This document outlines the structure and operation of Grievance. All members of Grievance are bound by this Charter for as long as they are members of Grievance. This Charter may only be changed via the processes outlined herein. The name “Grievance”, its emblem, and all related documentation are the sole property of Louis C. Leitenberger and may not be changed without express written permission of Louis C. Leitenberger or his designated representative. For purposes of this document, the following definitions apply:
Grievance – refers to the overall Grievance organization, community, or family
Charter – refers to this document, containing the core values and rules of Grievance membership
Affiliate – refers to any official Grievance presence in a specific game; includes flagship guilds, Embassies, and Clans (see Article IV)
Member – refers to any player representing Grievance, regardless of rank or affiliation
Article I – Mission Statement
Grievance is a family-oriented online gaming community. We have a very rich and honorable heritage that spans many games over many years, during which Grievance has proven that one can have a very rewarding gaming experience, yet have a life as well. The concepts of family, honor, and loyalty are hallmarks of Grievance and are expected to be upheld and respected by all members.
Article II – Grievance Leadership
Section I – Leadership Positions
While being a family-oriented entity, Grievance adheres to a military style of leadership that invokes a chain of command. This method ensures that the Charter is followed and that members are treated fairly. The following are the leadership roles for Grievance and their functions.
○ Louis C. Leitenberger, hereafter referred to as Steelheart, is the Progenitor of Grievance. He is the original Guild Leader who led the Founders under the Grievance name in EverQuest.
● Grievance Global Gaming, LLC
○ The LLC Members - Louis C. Leitenberger (Steelheart), Leslie A.S. Conway (Liette), and Branden B. Smith (Kujio) - are committed to the advancement of the organization as a whole and actively manage the business side of Grievance. They work as a team and must unanimously agree on all decisions. As with all members, the LLC Members adhere to the Charter and work within its bounds when exercising their authority.
● Grievance Council
○ The Council manages the day-to-day business of Grievance and its relationship to the “real world.” At any time, ten active members serve on the Council: three representatives of Grievance Global Gaming, LLC; five permanent appointments, chosen by the Council (see Article II, Section II) and members for life unless they retire or are removed by the Council (see Article II, Section III); two are rotating appointments.
○ All Council Members have an equal vote in any issue brought before the Council. A minimum of seven Council Members is required to hold a vote on any motion. For motions to remove a Council Member (see Article II, Section III), approve the yearly budget (see Article VII, Section I), ban a member for life (see Article IX, Section I), or amend the Charter (see Article X), at least seven affirmative votes are required for the motion to pass. All other motions require a simple majority of those casting a vote in order to pass.
○ Council Members will have one of the following roles:
■ President – leads the Council by creating agendas for discussion and keeping those discussions on track as needed, including the recognition of speakers. Meeting agendas must be posted on the forums 24 hours prior to a meeting. While any Council Member may propose a motion, only the President may initiate a vote by the Council.
■ Vice-President – takes the role of President if the President is absent.
■ Treasurer – tracks and maintains the treasury for Grievance. All matters dealing with finance must be channeled through the Treasurer. (See Article VII.)
■ Scribe – records the official notes for Council meetings and ensures they are published for Grievance members in a timely manner. Acceptable methods of publication include posting on the Grievance forums or newsletters.
■ Media & Marketing Coordinator – responsible for managing commercial aspects of Grievance, including promotional items. Also maintains Grievance’s presences in social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Twitch, and YouTube. (See Article VII.)
■ Guild Leader Representative – chosen from the Guild Leaders, this position is elected on a yearly basis and is not a lifetime appointment. (See Article II, Section II.)
■ Member Representative – this position is held on a six-month basis and is not a lifetime appointment. (See Article II, Section III.)
■ Grievance Global Gaming, LLC Representatives – function as any other Council Members and are expected to adhere to all other Council Members’ basic duties. However, if a motion is brought forward for a vote that would viably result in negative business-related or legal repercussions for Grievance Global Gaming, LLC or its members, any Grievance Global Gaming, LLC Representative may veto the vote, effectively tabling it until adjustments are made to the motion.
○ Committees may occasionally be created by the Council for specific purposes. Such committees will be headed by the Council Member whose position is most relevant to the committees’ tasks or a designee chosen by the Council.
○ The original Founders of Grievance were Steelheart, Kookus, Tras, Kaitlyn, Piff, Camlain, Trinadie, Ruflyfr, Theloneus, Sigmodon, Moonmaker, and Schmo. These members reserve the right to be heard by the Council prior to a vote. The Council can override this right.
