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Author Topic: Updated World Policies -- Effective 23-April-2009  (Read 785 times)


Updated World Policies -- Effective 23-April-2009
« on: April 23, 2009, 09:38:06 pm »
[SIZE=13]Layonara is a world built for entertainment and community. Years of diligent volunteer effort on the part of the Layonara team has generated extensive and engaging environments, compelling and unique game dynamics, a vibrant and supportive community, and a universe overfull with history.[/SIZE][SIZE=13]
To maintain Layonara's entertainment factor and sense of community we strive to:
  • [SIZE=13]ensure an equality of opportunity for players to enjoy and be entertained by the abundant resources Layonara has to offer[/SIZE]
  • foster and promote an open, supportive and engaging community
  • continue to develop the stories which make Layonara the vibrant world it is while at the same time respecting and ensuring historical integrity
  • ensure the consistency of the world setting (pantheon, cosmology, geography, races, classes, etc.)
  • [SIZE=13]ensure the intended and reasonable functioning of game dynamics[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13]Layonara's popularity and longevity has also meant that we've faced many issues and conflicts. To address these challenges we've developed a set of policies and procedures which embed the above objectives into world, game and community in a consistent and clear manner. The contents of Layonara Rules have been deliberated many times and some have seen multiple manifestations. With each revision, as with this most recent, we intend our policies to promote and defend our shared vision of community and entertainment while being mindful that the rules and procedures should not become cumbersome or overwrought. Layonara should be fun and inviting while at the same time consistent and just.[/SIZE]  [SIZE=13]

We urge everyone to read the updated policies in this thread. Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask them in our "Ask a Gamemaster" forum.[/SIZE]

- The Layonara GM Team

NOTE: The policies below represent that which has been updated. It is our goal to merge these into LORE so that there is consistent information both on the forums and in LORE.  This process will take a few weeks likely, so please bear with us through a brief period of inconsistency. These policies will also be cross-posted in the applicable section of the forums for convenience.

The policies given below are best segregated into three main categories:
  • Behavior -- related to player actions while in-game
  • Character submissions and approvals -- related to getting new characters started
  • Grievances -- related to the Disputes, Grievances and Requests for reimbursements process
For the below, if a pre-existing policy is not explicitly discussed, it should be considered to be still in-effect.  Where there is a pre-existing policy covering something in the new policies, the new ones will take precedence.  

And now, without further ceremony...

