- Thanks again to Wikistates for the inspiration for this page.
After remaining closed for so very long, some of our senior Vapor members have grown accustomed to a more "casual" atmosphere with very few "rules" in writing, instead hoping that a level of mutual respect would be enough to keep things running smoothly. Of course, experience has taught us what silly, naive sods we were, so, to prevent any more feelings being hurt, we finally have a Policies and Guidelines page.
In a political roleplaying setting, it's inevitable that analogies will be drawn with government. In this case, think of Policies as "laws." In the real world, you can't get away with breaking the law (at least, not after being caught) unless you had a really, really good reason to. Same goes for here. If you think you might have some reason to make an exception, it's best to ask one of the Administrators first.
List of policies
- Ownership -- All content of all pages belongs to the author of that page or to the nation to which that page pertains (if said page was authored by another user/nation) unless ownership of said article is expressly relinquished by said owner or if said owner withdraws membership or becomes an ex-nation.
- Templates -- Do not, under any circumstances, edit and save an existing infobox unless you are absolutely sure that you have the permission of everyone using that particular infobox. If you edit a shared infobox, it could mess up someone else's page.
- The Yeah Right Factor: This is the concept that some technology or maneuver or logistics scenario or anything else that causes one or more of the other players say “Yeah, right!” In an effort to keep things semi-realistic (which, as we found out the hard way is necessary for group coherence and longevity), we all need to be playing by the same rules, particularly when it comes to technology and our conceptions of physics. If one player takes issue with another’s technology or actions, discuss it OOC, either here or, if it’s something of great importance and relevance to everyone, in the Board Room of our off-site forum. Discuss it politely and maturely, or things will have to be addressed in…
- The Conflict Resolution thread. Hopefully, we won’t need it, but we have needed it twice in the past. For more information regarding conflict resolution procedures, please refer to the Dispute Resolution page on the off-site wiki Conflict Resolution Thread. But more on that later.
- The Great Airplane Compromise of 2013: This was the result of an ongoing dispute between several Vapor members about the development of new technologies, proprietary rights, rate of advancement, etc., involving everything from automatic weapons to nukes, but focused most heavily and argued most bitterly over heavier-than-air aircraft (airplanes). The GAC states that
- (Nation) can develop his/her (tech). No one else can develop their own without direct IC help/cooperation or OOC permission from (Nation) for at least two years.
- After no less than two years, you may develop prototype (tech) on-par with his/her original one if you wish.
- Following the production of your first (Tech), your progress in development may proceed at approximately 200% the speed of (Nation’s) and his/her allies due to engineers' observations and/or spies' acts of espionage until you are caught up. From that point on, (tech) research may proceed at approximately the speed it did IRL, albeit the appropriate amount of time ahead or behind schedule.
- Superlatives -- There's always a bigger fish. It may be easy to keep straight who is "best" while we're still small, but, then again, which is "best" may not be for certain and likely will not stay that way. Add to that an expanding family of nations and confusion and bickering will almost certainly ensue.
- Godmodding and Continuity -- Same rules apply here as they do on the NS main page and forums. Don't godmod and try to avoid doing things that will muck with others' continuity. Our senior members remember the headache that followed the great death camp mistake of 1903.
- Inactivity: We here at Vapor understand that real life can be a pain and that your life does not necessarily revolve around NS or Vapor (though, if it did, we wouldn't judge you). However, if you disappear for an extended period of time without notice, that can leave the rest of us in a tight spot. If you are inactive long enough to become an ex-nation, or if you tell us you'd like to quit, we will discuss amongst ourselves how important your nation was to the Vapor canon. If it is decided that you never really contributed anything noteworthy or important, we will most likely simply remove your nation from the map and retcon you from history (we have already had to do this to several nations). If you were decided to have been too important to simply erase, we reserve the right to do what we have to with your nation to keep our story intact, whether that is to simply have you largely withdraw from major diplomatic associations, have your people start a revolution, or even invade you -- it will be up to us. This is what happened to the nations of Voerdeland and Gratia Infinita.
