Cardinal Rule: Be Excellent To Each Other
No fandom bashing or other negativity toward what others choose to role-play will be tolerated. This game is meant to be a fun place where people tell stories and have a good time. If you don't like something, then you have every right in the world not to play about it! We will always defend that right. By the same token, we will defend the rights of others to play what they want, within our rules, without being given crap for it.
Let's support each other! We want to foster a welcoming and safe environment for everyone who comes to the game in a spirit of acceptance and cooperation, and so while we respect that players may come from a variety of backgrounds and hold a variety of opinions, we do ask that the game generally not become a platform for debate, politics, or similarly divisive subjects.
We wish to be clear that it is not our intent to oppress; we consider inclusion to be a key part of our game philosophy, but we wish to keep the spirit of the place intact: This pace is a game, and we're here to play and have fun. Divisive topics or subjects that cause discomfort should be moved to a private room, channel, or paged discussion.
This includes the need, as we all well know, to try to keep personal or "RL" drama and issues separate from IC situations and decisions. We of course want to support everyone, especially in hard times, but let's try not to let OOC stuff spoil the fun of IC stuff if it can be helped. We appreciate everyone helping keep the game a friendly and low-stress place for all.
As a final thought for this section, we ask that players be considerate of one another in terms of their role-play choices. While we make it a priority for players to be free to explore play that they enjoy, it's important to bear in mind that no one is an island, and a big part of RP is comprised of the relationships between characters. So, if something you want to do is likely to have a significant impact on other characters around you, it's often a good idea to discuss it with them and see how you can work them into the story in a way that is constructive and fun for everyone.
Communication and Respect
While our expectations for courtesy are elaborated upon in the next section of this file, courtesy here is primarily defined by communication and respect.
The rule of communication is, most of us have different comfort zones and expectations. What may seem obvious to one player may be quite a surprise to another. So, each of us is responsible for communicating when we are uncomfortable with the actions of another player. This should always be a clear, direct statement but also be polite. Rudeness or undue bluntness only tends to exacerbate a situation. Also, please consider that messages may be easily misunderstood if they can be mistaken for joking or banter.
The rule of respect is, if you are informed that another player is upset by or uncomfortable with a behavior being directed at them, you must cease said behavior toward them. Similarly, if someone expresses discomfort with a general topic in the game's OOC lobby or on a Public discussion channel, we ask that said topic be moved to another venue, such as a pages or some particular other channel. We ask that all players do their best to respect the comfort zones of others to foster a welcoming and safe environment.
Pertaining to the matter of inclusion, staff wishes to state plainly that we will tolerate no discrimination on this game based on any quality such as any representation of culture, gender, race, sexuality, or similar personal properties. In OOC terms, we expect that these matters never be made issue of and that all players will be treated with equal and inclusive respect and courtesy. Obviously, in some cases we may learn our comfort zones have some flexibility, particularly as it comes to humor, but please make sure that attempts at humor come from a respectful rather than a hurtful place. Nobody, certainly not staff, wants to play the "PC police." Further, we strongly urge players to be accepting and inclusive of others in IC terms such as is reasonable. An example of this comes from Teen Wolf, where a standing "rule" of the show is that all sexualities are treated as perfectly normal and accepted. We would like to foster that attitude on the game as much as possible, too.
This can all be summed up, really, in this: Please do all you can to keep things fun, avoid stirring up drama, and just generally be excellent to one another! We thank you very much. :)
Basic rules for role-playing:
- Keep IC and OOC separate. What you know, think, and feel as a player should remain as separate as possible from what the character knows, thinks, and feels (See also: Metagaming). This is especially important when playing Feature Characters: It is acceptable to have OOC goals for the character, but they must be worked toward within IC means and for IC motivations.
- In-Character Actions equal In-Character Consequences (or, ICA=ICC). In other words, while you do have control over what directly happens to your character via consent, you cannot use this as a way to ignore the results of your IC actions. If your character picks a fight, for example, with a big, dangerous werewolf who can reasonably kick your character's butt, your character's butt is probably getting kicked. The werewolf can't decide to permanently maim or kill your character, though they may certainly leave them regretting the situation.
- Avoid misplaying the character. "Misplaying" is defined as playing the character in a way that comes across as contrary to the way they were apped or in such a way that it no longer can be called, even with allowances for personal style, a reasonable representation of the character. Misplaying is considered a breach of conduct and may result in removal from the character, per the Consequences.
- Another form of misplaying is not respecting game continuity. Game continuity began in summer of 2015, up until that point including all the pre-cutoff continuity for each theme source in Game Canon. From that time, continuity is defined by the +sheets on the game and the logs on the game wiki.
