Gamers' Corner


Basic Rules for FFRP

Written by Georgette Tan & Elisabeth Cook

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9. Historical Accuracy
Most people don't care about factual accuracy as long as you don't stray too far from the pre-determined theme of the RP. Rapiers have been used in a medieval setting, coffee is easily available in any inn because most of us can't live without it in real life, and everybody seems to be literate. As long as you don't bring lasers and M16s into a tavern in the middle ages, you're fine. As far as highly technical roleplaying is concerned (e.g. you're tanning a deer hide and you plan to roleplay this in detail), it would be nice if you knew what you're talking about, or if you can make a reasonable judgement on how the process goes. The same rules work on fantasy elements – if you have no clue how magic works, don't go there. There's always a smartass nearby who will laughs, dismiss you as a flake and generally embarrass you by telling everyone that you tried to shapeshift with an elemental manipulation skill.

10. Be Courteous
Roleplayers are people too. It's a nice gesture to say "Thank you for the RP" or "It's been nice RPing with you" when you're about to exit a session. Or asking if you may join in on a session that seems to be already in full swing. On IRC, most people are only concerned in channel-hopping to anywhere they can become the main attraction and God's gift to your boring little chatroom. I roleplay in a place where people actually say "thank you" and "that was fun, thanks for letting me play". And you know what? I enjoy being around people who respect the time and creativity others put into making roleplaying a fun experience for all involved. I won't have it any other way.

What is Powergaming?
Powergaming is something that happens when someone creates a godlike character or a character that is good at everything he/she does and the character tends to do everything better than everyone else in the game.

Powergaming and Its Effects
Powergaming is a phenomenon not wholly found in FFRP but one will be more likely to find it in this system more than others because free-form doesn't have the limits placed on characters as other systems do. Many times what happens is that a player makes an all-powerful character and sends him/her around generally doing whatever the player wants to. Other players don't tend to appreciate this and many times an episode of powergaming will end up with the powergamer leaving the game or all of the other players leaving the game.

Powergaming can also occur when a group of people get involved in some major event, say, a war and then start to try to one up each other all time. For example: "My army has 1000 of the greatest soldiers in the world."...."That's great, but my army has 2000 of the greatest soldiers in the world and they're better than your soldiers." An episode of powergaming like this can go on indefinitely. Many times other players get fed up and leave or tell the people causing the problems to just leave the game themselves. Sometimes powergamers are simply ignored.

Limitations of FFRP because of Powergaming
Since "pure" free-form doesn't have a DM or moderator the players must police themselves. Others may say that even then the game is not true free-form, but some sort of system of rules or simple recommendations usually needs to be put in place to try to prevent powergamers from popping up.

Basically, powergaming can occur easily in FFRP because of the lack of rules and DM's. If you have a good group of players, however, the powergamer usually doesn't continue powergaming for long if he/she wishes to continue playing the game. Actually playing the game is what anyone who ever considers powergaming should remember. You may think it could be fun to have an all-powerful character, but usually the opposite is true, having a somewhat true-to-life character who has advantages and weaknesses together will make a more interesting and fun character to play and for other players to associate their characters with.

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