Posting Rules

The reality is, we all have lives. We work. We sleep. We socialize. Sometimes we do them in different orders. There are times when it will simply not be possible to arrange a convenient chat time for those involved. In fact I suspect that this will be most often the case.

So the primary mode of play is making a dramatic shift from PBIM to PBF (Play by Instant Message to Play By Forum). This means some changes in how things will be handled. There are going to have to be some posting rules in order to keep the game from tanking.

These rules will be in the Rules Modifications section for Wraith, but I will also post them here below:

1) If you are in a scenario that involves another player (read: another player will be waiting on your replies before they can post), you are required to post at a minimum 1 post per week. Players are exempt from this if they are waiting on the Producer. Players are also exempt from this if they inform the Producer of a necessary leave of absence, so long as this leave of absence will not require them to fail to post for 1 week and 1 month from the date of declaration. There is no minimum posting requirement if you are the only player to be impacted by it. Players are encouraged to post at a rate greater than 1/week as it will mean more of a sample to draw from when computing plot allotment. This brings us to our next item:

2) A plot allotment change is required. It can no longer be computed merely monthly as characters will grow too quickly over the course of just a few days, their time. Instead, plot awards will be given at the end of arcs. Arcs are not season-long, Whedonesque Mega-ArcsTM. Arcs are defined as the cycle of Exposition -> Rising Action -> Climax -> Falling Action -> Resolution. Resolution and Falling Action can be deceptive (cliffhangers, etc) and still have the cycle be considered an arc. Arcs can be as short as a couple of weeks or as long as a couple of months or even a year, depending. Arcs that last a long time and have a substaintial post count will be weighted as several episodes (whereas normally arcs are weighted as a single episode). This is a direct multiplicative factor… if you've just finished a five episode arc, you get 5x the plot you would have for a 1 episode arc.

3) Because of the plot award change from monthly to arcs, coupled with the fact that not everyone will be finishing arcs at the same time, the bell curve awards will be applied at the time of an arc completion, and only to the character completing the arc. As before, the current plot influx from the arc (previously the month) will not be factored into bell curve awards. Adjustments for rolling will be applied at the arc.

4) Railroading, Pre-Empting, and Retconning - These three are all related, and so belong in a shared item even though the will be discussed separately. They have to do with timing.

  • Railroading - Railroading is when a PC is involved in a scenario with at least one other PC and posts a large stream of actions (as few as two in one post that could be responded to by others) without allowing a response from the other PCs; this is often done in a single post. While it may seem annoying or like something that should be discouraged, Railroading is a necessary part of forum-based gaming with more than one PC. This is because it moves the story forward. Allowing other PCs to Railroad means they will be more open to you Railroading in the future. Sharing the spotlight makes for a better story. However, when Railroading take care not to take too many liberties, else you may be Pre-Empted.
  • Pre-Empting - Often a response to Railroading, though it can happen in any situation. Pre-Empting is when a PC decides that a previously posted action, either by an NPC or a fellow PC, is something they would have responded to immediately. If a PC or NPC (meaning The Producer) is Railroading, the initial attempt to Pre-Empt automatically succeeds and the player can make their post without confirmation. Any actions of response beyond this require Initative rolls. The PC who initiated the Pre-Empting gets a bonus to Initiative if the PC or NPC is Railroading. If the PC or NPC is not Railroading, Initiative rolls are required. Posts are edited when they have been pre-empted to reflect the actions that actually went through without response. Pe-Empting normally cannot go beyond 2nd intention. In other words, if you post an action, then someone posts a pre-empting response, then you beat them in intiative and post a response that counters their Pre-Empting action, they cannot counter your counter. Anything beyond 2nd intention MUST be done via Instant Messaging. Pre-Empting cannot be used to Metagame, so make sure you're not responding to an action that your character would not know is coming or the consequences thereof. Pre-Empting is similar to Retconning, with the difference being Pre-Empting is based on Initiative.
  • Retconning - Characters are going to be at different hours/days/weeks/months in their stories than other characters. In order to not choke everyone down to the "slowest" character (one who is going hour by hour throughout a their daily lives while others are posting "I take a week to train"), Retconning is essential. If a character who is lagging behind finds themselves at a time and place where another character was, Retconning is necessary. The scene plays out differently due to the presence of the other character, and so the future might actually turn out differently. To keep things fair, Retconning cannot dramatically change someone's story unless they want it to, as it could require copious editing of all posts in the future of the event in question. To keep things simple, a Double-Retcon is forbidden. If Jim Corrigan meets with Tessa Sigil three weeks in her past, Seth Icarian cannot meet Jim Corrigan two days in his past. This would be a Double-Retcon as it could effect Jim Corrigan's actions in the initial Retcon after the Retcon has been resolved.

5) Non-dramatic combat will be resolved narratively. Rules will be posted for whole narritive combat resolution occurs. Players will know the resolution of a combat as soon as they choose to engage in it. The actual writing of the resolution can be done by the Producer or the Player. This is to help the story move along more speedily.

6) Dramatic combat must be resolved with full rules. It is preferable that this be done in an Instant Message session.

7) Long conversations between characters, especially involving more than one player, are preferably done in Instant Message sessions. In the event that this cannot be coordinated due to scheduling problems, players are asked to make an extra effort to post frequently in order to keep downtime due to conversation lag to a minimum.

8) When multiple characters are involved in a scenario, Instant Message playing can be arranged. It is desireable under these circumstances.

9) Instant Message sessions will use whatever chat client is most convenient for the parties involved, with preference as follows: IRC > AIM > Yahoo! The Producer does not use other clients and therefore they will not be used.

10) All Instant Message sessions will be logged and the relevant portions of the log posted in the appropriate thread.

11) Coordination of Instant Message sessions can be tricky. All Players involved will be rewarded 1 Plot if a session occurs that was coordinated with The Producer that is convenient for everyone involved. A thread for coordinating Instant Message sessions is on the forum. If a player who initiates a coordination effort for an instant message session cannot manage to coordinate a session due to scheduling conflicts with The Producer or more than one player, they will be awarded 1 Plot for putting the effort in. This is an attempt to not screw over those with schedules from hell.

12) Elastic Clause no Jutsu!

And that concludes the reading of the rules, Bruce!

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