House Rules

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1) Account Details

1.1) Canon Characters
You are not permitted to create canon characters. Most of those names are already registered and will be allowed to people the admins select. If you'd like one, ask. You are also not permitted to register non-canon relatives of canon characters without Admin approval. Characters in play with those names have been approved. To request Admin approval for either a canon character or canon relative, please PM either Gellert Grindelwald or Arcturus Black, if you have an account, or contact them before attempting to register the name.
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1.2) Character Restrictions
Your characters will be human, unless you have prior arrangements with the admins. Non-human characters are currently capped, as are most rare wizard powers.
  • Races: Anything other than 100% human
  • Powers: Animagi, Metamorphmagi, Parselmouths, Legilimency, Occlumency
  • Nations of Origin: None, at this time
  • Backgrounds: Abusive childhoods, light-aspected characters

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1.3) Character Names
Your character must have both a first and last name, with a space between them. You may not select as your character name the name of another person, or a name which violates any third party's trademark right, copyright, or other proprietary right, or which may mislead other users to believe you to be an admin, or which the admins deem at their sole discretion to be vulgar or otherwise offensive. The admins reserve the right to delete, or alter any vulgar or otherwise offensive character name.

In the short form, don't name your character "Alan Rickman", "Pepsi Cola", or "Hugh Jass".

Please also refrain from giving your character a canon last name without prior approval of the administrators.
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1.4) Registering Accounts
We know that you probably want to get started, so here's a guide to doing just that! Don't skip any steps, and you'll probably be playing in a day or two.
  • Read the Rules (which you're looking at now!) and the Setting. Look over the character application and consider what kind of character you'd like to play.
  • Create a user name that is the first and last name of your character.
    Examples: Isaharia Ickle, Mehetabel Prince, Martin Miggs
  • Register that name and put in a valid e-mail address. You will need to retrieve the confirmation message so that the board knows you're not a spam-bot.
  • Following the instructions in Apparition Licensing, fill out a character application, wait to be approved.

Until your account is approved, you may only post in the OOC forums. Posting to the rest of the forums will be disabled until that time, but you can still read them.
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1.5) Multiple Accounts
Currently, each user is permitted to register more than one account. The present limit is ten (10) characters total: up to six (6) OCs and four (4) Canons. Canons, of course, can only be gotten from the Admins.

Anyone who is using a lack of PIDs or multiple PIDs to get around this will probably be caught and is likely to be banned.

If you are approaching these limits, please consider them before creating any further characters. All characters presently in play are grandfathered in under this rule, but if you have surpassed the limit, we will not approve any more accounts for you.
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1.6) Using the Account Switching System
Account Switching is installed for people who have more than one character. It allows the player to switch between characters without having to log out and back in, and prevents the player from having to re-find the thread s/he meant to reply to. By following the simple directions below, you can set it up for your characters.

Primary Account:
  • Log in to the account that you want to be your primary. This will most likely be the first account you registered here.
  • Go to your User Control Panel and click on the "Manage Linked Accounts" tab.
  • Re-enter the password for your primary account in the box marked "Master Password."
  • Then enter the username and password for the account you'd like to link in the boxes below.
  • Press "Submit". You should receive a confirmation that the accounts are linked, and when you return to the Linked Accounts page, you should see the linked account both in the "Switch User" dropdown and the "Linked Accounts" list at the bottom.

Now, from any page, you should be able to switch between your accounts by way of the "Switch User" dropdown at the top of every page.
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2) Support Information

2.1) Using the FAQ
The FAQ is available from the 'FAQ' link in the header of every page. Below the title, there are links leading to the main FAQ, the Rules, the BBcode Guide, the Terms of Service, and our Privacy Policy. All the information you need should be easily accessible, here.

To quickly jump to an answer, just click on the question, in the list at the top of the page. To return to the questions, click the link marked 'Top', at the bottom of any section.

We reserve the right to alter the Rules, ToS, or Privacy Policy, at any time. It is your responsibility to be familiar with the current policies, and we will publicly announce changes, to keep you current. Any alterations made will be announced in the board's News section, which appears on the front page of the site.
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2.2) Who's in Charge?

2.2.1: What is an Admin/Mod?

Admins are the people who make things work. These are the people who wield the ban stick, approve group memberships, and generally solve your problems. If someone was sending you threatening messages by owl, you would contact an administrator. If a page on the site does not load, you would contact an administrator.