● Guild Leaders
○ Guild Leader is a title conferred upon the person responsible for running a specific flagship guild for Grievance. As a Guild Leader, this person has absolute authority over the flagship guild of which he or she is a member, ensuring fair and balanced decisions are made. Guild Leaders answer directly to the Council. The Council may intervene in the affairs of a flagship guild only if they have determined that those affairs conflict with this Charter or the health and well-being of Grievance.
● Charter Members
○ Charter Members are those who have invested time and money in helping to change Grievance from a loose association of guilds across multiple game platforms to a single entity. As with the Founders, Charter Members have the right to be heard by the Council prior to a vote. The Council can override this right.
Section II - Appointment of Permanent Council Members
In the event of a vacant permanent Council position, either through resignation or removal of a permanent Council Member, each active Council Member may submit one nominee to the President. The President compiles and vets the nominees before presenting them to the Council and setting a date for a vote. Voting will be conducted via exhaustive ballot, where the Council casts votes in successive rounds with the lowest vote-getter in each round eliminated until a single nominee receives a majority of votes cast. In the event of a deadlocked vote, the President will break the tie.
Council Members may nominate themselves for a vacant position. Active Council Members who are nominees for a position must abstain from voting for that position.
Section III - Removal of Permanent Council Members
If a Council Member has become inactive, or is in some way no longer fulfilling the requirements his or her position entails, the President may call for a vote to remove the inactive Council Member from his or her position. Removal of a Council Member requires an affirmative vote from no fewer than seven of the active Council Members not under review for removal.
Section IV – Appointment of Guild Leader Representative
Once per year, Grievance’s Guild Leaders will elect, by popular vote, one of their number not already in a permanent Council position to serve as their representative to the Council. This position turns over annually and is therefore not a permanent appointment. In the event a Guild Leader Representative is unable to complete his or her term, the Council has the right to forgo an additional election and choose a new Guild Leader Representative to serve the duration of the term.
Section V – Appointment of Member Representative
The Member Representative will be a rotating position that changes hands every six months (January 1 and July 1) and is therefore not a permanent appointment. The rotation begins with Grievance’s oldest active flagship guild and proceeds in descending order of age. The Guild Leader of the flagship guild whose turn it is to put forth a Member Representative chooses the member to serve on the Council, with final approval by the Council. In the event a Member Representative is unable to complete his or her term, another member from the same flagship guild will be chosen to serve the duration of the term.
Article III – Grievance Rules for Membership
The following rules apply to all Grievance affiliates and members. In the case of any conflict between a flagship guild charter and this document, this document shall supersede the flagship guild charter. Any member in violation of these rules is subject to punitive action, up to and including expulsion from Grievance and/or its affiliates.
● Members must be eighteen years of age or older to join. Exceptions may be considered by the flagship guild’s Guild Leader on a case-by-case basis. However, no underage member will ever be eligible for beta invitations to test new platforms under any circumstances.
● Bigotry will not be tolerated. This applies to race, creed, color, gender, or sexual orientation. Use of any pejorative with regard to these is forbidden.
● Excessive profanity and sexual content are forbidden, as is discussion of contentious or hot-button topics, such as politics and religion. Standards may vary from affiliate to affiliate but are subject to the approval of the Council.
● Confidentiality is expected at all times. Grievance is a private organization and as such expects its members to keep Grievance business within the organization. No information pertaining to Grievance or its business may be discussed with non-members without approval from a Guild Leader.
● All members are expected to maintain polite behavior when dealing with other people, whether they are Grievance members or non-members.
● At no time will a member be expected to place Grievance before his or her real-life commitments. However, members bear the responsibility of communicating to Grievance when circumstances do not allow them to participate.
● Any member wishing to switch games will be automatically accepted into the affiliate of the game to which he or she has switched. Guild Leaders will decide at what rank the member will be accepted. In the event a member wishes to play more than one game at a time, the member must choose one primary affiliate and adhere to that affiliate’s raid or event schedule when online.
● No member may be an officer in more than one affiliate at a time.
● Purchasing characters, in-game currency, or levels is strictly forbidden, except where expressly permitted by a game’s Terms of Service agreement and done through official channels.
Article IV – Grievance Rules for Affiliates
Grievance is a multifaceted organization and explores expansion opportunities when new platforms or games are developed. Sections I-III cover the process to be used when forming a new flagship guild.
Section I – Petition Requirements
The petitioner must submit the following items to a Council. Failure to submit any item will result in denial of the petition.