[SIZE=24]Behavioral policies:[/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]
Area level restrictions –
  Effective immediately, we are lifting all area level requirements.  This means that there will no longer be any level-based stipulations regarding where a character may travel.  After much internal review, the GM Team feels that most, if not all, places in the game world effectively enforce their own sort of level restrictions, both in difficulty and degree of reward, and it is not beneficial to the Community or the GM Team to police or enforce such limits artificially.
  The following is a guideline for what each area is designed for danger wise, so that players may knowingly choose their destinations.[LIST=1]
  • Travel to Central server, generally, is meant for those level eight ( 8 ) and above.
  • Travel to north of Miritrix, Isle of the Glittering Mists, and all underground areas on Belinara is meant for those level seventeen (17) and above.
  • All caverns north of the Thunder Valley Crossroads is meant for levels seventeen (17) and above.
  • Travel on Voltrex is meant for levels seventeen (17) and above.
  • Travel beyond K'halziras is meant for levels seventeen (17) and above.
If you travel to one of these areas with a character below the recommended level, you acknowledge that to do so is risky and may result in a higher rate of character death.
 Party level spread –
  Effective immediately, we are rescinding all previous statements regarding the level split between the highest- and lowest- level character within a party or grouping.  The GM Team feels this particular rule has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and misapplied at all levels of the Community including by members of our own GM Team.  As a result, it has been damaging to roleplay, it has caused animosity between the Community and the GM Team and has made people feel like criminals just because they associate with a character more than 10 levels different.
 Special note on the lifting of area and party level restrictions –
  While we are effectively removing all restrictions regarding character levels, we are hoping to encourage better grouping, better roleplay, a greater sense of adventure and an environment where roleplay is not unduly bounded by out-of-character issues such as level and arbitrary lines on a map.  Having said that, the GM Team maintains a single request that can be summed up briefly as:[INDENT]Don't drag, and don't kite.”
[/INDENT]It is possible for a low-level character in a group of  higher-level characters to contribute in some form, whether by flinging spells, tossing potions, firing arrows or any number of other contributing things, even if they're not terribly effective.  The important part is that they attempt to contribute.  Similarly, a high-level character can escort a group of lower-level characters without doing all the work for them.  So, in this spirit, we ask for the Community to respect this and to keep these things in mind when going out and about.  We're not going to break up a party on Dregar that contains a 5th level character just for that fact alone, nor will we go on hunts when we see a wide party level spread.  
  However, if we see little or no roleplay among the party, if we see non-contributing lower-level characters or we see a high-level character being the primary application of force among a group of otherwise lower-level characters, we may request a modification to the party's behavior.  If the behavior persists, we reserve the right to disband the party.
  We want everyone to have fun, to adventure and explore, and we no longer feel it appropriate to keep these restrictions in place.  We ask only that the Community enjoy this expanded freedom and request that it be used responsibly.
 Muling –
  Another often misunderstood rule is that of muling.  Our official definition of muling, effective immediately, is:
Muling is when you have items (in the bank, in your inventory, in your house, etc. that you have earned or fairly traded for), and then you give those items to a newly created character of your own for free. This also applies to having a character you control gather CNR or other items for another character you control. It is fine to RP a 'sales person' or whatever you may want to call it but from this point forward please do not let that 'other person' be another character under your control."
  To put more plainly, it is muling to give items, gold or any other assets from one character under your direct control to another, whether you have multiple Bioware accounts or not.  You, as a player, are the common factor between them, and giving one character an advantage that another has earned is not something we tolerate.
  If you must transfer goods between two characters under your control, then do so through a third-party and conduct the exchange like a business transaction, meaning exchange goods or coins in trade.  This applies as much to unassociated characters as it does to characters who are directly related (i.e. parent/child relationships).
  We believe all characters deserve to accumulate equipment and wealth in line with their own accomplishments, and it is unfair to the rest of our Community if some take it upon themselves to give benefits to one of their characters by the work of another.  We ask everyone to respect this philosophy for the good of everyone in the Community.
 Looping and Camping –
  Looping is defined as going through the same few areas in a short period of time in order to keep continually harvesting CNR, reaping XP and loot from killing the creatures there, etc., and then repeating this sort of thing over and over in a given span of time.
  Camping is defined as staying effectively in one place, typically one single area, usually for the purpose of waiting for CNR to respawn so your character can harvest another full load, and then waiting again for the next respawn cycle over and over again.  Another form of camping is to enter an area, kill the creatures and/or harvest the CNR available, then log out for a time, log back on and repeat the process.
  We ask the community to limit any looping behavior through a small number of areas to 60 minutes.  We ask the community to limit any camping behavior in a single area to 30 minutes.  In the case of logging in, harvesting and logging out, we ask that you simply do not do this more than 3 times in a row.
The GM Team understands that not everyone has a lot of play time. Sometimes there is only a small amount of time to log in, take care of a few things and then log back out, and we do not wish for people with limited time to feel like criminals. However, we also believe that players should exercise some degree of self-restraint when doing such things.  While we will not be actively policing for camping and looping behavior, if we observe such in excess of the stated guidelines, we reserve the right to intervene and inform the party that they have pushed the boundaries of what we would like to see.
  Unless taken to the extreme, the GM Team will not be applying in-character or out-of-character punishments to any groups caught looping or camping in excess, however we may remove the group from the situation if our requests are not respected.
 In Summary
  At no point will there be in-character consequences to the breaking any of these rules; no effects, no spawning of creatures, no going to jail or being tersely corrected by NPCs. There will only be out-of-character actions, which can range from simple warnings to banning, the latter being the most severe of course and only at the extreme abuse of the rules. Please do not associate in-character consequences to out-of-character actions as they are completely separate. iIn-character choices will generate in-character consequences and likewise for out-of-character choices.

  [SIZE=24]Character Submission and Approvals Policies:[/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

First and most important to the community: by submitting a character, whether or not it is approved, you agree to adhere to all the rules of this server both in game and out. If you have not, by this point, read the rules of the server, it is recommended that you do so now (please follow this link).
  All names of character submissions must be the original creation of the submitting applicant. They can not be copyrighted names from a game, book, television show, movie or any other medium not covered in this list, nor can they be names belonging to existing characters in Layonara.
  There are numerous races on Layonara. Not all are available as player races, but there are many options in game at this time.
 Only the sub races Wemic, Brownie, Ghostwise Halfling, Sea Elf, Dark Elf and Goblin will require additional justification for choosing this race in the biographies.  When you chose one of these races, please take into account that the review may take an extended period of time.
 Due to lore reasons, Tiefling and Aasimar will no longer be an option for new character submissions. For the same reason, no half races (Half elf, Half orc, Half giant, Half ogre) can be born after the year 1421. You can find the current year here.
 The following races must start out with an alignment of CN, TN, NE, or LE: Dark Elf, Half Orc, Half Giant, Half Ogre, Orc, Goblin, and Deep Dwarf. There is one exception to this; a cleric character that follows Az'atta (regardless of race) may start out with a good alignment. (see further down for more information on alignments in general.) Please see the racial LORE pages for further information.

