It is not always recommended to tell players exactly what is happening; much of the fun and intrigue of plot comes from working things out, and in the case of PvP issues it should be the decision of the player whether to divulge relevant secrets about their character OOCly, not the decision of the storyteller. With that caveat, however:
- Players may always ask for an explanation of a staff ruling. We recognise that this is different than appealing the ruling itself, and that understanding what is going on is more useful than simply asking players to blindly trust in staff's fairness and knowledge. (For example: "According to page 132 of the core Requiem book..." or "It's a balance issue," or "There was a threshold of three successes and you only got two.")
- NPC Characters will follow the same rules as PC Characters. (For example, both PCs and NPCs must roll to resist frenzies when appropriate.) NPC Characters will be roleplayed differently, however. While every effort will be made to ensure that NPCs are believable and internally consistent, NPCs should promote player enjoyment and interaction. NPCs will not PermaKill or otherwise make a PC character unplayable unless there is no other option.
- Players should identify OOCly what they are rolling for before rolling dice, though they are under no obligation to tell one another details. (A player might wish to keep a character's Bloodline powers a secret, for example, in which case they might only say, "I am rolling to affect you with a power." It is entirely appropriate to ask if someone starts rolling dice and you don't know why - people forget things!) They must, however, describe what their character's actions look/feel like if they are directly affecting another character, and inform the other player/s of anything that needs to be known IC or OOC for good roleplay to occur. A staff member can be called at any time to verify the roll, or provide necessary accompanying knowledge.
There are three stages to the conflict mediation process.
- Send a +request describing the situation to staff.
- Be specific, and try not to assume that the person who will read it has any familiarity with the situation.
- Define what the problem is, why it is a problem, and provide a suggestion as to what might be done about it. (For example: "Vampire Bill cast Pangs of Proserpina on me. We did not go into initiative rounds, there was no description of ritualised behavior, and I was not given the opportunity to make a roll to identify what was going on. My character has dots in Occult, and would likely have recognised that magic was being cast; I did not ask for a roll because the narrative description was unclear and I was not OOCly aware there was anything to roll for. I would like a retroactive roll to determine what my character knew, and then I would like the chance to respond in initiative rounds. This will likely require that the death of my ghoul (who I drank dry) be retconned.")
- Provide what appropriate supporting information you can, such as quoting the log for the scene. If it is a dispute about a rules call, please provide any relevant quotes and/or page numbers you feel support your case.
- If requesting a retcon (a rewriting of events) the request must be submitted within 24 hours of the player discovering there is a problem, and the player should minimise roleplay around the subject. Retcons become exponentially more difficult the more time has passed and the more people that become involved. Upon receiving the request, staff will identify other players involved with the contested situation to also avoid roleplaying around that topic while the situation is evaluated.
- One of three things will happen: Staff will agree with the initial +request; staff will provide an explanation for why the request is being refused; or staff will request a meeting to discuss the issue further. Players may always appeal a refusal and request a meeting for discussion. If timezones disallow such a meeting, the conflict mediation may be conducted within the job.
- The complainant will re-explain the issue from their perspective. They are recommended to state any arguments calmly and clearly, and to clearly delineate (such as in bullet points) any individual issues they feel require attention.
- The respondant will reflect back what they have heard. This does not constitute agreement, simply ensuring that the problems are understood. The complainant will either confirm the interpretation, or address any issues with it.
- The respondant will explain the issue from their perspective. This is not the time to argue against the complainant's points, though they will likely address similar material - the focus should be on 'I' rather than on 'you'.
- The complainant will reflect back what they have heard. Only when the problem is understood by all relevant parties will discussion move to solutions.
- Each party will identify to the other what their ideal outcome is, and recognise that it will probably be necessary to compromise somewhat. They will also identify to themselves the bare minimum that needs to happen for them to be satisfied.
- Solutions will be discussed, with the following guidelines held in mind:
- The rules apply equally to everyone, but where the rules-as-written (RAW) are unclear the rules-as-intended (RAI) should guide interpretations;
- This is a World of Darkness. Bad stuff happening to your character is par for the course - but it's supposed to be bad stuff that inspires roleplay, and it's never supposed to traumatise the player;
- If we're not having fun, we're failing at this game;
- Player-run plots are opt-in (you volunteer to be involved); Staff-run plots are opt-out (you're involved by default, but you can choose not to be); PvP is non-consensual (you don't get a choice);
- Try to find a way to give the other person what they want without sacrificing what you need.
- If matters cannot be resolved in this meeting, a log of the meeting (including each party's minimum requirements) will be sent to a third party. This person will try to find a solution that meets each party's minimum requirements, using the same guidelines as above.
- If any of the parties involved in the dispute are unreasonable during Stage Two (such as being verbally abusive or refusing to accept any difference between their ideal outcome and their minimum requirements), the mediator will be considerably more likely to rule in the other person's favor.
- When necessary, they will err on the side of keeping player characters playable.