The Escapist forums are different than most. We want our forums to be a place where everyone can gather to socialize and talk with like-minded people in a safe and welcoming environment. In order to make that happen, we have certain rules we ask all members of our community to adhere to. These rules will be vigorously enforced so that a handful of bad apples don't spoil it for everyone else.
Above all other rules is Rule Zero. D&D fans will likely appreciate and understand Rule 0, which states that the DM (Dungeon Master) is always right. In the case of the forums, the moderator or staff member is always right. Any other rule that appears to have a gray area will be subject first to Rule 0, then to other aspects of the Forum and Personal Conduct rules below.
If for any reason you feel you've been wronged by moderation or staff, you are entitled to appeal their decision if they imposed an infraction on your account, but you are not allowed openly argue with them about it. This is a privately owned forum that's open to the public. Whatever right you feel you have to speak your mind is a privilege here. Don't abuse it.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but no one is entitled to attack others for that opinion. If you can't communicate without using combative, aggressive, or passive aggressive responses, then consider that these may not be the forums for you. Focus your response on your disagreement with a person's opinion, not on the person.
As it pertains to discussion, disagreement is unavoidable. However, this is not a license to misbehave - you must provide reasoning and justification for your statements. If you don't like a thread, the people in it, or anyone involved, don't post in it.
The moderation team is made up of the ever present volunteer guardians who work very hard to keep the forums clean, according to the Code of Conduct. The moderators and Escapist staff are here to make the website a place you want to visit. While we will listen to your complaints and give you what information we can, please understand that there are just some things we simply cannot discuss.
Neither the Escapist staff nor moderation team is to be used as a punching bag for you to vent your frustrations. If you have a problem with moderation or the rules, there is an appeals system in place for that.
A well-made thread or a well-written comment engages its audience and facilitates discussion. We do ask that posters take just a little time to make their posts as readable as possible and keep their responses on topic, and also take a moment to check spelling and grammar.
Our forums are not a place to advertise your blog, webpage, YouTube channel or commercial enterprise. Similarly, posts including, advocating, or linking to illegal or adult material are a very quick way to end your time as part of The Escapist community, which should generally be kept to a PG-13 standard.
This section of the Code of Conduct also includes special circumstances that overrule any other type of warning and result in immediate removal of your posting privilege. Note: These circumstances cannot be appealed and will not expire.
Infraction Offenses are just as the name suggests. Any violation of the following rules will result in an infraction being placed on your account. For more information on how penalties work, please see the Penalty System section below. Note: Those who are incorrectly banned under this level may appeal the decision and have it overturned.
Minor issues do not carry an infraction as a penalty for any of the below listed types of offenses on their own. However, repeated offenses will carry an infraction as punishment. The "excessive use" will be determined by a moderator and may vary depending on the situation/topic at hand. Keep it classy.
Any breaches of the above rules may result in penalties on the account. The Escapist uses a strike system that grants you a maximum amount of 8 penalties to learn how to adhere to forum policies. Here is the breakdown of all 8 stages:
This health bar serves as a danger meter for accounts. The higher the bar becomes, the more red the strikes and the higher the risk of major infractions.
After every 6 months without any warnings, you will drop down one level on the Forum Health Meter. After 2 years without any warnings, your meter will be returned to 0, regardless of where it was before. These adjustments don't apply to any users that have been permanently banned, and they don't remove the history that the moderators can see on your account. Anyone that is found "gaming the system" will be held accountable for it.
When you receive an infraction, a message will appear in your inbox with a link to the appeal system. This goes directly to a staff member and will use the email you registered your account with, so please refrain from abuse (and check your spam or junk folder).
Replies to appeals may usually take up to 2 days. If it takes a little longer please be patient.
Official Staff Groups are groups are monitored by the staff and an easy means to communicate with the Escapist staff and moderators. While other groups are not officially monitored, the groups below follow the same rules as any forum post. These groups are specifically meant to discuss site related topics with those that can assist you with your inquiry. They are not meant for arguments or other off-topic banter.