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  • Rules/Guiding Threads

    There has been some uncertainty about how to use alts in the game, which has lead to some confusion and a number of assists filed. Therefore, I'll list guidelines and rules here.

    The list is by no means complete, so if you're in doubt, please don't hesitate to contact me.

    It basically comes down to one thing:

    Do not do anything with one of your characters that will benefit any of your alts.

    and

    Do not do anything with your alts that'll benefit your friends' alts.

    It is so simple, and yet the line can be hard to distinguish, especially since our game is so small.

    A few examples to help clarify:

    Setting:
    Player A has characters A1, A2 and A3
    Player B has characters B1 and B2
    Player C has character C1

    Player A and B are good palls ooc'ly too and love to RP together.
    Neither Player A or B has any ooc friendship with Player C

    Example situations:

    A1 and B1 are best friends and just stick together
    - this is fine.

    A2 and B2 are best friends and lovers
    - this is fine.

    A2 and B1 are also best mates
    - this is not fine

    A3 and B2 work closely together in the same guild, but are not close friends
    - this is fine

    A1 decides to teach B2 out of the blue
    - this is not fine, as it's ooc favourism.

    A1 is told by C1 to teach B2

    - this is generally fine, but just to be sure, file an @assist and let staff know the IC reasons for the lesson so we know the proper IC course has been taken.

    A1 tells his guild mates to order clothes from A3
    - this is not fine, as this is Player A favouring and benefiting his own alts.

    A1 tells his guild-mates to order garments from C1. C1 then sends the order to A3
    - this is generally fine, though to avoid any issues, just file an @assist to let staff know what's going on (if you know that A1 and A3 are alts that is) and we know that things have taken their proper IC course.

    It is of course impossible to avoid RPing with alts of your characters best friend and so on, especially when there are not many people online, or you play at odd hours. This is due to the limited number of players available.

    In general, try to keep your alts as separate as possible. Make an effort to make sure your alts walk in different circles, have different friends and social connections.

    You can always ask you the question: Is this action caused by my ooc-favouring/liking a player, or because my character truly and genuinely would do this and there's no other character who could reasonably replace my ooc friend.

    I fully understand the joy it can be to RP with specific players who just have the style of RP we love playing, or who are our ooc friends. And in those cases, it's even more important that we make an effort to keep our characters' circles as different as possible so overlap is completely minimized.

    If you're in doubt of any specific situation your characters are in in regards to alts, please don't hesitate to @assist. I'll happily chat with you and help clarify and assert how -your- specific situation is, and also give you ideas and suggestions as to how you can separate your alts' circles and life better.

    And if you due to RP is forced to do something that's not fine alt-wise, file an @assist and ask for advice. If nothing else, then we as staff have that alt-interaction/favouring on file and know what's behind it if an @assist is filed with a complaint or worry.

    If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
    Astrea - a Greek goddess of Justice and Innocence

    To contact me, assist or send me a scroll in-game, or ask me for my e-mail address.

  • #2
    If you as a player see anyone break these rules, please @assist so the Guides can deal with the matter and take proper action. When you assist, provide as much evidence as you can, and if possible, provide a log.

    Thank you!

    Disregarding the above alt-rules can result in:
    - being limited to only playing one alt for a period or permanently,

    Repeated and severe disregard of the rules can result in:
    - temporarily or permanent ban from the game.
    Astrea - a Greek goddess of Justice and Innocence

    To contact me, assist or send me a scroll in-game, or ask me for my e-mail address.

    Comment


    • #3
      A bit more clarification based on a question posed by a player.

      If you are not aware that B1 and B2 are played by the same player, then of course you are not breaking any rules, and won't be punished for having your character be close to B1 and B2.

      This is because there's no risk of you OOC'ly favouring Player B in that situation as you do not know they're played by the same player.

      In this case, it would fall to Player B to ensure a way to avoid having two alts be close to the same character.

      If that can't happen through natural RP etc, then Player B should assist and take a talk with staff to explain the situation and background, and from there we might be able to help with a natural solution to the challenge.

      We are not asking anyone to reveal alts, but merely wanting to make sure that no intentional or unintentional OOC-favourism takes place.

      All cases will be looked at individually and all players who break these rules will be spoken to first, given a chance to explain themselves.

      Another example:

      - Player A has A1 out and hears something relevant to A2. He then logs out A1 and brings out A2 to deal participate in a scene, deal with a situation etc. This is not fine, as it's using OOC knowledge on an IC action. Player A must wait until character A2 in game learns about what's happened/gone wrong etc before acting on it.

      This goes for plots/scenes happening where A2 would be more suitable/enjoyable/skilled for that situation that A1 observes.
      It also goes for situations where A1 hears something that involves a situation A2 need to deal with.

