Newsgroups: alt.dragons-inn,alt.dragons-inn.misc
From: (Dave)
Subject: ***--=> How to Create a New Character <=--***
Organization: The Dragon's Inn Bureaucracy
Distribution: world
Version 4.01   Last revised 10 Feb 2003  
            Even MORE Details at website:
World Wide Web:   
The regular posting of the starter-faq, which
is now equivalent to faq part a.
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alt.dragons-inn starter-faq
*** INDEX ***
Posting Frequency
Corrections and Improvements
World Wide Web and FTP sites
Advertising (NOT Welcome in any form)
Overview (Executive Summary for you MBA types!)
Creating A New Character
The Inn, Montfort, and surrounding areas
How To Post
Frequently Asked Questions
Fame!  Listing in the FAQ!
Mail to News   and   News to Mail   Gateway!
***Corrections and Improvements
If you have corrections, improvements, ideas, etc., please
e-mail  Also, if you'd like the full
FAQ e-mailed to you, contact
***World Wide Web and FTP sites
You can now retrieve the full faq, maps, character lists,
as well as experimental materials by both anonymous ftp and
the world wide web!
World Wide Web:
Also - longer descriptions of people and places are now
being maintained in the ftp subdirectories Inn-Places and
Inn-Chars.  Hopefully, this will soon have lots of rich
detail that we can use!  And, we now have some summaries of
ongoing stories that can be accessed.  In particular, the
Kaitlyn's Curse portion (still under construction) is 
Sadly, it appears to have become necessary to add an
administrative note.  This group does not welcome advertising.
It does not welcome on-topic advertising.  It does not welcome
off-topic advertising.  Discussion of netiquette, especially as
regards advertising or 'spamming' can be found in the groups
news.answers and news.announce.newusers.
This is a truncated version of the FAQ, specially made for folks
who want to join in.  First, please understand that alt.dragons-inn
is a dynamic place--and that means change!  So...even though every 
effort is made to keep things up to date, events may have obsoleted
a few items.
***Overview (Executive Summary for you MBA types!)
As one correspondent so aptly stated, this is an ongoing 
multi-user dialogue which is creating a fantasy story on the fly.
As a story, 'stats' are inappropriate; rather, the actions, thoughts,
plots and plans of your character(s) are what's needed.  No game
system per se is used, and with the greater emphasis on copyrights
these days, it may be better to leave the name of any gaming system
The adventures take place on the world Ifreann, a place not so
different from Earth but with far more magical energy.  The magic
makes it possible for dragons to live well, and increase in number
...for human wizards and sorcerers to achieve legendary results;
and for even the common people to have just a bit more 'luck'
than might exist on 20th century earth!
Ifreann is the 7th planet circling the star Bellatrix, 3rd brightest
star in the constellation Orion, 450 light years from Earth.  The 
star is a blue white giant - which means several things.  Life did
not evolve naturally on Ifreann, but rather came by other means.
The natural energy of the star accounts for the greater availability
of magic.  Earth's star, Sol, just doesn't provide as much power as
does Bellatrix.  Finally, Ireann is 'doomed' to never develop 
technology!  The ultraviolet and x-ray output of Bellatrix is so great
great that any widespread technology much beyond the present would
in a loss of ozone, and resultant destruction of life on the planet.
A few of the most knowledgable wizards and some of the ancient dragons
know this, but it isn't common knowledge.  It's one of the reasons
dragons and wizards don't like technology!  So, on a clear winter
night, you can look up and see the star Ifreann orbits....
The group is oriented towards swords-and-sorcery, with touches of
technology.  Peasants, knights in armour, dragons, evil sorcerers,
good wizards and so forth populate the area.
The seasons are quite similar to Earth, and the least,
from the perspective of the Inn...will tend to be the same as
on Earth.  The year is 997;  although exactly what happened
997 years ago isn't known.....
***Creating A New Character
How to create a character?  Perhaps the keyword is *_Reasonability_*.
