Here are a few commonly-asked questions, and their answers. This is a work in progress, and will be revised and expanded as we go.
- I’ve never read the books or watched the tv show. Is this going to be a problem?
No. Plenty of our players began the game without having read the series or watched the show. Obviously we recommend it, because they are awesome, but it’s not necessary to play this game. There’s info on the wiki about our particular slice of the setting, and staff and players are more than happy to answer questions when you have them.
- When and where is this game set?
Steel & Stone is set in the Riverlands, specifically around the area between the Twins and Seagard, about 10 years prior to the beginning of the A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series. It is 6 years after Robert's Rebellion. For more info on this, please see Setting.
- What is the game's timescale?
The game is on 1:1 time, where one real life day is equal to one in-character day.
- How many alts am I allowed?
We understand that Steel & Stone and the Game of Thrones is heavily political and tends to lend more adventures, scenes and stories to the Noble Classes. As such, we've recently modified our alt policy to limit characters to no more then 4 characters, though they may break it down in any of the following fashions: 4 commoners, 1 Noble & 3 Commoners or 2 Nobles & 2 Commoners. A player may not exceed 2 Nobles at any time.
1) Noble Alts can not be a member of the same House
2) You can not have 2 Noble Alts in Prominent Positions
3) You can not have 2 Commoner Alts in Prominent Positions
4) You are allowed 1 Noble Alt and 1 Commoner Alt in Prominent Positions
Prominent Positions for Noble Alts include: Head of House, Heir to House (Young Lord/Young Lady), Steward, Castellan, Master at Arms
Prominent Positions for Commoner Alts include: Castellan, Captain of the Guard, Master at Arms, Business Owner, Master of the Hunt, Master of Horses
- Can my character be killed?
Yes. This is a non-consent game, as explained on the Policy page. If your character's actions put them in mortal danger, then there is a chance that they will die, and whether they do so will be determined both by how you choose to play the situation and by what Staff feels is realistic for the setting.
We don't go around killing characters at random for happening to cross the road at the wrong moment, or things like that, and will work with players to point out the potential consequences of their actions where we can so that they can make informed choices. But if, say, you choose to stay in a wooden fort and try to fight a vastly superior enemy force rather than fleeing before they arrive, and then decide to shoot in the back the enemy commander who offers you a potential chance to escape…well. You're going to die. (Yes, this actually happened.)
- What are the major on-grid locations?
Hag's Mire and Terrick’s Roost are the homes to the game’s two primary noble houses, Nayland and Terrick. Stonebridge is midway between them, a hub of trade for the area as well as a source of contention, as the Terricks and Naylands each want control of it. These are the centers of RP on the grid. You should plan to have your character in the Mire, the Roost, or Stonebridge most of the time for one reason or another. For more information about the size of these and other towns in the Riverlands, check out their wiki pages linked above, or use the +stats command on the game.
- If my character is based in one of those locations, are they allowed to travel to the others?
Yes. Characters are free to travel between grid locations as much as their players can make up (or handwave) reasons to do so IC, though you should take into account travel times and not, say, be in the Mire for a scene set at midday and then back at the Roost for a scene set in the early afternoon the same day. Terrick's Roost and Hag's Mire are each roughly a six hour ride from Stonebridge, and twelve hours from each other. For other distances, please take a look at Travel.
- What if my character's house is based off-grid?
Save for a handful of non-Riverland Houses, all noble houses have an on-grid location of some capacity. We are not approving noble characters that belong to a House that is not listed as one of our open houses; commoners have a bit more freedom, but please be mindful of the cost of travel in this world. All commoners must be born somewhere on our Setting's map.
We do advise that you make sure during Character Generation that your char is someone who has reason to be on the grid. For instance a maester or castellan - people whose lives revolve around the holding itself - of an off-grid house, say House Flint, would not be good choices, as they would need to spend the bulk of their time at Flint's Finger off the grid or else be completely neglecting their duties.
Most nobles and sworn swords and diplomats and the like, however, have plenty of reason to travel, and we're reasonably flexible about handwaving and making things up. If you're having a difficult time figuring out a reason to be based on-grid, consult Staff on <Newbie> and they'll help you come up with something.
- What’s been going on ICly recently? Is there a summary or something somewhere?
