Frequently Asked Questions

This page is mostly for new players considering joining the game, but can be useful for anyone looking for answers to questions that come up often. Also be sure to read the Policies, which contain additional vital information.


Character Creation

How do I get started?

First you need to connect to the MUSH. Then type connect guest and say hello! Talk to people (on our Questions channel by typing "q" followed by your message) and see if this is the kind of place you'd like to play. Our community is very welcoming, and happy to answer questions.

If you decide to stick around, you'll need a character bit on the game itself. But before you leap right into making one, it is strongly recommended that you read over our thoughts and conventions on names. Names that are not appropriate to the theme will be asked to be changed. At this time, our code does not accommodate name changes, which means an entirely new bit will have to be created with the new name.

So log out of that Guest account and type create <Name> <password> to create your character (be sure to capitalize your name; see above regarding name changes). Then follow the instructions in the rooms you are taken to (please be sure to read everything, especially the Policies). The Character Generation Guide is a great place to go to get some help when actually creating the character.

What types of characters are needed?

All types! We don't usually have roles that need filling. What is "needed" is simply another great role-player and positive member of the community.

That said, check out our What Should I Play? page for suggestions on available and limited character concepts. Also take a look at the Characters page to see what's already out there.

Do I have to pick an Actor/Played-By?

Yes. Using a PB (Played By) is a big part of the game, providing a visual for those players for whom written descriptions don't paint a strong picture. As explained above, the wiki is a big part of the game, not merely an accessory. So, having a complete character page, including at least one image, is part of character creation. If you're having trouble finding an Actor that fits your concept of the character, please ask for assistance. The community has a proven track record of helping players track down just the right fit. Also take a look at our Actor Suggestions page for ideas.

Do I have to start as a First Year student?

No, not at all. You can begin play with any wizard of age 10 or older, be they a student or an adult, or a Squib or Muggle of age 16 or older. Even if the school year has already begun, you can jump right in with your character, who has always been there behind the scenes until now.

Can I play a Hogwarts professor?

Unfortunately, no. All professors are NPCs. That said, you can apply for a position as an assistant to an professor or other member of Hogwarts faculty. Similarly, we like to see guest lecturers come in to the school for special seminars or to substitute. If interested in being a guest lecturer, put in a +request to staff.

Can I be a Malfoy / Black / Weasley / etc.?

Yes, it is possible to play a member of a canon bloodline. In fact, pure-bloods must be a member of a canon pure-blood family or one of the handful of non-canon pure-blood families we have. But staff does have certain expectations about how members of certain families are portrayed. See Pure-Blood Families for details on the various bloodlines, and to see which families are closed for new members.

Can I play a canon character?

Maybe. Some canon characters are reserved as NPCs. Some are already on our roster. Others we will entertain the idea of allowing into the game if you want to pitch it. But as with canon families, check with us before you start designing the character. We frequently have ideas about canon characters that we want to be a part of that character, regardless of who plays them.

Can I play a werewolf / house-elf / Legilimens / etc.?

Yes, but not right away. Special types of characters and abilities require the expenditure of Cookies, which are earned through role-play and doing things to help the game. Please note that Cookies are not a guarantee of acquiring these "specials." As with everything else, they are subject to staff approval.

Will my wizard be conscripted to fight for the Muggles?

Maybe. Wizards with Muggle records (meaning all Muggle-born, some half-blood, and virtually no pure-blood wizards) can be conscripted. However, the Ministry of Magic can and will step in and arrange it so they're not, as it can be a potential risk of Secrecy. Only if the wizard wishes to serve will the Ministry step aside. That said, a wizard is absolutely forbidden from using magic in the service of the King, as that would constitute wizard interference in Muggle affairs of state.

How long does character approval take?

It can vary. Some can be approved in the same day. Others will take several days. It all depends upon what revisions are asked for to make the character suitable for the theme of the game, and how much staff is juggling at the time. Sometimes there are no necessary revisions. Though most characters go through at least one round of revision.

Another consideration is whether the character is an alt of an existing player or a brand new player altogether. If we have several applications in the queue, new players get priority over all others. After that, adult alts for players that only have a student character (or vice versa) get next priority. Once all of those applications are handled, the rest are seen to.

