Difference between revisions of "Membership FAQ"

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* Heidi Henderson (August 2006 to present)
* Heidi Henderson (August 2006 to present)
* Holly Hutchison (January 2008 to present)
* Holly Hutchison (January 2008 to present)
* Peggy B. (November 2014 to present)
* Joan Milligan (August 2006 to September 2011; and March 2015 to present)
* Joan Milligan (August 2006 to September 2011; and March 2015 to present)
* Sofia L. (August 2015 to present)
* Sofia L. (August 2015 to present)
* Lyn Cavalier (September 2011 to April 2013; January 2016 to present)
== Past Council Members ==
== Past Council Members ==
* Peggy B. (November 2014 to January 2016)
* Megan McCarthy (April 2013 to August 2015)
* Megan McCarthy (April 2013 to August 2015)
* Whitney Ware (March 2007 to March 2015)
* Whitney Ware (March 2007 to March 2015)
* Amy Chandler (February 2009 to October 2014)
* Amy Chandler (February 2009 to October 2014)
* Lyn Cavalier (September 2011 to April 2013)
* Leonie Jonk (August 2006 to January 2009)
* Leonie Jonk (August 2006 to January 2009)
* Ellen Million (April 2007 to December 2007)
* Ellen Million (April 2007 to December 2007)

Latest revision as of 10:40, 1 February 2016

(Return to the River Twine Holt website.)


Glossary of Important Terms

  • CIS: character information sheet
  • IC: in-character
  • MB: message board
  • NPC: non-player character -- generally an adoptable waiting to be adopted.
  • PC: persona character
  • PM: Player-Member
  • OOC: out-of-character
  • RM: Reader-Member
  • RP: role-playing
  • RTH: River Twine Holt

Important Club Email Addresses

  • council@rivertwine.com
  • help@rivertwine.com
  • wiki@rivertwine.com
  • stories@rivertwine.com
  • artwork@rivertwine.com
  • contests@rivertwine.com
  • characters@rivertwine.com
  • cisadmin@rivertwine.com
  • joining@rivertwine.com
  • webmaster@rivertwine.com

Additionally, all current members have email aliases determined by the persona they own and operate (i.e.: farscout@rivertwine.com, willow@rivertwine.com).

Important Club Dates

  • Winter Quarter: January 1 through March 31
  • Spring Quarter: April 1 through June 30
  • Summer Quarter: July 1 through Sept. 30
  • Autumn Quarter: October 1 through December 31
  • Annual CIS updates: required between June 1 and June 30.
  • Annual Secret Santa holiday gift program: sign-up deadline in October; submissions due by December 23.
  • Regular art trades and fic trades are opt-in, and run on a two-month cycle.

OOC History of River Twine Holt

River Twine Holt was created in May of 2006 by former members of Rushwater Holt, who lamented the loss of the story- and art-based 'zine-style club. Hopes of reviving Rushwater turned to the opportunity of creating a new Holt, with new characters and a new traditional wolfrider setting. A chief was declared, a council of five members was selected to serve as the chief's advisers, a messageboard was set up, a webpage was crafted, and RTH was off to the races.

The Council's first trial by fire was to enforce the participation and communication agreements decided on by the group as a whole, which resulted the dismissal of the chief himself for lack of participation. The chief character became a council-supported NPC, to be run and approved by agreement of the council.

The primary focus during the first six months of the club was the creation of the existing cast of characters, including NPCs. Different members volunteered to oversee the development of different arenas of world building, including: flora (Amy), fauna (Cindy), human tribes (Joan), Preservers (Trena), tribal genealogy (Whitney), tribal history (Holly & Whitney), trolls (Heidi & Vicki), and wolves (Fey, Holly & Whitney). Ellen Million was responsible for the creation of the message boards and website, with input from Whitney's husband, Ron Swartzendruber.

Some RTH Firsts

The first piece of art submitted was Vicki Stephanson's portrait of Evervale (June 2006); the first story submitted was "Ghosts" by Whitney Ware (June 2006). Our club's website went live in July 2006.

How does the Council operate?

A Holt run by a single "chief" survives upon the dedication and motivation of a single member. A Holt operated by a board of directors can harness the shared dedication and motivation of multiple members, providing the entire organization with a safety net in terms of long-term survivability.

The first five members of the Council were selected in May 2006 by Chief Tommy Jeffers. There is currently no term limits policy for Council members; in practice, council members serve until they choose to resign, and new Council members are selected by vote of the existing Council from candidates who have volunteered for the duty. Members of the Council expect to be held accountable for club decisions by the membership, and Council members rely on club members to raise issues, concerns,and questions to the Council.

What is expected of Council members?

The Council hopes to meet the following communication standards:

  • Members who ask for Council feedback will receive an immediate response assuring them that their question has been received, and promising a timely response. Questions directed at the Council via the message boards will have a post made notifying members that the Council is taking up the item for discussion.
  • The Council will attempt to resolve questions within a 5-day turnaround -- of course this is not always possible, but it's a goal we will strive to meet. When more than five days are necessary to bring a matter to a resolution, the Council will send the asking member a courtesy note to let them know the matter hasn't dropped into limbo.
  • When issues are resolved, the individual who asked the question will receive a personal note from a Council member regarding the decision; likewise, when an issue is raised via the message boards, public notes will be left on mb threads indicating the Council's decision. Decisions made by the Council will be recorded in the Decisions Log thread, and when appropriated, added to the wikisite as well.
  • If the Council makes a public promise, that promise must be kept! If there are delays regarding a self-imposed deadline, then recognition of those delays should be made publicly; council members who need help should ask for help to meet that deadline as soon as possible. Council members have the responsibility to help one another meet these public promises.

