Yes, we know there are "a lot" of rules. *wink* The purpose of these rules is to set clear boundaries so everyone is playing in the same play-space, so the admins don't have to constantly police every action. Clear rules mean less busy-work for us and more fun for everyone. There are lots and lots of Harry Potter role-playing games 'out there'. These rules define the boundaries for this one.
Our game focuses on quality writing and in-depth character exploration and development through the interaction of world and personal plots.
(Also known as, how not to waste your time, or ours.)
1 - Quality Counts! - We are very picky about the quality of players we allow into this game. Your application is your audition. This cannot be stressed enough. Sloppy work will not be considered, no matter how unique/creative/interesting the grasp of the character.
2 - Canon Matters! - Do not apply if you have not read and are not very familiar with each of the six Harry Potter books written by JKR. Film knowledge is not sufficient for this game, and where book and film contradict one another, book canon takes precedence.
3 - Research The Game - before wasting our time or yours. If you are not motivated enough to at least skim through the synopsis community at fi_synopsis, and decide whether this is a game you would like to be part of, then you are not motivated enough to play in this game.
4 - Be committed - we are here for the 'long term'. The admin team consists of three adult individuals ranging from late 20's to late 30's in age, who have been playing and/or administrating games together for nearly three years. This is NOT a game to join because you have two weeks of vacation coming up and want something to do. We have plot-plans extending well into the future.
Keep in mind that it takes several weeks for a new character to develop plots and sub-plots with other players/characters, but these weeks must be spent by you in making your character as 'visible' as possible by getting out there and joining and/or starting various 'open' threads to build and develop character interactions. A pro-active player who loves to write and play in a broad variety of situations will find no difficulty in becoming integrated into this game.
If this sounds like a game which would appeal to you, then by all means, read on!
1 - This game is geared toward adults, which means age 18 and older. If you are younger than that please do not apply.
2 - Intellectual property--the journals in this game and the posts, plots, and story lines contained within, are the intellectual property of the individual writers and may not be copied or used in any way without the express permission of the author. This includes fanfiction writers who lurk the game for 'ideas'. ASK PERMISSION before 'borrowing' someone else's idea or plot-device!
3 - In your application, please do not mention specifics about relationships or past history with your character and any other character unless you have discussed it with the players involved first. Do not create non-canon interactions between your character and any vacant character positions so as not to 'box in' future players into relationships they might not want to have.
4 - Keep your character to canon with reasonable growth and development in the past five years. No blatant contradicting of what is known in canon without reasonable and detailed explanation. No family is richer/older/more politically powerful than the Malfoys and Blacks. No student in Harry's year got better marks than Hermione in anything but DADA, and no one beat Harry in DADA.
4a - The exception to this is canon 'relationships'. Developing a relationship is often a fun part of growing and developing your character. Relationships come-and-go, just like in real-life. Make them realistic, and the development realistic, and there is very little which is either forbidden or demanded. Our game started two and one-half years after the events of HBP. Bill and Fleur did get married, but as to what happened to Ron/Hermione, Harry/Ginny, Remus/Tonks, or any other canon 'pairing', that is totally up to the decision of the Muns and the growth and development of those characters.
The admin team would want input and discussion if a canon-married couple like Molly and Arthur Weasley were to suddenly want a divorce, and this game will not allow a gay Harry Potter character nor a Harry/Draco slash-ship, but pretty much anything else is fair game and totally in the hands of the Muns involved.
5 - Certain abilities and ownership of certain rare objects are restricted to known canon only, unless prior admin approval is given, including, but not limited to:
- Invisibility cloaks
- Animagi ability
- Lycanthropy (we will permit lycanthropes on a very limited basis as the game grows, but this will be decided on a case-by-case basis and will likely not be more than three characters.)
- Strange or unusual familiars like Phoenixes
- Any form of 'Divination' or 'Second Sight'
- Being 'the best' in any given field without strong supporting canon evidence or admin permission
- Famous or politically powerful close-relatives
Basically, if it is unusual, powerful, or in any way suggests "Mary Sue Alert", it must be cleared with the admins--if in doubt, ask!
