Violations

"And I heard as it were the noise of thunder one of four marshals saying, `There is no hope, only rules.`"
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"Hey, asshole! I've got another asshole here for your suckfest!"
Most of these violations all boil down to one common denominator: Don't be a douchebag. If you live by the Golden Rule and use Common Sense, then you'll be safe from almost all of these!

Sometimes, those who attend a game will intentionally or unintentionally break the rules or code of conduct of the game. When that happens, there must be some kind of a consequence associated with that. Breaking the rules, whether intentional or accidental, is something that must be avoided at all costs. The deterrent to this is issuing violations. Violations are notations that indicate a player has broken the rules or conduct. As players accumulate violations, there are associated consequences.

Overview

It is ultimately up to a qualified Marshal to determine whether or not a person has violated any of the game rules. In the case that a Marshal does find that someone has violated the game rules, the Marshal is required to issue a penalty to the violator. These penalties are known as "Consequences."

General Violations

In order to ensure the game is fun and fair for all who participate, it is imperative that the general rules of the game are understood, acknowledged, and adhered to.

  • Miscounting is defined as the intentional or unintentional over-use of a character’s Physical Powers or Supernatural Powers beyond what they are capable of using. Any character who spends more of any pool or uses more Physical Powers or Supernatural Powers than they would be permitted to is a violation of the rules. An example of Miscounting would be a character that has only 3 Physical Powers left in their Default Cool-Down Period, but uses 5 Physical Powers instead. Another example of Miscounting would be a character that has only 20 points of Resilience and 20 Hit Points, but has taken more than enough strikes and / or damage to die but does not do so. Miscounting is a severe transgression and will result in harsh consequences.
  • Meta-Gaming is defined as the intentional or unintentional use of out-of-game knowledge to garner or disseminate in-game information that would otherwise not have been available at that time. An example of Meta-Gaming could be if a PC disguises his or herself to assassinate another PC while they slept, and the target of the assassination realizes out-of-game that they were assassinated by a particular character in-game, so the target of the assassination uses their out-of-game knowledge to go after the character in-game. Another example of Meta-Gaming would be having knowledge that one character of yours would have, such as the true identity of a spy, and using that knowledge as a different character that would otherwise not have had that information. Meta-Gaming is another severe break of the rules that will be met with extremely harsh consequences.
  • Skill Bolstering is defined as using an Ability as though the character had access to that Ability even though the character does not have access to that Ability. An example of Skill Bolstering would be a character without an Attribute Score Range of 10+ in Might, but calling extra damage all the time as though they did, and calling 10+ Might when performing an activity in which doing so would assist the character.
  • Toxic Bleed is defined as when a player allows any out-of-game related issues to affect their character's in-game mood or decisions and / or when a player allows in-game character actions to affect their out-of-game mood or decisions, especially in negative or toxic ways. While it is understandable that certain things can be frustrating and can affect someone's mood, we ask that people recognize this and make every effort to not become hostile or act inappropriately or discuss this negativity in a destructive way. In-game things need to be handled in-game and out-of-game things need to be handled respectfully and courteously out-of-game.

Ultimately, we expect people to abide by the spirit of the rules in which we have written them. We ask and expect people to use common sense and deductive logic while adhering to a code of moral ethics when it comes to determining whether or not a particular action is or is not against the rules. Marshals will always have the final say as to whether or not someone has violated the rules and will always be required to explain why it is a violation of the rules.

Combat Violations

Combat safety is of the utmost importance to us. It is important to have a firm grasp on all of the combat rules for this reason. It is also the reason why there are such limitations on weapon construction and shield construction. While we understand that realism and historical accuracy are very important, safety is even more important. For this reason, weapon and shield sizes are what they are and the following list of actions are against the rules.

