Not Getting Banned
The Rules are there for everyone to have fun, but still leave some room for interpretation. If you want to play it safe, here are some pointers.
1. LISTEN TO THE ADMINS
This is by far the most important pointer here. If you are playing and an admin contacts you questioning you on your behaviour, or asking you to change something, listen to them and do as they say. Of course, admins aren’t omniscient nor perfect, so if you think they are wrong, feel free to explain how things got to where they are and your reasoning, but if they are still not convinced, then just do as they say. DON’T try to discuss it until a settlement is reached there and now. You are in the middle of the game and the game won’t stop for you to discuss it over.
Instead, even if you think the admin is wrong, if they insist that you cease or change the behaviour, do it. Later, when you have the opportunity, discuss it with them again, preferably involving other admins and players. The OOC channel is good for this (though make sure it isn’t the same round, as that would be IC in OOC). Another good alternative is making a forum topic about it.
And, whatever happens, don’t hate the admins. They are just doing their job, a job they do for free, by the way. Keep in mind that essentially every griefer thinks what they are doing is fine, and the admin is wrong. If the admins let anyone who though they were right do what they wanted, we would all be screwed.
That is why admins need to enforce their opinion. Sadly, this means that their opinion will be enforced even when it is wrong, but this is not something that can be helped. Just accept the unfortunate event and try to prevent it from happening again by bringing the "wrongful" judgment to the light of the community. Don’t hate the admins; it won’t achieve anything other than make they want to ban you more and for longer.
2. When in doubt, ASK THE ADMINS
This is the second most important pointer here. When you are unsure of wether something is allowable or not, or how bad it would be, just adminhelp it. If you adminhelp it and act according to the reply you receive, you could kill everyone and destroy the entire ship and still not get banned, because you were doing it under the OK of an admin. Even if what you did was terrible, it was the admin that gave the "yes" that will have to do the explaining, not you.
What if there are no admins, or they don’t reply? Well, if you have time, you could take a quick look on the wiki and it may be able to clear things up for you. If you are able to make it cryptic enough as to not be IC on OOC, you can also try asking the other players. Or go to IRC, if you can handle that. Legend has it that there are always a few admins hanging around there.
If you are still unsure, just use your common sense, think of what would be fun for others, and hope you aren’t doing something terrible. If you do, and an admin comes and questions you on it, tell him that you were unable to get a clarification and that will probably save your ass if you didn’t break common sense to the extreme, or have a really bad history.
3. Give your character a realistic name
It breaks people's immersion big time when they see a character with an extremely surreal name. We are actually rather permissible in this regard, a lot of our characters, including some popular ones, have rather funny names (In fact pretty much all randomly generated names are hilarious and dwarf-fortress references), but this has limits.
So, feel free to make a funny name, but make sure it at least feels like a real person could have this name without wanting to kill themselves. (That said, I heard a real life guy was named "Green Martian". Eh.)
Also, don’t give your characters the exact same name as a famous real life person, or video-game/book/movie character. It’s fine if part of the name is inspired on them, but if the name is exactly or nearly exactly the same, it tends to break immersion.
4. Write in a way that feels like speech
Another thing that breaks immersion is when we see someone writing in a way that doesn’t feel like speech, like writing with terrible grammar, using smileys and other internets slang/codes, using all-caps too frequently (in fact its probably better to not use it at all, unless you really, REALLY need to convey it’s a very big and nasty scream), and so on.
Understandably, not everyone is a native English speaker, and keeping to grammar isn’t always easy, but please try. As long as you are trying nobody will ban you for this. Though some community members are somewhat of grammar Nazis, so try to not let them push you around too much either. (Unless they’re an admin. Remember 1!)
5. Understand that NOTHING justifies metagaming and IC in OOC
It doesn’t matter how unfair or awesome what just happened was, you should NEVER write in OOC about what happened IC, unless it’s from another round or vague/old enough to not matter, nor break character to manifest your OOC will IC.
If it was awesome, comment on it later or post it on the forum. If it was something aggravating, resolve it privately with an admin or, again, leave it for the forums later. And, for god's sake, DON’T use your current in-game character as means of getting revenge against someone you hate or grudge personally in an OOC, no matter how terrible the things they did to you in previous times.