6 - 'Accidental' pregnancies are not allowed. This is simply too 'over-done' as a plot-device. For the purpose of this game, it is assumed that every Witch or Wizard knows the various forms of Contraceptive Charms and Potions, and uses them. Characters who deliberately set-out to conceive a child for whatever reason is fine, though the admin-team would appreciate knowing these intentions in-advance. No male-pregnancies whatsoever in this game-world.
7 - This is an adult RPG. Please note on your application how your character will be acting in regard to sexual situations and their sexual orientation.
8 - Your Application is your audition to play with us. Poor grammar, poor spelling, and sloppy formatting of your role-play samples will disqualify you no matter how 'good' your grasp of your character is. We are not Nazi's over this, but use of basic things like quotation marks and the LJ-provided spell-checker is expected.
9 - Original Characters are permitted, within very strict guidelines. We are of the opinion that well-played Original Characters can only enhance and broaden a game as we explore areas of the Wizarding world that has not been well fleshed-out in canon. However, Original Characters also have an undeniably strong tendency to become 'Mary Sue' very quickly, which can dampen the enjoyment of the game for everyone.
- No Original Characters of Harry Potter's age-grouping. There are many, many little-known canon students in the books. Use one of those characters if this is the age group you wish to play.
- No immediate/close relation of any known canon character. Purebloods are all interrelated, of course, so distant relations cannot be avoided, but no long-lost sister/brother/daughter/son/niece/nephew of known canon characters.
- No part-humans or humanoids. (This includes Veela, Giant, Centaur, etc.)
- Physical perfection, intellectual brilliance, and/or unusual talent and fame in a chosen career-field are all strong red-flags. Characters should be normal and possess flaws and weaknesses as well as strengths. For the record, 'too loyal/sweet/determined for his/her own good' does not count as a 'weakness'. Original characters must be well-fleshed out in their application and be in keeping with the spirit and intent of a canon game.
- No cross-over type characters from any other game, genre, or real-world spiritual belief or practice.
- No non-canon special ability or magical powers. This includes, but is not limited to, channeling spirits, seeing auras, channeling chakra or chi energy, etc.
- Mary Sueisms will instantly disqualify your character for consideration. If you do not know what a Mary Sue is, do a Google search and do some reading--it is almost certain your OC will be a 'Mary Sue' if you do not know what one is. Just ask around. It is the rare, truly hones role-player who will not admit how terribly Mary Sue his/her first character was. *wink*
- The application for an original character will be held to a much higher standard than canon characters. They must be detailed and well written. What happened to your character during the war? How did the war affect him/her? What are his/her hopes and dreams now that the war has ended?
- Original characters will be on a two-month probationary existence in the game, where the character is expected to be active and interact in the game and will be closely watched for how well he/she blends into a canon environment.
- Original Characters must fit into the employment categories which will help grow/advance the game and flesh out the Wizarding World as we are trying to develop it for our game. Look over the list of current character careers as well as the suggestions for needed adult characters as you are considering your application. They can be pro-Ministry, pro-Hogwarts, or pro-Pureblood supremacists--or some realistic combination of those as the 'average Joe' tries to live within this tempestuous climate. The permitted fields of work would include, but are not limited to:
- 1 - Ministry of Magic Workers--Aurors, Magical Law Enforcement, Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, etc--any canon Department or reasonable invented sub-department. NOT the Department of Mysteries, however.
- 2 - St. Mungo's Workers--Healers, Mediwitches and wizards, potions brewers, orderlies, receptionists, etc.
- 3 - Shopkeepers--much room for creativity here as you may make up the name of your shop, describe the sort of clientele it serves and describe how successful (or not) it is. Clothing shop, apothecary, pub, inn, restaurant, grocery store, magical-creature pet-shop, many possibilities. Please do not make yourself 'owner' of a canon location, though you are welcome to be an employee of canon locations.
- 4 - Canon teaching 'vacancies': The Muggle Studies and Arithmancy Professors have never been named, and we do not know the first name/age of Professor Sinistra (female) or Professor Vector (male). In keeping with JKR's tendency to keep the male/female ratio precisely equal, the unknown professors will also be held to one of each gender. There are also new positions created in our game related to Hogwarts, to be found on the Available Characters list.
