By and large, we want the Swift Sword to be a place that is welcoming and open to everyone to discuss the game we all have in common and its various aspects. In order to keep this tone, we need to keep a few rules to try and make sure that the forum is as accessible and welcoming as possible.
It is assumed that Swift Sword members are capable of conducting themselves in a manner appropriate to civil discourse. Disagreement is all well and good, but the moment that the disagreement becomes with a person and not a stance, it is time to take a step away for a bit. If you think that something you're going to post might offend, then consider a different way of putting it. It is up to the offended party to determine if they are offended, and up to the moderators to decide how to handle it.
1a. Flaming: Don't do it. Personal attacks are an anethema to civil discourse, even passive-aggressive ones.
1b. Trolling: There is a time and place for witty interjections. That time and place is not in a voliatile situation that will only be exacerbated. If a mod deems a post to have zero constructive content and the apparent intent to only to inflame or bait, then it is trolling and will be dealt with as such.
The Swift Sword is readily available and accessible to individuals of all ages. While the majority will be adults, certain kinds of content unfit for younger users should be avoided. It is understood that many of the themes present within L5R are adult ones, and as such it is to be expected that some discussions will unavoidably veer towards particularly delicate facets of a world of romanticized violence. It isn't about what "you" would let your children read, but about "the other guy" and what he would let his children read. This includes post text as well as graphics.
2a. Questionable content: Expect deletions and rapid action to be taken, including contacting the authorities when appropriate. This will be a zero-tolerance policy.
2b. Related, unreleased content: As above. If you are going to discuss L5R content that has had an obscure preview source or location, cite it in the post. This will be a "delete/lock first, ask questions later" enforcement. At this point, the onus is being placed upon Swift Sword posters to establish a chain of information to their post from a reliable source permitted to expose it.
In addition, there are some other necessary rules to keep the boards clean.
0. Respect the mods.
If you disagree with a moderator decision, there are channels to deal with it. Those channels are not immediately responding with obscenities and arguing it openly. They're folks that have volunteered to inject their play with work.
There are some easy ways to put out the word about product that don't infringe upon discussions. A random non-constructive interjection accompanied by a plug for a product/service plug is really just the activity of a spam bot.
Three posts in a row in the same thread or different threads that look pretty much the same doesn't help accomplish anything and really just makes us wonder if your account has been compromised.
3. Circumventing a ban/suspension.
I honestly don't mind if folks have more than one account for there is always the possiblity of roleplaying, but making new ones to bypass a suspension or ban is a no-no.
4. Account sharing.
It's simplest to ask that this not happen. It doesn't violate any sort of EULA, but the confusion really just increases the likelihood that an account will get banned if there is a question about security.Editing:
Moderators reserve the right to adjust threads as required. If a topic has passed a point of no return, then it may be simply in the best interests of the forum to lock it for a time to let things cool down, or even lock it permanently if it it is unlikely to return to a productive, civil thread. If a topic appears as though it belongs in a different section of the forum, it is likely to get moved. If you disagree, then e-mail the admin or a different mod and it can be examined, but don't immediately leap to start the discussion anew elsewhere on the boards.
There will also be times where posts need to be edited, such as to remove content that cannot be allowed on the forum or to add a moderator warning. Again, respect these adjustments and follow the proper channels if there is a dispute about it.Enforcement:
There is likely to be a progression of consequences upon subsequent violations, but they will not be set in stone. In general, a simple three-strikes policy functions as a guideline. A third warning offense will result in a suspension, however the ever changing nature of circumstances will not allow this to be the sole arbiter. If a moderator sees a highly volatile situation, it is their perogative to decide if it is a situation for a suggestion in a PM, an open nudge, a warning, or an immediate 48 hour "cooldown" suspension. In the case of a situation or individual that has already resulted in an account being suspended for 48 hours, the moderator has the discretion to increase this to up to 7 days.
Suspensions longer than 7 days are matters that should be considered carefully and weighed. A suspension longer than 7 days will never be the sole decision of a single moderator or admin with the exception of the removal of the occasional bot.Appeals:
If a user of the Swift Sword feels that a moderator has acted inappropriately in the enforcement of the rules, then they may bring it to the attention of the other moderators in the form of an e-mail to the admin. The offense and response will be examined and discussed by the moderators as a group. If it is found that the punishment was inappropriate, then it may be reduced. However, if it is found that the enforcement was in line with the offense, then it will be noted as such in the offending post.