The Basics of Playing at Escaping Reality

What We’re About

Escaping Reality is a play-by-post RPG loosely based on the World of Darkness gaming system. Here, the supernatural are among us and the odd and uncanny intrude on the humdrum of everyday life.

ER is a writing game, a combination of plot, threat, and mystery. It is the daily activities of ordinary people in a world that is anything but.

We do realize that every player comes to ER for a different reason. Some want to improve their writing. Others just want in on the gaming. Still more simply come for an escape and release from real life.

With this in mind, ER is designed for role-players from every angle.

No matter how versatile we are, however, there are doubtlessly going to be those who find ER wanting in their preferred style. The problem with trying to cater to everyone’s taste is that we’d end up pleasing no one.

Also, we don’t work on making ER rewarding just to satisfy the whims of players. The game is arranged to suit the tastes of those who run it and who have enough experience with role-playing to know what works and what doesn’t.

We’re all here to have fun, basically. If you don’t like something or disapprove of how something is done, mention it to an ST, do what you can to help improve it, but don’t waste our time and yours with complaining.

Time and Schedule Considerations

ER is an international gaming board, with players from Australia, Wales, Canada, the United States and more. This means time zone differences span 24 hours, and there are times when players awaken as others settle to bed.

We all need to be respectful of everyone’s limitations of time zones. If you find yourself posting with someone not in your time zone, don’t seek the first opportunity to duck out of the scene because you know you’ll be slowed down.

Stay in the scene. Write in the downtime threads if you really need to.

If the scene is a group scene with two players from Australia, one Canadian and a third from Wales, don’t start a duo posting frenzy when the third and fourth person can’t be around. Take turns. Be fair. One person goes, then the next. Have patience and be respectful of others.

We typically ask players to wait 24 hours before asking another player when he or she will post. It’s okay to give a gentle nudge, though. They may have missed it, forgotten or just gotten busy.

If you haven’t heard from a player within 72 hours, let us know. You can also remove your character from a scene that is held up. Until that 72-hour time period has expired, though, use patience.

Sometimes people must absent themselves for reasons of family, jobs, holidays, or studies. Let other players know that you won’t be around, if it’s going to be more than a day or two.

Equal Opportunity RPing

On some RPG sites, you’ll find a phenomenon known as “Biggers vs. Smallers.” Characters perceived as “bigger” are those that take initiative, post often, try new things, and become important to the plot. “Smaller” characters are those that don’t speak out, wait for ST initiation, and generally fade into the background due to their own lack of involvement.

You might think we’re going to tell you it’s better to be a “bigger” player in every scene. Surprise!

All players have a responsibility to maintain a healthy posting frequency. That means posting more or holding off in the name of keeping the balance. “Bigger” posters should be considerate and patient, and “smaller” posters should try to work a little more at upping the frequency of their replies and the intensity of their involvement.

Try to avoid either extreme. If you find yourself unsure of where you fall along the spectrum, contact an ST for guidance and an objective gauge.

Creating Relationships

Part of your job as a player is to find ways to have your character form relationships with other characters.

Don’t isolate your character; don’t be shy or shuffle your feet around. Get your character out there and meeting others. If you find that people aren’t coming to you, chase after them. Don’t be afraid of being bold when it comes to finding playmates.

Instant bonds that carry for long periods of time, however, aren’t realistic. Characters should be feeling each other out and doing things together to get to know each other when they meet, not falling in love at first sight and proposing after two days.

Think No One Likes Playing With You?

If you’re worried that other players don’t seem to like playing with you, consider this:

Preferences for whom we post with typically develop based on the quality of the material returned to us. Players that write rich posts and receive short, bland replies in return discourage them from wanting to play with that poster again.

You get what you give. We don’t expect any player to spend hours on a single post, but if you’re going to post a reply, make it worth everyone’s while.

Cliques, Favorites, and Preferences

IC cliques happen and are difficult to avoid. Pairing off and bonding are normal. Do make sure that you take advantage of the whole ER population, not just a select few. Players should attempt to interact with everyone regardless of preference.

On Chance and Dice

Role-playing at ER is based more on mutual agreement than statistics or dice.

Players are not allowed to include the actions of a character other than their own without consent. Any form of this cheating (assuming reactions or outcomes and controlling or ‘moving’ another player’s character) is commonly referred to as “power-playing,” “bunnying,” or “God-modding,” and it isn’t tolerated at ER.