behavior & discipline
general notices & restrictions
mechanics & posting
✖ Stay in-character! As this is a roleplay game, we ask that you keep your characters as true to their canon self as possible. After all, players who know the canon would much prefer to interact with the character they know and love! While we expect -- and encourage -- a character to grow and perhaps evolve over time in the game, we want it to be plausible with respect to their core character as well as the events they experience.
✖ In Character does not equal Out of Character! This one should be pretty obvious! If a player's character is rude or aggressive towards one of yours, this does not mean the player hates you as a person! Likewise, if you find yourself in disagreement or conflict with another player, you should not use your character to take your displeasure out on theirs! While we hope everyone will be able to get along and be friends, sometimes this may not be possible; however, we can and do expect every member of our playerbase to treat one another with respect and courtesy. Don't be a jerk!
✖ Be nice! At Cape & Cowl we want to foster a welcoming and fun environment for all our players; behavior that runs counter to this ideal, such as posting deliberately offensive material or having a pervasively poor/combative attitude will be frowned upon, and disciplined if and as necessary. Furthermore, while our four communities are our primary jurisdiction, the moderators are responsible for our player's comfort in relation to the game on the whole, and as such we will do our best to resolve conflict between players that arise in chat and elsewhere.
✖ Talk to the moderators! If you have any questions or problems, your friendly neighborhood modstaff is always happy to help! The all-purpose complaints/issues post is located here, with screened comments and IP logging off. All of the current modstaff have contact information listed here if you need to talk to anyone individually. Means for contact include AIM, email, plurk, and private screened inbox posts on dreamwidth. We will always do whatever we can to help as soon as possible. With five mods in total, it can be a little difficult to get everyone's input, so we thank you for your patience with regards to any delay.
✖ Three strikes and you're out! Cape & Cowl works on the classic three chances system, where you get two strikes before you will be banned on the third. You will always be informed personally when you receive a strike. A good way to get a strike is to break any of these rules, and a good way not to get any is to keep a cool head and be polite to your fellow players!
Depending on the severity of the infraction, we may instead assign a smaller punishment, such as a forced hiatus for a short period of time or prohibition from participating in an event. We refer to these as "warnings." During these hiatuses, you are not allowed to post to either community and will have to backdate any interactions once you return. Again, we will always inform a player when they receive any disciplinary action. If a player accrues a number of warnings over their time in game, depending on the severity and frequency these may be categorized as a strike; should this occur, the player will be informed of such at that time.
There is almost no way to be banned without a prior history of warnings/strikes. However, there are a few special cases that earn an immediate ban: lying to the moderators (about identity or conflict with another player), harassing your fellow players, repeatedly failing to follow content restrictions or limitations, or trying to get around a lesser punishment. Once banned from the game, you will not be re-admitted in the future. All bans are permanent.
✖ Everyone is allowed a chance! Cape & Cowl is an equal-opportunity trainwreck, and allows applications from any and all players. Yes, even ones who have a reputation outside of the game for being troublesome. We believe that unless given a chance to prove themselves, no one can grow! However. Depending on the past actions of the player and the moderators' personal discretion, we reserve the right to give a player with a reputation one or two strikes upon entry. All that to say, everybody gets a chance here, but if you've offended too many people in the past you're on thin ice.
general notices & restrictions
✖ Stay active! Activity requirements are fairly relaxed -- in simplest terms, two posts or threads per character per month. If an Activity Check (AC) is failed one month it can be made up for with increased activity the next – however, failing the second chance will get your character autodropped, so it's better to be safe than sorry. For full details on activity rules, read the Activity Guidelines
✖ The game is panfandom! With a few categorized exceptions, most any character is playable! We do not allow applications for original characters, and due to world mechanics we do not allow characters based on or who are themselves analogues of real-world/historical people/places. Because all traces of source canon vanish upon a character's arrival, any single character with an effect on world history is banned. This includes leaders, inventors, and your neighbour from down the street (as well as yourself and your friends, for obvious canonless reasons). There are more details and examples, which can be found in our Applications FAQ!
