policy

policy

Character Permissions

To help avoid bogging down sessions while A/SHs get clarification on what players are and aren't okay with for a given character, we added a series of character "flags" to let you signal in advance what you consent to on a given character.

You can find and update the flags under the Edit tab on your character sheet, under the Notes > Permissions section, close to the bottom of the page.

The current flags are:

  • Graphic sexual content - restricted to players over 18, allows for descriptions of explicit and detailed sexual situations
  • Player vs Player combat - allows for direct and possibly violent action against this character by other players (PVP)
  • Graphic violent content - allows for descriptions of explicit and detailed gore and violence
  • Mind control - allows for temporary loss of control of the character due to mind control or mental influence
  • Loss of consent - restricted to players over 18, allows in-character consent to be violated

All flags begin in the "off" position, signalling A/SHs and other players that you are not okay with any of the above until/unless you choose to enable them for that character. You can change these flags at any time outside of a ongoing session or PVP environment.

Character Permissions FAQ

Can I update my flags for a character whose participating in an ongoing session or PVP bout?
No. Once the session begins, the character's flags are locked until the session ends. This is also true for slow-post sessions!

Can I choose to "opt in" even if my flag is locked?
Yes - contact the ruling A/SH for the scene or session and let them know you are okay with the particular contact flag being lifted for that scene or session. You must make this exception in writing and on the site, so a forum post, Limbo post, OOC box in the session itself or private message are all viable options.

NOTE: Choosing to selectively enable a permission like this is not recommended and may bog down the session, so please take care not to overuse this exception. The ruling A/SH has the last say in whether the content (such as PVP) will be allowed in that scene/session. Once you have opted in like this, you cannot opt back out until the scene or session ends!

Can I choose to "opt out" even if my flag is locked?
No. If a given flag is enabled when the character joined the session or scene, then it cannot be disabled until the scene ends. This is why it's important to think carefully before enabling any flag, and it's a good idea to double-check before you join a session to ensure you're still okay with all enabled permissions.

Can I attack another player character even if my PVP flag is disabled, so long as theirs is enabled?
No. You can only attack another player character if BOTH of your characters have their PVP permissions enabled. This must be done before the start of the session or scene.

Can I update my permissions in the middle of casual RP?
Yes. Casual RP - where no A/SH is involved and nothing is being ruled - allows you to update your permissions at any time. Once dice start rolling an a A/SH is involved, flags are considered locked until the A/SH considers the scene complete. If you are unsure, contact the A/SH to clarify whether the scene is still considered ongoing.

Categories

Notifications, Suspensions and Bans

When someone violates our Code of Conduct or other policies, they receive a warning or censure in the form of a Notification.

All notifications include:

  • The player receiving the notification
  • Bystanding players who may have been involved or bore witness to the incident
  • Social Department members involved in the incident and/or addressing it after the fact
  • The category of the incident
  • A description of the incident with details on what happened and what recommendations were made to prevent it in the future
  • The result of the incident leading to the notification, such as advice given or a new contract established

Notifications come in three levels of increasing severity: green, yellow and red, and are sometimes referred to as "strikes" in our documentation.

Green Notification
A green notification is light and may not even be linked to negative conduct. Green notifications let the Social Department know things about a given player tied to their behavior in the past, good or bad, which may help guide future decisions.

Green notifications help us track minor incidents or course-corrections so that we can identify troubling patterns of both those violating policy and those targeted by breach of conduct. Green notifications can help us head off larger problems hidden by the relatively minor specific incidents that make them up, as well as helping us identify players who may be carefully towing the line of our conduct policy without crossing over it formally.

Any time a Social department member speaks to you specifically about conduct, you should receive a Green notification. This is nothing to worry about and is as much to track the Social department member's activities as yours. It also lets other Social department members know when you've been informed of certain policies or asked to make small adjustments in your behavior so that you don't get bombarded with similar advice.

Green notifications do not have a limit at which they spill over into the next category up, although the Social department may still use a series of Green notifications about the same type of conduct violation to require a social contract or otherwise take action to remedy a troubling trend of minor infractions.

Yellow Notification
Yellow notifications indicate a player has clearly violated a Social policy or otherwise done harm to another player on the site. Yellow notifications should require immediate corrections in future behavior to avoid the same sort of harm reoccurring. Yellow notifications may also take longer to review and finalize given the severity they carry.

A Yellow notification awarded to a player who already has two Yellow notifications also results in an automatic Red notification and the associated suspension. This Red notification replaces the oldest Yellow notification the player has, so that when they return from suspension they will still potentially have two Yellow notifications and be in danger of further suspensions if they receive another one before the old ones expire.

