We are a play-by-post roleplay where all roleplay posts are written in third person, past tense. We do not have a word count minimum or maximum, but most posts are between 100 and 300 words. Some players post considerably more, while some post considerably less.
ALT: What tense do I use? What POV do I use? What's the WC?
What is this board rated?
We use the RPG-Rating of 3/3/3. This board is rated PG-13 outside Mature threads.
Normal forum threads allow discussion of soft drugs such as marijuana and ecstasy, but only passing mentions of hard drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or meth. Strong language is allowed, assuming the language itself is not a slur. If slurs are used, please clearly tag the thread as having slurs used. Sexual content is allowed in passing, but not in graphic or narrative detail. Violence is allowed, but should not become detailed gore. Please do not link to illegal content on the site.
Mature forum threads allow all of the above, but do not allow the roleplaying of characters who present as children, are mentally under the age of 16, appear physically under the age of 16, or who would generally be considered to be newly born to be played in sexual situations.
The Discord is held to a more exact PG-13 standard. In the discord only passing mentions of soft drugs, slurs are forbidden, and swearing can be used but should not become excessive. Mentions of violence (such as in a TV show, book, or RP) are allowed, but should not involve gore. These rules also apply to outside links--if you feel something is borderline, please clearly mark it before posting it. Please do not link to illegal content in the discord.
A general reminder about the discord: The discord is for everyone. While it's fine to vent once in a while, the discord is really not the place for extended discussions about health concerns, mental health troubles, crime, etc.
Is this an account-per-player or character site?
Starlight Academy is account-per-player. Players should register a single account with an OOC name they feel comfortable using. Discord accounts will be nicknamed to match your site name on our server.
Can I join if I've never roleplayed before?
Of course! All roleplayers all allowed to join this site, whether they be beginners, advanced, or somewhere in the middle. We were all beginners once.
What kind of species can I play?
We allow players to play all kinds of (non-copyright) species, as well as take creative liberties with them. We do not enforce any specific lore for different species. Just because someone plays their vampire as being unable to stand even a speck of sunlight doesn't mean your vampire must be the same way! Original species creation is also allowed, although we do ask that the species be balanced.
Can a character be in multiple threads at once?
Starlight Academy does not have a limit on the number of threads a player or character can be involved in. We operate on fluid time, which means that the exact time a thread is taking place will vary a bit. Just because a thread was posted at 2PM on a Sunday doesn't mean it's taking place at 2PM, or even on a Sunday. If your thread is posted more than a week from when it's taking place, you should mention in the thread when it's happening.
What kind of abilities aren't allowed?
Almost any ability can be played if it has enough limits. Pretty much the only things that are absolutely a no-go are omnipotence (being all powerful) and fourth wall breaking (knowing they're in an RP). Some very powerful abilities (such as reality manipulation or omniscience) will need a lot of limits placed on them.
How do I let someone know I've posted for them?
When posting for someone, the absolute easiest way to let someone know is to mention them in the post. Including @player in your post will send the player a notification that you've posted for them automatically. Please keep in mind that you cannot edit in @notifies. If you forgot to @ someone, your best bet would be to shoot them a quick private message via the conversation feature.
If the thread is already going, they likely have the thread marked as watched and will be alerted the moment you post.
ALT: What is 'thread tagging'? What is 'mentioning'?
How do I use thread prefixes?
Thread prefixes are the colored indicators in front of a thread title. They are only editable by mods and the creator of the thread, and exist to let other players know both what kind of thread it is, as well as it's current status.
OPEN threads are open to anyone who wishes to join. When making a new roleplay thread, it must be marked as either OPEN or PRIVATE.
PRIVATE threads should only be posted in by people who were invited by the creator. When making a new roleplay thread, it must be marked as either OPEN or PRIVATE.
EVENT is an additional prefix which must be used along with the open or private prefix. It marks the thread as being part of a site event or holiday. The thread itself should make it clear what event (or holiday) it's a part of.
MATURE is an additional prefix which must be used along with the open or private prefix. This prefix must be added to any thread which goes past our usual PG-13 limit, and is only accessible to those over 18 years of age.
FINISHED is added to a thread when the thread is finished. It can be added on top of existing prefixes, or replace the open or private prefix on a thread. It simply means that the thread is completed. It should not be added to threads which are dropped.
MOD NAME prefixes are used internally by mods so we can keep track of who is handling what. You can safely ignore them.
ALT: What do 'OPEN' 'MATURE' 'PRIVATE' and 'EVENT' mean in front of a post? What makes a thread private? How do I make a thread mature?
How does time work here?
Starlight Academy runs on a mixture of real and fluid time. If you make a thread on December 3rd, the thread is assumed to be happening either on December 3rd, or within a few days of it unless stated otherwise. Individual posts don't run on real time, but threads/aging/etc do. There are no time skips, and you can choose to RP at any point on the timeline. Want a flashback thread that happened ten years ago? You can do that as long as you mention it.
This means you can be in multiple threads for the same character, although it's still not possible for a character to be in more than one place at once unless that is a power they possess.
ALT: What's the time scale? Are there time skips? Do characters age?
What timezone do events and challenges run in?
The site operates off pacific time.
You can find the current site time by checking here.
What do I do when I'm finished with a thread?
Finished threads are not archived or locked. When you finish a thread, add the 'finished' prefix (either in addition to, or in place of the open/private prefixes).
ALT: Do threads get archived?
Complete Guide to the ICC
This FAQ is out of date. Please check the announcements for more detail.
The in character chat, henceforth referred to as the ICC, is an entirely optional roleplay feature for members of the site. The purpose of the ICC is to allow for quick, casual, and PG-13 scenes to play out regularly, while leaving weightier or heavier threads for the forum. A good example of this would be a casual get together, where a group of friends are sitting around to watch a movie. A large group thread might take an extremely long time (because of post order), or risk leaving someone behind (because of lack of one). By comparison, a group ICC session with those same people might be able to wrap up in a much shorter period of time, letting players get a better feel for what the average interaction is.
The format of the ICC is intended to be short and brief. It does not have room for long thought processes, only speech and actions.
The ICC is not for Mature content, and Mature content is not allowed in the ICC. The ICC must remain PG-13 at all times.
The ICC can be found here, and uses the site's sub-account system to operate. SA is not account-per-character. Sub accounts are only used for the ICC, and cannot be posted with normally. The only things you should be doing on a sub-account are linking your mini-profile, setting up an avatar, and using the chat system.
To make a sub-account, head to the sub-account page under the settings menu. From there, type in the account name for your character. This should be either your characters first and last name, or your characters first name, followed by your player name in brackets. So either "Angelo Genovese", or "Angelo (Romi)". You do not need to enter an email or password when making a sub-account.
Make sure your email doesn't auto-fill when registering a sub-account. Ideally, you should leave it (and password) blank.
Once you have at least one sub-account, you can change which account you're looking at by clicking 'login as user' in the top left of your screen. For mods, this will often appear as a gear icon.
