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> 4 - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's), ~ some of the common questions asked & answered
*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:55 AM
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


For Guests & New Members
-- Registration Issues
-- Character Name Issues
-- Character History Issues

For Students
-- Getting to Hogwarts
-- Attending Hogwarts
-- Graduation

For All Members
-- Plotting
-- Account Management
-- How to Become Staff

Contacting Staff
For those not yet registered who may have questions, please email questions to the following address:
governorbelina@gmail.com


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:55 AM
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Registration
  1. I can't seem to register. Is your site closed to new members?
    PottersWorld stays closed to new members for approximately five (5) weeks. This is to simulate a normal "year" for the students at Hogwarts. At the end of those 5 weeks, they are considered graduated to the next year, and registration opens to new members over a 2-day weekend period.

    For the next date of open registration, please see our site Calendar.

  2. This registration form is a little confusing. How do I know where to put my character's name?
    Following are the questions that are on our registration form:

    -- Enter your desired log in username -- This is the spot to enter what you wish your login to be. This is used to login to your account - it is NOT your character name. There are no limits/requirements over what this name should be. This can be changed by you at any time in the future. This name will NOT be viewable to other members

    -- Enter your desired display name -- This is the place to enter your character name. This is the name that will appear to everyone else, and should be a first and last name. This CANNOT be changed by you once entered.

    -- Enter your password -- This is the password you wish for your account. No one will be able to see this. This should be an easily remembered word for yourself. You will be required to enter this word in twice for registration. This can be changed by you at any time in the future.

    -- Enter your Email Address -- This is where you enter your VALID email address. This is where the system will automatically send you a verification email so that you can complete your registration properly. Only one email account per account is allowed. This can be changed by you at any time in the future.

    -- What is 2+2? -- This is a simple question put in to prevent spambots (automatic registering programs that assault forum boards sometimes). You only need enter the character "4" into this space.

    -- Security Code Confirmation -- This is another entry that must be made for security purposes.

  3. I registered but I haven't gotten the confirmation email yet!
    Please check your email account again by logging out, then logging back in. Some email accounts don't "refresh" properly unless you log out/log in.

    Then check your email account's Spam or Junk folder. Because our emails are automatically generated by our system, it may be confused with spam/junk mail.

    If this still doesn't work, email the address above (in the first post) and explain your problem. BE SURE to give your "display name" and the email address you registered under in that note!

  4. I registered and got my confirmation email, and I even made a few posts, but now my account looks like it disappeared!
    Did you register with an illegal name (see FAQ's on Character Names below)? Are you a returning member who has a LOT of alter accounts (more than 4 and you haven't met minimum post count for some of them)? Are you a returning member who has deleted an account this past term? (you must wait one full term before bringing on another account) Are you a formerly banned member trying to sneak back on the site?

    All of these are reasons why your account may have suddenly been deleted or suspended. If you don't think you fit in any of these categories, email the address above (in the first post) and explain your problem. BE SURE to give your "display name" and the email address you registered under in that note!


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:55 AM
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Character Names
  1. What is a character name and what do you mean by this?
    When you register, you should have put your "character name" into the space that asks for your "display name". The character name is the name you want your character known by. If your character is going to be an 11yr old pure-blood girl named Sharon Brown, then you should have entered "Sharon Brown" in for your display name.

    Pennames -- We have no use for pennames at PW. Pennames are those names you use at discussion forums, names like "dramoine783" or "Lupins_gurl". You could possibly use your penname for your login, but we do not use them on our site in any way that someone else can see.

  2. At other RPing sites I've been on, you have one account that you can run several characters from. Why don't you do that here?
    Quite simply, because it is too confusing, both for the staff and for those reading your posts. Each account is for each character -- this way you can use a different avatar/signature set, have different things on your profile page, and when someone is reading your post, they know exactly which character wrote it by glancing at the account name.

  3. I registered as "John Mark Smith" but now it's been changed to "John Smith". Why did this happen?
    This happened because PW only allows a first and last name, not middle names. A member of the staff saw your character name and removed the middle name.

    Hyphenated last names -- Those who wish two last names can do so, but their last name must be hyphenated (with a "dash" between them like "John Smith-Jones"). This is also the case with two first names -- they must be hyphenated. For those characters from non-British cultures who wish three names (like some Asian cultures), you will need to choose which two names should be hyphenated. I know this may not be the "true" way in which the name would appear in your own country, but to be fair to everyone, you will need to hyphenate two of the three names to be allowed on this board.

