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Site Wide Rules & Information


User Roles In The Chat How to ST The Rules of Play Resolving Conflict Expectations of Play



The Rules of Play

At Story Sanctum the model we strive for is a very Table top, everything handled top side and in view of the players and ST's both. This is the feel we want, even in a chat environment. Take into account, however, that for you to know what we expect of people, and the terms of respect to each other we want to see, you need to know what we would like to see. So these are rules not meant to suffocate anyone, but meant to be adhered to so that we can support a comfortable, easy going and over the table top feel-good game. Please read them, stand by them and remember to play here is a choice, this is not a service! Below are things we do not want to see, so please do not do them!

  • Metagaming - To use ooc information or information your character should not be privileged to in character effecting other players and plot. Example: Using knowledge ooc that your fellow teamate is being ganged up on in chat, and thus logging in and accessing the room to save the day even though there is no sensible reason for your attendance. OR pretending to have access to resources or contacts you do not in order to benefit in a plot, then request them after the scene. OR ignoring an opponents abilities because you want to avoid personal loss. OR creating a pc after your last one died at the hands of a fellow pc in order to seek revenge.
  • Off Scene RP - Playing in multiple scenes at one time or playing in scenes off the chat or in Private Message is not allowed. This is another form of metagaming. It allows people to not be accountable for their actions and it allows them to accomplish double, triple, etc the actions and conversations as anyone could logically be capable of. This is a form of metagaming and cheating, please don't do it. All role play that contributes to a venue must happen in one scene at a time and on the site in a room as to not be a method of skirting accountability or accomplishing far more than your PC could by carrying out simultaneous scenes at once. Back-dated scenes account to this as well. If you absolutely need a back-dated scene(these should be very rare), it must be on site and your only scene for that venue at that time. Cell texts and conversations are allowed to happen in a PM window, but you must account for that action on screen as well so other players are aware of your actions.
  • Talking Down a ST or Player - Using vulgar language, demoralizing, antagonizing or degrading any player or any ST will not be tolerated. We are all adults here, so we expect people to be respectful. You will find yourself warned of the behavior. If the warning is not adhered to you will be silenced, temp banned and/or if the trend continues find yourself banned from the site in complete. Frustration is not an excuse for rudeness as well! Please remember if you are upset, log off a while, cool and then address the problem with a civil nature as possible!
  • Lying OOC - Manipulating a ST or Player for your personal gain or to avoid punishment will result in one or no warnings before banishment from the site. This is never an acceptable offense. Players who act on false information or ignorance may receive more leniency, but please be aware ignorance is not an excuse for cheating or lying. It is your responsibility to keep informed and in the known about policy, rules, and setting information in the game you choose to play.
  • Lying IC - Players are not expected to roll to lie IC when their character lies unless asked by an ST to do so, or in a thread action. Players who suspect another of lying, however, can roll to spot the lie and at that time, the character in question must back up their lie with a roll.
  • Mommy-Daddying - This is the term for when a player goes to one ST, that ST denies the player his/her want, and then goes to the other ST to try the request again. This action pits two STs against each other and the manipulation of the STs in this fashion is not tolerated. If you feel a ruling made is unfair, or have discovered a way to re-pitch it, do so in front of the ST responsible for the call and ask in a second opinion. Or FPM it to all STs, asking for a secondary opinion. But it is your responsibility to note you were denied the first time, please.
  • White Knighting & Rallying White Knights - The term used when a person comes to the rescue of the would be victim! Please do not fight peoples battles for them. Encourage them to stand up for themselves, be adults, handle the issue themselves. If it's uncomfortable enough to not tell the people directly responsible for the offense, it's curious if the offense is truly happening the way said victim is claiming it happened. We all have friends we like to defend, but the thing about friends is, we're biased. We only see their side. Attitude befitting too shy, naive, apprehensive, afraid, etc will not be an excuse for those who spread gossip about wrongs done them, but not face up to them and handle them in a timely and fair/adult manner themselves. That is to say White Knighting for someone, and playing a victim to rally White Knights is not accepted here. Even if the offense is legitimate, this attitude breeds gossip and drama, both things unwanted in this chat.
  • Manipulating - Using a fellow player or STs lack of knowledge or sense of guilt to ooc pressure a player into a situation unwanted or unfair is not acceptable.
  • Committing to Excessive Drama - If you are a player who does not resolve conflict as per our rules of resolving listed below for any reason, including being -too shy- or -afraid of conflict-, but still speak to other players and gossip about your source of contention to others, you will be penalized as adding excessive drama to the chat ooc. Further on this topic and an expectation of play can be found in Expectations of Play listed below.
  • Threats - Not just for the bullying and unacceptable threats that come from promises to troll, flame board, or actually produce someone bodily or mental harm, but also the more subtle side of threatening to -quit- a character or the chat if things aren't going your way. This decision is ultimately yours, remember.
  • Taking IC Grievances OOC and Vice Versa - When something unfair happens to your character in game, it sucks. It also happens. Taking ic offenses ooc and then using those hurt feelings to vent to fellow players, stirring drama and bitterness is not going to help solve anything. It's a game that you choose to play, if you cannot handle keeping it a game, step back a while. The same goes for taking OOC ill feelings towards a player IC and making disconnected actions against them that are not backed up by role play or the game in setting. We can't all get along. In the case of having to interact with someone you dislike, keep it as minimal as possible. Taking these steps insures for the most part, minimal confrontation.
  • Thought Post - Aggravated 'thought posting' or 'emote posting' is an issue that comes up on EVERY chat. It's a way some players use to get around consequence of actions, by saying "I only thought that about you, didn't actually say it". Well...it's not allowed and super annoying, so please don't do it. If you thought it in a post or emote it's clearly written upon your face as if you said it. Expect people to be allowed to respond to it all the same. This is an OOC commentary on IC actions and is not acceptable.
  • Multiple Accounts - Creating more then one account, posing as someone else, creating a new account to get around a ban, etc. If you are caught doing it, you will be banned, permanently.
  • Unacceptable Role Play - Role play that is disturbing such as: Rape(even consented by all parties), child abuse, child molestation, etc. You get the picture. Don't do it. It is a ban-able offense! This is an 18+ chat, but please understand this is a chat for everyone. Dark things will happen in game, but there are some things that simply can't be role played here. We also request that there is no sex role play on our chat. Romance and sex are an integral part of any relational story, but please 'Fade to Black' on the chat.
  • Room Checking - Because it can be abused, thanks to the ability to see room histories, and because it's a bit nosy and disruptive, please do not log into a room to check who or what is going on in it. If it's an open and untitled room, that's different, you need to know what's happening to know if you can join. Private rooms this should never happen in! Public named rooms, you know what's happening there, try not to be snoopy!



