The Madhouse
Your sanity is an illusion. We control the horizontal. The vertical. Don't try to adjust your mindset.
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Complex Variable

Herein follow the ancient rules of our madness, handed down from writer to writer, since the dawn of Tuesday, December the Eighteenth, Two-Thousand-and-Twelve:

(People: Unlock the thread, edit this post, add rules, and then re-lock it, please.)


—A "user" is any person who makes posts in this Forum.

—A "moderator" is any user with moderator status; this is indicated by a shiny orange crown next to their user-name

—The "Forum owner" is ComplexVariable, the moderator who owns this Forum

General Forum Rules: (These apply everywhere, and to everyone in the Forum)

RULE PHI: Treat others the way you want to be treated. This is supposed to be a friendly, enjoyable, and respectful environment.

RULE ONE: Keep the smut to a minimum. Any links posted to material and/or websites with risqué, explicit, and/or graphic content must be indicated as NSFW (Not Safe For Work). Likewise, please try to keep your "impulses" under control. Having fun is one thing, being disgusting is quite another.

RULE TWO: This Forum has a Nearly-Zero-Tolerance Policy for name-calling, harassment, or any rudeness of that sort. You will be given ONE warning. The "reset time" on this is one week, so, if you step out of line within a week of having already stepped out of line, you will be banned from the Madhouse for a week. A list of banned and warned users will be maintained on the Bulletin Board.

RULE THREE: Unless a thread is locked or deleted, users may continue to post in a thread until the post limit is reached.

RULE FOUR: If a thread moderator judges a user to be guilty of posting spam (defined here as "repeated postings of irrelevant and/or inappropriate messages"), a warning will be issued to the perpetrator.

RULE FIVE: Breaking the page is when someone posts such a long line of text that FP makes it fit for your line and will extend the post to a length where normal PC users will have to slide the page over to hit reply. This will result in a warning if it is done purposefully. If it is an accident like posting a link when it's too long and if you correct it quickly you won't be warned. If it is done repeatedly--even after being warned--then you will be temporarily banned from the forum for 7 days. If you return with the same behavior you will be permanently banned without a warning.

RULE SIX: Banned Users: if after being banned and you've made another account which you use to access the forum then that extra account will be permanently banned and every single account after that. After making two extra accounts for us to permanently ban then the main one will be permanently banned as well. Note: This does not mean you can't have multiple accounts. This only applies to those who are banned.

General Role-Playing ("RP") Rules: (These apply to all Role-Playing Threads)

RP RULE ZERO: Before being used in an RP, a character must be first introduced in the Meet the Characters thread, and then receive moderator approval. Explain who your characters are (name, age, species/race, gender, appearance, personality, etc), what story they come from, any special powers they might have, and what their weaknesses are.

RP RULE ONE: This Forum is for characters from fictional works written or imagined by YOU, the user. (Such characters are called "Original Characters", or "OC"s). RPing on this Forum has two purposes: having fun, and testing out/developing a character you're writing about.

RP RULE TWO: Posts may be written in any POV, tense, or style you want. Here, we do not use the common RP methods, but rather a writer's method where you are literally testing out your writing styles. If using first person, you must start your RP session with (FIRST PERSON - CHARACTER NAME). You should supply dialogue and narrative in your posts. Ex: ["Hello, stranger," John said. He looked warily at the new arrival, letting his hand drift down to his plasma rifle, just in case it would be needed. "What brings you here?" he asked.] Use dialogue to communicate with other users' characters; use narrative to describe your characters' reactions and actions.

RP RULE THREE: No "I-have-a-million-powers"/overpowered characters allowed (the technical term for this is "god modding"). Your characters can be all powerful, but, they cannot use their power to do everything and anything that they want to.

RP RULE THREE-AND-A-HALF: Particularly for RP threads with fighting/action in them, your character cannot be a master of all skills. If your character comes from a particular story world you made up, he/she/it cannot be more knowledgeable about things from another user's story world than that user and/or his/her characters. Unless another user's character gives your character "permission" to use the elements of their story world (for example, by handing you their energy-sword, or giving you instructions on how to cast one of their spells) your characters cannot just start using things from other characters' story worlds, such as magic systems, special technologies, or so on.

