Don't be toxic, disrespectful, or cause/fuel drama. Use your common sense and don't be a jerk. Banter is fine, but don't start harassing someone. Remember, you and your buddy might be fine talking smack to each other, but make sure it doesn't appear hostile to onlookers. Furthermore, if you don't like someone, just ignore them, and if someone's breaking rules or making you uncomfortable, message a mod and we'll try to deal with it. We're not going intending to go heavy on policing what people talk about in the Social Cafe or the Discord, but sensitive, controversial and political subjects should be avoided. Just stay cool. Our forum is LGBTQ friendly; leave any discrimination or bigotry at the door.
You're expected to keep posts in the correct areas. That means posting OOC (out of character) comments in the Roleplay Discussion forum, and not inside other's roleplay threads. I don't mind the odd OOC comment inside quotes, so long as it's appended to a roleplay post (e.g. you might want to add an author's note). Furthermore, while you may ask mods help outside of the Help Desk, or the New Member Q&A thread, staff are allowed to politely decline assisting you in social areas. This isn't a formal job, and we do need time to rest and chill.
We've worked hard to build up this board, so advertising or linking to external roleplays is forbidden without explicit permission from an Administrator. If you want to talk about your own art, your YouTube channel, or even your own writing, feel free to post something at the Social Cafe, even if it borders on advertisement.
This next rule is very important, especially for new members. Please read the available rules and resources. We've spent a lot of work writing up rules, guidelines, and lore for the server, and we even have an FAQ. You're expected to try and read the information provided as possible, using the Beginner's Guide as a reference. We're aware this can be daunting, so feel free to ask questions about it. But please try to check out the FAQ before asking questions or if you're uncertain. As long as you've tried to look for an answer on your own first, we won't disparage you for coming to us.
Extending on the last rule, we'd love it if our members could just ask. Whether you want to suggest a new perk, sub-forum, or addition to the lore, or perhaps just need help with something, just ask! A roleplay is built not only by its staff but its players too. Without you all, we'd be helpless. So communicating with us Mods and Admins is key. I do not want there to be a divide between our staff and members, staff are merely members with extra responsibilities: they are not their own hierarchy.
While everyone should be respected, this goes especially for staff. The rules might not be able to encompass every situation, so moderators might use their own judgement. If you believe a moderator decision is unfair, please message an Administrator about it politely instead of passive-aggressively complaining in chat or the forums. I know it can be frustrating, but a loud argument won't help anyone. You can find our admins on The Team page.
In general, don't be a diva. Don't be dramatic if your idea gets turned down, or if you lose a fight. Don't act like you know the rules better than staff members, and know we won't change the rules to suit you. We treat all members the same, and nobody is exempt from the rules. Staff are not paid, we do this for fun: just like you. If you continue to try and make things extremely difficult for us, we will ask you to leave.
Lastly, we strive to do all we can to keep this place friendly and maintain a good atmosphere. If anything is bothering you, don't hesitate to reach out to a mod or an admin, or click the report button by the side of a post. It might seem minor, or maybe you don't want to bother us, but your enjoyment is our enjoyment. Us staffers are members just like you, and the problems of our userbase are our problems too. It hurts no one for us to hear out your grievances with anything related to the forum or roleplay, and we'll do our best to act on them where we can.
These rules are for the roleplay. Scroll up for the OOC (out-of-character) rules.
You should respect the setting. Stick to canon. Don't ignore the lore just because it suits you. But don't stress over it either. Just try to follow the setting as best as you can, and ask around if you're really not sure about something. We'd rather be messaged sooner than have to play clean-up later.
Be sure to check the stickies/pins. They contain crucial information about each area, including notes about the NPCs, the description of the location, and things you may wish to do there. We also have a Lore Page, which you can check for further and more organised information. We don't like deleting or denying suggested additions, but we will do so in the rare case that someone drastically contradicts the lore or the theme of the roleplay. Normally, we will try to give you the opportunity to edit your suggestion.