Moderators are the people who handle conflicts within threads. If someone posted something inappropriate in your thread, or a thread you are participating in, you would contact that forum's moderator for help.

2.2.2: Who are the Admins/Mods?

The Mods can be found listed beneath the names of the forums they moderate. We do not have any Global Mods, at this time.

At this point, and for the forseeable future, this board has two Admins. Those Admins are:

Gellert Grindlewald, who handles all things technical. This means that if you get an error, or know of some function you would like to see, you can send him an owl.

Arcturus Black, who handles all issues involving people. This means if you are having problems with another player, or want to do some huge, fantastical plot thing that involves lots of other people, you can send him an owl.

While it is possible to go to an admin other than the one suggested with a given issue, it is likely you will simply be referred to the other Admin. We have a division of power for a reason, and it works well for us. Very few if any policy decisions are arbitrary, and you're most likely to find that both of us are aware of all decisions anyway. Just because you can't see evidence of debate does not mean we don't have it.

2.2.2: How can I become an Admin/Mod?

Don't ask. Asking to be an Admin or a Moderator is the most likely way to ensure that you won't be one.

Admins are chosen very rarely because of the power they wield. Right now, there are two: Gellert Grindelwald and Arcturus Black. There are not likely to be more anytime soon.

Moderators are usually people who play characters that are important in the areas they Mod for. For instance, Lucius Malfoy is the Mod of Malfoy Manor and Lord Voldemort is the Mod of Dark Revels. If you have been an active and responsible player, and we are looking for a Mod, we may make you an offer.

2.2.3 When are Admins/Mods available?

If you see one of them logged in, they're available. If not, send an owl to the person you wish to reach and they will get back to you when they are available.
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2.3) How Do I Contact Someone?

2.3.1 What should I do before I contact someone for help with the site?

Always read the FAQ and the News before contacting an Admin. The information is frequently updated and if something is already being addressed, has been fixed, or is a common user error, it will be noted in one of these two places. In most cases, these quickly provide our users with the answers they need.

2.3.2 How do I request assistance from an Admin/Mod?

There are two ways to submit a request for assistance: Either ask your question by owl or contact the individual by way of their preferred instant messaging service, visible in their profile.

In the case of Admins, they may be contacted via the "Contact" link at the top on the screen, which works whether or not you are logged in. This is most often good for cases when, for whatever reason, you can't log in.

2.3.3 I sent an owl fifteen minutes ago and haven't received a response yet. What's taking so long?!

Some days, the request load is heavier than others and it may take longer for the Admins or Moderators to respond. Also, the person you've contacted may have logged off before receiving your message. Requests are answered in the order by which they are received, according to the severity of the issue. Broken forums or other game-stopping problems take first priority.

2.3.4 What information should I include when owling a request?

The more information you are able to give regarding your predicament, the faster and more efficiently the resolution can be made.
For technical issues:
  • Paste the URL of the broken page into the message
  • Include information about the web browser and operating system you are using
  • Describe the steps that produced the error (i.e. "I clicked on the link and I got a white page with this SQL error: [error message here]" or "First I typed my message, but didn't enter a title. Then I pressed 'submit'. Then I got this error [error message here]")
  • Be sure you include the error message! We probably can't help without it!


For harassment and user conduct issues:
  • Include the name of the user and the full text of any inappropriate PM.
  • For Posts, use the 'Report Post' button, located in the upper right corner of every post.
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3) Out of Character Concerns

3.1) What Shouldn't I Do?
Okay, folks, there's some really basic stuff that it looks like I'm going to have to cover in the wake of the October of Spam that I had on another board.

  • Gellert Grindelwald is the lord and master of these boards. If you piss off Grindelwald (or any of the other Mods, really) expect to be taken out back and beaten with the ban-stick.
  • Don't spam my boards. No, really, I mean it. Spamming my boards gives me your IP address, and I will have my vengeance IN ABUNDANCE.
  • Don't be an asshole, butt satchel, or powdered flaky jackass. Really, don't insult the admin, the mods, other users, gays in Palestine, or anybody. If you don't have anything nice to say, either learn to say it politely or shut your face-hole. Also, don't f*in' cuss, it's not f*in' nice.
  • DON'T TYPE IN ALL CAPS. It makes things really hard to read, and it irritates the piss out of me.
  • Learn how to spell. No, really. I don't mind the occasional typo, but "u" is not a word, nor is "b4".
  • Do not advertise casinos, porn... Hm, rephrase, don't advertise here. Yes, you can list your website or projects in your signature, but these sites and projects must not involve gambling, drugs, or porn.
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3.2) Site Messages
All automatic messages from the site will come from amortentia@groundline.net -- an address that cannot be replied to. Please update your spam filters if there are any threads you are watching or you have PM notices turned on.

