Welcome to Canis Major

a wolf and animal rpg (role-playing game)

Canis is a writing community for play-by-post (forum-based), freeform roleplay set in a fictional dream world in the intrusion fantasy genre. Most characters on Canis are wolves; many play elements are focused around wolves and canids, but the world makes room for a large variety of other animal characters such as dogs, horses, cats, bears, deer, and many, many more.

Our community is focused on flexibility, creativity, and collaboration. That boils down to a few important features:

  • There is no set activity requirement to write, though the game also rewards high activity
  • The setting and plot are member-created and staff-supported
  • Writing is collaborative, and so is our supportive community
  • The game is continuously improved to increase fun and decrease stress

Learn more in our Guidebook!

Poll: Should Canis disallow artwork that is not accurate to the character, even with a note?
You do not have permission to vote in this poll.
Artwork of all kinds should be allowed on Canis even if it is not accurate, no note required
15 votes (24.59%)
Artwork that is not accurate should always require an easy-to-see note in the signature and character profile
35 votes (57.38%)
Artwork that is not accurate should not be allowed as an avatar
6 votes (9.84%)
Artwork that is not accurate should not be allowed anywhere, except linked from the character profile to an external site
3 votes (4.92%)
I am indifferent
2 votes (3.28%)
0 votes (0%)

POLL: Character Images and Appearance Accuracy

09-19-2022, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2022, 03:41 PM by zina. Edited 8 times in total.)
Hey folks! Recently the staff team posted an announcement regarding inaccuracies in artwork:
Lately we have had many profiles include bangs in character submissions. This is not allowed in any form but artistic interpretation. All inaccurate features (not just "hair") in art should be noted visibly on the character profile. Moving forward the staff may remove any art that does not fit the setting if inaccurate features are not noted properly to avoid confusion.

As it stands today, artwork which does not fit the setting and is not obviously marked as inaccurate (excluding approved mutations) will be removed.

The staff team has also been discussing whether we should be accepting character profiles that contain this type of inaccurate art at all, since not everyone reads the note and the notes themselves are not always easy to see.

This is relevant for all inaccurate artwork that includes but is not limited to:
  • extra biological leeway, such as super long tails, hair, leg feathering, enlarged teeth, etc.
  • colouration, especially in references, that is not what the character actually looks like
  • accessories that are not found in Canis, such as modern gear, plastics, or jewelry that is not feasible for wear

After some discussion, we decided to come to the member base to see how y'all are feeling about this. If you have more detailed opinions you would like to share, please feel free to do so with respect, especially to those with such artwork that this decision will directly affect. Please post your thoughts once and do not reply to someone else with "I agree" unless you have something more to add.

Note that the most popular poll items aren't necessarily what will be decided on, but they will help inform staff team decisions in the near future.
the staff team luvs u
09-20-2022, 03:56 PM (This post was last modified: 09-21-2022, 03:41 AM by Daighre. Edited 11 times in total.)
I think it's an overall minor issue, as in, I don't personally believe this will make or break the site for anyone, myself included—but I do think users who have character art and characters that heavily feature hair, and that the aforementioned users who are aware of the site's stance on hair, that continue to commission such art for Canis use are, in a way, attempting to skirt by the rules, especially by then placing a small note somewhere almost hidden, and are attempting to push site boundaries.

(But I do just heavily dislike hair on non-human characters and overly anthropomorphized, cartoonish art and characters.)

I also think the same or similar for characters whose art do not accurately represent them. "Characters cannot be blue or purple or red" then followed by a blue or purple or red character with a small note marked, "Not actually that saturated!"

And I know that this is boundary pushing behaviour because I have done similar on sites that didn't allow unrealistic eye colours, marking Daighre's eyes as orange but fully knowing I wanted them red and asking for them to be coloured red in art.

My final thoughts would be, I think Canis has a very unique site culture, and that said site culture has led to this.

On other wolf roleplay sites, the rules or expectations would be, of course your character art and your character profile has to accurately and (within the set boundaries of the site) realistically represent your character. I don't think that would be stifling or harming creativity. On another site, you couldn't have a picture of a horse and go, "This is my wolf character." but that's an exaggeration of the situation at hand, just to make an example. But I do understand Canis lends itself in its leniency and laid back rules.

After some more thinking, I just want to say, and repeat, I believe the current nature of the site (and the direction the poll is leading) implies, or even outright means, that a character's reference does not need to be a faithful or accurate representation of the character. I would compare this to ordering a commission, and when the artists asks for a reference, you show them a 'reference' and then a paragraph listing all the ways the character's appearance actually differs from the reference, which I do not believe is fair or just, and goes against the point of a visual reference of your character.

I also want to repeat... What other site would allow a character reference that does not truthfully or accurately represent your character?

"My character's eyes are red, but they don't allow red, so I will describe them as orange in the profile to make the character creation rules, but I will describe them as red in posts, and allow others to do so while having all art be of my character with red eyes that goes against site character creation rules."

Or, an alternative, "This is a semi-realistic wolf site, here is my notably fantasy wolf, I will still use the art and not change the design to fit the site rules, I will continue to use my fantasy art and commission more using the fantasy character reference for a semi-realistic site with a list a mile long saying what isn't accurate."

