Our Kinship is organized using the minimum number of ranks as functionally necessary . We don’t believe in an endless ladder of ranks which makes newer members feel unreasonably distant from positions of authority.
New Kinship members undergo a trial period lasting 30 days during which their performance, interaction with Kin members, and participation within the community are evaluated. This trial ensures that players that join Kindred Spirits on a permanent basis are great fit for the Kinship both socially and from a game play perspective.
Kindred Spirits Knights form the foundation of the Kinship, giving us a strong community platform. Knights are expected to maintain reliable attendance of guild events, assist fellow guild-members to achieve their in-game goals, and participate in guild initiatives.
Knights Templar are like "Big Brother/Big Sisters" for KS. Their role in leadership is to take an active role in meeting and grouping with Squires, showing them the KS way, and providing first hand experience back to the leadership about their experiences with those Squires with whom they grouped.
Knights Errant are the work horses of the guild. They help organize and run group play throughout LOTRO and deal with the massive amount of administrative paperwork that goes into running a Kindred Spirits.
Marshals help keep the forums themselves in check. Some tasks include gathering important info and making them 'stick' to the top of a sub forum, helping with processing applications when it's busy, and editing or even removing threads that are in violation of our rules.
This rank is considered the Second in Command. They support the GM in running the Kinship. Regulation of Kinship problems and participation in Kinship activities is a requirement. Continuation of Kinship utilities, resource upgrades, promotion of events, and quality recruitment are prime focuses.
The ultimate authority on all that which is Kindred Spirits. The Grand Master is the anchor which keeps KS from drifting off course and away from it's mission to provide a drama free, family oriented, and people focused environment for all its members. The GM is the moderator of last resort.
Forum and Character Naming
We hold a high standard for the names we give ourselves and our characters we play. For both forum and in-game character names/handles, none of the following types of names are permitted in any language:
Clever, witty, or humorous names may be permissible, at the discretion of leadership, but poor naming choices will be critiqued, and requested removed. Kindred Spirits members must also follow any additional rules about naming included in the game's EULA, or on a per-server basis.
It is inevitable that someone reading this will be removed from the Kinship. It does not happen too often, but it is usually very clear why it was done. We don't coach people back or try to find some middle ground for these folks. There is also no hand-holding discussion as we wish you well elsewhere. As we say, the Kinship is the way it is, and it does not bend to suit you. It is your responsibility to conform to approved behaviors. The people getting tossed are usually going for broke in upsetting people, and it should come as no surprise when we respond by removing forum access and removing characters, warning or no.
If you are removed from the in-game Kinship or from the forums and have no idea why, check to make sure you just weren't inactive first. Buttons get mis-clicked too, so if you really thought everything was copacetic, please do bring it up to an officer. Politely please, or we may consider the removal a happy accident.
Although it is rare, Members and officers can and will be banned for breaking Kinship rules. We do not make these decisions lightly, but we will always act to protect the Kinship and for the greater good of our members. Bans may be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the infraction. Banned members have access to a special forum where they can appeal their ban.
Proper communication saves everyone headaches and heartaches. Clearly communicate group goals and methods as a leader when starting a group and when new members join. Clearly communicate information that may be valuable to others in your group as it arises. Clearly communicate any needs for a break or explanations when you are unclear on an objective or how to accomplish something.
Kindred Spirits does not require that members make use of any third party tools for communication. We may suggest the use of such, but it is up to individual preference. Please note though, while we try to accommodate as best we can, there may be particular instances in games (such as in a high-end raid) where voice chat is the de-facto method of communication.
Yes, English is the official language of our Kinship, no getting around it. We do our best to understand folks whose first language is not English, but there are limits. If a member cannot take directions in party and is unfortunately making a bad name for our Kinship in doing so, we will need to part ways.
Some people do like the feeling of knowing everyone in a smaller Kinship. A Kinship with a dozen people though takes a lot of dedication from those dozen people to maintain. We just are not that Kinship. We have many casual players, and our "real life first" mentality precludes scheduling and fully committing to all of our runs. Remember though that everyone you see has been vetted in some way and should be just the type of person you want to game with. And remember, a growing Kinship is a healthy Kinship.
Also, and maybe more importantly, there are like-minded people out there unaware of our Kinship. It is up to us to let them know about us and bring them into the fold.
Characters and accounts are to be posted on our roster before they're invited to the in-game Kinship (if applicable). The roster should also be updated when characters are removed from the Kinship.
Room for Several Playstyles
First, that says "several" and not "all". There are playstyles we as a Kinship do not appreciate. Running off to solo a dungeon in group and leaving your party in the dust for one (actually soloing a dungeon by yourself is fine; go for it!). Purposefully hindering others or continuing to play "jokes" that amuse only yourself is another behavior we do not approve of. Overall, how one plays in a group should mesh with how our Kinship conducts itself in the spirit of cooperation and maturity.
What we do have room for is "casual" and "hardcore" players. Like those terms or not, you know what we are getting at. Someone who spends a few hours a week in game is just as welcome as someone who spends twelve hours a day. Roleplayers and permadeath players too have a place here. As long as someone is Kindred Spirit material, they are welcome to play as they like and should not be looked down on for how they enjoy the game.
If loot has your name on it, it is yours. Don't rush in and snag other people's loot if your game has free-for-all looting. That's rude, and won't incline people to group with you in the future. Use instanced loot or a round robin method if applicable to simply avoid any potential loot confusion and hard feelings. If running a quest or raid for a particular piece of gear, it is a good idea to announce it up front. There is no overall Kinship requirement to share loot, but it is considered good form to reward members of your party for their assistance with loot you are unable to use yourself.
On the Giving and Taking of Advice
Please share your knowledge with others, and please take advice in the spirit it is given. You don't need to follow the advice, but you can expect to get it again from others, and you should be prepared for rougher treatment by the general population if you are going against established knowledge. If you are new to the game, we'll try to help. Also, please check our forums because we may have lots of great information and links to more. If not, you could help fill in the gaps.
Be the Change You Want to See
This perfectly describes the attitude you'll want to bring to Kindred Spirit. Simply whining that something isn't happening in the Kinship, or you aren't being provided with the experience you want will fall on deaf ears, and worse, cast you in a bad light. We are not here to entertain you or to provide services to you. You'll see that our members already give freely of their items, knowledge, and time. "What else have you done for me lately?" will not be taken kindly. As stated several places elsewhere, we only try to guarantee a safe and friendly environment. The rest is up to you.
So, instead of just complaining, look to see how you can make what you want possible. If it's a quest no one seems to be running, put together the group yourself. No one knows the answer to a question? Do some research and put together a guide. Want more guild members on during your playtimes? Go out and find good people to recruit. Encourage other people to join your endeavor--invective and accusations that no one is doing what you want will help you find the door quicker but will do nothing for your cause. Going out and making something happen though will reflect very well on you and encourage others by example. Even as a Recruit, you have the freedom to take the lead to make things happen.