Additionally, Chief Windburn is currently under the ownership of the Council. For as long as the Council owns & operates this NPC, each Council member will be responsible for at least one submission of their choice per year for Windburn (this can include art or fic trades).

Council members who are team leaders of a specific team (such as character approvals team or story approvals team) are expected to be proactive and involved members of that team, shouldering a fair share of the team workload. Council members who are mods for specific discussion threads on the message boards are expected to cycle out old discussion threads to the general archives in a timely way, such as once every month for the heaviest traffic parts of the board.

Current Council Members

  • Heidi Henderson (August 2006 to present)
  • Holly Hutchison (January 2008 to present)
  • Joan Milligan (August 2006 to September 2011; and March 2015 to present)
  • Sofia L. (August 2015 to present)
  • Lyn Cavalier (September 2011 to April 2013; January 2016 to present)

Past Council Members

  • Peggy B. (November 2014 to January 2016)
  • Megan McCarthy (April 2013 to August 2015)
  • Whitney Ware (March 2007 to March 2015)
  • Amy Chandler (February 2009 to October 2014)
  • Leonie Jonk (August 2006 to January 2009)
  • Ellen Million (April 2007 to December 2007)
  • Mary Jo Jeffers (August 2006 to April 2007)
  • Trena Driessen (August 2006 to March 2007)

Founding Members of River Twine Holt

The following members all joined within the first few weeks of the club and are responsible for the creation of the first player-character owned elves.

  • Linda Aarts (Snowfall)
  • Amy Chandler (Longshot)
  • Trena Driessen (Whispersilk)
  • Sarah Clawfoot (Suddendusk)
  • Wendy Fowler (Nightstorm)
  • Kim Gaeble (Kestrel)
  • Gills (Windsong)
  • Jaci Heinen (Foxtail)
  • Heidi Henderson (Willow)
  • Mary Jo Jeffers (Chicory)
  • Tommy Jeffers (Chief Far Cry)
  • Leonie Jonk (Dreamflight)
  • Stacy Lucas (Moss)
  • Fey McKercher (Rainpace)
  • Joan Milligan (Crackle)
  • Ellen Million (Greenweave)
  • Cindy Pruitt (Quick Fang)
  • Vicki Stephenson (Evervale)
  • Rachel Vardys (Cloudfern)
  • Whitney Ware (Farscout)
  • Christina Westgate (Goldspice)
  • Matt (Thornbow)

What happens when a new member asks to join?

When new members join River Twine Holt, their request automatically goes to the River Twine Council. Reader-Memberships are generally approved immediately, unless the Council has just cause to deny the request. Player-Memberships, which involve the adoption of a character, are a more involved process. The Council immediately gives the prospective PM a friendly interview, both to ensure a new PM's happy transition into the club, and to make sure that the new PM is adopting a character they will prove compatible with. PMs who find they've adopted the wrong character will be welcome at any time to trade in their character for another available NPC. Again, the Council does reserve the right to deny PM requests or adoption requests, when the Council feels it has just cause to do so.

Once new members join, they are given a website account, a RTH alias email, and are asked to create a MB account. The website and the MB are two different systems, and members do have to apply for their account to the MB, whereas the website account is created automatically.

All members are required to join under their real identities; it's fine for members to participate under pseudonyms, but the Council needs to know a member's real name. Joining the club under false pretenses is grounds for immediate dismissal. Additionally, sockpuppeting a false membership is also grounds for immediate dismissal from the club.

Where do I find the RP?

We understand that most ElfQuest clubs out there today are based on RP (role playing), either through message boards or by email. River Twine Holt is different: we're role playing the old school way, through the creation of stories and artwork. As a result, we do not have organized RP.

We do have a section on the message boards where individual members can host a public or private RP (some of our authors enjoy generating stories in this fashion). And of course, individual members are welcome to hold private email RPs with one another (again, another method of story writing that some of our authors enjoy). But by and large, our RP opportunities are very limited, and if you really want to RP, expect to host the opportunity for yourself through recruiting other members on the MB or via email.

Additionally, nothing that happens in an RP is included in club canon: it's not "real" until you turn it into a story or put it in art.

What will my participation requirements be when I first join?

We realize that most new members join while a quarter is in progress. The participation requirements for a new member depend on when in a quarter they join.

New members who join within the first month of a quarter are expected to participate (submit art or writing) by the end of that quarter. The council feels that 2+ months is enough time for someone to make their first submission. If you do not participate during that first quarter, you will be deactivated from character ownership, although you may remain a Reader Member if you like. (You will not go on probation.)

New members who join later in the quarter will have that first partial quarter's requirements waived. They must participate (submit art or writing) by the end of the next full quarter. Again, if you do not participate by that time, you will be deactivated. (You will not go on probation.)

If you are deactivated, you must wait for another full quarter before you will be allowed to apply for a character.

