Symphonic Rayne

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On Realism & Suspension Of Disbelief

At the end of the day, participation in a roleplaying game requires a certain suspension of disbelief. We are not, after all, werewolves or vampires or superheroes, and it isn’t currently possible to break the laws of physics, manifest supernatural powers, etc. However, there are a few other kinds of suspension of disbelief that people–especially on forums–often forget to engage in.

The following is a list of reminders that players AND PCs should operate under in order to facilitate good roleplay and a healthy gaming community:

I. Timing

Things take longer on forums. That’s just a fact of the medium. Trying to enforce IC deadlines, urgency, or expectations around timing doesn’t work and frequently leads to interpersonal conflict out of character. In general, we’re going to ask people not to do this. If you’re worried about how long something is taking, either something another player is doing or that the Staff is doing, contact one of your moderators or your Admin/HST.

II. Communication

This is a big one, and breaks down into two main parts:

  • Don’t assume something isn’t happening, IC or OOC, just because you don’t know about it or haven’t been informed. ASK. Neither you nor your PC is necessarily going to be completely aware of everything going on in the world. Sometimes this is deliberate, sometimes it’s an oversight, and sometimes it’s neither; it’s just the way things are.I am a HUGE fan of transparency, and while I love to surprise my players with plot twists and the like, I am also not going to be “bummed out” if a player gets worried and wants a spoiler. I would always you rather ask than assume; and honestly, I will ALWAYS answer you, even if part of that answer is: “there is this THING happening that involves others and therefore I can’t give you the details.” But I promise not to ignore you.
  • Don’t assume something IS happening if it hasn’t been requested, stated, agreed on, etc. A big example of this is downtime type actions. If you agree to do something in a scene, but don’t post to your character forums/PM a moderator to say “my character will be taking XYZ actions off camera/in downtimes”, then your GMs won’t know about it and it may not be canon.

III. ST Rulings

Not every situation players will encounter is addressed in the World of Darkness source materials, especially in games like this one, with unique settings. As such, there will be times your storytellers need to make a ruling for the first time, on the fly, etc.

In those scenarios, we will default to real world physics/chemistry etc. before we default to Harry Potter/cartoon/superhero physics. Exceptions may be made if you’re in the Umbra, depending on the laws of the specific realm you’re in.

(Huge thanks to Jill Helding for this exceptional write up!)