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(Out of Date - See Current) RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

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Cannibal Smiliest

Smacking around John Sumbitch
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Validated User
OUTDATED
The RPGnet Forums Mission Statement:

"To keep the forums friendly and welcoming to as wide a range of gamers as possible."

Rules for the RPGnet Forums
Things you need to know to post here

RPGnet is a privately-owned forum that welcomes gamers as guests for friendly, constructive discussion. The site owners entrust management of the forum community to a volunteer staff of moderators. The moderators are expected to do whatever they judge most appropriate to maintain a welcoming, high-quality discussion forum, limited only by the direction of the administrators (senior moderators) and the site owners. The staff may infract posters, close threads or do anything else they think might be helpful at any time for any reason.

But most interactions with the staff are covered by these ten rules; gamers who abide by them can concentrate on enjoying the forums, their interaction with the staff rare and friendly.

Rule 1: Be a good citizen of the forum. Trolling, edition warring and otherwise sabotaging the peace of the board damages the quality of discussion and is not acceptable. Being “right” is not an excuse to engage in behaviour that degrades the RPGnet experience.

Rule 2: Do not make attacks against other gamers. Challenging arguments and ideas is fine, but not attacking the people holding them. This includes attacks on an individual poster, or groups that any reasonable person would understand includes fellow RPGnetters. Gaming industry professionals are assumed to be users of the site for this purpose. Racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic posts will not be tolerated. Support of Gamergate, Stormfront or any other hate group is not tolerated and will result in banning.

Rule 3: Your posts should contribute to discussion. Post in the appropriate forum. Do not post on the current banned topics. Do not make posts empty of content (links without comment, “+1” etc.). Do not reply to or discuss moderation in-thread, take it to Trouble Tickets or the Administrators.

Rule 4: Do not post anything illegal under U.S. law, or encourage others to break U.S. laws or the laws of their country of residence.

Rule 5: Do not post or link to pornography or any form of inappropriate explicit sexual content.

Rule 6: Respect the privacy of your fellow gamers. Do not post emails or private messages without explicit written permission of all those involved. Do not use any posts or part of posts from these forums for commercial purposes without the express permission of each person involved.

Rule 7: The redtext and guidance BBCodes - as well as conventional redtext - are reserved for use by the moderation staff. A member of staff posting with the Redtext BB Code or red text is posting as a moderator, and their instructions must be followed. A member of staff posting in black text should be treated as an ordinary user in all respects. Do not impersonate the staff.

Rule 8: Do not share your account with anyone, as you will be held responsible for all posts made by your account. Do not impersonate other users, past or present.

Rule 9: Do not ask for medical, legal or other professional advice. Do not request emergency crisis counseling or solicit personal financial donations.

Rule 10: The staff moderates to the spirit of the rules and the context at hand. Conforming to the rules to the letter is not a magic talisman against moderation if your posts are bad for the forum.


Responding to Moderation

Responses to or queries regarding moderation should be posted in Trouble Tickets, or addressed to the Administrators via email to admin.rpgnet@gmail.com or private message.

Do not reply to red-text moderation in thread. Do not private message the moderator in question regarding their action. Do not use the report function to respond to red text.

Appeals & Requests for Review

Infractions may be appealed by emailing admin.rpgnet@gmail.com - please include a reasoned argument as to why the infraction should be reversed, or clemency granted, and be patient (the administrators are few and like to take their time considering appeals carefully). Additional information regarding appeals can be found here.

You may also email that address to request the administrators review an issue that you feel the staff overlooked or did not respond to appropriately. Please respect the admins’ limited time and articulate a clear argument as to why we should do so.
 
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Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Re: RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

Guidelines, Clarifications, Policies and FAQs:
Helpful lore for posting on RPGnet

The Site FAQ is found here.

Guidelines:

1) Be polite. Try to be considerate. Make some basic attempt at using proper capitalization, punctuation, spelling and grammar, because they all aid in communication. If you want to make a post that’s difficult to fully articulate from a mobile device, consider waiting until you have access to a full keyboard. Use profanity as a spice, not the main course. HTML has been disabled, please use vBulletin's own codes instead.

2) RPGnet is privately-owned but public-facing. It is filled with many thousands of gamers from all over the world and all situations in life. Remember that your audience is highly diverse and do not universally share your beliefs, values or context. Do not post under the assumption you’ll be automatically understood.