A Yellow notification must always be approved by at least two members of the Social department before being finalized.

Yellow notifications expire one year after the date they were awarded, even if they were awarded after the incident itself occurred. This includes time spent while a player is suspended.

Red Notification
A Red notification is for grievous infractions of our conduct policies, and results in a temporary ban based on how many Red notifications the player has received in a given timeframe.

The first Red notification results in a 30-day suspension to protect other players from further infractions and to allow the player time to consider their actions and behavior should they wish to return to the site as a respectful player. Red notifications may also result in a mandatory Social contract drawn up upon the player's return specifying additional behaviors above and beyond our conduct policy that they must adhere to to remain on the site.

Red notifications require approval from both Social Leads before becoming finalized. If the department is in Starvation Mode or one of the Social Leads is involved in the incident, the department's non-Lead members should vote and a majority serve as the deciding factor.

Each subsequent Red notification results in a suspension three times as long as the previous one:

  1. 30 days (1 month)
  2. 90 days (3 months)
  3. 270 days (9 months)
  4. 810 days (over 2 years)

Red notifications DO NOT expire.

Instant bans and Perma-bans
In our most extreme cases, we may encounter a player who does significant damage to the site and its players in ways our conduct and harassment policies have not yet adapted to address.

For these outliers, we allow the site Leads to collectively call for a vote to instantly ban the player in question for whatever period of time seems reasonable. This vote must be unanimous among the Leads to carry, and a detailed accounting of the decision must be posted publicly to the forums within 12 hours of the ban being triggered. Other players wishing to levy a Grievance due to the triggering of an instant ban should follow the procedures for doing so.

Perma-bans also live outside the standard notification structure. Notifications are designed to encourage players to correct their behavior, not to punish. We want those who do harm to learn from their mistakes and return to us as players who contribute to the site like everyone else.

However, in some cases, the safety of our site's other members takes precedence over giving the violating player space to learn and grow. In these extreme cases, the Leads can call for a vote to perma-ban, which otherwise follows the same stipulations as an instant ban. It requires a unanimous vote, and a detailed accounting of the decision and what led to it must be posted publicly on the site forums within 12 hours of triggering the ban. Grievances can be levied as normal if anyone on the site feels the Leads acted in bad faith in awarding a perma-ban.

Categories

Transfer of items or money between characters

Characters on different accounts can transfer money or items between them as long as both players agree in text to the transfer. These can be gifts or they can be trades/sales, but in the latter case we urge players to review the page on Calculating Item Worth if they want to price goods fairly for exchanges.

When a character dies, players can also specify a "last will and testament" for their items and money, even if they didn't draw one up ahead of time. As with living characters, item and money transfers have to be consensual and agreed-upon by the intended recipients.

When transferring money, only freely available silver can be transferred. Invested silver, economy levels and reputation cannot transfer. The same may be true for some "items" which represent boons or curses in game given to a specific character, but they should specify on the item whether or not they are transferrable.

To avoid anyone gaming character-to-character exchanges, a character cannot give money or items away without an equal exchange from the recipient when they are below 40 HXP. Below 40 HXP, they can still exchange money and items for an equivalent share according to the rules on Calculating Item Worth. This is true even if the character under 40 HXP dies before transferring items - the money or items exchanged to make the trade fair are effectively lost in the transfer.

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Mature Sexual Content, Romantic and Erotic Role Play Policy

Romatic relationship roleplay can be a blast! But consider it to be the icing on the cake rather than the main event. We suggest getting to know your RP partner really well before you attempt this style of RP. Just like a real life romantic relationships, being mature and being able to communicate are key components to a successful IC romance. Even if it’s a one night stand. There's a lot of trust that is placed on the other player, especially as most romance lead to ERP. This makes communication crucial at every step and helps prevent issues from arising.

ERP stands for Erotic Role Play. Which can vary from player to player. It can be anything from a romantic date to more graphic depictions of sexual contact. As a site we allow this sort of RP but there are rules about what is accepted and how it should be handled.

No ERP or Romantic RP is allowed for anyone under 18, or any characters who are under 18. Which means no extreme amounts of hugging, kissing, or dating, etc. It might seem extreme, but it’s important for the health and safety of the site. Not to mention it’s a tricky legal area so we ask that players avoid it entirely.

Alternately, no character may RP scenes of a sexual nature with an NPC who is not 18 years or older. This is a hard line area (similar to ERP with a player who is under 18), and any infractions of this rule can lead to losing your account and your character.

