I wanted to address a topic that comes up rather often, especially as players get more experience with the game. It's sort of an awkward topic and it means we have to discuss what constitutes meta gaming a bit, as well as what a GMs job is Sindome. It is also one of those topics that doesn't have strict right or wrong answers. Often times the answer is 'it depends'.
Notifying GMs of Actions
JoeMixer wants to go topside and beat up SamCorpie. He goes topside, beats SamCorpie up, and runs back to Red through the sewers before the SamCorpie (and the GMs) know what hit them! Success.
Or is it? It's difficult to say. Did Joe only get away because the GMs were unavailable, not paying attention, or otherwise occupied? If he did, then we might consider what Joe did to be 'being meta'. Why is this? Well, topside is supposed to be significantly safer than Red and definitely under a much higher level of surveillance. It is somewhat un-IC for the Judges to not respond if say, SamCorpie was at the bank when he got beat up.
If JoeMixer had told the GMs that he was going to attempt to beat up SamMixer, the GMs would have been ready for it and they would have stopped Joe. Probably clone deathed him too! Success.
Or is it? The GMs are not here to foil your plots. We are here to enforce the theme! We aren't going to preemptively stop you from taking an action or stack the deck so high against you that you have no chance to succeed-- unless that is what the theme calls for.
Here's some context: If JoeMixer let the GMs know via notes ahead of time, and then xhelped (and got some form of confirmation that GMs were available), and then headed to Gold to enact his plan, it might have been possible for JoeMixer to do what he needed to do and escape into the sewers, or a taxi, before the Judges arrived.
If that same situation happened on Green, it would be significantly harder, both due to having to travel farther to the safety of Red, and because the Judges are going to be more wary on Green.
If that same situation happened on Blue, well, getting away should be but a dream in the eye of babes. Unless there is some carefully enacted plan involving distractions and misdirection or perhaps even bribes.
It's supposed to be that way. Everyone needs to buy into the fact that we are all playing the same shared hallucination-- to paraphrase William Gibson. This is the world we live in. The GMs are not out to stop your fun. We just want you to be on the same page as everyone else, about what that fun entails. Going topside to rob or maim or cause havoc is super fun and I implore more people to do it. At the same time we all need to expect and understand that without GM supervision, NPCs cannot animate and react to the world the way they should. They cannot coordinate and hunt down fugitives, for instance. Or organize a response to a corpie being attacked outside their corporation in broad daylight, in front of numerous cameras.
We all have to understand that that isn't themely. It doesn't make sense. That kind of thing flies on Red because it's an everyday occurrence.
There is no hard line in the sand regarding what should or should not require you to notify the GMs ahead of time for actions you're going to take-- and often times there are situations where you the player are thrust into something and you don't have time to notify GMs because you're fighting or fleeing for your life. We understand that. However, please take care to note when your actions might be breaking the theme of the game, simply because GMs are not around to respond appropriately.
And also don't consider those appropriate actions to be us coming down on you. Don't consider GM response to be something you should avoid. If you start thinking like that, remind yourself that your actions might not be themely without the GMs intervening. You aren't trying to one up us and we aren't trying to one up you. If you don't tell us something you're doing because you think you'll have an easier time getting away with it successfully, then you might be about to take an unthemely action or you might be approaching the game from the wrong point of view. It's all about the challenge right?
I'd love to hear some player thoughts and feedback on this.