The World of Althanas FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

Welcome to Althanas

Welcome to Althanas! We are a fantasy-based site (founded in 2001) that incorporates collaborative writing with role-playing to give our members a unique experience. We encourage both co-operative and competitive writing in what is called "play-by-post role-playing". Althanas is a community dedicated to showcasing and improving the writing of its members, and innovative rolepaying. As a new member of the forum, we recommend reading through this guide as you create your character and explore Althanas' features.

What is Althanas?

Althanas, a Play-by-Post Role-Playing Game (or "PbP" for short), was founded in January of 2001 as a sister site to AllRPG.com. In a PbP, you create a character and write stories from that character's perspective, as you would in any piece of fiction. Often in a PbP, you'll work collaboratively with other players, teaming up to write a story together. Wikipedia.com's entry on PbP offers a quick summary of this process:

"The first message posted onto a thread of that nature is usually one person laying down the scenario, starting a story about their character and inviting others. If successful, the thread then becomes an ongoing story in which players periodically advance the plot by reading the latest reply and then typing a short paragraph or two about what their character does and how the environment changes in response. These replies are often open-ended so that other players can continue."

Althanas is no different. What separates us from other forums, however, is our emphasis on improving the writing of our players through constructive, positive feedback. At the conclusion of each role-playing thread, Althanas staffers can offer advice and comments through a process called "Judgments." There are a couple of different Judgment types, explained in more detail later, but typically they either follow a star based grading system (non competitive writing) or a point based system called the "Althanas Rubric," (competitive only). Both methods reward the character with EXP and GP, which allow users to "level up" and become more powerful. Of course, the Judgment process is entirely optional, as many writers here are content simply to write for the enjoyment of it. The "No Judgment" option is available for such situations, which simply offers EXP and GP. Be sure to explore the various types of judgments, also outlined in this section.

Forum Registration

(Note: This section explains how to register on a vBulletin - most players will already know how to do this and should move to the next chapter, "Character Registration.")

The first step in becoming a member of Althanas is to register your user name - with this registered account, you will fight battles, participate in quests, and enter tournaments. Most of your writing on the forum will involve your character, so registering a user name with your character in mind is the first step towards making your stay at Althanas a worthwhile experience.

Once you click the registration link, you'll be taken to a page asking for your date of birth (your own, not your character's). You will then be asked to agree to the forum rules.

Next comes a page which asks for your user name. Your user name does NOT have to be your character's name, but it is highly recommended. The rest of this page is self-explanatory, although we call your attention to the profanity filter at the bottom. This allows you to select words that you would like censored on the forum.

Creating Your Character Profile

The profile page serves as part of your character sheet for Althanas (it appears to the left of your posts), and filling this out correctly, as well as maintaining your Realm of Greeting thread (detailed later), is key to your character's success on the forum. Remember, the most important rule about your character is that he or she (or it!) must be your own work - you cannot role-play as Luke Skywalker, or Legolas, or Elton John. However, you may borrow or use parts of your favorite character, meaning that you can make a character that is based loosely off of him or her, provided you use an original name and make it so that the character you are registering isn't recognizable as a character from another setting.

A guide to character creation can be found here.

Stonevale/The Bazaar/Introduction Forum

Those looking to jump directly into Althanas role-playing often start with Stonevale. Stonevale is an in-character forum in the guide of a town where much happens, where you can create open threads, and introduce your character to other players. It has roaming threats, active quests and even NPCs who you or another writer can use or be. Threads in Stonevale can still earn you rewards (experience and gold), and you do have the option of having them judged if you so choose. It is typically a place without violence, but occasionally a disagreement can erupt to so much more.

The Bazaar is the Althanas marketplace - your character can buy almost any item there to use in role-playing threads, as well as staff designed abilties.

Finally, the Introduction Forum is an Out-of-Character chat where you can introduce yourself to the members of Althanas. Tell us everything that's interesting about you, so we can welcome you to our forum.

Submitting Your Work (Judgments)

On Althanas, when you complete your first quest or combat thread, you will then submit it for Judgment. This means a team of staff members will read your work, offer you feedback on your writing technique, and reward you for your efforts in Experience Points and Gold Pieces. These points are automatically added to your account, with EXP increasing your level and GP increasing the amount of money you have to spend at the Bazaar, Auction House and Ability Shop. As you level up, you can power up your character sheet later for further threads and stories. If you are not interested in having someone else comment on your work, know that there is a "no judgment" option available. You are never required to receive commentary, except in competitive play. However, the option is there should you like it. When submitting for a judgment, it is important to know what you are requesting. Take a moment to look at the descriptions below to help you select the proper feedback for you.

Judgment:

This offers the writer feedback in the form of strengths and weaknesses, and is graded out of ten stars. The star rating you get determines your EXP and GP rewards. Typically, you'll receive feedback a couple of days after submission. Please feel free to continue to write other threads while you wait!

Full Rubric:

Competitive writing, such as battles, tournaments, and quest league entries, are always a Full Rubric. This offers the writers comprehensive and comparative feedback and is typically handled by more experienced staff. The judgment is graded using the Althanas Rubric, and commentary is given under each segment for each player. It will be common for the judge to pull out specific quotes to illustrate a point or single out errors. This judgment is the most time consuming, so please be prepared to wait between 7 and 14 days.

Workshop

Judging staff posts an entry into the Writers Workshop forum. Then, the thread receives rewards from a Judge. The rewards are posted immediately and peer feedback is open for 30 days. This option is best for quick rewards and group input from your peers instead of a single judge. Anyone who contributes their feedback to a workshop will also receive impressive rewards.

No Judgment

The thread is given rewards only based on a Judge's read of a thread. No feedback or score will be posted. This is the best method for quick turnaround. These will be tended to by the judge and awarded within 24 hours.

New Player Referrals

If an existing player refers a new member to the site, they will both receive incentive rewards for doing so! Think of this as a "thank you" for helping Althanas continue to grow!

Existing members who refer a new player will receive 5% of the total experience needed for them to level up and 500 GP. The new player will receive a voucher for 50% increased rewards on a completed thread of their choice. These rewards will be awarded to each player as soon as the new player has successfully gotten their first character approved.

We truly appreciate the word of mouth advertising we get from our players, and would like to reward the service they do in getting new people on board.

Thank you all so very much.

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