Guide: Rules

Section 1: Registration

Only registered members will have access to post on our "Thedas" boards. Registration is mandatory to post threads, but not to read them. To become a member, you can register for our game by clicking here: Thedas & Beyond Registration.

ProbBards, the network host for our game, has a feature that allows for multiple accounts using the same login. This means you will not need to register more than once and, after our 3-month rule for additional characters (see Section 4), you can easily switch between multiple character accounts using the same email address.

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Section 2: Usernames vs. Display Names

We prefer that players register using their intended character’s first name as their username, as it's more immersive than usernames with real world references in them.

Changing your display name to your character name is 100% mandatory prior to posting as your character. You can change your display name in your profile settings:

Profile > Edit Profile (it is a button on the right, not in the tabs) > Personal tab > Display Name field.

Any inappropriate display names will need to be changed. Keep in mind that administrators have the power to make changes in your profile such as this so pick a name that is on-theme for this game and your character. If a member continues to select inappropriate display names, they will be banned after their third warning.

Inappropriate display names include, but are not limited to: real world slang, your real world name, well-known / trademarked / copyrighted names (i.e. you cannot be the Witcher Geralt of Rivia in our Dragon Age setting, sorry – he’s badass though), gibberish (e.g. 5fyyy4), leet speak (e.g. n00b5layer), or vulgarities.

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Section 3: Application Process

After registration, members should review our Character Creation rules and mechanics. That is where you will find a copy of our Character Application Form. Once you've filled out an application, please post it in the Applications Queue and wait for staff to contact you with next steps. Most, if not all, profiles will require some editing so do not take it personally if staff tells you to make some adjustments to your profile. We're following a particular Dragon Age canon setting, so we need to make sure things stay consistent for the benefit of all players.

Do not begin posting as your character if staff have not approved your profile application. The approval process occasionally takes up to a few days, or in rare instances an entire week if there's a lot of editing to be done. Please be patient and while you wait, take the opportunity to familiarize yourself with our codices, guides, and OOC forums. You can post in OOC player forums, of course, if you have questions or if you just want to introduce yourself.

Once a profile has been approved, it will be moved by a staff member to the appropriate "gallery" in our Characters of Thedas section.

Do not contact Administration directly with your application. Post it in the designated board, as directed.

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Section 4: Character Allowances

Our game is new and in need of canons, therefore every new player must apply for a canon first before applying for an original character. This rule will change once we have more players.

Every new player is entitled to have 3 characters to start with (1 of which must be a canon, it doesn't matter if it's a major, minor, or special canon).

Additional characters can be applied for after 2 weeks only if that player has been active and consistent IC.

For canons only, players can only ever have, over time, a maximum of 2 major canons, 2 minor canons, and/or 1 special canons.

New players must wait a probation period of 3 months before they can apply for additional OCs in addition to their starting ones. Established players, who may or may not be moderators, and who've proven themselves to be not only reliable but who also offer IC and OOC guidance to others, will be allowed an unlimited number of additional, Original Characters. The application process for additional characters will be the same, every time. Each instance, you must fill out an application form, post it, and wait for approval before roleplaying as said additional character.

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Section 5: Player Etiquette

Respecting fellow players and staff is as common sense as it is mandatory. Regardless of your real world views, our game is here to be a game and not a digital stage for individuals to post hate speech, tirades regarding real world politics, or sexually explicit and offensive content. We have zero tolerance for these kinds of posts, and a zero tolerance policy for the harassment of other players.

Harassment includes, but is not limited to:

1. Flaming (i.e. hostile and/or insulting interactions)

2. Doxing (i.e. searching online for and posting private or identifying information about another member on any of our boards for the purposes of malicious intent)

3. Cyberstalking (i.e. searching for other players on social media without their express invitation to do so; please note: we do consider excessively private messaging players on our boards a form of cyberstalking—if someone doesn't respond to your private message, and you only sent one message, it's okay to ask the other player in Discord chat or in our OOC forums if they got around to reading your PM. It's not okay, to send the player a dozen PMs in the hopes they'll respond.)

We ask existing members to treat new players with a bit of patience while they try and figure out the boards. Instead of berating someone for not using our correct posting processes, try and show them the ropes.

That said, Members can report other members and/or offensive posts by using the report feature. This will flag the member and/or post to Administration, without that member knowing it was you. Only administrative staff are able to see who filed a report.

To report a member, click on their profile and select the “Report” button on the right hand side. You will need to provide a reason for reporting the individual in question.

To report a post, click on the gear symbol of the post itself (it should be the last of 4 buttons on the right-hand side, at the top of any post) and use the drop down menu to select “Report Post”. Once again, you will need to provide a reason before submission.

