I’ve said many times that this is one of the most important lessons for roleplayers. A lot of the time this is a struggle for people and it doesn’t need to be. The reality is that embracing this makes things a lot more fun and a lot easier.

ICA=ICC is a pretty basic rule. In-Character actions result in in-character consequences. You’d think it’s common sense but more often than not it’s something that people struggle with. In one of my various games I play a police officer in a large, crime-infested city. I deal with criminals frequently and it’s a pretty common vein for them to not want to take consequences for their actions and, instead, prefer to godmod, complain, or log off so that they don’t have to deal with the rammifications of their actions.

This is frustrating for everyone, I’m sure. This doesn’t just happen with cops’n robbers roleplay, this happens with all kinds. I’m just using the cops’n robbers as an example because it’s the freshest in my mind. One of the biggest things that people need to understand is that “losing” isn’t actually a bad thing.

Most people view things like combat (in roleplay) and being caught by the good guys (or by other bad guys) as being a competition. The reality is that is nothing like like that. Every “loss” is a chance to build your character just as surely as wins. In fact, losing tends to create deeper character arcs. Think about it. If your character doesn’t lose something they’ll never learn.

Now, does this mean that you need to take every “consequence” that someone decides you earned? Well, maybe not. Not if it’s unreasonable. If you’re sitting beside someone at the bar and they decide that the “consequence” of you sitting next to them is them pulling out a Beretta and shooting you in the face then… well it could go either way. If the person’s a good roleplayer and they’re doing it in relevance to a storyline sure. If it’s just some random yahoo that’s being a pain in the ass… not so much.

The key here is to use consideration, caution, and think about what would logically happen. I know, everyone’s crying “but it’s just fantasy!” and that’s true. But every fantasy needs some elements of realism or it becomes just a masturbatory aid for people that deem themselves badasses. I’ve seen what happens when things like “it’s just fantasy” gets out of control.