Resolving Conflict

The bottom line in complaints and concerns is, we're all adults. This is an adult oriented chat and everyone, including STs are expected to manage themselves accordingly. If you have a concern with a ST or Player please follow the below recommendations and we will do our best to resolve the issue. This is a two way street however, and anger is -not- an excuse for rudeness. Further more, If a player is found out not to be following these steps, but committing to the gossip against another, they will be penalized in full.

Player and Player Issues:

  • 1st - Talk to that Player, not all your friends about that Player. Half the reason for dispute in an application like text chat is miscommunication. If you talk it out with the player you are concerned with, you might just find yourselves sorting it out on your own and growing community unity because of it. Not everything needs to be brought to a ST first off. Have respect for each other and realize as adults and we should be able to mediate ourselves in many cases. Hiding behind a ST to sort your problems out will not happen. For example: Complaining to an ST about a player, while that player is completely unaware they are a problem to you. If you have a complaint worth bringing to a ST attention, that player it's with must be made aware of it. If you are too uncomfortable dealing with that player about the content on your own, a ST can mediate. There is a difference between ST assistance in a conflict and asking a ST to fight your battle for you.
  • 2nd - Keep a ST in the loop of repeat issues or behaviors. Document your conversations on the chat so logs can be accessed and checked. Third Party Programs used in conflict/harassment are not the responsibility of the chat, but may also be documented for the use of staff to handle an issue as we see necessary. For Example: Harassment and complaints issued over Skype, gtalk or other IM programs are not preferred platforms to utilize as proof for complaints against someone harassing you. These are your -out of game- platforms to talk on. Who you decide to interact with on skype is your own choice and you have access to a block feature which you can use. If a third party program, however, is being used to trash talk others(including staff) behind our backs, or cheat, metagame or any other rule breaking of the chat, we would like to see them.
  • 3rd - If handling the concern person to person is not an option or has been tried and proven unsuccessful, bring a ST from the in to mediate and handle things further. Make sure you are ready and willing to follow that STs direction on handling it and be involved in a mediated forum for communication between all parties. Bring chat logs and reveal in detail the conflicts in question.
  • 4th - Be prepared to accept any ruling the ST makes once asked to step in. We will do our best to hear all sides of the story and make a non-judgmental ruling. Whatever it may be, if you are concerned with a ruling say so right then so it can be worked out, do not wait for it to become an issue and bring it up later. Once a ruling is made we expect players to accept that ruling and not grumble about it further on the chat or off of it. Every venue is filled with different rules, people and play/ST styles. It is your choice to play in a game and thus you must abide by its rules. Further complaints and drama that comes after a ruling will result in punishment and eventually banning from the site. We do not want the experience of the chat as a whole be subject to the degradation of drama for long. This way we all get back to fun, and play sooner.

