Last updated: October 23, 2020
First and foremost, the World of Arleah is a Roleplaying Server, and while the DM’s are loathe to impose a horde of do’s and don’ts on its players, it is necessary to list a few. These are listed here so that everyone is clear on what one can and what one cannot do, thereby taking away the excuse that one did not know that it was wrong.
Firstly, it is always worth starting with common sense. If you think it might be wrong to do what you’re doing, it probably is. If you think something is too good to be true, it probably is. If you ever doubt something, double check with a DM; it is far better to make us aware of something that may not be an issue than to be found in the midst of something we consider an abusive exploit and awaiting a verdict while we discuss it. This sort of common sense respects a fair ground for all players. We can't predict every extremely specific way in which a player may gain an unfair advantage over other players or disrupt other players, so please, adhere to the spirit of the rules rather than the letter of the law. This is a very broad ‘rule’, more specifics will be listed below.
If you ARE found doing something or other that you shouldn't be doing, any punishment given will vary completely based on the situation. It may be something from a slap on the wrist and a warning to an outright server ban. I won't list specific punishments that will be given for any rule, as everything is situational. In every circumstance we will try and make any punishment as fair and as fitting as possible.
Grudges, gossip, and toxic rants are severely frowned upon. Please see the Requests & Contact Info section for proper procedures regarding issues with other players and issues with DMs. We want to encourage a healthy atmosphere for all players; Arleah is a temporary reprieve from real life stress, not a dumpster for players to take their bad day out on others.
DMs have the final say, do not get disrespectful or argue in a demeaning way. They often are dealing with a lot at once, sit tight and let them finish up what they need to finish up, and simply go by their judgment in the meantime. It'll work out better for everyone in the end.
If you happen to have a problem with a DM or what a DM is doing, please feel free to approach them calmly and respectfully about it. If you are hesitant to do so, please send a message to the administrative team either through the forums or at ArleahAdmin@gmail.com.
Remember that DMs are players too, and they're also DMs out of their own free will, using their own time and energy, to try and make this a better place for you to play. Send them a thank you from time to time, it'll make them feel warm and fuzzy.
But because they are players too, sometimes they just want to play and enjoy the world, just like anyone else. Unless a specific DM says otherwise, please don't try and contact them in game while they're trying to play. Some don't mind, but for most it's a pain to have to deal with these things while they're just trying to enjoy themselves.
No Metagaming. Metagaming is defined as using information that you have OOCly to help you ICly. For example, you read on the forum about someone talking about their vampire, Bob, and you run across Bob in game, which appears to be a totally normal person; your character does not know that Bob is a vampire, and without any in character clues to have figured this out, you would not have any idea that he is what he is. This also includes logging off if one of your characters gets killed and logging on as another, more powerful character, then killing the one that killed you. This is bad as well as unfair to others. Don’t do it.
No Powergaming. Powergaming is defined as trying to get the highest level and the best equipment you can with little to no RP at all, and little to no regard for other players. For example, hogging an area to continually kill the monsters and not letting others participate. This is also unfair to others. Do not do it.
Don't drag a low level around with a high level character without a good amount of RP going on. This does not exclude dual logging accounts. For example, a mage taking out an apprentice to the ice slaadi and describing in great detail how his newly dominated ice slaadi can be buffed up and turned against its enemies, while simultaneously having his apprentice practice some simpler mind spells on the remaining slaadi is fine (and a fun RP experience to boot). Just remember that there's a limit on how much this is sensible.
Players may not use their characters to mechanically aid their own alternate characters. No item swapping, no gold trading, no leveling with your own characters in the same party/area, no buffing your own characters. This is especially tempting for players who operate multiple clients of the game at once, but it applies to things as simple as dropping items and picking them up after switching characters, or asking someone else to hold items for you. We don't enjoy having these sorts of "don't do this or you will be punished" rules, however, know that we track this behavior and you will lose experience points or other consequences appropriate to the gains made by this category of power playing. Multi-clienting is permitted for tasteful and well established roleplay, not for minmaxing a main or new character.
If you choose for your character to have a roleplayed power or ability that the game engine does not support - strong sense of smell, mind reading, etc - please check with a DM to make sure this is acceptable. Even if a DM gives that power a nod of approval, this is not set-in-stone precedent or carte blanche to force this power upon other players or DMs in all situations. Ultimately, these are categorized as an expression of player creativity, NOT as a primary problem-solving tool or deus ex machina. A DM will always be willing to discuss the impact of your extended roleplay powers (or lack of impact), but you must respect when another player or a DM doesn’t play along.