RP RULE FOUR: It's considered rude to force other users' characters to do things, instead, lead the other users along by hinting at what you want through third-person commentary. Ex: "Jane looked at John with quivering eyes, wondering if he felt about her the same way that she felt about him." Or "Jack stuck his foot out in Jill's path, ready to trip her.")

RP RULE FIVE: If you have to leave, say so in parentheses. In general, the idea is to allow the scene to flow as natural as possible without much interaction from you. More importantly, if YOU leave, make your character leave, as well (unless, of course, you feel comfortable with having another user take the reins—if so, you should indicate it, as such).

RP RULE SIX: Do not take other user's characters' words personally; these are the characters speaking, not their writers/users. At the same time though, just because you are in a role playing scenario, that does not mean that you can say whatever you want or do whatever you want and get away with it.

RP RULE SEVEN: No cyber-sex, character sex, or whatever—it's not allowed anywhere on this Forum. You can do that sort of thing in Private Messages ("PM"s) between you and the other user(s), just not here.

Rules for Moderators: (These apply to all moderators)

MODERATOR RULE ONE: Moderator duties refer to who has the immediate responsibility for dealing with questions, issues, and misconduct within the specified forum. If a user is having a problem (of any sort) within a particular thread, the problem should be addressed to the thread's designated moderator.

MODERATOR RULE TWO: A thread's designated moderator(s) h(as/ave) the final say for resolving issues in that thread. Although non-designated moderators have the same general authority in a given thread as the designated moderator, the designated moderator(s) h(as/ve) the right to overrule the actions/decisions of non-designated moderators. Overrulings are to be made/indicated by the thread's designated moderator through the use of the phrase "I'm sorry [MODERATOR NAME], but I'm overruling you." If the overruling regards actions taken toward non-moderators, the overruling must be performed in a post on the thread. If the overruling regards actions strictly between moderators, the overruling should be issued via PM.

MODERATOR RULE THREE: If any moderator has any questions or concerns about the actions/behavior of another moderator (this included being overruled by a designated moderator), those questions and concerns MUST be PM'ed to a third-moderator (a moderator who was NOT involved in the issue in question), or to any other available moderator who was not involved in the conflict. Moderators are NOT allowed to confront other moderators directly without the approval of this "third party" moderator.

MODERATOR RULE FOUR: Duties for moderators are not set in stone. Assignments are subject to change, just because change is a good thing.

MODERATOR RULE FIVE: If things turn sour, a moderator may be stripped of his or her status as a moderator. This will be done as follows: a moderator(s) submits a petition to the forum owner, ComplexVariable, citing at least three distinct incidents in support of his/her claim that another moderator deserves to be stripped of his/her rank. Additionally, there must be at least two distinct, non-moderator testimonies in support of the de-moderator-ing petition. Upon submission of the petition, a vote will be taken by all moderators who are not involved in the petition (i.e., they cannot be the person(s) whose moderator rank is at stake, nor the person(s) who submitted the petition). Then, the decision will be made by a majority vote. If the vote fails, the moderator in question will be banned for a week.

MODERATOR RULE SIX: In cases involving disputes between moderators, or appeals made to undo a decision/action of a moderator the word of the Forum owner, ComplexVariable, is final if and only if the decision is affirmed by at least one other moderator not involved in the given situation. This rule does not apply (that is to say, the Forum owner's word is unenforceable) in situations involving the Forum owner (such as a dispute between the Forum owner and a user).

MODERATOR RULE SEVEN POINT ONE: Threads shall not be created nor deleted without there first being a discussion and a vote in the Suggestions Thread. Exceptions to this rule will be allowed for threads whose creation and/or deletion has already been pre-determined by some other set of rules. Example: once we max out the number of posts in a thread, there is no need to debate whether or not a new thread should be created.

