- Do not abuse game related communication
- Don't work around in-game messaging rule: Full Press - Public Press - No Press (Gunboat)
- Don't talk about ongoing games on the forum
- Watch what you type: preserve anonymity
- Special Games communication exceptions
- Do not make Public Cheating Accusations
- Do not use the software as a diplomacy tactic
- The Pause - Unpause - Extend features are not diplomatic tools
- Do not access the account of another player. Account-sitting is forbidden, use game-sitting
- Do not spam the forum or private messaging system
- You must answer communication from site staff
- Follow common sense
- Mod policies
- Cancelling games
- Moderator Responsibilities and Appealing decisions
- Forum Moderation
- Special Rules Games / Tournaments
- Special Rules Games
- Contacting a mod/admin
- Why contact a mod/admin
- Where to send
- What to send
As a player on this site, you have the right to:
- Join or create games, and design variants within the parameters and rules specified here as well in the FAQ, the Features and the HOWTO’s.
- Expect objective treatment from the Mod/Admin team in the enforcement of the rules.
- Expect the benefit of the doubt (to a reasonable degree) in interactions with the Mod/Admin team.
- Request a review of Mod/Admin team actions (as these are always logged).
- Use common sense and respect other players.
- Help the mods & admins keep our server fun.
- Keep up to date with the rules, the FAQ, the Features and the HOWTO to make things easier for us and for everyone.
- Protect your account with a strong password and a secure account e-mail address.
- Keep your account up to date with a current email address
- Carefully review the settings of a game before you join to make sure you understand what the gameplay and length will be like.
- Report any error you find in maps (bugs, glitches, mislinked borders) as soon as possible directly to the ModForum to help us keep the games fun.
- Report any user you may know outside of the site directly to the ModForum to avoid being flagged as cheating.
- Report any cheating suspicions directly to the ModForum to help the Moderators keep the site fair and fun for everyone!
1. No Multi-Accounting
You may only have one account, second accounts are not allowed under any circumstances, and will be banned. This may also lead to your first account also being banned. If you forget your password, use the lost password finder here. If you are still unable to log in, contact the mods.
2. No Meta-gaming
Metagaming is when you make a decision in a game for reasons outside the game.
For example, you cannot make alliances because you are friends/relatives or in return for a favor in another game (cross-game alliances), because such an alliance would give an unfair advantage to those involved. Metagaming is unfair to all the other members involved with the games, so these offenses are taken very seriously.
- Using Public Site Information:
Metagaming is using information from outside of the game to impact in game decisions. There are limited exceptions to this prohibition if everyone in the game has the same access to the information. For example, looking at another player's game records in a public game is okay because everyone in the game has completely equal access to those records.
- Forbidden Metagaming:
Playing in a public (non-passworded) game with someone you know from outside of the site is not allowed because your relationship with that person gives you unequal access to information that can impact the game. This is unfair to the other players you and your friend(s) would be playing against.
An easy solution for groups of friends (or relatives, co-workers, schoolmates, etc.) who want to play together is to create and join a Private (passworded) game. Remember to report your out of site relationship to the mod team so you are not flagged for playing unfairly. The creator of the game can give the password to the members of the group to make sure no one else joins your game by mistake. This is very effective in preventing misunderstandings and metagaming accusations.
If your group of friends is not large enough to play a game together you are welcome to invite other members into your game by advertising the game on the forum. Just make sure to explain that some people in the game know each other outside the site in your advertisement.
- Forbidden In-Site Metagaming:
You may not attack or ally with someone because of a specific relationship with that person (example: you are friends or enemies on the forum or in general on the site). Bringing in-site friendships or animosities into a game is not fair to the other people in the game.
If you are worried about this type of metagaming it is recommended that you join anonymous games.
3. Do not abuse game related communication.
- Do not work around in-game messaging rules: Full Press - Public Press - No Press (Gunboat):
If you enter a game with limited press/messaging (such as global-only) then you can't use other methods such as the forum, email, or PM to bypass this.
If you are playing in a gunboat (no press/anon) game, do not post anything about your game in the forum and refrain from posting in any threads you feel might be referencing your game.
Bypassing limited press game rules by communicating with other players in any other way outside the game, such as talking on the Forums, via PM, via e-mail, via phone or in person, is against the rules and spirit of Online-Diplomacy because it gives an unfair advantage to those involved.
A game starts when its first phase has started (you get an automated message on your Homepage's Notes). Negotiations, even on global chat, cannot start until you get this message.
- Do not talk about ongoing games on the forum:
Talking about finished games on the forum to discuss strategies, tactics and skills or qualities of variants is allowed and encouraged.
Talking about an ongoing game - whether you're in it or not - is not allowed on the Forum as it could alter the game. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Posting anything in the forum about an ongoing gunboat (no press) game or a limited press game is not allowed. This includes offering advice to game participants or predicting the outcome of a game. All questions about a gunboat game must wait until the game is completed.
If you're having any issue with an ongoing game of yours, please report it in the ModForum.
Promoting just created (not yet started) games is allowed. There are dedicated threads (NON-Live Games or Live Games) to assist you with promoting your game, but make sure you are following Rule #3.
Searching for game-sitters is not an exception to the rule. Do not ever mention the games you are in on the Forum, just say you are searching for a game-sitter. You can discuss details with a volunteer later, via PM, if need be.
- Watch what you type: preserve anonymity:
Do not discuss anonymous games you are in or intend on joining. You are never allowed to reveal your identity, whether inside or outside the game. If you are questioned on your identity in an anonymous game please contact the moderator team by reporting on the ModForum.
Promoting just created Anonymous games or searching for a replacement for a CD is allowed if it is done anonymously in an appropriate thread in the Forum.
Anonymous posts on the Forums are allowed only to:
- advertise new games
- advertise that there are CD-Countries in your anon game someone could take over
- Special Games communication exceptions:
Special Games must be approved by the Mod/Admin Team. See below the Special Games section for details.
Provided the terms of the special game are clear to the all players involved before they join the mod team will allow whatever type of communication all players agree upon. Those terms must be written or linked into a Forum thread, so that anyone involved can check them anytime.
4. Do not make Public Cheating Accusations
The decision about whether a player has or has not cheated and the consequences to be given lie solely with the Mod/Admin Team. All accusations against other players must be made directly to the Mod/Admin Team, in private, reporting your concerns on the ModForum.
Any cheating accusation made anywhere else are considered "Public" and will be punished, regardless of the truth or falsehood of the accusation. A "accusation" is any statement (true or false) which claims, suggests, implies, or hints that another player is guilty of an action or activity not allowed by the site rules.
Any attempts to bend the definition of 'public cheating accusation' are expressly forbidden.
A public cheating accusation can be perceived as cheating if it gives the accuser an advantage in a game (such as convincing other players to attack the so-called cheater, or to vote for cancel if the accuser is doing poorly, etc...). In such a case the accuser is trying to gain an unfair advantage, so punishments are harsher than normal policy and can lead to a ban.
5. Do not use the software as a diplomacy tactic
Lying is fine in Diplomacy except when it gives mods/admins unnecessary work to do!
Falsely accusing someone of being a multi-accounter/meta-gaming to rally others against them in a game, or claiming that your orders didn't
come out the way you entered them to cover up your motives, means mods/admins spend time looking for cheaters/bugs which were made up.
Avoid making cheating accusations in game, via pm, or on the forum. Software bug claims must be genuine and should be reported as soon as possible to the ModForum.
If another player took advantage from a bug, please report it to us as soon as possible, and we will follow the policy found here.
6. The Pause - Unpause - Extend features are not diplomatic tools
Pause and Extend features are there to help players avoid missing their orders, but are not part of the game. As such pausing and unpausing should not be used for diplomatic gain. Examples of actions that break this rule are refusing to unpause unless other players will draw the game, or purposely not voting Extend to have that opponent miss the next turn.
If these features ares being abused the Mod/Admin Team may step in to sort it out and give penalties to players who are partaking in unfair/unsportsmanlike conduct.
The pause and extend buttons cannot be used as diplomatic tools and should not be used for anything other than indicating the need for a delay caused by something that is going to prevent you from logging into the site and issuing orders/conducting diplomacy in your games. If you need a pause in a press game, please announce it in the Global chat indicating the exact day you'll be back. Please try to plan ahead and avoid the need for pauses if possible.
Also, before asking for pause or extend, consider switching your country to another site member as explained in this HOWTO's section.
7. Do not access the account of another player. Account-sitting is forbidden, use game-sitting
You must register your account using an email address that you own. The owner of the email address used to register an account is the only person authorized to use the account. You are not allowed to give your account's password to anyone under any circumstance. Account-sitting (getting someone you trust to log on as you and issue orders when you are unable to) is expressly forbidden on this site. The exception is if the person you ask to sit your account is a non-member who will never be joining the site.
Remember that "Protect your account with a strong password and a secure account e-mail address." is your responsibility. You are not allowed to change your account's email address to one belonging to someone else.
If you are unable to take care of your games for a while, you are strongly encouraged to find one or more volunteer game-sitters. Then you can switch your game(s) to those game-sitters with the "CountrySwitch" feature on the "Settings" page. You may want to advertise for game-sitters on the Forum. Please use the designated thread and keep your request undetailed. Simply state you are looking for game-sitters. Avoid mentioning details about your ongoing games to avoid breaking rule #3. Find more information on Country Swapping here.