New Reader Members must post at least one comment on art or stories during the quarter they join, no matter how advanced the quarter is.

If a new member joins very late in the quarter, or finds it difficult to meet the participation requirements, they are welcome to contact the Council before the quarterly deadline, and the Council would be glad to help.

Please see Membership Rules and Regulations for more detail about Participation Requirements and what is accepted.

What are the differences between a Player-Member and a Reader-Member?

A Player-Member (PM) owns and operates a character at River Twine Holt. As such, they have increased quarterly participation requirements, and are required to update their character's CIS once a year during June. In return, they have full message board priviledges and website access.

A Reader-Member (RM) does not own or operate a character at River Twine Holt, and is required only to comment on art or stories on the website during the course of a quarter in order to retain their status as a Reader-Member. Reader-Members have full website access, partial access to the message boards (including some limitations on voting in certain types of polls), and the opportunity to be first in line to adopt characters when they become available. RMs are encouraged to create art or fic when they please, and to participate in the quarterly contests; they are expected to participate by all of the regular submission rules & regs, including obtaining permissions from PMs for the art or fic they create.

What is RTH's policy for returning members?

Members who wish to return to River Twine Holt are usually welcomed back with open arms. Returning members will be treated the same as any other new member -- they will be welcome to adopt any of the available characters. (Previously-owned characters will not be removed from another member in order to be returned to a returning member.) All artwork and stories previously submitted will be relinked to a returning member. However, returning members are required to rejoin under their original name & identity. Sockpuppeting (operating an email account under false pretenses, or rejoining under false pretenses) will be grounds for immediate expulsion.

In some cases, a returning member may not be allowed to adopt a character -- for example, if they have owned a character 3 times previously already, and lost the character due to inactivity, inability to meet the quarterly requirements, or a decision to leave the group. Such members will usually be welcome to be a part of the group as a RM, and may still submit writing or artwork.

However, there may be other reasons, based on a former member's past relationship with the group, for denial of return-membership (at either the PM or RM level); the Council will determine this on a case-by-case basis.

Note: Sockpuppeting (operating an account under false pretenses and a false name) will be grounds for immediate expulsion. Please remember: honesty is always the best policy!

How does the art approval process work?

(Please see Membership Rules and Regulations and Submission Guidelines for more detail.)

All art to the club is submitted to artwork@rivertwine.com. Artists are expected to have received approval for art featuring other members' characters before a piece is submitted. Once art is submitted, it is thumbnailed and uploaded into the website's database, where it is then linked to all appropriate gallery categories. The club's first Art Director was Trena Driessen; the current Art Director is Whitney Ware.

Value of "doll" art: Doll art is always awarded at "sketch" level (.5). Doll art is only accepted for existing developed personas; doll art is not being accepted to represent ancestors, unless existing ancestor art for that individual already appears on the club website.

Recycled art: We're happy to accept recycled art (art created originally for another club), so long as the artwork is art is equally representative of the RTH tribe or environment. Regardless of whether a showcase, sketch, or finished piece, will only earn a certain amount of points (.5). Recycled art cannot be applied toward the quarterly participation requirements. No more than eight pieces/four points of recycled art will be counted per quarter towards our seasonal participation awards.

Copying, References, and Plagiarism: Plagiarism of any form (tracing someone else’s artwork or claiming someone else’s writing for your own) is grounds for immediate cancellation of your membership. While drawing freehand from references is fine, tracing or mechanical copying of other artwork is not allowed (even if it is adapted). Art that is considered too much a copy of another existing artwork will not be posted (this determination will be made by the council, and it will be discussed with the artist). Plagiarism (trying to pass others' work off as your own, including close copies of others' work) is grounds for loss of membership.

How does the story approval process work?

(Please see Membership Rules and Regulations and Submission Guidelines for more detail.)

Review Process: Members are expected to receive all necessary approvals for a story before it is submitted to the Story Approval Team for review; members are also expected to run a spell check on their submission, perform basic line editing for punctuation, grammar, and date the story for placement on the timeline. Stories are submitted to stories@rivertwine.com. Once submitted, stories are posted to the Story Review Team on the message boards, where members of the team review the story. The team goal is to return reviews within a seven day turnaround, when possible. Once the story reviews are made, then a single individual (called the "handler") compiles those comments into a single constructive review, which is returned to the member for revisions. Some stories may take more than one revision before they are cleared to be posted on the website, and some stories are cleared to be posted without any revision requests at all.

The Story Approval Team has a sometimes-tricky task of trying to balance the individual needs of the writer with overall club continuity. They keep an eye on the use of NPCs and ensure that NPCs remain consistent to character, try to ensure that group continuity remains consistent with the world of River Twine Holt, etc. The current Story Approval Team members are Megan McCarthy (Team Leader), Angie Cousins, Mareike Heilemann, Heidi Henderson, Holly Hutchison, and Sofia Lindstrom. Interested volunteers for the team should contact Megan at kestrel@rivertwine.com.

Some storylines will by necessity require approval of the Council: any encounter with humans, any encounter with trolls, any encounter with wild magic. Additionally, any storyline which has a wide impact on the tribe (for example: an elf child goes missing for several days) should be consulted with the Council, to help determine what the Chief's response will be.

Value of Fic: Stories are counted on the basis of 650 words = 1 page = 1 point.

