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RP and OOC Global Channels' Code of Conduct

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      The following is the first draft of a Code of Conduct "living document" for the growing roleplayer community in the RP and OOC Global Channels of the Homecoming Servers.  Feedback is welcome, both publicly posted in this thread or through private means.  I will attempt to document major changes and maintain an effective record.

      Original posting date:  2019-05-09

      Last edited by VileTerror:  Not yet.

 

--- Once a Roleplay board has been made on this forum, it would be appreciated if this post could be moved there by a forum moderator. ---

--- If the Admins or GMs of this server feel this post is worthy, please feel free to "sticky" it.  If it requires some minor tweaking to be appropriate for "sticky," please let me know what needs to be changed.  ---

--- If any player wants to take a stab at improving this post's formatting, organization, and readability, please let me know what you've got in a private forum message.  I'll try to incorporate your suggestions/ideas. ---

 

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RULE ZERO: 

      The Homecoming's official Code of Conduct supersedes anything discussed in this thread.  Naturally, as we are roleplaying on their servers, they dictate the actual rules that govern our use and interactions on their servers.  Everything else listed here is to be read with an understanding of that context.

      Free Speech is an important matter, but it relates to suppression, repressions, and oppression in a real-world context.  This game server is not expressly a vessel for rants or agenda discourse.  There are rules dictating what can and can not be said, and respecting those rules is important while making use of this server.  Touting "Free Speech" as an excuse for misconduct will not protect you from judgement for breaking rules.

 

Rule One: 

      No out-of-character bigotry or discrimination!  Expressly forbidden are sexism, racism, ableism, ageism, homophobia, transphobia.  This list will be amended as other "-isms" are brought to my attention for inclusion.  Those who make comments out of ignorance will be given an opportunity to pivot their conduct.  Those who intentionally cross this line will be dealt with firmly. 

Note:      As we are playing a game which allows for taking on the roles of villains, bigotry may come up as a theme in some fictional characters.  However, anyone found to be sheltering this kind of toxicity behind a veil of "roleplay" will be considered to be crossing the same line as listed above.  Context is important.  Do not assume anyone knows that you do not share the same opinions as your fictional characters.

 

Rule Two: 

      Operators of the OOC and RP Global Channels have authority, but we are all human and subject to mistakes.  Myself very much included.  Sometimes those mistakes may result in an unfair judgement.  Please remain polite if you ever feel the need to discuss something which you feel was done in error by an Operator.  If you don't feel comfortable contacting the specific Operator in question, please reach out to any of them.  Channel Operators are volunteers, so while it's important not to feel like you can't discuss something, please bear in mind that an Operator isn't professionally obligated.

 

      Everything beyond that, however, are merely going to be recommendations (some stronger than others) for how I feel it may be best for roleplayers to conduct ourselves in the roleplay community.  Operators' rules will be discussed closer to the end of this document.

 

---

 

      Informed Consent is important.  Perhaps the most important element to mutually satisfying experiences between roleplayers. 

      Full specific details do not always need to be discussed in advance of every interaction, but if everyone involved in a scene is on the same page as to what to expect for content and tone, then (theoretically) fewer issues with those narrative elements should arise.

      However, since risks are somewhat mitigated in a setting where we are each empowered to use the /ignore or /gignore commands independently, or to report extreme cases to the server GMs; unlike real life, informed consent is not necessarily a requirement to roleplay interactions.  After all, for some of us, the pleasure of a roleplayed scenario is not knowing in advance exactly what's going to take place, and having our character(s) react to it accordingly.

 

      To facilitate this, I recommend getting to know your audience before broaching a topic or subject matter which may be challenging.  We all have different lived experiences and different levels of sensitivity and empathy.  Some topics have very personal significance to some people, and their feelings as they pertain to those topics are important to consider.  While one individual may have no limits to the fictional subject matter they are willing to participate in, it is important to remember that such limitlessness is not universal.  Every complaint, concern, or issue expressed out-of-character related to in-character conduct should be given full due respect.