MODERATOR RULE SEVEN POINT TWO: Whenever a post or thread is deleted, the date and time of the deletion, as well as a brief explanation of the reason, should be posted to the Bulletin Board. The same applies to the creation of any new threads, or to the locking/un-locking of threads. In the case that this thread (The Rules) is locked/unlocked, it suffices to say that the rules were updated.

MODERATOR RULE SEVEN POINT THREE: Whenever a thread is deleted or created by someone other than Complex Variable, the moderator who did so must send a private message to Complex Variable briefly describing the change and the reason for doing so.

MODERATOR RULE EIGHT: If a discussion over significant changes in the forum is being held, it is considered polite to let the other moderators/forum owner know that a discussion is taking place. This can be done by whatever means seems most appropriate.

MODERATOR RULE NINE: Whenever a moderator edits a post another user's post, a reason for the edit must be included as part of the edit.

Thread-Specific Rules: (As the name suggests, these are rules that apply only to specific threads)

Meet the Characters:

—This is the thread where you introduce your OC's for moderator approval, prior to using them in any of the RP threads on this Forum.

—Any Forum moderator may approve or reject a character submitted to this thread. A moderator's decision can be overruled if two other moderators agree that the initial decision was incorrect.

Random RP:

—No fighting/battles allowed in the Random RP thread. It's just for characters to chat and socialize.

The Seminar (Mods - Complex Variable / ShatteredUniverse):

—This is the thread for level-headed, engaged, intellectual discussion and debate. Politics, history, art, the sciences, philosophy, and so on.

—The conversation may get heated at times (especially on certain "touchy" subjects, such as religion). As such, try not to take things in the thread too personally. At the same time, though, you should ALWAYS be respectful of other people's viewpoints. Just because someone thinks differently than you does not mean that they are flawed, inferior, or whatever.

A Penny For Your Thoughts (Mod - Annything):

—This is the thread where you can post story ideas you think up; ideas that you feel comfortable giving away. If you decide to use someone's idea—or something like it—don't forget to say thank you!

—When you give a story idea, please indicate the story genre(s) in bold at the start of the post. Also— to avoid confusion—you should give it a short name, or key-phrase so that it can be easily mentioned by another user. As an example, a heading for an idea-giving entry should look something like: Story Idea: (Sci-fi/Romance) / "R&J On Neptune". Then, you would proceed to describe the essential components of the idea.

—If you decide to use an idea, please PM the person who suggested it, and tell them that you are using it. Also, please indicate that you are using the idea by making an appropriate post in the thread, and referring to the idea(s) by its/their identifying key-phrase (i.e. "I'm going to write a story based on "R&J On Neptune").

—Also, if the plot of your story seems to be stuck, then this is the place to go. If you want to get helpful suggestions for where to take your story's plot, put "Help, I need a plot rescue for "STORY NAME" " at the top of your post, and then explain the problem you're having—what's going on in the story, and where it goes wrong. Ex: Help, I need a plot rescue for "Three Minutes to Midnight". Don't forget to thank the people that help you!

—If you are giving help to someone who's plot needs rescuing, please write "Here's help for "STORY NAME" " at the top of your post. Ex: Here's help for "Three Minutes to Midnight". Then, give your idea/advice.

—When a user chooses to use someone's idea, the person that posted that idea (or, if they're not available, then the Forum Moderator) should edit the original post containing the idea to say "Being used by:" and then list the users pen-name, and ID number.

—When you write a work that was inspired/helped by an idea from this thread, please include an author's note in your story mentioning that you got it from this forum.

The Society of Literature and Badass Fiction Writing (Mods - ShatteredUniverse):

—This is the thread where you discuss literature and the writer's craft. This can be about writing and literature in general, or, about your own writing. This is the place to go if you're having trouble with your writing, your plots, your characters, your story-world, and so on.

—This is NOT the place for self-promotion. Don't come here just to talk about how cool your story is, or what-not. This is a place for seeking help, as well as a place for people to compare their views on writing, on stories, and to share experiences, challenges, knowledge that come along with being a writer.

12/20/2012 . Edited by Annything, 12/23/2013 #1
Forum Moderators: Complex Variable TheOneAndOnlyBangBang, inwardtransience, Annything
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