Player and ST Issues:

  • Much the same as above, but in the case of no understanding being reached between a player and ST, call in the Admin(Becca) or another ST.


Above ALL, remember we're all human and we all make mistakes. The power of apology is great and every side needs to enter a dispute with an open mind and adult behavior.



Expectations of Play

This was a write up that came out of trying to help the player base understand what we as a game look for in our players, theme, environment, etc. This is to help players and STs meld more cohesively towards the same ideals in a chat RPG.

Running or Speaking for NPCs:

As part of collaborative storytelling, it's important that everyone is on the same page with who the significant NPCs are, how they behave, and what they're up to. If in doubt, check with a ST. While everyone ends up narrating parts of the story, problems can come up depending on how players narrate for NPCs.

There's three parts to this: creating or changing named NPCs (including a PC's supporting cast), speaking for ST NPCs, and making a Greek Chorus (puppeteering NPCs and speaking for them).

If you have existing NPC's attached to your PC, in general you're completely ok to narrate for them.

It's ok to narrate for nameless NPCs (waiters, faceless support staff), but try not to spend a lot of time speaking for them or creating conflict (unless you want to run a PrP, which you should get approved in advance).

Players really shouldn't speak for or narrate what ST NPCs do (that is, pretty much any named NPC that isn't part of your supporting cast). If a ST NPC has said something in your thread, feel free to share that, or if you regularly interact with them, mundane attributions are fine, but take care not to put words in their mouths.

If you want to change or add to your supporting cast (like getting a faithful lab assistant or kicking off a family crisis), be sure to ask first.

A character's supporting cast of named NPCs shouldn't have any significant changes or major interactions without clearing them with a ST, but it's ok to make up mundane things that fall within daily life. If you want to bring a bunch of people home to meet the folks and narrate all the discussion from the folks, it's probably fine, but check with a ST first (they may have plans). On the other hand, talking about calls from mom is fine, and narrating greetings from your faithful lab assistant (assuming you have one), is ok, but go easy on having them talk much (making a Greek Chorus) -- the chat is mainly about PCs speaking for themselves.

However, everything is negotiable. If you have some ideas, feel free to talk with a ST.


The Importance Of Theme & Roles Within:

A lot of people come from different Role Play backgrounds, have differing personalities, differing preferences on heroics and and themes. As this is chat that facilitates different games our themes and roles in the game can differ from World of Darkness to a Pathfinder game, for example. It can be interesting to adapt, but pc's should be created with this in mind. We as STs will take liberties to blur the lines of good and evil, even to the point that hard decisions of 'right and wrong' might become very different from pc to pc, but you will find the majority of RPG games are telling a heroic story. Please make sure you check in with your ST's Wiki about the themes other wise.

It is perfectly acceptable as a PC to struggle with the themes of the game, but a struggle should result in some sort of resolution that in the end tells your characters story and continues it. In the case that cannot happen, it is also perfectly acceptable to retire your PC as an NPC and leave them in the STs care as an antagonist or element of our choosing. Sorry, but we cannot follow your PC's road to deviation in our setting and theme. We simply do not have the resources or desire. Characters make mistakes, anguish over choices, fall in and out of favor with each other, have haunting pasts that remind them of times they were worse or better, and also have moments were trust and faith are tested. The struggle, however, insinuates character growth and coming to terms (one way or another) with your choices and progressing because of them. Not running off from the game itself to become your own thing. Please be mindful!


