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[Rules Update] Sex Rules Updates
Check out @rules

[Rules Update] Clarifying rules regarding Sex

Hey Everyone -

One of the most difficult things to write rules around is sex. We continue to iterate on the rules around this because we want to eliminate any confusion any player might have about what these rules mean, what isn't allowed, and what to do if someone violates the rules.

With this in mind, we've updated the language in our rules about this. We've also moved these rules to their own section. Please review @rules and make sure you understand our current rules. Not knowing our rules is NOT an excuse. You will be held accountable if you break the rules.

We have also added a new help file: 'help forbidden' which goes into more depth about these rules, and provides more in-depth information than we include in the help file. It is a good place to point anyone who has questions about what RP is prohibited on Sindome, and why.

-- S

removed, off topic

(Edited by Slither at 8:07 am on 11/26/2021)

This is a serious subject that we've spent a lot of time discussing and clarifying. Your response is extremely frustrating. If you do not have something to contribute to the conversation, please do not post.
Sorry! Just reminded me of that scene from Big Lebowski, didn't mean to offend and was only attempting to make a silly joke. Happy holidays y'all.
Hi Slither,

First I want to say you and the admin team have done a great job expanding these rules. In my opinion I think 6.B may require a little bit of extra clarification however, as a xhelp conversation I had with Cerberus a week ago suggested that calling someone known for flirty behavior a "pervert" (not a rapist) IC would be acceptable based on the context, but the way the rule is written right now suggests it is not.

Unless that is changed since then, in which case please disregard. Once again, great work. :)

I wanted to get some clarification.

Is emotional manipulation considered to be okay or are we specifically talking about physical stuff? One might think that emotional manipulation (guilt tripping) is the same as rape. Another person might think they are different so there is going to be this divide between the two. This might cause a conflict between the two.

Just really confused here.

Calling someone a pervert In Character is not a violation of the rules unless you are calling them a pervert because they did something In Character that is in violation of the rules on rape, molestation, sexual assault, or other things covered in the new @rules section.
I thought the rules specifically stated 'physical' for a reason.
So basically you can call them a slut and it's still okay? I mean it's a dick move, but is slut-shaming still okay IC'ly?

This question seems silly but I'm asking for parameter reasons.

I fully agree, but someone might argue that they're going to have to do said physical contact from the mental manipulation.
Understood.

Thanks for taking the time to clarify for me. :)

@pfh I'd think 'perversion' is an okay IC subject considering some people have really kinky preferations. It doesn't have to mean they did something illegal or disallowed, if I understood it right. There's some IC term of some specific sexual act, I don't remember the name for it, but whenever it is explained over SIC, at least a few people are disgusted.

So, um, pretty sure calling someone a 'perv' is okay as long as it's not related to non-consentual matters.

Molestation: "This is the act of intentionally sexually touching another person without that persons consent. This is against the rules. Do not do it. If you want to engage in sexual roleplay with someone, ask them in character before making any emotes or poses of a sexual nature."

This means the cult of lesbian catgirls constantly licking, kissing, groping each other at KMB are no longer allowed to? What about characters who do something like... a "romantic" hug, or a kiss on the cheek, showing your junk, or something that would trigger more than one individual in 2018+1? Are we supposed to XHELP about it instead of dealing with it ICly like before? (cm Help WJF, I am being harassed by a guy with a huge strap on dildo).

I think like this rule has a lot of context around it, and it's very situational.

Folks, sex is a part of the game. These rules are not removing sex from the game, or removing specific words or insults.

It's about two situations and two situations only:

Situation 1:

Character A initiates some kind of physical sexual RP with Character B, and Character B's player is NOT COOL WITH IT. Character B tells Character A, via 'ooc i am not OK with this, please stop'. Character A then stops. If Character A does not stop, Character B xhelps and lets the admin know and we deal with it. Character B can go @ooc until such time as it's been dealt with if they continue to feel uncomfortable.

Situation 2:

Character A spreads a rumor that Character B molests/rapes/sexually assaults people.

That is NOT allowed. Do not do it.

'help forbidden' specifically details what is and is not acceptable with regards to slanderous rumors: "Do not spread slanderous rumors about someone raping, sexually assaulting, or molesting someone. These acts are prohibited in character because they are so upsetting to many people out of character, and a rumor can be just as upsetting. "
That's an oddly specific scenario about people randomly licking, touching, etc others. It's a game wide thing from all sides and not limited to any set of characters.

I don't think this rule is too hard to understand. Here's what the rule says. "If you want to engage in sexual roleplay with someone, ask them in character before making any emotes or poses of a sexual nature." That's all you have to do. Have your character ask. If a player changes their mind OOCly after a character says yes and says something, listen to and respect them.

Showing someone your junk without sexual context isn't sexual. Showing someone your junk with sexual context and asking them if they, say, wanted a taste, that's sexual, and probably don't do that based on the rules unless it was discussed in-character beforehand per the rules.

I think it's pretty clear.

Worst case, if someone kisses your cheek and you say in OOC you're not okay with it and they move on from that subject and do not breach it again, I think it won't need further intervention.

I do like Slither's clarification on it. c:

Hey Folx,

Just bringing this topic back up as there have been a few questions / misconceptions about this lately.

Everyone should read 'help forbidden' to understand what is/is not acceptable, and what to do if you OOCly feel uncomfortable by someones direct sexual advances towards your character and want it to stop. TLDR: ask for it to stop on local OOC, if it doesn't save a log, and xhelp the admin and let them know and we will take it from there.

To be clear though, this is not carte blanche to call out any sexual content in the game. First and foremost, Sindome is an adult game, with adult situations. That includes sex, and violence, and other stuff like that. That includes in person or on the SIC. This is allowed within the rules. Just like violence is allowed within the rules. By participating in the game and agreeing to the rules, you consent to being exposed to sexual / violent messages on in person or on SIC as third party. Our rules specifically clarify that you do not have to partake in erotic roleplay, and even more specifically, if people were directly (not to a group) but to you saying or harassing you explicitly, that's when you'd want to use the local OOC.

Hope this clarification clears things up for folx!

Hello everyone,

The @rules around sex are updating once again. There has been a lot of discussions about this as staff, and we take this topic very seriously to try and remain true to the source genre, while also providing an environment where players can be OOCly safe and happy.

Ultimately, cyberpunk has a lot of roots spanning a lot of difficult topics. Sex included. Which can make drawing this line a sensitive and difficult subject. Which is why we're refining these rules yet again.

Rule 6.A is being added to with the following:

Roleplay used to slander a character, or blackmail a character by in game means within the boundaries of rule 6.B is allowed. By playing Sindome, you acknowledge that your character may be recorded or slandered for their sexual relations during play.

Rule 6.B has been rewritten and there will be an announcement when @rules is updated, with the contents of that here shortly.

Changes will be following with help forbidden, help chastity, and a new tipline reminder.

Thank you.

I think this rule could be broadly interpreted as enshrining nonconsensual pornography, synthetic pornography, and sexual blackmail as protected gameplay features. I don't see how this could possibly cohabitate with the rest of Rule 6.A.

