Articles of Organization

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Mission Statement

RPG Writing offers a place to write creatively. The group as a whole intends to give as much support and freedom as realistically possible to Game Managers (GMs) as they write their stories regardless of genre. We strive for excellence in a productive environment where individuals are able to develop their creative writing, world-building, and character development skills. We mean to be ambassadors to the simming and creative writing communities. Ultimately, we want to build a place where people can relax and have fun.

Therefore, RPG Writing expects that its members will not discriminate against any other writers based upon race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual preference, age,  veteran status, or past association with other communities. RPG Writing also expects that there will be no bullying or harassment of players simply because they do not agree with another’s views, ideals, morals, politics, or the like.

Opening

These Articles of Organization define the fundamental principles and operation of RPG Writing.

Article I – Rights

A. Member Rights

  1. All persons participating in an RPG Writing sim are members of the RPG Writing group.
  2. All members regardless of rank or position shall have these rights and shall be held accountable for their conduct under RPG Writing Articles of Organization and Bylaws.
  3. All members have the right to an environment free of harassment and discrimination based upon, but not limited to the following statuses: race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, sexual preference or past association with other writing groups.
  4. All members have a right to privacy and to not have their private conversations posted in an RPG Writing hosted channel without prior express consent. Such content, if consent was not given, will be deleted by a member of the GM Council.
  5. All members have a right to a safe writing environment.
  6. All members have the right to be notified of changes in their sim/game rules, bylaws, and Articles of Organization.
  7. All members have a right to take a leave of absence when members have real life commitments or obligations that require their attention. How that absence is handled is further defined in the Bylaws.
  8. All members have the intellectual property rights to their own characters and to not have their characters used or written by other individuals without express permission.
  9. No member shall affect another person’s character without that member’s permission. Game Managers must make clear in the rules for their sim/game any set of circumstances in which they envision themselves needing to make changes to someone’s character(s).
  10. All members have the right to write their characters in any way they see fit, so long as it does not interfere with the rights of any other member.

B. Game Manager Rights

  1. A Game Manager has complete authority over his/her sim/game but may not infringe on the rights of their sim members.
  2. A Game Manager may accept or reject applicants to their sim for any reason.
  3. A Game Manager has the right to set the rank and/or position of his/her players.
  4. A Game Manager has the right to demote or remove players from his/her sim/game.
  5. A Game Manager has the right to determine the scope and nature of the plot and member participation in the sim/game.
  6. A Game Manager has the right to determine when a plot on his/her sim/game begins or ends, and can alter the plot as needed.
  7. A Game Manager has the right to create and award players with special citations created by the Game Manager. Graphics created for awards/citations created by other GMs or in other fleets cannot be used without first obtaining permission. This provision excludes previous awards given to players/sims in the past.
  8. Each Game Manager has the right to create an independent gaming/simming environment separate from other sims/games in the group.
  9. A Game Master, with at least one active game in RPG Writing, is given a voting seat on the GM Council and has one vote regardless of how many active sims the Game Master manages, subject to the provisions in Article VI.

Article II – The Articles of Organization

A. The Articles of Organization are the governing document for RPG Writing.
B. The Articles of Organization may be amended at any time by a ⅔ majority vote of the GM Council’s voting membership at the time of the vote. Abstentions are not counted as part of the voting membership but will be recorded as an abstention. For example, if there are 7 voting members when a vote is called, 5 votes are needed. If one member abstains, the two-thirds majority required to pass the vote would be 4 (rather than 5).
C. The quorum for amending the Articles of Organization shall be defined as ¾ of the GM Council.
D. All amendments to the Articles of Organization must be documented.
E. All amendments to the Articles of Organization must be announced to all players/writers in a method reasonably calculated to reach the maximum amount of players/writers.

Article III – Bylaws

A. Should a conflict arise between the provisions of the Articles of Organization and the Bylaws, the Articles of Organization supercede the bylaws. The bylaws shall be written to support the Articles of Organization.
B. The bylaws may be modified by a majority vote of the GM Council.
C. The quorum for amending the bylaws shall be defined as ¾ of the GM Council.
D. All amendments to the Bylaws must be documented.
E. All amendments to the Bylaws must be announced to all players/writers in a method reasonably calculated to reach the maximum amount of players/writers.

