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About Cooperation

"Government is an unnecessary evil. Human beings, when accustomed to taking responsibility for their own behavior, can cooperate on a basis of mutual trust and helpfulness." Fred Woodworth

As opposed to many other roleplay systems and muxes we are one of the few muxes to want to try a cooperative roleplaying system. Such a system asks for a different style of roleplay then many are used to, that is why this newsfile is written, to explain a bit about that.

First the question is answered 'what is a cooperative system exactly?'. I will go deeper into conflicts and how to solve them in a cooperative system. Then I will explain the consequences of cooperation for the gamesystem. Next is the influence of this cooperation on your roleplaying style. And finally I will give some practical examples of how a cooperative system would be used.

First, what is exactly a cooperative system? A cooperative roleplay system is a system in which, even though we do have stats and such, one character can never icly force another character against their will. This is of course a bit double, since we need to make the difference between characters and players here. In all roleplaying systems one player is not supposed to be able to force another player, but with characters the matter is different. If in a non cooperative system one character wishes to kill another all he or she has to do is fight them and roll well enough and do enough damage to kill. In our system this is impossible. You simply are not able to kill another character or even hit them without the player's agreement. This runs up to and includes a touch, a kick, an emotion spell or anything that physically or emotionally changes another character.

"Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards." Vernon Sanders Law

This can easily be misused. For another basic rule used on most muxes is ic action = ic consequence. This means if I kick you because you agreed to it and suddenly I will not agree to you taking a countermeasure then it's not very nice or well played of me. In a cooperative system it's impossible to follow ic action=ic consequence fully since you can refuse to take the consequence another sees for your actions. But we are not going to let this rule fly, we will make a middle version of it. If a problem appears because there should be an ic consequence to an action which is not agreed to, and no suitable consequence is agreed to, the matter will be brought before the wizzes, and they will decide a suitable consequence within the limits given by both players. So make sure you try and work out consequences for ic actions that you do agree with because neither of the involved parties might like the solution we come up with.

Now to speak of conflicts and how to solve them in a cooperative system. First, the best way to solve a conflict is of course never to have them. If you do not like or trust a player it is better not to enter an ic conflictual situation with them. If they challenge you and you feel you should enter a conflict with them but they will not act as adult, mature player, then follow the solutions given in the former paragraph and place your complaint or worry before the wizzes. If you do enter a conflict, remember, the playing of a conflict can and we prefer even should be fun on here. Decide if you are willing to lose the fight or magic battle or whatever and what consequences you can handle for your actions and which not. Preferably tell these to your opponent ahead. If you do not mind losing and do not wish to use the gamesystem it's perfectly allright to roleplay out losing without ever even rolling. If you both like to win then go with the system but please take any losses in a sportive manner. You will not lose your life if you do not agree to such, nor even your freedom. Maybe a little pride.

If you notice the conflict grows beyond ic towards ooc please get out of the scene and mail a staffer for a solution before it escalates.

"No man is good enough to govern another man without that other's consent." Abraham Lincoln

What are the consequences of cooperation for the gamesystem? Well as you have seen many of our skills cannot even be used to force other players. IT's hard to make someone do anything with culture, nature, healing, endurance, or such. There are some skills though that could in principle be used to force others. These are primarily persuasion, magic, and fighting skills. But even if you have really high scores in these skills, the cooperative system makes sure you cannot influence another's character with these if they do not wish so. That means that you will never be strong enough to hit on a character whose player does not wish you to, change their emotions or thoughts, or bind their bodies. If a player agrees to this then your character is lucky and has found someone who is particularly weak to their magic, of particularly low resistance, or very weak in body. Interpret your high scores as being good enough in your skill not to be influenced by what any other does against you, and to be able to hold your own in your skill, not to force others. It's important to be flexible in the explanation of skill levels and such in a cooperative system, for someone with a magic skill of 2 might have luck with a victim because she is trusted by the victim's player, when someone with a magic skill of 5 is not allowed such agreement. That does NOT mean the player with the skill of 2 is better, but might have found the secret key to the victim's vulnerability, know them better, or just have a bit better luck. Power playing is no use whatsoever in a cooperative system, it's about trust and sharing stories, so if powerplaying is what you are looking for you are better off on another mux.

What does cooperation mean for roleplaying style? It means that forceposing (I hit you in the face) is extremely unwise unless you know that the other will agree to it. Always try posing to TRY something (I try to hit you in the face) and the other can decide what to take of your actions and what not to take. Be honest and open on an ooc level and if you can tell what things you will agree to and what not ahead of any arising problems you will have made it a lot easier for all concerned. Do not enter into games of 'I am better than you' unless you are also willing to lose.'Better than you' games aren't much use anyways if no matter how good you are you cannot force another character. Try to be open and clear in what you are looking for in your roleplay so the other can see if your needs are compatible with theirs and enjoyment for both is MUCH easier to reach.

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." The Dalai Lama

First example: a fight
Joe decides he wants to fight Mick. He tells Mick oocly he would attack and if Mick agrees to a fight? Mick says "ok, but I'm not willing to have my char die or lose his freedom. I -am- willing though to fight within the system till one of us is unconscious if you are too'. Joe agrees to this, and the fight starts. Ahead the two players have worked out what they will agree to and made sure the amount of agreement is equal on both sides. If Joe wants to start fighting Mick because Mick is calling him bad names, Mick has a right not to agree to a fight, but cannot stop Joe from calling him bad names back, after all he has done so himself. If Joe wants to start fighting Mick cause Mick hit him in the face and he agreed to that Mick should at least agree to getting a hit in the face back, but does not necessarily have to agree to a fight. If he does not agree to getting hit back a complaint to the wizzes is justified.

Second example: a spell of emotional influence
Sira decides she wishes to cast a spell on Mary to make her fall in love. She poses "Sira waves her hand and suddenly you feel a warmth coming up inside your heart, and you wonder if this is a sign that you have fallen in love?" and tells Mary ooc she's -trying- to cast a spell of emotional influence to make her fall in love. Mary has a fully onesided choise to agree, or not, or let it depend on the gamesystem. She can choose if she poses that she is fully in love now, or that she feels love for a moment then suddenly realises she's being forced and only reacts more angrily (a fitting consequence for Sira's actions) or to let it depend on if she makes a resistance roll. It's Mary's choice because it is no contest or double chance situation, because Sira gave her the courtesy of that choice. Sira could also have asked Mary how she would react to prevent having Mary angry with her after the spell was not accepted and chose not to do it if the reaction would be negative.

Third example: a running contest
If Mick and Mary enter a running contest it's wise if they discuss the rules ahead. If one of them likes to lose then there is no need for rolling, but it could be fun to let chance have a role (pun intended) in the contest. Decided should be if the gamesystem is used or not and if so how, what the loser will have to face in consequences, and if both would agree to that.