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Section 6: Character Etiquette

A lot of games blur the line, or are unclear about, when it comes to what a player says versus what their character says in the game. Hopefully this note provides some guidance. We do have a censorship feature in place, which forbids certain words on our site (see Section 7 for more). That said, our game does deal with a lot of fantasy (i.e. make-believe) political and social issues.

In the canon Dragon Age setting, there are aspects of racism between Humans and Elves especially. Elves are a minority race in Thedas and they've historically not been treated very well. In a similar fashion, there exists animosty between Human nations in Thedas as well. Orlais, for example, has invaded and occupied Ferelden at least twice—this has led to anti-Orlesian sentiments within various regions of Ferelden though varying degrees. Ultimately, we leave it to the better judgement of our players to craft their characters' in-game biases without projecting their real-world biases into gameplay. Characters can certainly insult one another in-game, but players are forbidden to do so out-of-character. Players should not take in-character banter personally.

Essentially, if another character makes you mad? Step back for a moment and don’t post a response right away. Ask yourself whether or not the character that offended you is truly being inappropriate or if it’s just roleplaying. Some of the most villainous characters are played by the most kind, and often silly, players. We do want to keep player vs. player drama to a minimum, so try to lead by example whenever possible as well.

Another important thing to remember is that your character can only control his or her own environment and reactions. As a player, you cannot respond and/or react for another player-run character. If your character casts a sleeping spell, it’s up to the other player to decide whether or not their own character will be affected and, as such, to what degree. There’s a give and take process here and we do take godmoding seriously, which you can read more about in Section 9.

Metagaming is also not allowed. In role-playing games, in particular, metagaming often refers to having an in-game character act on knowledge that the player has access to but the character should not. Just because you read another player's character profile top to bottom, doesn't mean your character will have the same amount of insight into the other character's strengths and weaknesses.

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Section 7: Game Rating (PG-13 / 323 / Mature)

As per ProBoards' "Terms of Service", you have to be at least 13 years old to take part in any ProBoards forum. To play our game, however, we recommend players are at least 18 years of age. We will only accept characters 18 years of age, as well.

Our official RPG Rating is 323. This means:

1. Swearing and mature language is permitted. Try to keep it in-character as much as possible, as aggressively cussing in out-of-character forums is rude and might even border on bullying. The former will get you warned, while the latter will get you banned. We do censor certain words, especially real-world derogatory terms that have the potential to offend players. "Fuck" and "shit" are allowed, however.

2. Sexual in-character scenarios are permitted, albeit with heavy limitations*. Please don't use graphic sexual imagery when describing situations in which two characters are getting romantic or amourous with one another. Hot and heavy in-character kissing is fine, but graphic and/or overt references to genitals or penetration won't be allowed as that would violate ProBoards' terms of service. Sexual innuendos are allowed, however. Characters can certainly imply they've had dalliances with one another, so long as the players agree upon it.

3. In-character narrative depictions of violence will be allowed. The Dragon Age setting deals heavily with war and conflict, and we will use violence on occasion as a plot device. Photographs of a violent nature are not allowed on our boards, however.

When writing out any risqué scene, please use your common sense judgement and if you're unsure please add a "trigger warning" in OOC at the top of your post. Something as simple as:

OCC: Trigger Warning! This post has sexual themes and graphic violence.

* We do have 333 channels categorized as "Fade To Black" on our Discord server available to 18+ players who want to explore more adult narratives. These channels are hidden from players until their ages, and whether or not they wish to view said channels, have been confirmed in chat. The narratives on Discord are carry-over from the narratives on ProBoards. When this type of development occurs on ProBoards, just add (Fade To Black) to the scene.
e.g. there's "The Blooming Rose" (the brothel from DA:2) on ProBoards in our Kirkwall thread lists, but on the site players have to keep the stories therein PG-13. If they really want to employ a "fade to black" technique in their posts there and jump to Discord's "the-blooming-rose" channel to continue the narrative, before jumping back again, they can do so.

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Section 8: Posting

We do expect players to write with a little finesse. Repeated use of real world or digital slang, refusal to use proper spelling and grammar (i.e. do not write things like “Wut u do dat 4?”) will abruptly get you banned. This is a storytelling game, therefore, consistent narrative is crucial. Try to keep your in-character posts at least 1 paragraph long, as well.

Using third person narrative is mandatory when in-character. It’s not required when speaking OOC. So long as your character is interacting with another, there will be no “And I caught your coin purse with my left hand, effortlessly! Huzzah!”. The correct format would be thus: “Alaric caught Mina’s coin purse with his left hand, effortlessly, and proudly exclaimed, “Huzzah!”.

We have a 5-day grace period for other players to post their replies to your character’s post. Be patient, narrative roleplay tends to move slowly but the long-term results, in the form of elaborate storytelling, are usually very rewarding.

For more information on the mechanics of actually posting, please jump to our Posting Guide.

