Welcome (or welcome back) to Dalibor! The first thing you need to understand about our application process is that revisions are normal. There's almost always at least one little thing that needs to be changed before a character is accepted, even for those of us on staff. This guide is meant to help speed up the process, not cut it out completely. Here are some of the most typical pitfalls applications run into, and how you can avoid them:
We use the following formats for our titles:
Character, Rider of Color Dragonth
Character, Handler of Color Whersk
Character, Dragon Candidate (or Wher, or Dual)
And so on and so forth. This isn't a big deal because we can just edit it to be correct ourselves, but we do appreciate not having to! If your application is a WIP, stick a WIP tag on the end of the title and make sure you put it in the WIP Closet section of the board. We will move it to Character Registration on completion.
The message icons (the key, the meteor, etc.) are used to delineate IC threads only. Do not use one on your application.
- Pernese do not have surnames.
- Most Pernese are given a name that is a mashup of their parents' names, e.g. Delilah is the daughter of Delion and Andalah. If your character does not follow this tradition, there should be a reason. If your character is a male candidate, you may give us your desired honorific in parentheses.
Fairly self-explanatory! We are very happy to accept trans* characters as long as they are handled maturely. We do not tolerate transphobia here.
- Dragon candidates are generally 12-20. They can be as young as ten (rarely), and very rarely a slightly-older candidate may Impress from the stands, but they will not be searched or allowed to remain in candidacy after they turn 21. Though you are welcome to ask about an out-of-age stands Impression, be advised we will almost certainly say no.
- Wher candidates are 15+. Rarely, they may be accepted at thirteen or fourteen, but it would take an exceptional candidate.
- Apprentices usually start at 12. The exceptional may begin at eleven or even ten, but this is rare. They walk the tables between 19 and 22 to become Journeymen (rarely, 18). Masters are 35+, and not all Journeymen will become Masters at all.
We do not do sexuality-based Impressions here, so there's no need to worry about that! We accept all sexualities here (including asexuals). The one thing to be wary of is stereotypes. Yes, flamboyant gay men and masculine lesbians exist. Yes, some bisexuals are promiscuous. The problem occurs when it reads as "X is effeminate because he is gay" rather than "X is effeminate, and also is gay."
Typically, this will be Dalibor Weyr, Crescent Hold, or Western Hold. If your character is an unsearched Candidate, just say Dalibor; they'll get there soon enough IC!
- For Crafters, keep in mind that Journeymen are assigned posts. Apprentices typically are not. We do have several apprentices at Dalibor, but in general they should have a good reason to be there.
- All a dragon candidate has to do is be Searched. A wher candidate, however, must be vetted by Audren, who will not accept criminals or children. We do accept disabled wher candidates, however!
- There is one additional way to become a dragon candidate: the children of a rider or two riders are considered to have the right to stand for hatchings if they so desire, beginning when they are old enough (10-12). They do not have to stand, but they can.
We are looking for quality here, not quantity. We want to see well-rounded characters who are psychologically realistic and have viable flaws as well as good points. Do not state all-encompassing facts here, e.g. "everyone finds her annoying," that basically lock others into seeing your character the way you want them to.
One particular thing of note is that dragon candidates must be mentally stable. This is not to say that we will not accept the paranoid or weird, but people with serious mental illnesses will not be searched. Neither will sociopaths; empathy is a vital trait for a dragonrider. Riders and candidates don't have to be nice, and they don't even have to be law-abiding, but they must have some form of underlying compassion.
On the note of mental illnesses: if you choose to use one, even something as commonly-known as OCD or clinical depression, do your homework and be wary. We have members here whose lives are impacted by mental illness of all sorts, and such characters must be handled realistically and with respect.
- Do not state subjective traits as facts. "She is beautiful" will not be accepted, because beauty is personal. "Many have said she is beautiful," however, would be all right. Likewise, try to avoid describing expressions. "She is always smiling" is certainly not true.
- Avoid giving an exact weight; weight fluctuates a lot more than height.
- We accept all appearances here, within reason; we do not typically reject eye colors or hair colors as long as they are natural. Be aware that most Pernese are dark-haired and dark-eyed - don't create an army of redheads - but other than that, have fun.
