The Official Pokewars! Frequently Asked Questions, Version 3.5


Note from Dreadite: Greetings, and welcome to the Pokewars! FAQ 3.5.  I'm 
Dreadite, the co-founder of the PW!, and although I'm not around nearly
as much as I used to be, I hope you can enjoy anyhow. ^_^ --Dreadite

Note from Rob: Dreadite wrote Version 3.0. In Version 3.5, I commented on
Event tags, updated Dreadite's contact information, clarified the rule 
regarding moves, and added SHAKKmaster to the Banned Authors list. -Rob

In all cases, spam and harassment/BS will be held in the UTMOST contempt,
and may wind up causing the sender great pain, or great big lawsuits. There,
got that out of the system. I welcome AGNP people, and PW! people... and
most anyone else that's not gonna bother me.

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail Rob at robfrompw@yahoo.com 
or me at Bad_Judgement@hotmail.com.

***
The table of contents.

1:  What's the Pokewars! and how do I join? Are there any websites?
2:  What ARE those funny symbols in front of your posts?
3:  So, what are the rules?
     I  - Writer's Guides.
     II - Pokemon.
     III- Character's powers.
     IV - Interaction.
     V  - Mature content?
4:  Banning, the punishment of the crime.
5:  So, what SHOULD I do? What's a good idea?

***
1:  What's the Pokewars! and how do I join? Are there any websites?

The Pokewars! is an ongoing, INTERACTIVE fanfic set in the pokemon universe,
inspired by the Otaku Wars! at the newsgroup alt.fan.sailor-moon. It's a
chance for authors to write about their own characters and have them 
interact and write with the other fans out there.  Pokewars! is not simply 
for writing - it's for writing WITH other people.  If you just want to 
write, write a separate fanfic.  It's all about interaction. =)

You can find the Pokewars! at the newsgroup alt.games.nintendo.pokemon. A 
newsgroup is an online discussion forum, of sorts, using the usenet
protocol.  Most ISPs provide a newsgroup service, Outlook Express and
Netscape Communicator can both read them, and Google Groups, found at
http://groups.google.com/ , is a browser-based newsgroup reader and archive.

In the PW!, the Elite Four and Gym Leaders are the G/S/C ones in Kanto and
Johto. The Elite Four and Gym Leaders from Ruby/Sapphire reside in Hoenn.

Here's how to join:

First, read this entire document.  Also, you should probably browse through
the Pokewars! Pavilion at http://pokewars.pipian.com/ and read the 
Tutorial that's available there. Then make a character, who you'll like to 
write, and start writing!  Try to interact, but don't throw yourself in.  
Just ease in, and have fun.

You can't be a character from the shows, or a major character from the game,
but you could be a minor character, if you'd like.  That's not to say you 
can't occasionally include show and game characters - it's what they're
there for.  Most people like to write characters somewhat like them, but
you're not required to.  Just follow the rules, and you should be fine. ^_^

There exist PW! websites. Surprised? I didn't think so. While links to a few
PW! websites used to be listed in the FAQ itself, there is now a "Links" 
page that is kept up to date at the Pokewars! Pavilion, so I'll just provide 
a link to that page here: http://pokewars.pipian.com/links.html .

***
2:  What ARE those funny symbols in front of your posts?

Ah, yes.  Those are the VERY important Pokewars! header tags. They help our
busy authors sort and find Pokewars! posts, as well as tell if things are 
posts, or other things.  I'll list them here. Be SURE to use the right 
ones, or else your posts may very well be lost in the shuffle.

[PW!]  This is the base header.  It IDs a post as a Pokewars! post.  ALL 
PW! posts must have this in front of any other tags.

[WG]  Signifies that this post has a writer's guide!  A writer's guide is a
helper for writing someone else's character or base, etc, as with
interactive fiction, you will be dealing with writing about other people,
and it's nice to know what you're writing about.

[NS]  This header simply means there is "no story" inside or no Writer's
Guide.  It should only be used for discussion of stories, compliments,
talking, and etc.

[NC]  This means the story posted is outside the normal continuity and
therefore outside many of the rules. Abusing this tag will be dealt with
severely.  DO NOT only write NC stories to evade the rules. Do not transfer
characters from an NC world into the normal continuity or vice-versa. NC is 
just to be used for silliness or the occasional out of continuity story.

[DV]  This tag should be very rarely used. If there's a post that has some
serious problem in it, such as rule breaking, it can be "Declared Void"
using this tag. Please don't declare random but valid interactions void.

[FAQ]  This signifies that the post you're reading is THIS document, or
maybe a newer version.  Check to see. ^_-

[META]  This tag is for important rules discussions.  Please, please do not
use this unless it IS important and rules based.

