The Book of Imperial Law
Imperial Rules For All Citizens
- Follow the Law: Everyone in the empire must adhere to all Imperial Rules. Breaking the Imperial Rules is known as cheating.
- The Method Law: Things which take place in the Empire should always be treated as if they really happened. While a sword may be made out of foam and duct tape, when it is held by somebody in the Empire, it really is a sword. If somebody throws a lightning bolt at you, act like you were hit by a lightning bolt. Always talk about things that happen in the Empire as real things that happened, even when you are not in the Empire.
- The Law of Honor: Play fair, don't cheat. Cheating ruins the game for everybody. If somebody is cheating, stop playing with them.
- The Law of Safety: Be safe. Nobody should be injured in a way that carries into Mundania. Do not engage in risky situations.
- Charging: Do not make body contact or touch other people. In a combat situation, the closest you may move is arm's length.
- Lightest Touch: We use a "lightest touch" fighting system. When attacking someone with a weapon, you only need to touch them. You don't need to hit hard in order for your hit to count. If someone is swinging too hard, politely let them know.
- The Safety Marshal: At every gathering, one person is designated as the "safety marshal". By default, it is the person hosting the event, but it could be anybody that is agreed on by a majority of people. The safety marshal is responsible for ensuring that all boffer weapons are safe, nobody fights on stairs or other dangerous areas, and people are fighting safely. The safety marshal is empowered to issue warnings ((yellow card)), and remove people from the Empire ((red card, stop playing)).
- Keep It Real: Do not break any laws of Mundania. Anything that you shouldn't do in Mundania, you also shouldn't do in the Empire. Don't create noise disturbances, trespass, or otherwise break the Mundane (real world) law.
- The Law of Nondisturbance: While in the Empire, do not take actions which might disturb Mundanes. Events in the Empire take place in public, so we must take precautions to make sure we don't endanger people or break the law. This is one of the reasons why most citizens don't wear outlandish costumes or get in sword fights inside the mall. If you are in a crowded restaurant, it is definitely inappropriate for you to start throwing spells at people. Even mindless monsters cannot swing their weapons in contexts where it might scare people, accidentally hit a bystander, or draw police attention.
- The Law of Alternate Persona: Blue Arm Bands and persona badges indicate that the person is not who they appear to be, they are an alternate persona. They are possessed by one of the spirits of the Empire ((sometimes known as "playing an NPC role")). Treat them like a totally separate person. Information learned while an alternate persona cannot be used when not possessed, and vice versa.
Entering or Leaving the Empire
- Coming Aboard: When you wear an Imperial badge or arm band, you are in the Empire. Anybody not wearing a badge or arm band is outside of the empire, sometimes known as Mundania. You cannot try to hide or camouflage your badge in any way to conceal whether you are in Mundania or the Empire. You can only enter or leave the Empire when you're off-stage.
- Off Stage: "Off-Stage" refers to any area where there are no citizens of the Empire watching. You are off stage whenever you're not near by other citizens.
- Pursuit and Escape: If you've recently fought someone, or there are other citizens who might be looking for you, you must stay off stage for at least ten minutes before you leave the Empire.
- Coming On Stage: There are certain times when you may be able to enter the Empire "on stage". For example, you may be dead, but you are raised as an undead. Or you might be a monster who is touching a respawn point. In these cases, you are in the Empire and vulnerable to attacks and calls from the moment you put on your badge or arm band.
- Cuts in Play: This rule is very important. If someone is hurt ((for real)), call out "Cut!" If you hear someone call "Cut!", you must immediately stop what you're doing and go down to one knee. If you see other people on one knee, they is probably a cut in effect and you should also go down to one knee. When the action is cut, time is frozen. During a cut, you may not communicate with friends, planning strategy, or fighting.
- Cuts can be used to clarify rules or describe a special scene or effect, though this will not happen often. Since calling a Cut stops the game, do not call cuts lightly. They are usually used for emergencies, or to improve the flow of the game.
- When the game resumes from a Cut, the person who called the cut will yell "everybody ready? 3-2-1, Action!"
Property and Equipment
- Tags: Some Imperial items have a tag, a slip of paper which describes the item's properties. For example, a magic sword might have a tag which says "Once per day, you can swing this sword for 5 damage".
- Props: If the tag describes a physical item, you must have a prop which looks like that item in order to use it. So the tag alone is not enough to use a magic wand - you must also find an object which fits the description written on the tag (like a chopstick or twig). The tag should, if possible, be attached to the prop.
