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Hello, and welcome to the website for Firmament, the Trinity term 2018 Oxford University Roleplaying Games Society. If you've never played any sort of roleplaying game before, then this is the place to start. We'll get you caught up to speed in no time. If you're a seasoned roleplayer, you already know what to do, but feel free to check out the quick guide to sections of the site at the bottom of this page.

One important thing to be aware of first: You don't need to read this entire website! There is always more world building to be done than any one person can hope to read. What we are looking to do is to create at least one area that interests you. If you can find it, then fantastic! It is okay to act like a magpie and skim until you find something shiny: knowing the setting inside and out is the GMs' job, not yours.

For a first place to look, try the Overview page, and from there choose what looks most interesting.

Any questions, concerns and character concepts should be e-mailed to the The GM Team. The deadline for character submissions is 23:59 on Thursday 19th April.

What Does It All Mean?

There are a few acronyms used throughout the website which might be a little confusing if you've never played before. Don't worry - help is at hand! And if you're confused by anything, feel free to email us to ask questions!

  • OOC or OC - Out of Character. Events and circumstances in the real world. For example, Firmament sessions take place OC at St Hilda's College every Tuesday in term.
  • IC - In Character. Events and people in the World of Firmament. For example, the sessions of Firmament occur IC in grand gatherings held by the Queen of Esharia.
  • GM - Game Master or Game Moderator. Us! The team of people who write, run and maintain the game for your playing pleasure. The first place to turn if you have a question.
  • PC - Player Character. You! The characters that Firmament players create and represent in the fictional world. You will usually play the same PC every week through the course of the game, though you may switch or retire a character if you get bored or your character dies.
  • NPC - Non-Player Character. Us again… most of the time! Other important inhabitants of Esharia, and elsewhere, who may be present at meetings but will be played by a GM. NPCs will usually vary week-to-week, and GMs will often play several NPCs during a game session.
  • PvE and PvP - Terms to describe the nature of the fight your characters face, 'Player vs Environment' (i.e. the world is out to kill you) or 'Player vs Player' (i.e. everyone else is out to kill you). Firmament is designed as primarily a PvE game, but we expect some PvP to occur between player characters as well (because it always does).

What's a Roleplaying Game?

A Roleplaying game is somewhere between amateur dramatics and collaborative storytelling. You turn up, create a character to play, and play them! There are no scripts or lines, no set outcomes to what will happen - just a setting, a bunch of other characters to interact with, and some GMs to make sure it all runs smoothly.

Firmament is specifically a freeform roleplaying game, which means that instead of narrating your character's actions during game sessions, you actually perform them; you turn up each week, walk around and talk to other characters, make deals, trade news, gossip, diplome, eavesdrop and orate. This doesn't mean you need to be a great public speaker, or even a particularly good actor - just be able to speak as your character would!

Sessions in Firmament take place in the Royal Palace of Esharia, under the watchful eye of the Queen's guards, where it is basically impossible for combat to occur or for harm to come to your character. It may well be possible to wander off into areas where you character might be at risk, but these will usually be well signposted by the GMs.

Most importantly - Roleplaying is about having fun and creating stories with other players. Absolutely no experience is required to play the Society Game (indeed, it's designed to offer an easy route in for new roleplayers!), and there will be plenty of supportive people on-hand to help you out if you're confused about any aspect of the game. Turn up and enjoy yourself!

How does a Society Game work?

Every Tuesday, during termtime players meet in a room in St Hilda's College. These meetings represent the gatherings of those favoured by the Queen; players represent the attendees at these gatherings, discussing with their peers, plotting, scheming, flirting, or otherwise having a good time. During these meetings, players exchange news, meet with other influential figues, to discuss the latest affairs and prepare for the challenges ahead. The GMs will be on hand to offer help, advice, information and to keep the game running smoothly, as well as playing various NPCs every week.

Each week between games represents six months of IC time. That's the period during which your character has the most freedom to act; you can travel the known world, take action against other PCs, fight, trade and politic! Each week, we ask that players send in a summary of what they want their character to be doing during those six months, known as a 'Turnsheet'; the GMs will then judge the results of your actions and report back to you on how everything went.

There is a system for these Turnsheet actions, detailed here - but don't feel you need to memorise it all; we're more than happy to help you out if you're having trouble working out what you want to do in the early weeks!

Where to Start?

We'd suggest starting in the following places:

  • The Setting pages - Your character can be aware of everything in this section - you'll especially want to be aware of the content of recent events, but anything else is basically up to what you find interesting. Go digging!
  • Intro to the Wiki System: If you are new to Society games, and want to be brought up to speed on how the wiki works.
  • Character Creation: When you want to start putting together your character for the game.
  • Style Guide: To get some initial idea about the feel of the game, without reading through every page on the wiki.
  • Turnsheets: This will get you up to speed on how Turnsheets work, if you don't yet know.
new_to_roleplaying.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/11 22:30 by gm_rose