Announcement Archive

NPCs and the Wiki

Message 11 of 11 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Sun Sep 22 14:19:28 2013 PDT
From: Bailey (#26758)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: NPCs and the Wiki and You!

Hey guys!

This is just a PSA regarding the recent uptick of activity of NPCs, and the wiki.

First and foremost, everyone is welcome to option an NPC as a PC if you really want to play it! And of course NPCs can be used to flesh out backstory. However, there are few guidelines specifically for NPCs and the Wiki:

- NPCs, unless staff-run or staff-created-adoptables, should not be on the "Played By" list. The whole reason we have a PB list is as a courtesy for players coming in to know what PCs on-game look like; in other words, it just isn't fair to 'hold' a PB for an NPC you may use twice.
- Please do not create whole character pages for NPCS, and for the love of little rabbits, don't waste wiki space by giving them multiple images. If you use an NPC frequently, consider PCing them; if you absolutely must have an icon for them, please keep it within reasonable limits on your main character's page (IE, one or two icons).

Additionally, if you intend on NPCing a ranked character (anything higher than journeyman, wingrider, etc) please make sure your area staff knows!


On behalf of Gamestaff

Impression Age Policy

Message 8 of 9 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Mon Oct 21 21:42:22 2013 PDT
From: Lendai (#25974)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: Impression Age Comments Needed!

Game Staff is currently in favor of changing the age of Search to 15 - 25, switching it from the former age range of 12-23. This means anything over the age of 15, and under the age of 26 would be an acceptable age to be Searched. There has been some discussion and it has been deemed that in this Pern with Thread due in less than a turn, it would be uncanon for Weyrs to Search out truly young candidates. As weyrlinghood lasts only a turn and a half or so, anyone younger than 15 would be deemed too young to fight Thread and thus be generally useless to the wings until they hit a more acceptable age.

This new policy would be put in place immediately and would affect the next PC Cycle which is set for Igen in the Spring of 2014.

Now! As Game Staff is discussing it, we obviously do not want to move forward without the input of the rest of the game! So that being said, we have created a Vote Box where you, the players of Harper's Tale, can tell us if you are for or against this policy change. We are looking for any opinions people may have about this possible policy change, please do not hold your tongue if you feel strongly one way or another. We really WANT to know how the players of the game feel! If there seems to be a mixed bag of those who feel positive and negative about it, we will throw the change open to a Game Wide Vote. If it seems to be more negative, we'll keep the policy as is. Also the same if it is mostly positive, the policy will change to the new age range proposed.

To be able to comment on the Possible Search Age Policy Change, do the following:

@review #8655 - this will show you the question posed without prompting you to vote
@vote #8655 - this will prompt you to comment on the Proposed Policy Change!

See? Easy peasy! Please keep your comments generally clean, no need to foul language or disparaging remarks. Though feel free to let Game Staff know your feelings!

This vote box will close at Wednesday, October 23rd, at 11:59pm! Please be sure to comment right away if you have something that needs to be said about this policy change.

Canon Reminder - Fauna

Message 9 of 9 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Tue Oct 22 11:13:51 2013 PDT
From: Lendai (#25974)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: Canon Reminder: Pernese Fauna

Hello Players of Harper's Tale!

Just your friendly Game Staff dropping in to give everyone a big reminder about some of the major fauna (besides those crazy dragons!) of Pern!

Tunnelsnakes - These nasty creatures are sporting six legs, each equipped with a sharp-edged claw that helps them clutch and climb using crevices and nicks in tunnels. They have scales or skin (depending on the region of location) and usually measure between 2 to 4 feet. That's right. They are bigger than a younger child! They also have a wicked set of fangs. There are also some species of tunnelsnakes that are POISONOUS. Meaning if they bite you, it could easily be game over.

Wherries - While each Weyr does have their fair share of wherries waiting to be devoured by hungry dragons, they are also wild ones as well! They have six limbs as well: two wings, two front feet, and two back feet. The front feet, which were much smaller than the back two, had one mobile claw that locked into two rigid claws like pincers, which were used to grab and rend. The back legs were well-muscled and could be employed to kick powerfully, as well as to help the bird leap into the air. Their three toes canted backward when they flew, to keep from being caught by animals on the ground or other wherries. The big avians turned cannibal when one of their numbers was wounded or killed. They could easily do harm to any human attempting to hunt them with their powerful limbs or sharp claws.