Players on Arleah have always been given a lot of leeway to creatively explain most of the custom content added with the PRC pack. We have renamed most of the Forgotten Realms references to suit our homebrewed setting (as an example, Morninglord of Lathander has been directly renamed to Morninglord of Charys). Despite this automated mass renaming, the same leeway for creativity now applies in reverse; a Shining Blade of Hirath does not require the character to worship Hirath, if another deity would suit (a lawful good Telanite would be a great fit here). This sort of leeway is not only acceptable, it is encouraged; within reason. As another example, if you take Deformity(Madness) for the sweet permanent immunity to mind-affecting spells, you will be expected to roleplay being legitimately insane in some significant capacity - a 'creative explanation' of why you have a feat of that caliber without the roleplayed side-effects will be frowned upon and may result in action taken against your character.
While a DM isn't always on hand to provide reactions for NPCs, NPCs are still 'there'. Don't murder someone in the middle of Arleah just because none of the NPCs will try and stop you without DM intervention (or worse yet, SPECIFICALLY because DM intervention is unavailable and you can get away with it). They are ALWAYS part of the world. Act sensibly when there are no DMs around, and if you plan to do something that strongly warrants or requires NPC reaction, please brief a DM (provided they have free time). Stretching the non-reaction of an NPC due to a lack of DM presence is a serious offense.
Exploiting known bugs: This includes any known or unknown bugs that will further aid your character. An old example of this: if you place a campfire down in front of a monster, the AI will not have the monster go around to get to you. It will stay there, allowing you to get away or kill it at your leisure. If you discover a bug that can be exploited you need to alert a DM immediately so we can fix it.
Don't mistake ease of exploitation for design intent. If you find a loop that lets you generate infinite amounts of money just by running items around doesn't mean that it isn't an exploit, and it will still get you in trouble.
There should NEVER be ANY non-consensual OOC Player vs Player combat. If you want to kill a character for an IN CHARACTER reason, that’s fine, Character vs. Character fighting is alright.
PKing is defined when the player who was killed has no idea whatsoever why they were attacked and can’t even begin to guess. Something as simple as “you will now die for hurting my feelings” is fine, as long as there is RP to support the kill.
While you are never required to provide an OOC raise, it is a recommended courtesy if the player in question was killed by overwhelming odds (I.E. 5v1, or a level 30 killing a level 10) unless the individual was the instigator.
Respect death. That's not a rule, that's a request. Your characters are still feeling pain, and death, while temporary here, is FAR from a pleasant experience. Please keep that in mind as these situations arise. Romx is an integral part of our setting, the sorts of things the NPCs there spew at you are not optional; once you are sent back from Romx, your character won’t remember the last few minutes leading up to their death, etc.
If you have a dispute over any PvP related event, make absolutely sure that you follow through with an official complaint procedures as defined in the first section of the rules. We want to avoid 'he said, she said' situations, and screenshots generally provide definitive proof.
Party and OOC Chat
Keep party chat to a minimum, as it shows up in a DM's chat box and can quickly grow irritating when mixed in with everything else. Party chat should only be used when discussing something with a party that you’re near to the members of your party (for example, calling through a closed door or across an area transition). If you are seen using the party channel as an OOC party and a DM asks you to stop, please do so, as it can often spam a DM's chat window. We have a Discord channel set up for real time Arleah related discussion.
OOC chat is fine. This is a game, after all, and sometimes you'd like to just talk with your friends. However, please do it in a more private place, if you suddenly start talking about the latest Jets game on the plateau, you're going to be irking people.
Multiguilding is permitted. Each guild generally has one very powerful signature item with a custom script; while we no longer prohibit utilizing multiple different guild items, we reserve the right to lay down the law on any character who seems to be joining guilds specifically to gain multiple powerful items.
Individual guilds will likely have their own IC restrictions on multiguilding; the Enclave of Arcane Light might not wish their members to join the Dark Magics Guild, as an example. These restrictions are IC only; guilds are not to restrict 'double agents' on an OOC level.
Houses may be used by multiple characters owned by the same player only if it makes complete and utter IC sense. Item swapping rules still apply in these cases; if a personal home is used to easily transfer items between characters, expect to have a meteor fall on your house.
Under normal circumstances, players are not to exceed 1 house owned per character.
We are happy to import player-built custom houses for your characters within reason. See the roleplay token page for more information.