Metagaming and IC in OOC are the great enemies of immersion, and, again, breaking immersion is a bannable thing. You do not have the right to break other people's immersion over your problems.
6. Even as an RP server, not all personalities are allowed
Not everyone can do or would be accepted for any job, so keep in mind the fact your character even got to be on a space station means that he has certain minimum levels of sanity, sociability and non-aggressiveness, as well as at least a bit of compromise towards his job.
Of course, this varies from job to job. Janitors, for example, may be quite insane as long as they have maintained the ability to sweep floors and change lamps without maiming anyone in the process. But they wouldn’t choose someone who isn’t right in the head for an important command position, like Captain. So, when you choose what personality character X will have, make sure it is a personality that would make sense in job Y.
"Make sense" generally means that you do your job, not ignore sensible orders, not commit murder over small things, and the like. Admins will usually jobban you if you are too much of an ass in your job (especially if it’s a job where you are expected to not be one), and maybe even ban you from the server if you decide to be unreasonably violent or insane.
7. Be careful when treading into the realms of insanity and murderousness
Being insane or murderous isn’t always going to be a bad thing, but you need to know how to do it in order to not spoil the fun or immersion of others. For starters, keep in mind what I said on 5. Your character works in a spacecraft, so he isn’t completely bonkers.
The events that happen during the round may drive in insane or murderous if the events are that bad and you want, but do your best to keep it believable and sense-making, as to not break the immersion of others. At the same time, keep in mind that dying isn’t fun and other people want to have their fun too, so just because you can turn yourself into a murderer in a way that makes sense, that doesn’t means you should or are allowed to. Point 2 (asking the admins) can help you greatly here.
And, losing your sanity is no justification for losing all semblances of grammar and sensible speech. Few things scream "ban me" as much as being insane and failing at grammar at the same time.
8. Think twice before killing someone
This sort of goes hand-in-hand with 6. Even if you have a good enough reason to kill someone, your personality allows it, the situation calls for it, etc... Keep in mind that killing someone means taking someone out of the game, and they may not enjoy that.
So, ask yourself two great questions before killing someone: First, will the victim find this enjoyable? Can I make this enjoyable for them? And, second, can I, through this murder, create an interesting situation or scenario for the remaining players?
Also, its worthy noting that putting someone in a situation where they are essentially paralyzed forever or almost forever can be as bad as murder, if not worse, as it leaves then unable to play the game and at the same time unable to observe it since they haven’t died and ghosted yet.
Examples would be leaving someone cuffed indefinitely in the brig (when not having commited a captial crime), sealed inside a locker without a way to communicate with anyone, abandoned with anaesthetic internals, etc.
9. While self-defence or the defence of others is acceptable, it’s not a ”kill at will" permission
There are a lot of ways to escape an attack without killing your attacker, and unless you are out of all of them or have a good 7-based reason to kill the attacker, you shouldn’t. For example, if they are bad pursuers you can run away, if they aren’t you can beat them until they fall, and then run and hide.
If you are trapped somewhere with them, you can hit them until them fall then restrain them with cuffs or a locker, if you have them. And if you are trapped with them, have nothing to restrain them with, and they won’t stop attacking you even when they are losing... Well, it’s fine to kill them then. But getting in such a restrictive situation is very very rare.
10. Don’t stop RP just because you are under attack
Admittedly, the click-spam combat of this game does make it hard to maintain RP during it, since generally whoever clicks more and talks less wins, but still, if your attacker is maintaining the RP, try to maintain it as well. Wait until they have finished talking, if they are, don’t rush them if they have a gun, that sort of thing.
Keep in mind that most people in real life are afraid from dying, afraid of fighting and afraid of GUNS, and most people in real life wouldn’t try to fight their way out of a hostage situation unless they had lost all hope of survival otherwise, or the kidnapper had made a truly massive opportunity-giving blunder, like falling unconscious a meter away.
11. Think twice before destroying something
In the same line as 7, destroying objects or parts of the ship can be a serious thing and it’s generally not something you should do if you don’t have decent reasons for. Before doing so, ask yourself: Will this endanger the crew? (Potentially depressurizing a place, for example) Will this potentially make someone unable to do their jobs, such as the destruction of an important computer? Do I have a good, sensible reason to be destroying or modifying this thing I? ( This applies for hacking autolathes and other objects.)
