Many of you old hats will recognize the below policies.
We are resurrecting many of SoI2's policies regarding player behavior standards, staff behavior standards, and general rules of a miscellaneous nature.
Anything not found in this announcement or any similar 'Official Whatever Policy' announcement is not currently an official policy of SoI.
Please note that any and all of these are subject to change at any time, at our discretion. We will gladly allow discussion of all policies listed here. But please, keep feedback constructive.
Roleplaying wrote: Here at Shadows of Isildur, roleplay is not an option; it is mandatory, and an enforced requirement. Should you not enjoy roleplaying, this is likely the wrong MUD for you -- kindly look elsewhere, and save us all a bit of trouble. The only OOC allowed in the MUD must take place within designated OOC lounge areas. If any IC information is disseminated via these means, rest assured that the staff will react quite harshly.
However, for those who enjoy consistent, rich, and well-wrought roleplay, we will strive to provide an atmosphere as conducive to these elements as possible. In addition, as a staff we will make a conscious effort to reward those who demonstrate exemplary roleplay; play well enough, and you just might find bits of the game world revolving around your character.
Objectionable Content wrote: Shadows of Isildur is a role-play intensive MUD, and the successful player here will take that quite seriously. As a result, many and sundry experiences are depicted in the gameworld; not all of these experiences are necessarily pleasant, nor do they agree with everyone's sense of propriety. In order for such roleplay (e.g. roleplayed sex or torture) to proceed, explicit out-of-character consent must be obtained from all parties involved (Note that, by definition, legal consent cannot be given by a minor). Role-playing scenes which depict child abuse, rape, or sexual torture are explicitly prohibited.
If any of the involved parties withdraws their consent at any time, the roleplay must stop, with absolutely no exceptions. Simply "fade to black", and then roleplay the consequences of whatever activity has been skipped rather than focusing on the activity itself.
Finally, please remember that we strive to provide a family-friendly environment, and an enjoyable experience for all ages. Therefore, if you choose to engage in any arguably objectional roleplay, the onus is on you to find a relatively private place in-game for it to take place. If someone should happen upon your scene by chance, travelling through a public area, and they find its content objectionable, you will be treated as if you consciously chose to involve them in it without first obtaining their consent.
Any violations of this rule should immediately be reported to staff. Please be aware that we keep complete logs of all player interactions on our server for just this reason.
Metagaming and IC Information wrote: Shadows of Isildur is a roleplaying game. It is played only at middle-earth.us, port 23. It is not played over ICQ, AIM, IRC, or any of the other chat/IM clients out there, nor is it played with your roommates, circle of friends, or real-life beer buddies. Information regarding in-character happenings in the game needs to stay solely between the players and the administrators involved; if we as staff learn that any information gained OOCly has been exploited by a player to shape the outcome of in-game events, we will take measures to rectify this, up to and including possibly reversing said events.
Likewise, carry-over of in-character information from one character to the next is strictly forbidden. You may not play a relative of a previous PC, or any other accquaintance that would entail the sharing of IC information, without prior staff clearance.
Triggers and Scripting wrote: The use of ANY TRIGGER OR SCRIPT to send input to the MUD is expressly forbidden in Shadows of Isildur. This includes, but is not limited to, triggers that prevent your character from being disconnected due to idleness, triggers or scripts that focus on skill gain, and scripts to move your character from one place to another ("speedwalks"). Conversely, however, triggers used client-side for things like coloring certain text strings or tripping alert sounds when certain events occur are not in breach of this policy, as they do not send any input to the MUD and do not attempt to garner an unfair advantage. Any infraction of this policy will be dealt with quite harshly, particularly if the infraction involves powergaming.
Forum Usage Policies wrote: The following are the acceptable usage policies governing the Shadows of Isildur web forum. If you make use of this resource you are presumed to have accepted these terms, and you will be held accountable to them accordingly.
This should go without saying - but, to be safe - all posts on this forum are out-of-character!
Keep it clean and civil. No flaming, harassment, overly foul language or any other sort of obnoxiousness will be tolerated. When in doubt, ask yourself if what you are posting is work- and family-safe. If the answer to either question is no, it doesn't belong here.
No in-character information of any sort is allowed on the web forum. This includes, but is not limited to, character names, current plotline events, and the location of hidden clans, NPCs, or objects.
Respect copyright law! Do not, under any circumstances, post any copyrighted material, links to illegally pirated intellectual property, or any other such content. We operate on the goodwill of an intellectual property holder - let's not be hypocrites!
Try not to unnecessarily derail the threads you post in. If you must go off on a tangent, consider creating a new thread for that purpose, posting in the OOC Chatter area, or even visiting our IRC server.