Is there some kind of other intent here I'm not seeing?

The question I had was whether any distinction is intended between truthful "slander" versus factually false slander.
That is correct, 0x1mm. ICly recording a consensual erotic scene without IC consent and distributing that would be a protected gameplay feature.

OOCly, players consent to this happening as a risk of ERPing in the game.

Yuck. This just feels really nasty and like it is going to lead to all kinds of weirdness.
I thought that it was always implied if not outright stated that you run the risk of being observed or spied upon in help chastity etc. With new means to record coming in, this just feels like a big warning and notice to players that this is still a possibility that you'll be seen, rather than a drastic change of the policy already in place, but I don't recall exactly what the @rules said about using people getting consensually freaky against them.
Well, they sagely anticipated that people were going to do this anyway, what with new-in-game technologies, and they're just getting out ahead of it by making clear that it's @ruleful so that people don't turn it into an OOC shitstorm when it happens and it's not clear.

Personally I think the biggest consent issue isn't about whether people consent to having their ERP exploited publicly, it's about whether other people consent to have ERP exposed to them. But this already happens and is already a touchy area for some people.

Our allowance of this theme is not an endorsement of it. It is yuck. However, it is also a theme in the discussion of the invasiveness of technology in our lives, and of the human experience. Good and the bad.

Cyberpunk ultimately is a cautionary tale, and this is a component of it, and as staff this is where we discussed to draw the line between staying true to the theme and genre, and making players comfortable.

ERP is completely optional and a component any player is capable of avoiding completely in an OOC-enforced fashion. That may not escape false accusations of sexual conduct, but it will escape any actual proof from being created.

Help chastity is a good file to review.

I don't see nonconsensual pornography, synthetic pornography, or sexual blackmail as particular 'roots' of the cyberpunk genre, so much as they're endemic present day issues of sexual abuse and violence.

From a moral perspective: There is barely anything explicitly protected under the @rules, these of all possibilities just seem like the worst possible choice to explicitly enshrine from a community health standpoint.

From a rules standpoint: How does player consent or choice of participation in ERP come in when scenes can be edited or created whole cloth with SimSense's rewrite command?

That feature does not work in the way you think it does.
Let me rephrase then: Does this rule also protect the creation of phony ERP through any means, that bypasses the consent and participation of the characters it depicts?
Correct, it does.
This can already happen.
All I can say is that I hope people do not choose to abuse this rule for creepy erotic purposes instead of using it for what it seems to be intended for, which is political smears and maneuvering.
I'll clarify that I'm going to keep playing the game and enjoying it regardless, but I do think this is worth stating:

Recording someone having sex against their knowledge/will is sexual assault without question. The rules forbid sexual assault. Obviously this rule is outlining that this particular form of sexual assault is allowed, but I think they conflict one another in spirit and goal if not wording.

The rule does not protect you from sexual assault. 6.A exists, explicitly so that in a personal scene you are not forced to sit there and roleplay sex. You cannot be raped. You cannot be forced. Specifically. To have sex. However outside of that, everything is fair game except where 6.B (once it's saved and public, the new version) says it isn't.

The rule 6.A says sexual assault is explicitly forbidden under the rules currently, do the new rules change this?
I kind of agree, rape is simply not supposed to be part of gameplay in any fashion. This is about more than just not making a player RP their character's rape.
Rule 6.D states:

"Text rape is defined here as any instance in which something explicitly

sexual is directly forced on a character. Rape RP is any RP that revolves

around an instance of text rape, including the rape itself and any

in-character or out of character discussions about it."

It goes on to say it doesn't matter if there's OOC consent, etc, because the theme is uncomfortable. To be clearer-- I say sexual assault, but it's a form of rape. Does 6.D not conflict with this new ruling in that capacity? Rape RP is disallowed, except when it isn't?

I don't mean the actual wording-- I mean in spirit there's a conflict, there.

It was like this originally but poorly worded. It refers specifically to the act of erotic roleplay, in a same room or personal setting. It is not a blanket cover for all forms of sexual assault, such as recording or broadcasting non-consensually, which is a form of sexual assault but allowed.

However, blackmail to coerce sexual RP would not be allowed, for example.

Beandip has the correct interpretation. As well as false or fabricated physical rape claims, which are not allowed.
Sorry for the doublepost, I can't edit. I wanted to also outline that being recorded against consent is specifically and literally "something explicitly sexual" being "directly forced on a character" as well.
The current 6.A doesn't merely and narrowly prevent players from roleplaying out rape scenarios, it explicitly prohibits sexual assault and molestation of any kind.

If that's going to change it's not just a rules update, it's a major backtracking on community safeguards. This would, in my opinion, irrevocably poison the well, and I hope it will be reconsidered.

This also rather perversely creates an even wider gulf in 6.B protections, so players are not only free to assault and harass within the guidelines, they may actually be protected from even being called out for their behavior by their victims.

That is a good point-- if you're recorded against your will, could you even call it what it is ICly? I ask that as a genuine question; can you say that someone raped/sexually assaulted you, when they record you against your will? That is what it is, but the rules prevent discussion of such matters.
I strongly disagree with this rule change for a number of reasons. In fact, slut shaming/sex shaming/kink shaming shouldn't be allowed at all.

Theme:

Think of all of the source material. Withmore is not a conservative bastion. It is not the 1500s. Joys are a very accepted part of society and sex is just another commodity in the economy to be used and exploited. Ad campaigns feature naked women who openly hawk jewelry, Porn Puppets was a very popular mainline show. Concerts often feature topless performers. Everywhere, we are reminded that the body is just another tool to be used and sold. Think of how the game portrays itself. Marriage is literally discouraged and is illegal. This is not the monogamous bastion of puritanical thought. People are having sex all the time, with all manner of people. Calling someone out for having sex in any way shape or form is just flat out not CP and not Sindome themed. Yes, it's been used a lot. No, it shouldn't have. Again, think of the city and the media and the laws. None of it is geared to promoting the kind of fidelity that would make sex slander have any meaning what so ever. If you want to slander someone for crossing class boundaries... okay, but sex? No that's just conservative thought projection into this fantasy construct.

Lazy RP:

Sex slander is titillating, easy to spread, everyone believes it and it sticks forever. I can verify that many of the actual rumors going around are false, yet they have outsized impacts on characters and players. Sounds great! Easy to use, highly effective, so, why not use it? No easy way to fight back. Because of the way the rules are written if you try to deny it, you run the risk of making it sound like it was non-consensual which you can't do. Additionally, with the information veil that exists, there's nearly no way to disprove that it happened that anyone will believe. There are few other things that stick as easily as a sex rumor and require nearly no effort to propagate.

Finally the most important...

Unheathy:

Finally, let's talk about the OOC aspects of this type of RP. People were up in arms over having to RP plague in a pandemic... yet we're willing to subjugate people to slut shaming in a virtual game? If you're a woman and have dealt with this in real life, then having to deal with the same crap in a game is literally depressing. Kink shaming is just as bad and has the same type of real world negative context that you have to deal with. So this RP, which isn't thermally, which is just lazy easy mode rumor mongering, has actual painful real word implications for some people. The rape rule was put in place for a reason, and a good one. This seems to fly in the face of everything about it and will subject people in the game to all kinds of unhealthy behavior.

