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Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:24 am
Table of Contents
Got a Question? Check Here First!
Always check the FAQ before asking a question! Check the table of contents to the right to see categories of questions. Use the FIND command (CTRL + F) -- e.g., if you're looking for a question related to how old your character is, you can try to search for age or years. If you're looking for information about ranks, you can search for that word or "packs" since ranks are a part of being in a pack.
Something We Missed?
You can ask your questions in the Questions and Help forum. As this is an open, public forum, you will likely receive the fastest answer this way. You can receive great feedback from posting in this forum, so that's where we suggest you post!
If you're not comfortable asking in public, you can always private message a staff member. If you want to ask a question anonymously, the Tumblr is the place to go. We prefer for members to ask their questions in public or via PM, however, as this allows for further discussion if there is confusion or a lack of clarity!
Remember, pack leaders are the ones to best address questions related to their pack! The administration does not have a hand in pack policy and generally cannot answer relevant questions with the same certainty as that pack's leader.
Registering a Forum Account
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:27 am
If there is another active character with the same name, you may want to choose a different one. It's polite and some members have very personal connections to the names they choose. If in doubt, contact the roleplayer and ask! Otherwise, you have a few options. You can:
Popular naming trends over the years include: mythological figures, beings, creatures, names from religious texts, names from popular culture, names from nature or spirituality, names in languages other than English for characters originating in a particular area, etc. The Roleplaying Resources offers a list of naming sites.
Surnames are entirely optional, although they do allow a way for your character to be identified beyond just their first name and can add uniqueness to names. Many characters do have surnames at 'Souls -- if your character changes it due to mateship, adoption, etc. you can always have your username changed later.
Players must complete requirements for their secondary character and request all subsequent characters from the 'Souls Assemblage. Players are evaluated based on their activity between all current characters for requests to obtain tertiary characters and beyond. 'Souls does not limit the number of characters a player may carry -- however, as players are evaluated based on activity, insufficient or imbalanced activity will result in denial of the character application pending activity improvement from the player.
'Souls works like real time, so if your character was born on January 1, 2005 and it is January 2, 2011, they are six years old. Note that Luperci age does not correspond to human maturity levels -- for more information, please see the Life Expectancy & Aging Chart on the RP Guide.
For puppies born on board through the puppy procedures (called yNPCs), the character age minimum at 'Souls is 2 months old. yNPCs younger than 2 months are not playable.
The minimum playable age for all characters not born through puppy procedures is 7 months. This includes newly arrived characters, puppies born off-board, and puppies who were found on board and take up a character's cNPC slot.
The character age maximum is approximately seventeen years of age. Note that a Luperci of this age would be decrepit and very, very old -- referring to the Life Expectancy & Aging Chart, a 17-year-old Luperci is approximately equivalent to a 125-year-old human. Elderly Luperci (15+ years) would be much frailer than a normal adult Luperci.
Yes! Characters can be born anywhere in the world and travel to 'Souls, so long as their travel is plausible. Eurasian Luperci have some amount of sailing technology; they also frequently use horses and other domesticated animals to facilitate travel. Note that it is important to consider your character's age -- an older character (2 - 4 year range) is more likely to come from a foreign country than a younger character. Puppies find traveling on their own rather difficult, after all. You can see the World Territories section of the Wiki for more information.
That depends on where you come from and what method of travel your character uses. While we provide an extensive guide on World Travel in the 'Souls universe, you'll still need to think about their journey and make sure that the timeline makes sense. Your character can't show in Nova Scotia two weeks after leaving Moscow, Russia -- travel simply doesn't work that way and realistically, the journey should take a few months, depending on the canine's method of travel.
The canines at 'Souls speak a language that has been designated "high speech," or what is basically "human" language. Because 'Souls takes place in Nova Scotia, Canada, most canines speak English. However, foreign characters that originate from different countries are perfectly welcomed; these characters are free to speak French, Italian, German, or whatever language is native to their country of origin.
When playing a multilingual or a non-English speaking character, please translate what your character is saying! Many users use the HTML title tag to translate. Some users simply type in English and indicate through their non-speech text that the speech was in a particular language; still other users utilize different font colors to denote their non-English speech.
Interspecies speech is a little more complicated. Most lower-end-of-the-food-chain animals speak what is known as "low speech," which is something very few canines take the time to learn. Within this language, the dialects very from species to species and are often garbled and confusing. However, because these two languages are rooted in the same base, small snippets could be understood from the other animal to the canine and visa versa. However, some animals (mostly those who have taken to living with canines) will pick up on the "high speech" and be able to partially or fully, depending on their intelligence, be able to communicate with canines fully. Other large carnivores such as big cats and bears will usually be fluent in "high speech" and are thus able to converse to some extent with canines.
Sure! We do ask that you take precautions -- no matter what disability or disorder you decide to represent through roleplay, there are actual people who live with said conditions. It's very important that you remain respectful of peoples' feelings -- try not to play into tropes, stereotypes, and the like. Do your research thoroughly, and find out the real aspects and symptoms of the disability.
Generally speaking, no -- “magical” mutations such as wings are disallowed at 'Souls. More severe, albeit realistic, mutations would likely result in a puppy being killed at birth -- therefore, severe mutations such as multiple limbs are not allowed. Small mutations -- e.g., a character born with a twisted foot, chipped or half-formed ear, etc -- are allowed within reason. If you're not certain, you should ask for your specific case.
Post to the Questions & Help You'll receive plenty of feedback; chances are, if your idea is completely unrealistic or otherwise unacceptable for 'Souls, someone will certainly let you know. You can ask for character evaluation in this forum -- other members of 'Souls will be able to assist you it's helpful if you include a basic character profile, of course.
You may join as a Canis subspecies of canine (wolves, coyotes, dogs, jackals). Only members of the Canis genus can become Luperci. Non-Canis canines such as Maned Wolves, foxes, dholes, etc. may be played; do note, however, that these creatures are not able to become Luperci nor are they able to breed outside of their own species (e.g., no Maned Wolf/Gray Wolf crosses). Canids of the Canis genus are titled as Loners; canids not of the Canis genus (e.g., Maned Wolves and foxes) will be titled as creatures.
If you're interested in joining as a creature, we prefer North American creatures native to Nova Scotia. Other creatures may be allowed at the administration's discretion. It's important to consider the climate and geography of Nova Scotia if attempting to play a creature. It's unlikely a desert-born animal from the southwestern United States would be able to tolerate the cold temperatures during the winter; conversely, a polar bear from the coldest regions on the planet might find Nova Scotia's summers suffocatingly warm.
No, humans may not be roleplayed at 'Souls. Note again that humans were virtually wiped out in 1988; only small pockets of humanity still exist in isolated areas. Characters are not permitted to have humans appearing in their histories, nor are players allowed to roleplay human characters. The one exception to this would be the would be the LASKY forum, where you would be able to roleplay non-canonical (obviously!) threads with your character as a human.
