IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ANY NEW SIGNUPS UNDER 13We have instituted the COPPA sign-up system for members under the age of 13. All new sign-ups under this new rule will have to have their parents fill out their sign-up sheet, and send it via mail or fax, according to the directions on the sign-up sheet. Anyone violating this will be immediately banned. Upon submitting a valid COPPA form to the staff or six months after they turn thirteen, violators will be allowed a chance to request readmission to the forum. Violators who satisfy one of these conditions are asked to submit an e-mail requesting unbanning to an administrator. The staff will then decide whether or not to allow the member to return.
Welcome to the Fire Emblem: Sanctuary of Strategy’s “FESS Manual of Prowess.” Herein you will find the guidelines to proper behavior on our forum and in our chatroom, as well as helpful hints for some potential problems you may be facing. This manual is required reading
for all members of our forum, as it ensures our newer members are informed on what is allowed and disallowed. Ignorance, in the face of this manual, is not an excuse for violating the rules, though misunderstandings are expected and understood. Please PM any questions, comments, or concerns to an administrator or moderator. Remember, it is usually better to ask if you are unsure than to risk it. Finally, for anything that we don't cover, SMF has its own set of rules here
. The administration of the forum reserves the right to thumb its nose at any SMF TOS term it finds inconvenient or stupid, as this board is privately paid for and hosted.Table of ContentsNote: You can use “Ctrl-f” (or "cmnd-f") to bring up a window to search for a specific section immediately. From there, type in the number that applies to your query, and hit “Find Next.”1: Acting on the Forum
1.1: Participating in Discussions
1.2: Topic Creation
1.3: Inappropriate Posting Behavior (Flaming, Trolling, Spamming, et cetera)
1.4: ROMs, Warez, MP3s, and You
1.6: COPPA and You
1.7: On Foul Language
1.8: The FESS FAQ2: Advertising
2.1: Advertising Threads
2.2: Advertising via PM, E-mail, the Report Function, et cetera
2.3: Advertising in your Signature
2.4: The Difference Between Advertising and Linking, and Rules on Linking3: Bumping Topics and Double-Posting
3.1: Bumping Topics (Including “Necroposting”)
3.2: Double-Posting (Posting Twice in a Row)4: Specific Forum Functions
4.2: Post Deletion
4.4: The Search Function
4.5: PM, or “Private/Personal Message”
4.6: The Report Button and its Purpose5: Working with your User Profile, Signature, and Avatar
5.1: Your Profile and its Restrictions
5.2: Your Signature and its Restrictions
5.3: Your Avatar and its Restrictions
5.4: On Multiple Accounts6: The FESSchat
6.1 Behavior7: Ranking, Staff, Custom Titles, and User Names
7.1: Available Member Ranks; Common Slang
7.2: Custom Titles; User Names
7.3: Current Staff Members8: Help with Languages
8.1: Our Policies Concerning Non-Fluent English Speakers
8.2: Member Assistants for Non-Fluent Speakers1: Acting on the Forum1.1: Participating in Discussions
FESS has a quality standard of posts that is kept fairly high, with the intent of fostering entertaining discussion and topics which are read easily in order to acquire information. For this reason, posts must consist of more than one word. We ask that you treat others with the respect you would expect to be shown when speaking with a friend or family member and that you avoid being confrontational or intentionally mean. We also expect that you attempt to use proper grammar and spelling when posting here. This is not high school and you need not worry about being punished if your grammar is imperfect, but if your posts are found to be of low enough quality to disrupt the board, you will be warned informally. Further ignorance of such a warning will result on harsher measures being taken. Rules on grammar, spelling, and post length are less strict on the Craziness Domain, Introductions, and Role-Playing forum. For example, posts consisting of poor grammar for the intent of being humorous will be tolerated, but blatant spam posts consisting of nonsense letter and number chains will not. Also keep in mind that the RP forum is more serious than the CD or intro forum, and thus you should behave accordingly. The philosophy forum is especially serious, as are rules violations there. The FESS has a wide assortment of forum sections that pertain to a wide variety of games and subjects. For this reason, we ask that you place all topics in their appropriate forum.
In this vein, keep in mind that threads announcing arrival belong in the Introductions forum, and indeed only these types of threads may be started there.In a basic summary:
-No one-word posts outside the RP/CD/Intro forums.
-Behave respectfully towards all members.
-Do your best to use proper English grammar and spelling.
