Damage chart (for example, a character with PHYS 11 has a Damage roll of 2/3/4). This is compared on the Total Armor table, to find the points of damage that get through.
- Melee Weapon Attack. The character rolls 2d10.
- To hit, they must roll: (DEFT + Weapon Skill Plusses - Opponent's Melee Defense) or lower.
If successful, they roll d10 for the weapon's Damage. This is compared on the Total Armor table, to find the points of damage that get through.
- Missile Weapon Attack. The character rolls 2d10.
- To hit, they must roll: (DEFT + Weapon Skill Plusses - Range Modifiers - Opponent's Missile Defense)
If successful, they roll d10 for the weapon's Damage. This is compared on the Total Armor table, to find the points of damage that get through.
- Multiple Actions -2 to each Action
- Avoid Armor -1 to hit per point of armor worn.
- Desperation +2 to PHYS (recalculate damage), +2 Damage levels, -2 on all skill checks and defense until they take their turn the next Round.
- Disarm -2 to hit, inflicts no damage.
- On a successful roll, target must roll their PHYS-1 or less on 2d10 or else drop the object specified. Picking it up again requires Movement.
- Full Defense Character sacrifices their full Action to receive a +2 to their Defensive Value.
- This lasts until they take their next Turn.
- Death Blow An attacker may attempt to slay their opponent instantly by scoring a hit on a vital organ. The difficulty penalty is -8.
- If the death blow hits and inflicts any damage past the target's armor, the target must roll their PHYS or less on 2d10 at a penalty of -1 per point of damage inflicted. If the roll fails, the target dies instantly. If the roll succeeds, the target is left bleeding 1 hit point per combat round, either until htey die or are healed.
(Note to paper-game GMs: NPC's should only use death blows in pivotal plot-critical duels)
- Grapple Attacker rolls to hit using the Grapple skill. On a successful hit, the attacker gets the defender in a hold.
- A grapple inflicts no damage but if the Grapple roll is successful then the victim is completely immobilized. They may perform no Actions (no headbutting, no biting, no psionic tricks, no magic, etc) A grappler may "squeeze" to deal their PHYS roll in damage to their victim. Squeezing takes a full Turn. The defender may either attempt to break free or counter-grapple on their own Action (these are both counted as Movement). To break free, the defender rolls their PHYS roll. The attacker rolls their PHYS roll to resist the escape. If the defender rolls higher, then they escape the grapple, and may take their full Movement and Action(s). A successful counter-grapple enables them to use their full Action to inflict PHYS damage. A Grapple may be attempted at a -3 penalty to hit, to put the opponent in a hold from which they can do nothing but attempt to escape.
- Two-weapon Style ("Florentine") Characters may carry two 1-handed weapons, one in each hand.
- The two weapons may both be used to attack, at a penalty of -1 to hit with each. Attacks beyond this incur the normal Multiple Action penalties. A wepaon in the "off hand" suffers an additional -1 penalty to hit, and the PHYS requirement of off-hand weapons is increased by two points.
- Bite (information to come)
- Trip (information to come)
- Offensive Assist (information to come)
This is a tricky chapter but it's crucial to correct execution of combat:
Every character has a Melee Defense Modifier and Missile Defense Modifier. This is a number subtracted from an opponent's chance to affect you. Some Defense Modifiers can come from several possible places; the player may choose which one to use. To calculate a Defense Modifier, add the relevant Attribute+Skill and subtract 10. (If the character is VERY bad at it, the Defense Modifier can even give the opponent a bonus to hit them!)
(Add Parry Bonus if using a Shield)
|Defense Type||Legal Sources|
|Melee||DEFT+Dodge, DEFT+Shield, DEFT+Weapon, or DEFT+Kick.|
|Missile||DEFT+Dodge or DEFT+Shield|
When you have less than half your hit points (ignore fractions), you are Heavily Injured, and receive a -3 penalty to all physical Actions and all Actions requiring attention, such as spellcasting or psionics. (Initiative, Damage, etc. are unaffected)
- For all attacks, add the points from Armor and Helmets together, plus 1 if the character has Toughness, then compare rating to the amount of damage taken, to find the number of points that get through.
- (Copy the relevant line onto the character sheet)
|Actual Damage Taken|
Waking from Unconsciousness
A character must roll their remaining PHYS+2 or less on 2d10. This takes place between Turns, starting with the end of the Turn in which they went unconscious.
A character normally heals one hit point per day of rest. Magical healing is not very powerful in the Furre! universe. A character can receive magical healing only once per day, whether it is a potion or a character attempting a spell. Further attempts (by the same mage or by others) have no effect.
