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Rules
1. Structure
Leaders
deMontalia / Eamont Desormaux, Rosamund Cartwright
FreelanceWizard / L'yhta Mahre, Saranutelui Chaatan

Officers
Raccoon / Seth Honeybrew, Karaki Crystalis
Misteyes / Kerin Misteyes

Leadership
Mysterium is an "enlightened dictatorship." All OOC decisions are ultimately made by the Free Company leader in consultation with the officers and members, and those decisions are final. Officers act as advisors to the leader and can make decisions on other topics, such as story arcs, theme, and discipline, as detailed in this charter; however, the leader can override any of their decisions, and any member can appeal an officer's decision to the leader.

Philosophy and Membership
This Free Company is devoted to expanding RP on the Balmung server by providing a place for intelligent, reasoned, and above all else, fun RP among the players of spellcasters. As players, we place great value in honor, respect, fairness, and companionship; while our characters may be enemies, we seek to be friends as players and to act in a manner that benefits the server as a whole. We are not about reaching the highest level fastest or taking out the largest raid bosses -- those seeking that should look elsewhere.

Mysterium is a society of those who call themselves mages -- men and women of all races who channel and weave Aether to produce magic. The Wizards of the Ivory Tower seek to better themselves and the world around them by better understanding their power. They hail from all backgrounds, but are united in their friendships with each other and their desire to comprehend the finest and most elusive art and power source in Hydaelyn: the Aether itself. Our RP largely focuses on the personal interactions and conflicts of these men and women of magic, the recovery of lost lore and magic, and the reaching to greater heights of knowledge.

Regardless of their character's background, players cannot use their RP as an excuse to be disruptive players.

Levels of Membership
Mysterium maintains a separation between OOC and IC rank. The charter deals with OOC ranks only. OOC rank and IC rank have no relationship to each other; IC authority does not translate to OOC authority and vice-versa.

  • Applicant: Applicants have posted their application to the site.
  • Probationary Member: As soon as an Applicant has been interviewed and approved by an officer, they are invited into the IC linkshell and the Free Company (if possible) and become a Probationary Member. Probationary Members may be removed from the Free Company at any time by any officer for violating the rules. In these cases, the burden of proof is on the probationary member and not the officer to show that the removal was not justified by the charter, though all such removals must be documented by the removing officer. The probationary period is indefinite; the officers will decide when a player will be promoted to Active Member. The probationary period, however, will last at least 14 days unless otherwise determined by the Leader or the application policy.
  • Active Member: A member in good standing, who plays regularly, and is active on the boards or our IC linkshell is an Active Member.
  • Inactive Member: An Active Member who ceases to play regularly becomes inactive after 30 days. Inactive members will generally be contacted by an officer or the leader to warn them about their status. Inactive members who do not play for over 45 days are subject to removal from Mysterium unless they inform an officer or the leader about their status.
  • Officer: Officers are chosen at the discretion of the leader from the set of Active Members. Officers serve an indefinite term of office and have duties at the discretion of the leader. All officers are expected to attend meetings of the officers. Officers who are known to have left the game, are inactive for 60 days or more, or have no characters ICly in Mysterium may be removed from their position by the leader. An officer who notifies an officer or the leader in advance of an absence and states his or her intention to return to the game and the position of officer will generally not be removed.
  • Leader: The leader is in charge of, and responsible for, the entire organization. The leader serves until he steps down, at which point he appoints a new leader. It is acceptable to have co-leaders, who will collectively mkae decisions.

With the approval of the leader or recruiting officer, a character can be a member of Mysterium without joining the Free Company. Such approval will only be given if the character is already a member of another Free Company.

2. Chat guidelines
Chat in our linkshell, party, and say channels are to be in character whenever possible. Various OOC denotations (double parentheses (()), curly braces {}, arrow brackets <>, the word OOC:, and others) are to be used to clearly denote when one is talking out of character in these channels.