In regards to where ERP can take place there are a few things to remember. In the past romantic RP was usually very limited in description but it could occur in any location. We now have rooms that are private or mature. If the content of your RP with your partner is something that a movie would classify as an R or 18+, it should occur in a room that not anyone can accidentally stumble upon. Part of why we ask players to provide an age is so that we can protect them from seeing content that they shouldn't. Therefore if you want to RP something graphic please use an appropriate location.

Never coerce another player into ERP. Just as in real life, it should always be something that both (or all) parties agree on. If you ever feel forced into ERP, contact one of the social leads and they will help you. If the social lead is the one at fault, contact any other lead and they will help you. You should never feel forced to play in this way. Any player that is caught forcing another into roleplaying a romantic relationship or scenes of a sexual nature will find themselves facing Social Department policy.

Depictions of non-consensual sexual contact are not commonly touched upon. However, this is something that some players may choose to have in their backstories. When introducing it in RP we ask for players to use tact and discretion. Sexual violence is not sex. It is violence. Please ask your RP partners in advance if they are comfortable with the topic coming up as your backstory (even if only mentioned briefly), and then be very limited in the details. If they say they aren’t comfortable and then a player still chooses to discuss that, the social department will become involved. Remember, it is a trigger for many players, and the goal on Vaxia is to have fun. That cannot occur for many players if they are afraid that sexually violent content will be included in their playtime.

Actual Non-consent during RP is strictly forbidden here. If a player's character attempts to assault another character they will not only find themselves suspended, they will likely find their account and/or their character taken away. This site should be a safe place and no one should have to be afraid of that sort of RP happening to them. (This is also the case with forced PvP, but that’s something to touch on elsewhere)

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Guidelines for Using Major NPCs

Every A/SH has the option of creating and submitting their own NPCs for use, and Setting oversight neatly applies to handle concerns over power creep and the like. Most NPCs are tied to a given saga or a minor location, and may only be in ready use for a short time or with a small subset of players.

But in each setting, there are a handful of major NPCs who are more global and established - the pillars of the common areas of play whom everyone knows IC and OOC and who often serve to anchor the setting to some degree.

Examples would be the Empress of Shi Inkahan, the High Druid of the Ramsalon Forest the administration for Station Prime or the president of the Dalhan people. All are fixtures in the setting larger and more permanent than NPCs for a given saga or minor locale.

So it’s only natural that many A/SHs might feel nervous about incorporating them into sessions, sagas or scenes where they may rightly be, simply because of the worry that you might RP them ‘incorrectly’ and cause friction with the players at large.

First, let’s talk brass tacks.

Major NPC Details

Stats and Skills
Major NPCs, just like any NPC, need to be submitted and approved. Many major NPCs will likely require Setting oversight sheerly due to their importance, if not also for having especially high mights.

The Stats and skills for major NPCs follow the same rules as characters without the starting-character limitations. Whatever those stats and skills are set to, they should remain consistent and should not be tinkered with unnecessarily. Changes to an NPC automatically notify the SH corps, so anything that seems egregious will be subject to oversight as usual.

Adding new skills or clarifying old ones is much more agreeable than shifting stats around rapidly or removing abilities previously showcased in RP.

Description
Much like with the numbers, Descriptions for most major NPCs should be kept consistent. It’s better to add a new Description for a different outfit or IC change than to edit and overwrite what was originally there.

Personality
For most PCs, the Background field is paramount - for major NPCs, it’s often the Personality field that’s most important. This should give you most of the guidelines you need to roleplay the NPC reacting to the situations and characters in the scene/session/saga they’re involved in.

If you ever have questions about the personality of the NPC, or if the field is sparse or incomplete, contact Setting for help filling in the details consistent with past RP.

Goals
The Goals field should show you motivations for the NPC, which again helps for consistent interactions. Between personality and goals, you know what they want and what approach they’re likely to try and take to get it.

Goals are subject to change, although unlike PCs, most NPC goals should be fairly stable and decipherable so that they can serve as the anchors in a setting rather than the catalysts - that job falls to the PCs.

Major NPC Do’s and Don’ts

In addition to the rules on the sheet, there are a handful of larger considerations to take into account when playing a major NPC.

