Game Policies

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We really suggest that you read through this entire page and understand its content, because all players and staff are responsible for being aware of the rules and abiding by them, whether you read them or not. “I didn’t know” will not fly as an excuse if you are pulled aside by staff and told to knock a behavior off. We can’t make you read it, so if you only read one thing, make it this:

Don’t be a jerk. Gaming is not about you, it’s about us. Players who don’t respect their fellow players, think they aren’t being awesome unless it’s at someone else’s expense, or demand that everyone comply with their desires aren’t the kind of people Emblem of Ea welcomes. Make it fun for everyone, not just you, and realize that we’re all here for the same thing, and everything will be fine.

Oh, and, be sure to read the Terms of Service (TOS).

Alignment

Emblem of Ea uses the alignment system as defined in the Pathfinder base rules. While we recognize that not all players agree with or like this system, the concept of good and evil as concrete forces underpins the setting and story of the Emblem of Ea.

PC's who demonstrate a pattern of acts not in keeping with the alignment on their character sheets can expect to be approached by staff about a change of alignment. If staff approaches a PC once for this reason, the PC refuses, and the pattern continues, the change will be enforced without consent. Remember that in the case of certain classes, this may affect what powers your PC has access to, or the favor of their deity.

Certain PC classes have codes of behavior and/or acts that are anathema to the class. Any character that commits acts anathema to their class will immediately lose access to their class features as described in the PRD, and will most likely need to undertake one or more storylines to get them restored. Players of these classes are expected to be aware of the codes of behavior for the class they are playing.

Alts

Emblem of Ea does not restrict the number of alts a player may create, but does require that all alts of a single player be tied together using the @register command. While the command asks for a real name, a moniker will suffice, but we do ask for a valid email address so that we may contact you in the event of a disruption to the game itself. This information is visible only to staff, and is not disseminated to any player.

That said, Emblem of Ea asks that players use common sense, and be mindful of database bloat. Do not create characters that you do not intend to play, and do not create more alts than your RL time constraints reasonably permit you to play. Most players seek to have one alt in each level tier, two at most. Staff reserves the right to bar a player from creating new alts for a period of time if they feel that the player either cannot or does not intend to play all of their alts.

Alts of a single player are to avoid all forms of interaction with each other, including information sharing and resource movement. Only one alt of a given player may be in a given scene at a time.

Character Death and Retirement

Character death is unfortunate, but it is a reality of the genre. It happens. The prevalence of magic on Ea, and the fact that returning a soul to life (as opposed to undeath) is not an evil act, means that resurrection of a character is possible for the right price. It is not, however, an easy thing for either the caster or the soul to be returned. The journey to the Halls and back is an arduous one, and the separation and reunion of the soul and the body has consequences. These consequences may vary in their details from PC to PC, but PC's should expect to feel weak, ill, and/or "not themselves" for several days to a week after being brought back, and the more often a PC is brought back, the worse these aftereffects become.

Sometimes, though, a player may want to quietly retire a character, or not bring them back. This is always at the option of the player -- raise dead and similar spells can fail, and it is the choice of the soul whether to return or not. If a player wishes to retire a character, characters can be "rolled over" as follows.

  • A character rolled over from in-game death awards its level -1.
  • A character rolled over for any other reason awards its level -2.
  • If the retired PC was over halfway to their next level, the new PC will be set halfway to their next level.
  • The new PC will be granted appropriate wealth for their level, including half-levels. Awarded treasure and loot to the new PC must be spent per the stipend rules.
  • Levels may be split among multiple new PC's.
  • PC's created by rollover must be entirely new PC's. This means that levels may not be added to existing PC's, and that the new PC may not have any connection to the retired character.

Consequences

Staff reserves the right to intervene in scenes or RP in-game at any time if an NPC or world-based response to PC actions is deemed necessary and appropriate. ICA=ICC, and more powerful figures exist than any one character on the grid, no matter how high level. Nobody in Ea or beyond is immune from the consequences of their actions, and Emblem of Ea relies on this fact to maintain story balance. Any attempt to defend bad behavior on the grounds of “it’s IC for my character” will result in a response of “and staff actions in response are IC for the world”, as well as any other applicable OOC response.

Staff may also choose to retcon a scene (delete a scene and say it never happened) if it is deemed to be thematically inappropriate or in violation of game policy. If you are involved in a scene that is later retconned by staff, you will be informed by @mail. For all intents and purposes, a scene that has been retconned never happened, and you are expected to conduct your RP accordingly, including not referencing the events in the scene, not using IC knowledge gained during the scene, etc.

Disallowed PC Concepts / Elements

There are some PC concepts and background / sheet elements that just aren’t approvable or permitted in play, for a variety of reasons. When you create your character, make sure that your application/background/description does not include any of these.

