Propco Guidelines for Background Sign-Offs

In order to ensure that new characters have backgrounds that are reasonable given the history and present circumstances of a prop, whenever a new character mentions a prop in their background, the propco is automatically notified and asked to sign off on the background.

This details the responsibilities that propcos do and don't have in this regard.

What a Propco Must Do

It is the propco's responsibility to ensure that the background does not contradict any established facts about the prop. This is ultimately what a sign-off signifies. We have a strong desire to get new players through character generation and into play as quickly as possible, and so we ask for these sign-offs to be done in as timely a manner as possible.

A propco should also add a character who has a significant tie to their prop (whether by blood, background history, or the like) to their org. This should be done regardless of whether the character has retained a close relationship with the prop, unless the player explicitly doesn't want to be part of the org. For instance, a character who has Weir blood should be part of the Weir org, even if they were raised entirely outside of Weirmonken.

What a Propco Should Do

In general, a propco should help a new character obtain appropriate hooks within the prop (and to the extent reasonable, also be helpful in suggesting additional hooks that they might find beneficial). For instance, a propco may want to help place this character in a family tree, suggest a place of origin, suggest specific ties to other PCs, or the like.

A propco should be flexible about the types of concepts that can tie into their prop, and be open to offering hooks that are not necessarily direct and strong. Many players will seek out incidental hooks that potentially broaden their future roleplay opportunities, and propcos should be open to the establishment of weak past ties if players desire them.

A propco should be open to concepts that introduce conflict with their prop. This includes incidental conflict, as well — for instance, a character who has a past feud with an NPC in their prop, or is estranged, or the like. Conflict need not be current and active. In general, pre-negotiation is discouraged, per our usual conflict guidelines. If a conflict concept raises serious play concerns, please consult a GM for guidance.

A propco who believes that a concept is not readily workable should bring a GM into the conversation for assistance. Please do point people at the wiki rules for concepts if they are proposing something that is out of bounds, but in general, we expect you to be encouraging of new players. Ideas that seem bad are not necessarily unworkable, and the GMs specifically want to work with them if possible. Do not reject a concept out of hand, without consulting a GM first.

What a Propco is Not Responsible For

It is not the propco's responsibility to ensure that this character will get sufficient play. That is the player's responsibility, and to some extent the responsibility of the GMs. While propcos are responsible for their props as a whole, and are encouraged to help people get into play and get properly hooked in, in the end, people are responsible for their own play.

It is not the propco's responsibility to ensure that the character has sufficient hooks. This is the responsibility of the GMs. Please do mention to the player if you think that he doesn't have enough hooks or lacks sufficient ties to Amber, and try to offer more hooks if you can, but it's not your responsibility to insist that he have more.

It is not the propco's responsibility to assist a player with doing their sheet. This is also the responsibility of the GMs. If the propco wishes to offer help and suggestions to the player, they are welcome and encouraged to do that, but they are specifically discouraged from being prescriptive.

Similarly, it is not the propco's responsibility to ensure that a player's concept conforms with the available RPG gifts. Making the player aware of what gifts are available and therefore what they can definitively do is fine. However, players who want gifts that don't exist should be instructed to talk to the GMs, and referred to the wiki rules on new gifts.

It is specifically undesirable for a propco to "protect" their prop, particularly in the case of major props. The major props of the game — the Great Houses and the Golden Circle shadows in particular — are intended to be broad, open playgroups. The barrier to connecting a character to them should be minimal. Players with small props (such as level 1 resources that represent Minor Houses) can choose to be more selective, as these are inherently more intimate playgroups.

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