Rules:

Apr. 14th, 2012 10:35 pm
one_dc_nation: (The Monitors)
[personal profile] one_dc_nation posting in [community profile] dc_nation_ooc
Welcome to DC Nation, part of the Legacy Tales umbrella of games! We are a troupe who have run a collection of games since 2004. The rules we have here are based on experience. For more details on our rules, culture and philosophy, please see our FAQ.

1) This is a roleplaying community, not a RPG.

The goal of the Legacy Tales collection of communities is to create stories in shared universes for the enjoyment of both our players and for anyone who chooses to read them. In this way, we steal parts of theater and professional writing teams as well as traditional RP in order to go about our business. This is a group effort and it needs to be run like a group effort to keep the culture of what we do going and the quality high.

The goal should never be to make your character look as good and as unstoppable as possible. It needs to make the story as good as possible and to make all people involved – fictional and non-fictional – a part of the story. This involves a great deal of trust, patience and self-regulation in order to “just play a game.” We're not arguing that. It does have some advantages. Turnover is low, plots get finished, and it allows us the luxury of taking a long view when it comes to IC and OOC planning.

2) Canon is a guide, not a straitjacket...but canon is still canon.

There are big canon issues and little canon issues. Big canon issues can't change because they would change something fundamental about a major character or the whole universe. Smaller issues that are subject to change would include things like who a character is dating or where they are living at a particular time. That said, a community's internal canon is harder to alter. Not impossible, just trickier and may require negotiating with other players. The changes a player may want could seem small and personal, they may have bigger implications than you think.

We avoid Crisis/Reboot stories because they create internal logic errors.

Please see the addendum comment on this post for more details about the world setting/canon cut-off for this particular universe.

3) Plot Running

There's no need to run every plot bunny or scene past the admins before you launch it. It's nice to let them know about the bigger ones you are considering though. This is because we want to avoid things like similar plots running at the same time or a villain being in two places at once.

When you have a plot mostly ready (the FAQ has more details on how to organize a story), we ask you post an outline of it to the OOC community and/or send out a group e-mail to get community input and so we have a written record of the plan. It's more critical to have these than you might think.

If everyone is OK with it, it's the plot-runner's responsibility from then on to make sure you stay in touch with those players to make sure they sign off on the story as it's going. Also, the plot-runner should see that no major harm to life, mind or property is done to a character without prior OOC permission - i.e. don't go burning down a character's house before the other player has okayed it. This “no harm” clause goes for player-player interactions, too.

4) Real Life Takes Precedence, but let us know.

If you know you're not going to be available for a couple of days, or longer, please make sure to post to that effect in OOC or at least tell the admin so everyone can make other plans as necessary. We're troupe, we look after one another and help is often available.

We have utility journals in place that have an icon for most of the major DC heroes. In the event that you might need to be gone for a while in the middle of a major plot, the Admins reserve the right to ask another player to "temp" your character specifically to either finish the plot or to keep it moving in your extended absence. This is not meant to be a “takeover” of your character. It is an emergency move only. Players will be given every opportunity to name their own "backup” before admin involvement.

5) Where to Post and Please Tag Them!

Tagging your posts make it SO much easier to follow what's going on with your character for everyone else, especially new players, to follow what's going on throughout the game.

The first time your character posts IC in DC Nation, tag the post with that character's name (i.e. the first time Lois Lane posts, tag the entry with "lois lane"). From then on, select that tag from the list whenever your character is a part of a post. It takes just a second or two, and it makes it so much easier to follow what's happened to your character later down the line. (Make sure you select the tag from the list instead of typing it in fresh each time -- the reason for this is because if you make a simple typo, it creates a new tag, not linked to the others.)

If you have an in-game post in mind that you want to make sure is seen by other players, post it in the main community. If it's one of the “over the ratings” line posts and you want it to be community canon, make a post with a summary of it and a link to the post on your private journal along with a NSFW notice. Without a clearly labeled link within a post on the main com, a private journal post will not be considered story canon as of March 2008. Cross-posting - posting something in the community as well as in your character journal - is perfectly acceptable.

