SHAZRAD: City of Veils

When we say "rules", we don't mean system rules such as: "Those of chaotic evil alignment may not be in the same party as those of lawful good alignment," or even "Damage is determined by the character's strength attribute and the damage value of his weapon." These rules are guidelines for the players to make the game flow smoothly.

Give us feedback

If you're unhappy about anything, or think something could have been managed better, do let us know. We actually do want you to be happy, and our mailboxes are always open to random comments. A corollary to this rule is, "If you don't know, or aren't sure, then ask." The key to a PBeM's success is communication between the players and the gamemaster. But...

Bring OOC grievances to us in private

If you have a problem with either (or both!) of us, another player, or the game, then send an email to shazrad@cityofveils.com, not to the game mailing list. If we need to, we'll bring other people into it. But airing complaints in public is the best way to ask for a flame war. Remember that differences between players is completely different from differences between characters, the latter being acceptable. To a point--

Character death shouldn't occur

The keyword is "shouldn't." We will stretch a bit to make sure that your character emerges intact (if not unscathed) from hairy situations, but there has to be some degree of plausibility. If your character does something extraordinarily stupid, we'll hint that what you're planning is a bad idea. If you go ahead and do it... Well, there will be no miraculous saves if you jump into a pool of lava or walk into a sword. This also means that you shouldn't have your character kill another one. Remember, you're theoretically going to work together up to some point. Some minor malicious acts may be accepted (thievery, for example) but they should be kept to as much of a minimum as is possible while keeping in character.

Don't overstep in combat

No, you can't behead Jameel Jorun in one blow. Combat is run with painful (no pun intended) slowness: first state your character's intentions (vaguely, if you have little martial knowledge). Say that you lunge at your opponent, or attempt to slash his arm. You can also let us know the general style of fighting your character wants to adopt: defensive, opportunistic, aggressive, whatever. Then we'll go ahead and determine whether you succeed, and what happens next. We will try to speed up the pace whenever there's a battle on. For a great example of free-form combat (although it took place in a face-to-face game and not a PBeM), here's an encounter in Amber.

Moves are not set in stone once sent out

In the case of cross-posting, the GMs will work out a compromise. Cross-posting is when two (or more!) contradictory moves are sent out simultaneously from different players. We may ask one or even both to be rewritten or withdrawn, whichever way will be best for the game. We'll handle other conflicts the same way. In occasional posts we'll add an OOC disclaimer explaining a assumption that we made, and letting you know that we're willing to backtrack and revise accordingly if the assumption is downright wrong. On a side-note, we'll also be making minor revisions to turns when we convert them to archives on the website, cleaning up the spelling, grammar, formatting, and icky transitions.

Keep your paws off of other characters

Other players' characters are other players' characters. Your character is your character. You don't want anyone else pulling his or her strings, do you? So don't start controlling others'. Some limited creation and control of NPCs is possible, as sometimes it's ridiculous to pause for the GM to provide every beggar and pedestrian out there on the streets. We'll let you know to what extent you can do this. As GMs, we may occasionally try to guide your character in a direction we feel that he or she would go in anyway, but this is to keep the game moving so that we don't have to check with you for every step your character takes. Feel free to slap our hands if we mishandle him or her; we also respect your ownership of your character. But if you leave the game, we're likely to turn your character into an NPC so that he won't have to have a heart attack on the spot, or disappear into a mysteriously-opened ravine underfoot.


In RPGs, this means what the player knows is not equivalent to what the character knows. You might have read all the information on this website about Duxaur, but if your character was born and raised solely in Shazrad, he or she wouldn't know much about Duxaur unless he or she had encountered someone else who had been there. And no, you shouldn't cause such an acquaintance to pop up conveniently just when you need him. This also means that if you have OOC knowledge that the wine is drugged, but your character is a naïve warrior who drinks too much, your character has no reason to refuse the wine. Drink up, buddy.


This is a very simple rule. Moves are sent out every week and a half or so. This may seem slow, but you might be surprised by the number of people who are unable to commit to this rate. Remember that this is an approximate rate; we won't adhere to a strict schedule, and real life will rear its ugly head every once in a while--for you and for us. If it's for you, then please let us know ASAP about your absence. We are very free with extensions as long as we're actually notified. We understand that you actually have a real life outside gaming, and will need time off to study for exams, have a baby, or attend a family emergency. Just let us know that you'll be gone, and how long, so that we don't run off to file a missing person report or something. If you'll be gone for a while or the game is at a critical point, give us some general instructions and we'll run your character as a NPC as best we can. Don't worry, we won't make him or her jump into lava or anything equally stupid. But after missing two unexplained consecutive turns or dropping from the mailing list, you will be removed as an active player. Depending on circumstances, we may remove you from the game entirely, or simply drop you down to the waiting list again. In either case, realize that once you have actually played in the game, your character is in our province, and we may convert him or her into a NPC or even kill him or her off for the sake of smooth continuance of the game.

The gamemasters have the final word

Don't get us wrong. We are more than open to discussion. We're not dictatorial tyrants, honest. But there are times we have to put our foot down, as circumstances may arise that we haven't planned for and explained ahead of time on this website. We promise not to abuse this rule, and hope that we never have to use it at all.

Copyright © 2000-2001 by Alioqui & Yoon Ha Lee

[ Return to the top of the page ]


Game info
Other lands

Link to us