Boards o' Magick Rules
We strive to make our forums a place where
everyone feels welcome and comfortable, and where the content presented is of
a high standard. In order to do this, we have to enforce certain rules. If you
read them over and try to understand why they exist, we hope that you will agree
with the fact that they are necessary in order to keep the quality of our forums
high. We also have an entertaining short
Flash movie available which sums up most of the common sense regarding posting
on any message board, though it was not created specifically for our own (thanks, Steam). Another
highly recommended resource is the Internet
Writing Guide - a 10-minute course in online writing style. Much of what
is covered in the rules listed below can be learned easily by reading through
that brief course.
When you post in our forums, please
comply with the following rules:
- (1) Only one registered account
per person. To prevent abuse, members are only allowed one registered
account per person. In the case that you lose your password and cannot retrieve
it automatically, you should contact
us with your login details and we will reset the password for you,
so please DO NOT just create a new account. Any duplicate accounts we discover
will be deleted without warning.
- (2) Do not post your thread headlines
or messages in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or excessively punctuated. This is
hard on the eyes and annoying to read. ALL CAPS TEXT is not welcome on any
message board. Posts with more than three question (?) or exclamation (!)
marks also fall under this category.
- (3) Before starting a new thread,
see if anyone else has started a similar one recently. There's no sense
in beginning a new thread if a discussion on the same topic occurred not long
ago (i.e. if a thread about it can be found on the latest page of the threads
list). Often a new thread asks a question that was already answered in the
old thread. If you don't feel like checking previous posts manually, you can
use the search feature on the boards. However! do
not revive a topic older than a few months unless you have a VERY good reason
to do so. (Also make sure to check the date when
the original post was created since responding to topics half a year old or
to members that have been long gone will make you look silly.) Moderators
won't look kindly upon that either. If
you are not sure, it is always better to open a new thread, not resurrect
an ancient one.
- (4) Limit
your thread headlines to normal length. People will be reading your whole
thread so you don't need to cram half of your message in the subject line.
- (5) Remember
3 basic tips for improving the quality of your thread headlines. (1) Start
your headline with a capital letter and write names of places, persons etc.
with a capital letter as well (Imoen is -not- imoen, Athkatla is -not- athkatla).
(2) If your headline is a simple statement (for example: Multiplayer problem),
do not place a period (.) after it. Except for unfinished statements marked
by 3 periods (...), there should be NO periods anywhere in any headline. (3)
With the exception of periods mentioned in count (2), you should always punctuate
your headlines. That especially goes for questions (for example: How do I
- (6) Make
sure the headline of your thread is descriptive. Do not make headlines
like: "A Question", "Please Help", "Read This"
and similar. They tell us absolutely nothing about the meaning of your
message. Moderators will have to edit such headlines to something related
to your post, and we're sure you don't want the moderators to remember you
as "that guy/girl who can't even get a headline right".
- (7) No "l33t 5p34k"
and/or AOL shorthand (u, r, l8r etc) like: "I'm about 2 run off 2 the
hills 2 see him." or "What do u get if u just take his body 2 the
wizards?" Most people here trying to make sense out of such mutilated
sentences will either not understand them at all, or need twice as long as
if you had written "2" as to and "u" as you; the spelling
people normally use. You aren't allowed to write like that in any formal correspondence,
and we chose to hold our message board to the same higher standard. Not only
is such "|33t" writing annoying and hard to read, but also makes
you look silly since (hopefully) you are the only one in the thread doing
- (8) Write complete sentences
and use proper punctuation, spelling and grammar*. Typing a 400 word run-on
sentence will not gain you any respect. People reading your post will likely
skip over what you have to say if it is difficult to read or understand. Learn
to use paragraphs. If you live in an English-speaking country (exceptions apply; see FAQ), continuous
show of lack of effort concerning punctuation, spelling and grammar will earn
you the Grammatical
Moron of the Week plaque without exception. Consequently you might find
yourself banned if you keep displaying that elementary school education was
lost on you.
*[If you have an actual disability like dyslexia that prevents you from complying
with the above, please mention that in your introductory post in our Sorcerous Sundries
forum once you start posting or inform us of your disability via PM so that
we know that you are doing your best even if your posts are sometimes hard
- (9) Signatures are allowed, but subject to certain limitations.
- You can't use any images in your signature
- Maximum Characters in Signature Including BBCode Markup: 125
- Maximum Characters in Signature Excluding BBCode Markup: 100
- Maximum Lines in Signature: 2
- this is allowed: basic/link vB Code
Signature restrictions for SPS account holders do allow for images/smilies as well as advertising* and have higher maximum characters and lines allowed, plus certain additional allowances. Check the SPS forum for details.
*Advertising: Any kind of commercial product/site advertising in signatures (or posts) is allowed ONLY for active SPS account holders - your ads will expire along with your SPS account. To keep it simple - if you're selling a product or a service on the site that you link to, it's considered commercial. If the site is your own and you don't have an SPS account, you can display its url in your public profile as your Home Page, but you are NOT allowed to advertise it in your signatures. Of course, there are exceptions that don't quite fit under the "commercial" umbrella description, so if in doubt, contact Taluntain with your proposed signature for verification.
