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So, I stumbled across a rather funny ban on a site during an advertising spree, and I was wondering if anyone else had come across something similar.

 

The site in question is a Fanon site, with one popular role swapping actors through the years. So now that Canon has accepted yet another new actor, the site in question has banned all previous actors of the character itself, from the site as a whole. They aren't even down with letting someone use that actor for an Original Character or anything. This struck me as odd, and just one I haven't seen before.

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Guest Archaic Cyborg

Disabilities was one ban I've seen, then there's the sadly popular 'no bis / gays', and no anthros allowed as.. anthros. Aka forced personification 'because otherwise it makes other players uncomfortable'. Wtf, mate.

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I can sort of understand why certain disabilities might be banned in some settings. Like if the story is set in the future where they've made significant strides in technology so that many simply don't exist. (Lost use of legs? a chip will reconnect the nerves. Lost legs entirely? How about some brand new cybernetic ones? Or, like a certain game antagonist would say... Nanomachines!) 

Or in ancient Greek based games where eugenics were very much a thing. (Character can't walk? they would very likely have been left to the wolves.)

In those cases it's likely not meant to be rude or insensitive or whatever so much as just to stop people from breaking setting or importing values that don't fit. (To use the ancient Greek example, back then people probably didn't see anything wrong with letting disabled die. Which, to us in modern times, would be barbaric. But back then not so much.)

 

That or they've just had too many people tack disabilities on to make characters special without actually doing any research and thus portraying them poorly. I could easily see that happening too.

 

As for weirdest bans I've seen... I actually can't say I've seen any that were that strange to me (and didn't make at least some sense) that I remember. (I've seen tons of games, but I don't remember many details from most of them.)

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"There are three sides to every story... Your side, their side, and then somewhere in the middle is the truth."
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The weirdest one off the top of my head that I've seen mostly on real life generic city sites is a moratorium on Asians. A few of these sites have the argument of ratios that real life city x only has a certain population of Asians. Yet, I've seen this on fictitious cities too. The argument on that one seemed to be that a few members had taken a liking to K-Pop playbys, so the last several characters were Korean and thus no more Asians. Apparently if I wanted to play an Indian I'm screwed. I can get that getting so many Korean characters in such a short span of time can be off-putting, but to putting not only a moratorium, but a moratorium on an entire continent seemed rather excessive.

 

In one case, I know a friend who was on one of these sites and the moratorium came after he and an admin created Asian characters. The official rule was that it was a real life city. The real reason was that the admin wanted to be a special snowflake and didn't like my friend. Long after my friend left, taking some Asian characters with him, the rule is still in place. It's been in place for years.

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On Monday, 16 May 2016 at 10:03 PM, Blackjack Bart said:

and no anthros allowed as.. anthros. Aka forced personification 'because otherwise it makes other players uncomfortable'. Wtf, mate.

Gah yes, personification of species that look nothing like humans. For example, Elder Scrolls, where your Argonian has to be represented by a real person. Talk about atmosphere killer when you're RPing with an Argonian whose avatar is Hugh Jackman, or something. :P

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I can't remember any really off the wall bans in the groups I've come across, but have been called out on for a few 'limitations' in the games I have run. Were these 'rules' really that off and/or stifling?

1) Play-bys, if used at all, should at least look like the approximate age of the character. As game owner, I was not happy to see a 15-year old character being represented by an obviously late 20-something actor/actress. Many times, the age discrepancy was even more egregious.

 

2) Magical ability will match the age/experience of the character. Orphans who grew up the streets with never any instruction in anything could not be masters of the most archaic and unknown magic imaginable.

 

3) Disabilities will be portrayed realistically. Losing an eye and an arm means your Quidditch playing skills need a reassessment that lasts longer than a week-end.

 

4) In game discrimination and prejudice are very real with very real consequences. Telling me your character is 'racist' but is 'very friendly and nice about it' should not win your character acclaim from the very groups s/he is prejudiced against. Prejudice is prejudice. And yes, I do appreciate there are degrees of prejudice and various ways of expressing or even hiding it. Not every racist character froths at the mouth with racial epithets. Some are more insidious, as in real life.