  4. I want to have a really unusual name for my character like "Sparkle Moonbeam", yet every time I try to register, my account is deleted. Don't you allow creativity?
    Yes, we allow creativity, but we also wish a touch of reality. If you want an utterly ridiculous name, you can have an utterly ridiculous first or last name --- just not both. So you can be "Sparkle Jones" or "Sarah Moonbeam". As stated in our ToS rules for just about anything.... the final judgment on the appropriateness of something that goes on our site rests with the staff.

  5. What should I do about a nickname? Should I put in my character's full name or their nickname?
    That is entirely up to you -- you can put down your character's formal name, or their nickname. But a word of advice.... those of you who put your display name as "Isabella Jones" but decide to have your character get very irate every time someone does NOT call them "Bella" are in for a long haul. Those people role-playing with you, especially new people, will tend to call your character by the name they see on the account. If you don't want the hassle of continually correcting everyone on what your character wants to be called, you should put their nickname down for their display name.


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:55 AM
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Character History
  1. What is a character history?
    A character history is your character's backstory. It can be anything from information about their parents and home life, to incidents from their childhood, to what socio-economic niche their family is in (rich, poor, etc.). Some people come to our site with very elaborate backstories; some with little or none.

    Because our site does not make you fill out a character application (in which a history of your character would be given), you are fairly free to develop your backstory how you choose (as long as you do NOT violate ToS or use any of the "Forbidden" topics). Quite often, a character's backstory will begin when they type their 5th post, the "How I Got My Hogwart's Letter" post.

  2. Will I be able to show my character's history some where?
    Yes. Once your character gets to be a Hogwart's student (a "1st Year"), some new forums will become visible to them, including some OOC (out of character) forums for discussions and record-keeping. One of these is called "Character Libraries". In this forum, members are allowed to post a topic detailing all aspects of their character's life -- ancestry, likes/dislikes, dreams/aspirations. This is an excellent place to start to plan out your character's history.

  3. Are there types of character histories that are not allowed?
    Yes. There are certain histories that we just don't permit on this site. Please review the forbidden items in the ToS first -- none of these will be permitted. The staff reserves the right to allow or reject any character history we see as possibly causing future problems. There are also some histories or backstories that are considered "undesirable". These may be because they are either extremely cliche (been done many many times before), or stretch the boundaries of believability.

    Below are some backstories that came up in the past but that caused some problems:
    -- Street Kid -- Your character is a "street kid", growing up in the mean streets of some large city, having to eat out of garbage cans and fend for themselves. This is not believable in today's society; we are not living in Charles Dicken's victorian London! If a child was orphaned or their home became too bad for living, they would be growing up in the foster-care system or at an orphanage. This plot would not be allowed.
    -- 11year old Mobster -- Your character is so bad, at the ripe age of 11, they already have a crime syndicate, are an assassin, or control some other under-world organization. Please! This is just utterly unbelievable!
    -- Mum/Dad is an alcoholic -- VERY brief mention can be made about a parent having problems with alcohol, but it should not be glorified or done repeatedly. They cannot be a "mean" drunk, only a neglectful one (think of the Dursley's neglect). Mention it once then move on. NO mention can be made of a parent/relative/anyone's problems with drug addiction. We simply do not want to address those types of issues on this board.
    -- I have amazing powers! -- Nope, everyone on PW starts out as a rather normal 11yr old witch or wizard. With experience and years comes more power. When you get to be an adult character, you will then be able to take on some special abilities, but not before then.

    Some cliches (these are used so often, you may want to come up with a different backstory if you want to be original):
    (you are not forbidden from doing these, but just realize that many others have done this too)
    -- The Orphan (oh yes, we have a LOT of those!)
    -- A student who's family is assassins/crime lords (been done a lot; it probably won't promote your reputation as a bad-ass to have a family who are bad-asses)
    -- The suave Lady's Man (come on.... at 11?? At least try to develop your male character INTO that over time!)
    -- Parent(s)/relative(s) who were killed by dark wizards (many people have this)
    -- The Sad Introverted Recluse (you will have a miserable time RPing with others if your character is too sad or reclusive to talk to; no one wants to talk to these types -- they are real downers to be around! A series of open threads in which your character is sighing repeatedly whilst looking out at the lake will probably get you few if any replies.)
    -- The Social Butterfly (this is the type of character who comes blasting in determined to be "the most popular". Usually a 'she', she has such cliche items as glitter and marshmallows. Do not ask me why)


