January 8th, 2009


New to Pern?

If you've never had any experience with Pern before, this is meant to be a short guide to the information you may want to know for the game.

On Pern, humans form a telepathic bond with dragons which is known as Impression. When a dragon's clutch begins to hatch, prospective bonds--candidates--are brought onto the Hatching Sands. As each dragon hatches, it seeks out the best match for it from among the available candidates. The weyrling dragon and rider train to fight Thread until they are adults and join the rest of the Weyr in fighting Thread.

Thread is an extremely dangerous, voracious but unthinking lifeform which appears as long, silvery strands reminiscent of its namesake. It comes from a nearby planet and periodically passes into Pern's atmosphere, where it falls to the ground and starts devouring anything it comes across. Dragonfire is one of the few things that can destroy it in the air, which is why the dragons are so important.

There are five different colored dragons, each with their own specialties in Threadfighting. From largest to smallest, (and rarest to most common) they are:

Gold: These are the queens of the Weyr and the only female dragons that can breed. They are by far the rarest dragons, and significantly larger than their siblings, even as an egg. You'll definitely know if there's a queen egg on the sands. They're too valuable to risk in Threadfall, so they fly low to the ground and mop up any stray strands that are missed by the other dragons.

Bronze: Bronzes are the largest of the male dragons and most likely to breed with the queen. They have the most stamina and the largest flame, so they are very good at searing Thread--that large size also makes a larger target, though, so they are more likely to be hit by Thread as well.

Brown: Smaller than their bronze brothers but still large enough that they can catch the occasional queen, browns are the steadiest and probably most average of the dragons in fighting Thread. They typically act as lieutenants to the bronzeriders.

Blue: The smallest of the male dragons, they're a lot quicker in the air than bronzes and browns, but still able to last a good while. They're most accurate with their flames and miss Thread less often.

Green: The smallest and by far most common color, the female greens make up nearly half of the dragons in a clutch. They often rise to mate, and though they're chased by any male dragon, the firestone they chew to produce flame renders them infertile. They are very speedy and agile in the air, catching strands other dragons can't, sometimes two at once! Fast as they are, they're also fragile and tend to take more damage when hit, and their frail endurance means that they only fight part of a Threadfall, switching out for fresh greens.

Overview, FAQ, and Rules

Events occur in week-long 'rounds', first a Clutching round where the queen lays a clutch, usually around 10-20 eggs, and candidates are accepted to stand on the Hatching Grounds. Next is the Hatching round, when the eggs actually hatch and Impress. But this is also the time when the next queen starts getting proddy--this is the time to send your queens to attempt to mate. After that is the Mating round, when the chasers are submitted to chase the rising gold. At the end of this round, the mating flight itself takes place, and goes immediately to the Clutching round. Threadfall rounds occur irregularly within this Cycle, and may start and end at different times as the other rounds.

 Rules of the Community: 
General Rules:
1. Play nice, basically. Keep the cursing to a minimum and take any grudges with other members to e-mail or private messages.
2. DO NOT steal my images, alter them, pass them out to other places, or claim them as your own. This will likely result in getting you banned, and the appropriate authorities notified wherever you put them.
3. Probabilities in Threadfall and other areas may be wonky as I start out until I can finetune them to the right balance, so bear with me. They may also change over time as the populations increase or decrease. Comments and suggestions are quite welcome. :)
4. Feel free to ask questions, too! You can either post them here or e-mail me at silver_storyteller@yahoo.com with 'Whiterock Weyr' in the subject.

Clutches and Hatchings
Starting on Fridays, a new round begins. A Clutching round is the only time when new candidates are accepted. In order to get a dragon, you must send in a character to Impress it. All the information you really need is a name, gender, and the answers to the quiz that accompanies the form. The quiz helps to determine what color dragon your character is most likely to Impress, but even a perfect bronzerider personality is not guaranteed the color they want. Which dragons hatch when is determined randomly, and there's not always going to be a perfect ratio of personality types or gender in the candidates. The only sure thing is if you state that you absolutely do NOT want a certain color. (You might want to specify that you, the creator, do not want them to Impress that color, not just that the character doesn't care for it. Near the end of a hatching, the dragons may have no choice but to Impress characters who otherwise would avoid them.) You're still not guaranteed a dragon if there's a surplus of candidates though.

