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In Nomine Online Roleplaying Policy

Updated July 1, 1999



An "Online Roleplaying Community" is an online environment in which players can meet, talk, and recreate a favorite world in a "freeform" roleplaying style. There are many ways to run an ORC. The best known are M*s (MOO, MUSH, MUCK and so on); IRC and its variants; "chat rooms" on online services; and various Web applications.

Since we released In Nomine, we have had many inquiries about running online environments using the In Nomine rules. We like that idea . . . but trademark and copyright issues have been a concern.

In Nomine® is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and all In Nomine releases are copyright by Steve Jackson Games. We have to protect these rights. This policy is designed to give us the legal protection we need while giving you the freedom to set up an In Nomine ORC . . . with our official sanction!

By complying with the rules on this page and returning our license form (the URL for the license, and instructions, are at the bottom of this document) you may set up an authorized In Nomine ORC. We do not permit unlicensed use of the In Nomine name or background for any online environments . . . you must go through the license procedure. We have tried to make it painless.

This agreement must be made with an individual. If the site is maintained by a club or group, one person must sign the license and take responsibility. That person must have actual control over the site (e.g., be an operator for an IRC channel, be a wizard for a M*).

This policy, the permissions it gives, and any similar permissions given under other circumstances, are subject to change or withdrawal at any time without notice.

The Angel of Networks and the In Nomine ORC Page

Our online In Nomine program is administered by Orc, the Angel of Networks. You can reach Orc at Whether this person is a Role of Orc, or a mortal whom he occasionally possesses, or something else entirely, is not of concern to you at this time.

Orc's duties include:

  • Communicating with people who would like to create official In Nomine ORCs, and helping them get licensed.
  • Visiting existing ORCs, just to keep an angelic eye on things . . .
  • Maintaining the In Nomine ORC page, which points to all licensed ORCs.

What You Can Do

Once you are licensed:

  • You may advertise your ORC as an official In Nomine MUSH (or MOO, or channel, or whatever). If your ORC is not, itself, a web application, you may create a web page for it, following these guidelines, without a separate license. You may use the In Nomine name and logo, as long as you always put the ® symbol on the logo and (if it is on the web) make it a link to It is not necessary to mark each use of the In Nomine name with a trademark symbol, or even to make it a link, but please emphasize the name with bold, italic, all-caps or colored type every time you use it.
  • You may use any and all elements of the official In Nomine world, as described in our books, in developing the background of your ORC. This includes creation of "bots" and M* objects.
  • You may use a reasonable amount of our art (no more than 10 pieces) on web pages for your licensed In Nomine ORC, provided that you credit the artist and otherwise comply with this policy.
  • You may quote up to a dozen short (no more than 50 words) excerpts from In Nomine books on web pages for your licensed In Nomine ORC.
  • You may, if you wish, create computerized die-rollers or character creators for online In Nomine play. (You may not, however, create other computerized game aids without separate permission.)

What You MUST Do

To be licensed for an In Nomine online environment, you must agree to the following conditions, and keep to them:

  • The In Nomine trademark, and all elements of the game, must be used in a manner that will enhance (that is, not damage) the reputation of the game;
  • The In Nomine logo on any web page must link back to our official page for that product (, and any use of our company logo must link back to our home page (
  • You must give Orc, the Angel of Networks, two characters in your ORC. One will be in the name of Orc himself, for "official visits." The other will be in any name Orc wishes (and he may change it . . . after all, he's a Kyriotate) to let him walk within your world unknown to all but the administrators.
  • You must supply Orc with contact information for your world, and a paragraph or so of description. He'll put this on the ORC page to publicize you and send you new players. (This listing information is required even if your ORC is private or temporarily full.) If your URL, contact phone or email, or other information changes, you must notify Orc.
  • You must follow all other terms of the license agreement which you'll sign.

You must also fill in the appropriate blanks and place the following notice prominently on your ORC's home page, login screen, or the equivalent:

"The material presented here is based on the In Nomine system from Steve Jackson Games. The specific content of this site is the responsibility of [Administrator's Name] and its users, and has not been approved or endorsed by Steve Jackson Games. In Nomine is a registered trademark of Steve Jackson Games, and all art from In Nomine is copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. All intellectual property of SJ Games on this [site/channel] is utilized in accordance with a license granted under the SJ Games online policy for In Nomine online environments."

(Note that this legal language includes several HTML links to our site. These must be included if your ORC is in a medium that supports HTML links!)

What You Cannot Do

You can't charge people to participate in your ORC.

You can accept donations, but anything that looks like "membership fees," even if disguised as "voluntary" donations, will be grounds for immediate cancellation of your license. You do not have to make your ORC open to the public, and you certainly don't have to let individuals participate if they prove obnoxious, but you cannot charge money.