Super powerful characters with limitless ability can become tiresome
to those who try to interact with them.  This is surely not to
suggest that your character shouldn't have some strengths.  Reading
existing posts is a pretty good guide to this;  as you'll see, the
best characters have weaknesses, faults, some good qualities and
some rough areas.  
First, then, decide on what sort of being you want to use.  A human,
perhaps?  Or an elf?  Half-Orcs can make very interesting characters...
as can Dragons!  Then, you'll want a name;  these can (and do!) range
from the mundane to the colorful.  Next, determine what you want the
character to be like...a fighter?  A thief?  Someone running from a
past they want to forget?  Now add a bit of color;  some eccentricities,
if you will.  Define appearance, such as clothing, facial expressions,
and so forth. Finally, add a touch of personality..gruff, trusting,
suspicious....paranoid, perhaps...or, stern, with a soft heart.
You've now created a very viable character!  You need not define
every nuance or detail;  you'll find these are best developed within
the context of interaction with other characters.  The very best
characters aren't static;  they evolve, grow, and change.
OK, you've got your character in mind...what next?  If there is an
existing game, it may well have about as many people as is practical
to work with.  So, it's best to contact (via private e-mail) the leading
character(s) you want to get involved with.  In the alternative, show up
at the Dragons Inn and introduce yourself there;  if there are other
adventurers already present, you can form your own adventure.  Or, when
existing adventures are over, you can be part of some newly formed group.
Adventures seem to work best with between 3 and 5 people involved.  This
is not a hard and fast rule, but the logistics just seem to work out
that way.
Perhaps you'd like a more creative way to appear than merely showing
up at the Inn.  Certainly, there is nothing wrong with that!  You
could have a series of postings that outlined the character's past
leading up to their appearance on Ifreann.  This is an outstanding
way to get some interest from other players, since they may well
perceive your background as the seed of an exciting future adventure.
***The Inn, Montfort, and surrounding areas
A variety of terrain surrounds the area, including
mountains and cliffs, rivers and streams, open fields
and forbidding forests.  Weather is generally temperate,
with an occasional storm to add variety.
Activity centers around a tavern (famous in the area)
named The Dragon's Inn.  It has a large common room
where meals and a great variety of beverages are served,
some private dining rooms, a number of sleeping rooms
available for rent, and horse stables for the traveler's
convenience.  The Inn's goods and services are of fine
quality, and reasonably priced.  Local law and custom,
and a number of magical spells inhibit fights and attacks
inside The Dragon's Inn.  The bartender and his associates
don't like trouble (it's really bad for business), and are
not above using a bar mallet on those who tear things up
at the Inn!  On a positive note, news, rumors, employment,
and just about anything else are here in abundance!  The
Innkeeper/Bartender is Hugh Rogers, and the barmaid is named
The Inn is well protected with magic, and starting fires to
destroy the Inn just won't work.  About all that happens
is that the fire sputters and goes out.
Roughly 20 years ago, Montfort was a dirty little town, with a
poor population who led a meager existence primarily based on
subsistence farming.  Lord Roger Benton, Baron of Carnarvon
has ruled this area since achieving his coronet in his early
30's.  His enlightened rule, combining low taxation, stable
laws and regulations, and encouragement of business..along with
some careful investments in roads and other infrastructure..
have combined with fortunate location, generally mild weather,
and other factors to produce an extended period of growth and
Today, Montfort is an affluent city, with a substantial marketplace,
a few truly wealthy merchants, and a thriving population.  Work is
widely available, with skilled artisans always in demand, and jobs
available even for the unskilled and untrained.  Goods of every
description can be obtained...for a price!  One of the locally
famous areas is the Dragons Inn.  In the same room, one can
find the mayor and several judges lunching at one table, and a
group of adventurers discussing evil spells and wizards' gold
at another.
Crime is low in Montfort, although not unheard of...the city watch
is competent if not excellent.  Most of the people are decent,
honest, peaceable folk who are friendly to strangers and each
other if given the chance.  Conversely, they are prepared to
deal with criminal behavior if necessary.  Hooliganism, such as
fighting and brawling in public houses, can result in a sentence
to the stocks, or to jail;  more serious crimes are dealt with
***How To Post
How to post?  It's nice to have a somewhat standard format (so your
many fans can find you easily!); we've found the following works well:
[Adventure] - Whosis - Running in circles
This makes it easy to tell who is doing what to whom!