 

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      If you happen to be party to subject matter which you are not comfortable with, or if certain subject matter exceeds your personal thresholds, please politely inform those who have brought up the subject matter.  If you do not feel comfortable speaking to them directly, please contact a Channel Operator or a friend to broach the concern.  Please do not get mired in a debate.  Do not escalate a disagreement by directly antagonizing another player or group of players.  Your sole responsibility is to expressly state where the line is for you, and ask the other party to consider their present course of action. 

      If you feel personally targeted by continued flaunting of the subject matter, please contact an Operator immediately.  If none are available, send a Private Global Tell to @VileTerror

      If things have escalated to harassment, contact a GM immediately instead.  Their authority exceeds that of the Channel Operators.

 

      Remember:  You always have the power and personal authority to use the /ignore and /gignore commands.  I understand that this may not be an ideal solution in certain circumstances, but if the situation is particularly desperate, don't hesitate to use what you have available to you handle the situation in an acceptable manner.  In the case of harassment, while the "/petition" command is not presently functional, it is (apparently) on the Admin's radar for repair.  In the meantime, it has been recommended that you attempt to use the /Help channel to try and snag a GM.  Please, exercise some discretion in your search of an online GM, particularly if the harassment is on-going, so as not to involve unnecessary third parties.

 

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      On the contrary side of the former matter:  It is not any one individual or small group's prerogative to dictate the expectations of preferred content to other players.  Please consider if your personal disinterest or disgust with a type of subject matter is worth impacting others' interactions.  A metric to consider is by the standards expressed with the in-game lore and mission content.  If subject matter is present in the game itself, then you may need to closely evaluate whether you need to inform other players of your feelings on the material.

      Of course, that isn't a solid rule.  The content in this game is wildly disparate and inconsistent in tone and theme.  Additionally, the game is over fifteen years old now.  Some portions have not aged well, including some of the newer content (oddly enough).  We do not want anyone to feel like they are being squelched for expressing feelings of dissatisfaction.  We are not interested in blaming victims.

 

      But please; don't use other forms of media as metrics here.  City of Heroes / City of Villains is not a Marvel or D.C. movie/comic/television show/video game.  It is its own setting, despite some pretty blatant parodies sprinkled here and there.  You may attempt to use other media as a model to try and express a basis of your personal expectations from, but remember that not everyone will be familiar with such material.  We are players from all over the globe, (again) with very different lived experiences.  It would probably be much more helpful to use a national movie rating system; but not even those are universally known.

 

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      Swearing is entirely acceptable, so long as a player does not modify the spelling of their swear words with the intent of bypassing the Profanity Filter.  Players are expected to self-govern their Profanity Filters.

      Profanity based on bigotry is always unacceptable, even in roleplay.  Please use indirect means of expressing such profanity in-character if it's strictly necessary for a scene.

 

-

 

      Public roleplay of risqué content is subject to the "Canada Sex Rule." 

      Essentially, this means that any interaction between consenting individuals is acceptable, even in public, until someone complains.  At that point, it may possibly result in immediate punishment depending on severity.  Perform such conduct at your own risk.  This even applies to Global Channels expressly stated to be for a given type of subject matter if that subject matter is in direct violation of server rules.  This is mainly for your information, and isn't necessarily something which will be enforced by the Operators of the RP or OOC channels.

 

      Please note that some risqué subject matter can be particularly hazardous to other players due to personal trauma or real-life experiences.  If you bring up such subject matter, then YOU are responsible for having posted it in a place where the other player could overhear/read it.  If you did this without ill intent, then apologize and accept that you have made a serious error.  Do NOT blame the individual whom your use of the subject matter has done emotional harm to.  No one has the authority to tell another person what should or should not bother that person.

