Character Policy

Character Types

On Common Descent MUSH, there are three character types: Feature Characters (FCs), Villain Feature Characters (VFCs), and Original Characters (OCs).

Feature Characters (FCs)

An FC is a character that originally appeared in a comic medium or related work. These characters are the intellectual property of the comic company who produced them, but this is a fan-based work. We ask that players respect the spirit of these characters and relevant “pre-game” background, but their canonical history or even the full height of their powers within the comics might not be valid within the context of the game’s theme.

Please be understanding if a member of the App Staff asks you to adjust parts of your application.

Additionally, while preferred, incoming players are not required to incorporate past RP into their backgrounds when they claim FCs who have already appeared on the game. If desired, after skimming over past RP, they are allowed to adjust as necessary and any severed storylines related to that character should be adapted accordingly or let go. This is to allow new players to, as needed, adjust characters to fit a new vision. This is particularly important as many characters have conflicting or multiple origin stories in the source material, or multiple interpretations, or things that happened in past RP might be undesired by a new player. We ask that affected players please be understanding when these things happen and, in case of conflict or questions, please feel free to ask for help from a member of staff!

Villain Feature Characters (VFCs)

VFCs are a special type of Feature Character whose primary motivation is to cause trouble for the hero population at Common Descent MUSH, or who do so unintentionally in the course of pursuing their goals.

By nature, VFCs can often be very hard to play in normal, non-confrontational RP. They also tend to be the targets of “hero rushes," where numerous heroes will gang up on a single villain character.

They are also, without argument, part of the lifeblood of the conflicts and struggles here at Common Descent MUSH. They help give heroes a reason to bear the name.

As such, VFCs have a more lenient activity standard than normal Feature Characters, and will often be granted more powerful abilities and/or resources.

We ask that players remember that—no matter how horrible the villain — there is another player behind the keys. IC banter is fine, but please remember to not constantly bash these vital resources in your OOC or IC!

Original Character (OCs)

As opposed to FCs and VFCs, OCs are the property of their creators. As such, they should be readily distinct from characters in canon sources. If it's close enough that App Staff can catch it, it's too close.

OCs go through the same chargen process and are given the same opportunities as FCs, but are typically not reopened if the player chooses to leave the game. Out of deference to the players who created them, these characters are retired or written out off-screen unless specifically bequeathed to the game.

Requesting an FC or VFC

Open Characters

Requesting a character that isn’t presently claimed is easy! Please use the +char system (+help +char) to request the character, using +char/new or +char/request depending on whether the character is already created on the game. If you are a guest, please page an on-duty member of staff for assistance.

Please make sure all your existing alts have at least one posted log before requesting a new alt.

Played Characters

If you want an FC/VFC that is currently played, please use the +char/reserve functionality in the +char system (+help +char) to indicate your interest in them.

The first week of every month, staff will review the list of +reserved characters and compare it against those characters’ posted logs on the game wiki for the last calendar month. (In June, for example, we will look at May as it is the last completed month.)

  • Priority on +reserves will be first-come, first-served, excluding those who do not meet the activity requirements on their existing characters.
  • You may not place a +reserve if you are currently on your two-week alt cooldown.
  • Once that cooldown ends, you need to have at least one posted log on your new alt before you can place a +reserve. You cannot place +reserves if any of your existing alts are sitting at 0 logs.
  • You may not place a reserve within six months of losing a character for inactivity.

Activity Requirements

Activity Standards

Every six months, the character staff at CDMUSH will review the entire list of played characters for their documented activity. Those who are not in compliance will be reopened, unless they have an active vacation waiver or applicable veteran benefit as described below.

The requirements are as follows:

FCs: 1 log per calendar month. Log in at least once every 30 days.
VFCs: 2 logs per quarter. Log in at least once every 45 days.
OCs: No log requirements. Login at least once every 90 days.

Players who do not log into the game at all, for longer than the above-listed idle-out periods, are subject to being opened.

A calendar month indicates the period from the first of the month, to the last day of the month. Sweeps will be conducted in the first week of June and December.

Cutscenes are not counted towards the activity timer. Scenes in which a player provides NPCs or GMs for others, however, may be tagged to the character of their choice to count towards their activity.