The stance of /tell, yell, shout, and other channels -- including other linkshells of which you're a member -- is at your discretion. Since not everyone on Balmung is a role-player, we recognize the need for OOC communications in these channels. Players are allowed to go completely OOC when grouped with non-RPers, but this is not suggested -- we’d prefer you stick to your RP as much as possible.

3. Forum guidelines
Members are highly encouraged to maintain an active presence on the forums. Events and especially storylines that cannot be run in game will be posted on these forums, and you’ll miss out if you don’t visit regularly. Members should keep their roster information up to date so that conflicts can be properly adjudicated.

All visitors to the forums are subject to the rules posted as a global announcement. Public communications should always remain civil and should be in character unless in clearly marked OOC areas. How you act on these forums reflects on yourself and Mysterium, so flames and loud disagreements should be kept to private areas or PMs.

All officers have moderation powers and can move, edit, or delete posts in order to maintain proper forum decorum.

4. Associations with other players
There are no grouping limitations save what the players feel is appropriate for their own characters. Members of Mysterium should have priority for groups, but this is only a guideline and not a rule. Players should expect a certain degree of IC flak and questioning if they violate these guidelines. While we as players understand the need to group with friends and to level, our characters might not.

OOCly, we do not impose any restrictions on which linkshells members may belong. We do, however, request that those who join without a Free Company join our Free Company; we're committed to helping your RP, and we expect you'll be committed to our group in return. Exceptions to this latter requirement may be made on a case-by-case basis.

Regardless of the circumstances, your actions reflect upon Mysterium. You should always act responsibly and honorably when in game -- things such as kill stealing, training, leaving dungeons or raids early without cause, and other bad behavior will not be tolerated.

5. Loot
The goal of Mysterium is not loot. Loot is to be distributed as best benefits those in the group (need before greed) at the discretion of those in the group. Those who are not in a group have no claim to loot gained by a group; in other words, you can’t reserve things for your alts unless everyone in the group agrees to such.

Any items you place in the Free Company vault are owned by Mysterium and are for the use of our members only. While you’re welcome to take any items you actually need from the vault, any player who is found to be using Free Company property for personal gain will suffer disciplinary action up to removal from the organization. Only officers are permitted to sell items from the vault, and only with the consent of the leader and after alerting all members of Mysterium of their intention to do so and for what purpose.

6. Events and storylines
Players are strongly encouraged to come up with new events and storylines for themselves and others; the ability to propose and run these isn’t only the province of the officers. If you have an idea for a new storyline, feel free to propose it. The officers are more than happy to assist in such endeavors.

Disruptive metagaming (using OOC information ICly), powerposing (forcing actions upon another’s character/writing the actions or speech of another character), and godmoding (making your character invulnerable) are emphatically NOT PERMITTED under any circumstances. Such behavior will result in serious disciplinary consequences. This includes writing storylines involving characters where they can have no effect, as well as writing storylines in which consequences are evaded because your character cannot be held culpable.

We recommend, but do not require, that you run any storyline you might create past at least one officer for review. In this way, we can make sure that these storylines are properly timed with others’, fit into the canon, and are unlikely to have disastrous consequences. Note that storylines are not excepted from the usual rules about consent and IC consequences.

It is also suggested by the officers that players try to focus their storylines on the characters and not on a plot, and in fact to let their storylines grow out of IC interactions if at all possible. Creating NPCs and fixed, scripted plotlines can make other players feel left out or ineffectual, and nobody wants that.

In the event that your storyline involves NPCs, the officers may request you make changes to their actions if, in their opinion, the actions of the NPCs as written would violate established canon. In this case, an officer will contact you and negotiate with you to decide on a solution to the problem. Once you and the officer have agreed to any changes in a storyline, those changes are mandatory and are considered part of our canon.

7. Application process and alts
The complete application process is detailed here and is incorporated in the charter by reference.

8. Complaints, discipline, and departure
Members can bring up any issue with the officers at any time -- we can’t help if we don’t know there’s a problem. We’d prefer that issues are brought up with us before they become real problems. If you can’t resolve an issue with another player by talking with them, you can raise the issue to an officer who will work to produce an equitable solution. If you leave Mysterium over an issue without mentioning it to an officer, any future application to reenter will be looked upon rather negatively.