Any canine of the Canis genus may shift. This includes grey wolves, red wolves, coyotes, the three species of jackals, dogs (both formerly domesticated dogs and "feral" dogs such as Dingoes and New Guinea Singing Dogs), ethiopian wolves, indian wolves, and himalayan wolves. The Species Guide on the RP Guide is a great place to learn information about the Luperci species playable at 'Souls. Maps are available, as are detailed information pages about each species.
Only canines in the genus Canis have the ability to shift. Maned wolves are Chrysocyon brachyurus, putting them in the genus Chrysocyon, so they can't shift. Similarly, other canines in the subfamily Caninae but outside of the genus Canis, such as foxes (Vulpes), African Wild Dogs (Lycaon) and dholes (Cuon), cannot shift. While you may play a Maned Wolf and other characters of these species, they will not be able to become Luperci. Additionally, canines of these species generally may not breed outside of their own species and closely related species.
It may seem like it’d be easier to include all of Canidae, as many people get confused, especially regarding African Wild Dogs and Maned Wolves. However, we think opening Luperci up to all of Canidae would bring a lot of realism and cultural issues to the table.
For example, while all species within Canis can interbreed, not all species within Canidae can. If all of Canidae can shift, we’d have to double check that all Luperci breeding pairs are kosher. Additionally, since up to the point of proposed change, non-Canis members of Canidae could not shift, this would naturally cause confusion, fear, and lack of familiarity amongst the population — another thing we’d need to check for in new character histories, etc. People already get confused about not including humans in character histories. It would be even more confusing if non-Canis Luperci only existed after a certain date. We’d also have issues with lifespan adjustments — in the wild, foxes have an average lifespan of 2-3 years, while wolves have an average lifespan of 7-9, so “normalizing” a Luperci fox lifespan to the same extent as a Luperci wolf’s would be rather extreme.
There are just too many differences and factors involved, and we think such a change would cause far more confusion and difficulties than it would benefits. These same reasons apply to non-canine species such as bears, cougars, etc. but on a much larger scale.
No. Some Luperci voluntarily choose to remain in one form all of their lives, whether by tradition or preference. Even in the more civilized portions of the 'Souls world, there are pockets of Luperci who choose to live as regular wolves, prohibiting shifting within packmembers. Other Luperci shift to their two-legged form at the first opportunity and never look back. Other Luperci are prevented from shifting for other reasons -- some medical conditions prevent Luperci from shifting from one from to another, and some Luperci suffer from conditions (e.g., missing limbs) that make life in that form more difficult, and thus they choose to live in their more comfortable form.
Shifting is not an instantaneous thing; it takes a few minutes to half an hour for some Luperci to shift, depending on the shifter, their age, and their comfort and experience with shifting. The process is gradual and Luperci do not "poof" from one form to another. See the shifting page on the RP Guide for more information.
Luperci puppies begin shifting at around six months, although this may be delayed until sexual maturity or even later in some cases. Puppies born non-Luperci and turned Luperci before their sixth month will still delay shifting until this age, though an especially traumatic event can cause shifting slightly earlier in both Ortus and Verto puppies.
In Character, your character must be exposed to the virus. Exposure routes include exhanging a decent amount of bodily fluid with another Luperci intentionally through ritualistic cutting, unprotected sex, or deep wounds and traumatic blood loss; Luperci generally are not created "accidentally" by small scratches, bites, or other non-serious wounds. You can post in the Thread Requests forum and request for another character to turn yours into a Luperci, if you're not sure who to ask! There are many Luperci on-board, and you'll certainly find someone.
Out of Character, the process is simple -- when your In Character thread is complete, post to the Maintenance Thread and request have your icon changed from the non-Luperci to the Luperci icon.
No — Luperci bodies possess no extra healing capabilities. They heal at the same rate of speed and in the same fashion as a non-Luperci. If a non-Luperci and a Luperci both break their legs, the healing times will be the same, and the injuries will heal in the same way.
NOTE: This is about NPC companions. For NPC types, see NPCs.
NPCs are non-player characters. Companion NPCs are non-primary characters that you don't truly play -- they function as secondary companions for your character. From the RP guide, "These companions can follow your character around, help out or just provide company." The RP Guide contains further information and reading on NPC characters.
For non-canine companions, you don't really need to do a whole lot on your part. It's helpful to include a blurb about your NPC on your character's profile though! This is mostly for other folks who are curious about your NPC. However, make sure your NPC is realistic -- for example, Luperci almost certainly would not be able to have tigers or elephants as companions. Similarly, NPC companions such as horses are not captured from the wild fully trained. Your character must devote time to training your NPC, if you want your NPC to perform a particular function well or on command.
For permanent canine companion NPC you'll want to speak with your pack leader (if applicable) about their preference. Some leaders may simply add your NPC to the ranks; other leaders will prefer for your character to either have a read only thread where the NPC comes to the borders and meets up with your character. This is up to the pack leaders. Loners may post in the Maintenance thread and request to have their NPC companion added to the Game Statistics.
Yes, although do note that your NPC may never appear in a post without your primary character present. For example, if your character has a crow companion, you can't make a post solely from that crow companion's point of view without your canine companion present. Back and forth perspectives, from one companion to another, are acceptable. NPC characters capable of speaking high speech may, of course, speak in your posts.
You can have a maximum of one permanent canine NPC character at a time. Recurring canine NPCs -- e.g., a coyote trader your character sometimes encounters in Halifax -- are acceptable, and one-time canine NPCs can be used in your post at any time. For non-canine NPCs, you can have as many as you'd like, within reason (please no characters with an entire zoo).
Yes. NPC ghosts are allowed within reason, and formerly played characters may be played as ghosts after their death -- thus, your character may eventually interact with a ghost. Should your character not believe in ghosts, they may find it difficult or impossible to see the ghost, as opposed to believers, which will see ghosts much more readily. For more information about ghosts, see the Spectral Beings guide.
No. Wolves need three to ten pounds of meat a day to survive, except in periods of famine where they adapt to such. A vegetarian wolf would have to eat fish, at the very least, to survive, and even then they would be weak and unhealthy.
Yes, and there have been instances of albino characters in the past, including Esme Acidic, Argent Rashmi, and Cassandra Asylum. There have been other characters with white fur and red eyes, but it's important to realize that these coloration traits alone do not make a character albino. If you are interested in playing an albino character, we would encourage you to check out the Wikipedia article on the condition.
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:28 am
'Souls is set in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the Maritime provinces along the Atlantic Ocean Canadian coast. Nova Scotia is a peninsula, connected to New Brunswick by the Isthmus of Chignecto. Nova Scotia is surrounded on three sides by water and was sparsely inhabited prior to 1988. For more basic information about Nova Scotia, see the Nova Scotia guide. For more information regarding the types of wildlife typically found in Nova Scotia, see the Flora and Fauna guides.