While exaggerating feats is acceptable, try to make sense: consider realism. A nerdy mage with no real combat experience shouldn't score easy headshots with a big crossbow without a good reason. Realism exists as a writing constraint that should encourage you to think creatively, not as a punishment. Make sure you keep your character's skills in mind when fighting NPCs or other players. That said, realism still takes somewhat of a backseat where it comes to fairness and fun. We want any violent in-character disputes to be resolved through a good story or at least a cool action scene, not to have the "stronger" character snap their fingers and easily defeat the weaker one. The various lore for Magic supports this writing preference, to some extent.
Adding on to the previous point, if you've roleplayed for a while, you've probably heard of "God-Modding". Essentially when, somehow, someone's character never takes damage, is never fatigued by their actions, and are just all-around frustrating to write with because it seems like they're being written to do everything perfectly. People like this might make you never want to interact with these people again because they just want to make themselves look cool. Some people might do it without knowing (after all, we all want to do cool stuff sometimes). While there is technically no hard rule against doing this, you're still expected to avoid god-modding as best as you can, especially when writing with other players or major NPCs.
In other cases, combat or not, has anyone ever written their character knowing something about your character that they shouldn't? Personal thoughts, the position where you are hidden? Just in general the character knows something that the writer knows but the character still shouldn't? This is called Meta-Gaming, aka the unforgivable RP sin. Again, sometimes it's a simple mistake of "oh I thought they said that out loud". To avoid doing this, simply ask a question you aren't sure about. As a community, we need to communicate. Maybe it can be worded differently; maybe it just needs better punctuation. Either way, try your best not to let your OOC knowledge impact your IC actions. If it's minor or can be explained away with luck, then we usually won't do anything. But if it's more major or personally impacts another character (such as knowing a secret of theirs without writer permission), then the edits will likely be enforced. We want to ensure everyone has fun.
Your character cannot be in two places at once. You should not ignore travelling. You may time skip past it, but you should note that it happened. Perhaps use a [ooc] tag to do so at the end or start of your post to signify it. Furthermore, you may not make additional accounts without permission. Making alt characters by multi-accounting is bannable. We have systems in play for having extra characters that we expect you to follow.
There may come a time where you're waiting on someone else to post and they simply... don't. This is between you and them to work out a solution, but if you can't contact them or they don't respond to your messages, you're expected to try and wait about 48 hours if possible - but this is only a guideline. Roleplays on Eterna are intended to span weeks or months, not be finished within a day. Our recommended posting style is to be slow and steady: once every day or few. Having a short attention span and seeking to end roleplays within hours may make you unappealing for many members of this community to write with.
You are expected to ask before involving yourself with an active roleplay or writing another character's actions outside of fights. You are expected to keep OOC and IC disputes separate. This is a game, and we're telling a story. Being polite OOC won't subtract from you being a brutal offensive pirate IC.
Regarding questionable content, if you feel you're about to write a scene that's sexually suggestive or contains very graphic violence, you're expected to tag your title your thread/post with [NSFW] and, if necessary, include a content warning about it at the start of your post. We do not allow explicit sexual content on this board, regardless of whether it in visual media or in writing. If you're unsure whether something requires a tag or if it's allowed, ask staff, but we expect you to err on the side of caution. We're here to help. In short, all normal topics should ideally be PG-13, but because some storylines might be overly gory or dark, and some romance plots might have suggestive undertones, it's allowed to push past this rating so long as your writing is tagged appropriately. If you just wanna write porn, find somewhere else. And if things are getting steamy, fading to black and leaving it up to reader interpretation is best.
Hurting yourself to damage an enemy or killing yourself to protect someone are perfectly valid roleplay scenes, but scenes that stray too close to idealising self-destructive behaviour or encouraging it push against our community boundaries a bit. Characters can be flawed, and we recognise topics such as suicide and self-harm can be written and tackled maturely and in good taste, but in the interest of keeping this forum friendly and accommodating, we ask that mentions of such things remain non-explicit. If you're unsure whether your post goes too far, ask a mod. In general, as long as there's a content warning and it isn't too explicit or excessive, we will tend to let it pass.