- 5 - Legal Aid of all sorts - barristers and their clerks would find a great niche in a world where many characters are fighting Ministry bureaucracy.
- 1 - Ministry of Magic Workers--Aurors, Magical Law Enforcement, Department for Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, etc--any canon Department or reasonable invented sub-department. NOT the Department of Mysteries, however.
1 - You must have a journal made for your character. You are not required to post in this journal, especially if your character would have reason not to, but it is a valuable resource for communication between characters in game, so we do highly recommend it's use.
2 - Game time and Format:
- The game flows in real time. March 1st, 2006 in 'real' time is the same as March 1, 2000 in 'game time'.
- Threads are considered to take place on the date/time in which they started, even if it takes several days to complete the thread.
- You may back-date your posts up to two weeks if your character needed to be doing something and real-life got in the way of trying to start a topic. Try not to contradict what has gone on since that date, and try not to have your character be two places at once!
- Please make a concerted effort to complete all threads within two weeks of the start-date whenever humanly possible.
- Label all new topics with the following, in bold:
Character(s) Involved: Examples: (Ron and Harry) (Open to Anyone) (Invite Only)
Rating: Please rate all posts, and provide warnings where might be applicable, especially NC-17 Material or anything 'gorey'.
Please use an lj-cut on your opening post unless it is very short, so the game looks 'neater'.
3 - Synopsis Community: In order to make our game more 'user friendly' for new players to come in, especially after we have been 'in session' for a while, we will have weekly posts in the Synopsis Community. At this time, all game and journal threads for that week will be posted at once, with very brief descriptions of the occurrences within each thread. As some threads will not be complete at the time of the posting of the Synopsis, and some 'back-dated' threads might be missed, it is the responsibility of each player to reply to the relevant Synopsis post with any additional brief information regarding his or her threads.
4 - No power-playing. This means no player can write that another character said or did something if that character is being played by someone, without the other player's consent first.
5 - Use proper English, no netspeak or slang. Please place quotation marks around speech and use punctuation. Please make use of the spell check.
6 - Please attempt to keep your game-play posts to an 80-word minimum in order to give other players a sufficient amount of information to respond to. Journal entries in conversation are a reasonable exception to this guideline.
7 - All posts (except for the pesonal journal entries) should be in 3rd person, past tense.
8 - Please post at least once a week in order to keep the game moving. If your character is inactive for more than one week without communication to the admin team, we will give you another week-long warning, after which time we will give your character to someone else if we don't hear from you.
9 - Everyone is limited to one character to begin with. You are welcome to apply for a second character, but please allow a two week minimum between the acceptance of your first character and the posting of a second application. All applications fall under the same rules and guidelines as outlined in our Application Rules above. The limit is two characters per person, and only one of these may be an Original Character, though they may both be canon characters.
10 - Players are permitted to be involved in two AIM threads per week. We are flexible with this rule, and if you want your character to be involved in more than two AIM threads in any given week, please contact the admin team at email@example.com . The main reason we have this rule is to encourage play on the board; we don't want the entire RPG to turn into a series of AIM threads. If you have one or two active threads already on the board, we will more than likely approve you to do more than two AIM threads in a week.
11 - Sex and slash (including femmeslash) are welcome but that is not the sole reason we are here. Sex and sexual situations are fine but please do not limit your character to those types of encounters. While we would like to think we are all mature enough to understand this rule, as a result of past issues with this subject on other games, we would like to make these boundaries clear and definitive:
- Less than one-third of all your character's interactions on the main-game-board may be of the romantic/sexual pursuit variety. Your personal journal may be as lovelorn, angsty, dirty-talking with your sweetheart as you want, but keep it off the main board.
- Relationships must grow/develop in GAME time, not REAL time. Behind the scenes chatting in AIM or other off-board communication does not 'count' toward your character development or relationship development. A role-play game is like an interactive story. If the story isn't on the board for the readers to see and understand, it didn't happen.
- We understand that there are times when you see a new character in the game and think it would be fun to 'ship' your character with this one or that one. That is what our 'Fluff and Smut' community is for. Ship, shag, hex, fight, kill, whatever you like, to your heart's content--nothing on the Fluff board counts toward the main game. Random shagging or unrealistic relationship build-up in the main game community will not be tolerated.