✖ The character limit is five! That's the most you can play -- at least, before you need mod permission! This limit can be exceeded; if a player with five (or more) characters passes AC with all of those characters without exemption, they are permitted to apply for an extra character or three. We currently have no limit on how many characters can be played from the same canon by one player, though we do ask applicants to use their judgment as to whether the characters in question would be likely to interact. Because that brings us to…
✖ No self-threading! You're here to play with other people, after all! Solo logs and City-verse drabbles are allowed, but in-game interactions should be with other players. Self-threads will not count towards activity and if we catch you doing too many, you may be reprimanded.
✖ No God-moding! This means you are not allowed to control any other player's character without their explicit permission under any circumstance. This also means no orchestrating scenarios that would lock a player into a certain response or course of action without their foreknowledge and consent. If your character is going to do anything that directly affects another, contact that player! We're all pretty friendly, so just clear things with your fellow game members before you (accidentally or otherwise) limit their options.
✖ No Infomodding! Information learned out-of-character cannot be applied in-character. Your character should not know things like how their new acquaintance dies in the Bad End of their source canon just because you do. Nor should your character instantly pick up that some new face on the network is a nefarious bad guy just because they prefer typing to video and you can see their evil twin goatee in icons. By no means should a character know and understand what is going on inside the game without a reasonable basis for that knowledge. All the fun of mystery plots would be ruined! So don't do it.
✖ No Fourth-Walling! That is, unless you have explicit permission to do so from all the affected characters. This means no "hey aren't you Batman?" comments the moment a Bruce Wayne intros, no "beam me up, Scotty" jokes to Captain Kirk, the works. Fourth-walling a character without that player's explicit permission counts as infomodding, which as we've already covered is not allowed. If you're not sure how a player will take it, ask! Some players think it's funny or won't care, others don't want to deal with the ramifications, and some just don't want to be forced to play out the same jokes over and over!
✖ Plot notification is mandatory! If you're running an event in-game that will affect more than a handful of people, you must give at least 24 hours notice before the event starts via an OOC information post. Sure, everyone likes a surprise now and then, but it's no fun to find out about an amazing event after it's too late to participate.
✖ Some in-game actions need moderator approval; get it first! In order to maintain some order to this trainwreck of chaos we call a game, certain in-game actions do require clearance and scheduling with the mod team. Porting a character out of the City for a canon update or adjusting their power set requires clearance on the Update page; any event involving major property damage, significant world-build ramifications, three or more player-characters, and/or the death of any character (yours, someone else's, or even an NPC!) require clearance and scheduling on the Plotting post. If you have something planned for your character but you're not sure you need permission, it is always better to ask!
mechanics & posting
✖ Post to the correct community! It may sound obvious, but In Character posts are to be kept in the Main (capeandcowl) and Logs (capeandcowllogs) communities, while Out of Character posts should go to the OOC (capeandcowlooc) and Spam (goshdarnspam) communities!
The Main community functions as the ImPort Network, which is your average internet social network site; the Logs community is more of a communal prose dumpster, for all those times when characters meet in person to punch one another in the face. The OOC community is where important, need-to-know information is posted that directly affects the game -- character introductions, hiatuses, plot notifications and sign-ups, drops, permission requests, and so forth. The Spam community is for out of character posts that are just for fun, like memes or "who should I app" polls, and is your local source for all things hilarious and idiotic.
If you're ever in doubt which community to use, give each one a glance over!
✖ Tag your entries! When your character is accepted and you post to the Registration // Acceptance Form you will be asked to specify what tag you want them to have. This tag will be created for you in the main community; on the other side, creation of your character tag in the logs community is YOUR responsibility! Main community entries should be tagged for the original poster only -- except in the circumstance of a !joint post, in which case all characters contributing to the body of the top post should be tagged in. For Logs community, every character who participates needs to be tagged in.
Remember, tagging your entries is required, and it helps everyone! The moderators use tags for Activity Check, your castmates use them in trying to catch up, and the folks who just want to check in and watch you play need to know where to look! Additionally, the "given name" field of the tag is visible In Character, as this is the name under which your character's communicator will be registered.