Conflict Resolution and Consent
Every good story has some form of conflict within. Hurdles and challenges that the characters must overcome in order to advance the plot. Sometimes those conflicts are physical in nature, and occasionally they involve other players as well--as either ally, or enemy.
In those instances when characters come into conflict a certain measure of judgement is required. All characters on the game have a series of traits detailing things like how strong, and fast they are. In addition most characters have powers, skills, or equipment that influence the resolution to a combat.
With this in mind, when engaging in combat with another character always remember when posing an action to only pose the attempt to accomplish something. Even if your ability is usually absolute, the character you are attempting to use it on may still have a valid counter. Some examples are below.
Character A attempts to punch Character B. The pose might read as follows: Character A swings powerfully, with a punch that could shatter granite. Using his martial arts experience and vampire speed, he attempts to connect with Character B's jaw. In this manner the results of the action are posed by the other player, as they know what their character is capable of.
This same technique applies with the use of powers as well. Even highly potent abilities can be foiled, so they too can not be posed as an automatic success. On the flip side of that are the occasions when a character has no valid defense against another character's abilities. For example, if you are attempting to harm a character who is under the active protection of another, then it is only fair to try to bring that into consideration when plotting against such a character, at least as best as is possible.
As another example if you are in a scene with a mind reader, then you can not say he is unable to read your mind without something in your character sheet indicating that to be the case. Even if the character has defensive abilities of some sort, they may have to know to use them--in which case they must be careful to avoid metagaming. In general, it is a wise idea to have at least some understanding of the characters you are entering into combat with. At least in an out of character capacity. Ask questions if you have them, it will make a better role play experience for everyone included.
The game has a general public "rating" of R as defined by the MPAA; reasonable levels of, for instance, swearing and violence are to be expected, though players who may find some elements uncomfortable should let others know--and that comfort zone should be respected as much as possible. Basically, it's an adult game with adult themes, but we don't want to make anyone play anything they're uncomfortable playing under any circumstances.
- Scenes may be "R-rated," but the comfort zones of players in the scenes should always be respected.
- OOC and channel content should generally be restricted to closer to PG-13, especially on global channels, for the sake of courtesy.
- Respect the rules about 'TinySex'
In Character, or in game history, is vital to the game. Changes, or retcons (meaning "retroactive continuity", or undoing established game history) to any one character can often impact many others across the game. Because of this we require that any changes be discussed with staff, who may elect to consult other available parties that such changes will impact, as is possible. All such changes to a character's history are allowed at the staff's discretion, but major alterations that will impact several players across the game grid and potentially spread even further from there are more heavily scrutinized. As a general rule, when in doubt game canon will usually be maintained, but we will attempt to be flexible within reason.
Player Character death is a complicated thing for FCs and OCs alike. As a plot device, it can be dramatic and impactful if done carefully, giving the character and the narrative proper respect, or it can come across as a cheap cliché designed to manipulate the audience (or, in our case, other players). Deaths, even temporary ones, can be very angsty, so please try to avoid causing undue stress for everyone by using this plot device any more than is absolutely necessary. Death must be requested by the player and approved by staff in advance--staff will never kill your character off without your advance consent.
"Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated."
If for whatever reason a character "dies," there is nothing to necessitate this being permanent. Our source material is replete with examples of those who "die" and come back to life, and moreover, the MUX is a role-playing game, so our first goal should be toward having fun. Permanent PC death should be an extremely rare occurrence, done only when it is absolutely appropriate to the narrative. There is always a way to come back or to avoid actually dying, and remember: If there's no body, there's no proof the character actually died!
No Revolving Door
We don't want to see death becoming a revolving door (ahem, Charmed, Supernatural), we do want players to expect a "way back" from apparent character demise. However, please think it through. Everything you do should fit the existing storyline. Deaths, even temporary ones, can be very angsty, so please try to avoid causing undue stress for everyone by using this plot device any more than is absolutely necessary. Apparent death is somewhat less problematic than actual resurrection, but in a social sense the same impact applies.
Explicit Staff Approval Is Required
Please note that any character death, temporary or otherwise, must be explicitly submitted to staff for approval. Character death always requires plot approval, but just because a plot is approved does not mean characters can die in it without specifically requesting that element. Note that, in the case of an FC, unless you are using apparent character death as a way to drop the alt, you will also most likely be required to submit a plan for returning the character to action within a reasonable amount of time. An FC is not exempted from activity requirements due to being "dead" unless staff has explicitly approved a different timetable.
For a list of game faction wiki pages, click here.
