Writing Guidelines / Rules of Conduct

Writing Format/Guidelines

We have no ‘set rules’ for how you have to write your posts. You can write in whatever tense or point-of-view you would like. We have no sort of minimum word requirements, but we do ask that everything you post be some form of prose. You can write your post in the form of an epic poem, but if you want a ‘chat style’ RP, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

We say this a few times, but you should always reach out to people you’re writing with, so you can portray their character correctly. This is especially important in large group stories or events, where you may be working alongside people you don’t normally write with. Run dialogue by them. Double-check if you’re portraying their character correctly. Most people here are super chill, but if you seem like you’re purposely messing up someone’s character, the chill can melt real fast.

If you’re struggling at where to start, we recommend you look into Quests as a starting point. If you’re the creative type, feel free to jump right in and help to flesh out the world by creating you own fun parts of the landscapes and submitting them to the Wiki.

IC Rules of Conduct

This section applies mostly to the ‘In Character’ world. Please see the for those guidelines.

Please avoiding the following while writing in Multerra”:

  1. Don’t do anything enormous or world-shattering without some form of staff approval. This includes stuff like blowing up established cities or killing important NPCs. There’s no rule that says you can’t do stuff like this, but there will likely be a lot of groundwork required and some hurdles to overcome (plus a lot of solid writing). Loop the staff in first, and we can sort it out.

  2. Always get permission to interact with another character, unless you have joined a quest or event where consent to interaction is explicitly a part of the event's rules. Be careful when roleplaying other characters and NPCs. High profile NPCs all have Wiki entries about them, and if you'd like to use an Arbiter or high-ranking character in an NPC faction, make sure you request this and reach out to a staff member. All PCs have a Character Profile that should have a lot of detail on how to write them. Don’t write other people’s characters into situations that are impossible for them to logically deal with or grossly out of character.

  3. Be aware that massacring a settlement or doing big, noticeable antagonistic things will likely give you a bounty, which is the equivalent to you giving consent to participating in the potential PvP that bounty may incur. Understand that if you want to be a big bad guy that ruins things and gets bounties, you might be facing down with other characters.

  4. Kindly don’t Godmode. If the term isn’t self-explanatory, this means writing your character as far above and beyond their means, especially in competitive scenarios. No one should be able to dodge every attack or land every single blow. Given that all our characters are roughly in the same physical ‘ballpark’, fights shouldn’t ever be super one-sided.

  5. When writing in-character, what you post has to be in-character. Anything that isn’t in-character (pictures, lyrics, tl;dr section) must be in [quote][/quote] tags. This makes sure you don’t receive Essence for OOC stuff. If you ‘reuse’ material that the previous person posted, place this stuff in quotes too.

  6. Your character may only ever be in one place at a time. Go write an NPC if you’re impatient. If you want to do any sort of time travel schtick, just be aware that you can never change established lore, and whatever you might do is a noncanonical alternate time.

  7. You can have fun with the fourth wall. However, you should get permission from anyone you’re writing with before you engage their characters, and you may NEVER use ‘the fourth wall’ as an excuse to give your character an unfair advantage in any context.

  8. Please avoid color in your posts. There are multiple themes on the boards, so your rainbow text might look neat on one and absolutely terrible on another.

  9. We have rules to acquire additional characters and are pretty relaxed with writing NPCs. Please do not try to circumvent the rules by registering a secret character. We’ll find out, and you’ll be banned.

  10. While we allow more serious, adult material and themes in our stories, we require that all non PG13 threads be appropriately tagged for the content or themes they contain. That way, no one has to stumble into a story they don’t want to expose themselves to. Bear in mind that grotesque scenes of rape and sexual violence in any form aren’t permitted. Find a different website. If you want to write graphic sex for the jollies of writing it, you may want to find a different platform. Furthermore, anything that remotely feels like the sexualization of a minor or something resembling a minor, is bannable, instantly.

Final Note on Content: If staff believe you’re abusing our leniency to write toxic, awful stories, or to scratch an itch polite society does not accommodate, there will be repercussions. Roleplayers of all genders, races, sexualities, religions, political viewpoints, and [other things] populate Multerra and our first and foremost goal is to create a community that is welcoming and respectful to them. Hatred and negativity for the sake of hatred and negativity will not be tolerated.

Out of Character Rules of Conduct

The information covered here applies to: All Out-of-Character (OOC) forums and our public Discord server.

We have some simple guidelines for how to best manage yourself here. If needed, we’ll expand these as we see fit.

Before the nitty gritty, please remember to direct questions and requests/updates to the staff using the Help Forum. Staff are free to politely decline helping you on social platforms.

Our site’s community is PG-13. We have tags for in-character work, but when you’re talking in the social platforms, keep it PG-13. No ‘sexy talk’, no sexual innuendo (blatant or otherwise), no sex or sex-themed jokes, and avoid excessive ‘baby’ talk or affection emoting. Share your penis memes elsewhere. We don't want prospective members thinking that we're a bunch of high school boys who make dick jokes and poke fun at sexual assault. Staff reserve the right to silence or ban you if you violate community standards.

This should go without saying: Rape jokes/memes and even memes/jokes that imply rape have a no tolerance policy and will get you banned. Anything that smells faintly of child porn or sexualization of minors will merit the same punishment. You know better.

On a similar note, watch how you speak to others in general. You may call your buddy a bunch of awful nicknames, but you wouldn’t call a stranger by that. Also, try not to dominate any of our communication channels. If you’re having a cool conversation with a few people, and you notice others trying to use the platform, consider moving your conversation elsewhere (maybe to a voice chat channel?).

Furthermore, I’d recommend you just avoid discussing matters of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, politics, or other sensitive matters on our public platforms. Conversations like that can often… spiral. We do not tolerate discrimination and will never tolerate the use of racist, sexist, homophobic, or transphobic remarks. It may be ‘a joke’ to you, but it may not be a joke to someone who lived through real discrimination. Be mindful of your peers.

Don’t ever harass anyone. Ever. Private or public. If anyone is making your life here unreasonably uncomfortable, please let a staff member know, even if the person upsetting you is a staff member themselves. If you don't tell us, we can't do anything about it.

Do not link the following: Porn sites, torrent sites, or anything in the shady parts of the Internet. This is against our host’s terms of service.

Please use the nickname feature on Discord to have a recognizable character or HUB name. Do not use non-site nicknames, web handles, or ‘goofy’ names unless you do so with your character name. Example: “DeezKnutts (Deadpool).”

Treat the staff with respect. Staff are just members with extra power and authority. Some want to just be able to enjoy the site and write from time to time, without having to do a deluge of work or answer all your questions. Again, use the Help Forum when you need help, instead of trying to pester a staffer who may just want to have a day to write or hang out.

Remember that our staff are volunteers. They’ve volunteered to sacrifice some of their time as writers to help keep the various aspects of the website operational. They often have a thankless ‘job’where their only reward is a neat title and the occasional thanks from members. The other part of their sacrifice is that they are responsible for holding themselves to a higher standard than their peers, whether that be on the boards, chatbox, or Discord, especially in regards to their behavior and attitude. We hold every member of the staff to these standards. If you have concerns about the staff or its members, do not hesitate to reach out. We constantly work on make the website a better place, and we know that sometimes that starts with us.

Respect, Consent, and Loving our Community

There are two things that make a good community: mutual respect, and as a function of that respect, consent.

The other writers on this site deserve to have their boundaries respected, and that is a foundational aspect of the staff's code of conduct. If you want to interact with another character, please reach out to the writer and ask about what you want to do first. If you do not have the time, energy, or desire to reach out to others to ask their permission about a thing you'd like to do with them, then simply don't do it. If another member asks you to stop doing something that you're doing, respect their request and stop. At any point during a public or private exchange a person withdraws their consent to an interaction, be it in an IC thread or in an OOC chat, you must do so.

