Rules

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These are the roleplay rules for the game after sign-up. You are required to agree to the Terms of Service before accessing the game, which includes the rules below in addition to the fact you must be 18+ in order to play, as well as other important terms.

Terms

Roleplay (RP) is the narrative of a character's action. It can also encompass descriptions of the environment and surroundings, but the extent of this is determined by the Roleplay Hierarchy.
Emote is the literal written act of roleplaying a scene with symbols to indicate action versus dialog, such as *.
In Character (IC) is when you are in the game and are speaking and acting as your character rather than as your real life self. Inside the game, you should only ever speak and act “in character”, from their perspective, and in third person.
Out-of-Character (OOC) is simply real life you whenever you are out of the game. Example: in the forums or discord, you speak and act as your real self, not as your character.
Out-of-Character Communication is all of your chatting, posting, e-mailing, or other forms of communication with game staff, fellow members of the game community, etc., in the forums, discord, or other platforms for discussing Marosia. OOC communication is encouraged.
Out-of-Character Plotting is when multiple players plan in-game actions together which they will enact using their characters. Without staff approval, this is a rule violation, and is against the spirit of the entire community. This is further described in the Golden Rule.
Fade-to-black (FTB) is a scene which ends with the phrase 'fade to black', to indicate an entire scene has taken place without writing it out in its entirety. It should be used as an IC way of ending a scene in which a character would not be able to avoid, but that the actual player does not necessarily want to take part in, for any reason.
Adult/Explicit roleplay is roleplay that contains written content which is either sexual in nature, or torture.
Power Gaming is the act of forcibly deciding the outcome of roleplay without allowing for the other character to react, or without having stat or skill rolls to back up the action. An example of this would be [*He grips her wrists and hold her back.*] The correct way to write this event would be [*He attempts to grip her wrists, presumably to hold her back.*]. The big difference here is that the second event allows the other player the ability to react and decide how the action would turn out. For example, they may come back with an event where the attempt was avoided. The first event assumes success, and forces the roleplay in a particular direction without any skills/stat rolls to decide.

Roleplay Hierarchy

A game of this nature is only half mechanics. The other half is rooted in the way the players emote scenes through their characters. Sometimes the rules for what you can emote can be a little vague, so this hierarchy was made to determine what is - and is not - considered acceptable to RP.

Gods
↳Mechanics
↳Physics
↳Interpretations

Gods
Gods are real beings in the game, played by staff, with mysterious powers. They may be able to do wondrous things that even a magically gifted character could never accomplish. This is to allow staff to interact with the world in an IC way, and also for characters to have a direct, real connection with something bigger than themselves to incite further story development. Even gods have to follow the Hierarchy, with some Mechanics determining their limits, but beyond that they are able to do the impossible (as long as it is within their domain of power, a separate topic). As such, they fall outside of the spectrum. It is acceptable for a god to be able to do things like teleport, turn invisible, or bring something into existence out of thin air, for example.

Mechanics and Rules
Mechanics are the rules of the game which have been coded into the actions of your character (EX: picking up an item), and it is the number one determining aspect of RP. If the subject of your RP is in the game, you have to follow the rules by which it was implemented. If the subject of your RP is not in the game somehow, defer to one of the lower tiers. For example, you could not write something along the lines of a pen magically flying through the air to write on a note. This is against the rules, because magic really does exist as a mechanic in the game, so unless your character truly has telekinesis as determined by the game stats, then you cannot dictate this kind of environmental behavior in your RP. If you do have that type of magic, then this roleplay is within the rules. Another example would be stating in the character description how you are built like a bodybuilder, when your character has weak strength. Roleplay must follow the lines carved by the game mechanics. Where mechanics cannot cover, the rules listed here take precedence.

Physics and Nature
In the world of Marosia, as a player you can assume normal physics, biology, physiology, ecology, and other scientific principles exist. However, they do exist alongside the existence of magic (a sub-set of mechanics), and how they co-exist in the same world is an intentional mystery. If you drop an apple, for example, it's reasonable to write that it falls to the ground as a result. It is also reasonable to assume that, unless otherwise stated, animals hunt each other, the wind blows, and bodies function as they do in the real world. Although for the sake of brevity, we assume many trivial things happen behind the scenes, and there is no need to emote about everything. For example, there is no need to roleplay to excretion of bodily fluids since it is assumed to happen off-scene, but it is optional.

Interpretations
When there is nothing coded to enforce a rule, or nothing written to state a rule, then the subject of RP is up to the interpretation of the player and how they would like to write that scene for their character. Example: An area shows deer. All must accept that deer are there, due to mechanics. A deer is hunted to death and now its yield is on the ground. The game does not give physics for how a deer goes from the area to the ground, so we explain through real physics like "fell/dropped/gravity/tumbled down, etc." Nobody takes the yield from the ground for days, so a char might pinch their nose and say it's getting stinky. There is no coded/rule-worded concept of decay, so it falls to chars to RP as they will whether the deer carcass is stinky or fresh as the moment it fell, based on IC preference for the scene. Two characters may not necessarily agree on the perspective (I.E one thinks it smells, the other thinks its fresh), but that is allowed. You can also use other interpretations, such as if it is a windy day as determined by the game weather, you may emote aspects of windiness, such as gusts of leaves flying through the air.