You should also be correctly tagging your posts in OOC as well. They're needed so that players can keep track of who's on hiatus, or see quicker when there's a plot to sign-up for. Tags in the Spam community are a force of nature and have been almost completely given up on, so just… do what you want over there, you can't possibly make things worse.
✖ Use content warnings! If your post contains material unsuitable for children, it must be placed under a cut as well as properly labeled using the Age Restriction function. This applies to any entries containing graphic depictions or descriptions of violence, sexual activity, illicit heavy drug use, and so forth. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you're not sure whether your post classifies, see where it would fit according to the MPAA. If it's the sort of thing that you wouldn't see on basic cable before 8pm, cut it!
Additionally, we do not allow postings of graphic depictions of sexual conduct involving characters physically or mentally below the legal age of consent in New York (17!). Or short form, no underage sex logs. Period! While we all know teenagers can have a drive for sex before they can drive a car, it's nothing that we need to read.
✖ MAIN COMMUNITY: Specify the post/comment type! The default format of messages on the ImPort Network is TEXT. This means that if you don't specify what kind of post your character is making, it will be assumed that the post is in text. More details on posting formats can be found on the Network FAQ.
✖ MAIN COMMUNITY: Posts can be filtered to no more than eight people! Additionally, there is no such thing as a "Villains" filter, or a "known baddies" list, or "America's Most Wanted" lock. If you try using any filter like that, everyone will disregard it, as they don't exist! Again, more details on filters can be found on the Network FAQ.
✖ The game works in real time! This means for that each day that passes in the real world, a day passes within the game. If the current date is February 29th, that's the date in the game's world, too! If you miss an event or post that's date-specific for whatever reason, you're encouraged to back-date or forward-date your character's response. This is done simply by noting on the post or comment that within the game's canon, the interactions going on happened at a specified time – be it three days ago or tomorrow morning!
✖ One post per character per day! Because of the sheer size of the game, we limit characters to one post by the same character per twenty-four hour period. This is to prevent spam (especially during plots) and to encourage players to comment to already existing posts. In specific plot-based circumstances we sometimes allow exceptions to this, but if and only if you discuss the matter with a moderator beforehand. Just think before you post! While this is most heavily enforced in the main community, we ask players limit themselves in the OOC and Spam comms as well, barring two-part posts like Cry Wolf rounds and Dare Memes
(so basically unless you're Elle).
The Logs community is the exception to this rule. You may post as many logs with as many characters as you wish during a given day -- but if the number starts getting obscene, we may request you space it out some.
✖ Watch the OOC community! OOC is where all the major informational entries are posted. This can range from "hey guys it's raining blood this week!" to "by the way, [so-and-so] just blew up two dozen fast-food restaurants!" to "this is your Activity Check, and anyone who fails it is getting kicked out of the game!" -- so it's vitally important that you keep up-to-date!
✖ There are totally rules in the Spam community! One, due to huge numbers of memes that flood the community otherwise, there is currently a one meme per day rule. If there has already been a meme for the day, the mods will probably delete any new ones that get posted. This doesn't mean that we need one meme per day, it's just the maximum!
✖ Lock sharing posts! While we encourage sharing your love for the things you love (as long as it's in Spam!), you must lock your entries to community members. No exceptions!
✖ Keep things kid-friendly! Like the IC communities, we ask that any content (be it textual or visual) that could be considered offensive, inappropriate, violent, pornographic, triggering, or that otherwise might get you in trouble at the office or school library be placed behind a cut and labeled with a warning. If this is not done, moderators will totally delete it without warning! We reserve our judgment as to what material would qualify, but this hasn't been an issue in the past and hopefully will not become one in the future.
✖ Ask the players, not the community! While community discussion is always greatly encouraged, if you have a question or a specific player or small group of players, please contact them individually. The Contact List contains all manner of ways to get in touch with a player, and is viewable to all members of OOC. If you have something to ask or tell a player or small group, contacting them off-comm is a good way to help us cut back on post spam and stay relevant. Likewise, if you have an issue with or question about the game, please use the above Mod Contact post or the FAQ instead of asking the community at large.