Game Policies

From NOLA: The Game that Care Forgot
Jump to: navigation, search

Behavior and Acceptable Use Policies

NOLA Structure

NOLA is a 2e playground. We provide the play structure, you fill in the details for your stories with other players. While NOLA is non-consent, we stress cooperation between players (characters are another story). The world is semi-open, with players able to modify, with permission, the grid, the setting, and even (rarely) the theme.

Staff are primarily administrators, who provide the overall theme of the game, the code-base, house rules, setting info, and so on. There are no staff storytellers; players are encouraged to rotate ST responsibility or to take responsibility for individual story lines for their fellow players. Any player can be a storyteller, and will be rewarded accordingly.

Staff Responsibilities

  • Helping to maintain a comfortable and fun OOC environment. This includes enforcement of the game policies (such as 'don't be a dick') and helping settle player disputes should they arise.
  • Establishing Setting and Theme: In this case, this means New Orleans. It means the Accords which enable intersphere interactions more readily. It means the power structures of the establishment in the city. Things at a lower-than-city level that are not on the list of plot items that need staff approval are in the players' hands. Want to do a thing? Get some players together and do the thing!
    • This includes doing builds on the grid by player request, per our building guidelines.
    • We also fix the code when it's broken. Letting us know when you find a broken thing helps!
    • Custom Content: We are responsible for approving custom content and house rules. This will be done with an eye to playability across the entire playerbase. Players should not create characters that are dependent on Custom Content until it is approved because the process can be lengthy, depending on the nature of the request.
  • Interesting Characters: This is a shared responsibility with the player base. Our role here is to do the following:
    • Process characters through chargen. We don't hold hands, but we do try to help when someone is struggling to get their concept where they want it to be.
    • Process paperwork, like XP spends and achievements, and work with players on notes or other details that help flesh out their characters as they grow.
  • Cheerlead for the Player Characters: In our case, this means processing your PrP submissions and getting you your well-earned beats. This also means, sometimes, when situations arise that need an objective set of eyes for appropriate IC consequences for IC actions taken, we're the ones helping make those adjustments.
  • Storyteller NPC Management: We want to stress the PrP nature of our game. As such, we want to keep game-level Storyteller NPCs (those with a significant and direct impact on theme) to a minimum. STs should use their own NPCs where possible as appropriate to their plots. Game-level NPCs available for PrPs will be handled as Open Secrets - that is, everything plot-relevant available on the wiki for STs to run if needed, with PrP approval from staff.

Player Responsibilities

This is not a tabletop, but it is a place we communally come to have fun. As such, we are all taking part in the following:

  • Interesting Characters: Your character should be interesting to you! Take ownership of your own fun and your own stories. Want a PrP run for your character? Put it up on the BBoard, check in with other players, ask a friend to run it for you. This game is what you make of it.
  • Storylines and Plots: On NOLA, this is in player hands. While staff are also players and may pursue putting out plots that may be joined, they are still player run plots subject to the same approval of all plots. Plots that don't include the elements listed in the previous link do not require staff approval. GO FORTH AND HAVE FUN!
  • Scene Framing: As with storylines, on NOLA, it's up to you and your fellow players to determine how one scene might link into another to create a progressive storyline. If you're struggling to find arcs for your character to pursue, chat with the other players and see if anyone can lend you some brainstorming power.
  • Share the knowledge: If you know how to run PrPs, share that knowledge with others. Storytellers get the bulk of the XP on this game and everyone should have the opportunity to grow their characters.

Ethics

Staff Ethics

There are several standards and rules to which all Staff must adhere. They include the following:

  • No staffer may complete jobs in which any judgement, whatsoever, is called for in a situation with which they have a Conflict of Interest. This doesn’t include minor acquaintances, friends, or even casual IC lovers, but does include characters with whom they have significant exchange of benefits or hostilities (ghouls, coterie-mates, pack-members, mates, business partners, enemies, competitors) and situations where their characters were involved (even relatively tangentially or indirectly; if your ghoul hired an assassin, you may not judge the combat of that assassin). This does not include Experience spends.
  • A staffer should endeavor to respect a player’s privacy in all ways possible. This means avoiding using tools like +sheet when it’s not necessary, not lingering dark in places where players are roleplaying or discussing things, and not passing on information gained through staff privileges to non-staff, among other things.
  • A staffer must be (relatively) active. After one month of inactivity with no contact with headstaff, a staffer will have their privileges removed and be taken off of +staff until they have contacted headstaff. If a staffer is believed to be inactive, due to burnout or general non-involvement, Headstaff will approach that staffer to discuss options.
  • While certain staffers may have specialties, no one staffer is solely responsible for any one task. There are staffers whose specialty may be vampire, but no specific ‘Vampire Team Lead’. Similarly, staffers may be specialized in Build or Equipment, but they are not the only staffers capable of handling those jobs, and should not be offended when others process them if they are absent, idle, or unable to process them.
  • Responsibilities reserved solely for Headstaff, however, are: Houserules (final decisions, any staffer or player may propose custom content or a houserule), policy decisions, complaints (unless all headstaff are involved in a complaint; at that point, another staffer may be tapped to investigate), or removing a PC from a leadership position due to neglecting OOC responsibilities.

