In ULTRA we use, and have high faith in, the honor system. The honor system has its flaws, of course, but we feel that it will still create the best atmosphere for role-play possible.
The honor system itself works far better when the players implement it, not the system or the organization behind it. If a player wants to bend the rules for personal gain they will be able to do so. But other players will also be able to decide whether or not they want to role-play with this person. This kind of balance usually keeps people honest. No rules system, no matter how strict or lax, will be able to stop a player who wishes to abuse loopholes in the rules.
The ULTRA system was designed for those people who enjoy good role-play. To make role-playing even more enjoyable, the players need to realize and be able to distinguish the differences between a character that is dishonorable and does illegal things in character and a person who does illegal things in the system by breaking rules.
The best example of the former is a thief character that steals anything and everything that isn’t nailed to the ground but makes sure the marshals are aware of his or her actions. This player faithfully follows the sneaking and bludgeon attack rules, calls clear damage, etc. While sneaking around bludgeoning women and children then robbing them blind may be dishonorable and vile in-game, the player behind this character is doing so with out-of-game honor and integrity.
The point here is, don’t shun someone for being evil. Without evil, what good is good? It’s easy to see someone who is running around causing trouble as a snert who you would want to alienate from the rest of the group, but if this person’s in-game persona is supposed to be like that and they are following all the rules and keeping totally in character, your character could be mad at them but you the player should not be. Therefore you shouldn’t exact out-of-game vengeance by ignoring them like you might do someone who breaks rules and just causes trouble for fun.
We do our best to enforce the honor system and we do take its application seriously. Enforcement is obviously a judgment call by the marshals, but great deliberation and care is given to each and every incident before a decision is made. Most chapters have an appeal process by uninvolved parties to make sure that not only the honor system is upheld, but also that it was done so in an unbiased manner.
Here are a few important honor system codes to follow:
- Play with out-of-game respect for other people… yes the evil nasty characters too.
- Do your best in following each and every rule, even if you don’t like it.
- If you make a mistake, admit it and ask a marshal to make a ruling.
- Do everything you can to avoid out-of-game problems.