If a moderator feels that a thread has served its purpose and been adequately discussed or just abandoned, we reserve the right to lock that thread to prevent it from becoming non-constructive, to prevent thread necromancy, or to otherwise focus attention on more current topics of conversation.
Any moderator on this forum has the authority to edit posts without warning to ensure they follow these policies. Repeated policy infractions by a user may result in a loss of forum privileges, a loss of roleplay points in-game, or even loss of access to the MUD.
Respect the judgment of the forum moderators - namely, the staff, the Guides, and the clan heads. If they edit a post of yours for violation of one of these policies, editing it back to prove a point will only get you in hot water.
If you wish to file a formal complaint against a moderator for an abuse of their discretion, please send an email containing the details to the staff. Be thorough, calm and civil; they will investigate your report soon as possible.
Any and all of these policies are subject to change without notice. Review them periodically.
Multiple Accounts or Characters wrote: We require that each player stick to a single game account in their time here, so the staff is better able to track their past characters and roleplay. Furthermore, neither multiplaying nor alternative characters are allowed on Shadows of Isildur. Each player may only have one (1) character alive and in-game at any one time. If you wish to create a new character before the death of your present one, you must first retire your active PC from the account menu.
If, for any reason, you wish to use a second account from your computer's IP address - such as allowing a sibling or spouse to play, or visiting a friend's house and playing from there - you must clear this with the staff before doing so. Our IP-tracking system will tag you as a multiplayer, and if you only give us your excuse after you are caught it will not sit well.
All infractions of this rule, whether the registration of multiple accounts or multiple living characters, are punished quite stringently - so please observe this policy carefully.
Losses due to Linkdeath or Lag wrote: We recognize that players will lose their connections from time to time for reasons beyond their control. We ask that players recognize that we have no control over those kinds of difficulties either, and that although we empathize when it results in the loss of items or even in character death, we regret that, absent extreme mitigating circumstances, we cannot and will not make individual exceptions to ressurrect PCs.
Player Killing wrote: Provided that it is in-character, player killing is allowed on SoI. However, we do ask that you bear in mind that people often invest a great deal of time and effort in their characters; this is not a HnS mud, where once you kill their character they pop up safe and sound at a respawn point. So, please think carefully before engaging in any such activity; often, there are excellent and interesting RP opportunities to be had as alternatives to killing.
Conversely, as a victim, if you feel you are being treated harshly or unfairly by another player-character - chances are you may be right. As long as it occurs during the course of in-character roleplay, however, and does not violate one of the other policies listed here, such is perfectly acceptable behavior. Remember, not all roleplay you come across will favor your character; adversity is a fact of life in Middle-earth just as it is in our own world.
Death and Resurrections wrote: The death of one's beloved character (PC) is a difficult and emotional time for many players and can lead to a range of complex emotions. However, as an RPI (Roleplay Intensive) game - Shadows of Isildur: Laketown RPI embraces a policy of permanent character death following the coded passing of one's character. Reversing those permanent deaths is thus a rare event that requires careful consideration for the impact on the in-game reality.
Shadows of Isildur: Laketown RPI has thus adopted the following policy in regards to resurrecting player characters (PCs):
1. If a Roleplay Administrator confirms that a character has died due to a bug in the code, they may resurrect that character at their discretion.
2. If a Roleplay Administrator confirms that a character has died due to an OOC mistake on the part of a member of Staff, they may resurrect that character at their discretion.
3. If a player or Roleplay Administrator believes that a character has been player-killed (PKed) through an abuse of code or player action in such a way that violates our Player Policies and IC vs OOC Expectations, they may submit a request for Staff to investigate and determine, via internal vote, whether that player character may be resurrected. A yes vote will require a minimum of two staffers with none opposed, but will prefer a majority consensus decision.
Player killing (PK) is a valid action within our game and if otherwise within our policies and guidelines is a valid reason for the permanent death of a player character. Lack of satisfaction with the quality of roleplay surrounding such an event is not in and of itself a valid reason for a resurrection. However if reported, such will certainly be taken into consideration by staff in the future awarding or removal of roleplay points (RPP).
Connection latency (lag) nor dropping connection (DCing) nor needing to walk away from the control of one's character (going AFK) will as a policy be deemed a valid reason for a resurrection being warranted save mitigating circumstances. It is therefore, highly recommended that you do not engage your character in dangerous situations if your connection or ability to control them is not currently commiserate with the chance of coded combat.
In ALL cases where a PC is resurrected by a member of staff, that member of staff is required to immediately notify Elder Staff and post all pertinent details into a thread on the Staff Forums for review. Staff members found to be resurrecting PCs without good cause will be subject to progressive disciplinary action.