Player Ethics

Players on NOLA are expected to adhere to certain minimum standards of etiquette, fairness, and adulthood while they play here. Those standards are:

  • Do not be a dick. This is a broad, vague rule on purpose. If a player disrupts the game consistently without violating any stated rules, they are violating this rule. This will typically result in a conversation with staff; only truly virulent dickhood or repeated dickhood can be considered grounds for punishment. Players are not expected to consistently use polite language or to like everyone; they are expected not to excessively attack one another in shared spaces, purposefully limit another’s ability to have fun within the rules of the game, purposefully provoke out-of-character conflict, or use complaints to staff as weapons to get their way.
  • Do not harass other players. If someone asks you to stop paging them, stop. If you feel further communication is absolutely required, go through staff. Do not page specifically to abuse someone verbally/textually. Arguments happen; the line between argument and harassment typically lies at the point where someone expresses a desire to stop and the other does not respect it. Harassment will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
  • Do not violate the rules of the game. These are laid out in other news files and on the wiki - the player is expected to be conversant with them. Similarly, they are expected to be familiar with and adhere to both the rules of the game line they are playing and the houserules of the game; it is not absolutely required to be an expert from the get-go, but a player should never rely absolutely on others to support their rule knowledge in a scene. The willingness and ability to look things up is important, as is grasping the basics.
  • As a corollary to knowing the rules so you don't violate them: be familiar with the setting documents on the game. There isn't a ton to read (yet), please know what the Shadow Accords are and be aware that our setting isn't the standard. The Chronicles of Darkness setting exists, in its standard form, in cities other than New Orleans. New Orleans is an oddity even in-setting - one that's known about even by outsiders. Your character would almost certainly know how strange NOLA is before moving there if you're supernaturally aware.
  • Maintain a separation of In Character and Out of Character motivations. While this is not easily policed, if it’s found to be flagrantly violated, it will result in staff intervention.
  • Be age 18+. No exceptions, IC or OOC.
  • Respect staff and other players when possible. Staffers are players too - but players who have volunteered to put in work and effort, placing the fun of others ahead of their own. This doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with staff - and tell them so! - but it does mean it’s best to avoid calling them an evil asshole in a +job. It’s always a good idea to apply this guideline to everyone, whether they’re staff or not.
  • In case it need be said, attempts to circumvent code, exploit loopholes or bugs in code, or gain access to the shell or another person’s character bit will be dealt with harshly.
  • I didn't think this needed to be said, but: If you do something so egregious in a public forum that other players literally cannot feel safe with you on the game, you will be removed from NOLA. This mostly pertains to flagrant racism, sexism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, other forms of queerphobia, other various and sundry -phobias and -isms, or threats against players, staff, or unrelated persons.

Adult Content

NOLA is an 18+ game with no exceptions. This is because the World of Darkness, by necessity, contains adult content. Violent and sexual situations will occur, and it is expected that players will deal with them in a mature manner. There are some guidelines as to what we consider appropriate for the game.