3) Don't threadjack. Derailing a thread's conversation is a good way to annoy the thread's creator and everyone else involved in the conversation. If you absolutely need to discuss something else, find an appropriate thread for your topic or start your own.

4) Don't threadcrap. If you wish to correct what you see as an error or fallacy in the initial post of a thread, that's fine, but if you have a problem with the basic premise of a discussion such that you wish it weren't taking place at all, ignore it. Don't tell everyone in the thread they're wasting their time discussing the issue, because if they agreed with you, they wouldn't be discussing the issue.

5) Think before you post. It can sometimes be hard to determine where acceptable conversation ends and attacks or other rules violations begin, especially in the heat of a debate. If you are unsure whether a post might cross the line, feel free to PM a moderator or administrator for advice — especially before making a post you might regret later.

6) Read before you post. If you don’t have time to at least skim a thread for moderator instructions and repeated arguments, you don’t have time to post in it.

7) The rules apply to all uses of the forums, including the content of signatures, thread tags, social groups (and their related discussions) and profile comments.
 

Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Re: RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

Banned Topics:

-- Fred Phelps / Westboro Baptist Church

-- Discussions even remotely related to "homosexuality: nature vs. nurture" and/or "does God really hate gays?"

-- Should transgender people really be considered the gender they say they are?

-- Spanking children as a disciplinary measure.*

-- Typical male circumcision.*

*These two topics are not banned in the Parents & Parenting subforum.

-- As per discussion, the moderation staff has decided that discussions about gun control and points related will not occur in threads about mass shootings; they can be spun off as a separate thread as normal. (12/3/2015)
 
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Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Re: RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

Clarifications:


What's an Infraction?

An infraction is a moderator action recorded against your account by the forum software. Warnings and suspensions are always infractions. The staff take any previous infractions into account when judging subsequent incidents. Infractions may be reversed upon successful appeal to the administrators at admin.rpgnet@gmail.com

You will receive a private message from the forum software if you are infracted, and the infraction will appear on your user profile and in the Infraction Forum. If you are red-texted by a moderator but these things don't happen, you haven't been infracted and your permanent record is not affected.

"Infraction" is a vBulletin term that we're stuck with. So we'll say we "infract" users even if that's not quite correct English because the alternative would be even more confusing.


Thread Bans

If you are instructed to leave a thread by a moderator, you must not post in that thread again (or any direct successor threads). The moderator may or may not give you an infraction to that effect; if so it counts as a warning for the purposes of your permanent record. Either way you’re out of the thread.


How do we define “Trolling, edition warring and otherwise sabotaging the peace of the board?”

We don’t. It’s subjective and contextual - but many thousands of gamers manage to fit into that context without setting off flame wars, and you can too. You should note that “edition warring” is not preferring one edition of a game over another, but includes getting into fights with fans of the other editions, particularly in threads that aren’t intended as a debate of their relative merits. It’s our hobby’s own special brand of inane and toxic argument, don’t do it.


Rule 2 says we shouldn’t attack groups, can you elaborate?

We prohibit personal attacks because they cause flamewars and make the forums terrible. People will reasonably feel attacked if someone attacks a group they’re a part of, so we treat that as a personal attack for the same reason. We don’t define lists of groups that are protected or not because the groups aren’t the issue, preventing flamewars between gamers on the forums is. It’s your responsibility to make posts that reasonable people won’t take as personal attacks.

This is pretty easy to do, whether dealing with an individual or a group - you attack arguments, behaviours and ideas, not people. This also implies that anyone feeling attacked should carefully consider whether they are personally under fire, or if it’s a legitimate challenge to their ideas or arguments.


Where can advertisements be posted?

The Ads/Promo forum or the Sales! Auctions! forum as appropriate. Posts elsewhere judged to be advertisements rather than discussions will be moved. Advertisements in signatures are allowed.

Please be warned that we suffer very high volumes of spam, and routinely delete posts and ban posters we believe to be spam. Try to ensure your advertisement looks like it comes from a human and not a spam-bot, particularly if it’s your first post.


Administrators and Moderators

The admins are a subset of the moderator staff, with additional software privileges and authority. It is their responsibility to review moderator actions, including processing appeals against infractions and ensuring moderators have acted appropriately.

Administrators are still moderators and perform moderation duties as normal. An appeal against an infraction given by one administrator will be handled by the others.

The current staff are:

Administrators:

Cessna
Hello Kaiju
IceShadow
JamesCat
Mengtzu
Michelle Lyons
The Wyzard
Ubermonkey

VB (Technical) Admin:

Cannibal Smiley

Moderators:

Arachne
Bailywolf
BD Flory
BethDragon
Calliope
Crowqueen
Emprint
Ettin
Gizmit
J. H. Frank
JonA
JustJo
Killfalcon
Koopa
Lee Casebolt
Levi
Patrick Y.
Law Orc (formerly Random Nerd)
Richard Clayton
Seiberwing
Stephen Lea Sheppard
TechnocratJT
The Synesthete
Zeea
 
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Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Re: RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

Policies


“Retarded” or "Gay" as pejoratives

Don’t use these, or their variants! We don’t like it.


Derailing and suppression of sexism-related discussion

We’ve previously had a serious problem with female gamers being made to feel unwelcome on the forum by systematic derailment and suppression of discussions of sexism. As a result we have identified a number of behaviours that we will infract.

These behaviours are largely covered by Rule 1 anyway, and not limited to the area of sexism, but we are devoting extra scrutiny to their contribution to this particular problem. They include:

- Threadjacking discussion from the female to the male experience of an issue
- Denying the experiences of female posters
- Demanding to be educated on the subject
- Concern trolling (such as "But I'm concerned discussion of sexism will drown out discussion of the good things about $GAME")
- Questioning the validity of sexism as a phenomena or a topic of discussion at RPGnet
- Demanding that the debate be reframed (e.g. "This debate is too emotional"/"This should only be about solutions, not criticisms" etc.)
- Accusing other posters of looking to be offended
- Accusing male posters of "White-Knighting" or otherwise arguing against sexism solely for the approval of women

What about Gamergate?

RPGnet has spent many years building an environment where all gamers can discuss games without being intimidated or attacked because of who and what they are-- a place where minorities, folks of varying spiritual beliefs, LGBT posters, and women can speak without fear of being harassed or silenced-- and the activities carried out under the #gamergate banner are completely incompatible with maintaining such an atmosphere. Any group that drives multiple women from their homes in fear of their lives, calls in bomb threats to conventions, and at every turn seeks to silence those that disagree with them through intimidation and harassment has no place on RPGnet.

What does this mean for you, the poster? Here's an easy guide:
• Wait, does this mean I can't criticize Anita Sarkeesian's videos or whatever? - Not at all. Criticize to your heart's content..
• But ethical journalism is deeply important to me! - Then by all means, discuss journalism and ethics on RPGnet.
• Clearly you haven't done any research on this subject or you'd know that #gamergate strongly supports diversity in gaming and strongly condemns harassment and that it's just a few bad apples -- Nope, go somewhere else to post that.


Signatures

Signatures are to be no longer than six lines of regular text or eight lines of Size 1 text (including blank lines). The use of quote tags, spoiler tags, blink tags, and images in signatures are prohibited. You may place promotional information or links into your signature if you so wish.


Sockpuppets

Please ask permission from the staff before creating any additional accounts. From time to time we will temporarily allow such an account for the purpose of anonymity or a really witty joke, but in general you should use only one account.

Using a second account to circumvent a suspension or ban will result in an automatic permanent ban from the forum.


Closed threads (and opening new ones)

Thread closure is not a punishment for the original poster (or anyone else). Threads are not people and we are not gentle with them.

When closing a thread, a moderator will include instructions as to whether another thread on the topic may be opened. If they do not, please contact the staff for permission before starting a new thread.

Note all threads that reach 5000 posts are closed for database performance reasons. It is always appropriate to start a new thread in this case. Best practice is to start a thread shortly before the old one hits 5000 posts, post a link to the new thread in the old, and then either report the old thread or post in Trouble Tickets to ask for it to be closed.


Links without comment

Threads created with little more than a link and no substantive text will be closed. This happens regardless of the contents of the link. We want to foster discussion, not serve as a host for link aggregation. What makes a comment 'substantive? If you start a conversation about the topic, using the link as "recommended but not required reading" for the thread, you likely won't go wrong.


Helping others circumvent bans

Don’t do this! Reposting public statements from a banned poster is permitted, but acting as a proxy or mouthpiece to effectively allow someone to post where the staff has determined they shouldn’t is prohibited.
 
