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Index | Into The Black? | Rules? | Posting Guidelines

These are a standard set of posting guidelines. Many of you will feel they start the bleedin' obvious. Well. Yes. Regard them as just being read into the record for everyone's benefit.

1. Post:
Yes, this is simplistic. Make sure you respond to every move, even if it's a quick note saying "I don't really have something to do so I'll just do research" or "Play Thorough" or something. Ideally, you should be posting at least twice a week. If you are unable to post for a time due to say, vacation, or illness, send your GM or the Chat list an email letting them know.

2. Always Write In Third Person:
You know... say "he", "she", and "it". Avoid first person like the plague; never write your narration with "I did this" and "I did that". You are trying to tell a story, not write a diary.

3. Use the Past Tense as your Primary.
In other words, 'Oswald walked to the door, turned to survey the room and sneered, "If you are so fond of your secrets, you shall be permitted to keep them - for now!" And then he was gone.'
Not - 'Oswald walks to the door, turns to survey the room and sneers, "If you are so fond of your secrets, you shall be permitted to keep them - for now!" And then he is gone.'

4. Use Proper Spelling And Grammar:
Regardless of what language you are writing in, choppy paragraphs and badly constructed sentences make your writing hard for other people to read. They are also prone to never read your posts if they continually cannot decipher what you read.
Actually, I'm not really anticipating a problem in this game. I'm pretty sure that I'm the worst speller here, unfortunately.

5. Avoid Bad Posts:
There are several different types of posts to be wary of. Each has its own problems:

  • Non-Game-Related Messages:
    If you feel you've got to say something to the people on the list, say it on the OOC list, not the Game list.
  • Rambling Messages That Say Nothing:
    These messages are usually five miles of unremoved quotes and old text followed by three lines of new text. This is not only impolite, it's incredibly annoying. It borders on spamming... and for the record, spamming on one of the mailing lists is something that will get you banned from playing. It's usually a good idea to quote the message you are replying to in your new response, but only quote applicable text.
  • Messages From The Willingly Oblivious:
    These messages come about when one player totally ignores something posted by someone else, be it another player or the GM. If you don't like something that's been posted, you are NOT allowed to just ignore it and move on... especially if it came from the GM. Feel free to voice your objection to the GM, in a private message.
  • Super-Hero Syndrome:
    Basically a post of this sort involves your character doing things he simply isn't capable of doing, and not responding correctly to his weaknesses. The best example would be a character who should be hobbling around in pain after being grievously wounded, but instead is prancing around like he was Errol Flynn in Captain Blood.
  • Flames:
    Now, when I say flames, I don't just mean two player characters hurling insults at each other. That's entirely permissible, as it's IC (In-Character). There are two types of Flames – The first is the dirty trick known as the In-Character Flame War. In such a flamefest, two or more players will use their characters to fight each other over problems they are having in real life. You can tell this is going on when two characters who have no reason to be hostile to each other suddenly start fighting. Not good. It screws up the GM's storylines and annoys the hell out of everyone else. The second is the OOC Flame War, in which people directly begin to start nasty arguments, generally over the Chat list. Also not good.
  • Assassin Posts:
    To put it simply, do not kill, seriously maim, or otherwise destroy another character without the both a good cause in the story, and the express permission of the GM. Killing other PCs (or even important NPCs) off because you can without a good story reason is a great way to get booted from the game. “Because I am edgy and gritty” is not a good story reason.
  • Plot Changers:
    Do not post a message which drastically change the plotline the game follows. The GM is there for a reason, after all, and it's her game, not yours. If you have a good idea for a plotline, contact the GM.

6. When Presenting Dialog, Use The Correct Encapsulating Characters To Help Identify How The Dialog Is Being Heard By Others:
The correct dialog conventions are as follows:

  • "Use quotation marks here," the speaker said aloud.
  • *Asterisks are used here,* came a voice over the radio.
  • <<Double angled brackets are an indication of a foreign language being spoken,>> said a voice in perfectly accented Vordanian.
  • ::Typed text, such as that appearing in a book or in a newspaper, should appear in double colons,:: the hero read.
  • ~Cedillas are used here,~ the man thought to himself.
  • ^Odd little hats are used here,^ came the mysterious telepathic voice in your head.

7. The GM's Word Is Law:
The GM of the game are always willing to listen to opposing opinions, but never, ever present your opposing opinion to them on the game's Chat or Game mailing list. Send it privately. And if a GM ever says something along the lines as "my decision stands", let the issue go. We mean it, let it drop. Continuing to argue after the GM has reached a decision is not a smart thing to do.

8. Be Heard, But Don't Shout Others Down:
If you're naturally quiet, try to post often enough to at least be recognized as being around. If you're a big talker, be silent once in a while and let someone else get a word in edgewise.

9. Avoid Time Crunches:
Basically, this means reply to a new move in a timely fashion. Sure, sometimes it's impossible, but at least make the effort. It also means avoid spiraling timescales. It is rare that an action CAN and MUST take place at such and such a time and no later. If you can do something later and thereby avoid wedging in an unnecessary action now, you'll be the GM's friend for life. The game cannot move forward if everyone is always trying to get the last word in. Don't do this if you can help it.

10. Treat These Games As If They Were Games:
No one is going to come up with a cure for cancer while typing away at these stories... and these stories don't promote world peace. They're just games. This actually has three meanings:

1. First, it means never forget that your life isn't changed just because your character gets reamed.
2. Second, remember that your actions can either contribute to the group enjoyment or take away from it. It's up to you whether or not you have fun.
3. Third, if your real life is interfering in your game play, see to your real life first.

Always Remember The Most Important Rule: If You Become A Problem, You Will Be Removed.
Be polite. It's not that hard. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, occasionally doubt your own infallibility. This has nothing to do with what your character does with the other characters - that should be whatever it takes to keep him or her in character. It involves other real people and whether or not they're enjoying the game with you in it. Be considerate and polite whenever possible.

Page last modified on August 05, 2008, at 11:06 PM