'Souls is set in the present day. If the year currently is 2015, then it is also 2015 in 'Souls. However, please note that human history and the history of 'Souls diverged in 1988 -- a post-apocalyptic event occurred in 1988 in the 'Souls universe.
Time flows normally In Character. One day Out of Character in the real world is equivalent to one day In Character. Time can be manipulated slightly -- players can forward or back-date threads, manually changing their implied date. Threads are assumed to take place at the date and time they are posted unless forward or back-dated. For more information about time, see Roleplaying at the RP Guide.
No. Various characters have different beliefs -- animism, Greek or Norse polytheism, Christianity, atheism, and even made-up religions. Some beliefs are found clustered in certain areas, but in no way are these beliefs endemic to that area or all-encompasing for 'Souls. Characters are free to believe whatever they'd like.
Within 'Souls, trades commonly occur on an individual and pack basis, and especially between packs with an established trade agreement. For example, one pack might trade some of its livestock for another pack's tanned pelts, or a pack might trade some of its homegrown medicial herbs for a loner's scavenged jewelry. There's also an Outpost (link) which serves as a small marketplace area for transient tradesmen from outside the 'Souls area.
Outside of 'Souls, in Europe and some parts of northern Africa and western Asia, Luperci towns and villages have cropped up, generally sustaining reasonable populations -- trade routes extend between these settlements, but it's safe to assume the economy there functions similar to the “economy” of 'Souls, with individual traders rather than any government-enforced or interfered-with economy. For more information on these cities and the places outside of 'Souls, visit World Territories (link) at the 'Souls Wiki.
Remember, there's no monetary currency system anywhere in the 'Souls universe, whether on or off playable territories. All transactions are trade/barter only!
Luperci do not have advanced systems of government -- the vast majority of Luperci probably live in pack-like structures, with an authoritarian hierarchy that includes a head ruler (or pair of rulers, as in an alpha male and female pair).
Some areas -- especially in Europe -- may practice this sort of government on a larger scale, including councils of elders and advisors, but for the most part, Luperci will not have developed complex systems of democracy, communism, anarchism, etc. These systems may exist in an extremely primitive form, but if you're thinking of a bejeweled, well-dressed Luperci paying fealty to a royal court, such a system probably does not exist within the 'Souls universe.
Additionally, governments are typically a lot smaller and more localized. There aren't really "countries" of Luperci, and political boundaries don't play a huge role in the lives of Luperci even in advanced areas.
Paper money and coins, no. No Luperci system has developed to the point of such money currencies. Neither are gold, silver, and other sorts of precious metals valued, outside of their practical applications and for certain Luperci who value aesthetics (e.g., a character wishing to trade a gold necklace will get a good trade value only if the other trader has an interest in such baubles).
Luperci economies are barter economies (everyone trades their skills, goods, or labor for other goods, skills, and labor) or gift economies (everyone does for everyone else, with the expectation that such gifts are returned to them later). Advanced systems of economy have not developed -- "companies" of loosely affiliated Luperci may work together, but "corporations" do not exist within the Luperci world.
A majority of characters are Luperci, but we do have a small non-Luperci population. It's personal preference as to whether you want to start off as a Luperci or not -- you can always change your character into one later by having them infected. This icon indicates that a character is a Luperci, while indicates that they are a non-Luperci.
If you're interested in learning about travel times, we recommend the travel guide. You can figure out walking speed, trotting speed, and running speed. Looking at the map can also be useful -- you can use the squares to calculate the length of the distance you'd like your character to travel, and then use the average speed to figure it out.
Nowhere the IC history does anyone officially dub the collective territories “Souls” or even “Bleeding Souls.” In general though, we can probably assume that someone somewhere named it such and that the name caught on through repeated usage and that new characters had just “heard” that the area was called such. Some characters do ICly refer to it as such, even if most of the time, the origin of the name is inexplicable.
Since the territories were not officially revealed as being in Nova Scotia until after April 2008, characters never made reference to it as such before then. Retroactively, this may also be chalked up to the fact that there were not nearly as many Luperci capable of reading and writing then, and would have no way of discovering what humans called the area.
On a scale of 1 to 10, one being absolute fantasy and ten being absolute realism, 'Souls ranks around a solid seven. While we have werewolves and canines that are capable of reading human English and living in old human buildings, among other things, as well as ghosts and other slight supernatural activity, we do not tolerate magic or heavy supernatural elements in-game. We also take heed of things such as the state of decay in the world -- post-apocalyptic realism (e.g., the state of decay in the world) is taken rather seriously in 'Souls. For a character to find a perfect, working condition CD player with batteries and music to play in it would be nearly impossible for various reasons. The same can be said in regards to characters and their backstories -- e.g., players wishing to play exotic species must take into account where these species originate as well as the travel time to 'Souls. Behaviorally, characters are expected to act realistically -- characters who engage in deviant behavior may face In Character consequences for their actions -- e.g., if your character is convicted of a crime against a fellow packmember, the leadership of that pack is able to remove your character from the ranks, rendering your character a Loner.
We would prefer that any concerns regarding other players be brought to the ‘SA. The ‘SA can evaluate the situation objectively, and as we’re the board authority, we know we’re (almost) always right! c;
Members are reminded that trespassing deep into packlands is explicitly against the rules and are advised to report such incidents ASAP to the ‘Souls Assemblage and their leadership. The pack leaders would discuss with the trespasser’s player how to best proceed — the trespasser’s thread may 1) be edited, or 2) remain as-is and pack members would respond with due hostility. In cases where the trespasser is not reported before replies accumulate, the offending player would still discuss options with leadership, though the options would be more limited to accepting various IC consequences. In most other cases involving realism, all players involved in the thread are usually asked to edit their threads into compliance.
Players who do not wish their characters to be exposed to specific illnesses should simply avoid threading with characters that are ill, or that have already been exposed to illnesses (but who may not yet be symptomatic). Players with sick characters should provide full disclosure to everyone they thread with so there is no accidental exposure. Most canines would also be able to detect symptomatic sickesses by scent and avoid affected individuals.
Naturally, highly contagious diseases can spread without direct contact and would realistically affect all or most inhabitants of a certain area — like a pack, and especially those packs where members are frequently in close quarters, like Anathema. Sick characters should be confined or quarantined where possible to avoid large areas being contaminated.
That said, it would indeed be powerplay for any character to be infected without their player’s permission. If you are interested in infecting your character with a highly contagious disease, do consult your pack’s leadership to discuss the best way to do so without affecting anyone who may not want to be involved. Yes, this will result in situations that are not entirely realistic, but that is a compromise that will need to be made. It’s worth noting that in the wild, sick wolves are frequently driven out of their packs, so that could also be an option (however temporary).
