Arbitration

When any number of people get together, there is always friction and disagreement. Sometimes the disagreeing parties cannot come to an agreement for any number of reasons. For these situations, a member of staff can act as an arbitrator to get things resolved in a fashion as mutually agreeable as possible.

Staff is here to help keep the game running smoothly, not to fulfill some need for power. Because of this, they will do their best not to show preferential treatment to any player or staffer, they will work toward what they believe will best benefit the game as a whole, and they will maintain confidentiality as requested.

If any player or staffer has an issue with another player or staffer and feels that it can't be worked out directly, then staff should be contacted via +request. If the issue is with a staffer, then another staffer should be contacted via @mail instead.

See Also: Policies

Audience

Let Freedom Ring is a game of stories.

Our Mission Statement lays out how we work to create a suitable environment. Beyond that, staff tries to stay out of the way; storytelling is the domain of the players, mediation is the domain of staff. We feel that when staff drives a realm of RP, the resulting stories tend to serve the staffer. While some areas may happen to be driven by staff alts, this is incidental and not by design; we welcome others to get involved at all levels.

Game mechanics are present to facilitate storytelling, but are subordinate to storytelling. The focus should be on the experience, not the outcome. Players are expected to coordinate out of character to establish the direction of a story. Game mechanics introduce detours and the chance of failure. Conflict and competition between characters is the necessary spice of the story. Conflict and competition between players is ultimately counterproductive.

We open our doors to anyone who can abide by our policies. Our chief concern is the ongoing suitability of the environment for storytelling. We do our best to keep that as the focus of our decision making, from individual player requests to the creation and audit of policies. We are human, and thus are prone to error, inconsistency, and short-sightedness. We offer players patience and the benefit of the doubt, and request the same.

In choosing to emphasize some aspects of a game, we must downplay or reject others. Each choice we make requires a sacrifice, making this game a great fit for some, but unpalatable to others. We strive to provide a game where reasonable objectives are achievable. This favors goal-oriented, motivated players willing to build the world around them. Pro-active players will find that their opportunities equal the effort they put into their respective spheres and RP at large.

Avoidance

Some people don't get along and are unlikely to do so in the future. Regardless of why, it's reasonable to OOCly ask that another PC avoid RPing with you and vice versa. The game is big enough that you should both be able to find others to RP with.

  • This can be lifted by mutual agreement.
  • This only applies to IC, however you can also ask that they not contact you OOCly (+policy harassment).
  • You should specify whether this extends to all alts (to the extent that they're known) or only certain ones.
  • This only applies to direct RP. It does not prohibit them from RPing about you with others, nor from getting involved in IC events that you're also involved in.
  • If you encounter them by accident (e.g. you go to a public hangout and didn't realize they were already there), both PCs should do their best to resolve things ASAP. It may be sufficient to stay in different parts of the room and stick to interacting with different PCs.
  • Willful violation counts as a violation of harassment policy and will be dealt with accordingly.

Consent

A "consent-based" game is one in which players must consent to all changes to their characters, and can avoid such changes by withdrawing that consent, regardless of circumstances.

Let Freedom Ring is not a consent-based game. While conflict between PCs is not the primary focus of the game, it plays a significant role. Consent is taken into account, but its scope is limited.

Normally, the severity and duration of changes is limited by the risk system (+policy risk). Within reason, players can agree on an outcome that they all accept (+policy hand waving), including "fade to black" (FTB).

By choosing to play here, all players automatically consent to changes to their characters that would reasonably occur in response to their own actions ("IC actions = IC consequences" or ICA=ICC). This is subject to staff review, and requires a clear and convincing argument.

See also: Risk, Risk Escalation

Harassment

This defines 'harassment' in the sense of 'staff will take formal action when made aware of it'.

For private communication to be considered harassment, all three of the following criteria must be met:

  • The recipient previously asked the sender to not contact them in that way
  • The communication is unsolicited
  • The communication is ongoing

For public communication (channels, +bb, etc) to be considered harassment, both of the following criteria must be met:

  • The communication must be clearly regarding a specific player
  • The communication must be clearly derogatory

The following are a few examples not considered harassment. They are bad behavior, and staff does not approve of them, but reacting to them at this stage is left up to the discretion of other individual players.