Any character can be part of one group or another, but some groups are significant enough, for one reason or another, that they should be listed as official factions. Some factions are established by staff, such as those that play a significant role in the game's theme, while others may be created because of local significance or importance to existing characters.
Factions in Role-Play
While a major OOC reason to join a faction is to find role-play, factions also exist for IC reasons, such as consolidation of power, pursuing a specific agenda, mutual protections, defense of territory, an so on. Many factions are bound by particular rules, such as being signatories of the Unseelie Accords or in the case of the White Council following the Seven Laws of Magic. So, there are often important IC purposes and guidelines for playing as part of a faction.
Additionally, factions can often back up their interests through various forms of power and influence. For example, the Beacon Hills Pack may act to defend their territory against what they perceive to be unwelcome incursions, while the Grand Coven will likely seek to protect its members from anyone troubling them. A faction with many powerful members and/or allies may be particularly dangerous to alienate or antagonize, so it's very important to bear the policy of "ICA=ICC" when interacting with factions and their members.
If you want to explore hostile or complex political role-play with or within a faction, we strongly urge you to communicate carefully with the faction members (and, very likely, staff) ahead of time, just to make sure that, no matter what might come as a surprise IC, everyone knows what they're getting into, OOC, and nobody is made to feel unduly surprised or railroaded. That said, if one were to, say, march into a major holdfast of a fairy court and behave in a hostile manner, one should expect that it will not end well for them.
Creating a New Faction
If you would like to establish a new faction, you can first check to see if staff agrees that this is a faction they should create. If not, or if you want to create an entirely original faction, then you should submit a +request to staff ('+help +request' on game), detailing the following:
- Which many players will be in this faction? (Unless several players will use it, it probably does not need to be officially placed on the +facs listing, available on the game.)
- Give an IC description of the faction, which can be included on the wiki. Also include the area where the faction operates and what its IC mission statement is, whether official or unofficial.
- Identify the faction's resources, holdings, etc., and where they come from. Do they have wealth, territory, safehouses, equipment? Explain these factors.
- Address the organization structure the faction has, to whatever degree it exists. Is it formal, informal? Are there leaders, do they decide things as a group, or are they more of a loose, informal association? Bear in mind that faction heads, once established, should do their best to be available for role-play with their faction members.
- In practical terms, what will this faction contribute to the game? Why would it be useful or important for us to have, and how would it improve the game's setting, story, or theme?
Staff reserves the right to approve or deny factions on the game at our own discretion. We will always try to be fair and reasonable about this, but we will always give careful consideration to what impact such factions will have on the game. Please also do not role-play the existence of powerful factions without first having them approved in some way by staff. For example, it's fine to RP being part of a high school sports team, a university club, or a group of hunters who hang out informally at Harvelle's Roadhouse. On the other hand, please do not role-play the existence of secret societies, signatories of the Unseelie Accords, or other powerful or significant factions without first getting staff approval. (Even if we agree that such a group should exist, we'll probably want to make sure to make information about them available on the wiki and so forth.)
When in doubt, always feel free to ask staff about it! We're very happy to help however we can.
Clearly many people that play here will have more than a passing knowledge of the theme and plot of the sources that the game is based upon. Others may come to the game with little or no understanding of these sources. Knowing the themes, major characters, and major plot points of a work can certainly allow a player to assimilate to the game that much better.
However there must be a clear line drawn between what the player knows and what their character knows. Unless there is something in your character's background or on their character sheet that allows you to know such lore about the setting, characters, and locales then, quite simply, your character doesn't know.
This is very important and must be maintained in character. Players that disregard this and use out of character knowledge in character will ultimately face disciplinary action from the staff, particularly if such actions are reported by other players and impact their enjoyment of the game.
Just always remember that if your character has no reasonable way to know something, then they simply do not. This is particularly important in theevent that some canon events after a source's cut off may never occur, or occur differently. Just think of all the fun you will have learning the information you know OOC through the eyes and ears of your character, and carry on from there.
Misplaying is role-playing the character in a way that is fundamentally contrary to what was proposed in the approved character application without having approved or justified the change. (Explicable plot effects generally do not count.) Misplaying also includes role-playing the character in a way that causes undue OOC strife, disruption to the game, or otherwise causes significant problems. This is true for FCs and OCs alike. While OCs don't have canon or such to follow, they should still generally be played in a way that makes sense based on their character sheets and previous presence on the game. Notably, the larger the game impact of a character on the game, the more carefully staff will scrutinize them.
"Plots" are role-play arcs and events that have a particularly noteworthy impact on the game setting and/or specific factions, characters, or fandoms. Role-play and scenes that would not cause such a lasting impact need not be treated as plots and can be run on a casual basis without specific staff approval. However, role-play that would constitute a plot must be submitted as a +plot request (see '+help +plot-requests' on game) and approved by staff.