When RPing a major NPC, do…

  • add a summary of major saga involvements to the NPC’s Background field
  • check in with Setting before involving them directly in a saga as a participant (rather than simply as a ‘quest giver’ or information node)
  • check in with Setting when anything about the NPC’s sheet or details are unclear
  • check in with Setting before updating the Goals or Personality fields
  • add additional skills where needed, provided they follow the same rules as PC skills
  • add additional items where needed, provided they follow the same rules as PC items

When RPing a major NPC, don’t…

  • allow a major NPC to steal the scene from the PCs - it’s their show
  • add major items or effects into the SH Notes. Use the Item creation system instead so that proper oversight can be given
  • add reference to secret or unknown quantities to the NPC’s sheet or their RP that are not clarified on the sheet. If you bring up a secret or mystery about an NPC in play, you must commit it to the sheet as soon as the session is over and notify Setting for approval
  • promise personal favors that aren’t specifically within Session Reward Guidelines (like reputation boosts or silver rewards)
  • engage in romantic entanglements with PCs (harmless flirting is okay)
  • involve the NPC directly in minor happenings, where possible. Instead, create a proxy - an aide, a vassal, etc. - to be their agent in smaller affairs.
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Playable Species Submission Guidelines

Cultural Iceburg

NOTE: We are going to actively work towards using the correct terms for our fantasy and sci-fi species at this time. Which is to say "species". Races are sub-groups within a species that demonstrate visible differences from other members of the species - no one race of a species should be considered the 'default' for that species.

Prerequisites:

In order to make sure you are familiar with the community, its interests, needs, and have a basic understanding of what the site is looking for we have a HXP requirement for your player account. You will need to have earned 40 HXP by the time you submit the new species. This is the same minimum HXP requirement before becoming an SH.

Introducing a new species is a lot of work for Setting, so we want to be sure there is enough interest in the species to be worth that effort. You will need at least two players interested in playing the species during the play-testing phase. These players may include yourself under certain requirements (see notes on Play-testing).

Play-testing:

For the first three months of the species's introduction, they will be receiving a lot of extra attention and coordination from the Setting Department to set consistent tone and answer questions as they come up. This is an important time to establish the species and can cause some significant Conflict of Interest for a creator who is also playing his own creation.

If you, the creator of the species, want to be the one to set the tone and answer questions during the 3 month play-testing period then you need to be able to remain impartial when you answer them. Which means you will need to wait three months until you play one yourself - but in the meantime you are officially the person who can answer questions and further develop the setting element. After play-testing is complete, the Setting department will be in charge of handling any further questions regarding the species (as it is for other species).

If you really want to play during the three month play-test instead of being the go to person for answering questions, then after the initial pitch let the Setting leads know that you will be playing in the play-test. At that point, the Setting department will be in charge of answering species related questions as the authoritative voice on the species and you'll be free to play.

The creator can not tell how a player to play their character of the species, this goes with the there is no one singular default to how the species can be. If any conflicts should arise between the creator and the testers, then the Setting leads will step in to resolve the conflict.

The creator will need to find two players that would be interested in playing a character of that species full time. This means those players can not just play those characters once or twice a month, but rather more like a couple of days a week. At least 50% activity needs to be seen in that three month span to ensure enough interaction is seen to determine of the species will fit within the theme and tone of the Setting.

The creator also may not use sessions as a means to introduce the species, this is what the play-testers are for. This is also to further ensure that the creator remains impartial during the play-testing, even if they are a play-tester themselves, and to make sure that players are truly interested in the new species itself.

It is important to keep in mind that the play-testing phase is a probationary period, the species is still not approved for general play until after it has a successful play-test.

Should the players that are play-testing loose interest, the creator will have a week to find a replacement testers. If not then the play-test will be considered a failure. Other failures may also include inability to resolve conflicts between the creator and the testers, or if at any time the species should be found to not fit within the theme and tone of the setting, or if there was not enough activity from the play-testers.

In the case of a failed play-test and Setting will work on an exit strategy for the play-tested characters in order to remove them from play.

Pitch:

Every new species starts with the same first step - a pitch. This pitch will cover the basic concept of the new species, any major niches they fulfill for players or in the setting, major cultures, and will include notes for any mechanical systems that the System Department may need to review to support playing the species.

Pitches will be reviewed by the Setting department and leads and any major issues highlighted during this time - we ask that pitches be sent on PM to leads or posted on the Setting Forum. Please do not drop new pitches directly into the Wiki, since that's where we will be keeping a record of the accepted material and we don't want to confuse a new player who doesn't know that the species they're looking at isn't approved yet.

If you send the pitch over PM either because you want to get an initial take on it or because you aren't able to post on the Setting forums, understand the pitch will eventually make it's way over to the forums for eventual review before going live for play testing.

Pitch Requirements:

Being able to put a lot of words on the page isn't nearly as useful as putting the right words on the page.