  • Content that does not comply with game rating, including explicit descriptions.
  • Underage characters. All PC’s must be of, and appear to be of, the accepted age of majority for their race.
  • Evil alignments. This includes intelligent magical items.
  • Characters that are minmaxed or “dumpstatted”. Emblem of Ea has a very, very generous point buy system, and minmaxing is simply not necessary to create a character that is fun to play.
  • Characters that do not adhere to theme as stated on the wiki.

Dramatic Time

Emblem of Ea takes a very loose approach to time. A scene lasts as long as the players involved, or if a DM is present, the DM says it does. Travel times can be collapsed or expanded so that players may play in most places on the grid, including locations outside of the main area. PrP’s are not required to be ICly local.

Please note that if a DM or staffer indicates that players are ICly away or off the grid for a period of time to represent the passage of time or to control information flow, players are expected to abide by that DM’s wishes. If the players wish to fast-forward or play scenes outside of time during that period, they should seek DM permission to do so.

Game Rating

The IC areas of the grid are generally rated R, meaning that a certain amount of violence, adult topics, and vulgar language are fine. Anything beyond that doesn’t belong in logs, or on the IC grid.

We generally ask that the OOC areas be treated as PG-13, meaning that we ask that players watch their language and avoid topics and content that could get their fellow players in trouble in the office. It is not uncommon for our players to MU* from work, and most places of employment frown on adult content on screens in the office. Getting your fellow players in RL trouble isn’t good MU* citizenship.

Handling Conflict

IC Conflict

The key to effectively managing IC conflict is to keep OOC lines of communication open. Ideally, even if the characters are at odds, whether it be a verbal argument, a fistfight, or a battle to submission or death, the two players are communicating OOCly through the entire scene. However, this does not always happen.

If you find that your character is in conflict with another character, immediately try to talk to the other player OOC. Determine OOC and IC intent. It is perfectly acceptable to talk a scene out before playing it out, and doing so can often lead to better RP for all. Remember that the intent of the game is to tell a story, not for one side or the other to “win”.

If you find that you are getting upset or angry, that cooperation simply is not happening, or that the lines of OOC communication are not open, the situation needs to be handled as an OOC conflict.

OOC Conflict

Whenever the lines of OOC communication go awry, conflict immediately becomes OOC in nature, and the approach to handling it must necessarily change.

Remember in communications with other players that 93% of all human communication is nonverbal, and nonverbal cues are not possible in a text-only medium. In the absence of nonverbal cues, normal human tendency is to assign the most negative possible meaning to any statement. Keep this in mind as you write, and as you read what others have written -- it may not be meant as badly as it comes across. Careful choice of wording and free use of emoticons may help you convey your meaning more clearly.

If you would be understood, seek first to understand. Try to see where the other player is coming from. If everyone can do that, a compromise that works for everyone is usually possible. Keep an open mind, and remember that someone is not necessarily wrong, just because they disagree with you or are saying something you would rather not hear.

If this does not work, if the situation is escalating, or OOC tempers are flaring, involve staff immediately. Do not discuss it with your friends or ask advice. Grab a log of the incident and page any available staffer, without hesitation.

House Rules and Rules-Lawyering

Emblem of Ea favors a rules-as-interpreted approach (RAI) to rules adjudication, as opposed to the rules-as-written (RAW) approach. More importantly, though, we set the ability to tell a story and plain good sense over both of these. For this reason, some of the rules and thematic elements from the PRD have been modified to fit Emblem of Ea's theme and setting. Where a house rule differs from any other source, online or off, the house rule supersedes.

Sometimes, a DM may make a rules adjudication for an in-game situation on the spot. In such a case, the DM's ruling is final for the duration of the scene. If questions about the relevant rules remain, a player may create a request to the RULES bucket, detailing the situation, what was ruled, and why that player believed the ruling to be incorrect, including any relevant references. Staff will make a ruling, and that ruling is final and will be documented to House Rules. Any attempt to argue a ruling defined here as final, or any attempt to argue the rules at a length that disrupts the flow of play, is rules-lawyering and will not be tolerated.

In no case will the outcome of a combat or scene be changed on the basis of a post-scene rules adjudication - the ruling as given will be applied to future situations.

Harassment and Boundaries

Comments or conduct of a derogatory or pejorative nature based on race, gender identity, sexual preference, age, political or religious creed, national origin, military service, or any mental or physical disability are not acceptable on Emblem of Ea. Period.

Respect your fellow players’ boundaries. This means respecting the word “no”. This includes:

  • If you are asked to stop contacting a person, you are to honor that, in all media and social spaces. A pagelock does not mean that you should @mail them, or DM them on Discord, or anything else, on or off the game.
  • If another player tells you that they are not comfortable with something, that does not mean that you should attempt to cajole them into it, tell them why they are being unreasonable, etc. Respect that, and negotiate a solution that works for both sides.
  • Only a staffer or DM may impose any effect or status on a non-consent basis, and only a staffer may do so for effects that last longer than a single scene.