  When selecting the age of your character please keep in mind that many age at different rates and some races naturally mature slower as a result. As well, each race has a minimum starting age since we do not allow child player characters.
  The mechanical classes of Layonara have several wide interpretations and some have very specific needs. Most standard character classes do not require anything in the way of justifying the choice of class over some other in the character submission.  As such, a detailed justification for a particular class is an optional thing, and we will not overly scrutinize them, excepting for  very obvious glaring issues (I.E. a submission where a sorcerer studies his magic rather then innately acquires it or a level one fighter is taking on whole mobs of orcs on his own, etc).
 Clerics and paladins however, must give their stated commitments in their biographies and we would still like them to make clear in their biographies their respect for their deity's dogma and/or organization.
 Druids also have their own submission requirements, and we would like to have any druid players read the druid information page.
 Additionally, applications asking for dual classes are not expected to include more then what a single class of the same would require. Resubmissions to add a second or third class after initial approval (excepting druid, paladin, cleric or monk) need only be a resubmitted biography with a few additional lines explaining the IC reasoning. Resubmission to add druid, paladin, cleric or monk (especially if the starting class was monk or druid to begin with and a character is returning to this class) hold the same requirements and stipulations as above with potential extra requirements (such as CDQ, CDT or other need).
 If you have a character with multiple classes, you must have 5 levels minimum in each class before level 20 (e.g. You cannot have a level 3 rogue, level 17 fighter, you need at least 5 rogue)
 Monk, Paladin and Druid classes have restricted multi-classing.
 Policy on Applications for Additional Class and/or PrC past level 20Characters approved for an additional class beyond what was established prior to level twenty-one (21) must take five (5) levels or more consecutively upon initiating levels in the new class. This rule reflects what should be inherent of all applications for a new class. By pursuing a new class, the player is pursuing a new avenue for character growth. This growth should be reflected by an investment in the new class beyond a simple label. Taking one level in a new class and then going back to the initial class(es) shows a limited drive to pursue the path for which you were approved. Once five (5) consecutive levels in the new class have been taken, you are free to level as you find appropriate, provided there are no multi-classing restrictions for the new class.
  Most alignments are unrestricted and will not require special support with in the biography to be approved so long as there are no glaring conflicts.(For example, a Neutral Good rogue who mugs and robs travelers indiscriminately to make a living.)
 Chaotic Neutral remains a special alignment, and the submitting player must have had an active character in the world for four (4) months prior to the submission of the Chaotic Neutral character. There is no minimum level requirement for this active character. You do need to submit, in your own words, an acknowledgment stating your acceptance of the rules of the server and giving a statement acknowledging that Chaotic Neutral is not carte blanch act randomly, expecting to be free of penalty. In the game and in our community, actions have consequences, and if you are not willing to accept the consequences, do not make those actions.
 Evil too is special and with the heavier requirements. Lawful Evil and Neutral Evil require an active character for at least nine (9) months. There is no minimum level requirement for this active character.  As with Chaotic Neutral, on the character submission the player is required to state in their own words that they accept the rules of the server. As well they must state that they accept that the alignment of Evil may put them at odds with the majority of the player community as well as the NPCs they interact with, and that they accept the consequences to their actions.
 Chaotic Evil is not available to player characters on Layonara, and if a character's alignment shifts to Chaotic Evil territory the character becomes property of the GM team and is no longer playable.