Your first post at the inn might read:
[Inn] - John Doe - New Character
Manners.  No, nobody cares whether you use the correct fork during your
meal at the Inn!  But some things _do_ matter.  Until you get to know
know someone pretty well, don't write up something that will affect their
character *_especially_* if it is at all adverse, without their prior
agreement!  To say "The thief picks Sir Whatsis's pocket, takes 
everything he's got, and runs off into the night" is rude;  and most of
us can get enough rudeness on the expressway without logging on to get
more!  Indeed, it can be a lot more fun for all involved to say
"Sir Whatsis decided to attack the evil thief, drew his sword, and swung
at the miscreant's neck....", thus allowing (dare we say encouraging?)
the other player to post "The thief ducked just in time to avoid the
loss of his head, and ducked into the shadows...he pulled a knife, in
the event he was followed...".  Notice that nobody is determining what 
someone else's character does or suffers;  each person determines only
what their own character is doing!
Starting up your own group and recruiting others is just fine!  Doing
unpleasant or insulting things to other's characters can be regarded
rude, and is certainly subject to their veto, modification, or 
adaptation in responding posts.  Rude behavior 'in character' (i.e.,
making pointed remarks about another character's ancestry) is
likely to result in the same results as in real life ...reciprocity
of rudeness!  Additionally, it's important to realize that actions
'in character' may well bear no resemblance to the behavior or
personality of an actual person.  Someone who is a 'lost cause' or
worse in the game may in 'real life' be perfectly reasonable;  let us
all hope that the opposite is not the case!
Also...Once an adventure is started, if you need to withdraw, *_please_*
advise the other players, either with e-mail or a posting.  In general,
if you don't post for an extended period <which definition will vary
somewhat with the adventure> you may get a friendly request about your
intentions;  later, if you still can't or won't post, it will be assumed
that the character wandered off somewhere.  After that, their slot may
be filled be someone else;  hence, such a player might not be welcomed 
back into that particular adventure.
***Frequently Asked Questions
I.   God & Deities
     Q.  Is there an existing, predefined pantheon?
     A.  No, not yet...
     Q.  Can I use my own creations of God & Deities?
     A.  Absolutely!  Please do!
II.  Cities & Towns
     Q.  Can I add a shop, store, or other detail to an existing
         city or town?
     A.  Sure!  Although it's nice if it observes the local
         building codes and doesn't clash too much.
     Q.  I want to create my own city or town, and place it on
         the map.  Can I do that?
     A.  By all means!  
     Q.  There isn't much detail about the cities and towns;  is anything
         being done about this?
     A.  Some work is being done on a 'hi-lites' faq...but it isn't
         anywhere near complete.  Also, there is an effort underway
         to put place summaries on the web page and the ftp site;  but
         it is all 'under construction' at the present.
     Q.  I want to build my own house/tower/castle.  Can I?
     A.  Of course!  
III. Titles
     Q.  I've always wanted to be a Grand Duke.  Can I give myself a
         fancy title?
     A.  Sure.  For that matter, you can create your own order of
         knighthood and recruit other players to join;  oppress the
         peasants until they revolt;  or court the King's daughter.
IV.  Adventuring
     Q.  Should we have a posting order?  A set sequence of posting,
         such that each person posts in turn?
     A.  That's an individual choice.  Some groups really like to work
         this way, others find it too restrictive.  It's up to you and
         those you interact with.
     Q.  Should we e-mail our moves to other group members at the same
         time we post our actions?
     A.  It's a good idea.  Newsreaders don't all work at the same rate;
         and it isn't necessarily your site's fault.  Rather, it is one
         of the inherent characteristics of Usenet.  By sending mail,
         you sidestep the problem of slow propagation.
