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Old 11-05-2009, 01:09 PM   #1
The Fox
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Default The Rules! (You should probably read these.)

Welcome to the Steve Jackson Games forum! Specifically, welcome to our list of rules. While we fully expect you to behave in the sort of polite manner that is becoming of an adult, we've heard rumors that the Internet is, at times, an unsavory place. So, for those miscreants that might seek to ruin the good times we're all here to have, I present the following list.

Stuff that Annoys Us

Spamming. The obvious one. Normal spammers are banned automatically. Regular users, however, are asked to exercise restraint if they create a thread for the express purpose of driving traffic to their website. We recognize that useful user-made game aids might go unnoticed if you don't get out there in tell people about them.

If you simply must make a thread about your Cool Gaming Thing, you may do so once. (And it had better be a Cool Gaming Thing. This is a gaming forum, and anything else will not be tolerated.) After that, put it in your signature line if you still want people to notice it.

Illegal stuff. The other obvious one. Basically, while you can discuss things that are illegal, we don't want to see any endorsements or "how to's." This means do not post copyrighted material to the boards, or ask someone else to do so. When in doubt, err on the side of caution.

The prime example spelled out: Talking about the implications of online piracy is fine. Saying "go pirate a book" or "I will pirate/have pirated this book" is not. Saying "go here to pirate books" is the fastest way to get yourself banned in these parts.

Naughty words. Our forum has a profanity filter. It helpfully keeps words we deem offensive off our boards. Do not try to circumvent it. For example, if "booger" was on the list and you write it as "b00ger" to get around the filter, the mods will be displeased. Also, if you find a word we missed in the filter, that doesn't mean you have permission to use it. It just means we haven't restricted it yet.

NSFW links. That's Internet shorthand for "not safe for work." Typically, that means stuff that is excessively vulgar or pornographic in nature. Do not link to porn.

No contests. Only Steve Jackson Games staff may run contests on our forums.

Garbage posts. We strongly discourage posts with no actual content. This covers a handful of annoying things, so let's break 'em down.

Bumping: This is defined as posting into a thread for the express purpose of nudging the thread to the top of the thread listing to draw attention to it. If you ask a question and it hasn't been answered a day later, please continue to wait.

Clutter: Examples include posting things like "in before lock" or variants there of. Posts that consist solely of words like "me too" or "omg owned" or "LOL." This is all stuff that is really just a step above bumping.

Link-Dumping: This refers to a post consisting entirely of links, with no commentary from the poster. If you're posting a link, have the courtesy to (a) describe the page it links to, and (b) explain why you're posting it. Anyone starting a thread with a link-dump can expect that thread to be closed without explanation.

Basically, what we're asking here is that you try to only post if you have something to contribute. We want to encourage discussion. That's the whole point of a forum, after all!

(A note on thread resurrection: It is allowed, but conditionally. Your new post should add meaningful content which is relevant to the original thread. If you're asking a new question, please start a new thread. Please also be aware that the mods are the sole arbitrators on what constitutes "meaningful content," so you do this at your own risk.)

Derailing. An off-shoot of the above. A reasonable amount of thread drift is fine. That's the nature of discussion. But if a thread about GURPS Fantasy becomes more about how anachronistic historical films are than about running a fantasy campaign, you need to go make a new thread and get back on topic.

Maliciously derailing a thread will, of course, put you in the mods' gunsights.

Threadcrapping and trolling. If you come into a perfectly nice discussion about Fluffy Bunny Pals to leave a one-line "Fluffy Bunny Pals SUCKS!!!" post, that's threadcrapping. It's worse when your post is "Anyone who likes Fluffy Bunny Pals is an idiot," because that's a group attack as well as threadcrapping. More generally, a post whose main purpose is to be negative about something that everyone else is discussing calmly probably doesn't need to be posted. Let people like what they like; you can start a discussion about the things YOU like, rather than tearing down what other people are enjoying. (We'll allow an exception in the case of a thread specifically for reviewing a media property, game supplement, or whatever -- and even then, once you've made your point, move on.)

Trolling is a bit harder to define, but generally it means making a post in bad faith where the attempt is to derail the discussion. This can be a subtler form of threadcrapping, but it can also be taking a contrary opinion that isn't itself necessarily negative, particular when replying just to one small part of an ongoing conversation. If you find yourself thinking, "This'll get a rise out of people" as you're typing a post, delete it and move on. The devil doesn't need any more advocates.

Malicious posting. This one is very simple, but it covers a multitude of behaviors. What constitutes malicious posting? That means stuff like flame baiting, posting in huge fonts/all caps to annoy people, creating threads for the express purpose of starting a fight, insulting/attacking other users, and so on. Basically, if you're just doing something to be mean, you're maliciously posting. You will see a mod response in proportion to just how much of a jerk you're being.

This one is vaguely defined by neccessity, because it covers the entire gamut of "being a rude, obnoxious person." But don't worry, we'll know it when we see it.

And please, if someone is being a jerk on the boards, don't engage them - use the report post function and let us know. That's what the mods are for. If you turn around and start being mean back, "he started it" won't excuse you.

Racism, Sexism, Etc. As you might expect, we're not about to let any -ism's fly around here. Consider this your warning. Bigots will be banned, and we will smile when we do it.

Politics. This forum is not for discussing controversial, hot-button issues that tend to turn into angry debates. In particular:
  • No discussing politics or politicians
  • No discussing religion
  • No discussing racism, sexism, or other bigotry
  • No discussing shocking scandals or headline news
  • And in general, no discussing the sorts of things that rile people up

So please keep things casual, lighthearted, geeky, and fun! If you have a question about whether a topic would be allowed, you're always welcome to ask at and one of our dedicated staff will get back to you soonish.

Sockpuppeting. You may not create more than one account for yourself. Multiple accounts for multiple users on one computer is fine, of course. It's multiple accounts per human being that is not.

If you create a second account accidentally, please let the mods know ASAP.

Abusing the report function. Do report posts that are violating the rules. Do not report posts in some misguided attempt to attack another poster. The report button is an important tool in keeping the peace, but users found abusing the privilege will find themselves on the wrong side of a bunch of annoyed mods.

Fighting with the mods. Like it or not, this board isn't a democracy. Within the confines of the domain, our moderators are all-powerful, all-knowing, and always in the right. It's a pretty sweet gig, really. Out there in the Real World, you can do whatever you want, however you want. Here, however, you will either heed the judgments of the mods or you will be asked to leave. Arguing with the mods is never an option.

If a mod closes/deletes a thread, don't start another one asking why or starting the topic over. If a mod tells you to cut something out, stop doing it. If a mod infracts you, take it with grace and learn from it.

If you feel we've wronged you, you are allowed to ask for forgiveness/clarification/vindication by contacting a mod directly through a private message. This is contingent on your ability to do so politely, however. Being rude to the mods will just get you in more trouble. Yes, we recognize that this isn't fair.

Forum Vigilantism. If you think someone is breaking the rules, please just use the report post feature or PM a mod. Do not make posts or start threads saying things like "this thread should be locked" or "that guy needs to be banned." We appreciate that you're trying to be helpful, but we ask that you please leave the mod's work to the mods.

In summary...

You may have noticed that all of that up there boils down to the following: don't be a jerk and we'll get along swimmingly. The board does not want, and will not suffer, obnoxious behavior. We're here to talk about games, after all!
Fox Barrett
Ogre Correspondent

Last edited by Aleph; 07-26-2022 at 01:18 PM. Reason: Copied "politics" rules over from Geek Culture for better visibility
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