Value of Poetry: Poetry is generally considered to be worth .5 points. However, if a member believes their poem is longer than usual, a personal masterwork, or otherwise demonstrates more effort, they may request more points, to a maximum of 2. Final point distribution is decided by the story approval team.

Token "No Elf Is An Island" Reminder: In such a small and interwoven community like the River Twine tribe, no elf is an island and that events are rarely isolated to affecting only one character. There is no character of the tribe who does not have close relatives or close friends, and part of the fun (and the challenge!) of a club like River Twine is seeing how events and story threads weave unexpected from one author's work to the next. So never hesitate to ask yourself "How does the events in this story affect my elf?" and follow the ripples from their source!

How does the character approvals process work?

(Please see Membership Rules and Regulations and Submission Guidelines for more detail.)

All CISes (character information sheets) went through an approval process with the CIS Approval Team. Characters are expected to be written/drawn in a way that reflects what is in their CIS. Owners should continue to update the CIS with new information (such as new life developments, or things reflected in stories) Proposals for significant changes to a CIS, and thus to the character, should be submitted to the CIS Approval Team. In general, notable changes to a character will also require some in-character support such as a story or art submission, in order to "show" the rest of the club that character's development in a new direction. Additionally, owners may want to post to the MB whenever they update their character's CIS with things like hairstyle, costume, hobby, or weapon-mastery changes, so that other writers and artist will be sure to notice the update.

Can I create a wanderer character?

While it is very likely that there are other tribes of elves existing on the world, the elves of River Twine Holt have never encountered other elves since Wolfsister and her band split from their band of High Ones and first-generation offspring, a little more than two thousand years ago. No "wandering elves" or "sole survivors of their destroyed tribe" elves can be introduced into the River Twine Holt.

In early 2006, the Council was asked to consider the introduction of tribe of sea elves and a tribe of gliders. At that time, the Council declined to pursue the development of any additional elf tribes, as doing so would prove a huge investment of time and creative energy, and distract members from the existing world-building that was still ongoing. This is a decision that can be revisited someday in the future, if a time comes when the Council finds that expanding the club's creative focus won't prove distracting from the existing tribe and characters.

Can I play two elves at once?

Yes. Player Members may own more than one elf, if they are willing to meet increased submission requirements. Additional characters are considered Secondary Characters. A member’s Primary Character requires 4 submissions per year, 1 per quarter (every 3 months). A Secondary Character requires an additional 2 submissions, 1 per half-year. Members may have more than one Secondary Character, although at present, we only allow someone to have two elves. (Additional Secondary Characters may be trolls or humans.)

Members are still encouraged to create art and fic for characters they do not own, including characters owned by other members, Adoptable Characters, Non-Adoptable Characters, or Deceased Characters. You do not have to own a character to write about them or do art about them. Only consider adopting a Secondary Character if you wish to direct them and have approval over them on an ongoing basis.

Members who are considering adopting any Secondary Character (elf, troll or human) should already be demonstrating that they will have no trouble meeting the increased submission requirements.

What's the plan for the characters now in wrapstuff? Can I adopt one?

As all characters have now been removed from wrapstuff, and are now owned, this is no longer applicable.

Can I own and operate an ancestor character?

At this time, Player Members can only own and operate living characters. Ancestor characters (Deceased Characters) can be further developed by individual members, but creative control of all Deceased Characters reverts to the club's Council, which has final say over how such characters are used.

(Tip: if you're particularly enamored with a Deceased Character, be sure to write up a detailed Character Information Sheet, as the Information Sheet is what the Council uses to determine whether such characters are used correctly.)

Can I write about the time period before Wolfsister and her band left the High Ones? Can I create High Ones characters?

While we understand the appeal of stories dealing with RTH's early history, we much prefer keeping the focus of the club on the RTH wolfrider tribe, its current characters and established acestors. Currently, we will not accept stories dealing with the Firstcomers prior to Wolfsister's departure. We also discourage too much focus on the "legends" that our tribe may tell about that time period. If you need to refer to something that relates to that time period, please discuss it with the Council first.

Can I own a troll character, or one of the Ebea or Bukno-Baha humans?

Yes. Character ownership of trolls is now open. You may adopt an existing (living) troll that you see listed on the Troll Blurbs page. Or you may create your own troll character. (Please contact the council if you wish to do this.)

A troll owned as a Primary Character (if you do not own an elf) requires the same submission level as elves: 4 subs per year, 1 each quarter. A troll owned as a Secondary Character requires 2 subs, 1 each half-year.

However, at this moment (Sept. 2014), the troll plotline is not considered fully “open”. Trolls may be owned at this time, but we are not tracking submissions requirements. Just be aware that there WILL be submissions requirements in the future.

Humans (either Ebea or Baha) may also be owned at this time. Please contact the council if you have questions about owning one. The submission requirements are the same as those outlined above. As with the trolls, we may not start tracking those requirements right now, but will do so in the future.

When I join and adopt a character, how much freedom do I have to alter that character to my liking?

