The first thing you need to know about Powerplaying is that it is NOT a super-scary rule break that will get you banned. If you receive a message saying you've powerplayed another character - don't worry - it's a very common mistake most people make at least once in their life.
So, let's talk about what counts as powerplaying: Powerplaying is when you wound, interact with, or otherwise "control" another person's character without their permission.
EX: "Examplefur struck Samplecat's leg and crippled him, preventing him from escape."
When you look at that sentence, there are a couple things to note.
- You cannot decide whether or not your attack hits another person's character! They DO have a say, since it is the other person's character after all.
- The other person must be able to get out of the situation if they want! An easy way to do this is by use of the words "attempted" or "aimed to" because those key words mean that you as a roleplayer are giving the other person the opportunity to dodge or make a comeback. No battle is fun if it's one-sided.
Now let's take a look at that revised sentence, with those key errors fixed.
EX: "Examplefur aimed to strike Samplecat's leg, hoping to cripple him. If this worked, he hoped it would prevent escape."
See how much better that sounds? Wouldn't you feel much happier replying to a post like that than the one before? It allows your character an opportunity to retaliate, dodge, or even feel the blow if you so choose. But the key point is that you get the opportunity to choose what happens to your character.
But, wait - what do I do if I see another person power-playing a character?
First of all, do NOT try and handle it yourself. A mod+ can handle the behavioral problems of the site, so they will send a message to the person and let them know. All you need to do is click the 'report' button at the bottom right of their post and put in the description 'power-playing' as the reason. And no need to feel bad! They won't be punished or anything, they will only receive a kind reminder.
So, you can see, Power-playing isn't made of the stuff of nightmares as you might have thought! Instead, it's a common incident that's easily solved with no hard feelings. Nothing bad will happen if you accidentally power-play, so don't fret too much.
If you have any questions regarding the power-playing rule, please PM any staff member or post a thread in the Help Den. Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about Powerplaying!