 The actual approval of these alignments lays ultimately with the GM team, based upon appropriate roleplay of previous alignments. The team holds this to protect the community  as a whole and not to target any particular members of it. Realize that by choosing these alignments the review time is longer than for standard characters, as input from the GM team will be sought.
  Deities are an active, if indirectly so, power upon Layonara. When a character passes from the world the deity may choose to call their souls to their domain. Some classes require a deity choice but most do not. Do not choose a deity to enter in the deity field unless your character is truly devout as it will bring consequences (both good and bad) to your character. If you do select a deity for your character please use common sense where dogma and your character's worship is concerned and if there is an extreme case, such as a dwarf worshiping Lucinda, make certain the details are touched on in the biography.
 A final note on deities: The GM team will enforce the accurate portrayal of a character who is devout. If they are caught doing something their deity disapproves of, there may be consequences. These include, but are not limited to, helping the enemy of your deity, doing something strictly against the dogma of your deity, and furthering the goals of an unfriendly or enemy deity.
 General Biography details and lore
  The primary focus of biographies is RP and lore. Despite the above leniencies, lore will still be strictly adhered to and possible conflicts with lore will receive the most scrutiny. In the case of reapplications for alignment shifts, secondary classes, etc, an RP justification will be requested as always, but a few lines should suffice (as long as they are explanatory). When applying using your own format, please link all pertinent information along with your request. Optional questionnaires will be posted for use for both original submissions and reapplications to simplify the process for the player.
 Character backgrounds can comprise pretty much of whatever you wish but should cover the following:
  • A bit on where your character came from.
  • A bit on their family and its fate.
  • Some finer points on why your character thinks and acts like it does.
  • All characters must be from Layonara. There are no off-world biographies permitted.
  • Be creative, as we are open to lots of things.
We do not accept characters that:
  • have direct ties to gods, dragons or royalty of any kingdom.
  • have direct contact between themselves and a deity (this includes visions or dreams provided by a deity , a deity walking the lands and visiting the player or their ancestors, physical markings by a deity or an agent, or gifts provided by a deity, or anything of this nature).
Some of the GM Team will be keeping a stock character applications that will be in a pool to use by players who do not wish to write their own. Some adaptations may be necessary if chosen for   submission depending upon current standards for the applications at that time. A small amount of customization will be asked of the player (mostly to adapt the character to the current events of the world).
 Available Ears: Elven, Halfling, Dwarven, Dark Elf, Gnomish, Thieves' Cant, Wemic, Animal, Brownie, Underwater, Sign Language, Orc, Goblin, Draconic and Florane (T'oleflor). Everything except Draconic and Florane are available on initial submission with some additional support in the biography.
 Races receive their specific ear on creation. Dark elves receive both the elf and Dark Elf ear. Sea Elves get the elf and underwater ear. Druids and rangers start with the animal ear, while rogues start with the ability to use thieves' cant. Certain clerics may also begin with the animal ear depending on domain. Half elves will be able to understand the elven language but the biography and intelligence must support the ability to speak it. These default ears do not count against your bonus languages.
 Languages may also be learned in game from other players. They cannot be learned from familiars or NPCs, and after creation, your character journal must reflect the learning of the language to have it approved. Approval after initial creation involves submitting a request and a link to your character journal as well as the support testimony of your tutors. In any situation, except for automatic languages and where specified to be outside of the norm, all applicants wanting additional languages need to make certain they have the appropriate intelligence to support the request. The maximum number of additional languages to be requested on submission is two (2).
 The maximum number of non-racial/non-class languages that a character can learn is equal to the character's base Intelligence (INT) modifier. For example, an elven Druid would automatically receive the elven and animal “ears” when the character first signs into the world. With an INT score of 12 (+1 modifier), the character may learn one additional language, if desired.  This language may be granted on the initial approval or learned over time in-game.
  The definition of a restart, for the purposes of this server, is: starting one's character completely over from scratch without any benefit of the previous incarnation's inventory, coin or experience. That is to say you start over from level one with nothing. In addition we will require you to post for a deletion of the old incarnation and create the new version with a slightly different name. Add an extra space, perhaps change one or two of the letters or some other minor change. If the change is not made the database will think it is the same character and will not allow for static quests to be completed, among other issues. It is further recommended that any variation of name be noted in your original character submission thread.
