Roleplaying in the World of Hogwarts
by Danton Thirroul
OPEN NOTE TO ALL PLAYERS
You are all role-play organisers. Really. In a small way.
You are all able to introduce Player-created Plot (PCP) into the sim -
background details, interesting personal secrets and revelations etc. You are
mature enough and able enough and we have guidelines below to help you. No, you
do not have to go to the Roleplay Organisers for approval.
Big change huh? Why are we doing that?
Simple. The reason we ended up having to go to the old Drama Directors for APPROVAL
was simple - some people didn’t like the idea of cause and effect. They did not like
to do ANYTHING but their own selfish plot. And when we started to police them on this,
they would run to the ‘friends’, they would cry me a river, and make out that they are
their inability to indulge in their little personality disorder meant they were
Then their friends would place OOC pressure upon me to stop people ‘picking on
them’. Then if I dared say ANYTHING about it, the people saying anything about
them would suddenly be ‘using OOC knowledge IC’ (a.k.a. - they would lie
and whine their way out of trouble). I am not mentioning ANY names nor pointing
the finger at anyone.
But you ALL know what I am talking about. This system will not be allow to take
place here in World of Hogwarts. The guidelines you read below are said with a
smile on my face, a twinkle in my eye and a laugh in my voice. And they will not
be open to ANY negotiation unless you tell the GM Council to get me to change
Here be the SIX guidelines for role-playing.
1. It is only a game.
Never take anything said IC personally; never get upset OOC with someone
personally; never think anyone is motivated by OOC reasoning. If you are being a
git and horrible to others - good. It is beholden unto YOU to make sure you
privately remind them it's all IC and you bear no OOC feelings of negativity
towards them. Failure on either side to communicate is a fault on both sides.
All over Second Life hundreds of role-play sims and role-players are able to do
this without an issue. It IS slightly easier than walking and chewing gum. If
YOU fail to do this I will send you this section of this note many times.
2. You cannot WIN in this game.
Another throw back to several bad role-players - WINNING. No, you cannot -
everything is designed to tell a story. EVERYTHING. So in all things you are
part of the story - as a character you help write it. Your duty is to help make
a story that will entertain others.
3. The other players are your audience.
Please read that line again - unlike the attitude elsewhere - the other players
are NOT your rivals; they are NOT your enemies; and if you think they are things
to get in the way of ‘your great plot’- then you really have missed the woods
for the trees. The other players are your audience. Everything you say and do in
the sim IC should be done with an audience in mind. Your hope - they will see
what you are doing, interact with it and have fun. And hopefully - they will be
doing the same.
4. “Private plot”.
There is NO private plot. Everything has ripples. A small personal plot can be
overheard- you cannot EVER say ‘This is just a plot between us two’. No, that is
selfish - go to selfish places where they allow selfish play to take place. We
are a roleplaying sim, not a collection of egocentric panderers. If you want to
do a plot between you and your friend, go elsewhere and do it - a private
location. Use of public spaces requires your plot can go public. Sure you can
work it so no one is about to see/hear the plot. Sure. Cool. But if someone
overhears - they overhear and you HAVE to include that fact into your plans.
5. Escalation and cause and effect - part 1.
OK, said this before, will say it again - never plan for only one or two people
to see your plot. Plan for lots to see you plot. True story - one professor in
another sim once decorated his office wall with a texture that had blood on it -
one day later I had a formal request to have the Aurors sent for and a bunch of
characters ‘investigating’ the ‘demonic plot’. The professor was like ‘WTF’
Welcome to escalation - you CANNOT dictate how others will react.
Do you picture in your mind this great bit of personal plot you want to do? Do
you picture in your mind how it will play out? STOP! Realise it will NOT play
out like that!!! Realise that you have NO idea how it will play out!!! Realise
that ALL you can do is add the beginning and seeing how its responded to.
(An example to help - I want to run a plot wherein I will say my IC brother has
been killed, say, by a Werewolf. I decide I want that to justify my character
hating werewolves - so I run the plot. In my mind all that is going to happen is
that I will play my character in mourning for a while and then play him going ‘I
hate Werewolves’ afterwards.
What ACTUALLY happens is that another character confides in me that they lost a
family member - while another asks me to join up in his crusade against
Werewolves seeing as they are magical creatures. Then someone in the Department
for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures complains against me, and
suddenly my character goes in a different direction. In ALL cases the plot
RESULT was not what I imagined. My job is to run with it.)
This is escalation. If you do not want to experience escalation - do not create
plot. The moment you create a plot you no longer control it.
6. Escalation and cause and effect - part 2.
Now the fun part. Yes you will not need to run plot by the RPOs and get their
‘approval’. ALL plot is cleared - and you are free to run it. Provided you
accept cause and effect. If you are not prepared to accept the RPOs running a
system of cause and effect, do not run PCP. What is cause and effect? Your plot
causes reactions amidst the other players and more - within the campaign world.
You can have a huge impact on the campaign world. The campaign world can have a
HUGE impact on you. If you do not want it to - then go elsewhere. So the RPOs
will allow plot to run, but are hereby authorised and mandated to run whatever
cause and effect they see as sanctioned and justified, and you have to deal with
SO you decided to run a PCP wherein a relative begins stalking you and
terrorising you, then suddenly starts terrorising some other players. You are
having a WHALE of a time; until the RPO rules that the relative has been
captured and killed. And why would they do that? Simple - the plot is
unbalancing the campaign. So with the powers of God they can kill, maim,
mutilate, fold, spindle, and adjust all things. Any NPC you create is under
their power if they wish.
They do what they have to do. If you object - IM me. If I back ‘em up, complain
to the GM Council. I will abide by their call. But we will NEVER allow selfish
plot to dominate the campaign. If we act, it is not because we think you are
bad. It is because unless there is a final rule of cause and effect, we can only
say NO to people. And we do not want to say no. We want to say YES, AND THEN...
It's much more evil.
Of course there is a way to avoid us from jumping on your plot like this. Tell
us beforehand. Work with us to make your plot run and run. So, you do not NEED
to run your plot via the RPOs beforehand... But it will help.
In conclusion: go
ahead and run as much stuff as you want. WE (the Roleplay Office) will be
running far more direct and fun plot than you can possibly believe and you can
happily just go with that if you want. But our greatest strength is your
imagination. Use it and have fun. As long as you remember that the other players
are your AUDIENCE and YOUR JOB is to entertain you audience, then guess what? We
are going to have WAY too much fun!
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