 

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      A reminder that this is a "living document," and subject to change.  Civil, informed, and rational discussion is encouraged as to ensure the best possible standards are met.  However, if you find yourself continuously at odds with the rest of this community, I strongly recommend you perform some introspection as to whether or not this is the appropriate community for you to be involved with.  My personal intention is to have a large and diverse group of people roleplaying in as harmonious a gathering as possible, but I acknowledge such an intent is more dream than likely reality.  Tempered expectations can do wonders for everyone.

 

---

 

      Channel Operator Rules!

      The Operators of the RP and OOC Channels are expected to uphold the ideals of all positive interactions expressed in this document to the best of their abilities.

 

-      Operators should attempt to mediate before intervening in any issue.  Any mediation should also be presented in terms of an effort for the best interests of the overall roleplay community in a given situation.

 

-      Operators should open themselves to both public and private contact while on duty.

 

-      An Operator is permitted to decline authority in a matter if they feel out of their depth or are currently off duty.

 

-      No Operator should operate independently without input from others, unless in a particularly dire situation.

 

-      Operators should contact all other Operators by in-game email or Global Tells whenever they perform a Silence or Kick action, and share these details privately.

 

-      Operators should respect the privacy and personal limits of any given member of the RP and OOC Channels.

 

---

 

      New Channel Operators Nominations

      We are presently in need of Channel Operators who see the above listed content as the ideal worth upholding.  If you wish to volunteer, please provide some references.  If you know someone you wish to nominate, please notify an existing Operator.

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Seems complete enough to me, at least as a starting point. If anything tragic pops up, like you say this can be amended.

 

I would note one fairly obvious rule that should still probably be written: Keep ooc off the RP channel, and vice versa. ;) Lengthy ooc discussions, even about RP, should stay in the OOC channel so as not to disrupt or derail RP.

 

Also, in addition to ignoring someone, if you feel you must continue an argument, take it to tells. In tells, two people can be as argumentative as they like without disrupting the play of other people. Continuing to carry on a two-person argument in public is an attempt to draw others into your drama, and should be a strict no-no. Keep your personal arguments personal, not public.

 

And hey, I always want to nominate myself! I'm a veteran player, I'm old enough not to have a short fuse, I'm funny, and I work with puppies all day so I'm rarely stressed. I'm off every Sunday and lately have most weeknights free, even some afternoons. Back in the days of yore, I was a guide manager on AOL so I know how to moderate online, I'm tolerant enough not to kick for every small infraction, and diplomatic enough to redirect arguments into something more productive.

 

But mostly I have access to puppies. That's the important thing.

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Might be better to wait for a real RP forum than to move it to a server-specific board... Not all of us who do the IC chat thing play exclusively on Everlasting after all. (Kaikara, that apprentice mage of mine, is over on Torchbearer for instance.) With the roleplayers' channels being global across shards, people might not think to look at the Everlasting part of the forums for general RP information.

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Taker of screenshots. Player of creepy Oranbegans.

Kai's Diary: The Scrapbook of a Sorcerer's Apprentice

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Seems very reasonable and comprehensive. And, thank goodness, easy to read & understand.

Primana's suggestion to keep OOC chatter out of the designated RP channels is good, but might be better suited to the MOTD in those respective channels. It's up to the person who makes the rules to decide, of course.

 

Overall, a very good set of rules. Well done, VT.

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In addition to RP and OOC there is RPG13.

 

Also, for those looking for a more strictly traditional Superhero experience there is RPG13.  Which is designed to have IC roleplay in the tone and style of the major Marvel movies, Bruce Timm's DCAU, and a more PG13 friendly atmosphere.  Cursing is not strictly forbidden but follow the Marvel rule and save your "Oh Shit."  for maximum possible impact.  While a channel that allows villains and heroes to interact, remember this is a PG13 environment - when in doubt, default to tone, language and descriptions you might have found on Justice League Unlimited, Teen Titans, Young Justice or Batman : the Animated Series. 

