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Roleplay Expectations

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As Four Pillars LARP is a grassroots system, we often have new LARPers joining the system, or more experienced LARPers who have come from different systems who may be used to different expectations.

 

We want to make sure that everyone enjoys their time at Four Pillars events, and that they are getting a fulfilling LARP experience. This document is intended to establish a list of guidelines and expectations to make sure that people are having the best time that they can. 

 

In Character Areas:

  1. An In Character (IC) Area is an area of play designated by an appropriate sign, where the game is intended to take place. An Out of Character (OoC) Area is an area outside of the above. A sleeping tent in an in character area can be IC or OoC, depending on the preferences of its owner. The owner should give permission before any others use it.
     

  2. When in In Character Areas, players and crew should do their best to remain in character and roleplay as appropriate. There are obvious exceptions to this, but in general we ask people to try and maintain the in-game immersion for themselves and others.
     

  3. If you feel at any time that you need to come out of character for any reason, such as mental health, or just needing a break from intense roleplay, please indicate this by raising a fist, and if you need more than a couple of minutes, we ask that you head to the Out of Character area.
     

  4. We understand that sometimes you may need to check in with people out of character for reasons of comfort, or to make sure that someone is physically or mentally alright. This is a completely acceptable reason to come out of character; we ask that you indicate this by raising a fist. If more support is needed, please ask a ref.
     

  5. Likewise, it may be that you need a moment to speak to someone out of character, potentially because you just want a chat. Again this is fine; we understand this is a social game. However, we ask that if you are doing this, please step away from the main action to the side so you can speak privately; or, in the case of a longer conversation, please head to the Out of Character area.
     

  6. We understand that people may need to check their phones or other electronic devices to find out the time, for medical reasons, to check the rulebook, or to help time in-game effects. This is completely fine and understandable. However, we ask that anyone who needs to make phone calls, text, or spend long periods on their electronic device please either go to the Out of Character area to do so, or into a private sleeping tent in the IC area if they have brought one.
     

  7. Four Pillars events have allotted lunch and dinner breaks. During these breaks, players are welcome to bring food in OC packaging into IC areas. After these breaks, please make sure any OC packaging is disposed of or moved to an OC area. Participants are welcome to transfer food into an IC-appropriate container to continue eating

 

Character Roleplay:

 

  1. Memes and out of character based jokes can be absolutely hilarious, and we love to see them on occasion. However we do ask that they are not used to an extent where it overly breaks immersion, detracts from people’s roleplay, or breaks the code of conduct. Participants must also be aware that jokes relating to sexuality, politics, and a range of other issues may not always be appropriate and may make others uncomfortable.
     

  2. Four Pillars is a game where people are encouraged to have different in-game political opinions, and where players are faced with difficult decisions which may divide them. Character conflict is a natural result of this, and players are fully welcome to have characters which disagree with each other and argue in game. It is however very important to us that players understand that these are in-character arguments. We highly recommend checking in with other players out of character before or after these arguments occur to make sure that everyone is comfortable and happy. It is also important that people understand that these arguments should not be taken out of character.

    • In character disagreements, insults, arguments, etc, should be based on in-character attributes/actions. It is against the code of conduct to insult or criticise someone based on their out of character physical appearance or skills. Criticising a player’s out-of-character singing voice is not appropriate, however criticising a bard whose player deliberately chose a poor singing voice for that bard is.

    • While you and another player may have an agreement to have in-character conflict, remember that other participants may not know about this. If possible, please give the Refs a heads up if planning a dramatic/traumatic scene. 
       

  3. In character romance is something that sometimes happens in Four Pillars. However, we ask that for everyone’s comfort and safety, you follow the expectations below:

    • Do not initiate an in character romance with someone without their consent, even if it seems like an innocent one-way crush. You must ask that person first and respect their answer.

    • If someone is happy to have an in-character relationship with you, the two of you should establish any boundaries, physical, emotional or otherwise. Do not violate your in-game romance partner’s boundaries. Doing so could constitute sexual harassment.
       

  4. Player vs Player combat is an opt-in system. While there may be times when a player character is controlled by malign forces and attacks another character, you may only actively plan to attack or murder another player character if that player has opted into PvP. If you are unsure if someone is opted in or not, ask a referee to check.

 

Kit Standards

 

Four Pillars is a grassroots system; we aim to be accessible for new LARPers. However we do ask that players are aspirational with their kit, and try to aim for as high a standard as possible. By this, we ask that you avoid obviously modern clothing. We understand that new LARPers may not have access to LARP kit, and may need to use more modern looking clothing or footwear, but, we hope that over time people do build up their kit standards if they are financially able to. We also accept that modern footwear is often necessary for safety reasons; for example, hiking boots are often worn to run safely over terrain.


Combat:

 

  1. We are hoping to tell an immersive story; we aren’t playing a video game where the goal is to “win optimally”, we’re telling an exciting and epic tale. In the spirit of this, we ask players to avoid ‘drumrolling’. Use your weapon as if it was a real weapon; it has weight and impact. Likewise, if you are struck by a mighty blow, react appropriately; you may have taken the damage on your shield, but you can roleplay the effort it took to block that strike. You cannot block a giant two-handed weapon with a dagger without significant effort and impact. Fighting like a hero creates a better story; and if you are fighting like a hero, your opponent is likely to do the same.
     

  2. As detailed in the rulebook, we do not allow hand to hand combat, including grabbing other participants’ weapons. The only exception to this is pre-planned, choreographed stage combat with the approval and supervision of a ref between individuals with appropriate training. Any fight of this nature must be approved by a ref.
     

  3. Sometime during combat, larp weapons can become entangled, for instance if an axe hooks over a shield. Participants must not deliberately attempt to do this, and if it happens accidentally they should take a moment to pause and disentangle. 


 

If you feel at any point that someone has gone against these expectations and encroached on your enjoyment, please calmly and politely let them know if you feel comfortable doing so. If you do not feel comfortable, or the issue persists, speak to a member of the ref team who can approach that player for you.

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