Why do we want to keep it in game, and put rules in place to protect it? Why should this be allowed at all? GMs, you realized long ago that non consensual RP was bad. I would very much ask you to review the thought process on this. Think about what it adds to the game and what it detracts from it.

Rule 6.A. reads:

Sexual assault and molestation in roleplay are considered part of 'rape roleplay' and are explicitly prohibited in our rules.

So I'm confused by Mirage's statement above that the prohibitions on rape roleplay only extend to forcing a player to participate their own rape, because that's not what the rules say at all. I think if the @rules are being changed so that sexual assault is now no longer considered rape roleplay and is now allowed, then the discussions of rumors and slander are basically meaningless next to that. That type of rule change would be dangerous and regressive to the extreme, and I think what is actually being allowed for needs a lot more clarification.

Rule 6.A. reads:

Sexual assault and molestation in roleplay are considered part of 'rape roleplay' and are explicitly prohibited in our rules.

So I'm confused by Mirage's statement above that the prohibitions on rape roleplay only extend to forcing a player to participate their own rape, because that's not what the rules say at all. I think if the @rules are being changed so that sexual assault is now no longer considered rape roleplay and is now allowed, then the discussions of rumors and slander are basically meaningless next to that. That type of rule change would be dangerous and regressive to the extreme, and I think what is actually being allowed for needs a lot more clarification.

The rules have not yet been updated and while Mirage's statement is worrying at first glance, I think the idea might be that 6.B will be updated to state exactly what forms of nonconsensual roleplay is not allowed. I hope. I'm not going to post about it anymore until the @rules are fully updated so everyone is on the same page, but I hope that helps at least for now, 0x1mm. I'm similarly confused about the same thing but I'm going to avoid assuming the worst.
Who is this rule change intending to benefit?

Is this retroactive? As in, are things a character has done before this rule change now no longer protected from exploitation?

I hope the staff can appreciate that this is not the jokey matter of the too-handsy office guy any longer, there are extremist terrorists murdering people today, and these types flock to any sort of 'it's not rape rape' and 'rape accusations are the real problem' rhetoric. It is dangerous to make vague statements concerning what really counts as rape and about dissolving sexual assault protections without being explicit about what the rules actually are. There is no gameplay feature so compelling it is worth blurring the lines on such important protections. If there were other new rules that would be completely clarify and dismiss all potential concerns they should have been posted up front. The concerns over attracting or giving safe harbor to predators with consent dogwhistles is not an imaginary one.

But setting aside the ethical issues, there is likely no EULA with teeth enough to wholly waive user sexual harassment protections in the US, and platforms can have liability merely for not acting effectively enough to prevent user harassment, let alone their liability for facilitating it. Meta Platforms and VRChat Inc. appear to be readying for potential major future litigation in regards to sexual harassment of virtual avatars in virtual places, and these are venues that emphatically prohibit harassment in every form their expensive in-house counsels can imagine. Linden Labs likewise prohibited anything and everything objectionable and still ended up repeatedly and extensively liable for illegal content they platformed in Second Life.

Any sort of disclaimer that Sindome is somehow exceptionally less-real compared to other virtual venues, and users could therefore automatically consent to imaginary sexual harassment, might be especially hard to defend considering Sindome was registered as a 501c7 non-profit social club, with very real tax exempt revenue. And no, member agreement clauses do not protect against liability if it there is willful misconduct towards users. Openly acknowledging that single-party recording and slander were still knowingly considered sexual harassment by staff, and then willfully permitting them anyway, was the sort of own goal that brings immediate civil settlements.

I agree with everything DancingRoo said. I don't think making concrete rules one way or the other is a good idea; paydata on who is having sex with who is valuable to identify connections and weaknesses, but using it for slander, ESPECIALLY WHEN UNTRUE, is gross and icky and unthemely.

Everyone, staff and players alike, need to put in the effort to de-stigmatize sex and discourage this kind of behavior, and MOST IMPORTANTLY:

IF A PLAYER STATES OOCLY THAT THEY ARE UNCOMFORTABLE WITH ANY FORM OF RP INVOLVING SEX WITH THEIR CHARACTER, THAT RP NEEDS TO STOP IMMEDIATELY, REGARDLESS OF CONTEXT.

We have always enforced that in some positions, choosing to have erotic roleplay with some classes of characters carries a risk to your character's job or having other consequences.

Whether or not you believe it to be themely, the GMs do, and we enforce it / have always enforced it.

I won't be adding any more to this thread, our position is firm. The @rules will be updated when an admin with access updates the files.

Edit: The @rules have been updated.

(Edited by MirageGM at 3:20 am on 6/14/2022)

Recording sexual intercourse without consent or despite one's refusal is not, under the law of any country I was able to look it up, sexual assault. It's either voyeurism or Invading/breaking privacy. So it's not covered by A.
6.A. Sexual RP & Saying No

Sindome is an adult game, with adult content. As such some amount of sex will, in all likelihood, enter into your characters life at some point.

Sexual assault and molestation in roleplay are considered part of 'rape roleplay' and are explicitly prohibited in our rules.

If you, the player, are uncomfortable Out of Character, with physical sexual roleplay that is being directed at or requested from your character, you may use the local OOC command to request that the person cease. If you make this request and it continues to happen, please use xhelp to alert the admin staff, and we will help resolve the situation.

If someone OOCly requests you cease physical contact during sexual roleplay with them under ANY circumstances, you are to cease it, without question. Failure to do so will result in punitive action such as being banned from the game.

It's important to do this Out of Character so there is no confusion.

Roleplay used to slander a character, or blackmail a character by in game means within the boundaries of rule 6.B is allowed. By playing Sindome, you acknowledge that your character may be recorded or slandered for their sexual relations during play.

6.B. Sexual Accusations

There is a zero tolerance policy on discussing rape, pedophilia, necrophilia, or bestiality, even as a fabricated insult or joke amongst consenting parties. Players may use the word 'deviant' to describe a character who is creepy within the aforementioned approved rules and boundaries, and this word is understood by all characters in its use to describe someone who has off-putting, or creepy sexual tendencies in character.

Including the new rules for ease of reference for myself and others in this thread.

Just want to get a little clarification really both IC and OOC, and give an example of what I as a player believe is acceptable and not acceptable under these new rules.

Acceptable:

"Hey Joe, you hear about Doug? I heard he and his wife are absolute deviants. Real crazy stuff."

Not acceptable:

"Hey Joe, you hear about Doug? I heard he and his wife total $%" using a rubber duck and "%"% a "%%^ with a "%%^ it was everywhere, and then "%"&&."

Essentially my understanding of the ruling is that is enough to slander someone with the word "deviant" without openly exposing everyone to the details unwillingly.

If I have not understood correctly let me know, please.

