Aethervane is an independent, non-profit community and not affiliated with any particular game store or any other kind of company. No member of the Aethervane team, Dungeon Master or otherwise, is paid for their time or contributions. We're just a bunch of people who came together because we like playing D&D!
The Aethervane team is committed to providing game sessions free of charge. This is a hobby, and we do this for fun! We are not a business. Although we frequently hold sessions at local game stores, we choose only stores where there is no door/table charge or participation fee. The only times any sort of fee might be requested or required would be when we hold special events above and beyond regular sessions, such as a charity fundraiser or a game at a convention, or something else along those lines.
Aethervane games are open to any and all who want to join us! Session announcements and links to sign-ups are posted in our community chat.
All creative content created specifically as part of the Aethervane game is protected under the CC BY-NC license. In brief, as long as you give credit to the original creators and do not use the content for commercial (for-profit) purposes, you are free to copy, share, and adapt the Aethervane content in any way, shape, or form. Obviously this does not pertain to any content featured in the game that already belongs to other Intellectual Property holders, such as the Dungeons and Dragons trademarks owned by Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast.
To be clear, the purpose of this policy is to protect the members of the community from having game content they created used by others for profit. If you want to use Aethervane campaign content that you developed by yourself (such as a character or a setting) for commercial purposes, we won't stop you.
For the purposes of clarity and ensuring that everything runs smoothly, the Aethervane community is organized into roles, each with its own level of responsibility and authority.
Players are a very important part of our community! All players are expected to follow the rules of Player Conduct below. Failure to do so could result in a warning from the Aethervane team, or even a temporary or permanent ban from the community for especially egregious or repeated violations.
Dungeon Masters (DMs) run the Aethervane game sessions. They prepare adventures and then guide a group of players through an adventure during the game session. They serve as narrator, describing the environment and events around the player characters, and as referee, deciding how to interpret and apply the rules of the game. The DM is the final arbiter of any disputes that arise during the session, either regarding the rules of gameplay or player conduct. DMs are also frequently worldbuilders, developing pieces of campaign lore, including non-player characters, dungeons, settlements, factions, planets, solar systems, and even entire planes of existence. DMs are considered players as well and must abide by the same rules of conduct themselves.
More information on being a DM can be found in the DMing section of the wiki.
Gamekeepers (GKs) are Dungeon Masters who have taken on an additional level of responsibility in maintaining the overall Aethervane campaign. The GKs answer player questions about mechanics and rules, make community announcements, manage the event calendar and signup apps, maintain the wiki, manage social media accounts, communicate with game stores and other outside parties, and otherwise facilitate the administration of the game.
Additionally, the Gamekeepers are the lorekeepers of the Aethervane universe, making decisions that affect the content of the setting at large, such as the shared space of Bleak Haven and the mechanics of planar travel. The GKs are also responsible for updating the rules of gameplay and player conduct and for appointing new DMs and GKs.
Changing any part of the existing community policies or game mechanics requires a majority of the current active Gamekeepers to vote in favor of the change. The same voting process is used for appointing new DMs and GKs, overruling approval of adventure awards, and overwriting campaign lore.
In order to maintain their position, GKs must remain active members of the community. If a Gamekeeper goes more than 2 months without participating in an Aethervane game, either as a player or a Dungeon Master, the GK forfeits their position. As soon as the inactive Gamekeeper is ready to become active again, they may request to be reinstated.
A Community Cleric (CC) is a Gamekeeper who bears the additional responsibility of dealing with any interpersonal conflicts or other sensitive issues that may arise within the Aethervane community and require special attention and care.
In the event of violations of the game rules or code of player conduct, CCs may issue warnings, temporary bans, or permanent bans to members of the Aethervane community or revoke DM or GK status from community members. Any such action requires a majority of the current CCs to vote in favor.
CCs are also responsible for the safekeeping and distribution of community funds, in the event that there ever are any (e.g., if the community engages in a charity drive).
A Tech Warlock (TW) is a Gamekeeper who has been entrusted with an additional level of access to the wiki and other digital platforms associated with the campaign in order to keep everything running smoothly. They are responsible for regularly backing up the wiki and other digital campaign data, updating to new versions of the wiki and Discord server as needed, resolving technical issues as they arise, updating member access levels, and ensuring that subscription fees are paid on time.
TWs may be granted top-level administrative access to the wiki, Discord server, and any other digital platform associated with the campaign. TWs are the only community members who are allowed to delete wiki pages.
Aethervane is intended to be an open and friendly community of players and DMs alike spending time in a shared universe. Problematic behavior such as racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and any other form of discrimination against others won't be tolerated. If you encounter an issue you consider problematic, please talk to your DM while at a table or message the Gamekeepers in the chat so action can be taken as needed.
The default limit on participants for an Aethervane adventure is 1 Dungeon Master and 2-6 players. Exceptions can be made by the presiding DM, and certain special events may be set up differently.
Session seats are typically filled by online sign-ups. When a session day and time is chosen, first the DMs will be given a chance to sign up, and then once we know how many DMs we have, players can sign up for the session (up to 6 per DM). Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and once all seats are filled, additional sign-ups will be added to a waitlist, in case anyone cancels or doesn't show.
During adventures, DMs and players should be careful when addressing topics that might make others uncomfortable. These include (but are not limited to) depictions of graphic sexual or violent content, domestic or sexual harassment, torture, severe drug or alcohol abuse, racism, and foul language.
Before the session begins, DMs should try to warn players if they plan to include sensitive content in the adventure. And DMs should consider adjusting their adventure plans if one or more players at the table expresses discomfort with some aspect of the planned content.
If, as a DM or player, you feel the need to mention content of a sensitive nature spontaneously during an adventure, please be mindful of the others at the table. If you're unsure how others might react, ask. If someone seems uncomfortable, stop.
Finally, if something happens during a session that makes you uncomfortable, please inform one of the Gamekeepers as soon as you can, and we'll do our best to address the matter in a timely and respectful manner.
Conflict and romance between player characters can often add another avenue for fun and drama during an adventure. Some players are comfortable with other players attempting to flirt with, seduce, deceive, steal from, intimidate, mind-control, or injure their character. Some are not. Both of these are valid styles of play.
Before your character engages in any of the above behaviors toward another player's character, you must ask for and receive that player's fully informed consent. If the other player doesn't want their character to be the target of that behavior, the DM will not allow the behavior to continue.
During an adventure, the presiding DM has the final say in any disputes about the rules of the game or the code of player conduct. Keep in mind that different DMs have different ways of running the game, and all of them are doing their best to make sure everyone has a good time. If you disagree with how a DM handles something, please don't argue during the session. Instead, bring your concerns to the attention of one of the Gamekeepers after the session.
In general, a player controls only one player character (PC) during a single adventure session. Any followers (such as allies, hirelings, retainers, beast companions, familiars, summoned monsters, simulacra, etc.) are considered non-player characters (NPCs) and are, by default, under the control of the DM. A DM, at their discretion, may allow a player to take direct control of one or more NPCs during an adventure, but this is not intended to serve as a substitute for controlling a PC. NPCs do not gain experience from participating in adventures, and neither do PCs who are absent from the adventure, even if they participate vicariously through an NPC.