Finally getting this up. Please note that the following is a first draft, and I am still writing and revising this. Once I have it more finalized, I'll make it an official BBpost on the game. However, please also feel free to comment, ask questions, offer opinions, etc. I'd like this post to serve as one we can point to in the future for more elaboration than a list of rules can offer.What is a Foil?
A foil is another character in a story who contrasts with the main character, usually to highlight one of their attributes.
On GarouMUSH, a Foil character serves much the same role. For our purposes, the Garou and their kinfolk are the 'main characters'; GarouMUSH is, as the name implies, primarily about the Garou, and that's where the game's focus is. A Foil character on the MUSH is a character that, in various ways for various reasons, is a secondary character that contrasts with the main characters.
Or, in less esoteric terms, a Foil's primary purpose is to enhance the story of the regular characters. A Foil player's primary responsibility is to do the same with the RP of the regular players.
A Foil doesn't necessarily have to be a non-Garou; we've had plenty of Garou or Garou kin characters serve as Foils in the past, usually because they come in with a plot or plot hooks, or are in some way far enough from the norm that they contrast with the regular Garou characters. This doesn't mean that all Garou who come onto the game with stories or plot hooks are Foils, but it does mean that they can be. (and the more outrageous the differences, the more likely they are to be considered such).
Aside from that, all supernatural characters that are not Garou or kinfolk are considered Foils, and fall under these rules and guidelines.Rules and Guidelines:The Player
: Like higher ranks and Sept or Tribal positions, Foils come with certain OOC responsibilities and expectations. While everyone has the opportunity to apply for a Foil, not everyone is going to be accepted as a Foil player. In fact, it's very likely that a minority of players will be accepted. Being rejected for a Foil does not reflect on your abilities as an RPer; it does not make you a 'bad player'. It also doesn't mean that you're not in the 'in' clique of bestest GarouMUSH buddies -- we judge Foil applications in part based on the player themselves, and regardless of who that player is or how long they've played (though we're more likely to have a good idea of your ability to handle a Foil if you've been around a while), if it seems like they would be ill-suited to a Foil role, they're not going to get a Foil approved.
Keep in mind that these standards apply throughout your time playing a Foil character; if you suddenly start ignoring or neglecting your OOC responsibilities toward the playerbase, or you start getting into actual OOC trouble in other areas, or you simply start going off the wild and deep end on worldview; we can and probably will take the Foil character away.So what are we looking for in a Foil player?
- A thorough understanding of Foil responsibilities, and the willingess and ability to carry them out.
- Someone who is good at creating RP, without making the RP entirely about their characters. This doesn't mean you can't ever have the spotlight, but it does mean that you recognize where the spotlight is sitting and you're willing to give other characters their time in the limelight. Every regular character is a 'main character' on this game; remember that!
- A solid handle on GarouMUSH worldview, as well as the greater themes of WoD as a whole.
- A solid understanding of the source material of whatever type of character is being applied for. Because Foils are often expected to self-police, far more than regular Garou (after all, a regular Garou who steps out of line is going to be noticeable to most people who know Werewolf:TA). This doesn't mean you have to be the expert of experts, but it does mean you should have a firm grasp of the basics, how this type of character functions both ICly and mechanically, and how you're going to fit this character into the game (some systems aren't necessarily worldview compatible, so you have to get creative. Mage is a good example of this)
- A decent OOC history on the game. We don't care how awesome an RPer you are if OOCly you're a giant dick. This doesn't mean that you're automatically banned from being a Foil player if you've had some rough patches in the past, but it does mean your behavior matters. Furthermore, the more powerful the Foil, the more we scrutinize your ability to handle that kind of power responsibly.
- The ability to put a firm barrier between IC and OOC, and the general ability to handle conflict. Garou are conflict heavy creatures as it is; Foils are almost guaranteed to get more conflict than even other Garou. If IC conflict is an uncomfortable thing for you, a Foil character is probably not a good idea.Rules:
1. Don't be a giant dick
2. One Foil per player. If you are running a plot that requires a Foil other than the one you have, we may make allowances for you to have the plot Foil, but the plot Foil is required to leave when the plot ends, unless they die first.
3. Don't make the RP all about your character. Characters will be ICly curious at times; this is fine, but always keep in mind that a Foil character should never have the spotlight for too long.
4. Strive to create RP, especially during slow periods on the game.
5. Don't abuse your Foil's abilities. Foils are often at a higher power level (or simply more capable in areas that Garou are not) than Garou characters. This is not an excuse to be a powergaming jerk. See rule number one.
6. Remember that Foils exist to enhance the RP of other characters, and the enjoyment of other players. This means all players, regardless of personal feelings. You are not allowed to cut someone out due to OOC bias.
7. Don't be a Rules Lawyer. This document is very much Spirit of the Law, not Letter of the Law. Don't try to weasel around the rules or the spirit of this document and then claim that you did nothing wrong, because it doesn't explicitly lay out your exact offense. This goes for Garou players in general, but especially Foil players. Don't do it. It won't end well for you. See rule number 1.What sort of Foil characters are allowed?
In theory, any World of Darkness character is technically allowed as a Foil provided the application is good enough. In practice, some characters are pretty much just not going to happen due to conflicts between source material worldview and established GarouMUSH worldview.
We don't generally allow 'Wyrmish' creatures to be actual Foil characters. Those fall strictly under plot, and are usually not given an actual character object. This includes Fomori and Vampires, though there have been exceptions.
Black Spiral Dancers are never going to be Foil characters. Please don't ask.
It's a good rule of thumb that the more unusual (this includes location) and powerful the Foil, the harder it will be to apply for. The more common, 'easier' Foils are generally:
- 'Local' Bastet (Pumonca, for instance, maybe Qualmi)
- Garou with some sort of Something that makes them Foils rather than just unusual regular characters.
Moderate Foils would be:
- Mages (While these aren't rare, mages do trend towards very powerful, and the applicant and application need to show a good understanding of how to mold worldview and how to not be a total twinkface)
- non-local Bastet (Balaam, mostly, maybe Bagheera)
- Some sort of more mundane 'Hunter' character (bear in mind we do not necessarily use rules from Hunter itself)
- Vampires that are not necessarily plot fodder (these will be scrutinized heavily, and are the most likely winners of 'fastest foil death on game'.)
- Any Hengeyokai version of the Fera (this does not include Khan, see below)
Very difficult to apply for Foils, but which I am theoretically open to depending on app quality and justification for being in the area:
- 'Exotic' Bastet (Simba, Khan, etc)
- Fae (we do not use Changeling)
- Ghosts (we do not use Wraith)
- 'Supernatural' Hunters
Foils that are pretty much never going to happen as Foils (but may or may not happen as plots):
- White Howlers
- Skin Dancers
- Technocracy Mages
- Nephandi Mages
- Any extinct Fera, or Fera that don't actually exist as written in WoD
- Anything from Exalted
- Probably anything from that Gypsy book, seriously