8. Do not spam the forum or private messaging system
You are welcome and indeed encouraged to join in with the community but be sensible. Do not start too many threads at once. Try to keep your replies relevant to the conversation and do not encourage discussions having nothing to do with the thread's topic.
Simply remember that you have the responsibility to be respectful to your fellow members so avoid trolling their conversations.
Before posting a question relating to the software please read the FAQ, the Features and the HOWTO. Being up to date with these pages is your responsibility.
The forum rules can be found in more detail below.
9. You must answer communication from site staff
You must answer any warnings or other messages sent to you by the moderators and must do your best to provide them any possible information related to what they're asking.
Refusing to reply, being evasive, or lying may result in your account being banned.
10. Follow common sense
The rules on this page and on the linked pages are ones which might not be obvious. Just because a specific rule isn't given here or in the linked pages doesn't mean moderators cannot stop people from ruining the server for others!
The moderator team will consider cancelling games when there are 2 or more cheaters in a game and/or they had a considerable impact on the game as a whole. We will encourage the remaining players to cancel on their own. If they do not, we will ask for an explanation. We will determine if the explanation is warranted and either leave it alone or force cancel with an explanation. If no players have been eliminated the remaining players may choose to draw the game before it is cancelled. The number of players caught cheating and banned before the Mod/Admin team decides to cancel a game may go up or down depending on the variant type, and how many members are involved in the game.
Games that have been paused for over 2 months without any activity will be cancelled.
In games paused for over 2 months with some activity we will post in global asking if there are objections to a cancellation.
The players should take care of handling delays to the game themselves as much as they can. If they have agreed to pause, then they should also have agreed when to unpause. If the unpause doesn't happen by said date, then they can report the issue to the ModForum and we will look into it. If you are unable to keep up with a game please consider using a game-sitter. We will not consider pause/extend requests if the requester hasn't already entered their Extend vote in their game(s).
Moderator Responsibilities and Appealing decisions
As users have their own set of responsibilities, so does the moderator staff.
As representatives of the vDiplomacy users, the moderators will be held accountable for disciplinary decisions.
While judgment regarding forum rule violations remains at the sole discretion of the moderator staff,
users will be provided with a clear warning regarding rules violations in either a forum post or private message.
Users can appeal any moderator's decision by opening a thread on the ModForum
(or, if your account has been banned, by sending an email to
mod-team@vDiplomacy.com) specifying the grounds for the appeal.
The appeal will be dealt with by one of the admins who was not involved in the original decision or by the site owner.
Appeals made on behalf of other members will not be considered. The outcome of an appeal is final.
There may be a formal explanation and discussion on moderators' decisions in the ModForum, but the moderator staff will never disclose information that may contain personal information about members or about the methods used to enforce the rules.
A user-driven approach is the primary method of forum moderation;
- You can mute any other user that you don't want to see in the forum or get PMs from.
- You can mute any forum thread you aren't interested in.
- You can mute any country playing in a game with you.
- You can block a player if you do not want them to join your games. This feature works both ways, you cannot join games with the player you blocked, so don't overuse this feature or your capability to join new games might result drastically reduced. Check on your Settings page to see your list of blocked players.
This allows you to block out anyone or any discussion you find offensive, and be as open or restrictive in what you see and play as you like!
In order to maintain a positive user experience please follow the forum rules below!
- Do not make personal threats toward members or their families. This is a Diplomacy site and no members should have to worry about actions taken against them in real life.
- Do not post or make reference to personal information about another member without their specific consent.
- Do not make targeted threads that are abusive or degrading toward another member, group of members, or social group. This includes but is not limited to posts regarding sexuality, race, and religion.
- Creating an account for the sole purpose of advertising goods or services is not allowed, but a member can post an advertisement as long as he/she does not spam the forum by posting the same message repeatedly.
- Punishment for infractions may range from a warning, or a temporary silence/freeze of at least 48 hours, to a ban. Silences will prevent forum posts as well as private messages. Bans are an instrument of last resort in moderating Forums and the moderators will seek to avoid issuing them where reasonably possible.
Additionally, threads which share information on an ongoing game have a negative impact on games which self-moderation can't prevent, so the mod team can lock/silence these threads:
- Silences can apply to a user or a thread.
- Thread silences last indefinitely, but user silences expire after a brief cool-off period.
- Silenced threads / users can still be viewed, however no more messages may be posted.
- Silenced users can still play in games; a silence only affects the forum and pm's.
Do not create new accounts to work around user silences, or post threads to continue on from ones which have been silenced! Do not post messages on the forum for users who have been silenced. This may result in bans etc, which would be worse than simply keeping off the forum for a few days.
When in doubt about whether posting something is allowed, remember your first responsibility: "use common sense and respect other players!"