Word-count: between 1900 and 2100 words (aim for 2k)

Your target audience is the new player who hits the wiki and sees the species - this means we need something tightly written and easy to understand. Anything too short won't have the material they need - anything too long won't actually get read and that helps no one.

This word-count target also helps us make sure that one player species is not over-emphasized in comparison to another. Where one species has a wealth of information compared to others, it can give the impression that that species is the 'better' or more important. Which is not where we're going with this - so it is important that you stick within this word count.

Expected content:

* Species name, physical habits, anatomical description. This part will probably be really short, you should leave off any cultural aspects such as decorations or clothing. Just stick with the basics of height, weight, physical features, etc.

* Primary locations they can be found on one or more continents. If they are found 'everywhere', consider what environment they may be found in (mountainous, forested, urban, etc).

* Origins. Why have we not encountered them in the past? Or why have they been so marginalized in the past that we haven't heard of them in any RP up till now?

* Primary cultures found within the species. You will need to describe more than one culture for the species. This would include examples of names and languages. This section should includes a basic society structure, governance if it applies, and family unit details. Relationships with other groups in the area of the culture is useful as well. Aim to provide enough basic information that a new player can readily create a character from the species and each given culture.

Free-will:

The very definition of a player character is that they have free will. In order to be a playable character this is a requirement for the species. This means the species cannot fall under the categories of "always-good" or "always-evil”. Individuals of the species must be capable of making their own choices and drawing their own conclusions about those around them. They must be capable of exercising free will.

Advantages / Disadvantages:

As tempting as it is to build in specific advantages and disadvantages to a species that is not how our System mechanics work. If a player wants to have a specific advantage they may use the species as the reasoning for taking the skill and paying for it with their XP. They do not automatically receive the benefits without a skill and would roll to use it in RP as per normal rules.

Non-monoculture:

Fantasy has a very bad habit which is shared somewhat by sci-fi works. That bad habit is treating species as race. This is a sign of an underdeveloped species and in the past has bordered on stereotyping and codifying real-life racist setting elements. For example: Commonly Dwarves are treated as caricatures of the Scottish, and drow have too many parallels to stereotypes of African-Americans. Similarly, fantasy cultures based on the cultures of South and East Asia tend to blend several Asian cultures together into an unrecognizable sludge used to apply to the entire diverse region.

These things matter. These things hurt real people.

At the time these ideas were created we may not have been aware of what we were doing. We are now and we have no excuse for continuing them. Even if we are writing a species a particular way because we admire the background reference - it’s not healthy. To make sure that we avoid this, the Setting department requires at least two strong and distinct cultures within a species - this may be as simple as noting the cultural differences between different regions where the species is found.

If the origin of the species is a single point, such as a created species, we still require a non-monoculture. A species with free-will will grow over time and develop variations. If you don't have that as an option, for example the species was only recently created, then we would like to see suggestions on where the species may develop in the future to fulfill this requirement and would prefer that you advance your timeline.

Species are *not* required to all speak the same language. Speaking the same language implies the species has a singular point of origin. While this is a common fantasy trope, your writeup should assume that different cultures at least exhibit dialects.

If you are Stuck on Culture
We are going to be strict on multiple cultures and if you are new to this or focused on your one-true-form of the species it's likely you may be asked to go through a few rounds of development.

Conflicting groups that live within the same area or share the same origin story are almost certainly going to be considered political divisions not cultural divisions. Culture is not just a matter of food eaten or clothing worn or even city lived in. We need deeper differences between the groups of the species in order to be sure that we aren't getting a one-point of view on the species. Two members of the species from different cultures should have a difficult time understanding where the other is coming from unless they do some work to learn.

The cultural iceberg image above is a good starting point for this work. If the only differences in your cultures are those above the waterline and we cannot logically infer differences below the waterline from what you describe: then your pitch isn't ready. If you are having trouble designing multiple cultures, take a look at the topics below the waterline and answer some of those questions. Consider how a different answer will influence the group.

Last bits:

You may find yourself bumping up against the 2k word limit because you have a lot of details about a specific culture within the species or you have a wealth of anatomical information. Ideally, we need you to boil it down to the most important points. Keep in mind that our target audience is a new player with a short attention span. If he can't sit down long enough to read the information on the species, then it's not going to do anyone any good.

If you can't boil that information down to the most important points then keep it in a separate file as supplemental material. The supplemental material will not be read or considered for the pitch. As we improve the information available on the species and get all of them up to spec, then we will be able to start adding the supplemental material after the play-test is complete. So keep hold of it, just don't expect it to be immediately in play.