The Importance Of Communication & Etiquette on a Chat:

You will find the topic addressed here in every chat. And there are different ways chats handle the issue. Here is ours: A group of people show up at a game that's been running and a friend recommended they come check out at a house they have previously not been to, to partake in a TT group game. You have your ST and 5 players and they play. They share soft drinks, chips and order take out around midnight because it's going to be a long session! They either learn to adjust to the ST, or find the isn't to their liking, but hey a person or two they met is cool! This is the model we like to use when picturing how to communicate and act when coming to the table of Story Sanctum. It is a model that we feel too often gets forgotten in chats and the world of anonymous login.

Friends have misunderstandings, it happens. Strangers in a new community do too, but the difference is we're not all 'friends', though we should be friendly. What is an ultimate truth though, is that the chat is the "house" of those who created it, and the people who are on staff are the housemates that in time came to be trusted and respected. The players are the guests then. As a guest people need to realize that there is no obligation to continue to share pop and chips and invite you back to our house if you are disrespectful during your stay. Now this is not to say we don't want players and new blood! This is how friends and good games work, with people and relationships that build during the game. We LOVE that part. But it is to say that if you conduct yourself in a manner that wouldn't fly in the above scenario, even you should be able to ask yourself; why would I be allowed back to that house in that game?

For some reason chat players have had a real sense of entitlement ingrained into them. It is a learned behavior everyone falls into on occasion. Some more then others, but the truth of the matter is this is not a service, it's a house and when someone invites you into their house it's a privilege. This is not to say the home should not be inviting, the ST should not be fair and just, but if the marriage of the two isn't working? There is a door to take, for a person to move on to things they consider better or more in line with what they want. You can be asked to "Please not come back" or you can choose to not return because it's not your thing, and neither has to be malicious. We all have different desires for what we want out of a game. People who choose to stay, however, and then bring a bad attitude or bad behaviors into our chat simply will not be tolerated.

There are corrupt people in power, there are 'better ways' to do things, there are times STs screw up and need to apologize. There is merit to holding each other accountable and there is a strong need to tell the housemaster if his long-term friend who he's been gaming with forever is playing with loaded dice. BUT there is a right and wrong way to approach it. Over all, approach it with the respect of a guest who is in someone's own home. This is not always easy, and we do understand chats breed a lot of emotions because people get invested in their PC, the community and the game, so things do tend to feel personal and you do get upset. That doesn't, however, excuse actions. Please remember this model and respect it while playing at the chat. Utilize our above rules and conduct if you have an issue with anyone, and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well it helps all of us have a better experience.

For example: Do you suspect favoritism? Message a ST and ask why someone else is getting so much attention. We can easily explain to you that they simply are working the systems better then you are and maybe you can learn a better way to accomplish things in game. Having an issue with another player you suspect doesn't like you? Ask them what their issue is, often you'll learn you're reading too much into the text. Feel neglected? Ask a ST for help being included, we're 100% game for it. Upset about a call made in a scene? Ask the ST if you can discuss it later rather then ranting to all the people who can't even do something about it. Sometimes people miss things, sometimes they have good reasons for doing what they've done and sometimes they will try and go above and beyond making amends for a player who approaches the issue with a desire to make something work better for all parties involved. So, the minute you have an insecurity just get it asked. Lets mitigate the spiral effects of bitterness and contention. Please understand that our mission operative is simple. FUN. So communicate in effective, up front, and kindly ways with one another and fun is what you'll find in plenty!



User Roles In The Chat

If you are interested in understanding the various user roles on our chat, what is expected of each role in play (including your own!) and how you can be involved in the chat, here are some guidelines to follow!


The Player Privs & Duties:

An important role in the chat as well! Your own expectations of course being: to learn the rules, setting, and participate in our code of conduct while having a blast! Please keep in mind that it's a game of a lot of different people and that means a lot of different personalities, opinions, and ability to make mistakes or be misunderstood. Treat each other and your STs with respect and do your best to minimize harming anyone else play experience. Together we can make this a welcoming and adventurous place to play.