 

We're here to share our love of comic book stories with each other, first and foremost, not win best actor on the internet - in a question of what is true to your character and what is appropriate for the channel, we ask you always choose the tone of the channel.  If you are a darker, edgy character, think of RPG13 as your animated television counterpart - If you're Heath Ledger's Joker normally, be Mark Hamill's Joker when you come to our channel.

 

Thanks and Happy Storysharing.

 

/chan_join RPG13 will join your global handle to the RPG13 chat channel.

 

/macro RP "beginchat /chan_send RPG13 [$name] - "

creates a macro button you can press on your bar to start chatting in the channel that will add your current character name after your global handle.

 

/bind LSHIFT+ENTER "beginchat /chan_send RPG13 [$name] -"

binds left shift button + enter at the same time to start chat in the channel.

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-Atlas Television-

"Reality TV Just got Super!"

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Thanks but no thanks. I'm not going to submit myself to the "opinions" of some "committee" and I am pretty sure everyone in my SG will agree with that. Every time we've seen these things in games, people wanting to be shot callers for everyone on the server, it never ends well. Typically ending with an elitist clique that wants to lord power over others. I saw this when I played on Virtue as well. I'll RP with you guys and I always try to be nice to everyone, even people I don't agree with. Hell I am a man of faith, and I have friends of all different faiths. I even had someone who I was friends with in a faith that directly opposed mine. That said, my SG and I are going to stick to our own channels. Not that we are snobs or anything, but this is something I am VERY uncomfortable with. It's way outside my comfort zone. I've just seen this end badly way too many times and it's unfair for ANYONE to think that another player should be beholden to them "just because". Server admins are one thing as they are the authority, but... other players are a huge no no. If you see me around don't hesitate to say hello, or hell even ask me for help if you want or need it. Our group of RP'ers are pretty friendly and like I said we try to love everyone. This just isn't something that I would ever commit too.


Marshal Valor

Commander of the 1st Fist of Light

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Yeah hard pass on any rules from anyone but the server owners/moderators.  This is a solution in search of a problem, which causes untold more problems than it is seeking to solve.

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Thanks but no thanks. I'm not going to submit myself to the "opinions" of some "committee" and I am pretty sure everyone in my SG will agree with that. Every time we've seen these things in games, people wanting to be shot callers for everyone on the server, it never ends well. Typically ending with an elitist clique that wants to lord power over others. I saw this when I played on Virtue as well. I'll RP with you guys and I always try to be nice to everyone, even people I don't agree with. Hell I am a man of faith, and I have friends of all different faiths. I even had someone who I was friends with in a faith that directly opposed mine. That said, my SG and I are going to stick to our own channels. Not that we are snobs or anything, but this is something I am VERY uncomfortable with. It's way outside my comfort zone. I've just seen this end badly way too many times and it's unfair for ANYONE to think that another player should be beholden to them "just because". Server admins are one thing as they are the authority, but... other players are a huge no no. If you see me around don't hesitate to say hello, or hell even ask me for help if you want or need it. Our group of RP'ers are pretty friendly and like I said we try to love everyone. This just isn't something that I would ever commit too.

 

Hi,

When RPG13 was created there was no code of conduct written yet.  RPG13 is simply a voluntary space for people who would rather keep their foot firmly in the golden/silver/bronze age of mainstream comic-book media and whose interest is more focused than the general RP channel.  If you wouldn't see it on Justice League Unlimited, Young Justice or a Disney Marvel movie, it's probably inappropriate for RPG13.  If that's not to your interest, I understand, but I think we all have the same goal of making a vibrant, engaged role-playing community.  As for moderation, I agree, the tools are limited, but that's why these custom channels are voluntary in the first place.  I don't expect everyone to want to join and I wouldn't want anyone to ever feel pressured to join any channel on the server - I'm just letting people know that it's there.

 

Happy Storysharing.

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-Atlas Television-

"Reality TV Just got Super!"

