Rules ( Updated August 7th, 2021 )

Here is where we will not only keep the rules, but any announcement applicable to site changes, staff changes, etc. It is the responsibility of the individual user to keep up with these rules and changes.
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Rules ( Updated August 7th, 2021 )

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INTRODUCTION


xxxxGreetings!

We would love to invite all of you into Stained Quills, a mature website for literate writers of all kinds and genres! To ease you into our lovely community, we would like to introduce everyone to a couple of simple, yet necessary rules, which everyone is expected to follow while being a part of the website. You can find the table of contents with all of the rules a bit below in this post.

Stained Quills was first an idea formed by teddy and Kami in October of 2020, later founded in February of 2021; they hoped to create a feeling of community and solidarity among fellow writers from many different nooks and crannies from all over the world. We want to give a safe place where everyone can write to their heart’s content and not feel shunned or judged for the content they produce. We thank you for giving Stained Quills a chance and we hope that you will stay for a while to mingle with your fellow writers.
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Table of Contents

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS
    xxxxIntroduction Post
    Here, you will find a simple greeting and an explanation of how Stained Quills and their founders came to be.
    xxxxTable of Contents
    You are here. This is a simple list of everything you will find in this thread, with explanations when necessary.
    xxxxGeneral Rules
    An explanation of our general rules regarding matters such as harassment, bullying, and plagiarism and what is expected of the userbase.
    xxxxLegal Matters
    Here is an explanation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and how Stained Quills stores and collects your data, as well as how we protect it and keep it safe. Also, this post discusses our sitewide pornography ban and the difference between pornogrophy and artistic nudity in paintings, etc.
    xxxxSymbols & The Tagging System
    This post discusses the importance of our sitewide tagging system, as well as giving a few examples of how to tag things properly. An explanation of the symbols used on our site and how to use them properly, too, is also featured here.
    xxxxBanned Content
    Here, all of the content and topics that are forbid from appearing on Stained Quills, and our no tolerance policy for such, are explained in depth.
    xxxxLiteracy Requirements for Roleplays
    The site's literacy policy as well as the word count requirement per character and post are written and explained here, as well as the consequences for not following this requirement.
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General Rules

  • GENERAL RULES
    Stained Quills is a mature website, intended for people at least eighteen years of age. Given how few restrictions are put on content allowed on the forum, anyone found violating this rule will be removed immediately from this website and have their IP and email address banned in order to protect both the staff of the forum, as well as the user base from any misunderstandings with the law.

    Together with the rule mentioned above, there are other guidelines we expect everyone to follow:

    xxxx• Remain respectful and civil towards everyone on Stained Quills.
    This extends to both your fellow users and members of the staff. This includes, but isn’t limited to not attacking other users over differentiating opinions; not verbally attacking users over PMs (either all by yourself or with a group of friends); reporting posts/users who are found breaking this rule instead of trying to deal with the situation yourself; not participating in mini-modding, etc. Even if a situation is not covered in this list, if the staff deems it as a violation to the general expectations of respect, users participating in such behaviour are still viable for punishment/sanctions.
    xxxx• Spamming, harassment, and bullying is not allowed.
    This extends to both the forum and private messages. No one is allowed to spam other users (e.g. send a large number of private messages without there being a need to; continuously ask for roleplays after the other user has declined your request, etc.), it is not allowed to harass others (e.g. pressure them to roleplay with you; make them uncomfortable and send unpleasant things to them) or bully them. This also extends to indirectly talking badly about/shading other users of the forum in your post, even if the issues are not known publicly. Do not bring out private issues to drag/belittle other people.
    xxxx• You are responsible for sharing your private information.
    Staff cannot police what is shared on the forum/Discord in regards to private information. If you wish to share photographs, your contact information, etc., you are free to do so. However, given that this is an online forum, we are not responsible for any information leaks if those are to happen. Be cautious about what you share with others as nothing is ever confidential online.
    xxxx• Plagiarism is not tolerated anywhere on the forum.
    We do not ask you to put detailed credit for the images/GIFs/etc. you find online, but it is regarded to be common courtesy to not claim ownership over something which is not yours. Inspiration is always a welcome thing and it is bound to happen, but if a report is filled out in regards to someone stealing a character/code/etc. from another user, the staff will step in and take action.
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Legal Matters

  • LEGAL MATTERS
    AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR JOINING (18+)
    Stained Quills is intended for all users who are at least eighteen years of age. If there is an objective enough reason to suspect someone is breaking this rule, they will be immediately removed from the forum with their IP and email address banned.

    The possibility of keeping personal information secure is limited, therefore, the Admins have come to a decision that we will never ask for a user to verify their age. Each instance will be judged separately and if there is an objective enough reason found to believe the user is below the required age, they will be informed of the decision to remove from the website and fully delete their profile. Due to this reason, the date of birth you enter once registering to Stained Quills is considered legitimate. Only the staff team has access to this information (unless you choose to display your age publicly) as we need to keep both the staff and the users equally safe. This rule cannot and will not be disputed and is to be strictly followed.

    GDPR (GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION)
    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been implemented into force as of May 25, 2018, and asks organizations to safeguard personal data and uphold the privacy rights of those in the EU territory. The Regulation applies to the processing of personal data of data subjects who are in the Union by a controller or processor not established in the Union. Therefore, even though Stained Quill's server is not located in the Union, we must adhere to the rules which GDPR enforces.

    The regulation applies to personal information which the GDPR understands as any information which relates to a person, such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, mental, genetic, physiological, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person. Whereas this information can be shared with others freely, we would like to remind that only the staff has absolute access to a user's email and IP addresses, plus their date of birth (which is required in order to register). In addition to this, we are informing you this information is saved on our server on a mini-profile, only accessible by the staff. No one else can access this information unless it is given to them.

    In order to keep people from walking around issued temporary/permanent bans, the staff also has access to location data, which we can lift from a user’s IP address. Of course, given the wide usage of VPNs, this information may not always be genuine but we are legally required to mention that we can get this information if there is a must. However, other personal data (e.g. social media accounts, accounts on other websites, etc.), if it is not directly linked anywhere on your profile or on your posts, the staff has no access to it and it is held as beyond our jurisdiction and we cannot ask for it. If you ever encounter anyone from the staff (or a pretender) asking for your personal information, report such incidents to one of the Admins immediately.

    In accordance with the GDPR, the userbase is also granted a set of rights that you are free to use at your own discretion.
    xxxx• Right of access by the data subject.
    This one is a bit too lengthy to incorporate into the post, but you can read the whole article here. The data subject has the right to obtain information about how personal data is stored, what kind of personal data is stored, raise complaints, etc.
    xxxx• Right to rectification.
    The data subject (=user) has the right to rectify any incorrect data concerning them (e.g. update an old email address).
    xxxx• Right to erasure ('right to be forgotten').
    The data subject has the right to ask for their personal data to be completely erased from the database. Keep in mind that it will result in what we call a "hard delete", meaning all of your posts/replies/drafts/etc., together with your profile, will be gone from the forum as soon as you send a separate agreement letter to one of the Admins (be it via SQ, Discord, email, etc.).
    xxxx• Right to restriction of processing.
    As the data subject, you have the right to restrict our access to your personal data if one of the four conditions are met.
    xxxx• Other rights established in Chapter 3 (Art. 12-23) of the GDPR.
    The mentioned rights are not the only ones the data subject possesses. For any further information, please go here.

    We would also like to remind you that the GDPR regulates how the staff processes and keeps your personal information safe. If you choose to provide any of the mentioned personal data to someone else of your own free will, this will not be held as going against the rules enforced by the GDPR; we ask everyone to stay careful when sharing sensitive information and use common sense when doing so. If you see someone asking for your personal information, report them to an Admin immediately.

    For anyone, who wants to learn more about the GDPR and what it entails, you may visit this website - it has the key features of the regulation, as well as a FAQ to better understand the GDPR and to keep all users aware of their rights and duties.

    VISUAL NUDITY & PORNOGRAPHY BAN
    While there are very few restrictions placed on the content accepted on Stained Quills, we would like to remind everyone that we are not a forum where blatant nudity/pornography is tolerated or accepted. Those found uploading pictures or sharing links to websites with such content will have their posts removed and receive a verbal warning with a temporary and a permanent ban following if they are to break this rule continuously. We are not a pornography website, nor marketed as such.

    In accordance with this, we want to mention, that artistic portrayal of nudity (e.g. paintings) is not considered pornography in this sense. You are welcome to use such images in your coding or your roleplay threads. We would also like to reiterate that written nudity/sexual content is allowed on the forum as long as it is appropriately tagged and marked with the correct symbols.
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Symbols & The Tagging System

  • SYMBOLS & THE TAGGING SYSTEM
    THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SYSTEM
    In order to keep Stained Quills free of drama and ensure that users keep safe from seeing content they do not like or approve of, we have created a strict system of symbols and rules of tagging content that users create on the forum. Before delving further into this system, there is one important thing that we would like to mention in regards to what correctly using the symbols/tags means for you.

    If the content you are viewing is tagged/marked correctly (i.e. the correct symbol is used and there are labels correctly tagging the content) and you view this content, this is regarded as you giving consent to viewing such content. If a user, for whatever reason, grows upset with this content and reports it to the staff, who, after reviewing said content, deem it as correctly tagged/marked, the staff will not do anything to ‘punish’ the author/owner of that content. By reading the content after viewing the symbols/warnings, you have consented and shown that you are of age to view it and can emotionally handle it. The users of the forum are expected to take responsibility for themselves and, as long as the content is tagged or marked correctly, the user viewing the content bears full responsibility for its impact on them.

    If you are not prepared to see content, created and intended for a mature audience, you can click away from the post/thread/etc. at any given moment. But if you have chosen to go ahead and the work was tagged/marked correctly and in accordance with our rules, do not blame the author for it.

    SYMBOLS & THEIR MEANINGS
    As you might have seen already, there are many symbols available for you to mark all of your threads, no matter what they are used for (i.e. personal storage, prompts, role-playing, etc.). In this segment of our rules, we will be delving more into what these symbols are used for in the forum.

    ImagexxxxThe Pills ; This symbol is used to mark any threads that involve drug use (i.e. alcohol; tobacco; marijuana; pills/narcotics; amphetamines; steroids; etc.) and applies to both roleplay and general threads.
    ImagexxxxThe Flame ; This symbol is used to mark any threads that involve violence/gore (i.e. physical/mental/verbal abuse; blood; death; self-directed violence; instrumental violence; graphic depictions of injuries; etc.) and it applies to both roleplay and general threads.
    ImagexxxxThe Biohazard Symbol ; This symbol is used to mark any threads that involve multiple mature themes (i.e. romance and (or) gore/violence and (or) drug use) and one symbol is not enough to mark the thread correctly. This symbol applies to both roleplay and general threads and the user is expected to further clarify what is found within the thread, a.k.a. list the mature themes the thread consists of.
    ImagexxxxThe Hearts ; This symbol is used to mark any threads that involve romance (i.e. sexual content; depictions of nudity; discussion of kinks/fetishes; etc.) and it applies to both roleplay and general threads.
    ImagexxxxThe Star ; This symbol is used to mark any other important threads, made either by the staff (i.e. official event posts, official discussion threads; etc.) or by a user on the website (i.e. discussion threads for events; an unofficial coding guide; threads for giving/receiving advice; etc,) or threads the staff team wishes to feature. This icon is to be used by staff only.
    ImagexxxxThe '!' ; This symbol is used to mark any important announcements posted by the Admin/Staff accounts that require a user's attention. (i.e. Staff Openings, Staff Changes, Site Changes, etc.) This icon is to be used by staff only.
    ImagexxxxThe 'i' ; This symbol is used to mark informative threads posted by the Admin/Staff accounts. (i.e. The Rules, The SQ Welcome Guide, etc.) This icon is to be used by staff only.

    Please note that the staff have the rights to expend/shorten this list of symbols and the users of Stained Quills are expected to check the system whenever such a change is made at any point in time.

    TAGGING SYSTEM
    Apart from the symbols mentioned above, there is also a tagging system every single user is expected to understand and follow. Failure to adhere to these rules may result in the thread being locked/moved to an invisible forum; the user receiving a verbal warning or a temporary/permanent ban.

    There are three main categories of mature content, that all themes/topics/etc. fall into: romance; gore and (or) violence; drug use. If your thread deals with only one of these categories, then you must put the required symbol on your thread and specify what particular topics can be found in the thread. If a thread has multiple of these categories, you must put the symbol for “multiple mature themes” and further elaborate what particular categories/themes may be found in the thread.

    We will provide a few examples of what is considered to be correct tagging down below.

    xxxxONE (1) mature theme:
    Be aware of intense romance (i.e. vaginal/anal/oral penetration; kinks (e.g. inflation; Mpreg; bulging; ageplay; oviposition); nudity) that you may find inside of this thread.
    Be aware of descriptive violence/gore (i.e. extended fight scenes, psychological or emotional torture; self-directed violence (e.g. self-harm); instrumental violence) that you may find inside this thread.
    Be aware of descriptive drug use (i.e. pills/narcotics (ecstasy; opioids; heroin); amphetamines (meth; crystal meth; crack); cocaine (coke, crack-cocaine)) that you may find inside this thread.


    xxxxMULTIPLE (2+) mature themes:
    Please be aware of multiple mature themes, such as extreme violence (i.e. extended fight scenes; gore; graphic depictions of death); explicit sexual content (oral/anal sex) that you may find in this thread.

    We would also like to reiterate that the tagging system for roleplay threads and non-roleplay related threads (e. g. character and/or writing storage) is a little different. When tagging a roleplay thread, it is enough to put an appropriate symbol and list the required tags in the first post; you are not required to mark/tag each individual post. In non-roleplay threads, however, we ask you to still appropriately mark/tag the first post with a list of possible mature themes present in a specific thread and later tag each individual post with a detailed list of mature themes found in that specific post. With individual posts, you may just list the appropriate specific mature themes (i. e. incest, descriptive cocaine use, self-harm, etc.).

    If you feel unsure whether a specific topic requires tagging (e.g. explicit cursing and swearing), go for it! It is much better to have a longer, detailed list of tags and keep yourself and others safe. And if you have any further questions about tagging, never hesitate to contact a staff member about it!
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Banned Content

  • BANNED CONTENT
    RPG Rating
    Stained Quills is deemed a 3-3-3 RPG website, which means that: 1) swearing and mature language is permitted; 2) sexual content may be described in detail; 3) explicit violence is permitted.

    Despite the freedom granted to our users when it comes to making various kinds of content on Stained Quills, there are two topics which are banned from the forum: pedophilia and bestiality.

    If you wish to write about characters participating in anything sexual, both of them must be above 18 years of age. While the forum is based in the United States of America and the legal age of consent is 16 y.o. in quite a few states, we are following the regulation of international law. Age gaps between a couple engaging in sexual activity are alright as long as both characters are 18+ years of age.

    All content involving sexual acts between animals and human beings is banned. This extends to both a scene where the sexual act is happening in reality and instances, where it is happening in a dream or a vision/daydream. Bestiality is banned and may not appear anywhere on the forums.

    Because of this rule, all were-animals/shape-shifters are considered as animals (it does not matter if it retains its human sanity or not). This rule is to not be disputed with the staff and anyone, who is found breaking this rule, will be warned and may risk having their thread locked/removed completely.

    In order to make it easier to understand what is considered bestiality, we have this little diagram:
    xxxx• Animal (non-anthropomorphic) x Animal (non-anthropomorphic) = not bestiality;
    xxxx• Animal (anthropomorphic) x Animal (anthropomorphic) = not bestiality;
    xxxx• Animal (non-anthropomorphic) x Human = bestiality;
    xxxx• Animal (anthropomorphic) x Human = bestiality;
    xxxx• Animal (non-anthropomorphic) x Animal (anthropomorphic) = bestiality.*

    *After careful consideration, the staff have decided to ban sexual acts involving non-anthropomorphic and anthropomorphic animals. Whereas it is not outright bestiality and should not be considered as such, we deem it as too much of a grey area and, for the safety of both the staff team and the user base, have decided not to allow such content on Stained Quills.
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Literacy Requirements for Roleplays

  • LITERACY REQUIREMENTS FOR ROLEPLAYS
    Stained Quills is intended for mature, literate writers, which means that there are a few requirements our users are expected to follow if they wish to have their roleplaying threads checked as ‘literate’.

    The minimum amount of words you must be able to write per post is tied to the amount of characters you are writing for. This minimum decreases if you play multiple characters in the same roleplay post.

    If you are writing for one (1) character, the minimum amount of words you must write is 400 words per character; if you are writing for two (2) characters, the minimum amount of words you must write is 350 words per character, and if you are writing for three or more (3+) characters, the minimum amount of words you must be able to write is 300 word per character (this minimum remains regardless how many characters you are writing for, as long as it is three or more). We deem this to be a fair amount of words to expect.

    If you are found writing less than the minimum, you will be contacted by a staff member about it. At first, it will be just a reminder/notification to keep the requirements in mind, but if this is found to be done over and over, you may receive an official verbal warning and risk having your thread locked.
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