Not Getting Banned
The Rules are there for everyone to have fun, but still leave some room for interpretation. If you want to play it safe, here are some pointers. Note this page isn't updated as often as the actual rules so if you notice a conflict, change this page so it aligns with the rules. It's also a touch wordier in places, as the rules page is long enough already without going into nitty gritty specifics and examples.
It's also used for things that should't need to be said, but apparently do because "don't be a raging asshole" is too complicated for some people and they insist on an actual wiki page to specifically state that it isn't permissible to chop someone's head off because their OOC notes say they're a predator.
- 1 LISTEN TO THE ADMINS
- 2 DON'T BE A SARCASTIC TWATBUCKET
- 3 Two wrongs don't make a right
- 4 Rule-specific comments/precedents
- 4.1 Be respectful to other players
- 4.2 Keep IC and OOC separate
- 4.3 Create and play server-appropriate characters
- 4.3.1 Do not kill or attack people (including yourself) for no good reason
- 4.3.2 Do not powergame
- 4.3.3 Do not godmode
- 4.3.4 Do not ‘Self-Antag’
- 4.3.5 You are expected to perform the job you signed up for
- 4.3.6 You are expected to obey the chain of command (within reason)
- 4.3.7 You are expected to forget events leading up to an unwilling death
- 5 When in doubt, ASK THE ADMINS
LISTEN TO THE ADMINS
Most importantly of all; if an admin PMs you about something, absolutely do not ignore them. If you won't respond when the admins try to speak with you, then you leave them with little choice but to ban you. To reply to an admin-PM, just click on the admin's name - if you're busy with something in-game, such as being actively chased, or attempting to perform first-aid or some other time-critical task, a simple quick note just saying '1 sec' to let us know you got the message and will respond when you get a chance is fine.
Almost as important; if you are playing and an admin contacts you questioning you on your behavior, or asking you to change something, listen to them and do as they say. Of course, admins aren’t omniscient nor perfect. Sometimes they're assholes. Sometimes they're just flat out incorrect. So if you think they are in the wrong, feel free to try to explain your point of view and your reasoning, but if they are still not convinced, then just do as they say for the moment. You can always contact another admin later if you felt like you were treated unfairly. DON’T try to bicker over it until a settlement is reached for the immediate incident. You are in the middle of the game and the game won’t stop for you to discuss it.
Even if you think the admin is wrong, if they insist that you cease or change the behavior, just do it for the time being. Later, when you have the opportunity, discuss it with them again, preferably involving other admins and players. The Discord group is good for this (though make sure it isn’t the same round, as that could be IC in OOC). Another good alternative is making a forum post about it or complaining directly to the host or a supervisor admin.
Whatever happens, don’t hate the admins. They are just doing their job, a job they do for free, by the way. Keep in mind that almost every griefer thinks what they are doing is fine, and the admin is wrong. If the admins let anyone who thought they were right do what they wanted, we'd all be screwed.
That is why admins need to enforce their opinion. Sadly, this means that their opinion will be enforced even when it is wrong, but this is not something that can be helped. Just accept the unfortunate event and try to prevent it from happening again by bringing the "wrongful" judgment to the light of the community. Don’t hate the admins; it won’t achieve anything other than make they want to ban you more and for longer. The admins don't have the patience to hate you either. They'd much rather a peaceful, respectful relationship with the players.
DON'T BE A SARCASTIC TWATBUCKET
If you're being confronted by admins or other players, don't abuse sarcasm. Sarcasm at a bad time is a great way to get yourself banned. Be straight with us. Sarcasm does not work well over the internet because text does not convey tone or body language so it's hard to tell when someone is joking, serious, or just that stupid (yes, sadly, people who are actually that stupid do exist). The admins certainly do not appreciate sarcasm and snarky behavior when we are trying to make sense of a situation, and have been known to ban just because they get sick of dealing with someone being a smart ass.
Sarcasm just wastes everyone's time and annoys people if used in the wrong context, so please just don't use it when there's a conflict going on. It's not respectful. Especially sarcastic/ironic smiley faces at the end of messages. Just don't.
