Model Policies?

  • Pitcrew

    I am looking for short, clear, reasonable MUSH policies to steal emulate. Does anybody have any favorites?

    • Don't be a jerk. Don't harass or stalk others.
    • Don't cheat or exploit loopholes in the code.
    • Keep IC and OOC separate.

    Those are the top three I usually start with.

  • "Staff reserve the right to ban, exclude, or otherwise punish any player that goes against the spirit of these rules, without necessarily breaking the rules."

  • Admin

    Yeah, what the other folks said. Don't try to predict every single thing someone can do, that just leads to rules lawyering and similar silliness.

    "Don't be a jerk" should cover it. If anyone has a question about whether something is okay they can ask staff.

    • Protect yourself.
    • Help staff to protect you and others.

  • Pitcrew

    Here is what I'm thinking of. It's not perfect, but I think it gets across the important stuff without trying to be some pseudo-legalese charter.

    Rule 0: Be Excellent To One Another.
    Don’t be a jerk to each other or staff. This includes harassment, stalking, exploiting code bugs and anything else that might end up being problematic. Give each other the benefit of a doubt and be kind, OOCly, to your fellow players and staff. We’re all here to have fun together.

    Rule 1: Be An Adult.
    Players and characters must be 18+. No NPCed minor characters may be posed in sexual situations, whether participating or merely present. Whatever players get up to in private scenes is their business, but no sexual situations or violence beyond an R-rating should be posted to the website.

    Rule 2: Be thoughtful.
    Rape, sexual abuse, graphic torture and similar topics are not things we’re exploring on this MUSH. Don’t introduce them as elements in scenes, plot points or parts of backgrounds. In addition, respect your fellow players and staff members and their comfort levels. If somebody asks you to fade to black on a scene they find disturbing, do so. That doesn’t mean the consequences of IC actions are avoided, it just means the players and staff will work out the outcome without the details and stress the player is avoiding.

    If you have a question about any of the above rules or want to discuss the possibility that you or somebody else may be breaking them, please talk to us. Staff can’t enforce rules if we don’t see or hear about the rules being broken and we are eager to work with players to help make the game more comfortable, welcoming and fun for everybody.

  • @Bad-at-Lurking said in Model Policies?:

    but no sexual situations or violence beyond an R-rating should be posted to the website.

    One thing I asked on SGM was that anything above a PG-13 rating be tagged (Ares makes this easy with the content tags) for those who read logs at work. Basically: yes we're an R-rated game, but we also know a lot of people like to browse, hang out, and read logs at work, so be mindful of them and just tag it.

  • Pitcrew

    @Auspice That's probably a better policy, all the way around!

  • @Bad-at-Lurking said in Model Policies?:

    @Auspice That's probably a better policy, all the way around!

    It's a policy I like because it lets people feel more free to both read and post logs. That way no one's left going 'ehhhhh can I post this? is it too gory/racy/etc.?' and no one's left stumbling across a section in a log that is not OK to be reading at work (or school or a friend's house or whatever).

    Plus, I found players start to have fun with their tags. :D

    Also, I would suggest (and this is more for you than players) a policy that outlines that Staff are on the game to have fun also. Can include mentions that if a Staffer is on their PC, to not bother them with game stuff. That if Staff isn't having fun, they may take breaks. etc.

    1. MUSHing is about world-building, not playing around on your weekend or developing characters. If you focus on the primary function, the latter benefits will follow.

    2. A good staffer is a legendary villainous heel before being recruited, but not out of character. The villainous heel in character provides elements to the plot crucial to a game's longevity, but the latter trait makes the player an enemy of the state in their own mind. The latter player should be told to start their own project, maybe they might be useful to MUSHing as a whole.

    3. Proper game design involves an asymmetry that has a potential cheat, the potential cheat being your intended method of direction in the MUSH theme. If there's no way to cheat the game, then there won't be players, and if the cheat doesn't follow theme, your game doesn't follow the intents, it becomes a new animal. Combine the functions, you have steering, automatically.

  • Luthor!

  • Pitcrew


    I ... have to admit that I'm a bit hesitant about, um, arch-villaining my potential playerbase. If that was your point?

    Wait, was that that your point?

  • I... think? the point on #2 was meant to be: 'look for the kind of person who could play a major IC antagonist while maintaining positive relations with all parties they interact with in that role throughout the course of play over time' when considering potential staffers.

    I think.

    I hope?

    While that isn't how I would have put it, I can see that logic (in a very general way).

  • Tutorialist


    I think that @Chet is generally thinking of game design like I do. Rephrased, I believe that he's saying:

    1. A good staffer does not have to be the person that plays the most popular character. You should look for the people that, even when acting as an antagonist, know how to use their actions to further the story as a whole, rather than the one that plays the character everyone likes, as they are more likely to have a fairly balanced hand and be less swayed in their storytelling by the cult of public opinion. Just beware the ones that take their villainy into OOC levels, because then they tend to think that they're on some kind of holy crusade against the injustices of the game.

    2. Good game design requires that the odds are stacked against the characters -- but that the characters can find some clever way to overcome those odds. If everything is copacetic, there is nothing for them to work toward or struggle against. Many people try to create worlds where the characters can live their lives in comfort and get all the fuzzy feels, but those games are lacking a major component. If you give the characters something to work toward, even in the face of overwhelming odds, so long as you have some path for them to progress, even if it's trench warfare, then activity will flow.

  • @Derp Yeah, that's the translation I came to as well. By 'positive relations' I mean OOC, IC popularity/being loved isn't a factor there.

  • Tutorialist

    @surreality said in Model Policies?:

    @Derp Yeah, that's the translation I came to as well. By 'positive relations' I mean OOC, IC popularity/being loved isn't a factor there.

    Yeah, I wasn't actually disagreeing. I think we're on the same page. :D

  • @Derp Yup!

  • Tutorialist

    I think that WoD is especially noteworthy in lacking #2. Your main sources of plot (in-game governance and primary antagonists) both tend to be rendered toothless before the game even gets off of the ground. The governments are almost entirely created as some manner of PC-controlled democracy, and primary antagonist factions are all but absent. This turns your game into The Sims with Monsters. You need those sources of conflict, and you need them to be present in a significant enough way that PCs cannot simply ignore them or dispatch them easily.

    So one policy that I would put up, though others would disagree with -- no top-tier PC leadership. Many will groan. But you'll ensure that your game actually has more longevity in the long run, despite the players that say "Well if I can't be Queen then what's the point?"

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