Character Crossing - A Review
Character crossing encompasses a very wide range of things, and precisely what does and does not fall within the boundaries of fair play can often be difficult to determine. While this document is far from comprehensive, below are some points that will hopefully better illustrate what is and is not considered character crossing. For the sake of clarify, the examples below will refer to a player Bob who has two characters, Parviane and Enaivrap.
Character crossing is defined as using the knowledge or items obtained in a fashion that was not in-character to your benefit. A glaring example of this is would be if Enaivrap magically knew that someone was a vampire because player Bob saw him shift while playing Parviane, or if someone told Bob about it over an instant messenger. Because the CHARACTER Parviane did not actually witness the vampire change shape and was not told about it via says, the IC channel, or any other IC means, such a case would be using OOC information to benefit the character Parviane. This isn't fair to other players, so it is a problem.
Another less apparent example that is often perpetrated happens when people quickly switch characters to jump in on something happening in the game. If Bob was playing his character Enaivrap and saw someone auction a quest item that would be great for Parviane, it would be character crossing for Bob to quickly log out Enaivrap, log in Parviane, and bid on the item. Since Parviane the character wasn't even logged in when the item was put up for auction, Parviane would have no IC way of knowing it was being auctioned unless the person selling it re-announced the item AFTER Parviane the character logged in. Even then, doing these fast character swaps is in poor taste and flirts with item #8 in help rp, as it becomes very obvious who your alts are if you do this repeatedly.
This leads into a much finer point of character crossing which involves OOC communication with your friends to prompt IC happenings. While it's understandable to want to have fun with your mudding pals in the game, asking them to do or say specific things as their characters in front of your character just so your character knows something ICly is really not acceptable. This is simply using your OOC connection to someone to gain knowledge or items for your character and is no way different from just skipping the forced and contrived IC justification. A specific example would be if player Bob needed to re-equip his character Parviane fast, so he asked his friend player Mary to log in a character she never uses to give him her equipment or some gold. While player Mary could easily come up with some IC reason for her character to give Parviane things, this simply isn't fair to players who stick strictly to the role they have developed for themselves and who play by the rules.
Tying in with the previous example, another common and seemingly victimless form of character crossing would occur if all of player Bob's characters wound up being friends with all of player Mary's. This puts Parviane and Enaivrap into a position where they should know each other (since they both share the same friends, and friends talk about each other), but due to multiplaying restrictions this would be an impossibility without some serious character crossing going on. It also would be character crossing in that all of Bob and Mary's characters are drawn to each other because of their OOC friendship, not because their characters' roles made it work out that way. Again, since the motivation behind it was OOC knowledge, doing this intentionally is in very poor taste.
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