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Conflict of Interest

Because the SHs, Evaluators and Leads of Vaxia are also players and people, there exists the possibility that they will find themselves in a position of having to rule something which relates to them directly, or someone for whom they cannot be objective. For example, if a Setting lead needs a powerful NPC approved, or someone from System has to retake the SH test for certification, there's the potential that their position may lead to accidental or intentional bias for or against them.

Likewise, bias can exist between heads, SHs or evaluators and other players, either because they are close in real life or because there is past bad blood between them.

In all such cases, a separate, neutral party should arbitrate the issue, even if that party does not typically have the authority to do so. Because all head positions are duplicated (two Setting leads, two System leads, two site administrators, two Social leads), there should always be someone other than the individual proposing the change who can rule it objectively. If a situation arises in which that is not the case, either because both leads are involved in the generation of the idea that needs approval, or because one of them is absent from the site when approval is needed, then at least two SHs or evaluators must approve the issue.

If both Setting leads, for instance, want to run a site-wide saga that goes beyond the range of influence of a normal SH, they should get the idea approved by at least two regular SHs before moving forward. Likewise, the answers for an System head retaking the SH test to renew their position should be reviewed by two regular SHs, if the other System lead is not present or easily reachable.

SHs ruling for those close to them in real life (specifically spouses and the like) should ask another SH or evaluator to check their work to ensure a fair ruling. This applies both to sessions (and the associated difficulties, XP and item rewards) and evaluated content (items or characters created by their spouse).

If you suspect someone may be making a decision while under the influence of a Conflict of Interest notify any SH or post your concern on the forums, whichever you feel comfortable doing. Your concern should be stated plainly, without venom, and please be ready to listen to those you've addressed defend themselves and those about whom the ruling was made. Oftentimes, conflict of interest is something people do without realizing it, out of an instinct to be kind. While it can be dangerous, it is often not malicious. Please remember that.

There are enough SHs and other leads that drawing attention to the issue and bringing it under scrutiny from others should suffice to ensure there is no unfair treatment at work, so that we can all get back to enjoying the site and the RP.

SHs, Sessions and Their Own Characters

Because it comes up somewhat often, an SH is allowed to play one of their own characters in a session they are running, under two conditions: their character cannot be awarded XP for participating in the session, and their character cannot serve as the 'star' of the session, similar to our NPC Policy. Any SH doing so should be prepared to provide a record of rulings involving their character (difficulties set, circumstantial modifiers, etc).

NOTE: For many SHs, playing a character while also running a session may prove problematic to the session itself, slowing down the ruling process and the general flow, so it is recommended that SHs abstain from participating in their own sessions unless they feel confident they can RP, rule and narrate at the same time.

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