From WoD Gotham
The HUGE No-No!
Nothing kills a RPG faster than meta-gaming. Many of us try to avoid meta-gaming and many of us do so with a good measure of success. However, meta-gaming is something that EVERYONE is guilty of to some degree or another. So if everyone does it, what is it?
Meta-gaming is different things to different people. We’re using it as a broad term to refer to any OOC factor no matter how big or small that influences IC or vice versa. It’s basically the crossing of IC and OOC factors to the detriment of the Chronicle’s integrity and that of the harmony within the community.
Some examples of meta-gaming include:
- Using information in the books that your character wouldn’t know or doesn’t have the dots to support IC. Like knowing everything about another Clan, Tradition, Tribe or supernatural group because you looked it up in the book OOC and brought it to your character’s knowledge IC.
- Accidentally or purposely letting an OOC discussion influence your character’s IC behavior.
- Trying to ascertain OOC information for use in your IC actions, otherwise called Fishing.
- Being IC in a setting and overhearing something from a distance without making the appropriate rolls for it.
- Teleporting your character in a setting to be near or away from the action without taking movement rates into account or without having established your character’s position in the setting in the first place.
- Getting in a scrape IC and suddenly combat begins, so you pm all your buddies to find IC reasons to enter into the scene as well.
- One of your characters gets screwed over by another and possibly even dies. The next character you create ends up hunting the enemy down with little to no IC reason or without a storyline to support the “griefing”.
Players can expect that on meta-gaming issues, the staff is completely unforgiving. We’ll come down hard on this issue because we know how quickly it can ruin storylines that both STs and players really work hard on and demoralize the chat in general. It’s just that simple.
Sharing, Caring, and You
Players sometimes like to share their latest IC exploits with friends. They like to talk about their characters and share what makes them neat with others. Sometimes they share too much. Here are some examples:
- Thought Bubbles: That's when in your RP you share what your character is thinking. Example: *Gary Garou sits at the bar and thinks that the service is crap.* Where's my bloody beer?! Players who do this with their characters are considered so easy to read and such bad poker players, that everyone can take their thoughts IC. Seriously find a more effective way to emote your character's thoughts by USING DESCRIPTIVE WORDS TO SHOW BODY LANGUAGE, TONE AND EXPRESSION!
- The Reporter: Talking OOCly about your character's latest amusing or not so amusing adventure in the OOC Lobby or in PMs. I promise you, we all do it and we all only listen to be polite. Other players really don't care about your character. They care about their own. We are not going to keep track for you what you told a player OOC vs. their character IC. If you share information that is a spoiler to a story, you will be subject to a disciplinary action which can include permanent banning.
- The Fisherman: The type of player who wants to know what everyone else is playing or doing so they fish for information OOCly and put subtle pressure on other players to reveal their characters' information by offering some information of their own up. "What kind of character are you going to play? I'm playing a vampire." Totally not appropriate behavior and annoying, do not fall for the fisherman's bait. We will not cry for you after you're part of a fish fry.
- The Town Crier: The type of player who shares way too much information on their Character Description or Wikipage. All that stuff listed there is considered common knowledge and can be taken IC. Don't share venue specific information there, it will be your PC's funeral.
If you find yourself exhibiting any of these behaviors, please stop and take a step back. It's easy to get carried away with your sharing because it's natural for us to talk to our friends about stuff we find exciting. But if you get the reputation for being a blabbermouth, you're going to find the STs hard pressed to help you or even treat you with any sympathy at all if there is a meta-gaming incident involving yourself and any other player. In fact, we just will shrug and go, "So?".
"Why?" You may ask.
Because you clearly have demonstrated that you don't care about your character's integrity and keeping their secrets, so why on earth do you expect the staff to do so for you? This is your character you are running and your responsibility.
So the bottom line is this, if you want to be taken seriously by staff when or if there's an issue with meta-gaming, you should not have a reputation as being one or more of the above archetypes. You should be a conscientious player who keeps things IC and the OOC sharing to a minimum. It's hard enough sorting through meta-gaming issues normally, tossing in your loose lips and reputation for sharing, we just won't be able to keep track of who knew what when.