  • Charging is defined as someone forcefully approaching someone else, resulting in unwanted physical contact during a combat situation. This can include, but is not necessarily limited to running at an opponent at full speed and not stopping before running into them or to slowly but forcefully push yourself through a line of fighters to get behind them. The only time Charging is allowed is when all people involved in the Charge have agreed to allow it to happen and that no one else in the vicinity is susceptible to injury.
  • Illegal Shots are physical strikes, delivered from melee or range, which strikes the target in an illegal area. Illegal areas are as follows: throat, head, and groin. Under no circumstances are Illegal Shots allowed.
  • Turtling is defined as the act of using any form of static or unmoving cover, especially a shield, to prevent another person from being able to strike you in a legal area. An example of Turtling would be a person kneeling down behind a maximum sized shield and only keeping their head visible. Since the head is an illegal target, but is the only target that can be struck, the person in the above example is Turtling. Another example of Turtling would be a person who holds their shield out as far from their body as possible and keeps their feet and legs as far back as possible. A person who is standing and fighting with various areas of their body exposed for a potential strike but uses a shield and moves their shield too quickly to be struck is not Turtling.
  • Whipping is defined as inappropriately using a boffer or latex weapon’s inherent out-of-game physical construction to gain an unfair advantage over an opponent in-game. An example of Whipping would be constructing a maximum length pole weapon, which counts as a Great Weapon, and holding the weapon as close to the aft end as possible and whipping it or wiggling it in front of an opponent. Another example of Whipping would be to flick a weapon and have its own inertia cause the weapon to bend and strike a target.
  • Lashing is defined as using excessive force to throw a Power Packet, which may result in causing physical injury to the target. An example of Lashing would be a player who winds up his or her throw as though they were pitching a baseball and throws the Power Packet as hard as he or she is physically capable of doing at a target.
  • Lobbing is defined as the intentional arcing of a Power Packet when throwing it so that it bears down on an individual or group of people, resulting in an increased risk of striking someone in the head with the packet. An example of Lobbing could be a person who arcs a Power Packet up in the air towards a clustered group of other characters with the intent to strike someone in the center or back of the group. Aside from the increased risk of striking someone in the head, Lobbing is against the rules also because when a character is weaving a Supernatural Power in the game and then throwing that energy, the energy is not governed by the same physics in-game as the Power Packet is out-of-game. That being the case, gravity and the geometric physics of the arc on the out-of-game Power Packet will cause the packet to strike a person out-of-game differently than the in-game physics within the game world would allow a Supernatural Power to strike a target.
  • Lazy Fighting is defined as being apathetic while in combat. While this is a very broad and vague definition, a good example of Lazy Fighting would be a person involved in a combat situation who stands lazily with their arm against their chest, allowing their shield to simply rest against their chest while their boffer or latex weapon is held across their shoulder and that person shows a general disinterest or a lack of heightened urgency or awareness. Lazy Fighting is against the rules because people who are apathetic in combat situations are not as cautious as if they were attentive and treated the situation with urgency. It is also a severe break of game ambiance.
  • Wild Fighting is defined as wildly and / or inconsiderately fighting with wide swings, which may also result in Shield Bashes, Charging, Illegal Shots, etc. Wild Fighting is one of the most severe types of combat violations.
  • Shield Bashing is defined as using your shield offensively by swinging it or by pumping your shield. An example of Shield Bashing would be a person who pumps their shield in front of them to advance on an enemy or to prevent an enemy from getting close to them. Another example of Shield Bashing would be swinging your shield and hitting someone near you. Defending yourself with a shield by standing your ground against a person who charges you is not Shield Bashing. Shield Bashing is only allowed when all people involved with the Shield Bashing have agreed to allow it to happen and that no one else in the vicinity is susceptible to injury.
  • Baseball Batting is defined as swinging a weapon with an inappropriate amount of force and / or too large of a trajectory. An example of Baseball Batting could be a person wielding a Great Weapon who winds their swing up and clubs someone as hard as they are physically capable of doing. Generally, no more than a 90 degree swinging arc is recommended for fighting.
  • Machine Gunning is defined as a person rapidly swinging their weapons faster than once every second per weapon. Machine Gunning is particularly evident when a person is swinging so fast that you cannot understand the effects that are being called by the person who is swinging the weapon. Machine Gunning can also include swinging a weapon at less than a 45 degree arc of trajectory and / or solely using wrist movement to swing a weapon.
  • Pommel Armor is defined as not taking the effect of a strike that wholly connects or mostly connects but grazes off of a shield, weapon, or some other defense that would otherwise normally stop the effect from affecting a target. In order for a weapon or shield to stop the effect from a weapon strike, the weapon strike must be clearly and solidly blocked. If the weapon strike is not solidly blocked, at least for the most part, then it is considered to have an effect.