In any cases where a player feels that a resurrection may be warranted, but the Roleplay Administrator(s) on-hand disagree(s), the player may submit a trouble ticket to Elder Staff requesting the matter be reviewed. Submitted resurrection requests that fall outside of listed reasons 1, 2, or 3 are likely to be summarily dismissed.
If a player death is under review for possible resurrection, Staff will provide an IG object of 'The character's short description lays here, near death.' in order to minimize potential harm to in-game suspension of disbelief.
All player character resurrections MUST occur within 48 Real Life hours of the character's code death, or we will default to the character being permanently dead regardless of the situation at hand.
Unretiring a PC wrote: Staff have decided to allow players the option of unretirement of their retired PCs, with certain restrictions and requirements as follows:
1. You must have at least 1 RPP at the time of your PC's unretirement.
2. If you want to retain any of your PC's equipment or material possessions, you MUST contact staff to make arrangements for your goods to be saved for you BEFORE you retire your PC. If this was not done, then your PC will be outfitted per any other starting PC on re-entering play.
3. Your PC will retain all known skills and crafts, but is not elligible for returning in any position of authority greater than that of a Private in the Merchant Guard, a worker in the Lodge, or equivalent in any in-game clans UNLESS you apply for and obtain a suitable RPP role with the PC.
4. You may not unretire any PC until it has been a minimum of 30 RL days (4 IG months) since the retirement date.
5. You MUST provide a background story of where the PC has been and what they have done in the intervening time, and what brought them back into the game world's area.
6. Staff may decline any unretirement request that does not meet any of the above guidelines or any of the standard new character application guidelines, at any time.
Additionally, at their discretion, Staff my decline any unretirement request if they believe it will lead to a significant disruption of the in-game world: This clause is to prevent PCs from dodging the consequences of their actions via retiring from the game world and returning several months later.
7. If you retired a PC before this policy went into affect, you may request to unretire them. HOWEVER, you will be sent through the normal pre-game chargen rooms and enter the world with standard new character equipment, Staff will not be under any obligation to honor requests for your previous gear to be restored
Code Abuse and Powergaming wrote: As hard as I try, the code is obviously far from foolproof. It is, after all, only code; it lacks the sense of judgment that (most) human admins have, and thus will never be as good an arbiter of situations as a sentient being. Those who seek to take advantage of this weakness to accomplish their own ends, whether it's powering up their characters or wreaking havoc on others, will be dealt with quite harshly. Being aware of a bug and not informing the staff, so that it remains for you to exploit, is strictly against our policies.
The Staff's Role wrote: For the most part, members of the admin staff should be viewed in much the same way as the DMs of traditional pen-and-paper roleplaying games. We are here to enrich your roleplaying experience in a way that mere code could not; we strive to ensure that IC actions will carry realistic ramifications, and that the gameworld is balanced, authentic, and enjoyable for our players. We are -not- here to favor one faction over another, to give you a free replica of Glamdring because your character was raised by a secret, elite corps of Rangers, or to play ridiculously overpowered PCs. Members of Staff are not allowed to play PCs at all; rest assured that no favoritism is tolerated.
Contacting the Staff wrote: With regards to player-staff communication, we have an open-door policy here. You are always welcome to contact us in a variety of ways; the web forum, the in-game boards, or writing an email to our staff mailing list are all acceptable. Petitioning up for assistance while in-game is also an efficient way to reach a staff member. However, please remember that we are all volunteers, and we do receive a great deal of such traffic; while we will try to respond as quickly and efficiently as possible to your concern or question, it may take some time.
Conflict Resolution wrote: While we put a great deal of confidence in the sense of judgment and fairness espoused by each of our staff members, we do recognize that sometimes, two people simply do not mix. If you believe that you have been treated unfairly due to such personal bias, and you do not feel as if you could communicate this clearly to the staff member in question, you are always welcome to send an email or PM to our staff list, explaining your position calmly, clearly, and politely. If this effort is made in good faith, we will review the situation as a group, and attempt to ensure that a decision is made that is free of any possible personal enmities. However, if you simply write an email or PM to our staff list that consists mainly of a rant, a flame, or an attack on the staff member in question, rest assured that at the very least, you will be ignored; at the very worst, sanctions may be imposed.
Penalties and Sanctions wrote: Unfortunately, it is not always possible to resolve difficulties through discussion, and we are required to take action to see a matter to its close. Although each situation is unique, the following are the general guidelines that we consider when deciding an appropriate sanction for a policy breach, or repeated instances of the same or similar offense:
1st Offense: Verbal warning.
2nd Offense: Minor sanctions, such as a small skill drop/nogain, roleplay point deduction, or short-term siteban.
3rd Offense: Moderate sanctions, such as a more significant skill drop/nogain, roleplay point deduction, or temporary siteban.
4th Offense: Severe sanctions, up to and including either the removal of the offending PC, or permanent siteban of the party in question.