This is why we do not allow harmful subjects in public spaces: the people who are likely to encounter that material have not explicitly consented to interacting with it, and thus you are violating their consent. If you willingly read a topic which has been clearly tagged with the same harmful content, you are giving your consent to being exposed to it. If you join an event which has clearly defined content, you are responsible for accepting the consequences of that event.

Essentially, we are asking you to communicate and ask permission when you are interacting with others, and allowing them to set the standards of that interaction. If you don't like or agree with those standards, you should just not interact with them. There is no demand on this site to interact with people you do not consent to interacting with, and we require you to understand and respect that

Content Tags, Public Areas, and Opting In

Here on Multerra, we value the comfort of our members. This generally means that we don’t want people walking in on content that they weren’t expecting. Our general philosophy in regards to sensitive content and themes is, “Let people opt-in, don’t force them to opt-out.”

What that means more specifically is that you MUST designate areas where sensitive content is present and make that designation very clear. Public spaces, such as the integrated Chat, any Discord channel that carries the Multerra banner, or any other space that the site has created for you, should never contain material that may be distressing for the members of our site. In public spaces, we ask that you avoid any form of content that would need to be tagged (description of tags below).

However, that does not mean that we have an outright ban on that content.

We’ve integrated a “Tagging” system into the forum, which allows you to more easily designate the content that we’ve categorized as sensitive. This is the Content Tagging feature. When you create a new thread, you must select the appropriate tag for the content that will be in the thread so that people have the choice to not click on that thread knowing what’s in it.

The tags that we’ve created for you to use are:

-Graphic Violence -Sex -Mature Themes

Graphic Violence (V) refers to content that includes specific descriptions of violence, such as gore, torture, prolonged scenes of emotionally traumatic violence, or anything else that has protracted or intense violence. Videos that depict real world violence are never allowed in any area of the site (even tagged ones).

Sex (S) refers to content that includes the graphic depiction of sexual acts. You can imply that people are having sex or engaging in any form of erotic activity, but giving it more than a passing implication or statement that it happened pushes into this category. If you’re giving a lot of detail to make-outs, grabbing, or anything beyond what you’d see on daytime television, this is the appropriate tag. Characters can be nude or naked so long as you don’t describe their bodies in depth or objectify their appearance without using this tag. Videos that explicitly depict erotic or sexual acts are never allowed in any area of the site (even tagged ones).

Mature Themes (M) refers to content that targets minority groups or individuals in a negative way. Slurs, discrimination, defending or justifying discrimination, encouraging discrimination, harassment, or victimization of people based on aspects of their lives other than their actions are all considered to be an “ism”. Age, body type, color, disability, gender identity, romantic and civil partnership, national origin, maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation are all considered to be “protected” from discrimination in all content and public spaces unless explicitly labeled with this tag. This is likely the most likely perpetrator to get people reprimands in our chat spaces and in your creative works, and we will delete your content and restrict your access to our site, in accordance with our values. Could also entail sexual Abuse, any content that depicts any act of physical, mental/emotional intimacy that does not first gain consent from all participants. Explicit depictions of sexual intercourse of any sort between parties that do not or cannot consent (rape) is never allowed with or without tags.

To clarify that point, we’ll define a few of those terms:

If any member encounters material of any of these types that isn’t properly tagged or is in public spaces, please take a screen cap and report it. We will do our best to remedy this behavior.

As is stated in our IC rules, we are allowing you to create content with these themes in them with the proper tags. However, this is not free license to post things that utilize this type of content for no reason. These themes must be used to tell a story, and add to the collective world. If your content is designed to be cruel or gross for the sake of being cruel or gross, we’ll delete it and ban you. Plain and simple.

We have all come to write on this site as a community and for fun! So if your personal beliefs include the persecution of others or pushing their boundaries simply because you don’t respect them, this isn’t the site for you.

  • Published
    Jul 23, 2018
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