Conduct Violations

Adhering to the rules of Conduct is something that must be done at all times and any violation of this will result in extremely harsh penalties, up to and including pressing criminal charges against severe transgressors.

Conduct Violations can be given for (but are not limited to) any of the following:

  • Bringing alcoholic beverages to the game
  • Being illegally influenced by drugs or alcohol while at the game
  • Breaking any municipal, county, state, or federal laws while at the game
  • Harassing anyone at the game in any out-of-game way, including sexual, verbal, or otherwise
  • Acting belligerent or provoking someone verbally, physically, emotionally, mentally, or otherwise
  • Disrespecting or otherwise acting in an inappropriate manner towards anyone, especially for reasons such as ethnicity, religious affiliation, age, sexual orientation, and / or gender
  • Any form of out-of-game bullying

The penalties for violating these rules will be dependent upon the severity of the transgression, but can include suspension from events permanently and pressing full criminal charges against a transgressor. We take Conduct Violations very seriously and are committed to making sure that the game is a safe, law-abiding, and fun environment for everyone.

Please see our Community Values for the type of environment we want to foster for everyone: http://oblivion.immortalunbound.com/community-values

Self-Policing and Self-Resolution

While Marshals are the ones who issue violations and consequences formally, as a community, it's important that we all try to keep ourselves and each other in check. If anyone sees a break in the rules, they should try to politely and courteously clarify the rules as they understand them to be. However, people should not press the issue should there be any sort of potential justification provided by someone. In those cases, if someone believes a rule is still being broken, the person should let a marshal know so that the marshal can address the situation.

In terms of inter-player conflicts, especially in regards to interpersonal conduct, we highly recommend attempting self resolution between all parties without involving a marshal. Often times, miscommunication and misunderstandings can happen that don't require marshal intervention. We find that, in most situations that such interpersonal conflict would occur (while uncommon), people simply get heated or passionate in the moment and this can lead to tension or conflict. Allow time for people to calm down, cool off, and objectively put yourself into the other person's shoes, then reach out to try to apologize and resolve such issues.

Mediation

As an intermediary step between Self-Resolution and issuing a formal complaint (especially in regards to interpersonal conflicts related to the game or live events), players may seek to have a mediated conversation between themselves and the other parties involved. We recommend this approach if someone is uncomfortable approaching or speaking with another person alone to resolve the issues.

In the event that anyone truly feels completely unsafe or bullied or discriminated against, self-resolution and mediation can be forgone by the players involved; please note, though, that full investigations will happen to ascertain the specifics of every such situation and any abuse of this system found to be taking place will be met with steep consequences.

Important Things of Note

There are some things to consider when determining if a rule or the code of conduct has been broken that everyone should be mindful of.