If you see a tag that's not on the above list, then it is probably an Event 
tag. These tags are used to help authors participating in an Event 
distinguish between posts that relate to the Event and posts that do not.
Examples: [LEAGUE] was used for the Indigo League, [WC] was used for the 
Whirl Cup Competition, and [SC] was used for the Silver Conference.

Oh, and if you want to make that cool é symbol, PC users can hold alt, then
press 0233 on the number pad. Mac users can press Option+e, and then hit e.

***
3:  So, what are the rules?

Glad you asked.  This is the brunt of what the FAQ is about, and it covers
mostly anything you'd need to know not to do.  If you have any other
questions, feel free to e-mail someone listed at the top.  Either way, here
you go, and there will be examples so you know what I'm talking about.  The
most important rule is USE common sense, you best have at least some. x.x

I - Writer's Guides.

You can only have FOUR writer's guides at a time.  For example, my writer's
guides are Dreadite, the Diet Coke Bottle From Hell: Evolved, and Erich 
Owens.  I have two characters and a location, so I could have one more 
writer's guide. You can visit http://pokewars.pipian.com/wg/ and click on 
some of the character names to see how writer's guides are written.

You can only have one character, duo, location, or town per guide.  Your 
pokemon team can just be in your character's WG. Also, if your character 
rarely leaves a location, the two can be in one WG.

If you decide to make a gym, it must be unofficial, like the Fighting Dojo, 
and it can't distribute badges that have special powers.  Only the official 
ones do that, and most people ignore it.  They're just badges, folks.  ^_^

II - Pokemon.

Certain pokemon are "restricted". They are listed here.

From the Red, Blue, and Yellow versions of Pokemon and the Pokemon Anime:
Mewtwo, Mew, Articuno, Zapdos, Moltres, and Crystal Onix.

From the Gold, Silver, and Crystal versions of Pokemon:
Raikou, Entei, Suicune, Lugia, Ho-oh, and Celebi.

From the Ruby and Sapphire versions of Pokemon:
Regirock, Regice, Registeel, Latias, Latios, Kyogre, Groudon, Rayquaza,
Jirachi, and Deoxys.

These pokemon CANNOT be captured, cannot be your trainer, cannot be cloned 
or killed, you cannot get their babies... well, you get the idea.  You can 
write about them in your stories, of course, but they're unique.  This rule 
applies for all the characters in PW!.  For example, Erika can't have 
Celebi as a pet.

You cannot create a new pokemon or new Pokemon type.  386 aren't enough for 
you?  Tough.

You cannot capture Missingno. In the PW! world, that term is used to 
describe a glitch.  It is NOT a Pokémon to capture.

Your pokemon can have a few moves.  Use common sense, people. Four moves, 
remember that?  You're not limited to it, but please, don't go overboard.
Four is plenty, and you don't need every TM and move under the sun.  Ash 
doesn't, Gary doesn't, and neither do you. Before giving your Pokemon a
move, you should check to make sure that the Pokemon can actually learn 
that particular move (whether it be through leveling up, the use of a TM,
or breeding). Pokemon in the Pokewars! CAN learn moves that they can't 
learn in the games, but please try to be reasonable. For example, Water 
Pokemon shouldn't be able to learn Flamethrower.

About the TMs, again, common sense.  Don't go overboard, and use common
sense when you give the moves to your pokemon.  It's for story and
excitement, not building killer guys, since nobody cares.  You can figure
out what moves Pokemon should be able to learn.  For simplicity, in the 
PW! the Kanto TMs are called KTMs, the Johto TMs are called JTMs, and the 
Hoenn TMs are called HTMs.

And AGAIN, common sense for breeding.  If you want to do live breeding, or
breed things not breedable in the game, feel free to, okay?  We're not the
thought police, forcing you to conform to the breeding rules set down for
play balance in G/S/C, but try to make sense.

III - Character's powers.

There's some basic rules about character's powers.  Nobody likes a boring
omnipotent powerhouse, and nobody likes a twink.  (Twink being someone 
who never loses, is superpowered, just wants to beat people, etc).

People with ultimate power can ruin good stories, send interaction into 
flames, and make people unhappy.  So why would you want to be that way?
Preferably you don't.  Hopefully you're here to have a good time, not to
'kick ass'.  If you don't... then you shouldn't be here.

Psychic powers:  Sabrina is THE most powerful human psychic.  Don't excede
that, or the level of any pokemon powers in the game.  This means no
shooting psychic death beams, teleporting faster than a speeding bullet, and
reading people's thoughts at a whim.  Please be responsible.  Place limits
on your powers.  Attacking should be left to psychic pokemon - that's what
they're for. Also, if you pick a fight with Mewtwo, you will inevitably lose.
If you're ever even close to that level, you'll be warned for omnipotence.

