Lore Team Rules and Regulations

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​ This thread is a comprehensive and definitive collection of the procedures and regulations of the lore team. It outlines the expectations and responsibilities of lore writers and the lore team administration. It includes “how-to” guides on wiki development, writing articles, and handling whitelist applications. It also includes a code of conduct, staffing procedures, and an explanation of the powers of lore team administration. 

Disclaimer: All previous rules not contained within this thread are null and void, and anything in this thread which contradict previous policy supersede those previous policies. Any additions or edits to this thread will be announced to the whole lore team.

THE LICENSE - YOUR RIGHTS AS A WRITER

All work written after 13 August 2019 for the server is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. The license only applies to text as it is written. Ideas, names, and concepts are not subject to copyright. 

Full license of CC BY-SA 4.0 can be found here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/legalcode

Simplified summary can be found here: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

All work which is written for use by the server is licensed under this.


THE LORE TEAM HIERARCHY

The heads of the lore team are the Loremaster and Deputy Loremaster, referred to throughout this thread as either “Lore Team Administration” or “Lore Team Management.” Your current administration is Caelphon as Loremaster and null as Deputy Loremaster.

Under the management of the lore team administration are the lore departments, each headed by a lore writer. These departments are based on each major race in our server’s setting. The departments are Humans, Skrell, Unathi, Synthetics, Diona, Vaurca, and Tajara. Each lore writer may choose to have up to two deputies to assist them in their duties. 

HOW-TO GUIDES

NEWS ARTICLES

There are a variety of news organizations in the galactic news database on the forums. Articles are an important feature of living lore and let us tell stories and arcs in real time by providing everyone with in character news updates from around the setting. These serve as important storytelling tools which the whole server can read. When writing an article, the content of a news article can be anything from war reports, political and economic drama, sports news, advances in technology, or even dramatic retellings of events that occurred on the server. While the writing can be just about anything a writer chooses, here’s a few key things to keep in mind when writing an article.


1. Only write articles for news agencies which are under the jurisdiction of your lore department. If you are a deputy, make sure your direct superior approves of your article before posting it. If you are writing an article which is under the jurisdiction of another team, first get their approval before posting your article. EXCEPTION: Mendell City and Tau Ceti based channels are a common area for the whole lore team. However, any articles submitted to these channels must be reviewed by lore team administration.

2. Respect the formatting and voice of the news channel you are writing for. Most of the news channels in the galactic news database have a specific formatting and bias associated with them. If a channel has a header in all of its articles, include it. If it's formatted in a specific way from dates and times to spacing or even font, use that as well. If the channel is biased or written in a certain way, maintain consistency by keeping that same “voice.” While these can and have changed over time, it should be done with careful consideration, and should never be done by deputies or other departments without the approval of the relevant lore writer.

3. Never use news articles as a vehicle for retcons. When writing an article, make sure to carefully read any relevant previous articles to ensure retcons or contradictions do not occur. Articles are the highest visibility form of lore writing off-server, and contradicting previous articles may cause great confusion with the news reading community. 

4. Coordinate with relevant writers when writing your articles. If you article prominently features another department’s race, you must gain their approval before posting your article. This is to ensure that their race is portrayed appropriately and consistently with that writer’s canon and does not contain contradictions. In general, you want to coordinate with any interested lore team members as much as possible using the coordination channels. This way you can gather as much feedback as possible and improve the consistency of our lore. When articles consist of large arcs or major changes to the setting, you must get the approval of lore team administration before posting it. Examples of these would be starting wars, major changes in international politics and trade, changes in national leadership, the larger galactic economy, or the destruction of major planets.

5. All edits, changes, or deletion of past articles must be approved by Lore Team Management. This is important for quality control. If previous articles must be tampered with or even archived and removed from circulation to facilitate changes to lore, they must be approved by lore team administration as an important check for the far reaching consequences it may have on our shared lore setting. 

6. Lore Team Management reserves the right to curate lore in news articles. This means if you post an article which contradicts one of the above points, or otherwise is deemed unacceptable to the direction of the server’s lore, the loremasters reserve the right to edit, modify, retcon, or even delete any violating articles. All relevant writers will be notified and in the case of deletion or retcon, an announcement will be made to the community. If the writer displays malicious intent in violating the rules when posting such an article, disciplinary action may be taken. However, if it is the result of an unintentional creative difference, no disciplinary action will be taken.