Sub-accounts have the same general feature set as normal accounts, but really only need to do two things to set themselves up. The first is adding an avatar. The second is linking their mini-profile. The character's mini-profile should be linked as a profile post on their account, so that the first thing that pops up when you open their site profile is a link to their mini-profile. This post must be made by the sub-account itself.
Swapping to an account is effectively the same as logging into an entirely separate account. You will not get notifications from your main account, will get errors if you try and post from your main account, etc. If you run into any errors, please refresh your browser.
To play more than one character a time, you'll need to either use a separate browser, or use incognito mode. It's suggested to set up a separate incognito window for your chatting needs while leaving your main account logged in normally.
Unlinking a sub account does not delete it. If you are archiving a character, please request their sub-account be deleted as well.
To indicate what kind of form your character is in, or any other status notes, you can either choose 'options' on the chat page and choose 'update status', or type /status followed by the status of your choice. For example:
/status Cat Form
Please don't use statuses for jokes.
Any message sent in the ICC is assumed to be speech. You do not need to use quotation marks.
YES: What are you doing? NO: "What are you doing?"
Similarly, actions are done by typing /me and then the action in present tense.
YES: /me looks around NO: -looks around-, *looks around*, /me looked around
If you'd like an example, here's a roleplay sample.
The General Chat is used for testing. This is the place to set statuses, to test avatars, and your general OOC needs.
The Manta Carlos Community Center is a communal area intended for public use. This chat is open to anyone, and has its own set of rules, as well as a lengthy description. You can find it here.
Private rooms should be treated similarly to private threads. They cannot be walked in on, and should not be interrupted unless you've been invited by players. If you'd like to play out a scene in a private room, you're free to, as long as no one is using the room. Private rooms have their own specific rules, which can be found at the bottom of the ICC rule page.
What category does my character go into?
First, determine if you're making a player character or a non-player character. If you don't know what those are, you can skip ahead to the PLAYER CHARACTER section down below.
If you aren't sure, check the flowchart below.
Supporting characters used the PC templates, but put 'supporting character' in the category field. Named NPCs use their own template, and all their info can be found here.
Students are characters on Manta Carlos who are attending Starlight Academy. Students who are being home tutored, attending other schools, or who are attending the police academy are not considered students and would instead go in citizens. Being a student takes priority over being a citizen.
Staff are characters on Manta Carlos who work as faculty for Starlight Academy. This includes both teachers and non-teachers such as librarians, custodians, school doctors, etc. If a character has a civilian job and a position at Manta Carlos, they're considered staff.
Citizens are everyone else, the people who live on Manta Carlos but who are not either a student or staff of Starlight Academy. Citizens will generally have a job, although a job is not mandatory to be a citizen. Characters who would not legally be considered citizens are still placed in the citizen category.
There are no limits to the number of characters you can have. There's also no required post or activity minimums to make a new character, although we strongly encourage players to be up to date on their posts before making a new character.
ALT: Is there a limit to the amount of characters I can have? How many posts do I need to make a new character?
Can I play an OC from another series or fandom?
The short answer is no. The long answer is slightly more complex.
We do not allow fandom OCs. For example, your character cannot be a ninja from naruto, or a sailor scout, regardless of whether or not your character is a canon or your own original OC. The issue with this is that Starlight Academy takes place in our own world, so whatever series or fandom your character would be from actually exists as fiction in-universe. Having someone who has read Naruto meeting someone who is from Naruto would be extremely weird, and only complicates things if their abilities did not one hundred percent follow naruto canon.
If your character is a dimension hopper, the dimension they hop from should be original. They can be inspired in broad strokes - a universe where ninjas are super important for example - but should not be similar enough that someone reading the app would go 'this is clearly a Naruto OC'.
This also applies to other roleplays. While you are free to reuse a character you've used elsewhere, please don't reference any elements unique to other sites!
Example Character Sheet
The following are examples of the Appearance, Personality, Biography, and Resources fields. They do not have to be long, and only require the most important details.
Laris Pol looks a great deal like an average sized house cat, with silky soft lilac-pink colored fur and strips of darker lavender on their cheeks and back. Their eyes are a deep purple that make their bright star-shaped pupils really stand out.
Of special note is Laris Pol's tail, which fluffs out and transitions into what looks much like a portion of the starry night sky.
Laris Pol has a very cat-like personality, enjoying life best when relaxing or being pampered like royalty. When not relaxing, or being lazy, they do tend to like playing harmless pranks on other people. Despite the playful joking they are definitely an introvert who needs some time to themself to recharge after a day of socializing. Laris Pol can often be seen alone happily reading a book or on their laptop in their free time.
Laris Pol's first memories were of floating through space, a fully adult being traveling in the darkness between stars. They saw many unique worlds where fascinating people lived. However they always found some reason to need to move on.
Countless years passed before Laris Pol stumbled upon a pretty blue orb with vibrant life inhabiting it. Earth. Some unknown curiosity or unconscious desire drew them in closer until they couldn't help but observe the people there. Making contact caused a minor panic with a small town before other men showed up to make them forget. Others, calling themselves 'scouts', helped to bring Laris Pol to what they called the island of Manta Carlos.
It was scary at first, but over time Laris Pol learned to love the island and its people. Over the couple decades since they first arrived they relished the attention and pampering offered to them by newcomers and old residents of the island alike. Perhaps playing their own pranks from time to time, but overall Laris Pol had found a place they didn't have a desire to leave. The people, more than anything else, became their new home. And customers too, as Laris Pol took up a job as a barista to pay for their apartment.
Lives in their own modest apartment using the funds from their full time job. They are not rich but live comfortably.
Every business should have at least one character connected to it.
How do you make a teacher?
The process for creating a teacher character is the same as making a student character. There are no extra requirements, and your first character can be a teacher if you'd like. Players who play teachers do not need to run classes, although they are encouraged to.
What if two characters share a body?
If the two characters are never going to be apart and share the same power slots, they can share an app! If they're ever going to be separate, they each need to have their own profiles.
Things to consider when making a character
Make sure their personalities have some positives and negatives. No "nice, smart, beautiful, friendly, shy" stuff. Personalities need a little more complexity than that.
Be wary of using diagnosed mental illnesses or other diseases when writing a character. It's important to be respectful and well read on the subject if you plan to roleplay it. If you're not confident in your ability to portray these things accurately, you shouldn't.
Do not write abilities in other sections.
The abilities listed in your application should be their abilities at the time of acceptance. Please don't include abilities they'll get in the future or abilities which they cannot access.
All abilities should have limitations. What types can vary depending on the ability, but things such as range, the number of times it can be used in a period, drawbacks, etc are all useful.
Starlight Academy is not a combat based roleplay site, so it's not really worth the effort to write hard statistics and probability in your app. Combat based abilities likely won't get much use. Rather than giving the exact number of liters your water manipulator can manipulate, giving a general idea (as many as five water bottles, half an Olympic pool, etc) is more helpful.
Do not copy paste ability information from other websites. Do not copy parts of another players app without their permission.
Being vague for storytelling purposes is okay but we need complete transparency when it comes to abilities.
While it's okay to keep a history simple, it does need simple facts. Where they're from, what they were like growing up, major events in their life, and how they came to the island are important.
