FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(FAQ)

Or should it be: Fearfully Anticipated Questions? ;-)

About the Club

Joinform related questions

About personas

About locations

Story writing and posting

Interaction with other personas

Submissions for the website

Club administration

A Message to Parents

About the Club

How do I get to the Main Club pages for Dragonriders of Pern Fantasy Fiction Writing Club?

Occasionally, some search engines do not take you to the Main Club pages from where you can get to all the other club pages (including the joinform, club rules, persona information etc). We are sorry if this has happened to you. Our Main Club page is located at www.dragonridersclub.com.

What is this club? How does it work?

DragonRiders is an email-based fan-fiction writing club in which members write stories, called "posts", about their character's activities, which may be written alone or as "co-posts" with other members. Generally, posts are around two pages long (7-9 k).

If you want to learn more about Pern fandom clubs, read A DragonLover's Guide to Pern Fandom by April Masters (this off-site link opens a new browser window, so you'll be able to continue browsing our site).

How do I begin participating?

Simply fill out a join form! After completing your persona, you wait for the reply from our persona sheet proofreaders, aka Joinform Reviewers, to find out if your persona sheet is approved or requires changes. Following approval, your persona will appear on the list of personas at our club locations and your mentor will contact you to help you begin posting and to answer any questions you may have.

What are all these funny abbreviations that people are using in the chat lists? I don't know what AFK, RL, or DLG are - how can I find out?

Many of our members spend a lot of time online every day, and have adopted common internet slang. Some of the more common abbreviations are:



If you see someone use an abbreviation that you are unfamiliar with and not listed above, please feel free to drop them a note to ask about it. Many "old time" internet users sometimes forget that newbies might not recognize our shorthand, but we're always willing to help. You could also use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo to find current lists of common internet shorthand to reference.

Joinform related questions

Why do I have to give my real name when I join? Can I join under a pseudonym?

Your location, real name, and real age will be viewed only by the Joinform Reviewers, Council, and Webbies, and only for mundane, administrative purposes. We have put together a Privacy Policy for those of you who are worried about what happens with your personal information.

Giving your real name indicates to us that you are an honest and trustworthy person who has nothing to hide and is not planning to cause trouble. Anonymity and pseudonymity on the net often promote flaming and illegal behavior, which we wish to prevent from occurring in this club. Members known or suspected of having joined under a pseudonym without Council approval may have their membership terminated. If you wish to be a member but feel your privacy threatened by disclosing your real name to the general membership, please contact Council. You may request to use a pseudonym for club communications as long as your real name is logged in Council records.

Why does the form ask my age?

To stay in compliance with U.S. laws, and because our mailing list may contain material corresponding to PG-13 rating, DragonRiders membership is restricted to members 13 and older. Council membership is restricted to members 16 and older.

About personas

What, exactly, is a 'persona'?

A persona is a character you create and write about. This could be your 'alter ego' on Pern, or an original character without any similarity to yourself.

How do I create my persona?

To create your persona, click on the 'Join!' link on the home page. If you are creating your first persona, please take the time to read through the instructions before filling out the join form. Remember: You cannot use the names of any of the characters in the Pern books, or the name of a major character in any other popular book, TV series, or movie. Be sure to include detailed information on the physical and emotional descriptions, as well as on childhood and young adult life.

Can I join by adopting a persona?

Creating your own persona is part of the join process for DragonRiders. We use your persona sheet to determine how familiar you are with Pern and to get an idea of your writing skills. Therefore, we ask that all new members fill out a persona sheet. After you have joined and sent three posts after being released from mentoring, you may adopt an NPC/free character from the listings on our website, if there is a certain persona you have set your eyes on.

I have been in the club before. Can I get my former personas back?

Unless you gifted your persona to someone else, you certainly can! You can rejoin with one of your former non-ranking, non-premium personas. Once you have sent three posts after being released from mentoring (unless mentoring is waived) and are current on posting for this persona, you can add subsequent personas. With Council approval and as long as you stay current on posting, you may also bring back your previously established ONPCs at the rate of one per three month period.

If the persona you want to rejoin with is a ranking or premium persona however, you need to have been a member in good standing when you left the club (e.g. you emailed Council with your request to leave rather than waiting to be dropped from the records for non-posting). If there is an open position available, you may petition Council to reinstate your membership with one of your former ranking or premium personas. If applicable, you may also rejoin by readopting a persona you left behind as NPC/free. Please note though that certain positions (e.g. Wingleaders, Lord/Lady Holders, Masters) will require a club-wide call for applications before being filled, and other club members' applications may have an advantage over yours as they have a posting record for recent months.

I have a persona from another club. Can I transfer that persona?

Yes, you can! All we ask is that the persona is not a ranker, you are truly the one who created the persona (don't want to get into trouble with people saying one of our members 'stole' a persona from another club), and that you adjust your persona's description to match the requirements of our join form.

Can I have more than one persona?

Certainly! However, new joiners can only apply for a second persona after they've been released from mentoring and then sent three posts to the list. Of course, if you never posted, your application for a second persona will probably be turned down. Established members may have up to SIX personas -- more than that means you have to ask Council. However, since certain persona types (e.g. rankers, weyrlings) are in higher demand there's a couple restrictions to try and keep those types spread out among as many members as possible. Please refer to the Persona Limits and Restriction of our rules for details.

Can my persona be a candidate?

Yes, we'd love candidates! If you want to join as a candidate, check out the Hatching Sands page and see if there are eggs available. If there are, fill out your persona sheet with Candidate as the rank and make sure your persona has at least 15 turns but no more than 26. If there are no eggs available, you can still join with a candidate and it will be assumed your persona was left standing during the last Hatching and stayed at the Weyr for another chance at the next Hatching.

Can my persona be a weyrling or dragonrider?

If you want a dragon, simply fill out that portion of the persona sheet with your dragon's name, color, personality, etc. The available number of dragons clutched at the two club Weyrs, noted by Hatching and/or Turn, are listed in the Clutch Charts under the Other Schedules link on the main page. If you want a weyrling, check the classes on the weyrling rosters for open positions. It is also possible to have your rider and dragon transfer from another Weyr, providing your persona has at least 18 turns and his/her dragon at least three turns.

Bronzes and golds are only allocated by the Council to deserving members. This means that though you can't have one right when you join, if you write well and often enough, you may get one in the future!

Can my persona be an Oldtimer?

Yes, but only as long as your persona is not one of the characters named by Anne McCaffrey. And remember, for your persona to be a dragonrider who came forward with the Weyrs, his or her dragon would need to be at least 38 turns old and your persona at least 53 turns old in our timeline.

What if I want to join a craft?

Go ahead! Apprentices and Journeymen are all welcome! If you want a Master, you may apply three months after you have been released from mentoring. A club notification of availability is required for Master positions, so watch out for Council's announcements in the newsletter!

More information about Pernese crafts can be found in our Craft Corner.

What is the view on gay personas?

Gay and bisexual personas are very welcome! However, there can be no gay brown or bronze riders, and no lesbian gold riders, as stipulated in Anne McCaffrey's Letter.

If you are easily offended by the idea of gay relationships, please think carefully whether you want to join a Pern fan-fiction club. Due to the nature of dragon mating flights and the sexual preferences of their riders, such relationships are a given in Pernese society and widely accepted at the Weyrs. While we try to keep our list within PG-13 rating, your mileage may vary depending on your cultural background.

Can my persona hear all dragons like Lessa did?

No, this was a request by Anne McCaffrey before the rules for Pern fan-fiction were relaxed, and we still honor this wish. However, while your persona may not hear all dragon conversations all the time, he or she may hear an individual dragon when that dragon speaks directly to him or her. It is a rare occurrence, and the person to whom the dragon has spoken usually feels very honored.

Can I have ten firelizards?

Again, no. You may not have a 'Menolly-type' persona. If your persona has a dragon, a dolphin, a watchwher, or any sort of pet (runnerbeast/canine/feline), that persona can only have one firelizard. Otherwise your persona may have two. You are limited to having only two non-human companions per persona, and your personas may not have both a dragon and a dolphin, a dragon and a wher, or a dolphin and a wher.

Can I have non-playing characters?

Yes, you can. However, there may be limitations on this, especially if you want a Ranking or Premium NPC. See theTypes of Personas section of our rules to learn about the different types of NPCs we have in the Club.

A new member picked the same persona name as one of my NPCs and it is now listed on the Reserved Names list! Can I make them change the name? Do I have to change?

If a new member joins with a PC name that is close or identical to an NPC name previously used by another member, the NPC name will be allowed to stay in use. Neither member can force the other member to change their persona's name. There can be a discussion between the two members to facilitate a name change, but if either member decides they do not want to change the name, both will be allowed to keep it.

What if my persona/dragon/firelizard/dolphin's name appears in the latest Pern book? Do I have to change?

