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Tales Of Moonsea - The Herald of Chaos
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Tales of Moonsea

ules for Tales of Moonsea

Just like the Laws of Phlan in-game we have some basic rules and customs that we hold ourselves to when we log on to the server, post on the forums, or talk on IRC, Skype or other channels. We tried to group these into easily distinguishable categories below.


HOW TO PLAY:


The following is some basic tenets of roleplaying on the server and how to enjoy it most with minimum conflict and OOC tension (IC tension between PCs is okay and one of the things that keep the server alive).

Always be in character:

  • This is a roleplaying server. This means you are expected to be playing your character at (almost) all times you are on the server. Out of character comments in game should be limited to private messages whenever possible. If you have to send an OOC message to a group, use double parentheses (()) on regular talk. All in-character actions should be communicated in-character to allow appropriate reaction from other characters and NPCs.
  •  Character names, appearance and behavior should fit the setting. Try to avoid names with special characters, the names should not be insulting or disrupting, they should not belong to known, important characters of the Forgotten Realms or other settings, including the real world. In case of doubt, use the in-game name generator or ask a DM.
  •  Similarly, try to avoid strange skin or hair colors for the character race’s normal ranges unless explained in the character notes. Please don’t create characters with appearances mimicking those that need special DM approvals (such as drow, duergar, and others)—there is a very good reason why we require those to be approved, and having your new PC shot on sight due to mere similarity to one of those may not be the best introduction to our server, however IC it may be.  Finally, please try to avoid leetspeak or modern day slang while in character.



Deal with it in character:

  • At times, bad things may happen to your character. Sometimes, as a result of your own actions, or as a result of other players’ actions (referred to colloquially as ‘hijinks’), you may be killed, maimed, humiliated, looted and/or peed on and chewed up by rabid parakeets or tweeting rabbits. Deal with it in character. 
  • Please understand and accept that characters are not ruined because bad stuff happens to them. Because on Tales of Moonsea your character is A Protagonist and not THE Protagonist as in the single player scenarios, he or she will have to react to the actions of other characters as much as the environment and the NPCs. On many occasions things will not go as planned. Deal with it in character. 
  • On occasion, rather unfair things may happen to your character: lies about your character may be spread in game, figures of power may abuse you, you may be arrested, tried and be in danger to be executed for crimes you did not commit (yes, all of that has happened ingame at least once, possibly several times to PCs). This is all expected and, in fact, encouraged for some character types. Please do not assume this is other players or any DM trying to hurt you. It is either their characters trying to hurt your character, or the consequences of your character’s actions coming back to hurt you. Deal with it in character. You get the point.


Player vs. Player:

  • This is a PvP server. This means that player versus player conflict, up to player killing is allowed, and, in some cases depending on alignments, races and classes, may even be expected. 
  • We are, however, a very small server, so this is not to say that all PvP is acceptable in all circumstances. In general, killing or looting other characters should be part of roleplaying. Earn the right to kill other characters by making their death a process: either by an interesting RP session (or several) or make the events leading to a quick death a rewarding experience. There is nothing more off-putting than being killed out of the blue for unknown reasons. For this reason, we ask that if PvP is planned, it is to be done in the presence of a DM staff member and in discussion prior. Full looting of fallen enemies is allowed, but it should be a rather unusual end for long drawn PvP conflicts and subject to DM attention. People consistently full looting others after killing them for flimsy excuses will be soon in griefer territory and dealt with accordingly (see definition further below). 
  • Likewise, please understand PvP death and loss of gear as part of the normal cycle of life in the server, although it does not happen very often. Trying to complain regarding PvP brought upon through actions in character will not be looked upon favorably. If you cannot live with the possibility of PvP, this may not be the right server for you.


Refund policy:

  • Refunds of XP, gold or items lost to bugs, sudden disconnections or server resets, or any other glitch due to the nature of the game is at the SOLE discretion of the DM staff. The decisions made by a DM are final and binding and retcons are extremely rare.
  • Please understand that if a DM directly witnesses problems caused by technical issues he or she may step in and help you, but this is an exception rather than a regular occurrence. Please keep this rule in mind to prevent later disappointment.
  • We are NOT a perma-death server—characters may respawn upon death incurring an XP loss. This applies to all players. DM events may be run with different rules and those are communicated ahead of time to the players. (In other words, if the DM warns you before you’re attempting a frontal assault on a fully staffed Zhent warcamp or enter a planar nexus, plan accordingly, because in the case of TPK, no one will be able to drag your body back for resurrection.)