Felines - Easily one of the MOST DANGEROUS animals on Pern. They were brought by the colonists, but weren't used until Ted Tubberman enhanced them with mentasynth to serve as guard animals. They then killed Ted Tubberman and escaped. By the Ninth Pass, they had spread across the Southern Continent. Outside of dragons, they are the LARGEST predator on the Southern Continent and they are a frequent hazard to humans, even attacking dragons on occasion.

Felines live in prides. A pride of felines could be between anywhere between 2-20 animals strong. Humans, either by themselves or even in a group, would have almost no chance whatsoever of killing a feline. Let alone fleeing an encounter with a feline without being seriously injured. REMEMBER! Even DRAGONS have a hard time when it comes to hunting felines! They are aggressive, dangerous creatures that can easily kill a human being. There is no way to sneak up on a feline, as they have sharper senses than humans could ever wish to have. They would be able to hear and smell even the stealthiest of humans (think a ninja) before said person had the foggiest idea that the feline was even there.

It is important to note that in Southern, ALL fauna is larger than what would be found in the Northern continent. So felines, wherries, and tunnelsnakes would be even MORE formidable if found in the wilds around Southern Weyr.

So please! Remember to RP accordingly! If your character is a hunter by profession or simply enjoys hunting, they would be going after the smaller fauna of Pern. Examples of these being whersports or fur animals. Only dragonriders or a large group of seriously experienced hunters would be allowed or encouraged to go after tunnelsnakes or wherries. In no way would any of them ever be told to go after a feline.

Canon Reminder: Currency

Message 1 of 3 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Fri Nov 8 20:55:57 2013 PST
From: Lendai (#25974)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: Canon Reminder: Pernese Currency

Hello Players of Harper's Tale!

Welcome to another Canon Reminder from your Friendly Neighborhood Game Staff! Today, we would like to remind people about the financial system on Pern and how it works and what is the deal with marks.

On Harper's Tale, we use the information supplied to us from the Dragonlover's Guide To Pern in regards to Pern's financial situation. So please bear with me as I take portions from the very book itself to help educate all of us!

The usual method of exchanging goods or services is barter. A man will trade his skill or merchandise for that of another, usually at a Gather. There is actually very little "cash" being tossed around on Pern. Instead, most people will barter their goods or services for the goods or services they may require. An example — a fisherman may trade his entire catch of the day for a new tunic from a weaver. Barter is, and will always be, Option #1 when it comes to procuring what is needed in the day to day life of the Pernese Citizen.

However, there is the off chance that sometimes, bartering is not enough and some kind of money is expected for something extra. The cash on Pern is referred to as marks. Marks are disks made of wood, supplied as blanks by Lemos Hold, and stamped with special dies that denote value and source. The value of the mark fluctuates with supply of barterable goods. After a bad harvest, a mark is worth more because the goods it represents are harder to obtain; after a good harvest, the situation is reversed. The fiscal autonomy is set by a group of traders, Craftmasters, and Lord Holders that meet every turn at harvest time to fix what a mark will buy for the next turn.

Each major Hall and Hold has its own die stamps for impressing marks. These dies have complex designs and are VERY hard to duplicate without the correct tools, which the Smithcraft provides. An imperfection is consciously added to every imprinting to make them even harder to counterfeit. Only so many marks are issued per Turn, to balance the supply of goods or to replace old, worn out mark pieces.

Mark denominations are the following from smallest to largest: 1/32 of a mark, 1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1, 2, 5, 10 marks, and a few 100 mark pieces for very large transactions.

Now let us get down to the nitty gritty! The question of wealth always comes to play, specifically if your character or their business/trade would come into what's considered 'wealth'. When talking about Pern, it is important to recognize you're dealing with a largely communal, agrarian economy, one where 'wealth' is not necessarily the same as 'cash money'.