- You are allowed, though not required, to use a picture of your character to depict them (in addition to the written appearance, not in place of it). Do not violate copyright in order to do so; only use images that are fair use. The width cannot be more than 500 pixels, so as not to stretch the board.
- You must list your character's parents' names, even if they are unknown to the character.
- In general, ask before giving your character important relatives. We are not accepting characters who are related to Lord Holders (unless they are being brought in by request of someone currently playing such a person) or to Weyrwomen.
As stated in the form, certain pets can be bought through the market. If you don't have enough marks, someone is usually willing to lend them, so just ask!
- The Western Continent and its associated locations, including Dalibor itself, were founded fifteen turns ago during the 192nd turn of the Interval. Be aware of this when considering how and when your character and/or their family arrived here.
- All of Dalibor's Impressions are IC. No rider or handler could have Impressed here, nor could any NPC relatives or friends.
- Although we do allow trigger subjects in backstory (abuse, rape, alcoholism, etc.) we insist that they be handled sensitively. You are not guaranteed acceptance of such a backstory, and keep realism in mind. Such events cause psychological repercussions. In addition, Pern takes crimes such as rape and murder very seriously; such perpetrators, if caught, are marked and exiled, which is basically a death sentence. Since Pern has a communal society, such things are very likely to be found out sooner or later.
- We do not allow two PC whers to share a name, but you can "hold" a wher name by requesting it in your preferences. Dragon names cannot be requested.
- Preference is not a guarantee. The staff of Dalibor are committed to ensuring the best possible match both for the character and the player, and while we take preferences very seriously, sometimes the right dragon or wher is the one you never even considered a possibility. If there is a particular color or personality that you absolutely will not play, you need to make that very clear.
- In general, the more explicit you are, the better. To take a common example: we don't know what "no pink" means. Do you mean no happy dragons? If so, say that, because not only are yellows even happier than pinks, almost any color could have that personality. Unless there is a legitimate reason not to want a specific color (already have three of it, etc), it is far more helpful to give us personality traits than colors that you like or don't like for your candidate, and to explain why.
- In terms of rank: fighters comprise 80% of the dragon population. This does not mean you have a 20% chance at something higher for any given candidate, because most ranking dragons exclusively or almost exclusively Impress one gender or the other. If you give only ranking colors as possibilities, you will likely be ignored unless you state you would rather potentially age out than have this character ride a fighter. Keep in mind that virtually all of our players sooner or later have one or more ranking dragons or whers; it's a matter of having the right candidate at the right time, and being an active player. You don't have to repeatedly ask for rank in order to have a very good chance of getting it, if you are patient.
Additionally, the term "cross-Impression" refers to an Impression that crosses one of the few remaining boundaries - that is, a man Impressing a queen or subqueen, or a woman Impressing a king or subking. Fighters do not take gender into account at all. For a cross-Impression to occur, not only does a candidate of the opposite gender need to be an excellent personality match, but there can be no same-sex candidate present who would fit that dragon. This is incredibly rare, statistically. In all of Pernese history, there has never been a male queenrider. There is one genderqueer person who uses female pronouns and a male name on a king now. There has been one male on a subqueen (though subqueens as a whole have not been around long). At any given time there are a handful of females on subkings throughout Pern; currently there are three at Dalibor, and two elsewhere. Does this mean you can't desire a cross-Impression? Of course not. If it works, it works. Just keep in mind that statistically speaking, asking for a cross-Impression is the rarest of all. Your female candidate is more likely, statistically, to Impress a queen than to be chosen by a subking. Your male candidate is a lot more likely to be chosen by a king than by a subqueen, personality permitting.
If you do not provide at least one common fighter color you will accept, it is likely we will have to allow your candidate to age out. Having a white-only or subqueen-only candidate is possible, but it absolutely does not guarantee you will receive that color. We are committed to ensuring the best possible matches out of the dragons and candidates available, NOT to giving rankers and rare colors to the people who ask for them. A preference which comes across as a demand is likely to be ignored.