DM rulings are final:

This applies to both IC and OOC rulings. The DMs staff is willing to discuss each situation as much as possible, but once a DM (ANY DM) issues a ruling, it is final. Going to a different DM expecting a different ruling or keeping after a DM with questions will not work either. We record and share all the information. As DMs are the only ones with the information and perspective to make OOC rulings, please refrain from labeling other players as cheaters, griefers or the like. If you have an OOC grievance or complaint against other players, send an email to the DMs and let us make that call.

Behavior During Events:

  • Players are expected to be respectful of both the DMs and the other players during events. When asked to make a skill roll, players should STOP their characters, make the roll (and report it via PM or Party chat if asked to do so), and hold in place until told to proceed. This is important -- the DM will be communicating the results of those rolls, often privately, and it takes time to type that information. The DM cannot do his or her job if you wander halfway across the map before the PC receives the results of her Spot check.
  • The DM staff are not your employees and will not tolerate being treated as such.  If a player disagrees with a DM call during an event, that player should ask to address the issue AFTER the event - not interrupt everybody else's fun to start an argument mid-game.  
  • See "deal with it in character."  Character rewards such as XP gain and treasure are final -- do not argue with the DM because your character got X item and you don't think X item is good enough.
  • If Real Life will force you to leave an event early or be inactive for a while, please have the courtesy to communicate to the DM and fellow players as pro-actively as possible so that arrangements can be made.
  • "Rage-logging": do NOT suddenly log off the server in the middle of an event simply because something bad happened to your character or because you disagreed with a DM judgment. When you do that you are issuing a "screw you" to the entire server and being extremely disrespectful to the other players, whose ability to have fun has just had a giant hole knocked in it by your character's sudden and inexplicable absence. "Rage-logging" is extremely disrespectful to DMs and fellow players alike. Don't do it.



Banning:

  • The ultimate punishment for violation of these rules is to be banned from the server. We do not ban people lightly, and only in very extreme cases will it happen on a first offense. This means that bans will rarely, if ever, be lifted.
  •  Any inquiries about the reasons for a ban should be directed to the DMs via the DM email. Under most circumstances we will not discuss the circumstances of a ban (or any other OOC disciplinary measure) with players other than the affected one. This is to protect the banned player's privacy and respectability, but the DMs may waive this policy at any time if the circumstances demand it, such as when the banned player decides to vent on the forums, lie about the circumstances of the ban or blaming or harassing other players after the ban.


Cyber:

Cybering is to use emotes and speech to simulate sexual activity. We are a PG-13 server, plus we do have some players on occasion who are under 21. While we do encourage players to build relationship with PCs and NPCs and that sometimes includes sexual relationships as well, we do not allow actual roleplay of the sex part. If you want your character to have sex with another, rent a room at an inn and both characters sleep there, that's it. Fade to Black is the acceptable codeword in these cases.



OFFENSES:


Based on DM discretion, these offenses will result in banning and character wipe. DMs always agree on such decisions before they take place: please note that appealing to one DM or another against what may be perceived as ‘one DM’s decision’ has no merit, as such rulings happen by consensus.

Griefing:

Although relatively rare on ToM lately, we include this here. Griefing happens when a player intentionally causes grief to other player for the sake of it. While grief is a very subjective concept, examples of griefing may be: 

  • attacking, killing or looting other characters for no particular in-character reason (or with a broad excuse: “but my character is a psychopatic ax murderer!”)
  •  harassing or insulting other players out of character (in game tells, the forums or IRC);
  • spamming someone with pickpocket attempts
  • killing and/or looting people and immediately logging off; and so on. 
  • rendering quests unusable or keeping people out of quests just to be an annoyance is also a form of griefing. 
  • This also includes what we call “NPC griefing”, which involves wanton killing of non-hostile NPCs for no particular reason.


Clarification: NPC Griefing

Because NPCs do not necessarily react properly, let a DM know if you plan to IC assassinate an NPC for any reason. This allows us to help the NPC react appropriately, as well as monitor the situation to see if any other NPCs might step into the area. ((Due to lag possibilities, not all NPCs are represented in the module. There are busy areas and less busy areas, so that is something we need to take into consideration.))

Cheating:

Cheating involves using out of character means to unfairly benefit your character. Please remember that logs are easily retrievable and your online presence on the server does leave footprints.

