VSpace PC Guiding Philosophy
Rule 0: Belly Rubs All Around
"Everybody likes belly rubs." Appreciate the characters and storylines you interact with; the more time you invest in other characters' stories and GM storylines, the more you will get out of our community and the more they'll invest in yours.
Rule 1: That'd be Cool in a Home Game
There are a lot of awesome ideas for characters and stories that would work wonderfully in a home game or a smaller playerbase than our shared world. Many of these involve alterations to the rules or differences from the rulings we use for our shared universe games. As well, many players come to a game with an idea for a character that is quite firm and fixed in their minds that might not be a good fit. While there's no such thing as a bad question, please do not be offended or discomfited if your character or idea doesn't fit into one of our shared-universe games.
Rule 2: Fit the Theme, Don't Make the Theme Fit You
Some games are lighthearted and fun, while others have a bit of seriousness in them. While it's more than okay to play the comic relief, if you're that sort of character, try to respect the general feel of the world and the table you're at and tone it down where necessary. The same applies if you are playing a strict or overly serious character at a table with more lighthearted ones.
Rule 3: Sometimes, the Rules Don't Matter
When the rules get in the way of fun, they're not helpful to the game. While pointing out issues and problems to GMs politely is a part of growth of the community, arguments can ruin the mood--and the game. Choose your arguments wisely and remember everyone is here to have fun.
Rule 4: Be Your Best Self, Just Not All The Time
For everyone to have fun, one person can't be the best at everything. We want you to feel like the Big Damn Hero, but remember you're in a group with other people who want the same thing. Don't forget to share the spotlight, and go out of your way to turn to other characters for their strengths as well as your own.
Rule 5: Communication Prevents Aggravation
If you find yourself upset or steamed, bring it up with the person causing it--privately and quietly at first, and then escalate to the GM or admin staff if necessary. Try to spot the behaviors that bother you before they bother you, and reach out in order to avoid escalation.
Rule 6: Superman was a Solo Character
Many players enjoy optimizing their characters or "powergaming". The problem is, the more you optimize your character the more the game becomes an arms race in order to challenge you--to the point of ridiculousness. By the same token, players who insist on running "soft" characters need to have some defenses and something useful to do in various situations. Don't play the game against the GM or against other characters, moderate your choices, and strive to be a hero without being Superman.
Rule 7: Don't Go Alone!
Lone wolves make great characters in fiction, but they don't tend to do well in RPGs. Splitting the party into small groups works much better for everyone at the table than the GM needing to focus on a specific character's actions for extended periods of time.
Rule 8: References Not Replicas
Many people enjoy paying homage or tribute to pop culture characters, but often these can stray into outright copies or dedication to portraying a figure in a way that diverges from the theme and feeling of the game (see Rule #2). Referencing these characters visually or otherwise is fun and exciting, though we suggest you include a hefty dose of individual imagination to tailor them to work with other characters and stories.
Rule 9: Explore Responsibly
Often, players wish to explore character concepts that are different--female characters played by males; foreign cultures; accents and behaviors that they enjoy exploring but which they don't have personal experience with. There is a line between homage/exploration and appropriation that's sometimes hard to see and may offend others at the table. Please explore such themes respectfully. By the same token, those who are offended by such portrayals should always assume the player is not intending to be offensive, and speak with them politely about any aspects that are objectionable.
Rule 10: Share the Spotlight
Just as you are the star of your own story, those playing with you also consider themselves the star. It is easily possible, especially in the case of extroverted players, to dominate a scene and unintentionally intimidate more introverted players into remaining quiet. Try to remain aware of this, and step back occasionally.