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Information and Guidelines for the Mystara Mailing List
Welcome to the Mystara Mailing List (MML) Information and Guidelines page. This page is designed to tell you just about everything you need to know to subscribe to the MML and join in on the discussion.
If you have any questions, comments, or need help, drop the admin a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Purpose The primary purpose of the Mystara Mailing List is for the discussion of the Mystara setting, produced by TSR. Its secondary purpose is for the discussion of the Dungeons & Dragons game (a.k.a. OD&D, not AD&D). Terminology Here are some terms used in this guide:
Listserv is the software that Wizards of the Coast runs on their server to maintain the mailing list. All commands, such as subscribing or unsubscribing, are sent to Listserv through e-mail.
This is Original Dungeons & Dragons, and is used to refer to the Dungeons & Dragons game, specifically the rules presented in the Basic, Expert, Companion & Master boxed sets, and their compiled counterpart, the Rules Cyclopedia.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, in all of its version. The 3rd Edition of the game (a.k.a. 3e) will be known simply as "D&D", but this guide will retain the "AD&D" name it insure there is no confusion.
The person in charge of the list. He watches over the discussions, insures things remain on topic and civil, hands out warnings, removes troublesome people and takes care of the technical aspects of the list. Also known as "The List Orc".
Subscribing and Unsubscribing
Listserv's E-mail Address Anytime a command needs to be issued to Listserv it is done through e-mail. The address for this is email@example.com. This is not the address to post to the list itself, only for commands. The Speed of Listserv Please note that sending commands through e-mail to Listserv does not always result in a fast response. If you send a command you may end up waiting as much as an hour to get a response. This also applies to sending mail to the list itself. Subscribing To subscribe to the MML send e-mail to Listserv with the following text in the body of the message:
subscribe mystara-l firstname lastname
The two italicized words (firstname lastname) should be replaced with your own name. This is not an option. You do not have to put your actual name in there - pseudonyms are fine - but there must be at least two words.
Once you send this off you will receive a confirmation message from Listserv. It has instructions on how to proceed. Follow them exactly. This is a security feature designed to prevent people from subscribing others. This means you must be subscribe from the address you are subscribing.
Unsubscribing Should you wish to remove yourself from the MML, send a command to Listserv with the following text in the body of the message:
This must be done from the account that is subscribed.
Digest The old MML had a digest version of the list. A digest is a compiled version of the list, where all of the postings are sent as a single e-mail once per day. With Listserv, the digest is no longer a separate entity to subscribe to, but rather an option for the main list. See Subscription Setting, below.
Your Options There are several options that you can choose for your MML subscription. These require that a command be sent to Listserv to set these options. Multiple commands can be sent at once, but all commands must come from the account that is subscribed to the list. Digest A digest is a compiled version of the list, where all of the postings are sent as a single e-mail once per day. Some people don't like the stream of e-mail that a list generates cluttering their inbox, and the digest mode can help. It is also nice for people that can only check their e-mail once per day.
The command is:
set mystara-l digest
To reverse this, going back to regular mode, the command is:
set mystara-l nodigest
Acknowledgement When you send e-mail to the list, Listserv sends you an e-mail indicating that the post was received and sent to the list. This is handy, but not everyone will want this, especially if they post often. The commands to shut it off, and its reverse are:
set mystara-l noack
set mystara-l ack
Not Receiving Mail If you are going to go on vacation or similar circumstances and don't want to come home to an overflowing inbox, you can tell Listserv not to send you any mail, but still keep you subscribed. The commands for this and for the reverse are:
set mystara-l nomail
set mystara-l mail
Copies of Your Own Posting Whenever you send e-mail to the list you sill receive a copy of it along with everyone else. If this bothers you it can be shut it off. The commands for this and for the reverse are:
set mystara-l norepro
set mystara-l repro
Other Commands You can find out more commands for Listserv by sending it the following command:
Posting to the List
Where to Send Posts To send a message to the list, the address is firstname.lastname@example.org. In order to send e-mail to the list it must be done from an account that is subscribed to the list. What Can Be Discussed The MML is not a general discussion list, but rather a list for a limited array of topics:
- Mystara in both it's OD&D and AD&D incarnations. This includes the Savage Coast setting.
- How other TSR settings and supplements interact with Mystara (i.e. Spelljammer, Planescape, Ravenloft, Chronomancer, Shaman, etc.)
- How one might recreate Mystara through other game systems (i.e. GURPS, Hero, Rolemaster, Bridge, etc.)
- OD&D rules
What Cannot Be Discussed This is a much broader category, and includes:
Anything not mentioned in above. If it ain't Mystara, it ain't on topic.
General discussion of TSR's other fantasy worlds, AD&D, or other game systems. You can talk about converting Mystara to GURPS, for example, but this is not the list to discuss GURPS itself.
Anything the Admin declares off-topic. Such things may actually be somewhat on topic, but declared off-limits because it has resulted in a flame war.
Length of Posts There is a size limit to individual posts. If you wish to send a large message to the list, break it up into several smaller chunks. Frequency of Posts There is no limit to the number of times you can post in a day. But, see the Netiquette section below.
Sending multiple large posts to the list at a time is not a good thing. Many people have a size limit to their mailbox, and sending many large posts at one time can cause problems for them, which results in problems for the admin. If you have a very large message you wish to post (e.g. a dozen large messages), send the chunks over time, such as a third per day.
