Rules & Code of Conduct
Members of the Dragonlance forums are expected to be familiar with and adhere to the following rules. Repeated violations of these rules will result in the user(s) being banned from the server.
- 1.) Common courtesy & criticism
The most important rule of the message boards is the Golden Rule: "do onto others as you would have them do onto you." Common courtesy is not only expected, it is the rule. The forums are a place for open discussion, but we expect that the discussion will be a civil one. Flame wars and the like are not allowed on our message boards.
In short, we expect everyone to act like an adult on the forums. If you disagree with someone or are offering feedback on a submission, feel free to criticize their argument or their work—but do it constructively. (Following that line of reasoning, if something is so terrible, we'd encourage you to "put your money where your mouth is" and write your own up.)
Furthermore, restrict your comments to the subject at hand, not to personal attacks on other members or individuals. Name-calling, childish behavior, defamatory, mean, profane, libelous or bigoted comments about members of the forum or anyone else will get you banned. Saying that you hated a book would technically be ok—though not particularly helpful, since there was no reasoning as to WHY you hated the book—while "I think the author really sucks" would not be permitted.
Likewise, harassment will not be tolerated. Persistent flaming or continued personal attacks against a person, company, etc. on the boards or "in-character harassment" without prior out-of-character permission on the role-playing boards is not allowed.
Spamming, trolling and baiting should also be avoided. Spamming is posting the same thing continuously all over the boards. Trolling and baiting happen when someone says something specifically with the intent of evoking a negative reaction.
Finally, please watch your language. Profane language-anything you can't hear on the radio or network TV during "safe harbor" hours-is not permitted. Close approximations of forbidden words obviously intended to bypass the language filter are likewise not permitted (this includes masking). We expect our members to be able to conduct a civil discussion and get their point across without needing four-letter words to do so.
- 2.) Copyright issues
Posting long sections of text or images on the board that are excerpted or copyrighted from a printed Dragonlance publication, or from any other publisher or web site, is prohibited. The name of the original source of any excerpted or copyrighted material must be noted near the usage.
What's too long? A good rule of thumb is that anything more than 3 to 5 sentences in length is pushing the limit.
This rule also includes posting rules from published or PDF sourcebooks unless you have permission to do so. A discussion on the merits of a +2 ECL is permissible, but posting the entire racial description including the rules on the +2 ECL would be out of bounds-especially if the rules in question haven't been generally released to book and hobby shops yet. Use your best judgment (when in doubt, don't post it) or contact a moderator if you have concerns about posting something.
In terms of gaming, posting an entire prestige class or the stats for a character without permission would also be a violation. Saying what level a character is, or giving some rules of thumb without giving the whole thing away is fine.
If you find copyrighted material used inappropriately on the message boards, please contact a moderator and it will be removed.
- 3.) Relevance of topics & posts
Keep material relevant to the forum in which you are posting. Discussions about stories and novels belong in the novels forum, while rules discussions belong in that particular forum. Threads that are off-topic will either be closed to new posts, deleted, or moved to the appropriate forum.
We are a Dragonlance forum, so we expect topics to stay Dragonlance-related. There are many places out there to discuss off-topic matters, so please direct discussions to the appropriate forum.
If you have a question, comment, or technical issues with message boards, a problem with a member, or suggestions on how to improve things, send a private message (PM) to a moderator or read the information on this page or the board's help pages. Do not create a thread for your specific topic, unless it is a thread in an appropriate forum (such as a suggestions forum).
- 4.) Descriptive titles
Please make sure your thread's title is descriptive so that people do not have to open it without having an idea of the contents. This is especially true when posting a spoiler, especially in the case of a new book that people have not read yet. Some examples of bad titles: "Read This" or "Your Opinion" or "Vote Here." A couple of suggestions for good titles: "The Qualinesti" or "What About Raistlin's Daughter?"
- 5.) Spoiler space / Review Etiquette
If you are posting a thread on a new product or book, make sure you include appropriate notification so that your post will not spoil the ending of the book for users who have not read it yet. Generally speaking, this means including the word "spoiler" in the title of a new thread or adding "spoiler" and then several spaces between the top of your post and the part where the ending is spoiled so that people have some warning.
The policy on the message boards is that spoiler space should be used for the first 3 months following the release of products. For novels, this means the paperback release. After that, it is assumed that people have read the book and spoiler space is no longer necessary.
Reviews should not include a point-by-point outline of the novel: only provide enough detail that readers can get the general idea without giving any major plot items away (at least until the 3 month threshhold is met). Reviews of books that are not released to the general public—due to 'advance reading copies,' for example—are only allowed if this rule is strictly followed. In these cases, summaries or point-by-point reviews that give away major plot points or story details are prohibited until the general release of the novel, and only then if the guidelines above are followed.
- 6.) Repeat topics
Before creating a new thread, see if anyone else has started a similar one. There's no sense in beginning a new thread if there's also been some discussion on the topic. Often, the new thread asks a question that was already answered in the old thread! At the same time, look through the old posts to see if someone has already said what you want to say.
- 7.) Forbidden topics
There are several topics that generally get the average Dragonlance fan's blood boiling. The following topics (or ones similar to them) are not permitted: 'Which character is sexier?' / 'Which character would win in a fight?' / Do you think [insert character's name here] is gay?'. These are just the most popular bad topics that have been covered countless times on a variety of forums, from this message board to the newsgroup, to mailing lists. (The exception would be an "I'm new here" topic in a newbie forum.)
The 'who is your favorite character' topic is also very popular; however, please see rule #6 on repeat topics before beginning a new thread about your favorite character.
In addition, topics specifically about politics or religion are inappropriate. Members should also refrain from including references to forbidden topics in their signatures, as well as in posts.
- 8.) In-character role-playing
Since Dragonlance is a role-playing game, we encourage you to role-play a character. However, because of number of posts normally found in an 'in character' role-playing threads, these always seem to filter to the top of the list of active threads, blocking out other topics. Furthermore, it's bad form to interrupt a serious rules discussion with a post about how you're the real-life incarnation of Raistlin.
As a result, in-character role-playing has been restricted to forums labeled as such. Any role-playing threads or posts in non-role-playing forums will be deleted. Within a role-playing forum, 'out of character' posts must be labeled as 'OOC.'
Actions in a role-playing thread should be related to the actions in the thread. Actions should not be taken due to metagaming: i.e., do not kill off another person's character if you're mad at them. If there is a character death, then it should be due to the circumstances of the thread. Also, controlling other people's characters is strictly prohibited, unless you have special permission from the character's owner to control the character.
When joining an In-Character Role-Playing thread, please read the rules set down by the thread master. Often, they will specify whether you can jump right in, or if you need to private message them for an opening. Sometimes ICRP threads will be labeled "Closed" or as "Invites only." This indicates that the person that started the thread is inviting people to participate; if you haven't been invited, please don't post in the thread. At times, you can private message the thread master of closed or invite-only threads for an opening, and they would be happy to oblige. Not adhering to the thread master's rules and breaking them is considered disrespectful, so please avoid it.
- 9.) No advertising
The message boards may not be used to advertise or promote businesses, commercial sites, products, etc. Only Wizards of the Coast, Sovereign Press/Margaret Weis Productions, or other companies that hold a Dragonlance license may advertise here. Dragonlance authors, artists, game designers, and other contributors may also post news items about their sites.
That being said, it's another thing entirely to post a link to Dragonlance rules, a piece of artwork or a web site you've created and to ask other members of the forums for comments on it. We encourage you to do that. Links to articles, news items, interviews, or the like that are relevant to a thread and reinforce the point you're trying to communicate are also encouraged. The intention here is to stop people from creating a new topic thread specifically to direct visitors to their web site or to try to sell our members something.
We do encourage those who have Dragonlance websites to promote their activities. The one exception to this rule is forums. We would rather not see entire topics devoted to promoting forums that may take people away from our own forums (which is self-defeating). It is okay to post links to your Dragonlance forum in your signature.
Other links in your 'signature' at the end of your posts are perfectly ok, though links to sites that are pornographic, racist, or similarly objectionable in nature aren't allowed, even in your signature. If it's a link to your home page or a favorite quote so that people can learn a little bit more about you (or your Dragonlance obsession), then please include it!
- 10.) Impersonating Others
Impersonation of another person, site staff, authors, game designers, Wizards of the Coast or Sovereign Press employees, etc. is not allowed.
- 11.) Fan Fiction
Fan fiction is not allowed. Though we do support the works of fans, fan fiction is a bit of a legal issue and is therefore prohibited.
- 12.) Private Messaging and E-mails
Private messaging is a nice feature allowing board members to stay in contact with each other outside of the realm of the boards. Moderators do not "police" such activity. However, if a board member abuses their PM privileges, it may result in warnings or potentially being banned from the message boards, depending on the circumstances. Members should feel free to report questionable or objectionable PMs to the moderators.
- 13.) Banned Users
Occasionally, we ban (restrict) users from using the boards who have violated the spirit and the letter of these rules. While such instances are rare, it does happen. Banned users are not allowed to use the system once they have been banned, and banned users are not allowed to create a new account or accounts to access the site. Any new accounts created by a banned user will be subsequently banned immediately.
- 14.) Miscellaneous rules & other items
You are only allowed to have a single account on the forums. If we find that a single person has multiple accounts, all of the accounts will be deleted or banned at our discretion. Additionally, please keep 'shouting' to a minimum, and try to use good grammar. 'Shouting' on the Internet is when you type your message WITH ALL YOUR WORDS IN CAPITALS LETTERS. IT'S HARD TO READ. It would also be appreciated if you can use good punctuation and grammar, since it's easier for the rest of us to read.
Dragonlance Forums.com and the Dragonlance Nexus reserve the right to change these rules at any time, and also reserve the right to restrict, "ban," or delete user accounts from our system at any time, for any reason, and without prior notification of account owners. We further reserve the right to modify any post and/or delete any post or thread at our sole discretion at any time and for any reason.