  • Dick insults Ruth directly. Dick is being a jerk. Ruth should avoid associating with Dick in the future and if the insults persist, Ruth should request that Dick not contact her in the future. If Dick continues, it becomes harassment.
  • Dick insults Ruth in private conversation with Whitney. Dick is being a jerk. Ruth and Whitney should probably avoid associating with Dick in the future. Dick is alienating other players and cutting off his own RP.

Harassment is taken very seriously on Let Freedom Ring. In cases of clear harassment, the perpetrator is likely to receive severe punishment.

Mission Statement

These are the principles that we think a game should be based on. These ideas are the basis for our rules and policies. These ideas tell us whether or not a change goes against the spirit of the game.

  • To protect everyone, staff and players will have rules that they will have to abide by.
  • Staff and players should be treated as equals and with respect.
  • Staff and players should be fair and impartial in all aspects of the game.
  • A staff member's or player's personal life is not the business of the game.
  • Standards should be in place to ensure effective communication for players and staff.
  • The game should create an environment that is friendly to all.
  • Staffers should be competent in the areas they are assigned to.
  • Staffers need to contribute to an effective presence in their area of responsibility.
  • Staffers should put equal effort into every player they are responsible for.
  • Between staffers, professionalism takes precedence over friendship.
  • No player should give or receive an advantage that they did not acquire through role play.
  • Players have the right to refuse to be a part of a storyline that they didn't involve themselves in.
  • By choosing to take part in a storyline, players accept some responsibility for that storyline.
  • Chargen should be thorough, but easy and swift.
  • Nothing well justified should be rejected for a character.
  • It should be easy for players to find role play.
  • Experience should be awarded for experiences, not just successes.
  • Documentation should be informative, up to date, easy to follow and easy to find.
  • Code should fill the requirements of the game.
  • Code should be well documented and easy to use.
  • The grid should be attractive and conducive to role play.
  • Decisions should be transparent. Where it doesn't violate personal privacy or storyline, staff are required to explain decisions to players and other staff when asked, and players are required to explain their decisions to staff when asked. Players are never required to explain their decisions to other players.

Policies

Let Freedom Ring may need to add, change, or remove policies from the game. These changes will not be made without serious thought about how the change will affect players. There are no grandfather clauses for policies.

See Also: Rules Changes, Precedents

Privacy

We at Let Freedom Ring respect the privacy of players and staff. We feel that having the personal security of knowing that you're not being eavesdropped on helps create a more comfortable environment. For this reason, only wizards have the ability to go dark. The only wizard on Let Freedom Ring is Gallifrey.

Let Freedom Ring is run on a hosted server/network with local access only available to Gallifrey and the hosting provider. Any records obtained via local access (e.g. packet capture) are to be used only to troubleshoot technical problems with the game, verify issues of harassment, and identify instances of cheating. In the past, such data has been used to verify harassment, troubleshoot an issue with +vote, and investigate suspected spoofed command output. Also note: //the person hosting any game can see your password./ DON'T REUSE YOUR PASSWORDS!

The use of the DARK flag by wizards will be at the consent of those being monitored unless there is evidence of OOC harassment or abuse. Packet capture will only be employed for serious incidents.

These limitations of monitoring capability grant players quite a bit of freedom. It is common practice on many games for staff to go DARK to avoid contact with players. We do not allow this, so in exchange for the extra privacy, players are expected to honor a staff member's Off-Duty status. Individual staff members may declare things like "I'm page-friendly regardless", but this is left to their individual discretion.

Also, use of the Unfindable flag is not restricted for players. Players are welcome to use the Unfindable flag as they see fit. Staff can still see the location of Unfindable players.

Restricting RP

No player or character may forcibly prevent another player or character from RPing with a third player or character.

The purpose of our game is RP, so preventing RP defeats our purpose. No player may act to forcibly inhibit another player's RP with a third player. The relationship between the characters is not relevant, even in relationships with established dominance: Shifter/Kin, Vampire/Ghoul, etc. This limits IC methods (e.g. Dominate with a command of "avoid that person") as well as OOC (whatever that might include). Players are welcome to negotiate restrictions between each other (e.g. "I'm okay with being Dominated to avoid them" or simply "I'm okay with being convinced to avoid them"), but this is non-binding. Everyone is entitled to the freedom to find RP where and when it is available.