  • Nude or otherwise expressly sexual or overly violent images or animated gifs are allowed behind a NSFW spoiler, link, or otherwise unmistakable warning. We suggest not accessing the game’s wiki from work if you will be fired for seeing an exposed female nipple or genitalia, but we also ask that players respect those who wish to not see such content or who might have children occasionally in the room at home.
  • Graphic sexual or above-and-beyond violent content (torture, graphic descriptions of the texture and smell of entrails, et cetera) in logs should also have NSFW in the log link name and in any links to that log elsewhere on the wiki. Yes, this means you can post your TS logs to the wiki if you really must. Please mark them so that those who want to avoid them can.
  • No player should be forced to roleplay, read, or otherwise be confronted with rape as a theme without their explicit consent. Any non-consensual sex is considered rape in this context. Any sex (even "consensual", since a child cannot legally consent) with a minor is considered rape in this context.
  • Please do not include graphic sexual content, fetishized or intensely disturbing violence/torture, rape, or other content that might be considered extreme even in the World of Darkness in backgrounds, +requests, or Plot reward logs. A staffer should never be required to read these things to do their job. If you ask yourself, ‘Is this too much to put into a +request?’, the answer is probably yes.
  • To be extraordinarily clear: please DO NOT MENTION rape, rapists, sexual assault, sexual abuse, sexual abusers, incest, pedophilia, pederasty, pedophiles, or anything else that might be a reference to non-consensual sexual activity in your Background Questions. TO CLARIFY: sexual intercourse does not have to occur for abuse to be sexual in nature. Can it be in your character's backstory? We literally cannot stop you from having it there. But you cannot inflict this kind of theme on any member of NOLA, player or staff, without their explicit consent. And again: staff explicitly does not consent to this except in cases where it is necessary to adjudicate the game (for example, reporting someone violating this policy).
  • Do not make your kink our problem. Your kink is fine. I don't care about your kink. We all like weird shit. Do not make us have to read it to approve your jobs. Don't make us have to engage in it. Don't play it out in public and force others to engage in it. If you make your kink our problem, you will find our patience is gone immediately. This does not mean you shouldn't submit complaints about someone doing something that involves kink non-consensually. That isn't you making it our problem, that's the person who forces you to submit a complaint making it our problem.

If any of this is unclear, please see our Adult Content Policy FAQ.

Consent

NOLA is a non-consent game - for the most part. In general, when something bad happens to your character, you cannot simply ignore it on an Out-of-Character basis. That said, there are certain guidelines that should be followed to maintain the ability of all to have fun.

  • All players have the right to FTB. A discussion/summary of what happens in the scene occurs, and detailed roleplay is avoided when someone is uncomfortable. If you feel you are not being allowed to FTB, talk to staff. If you are uncomfortable even discussing options and someone insists on that line of RP, talk to staff. Please try to respect the Adult Content rules regarding what goes into a +request, but in extreme circumstances where you feel you are being forced into graphic sexual or intensely or fetishistically violent RP that would violate that guideline, it can be forgiven. We hope never to have that sort of situation. Do not put others in that situation.
  • No player may force a template change on another player. IC, changes in template are mystical, poorly-understood things; sometimes, rarely, they simply fail. Sometimes someone absolutely and utterly fails to cope with Lunacy without becoming wolfblood. Sometimes a mortal is fed vitae with the proper expenditure of will and simply cannot be ghouled. Sometimes an Embrace simply results in death. A player may never be forced into a template change against their OOC will. This could result in other consequences - up to and including the loss of the character - but a player can never, under any circumstances, be forced to gain a template unless they choose it on an out-of-character level.
  • If you believe an act was OOCly motivated rather than because of IC actions, please contact staff as soon as possible, by page or (preferably) +request. Keep in mind that OOC motivation is nearly impossible to properly prove, and that these investigations will usually result in a talk with the player. Your anonymity will likely be impossible to preserve, but if someone is acting according to OOC motivations as a pattern, it’s easier to see with more cases.

Resolving ICA=ICC Issues

Staff are not storytellers. Plots are run by players, following the game's guidelines. However, it is part of staff responsibility to maintain setting and theme. When a character takes an in character action (ICA), there are (or should be) appropriate in character consequences (ICC). In instances where a player does not address the ICA with appropriate ICC according to the setting and theme of the overall game, staff steps in. We typically handle this in one of the following ways (in order of our preference for resolution):

  • Empower the player to get a ST familiar with the setting and theme issues at hand and figure out appropriate, fun to RP consequences (which will likely not be fun for the character ICly). If the player does not wish to pursue this course, then:
  • Work with the player to determine appropriate ICC that occur off-cam (but may be RPed on cam). Some things that might happen, depending on the discussion include loss of status, being assigned a menial job, gaining a partial blood bond to someone, or something else.
  • As this game stresses cooperation between players (and staff are also just players who've volunteered to help facilitate your fun time), we will do our utmost to work with the player in question. We can't and won't force people to work with us, but the result is an impasse between the player's particular wishes and the setting and theme. The long and the short of it, unfortunately, is if you can't work with staff here, then there are other games out there that are better for you to be playing and you will be asked to move on.