Character Knowledge

It is assumed when a character comes into the game world, they have certain knowledge.
No characters may spawn with a backstory.
All: Basic language, ability to use all human senses with some leeway on extra sensitive senses for anthropomorphic characters, basic mobility, and practice skills with others.
Adults: Using skills on their own, gathering resources, using tools and machines, riding mount, basic survival such as cooking, defending themselves, and what coins are.
Children: Nothing additional. Children should be RPed as learning as much as they can from the adults around them, if it is in-character to pursue learning at all.

It is also within the right of a character to not know how to do any of the above listed items.

Golden Rule

OOC Plotting is not allowed without approval. This is the most important rule, because OOC cooperation without supervision can be a form of cheating. However, OOC cooperation can lead to some wonderful events if supervised for balance.

Example 1 Rule Break
If Player A and Player B decide outside the game to attack Player C together, then there is no opportunity, by sheer fact of the RP not being in the game, for Player C to have ever found out about the ploy, which is unfair. Removing plans and potential dialog from the game ruins roleplay opportunities, creates advantages over other characters which are not enacted through the game world, and generally it is poor sportsmanship. However, proposing the plans for staff to review and approve allows for more complex planned scenarios to take place in a supervised way so that there are no overpowered exploits or advantages. Characters will need to wait to act until approval is given, which means they will stay in their current scene.

Guilt is assumed until proven innocent for Golden Rule breaks. Guilt cannot be proven where it concerns OOCly motivated actions resulting from unapproved coordination, but innocence can. If a player has a claim made against them for breaking the golden rule, the investigation against them will assume guilt until all possible evidence can be gathered to analyze and make a ruling of innocence. If innocent, logs will show deliberations between characters, making mistakes and re-evaluating, and perhaps even doubting their own theories. If guilty, logs will show little if any of this as OOCly motivated coordinations tend to be time sensitive and, in some cases, emotional. Breaking the golden rule will get your account temporarily suspended. If you are found guilty of breaking the Golden Rule twice within the span of a year (365 days) between rulings, your account will be permanently banned. Please reference Example 2 for an idea of how this might look in the game. Avoid temptations by respecting the 2 day rule and not discussing ongoing events with other players.

Example 2 Rule Break
Player A is playing a serial killer. They capture Player B's character. Player B talking with Player C and gives them information about what happened and where they think their character is being held prisoner. Player C happens to play the head of the guards or talks to other players who are able to get a group together in the game. Player C uses the information given to them by Player B in order to beeline straight to where Player A, the serial killer, is holding Player B's character prisoner. Player A's character is killed and Player B's character is saved. The logs do not show much deliberation between characters because the players are focused on trying to save the prisoner, and there are no mistakes made in trying to scout for them because it is only a matter of time before the serial killer may decide to kill Player B's character. In this case, Player C is guilty of breaking the golden rule by using that information in an OOC manner.

Approval
If you have an idea for something in the game that requires cooperation from other players, report it to staff first. You will either be approved right away, or you will be asked to join the forums where a discussion/planning phase around the event can begin. Any in-game activity that is suspected to have been coordinated outside of the game without approval will be investigated. An example of the evidence used against you would be a lack of dialog and roleplay between characters who are working together. Staff reserve the right to remove your ability to play the game if this rule is even suspected of being broken in order to avoid in-game damage to other characters as a result of invalid gameplay. You will have the chance to appeal a suspension, if this happens, by discussing the case in the forums. If the investigation determines guilt, then the suspension could become a permanent ban. Everyone who is part of the event needs to report it.

Example of Small Event: Player A and Player B speak over chat and decide it would be fun if their characters got together to raid a town. Staff approve, and may or may not supervise the event.
Example of Large Event: Four friends who play the game want to play a specific set of scenes that one of them has written, like a structured adventure. Staff help set up and supervise the event, allowing the story to unfold in a balanced manner while providing player support.

General Rules

Breaking these can lead to account suspension and an investigation.

