These past few days have been trying for me as a player, as a character, as a person in a community, as someone that often holds large scale events, as a GM for story lines, and as a friend.
There are a few cardinal rules for those that play MMORPGs as Roleplayers:
Do not mix IC and OOC. Just because the character is a an evil clueless jerk that hates your character with a passion, does not mean that the player is, or does. Same goes for a character that is deeply in love with yours, the player of that character may not feel exactly the same way. In reverse, you and the other player may hate each other's guts, but you should remain civil in game. Or two characters that loathe each other might be real life partners that certainly do not feel the same way.
Under this heading, do not use OOC knowledge to metagame with your character IC. Meaning that if you read OOC somewhere that Character A is the child of King Charlie's 3rd mistress, that does not give that information to your character in game. Your character would still have to learn it IC'ly in order to use it.
OOC Communication is a must. When ever an action must be decided, or a game will be played, or a plot line followed, it is imperative that people talk to each other. Day to day greetings on the dusty street of some city at dawn don't need this. Unless there is about to be some sort of interaction that will impact the other character. Robbery, murder, maiming, kidnapping, stolen kisses... Should be discussed. Will it be allowed? Does the roll of the dice determine the outcome?
Rules for a game should be clear and agreed before a game starts. Should a question arise during the game, it is all right to pause the game, discuss the question, make a ruling, give everyone the chance to agree, unless the rule has not changed, then proceed with the game.
When GMing an event, and this is not easy by any means when the event is large scale, OOC communication is essential, and should be constant. What is happening now? What is to happen next? What could happen next? Why can't that happen? What dice rolls are acceptable for what? Where is the character supposed to be? The list of questions is endless, and should be answered patiently, as needed, as often as needed. Really there is a whole lot more to GM'ing.
I know of GMs, or even players, that are afraid to give "too much away" that "might spoil the surprise" of an intended RP event, story line, or even about their own characters, or they are afraid of people metagaming as I mentioned in the point above. Then are puzzled when people do not know, or understand, or are not happy. There is a balance of what could be disclosed, yes, but err on the side of telling a bit more than not enough. Frankly, most humans hate surprises.
Final disposition of a character lays in the hands of the player of that character. That meeting on the street? Each player has the right to determine what their character attempts, or has done to them. Character A cannot claim that Character B beat them up, unless Character B has agreed to that. Character B cannot rob Character A unless that was agreed to. This agreement can happen via conversation, or the agreement of using a roll of the dice.
Permadeath, maiming, rape, nothing can happen without consent.
There is this thing called ICA=ICC, In Character Actions result in In Character Consequences. Well and true, but those consequences still have to be discussed and agreed upon, then implemented properly and with respect for the gravity of the situation. Characters are very often extensions of the player, there is usually time, effort, and emotion involved with what happens to them.
Do not punish OOC for an IC action. Character B does a bonehead IC move to Character A. That does not mean that Character A's player has the right to do something to Character B's player OOC'ly in retaliation. Get mediators, find an impartial judge to work out the IC stuff, retcon/ignore the action, or find a solution going forward if Character A's player refuses to retcon/ignore it. But do not cause OOC angst over it within the community by any means, however Character A's player is within rights to exclude Character B from future events where Character A's player is in charge. and to ignore Character B at ones they are not.
Do not punish IC for an OOC action. Character A's player did, or said, something OOC to Character B's player. That does not mean that Character B's player has the right to do something to Character A's IC'ly in retaliation. Character B's player is within rights to exclude Character A from future events where Character B's player is in charge. and to ignore Character A at ones they are not.
Play nice. Really. Try not to Drama. Please be at least civil to your mortal enemies. Do not hold grudges. Please do not troll. Please do not see trolls where there are none. Be kind.
Have fun. If you are not having fun, don't do it. Step away, do something else, take a break. Find a new partner/group/whatever. This applies to both the actual game and the community that you are in. Most of us have heard "it is just a game!" But really, it is not just a game. Even for non-RP'ers it is often the community that drives the enjoyment, the pull of one game over another. If you are not enjoying the people around you, then don't play with them.