Elaphaea does not have many rules to follow, but they are extremely important to this community. We are founded upon these principals and expect all members in this community to uphold them.
It usually goes without saying, but the name of the game is to have fun! We have no activity requirements once your character is accepted (with the exception of RoE leadership positions), so the rate at which you play is completely up to you. The most important thing is to enjoy yourself, and if you’re not, don’t pressure yourself to try. If you want to put the game aside or leave it completely, nobody is going to begrudge you!
We pride ourselves on our supportive and happy community. Everyone is welcome here and deserves to feel comfortable and accepted. We know everyone has a bad day once in awhile but there is never an excuse to be snappy, aggressive, outright rude or a bully. Zero excuses. It doesn’t matter who started it, be the mature one and don’t react. Discuss any conflicts sensibly and with patience – the likelihood is there’s just been a misunderstanding and talking about it without reacting hastily is going to solve the issue. Remember that you are communicating by text and it is easy to misinterpret tone, so be mindful of what you say and how you say it.
Please also avoid harassing or spamming another player, even if you’re just excited! It can be overwhelming to be messaged repeatedly about something before you’ve had a chance to reply. This also includes blanket-messaging, eg, posting on multiple profiles asking about a breeding. Instead, post a journal and wait for interested parties to come to you; there’s no rush and you’re more likely to get a response from someone who is actually interested!
We all know how exciting a new character, design or plot can be, but please be patient! The group is large and all the mods are volunteers. We all dedicate as much time as we’re able, but sometimes there will be a wait. Similarly we are also human, and we do make the odd mistake. Refer to Rule #2, Be Nice. Even if you’re frustrated, lashing out won’t improve any situation! If you think there’s been a mistake, please send a polite note and we’ll look into it <3
We should always show respect to each member in the community. This goes for chat interactions, character interactions and speaking to or about other players. It is never nice to find out if something was said behind your back. We believe that everyone deserves basic human respect and fair treatment, no matter their background, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
As pertaining to characters, using another person’s character without permission is forbidden. You cannot dictate their actions, or include them in stories even as a bit-part without first obtaining permission from the owner. Always ask before starting the piece, not afterward! If you have permission, make sure you make a note in the artist comments.
It’s good practice to consult your character’s close relatives’/friends’ players before embarking on a plot that could potentially affect the other characters’ lives! It’s always your choice what to do with your character, but be mindful of including others in your plans if it might affect them!
This should go without saying, but in any online forum it is important to be responsible with your personal information. Don’t share private information and be sure to safeguard yourself against those who might mean harm.
One account only!
You may only use one account to play in RoE, as we track everything by dA name.
Please let us know if:
- you update your dA name;
- you are using multiple accounts for the separation of RP/HARPG/OC characters and which of these is your ‘Main’ account (where all references will need to be uploaded);
- you share an account with a friend/family member;
- you share a computer with a friend/family member on a regular basis.
Using multiple accounts to gain more tokens or gift yourself bacon or benefit yourself in any other nefarious way is utterly forbidden. An instant 5 strikes will be given to anyone found to be purposefully deceiving the group in this way.
If your deviation includes any adult content (anything that you would never find in a PG-13 film) it needs a mature filter. Our policy is to err on the side of caution. If there’s blood, violence, swearing, abuse or general nastiness, put a filter on it! Our gallery mods won’t accept anything with a mature theme into the gallery without one! For more information, check out dA’s “What is mature content” article. When posting on Discord, be sure to attach a warning in text and also hide the content behind the spoiler function (place || on either side of your message) or flag an image with a spoiler. Again, err on the side of caution with posting such content.
Phae content (designs/tokens/prizes) cannot be sold for profit:
Phae were created to be a more about characters rather than just designs and items to make a profit. You cannot sell a design for any form of currency unless it is an existing character with current art drawn of it besides its reference (this means a reference plus at least one other piece of artwork or literature). Designs without an assigned character may be traded for art or gifted for free. Tokens can only be traded for other phae tokens or art, not points or non-phae items.
The only time Phae-related content will be sold is for the benefit of the group to maintain its costs. Outside of this, Phae should not be sold unless they meet the above criteria.
Art theft policy
Realm of Elaphaea does have a policy when it comes to art theft. Art theft is defined by the group as the copying/ tracing/ plagiarizing/ duplicating and redistribution of the original content without permission and claimed as someone else’s work (I.E. Person A. took Person B’s work and said it was theirs, not Person B’s). This is stealing.
While different artists have different views on what counts as theft, because we are a group founded on our member’s desires to share their original content, we do not tolerate art theft.
Experimenting with one’s artistic and/or writing style is something we encourage, but not to the detriment of other people’s hard work.
Art theft is a serious thing because it does not respect someone’s intellectual property and harms independent creators. Being respectful of another person’s work means that you do not use, take, or otherwise interact with it without consent in a way that does not credit them. The takeaway here is that not gaining permission and not giving credit to someone whose work you have referenced is a serious offense.
Below, we will outline what the group considers acceptable means of referencing and what the group considers theft. We ask that you read these carefully and ask questions if you have them. We may add on to these later to clarify or add new information over time. There will be corresponding consequences to breaking these rules, and they will go into effect immediately.
Referencing versus tracing:
Referencing refers to the use of external sources like pictures, sculptures, and/or specific colors or styles in order to make a visual art piece or a writing piece.
Tracing refers to the direct line-to-line copying of a base to create a visual image that is similar enough to the original that few differences separate them.
References, styles and plagiarism in literature:
Likewise, the use of certain styles in writing may also be used to create literature pieces. Someone may write something in a style evocative of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickenson, etc. This is acceptable by group standards, as writing styles are diverse and provide a good base for which to develop writing skills. However, this should not be confused with, or linked to plagiarism.
Plagiarism refers to the direct word-for-word copying of a piece to create a literature piece- or the copying of an idea- that is similar enough to the original that few differences separate them in content and/or concept. This, like tracing or referencing without permission, is harmful to artists because it takes the idea of others and redistributes them.
Tracing/Referencing are fine as long as permission is obtained from the artist and credit is given to them for use of their ideas as a basis. Acceptable things to reference include stock photos licensed under creative commons.
- If you ask someone to reference their work, and they say yes, you must link back to the original work and/or give credit to the artist (many artists have their own terms of service as to the use of their art, some require credit, a link back to them, both or neither. Always ask first, do not assume one is better than the other!).
- If you ask and the artist says no or otherwise denies permission (not replying counts as denying permission), move on. There are plenty of other places from which to get references.
In the same vein as discouraging outright art theft like tracing and copying another’s work without permission, we are also seeking to discourage people from outright copying another’s character and/or phae design. Colorpicking and Inspiration from markings are fine, but directly copying another person’s markings (stripes, spots, countershading etc.) or completely copying a design without permission is not acceptable, and considered against the rules and spirit of the group.
We are still encouraging people who want commissioned art of their characters to be used as references/ trackers/ idea holders etc. to do so! Using commissioned art, premade lines, and other such resources are perfectly acceptable by group standards. We are fortunate to have so many phae-inspired commissions, linearts, backgrounds, and stock references made available by the wonderful community here. All we’re asking is that credit is given where it’s due and players are conscious of creator and group rules when enjoying these things.
Moving forward: how-to and consequences
From this point on, if any kind of reference is directly used, we will require a link to the artist and a link back to the work or works referenced from. If you haven’t, then there is no need to add these fields.
Most artists have a Terms of Service (T.O.S.) that they ask people to consult and abide by when using their work. This usually includes how they want to be credited when their work is used with permission. While you should always follow their rules first and foremost, the group requires you include who the artist is, and a link back to the original work if a reference/premade image was used.
Consequences for breaking these new guidelines will follow our strike system as outlined in the official rules. The Mod team is determined to be as helpful with reminders as we can to help anyone who feels they may be forgetting things, and members won’t be punished for little things like reminders or pokes.
Obviously, mistakes happen. We realize that people can be forgetful or not be at the top of their game, and hope to encourage linking and crediting as a habit. If you accidentally submitted something without proper credit, please add it ASAP. Our fabulous gallery mods will be happy to help with reminders, and no one should sweat honest mistakes.
If any issues arise, please contact the group via notes, or DM one of the active mods in rotation on discord. Clearly and calmly state what problems you are having and provide as much necessary information as you are able to. This does not mean publicly accusing the person of theft or attacking them. Genuine mistakes do occur, and people should not be subjected to cruelty for slipping up. This should be taken as an opportunity for learning.
Moreover, this is not a means to punish people or make more work for people. Coloring premade lines can be fun and soothing, tracing artwork with permission is a great way to train your muscles to recognize the shapes of what you’re drawing, and using commissioned art of your characters is great for things like references and trackers so you can keep things organized. We recognize this wholeheartedly! These rules are to protect and support the vibrant and wonderful artists who make this group, and other groups, possible. We love our community, and as such, we want to protect it to the best of our abilities. So credit, credit, credit!
Strikes are warnings given to rule-breakers. Note: it’s very difficult to get strikes! We very rarely ever need to use this system but for formality’s sake, this is what happens if you break a rule:
- Being reported by a member* for breaking any of the above rules will earn you one strike (with the exception of breaking rule #1, because you’ve punished yourself already).
- If you earn one strike you will be given a written warning
- If you earn two strikes you will be given a temporary cooldown (one month); during this time you will not be able to participate in any part of the group (submissions, breedings, bacon/token purchases, participate in events, etc).
- If you earn three strikes in total you will be given an additional temporary cooldown (two months); during this time you will not be able to participate in any part of the group (submissions, breedings, bacon/token purchases, participate in events, etc).
- If you earn five strikes in total you will be given an additional temporary cooldown (three month); during this time you will not be able to participate in any part of the group (submissions, breedings, bacon/token purchases, participate in events, etc).
- If you earn more than five strikes within a year’s time you will be permanently banned from the group.
- Strikes expire after a year of gaining them (with the exception of a permanent ban; those do not expire).
If circumstances warrant, a more severe cooldown may be given or multiple strikes will be given at once.
*Moderators review these strikes, and only apply them if they’re appropriate, and only once per infraction.