 

There are probably other examples, too, such as limiting the number of Animagi (wizards who can elect to change their form into an animal form), as canon states this is a difficult sill to master and a very rare ability. My games asked for a good reason why characters would have this unusual talent. Answering 'for giggles' or 'just because' are not valid reasons.

 

In short, I wanted to maintain a semblance of in-game continuity and realistic characters for that world. This was always stated in the group descriptions and applications as well as in welcome messages when anyone new expressed interest in joining and asked what kinds of characters were sought/needed. Those who sought to drastically change the setting, i.e. 'there is no coming war',  screamed the loudest about me being 'controlling'. And yet, everywhere I look, I see very similar if not far more stringent rules and expectations in other games. At times, I don't know what to think. In the end, I think, trying to please everyone, pleased no one. Least of all, me.

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Guest Archaic Cyborg
On 18/05/2016 at 8:03 AM, slytherinwitch said:

I

There are probably other examples, too, such as limiting the number of Animagi (wizards who can elect to change their form into an animal form), as canon states this is a difficult sill to master and a very rare ability. My games asked for a good reason why characters would have this unusual talent. Answering 'for giggles' or 'just because' are not valid reasons.

 

 

 

I am familiar with most of what you said, despite never playing or running a HP board- that said, I've bolded the part that stood out to me.

 

One of the quickest ways to have your special snowflake 'rejected', is to answer a serious question with nonsense. It's not cute, it's not amusing. It just tells me that the player hasn't really thought about it, it was a last-second creation idea, and/or 'eh, I might use it appropriately.. but probably won't.'. 

 

There are certain character traits and skills that need a significant backstory behind it, before it can be accepted, and for good reason! Whether a race is near-extinct, or how a young character learned a difficult trade or power, or ________. >( We staff need details. Serious business.

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On 18.5.2016 at 1:33 AM, slytherinwitch said:

There are probably other examples, too, such as limiting the number of Animagi (wizards who can elect to change their form into an animal form), as canon states this is a difficult sill to master and a very rare ability. My games asked for a good reason why characters would have this unusual talent. Answering 'for giggles' or 'just because' are not valid reasons.


That limitation while not particularly strange, in my view is not actually necessary either. To my understanding it's not rare as an ability but every single witch or a wizard has the form inside them and thus the potential to become an Animagus. But it indeed is a very difficult skill to learn and the process is kind of dangerous what with the extreme body modification that happens. That is, it's not something any sane person would start practicing just for the fun of transforming into an animal - they would surely need to have some sort of need-driven motivation. And it's not a skill just any young person can successfully learn, as it requires high skill and not everyone is on that level when they're young - if ever reaching such level.
So, I personally am not limiting the number of Animagi in my RPG - I'm simply controlling when can a person succeed in becoming one - as in making sure that any character who's mentioned to be an Animagus in the application or intended to become one later, also mentions or otherwise makes apparent a valid reason for why they wanted to practice that very difficult skill and is established as a highly skilled individual before they learned it.

Edited by Kieran
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2 hours ago, Kieran said:

 And it's not a skill just any young person can successfully learn, as it requires high skill and not everyone is on that level when they're young - if ever reaching such level.
So, I personally am not limiting the number of Animagi in my RPG - I'm simply controlling when can a person succeed in becoming one - as in making sure that any character who's mentioned to be an Animagus in the application or intended to become one later, also mentions or otherwise makes apparent a valid reason for why they wanted to practice that very difficult skill and is established as a highly skilled individual before they learned it.

  This is actually how I tried to approach it, too. At no point did I ever issue an edict saying, 'we've got 5 Animagi now, we can't have anymore.' What I did was ask for a back story that would allow it or a commitment from a proven player to show the difficult process of attaining this skill. My motivation was to avoid seeing a compartment full of 3rd or 4th years with no training whatsoever other than vague mentions of spending a few week-ends with 'cousin Bob' or whatnot being full masters of the skill and using it for giggles and bragging rights.