Your characters history should not have an impact on the real world. For example, you can't say that your character destroyed the real town of Davenport, Washington. In general terms, nothing you put in your app should prevent someone else's app from making sense.
Don't make your character have a history with someone else's character unless you've talked to them about it first.
When taking a wanted ad, it's common courtesy to show the application to the person who created the wanted ad before submitting it. This can help avoid any confusion or issues that might pop up, and ensure that the character fits the want ad.
Consider your characters size and how that may impact your ability to roleplay. If their size is so extreme they can't interact with another character reasonably, they would likely have a human shape charm or a human size charm.
Your character cannot be directly related to recent real life people. You can't be the son of Bill Gates or anything like that. However, father back it becomes more vague - if you want to be the descendant of Attila the Hun, go for it! Just keep in mind other people and make sure that your canon doesn't prevent someone else from making a character in the future. Your character can be connected to or related to a mythological figure. They can even claim they inspired that figure. However, you can't directly play a mythological figure (gods, legendary heroes, angels, etc).
Characters cannot break the fourth wall, and abilities related to breaking the fourth wall will not be allowed.
Any character without at least human-level intelligence must be a Supporting Character.
Make sure your app is properly organized and easy to read, with line breaks between paragraphs and proper punctuation.
Can personality traits be a weakness?
Personality traits or moral ideals should not be part of your characters abilities, either as a limit or a weakness. Saying that your character can do something, but won't for personality reasons (because they're too kind to ever torture someone, because they're a pacifist and wouldn't engage in violence) is fine, but is not counted against their ability balance. A character who can blow up the world but won't is still counted as someone who can blow up the world. These kinds of factors should be noted in a characters personality, not in their ability section.
All of this also goes for mental illnesses. While Starlight Academy allows characters with all sorts of mental illnesses to be played, we do ask that players be respectful of those mental illness. A part of that is recognizing that mental illness is not an impossible roadblock which can never be overcome.
In both cases, these apply only to normal parts of a character's personality, not magical versions. A compulsive liar is a compulsive liar, and this shouldn't be part of their ability set. If your character is magically compelled to make every sentence a lie, that would be considered a part of your characters ability set. Magical variations cannot be overcome by normal methods, and would require an ability upgrade to overcome.
Characters can develop over time, but developments of a characters abilities require staff approval. A character who might be applied as someone who would never use their ability might later change their mind and come to accept it, rendering the weakness entirely moot without having to go through the usual ability development process. A characters abilities should be balanced regardless of their personality, so that a character's personality is free to develop organically.
ALT: What if my character won't use their powers?
Detailed Ability Guide
Active Abilities vs Passive Abilities:
An active ability is an ability that can be turned on and off, even if your character does not have exact control of it. Characters can have three active abilities without needing to include weaknesses.
A passive ability is an ability that is naturally active. If your character is naturally faster than an ordinary human, that would be a passive ability. Characters can have five passive abilities without needing to include weaknesses.
Limits vs Weaknesses vs Flaws:
A flaw is a part of your character's personality that hinders them in some way. Being arrogant, being trusting to the point of naivete, being rude, etc can all be flaws. We ask that all characters have at least some flaws to avoid any character being too perfect.
A limit are restrictions to an ability. These include things like range, usage limits, drawbacks, etc. All abilities should have limits, but what kind of limits appear on an ability depend on the nature of the ability itself.
A weakness is a portion of a characters abilities that makes them worse than a human. They are not the same thing as limits. If your character cannot use their enhanced regenerate when injured by silver, that is a limitation on their regeneration ability, not a weakness, because a normal human can't regenerate in that situation anyway. Something like a vampire's weakness to sunlight would be a good weakness. Characters are strongly encouraged to include weaknesses, but weaknesses are only required when a character goes past the free ability limitations. Weaknesses should hinder the character as much as the additional abilities benefit them.
Hard Counters, and Hard Counter Counters:
Most abilities have what is known of as a 'hard counter'. If your character can shoot fire from their hands, someone who is immune to fire and does not burn is considered a hard counter to them. Many powers on Starlight Academy operate in a rock paper scissors system, where someone might be very powerful against a certain kind of opponent, but vulnerable to a different kind.
However, some powers are not just counters (like being immune to fire), but instead are counters to counters themselves. In our fire example, this would be a character who has a fire power, but whose fire power will burn those who are immune to fire.
Counter-counter style powers are allowed, but are considered to take up an extra passive slot. Effectively, they're the normal power with the added passive of 'bypasses immunities'.
A fire manipulation active takes up a single active slot. A fire manipulation active that burns those who are immune to fire takes up an active and a passive slot.
Magical items are always considered active abilities, because even if the ability cannot be shut off, the item can always be removed or given away as needed.
Some items are common on the island, and not counted against a characters ability limits. A list of common magical items can be found here, and should be included in the 'Common Magical Items' field. Please note that these items come in a wide number of varieties (such as a nullification bracelet which only affects certain abilities), but in those cases they are not considered a common magical item and are treated like normal magical items.
Magic systems are heavily varied, and there is no one 'correct' magic system. If a player is giving their character magic, it's up to that player to detail the way the magic system works. What can your character do? What are their limits? How do they do it? All these details should be noted in, so that staff can get a good idea of what they're looking at just like with any other ability.
Assumed Ranges and Power Levels for Abilities
Not all abilities come with explicitly stated ranges or limitations, especially when an ability was accepted in the past. While all members should do their best to include these things, sometimes they slip by without.
This FAQ includes the assumed levels. If your ability includes a pre-existing range (whether better or worse), you can safely ignore this. If you don't, consider using the ability upgrade system to clarify your ability directly.
Auras (Passive effects on those around you, such as attraction auras, etc): 10 Feet
Elemental Control Abilities (Fire Control, Air Control, Magnetism, etc): Eyesight
Scouting Style Abilities (Long Distance Viewing, etc): 1 Mile
Flight Speed: As fast as a bird
Supernatural Strength: Can lift 1 tons without much effort
Supernatural Speed: Can run 100mph with some effort
Supernatural Durability: Can be hit by a car with only minor damage
Supernatural [Sense]: Equivalent to an amazing predator (eagle eyes, a wolf's sense of smell, etc)
Enhanced [Strength/Speed/Durability/Etc]: Peak Human Ability
Enhanced [Any Sense]: Double what a human would be capable of
[Type] Embodiment (Gain strength from a sin, element, etc): Physical attributes are doubled
Elemental Manipulation: You can manipulate up to half an Olympic swimming pool of your given element
This list may be expanded in the future as needed.
Art Usage Additional Details
Open and Closed Species (from Deviantart, FurAffinity, etc) are handled on a case by case basis. Most species will give a clear answer in their terms of service as to whether or not the lore can be used/edited/etc on other sites.
Webcomics are a grey area. Generally the rule of thumb is that if a webcomic is large enough to have a fandom and be selling comics for a profit, such as Mob Psycho 100 or Homestuck, they are free to use. Smaller webcomics, such as those posted by Tapas or other free webcomic hosts are not considered official art.