Players who violate the rules of Mysterium (by violating Square-Enix's rules, engaging in disruptive behavior, metagaming, godmoding, powerplaying, harassing others OOCly, or otherwise acting in a way that reflects negatively upon the Free Company -- though this is not an inclusive list) will be disciplined. Serious offenses can result in immediate and permanent removal from the group for the character and all alts. The investigation of any offense and the punishment, if any, to be levied will be determined by the officers on a case-by-case basis.

A player who has been removed from Mysterium for disciplinary reasons may never reapply or reenter without the consent of the leader. In any event, a character who leaves for any reason must wait at least two weeks before reapplying and must go through the normal application process.

Appeals of any disciplinary action must be made to the leader, whose decision on such matters is final.

9. Alterations to the charter
Alterations are made at the discretion of the leader. Anyone is welcome to propose changes to the charter, but only the leader can make such changes. In general, the leader will discuss substantial changes with the entire membership of Mysterium and put such changes to a vote of the membership.

10. Our RP Style
Every role-playing group has a set of ground rules that the players assent to in order to ensure a shared understanding of the RP style and fair play. This "social contract" is even more key in a freeform RP group, as there’s no gamemaster to enforce a particular style of RP. This section covers the major points of our social contract, to which all players are expected to hold. All points in this section are discussed in further detail in section 11; this section merely summarizes the key points of our role-play style.

  • Consensual RP. All plots that go on in Mysterium revolve around consent. In general, if you don’t agree to an action occurring to your character (i.e., you "non-consent" it), it doesn’t happen. Certain exceptions apply, however. Additionally, players can always consent to greater actions than are normally allowed by autoconsent, but common courtesy is such that any plot that would involve this form of consent be discussed in detail OOCly with the players first.
  • Autoconsent to social interaction. Players do not non-consent each other’s characters, nor do they non-consent social interaction with each other’s characters.
  • IC Actions Equal IC Consequences. If you take an action in character, you automatically consent to the reasonable consequences of that action. "Reasonable consequences" varies based on the action and the characters in question, but generally speaking, the level and form of injury to your character cannot exceed what was caused in the first place. A bad social interaction can be met with bad social interactions, but generally not with being set on fire. Of course, if the players involved freely consent to more, then this rule doesn’t apply.
  • Separation of IC and OOC. The actions and words of characters are not representative in any way of the actions and words of players.
  • No metagaming except cooperatively. OOC knowledge is OOC knowledge, and IC knowledge isn’t shared between your alts. Unless all the players involved in a scene agree to cooperatively metagame regarding only their own characters to benefit the scene, this rule is inviolate. Note that non-cooperative metagaming is forbidden and will result in disciplinary actions. Further note that merely having an IC justification for your noncooperative metagaming does not excuse it. Taking OOC information IC is never permissible without the explicit consent of the players involved, no matter the possible IC explanation. It is always best to ask the permission of the players involved whenever the situation is fuzzy in order to prevent any misunderstandings.
  • Characters are owned by their players. It should go without saying, but the current player of a character or set of characters is the only person who is permitted to RP or declare the actions of those characters, unless they explicitly allow otherwise. NPC characters created by and played by a particular player, for instance, are solely under the control of that player. This also means that NPCs are the responsibility of the player who controls them, and are subject to the same consent rules as PCs. Furthermore, you cannot create a new character based on or related to another player’s character without their explicit permission.

11. Consent policy
All interactions among characters in Mysterium revolve around the concept of consent. Our consent policy is the basis of the "ground rules" described in section 10.

General consent
When one interacts with other players, it is generally expected that one will ask permission before attempting to do anything that would seriously alter another’s character -- or before escalating a situation beyond a simple social discussion. In Mysterium, we require this process, and it is known as "getting consent."