Article IV – Emergency Powers

A. Each member of the GM Council is vested with Emergency Powers but only to the extent that the Council member acts as an admin/moderator in a public forum (such as Discord).
B. Emergency Powers shall be exercised in defense of the group and only when the failure to exercise such powers would result in imminent and irreparable harm to the RPG Writing. Emergency powers should never be used as a punitive measure.
C. Emergency Powers may be utilized in a manner that would normally be considered contrary to the Articles of Organization or Bylaws.

D. If Emergency Powers are utilized, the GM Council member who acted must immediately:

  1. Notify the GM Council of the action taken;
  2. Provide a detailed explanation of the reason that the action was taken; and
  3. Present evidence to the council, including snapshots or other documentary evidence, that demonstrated the clear need for the emergency action.

E. The use of the Emergency Power shall be put to an immediate vote with the GM Council. If the use of the Emergency Power is ratified by a majority vote, the action must be announced to all players/writers in a method reasonably calculated to reach the maximum amount of players/writers.
F. If the use of Emergency Power is not sanctioned by a majority vote, then corrective actions shall be taken by the GM Council and include a formal apology to the individual or individuals who were the recipients of that action. The Council Member who utilized the action shall lose their vote on the GM Council and his/her right to use Emergency Powers for a period to be determined by vote of the remaining GM Council members.
G. If the use of an Emergency Power is not sanctioned on a particular matter, the Emergency Power may not be used again on that matter.

Article V – Structure of RPG Writing

A. Simulations (“Sims”)/Games

  1. A Game Manager creates and runs a simulation (“sim”) or game.
  2. Anyone who writes within the sim or game is considered a player.
  3. Players are expected to adhere to the rules set by the Game Manager
  4. Sims/Games may be assigned to a group to help identify the setting/genre of a particular sim/game.

B. GM Council

  1. Each Game Manager is entitled to a seat on the GM Council. For the first two months, the GM serves in an advisory capacity as a non-voting member. At the end of the two month period, if the GM’s sim/game has achieved active status, then the GM is given full voting rights.
    • While participation on the Council is a right, it is not mandatory. GMs can elect not to serve on the Council. In that case, notification should be made to the Recording Secretary of the GM Council, of that GM’s intention not to serve.
    • If, at some point, the GM changes his/her mind and wishes to serve on the Council, as long as the sim/game is active and has been part of RPG Writing for more than two months, the GM shall be added to the Council as a voting member regardless of whether a vote is in progress or not.
    • During the period 5/31/19 through 6/14/19, while the group is setting up and formal processes established, GMs who wish to join RPG Writing and have an active sim, with more than two players, can be voted in, by two-thirds majority, as voting members. At 23:59 EST on 6/14/19, this special circumstance ends and all members must serve the two-month period in a non-voting/advisory capacity.
  2. If a Game Manager has more than one sim/game in RPG Writing, that Game Manager is still only entitled to only one vote.
  3. A Game Manager may give their vote as a proxy to another individual who is already a member of the GM Council for a specific issue on a one-time only basis. This should not become a pattern of behavior.
    • For the proxy to be valid, the GM must first inform the GM Council and name the GM who will use the proxy for the vote. The voting record will be amended to include the GM’s permission for the proxy.
    • Only one proxy can be held by a GM for a particular vote.
  4. A Game Manager may vote in favor, against, or may abstain on any given topic without being called out or held responsible for their vote or become subject to punitive actions as a result of that vote.
  5. GM Council members that go inactive after 1 month (or 3 votes ignored) of time (including being contacted by Recording Secretary and failed to respond) from active duty in the GMC. Yet are active in their sim are to be removed of their GM Council membership to non-voting position named GM.
    • Non-voting members that were removed due to their inactive status and wish to come back must report so to the Recording Secretary.
  6. An Advisory GM must post into an active discussion conversation on the council discord saying they are actively watching even if they have no opinion or something similar, create a website for their sim, report in during their GM advisory period, or report as being on LOA during their time as GM Advisor, otherwise the Advisory GM will be treated as inactive and the procedures regarding inactivity will be followed accordingly
  7. Non-Voting members of the council may be added from time to time as needed by the GM Council (for example, a Technical Manager or Public Relations Manager). Members who serve in these positions are afforded non-voting access to the GM Council, serving in an advisory capacity. An individual in this position can be removed by a majority vote of the GM Council voting members.
  8. A Recording Secretary shall be appointed for the GM Council. If no volunteer for the position can be found, then the GM Council members agree to perform the duty in rotation. The Recording Secretary’s duties include:
    • Keeping a record of every vote taken, including the final tally and the contents/wording of the vote itself. The record shall be available at all times to GM Council members through a read-only document.
    • Ensure that the discussion preceding the vote is recorded and archived in a separate document.
    • Track resignations, banning of players/GMs, and sim removals by date.