● Name of platform or game
● Petitioner’s real name, address, phone, and email contact information
● List of founding members for the flagship guild (game names acceptable)
● Name of member to be Guild Leader
● Draft copy of charter for the flagship guild. This charter must incorporate the following, while adhering to the Grievance Charter:
○ Mission statement
○ Leadership structure
○ Rules for membership
● Draft copy of the loot system to be used by the flagship guild. The loot system must be fair and equitable to the flagship guild’s members. Members must be able to clearly see and understand why someone is winning or earning loot. Duplication of previous loot systems linked on the Grievance forums is encouraged where applicable.
● Explanation of rank system to be used by the flagship guild. While the Guild Leader is given latitude to name and structure ranks as he or she sees fit, the following positions must be included in any such system:
○ Guild Leader (named in petition; there may only be one)
○ Executive Officer (appointed by Guild Leader; must not be related to Guild Leader, including dating)
○ Recruiting Officer (appointed by Guild Leader)
● Must agree to use the Grievance Teamspeak server
Section II – Review of Petition
Once submitted, the petition will be posted for review in the Council forum on the Grievance website. The review period is typically three to seven days but may be extended if deemed appropriate by the Council. If approved, the petitioner’s affiliate will be placed on a six month probationary period for evaluation. This period may be shortened or extended by the Council as they see fit. If the petition is denied, the affiliate will be immediately disbanded or required to cease using the Grievance name and logo.
Section III – Becoming a Full Flagship Guild
If a petitioning affiliate completes the probationary requirements imposed by the Council, probation will end and the affiliate will become an officially-recognized flagship guild of Grievance. Flagship guilds will abide by their own charters and the Grievance Charter and will ensure any new members do the same. Likewise, all flagship guilds are expected to utilize the official Grievance forums (located at http://www.grievancegaming.org) as well as the Grievance Teamspeak server and none other.
Section IV – Embassies and the Ambassador Corps
If there exists enough interest in a game to justify an official Grievance presence, but not enough interest to launch a flagship guild, Grievance may establish an Embassy in said game. Each Embassy will have a single Embassy Leader and will be required to use the official Grievance forums and Teamspeak server, but Embassies are not otherwise subject to requirements governing flagship guilds, such as having a game-specific charter. Should an Embassy grow to sufficient size, an Embassy Leader may choose to petition the Council for flagship guild status by following the procedure outlined in Sections I-III of this Article. Additionally, the Guild Leader of a flagship guild with insufficient membership may, in consultation with the Council, elect to revert to an Embassy.
Collectively, Grievance’s Embassies, Embassy Leaders, and any Embassy-exclusive members constitute the Ambassador Corps. The Ambassador Corps is led by a single Ambassador Director who reports directly to the Council. Embassy Leaders are appointed by, and report to, the Ambassador Director.
Section V – Clans and the FPS Division
Any official Grievance presence in an online or massively multiplayer shooter (or similar game) is termed a “Clan”. Each Clan will have a single Clan Leader and will be required to use the official Grievance forums and Teamspeak server, but Clans are not otherwise subject to the requirements governing flagship guilds. Instead, all Clans must adhere to a single FPS charter, and are collectively referred to as the FPS Division (or “Team Grievance”). The FPS Division is led by a single FPS Director who reports directly to the Council. Clan Leaders are appointed by, and report to, the FPS Director, but Clan Leader appointments must be approved by the Council.
Section VI - Mobile Games and the Mobile Division
The Mobile Division has been established to oversee Grievance presences in mobile and tablet games. The Mobile Division will use the official Grievance forums for member registration, but members will not be required to use Grievance's Teamspeak server during play, nor is the division subject to the requirements governing flagship guilds. The Mobile Division is led by a single Mobile Director who reports directly to the Council. The Mobile Director may, at his or her discretion, appoint leaders to take charge of members and events within individual mobile games.
Article V – Acquisition of Existing Non-Grievance Guild(s)
As Grievance grows, it is possible that existing non-Grievance guilds will approach the Grievance leadership looking to be brought into the organization. This Article will cover how to proceed under three such scenarios.
Section I – Acquisition of a Single Guild
In the event an existing guild in a game with no official Grievance flagship guild wishes to join the organization in its entirety, a three-phase transitional plan will be followed. Each phase requires Council approval to commence.
Phase 1: Investigation. Once the Grievance leadership has been approached by the Guild Leader of the guild looking to join Grievance, the merger will be proposed to the Council, who will vote to provisionally approve or deny the request. If provisionally approved, an Advisor to that guild will be appointed by the Council or the Ambassador Director. The Advisor will serve only as an observer and a liaison; he or she will hold no decision-making authority over the guild. The Advisor will monitor the guild’s activities and membership and report to the Council, giving his or her opinion on whether the guild is a good fit for Grievance. In order to do so, the Advisor must be granted access to and spend time with the guild’s officers and members, within the game as well as in the guild’s current website, forums, and/or voice server, as applicable.
