Rules, Guidelines and Policies
On-Duty or Off-Duty
on Le Jardin Mystique (LJM) are considered to be the first
tier in player and character assistance. To this end, helpstaffers
are expected to greet guests and to inquire of the guest(s)
as to whether they have any questions pertaining to any aspect
of the MUCK. They are also to assist existing players and
characters in whatever way required unless it falls outside
the helpstaffers purview (see 'policies' for the limitations
on helpstaff authority). In short, the idea of helpstaff is
to serve the MUCK in such a capacity that it frees up the
wizzes, who are usually overburdened with administrative and/or
programming projects centered on improving the MUCK in whole
or in part. One idea that will hopefully prove to be your
overriding motive in being helpstaff is the world is ultimately
for everyone, not for wizzes and not for helpstaff, but for
all of us. Without our users, we are nothing, and your decision
to become helpstaff reflects your willingness to help improve
the world so everyone has an increasingly enjoyable and interesting
There are several tools at your disposal, some
more novel than others. It is our hope you will use these
to better fulfill the mission and ideas stated above.
By typing 'helpstaff', you see who else is logged on as
helpstaff. To see all members of the helpstaff, whether
logged in or not, type 'helpstaff #all' (more information
can, of course, be gleaned from typing 'helpstaff #help'.
HelpNet works in a similar fashion to a chat program by
allowing anyone on the Helpstaff list to converse with
all other logged-in members on the Helpstaff list. To
use this tool, simply type, 'helpnet <message>'
(although you should check 'helpstaff' to see exactly
who you're sending messages to). This can be an incredibly
useful tool in asking other helpstaffers questions as
well as working collaboratively on projects. Where you
are located on the MUCK is irrelevant, which makes it
quite nice for on-the-fly necessities. Only staff members
see what is said in HelpNet, making it a private chat
in that regard.
Using help should be old-hat by now, but it never hurts
to review it from time to time. Also, accessing program
help is useful in understanding how programs work here
Obviously, wizzes should be used when necessary.
Here are a few links you should peruse (in order of importance)
for some in-depth information about MUCKS and LJM specifically:
Fairly obvious since this houses all the policies
An excellent resource for knowing how the MUCK runs.
It covers everything from installing the software
to the specific commands used in MUCK administration.
This link will open up a Word document. This means
you need Word or a doc coverter. If you need this
in a different format (.txt ,pdf), please let Taclis
A fairly humorous (but serious) read about good MU*
service, and how to think about what it is you're
doing. Good ideas for getting and keeping good users.
Below you will find some guidelines to help you become better
helpstaffers and prepared to deal with most types of situations.
Because our users are our most important asset (without
them, we would not have a world in which to staff), failure
to abide by the Rules of Engagement comes with some harsh
penalties. These punishments are outlined as follows:
First offense: verbal warning from a wiz
offense: removal from helpstaff for no less than 30 days
and no longer than 6 months
offense (after reinstatement): permanently banned from
being a helpstaffer
there is also a concomitant failure to abide by any of the
official LJM polices or the AUP in your failure to follow
the Rules of Engagement, the following schedule of punishment
First offense + policy violation: permanently banned from
being a helpstaffer
certain cases and severity, punishment may proceed immediately
to @toading or anything in between. Such decisions remain
the discretionary fiat of the Head Player Relations Wiz
in conference with a Head Wiz.
final thought: Your actions on the MUCK not only reflect
upon all helpstaff, but reflect on the entire LJM management
Towards Others: [top]
This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but it should
offer you some insight into how to deal with just about
any member of the player base.
Always, and without question, be polite. Inevitably
you will encounter a player who, for whatever reason,
is not nice. The wrong way to deal with a player who
is rude, brutish, nasty, obnoxious, etc. is to return
the behavior, make threats, call names, and other
unpleasantries. Be polite and civil in all
cases, as you will invariably maintain control of
the situation if you do. If the person becomes verbally
or even 'physically' abusive (see below for more on
what constitutes abuse), tell them OOCly (via page
or whisper, and do so firmly, but politely) to cease.
If they continue, make a log file and submit it to
The Player Relations Head Wiz. Do not stay around
and take more abuse. Submit the log file and leave.
If they continue to page you, ignore them. Do not
engage with persons if they continue the behavior
after you have asked them to cease.