Template:

  • Lifespan:
  • Typical Height:
  • Typical Build:
  • Distinctive Traits:
  • Where Found:

Physical Details
A few paragraphs.

Origins
(If relevant)

Culture One
A few paragraphs. Include all things requested for cultures above.

Culture Two
A few paragraphs. Include all things requested for cultures above.

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Social Department

The Social Department is responsible for maintaining the health of the community of vaxia.org. This includes moderation duties, interpersonal conflict resolution, communication assistance, helping newbies, creating and maintaining site and newbie tutorials and running community activities. In addition, the social department may act as a neutral party in disputes, assuming the social department itself is not in Conflict of Interest

The forums are the best way to contact Social with any ideas or concerns. This will allow for all members to see the discussion and contribute as needed. The current year's leads will also be posted there with the department's yearly to do list. Forum with the Election Results

Social Department Forum
If unable to post in the Social forums then use the General Discussion Forums

Due to the nature of some of the things social handles, it is understandable if you do not want to post on the forums that information. You can post on the forums that you need to talk to a member of Social or use the Anonymous Mailer PMs can also be used, but it may take some time for whoever was pm'd to see it.

Vaxia Helpers Vaxia Helpers are a specific subset of the social department. In order to become a newbie helper, you must pass the social department membership training and the newbie helper training. Access to this position is not dependent on any other earned rank - only on passing the relevant training. They are responsible for directly assisting the newest members of the site, providing player-targeted training, general site guidance, and assisting with RP opportunities to get new players settled in. The social department is responsible for creating training material and keeping newbie helpers trained.

Mediation Department
The Mediation Department is a group of players who have undergone additional training in order to be able to handle the interpersonal conflicts here on the site. It is an optional position, and the essay test may be taken once a player has passed the social department test and earned at least 40xp on their account. Once the test has been passed with at least a 3/4ths majority vote from the other members in the Mediation Department, the player will be qualified to oversee mediations. There will always be at least two mediators in any given mediation in order to protect everyone involved. Mediators are trained to give out notations and yellow strikes, although the social leads must sign off and give a second set of eyes before the strikes become official. The Social Department is in charge of training mediators and keeping the test current and up to date with current site protocols.

Violating Site Policies
The social department is the department responsible for initial investigation and handling of violations of site Code of Conduct and the site Harassment Policy The social department may require a player to undergo additional training, coordinate a session schedule or request other behavior changes to avoid further violations. The Setting Department may also make recommendations to leads regarding revoking access for a player or removing a character from play for violations of site policy by the player if it will resolve ongoing violations. Revoking player access or removing a character from play requires 3/4ths of the current leads to approve the request based on provided evidence.



Wiki Main : Go to Wiki Main Page
Site Policies : Go to Site Policies Main Page
Advanced : Go to Advance Story Hosting Page
SH Course : Go to SH Course Main Page

Categories

Player Character to Player Character IC Relationships

The following are the basic rules and guidelines to help players manage their character relationships with other player characters in the game.

Why is this important?
To protect and ensure player boundaries are respected
To ensure a player is not taken advantage of
To help manage expectations

Just like in life there are many kinds of relationships that may develop ICly between characters: child-parent, sibling, romantic, employer-employee, protective, etc, are just some examples. These may put a player character in an authoritative position over another player character. This is a lot of responsibility and work both OOCly and ICly and can easily end up hurting another player if one is not careful.

Player boundaries take precedence above all else when it comes to these kinds of relationships, especially as between some characters it can become quite negative. Some players may not be interested or unable to pursue certain types of rp for any reasons. It doesn’t matter if the character would do it, if the player doesn’t want to do that kind of roleplay, do not force them to. It can be extremely harmful for the player to be put in that kind of situation. Even if they do not share the specifics for their reasons, they are to be respected.

So if a player says no, then do not do it. No comes in many forms, the rule is - unless there is an absolute and clear yes that they are ok with the direction of the relationship rp as is, anything else should be taken as a no - period.

A player wishing to partake of such relationship rp must make regular OOC check ins with the other player(s) to make sure they are ok with the direction and tone of the RP as it progresses, as well as to make they are not blocking the player’s ability to play their character. Never assume that the other player will be ok with any change in the rp, even if it is a type of rp they have done before, always ask!

When a player comes along that is not aware of the relationship and what the players have agreed upon, the players involved in the relationship should make sure that the other player is made aware of what could happen, and why some of the roleplay may go the direction it does. This is to help prevent the unaware player from feeling uncomfortable in the situation, and understand that everything going on in the RP is ICly and agreed upon.