1. The quiz can help your chances of getting the color you want, but the final result is still a matter of chance. Please don't whine or ask to redo it if you get something other than you wanted.
2. You may send up to two candidates to a single clutch, but there's no limit for your total number of dragons. Please complete a new form for each candidate. (Different Name/Gender/Quiz thing for each candidate. I don't mind if they're both on the same post).
3. There's no limit to the total number of candidates accepted for a clutch, so if it ends up more candidates than eggs, your character may not Impress. Better luck next time.
4. Any candidates who don't Impress would have to be submitted again to the next clutch, but there's no limit to how many times they can stand.
5. In general, girls Impress gold and green, boys Impress blue, brown, and bronze. Male-female and female-male pairings are rare but possible, depending on availability of suitable candidates and the dragons' own quirky personalities. :P Sexuality doesn't enter into it.
6. You are allowed to name your dragons after they impress, but they must end in -th like all all Pernese dragons.
7. Dragons are not considered adults until a full cycle has been completed, three weeks after their hatching; the rider list contains information about what clutch they hatched from and whether they are considered adults or weyrlings--this will be updated as soon as possible after the Hatching is posted.
8. The only information I need for your candidate is name, gender and quiz answers. Dragons come with their color and a personality trait or quirk. You need never develop the characters beyond this, but embellish them however you want. There may be a roleplay area if anyone's interested.
--If you're going to use Shard's Candidate Generator, would you mind expanding on your answer a bit when you have one of the alternate responses? It gets a bit difficult to judge with what basically amounts to a blank answer.

Mating Flights
Now that the clutch has hatched, it's time for the queens to think about rising to mate. Anyone with an adult gold dragon can choose to have her mate this time around, but only one will actually be accepted. Once the rising queen has been chosen, the bronze and brown chasers can start applying to chase her. At the end of the week, the riser will choose the dragon who catches her and the clutch will be laid.

1. Only adult dragons can rise and chase, obviously. :)
2. Only one dragon can rise at a time; she cannot mate twice in a row. (Unless there's no other available golds.)
3. Only gold dragons can rise to mate. Bronzes and browns can chase them. Bronzes SHOULD be a lot more likely to catch the queen than browns, but...
4. The owner of the female chooses who catches her dragon, so she has the final say. The owner can also have a say in how many eggs are in the clutch, but has no control over who the hatchlings Impress.
4. Gold-Bronze matings can produce any color, Gold-Brown matings cannot produce queen eggs and have fewer bronzes, but more browns.
5. Golds participate in Threadfall, but are a little less likely to die, since little Thread gets through to them. Greens are assumed to chew firestone and fight Thread directly, which prevents them from mating to clutch.
6. If you own a queen and become no longer active (and only if you are no longer active in the game), I may "borrow" your queen in order to have clutches, if there's no other queens available for one reason or another. If you really have a problem with this, let me know and I'll work some other way around it.

A Threadfall round lasts five (real) days, and the following Item round lasts for two. A Threadfall can start at any time, and they can overlap. After the round is announced, characters have four days to announce their intention to fly. On the fifth day the actual Fall itself takes place, and a series of random dice rolls decides how your character does.
Each character begins with a set amount of HP at the beginning of the fall, injuries sustained fighting Thread cause this number to go down. If it reaches zero, the character dies. If they survive, all HP is refilled at the end of the Fall. Each time a dragon successfully destroys a piece of Thread, they win a point. 'hits' can occur for particularly large clumps destroyed, which earn more points than normal. This is, again, randomly determined. Threads which injure or even kill a rider still earn the owner points.

I use an online dice roller (Actually I'm using random.org now) and a chart with hits, misses, and injuries to decide outcomes.
Each color of dragon has different abilities in battle against Thread.

Golds 10 HP: Only roll three times--no modifiers

Bronzes 15 HP: Roll 7 times--no modifiers

Browns 10 HP: Roll 5 times--for each success, 25 % chance +1 point

Blues 10 HP: Roll 5 times--50% chance of rerolling a miss.

Greens 8 HP: Roll 3 times--for each success, flip a 'coin'. Extra points are doubled for each 'heads'.

