Rules and Regulations

Started by Lomari, October 11, 2019, 10:49:36 am

Cortex Mainframe

October 11, 2019, 10:49:36 am Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 11:28:43 pm by RUNE
By registering and applying for a character on this site you agree to abide by the following rules and regulations both on the board and in the chat area.


Rules Table of Contents:

Basic Forum Rules:

Posting Regulations

Creating A New Ship

Canon Resources

Technology

Character Restrictions

Character Death

Inactivity

Narration and NPCs

Godmodding, Metagaming, and Powerplaying

***DISCLAIMER***
This forum includes sexual themes and violence and is rated 15+ or M (depending on where you hail from).  If you are uncomfortable in any given situation, speak with your narrator.  However, life on the rim is violent, and often inescapable.  Your characters are not immortal, and death is a very real possibility.

Cortex Mainframe

Basic Forum Rules:

Everyone on this site should be treated with respect.  Harassment of another member will not be tolerated.  While you may not agree with everyone, conversations are expected to remain civil.

While we borrow some terms and phrases to create our take on the 'verse, wholesale plagiarism is unacceptable.  There is a difference between a concept inspired by another work, and a direct rip-off.

You only have control over one character: your own.  Do not post the thoughts and actions of others.

Should a player become a toxic factor on a ship, the Captain can reach out to the Narrator and the Staff in order to mediate the situation.

Cortex Mainframe

October 20, 2019, 11:25:51 am #2 Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 03:27:26 am by RUNE
Posting Regulations:

If you know you will be unable to post for an extended period (4 days or more), please let your narrator and your shipmates know so the story doesn't stall. Likewise, if you are waiting for a player to post for more than 4 days and it is now holding up the story, you are free to skip that player and continue on. For more detailed information on preferred posting rates, please refer to each ships Information section.

Do not double post in the IC forums.  Give someone else a turn to write before you continue.  If most of your shipmates are not posting as frequently as you, please slow down.

Please proofread your posts before you submit them for spelling and grammar.  The forum has a built-in spell-checker; please use it.  We all make the occasional mistake, but the focus of this site is writing a good story.

Keep quotations and/or color coding consistent. Each ship might have its own method such as using the quotation code or having players choose colors for their dialogue. Whatever the method, please be clear and consistent so other players know who is speaking, when.

Across the board, the standard for perspective and verb tense is third person past. Example - "Jeremy entered the Galley, relieved to find it empty as the rest of the crew were out wrangling up some supplies. It had been a long day of welding to repair the breach in the hull, and he was looking for a cold drink to held him unwind." Like consistent color coding and proper grammar and spelling, this uniform standard helps keep the story flowing across everyone's posts.

Don't edit your post once someone has responded to it.  The only time an edit is acceptable is if you have contradicted previously-posted information and have been asked to adjust your post accordingly.

Posts should be at least 400 to 500 words long, and/or at least five or six sentences, to ensure a descriptive and well-written addition to the story and ensures that your fellow players have enough to react to in their own posts.

Out of Character comments should not be posted in a story thread. They need to be posted in the OOC threads with your OOC account.

Sometimes, things might get heated between characters. Love blossoms, infatuation arises, but please remember to keep things appropriate. When dealing with a sexual situation, a "fade to black" is the best course of action. No ERP (erotic role play) is allowed on the FindingSerenity forums.

Cortex Mainframe

Creating A New Ship:

We realize that there aren't a ton of official layouts and blueprints out there, and that sometimes we're just plain going to have to make something up/edit something heavily in order to make it work (such as for Iscariot). But while we're pulling from neutral and unofficial resources for these layouts, it must be officially noted that final ship designs, narrative styles, and proposed plots are at the final discretion of the admin staff. And while we're willing to work with everyone in order to get their idea to work some things we just aren't going to allow. A user posting a layout he or she thinks is neat in a thread does not make that layout official or acceptable "as is."

Cortex Mainframe

October 20, 2019, 11:26:25 am #4 Last Edit: October 01, 2020, 08:59:16 am by Lomari
Canon Resources:

Firefly
Serenity: Those Left Behind
R. Tam sessions
Serenity
Serenity: Better Days
Serenity: The Other Half
Serenity: Float Out
Serenity: The Shepherd's Tale
Serenity: Downtime
Serenity: It's Never Easy
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind
Four official companion books written by Whedon
Any comments from Whedon himself pertaining to the story or history of the show.
The Serenity novelization.
The Serenity RPG, and related materials.
FindingSerenity's Storylines.
The Firefly Wiki

Fanmade Content or Fanfiction is not considered Canon.

