Charter

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"If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." — Sir Isaac Newton

ALFA's mission is to provide an immersive persistent world for the purpose of high-quality online role-play using the D&D™ game system within the Forgotten Realms™ setting.

Introduction

Greeting

A land far away—a magical term that gives rise to mental images of exotic lands and exciting adventures. A land far away—the setting of countless fairy-tales and myriad bed-time stories. A land far away—that special place that we all go to when we need to escape the pressures and vicissitudes of life—a land far away.

Welcome to ALFA, A Land Far Away, a persistent world where the vastness and wonder of the Dungeons & Dragons™ universe takes on a virtual life all its own. A place where like-minded role-players of all ages, races, cultures, and creeds gather together to experience the wonder and glory of a thousand shared imaginations. A place where the raconteur reigns supreme while holding others spellbound; a place where every decision has consequences; a place where the games unfold before your eyes.

Hail and Well Met, traveler, the roads of ALFA lie before you, their infinite destinations missing only the unique imprint of your footsteps. Enter—we await you inside.

Preamble

While it is not the Administration’s intention to burden ALFA with a host of rules and regulations, a community and project of this size needs a structure in order to function properly. This document will serve as the Constitution of ALFA. Any rights, rules, regulations, or responsibilities not specifically described elsewhere within this document fall into the “General Authority” provision as described in section 3.7.

Roles Within the Community

All members of ALFA have unique roles within the community. The opportunity to DM a live server in ALFA is specifically reserved for those with HDM or DM status. The opportunity to play a PC on a live server in ALFA is offered at the discretion of the Administrators and is not necessarily reserved for those with Player status.

Administrators (Admin)

There shall be five ALFA Administrators. Each shall be specifically elected to, and have responsibility for, a particular domain. No one person may administrate more than one domain at a time.

Domains

The five administrative domains are:

  • Lead Administrator (LA) — Oversight of Administration, Veto & Referral Authority, Election Oversight, and Public Relations. Also responsible for resolving disputes over domain classification of any particular issue.
  • DM Administrator (DMA) — Oversight of DMs & Servers including Item Compliance, Global Plots & Quests, DM Approval & Discipline, among others.
  • Technical Administrator (TA) — ACR/HAK and other in-game coding, scripting, and software issues.
  • Infrastructure Administrator (IA) — Vault, IRC, FTP, & Website.
  • Player Administrator (PA) - Applications, Guilds, ALFA Player’s Manual, ALFA Representatives, Player Discipline, and Player Acceptance.

Cross-Domain Issues

When two or more Administrators claim formal domain over a specific issue and cannot agree on a course of action, the matter will be referred to Lead to determine the assignment of domain to one or multiple Admin as per 2.1.1.A above. Should Lead determine that the issue belongs in the domain of multiple Admin, Lead will give those Admin a fixed period of time in which to agree on a course of action. If no consensus is reached after that time, all Admin will vote on the issue with Lead's vote carrying additional tie-breaking weight in the event of a deadlock.

Head Dungeon Masters (HDM)

HDMs are those people with ultimate responsibility for a server area. HDMs have broad discretion over who is on their server staff and how their server is run. As such, HDMs are held totally responsible for their server, including the content of their modules and the behavior of DMs on their server staff. HDMs are obligated to follow ALFA global standards as determined by the Administration.

All HDMs are responsible for providing monthly back-up copies of their servers to the DM Administrator. Modules that become part of ALFA are subject to section 5 of this Charter. For any HDM who leaves ALFA, through his or her own volition or otherwise, the most recent back-up version of their mod may continue to be used by the ALFA community. Out of common courtesy, departing HDMs are expected to provide the ALFA Administrators with the most recent back-ups of their servers for future DMs.

Oversight of HDMs, including the addition of new HDMs and the removal of existing ones, is the purview of the DM Administrator.

Dungeon Masters (DM)

DMs are members of the server staff of each server. DMs are appointed and removed at the will of their HDM.

Oversight of DMs is the purview of the DM Administrator.

ALFA Representatives (AR)

ARs are intermediaries involved in investigations of reported violations, counseling of players, and mediation of disputes. ARs are selected by the Player Administrator and are members of the Player Administrator’s staff. Neither administrators nor HDMs may be ARs. The number of ARs shall be determined by the Player Administrator, to a maximum of ten ARs.

Oversight of ARs is the purview of the Player Administrator.

Players

Player status is simply a membership classification applied to all those who are members of ALFA. This position is not mutually exclusive with any other position in ALFA. All Members are allowed to play a Player Character (PC) in ALFA.

Oversight of Players is the purview of the Player Administrator.

Rules Regarding the Administration

Eligibility to Serve

All members of ALFA in good standing shall be eligible to run for any Administrator seat. Good standing is defined as having received no more than one formal censure from the Administrators, or their designates, in the six months prior to the election.

Seating Administrators

Election Cycles

The monthly election schedule will be:

  • June & December: Lead Admin
  • August & February: Player Admin
  • March & September: Infrastructure Admin
  • April & October: DM Admin
  • May & November: Technical Admin

The self-nomination period for candidates will open on the first day of the relevant month and proceed for seven days, closing on the seventh of that month. On the eighth of that month, voting will be opened for the appropriate constituency. The initial vote in an election shall last for four days. Runoff votes, if required, shall last for three days beginning as soon as possible after the first round.

Upon the completion of an election, the successful candidate immediately assumes the office.

Seats vacated by resignation or recall will be filled by immediate election, and the Administrator elected will fill out the original term to the end of its period. If the date of the resignation or recall falls within two months of the next scheduled election for that seat, however, the Administrator elected is deemed to have won the upcoming election, and will serve the remainder of the original term and the additional term without requiring a further election.

Voting Constituencies

The voting constituencies for Infra, Tech, and DM Administrators shall include all seated Administrators, all HDMs, vote-eligible Administrator Staff as defined in section 3.5, and all DMs. The same shall hold for recall votes (as defined in section 3.4) involving these Administrators.

The voting constituency for Lead and Player Administrators shall include all members of ALFA. The same shall hold for Lead and Player Administrators recalls.

Deciding Elections

In the event that there is only one candidate for an Administration seat, that candidate shall be required to win a vote of confidence: a simple majority of ballots cast expressing confidence in the nominee as opposed to votes expressing no confidence in the nominee. Failure to pass a confidence vote renders the candidate ineligible for that seat in that election cycle.

If there are two candidates, the candidate getting a simple majority of ballots cast shall be seated as the Administrator.

If there are three or more candidates, the process will require two rounds of voting. The two nominees who receive the most votes in the first round will face each other in the second round as a two candidate race.

In the event of a tie, the sitting Lead Administrator has the deciding vote. If there is no sitting Lead Administrator, or if there is a tie in a vote for the sitting Lead Administrator, the Player Administrator has the deciding vote. If there is neither a sitting Lead Administrator nor a sitting Player Administrator, the other three Administrators will decide via a majority vote amongst themselves.

If at any point a candidate in a contested election receives an outright majority of all possible votes, the election will be halted and that candidate will be declared the winner.

Withdrawals

If one candidate withdraws from a two-candidate race after the voting has started but before the voting has ended, then the votes at the time of withdrawal are counted and:

1. If the withdrawing candidate has fewer votes than the non-withdrawing candidate does at the time of withdrawal, then the non-withdrawing candidate is declared the winner.

OR

2. If the withdrawing candidate has at least as many votes as the non-withdrawing candidate, then the voting is halted and a new confidence vote for the non-withdrawing candidate is held.

Where three or more candidates are involved in a race and one withdraws, the election continues and a run-off between the two remaining candidates who receive the most votes shall be held. Votes for the withdrawing candidate cannot be recast during the initial round, but may be recast during the runoff.