      So no swapping between alts just to get involved in a plot, deal with crafting orders, answer a scroll just sent etc.
      Please wait and let this come through natural RP.

      This doesn't mean that you're not allowed to log on an alt when you see specific people online that you need to talk to, or want to RP with. But it does mean that because you with A1 see C sit in the lounge, that you don't just log on A2 who needs to talk to C and head to the lounge.

      In essence, do not use ooc knowledge to bring out an alt to deal with a specific situation or find a character.
      Last edited by SG Astrea; 09-16-2012, 07:40 AM.
      Astrea - a Greek goddess of Justice and Innocence

      To contact me, assist or send me a scroll in-game, or ask me for my e-mail address.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by SG Astrea View Post
        - Player A has A1 out and hears something relevant to A2. He then logs out A1 and brings out A2 to deal participate in a scene, deal with a situation etc. This is not fine, as it's using OOC knowledge on an IC action. Player A must wait until character A2 in game learns about what's happened/gone wrong etc before acting on it.

        This goes for plots/scenes happening where A2 would be more suitable/enjoyable/skilled for that situation that A1 observes.
        It also goes for situations where A1 hears something that involves a situation A2 need to deal with.

        So no swapping between alts just to get involved in a plot, deal with crafting orders, answer a scroll just sent etc.
        Please wait and let this come through natural RP.
        .... Wait, am I reading this correctly? "You're not allowed to do something that will let you have more fun."

        If I have a character who is literally just sitting there doing nothing, because the plot means nothing to him/her, I'm not allowed to log in to a character that would fit the scene/plot and actually have fun (both for myself and everyone else involved)? Who is to say that A2 isn't just "out for a stroll" and come upon said plot (granted, only if it's in a generally public area). There's always the "I heard shouting/voices and decided to check it out" route.

        I mean, should I now be constantly afraid to log in to other characters for fear of "You're not letting it happen due to natural RP" accusations? Who are you to control when I log in to whatever character. The only real issue I'd see would be someone logging OUT in the middle of a scene/plot, if they're actually involved in it (unless, of course, extenuating real world situations arise. This is, after all, just a game).

        Originally posted by SG Astrea View Post
        This doesn't mean that you're not allowed to log on an alt when you see specific people online that you need to talk to, or want to RP with. But it does mean that because you with A1 see C sit in the lounge, that you don't just log on A2 who needs to talk to C and head to the lounge.

        In essence, do not use ooc knowledge to bring out an alt to deal with a specific situation or find a character.
        Because lord knows people never randomly run across people, and the lounge surely isn't open to the public for someone to walk through at any random time.

        This "policy" is stamping on RP, not encouraging it. You're telling people NOT to interact with each other when possible. I understand that IC/OoC crossover is bad, but don't you think you're going a little overboard here? Not ordering items from your alts, understandable. Not having your alts be friends, understandable. Completely and 100% cutting alts off from each other? Unrealistic. If there's an influential person/name, then, yes, my character is going to have SOME opinion about that person, whether it's my alt or not. (Granted, usually such opinion might very well be middling to low, just to keep away that favoritism thing, but they're not going to pretend the other person doesn't even exist.)

        If I see someone online with an alt, and I want to talk to them, and they're in a public location... then, yeah, I'm probably going to have my alt "happen upon them". Because then there's RP.

        Much better than "Guess I'll just idle in the commons and hope that RP comes my way, because staff says scenes must evolve naturally".

        This is a COOPERATIVE STORY-TELLING GAME. Cooperative, so I can set up scenes beforehand, like "Let's meet at X time on X day". IC the characters might not know anything is going to happen, but better to have people around for a scene than have nothing happen. We're together to tell a story, not competing to "have the most plot" or whatever. It's a game, no reason to take it super serious. Better to have interaction and roleplay than just a bunch of characters waiting for something to happen.

        I guess I'm advocating a pro-active playerbase, which the rules as stated in the post I quoted seem to limiting, perhaps even punishing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Erstwhile View Post
          This is a COOPERATIVE STORY-TELLING GAME. Cooperative, so I can set up scenes beforehand, like "Let's meet at X time on X day". IC the characters might not know anything is going to happen, but better to have people around for a scene than have nothing happen. We're together to tell a story, not competing to "have the most plot" or whatever. It's a game, no reason to take it super serious. Better to have interaction and roleplay than just a bunch of characters waiting for something to happen.
          This is the reason I like non-Skotos MUCKs. The rules on other games are a lot more lax in this department. Players actually talk to each-other to try and set things up between themselves, and interesting plots are run without the need for a staff member's intervention. On a lot of the games where you can build your character description from scratch, and emote anything you want (within reason), the sky really is the limit and a player's interaction between their own characters hardly matters because there's no REAL way to 'get ahead' in those games. OOC knowledge is applied when building RP, but when it comes to execution, each player needs to have the maturity and restraint to understand that what they know out of character cannot be applied in character.