Examples of cheating are:

  •  exploiting the game engine to your advantage.
  •  passing ANY items or gold between different characters belonging to the same player (this includes the use of arranged intermediaries)
  •  trying to circumvent script checks to gain unauthorized access to quests, restricted areas or any other resources you character should not be able to access
  •  logging off to avoid the consequences of your in-character actions (such as combat, arrest or death), etcetera. 
  • Cheating for the benefit of other players’ characters is equally unacceptable.

All of the above are reviewed by the DMs before any ruling is issued. Most cases we’ll deal with this in private messages on in-game warnings, but once cheating is proven, actions are taken immediately.


Metagaming:

Metagaming is to use information that cannot be reasonably known to your character to his or her advantage.
 
Examples are:

  • bringing an alternate character to deal with an issue involving a main character of yours
  • sharing any kind of information, relation or interests between characters that cannot possibly have met in game; 
  • using information from private letters or character backgrounds in the forums that your characters cannot know; 
  • coordinating in game actions through out of character means; 
  • avoiding known risks that are unknown to your character. 
Some involuntary metagaming is, of course, unavoidable since it is not always possible to remember what is known in character or out of character. We ask everybody to do their best effort to avoid it and when in doubt, feel free to PM a DM about it.



Powergaming:

As defined here, powergaming on ToM is to try and exploit the mechanical advantages of a character while minimizing the disadvantages in order to achieve greater power, wealth, you name it, with little to no regard to roleplaying those advantages and disadvantages. 

There are a thousand shades of grey regarding powergaming, but in general we really ask that you play a character’s strengths and weaknesses, and do not encourage players to only play optimized characters with no visible weaknesses.


Please note that this is not an all-encompassing list of rules, just the most important ones and the ones most likely to affect your continued presence in the server. Many more rules affecting more specific aspects of the game may be announced or clarified in the forums. In case of doubt, please search the forums or use the Ask a DM forum for questions. 

Continued failure to comply with the rules will result in some degree of restriction, from being deprived of DM attention up to character death, deletion and banning from the server. Griefing and cheating will result in a ban. We warn first offenders but we will not bend backwards to do so. In the end we owe the majority of players who abide by the rules the guarantee of a non-threatening environment where they can roleplay and have fun.


Forum, Discord, Skype, and IRC Etiquette and Rules:


The following Etiquette and rules are expected to be followed on the Forums and in any ToM sponsored IRC, Skype or Discord Channel. Violation of them will result in the loss of forum and/or IRC privileges.

1. Respect - All players are expected to respect the discussions of all individuals. This means that no matter how silly you think a person's discussion is, please refrain from making maliciously negative comments about the discussion or against the person. Abuse of any kind will not be tolerated. Constructive Criticism is not considered forum abuse or maliciously negative comments. Respect the Administrative Team as well.

Do keep in mind that some players are offended by extremely vulgar language, and some have small children that may or may not be at the computer at times. We're not saying you have to go Disney with your language, but be respectful with it.


2. Reporting - Please report any discussions, messages, or posts to the DMs that you feel threatening, offensive or inappropriate. We admittedly don't see everything that is said on the forums and IRC, and sometimes plain just miss what is being said. All reports should be taken up with a DM directly.

3. Exploits and Spoilers - No spoilers are to be posted in Public Forums (with exception to when necessary in In Character Forums). There are forums for factions where records that contain spoilers might be kept. In the case of exploits, send a PM or e-mail to the DMs if it can be abused. If it is not abusable (i.e. not an exploit), simply use the Bugs Reports Forum. Do NOT post exploits on the forums and when in doubt, please check with a DM.

4. Complaints and Administrative Inquiries - Complaints against players or DMs are not to be made on the Forums/IRC at any time or any place. These should all be directed to the DM e-mail or through Forum Private Messages (Discord PM or Skype is acceptable). Complaints against DMs should be directed to the DM in question first. Subsequent complaints against the DM should be directed to the E-mail exclusively. Ban inquiries are also not to be discussed in the Forums or IRC.

5. Know the Rules – These rules are posted and made available for everyone to be aware of. Ignorance of them is not an excuse after the first warning. Violation at any time will be subject to the DM's judgment.


Forum Specific Rules:


1. Acceptable Posts - Posts should be made in their appropriate forums. Sticky and Announcement Posts have been made in most forums to indicate what sort of post goes where, and each forum's name should be self-explanatory. When in doubt, please check with a DM. 

Racist, bigoted or otherwise inappropriate comments, and illegal information contained in posts are not acceptable. We also do not allow the advertisement of other servers on our forums without first consulting with a DM and getting approval. Negative posts about other servers are also discouraged.

2. Signatures - Signatures must be moderate in length (no more than a few lines) and contain only one image at most.