Effective 1 August 2018
INTRODUCTION AND TERMS
The Vampire: Elder Kindred Network™ (V:EKN) is the Official Players' Organization for the Vampire: the Eternal Struggle (V:tES) card game.
The V:EKN is dedicated to the continued health of V:TES. It encourages the game's growth in popularity through embracing new players and supporting existing fans. The V:EKN sanctions and regulates official V:tES tournaments. It also maintains and publishes players' tournament ratings and rankings.
V:EKN Princes are volunteers who promote V:tES at the local level, coordinating tournaments and demonstrations.
V:EKN National Coordinators have similar roles to Princes, with a broader geographical boundaries and responsibility to approve tournament sanctioning in their region.
The V:EKN Inner Circle are V:EKN members who guide the organization. The Inner Circles responsibilities include:
- develop new cards accepted for use in sanctioned tournament play;
- maintain card rulings, card errata, tournament rules and judging guidelines;
- maintain the official player rating system; and
- provide centralized, official fora for communication with the player base; and
- communicate with players through select social media sources.
The V:EKN Ethics Committee exists to consider allegations of unethical conduct (as defined in this code) involving members of V:EKN. The committee is comprised of the V:EKN Inner Circle members or their designees. The National Coordinator responsible for the region of a
V:EKN member alleged to violate this code shall be accorded equal participation and voting rights on the committee for the duration of an investigation relating to that incident.
Note on the use of the word "sanction." This word has two distinctly different English
definitions, both of which are used in this document:
- a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule (e.g., "The player received a sanction in
response to their violation of the ethics code");
- official approval or permission (e.g., "this event is officially sanctioned by V:EKN").
PURPOSE AND SCOPE
The purpose of this code of ethics is to describe:
- standards for the conduct of all persons associated with activities and processes overseen by the V:EKN;
- procedures by which alleged violations are to be investigated; and
- sanctions for conduct that does not conform to the described standards.
There is no direct relationship between this code of ethics and any criminal laws or procedures.
The standards, procedures and sanctions concern only rights and privileges of V:KEN
membership. This includes, but is not limited to:
- the privilege of participating in tournaments and activities as a member of V:EKN;
- maintenance of player rating under the V:EKN player rating system; and
- access to information and infrastructure associated with V:EKN (i.e., V:EKN web page and associated fora, V:tES-related social media or messaging services administered by V:EKN members, etc.)
Every aspect of this code of ethics applies to all participants in activities overseen or sponsored by V:EKN. It applies equally regardless of a person's role within an event structure, organizational position or title within V:EKN.
STANDARDS OF CONDUCT
V:EKN is dedicated to ensuring player safety and to maintaining the upstanding reputation of sanctioned events.
Judges and the Ethics Committee should have no hesitation in addressing code of ethics violations, regardless of the effect on games in progress or the disruption to local play groups occurring after sanctions are levied.
No response from those bodies could be more damaging than failing to appropriately address incidences of intolerable behavior from V:EKN members.
The actions and behavior of all persons associated with V:EKN activities shall be:
- lawful in the region hosting the activity;
- in accordance with V:EKN rules and regulations; and
- consistent with the principles of fair play, good sporting, honesty, and respect for the rights and well-being of others.
The following is a list of examples of actions and behavior that are considered unethical. It is not intended to be exhaustive. Any action or behavior that is inconsistent with the principles of fair play, good sporting, honesty, or respect for the rights and well-of others may be considered to fall within the scope of this code of ethics.
- intentionally violating game rules or tournament regulations, particularly after being warned of this infraction at the current, or previous event(s);
- cheating by altering a deck during an event;
- deliberately misrepresenting V:tES rules or a current game state;
- colluding to predetermine the winner of a game;
- failing to play to win as defined in V:EKN Tournament Rules: Playing to Win, particularly when the intent is to determine the winner of a game;
participating in a tournament under a false name, or while under suspension;
- attempting to interfere with the rights or privileges of any V:EKN member; such as by barring an active, unsuspended player from entering a sanctioned event;
- submitting a falsified tournament report;
- offering insult, slur or innuendo regarding age, sex, gender, race, religion, ethnicity or disability to any person, present or not present, at the event;
- defaming the character of a V:KEN member, either by slander or libel;
- making continued social advances towards a player despite clearly demonstrated lack of interest or initial rebuff;
- threatening bodily harm, physically intimidating or assaulting any person in the tournament venue;
- violating federal, state, or local laws while participating in activities that are associated with V:EKN.