We welcome the utilization of real illnesses and diseases in roleplay, but remember also that serious diseases that are frequently fatal need to be treated as such, especially since Luperci medicine is not very advanced. If you don’t intend for your character to die, it may be best to select a milder sickness. If there are too many plots where characters miraculously recover from fatal diseases, we may need to implement restrictions, and the last thing anyone wants is more rules, right? 8D
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:30 am
If you'd like something specific to happen to your character--i.e., a relationship, a fight, a deep conversation—post it in the Thread Requests forum. There are lots of people who would love to plot things out with you! Alternatively, if you are looking for unplotted threads or random encounters, you can check out the Open Threads list!
As many as you can handle! There's no minimum or maximum for threads. Three or four threads is usually sufficient for maintaining a general level of activity, but some players have been in as many as twenty active threads at once! Just remember you should be careful not to overwhelm yourself. You should never neglect real life duties for roleplaying; if your grades are slipping and you're staying up late to post, consider dropping a few threads--and fast! The other players will certainly understand your plight, and they will sympathize and encourage dropping of threads if your roleplaying habits interfere with your real life. Roleplaying should be a joy, not a stressful chore!
Nope! We use what is sometimes referred to as "liquid time." This means that a thread is always assumed to take place on the date that it is posted. So this means even if a thread that was started on June 15, 2010 is still active come June 15, 2011, the players and anyone reading the thread can assume that the thread takes place on June 15, 2010, its original posting date. See the Roleplaying page for more information regarding time.
Yes. See Self Threads on the RP Guide for specifications.
A read-only thread is a single-post thread for one character, generally intended to be a longer post with no other repliers. Usually, read only threads are used to advance a plot -- e.g., you want your character to find something in a particular area, and you'd like to roleplay it out. See the RP Guide for more information regarding read only threads.
Absolutely! Just make sure you edit the description so it has your new partner's name. Eg: if you had text that read, "private for Bumblee", you would need to change that to say your new partner's name.
It is common for threads with several participants to establish a posting order to avoid confusion about who's turn it is. When you start the thread, just follow the order in which the other members join the thread. For example: If there are four thread participants and you are member number three to reply to the thread, your next turn would always be after member number two’s reply, and member number one will always post after member number four. This way you can make certain no one is skipped, and makes it easier to keep an overview of the thread process. There are cases where the thread is set to free or no posting order, and if so you can reply to the thread whenever you want without having to wait for others to post before you.
If the other roleplayer is around, you can contact them and discuss an ending for the thread. The easiest think to do is to edit your last post and add an Out of Character ending. If the other roleplayer is no longer active, you can just make up your own ending within reason. While saying your characters parted ways and left is acceptable, saying your character killed their character is not! :P
You can ask them to speed up or slow down, but note that some roleplayers do take offense to other threaders asking about their thread speed and you should be as polite as possible when asking others to reply faster. Replying too quickly, on the other hand, is usually a different story -- players replying very quickly are usually on top of their threads, and they generally don't mind picking up an extra thread and compensating with slower reply times on your thread.
Another option is to let players know what you prefer when you request threads or ask for threads from specific individuals. If your thread speeds don't mesh and you really want faster or slower threads, you can always plan a thread for later or re-approach the player later. No one will blame you for wanting partners to match your particular speed and preference.
All Welcome indicates a thread is “open to all roleplayers.” However, it's important to pay attention to the Out of Character information of the post -- it is usually attached before the In Character post itself. Sometimes roleplayers will request that a specific character or type of character (e.g., a member of a specific pack, a member of a specific species, a member who is good at a certain skill) and it's good form to leave a little time for the desired type of roleplayer to reply.
All Welcome + threads are essentially the same as the normal AW, but specifies that the thread is open for multiple participants.
Private threads are intended for a specific roleplayer. Please do not reply to private threads unless they are intended for you. Conversely, do not start private threads without discussing them with their intended recipient first. Sometimes people have many threads and no room for a new one, and you may be out of luck!
If you're comfortable doing so, politely PM them regarding the thread. We suggest the following template:
Sorry to inform you, but the thread (link to the thread) you posted in here was meant to be private. :c You can either write an exit post for your character in your next post, or you can ask in the Maintenance thread for the post to be deleted and your post count reduced (later, you can re-use it in a different thread, if you want! Just make sure you edit it for clarity). Sorry about any inconvenience! :c
Thank you and please let me know what you’d like to do!
Essentially, just PM them and inform them the thread is private, and let them know about their options. Those who accidentally post in a private thread can write an exit post, or they can post to Maintenance and ask for the post to be removed and their post count reduced. Note: A deleted post is one of the few instances post recycling (using the same post repeatedly) is acceptable.
After you’ve PMed them, if they refuse to resolve the issue and/or continue to post, please contact the ‘SA, and we’ll take it from there!
You can ask the extra member to write an exit post; if they don't want to write an exit post, you can have your character leave the thread. As per the AW entrance question, it's only rude (not against the rules) to jump into a thread late or to reply when the starter requests only one roleplayer.
Yes and no. Threads marked AW are "all welcome" -- that is, free for any roleplayer to join. However, you should always make sure that:
First of all, your All Welcome threads are automatically added to the Open Threads list! We often use Twitter to promote these lonely threads, and there are various members who wear 'Souls Pride Images to promote the Open Threads!
If you're looking for participants, there are a few things you can do to make it easier on other roleplayers! The easier time a person has replying to you, the more likely you are to get a reply, of course.
LASKY is a sort of "anything goes" forum where various things can be played -- you can play current and past 'Souls characters in different situations, canonical threads in their history, and test potential characters you plan to bring to 'Souls. See the LASKY guidelines for more information about what can be played there.
Posts made in LASKY do not count toward your post count total. They are non-canonical, meaning they don't actually happen, and the roleplaying there is just for fun. Word of the Day does count in the LASKY forum; it is the pack leader's discretion as to whether points collected in the LASKY forum count toward the pack games.
Threads taking place in your character’s past can be canon, whether at ‘Souls or elsewhere. This would be the way to roleplay out threads that were always meant to be, but which you couldn’t roleplay out for whatever reason at the actual time.
It is acceptable for a dream thread played in LASKY to be canon, as long as the dream sequence remains a dream sequence. For example, if Wolf dreamt about meeting Coyote in Europe, he could canonically have dreamt this, but he only met Coyote in a dream, and nothing more.
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:30 am
Please refrain from replying to a joining thread if someone (especially a leader) has already replied. With an additional participant, it slows down the thread. This can be frustrating for a newcomer who just wants to join and get roleplaying! If you would like to find another thread to reply to, you can always check the open thread list or make an AW thread of your own.
The pack's leadership is the best place to receive responses about packs. The leaders run their packs independently, and the staff has little to do with the way the packs are run (including pack ranks, rank updates, co-ranks, etc). For the best and most detailed response, send a private message to the leader or subleader of the pack you have a question about. Although there may be general similarities between packs, each pack is an independently-run entity, and leaders craft their own cultures, identities, and procedures for individual packs.
