Rules Updates

The rules we play by are originally based on TonyLARP, though there have now been substantial modifications. The rules are kept up to date on the website by the Character Ref Team.

The original TonyLARP PDFs are included here for reference only:

There are two forms of Rules Update that the Character Ref Team will handle over the year:

Clarifications

Clarifications are updates that purely clarify the meaning of an existing rule rather than making any actual changes. This could be things like explaining how a casting stacks with other castings, or how a physical skill works in a particular situation.

If a clarification expands upon a current rule with no contradictions to the wording of the rule (the sole exception being obvious typos that need correcting, e.g. a casting having a 200’ range or a dart 200 existing) it may be adopted immediately by recording it on the website. There will be a week’s notice before the clarification takes effect in-game in order to allow for the club to evaluate it (i.e. a clarification recorded on a Saturday will not take effect on the following day but on the next Sunday).

If a clarification is presented to the club and any person is able to submit a statement that a character skill, currently possessed by a character played by them, is rendered ineffective or less effective due to removing one of the uses the character had acquired the skill for during the week’s evaluation period, the change will be put on pause briefly to assess that and discuss solutions, which may be specific for that character (as discussed with the Character Refs), or a generic re-evaluation of the clarification. Likewise, a GM may submit to the Character Refs, in private, if they feel a plot line/NPC has been invalidated in a similar fashion, although powers of GM wibble should prevent that applying.

If the Character Ref posts a rules clarification that members feel is actually a rules change, they can object to the clarification/change by posting on the Rules Discussion board or emailing the committee including the phrase, “I believe this is a change, not a clarification. I wish to refer it to the committee for review.” If 5 members object, the clarification/change will be reviewed by the committee and either (a) confirmed to be a clarification, or (b) suspended for submission as a change in the next rules change period. This does not affect the procedure for challenges to clarifications on the basis of negatively affecting characters/plot.

If a clarification directly contradicts the wording of a rule it will be considered a change and will be playtested as such over the summer.

Changes

Changes make an actual difference to the rules – such as a change in level of a casting, a change in how a skill works, or a completely new casting/skill tree.

Any rules changes will be playtested between the first 36hr and the September General Meeting (i.e. over the summer). Within the week before the first 36hr or a couple of days after, the Character Ref is responsible for making available a list of changes without details to be playtested over the summer and a rough ordering for testing. GMs may choose to opt-out of running their game under the new ruleset if they wish but must give sufficient notice to the players (minimum of a week).

Common sense is to be used in what type of games are needed when changes are introduced in order to fully playtest the new rules, but each change should be covered by a minimum of two games.

Playtest games should, where possible, have a designated Player Ref to collect feedback during play from the players; the GM is responsible for collecting feedback from the monster crew. The Character Ref is responsible for collating all feedback and making corrections. Any corrected versions submitted over the summer will have a minimum of two playtests of an appropriate level to cover the changes; if there is insufficient time for the playtests, the corrected versions will be shelved until the following summer. There will be a final cut-off of 5 weeks before the September General Meeting for any new changes or reiterations.

The changes will be voted upon at the September General Meeting. Each logical block will be voted on separately using standard rules minus the minor rewording option. The Character Ref will be responsible for updating the main copy of the rules with the voted-in changes by no later than the Tuesday following the General Meeting.

The HL 36hr will be run under the new ruleset unless the GM(s) agrees otherwise and gives at least one month’s notice to that effect to the club.

Foreshadowing games for the purpose of introducing major changes are not covered by the playtest rules, although their conclusion should not be “this things has definitely occurred” where possible to avoid world wobbles.

Intended changes in the next playtest period can be found on the Future Rules Changes page.

During playtest periods, changes will be marked up as follows:

Text that has been removed.

Text that has been added.

Extended Playtest

Some changes, like new Guilds or races or casting lists, are too complicated to playtest properly over a summer and may need to be looked at from rank 2 up. In these cases an extended playtest of the change over one campaign with the GM’s permission should be allowed, with the caveat that only players who are willing to give honest feedback and understand that they may lose the character may test the change. The high-rank tests can then be completed over the summer playtest after the campaign by the same players for consistency.

Rule Prioritisation

In order to focus the rules changes onto areas that the club as a whole would like to see overhauled, we go through a cycle of prioritisation each year. As this process is just being developed, it is currently as follows: