Inalienable rights are the rights which every troop leaders has, simply because they are a noble. These rights can not be taken away or made conditional. They are absolute and final.
These rights are OOC fun-preserving tools. They are meant to guarantee you, the player, can participate in the game properly. They are not meant to replace in-character discussions about what is proper or where the limits of a ruler are. On the contrary, internal politics including the setting of such limitations, is one of the most interesting parts of the game and these basic rights should in no way prevent these in-game discussions.
Also see the Government rules page for some more advice especially for those in (in-game) positions of power.
The inalienable rights are:
- Playing at your own speed, timing and activity level, i.e. logging in as often or seldom as you like, at whatever times you like.
- Choosing which type of unit to command
- Going to tournaments
- Pausing your character(s) because you have a real life to attend to
- Choosing your class
Some hardcore players worry about something they call "activity". It essentially means being online whenever something needs to be done, something important happens or some important information arrives. Since you never know when that might be, "activity" is essentially a codeword for "online 24/7".
In BattleMaster, we made that first inalienable right for a very good reason. The game is designed so that constant activity is not a requirement and the amount of good it does to be online all the time, or always right there at the turn or even every day is not as big as lots of people make it. In fact, Tom himself has successfully played in almost every position in the game, including as ruler, with days and weekends in between where he didn't log in at all, and many days with just one login of a few minutes.
Don't let some of those hardcore players create a problem out of activity. Being allowed to play at whatever activity level you wish also means you should not suffer disadvantages for doing so. If you are fined, banned, threatened or otherwise punished for "inactivity", or for not having been online at any specific time or day, the Titans and Magistrates will be very happy to counter, so please contact them with information.
Also check our Inactivity page for some suggestions and ideas.
Personal vs. Generic
Note that the IRs are meant to protect individual players. Generic requests or commentary aimed at nobody in particular is usually not a matter of IRs. Someone saying that activity in the realm is fairly low or that the army could use some more archers is not breaking any IRs.
As with all things, this is not a 100% rule. Someone saying "nobody should attend the next tournament" is violating the IR, because while he is not using any names, his comment is directed at everyone, and by that at individual players. The difference between "we could use more archers" and "everyone recruit archers" is that in the first case, nobody is pressured to do anything unless he wants to. You can agree to the statement without having to act on it. You cannot in the second case.
We try to make the rules very basic and very strict, in order to prevent people from "gaming the system". That means that there are usually no exceptions.
"however..." / "but..." / "Not Orders"
Some people try to circumvent the restrictions by careful choice of words. Do not accept that. If your boss at work or your commander in the army says "could you please be so kind as to..." you would be foolish to assume that it was not an order you just received. Same in BattleMaster - a ruler saying "I can't (or don't want to) order you to ..., but ..." is violating your inalienable right.
When it comes to inalienable rights, "requests" are the same as orders.
Any sentence that goes roughly like "I know that (xxx is a right, you can't be ordered to, etc.), however ... (continuation that refers to exactly that inalienable right)" is almost always a violation of the rules. If you refer to an inalienable right and then continue the sentence with "however...", "but..." or any other grammatical construct that negates the first part, you are almost certainly in violation of the inalienable right.
How to Act
How should someone in a position of power treat these rights? By acknowledging and moving on. Almost all long-winded texts are just sophisticated attempts to circumvent them. The basic rule is: Just shut up and stay 100 feet away from any and all inalienable rights, no matter how well-meaning you are. Some of the worst events of both human history and in BattleMaster were done by people with good intentions.
If there's a tournament, don't point out how important it is not to go or discuss the political and strategic consequences. Many players will take such discussions as hidden threats. Do not speak out against going to tournaments, IC or OOC, for whatever reason. If you would like more traders in your realm, come up with incentives and find out why people don't want to be traders. Don't lament to the realm, come up with a solution, that's your job as ruler or banker.
If some player explicitly asks for your advice, then feel free to give him some. Don't use it as an opportunity to give it to the entire realm.
In general, it is best to stay well clear of these rights, no matter how well-meaning or innocent your intentions. With the sheer number of players with very different backgrounds, there is always a reasonable risk that someone will misinterpret you.
Not Inalienable Rights
Some things are not inalienable rights, even though some people think they are, or wonder why they aren't. This list is, of course, incomplete. It lists those things most often asked about, and explains why:
- There is a "silent protest" option precisely for the reason that you can use it to remain anonymous and/or avoid repercussions
- Like in real life, duels can be made illegal, and yet you can still fight them. That is the way it was most of history in the real world, and we find it more interesting to keep it that way in BattleMaster. It also means that in many realms your honour has to have been wronged severely before you consider a duel, because it is not only dangerous but also illegal.
- this used to be an inalienable right. We removed it in order to allow more politics to flourish. The right to vote is ensured by the fact that votes are anonymous and only in very extreme cases can reliable conclusions about voting behaviour be drawn.
- Playing where you want
- If you're banned from your favourite realm, or get deported from the only island you really like, that's simply part of the game. You don't have a right to play where you like or with whom you like. A ban or a deportation, even if underhanded and evil, is not an Inalienable Rights violation.
The inalienable rights are defended with extreme prejudice. There's one simple reason for that: The second they were opened up to discussion, interpretation, exceptions, borderline cases, etc. the lawyer-weasels and others who get a thrill out of gaming the system would invade like locusts.
Absolutely no violations of inalienable rights will be tolerated, no matter how minor or inconsequential. Absolutely no interpretations will turn a violation into a non-violation. Absolutely no "I didn't mean it" apologies will prevent the punishment - if you are the guilty party, consider it a lesson for next time and a reassurance that you yourself will be equally aggressively defended should someone else attack your inalienable rights.
The absolute harshest punishments are reserved for those who try to "weasel around" the rights, by using standard lawyer-speech, creative interpretations or such tools. Obvious attempts of this kind do lead to immediate account terminations with no prior warning.