If at any time a player becomes uncomfortable or feeling like their boundaries have not been respected with the relationship or begins to feel like they are being blocked and can’t do anything on their character due to the relationship they are encouraged to start a conversation with the other player(s) involved and let them know. This way the players can work out an alternative way to take the rp to resolve this. If the players on their own can not come to a resolution, then the player is encouraged to bring the situation to the attention of Social. Social can assign them a mediator to help come to a compromise or to help work out an exit strategy from the IC relationship with Setting on hand to advise as needed. Remember at any time a player has the right to opt out of an IC relationship.

  • A player can not control a character that is not theirs.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to prevent another player from taking the involved character to sessions.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to prevent another player from rping with other players on the involved character or other rp in general.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to force another player to give their character items or silver.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to force another player to do RP topics that they do not want to participate in.
  • A player can not use an IC relationship to harass, abuse, or threaten another player OOCly.

A player is not obligated to play out every single moment of any kind of relationship or employment and can not be force to do so.

Underaged PC relationships

    Underaged is defined as any character that is physically or mentally under the age of 18 or even looks under the age of 18. In these games underaged is flagged as a special condition that requires Setting approval in order to play. This is due to that in that some scenes underage characters are not appropriate for as well as the expectations of many IC interactions from both PCs and NPCs already put older characters in a kind of authoritative position over the underage character.
    Underage characters are not permitted to partake in romantic or erotic RP. It may be implied, but it can not actually be roleplayed out on this site ever.
    Players of underage characters should be prepared for their character to be treated like a child at any time. This can manifest in many ways but usually in the form of being commanded to do something with no explanation, to leave a potentially bad or extremely dangerous scene, physically be dragged away from something perceived as harmful or to get them out of harm's way, or scolded or reprimanded for their actions. Setting will cover these expectations with the player submitting an underage character after reviewing the character and the player’s history. This is to ensure the player understands what may happen in play, and to encourage them to open OOC channels with other players to let them know what is ok to do to exercise authority over their character and that they expect it.

    Players interacting with an underage PC should keep in mind ways to also exercise their character’s authority over the underage in a way to help keep them involved in the session or rp in some way. Checking in with the player of the underage PC with a heads up on what may happen is highly encouraged.

Employment of a PC by a PC

In addition to the above there are some extra rules in regards to IC employment between PCs.

    The hiring process is handled like a recruitment session between a NPC and a player. The players of the characters involved will make a request on the SH forums for a SH to run the numbers and officiate the hiring for them. The PC employer should ask questions related to the position being offered as well as request a demonstration of the potential PC employee’s skills that would apply to the job. At the end the SH may recommend an econ score boost, but the PC employer shall determine what is earned if the potential PC employee was hired. Then the SH will record the recruitment on the forums and make any adjustments to the econ score as needed or available. (This follows the same rules as other econ score bonuses and can not go past the +15 max gain per character.).

    If the PC employer plans to give the employee a raise or promotion, there should be RP to point to that shows the promotion was earned. In cases where there is the possibility of an econ boost it must also be handled like a recruitment session so there is a record. If there is no boost to econ or other character Stats then a scene can be made to help record the RP that proves the promotion was earned. Similarly, to demote or fire someone, there should be an IC reason to point to, and can also be made into a scene to help keep a record.

    The PC employer player can not make one of the terms of employment to have the PC employee give their employer a set amount silver or demand their PC employee make their character items because they work for them. This is in essence forcing another player to give them silver or items. ICly it is already implied that the PC employee is already contributing to the business in some manner, and while it could be said that the employer does take something (especially in regards to commission) no actual exchange of silver or items takes place.

    This policy also helps keep PC employers as a viable option for other PCs for work, as if a PC employer takes away actual silver or items, this will make a PC employer less appealing than a NPC employer - who gets no actual silver or items and still provides all the perks of being employed. The perk of a PC hiring a PC is the opportunity for RP and collaboration for those characters.

Be sure to also review the rules on Transfer of items or money between characters for additional considerations linked to IC relationships.



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Slow-Posting

Slow-Posting
Slow-Posting is a phrase used to describe roleplaying that occurs at a much slower pace then 'normal' and cannot happen immediately in one sitting.

In ‘fast-posting’ roleplay, players are able to immediately respond to each other's posts and have set aside a few hours to play out an entire scene, start to finish. In slow-posting roleplay, players don't all have to be on during the same window, which may work better with some players' schedules for work, school, and other activities. Slow-posting allows those people to still be able to keep the roleplaying going, just at a slower pace.