Origination of on-site sanctions
On-site sanctions are reserved for clear, gross code of ethics violations which occur within an event and which merit penalty more severe than disqualification from that single event. Only a head judge may issue an on-site sanction. On-site sanctions must be noted in the tournament report.
The player alleged of violating the code of ethics is immediately disqualified from the current event (see Judges' Guide for disqualification processes) and is suspended from participating in further V:EKN-sanctioned events, per V:EKN Tournament Rules: Tournament Eligibility. The duration of an on-site sanction is 30 days and applies only to the nation in which it was issued.
The head judge must initiate a review of the sanction with the V:EKN Ethics Committee within 5 calendar days of the incident, or its associated suspension is lifted. The judge will detail the circumstances leading to the sanction, recommend a duration based on the infraction's severity and provide a list of witnesses to the incident.
Origination of independently initiated sanctions
The Ethics Committee may also independently initiate review for behavior observed either inside or outside an event environment. This process should be exceedingly rare, but may be required to address egregious ethics violations occurring outside the purview of sanctioned events.
Review: all sanctions
All sanctions, regardless of origin:
- shall be reviewed by the Ethics Committee within 14 days of receipt;
- are lifted if the Ethics Committee review fails to complete review within 14 days, returning the player to active status;
- require a 2/3rd majority approval of reviewers (including the National Coordinator) to be upheld;
- if not upheld in review, are lifted and the player is returned to active status.
Any player alleged to have committed an ethics code violation will be interviewed as part of the review process and is allowed to provide their own list of witnesses for discrete incidents.
There is no appeal process for suspension from V:EKN activities. The review and approval described above constitute the entirety of the process associated with suspensions. The determination of the Ethics Committee is final.
Sanctions levied by the Ethics Committee are applicable world-wide after being issued. The Ethics Committee will establish a duration for sanction during the review process, considering the referring judge's recommendation and conforming to the limits outlined below.
Sanctions fall within 3 levels of severity:
- Standard suspension: the player is prohibited from participating in further V:EKN-sanctioned events while suspended per V:EKN Tournament Rules: Tournament Eligibility. The duration of a suspension may range from the remainder of the original 30-day term, up to but not exceeding 18 months from the date of the incident. At the discretion of the Ethic Committee, suspended players may be denied access to all V:EKN privileges (including website access) during their suspension.
- Probation: the player retains all V:EKN privileges while under probation, including participating in V:EKN-sanctioned events. The duration of a probation may not exceed 12 months. Any further ethics code violations with that term lead to a mandatory suspension of the player, with the remaining term of the probation added to the term of the subsequent suspension. A player may be placed on probation only once during their V:EKN career.
- Ban: the player is permanently prohibited from participating in further V:EKN-sanctioned events. They are removed from the V:EKN Player Ratings system and may be denied access to fora and/or websites associated with V:EKN activities.
Players subject to sanction will be notified of results at the conclusion of the review process.
Suspended V:EKN members forfeit all organizational roles or offices (i.e., Prince, National Coordinator, Inner Circle, Playtest Coordinator, etc) for a period of time equal to twice the duration of the suspension, unless otherwise unanimously determined by the Ethics Committee.
There are no other V:EKN-recognized probations, suspensions or bans. Tournament organizers and judges must allow all V:EKN registered players in good standing to fairly participate in sanctioned events. Failure to conform to this requirement should be reported to V:KEN and may lead to forfeiture of V:EKN Prince status, invalidation of tournament results and sanctions as described above against the tournament organizer and/or head judge.
A list of probationary, suspended and banned players is published on the V:EKN forums at www.VEKN.net.