Playing Heroes of Rokugan Online
The following is
a compilation of the basics and pieces of advice that have been floating
around for online GMs, players,
and coordinators. Thanks to everyone who contributed
to and reviewed the document Special thanks to Don Riddick, who initially collected most of this information for HoR.
Please send comments
to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Last updated 12/09/2010.
A detailed update
history can be found below.
Basics of HoR Online
Most Games are run on either Skype or Ventrilo, with IRC for die rolling. See the Guide to Skype and Guide to IRC for details on setting up and using those environments.
If your game is on Skype and IRC, then you will need to send your Skype user name to the GM and join the IRC channel for the game (your GM will supply the name). That's all that's required, though as you become more comfortable with the environment. you can have character pictures on your Skype Profiles, send multi-media, and pretty much do anything you could at a normal game table.
Dice rolling is either done in IRC, or if the GM permits, with real dice. No mapping program is required, as Heroes of Rokugan's combats generally don't require grids and maps.
At the end of the game, the GM will report the results of the game to the Campaign Administration. Please have your full name and your full character's name for your GM to place on the report. Each player also fills out a Character Summary, including the date and time of the game, the GM, and any rewards, exp, glory or honor gained by the PC.
Online Gaming Etiquette
- Show up 5-10 minutes early if you can, or let others know you are running late. For online games, it is particularly critical.
- Have the phone number for at least one other person at the online game. That way, if your internet goes down... your cat eats your keyboard, whatever, you can let someone know so they can either wait for you or continue without you.
- Wait your turn. With six or seven people on a chat, it is easy to interrupt others. You can't see them starting to speak. So, when possible, try to be courteous. Skilled Online Gms will make sure everyone gets a chance to interact before circumstances change. Much like at an in person game table, everyone should have their moment in the spotlight, their time to talk, to shine.
- Send your character's name, school, rank, advantages and disadvantages, and those unusual things you want the GM to know about. Not just that you are secretly a Scorpion infiltrator or half-breed Nezumi, but who the enemies, friends and family are that motivate or interact with you. For example, a Kitsune player has the Hatamori to the Clan Champion who hates her. or perhaps your aversion to tea is because your mother was poisoned... It's easy for on-line GMs to use some of this in gameplay.
- Ask questions on setting and rules before play, and show up early to do so if needed. Do you want to know if the Lion and Crane are friendly right now? Need to know how the Kitsu spiritual advantage detector works? Ask before the game, even in an e-mail. And if you don't like the ruling, don't argue, just bow out gracefully. GMs are empowered in the game, and players are empowered to make choices on GMs in an online setting.
- Rather than reacting emotionally to particularly bad ideas (in your opinion), just make sure the GM knows you aren't going along with it. As a GM, we try not to disadvantage all the players just because one player decides to sneak attack a clan champion or some other suicidal action. Merely state that you are not going along with whatever thing seems too crazy for your character to follow along with, and give the GMs time to work it out. Everyone's invested a lot of time in their characters, and no one should have to worry about their character being destroyed through griefing or random play. However, on-line arguing, because of its distance tends to be both more emotionally charged and more prone to relationship ending communication. Just make sure you message the GM as soon as you can when you are separating your character... don't engage in emotional debates on character choices online.
- Take notes or save chat files from games. Unlike in person games, you may not be able to recollect or reach people you played with. The only way to remember what truly happened is to make a note of it.
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New material copyright Maryrita Steinhour 2007,2010 with thanks to all contributors!