Online Revision as of 10:55, 3 October 2020 by Matt
- 1 Overview
- 2 Moderators
- 3 Coronavirus Update
- 4 Posting Rules
- 4.1 Treat each other with respect and assume best faith
- 4.2 All Posts Should Clearly Relate to Empire
- 4.3 Use the Single Most Appropriate Forum or Group
- 4.4 Report any Breach of the Rules to our Moderators
- 4.5 Don't Post IC Conversations or Contentious Statements
- 4.6 Post Links to Photographs, Don't Repost Them
- 4.7 IC Announcements and Adverts are Permitted
- 4.8 You May Cross-post the Winds
- 4.9 You May Not Post Military Updates
- 4.10 No Charity or Fundraising Posts
- 4.11 Do Not Post Fanfiction
- 4.12 Do Not Criticise Other Participants
- 4.13 Do Not Accuse Other Players of Cheating or Unsafe Fighting
- 4.14 Do Not Discuss Moderation Decisions
- 4.15 Don't Do Stupid Shit
- 5 Traders
- 6 Hot Topics
- 7 Unofficial PD groups
- 8 Further Reading
Empire has a large and active social media presence. Our main Empire LRP Facebook group alone has over 4,000 members. We also have dedicated forums as well as accounts on Instagram, twitch and twitter. Having an enthusiastic and engaged player base is important to us and we love seeing everyone discussing the game and enjoying the world of Empire. We welcome debate and constructive discussion in all these places, but any feedback should always be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org so that the game team can consider it properly.
The Empire LRP Facebook group is for general Empire related chat and queries. We also have nation-specific groups where people can discuss national festivals, collective projects, the national briefs, and the best places to source kit. Camp planning is also announced in these groups. Our national groups are a great community both on and off the field and we encourage people to get involved and to go see what’s being discussed. We also have a Player Support Group which might be a good starting point if you are new to Empire or to live roleplaying in general. The Empire LRP forums have separate boards for all these things, and a few additional ones.
Unfortunately, the nature of the internet is that it removes the element of personal interaction and can exacerbate differences of opinion. If we are not careful this turns discussions into hot-tempered arguments in a way that is detrimental to the debate and the community. For this reason we’ve chosen to implement a set of rules for everyone who uses our official groups and have a large team of crew moderators who can respond to any breaches that occur that are reported to them using the platform’s inbuilt tools or by emailing email@example.com.
Counting players and crew, Empire has nearly three thousand participants at each event; it's not realistic to expect anyone to like every other participant. What we require is that people treat each other with respect regardless of their personal feelings. Our rules are designed to give our team a basis for judging when that is not happening and to take action accordingly. All the applicable rules for conduct at events also apply when making posts on any official Profound Decisions forum or Facebook group. In particular please make sure that you have read and understand the rules for language and equality and diversity.
We ask that the community support our aim to keep the game live and familiarise themselves with the rules governing roleplaying between events. Remember, every in-character communication you have between events is one that cannot be had face to face.
We have a team of crew who moderate our social spaces, lead by our head of online moderation, Miranda Brennan. The team work collaboratively, discussing cases and coming to an agreed response to get the most consistent and fairest outcomes possible when exercising judgement. When a post/comment is reported, the moderators will review it and if necessary discuss together or escalate to the Head of Moderation. Moderation decisions and evidence are stored centrally in case we need to refer to them in future.
How to report
Given the scale of the interent, we can’t keep track of every comment and subthread on our official social media. We therefore ask our users to be aware of the posting rules and if they see a breach, to report it by either:
- Using the reporting tools available on that platform
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and linking to the post/comment you wish to report.
What happens when a post is reported?
If a post/comment is reported and the moderation team decides that it breaks our posting rules, we may delete the post. If we do this, a moderator will endeavour to contact the poster to explain why. If the poster disagrees with the action taken, they can contact the head moderator. If the matter is not resolved to their satisfaction after this point, the matter can be escalated to email@example.com. It is not appropriate to discuss individual moderation discussions on our social media and posts doing this will be deleted.
Depending on the situation we may warn people who have broken the rules, suspend them from our social media spaces either short or long term, or ban them permanently at our discretion. This includes potentially being excluded from the events themselves. We take our rules for online conduct very seriously; we do not make an absolute distinction between behaviour online and at events.
For some breeches of the posting rules, the moderation team may contact the poster privately and give them the opportunity to edit their post in order to make it comply with the rules.
If a contentious post is resulting in some heated debate, we may lock the post from further comments whilst we review it. This is particularly likely if we’re short on moderation cover at that time as our moderation team are all volunteers. If a post has dissolved entirely into unconstructive argument, we will delete the post in its entirety and either explain why privately to the poster or add a post to the group in which it was posted.
Contesting a Decision
It is important to appreciate that moderation is not personal. Some of our rules are technical in nature - and people often have posts moderated or removed not because there was anything wrong with the content or the way they posted it but simply because they don't meet the strict guidelines we set for relevance to Empire. Everyone gets moderated from time-to-time, players and crew, so that we can keep our forums welcoming and full of relevant content. Being moderated is not a criticism of you or your post.
Although you may be contacted by a moderator to inform you that a post has been moderated, please bear in mind that moderation decisions are taken collectively by the team, not by any one individual. You're welcome to discuss the matter with the moderator who is there to try and help ensure you understand why the decision was taken, but if you need to contact the moderation team to discuss a new issue, please use the appropriate methods to contact the whole team, rather than emailing or messaging an individual moderator. All of our crew are volunteers so they don't always have time to allocate to support you; this is why we have a team of people in place to deal with any issues. Please respect the system we have put in place and contact the team if you need to discuss something.
If you are not happy with a moderator decision then you are welcome to discuss that with us privately. Mistakes do get made and we are happy to look at any decision that has been taken and apologize if we have made a mistake and correct it where we can. If we stand by the decision after reviewing it, then we'll try to explain in more detail why we came to that conclusion so that you can better understand how the rules are being applied.
Please do not contest decisions in public - that is against our rules - and do not argue with our moderators or become hostile with one of them. They are members of our crew, and should be treated with the same courtesy and respect that you should show a referee at an event. All our crew volunteer their time to work hard on your behalf to provide a great game so we require everyone who attends our events to treat them with appropriate regard. There are no Empire events without our crew and we take their wellbeing very seriously.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to contact the moderation team to discuss any issue. Private messages are not a good mechanism for contacting the team as they go to individuals who may not see them for several days or at all in some cases depending on the platform settings.
Commencing on the 11th June, we are again operating a relaxed set of rules regarding in-character posts, both text and video, online. Please see the updated rules for online roleplaying which apply until the end of the 14th of June only.
|Empire Forums And Facebook|
|Official Empire Nation Groups|
|Unofficial Facebook Groups|
|Please note that these groups are unofficial so they are not moderated by us!|
- Treat each other with respect and assume best faith
- All posts should clearly relate to Empire
- Put each post in the single most appropriate forum or Facebook group
- Report any breach of the rules to our moderators rather than responding yourself
- Don't start in-character conversations or post anything that is contentious in-character
- IC announcements, sales, adverts and letters are permitted
- You may cross-post winds of war and winds of fortune
- You may not post instructions or advice on military units
- No charity and fundraising posts
- Post links to photographs, don't repost them
- Do not post fanfiction
- Do not criticise other participants for their costume, roleplaying, or interpretation of the setting
- Do not discuss moderation decisions
- Do not post accusations of cheating or unsafe fighting
- Don't do stupid shit
In particular, please note all the applicable rules for conduct also apply when making posts on any official Profound Decisions forum or Facebook group. In particular please make sure that you have read and understand the rules for language and equality and diversity.
Treat each other with respect and assume best faith
We are proud that Empire players come from a diverse range of backgrounds and traditions of LRP. With well over 2000 players and crew, differences of opinions will occur and discussion of these is no bad thing, but needs to be handled carefully. Please respect people’s opinions, treat other participants as adults, and assume good faith. It’s easy to mistake someone’s intent over the internet and you may need to work a little harder to make yourself understood or be more patient when trying to explain something. Avoid making jokes about contentious subjects where the possibility exists to miss the humour and be offended as a result.
Don't harass other users, don't post anything that constitutes a personal attack and avoid forms of speech that could be interpreted as bullying or abusive. Treat people the way you would want to be treated. We will not tolerate any post that our moderators feel constitutes a personal attack on another live roleplayer - regardless of whether or not they use our official online forums/groups or are a regular attendee at our events. Avoid posting while angry; if you are disagreeing with participant then ensure that you remain polite and avoid ad hominem responses.
If you feel anything posted on our official forums or Facebook groups violates our rule prohibiting personal attacks then please report it to our moderators, do not respond in kind.
All Posts Should Clearly Relate to Empire
Please keep your posts on topic. Our forums and groups are for Empire, so if the discussion strays too far away the subject of Empire we will ask you to take it elsewhere. If the link to Empire is tenuous or would be unclear to a casual reader, our moderators may advise you that this would be more appropriate on your own wall or ask you to elaborate on the original post as to its relevance.
Use the Single Most Appropriate Forum or Group
Please ensure that your posts are in the most appropriate area. For example, if you are looking for a member of a Wintermark group on Facebook then you should post in the Wintermark Facebook group. If you want to put a post offering to sell or swap some kit on the forum then you should use the Trading forum.
Do not duplicate the same or similar posts across multiple different forums or different groups. If your post is a bit more general but one nation may still have a special interest then at most you should post in the main Empire group and the single most relevant nation group. An example of this would be a Dawnish hosted player event, as Dawnish players may be especially interested, but other nations may also wish to attend. If multiple players all post the same or similar posts either in the same group or across multiple groups, the moderation team will remove the duplicate posts.
Duplicating a post on Facebook and the Forum is permitted as many participants may only use one of these platforms.
If you are a trader at our events then you may put a post into a single official group of your choice before each event to advertise your services or products. If you are not a trader at our events then you may post once advertisement a year provided that the products or services offered are relevant to Empire players.
Report any Breach of the Rules to our Moderators
Each board has a couple of volunteer moderators and admins and we have a centralised place to discuss and document moderation decisions. Due to the high level of activity in our our official groups it is impossible for us to follow each and every interaction. Therefore, if you see someone infringing the posting rules, please help us by reporting this comment or post promptly rather than responding yourself. A moderator or admin will then respond as quickly as they’re able to.
Please don't call out other participants for posts that you think breech our guidelines, report it, and let the moderators handle it. On Facebook select "report to admin" by clicking in the top right hand corner of a post. On the forum click "...(show more)" then the flag icon on any post.
Don't Post IC Conversations or Contentious Statements
Please help us keep the game live and in the field as much as possible. Avoid starting in-character conversations about significant or controversial subjects so that discussion of important in-character issues can be kept for the live events. It is usually fine to post comments about events that have happened, provided that the posts are not contentious or likely to cause people to want to respond as their character. If you post something in-character that could be perceived as contentious on our official forums or groups, we’ll remove or edit this.
Empire is a game for people to say and do contentious things as their character - but we want those actions and the reactions to them to happen in the field when people are roleplaying.
Post Links to Photographs, Don't Repost Them
Profound Decisions are lucky enough to have a small team of volunteer photographers to document our events; there are also a number of players who take photographs in line with the photography policy. These volunteers generously donate their time and energy to show our hobby in all its glory. To acknowledge their contribution you must link to the original photos rather than downloading them and re-uploading them on our forums.
Each photographer will have their own policy on using photos elsewhere (such as for profile or cover pictures). If in doubt, please contact the original photographer.
IC Announcements and Adverts are Permitted
We believe that in-character announcements, such as those advertising a national event or offering an in-character service add more to the game for our players than they detract from it. It is fine to post an advert for a service offered by your character or group or for a meeting that you are arranging or similar, provided that you avoid posting anything that is contentious and only post it in the single most appropriate group.
There are several guidelines that we ask participant to follow where possible when posting an advert of this kind:
- State your Price - Haggling or negotiation over prices must best left to the field.
- Use the Hub - There’s a message board in The Hub which citizens can use - if you post online, please endeavour to also advertise in-character.
- Do not add additional comments - Do not say “You see this poster across the Empire". If you do this, you’re starting to narrate the reality of the world, which is not permitted.
- Provide a plain text version - Beautiful posters and images are wonderful, but endeavour to provide a copy of the text alongside your image.
You must follow the normal posting rules - don’t say anything in-character that would be contentious and put each post in the single most appropriate forum or Facebook group only. Do not spam it across multiple groups.
In-character letters should be sent privately - but you can use our social media to request contact details for people. For example, if you wish to speak to all arbiters of Urizen, then it is acceptable to ask the arbiters to contact you with an appropriate contact method but not to post up the letter itself into the group/forum.
Empire has an active economy and the costs of resources can be a powerful lever with which to influence the world. Therefore, discussion about the trading costs of resources, or statements about what things should cost are prohibited.
You May Cross-post the Winds
There is an exception to the normal rules on multi-forum posts for the official Profound Decisions event updates, the Winds of War, and the Winds of Fortune. It is fine to cross-post these updates to an Empire Facebook group or forum - but please only do that if you think it is relevant to that group and check to see if it has already been posted. There is no need to cross-post a Wind of Fortune update about trouble in Hahnmark to the Urizen group for example.
However please make sure you do not include any comment about the content of the Wind in the cross-post. If you want to comment on the issue, you are welcome to do that below your own cross-post, but we ask that players avoid making any comment when making the actual cross-post - just to ensure that there is a clear distinction between what an individual player thinks and the contents of the Wind itself.
You May Not Post Military Updates
Players are not permitted to post updates on the decisions of the Military Council, in particular on where the Council would like people to send their military units and fleets in downtime. This constitutes using an online forum to try and influence the choices being made by other characters, it is not compatible with the rules prohibiting the posting of contentious in-character material.
While we have turned a blind-eye to some of these posts in the past - the rules have now been tightened. When the game first started it was difficult for generals to communicate what their army was doing to players. However every player with a military unit or fleet can now see the precise wording of the order issued to each army or navy when they go to submit their downtime. There is no need to provide additional context to these orders.
No Charity or Fundraising Posts
We have taken the decision not to allow any charity or fundraising posts on our groups except where they are intended to raise money for things to be used at Empire events or where they are posted by us on the main Empire LRP page. Whilst LRPers are an incredibly generous community, applying the posting rules and deciding on whether a particular fundraising post is “Empire related enough” is an impossible task for our moderator team. Having to assess each one will inevitably cause friction whenever a post is deleted because it is not sufficiently on topic for the Empire forums.
Posts offering prizes must be compliant with the laws regulating such activities. We will remove any post if we are not confident that you are correctly licensed to engage in such activities.
Do Not Post Fanfiction
We understand that lots of people love to read and write fanfic - and the Empire community is no exception. However there is a small risk that players may confuse fanfic with canonical updates to the campaign if the fiction is posted on one of the main Empire Facebook groups. For this reason there is a specific Facebook group called Empire LRP: Fiction Sharing which was explicitly intended as a place for Empire players to share stories they have created. All fanfic stories should be posted here, not in one of the main Facebook groups.
Do Not Criticise Other Participants
The Empire national briefs are designed to allow for a wide range of creative freedom whilst still maintaining that all-important, clearly identifiable, national identity. When offering support to other players in your nation please be aware that that are other interpretations of the brief which are different to your own but are still valid. Avoid telling other players that they are getting the brief wrong - and avoid presenting yourself as an authority on how the brief should be interpreted.
It is fine to identify parts of the brief that are relevant and encourage people to embrace them. What is not permitted is for players to tell other players what is and is not acceptable in-character. If you have any concerns about the way a player is interpreting the brief then you should report the matter to Profound Decisions who can issue a definitive ruling on the matter.
Likewise, our code of conduct asks all Empire participants to avoid criticizing other player's kit. You should assume that the player in question has followed our guidelines and made the best effort they can. Criticism of other players’ costume will be deleted.
Crowd-sourcing answers about rules often ends up with a variety of responses and opinions on how the rules should be applied in that particular situation. The only definitive and official answers will come by emailing email@example.com.
Do Not Accuse Other Players of Cheating or Unsafe Fighting
Do not make public accusations of cheating or of unsafe fighting at Empire on social media. If you have witnessed either of these happen at an event, please either speak to a ref as soon as you are able to after the incident or contact firstname.lastname@example.org after an event to report it.
Do Not Discuss Moderation Decisions
It is not constructive to discuss individual moderators or moderator decisions in public. We do however welcome discussion and debate of our posting rules and moderation policy provided the discussion remains civil, hypothetical and does not include references to individual examples. To discuss individual moderation decisions, please contact the Head of Moderation at email@example.com; if not resolved to your satisfaction after this point, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don't Do Stupid Shit
Don't post anything that's illegal, racist, sexist, homophobic, pornographic, abusive, or otherwise objectionable. This includes links to such material as well.
- Traders who pay for a pitch at Empire may post adverts up to once an event
- LRP traders who don't have a pitch at Empire may post adverts once a year
We are happy to allow traders to make occasional posts to the Empire Facebook groups, particularly if the post is drawing attention to goods that are appealing to Empire players. At the same time we are keen to prevent the groups from becoming overburdened with adverts, and want to ensure that they do not become too repetitive. To give everyone a fair set of guidelines to operate to - we have decided that traders or groups who have a trade pitch at Empire may post one advert on the run up to each event if they choose. If a trader isn't one of the Empire traders then they may post up to one advert a year. Any adverts posted more frequently than that will be deleted by the moderators.