Gods are divine beings of immense power, that rarely, if ever, manifest themselves. If for any reason you DO see a god... please realize this. Don't say "Oh look, there's a deity, whoopdy-doo." Don't just shrug and turn your back. It's a god, and even the most fearless of characters is going to have SOME sense of awe.
Use common sense when handing out gifts, and make them appropriate to the recipient's level of power. Any low level characters shouldn't receive anything worth more than what makes sense for their level. Outfitting a level 1 character with a +5 keen sword of uberdeath™ with invincible armor is a bad thing to any degree.
Permission Based Feats
Dev Crit will be restricted to weapons wielded with two hands. These will not include dual weapons such as Double Axe or Two Bladed Swords. We’ve tweaked this to include the short races; a halfling with 50 strength holding a longsword with two hands is now just as viable as a human with 50 strength holding a greatsword with two hands. Large sized creatures will simply need Large sized weapons, as no Huge weapons exist. 18-20 crit range weapons will be denied.
Dev Crit is entirely permission based from the administrative team only. Outline your request including which character and why you wish to have Dev Crit. If you are found with this feat without the administrative team's permission, you will lose the character. This is not open to argument.
Spellfire Wielder is, even without levels in the Spellfire Channeler class, an extremely powerful 1st Level only feat. This feat is entirely permission based from the administrative team only. Outline your request including why this feat makes sense for your character as well as entire planned character build. This is a 'background feat' and will be treated as such; established characters need not apply. Self-imposed roleplayed penalties for this feat are a plus, if you plan to be roleplaying a character flaw/penalty that is a result of this condition, please include it in your writeup.
We have no overarching minimum level per class rule. However, abusive builds and non-sensible classes will not fly and we will ask you to rebuild if you are not representing them.
We now require that any character with levels in Monk must plan to take at LEAST twenty levels of Monk by level 40. This does not include monk-like prestige classes and there will be no exceptions. This is to draw attention away from Monk as powerbuild filler and reinforce the flavor of Monk. We are down for kung-fu masters just as much as spiritualist enlightenment seekers and similar, but we’re not okay with some random jerk with kamas running around with 337 attacks per round and no roleplay to back it up.
Subraces / LETO Edits
Arleah now utilizes many races provided by the PRC as well as some of our own homebrewed races. Please see the associated forum post for information on what subraces are free to make, which races require permission, etc. Roleplaying your character as a non-standard race without following this system will likely result in the loss of your character. Subraces of the standard races that are not covered in the subrace post are generally fine; when in doubt, ask a DM.
'Children' characters can be altered to a child appearance regardless of race, it is recommended that you make children characters with the proper race and have them edited to the 'halfling' (human/elf child) or 'elf' (human teenager) appearance afterwards.
Aesthetic LETO edits are acceptable if they make roleplay sense. Ask a DM or administrator if you have a roleplay concept that can only be implemented by character editing.
Adult Conduct Rules
Before doing ANYTHING vaguely adult oriented, you should ask the permission of the other player, and check they are of legal age.
Now, this is the central rule on this matter: An OOC “No” is final. No debates, no whining, no claims of “No means yes”. If another player says no OOC, the matter is final. Adult/sexual roleplay is not something you have to take part in, it’s something you choose to take part in. No player NOR DM can force you OOC in any shape or way, and that is utterly final.
If you say no OOC, and the other player continues, you are free to ignore any action they take ingame (you can walk away even if bound, you do not have to test strength if he grabs hold of you). In fact, this is possibly the ONLY situation where you can "legally" log off from a confrontation.
If you find yourself sexually harassed (i.e. a player does not take a no for a no), you should take it to a DM right away with log, screenshot, and all. The offender will receive a warning at the very least, a server ban at worst. This is not something that we're going to mess around with.
Keep it private. I don't mind, and I'm sure no one minds, people doing what they want "behind closed doors", so to speak. Anything remotely graphic, however, should be kept behind those doors. Younger people play here, and the last thing we want is an upset parent thinking this is a horribly depraved place for their child to play in. Non-lockpickable specifically keyed doors are recommended for any and all adult roleplay.
Basically, this is a PG-13 server, if you want to do anything beyond that, please check the RL ages of those involved and keep it private.
THE WORLD OF ARLEAH IS UNIQUE AND SEPARATE FROM FAERUN OR OTHER D&D PLANES - this means that it is unacceptable to have characters from other realms of the D&D world such as krynn, sigil, faerun, ravenloft or elsewhere. nor may your character be gated from another plane or world. you may however make characters that are from as of yet undiscovered parts of the world and are new to the world as you find it in Cardathia.