Does your plot require or will it result in:
- A significant or long-term impact to one or more player characters, such as changes to a +sheet, character death, or long-term removal from the grid?
- A significant or long-term impact on the in-game world, such as destruction of grid areas, changes to politics, large mystical effects, etc.?
- The involvement of one or more powerful or important NPCs?
- Use of abilities/resources that are not on your character's +sheet?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, please submit a plot request (+help +plot-requests). If your idea does not involve any of the above, it should be okay to run it without a formal request. Note that minor or lower-powered NPCs used in scenes that present few complications are much more likely to be given a quick nod, and the only reason some may require a request is just to keep staff informed; we like to keep track of which characters are being NPCed where and by whom.
Use of NPC support characters associated with your character does not require a plot request, though all characters must be reusable by the next player or apper who wants to pick them up, which means no permanent alterations to the character. (If the character might be changed, please send a plot request.)
Please note that having your request approved does not imply consent from other players who will be affected by your scenes. You must still seek individual consent from players and consent from +group heads if your ideas include the entities for which they are responsible.
If a GM makes decisions a player does not like, the player should attempt to communicate with the GM about it. If this does not work, then the player should contact staff for assistance. Any final decisions about such disagreements will be settled by staff ruling.
When a player is new, they should be given a couple of weeks to acclimate to their character if they wish before they are pressured to join in plots. However, if the player wishes to join in plots, they may do so normally. If a new player wants to be invited to plots, they can end this transitional time at any point by typing '+plot/optin'.
Included in a plot request, you should explain:
- Any potential long-term consequences of the plot, especially any that might require characters to update their +sheets, alter the grid significantly, or affect the game's setting (or fandoms within it) in a noteworthy way.
- The general scope of the plot in terms of area affected and how long it is anticipated to run. Does this plot affect only a few characters, a whole fandom, a whole city or region? The greater the area of impact, the more detail staff is likely to ask in a plot request.
- What level of "threat" might be anticipated, such as how dangerous the foes might be, how much fighting might be involved, and so on. Players should be able to tell from the +plot invitation how likely a fit their characters are and whether the plots content will suit their interests.
- Any NPCs, particularly unplayed Feature Characters, who will need to be emitted by the plot-runners--in particular, be sure to include in any significant impact that will be had on those characters who are being run as NPCs and/or on their fandoms.
- Any special considerations the plot requires: assistance from staff, special locations or rooms for the plot, or other needs that must be met for the plot to proceed.
- Main article: Setting
The game is set mainly in "present day" California, and we have various code in place to help give a sense of setting and ambiance. This includes time, weather, the phases of the moon, and other such "setting" information.
Code exists on the game to control the "status" of a scene. This allows players to indicate to others on the game if a scene is closed to new players joining, open to new players joining, if they should ask before joining, or if the scene is "timewarped" and happening out of sequence from normal continuity. For details on this command, you can type '+help +status' while connected to the game. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind when using this code:
- The status code does not mean public spaces can become completely private. Players may still need, for instance, to enter and exit the room while moving between locations.
- If a public or shared space is in use in a closed scene, others who want to RP in that space may need to use another room as a temporary stand-in for the occupied location.
- Scenes in public or shared spaces should, whenever possible, be open to those who have reasonable cause to join them as long as this would not pose an undue disruption to the scene. For example, if you're having a scene in a building where other players live, it's polite to make an effort to allow them to join in the scene if they would have good cause to join. Try to be reasonable and fair about this.
- While scenes in public spaces should usually be open to anyone who might reasonably be there, we understand that there are times, such as in a key plot or action scene, when this might be a problem. As such, we understand that sometimes scenes in public must be set Closed or Ask First, but we ask that players use reasonable restraint when doing so.
- If you start a scene in someone else's space, such as if you are playing in Caritas, you cannot prevent the person who controls that space (in that case, Lorne) from entering the scene. (In this case "controlling" a space means that the room is, IC, within the domain of that character, such as if they own the building, hold the territory, or similar.)
- These commands may not be used as a workaround to avoid ICA=ICC. For example, if you started a scene at the front door of the Hyperion Hotel, wherein you cause commotion or threat to those who live there, you cannot close the scene to prevent characters who live in the hotel from emerging and confronting you.
- Above all, this code does not give anyone an excuse to ignore rules of courtesy. If someone barges into a private residence or a closed scene, it's fair to ask them to leave, but everyone makes mistakes and might not realize they're interrupting, so please always be sure to be polite and patient in such circumstances. It is never acceptable, to use an extreme example, to react to someone entering a room by saying something like "Get out of here!"