Great question -- and one that takes a little consideration first. In many clubs, characters are temporary elements that cycle in and out as membership fluctuates. At River Twine Holt, the entire club is structured around a stable population of elves. New elves will be born and existing characters will die in the cycle of life in their fictional world, but characters won't disappear on command with changes in membership, and strange new elves won't just suddenly appear on the horizon. After the last of the existing elves of the tribe were created and approved in December of 2006, new members to the club are required to adopt existing NPCs. These characters come with established histories and established "looks" which may or may not completely appeal to their new owners.

The club's baseline for adopted characters is that a newly adopted character cannot be significantly altered from what's already "in print" -- by that, we mean approved in a character sheet or posted in existing art or fiction. Once a character fact goes into the club's continuity, that character fact needs to be respected and left unaltered. However, this still gives a perceptive new member some wriggle-room. Most of the elves in the tribe have been alive for decades, or even hundreds of years. That means there is a *lot* of opportunity for new stories to be told about those as-yet-unexplored life experiences. Likewise, new storylines can be developed to show a character's personality developing in new ways. And a character's physical appearance can always be altered -- within reason. Hair color and eye color won't change, but clothing can always be retailored (and again -- especially for characters who've been around for decades or centuries, there's always room to explore and detail a character's previous fashion history). Any really dramatic change in a character's appearance (new clothing, change in hairstyle, etc.) will require some in-character explanation... but that just means you've got great possibility for new storylines in your hands, and if as a new member you can't think of a why to explain a new fall fashion for your newly adopted character, then please post a note to the message boards and recruit a collaborator to tell that tale!

How does Recognition work in the group? How is it determined who gets to do it?

Recognitions in River Twine Holt are determined by the Council, both in terms of scheduling, and who is affected. We consider a number of factors: we don't want Recognition as a plot device to become too common, so we try to make sure they are spaced out; and we also take into account overall plot needs, the age and distribution of child characters, the availability of adoptables, and so on.

Once a Recognition is decided upon, the Council picks the elves who would Recognize via the good old dice rolling method. The names of all characters (sans adoptables, characters under 18 years old and any character whose owner asked to be exempt from the roll) are lined up, and dice are rolled to determine three lucky potential couples. We use a three-strikes system in order to allow for some "weighting" by in-character factors, such as age and number of past Recognitions; but of course, this isn't a guarantee (for example: last Recognition around, Suddendusk, having two kids already, was "weighted" as -1, and he turned out lucky anyway.)

Once the elves are rolled up, both players of lucky couple #1 get a private note informing them that their characters have Recognized. Both have a choice of whether to accept or decline; if one player declines, the Recognition defaults to elf of the same gender in lucky couple #2. If both decline, lucky couple #2 is up. If one or both of lucky couple #2 decline, lucky couple #3 is up. If everyone declines, we scratch our heads and re-roll three new couples. Oh well.

Once the lucky couple is finally decided upon, the Council will talk to both players and negotiate a date for the Recognition. This will take place no sooner than 2 months from the selection date, although a window of opportunity may be presented to the players for them to choose from. We very much want to see stories or art related to the Recognition be prepared in time to be posted as close to that date as possible, so that is the reason for the lead-time given to the participants. Players must communicate their Recognition plot to the Council for approval -- Recognitions are inherently high drama moments in the lives of the characters involved, but the Council may need to mediate some particular plot elements out of respect to prior Recognition stories, and overall group plotting needs. The Council can also help network with other involved parties, ensuring that the Recognition's ripples are fully felt by the tribe.

What if I find I'm tired of my current character?

If that happens, you're welcome to trade in your existing elf in favor of one of the current NPCs. Or contact the Council and put your name on a waiting list, in order to get first dibs on adoption when babies get born, or current characters turn NPC.

My elf’s wolf-friend is dead – how do I get another?

Although the wolves of the River Twine pack are significantly more long-lived than their natural cousins, they do have a lifespan of 25 to 30 years. Life for wolves is a dangerous thing, and wolves can die at any age from injury, starvation or illness. Most elves can expect to have *at least* four wolf-friends each century. In-play, this means that it won’t be unusual for characters to lose wolf-friends, and then have to forge new bonds.

The passing of a wolf-friend is an event due some respect, as is the experience of a new bonding. (And we hope you’ll memorialize both the loss and the new bond for your elf with fic or art!) Members who own characters with elderly wolves may also find themselves asked by the Council to have an old wolf pass on, in order to keep some balance in the pack.

To select a new wolf-friend for your elf, you have three choices:

a) select one of the currently available pups (pups are available on a first-come/first-serve basis)

b) select one of the available unbonded adult wolves described on the wolves section of the River Twine Wiki (note – when considering the adult wolf of your choice, consider why the mature wolf would be attracted to your elf as a bond-friend – many of these mature wolves are personalities in their own right, and a bond relationship is a two-way street!)

c) if there are no currently available pups, and none of the existing unbonded adults appeal to you, then put your name on a waiting list for the pick of next year’s litter!