 Sometimes it happens that we find ourselves not liking how our character has turned out, mechanically speaking, for a wide variety of reasons. Level five (5) and below seems to be the most common areas where this occurs. To that end, all level five and below characters will be granted one (1) free restart when requested in the Character Submissions forums. Between the levels six (6) and ten (10) the Character Approvals team will still consider the merits and problems with a restart at that point and grant or deny based on the result on their findings. After level ten (10), or if a denial after level six (6), a character may use one of their Graceful Pleas for a restart.
 Once a Graceful Plea is used, it cannot be rescinded and anything needing changed (re-name, re-description, etc) after this restart will count in their normal capacities as if it was the original character. This means whatever Graceful Pleas and freebies previously used will count against the restarted character. The character restart does not refresh the count. Please go slow and pay attention to the details as when recreating the character.
 A restart does not clear the loss of Soul Strands (see: Soul Strands and the Layonara Death System) and they must be reapplied for once the new character is made. Please post for this action in the Grievance Forum.
 A rebuild is when a character is allowed to restart and then gain all of their experience, items and equipment. This is only granted for an extensive reason, such as a CDQ or quest that results in the deity change of a cleric or something of that magnitude, or when the development team makes mechanical changes to classes that require such action. They are extremely rare and require the support of at least one GM in the capacity of GM not player witness.
 A relevel is when one level is removed and given again. This is only granted for reasons such as accidental clicks, misunderstood feats or spells and the like. This falls under the jurisdiction of grievances requests and must be dealt in that forum with the guidelines stated in that policy.
 Prestige Class (PrC) resubmissions
  PrC submissions are changing as follows:
  • Weaponmaster, Duelist, Undead Hunter and Battlerager can be approved on initial submission, providing the application supports the extra class (again, not asking much but a few lines added in for the note of RP.)
  • Bear Warrior, Skald, Shifter, Arcane Archer, Spellsword, Shadow Dancer and Sacred Fist require an updated biography submission and either a well kept CDT for a minimum of two (2) weeks (explaining the how and the why) or a CDQ.
  • Mistone Alliance Scout, Dwarven Defender, Champions, Palemaster and Assassin are a multi step process that require an updated biography, a well tended development thread and either a WLDQ or one or more CDQs, depending on the character.
  • Red Dragon Disciple remains WLDQ only.
Please make sure you carefully read the class information on your desired PrC so that you may quicken the approval process.
 Organizations and Ranks
  With all of the above stated there are two very important points to keep in mind. Firstly, just because a player is a Toranite Undead Hunter, it does not automatically mean they are in the order of the Shining Hand. If a character desires to be part of an organization likely a Character Development Quest (or CDQ) or other GM acknowledgment is necessary. Either submit this with the matching class/PrC request or submit for a CDQ to attempt to join the desired organization. Some organizations have very specific procedures and requirements to join (such as the well established Knights of the Wyrm) and can be handled as a group function or as a personal CDQ.
 Secondly, most level one characters start out as the lowest level above 'student' in any organization they might be a part of. For instance, most starting clerics will begin in their acolyte phase (where applicable). This does not afford them any special treatment beyond being a priest of their faith. If a player wishes to advance in rank within their church, or any other organization it is squarely on the shoulders of the player to initiate CDQs to attain this goal. At present there are certainly some complications, lore availability wise, with knowing what to ask for, but any GM has access to the information and the player need only ask to find out what steps are needed or what general possibilities are available to them. It should be noted that character level is not related to rank in a church.
 Character Development Quest Rules[LIST=1]
  • A player can only have one (1) CDQ per two (2) month period.
  • A character must be at least level ten (10) to have a CDQ.
  • The only exception is a character looking to move into a PrC before level ten (10).
  • A CDQ must have a valid purpose, and this will be enforced by the GMs running the quest. Do not request a CDQ just because you want your own personal quest or a quest for your friends. Examples of valid purposes for CDQs include: To take a PrC, to start/work on a long-range character goal, to explore unknown details of a character's past, or any other sort of goal or event that requires GM intervention to realize is valid.
  • CDQs can not last more than a total of six (6) hours or two (2) game sessions, whichever comes first. On top of that a CDQ must be completed within three (3) RL weeks once the first session has been run.
  • CDQs DO NOT HAVE ANY XP REWARDS. Not to the person having the quest run nor its participants. This was done to avoid player abuse of this process
It is important to note that while a player may make requests for the purpose and goal of a CDQ, a player may not fully write or dictate the outcome of the CDQ. How the CDQ is conducted and the final outcome is for the GM to decide, especially in cases where the outcome may be in conflict with world lore.
One last note: While you wait for your character to be reviewed, perhaps you might look around the forums at some of the in-character threads and more at our Layonara Online Reference Encyclopedia (also called LORE, but should not be confused with 'lore'. Tricky aren't we?)
 Looking forward to seeing you in game!