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:56 AM
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Getting to Hogwarts
  1. My character is validated and I'm ready to role-play! However, I can't seem to see Hogwarts; is there something wrong with my account?
    You will need to think a little like Harry Potter. Once he found out he was a wizard, he didn't immediately go to Hogwarts -- he had to do some shopping first! His journey began at the Leaky Cauldron where he spoke with some people, then to Diagon Alley where he went from shop to shop, speaking to more people. Then finally to King's Cross station, to discover Platform 9-3/4, and finally onto the Hogwarts Express for the ride to Hogwarts School.
    Keep an eye on your user group tag (the bar underneath your avatar picture). It will change occasionally once you reach a certain post limit. As that changes, you may discover more forums are now visible to you.

  2. What are the posting numbers I must reach to get to the next user group?
    Now that would be spoiling the fun of discovering it for yourself! Don't worry -- if you keep role-playing, you're bound to reach the next level in no time!

  3. I see other students have been sorted into their houses. Where do I do that at?
    You will need to complete your shopping, ride the train and arrive at Hogwarts first. Your user group will need to read "1st Year", and you will need to make a post in the Sorting Hat forum in the Great Hall. Read the first post there for further instructions.

  4. I've posted in one of the shops but the shopkeeper isn't replying to me. What do I do?
    The shopkeeper accounts in the shops are pretty much there just for "show". You are allowed to god-mode the shopkeepers selling you items if you so wish.

  5. Do I need to complete one thread/topic before participating in another one?
    No, you do not. You can be in multiple threads at the same time, but please be a RESPONSIBLE member and don't get into more threads than you can handle. You should also keep track of the threads you have answered so you don't leave anyone hanging, waiting for your reply.

  6. I want to bring an unusual pet to Hogwarts. Is that allowed?
    The only pets you are allowed to bring to Hogwarts are those listed in the Magical Menagerie shop, in the pinned thread.


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:56 AM
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Attending Hogwarts
  1. Hogwarts is so overwhelming! Where do I post first?
    You will want to get sorted into your House first, so you should locate the 'Great Hall' forum. Within it is a subforum called 'The Sorting Hat'. Follow the instructions in the first post carefully, then make your post there. In time, a member of the staff will "sort" your character.

    After that, where you post is up to you! Don't be shy -- the best way to dive into role-playing is to just post as often as you can!

  2. I keep seeing the word "term" used. What is it and what does it mean to me?
    The word "term" is one we used to describe one full year on PottersWorld. A term here is currently 4 weeks of real-life time. At the end of the 4 weeks, we will have our open registration time, and this is also the time when current students are promoted to the next year..... that is, IF they've made the minimum number of posts (see the Student Manual).

  3. I'm a 1st Year now, but how do I get to a 2nd Year?
    Please read the information within your Student Handbook on how to be promoted to the next year.

  4. Are there clubs in Hogwarts? How do I join?
    Yes, there are many clubs at Hogwarts. For all information about them, including how to join a club, please read the pinned topics in the Organisation Wing.

  5. My character really wants to play Quidditch. Is that possible here?
    Yes, it is possible. There are 4 Quidditch teams corresponding to each of the Houses, and you will need to 'try-out' for these teams at a specific time. For more information about Hogwarts Quidditch teams and how to join them, please read the pinned topics in the Quidditch Pitch forum.

  6. I see there are classrooms and lessons posted, but do I really have to do those?
    No, you do not have to participate in classroom threads if you don't want to. Advancing to the next year is dependent on your post count, not on where you post. But you might want to give them a try anyway -- posting in a classroom thread is a great way to meet new students!


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:56 AM
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Graduation
  1. I'm a 7th Year now, so what happens when I graduate?
    Once the end of term happens and you have made your minimum post count, your user group will be changed to "Graduate". As a Graduate, you won't be able to post anywhere except in the Graduate Job Faire forum. This is a special forum that is visible to 7th Years and Graduates only. It allows you to view the available jobs in the Adult World.

  2. How does my character become an Adult?
    First, you will need to be in the Graduate user group, then you will need to post your Adult World application in the Graduate Job Faire forum. Then you will need to be patient because registration weekend is very busy for the staff, but we will switch your user group to Adult Witch or Wizard as soon as we can.

