Playing the game
Time-in and the IC area
- Time-in begins at 10 am and ends at 1 am each day
- You are always in-character (IC) in the IC area during time-in
- The Imperial Senate chamber is time-in throughout the game
- You must not roleplay your character outside the IC area
Normal roleplaying begins at time-in, which is 6 pm on Friday and 10 am every morning thereafter. Normal roleplaying ends at time-out, which is 1 am each morning and at 3 pm on the last day of the event. The IC area is the section of the campsite reserved for the game where all roleplaying must take place. Each event guide will clearly delineate the boundary of the IC area.
The exception to this rule is the Senate Chamber. The meeting place of the Imperial Senate is the political hub of the Empire and the building remains time-in from the start of the event until time-out at the end of the event. Players who choose to remain in the Senate building after time-out each night do so because they wish to continue roleplaying. Please avoid this area after time-out if you are no longer IC.
Everyone who is in the IC area during time-in is considered to be IC. You should avoid the IC area during this time unless you are playing your character. If you are in the IC area and you wish to stop roleplaying then out of courtesy to other players you must leave the IC area first unless there is a genuine emergency.
You may continue to roleplay with other characters anywhere in the IC area after time-out so long as you do not take any confrontational actions. You can talk and trade but you must not attack another character, steal from them, or use any ability.
For example, you are in a casino so you may continue to roleplay after time-out but you may not steal items or money from other patrons and you may not attack anyone.
You must not roleplay once you leave the IC site boundaries.
Behaviour while In-character
- Avoid inappropriate references while at events
The themes that exist within Empire include mind-influencing magic, drugs and addiction, human sacrifice, racism and prejudice, prostitution, violence, robbery, torture and murder. They do not include non-consensual sex or sex with minors. It is not possible to know what real life experiences other players have suffered, so you must avoid IC references to either of these two subjects in play to ensure that you do not upset any of your fellow players.
The wiki lays out forms of racism and prejudice that are specific to the Empire setting - for example a briar will face prejudice in many parts of the Empire. We regard the choices that players have chosen to make for their character as acceptable subjects for discrimination in the game - please do not conflate these with real world discrimination issues such as sexuality, gender, and religion. See the rules for equality and diversity on our main website for more information.
Behaviour while OOC
- You must not use any secret IC information which was gained while OOC
You should do everything reasonably possible to ignore any secret information that your character has not gained IC. You should only act on the things your character could legitimately know.
It is usually inappropriate to tell another player something that their character might desperately want to know. If your character has been murdered for instance, you should avoid telling your friends who murdered your character, for they are likely to want to take revenge. If another player actively tells you something that you did not want to know while OOC and you believe that doing this has affected your ability to discern the information IC then speak to the head referee. The head referee will assess the situation and may give you permission to act on the knowledge your character has if they believe it is appropriate.
- You may steal any obviously IC item such as money, a map, IC scroll or document
- You cannot break open a strong box or smash a chain
- You must return IC phys-reps to GOD within thirty minutes
- You can only steal items during time-in
- You cannot enter a tent that has been sealed
- Do not go through people's obviously OOC belongings
- Do not mix IC items with OOC belongings
If you steal IC money or resources from another character then you should keep it; but if you steal any other item then it is important to make sure that the player gets their phys-rep back.
We recommend that you bring stolen item phys-reps to GOD rather than returning them directly so that the victim does not know who has stolen their item OOC. You must ensure that the owner has the opportunity to regain their phys-rep within thirty minutes of stealing it, either by returning it to the player, or by handing it in at GOD. Prompt return of stolen items will ensure that you are not embarrassed by a referee coming to find you and the stolen item.
You can only steal items from the IC area and during time-in. If you are stealing IC items, then you must make sure that you avoid going through any bags or boxes that contain obviously OOC belongings. If you are keeping OOC items in an IC area, then you must make sure you do not mix IC items in with them.
You may not enter a tent that has been sealed unless it is your own tent or there are clearly people inside the tent roleplaying. You can only take items from a tent that has an obvious entrance that has been left open to allow characters to pass in and out. You must get a ref to assist you if you wish to enter a sealed tent that has players inside who are roleplaying.
If a player's tent includes a wooden or metal box or a metal chain then you must assume that they are made using the strongest possible materials and strengthened magically, to the point where they are virtually indestructible. It is possible to destroy the item - but only by spending hours smashing it to pieces - making tremendous noise and utterly destroying the contents in the process if it is a box. This means that any solid box which is locked cannot be smashed opened in game - you need the key or a mundane way to pick the lock. If the box is chained to the tent then it cannot be removed.
- If you wear a disguise it is only as good as the phys-rep you use
- You must answer truthfully if you are OOC challenged about your disguise
- You must not disguise yourself as a member of a different lineage or species
It is perfectly acceptable for you to wear a disguise whilst in character (IC). Your ability to change your character’s appearance is only ever as effective as the phys-rep that you use; so if someone recognizes you then they may choose to recognize your character, regardless of the method used to change your appearance.
If you believe you recognize a character that you have met previously who appears to be in disguise then you may check out of character (OOC) by asking the player. You can ask if they are playing a character by name or by reference to a meeting you have had but you cannot simply ask if they are in disguise. You may ask a referee to check a character’s identity to avoid asking them directly. If another player asks you if you are playing a specific character in disguise then you must answer truthfully.
For example, you are playing a Freeborn merrow called Iago but you have disguised yourself as one of the merrow of the Kallavesi. If anyone asks OOC if you are playing Iago or ‘your merrow’ or ‘the merrow I met last night’ then you must answer truthfully.
It is much easier for a player to obtain prosthetics for a lineage or species phys-rep than it would be for a character to adopt that disguise. Because of this, you must not disguise yourself as a member of another lineage or species. You may disguise your character, but must actively avoid any make-up or prosthetics that could conceivably be confused with the phys-rep requirements of another lineage or species. This restriction does not apply if you are using magical means to disguise your appearance.
For example, your human character could glue foam horns to their forehead but this would not be sufficient for any sane character to think you were a cambion. Therefore, you must avoid putting horns on your forehead as part of a normal disguise.
- You can forge letters and other purely in-character documents
- You cannot forge game items in Empire
- You cannot forge bourse notes
In-character forgery is not a theme of Empire. The divinations of day and night magic ought to make it trivial for the authorities to identify characters who were forging coins or similar items, but in practice this isn't possible for OOC reasons. You may forge IC documents written by NPCs or PCs if you wish to do so - but you cannot forge coins, herbs, potions, mana crystals, resources, liao or any other similar game items. In particular you cannot forge bourse notes.
- You should report anyone you suspect is cheating to a referee
- Do not make public accusations of cheating
Profound Decisions make all reasonable effort to ensure that players are not cheating at events. Please do not make public accusations of cheating. OOC complaints during time-in ruin the atmosphere of the game and only exacerbate the problems caused by cheating.
If you think that another player is cheating then please report the matter to one of the referees as soon as possible and leave it for Profound Decisions to deal with. If referees find players cheating then they will deal with the issue as appropriate.
It is advisable to get a referee to accompany your character attacks another character. The referee will be able to help ensure that all the game rules are followed fairly by all participants.