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Storyteller Policies

Page history last edited by TC STs 2 years, 2 months ago


The Twin Cities Last Stand staff will not allow "Race-Bending" of character concepts without showing proper research of the culture you want to play.


What is Race Bending? What we mean in this context is playing a character of a different ethnic group then your own.


Edith Jones is a white player. She decides she wants to play a Wendigo with five purebreed. Edith does not know anything about what being an native person but assumes because she watched some old western shows that she basically knows how to play a native character, buying a war bonnet from HalloweenTown and greeting everyone by saying "How!" and wearing war paint designs off of pinterest. Edith doesn't know what she is doing is offensive. 


As a staff we understand white wolf was written in the 90's and there are some offensive racist stereotypes in the written material. We have decided as a staff that welcomes diversity to make a step to keep players from unintentionally falling into playing a racist character. We support and encourage learning more about a culture before you decide to play a tribe that is influenced by it.



One of the most important things in a game like ours is that the players trust the storytellers, and that the storytellers trust the players. In many cases, trust is disrupted because of the illusion of impropriety. If people think someone is cheating, distrust starts up and usually gets out of hand. Often times, reality doesn't even matter.


In the interest of building trust, there are a few policies that need to be made clear.


Putting Things in Writing

Informal conversations with storytellers, whether held before game starts, during game, after game, at coffee, or at some other social situation, are not binding. Storytellers may give opinions or even answers, but those answers are not binding unless they are in writing. So if a conversation is had, you (the player) must send an e-mail to the ST account tcgarousts @ gmail.com, reminding us of what the conversation was about and what answer you remember getting to your question. If we still agree with that solution, we will send you a confirmation e-mail, at which point the decision will stand.


Our reason for doing this is to keep things safe for all of us. We're human, and we sometimes remember things differently than they happened. If there is no written record, we are reduced to a "he said/she said" situation, and someone's feelings and trust gets hurt. With a written record, we (both the storytellers and the players) can provide that as proof that a particular decision was made. This prevents intimidation, bullying, rhetorical sleight of hand, or some other method of getting a desired answer that later turns out not to be the right answer.


Another reason is to keep things safe in the future. Storyteller crews evolve and change over time. Memories aren't perfect, and sometimes information gets lost. But written proof can hold across several different ST crews, and will last quite a bit longer than memory.


ST Characters

When someone steps up as a storyteller, their character leaves the game floor. But the character is not shelved. We would like to be able to get at least a little bit of character development during this time. However, we don't want that illusion of impropriety; we don't want people to think that we are giving our characters cool things just because we can.


So we are setting ten rules for how the characters of STs can act during the time we are STs. These are not newly made rules; we're just making them public so that everyone can see them and we can build up more trust.


First, there are things we want to  avoid: we want to avoid PCs coming to our characters for help with plots. We can't give them advice, because if it works, we're letting them cheat, and if it doesn't, we're 'screwing them over.'

We also want to avoid the characters being available to show up at the sept on the game floor any time but at 'super soft RP' nights. So we either need to be hard to get a hold of, or far enough away that we can't make it on the nights of gathering for some reason.

 So, here are the rules for the characters of storytellers:


  1. They have to (at first) be difficult or impossible to get a hold of, so players don't run to them for help with stuff.
  2. They can know nothing about current plots, nor be willing to help with them.
  3. They can gain renown, but only one every three months at the 'off camera' moots. (exception: stories told about events that took place while not an ST; though even then, the ST in question will not have a say on that renown)
  4. They can learn out of auspice/tribe/breed gifts, but only if the chiminage they offer is approved by at least 2 other STs, and even then no more than one gift per three months.
  5. Any fetishes they make have to be approved by 2 other STs (chiminage etc), and STs cannot write up their own cards.
  6. Cannot run scenes for or involving their own characters.
  7. They can be contacted by PCs if the PC has a way to find them. Such conversations should be CC'ed to the storyteller account (tcgarousts @ gmail.com) to keep a written record of what happens.
  8. They cannot post to the local list, but can to any national list or one of our game's local sub-list (ragabash list, theurge list, etc).
  9. If they make a talen/fetish for someone on the game floor, that must be approved by the rest of the ST crew, and again, they cannot write up their own cards.
  10. Any story that does not involve the gaining of renown, items, battle scars, etc can be more or less 'made up' so long as at least one other ST approves of the story (this is the only exception for #6); there can be no tangible benefit for whatever this is, unless it is purchased with XP (like Kinfolk, influence, etc).



(For the record: any player can 'make up' things they do as long as a storyteller approves of it and they gain no tangible benefits whatsoever unless purchased with XP. We call this character development. Please don't abuse this privilege).


No Such Thing as Precedence: what it means

When we added that clause to the rules, there was some question about what it means, and it's time that was made clear.


Saying there is no such thing as Precedence does NOT mean that the STs can change rules however they want to. As part of the trust, we use the house rules as they are written, only improvising rules when necessary and with player consent. When we say "there's no such thing as precedence," what we mean is that just because you've been allowed to do something once doesn't mean you (or anyone else) will be allowed to do it again.


So there is no saying "But this worked when I was an ST," nor is there "But he let me do it before" or even "You let me do this last time." Last time was last time. This is this time. The situational calls of a storyteller apply only to those situations. This allows STs to make calls that are beneficial to the players without fear of someone throwing that decision in our faces at a later date. So, both to protect the storytellers and to encourage on the spot calls in favor of players (like whether a gift stacks, or if something can be used as a retest in a pinch), there is no such thing as precedence.


The Player - Storyteller Agreement 


  • We work for the players to craft a good story for all involved

But we are going to craft stories that are sometimes difficult

  • No NPC is unkillable, some just have plans in place

But NPCs can lie. They will use tactics. They can be hard to defeat.

  • We will never make a situation that is impossible

But they will be difficult from time to time

  • We will never enter a scene with the direct purpose of killing a Player Character

That doesn’t mean that you will never die during a scene

  • We will not make a ST vs PC environment 

Everyone has different ways of communication and not everyone gets along. We will try and the player rep exists to help us

  • We promise we will not stonewall you to keep you from advancing the plot, but not every idea that is attempted will work

Sometimes puzzles are hard to solve

  • We will not make the world too hard for you to exist

But every choice will have a fallout. Every action will have a reaction. Good or ill.

  • We as a staff promise to give the scenes we are running the utmost attention

Sometimes STs have to run multiple things at a time or check-in with each other. A pause in response does not mean we do not care.

  • We will never remove Player Agency just for the sake of drama and we will always be open after the scene to discuss the reasons

There are powers in this setting that can remove the ability to control your character’s actions. Sometimes circumstance can appear “unwinnable” but we promise there is always a way to get out of the situation

  • We as Staff understand that Character Bleed can be a real thing and we will do our best to ensure each player in our scene understands what happens does not reflect how we view the player

It is always important to take time to separate what happens to your character and what happens to you. You are not your character and your character is not you. We want everyone to have a safe distance not to confuse the two and we will check in during intense scenes.

  • We acknowledge that venting is a healthy part of emotional processing

We also acknowledge it needs to be handled in a considerate way that does not affect the emotional well being of other players or staff and recommend it be done privately with your trusted circle.

  • How NPCS reacts towards a player's character is not necessarily a reflection of the Storyteller’s attitude towards the player.

We encourage checking in during intense roleplay for positive metagaming and personal health however we acknowledge that not every player subscribes to the notions of positive metagaming. Checking in after a scene to ensure a player knows it is about their character is recommended when possible but understand needing to take a few days to reach out. If a Storyteller does not reach out it is not due to malice simply human error.


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