  • Discussion of ongoing events OOCly with other players is not allowed. This is because doing so can influence ongoing actions in the game. Even events which have been concluded such as character deaths may not be discussed out-of-character through OOC communications for a minimum of two days. An event is no longer considered ongoing (or potentially ongoing) after two days have passed from its conclusion. An ongoing event is any active series of actions or decisions which have not yet been resolved, that could potentially affect multiple characters (but not necessarily). Even if it's just your own character, discussing how they're finding this and that, and what they're doing, could OOCly influence someone to act differently in the game based on that knowledge.
  • Claims of rule breaks, disputes among players, or bugs must be reported. Players should not take it upon themselves to contact another player in order to resolve a dispute related to the game.
  • Game bugs must not be exploited. RP during a game breaking bug is not allowed and is considered invalid. It is not to be referenced after said bug is fixed. Interactions, including information shared or gained, during a game breaking bug where that information should not be possible to obtain, are considered invalid, and it is against the rules to use or reference them within the game. RPing and sharing information during a major bug break (a bug which affects most of the player base) will be considered bug exploitation to gain an advantage in OOC knowledge which should have never been obtained to begin with.
  • Roleplay must not contain elements of power gaming. Actions directly against or with other characters, which do not have a corresponding mechanic, should be written in a way that is an attempt so that the other player is allowed to react without the result being forced upon them. Forced RP should only be done when associated stats are greater than the affected character, or when a skill roll has been applied to determine results.
  • Characters played by the same player cannot collude or participate in the same organization or efforts in any way.
    • Two characters played by the same player in the same conflict. The reason for this is to prevent one set of characters gaining an unfair advantage during a fight with another character owned by a different player. Pooling combat power with your own characters provides an unfair advantage that the other player may not have, so it is disallowed altogether. If you find yourself in a situation where your character is 'stuck' in a place where fighting will occur, making a decision to move them out of the potential conflict zone based on this OOC knowledge is forgivable. It is much worse to stay in-character, but create unbalanced gameplay which can end up in the loss of characters.
    • You are required to report to staff every time you have a character on the same map tile as another of your own characters. Map tiles are the areas you have to travel to, which can have their own buildings, resources, and animals. There is a report button at the top of the nav bar which you can use to inform staff about your activities. If one of your characters must cross paths with another character, just let staff know ahead of time. This is to manage the possibility of exploiting your own characters to gain advantages, such as giving another character all their money so they can pool it together for OOC reasons.
  • Do not break the Roleplay Hierarchy. For example, you cannot emote about flying cars if cars do not exist in the game. Even if you were roleplaying an insane person, it is best to avoid references to things which could never exist in the game or things like celebrities. Doing so will only make you seem like someone who is intent on ruining the game for others. In a world where roleplay is the primary method of delivering content, the setting and world must be maintained in order to keep the immersion for all players intact. For more examples, please see the Roleplay Hierarchy section, or post a question on the forums.
  • Adult roleplay must only be conducted with characters over 16 years old. Characters over 16 will have generic descriptions of 'young' instead of teen. If the adult roleplay becomes non-consenting in any way, at any point in the roleplay, the best way to end the scene in an IC manner is to do a fade-to-black.
  • Fade-to-black scenes must be posted in the game itself (not just decided out-of-character).
  • Fade-to-black scenes must be acknowledged. If you fail to acknowledge a fade-to-black scene, you are actively rejecting the other player's desire to end the scene in a courteous manner, and attempting to force them to experience it. If you just ignore it, you are ruining their experience for the sake of your own. Interactions after a FTB scene should pick up where the last scene would have left off. In the worst case scenario, report the player and wait for an RP resolution from staff.
  • All explicit/FTB scenes must begin in a private setting (private means only explicit scene participants are present). If anyone becomes an unexpected witness to the explicit act, the scene must be forcibly FTB'd as either being caught, or just stating what is happening without being graphic. This is so that witnesses can react without having to read explicit content.
  • Wiki knowledge is to be used by the player, not the character. Information in the wiki is used to help players when game features are not intuitive from a mechanics standpoint, but characters themselves should still seek out knowledge in-character through interactions, asking other characters, and roleplay experimentation.
  • Roleplay is expected. By playing this roleplaying game, it is expected for players to roleplay their characters. That means using emotes on a regular basis in their posts, not just dialog. The exception is when a character lives alone. Some sparse emoteless posts are alright, but characters for the most part should have some aspect of their interactions described regularly.
  • Character descriptions should not include non-physical aspects of the character. They should only include information about their physical representation which could be gleaned from looking at the person. They should not include insinuations of personality.
  • Item descriptions and notes should not include OOC information. Keep all information in-game and from the perspective of characters.
  • OOC coercion toward any particular way of roleplaying a scene, or where an FTB may occur, is not allowed. You may not try to convince someone to roleplay out a scene which someone has stated they want to FTB, for example. You also may not attempt to persuade or manipulate another player toward a result in a scene through OOC communications.

Guidelines

These are not rules, but if you follow these guidelines you will probably never find yourself in a position where you may break a rule unknowingly.

  • Try not to have multiple characters in the same place, because sudden conflict out of your control could still make your position look as if it was intentional.
  • As a convention, please try to use third person pronouns (he, she, it, etc) to emote and describe the actions of your character.
  • Generally, * is used to indicate the start and end of an emote. Example: *She smiles gently toward them.*
  • Do not describe the thoughts of your character in an emote. This breaks immersion for other players, because they now know something their character does not. Take a "show don't tell approach".
  • You are not your character. The actions, emotions, motivations, and personality of your character should not be directly your own.
  • Leaving an area or tile without giving a chance for another character to react (particularly during arguments) is bad form.
  • OOC posts in the game are discouraged, except when absolutely necessary; if there are any player disputes or rule breaks, they need to be reported. There should not be conversational OOC messages, or OOC messages making excuses for mistakes, being gone, etc - in-game reactions are not to be influenced.
  • Character descriptions in the game should be unique; they should not be direct rip offs from other characters.