You are expected to relate to us in your thread at least to avoid the 1 month inactivity de-sanction. This does mean, however, you should be in character, not just in forums. Players should also make sure to get ST approval on all new ideas, background elements, resources and other additions to your PC's story which were not originally part of your concept. We have plans for every PC here, and we need to know if you are changing your PC on a level that might conflict with plans.


Player Storytellers

If you become a Player Running Plot, unlike STs and ASTs, you will not have access to any form of ST forums or Privs. A PST is able to run small plots, pre-approved by a ST that generally is low key and non-game changing for people. There may be specific plots an ST will put forward for a PST'er to even help with, or you instead submit a plot idea to the ST of the venue in question. Usually this is done through FPM. One approved, you are free to run the scene(s) and make sure you log and submit a report on it to your ST. These plots will not touch main NPC's or heavy setting elements. They are usually 1-3 scenes long and though reward and danger can be a viable part of a PrP, it must be stated clearly to ST what you are expecting to hand out. There are different incentives for someone to run a PrP, please consult the venue wiki for details.

Though not part of the staff, we still want to assure that PrP's are run by people with an understanding of the system, our setting and have a similar style of play and vision as we do. Under the presumption that if a scene goes poorly for any reason that causes a disturbance to the player base or game, the scene as a whole can be retracted, scenes are otherwise considered as part of our setting, plot and the overall experience of the game.


Assistant ST
Privs & Duties:

ASTs have standard player rights to the forums, wiki and character sheets as well as access to the private AST Forums. A AST is responsible for running approved scenes as delegated by the STs, as well as submitting, and running personally created and approved plots. Not all venues may want or use ASTs, so make sure to check with the venue wiki. They may also handled them differently too!

ASTs are selected of people who should enjoy each other, share a mind set and love of fun, and really work well together as a collective unit. We also want to be sure what they bring to the chat is similar to our vision and good for everyone. This means we expect ASTs to be people we find agreeable, good natured, personable, honest and dependable. They must also have a good understanding of the system and setting.

ASTs are expected to run approx. 1 scene per week, gain pre-approval for their plots, and file scene reports to follow. They can assist the STs in requested scenes, but they might not always have a good understanding of the plot elements behind a scene that are not for their eyes.

You must have an understanding of all elements of the chat, run for all players, and treat people fair and timely. It is also your responsibility to report issues, other ST misconduct and player misconduct to The Admin where needed.


ST
Privs & Duties:

A ST has administrative rights to all forums, wiki and character sheets for sanctioning involved with their game only. A ST is responsible for attending to player thread upkeep, character sanctioning and de-sanctioning duties, approve PrP's and ASTRP's, organize their Assistants, attend needed skype chat voice meetings, help organize forums/wikis, as well as conflict resolution and disciplinary action as a result of rules breech. STs are not expected to run more than 1 Scene a week.

STs are selected of people who enjoy each other, share a mind set and love of fun, and really work well together as a collective unit. This means we are going to be picky...because choosing who you will be nattering at for hours of the day for a year or so onward is a big decision! We also want to be sure what they bring to the chat is similar to our vision and good for everyone. This means we expect STs to be people we find agreeable, good natured, personable, honest and dependable. They must also have a great understanding of the system and setting they are to run.

An understanding and partaking in all elements of the chat, running for all players, and treating all aspects and people fair and timely is expected. It is also your responsibility to report issues, other ST misconduct and player misconduct to The Admin.


Administrator
Privs & Duties:

The Administrators have the same privs as any ST would. That said, they are also the ones with access to user banning, forum and wiki administration and other higher level decisions.


Site Administrator
Privs & Duties:

The Administrators have the same privs as any Admin would. That said, they are also the ones with access to the chat database and technical support. The only real difference between them is this, and in the case of chat errors, please contact them!


How To ST
If You are interested in assisting at Story Sanctum in any capacity, make sure to speak to the right person. To Assistant ST for a venue, contact the head ST of that venue through forum PM. If you want to consider opening a new Venue to the chat, or a side game, make sure to contact the Site Admin, Becca, through FPM. Thanks!