These basic rules of play must be followed by all players at all times. Specific subjects are covered in greater detail under the Harassment Policy, Content Policy, and Terms of Service. Disregarding these rules can be grounds for the deletion of content and banning from the site.
Table of Contents
Phantagraphia endorses an atmosphere of mutual respect among all users. Regardless of personal feeling or opinion you are required to treat other users of Phantagraphia with dignity and courtesy while on the site. Harassment, bullying, and intolerance are not tolerated. These subjects are expanded on in the Harassment and Content policies, and enforced by the Terms of Service.
You may make as many characters as you wish, but you are limited to a single player account. While you are not required to share any personal information about yourself, any information you do choose to share should be accurate, as detailed in the Terms of Service.
Do not try to break the site, do not post spam, do not upload viruses or other malware or illegal content, all as detailed in the Terms of Service.
Graphics posted in the forums should be no larger than 480x480 pixels and 10Mb. Images posted on the site must conform to the same rules regarding graphic sexuality, violence, etc as any other content on the site.
Characters on Phantagraphia should be Original Characters.
Fandom Characters: As per the Terms of Service, all content on Phantagraphia must respect copyright law. While you are certainly free to play characters inspired by or based on your favourite books, movies, and video games, they should be altered and modified so as to qualify as original content.
Public Domain: Players may use material in the public domain, or provided under a licence that allows derivative works, as part of their character's backstory, as a campaign setting, or to create NPCs. They may not use a specific named character available under such a licence as a Player Character. It is the player's responsibility to verify that the source work is available for such use (Authors or companies promising to 'turn a blind eye' are not sufficient, nor are passes exclusively for fanfiction). Use of public domain material does not infer any right to exclusive use on the boards. All material written by players is subject to standard copyright and our rules for player control.
In other words: You can use Frankenstein's Monster as an NPC, but you cannot use it as a Player Character without filing off the serial numbers. Your use of Frankenstein's Monster does not prevent anyone else from using it. You are not allowed to incorporate whatever someone else's version of Frankenstein's Monster did into your version without their permission.
Players at all times retain sovereignty over their own characters. This means that another player cannot dictate words, thoughts, actions, or consequences on a character without that player's consent. Only a character's owner can declare what that character says or thinks, what the character does or has done, and how the character reacts to things said or done to her.
The classic examples of this rule usually deal with combat outcomes. It is not permissible, for example, to say "I shoot you and you die." You may certainly shoot at another player's character, but that player has the right to decide if the bullet missed or hit, and what consequences (such as death or injury) their character faces as a result.
i. Players have sovereign control over character aspects such as history, equipment, and memory. Players may choose to ignore the events of previous campaigns or continuity or re-imagine their characters at their own discretion.
ii. Players may not impose their own characters on the characters of another player without consent. This includes creating retroactive relationships with characters (ie a long-lost sister or mortal enemy) without that player's knowledge and consent, or in any way altering another character's basis or backstory (ie destroying a character's homeworld, kidnapping family members assumed to exist, etc) without that player's knowledge and consent.
iii. Players retain ownership of their characters and any created material, such as history, worlds, factions, unique species or societies, and original equipment. Players may certainly allow other players to use these materials, but this consent can be withdrawn at any time. Any character created using material owned by another player must be altered or abandoned if consent is withdrawn. This should be taken into consideration before any player enters into such an agreement.
iv. Material that a player has made available for public use by the entire membership - such as an open faction or open world in the Lorebook - is considered to be open license, and consent for its use cannot be withdrawn. Players should take this into consideration before granting full open use of their creations.
v. By participating in a scene or campaign, you are granting other Players in the scene or campaign the right to incorporate your part in the scene/campaign into their own character's history and continuity. This means that another player's character may retain a memory of something your character did in a scene or campaign, even if "officially" it never happened for your character.
The key to player sovereignty is in player consent and collaboration. Working together to create characters and stories is the most rewarding aspect of online roleplaying, but it is only possible when all players involved agree and consent to what they are doing.
