In Nomine List FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

7/21/2000, v0.4.02

by Elizabeth McCoy, List Admin

Last amended 9/11/2004 (v0.4.11)
Printer-safe version here.

You must read all of these rules before you post to the In Nomine Mailing List. Posting constitutes acceptance of these rules. If you do not accept these rules, unsubscribe from the list now.

Before you do anything else, you will read this.

The In Nomine Mailing List

The In Nomine Mailing List

How does the list work?

(Note: Majordomo is no longer hosting the In Nomine Mailing List. The INML is now being served by the Mailman software on itself, and mail sent to will no longer reach the list.)

<in-nomine-list> is a mailing list managed by Mailman, which manages several other mailing lists and resides on the servers. You can find information about <in-nomine-list> here,including how to subscribe and where to find archived posts.

To subscribe to <in-nomine-list>, use the subscription form on the page linked in the above paragraph; you have the option at this time of receiving posts in digest mode. In digest mode, instead of receiving posts as they are sent to Mailman, you will receive a compilation of posts sent - at least once a day, but possibly more often if a large number of posts comes through in a single 24-hour period.

To post to <in-nomine-list>, send your mail to this address:

<in-nomine-list @ sjgames . com>

Remove the spaces in the name before sending the email, or it will bounce! Use this address even if you are subscribed to the digest.

You may have noticed that incoming posts have "IN>" added to their subject line. This is not something that you need to do; Mailman prefixes the subject line of each incoming post with IN> automatically.

You should be aware that <in-nomine-list> is a closed-post mailing list; what this means is that in order to post to the list, you must already have the exact address from which you want to post subscribed to the list, or your post will be bounced. This means that if you have more than one address from which you wish to post - or if you have an address that changes, such as:

<foo @ college . edu>
occasionally changing to
<foo @ server . college . edu>
when you send mail...

then you need to subscribe all of these addresses. On the listinfo page, at the bottom, is a link to subscriber options. This includes the option to not receive mail from the mailing list at all! If you have trouble, please email

<in-nomine-list-owner @ sjgames . com>

who will be happy to assist you.

In the event that you want to unsubscribe from the INML, you can do so using the same options page mentioned above.

What is the purpose of the In Nomine List?

Good PR. Really. It is a free service of Steve Jackson Games to its online customers who are fans of In Nomine (just like our website). It allows the fans to have relatively quick response and support from official SJ Games NetReps. SJ Games 'owns' the list and 'manages' it and 'moderates' it.

What do you mean, 'moderates' it? Are my constitutional rights to free speech being impinged here?

You got it. Actually, free speech does not exist in a private forum such as this; just like you can't walk into a classroom or boardroom and just say what ever you want no matter how disruptive. Here's a soapbox and there's the corner of 1st and Main -- you have all the free speech you want there, not here. For those who've ever participated in a busy unmoderated online forum, you'll appreciate the moderation here. Generally, there isn't much that's off limits.

So, what is off limits?

What is 'spam'?

Spiced ham by Hormel (tm).

It is also useless and/or annoying text which Should Not Have Been. This includes repetitive information such as:
Spam also includes advertisements that have nothing to do with In Nomine. I don't care how worthy the cause, you'll have to find some other venue to advertise your business or charity or political cause (even if it has something to do with Internet freedom). This is a sure-fire boot off the list and I'll track down your ISP and tell them you spammed the list. Be warned.

If there are any announcements about viruses or Internet stuff or SJGAMES.COM stuff, your List Manager alone will make the announcement after checking the validity of the announcement. Most of those warnings passed on by ordinary folks are wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Don't fall for it. Any valid warning will have a website where you can check the validity of the announcement. Anything that says, 'pass it on' is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. No valid Net authority would ever create a message like that. Kill it where it stands. If you're not sure, send it to the List Manager first, and if deemed worthy, it will be sent to the list. (If I see anything regarding the "Good Times Virus"... It's a fraud. If I'm the first person to tell you about it, memorize this now: There is no such thing.)

To reiterate, spam includes quoting the whole article and doing a 1-3 line reply that is usually not much more than "Me too" or "I like that." Fine. Terrific. Send that in email. Learn to clip your posts, or don't post. (This is something the digest people will really be annoyed by, you see -- they've already gotten the original. They don't need the whole thing again.)

A related concern is top-posting, or placing your original text above the quoted material.
A: Because it reverses the normal flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top-posting bad?

Not only that, but it makes it much easier to overquote a message, and it makes the List Admin get Djinnish. Please do not top-post when you respond to the INML. Many email clients do this automatically; if you use one of them, get in the habit of moving the cursor below the quoted text before you start typing.

So, where can I say or do the things I want to do but am not allowed on the List?

Private email -- flame away there, although you might start breaking telecommunication harassment laws if you do -- be warned. Side conversations involving only a few people are most appropriate in private email.

The unmoderated Usenet newsgroups (but be warned, if you abuse their protocols, even though they are unmoderated and much more lax than the List, they'll make your life a living Hell).

PBEM (Play By EMail) games and MUDS/MUSHES (see our website for links) are places where you can get all the online In Nomine role-playing you want.

Some things, like "Casting Calls" or "Music" threads, are not forbidden on the Pyramid message board. Check out Pyramid for subscription information.

Create your own lists: <in_nomine_sucks-l>, <in_nomine_WOD-l>, <in_nomine_role_playing-l>, etc.... It'll be your dime -- do whatever you want there.

Who's who on the List?

Elizabeth McCoy, In Nomine Line Editor, In Nomine List Manager and Owner. <owner-in-nomine-list @>,<arcangel @>: <>.

Various In Nomine authors. Rather than listing them here, you can find out their names by first visiting SJ Games' official In Nomine website.

Iolanthe McCoy, the Impudite Princess of Cute -- also known as Elizabeth's baby daughter. (2/17/2000) She is often responsible for her mother's typos.

How do we get questions answered officially?

Post 'em to the List. Please do not email Beth or an author privately. It is against SJ Games' policy for staffers or NetReps to respond to private questions about the game -- otherwise, that is what we would be doing all day long, and no other work would get done. However, we are reasonable people -- if you're a GM and your players are on the list and a public question would spoil things -- go ahead and email us. Just don't take advantage of it, please.

Never bother Steve Jackson about it! Though he revels in positive email, he is very, very busy. Besides, he will forward any email questions about In Nomine to Beth anyway, so save some electrons and just post it on the list. If we can't answer it, then we'll ask SJ about it. We'll pass on to SJ whatever you may be whinin... um, politely asking with regard to the future of In Nomine. Note that many times the answer will be, "You're not cleared for that information." This is especially true of questions like, "When's the next book coming out?"

Of course, there are some other things that should be emailed privately -- e.g., requests or questions or praises that don't belong on the list. But if it's just a question about the game world or mechanics, post only to the list, please.

Also, we hope that you please understand that there are some questions for which we have no answers. Sometimes an answer requires making a new rule for the game, and we don't want to do that lightly and cause unbalancing mechanics later on. Sometimes you'll be asking about details of the game world which have not been decided upon, yet, and won't be until the authors assigned to that question completes their work. Sometimes the answer is that there is no official answer, and the GM must decide that detail for him- or herself! (This is called "Canon Doubt and Uncertainty," or CDaU for short.)

In such cases, we might give you a rule of thumb, a temporary patch, or tell you to go with whatever you like 'cause we just don't know right now. Thank you for your patience in this regard.

And, as always, if you're the GM and you don't like our ruling, do whatever you like without guilt -- in fact, the other people on the list will probably pipe in with a lot of useful alternatives. We don't have any In Nomine police.

Are answers from the NetRep official?

Definitely yes. Moreover, the NetRep will carefully note when an answer he gives is not official, but just his opinion or a temporary ruling until the question is resolved by his Superiors.

And just who are his Superiors?

The Line Editor (Beth), the Managing Editor (Andrew Hackard), the Superior (we won't say if he's an Archangel or Demon Prince) of Gaming, Steve Jackson, himself.

I'm shy... I'm afraid to ask something publicly and look silly -- what should I do?

Well, realistically, first do what you can to avoid looking silly. If you have a question, first read the official Errata and FAQ for In Nomine -- maybe someone asked your question already.

The next trick is to check the digests. If you have Netscape, pick a keyword and do a "Find" though those.

If it's not there, then go ahead and ask. It's not a silly question to you, so who gives a flaming feather what other people think! If someone does mock you, they'll be booted from the list under the 'no flame' rule above. So, you'll be doing us a favor by forcing the Servitors of Kobal out into the open where we can deal with them.

What's the policy on copyright?

U.S. law states that what you write is automatically copyrighted by you. No one can copy it or redistribute it (and web-publishing and list-posting is redistribution) without your permission (with the exception of a few, restrictive 'fair use' cases).

However, sending your email to a mailing list owned by SJ Games, which you know will re-copy it and send it out to over 300 subscribers sort of waters down your copyright protection -- but it does not eradicate it.

SJ Games keeps an archive of the digest on its website. Posting to the list assumes that's OK with you -- if it isn't, get off the list.