HOW TO RETCON NEWS ARTICLES

Over the course of years of lore development older articles become defunct in their nature. Whether they are forgotten and new lore which directly contradicts them is made, or they become incompatible with changes in lore over time, the need to remove old articles crops up. Follow the Major Retcons guide and rules in the Wiki Development section of these rules and regulations in order to have retconned news articles archived. All articles that are archived will be announced to the community and a description of why it was no longer canon will be affixed to the article in the archive.


WIKI DEVELOPMENT

The wiki is an invaluable resource for creating our universe. It also should importantly serve as a place to summarize our news articles in a way that is quick and easy to digest. It is the number one resource for describing the lore of our races and nations, and for whitelist applicants and whitelistees alike. Lore on the wiki can be anything and everything, providing a great depth for our playerbase to enjoy and a deeper story telling for the community. Wiki pages provide a guide for how players should play from different races, factions, and cultures. It also helps them to contextualize and understand the ramifications of developments in news articles. While the content on the wiki can bring a wealth of great variety, when deciding on formatting you should maintain some consistency with other lore pages. Make sure to consult with other lore writers and the wiki maintenance team when you are unsure of the appearance of a wiki page. Pictures and captions can greatly help break up word walls and make for far more appetizing content. A race’s main wiki page should contain all of the relevant core content required for a whitelist application.  Here are the key points you want to keep in mind when creating wiki pages and wiki content:


1. Only edit or create pages within your jurisdiction. Writers should only create and edit pages within their own department. Any additions or changes to another lore department must have the approval of their writer. Deputies must likewise gain the approval of their respective writer before publishing content to the wiki. EXCEPTION: Mendell City and Tau Ceti based pages are a common area for the whole lore team. However, any additions or changes to these pages must be reviewed by lore team administration.

2. Maintain consistency with other lore pages. Unless a retcon is intentional, other lore pages related to your subject should be carefully considered. While the wiki is the primary location for retcons, we want to make sure all changes are intentional and carefully deliberated. All major retcons must follow the Major Retcons process. 

3. Coordinate with all relevant writers. If your wiki page has content which prominently features races, factions, cultures, religions or nations of another department’s jurisdiction, coordinate with them and gain their approval before publishing your content. This is to ensure that their portrayals are consistent. In general you want to coordinate with all interested writers for feedback in the coordination channels on the staff discord.

4. Avoid the WIP status on pages. Any pages which are writing in progress for substantial periods of time without active development are subject to deletion under the maintenance of the wiki maintainers. Set deadlines for yourself to complete in-progress pages in a timely fashion and communicate these to others to avoid deletion. 

5. Avoid superfluous pages. If a page you are creating is sufficiently small enough, please cannibalize it into any relevant pages to enhance the ease of navigating our lore. Only create a new page if the information it contains is substantial enough in size to not be acceptable on another relevant page. As a general best practice, avoid writing content which is not compelling enough to contribute to the overall server lore or otherwise largely irrelevant to either the station, the setting, the factions in the setting, or the players of any relevant races.

6. Lore Team Management reserves the right to curate lore in wiki content. If pages are sufficiently unnecessary, underused, or do not contribute to player engagement to lore they may be subject to moderation such as edits, additions, changes, and deletions. None of these actions will occur without prior notice and discussion of alternatives with the relevant lore writers. 

7. Lore about reproductive organs, namely genitals, is forbidden.

MAJOR RETCONS

In order to formalize a review process for retcons in our lore, all major retcons must first have a feedback thread on the lore staff forum for the duration of no less than 72 hours and no more than one week before it may be implemented. These feedback threads will then be announced to the lore team where they will be allowed to input criticisms, praises, and suggestions. After one week, the Lore Master will then have to choose if the retcon will go into effect. If the Lore Master is unsure about their decision, or if suggestions in the threads are determined to be necessary and may take some time to include, the Lore Master may delay the decision by a maximum of 72 hours, unless the lore developer making the proposal requests more time to make changes based on suggestions. No major retcons may take effect until this process has been completed and the Lore Master has agreed to implement the proposed changes.

A major retcon is defined as moderate to large changes in pre-existing lore, such as species rewrites, history reworks, deletion or removal of existing content, or any significant reworking of lore-based wiki pages.

The following does not qualify as a major retcon: Spelling corrections, formatting changes, general corrections to syntax or grammar, rewording the same sentences, any new lore additions which do not intentionally contradict pre-existing lore, corrections to mistakes such as wrong dates or names, small changes which have minimal impact on the overall culture and narrative of its field in our lore.

If the Lore Master feels a major retcon may require wider community input, the Lore Master may bring the proposed retcon to the public for feedback within this one week window, either on the forums or one of the official discords.

If you are unsure if a retcon would be a minor or major retcon, or if it would need this review process, ask the Lore Master or Lore Master Deputy. Always inform the loremaster before posting a retcon feedback thread to the forums. Although the Lore Master must be informed and has discretion if a major retcon may take effect, the Lore Master may not refuse to allow a lore developer from beginning the major retcon feedback process.

WHITELIST MANAGEMENT

GRANTING A WHITELIST

Whitelists may only be granted following a whitelist application process, unless special permission for a specific case has been granted by lore team administration. However, lore team administration may never grant itself special permission to dispense whitelists, even in the case of a lore writer vacancy.

PROCESSING WHITELIST APPLICATIONS

Discretion on whether to accept or deny a whitelist application rests with the writer for the relevant lore department. Applications may be accepted or denied entirely at a writer’s discretion. For best results, a lore writer should carefully check the application against any relevant wiki pages and take feedback in an application thread into consideration. A race’s main wiki page should contain all of the relevant core content required for a whitelist application. If an application has any work which contradicts other wiki pages under the care of a lore department, the applicant should be worked with to bring their application in line with the overall lore instead of denied outright. Once an application is accepted or denied, a tag should be edited into the title saying either [Accepted] or [Denied]. The thread must then be locked and moved into the whitelist applications archives.

After an application is accepted, in order to grant the whitelist you must log into the web interface at https://byond.aurorastation.org/ and search for their ckey in the players category under the admin tab. Once you have found their profile on the web interface, click the “add whitelist” button next to the relevant whitelist. A general best practice is to discuss the contents of an application with the applicant and provide the opportunity to correct for any discrepancies before making a decision. An application must stand for a minimum of 24 hours before a ruling on the application can be made. This is in order to provide time for feedback to be posted on the application. An application must receive input from the relevant lore writer within 72 hours. If you need more time you must say so in the thread along with a tentative self-imposed deadline on when a decision can be expected. Discussing the application and any possible issues with the applicant, demonstrating active engagement with the application, provides flexibility to the deadline by which the application must be decided on. If no input from the relevant lore writer is forthcoming after 72 hours, the applicant may reach out to lore team administration.

Multiple requests will be issued to the relevant lore writer until they do something about the application. Failure to handle the application will result in lore team management handling the application at their own discretion. The results of an application being handled at lore team management’s discretion is that the decision cannot be grounds for reversal and whitelist granting or stripping. The decision is final and the whitelist can only be stripped through violation of whitelist expectations over the course of play, or granted through another application. In the absence of a lore writer in a lore department, the lore team administration must handle the whitelist applications or delegate it to a relevant lore department deputy. 

Addendum #1

Applications that find themselves being denied due to administrative actions, lack of display of the knowledge of a species’ lore, or any other reason must wait a certain amount of time before applying, chosen by respective species' Lore Writers from the following: three days, a week, two weeks, a month, and two months. The initial denial of an application cannot be extended beyond two months. It must be reapplied upon the denial of the reapplication should behaviour not have improved, or not displaying adequate knowledge of the species’ lore to the expectations of the species’ respective Lore Writers. It is within the jurisdiction of the species’ respective Lore Writers to set additional requirements for reapplication, outside of the prescribed time constraints. A species’ Lore Writers may deny an application due to information that has remained confidential to the wide public. In such cases, the specific behaviours which should be improved should be discussed in private, if they can be improved upon. If a player believes they are being denied for unfair reasons, they are entitled to lodge a staff complaint against the denying staff member(s). If a time constraint regarding reapplication was issued by a Lore Writer that is no longer on the Lore Team, it will persist until the allocated time constraint has been completed.

STRIPPING WHITELISTS

Whitelists are for managing the quality of roleplay of whitelisted races. If the quality of roleplay a whitelisted player engages in is contradictory to the lore of the whitelisted race, or demonstrates a lack of understanding for the whitelisted race’s lore, their whitelist may be stripped. To remove a whitelist log onto the web interface at https://byond.aurorastation.org/ and search for their profile in the players category through the admin tab. Once you have found their profile, click the “remove whitelist” button next to the relevant whitelist.  For a best practice, a whitelist must never be stripped without good reason. Warnings should be issued prior to stripping a whitelist to allow for correction in their behavior. The amount of warnings before stripping a whitelist is at the discretion of the relevant lore writer. Keep a log of warnings issued to whitelisted players for accountability to lore team administration.  For conduct which is especially egregious, a whitelist may be stripped without prior warning. For proper guidance on handling whitelist management, consult lore team management when unsure. Stripping whitelists without appropriate cause may result in disciplinary action. However, lore team administration should be lenient and handle these situations on a case to case basis. 

EVENTS

Spoiler TBA, refer to the following thread for the time being: [1]


CANONICAL DEATHS IN EVENTS:

From the server rules: 

"Happenings related to canon events, usually ran by admins with the guidance of lore staff, are considered canon. The lore writer and the admin coordinating the event can make exceptions if permitted by the lore masters and the headmins. In the case of character death caused by the canon event, the death is considered canon and permanent unless the lore masters and headmins permit the character to undergo the cloning procedure."

This only applies to deaths related to the canon event. The other canon and death rules are still valid, this applies only to stuff that happens due to the event itself.

LORE TEAM EXPECTATIONS AND STAFFING

LORE TEAM ADMINISTRATION

The lore team administration consists of the loremaster and deputy loremaster. They are at the head of the lore team and steer the direction of our game’s direction in story telling. They are responsible for curating the content of our official lore in all forms, managing the lore team, staffing lore departments, handling neglected whitelist applications, and mediating disputes between different lore departments. The loremaster cannot concurrently serve as a lore writer or lore deputy. The deputy loremaster may concurrently serve as a lore writer. This is to prevent the loremaster from having a bias when writing lore, and to help them to serve as an impartial arbitrator when discussing the direction of our lore and disputes between different lore departments. The loremaster is appointed by the server’s head developers and in turn appoints their own deputy loremaster, typically through an application process. The loremaster has the power to take disciplinary actions against lore writers and deputies only with the approval of the deputy loremaster. The loremaster may only staff lore writers through an application process which provides the community with the opportunity to provide their input, and cannot directly appoint a lore writer without observing the process. Lore team administration may not appoint deputies, however all lore deputies must be approved by lore team administration before their applications can be accepted. The requirements for the lore writer application process are at the discretion of lore team administration. Lore deputy hopefuls must also go through the application process before they can join the team. In the event that there is a lore writer vacancy, jurisdiction over that department is absorbed into the responsibilities of lore team administration, but the duties associated with it may be delegated to any deputies within that department. Even in the event of a lore writer vacancy, the loremaster may not appoint deputies to that department but must appoint a lore writer first who may then select their deputies within the rules. Lore team management is expected to be active in both the management and editorial review of content, and in interaction with the community through discord, forums and server play. Lore team management is expected to set the example in both lore writing and code of conduct.

LORE WRITERS

Lore writers are the departmental heads of the lore team. Each lore writer is in charge of a major playable race of our server’s setting, and handles all of their lore and manages the whitelists associated with their jurisdiction. Lore writers are appointed by lore team management through the developer application process. Writers are expected to be active in both terms of lore writing and server play. They are expected to maintain consistency between their news articles, wiki pages, and on-station events. They are expected to follow the rules laid out in the “How-to” guides above. Writers are also expected to coordinate with their fellow writers in their projects and to uphold the code of conduct in their interactions with each other, their fellow staff, and the community. They are allowed to appoint up to two deputies through the developer application process and may delegate any of their duties to their deputies as they see fit. Lore Writers reserve the right to modify the application process when selecting their deputies to any extra requirements they desire, and cannot be forced to accept deputies against their will by lore team administration. A lore writer cannot concurrently serve as the writer for multiple lore departments and is ineligible for lore deputy positions. However, a lore writer can concurrently serve as deputy loremaster.

LORE DEPUTIES

Lore deputies are the appointed help of lore writers who assist by performing any tasks delegated to them by their lore writer, or lore team management in the absence of a direct superior. They are the de facto proteges of their writer and should be trained as heir apparents by their superior. Despite this, lore team management reserves the right to appoint other applicants to lore writer positions when vacancies occur. A lore deputy cannot serve in multiple deputy positions simultaneously. If a lore deputy would like to apply for a different deputy position, they may apply but if accepted must forfeit their previous position. Lore deputies are not expected to manage an entire lore department unless there is a lore writer vacancy in their department. Even though lore deputies have decreased responsibilities when compared to writers, they are still expected to maintain a degree of activity in both lore writing and on-server play. Like everyone else on the lore team, deputies are expected to abide by the code of conduct in their interactions with their team members, fellow staff, and the community.

CODE OF CONDUCT

1. All members of lore team are expected to maintain property civility and respect to their team members, fellow staff, and the community. Insults, harassment, or hate speech to any members of the community may be subject to disciplinary action. As members of staff, lore team is expected to be an example of good behavior to the community, and ideally, even to other staff. Observing decorum, whether in public or debating fellow team members in staff channels or private messages, is a requirement for continued participation in lore team. 

2. All members of lore team are expected to be active. Activity requirements are to be met in a composite of interaction with the community and fellow staff on discord, the forums, or the server. Large lapses of on-server play may be forgiven if there is a sufficient amount of lore writing and community interaction. Inactivity is determined at the discretion of lore team administration, however unless a team member has ghosted from server play for months of time and has not maintained any significant community or team interaction, a member will generally be considered active enough.

3. All leaves must be preceded with prior notice to lore team administration and the lore team. If a team member is going on leave they must notify the lore team, as well as ping or private message lore team administration with notice. Explanations for going on leave are not required, however a general estimate on when a leave is ending must be provided if available. If a lore writer goes on leave their duties are handled by lore team management unless otherwise delegated to relevant lore deputies. If the loremaster goes on leave, the deputy loremaster will assume the duties of lore team management in their absence.

4. All resignations must take place by informing lore team administration. While lore team administration will discuss the resignation intent with the relevant lore writer and lore deputies, lore team administration must be informed of any opening vacancies in order to notify the community and prepare the recruitment and staffing for the relevant team. A general best practice is for a lore team administration to conduct exit interviews with resigning team members in order to gain insight into the issues affecting lore team.

5. All procedures and regulations outlined in this thread must be followed. Failing to follow lore team procedures and regulations may incur disciplinary action, even if as a result of ignorance. 

6. In the event that the loremaster is found to have engaged in a code of conduct violation, the deputy loremaster will handle disciplinary action against the loremaster. If a loremaster and lore writer or deputy are in a dispute over code of conduct or procedure, the deputy loremaster will mediate the dispute. If lore team management and a lore writer or deputy are in a dispute over code of conduct or procedure, head admins and developers will be asked to mediate and take any relevant disciplinary action. Staff complaints still maintain their full functionality, and this procedure does not infringe upon the rights of team members to file a complaint.


DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AND PROCEDURE

WARNINGS

A warning is a written notice from lore team administration to a lore team member requesting a behavioral or procedural correction. All warnings are confidential and may only be discussed with relevant parties, such as the heads of staff teams, injured parties, or relevant lore writers in the case of deputies and deputy applicants. All warnings are logged by lore team administration along with the date the warning took place and a brief description of why the warning was given. Older warnings will be weighed less when deciding future disciplinary actions. A “Final Warning” may be issued for violations which are significant enough to warrant termination, but where lore team administration would prefer to work with the lore team member to return to good standing. A final warning is not required for termination, and there is no minimum or maximum amount of warnings a lore team member can receive prior to termination. Usage of warnings is at lore team administration discretion. Warnings can only be assigned when there is a consensus to warn between both loremaster and deputy loremaster. Warnings are generally assigned by the loremaster, but can be delegated to the deputy loremaster or a lore writer, in the event of a deputy receiving warning. All lore writers must be notified prior to the warning of their deputies by lore team administration. 

TERMINATIONS

Terminations are the last resort of disciplinary action and are the removal of a lore team member from the lore team against their will. Unless if a lore team member has received a permanent ban from the server or has committed a particularly egregious code of conduct offence, warnings will be issued before resorting to a termination. Terminations will be announced to the staff team, but will be announced as resignations to the wider public community. This is to prevent “dogpiling” or public ridicule from the wider community while keeping fellow staff informed of misconduct. In most cases, a lore team member will be asked if they wish to resign before a termination is issued, especially in the case of inactive team members. Termination is not a permanent ban from involvement in server lore nor from reapplying to lore team in the future. However, past terminations and warnings will be taken into consideration when former lore team members apply to positions. 


MISCELLANEOUS

In the event of any situation which is currently not covered by these rules, use your best judgement to ascertain the spirit of the law. Never be afraid to ask the Loremaster for guidance in any situation where you are unsure about the applicability of the rules and regulations, or code of conduct.