As expected, what I was worried about ended up just being a miscommunication.
Just to give a little more clarity to what I mean. The rules support something like a smear campaign against any character, regardless of evidence, targeting any and all sexual activities excluding those mentioned in 6.B

These slander campaigns can be as detailed and informative as is deemed necessary by the character (player) wishes it to be.

Just to give an extreme example of what this could look like (obviously excluding the actual details of the acts, but there is nothing to say it could not)

I go about setting up a campaign to ruin someone, I start a rumour or blanket campaign explaining in great detail another character's corpophilia fetish and then expand upon them being a ABDL, then start expanding that into them being a furry because they have bio-mods or like to sleep only with bio-modded individuals. I go through a list of every single fetish that could be seen by someone as unpleasant and spread this all over the Withmore.

(disclaimer; this is not intended to call anyone out over their personal views, activities or anything like that OOC whatsoever, it is purely an example of what could happen in game and is not reflective of my personal views on any of the previously mentioned fetishes. Safe, sane, consual)

Again, extreme example, my personal OOC view is that I really don't care what you want to ERP within the boundaries of the rules.

Is this a rule change to overall reduce ERP, as it now positions this sort of RP as a weapon to target at characters?

I can't think of any reason why this is a good thing. I can't imagine that this is an aspect of CP theme that any majority of the playerbase wants to roleplay or engage in.

It almost feels like a new feature is coming out and someone said 'Hey, this will be a problem' and our response was a lazy 'well, let's make it no longer against the rules'.

We can and should be doing better than this to protect and maintain the community.

Sindome isn't a playground for ERP. Sindome is a game about competition and betrayal. ERP does have its place, but you can't remove the natural risks or consequences of engaging in it. If you don't trust the person you would be having this kinda roleplay with it, then just avoid it. Or you could simply risk it, and deal with the aftermath through roleplay if necessary.

And this has been the case for the year and change I've been playing. The rule change seems to be more like clarification if anything.

For all of you saying, just don't ERP. Going to go back to the fact that many of the rumors that go around are not true. So, your character does something with someone. You have a Mixer over, you do something to help drive plot and RP for people. Whatever that something is, but a non ERP thing.

You follow the advice of the XOOC crowd and "do something crazy".

All of a sudden you are fighting multiple rumors of you being a slut. You didn't ERP for it. You didn't do anything that would indicate it. But there it is anyway. Once that happens, it's not like being vatted. The penalty doesn't go away. People don't forget it. Months later, you still are dealing with people talking, "you're that person who did X with Y."

So @fopsy, @sulfurado or anyone who thinks this is either good or acceptable, do you want to basically have your character easily and simply painted as a deviant for things you did not do? It's not enjoyable and when you talk about it to try to defend yourself, you can get GMs in your head talking about how you're skirting the non-con line by saying you can't claim it's not something you wanted. The IC discussions around this naturally lead to running afoul of 6.A.

All of this is a really bad look, sex rumors are not themely, wouldn't be something anyone would care about and the only reason they work now is that we players live in a society that stigmatizes sex. Withmore is not that place. It's basically rumor small worlding and that we're going to encourage it is a terrible idea.

Just to be clear as I am being called out it seems.

Never said it was good, or bad. I just put out examples of what is now deemed acceptable under the rules. I honestly think that slander RP specifically around sexual deviancy is uninventive and boring, but it has been seen as effective. Characters might use extreme examples of fetish slander, in the same way as violence, torture, etc to achieve what they want within the scope of the rules both IC and OOC.

I personally think that the reason this hits harder than other IC rumours, is that it has common and real-world stigma that we may all come across IRL. So it might be that there are fights IC that people have had to fight IRL.

On the plus side sexual expression in general is an incredibly personal thing, and given that sexism, racism and homophobia is basically seen as an IC death sentence in Sindome, maybe this can be entirely handled IC.

Don't kink shame or you might end up getting chain vatted ;)

"We have always enforced that in some positions, choosing to have erotic roleplay with some classes of characters carries a risk to your character's job or having other consequences.

Whether or not you believe it to be themely, the GMs do, and we enforce it / have always enforced it."

Taking risks through consensually involving oneself in ERP is one thing. However, the problem is that the rules specifically allow slander. Slander by its definition is untrue, meaning one can make claims of characters/players engaging in ERP without evidence, or with fabricated/implied evidence, and by so doing directly involve players in sexual subject material without their consent. In such cases, the slandered player may have chosen to specifically avoid such risks, yet can be pulled into them anyway. And despite what others have said both here and in XOOC, there is no defense against such actions. You can chain-vat to your heart's content, you can destroy anyone ever involved in generating the slander, and it will not matter because rumor is forever. Players who may have never consented to ERP in any form will be forced to bear the weight of sexual slander for as long as they choose to remain in Sindome with the character in question.

Maybe that is themely, but it is also destructive to a game and its community.

For those of you holding out a slimmer ray of hope that perhaps we (staff) naively just didn't anticipate that this clarification would be harmful to the community, I am sorry I will have to disappoint you.

We knew prior to making this clarification that it would be an unpopular decision, and decided to proceed anyways after a lot of internal discussion. I don't think anyone would argue that this doesn't open the game up to topics or roleplay that are uncomfortable, and yes, it may even result in some people leaving.

This is hardly a rule change, but more explicitly clarifying our rules as they have always been. It wasn't spurred on even mostly by new game features, but instead xhelp conversations and investigations we've had before that game feature was even being engineered, because even we as staff were previously not on the same page about where the line was or wasn't. This happens when you have a game that is as old as Sindome where the staff continually change. Things get lost.

The biggest change is enabling players to call out non-rule-violating missing stairs utilizing the new 'deviant' code word, as well as an expansion on banned subjects.

@Blackbird71

If sexual slander is disallowed, players will know that when someone does share sexual gossip about another character, *it must necessarily be 100% true* (or punishment and a retcon will follow). This is a bad thing. Nowhere else in Sindome do you get to share data that is OOCly validated as perfect truth.

The alternative is to completely disallow any discussion of any sexual relations between characters. Personally, i do not want a character's ERP choices to exist in some kind of off-limits pocket dimension to the larger game.

Food for thought.

But that's not the point. It doesn't make the game fun, it doesn't fit theme. This is a world where the weather program is soft core porn. Does anyone actually care about who you're screwing on the side to make it worthwhile gossip? Plus, any decision that is made knowing players will have enough of an issue to quit is not a good decision. That sounds more like an attempt to weed out the community.
@geigerbunny

That doesn't change the dissonance in the rules as currently written.

My intent was to specifically point out that while yes, players have the choice of engaging in ERP and in doing so assume all the risks therein, allowing slander creates the potential to involve players who have explicitly chosen not to involve themselves in ERP and to avoid such risks. This side of the issue seems to have been generally ignored in comments by GMs, both here on the BGBB and in the XOOC rewind.

This is a complex issue with a lot of opinions and feelings.

I personally think it is a slippery slope that sets the precedent for a lot of disturbing stuff across the board. IC, OOC, for plot, and for the community at large.

