IC and OOC
- In character (IC) is when you are playing your character during Time In
- Out-Of-Character (OOC) is when you are not
- You are assumed to be IC if you are in an IC area during Time-In in costume
- If you are OOC in an IC area, you should indicate this by putting your hand in the air
- Referees may also wear a white sash to indicate they are OOC
When play is about to start a ref (referee) will call TIME IN. From this point everyone who enters the play area is considered to be IC and should roleplay accordingly. At the end of the event, a ref will signal the end of roleplay using the call TIME OUT.
If you need to be in an IC area when you are OOC, you should hold one hand up above your head - this is the signal for 'I am OOC'. This may be necessary if, for example, you need to speak to a referee, or fetch an OOC object you left in the IC area. If possible you should avoid IC areas when OOC; if it is unavoidable, be as quick as possible and don't disturb people who are IC.
During play it may be necessary for a ref to suspend the roleplay temporarily. This can be done by the following calls:
TIME FREEZE: stop exactly where you are. You may not move or roleplay and must close your eyes as well as hum or sing quietly to yourself until Time In is called. No time passes IC during a Time Freeze. It is permissible to relax from an uncomfortable position if the Time Freeze lasts more than a few moments, but you should always attempt to be in the same position at the beginning and end of the Time Freeze.
Example: A group of monsters teleport into an area occupied by some characters. To simulate their instantaneous arrival, a Time Freeze is called to move them into position. This ensures that the players do not see the monsters before their characters do.
Some effects may require a player to call TIME FREEZE, e.g. to place the physrep for a wall of fire spell. When this occurs, treat it the same as if a ref called it. The player will call TIME IN once they are finished.
TIME FAFF: you should continue roleplaying, but you must not take any significant actions such as attacking other characters or moving from the area.
Example: On an adventure, the refs require more time to set up a particularly complex and detailed encounter. A Time Faff is called to keep the character party where they are without having to suspend their roleplaying.
MAN DOWN: this is a safety call used to stop play if any player is injured. You must stop roleplaying immediately, locate the injured person and call for a first aider. You should clear a space around the injured person to allow first aid to be administered. Anyone may call Man Down if they believe a player has been injured. You must not use this call IC for any reason.
GLASSES: used to announce that someone has lost their glasses. Stop moving immediately and assist in the search for the lost glasses. Otherwise, this functions as a Time Freeze. Anyone may call Glasses if their glasses fall off during play and are at risk of being stepped on.
In all cases a ref will call Time In before normal roleplaying continues.
- If you are not present IC or can hide yourself from other characters you must raise one hand in the air
- If you are flying you must raise both your hands in the air and call out your current height at regular intervals
Some abilities allow characters to hide or become invisible IC. When this happens, you should raise your hand into the air. If you see someone with their hand in the air, you must roleplay being unable to see them. If they become visible, they will lower their hand and you may roleplay accordingly. Sometimes refs or other characters will need to be OOC in an IC area; in this case they will keep their hands in the air and are not present at all IC. If you are unsure about whether a character is visible or not, you should ask a ref or the character in question.
Some creatures or characters with certain abilities may have the power to fly. When flying you must keep both hands in the air and regularly call out how high above the ground you are.
Referees and Rules Queries
- The ref team is responsible for running the game
- Most in-game actions do not require a ref to oversee them
- If you have any rules queries, ask a member of the ref team
- 'Adventure refs' run adventures and are not always members of the ref team
The ref team is responsible for running the game for the players, answering rules queries and adjudicating where necessary. The decisions of the ref team are final.
It is not necessary to involve a ref when dealing with common situations such as dealing or receiving damage, using most skills, or roleplaying with other characters. Players are expected to act accordingly without the need for outside adjudication, however if a situation arises where the rules or outcomes of an action are unclear, you should consult a ref.
Refs and monster crew play many roles during an event, these are known as NPCs (Non-Player Characters).
Adventures are run by 'adventure refs' who are usually the authors of the adventure. While they are responsible for planning the adventure and placing encounters, they are not necessarily part of the ref team but their decisions are still final for the duration of the adventture. Adventures are looked over and approved by the ref team if a player has submitted one to run.
A Note On Cheating
In general, cheating is rare. If referees find players cheating then they deal with the issue as appropriate.
Please note that the TT rules system is complex and many characters will have methods to defend themselves or to resist attacks that you are unaware of. Characters may have special items or abilities that over-ride the published rules. Please do not make public accusations of cheating, as it is likely that the player in question is acting legitimately. Complaints aired in public ruin the atmosphere of the game and only exacerbate the problems caused by cheating. If you think that another player is cheating then please report the matter to one of the referees as soon as possible and leave it for the refs to deal with.
As much of the game is self-reffed and reliant on the honour system, it is down to every player to do their best to avoid bending or ignoring the rules to their own advantage. Remember, even if it seems OK to fudge a rule in your own favour, you are directly deteriorating the game experience for other people. As an example: even monster crew on adventures can feel accomplishment in defeating a player character; cheating by not taking hits, for instance, only results in frustration and ill-will, regardless of how much your character 'deserved' to live.
