Model Policies?


  • Pitcrew

    Below are the policies we're using for the game we're prepping. There are a couple that are specific to the setting, but I think that most of them are relevant to most games. We've split the difference between just "don't be a jerk" and listing specifics.

    Rule One
    Our first and most important rule is "Don't be an asshole." Don't harass your fellow players, don't be a creep, don't metagame, don't share IC info/resources between alts, don't power pose... it all comes under the heading of Rule One.

    Non-Consent
    [Game Name] is a non-consent game. While we encourage players to work together to arrange for a mutually-agreeable solution, in-character actions have consequences, which cannot be avoided. If the player would like to avoid roleplaying out the consequences, they can always request a Fade to Black, and that request will be granted without question or delay, but the character will not avoid the IC consequences.

    Alts
    All players may have up to three PCs. They should generally not have the same role and should never interact ICly.

    Player-Run Plots
    We encourage them. All we ask is that you run the general idea past a Staffer before scheduling it. If it's a combat event and you need help setting up combat, just ask. If you want to run something off the cuff? Do it. We just ask that you don't destroy the Guinevere, kill a great dragon, or shatter a nation. Bar brawls, shady info exchanges, spy extractions, and dogfights with air pirates or wyverns/wyvernettes are all totally fair game.

    Magical Artifacts
    We're great with players coming up with magical McGuffins, and even doing it on the fly. They can even be potent and powerful within the plot itself. But all major artifacts will end up in some giant government warehouse ala Indiana Jones or Warehouse 13 (but might come back up later). Minor artifacts may be approved as plot rewards on a case-by-case basis, but they will never be something that provides a direct game bonus, they will only ever be things that provide flavor to RP. Things that provide bonuses count as major artifacts and will end up in a warehouse somewhere (stupid governments).

    Language
    We're an R-rated game (although we aim for PG-13 on channels), and we use the Translation Convention: 1930s curse words don't have the same impact on modern readers, so feel free to use the curse words that come naturally to you (although we do ask that you avoid modern cultural references ICly, of course).

    OOC Discrimination & Harassment
    We won't stand for it. Period. If someone harasses you, please let us know immediately -- there's a good chance they're doing it to someone else too, and we absolutely want to know. Depending on the circumstances, we will usually give one warning, but that's it. Ares has wonderful reporting tools so we don't have to worry about he-said/she-said issues (check out the channel/report and page/report commands and the ability to forward any harassing mails).

    IC Discrimination
    We've specifically designed our setting with the Great Upheaval to remove issues of discrimination against women, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people. We've also bumped off Hitler and replaced the Nazis with the Drachenordnung to shift the focus of fascism in Germany away from Jewish people. So just don't do it. We're great with characters who just plain don't like one another, but this is not the game to live out your dreams of "historical" misogyny, racism, homophobia, or other -isms.

    Privacy
    Staff will never read pages, mails, or anything like that unless they are sent to us via the built-in reporting systems as part of a complaint about inappropriate behavior. Staff will never watch private scenes unless we are explicitly invited to do so (and all participants approve). Please be aware that things said on channels are retained in the backscroll for some time and may be visible to people not logged in when the comment is made.


  • Pitcrew

    I think it is fair to have pretty narrow restriction of topics in pub chan. That is first point of contact for new players and nobody should step away from their screen and have to come back to screens of people trying to one up each other on pub about how hardcore bsdm lifestyle they are or intimate details about their various mental and physical health ailments, or deal with a RL political fight or graphic descriptions of the latest RL mass shooting or hate crime. (All examples I have experienced in the last 3 months checking out various new games--i was shocked to realize how only playing on a game that discourages that for the most part had taken away the desensitization I had experienced being on WoD to knowing who waxes their genitals, whose diagnoses are what, ect in the first 45 minutes of login.

    I think spin off channels are okay. I agree that some specific rules are good but I think staff should always have the ability to decide something it out of line, when they see it.



