Bylaws

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Bylaw #1 – Players

  1. All players must create original characters. An original character is one that:
    • Was not already created for a book, television show, or movie. For example, you can’t have Spock as your character.
    • Is not related to a canon character – that means you can’t write for Spock’s youngest cousin either.
    • Is unique and is not copied from someone else. You cannot duplicate a character that someone else in RPG Writing has already created without the original author’s permission/consent. For example, you love a character on the USS Widget so you copy/paste the attributes, history, etc. for a new character and give it a different name
  2. Players are not permitted to use the RPG Writing Discord channel or other RPG Writing venues to recruit for sims/games outside of this group.
  3. Players are not permitted to poach players for the purpose of recruitment without the permission of the sim/game’s Game Manager.
  4. Players who will be unavailable, due to real life concerns, for a period of time exceeding three days, are expected to notify the Game Manager of every sim in which they participate (see Leave of Absence and Extended Leave of Absence).
  5. All players who wish to resign must inform the Game Manager of the sim(s). This resignation must be done privately either through email or PM in Discord. Resignations should not be public nor should the player use Discord as a platform to air their grievances.
  6. All players will try to resolve disputes with other players and/or the Game Manager in a respectful manner.

Bylaw #2 – Game Managers

  1. Each Game Manager may set their own age, language, sex, and violence limits using the rpgrating.com scale. Each Game Manager must prominently state the rpg rating for their sim on their website and join page.
  2. Game Managers shall determine the minimum post quantity and quality on their sims (See Bylaw 6.2).
  3. Game Managers will be responsible for the design, maintenance, and operation of the website for their sim. (If there are things you don’t know how to do, it’s up to you to find someone to help. Ask around in the group – we’re a helpful bunch!)
  4. Game Managers are responsible for recruitment for their sim(s).
  5. Game Managers who resign from RPG Writing can rescind their resignation within 48 hours without penalty and be fully reinstated provided the resignation was done in a respectful, non-inflammatory manner.
  6. Game Managers are free to remove their game/sim from RPG Writing at any time and have the option to rescind that action within forty-eight hours provided the removal was done in a respectful, non-inflammatory manner.

Bylaw #3 – Groups

RPG Writing will divide its sims/games according to the genre and may sub-divide, by a majority vote of the GM Council, when there are two or more sims in that genre or group. For example, if there is one Battlestar Galactica sim and one Firefly sim, then those may both be listed under Science Fiction. If there are two Firefly sims, then Firefly will receive its own group.

Such divisions are intended to facilitate searching for games that might interest individual players. No hierarchical reporting structure is intended or implied.

Bylaw #4 – Game/Sim Format and Hosting

  1. RPG Writing accepts sims regardless of format (Nova, Bulletin Board, Play by Email, etc.).
  2. RPG Writing does not provide free hosting nor will RPG Writing pay hosting fees for a Game Manager.

Bylaw #5 – Canon

  1. Each sim has autonomy with respect to canon. Decisions regarding what is considered canon for a particular sim belong to that sim.
  2. RPG Writing will not force an outside view of what’s considered to be canon onto any sim.
  3. When two or more sims/games agree to share a mission, all participants are bound by the canon they create. If, for example, a planet is blown up during a shared mission, then that becomes canon for both sims/games.
  4. When canon is shared by two or more sims/games, then participating sims/games cannot take actions that would cause harm to another sim/game or its members. For example, your sim is in a group with the USS Widgit. You can’t decide to blow up the Widgit or arrest its Captain unless you have prior agreement with the GM for the Widgit.

Bylaw #6 – Game Activity Thresholds and Reporting

  1. Each month a Game Manager shall send a report by the 5th of each month to the GM Council.
  2. The report shall contain:
    • the number of active players/writers on the sim
    • the number of posts for the month. For reporting purposes, posts are not counted by the writer. So a sim that has one JP with all writers participating for the month would have one post to report. Length of a post should be a minimum of 250 words (breaking a giant JP down into parts benefits both the monthly count and your readers)
    • A brief synopsis of the plot (used primarily in reports/advertising for the group)
    • Vote for player of the month with final determination for POTM to be made by GM Council vote.

Bylaw #7 – Game/Sim Inactivity and Potential Removal

  1. Should a sim fail to report or have less than two posts, each of a minimum length of 250 words, in two consecutive months, the sim moves to an inactive status.
  2. If the GM is still present when the sim/game is made inactive, the GM can:
    • Elect to withdraw the game/sim from RPG Writing entirely
    • Close the game/sim
    • Work on improving the game/sim – and possibly moving back to active status.
    • Turn the game/sim over to a suitable candidate. (see #3).
  3. If a Game Manager wishes to step down from his/her position for the good of the simulation, the GM can suggest a suitable replacement. However, the Assistant Game Manager will be given the first choice. If the Assistant Game Manager is not interested and the GM/AGM have no candidates available, then an appeal would be made to the group. If no one is willing to assume the role of GM, the sim is removed from RPG Writing.
  4. Before an inactive game/sim can be removed from RPG Writing, a reasonable attempt at contact must be made. Someone from the GM Council, or its designee, must email the GM of the sim/game regarding the pending decision to remove the sim/game from RPG Writing. Should the GM fail to respond within seven days, a follow-up email should be sent as a final notice. If, after an additional seven day period, no response is received from the GM, the GM Council can vote for removal by majority vote.

Bylaw #8 – Sim/Game Removal Other than for Inactivity

When a particular sim/game chooses not to follow the rules outlined in the Bylaws and in the Articles of Constitution, a vote can be called for its removal. Such a vote would require a two-thirds majority to pass.