- Searching and Stealing: If someone is unconscious, paralyzed, asleep, or otherwise incapacitated, you may whisper them, "I search you." There are two types of searches: Quick Searches and Full Searches.
- A Quick Search involves grabbing an object out of an unconscious character's hands. Obvious items such as swords, worn talismans, or any immediately visible prop can be taken immediately.
- A Full Search is needed to take items out of pockets and pouches. You must count to sixty while pretending that you're patting down and searching the person. During this 60 seconds, the target of the search will pull out all his in-game tags and shuffle them. At the end of the 60-count, he will then fan them out, and you may pick one. If someone searches you, please be quick to hand over your items and do not whine or take an extra-long time to get them out in hopes that someone will come and save you from being robbed. Items that aren't a part of the game cannot be taken at all.
- You can only be targeted by a Full Search once per person per hour. That means that if someone full searches you at 11 PM, that person can’t do it again until midnight.
- All props remain property of the owner even if they are stolen in-game. A tag may change hands, but the prop itself must be returned to the person who it's been stolen from at the earliest convenience.
- Certain tags, labeled "unstealable", cannot be stolen.
- Calls: Certain words, known as "calls", indicate an effect that takes place in the Empire. For example, if someone says "3 damage" while swinging a sword at you, you will take 3 wounds if it hits. A complete list of calls can be found here: List of Game Calls
- Weapon Verbals: If you are delivering a call with your weapon, you must say the call as you're swinging.
- Ranged Verbals: If you're delivering a call with a spell packet or foam gun, you must say the call before you throw the packet or fire the shot. ED: MOVE R/W VERBALS TO THE LIVE COMBAT PAGE
- The Reaction Rule: Any time you are hit with a call, you must react appropriately. If somebody says "2 damage" and hits you with a sword or packet, you don't have to drop to the ground screaming, but you should at least go "ugh".
- If you use up an expendable skill and the target doesn't act like they were hit or call a defensive skill in reply, the skill is not used up. At the very minimum, they have to call “ugh” to indicate to you that they registered the attack.
- Attacks: All weapons deal one point of damage (called a wound). People can use certain skills and abilities which may change this – if they use a call or specify a number of damage when they attack, the weapon delivers that game effect or number of damage instead of a wound.
- Health: Every character has a certain number of health. This is the number of wounds they can take before they lose consciousness. All characters begin with five health. You cannot fall into negative numbers. For example, if you have two health left, and somebody hits you for ten damage, you will only be at 0 health.
- Armor: Certain spells or abilities can grant you additional protection, called armor. Armor works just like health, except that points of armor are lost before health. Once it is lost, armor is not refreshed by healing spells, it needs to be refit. The spell or ability which grants you the armor will describe how to refit it. You may only benefit from armor from one source. If you have multiple spells or abilities which grant you armor, they do not stack, you only use the highest of them. For example, if you were granted 1 point of armor from a spell, and 1 point of armor from an item, you still only have one point of armor.
- Unconsciousness: When you have zero health left, you must fall down and act like you're knocked out. This lasts for five minutes. While you're playing dead, you can't look around, call out for help, use items or skills, or do anything. If you're lying in the middle of a battle, you're allowed to crawl a few feet over so you don't get stepped on.
- Once you reach 0 health, you will be knocked-out for five minutes. While unconscious, you are helpless against any attempts to kill you.
- Death Blows: During this time someone may lay a weapon on your torso and deliver a Death Blow. To do this, they say "Death Blow 1, Death Blow 2, Death Blow 3". This must take at least three seconds, and anyone may stop it by knocking the killer's weapon aside. When the blow is finished, you say "I die", and take off your game badge or arm band. If someone death blows you while you are still conscious, you may say "no effect" and ignore the blow.
- Waking Up: If you are unconscious for five minutes and you do not receive a death blow, you will have completed a 5-minute rest. You regain all your health and encounter skills, and are conscious again.
- Death: If you are killed, you immediately leave the Empire for the rest of the day. You may return to the Empire again tomorrow after 6:00 AM.
- Dragging Someone: An incapacitated or otherwise immobile person may be dragged. To do this, you must have two free hands (so all items you are holding must be sheathed or dropped). Put a hand on the persons shoulder and say "I drag you". Once they stand up, you may move at a walking speed with them. Using any skills or taking damage while dragging causes the dragged person to be dropped. They must must lie down at that spot. If you pick that person up again, you have to wait for them stand back up.