Our Philosophy

We, the Staff of Sigil, have a certain philosophy that we have followed from the moment we began to plan out this sim. As players that have held administrative positions in other sims and have run a few of our own, we've taken some hard-learned lessons from our respective pasts and incorporated those teachings into how we handle things today.

Hands-Off Approach

For too long, the various roleplaying sims of Second Life have been plagued by the same issues: too much policing, too many restrictions, too few active Staff members. These problems stifle the creativity and expression of the player base as a whole.

Avatar Appearances are Player-Moderated

Over the past couple of years, after being a part of the staff teams on other roleplay sims and being the core of Staff in Alderheim and Sigil, we have come to the conclusion that there is no fair way for Staff to judge whether an avatar appearance is suitably immersive or not. What appears cartoonish to us can be deemed perfectly realistic by the rest of the community. Because we as Staff get very little time to roleplay in our community, while the players have the opportunity to interact with other avatars on a roleplay level daily, we have given the ability to moderate player appearances to the player base.

For more information, please refer to Avatar Appearances

Guilds are Player-Run

As an unreasonable general rule, factions and guilds in various roleplay sims have forced characters to conform to their idea of an acceptable niche for admittance and roleplay. Characters must be of a specific set of races, or characters must be of a specific alignment. Usually, there was only one option that most characters would fit into, and that was the only role they were allowed to play. Leaders were chosen by staff to become staff members, themselves, and had a specific, inflexible route they had to take their faction.

In direct opposition to this, Sigil Guilds are completely player-run. This means that if there are no Guilds that any given character fits into, the players have the option of making one. Guild members are no longer forced to try to stay in contact with a leader that has no interest in maintaining a presence in Second Life or on the sim. Guilds are not locked into a set plot by Staff, nor are they held back from advancing that plot in a reasonable way because of possible conflicts with other Guild plots.

In short, a Guild is exactly what the players make it.

Roleplay is Player-Driven

The freedom of Guilds to not be specific to niche characters extends to the characters, themselves. While we provide a loose outline of what we expect from certain character races and alignments, these are by no means forced upon your character and roleplay. The roleplay of your character is only governed by the Roleplay Code of Conduct and the Roleplay HUD. Even then, there are exceptions for every rule, provided all players who are involved in a scene consent to what you wish to do. For example, if you would rather Freeform Combat instead of using Dice, you are allowed to as long as the other player(s) agree.

This may be an unpopular opinion. However, as Staff, we are not here to hold player's hands through their roleplay. While we have Storytellers that can and do provide specific, long-term plots to stir up interest and participation, it is up to players to find and create their own opportunities for roleplay. We are not here to provide every single conflict for characters to react to and develop around. We are not here to play an intangible threat that constantly looms over the sim that, for some reason, cannot be defeated until we say so. Rivalries should be between player characters, not a player character and an NPC.

We believe that roleplay should not be centered around whatever story we come up with while the player characters involved are little more than silhouettes that could be replaced by anyone. Roleplay is and always should be about the characters, their interactions, their development, and their stories. No one should feel like their character is disposable or replaceable. No one should feel as though they can't contribute to the twists and turns of roleplay. No one should feel like a plot is on rails and will arrive at its destination no matter what they or their characters do.

In Character Policing

At every given opportunity, Staff will attempt to resolve conflict In Character. This means that if a rule has been broken In Character and can have In Character consequences, Staff will push for this result. The lore of Sigil allows Staff the ability to discipline a character for In Character actions instead of simply handing out an Out of Character punishment, which means that more characters are given the opportunity to react and move forward in their roleplay.

Obviously, if an issue requires that Out of Character actions be taken, Staff will move forward with mediation and disciplinary actions, if needed.

Transparency

We've all had enough he-said-she-said. Even a little is too much. Our current approach to applications and situations is to keep things as transparent as possible. The only private applications are for Staff positions. All others are made public so that, in the rare event one of them is rejected, all players know exactly why, and other players can learn from them.

In our efforts to be more hands-off and allow players to work issues out like adults, we've also incorporated a transparent approach to problems between players. We believe that Staff does not need to dish out punishments for every infraction, whether intentional or unintentional, as we are not directly involved in the situations and will never have all of the facts. We've found that players, when given the chance, will settle their disputes in a calm and rational manner. It is only when they can't reach a decision that we step in and either help mediate or take disciplinary action.