Joining this community is free! EN World is, in internet terms, a venerable community with a lot of history. As a member of EN World, you are a welcome guest.
These forums were created over twenty years ago, and at that time Eric Noah established three simple rules: keep it civil, keep it clean, and keep it on topic. I later added keep it inclusive. Those rules are essentially the same rules we use today in the course of our duties.
It is important to note that any set of rules cannot be comprehensive. In gaming parlance, please don't attempt to "rules lawyer" these rules, find loopholes, or otherwise exploit them: the rules below are intended to help you understand the tenor of our community, but they will be applied "as intended" (RAI, not RAW). If you need clarification, feel free to ask.
Let's look at each rule briefly:
Keep it civil: Don't engage in personal attacks, name-calling, or blanket generalizations in your discussions. Say how you feel or what you think, but be careful about ascribing motives to the actions of others or telling others how they "should" think. People seeking to engage and discuss will find themselves asking questions, seeking clarifications, and describing their own opinion. People seeking to "win an argument" sometimes end up taking cheap shots, calling people names, and generally trying to indimidate others. My advice: don't try to win. You've probably heard the adage that nobody ever wins an argument on the internet.
Keep it clean: Don't use obscenities or profanity, don't use clever tricks to run around the profanity filters, and don't link to sites with inappropriate content. The "acid test" we use is the "Grandmother Rule" -- if it would be inappropriate to say to or show to our grandmothers, don't do it. I want a typical 13 year old kid to be able to come here and participate if they want to without feeling uncomfortable (or for their parents to feel uncomfortable about them being here). This should be a minor-friendly place. Think about it this way: how do you act around strangers or work acquaintances? You watch your language and you're on your best behavior. That's the ideal we're shooting for here.
Keep it on topic: Ok, so it's not that we forbid off-topic conversation (heck, we encourage it!), but it is easier if you put your posts in the right location with the correct prefix. Keep in mind that this is a tabletop gaming site, with many sub-forums on lots of related topics and this helps people find stuff; off-topic posts go in the popular Geek Talk & Media Lounge forum. And in this category I should mention the "no religion, no politics" rule -- please refrain from discussion of a religious or political nature. This last may seem a rather draconic rule, but it has helped keep the peace around here for a long time. There are plenty of places on the internet where one could have those sorts of discussion.
Keep it inclusive: EN World is an inclusive community, and we encourage and welcome all people here. To that end, we strive to make it a welcoming place where nobody feels alienated because of who they are. You MAY NOT use the terms "agenda", "ideology", "politics", or "propaganda" in relation to the inclusion of people slightly different to you in gaming products or other media, use pejorative terms such as "social justice warrior" or "virtue signalling" to dismiss the opinions of those you disagree with, or post any message which is discriminatory towards those who differ to you in terms of skin colour, gender, gender identification, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, age, religion, or any other personal attribute. We do not subscribe to the argument that tolerance means that we need to tolerate intolerance or that inclusivity means that we need to include non-inclusiveness.
This site seeks to be inclusive, safe, and harrassment-free. Harassment of others, whether by public or private message, is not tolerated. Harrassment means messages which intimidate, threaten, insult, or excessively annoy another person or group, unwanted sexual remarks, comments related to skin colour, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, sexuality, disability, appearance, race, nationality, age, and religion, amongst other things, as well as comments which are intended to suppress the freedom of any person or group of people to be full and active members of our community and the gaming community as a whole, or to hide such characteristics. If you feel you are being harrassed, please contact a moderator.
It should be noted that being excluded due to harrassing behaviour is not considered harrassment.
Moderators & Reporting Posts
The moderators are here to ensure that this community remains a friendly, welcoming environment. While posting on the forums, please try to bear in mind that you are a guest in somebody else's private gathering, and endeavour to conduct yourself accordingly, both towards your hosts, and towards the other guests. The "social contract" is the same as if you were physically in somebody's house.
I'd also like to quickly address the issue of what to do if you feel uncomfortable because of another person on these boards. I'd hate to see someone leaving because they feel that the moderators don't care about their problem. It is important to realise that with millions of posts being made by over 200,000 members, we admins and mods don't know about everything that goes on. Lack of action does not mean we condone something: it often simply means that we haven't seen it. If you feel that there is a problem, please let a moderator know by reporting the post. However, please don't be offended if, in a given instance, the moderator doesn't agree with you. I can assure you that we do their best to be fair and frequently talk issues over. With that in mind, we do have a couple of rules when it comes to moderators, and we ask you to abide by them:
1) We appreciate that sometimes you will disagree with a moderator's decision, or feel that a request from a moderator is unfair or unjustified. With 200,000 members, we're not going to be able to keep everyone happy all of the time, so we settle for trying to keep most people happy most of the time. Whether or not you agree with a moderator's stance, we do expect you to abide by their decisions and requests.
2) If you really, really disagree with a moderator's position on a moderating issue, please don't argue about it on the boards. That means no calling out of moderators, and no challenging their decisions in the thread. If you honestly feel that you have been treated unfairly, please contact the moderator in question privately and discuss it with them. The end result may not be the one you were seeking, but we will do our our best to be fair. In the long run, please remember that this is just a tabletop gaming message board, and no moderator has the power to actually harm you - it's not worth getting angry about.
3) If you are contacting a moderator, under no circumstances send abusive, threatening, or insulting messages, tell us that we're "power crazy" or compare us to historical evil political ideologies. Trust me, that won't work the way you hope it will! This also includes doing so off-site - while we have no jurisdiction elsewhere, one does not invite the person screeching at you in the street into one's home.
Moderators also post normally in threads, and participate in the community. When a moderator is acting as a moderator, they will use "mod voice" - this is red text, like this so that you can clearly distinguish it.
One last thing: when you create a member account at EN World, you'll receive some email notifications from the site. You can turn all of these off. These include an email address confirmation email when you register, a welcome email, private message notifications, notifications of replies to subscribed threads, and other such things. In addition you'll get the next issue of the EN World Newsletter (which goes out irregularly) - if you don't wish to receive further issues, you can easily and quickly unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the newsletter email. Other notifications are controlled via your settings in your member account page.
Thanks for reading! If you have a question or comment about this post, please start a thread in the Meta forum.