In casual slow-post RP, there are no enforced time limits on when people should respond (just like in fast-posting casual RP). A slow-posting session, on the other hand, is something you should only join if you can commit to posting once daily for 1-2 weeks. In a slow-posting session, even a short post is a good post if it keeps the round moving so that the session doesn't stall out.

If you are in casual slow-posting RP with someone, and they haven’t posted in 2 or more days, drop them a friendly reminder over private messaging to check in and see if they wish to continue the RP. Similarly, if you are in a slow-post RP and know that something is coming up that will make you unlikely to keep up with the once-a-day schedule, let the other players know either via the OOC box with your character in the room or via private messaging so they know what to expect.

For A/SHs running slow-posing sessions, if a player has not posted in over a day, you are not just allowed but encouraged to proceed to the next round, effectively skipping that character in favor of keeping the session moving. Players can try to get caught up in future rounds when their real-life schedule allows. When you run a slow-post session, be careful to consider how this might impact the way you design your challenges.

If you are in a casual slow-posting RP and require A/SH oversight, just like in fast-posting RP, pause the action until you can get a qualified A/SH to rule or address whatever needs oversight. For their consideration, it may be wise to schedule a time to switch to fast-posting until the action that requires A/SH oversight is completed before switching back to slow-posting format, if desired.



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I have seen site proposals, how can I make one of my own?

Site proposals are Vaxia.org's way of gathering an official opinion from the site on a system or site policy question. In the past we used to do this on forum threads and with a five-star system rating forum posts. That turned out to be a very poor way of gathering site opinion, it wasn't always used to indicate levels of agreement with the post's content and generally brought down the overall mood of nearly any conversation going on on the forums where negative votes were cast. It also left what the overall site opinion was very unclear, as plenty of people would either be overlooked in a forum thread, or simply never participated.

To address the need for a better way to handle voting and site feedback, we moved to using the Proposal system in 2014. Anyone on the site who is an active player can create a proposal - you'll find the link for it in the left hand menu under "Add content" or here: http://vaxia.org/node/add/proposal - with an instructional video of how to create the form fully here: http://screencast.com/t/0ehohiBaOP

Good Habits for Proposal Making

Setting up a proposal is fairly self explanatory, but there are some good habits we do recommend.

Use Proposals only when nothing else will do
Use proposals for elections, major site decisions, and system changes. It's a two week voting window with anonymous results and anti-tampering features - this isn't a system designed to be used to figure out when to hold the next session in a saga. Use a standard forum thread for that.

Discuss the topic first
When you have a question that is best answered with a proposal, it is smart to first start a forum thread. This brings the matter to the attention of the site and allows others to add suggestions and other options to the proposal. You want to make sure that your proposal tries to include as many perspectives as possible in order for the site to accept the results.

Don't equate silence with agreement
It is easy to have a thread of like minded posters overwhelm the conversation, even though they are the minority opinion. *Always* hold the proposal just to be sure - even if the end results are 100% in favor of or against an idea. This gives you validation. Don't make the assumption that the silence of the rest of the members of the site indicates agreement. It doesn't.

Hold discussions in the open
By making sure you use a forum thread to gather all of the options on the table you ensure that everyone has had a chance to openly contribute to the decision-making. It increases your Transparency and absolves you of any Conflict of Interest questions. Your last few posts on the thread should include something like a "Last Call", asking others to confirm the text of the question and the options provided as a a last minute check before you start the proposal up. Try to give a 12 to 24 hour window to allow posters to give you feedback.

Setting up the Proposal

A proposal is much like any other piece of content on the site, it has a form, you fill it in. There are two important pieces of information on the form that you will want to include if you have.

Associated Threads
First there is a option to reference a forum thread - which is where you should include the forum thread(s) that led up to the proposal being created. At the least, the thread you created while you were asking the site for input on your proposal should be included. Be sure to give as much information as possible, it's better to include too much than to include too little. This is so that anyone coming to the proposal who wasn't in that conversation, can catch up and make an informed decision.

Associated Files
If your proposal has to do with a system mechanic, then you should make a point of running the numbers. This is often a matter of providing a spreadsheet or graph demonstrating the impact of the change options on the system. The associated files is where you will provide any contextual information that was not covered in the forum thread. This is so that years from now, if you are no longer around, the arguments and analysis from the proposal are still available to future decision makers. It *extremely* important that any decisions made include the original problem being addressed and why we feel the changes will improve the situation so that future site decisions can confirm if the circumstances surrounding those decisions still apply.



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