Fluff Fluff is fan-written fiction. Fluff is acceptable as long as it is Mystara relevant. Attachments Sending attachments to the list is considered pure evil, and may get you in trouble. Attachments can cause all sorts of problems, both with individual subscribers as well as the list itself. HTML Posts Like attachments, HTML is considered evil. Do not send posts to the list in HTML format, only plain text. Advertising If you have Mystara products you wish to sell, you can post an ad to the list. You can do this up to once a week. Notices for auctions can be posted, but do not run the auction on the list itself. Profanity Foul language and profanity are not allowed. It should be fairly obvious what is or is not profanity (be conservative), but if there is any question, feel free to privately ask the admin. Or, he could provide you with a list off of the top of his head. For example, "damn" is just fine. Virus Warnings
and Chain Letters
Under no circumstances post chain letters of any kind to the list. If you think it is actually of any value, send it to the admin first for review.
Under no circumstances post virus warnings of any kind to the list. If you think it is actually of any value, send it to the admin first for review.
Copyright Violation The admin of the MML is very, very stern when it comes to the violation of copyright. Do not post anything to the list that would violate copyright. A rule of thumb is that anything more than four paragraphs is two much. Thus, a single spell description is probably fine, but an entire AD&D Monstrous Manual entry isn't.
Also, do not use the list to acquire illegal copies of anything. Just because you can't afford a copy of Elves of Alfheim doesn't mean you can ask people on the list to copy it for you.
Keeping the Machine Running The Mystara Mailing List can be a busy place at times, and there are a variety of things that can be done to insure every runs smoothly. Quoting If you are responding to someone else's post, quote them. If you don't, and the list is busy, it is unlikely most people will have any idea what you are talking about. For example...
"Yeah, that's what I do in my campaigns. I tend to make them a little less evil, though"
Does that make all that much sense by itself? Probably not.
Overquoting Quoting is good. Quoting more than is needed is bad. If you are only responding to a portion of someone's post, cut the rest out. "Stop talking about all that stuff, and talk about what I want you to talk about!" No. Posting Too Often Some people feel the need to add their comments to any post that floats through their inbox, even if it is nothing more than a random quip. Resist that urge. Really. Trust me, no one finds it as interesting as you do. "Me too" Posts There are two kinds of "Me too" posts:
The first kind are when someone says something that a lot of people agree with. People tend to quote the person (often overquoting), with "Me too" tacked on the end. There is nothing wrong with adding your support to someone's posts, but try to add something to the conversation while doing so. And once a dozen people have done so, it is likely anything else is going to be superfluous.
The second kind is when someone posts to the list with offer to send a file to some, such as an image or such. Someone will post to the list saying the would like a copy, and then fourty-billion others will follow them up with a "Me too". If someone offers something like this, respond to them, not the list.
Opinions As the saying goes, "Opinions are like [insert smelly body part here]. Everyone has one and they all stink." Opinions are a touchy concept, so there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Respect the opinions of others. If someone posts an opinion you disagree with, first stop and think about whether or not you really need to counter it by posting your own. Just because someone posts something you disagree with does not necessarily mean you have to post a counter-opinion. If you choose to do so, make sure you do it in a civil manner.
- Some opinions do not need to be shared. Some people like to hear themselves speak (or read what they type), and for others to hear their opinions, and so they drop their opinions whenever they can. Make sure you opinion means something to the discussion at hand before sharing it. Posts like "I didn't like how you did this or that, and I don't think I will use you ideas in my game" serve no purpose other than to annoy people.
- Not all opinions are equally valid. An informed opinion is more valid than an uninformed opinion. If you are going to express an opinion, make sure you know what you are talking about.
- Some things are purely subjective and arguing them does very little. A good example is the common argument between which is better, OD&D or AD&D. These are the kinds of arguments that go nowhere and get heated very fast.
Flames and Insults We are all emotional creatures, and it often becomes easy to react to a post with insults or a condescending attitude. This is simply not acceptable. Conversation should remain civil, otherwise the admin may need to step in a take appropriate action.
When Good Lists Go Bad This list has rules, and when those rules are broken the admin may step in to take care of the matter. This does not necessarily mean the admin will bring his wrath to every little rule infraction, or to threads that start to wander a bit off topic. The admin believes - to some degree - in the concept of a Self-Policing, Self-Correcting list, and will unlikely step into things immediately, unless it is obviously called for. The admin also believes that lists such as these run the smoothest when everyone becomes friends with one another, and thus the occasional friendly banter is unavoidable. Questioning the Admin You would dare question the wisdom of the Admin? That's fine. If you disagree with anything the admin says or does, feel free to either drop him some e-mail or discuss it on the list. You might even change his mind. Note that disagreeing with the admin or starting a discussion on it does not reverse his decisions until he says otherwise. Discipline There is no hard and fast rules when it comes to disciplinary action by the admin. Unless the infraction is very harsh, the first step is always a warning. After that it all depends on circumstances. Other than a warning there are three other things the admin may do...
- Review. When someone is put on review anything they post goes to the admin first, who then reviews it before forwarding it to the list.
- No Post. Worse than review, someone set to non-posting cannot post to the list at all. They can still read e-mail, though.
- The Boot. Mess up bad enough and you get booted. Seeya.