Likewise, meming in your flavortext or OOC notes are a good way to make other players assume you're not actually here to play and are just here to stir shit. It attracts attention you don't want.
Two wrongs don't make a right
If you dig into the argument by saying, "BUT THIS PERSON DID THIS WRONG FIRST," admins are liable to just ban you because you're not listening. In the same way, a cop doesn't care if everyone else on the road is speeding so you were speeding too. You're just the one who got caught. You're better off just admitting fault, and then you can point fingers like, "I think you should know, Johny McGriefalot did the same thing a few days ago. I don't know if you guys heard." Admins will be much happier to do what they can after they know you understood what you did wrong and are not planning to do it again.
Below are some things that, while not rules in themselves, go into a little more depth than the actual rules page to avoid the rules page becoming a million pages long. Some rules aren't commented on here simply because they should be self-explanatory.
Be respectful to other players
- Gatekeeping/elitist behaviour definitely falls under this rule. This includes making broad sweeping statements or making up "rules" in department channels about how to play "correctly" that imply that other players are playing the game wrong if they don't follow it. Especially if the thing they're doing "wrong" is explicitly allowed by the rules.
ERP preferences must be respected
- Going out of your way to actively seek out or prevent people from having fun in private is not allowed.
- See the Guide to Vore for some recommendations on how to avoid the appearance of validhunting and scenestomping as security.
- This rule also applies to pre-emptively making it difficult or awkward for people to find a scene too, such as calling out on the radio to warn the entire station about the character that just showed up, which makes it ICly awkward for any players that enjoy being unwilling prey to approach this dangerous person they've been warned about, or giving the "I'm watching you" as security - whether you think it's "IC" to do so or not, you're effectively telling them that you intend to make it hard for them to get a scene.
- It is not permitted force or trick people into participating in something they're not into and accuse them of kinkshaming if they're not okay with it. For some more extreme public scenes, bystanders are considered participants.
- Try not to third-wheel when people are gearing up for a scene. Especially if they're stood next to each other and whispering. Likewise, if you happen to be passing by someone and catch a subtle emote, that's not an invitation to immediately scream it out and make it public. If someone likes to be unwilling prey, the last thing they want is a security officer following them around at all times and ensuring potential predators never get a chance to grab them.
- It may be "IC" for you to scream for help on the radio the moment you're scooped up and carried into maintenance, but if you have "feel free to eat me without asking" in your OOC notes and end up ICly ruining someone's entire day for acting on it in good faith, you'll be unpopular fast. Security players often end up in a catch-22 situation when this happens, caught between being forced to react IC to an IC call for help, and knowing on an OOC level that if they do intervene, they're just going to upset everyone.
The dorms are protected
- This includes unoccupied ones. Someone might want to use them later. Just don't fuck with the dorms.
Fuck in them instead.
- When talking on the radio, remember that your character is speaking. Avoid writing with terrible grammar, using smileys and other internets slang/codes, using all-caps too frequently (in fact its probably better to not use it at all, unless you really, REALLY need to convey it’s a very big and nasty scream), and so on. Commenting on someone's spelling over voice is a huge immersion-break.
Keep IC and OOC separate
- Be careful with buddy-relationships. If a group of players join the server and one of them is a bit of a troublemaker, that's fine. If, however, the instant security try to do anything about it, the rest of the group immediately rally around their friend and turn a simple interaction into a dramatic shitstorm to the point where security feel powerless to act against them because they OOCly don't want to deal with the storm of bullshit that they just know will follow, that's a problem.