The approval process can be sped up considerably by making sure you have read all of the policies thoroughly (something every player should be doing before they +accept those policies), as well as the information we have available here on the wiki, including this very FAQ. Most delays in the approval process are a result of mistakes that could be avoided by following the instructions in the character generation rooms. Also, don't be shy about using the Questions channel while making your character. That's what it's there for! The community is great about helping out when players get confused or need a sounding board for ideas.


General Questions

What is a MUSH?

The word is an acronym for Multi-User Shared Hallucination. It's a text-based role-playing environment, with a heavy emphasis on story and social interaction. For an excellent introducing to MUSHes, check out this MUSHing 101 Tutorial.

So it's basically like a MUD?

Not really, no. Most MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons) are much more heavily focused on game mechanics, combat, and adventuring. These things still exist on Witchcraft and Wizardry, but they frequently take a backseat to storytelling. If you've come here with only MUD experience, expect the style of play to be very different.

Who are the staff?

Boo is the sole admin, and the only full staffer on this game. There are others that help out, but only Boo has actual authority. One staffer may seem like very few, but this makes it easy to decide issues quickly and directly, without the slowness, uncertainty, and miscommunication that comes with toneless text, or finding time for online conferencing. Of course, this also means that Real Life issues will make her unavailable at times, but our wonderfully supportive community makes sure that nothing implodes or catches fire while she is away.

I have a question. Should I page staff?

In most cases, it's best to take it to the Questions channel. Staff monitors this, as does the community, which is generally very good at giving useful answers. Plus, your question, and the subsequent answers, will often be useful to someone else in the community that reads it.

If it is truly a private matter, you can page Boo.

If there is something you need, such as fixing a bug, information about research your character is doing, or an expenditure of Cookies, please put it into a +request. This creates a job on a list that is examined by staff several times a day. This really is the best way for staff to keep track of what needs to be handled.

Something else to keep in mind is that many of the answers you are looking for can be found right here on the wiki, or in game help files. In particular, some answers are within the very policies that you were required to +accept before progressing into character generation. Be certain to read those policies thoroughly, as it becomes quickly evident when someone has not.

What is the game's time scale?

The game is on 1:1 time, where one real life day equal one IC day. The actual time of day is set to GMT, but we tend to play fast and loose with that, and people run scenes at the time of day that is convenient for them.

Can I use animated GIFs on my wiki page?

We try to create a certain look and feel for the wiki, including maintaining a certain level of "professional" quality. As such, after some consideration, it has been decided that animated GIFs will not be allowed on the wiki, with one exception. Animated GIFs of one's Actor, meant to simulate moving wizard photographs, may be allowed if tasteful. By tasteful, we mean minimal movement (not a lot of action or jerky looping), no captions or text of any kind, and good quality images.

How many alts am I allowed?

You can play as many alts as you can keep reasonably active. If we see your alts repeatedly appearing on the idle warning list, or logged in but never IC or involved in scenes, we will not likely approve new characters.

Though there is no overall alt limit, you are only allowed one alt per specialized field. For instance, you cannot play two Aurors, or even an Auror and a Hit Wizard (as both are law enforcers).

How is character death handled?

Not lightly, but it can happen. This game follows the classic rule: ICA = ICC (In-Character Actions equal In-Character Consequences). But we're never out to kill off a character. We'd rather work with players to handle the consequences of a deadly situation, even if that means giving the character a blaze of glory to go out in.

How active are adult characters?

We have very active RP in both the student and adult realms. There is almost always RP happening involving characters of all ages.

How can I get involved?

Ask to be involved! Better yet, start something of your own. We encourage player-run plots, and we have handy +rp and +events tools in game for advertising scenes. Don't see a scene going on that you think your character would be interested in? Start one! For more suggestions on how to get involved in things, check out our page on Finding Role-Play.

Why can I see others' stats and backgrounds?

This game has complete transparency, including which alts a player has. While there are still some secrets out there, for the most part, everything is available to read OOC. Naturally, this does not give license to use that information IC. To see another character's information in game, use the +finger, +sheet, and +bg commands.

What's with all the weird names?

Other than some wizards having unusual names, you may be referring to our Player bits. We encourage players with multiple characters to create a Player name to use as a singular identity on our public OOC channels. We ask that these bits are given names that can't be easily mistaken for a character name. To see all of the player bits currently logged in and who their characters are, use the +whop command.

Do you have rules on pose-length?

Nope. The notion that the length of a pose is a measure of its quality is rather short-sighted. A pose's content determines its quality. Give people something to work with, and it really doesn't matter how long or short a pose is. You might write a pose twenty lines long, but if it's devoid of a hook for others to respond to, it does nothing to move the scene forward.