Censoring: Please do not include any fully or partially auto-censored words in your signature. Auto-censor is something that shouldn't need to be applied in any signature, so keep them clean.
Promoting Mods: If you are a mod maker and would like to promote your mod(s) in your signature, please limit your promotion to the name and url of the mod(s), or make a blanket link to a listing of multiple mods, e.g. "All my mods". This is a precaution to prevent signature wars between mod makers.
- (10) Do not advertise a site or service
with the intent to expand its member base at our expense. This goes for any public website, community or service advertising, as well as any private means of contacting members through our boards. Recruiting members from an existing community ("poaching") is considered very bad netiquette and something that we have zero tolerance for.
- (11) Criticize and discuss to your
heart's content, but do it constructively. No attacks, insults, or flames
- be it on someone's person, religious beliefs, race, national background,
sexual orientation or whatever. This is one of our most important rules.
If you have a problem with somebody, do not flame them on our boards. No flaming of ANY kind is welcome here, neither in public posts nor in private correspondence via our message boards. The quickest way
to get banned from our boards is to break this rule.
NOTE: Every member has the right to manually decline the receiving of private messages or reputation (with or without comments) from any other regular member for any reason. If a member directs you not to communicate with them via PM or to stop giving them reputation, they will only be expected to ask that of you ONCE, via a separate PM. You are required to abide by their wishes and cease such communication with them immediately, but you have the right to request the same of them (i.e. that they should not PM or use reputation on you again). Your counter-request should be in the form of a SINGLE response to the original PM.
To report violations of this rule, please click on the Report Private Message icon in the top right corner of the PM in question. This will send a copy of the unwanted PM to our moderators and they will deal with the offender. To report the receiving of reputation hits from someone after you have notified them that you don't wish to receive reputation from them, please PM Taluntain.
- (12) No excessive swearing. We
try to keep Boards o' Magick as clean as possible. If you want to swear, this
is not the place for you. Automatic censoring will pick up the most offensive
swear words and replace them with asterisks. Please do not space out swear
words, replace one character in a swear word with an asterisk, or use any
alternative spelling to avoid the auto-censor. Rather use one of our appropriate
emoticons or less offensive words to get your frustration across.
- (13) No inappropriate*/obscene/adult
material outside MUG. Please do not post or link to any inappropriate, obscene or sexually explicit content, be it stories, pictures, sounds, animations,
games, etc. outside of the Mature Users Group (MUG). SP is a family-friendly website and as such we make every effort
that the majority of the content is suitable for everyone.
*[A couple of examples of inappropriate material would be any discussions
or stories on the topic of suicide (please read this), or posts where too much personal information
about any of our members is revealed. We feel that it is in the best interest
of all our members that we discourage posts with such content.]
- (14) No intellectual property violations.
We don't take kindly to people using our forums for the illegal solicitation
or trade of illegal or copyrighted material. Requesting cracks, keys and the
like is out of the question. The same goes for any discussions about pirated software.
- (15) Make sure you are posting in
the correct forum. For example, if you have a question about the D&D
rules, it goes into the Dungeons & Dragons forum. If there's a forum specifically
for your topic, please make sure to post it there. If it doesn't belong anywhere
else, put it in the Whatnots forum. Threads opened in the wrong forums are
frequently moved, but never deleted, so if a thread of yours disappears from
the forum where you've posted it originally, check the e-mail account you
signed up with for a notification of where your thread has been moved, or PM one of the moderators or admins for more information.
- (16) Make sure that you are posting on-topic.
Posting something unrelated to the original post is called being off-topic.
While this is permitted somewhat as long as it develops out of the original
post and remains at least vaguely connected to the issue, starting to post
about something completely unrelated to it is frowned upon. In such a case
you should open a new thread for it, if needed. If you feel the need to converse
further about something unrelated with someone you can either PM or e-mail
them, or come to our chatroom and open a private discussion there.
- (17) If you have a personal issue,
keep it personal. We don't want our forums clogged up with posts specifically
for one person that aren't of general interest, so if it can be handled over PM or e-mail, please handle it
- (18) No cross-posting across different
threads and/or forums. Please do not post the same message in multiple
threads or forums. Make one post, either a reply or a new thread, in the proper
forum, and no more. Once you get a reply to that, feel free to post more on
that subject. But under no circumstances should you open multiple threads
about the same thing, anywhere. Hijacking other people's posts to get answers
to something unrelated to the original topic is considered extremely rude
- (19) No re-registering or posting
via proxy if you are banned. If you're banned, that means banned.
Please do not register another name and start posting again. We will
contact your ISP if necessary.
- (20) Do not ask to be a moderator
or admin, or pretend that you are one. We are not looking for new moderators
or admins, and if we were, we would not pick anyone who posts/mails us asking
for it. The only persons qualified for interpreting and enforcing our forum
rules are the moderators and administrators whose status is written in white
text below their user name. NO ONE else should publicly advise
any members of BoM how to comply with these rules, or publicly tell them how
they have broken any of them in their opinion.
