The following are the basic rules and guidelines to help players manage their character relationships with other player characters in the game.
Why is this important?
To protect and ensure player boundaries are respected
To ensure a player is not taken advantage of
To help manage expectations
Just like in life there are many kinds of relationships that may develop ICly between characters: child-parent, sibling, romantic, employer-employee, protective, etc, are just some examples. These may put a player character in an authoritative position over another player character. This is a lot of responsibility and work both OOCly and ICly and can easily end up hurting another player if one is not careful.
Player boundaries take precedence above all else when it comes to these kinds of relationships, especially as between some characters it can become quite negative. Some players may not be interested or unable to pursue certain types of rp for any reasons. It doesn’t matter if the character would do it, if the player doesn’t want to do that kind of roleplay, do not force them to. It can be extremely harmful for the player to be put in that kind of situation. Even if they do not share the specifics for their reasons, they are to be respected.
So if a player says no, then do not do it. No comes in many forms, the rule is - unless there is an absolute and clear yes that they are ok with the direction of the relationship rp as is, anything else should be taken as a no - period.
A player wishing to partake of such relationship rp must make regular OOC check ins with the other player(s) to make sure they are ok with the direction and tone of the RP as it progresses, as well as to make they are not blocking the player’s ability to play their character. Never assume that the other player will be ok with any change in the rp, even if it is a type of rp they have done before, always ask!
When a player comes along that is not aware of the relationship and what the players have agreed upon, the players involved in the relationship should make sure that the other player is made aware of what could happen, and why some of the roleplay may go the direction it does. This is to help prevent the unaware player from feeling uncomfortable in the situation, and understand that everything going on in the RP is ICly and agreed upon.
If at any time a player becomes uncomfortable or feeling like their boundaries have not been respected with the relationship or begins to feel like they are being blocked and can’t do anything on their character due to the relationship they are encouraged to start a conversation with the other player(s) involved and let them know. This way the players can work out an alternative way to take the rp to resolve this. If the players on their own can not come to a resolution, then the player is encouraged to bring the situation to the attention of Social. Social can assign them a mediator to help come to a compromise or to help work out an exit strategy from the IC relationship with Setting on hand to advise as needed. Remember at any time a player has the right to opt out of an IC relationship.
- A player can not control a character that is not theirs.
- A player can not use an IC relationship to prevent another player from taking the involved character to sessions.
- A player can not use an IC relationship to prevent another player from rping with other players on the involved character or other rp in general.
- A player can not use an IC relationship to force another player to give their character items or silver.
- A player can not use an IC relationship to force another player to do RP topics that they do not want to participate in.
- A player can not use an IC relationship to harass, abuse, or threaten another player OOCly.
A player is not obligated to play out every single moment of any kind of relationship or employment and can not be force to do so.
Underaged PC relationships
Underaged is defined as any character that is physically or mentally under the age of 18 or even looks under the age of 18. In these games underaged is flagged as a special condition that requires Setting approval in order to play. This is due to that in that some scenes underage characters are not appropriate for as well as the expectations of many IC interactions from both PCs and NPCs already put older characters in a kind of authoritative position over the underage character.
Players interacting with an underage PC should keep in mind ways to also exercise their character’s authority over the underage in a way to help keep them involved in the session or rp in some way. Checking in with the player of the underage PC with a heads up on what may happen is highly encouraged.
Employment of a PC by a PC
In addition to the above there are some extra rules in regards to IC employment between PCs.
The hiring process is handled like a recruitment session between a NPC and a player. The players of the characters involved will make a request on the SH forums for a SH to run the numbers and officiate the hiring for them. The PC employer should ask questions related to the position being offered as well as request a demonstration of the potential PC employee’s skills that would apply to the job. At the end the SH may recommend an econ score boost, but the PC employer shall determine what is earned if the potential PC employee was hired. Then the SH will record the recruitment on the forums and make any adjustments to the econ score as needed or available. (This follows the same rules as other econ score bonuses and can not go past the +15 max gain per character.).
If the PC employer plans to give the employee a raise or promotion, there should be RP to point to that shows the promotion was earned. In cases where there is the possibility of an econ boost it must also be handled like a recruitment session so there is a record. If there is no boost to econ or other character Stats then a scene can be made to help record the RP that proves the promotion was earned. Similarly, to demote or fire someone, there should be an IC reason to point to, and can also be made into a scene to help keep a record.
The PC employer player can not make one of the terms of employment to have the PC employee give their employer a set amount silver or demand their PC employee make their character items because they work for them. This is in essence forcing another player to give them silver or items. ICly it is already implied that the PC employee is already contributing to the business in some manner, and while it could be said that the employer does take something (especially in regards to commission) no actual exchange of silver or items takes place.
This policy also helps keep PC employers as a viable option for other PCs for work, as if a PC employer takes away actual silver or items, this will make a PC employer less appealing than a NPC employer - who gets no actual silver or items and still provides all the perks of being employed. The perk of a PC hiring a PC is the opportunity for RP and collaboration for those characters.
Be sure to also review the rules on Transfer of items or money between characters for additional considerations linked to IC relationships.