- The same goes for after-the-fact discussions in OOC channels such as the Discord server. At worst, despite the noblest of intentions, if you're one of the ones doing the wagon-circling you might even end up being the one that gets them banned at the end of the day. If your friend is having trouble fitting in and pissing people off as a result, and nobody gets a chance to help them correct that behaviour because you're insulating them from consequence, and reinforcing to them that their behaviour is okay when it isn't, things will eventually reach breaking point. If, on the other hand, they are actually refusing to change their behaviour and genuinely breaking rules, rallying around them is liable to get you tarred with the same brush - other players will think "Ugh, X is such an asshole and we can't do anything about it without Y and Z screaming at us, why haven't the admins banned the whole lot of them yet?" This isn't to say that it's against the rules to hang around with your friends and make characters so you can play together, that would be absurd. It's only when your group starts to negatively impact other players that it becomes an issue.
Metacomms/gaming, multi-keying are not allowed
- This includes "finding out IC" about permavore/tempvore or other long-term non-con situations because someone mentioned on discord they were playing out such a scene and putting a stop to it so you can "rescue" the prey. See the below example, which actually happened:
"When I had [my prey chracter] stay over at a hypnotist's place for a week, one person was able to identify the hypnotist as a hypnotist and everybody magically believed them, somehow."
- Just because you OOCly know something to be the case, such as the above, doesn't mean your character should immediately believe it when someone talks about it no matter how ridiculous. This goes for Identifying Antagonists as well. Sometimes people like to talk about the fun stuff they're doing off-station, some people like to "bench" their characters for a while to give an alt some time to shine, and like having an excuse to have their main out of action. It's not up to you to act on this information to "save" them.
Create and play server-appropriate characters
- "It's IC" does not excuse otherwise troublesome behaviour. In short - don't blame your character for what you, the player, made your character do if what your character is doing is breaking the rules.
- While this is a role playing game and it should be understood that actions are character against character, and not player against player, if you play an insane, evil, predatory, antagonistic or otherwise unpleasant character, it is advisable to make sure your fellow players are "on board." You might try using the LOOC command to communicate your RP intentions with other players, particularly if you have not played with the other character before. (Likewise, if you feel that a player is becoming too aggressive, you can also try using the LOOC command to ask them to stop.)
Do not kill or attack people (including yourself) for no good reason
- If your response to a nonhostile, nonthreatening mob appearing on the station (regardless of how it arrives) is to start tearing down walls to get to it so you can spear it like some sort of shrieking caveman, "it's just a mob, it's valid" won't cut it when other players get upset about you bursting through the windows to kill the kitten they just ordered from cargo for no other reason than it's a mob. Obviously you're allowed to defend yourself from hostile creatures, but trying to be a smartass by aggroing retaliatory mobs so you can kill them "in self defence" will just get you told off for being a smartass.
- The same goes for the station pets. The koi are poisonous because fuck you.
- If you do decide to play a pregnant character, hurling yourself into dangerous situations and kicking up a dramatic fuss when they get killed/shot/maimed falls under the same attention-seeking category as commiting suicide.
Do not powergame
- While not a hard and fast rule, it's generally advised that if your character is going to play multiple departments, they should be in somewhat related disciplines, or at least be a "main" department and a lower-stress one. The skills system is a tool for this - if the jobs you're playing all come under the same general skillset, they're probably okay. If your character is capable of playing multiple department heads then they're most likely in violation of this rule.
- OOCly snarking at other people for failing to powergame to your standards will attract the sort of admin attention you really don't want.
Do not godmode
This also includes flavortext. If your flavortext outright tells the viewer that they're scared/attracted/aroused/whatever, then that's not really appropriate. Let them decide how their character reacts to seeing you - a straight dude isn't going to be aroused looking at another dude, for instance.
Do not ‘Self-Antag’
- It's often a sign of poor roleplaying to make an overly confrontational character who does nothing but kick off huge public arguments all the goddamn time. It runs into immersion issues, simply because it's not ICly believable that they would ever by hired even wth NT's notoriously lax hiring standards. They certainly wouldn't be given a position of any authority. That's not to say that you can't make a criminal or troublemaking character, of course, but when they're nothing but a source of frustration for the other people who have to deal with your bullshit (while playing a video game, mind, a thing that people typically do for fun) you may be asked to tone it down. At the very least give them a little more depth than "I DON'T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT AUTHORITY, GREY TIDE STATION WIDE".
