Admins and Above retain the authority to ignore or alter the enforcement of specific rules at their discretion should they feel it is in the best interest of the current round, the server or the player base at large. In the absence of an Admin or higher ranking member of staff, Moderators may exercise this power following their own chain of authority. Any use of Rule 0 holds it’s user fully accountable for the actions taken due to their change of the rulings.
Rule 0.1 - Intent
Rules are enforced as intended. Every example of a rule break cannot be defined as written, therefore, enforcement of the rules is subject to staff interpretation of the rule's intention. Staff may choose to handle minor rule breaks by utilizing in-game tools to correct improper behavior. Staff retain discretion on when a minor rule break can be handled via "In-Character" consequences in place of warning notes and/or bans. Minor rule breaks such as OOC in IC/Netspeak cannot be handled "In-Character." Staff members shall not use "In-Character" consequences for major rule breaks such as Mass Grief/ERP/Multikeying. If staff use "In-Character" behavior adjusment, no warning notes and/or bans shall be issued, unless further rule violations take place. Players shall not request a staff member to handle things "In-Character" and the final decision rests solely on the staff member conducting the investigation
Rule 0.2 - Authority
If a staff member gives you an instruction or makes a ruling, do not argue with the staff member and follow the instruction/accept the ruling. You may file a staff report on the forums or take it up with their manager directly if you do not agree with the decision made after the round ends. Arguing with a staff member may lead to you being punished. Staff members are volunteers and will not tolerate toxicity or hostility during the course of their duties.
Rule 1. No Erotic Role Play (ERP), erotic content, or 18+ sexual content
Roleplay intended to elicit a sexual response from the receiver(s), including but not limited to writing stories (WGW) or posting links to adult content. Doing so will almost always result in an instant permaban from our server. However, these actions could still be susceptible to Marine Law. A good rule of thumb for whether an interaction crosses this line would be to consider if the action would be allowed in a PG-13 rated movie in the USA.
Staff reserve the right to make judgement calls on situations to determine if they constitute a breach of 18+ or erotic conduct. If something is overly disgusting or crosses a line in a way that becomes an 18+ situation, it may be punished for regardless of nature.
If you are not sure whether something you wish to say or do is okay, AHelp first. We would rather you ask and be told no, than have it happen and a ban become necessary.
No character should ever engage in any form of sexual intercourse in the game, whether alone or with another player.
No sexual act or genitalia should ever be given explicit description. If a sexual act must be referenced, there should never be a description of how particular body parts made contact or interacted in any way, nor should any particular act be named.
Distasteful but non-sexual bravado do not apply to this. A marine scratching their nuts, for example, is fine.
Euphemisms that also have a sexual meaning are allowed in non-sexual contexts. Common terms or phrases like "Suck my dick" are fine, as long as saying such is not a literal invitation or solicitation to do so.
The above are guidelines for reference, and it is highly recommended not to straddle the line along what is and is not allowed when dealing with erotic/18+ content.
Rule 2. Roleplay
CM-SS13 is intended to be a Medium Roleplay server. Play a reasonably realistic character. Treat your character as a separate entity from you, the player. Your character's actions, feelings, and knowledge in-game should be based solely on the character's experiences and not your own as the player. Low roleplay actions that have no regard for your character or the setting (Memes, silly copypaste spam IC) are not acceptable. Character development can occur over rounds but each round is a soft-reset, meaning you can have previous mission experience but your character will never have died or fled the ship in the past. Follow the Roleplay Standards.
Major shenanigans that may disrupt the normal flow of the round at roundstart, (This includes but is not limited to; big or lethal fights, briefing brawls, riots, massive equipment restrictions and tackling players trying to reach their prep room.), are not tolerated.
Dropship Arrests & Riots
Causing riots on the dropship over an arrest before first drop will be considered round start shenanigans and staff members will intervene with OOC punishments. You shouldn’t lynch a MP and risk your career because they are arresting a marine who has entered the dropship. If you are wanted and enter the dropship to try and avoid arrest you will be held accountable if issues arise with MPs.