"Abuse" has many definitions, but on this
MUCK it falls under LJM's harassment definition. Harassment
here follows the legal definition: a course of conduct
directed at a specific person that causes substantial
emotional distress in such a person and serves no
legitimate purpose. Hence a player threatening you
in any way, making slurs of any kind regarding any
facet of your person (i.e. sex, race, religion, sexual
preference) or any obvious sexual advance (without
OOC consent) is considered harassment. In this definition,
the key word is "substantial". Someone calling
you an 'asshole' or 'bitch' in a volatile situation
is not reasonably considered to cause substantial
emotional distress. Someone saying 'all fags, including
you, should be killed' or 'you fucking Christians
are all alike' is considered a mild form of harassment.
If you're in doubt about what abuse is, contact the
Player Relations Head Wiz or a Head Wiz.
considerations to the above:
While we respect the rights of free speech on LJM,
there are limitations. Playing on this MUCK is a privilege,
not a right, so the rules differ here than they would
in the real world. As you can see there is a serious
balancing act being performed with regard to harassment
and abuse. We will not limit the freedom of expression
here except in cases of policy violations, but there
are exceptions. Intolerance of another's fetishes
will be unacceptable and may, depending on severity,
be considered a form of harassment on a case-by-case
basis. The reasoning behind this change is this is
a BDSM MUCK that supports the idea, "Your fetish
may not be my fetish, but I respect your right to
practice it.", among others.
characters (exempt from punitive measures listed for this
Greeting guests and new characters is likely one of
the more mundane, but important, aspects of being
helpstaff. Helpstaff should use HelpNet to decide
on who is to greet players. Helpnet will alert you
to players connecting from the New Player Room as
well as guest connections. You should take turns greeting
guests and seeing if new players need help (or in
the case of long-time dwellers of the New Player Room,
how you may help them find a new home). Alternately,
one helpstaff member may be in charge of all greetings
for a particular night. I leave it up to you, but
all guests must be greeted. Usually, the person that
speaks up that, 'they have the guest' is the one who
greets the guest. Acknowledgment must be made before
greeting a guest so that multiple people do not page
a guest needlessly. A wiz should never have to ask
if a guest or new player has been greeted.
Guest1 has connected. The person who is to greet
this guest uses HelpNet to notify the other members
of HelpStaff they have the guest then pages the
guest something along the lines of (edit for your
own personal style of course), "Hello, and
welcome to Le Jardin Mystique. Feel free to let
me know if you have any questions or need any
other type of assistance during your visit."
has a question regarding the building and safeword
policies on LJM. Since it's far better to point
them to the source than to give them a prepackaged
answer, one way to address their questions is
to point them to the appropriate news files, 'news
building' and 'news safewords' and/or this website,
which offers a little more than the news files
in regards to explaining the meaning of the policies
here on LJM.
Likely the most important aspect of your duty here is
to answer questions, and to answer them correctly. Below
you will find some suggestions and guidelines to help
you perform your job as efficiently and correctly as possible.
you don't know an answer or don't have an answer to
We all have different areas of expertise, and a diverse
group knowing different aspects of the MUCK is far
superior than a few people doing/knowing everything.
It is very likely, then, you will be asked questions
that you cannot answer. If this should happen, you
have several options available to you.
Use the HelpNet messaging system to ask all the
other connected helpstaff the same question and
choose the most appropriate answer. If there are
no helpstaff present other than yourself, this
isn't much help and you should then,
If helpnet has been of little help, page a wiz,
of one is available. They may or may not know
the answer, but will certainly assist in helping
you locate a good source of information about
(or whatever search engine you use) for the answer.
Depending on the question, it may be answered
on the LJM website, or the MINK MUCK Manual (http://www.rdwarf.com/mink/muckman/index1.html).
fine to say you don't know:
If you have exhausted the above three options,
it's perfectly fine to tell the player that you
do not have an answer to their question. It is
far better to do this than to give an answer you
think is correct, but aren't sure. Have them pmail
a wiz with their question instead.