Article VI – Voting

A. Unless otherwise indicated in the Articles of Organization or the Bylaws of RPG Writing, a majority vote is all that is required to approve a matter.
B. The quorum for a vote is at least half of the eligible voters except as required to be otherwise in the Articles of Organization or the Bylaws of RPG Writing.
C. Voting procedure is as follows:

  1. When a vote is called, an announcement is made in the #voting channel.
  2. Discussion opens for a 48-hour period. The discussion period for matters unrelated to game/sim admission shall be 72 hours rather than 48.
    • Only discussion in the #voting-discussion channel will be recorded and made part of the official record. Discussion must be limited to the topic under discussion.
    • Voting members are free to ask questions and state concerns or opinions. However, the discussion must be reasonable and substantive. Hostility, name calling, and combative dialog are counterproductive and will not be tolerated.
    • All comments made in the #voting-discussion channel until the actual vote is recorded and kept for archival purposes.
    • The discussion period may be extended by a majority vote of the GM Council for a particular vote so long as the vote to extend occurs during the mandated 48-hour discussion period. Each GM is limited to one request for extension of the discussion period per discussion.
    • When voting begins, the discussion ends.  
  3. At the end of the discussion period, an announcement is made in the #voting channel that voting is beginning. The announcement should also include the number of votes needed to pass.
    • Voting is open for a period of seven (7) days from the date the vote is called.
    • A vote can be closed when the number of votes counted (excluding those who abstain) reaches the majority necessary for passage or defeat of a measure. The number required to close the vote, as defined in the Articles and By-Laws, should be stated at the beginning of the vote. Once the vote is closed, the decision is announced in accordance with the Articles of Organization and Bylaws.
  4. The vote is tallied and the results are recorded/announced.
  5. The official record is made and the #voting and #voting-discussion channels are cleared.
    • Important! Contents of vote discussions are not for dissemination to anyone not serving on the GM Council. In essence, this is a private conversation between GM Council members and as such, requires the express consent of all participating members before dissemination is permitted..

D. Motion for unanimous consent is not permitted on any matter.
E. A GM Council member is free to abstain from voting. The number of votes required for a successful percentage vote is reduced by the number of abstentions.
F. GM Council members may not cast a ballot in any vote where the outcome of the vote would be of direct personal benefit to that GM or that GM’s sim..
G. After a vote has concluded, the GM Council will support the decision. The purpose of this is to provide a unified front to RPG Writing members and to demonstrate that the GM Council is working together in the best interest of RPG Writing.
H. A record will be made of the vote together with the discussion for archival purposes.

  • A request for voting records may be made and upon a majority vote of the GM Council, released to the requesting party. However, while vote tallies may be revealed, identifying information with respect to individual votes cast will not be released under any circumstances

I. Interested GMs, who have chosen not to take a seat on the GM Council, can request a copy of the voting record. The voting record consists of the discussions leading up to a vote as well as the vote count itself. However, in all cases, identifying information with respect to individual votes cast will not be released under any circumstances.

Article VII – Enactment

A. Upon a 2/3rds vote of Game Managers in RPG Writing prior to these Articles of Organization being adopted, the Articles of Organization and Bylaws are ratified and all ratifying GMs receive full voting rights.
B. Upon ratification, the Articles of Organization and Bylaws take immediate effect.

RATIFIED ON: May 31, 2019

Signatures:
Amanda Rose
Beeman
RachH
RaWolfe
Sam17101
Star Geek