Rank meanings depend on the pack! All packs have leadership ranks -- but each pack has its own customized ranking system with individual jobs and names. For specific information on pack ranks, you can generally refer to the pack's website.
Pack leaders are to update ranks at least once a month. Some leaders may choose to update more frequently than this -- once every two weeks, for example. Rank updates generally occur toward the beginning or end of the month.
Promotion again depends on the pack. All pack leaders are required to note the increments of a members' post count each month in what is generally referred to as a rank shuffle, rank update, or just promotions. Many packs simply use the number of posts a member makes within a given period to decide whether to promote, leave, or demote them. Other packs, however, use In Character ranking systems -- you'll generally have to complete thread requirements wherein your character performs a specific activity to advance in rank for these packs. Most packs outline their ranking policies on their website; if you can't find this information or you require clarification, please Private Message your leader(s).
Generally, demotion occurs for not posting or posting too few times. Sometimes, leaders will demote characters for In Character reasons -- especially if your character misbehaved. It depends on the pack and the circumstances -- if you haven't been around much, it's likely due to a low post count. If you're not sure why you were demoted, you can ask your leadership.
If your character is switching packs, dies, or leaves the game, you may transfer points from one pack to the other, provided you check with both your old leader and your new leader that the transfer is OK. Both leaders must approve of the transfer for it to be approved.
It's very polite to message your leader so that they know to remove you from the ranks - it's not required, however. Even if you've posted a drop message, it's still a good idea to Private Message your leader and make absolutely certain they know what's going on.
For the most part -- while no pack appreciates uninvited trespassing, some packs maintain good relationships, up to and including alliances. Other packs are on less friendly terms; still other packs are completely neutral. Occasionally, plotted wars occur between packs at the leaderships' whim. In general, packs are neutral to one another -- individual relationships within the pack itself are more important than pack to pack relationships.
Though you are free to develop your character's dislike of a particular pack and even incite violence between your character and a character belonging to another pack, it's important to remember your character's actions can impact the grander relationship between the two packs. If you're not sure whether you'll be causing excessive trouble, it's an extremely good idea to talk to your leadership! There are ways you can still have your fun while avoiding an all-out war between the packs, but you have to make sure to check with the leaders of your pack, who should in turn, communicate with the leaders of the other packs.
Private message your pack leader to let them know you'd like to cash in your points for a prize. Once they accept your request, they contact a Souls Assemblage member to update your title!
It is strongly encouraged you ask your leader regarding any major plots or plots which may disrupt current pack relations. It is possible the Leader(s) of your pack may wish you to change your plot if they don't want tension between their pack and another.
While you don't explicitly need permission to plot, going ahead with such plots risks unwanted In Character consequences such as demotion or even removal from the pack. It's also considered a bit rude not to tell your leader about such plots. :C
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:30 am
Feel free to make an introduction post in the OOC Garbage forum. Let others know you're new! You can always join the 'Souls chat room and hang out with other players there. Meeting and befriending other players is a good way to get involved. It can be intimidating to throw yourself at a new community, but there are plenty of friendly people on 'Souls -- trust us when we say this!
This may seem obvious, but another way to get involved is roleplaying with strangers -- respond to Open Threads to nab yourself some thread partners, check out the Thread Requests forum for people you haven't roleplayed with before, or even write your own thread request seeking players you haven't previously threaded.
We make good use of Twitter to post small and minor updates -- not that we expect you to follow 'Souls, but you'll want to for the most news you could possibly chew on! We have a Tumblr for members to ask anonymous questions, as well. We also have a deviantART group where member artwork as well as forum layouts and other graphics are displayed. Facebook is less often utilized, but you can still post!
Since the Tumblr is manned by the 'Souls Assemblage, questions pertaining to issues generally handled by pack leaders will be asked to submit their concerns to the appropriate leader. Such topics include individual pack policies and laws, joining conditions, traditions, and NPC status. The Tumblr is also not a place to ask the SA personal questions or anything not immediately relevant to 'Souls as a game.
Most other types of questions are welcomed, though please keep in mind that some questions are discussed thoroughly by the SA before an answer is provided, so if your question is not answered immediately, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's been discarded.
If at any time a user makes you feel uncomfortable or is mean to you, we suggest you first ask them to stop and perhaps tell them why it makes you feel uncomfortable. Perhaps there is a misunderstanding or they don't realize they've taken a joke too far. It's amazing how much conflict can be avoided when just one party stops for a moment to carefully consider the situation from an objective perspective. Please stop and think a moment! c:
If you're not comfortable with this, though, or they've taken things extremely far and well past the realm of accidental misunderstanding, please take up the issue with an administrator or other staff member. We attempt to make 'Souls a comfortable roleplaying environment and community for all: our first rule bars disrespect, after all.
Sometimes, players don't get along -- this happens, unfortunately, but if it does and nobody's broken the rules, the 'SA can't do anything. For example, if someone's broken off a plot with you, we cannot issue any consequences. If someone's broken off several plots and threads with you, we still cannot issue consequences -- however, you're well within your rights to stop roleplaying with that player (at any time and for any reason).
Unrelated to roleplay but a possible scenario within any community of diverse people, if you and another player have extremely divergent personalities and are both politically vocal (or some other scenario in which conflict is frequent and heated c;), you're well within your rights to ignore and cease interacting with that player altogether.
Always try and resolve such issues as best you can. However, if you and another player simply cannot avoid conflict and no one's breaking the rules, we encourage you to use technological features to prevent them from contacting you: block their IM names and block their 'Souls account(s) from sending you PMs.
You should be allowed to be comfortable at 'Souls, and if that involves not interacting with certain players, it's within your right to do so! If you do not wish for a player to contact you any longer and are taking technological steps to prevent their doing so, tell them unequivocally so and PM a copy to the 'SA. This should be a last resort -- don't take it lightly!
Hey, I'm sorry, but due to past interactions, I don't feel comfortable with further contact between us. I don't want to roleplay with you anymore, nor receive contact via PMs, chat, or any other method of communication. I'm blocking off methods of communication now; please don't try to circumvent these blocks.
Make sure your no contact order is very clearly stated -- you can edit it if you no longer wish to IM with someone, but are okay with PM contact. You can outright bar someone from roleplaying with you, too -- if they then reply to your AW, the 'SA can remove their post.
If the player then breaks this "no contact" order, the 'SA can enact then consequences for harassment, as it is very clearly against our rules. If, at any time you decide later to rescind this no contact order, please contact the 'SA again with your statement to the player.
Note that the medium of harassment doesn't matter much -- while we cannot directly moderate AIM and other messenger services, harassment of one 'Souls user by another is unacceptable in even those realms, and a user who engages in such behavior can and will be banned from the forum as a whole.
Members may PM wanderers with helpful information, but are encouraged send short, brief messages so as to not overwhelm newcomers further, especially as you have no way of knowing if someone else is also PMing them. :>
The 'Souls Discord Chat is for all members and guests at 'Souls. If you're interest in learning about the chat and commands you can use to increase chat functionality, check the 'Soulschat thread.
