Rules of Play

The goal of Materia Magica is to provide enjoyable entertainment for the largest possible number of denizens of the Internet, and in order to keep it entertaining, a specific set of game rules must be enforced. As a player in Materia Magica you have the responsibility of following these rules in the spirit in which they were intended - that is, fair play for all. Players are expected to have and make use of common sense and understand the reasons behind the rules, and to behave appropriately in circumstances where specific rules may not apply. Treat other players with the same respect and dignity that you wish to be treated.

The Administrators and Immortals of Materia Magica reserve the right to interpret any of these rules based on a given situation. Rules may also be amended from time to time as new situations arise. While the Administrators will make every attempt to inform players if the rules have changed, players are responsible for checking the rules frequently. Ignorance of a rule is no excuse.

These rules were last updated on 06/30/2013, by Esker.

Advertising

Don't advertise for other games on Materia Magica and we ask that you respect other game systems by doing the same. This includes posting a URL, discussion of the relative merits of another game while in Materia Magica, as well as your description, title, etc.

Alternate and Storage Characters

1. You are welcome to have as many alternate characters (also known as ALTs) as you wish, but do not play them together.

2. Storage characters (characters that are created solely for the purpose of storing equipment) are prohibited. There is ample locker space available for storage of items within the game, please make use of it instead.

3. Nexus characters (characters created and saved in specific locations for the purpose of allowing another character to "nexus" or transport to that specific character's location, are prohibited. Even if you play the character frequently, don't get into the habit of leaving them in key locations in order to get around the world faster.

4. Do not use the MAIL command to store extra equipment between characters. Mailed items have a life of 30 real life days, after which they are deleted. Automatically deleted mail cannot be recovered, so please do not ask.

Remember that while you are allowed to have multiple characters, you must not use them to assist each other in any way. They are to be treated as completely separate entities.

Arena Use

Do not use arena challenges or the chat areas as a means of transferring equipment, gold, mounts, or anything else to another character.

Auction Use

1. Do not use the auction channel as a tool for disrupting the game or to harass a specific player. This includes spamming bids as well as auctioning something and removing it from the queue to cause spam.

2. Do not exploit the auction channel to cheat players. Any player suspected of colluding with another player to stop an auction so that the next object in the auction queue might receive a high misbid will be dealt with harshly. This also applies to having another character bid on an item in order to increase the auction price.

Assistance and Asking for Help

1. Unapproved assistance from Immortals or Guides is against the rules for both parties involved. Asking an Immortal to raise your levels, give you extra hit points, or whatever, is not only annoying, but is against the rules. Likewise, do not ask Guides to transfer you if you are not in a situation that is impossible to get out of by walking, magic, recalling to a house or clan hall or dying.

2. Don't ask for help on things you can get yourself. If an Immortal or Guide offers to assist you in some way that you suspect is cheating, it is your duty as a player to report this incident immediately to the Administrators at admin@materiamagica.com.

Bugs and Game Errors

If you know of a bug - however innocent it seems - it must be reported immediately, and not used again. It is illegal to exploit bugs and is considered cheating. Reporting bugs should take the form of emailing admin@materiamagica.com, as well as notifying the Immortals who are online at the time of the discovery. A bug is not considered reported unless the Administrators have been emailed. Reporting a bug does not mean you can then take advantage of it until it is fixed, either.

Bugs are considered anything that the server allows you to do in the game that is obviously not intended - common sense applies here. If you are unsure about whether or not something is a bug, email admin@materiamagica.com as soon as possible and ask.

Descriptions, Titles and Restringing

1. Do not use your character DESCRIPTION (set using the DESCRIPTION command) for anything but a role-related description of your character. You may not use it to post amusing quotes, ASCII art, or anything unrelated to your character in the game. Please use the available forms in the Materia Magica website's Player Registry to post anachronistic references, if you must, but do not put them in your character's description.

2. The TITLE of a character (set using the TITLE command) must be related to the character in some way, cannot contain anachronistic references, and cannot violate the public channel rules.