Election Oversight

The Lead Administrator shall be charged with ensuring that as fair and as impartial elections as possible shall be held. This includes working with members of the Website and Server staff to create anonymous, yet verifiable, databases of voters, auditing elections, and conveying the audited results to the community, or the appropriate Administrator, in case of a tie.

If there is no sitting Lead Administrator, or if sitting Lead Administrator is running in the elections, then the Election Oversight shall fall to the Player Administrator. If there is neither a sitting Lead Administrator nor a sitting Player Administrator, or both are running simultaneously, one of the other three Administrators will decide via a majority vote amongst themselves which of them will oversee the election.

Recall

A motion to recall an Administrator can be made by any HDM or any of the other Administrators. The motion requires at least 10% of the sum total of HDMs and other Administrators, with a minimum of three persons, including the proposer, to be carried. Vote-eligible Administrator Staff and DMs are not able to propose, or move to carry, a recall motion. Once a motion for recall has been successfully proposed and carried, a vote, lasting one week, is taken among the voting constituencies eligible to cast ballots in the election of that Administrator. The recall motion is considered to have passed if affirmed by more than 60% of the votes cast.

An Administrator who is recalled must immediately vacate the position. Any Administrator in breach of the provisions of this Charter immediately and automatically invokes a recall vote against them.

Staff

Each Administrator may install up to three Staff Department Heads with eligibility to vote in all Administrator elections and recalls. These three Department Heads may be either DMs or Players. Administrators may designate other staff as they see fit, but said special voting eligibility shall be limited to the aforementioned three staff persons. The Administrator can appoint or remove such staff at will, including the option of retaining staff from the previously elected Administrator whose seat is being replaced.

Oversight of staff is the purview of the Administrator under whom the staff person is appointed.

Lead Veto

The Lead Administrator can veto any decision by any other administrator within thirty days of the decision. To override the Lead’s veto, three other members of the Administration must agree to propose a vote for an override to the HDMs. At least 2/3 (two thirds) of voting HDMs must support the override for it to be effective. Vote-eligible Administrator Staff and DMs are not able to participate in the veto override procedure.

General Authorities

The Administrators shall have authority to make any decisions for this community not otherwise described in this Charter.

Complaint Process

Bringing a Grievance

Definitions of Grievances

While guidelines as to what constitutes a grievance will be made available to the community, exact definitions and decisions on individual cases are at the discretion of the appropriate Administrator or Administrators.

Right to AR Access

Any member with a grievance has a right to air their grievance before an AR. Any member who has a grievance brought against them has a right to discuss it with an AR.

Right to Notification

Any member who has a grievance brought against them will be notified of the grievance complaint before a decision is rendered in the case.

Grievance Authorities and Right of Appeal

Investigations and impositions of formal censure, if any, are the purview of the Administrator with direct oversight of the member against whom the complaint has been lodged. A member may appeal any censure or banning decision to the Lead Administrator between notification of said decision or censure, and either one week after the imposition of a censure or the end of a ban.

Formal Censure

Censure Standards

If the decision is that formal censure is merited, the censured member has the right to counseling by the Administrator with direct oversight of the member prior to, or at the time after, the censure is applied. Formal censure will be entered into the record of warned members. The Administrators shall make available information regarding the standards of application of censure and the consequences and penalties associated with censure.

First Offense Banning

Cases of Cheating, Griefing, Hacking, Player Killing, and Sexual Harassment, at the decision of the Administration, may proceed directly to a permanent ban from the community regardless of any other censure standards that may be in place.

Content Ownership

Contributors of in-game content to ALFA which is accepted for use may not later attempt to deny ALFA the use of said content—either in whole or in part.

Amending the Charter

Only the Lead Administrator may make formal proposals for amendments and revisions to the ALFA Charter. Proposals from the Lead Administrator must be approved by at least three Admin, and at least 2/3 of a combined vote of the HDMs, vote-eligible Administrator Staff as defined in section 3.5, and DMs casting votes, for the matter to be implemented