These aren't exactly rules; they're more like guidelines to provide a framework everyone can mutually understand and operate off of. If you'd like to manage posting order in a different way, communicate with the other players in your scene and get a co-sign from all those involved.
Posting and Post Orders
A strict post order is generally the default, though it can slow down larger scenes.
To alleviate this, if all participants are okay with it, consider using the three post rule (or 3PR), in which players may post again after three people have posted since they have.
Occasional quick interjections, like a single sentence, outside of the post order are generally OK, especially if you're responding to something said directly to or in reference to your character, returning a handshake, or something like that.
In general, this is to be avoided. There are some instances in which you are playing a scene with someone with whom you have great rapport, and a little sidebar or context can add depth or humor or something else that all the participants can enjoy, but what you should absolutely not do is use thought-posting as a way to establish dispositions that other player characters cannot respond to.
"John thought to himself what a stupid maggot Devin was." doesn't give the player of Devin an opportunity to respond, and it's generally considered passive-aggressive, rude, and self-centric to post this way. As mentioned, while thought-posting is not completely banned, you should use your discretion, and if someone asks you not to do it, or you find yourself making statements about other characters via thought posting and denying them the opportunity to respond, then stop. It is usually just an unpleasant experience for others.
It happens, stuff comes up! Throw a quick ((skip me for now, afk)) into OOC to let the other participants know to work around you for the time being. Try to give an estimate of how long you'll be.
Waiting for Posts
If it's someone's turn and they haven't posted within 10 minutes, it's OK to skip them.
Joining Scenes In Progress
Even if a scene is in a public place and only has a couple of people in it, it's polite to ask if people are game for another person before joining. Sometimes people are in the middle of a specific, unplanned conversation they want to finish before getting interrupted. Sometimes both the parties involved are about to leave, so they may want to save you the trouble (or insulted feeling) of joining just to have them immediately stop RPing. In general, checking first can make everyone feel more comfortable, but we encourage people to ask to join ongoing scenes when they're interested! Don't feel bad for asking.
If someone asks to join a scene and you want them to hold off, think about whether you're ready to have them join after one more round of poses, or if it will be longer than that. If it's longer than that, we encourage you to just turn them down politely, rather than asking people to wait for what might end up being a much longer time than you expect.
Maximum Scene Population
Open scenes usually have a maximum number of participants indicated by the person who set the scene. If it doesn't, and there are already 5 people in the scene, ask if everyone is okay with another joining, and don't take it personally if someone isn't. Sometimes scenes can be overwhelming beyond about 4 or 5.
Making an Entrance
Until your first pose in a scene, your character isn't actually present and can't hear anything that was said, even if it was said in the pose right before yours. This can be waived with the permission of the other people in the scene, especially in cases where it might provide comedic effect or add to the story, but we encourage people to ask first. If anyone in the scene hasn't okayed it, don't do it.
Time and Synchronicity
It's usually assumed a scene is happening on the present day, at close to the present time in New York City.
While participants can agree to have a scene outside the current time and date, it's preferred that you do this judiciously to avoid situations that make something you already did in the future relative to your "past scene" impossible because of something that happened there.
Asking for Dice Rolls
Players can ask other players for dice rolls to see if they notice something, like your character slipping something into their pocket, or that they're holding something back in an answer.
Our Storytellers work hard to keep scenes moving as efficiently as possible so that you can get as much quality playtime as you can out of a scene. To help them do that, please abide by the following guidances:
- Unless otherwise stated, ST scenes go by the three-post rule, or 3PR, except when in initiative.
- When referencing or mentioning another player in your post, @them so it's easier for them to see (Discord will highlight that post for them!)
- Change your Discord Handle to your Full PC name so it's easier for others to @you, and so the log is easier to cleanup at the close of the scene (all ST'd scenes must be logged).
- Come prepared. Know your powerset, your abilities, and when they will reasonably apply. Know the core mechanics of the gameline you're playing in. While the ST will answer all of your questions, that's time that you and others don't have to actually play the scene, and it means others are waiting on you to play a game that they came prepared for.
- Be ready on your turn in initiative. After three minutes of no response, the Storyteller can and may skip your turn. Being ready with your rolls, and having asked your questions beforehand helps keep the momentum of the scene lively and intact.
- Keep your Character sheet open so you can reference it during the scene. If the Storyteller is using a Scene sheet, keep that open, too, and reference it before asking a question that the sheet might answer, like an enemy's Defense.
- Avoid the temptation to participate in a Storyteller-run scene from your mobile device. You are generally not as fast as you think you are on a mobile device, and some features, like Scene sheets, may not be supported.