Plagiarism

While there are no original ideas, there is a line between borrowing (heavily) from mythology and direct plagiarism. Our background questions don't require much - for some, a single word is fine. No more than a line or two is required for any particular question. Please refrain from copy/pasting the backgrounds of your other characters, the characters of others, wikipedia articles, websites, or similar sources that are not your own writing. You can borrow (even heavily!) from other sources, and borrowing from mythology is in fact encouraged, but direct plagiarism doesn't show us anything about how you will play your character, which is why we give an Experience incentive to fill them out.

RL Disasters and Current Events

Our official policy on NOLA for RL disasters (hurricanes, COVID-19, etc) is that:

1. We will not make game-wide play of them. They affect real people, some of whom play here, and in some cases, people get online to get away from the real world.

2. You can always choose not to have them affect your character. There is no "infection" mechanic for viruses in CofD. Individual houses survive hurricanes. Entire neighborhoods escape flooding. National government fails to affect local life. Remember that this isn't Real New Orleans - it's New Orleans as it would be on a CW network TV show. If it's not fun for your story, you don't have to play it.

3. If you want to play current events, feel free to bring them into your RP in whatever way is safe and fun for you, but be sensitive to the needs of others who may not be OK with RPing about them. If someone OOCly asks you not to bring it up in play, don't bring it up. When it doubt, ask OOC before engaging the topic IC. If you don't feel comfortable asking OOCly, leave it out ICly, too.

General Game Policies

Book List

Our book list on NOLA is very short. This is on purpose. Proposing that we adopt an entire new book is unlikely; so is proposing that we adopt content unmodified from 1e in specific. Custom content is much more likely to be accepted in a pitch. Please see our Custom Content newsfile or page on the wiki.

Our list of approved books is as follows:

  • Chronicles of Darkness
  • Vampire: The Requiem, Second Edition.
  • Werewolf: The Forsaken, Second Edition.
  • Changeling: The Lost, Second Edition.
  • World of Darkness (wherever rules are not updated by Chronicles of Darkness)
  • Chronicles of Darkness: Hurt Locker
  • Secrets of the Covenants

Alts

On NOLA, players are allowed one character of each template, and as many Human characters as they wish.

Guidelines for alt interactions are: Alts may not be in the same Covenant, Tribe, Pack, Coterie, Cabal, or other organization. Alts may not receive significant benefits from the same character (for example, your werewolf may not be employed by your ghoul’s regnant). Minor relationships - friendships where no mechanical or significant non-mechanical benefits are exchanged, casual lovers, minor rivalries, non-significant business associations - are fine. If in question, ask. Alts may not benefit one character from the other (your vampire cannot feed your werewolf’s vitae addiction, hire an assassin to murder their rival, et cetera). Alts may not be present in the same scene. This also means that you cannot receive ST awards on one character bit and player plot participation awards on another. Please try to avoid significant IC conflicts with more than one alt of a player if at all possible, as this can provoke complaints of OOC motivation even where none exists.

Idle

After twenty-eight days without a login, characters will be frozen (and their Experience gain halted) until they return and submit a +request.

Experience Transfers

When a character dies or is otherwise permanently retired (without any possibility of ever returning to or affecting the grid, ever, with no possibility of this decision ever being overturned and grandfathered), Experiences gained from Beats, Plots, and Timed Experience (but not Incentives) may be transferred from the retired character to a newly made character. In addition to the maximum of 10 Experiences a newly-created character may have, they are awarded up to 40 Experiences worth from the retired character’s totals. This Experience may be spent at character creation without wait times, or saved for on-grid spends with them at the player’s discretion. It counts as Earned Experience for purposes of re-transfer.

Pool Regains

On NOLA, we use the honor system to police pool spends and regains - meaning, we don’t. If something happens that calls a regain into question we’ll look at it, but in general we trust the playerbase to be familiar with and follow the rules of their template to regain their pools.

If a vampire is above Blood Potency 5, then the restriction for feeding on vampires is in place - and remember that every feeding from a vampire that could result in addiction (not an issue to vampires of Blood Potency 6 or higher), Vinculum, or a new level of Discipline learning availability should be reported to staff in a +job. There are many ways to bypass or delay this restriction, or to make a character immune to the Vinculum.

For werewolves, remember that above Primal Urge 5, your character needs to feed on spirits to satiate themselves physically, and can no longer derive nourishment from mortal food and drink. One Essence is spent per day the werewolf goes without feeding on spirits after Primal Urge 6. Also remember that in Gauru form, Down and Dirty Combat can be used against spirits who are lower than the character in Rank.

