Welcome to the Exodus Galaxy, the primary RP forum of our community. In this forum, you will find stories, RPs, threads, and so forth set in our customized, community-created persistent world. This thread contains the rules and guidelines we ask you to follow when you RP in the Exodus Galaxy (EG); a FAQ is also provided for your information.
If you've got any questions, please feel free to Private Message a Moderator or Administrator. Alternatively, you can post your questions in the RP OOC forums.
The Golden Rule
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, be nice.
Respect the Moderators & Admins
Do not fight the staff or administration; their rule is law. It is their job to keep the board civil and running smoothly. Making public complaints regarding any administrative, enforcement, or other Moderator/Admin will not be tolerated. If you've have an issue, please private message (PM) a Moderator or Administrator.
Restricted Topics of Discussion
The following topics are restricted, meaning they are forbidden to be talked about outside of the Restricted Topics Subforum. Anyone who discusses these topics will be warned, at the discretion of the Mod/Admin team. Three warnings will lead to a ban.
If you would like to discuss these topics, please head to the Restricted Topics Subforum registration thread and make a request there.
While Mature content (ESRB Ratings) is allowed, we ask that any relevant warnings be included in the thread title. For example, if an RP contained excessive foul language, we ask that you include an appropriate warning, e.g. "Dun Moch: Tribulations *strong language*". Content rated below Mature need not contain warnings. Content rated Adult-Only or NC-17 should be kept elsewhere.
Moderators serve a lifetime appointment; there is no set term-limit. However, the community may remove a Moderator via a community-wide vote of no-confidence. If this vote passes by a two-thirds majority, the Moderator is removed and a new one is elected by the community. If a Moderator chooses to step down voluntarily, a new Moderator will be chosen by vote. The site administrators will conduct all votes.
Illustrated below are some guidelines we'd like you to follow when you RP within the Exodus Galaxy. Because we've diverged from the canon in some (many) aspects, these guidelines are in place to help RPers work within the bounds of our galaxy. Remember, these are both a set of guidelines and rules; in some cases, exceptions may be made, but these will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Creating a Character and Getting Started
The first step of participating in the Exodus Galaxy (EG or sometimes MBT for "Main Board Timeline") is to create a character. This process can begin through a variety of ways. You may have a character you'd like to play: Perhaps you've always wanted to RP a Jedi or a smuggler or a bounty hunter, so you start with the character concept first. Or, maybe you want to tell a specific story such as how a group of mercenaries are hired to overthrow a tyrant; you thus craft the character to fit the story. Regardless of how you choose to begin, you'll want to come up with the details of your character. Remember, the more detail the better. Detail gives not only you a better sense of the character, but also allows others who RP with you a better idea of what your character is all about. Also keep in mind the time period (~17 ABY) and geopolitical context of the Exodus Galaxy; more information can be found in the Exodus Galaxy Summary thread.
SW:E is unique in that we have very few rules governing the character creation process because we feel, in general, these rules stifle the creativity of our members. That said, we do have a few guidelines we'd like all members to follow. They are listed below:
1) Do not create god-moded/uber/over-powered (GM, OP, etc.) characters.
What we mean here is that we frown upon the Sith Lord who is a master of eighteen lightsaber styles and can destroy the sun of a solar system 132 light years away. We discourage the bounty hunter who is so awesome at his craft that he's able to hit a target from seventy kilometers with a pistol, while blind and deaf. Not only does this create problems with other people in terms of power levels, it also makes the entire RP process entirely boring. How interesting is a story where the protagonist(s) have no faults and are never at risk?
You might wonder how we decide what is uber or GMed or OP. There are no set guidelines on the definition of "uber", but it's pretty much common sense. Is the character a Mary Sue? Is the character Superman? Does the character have flaws? Additionally, how the character reached his or her power level is also an important consideration. For example, Jedi Masters can certainly be construed as OP and GMed, but if the RPer created the character from scratch and RPed him as a Padawan who trained to become a Jedi Knight and eventually reached the Master-level, then the character would likely not be considered GMed because the RPer put in effort to RP; the character was not a Jedi Master at start.