- Is there a roster, or a list somewhere of what sorts of characters are currently needed?
We don't use a roster system here on S&S, but we do have +quota. This command will show you a list of the types of characters each house is looking for at this time. There is also the Wanted bboard (+bbread 9), where staff may post more detailed information about particular chars we're hoping to see cast, including already-created chars who need new players. In addition, staff is always more than happy to provide recommendations, or to help refine an idea and suggest ways to make a concept fit the theme and hook into RP. Just ask on the Newbie channel.
Please note that the character list is not a roster, nor a list of appable characters/roles to choose from. It is a list of those characters, both PC and NPC, that have already been defined in the course of the game. Unless you choose to apply to play one of the (few) characters from that list who are marked NPC, you will be creating a new character and, after approval, adding them to that list, not the other way 'round.
- I see family trees on the house wiki pages. Are those set in stone?
No. The family trees, much like the character list, are simply a depiction of what has already been made up so far. PCs that have been approved and NPCs that have been mentioned in backgrounds and the like are added to the family trees. With a few exceptions, these trees are highly flexible, and new players can pick where they want their character to go on the tree and even have entirely new branches added if they feel like it. If you are wondering about a specific tree and whether an addition you have in mind would be allowed, please consult Staff on <Newbie> and they'll help.
- Do I have to play a noble?
No, but it’s easiest to get involved if you play a noble or a commoner who is directly attached to a noble family, such as a retainer, household official, servant, guard, sworn knight, maester, etc. Being closely associated with or useful to the nobles in some way will make it easier for you to find hooks into plot than if you play an unaffiliated townsperson. Of course, if you have an awesome idea for an unaffiliated townsperson, go for it! They’re definitely an option, they just take a bit more initiative to get involved.
- If I do play a noble, which noble House can I be from?
We have created a wide variety of Houses that are open for play. Please check +quota/+wanted to see which House is open for application as we try to keep House numbers relatively even.
- If my character is male and noble, do they have to be a knight?
No. Some families have traditions of encouraging all males into knighthood, some do not. Even within families that do, some sons may be better suited to it than others.
- Do I have to play a knight to participate in combat scenes when they happen?
No. In addition to knights, nobles employ household guards, and also raise local civilians as levies in case of war. Should warfare occur in our game, all of these sorts of characters may be involved, not just knights. When it comes to tournaments, however, only knights (and the occasional squire) can participate.
- Are all knights nobles? Can I play a commoner who is a knight?
No they aren’t, and yes you can. A knight, whether sworn sword or hedge knight, can be of either common or noble birth. Knights are more often noble just because it’s easier for them to find people to take them on as pages and squires, and they have an easier time affording armor and equipment, but commoner knights are not unusual. So long as you can make up a story about how your character ended up on the path to knighthood and how they came up with the coin necessary to outfit themselves as a knight, then you’re good.
- Can my character be Dothraki/Braavosi/Other Exotic stuff?
No. Your character must originate within the area of the map shown here. They can have traveled elsewhere, but they must be from that area. Do also keep in mind that in this setting, travel is time-consuming, dangerous, and expensive, and not many people ever travel outside the region they are born in. If you want your char to have ventured to far-off parts of the world, be prepared to explain in your application.
- Can I make up my own noble house?
Not at the moment. Obviously we have created several new, non-canon houses, but this is something we’d prefer to keep to a minimum, and at the moment we have plenty of room for new PCs in the PC houses we already have. If you're having trouble figuring out which house suits your concept best, please talk to Staff on <Newbie>, and they will help you choose the right spot.
- Any other types of characters that are currently not being accepted at all?
We are currently not accepting any more Terrick or Nayland children of the main line - that is to say children of Lord Jerold or Lord Rickart. We are full up on them. Please take a look at +quota for other restrictions, and the Char Gen Guide for general restrictions.
- How prevalent is code here? Do you roll for things a lot?
Not very, and not really. Steel & Stone is a lightly-coded game, meaning that while we have stats and the ability to +roll as well as coded combat, it is used sparingly, and the focus is squarely on RP. Dice are used primarily for battles, tourneys, healing, and to determine things like whether a character makes a poison correctly. Some players like to +roll occasionally in scenes to add an element of randomness to whether they get thrown off their horse or step on their partner's toes while dancing, but this is personal preference and just for fun.
