Mechanics

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Player Safety Calls

There are three out of character calls for use during this game to allow players to manage the intensity of roleplay or to notify other players of an out-of-character emergency situation.


"Safety"

This call means a physical, medical emergency has occurred, and all play must stop until the emergency has been appropriately addressed. This should be used if a real-world emergency occurs, or a real-world medical situation occurs. Upon hearing the call, stop all play and if one is not present, summon a game organiser immediately.


"I'm Out"

Roleplaying can be an intense experience. Without any intent to do so, it is possible for situations to tip a player into uncomfortable or unsafe ground for them. I'm Out is a safe word that signals that for the player calling it, this is no longer a game situation but an out-of-game problem and that player needs to extract themselves from the situation. Consider it a “mental-health man down” call.

"I'm Out" should be used responsibly to handle situations where a player is in trouble, but should never be used just because their character is in trouble. It does not get you out of in-game consequences, though it can get you out of acting them through if that’s what’s causing the problem. I'm Out is a shield, not a weapon.

If another player uses this word then immediately allow them to exit the situation and continue the scene without them.

If you use it, shade your eyes with your hand upon making the call, withdraw immediately from the situation involved and allow play, where possible, to continue without you.

You do not need to give an explanation for using "I'm Out" – and please respect the call when it is made in your presence.

Not saying "I'm Out" in a situation where it is appropriate may be catastrophic. Saying "I'm Out" in a situation where it is inappropriate has almost no consequence. Better to say it too often than too late.


"Take It Down A Notch"

Again, a roleplaying scene can be an intense environment especially when playing with people who may come from different game backgrounds or who have different expectations of what is and isn’t “OK” as part of the normal run of play. Take it down a notch is a phrase which players can use to ask other participants in a scene to avoid escalating intensity.

There could be many reasons for using this phrase in play – to de-escalate an intense emotional confrontation or to signal to other players that the level of play is becoming daunting to a participant.

Unlike “I'm Out”, this doesn’t require a break in play while the caller removes themselves – this is to be used by one player to signal “I am OK with this level of play, but not with any further escalation” to other players.


In-Game Calls and Signals

"From a Strictly Specialist Point of View..."

Characters on the Sisyphus have certain technical, scientific or administrative specialisms which will be highlighted in their character briefing.

There will be various times during the game where a character with a scientific, military or administrative background may need to know something specifically to do with their specialism or may need to communicate something as an authority in their area.

Players can use this phrase to indicate that the information they are delivering is, to other players, specifically, true or reliable from a technical or specialist point of view.

For instance:

“I have done some analysis around this and from a strictly specialist point of view, this door cannot be unlocked without going through the correct procedure”.

Or

From a strictly specialist point of view, we are well within range of Russian surface to surface missiles here.”

This is to signal that there is no game benefit to be had from attempting alternative strategies for opening the door, or that the information on ranging is legitimate.

The phrase can be used as follows:

  • From a player or referee to another player, to indicate that the information being provided is, to the best of the speakers’ knowledge, game background material or to do with game rules, and therefore empirically true. This should be used when imparting specialist information and should not be used to give authority to an opinion, guesswork or a direct lie.
  • From a player to a Deckhand (referee) to indicate the player is asking a rules question to do with their in-game specialist abilities to gain knowledge their character would have.
  • NB: Players can combine their characters’ specialisms to gain information which requires multiple specialisms in certain cases but the responses may require that a certain amount of in-game research or experimentation be undertaken, and information is shared with all parties.


"Can I Have A Word?"

Players use this phrase to a deckhand to indicate they are about to ask a question about the game rules or game world/background which they feel they should know the answer to. It is a cue to the deckhand to "put their rules head on".


The Bells, Sleep and Memory

When you hear the bell ring your character should return to their bunk immediately, they should not engage in conversation or other activities. When in bed you should close your eyes and roleplay sleeping (or cover your face with a blanket) until either; audible music plays, or you are instructed to do so.

If players hear any noise, it is considdred to be part of their characters dream and they are still not allowed to get out of their bunks.

It is recommend that you go to the loo before getting into bed but if nature calls, it is considered to be part of a dream, you should go straight to the loo and cannot interact or affect anything. When your character is “awake” again, memories of this dream may be triggered by another character discussing it with you if wished to do so.

If there is an emergency during this time a game team member will make a relevant time out announcement.


Insomnia

Each player will be provided individual briefs regarding the circumstances which will trigger their character's insomnia.

Characters whose insomnia has been triggered should return to their bunk but can act normally after waiting for thirty seconds as if they have woken from a short sleep.

Reasonable actions

What can my character do?

It’s a question often asked at larp events, in The Sisyphus characters are able to perform any reasonable action which someone of their career choice can take. Scientists can do science and Doctors can perform medicine, it’s that simple.

If you are asking yourself, “How can I justify this in character action?” then you should be generous, consider the spirit of the game and maybe don’t carry out that action.