Newsgroups: alt.dragons-inn,alt.dragons-inn.misc From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Dave) Subject: ***--=> How to Create a New Character <=--*** Organization: The Dragon's Inn Bureaucracy Distribution: world
Version 4.01 Last revised 10 Feb 2003
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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) Cavaet Overview (Executive Summary for you MBA types!) Creating A New Character The Inn, Montfort, and surrounding areas How To Post Ettiquette Frequently Asked Questions Fame! Listing in the FAQ! Mail to News and News to Mail Gateway! Errata _________________________________________________________________
***Corrections and Improvements
If you have corrections, improvements, ideas, etc., please e-mail email@example.com Also, if you'd like the full FAQ e-mailed to you, contact firstname.lastname@example.org _________________________________________________________________
***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: http://www.dragons-inn.org/
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 excellent! _________________________________________________________________
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 off.
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 dates..at 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 Sera.
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 prosperity.
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 appropriately.
***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!
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.
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 normal.
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 deficiency.
Q. Can I have multiple characters?
Q. I have a great idea that really ought to be included in the FAQ materials...
A. Please, tell me more....email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or posting something like:
[FAQ] - Post Please
Also; if you have questions, comments, suggestions, etc., please feel free to e-mail:
email@example.com (Dave Womack)
We'll look forward to seeing you soon!
Visitors since May 27, 2000
Last revised: 02.10.2003 07:19:34 PM