All personnel employed by the USCM are mentally stable and physically fit for duty. They would not desert their post or go against the USCM without a good reason. Marriages are forbidden, no two people employed by the USCM on the same ship may be married. The USCM has knowledge of most threats, including all human forces (UPP, CLF, PMC, etc) and general knowledge of the Xenomorph hive structure. The USCM does not know there is a Xenomorph threat on the planet of operation unless that information is given in a custom event.
All personnel deployed should be following their role requirements. A doctor would not deploy to fight Xenos on the front line, a Squad Medic would not only be healing themself, and a Squad Leader would not ignore the orders of command just to do their own thing.
Higher ranking squad marines (such as the squad-leader, specialist, smart-gunner and RTO) should be following the orders assigned to them by the commander instead of running off to go fight alone. Special circumstances exclude this requirement, but players should be prepared to justify their actions if contacted by staff.
Heads of Departments (CE, RO, CMP and CMO) should not be leaving the ship barring exceptional circumstances.
All marines should be deploying where possible, refusing to deploy because someone got arrested is not allowed.
Shipside Crew, where authorised to deploy, must remain in secure areas.
MPs may use the APC to transit secure areas, but not to go to the frontlines.
Deconstruction of the ship should not be occuring before first drop & confirmed contact. The marines would not immediately resort to taking their warship to pieces for a random unconfirmed distress call.
This includes deconstruction of things like chairs in briefing, however does not include the barrels and crates scattered around maintenance.
Modifications to the ship should not be made with meta-purposes, no building a maze or bunker on the ship intended to help secure the ship for hijack before you even know hijack is a thing.
Synthetics are cold and do not feel emotions as strongly as humans, though they may fake them. They serve the USCM and may not turn against them. Synthetics must adhere to the Synthetic Programming and Guidelines.
Synthetic Survivors have altered Programming which can also be found there.
Synthetic Guideline breaches are dealt with by the Synthetic Whitelist Council, who can be contacted on discord or through Player Reports.
Survivors have more leeway than marines with their mental stability due to the trauma they may have experienced during the xenomorph attack. They may be suffering PTSD, paranoia or similar conditions for roleplaying purposes. Survivors may NOT be hostile unless they have been spawned as hostile survivors (CLF).
These should only be taken for a roleplay reason, such as from a dead XO to call for help on a computer in the ship’s bridge. If you take an ID or find one from a living player (or a dead player that has since been revived), you should make every attempt to return it unless your character has a good reason not to.
Spamming chat (Local or Radio) with non-english characters, symbols or other gibberish is considered LRP, and a violation of Rule 2
Aliens & Predators
Marines know what Xenos are and have encountered them before. They have a basic knowledge of how the hive works.
They do not know there are Xenos on the colony.
Marines have not encountered Predators before. Any encounters are to be considered the first of their kind. Marines are permitted to roleplay "I've heard stories and/or legends" in regards to Predators, but metagaming knowing everything about them is a violation. Nicknames that are realistic such as "Jamaicans" "Dreadlock Lizards" "Spooks" "Phantoms or Ghosts" are acceptable. Avoid meme/gaming terminology such as "maicers"
Aliens have no free will. They are a hivemind, and their purpose is to enforce the will of the Queen and expand the Hive.
They are not friendly and will not negotiate.
Xeno hivemind is an English translation of their thoughts, so words such as “hydro” or “shuttle” are acceptable.
Spamming "Reeeee" and similar such behaviour in Hivemind or Local Chat is not allowed.
Due to the Hivemind, xenos know everything every xeno learns and know the basics of human equipment.
At the start of the round, the Xenos can sense the human's ship looming above their hive and are aware that human forces will be visiting the colony shortly.
Larva should typically remain within the Hive, this is especially the case for roundstart larva, and avoid the frontlines.
Larva cannot sneak onto dropships to get to the marine ship.
Larva are not recon castes, and should not be seeking out survivors.
The Queen can banish Xenos who fail to uphold these standards and expectations.
Abuse of banish for memes or other reasons that would not be applicable may result in punishment.
Predators are honorable hunters. They must follow the Honor Code and act like a serious predator, not a prankster.
The USCM does not hold any information about these beings, meaning each contact is unknown regarding them.
Predator Honor Code breaches are handled by the Predator Whitelist Council, who can be contacted on Discord or through Player Reports.