Canonically we already navigate sensitive issues of race, gender, sexuality and religion, things that -could- drive a great deal of plot and conflict, as only issues for a bunch of backwards idiots. Anyone who cares about what race you are, or who you love, or what God you worship is seen as out-dated and dumb.

Why is this any different?

Why does anyone care?

We do not pretend racism and anti-theism don't exist, we just ignore them for the good of the plot and the good of the community.

I understand the point about consorting with unsavory individuals, but hiring mix joys should be a thing. It's just sex.

Additionally, I would suggest that plot driven by sexual slander is low hanging fruit. Much plot and risk taking is seen as very punitive, so people are forced to force plot, and this is and area where they can do that. It's lazy and uninteresting as far as I am concerned.

I can't imagine that this is an aspect of CP theme that any majority of the playerbase wants to roleplay or engage in.

I'm convinced you're right, the majority won't but there have always been squicky cringey things happening in SD and there always will be a minority who do engage. Most of the time they don't inflict it upon unwilling others too badly. Occasionally they do.

It almost feels like a new feature is coming out and someone said 'Hey, this will be a problem' and our response was a lazy 'well, let's make it no longer against the rules'.

That's not what happened. What happened according to something Mirage said in XOOC yesterday was, multiple instances of this were happening anyway without the new feature, and staff was having to tell this to players behind the scenes already. I could be wrong but I think what happened was they just decided to make their position on why they were allowing it transparent instead of limited to xhelps.

@mirage

"For those of you holding out a slimmer ray of hope that perhaps we (staff) naively just didn't anticipate that this clarification would be harmful to the community, I am sorry I will have to disappoint you.

We knew prior to making this clarification that it would be an unpopular decision, and decided to proceed anyways after a lot of internal discussion. I don't think anyone would argue that this doesn't open the game up to topics or roleplay that are uncomfortable, and yes, it may even result in some people leaving."

I understand, but this is also one of our only vectors to express displeasure at a ruling. I hope that as long as we remain on topic and don't degenerate into rude fights, it's okay to discuss. Staff have reversed unpopular decisions before, even if it's a very rare occurrence. With that said, I understand that at the end of the day, it's either choose to play under the rules or not.

I wish things were different on this and yes, this is something that has me considering calling it a day, as anyone should when the things that bother you outweigh the entertainment you are getting from your free time. I also realize that there are plenty of people who are just fine with the changes as evidenced in the XOOC channel and that this might be more of a personal issue for me. I'll have to think about that and don't like to rush to decisions on anything.

I realize that I'm not compelled to play and no one is forcing me to do so, but as I said, this is really the only way we can communicate when something that is ruled is disappointing or we feel is wrong. You might have anticipated it, but if there is any "healing/reconciliation/understanding"; voicing what we think is wrong is part of that process. It is also possible that you have not considered every angle and while I have general faith that you've probably talked it all out, that does not mean that certain aspects came up or not, so it's again worth some discussion (which I will note that you haven't closed down the thread) both from letting players who feel strongly feel heard as well as perhaps introducing addition things for staff to consider.

Finally, getting some staff insight as to WHY this particular change is deemed important enough to "be harmful to the community" would always be appreciated. It might help some of us that are upset about this understand what you are trying to accomplish.

It's not a change, Roo. It's just transparency.
Let me be more clear. It's not a change to policy. It's a change to written rules and helpfiles.

For the sake of transparency.

Interesting timing of a 'clarification' , coinciding with a feature that allows people to more or less log your RP without your consent then ridicule you over it ICLy.
Don't troll on this thread; I will lock it or remove bgbb permissions.
Well BigArg, like it was already stated, this kind of RP, and the staff handling of it according to the stated policy, was already happening before that feature was even available.

Maybe they anticipated it getting worse? Could be, but it was already a current headache.

"Let me rephrase then: Does this rule also protect the creation of phony ERP through any means, that bypasses the consent and participation of the characters it depicts?"

By 0x1mm at Jun 13, 2022 6:09 PM

"Correct, it does."

By MirageGM at Jun 13, 2022 6:09 PM

Unless I'm misinterpreting this, as this is 'protect' and not 'protect against' and the answer is that it does, are we not now just dumpstering every notion that if you don't want to be involved in said themes you avoid ERP? That seemed to be the core thing protecting players from sex stuff getting weird or predatory. Just don't participate. I'm confused as to how, in a text based medium, you getting forced to participate in erotic roleplay without consent and having erotic roleplay of you simulated (and worse, published) without your consent is any different at all. It's the exact same end result. With this change we now theoretically thrust chaste players who don't care to be bogged down with that brand of roleplay into having to participate and experience their characters in such settings. Said players who have been supported through @help chastity and other implications made by staff for a long time, due to their drive for what many might deem more productive roleplay. Seems like a total betrayal.

Slander, shaming, etcetera, are one thing. I understand that rule change. It's realistic, doesn't put the onus on admins to investigate and moderate hearsay, and is just a byproduct of the setting as much as getting mutilated or murdered is beyond consent. All that above quote is implying though, in the context of new mechanics? Just seems like we're opening the floodgate to a whole brand of unnecessary, uncomfortable themes rather than just 'providing clarity' of things. I believe that deserves a clarification or adjustment, even if it ends up coming out wonky or hyper specific in regards to the new mechanics, for the health of the game.

I'm not going to entertain the notion of fearmongering based on mechanics that don't exist, and may never exist.
I can make a hologram of a character fuck a hologram of any other character.
Yes. A better example. That is allowed, yes. If it's depicting a topic not covered in 6.B.
In fact, that's a great example of a deviant

Seems like most of the feedback in this thread would point to that not being very cool and an entirely different issue than the slander and blackmail discussed in 6A.
I thought you said, at least in xOOC, that the functionality of the technology in question prevented people from being able to create actual "deepfakes" of ERP.
We're not talking about SimSense, holograms are an existing not recording feature. It's an art thing

OHH true! Sorry, brain fart.
Just as a very brief aside, not trying to derail anything, but seeing mentions of XOOC on a thread that has gained a lot of traction, would this be a perfect discussion for the Xguided channel if people are discussing it within the game, so that everyone can be included.

There are a couple changes going on here at once so I feel like it will be helpful to summarize.

Sexual assault and molestation in roleplay are considered part of 'rape roleplay' and are explicitly prohibited in our rules.

This has not changed. Sexual assault is forbidden. I will always be able to stop a sexual scene I do not want to participate in, via local OOC.

If someone OOCly requests you cease physical contact during sexual roleplay with them under ANY circumstances, you are to cease it, without question. Failure to do so will result in punitive action such as being banned from the game.

This hasn't changed. Someone who doesn't cease a scene involving sexual physical contact when asked in OOC can be banned from the game for it.

Roleplay used to slander a character, or blackmail a character by in game means within the boundaries of rule 6.B is allowed. By playing Sindome, you acknowledge that your character may be recorded or slandered for their sexual relations during play.

This was always allowed, but because there are now more ways to record evidence, it makes sense to make this explicit. If your character's a corporate citizen who hooks up with someone from a rival company, and that person uses Simsense or a camera to record all the privileged secrets you told them, they are allowed to hold that dangerous relationship over your head even if it was recorded in an intimate setting. Is this a nice thing to do? No, not at all. But it is within the bounds of what intrigue in Sindome may look like.

