London 1813 Etiquette
The eyes of the Ton are ever-watchful, and ever-judging. It is therefore important to understand what activities will, and will not, affect one’s standing and perception in the eyes of one’s peers. To that end, the following is a brief guide to maintain a Virtuous course in Society.
The whole Ton knows that honour undefended is honour lost. Therefore, as a young Eligible, you must take care never to venture out into society without a chaperone, who shall stand as your guide through its intricacies and your defender from its iniquities. A servant, such as your lady’s maid or valet, will suffice as a chaperone for more common, every day outings. However when you venture to attend a proper Society event (such as a ball, or a garden party), you will require a chaperone of proper social standing. Such a chaperone need not necessarily hold a title, but must maintain a respectable reputation within Society. Events at the palace, naturally, require a titled sponsor, but the sponsor need not be your chaperone, and a person of title may sponsor a number of attendees.
One who ventures into Society unchaperoned may find themselves cast out of reputable circles, no longer welcome at Society events. Finding a chaperone of upstanding reputation is imperative to ensuring you make an acceptable match, or the social connexions you desire. To ensure that proper standards of respectability are met at all times, one chaperone may supervise no more than two or three people on the Marriage Mart at once. If your chaperone has taken more than one Eligible under their charge, you may find it useful to compare notes with your fellow Eligible during the Season!
A fitting chaperone, as a rule, should not be on the Marriage Mart, must be older than the age of 25, and must have some connexion to you. They may be an older relation, a friend of the family, or a friend known to your parents (even if not to yourself). The one circumstance under which a person on the Marriage Mart may act as your chaperone is if they are a very close relation, such as a parent, sibling, aunt, first cousin, whom you could not marry, and they are above the age of thirty and have thus cast off youthful impropriety. The Ton will find it odd if you are chaperoned by someone unknown both to you and your family—this is simply not done!
A Scandalous Ton
Nothing is more precious (or more precarious) than reputation, and Eligibles must take utmost care to avoid Scandal in every form. That said, not every mode of transgress is equal to every other, and secrets may be Embarrassing, Scandalous, or downright Ruining.
A reputation earned is potentially reputation lost, but of course secrets might be able to be buried. Perhaps an Engagement, a Duel, or Financial Restitution might be options.
Events & Small Gathers
Balls are the most notable events of the Season, and offer very good opportunity to meet a person to court, or transform a courtship into a marriage. Typically they are held in someone’s home, or at a grand institution such as Almack’s. Upon arriving at a ball worthies are announced with their appropriate title and chaperone of appropriate standing. After being announced, all process in via a Grand March with their first dance partner (typically their escort if applicable).
It is not possible to dance with someone more than once without inviting comment. Those who dance with someone twice have as good as announced that they are courting any may soon propose engagement; three times around the dance floor together is as good as announcing that a proposal is imminent. If such behavior is not soon followed by a proposal, the Ton will catch fire with rumours as to the reason why...
Take care as well to observe common courtesy after the Dinner Party has concluded. Show your gratitude for the invitation by writing a thank-you letter or paying a thank-you call. An ungrateful guest will quickly find themselves unwelcome in the homes of their friends.
The House Party contains many pleasures for both host and guest. A fine estate makes a charming backdrop against which one may show off the beauty of their house, clothing, or jewelry. It provides a quiet and confidential space in which one may speak to an influential member of their party about affairs of state. The country also provides a fine stage for conducting one’s personal affairs as well, and many who were not able to find a marriage partner during the Season have found better luck in the less formal setting of a House Party in the country. No least of all, of course, are the obvious reasons to have a house party: the fine pleasures of the hunt, the beauty of the rolling hills, and the happy moments shared with friends. If you are invited to a House Party, know that it is customary to bring your own lady’s maid or valet, but no other staff.
Guests can expect you to be served formal meals every day, and participate in daily activities (usually shooting, riding, walks into the village, lawn bowling, archery, and shuttlecock), and also evening activities like charades, whist, the playing of music, and dancing. Such is the character of the House Party in daylight. During the evening, a House Party may take on a somewhat different character, and play host to conduct spoken only in whispers. Guests may take advantage of the more relaxed social strictures of the country and the greater opportunities it affords for privacy to indulge secretly in behavior that would draw considerable notice if it were known of in the town... gossip moves even faster in the country than it does in the town. You may, in the country, find more opportunity to engage in behavior that might draw Scandal were it known, but before you do so be doubly sure that you will not be caught...
Dinner Parties are not simply an evening gathering where food is eaten! A Dinner Party is an opportunity for a good host to lavish hospitality upon their friends, neighbours, and relations, and will consist of several courses (at least three) each paired with wine, and laid upon the table in sufficient quantity to make it groan. All common courtesies and table manners must be observed at dinner parties, but we shall take pains to remind the reader of a few which are commonly (and very regrettably) forgotten. When eating soup, sip it quietly, and avoid any vulgar noises. Similarly, all guests must take care to remember that the knife is an instrument for cutting, not for eating. Under no circumstances should the knife be used to convey food to one's mouth! Every guest who slurps their soup or eats with their knife drives a dagger into the heart of their host.
Modern Player Etiquette
Every game has a culture, and the established norms of our game help keep the Yours, Etc. Community a welcoming, inclusive, and friendly space.
Our rules are simple, but important, and briefly outlined below. Every player agrees to read and abide by the rules and community norms in order to engage with the Gameworld and other players.
Be a Good (OOC) Human
A good rule for life and our number one game rule (and community norm): Be a good human. Letter Ink. llc, and Yours, Etc., is an inclusive game company. As such, we will not tolerate discrimination in any form.
Major Event Negotiation
Story actions or Major Scandals that directly affect other characters require all players involved to agree and consent Out Of Character to those story beats. This consent and communication must occur whether the characters would know in-game or not to maintain Player Agency.
Understand the Scope of Play
Players decide and control what their PC thinks, feels, does (being genre and game appropriate), and writes, while the GMs curate and run the game world. Household NPCs fall under this scope as well.