          It's why I have no problems telling people what Virendra's up to behind closed doors. Who he's scheming with and whatnot. It's why I might share his inner thoughts during a critical moment. I think other players should have insight on the kind of character Virendra really is, even if their character does not have the knowledge. It's because I trust people not to use that OOC info in a scene, but if it should happen that they are building a plot that might benefit from the involvement of my character, they will know to find a way to involve him through RP.

          What I'm saying is that I agree with you. I do not think that such a minimal thing should be punishable. We need to have at least a little slack. The staff need to trust us as players to make the right decisions because we understand that irresponsible crossover is damaging to the game, and not because we don't want to be slammed by the banhammer.

          I'd like to imagine that we all have the maturity and good judgement to not abuse what we know out of character. Rounding all the sharp edges off your furniture and covering everything in a layer of Nerf does make for a safe environment for everyone, but sometimes we need to take a risk and stick a fork in an electrical outlet. If anything, it might make for a good story.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Erstwhile View Post
            .... Wait, am I reading this correctly?
            No, you're not reading it correctly.

            I mean, should I now be constantly afraid to log in to other characters for fear of "You're not letting it happen due to natural RP" accusations? Who are you to control when I log in to whatever character. The only real issue I'd see would be someone logging OUT in the middle of a scene/plot, if they're actually involved in it (unless, of course, extenuating real world situations arise. This is, after all, just a game).
            No, you do not need to be afraid to log in characters.

            You can check the who and the @hotspots and see who's online and have your alt go take a look to see if the one you want to RP with is there.

            What is NOT acceptable is that your Char A witnesses something happening that you know your Char B would want to be part of, and that you then log on Char B to participate. This is particularly true if your Char B benefits from it one way or another.

            There has unfortunately been incidents in the past, where a player saw with his Char A something that had negative impact on his Char B, so he logged on Char B to turn things to his own advantage. There has also been incidents where a player logged on a Char B because he with Char A saw an enemy in trouble and Char B could finish it off. Or even incidents where Char A saw a friend in trouble and logged on Char B to help that friend.

            These are the situations we wish to avoid. Not the situations where you see a teacher for your Char B being online and a chance to get a lesson, or you see a friend of your Char B available for RP.

            Common sense, where abuse does not happen and where your ooc knowledge of who is online where doesn't unjustly benefit your own chars or unjustly gives another player's char a more difficult time.

            I hope this make things a bit more clear.


            If I see someone online with an alt, and I want to talk to them, and they're in a public location... then, yeah, I'm probably going to have my alt "happen upon them". Because then there's RP.
            And this is perfectly acceptable.

            This is a COOPERATIVE STORY-TELLING GAME. Cooperative, so I can set up scenes beforehand, like "Let's meet at X time on X day".
            This is also fully acceptable. It is hard to plan and make events happen, especially if you can't discuss ooc'ly when to meet and when to do it. So nothing wrong there.

            Cheers
            Eos
            - Goddess of Dawn and opener of the gates of heaven
            - her tears create the morning dew - she's the mother of all the stars
            Dawn
            - the new beginning and banishment of darkness and evil

            Comment


            • #7
              Some real examples that led to us having this rule.

              These are examples from years ago when the rule was first put in place, so don't read anything into the behaviour of current players.

              - A wanted criminal PC is hanging out somewhere, talking with citizens. A constables alt (who is friendly towards the criminal) comes upon them, chats for a bit, then leaves. The constable PC logs in, and arrives to arrest the criminal. It's possible that the constable would have happened upon the criminal, but it's also likely that if the constable's player was unaware of the criminal's location then the constable wouldn't have happened to patrol that particular room.
              - A PC's in-character partner regularly appears whenever that PC begins to RP with a female PC and the partner's alt witnesses that.
              - A fight breaks out in the commons. The PCs present step in to deal with the situation - but shortly a bunch of martial alts all arrive, many with IC authority. The group of PCs who were originally present for the scene are pushed out of the spotlight by the newly arrived alts.

              You'll notice a lot of words like "likely" or "regularly" - this is a very grey area and really relies on player judgement. As Eos mentioned, staff will talk with players if a problem is reported, rather than assuming anyone is at fault. There's no need to walk on eggshells.

              The intention is to have a basic expectation about what is "fair" to avoid some of the above problems, while being flexible enough that players can still pick and choose which alt will be most fun to play at any given time.
              Mea squints at you, "For a magical nudist he sure is carrying lots of pie."

              Comment


              • #8
                Bumped...Important
                Crocifisso Donato Corvasci

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