Rule 3. Community Expectations
The general behavioural expectations for members of the community. Unless explicitly stated these rules apply to all areas of the community.
Don't be a dick.
This is not a complete list and only includes the most important elements.
All communications within the server (IC and OOC) should be done in English only. Phrases from other languages are fine but should not make up the majority of your conversations.
This extends to the use of Netspeak in-character. You should not be using LOL, WTF,
Roleplaying hostile actions, beliefs or emotions through the use of profanity is permitted. However staff reserve the right to make calls on situations if a player has crossed the line. If a staff member tells you to stop, you stop.
Racism and Bigotry
Racism, the use of slurs and other targeting terms or phrases is strictly forbidden and will not be tolerated.
Being Homophobic, Sexist or a general bigot is not ok, and action will be taken to rectify such behaviour.
BYOND ckey/usernames that are deemed racist, homophobic, sexist, etc... by staff are not permitted. You will be given a chance to create a new CKEY and you must request our staff to transfer any notes.
Playing a character that is based upon a specific stereotype is permitted however playing to a racial, religious or cultural caricature is not.
Management staff, or the highest ranking alternative available, reserve the right to make calls on specific stereotypes being racially, religiously or culturally offensive.
Don’t post byond://, Discord, Twitch, etc, links to other servers purely for the sake of advertising. If you wish to share links to these kinds of places, either ahelp for permission or do so off the server (IE: over Byond messages or Discord).
Giving out plot spoilers to any media with malicious intent is not allowed, but the general discussion of plot that contains spoilers about media released 1 year ago or longer is fine.
Rule 4. No griefing
Griefing is the intent of one player wanting to cause grief or annoyance to other players or the server without a valid roleplay reason. If Staff believes that the player’s intent is to grief, then action will be taken whether or not it was the player’s intent. Any damage to the station or players caused by griefing can be repaired at an Admin's discretion. If you are being griefed, don’t retaliate - Adminhelp it and you’ll get healed. Shooting a griefer can cause you to get in trouble as well, and the combat logs you’re generating make it harder for Staff to prove who the real griefer is.
Shooting up medbay at round start.
Deliberately OBing the marine frontline.
End of Round Grief (EORG)
End of Round Grief (EORG) is fighting and generating any combat logs with friendly players after the round ends and is an immediate 3-hour ban without warning. Exceptions are between normal enemies, such as Marines and Aliens, Marines and UPP, etc.
This includes suicide at the end of the round without a valid RP reason.
Rule 5. Mechanical Exploits
Do not abuse bugs or unintended features to gain an unfair advantage for yourself or your team.
A standard marine deconstructing a wall.
A standard marine creating Ordnance Tech Grenades or Explosives.
An Ordnance Tech stacking multiple C4 on one entity or object.
A Specialist not selecting a kit, allowing them to use multiple existing kits.
Stacking mini turrets and M56Ds.
Using fuel tanks as explosive traps by acid spitting.
Banishing xenos on the Almayer so they can be killed for free larva.
Banishing AFK xenos to reclaim larva.
Walling off bodies to they cannot be recovered/revived.
* Where bodies fall within natural defense lines this is acceptable.
Rule 6. No Metagaming or Metacommunication
Acting upon knowledge your character would not have or providing unknowable information to another player. Should you be in a voice call with other players, you are still expected to relay information through IC channels (talking, radio, etc) to preserve in-game roleplay. IC information should not be posted to any public location where other parties can be given an advantage. Any form of cheating via metacomms will result in a permaban. All public chat on the CM Discord should refrain from talking about any ongoing round information until the round ends.
Xenos destroying colony assets prior to Marine landing, such as APCs, lights, vendors, etc.
Xenos & Marines building traps to catch and kill the other side.
Marines killing themselves after becoming infected or captured by the Xenos.
Wordlessly following a friend around without having any IC communications or interactions.
Building defenses on the ship before a hostile force is en route.
Xenos sitting next to the dropship landing pad to attack right as the Marines open the doors.
Xenos melting every colony wall in a specific location to remove a building/defensive point.
Killing small hosts as survivor before marines land.