Players may use the word 'deviant' to describe a character who is creepy within the aforementioned approved rules and boundaries, and this word is understood by all characters in its use to describe someone who has off-putting, or creepy sexual tendencies in character.

This is a new change and is very good in my opinion. It's now explicitly okay to talk about unwanted advances and inappropriate conduct ICly. If you observe that Rex Gold uses his subordinates as footstools, it's fine to warn people about that. If a solo has a deviant reputation for trying to sleep with their targets before they kill them, it's acceptable to talk about that. There's plenty of conduct that - while not banned under the rules - can and should have rep consequences.

This thread is weird to me. Isn't the whole game based on slander? Slander is quite literally one of the biggest themes in CP. Invasion of privacy, too. Corps own everything. There are cameras everywhere. You literally see pubsic slandering someone every day, accusing people of things they didn't do and getting them in trouble.

It's really odd to me that this change (it's not even a change, this happens constantly as it is) caused such an uproar when people can do far worse things to your character, like perm them, maim them, burgle them, with very little to no recourse, and no one bats an eye. Lots of these things aren't 'fun' and could be seen as inviting to 'predatory behaviour'. They're not meant to be strictly fun, it's a roleplaying game. We're not telling the story of happy puppies and marshmellows, it's cyberpunk. It's oppressive, morally bankrupt and excessive.

I don't want to have my characters be slandered. Happened plenty before, I didn't enjoy it, some of it made me uncomfortable. It's part of the story. You literally enter a mag-lev station and there's naked holograms coming to accost you. The TV has plenty of sexual programming. Strippers and joys are a huge part of the mix. You either take a hard stance and say no sexual RP of any kind, or you have to deal with the good and the bad of it. There are obvious extremes that are banned, as they should, but this seems like a huge part of the game that you'd be outlawing, you are kidding yourself if you don't think character relationships, sexual and otherwise, are a massive part of the game. I've literally seen people do this constantly, because it's so in tune with everything else that happens. This person was there, this person killed that one, this person slept with that one on the down low.

I just find the core idea that you should be able to avoid something because it makes you uncomfortable illogical. The game was never meant to be a safe space and this very much seems to be a 'this gives me the ick and I don't want it' type thing. Lots of things people do in the game give me the ick. Doesn't mean I can just say 'no, you can't do that'. I can tell someone that I want to FTB a torture scene, but I can't stop them from talking about it later in as much detail as they want with whoever they want.

If you are uncomfortable with people spying or lying about your character, in any form, I don't even see how you'd stomach playing this game to begin with. That is quite literally 99% of the game, right there.

Roleplay used to slander a character, or blackmail a character by in game means within the boundaries of rule 6.B is allowed. By playing Sindome, you acknowledge that your character may be recorded or slandered for their sexual relations during play.

This was always allowed, but because there are now more ways to record evidence, it makes sense to make this explicit. If your character's a corporate citizen who hooks up with someone from a rival company, and that person uses Simsense or a camera to record all the privileged secrets you told them, they are allowed to hold that dangerous relationship over your head even if it was recorded in an intimate setting. Is this a nice thing to do? No, not at all. But it is within the bounds of what intrigue in Sindome may look like.

I want to clarify something here as it seems to be a continual point of confusion between people talking on both sides of this issue.

The situation described here is NOT slander. By definition, slander is false ("a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report"), therefore recording someone's actual activities and exposing them does not qualify as slander.

I'm making no comment here as to what is or is not, or what should or should be allowed under the rules. I'm only clarifying for the purposes of continued discussion that being "slandered for [one's] sexual relations during play" explicitly describes false statements of one's actions, not recordings or other evidence.

My concern is that when such false statements are made, will players have IC recourse to counter them? There have already been statements in this thread and in the XOOC rewind that indicate attempting to do so has been shut down as violating rules. That is frankly very concerning if accurate.

Okay. I will come out and say I don't like the current state of the sex rules as they just feel messy and contradictory and rely on terms that mean different things to different people and make assumptions about people's mindsets. They try and clearly lay out what is and is not okay but manage to cause as much confusion as they provide clarity,

That being said, I am not staff and can't change things. I also fine my disagreements slightly different from what many have posted here. Lastly, I find myself bombarded by hyperbole when reading the objections which makes it hard for what would otherwise be good points to be heard.

Most importantly, I am not staff can can not change things. But I am a player anc control how my character acts, as do all of you! This is a good thing in my mind as there are things we can do as players. A lot of things. Some possible ideas:

Nobody cares about people being deviants because the world seems to be depicted as a bunch of deviants (I am not using the word 'deviant' with negative connotations here):

Then play your characters with this mindset. Wave off these kinds of things. If someone tries to smear Sam for sleeping with Bob and have 'recorded evidence', wave it off as nothing or even question the validity of the material. Suggest they got a favor from an NLM tech who manufactured it. Or that you have sex with people like Bib all the time.

Capture without Consent vs Sex without consent:

Capture without consent has always been a part of Sindome. There are lots of pictures floating about of naked people in the same bed used to prove relations or to sully someone's rep by their choice of partner. This is nothing new. I support capture without consent (though I think there should ALWAYS be a tell that someone just recorded or photographed someone else, or currently is, so that they can try and do something about it).

But nothing can force your character to engage in sexual acts. I know that for some the ERP is very much enjoyed and an important part of play. I in no way think poorly of this and feel that people should enjoy the game as long as they follow the roles. I've fought against OOC shaming of players for engaging in ERP for most of my time playing the game.

The fact is, however, that capture is wide open so consider this while playing. Maybe it means you fade to black more. Maybe you buy and learn to use a cybernetics scanner. Maybe you stop engaging in ERP. Maybe you stop playing. While I think this would result in the game losing a lot of wonderful players and I would hate it, I would totally understand if that was what you felt you needed to do.

Since it's OOCly not allowed to create fake sex tapes or pictures, we know they are always true:

I agree that this is problematic (if this isn't a misunderstanding) but, again, we as players can do something about it. We might OOCly know it has to be a real capture but that doesn't mean our PCs do. There are no IC rules about this. So call them fake anyways and, when your character hears accusations that they might be fake, have them ICly take those accusations seriously even if you OOCly know it's not possible.

I can't stress enough how much impact the player base can have on culture. If you feel that it's ICly possible to fake these and that it's ICly unlikely most things would be shamed, push those views with your characters.

Final thoughts:

I am not saying to ignore the rules. We have to follow them. I am saying that we have a lot of room to help define IC culture via IC actions. Our characters can give an IC act or claim weight or make it feel like it's nothing. We also get to decide what we expose ourselves to. I am just saying to use the tools we have to create the culture we want while following the rules.

Also, keep making suggestions on how to improve. Suggestions on how to do better have moer value and are usually taken better that simple complaints.