Mature wolves will have some limited personality & physical description already determined for them, but members are free to create the personalities and descriptions for new pups, within the following guidelines:

  • Pups can be bonded with at any point once they’ve physically begun to be weaned by the alpha female of the pack (pups are approximately six weeks of age at this point). Breeding season for the alpha male & female is normally late in the first month of the year; pups are born approximately 63 days later, early in the fourth month; pups would then be beginning to be weaned in mid-month of the fifth month. Additionally, wolves take at least a year to become full-grown; elf children might sneak rides on their wolf-bonds before a wolf is a full year of age, but this is frowned on, as it can cause damage to a wolf’s joints, causing future disability.
  • We expect wolves to be “normal” looking: natural grey-wolf coloring is preferred with its natural range of color phasing allowed. Some allowance made for EQ-comics-style coloring (i.e. more solid coat colors). Please no wacky coloring/patterns. Albino wolves are extremely rare (no more than one at a time in the pack) and will be expected to have associated health issues: bonded albinos will always be omegas within the pack, and unless bonded as pups will be chased out of the pack at an early age.
  • Wolves don't have the same range of eye colors as the elves. Eyes will be in a yellow/amber range, except for albino blue or pink. (While cubs, wolf eye colors will sometimes go through subtle color variations while the eyes change from the baby blue-grey color to adult gold.)
  • You can submit drawn or painted artwork to represent your wolf. Otherwise, wolf photo portraits will be used to represent each wolf-friend. Please choose a snapshot from Monty Sloan's site (we have his permission to use his photos on our website as representational of our fictional pack). Please don't submit reference photos or art from anywhere else, without written permission of the photographer or artist. (If you have another reference pic you prefer, talk to one of our artists about creating a piece of art from it.)
  • Throwback wolves are very rare, and will be limited to only two in-play within the pack at any time. (Our current throwbacks are Moss’s Weasel and Beetle’s Rooter.)

If at any time you intend to replace your character’s wolf-friend with a new one, email your wishes to the Council. (Understand that we do hope you’ll be creating fic or art to represent this important time of passage in your character’s life!) Additionally, every year in-play, the Council will look at the existing wolf pack and, taking into account the individual ages and temperaments of pack members, will shift the hierarchy accordingly. If you have any particular wishes for your character’s wolf-friend in term of increasing or deceasing their pack rank, please communicate this with the Council!

Additionally: once you determine you will replace an existing wolf-friend with a new one, you are asked to update your elf's CIS form with relevant information ASAP; please keep information regarding the old wolf under the "additional wolves" section of the CIS, for continuity purposes. We would also recommend posting a note to the message board regarding the new wolf friend, alerting other artists and authors to the date of the planned change.

What happens when I decide I need to leave the club?

(Please see "Leaving the Club" under Membership Rules and Regulations for more detail.)

The continuity of River Twine Holt is built upon the existing characters, and all of the artwork and stories created in support of those characters. As a result, River Twine Holt refuses to ever "disappear" a character owned and operated by a departing member, and we are reluctant to remove from our archives and website any artwork or stories created in support of a character. Each departing member's requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis, and the Council will do it's best to juggle the individual's needs versus the continuity needs of the entire group. If you have specific requests or requirements upon your departure, please discussion them with the Council, and we will work with you to find an end-result that best respects your needs, and the needs of the club as a whole.

As a matter of standard practice, the MB forum handles of departing members will be changed if the member had been operating under the name of a tribal character (i.e. Farscout, Greenweave, Longshot); generally they will be changed to the member's first name. Likewise, email accounts featuring the character's name (i.e. farscout@rivertwine.com) will be deactived until the character has been readopted by new ownership.

What is the mentor program, and how does it work?

It always helps new members who join to have a friendly mentor who's willing to help answer questions and welcome a new member to the club. At River Twine Holt, mentors are volunteers who are ready and willing to to assist the Council by performing the following tasks when they've been assigned a new member:

  • Mentors are asked to make early friendly contact with new members and give them a warm welcome to the club.
  • Mentors are asked to help a new member "learn the ropes" as much as the new member needs. This means asking to answer any questions a new member has, and if necessary, direct the new member to the admin who can answer it.
  • Mentors are asked to remain in close contact with a new member during their first few weeks in the club.
  • Mentors should be aware that some new members will be "self starters" and some will need more mentoring than others. Mentors are asked to take some initiative in helping a new member get jump-started in the club -- this could include one or more of the following: offering to participate with a new member with their first collab, hosting a story-building RP for a new member, helping brainstorm with a new member regarding possible storylines, etc.

Any member who wishes to volunteer to be a mentor for River Twine Holt is welcome to volunteer by emailing cisadmin@rivertwine.com, or simply council@rivertwine.com.

How do the Art and Fiction Contests work?

Fic or Art Contests are generally scheduled to run every Winter, Spring, & Summer quarter, although the schedule can vary (we generally don't hold Autumn quarter contests, both out of respect for the general timecrunch of the holiday season for our members, as well as using that time period as a chance for members to catch up with any other overdue materials they may have before year's end.). Each contest will have a theme, and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize award icons will be given to the winners chosen by vote on the message boards; additional bonus prizes may be offered as well by contest sponsors. Participants can contribute as many entries as they desire; however, if there are multiple participants, each individual may only receive one award. Individual members are welcome to host their own private contests as well, with prior approval from the Council.

All contest art and fiction must feature River Twine Holt characters and the River Twine Holt setting (unless specifically stated otherwise in the contest description). All contest entries must receive member approvals where necessary; the Council will help non-member participants in obtaining any necessary approvals.

