Expectations & Etiquette (E&E)

Communication & conduct are key for a rewarding roleplaying environment. Here on No Return, we like to set appropriate expectations for both player and staff conduct so that everyone is on the same page. Some of our expectations may seem like common sense to you. That’s great! If you don’t feel that you can operate within these parameters, this might not be the MUSH for you.

Player E&E

Activity

  • Characters more than 120 days idle are eligible for recycling. If you’re going to be away for a while, be sure to let us know.

Channels

  • Different channels have different purposes, and players are expected to keep chatter on channels appropriate for the channel. See Channels.
  • Occasional swearing is okay, but excessive profanity will not be tolerated.
  • DO NOT SPEAK IN ALL CAPS.
  • Be courteous to your fellow players and expect the same in return.
  • If you have a problem with someone, keep/take it off the channel.
  • If you find yourself in a one-on-one conversation, consider taking it to page so that you’re not spamming the channel. (Not everyone might be interested in that exciting knitting conversation you’re having)

Confrontation/Combat

  • Players are expected to +warn when a potentially fatal situation is brewing. Please see the +warn policy for details.

Event Etiquette

    An event is different from a normal, public and open scene in a few ways. Usually advertised ahead of time by at least a couple of days, an event is generally run by a GM, who has planned for certain things to happen during the course of the scene. Because of this, there may be some restrictions, such as number of players or start times, to keep things running smoothly.  We ask that players keep the following in mind:
  • Unless specifically noted, all events on No Return have the threat of danger. Combat might not be obvious in the event description, but because of our setting, it’s always a possibility. The GM may not want to advertise the event as a combat scene to retain the element of surprise.
  • Read the board post carefully for the GM’s requirements. They may ask you to RSVP ahead of time by mail or page.
  • If you have notified a GM of interest in a scene, but find out later you cannot make the scene, please do your GM the courtesy of letting them know. This may free up a slot for another player.
  • If you are going to be late for the scene,  please notify the GM to determine if you can come late. If you don’t have a chance to notify them before the scene starts, please page them before joining the scene in action.
  • Likewise, please realize most events can take a few hours; if you only have a limited time, maybe sit that particular event out. Please also page or +mail the GM if you think you may have to leave early so they can discuss with you if and how it can work within the particular scene.
  • Every GM has their own style; please try to follow the guidelines they set at the start of the scene, if any.
  • If you are not sure if your character would be/should be/could be at an event but are interested, page the GM to talk about it. The goal is not to omit anyone from the fun; any restrictions are only due to thematic concerns or OOC necessities.

Fade to Black

  • Any player may request a fade to black (FTB) of any scene for any reason. When this occurs, the players involved gain agreement on what would have happened and the scene ends. If there is a disagreement on the outcome of a scene that is being requested to FTB, staff may be called in to arbitrate.
  • It is up to you to request a FTB. If you continue with a scene you are uncomfortable with, you have no right to complain about it later.

Logs

  • Logs of public RP may be posted to the website without the consent of all players involved.
  • Logs of private RP should only be posted to the website with the consent of all players involved.
  • Any posted logs must comply with the game’s “M” rating. Keep your sex scenes and particularly graphic violence to yourself.

RP Etiquette

Entering a Scene

  • Scenes that take place in public locations may be joined freely, but please be mindful of disrupting a scene in progress. To that end…
    • When you enter an already started scene, wait a round to see what’s happening IC before posing at the other PCs (and do not pose as if you’ve been there the whole time). For those who are in a scene someone’s entering, please wait for the person entering to pose before reacting to their arrival.
    • Those already in the scene should either do a scene-set pose, work the scene-setting into their normal poses, or let the new person know what’s going on OOC.
    • When you enter a scene, be prepared to involve yourself in it in some way. It’s frustrating to feel as though you’re putting on a show for the person who just walked in.
    • If you want to introduce some action into the scene or disrupt it in some way, ask permission first.
    • Some other OOC things to consider that happen frequently:
      • People might be playing while working.
      • People might be about to wrap up or move locations.
      • People might be having a hard time keeping up in a large scene already.

Leaving a Scene

  • Please pose out if you can; at the very least type a quick ‘got to go’ OOC. Otherwise, your RP partners may think your connection dropped, and wait for you to come back.
  • If you disappear without notice, expect that your scene partners may come up with a reasonable IC excuse for you to have been gone, so that they can continue the scene without having their flow completely interrupted.

Pose Order

  • No Return players tend to follow strict pose order in scenes of up to six players. This does require that you pay attention to when it’s your turn. It’s fine to OOCly ask to be skipped if you need to idle for a few minutes.
  • A happy medium is desirable. Even if you don’t follow a pose order strictly, don’t pose overwhelmingly; you should pose roughly the same amount as the others in the scene.
  • If you prefer to follow a strict order, please don’t jump on your scene partners for posing out of order; however, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask them to let you pose somewhere in there.
  • Pose order doesn’t apply in very crowded scenes, though usually a natural rhythm forms between small groups within the large group.

