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Thread: Dungeon Master Guidelines

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    Dungeon Master Guidelines

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    The old Guidelines were inadvertently lost when the forum went up, so I'm reposting them now. I am willing to negotiate and reach some consensus on most of these issues. Also, I recognize that it may be necessary to modify them, going forward. I plan to provide clear notice when I change the guidelines.

    First off, these are the Dungeon Master guidelines, or the set of promises that I hope I can remain true to during the course of the game:

    A) I will present a game that I believe will be enjoyable to play in. I don't mean that I'm going to pander to each player's whims. It means that I will not create adventures to only satisfy myself. I will not create adventures that are simply testbeds for avant-garde social experiments. I will not create adventures where the only purpose is to deliver some heavy-handed behavioral lesson.

    B) While I will not censor my content beyond the rules of Pen and Paper Games and my own personal tastes, I also will not ever create content with the purpose of using it to harass a player (as opposed to a character).

    C) I will keep my personal baggage and private issues out of the game. If I cannot do so, I will wrap up the game.

    D) If I find it necessary to criticize or warn a player or the group in a public post, I will endeavor to do it as evenhandedly as possible. I will never, in public or private, write anything with the intention of humiliating a player.

    E) I will respect all the players insofar as they are sincere in their efforts to play in and support the game.

    F) I will attempt to correct my own errors.

    G) I will listen to all criticism. I will respond to criticism in a way appropriate to the manner and spirit in which it was delivered.

    H) I will immediately notify all of the players in the event that I cannot continue the game, as long as I am able to do so.

    Last edited by Umiushi; 03-23-2009 at 04:23 AM. Reason: Automerged Double Post

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    DM Turnaround Time

    I don't believe this has been a problem yet, so I'd like to address this now while everything seems to be going well.

    Right now (the week before the start of the game) I am trying to respond to everyone within 24 hours. This means that if you have any questions or issues you feel I haven't addressed, and it's been more than, say, a day and a half since you brought them up, please notify me via private message with your concerns.

    Coinciding with the start of the game, but actually due to unrelated circumstances, my response turnaround may at times lengthen to something like 48 hours. I realize this may impact your ability to receive clarification for issues that affect your next postings. I hope we can work through this. I will try to be understanding on my end, and hope that you will be on yours.

    If it becomes a significant issue, you may include "PLEASE EXPEDITE" in the title of urgent private messages. However, I'd like you to refrain from doing so initially, until we see how the game is playing out.

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    Editing Player Posts

    I've done it once or twice before, and nobody's raised an objection, or even mentioned it, but I think it's time I put it in writing:

    I will sometimes edit a player's post to correct what I perceive to be spelling or typographical errors. I do this with the assumption that I am acting in the player's interests, because my changes should reflect what they intended to set down originally. Of course, I know as well as anyone that what I think a person's intent is and what a person's intent truly is, may be completely different things.

    Nevertheless, I am explicitly reserving the right to continue to do this, and I plan to do it in the following manner:

    1. For the most part, I will confine myself to IC threads, like Acqua Alta.
    2. I will concentrate on typographical, spelling, and grammatical errors in that order. For the most part, I will focus on issues like apostrophes and homonyms, as well as tense, pluralization, and gender agreements.
    3. I will not intentionally make changes that alter a character or player's manner of speech or writing.
    4. I will certainly not intentionally make changes that alter the meaning of what a player wrote.
    5. I am not going to try to change every mistake I think I see; I will focus on the ones I feel compelled to address. These may not necessarily be the most egregious errors, especially from the perspective of others.

    There are a couple of apostrophes and homonyms that have been making me lose sleep recently, so I'm going to make a few edits immediately to tackle those. Beyond that, I will try to restrain myself as much as possible, and I hope that this is not a burden to you.
    Last edited by Umiushi; 08-12-2009 at 05:08 AM.

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    Editing Player Posts, addendum

    Again, nobody's brought this up, but I feel compelled to mention it. There are a few usages that are not technically misspellings, as in, they appear in dictionaries, but are personally great irritants to me. I could compare them to the visual equivalent of having to eat my least-favorite fruit. I do edit the Acqua Alta posts to change these when I encounter them.

    This is not an error on the players' part; it is for the sake of my own peace of mind. If you occasionally see something changed that didn't get flagged by the spell-checker when you first wrote it, it might be because you inadvertently used a homonym, like saying 'strait' when you meant to say 'straight,' but it might also be one of these pet peeve words of mine.

    I ask your forbearance in humoring me.

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    I can't speak for everyone, but let me know when it happens. It might be my misconception on how to spell something.
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by yukonhorror View Post
    I can't speak for everyone, but let me know when it happens. It might be my misconception on how to spell something.
    Do you want to know in the editing comments, or via email?

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    I second that--let us know what the peeves are so we can avoid them. Or, in extreme cases, use them intentionally for putting our PCs in an untenable situation. :P

    A note in the editing comments is fine with me--I'm generally in favor of transparency as much as practical.

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    PM is fine with me
    "I'm not going crazy. I'm going sane in a CRAZY world!"

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