Firefly was about people, so here on Finding Serenity we hold it as canon that there is no life in the terraformed planets of the Firefly-verse that isn't a child of Earth. In turn there is no faster than light travel, so any extra-terrestrial life that may exist cannot reach or communicate with this patch of colonized space.

Cortex Mainframe

October 20, 2019, 11:27:01 am #5 Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 11:31:10 pm by RUNE
Technology:

While there may be crazy advanced stuff available in the Core to the ridiculously wealthy, most of the tech our characters have access to is much more in the range of,  "modern day but more shiny" to "1800s yeehaw."

For example, out on the border planets we see a regression to 1800s technology, including a reversion to country living. In the middle ranges we see technology like the Cry Baby, in which an electronic device that simulates a distress call is built inside of a tin coffee can. On the other side of the spectrum, at the highest level of the government, we see devices like the sonic device, a sophisticated and compact device that can deliver lethal levels of sound.

Here is a link to some great examples of technology seen in the 'Verse:

https://firefly.fandom.com/wiki/Category:Technology

If you have a question about whether a hither-to unseen example of technology might or might not fit into findingserenity.net's 'Verse, just ask a Moderator or Administrator!

Cortex Mainframe

October 20, 2019, 11:27:17 am #6 Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 10:51:27 am by Lomari
Character Restrictions:

Sometimes, we have to say no.  While we encourage your imagination and creativity, we also want to stay as true to our 'Verse as we can, and there are some things that just don't fit in.

Super Characters are great... for a Super Hero RPG. In the Firefly verse, a person who can do anything, fix anything, save everyone, anticipate everything, kill anyone, masters every fighting style... you get the point... just isn't fun for everyone else to RP with.

While the temptation is there to write this fantastically skilled character, good at anything he does and already an expert at everything, it just isn't a character we will accept. People are fallible, they make mistakes and they don't always know everything that's going on. No one is good at everything, period.

Our 'Verse is about ordinary people, who find themselves in extraordinary situations.

Most characters that come through are your basic 'Firefly-esque' characters. However, there are some types of characters from The 'Verse that have to be admin approved for Playable Characters (PCs) and generally won't be accepted as a first character.

Assassins, Operatives, Spies, Super Soldiers: Should be few and far between and the backstory should be able to explain their existence as well as why or how this character exists post Miranda Signal.

Readers/Experiments/"Rivers" - Few and far between. Not every reader/experiment has broken out and escaped and now roams freely in the verse.

Canon Characters - Sorry, no Mal's, Zoe's or any other main character from either the series or movie. This includes connection to canon characters, i.e sisters, cousins, spouses, etc.

Cyborgs/Cybernetic or Robotic Enhancements/Genetically Re-engineered - While the technology in the 'Verse is far advanced, it was not a common thing.  To keep true to the feel of the 'Verse, we will require a good reason for a character to possess this item/items. We'd also like the player to keep in mind the level of tech that would reasonably be in this prosthetic, based on the character's affiliations/social position.



Application Restrictions
Over the life of Finding Serenity there have been several varying restrictions on additional characters allowed to players.  We have decided that its time to remove the restrictions, well in a way anyway.  The new rule is you are now restricted to one character per ship or, in the case of Stations and planets, one character per faction.

The rules for applying for additional characters are as follows.  You can apply for your second character after ten (10) in character posts with your first character.  You then need ten (10) in character posts with each new character before an additional one can be applied for.  In Character posts include posts made in the In Character sections of Prologues.

We would like to be more flexible about it, especially as often the introduction of a new character is delayed because other players are not posting very quickly. Unfortunately it is difficult and time-consuming to judge each case on its merits and so we need to keep it as a blanket rule.

Returning Players
So you fell inactive but have found your way back to Finding Serenity.  Welcome back we're glad you found us again.  The character restrictions for returning players are as follows.  Upon your return you can reclaim two of your inactive characters straight away.  You must then have a total of twenty (20) between those two character posts before any other characters can be reclaimed applied for.  All future characters will then follow the additional character rules.

Cortex Mainframe

Character Death:

Yes a character's death can, has and WILL happen.

While we all respect the time, effort and care that is put into each character, death is a reality. If your character is in a gun fight, they may not always win. Especially if they do something silly like stand in the open while the bullets are flying.

