I have been thinking a lot about the future of this roleplay, and particularly my own role in it. The whole drama around the Throne Room event has shown that we need a set of rules and guidelines in place to regulate just how this works, and how we all interact with it. Therefore, the GM's and I have drafted the following;
1. Plans must be accompanied with roleplay, or at least a letter to GM's explaining precisely what they are saying / doing behind the scenes and plus an OOC outline of what their intentions are in their schemes.
2. The King will be played through mechanics; each GM will vote in favour / against each issue raised, these votes will be added to the "Gut Feeling", and then a 1-9 die roll will be applied to the result. -10 to -1 will result in a negative reaction, 0 to 10 will result in a positive one. The amount above or below 0 will determine how much in favour / against the King is, and will determine is immediate reaction.
3. Throne Room event outcomes will be decided by Mordred, then passed by Iskar (and any other Admins) before being published. This is because I have a tendency to see the OOC over IC, while Iskar does the opposite. Therefore the outcome should be balanced. Only Throne Room events do not pass through the GMs, because we should preserve an aura of mystery / suspense as most GM's are Order Members too.
4. Other events outcomes will be decided by Mordred, then passed before the other GMs for refinement and acceptance before being published.
5. Backrooms / Inner Sanctum may talk OOC at any time, and with any motive*.
5a. Point by point planning during an event is seriously frowned upon. Although we will not actively enforce this as a rule, continual use of OOC facilities to this end will result in further actions being taken by Admins, including but not limited to the blocking of OOC boards for a set time. You may use OOC boards to plan strategy and decide longer-term goals and ambitions, you may not use them to provide a blow by blow plan on how to respond to IC posts as they occur.
6. Any actions undertaken in 5. MUST be in accordance with 1.
* I say this, for a number of reasons; firstly because I hated having the continuous "breaks" during the IC stuff, it broke things up too much, and people were getting confused with precisely what they were doing and where their characters were. Secondly, this is an international forum, and our players are on at differing times so having it centralised around European times (which in that event it was), is unfair to our American / Asian / Rest of World members. Thirdly, I do not want to spend months on each event, and breaking things up in the way they have been is simply asking for delays. Fourthly, it will be impossible to enforce having only IC plotting during IC breaks. All the OOC planning can be explained by whispering, passing messages, winking at odd times, stepping outside for a moment, etc but do not necessarily need to be roleplayed, because again it would be impossible to enforce this. I used to play an MMO with a group of roleplayers that required you to emote the arrival and launch of messenger pigeons when using external chat programs... it was the most annoying thing I have ever had to do, and really added nothing to the actual experience. We will however give the Chair (or any Grandmaster) the power to adjourn a meeting if a Player or Order launches a particular plan or plot of large enough scale so as to give others a chance to rally and react. Example in the Throne Room event would be the Griffons kicking the Silvermist guards out.
The OOC outline in 1. is mostly for Admin / GM use, so we can actually see what intention the Order has in making those proposals, and hopefully create an outcome which at least has something to do with their intentions. Additional effects can of course be added. This OOC should be for GM / Admin use for deciding outcomes, rather than the Order's only action. As such, each time the Order wishes to enact a plot, or scheme they will need to do the following in the Inner Sanctum or Backroom.
Therefore we need;
[Detailed IC post outlining the plot, and any actions taken. This can take the shape of a number of inter-character dialogues or orders, or a letter to the proper characters]
[//OOC section detailing precisely what they are doing]
If the actions OOC are not in the IC, we will ignore those actions because they did not actually happen. Also note, that additional effects are quite likely. Just because you did not expect something to happen, doesn't mean that it will not. Besides, creative outcomes are half the fun for the GMs!