  • @mietze I mean, for sure. But I think you need to be quiet clear about that, then. For example, the BDSM thing. Saying 'No sexuality on public channel' is really unclear. You'd need to be more specific and say something along the lines of 'Do not discuss kinks, or details of your sex life.'

    One disallows even mentioning that you might be gay, etc, while the other prevents talking about BDSM or waxing or whatever people discuss on these public channels.


  • Pitcrew

    I am really fond of having a TMI channel, if people MUST have an outlet of sorts on the game. You can go talk details of your sickness or your kinks or your politics there where everyone wants to hear the dirty little details. Then you can just go TMI TMI TMi if people start getting into non-game-related-general-chat ick territory.

    ETA: My actual preference is that public/general chat be limited to GAME TALK ONLY, and all channels are things relevant to the game alone. You don't have to weigh harm or make judgment calls or have to stress about appropriateness, you just don't do non-game stuff on the game. You don't actually HAVE to have an off topic section. Is it about the game? No! Stop talking about it in a public game forum then thx.

    ETA2: Personal game-related channels (for factions/orgs/families/packs/coteries/motleys/whatever) are a different story; I like engaging with the people I'm playing with directly/regularly OOC, to learn details about them and chat about lives and everything. Just not game-wide public spaces. Personal spaces good. Public spaces bad.



  • @Sunny said in Model Policies?:

    You don't actually HAVE to have an off topic section.

    You don't have to have any OOC communication with other players whatsoever. People like to chat, so let 'em chat.



  • @Sunny IMO, there is already an outlet to share those kinds of things with the folks who want to hear them: pages. ;)


  • Pitcrew

    Honestly, I'm less worried about people oversharing and being nasty to one another because as was pointed out earlier, the best thing to do in a lot of those cases is to gently move folks to pages, their own channels or, if they can't help emotionally bleeding on others, moving them off the game entirely.

    What I'm really trying to find a polite, neutral-sounding wording for at this point is 'don't be an OOC Room Asshole'. I have had ten minutes in the OOC room convince me I don't want to spend any time on that particular game at all. Admittedly, it's more common in my experience on superhero games, but it's happened elsewhere as well.

    Something about the OOC room brings out the inner mean girl (regardless of player gender) in some players, which is, for reasons I've never really been clear on, tolerated by fellow players and staff.



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

    What I'm really trying to find a polite, neutral-sounding wording for at this point is 'don't be an OOC Room Asshole'.

    "Don't be an OOC Room Asshole" sounds perfect to me.


  • Pitcrew

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

    Something about the OOC room brings out the inner mean girl (regardless of player gender) in some players, which is, for reasons I've never really been clear on, tolerated by fellow players and staff.

    I think it's intrinsic to gaming. Once you start measuring penises character traits in objective terms, there becomes an incentive to value those measurements by comparison to others'. So someone who has a seventeen dice in their Fuckability dice pool on a WoD game, or someone on a superhero game has the ability to lift 100 tons, people will want to be sure their primary character shtick gets respected for how long, thick, and veiny it is.



  • @GreenFlashlight said in Model Policies?:

    their Fuckability dice pool on a WoD game

    Intelligence + Academics + Life... or Manipulation + Subterfuge + Life vs. Composure + Gnosis.


  • Pitcrew

    Is there any reason to have an ooc room where people can "talk out loud?" The more time I spend on games that do not have them the more I'm convinced that they have little purpose other than being yet another thing that is a drain on the game.



  • @mietze said in Model Policies?:

    Is there any reason to have an ooc room where people can "talk out loud?"

    People like them.



  • @Tinuviel

    ...Do they tho

    Or is it just like, another thing we do because we've done it forever?

    I get Pub chans, it's fun sometimes to shout out to whoever might be listening on the entire game and join in what is usually pretty chill chatter.

    But I don't get OOC rooms. They're like, the Pub chan condensed down into a very tiny pond that doesn't always have oversight and people who might be inclined to be an asshole on Pub will almost certainly be an asshole in one, in my experience.

    I have literally never talked to anyone who was like "you know what I like to do? Hang out in the OOC room." They just...go because it's there, or it's where many connect screens dump you.