This is explicitly a rulebreak exclusively due to the extensive impact this has on roundstart balance.
Xenos targetting critical shipside equipment or personnel before hijack to render marines ineffective without an IC justification.
Teaching someone how to play the game and various mechanics through Voicechat, LOOC or other external communication methods.
Telling someone where the enemy are, event details or other In-Character information, that would otherwise be inaccessible, through Voicechat, LOOC or other external communication methods.
Rule 7. No Ban Evading / Multi-Keying
Logging in with different accounts at different times, logging in with another account because you died (or were banned), or logging into two separate accounts at the same time. If you have multiple accounts tied to CM-SS13, please ahelp regarding them. Players caught breaking this rule may receive permabans from the server.
Can I use a VPN?
Yes, the use of VPNs is not forbidden, however you may become captured in other people's bans.
Can other people play at my house?
Yes, but please ahelp beforehand so staff are aware and can make a note of it.
Your account is held responsible if someone other than you physically plays on your account and violates any of our rules. "My little brother did it, or my friend did it." are not valid excuses or justification.
Can I change my ckey?
You can create a new account at your discretion, but you will need to ahelp ingame with both accounts to transfer your notes and bans. Failure to do this you may result in a ban.
Changing your ckey will mean you will not be allowed to use your previous account. Doing so may result in a ban.
Rule 8. Suicide, Rage-Quitting, and Logging off
If you are a marine and need to leave the game, go to Cryo on the ship and put yourself in a cryotube. This will release your job slot and allow another player to join with your job. If you are unable to get to cryo, send an Adminhelp to staff. If you are the Queen, Adminhelp to let staff know. If you leave without cryo-ing yourself or informing staff, you risk a job ban, especially if your job is an important one. Suicide is permitted if you have a reasonable roleplay reason why, such as you are infected with a xenomorph and there is no hope of rescue, or you are the last xenomorph alive and there is no queen. Committing suicide without a valid reason will result in a ban and/or jobban.
Some roles carry the risk of punishment for logging out or ghosting without notice.
This is particularly strict at the start of the round (roughly the first 20 minutes)
High Risk Roles
These are some example roles that are likely to be punished for logging out/ghosting without notice.
Medium Risk Roles
These are some example roles that might be punished for logging out/ghosting without notice.
Low Risk Roles
These are some example roles that are unlikely to be punished for logging out/ghosting without notice.
Suicide in the round is to be limited to critical situations. For example;
When you have been abandoned on the Colony after Evacuation.
When Xenos are confirmed to have hijacked the shuttle and are inbound.
When you are infected and have little to no chance of being saved.
Suicide at the end of the round is usually considered EORG and will land an automatic 3 hour ban.
Rule 9. Character names
Use a reasonable, unique, lore-friendly character name that has a first name and surname. Short reasonable nicknames are allowed inside the name (e.g. Derek 'Double-D' Donahue, Jane 'Crusher' Sanchez). Other character names should not be used, this includes ckeys. Nicknames should not be considered a meme. Nicknames should also not be slurs, 18+ content, etc... You may be a sibling or cousin of another player's character, however you cannot play another player's character unless it's part of a staff event. References can be made to characters in the Official CM-SS13 lore. Xenomorph prefixs should not be 18+ or slurs as well. Staff retain rights to make the final judgement if a name or Xenomorph prefix is acceptable or unacceptable.
Ranked, titled, honorific, offensive, famous and pop-culture names are not allowed
Roman numerals may be used, but should not be excessive.
Nicknames should not be written in all Caps Lock
Nicknames should at the maximum contain two words.
Johnny 'Nazi' Johnson
Names that are sexual puns/references of banned words/topics.
A name comprised of extremely common names (I.E John Williams) can be excused for being shared with someone otherwise forbidden, provided the player is not attempting to play as the linked person.
Xeno names cannot be 18+ related, slurs, or abbreviations of other banned words.
Rule 10. Lethal Force
Do not attack another player without a legitimate, explainable roleplay reason that could be applied in a similar, real-life scenario. A fist fight does not suddenly escalate into a gun fight. Should one defend themselves from grief or improper escalation, the staff handling the matter decides if a punishment is given out and to who. Staff may also decide to leave things in character. Even if you are justified, you are still susceptible to Marine Law.
