New Player Guide
Greetings and welcome to Shadowlack! If at any point you feel lost or confused about Shadowlack, just remember that we’re here to help you! We realize that there is a lot of information on this site to learn and that it may seem intimidating at first. Feel free to take things slow and ask any questions that you may have so that we may further improve both your experience, and the game for other potential players.
- About - Learn about Shadowlack and familiarize yourself with our overall setting.
- Rules & Regulations - Learn about our game's rules.
- Roleplaying Etiquette - If this is your first Play-by-Post game, this guide covers a few "unspoken" rules regarding forum-based roleplaying.
Core Game Concepts
- We roleplay in third-person, past-tense.
- Our game time operates on Liquid Time (aka Fluid Time). One year at Shadowlack is equivalent to one year in real life.
- Humans do not exist. They were killed by the evil Rapine race in 81374 (2000). Your character cannot know about humans or the planet Earth.
- Technology on Shadowlack is very advanced. It is somewhat equivalent to that which is seen in the Dune (Frank Herbert) and Star Wars (George Lucas) universes.
- The planet Ramath-lehi has three (3) moons: Xabu, Cussla, and Lelres.
How to Join Shadowlack
- Register a new account.
- Create a new thread in Hatchling Central to introduce yourself. Now is a great time to ask any questions that you may have.
- Once your introduction post has exited the moderation queue, you will be able to create your first character! Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for your first post to be approved. This is our last line of defence against spam, so please be patient.
- Read the Character Creation Guide, pick your race, and create your first Ramathian character.
- Start roleplaying!
You'll find that the players at Shadowlack are a very friendly and helpful group of creatures. If you have a question, we kindly request that you first check over our FAQ. Many questions that are commonly asked are answered there. If you cannot find your answer: Don't Panic! Your next step is to create a new thread in the Help Desk describing your question. We recommend creating a new thread instead of sending a Private Message to a staff member for the following reasons: a) other players who are online may be able to answer your question quickly, b) many of our players have been using the site for years and are really knowledgable, and c) it helps reduce clutter in staff member's inboxes.
However, if the question is something that you'd rather keep away from public prying eyes (a secret plot point, change of birthday, reporting harassment, etc.), feel free to contact a staff member privately.
Your First Roleplay Post
You’ve created a character - now what? Well, it’s time for you to start writing as that character. The first thing you should do is make sure that you are familiar with Shadowlack’s Roleplaying Etiquette. It’ll save you some potential headaches. As for getting started, there are several recommended approaches that you may take:
- Look for an open thread that is marked as “Open”. Anyone may join threads like these (provided that they are not heavily underway). If you're not sure if you're allowed to join, simply PM the thread creator and ask.
- Start your own “Open” thread in a In Character board of your choosing.
- Post in the Game-Related board and see if anyone would like to start off a thread with you and your character.
- Saw someone else’s character that catches your eye? Ask them if they’d like to do a thread with your character via Private Message. They might even have suggestions or ideas to help you get started.
The key to enjoying yourself at Shadowlack is to be proactive. If you get involved in the game, make friends - or even invite your friends to join - you're going to have a much more entertaining experience. We'd love you to not only become a member, but become a part of our strong community.
Liquid Time and Timestamping
Time at Shadowlack runs parallel to time in real life; one year at Shadowlack is equivalent to one year in real life. This kind of time schedule is often referred to as Liquid Time (or Fluid Time) in the Play-by-Post community. Since Shadowlack operates in Liquid Time, you are allowed to roleplay your characters in multiple threads at once. This way you are not always waiting for one person to reply. Instead, you can build up a queue of threads to participate in and keep yourself active.
To help with worldwide plots, Shadowlack subscribes to a system called Timestamping. This helps us easily "sync up" real world times with game times, and allows us to create roleplay threads that are in the past, and in the future. Feel like roleplaying your character as they were five years ago when something life altering occurred? You can do that! A Timestamp simply consists of a Ramathian year, month, and day which allows it to attach itself to our real life timeline.
Afraid of messing up a Timestamp, or don't know how? Don't worry. Our timestamp system is built right into our roleplaying boards. Whenever you create a new thread, the current Ramathian year and month with be auto-selected. However, you're allowed to change these values to whatever you like. Players only really should make sure that they don't have duplicate Timestamps for their characters (for example: a single character of yours should not participate in two different threads that have the same Timestamp).
Glims are a special form of currency that are obtainable only though being active and roleplaying at Shadowlack. When creating or replying to a roleplaying thread, you accumulate Glims based upon your word count. If you reply to a roleplaying thread in a timely manner (less than 48 hours since the last reply), you will also receive a Thread Streak bonus! Try to see how high of a Streak you can get. If you miss replying to a thread, your Streak bonus will be reset to zero.
Glims may then be used to purchase various game items (or hoard, if that is your preference).
Building Our World
Shadowlack is an entirely player-built world. As an active player at Shadowlack, you're invited to help build and expand upon our unique universe setting. Do you see some key piece missing? A gap in an otherwise great write up? Is there something that you think other players would enjoy? A new creature or plant? We want to hear your suggestions. The wiki is a great place to put your initial ideas and suggestions. Read over our World Building Guide and help us expand upon the Shadowlack universe!
Basic Game-play Lingo
- Thread - Used to refer to a roleplay topic on a board.
- Timestamp - A Ramathian year, month, and day, used to describe when the thread occurs during our timeline.
- Out of Character (OOC) - Used to by you, the player, to indicate that you are making a note or comment that may not pertain to the actual roleplaying that is occurring in the thread. OOC notes should be kept to a minimum on Shadowlack since we have many alternate methods of communication.
- Non-Player Character (NPC) - All of the characters played by yourself or others are called “Player Characters.” On Shadowlack, NPC is a blanket term to refer to all characters that do not have registered character profiles in the Character Registry.
- Private - Used to indicate a private thread where only people who have been personally invited may post.
- Open - Used to indicate an “All Welcome/Open” thread in which anyone may join and start posting.
- RaL - A popular abbreviation used to refer to the planet Ramath-lehi.
- Ramathian - An inhabitant of the planet Ramath-lehi.
- Glims - An Out of Character currency that you gain by being active In Character and responding to threads in a timely manner.
- Thread Streak - A special Glim bonus that you gain for replying to In Character threads quickly (within 48 hours of the last reply). Each thread that you reply to in a timely manner will increase your Thread Streak.
- 'dragon - Slang for Pendragon.
- Thill - An adult female Pendragon.
- Arden - An adult male Pendragon.
- Hatchling - A newly hatched Pendragon. Often also used as a term to refer to new players on Shadowlack.
For a more extensive list of terms and phrases that are exclusive to the world of Shadowlack, please consult the Lexicon.