The following is the current PokéWars! FAQ. For further information about this document, see History of the FAQ.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or me at Bad_Judgement@hotmail.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This signifies that the post you're reading is THIS document, or maybe a newer version. Check to see. ^_-
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. ^_^
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.
Dreadite, co-founder, and BUSY person