Most role-playing communities ascribe to the Common Rules of Role-Play or some approximate adaptation of them in a reliable way. However, like most, the World 42 community has a number of Unofficial Rules of Role-Play that are usually unspoken, unwritten, or generally spread by word of mouth rather than by concrete list of what to do and what not to do. These rules apply to most aspects of the World 42 community, from combat to character creation, and are guidelines for how to avoid social and political taboos. Not everyone ascribes to every single one of the unofficial rules, and some outright ignore many of them or elect to take a new spin on the usual version. Often certain sub-communities within RuneScape's role-playing network have similar beliefs about which of the unofficial rules are most important. Whichever way, this article serves to provide an archive of such unofficial rules for the sake of reference.
Ask Before You KillEdit
It is considered polite to obtain permission from a player before attempting to kill his character. This courtesy is a respect for the sentimental connection that can form between a player and his character. Some users feel that each individual has the right to chose the circumstances of his character's death. A common variation of this rule is to, rather than ask permission, warn the player of your character's intentions so that the player may have his character make decisions to help allow or not allow the kill. Common exceptions to this rule include characters who initiate combat, characters who have committed acts such that they know they have enemies, characters in high-profile positions like kings who should expect frequent attempts on their lives, and characters on battlefields.
It is considered polite to, if a player controlling an opponent character requests, offer legitimate justification for your character initiating combat. This is a protection against metagamers in that the opponent player wants to make sure that your character is not attacking for out-of-character reasons, like personal disagreement or boredom, and that player's character is in danger fairly. The opposite side of this coin is that, after justification is given, your opponent character is obligated not to use that information unless it is also shared in-character.
Warn Before an AssaultEdit
It is considered courteous to provide a reasonable period of warning to an enemy group out-of-character before launching a multi-player assault on that enemy group's territory, holdings, or so on. Such grace periods can last anywhere from an hour to a month, but most clans will accept 24 to 48 hours of warning without protest. The justification for this warning is that any major city or organization is likely to have a formidable organized force ready to defend it from attack at a moment's notice, but the availability of players to be present and represent such defenders fluctuates by time, season, group, time zone, and many other dynamic factors. The grace period in this unwritten rule is meant to allow the defending clan to alert its members to be online and available at an agreed upon time, thus making the conflict as realistic (in-character) and fair (out-of-character) as possible. The unspoken understanding on the other end of this rule is that groups given warning are expected not to abuse the warning and metagame character knowledge of the incoming attack so as to prepare special defenses against what would realistically be a surprise assault.
It is typically advised for new players to start with relatively usual races and skills when creating their first character(s). That is, humans, dwarves, goblins, gnomes, and sometimes elves are considered to be the best choices for beginners. Similarly, it's usually better to stick to simpler skills like swordplay or musical performance, rather than necromancy or demonic summoning. This is because the world 42 community has many idiosyncracies to which new players are expected to quickly adjust. Attempting to play a rare or powerful breed of character like a Mahjarrat or Gorajo which increases risk of accidental lorebreaking (and the resulting criticism) can be somewhat trying or discouraging. Instead, new players are advised to get used to things with an easy character and later, only after getting comfortable in the community, pursue more ambitious profiles.
Don't Play the AdventurerEdit
Keep Private PrivateEdit
It's widely understood that, in private role-playing groups that do not interact with stray freelancers or major public entities, anything goes. Players in private role-plays can be as overpowered as they want, can break any lore, can be mary-sues or god-modders or anything else that appeals so long as all involved players agree. However, if a player uses a character in a public role-play who has also participated in sandboxed events, that player is expected to nullify any questionable character developments for public appearances. For example, if a private plot line led a character to discovering an ancient ritual that would allow him to summon 200 ancient demons on a whim, that character may recognize that he discovered an ancient superspell in his life history, but should not actually ever use it in public role-playing as it is overpowered. Similarly, characters who are created exclusively for plot use in a private or sandboxed role-play should not play those characters in the public; for example, a player might create a sentient, English-speaking ultradragon left over from Kerapac's experiments who rivals even the queen black dragon in strength, but as this breaks known lore, that player should probably avoid playing the character in public role-play.
Though based on the social hierarchy and monarchies of medieval Earth, royalty is not necessarily a permanent position in the realm of RuneScape role-play. While the crown does not have an expiration date, monarchs are rarely expected to last for remarkably long periods of time. For a monarch to either be killed, dethroned, or to step down from power are all considered common occurrences in the World 42 in-character universe.
Though there are many scenarios in the World 42 universe made to resemble medieval Earth society, like social hierarchy and romantic-style combat norms, there are still many very contemporary values exhibited in the in-character society which are treated as normal despite being far from the reality of medieval times. To name a few, characters on different social castes often treat each other as equals, torture and unnecessary cruelty are usually considered abominable, and many government systems practice innocent-until-proven-guilty. Along similar lines, it is also considered normal for a commoner to earn a private audience with the monarch himself.
The Right to ChooseEdit
A player has the right to choose not to role-play with a certain character or other player whose standards conflict with his own. That is to say, if one player does not enjoy participating in a game that includes another player he has trouble cooperating with, or a specific character that conflicts with his interpretation of lore, or another similar circumstance where participation will lead to more headache than enjoyment, that one player has a free pass to not participate and the metagaming rule is suspended to allow his character to be absent without consequence, even if the absence is out of character. This unofficial standard is intended as a form of harm-reduction to help all parties enjoy their role-playing experiences more. On the other end of this rule, players are expected not to abuse this choice simply as a way of getting out of otherwise-legitimate negative effects on their characters (i.e, death).
Rules of ThumbEdit
Five Line LimitEdit
Most people understand that colorful description can add a lot to roleplaying and character development. The flip-side of this, though, is that it can be oppressive and difficult to follow if roleplayers carry on with too much narration for too long. The exact amount each person aims for can be different, but five is a popular number of lines in-game to shoot for when trying to control rambling. A little more or a little less, of course, is always fine, but five lines is typically a good goal for controlling description in casual roleplay and preventing rambling. Exceptions are usually taken for major setting, action, or event description of course.