|1) No multiplaying.
2) Always remain In Character.
3) No out of character harassment.
4) No cheating (bug abuse).
5) No automated improvement.
6) No OOC abuse of the mud, or it's players, or it's immortals.
Any instruction given by an immortal is to be considered a rule, if you think the instruction is unfair, go ahead and report it, but obey it in the meantime. Please see relevant helpfiles for more information (multiplaying, ic, harassment, cheating, automated, and alternate), ignorance is not an excuse.
There is only one RP Rule, don't metagame. Metagaming is defined as doing things other than RPing your char in order to exert undue and unfair influence over the RP environment. Metagaming can be further broken up into the following catagories, but there are some instances not covered.
It is against the rules to RP some significant ability without the coded support for it.
I know there are a lot of muds out there, and even a lot of RP muds, every one has to work out how they want to handle things, with Buffymud I wanted to try a system
that I hadn't really seen before on an RP mud, a system in which code and RP intermingled and a system in which IC accomplishments were based on merit. In most RP muds, the decision of what can or will happen to a character is based on permissions, having played and staffed on these muds I always found it to be a pretty poor system, one that rewards people for nagging others OOCly and RPing poorly, ie never allowing things to happen to them. Most RP muds also seemed to encourage OOC cliques, groups of friends who'd arrange for RP to happen, and work out ahead of time what was going to happen, and the consequences etc. I never liked this, I envisioned a mud in which it wouldn't matter who you did or didn't know OOCly, where it wouldn't matter if you sucked up to the immortals, where you could log on, and without any OOC mucking about, just play, just experience the life of your character completely ICly. But most of all, I wanted a mud in which how cool your character was, their power, and accomplishments were not based on how cool the player chose to make their character, but rather on a system of merit.
No measurement of merit will ever be perfect, even assuming you can agree on what should be measured, anybody who's been through high school will know the trauma of studying really hard for a test, just to have it not ask any of the questions you studied for. This system rewards people for Rping, making friends/allies ICly, running plots, forming/joining circles, engaging in PK, levelling, and clever/tactical use of code. The reason we wanted levelling to be a factor over just like emote count, is people enjoy RPing, they don't enjoy levelling, so levelling involves an actual sacrifice of time in order to gain power. So if you assume some evil guy is running an apocalypse, and the good guys wish to stop him, the code would firstly reward someone who runs a counter, which involves some level of creativity, social factors, and then pk survivability in the last act which includes just about everything, from money, allies, minions, lackeys, level to tactical skills. If nobody runs a counter, then the person who stops it would be the one who overcomes the pk survivability of the one running it, involving all the above factors. In this way the person who saves the world, is determined by merit.
While you may disagree with the systems used to determine merit, or even what is given merit, the fact still remains that all players have as close as possible as equal opportunity and the one who triumphs will almost always be the one who tries harder, not just in that instance, but overall to attain the things to make instances like that easier. Doing something like authoring an NPC villain, disturbs this balance, they're not physically existent, so nobody can hurt them, or stop their plans, unless you as author let them. Thus the system is no longer based on merit, but now on what you think should happen. There is a reason our system for resolving conflict does at no point involve the judgement of the immortals on what is good or bad RP, such things are in our opinion, an absolutely horrid measure, as they're always very biased and subjective. You can be sure if we don't think when we're not even involved that we can be perfectly fair, that we definitely don't think that you can be fair when it's involving your character and your RP.
RP rules are in place to ensure that this game remains a merit based game, and while of course you can argue for the emphasis of merit being put on different things, or the systems to measure it being altered, it will always be a merit based game, and will never become a permissions based one. If you really want to be able to play a mud in which you are in complete control of what happens to your character, and have the freedom to RP being/doing whoever you want, this will never be that place. What it does offer, is hopefully a refuge for people who get sick of others making up stories about beating up the devil in their lunch hour and having to go along with it, and for people who want to play in an RP environment that's realistic and fair.