The Advisor will be required to collect and report specific information to the Council regarding the state and suitability of the guild. This information may include, but is not limited to, membership numbers (guild roster and active members), leadership structure, communication capabilities and activity (website, forum, voice chat), membership behavior and demeanor, and overall compatibility with Grievance’s values and standards of conduct.
Following the Advisor’s report, the Council will vote to either approve or deny the guild’s application to join Grievance. If approved, the guild will proceed to Phase 2.
Phase 2: Transition. Once the Council has approved the guild’s application, the Advisor will prepare the guild to join the Grievance organization. To begin, the Advisor must be promoted as the sole Guild Leader within the game in order to protect Grievance’s interests; as before, the Advisor will serve as a liaison, not a decision-maker for the guild. The game’s Guild Leader, officers, and membership will be required to register on the official Grievance forums, and must begin using the Grievance forums and Teamspeak server for all guild business. The Guild Leader will also be required to complete Grievance’s Officer Training Program, along with attending a minimum of one Guild Leader meeting and one monthly Council meeting. The guild’s officers and membership are also encouraged, but required, to attend a Council meeting.
Once all of the above criteria have been met, as well as any additional criteria conveyed by the Council directly to the Guild Leader and Advisor, the Guild Leader may officially petition for flagship guild status in Grievance per the procedure outlined in Article IV, Sections I-III. The Guild Leader is ultimately responsible for preparing the petition, including writing the guild charter and carrying out any leadership restructuring necessary to bring the guild in line with Grievance’s rules, with the Advisor providing assistance and support. The Council will vote to approve or deny the petition. If approved, the guild will proceed to Phase 3.
Phase 3: Official Flagship Guild. Once the guild petition has been approved by the Council, and all conditions for the guild’s entry into Grievance have been met (including, but not necessarily limited to, those outlined in this Section), the guild will be recognized as a full Grievance flagship guild. The guild should immediately begin using the Grievance name, after which the Advisor will return control of the guild to the Guild Leader.
Section II – Merging a Guild with an Existing Grievance Flagship Guild
In the event an existing guild in a game already having a Grievance flagship guild wishes to join the Grievance organization, the merger procedure in its entirety will be coordinated by Grievance’s Guild Leader in that game, in consultation with the Council. The Guild Leader will be responsible for assessing the guild’s membership, leadership structure, etc.; determining whether the guild is a good fit for Grievance; and handling the logistics of the merger, such as migrating their membership to the Grievance forums and Teamspeak server. Officer positions for the merging guild’s leadership will be assigned at the Grievance Guild Leader’s discretion but are not guaranteed. The combined guild must meet all requirements for Grievance flagship guilds outlined in Article IV, including but not limited to carrying the Grievance name and having a single Council-approved Guild Leader in charge.
This type of merger does not require official Council approval to proceed, but Grievance’s Guild Leader must keep them informed throughout the process.
Section III – Merging a Multi-Gaming Organization into Grievance
The leader of the organization must meet with the Progenitor to propose the merger. The Progenitor or his designated agent will investigate the organization and assess the viability of such a merger. If the organization is deemed a good fit for Grievance, details of the proposed merger will be presented to the Council, who will vote to approve or deny the merger under the terms outlined by the Progenitor or his agent. If approved, the merger may begin, with the organization’s guilds being incorporated into Grievance via the procedures detailed previously: any guilds in games with an existing Grievance flagship guild will be merger via the process given in Section II, while guilds in games lacking a Grievance flagship guild will be wholly absorbed via the three-phase transitional plan given in Section I.
Article VI – Websites
Section I – Grievance Website
Grievance maintains a web presence which is located at http://www.grievancegaming.org. This is the central point for communication between all members and affiliates for all things Grievance, whether related to a game or real life. All Grievance business and official notices will be posted at this site. Likewise, all members must be registered on this site. Affiliates may use external sites but will still be required to incorporate the official Grievance forums (located at http://www.grievancegaming.org) into their site and use no other forums but these. Usage of external sites outside of the Grievance site MUST be approved by the Council and will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Any such sites approved this way must meet Grievance affiliate guidelines and have a link to the overall Grievance Charter posted prominently on their site.
Affiliates that do not meet these requirements will be subject to review by the Council.