- These stats seem pretty broad. How important are they?
The FS3 stat system we use is designed to keep the focus on RP, rather than code. To that end, stats are intended to be fairly minimal, pretty forgiving, and broadly constructed. You don’t have to stat every little thing your character knows, and a little creativity about what falls under which heading is okay. Low stats don’t mean you’ll always fail; they don’t even mean you’ll always lose against a higher stat. So don’t agonize too much about a point here or a point there, or how precisely to word the name of a Background Skill. At the end of the day you probably won’t roll things all that often, and the difference between a 3 and a 5 is not going to make or break a combat when you do. If you’re unsure what stats or stat levels are appropriate for your char, you can always consult the Char Gen Guide, +sheet others to see what they’ve taken, or ask Staff for help.
- Do I need to use all of my stat points in CG?
You won’t be able to keep any unused points once you leave CG, but it is not required that you use them all. Especially for characters who are not trained as professional warriors (which includes nearly all female characters and some proportion of male chars as well), you may find it difficult to use up all your points. When in doubt, make up more background skills! Most of them aren’t likely to get rolled very often, but they’re a fun way to flesh out your character’s knowledge, interests, and hobbies. But if you find you’ve totally exhausted your imagination and still have a handful of points left over, know that finding a use for them isn’t necessary to apply.
- Most of these action skills don’t really seem to fit my character. Is there a minimum number I have to have?
No. Especially for female chars, you probably won’t use more than a couple. Alertness is good for everyone, and most characters would probably have at least one point in Animal Handling, but don’t try to shoehorn Action Skills into your character just to have some. It’s much better to spend your points on background skills that really fit your concept, as mentioned above.
- How do I create my wikipage for my character?
First, you need your character to be approved. Then, you need a wikidot account. If you don't have one, you'll need to create one. At the top right of our wikipage, you should see a link that says 'create account or sign in'. Click 'create account' and create and validate your account. Once you get the email confirming that it's set up, either ask on Public, or +request, and let Staff know that you need to be invited to the wiki. Include your wikidot account name in the +request. You'll receive an invitation on that account to join the Steel & Stone wiki. Accept it! You now have access to the wiki, and can create and edit pages.
The templates for creating characters and posting logs can be found in the Create a New Page tab. Simply select the appropriate template for your character, whether a noble or a commoner, and follow the instructions to create their page. The name of the page should be the same as your character Bitname on game, meaning their first name (or occasionally their last), not their full name. If you have any questions or need help with a bit of code, don't hesitate to ask on <Public>.
- Do I have to have a wikipage for my character?
Yes. The wiki is the repository of all information about the game, and keeping complete character files for reference is an important part of that. They’re helpful for other players who might need to ICly know who you are even if they don’t yet OOC, and they’re great for letting players see potential hooks. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with wikidot code - there are instructions for how to create your page provided, each page comes with a template already set, and other players and staff are always willing to help if you can’t figure something out.
- How do I get an icon?
Send in a +request to staff including a link to a picture (or multiple options if you like). It should be of reasonably high quality and sized at least as large as "Medium" results on Google Image Search. (That is: approximately at least 350x350 pixels.) Staff will get you an icon in short order!
- What’s the deal with posting logs? Do I have to?
We strongly encourage the posting of logs here on Steel & Stone. Posted logs help let people see what characters are up to so they can collaborate on plots and hooks and things, help staff get ideas for new plots, help new players get a taste of RP and see where a new character might potentially fit, and are just fun to read. That said, we can’t force people to do it and aren’t going to try. There are also situations in which it may make sense to hold a log back until some event or plot has completed. If you are playing a scene that contains sensitive personal info about one of the characters in it, or reveals some secret of theirs, it is polite to ask them before posting.
- How do these ‘page number’ things work?
The ‘Page ###’ you see in front of log titles is our way of keeping logs sorted chronologically. Each page number corresponds to the day it was posted, essentially counting the days since the game opened. We thought that rather than putting ‘Day ###’ in a log name, though, and making it seem like we’re counting from some significant IC event date (which we’re not), it made more sense to hark back to our roots in literature and go with pages and chapters. To figure out what today’s page number is, hit +time (Thanks, Gnome!).