Posted - 11 Sep 2005 : 21:14:23
Listed herein, is the Code of Conduct, of which to abide by when using these forums. Also given, are guidelines on using some of the main forum functionalities and FR specific subject explanations. This set of rules and guidelines will be updated periodically, if and when the need arises. If ye have any questions or queries on any of these points, please feel free to contact me.
THE CANDLEKEEP FORUM CODE OF CONDUCT, RULES AND GUIDELINES
A. GENERAL FORUM POSTING RULES
1. The forum is for the discussion of the Forgotten Realms. Please keep all topics relevant to this campaign setting and refrain from discussing other settings or RPG systems.
2. Before posting a new topic, use the Search feature on the forum, located on the main menu. The feature is reasonably flexible and can help you locate the information you seek, and thus prevent a new duplicated topic from being locked or deleted.
3. Try to post meaningful topic titles. Titles such as “DM needs help” or “Check this novel/product out” will likely result in the topic being ignored by a majority of members and ultimately be edited by one of the moderators. Basically, if you want people to read your topic - make the title informative.
4. Always post in lower case. The use of CAPITAL LETTERS should be avoided at all costs, as this is seen as shouting within online communities as well as being difficult to read. The exception to this is the listing of product names, which may be in capitals (although italics are often used).
5. Always be courteous and polite to other members, Wizards of the Coast (WotC) staff and freelance authors who are involved in the development of WotC material. Remember, some WotC employees are members of the forum. Openly attacking other members will result in the suspension of your account.
6. Profane language will not be tolerated. Any religious, racial or sexual slurs will be taken very seriously. Your post will be editeddeleted and you will receive a warning from one of the moderators. Further offenses will result in suspension and possible barring from the forums.
7. “l33t speak” is not permitted on the forums. Using internet abbreviations should be kept to a minimum where possible to ensure your post is understandable by a broader audience.
8. “me too”-style posts are not permitted. Single posts in response to an offering of material or to say “thanks” to a poster for providing information just adds unnecessary posts to the thread. If you really feel the need to thank a poster for anything in particular, please use the Private Message facility.
9. It is not permitted for members to create threads or posts simply to advertise other websites, forums or web services. Feel free to add a link to other sites within your profile signature, but all other advertising should be avoided without first obtaining permission from the Head Moderator.
10. If you have any other concerns regarding topics or posts or forum members, please send an email or Private Message to one of the moderators.
11. Moderators are permitted to edit or delete any posts, should they deem it necesssary. If a post is deleted, you will be emailed by the moderator with an explanation. If you have any disagreements with a moderator’s action, please do not post this on the forum, instead, send a Private Message to the moderator and discuss privately. If you wish matters to be investigated, then emailPM the Head Moderator.
12. If you have a question regarding the site or forum functionality, see the Site Content section of the forum, as this may likely have been addressed previously. A number of the siteforum functions are listed here, in the FORUM FUNCTIONS USAGE section.
13. Discussions and links regarding illegal downloads and file sharing of copyrighted material, owned by either Wizards of the Coast or a third party company, is not permitted on these forums. It would also be appreciated for members to avoid promoting this activity via Private MessageEmail to others.
B. SPECIFIC CONTENT RULES AND GUIDELINES
1. When posting comments on a novel, please write “SPOILERS” within the thread's subject line if you’re the originator of the thread. If you’re responding to a post with information from the novel, please insert a spoiler space (ideally, 8-10 blank lines with a spoiler warning) prior to writing. Alternatively, you may select a font color to match the background with a line to instruct the reader to highlight the text to view the spoiler.
2. Be polite when reviewing any novels or products. If you didn’t like the novel, then fine, let the author know with constructive criticism, not by a barrage of abuse or slating the whole book in an aggressive manner. On the other hand, if you liked the book, then please say so, i’m sure the author would love to hear that his work was appreciated by you.
3. Avoid posting large amounts of text quoted directly from WotC products. If you feel the need to do so, please keep the amount of text to a minimum (a couple of paragraphs at the most) and place the text within the Quote box (use the quote icon on the posting toolbar above the text area), stating the product title and page number from which the text was taken.
4. Use Polls wisely to get the optimum participation. Check the Active Polls function to ensure that your proposed poll has not already been created. Try to make your poll useful, interesting and fair. Whilst the number of choices is limited, use topics which allow fair representations given the choices available. Polls in the vein of “Character A vs. Character B! Who would win?” are not encouraged and are likely to be closed by the moderators.
5. Certain subjects are known to cause confusion and can result in a very opinionated thread. These subjects will be monitored very closely by the moderators to ensure conduct is kept civil and in order. Before participating in such threads, please read the specific explanations given here in the FORGOTTEN REALMS SUBJECT EXPLANATIONS. This list will be updated over time, as and when new situations which need to be addressed and clarified arise.
C. FORUM FUNCTIONS USAGE
1. Active Topics: In order to keep track of new topics since your last visit to the forums, use the Active Topics facility on the main forum menu. This will display all topics which have been newly created or added to since you were last on the forums. This is the best and easiest way to ensure you pick up all the latest posts.
2. Forum Subscriptions: You may subscribe to any topic or forum area, to be notified (via email) when a post is made to that area\topic. Simply click the subscribe iconlink for each area you wish to subscribe to. Your subscriptions can be managed through the My Subscriptions link on the main forum menu.