Accounts automatically have "Notify on New Private Message" turned on. This means that you will recieve an email from amortentia@groundline.net every time you get a new PM. You can turn this option off in your profile, but we advise leaving it turned on, so people can contact you when you're offline without ever knowing your email address.
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3.3) Signatures
Signature images should not be larger than 300x100 pixels. This is to keep the page weight low for our users on dialup connections. We reserve the right to remove large images.

Text signatures should not exceed your average post length. In fact, we'd prefer they were not more than six (6) lines at a screen resolution of 1024x768, which is approximately 385 characters of normal sized text, not including BBcode.

Signatures may also not violate any part of Rule 3.1.
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3.4) Going on Vacation?
If you're going to be gone for more than a week, please leave us a note so the people you're in the middle of a thread with know you won't be replying for a while. There is a sticky entitled Leave of Absence in the General forum for this purpose.

Accounts that remain unused for more than 90 days may be deactivated. If yours has been, please contact an Admin to have it reactivated.
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3.6) About Avatars
We have an middling gallery of avatars from around the net, but we encourage you to upload your own. Avatar images must be 100x100 pixels, less than 10k, and must not exceed a PG-13 rating.
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4) In Character Concerns

4.1) Setting
The year is presently 1974, and the month follows the OOC month fairly closely. While we are strongly based in the canon Potterverse post-HBP, there are a few points of which to be aware.

  • There is a war going on. People are frightened of both sides, although the average wizard still trusts the Ministry over the Death Eaters. Many people have chosen sides based on things other than 'good' and 'evil', relying instead on nationalist politics, or other ideas about what would make a better world. The Muggle world provides multitudinous examples of the frightening things that people will do in the name of 'The Right Thing'.
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4.2) Powers and Power Levels
Your average teenaged wizard is not as strong as your average adult wizard. Adults can remove hexes, curses, and other spells cast by teenagers, but in most cases other teens cannot do the same, nor can they undo adults' hexes. On the whole, within an age group, spells can only be reversed by the person who cast them. Exceptions include curse-breakers, masters of the appropriate discipline, and wizards older than the caster by more than 30 years. In other words? Abraxas Malfoy can clean up after just about anything shy of you-know-who, but Snape cannot fix Nott's Charms accident.

4.2.1 The Unforgivable Curses
While the Ministry of Magic has many clear and aboveboard reasons for the banning of the so-called Unforgivable curses, there are other reasons these curses are considered so dangerous.

These curses actually have a potentially detrimental effect on the caster, as well as their effect on the subject. When a witch or wizard uses an Unforgivable, not only do they have to intend the effect the curse has on their victim, but it becomes easier for them to have the feelings necessary. While a careful, occasional usage such as is granted the Aurors late in the First war is unlikely to do much harm, regular usage is likely to be quite damaging indeed.

When a witch or wizard uses such curses regularly, it becomes easier and easier for them to summon up the necessary intent and emotion to use them. As these emotions increase in frequency and intensity, such an individual is less likely to feel other emotions such as pity or regret. This leads to a cycle of ever increasing depravity, which can be quite difficult to short circuit, eventually leading to an individual who is driven simply by their basest urges.

In addition to make a witch or wizard more likely to use these curses more often, excessive use often leads to difficulty casting spells without some darker component to them. The magic of the regular user becomes attuned to these darker paths, and is much harder to force into paths that do not involve some component of harm. While this may not effect simple spells such as "Lumos", those are spells an individual has learned at an early age, and has been using regularly in the intervening time. More complex spells, such as some healing spells, become harder to perform, unless the user is using them with the intent to inflict more harm.