Our Narrators are respectful of the player and the character both, and work with them in some regards.  In other cases, sometimes people just die.  All of us asked 'WHY?!?!?' when Wash died in 'Serenity'.  The answer?  Death happens.  Especially when you live a life like they did.  However please do not take this to mean that we kill people at the drop of a hat as this is not the case.  We just as that you be aware of what happens in character as we are also strong proponents of what a character does in character will have in character consequences.

Cortex Mainframe

Inactivity:

Character inactivity is almost inevitable.  If you will be away from the rp, for whatever reason, for more than four to five days, please notify your Narrator & Captain so as to give them a chance to make adjustments in the RP.

Should anyone disappear for 30 days (one month) without warning, the captain or narrator of their ship is well within their rights to move the character into a place where they will not be in the way. Generally we ask our captains and narrators to attempt contact several times in various ways first.

Should the absence continue without any word from the player for 90 days (three months), the character(s) will be removed from the ship and placed in the inactive character list. This does not mean your character is dead. They can be brought back into play at any time, however, they may have been replaced on the ship.

Cortex Mainframe

November 08, 2019, 02:20:12 pm #9 Last Edit: November 19, 2020, 09:38:09 am by Lomari
Narration:

Finding Serenity is a narrated Role Play site.  Narrators are basically the plot story tellers as it were.  They keep the general of the plot going, push the story in a certain direction when its needed and advise the players the outcome of their actions.

From the perspective of the player, narration can seem to be a very random business. One may even feel there are personal intentions lying beneath the cover of a narrative post. However, narration - at least good narration - is neither random nor personalized.

What makes web-based role playing so unique amoung other forms of role playing are the consequences attached to bad RPing. The most basic of slip ups can result in catastrophic outcomes, and the more horrendous of mistakes cannot justifiably go ignored.

"Bad RPing", is not a reference to a distasteful post in-character, or to moral codes or of such things. It refers to the logistics and continuity of the story itself, and how errors in these fields can result in failure of one's mission or adventure.

A lot of these mistakes are most commonly made in situations of action: gun battles, fights, chases and other such instances. During periods of action, it is common for a player to want to exit the battle as the victor. This would seem to be the catalyst for mistakes in logic and continuity, as a player may take an action which is incomplete, unfair, poorly thought out or just plainly impossible. Any good narrator of the story or administrator of the game could not overlook some of these mistakes in good conscience. This may because it is unfair to other players or because it diminishes the challenge posed in the task at hand.

Mistakes in logic and continuity extend beyond the realms of action sequences, of course, and they come in varying degrees of objectionable offense. These decisions are of course relative, and whereas it may seem necessary to react to a mistake in one instance, it may be the contrary in another. It is the duty of the narrator to ensure that players experience a fair and challenging game, that the credibility of the website is upheld and that those who make mistakes learn from them.

We welcome you to message your narrator or any other staff member if you have concerns about narration of your storyline or narration in general.

Please Note: Most actions taken by your character, be it against an NPC or a Player Character, must be decided by the Narrator or the targeted Player Character. That being said, we encourage you to reach out to the Narrators or Players to discuss possible action consequences prior to posting. In other words, if you'd like to attempt to shoot an NPC or want to have something specific happen to your character, please talk to your ship's Narrator (either in Discord DMs or site PMs) so that can be discussed, and if approved, included in your post.

NPCs:

In you adventures through the 'Verse, you will run into many Non Player Characters, or NPCs.

Treat these NPCs as you would another PC.  You would not tell another character how they react to your words, so do not control the NPCs either. Narrators have control over all NPCs.  Captains may take limited control to help move the story along.

Players are permitted to create minor NPCs if they have no significant relevance or effect on the plot (i.e extras like barkeeps, waitstaff, the guy on the sidewalk, a patron in a store). Say your character is in a restaurant.  You are allowed to write that the waiter refills your glass of wine, or takes your order, brings your food, etc.  But always remember that a Narrator can assume control of the waiter at any given time. Any major NPCs (a recurring character with advanced skills and plot involvement) will need to be approved by and played by the appointed narrator. This is done so that a ship/station's plot does not accidentally get derailed by a non-narrator and to keep things fair among all players.

When in doubt, ASK YOUR NARRATOR FIRST.

