Below are the answers to the following questions frequently-asked by TORC newbies:
- What does "TORC" mean?
- How can I change my username?
- How do I change my Alliance (the picture above my name)?
- How do I get the swords and symbols under my Alliance Banner?
- How do I change my title? eg Petitioner to the Council etc
- How do I get a signature picture below my posts?
- How do I make the smileys, and format my messages?
- What is the easiest way to navigate around this site?
- What are profiles and how can I hide my profile?
- Another poster is causing problems, what do I do?
- Who are the Moderators? How can I tell who is a Mod and who's not?
- How do I delete an unwanted post, eg an accidental "double post"?
- What does "bump" mean?
- What is: "spam"? "flaming"? "trolling"?
- What does "OOC" stand For? And other abbreviations?
- What does "subscribe" mean? How do I subscribe and unsubscribe to a thread?
- How do I start my own thread?
- How do I search the message-board?
- How do I edit my thread's title?
- Got any more helpful links?
Q1. What does "TORC" mean?
A. It is the commonly-used name for this site, and stands for TheOneRing.com, which was the original web address.
Q2. How can I change my username?
A. You can't. If you don't like your username, just sign-up with a different one.
Q3. How do I change my Alliance (the picture above my name)?
A. Click on the My Settings option at the top of any page, which gives you various ways to personalize your message-board settings. The default alliance banner is the blue wizard. You can change it to whatever you like, the only restriction being that some "Alliance threads" in the Alliances & Guild forum might require you to choose a certain alliance before you can join them.
Q4. How do I get the swords and symbols under my Alliance Banner?
A. They just represent your post count. Eg, you get a Sword for every 10 posts, a Diamond for 50, and so on. See the newbies' introduction thread for more details.
Q5. How do I change my title? eg Petitioner to the Council etc
A. Unless you are a Premiere Member (see next question), your title changes as your post-count increases. You start off as a "Petitioner to the Council", until you pass 20 posts (i.e. reach 21 posts), when you are promoted to the level of "Citizen of Imladris". And so on, until you pass 10,000 posts and become a "Ringbearer" (it can be done!). See the newbies' introduction thread for more details.
Q6. How do I get a signature picture below my posts?
A. By paying $4 a month to be a "Premiere Member" (PM), the money going towards the running of the site. As well as a Signature, PMs also get to choose a personal title (appearing in red below the banner) and access to some some extra features, such as a Private messaging system.
Q7. How do I make the smileys, and format my messages?
A. Above the reply window is a section which shows the codes for smileys, and making italic and bold text etc. For example, to bold text, either click the B and start typing then click again; or highlight the text to be bolded and click it; or manually type and around you text. See this thread for how to create special characters (such as É Ð ¼ á © ô etc).
Q8. What is the easiest way to navigate around this site?
A. On the right side of your screen you will see a drop-down menu titled "Forum" which you can use to skip to other forums without having to go to the main forum page. While viewing a thread, a second menu called "Goto" appears next to it, allowing you to jump to the main page, or view the thread's home forum. At the top right are direct links to the next and previous thread.
Clicking the big "Tolkien Online" logo at the top left of the page takes you to TORC's front page. From there you can use the cascading menus on the left of the screen to get to every part of the site (the message-board forums, the Reading Room etc).
Q9. What are profiles and how can I hide my profile?
A. Your profile page contains some simple information about yourself, such as email address and your posts-per-day. You must maintain a valid email address in case you need to be contacted by the site Mods or Admin, but you can remove it from your public profile, or hide your entire profile.
Q10. Another poster is causing problems, what do I do?
A. Contact a Moderator (Mod). The fastest way is the common email address email@example.com. You should generally avoid discussing problems or continuing arguments in the public forums. Letting the Mods handle disruptions is always advisable.
Q11. And who are the Moderators? How can I tell who is a Mod and who's not?
A. Mods are members of TORC who are in charge of making sure that the site remains clean and family friendly. The smooth sailing of this ship is in their hands. There is a complete list of current Mods here.
Q12. How do I delete an unwanted post, eg an accidental "double post"?
A. There is a delete option at the top of all your posts unless the Admin have disabled this option. Or messages can be edited by using the "Edit" option, so you can remove all the text from a message if you like.
Q13. What does "bump" mean?
A. Threads are sorted in order of the most recent post. If a thread hasn't been posted to in a while, it will therefore slip down the forum. A new post will "bump" it back to the top. A post that has no other purpose than bringing a thread back into view is called a "bump". Be careful what threads you choose to bump, eg bumping 10 old Harry Potter threads all at once will not make you very popular in the Other Authors forum, as all the other threads will be swamped and pushed off the first page.
Q14. What is: "spam"? "flaming"? "trolling"?
A. These are three antisocial behaviours.
"Spamming" on TORC is defined as posting lots of short chatty posts, often just for the sake of getting a higher post-count. This doesn't get more you more status or respect, it just annoys people and is strongly discouraged. Chat belongs on Instant Messenger programs. TORC is a message-board, not a chat-room.
"Flaming" is verbally attacking or insulting someone, which is not allowed.
"Trolling" is deliberately making provocative or disruptive comments to start arguments. A troll is best ignored. Don't feed the trolls and they soon get bored and go away.
Q15. What does "OOC" stand For? And other abbreviations?
A. OOC = "Out of Character". Most role plays (RPs) have a parallel OOC thread where plot direction and so on can be discussed. Or an RP post itself can include OOC comments at the beginning or end. OOC threads help maintain the flow of the RP and also enable the players to make up a plot before posting anything to the RP thread.
Other abbreviations and acronyms you might see on this message-board are listed here.
Q16. What does "subscribe" mean? How do I subscribe and UNsubscribe to a thread?
A. Subscribing to a thread means you'll be sent a notification email every time that thread is posted to.
When you are replying to a message in the thread, you will see a "notify me of replies" box below the reply window. Tick it to subscribe.
You can also subscribe to a thread you are reading by clicking the "start watching this thread" link at the top right or bottom left of the page. If you are already subscribed, the link will say "stop watching this thread". You can change your default option of whether to be notified of replies or not on the My Settings page.
Q17. How do I start my own thread?
A. Click the "new topic" button at the top left of a forum. But not so fast! First, make sure you are in the appropriate forum for your thread, by reading the forum descriptions on the main forum page. Then, have a look at the individual forum guidelines, if there are any (they will be an announcement thread at the top of the forum). Make sure there isn't a currently-active thread on your topic, or the Mods may well lock yours.
Also, consider doing a search for any previous threads on your topic (see next question). You may find some ideas for your thread, or you may want to continue a previous discussion rather than start your own.
Q18. How do I search the message-board?
A. The message-board search can search individual forums for keywords in posts or titles, and by a particular poster. It's usually worthwhile searching for a previous thread on a topic before starting a new thread on it. See theSearch Lite thread for more searching tips.
Q19. How do I edit my thread's title?
A. Just edit the first post by clicking the "edit" button at the top-right. You will will then be able to edit both the main message body and the title.
Q20. Got any more helpful links?
A. Why yes, glad you asked
Newbie Introduction Thread which expands on some information given in this FAQ.
The Terms of Service (a.k.a. The Rules , both ancient and just).
Check out the list of Adopters, where you can choose someone to mentor you while you find your feet here.
Please note: this FAQ is a work-in-progress. Suggestions, corrections etc are welcome. Email comments to the mods or to wilko185 at firstname.lastname@example.org. This post is assembled based on the work of Mammo and my fellow adopters, and the Mods. Thanks guys