Public Participation in Fic or Art Contests: Non-members will be invited at times to participate in the regularly scheduled River Twine art & fic contests. Non-members will be eligible for participation under the same rules as members, and will be granted prizes (1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize award icons, with winners chosen by public vote on the River Twine message boards. Participants can contribute as many entries as they desire; however, if there are multiple participants, each individual may only receive one award. Unless otherwise noted in the description for each contest, all contest art should be generally PG13 in rating.

Non-member contest participation does NOT equate membership to River Twine Holt. Non-member contest participants are entitled to receive all comments on their work and any awards won, but no other members-only benefits such as persona ownership or full access to the message boards. By participating, non-members agree to their work being displayed on the River Twine website; River Twine Holt guarantees the work being credited to its creator.

A contests@rivertwine.com account exists for members to submit their contest entries too.

Message Board Etiquette

  • All members are asked to create Message Board accounts using their character name. Character names are reserved for use by the current owner of a character.
  • Message board access is limited to members-only.
  • MB threads are NOT to be erased. All old threads are to be transferred into the appropriate archive, so they will be available for future reference.
  • Threads asking for volunteers or concerning volunteer assignments should not be archived until those assignments/commitments are either turned in, or the member indicates they are unable or unwilling to complete their tasks.
  • Signatures have been enabled at the boards, however, there will be restrictions on them. First, no graphics (i.e. banners) are allowed. Second, you get three lines of standard sized text or 500 characters, whichever comes first. It should include your real name (or whatever it is you are called as a person), and your elfname if it is not already your username. Violations will be edited by the forum mods.

Annual required CIS updates

All CISs should be kept current, as characters grow and change as they are played. A mandatory CIS update period is held every June: members have between the 1st and the 30th to log into the website, review their character’s CIS, and update it accordingly. The webbase will automatically track all updates, and the council member who heads up our Character Approval Team will receive automatic notification from the system of all changes to a CIS. Failure to update the CIS during the mandatory time period will result in the member going on probation for the summer quarter (July-August-Septemer) even if they have fulfilled their participation requirements for the previous quarter. If by September the CIS has not been updated, the member will lose the character. While this may seem harsh, it is the Council's belief that up-to-date CISes are important for immersion and conduct in the club and show an ongoing interest in the character.

The minimum change required to fulfill the mandatory update requirement is the adjustment of the character's age (the addition of a year). Further changes that reflect character growth are of course welcome. Additionally, CISs can be updated throughout the year, as a member feels motivated to do so.

Suggestions to keep in mind when updating the CIS:

  • changes in a character's relationships
  • any change in status of wolf-friend
  • any new possessions of note?
  • any change in skills or hobbies worth note?
  • take a moment to review the artwork and stories in which your character has participate in the past year. Anything there to inspire you to update in the CIS?

What are the membership requirements again for keeping my RTH character?

Briefly: all Player Members must support their Primary Character through the submission of 1 piece of art or one or more written submissions (500 words or more) per annual quarter (every 3 months), totaling 4 per year.

Player Members who own more than one character must also submit 2 pieces of art or fic for each Secondary Character, per half-year (every 6 months).

Members who fail to participate at all in a quarter are put on probation in the following quarter. Failure to participate for 2 quarters running will see the member lose their character(s) (who become Adoptable Characters, and may be adopted by others). The member is usually welcome to stay on as an Reader Member. They may be able to re-apply to adopt a character after a waiting period of one quarter.

Members who own more than one character, and who fail to meet the requirements for the Secondary Character(s), will have the Secondary Character(s) become Adoptable Characters (at which point they may be adopted by others). The member has a waiting period of one month before they can reapply for any Secondary Characters, and they must have a discussion with the council about being able to meet the additional submission requirements again.

Submissions need not necessarily feature your own character to meet this requirement. An art-trade that you create of another member’s character satisfies our quarterly requirements.

Please see Membership Rules and Regulations for more details.

What happens if I fail to meet my submission requirements for a quarter?

Members who fail to participate at all in a quarter are put on probation in the following quarter. Failure to participate for 2 quarters running will see the member lose their character(s) (who become Adoptable Characters, and may be adopted by others). The member is usually welcome to stay on as an Reader Member. They may be able to re-apply to adopt a character after a waiting period of one quarter.

Members who own more than one character, and who fail to meet the requirements for the Secondary Character(s), will have the Secondary Character(s) become Adoptable Characters (at which point they may be adopted by others). The member has a waiting period of one month before they can reapply for any Secondary Characters, and they must have a discussion with the council about being able to meet the additional submission requirements again.

Please see Membership Rules and Regulations for more details.

Can I repost my RTH art or stories elsewhere?

Individual members have the right to repost their own art and stories as they see fit. We especially appreciate it when a plug is made for River Twine (we've got banners available), and/or if you mention the names of the owners who approved the use of their art/characters in your work.

How does the art trade/fic trade system work?

River Twine Holt has a very active program of art/fic trades. New trades are run every two months (with the November/December trade being turned in a Secret Santa gift operation). Members who choose to sign up may create either art or fiction, and can identify which of the two they would prefer to receive in turn. Then all participants have two months to write a story or create art for the character they have been assigned.

Members who have signed up are required to complete their assignment in a timely fashion. Art produced for trades must be of "finished" (inked or colored; some pencil-only work may count, please ask the council if you are unsure) level, while fiction should be 650 words or above (drabbles or short poems are not acceptable); artists are not required to produce showcase efforts, but of course, may produce something as elaborate as they like. Please see below for a discussion of overdue trade policies.