The Pernese are a pragmatic bunch, living in a medieval-level world. As such, the majority of Pernese transactions are done with barter, with goods or services exchanged for other goods or services - no currency required! Marks are therefore considerably less common than real world money, and most often found in the hands of select elites. Lord Holders, in particular, are easily the richest citizens on Pern, and the most likely to perform transactions in marks. While equivalent in rank, the average Craftmaster or Weyrleader is considerably less likely to be swimming in cash (recall that in the Harper Hall books, Robinson mentions having very few two-mark pieces to his name!) This goes on down the line: most characters will have very few marks, with their wealth - whatever it might be - tied to their personal property, skills and alliances, rather than their pocketbook.

While apprentices, journeymen, and masters can and do sell their wares and get a small fraction of the money, most of the marks made will be filtered back into the Craft. (Agreeing to pay one's Craft the lion's share of the profit is a requirement to get an item Craft-stamped - and non-Craft-stamped items are worth much less.) Ranking members of a Weyr are much the same, with the 'wealth' they control - whether from tithes and/or the goods/services made/grown/provided by the Weyr - largely Weyr property that they've been allocated the use of.

Mark wages are NOT standard on Pern! By way of example, Weyrfolk are 'paid' in their basic necessities out of the Weyr's communal stores: food, shelter, and clothing, distributed in accordance with need, with certain ranks given additional (small) mark stipends in accordance with hierarchical importance. How much and how far down the line the stipend system extends depends on the Weyr, and the area's economy, in a way that is not necessarily directly correlated with area wealth. For example, Igen is more 'mark-flush' than Southern - but most Pernese would consider Southern the wealthier Weyr, due to its larger area and richer resources!

Marks are most commonly used for large transactions, or luxury transactions, and only when barter isn't available as an efficient option: a low-ranking person might never have nor need a mark in their life, even in the smallest denomination.

Traders and Igen's Bazaarfolk are a little different, as they do a certain amount of business in the buying and selling of goods with mark-flush people like Lord Holders, so are slightly more likely than other Pernese to do business in easily portable currency. As a result, Igen will be slightly closer to a modern cash economy than Southern… but it's all a matter of degree. Even at Igen, barter is king; and even at Igen, wealth is measured in assets, not marks.

And remember! Once Thread starts falling, Traders will be at the mercy of Weyrs, Halls, and Holds for protection! There will be less Gathers and less chances to buy and sell their wares, meaning times will soon be harder for an already tough way of living! While Crafters are better cushioned than Traders, they too feel an economic sting from a Pass. Even the Lord Holders feel the pinch to their pockets come Thread and the balance of power shifts to the Weyr, allowing the Weyr to gain more advantage / appear wealthier than they would be in an Interval.

So the tl;dr of all this? Remember Pern is a medieval economy, and play accordingly!

That's a whole lot of information! Game Staff will be making a wikipage in the near future regarding marks and the Pernese economy to help keeps things straight. Please know if you are RPing about being fabulously wealthy, you might be pinged by an Area or Game Staffer to keep your RP as canon as possible or to have a valid reason for such wealth. Not everyone on Harper's Tale has read The Dragonriders of Pern so using incorrect information can get many people confused as to what is or isn't allowed.

As an added extra help, here is a link to a picture taken from the DLG: (it's not the greatest, a better picture will be added to the wikipage when it is created! But I wanted people to have some sort of reference!). Remember! Having one mark is a BIG DEAL. Having a two mark is basically the most magical thing ever for the average person. Remember Menolly getting a two mark piece from Robinton and how they all freaked out about how much money it was? So use marks responsibly!

As always, any questions or comments? Confusion? Simply page any of your friendly Game Staffers! We're here for you all!

ICA=ICC / Theme Vote

Message 2 of 3 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Wed Nov 13 11:02:24 2013 PST
From: Hannah (#18654)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: Game Update: ICA=ICC & Area Themes!

Hi Harper's Tale Players!