While that is not the only path available to those who use such magics, it takes an individual with intense focus and willpower to pull back from using them enough to reverse the effects. And even this will take time, with a great potential for such an individual to slip back into their old ways of thinking and operating. This is especially true when the witch or wizard in question is part of a group of people where such curses are considered normal and desirable. Indeed, some who try to pull back from such curses and their potentially devastating effects find themselves instead using other curses and hexes which are similarly damaging to the victim. These other methods are at least less immediately damaging to the individual using them, although as emotions like guilt and remorse slowly return to their user, they will damage the user in their own ways.

Since your character is an adult, it is possible that he or she has the requisite skill and intent to cast one or more of these curses. Let it be noted that until one is fairly corrupted, only the Imperius and the Cruciatus will come anything like easily. The Killing Curse will kick your ass, every time you cast it, until you develop a resistance. This is a fair part of why horcruxes are possible. Killing, by canon, alters the very soul of the killer.

4.2.2 Magical Creatures in Combat
Sentient magical beasts have more innate magical power than any wizard. In the event that they decide to do magical harm, it is unlikely that even a master of charms will be able to prevent it without special training and the proper equipment. In hand-to-hand combat, they are no more powerful, usually, than wizards of the same size and shape.
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4.3) Choosing a Familiar
It is stated in the books that acceptable familiars for a first-year student are cats, owls, and toads, but since we are adults, the range is much broader. When selecting a familiar for your character, please keep in mind that it must be unobtrusive enough to keep near or on your person, most of the time. For obvious reasons, this generally rules out things like tigers, acromantulae, and thirty-foot pythons.

We've provided a list of suggestions below. Please keep in mind that these are only suggestions and that the list is in no way exhaustive.

Birds
  • Owl
  • Raven
  • Jackdaw
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Homing Pigeon

Mammals
  • Housecat
  • Kneazle
  • Ferret
  • Rat
  • Mongoose

Reptiles/Amphibians
  • Toad
  • Garter snake
  • Iguana
  • Skink
  • Turtle
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4.6) What shouldn't I do?
Characters with the following traits should not be apped without prior admin approval and at least one other character in play on the site for longer than two months.
  1. Insanity/Mental Illness: Your character may not be under the influence of any mental illness without a serious, in-depth conversation with the admins. If you think your character has gone mad while in play, please take it up with Arcturus Black. Arcturus will be handling all requests for the crazy.
  2. Relationships to Canon Characters: Your character may not be a relative, spouse, or friend to any canon character, unless you have established that relationship by playing scenes with that canon, or had it approved by an admin in the absence of a player for the canon.
  3. Mood Ring Eyes/Hair/Etc.: Your character may not have colour-changing body parts, except by use of dyes, spells, or coloured contacts. Spells will be one-colour shift, and must be cast again for another change. Any apparent violations of this rule can be taken up with either the player in question or an admin, via PM.
  4. Non-human Traits or Ancestry: You are not part Veela. You are not a cat girl. The only cat girl on this site is Minerva McGonagall, and she left us for another Wizard.
  5. Special Wizarding Traits: This includes but is not limited to parselmouths, seers, animagi, and metamorphmagi.
  6. Abusive Childhood/Tragic Past: In general, it is neither the desire to do evil nor a tortured past that leads a man to do evil, but rather, the desire to do good. Look neither to what your character escapes nor to what simple vengeance can be taken, but instead toward the ways your character profits from these choices.


Admins also take requests! Don't try to do these things without admin assistance.
  1. Death Eaters/Ministry: Ministry decisions and Death Eater raids are the provence of the admins, and the admins, alone. If you would like one of these things to occur, please take it up with an admin.
  2. Death in the Family: We don't have to approve it, but you do have to let us know if you're killing off your character's family members in some non-Death Eater related way. Death Eater killings, see above.
  3. Killing Canons: Just don't. If that person is alive in the books, obviously, you can't get them killed, now. On the other hand, if you're playing a character that has to survive, that doesn't mean you can be an obnoxious prat about it. Just because he can't be dead doesn't mean we can't lay him up in St. Mungo's with something hideously nasty, for a couple of years.
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5) A Guide to Good Posts

5.1) Labeling Your Thread
There are three types of threads, each with a different level of invitation to other players. Thread type should be indicated in the subject of the thread.