Originally posted July 25, 2012, 03:29:09 am
NPC section expanded when merged with Rules and Regulations thread November 8, 2019 at 3:20:12 pm

Cortex Mainframe

November 11, 2019, 11:27:08 pm #10 Last Edit: November 19, 2019, 10:56:36 am by Lomari
Godmodding, Metagaming and Powerplaying
What They Are and How to Avoid Them
A Documentation by Jewelclaw of the RPG-D

Rules against godmodding, metagaming and powerplaying are likely some of the most common rules to be instituted onto RP boards, yet very rarely do they appear to be described in a fashion other than 'Don't to this, because it is bad', or when they are described they are contradictory and confusing. This guide aims to clarify the three terms in the simplest way possible in order to enhance the role playing experience.

Godmodding

Godmodding in its simplest terms is controlling another player's character without their permission. By imposing your will on their character without their permission, you are gaining 'godlike' or 'divine' powers, hence the origin of the term. Godmodding can be as basic stating that a character is holding a drink in their hand at a party, or mentioning a type of clothing a character is wearing. It can also include actions, such as Character A swinging a punch and breaking Character B's nose. In this scenario there was not any opportunity for Character B's player to respond to the action, maybe their character dodged the punch entirely or got a black eye instead, perhaps it hit but not strong enough to actually break their nose. By stating the end result of the action, the player of Character A is removing the ability of Character B's player to contribute to both the scene and the mood of the thread.

Avoiding godmodding is rather simple, the easiest way to do so is to leave an opening for the other player to respond to. For example this Shaking her head, Jane frowned at Steve, clearly disgusted by him. "You've had enough, you drunk," she snapped as she reached out and snatched the glass out of his hand. could easy be changed to this Shaking her head, Jane frowned at Steve, clearly disgusted by him. "You've had enough, you drunk," she snapped as she reached out, intending to snatch the glass out of his hand. Only a few words were changed, yet the second one isn't godmodding because it gives Steve's player the chance to respond and decide what happens next.

The most important thing to keep in mind when trying to avoid godmodding is to give the other player the chance to respond to the action.

Metagaming

The easiest of the three to define, though likely the hardest to avoid is metagaming. This term comes from the Greek word meta meaning 'about' or 'beyond'. Hence to metagame would be playing with knowledge beyond the scope of the present game, plot, or scene. This knowledge can be gained various ways, either through historical research, threads that occur at a time later than the one that is currently being worked on, informational topics posted on the board itself, or chatting with other players about their characters and gaining knowledge about them, as well as other ways.

Unless the board administration keeps every single detail of the plot under wraps and does not let it progress to the next major event until all the past threads are complete so the board can move forward together, all roleplayers are at some point privy to information as the player that realistically their character would not yet know in game. This could be as simple as commenting on a pregnancy that isn't common knowledge/announced to the public yet, or having a character be angry that their partner was having a clandestine affair, all the way to having a character avoid going on a mission that ended in failure despite hopes in the beginning it would be successful.

The most important thing to keep in mind to avoid metagaming is that just because you the player know something, doesn't mean your character will.

Powerplaying

Powerplaying is when a player manipulates their character's abilities, powers or skills so that their character always has an advantage in the situation. This could be as simple as always knowing the best spell, or having a black belt in every type of martial art known to man. Powerplaying is most often confused with godmodding, and while the two are quite close, the difference between them is that godmodding is more controlling the other players character, while powerplaying is focused on your own character and manipulating the scene through them.

Any experienced RPer will tell you that the most believable characters have strengths and weaknesses, and if they don't then they face the dreaded title of Mary/Gary Stu. No character can ever be the fastest/strongest/bravest/smartest/whateverest all the time, and saying they are is powerplaying. This is most often found in battle threads and physical contests when it is often left to the player to determine the effectiveness of attacks and extent of damage given. No one wants to play with a a character that always wins! No matter how awesome your character may be, there will always be one out there that is better.

The most important thing to remember when trying to avoid powerplaying is keeping in mind that no one is immortal, and they all have weaknesses, as well as keeping the bounds of reason in mind.

Conclusion

Avoiding godmodding, metagaming and powerplaying is far simpler than it sounds, the easiest way is when in doubt ask the other player. Remember the saying about assuming things, 'it makes an pi gu out of u and me'. It doesn't take more than a second to zip them a PM and see what they thing about the action you're planning. This will prevent confusion and will prevent any hurt feelings that may arise from one player 'controlling' another players character. Also, remember to give an out. Never post with a definitive action, always give the other person the opportunity to decide if they want the action to be complete by using words like 'attempt', 'try', etc. By following these simple steps you'll be able to avoid the most common pit falls of RPing.

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