Slander (probably) means smear campaigns or exposure of secrets in the context of the rule. It's also fine to outright lie about people, but in my experience attacks on reputation go a lot further if there's a grain of truth to them and players can usually tell lazy bullshit apart from damning evidence.
It's a good point that solutions are better than complaints, I am just not sure what problem is being solved by allowing and promoting this. The game has made it decades without revenge porn sex tapes (filmed without consent), what value is this going to add? There are so many other ways to blackmail and maneuver.
I don't think this is new as some seem to suggest.

I have seen photos of two players in intimate positions, one of them logged off. They clearly consented to being in an intimate position as their @SP was set to support the scene. They could not consent to the photo as they were logged off.

It's also possible to maneuver a mobile, hidden camera into someone's pad and record or even broadcast them having sex without the parties having sex knowing. I don't know of any cases of this happening but it's ICly possible. And as far as I remember reading the rules up until then, it was not against the rules OOCly.

I may be wrong regarding my recollection of the rules before the change but, as far as I recall, this capturing sex acts without consent was never against the rules. Also, distributing these things was never against the rules. You could even mock a person for being with someone of the other class as long as you never slandered them about the sex part.

So I think that arguments need to be refined. Staff, as far as I can tell, did not suddenly allow the capture and distribution of sex acts without consent. These were never against the rules. Even mocking someone's choice in partner was not against the rules.

I do think that the new rules give someone greater latitude in how they can slander each other (and reduce it as I don't recall necrophilia and bestiality insults being against the rules before) but claiming that things have been allowed or added that were not there before feels off to me and might not carry a lot of weight.

But I do think that adjusting the wording of our sex rules would be helpful. I might even give it a go if I have time later and propose it to staff. I also think that ideas on how to refine the rules would be welcome and, possibly, accepted.

What is added is to be able to ICly log someone's roleplay without their consent and then distribute it, so we're not talking apples to apples with what was allowed a month ago, or a year ago, or ten years ago.
Earlier Mirage wrote:

ERP is completely optional and a component any player is capable of avoiding completely in an OOC-enforced fashion. That may not escape false accusations of sexual conduct, but it will escape any actual proof from being created.

And:

We have always enforced that in some positions, choosing to have erotic roleplay with some classes of characters carries a risk to your character's job or having other consequences.

The communication overall on these updates has been muddled, but setting aside the Rule 6.A commentary, the above statements don't actually seem to be true. The above statements and specifically "but it will escape any actual proof from being created" don't appear to actually square with the update, since manufacturing false proof appears to be allowed by this update. There are already some player-available tools that would allow for this that I can think of, and GMs would have considerably more reach and teeth to fabricate 'proof' against player characters.

These statements are not contradictory to me. Perhaps you are confusing my word "actual" to be in the same line of substance of overuse as "literally". "Actual" in this case not referring to the presence or existence of proof, but as a modifier of meaning "of true source, originating concisely from a factual nature."

Any "proof" (slanderous) while possible to manufacture, is provably false. Sometimes as part of the game system.

How exactly would false proof created or handwaved into existence by the staff, be able to be proved false by a player?

Let's say a player character calls out a powerful NPC for their bad behavior and the NPC retaliates with city-wide broadcast of edited video of that player character in some socially unacceptable sexual situation, and 'leaks' a paper trail of fabricated gridmails in which they sexually harass anyone and everyone.

What is added is to be able to ICly log someone's roleplay without their consent and then distribute it, so we're not talking apples to apples with what was allowed a month ago, or a year ago, or ten years ago.

This has been ICly possible and not against the rules for years. There are two instances of it happening that I can think of off-hand.

You just don't really ever hear about it because frankly, most of Sindome's players just don't care who is screwing who unless they can use it to get someone they ICly hate fired or something(and this HAS happened, as well).

"How exactly would false proof created or handwaved into existence by the staff, be able to be proved false by a player?"

Where was it ever suggested that staff would do any such thing?

Thanks for clarifying, Kard. If that is the case, I guess I am a little bit confused as to why there were in depth discussions amongst staff, highlighting how this will upset some people (or make them quit), a vote to move forward with this, rule changes, and this post - if we're just talking about this being exactly how the game rules have always functioned. Seems like a big uproar over nothing if it's just business as usual with nothing changing, right?
"Slander (probably) means smear campaigns or exposure of secrets in the context of the rule."

We cannot redefine words to change the meaning of rules. Words have meaning, and keeping meanings consistent is important to clear communication.

Nobody cares about people being deviants because the world seems to be depicted as a bunch of deviants (I am not using the word 'deviant' with negative connotations here):

Then play your characters with this mindset. Wave off these kinds of things. If someone tries to smear Sam for sleeping with Bob and have 'recorded evidence', wave it off as nothing or even question the validity of the material. Suggest they got a favor from an NLM tech who manufactured it. Or that you have sex with people like Bib all the time.

I'm going to point to this comment from earlier in this thread:

It's not enjoyable and when you talk about it to try to defend yourself, you can get GMs in your head talking about how you're skirting the non-con line by saying you can't claim it's not something you wanted. The IC discussions around this naturally lead to running afoul of 6.A.

There was more about this in the rewind of the XOOC channel from last night, but the short of it appears to be that when a player or players have attempted to deny the validity of slanderous claims of sexual activity, their IC attempts were shut down by claims that doing so violated rules. I don't know the details here and can only go by what was said here and in XOOC; to my knowledge GMs have not commented on this. If I assume what I have read to be correct though, this seems like a terrible perversion of the rules to victim-blame and render any counter to slander impossible.

If that is the case (which again I have no firsthand knowledge of), then I think it is worth examining how the rules are being applied and how they may be potentially abused by metagamers to protect their slanderous RP.

I wasn't a part of that conversation and am not staff. So what I say I'd limited by my own experiences. Based on the current rules I have a hard time imagining a logical, solid case on how a PC defending themselves from accusations and "proof" would be rule breaking as long as some care was put into avoiding rape talk or meta behavior.

I'm sure it's possible though, it's just hard for ME to see it. But if it does happen I imagine it's in the details of HOW. I can't see anywhere in the rules where a PC lying and claiming a video of photo was doctored or fabricated could be against the rules.

I do get that, ICly as in life, these accusations can be devastating and hard to refute. Sometimes, even after proving a false claim false, the character is still suffering the negative effects of the accusation. This sucks. I won't deny that.

But...

First, keep in mind that, just because you think your character has provided everything needed to clear their name, doesn't mean that other characters feel the same way. Sadly, it's hard to know if the message you want to send is the message received even in a one on one context. Knowing this when it's many on many is crazy hard. So it's possible that you feel you cleared the characters name but that in reality, only two and a half other characters have been convinced.

More importantly, in my eyes, is my original suggestion. It's hard to clear a character's name because characters (mostly PCs) make it hard. But players control the vast majority of the vocal characters in this game so players can choose to make this easier if harder. All it takes it one or two PCs to set the example.

Again, I'm not a huge fan of the state of the rules (though I feel staff is truly trying hard and making best their best efforts and mean well). But I'm trying to focus on what I and other players can do. Control their characters and make constructive suggestions for improvement!