Fan games (such as fan-made spinoffs of larger franchises) and fan-made assets in games count as official if they have been released for sale.
Official art of Vocaloids (Which are an official product) can be used. For AUs, you'll want to check if the AU is considered official or not. Utaites, on the other hand, are not always commercial products, and you'll need to check if the utaite persona has been commercialized (selling merch, soundtracks, large patreon, etc).
The artists rule is law. If art would generally not be allowed to be used, but an artist says it's fine to use, then you're good to go. Vice versa is also true. If art would be fine to use, but an artist asks that you not, you can't use it.
Help! I forgot an ability!
If your character has been recently accepted, and you realized you forgot something on their ability section, all is not quite lost.
If your character has been accepted for less than a week AND has less than five IC posts, contact the mod who accepted you and explain the situation. If your mod is unavailable for some reason, please contact Bijou or Romi. Assuming your ability would have been accepted in the first place, you'll be allowed to add it to your application.
Otherwise, you'll have to go through the ability upgrade process, which can be found here.
ALT: Forgot ability, change ability
Can I edit my character after approval?
Your character may change over their time on site. Characters can age up normally, their personalities may shift, and their histories can be expanded without consulting the staff. Changes to their abilities must be handled through the ability upgrade process, found here. Other changes (such as retconning a characters age, making major edits to their backstory, giving them a new common magical item, or changing their character art) should be handled through the 'post an update' feature, detailed here.
How does archiving work?
Archiving is not the same thing as killing a character. Archived characters will continue to exist, and can still be freely mentioned. For example, if a teacher was archived, characters could still mention having them for class.
Why should you archive?
You should archive any character you don't plan to use in the near future. If you do plan to use them--but maybe not for months and months--there's no issue with archiving them. Archived characters can always be restored. Archiving characters helps claims and site statistics remain useful and up to date, and helps players find new plots for their characters without having to dig through characters they don't really care about.
How do I archive?
It's simple! Drop a post into the moderator requests thread with a link to the character sheet and a note you'd like them archived. You can also drop a link in the #mod-request channel of discord.
How do I unarchive?
If you'd like to recover a character from the archive, you'll post in the restoration center.
ALT: How do I get rid of a character? How do I restore a character?
How do I join an existing business?
If you want your character to work at a player own business, your best bet would be to contact the player directly. Assuming they sign off on it, you'd post your new job in the claims here.
ALT: How do I get a job at someone else's business?
How do I upgrade my abilities? How do I get a new ability?
You can read about changing, upgrading, or removing abilities here.
How do you handle magic items?
Magical items are a normal part of life on Manta Carlos, but for the sake of power balance are considered the same as abilities. Certain items are common enough (and don't effect the balance of someone's abilities) that they can be gained for free via the Common Magical Items system.
You can read the complete guide for gaining (or upgrading) a new magical item here.
What do I do if my character's species changes?
On the Manta Carlos Islands, it's actually quite common for someone to transform into another species, voluntarily or not. This can be from a vampire bite, werewolf, zombie, curse, corruption, or any other transformation. Changing species is treated like a normal ability upgrade, and you can read about the full process here.
What is an upgrade voucher?
You can read all about upgrade vouchers, what they are, and what they can do for you here.
How do I restart a character?
If you have a character you'd like to play but aren't satisfied with for whatever reason, you have a few options laid out for how to start over.
Entirely New Character: If you want to 100% go from scratch, it's as easy as archiving the old application and posting a new one as if they were a new character. Your old character continues to exist, but fades into the background the way a character played by someone who's left the site does. When resetting a character, you must change the characters name. At least one part of the name must be different, whether first or last. The new character is treated like an entirely new character.
Partial New Character: Lets say you want to restart a character, but keep some things and lose others. This works similarly to 'Entirely New Character', but involves you reaching out to those whose plots you'd like to keep. When doing this, you must contact the people who interacted with the plots you're trying to keep and get their agreement. This new character must have a new name.
Replacing Old Character: If you want to retcon the old character out of existence and replace it with a new one, you must talk to everyone who roleplayed with the character and have them agree. This isn't just the characters you heavily plotted with--this is everyone. This type is treated as a replacement of the old one, as if they were always the new version of the character.
Changing the Applications, but Maintaining Plots: If you're fine with your current roleplay status, but aren't happy with how your wrote their application, that's fine! You can tweak a characters age, appearance, personality, or biography freely. If you'd rather play a character a few years older, that's fine! You can make these changes without issue using the update character feature.
Same Character, New App: Wherever possible, we prefer that people keep the same application. Power upgrades can be handled easily (including bulk batches for things like species changes), and major retcons can be done through the update character feature. However, sometimes making an entirely new app makes more sense, like if someone is coming back under a fake name, or entirely discarding their old self. In these cases, it's fine to make an entirely new app. However, you must link the character's previous application under additional info. These apps will be treated the same as a new character in terms of pends.
Changing Abilities: This is where it gets tricky. If you want to modify a character including their abilities (such as changing a human into a vampire, and saying they were always a vampire), you're going to need to either change their abilities through the ability change process, or else start them over as an entirely new character. If you start them over, any relationships or threads they had were wiped, and you'll need to individually speak to players if you want to maintain a relationship.
Notes on New Names: When your character needs a new name, either the first or last name must be new. John Smith could become James Smith or John Rogers. This is intended to prevent confusion, and to avoid people unsure of which version they interacted with.
Starlight Academy is a magical academy, and it seems to grow on it's own at times. Some people swear a certain building was two floors before, but as far as others can remember, it's always been three. It's a sprawling campus with a large amount of buildings, comparable to a large college campus.
ALT: How many buildings are there? How big is the school?
Is there a list of all classes?
No. The majority of classes happen 'off screen'. It's safe to say that all the standard class types get covered, while more specific ones may or may not. There's no master list of what courses are available.
What are the ages for each grade?
Grades are based on the american system. The Student Class Listing includes a list of all grades, who is in them, and the normal age of someone in that grade/level.
ALT: What age should my student be? What grading system does it follow? What school system does the site follow?
What classes can teachers teach?
Pretty much anything. Starlight Academy is a hugely varied school that has everything from kindergarten to college classes. You can have organic chemistry and a history of magic class side by side without issue.
What is Manta Carlos?
The setting for Starlight Academy (the site) are the Manta Carlos Islands, which is the home of both Manta Carlos the city, and Starlight Academy (which is the main academic institution).
ALT: What are the islands called?
What language is everyone speaking?
The common tongue of the Manta Carlos Islands is English, which is spoken by the majority of the residents, although it is not the first language of the majority. The school's classrooms are enchanted with a mutual intelligibility charm, allowing everyone to speak and be understood clearly. Language classes have the option of using a modified version of the charm, which can be disabled as necessary.
However, this is not the language everyone speaks - many characters do not fully understand English, and speak in their own native tongues. Personal language charms exist, and may be provided by the government or bought with personal funds as needed.
While your character can speak any language you'd like, we are an English language roleplay board, so please keep the roleplay itself in English. You can indicate what language a character is speaking out of character, without actually writing out their speech in another language. If you include non-English dialog, you need to include a translation somewhere in the post.