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Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Re: RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

FAQ


Why can’t I search?

Our database is much bigger than vBulletin can cope with, and search kills the forum. We’ve tried to get rid of all the links to search, but you may find yourself there through some obscure path.

Try searching google with the site:forum.rpg.net prefix.


Searching has been reenabled!


Help, I’ve just registered and I can’t change my profile/signature/avatar or edit my posts!

We prevent users with less than 10 posts from accessing some features, as spam bots use those features...for spam. The forum software will unlock these features after your tenth post (though not instantly, it can take some hours).

Specifically, users with less than ten posts cannot:

Edit their posts.
Edit their own profile.
Edit their own signature file.
Have an avatar.
Tag posts.
Change their title.
Post visitor messages
Join or create groups


Why Can't I Edit My Post?

After a certain time limit forum posts are no longer editable. Up until that time you are free to edit as you please, but after that time you'll need to ask a mod for help. Also if you are a new poster and have not made 10 posts yet, you cannot edit the posts you have made, even within the forum software time limit. (see above)

This is how our software is set up, and we consider it preferable to the alternative. Imagine playing in a PBP with player who suddenly decides to delete every single one of her posts, leaving the whole campaign in the lurch, etc. So if you need help with editing something, please feel free to ask.


Can I change my username?

Yes, once per year. Please post your request in the most recent Name Change Thread in Trouble Tickets, an administrator will make the change at some random time when a number of requests have built up.

Once that happens, please include your previous username in your signature for a few weeks.


Can you delete my account/ban me until finals are over?


No. Your only option with regards to your account is to stop using it (possibly by scrambling your password).

I've been away for a long time, now my user title says 'Retired User'. Why? And how do I turn it off?

The system automatically marks an account 'Retired User' after three years of inactivity (i.e. not even logging in; lurking won't get you marked retired so long as you log in regularly). When someone logs back into an account marked as retired, the system should automatically change it back within a day or so. If it takes longer, post in TT so Shannon can investigate.

Note that when an account is marked as 'Retired' it will not receive the rpg.net newsletter; upon returning to the site, when the system removes the Retired label, the email associated with the account will start receiving the newsletter. One can opt out of the newsletter through user settings and through a link in the newsletter itself.
 
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Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
Re: RPG.net Rules and Guidelines

Public Group Policy and Current Public Groups

How does one join?

In the purple toolbar above, click 'Settings', then on the left side, you'll see an option in the My Settings box under 'My Account': 'Permission Groups'. Click on that, then check out the list of public groups, and join as you will. You will also have the option of choosing a new template for your user title. Right now, this won't do anything special or amazing, because I haven't decided whether or not to use it.

Can I request a new public group be created?

You certainly may, by posting a thread in Trouble Tickets. But there are several factors that the mods and I will consider before allowing the creation of a new public group:

  • Groups WILL NOT under any circumstances be created for individual games, game companies, product lines, potato chip brands, or the like. Don't even bother asking. No, really. Specific subsets of *gamers*, however, will be considered, based on public response. Please note the later condition on moderators moving threads of general interest, however.
  • Is the group already well serviced by an existing forum? This is a trickier question, and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For example, a public group for 'Game Designers' will not be created, because that subset of users is served by the Art of Game Design forum.
  • Groups based on rule-breaking topics are, of course, right out. No Aryan Nation Gamer public group will be created, for example.
  • Highly specific public groups will also not be created (i.e. Paraplegic Armenian Veterans of Foreign Wars and Gamers!).
  • Public groups are open to everyone on the board. Therefore if you're hoping to create the Christian Roleplayers public group, note that non-Christians will be allowed to freely join the group. HOWEVER, if it is found that a user has joined said group simply to be an asshat, that person will be summarily removed and subject to at least a two-week suspension, no questions asked.

The creation of any public group will be subject to public scrutiny (meaning no PMs for public groups will be honored), and to a vote from the moderation staff. Please note that threads in public group fora are still moderated as per usual, and the moderation staff has been directed to remove any post that would benefit the greater RPG audience to the appropriate forum at their discretion.

Current Public Groups

Current Public Groups:

Creative Writing Collective
Sound and Vision
Health and Fitness
Parents & Parenting
Philosophers and Philotheists
Programmers and Coders
The Wilde Side
Toys and Collectibles
 
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