- Character applications which are heavily focused on the character's sexual or romantic desires or 'crushes' will almost certainly be rejected. Do not come to this game with the sole intent of 'shipping' your character with another character, random or specific.
- If you don't like this rule, or feel it is unfair, please note that there are a number of Harry Potter role-playing games out there which are designed solely for the purpose of playing smut and/or being 'soap-opera-style'. Those sorts of games might be more to your liking.
12 - PB='Played By'. This is the image you will use which enables people to recognise your character. Please use a specific individual to represent your character in your icons, though non-human images to represent moods/state of mind are welcome as well. Fanart is permitted in your personal journal banner--but be sure to credit the artist! Anyone found 'stealing' fanart without credit to the artist will be banned from the game.
13 - Copyright issues--please have a disclaimer in the user info of your personal journal along the lines of, "This journal was created for use in the role playing game fiery_inception and is a work of fiction. Harry Potter and the world around him belongs to JKR, no copyright infringement is intended."
1 - Out of Character comments should only be posted in the OOC community.
2 - Please keep IC disputes In Character and Out of Character disputes Out of Character. Please keep personal disputes and vendettas out of our community. We are here to have fun, not to argue. Certain characters are mean spirited and aggressive, please don't take personal offense.
2a - If a dispute arises between two players out-of-character, which makes them feel entirely unwilling to interact their characters together in-game, the admin-team will have to be involved. If it is two characters who can keep 'apart' realistically without affecting game-play, we will let it slide so as not to exacerbate the drama further. However, if it involves two characters which must, by the nature of 'who' they are, be frequently active with one-another, then it is very likely we would be forced to remove one or both players from the game.
Everyone is human, drama happens. The first and foremost concern of the Admin Team is the health and longevity of Fiery Inception, regardless of our personal feelings or friendships with the Muns of the game. We have 'kicked off' friends before, and will do so again if it is a matter of game health.
3 - If you're bored, please suggest plot ideas!! We're all here to have fun, and the more creative input we have, the more enjoyment for everyone.
4 - Please do not change the PB for your character without prior notification to and approval from the admin team. This is the primary method by which players and visitors will recognize your character. Changing this changes the way your character is seen.
5 - Take minor issues to the source via email or instant messagers. We are all human, and it is very easy to make mistakes. For example, you might accidentally let your character 'know' something he or she shouldn't 'know', because it's sometimes hard to remember what journal entries were private vs public. Or to accidentally power play an action in the heat of the moment while writing. Hopefully we are all mature enough and friends enough to help each other out with a friendly email, "Hey, Lisa, unless Snape's been using Legilimency all night long across a crowded room, he can't possibly know that Harry is lusting after Millicent."
6 - NO WHINING.
Whining is defined as pointless, derogatory complaining behind the backs of those with whom the actual complaint is about. Whining is counterproductive, negative, and encourages an over-all 'bad attitude' among players.
We have a strong team of volunteer administrators who are committed to making the game a fun place to play. Whining and complaining about the game will result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the game. If you don't like something, tell an admin, and make a reasonable suggestion of how it could be improved. We want the game to be the best it can be. Whining about the game or about other players is annoying, counter-productive, and saps the enjoyment out of the game for everyone.
Especially no whining publicly on the OOC board. That board is visible to potential new players.
A specific complaint, constructive criticism, purposeful suggestions, plot ideas, etc., are always welcome and can be emailed to the admin team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
7 - Ditto for 'tattling'. If someone power-plays or god-mods someone else's character, or acts grossly out of character, and you happen to be the one to notice it, please notify that person directly and in private via email or IM. Please always assume such things are done unintentionally, because most often that is the case. If the individual in question will not address the concern or fix the problem, then feel free to notify the admin team of the issue. 'Tattling' just to get someone in trouble will be frowned on. Reporting a continuing problem to maintain quality of the game is appreciated--and there is a distinct difference.
8 - Please do not reply to, respond to, or in any way comment upon new applications 'in the works' on the Application Community Board until the character has been accepted or declined. If the application does not meet with administration approval, it gives 'false hope' to the applicants.