You still own the copyright to what you wrote (your Angel of Death is still your own). But SJ Games has the rights (since you sent it to a SJ Games-owned list) to make it available in its compiled form (also known as Compilation Copyright). The messages on the list and its compilation form at the SJ Games website may not be reproduced by any one for any reason (except for personal use only -- you may not put them up on your own website or redistribute them without permission).

SJ Games also supports and maintains the In Nomine Collection (or INC for short). Posts to the list, unless you clearly state otherwise in the post, will be considered for inclusion in the INC by its maintainer du jour. Posting to the list automatically gives the maintainer(s) of the INC the right to incorporate that post. If you do not want this to happen, clearly state this somewhere in your post. If you find something in the INC that you don't want there, ask that it be removed, and it will be. (Be kind -- the maintainers of the INC are volunteers, unpaid, who have lives. If it's not down in a few days, talk to the List Administrator.) For best effect, state that you give permission to the INC maintainers to consider the material for inclusion.

SJ Games owns the rights to the English version of In Nomine -- the French Publishers the French version, the German Publishers the German version, etc.... Distribution of translations of any copyrighted text into any language is copyright violation. Don't do it.

You may compile large copies of the text for your own personal use if you are doing so from the books you purchased. If you do so from a friend's copy, you both are doing something illegal. If you sell or give away your books, you must destroy your copies and/or compilations. Period.

Distributing any copyrighted material (and web publishing or List-posting counts as distributing) is illegal. Period. Short quotes for the sake of comment or questions are OK -- that's covered by fair use exceptions. But you must acknowledge the quoted text as someone else's copyright.

If the compilation you produce is a Great Idea, show it to us (the Line Editor) privately; we may put it, with your permission, on our website to share with everyone. We're not unreasonable. We don't want to hide our work or your work (at times), just protect our right to our copyrights; and our right to profit from our copyrights.

SJ Games will protect its copyright using the full scope and power of the law. We have and we will. Do not test us on this, you will lose. Do I sound harsh? Sorry, I have to. Copyright not protected is copyright lost which is money lost which is our livelihood lost. Empty stomachs make for mean litigators.

Hey, did you steal my idea?

Absolutely not. Just because we both came up with Azrael, Angel of Death doesn't mean we stole it from you. We both dipped into the same prior resource. And if you look at our Azrael, you'll see it's a different character, though their powers might seem -- logically enough with both being angels of Death -- similar. (Actually, we don't have any plans for an Angel of Death, yet, and maybe never will.)

When we see someone's work we like, we make an offer to buy it from them, or else we just don't use it. However, we can't let ourselves be restrained from doing an Angel of X just because a fan also did an Angel of X. Remember that the In Nomine copyright, which includes all derivative works (even In Nomine characters), belongs to SJ Games. Does that mean that we own your Angel of X that you wrote? No. Does that mean we could have told you "You may not publish (including web and list publishing) any In Nomine characters without our permission"? Oh, yes. We could have. But we don't, 'cause that's just plain stupid to do in this industry.

However, if we get enough people annoying us and claiming that we're stealing their In Nomine ideas (which we ain't), we just may have to stop allowing fan-created publication of In Nomine-derived copyrighted material. If you're afraid that we'll steal your ideas, keep them to yourselves. You don't have a right to publish them -- we do. We allow you to publish and share your creations 'cause we're Nice Guys. Don't make us turn and become like those Grumpy Guys.

I'd like to write In Nomine stuff for SJ Games, how do I go about it?

Read the In Nomine Writers' Guidelines on the website. It basically boils down to:
  1. If you can't write grammatically correct English (with no misspellings), forget it. Period. If you can't follow the Writers' Guidelines correctly, forget it. Period. (Sorry, but there are plenty of good writers who can write technically well and follow instructions -- we'll go with them, instead.)

  2. If you're new to writing, submit an article to Pyramid magazine first (which means reading the Pyramid Writers' Guidelines). If you're an established writer, submit your resume with what areas you'd like to write about. In either case, follow the Guidelines in how to go about this, or else you'll be screaming "I don't know how to follow directions!" People who do not follow the directions will be ignored, at best, by the Line Editor.

    If you want some private help with something, I, arcangel @, have been known to edit people's stuff prior to official submission. I do this on my own time, and I may be busy with other things. Send me some private email first, and we can talk.

  3. Know your In Nomine, including its mood and atmosphere. It's a difficult line to walk in trying to add new stuff to the In Nomine universe without going off in the wrong directions. Some people get it, some don't. C'est la Symphonie.