You can't post (or make available for download) forms, charts, tables or text from any of the In Nomine books.

That would be a violation of copyright. If a particular form, table, etc., is not already posted on the official In Nomine pages, we don't want it online. The only exception would be very short text quotes (no more than 50 words) used for flavor.

You can't create an In Nomine "computer game," either online or stand-alone.

These conflict with our licensing program. If you are a professional game developer and want to talk about licenses, write to the Director of Licensing.

You can't create a computerized game aid except for the two types described above.

Such elements are not required for the freestyle roleplaying normally found in ORCs. They are more appropriate to a "computer game," and that's not what we are licensing here.

If you want to create a stand-alone game aid for In Nomine, you need a specific game aid license, separate from the ORC license. These are easy to get. Learn more about them by clicking here. See the ones that we have already licensed and approved here.

You can't reproduce copyrighted text (like game rules and vignette text) of more than 50 words per quote.

If you really need to do a longer quote, this requires special permission from Steve Jackson Games. To request this permission, write to the Angel of Networks. But really, 50 words is plenty . . .

You can't go out and do awful (or stupid) things which blacken our name.

One important clause of the license boils down to "If YOU do something to get US in legal trouble, we will hire our own lawyers to defend us and send YOU the bill."

You can't speak for us.

This license does not make you an agent of SJ Games, or a spokesman for the company. It means that we are encouraging you to have fun with the In Nomine world, within these guidelines, and share that fun with others. That's all.

Other Issues

Canon or Non-Canon?

"Canon" is the word that describes what is "official" and "real" in the In Nomine background. Everything in our books is canon unless we specifically identify it as optional or alternate-history.

You are not required to keep to canon in your ORC, as long as you tell us, and your players, what your ground rules are. If you want to run a MOO that crosses over with, for instance, White Wolf's "World of Darkness," it's all right with us, but it's non-canon. (Of course, it might not be all right with White Wolf. This is just an example, and don't take it to imply that we can give any permissions on White Wolf's part!!)

If you identify your ORC as canon, we (and your players) will expect you to follow the books, not kill off any Archangels or Demon Princes, and so on. The advantage of canon is that anybody who reads the books will know what to expect.

If you identify your ORC as non-canon, it would be kind of you to give us (and your players) some hint as to the differences . . .

Acceptable Content

As the warning on the back of the books says, In Nomine is intended for mature players, and its religious themes may be unsettling to some. We realize and expect that individual ORCS may have more or less "mature" content, according to the desires and vision of the administrators. Please post an appropriate notice on your home page, login screen, or whatever. If your content is highly "mature," make the warning very explicit, for everyone's protection, and follow all applicable laws in your physical jurisdiction!

That being said: If, visiting your ORC, we find content that we can't stomach and don't wish associated with our game, we'll tell you about it, and you will need to correct it or lose your license. Simple as that. We won't try to give examples of what we might disapprove, because we wouldn't like the examples. :-)

Read the books and use common sense.

Our Online Policy

If you have questions that have not been answered by this page, they may be covered in our online policy . . . please read it.

ORC License Instructions

Before Filling Out the Form

  1. Contact Orc at, and let him know what you're trying to do. He'll be able to put you in contact with the line editor when it's time for the next step.
  2. Once you have all your details in order, get approval from the line editor. She'll write back, telling you to fill out the form, and letting us know to expect one in the mail soon.
  3. Move on to actually filling out the form, and mail it on in. Make sure you list the same name and email address there that you gave the line editor, so that we'll know who's sending in the form when it arrives.

How To Use The Form

Download it, print it out (it's a PDF file, so we can be sure the text remains unmodified) read it, and make sure you're willing to agree to it. (If you cannot print this PDF file, send a large stamped self-addressed envelope, with three oz. of postage, to Game Aids, Steve Jackson Games, PO Box 18957, Austin TX 78760, with a note about what you want, and we'll send you two copies.)

Then send two filled-out hardcopies of the form. We will sign and return one copy. Now you're legal and official, as long as you comply with the terms of the agreement.

Filling In the Blanks:

Introduction. Don't fill in the date. We'll do that when we accept the agreement.
1:2. Fill in the name of the individual who will be responsible for the site. Fill in the second blank with your mailing address.
2:2. Fill in the blank with the name of your site.
3:3. Fill in the blank with the name of your site.
End of contract: Fill in all the blanks for address, etc. Be sure to sign the contract, and date your signature.
Attachment A: Fill in all the blanks.

Click here for the license document. It's an Adobe Acrobat file. (Click here to download Acrobat.) Again, if you can't download the file, write us at the address above and we'll send you two copies.

Steve Jackson Games
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