[SIZE=24][SIZE=13]Please note that as of this date, all previous policies for this forum are no longer valid. The relevant threads will be removed shortly to avoid confusion.[/SIZE]

Dispute, Grievance and Requests for Reimbursement Policies:[/SIZE]

 Graceful Pleas –
 For some months the team has pondered various options for dealing with the inequalities that the current grievance system suffers. Along with several other polices, this particular aspect was given much thought. The issues and potential for abuse are too numerous for an open return system, yet the current restrictive system created a sense of unfairness and inequity within the community. What follows is a compromise added to the system to grant leniency without making the system as a whole too cumbersome to support.
 Effective immediately, all players have the right to three (3) “Graceful Pleas” for each character. These Graceful Pleas can be used for a “no fault” return or reimbursement. Graceful Pleas can be used for things such as (but not limited to):
  • Soul Strand reimbursements
  • Item replacement due to loss from inventory mis-management, accidental discards or the like
  • Name, description or appearance changes with no IC justification
  • Relevel beyond the normally-allowed thresholds
  • Fulfillment of any other Dispute, Grievance or Request that has been denied (excluding denial by lore reasons)
  • Returning of a previously permed character that has not been deleted from our server vault (see special note below)
  • Any other request denied for any reason
Once a Graceful Plea has been granted, it cannot be reversed, except through using another Graceful Plea. There will be no refunds of Graceful Pleas for any reason. Once all Graceful Pleas have been used up, you may not use any more for that character. You may not use your Graceful Pleas for one character for any other character, whether under your control or not.
 For players wishing to restore a permed character, please read the section below titled: Special note regarding the loss of a character's final Soul Strand.
 In the event that a player commits a bannable offense, all Graceful Pleas for all characters are subject to forfeit. A Graceful Plea may not be used to reverse a banning decision.
 Soul Strand and XP Loss–
 Effective immediately, there are only three scenarios for Soul Strand and XP reimbursement:[LIST=1]
  • GM Error: In the case that a GM makes an error, whether on a quest, impromptu event or simply a random mis-click, which causes a character to die and lose a Soul Strand or XP, this loss will be refunded with the approval of the GM in question.
  • Module/Spawn bugs: As has been the case for many years, Soul Strand or XP losses due to bugs in the module, inappropriately designed or placed spawns or similar mechanical errors, oversights or other errors on the fault of the development staff are reimbursable. The GM Team remains the final authority on what is and is not a bug that fits this category. Bugs related to Bioware issues and problems are not reimbursable under this category.
  • Disconnection, crashing and unexpected jumps: When deaths occur due to an unexpected disconnection, crash or unexpected jumps (whether short or long range), resulting in a Soul Strand or XP loss, players will be able to petition for a return of such a loss given the following limitations:
  • The player must solicit the testimonies of three (3) other players to support his/her claim, preferably those that were present at the event in question and the loss.
  • The testimonies given are accepted by three (3) GMs, who need not have been present at the event. The GMs need only to accept the story as given and state their approval.
  • The player may not request more than three (3) such reimbursements for any given character over the lifetime of the character, starting with the release of this policy.
[/INDENT][INDENT]This removes the requirement of needing to travel with World Leader characters or characters of GMs and puts some trust back in the community itself. At the same time, it imposes some practical and reasonable limits so that the system is not abused. This is very similar to a policy we used to have, but it was abused, and so was made more restrictive. It is our hope that our faith in the community and the practical limits set down by this new policy will be beneficial to everyone.
 [/INDENT]Special note regarding the loss of a character's final Soul Strand –
 When a character loses his or her final Soul Strand, the player will be given a one-time choice to request a reconsideration of this final death, given that the above criteria have not already been enacted for the event in question. There does not need to be any special reason, justification or evidence at all for this request. The only requirement is that it comes after the loss of a character's final Soul Strand and the player still has at least one (1) Graceful Plea left for this character. The player will be given a choice between one of the following:[LIST=1]
  • The character may sacrifice one or more magic or enchanted items with a combined lens value of at least 100,000 True, and sacrifice XP equivalent to 2 character levels (with resulting loss of character levels). This reduction will put the character at the same relative place between levels, based on the XP difference between levels. For example, if the character is half way between level 22 and 23 when this option is exercised, the character will be half way between levels 20 and 21 after the reduction is made. The item(s) sacrificed in this option must be on the PC at the time of death.
  • The character may sacrifice XP equivalent to 5 character levels (with resulting loss of character levels). This reduction will put the character at the same relative place between levels, based on the XP difference between levels. For example, if the character is half way between level 22 and 23 when this option is exercised, the character will be half way between levels 17 and 18 after the reduction is made.
Whichever option is chosen, the character will be automatically unplayable for a period of 6 game months (roughly 1.5 RL weeks). This can be considered a period of recovery, during which it should be RPed that the character has been incapacitated, comatose, catatonic or otherwise uncommunicative and unable to act. Exercising this option will also cost the character one (1) Graceful Plea. If the character has run out of Graceful Pleas, this option is not available and the character cannot be restored through this method.
 For the purposes of this contingency, if items are to be sacrificed as part of returning a permed character to life, an item will qualify to be counted if it is:
  • A +2 or greater item, or has a lens value of 10,000 True or greater, AND...
  • the item can be equipped, AND...
  • the item is not some form of ammunition
So this means things like +2 or better armors and weapons, +2 or better stat jewelry, cloaks, bracers and other such equipable items will qualify, but infused gems, Enhancement Rods and other similar things, regardless of lens value, will not be considered.