  4. Know your In Nomine plurals and terminology. There is a Stylesheet in the Writer's Guidelines.

Hey, all of a sudden, I'm not subscribed anymore (or, my subscription to the list was changed to the digest)... what gives?

Argh. Your email account is the problem. Every piece of email that gets bounced back to Majordomo gets bounced to me, the owner of the list. And every single day there is at least one account on the subscription list that 'goes bad'. That means about 30 bounced emails a day into my email box for each bad account to which mail is undeliverable.

I'm sorry, but I can't cope with hundreds of bounced emails waiting for your account to return to normal. I immediately unsubscribe any account which is undeliverable. If your email account is offline for whatever reason, and your provider isn't storing messages for you, but is returning them, more than likely you've been unsubscribed and will have to resubscribe yourself when your email account is returned to normal. You can check out the digest archive at the website to see what you missed.

CompuServe and AOL members (and possibly other types of accounts) have email boxes which can get full (usually a 100 email limit). CS and AOL will then return email. In this case, I may switch you to the digest version so that this can hopefully be avoided in the future. If you have a limit to pieces of email your email box can hold, then you should be on the digest version of any list or risk filling your email box with just a day's absence from your computer.

Is there a size limit on posts?

The quick answer: 10 kilobytes.

The long answer: We prefer that you put large files (over 10K) on your website, and send the link to the List. However, we realize that that's sometimes not possible. If you absolutely must send your large file to the List, please break it up into smaller chunks (under 10K; although you can send 10K of a 12K file one day and 2K the next, many find it easier to break the file cleanly into halves or thirds or what have you) and post one chunk (and only one chunk) per day. This does not mean "once every twelve hours", or "half at 11:59 PM and half at 12:01 AM". If you post 10k of your 12k file, you must wait 24 hours before posting the remaining 2k.

This also means that if you have two large files - say, one at 12k, and one at 10k - it isn't okay to post 10k of the first file (leaving 2k for tomorrow) and then promptly post the full second file (since it's only 10k). 10k per day means 10k per day.

Special addendum: Rules lawyers will be smitten firmly. One person's writing can comprise 10k per day. Posting a large amount from each of several accounts, or getting a friend to post half of your file, is still in violation of this rule.

(The reason for this is that many people have mailboxes with size quotas -- and if they don't check them frequently enough, one big file could cause everything else to bounce, which means the List Admin has to unsubscribe the poor reader! Not to mention deal with the plaintive emails afterwards of "Why am I unsubscribed?" Putting a large message into several chunks is just as bad -- it's still the same amount of HUGE FILE into the mailboxes as the first way! But spread out over two or three days (or more, for some things!), it gives people a chance to check their email.)

If you decide you'd like to put your idea on a website, two of the most popular are Angelfire and Geocities, although there are many, many free web-hosters available - sometimes even including your own ISP (many include web hosting with the account).

Why don't my messages appear on the list?

You're not subscribed to in-nomine-list with the address from which you're trying to post. We did this to reduce the amount of spam -- only a subscriber to the list can post. If you have multiple email accounts, then subscribe the ones that you post from to the list, but turn mail-sending off for any accounts to which you do not want to receive list posts. See this paragraph for more information.

How do I send a private reply to something I saw on the list?

Make certain when you reply that you have done the following things:

If you take these two steps, your email should be private to whomever you've chosen to send it.

What is the Superior Soap Opera?

As related by Elizabeth McCoy:

The Superior Soap Opera happened when I (Elizabeth McCoy) and spouse (Walter Milliken) started extrapolating on a potential "future history" for a campaign that was in hiatus due to Life. It... expanded radically. The basic premise includes Self-Redeeming Lilim, Lilith as the "Third Avatar" (from an obscure prophecy in the Library), and a third celestial realm (newly-created, dubbed Shangri-La) wherein a Truce between the angelic and demonic citizens is Geas-enforced. If you don't want to swear to the Rules, then that's fine -- but you don't get to go up there, and you don't get the protections of the Rules, either.

It is totally, utterly, and without doubt not canon, and unlikely to sneak in more than the occasional bit of characterization. And probably only as an option or rumor, if that. The wild stuff, it is kept to the participants. Occasional references are to be taken in the spirit of Gaming War Stories, as a way of dealing with things, rather than a canonical way. Unless it's a canonical way of dealing with things that got used in the non-canonical game, if you see the distinction. O:>

If you ever need to get in contact with the owner of the list -- if you have trouble unsubscribing, or have questions about the list itself -- send email to <in-nomine-list-owner @ sjgames . com>.
Steve Jackson Games * In Nomine