Proper procedure for approving player names
With the approval system, once again there has been debate on what makes a good name or not. So, from the top...
A bad name may be caught at the approval stage by a hero or immortal. At this point you can disapprove a character and suggest a new name by this command: disapprove
Names may not be well-known fictional names, obscene, offensive, or 'hot topic'.
Bad names include names from popular television shows, books, or movies. One way to tell the bad names from good are, if you recognize it, and it is not an actual name in the real world, it should probably be dropped. Xavier for instance, despite it's X-Men background was a perfectly valid name before the comics, as is Bobby, Jean, Scott, and Peter. In addition, the more obscure the reference the more tolerable it is. If it's obscurity is so great that it would truly take a fan of the work to recognize it, the name is tolerable, just so long as the character's title does not make the reference clearer. For instance, 'Bottom the Adventurer', is fine, 'Bottom the clown of Midsummer's Night Dream' is not. (To see why Bottom is acceptable, read further down.)
Examples of obvious bad names are: Buffy, Macgyver, Clinton, any Sailor Moon character, any Dragonball Z character, Lestat, Raistlin, and other such names*.
Bad names of an obscene nature include English curse words, as well as any other curse words in languages that you recognize. Also included in this are references to sexual acts.
Examples include: (Take a guess which one of these has actually appeared on the mud before.) Cunt, Bitch, Fuck (and any derivative), and other such phrases. Punta, and other offensive non-English words should be pulled as well. After all, we've confirmed we have a rather wide variety of language speakers on the mud. Sodomite, Cungellius, and other such are included as well.
Offensive names are names that are designed to insult, spam, or are otherwise just flat out unacceptable. These are the painful names that deserve to be slapped down.
Examples include: KaneSucks, KaneBlows, LoSeRsCrIpTkIdDiE, 2BIG2Handle, MrRight etc.
'Hot Topic' names are names that, while not necessarily well-known, obscene or offensive, are likely to set off some buttons. These are harder to determine sometimes.
Examples include: YawehFuer. An explanation, Yahweh is a Kabalistic (Jewish mysticism) reference to God. Fuer is commonly recognized as a title for Hitler. The problem should be quite clear from that. Other various names and title combinations, 'O'Paddy the Irish Bomber' and the such should also be understandably bad. A hot topic is pretty much any situation that people have killed each other over, or attempted to do so. It does take a certain sick creativity to come up with these names, but they do occur.
* The policy is not applied retroactively. Please discourage titles combined with names that make references far too obvious.
Good names are names that this policy doesn't cover. It doesn't matter if the name matches the RP level of the character type, or how much you like the name, how they got the name is their own business. Dave the Migo is acceptable. (Two easy ways to have gotten this name in RP: a false identity, really sick parents) Also acceptable is ShadowDragon, Bastlynn, Hugo, or other such names. If a name is stupid but not 'bad', then the players themselves will laugh it off and the player who made the mistake of selecting that name in the first place will eventually change names under group pressure. Or they won't and will likely be ignored. (Hence, Bottom is acceptable.) The name policy is designed to pull names that are over the line of taste, not style.
Getting a name changed past the approval stage is a bit harder. If you have the rename command, no problem, go ahead and rename the character. Ask what name they would like to have. If they try to say no, feel free to point out that you *do* help run the place and have been told by higher ups that you can discipline players who don't give you the least bit of respect. (Of course, don't abuse this power!) If the argument lasts more than five or ten minutes or is reduced to, and I quote from experience: "I like my name." "Hugo likes me. So my name's ok." and 'goss "Help! I'm trapped with Bast and she won't let me go!"', then you have every right to be annoyed. In that case, scribble a note about it on the immboard and senior staff with the force delete command will handle it.
If you don't have the rename command, you can still suggest a rename and find out what they would like to have. At that point, leave a note on immboard and the next person who has the rename command will get it done.
Also keep in mind: One rename per customer. They don't get a second one... so make the first one count. Renames are NOT available to players whose names are already acceptable. They should have picked the name they wanted to begin with. And in addition someone should not try to escape a 'reputation' they built under a name but get to keep the character.