Newcomers, prospective members, and guests are welcome to hang out in the Discord, yes!
Yes, absolutely! All board rules apply within the chat, and additionally, the chat has its own set of rules detailed here to make the chats as pleasant as possible. All users of the chat, members or not, are required to abide by the chat rules.
No. The Discord is for chatting, not roleplay! You're welcome to roleplay via Discord Private/Direct message with other players, but ask first! You may find that most prefer to simply roleplay on the board, but you can also try the thread requests forum -- ask for chat roleplay.
Discord has been known to have occasional outages. This is entirely out of our control. You can see Discord's status here.
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:31 am
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:32 am
If you're not good with fancy codes or programs, you can feel free to request made for you by other members of the board. We have a whole subforum for requests for a reason, after all, so feel free to use it for just that!
We recommend JPG, GIF, and PNG, depending on the situation. BMP should never be used. Note that you should take into account not only file quality but load time, as well -- large PNG images can take quite a while to load and they put a strain on your server, as well. They should be avoided; use a JPG for large files. PNG is useful for transparency. If all of this talk of filetypes utterly confuses you, it's your best bet to use JPG.
A table is a small graphical layout for individual posts, personalized to the character. Many users on 'Souls enjoy using them; some users reinforce a particular mood in a thread using a table, and other users rotate tables at random.
Tables are not mandatory; the regular forum text works just fine for posts if you can't be bothered with all that other stuff. We do ask that you bold your speech text, however -- this simply makes for easy reading and discerning speech from action. This is very simply done with BBcode: [b*]"speech here"[/b*], removing the * sign.
Unfortunately, your table wasn't readable to them. Your table is either unreadable in general, unreadable to their browser due to faulty coding, or unreadable due to a visual issue the person simply cannot help. In any case, it'd be very rude not to oblige their request and switch your table over. After all, if you can't see the color blue or differentiate between shades of blue and someone's using a table with blue text on a blue background, you wouldn't be able to read it, right?
People use too low contrast or possibly too much contrast. Try adjusting the text colors of your table; this is the easiest fix. Text shadow that blends or contradicts with the background color too much can also render a table unreadable -- there are numerous common mistakes in table-making.
As for readability, you can try adjusting the text color yourself -- this is generally the biggest problem with tables. Try to fix or adjust these tables if you can -- your fellow roleplayers will thank you for it. If you're not certain whether your table is readable, you can post it to the Talents forum and other users will give you feedback; someone will certainly fix up your tables if you're not into messing with code!
Minimum table width is 300 pixels. Even this is extremely thin and can cause readability problems. We recommend 400 pixels or more for your tables. You can use percentages in your table CSS to define a table that is as wide as the forum post itself; however, it may be difficult to create images that will accomodate this and we don't recommend it for beginner table artists.
The maximum width for a table is 698 pixels. Tables exceeding this width stretch the forum skin.
Post logs are basically chronological lists of all the threads a character has participated in and are a way for players to keep organized with the happenings of their character's life. They're also a great resource for other players to quickly look up a certain thread involving a certain character. Post logs often include the name of the thread, the URL, the date, the characters involved, the setting, and a brief summary of what took place. Some players also choose to mark whether they've replied to a thread or if the thread is moving fast or slow, among other useful things.
While character post logs are generally useful for more than just the character's player, graphic logs are more for the specific player's convenience. They are quick dumps of the tables and other graphics they're using so they can grab the code easily. Occasionally, players also choose to credit the tables and other graphics in graphic logs. Keep your post log in the Post and Graphics Logs forum.
Your signature is attached to each and every post you make at 'Souls after the post. Signature areas are quite useful, as they are seen by anyone who looks at your post closely. Some players find it useful to include not only typical decor such as images and lyrics, but also pack pride images, 'Souls Promo buttons, or even slow/scarce notices.
The maximum width for signatures is 698 pixels, while the maximum height for signatures is 400 pixels. The Graphics Guide has more information about signatures, including a graphical guide on how to update your signature.
Avatars are usually character images. They are displayed underneath your forum username to the left of your post and are a great way to let other players know what your character looks like at a glance. You can update your avatar by going into the User Control Panel and looking for "Edit Avatar" on the left sidebar. The Graphics Guide has more information about avatars as well as a handy image guide on how to update your avatar.
Copyrighted images are not allowed for use on the board as avatars, in signatures, or in tables. Photographs should be Creative Commons or free stock images, and photographers should be credited with a link back to their photography account or website.
This is because using these images is actually a violation of the law! It's illegal to use copyrighted material without the explicit permission of the copyright holder. For more information about copyright, check out copyright.gov. While copyright law varies by country, the majority of players at 'Souls are American, and our servers are also hosted in the United States -- therefore, we must adhere to U.S. copyright law.
While the administration doesn't stringently enforce credit on photographs nor do we check to insure each and every member graphic is non-copyrighted, if your images are obviously copyrighted (e.g., a © symbol appearing directly on the image or an image from a paid stock site) it could result in repercussions. Though the chances of legal repercussion are incredibly slim, it is also a matter of simple respect to the photographers and artists. There are a wealth of free images that will probably suffice just as well as the copyrighted images; there are also a myriad of free lineart and also many artists who are perfectly okay with various uses of their art.
Your own artwork can always be used for graphics, of course. You made it, after all!
Artwork that is not your own work may be used IF AND ONLY IF:
Violating the third principle is art theft and can result in an immediate ban from the game. We take copyright and art theft both very seriously at 'Souls.
If you have commissioned a work from someone (e.g., you paid for someone else's art of your character) you are obviously allowed to use it. :) We highly prefer if you leave a link-back to the artist's page and properly attribute the work to the artist, even in these cases. Firstly, it gives the artist a little more exposure; secondly, it lets everyone know where you got the art from and that you're abiding by 'Souls graphics and art use rules. :)
First, try reading our page on Spotlight and Community Souls. Also keep in mind that we select a CS based on OOC participation. This might mean welcoming new members, helping members out, making gifts (eg: tables, avatars, pictures), updating the Wiki, and participating in Chat and fostering a positive environment. For the SS, we look at IC participation. Replying and making AW threads, replying quickly to threads, plotting with newer members, and making IC events for others to participate are all great things we look for! We have an archive of past Spotlight and Community Souls for you to browse! Check out other people's information and see how they won Spotlight and Community Soul.
A character must have made at least 6 posts totalling at least 1200 words for a thread to count for a Catacomb. If the thread dies before proper completion, it also must not be the fault of the player claiming the Catacombs skull.
The Catacombs are a reward system for IC and OOC achievements. The more you participate in the board, the more Catacombs you can collect! For more information, check the Catacombs page.
The Word of the Day game is a fun game where you can expand your vocabulary and earn points toward titles and icons. The Word of the Day post is located in the Roleplay Aids forum. Note that LASKY posts do count for Word of the Day.