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Section 9: Godmode

"Invulnerable" or "perfect" characters are simply not allowed. We all want to enjoy the game. To do so, all characters have to have a balance of strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, players should give as much as they take in a narrative setting, this an old improve rule called "yes, and...". While it's entirely possible to play a Templar who is skilled at smiting apostates, it's unfair to the other player if the effort to smite works every single time. Likewise, it would be unfair if the mage repeatedly managed to evade the smite every time in turn or if the mage repeatedly threw fireballs without ever needing to recover their mana. There will be no unlimited smiting and no unlimited fireballs, be a responsible storyteller. Either the fire balls get smaller or begin to fizzle after too many of them have been cast, or magic users exhaust or overextend their mana with, perhaps even, adverse physical reactions. Think of it the same way you would any real life task. Even with repetition, after a while, there’s room for abnormalities caused by human error or exhaustion.

However, also keep in mind, mentioned in Section 6, you only control the reactions and movements of your own character and not the reactions or movements of another player’s character. In more extreme scenarios, such as if your character tries to stab another character in the back — it is up to that other character’s player to decide if the dagger hit its mark or if they moved away just in time. You can't just kill someone else's character in a collaborative roleplaying environment, unless that's something the two of you discussed via private message beforehand. That said, remember the "yes, and..." courtesy too. Sometimes it makes for good storytelling if you allow your characters to get hurt on occasion.

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Section 10: Crediting Artists For The Use Of Their Work

All original character art used requires an artist's permission to use it, as well as a link back to the artist's website. If someone else created your avatar for you, credit them in your signature.

You may use screenshots from the Dragon Age video games, however. In those instances, please credit Bioware in your signature as well.

If an artist contacts staff to request the removal of their work displayed – the image will be removed immediately.

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Section 11: Playing & Adopting NPCs

NPCs are “non-player characters”, some of which are roleplayed by a staff member for temporary or occasional plot-driving purposes. We have a plugin installed that allows for the majority of NPCs to be shared amongst staff. This gives staff a bit of wiggle room if, for example, there needs to be two separate "darkspawn" attacks in two different locations or, for another example, if a thread requires some kind of reaction from tavern workers or the like in-game. At Thedas & Beyond, staffers collectively pick up the slack to drive stories forward.

Non-staff members may have NPCs as well, but they must remain background characters and they cannot have their own posts in threads without your main character present. Players are not allowed to bypass the application process for additional characters by having NPCs that wander off on their own.

Personal NPCs are just that, personal. Unless players come to an agreement beforehand, no one can take on the role of someone else's NPC—not even in a well-meaning effort to drive a narrative forward.

Players can post brief notes about their NPCs here, and can make an additional note addressing whether or not these NPCs are available for other players to adopt and make their own as full-fledged characters. Letting other players adopt your NPCs means that you are relinquishing all roleplayer rights you may have had to said NPC. Adopting players will have to fill out an application form for the NPC, to transition the character to full and active status.

Some NPCs are staff-run, shared amongst Administrators and Moderators, in general. You can view the general list of those NPCs here.

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Section 12: Prohibited

1. The Dragon Age setting has its own canon races, as such we won't be allowing non-Dragon Age races in our game.

2. While werewolves briefly made an appearance in Dragon Age: Origins, we won't have werewolves in our game given that the werewolf curse was cured. The closest you can come to playing a werewolf is playing one of the individuals formally afflicted by the curse.

3. Darkspawn are not a playable race. They will only ever make appearances as NPC enemies to be battled.

4. Old God or God-like characters, like Flemeth and Solas, will not be playable canons. These characters are too powerful for fair gameplay. Solas might make an appearance at a much later date as an NPC antagonist, but as of right now he is considered MIA.

5. We won't allow superpowered animal familiars. No one can have a "pet" dragon.

6. We're also not allowing Shapeshifters, like Morrigan and Flemeth, in our game. Someone shapeshifting into a dragon is pure godmode; unfair to others.

7. Characters (excluding NPCs) younger than 18 will not be approved.

8. Modern concepts are not allowed. That means no steampunk, no guns.

9. Characters “from the future” will never be allowed in this game.

10. Celebrity photographs are not allowed as character portraits, but you're allowed to use illustrative artwork that resembles celebrities. Face claims and headcanons are open to interpretation. In the event that two or more players want to use the same celebrity as their character inspiration in-game, we'll collectively agree, in-game, that their characters simply bear a striking resemblance to one another. In real life, people sometimes look like each other. It happens. Rather than fighting over who gets to play whom, it could actually make for interesting roleplay if, occasionally, characters "looked alike" in-game (e.g. mistaken identity plots, switching places plots, etc.).

11. Blood Mages. Seeing as many of their abilities revolve around controling others, we've deemed them too overpowered to allow for fair gameplay.

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