(Perspective is from the point of view of
FOIP is the concept that you shouldn’t find out in downtime information that would affect your character’s behaviour in up time. Maelstrom’s system is heavily biased towards the view that you shouldn’t share in-character information. My interpretation of how the FOIP rules work on IRC – a medium where we don’t have the benefit of choosing not to read aspects of the community that look dangerous – is that stuff up on the website, or in the Almanac, or about the existence of other peoples’ characters is not FOIP. Anything about your character’s views and affiliations isn’t banned either, but do not wax lyrical about the Eidolon Toasterface’s conversion to the Jaguar’s “Cheese” totem, even if “Everybody knows”. Maelstrom is big enough that “Everybody knows” is going to be incorrect, and if it means that the last group of Huntress followers being corrupted by Toasterface’s twisted soul now know he isn’t loyal anymore, you’ve spoilt someone’s game. That’s characters.
True names of any character not played by you are always banned, whether they’re pinned up in the bar, painted in six foot letters onto GOD or belonging to “retired” characters. Again, I don’t care if “Everyone knows”, you should remember that there’s a huge information wall between large sections of the player-base. Even when one group of people went around the entire site making sure everyone knew someone’s true name, it wasn’t universal. No True Names. Even dead/retired character’s ones, for reasons starting with “how sure are you that they’re retired” and diverting very quickly into stuff I’m not going to explain. FOIP :)
Game element FOIP is more complicated. Personally, I think some of the FOIP around how some things work gets to the level of being silly, which is why I will tend not to step in and say “Step away from that, please” unless someone actively mentions – on channel or in query – that the current discussion is in danger of spoiling their name. Again, things you think are “universal” are decidedly not. For example, one of Maelstrom’s strong areas is the in-game currency. Not just because a LARP system with this many currencies – all produced with such glorious physreps as to spoil all of us for other games – is a shining beacon, but also because there is no centralised conversion between currencies. How many schillings to the mark is fixed, but marks to florin is not and you’re likely to get a different conversion rate from who you’re speaking to depending on how much maths they want to do, how much they want/need the currency you’re giving them and how much they like you. All this leads to a fluidity in the actual value of any items, including money itself, which brings slight confusion, and therefore Quality Role Play and fun to the player base. A minor thing, but a thing none-the-less.
But, to repeat, outside stuff that’s obviously FOIP, my tendency at least (and it goes without saying that this doesn’t apply to Sal, Delvy, Lampstand or anyone else who gets ops) is to start stamping on people only if someone has mentioned that the current subject is spoiling their game. If it looks like that line is drawn arbitrarily, it’s simply because that’s what has been complained about. One day, the person whose game I’m defending could be yours, so please don’t be an arse about it.
In general, please don’t be an arse about it and respect other people’s boundaries for FOIP, please.
— Nicholas Avenell, UsuallyKA