It depends. If your character(s) are in the same pack, it is fine to combine game points and purchase a title for either character. If your character is in a different pack, you must request to the leadership of BOTH packs to transfer your points. Points transfer is at the discretion of the pack’s leadership.
The pack game is an incentive for members to join packs and therefore is not offered to loners or creatures. Additionally, since there is no leader to run it, there wouldn't be anyone to completely take over it (plus, having a leader for the loners is a little paradoxical!).
The 'Souls yearbook is a yearly compilation of active characters throughout the year. Each December, the administration posts up yearbook interest topics as well as superlative suggestions, and members vote and suggest superlatives. Keep an eye out for the yearbook each December.
There are quite a few boardwide contests and games throughout the year -- Christmas in July and Secret Santa are held in July and December. Players swap graphical sets with one another in this thread. Each January, SoSuWriMo is held. This is a month-long writing contest where players attempt to hit 50,000 words and is generally craziness.
Board-wide games of several types have been discussed before, and generally the feeling is that pack games provide such a good incentive for characters to join packs, it would be counterproductive to implement a board-wide game and possibly increase the number of loners. Nevertheless, if you have a suggestion you think is unique and easy to implement, feel free to PM it to a staff member. If your idea doesn't work out for a board-wide game, you can always suggest the idea to the leaders for pack games.
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:33 am
If there are enough active members to support a new pack, any member may attempt to create a new pack by following the guidelines on the Pack page. This means that pretty much any character may become a leader by starting a new pack. However, it is important to realize that creating and maintaining a pack is a huge responsibility, and that even if a pack is successfully created, its first few months will be very trying. Many packs in the past have ended up disbanding within a short amount of time because there were not enough members to sustain it, its members were not active enough, or there was dissension in the ranks. Before attempting to start a new pack, it is highly recommended to survey other members for interest and to discuss a solid foundation. All pack leaders have moderation access over their pack forums; however, as IC leadership is separate from OOC leadership, leaders are not considered staff.
If you'd like to become a sub- or co-leader of an already existing pack, a general rule is to not ask to become one. Be active in your pack and thoughtful in your posts. Greet newcomers at the border for your existing leader(s), mentor newer members of the pack. Help where you are asked to help, and help where you think you can be useful. And be consistent! There is no magic formula to becoming a leader and no guarantee, but trust your existing leader to recognize good and consistent behavior. Remember, too, that roleplaying isn't about ranks or leadership.
Many of the same ideas apply for wanting to become part of staff (that is, a moderator or an administrator). Contribute to the site, both ICly and OOCly. Participate in board activities, discussions, or whatever else is going on around the board. Don't start or reply to dramatic or provocative posts. Be helpful, but don't "play moderator" if it isn't your job. If you want to be on staff, you should want to be staff to help and contribute to the site, not because of a shiny key or the "prestige" of being staff (and, speaking from collective experience, the trouble, stress, and drama of staff far outweighs whatever "prestige" comes along with it).
All staff members submit their character and puppy requests to the moderator forum for the rest of the staff to evaluate. Upon joining with a character, administrators (but not moderators, as they are unable to title accounts) can accept themselves.
If, after a thorough SA investigation, a solo leader is found to be unable or unwilling to fulfill all leadership duties, and there does not appear to be any suitable candidates for leadership amongst the existing pack membership, the pack will be disbanded. The ‘SA does have internal procedures regarding leader removal in place, but we’ve never needed to resort to them.
In most cases, if a leader is having issues of any kind and/or there are member complaints, the ‘SA will work extensively with the leader and all involved parties to mediate disputes, sort out grievances, create compromises, and get the situation straightened out without resorting to drastic measures.
We honestly believe if a leader is unsuitable for leading, their pack will disband naturally. Players will leave and take their characters elsewhere, and if this happens enough times, the pack will drop below the numerical requirements to retain pack status (7 players).
If you’re unhappy in your pack, we highly encourage you to include the ‘SA in the discussion. We’re not aware of any issues you have until you bring them to us — or, if we are aware of them, our information on the subject is second-hand and unsubstantiated.
Unfortunately, however: unless a leader is breaking the standard leadership procedures for all leaders, the ‘SA can only tell players to find a new pack for their characters. Leaders are free to run their packs however they’d like within the confines of our procedures and guidelines, so as long as the rules of the game are satisfied, there’s not much the ‘SA will do about it.
In regards to NPC absences, leaders and their characters are treated like any other member. That is, NPCing the character counts as dropping the character, and the player of the character is no longer a leader. It is up to the remaining leader(s) to decide whether to reinstate the character and its player into their previous leadership position when/if the character comes off NPC status.
A pretty big deal. We expect a great deal out of our leaders and there is a lot of responsibility involved. Leaders are given moderation powers over their pack’s forum, access to the private leader forum, and nearly limitless power to do as they will with their pack’s IC and OOC structure, contests and games, website, ranks, etc. Leaders do essentially run their own little enclave of ‘Souls members, and it’s important for leaders to be responsible, mature, and capable.
Leaders are subject to the same activity standards as other members and must post at least once every four weeks. Failure to do so results in removal, as per ‘Souls activity guidelines.
Members that consistently show real helpfulness, sincerity, dependability, and an ability to conduct themselves responsibly and kindly are favored for modship. If all of SA agrees on a person, agrees that we need an additional mod, and the individual in question is receptive, then they will become a mod. If we’re not unanimous on the person, if we don’t think we need another mod at the moment, or if the person isn’t interested, then they won’t become one. :>
Specific problems are worked through on a case-by-case basis, and historically, staff members have been mature and aware enough to remove themselves from situations or positions that come into conflict with their other interests.
There are internal policies in place for the removal of both moderators and administrators for breach of conduct, but we have yet needed to resort to them.
The selection process for maintenance aides is similar to the selection process for moderators. We look for many of the same qualities, such as dependability, maturity, and responsibility, though there's less of an emphasis placed on user interaction as the duties of a maintenance aide are limited to board maintenance. That isn't to say that helpfulness to other players and general initiative wouldn't benefit a maintenance aide candidate; they're just less important for the maintenance aide than for moderators.
The 'Souls Assemblage works together to draft responses to most every message. If it's a "usual issue" or a recurring question, we tend to respond immediately, but if the issue requires any kind of discussion on our end, the responses may sometimes take a few days to even a week, unfortunately! In the same respect, with issues of low priority (e.g., a permission question regarding custom titles as opposed to a board-wide procedures question) we may be slower in answering, as there are frequently other high-priority issues to attend.
If you feel the 'SA has forgotten about your inquiry, please send us another message -- chances are, we haven't, but as we're human too, mistakes can (and do) happen!
