This file attempts to clarify any questions players might have about how rumors should and shouldn’t be used.
Actions taken via +rumors are considered as IC actions, and players always have to consider whether their characters are able and willing to take the actions that the commands represent. Do not say things via +rumors that your character would not actually say IC (whether in public or in private) and keep in mind that any spreading, quashing or investigation represents your character taking these actions.
Rumors can be entirely false, but they should be claims of fact regarding someone’s actions or opinions, not direct statements of opinion.
Keep in mind that rumors reflect verbal gossip and attempt to write them in a suitable style; long paragraphs of very detailed information are generally not appropriate. This often goes hand-in-hand with another problem; rumors being used to carry on an argument, with counter-rumors and counter-counter-rumors.
For that, use the tools within the system, namely spread and quash.
For targeted rumors it is important that the contents of the rumor actually constitute a positive or a negative rumor that realistically would affect someone’s Influence or Renown. This means that although targeted rumors still can be false, they need be believable. Players who feel that a targeted rumor fails in adhering to these standards should report this to the Admin via +jobs (+HELP JOBS).
Avoid duplicating existing rumors. In particular, if you are aware of a targeted rumor, do not start another targeted rumor that essentially duplicates the first. Instead, consider spreading the existing one.
Rumors should not be seen as a replacement for passing on gossip through roleplay or for making posts about IC events. Instead, it should be seen as a complement to these methods, and players are encouraged to make use of it whenever it is IC to do so. On-screen roleplay is strongly encouraged but not strictly required (the exception being when rumors are shared, which always should be done on-screen) in conjunction with the use of the +rumors commands.
Targeted rumors are directed at a specific PC, and these can be either positive or negative and they can affect either Influence or Renown. Because of the real impact on Influence and Renown these rumors can have, misuse of the system will be considered a serious issue. For example, OOCly organizing a concerted +rumors attack on another character without all involved characters having IC reasons for their actions would be considered inappropriate usage of the system. Similarly, repeatedly making the same targeted rumors about other characters could be an issue; a character may continue to press the issue, but it should probably be represented by general rather than targeted rumors.