Consent is a very important concept to understand when playing on The Lady's Cage MUSH. Fundamentally, the basic principle is this - no one may harm your character without your OOC approval.
The Lady's Cage is not a judged MUSH. Unless all parties involved in a conflict request a staff member's moderation, staff will not arbitrate, judge, or otherwise interfere with a conflict. Players are responsible for sorting out their own combats, contests, and other forms of interaction.
While players always have the right to refuse harm to their characters, repeated and unwarranted exercising of this right can result in ostracism from other players. In the same spirit of consent, it is perfectly acceptable to totally ignore a character you find to be twinkish or unreasonable. Those who repeatedly refuse to cooperate with others will soon find themselves ignored by others.
Conflict is an inevitable part of MUSHing, and can provide a great deal of enjoyment for all involved if handled in the proper manner. Below are the general guidelines for handling several forms of conflict situations.
The first thing to do before posing any form of attack is for the attacker to page the defender with his intentions. Something along the lines of "My character is angry about that insult, and is going to throw a punch at you. I don't want to kill you, just give you a beating." generally suffices. The attacker should always note what his desired end result is; the killing blow isn't the time to inform the defender that you were trying to kill him.
The defender then decides whether or not to play along. Unless the attack is spurious or nonsensical, the defender should usually cooperate. The end stakes - death, maiming, injury, etcetera- should also be agreed upon. These stakes should match the degree of the IC quarrel. Trying to kill someone for looking at you oddly is twinkish. Trying to kill them for murdering your lover is more reasonable.
The attacker and defender then pose the fight; both must agree on the resolution. When posing a blow, the attacker should never pose the result in advance. The defender poses the result of any attack. For example: "Joe swings at Earl, hacking off his arm." is unacceptable. "Joe swings at Earl, trying to hack off his arm." is the proper form, with Earl perhaps posing "Earl dives to the side, Joe's axe gashing open his forearm." depending on the success of the attack. Attacker and defender trade poses this way until the fight is over.
Plotting against another character is a tricky business. You can't tell them everything about what you're doing, usually, but you have to get consent to do them any injury. There are a few things you can do to make intrigue come off successfully, however.
First, don't be too stingy with your information. If you're plotting to outright kill another player, they deserve to have the full plan so that they can decide whether or not it's reasonable and effective enough to make them lose their character. If you refuse to explain how a dozen baatezu assassins got into their bathroom, they have every right to non-consent it.
Second, build your plans around players, and not your intangible resources. While you may be justified in being able to set a pack of NPC gangsters against another PC, it generally won't get as much cooperation as setting a pack of PC characters against them. Players usually feel a great deal more inclination to cooperate when it's six people working against them than one person and a number of faceless NPCs.
Third, be willing to compromise. As with everything in a consent-based environment, you have to be ready to talk things over with your victim, and perhaps modify your end result to get their approval. If your ultimate desire is to get revenge on someone, for example, it doesn't have to be a murderous vengeance. Perhaps humiliation would be more satisfying- and be far easier to get consent for.
Magic is a sticky thing, consent-wise. Descrpitions of spells and effects can have a rather broad degree of interpretation. Still, the basic method of conflict resolution still works to iron out most problems.
When about to cast a spell against another player, the caster should first page them and inform them of their intentions, just like with combat. Then the caster and the victim hash out specifics, such as what exactly is intended. Then, after matters are agreed, the caster poses casting the cantrip.
The key thing to remember is to work things out before casting the spell.
Talk to the other player. Tell them what you want to do to them. Get their consent to the possibility. Resolve the conflict by mutual agreement.
(Our apologies to the Dreaming MUSH, from whom we borrowed this excellent description of the system)
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