Physreps and Lammies
- 'Physreps' are props that represent IC items
- A 'lammy' is a piece of laminated card that details the properties of an item
The term “Physrep” (Physical Representation) is used to describe an OOC item that represents an IC one. For example, a larp-safe weapon represents an IC steel one. In general, physreps are exactly what they look like (for example a sword is a sword). A lammy is a piece of card used to detail the properties of an item that cannot be represented by the physrep. For example, a sword may have a lammy attached to it that states “Flawless Sword”. In character, this sword is obviously of exquisite quality, although the phys-rep itself may not be.
If an item has a lammy, the lammy must be attached to the physrep. This is because items can be lost or stolen in character, and the lammy needs to go with them. If it would be awkward or unsafe to attach a lammy to an item it is permissible to keep the lammy in your pocket, so long as the lammy stays with the item if you are no longer in possession of it (e.g. rings, armor or small weapons).
If an item has any special properties, they will be detailed on the lammy. The first part of the description will take the form "Obvious: ..." anything following this is clear to any character who studies the item. There may then be a heading for Magic, and Spirit which define how the item responds to the use of "Rec. Magic" or "Detect Nature of Spirit". Other information on the lammie may follow other skill names; this information is only obvious to people with the appropriate skills.
For example, a magic staff lammy may say:
“Obvious: This staff is made of strange crystal. Add MAGIC to any damage call with this item.
So anyone who looked at it would see it was made of crystal and would know that it would deal magic damage. But only a mage who used rec magic on it would detect a sixth circle grey aura.
- The game takes place in a medieval fantasy setting, in and around a city called Durholme
- People are drawn to Durholme for trade and because of its vast magical and spiritual significance
Durholme is a medieval city corresponding in location to modern-day Durham. It is situated within the Palatinate in Albion, the equivalent to Britain. The city's population varies, but is roughly 3,000.
Most people in Durholme and the Palatinate are peasants who survive on subsistence farming. Everyone is poor, dirty and only possesses a basic education relevant to their skills.
Durholme has for centuries been a great centre of magical learning and the seat of powerful religious leaders. It is the holy city of The Balance.
Types of character
- Characters are unusual individuals drawn to the city to make their fortune or change the world
- They cannot begin with extraordinary positions of power
- Characters must be original and fit into the game's setting
When developing a character's name and background it is important that they remain consistent with the game's setting. You may not play existing fictional characters from other sources or real-world people and should avoid making obvious OOC references in their name and characterisation.
Example: Batman, Gandalf, Sparhawk, Harry Potter, Leeroy Jenkins, Gordon Brown, Stephen Hawking are all unacceptable names for characters.
Characters at the beginning of play may not be exceptionally powerful and their background must be consistent with the setting. It is possible to play a character who has an exceptional background but this must be cleared with the refs to avoid highly incongruous characters.
Example: a character may not start play as the King of Wessex or the Avatar of the Balance; these are extremely ambitious goals which may be achieved in game. Likewise, a character raised by a Dragon or who is an Elemental Elf that loves their opposed element is unlikely to be suitable for the game.
- You may have as many characters as you like
- You must designate one character as your primary
- Your primary character and act in downtime and learn skills
- All other characters are secondaries and may not act in downtime
- Downtime actions occur between events
Players may create and maintain as many characters as they like, but they must designate one (and only one) of these characters as their Primary character. Players can change which character is their Primary between events, by notifying the refs.
Primary characters may submit a downtime and can earn XP (eXperience Points) for being played. Unless otherwise stated all the rules in this section apply only to primary characters.
Secondary characters exist only in uptime, but during this time they may do anything they are capable of - earn money, make contacts, join guilds, attack other characters, etc. Anything that happens to them in character will not be retracted by the refs. They can even go on adventures and get to keep anything they find during time-in. They may still communicate or be contacted in downtime. They do not get downtime. They can earn XP from adventures but not spend it since that requires downtime.
See the Downtime Guide for more information about downtime.
Creating a character
- New characters start with 90 XP
- XP is spent on skills which determine what your character can do
- Your character’s sheet must be submitted to the refs before play
- Quickstart and blank character sheets are available here
Every character has a set of skills that affect what IC actions they can take. These skills govern things like whether or not your character can read, fight, cast magic, brew potions and so on.
There are no skills which affect how fast you can run, how well you can fight, or how persuasive your character is. These are dependent on the player, and are known as 'hard skills' (as opposed to IC 'soft skills).
Every character begins play with 90 XP. This may be spent on any skills that the character can afford.
- All characters begin with three (3) hits per location
- You may call SINGLE with any weapon up to 36 inches in your on-hand
- You may wear up to six (6) points of armour in total
It is assumed that a character is physically fit, healthy, intelligent and fluent in their native language (Albion is the most common and is physrepped by English). The ability to read, write and be numerate must be purchased with XP.