What is the 3-Pose Rule?

You may have heard this term bandied about in a scene's OOC chatter. Simply put, the 3-Pose Rule, or 3PR, means that rather than a set pose order, you can freely pose if it's been three poses since your last one. Usually when it's five or more players in a scene, 3PR takes effect to help keep things flowing.

Where are my pants?

Witchcraft and Wizardry is not responsible for keeping track of pants, jeans, trousers, slacks, skirts, undergarments, or any other article of clothing of its players. Please keep your pants on at all times.

How co I claim a Roster character

See our Roster page for instructions on claiming a Roster character.

How do I create a new spell?

New spells can either be OOC creations (in which case they are available to anyone to learn), or your own character's invention (in which case your character is the first wizard to possess the spell). In either case, refer to our rules on creating new spells.


Theme and Setting

What if I've never read the books or watched the films?

It's not a problem. Of course it helps to have familiarity, but even the books and films only give a snapshot of the complete world we're playing in. There is a lot of information on this wiki, as well as other resources like the Harry Potter Wiki or The Harry Potter Lexicon. The community is very helpful in answering any questions you may have.

What is the setting of the game?

The game is set in England in the years leading up to the second World War and the rise of the Dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald. The major locations of the game are London (including the wizarding area in and around Diagon Alley), Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and Hogsmeade Village.

What if I don't know anything about the time period?

Check out our Links page for some handy resources on the era. But don't stress overmuch about historical accuracy. Historical plausibility is more important to us than getting every detail right. No one will be looked down upon for not perfectly representing the 30's.

How strict is this game about canon and theme?

That's a complicated answer. The short answer is that we are fairly loose about canon, but strict about theme.

The long answer is that the timeline remains consistent with the official canon timeline right up until the start of this game in the summer of 1937. Of course, even that isn't 100% true, as some things were established here before Pottermore came about and revealed new canon that contradicted what had come before (or what we'd been forced to make up for ourselves to fill a gap). But nine times out of ten, you can count on canon material to be true before the game began. However, we do not railroad the timeline into the canon history from this point on. If player actions change the course of Potterverse history, so be it. Maybe Grindelwald will win. Maybe Tom Riddle will see the light and become a force for good. Maybe Harry Potter will never be born. Maybe Bertie Bott never creates Every-Flavour Beans (a true tragedy).

As for theme, there is no easy answer to that. We do aim for that whimsical Harry Potter feel, but just a bit grimmer and darker, as is appropriate to the era. Our theme is fairly well laid out on the wiki. We have certain ideas about how magic works, but we aren't going to throw fits if someone doesn't get it exactly right every time. The main thing to keep in mind is that Harry Potter isn't high fantasy. Though sometimes it seems like "anything goes," that isn't the case, and the wizarding world actually does have a certain logic and boundaries to it.

What is the age of majority for wizards?

In our timeline, 16 is the age of majority. This is the age at which young wizards are permitted to drink, have sex, apply for an Apparition license*, and so on. If in doubt about an age for legal matters, assume it is 16.

*The license can be applied for at the Ministry of Magic any time after a wizard turns 16. Apparition classes are offered at Hogwarts in the second half of Fifth Year (after Christmas Holiday), which means the earliest that a wizard can apply is during the summer after their Fifth Year.


What do wizards know about the Deathly Hallows?

Lore Threshold: Wizard Lore 12

Very little. To most wizards, the Deathly Hallows are part of a children's story from Beedle the Bard, and nothing more. Even less well known is the symbol of the Deathly Hallows (pictured at the right). This mark has gained fame as the emblem of Grindelwald and his supporters, touted by them as "the Eye of Truth". The Magijugend ("Magical Youth") wear pendants in this shape as their badge of membership. But not even Grindelwald's people are necessarily aware of the Eye's origin as the symbol of the Deathly Hallows.

What is that Lore Threshold thing in the last question?

A Lore Threshold is a way of gauging what a character should know or not know about obscure topics. It isn't absolute, but it's a good guide.

What about non-students attending Hogwarts Quidditch games?

Everyone is welcome to come watch! Of course, they will be heavily monitored, to afford no chance to in any way threaten school security. Visitors have their own section of seats. Students must sit with their House sections. They may be close enough to cheer together, but still seated in their appropriate sections.

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