Under ideal circumstances, the player running a scene, or the staff member handling a situation or a request, is the final arbiter of decisions. However, we are all human, and mistakes can be made. Sometimes there are disagreements about whether the rules apply, or whether they are being applied fairly.

If you disagree with a decision, then please, mention your disagreement — and the reasons for it — to the staff member who made the decision. If it's something simple, like an addition error, the problem will almost certainly be resolved right then and there. If not, then you and the staff member can discuss it. In most cases, you'll be able to find some solution that both of you find reasonable.

When you speak with the staff member, both you and the staffer should remain polite and courteous. Getting angry, abusive, or insulting benefits no one, and in any discussion, it tends to make the other person less receptive to your way of seeing things. Most arguments result from differing worldviews — different ideas about how things are. Even if you think you're in the right, you should be courteous to the other party. Failing to do so opens you up to consequences as per '+news policy conduct', no matter how legitimate your concern.

If no agreement can be reached, the staff member may eventually decide that the argument has gone on long enough. She will declare the matter closed, and that her decision is final. This is not done because of personal dislike or bias or anything of that sort. This is done so the discussion does not go on forever or permanently stall the progress of a plot.

It is important that you respect the closure of discussion, and remain polite and courteous. Further attempts to discuss the matter with that staff member will only cause irritation; the staff member may also, if you persist after being warned not to, consider continued discussion of the matter to be harassment (see '+news policy harassment').

Game play will proceed with the final ruling in place. Except in extraordinary circumstances, it will not be later reversed. This is done in the interests of making sure that matters can be settled in a timely manner so that plots and role play can proceed.

Players do, however, have the right to appeal decisions with which they disagree. There is a formal process for doing this, to ensure both that the system is not abused and that we make every possible effort to be fair to all of the players on the game.

The Appeals Process

To appeal a decision, construct a queue request to the 'Appeals' queue. You can view what should be included by typing '+qinfo Appeal'. Please give as much detail as you can, including why you think the decision was erroneous. Your appeal should be submitted to the queue, where it will be reviewed by the Chief of Staff. Appeals should have the word 'Appeal' in the subject of the +qmail.

The first appeal, to the Chief of Staff, can be made at no charge. The Chief of Staff will review your appeal, and may choose to investigate further by asking questions of the appropriate parties, reviewing logs, etc.

Successful Appeals

If the Chief of Staff upholds your appeal, then he/she will take appropriate action for the situation. In most cases, this will involve perhaps cash or karma compensation for the situation. In rare instances, a retcon or reversal of the decision might be appropriate, though these are unusual due to the difficulty of implementing them. In most cases, we will simply work out some IC arrangement that compensates you for the situation as best we can.

Unsuccessful Appeals

The Chief of Staff will review your appeal thoroughly. However, in some cases, your appeal may not be upheld. If that is the case, you may choose to accept the decision. Or, you may request that your appeal be forwarded to the Chief of Staff or the Headwiz, depending on who is appropriate and who will be available. The RPD or Headwiz will look over your appeal, and will decide whether or not to uphold it. The results of a successful appeal are similar to those for an successful appeal to the Chief of Staff.

Note: If the Chief of Staff is involved in the situation which you are appealing, then you may, if you wish, submit your first request directly to the Chief of Staff or the Headwiz, without incurring a charge.

Charges for Appeals

In American football, if the coach wants a video judgment, and it fails, then he loses a time-out. This is done so that every single decision does not get appealed on the off-chance that it gets upheld. Likewise, appeals that are resubmitted after being reviewed by the Chief of Staff are potentially subject to a karma or cash charge to the player submitting them if they are unsuccessful. The charge will be minimal, usually 3-5 karma points or 5,000-10,000 =Y= or less, unless the appeal is blatantly frivolous. We regret having to institute this, but it's important to restrict use of the appeals process to those appeals about which the player feels strongly enough to stand behind.

What Should Be Appealed?

If you don't like a policy or house rule, an appeal is not the way to get it changed. Instead, you should probably post this request as a suggestion to the Proposals bboard. Appeals should be used when the decision of the judge is clearly erroneous by the rules, or where the decision is questionable or subject to interpretation, but the consequences are significantly negative. Even so, in most cases, the decision should be very well supported with sufficient reason for us to overturn the decision.

The Appeals Queue is not about establishing a precedent for future situations. Instead, those situations should be handled through the Proposals board, or even +qmailed to the rulings queue to request a ruling for future use. The Appeals process is used to reverse already-made rulings regarding plots, queues, and policy decisions *as they apply to you*.

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