The rules discussion forum can be equal parts fun, helpful, and frustrating as hell, so I figured a little guide would help keep everyone on the same page, so to speak.
What Rules Discussion IS For
Rules Discussion is for, well, discussing the rules. If you have a question about how something works, or where to find a given rule, this is the place to go. If you’re someone who likes helping others learn more about the game, then by all means, come and share your knowledge. If you like debating the finer points (by which I mean murky, pedantic, and usually totally academic) of the rules, you can do that here too. In fact, a nice healthy rules debate can be a lot of fun as long as things don’t get out of hand.
What Rules Discussion is NOT For
While we like to think of ourselves as a friendly and knowledgeable body of people, always willing to help (and very handsome and modest), one thing we are not is a library and indexing service. We’re more than happy to answer your questions, even the easy ones (hell, easy questions make us feel smarter
), but if you have the books it’s highly recommended that you at least try to find your own answer first. If you don’t have the books, borrow them from a friend, or flip through the store’s copy. We’re not here to spoon feed people the rules because they don’t have the books or the desire to open them.
We’re also not here to mock people for asking questions or not knowing the right answer. Everyone was new once, and everyone learns at a different rate. There’s no rule against asking obvious questions, but there are rules about being a dick to your fellow Heretic. If you think someone is abusing the forum or its members (including yourself) then report it, but don’t make it worse by jumping in.
As always, the Usual Forum Rules Apply
, with special emphasis on the post quality guidelines. Nobody is going to take your questions (or your answers) seriously if ‘u tak liek ths lol kthx!’ So 'plz dnt tak liek a fuktard, k ppl?’ See, already I take myself much less seriously. In fact, I may need a bath, but I digress... Besides posting coherently, it’s very important to be polite, and not an asshole. Being an asshole is counterproductive and can often derail threads and end in uncomfortable scoldings and bannings. But there’s some more specific stuff for this forum.
1: Always do the research.
If you’re asking a question, take a skim through the books to see if you can find what you need. Use the search function to see if anyone else has asked the question before (though be mindful of the age of a thread before you go posting on it and bringing an old, dead horse back for more beatings). If you’re answering a question, then you owe it to the person you are helping (and yourself) to make sure you’re not talking out of your ass. Even if it’s an easy one that you know off the top of your head, popping open the book to refresh your memory never hurts, and you can back your answer up with a page number. Concise answers with page references make me a very happy boy, and people have been repped, even given awards for having a history of such clear and helpful posting. If you’re in a debate, this is critical to avoid looking like a moron three pages later when someone ends the discussion by the simple expedient of opening his book.
2: Be friendly.
Beyond simply not being an asshole, it helps if you’re actually nice. If you’re asking a question, be polite. Take the time to write a clear and thought-out post, explaining your question as best you can (nothing sucks like having someone helpfully answer a question you never actually asked). If you’re not willing to put any time or effort into asking, why should people feel obliged to put any time or effort into answering? If you are answering someone’s question, be nice. Remember, your goal as an experienced player is to help the new players gather the knowledge to not only stop asking you questions, but to handle the next group of newbies so you can take a break. If you’re snotty and backhanded in your answer, they’re not going to want to come back and learn how to be a better player. If someone’s question is too simple, or somehow beneath your notice as a big ole rules smarty, then *don’t answer it*. Showing up just to mock them, or say “RTFM” is a quick way to end up on the outs. If you’re in a debate and things are getting hot, take a break. Step back, calm down and remain polite. If you’re at an impasse, just say you don’t think the debate is going to be settled and politely bow out.
3: You’re not a moderator.
(If you are a moderator, please disregard…and get back to work!) If you see trouble brewing, just report it via the handy dandy report button. If you post in the thread, keep it on subject. Don’t jump down someone’s throat because they gave a point cost or quoted a rule in full. If it comes up naturally in the discussion, it’s fair use and fine. If you see someone obviously fishing for copyrighted material, or encouraging shady doings (like telling people where/how to download books illegally, etc), report it to the mods and clam up on the subject. If you see someone being a dick, or someone is being a dick to you, report it and ignore it. Don’t add fuel to the fire. If you’re in a debate that’s dragging on, don’t derail the discussion with whining about how the discussion is pointless and needs to be closed.
Extra Guidelines for Debates:
Debates are a tricky thing. They can be entertaining and engaging, or they can become self-induced torture. The important thing to remember is to always keep a clear head. Don’t get too personally involved in the debate, you’ll only end up making yourself miserable. If you find that the conversation is just going round and round, with the same couple points brought up again and again with no progress being made, then it might be time to leave. If you find yourself tempted to say “This discussion has gotten pointless and needs to be closed!” then you should have *already* left.
As a recovering debate addict, I’ve got to tell you…the mods are NEVER going to close a debate just because it’s gotten “pointless” and most of the time they’re not going tio close it when it gets to the point of name calling. Why? Because it sends the message to everyone who can’t think of a good argument anymore (Or is tired of repeating themselves) that all they have to do is kick up a fuss and we’ll go in and silence their dissenters for them. We’ll punish the troublemakers and keep the discussion open until nobody wants to post in it anymore.
No, friends…I’m afraid if you want the cycle to end, you’re the one who’s got to grow up and leave while you can still act like an adult. It’s hard, I know. There’s a part of your mind that says “He who stops talking first loses.” You’ve got this urge to just hang in there and force the other person to resign out of frustration so you can save face. It’s not a healthy thing. Just step back, take a break and walk away if you don’t think you’re going to get anywhere. It’s hard but its worth it.
It’s best to remember the three Ps of posting. Be Polite (by not being an asshole), Prolific (post a lot, answer a lot of questions), and Productive (keep on topic, contribute quality posts), and everyone should get along just fine.