I’ve got a knife! And other exciting things.

  • We like exciting things to happen. But we also like it when everyone else is excited about those exciting things. Please check whether your scene partners are up for whatever it is you have in mind, if it’s something out of the ordinary.
  • Scene stealing, also known as grandstanding, is not necessarily bad. It’s only bad when it’s the only thing that your character ever does. An enormous part of being a good RPer is being a considerate RPer, and if it’s always your character in the focus, that’s not considerate. Let others have the spotlight too.

Power-Posing

  • Power-posing is including anything in your pose that another character is doing or that involves touching another character in any way.
  • To avoid power-posing, you should pose an attempt to do something to another character so they have a chance to react. Another option is to work it out OOC via page before the pose. Some long-time RP partners will give each other permission to pose whatever they need to that involves their character.
  • Simpler stuff – a touch on the shoulder, a kiss between partners – is often just posed and everyone goes with it as long as it makes IC sense.
  • If someone power-poses you in a way you are uncomfortable with, it’s fine to say no. Make them take the pose back or repose.
  • “Surprise! You’re my baby’s father!” is power-posing and totally not cool.

Thought-posing

  • On No Return, a small amount of narrative or editorial content in a pose is the norm. Pose content about what your character is thinking is not.
  • You need to always give your scene partners something that they can ICly react to. A pose that consists wholly of your character’s thoughts and narration about your character is inappropriate.
  • It is very bad form to thought-pose insults when giving no indication in your pose that your character feels that way. If you do this, you can expect that many people will not want to RP with you.
  • What is thought-posing? If you’re not sure, we have an extra article on this.

Meta-posing

  • What is meta-posing? It is often closely tied to thought-posing (above) and generally means including details in your poses that no one else has any way of knowing. We have a separate article about this that you can read here.
  • Sometimes narration can get a little meta and that’s okay, but relying on it too much while you tell your story can get annoying and is discouraged.
  • Players who consistently engage in passive aggressive meta-posing may be asked to leave the game, especially if we are getting complaints about it from other players. If you don’t know what passive aggressive meta-posing is, please read this article.

Posing in General

  • Please make an effort to correct typos and use something resembling proper English grammar. If you have a writing-related disability, a spellchecker will catch the most egregious ones and people will be willing to cut you some slack on the rest if you warn them up front.
  • There’s a place and time for the one-line pose and the twenty-line pose. No Return poses usually run between 3 and 6 lines, with a few outliers in either direction. In general, try to create a happy equilibrium. Keep in mind the time needs of other players when you tend towards longer poses, and their need to have something to respond to when you tend towards shorter poses.
  • /Read things/. Read descs, read bbposts, read news files, read other people’s poses. Then try to retain at least a general sense of having read it.

Sex

  • RP of a sexual nature should not take place in any public room.
  • FTB rules apply. No player shall coerce or require another player to play out a sexual encounter/situation if they don’t want to.
  • Nonconsensual scenes may only happen between consensual players. (Translation: Rape requires OOC consent.)
  • Anything that might be considered child pornography is strictly prohibited. Players caught engaging in this sort of roleplay will be banned.

Staff

  • Mutual respect between staffer and player is expected in all interactions. This means that players are expected to respect a staffer’s authority and decisions, and staffers are also expected to treat all players (and other staffers) with courtesy and respect their opinions.
  • Staff rulings are final. We respect polite, maturely presented appeals to decisions, but the Staff of the game has the final say in all matters and decisions.

Staff E&E

Activity

  • Staffers must log on at least once a week unless they are on vacation or taking a leave of absence. There are no other activity requirements to remain on staff, but those who aren’t contributing may be dismissed.

Conduct

  • Follow all the player E&E; staff are held to the same–if not higher–standard.

Confidentiality

Staff are expected to keep a lot of information close to the chest, including (for example):

  • Posts to staff bulletin board.
  • Conversations on the staff channel.
  • Background & sheet information for characters not their own.
  • Details about plots and story arcs.
  • Conversations with players and other staffers of a sensitive nature.
  • Staff-mediated conflict details.
  • Disciplinary actions.
  • Staff alts, if the staffer has chosen not to share them.
  • Code. None of the game code may be shared/ported without the game owner’s permission.

Dark/Hidden

  • Wizards & Royals are welcome to use the dark/hidden flags so that they can idle and/or get work done with fewer interruptions.
  • Wizards & Royals may not use dark/hidden flags to spy on players, either in person or on channels, and are expected to be visible if they are running or observing a scene.

Logs

  • Staff has the right to log any interaction with any player for any reason, but this log is for internal use only. It may be shared with other staffers for purposes of documentation or posted in player records but may not be distributed further.