What time does the new school year start?
The school year starts in September, but school runs year around. The school is very drop-in friendly, because there are always new people coming in at odd times. It's not unusual at all for a new student to come into classes at any point in the year.
Starlight Academy runs year round, using the following schedule:
September 1st: New school year begins, Term 1 September 25th - October 8th: Start of Term Break November 19th: First quarter ends December 11th - January 3rd: Winter Break February 18th: Second quarter ends, end of first term March 12th-25th: March Break May 20th: Third quarter ends May 21st-31st: Spring Break August 18th: Fourth quarter ends, end of second term, school year ends August 19th-31st: Summer Break
ALT: When is summer break? When does the school year start?
Where are the islands located?
The Manta Carlos Islands are located in the mid northwestern hemisphere, in the pacific ocean. They are not located near any other islands, which (along with magic) allows its location to remain mostly a secret.
Why is the forbidden forest "forbidden?"
Entry to the forest is not illegal, but is against the rules for academy students. The forest gets its name from the ENTRY IS FORBIDDEN signs around the forest. This portion of the forest has a high amount of dangerous creatures located within, and trails into and out of the forest come and go seemingly at random.
Information on Students
The students category encompasses all characters studying at Starlight Academy, from preschool up to post-grad. This also includes part time students and scouts in training. It does not include adults taking cultural classes, students at other schools, or police academy attendees.
Being a student takes priority over other categories. Someone with a job who is a student goes in the student user group.
Starlight Academy follows the American K-12 Grading System. If you’re unsure what grade to put your character in, check this page on our wiki. We allow wiggle room (don't stress about when they were born) when it comes to the grade a character is placed in. We also do not automatically advance characters grades, in case a player would prefer them to stay static. If you want your character to advance, please make sure to update your student's grade each September in the designated thread.
Starlight Academy has a preschool and daycare, and most young children would be students rather than citizens.
Adult characters who have the equivalent of a full education might take cultural classes, but would not be considered students.
Characters who have incomplete, nonexistent, or otherwise spotty educations would be placed in the remedial program, which allows students to catch up to the grade they should be placed in (or letting them graduate with a diploma through the remedial program). Remedial program takes the place of the characters grade, and has specialized classes.
Characters who cannot advance (due to intellectual disability, a lack of aging, or otherwise) would be placed in the special needs program.
College and graduate student should make sure to have a major listed (or 'undecided').
Information on Staff
Staff members are characters that help run the school. This isn’t restricted solely to teachers. Gardeners, scouts, security, counselors, janitors, school doctors, and other such positions are part of the school staff. Virtually any position in the school (even Department Heads) except for Headmistress is up for grabs.
A character can take classes or have a job outside of the school while still being staff. A staff character taking some classes is not considered a student. However, a full time student can get a job at the school, although they'd be classed as a student first and foremost.
For example, a teacher could take classes outside their own area of expertise for academic curiosity, but could not get a degree for doing so. They would be considered staff. Similarly, a student could work as a teacher's assistant, but they'd be considered a student.
Staff in Starlight Academy are closely monitored and expected to be professional. Not to say your staff member can’t do bad things, but if they do, there would be repercussions if what they did was ever released to public knowledge.
If there isn’t a specific staff member on the list, always assume there are NPCs taking on their work. Starlight Academy is never short on staff.
Information on Citizens and Businesses
Citizens are characters that aren’t Staff or Students, meaning they’re outside Starlight Academy altogether. Characters may arrive on Manta Carlos having already completed their schooling, although depending on the culture the character is from they may be required to take seminars on normal behavior on the island, it's customs, and control of their abilities. While Manta Carlos has excellent welfare, citizens would not be able to live comfortably on welfare alone, so they are recommended to take on jobs.
Manta Carlos has a huge and diverse community, and almost every job you could imagine is represented. From fantastical jobs like potion-makers, to completely mundane things like fast food workers, everything is on the table. Most public services jobs require mandatory schooling first. Those at the hospital need to be certified MDs and those in law enforcement need to have two years of Police Academy. Players are allowed to have characters in political positions, though Minister is the highest they’re allowed to be.
Making businesses is, in fact, encouraged in Manta Carlos! When making a business, comment on this thread with the appropriate form and post them in the Businesses and Organizations forum. We generally don’t need to accept the businesses, so go ahead and post them in there. If we find a problem with your particular business, we will let you know. As a general rule, public services like law enforcement pages should only be handled by mods, but everything private is fair game. Also, don’t assume that your business is the only or biggest service in Manta Carlos, though you’re free to assume popularity. You do not need to play the character that is the CEO or owner of a given business. As long as you have at least one character involved in the business, that's enough.
"Crime" is a category on the Business and Public Services list for larger, more organized groups. This covers gangs, mercenaries, fences, etc. Most criminals and criminal business are usually located at the Underground or the Strip posing as legal businesses. Overt crime is very much not allowed in Manta Carlos, and if your business would be too obvious to characters, a member of the staff might contact you about IC consequences.
What events would my character know about?
Playing a native of the island (or even someone who's been there for a few years) can be hard. To help players out, the wiki has a list of recent events for you to check against.
What is provided to students?
Living on Campus
Students who arrive on the island without any parents, legal guardians, or who are otherwise unable to live by themselves will be assumed to live in the dorms barring any unusual circumstances. For students under the age of 18, they will be assigned a dorm parent. Dorm parents are members of the academy staff whose job is to keep an eye on the students and make sure their needs are being met. More information on the dorm parents can be found here. For legal purposes, the Academy itself and the dorm parent are considered an underaged student's legal guardian.
The dorms are coed, meaning all genders can be found within the same building. Students are only separated by age. Primary school students, secondary school students and college students will be grouped together. Remedial students are placed with those of a similar emotional age. Most dorm rooms contain two bedrooms with a shared living space, meaning most students will be sharing with one roommate, however configurations for up to six students in one dorm exist.
Students that are grouped together under one dorm parent will generally be grouped together, taking up a wing of a dorm. This wing will most commonly have a shared living space, containing basic furniture, a small kitchen, and any personalized effects the dorm parent may choose to include. The dorms themselves already contain furniture, a private bathroom, and a fridge for the high school and up students.
There are also private dorm rooms, for students who wish to live alone, that are available on request. However, these are only given out for students with specific requirements and are generally allowed on a case by case basis.
What does the Academy provide
Until their education is complete, students are able to live in the dorms for free. The Academy will provide uniforms, toiletries and food from the cafeteria for free while they reside here. Students also have access to non-magical medical care and free counselling whenever it is needed.
In order to accommodate students academically, they will be provided with all necessary books and stationery, as well as a basic laptop and flip phone to stay up to date. This phone can be replaced by a smartphone, should the student foot some of the bill.
The academy will also provide students with a small allowance every week. Note that this is a small allowance, students might be able to use it to purchase some food in the city, but it won't be paying for the latest video games unless they've been saving for a while. This money is stored on the student's ID card, which can function as a credit card when making purchases.
