Consent on a MUSH represents a player's control of what affects their character and their character's environment. Houses of the Blood MUSH, being based on a world full of darkness, danger and overall an 18+ environment, functions under what we call 'Cooperative Non-Consent,' which could be described as a hybrid of the two. We want to focus on the concepts of the word 'Cooperative' and what that means for the environment of the game and the fun of the players involved. The consent policy is in place because the point of the game is for the players to have fun. Some subjects are fun for some and absolutely not fun for others. This isn't the only criteria used to determine these exceptions, but it is one of them.
What that means is:
- Characters on the game may be (and often are) adversarial, but players should not be. We expect -- and require -- players to negotiate, collaborate, and work toward ends that are mutually agreeable to those involved in a scene, whether their characters like this outcome or not. IC/OOC separation is crucial here. This is the crux of our 'cooperative' aspect of 'Cooperative Non-Consent.'
- Characters do not need OOC permission to enter scenes, engage in role-play, or otherwise interact with one another, AS LONG AS this does not violate anything laid out in Harassment Policy or the Consent Exceptions detailed below. This includes entering into combat. Otherwise, talk to each other (and if in talking you say 'let's roll, I'm game for whatever' then all bets are off).
- In-Character Actions Equal In-Character Consequences. Actions taken ICly can and often will result in severe consequences. That being said, we encourage players to work with each other to reach suitable outcomes as much as possible. This is more detailed out in the Conduct files.
- It is recommended to give some warning when a character action could very well lead to severe or permanent injury or character death. Keep things in good faith and give each other a chance to survive.
- We respect that different people have different levels of tolerance for playing out certain themes and situations. Even though IC events are non-consent, players should never feel forced to RP out any graphic situation that makes them OOCly uncomfortable. There is no need to list out potential situations here. If something is uncomfortable, talk to those involved in the scene (see point 1). If a situation is ending uncomfortably, fading to black is the most ideal way to end it without issue. If pushed, bow out of the scene and inform a member of staff to adjudicate.
- There are some circumstances in which OOC consent is required. These are the exceptions to the default listed above, and exceptional circumstances are outlined below.
Now, a couple of things need to be noted separate from the above:
- Character Death during the course of a staff-run plots. Staff will keep in mind a player's desire for their PC not to be killed, insofar as the logic of the situation permits. If you attempt to attack a major NPC antagonist head-on, you can't expect the NPC to not attempt to end the existence of your PC.
- If you deliberately provoke a situation, or fail to pose out when a warning is issued or when the outcome is obvious, you cannot then turn around and say you are unhappy to continue.
- Both players, Narrators and staff should respect player requests for clarity and information and be as helpful as possible; character death from miscommunication or lack of information is never fun for anyone. Please try to avoid this by keeping communication lines open, clear, and respectful.
Ultimately, we can't list any and all potential problems and situations that may arise from being a Cooperative Non-Consent game. We would like everyone to use their best judgement. If you feel that something may be going beyond the scope of non-consent, or you are consistently being pulled into situations that fall under the policies laid out in Harassment Policy, please see a member of staff. Otherwise, as always, be respectful and courteous to each other; it goes a long way.
Again, a reminder: when we talk about consent, we talk about the player consent, not the character consent. All of the listed topics below are often topics that cause the toxicity of a game to rise, particularly when forced upon others who have no recourse but to log out. Some topics are also too uncomfortable to some, whether they be closed to a real life experience or something of that nature. On Houses of the Blood, we have a few situations that REQUIRE OOC consent from all parties involved:
- Romantic and Physical Relationships
- Personality/Preference Overwrites
- 'Taboo' subjects
Look to the spirit and intent behind these exceptions, because that's what staff are be doing when concerns are brought to us; this list isn't meant to be a 'letter of the law' or comprehensive, just a guideline of things we already feel must be covered. If something that falls outside of what we've directly addressed in policy, we'll try to address it with a prompt answer, and edit the policy file to reflect. When in doubt about something, talk it out with the other people. That's the gist of OOC consent; everyone has to say 'I'm game' and nothing else.
If you have a question, direct it to staff.