Basic Concepts


Physical Contact

At no time should players ever physically touch each other without explicit permission from both parties. Any spells that have “touch” as a requirement should be done by hovering one’s hand a few inches above the person and casting the spell rather than actually placing a hand on the person.It should always be assumed that you do not have permission to touch someone and that any previous permission was specific to that instance. We strive to make all players comfortable and respect that every person has different levels of tolerance for physical contact. We expect all of our players to be respectful of this as well.


If you hear “Hold!” called that means that all action needs to stop immediately. Holds can be called for a variety of purposes such as allowing a Marshall to describe an event, to address a safety issue, or because of a medical emergency. Regardless of cause, when a Hold is called all players should stop all actions including conversation immediately. Players should kneel if possible and at the very least look down at the ground or keep eyes closed. During a hold is not a time to look around out-of-play or talk to other players.

The only exception to this is that archers may attempt to collect arrows during a hold. They may not call a hold for that specific purpose and cannot request the hold go longer than it normally would in order to collect arrows. They are expected to not use any knowledge gained for any in play benefit as a matter of sportsmanship.

Searching a Person

A dead, sleeping, or unconscious person can be searched for goods, coin, or other resources that they may have on them. This is considered a touch action (see rules on physical contact) and requires at least 10 seconds or roleplayed searching. You cannot search a person by sword point. Additionally, the target of the search must either be willing to be searched or unable to resist (asleep, unconscious, dead).

Under specific circumstances a target may have concealed items that cannot be found through a normal search. In such cases a more thorough search of the person would be required to find such hidden items. A “detailed search” requires an additional full minute of searching. If the search is interrupted or stopped for any reason it must be restarted from the beginning.

Searching a Cabin or Other Private Goods

There may be cause for a player to want to search the private goods or private cabin of another player. This includes searching bags or pouches that have been left in public space by another player as well as their own cabins. These actions require the presence of a plot marshal at all times. If a plot marshal is not available, then any such searches have to wait until one can help. A plot marshal is required to make sure only in play items are interacted with and no out of play property is removed or changed.

Violation of Policy and Sportsmanship Warnings

Violation of these rules can result in sportsmanship warnings which are kept on file by the plot committee. Repeated sportsmanship warnings can result anywhere from a short term ban from a select number of games up to permanent expulsion from the game. More severe discipline actions can be assessed by staff based on the circumstances around any given violation and at the discretion of the plot committee.

Weapons & Packets

Altera uses a set of specific color codes to help make types of magic and weapons immediately obvious to all players. Please keep these in mind when constructing weapons and packets.

GraySteel or iron weapons
SilverSilver or silver-coated weapons
GoldGolden or gold-coated weapons
WhiteBone weapons
BrownWooden weapons
Red“Natural”: Claws, quills, venom, teeth, etc. Also Alchemical
Purple1Wild or otherworldly magic or effects
Gray or WhiteMagic attack or effect
Red“Natural”: Claws, quills, venom, teeth, etc. Also Alchemical
OrangeDream magic
Purple1“Wild”: Potent otherworldly magic or effects

1 No player should use Purple in any weapon or packet without direction from the plot staff. Purple packets or weapons give off an obviously otherworldly feel that is recognizable to all as something beyond current understanding.


Taglines are special words spoken to help identify complex game effects. Examples include enhanced weapon attacks, Combat Traits, magic weapons, special effects and damage types.  For the most part, taglines are “out of play” but their effects may be recognizable from their “in-game” effect (such as a weapon wreathed in fire).

When used, taglines must be before/during the start of an attack or weapon swing. A weapon that strikes before the tagline is complete, does not benefit from the tagline’s effect.

Spellstrikes are a special type of tagline used to represent weapon-delivered magical/spell attacks.  A weapon strike serves as the delivery method for a spell instead of a packet. Spellstrikes do not deliver base damage, rather the spell effect replaces the swing. Just like packet attacks, the weapon will deliver the spell effect if it connects with any valid location, including clothing/capes/weapons/etc. Shields can still block direct damage effects based on the type of shield (i.e. Some flavor/variant of “Spellstrike Shard” could be blocked by a Shield with sufficient Spell Defense rating). Spellstrikes cannot be Parried. They can be Dodged. They can be Spell Fluxed (or Counterspelled) but you still take the 1 point of damage in the case of Spell Flux.


Altera uses colored headbands during the day and glow bracelets/necklaces at night to help quickly communicate certain obvious out of play information to our players:

White Headband

While wearing a white headband, NPCs or Players should be considered to not exist in the game setting and should not be interacted with from an in-character standpoint. We ask all players to not call attention to an out-of-play person. If you need to ask a question, quietly walk to that out-of-play person and ask in a manner that does not distract other players from game play.

Orange Headband or Glowstick

Medical non-combat status. Players may occasionally have a physical limitation or injury that does not allow them to participate in combat. Any Non-combat character must have an orange headband during the day and an orange glowstick active on them at night. This should never be covered or otherwise hidden.

Non-combat players may not participate in combat and must back away to an un-engaged distance. They may not use any combat spells or abilities of any type. Hostile NPC’s will treat any non-combat player as a non-threat unless there are absolutely no other targets around. A Non-combat character may be wounded or killed by any other character by simply being within 5 feet of the Non-combat target and declaring “I wound/kill you.” Such players should never be targeted out-of-play with weapons of any kind.

Blue Wristband or Glow Bracelet (Only)

A being that has manifested in the physical world but has a strong Astral presence. Any and all persons may see and interact with it. Those with Medium may be able to learn additional information.

Blue Headband or Glow Necklace (Only)

A ghost or other entity that resides only in the Astral realm. More often than not, it is a spirit seeking to be resurrected but could be other things as well which must be discovered in-play. Requires Medium to see or interact with.

Headband/Glow necklaces always trump wrist bands so if something has both then the Medium requirement to see and interact applies.

Blue Headband/Necklace + Wristband/Bracelet

Anything that has an obviously blue headband and/or long strips of blue fabric tied to each wrist is somehow connected to the Astral or Spirit plane. As this is communicating both in-play and out-of-play information it gets a little more complicated.

PCs and NPCs stepping into the Astral: Some specialized effects may even allow for a living person (Player) to step bodily into the Astral plane. Doing so requires holding at length of no less than 3 feet of blue cloth with steepled hands above the head for the duration of the effect unless otherwise directed by a marshal.