No, you don't. As new books are released by Anne McCaffrey (yeah!), pre-existing DragonRiders persona names may exactly or closely match one of the names from the new novel. These names will be grandfathered in and allowed to remain in use. However, once the member (or persona) leaves the club for any reason, the name will then be protected as Anne McCaffrey's and no longer be available for use.

If I change personas or leave the club, I get to say what happens to my people or who I can leave them to... right?

For non-ranking or non-premium personas, you do indeed have that right. If it's something questionable according to club rules or something you think might get people upset, it's best to run that by Council. At the worst, they'll deny your plan with reasoning, but you can still have your persona disappear or transfer out. However, this isn't the same situation when handling premium or ranking personas. You can still have them transfer out of the club locations; however, if you leave those personas in the Club, Council will decide if and by whom they will be adopted. See Section 1.0.4: Gifting Personas on the Club Rules page for more details.

About locations

Where can my persona live?

Personas may live at one of the club Weyrs/Halls/Holds listed on our web pages in the Pernography (Pern Geography) section. Support characters (NPCs) may also live at a minor hold or a cothold (as described in Locations of Residence in our Persona Rules).

Can I create my own Weyr/Hold/Hall?

You may not create a Weyr, Hall, or Major Hold. However, for posting purposes, you may create minor holds and cotholds, although such individually created locations will not appear on the Web pages. In addition, you may create NPC/free holds in which all personas are NPC/free, and those holds will appear on the Miscellaneous Locations page.

Crafthalls are a special case. If that craft attracts a sufficient number of followers, and if there is an active master of that craft, then a new crafthall may be built. For instance, the dolphineers used to live at Sonnette's Dawn Hold, but as the more and more dolphineers joined, a Dolphin Hall was built. Although the Hall is on Sonnette's Dawn land, it is nonetheless an autonomous body.

May I have a holdless persona?

Yes, you may. However, all PCs in this club must technically reside in one of our PC locations. Choose a location for your PC--whether the place your PC used to live or just the location in the PC's general area. You can still write them as holdless or have them act anywhere you choose.

Story writing and posting

What do I write about?

Write about your character. How that character interacts with people. What that persona likes and dislikes, etc. You can write about current events and storylines (e.g. your persona's viewpoint of a mating flight, helping to Search new candidates, the Hatching). Upcoming events like Gathers or disasters are listed on the Storyboard page. Past events are listed on the History pages and can be referenced in posts. Keep in mind: If your story involves another club member's character (e.g. falling in love, getting hurt), ask that person first! Big storylines that affect an entire Weyr/Hold may have to be approved by Council first. Otherwise, have fun!

Can my dragon go between without my persona?

We have to remember that dragons need very specific coordinates from their riders in order to safely go between. Without a clear picture, dragons would rarely go between by themselves. However, in absolute and rare emergencies this may be possible. If you're unsure if a situation warrants being an emergency, Council would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Can I write about my persona having/performing surgery?

Anne McCaffrey has said that it's possible for simple surgical procedures to occur on Pern, including caesarean sections, appendectomies, tonsillectomies, and amputations. However, a distaste/fear for invasive surgery does exist on Pern, and surgery has dwindled into necessary repair. If you're not sure if your surgery is canon, or how it may affect your persona, Council would be happy to answer any questions you have.

What is club canon regarding whers?

If you have read Dragonflight and Dragon's Kin, you'll know that 3rd Pass whers seemed to have a lot more abilities than 9th Pass whers. Council determined that for posting purposes we should write whers as they were written in the 9th Pass: They do not fly, do not go between, and do not "speak." See the Pern Knowledge Archive for more details on club canon on whers.

Do I need Council permission to write for an NPC/free ranker?

Usually not. You need permission to create an NPC ranker, but you can use the available NPC/free rankers in your posts without having to request approval. However, if your use dramatically alters the history of said NPC/free (child birth, death, injury, life style change, etc.), you must have Council permission. Also, your use of an NPC/free may not alter their free use by other members (such as, but not limited to, a previously unwritten attachment to another persona). In other words: If you want to have an NPC/free Wingleader fall in love with your greenrider, you need to get Council permission for the storyline, or adopt the Wingleader persona first.

Do I need Council permission to post?

Not necessarily. If you're a new member, your mentor will have to approve your first posts before they are sent out to the rest of the club. After you have been released from mentoring, you can post on your own. You need permission only if you're writing a major storyline that affects a large number of the people living in your Weyr, Hold, or Hall. Certain story ideas - like firelizard clutches, fights involving dragonriders, and posts set at Anne McCaffrey's locations - need Council approval. For others - such as deaths, transfers and addition of pets - you should at least notify Council and the Webbies so they can make the appropriate changes to the webpages.