The only date that is used for consideration in activity documentation is the Last Posted Activity date, as found below the character profile boxes on the right side of each character page. This date is pulled automatically from each character's most recently posted log and is not editable by players or staff.

Pro Tip: The list of +reserved characters is publicly visible with +reserve. Check regularly to be aware if there is a +reserve on your character. At the end of each month, make sure that your character has at least one log posted on the wiki!

New Alt Deadlines

Newly claimed characters and applicants have an additional set of deadlines to observe in order to keep people from claiming characters and then doing nothing with them.

Applicants in chargen: have two weeks after being granted a character bit to complete their application. If revisions are requested, a player has one week to ask any questions or make the requested changes for each response.

Newly approved characters: If you intend to request another alt after your cooldown is over, please make certain your newly acquired alt has at least one log posted first.

If these deadlines are not met, staff reserves the right to reopen the character without warning.

Character Veteran Benefit

Staff desires to keep established players in their characters when possible, to reduce the friction that comes of changes in character narrative and the impact that such changes can inflict on other players.

Therefore, for those players who have (1) held the character six months or more, (2) have more than six logs in those six months, AND (3) have been logged into the game in the last 14 days, staff will send an @mail to the current character’s player when in violation, offering a week to come into compliance. This offers players the chance to post any game writing that has not yet been posted, and verify that all their posted logs are tagged correctly.

If the veteran player has not brought the character into compliance by the end of the allotted grace week, the character will be verified as idle and the character will be opened (or granted to the new player in the case of a +reserve).

This veteran benefit can be lost. If a player is warned (and comes into compliance) twice, the character will not receive a third warning. The character will be revoked at the third offense, and opened or granted to the reserving player.

Vacation Waivers

Players who are in good standing at the time of their +request may +request a vacation waiver and then post to the Vacations board. The standard maximum vacation period—unless a special determination is made by staff for extenuating life circumstances—is 30 days. +requests and idle determinations will not be processed during this period, and the log requirement for that month will be waived entirely.

Note: If a player’s characters are not in compliance at the time of vacation request, staff will notify the player that the character will not be opened unless specifically +requested by another player. (For players with multiple characters, this may affect one alt, but not another.)

Idle Characters

When verified Idle,

FCs and VFCs will be wiped and @newpassworded, the character’s wiki page will be changed to indicate the opening, and the status change will be announced on the Character board.

OCs will be @nuked, any pictures outside of the main profile pic will on the wiki will be deleted, and their wiki page will be tagged as retired if there are 3 or more logs on that link to it. Wiki pages for OCs with fewer than three logs will be deleted.

Alt Policy

A player must, at the time of chargen, declare any held alts. This is done by registering the same email address with each of your alts, as part of +chargen. If you've forgotten your registered email, it is listed in the +alts command on each of your approved alts. Any attempt to deceive staff about how many characters are held will be immediate grounds for an official warning.

To hold multiple characters at Common Descent MUSH, a player must be able to consistently meet the individual activity requirements of the characters they already have. There are no scaling or changing activity requirements depending on how many characters you hold.

The only restriction is on how many characters a player may control. As characters drawn from known properties are a common entry point for new players, and open characters can help draw them in, a player may hold up to four non-OC characters at any one time (either FC or VFC). If a player wishes to pick up a new FC/VFC after that, they will need to drop one of the ones that they control.

In order to request an alt, please use the +char system, found on the game through +help +char

Cooldown Periods

New Alts

A player may request a new alt every two weeks, so long as all other alts are in activity compliance. The two-week cooldown is only triggered whenever you get a new alt approved; therefore, it is possible to switch for another character mid-chargen. Placing a successful +reserve also does not trigger the cooldown — you're simply not allowed to place one if you're already in the midst of your two-week wait. You also may not request/reserve a new alt if any of your existing alts have NO logs posted yet. Staff reserves the right to restrict this privilege if they observe an individual chronically switching or adding alts.

In order to request an alt, please use the +char system, found on the game through +help +char

Reclaiming an FC or VFC

If the character is still open and any other alts are in activity compliance, a player may reclaim their FC or VFC after 30 days have passed.

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