Guidebook

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By joining and participating in the Kinship community, including its Discord server, you are agreeing to follow the rules outlined below. The support team reserves the right to amend expectations as needed to maintain a constructive environment; as such, rules may be subject to change at anytime, with or without prior notice. The below rules were established when the site reopened, future revisions will be marked with a star (★).

★ Privacy & Invitations

This section was added January 23, 2024.

  • Kinship is currently semi-private, so players will need to register for an account and join our Discord in order to gain full access to site materials and features.
  • Players are welcome to invite trusted friends and family who are interested in collaborative storytelling; we don't currently incentivize invitations, but may in future.
    • You do not need an invitation in order to join.
  • We prioritize the safety and privacy of our players, and reserve the right to adjust our privacy settings as necessary to ensure our players' comfort.
    • Sharing site materials such as character details, posts/plots, or player notices externally without permission from the player(s) involved and/or our support team is prohibited; if in doubt, please just ask!

★ Mature Content

This section was updated February 19, 2024.

  • All players must be 18 or older to join as content unsuitable for people under 18 may be present on our site.
    • You will be asked to confirm you are over 18 when joining the site. Falsifying information will result in the permanent deletion of your account.
  • Mature content may include, but is not limited to, swearing, references around substance abuse and addiction, explicit sex scenes, and detailed depictions of violence.
    • Some adult content is still prohibited -- images considered "not safe for work" (NSFW) are not permitted on our boards.
  • Posts with mature themes or potentially triggering content must be marked accordingly.
    • Enter [M] for mature and [TW] for trigger warning in the tags section of your post & include a brief OOC note at the top of your post summarizing the relevant themes.
    • If in doubt, it is better to tag your post than not to help ensure a safe and comfortable environment for all.
  • Please remember that communication, consent, and respect are the pillars of maintaining a positive and inclusive roleplaying experience for everyone.
    • To ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone, we urge all players to engage in respectful dialogue about their boundaries and preferences before incorporating mature content into roleplaying interactions. No player should ever feel pressured or obligated to engage in content that makes them uncomfortable.

In Character vs. Out of Character

  • In Character is totally separate from Out of Character!
    • A character's beliefs, thoughts, or actions do not automatically mirror those of the person playing them. While incorporating personal attributes or experiences into characters can be enjoyable and even therapeutic, it's important to remember that characters are not direct reflections of you or any of the players on the site -- any conflicts or interactions that occur In Character should remain separate from Out of Character communication.
  • Using knowledge gained Out of Character while writing In Character is called "metagaming" and it is typically not permitted.
    • For example, if you see two players discussing a character being attacked, you should not then have your character "miraculously" become aware of the plan and rush to warn said target unless that is part of the plot you agreed on with the other players. If in doubt, it is always best to ask the players involved before using OOC knowledge In Character.

★ Activity Requirements

This section was updated February 19, 2024.

  • Players who register an account but have not yet joined a character will have the "Newbie" position. 
    • Newbies have a slightly more restricted view; they will be unable to access the Members Database and Play boards specifically, but will still have access to all other site components including our Marketplace, Support board, etc. 
    • They will have one week to join a character after registering; extensions can be granted if there are extenuating circumstances, just be sure to communicate with the support team!
      • Newbies will automatically be granted full access to the site once their first character is joined.
      • If no contact is made and a character is not joined, their account will be deleted.
  • New players have one month after joining their first character to create their first post; like the above, we're happy to grant extensions if needed as long as there is communication.  If you're having trouble getting started, or work better with a post to reply to initially, use your private support channel on Discord to let us know so we can help!
    • If no contact is made and a character is not posted, the player's account will be moved to "Inactive" status and their view will be restricted.
  • After the initial joining period, players are not expected to meet any post quotas or word counts.
    • We understand that life comes first -- this community should be a joy, never a job! Check in when you can and write to your comfort level.
  • Your account may be moved to our "Inactive" category if we don't hear from you for a while; if no contact is made for an extended period of time, your account may be deleted.
    • To reactivate an account after deactivation/deletion, please contact Signe (@signecinders) on Discord. She may have the ability to access an archived backup to help restore information, however, we cannot guarantee this will be possible.
  • Please be aware that others, including the support team, may be dealing with real-life factors that may impact the speed and frequency of their responses. Your patience is always appreciated!
    • If you've run out of threads to reply to, consider creating an open/any post, playing a mini-game, updating your character profiles, or starting a personal character development thread!

