Where do you go from here?
You've created your character. Now what? You don't know P.E.R.N. very well? You don't have every Weyr, every term, every plot figured out and filed away yet? Don't despair, read on!
Guidelines to Posting at Arolos
A lot of people when joining an RPG have a perfectly natural concern about how to join in on the fun, and are worried about offending existing players and don't know quite where to stand. With that in mind, the BoD have come up with a few do's and don'ts that hopefully will make you feel more confident about getting into the action.
For an FAQ, you can visit this page: The BoD's FAQ
First of all begin with your persona.
Try not to have a Super Character. Known as "Mary Sue's" elsewhere I think you probably know what we mean. Someone who is unbearably good at everything, is a saint and universally adored. I hate to say it, but if you met that person in real life then would you love them? No, they'd probably irritate the daylights out of you. The chances are they will out of the other characters. This will result in very little play for your character simply because no-one particularly likes a smart alec and solving every problem with breathless ease is boring for you and everyone else.
This is not to say that your character cannot have talent, cannot develop themselves but if they do, give them a human flaw too. For example - if they are an excellent fighter..give them a personality flaw, a reckless streak, a temper-- something like that to overcome. Real Characters stay the distance in an RPG, a Mary Sue does not.
Please write in the "third person". This seems to be the universal writing style in Arolos. We've had a few people try to do a first person narrative and, whether it is because the other players feel uncomfortable, they got little interaction because people could not mesh the styles. If you want people to respond to your posts then..please follow this advice!
Often the most daunting thing. Our advice is to join the ArolosOOC list, because on here you can see when people put out requests for others to post in their plots, get to meet people and ask for them to help you.
Candidates being Searched.
First of all you can write an introduction post of them being dropped off at the Weyr and write a "attention Anyone" or specifically report to the Candidate Master or Weyrlingmaster assistants. Please if that is the case put that in the subject line. Arolos is mail heavy and subject lines are a good way of narrowing things down. If you are posting having already been Searched, you will have been Searched by a blue dragon and given a Search token with the BoDs Searchriders name (I'rastil and Ginklith) on it and the Arolos Emblem. You will have been given instructions to present yourself to the Candidate Masters office to be signed in.
Alternatively you can request on ArolosOOC for a Search Dragon. There is a BoD Search Dragon designate so if none of the other players volunteer, there is always at least ONE Search Dragon on duty!
New Riders transferring in should report to one of the Weyrguides (again, put it in the subject line) who will help you get settled. Again posting arrival and tagging these in a subject line will get results.
So now you've arrived, you are in...how to break in on the action. There are several options.
1.Pick up and join a thread
Not as hard as it seems. People tend to run Attn Anyone threads frequently.
The one thing that is worth saying is that please think of the same rules of conversation that you would in everyday life. Try and think if it would be rude to butt in or not. On the whole an attempt to incorporate everyone will be made, but try and read the posts all the way through. Jumping in when an incident is closed and the other characters are walking off isn't going to get you a lot of converstaion!. However..jumping in then and going up to a character and saying.. "What did I miss?" is perfectly acceptable. It's logical to do that - people would be curious about a possible fight or argument.
If a post is a "closed post" it should have a title and then Part 1, Part 2 etc next to it then fairly obviously that is something that shouldn't be joined.
If it appears that you are gate crashing threads on a regular basis, you will get a "heads up" message from the BoD. This is not meant to stop you writing and is in fact to help you to continue writing as most peoples reactions to a crashed thread is to ignore that person. Hopefully having read this this won't be applicable!
2. Start an Attn Anyone thread.
Please bear in mind doing a thread where people are locked away in their weyr and musing inwardly is not likely to encourage interaction!. You have to actually be in a position to interact to get response (although there is no rule against standalone posts). With this in mind, there are plenty of places where you can set yourself up to get a response. The Dining Hall, the Lake, the Lower Caverns, The Barracks. There are ALWAYS some people around. It doesn't have to be specific - walk up to an unspecified "group of people", or a person...and usually someone will step in.
3.Start a 'Professional' thread
This would be where your character goes and consults with a Harper, a Healer, a Crafter, a specific character type. People will respond to that - sometimes more than one!
Ensuring Play and having fun.
This relies on a few basic RPG play by email principles. No matter what RPG you play in these will always apply.
1) Character is always important. Try and write in character. If you have set up a persona as a shy introvert having them stride up to people and leap into situation is not consistent. If you write a persona that is notorious for sticking their nose in then it is logical that they would horn in on the action.