- Off-Topic Chatter: This is something that has been a major problem for our group in the past and something that I would like to put an end to right now. There is too much relevant information getting lost amongst off-topic chatter and spam on the NS forums already and, now that we are opening up again, new nation applications, questions, and discussions are going to add to that. Let's keep it neat and clutter-free. We have an entire off-site forum dedicated to Vapor, which has a whole subforum dedicated to largely-unmoderated, off-topic chatter. Remember, spam is not allowed on NS, but the off-site forum has an entire thread dedicated to it. Let's start using that and keep the NS OOC thread reserved to strictly on-topic discussion, mm'kay?
- Criteria for Speedy Deletion -- This linked page is borrowed from Wikistates because it is just as relevant to our community as it is to theirs. Note the criterion that mentions copyright violation. We were not very good at this at the time this page was written. We need to get better about this (I'm guilty myself). If you borrow content, whether it's from Wikipedia, a movie, or, well, Wikistates, just say so.
- Enforcement -- We admins are mighty skilled with a banhammer. Don't break the rules and we won't break your face...er...well...your heart. We've never had to use it yet (as of this writing, 21 June, 2013), so, hopefully, it will continue to gather dust in the closet next to all the skeletons. We'll more than likely, except in serious cases, try to sort things out in the Conflict Resolution Thread. You can review the Dispute Resolution process here.
Guidelines are exactly what they sound like -- you don't have to follow them, but it would make everything a little better for everyone if you did. Sort of like the way you could have animal genitalia surgically grafted to your head, but it would probably be best if you didn't. We have our guidelines mostly for consistency and prettiness. If you break them, we will probably take you aside and quietly tell you that the blue whale dick on your head looks silly.
List of Guidelines
- Templates and Infoboxes -- Infoboxes and other templates can help you organize information about a person, place, or thing, just like in Wikipedia. If an infobox or template already exists for what you need, by all means, use it! If you know how to make one better or if you think we could use a new one, give it a shot and post it on the Technical Discussion board. Just make sure you follow these instructions very carefully so you don't accidentally edit an existing template and mess up other people's pages! That, you'll notice is a policy and not a guideline and we take it very seriously.
- Asking for help -- If you don't know what you're doing, don't try to stumble through it -- just ask!
- Remember that we're semi-realistic -- It says so right in the introductory post on the NS forum. Now, that's not to say that you can't fudge history, science, or practicality now and again, but you can't go having Abraham Lincoln flying an airship with impenetrable, plutonium armor that looks like the USS Monitor into battle where he rains over 9,000 bombs onto the enemy troops and has a Gatling gun for an arm. The argument has arisen several times that "Oh, but it's fantasy!" Vapor is more of what would be considered "low fantasy," which is grounded mostly in reality without any "magic" and really has more in common with light science fiction than it does with "high fantasy" like this. We have sometimes described it as PMT (post-modern tech), but set in the past. In other words, don't give us something that would have been completely unbelievable for someone who actually lived in the period -- think of the type of stuff Jules Verne or H.G. Wells would have written.
- Remember that we're semi-serious -- Some of us are more serious than others. A certain level of in-character silliness is more than fine and, on occasion, even encouraged, and most of us are as goofy as ever when out-of-character, but remember that it's not very fun and very irritating when someone takes to all manner of mucking about and silliness in an otherwise largely serious role-play.
- Take it to the Watercooler -- The Watercooler is our hang-out place for all our off-topic silliness, rants, debates, etc. to take place. This way, we can keep our on-site OOC thread mostly on-topic instead of cluttered with all manner of internet silliness. There is no such thing as spam at the Watercooler, unless you're an adbot or a troll; there is on the NS OOC thread. Keep that in mind.
Refer to the Dispute Resolution page for the process. Except in serious cases, you will be warned, then, if that doesn't work, it will most likely go to the Conflict Resolution Thread to be sorted out in a "trial," then falls the banhammer. Serious offenders may be DOS (Deleted On Sight) and permabanned.