 

I guess my peeve with the whole thing is that asking for back stories showing ability or drive got me black-listed as being 'too controlling'. I see a need for placing these restrictions or rather even guidelines as often the suggestions led to better characters and actual stories.

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On 5/17/2016 at 6:33 PM, slytherinwitch said:

I can't remember any really off the wall bans in the groups I've come across, but have been called out on for a few 'limitations' in the games I have run. Were these 'rules' really that off and/or stifling?

 

As someone who is really picky about rules and tends to err on the side of having as little as possible, I find everything you listed to be perfectly reasonable! Half of that stuff shouldn't even need to be written out, but alas... common sense isn't all that common nowadays.

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15 minutes ago, hades said:

As someone who is really picky about rules and tends to err on the side of having as little as possible, I find everything you listed to be perfectly reasonable! Half of that stuff shouldn't even need to be written out, but alas... common sense isn't all that common nowadays.

Indeed. I have a theory that rules pages grow in size because staff have to cover their ass. Although most of it is common sense, alwas bound to get that guest who says 'but it's not in the rules!'. Sorry for straying from topic but had to say it. :D

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/27/2016 at 3:57 PM, Honorem said:

Indeed. I have a theory that rules pages grow in size because staff have to cover their ass. Although most of it is common sense, alwas bound to get that guest who says 'but it's not in the rules!'. Sorry for straying from topic but had to say it. :D

 

I once had a Rules page that went well into a second post because as staff we had to articulate silly things such as exactly where Powerplaying and Godmodding began/ended. And "yes even though we're an anime board; if your character is based on xyz you can't just pull whatever you want from series qpt" explanations.

 

.....And then guests/potential members complained about there being "so much to read" and we were being to harsh of sticklers for "stupid" things.

Edited by CovertSphinx
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Yeah, our rules have gotten quite long just so we can cover our asses with tiny, stupid things we've had people try to get away with. Which includes, but is not limited to, stupid names.

 

When you have werewolves and fae and things that aren't known to the public they aren't going to use the name Werewolf McWolfface (and we had someone want to use similar.) We've also had someone try to use a catch phrase as a name claiming they "liked the show so much they changed their name." 

 

I actually consider this rule "stupid" but given the number of people that have tried to utilize ridiculous names it became a necessity to maintain some semblance of realism.

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Guest Archaic Cyborg

@Honorem, @CovertSphinx, @Rune; I remember the days when my first rpgs had tl;dr rules, and all because guests pulled the 'but it wasn't in the rules :T' BS card and so forth! Guests submitted the stupidest character profiles' absurd names, skills, personalities.. it wasn't a mere matter of 'meh, could do better.' It would get the character killed in .10 seconds, or outed, or _____. It was like apping as a spy who would tell the enemy that they're a spy. Or, like @Rune said, 'Wolfie McWolf'. My particular favourite was a female soldier who joined the enemy's military force... and insisted she wore a fucking kimono, used fans for weapons, wore high heels(!?) and had all this jewelry. Realistic, not. I wish it had been a troll; the outcome would have been funnier!

 

Sadly, common sense isn't all that common these days. You have to spell everything out. I can't be fucked doing much of that anymore; if someone wants to know what godmodding involves, I'd be willing to offer an example if the guest isn't rude about it. Otherwise, people can Google, people can use their brains. =D Other adults can't be that thick and helpless; everyone should know what appropriate behaviour entails, what spam is, what 'do not advertise outside of ads' means.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think there was only been twice that the bans on sites threw me.

The first one being that the entire site had a ban on male characters. 0_o I had been interested in joining the site up until that point. Though I play bother genders I don't want to be limited. I like variety. This particular site didn't even have a huge influx of men so it was hard to wrap my mind around.

The second was when I saw a ban on gay characters. For obvious reasons that didn't sit well with me and I just passed on by.

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