2) When writing provide 'hooks' for other characters to latch onto.
With the best will in the world people will find it difficult to respond to you if you don't feed them a line, an action, a description to pick up on.
If you character is feeling uncommunicative then do a description of what they are feeling, or their appearance.
Char1:- "How are you today" he asked politely
This doesn't promote a great deal of scope for the other person to react.
Char1 :- "How are you today?" he asked politely
Char2:- "Fine" she replied witha brave little smile that didn't quite reach her eyes.
The second would give the first player something for their character to pick up on and run with if necessary.
3) Be patient.
Horrifying though it might seem people have Real Lives - yes don't faint. There will be times where your post is not responded to immediately - be a little patient when this happens. Also there are points where posts get overlooked (it's easy to do). Our advice is if you haven't received a reply for over a day, ask on OOC...and then repost it to the List.
4) Recognise when a Thread has run its course and tidy up after yourself.
This is usually done by posting a little OOC message when you think it is time to move on either on the OOC list or on the bottom of a post suggesting you wrap it up. Both are acceptable. Big plot wrapping up will usually be done by the BoD
5) No "power playing".
We've made this a List Rule but it is worth emphasising. If you have permission to use another persons characters (which can happen) then it is fine to use them. But otherwise, please don't assume someone elses actions. In a non specific way you can for example "The Healers came running to help him.." but specifically naming a character and defining their reactions in your writing is not allowed - they could be unavailable. Similarly powerplaying also refers to not allowing a logical response from a character. You have to give people a chance to react. Most people are ameniable to playing along with a course of action but in a fight for example, someone is going to have to lose somewhere along the line and that has to be decided between the writers, not by writing a line of "And he punched him knocking him out completely with a lucky blow winning the confrontation" without consulting with the other people involved. What you could say is "He threw a punch, that if it connected would knock his opponent out completely" and then let the other person react. Oh the joys of RP!
Hopefully these Guidelines will help you. We do understand that with the best will in the world everyone is at somepoint going to slide across the line on some of them, we are not perfect other wise we would all be Mary Sues and no-one would want to talk to us! Please try to avoid the pitfalls as much as possible
Additional notable points
Arolos Standard Time
Affectionately know as Arolos Fuzzy Time. For those of you used to a linear timeline Arolos may be a shock. You can be posting with the same character in several different post threads at the same time in Real Life because several different times are in play on list. This CAN get confusing so we try and reference things by events. Occassionally a character will end up in two different places at the same time but as long as that is by accident rather than design it is glossed over. We try and encourage people to put a "day after Hatching " reference on a post or similar. Then the events are collated once in a while and added to the Arolos Standard TimeLine on the Website and it's timing is regarded as official.
Arolos Evil Plots.
Arolos sets great store by Evil plots. There are varying degrees of them and it would be useful to know where you stand on them
Minor Evil Plots.
Everyone is encouraged to do these as often as you want!
These are storylines that are essentially between characters and not Weyrwide. Relationships, trauma's, mischeif, pranks etc. the best way to think of it is as if it were something you as an inidividual could be involved in your own life. For example, your friends, your social life, your background, illness, etc. you don't need permission, you just start it off.
If you feel that what you are doing might borderline on being a Major Evil plot, just contact the BoD and ask them if its okay. The chances are that not only will it be okay but that you will be cheered along your way - but please check because they might have to alter their future plots.
Major Evil plots
Well these are from the BoD and they are the BIG plots. They will involve Weyrwide events. Occassionally you will be put in a position that you will be REQUIRED to do something by the BoD. We try and make it fair however. When we had a Firehead Epidemeic, we sent out a message that if a player had two characters they could choose if they got sick but any more and a least 25% of them would catch the disease. We did not define who and we left the reactions to the players. The BoD tend to set of events which characters have to react to - Hurracaines, attacks, TurnsEnd, Hatchings etc. This is to reflect the fact that things happen in life that you don't get to choose that they happen, but you DO get to choose how you react. We do not powerplay either.
We try and run the Evil plots with plenty of gaps in there for people to insert their characters into the action so they get an opportunity to genuinely play a hero in a plot they did not expect or define. This is one of the reasons why Arolos is popular - the BoD try to make sure there is something going on virtually all the time.
Questions should be emailed to the Board of Directors (aka BoD) at ArolosWeyremail@example.com.
All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyrightę Anne McCaffrey 1967,2005, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.
The Dragonriders of Pern« is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.