If at any point combat is disengaged and both parties leave the area, you cannot skip escalation and plunge back into a fight. What's done is done.
Some Exceptional Circumstances exist that give cause to bypass typical escalation. These include, but are not limited to the following situations:
There is one evac pod left and four people are trying to board it. The Hive is closing in on you, in desperation you kill the marine in front of you to take their place.
You are on the frontlines, another marine is enraged at you because you took one of his ammo magazines. You're engaged in a furious battle with the approaching hive and the fellow marine is attempting to disarm and tackle you to the ground. With no barricades around you, and no safe area to take cover within, you shoot the marine.
This needs discussion before being set in stone
Rule 11. Marine Law
The following roles are required to follow Marine Law by the server rules. Breaking Marine Law may result in jobbans or further consequences.
All Military Police roles
Senior Enlisted Advisor
Military Police may ignore Minor Crimes unless ordered to enforce them, but they may not ignore Major or Capital Crimes.
Survivor Synthetics are not forced to follow Marine Law, dependent on their chosen alignment (Colony/Survivors/USCM/WY etc.)
Marine Law can be broken when necessary to preserve the lives and safety of others.
Mutinies must be Adminhelped by a chosen leader stating the reasoning and the players directly involved. There must be at least 5 members. with MPs not eligible to mutiny.
If the mutiny does not have a valid reason, it can't happen.
Staff reserve the right to grant or deny mutinies, and to decide if the reason given is sufficient.
Mutiny cannot occur during hijack, and any ongoing mutiny must be ended upon hijack.
Only the Acting Commander can be mutinied against for their decisions, actions, or inactions. They must be given a chance to stand down peacefully.
During the mutiny, attacking any uninvolved, medical, or surrendered personnel is strictly forbidden, as is perma-killing anyone involved. If you have surrendered during a mutiny, you must remain as such.
Once you have picked a side, it is permanent. No take-backs unless you surrender.
Once concluded, all sides must be given medical treatment. Only a Major or higher is able to deny treatment or battlefield execute specific mutineers.
Mutinies must have 5 members minimum.
Roles bound to follow Marine Law through Mandatory Obedience are unable to mutiny.
The USCM Synthetic is not required to aid Command in a Mutiny situation if this would put themselves at high risk, however their choice to help or not is binding, and they are unable to change their mind afterwards.
Valid Reason Examples
Commander is thoroughly incompetent, an ineffective leader and the next person in line would be a better leader.
Commander is generally noncommunicative and make no effort to lead.
Commander is refusing evacuation, either of the AO or ship during hijack
See below for further details
Invalid Reason Examples
Xenos achieved an early or relatively easy victory, outside the control of command.
MPs have arrested your specialist.
This applies to both the field and the ship during hijack.
This is the only permitted mutiny during hijack.
AO evacuation refusal requires 5 people to mutiny as there may be reasons beyond the knowledge of one person.
Ship evacuation refusal may be mutinied by a single person.
MPs are not required to help the Commander in this mutiny, and may join/aide/start the mutiny themselves.
Ship evacuation refusal mutinies must provide at least one chance for the Commander to authorise evacuation, and must use minimum force to succeed.
No terminating the entire CIC because the Commander doesn't want to evacuate.
Whitelisted Commanding Officers are allowed to instantly kill any player at any time if the player fulfills the conditions found in Marine Law. Excessive or poorly-reasoned battlefield executions (such as BEing MPs over a valid arrest) may end with the Commanding Officers being removed from the whitelist.
In most cases, the management team releases rulings on borderline/questionable rule breaks and releases them as rule clarification. These are generally not meant to be read all in one go but should be relied upon to check what isn't or is allowed if you are about to do it.
The wiki & main Colonial Marines discord both contain a repository for these rule clarifications, that allow a player to understand if something borderline (in terms of rules) is allowed or not. So it's recommended:
If the main colonial marine discord is easily accessible to you, you frequently check the #rule-clarification channel for new & singular historic rulings.
You use the wiki page - Rules Clarification - for viewing long-standing rulings with quality of life improvements over the standard discord formatting.