The exchanges made with either of these options are permanent, and cannot be re-gained through use of a Graceful Plea.  The option of this choice will only be available once over the lifetime of any given character. If a character who takes one of these options loses his/her final Soul Strand again, this option will not be available.
 While it is possible that the XP loss could drop a World Leader (WL) character below the minimum level for WL eligibility, exercising this option will not result in the loss of WL status already gained. If the character's WLDQ is in-progress, the GM Team will evaluate whether or not to continue the WLDQ or wait until the character has regained sufficient XP to qualify. However, the approval to attempt a WLDQ will not be rescinded as a result of exercising this option.
 The concept behind this idea is to give players that “one last chance” while preserving the concepts of permanency and the gravity of death.
 If a Graceful Plea is used to restore a character that has permed before the advent of this policy, the character will only have two (2) Graceful Pleas remaining. In addition, we will impose some RP restrictions upon such a case:
  • Under no circumstances may such a character or anyone associated with the character RP that the Soul Mother was lenient, forgiving or otherwise beneficial to the character in restoring them to life. Such claims will not be supported or tolerated by the GM Team.
  • Under no circumstances may such a character or anyone associated with the character RP that any deity restored the character to life for any reason. Such claims will not be supported or tolerated by the GM Team.
  • We ask both for the player making the request and for those present at the character's final death, that memories of the final death and the associated ritual and cut-scene are either not RPed at all or RPed as happening to a nameless NPC adventurer or the like.
  • If a will has been executed on behalf of the permed character, that execution will remain. In other words, the character is not entitled to get back his or her house, furniture, bank balance or other possessions disbursed through the action of the will. The GM Team will not assist in or approve such efforts. If the character wishes to pursue these things in-character, that will remain an available option.
The GM Team asks that a player wishing for such a restoration provide some concept of what happened during the time since the character's final death and the present. Reasons can include being found by locals and being nursed back to health, eventually returning home years later, or perhaps the character was brought home right away and led a sort of isolated life after the trauma of nearly dying permanently. Whatever the reasoning, it must plausible, fit within the boundaries of world lore and be accepted by all involved, or it will not be approved. If applicable, any statues, monuments or memorials placed in-game in dedication to the dead character will be removed with the restoration of the character to life. We ask these things simply for the sake of continuity.
 Wills –
 Over the last couple of years, the prevalence of character wills, distributable upon the final death of a character, have become more popular and unfortunately more complex, intricate and difficult to adjudicate. There have been several in relatively recent history that have become very time-consuming for the Team to decide upon and handle. As a result, we have decided it is necessary to set some realistic limits on what can be included and distributed by a character's will. [LIST=1]
  • Houses – A character can gift his/her house and all its contents as a single unit to a single beneficiary. This beneficiary must be a player character, not a guild, group or family. When multiple houses (except guild halls) are owned by the character, each house must be gifted to a different character. The GM Team will absolutely not approve or participate in any partial distributions of housing contents. This applies also to donating the contents of chests and things to various causes in-game. With the advent of our generic in-game donation system, such donations will become the sole responsibility of the beneficiary.
  • Bank account – A character can gift the entire balance of  his/her bank account balance in True to a single beneficiary. This beneficiary must be a player character, not a guild, group or family. Any splitting of gold between other potential beneficiaries becomes the responsibility of the named beneficiary. The GM Team will not disburse gold to more than one character.
  • Items in possession upon death – While a will may include the stipulation that items in the character's possession at the time of death be given to one or more beneficiaries, there will under no circumstances be any items retrieved or distributed by the GM Team as a result. This means we will not be allowing a permanently dead character to be logged in for the purpose of distributing items in the character's possession to one or more beneficiaries, nor will we be creating new items from the palette and handing them to characters as a representation of their inheritance. For example, if a character wishes to leave an heirloom sword to his/her offspring (who is another PC), that beneficiary will have the RP of having received that sword, perhaps delivered by the companions who traveled with the permed character or some other reasonable explanation. The GM Team will not provide any such physical item in any way. If the beneficiary wishes to obtain a like item through other means, it is acceptable to RP that item as the same one received through inheritance, but the beneficiary is not required to do so. (I.E. purchasing or finding through looting a sword that is the same as the item given to the beneficiary from the permed PC and roleplaying that it is the same item.) It is perfectly fine to RP the item intangibly as well (see #4).
  • Intangible items – A character will may specify any number of intangible, RP-only items to be given away on death (i.e. a treasured book, a collection of sketches, etc.) to any number of beneficiaries. The GM Team will not, however, hand out anything as a result. Beneficiaries should assume they received these objects and RP their possession.
  • Donations – A character will may stipulate gold and/or items be donated to a deity or other cause. If the items are accessible, such as in chests or crates within player housing, then it falls to the beneficiary to see to the donation. If they are intangible items, then they will be considered to be donated as specified.
  • Timing – All wills, without exception, must be posted on the forums prior to the final death of a character or else they will be null and void.
Graceful Pleas may not be used to alter the terms set above.
 Item reimbursement
 Unless caused by a GM error or a bug (as defined above under the Soul Strand policy), all item reimbursements will fall under the policy regarding Graceful Pleas. As previously stated, a Graceful Plea may not be used to get back an item sacrificed to return a permanently dead character to life.
 Experience Point (XP) reimbursement –