All characters may wield a single weapon up to 36 inches long in one or two hands to call SINGLE. The abilities to wield a longer weapon, wield more than one weapon at a time, use a shield or to use a higher damage call must be bought with XP.
It is possible for any character to wear armour but the total number of armour points worn must not exceed six.
For example, a full set of 1-point armour (Head, Body, both Arms, both Legs) adds up to 6 points, as does 3 locations of 2-point armour (e.g. a reinforced leather jerkin covering body and arms).
Racial packages may affect your default skills (for instance, Elemental Elves have one fewer hit on their limbs).
Some skills are considered ‘innate skills’, and can often be used in circumstances where other skills cannot be used. These include literacy, the ability to speak another language, and the ability to wear armour. If a skill is innate it will be mentioned in the skill’s description. All inherent skills, other than the ability to call damage, are considered innate skills.
- Characters earn XP (Experience Points) for going on adventures, and attending interactives
- XP is used to purchase skills in downtime
As characters are played they grow in power by gaining experience points. These points acumulate over time.
Characters earn XP (Experience Points) for going on adventures, and attending interactives
XP is used to purchase skills in downtime.
If a character is already at 361 XP, all earned XP from monstering is banked for use with their next character
Each interactive provides (7 - your current character level) XP, so a second level character would earn 5XP per interactive, and a seventh level character would earn none.
Adventures provide a base value of 30XP, minus 10XP per character level under that adventure level and plus 5XP per character level over.
Example: Anya and Ivan go on a fourth level adventure. Anya is a third level character and Ivan is a fifth level character. As a result of this Anya will earn 35XP from the adventure whilst Ivan will only earn 20XP.
Playing a 'monster' role for an event typically awards 3XP. XP gain is always at the discretion of those running the event and occasionally extra XP may be granted.
Starting Characters begin play with 90XP.
The total number of XP a character has determines his level; see below.
XP may be spent to gain skills in downtime. This does not reduce the total number of XP the character has, just the amount of 'unspent XP' they have.
- Skills cost varying amounts of XP
- Some skills have pre-requisite requirements
- You may buy certain skills multiple times per level (double-buying)
- It costs more to double buy above your level
- See the Downtime Guide for more details
In order to buy skills you must spend Experience Points (XP) and learn the skill in downtime.
Some skills have prerequisite requirements in terms of other skills.
Some skills may be bought multiple times in the same level. This is known as “Double-buying”. If you buy a skill multiple times in a level, AND this results in you having more levels of the skill than the number of the level you are spending in, then each extra buying of the skill costs double, then triple, then four times (etc.) its normal cost. E.g. if in you bought all of Health 1, 2 and 3 in level 1 they would cost 6, 12 and 18 points respectively. However, if you bought Health 1, 2 and 3 in level 2 (because you had not bought it in level 1) they would cost 6, 6 and 12 points respectively.
Note: Each miracle, spell and area of knowledge is a different skill. It is, therefore, permitted to buy more than one miracle, spell, or knowledge skill of the same level per level of advancement without the XP multiplier.
Upon filling a level with skills a copy of your character sheet should be sent to the referees.
Most skills only take a minor downtime action to learn; 'root' skills require a major action and an appropriate facility. See the Downtime Guide for more information.
- All characters start with 100 schillings' worth of lammied equipment.
Every character (even secondary characters) begin with 100 Schillings of cash to spend on lammied equipment as they please. Any unspent money is retained as cash.
They may have as many unlammied 'dross' propsand items of costume as they wish.
The price list for starting equipment can be found in the Money and Equipment Guide.
- The amount of XP your character has earned determines their level
- New characters start at 90 XP (Level 2)
- The maximum level a character can reach is level eight (8)
- Your level determines which skills you can buy and your resistance level
Your character's resistance level is determined by the amount of XP that they have earned. A character has one level for every multiple of 60 XP or part thereof that they have earned.
Example: Ivan has earned 120xp and as such is level 2, however Dmitri has earned 121xp and is therefore level 3.
A level-based effect will work on you if your resistance level is equal to or lower than the level called.
Example: Boris has 124xp and is therefore level 3. An enemy priest calls HALT LEVEL TWO against him, which has no effect on Boris. If it had been HALT LEVEL THREE then Boris would have been affected.
For the purposes of buying skills, you are considered to be 'in' a given level while you still have unspent XP in that level.
Example: Vladimir has 181xp but has only spent 140 of them. His resistance level is 4 but he is still buying skills in level 3 for the purposes of double-buying.
Normal character advancement is limited to 480XP. Only special circumstances allow characters to advance beyond this to ninth level.
- Any character may loot the corpses of any dead Player Character, Non Player Character, Monster, or any other corpse they come across.
- This must be phys-repped by at least 30 seconds of mimed search.
- Alternatively, and by mutual consent, the corpse can be actually searched.