A trader advert can be in the main Empire LRP Facebook group and a single nation Facebook group provided it contains stock appropriate to that nation. Any advert posted across multiple nation groups will be removed.
The areas below are topics that almost invariably degenerate into arguments, or are simply not appropriate or acceptable topics of discussion for our forums or Facebook groups. Some of these issues are controversial and tend to produce a lot of acrimony when discussed online giving the false impression that these issues dominate our events. Some of these issues are simply not appropriate or acceptable and will be deleted by our moderators as soon as they become aware of them.
Our moderators will closely monitor these "hot topics" and may pre-emptively delete any posts that they feel is highly likely to lead to an adversarial discussion of the issues.
Politics, Religion, and Language
Politics and religion are incredibly important subjects and the crew and players of Empire cover a lot of different religions and a wide spectrum of political opinions. However, our online community exists so that participants can discuss the imaginary politics of the world of Empire and not real world politics.
Discussions about inappropriate language, such as the use of gendered words, is a subject that we’ve learned from prior incidents rapidly degenerates into acrimony. We will allow positive discussion of ways that participants can embrace the gender-blind Empire setting and implement that in their roleplaying - but will delete anything that is negative, a personal attack or is based on criticism of other people's roleplaying or experiences.
In using our social media, participants are also bound by any applicable conduct rules, including those around gendered language. If you are concerned by a poster’s use of inappropriate language, then please bring it to the attention of a moderator and they will contact the other participant and remind them of our rules relating to this.
Empire is not a system which employs "FOIP" - a requirement that you can only find things out in play at events. It is fine to ask simple in-character questions, things you think your character should know or any questions about the system. If the information you have asked for is not controversial in-character then other participants are free to give you the answer to your question or to encourage you to find their character at an event and seek out the information in-character.
However as per the posting rules we prohibit discussion online of important or controversial issues. These issues form part of the plot of our event and we ask everyone to respect that.
There are specific rules for roleplaying between events. Anything that breaches these rules - any post that contains trade negotiations, religious debates, military planning, magical discourse, or political discussions and appointments will be removed.
Criticism of Empire and other LRP Systems
Live roleplaying is an amazing community that is at its best when participants share original ideas and best practices between different systems. So it's fine to make a post calling out a positive example of something other games do well - or do better than Empire does - that gives us a basis for discussing ways to make Empire a better game. But please bear in mind when posting, that Empire is such a large system that we will have participants who love the game you are referencing as well as participants who tried it and did not enjoy it.
What is not permitted is anything that is critical or dismissive of other LRP systems. Most LRP systems have their own forums or Facebook groups for their players to post comments about their games - posts that are about other games should be posted on their Facebook page, not on our forum/groups.
It is fine to use our Facebook groups and our forums to criticize Empire or Profound Decisions and we encourage people to post ideas for improvements to the game. Bear in mind that all LRP games are produced by the combined efforts of a team of volunteers who are passionately invested in the game they create. Criticism directed at named individuals will be treated as a personal attack and moderated accordingly and our rules requiring civility towards our volunteers apply on our forums and Facebook groups as well as at events.
We believe a good LRP stands on its merits, and benefits from analysis, critique, and discussion. We ask all participants to be mindful of the fact that just because you have not experienced a problem does not mean the problem does not exist. Our moderators will remove posts if they judge that their only contribution is to suppress criticism or silence debate about Empire.
Facebook is an excellent place to discuss Empire with other participants who use Facebook - it is not ideal for providing feedback to Profound Decisions. There is no guarantee that the people who can act on the basis of your feedback will even see it. We treat posts on Facebook as the basis for discussion between participants - the wiki page on providing feedback discusses the best ways to send actual feedback to the team.
Unofficial PD groups
There are a large number of unofficial Empire groups which people use for discussing issues and organising logistics, amongst other things. As these groups are not official, they are not moderated by us and they are not automatically covered by our rules on posting. However all our players are expected to observe the social contract and commitment to keeping the game live that prohibits online negotiations and discussion of controversial subjects.
Although these online Empire community spaces are not moderated by us nor covered by our rules, players who are use them are still bound by our rules on conduct and our equality and diversity policies that forbid harassment etc. Reported breaches of these rules in communal Empire spaces may result in action being taken by Profound Decisions. If you are experiencing online harassment by another Empire participant then we will take appropriate action if you report the matter to us.