STRICT ALIGNMENT CLASSES - Some classes with alignment restrictions have them for a reason. While a Bard that goes Lawful isn't a big deal, a Paladin that falls from Lawful Good is a very big deal. If you play a strict alignment class and your alignment changes in a way that no longer makes sense for that class, you will be asked to replace those levels with a comparable class (I.E. Paladin falling from grace to Fighter, Paladin being corrupted to Blackguard). Characters made specifically for conflicting alignment classes (I.E. a barbarian monk) may be asked to rebuild and lose the class(es) that no longer pertain to their alignment.
DOMAINS - If you play a class that is granted spells or abilities from a deity that also receives domains, ALL chosen domains MUST be domains listed under your deity.
PALADINS AND OTHER ‘DIVINE WARRIOR’ CLASSES - Remember you have to be faithful to the God you choose to get your powers. If you are not faithful, you become fallen and lose your paladinship. A paladin that loses their faith becomes godless. A godless paladin will lose all paladin levels and have them replaced with fighter levels. Paladins must pick a god or have their paladin classes removed for some other class.
DIVINE WARRIOR RESTRICTIONS: Generally only certain deities empower certain classes. Paladins, Soldiers of Light, Anti-Paladins, Blackguards and similar are not going to fit every deity. For example, Charys will always have Soldiers of Light and never Paladins, and while Oceania is only one step removed from Chaotic Evil she wouldn’t have any Anti-Paladins. Please check with a DM if you have a strange deity/divine warrior combo in mind.
MONK/DRUID, MONK/SHIFTER - This is no longer prohibited. If you properly roleplay these combinations tastefully, have at it. Please note the new Monk rules, druids or shifters that choose to pick up monk levels will be under close scrutiny.
REQUESTING RARE LANGUAGES - 'Character Background' language selection is now fully automated in every regard except for top shelf rarity languages, which require DM intervention. Please see the Languages post for this list. If you would like one of these languages, please choose the rare language request token from the language picker on the S.S. Arleah, then contact a DM. If you change your mind or are denied, you can use the rare language request token to reclaim a language pick next time the server resets and you return to the S.S. Arleah. Rare languages are generally only granted as Character Background picks based upon class choices, but sometimes due to extremely well presented character backstory.
LEARNING NEW LANGUAGES - Spreading languages by player characters teaching player characters is permitted, however, there are a few things to note here. This is expected to take quite a bit of time and varies based on the language in question and other factors. We expect that significant roleplay time is being invested in this. For starters, Draconic, Drow, Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Halfling, Orcish, and Undercommon are widespread and can be learned easily. Goblin, Giant, Gnoll, and Drow Sign are going to be more difficult to find with few willing teachers available (example being that Drow would almost never teach an outsider their secretive sign language; in the history of Arleah, this has happened only once to date). Abyssal, Celestial, Infernal, Sylvan, Aquan, Auran, Ignan, and Terran are all magical languages, and we reserve the right to deny dispensing these language tokens if the proper amount of roleplay was not met for such prestige. Some other factors may count in your favor such as learning a magical language from a native speaker. Animal, Druidic, and Thieves' Cant are 'talents' related to classes or other criteria and cannot be taught; either you can do it because you have the relevant class/criteria, or you cannot. Any other secretive sign languages are un-requestable and you will only learn them if offered.
ITEM EXCHANGE - It is almost inevitable that some items not meant for players will find their way into the server; either misfiring scripts, items with hidden effects, DM quest rewards, etc. If such an item is found, we reserve the right to replace it with an equivalent item that fits within our intended item design.
SUPPORTING ROLEPLAYED MECHANICS: Roleplay is about creativity, and a great deal of that creativity is not represented by the game engine. We reserve the right to choose to mechanically support interesting and well thought out roleplay elements of certain characters as they come to our attention and are found to be well established, positive, interesting, depth-enhancing concepts that enrich the experience of the server as a whole.
We want everyone to have fun and be able to RP the way they choose, but there are those who just don’t fit in this sort of community. When we find these players, they will be asked to leave, and if they choose not too, we will make them leave. A DMs only job is NOT to be a police person. We also like to reward good players and sponsor quests as well, but we are not able to if we are constantly having to enforce the rules. So please, lets all be mature RPers and play the game!
*NOTE* We reserve the right to change, add to, or delete from this document as we see fit. If at anytime we do so, we will let everyone know of the changes. Also, many situations are unique, so if a DM changes a rule a bit to fit the situation, that is their decision and it is final.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation,
The Staff of Arleah