Section II – Auxiliary Websites
Grievance maintains several websites outside of the main Grievance site, each dedicated to a specific division or project. Examples of such sites include Grievance Total Gaming Network (http://gtgn.tv). These sites are developed, maintained, and administered by Grievance’s Web Division under the supervision of the Web Director and the Council and Grievance Global Gaming, LLC. All such sites are linked from the main Grievance website.
Article VII – Treasury & Merchandising
Grievance maintains a treasury to pay for functions and facilities as well as costs incurred from marketing and merchandising. This Article outlines the use of funds from the Grievance treasury as well as the sale of Grievance merchandise.
Section I – Treasury
Funds in the treasury are the responsibility of the Council Treasurer. The Treasurer will keep records of and report on all financial transactions for the benefit of the Council. Regular statements of financial activity will be presented to the Council no less than once per quarter year. These reports are not required to be publicly posted for the general membership, but the Council may opt to do so if they wish.
Additionally, the Treasurer, in consultation with the LLC, will be responsible for preparing an annual budget to be presented during the first Council meeting of the calendar year. This budget should outline anticipated expenditures and revenues for the Grievance organization as accurately as possible. The Council may elect to add or remove budget items prior to its approval. Effecting the budget requires an affirmative vote from no fewer than seven of the ten active Council members.
In the event of an unplanned expense, or if an approved expenditure significantly exceeds its budget, the expenditure must be approved by vote of the Council at regular Council meetings. In the case of the need for an emergency expenditure, the need may be posted on the Council forum on the official Grievance website. Council Members will have five days from the date of posting to present a “yea” or “nay” vote on said expenditure via that forum. Any member not voting during that time is considered to have abstained from voting.
In all cases where the treasury is concerned, the Treasurer must track and be able to report on the expenditure.
Section II – Merchandising
Grievance makes and sells merchandise to raise money for the treasury in order to help pay for services and facilities used by the membership at large and any costs associated with running Grievance. The Council Media & Marketing Coordinator is responsible for managing all merchandising and associated information, including sales reports. New ideas for Grievance merchandise should be referred to the Media & Marketing Coordinator. By default, the Media & Marketing Coordinator and the Treasurer will work closely together to ensure seamless reporting of finances.
Article VIII – Beta Testing
Grievance has a rich history of beta testing in many games. In the event Grievance has beta invites available to its members, beta testers will be chosen by the Ambassador Director, in consultation with the Council and the game's Guild or Embassy Leader(s). The Ambassador Director will inform the membership of the criteria to be used when selecting testers. Testers must also meet any requirements set by the game's developer and be at least eighteen years of age.
Article IX – Dispute Resolution
Section I – Recourse for Grievance
Grievance reserves the right to review or reverse decisions made by Guild Leaders that are in violation of the Charter. Such action will only be taken by the Council when said Guild Leader is unwilling to correct said decision(s). If deemed necessary, the Guild Leader may be removed by the Council.
Grievance may institute a lifetime ban for any member based on recommendation of said member’s Guild Leader or for flagrant violation of the Charter. This requires an affirmative vote from no fewer than seven of the ten active Council Members.
The Council will arbitrate all disputes between affiliates. Decisions resulting from such arbitration are binding on all parties.
Section II – Recourse for Members
Members should address concerns or issues with their respective Guild Leaders. In any instance where a Guild Leader has violated the Charter, a member may seek a ruling from the Council. Additionally, members banned by a Guild Leader may petition the Council for reinstatement. The Council reserves the right to refuse to hear the case, if they so choose.
Article X – Changes to the Charter
This Charter cannot cover every possible event. For those instances when a decision must be made that is not directly covered by the Charter, the Council may codify its decisions in an Errata section. The Council will not make additions to the Errata section except in cases where omission would cause confusion or be otherwise detrimental to the good of Grievance. The Errata will be posted as a “living document” that, while separate from the Charter, is binding on all members as an extension of the Charter. Amending the Charter requires an affirmative vote from no fewer than seven of the ten active Council Members.
No document is able to cover every contingency. This Errata section is designed to cover any gaps in the Grievance Charter. When the Council or LLC make interpretations from the Charter that will set precedent for future circumstances, those decisions and interpretations will be placed in this section. The Errata is a “living document”; that is, it will be added to over time. However, the Council and LLC should take great care to add only those interpretations that are meant to be binding. Nothing should be added to this section without forethought regarding the long-term ramifications to Grievance and its members. Items here are listed in order as they are referred to in the Charter. For ease of reference, the Article governing the item is given.
Affiliates of Grievance (as of 1/2/2015)
Listed oldest to newest
World of Warcraft – Horde
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn
World of Warcraft – Alliance
The Elder Scrolls Online
Black Desert Online
Blade & Soul