Having said that, feel free to ping the mods via email or instant messagers if you have a strong opinion on an application for a character which would have an impact on your character. We want to accept new people who would 'fit in well' with our game, and player input, in private, is welcome. If you play Molly Weasley and the Arthur application totally gives you the willies, we need to know that!
Once new applicants are approved, we will announce their presence to the game and hope all our players will welcome them enthusiastically!
9 - Making Personal Journal Entries:
The Journals are all interconnected, as you will recall from the initial plot description in the Synopsis Community. You may use any format you like in your personal journals, though most people appreciate the use of cut-tags for images, or if the initial post is very long.
- Entries may be public, private, or viewable only by specified individuals. Persons in Azkaban and under supervised care in St. Mungo's (Bellatrix) do not have the total privacy that others have--their guards/nurse can read their 'private' entries, though others can not.
- If you forget to label your entry as 'private', is is 'public', and anyone who sees it and wants to can reply to it--even if it is someone you normally would not want poking about in your journal. Remember that *everyone* has these, through Ministry carelessness, so even the DE's have them.
- It is best if you use some very clear labeling to ensure privacy:
[PRIVATE TO SELF] Private text here, using a cut-tag if desired/needed. [/PRIVATE TO SELF]
[PRIVATE TO HOGWARTS TEACHERS] Private text here, using a cut-tag if desired/needed. [/PRIVATE TO HOGWARTS TEACHERS]
If it does not specifically *say* private, it is assumed to be public.
- Remember that, for this game,
strikeouts are unreadable. I know this varies from game-to-game.
10 - Player Poaching - The role-playing community is very much 'in-bred'. That means many people play in more than one game at a time, and/or often admin one game and play in another and the like. Different games have different appeal, different characters, different creative outlets. It is all good and no one butts their noses into who plays what other games or any of that stuff. It is even common to make friends in one game and invite that friend to 'go play' in another. This is all a normal part of being in the rp world.
Anyone actively harassing a Fiery Inception player to participate/join another game will be likewise banned from this game. A one-time mention of your game, an offer of the available character, and an indication that you would like to play with the individual in question is sufficient. Harassment is defined by repeated prodding, nagging, or continual 'begging' of 'our' players to defect to 'your' game. This also includes pinging your fellow FI players to 'tag' you in another game when you are in a Fiery Inception-focused chat or they are working on material for this game.
When you make a commitment to participate in a Fiery Inception plot-arc, you are expected to BE PRESENT in the story-line without your fellow plotters having to nag, ping, or wait for your responses because you are too busy on another game.
Anyone found to be actively encouraging players to QUIT this game, or found to be willfully and deliberately undermining the creativity of this game by taking and using on another game any portion of the stories and ideas found here which they have not actively created themselves, will be immediately and irrevocably removed from this community.
This is an absolute, zero-tolerance policy, effective immediately.
11 - Admin Communication - if you have a question, concern, ruling request, or other 'official business' which needs administrative ruling, it must be emailed to the Admin Team email address at email@example.com. Asking an individual admin for opinions or discussion via Instant Messagers or their private email addresses is fine, but is not considered an 'official ruling' until the full admin-team has discussed the issue. This only applies to game-related questions and rulings, of course. Questions involving the individual characters run by admin team members do not need full-admin-team discussion.
Rules are meaningless without consequences. Therefore, please note the following in regards to rule-breaking:
- First offense--Moderator Ping via email with specific details of the offense and what must be done to correct it. Affected threads/posts must be modified, or in some cases deleted, immediately.
- Second offense--Moderator Ping via email and also a friends-locked, 'peer pressure/embarrassment factor' notice on the OOC board along the lines of: "Hey, Snape, you power-played Millie again in this thread: (link provided) Please fix as soon as possible."
- Third offense--Removal from the game.
The administrative team reserves the right to change or modify these rules at any time. Players will be notified of rule modifications via the Out of Character Community and via email.
We're all here to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and the administration team does not want to be Nazi-mods; but we will step in as necessary. Feel free to email the team with any questions or concerns you might have, but don't worry about us breathing down your necks.
We want to let all the players know that we have an open door policy; you can come to us with anything, including plot ideas, complaints, suggestions, etc. We'll listen to whatever you have to say, so don't hesitate to email us.
Most importantly: Have fun!