[OPEN] Open threads are threads that any character can walk into and begin interacting with other characters. The [OPEN] tag is usually unnecessary, since all untagged threads are assumed to be open, but it can distinguish an RP thread from an OOC thread, if the title is ambiguous.
Example:Lounging by the Lake [OPEN]


[CLOSED] This is a thread that is open only to certain people. Although it is not the only use, you can use this for a formal write-up of an interaction that happened or was thought up in a discussion between two or more players off-site. Closed threads can also be indicated by placing the name of the person you mean to talk to inside the brackets.
Example:Example: Hiding in the Closet [CLOSED]
Launching Rockets [Jeremy, Madison]


[DONE] This thread is no longer open, as its purpose is complete. When you have finished posting in a thread, please mark it [DONE], by editing the subject of the first post, or by asking an admin to do so. You can do this by using the Report Post button in the top right corner of the first post, and using "Thread is finished." for the reason.
Example:Yule Brunch [DONE]


You can edit the label on a thread at any time, provided that you started the thread. If a conversation suddenly becomes serious, you can close an open thread. In the event that you suddenly need more people in the room, you can open a closed thread. A completed thread should have the [DONE] tag edited into the title, so that other people don't wander in to it, expecting people to be there.

[NC-17] On another note, if your thread should exceed the standard "R" rating used in the film industry, we insist that you mark it, appropriately, preceding the title with an [NC-17] label. This will prevent those who do not wish to read such things from accidentally wandering in.
Example:[NC-17] Behind the Pub [OPEN]
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5.2) Text Styles
Well, you've figured out that to talk, you just have to put something in quotes, but how do you think or act? How do you add emphasis to your speech?

Plain text indicates action. If you are walking around, sitting by the fire, or reading a book, you want plain text.
Example:He walked into the empty room and took a seat beside the fire. It seemed unusually quiet, that day.

"Quotes" are used to indicate that you're speaking to someone.
Example:"Hello," he called out, "Is anyone here?"

Italics are also good for adding emphasis to a single word or phrase inside quotes. Italic text is normally used outside of quotes to indicate a thought or something that is not said out loud.
Example:I wonder where everyone is, he thought, looking around. Is today the day of the Quidditch Championship or something?

Bold is good for adding extra emphasis to a single word or phrase in a sentence. Consider bold if you are going to be shouting at someone.
Example:Suddenly, someone jumped out from behind a bookcase. "What in Merlin's name are you doing?" he shouted.

((Double Parentheses)) or [Brackets] indicate an out of character comment. If you want to say something to the player, instead of the character, use these.
Example:((It's up to you guys which of you jumped out at him.))
[Unless someone stops him, that's an exit.]
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5.3) Text Colours
Coloured text should be used in small amounts to draw attention to something within a post. It should never be used for the full text of a post, because bright colours tend to draw away from the content of the post, when used to excess.

Examples: You'll see the admins leaving themselves notes in things, in different colours, to remind themselves what they're working on.

You are making edits in someone else's work, and need to be sure they stand out.

You are posting in the Fanworks forum, and want to add an Author's Note before your story.
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5.4) Date Stamping
Date stamps are required at the top of all In Character threads. These date stamps will consist of [stamp]Weekday, Month Day#, Year[/stamp] at the top of the opening post of a thread.

The date of a thread does not need to change when the real date changes -- in fact, quite the opposite. These stamps will make it easier to keep a thread in context over a long period of posting. However, should you decide to continue a thread over several IC days, you may add a new date stamp at the point at which you wish to change days.

Should you need a calendars for the 1970s, try these: 1974 | 1975 | 1976.

Example:
*~ Sunday, June 15, 1974 ~*
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5.5) Writing Your First Post
Okay, so you've been approved to play, and you understand the technical aspects of posting... Now what, right? Well, now it's time to introduce yourself to the rest of the characters. We've written up this handy guide (with examples) on how to write your first post! We'll be writing as a fresh graduate of Beauxbatons, a young lady named Marlene Amarr.


5.5.1) Location, location, location.
The best places to post for the first time are usually places that other characters frequent. Thus, a popular pub or other meeting place, in a busy city, is probably the place to start. The Leaky Cauldron is generally a good place to make an introduction, so we'll go to the Wizarding London forum and either join an open thread, or start a new one, there. The rest of this guide will assume we've started a new thread.


5.5.2) The longer the title, the less important the job.
Since we are making a new thread, titling it is important. If you've joined someone else, you're already in a thread, so you can skip this step.