The academy has also made arrangements with multiple businesses within Manta Carlos to provide students with in-store credit, so that they may purchase a few items like clothes or other basic amenities.
How do open topics work?
An open topic is a thread that is open for anyone to join. If a thread has the 'open' prefix, it means you don't need to check in with the creator before joining. Open threads should be set in a public place, and will generally have some kind of hook to make it easy for someone to join in easily.
Joining an open thread:
Before joining an open thread, there's just a few things to keep in mind. While an open thread should be open to anyone, please check the first post. The author might have left some notes or requests for the person joining. You'll also want to make sure that the thread doesn't have a 'finished' tag.
Threads that already have multiple pages but still have an open tag can technically be joined, but please read the whole thing before joining, as the thread might have moved away from an open area (and the creator simply forgotten to remove the tag).
Making an open thread:
If none of the open threads catch your eye, you can make one of your own! To make one, just RP a thread starter as normal, and then set the thread prefix to open. Once that's done, you'll want to post it in the open thread listing, filling out the form inside.
Keep in mind that you might not have someone instantly join your thread, but the more interesting and open a starter is, the more likely someone will join it. Open threads are most successful when their opening post or their ongoing action could naturally draw a wide range of other characters to get involved.
ALT: Open topic, open thread, starting a thread
Plots and Want Ads: What's the difference?
Here on SA, we have several different ways of plotting with others, above and beyond simply joining open threads.
The Short Version
Want Ads are for specific, limited time roles that you want other players to fill for you.
Plots are for discussion of events or other ongoing plots.
Groups are plot pages specifically for organizations, clubs, groups, or families.
The Long Version
Want Ads: These are what you use when you're looking for something very specific. If you want a roommate for your character, you want a want ad. When you need a character to fill a certain position (mentor, love interest, etc), you want a want ad. Want ads should be for a limited number of people (generally one or two), and should be fairly specific about what you want.
Some people do want ads on a first come first serve basis, which is assumed to be the standard. Others prefer to run want ads on a tryout basis, and field several options before deciding. If you are planning to run your want ad on a tryout basis, please make this explicit in the ad itself.
Want ads expire after a month with no activity. If you're still looking, simply bump them every month to save them from the archive. If one gets archived that you want to keep, just let the staff know and we'll dig it up for you. If a want ad is fulfilled, please tag it with the fulfilled prefix. You can have an unlimited number of want ads, but please try and keep it reasonable.
Groups: Groups is a subforum where any club, family, or other group can have a dedicated plotting thread. Group threads should include who can join (students, citizens, anyone) in the first pose, as well as any restrictions on membership. Threads must use one of two prefixes, either Open (accepting new characters), or Closed (not accepting new characters, but still being discussed).
Plots: Plots are the most general of all options, and go in the subforum. Plots holds everything that isn't either a group or a want ad. General things like calls for employment, etc should be placed in the plot forum.
Threads in the plot forum expire after three months with no activity. Players can have as many threads as they want in the plot forum, but once again, please keep it reasonable. Threads here must use one of two prefixes, either Open (accepting new characters), or Closed (not accepting new characters, but still being discussed).
ALT: What's a plot page? What's a want ad?
What is noncon? What is dubcon? What is the difference?
WARNING: Noncon and dubcon mention, including scenarios detailing different types.
Here at Starlight Academy, we highly encourage all members to tag their noncon and dubcon threads as a courtesy to other members.
NONCON (non consent) is any kind of content that features at least two people in a sexual situation that is nonconsensual for at least one person in the party.
DUBCON (dubious consent) is trickier. Dubcon is something that, by most peoples standards, could be considered nonconsensual. Dubcon can be anything from vaguely dubious and only somewhat questionable to borderline noncon. All dubcon content presents a scenario where at least one person is not capable of giving or does not want to give their absolute 100% consent. Here are some examples of dubcon scenarios:
Example A: A sober person and a drunk person are flirting. Sober person has sex with drunk person, who seems willing but is inebriated, so their ability to consent is questionable even if they're an eager participant.
Example B: John and Mary do not like each other but have some sexual tension. Mary decides she wants to have sex with John, and he pretends he doesn't enjoy it and rejects her advances, but secretly he actually is into it. Though he adamantly does not give his consent out loud, in his mind he is consenting.
Example C: Adam is staying over at Nancy's. Adam and Nancy both are attracted to each other and have sex frequently. Nancy falls asleep, and while she is asleep Adam has sex with her. Though she has given prior consent, she did not give consent in this specific scenario.
Example D: Helen decides to have sex with Jamie. Jamie doesn't say no... but she also doesn't say yes, and her body language indicates she is uncomfortable. Although she did not revoke her consent, she also did not give her consent.
What is OOC? What is IC?
OOC stands for 'Out of Character'. This is any forum, thread, etc that is written from the perspective of the writers themselves, rather than your characters. Rules are OOC. The community lounge is OOC. You're not writing anything in here from the perspective of your character. While you might be writing about your characters (such as in a profile or plot page), you're not writing from their perspective.
IC stands for 'In Character'. This is the opposite of OOC, and means you're specifically writing from the perspective of your character. RP posts should be entirely IC, although some people might make OOC notes at the end of a post, such as:
(OOC: Do you want to wrap this thread up?)
It's important to remember that IC and OOC should stay separate. Just because a character doesn't like your character doesn't mean that the player doesn't like your character.
How do I drop a thread?
Starlight Academy is extremely laid back when it comes to dropping threads. Threads that are dropped do not have to be announced or posted somewhere--they remain where they are, not going into the archive or anything like that. We do encourage players to add the 'dropped thread' tag for organizations sake, but this isn't mandatory.
On the social side, it's standard (and respectful) to give players a head up before dropping a thread. While no one is required to role play with anyone else, not giving your partner a heads up before abandoning a thread is considered very rude. Depending on how important the thread is to their character, not giving them a heads up could significantly impact their character.
This doesn't have to be a long conversation - for simple threads, just a short message (PM or otherwise) saying that you aren't feeling the thread and would prefer to drop it is just fine.
Remember that roleplaying is about communication!
How do I drop a plot?
Dropping a plot is never something anyone wants to do, but often it still has to be done. Sometimes the plot isn't going the direction you hoped. Sometimes you simply don't have the muse to post for it. Sometimes you aren't feeling a character at all. Regardless of the reason, the most important thing about dropping plots is being able and willing to communicate with the other people in the plot. Expressing the fact that you're struggling with the plot ahead of time can help the other people involved adjust the plot so that it works, preventing the drop at all.
However, if it's already at the point where you'd rather drop it, it's again important to communicate. Going radio silent, or dropping a character and having the other people involved find out that way is always frustrating for everyone involved. The PM doesn't have to be long or drawn out - simply explaining that you don't want to continue the plot because of difficulty posting (or whatever else reason) is just fine.
How do I drop a character?
Mechanically, dropping a character on Starlight Academy is a simple affair. All you have to do is post a link to their profile in the mod request. Their application will be archived, and the next time the claims are updated they'll be removed automatically.