How often will I have to post?

At least once every calendar month for each playing character you have. If you have three PC, they must each be the author of at least one post in that period. Your PCs may co-post (and each be considered to have "authored" that post) only if each PC listed as an author is a true contributing author to the post, and not merely a mention.

How long should a post be?

Minimum post length (excluding signature block and header) would need to be at least 2/3 of a page. (I.e.1-2 pages is a reasonable post length, assuming that the intro and signature blocks take up approximately 1/3 of a page.) Post Logger should refer cases pushing the line on a case by case basis to Council.

For questions on whether a Persona has had significant involvement in a post to rate author or only a mention, anything pushing the line would be referred to on a case by case basis by the Post Logger.

What if I go on vacation and can't access my email?

You can go on leave for a maximum of three months by notifying Council and Webbies. You can do so using the LOA Request form in the Members Only section. If you do not wish to receive posts during that time, you can log into your mailing list options and turn off mail delivery while you are gone. If we don't hear from you by the time your LOA expires, we will mail you a reminder. If we don't get a reply, we will assume that you have lost interest and wish to be dropped from the club. You may rejoin, of course, but you will need to fill out a new join form. New members may not go on leave until after they have been released from mentoring.

Interaction with other personas

How can I get in touch with another persona?

The Members Only section contains a list where you can find email addresses and chat IDs for those of our members who have chosen to share this information with others. If you want to contact a specific persona that is not on this list, ask the Council for their address.

What happens if my co-poster suddenly disappears? Can I just write for his/her persona till s/he comes back?

Only if you have their permission to do so! When you begin a co-posting relationship with someone where there'll be a commitment of time and/or storyline, you have the option to "log permission" with Council so your co-poster can take over writing for your personas in that co-post if you are unable to write for some time. The limits (such as how long this permission would be in effect, etc.) of that permission would be your responsibility to state. Also, it's your responsibility to ask your co-posters to log their permission, too. So... if the unfortunate happens and your co-posters vanish... don't ask Council to take away their intellectual rights to their persona just because the preventative steps weren't in place.

Submissions for the website

How can I get a picture in the gallery?

Draw your persona and send it to the Webbies! You can draw using one of the many graphics programs available and save it as a GIF or a JPG file. Alternatively, you can draw it by hand, scan it, then send it. Please make sure that your files are less than 150 KB. Otherwise, it will take too long to load, and the Webbies will probably end up shrinking it anyway. This should go without saying, but since we've had the question: In order to submit a picture for the gallery, you have to become a club member first!

I can't draw, and I don't have a scanner anyway.

If you feel that you can't draw your persona, there are several things you can do. The easiest (also cheapest and takes the least time) is to persuade/force a friend to do it for you. You can commission someone to do it for you too, though that would be expensive. You can also scout around the Net and pick up a sketch that you like. Just make sure you ASK FOR PERMISSION to use the picture from the person who drew it, and make sure that you tell the Webbies who actually drew it so we can give credit where it's due. As for the second problem, try to look for people who have scanners. Schools usually have one, or you can try getting someone's address and snail mailing it for that person to scan.

When I leave, all my stuff will be taken off the website, right?

Unless you notify us otherwise, when you leave we will make all your non ranker personas available for general use as NPC/frees. Submissions, such as for example schedules, craft information, maps, or contributions to the site made as part of Council or Webbie duties, are by their nature accompanied by permission to be displayed for the life of the club, although Council retains the right to remove the contribution at its discretion.

Can I use the persona descriptions and pictures on this site for another club?

Only if you are the person who created and submitted the persona description or picture in the first place. Everything on this site was created by someone and is subject to copyright according to current US law. If you wish to use someone else's persona descriptions or pictures, you have to ask that person for permission first. If you wish to use any of our rules or informational texts, please contact Council for permission.

Club administration

Who and/or what is the Council?

The Council is a group of five people elected by all existing members of the club, which handles decisions and administrative duties. Elections are held every four months.

I've got a whole lot of other questions, and they aren't on this page.

If your question is Pern related, check out our Pern Knowledge Archive to see if the answer might be in there. If you can't find an answer to your question and are a club member, look at our Mentors page, find your mentor, and email that person. If you are not a club member but have either submitted a join form or are thinking of submitting a join form, please email the Council.

Last updated on 04-Feb-14.

Dragonriders of Pern: A Fantasy-Fiction Writing Club - www.dragonridersclub.com

The Dragonriders of PernŽ is registered U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, by Anne McCaffrey, used here with permission. Use or reproduction without a license is strictly prohibited.