The spirit of the policy is that inhibiting another player's RP is unacceptable. Players must respect the freedoms and boundaries of other players. This should not be confused with sensible IC repercussions; consorting with the opposing faction or a widely-accepted enemy group (e.g. infernalists) may be a crime or carry significant negative social implications. If you're an Anarch, then you can certainly advise another Anarch to stay away from Camarilla or Sabbat members, mages, shifters, whatever— but the other Anarch can choose not to take your advice.

Combat at medium risk or higher can result in imprisonment (per '+policy medium risk') and isn't related to the above. However, if a player finds their character imprisoned for this reason, they should consider setting themselves to lower risk in the presence of the imprisoning player after the imprisonment is over.

Risk

On many games, it is not uncommon to be killed, maimed, permanently altered, or otherwise taken out of play for what amounts to no good reason. Maybe someone's having a bad day and the polka dots on your socks are the final straw. While staff agrees that this is a World of Darkness and bad things happen to good people for no reason all the time, that kind of 'realism' shouldn't detract from the fun of the game.

The risk system is intended to limit the level at which a player can be made to suffer for things they didn't initiate. Players assign themselves a Risk Level which represents the level of permanent effects they consent to and limits the level of permanent effects they can inflict upon others. Those effects outside a player's Risk Level are cinematic: the player accepts them for the duration of the scene (or potentially longer) but is not stuck with them when the appropriate duration has elapsed.

The system's focus is combat and direct conflict. A player's risk level can protect them when attacked or when they come under the force of another's will. A players risk level will not protect them from the reasonable consequences of reckless actions: disclosing others' secrets, breaking sect laws, sabotage, etc. You shouldn't have to worry about roving bands of PK maniacs; you should worry about how your own actions may come back to haunt you.

For full details, see Policies-Risk

Rules Changes

Although Let Freedom Ring intends to follow White Wolf canon, in some instances we may feel that a particular rule or storyline aspect does not fit with the rest of the World of Darkness. To make things fit together better, we will make changes to the rules, setting, or storyline. These changes are listed in the +rules system, and when a rules change is made, it will be announced on the Public Policies bulletin board.

When a rule change is made, there is no Grandfather Clause unless it is stated in the +rules system.

Precedents

Occasionally, certain rules or aspects of the setting or storyline are vague or contradictory as stated by the book. When such confusion arises, a staffer running the scene is to make an on the spot decision to clear up the confusion and keep the scene going. Afterward, staffers must discuss the confusion and agree on one interpretation. Whatever interpretation is decided on becomes a "Precedent": how the rules should be interpreted from then on. The outcomes of any previous scenes stay the same, regardless of the precedent.

When new precedents are set, they are noted in the +rules system and announced on the Public Policies bulletin board.

Security

This game, its website, and other services all rely on the servers on which they are run. Bringing weaknesses in any aspect of this system to staff's attention will be rewarded. Any attempts to subvert this system will be dealt with swiftly and possibly without warning.

Attempts to subvert this system include but are not limited to:

  • Use of soft code to gain information that should be gained ICly, use of soft code to gain privileges not administratively granted, use of soft code to disrupt the activity of the game
  • Use of known or predicted vulnerabilities in TinyMUX, Apache, or other software in use on these systems or on the website.
  • Denial of Service attacks, distributed or otherwise, including but not limited to: traffic flooding, SYN flooding, RST attacks, fragmented packet attacks (Teardrop, etc), email flooding, and activity intended to consume excessive CPU time, memory, bandwidth, or storage
  • Forging of IP datagrams, email, instant messages, web posts, or other traffic such that it appears to come from this network
  • Other activities deemed disruptive to our network and systems.

Corrective action for these activities varies in accordance with the severity of the actions and can range from a simple warning to blocking at the firewall and contact with the offender's ISP.

In summary, do not attack us.

XP Transfer

There is no specific criteria for transfering XP from one character to another. The risk system allows players to control their own fate so PC death doesn't automatically imply compensation. In small amounts and limited cases, XP might be transfered from a character that is being permanently retired to another, established character. Any situations in which a transfer of XP may be appropriate are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. This includes Demon death, even when the demon will be transferred to a new host.

The exception to this policy is retiring a mortal. A player may, at any time, permanently retire a mortal character and have that character's lifetime XP transfered to a new supernatural character awaiting approval or recently approved.

See Also: Risk System, Risk Abuse