Otherwise, it's generally considered polite to let people know you're dropping a character if you have either threads or plots with them. Giving people a heads up before you drop a character is ideal, but even if nothing can change your mind or make things better, it's still better they hear it from you rather than finding out on their own.
What does it mean if a player is inactive?
Starlight Academy does not delete player accounts who have made at least one post. Instead, those who are no longer active on the site are set to inactive status. On the default skin, their names show up white rather than the default green. The members of an inactive character are archived, their claims are removed, and any plot pages, businesses, etc are archived.
Inactive status can be removed by checking the restoration center and following the instructions there. Players are encouraged to restore any characters they might want to return to playing at the same time.
Members are marked inactive after A) one month with no posts (in character or otherwise, hiatus posts count), or B) shortly after they've indicated they're leaving. As long as a player makes at least one post a month (even if it's just an update to their away saying they're still gone), they won't be archived.
Long term members seeking to retire from active roleplaying but remain around the community are encouraged to check out retirement.
ALT: How do I stay active? Do you do activity checks?
Who is the cat in people's avatars?
That's Starlight Academy's lovable mascot, Polaris! When an account displays this avatar, it means they've yet to set a personal avatar.
How do I become staff?
You can see information about applying to staff here.
If you're leaving the site (for vacation, for good, because you're ill, because you're busy), please post in the coming and going forum to let people you're RPing with (and the staff!) know that you'll be gone, and hopefully when you'll return. If you're quitting for good, just mention that you don't plan on returning and the staff will archive your characters (although they can always be recovered if you change your mind).
ALT: How do I go away? What if I'm quitting?
How should I tag threads?
Tagging is NOT required OR enforced.
(but it would be nice if you did!)
Thread tags are a system used to organize your threads. While technically anything can be used as a thread tag, we have a set system for what should be a thread tag, in order to let people easily find their posts.
To add a tag from the new thread page, scroll underneath the post box itself to see a section to add tags. From there, you can fill in individual tags before posting.
To add tags to an already existing thread, head to the thread itself and click 'Tags: edit' on the left side under the title. This will pop up a box allowing you to tag without editing the whole post.
Tags have categories!
You can view all the tags and their categories on the Tag page. We ask that when you create a new tag, you edit it so it goes into the right category! You can edit the category by clicking on said tag and going to its page:
Categories meanings Character: The name of a character in the thread. Content Warning: Anything that might be upsetting to someone, or sensitive subjects. Events and Challenges: All events threads should have their proper event tag! Groups: Clubs, Organizations, Groups, and Families belong here. Location: A specific location -- usually someone's house or a business. Misc.: Anything not in the other categories! Relationship: All relationships. Species: This is for staff only, but it's how we label each character profile.
So how do we use tags here?
DO: "Guinevere Haze" DON'T: "Guin" Why: You should always use a full name or a Name (Username) when tagging a thread, otherwise you could get multiple characters in one tag.
DO: "Guin/Loch" DON'T: "Guinloch" "Murderbang Couple" Why: When tags are entered into the system, they are all automatically set to appear as lowercase. I might confuse your ship and delete it if this happens and it looks like a name. Please keep the exact formatting as exampled above.
DO: "Birthday" DON'T: "Guinevere's Birthday" Why: This is just one of those things that works better vague, because lots of characters have birthdays, so why should your character have their own special tag for such a common event?
DO: "Guinevere's Apartment" DON'T: "Apartment" Why: This thread is already in the Apartments forum!
DO: Really, don't do this kind of tag. DON'T: "Ferris Wheel" Why: This is both simultaneously too broad and too specific. There is nothing important about this Ferris Wheel, so it isn't worth mentioning.
DO: "Bijou Characters" DON'T: "application" "thread tracker" "plotter" Why: We already have forums to mark what the threads are for, but if you want an easy way to find all of your characters at once a good way is to tag them as your own.
DO: NOTHING! or, if the thread takes place in a different time, "Flashback" DON'T: "Summer" "Spring" "December" Why: Unless your thread is not taking place in the exact month/season we're presently in, there's no need to label it.
DO: "Snowball Fight" DON'T: "snow/snowing" Why: The tags don't need to say what the weather is in your thread. You should include that in your posts instead!
DO: "Christmas" "Chick Fil A" DON'T: "Xmas" "CFA" Why: Abbreviations are bad and it's possible not everyone will know what your abbreviations refer to.
DO: "Gore" DON'T: "Dismemberment" "Decapitation" "Etc" Why: You want to keep these warning tags very broad. We don't need to know all the gory details in the tags.
DO: "Sick" / "Illness" DON'T: "Cancer" "Flu" Common Cold" "Diabetes" Why: Same thing as above but a little milder, there just isn't much reason to have such specifics.
DO: "fluff" "fighting" "sex" DON'T: "Cool" "awesome" "sexy" Why: Try to avoid adjectives as much as you can. These are labels, not descriptions.
Character Tags: This is the main one. For every thread you make, tag your characters name - please use the full name, as shown in the character app. If your character only has one name, please tag them as "Name (Username)", for example: "Paragon (Bijou)". Tags are not case sensitive, so PARAGON, Paragon, and paragon would all act the same. Clicking a character's tag will bring up a search result page showing you all the threads they've been in, essentially functioning as a character-specific thread tracker. Every time you make or join a new thread, just tag your character, and you'll automatically have a nice list.
Content Warnings: The 'Mature' prefix is mandatory for threads over PG-13, but it can also be unclear. A Mature thread could be so because of sexual content, gore, violence, drug use, or a variety of other topics. In order to make it clear just what kind of content the Mature tag indicates, we'll be using tags. This will allow people who want to avoid some kinds of Mature content (such as gore) to avoid it without having to avoid the whole tag. Suggested Mature content tags include: Sex, Violence, Drug Use, Suicide, Abuse, Noncon, Dubcon, Unsanitary, and Gore. While it's good to be clear on what content it is, please also don't be too specific. Content Warnings are helpful, but not mandatory. Content Warnings are NOT enforced. They are not meant to be trigger warnings.
Event Tags: We've already got the event prefix, but that just says that it is an event, and not what the event itself is. Every event will have a specific tag associated with it, listed in the announcement itself. Generally this will be something like 'The Bonfire' or 'Secret Santa'. Please don't include the year in the tag!
Relationship Tags: This one is more for fun. If you've got a ship you like - say, John and Angela, you can stick a little tag on all their threads so you (or someone else) can easily see all the threads they have together. Romantic/sexual ship tags MUST be Name1/Name2 format. For family/friendship tags, the format should be Name1&Name2.
Location Tags: If you are roleplaying in a thread that takes place at a location more specific than the forum you're in, such as someones apartment or a business, tag it!
Misc Tags: These are odds and ends, generally used for conveying things like tone, or anything else that isn't covered by the above tags. For example: angst, fluff, breakup, proposal, therapy, hurt/comfort, family, or even selfthread!
What are trophies, and how do I get them?
Trophies are automatically gained when you meet the requirements and meet certain milestones. You can find the full list of trophies here.
How can I see parsehtml when editing my signature?