If you feel that a
certain member is in violation of any of our forum rules, please use the Report Post icon () inside every post (to the left of the signature area). When you report a post via the said icon, we get exact identification of the problematic post, so you don't need to describe where the post is at or link to it - you simply explain why you're reporting it. Please make use of the post reporting facility if you're making a general report that the first moderator who sees it should act upon. All such reports will be treated as being anonymous and strictly confidential. We will investigate the reports and act, if we deem it necessary. NOTE: This rule also applies to itself, meaning no one should
publicly quote it to another member.
If for some reason you want to notify only a single moderator of a problematic post, you can still do so via a private message to them (Taluntain, Blackthorne TA, dmc or Beren).
- (21) If you
have an issue related to the moderators... If you have a problem
with a ban or a thread being either closed, edited or deleted, be it yours
or someone else's, send the moderators a private message or e-mail about it.
If you have any comments regarding the actions of any of the administrators
or moderators, PM or e-mail them personally. Please DO NOT post a message
arguing about it on the forums, as it will likely be deleted. Also, please don't come
to our chatroom and start arguing about it there, as you will be escorted
outside. If you don't feel comfortable contacting one of the moderators, contact
another one. This rule is enforced because every time someone starts arguing
with the mods/admins, the thread is more or less ruined and nothing of relevance
gets posted there any more. Obviously we do not want that happening.
Please keep in mind that we have a very low tolerance for people who try to
skirt the rules, seek loopholes or have authority issues. If we wanted to
cover every single aspect of common sense we could write a whole book about
it, but that's not really the point here. When it comes down to it, our list
of rules here serves mostly as a set of community guidelines conveying
the community spirit, and we believe it is thorough enough that if taken as
a whole, everyone gets the picture of what is acceptable here and what isn't.
The administrators and moderators have the authority to do and say whatever
is necessary to keep Boards o' Magick the sort of place we want it to be,
and if you don't agree, you are always free to leave. However, as we hate
losing visitors over such trivialities, we would rather ask you to respect
our rules even if you don't agree with all of them, and keep being a part
of our community.
NOTE: Should you ignore the
rule above and begin an argument in a certain thread, or post a public remark
which we feel requires response (for the purpose of damage control), we will
usually respond ONCE in public as well (either that, or simply delete the
comment, as noted above). If it comes to that, and you feel the need to add
anything further, you should PM or e-mail the mod/admin who replied to your
argument (as you should have done originally, see above). If, at this point,
you attempt to create a full-blown public argument by responding in public
again, your post WILL be deleted. We don't believe in airing dirty laundry
in public any more than completely necessary, and will do our best to privately
handle matters which only concern one particular user. We kindly ask you to
do the same.
- (22) If you
have a question related to any of the rules... It might seem to
you that some of our rules are quite strict, and indeed they are. However,
our enforcement of these rules is what makes the huge difference between our
forums and 99% of similar forums on the Internet. You might also wonder why
there are so many rules. The answer to this is very simple. We have to painfully
explain nearly every aspect of common sense and acceptable behaviour, because
if we miss one single point, people will claim that it was not covered in
the rules and therefore they shouldn't be held accountable for it. Needless
to say, that is not how it works.
If you have any questions whatsoever about any of our rules, you are welcome
to open a thread about it in the Sorcerous Sundries forum. Also feel free
to PM or e-mail Taluntain
if you require any further explanations as to why any of the rules above exist.
For more general information about our message boards, please read the BoM
Frequently Asked Questions.
One of the features of our community are the member blogs, which can be opened by any registered BoM member with 10 posts or more. We consider the blogs to be every member's personal space to a large extent, so we will only be monitoring them for any violations of the applicable rules listed above which are taken to the extreme. A few examples of what would not be allowed in blogs: any kind of commercial advertisements, obscene or adult material, illegal content and content which does not adhere to even an absolute minimum of civility.
What happens if you break the rules?
Members failing to comply with our rules
will be issued a warning, sometimes in the form of a note appended to their post for minor infractions,
via a private message (PM), infraction system or e-mail. It is every member's responsibility to
regularly check his or her PMs or e-mail on the record for moderator notices.
If our warnings go unacknowledged, we will be forced to suspend the posting
privileges of the member in question until they have taken note of our warning(s).
Repeat and deliberate infractions may constitute
removal from the board. The fact is, if you choose to make this place un-enjoyable
for everyone else, you will be dealt with. We do log all accesses to the forums,
and we will not hesitate to contact your ISP if you abuse our site or our visitors.
Finally, please don't think that simply
because we state our rules in advance, we are overly strict in enforcing them
and that we don't tolerate mistakes newbies tend to make. Nothing could be further
from the truth. Unless you really set out to break our rules on purpose, the
worst thing you have to fear here is getting a warning PM from one of the moderators
or administrators. In short - you don't need to be afraid to post for fear of
making mistakes. We don't bite... much. ;) Thanks for reading.
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