 Unless caused by a GM error, a bug, disconnection/crash or unexpected jump (as defined above under the Soul Strand policy), all XP reimbursements will fall under the policy regarding Graceful Pleas. As previously stated, a Graceful Plea may not be used to get back any XP sacrificed to return a permanently dead character to life.
 Gold (GP) reimbursement –
 Unless caused by a GM error or a bug (as defined above under the Soul Strand policy), all GP reimbursements will fall under the policy regarding Graceful Pleas.
 Bannings –
 [SIZE=13]GMs and World Leaders are able to temporarily ban a player in-game, pending a full review by the GM Team. Such bannings will not be dispensed lightly, and the burden of proof will fall heavily upon the individual doing the banning. As part of the process, a temporarily banned player may state his/her case here. However, we will require that all arguments, both supporting and refuting the banning, come supplied with ample evidence, in the form of chat logs, screen shots (if available) and witness testimony. Decisions on the reversals of bannings will be made based on presented evidence, testimony and information gathered by the GM Team from in-game observation and server logs. If a banning becomes permanent, the player will be banned from the forums as well, and the only recourse is by contacting Leanthar directly. Historically, very few permanent bannings have been reversed.
To help assuage any fears that may come from this new capability, if a GM or World Leader temporarily bans a player for a reason that is reversed and if it happens in a blatant or abusive way, then that GM or World Leader will be reprimanded and perhaps lose their status as a GM or World Leader. Every temporary banning will be logged, and the GM or World Leader who bans someone bears an urgent responsibility to provide the evidence and justification behind the banning action to the GM team shortly after the banning takes place. Banning is something that we take very seriously here, and as such it requires a lot of responsibility and proof. As such, bannings, temporary or otherwise, will not be dispensed lightly.
 [SIZE=13]Graceful Pleas may not be used to dispute or overturn a banning.
 [SIZE=13]Character Rebuild/Relevel –[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Rebuilds and Restarts fall under the jurisdiction of character approvals and must be submitted in that forum for consideration with accordance to the listed policy.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Relevel requests due to an honest misclick will only be granted within 48 hours of the level being taken AND if less than 10% of the XP needed for the next level has been earned.
 [SIZE=13]If you find yourself outside of the normal limits for such a request, you may still make the same request with a Graceful Plea by providing the same justification and reasoning.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Character edits –[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]This is not so much a new policy but a codification of precedent so that it is clear to the community. Character edits cover a rather broad set of tasks, including:[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=13]N[/SIZE][SIZE=13]ame changes[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=13]Description changes[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=13]Appearance changes[/SIZE]
  • [SIZE=13]Portrait changes[/SIZE]
[SIZE=13]Regardless of the type of character edit, they must be requested in keeping with world lore and server rules. Inappropriate or copyrighted names or descriptions will not be allowed, nor will changes that are contrary to world lore.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Name changes – Changes to a character's name requires the character file to be edited as well as about a dozen database updates, and only a small handful of staff are able to perform such changes. As such, we will permit only one (1) “free” name change for a character without a strong RP reason (i.e. marriage, quest outcome, etc.). This allows one to fix an oversight or error during character creation or to reflect the course of RP. Outside of these guidelines, a name change is still possible by using a Graceful Plea.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Description changes – Changes to a character's in-game description requires the character file to be edited, and only a small handful of staff are able to perform such changes. As such, we will permit only one (1) “free” description change for a character without a strong RP reason (i.e. marriage, quest outcome, etc.). This allows one to fix an oversight or error during character creation or to reflect the course of RP. Outside of these guidelines, a description change is still possible by using a Graceful Plea.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Appearance changes – Changes to a character's in-game appearance, such as a change in tattoo, skin or hair coloring or a change in head model can be affected in-game by any GM. As long as these requests remain reasonable and are not requested on a whim, we are content to allow players to request these changes from any available GM directly. Please note that wings and tails as permanent character appearance traits will not be approved or given unless as a result of a WLDQ.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Portrait changes – Changes to a character's in-game portrait can be handled easily in-game by any GM. Please request all such portrait changes directly from any available GM. When requesting a portrait change, please have the name of the portrait file handy. We cannot set portraits with a description (i.e. “The one with the blonde girl in plate armor”). Unless you have the portrait's file name, we cannot set your portrait.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Housing and furniture transfers –[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]This is not so much a new policy but a codification of precedent so that it is clear to the community. Characters may transfer houses and/or furniture to another character provided both parties are in agreement with the terms of transfer and can state as much as part of the request. However, a character cannot transfer a house or its contents to another character under the control of the same player. This would be muling. [/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]In the case of absentee home owners the new policy stands as this: Absentee house and furniture transfer requests will only be granted if the owner has not logged into the game or forums for six (6) months and cannot be contacted/doesn't answer by most viable means. The requesting party must have some sort of legitimate claim to the property such as marriage or co-investment. Rental contracts are not considered legitimate proof.[/SIZE]
 [SIZE=13]Properties of banned players are considered immediately forfeit and only in cases of marriage will the properties be passed on to another player.

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 For convenience, I'm including the link to an "Ask a Gamemaster" thread here for asking questions and discussing these new policies.