Approval Code of Conduct
The purposes of this thread is partly to let everyone know what to expect in the approval process. However, it is also to empower the community and to let our members know what their rights are when it comes to approval.
What is Approval?
Approval is a guiding process in fair character creation. This means approvers are intended to make sure your character’s profile meets basic RPing standards so that it minimizes or eliminates potential godmoding, or powers/magic/skills or weapons and special items loopholes.
So What Does This Mean Exactly?
It means approvers should only be concerning themselves primarily with certain sections of the profile. We’ll call these sections Primary Sections. The other sections will be called Secondary Sections, for the purposes of these guidelines. Approvers should focus the most on the Primary Sections and the least on the Secondary ones.
Primary Sections include: Powers/Skills/Magic, Weapons, Armor, Battle Strengths, Battle Weaknesses, and Carried Possessions. When it comes to carried possessions, really Approvers should only focus on Special Items, which are items with special powers or functions. Mundane items or possessions like a normal locket or lucky coin your character keeps that doesn’t really have a special function or magical power should not be of concern to the Approver.
So why are Approvers focusing on these more than the other sections?
These are the sections most important to potential godmoding/loophole issues that can turn up in RPing. These are the same sections that when adding or removing content from a profiles requires approval from an Official Approver, as outlined in the Character Profile Editing/Updating Policy. It’s for the same reasons.
These sections of the profile do need close attention because it involves ensuring that RPers do not create powers (in characters or their equipment) that are too vague or unfair for RPing with others. These things can allow for loopholes that RPers can abuse to an unfair advantage in an RP. This would be considered godmoding. Godmoding is using your character in such a way that their skills, abilities, or powers accomplish things that break the fairness of a roleplay. For example, this may be a player assuming that every action their character makes is successful and that they’ll always accomplish what they want, when they want. This is explicitly against the rules in the BA.
You are required to stick to the limits and what is explicitly stated in your character’s profile when RPing in the Tales of Characters board, especially when it comes to Primary Sections. Otherwise, it is considered godmoding. It is not fair to invent or twist a power on the spot in an RP just so you can get the outcome you want. This is why it is considered godmoding.
For an example: say you give your character the ability to manipulate light. You list some spells/abilities/things they can do with this power. However, say you didn’t list anything about them being able to create illusions with light manipulation. In fact, you didn’t even think about it until you were in an RP, and you thought it would be really kool if you’re character could do that. Besides, maybe you’ve even read about light used to create mirages and such before. Since your character manipulates light, you think this is okay.
But it’s not, because you did not explicitly state in the profile that your character could create illusion/mirages with their ability to manipulate light. Because you did not state this explicitly in the profile, your Approver was unable to check over the limits of your character’s ability to produce illusions to ensure they are fair and not too vague. Because if it remains vague, you could potentially adjust the limits for whatever you need whenever you need.
This is not fair RPing. You would be godmoding.
The Character Profile Editing/Updating Policy covers how to make fair and official changes to profiles that have already been through their first approval.
Secondary Sections include: Name, Age, Sex, Appearance (and related sections like Hair and Eye Color, Weight, Height), Personality, and History. So why are these things considered secondary? Isn’t sex an important aspect of a character? (Ha ha, I made a funny.)
It’s considered secondary in approval not because it is less important to the characters, because obviously history and personality are essential aspects to a character as well. However, it is of secondary priority for the Approvers. Their main priority is to ensure that there are no loopholes in the Primary Sections.
Concerns of Secondary Sections
The only thing Approvers will be looking for in these sections is to make sure they are correctly filled out. Because these are the aspects non-essential to fair RPing. Your character’s hair color is not going to affect the fairness of an RP if it changes or if it is a ridiculous color like blue (even though your character is a Gerudo). There are less strict requirements for these sections. So long as the necessary information is provided, Approvers should not be commenting a lot on these for very long. You are allowed your creative license. This means Approvers should not be treating this as their own time to critique your ideas in these sections in regards to their own personal tastes and opinions. At least, not in order to get your character approved. Approvers are allowed to comment (professionally and respectfully) but not enforce any suggestions that are purely unessential to getting the bare necessities covered.
For example: if you want a Gerudo with blue hair, it's fine if your Approver makes a comment that typically all Gerudo are only supposed to have red hair. The Approver should say, this is only a suggestion and it's not required that you change your character's hair color in order to get approved. It's your choice, and since it does not involve combat related issues like the Primary Sections do, it's not important for approval. Your Approver is not allowed to make this necessary, and if they are not explicit about something like this being optional, you are free to question them about it.
So now that you understand the reasons why we do it this way, we’ll get down to the concrete guidelines.
1. Ensure the bare essentials of a profile are completed.
This means they make sure the information the sections are asking for are provided, even if the RPer decided to change the format of the profile and add or switch around sections to their liking. Approvers are not allowed to impose their personal tastes in format. So long as the profile is reading able (appropriate spacing between paragraphs, etc.) and contains the information required, it should be allowable.
2. Focus on Primary Sections to check for possible loopholes and necessary limits only in things that relate to combat/godmoding issues.
Approvers are not allowed to enforce their own preferences for how powers, skills, or magic of characters or equipment are organized in the profile. For example, so long as you provide the basic gist of a character with martial art or sword skills, and their limits in what they can do are clearly mapped out in some manner, an Approver cannot enforce that you create specific “moves” that they are limited to. They are only to ensure the necessary information is there and that there are clearly detailed limits to them. These are mostly for combat related issues, since that is mostly what the no godmoding rule is for. It only occurs in combat scenes.
3. Must clearly and explicitly state when something is a suggestion that is not a requirement for approval.
4. Expected to explain why they are requiring something for approval.
5. Engage the RPer in the approval process actively, by involving them in the problem solving process and giving them opportunity to make their own choices whenever possible.
An Approver might explain a problem in the profile and then ask you how you think you could change it so that the problem is solved, rather than just enforcing one way they would fix it. Though sometimes solutions are more rigid when necessary, an Approver should be able to explain why there is only one or limited ways to solving a profile issue.
6. Can offer an optional feedback session after basic approval is completed.
7. Behave in a respectful manner toward the RPer.
1. Can ask their Approver questions about changes they are being requested to make.
Approvers are expected to be able to explain why they are making something mandatory for approval. RPers are allowed to question if it is necessary or not.
2. Suggest their own solutions to an issue that arises in the profile and discuss them with the Approver.
3. Possess the option to turn down suggestions (changes not required for approval) or optional feedback offered by Approvers.
4. May request a different Approver for any reason (they are not required to state the reason). Please do so in private.
5. May request a council of all the other Approvers if they doubt the requirements their current Approver is requesting they make and are unable to come to an agreement with this approver. Please do so privately (contacting the other Approvers/Moderators by PM).
6. May go to Administration if they still feel they are being mistreated even by the Moderators of this section. If this is necessary, mind the rules of ZU and make sure to contact the Administrators by the private means of a PM (Private Message).
7. Behave in a respectful manner toward Approvers.