  • We are not a "lightest touch" boffer game. While we don't want to hurt people and Baseball Batting is against the rules, solid and firm strikes are allowed. Without appropriate armor or padding, these types of strikes may sting, leave welts, or leave bruises. Please ensure you are wearing appropriate outfitting or are able to take this kind of strike without complaint in order to withstand our combat environment.
  • We do not take kindly to hearsay, rumor-mongering, confirmation-bias, or toxicly spreading discourse and dissent throughout the community by way of harboring negativity and holding onto or resenting objective decisions that are made by the staff. These things and more can be considered an intentional misuse or abuse of our systems. If anyone is found to be using our rules, conduct policies, and / or violations system in these manners or to harass another person or attempt to push subjective viewpoints, this in and of itself may be punishable by consequence.
  • At the end of the day, an appropriate Marshal is the supreme authority in making rules calls. If a marshal is around and available in a situation or a marshal running something makes a public rules call, go with the flow and allow that call to stand. If you are concerned with a call made by a marshal, then, when appropriate afterwards, feel free to privately pull the marshal aside and confirm with them your understanding of the rule and if there was a valid reason for their call to be made. Remember also, that mechanics can change circumstantially if appropriate to do so depending upon plot circumstance; however, any further concerns after this should be vetted through the rules team via appropriate contact form on the main website.
  • Officially, as a game, can only enforce our rules and conduct policies when applicable to the game itself and not to personal non-game related situations. Non-game related personal issues between people must be handled by them outside of the game. Bringing outside-of-game personal issues to the game is in and of itself against our code of conduct. Please leave the drama at the door.

Notifying a Marshal of a Rules or Conduct Violation

Sometimes, even with Self-Policing and Self-Resolution, you may see or be a part of a situation in which a rule or code of conduct violation occurs that absolutely requires a marshal's involvement. Examples of this are severe breaks of conduct, repeat offenses, or attempts at self-resolution ending in a dismissal of your observations and feelings as opposed to acknowledging and trying to do better.

When this happens, please reach out to a marshal to notify them in order to have them investigate and solve the situation. If at a live event, feel free to reach out in person. If you prefer to wait until after a live event or the issue occurs outside of a live event, please use an appropriate Contact Form on the Contact Us section of the main website.

Consequences

It is ultimately up to a Marshal to determine whether or not a person has violated any of the game rules, either by direct observation or after investigating a situation brought to the attention of a marshal. In the case that a Marshal does find that someone has violated the rules or code of conduct, the Marshal is required to issue a penalty to the violator. These penalties are known as “Consequences.” There are three levels of Consequence: Verbal Warning, Written Warning, and Suspension.

  • A Verbal Warning is the lowest level of Consequence. There is no actual penalty for a Verbal Warning other than being verbally warned about the violation. This type of violation is simply a reality check for people involved to bring attention on the spot to a break of the rules.
  • A Written Warning is one step up from a Verbal Warning. The penalty for receiving a Written Warning is dependent upon a number of factors. Players can receive multiple written warnings for the same thing. Please see Community Service for more information regarding how written warning consequences are dealt with.
  • A Suspension is the most severe of Violations. The penalty for receiving a Suspension is expulsion from the game for a period of time determined by a Marshal or team of Marshals, including up to permanent suspension.

Marshals reserve the right to decide, at any time and at their discretion, which level of consequence is most appropriate for the violation.

Missing NPC Duty

As outlined in our NPC Logistics rules, NPCing is an important part of running the game successfully and ensuring all of our players are entertained. Great effort is made to plan and schedule events and each shift of the game needs a pre-planned number of people in order for staff to successfully run and present content during that shift. When people miss NPC duty, for any reason, it can greatly impact the game's ability to entertain the players. Here are the rules regarding missing NPC shifts and the consequences associated with that:

  • If there is an extenuating circumstance or an emergency and you notify an appropriate marshal ahead of time that you need to leave the game and, in-so-doing miss an NPC shift or are extremely late to an NPC shift or have to leave an NPC shift extremely early, you will get a verbal warning. Verbal warnings generally carry with them no true punishment. They are more like a formal acknowledgment that something has happened and there is trust that the issue won't repeat and everyone tries their best to make up for it.
    • In this case, players will be required to make up their NPC shift the FIRST SHIFT they attend next at the game. The player will then be required to NPC an additional shift as normal for that event.
  • If a player is a repeat offender of missing / being late to / leaving early from their NPC shift and / or it happens without discussing with a marshal and / or not due to an extenuating circumstance or emergency, then you will receive a written warning. Written warnings in this instance are formally marked on a character card.
    • In this case, players will be required to make up their NPC shift the FIRST SHIFT they attend next at the game. The player will then be required to NPC an additional shift as normal for that event and will have to NPC one additional shift the following event they attend as well.
  • If a player is a repeat offender as described above and does not abide by the consequences of their written warning, then they will receive a Yellow Written Warning and must abide by the Community Service rules associated, in addition to fulfilling the above consequences.
  • If a player is a repeat offender as described above and allows the consequences of their written warning to perpetuate with no or minimal attempt to adhere to the consequences, then they will receive a Suspension for a minimum of 3 months.
    • In this case, the player will not be allowed to attend the game for a period of 3 months. After that time period, the player can return, but must make up all missed and extra NPC shifts. If the issue persists after that, the player may be permanently banned from the game.

Community Service

As accommodating and understanding as we want to be, it's important that there are specific punishments given when rules of the game and misconduct happen, whether intentional or unintentional. Even when something is done unintentionally, the sanctity of the rules and of conduct must be held to a higher standard in order to illustrate the need for people to be better about policing themselves and sincerely trying not to repeat the same mistakes in the future.

Because we care so much about our community, any break in conduct or rules, ultimately, impacts the community as a whole, and our system of consequence is about owing a debt of service back to the community to make up for the transgression.

When a player receives a Written Violation, a Marshal determines if it is a Green, Yellow, or Red Written Violation. Each carries a specific set of consequences that impact the player receiving the violation.

  • Green Violations: All Favor Points on your character card are red locked and you cannot earn or spend Favor Points until you satisfy the stipulations of the Green Consequence. You owe 10 Community Service Points to the game that must be paid within 2 months of receiving the violation.
  • Yellow Violations: All Favor Points on your character card are red locked and you cannot earn or spend Favor Points until you satisfy the stipulations of the Yellow Consequence. While you can accumulate Levels, AP, and other "spendable" points or submissions for your IG characters, you are not allowed to submit any form in order to apply any of those things to any of your characters. You owe 20 Community Service Points to the game that must be paid within 4 months of receiving the violation.
  • Red Violations: All Favor Points on your character card are red locked and you cannot earn or spend Favor Points until you satisfy the stipulations of the Green Consequence. While you can accumulate Levels, AP, and other "spendable" points or submissions for your IG characters, you are not allowed to submit any form in order to apply any of those things to any of your characters. You owe 30 Community Service Points to the game that must be paid within 6 months of receiving the violation.

If a player fails to complete their owed community within the specified period of time for the violation, then the violation is automatically escalated to the next level, adding that level's consequences on top of whatever else was remaining on the previous consequence. If a Red Violation is not completed, then a marshal or team of marshals reserve the ability to add another red violation or suspend the player either temporarily or permanently. For the purposes of repeat offenses, violations will remain on a character card after Community Service has been completed for a duration equal to the length of time allowed for the player to earn the Community Service.

Community Service points can be earned by players as follows:

  • A maximum of 2 Community Service Points per violation can be earned at a direct Favor-to-Community Service conversion at a ratio of 50:1
  • The player may earn Community Service Points in lieu of Favor Points for anything that would grant them Favor at a ratio of 25 Favor to 1 Community Service point. See Earning Favor Points for more information

Special Considerations and Circumstances

We understand that there's no such thing as a "one size fits all" model for most things. Violations and Consequences are one of them. Whether it's because a player does not value Favor Points and access to the Favor Store or perhaps they are so high level that missing out on Levels and AP for a short period of time is of no consequence to them, we still want to make sure that people understand and feel the gravity of a violation. As such, Game Directors reserve the right to institute more severe or different punishments to players that the Community Service system would not be impactful towards. Such consequences may include not being allowed to play specific characters until Community Service is paid off, removing levels and AP from a specific character, red locking extraordinary abilities and extraordinary power uses, and more. These types of consequences are very rare, but can happen if deemed appropriate by Game Directors.