Roll 1d10: 1-2, gain 1 HP. 4-8, gain 3 HP. 9-10, gain 5 HP. One psihealer may also make a separate attempt to heal.
Roll 1d10: 1-2, gain 1 HP. 4-8, gain 2 HP. 9-10, gain 3 HP. For each 2 points the psihealer heals, they receive 1 point of damage on their own body (round down). As with magic, further attempts have no effect.
A character whose total remaining hit points fall below zero is dying. A dying character loses an additional hit point per minute from blood loss. Bleeding can be stopped by a successful INTL+PhysickerSkillPlusses roll. When the character's hit points drop to the negative value of their original Hits, they are dead.
In a realistic Group, once a character has been captured in battle, their player has no control over them. Groups may decide to have a policy that OOCly limits what can happen to a captive, how long they may be held, how they may try to escape, etc. It is also up to the Group to handle rescue attempts. If a character is captured in a fight in which it was agreed no one was to die, then the character should remain under that protection until they are no longer captive.
IC versus OOC
These abbreviations stand for In Character and Out Of Character. IC refers to the appearance, feelings, possessions, events, and so forth of your character. OOC refers to your real-life self.
*The IC and OOC abbreviations were invented by Talzhemir in 1994 for the LambdaMOO RPG. Prefacing speech with them was first coded for her by Malcolm "Marat" McDowell, and popularized on MUSHes by Brian "Dusk/Monk/Kynwal" Holmes.
Dividing things into IC and OOC is the heart and soul of roleplaying. Players try to keep up an illusion, a shared "reality" called a "continuity". Each Group runs its own Continuity, and in one Continuity, all others don't exist. They aren't parallel dimensions, you can't get from one of them to another. It's good etiquette to keep OOC things as hidden as possible while playing. For instance, you should walk out of everyone's "sight" before you log off.
In an all-IC area, it's sometimes necessary to address everyone on the OOC level. One convention is to put your OOC speech in parentheses. Please keep OOC chatter to a minimum, and please keep it relevant to the RPG and all the players. It's not considered acceptable to use it for announcing the winner of an ongoing football game, OOCly hugging your pals, etc., etc..
If a /whisper will do, use that instead! In a private scene, you can relax the above somewhat.
ONLINE TIP: Please be careful when you use pronouns. They're potentially confusing and it wastes time to ask someone what they meant by "you" and "it".
In a private scene in your Dream, or when you are running a game online as a GM, you can also do scene-setting poses, things that aren't your own character's doing. This kind of narration is called an "emit" or an "attributed spoof". It's also good to relieve the repetitiveness of every pose beginning with your own name.
emit A cool wind ruffles your hair. Melissa sighs and gives back the flower...
[*] A cool wind ruffles your hair. Melissa sighs and gives back the flower...
Your Group may or may not follow these conventions. They are useful for helping to preserve the continuity and making play more fair.
Secrets, and your Description
It's okay to say that you're a vampire in your description in Persona Play, even though there is no visible "virtual" clue. You're just "jumpstarting" the action by letting other players know, Out Of Character, what you are like. In Roleplaying, though, giving away In Character secrets is considered twinky because it's spoiling the surprise.
In Roleplaying, your name and nature are normally only known to those to whom you have introduced yourself. If you want to Roleplay, it's better not to write in the names of organizations to which you belong, IC. If you want to be open about your identity, get creative. For example, you might wear your faction's heraldic colors, or a medallion or ring, and describe their insignia.
In a roleplaying description it is acceptable to write out your entire Longname. It's less acceptable to write "Jojoba likes to think about jousting." or "Jojoba is Daniel's father." --How would anybody ICly know? We'll go so far as to assume that if your longname is in your description, you're well-known enough that folks could ask around and get your first and House name, then go to the Pala Mestra (Hall of Living Memory, sort of like a village library) and look up the rest.
If you are Roleplaying somebody secretive, it makes good sense not to put in your longname. If you are Roleplaying somebody "famous" (has the Reputation Advantage; see Advantages later on), it makes good sense to put in your longname and maybe even habits you have that are common knowledge: "Jojoba can often be found nursing a Dark Beer over at the Glaive."
If you're walking about in an "IC" region, you're present. Consent doesn't allow you to be an OOC observer rather than a participant. Although many roleplayers don't mind OOC observers, we respect the wishes of the majority, who feel that if you aren't contributing to the scene, you should leave.