If you need to make an OOC comment to other players, use the OOC community to do so, or try to get a hold of that player through either e-mail or IM. Memes, surveys and other writing exercises also belong on the OOC and should not be thought of as canonical replies.

Please do NOT make OOC comments in the IC community -- it can interrupt the flow of the story. The OOC community is there for just this purpose.

6) Keep it (relatively) clean.

We understand that adult themes and language are going to get used. However, Legacy Tales has a PG-13 default setting for most communities. If the rating is different for a particular game, that will be noted in the addendum. Please refrain from using icons that would be considered Not Safe For Work (NSFW) on the main com.

If a scene is probably going to feature something over the rating line or make a reader uncomfortable, move it to a private journal and put a link to it in the comments of the post mentioning it's NSFW. Once the over the line stuff is over, feel free to create a new thread in the post and link to that thread in a comment in the private journal post. (This is also one of the reasons why the community does not tend to use private journals for community related posts, even for one-character scenes.) If you're not sure if something would be considered over the line, ask the Admins.

7) Applications

As members of the community, you will be expected from time to time to participate in the application approval process. Please make these participation timely.

Here is the basic overview of the application process:

A) When an application is submitted, an admin will assemble a group of 5-7 players. Often, these are people who have character which will be directly affected by this new character's presence. People with a close relationship to the applicant are discouraged in order to promote fairness. They review an application. The admin oversees the panel and encourages discussion, but does not vote unless a tie-breaker is needed.

B) The panel then discusses the app and gives their thoughts before voting. The panel should strive for a consensus, although if a consensus can't be reached a majority vote is all that is needed. Punctuation, grammar and spelling count, but they don't have to be perfect. Do not be discouraged from applying due to lack of knowledge.

C) The final decision can be a YES, a NO (along with concrete reasons why, which are reported by the admin), or a NEED MORE. A "Need More" is VERY COMMON result and means that the panel would like to see more RP from the applicant. This will usually mean a "test scene" with a current Nation player to see how the character (and the player) can interact with another Rper. Afterward, there's another vote.

Panels and panel members are confidential except for the admin oversight who makes the final report. Period. This is so the discussion of the character's merits can be open, honest and drama-free. Arguing with the admin regarding a “no” outcome is futile.

Some communities have a “garage sale” policy where, if you have an existing canon character, you can pick up another one without putting in an application. Original or very obscure characters are likely exceptions. You can drop a character without fuss if it is not in use. Just let the com know.

Finally, YES you can apply for a character who is being played! The current player will be asked if s/he would be willing to let a new person have the character. If the answer is yes, then the application proceeds as above.

8) Original Characters/Characters from Other Mediums/Obscure Characters

An original character is, quite simply, a character created by a player that currently does not exist in any other fandom. Some of our communities are made up of nothing but original characters. Other communities, like our comics ones, feature a variety of original characters that truly help make these universe feel like our own.

OC's are not an “easier” way to break into a universe. They are actually much harder and take more effort because you have to build up everyone the character will know and trust.

Original characters come with some other drawbacks, too. Should something happen to their player, they cannot be replaced, and writing them out of canon in a respectful way is a pain. We therefore have the following rules.

A) If this game is based on an existing storyline (the comic-based games, for example) only a current members with a canon character in play may submit applications for an original character.

B) If you are creating a hero or a villain, with metahuman-level abilities, please have a clear idea of what power level you wish to have and why you wish that character to have it. If you're creating a character that will primarily be operating on the street-level, it's not cool for that character to have God-like powers.

C) OC's shouldn't expect to be thrown right into the mix with existing characters in a canonical storyline off the bat. In games made up of nothing but OCs any prior knowledge of other player’s character needs to be cleared with both the player and an admin. With the application, there will need to be a plan how you are going to have this character meet and work to gain the trust of others. An “I'm from another universe and know their counter-parts there,” explanation isn't enough.