So here's the deal: when we first started the round of reboots and voted on the different areas and started setting them up, we unfortunately used the term "chaos" for a very nebulous concept that no one could really define. Was it ICA=ICC (HT Standard)? Or something different? Was it meant to allow anyone to do anything at any time? A sort of setting that let everyone be powerplay-okay without consent? Unfortunately, it's a concept that's hard to conceptualize and even harder to 'enforce' and no matter what, HT has always been a consent based game when it comes to powerplay of your character as well as when it comes to the types of scenes that you, the player, want your character to be in.

Why all the lead up? Game Staff has worked together to put an end to this term 'chaos' and put a standard, ICA = ICCs across the board. Whether you're at Southern or Igen, your In-Character Actions will determine your In Character Consequences, whether that means punishment ICly, disaster ICly or praise and promotions ICly. What you do, who you interact with, and how you play the game will determine how others perceive and react around you. This is where our game guidelines come into play: Resepect your fellow gamers. If someone is acting uncomfortable, don't hesitate to check. Likewise, if a scene is heading in a direction that you, the player, are not comfortable with it, then extricate yourself from it and/or have a brief chat with your scening partners. If most of the players in a scene want the direction to go one way, then they need to allow for graceful exits of people who do not want to participate.

The cardinal rule here is: Players need to understand that they should not start something that they may not be able to handle the consequences of.

Refresh yourself with our Code of Conduct here:

In addition to re-defining what 'chaos' meant, both Area Staffs came together to propose the nuances between the Areas. Especially important for Igen Weyr as 'chaos' had become an unsustainable term that gave very little context as to the flavor of both weyrs.

What everyone came up with is this:

— Southern would be the canonically traditional weyr (not traditional in the sense of traditional versus liberal, but in the sense that the boundaries of canon are not ICly/OOCly pushed) with a flavor to the Mystery genre.

— Igen is the "Untraditional" weyr, in the sense that Igen is where you go when you want to push canonical boundaries: drugs, organized crime, hard-core gambling, different way of doing trading & crime, etc. Obviously, within the limits of HT's hard canonical boundaries: No females on bronze, No female Weyrleaders, etc. Anything that varies hugely outside of what is considered canon would need to be approved by Game Staff. Igen's flavor would tend towards the Noir, like film Noir: old style 20s crime and other 'dark' topics.


It is extremely important to note that BOTH weyrs have light and dark RP aspects to them, as well as both weyrs have liberal and conservative IC practices to them. There is no one strict IC-Conservative weyr or one strict IC-Liberalism weyr. The "Traditional & Untraditional" comments made about both weyrs is all in terms of Canon Flexibility, NOT in terms of what the IC leadership structure is like since that is something that may shift and change over time.

* I have questions! *

If you have any questions, don't hestitate to shoot a mail to *gsc! Or to your area staff: *igenstaff / *sws!

ALSO, we have set up a comment box to let everyone have a say since these are core, game-wide choices and everyone should have a way to let their opinions be heard. :)

@review #4444 —> Review the Questions
@vote #4444 —> Leave your opinions! Remember, it is critical to be constructive in our opinions. :)

~Hannah, on behalf of Game Staff

Message 3 of 3 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Thu Nov 14 11:07:51 2013 PST
From: Hannah (#18654)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: Theme/Policy: Addressing the Questions on the Voter

Hi all!

In an effort to provide more visibility to those expressing their opinion, the questions that have come up on the comment box (@tally #4444) are deserving of answers! Especially as it may help / aid folks in responding if they desire to do so!

1)I'm not sure where else to put this, but I don't want to see too much more separation of the weyrs, y'know? We had enough trouble with that before, and part of the reasoning behind the reboot was to come together as a game. Naturally, there's totally awesome reasons behind each area doing something different — something for everyone and all that, it's just I'm worried that people are drifting apart again back into the whole 'us vs. them' thing and it's sad.