I'm going to be late on my art/fic trade deadline, but I want to participate in the next one! What do I do?

We understand sometimes it's hard to make a deadline, so participating members are allowed to be overdue for the deadline for one trade cycle and still sign up for the next... but then will not get another sign-up until BOTH submissions are in.

However -- if you find you will late, the following actions are mandatory:

1) Notify the other member whom the trade is for! Just send them a friendly note so they understand that you're going to be late, and why. And hey -- if you're stuck, maybe you can share with them a copy of your incomplete art or fic, and maybe they can help you get unstuck!

2) Notify the Council at council@rivertwine.com.

I'm stuck getting my trade debt resolved! What do I do?

Once you've signed up for the art/fic trade program, you are required to produce a submission for that character, as promised. You are benefiting from someone else's efforts on your character's behalf, so the compliments must be returned. It doesn't matter if a character owner leaves and suddenly makes a character NPC -- you still have to complete the trade. Members who have left, defaulted on trades, had those trades fulfilled by volunteers (Trade Angels), and then returned have still had to complete those original trade debts. So don't expect to ever have a trade debt just forgotten or waivered. (On the flip side -- you WILL receive art or fic in return for your participation in a trade cycle. The Council will guarantee that.)

That said -- we all are sympathetic to the prospect of getting stuck in a creative hole, and not finding a way to dig out of it. So here are our suggestions of ways to overcome a creative block when it comes to art/fic trades!

1) Talk with the character's owner! What stories or art about their character do they want? Chatting up the owner of the character you are assigned to work with is our favorite solution to lack of inspiration!

2) Consider a blast from the past! Take a look at the existing art gallery or story list for the character you've been assigned! Find a scene in a story about that character to illustrate, or find a piece of art you particularly like of that character, and write a story that turns that art into an illustration!

3) Visit the Writer's Challenges in the Crafter's Den section of the Message Board! There are a whole bunch of inspiration-generation challenges available on the Message Boards. Give a few of them a try and see if they work for you!

4) Contact the Council! The Council is always happy to brainstorm with you if you need help coming up with ideas to complete your trades. We can chat by email or by IM -- whatever best suits your needs!

I've participated in a trade, and the trade I was supposed to have gotten is now overdue. What do I do?

Everyone who signs up for the River Twine trades system intends to meet the deadlines. However, we understand that sometimes real life gets in their way. Starting in 2012, the Council will ensure that any trade debt that has become more than six months overdue will be automatically eligible for a "Trade Angel" -- in other words, the Council will find a volunteer who will step in and create Trade Angel fic or Trade Angel art for you. (Sometimes this might mean that in the long run, you receive two submissions for that trade cycle, once the original overdue submission gets turned in! We are considering that a consolation-prize for having had to wait.)

I feel like the trade system is unfairly rewarding some participants more than others.

We want everyone who participates in the trade system to feel like they are getting out of it what they have put into it... but we also want everyone to recognize that above the minimum requirements, more elaborate pieces of art or more complex stories are at the discretion of participants. The council tries to organize trades so that there are a variety of matches, and we take the long view that over time, regular participants will probably receive pieces of varying levels. The important thing is to recognize that participants are all contributing to the best of their abilities.

If you have a concern, though, please talk about it with the council, and we will see what we can do to address it.

I signed up for the art trade/fic trade, but failed to produce my trade by deadline. What happens to me now?

It's understood that when a member signs up for an art trade or fic trade, that they will make good on their commitment, especially since they are receiving someone else's efforts in trade. It's also understood that sometimes, finishing a project may take longer than expected. Members who are overdue on three or more trade commitments will be cut off from further participation until all of their overdue commitments have been completed.[/b]

What if I've got a great idea about doing something differently?

Write to the Council and give them a detailed proposal of what it is you want to do! The world of River Twine Holt is a shared creative effort, and everyone is encouraged to make their own creative stamp.

What is the Quarterly Commenting Contest, and how does it work?

RTH sponsors a quarterly contest to encourage all members leave comments on the art & stories posted to the website. Participants enter the contest by leaving meaningful comments on 50% or more of the art and fiction posted on the website during that quarter. Each qualifying participant is automatically entered into the contest, with a single winner drawn by random from that quarter's pool of participants. Winners will receive a gift of fic or art donated by a volunteering artist or writer, featuring the River Twine Holt character of the winner's choice.

Comments may be left on either newly posted art and fic, or on any older piece that a member has not yet commented on (editing previous comments does not qualify). Participating members may comment on their own work as well, if they want to share some insight regarding a submission! (Note: by definition, when the Council calls a comment "meaningful", we mean a comment that has more substance to it that "Oh, that's good, I like that!" or "Very pretty!" If you like something, please say why; additionally, positively worded constructive criticism is welcome as well, and often is more helpful to the recipient than delicious praise alone!)

Winners are selected by “raffle” style drawing from a pool of all comments made by participants who have met the criteria of leaving comments on 50% or more of the submissions posted that quarter; every comment a participating member leave is a raffle entry, so the more a member leaves, the greater a member's chances of winning! Additionally, members can win the contest more than once in a row, so long as they leave enough comments to qualify in successive quarters.