So to clarify Blackbird, it used to be that Rule 6.B referred pretty broadly to accusing characters of unwanted sexual advances, which cast a pretty big net over a lot of things that weren't actually against Rule 6.A, because 'unwanted sexual advances' were only prohibited under 6.C which concerned OOC channels.

As Mirage states above, this gave rise to a sort of Missing Stair problem, where player characters might have a pretty good reason to want to call another character out for behavior, but may not have been allowed to in specific terms.

The new Rule 6.B is more closely aligned to Rule 6.A, which I think is itself a good step.

It seems it could not be agreed to deal with missing stairs in any other way than providing unlimited license to make false accusations, and enshrine that as a core feature.

This seems to hew pretty close to the sort of reactionary views that understand accusations of sexual wrongdoing as primarily a falsehood weapon wielded to cancel people or whatever, and I think enshrining phony sexual allegations as a protected feature is, perhaps unintentionally, catering to this mindset.

There was more about this in the rewind of the XOOC channel from last night, but the short of it appears to be that when a player or players have attempted to deny the validity of slanderous claims of sexual activity, their IC attempts were shut down by claims that doing so violated rules.

That is literally why staff just made this rule change to 6B. You are affirmatively allowed to talk ICly about characters who are too forward or behave questionably, even if their conduct isn't forbidden by the rules. Staff are saying here that they're not going to stop your character from calling someone creepy, or remarking that it's weird to be making up rumors about their sex life.

For this reason, I suspect a lot of outright slander in the game will backfire. People's sex life is usually none of your business and most Withmore residents share that understanding. It says more about the person who is trying to push bullshit than it does about the person they're slandering.

How exactly would false proof created or handwaved into existence by the staff, be able to be proved false by a player?

Let's say a player character calls out a powerful NPC for their bad behavior and the NPC retaliates with city-wide broadcast of edited video of that player character in some socially unacceptable sexual situation, and 'leaks' a paper trail of fabricated gridmails in which they sexually harass anyone and everyone.

It wouldn't, I guess?

Can you explain why you feel this kind of railroading RP would be a valuable use of staff time though? Railroading is avoided as often as possible. Some may choose to believe otherwise, but if railroading were the go-to for GMs, the game world would be far less interesting. I, as a GM, think railroading is pointless and would rather just let a plot drop off than railroad it. 10/10 could promise the other GMs feel the same. It's boring for players. It's boring for GMs. It's pointless for building any story that anyone enjoys.

Just because the possibility exists for GMs to do something doesn't mean that they would. Just like I won't spawn 85 spiders on you without any buildup while you're in the lev just to see you die with no way of escape. It adds nothing to the story and is just an outright waste of time. We could pick you up and fling you off bridges anytime for no reason, but this would be stupid and entirely against the goal of creating meaningful story for players.

This isn't to say players aren't often forced into difficult situations they don't feel like RPing and stretched (getting fired or murdered sucks), but this is done to challenge the player or abide by theme.

I understand wanting to be prepared for situations, but I also ask for some perspective on what the GMs goals are. We actively encourage people to take notes. If we see that someone is suffering bleed or having a hard time, we regularly reach out to try to help or boop them away for a break. If a player were to leave a note 'this really upset me. I really hated this rp and hope it never happens again', we would take that into account and often even reach out to the player. But... if someone actively engages that RP, we will (when able) return that engagement.

Blackbird, you seem to be stuck on the whole false slander bit. Let's be clear, you absolutely can deny false clames as long as you don't cross the line of calling the person you didn't have sex a rapist.

Saying "I did not have sex with X, and anyone who thinks I did is a gullible idiot" is fine.

Saying "The only way I'd have sex with X is if I'd had too much to drink at a party and blacked out" is not.

If you've played the social game well enough and if your word (or money) has enough sway, you'll be able to squash any rumors.

I recall pretty recently an NPC retaliating against a player's callout with an attempt to force through a city-wide broadcast of that player being subjected to unwanted sexual reassignment surgery.

I think that was actually the second time forced public sex reassignment was used as a player punishment since I started playing, though I recall that one got hastily walked back as well. I don't really think my hypothetical is much different in terms of social norms than what already goes on.

What's your point, 0x1mm? That staff have the capability to fuck you over with zero capable retaliation? Yep. We sure do. We always have.

Or is your point perhaps that the GMs do listen and try to be reasonable, as proven by your example because the GMs DID step it back?

In either case, it is what it is. Your crusade to point this out is complete, you can retire now.

As for BigArg's comment on why this merited discussion if there was no actual change. I actually already answered that in this thread, but I am sympathetic that this thread is long in the tooth.

Because the rules before were open to significant interpretation on this subject and verbiage and we were having frequent cases that divided us on how to handle them. It was clear we needed to clarify the rules, and that required getting everyone together including the justices, and it took time. In part because we knew shedding light on this topic being allowed implicitly in the past would be a sore point for the community.

Rules need to be radically transparent. And so here we are.

Thanks for clarifying, Kard. If that is the case, I guess I am a little bit confused as to why there were in depth discussions amongst staff, highlighting how this will upset some people (or make them quit)

Because a lot of people were unaware it was a thing, and legal. We knew that clearly spelling it out would lead to people who were upset because those people did not realize this was possible + legal(our old rules did not make it clear).

The discussion was not SHOULD the rules be more transparent, more what wording to use, where do we draw the line, how do we handle x, y, and z. Additionally, there IS an outright rule change(the previously discussed 'deviant' addition, which was not in our rules before), which required discussion among the staff as well.

Any rule changes are talked about, and ALL wording changes to the rules requires a vote, even if we're just clarifying a current rule. In this case we were doing both, changing and clarifying them.

@sulferado

I will state 100% that not only is it relatively easy to be called out trying to defend yourself, but that it also happens. I get why it does happen, but it is both frustrating and a bit hypocritical to use a rule to defend the sensibility of the slanderer while not caring about the outsized impact those rumors have on the person being slandered. Not saying that GMs shouldn't call out bad wording, but that wording and situation arises because of the nature of the slander. If you don't want violations of 6.A then limiting the times and places that those types of rumors can be used is a good step, not adding a rule to enshrine their use.

Also to clarify, while I am clearly upset about this and think it's a bad idea, thank you to staff for humoring the discussion.
I appreciate the candor Mirage, though am honestly more than a little surprised at the blunt transparency. I'm curious if any of the staff who are knowingly agreeing that they're granting themselves and other members authority to engage in sexual harassment in order to enable this rule change, actually read any of the laws the govern the Sindome Corporation and Withmore Hope Inc. Because I sure did.

Whenever any person or persons, whether or not acting under color of law, interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion, or attempt to interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion, with the exercise or enjoyment by any other person or persons of rights secured by the constitution or laws of the United States, or of rights secured by the constitution or laws of the commonwealth, the attorney general may bring a civil action for injunctive or other appropriate equitable relief in order to protect the peaceable exercise or enjoyment of the right or rights secured.

Still as you say, I've made my point and if everyone involves knows where the legal boundaries are, there is no need to further belabor it for now.

Threats and slander are in character. If someone is confused about the line between character and player, please xhelp.