Powerplaying

  • Powerplaying, which involves manipulating the thoughts or actions of another character without their consent, is generally discouraged on our site.
    • Such actions can impede the creative freedom and agency of fellow players, leading to unbalanced and uncomfortable roleplaying experiences; before impacting another character's actions or decisions, it is essential to seek permission from the player controlling that character.
  • Some abilities may have elements of powerplaying; these abilities should be used most freely against NPCs and other "uncontrolled" entities and more carefully against other player characters.
    • In general, players will be able to decide how/when/if their character is influenced by these abilities, however, we do recognize the importance of creating a realistic and immersive world where interactions feel authentic and encourage the use of abilities in ways that make sense for the characters and their circumstances.
  • High-level characters, such as leaders, deities, and those with certain extreme abilities, may provide perks and consequences for characters.
    • High-level characters may provide various perks for other characters, including granting titles, new abilities, special pets, and more. Players should gain prior approval from the support team before providing any perks; players will typically also be unable to provide perks to their own characters.
  • To maintain a balanced and enjoyable roleplaying experience for all, we encourage players to consider the impact of their character's actions on the broader narrative.
    • For instance, slapping a mayor could lead to legal consequences, while attempting harm against a deity might incur severe retaliation. Embracing the potential consequences of these interactions can enrich the storytelling and foster a vibrant and engaging environment.
  • Characters may have items or skills that allow for invulnerability, immortality, etc. but adding weaknesses or vulnerabilities is important for developing a realistic and exciting character.
    • Players should be aware that characters may be injured, become ill, die, or otherwise face challenges and hardships during many of our mini-games, events, and experiences. Please be careful to read over the game/event guidelines carefully so you can be sure you know what you're getting in to!
  • Reach out if you have questions or concerns about powerplaying.
    • If you have any questions or concerns about potential outcomes of an interaction we strongly recommend discussing them with your posting partner beforehand; you are also welcome to contact the support team privately to discuss an interaction if you are unable to reach an agreement with the other player or to check beforehand if something is allowed. Ultimately, our goal is to create a supportive and immersive world where players can explore their characters' journeys within a framework of respect, consent, and collaborative storytelling.

Support

  • Kinship is owned and maintained by Signe, with help from Aspelta.
    • Our team consists of dedicated volunteers who run this site in addition to managing their real-life commitments; we are only human, delays or errors may occur.
  • Please reach out to the Support team using your personal support channel if you have any questions, concerns, or feedback.
    • Feedback may also be periodically collected through the #polls channel on Discord or anonymous surveys.
    • While we take your concerns and feedback extremely seriously, certain factors may delay how quickly things can realistically be implemented or changed.
  • If something has upset you, please make sure that you are regulated and in a good place before contacting the team.
    • Please be aware that support team members experiencing dysregulation may also wait to reply until they are in the right place to communicate effectively; we will always acknowledge receipt of your message and, as much as is possible, provide you with a timeline for when we expect to be able to reply. Your patience and understanding are always sincerely appreciated!

★ Discord

This section was updated February 19, 2024.

  • Discord is a chat service you can use from your web browser, desktop, or phone.
    • Much of our communication will take place through our server or direct messages ("DMs"). You can learn more about the service at Discord.com.
  • Discord participation is now mandatory; this ensures we can communicate privately with you and also ensures you don't miss out on any special opportunities!
    • Our Discord will allow you to keep up-to-date on updates, changes, announcements, access resources, and more.
  • Details about each channel and their uses can be found in the channel description.
    • Please make sure to post in the appropriate channels; posts in incorrect channels may be moved or deleted by the support team to help prevent confusion.

Rewards

  • Players will be responsible for keeping track of most updates.
    • Players will usually need to use the claim form to track and claim freebies. The support team will notify you if they are/have updated your prize from their end.
  • Prize drops will typically need to be claimed within one month of the original drop date, unless otherwise noted.
  • We are always willing to listen to ideas and requests if you want something special for your character.
    • This includes pricing out special items, discussing special scenarios, and/or setting up special quests with custom prizes.
  • The support team may provide custom items during mini-games, gift drops, and special events.
    • Custom items and rewards are typically geared towards a player or character's preferences, goals, personality, or choices.
    • To ensure you receive the best fitting rewards, make sure to update your Wish Lists on character and player profiles.
    • If you are unhappy with custom items you've received, you can purchase items from the Marketplace to have them changed at any time.
  • The support team occasionally uses AI tools (such as Midjourney, DALL-E, Claude, and/or ChatGPT) for various tasks, for example, random number generating, NPC name generation, and creating item or pet images for our inventories/shops. Human input is always integral to our processes.

Next up...

You can check out the other Essential Guides using the links below!

When you've read everything over, you can get going by joining your character here.

Don't forget to join our Discord!