Remember that the word "No" is a complete sentence. No explanations, justifications, or expounding on it is required.

IC and OOC

Emblem of Ea, and games like it, are founded on the principle that all players understand that a character (the IC) and the player behind that character (the OOC) are two different things. This is a cornerstone of the genre, and of acting in general for many reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Thematic adherence
  • Story balance
  • The mental health of the players involved

This means that:

  • Just because the character is objectionable or annoying doesn’t necessarily mean that the player is doing anything wrong, per se.
  • Use of OOC knowledge IC is not okay.
  • Claims that the game theme should be changed because it offends you, the player, are not appropriate and will not be entertained.

A player who suspects another player of missing or loose IC/OOC boundaries should approach that player, and if that does not work, should approach staff with the concern.

Idledesting

Emblem of Ea expects that players who need to take an extended leave of absence will set their VACATION and notify staff prior to leaving. Approved characters not set VACATION who are more than 90 days idle are subject to idledest at staff discretion. If the character is not yet approved for play, this becomes 30 days.

Posting about an extended leave of absence on the bboards will not suffice. Players must set their vacation and notify staff to protect their characters.

Inappropriate Behavior

These behaviors are inappropriate on Emblem of Ea. Don't do these things.

  • Abuse of softcode or hardcode for any purpose, whether it is to your own benefit or the detriment of others. This includes use of softcode to spy on other players.
  • Inappropriate use or dissemination of another player’s personal information, including alt identities.
  • Harassment or refusal to honor other players’ boundaries.
  • Falsification or misrepresentation of the contents of your character sheet, including roleplaying abilities that are not on your sheet.
  • Rules-lawyering as defined in policy.
  • Minmaxing and power gaming. Your character is a person, not a bunch of numbers.
  • Use of abusive or derogatory language towards any player or staffer.
  • Deliberately making a nuisance of yourself, by any method and for any purpose. This is just childish.
  • Violation of any other policy.

Multiclassing and Prestige Classes

Multiclassing (a single character having levels in more than one class) is common and accepted practice in Pathfinder, and Emblem of Ea allows this approach. Characters who multiclass in chargen do not need to do anything special, although their background should reflect how they came to be multiclassed.

Characters who elect to take up multiclassing after chargen will need to spend 3 RPPs, and must notify staff at least one full level before leveling into the class, to reflect the time and IC work put in on learning a new skill set and profession. Preferably, this will be with an IC mentor or trainer or some other explanation as to how they came by their new knowledge, and may possibly carry additional tasks or RP. Once that RP is done, characters may level into the new class.

Prestige classes are mechanically similar, but are more involved in terms of RP, and more may be asked of the character to begin what is effectively a focused and elite path for the character. Players wishing to multiclass into a prestige class must notify staff no less than two levels ahead of time, to ensure that the class is available and any necessary initiations can be completed.

Player-Run Plots

Emblem of Ea encourages players to DM for their fellow players! Please refer to the PRP Guide for information and policies.

Staff

Emblem of Ea’s staff members are easy to spot – look for the names of disasters, natural and unnatural. If you need help or have a question or a problem, do not hesitate to approach one of us. We don’t bite.

Players can expect staffers to adhere to everything in policies, every time. We strive to set the example for what we look for in our community. If ever you feel that a staffer is not behaving consistently with community guidelines or policy, please approach them, or another staffer if you are uncomfortable approaching them.

We have a few extra policies that we adhere to in addition to this. They are:

  • Staffers will make themselves visible and available to assist whenever possible.
  • Staffers will divulge the identities of their own PC alts upon request. We will not for any reason divulge anyone else’s alts, including those of other staffers.
  • Staffers do not engage in gossip or hearsay regarding any player, including incidents from other games. If staff has a problem with a player, we will approach the player directly, never through third parties.
  • Staffers will not disseminate the personal information of any player to any other player for any reason.
  • All staff-run plots and events are open to all players of the stated level range, unless the event explicitly says that it is an RP-in event. These are rare, are generally at the request of a player, and will include the name of the PC to talk to about it. Staff reserve the right to close scenes to keep them to manageable sizes.
  • Staffers will do their best to respond to +requests in a timely fashion. Life happens, but we will make a good-faith effort.

In return, we ask that you:

  • Use the +request system to request stat/skill changes, purchases, spends, RPP’s, and all other mechanics-related changes, and if a staffer asks that you submit a +request for a topic of conversation.
  • Do not pester staff about +requests unless they are marked OVERDUE.
  • If a staff’s PC alts are on, but the staff alt is not, they are either taking a break or busy. Do not page a staffer’s PC alts for staff business unless it is an emergency.
  • Remember that we are human too, that we have lives just like you, and that we are here to enjoy the game, too.