Amongst skilled veteran RPers, it's a common unspoken rule etiquette that you should let each person speak once, before speaking again. If you lose interest and stop posing/speaking, the others may very well halt, and you'll have wasted their time.
A TIP: Pose Quickly, Don't Multiworld. The credibility of your pose is strongly helped by responding with decent speed. It may surprise you that a speedily returned pose or emote conveys more excitement than an adjective describing your character's agitated state. To convey being interested in someone, also, write faster. Shorter poses/speeches also communicate excitement. If you have a "slow connection", and your poses are held up by genuine lag, please be sure to tell other players. They'll usually understand. On the other hand, multiworlding is not acceptable an excuse. Please don't lag because you're busy in another scene or playing another game! As always, common sense and courtesy are the important things here.
Roleplaying "with a capital R" automatically assume that you are playing in a "Continuity", a consistent train of events, where what you Roleplayed yesterday leads to what happens today, and what you Roleplay today, shapes what will happen tomorrow. Continuity also includes what things do and don't already exist in the game world.
It's frowned on in Roleplaying to invent your own character classes, supernatural beings, major personalities, factions, major history, special powers, and so on. Yet, there is room for creativity. Suppose you invent the Knights of Talthybia, who are immune to VampFurre bites, regenerate extremely fast, and are famous as destroyers of the Undead.
There are repercussions to this background. For example, players of older VampFurre probably should be made familiar with the Knights' existence. It's wise to ask for approval from the Group or GM first. Perhaps they will refuse because it implies events not in line with the known Continuity. Group or GM are in no way obligated to approve the Knights of Talthybia concept. The Group or GM should not be expected to negotiate or review the possibility of a new kind of character.
For those who play in Goldwyn, our "default" Continuity, the Dragonlands, is in effect, and it's the only valid Continuity for Goldwyn. For example, in the Dragonlands, there are evil monstrous-looking Quarter Dark Primes, but there are no `demons'. "Demons" and anything like "hell" are not "according to canon" part of the official Continuity, and therefore, don't exist there.
In Roleplaying (as opposed to Persona Play), anything that's dramatically important should be done with a die roll. Pickpocketing is one of them, because a failed attempt could have all kinds of IC consequences (like getting arrested and losing a paw if you happen to be in Barabia). A Group might specify that a Group-sanctioned Judge be present for an action such as theft.
Being willing to permit your Furre to be imperfect and not immediately notice pickpocketing and going out of your way to let other players have fun are two of the traits that will build you up in others' eyes. Sometimes you even get a chance to be creative and express something about your Furre's personality. Are they carrying a lutepick? a bookmark? souvenir coins from religious pilgrimmages? good luck charms?
Unless a Group rule says otherwise, an attempt at theft is something to which the victim's player must consent when Roleplaying. Circumstances and die rolls determine the rest. The consequences if the thief is caught, are also something to which the player does not get a choice about consenting. In-character actions yield fair in-character consequences.
Roleplaying is more "hardball" than Persona Play, and an important principle is that other players should be given the opportunity to use the abilities they ICly possess.
If you create a personal place, it's really up to the Group to give it a "seal of approval" before you can declare that it exists in the Group's continuity. If your furre is a poor traveller with twelve copper pieces to his good name, it might violate Continuity for him to own a palace with a huge marble spa.
Affecting other furres' property is generally only done with the permission of the Group or a GM. Most Groups don't want to have to deal with this kind of behind-the-scenes interaction. Some Groups would make the would-be arsonist make die rolls in their presence to hint whether or not they get caught or if there were witnesses, etc., etc.. In general, though, this is the kind of Roleplaying to avoid, because it usually forces alot of different people to put in time and effort.
Normally, in-character actions should lead to in-character results. In this specific case, though, it is good RP etiquette to insist that a player's OOC permission must be given before having their IC children.
This control doesn't normally extend to descendants of your offspring. The players of your IC children have complete control over whether or not they have their own kids, and these will all be your IC descendants.
Many players feel that rape is too offensive to be a topic in a roleplaying game, and, out of respect for those who have experienced it, or whose loved ones have experienced it, they choose to ban it from their continuity. It is our experience that it can sour the atmosphere. rape events that are not roleplayed-out still have a way of leaking out into the continuity, by simply being mentioned, as background or offstage events. It's well past Furcadia's PG-13 rating, into R or NC-17.
No player should ever feel obligated to go through this kind of plotline or scene. Furcadia doesn't encourage or condone it, and if you feel uncomfortable about an RP, you should stop immediately.
