Star Wars MUSH operates on a consent basis. What this means is that your character cannot simply killed, maimed or seriously disadvantaged without provocation. Nobody will be able to walk into a scene and, because they're having a bad day, or want to show off, do something to substantially undermine your ability to play.
The key is without provocation. Consent can be explicit, where a player clearly communicates their consent to a particular line of action or a given consequence. But it can also be a function of your own character's behavior. This is called implied consent. Actions have consequences, but you are entitled to know what you're getting yourself in for and be provided an opportunity to change your character's behavior to avoid the consequences you're unwilling to consent to.
The full text of the policy can be found below, for convenience, and on the MUSH by entering NEWS CONSENT.
[08/02/99 - Written by Aleema@SW1]
We have a policy on the MUSH that roleplay here must be consensual.
So what does that mean? What /is/ consent?
Consent, by definition, means to 'agree'. Consensual roleplay is a big cooperative effort among players to provide the best roleplay and story for all involved, and not just a select few. It's about looking at roleplay as something creative to share that you can enjoy with people, instead of something you do at other players' expense.
Consensual roleplay means you should work together with your fellow players OOCly in order to create a better story, and to ensure that the roleplay is kept along IC lines at all times. It means you should think out your actions ahead of time, and consider the possible consequences of them, and willingly accept those consequences if you take those actions. It means you should be considerate of your fellow players and their feelings, and you should be willing to give-and-take for the good of the roleplay, scene or plot... not only gaining, but also sacrificing in places for the better of the scene.
I'm sure this is confusing for some players, because it involves a great deal of trust and maturity be shared amongt people that hardly know one another, or who are used to computer games being very self-oriented. A lot of players never take the time to think about the person at the other end of the network connection; other players are people, too, with thoughts and feelings, who have worked just as hard as you have to make a character and develop it to where it's gotten. Just because you're not sitting next to this person in real life, that doesn't give you just cause to ruin their character or their roleplay, no more than it would give them to do it to you.
THE PLAYER KILLING ASPECT
People always want to know how the consent policy handles player death.
- If you haven't done anything to provoke it, can someone can walk up and kill you for no reason? No way.
- Does a consent policy mean characters can never die? Not at all.
- Can someone kill you if you give them permission to? Certainly.
- Can you kill someone who hasn't given you permission to kill them? It's possible, depending on the circumstances. I'll explain how.
Part of consent is thinking ahead of time about the consequences of your actions, and accepting them if you go ahead with your behavior. If you know that upsetting a Wookiee may result in one ore more of your appendages being ripped off, and you deliberately antagonize the Wookiee, you are consenting to limb-removal. The Wookiee only has to warn you once OOCly that your behavior, if it's continued, could result in his character ripping your arms out of their sockets; if you disregard that warning, you are again consenting to having your arms removed.
You do have the chance to take that warning into consideration and use your next pose to demonstrate you want to keep your arms by ceasing the behavior that was upsetting the Wookiee, thus removing yourself from immediate danger. That doesn't mean that you'll escape unharmed-- the Wookiee will probably get a good swipe in at you to get you back for being a jerk to him-- but you won't die, and will very likely be spared from serious or permanent injury.
How does this apply to non-combat situations? Defections and betrayals are a good example. If your faction has a posted policy that defection or any traitorous activity could result in imprisonment or death, then by defecting or committing a treasonous action, you are consenting to those posted consequences if you are ever caught. If you enter into a group or organization and you're told up front that if you ever betray the group, they'll hunt you down and kill you, then by joining the group you are accepting that and are consenting to your own death should you ever do something that betrays the organization.
The bottom line here is.. think before you act. Give a warning to your fellow player if they're crossing a line, and give them a chance to fix things and make it right before taking an action that could render their character unplayable. Take the chances you're offered by your fellow players when they're made, or continue knowing the result could be your own death. NEVER trick yourself into believing that you can do whatever you want because you don't think you'll get caught- if you commit the action, against a warning, you accept the results.
THE JUDGE ASPECT
If you consent to your own death, and someone kills you, a judge doesn't have to be present. All you have to do is contact an admin when you're dead. Explain that you consented for your character to die, you died, and you'd appreciate being moved to the dead room. You 'can' request a judgeto witness your death, if you'd feel better about it that way, but it's not necessary.
If you're experiencing problems with a player provoking reactions which could be fatal to him/her, log the scene to record what's happening. Make sure the OOC warning you give the player is clear so that they have the fair oppertunity to realize they're acting in a way that could get them killed and stop acting like that. If the player keeps behaving in a fatal way, call a judge and explain the situation.
Explain what's happening,show them the log or a copy of the warning you gave OOCly. The judge will then warn the player themselves. If the end result is that the player does not heed the warnings given, the judge will be the official witness and arbitrator to whatever consequences the player's actions earn him/her, including but not limited to serious injury or death.