3. Use of the SHOP RESTRING command is a privilege and should not be used to alter equipment to contain words, phrases, or symbols that are anachronistic to the game's mythology or violate the public channel rules. Items discovered violating this rule may be deleted with little or no warning. If you are in doubt as to the acceptability of a potential restring, check with an Immortal or via email to admin@materiamagica.com.

General Combat and PK

Don't trust strangers, no matter what they promise you, or who they say they are - use common sense. Just as you would not get into the car of a stranger in the real world, do not join formations of players you do not know in the game. Take the time to get to know your fellow players before putting your character's life in their hands.

1. Do not block areas for an excessive amount of time to prevent someone else from entering a zone.

This includes, but is not limited to:
* Repeatedly destroying keys so others cannot obtain them
* Sitting in a private or solitary room, or leaving an NPC behind in such a room, to block others from passing for an extended period of time (longer than two hours)

2. Do not interrupt or otherwise interfere with combat between NPCs and players in any way. This rule is waived if the player is in combat with another player and THEN an NPC attacks.

This includes, but is not limited to:
* Casting of beneficial spells upon the NPC (such as healing, sanctuary, etc.)
* "Spooking" the NPC (either through use of fear-generating equipment or spells).
* "Darkening" the room through use of such techniques as a "momentary darkness" spell or a smoke bomb.
* "Calming" a fight that isn't yours
* Causing the room to become anti-magic (either through the use of an item or a spell such as "antimagic sphere")
* Casting any area-affect spells that might hinder the PC in combat.

Healing players who are fighting NPCs is permitted as long as there are no PCs on the opposing side of combat.

Do not engage in or artificially prolong combat in order to avoid being attacked by another party, whether PC or NPC.

3. In cases where there are two or more fights going on in the same room, precedence goes to whoever was there first. Therefore, if you start another fight in a room where combat is already taking place, it is up to you to respect the other player and not do anything that would interfere with their fight. If it means you have to die rather than escaping, so be it.

4. Within Chaotic Playerkilling Zones (CPK), a player who has less than 45 total levels cannot be attacked by another player.

5. Within Neutral Playerkilling Zones (NPK), a player who has less than 25 total levels cannot be attacked by another player.

6. If you enter a PK area in a formation, you may not start PK combat with any member of that formation until you have both left the zone. This includes, but is not limited to, forming with someone, entering a PK zone, and unforming and attacking.

7. Formation members' corpses may not be looted except to return their equipment to them immediately afterwards.

8. NPCs in player formations may not be ordered or caused to attack other players unless the player is already in combat with the player in question. In that case, the NPC should auto assist its master so ordering it to attack is unnecessary.

9. If someone promises not to PK you who is NOT in your formation, and you enter a PK zone and they attack, it is NOT against the rules. Do not go into PK with players you don't trust - tricking people into PK in this manner is not illegal. Entering a PK zone signifies you understand the risks involved in PK.

10. If you do not wish to be summoned by other players against your will, set REFUSE-SUMMON to ON. This does not work for NPC summonings.

Multiplaying

1. You may not have more than one character at a time logged into the game, with the exception of having one character in social mode, and the other in the game world. "Multiplaying" is NOT allowed in Materia Magica. It doesn't matter if you are only actively playing one of the characters, it is still considered multiplaying. This includes dropping link as one character and logging in as another. You are considered still in the game until you log out using the QUIT command or are logged out completely by the system due to idle timeouts. Please note that multiplaying is defined by the number of players at the keys, not just by IP address. Using a "bounce" to multiplay is still illegal.

2. We recognize that with networks and firewalls it is common for multiple players to share the same IP address. If this is the case, please email admin@materiamagica.com with the names of the characters that will be coming from the same IP address, their respective owners, and the nature of the network (school, work, job, coffee shop, etc.) and we will note the information about your network with the characters. If two characters are in two different areas of the game, obviously performing independent functions, there should be no question of multiplaying. However, we do make routine checks to identify possible multiplayers, even on approved networks.

This includes, but is not limited to:
* Using one character to "spy" on another area, then swapping a stronger character out of social when a potential victim becomes available
* Using one character to loot another character's corpse
* Using one character to fight another NPC or PC that the first character was in combat with.

A good rule of thumb is to wait ten minutes between moving characters in and out of social before using them actively in the game.