-Place topics in their correct section.1.2: Topic Creation
FESS has a variety of forums for a variety of subjects, and it is thus important that you start threads in their appropriate sections. Also be sure to check the forum for any recent threads pertaining to the subject you intend to start a thread about: if one exists, then don’t start a new one. If you accidentally create more than one of the same topic, it would be polite to contact a moderator or administrator via PM, AIM (when applicable), chat, or the report function and notify them of this.1.3: Inappropriate Posting Behavior (Flaming, Trolling, Spamming, et cetera)
There are some very specific types of behavior that are not tolerated at the FESS or most other forums. These are “spamming,” the posting of irrelevant, stupid, or repetitive messages/threads; “trolling,” the posting of content intended to cause angry responses; and “flaming,” the posting of overtly antagonistic, vicious, or cruel content. None of these things will be tolerated, and the latter two are treated with particular seriousness. A further serious offense is antagonism/flaming/trolling of the GEOS and RSFV groups. This not only makes you look like an asshole, but will result in you being GEOSed yourself.
Also note that we do not
allow pornography, and that any image posted must be roughly “PG-13” in its content, and must not be a flame or trolling attempt.1.4: ROMs, Warez, MP3s, and You
Fire Emblem is a game that has spent most of its life in Japan, and with this comes many requests for ROMs, which are illegal copies of a game that are played using an “emulator,” a computer program that imitates the functions of a gaming system, such as the SNES. Please note that while ROMs are illegal, emulators are not
. Therefore, you may post emulators but not ROMs. Threads concerning ROMs and the manipulation of them are allowed, however, so you needn’t include a line consisting of “BTW NOT REQUESTING DON’T BAN ME” to a question or thread concerning them.
Warez is a general term used to describe illegal copies of games or other programs; no warez may be posted at FESS. Finally, MP3s are music files, and are also generally disallowed. However, unlike ROMs or Warez, an MP3 can potentially be posted: some bands/musicians offer their music for free distribution. Nevertheless, DO NOT post or request an MP3 without explicit permission from an administrator or moderator. Unauthorized posting or requesting of ROMs, Warez, and MP3s is illegal and will result in a 3 week suspension and placement in the GEOS member group. This includes inviting other members to PM or e-mail you to acquire the file(s). Repeat offenders will be banned permanently.
Youtube videos are not subject to these rules.1.5: Plagiarism
Plagiarism is the posting of content produced by another with a claim that it was you who produced it. Commonly plagiarized materials include fan fiction, fan art, sprites, and emoticons. All of these forms of media are covered equally by our rules. Furthermore, we ask that you do not
use custom emoticons posted here on another forum without the creator’s permission. Plagiarism is an offense for which you can and will usually be immediately banned for.1.6: COPPA and You
FESS is a “PG-13” forum. That is to say that we generally allow posts that are roughly equivalent to the content that may be found within an American movie rated at PG-13. Such content is not appropriate for all members, and not all parents want their children to view such material. Therefore, all new sign-ups UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE will have to have their parents fill out their sign-up sheet, and send it via mail or fax, according to the directions on the sign-up sheet. Anyone violating this will be immediately banned.
Upon submitting a valid COPPA form to the staff or six months after they turn thirteen, violators will be allowed a chance to request readmission to the forum. Violators who satisfy one of these conditions are asked to submit an e-mail requesting unbanning to an administrator. The staff will then decide whether or not to allow the member to return.1.7: On Foul Language
Cursing is allowed in all forums, so long as one does not allow themselves to get carried away or use cursing to flame and troll others. If you are found to be speaking out of turn, you will be first warned informally. If this occurs, you need only adjust accordingly, as it is not a punishment so much as a reminder that we don’t approve of swearing in extreme excess. Racial epithets will not be tolerated, and their use will usually be considered trolling or flaming, and treated accordingly.1.8: The FESS FAQ
If you cannot find the answer to your question within the FESS manual or do not understand the answer it provides, we have an FAQ thread located here
, where you may ask any question pertaining to behavior on the board that you desire.2: Advertising2.1: Advertising Threads
Advertising your site or forum in a dedicated thread/post on any of the boards is strictly prohibited. Exceptions occur only when an administrator is asked. Advertising in a thread or post without permission may be punished, depending on the circumstances.2.2: Advertising via PM, E-mail, the Report Function, et cetera
All of the rules listed in 2.1 apply to advertising via PM, e-mail, or the report function. Keep in mind, however, that advertising in this way will likely be more severely punished, as it shows an intent to hide your violation from the staff.2.3: Advertising in your Signature
Unlike advertising via posts or threads, signature-based advertisements may be placed in your signature without requesting permission. Images in signatures that also function as advertisements will be removed, and the member likely disciplined. Images that are not overt ads but link elsewhere when clicked are also disallowed. For those of you whom use imageshack to host your signature image, keep in mind that several of the available links they provide will function as clickable links. You should use the line labeled “direct link” and add the “img” BBcode tags manually. For a visual tutorial on how to avoid accidentally click-linking to imageshack, see http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v239/Swo...os/19ebf4ec.jpg
. Advertisements for Fire Emblem dedicated sites/message boards are forbidden. The only exceptions to this are DTNET, the FE5 Script Translations, EFED (Eaichu's site), Serenes Forest (Vincent's site) and the Livejournal Fire Emblem community.2.4: The Difference Between Advertising and Linking, and Rules on Linking
Frequently, members find themselves questioning whether or not linking a site providing information will qualify as advertising under our rules. Advertising’s purpose is to get traffic for a site (e.g. "Come visit my forums!"), while linking is used to provide information on a subject or to notify others of something, such as a flash movie or joke (e.g. "The stat growths can be found at this site: …"). Also keep in mind the “PG-13” rule when linking. If a site readily shows full frontal nudity, pornography, or is of a particularly repulsive nature upon clicking; do not link to it. If the site CONTAINS content that violates the rules but said content isn’t apparent unless searched for (as can be seen in sites like newgrounds) then the link is allowed. Exceptions to this include sites that provide warez, MP3s, or ROMs in any location of the site. If you find yourself in doubt, the best thing to do is ask a staff member to OK a link; that's part of what they’re around for. As a rule of thumb, if you're linking to a site solely to gain it traffic or members, you're advertising and should OK the topic with an staffer first. This is particularly true if you own or are staff on that board.3: Bumping Topics and Double-Posting3.1: Bumping Topics (Including “Necroposting“)
Unlike many forums, FESS does not allow
topics to be posted in merely for the sake of bumping them to the top of the active topic list. If you have nothing to contribute, don't post. Also relevant to the rules concerning bumping is the subject of “necroposting.” A necropost is any post made in a thread that has not received a post in 14 or more days. Necroposts are generally disallowed at FESS, and making one will result in the topic being locked. Repeated necroposting will result in GEOS status. HOWEVER, there are a few more complex rules to necroposting. One may request of any staff member to make a post in an inactive thread. If they grant permission, we ask only that you make note in your post that you were given permission to make that post. Also, necroposting without permission is allowed in one’s own sprite, fanart, or fanfiction thread, so long as relevant content is being added. Furthermore, necroposting is allowed in role-playing threads still deemed active by the original poster, again, so long as relevant content is being added. Finally, necroposting is allowed in all pinned threads, no requests for permission required.3.2: Double-Posting (Posting Twice in a Row)
Double-posting, or posting twice in a row without a message from another in between, is not allowed, and repeated multi-posting will result in punishment. As with necroposting, some exceptions exist. Multi-posts are allowed when one is adding content to one’s own fanfiction, fanart thread, or sprite thread. They are also allowed in role-playing threads within the RP forum. Again, relevant content should be added; messages consisting of “I’ll update soon” do not qualify. Use logic when making multiple posts in a row. Do NOT update your thread several times every day, with no comments in between. Instead, post all of your work at once. An alternative strategy to avoid double-posting when one has something important to add or ask is to copy one's previous post, delete it, then reply to the thread again with the new question or key comment added in. Moderators or administrators will give a verbal warning or close threads that they feel abuses the allowance for content-adding double posts or edits. Repeated incidents may lead to further discipline.4: Specific Forum Functions4.1: Editing
All posts in an unlocked topic may be edited. This is done using the “modify” button in the upper-right corner of the post box. The existence for this function is one of the primary reasons double-posting is not allowed. Note that this could also be used when updating one’s old fanfictions, lists of sprites, etc.4.2: Post Deletion
Posters also have a “remove” button in the upper-right corner of the post box, which may be utilized in open threads. Primary uses for this are quite self-evident; it is useful for removing accidental double-posts, comments you no longer feel appropriately express your views, etc. Note that only FESS veterans and above may delete entire topics, and FESS veterans may delete only their own.4.3: Polls
Polls are topics which allow members to quickly set up questions with a fixed set of answers, and can be created by clicking the "new poll" button. Informal polls (“Who is your favorite boss and why?”) are still allowed.4.4: The Search Function
At the top of the site page you will see a magnifying glass with a text bar. Enter what you wish to search for in this bar and press "search;" the forum will look up what you're trying to find.4.5: PM, or “Private Message”
You will notice near the top of the page after logging in a line notifying you of any new messages; clicking on this number will bring you to an inbox. This is your “PM Box” wherein you receive private messages from other members. You yourself can compose PMs by clicking on either the aforementioned message number, or by clicking on "my messages," located in the bar just below the search bar. All FESS rules also apply to PM; if you are being harassed via PM, please report it to the staff. If you choose to harass others, expect a ban or suspension at the least for your transgression. Note that FESS does not look fondly upon objections to staff actions being brought up in-thread. This tends to derail the thread and sometimes causes flaming, which does nothing but cause more trouble. If you have an objection to a staff decision, PM an administrator explaining what your problem is and why. 4.6: The Report Button and its Purpose
The "report" button located at the lower-right corner of all posts allows a member to report a post they believe to be in violation of the rules. Upon clicking this button, you will be prompted to fill in a reason for your report, and should do so. Members will not be penalized for reporting posts that they believed in violation of the rules, within reason. If you are obviously abusing the function to irritate the staff or communicate with them in an irrelevant manner, you will be warned to cease such actions. Persistent violations will result in punishment.5: Working with your User Profile, Signature, and Avatar5.1: Your Profile and its Restrictions
Your public profile, along with your signature, and avatar can all be manipulated under the "profile" button seen near the top of the board when you log on. Your profile is changed via the "forum profile information" button. From here you may add various types information about yourself, a custom title, a personal text, and other things, keeping in mind that FESS rules still apply to this info. You can also add a "personalized picture," (an avatar), either by inputting a URL linking to it in the appropriate text bar or by uploading an image from your PC. This image must not violate any rules, and should be hosted off of your own website, photobucket, imageshack, etc. Hotlinking from websites you do not run is disallowed; it saps their bandwidth.5.2: Your Signature and its Restrictions
Your signature is a series of text and possibly images that is automatically added onto every one of your posts. You may include whatever you find pleasing in your signature, so long as it does not violate any FESS rules. If you use a community member's fanart, you must have his or her permission, and must place a credit line in your signature if they desire. Further, if you use fanart you have found on the internet and the original artist demands credit or sig removal, you will be expected to obey.
There are also a few other restrictions:
-You may only have one image in your signature. Emoticons are not included in this, within reason.
-The image must not exceed 300kb.
-Maximum image size is 550 pixels across by 350 pixels high
-Images that function as links are not allowed. If you use Imageshack, make sure to take the link to their site out of your coding. 5.3: Your Avatar and its Restrictions
Your avatar is a 100x100 pixel image that will be displayed on the left hand side of every message you post. It can be found under "personalized picture" in "forum profile information." This image must not violate any rules, and should be hosted off of your own website, computer, photobucket, imageshack, etc. Hotlinking from websites you do not run is disallowed; it saps their bandwidth. Pictures in the .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, and .png formats are allowed. If you use fanart, you must have their permission, and must place a credit line in your signature if they desire.5.4: On Multiple Accounts
Multiple accounts belonging to one person are not allowed at FESS, as they are almost invaribly used for ill intent. They tend to be utilized to go around account-specific punishments, to troll, or to artificially boost one's support in an important thread via what is called "sock puppet" posting. If multiple persons use a single computer to access FESS, it is vital that you notify the staff in the "Got a Sibling With Their Own Account?" thread, which is located in the Announcements board. Multiple accounts will usually lead to a ban, barring exceptions such as validation troubles.6: FESSchat6.1: Behavior
You will notice the fact that FESS has its own chatroom. This can be utilized via Java Chat or IRC. Whichever you choose, there are some basic guidelines. Keep in mind that all FESS rules still apply, though you will find the chat to perhaps be more relaxed and spontaneous. You may also find yourself kicked for no real reason; this is done in a joking manner, and becoming offended is therefore pointless. However, if you violate the rules, you will be kicked with an explicit warning explaining why. If you commit further offenses or severe offenses, you will be kicked and banned, and may be subject to further discipline on the board.7: Ranking, Staff, Custom Titles, and User Names7.1: Available Member Ranks; Common Slang
While using this board, you will notice that some people will refer to others using various slangs and labels. You will see the terms, "admin", "mod", "newb," or perhaps "n00b" popping up quite often. These are simple slang, and some have been documented here:
GEOS - Short for the Grand Example of Stupidity group or a person therein
RSFV - Short for Really Stupid FESS Veteran; essentially the same group as GEOS
Newb/Newbie - A new member (not intended as an insult)
Noob/N00b - A new member (often carries a negative connotation, sometimes used jokingly)
Vet - Short for the FESS Veteran group or a person therein
Mod - Short for moderator
Admin - Short for administrator
Root - Short for root administrator
FESSer - The formal title of all FESS members; the main member group
Administrators (FESSer Lords): These are the main authority figures of the FESS. They make the rules and appoint moderators.
Moderators (FESSer Generals): These are the "enforcers." They, predictably, monitor discussions and see to it that rules are enforced.
Forum Moderators (FESSer Lieutenants): These are moderators that express particular affinity for a specific forum, and are appointed to watch over it, though they are not moderators on the entire board.Members
FESS Veterans: These are members who have shown a variety of distinct, superior qualities as members. They exemplify proper behavior on FESS, and are senior members, having been around for considerable time. This member group has some small perks, such as access to using HTML and the ability to close their own topics. Please note that is not a "rank;" staff members have come from the standard FESSer group on several occasions.
FESSer: This is the level all members start out, and they make up the vast majority of members. They have no particular group-based restrictions, save use of HTML and thread deletion/closing.Punishment Groups
GEOS: The Grand Example of Stupidity group, these members are frequent or severe rule breakers one step away from a suspension or ban. They may not create topics, have a decreased posting rate allowance, and have other group-based restrictions. Members remain in GEOS until they show they have improved enough to be removed. Flaming or mocking GEOS members will result in you being GEOSed.
RSFV: Essentially GEOS for veterans, being labeled a Really Stupid FESS Veteran could perhaps be informally considered worse, seeing as veterans are expected to "know better." There have been few RSFV, and those that have existed generally spent long periods of time as such. Flaming or mocking RSFV members will result in you being GEOSed.
Banished Scumbag: Self-Explanatory. This group is, with rare exception (such as accidental banning), permanent.7.2: Custom Titles; User Names
Below your avatar, you will notice a title. These titles are there merely for one's own amusement, and carry no relevance whatsoever to your status on the board. Because there is no longer a post count, you must manually change your custom title in your profile. This option is found under "forum profile information," which can be accessed by clicking "profile" at the top of the screen. The standard title of all members is 'FESSer'.
Custom titles may be given as a punishment or jokingly given due to certain mannerisms the member seems to exhibit. All custom titles can be removed upon one's own power, except when used as part of a punishment. Removal of a punishment title will result in further discipline.
User names, unlike custom titles, can only be changed by an administrator. A user name must be reasonably "clean;" if an administrator feels your chosen user name is unreasonably foul, he may exercise the right to change it. Further, if an administrator feels a requested user name is not reasonably "clean," he may refuse the request. Upon receiving a user name change, the newly-named member must
place his or her first user name in his or her signature, and may only remove it upon returning to his or her original user name. Name changes can be requested via PM or in chat.7.3: Current Staff MembersAdministrators (FESSer Lords)
Superbus (site owner; root admin)Global Moderators (FESSer Generals)
Crystal ShardsForum Moderators (FESSer Lieutenants)
n/a Chatroom Staff
Current FESSChat Operator (~): Sword Saint
All admins are one step below with & rank, and all mods/lieutenants have @ rank.8: Help with Languages8.1: Our Policies Concerning Non-Fluent English Speakers
We understand that not all members FESS receives are native speakers of the English language. In light of this, we offer services to aid these members, as well as not penalizing them for poor grammar or spelling. Those members who do not find themselves understanding posts may contact our help members. Falsely claiming to be a non-native speaker will be considered trolling.8.2: Member Assistants for Non-Fluent Speakers
If, for any reason, you need help in a language other than English, there's a list of people whom you can contact below. However, do not abuse this system. If you're French and you need to know how to ask something in English, contact Superbus, for example, but asking for a full guide on how to beat chapter X of Fire Emblem 5 is a bit too much. Please know your boundaries.French:
- Superbus, AceNoctali, EliwoodGabriel, SwordsAreShineySpanish:
- ArmorDragon, Nightmare, KuroPortuguese:
- Togieduo, CO Raptor, Hatake AsukaGerman:
- Praetorian, General-Veok, Crystal ShardsManual by Sword Saint. Special thanks to Anise Tatlin/Lute and Toads Don't Exist for pointing out grammatical errors, PhoenixFire777 for pointing out outdated information considering button location, SwordareShiney for correcting an old link, A Deathly Shadow for pointing out a missing word, Belisarius for pointing out an advertising exception, Angel of Grief for grammatical/spelling corrections, Yuri for a rank correction, Thief for an update and spelling correction, Once for punctuation corrections, and to Black Dragon for a reminder on the new status of section 4.4.
Manual updated as of October 21, 2008 3:20 PM EST. Contact Sword Saint for any corrections.