Special Rules Games / Tournaments:
There are two types of special Games on the site: Special Rules Games and Tournaments. If you're interested in starting or running either type please open a thread in the ModForum and explain your idea to the moderator team in order to get approval.
This approval is necessary to ensure that the game(s) are set up properly, avoiding potential issues that can occur when a game is not properly planned.
Once you get our approval, you can start a sign-up thread on the Forum posting the approved Rulebook (or a link to it) and the name of the Director (usually who opened the Sign-up thread) in the opening post or immediately after. In the sign-up thread interested players should be able to read the Director's name and the moderator approved rules before deciding whether to join. Sign-up threads without moderator approved Rules will be silenced.
Special Games must be passworded.
1. Special Rules Games:
An Special Rules Games is a game which uses a different rule set to standard games. Notable examples can be found on the vDip Wiki, including Bourse Diplomacy, Shift Diplomacy, Treaties and Contract Gunboat. If you want to run a Special Rules Games, please post in the modforum explaining your idea - the moderators will ask you some questions you’ll need to answer before posting the idea to the forum, to make sure that the rules are clear. The answers to these question will need to be included in the forum thread advertising the game to ensure all members fully understand the games rules and objectives.
These are larger series of games with unique scoring rules to determine a winner. These games will have a Tournament Director (TD), who will oversee all aspects of the tournament. This person will be responsible for making decisions relating to the scoring, pauses, and anything affecting game play.
- Must request approval *before* advertising. The moderator team reserves the right to deny tournaments or tournament directors.
- Must include a set of rules for potential participants to agree upon, that all participants must agree too.
- In the case of cheating less severe than multi-accounting the Tournament Director will be informed and given the choice of removing this player from the tournament. Participants agree to honor the TD's decision in these matters and send all complaints privately to the TD or moderator team.
- The moderator team will enforce site-wide rules in tournaments as they do other games.
- Players within tournaments have to accept that the TD moderates their own tournament decisions. Please choose which tournaments to join carefully!
- TD's may request the list and position of players in their tournament even in anonymous games except for games they are participating in.
- TD's may request the moderator team pm or email any player with questions or warnings regarding the tournament.
- TD's may request a message be posted in every game’s global message window, including anon or gunboat games, to remind participants of tournament rules or for tournament scoring updates.
- If a TD is given control of country assignments, force pause, draw, and so forth, he/she cannot moderate their own game. Either a second designated TD or a mod may moderate the game instead, but the TD will still have final say on any decisions.
- As with all mod / admin decisions if you disagree with a decision you can appeal it. See below for the mod / admin contact details.
Please open a thread on the mod forum if you want to start a tournament (see the contact details below), and you will be asked a list of questions that will help us set the tournament up. The answers to the questions asked by the mod team will need to be included in the thread advertising for the tournament. Threads advertising a tournament without approval and without these answers will be locked.
Contacting a mod/admin:
Why contact a mod/admin:
- Pause/Unpause/Cancel games when a player is unavailable to vote.
- Draw games on request if there are stalemates or none of the players left can give a viable way to win.
- Access server logs and the software to detect/analyze possible multi-accounters based on a range of criteria.
- Ban/unban users, reset user/game passwords, give/take D-points, change game settings like phase length, etc.
- Approve Special Games' Rulebooks (Tournaments and SRGs)
- Fix bugs, errors, glitches, etc.
For these issues use the ModForum. For general questions about the software you may find useful the developer forum. If you want to create and develop your Variant, ask on the vDip Lab forum.
- Change your screen-name (nickname)
- Modify your stats, so mind your Reliability Rating and keep it high, or you may not be allowed to join games with high RR requirements.
- Reveal personal information about members.
Where to send:
Contact us on the ModForum. You can access this from the Mods button, at the top-right of any vDip page when you are logged in the site. A message posted there will alert all mods to check on this issue and you can keep track of your issue in the thread. You are only able to view threads you started and nobody else but the mods can see your threads there. Mods won't reveal anything about what threads you opened and on what you wrote on the moderator forum.
If you can't log in the site email the moderators at mod-team@vDiplomacy.com, not their personal addresses.
What to send:
Always try to have some clear reasons when contacting and do not mention it on the forum. In your post you should include:
- If making a general request (e.g for an unpause):
- Ensure that you make the subject line useful (e.g. "Unpausing help" or "Phase-length change") to help us solve the matter as quickly as possible.
- If reporting a cheating issue:
- Links to the accounts of the players who you suspect.
- Link(s) to any specific game(s) that raised your suspicions.
- Any relevant information that you have noticed. Please make clear who and what actions have raised your suspicions. Vague reports make investigations difficult, and may result in us missing whatever made you suspicious.
We will try to reply to you quickly, but be patient: investigations can take quite some time. If we have not followed up with you in 72 hours please feel free to follow up with us.
Thanks for reading this Rulebook, have fun!
- The mod/admin team