Introduction - New Players, Read This First!

Hello, and welcome to the website for CRISIS!, the Trinity 2015 Oxford University Roleplaying Games Society freeform game. If you've never played any sort of roleplaying game before, never fear! Here's a quick introduction. If you're a seasoned roleplayer, feel free to check out the quick guide to sections of the site at the bottom of this page.

One important thing to be aware of first: you don't need to read this entire website!

There's a lot of material here, and you certainly don't need to know all of it to start playing (although if you do want to, that's great!). Read only what interests you and what's relevant to a character you might like to play! You will find a guide to sections of the website and what they tell you below.

Any questions, concerns and character concepts should be e-mailed to the The GM Team.

What Does It All Mean?

There are a few acronyms used throughout the website which might be a little confusing if you've never played before. Don't worry - help is at hand! And if you're confused by anything, feel free to email us to ask questions!

  • OC or OOC - Out of Character. Events and circumstances in the real world. For example, CRISIS! sessions take place OOC in the [TO BE CONFIRMED] every Tuesday in term.
  • IC - In Character. Events and people in the World of CRISIS!. For example, the first CRISIS! session will take place IC at The Kamalani Centre in Capital City.
  • GM - Game Master or Game Moderator. Us! The team of people who write, run and maintain the game for your playing pleasure. The first place to turn if you have a question.
  • PC - Player Character. You! The characters that CRISIS! players create and represent in the fictional world. You will usually play the same PC every week through the course of the game, though you may switch or retire a character if you get bored.
  • NPC - Non-Player Character. Us again! Important characters (such as organisation leaders, famous names, and various interlopers) who may be present at meetings but will be played by a GM. NPCs will usually vary week-to-week, and each GM will normally play several NPCs during a game session.

What's a Roleplaying Game?

A Roleplaying game is somewhere between amateur dramatics and collaborative storytelling. You turn up, create a character to play, and play them! There are no scripts or lines, no set outcomes to what will happen - just a setting, a bunch of other characters to interact with, and some GMs to make sure it all runs smoothly.

CRISIS! is specifically a freeform roleplaying game, which means that instead of narrating your character's actions during game sessions, you actually perform them; you turn up each week, walk around and talk to other characters, make deals, trade news, gossip, diplome, eavesdrop and orate. This doesn't mean you need to be a great public speaker, or even a particularly good actor - just be able to speak as your character would.

For various reasons, combat and other harmful activities aren't possible during the meetings - if anything unusual has to happen which can't be acted out, the GMs will freeze the scene and describe what occurs.

Most importantly - Roleplaying is about having fun and creating stories with other players. Absolutely no experience is required to play the Society Game (indeed, it's designed to offer an easy route in for new roleplayers), and there will be plenty of supportive people on hand to help you out if you're confused about any aspect of the game. Turn up and enjoy yourself!

What's CRISIS!?

Every Tuesday during term-time, players meet in the LOCATION TO BE CONFIRMED. These meetings represent gatherings of superheroes, supervillains, and others with great power or skill who have been invited by a mysterious letter (or just decided to turn up). The world of CRISIS! is based heavily on all things super-hero, from comics to films, in a soft science-fiction / science-fantasy world.

During these meetings, players exchange news, meet with other important representatives to discuss the latest affairs and prepare for the challenges ahead. The GMs will be on hand to offer help, advice, information and to keep the game running smoothly, as well as playing various NPCs every week.

Each week between games represents 6 weeks 1) of IC time. That's the period during which your character has the most freedom to act; you can avert world ending crises, take action against other PCs, fight, trade and politick! Each week2), we ask that players send in a summary of what they want their character to be doing in that 6 week period3), known as a 'Turnsheet'; the GMs will then judge the results of your actions and report back to you on how everything went.

There is a system for these Turnsheet actions, detailed here - but don't feel you need to memorise it all; we're more than happy to help you out if you're having trouble working out what you want to do in the early weeks!

What Should I Play?

Quick Guide

We'd suggest starting in the following places:

  • The Setting pages: Your character can be aware of everything in this section.
  • Intro to the Wiki System: If you are new to Society games, and want to be brought up to speed on how the wiki works.
  • Character Creation: When you want to start putting together your character for the game.
  • Style Guide: To get some initial idea about the feel of the game, without reading through every page on the wiki.
  • Turnsheets: This will get you up to speed on how Turnsheets work, if you don't yet know.

Good Roleplaying Guidlines

If you haven't roleplayed before, or you have but not this kind of game, then there are a few things to keep in mind.


In the time between sessions there will inevitably be lots of talk between players, such as in the pub afterwards. If you find out any information from someone whilst OC that your character would not have access to whilst IC, then please do your best to avoid using it. Ideally, you should only act on things that your character knows. Doing otherwise is called metagaming.

It is generally inappropriate to metagame or to tell other players secret information whilst OC, such as Organisation news. Doing so is unfair on the player in question as well as everyone else, as plans can drastically change. Besides, it's not very realistic either. Also, bear in mind that it is expressly acceptable to lie to (or otherwise deceive) other players OC about sensitive information. This is considered part of the social contract for players, who must not expect their peers to be honest with them. Therefore, that juicy bit of plot which you found out in the pub, but your character would not know about, might not actually be true. Note that this is not meant to encourage setting up clever traps for gullible players by lying to them OC, but to discourage players from acting on information which their characters would not know4).

IC/OC Divide

When role-playing, getting into character is always fun. However it is easy to take quarrels and disputes with another character out of sessions, and into the real world. Hostility towards other people out of sessions is not what this game is about, so try to remember characters and players are two different things.

Further detail on this can be found in the CAT Policy.

Generating a new Character

As the game progresses, you may find yourself needing to generate a new character. If this situation does occur, we ask that a new character be unrelated to any previous characters you may have had. Aside from issues of metagaming, it can become annoying to other players. Besides, there's all sorts of things going on with the world, you get a chance to get involved in other plots. And don't worry; you'll get to find out everything in debrief anyway!


Remember, if you have any questions that aren't answered here, you can email The GM Team, who will happily help.

Do I have to wear a costume?
Some players like to prepare costumes for their characters, and while this is fun and we love to see them, it is by no means necessary! Don't feel like you need to have any sort of costume - no-one will think any less of you for showing up in casual clothes.

Do I have to pay anything?
The Society Game is free to all members of OURPGSoc, although this does have a membership fee of £5 for a year or £15 for life.5) However, to allow people to get an idea of what the game is and how it operates, as many will not have done anything like this before, we're more than happy for non-members to play for the first few weeks of the game. If, after that, you feel like sticking around, the society Treasurer will start taking membership at some point in the first term. Becoming a member helps keep the society going, and run more cool games like this one!

Can I play my favourite character from X?
As a general rule, we won't allow player characters that are lifted from existing media. Quite aside from copyright concerns, adapting an existing character to fit within the specific setting of this game will inevitably lead to times where the original character could do something that isn't allowed within this system, causing all manner of headaches. Besides, we think you'll have much more fun playing your own, original character, and making them your own!

1) 10! seconds
2) i.e. OC week
3) i.e. 6 weeks of IC time
4) setting up traps for gullible characters by lying to them IC is entirely OC acceptable, but might lead to IC repercussions
new_to_roleplaying.txt · Last modified: 2015/03/30 17:14 by gm_cameron
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