3. Custom Avatar Portraits: When creatingediting your member profile, you may select an associated image from the general portrait gallery, which will then appear beside each post you make. However, if you wish, you may also have your own custom image. The image must be in the same fantasy portrait style as the current avatars available, and be a 64x64 JPEG. You may also state whether you wish your avatar to be exclusive to you or if you would like to share it and make it available from the profile avatar selection. Images should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Private Messaging: Candlekeep has a facility in which to contact forum members privately if there is something you wish to discuss outside of the forum threads. Select the Private Messages item on the main forum menu, or click on the PM icon in a members profile or the member list. You may turn off the ability for others to PM you via the option in your member profile.
D. FORGOTTEN REALMS SUBJECT EXPLANATIONS
1. The Forgotten Realms Cosmology (2ed. To 3ed.)
The following illustrates the changes made to the cosmological model of the planes for the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting from 2e to 3e.
We will begin with the planar framework as it was during the days of 2e. In this model, the cosmology is defined by the existence of only ONE Prime Material Plane and the planar cosmology that connects to it -- referred as the Great Wheel (or Ring). This Prime Material Plane was the basis of the entire AD&D game and followed the framework established by the 1e/2e Manual of the Planes. Along the Great Wheel lay the planes of deities, devils, demons, celestials, and nearly every other strange planar race. These planes could be accessed using the Astral Plane which connected to most Outer Plane locations. Although there was only one Prime Material Plane, the plane itself was considered an INFINITE expanse encompassing thousands of singular planetary systems which were encased in Crystal Spheres (usually defined as a standard system containing all the planets, suns, comets and other planetary phenomena within it). Examples of such Crystal Spheres include the Torilian system, the Krynnish system, the solar system of Oerth and the GREYHAWK campaign setting, and nearly every other AD&D campaign world (special note: the RAVENLOFT setting was actually a demiplane within the Ethereal plane of 2e, along with many other demiplanes). Travel to and from these individual crystal spheres was made possible via a transitive planar-like environment known as the Phlogiston -- PCs could access new Crystal Spheres using a spelljamming helm which made travel on the Phlogiston available to characters.
Also included among the planes of the Great Wheel were the Elemental Planes (or Inner Planes). These planes could be accessed by planar travellers through the Ethereal plane. These planes are very specific environments each of which were based on one of the particular prime elements (earth, air, fire and water) necessary for life. Included with these four prime elemental planes were the Energy Planes -- being the Positive and Negative Energy Planes. The final components of the Elemental Planes were the Para- and Quasi- Elemental Planes, each of which were basic combinations of two inner planes. The Para-Elemental Planes were paired combinations of each of the prime elemental planes, and the Quasi-Elemental Planes were paired combinations of one prime elemental plane and either the Positive or Negative Energy plane. There were six for each category.
With the publishing of the core D&D 3e game system, the cosmology framework was altered. The greatest change was to give each 3e campaign setting a complete and separate a planar cosmology all its own. The Great Wheel would still remain, but would only be connected to the core setting of the D&D game -- that being GREYHAWK. The FORGOTTEN REALMS world was one of the campaign settings to be given its own planar framework (known as the Great Tree [detailed in the Player's Guide to Faerun]) which is actually quite different from most other cosmologies of most campaign worlds. One further change was to give each campaign setting its own Prime Material Plane. As such, the multiverse could potentially contain hundreds, thousands, or even millions of individual Prime Material Planes, each of which would have their own individual planar networks connected to them ONLY. To simplify this a little, this means that there could now be more than one standard version of a deity or plane (for example, there are now hundreds of Seldarine courts each of which are related only to a particular campaign setting), whereas in 2e, the Seldarine on the Great Wheel was the Seldarine that the FORGOTTEN REALMS and GREYHAWK settings could relate to.
The Elemental Planes of the 3e FORGOTTEN REALMS Great Tree cosmology are composed of the four prime Elemental Planes (earth, air, fire and water), the Para-Elemental Planes (see the Kezef entry in Champions of Ruin), and the two Energy Planes (positive and negative).
Aside from all of this, is the case for Sigil, the City of Doors. In the 2e PLANESCAPE campaign setting, the City of Doors rested at the peak of the infinitely tall Spire centred in the Outlands (the basis of the Great Wheel cosmology). In 3e, Sigil does still exist as the City of Doors, but it now occupies a completely separate planar environment all its own inside the Great Wheel of the 3e D&D core cosmology. What is special about this individual plane inside the Great Wheel (and atop the Spire) is that the independent nature of the plane in which Sigil rests allows this Sigil to be the only Sigil in the entire multiverse -- thus, the Sigil of the Great Wheel is also the Sigil of the Great Tree for the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting.
And finally, the Ethereal and Astral Planes allow access to all the planes in the Great Tree -- as does the Shadow Plane (which is now a transitive plane and allows PCs to access alternate Prime Material Planes and their cosmologies). In addition, an expanse known as the Infinite Staircase can also act as a transitive "plane" of sorts that also allows access to other regions of the multiverse. Of special consideration at this point is the fact that a number of the planes of gods from the 2e Great Wheel cosmology have no basis or representation in the 3e Great Tree cosmology of the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting. Also, the original domains of the gods on the planes of the 2e Great Wheel are now recognised as full and proper planes in the 3e Great Tree -- complete and stable environments under the control of the deity that resides there. So basically, the Abyss - as it is conceptualised in the GREYHAWK campaign setting - is NOT the same as the Abyss as conceptualised in the FORGOTTEN REALMS campaign setting.
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