  • @Wizz said in Model Policies?:

    ...Do they tho

    Fuck if I know, man. Talking to people is so 2007.

    I just rail against the idea that a thing has to have a purpose to be there. Sometimes they're shit, sometimes they're not. Like most places where people gather, honestly. I wouldn't invent the concept, but I wouldn't remove it just because it's occasionally a shitshow.


  • Pitcrew

    I'd be all for OOC rooms being silent rooms and people just using the public channel for what they usually use the OOC room for. I find that OOC rooms tend to be inordinately cliquish, even inadvertently, with the Usual Suspects and their inside jokes you wouldn't get if you weren't also perpetually-logged-on-and-yet-never-roleplaying, like them.


  • Pitcrew

    I don't think I've been on a game with a real OOC lounge for years now and I sure haven't missed them at all.


  • Pitcrew

    You aren't "taking away" anything if you simply do not build it in to your game. People "like" huge gluts of xp and being able to max out everything too, but you do not have to provide it. (Or a low xp environment if you don't want to run a low xp game). They like all sorts of things that may or may not be present in every game. I think if staff worries about enforcing OOC conduct in an ooc room and it is going to be an energy drain for them, they should maybe examine what benefit it provides vs the cost of upkeep, for that particular game.



  • @Wizz said in Model Policies?:

    But I don't get OOC rooms. They're like, the Pub chan condensed down into a very tiny pond that doesn't always have oversight and people who might be inclined to be an asshole on Pub will almost certainly be an asshole in one, in my experience.

    I think they can be a positive if there is by happenstance a group that enjoys hanging out there that greets new players, makes them feel welcome, and oocly fills them in on what's going on in the game and makes them feel more of a part of things. I have never seen this actually happen, and all the OOC rooms I've seen have been a negative for the game. To me they are an artifact of bygone times when the player base was made up of a majority of people with way more time, way less obligations IRL, and way more energy. Then I think the majority of OOC rooms would reflected that kind of energy. Right now, it reminds me of automated announcements for someone leaving a channel- probably useful back in a bygone era, but now pretty much just used by people to passive aggressively announce they don't like the people talking. Net negative in the current era.



  • @Apos said in Model Policies?:

    . To me they are an artifact of bygone times when the player base was made up of a majority of people with way more time, way less obligations IRL, and way more energy.

    I think OOC rooms are more of an artifact of the way the average MUSH grid is designed. I don't believe they were ever intended to be anything but a storage for character bits which were not 'in character' and the fact you could chat in the OOC room is mostly a consequence of the fact the admin never bothered disabling talking in the ooc room.


  • Pitcrew

    @Apos agreed. While I do not think there's anything inherently wrong with ooc rooms and channel announcements, or any other familiar trappings of that used to be standard things on mux/mushes code wise or build wise or policy wise...I mean just as it would be dumb to refuse to include anything old because it's old, I think it is just as dumb to think that you MUST include anything just because "people are used to it."

    There's a balance of course. But I am pretty sure that players who would outright refuse to play on any game that didn't have an OOC room they could talk in because they need that for their mushing experience would not be missed at all on a game where for whatever reason it was determined that it was not needed/wanted. That should not be a bad thing.

    One of the things that frustrates me a lot is this clinging to everyone must do what I like/find comforting, and the attacks/nay saying when people use systems/different sorts of ideas or expectations while at the same time people complain about there not being a lot of variety on games. People freak out about open sheet/new code/what topics are or are not included in allowable play/leadership structure, ect. That's fine, we all have our preferences but it really should not imo escalate "if you do this, I'm not interested in playing on the game, it's not my thing" to "OMG HOW DARE YOU THIS IS A SHIT GAME BEVAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE SOMETHING I WANT/HAVE SOMETHING I DON'T LIKE." Of course it's going to but jeez, it's really okay for someone to not play on a game or to play on one that has some things that you don't like or is missing things that you do.

    I am all for game runners/creators examining everything and deciding what works for them.


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