Talk:Rules and Policies/Draft Changes

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It is well-understood that any rules listed are not exhaustive. They are a general outline to what actions and/or behaviors are prohibited.

BattleMaster Rules

The rules have been created by Tom in order to keep the game fair and enjoyable for people to play, ie prevent game abuse, cheating, powergaming etc.

Tom has a rough rule that says "everyone is entitled to one warning". That means two things: One, very rarely is a harsh punishment dealt for first abusers. Two, the second offense will be treated without mercy. It's worked fairly well over the years. If evidence is discovered that you are multi-cheating, your account *will* be locked without any questions asked. If you can provide some explanation that the evidence has nothing to do with multi-cheating, you will be unlocked.

For emphasis, do not publicly accuse anyone of cheating, abuses or violations of this contract without proof or evidence. Try to resolve issues with other players before reporting them to the Titans. However, report immediately for breaking an inalienable right.

Rule Explanations


When a character is elected or appointed to any position in the game (aside from Marshal and Vice-Marshal, which can be named and removed at a whim), that means that they are to be considered the legitimate holder of that position. There is no such thing as a "regent," "placeholder," or "interim" position holder. This applies both to those in charge of selecting people for positions, and the people seeking them: anyone who seeks a position with the express intent of stepping down when the "rightful" position holder returns is breaking the rule, as is anyone who deliberately appoints someone who expresses such a desire, or instructs those appointed or seeking the position to step down when the "true" holder returns.

There is one exception to this rule: If the position in question is elected by a game-initiated referendum, when it is vacated, another noble may be appointed to the position for the duration of the election.

Examples (illustrative, not comprehensive):

  • If a Lord is captured and loses his position, and someone else is elected to the position before he is released from prison, it is not permitted to try to have the one elected to the Lordship step down so the original Lord can be reappointed. Furthermore, no one is permitted to seek the Lordship with the intent of stepping down when the original Lord is released from prison.
  • If a Marshal is captured or seriously wounded, it is permitted for the sponsor of the army to replace him immediately with any other member of the army, and return the original Marshal to his position as soon as he is once again available.

Realm mergers

Realms are not permitted to seek to merge peacefully. It should always be impossible to do so in the literal sense—the game prevents the last city or duchy of a realm from joining another realm. (Or should; if you find that it is possible to do so, that is a bug. However, if you are seeking to do so, you are already breaking this rule.) This does not apply to surrendering to an enemy who has defeated you in war.

It does mean that any agreement between two realms that have not been enemies to join all the regions of one to the other is prohibited, no matter how they wish to go about this.

Strategic secessions

Seceding from a realm during or just before a time of war with the intent of creating a forward base of operations—and specifically, a place to recruit—closer to the front lines of the war is prohibited. This rule is primarily about intent, which generally makes it slightly less clear when someone has violated it, and when they have simply performed a secession that happened to have beneficial effects. It is strongly advised to avoid a friendly secession during time of war when the seceding Duchy is closer to the front line than the realm at large, unless there is a very clear in-character justification for the secession. When in doubt about the specific circumstances of your planned secession, it is advisable to ask the Titans—or, if you are concerned about operational security and do not wish to have the possible secession become public knowledge, send a private message on the forum to one of the devs.

Strategic capital moves

Moving the capital of your realm during or just before a time of war with the intent of moving your recruitment closer to the front lines is prohibited. This is very similar to the rule about strategic secessions, above, and is also concerned with intent, with the same consequences and associated advice. There are some specific reasons for moving a capital that are considered acceptable in-character justifications:

  • Moving the capital back to a city/stronghold that was the historic capital of the realm, particularly if it was taken by the enemy and has recently been reclaimed
  • Moving the capital to a more central location to aid in administration of the realm
  • Moving the capital to a site of great cultural, religious, or historic significance


Clans, as such, are not prohibited in BattleMaster. However, it is absolutely forbidden to form any group within the game that excludes members based on OOC criteria. In general, it is also not permitted to use exclusivity in a group to ruin other people's fun. The rules regarding clans are, broadly:

  • Don't use your clan to ruin other peoples' fun.
  • If it is entirely based on IC criteria, then it's fine.
  • If it is based on OOC criteria, and you use its single-mindedness to effectively control a realm, religion, or other in-game structure, that's emphatically not fine.
  • If it is based on OOC criteria, and you form a group too small to control the realm you're in, but still exclude anyone not in your OOC circle and attempt to push an agenda shared by your group, that's still not fine.
  • There is no problem with playing with friends, whether those friends were made in the game or outside, but you must not deliberately attempt to play with only those friends, especially in ways that exclude others or ruin others' fun.

Instant banning

When a new character joins the realm, it is not permitted to ban them instantly because of where their other family members reside. Banning for something the character himself has done is fine, but never purely because he has family members in an enemy realm. Please refer to Tom's position on Banning.


These are policies without the force of a full-on rule, but which players are, in general, expected to follow.

Policies on Roleplaying

  • Character and family names should be chosen to at least simulate believable medieval or fantasy names. However, outside of SMA islands, except in very egregious cases, people should be given the benefit of the doubt, and you should just play along. Please see Tom's position on Names.
  • There is no such thing as atheism. Characters are not atheists. Yes, there were a very few atheists in the medieval period, but they would have always kept this fact to themselves, partly because they'd probably be burned at the stake if they ever admitted to it. As there's no good mechanism for ensuring that something that should be limited to something like 1 out of every million characters, we simply do not permit atheism. Please see Tom's position on Atheism.
  • Humans only. Player characters must be humans, aside from a very few elves grandfathered in from Sirion, created years ago.
  • Duels are serious affairs meant to be used to defend one's honor, and may result in character death. They are not for sport or fun. As such, dueling guilds are prohibited if they use duels to surrender or death. Dueling guilds using the Training Match feature available at an academy, or roleplayed duels are acceptable.
  • Nobles are expected, in general, to treat commoners poorly (with disgust) and commoners are expected to treat nobility respectfully (with fear): Dealing with Commoners as a Noble is recommended reading.

Other Policies

  • If you find what you think is a bug, report it. Those found exploiting bugs will have little to no mercy. If you don't realize it's a bug, but it should have been obvious to a reasonable person (e.g., if it allows you to produce effectively infinite gold, bypass any of the rules here, or otherwise circumvent game restrictions), then you will be treated the same as someone deliberately exploiting a bug. Thus, if you have any doubt as to whether something is a bug, it is your responsibility to ask about it on the forum.
  • Try to resolve issues with other players before reporting them to the Titans.
  • Name Rules - Rules regarding character and family names and links to find a name
    • Generally, use an actual name that a person might have and don't copy extremely well-known historical names.
  • Style Guide - General style of editing to be followed within the wiki
  • Tom doesn't manually intervene (we fix bugs, but not the results of bugs) unless the game is seriously unbalanced by a bug.