Hunting scenes - whether on spirits for werewolves or for blood as a vampire are encouraged. They’re a huge part of the theme of these games and of NOLA’s theme in specific; they receive an extra Beat when they’re part of a plot. This extra Beat also applies to plots that explore the repercussions of feeding - especially mortal hunters or Heroes.

Respecs

Once in the lifetime of a character, the player may respec that character - rearranging their XP spends and beginning points at-will, while maintaining the core identity of the character. This is supposed to allow someone who realizes that they’ve made fundamental mistakes to fix them, usually because they were new to the system at first and have gained experience. This is not to allow someone to spend XP in a way that’s beneficial early, then entirely change a focus to a more beneficial way for now, or to allow someone to dramatically alter their character to face a new threat. Respecs are a privilege, not a right, and should not be abused.

Minor alterations due to a small number of mistakes at character creation are allowed without a respec. For example, “I thought painting was Expression instead of Crafts”, or “I thought detecting lies was Empathy not Subterfuge”, or “I didn’t realize my Discipline used that skill”.

Build Policy

Please remember that we are loosely based on real-life New Orleans, so you don't need to go digging through Google Maps to find the exact proper street view spot to put your hotdog stand (though if you want to, you can - just don't expect that of everybody!). You may spot (and put!) things on the grid that aren't really all that NOLA-themed, and that's fine.

We don't do build quotas. That said, think of it less like building a house and more like building sets in a theater - each room should be a set on which players can act out their themes. Try to keep the sets to what will encourage roleplay and remember, if you need a bigger set for an event, you can always +temproom.

For most people that means they need a public space and a private space, but some builds intended for use by a large number of people require more areas - a community room, a sleeping area, a back yard, etc.

To get a place built and linked onto the grid, send in a request with the following information:

  • Location you want the build in (Grid room title is fine). See the Grid Map page if you need help; all grid descs are posted here.
  • If you intend to build a sub-neighborhood off of a main grid room to claim as territory, make sure to note that here.
  • Name of the build - "Purple House", "207 W Decatur St", "500 Block of Lakewood", etc
  • Name of any rooms leading off it - "Bedroom", "Sub-basement 3", "Rooftop Garden", etc.
  • How those rooms are arranged, if it's not obvious from the room names - for example: "Club > VIP Room > Basement" vs "Club > VIP room and Basement" - don't be afraid to use indenting if it'll help, as in:
  • Club
  • VIP Room
  • Basement (yes there are basements in NOLA, they're expensive and flood at least yearly, some people install pumps)
  • Sewer (yep, sewers too! They're a huge part of the city's drainage strategy.)
  • Category for the Grid Map - If this is a public-use build, please include a brief category description, for example: Bar (dive/classy), Food (Chinese Takeout), Entertainment (Movie theatre), etc. Feel free to list as many categories as are applicable to your location.
  • (Optional) If you want your build on +travel, please include the shortcut we should use. (Must be unique!)

If you're not applying for more than 2 rooms you can also go ahead and also send:

  • Any special descriptions like exit descs. (Optional, we'll just make some up if you don't send them.)
  • Any special notes or views. (Generally unneeded.)
  • Descriptions of each room

If you are applying for more than 2 rooms, you should probably wait on the descs until you've discussed the build with staff. You'll still need to write those descs, but we should figure out the layout of the place first, preferably with an eye towards what kind of roleplay each room will provoke. Once that's sorted out, you'll need to desc each room into the +myjob, or into a google doc if it's too large.

When we have all of the above info, we'll build your place and stick your descs on it, then set your home to it (unless you already have a home!) so you can check it out. Once you've approved it we'll call it done.

If you want to change descs, check out +help Grid Commands, or the wiki link of Grid Commands.

If you want to take over an unoccupied building on the grid, send in a request with any changes you'd like to make, and we'll go ahead and make it your home on a case-by-case basis.

Territory

Vampires, Werewolves, and others may wish to claim an area of land as under their influence or protection, officially or unofficially. If you wish to have territory that is under the influence, control, or protection of your character, pack, coterie, cabal, or other group, it is suggested that you build a sub-neighborhood off of one of the main grid rooms. No group of characters is powerful enough to control an entire grid room on NOLA; sometimes these rooms can span entire cities - or multiple cities - or hold hotly contested or important areas that are divided very thinly.

If two groups wish, OOCly, to have overlapping territories that is possible and encouraged whether it is in cooperation or competition. If a character or group specifically wishes to take territory from another, that requires staff mediation.

Additional Policy Pages

Quick links to polices for: