Some site rules & user guidelines for reference. This list has grown organically over more than 20 years.
Yog-Sothoth (YSDC) is a privately run hobby web site, produced by fans of Lovecraftian games and the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The tyrannical site administrator is PoC. All posts, comments and other materials are made under aegis of the site moderators.
Issues with forum moderation should be taken up privately with the relevant moderator. Forum moderation is not considered a topic for public discussion. Posts edited by Moderators should not be further edited.
YSDC is independent.
The site is intended to be enjoyed by individuals aged 16 and over, and may contain content of a mature nature. Please bear this in mind when using the site. The same rules and codes of conduct apply whether you are 16, 60 or 600. By becoming a member of this site, you are agreeing to abide by the contents of this document. Thank you.
Validation: Admin validation may take a little time as each registration is reviewed individually. Sorry for the hurdle, but at least you only need to register once.
Usernames: Please don't choose potentially offensive or juvenile usernames. Thank you.
Forums & Blogs
Posts & blog entries deemed inappropriate (e.g. of an irrelevant sexual or violent nature, likely to offend, libel, threats, character assassination, prostelytizing, harassment or gross promotionalism) will be removed, likely without warning. This also extends to usernames /profile information. Reasons for such actions are given at staff discretion.
No Trolling- posts deliberately designed to antagonise fellow forum members are not permitted. Repeated antagonistic attitudes, ranting and uncivil behaviour also fall under this category.
No Edition Wars - Favourite game systems or style of play are a very personal choice. If you have a favourite it works best on forums to couch that in the explicit form of an opinion. People are likely to listen to you more favourably by using considered and well thought out points rather than simply "version [x] is best".
It's the case that sarcasm doesn't work on internet forums (as it requires vocal tone).
Posts should be made in good English. If text in other languages is required, please also post a concurrent English translation. Please use proper capitalisation, punctuation, spelling and grammar - it makes posts easier to comprehend and gives your post more weight.
Please try to keep your language civil, with respect for your fellow members.
Please do not try to artificially raise your post count with myriad "me too" style posts, or by submitting rapid streams of small posts where a larger single post would suffice. This also stretches to 'post flooding' - quantities of posts in short order that dominate the flow of the forums.
If picking the brains of fellow site members, acknowledgement of their assistance is always appreciated.
If your topic deals with themes that could be considered not safe for viewing in a public or working environment, please append NSFW to the title and include the term Not Safe For Work in your post.
'Positive' topics are the most welcome. A topic where the specific object is to denigrate can lead to problems. Often initial constructive criticism begins pleasantly, but all too often deteriorates into a repository of angry opinions. In other words, topics such as What is your favourite scenario? is a more pleasant (and often more effective) discussion than What is the worst scenario of all time?
Criticism in general terms means democratic judgement over the suitability of a subject for the intended purposes, as opposed to the authoritarian command, which is meant as an absolute realization of the authority's will, thus not open for debate.
Constructive criticism is a form of communication in which a person tries to correct the behaviour of another in a non-authoritarian way, and is generally, a diplomatic approach about what another person is doing socially incorrect. It is 'constructive' as opposed to a command or an insult and is meant as a peaceful and benevolent approach. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism
It is often said that (real world) "politics & religion should not be discussed in polite company" - usually for good reason. If you find it absolutely necessary to discuss these topics, please keep it game related and endeavour to do so in a mature and sensitive manner. Experience has taught us not to be too surprised if thread locks, deletions & bans occur as a result of these particular subjects. This is generally a sorrowful occasion.
The spark that often ignites a 'flame war' is one where opinion is stated as absolute fact. Try to avoid falling into this trap.
If you have a dispute with a particular company, please endeavour to resolve that issue with the company directly (by whatever means they provide). YSDC has no powers over other bodies.
Posts associated with a username are assumed to be from the individual who registered the account. The use of single account by a group is not allowed. On an associated point, do not use multiple accounts to generate traffic/discussion. Any user found to be using a secondary account/alias/sock puppet will have all their accounts terminated without notice.
Just posting links to other sites to "go and read my stuff there" is generally unuseful. We offer a set of forums rather than a links directory. If it fits here, please post supporting content for your links here too. Alternatively, the best way to get people to visit your links is by making excellent posts that inspire people to follow such links in your signature. Also, as a courtesy to others please don't simply post article links without providing any further/supporting contribution on the forums. Providing supporting information helps people decide if they wish to follow your link. In summary: no isolated drop linking or carpet bagging. Thank you.
Please do not use crass or potentially offensive usernames. Accounts that link illegal or spurious sites will have their accounts terminated without notice.
All bans on the site are permanent. People found to be acting as mouthpieces for banned members may also have their accounts terminated (since this defeats the purpose of the original ban). Please consider carefully topics that discuss banned users as they are unable to respond.
Please endeavour to use the default forum font/typeface when posting as it helps keep things uniform and easier for everyone to read. Unfortunately we cannot turn off the typeface selector at this time but your understanding is appreciated. Thank you. It is also wise not to post USING ALL CAPS or all bold as this is considered the equivalent of shouting in the forums.
Please keep active link length to the shortest reasonable. Linking entire sentences where short phrases would do are not encouraged as they decrease legibility and meaning. Use of URL compressors and their like are against forum policy as they hide the true destination of the link and can be less reliable than using the proper URL. One exception is noted, that being YSDC's Twitter box where they are a unfortunately automatic.
YSDC is unable to hosts Play-by-Post games. This is due to the dilution of discussion topics in the forum search engine. Other boards specifically for this purpose are available on the net.
Game/Session write-ups (especially on-going ones) are suited to the Blogs section of the site. This keeps the blogs section active, reduces large flurries of posts in the forums and also benefits the member by keeping their entries in a cohesive whole under their own easily referable blog section (to which people can also subscribe). This also reduces the chances of entries becoming lost in a mass of forum threads as time goes by.
When posting inline images for display, please ensure they are static. Animated images soon become an annoyance.
Please keep signature files as text-only.
With regard to emoticons ('Smileys') please use the set provided on the site.
Please ensure that your topics have descriptive titles that will mean something when searching the forums. Also that your post is made in the most suitable forum area. While it is tempting to post your topic in one of the higher traffic forums regardless (to get it "seen more"), please refrain from this as it negates the purpose of subject-specific forums and dilutes the ability to find related material more easily.
In a similar manner, please do not cross-post across forum areas. While it is understandable that you wish to gain maximum exposure for your topic, cross-posting leads to (obvious) duplication and ends up splitting information and conversation across mutliple threads, making others work harder to find all the relevant material. A clear, descriptive thread title posted in the relevant forum is one of the best ways of getting your topic noticed by interested people.
If you're planning on starting a new topic, it's always worth conducting a search to see if a similar discussion has been raised before.
Please do not hijack YSDC traffic to promote your own pages on social media sites.
Moderators have the right to close or delete topics and posts at their discretion. They need not justify their actions.
Red is the colour of moderation, please don't use this colour unless you are a Moderator.
If a forum Moderator contacts you with regard to your usage of the site, please don't ignore the communication. It is sent to help both parties in the effective running of the site. Ignoring such communications will not help resolve issues and can sometimes exacerbate them, the result of which could lead to the closure of your account.
Further disputes should be taken up with the site owner.
If you believe your words could be misunderstood, endeavour to clarify, emoticons can sometimes help. Again, experience has shown sarcasm fails miserably on internet forums.
In essence, please be civil and respectful of other site members; admirable traits and often the best way to make your own points understood and respected. Indeed being overly polite is often the price of maintaining a civil tone when communication is relatively impersonal. Following these guidelines will help maintain and grow Yog-Sothoth as a resource for fans of Lovecraftian games and media, which is something I hope we would all want.
Ultimately, you are responsible for what you post on YSDC, as you would be with any other form of communication, anywhere else.
The best way to report spam is to use the "Report Post" button at the bottom of the offending post. That will cause the moderators to be notified and the spam to be dealt with as quickly as possible. Following up with a "Reported" post after the spam post will also let other users know it's already been reported.
Crowd Funders & Promotions
Posts announcing crowd funders, Kickstarters and promotions etc., are welcome in the Arkham Market Square forum, as are updates on progress, however due to... over-zealous... use of this facility by some fundraisers creators and promoters are now asked to keep to a limit of five posts regarding their promotions - this is to make it not feel like spam, so do make those five posts count, i.e. please post only when there is something significant to report. Exemptions to this general rule are available for members holding site supporter accounts. Either way please be considerate of your fellow site members when promoting your crowd funding or commercial project. No spamming, carpet bagging or shilling please. Thank you.
If you would like more extensive and direct promotion on YSDC then please get in touch with PoC via Private Message to discuss details.
Downloads and Other Content
There is no automatic right of publication. This remains at the discretion of the site administrators. It would be unwise to enter into a contract with another party based on the assumption of publication on YSDC.
Files offered up for hosting on YSDC are accepted on the terms that an indefinite and irrevocable license is granted for the web site to host said files.
By posting on Yog-Sothoth you grant a non-exclusive license to publish your words in electronic or other forms (for instance archiving). Please assume that anything you post may remain on the internet and be readable in perpetuo. User accounts also remain archived. If you are uncomfortable with this, please do not join.
This primarily refers to PDFs (but can cover anything else, such as illegal torrents). While it is acknowledged that unauthorised copies of games, books and films exist and may crop up as the subject of conversation, YSDC does not endorse their trade and distribution in any manner. Topics soliciting or promoting illegal materials will be dealt with as necessary.
Items for Sale
We have a dedicated forum for sale items and people are welcome to post about items there, whether informing about items sold by others, personal sales or fundraisers. The Arkham market Square forum is not designed for commercial stores to advertise general wares. Retailers are requested to contact us directly about advertising.
Security & Privacy
We take your privacy seriously. We don't give out or sell your email address or private details. Like virtually all other sites on the internet we do however make use of browser "cookie" files in order for YSDC to work effectively. To have your site login cookie erased when signing out, simply don't tick the "Remember Me" check box when logging in.
If you're uncomfortable with using browser cookies then you can adjust your browser settings to handle cookies as you wish.
Due to the nature of the internet, potential abuse of site facilities and for storage and archive purposes, the admins have the ability to examine and record the contents of the site databases at all levels. Please do not post anything that administrators could potentially see, that you would feel uncomfortable with.
The personally identifiable data held about you includes IP address (temporary, cleared after 30 days), username and email address (whether that is a real email address or not). Shop purchases may use your address for postal delivery. However online sales are restricted to a private opt-in group only (YSDC Patrons). Staff have access to this data in light of the above (i.e. for administrative tasks only).
Closed accounts are either deleted or anonymised.
We do not use Google Ads, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel or Google/Facebook login sharing or its ilk.
We value the privacy of our community, as such we ask that users do not use tracking links in their posts. Simple affiliate links are fine.
Thanks you for your understanding and co-operation. It helps YSDC run more effectively for everyone.