1. People will die in Threadfall. Deal with it. There's nothing keeping you from getting as many dragons as you want. Enough points will eventually allow you to redeem items belonging to a deceased rider for a fraction of the original price and even allow you to bring a dead rider back to life.
2. Dragons don't /have/ to fight Thread and, therefore, possibly die, but they won't be able to earn any points.
3. All adult dragons can participate in Threadfall. Golds don't get many chances to destroy Thread, but they're less likely to die as a result. The other colors fight Thread directly, earning more points, and have a higher chance of being injured and killed.
5. There's an overall limit of 15 adult dragons who can participate in a single Threadfall round, though it may be run with less than that. Weyrlings are also limited to a total of 15. Dragons are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are no other limits, though eventually, there will probably be a limit on dragons per person.
6. A single dragon cannot be entered in more than one Threadfall round at a time. If s/he's already signed up for round 6 and round 7 opens before that one's been flown, that dragon will have to wait until round 6 has finished, if there are any spots left open by then. This includes Weyrlings.
7. Your characters can only die if you have two or more adult dragons.
8. Weyrlings are allowed to participate in Threadfall, by supplying the adult dragons with extra firestone. Weyrlings are less likely to get hit, but when they are scored, they tend to have more serious injuries than the experienced riders. They'll have two chances to earn points--of course, they could always miss, in which case, they're out of luck. :P Weyrlings cannot use any items they may have attached.

9. There is not going to be a Pass-Interval system, simply because it would take too long, however...The dragons will not last forever--once they've reached their 30th Cycle (Which is 60 years old, in character!), the threadfalls will become more dangerous for them, and if they reach 35 Cycles (70 years old) they will be forcibly retired from threadfall (or clutching, if it's a gold). Once retired, the Forgery Tools can be used to redeem their items as if they had died, but they cannot be brought back with the Between Rescue. Honestly, getting a dragon through to retirement takes about two years of real time, so you don't have to worry about losing your dragons anytime soon. Think of it as the pair dying of old age after a long and fulfilling life. :)

Wings are organized into three different levels: Level 1 is the highest, it's easier to score points, but you may take more damage. Level 2 is the mid-level, it's pretty much average. Level 3 is the lowest, there is less thread, so there'll fewer points and fewer injuries. (Both of which will manifest as a higher number of misses rather than a different number of rolls.) Any rider can fly on any level.

Once Threadfall ends and your points have been tallied up, the Item round begins and you can actually buy stuff. Some items give you bonuses in Threadfall, others are pets or tattoos for your dragon. There are even some that will allow you to get back some things lost by dying riders.

1. Any character can benefit from an item bought with points earned by another of your dragons, even if that character is still a weyrling.
2. Points are detracted from your account as soon as they are used. Once a purchase is made, it can not be undone, so choose carefully.
3. Item benefits do not stack; if you buy a more powerful item with the same effect for the same character, the weaker item will be effectively erased.
4. The equipment (reusable items) cannot be traded or removed from the rider once attached, except by using the Forgery Tools. One-use items are not attached to any rider until the Threadfall round starts. Items, including the one-use numbweed, can only be attached to a single character at a time.
5. You can only attach one item from a certain effect group to the same character, but that character can have any number of items of different effect groups attached, unless stated otherwise. (i.e. A rider can only have one type of Fire/Flamestone, switching from one to the other would erase the effects of the former.) Effect groups, for example, are: (Normal or Good) Fire/Flamestone; Safety Equipment (Safety/Wherhide straps); (Normal or Good) Numbweed.
The Cup of Klah and Lucky Charm items can be combined with any or all of the above.
6. When a character dies, any items attached to them are lost with them--but there is a way to get them back...
7. You can only buy items during the items round, which is right after a Threadfall round. A useable item (Namely, Inks and the Forgery Tools), as opposed to something that automatically bestows an effect on the owner, may be used at any time after you buy it.
8. A rider can only have a total of three fire lizards, cats, or dogs, or combination of those. Colors will be determined randomly.
9. When using inks, the colors can cover as much of the skin as you want, but please keep your design requests reasonable, for my sanity's sake (if not that of the artist tattooing said dragon XD). You can feel free to request whatever you want, but I may not be up to doing insanely intricate markings. It never hurts to ask, anyway. :)
10. When requesting colors for felines and canines, keep in mind that they must be realistic, including eye colors. Calicos and Tortoishells must be female, pointed (Siamese) cats always have blue eyes.