GMs have full sovereignty over events, actions, and consequences in their own campaigns. By entering a campaign, a player consents to temporarily limit their own sovereignty over their character. This means that in a campaign the GM decides, for example, whether a character successfully dodges, is hit by an attack, or even dies. A player can choose to stop participating in a campaign at any time, for any reason. A GM may only continue to use another player's character as an NPC if they have the explicit permission of the character's original player.
i. Campaigns are considered self-contained. A character's player determines what, if anything, is carried over from one campaign to another, or to general play. This includes knowledge, memories, equipment, and injuries. For example, losing an arm in a dungeon crawl campaign does not oblige the player to play the character with only one arm in un-related campaigns or in the general setting of the City. On the other hand, if the player wishes to play his character one armed from that point forward, he may do so.
ii. A GM cannot force a player to remain in a Campaign if they do not wish to. Repeated aggressive attempts to force a player to give consent to use their characters or to participate in a campaign may be subject to investigation as Harassment.
iii. The creator of content - such as a world or faction - is assumed to be the owner and GM of that content, unless it has explicitly been made fully available for public use by the whole membership. This means that the creator/owner of a faction, world, or other content has the final say on things such as faction membership and world-wide events.
iv. Material that a GM has made available for public use by the entire membership - such as an open faction or open world in the Lorebook - is considered to be open license, and consent for its use cannot be withdrawn. GMs should take this into consideration before granting full open use of their creations.
v. By participating in a campaign, you are granting the GM the right to control events within that campaign, up to and including modifying your character's actions and history. These GM rights are only valid within that specific campaign, and do not apply in other campaigns or elsewhere on the site.
All users are asked not to exceed a PG-13 level of content on the site. This is primarily an issue of writing tastefully and respectfully. Anything posted on Phantagraphia must meet the standards of our Content Policy.
i. Sexually Graphic Content
Nudity, relationships, and sexuality are all natural and welcome on Phantagraphia, but may not be described or explored in explicit detail.
ii. Graphic Violence
Depictions of violence should be similarly be limited by the bounds of good taste. Violence and injury are fine, but excessive descriptions of gore and extreme torture will not be tolerated.
iii. Profane Language
Please limit your use of profanity. Words such as "damn" or "crap" are fine. Stronger language should be strictly limited, and excessive use of profane language is not welcome.
iv. Banned Content
Certain subjects, as outlined in the Content Policy, are not permitted on Phantagraphia. These include:
- Sexual Assault/Rape
- Child Abuse
- Hate Speech/Hate Groups
Any content found to be in violation of out Harassment Policy will not be tolerated.
vi. Copyright Material
Content posted on Phantagraphia should not violate copyright, trademark, patent, or trade secret law, as indicated in the Terms of Service.
Players on Phantagraphia tend to follow common guidelines on the formatting of posts and content. These are not hard rules, and other methods are certainly allowed. These are simply the conventions you will see most commonly on the site.
Different players have different styles, and will use different methods to mean different things. If you are not certain what another player means when they use mark-ups and punctuation, the best policy is to politely ask them to clarify.
i. Spelling and Grammar
For the sake of clarity, please try to use correct spelling and grammar in your posting on Phantagraphia. We prefer the use of full sentences and properly formatted prose, and a minimal amount of online slang, emoticons and netspeak.
Enforcement of these spelling and grammar guidelines is not the job of regular players. People who are too over-zealous about correcting spelling and grammar errors are very annoying to the admins.
ii. Actions and Dialogue
Most commonly, posts on Phantagraphia are written in standard prose form. Content inside quotation marks (") are spoken words, other text marks actions, thoughts, and descriptions. A common variation welcome here puts actions and description inside asterisks (*) and unmarked words are spoken dialogue.
Italics are often used to denote thoughts or telepathic/psychic speech. A common variation uses italics bordered by a tilde (~) to denote telepathy.
Phantagraphia's chat does not support IRC tags (such as "/say" or "/me").
iii. Out of Character
Out of Character speech can be placed in an OOC style box on the forums, or can be marked by a set of double brackets ((like this)).
iv. Coloured Text
You have the ability to use coloured text on Phantagraphia, but it is recommended you use it sparingly. Please bear in mind that there are multiple themes on the site, and the site theme may change in future, making some colours unreadable against the backgrounds. Also be aware that particularly harsh or contrasting colours (particularly red) may cause hurt to some players' eyes.
v. Bold and Caps
Please do not make excessive use of bold text and all-caps. Highlighting a few words for emphasis is fine, but please do not write entire posts or long stretches of dialogue in bold tags or capital letters, particularly in the common areas such as the chat. Such posts can be distracting and disruptive to other players.