  3. Is everyone allowed to go to the Adult World?
    In a word, no. Every 7th Year student eligible for graduation will have their accounts and history reviewed by the staff in the week prior to graduation. The Adult World is a very special place reserved only for members we feel are responsible enough and mature enough to be allowed entrance into this largely unmonitored part of our board. Though it is not very often, we do deny some members admittance to the Adult World.

    If you are rejected from admittance to the Adult World, you will receive a PM from a member of the staff explaining why your account was denied, and containing any further instructions. We don't take denial to the AW lightly -- there is always intense discussion prior to this decision, and we don't like doing it. But we also must protect the other members and protect the integrity of our board, so sometimes, this unfortunate step must take place. Your account will remain at the Graduate level until the following registration period approaches, at which time it will be deleted.

  4. I have a lot of questions about the Adult World, concerning jobs, living arrangements, post counts, etc. Where do I ask them?
    It is really best that you wait until your character gets to the Adult World before asking those types of questions. There are a lot of resources and instructions that are only available to characters in the AW, and it just wastes the staff's time to answer them again. Please be patient with your questions until you get to the AW.


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:57 AM
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Plotting
  1. Is there a board plot going on, and if so, what is it?
    No, there really isn't an overall tangible board plot going on. This site is just too big for that. However, we do have the general premise from the Harry Potter books, that of a magical world existing alongside the modern "real" world, and the general setting of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. We will also, on occasion, have a limited-time-only larger plots happening -- like a dragon attack in Diagon Alley involving a lot of adult characters, battles between the Order and Cadena, and the "quest" plots for volunteer Hogwarts students.

  2. What are "quests"?
    Quests are mini-plots available to students that let them run their own little adventures in and around Hogwarts. They role-play these with other characters and can earn House Points for their respective houses. See more information about quests in the Student Centre.

  3. What other plots are available for Hogwarts students to do?
    It's really up to your imagination! Members are allowed to come up with their own plots as long as they don't conflict with the rules. Some general ideas you can do are:
    -- find and explore secret passages in Hogwarts
    -- encounter small creatures on Hogwarts grounds
    -- research your shady family's past in the Library
    -- have an interesting conversation with a portrait or a ghost

  4. What plots are available for Adult characters to do?
    Adult characters can also do whatever plots their imaginations can come up with, again within ToS. Some general ideas could be:
    -- a work-related adventure where you can interact with other Adult characters
    -- an adventure taking place anywhere around the world; search lore sources on the internet for ideas
    -- participation in student/adult conversations in Hogsmeade

  5. I have an idea for a plot but I'm not sure if it would be allowed. What should I do?
    If you ever question whether a plot you are considering would be appropriate, you can PM a member of the staff for review. They can sometimes make an immediate judgment and will PM you back.

    However, that staffer may direct you to a special place where an idea is reviewed by the whole staff. This place is the Private Communication forum. This is a very popular place for members to submit their plot ideas -- the staff will review these, and tell the member whether the idea is approved or rejected, and give them some conditions to carrying out the plot.


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:57 AM
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Account Management
  1. I'm new to these types of boards and don't know how to load my avatar or my signature picture. What do I do?
    If you look in the upper right corner of our main page, you will see a cute little cauldron icon with the word HELP beneath it. Just click on that cauldron, and you will be taken to a full page of instructions on how to use all the different things associated with Invision Power Boards.

  2. I was gone for a long time and when I came back, my account was gone. What happened?
    If you have not logged onto your account for over 2 months, your account was likely deleted due to inactivity. Remember, this board is for active members only. It is stated in our rules that accounts left inactive for 2 months or more will be deleted without notice. At the next registration period, you are free to create a new account.

  3. I know that I'm going to be gone for a long period of time, over 2 months, but I don't want my account to be deleted. What do I do?
    You should PM a member of the staff. We will place your account into a special user group called "Inactive". This will hold your account for up to 6 months without it being deleted, even if you don't log on. You won't, however, be able to do much with this account -- you won't be able to see most of the board, and you won't be able to post. You will, however, still be able to use the PM system for contacting the staff again. Read more about Inactive status in the Absence Thread.

  4. I'm tired of the character I have and don't want to play it anymore. What do I do?
    If you no longer wish to play an account, you can post in the Delete Character Requests. The account will then be deleted by a member of the staff. Be sure, however, to read the rules on Deleted Accounts. You will not be permitted to bring another character onto the board until a full term has passed between when you deleted and when you can create a new account.


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*Supreme Mugwump
post Jan 23 2011, 05:57 AM
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How to Become Staff
  1. Who are the staff?
    A current listing of the staff of PW can be found in this topic.