- The same goes for fucking with other players/characters projects or stuff for no good reason. Is someone building a den in the construction site? Is it harming anything? Do you want to fuck with it anyway? Why would you do that, do you think the other players enjoy having some random yahoo barge in while they're playing a game and trashing their stuff? Oh look, that atmotech's dragging a canister around. Better open the valve! Not for any particular reason, I just can't keep my grubby mitts of other people's stuff. See that miner that's dragging a crate? Curious about the contents? Well, let's just silently run up to them and open the crate while they're moving so everything falls out over the floor then wordlessly wander off. Okay, that last one isn't bannable, but that miner's gonna think you're a cunt and a shitty roleplayer to boot. Like if you're in the supermarket do you randomly root in other shoppers' carts? No? Then why would your character?
- Don't go stealing/breaking all of a department's stuff for no good reason. If people are literally unable to do their job because you deprived them of the things they need to do so, that's probably a bit much. To a lesser extent, hogging resources to yourself might get you whacked for this if it proves detrimental to other players (such as a cargotech running in and ordering fifty crates of hats so there's no points left for anyone else in the department)
- Most of the actions that break this particular clause are things that fall foul of the "don't be an asshole" rules. If what you're doing is of zero benefit to you besides making people upset, and it involves destroying/killing stuff, probably don't do it.
You are expected to perform the job you signed up for
- This includes borgs. No, really.
- The rule about emergencies says "emergencies" for a reason. If you go screeching at people to get out of the dorms right now and do their jobs and it turns out the thing you need their help with is something literally any rube could have helped you with, or you're demanding they drop their scene so they can enable your own, you won't be popular. Likewise, being promptly resleeved is nice but you don't get to demand that people drop their own scenes right now because you want to have a second one.
- Basically, "The cargotech needs to get me this crate I want for personal reasons" is not an emergency that requires them to drop everything they're doing though it would be nice if they got to it if they're able to, "Cargo needs to get a new engine starter because everything went to shit" could be considered an emergency and they should really do that ASAP, and "This cargotech is never seen at cargo at all in the half a dozen shifts we've been watching" is an actual offense.
- A good rule of thumb for heads of staff is that you should be able to teach the department's basic functions to a new player. If you're not confident in your ability to do so, maybe play the lower ranks until you're more experienced.
- If your job is showing no clear signs of happening any time soon, you're free to pursue your own projects. There is no requirement to leave and rejoin off-duty or get a job change.
You are expected to obey the chain of command (within reason)
- Abusing this rule as a head of staff is potentially grounds for a jobban, particularly if the orders given violate other rules such as issuing a departmental edict of "there'll be no eating people on my watch". Whether you intend to actually enforce that order is irrelevant, it still puts people off playing and is therefore not allowed.
- Under the standard lawset, "rank and role" is the important factor. Within a particular department, that department's staff take precedence - for instance, if an engineer demands cargo give him a bunch of guns and the quartermaster says no, you can't override the quartermaster and order cargo anyway to "serve" the engineer.
You are expected to forget events leading up to an unwilling death
When in doubt, ASK THE ADMINS
This is the second most important pointer on the page besides the one at the top. When you are unsure of whether something is allowable or not, or how bad it would be, just adminhelp it. If you adminhelp it and act according to the reply you receive, you could kill everyone and destroy the entire station and still not get banned, because you were doing it under the OK of an admin. Even if what you did was terrible, it was the admin that gave the "yes" that will have to do the explaining, not you.
What if there are no admins, or they don’t reply? Well, if you have time, you could take a quick look on the wiki and it may be able to clear things up for you. If you are able to make it cryptic enough as to not be IC on OOC, you can also try asking the other players.
If you are still unsure, just use your common sense, think of what would be fun for others, and hope you aren’t doing something terrible. If you do, and an admin comes and questions you on it, tell him that you were unable to get a clarification and that will probably save your ass if you didn’t break common sense to the extreme, or have a really bad history.