D) Please be prepared for us to say no to original characters. Don't take it personally. There are many, many factors that have to be weighed with original characters. A more detailed explanation can be found in the FAQ. We will strive to give hard, concrete reasons for any character rejection in the game, let alone OC rejections, to give you something to look at for reapplication in the future.

E) The OC policy also exists for any attempt to bring in characters from other versions of a universe into an existing game. If you want to play a character from past a universe's canon cut-of, or from a movie or animated version of said universe we ask that you e-mail the admin. We're happy to work with you, but be aware work will be required, and the applicant should count on a test scene being asked for.

F) There are many cross-fandom games out there, and they are awesome. Legacy Tales does not offer many of these though at this time. Odds are if you try to bring a character from another canon – like bringing Spiderman to a Harry Potter-themed game – the odds of this character's approval become dismal.

G) We accept obscure character applications as canon applications, but because these character have limited contacts they may be subject to more examination.

9) Ownership-ish

Unless otherwise specified, Legacy Tales, as a community, is the maintainer and custodian of all work posted. (Note we did not say copyright holder. That is going to vary.) Not one player has claim on the work; ALL players do. If you want to reformat a Legacy Tales story and post it to, say, fanfiction.net, feel free! Just make sure Legacy Tales is noted in the credits.

It's not a good idea to “try out” an OC in settings like DC Nation or the Star Trek games if you want to see this character professionally published someday. Other people own the copyrights on those universes and its out of our hands if you cross the streams, so to speak. For the same reason, don't pitch Legacy Tales plots to publisher without permission from the group. It sets us all up for a headache. If you are one of these people who wants to write fan fiction until you “make it big” because fan fiction is lesser, “practice” work, please leave and don't let the door hit your butt on the way out. We have some pros out here and they don't treat their art like that.

The exception to this rule is that some private communities under the Legacy Tales banner are operated for the purpose of building up an original universe for publication by the creator. In those cases, the copyrights will be dealt with by the creator/maintainer of that private community, including non-disclosure agreements, and they do not have to credit Legacy Tales in any way. (We'd like a note in the dedication.) When it comes to original worlds, assume what happens there stays there unless otherwise granted permission by the creator/maintainer.

10) On Disputes and Leaving

We hate to see people leave, but we understand it does happen for a number of reasons. Here is what we ask.

A) Try a break first. If it's an extended break, no biggie. You may still be asked questions about com-related stuff on your break here and there, but this is so when you return you have been nominally informed of changes happening in your absence. Yes, if we ask you something during a break, we do need feedback.

B) If you leave, have some dignity. Don't insult people or the community in OOC on your way out or after you leave.

C) Finish or arrange to have your stuff finished before you quit.

D) Please don't lobby others into quitting, and know the line between venting and lobbying. If you find yourself having to ask, it's likely the line was crossed.

If you do not follow either B or C, or you quit/threaten to quit for attention or use it as a strong-arm tactic, then you will be subject to a 6 month probation should you re-apply.

If you have a disagreement, try to present your case in the most straight-forward and respectful way possible. Take one point of disagreement at a time and work through it before moving onto the next point. If you need space, ask for it and then get back to the problem. Get an admin if you don't feel comfortable. Trying to avoid this working-it-out process by avoiding the other player, being argumentative or giving evasive answers can make you subject to disciplinary action. More communication tips, mediation practices and disciplinary actions can be found in the FAQ.

Most disagreements are not about the story or scene. It's about affording fellow players respect and trust to do their creative work in a shared, and often confined, space where very real emotions are tools of the trade. A character's action or a story beat merely give the disagreement its context.

If you find you cannot be friends with another player, then at least be a professional. Professionals (generally) are polite, level-headed, prepared, and helpful. They have their facts in order and treat their co-workers and clients with respect and dignity even when their buttons are pressed. They bring their their best skills to the project no matter what that project is, or at least know how to fake it enough that the boss and clients are not offended. That baseline behavior is what we expect from all troupe members.

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