ANSWER: There should be no 'us vs. them': the point of ensuring that both weyrs offer fun and unique ways of play is to get players to engage in /both/ areas. Want a seedy character who can involved in the underbelly of Pern's structure? Want to push the boundaries of Canon? Create an Igen alt! Want to engage in solving mysteries? Want to play more strict canon? Create a Southern alt! Balance is key to keeping both areas active with something to offer so that players will want to create an alt in BOTH areas for different flavor of Roleplay. With both areas having a defined track to follow, inter-area plots will be easier to coordinate as everyone is on the same page. Unfortunately, the previously held to idea of 'chaos' made that difficult as well as the questioning of what each area's theme was. So the idea behind this is to ensure that the 'us vs. them' mentality /doesn't/ perpetuate. But again, no matter what is done about this, to truly stop it requires those around those people who get into that mentality to not /feed/ into it as well. If you hear someone say something like that, try to find a positive direction to lead the conversation.

ADDENDUM: The onus is on us, the players, to quell anyone who actively engages in an 'us vs. them' mentality, as well. If you hear stuff like, "I like X's plots better, because all that other weyr does is relationship RP! This area is soooooooooo much better!" or "Area X is better. Area Y is sooooooo unwelcoming / cliquish / not as good as Area X is!" or "Area X's staff sucks! I hate them!" or "Area Y's Staff is so lazy!" —> This is Old!HT, full of vitriol and hate. No Area is perfect by any stretch, but there's dealing with the problems the right way versus talking about the areas in a derogatory manner behind everyone's back. Here's the secret of these games: The Rumor mill churns at a surprising speed and no matter what, what gets said /does/ tend to get back (in some twisted form) to just about everyone on this game. Often what gets rumored back to the people and areas is a lot worse than the origional gripe. So let's all do our part to be the better HT, the less-cliquish HT, and the more welcoming HT.

If you do have questions or concerns, you can always @send *gsc (Game Staff) or your area staffs *igenstaff/*sws. Game Staff, and Area Staffs are more than willing to help fix where problems are, and listen to folks who have concerns. It's best to filter it up in a /constructive/ manner than to bitch and moan and be negative behind everyone's back. The Rumor mill churns, and everyone /loves/ spreading the negative gossip.

So let's all be mindful of our attitudes!

2) I suppose I am a bit more confused after reading this mail then I was before. Once I realized there WAS a theme, Igen's was easy to parse and understand. It tends towards darker seedier RP. Crime, Poverty, Rapid Changes, etc. Southern is more fuzzy. If it is limited to "Traditional" does that mean that we're more limited in the number of things that can be done? Or is it just that the traditional "roles" of individuals are kept up? I guess I always saw Southern as being less traditional in structure then Igen would be, simply because of their distance from the mainland and the fact that they have less to do with the North. Anyway, long ramble short. 1) Igen's theme makes perfect sense. 2) Southern's is a bit confusing and I would like more clarification on it.

ANSWER: Southern's theme is around mystery: The mysterious opening, the ghost ships. Where players can get engaged in plots that can provide more 'detective' flavor! Adventure/danger! Also it's where /Canon/ is traditional, so yes there is a limit to what things can be done: aka, there would be no drug trade RP in Southern. That's a concept that would work very well in Igen. Southern's IC structure will change depending on it's Weyrleaders (just like Igen's will) as that's dependent on organic RP. However, The pushing of canon boundaries would not really happen in Southern: it's a place for a player to play in a more canon-traditional (not to be confused with conservative/traditional IC flavor) Pern.

3) Less a comment, more a question. Would it be possible to get out some generic examples of what an IC action would be and the IC consequence would be? Just to begin to give us a framework of what we're getting into?

ANSWER: This is a difficult request as what ICCs that come of an ICA is all dependent upon the leadership that handles it. Some examples might be: If you sass a ranking member of the weyr, you'll get priviledges taken away. Or if you cross the line, you might get grounded. The problem with having examples on the wiki is that it sets a certain expectation that may or may not be true to experience. For example, everyone knows that Lendai is volatile. When provoked, her ICC reactions can be pretty explosive. However, as a character, she also tends to forget pretty quickly. Whereas another leader may have a subtler approach with an IC memory of an elephant and the overall effect lasts longer. Rather than try to cobble together a list of possible outcomes, it's best to just @send your area staff (*igenstaff / *sws) if you feel like something is headed in a direction where ICCs will occur. Of course, during the time of ICCs given, it often becomes an OOC negotiation of: Your character did X, mine's just responded, but we can work out a time when the restrictions / effects / etc are lifted OOCly! Again, it comes down to communication. If ever you have a question, just ask! Area Staffs are here to help (*igenstaff / *sws), and ranked characters are encouraged to be open for dialogue if need be. Still, however, when in doubt you can always clear your potential actions / ideas (ICA) with staff or the ranked individual before hand, so that the "level" of ICC is not a surprise.