2) The "Star Destroyer Ownership" Rule
Related to the above rule about GMing, there is a restriction on ownership of Star Destroyer-class (and similar) capital warships by individual characters and private organizations. Many people commonly forget that Star Destroyers and related vessels (such as the NR equivalents) are not common ships. These ships are immense; they are an incredible resource sink, possess tremendous firepower, and require terrible amounts of crew and supplies to properly crew. Only the very richest of governmental bodies can afford to maintain more than a handful of these battleships, let alone build any. (In modern terms, a Star Destroyer is equivalent to a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier such as the Gerald Ford-class; these things cost billions of dollars to build, with almost all navies fielding a single nuclear-powered carrier.) As a result, individual characters or even smuggler and pirate groups would certainly be unable to field any of these ships.
Remember that this rule does not preclude individuals from using smaller vessels like Action IV transports; only the largest of ships, generally greater than 1000-meters in length, are restricted.
3) Your character cannot be the In-Character (IC) head of a canon, major governmental faction.
This rule simply states that no player characters can be the Emperor or the lead of the New Republic; those positions are headed by NPC's. Why do we do this? We've found in the past that player-created characters who are heads of state created too tempting of an environment where the point of RP was not story-telling but governmental simulation and/or power-playing. This fostered negative interactions with other members and generated bad attitudes. We want to prevent this from happening.
Jumping into a Story
Once you've created your character, you'll want to find a story in which to RP. Like the character creation process, there are many ways to go about this. If you have a particular story you want to tell, you can go ahead and post your RP thread in the EG forums. If you don't have a specific plot, then you can look around in the RP OOC forum for any threads that interest you; if you see one, post in the OOC thread asking to join or inquire for more information. Alternatively, simply browse the various existing IC threads in the Exodus Galaxy forum; if there's anything to your liking, ask about joining in the appropriate OOC thread, or PM the thread's author.
Please note that some threads will be labelled as Open, Closed, or will not possess a label. These terms have different meanings:
Open: Anyone is welcome to hop into the thread without express permission. Feel free to start posting, provided your posts fit within the context of the thread.
Closed: Closed threads are, well, closed to the public; they are generally invite only. If you are interested in joining, please PM or otherwise contact the thread's author before posting IC in the thread.
No Label: Sometimes threads are labelled neither Open nor Closed; in this case, it's best to inquire within the thread with an OOC post, or ask for permission in the thread's OOC thread.
Creating Your Own Story
If you want to create your own story, you are perfectly welcome to do so. We simply ask that you keep in mind the general time period of the Exodus Galaxy, and the past history. The EG takes place approximately 17 ABY; during that time, there have been many significant events that defer from the canon Star Wars history. For example, the EG is home to a a modern Sith Empire. For more information, please consult the Exodus Galaxy Summary thread.
Additionally, if you'd like to RP a story that will significantly involve any of the major factions (Jedi, New Republic, Galactic Empire, or Sith Empire), you must consult a Faction Coordinator to make sure your plot will not conflict with an existing story. Keep in mind that this consultation is only necessary for those stories that may have a major involvement of a faction; for example, if you'd like to RP a significant combat scenario between the NR and GE, you'll want to consult both Faction Coordinators. For stories with minimal impact on the geopolitical climate, such as RPing a cantina or a smuggler story, talking to Faction Coordinators is not necessary.
Current Faction Coordinators are as follows:
Galactic Empire - Corsos
Jedi Order - Pryde2000
New Republic - Mirrodin2nd
Sith Empire - Balsa
Minor Government - Consult the creator of the Minor Government
For a more detailed explanation of the Faction Coordinators and their role, please consult the Faction Coordinator thread.
Finally, if your thread contains Mature content, please provide a brief warning in the thread title. For example, if your thread contains graphic violence, it would be prudent to warn your readers: Dun Moch: Shadows of Light *Mature Content - Violence*. We prohibit any content that would be construed as NC-17 or Adult Only, such as erotica from being posted on the forums.
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Be Respectful of Others' Characters, or How Not to GM
SWE does not employ Game Masters and the Moderators do not fill this role (unless specifically requested). We rely on all RPers to use Common Sense and be respectful towards other people's creations. In practical terms, that means not controlling other people's characters without their permission, and to allow the character's creator to decide what happens to him or her in a combat situation, among other reasons. For example, if your Policeman Joe threw a punch at Smuggler Bob, you would allow Bob's creator to decide if that punch connects.
On the other hand, do respect the situation your character is in and the effort others have spent RPing to that situation; be logical and consistent. For example, if Smuggler Bob's creator (intentionally or not) wrote Bob into a situation where he's tied to a chair and Policeman Joe has thrown a punch, it is only logical that Smuggler Bob takes the punch.
OOC Knowledge and Its IC Use
In the majority of cases, knowledge that an RPer knows from only OOC contact, such as discussions of the plot on the RP OOC forums, should not be taken into the IC interactions. If a character would not know the information solely from IC relationships and exchanges, then his or her actions should not reflect this OOC knowledge. Violating this rule is a mild form of GMing.
For example, Smuggler Bob's character description says he is terribly scarred from a fire, and he thus wears a full mask to hide his deformities. If Policeman Joe has never met Smuggler Bob before, and Smuggler Bob is wearing a full mask that hides his hideously scarred face, then Policeman Joe should have no idea that Smuggler Bob is deformed; when Joe removes Bob's mask, Joe should be suitably shocked at the web of pale scars marring Bob's features. However, Joe has a photo of Bob without his mask, then Joe might not be as surprised.
Using the English Language and Other Writing Tips
SWE is home to people from different nations, ages, and educational levels, and as such the level of English and writing expertise varies accordingly. Though we accept all levels of writing, including capitalization, proper punctuation, and sentence structure is highly encouraged; doing so not only helps facilitate the RP process and promotes understanding, but making a conscious effort in including these elements can and will improve your writing.
Here are some additional writing tips, inspired by Xfiend:
Clichés: Cliches are typically over-used plot elements, writing styles, or metaphors/analogies/etc; try to avoid them. In most cases, they are boring and convey very little meaning.
Imagery: Using imagery is the key to building a vibrant environment. Use metaphors and analogies, symbolism and similes; these paint a far more colorful picture than if you used simple adjectives and adverbs. In other words, show, don't tell. For example, consider this sentence: Bob ran really fast down the street. Compare that to: Bob dashed down the street, as if fleeing from a ravenous bear. Which one is more vivid?
Sounds: Taken from Xfiend:
"The reader reads with his eyes, and hears with his ears. Yes, it's true. If you didn't know that, I cannot help you. But there's more to this than that! The reader reads, then - if he's involved and interested - sounds out your words in his mind! To reel the reader into a lush and lurid land of poetic prose, the writer must conquer the concept of sound, silkily stringing syllables into sentences while making sure that the meaning is concrete. To do this, the writer must have an impressive vocabulary at his disposal, so that he can draw out the words that have the proper connotation and consonance.
Let's take a look at some of the ideas behind this. You're trying to have the reader see a green meadow in his mind. You'll want to pick words that accurately depict a spring meadow, sure - but you'll also want to work with the sounds to draw a subtle picture in the ear... Words like streaming, rolling, flowing, phrases like swishing grasses, and soft sun will draw a musical, poetic mural in the mind."
Perhaps the biggest difference between forum RP and RP over "live" mediums such as instant messenger or World of Warcraft is the pacing between each RPer's actions. The live mediums typically require a fairly fast-paced approach, often an instantaneous response. Forum RP's, however, are slower-paced; a response to your post may take as few as two minutes or as long as two days. This is the simple reality of forum RP, so do not fret if no one immediately responds to your IC post.
This is not to say that you should wait patiently even after weeks have gone by. If you feel you've waited long enough, probably a couple of days, then please feel free to kindly badger your RPing partners to post. Sometimes they've simply forgotten, or else they've been busy with work; a gentle reminder can easily get your thread flowing again.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions. This is by no means an exhaustive list, so if you do have any questions, please feel free to contact a staff member or ask the community as a whole. They are in no particular order.
How do I get started?
Getting started is quite easy: Simply create a character and then find a story/thread you'd like to join. For more information please see the Character Creation guidelines.
When does the Exodus Galaxy take place?
Currently, the Exodus Galaxy is set at approximately 17 ABY. This is simply an approximation, so if your thread needs to deviate by a year or so, that is fine. However, if your thread is temporally different by more than a handful of years, you may want to consider The Stories forum, where there is no set timeline (or persistent universe). Alternatively, you may post Old Republic-era threads in the Old Republic forum, or Classic Era (Rebellion Era) stories in the Rebellion Era forum.
The Exodus Galaxy doesn't appear like the Extended Universe. What gives?
Over SWE's 10+ years of existence, we have made some significant changes to the canon Star Wars universe. Most of these changes are limited to post-Endor, but there have been events added into the past to provide historical background and/or context for these EG-specific events. For example, the Exodus Galaxy does not include the canonical Yuuzhan Vong War; however, we do have a semi-equivalent, the Xen'Chi War.
What's this "Black Star Confederacy"? I've never heard of the "Xedael Empire." What about the "Jade Empire"?
Aside from the non-canonical events, the Exodus Galaxy is also home to a number of non-canonical organizations or governmental bodies. The majority of these are member-created, while some are based off of a canonical group but have been given an "Exodus"-spin (e.g. Exodus' Sith Empire). These groups are officially referred to as Minor Governments (MG's or Indy's for short) because though they may be quite powerful in their own right, they will never be on par (or even close to par) when compared to the major canonical powers, such as the New Republic or Galactic Empire.
Oh, that's pretty neat. These Minor Governments sound really cool. How do I create one?
Though we prefer if members stick with what's been currently created for the Exodus Galaxy, we also encourage interesting and engaging stories. If you feel creating a Minor Government is essential to your plot, then you are welcome to create one. However, we ask that you follow the guidelines found here.
Why are some threads prefixed with [NR] or [GE] or [SE]?
The bracketed acronym is simply a way to label each thread as belonging to a specific faction. For example, if a thread details the exploits of an Imperial admiral, the thread would contain a [GE] in its title. This is to allow readers to browse the forum and quickly identify the setting to which each thread belongs. Note that some of the Minor Governmental threads will also include proper labels.
Though the list is not exhaustive, some common labels are as follows:
[BSC] - Black Star Confederacy
[GE] - Galactic Empire
[JO] or [Jedi] - Jedi Order
[NR] - New Republic
[SE] - Sith Empire
[XE] - Xedael Empire
What are Faction Coordinators?
Faction Coordinators are members who play an OOC role in helping coordinate various stories, plots, and events. Their primary objective is to make sure that events do not conflict with one another, and stories make sense from both in-universe and OOC point of views. In essence, Faction Coordinators serve as walking, talking knowledge banks. If you're putting together a story that will have a major impact on a faction, consult the respective Faction Coordinator first. Such stories might include major wars, assassinations, and the like. Minor events, such as a simple pirate story or Jedi training thread probably will not need to be run by a Coordinator.
Current Faction Coordinators are as follows:
Galactic Empire - Corsos
Jedi Order - Pryde2000
New Republic - Mirrodin2nd
Sith Empire - Balsa
Minor Government - Consult the creator of the Minor Government
For a more detailed explanation of the Faction Coordinators and their role, please consult this thread.
How do I win?
First and foremost, SWE (and the Exodus Galaxy) is not a place for governmental simulation (simming), or otherwise "winning." We are focused on telling great stories, and so we care most about the plot development, the character growth, and the writing. There is no competition here, and the only way to "win" is to complete your story arc. In the same way we are not in the business of ship counting or resource tallying with minor or major governments. Those things simply are not important here. If you really want to "win" or simulate a government with fleet numbers and the like, you're welcome to do so in the Story Forum.
I want to start a story where my Sith Lord tries to conquer the galaxy, almost succeeds, but is defeated in the end. Can I?
Generally, the board's preference is to roleplay on a small scale with stories involving small groups of characters. In the past, however, and likely in the future, there have been events that change the very nature of the galaxy (such as the War of Darkness) and therefore affect the entire Exodus Galaxy. If you have an idea for such an event, it is important to run it by the community at large using the RP OOC forum. We ask that you do this since such a large scale event can affect every single person RPing in the Exodus Galaxy because it is a persistent and interactive forum.
My thread was locked at 200 posts and/or six pages. What happened?
Don't fret! Threads are typically locked by Mods when they reach 200 posts or 6 pages to prevent corruption and to ease the reader as he searches the thread. If your thread is locked in such a manner, do not worry; the mod will start a new thread with an appropriate title and provide a link. Or, if you a new thread hasn't been started, please feel free to start one yourself.
Do note that some OOC threads may not be locked once they've reached the 200+ post count. This is completely up to the discretion of the Moderators.
Last edited by Jagtai on Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:14 am, edited 2 times in total.