Death in an online game can cause surprising amounts of damage to OOC relationships. It also hurts a Group's Continuity, where living characters hold the storylines together like a net. You may notice that the Furre! game tends to be nonlethal. When death does occur, it's generally no accident, and should be given its dramatic due. That means a character doesn't come back from being dead without the intervention of either the Group or the GM. Note that if a character dies in one Group, they might still exist in the Continuity of another. By default, every Group gets its own Continuity, and Continuities are completely independent.
The Retcon Rule
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.
The Timestop Rule
The moment a fight breaks out, a Timestop needs to be called. This is to prevent players from calling in their buddies (even if they have in-character means to do so!). Anybody can demand a Timestop. Then, actions are taking place in slow motion. If others happen along, it's automatically assumed that they're too late. Once the fight has ended all participants who wish, may depart unseen, unhindered. The Timestop rule prevents fights from growing so big they take forever.
When Somebody won't "Play Right"
Furcadia's Staff won't be the authority figures when you Persona or Roleplay. If your furre walks into a restaurant and uses a flamethrower to set all the tables on fire but nobody reacts to this IC action, we won't do anything. Furcadia doesn't force anybody to Roleplay or Persona Play.
If you're serious about having things make sense, you need to get with a group of players who have granted somebody the authority to take action guarding their Continuity. In Furcadia, these are our Groups.
If you all belong to the same Group and using a flamethrower in-character is acceptable, then you might lodge a complaint with your fellow players. Groups shouldn't generally be counted upon to be rules enforcers; the object is for players to decide in a mature fashion amongst themselves whenever possible.
If you find that someone is doing things such as routinely acting on information they shouldn't have In Character, or doing things their character wouldn't be able to do, you may report them to your Group and refuse to play with them. A Group is like a union, preserving the Continuity and keeping up standards of gameplay.
The Serendipity Rule
This is for when you want to decide whether or not a non-combat prop is present in a scene. In a game that has a GM, the GM may choose to call for a Serendipity Roll rather than arbitrarily make something up. This is because sometimes GMs like to be surprised right along with the players.
This rule is mainly intended for use online where the setting is handled more by a cooperative consensus. A Serendipity Roll should only be made once per scene, and you must explain what your character is searching for, and get the assent of all those present BEFORE you try to make the roll. After the scene, the prop is gone; do not keep it and add it to your character sheet.
Roll 2d10 and on an 11 or less, the item is there. Add +1 for each point of INTL above 10 to spot the item, but subtract 1 for each point of INTL below 10.
ubiquitous to the setting but there's a chance of failure
+6 (a pencil or pen in an office; a pinecone in a forest)
appropriate to the setting and not necessarily in full view
+3 (a yearbook in a student's bedroom; a teddybear in a household with a child)
item is somewhat common but not especially appropriate or inappropriate
+0 (an onion in a refrigerator)
common but somewhat inappropriate to the setting:
-3 (a telephone book in a car)
or common but with a more specific requirement (a white rose)
inappropriate to the setting but it's possible
-6 (a silver dagger or letter opener in the attic)
On Being a Better Player
Remember that roleplaying is a bit more than wearing a mask, it's running a subprogram in your mind. The events that happen in the game cause very real emotions, with accompanying physiological hormonal effects. How strong this is, varies greatly, depends on the player, the character, the situation, etc. In general, though, if you experience sadness, joy, excitement with others, you can expect to feel a real kinship with them. Pretend-battles can lead to real friendships.
When your own RP Makes you Miserable
Sometimes you may feel locked into an action by your character's nature. You might find yourself roleplaying out a course of action even though it makes you, the player, deeply unhappy. This is called "Hanging yourself on the Tree of Roleplaying," and we don't think it's healthy or necessary. As a Roleplayer you have a reasonable obligation to uphold the Continuity, but you also have an obligation to yourself to... Have a good time!
Roleplaying "martyrdom" may get you attention but "method-acting", throwing yourself utterly into their pawsteps, isn't the point of the game. Roleplaying is discovering and portraying your character's "hooks" and having "character developments" over time. Sometimes you lose old "hooks" and sometimes you gain new ones. The best roleplaying is finding the compromise between that which makes you, as player, happy yet makes your character's story dramatic and satisfying.
What is the "Consent Rule"?
Persona Play is Furcadia's default and it has one main rule, called the Consent Rule. Very simply: If somebody poses or says something that implies your cooperation, you can act like it didn't happen. This document, though, is not about how to conduct Persona Play. This book is about Roleplaying.