  2. What's the difference between the different staff levels?
    Prefects -- Prefects are not considered board staff, but rather board moderators. Prefects are a set number of boy/girl characters from each house. Responsible for "patrolling" the areas in and around Hogwarts, making sure everyone is behaving themselves. They will also answer lots of questions from new students.

    Magistrates -- considered "board staff", these people do validating of new member posts, some limited editing abilities for things like the Master Character Face list, and help the prefects in matters of discipline. This is considered a good stepping stone for being a Governor.

    Governors -- high board staff and highly trusted individuals who have proven themselves capable of great responsibility; unlimited editing powers, the final stop in matters of discipline and rule setting. Their word is as law. Some of the Governors are also considered Admins/Root Admins. This means they have access to board coding and account settings.

  3. How do you choose Prefects?
    First and foremost, we look to see if there is an opening, if one house has a need for prefects or not. This fluctuates depending on the membership but at the present time, there are 4 prefects per house.

    Second we look for those members who are very active. You cannot moderate a board that you are barely on, and prefects are expected to be on-site.

    Third, we look for good quality posters. Generally these types are also the ones who have read and understand the rules, have clean or near-clean records, and are able to communicate excellently with others using good grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. Communication is the real key, because they are expected to be interacting with many different people.

    Fourth and finally, a history shown of helping other members. Either answering other member's questions, being polite although it kills you to the newbies who may be making mistakes, and perhaps helping the staff out in reporting ToS violations. Also a willingness to approach new members who seem not able to fit in with other groups is a bonus. It goes without saying that your record with our site must also be excellent, for a prefect who doesn't have a firm grasp of the rules will not be effective in policing others.

  4. How do you choose Magistrates and Governors?
    Staff members are almost always long-term members with excellent records of helping around the board. They will be special members who by their exemplary action, their writing skills and their good personalities, have brought themselves to the attention of the staff as "excellent members". To a certain extent, their philosophy of role-playing and how an RP board should be run must be the same as the current staff as well.

    As an addition, we would NEVER consider anyone for staff who belongs to an organization or website that has been proven malicious or harmful to PottersWorld or any of its affiliate site.

  5. How can I apply to be a Prefect or Staff?
    You don't. Plain and simple. We notice good behavior and excellent posting around the board -- believe us, we do. We are always searching about for good members to bring on as staff and because this board is very labor intensive to maintain, we tend to have a large turn-over rate. It's not for the faint of heart. When you are asked to be a prefect or to come on staff, you are expected to do REAL WORK. It isn't a badge of honor that you can then sit back and enjoy the accolades on. If staff are not getting work done they promised, they are replaced.
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The Surest Way to NOT be Named a Prefect
  • Continually crank out alters with little or no plot development that you also just as quickly abandon. The staff rarely considers anyone for the Prefect's badge who handles more than 2 characters. If you are a serial character creator? If we have to look through 2 pages of spreadsheets just to see all your alters, past and present? Forget it. It only shows us that you are fickle and always looking for the next "attention-high", and probably won't stick to your prefect duties very well.
  • Post a huge amount with really empty, short posts that say... nothing. We are looking for QUALITY not quantity, but honestly... if you are making 50 posts a day and those posts are little more than, "Hi! My name is Tiffany and I'm a 3rd Year Gryffindor! What's your favorite class?".... it's doubtful you will be considered to be a prefect no matter how active you are. Prefects must be really effective communicators.
  • Whine to the staff through PMs.... constant pm's during stressful times such as registration weekends. We want to be helpful, but honestly.... you have to know that registration time is horrid busy for the staff, and is your problem such a crisis that it cannot wait a day or two?
  • Get into a love triangle as a first year. Shows an extreme lack of maturity on the part of the handler. How many ELEVEN YEAR OLDS do you know that are deeply involved in romance??
  • Have your character's entire existence be about pranking. Characters must appear to be good to the Hogwarts staff IC to be considered prefects, because honestly? Do you see a professor or the Headmaster giving the prefect's badge to someone who has proven themselves irresponsible?
  • Brag continually on IM/OOC/Facebook/Twitter about how wonderful your character is, about their latest escapades and conquests, and how everyone should be reading them. Cuz folks? That gets real old for others reading, makes you look incredibly shallow, and leads the staff to believe you have a strong case of SHS (Swollen Head Syndrome). We have found that those with strong cases of SHS are also the ones who tend to bully weaker members.


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