4) On its face, ICA = ICC makes sense. If there weren't ICC, it seems like playing would be sorta… well, ungrounded. As a new player, I haven't really seen the impact of ICC in a meaningful way, so it's hard to have an informed opinion here. Positive and Negative examples on the wiki would be nice (there may be some that I haven't seen).

ANSWER: See Above!

~Hannah, on behalf of Game Staff

Canon Reminder: Thread

Message 1 of 2 on *Announcements (#2050):
Date: Sun Dec 8 11:58:47 2013 PST
From: Bailey (#26758)
To: *Announcements (#2050)
Subject: Threadfall and Dragons!

Just another canon-check from Gamestaff involving Threadfall and composition of dragons / wings as we head towards a resumption of Fall!

1. "Fighting dragons" = all bronze, brown, blue, and green dragons. These are the dragons that are able to chew firestone and produce fire! Fighting dragons are divided up into wings, which are nominally or formally broken into 'flights', or groupings of wings. These wings are generally self-governed in Threadfall, aside from directives of the Weyrleader or Weyrsecond.

2. Mechanics of threadfall. Depending on the disperal of the actual Fall, the weyrleader will call for different formations from the wings, with each wing given a particular amount of space that they are responsible for killing all Thread coming through. A wingleader will traditionally make the call of how the actual formation of the wing itself will fly. (IE: the Weyrleader may call for a staggered V formation of the wings, while an individual wingleader may call for a line formation of the dragons within his wing.)

3. Draconic endurance. Please note that the oldtimer/nowtimer split is only a 10% spread, so while it's exaggerated in RP, functionally there isn't a terrible amount of difference in endurance. So standard rules apply: bronzes and browns ALWAYS last a full fall; blues MAY last a full fall; greens NEVER last a full fall. Greens and the lessened-endurance blues are cycled out "midfall", where fresh dragons are brought into the mix.

4. Lower flight. This is handled differently in different weyrs, but all weyrs will have at minimum a "queensflight" or goldrider's wing that does 'clean up' duty with flamethrowers. Please note that there's not a tremendous amount of thread that will fall to this level with a weyr that works well together: this is why pregnant riders and weyrlings often fly with goldriders, because it is much, much safer. Ideally, less than 5% of all thread will reach this level, with less than 1% of all thread slipping past the goldriders. This <1% can be handled by ground crews, which are flamethrower-equipped ground personnel that can kill off 'threadburrows' — what happens when thread reaches the ground and digs in.

5. Natural defenses. Thread acts as acid, eating any organic material — flesh and plant life being the big ones. It doesn't eat stone, slides off of metal, dies if it comes in contact with water or fire. The Southern continent has grubs, which will contain threadburrows from ravaging entire forests. These can lay nascent for periods of time but will eventually 'starve'.

6. Threadscores. When Thread comes in contact with flesh, dragons can ::between:: to stop the immediate consumption of flesh. Between effectively kills any thread that the dragon/rider "brings along" with them, stopping any continuation of injury the moment that the dragon ::betweens::. Also, threadscores cauterize, so it isn't atypical for minor scores to go untreated until the end of Fall, as bleeding-out isn't a risk. Of course, any score involving necessary parts (wingsails for instance!) are classified as 'critical' and require immediate attention.

This is all generally passive information — the only thing that dragonriders need to think about is for you blueriders: does your lifemate have the stamina to fly a full fall or not? Make sure you let your wingleader know IC/OOCly!

As always, if you have any question on the canon of HT's pern, please don't hesitate to reach out to *gsc or any member of Gamestaff!

Bailey, on behalf of Gamestaff