Every time you post in the forums or comment on content here on RPG Geek, there is a little blurb that comes up that reminds us of the two most important rules in using the forums:
- Use common courtesy in your posts
- Respect others
It also points us at the site-wide Geek Community Rules which provide more details about what behavior is specifically proscribed.
We pride ourselves on having the Geek community be civil and tolerant and moderation is rarely needed. We want everyone to feel like they can present their ideas, share opinions and present vibrant discussion without fear of being ridiculed, scorned or put down in any way. As with any large online community, this isn't always easy to maintain. There are things that we sometimes forget in our excitement to share our own thoughts and ideas. Here are a few additional posting Etiquette suggestions for civil behavior in the forums. As with all things on RPG Geek, they stem from the spirit of the site-wide Geek Community Rules (as set forth by Aldie and Octavian) and are in direct alignment with our Guiding Principles.
- Don't Hijack Threads The Original Poster (OP) and the previous contributors were having a discussion about the original topic. It's not nice to come in and go off on your own personal tangents and derail their discussion. You're always welcome to start a new thread to talk about your topic. If it is tangentially related, then you can mention it in your first post. Something like "I was reading X and it got me thinking about..." is fine.
- Be Careful of Quoting Ensure that you are quoting the right person - this can get a bit tricky as there are replies to replies further down a thread. Try to cut back to the minimum quoted text that gets the point across so as not to proliferate large chunks of repeated text. It's perfectly acceptable to quote in discrete chunks so as to respond point-by-point.
- Don't correct spelling or grammar publicly There are many users on this site who do not speak English as a first language. Some of them are better at English than many native speakers, but some are a little harder to understand. Public criticism doesn't help them or you. If you really feel there are some things you can point out to help them, then send a geekmail.
- Don't steal someone's idea Someone posts something interesting, but not in the way you'd have done it. Even if your idea is superior, it's bad manners to just ignore their posting and start a new post of your own. Talk to the OP and see what they think. Maybe together the two of you can come up with an even better idea.
- When in doubt, ask in private Asking someone publicly to make a change puts a lot of pressure on them. Ask through geekmail and see how they feel. They may have a reason for doing things the way they did.
- Resurrecting Old Threads Also known as "Thread Necromancy" whereby someone responds to a thread that hasn't seen activity in months. It's acceptable here at the 'Geek provided that you understand that the original posters may have long since moved on and you might not get answers from them. You are also free to start a new thread for old topics if you feel you have some new wisdom to share, or you feel fresh life can be breathed into it. In either event, be sure the topic remains relevant to role-playing games (i.e. don't dredge up an old thread just to troll it). A poster should make a minimal effort to see if the topic has been covered before so you at least know what's been talked about in the past.
- Don't tread on copyrights Offering scans of copyright material, sharing download links for copyright material, etc. is all bad form and will not be tolerated. Discussing rules and such is, obviously, fine. We pride ourselves on being a very publisher/designer friendly site and we want to respect their rights. It goes far beyond law - it's just good, common civil behavior.
- Post Under your own account Please don't post with a sock-puppet account to circumvent site rules or to provide additional anonymity for what you might consider a controversial post. This is also true of any semi-public accounts such as the common Secret Santa accounts. Have enough integrity to post under your own account or don't post at all.
- Do not bash other online RPG communities Feel free to mention other online RPG communities but don't take pot shots at them for any reason. Nothing good comes from it. We don't want to encourage any needless and artificial subdivision of our hobby (which is small enough already).
While we stop short of calling these rules, you can be sure that we do want people to take them seriously. Some of the above are relaxed in places like The Tavern (our off topic forum), but following them even there won't hurt.
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