The theme of Buffymud, as you might have guessed, is the Buffyverse. Every piece of code that goes into the game is intended to contribute to an authentic Buffy experience. We don't try to be the most popular mud, or even the best mud, just the Buffyist mud. To do that we utilize a combination of RP and coded features. Generally things that are coded are those which are bad for your character. If we didn't have permadeath and PK, you could never defeat someone unless they let you, and that would cause problems. So we decided to let the outcome of battles and anything else that a player might not want to have happen to them, be determined by code. This keeps people who are overly attached to their characters or are bad RP'ers from ruining everyone else's fun.
PK exists because combat and conflict are integral parts of the buffy world, and anything that claims to resemble that world should also include a large element of conflict. Sunnydale is on top of a Hellmouth, making it the premier site for the battle between good and evil for the fate of the whole world. Without conflict, Sunnydale just wouldn't be, well, Sunnydale.
Some people believe that PK is the natural enemy of RP. We believe and that a good combination of RP and PK can be greater than the sum of its parts. We think some things work better as code, and some work better as RP, so we try to give you the best of both worlds, but the most important thing to keep in mind is RP makes PK better and vice versa. Without PK, Buffymud is just a chat room, and without RP it's just hack and slash.
For example, the RP of the game is usually what will give you a reason to engage in PK, because of something was done to your character or because of who your character is. This elevates PK from simple sport, and into an expression of your character. On the other side, being PKed, or PKing others, leads to RP in the form of vengeance, injuries, planning, or whatever.
So when you're on Buffymud, don't expect an 'RP Mud,' and don't expect a 'PK Mud,' because we're not really either of those. Before anything else, we're a 'Buffy Mud.'
PK, or player killing, has developed quite a bad rep in online games, with the view often being that it's just a way for bigger people to harass smaller people for their own sadistic giggles. While this can be true, PK on Buffymud, like everything else, is IC, and is primarily supposed to be used as a RP tool.
If you're a fairly normal, goodie type slayer, your job is to stop evil. Most of the evil in the game is being perpetrated by soulless players. They patrol the streets, killing innocent people. It's quite simply bad RP for you to ignore that just because you know OOC that they're a player. A world in which vampires and slayers give companionable nods to each other between killing their prospective targets is simply not the world of Buffy. While some people may choose to play pacifists and cowards, you need to figure out why your character would kill dozens of demons and vampires every night, and then completely ignore those that are players. Some players may have valid IC reasons, but most don't. I try to make pk code as unobtrusive as possible, with variable injury timers, or even the ability to just incapacitate your opponent and leave, for those of you who really don't want to annoy people. But you have to remember at all times that this mud is set in the Buffyverse, and in the Buffyverse, slayers kill vampires, and vampires kill humans.
Players are largely responsible for whether or not this feels like a Buffymud or just another gothic mud with vampires. It's up to you to give the vampires something to fear, to make them more careful in their hunts. It's up to you to stop them ending the world, just like it's up to the evil players to stop the slayers, and run their evil schemes. PK is a tool we give you to carry out the IC actions of your characters. PK is not the enemy of good RP, it's a tool of good RP.
Say you're might be out on a date, and you get jumped by a vampire who trashes your plans. You might say "Hey! That PK nut just ruined my RP!" In response, I'd say go watch 'never kill a boy on the first date.' If Buffy is about anything, it's about the supernatural world screwing up your attempts to have a normal life. And furthermore, it hasn't ruined your RP, it's just changed your rp. Your characters best laid plans will often go awry, just like in the show or real life. It's up to you to take that new development and roleplay the consequences. Often RP going awry leads to a much better, more interesting plot than you never would have though of.
The Immortals on Buffymud have fairly free reign. Their governing rule is that they should not interfere with the game in such a way as to preference any particular player in a tangible way. What that means is that an immortal can do things like take on a guise to RP with people, or talk on chat, etc... But they can't change someone's stats, fiddle with circles, etc... I'm sure you get the idea. The only exception is they're allowed to reward people with a bit of exp for participating in quests and the like. If you think an Immortal is breaking these rules, see help policy reports.