3. If you are wanting to transfer equipment between characters you own, please make use of the internal MAIL command, the I-MAIL system.

4. Registering Networks - To register your network use the form on https://support.materiamagica.com/ and supply the following information:

* Which people are on the network and the names of all of the characters that they plan to use on the network. (it must be clear which character belongs to whom)
* What kind of network is it? (a home network, a library, a computer lab, etc)
* Is it a permanent network or are some of the players visiting, etc.

You may have one character logged in social mode and one character logged in the normal game world. You may not have more than one character in either location.
ANY use of these characters to help one another is considered cheating.

Naming Policy

Materia Magica upholds a fantasy role-playing environment. Therefore, we ask that the name you choose be medieval or high-fantasy based, in accordance with the genre of the game. Ideally, names will be original to Materia Magica, and the character.

The following rules must be followed when selecting a name:
* Names must not include obscene words or racist slurs, or any combination thereof.
* Names must not violate copyrights of other games or products. (e.g., Pokemon, Gandalf) and cannot be from mainstream sources/popular media (e.g., Patbuchanan, Jesus).
* Names must not attempt to emulate the names of other PCs or NPCs.
Similarly, names cannot be made that are obviously for the purpose of insulting another player (e.g., Darkstarsucks, Killsylvaer, etc.).

Novice Players

1. Do not distract or harass novice players in the Schoolhouse to follow you. The Schoolhouse is where new players learn how to play the game, and this requires concentration; do NOT distract them.

2. Similarly, if a novice turns down your request to form or play together, leave it at that. Do not continue begging or trying to convince them. Most novice players will not know about the IGNORE function nor how to handle unwanted attention.

3. Do not intentionally take low level, novice characters (characters below 60 total levels) into dangerous situations for the sole purpose of getting them killed or lost. Determination of intent is at the discretion of the Administrators and Immortals.

This includes, but is not limited to:
* Leading novice players into PK areas and leaving them there
* Telling novice players to try out an area or fight an NPC you know is too difficult for them
* Inviting people aboard a ship, then kicking them off via the plank once you are at sea
* Misleading novice players in any way, even if it's "just a joke".

Players found guilty of any of the above will be severely punished.

Public Channels

1. Public channels (shout, yell, dream) are for game-related subjects only. Usage of these channels for debates about real-life subjects (including, but not limited to: other games and websites, sports, the amount of lag on the Internet, and most current events) is expressly forbidden. This kind of talk disrupts roleplaying players and hurts the fantasy environment of the game. This also includes using public channels to spout song lyrics and nonsense words.

2. Do not use the public channels to bash or otherwise berate a character. Players who willingly participate in abrasive situations should expect their complaints to be reviewed less stringently than others who are innocently attacked.

3. Profane or abusive language is not tolerated on any of the public channels of the game. This includes "masking" the words by inserting, deleting or substituting characters, spaces, etc. Many people in Materia Magica attempt to roleplay, and activities such as the ones outlined above can disturb the sense of immersion that these type of gamers crave.

4. Do not use color codes to send excessively brilliant multicolored and inverse colored messages over public channels, use them in your player descriptions, or titles. Use of color codes within the game is a privilege and can be revoked. The Administrators and Immortals will make the determination of intent to annoy.

Racism, Sexism, and General Harassment

1. Real-world racism, sexism, and sexual harassment are not tolerated in any shape or form. One of the reasons Materia Magica exists is to allow players to escape real world pressures; these are not welcome here. Respect should be shown for your fellow players at all times.

This means don't use real world racial slurs, phonetic spellings of racial slurs or masked slurs on any channels (this includes clan talk and form talk), as well as says, tells or emotes. It's offensive to others even if you are not personally offended by it.

2. With regard to bigotry, please refrain from comments or speculating on a player's real life sexual orientation or habits, nationality or race, gender, or religion. Offensively referring to someone as any of these classes is strictly prohibited.

3. If a player has you on IGNORE, sending them I-MAIL parchments with messages or logging on another character to harass them is a rule violation.