The same common sense to magic powers, too.  Pokemon are there for their
powers.  Not you. =)  That's not to say they're unallowable, but use them
with responsiblity, and to further the story, rather than to show off.

Know-it-all, invincibility devices are not allowed.  Period.  This is to have
fun, not show off. Nobody needs a pokedex that also doubles an an
encyclopedia, supercomputer, trapper keeper, pocketknife, pokeball, and
psychic dampener, while working as a transporter device. O.o  As for weapons 
and technology - anything that exceeds the realms of the real 'Pokemon' world 
should not be allowed, ever.  I mean it, no lightsabers.

But omnipotence and twinkism isn't limited to cool powers, magic, technology
and weapons.  Writing yourself undefeatable, driving things always to your 
direction, and basically ruining everyone's good time is just as bad, and you
will get warnings for this. Don't go about catching a zillion rare Pokemon, 
getting all the badges in a week, etc.  If you just try and do everything in
short spans of time, you ruin the fun of writing to begin with.

IV - Interaction.

Interaction is what PW! is ABOUT.  You need to interact, or else PW! is 
pointless - a waste of space.  If you don't like interacting, or never
interact, people will probably flame you, ignore you, or both. Interaction 
is the blood of PW!.  It keeps it going. ^_^  Find a group of people to 
interact with. Do NOT refuse offers to interact unless they're outrageous.
If you're caught refusing interaction over and over, you will be warned.

You CANNOT kill another person's character, move them long distances, or
kill their Pokémon without the author's EXPRESS permission. Also, no
brainwashing, creating a huge backstory for them, etc. E-mail the author and
ask if you can do something like that to them. If they don't have an e-mail,
post to the newsgroup using the NS tag. If you get no response, it's THEIR 
tough beans, and yours.  It's still not polite to do something to them.  =P

Simply put, don't make any major changes to someone's character without the 
author's express permission.  That's not to say you can't write them into a 
story, but be respectful of other people.

You cannot destroy a city, or important landmarks, or anything that's not
yours, except with permission of the owner for WGed areas.  NEVER will we
see the pokemon centers or important cities in flames, etc.  You could 
blast your own stuff with impunity, however!  But why you'd do that is 
beyond me... O.o

V - Mature content?

Please, do try to stay away from gore, and senseless violence, sex, drugs,
swearing, and etc.  Think of the PW! as carrying a PG rating. Certainly, you
can have violence, but anything too gory, bloody, erotic, or whatever, is
certantly not acceptable.  That's not to say you can't have romance,
violence, dark, gothic styling to your writing, but keep the graphic 
descriptions off camera, and hence, not written at all.  Fade to black!  
There's kids here, too, and we don't want to get sued.

***
4:  Banning, the punishment of the crime.

This is the gritty part of the PW!, and should be carefully read. Sometimes, 
people break rules, and sometimes it's not on purpose. This is what happens.

1. You will be warned about the rules you're breaking. Anyone in the PW! can
and should warn you. Once you've been warned, you should fix what you did,
or just ignore it, and never do it again. However, if you continue to break
the rules, and don't fix what you did, the next step will happen.

2. There will be a poll. As with most polls, public opinion counts. Everyone
will vote, and if you're voted against by the majority, you're banned from
the PW!. You will be ignored, and your posts will not be archived.

For the most part, you're screwed. So try to follow the rules, okay? Good. 
Oh, and unless the poll happens, there will be no banning. It'll keep 
angry people, like myself, from taking it out on someone for no reason. ^_^

The following have been banned: Anchovy Ace, DrCompuman, SniperZ/Pu2, and
SHAKKmaster.

***
5:  So, what SHOULD I do? What's a good idea?  

Create a cure for cancer. Oh, right, the PW!.

Well, as a wise candy Youma once said, "It's better to write one good story 
than to write one hundred bad ones." He also had the good taste to grace us 
with this idea: "I try to think like that character would in that situation.
It makes for better writing. Plus, knowing how to change between first and 
third person is helpful." Both great tidbits of advice.

Spellcheck. People would like that. Oh, and did I mention capitalization?
Or how about punctuation? All very good ideas. ^_^

Keep your powers and team medium. Nobody likes an ultimate power.

Be SURE to use the right tags. SOME people have screwed this up... *looks 
around* Yes, you, back there! I'm talking to you, and him in the corner.

Shower at least once every two days. =P Trust me here, it's worth it to get
away from the computer. By the way, Gameboys don't take the shower well.

Take a joke. If you don't have a sense of humor, you won't last long. I'll
kill you myself unless... Now, did you take that as a joke? Good. ^_^

Don't do this: "u r all boreing nto kwel liek me!!!!!111".  This is stupid,
and you will be treated as if your IQ is that of a goat (no offense to any
goats out there).

***
Take care all.

With respects,

Dreadite, co-founder, and BUSY person