Traditional thread titles include things like "[Name] Arrives in London" or "[Name]'s First Visit to [Famous Place]". If it's very clear that you're new, people will make an effort to introduce themselves.
Example:Marlene Arrives in London[OPEN]



5.5.3) Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
All IC posts must start with a date stamp. Try looking at some other recent threads to figure out the approximate IC date, then type it at the top of your post, on a line by itself. Highlight the line, and press the "stamp" BBcode button, or surround the line in [stamp] [/stamp] tags.
Example:
*~ Sunday, June 15, 1974 ~*



5.5.4) Everything we did, we were setting the tone for the world.
Start by describing your character and their entrance. Did you bring your own luggage? Did a house elf bring it? Did you bring a house elf? What are your first impressions of the room?
Example:Marlene stood very still, clutching the handle of her trunk, and waiting for the post-apparition dizzy spell to pass. Brushing her wavy golden hair away from her eyes, she surveyed the dirty pub in which she found herself. Nothing in Thoronet had prepred her for the filth and bustle of London.



5.5.5) It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Now, you want to give people an excuse to talk to you. This is the time to either take action or cause something to happen to you. Calling out "Hello" is a good answer, as is tripping on your luggage, if your character is clumsy. Take an action that gives an accurate first impression. Examine the photos, on the wall, of famous Chasers, if you play quidditch; if you're studious, sit down and read a book; if you're curious, examine something in the room. We'll make Marlene curious, but clumsy.
Example:But, fair she found amid the filth. She found herself marvelling at the extraordinary carving of vines that seemed to hang as real as a living plant about the balustrade, and was so taken in that she did not notice that she had caught her trunk's clasp in the hem of her robes, until she tried to take a step forward, to get a better look. In an awkward moment of frozen time, she had time to consider the damage she would do, as she fell. The moment ended, and with it, she sprawled across the floor, tangled in the trunk and a fallen chair, lying dazed as a spilled pint from a nearby table drizzled down into her hair.



5.5.6) Patience and fortitude conquer all things.
Waiting is the hardest part, but next, you'll be waiting for someone to notice your post and reply. Once they say something to you, or in some way indicate they've entered the room, you can start talking to them. Don't worry if it takes a couple of hours. It might be that no one is logged on when you make your first post. If you turn on "Notify on reply" when you make the post, you'll get an email as soon as someone gets back to you.


5.5.7) No tale is so good... but can be spoilt in the telling
Your admins are generally nice people, when it comes to writing. We might taunt you mercilessly about particularly horrific misspellings and turns of phrase, but we'll also help you get it right. Grindelwald, after all, was once an English major.

We suggest the following links, for assistance with the art of writing decently:
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6) A Guide to Effective Character Creation

6.1) What's in a Name?
A name is the first thing anyone sees about your character. From the moment you activate your account, your character's name is on the front page of the site, and people are speculating about it. Thus, the name should tell us something about your character, right from the start.

Let's start with a name like John Smith. It tells us nothing about the character, really, except to suggest that either he is travelling under a false name, or the player isn't very creative.

Let's take Mr. Smith and make him Italian. Now he's Giovanni Provenzano. The name, itself, conveys his nationality.

Now, let's make him an Italian pureblooded wizard. He'll be Soranus Provenzano. Note the mythological first name; these are often common in pureblooded families. Throughout most of Western Europe, Latin and Greek mythological names are most popular, but in other places, local mythologies may reign supreme on the naming front. Be creative. A name can convey a great deal about a character, so be sure to think it through.

6.2.1) Links For This Section
Behind the Name
Behind the Surname
Star Names
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6.2) To Hold the Mirror Up to Nature
Now that you have a name, what does your character look like? Is he tall? Is she thin? Dark or light? Blond or ginger? The physical description of a character gives other players something to imagine when they've encountered him or her in a scene.

6.2.1) Colouring
Let us continue with our pureblooded Italian fellow. Mr. Provenzano. The name is a variant from southern Italy, so he is probably somewhat swarthy, and his hair is likely to be dark -- brown or black of some shade.

Let us say, then, that he has tan skin, chocolate brown hair, and honey coloured eyes.

Other than that, his looks seem to be indefinite.

6.2.1) Height
Let us start with his height. Is he short? Is he tall? Let's make him just a little taller than average. But wait, what does "taller than average" mean?