Bylaw #9 – Approval of New Games/Sims and Game Managers

  1. Anyone may apply to be a Game Manager in RPG Writing upon application and approval to the GM Council.
  2. The application to be a new Game Manager in RPG Writing must include the following information:

A. A statement acknowledging that the prospective Game Manager has read the RPG Writing Articles and these Bylaws and agrees to abide by them.
B. A description of the sim/game genre as well as a sample of intended missions and/or campaign ideas.
C. Previous Game Management/simming GM, AGM experience, or lacking that, years of writing/simming experience.
D. Where the sim/game will be located; and
E. If the sim is to be located on the rpgwriting.com server, agreement to permit the crew/game players to seek alternative command options if the Game Manager resigns. In that case, the departing Game Manager, will give the new Game Manager full access as well as all of the necessary passwords and tools to continue the game/sim. The departing GM can request and receive a copy of the database and website within 30 days of the transition.

3. An established Game Manager in RPG Writing, who wishes to start a new sim/game, must present an application to the GM Council that includes a description of the sim concept and a sample of intended missions and/or campaign ideas.

Bylaw #10 – Approval of Established Games/Sims

In the event that a Game Manager wishes to join RPG Writing and brings with him/her an established sim/game, a vote for approval, without an official application, may be called providing two or more of the Game Managers on the Council can act as references. Otherwise, the Game Manager must submit an application indicating:

  1. That he/she has read the Articles of Organization and these Bylaws and agrees to abide by them;
  2. Where the sim/game is currently located, how many members are active in the sim, and the length of time the sim has been in operation; and
  3. A description of the sim/game genre.
  4. That he/she promises not to bring personal grievances from the game/sim’s previous group into RPG Writing and will not use RPG Writing as a platform to air those grievances.

Bylaw #11 – Leaves of Absence

Leave of Absence (LOA) is a brief leave from the fleet for a period of time, two weeks or less in duration, with a fixed return date.

An Extended Leave of Absence (ELOA) is any leave over two weeks or a leave that does not have a specified end date due to extraordinary circumstances in the life of the player. Extraordinary circumstances could include personal illness, illness of a family member, natural disaster or military deployment.

  • A person known to be in a natural disaster area or other calamities shall be granted ELOA in absentia until such time that a person’s status can be ascertained.
  • Players must inform their GM of a pending LOA or ELOA. The GM retains the right to make a final decision, in the case of a prolonged ELOA, on the position held by the player.
  • In the event that a Game Manager requests a LOA or ELOA, the Game Manager should notify his/her second in command and the Management Council as well as make arrangements for running of their sim.
  • A game/sim shall not be deemed inactive while a Game Manager is on ELOA provided arrangements for running the sim were made beforehand.
  • A player who does not return from LOA or ELOA within the specified time frame can be declared Absent Without Leave (AWOL) provided a good faith effort is made by the GM to contact the player. The final determination for how an AWOL player is handled rests with the GM and may include any measure up to and including removal from the sim. .
  • A GM who does not return from LOA or ELOA within the specified time frame can also be considered Absent Without Leave (AWOL) provided a good faith effort is made to contact the GM by any and all means possible. If a GM is considered AWOL and the sim is active, then the acting GM can assume control of the sim but must arrange for hosting and follow the rules outlined for a new GM.
    • An Acting GM can sit as a non-voting member on the GM Council until the GM returns.
  • If a GM is AWOL and the sim is inactive, then procedures regarding an Inactive sim are followed.

Bylaw #12 – Support Roles

Support roles will be appointed by a majority vote of the GM Council. 

  • The GM Council shall seek applicants whenever a Support Role needs to be filled. The announcement of an open position will include a time frame/deadline for submission of an application. The deadline will be long enough to give everyone a chance to consider and apply but not less than 7 days. 
  • If no applications are received, the position can remain open for an additional 7-day period. 
  • When the application period ends, no further applications are accepted. The applications are discussed and then a vote is called by the Recording Secretary.
    • Winner of the vote is determined by the majority. However, where no majority is reached, the individuals receiving the highest number of votes will participate in a second round of discussion and voting. Anyone who received less votes will be eliminated from the second vote. 
    • For the second round of voting, the GM Council will prepare a list of questions to ask those individuals who had the highest number of votes.
    • The GM Council reviews the answers and the Recording Secretary calls for a second vote (run-off) between the top individuals applying for the position.
    • if there is no clear winner in the second round of voting, the length of time that the position is held is divided by the number of winners with the first to hold the position decided by alphabetical order based on Discord Username.
  • Support roles do not grant the individual voting rights on the GM Council. However, if a member of the GM Council is appointed to the role, the GM Council member retains the right to vote. 
  • The appointment duration for each of the Support Roles is one year or, in the event that more than one person is elected to the position, an equally divided portion of the one-year term. 
  • Before the year-long appointment ends, the Support Role is again advertised for a seven-day period and applications accepted. The individual who currently holds the position may request to continue and will be considered along with any other applicants.
  • At the end of the year-long appointment, the outgoing holder of a Support Role will provide a final status on any open projects to the incoming appointee to the Support Role. 
  • An individual appointed to any of these support roles may resign. Should an individual choose to resign, that person should provide written notice to the GM council that includes a final report regarding the status of open projects. A resignation is effective immediately upon notification.
  • Support Role holders may be removed by a majority vote of the GM Council. However, before a vote can be called, a movant must provide evidence for the call to remove the Support Role holder  Before removal can occur, the support role holder must be given an opportunity to state his/her side of the issue prior to the start of the removal vote. No vote shall be held if the movant cannot factually demonstrate the role holder’s neglect, incompetence, or abuse of the Support Role. The GM Council, rather than removing the Support Role holder, may issue a warning; permit the Support Role holder to retain the position, with probationary terms and conditions, so long as the terms and conditions are met; or impose any other sanction or corrective measures that the GM Council believes is fair and equitable.