Pertaining to "TinySex" (a term for "role-playing sex on a TinyMUX"," often called "TS"), staff considers this largely a private matter. Romance and related character elements are in many ways staples of the genres we draw upon here, and we respect that players may be interested in where such play may lead to, particularly since all players on the game must be, OOC, at least 18 years old to begin with. So, generally, if players choose to engage in intimate role-play between two appropriate characters, then we take no issue with it.
However, we do have a few specific guidelines that we must insist upon to govern the proprieties of such role-play, detailed below.
- Please ensure that such scenes are kept appropriately private. In particular, make certain that any "intimate" role-play that might appear in logs is appropriate for public consumption and rating tags are used as needed.
- Please do not eschew or avoid public role-play, plots, or other story-driven RP, which is what the game is really here for, to lock characters away and do nothing but private, intimate, and/or TS role-play.
- Please note that sexual activity of any sort that involves any significantly underage characters is expressly forbidden. We can look the other way if two sixteen-year-old characters are doing what teenagers do, but if it turns out that it's two thirteen-year-olds or, worse, a thirteen-year-old and an adult, staff will take immediate steps to halt such activity however we must do so.
- Main article: Villains
- Check out our page about playing Villains.
Breaking the rules of the game carries specific consequences. Staff will always strive to judge any perceived rule violations as fairly as we can, and no major decisions will ever be made about such matters by any one staff member, but will instead be decided by staff consensus. Consequences for breaking rules will be applied as fairly as possible, but as the rules of the game have been established for the sake of preserving an enjoyable environment for everyone to play in, understand that we do take the game's rules seriously and expect players to follow them as best they can, both in terms of the "letter" and the "spirit" of the rules.
Upon violation of the game's rules, staff will take the following actions:
Step 1: Staff will issue a formal warning to the player via @mail, possibly accompanied by a conference with staff to ensure the problem is understood and that the player knows how to better follow the rules in the future.
Step 2: A second formal warning will be issued, followed by a mandatory meeting with staff to discuss the ongoing problem(s). After the meeting, staff will determine if additional steps are necessary. If staff determines it needed, the player will be placed on probation for two months.
Step 3: A one-week suspension from the game will be issued, and upon the player's return they will be placed on probation for six months.
Step 4: A one-month suspension from the game will be issued, and upon the player's return they will be placed on probation for one year.
Step 5: The player will be banned from the game for a minimum of one year's time, after which they may contact staff via email to request a return.
Substantiated complaints against players on "probation" will cause the player to move to the next step of the process, even if this behavior would otherwise only result in a warning.
The exact terms of probation will be determined on a case-by-case basis, as befits the circumstances surrounding the need to put a player on probation in the first place. This might include (but is not necessarily limited to) restriction from certain activities on or features of the game, at the discretion of staff, until the probation has been lifted.
While suspended from the game, players are not considered "on vacation." As such, they will not be given special consideration if a suspension causes any of their Feature Character alts to idle out. (See: 'Activity')
Therefore, players who are suspended for one month or longer will also lose control of all Feature Character alts automatically, since they would inevitably idle out, and the characters may as well be opened up for app.
In the case of certain behaviors, players may be banned without following the process above. Those behaviors are:
- Any attempt to threaten the game's security, destabilize the database, or otherwise damage the game itself
- Any attempts to compromise the safety or security of players on the game or serious threats against their personal safety
If you believe that another player is guilty of violating the rules in some way, that the player represents a danger to the game's security, or that the player has given serious offense to you, such as an actual threat against your real-life person, staff should be notified.
Please note that unless one of these conditions is met, you should not submit a formal complaint. You may seek advice from staff about dealing with a player you simply dislike, but unless they are engaged in actual rule-breaking behaviors, staff will not be likely to take action. However, if the behavior is severe enough to warrant a change to the game's rules, then staff may certainly have to act, regardless.
To submit a formal complaint, please use the '+complain' command as follows: '+complain <player you're complaining about>=<explanation>, such as +complain Mary Sue=Mary Sue is violating News Consent by... Every complaint must include a log of the incident, or staff cannot do anything about it. Logs may be submitted via email or link from a site such as pastebin.com if it is preferred.
Players who are complained about are not entitled to know who made the complaint, as the issue is between them and the game rules, not with the complaining player. Similarly, players who submit a complaint will be informed when staff has dealt with the matter, but they will not be privy to the result of the complaint, as that remains between staff and the player who made the offense. This is to avoid retalliation or other undue in-fighting between players; staff prefers to be the "bad guy" when necessary to avoid escalating inter-player conflicts.