OnDuty and OffDuty: [top]
There is a reason 'helpstaff #on' and 'helpstaff #off'
exist. If you are going to be AFK for longer than 30 minutes,
you must go off-duty. If you are involved in a scene or
other interpersonal situation and do not wish to be disturbed,
you must go off-duty. On-duty means just that: you are
ready and available to take any request that comes your
way and at any time. If you idle for hours at a time and
are on-duty, it is expected you are watching what is going
on so as to be available should the need arise. No guest
or player should ever page a helpstaffer who is on-duty
and then have to wait endlessly for a response.
the Policies of LJM
You are expected to read, know, love, cherish and understand
the policies of LJM. The policies are currently located
in news, but a more thorough examination can be found
on this website.
If a player has a question concerning a policy and
the reason behind it, or any non-standard question
regarding a policy, it should be referred to the Head
PR Wiz or Head Wiz. If you are unclear on a policy,
refer to the section on Answering Questions above.
If a policy is unclear or you are not sure how to
proceed, contact the Head PR Wiz first and then the
Between Players et.al.
Conflicts between players and other helpstaff or OOC conflicts
between players and other players are to be handled by
the wizzes (preferably a PR Wiz). Period. No exceptions.
The legal ramifications that could arise from player disputes,
no matter how seemingly insignificant, requires handling
by a wiz. Failure to abide by this rule will lead to permanent
dismissal from helpstaff or, based on severity, @toad.
and Other Policy Violations
All LJM policy violations and violations regarding the
AUP, or suspicion of such, should be reported to a wiz
immediately, or mailed to the PR Wiz or Head Wiz. Helpstaff
is not a police force, and your involvement in such violations
is to report the violation.
Helpstaff are limited to their particular area(s) of expertise.
They are also limited in that they may not tell another
player what to do, how to behave, or in any other way
intimate they have the authority to enforce or regulate
policies or other provisions of the LJM government. Helpstaff
may not police players or inspect buildings for fitness
(unless specifically requested by a player, and a Building
Wiz must still give final approval for the project).
If a helpstaffer steps beyond the scope of their powers
as defined in this document, the following schedule
of punishment is applied (in certain severe cases,
@newpasswording the character or an @toad will be
First offense: verbal warning from a wiz
offense: removal from helpstaff for no less than
30 days and no longer than 6 months
offense (after reinstatement): permanently banned
from being a helpstaffer
If there is also a concomitant failure to abide
by any of the official LJM polices or the AUP
in the abuse of power, the following schedule
of punishment is applied:
offense + policy violation: permanently banned
from being a helpstaffer
As representatives of the government of LJM, you are expected
to adhere rigidly to the Rules of Engagement. If you get
angry or in any other way feel you cannot represent the
spirit and letter of the Rules of Engagement, walk away,
read the Tao, listen to some music, whatever, but do not
continue to remain in the situation. We take this very
seriously, and punishment for failure to adhere to this
policy can be harsh.
and Other Items from Wizzes
Wizzes will occasionally request your assistance in a
particular matter. If you are able to do so, you should
do whatever necessary to comply with the request. If you
feel the request is unreasonable, inform the wiz who made
the original request of your feelings. If the wiz continues
to ask, you may contact the Head PR Wiz to review the
Being staff is, as you can see, mostly responsibility.
It's often a thankless job, but can be entertaining and
fun. Reasons for being helpstaff should follow along these
lines: you like it here and want to be a part of making
it better, you like to assist people, you understand the
wizzes are overworked and want to help out where you can.
If your reason for being helpstaff is to eventually become
a wiz, to be important, to have a certain modicum of power,
or to gain popularity, you should either resign as a member
of helpstaff or decline to become a member of helpstaff.
Being helpstaff requires time and patience. A helpstaffer
who is off-line for weeks on end and is only here for
a few hours in between these large breaks is not considered
a good helpstaff member. Likewise, someone who can only
connect for a few minutes every day provides insufficient
coverage to be considered a good helpstaff member. Consider
carefully your willingness and ability to be here regularly.
Helpstaff who perform their tasks with aplomb may be considered
for wizbit promotion. Do not ask to be made a wiz; we
will approach you. There are several factors that determine
whether you will or will not be asked to be a wiz and
not being asked does not necessarily reflect on your skills
and abilities as a helpstaffer (i.e. the position is already
filled by an existing wiz, we are not hiring wizzes, etc.).
In other words, even excellent helpstaff members may not
be asked to become wizzes for a variety of reasons.
You Cannot Meet the Conditions in This Document
If you feel you cannot meet all the conditions in the
document, you must resign your helpstaff position immediately.