Immortals will generally try to help with anything that doesn't affect the game tangibly, like restringing people's accents, eyes, and circle names. As long as what you're asking isn't going to make you more powerful, or be unfair in any way, we'll try to accommodate you. Immortals are allowed to, and do from time to time have mortal alts. I do request that all immortals keep their alts secret. There are two reasons for this. Firstly: The immortal in question is likely going to want to be able to play the game, like a normal player, without people treating them differently. The second reason is that many players would react differently if they knew a character was an immortal. It's unfair to other circles, for example, if everyone is joining the circle of an Immortal's alt just because they know that that person is an immortal and they want to earn the immortal's favor or just bask in reflected glory. It's unfair to a player who won't want to PK someone, out of fear of immortal retribution. Because there is, and will always be players who can't seperate an player's mortal identity from their immortal one, known immortal alts hurt the game. Immortals who do play morts aren't given any special privileges. They are expected to level up, RP, and earn everything they get the same as everyone else.
It's policy on buffymud to read and consider every idea posted, but that's all we can promise to do. Inevitably some ideas, even good ones, won't get implemented, either because they have technical problems, like affecting class balance, or because they are too difficult to implement. Just because something isn't implemented doesn't mean we're not interested in hearing your ideas.
Sometimes, you'll want to report something on buffymud, be it cheating, abuse, or just some behaviour you don't like. It's policy for the Immortals to investigate whenever there is a report of cheating or abuse. Immortals will then do one of two things:
- Uncover the cheater and prosecute.
- Uncover that there was no cheating and explain to the plaintiff.
Unfortunately, it is also possible that the Immortal will suspect cheating but be unable to prove it for certain. It's policy on Buffymud not to prosecute a player without positive proof. If you make a report and don't hear back for more than a week or so, feel free to nag us and we'll let you know what's going on with it. That said, here are some simple rules you should follow to make things run smoothly.
- Be polite, simple, and to the point. Don't rant or threaten or make snide comments.
- Stick to the issue. I can't count the number of four paragraph posts I've read that could have been one sentence. I don't care about anything other than the ACTUAL issue.
- Don't assume anything. If you think an immortal is helping their alt, you should post about it, but don't say 'this person is helping their alt,' because if it turns out that they're not alts, it hurts your case. Just stick to 'this imm helped this char.'
- Do not ever let someone know they've been reported, or post your report publicly. We can't prosecute someone based on nothing but another player's word. So if someone is abusing bugs, multiplaying, or botting, and you tell us, then tell them you've told us, they're very likely to stop before we can investigate and catch the offense.
- Don't confuse people and issues. If someone is ruining your game by repeatedly pking you, they're not the problem, the system that allows someone to legally ruin your game is the problem. And it's the system you should be complaining about, feel free to use the player to illustrate your problem, but unless they're breaking rules, or abusing bugs or some such, a complaint about them is not going to be given much merit.
Buffymud does feature a permdeath system. You can learn more about it by looking at help showdowns. Living on a hellmouth is absurdly dangerous. The mortality rate in Sunnydale is very high, and many of the show's main characters did in fact die. It was important when creating a Buffy game to include this possibility of permanent death. As with PK, our descision is guided by trying to deliver as authentic a Buffy experience as possible. Enemies should be able to attempt to kill one another, just like they should be afraid for themselves, and for their friends. Since the PK penalty here is quite small, it also helps people play the game a bit more responsibly, as it gives players a way to deal with poor roleplayers.
For these reasons a permdeath system will always be in place on Buffymud, though we may vary how it works to try to achieve the right balance. Right now, the system relies on players. Showdowning is very difficult and dangerous, but only if players take the opportunity to try to kill people who are generating showdowns. If no one tries to stop them, then it becomes a fairly easy endevour. Even characters who are many times more powerful than anyone else on the mud are vulnerable when generating showdowns.
People don't like losing their characters, and who would? What's important to understand is that permkill isn't about making the game better for any one person, it's about making the game better for everyone. Permkill opens up new RP opportunities and creates a dangerous atmosphere for Buffymud.
Yes, occasionally your character may die, but that is merely the price you pay for living on a Hellmouth. If you think your char is getting RKed a grossly disproportionate amount, maybe you need to find out why that is. While permkill can never be perfectly fair, there are about 20 voluntary rerolls to every one successful showdown. Additionally, it is far more common for the person who initiates a showdown to die from that showdown than it is for the target to die from it.