Brook Haven Ranch is a unique site with a unique set of rules. This is not your conventional rules list and we require that our members read through this list of rules and follow them. Note that while we don’t mind your questions in the cbox by any means at all, the members we most want are those who will be proactive in getting to know the site, including its rules. If there’s something that you don’t understand, we ask that you do bring your questions and concerns to the staff so that we can answer your questions and make the rules more clear if necessary.
Please take the time required to read through these rules thoroughly rather than simply glancing at them before joining in order to ensure that this is the right site for you. We cannot stress enough how different Brook Haven Ranch and its sister sites are from other sites, and this will show the most in the rules. Do not neglect these, and please do not hesitate to contact us about any questions that you have about the rules contained within this file
- We are an 18+ community, so you must be 18 in order to join Brook Haven Ranch RPG. This rule has been set in place because the founders are both well over the age of 21 and we believe that a community of adults best meets the needs of adult roleplayers like ourselves. In addition, while we do not allow smut at Brook Haven Ranch, mature themes come with the territory, and we are most comfortable with a/mature group of members.
- While we do allow mature and dark themes, we do not allow smut. This is something we have considered carefully before determining that this simply isn’t the right place for smut, especially considering that we allow characters as young as 7 years old. This is a personal decision and we ask that you please not post smut on our site.
- Any relationship between an adult over the age of 18 and an underage character must be approved by the staff. This is in order to avoid predation of our members and their underage characters. While we may approve some of these relationships under specific circumstances, our #1 priority is your safety, and we will not allow older characters to prey on our teens.
- Our rating is 3-2-3 on the RPG Rating. Please respect these limitations while being aware that topics relating to abuse (physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, and neglect), substance abuse (alcohol and drugs), eating disorders (of all types), loss of parents, foster care situations, and medical disabilities will be common on Brook Haven Ranch due to the nature of the site.
- No member of this site is qualified to diagnose an illness, mental or physical. This means two things: First, that our members not ask one another for help with medical or mental health advice. While we are always happy to give a listening ear if you wish to discuss something with us, no member is permitted to provide medical advice through this site, even if qualified to do so. Please do not ask.
- Please read our community guidelines. Although these aren’t rules, they are tips that we’ve provided to help increase engagement for all of our members and they are methods that we choose to employ to help us to avoid the formation of cliques on Brook Haven Ranch. Many of these tips should be self-explanatory but recent experience tells us that they need to be reiterated.
- Treat other members the way that you would like to be treated. It’s most important that you not expect to receive from other members more than what you invest in them, so we ask that you please treat all members of Brook Haven Ranch the way that you would like to be treated. If you like it when someone spends time talking about you, spend time engaging them about themselves and their characters.
- Be inclusive of other members. It is crucially important that you not exclude other members from our community. Wherever possible we ask that you try to plot with everyone on the site (at least one of your characters with one of their characters) but where this is not possible, at least keep the lines of communication open and include all members in the community. Always strive to make people feel that they are valued.
- Treat guests as you would members (but maybe slow down a bit for them). If we find members talking around guests as though they don’t exist in the cbox, we will communicate a warning to the member. We want to see guests included in our discussions as much as possible in the cbox. Treat them with respect and make them feel wanted. If a guest becomes hostile, leave it to an admin or a moderator to deal with.
- Post an introduction on the forum. We have an area for members to post their introductions. From the point when you post your introduction until the point that you are no longer a member of our site, this will be your thread, and where other members can communicate with you out of character. We strongly encourage members to use these threads to convey compliments and encouragement to one another, so having one up opens yourself up to lots of good things!
- Please use the Meet N Greet Discord channel, the cbox, or the Questions and Answers forum for your questions about the site. While we respect that our members want to obey the rule that asks members not to harass the staff in the cbox, we cannot express enough that you need to use public channels to ask your questions. Some other members might be dealing with the same issue that you are, have the same concern, or the same question, and this allows everybody to benefit from your asking without causing the admins to do more work by making an announcement about your concern.
- Please refrain from naming your character Daniel, Michael, or Cassandra. These names are triggering to two of our members and because we wish to protect them, we prefer that you please not name your character one of these names. We appreciate your consideration in this matter!
- Your first account should be your ALIAS ACCOUNT, and it should be registered all in caps. You’ll use this account quite a lot and we feel that it is best therefore for all members to have an alias account. Once you have registered your alias account, you may post your introduction right away. Please note, however, that registering your alias account does not guarantee that we will accept your character.
- Once you’ve registered your ALIAS ACCOUNT, please add your character account all in lowercase. You can do this by going to your user settings and clicking "edit sub-accounts" and then clicking "Register New Account."
- You’ll be registering one account for each character you intend to play, with all of them linked to your alias account.
- We do permit duplicate first names, but please do not duplicate surnames unless two characters are related. We don’t want you to feel trapped by rules regarding duplicate first names, but because this is a family role play, we want to make it as clear as possible who is related to whom. Ties can be pretty deep, so don’t be afraid of cousins or even second cousins. Just make sure to check the member list before registering to make sure that you aren’t duplicating a surname!
- Please try to be respectful of your character’s ethnic background when registering a surname. Face claims should be of similar ethnicity to the characters they portray whenever possible, and surnames should represent the ethnicity of the character. This is particularly important with Asian face claims due to the variation of ethnicities throughout Asia and the variations on the surnames in that part of the world.