The following list is likely to be enlarged over time, and suggestions for new items are more than welcome. :)
15p: Cup of Klah: Raises alertness and slightly increases chances of searing and dodging Thread. One use.
15p: Fire Lizard Egg: Will hatch soon after bought.
25p: Kitten: A pet for your rider/weyrling. Color is chosen randomly.
25p: Puppy: A pet for your rider/weyrling. Three breeds--Terrier, Hound, Spitz (Wolfish). Color is chosen randomly.
35p: Feline Breeder: Pay a bit more and you can have the pick of the litter. (Request specific colors and patterns.)
35p: Canine Breeder: Pay a bit more and you can have the pick of the litter. (Request specific colors and patterns).
35p: Numbweed: Automatically heals 3 HP's worth of damage when injured. One use.
35p: Lucky Charm: Raises chance of critical hits. Reusable.
35p: Firestone: Increased chance of successfully searing Thread. Reusable.
35p: Fellis Juice: Increases max HP by 3 points. One use.
50p: Safety Straps: Increases chances of dodging Thread. Reusable.
50p: Flamestone: Good chance to get +1 point for a successful searing. Tastes bad, though. Reusable.
50p: F. Ink: Fire-lizard-sized bottles of ink for tattooing your pets. One color per 50p.
50p: Extra Herdbeast: Boosts your dragon's energy, allowing it to last longer in battle. One extra turn, One use.
75p: Good Numbweed: Automatically heals 5 HP's worth of damage when injured. One use.
75p: Good Firestone: Good chance of successfully searing Thread. Reusable.
75p: Wherhide Straps: Drastically increases chances of dodging Thread. Reusable.
100p: Good Flamestone: Good chance to get +1 point for a successful searing. Still tastes terrible. Reusable.
100p: Ink: White, Black, Blue, Bronze, Brown, Gold, Green, Red, Orange, Purple--Dragon-sized packages of ink for tattooing dragons. One color per 100p.
150p: Rider's Will Forgery Tools: Allows you to buy back items from deceased riders for 50% of the original cost. One use per week (during Clutch, Hatching, and Mating rounds).
350p: Between Rescue: Resurrect a dead rider. Once per character.

An exact explanation of what the items do (because if I can take full advantage of knowing it to maximize points, you should too):

Item effects
Klah: 10% chance of negating injuries, 10% chance of of rerolling a miss, ignore damage
Safety Straps: 25% chance of negating injuries
Wherhide Straps: 50% chance of negating injuries
Lucky Charm: 20% chance of turning a miss into a critical hit
Firestone: 25% chance of rerolling a miss, ignore damage
Good Firestone: 50% chance of rerolling a miss, ignore damage
Flamestone: 25% chance of +1 point for successful searing
Good Flamestone: 50% chance of +1 point for successful searing

Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do players need to be able to participate frequently/consistently in the game?
Answer: No. By all means, post as much or as little as you want. I specifically tried to make the game so that it requires as little effort on the part of the players as possible. Your dragons will never be killed or taken back because you're no longer active. About the only time I'll need a prompt response is if you've got a gold rising.

2.  How many IC years elapse between rounds? How fast do dragons mature?
Answer: A full Cycle, Hatching--Mating--Clutching, is two IC years, which is how long it takes for the weyrlings to graduate from training and join the wings. The dragons generally reach sexual maturity around one year (for greens) to almost three years (golds), but for gaming purposes, all dragons can mate after their first Cycle.

3. What about an RP game?
Answer: Personally, I have never been too good at RPing, so I don't think I have the experience to run one. I'm all for letting the players work something out if they want to RP their characters, though.

4. Is there any other IC information about what Whiterock looks like, where it's located, etc.?
Answer: Not much, because most of it's not really relevant to the game and there's not really any RPing going on, but what I have decided on is this: 
It takes place in an alternate universe version of Pern; the AIVAS machine was never discovered and thread was never stopped from falling. In fact, a freak event has affected the Red Star so that instead of falling in 250 turn Intervals, it simply falls every few days or weeks continuously, without any signs of ever stopping.
It is built into a clifface made of some sort of white rock (hence the name), and located fairly close to the ocean. The Weyrleaders are Cerine and S'den, on Gold Oketh and Bronze Steydroth. (My bronzerider S'air is their son. heh :P)