WE ARE NINJAS. NINJAS MUST NEVER BE SEEN. /hides
Yeah, a lot of us are invisible. :> The reasons vary by individual, but a lot of us prefer invisibility to keep extra pressure off ourselves. Sometimes we’re around, but not necessarily in the mindset to do administrative work. Often, if someone sees an administrator online, they expect instantaneous responses to various issues (“So and so is online, why haven’t they replied to my Request topic? Or my PM? Or this or that?!?!”), which isn’t necessarily fair to us. We’re people and players too, and we do think we deserve “off” time, even if we happen to be on the board.
We’re absolutely dedicated to addressing matters in a timely manner, and you’re free to let us know if you think we’re slacking on specific things, but we want to be able to handle things on our own schedule. We hope that makes sense and that you guys can understand that!
If the PM is about an issue that requires discussion, it will be reposted in the SA forum for all to see and discuss and to keep better records.
If the PM is a minor issue, non-issue, or easily answered question, whoever sees it first will usually respond. Other SA members would only see it if they’re digging through or cleaning up the inbox.
If you believe an individual administrator has been rude to you, please send a copy of the chat or IM log or forward a PM to another individual member of the ‘Souls Assemblage — we’ll address your concerns the best we can.
In general, we do strive for a professional, if firm, tone in our official interactions with members — this is arguably one of the most difficult parts of administrating. Too casual and we’re not taken seriously and we may even come across as condescending; too overbearing, denigrating, or otherwise negative, and it is rudeness.
Though it may not necessarily be the case, we know that enacting consequences for poor behavior is sometimes considered “rude” — we can’t do anything to help that. :( Do understand that we always make an effort to be fair, but sometimes, there isn’t really a “nice” way to communicate what we need to communicate.
Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:34 am
Post to the Maintenance Thread, which has instructions as to what you should do in each scenario. If the exact mistake isn't listed, just try to be descriptive when you post about your problem.
For sensitive issues (e.g., issues relative to another member, like a PM dispute, etc.) you should always PM a 'Souls Assemblage member. Posting about sensitive issues in public is strongly discouraged. o:
Post to the Maintenance Thread with DETAILED information about what's not working. "It doesn't work" is not detailed. Please be specific about what exactly is breaking, where it is breaking, what you are trying to do, etc. Always include a link, if possible. Screenshots are especially helpful for reproducing errors.
Tell the pack's leaders -- the 'SA doesn't correct errors on pack websites and pack information. Many packs have pack Maintenance threads located in the Pack News forum where you may post updates. Other packs even have a guest account for you to login to their website and fix errors (read the pack's rules before you edit, please). Otherwise, you can always PM the leaders.
If you get the max_user_connections error, do not refresh. Give it some time and come back later; the server is getting overloaded with database connections. There's nothing we can do to fix this error, unfortunately, save springing for extremely expensive private server hosting.
If you get the "Mail Error! Could not send the email. Failed at 'mail' command" error while sending a PM, the account you are sending a message to does not have an email address set. The PM will still have gone through successfully. Please alert the owner of the account that they should fill in an email for the account.
If you receive the error while replying to a thread, someone subscribed to the thread does not have an email set to their account. The reply will still have gone through successfully. If this is an IC thread, it may be your thread partner(s) -- please alert them so they can set an email to their account. If it is an OOC thread, post in the Maintenance Thread and a administrator and manually unsubscribe everyone from the thread.
NOTE: Not including pack questions.
You can help 'Souls in plenty of ways! First of all, be an awesome member -- help newcomers become accustomed to the site, fulfill people's thread requests and graphics requests, if you're capable of doing so. People make introduction posts in the OOC G forum all the time; respond to those posts and make new players feel welcome in the game. Be friendly and helpful to your fellow player, essentially! Our friendly and open community has always been one of our best aspects, so you can certainly help us out by keeping up with these awesome traditions.
You can also vote for 'Souls on a daily basis -- the topsites are a great source of new members. You can also advertise on forums or try other methods of advertising, too. Wear Pride off-site, and Promotion images on-site.
Additionally, if you see anything wrong -- point it out for us! 'Souls is a huge game, and the administrators and moderators are not omnipresent. Basic errors and the like should be listed in the Maintenance thread. If you see someone breaking a rule, you should Private Message the 'SA. Don't try to handle rule infractions on your own -- that's what the administration is here for! :)
'Souls has a ton of forum skins, actually! You can change your forum skin by going to your User Control Panel and looking for My Board Style in the sidebar underneath the Board Preferences header. Check the drop down for a list of skins.
A custom icon is a custom-designed icon, displayed beneath a player's avatar when they post to the forum. Custom icons are generally made for a player by the 'SA. Players can attempt to make their own custom icons -- however, note that the 'SA has the final say as to whether an icon is acceptable, and may edit your icon or remake it entirely. If you're not comfortable making an icon, just request it, please.
Custom titles are small snippets of custom text in custom colors applied beneath a player's avatar when they post to the forum. Colorized fade text is common in titles; many players attempt to find esoteric or rare words that describe their character or tiny snippets of song lyrics. Some players choose to apply titles that apply to themselves as players rather than their character. Still other players choose silly titles for their accounts.
For the COMPLETE title/icon guide, see Title and Icon Guide.
No, there is no enforced minimum. However, we suggest you are capable of writing two paragraphs (200 words) in your posts. If your posts are consistently below this length, you may be pointed in the direction of the Questions & Help where you can receive tips on how to make your posts longer and better. We're all in this to improve, right?
Try to devote more detail to what you are already writing about, first. Be careful not to delve into the inane -- in other words, no one really wants to read about the tiny details surrounding your character's childhood when they have nothing to do with what's actually going on. Re-read the previous post carefully, and try to pick certain things to react to -- a physical reaction of the other character, their speech, or even a thought of the other character. If nothing else, you can do something in your post, too -- try something changing in the scenery or even attempting to move your characters elsewhere to continue the conversation or action.
Try reading someone else's writing for a while -- not just other roleplaying threads, but books and magazine articles, too. Listening to music that reminds you of your character(s) can inspire some, while others find tidying up their post logs and profiles helpful. Inspiration comes from many sources, and you'll just have to find yours. Failing all else, you may want to try a prolonged break -- consider NPC Status for prolonged periods of time.
You can do a few things here -- if your character is thinking a lot and not acting, you can try to cut those paragraphs out. Details can also be cut.
If you're really attached to a particular paragraph but you've realized your post is excessively long, you can cut it and save it for another post later. Make certain you modify the paragraph adequately so it fits and makes sense for the situation; for example, it wouldn't be very sensible to cut material from a thread where your character is thinking about a traumatic event and re-use it in a thread where they are happy and thinking about good things.
Alternatively, you can try to stack actions in certain paragraphs and tell players that other paragraphs are mostly thought-based and can be skipped. Thought and writing from a character's perspective can be important for development, so few players should mind this, and most will appreciate that you let them slide where super-long posts are concerned if you allowed self-introspection to get away from you.
See the 'Souls Wiki FAQ.