The two above examples are not directly lifted from the site, and are just examples of how I see the current argument.

I believe people pushing back against alternatives want bangs and human hair styles for their characters.

I think it comes down to an issue of what staff decides is allowed (and not allowed) for character creation. Hair is not allowed? All references showing hair are denied. Hair is allowed? References and character art showing hair are allowed.
the staff team luvs u
09-20-2022, 04:08 PM
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the staff team luvs u
09-20-2022, 04:21 PM
just imo;

some artists have wispy/unrealistic styles. that's okay. we still love them. as long as a note is there in an easy-to-read format. not role-played out they have horns, wispy long tails, wings, etc. However for art that is actually visible outside of aesthetic profiles; I believe an avatar should be what the character actually looks like. this gives us our first real look at the character we RP with. I always reference art in an RP scene, in subtle ways. am I personally attracted? is my character? maybe, but how do I know if the ref is accurate if you don't tell me?

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09-20-2022, 04:32 PM
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Weeb Supremacy 
09-20-2022, 05:07 PM
I believe that profile pictures should be mostly realistic, I think bangs should be fine as that is some peoples styles, but I think profiles should be fine. A lot of people use profiles to show more artistic variations of their characters.
the staff team luvs u
09-20-2022, 05:30 PM
I'm fine with requiring notes, but I feel limiting aesthetic, stylistic choice is a little silly when I really just wanna draw Astartes and Rita with Obvious Warhammer References in their poses. Like to me, it's clearly just Aesthetic Shit that isn't actually a representation of my character.

I also like the idea that sometimes it takes a while to get new refs of a character. IK that's my case with Cobalt right now. But there are lines when it comes to what is/isn't realistic, and I wouldn't call most of the art that people get on this site "realistic." It would invalidate a lot of money spent by players if we suddenly required everything to be realistic, rather than just a note going "yeah they don't have an eyepatch/laurel crown."
the staff team luvs u
09-20-2022, 05:31 PM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2022, 05:39 PM by Lunafreya. Edited 1 time in total.)
Whole-heartedly agree with Roslyn here! I think there should be room for artistic expression within avatars and profile art given that theres no wings or.... you know- neons. It would be unfair for those to have spent money on art no longer able to use them. I think pushing for a middle line between realistic and artist expression would be best; Such as having people put notes on their profiles.

EDIT: To add, I know that many people within and  outside of the canis community do commission me for artwork that would be pushing the bounds, such as bangs or "hair" on characters. I dont necessarily think people having this type of art are being malicious (ie pushing boundaries on purpose) as much of these characters exist outside the site and on various other sites where such rules are allowed.
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[Image: dfbjdly-16ddff40-84a4-434a-bf9a-9d97d651...pAu8Yg7lLY]

" Everyone who isn’t us is an enemy—"
09-20-2022, 06:23 PM
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All of my characters are rated 3-3-3
Visit my art shop here
09-20-2022, 10:19 PM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2022, 10:25 PM by sparx. Edited 1 time in total. Edit Reason: emmetT* >:^( )
My stance is in line with Emmett/Daighre on this; appearance is a minor thing, especially with the kinds of 'boundary-pushing' that occurs. As long as people don't have art of high fantasy traits/otherwise extremely boundary-breaking traits like horns, wings, or any other sort of extra limbs, it's completely harmless. My personal taste is also that I don't care for hair on canines, but it's so negligible & wouldn't affect anything even if allowed (which I'm not pushing for), that I see no reason to disallow portraying such minor artistic interpretations.

I'm the type of person who cares about the tangible effects of something. So to me, this poll begs the question: is allowing inaccurate art-- even with a note-- having a negative effect on the website? I would say no, as I've yet to see anyone explain how. I have not even seen people describing their wolf character as, say, having a tuft of hair on their head in posts (which, again, even if they did, that would be entirely harmless, as it does not affect the character's physical abilities or knowledge whatsoever).

To prevent any sort of slippery slope concerns, I'd just say to draw a hard line somewhere in the rules. Ex: art that depicts characters with high fantasy traits (wings, horns, many eyes, etc) is not allowed. Minor artistic flair like extra tufts of hair, dog-like flowing fur on wolves, slightly exaggerated color palettes like purple-tinted or blue-tinted greys, are allowed.

I love that we are allowed to have human items in the game, it really adds to the intrusion fantasy element & reminds us that these characters really came from other universes. & it's a good opportunity to get characters asking questions about just what is going on here & why. The same rule would apply to these items as does physical traits; & the items already have a good deal of restrictions on them (not being able to put them back on if taken off, having to wake up with them, anything past a certain technological era is not allowed). I feel this is fair, especially when these items are completely useless to wolves, so they are purely aesthetic in that regard.

So, TL;DR: The way artistic flair has been handled thus far in requiring a note explaining it is different in-game is sufficient. & anything not on par with high fantasy should be allowed in art, because it is so negligible-- also, moderating this way would probably be more work & stress on both staff & members than being more lax with what is allowed, even though this will still require taking things on a case-by-case basis.

the staff team luvs u
09-22-2022, 06:20 PM
The decision result of this poll has been posted: https://canismajor-rpg.com/showthread.ph...7#pid43957
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