Unfortunately, you can't. Parsehtml does not function in the signature editor. HOWEVER, it will still work on the forums. If you still want to use Parsehtml, you can edit it while viewing a post of yours to see what the signature will look like.
How do I change the skin?
On the bottom left of your screen is a skin toggle. Clicking the button will pull up a list of skins you can swap to.
What are conversations? How can I create one?
Conversations are messages sent directly to other members. Sometimes these are called private messages (or PMs).
If you want to create a conversation with someone either click their profile image and the 'start a conversation' button or click the square button at the top of the page near the alerts to create a conversation. From there you can add the person you wish to talk to by typing their name in the 'participants' section.
ALT: How do PMs work? How do I create a private message?
How do I delete pms?
Just choose to leave a conversation, and the PM will be removed from your inbox.
ALT: How do I delete a conversation?
How do I delete a post?
Members do not have the ability to delete posts. If you've double posted or need something deleted, please contact a member of the staff.
How do I code for this site?
This post serves as a guide to the utter basics of coding on SA. Primarily, it exists to help those who already have at least some coding experience get used to Xenforo. If you're looking for a full guide of how to make tables and post templates... unfortunately won't find it here.
GENERAL BASICS OF SA CODING:
YOU CANNOT USE BBCODE WITHIN PARSEHTML TAGS OR VICE VERSA. IT WILL BREAK YOUR ENTIRE CODE.
The first rule above all is that if you can do it just in BBCode, do it just in BBCode. It'll be way easier on you, and have way less compatibility issues. Plenty of things can be done without BBCode, and pure BBCode is more likely to be compatible with phones and other out of date browsers. Similar thing with drawers - really, try and avoid them if at all possible (spoilers can now be nested, so use those instead).
That said, if you want to do fancy things, here we go!
First of all, absolutely don't do any coding in the default WYSIWYG editor. Before you do ANY coding, you're going to need to head into the default BBCode editor. To swap over, click 'use BBCode editor' in the top right.
From there, you need to wrap your HTML in parsehtml tags.
There are a few tricks with this. Everything inside a parsehtml will be treated as HTML, which means line breaks are ignored. To line break properly, you need to add a <br><br> or a <p>.
CENTERING A WHOLE TEMPLATE:
This is a bit of a tricky thing. Essentially, wrapping a parsehtml inside another tag will cause issues. You can't, for example, wrap the whole thing in center or align=center tags, as it'll just break the parsehtml.
Instead, make the first thing inside the parsehtml a <center> tag, and wrap the whole template in it.
RANDOM TIPS AND TRICKS:
Don't use hard numbers for width. If you set the width of a table to, say, 400px, than anyone on a mobile browser will have the contents extend off the screen, making it impossible to read. Stick to % instead for mobile-compatibility.
If you have a header and a footer but don't have any code effecting the middle, you can use more than one parseHTML. Just end the one at the top and start a new parseHTML at the bottom, allowing you to type in the middle without line breaks.
Don't feel the need to get fancy. People have made some really nice looking plotters and trackers, all without touching parseHTML at all.
SWAPPING FROM JCINK:
Jcink is pretty similar to how we do things here. Basically, just swap dohtml tags with parsehtml tags, and the overwhelming majority will work with only slight edits needed.
SWAPPING FROM PROBOARDS:
A bit trickier than jcink, because proboards uses an expanded form of BBCode rather than parsing HTML. The absolute easiest way is using the inspect element feature. I'm using google chrome, and I'll use that to explain how to do it. Pull up your proboards post template, and right click the template itself (the text is probably the best) and choose 'inspect element' on the dropdown.
From there, the inspect window will pop up, either along the bottom of your window or as a separate window. The part of the HTML that makes up your post text should be selected (grey highlight in the picture). Running your mouse over the different elements will highlight them on the template. Find the part of the code that includes all elements of the template but not the site itself, and right click that.
From there, right click and choose edit as HTML. This will bring you up a selection of your entire template - just copy paste the whole thing. From there, you're basically done. Slap it into a parsehtml tag on SA, and the template should be mostly converted. Some small things might need tweaking, but this takes the majority of the work out of recoding a template for SA.
In my example template, I just need to change the indent on the tag section at the top, and revert it to a normal tag.
ALT: Do I use HTML or BBCode? Do I need to use DOHTML? How do I make post templates?
How do I report rule breaking?
Please contact a mod or admin, either by PM or over discord. Include any screen shots you might have, and explain what happened.
What do people get banned for?
Starlight Academy has an extremely low ban rate, and we ban only when necessary. The majority of people banned are banned because they are lying about their age, and viewing (or participating in) 18+ content while underage. We take this rule very seriously. If you've registered and have lied about your age, you must contact the admins--the only way it won't result in a permanent ban is if you tell the admins yourself.
ALT: What will get me banned?
Who has control over a want ad character?
TL;DR: You always maintain control of your character. The Requester can't force you to give up your character. At worst, they can ask you to remove references to their character from your own, so that they're unconnected. Always talk to the staff if you're unsure!
This is a bit of tricky business, so some quick terms. The Requester is the person who makes the original want ad. The Filler is the person who fills the want ad by making the character.
There are three levels of want ad:
Type A: Want ads with a lot of details which are heavily interconnected to another characters plot. These characters have a pre-existing relationship with the Requester's character, and have a myriad of details about them.
Type A characters must be approved by the Requester before they're posted for approval. These characters are under shared control (both requester and filler). If the requester (or filler) doesn't think things are working out, or feels the character has heavily deviated from the want ad, they can request the character be anonymized (see below). This can be done ideally by speaking to the other party, or via staff intervention. Type A characters cannot be unarchived or reapped without permission of the requester.
Type B: Want ads which involve a pre-existing connection to the Requester's character. Things like family members, clan members, people with the same origin, etc.
Type B characters must be approved by the Requester before they're posted for approval. These characters are under shared control (both requester and filler) for the first three months. If the requester (or filler) doesn't think things are working out, or feels the character has heavily deviated from the want ad, they can request the character be anonymized (see below). This can be done ideally by speaking to the other party, or via staff intervention. After three months of being consistently played, Type B players revert to Filler control. In that case, any shared details (family history, etc) needs to be shared, but the player is considered to have full control of their character. Type B characters can be unarchived without permission if they have been played for three months, but otherwise need Requester permission for reapping or restoring.
Type C: Want ads which involve in some way fulfilling a role. These commonly include relationship plotting, but can include other things that will happen in the future.
Type C characters do not need approval from the Requester before they can be posted. These characters are considered to be under the Filler's control from their creation. Type C characters can be unarchived or reapped freely, and there's not considered to be any obligation for the Filler to fulfill the want ad (although it is considered rude to not do so, especially without speaking to the Requester).
In the event that the Requester's related character is archived, any control the Requester had is considered lost.
Anonymization: Anonymization is the process of removing connections between two characters. The process is as follows:
1.) The Filler changes relevant information in the character (changes surnames, elements of backstory, etc.) to remove references to specific characters and plot elements associated with the Requester's character and plot.
2.) All interactions between the characters to that point are soft retconned as having happened between the Requester's character and a now off-screen version of the character they had put the Wanted Ad up for.