Hello all. Since I offered, publically, to be a resource for those seeking general information on the niceties of participating in an FK war, I have received _lots_ of questions from people that aren't covered specifically in Susan's classic Info post. Hence, I have taken it upon myself (in all due humility--really! :-) to create my own info post, covering the most common questions I've been getting and giving my own personal opinion and advice on getting the most out of a war. (I realize that I am, comparatively, quite the war newbie myself and I would appreciate feedback, suggestions, (outright denials? [g]) from those with senior status.) THINGS TO KNOW: * Post it right! * Any war posts go on the _fiction_ list, and should begin with "WAR:" (three letters in caps and a colon) so that those who are set no-WAR will be spared all our nonsense. (Be aware that some mailers change the colon to a dash on the way out. Make sure that yours does not!) Any *discussion* should, as always, go to the main FORKNI-L list, but, before posting, do two things: ask yourself "does this *really* need to be posted, or can I do in via private email somehow?" and, if you do post it, put "war" in the header so people can avoid it if they want. (The exception is for calling "dibs" on a story part...see below.) * Have a big mailbox! * (Or at least check it often.) A war generates a *huge* number of postings per day, particularly at the begining and the end. If you're gonna participate, you really need to keep up on the reading--so realize ahead of time what that's gonna involve! (One possibility is to go digest on the other lists--this can help keep life more manageable! :-) * (Private) e-mail is your _friend_! * I mean it. *Really!* Wars are formed, played, and broken, and won behind the scenes. Contact the War Leader of your faction so that you can get in on the email loop and know what's up. (If you don't have a faction, talk to the Die-Hards...consider becoming one at least for the War so you're not left out completely ...the Die-Hards specialize in indecision, right, guys? :-) * Collaborate with others. * Another quote from a vet: "The best part of the War is writing stuff WITH people you've never met and barely know. I know that's half the fun *I* had last time." I agree completely! My best net friendships are with people I met through war plotting the last time around. In addition, the best war plots...uh...I mean "stories" [g] are always those that are coordinated behind the scenes--both before and during their posting. Try to collaborate with other people. Start your own email loop! Just keep connected! * Be flexible. * Things change during a war...sometimes at alarming speed. Be sure that any post you're planning much in advance can be adapted to the situation at hand. The War Mistress will let us know what's up when the war is declared, and you'll need to fit yourself into the stories as they unfold. * FK Wars are _not_ particularly gory. * To my knowledge, _no one_ has ever been "killed" (or even seriously injured) in an FK War. (O.K. Karen and Jennise...but they didn't _stay_ dead...and that was before they realized they'd have to spend 4+ more wars in the shadows ducking garlic ;-))) As a rule, property suffers, _dignity_ frequently bites the big one! [vbg], but bodily injury is slight. (Oh, and keep your paws off the Caddie...destroying "that d*mned car" in a spectacular fashion is Susan Garrett's turf [vbg]. * Get permission! * Ask permission (privately!) before using someone in your post. _Especially_ do not drag in someone who has not entered the war without their express permisiion. Realize, however, that by agreeing to enter the war, you've opened yourself up to everyone involved (and they to you). * No killing! (Or bringing over! ;-) * That's the extreme case, of course. The rule is that you can't do anything _permanent_ to someone else without their permission. Whatever you do has to be temporary and/or reversible. In the same vein [oops! ;-] respect other people's caveats (i.e. "You can use my apartment, but don't do anything permanent" or "I'm too busy to write myself in, but you can use me as long as you warn me first and don't do anything permanent"). Remember, ...someday *you* may need to post your own cavet! :-) * Respect "dibs." * That means *two* things. If someone publically calls "dibs" on the continuation of a story, respect that. It *also* means [a] don't call dibs unless you really _need_ it and [b] cough up the next installment so that others can jump in again *as soon as humanly possible*! Don't tie up a story for everyone, or you're likely to lose your dibs...and rightly so. 24 hours is about a reasonable limit. ('Dib' calls may be posted to FKFIC-L.) IMPORTANT WAYS TO NOT LOOK LIKE A CLUELESS NEWBIE!!! * Participate in the war as *yourself*--only better [g]* Don't bring in characters from other universes. Don't give yourself super (or even vampiric) powers. Don't make yourself a sudden multimillionaire or best buddies with the head of the CIA. Think of yourself as basically limited in terms of "things you could do if you could really be as brave/quick-thinking/clever/sneaky/ resourceful in real life as you always are wishing you could be." Think of it as though all of us are playing a fun, casual sandlot ball game with each other. If you show up in your brand shiny new authentic major-league uniform with your big-$, regulation glove and your fancy ball autographed by Babe Ruth... what's going to happen? Everyone else is going to take one look at you and go..."uh...yeah...right." You're gonna feel awkward [or you should! (g)], we're gonna feel awkward, it's completely unneccesary, and it basically just messes with the spirit of a friendly little game. (Yes, exceptions have happened in past wars, but they are few and far between and are best done with skill by experienced warriors. Maybe in your next War.... [g]) So don't show up with a million in your pocket...or a laser gun...or a letter of safe passage from the Pope or something. If you need money, find a way to get it--beg it from your favorite vampire (and make us believe you'd get it _and_ end up alive afterwards!) or find a way to barter something else--make a deal, make several, team up.... and this brings us to one of the deepest, darkest secrets of an FK war [g]: * The point is really _not_ who wins. * This time think of it as a giant treasure hunt. Yes, of course, everyone wants to be first back with everything and to claim the glory and the prize. But if you're just in it to race through and beat everyone else, you're really missing the whole point. The race is just to give everyone a goal and a purpose. The *real* fun is in hunting down all the weird and crazy junk you need--in being creative, and resourceful, and maybe doing a little clever sabatoge of your best friends' team [vwg]...*not* in blindly racing through just to be first. [o.k...that's the last contribution by Dianne, Empress of Analogies (g)...I _promise_ :-] Finally, realize that in some senses you're coming in on part 5 of a *very* long extended story. There are plenty of people who have been participating since War 1 or 2 here. The best way to know what's going on is, of course, to read up on all the old wars. If you can't, at least read *one* of them. And whatever you do, try not to step on the toes of those who really do know better. [g] Dianne
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