If you would like to know more about any of the sections below – for example, examples of how the system element may work in a scenario – then please follow the title-links at the head of each section.
- Refs: The people who organise, run, and arbitrate events
- Crew: Catchall term for non-players who help in the running of events
- Players: The people who play in events
- First Aiders: People who are first aid qualified
- Members of Public: Non-participants who might enter into an event area
Out of Character Direction and Instruction
The colour purple is used to indicate things which players should respond to, but characters cannot see. Members of the Ref team, for example, will wear purple to indicate that they are not present in the scenario. Purple signage is also used to provide information and instructions. Common signage includes:
- OOC: Whatever this sign is attached to is not accessible in character
- Ref Area/Ref Bunker: Strictly no entrance to players; key plot area and Ref dumping ground
- Player Inside Is Unwell: Area beyond is for players who are unwell and occupies an OOC/IC middle ground
- Locked: This door or item is locked IC and will require certain conditions to be met before it can be opened
- Barricaded: This door has been reinforced through character action and will require certain conditions to be met before it can be opened
Calls may be issued by Refs, Crew members, or players. They must be responded to by all players unless specific instruction has been given.
- Time In: The game has begun/restarted after a Time Freeze call
- Time Freeze: Gameplay has paused
- Time Out: The game has concluded
- Drop: Affected characters should drop to the floor unconscious and await instruction
- Man Down: A player, Ref, or Crew member has been injured. Gameplay must stop and First Aiders should respond
Health and Safety
- Never, ever use sharp-edged objects such as knives as role play props whether that’s to gesticulate, threat, or engage in combat. Players found doing so will be removed from the scenario.
- Alcohol is often available at events. If it is felt that you have had too much to drink and you are a danger to yourself or the enjoyment of other people, you will be removed from the scenario.
- Look after yourself: keep rested, hydrated, fed, and ensure that if you have any medical conditions that require timed care, you observe that. If you become ill out of character, you must tell a Ref otherwise you will be treated as any other player which may cause you further harm. If you become upset or angry in game, please tell a Ref.
- Look out for other people: Know your audience in all things – avoid getting into someone’s personal space unless you are certain they will be okay with that. This extends to shouting as well as to touch. If you are aware of someone who is ill, please ensure the Refs are aware as the player themselves may not have informed the Ref team. If you see anyone in breach of game rules or Health and Safety, please discuss with the member of the Ref Team.
- Be mindful of your surroundings: Pay attention to any event-specific safety brief provided before each game. Each event and each location will have its own quirks. Always be respectful of the play area as it ensures we remain in good standing with the venue owners and can use it again.
The Sanity System is there to enhance role play. It is not a numbers game.
- Sanity is how your character reacts to things that defy their understanding of the world. Their baseline Sanity may not be ‘sane’ to the wider world, but it is normal for them.
- Your character will encounter Mundane or Unnatural Threats to their sanity. These Threats might threaten them physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally. You can fight, flee, freeze or faint as an immediate reaction. Whatever you do will be influenced by the fact that…
- When threatened, your character has a Flaw that becomes aggravated. Flaws cannot be controlled: they can only be counteracted. The severity of the Threat dictates how severely your character will react.
- Your character can – if they choose (or if others force it on them) – bring that Flaw under check by indulging in a Coping Mechanism. This will enable them to return to their baseline faster, but might carry a harsh penalty in and of itself.
Mundane Threats to Sanity
Mundane Threats are things that could happen in the really-real world but are sufficiently horrible or unsettling that they may make your character disturbed. For example: bodies, torture, or isolation. Refs do not “police” your character’s reaction to mundane threats. It is at the player’s discretion to decide if their character is sufficiently tough to deal with such things, or if such exposure will break them.
Unnatural Threats to Sanity
Unnatural Threats cannot be resisted unless you have been explicitly told otherwise. The severity of an Unnatural Threat will be broadcast by the use of coloured cards with die-face dots on them to indicate how you should reaction (1 is green and is the least unsettling, 2 is yellow, 3 is orange, and 4 is red indicating its high severity).
Cards are not cumulative (so two greens do not make a yellow), but it is at your discretion as a player to decide if your character should be more disturbed by what they have experienced than what Refs have indicated. You should pace this appropriately, leaving your character enough room to escalate.
Examples where coloured cards might be used to indicate unnatural sanity threats include: seeing a terrifying, otherworldly monster, performing a ritual, interacting with a ghost.
Your character does not have to use Coping Mechanisms to control their Flaw
Your character should use their Coping Mechanism or express their Flaw for as long as you, the player, feels is realistic for your character and the situation they are in.
Characters will have skills listed on their character sheet. Skills are talents or interests drawn from your character’s background that have specific mechanical purpose. There is a wide range of skills available, each with their own rules.