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Thanks but no thanks. I'm not going to submit myself to the "opinions" of some "committee" and I am pretty sure everyone in my SG will agree with that. Every time we've seen these things in games, people wanting to be shot callers for everyone on the server, it never ends well. Typically ending with an elitist clique that wants to lord power over others. I saw this when I played on Virtue as well. I'll RP with you guys and I always try to be nice to everyone, even people I don't agree with. Hell I am a man of faith, and I have friends of all different faiths. I even had someone who I was friends with in a faith that directly opposed mine. That said, my SG and I are going to stick to our own channels. Not that we are snobs or anything, but this is something I am VERY uncomfortable with. It's way outside my comfort zone. I've just seen this end badly way too many times and it's unfair for ANYONE to think that another player should be beholden to them "just because". Server admins are one thing as they are the authority, but... other players are a huge no no. If you see me around don't hesitate to say hello, or hell even ask me for help if you want or need it. Our group of RP'ers are pretty friendly and like I said we try to love everyone. This just isn't something that I would ever commit too.

 

There's always a threat of things like this turning into a clique, but I honestly don't feel that's the case currently. The RP and OOC channels aren't a power grab or attempt to control anyone's writing, the code of conduct was written with input from channel members who - in many cases - had never met before.

 

I didn't know VileTerror until I joined the channel and yet my opinion was heard, respected and added to the discussion. At the end of the day that's all the code of conduct really is, a discussion on how to be civil while leaving everyone enough room to explore their characters.

 

If I see anything sketchy I'll be among the first to speak out but I'm hopeful right now as things have been good.

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Thanks but no thanks. I'm not going to submit myself to the "opinions" of some "committee" and I am pretty sure everyone in my SG will agree with that. Every time we've seen these things in games, people wanting to be shot callers for everyone on the server, it never ends well. Typically ending with an elitist clique that wants to lord power over others. I saw this when I played on Virtue as well. I'll RP with you guys and I always try to be nice to everyone, even people I don't agree with. Hell I am a man of faith, and I have friends of all different faiths. I even had someone who I was friends with in a faith that directly opposed mine. That said, my SG and I are going to stick to our own channels. Not that we are snobs or anything, but this is something I am VERY uncomfortable with. It's way outside my comfort zone. I've just seen this end badly way too many times and it's unfair for ANYONE to think that another player should be beholden to them "just because". Server admins are one thing as they are the authority, but... other players are a huge no no. If you see me around don't hesitate to say hello, or hell even ask me for help if you want or need it. Our group of RP'ers are pretty friendly and like I said we try to love everyone. This just isn't something that I would ever commit too.

 

Oh my goodness.

 

You can just not join the RP channel, it's okay! You don't have to justify to us why you don't want to do public RP in these channels! No one will mind!

 

Nobody is trying to police RP across the board or in /local or anything. These codes of conduct are only for people specifically joining in on roleplay within the channel the OP created.

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I have always wanted to RP in a game. I have a good friend who RP's GTA...and it looked like a lot of fun. But to be able to RP in CoH??? Oh yeah! I am so in! I am downloading the game now. Looking forward to playing again. See you in game!


Captain South America

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I want to say that first off, I love the careful consideration the OP has clearly given to all points of view here.  This is a great start.

 

I'd like to advocate for something that works well for me.  I was attracted initially to redside RP and had to come up with some way to cope with the occasional hostile comment delivered in an SG environment.  /ignore isn't really an option when others are commenting and riffing on RP they may see as merely "spicy" or "edgy".

 

So what I found helpful was to say, using the tag for added emphasis:  "(OOC:  I'm sorry, but I'm not comfortable with this roleplay.  Could you please stop?)"  You may need to repeat it a time or two.

 

By not responding directly to the offensive RP or appearing to take it personally, you can avoid a *world* of hurt.  You're denying them consent to continue.  You'd think this would be an obvious strategy, right?  But it's funny how counterintuitive it is when you're in the moment.  So it may deserve mention in your discussion of tactics for avoiding RP ugliness.

 

I only wish someone in the first two guilds I joined could have explained it in those simple terms.

 

Edited by Buffy Barritt
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