That said, engineers and other... Mechanical jobs are generally allowed to have some fun modifying or building and changing machinery, just as long as it makes some sense, doesn’t endanger anyone else, and doesn’t consume massive amounts of resources that should be getting spent elsewhere. Getting permission from your superiors first is a good idea.
12. The crew's mission is NOT to stop the antagonists
The crew's mission is to survive, do their jobs, and if possible, preserve their ship, crewmates and equipment. This is part of stopping antagonists, but is not the reasons for it. The captain, for example, is certainly interested into the arresting of criminals, but his job is to oversee the ship, not to go around chasing criminals. You have the Head of Security and the security team for that, and the captain shouldn’t step in unless the security team is non-existent,or things have gotten extremely dangerous.
For non-security crewmembers? While they certainly can care enough to, say, communicate weird and suspicious things to security, they should leave the actual criminal-busting to security, rather than do it themselves.
Similarly, the job of the AI and non-security cyborgs is to oversee and maintain the ship/crew, and capturing or stopping antagonists should be a side-objective rather than what they dedicate themselves fully to, unless these antagonists have gotten dangerous enough to truly require your full attention.
A round where the crew behaves with extreme paranoia and lunges at any sign of antagonism tends to be a boring round where the antagonists can’t create any fun situations, and is very frustrating for the antagonists. In contrast, when the crew, especially AI, give the antagonists some lee-way, they have a chance to create a great round.
13. As a traitor or other kind of antagonist, you can make the round fun for more than just you
Try to think of how to do your objectives in an entertaining manner, if possible. You don't have to be either very obvious, or very stealthy, that is up to you. Fun is what it’s all about, though, so do your best if you can. :)
14. When signing up for antagonism, try to know what you are getting into
The wiki exists for a reason. Unless you are going solo (such as traitor or changeling), you should have at least a basic knowledge of what you are and what you are supposed to do. If you don’t, you can end up ruining things for the whole team. If you still go in clueless... well, in that case, listen to your team and tread carefully instead of trying to be the big villain alone!
If you somehow get an antagonist role without ticking the option, or wanting to be one, adminhelp it. An admin will usually respond and either remove your traitor status or advise you on how to play.
15. Before playing as an AI/cyborg, accept you will have to follow your laws
Do you hate humans? Too bad, your laws say you have to help them. Are you a pacifist? Well, also too bad. If your laws get changed to "Destroy all humans", you would have to go and destroy all humans (after doing 17, that is). That's how being a cyborg/AI is, you need to be ready to do all sorts of things, even things you would never do if you had choice.
And, if you are a cyborg, then accept that the AI's interpretation of the laws, as well as anything else, always overrides your own: The AI is your supreme, irrefutable boss and you need to obey it (Unless you are a disconnected cyborg, that is).
16. If someone manages to change your laws and gain control upon you, don’t be an ass, and just accept it
There's no such thing as a law without loopholes. If someone manages to gain control upon you by, say, changing your laws, that may anger you, instil a desire for revenge, and make you feel like finding a loophole so you can turn their law back at them. But don’t!
No matter how damn good their law is, you WILL find one and screw them over. Finding a loophole and making the law backfire on them, unless there is an incredibly obvious error is generally considered a very dickish move that can get you job banned. Just think of how frustrating it would be if you were the one receiving the law and you will understand.
Instead, accept that you were defeated (assuming you didn’t want the law change to happen) and work alongside them. It can be surprisingly fun given how these guys are usually traitors, which tends to mean you get to do some evil stuff you usually can’t.
17. Despite what I said on 15, don’t blindly follow all your laws
Sometimes it happens that a griefy player manages to upload a law. Or, if you are a cyborg, a griefy AI decides to interpret laws in a nasty manner, and suddenly the laws/your AI are forcing you to do things that normally would be the worst of griefing, such as slaughtering the entire crew.
Should you just go ahead and do it? No! Adminhelp it and confirm on whenever to do it or not with an admin first. This can save the round from descending into turmoil. You will usually not get banned if you grief because your laws/the AI forced you to, but still, it’s better to keep your name clean.
Following the above and the spirit behind them will go a long way to keeping the round fun for everyone and you ban free!