So I thought I'd take a moment to share, with those that may read here, the working draft of our forthcoming GW2 guild charter, as compiled by our two co-leaders (myself and my good friend)! Suggestions and critiques welcome, but please understand if I don't feel the need to edit according to said suggestions. :)
The short version:
For those not wanting to read the passionately long winded document below, allow me to summarize the major points:
-This is a guild of friends, that truth governs everything.
-We are fine with the idea of being small and friendly, and feel no pressure to recruit lots of people just for the sake of having lots of people.
-Don't be dicks to each other. Various people means various sensitivities. Hate speech is a solid no-no, and won't be tolerated.
-Guild chat is out of character, but feel free to roleplay wherever else you like, with our express encouragement. Respect roleplay wherever you encounter it.
-Go ahead and join other guilds. Many of us will default to this guild, but join others as well.
-You must be 18+ (or fool us into thinking you're 18+) to join this guild. We'd like to deal with you, not your parents.
-Don't be dicks to other people, when out and about in the game, while representing us.
The Prime Directive:
The first and most important "prime directive" of our guild is a mutual, enjoyably amicable connection with gaming friends. This is the singular "rule" that every element of our family points back to. This connection should be with the guild in general, but is most important between members and leadership, because if the leadership can't stand to log in, due to members we find less than a perfect fit, the guild falters. The leadership of this guild are not superior beings, or better than anyone, but being the ones shouldering the "responsibility" of "captaining the ship", our continued connection and agreement with the direction of the guild is of paramount importance to its maintaining a leadership presence, given that those of us with this heightened "responsibility" are volunteers.
A guild is a circle of friends. As soon as this this connection fails completely, for any reason, there is potential cause to discontinue membership from one end or the other. No one will ever be a member of this guild "on a technicality" or "because we can't come up with a good enough reason to kick them". If the leadership feels that that an individual doesn't fit, no "rule 27, section 4a" will be cited, the incompatible element will be removed, and wished well in their future endeavors. This is an entirely suggestive designation, and always must and will be.
Quality over quantity:
There is no content in GW2 (that this guild is "officially" interested in) that necessitates a "bigger guild", and so we will make no extraneous, artificial effort to have a "bigger guild". Every person that is in the guild is here for the pleasure of their company, and the low pressure, friendly environment we hope to comfortably maintain. It is the opinion of this guild that the phenomenon that occurs in other games of "there's this core in-crowd that are all friends with each other" should make up the entire guild in a game like GW2. Since no logistical requirement for guild size need be met to be "functional" in GW2, we default to the elements of comraderie, and honest personal compatibility. We default to the prime directive.
As a guild that focuses on friendship, it is imperative to us to provide a comfortable environment for everyone. As each person defines their comfort differently, we will default to a few guidelines that are likely obvious and go without saying to anyone “in with us” enough to read our charter. Seriously, this part is really only a formality, because we assume our friends know that:
Playful ribbing aside, it is the expectation of this guild's membership that we will not be venomous or intentionally hurtful to each other. There’s a clear difference between joking and being a jerk, and we’re expected not to cross that line. It’s an organic and situational line, so I can’t draw it for you. But as adults, we’re expected to understand that obvious difference between “lol” and inappropriate. Basically, be respectful.
As such, hate speech of any kind will not be tolerated. Duh. That’s never funny.
If a problem occurs between members, we’re expected to solve it discretely, if not privately. If you ever feel like you can’t handle the differences between you and another member on your own, the leadership is ready to help mediate. But we ARE operating under the assumption that we’re all friends and this won’t be an issue very often.
Many of us like to roleplay, some of us prioritize it, some of us do not prioritize it. For this reason, guild chat will remain an out of character tool of player-level community, and members desiring roleplay are free and encouraged to roleplay with each other (or with outside friends) in any other capacity they wish. Please be generally respectful of roleplay ventures in all facets of the community, as while we may not be a "roleplaying guild" we are certainly a "pro-roleplaying" guild.
This miraculous function, which allows you to join many guilds, choosing from moment to moment which to represent, chat with, and apply "influence" to, is supported and encouraged by the design of GW2, and we would be idiots to tell you (or even ask you) not to join other guilds. As a matter of fact, we would much rather you join guilds for specific, hardcore, team play interests (such as focusing on harder explorable mode dungeon runs or competitive PvP) than try to bend this guild's vision to fit those interests, and know that you will always be welcome to hang your hat here. This doesn't mean that we will never do things as a guild, and thus we ask, as a courtesy, that if and when you find yourself playing together with members of the guild, you shift your active guild to this one, so we may then logistically benefit from the communal fun we are having. This is not a rule or a mandate, but it is a request of courtesy. The leadership will almost definitely treat this guild as their default setting, but even I have intentions to join other guilds if I see a good RP concept or extraneous interest group!
The leadership of this guild have agreed that we will limit membership to those of eighteen years of age or older, or those that can convince us beyond the shadow of a doubt that they meet this distinction. Basically, if we can easily detect "you're... not an adult", you may not fit as part of this guild. This is not an ageist discrimination, or something against younger people, nor is it a carte blanche to shatter the above mutual respect expectation with grossly inappropriate language without any kind of personal filter, what this is is one more degree of comfort and legal safety for us to hang out as adults without worrying about raising the ire of parents that might be listening through the computer speakers. Basically, we'd like everyone in the guild to be self-contained, personally responsible adults, and an agreeable age of general majority is a good place to put this line.
Represent us well!:
This generally goes without saying, but bears mentioning. When you have our tag over your head, (as opposed to representing other guilds) please do your best to portray the same respect and decorum that you'd hope to see from others within the guild. This includes not contributing to overt and offensive public "trolling", but most importantly means (as mentioned above in regards to roleplaying) not raining on others' parades out in the world. It's really hard to logistically do this in GW2, so this mostly falls on social interactions outside the guild. This doesn't mean you have to stand there and "take crap" from people who are being unreasonable jerks, but at the same time, I think we can agree that adding to a situation like that with further negativity is below us.