     Q.  I love technology.  Can I use a gun?
     A.  Yes...but the general 'flavor' of the place is more oriented to
         swords and sorcery.  And the locals aren't weak and helpless
         targets;  they can and will fight back.
     Q.  I like Dragons.  Can I play one?
     A.  I'd never argue with a Dragon...actually, there are several
         dragon characters in play at this time!
     Q.  I'm really into role playing, and my character hates another
         player's character.  Can I go ahead and hurt/kill the other
         person's character?
     A.  That brings us to the one 'Hard and Fast Rule' listed below.
         The answer is no, not without the other person's consent...and,
         for the future attorneys out there, that's actual consent, not
         merely constructive consent!
V.   Hard and Fast Rules
     Q.  Are there any?
     A.  Just one really;  don't affect other people's characters without
         their permission.  Unleashing all the powers of (fill in name of
         fearsome area here) against (fill in name of target here) is
         fine...but only the target gets to decide if, and to what degree,
         they were injured by the attack.  Same with any other attack;
         the other person decides the results.
     Q.  Yeah, but my character's a thief, and I don't want to wait around
         at the Inn until somebody decides to interact with me.  I want to
         pick the locks at their house/shop/tower/castle, steal their stuff,
         and leave a clue so they can find me.
     A.  Same situation as above.  Just because you want to do
         something to somebody doesn't mean they'll appreciate it.  Arrange
         such actions by private e-mail first.  It is not appropriate to
         injure other people's creations...whether it's a character,
         a place, a house, or whatever.  Also, you may well be damaging
         a prearranged story line.
     Q.  OK, but I really want my character to meet some other character!
     A.  Fine!  What would one do in real life?  Walk over to their table
         at the Inn perhaps.  Or, knock on their door.  It really does 
         work...and, there are no hard feelings.  And, if you want something
         more creative, you can always set it up first via private e-mail.
     Q.  I'm being ignored!  I'm gonna burn down the Inn - Destroy
         Montfort - Destroy Ifreann - Explode Bellatrix
     A.  Patience and persistence are virtues.  The Inn cannot be
         destroyed (there are too many protective spells);  neither
         can Montfort, Ifreann, or Bellatrix.
VI.  Getting Started
     Q.  Do I have to start a character at the Inn?
     A.  No...although it's generally the easiest place to start.
     Q.  OK, I posted a character at the Inn, but everybody ignored me.
         what now?
     A.  A touch of persistence is what's needed.  Some interesting
         characters have left after just one or two postings;  and
         that's a shame.  Talk to the bartender (Hugh Rogers...and
         he doesn't mind if you put words in his mouth), or the
         overworked but kind-hearted barmaid Sera...and, at some
         point, you'll find a like minded soul to interact with!
     Q.  I'm having newsreader problems!
     A.  You are *_not_* alone!  In general, when an article is read it
         seems to disappear;  however, your newsreader just marked it
         as having been read.  Also, articles expire and are deleted
         after a while;  such expiration varies with the site (and
         available disk space).  It seems to range from 48 hours to
         60 days, with either extreme being exceptional.  A week seems
VI.  Administration
     Q.  My character *_still_* isn't listed in the FAQ or the player
         directory!  Why not?
     A.  Fortunately, alt.dragons-inn is a growing and dynamic place.
         However, it isn't always possible to scan every post for new
         elements to include.  Please refer to the section:
         ***Fame for further information on how to correct this
     Q.  Can I have multiple characters?
     A.  Certainly!
     Q.  I have a great idea that really ought to be included in the
         FAQ materials...
     A.  Please, tell me
Want more information?  So far, we've got a 3-part FAQ,
a player directory, and maps for the local, expanded, and
continental level.  Assuming you don't have anonymous ftp
or world wide web access - which are quicker and more
efficient for you - you can get these materials by either
sending an email request to:
or posting something like:
[FAQ] - Post Please
Also;  if you have questions, comments, suggestions, etc.,
please feel free to e-mail:           (Dave Womack)
We'll look forward to seeing you soon!

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Last revised: 02.10.2003 07:19:34 PM