It isn’t always clear to some what sort of changes to a situation require consent. A good rule of thumb is that taking any action against another’s character -- including "passive" events such as reading surface thoughts -- requires you to get consent, as a matter of politeness if nothing else. However, for those looking for more defined rules, one can classify actions in increasing levels of consent required as social interaction, actions taken against another with a concrete effect (such as using magic or other abilities), actions taken against another with the intent to incapacitate, and actions taken against another with the intent to permanently alter (such as kill). While one generally needs no consent for social interaction, any other level requires that you get consent from the players involved. Escalating a situation to a higher level also requires consent, even if consent was previously given.

Failure to get consent from a player is a serious offense and will not be tolerated, although there are certain situations detailed below where consent needn’t be given.

Autoconsent/Implied Consent
You autoconsent (that is, give implied consent automatically) to actions of an equivalent level to those you’ve performed on others; in other words, consent is always reciprocal. You can’t slug a person without giving them the right to hit you back, for instance. Furthermore, you consent to similar actions from all of the members of the character’s peer group for a reasonable period of time (the duration of a plotline or at least a month). This is known as "IC Actions Equals IC Consequences." In other words, if you punch a person, you agree that both that person and all of his friends can punch you (though they cannot incapacitate or kill you as a group).

You autoconsent to any and all security measures when you enter the "sanctum" of another character, such as their house. However, the player of that character is required to warn you of these measures before you enter. Any security measures of locations owned by the Free Company itself will be described in a sticky post in the Private OOC forum.

You autoconsent to the reasonable results of any action to which you consent or initiate. This may seem obvious, but this means that you cannot go back on your consent unless the situation was inappropriately described to you. Additionally, it means that if your character, a 98 pound weakling wearing no armor, is struck by a massive brute in full plate, you will not simply "stand there and take it." Most critically, this also means that characters who repeatedly cause trouble for Mysterium ICly can be removed from its membership as a reasonable consequence.

You autoconsent to canonical elements of the world as established in lore. For instance, Primals can "temper" those without the Echo, all player characters possess the Echo, and learning classes is at least partially a function of the guilds. Furthermore, you may not nonconsent entire enemy groups that exist in game. At times, the leader may also establish administrative elements of the canon that apply to Mysterium only. These cannot be nonconsented. Questions about canonical elements of the world can be answered by any officer.

You autoconsent to social interaction with other characters. You may not nonconsent the existence of other characters outside of an administrative or disciplinary nonconsent.

Nonconsent and retcon
Actions that violate the consent policy or that could OOCly damage the Free Company may be subject to nonconsent (denying that the action happens) or retcon (undoing an action in the past and all the actions stemming from it). Players may handle their own nonconsents and retcons as long as they do not extend past the characters involved; once knowledge of the situation in question has extended beyond that group of players, only the officers can authorize and handle nonconsent or retcons. Please note that if you're reading this as part of your application, the word you need is "Vancian."

Administrative and disciplinary nonconsents and retcons are authorized only by the leader and only in cases where a character or event must be eliminated from our storylines for disciplinary reasons. Unless otherwise noted, all players in the group are expected to follow by these modifications to the canonical elements of the world.

Your NPCs are not immune
If you claim ownership of your NPCs, they are not immune to the consent policy. You will suffer the consequences of breaking these rules if their actions violate it. If you give up control and ownership of your NPCs, other players may manipulate their actions to bring them in line with this consent policy.

Officers act as STs
The rulings of officers on matters of consent, the world, and storylines are final. Rulings of an officer may be appealed to the leader, who will make a final ruling.

12. Exceptions to the Charter
Only the leader can make an exception to the charter for any reason. Such exceptions are only applicable for the specific situation for which the exception was granted.

13. Modifications and Amendments
Officer listing changes are not included here.
8/7/13: Initial post.
9/26/13: Clarified "Active Member" to include activity on the IC LS or the boards. Indicated that the Leader or app policy can circumvent the probationary period. Added a bit more thematic information to paragraph 1.
11/10/13: Leadership change from FreelanceWizard to de Montalia.
6/9/15: Transferred to Shivtr.
1/8/17: Update to include co-leader concept.