Well, that depends on age. If you look at the growth charts for height, the average changes (as it should) based on how old the person is, and what gender they are. Let us say that Mr. Provenzano is in his mid-thirties.

Average height for a 35 year old white male is about 70", or 5'10". Mr. Provenzano, then, will be 5'11", approximately the 65th percentile.

6.2.2) Weight
Now we must decide his weight. Let us make Mr. Provenzano slightly overweight -- just a bit chubby. Again, we refer to the growth charts, this time for the weight of the average 35 year old white male. It looks like the average (50th percentile) is about 80 kilos, or 176 pounds.

But that is a weight for a man of average height, a man who's 5'10". Mr. Provenzano is an inch taller, so we'll look a little higher. The 65th percentile looks like about 190 pounds.

We want him to be overweight, so we'll make him 200 pounds, putting him at the 64th percentile for his height, as verified with this calculator.

Alternately, try playing with this Ideal Weight Generator.

6.2.3) Links for This Section
Growth Charts (Height and Weight), if your character is still in school
Height and Weight for Adults
Check your Height vs Weight Math
Ideal Weight Calculator
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6.3) What's Past is Prologue


6.3.1) Defining a Family
Mr. Provenzano, thus far, has been a Pureblooded Italian Wizard. Continuing in that thread, we must grant him a Pureblooded Italian family, and per the name, they are likely to hail from Southern Italy. Let us give them money and a regional good name, resulting in a villa just outside of Nicotera. As they are Pureblooded, it is likely the villa has been in the family for a thousand years or more, and dates to the Roman Empire.

With a quick scan of the Wikipedia entries on Nicotera and Calabria, we find that the local industry is heavily focused on olives, so it is likely the Provenzano family has a stake in that market, as well, having been settled on the land for so long. Let us grant them an olive orchard around the villa, staffed with superstitious Muggles from the surrounding area, who accept the magic used on the orchard as religious ceremonies to call upon the favour of the saints.

Now, we need only name and number the members of the family. Let us focus on Mr. Provenzano's immediate family: parents, siblings, wife, and children. His parents, of course, will have suitably Pureblooded names -- let's call them Janus and Proserpina. Soranus will be the middle of five children, as Italian families tend to be large, and as such, he will be largely out of the line of inheritance for the villa, and will need to seek his fortunes elsewhere. His brothers will be (back to those Pureblood names!) Apollo and Romulus and his sisters, Feronia and Lemuria.

Let us marry Mr. Provenzano to a Pureblooded Witch, but a foreign one, to bring fresh blood into the family. We'll make her French, and named for a star -- Asterope Fabergé. And we'll give them two daughters, both also named for stars: Electra and Delphinia.

6.3.2) Designing a Wand
While it is common, in British Wizarding circles to 'let the wand choose the Wizard', sometimes it is in a wandmaker's best interest to suit a wand or wands to the target, to narrow down the range of testing. For those who prefer the pre-made type, we suggest Alivan's, where you'll have the option to select from a variety of wands, or allow one to choose you.

For those who prefer the DIY approach, allow me to direct you to the thread in the "Read Me!" section, entitled "Designing a Wand". This thread details common woods and cores, letting you select the components you feel best reflect your character's personality.

6.3.3) Choosing an Alma Mater
As a European Wizard, Mr. Provenzano is most likely to have gone to one of three schools: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, or Durmstrang. It is very unlikely that his Pureblooded family would have gone to the trouble and expense of sending him to one of those 'upstart American schools', or worse yet, an Asian or African school.

When you have reached this phase in character design, we encourage you to examine our list of Wizarding Schools, so that you may pick the one you think would best suit your character's skills and background. In this case, since we have given Mr. Provenzano a French wife, let's send him to Beauxbatons.

6.3.4) Links For This Section
Wikipedia
Alivan's Wand Shop
Designing a Wand
An Overview of Wizarding Schools

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6.4) Misery Acquaints a Man With Strange Bedfellows
Mr. Provenzano has a full history that supports a presence in both Italy and France, but why has he chosen to fall in with the practitioners of the Dark Arts in England? Let us say that the neighbouring Muggle towns have been encroaching upon his family's lands, and that due to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, they have been unable to take their traditional recourse against the intrusion. Having heard of Lord Voldemort, the great English promoter of Wizarding rights and superiority, he has gone to see if he can acquire some help with his family's problems.
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