- Adoption is a thing, so you don’t need to match ethnicity to surname in the case of adopted characters.
- Please complete your profile entirely before submitting your application to be reviewed. We’re looking for a complete profile, with all relevant profile fields filled out. Your graphics should all be on your profile (including your 200x200 avatar), the relevant information (including all available links and all information pertaining to your character) should be completed in your profile, and it should look the way it’s supposed to when we view your profile.
- From this point forward, if your profile is not completed, we will pend your application.
- You will need a number of graphics on your profile to make it display as intended. We try not to be excessive with the number of graphics required, but you will need a 200x200 square avatar (upload through avatar settings), a 250x400 main image, three square gifs of no fewer than 200 pixels square, and one 250x150 gif.
- When selecting graphics, please do your best to ensure that your graphics capable of representing a character at the age you’re playing your character. We do not have a hard and fast +/- 5 rule since some people look older or younger than their age, but we will PM members whose graphics are not capable of representing the age of their character (in our eyes). If you’re using older pictures of a celebrity, try to make sure that they are still high quality enough to look good on the site!
- All ranch characters must be a minimum of eleven years old. The simple reason for this is that most characters beneath this age just aren’t functional. Your character must be old enough and mature enough to plot with other characters and we believe that middle school is the bare minimum. Most characters should be fourteen or over! (Town characters with families may be as young as seven, but not younger!)
- We do not accept pregnant teens at Brook Haven without special permission. Pregnant females are not able to ride horses (due to the risk of injury to the back or placenta) and therefore are not good candidates for the program. Please contact an admin if you wish to discuss this. Exceptions are made for approved requests for teen characters.
- There is no character limit, and there is only one condition on creating your next character: You must have plotted each of your previous characters with at least three other characters before creating a new character (whenever possible). You may play as many characters as you want (not as many as you can “keep up with” but as many as you want) provided that you continue to make an effort toward getting them involved in active playable threads. We want to see you shipping and plotting for each of your characters, but otherwise, have fun!
- When we look at the plots that you have for your next character, we want to see that you’re putting effort not only into plotting back with those who have reached out to you, but also effort into reaching out to other people who didn’t plot with you first. The character has to function in order for us to allow you to make another character.
- We strongly discourage characters made purely for romantic purposes. While we understand that a lot of people love romantic plots and ships, we want to make it clear that this site is not the place to bring a character whose sole purpose is to find a potential romantic mate. We want to see that our members are capable of developing more than that, so while we are happy to see romantic relationships on the site, we cannot stress enough how much we need to see bigger stories than “just romance.” If your character clearly only exists for the purposes of romance, we will put the application on hold.
- We don’t enforce ratios. Ever. While we do keep track of what the ratios on the site are* we don’t force or even encourage members to keep any ratios for their characters or to balance the ratios for our site. If we have all of one gender or all of one race, that’s life. Sometimes that happens.**
- * We keep ratios for gender (including notes for whether characters are cisgender, transgender, or nonbinary), race, and user group.
- ** We do want to stress that we embrace diversity in our characters and love to see lgbt (including nonbinary and transgender characters) and poc characters on our site.
- All characters must fit within the site’s canon and plot. Your character must meet the requirements of his or her species according to site canon, and they must be able to participate in the site’s over-arching plot while also building their own stories. This is crucial, as characters who are not fit for this environment will find it more difficult to get plots with other members.
- Post in whatever tense or perspective you wish. The application form and your profile ask for your preference regarding tense and perspective -- make sure to complete this, and to look for other players who match your preferences. Most are likely to prefer third person and past tense, but we want to make this open for our role players to choose their preference so that they can most enjoy the role play.
- Write only for your own character(s). We don’t want to see any member character-moving, meta-gaming, power-playing, or god-moding anywhere on the site, and will warn those that we find to be doing this. Please view the glossary for information on these terms.
- We strongly advise you only to write for the character from whose account you are posting as well.
- You may use some limited character-moving with permission from your role play partner in order to keep a thread moving.
- Please note that we do allow adult authority figures to power-play their subordinates.
- There is no word count. Write as many or as few words as you feel will be effective for your post. Sometimes one sentence is stronger than 800 words, so post with consideration for what you’re giving your partner and not with a mind to word counts. More words rarely means having more to post to: Good cues do, and you can cue a partner with a single word if necessary.
- Please register your character account within three days of registering your OOC account. This demonstrates to the staff that you are committed to creating a character for Brook Haven Ranch. While we try to welcome everyone into our community, we are sensitive, private, often vulnerable people, and your involvement tells us how much a part of this community you wish to be. Thank you.
- Please post a WIP Application. The application is complex and it takes a long time. The staff cannot help you, offer feedback, or encourage you with regards to your application if we cannot see your progress. We understand entirely wanting to drop a complete application in, but since the app is so long, we are more comfortable watching members progress with their characters, as this is one way for us to confirm that the app was actually written by the member who will be playing the character.
- Please respond to the weekly encouragement every week for activity check. This is a simple, encouraging process which gets every member involved in the community and helps to make others feel good about themselves. We require this as our form of an activity check, since we require our members to be active rather than keeping their characters active.
- You can miss one weekly encouragement for every calendar month. If you miss two, you will be moved to “inactive” and your account will be deleted if we do not receive an explanation within the following two weeks.
- You may post in the weekly encouragement even if you have not made any in-character posts for that week, and should post in the first weekly encouragement following signing up for the site.