Scripts and Botting

1. Botting (using robotlike scripts) is illegal. Botting is defined as any activity which your character is performing without the player being awake, at the keys, paying attention to the window, and issuing direct commands through whatever interface you use. This definition of botting includes following another character and being "leveled" without making an attempt to join in on the action, as well as having scripts to perform functions independent of player interaction. We realize there are clients out there that can practically play the game themselves. Don't use them.

The following types of scripts are illegal, regardless of whether your player is actually behind the keyboard:
* Scripts that move you around ("walker" scripts). This does not include the "speedwalking" features built into some clients. Speedwalking is permitted, but please do not dump large amounts of movement commands to the game at once - you will most likely be disconnected.
* Automated combat - for example, scripts that "scan" and move you to fight a certain NPC. Any script that automatically starts combat without interaction from the player is illegal.
* "Spamming" scripts that dump a lot of commands to the game at once.
* Anti-idle scripts. If you aren't playing the game or using the chat rooms, please log off using the QUIT command.
* Any script that controls the character while you are not at the keyboard or paying attention to the game window.

2. You are responsible for your character and any scripts you run using that character. If you have an active script that is poorly written and allows another player to trigger it - thus causing your character to do stupid things - you are at fault. Similarly, if you find a player that has easily-abused triggers, they should be reported to an Immortal or the Administrators via email to admin@materiamagica.com, as soon as possible, and then left alone.

3. Do not engage in any behavior where the primary purpose is to increase skill or spell usage.

Spamming

"Spamming" or flooding of any type will not be permitted.

This includes, but is not limited to:
* Connection spamming (e.g., client autoreconnects that are set to reconnect less than 5 minutes apart, or letting your client autoreconnect unattended)
* Dumping large amounts of commands or text to the game
* Creating new characters with the sole intent to annoy (this will also get your site banned from the game)
* Spamming bids or items on the auction channel
* Spamming doors closed (as they are opened) to inhibit movement of others
* Spamming commands such as KNOCK or BANK TRANSFER, regardless of intent to annoy

Trading Equipment, Characters, and Clans

1. Trading equipment with another character is done at your own risk. Use common sense and don't trade with anyone you don't know or trust. However, players that routinely steal items from others using this method will be dealt with harshly as it is interfering with others' enjoyment of the game. It is advised that you use the AUCTION channel for equipment selling.

2. The Guides may oversee equipment, reward unit, and clan transactions at their discretion and availability to do so. This involves holding the equipment for both parties (if applicable) until both sides agree that the transaction has been made to their satisfaction.

3. Clan trading is allowed with the assistance of the Game Administrators only, with the written agreement of all of the listed Owners of a clan. Unsupervised trades of clans are not permitted. All clan sales/trades must be approved by the Game Administrators before any gold/RU/items change hands. The terms of the trade must be emailed to admin@materiamagica.com by all Owners and the future Owners, for review and approval.

4. Character selling/trading/transfer is NOT allowed under ANY circumstances, even if you are quitting the game and want to give your character to someone else. If a character is discovered to have changed hands (this is usually obvious), the Administrators reserve the right to delete the character.

Character trades are disallowed for several reasons, mainly:
* They confuse issues related to identity - who do I trust? Who do I know?
* Roleplaying is skewed - the identity of the character changes dramatically with no change in physical appearance, as if the character were possessed
* Character trades make it easier for characters to be stolen

Also, please note that unless you have the correct challenge phrase for a character, you don't "own" it. You may not change the challenge phrase on a character without knowing the original phrase, so please do not ask.

It should go without saying, but advertising illegal character trades within the game or on the game message boards is not allowed.

This includes, but is not limited to:
* Putting a "this character is for sale" type message in the character's title or description
* Using public channels to advertise the character is for sale
* Using the in-game chat rooms to advertise the character is for sale
* Sending tells to players in-game to inform them the character is for sale

If you are discovered advertising a character for sale, the character in question will be deleted.

5. Trading in-game items, services, or money for real life items, services, or money, is NOT permitted under any circumstances. However, it is allowable and accepted to make a donation to Materia Magica in someone else's name in exchange for in-game items, services, or money, and have them receive the donation credit.

And finally, if in doubt about specific rules or in an unaddressed instance, ask an Immortal and use common sense.