As we do not have an application form (which I am philosophically against, given my own aversion to form-filling) I would like to establish some basic guidelines for the acceptance of new members. If we are contacted in-game, or if someone expresses their desire to join on this messageboard, we will conduct an interview with them in-game prior to bringing them on.
The basic questions should get at whether or not the candidate fits with the ideals of the 7 Scribblings of the Secret Fire (reposted below). A template to follow, in terms of how to determine that, would be the following:
1. Why are you interested in joining our kinship?
2. What are you looking for in a kinship (what do you want the kinship to do for you)?
3. What would you bring to the kinship, if anything?
4. What are your preferences as a player in the LOTRO world (i.e. are you a hardcore gamer - are you in it more for the roleplaying, etc)?
5. Do you have a general interest in Tolkien's works?
6. Are you at least 18 years old?
These general questions, plus any relevant followup questions, should form the basis of an in-game interview, but they should be seen as a rule of thumb rather than a rigid basis of a structured interview. Overall, the interview should establish that the candidate fits particularly with the 7 Scribbles of the Secret Fire, which I repost below. The questions above should be informed by the 7 scribbles, and you should, as a leader, feel free to add questions that are aimed at clarifying whether or not the person accepts the basic tenets of our kinship.
EDIT 8-3-07: Applicants may also opt to answer these questions, substantively, on this messageboard.
EDIT 5-13-2009: Once an applicant is deemed suitable for entry into the kinship, he or she must be asked to respond favorably to the following induction words:
1. Are you prepared to be roasted alive over the Secret Fire, sorry, I mean are you prepared to be a Slave to the Secret Fire....I apologize...what I meant to say was, are you prepared to serve the Secret Fire, in all of its manifestations?
2. Will you go forth with ridiculous indignation? And;
3. Are you related to famous people, or people that know famous people?
Kinship rules and principles: The 7 Deadly Serious Scribblings of the Servants of the Secret Fire
1) Zero Tolerance for Egregious offences to the Tolkien name: No one with the name "orliiloveu11" or any other teeny-bopper variants are allowed entry.
2) Light roleplaying: Light and flexible RPG is the name of our game. Infused, of course, with an element of ridiculous indignation during questing activities.
3) A shared TORC spirit: This forms the foundation of this kinship, and the ideals of this community will be taken into account when recruiting non-TORC members, which is a highly desirable thing. These ideals are expressed simply as a genuine interest in Tolkien's works and a maturity of character. The adoption of non TORC members is, in this vein, important, as you will meet non TORCers on this server who are very much appropriate for the kinship in terms of their interest in Tolkien and their level of maturity. It is desirable to ask applicants to sign onto the boards and use it as a kinship talking space. This should be communicated to them upon an invite.
4) TORC Communication: This board will serve as the prime space for talk. Alternatively, if people want to speak via skype and other mediums outside of the game world, they can opt into that, but are not required to share personal contact information.
5) Good will: It is the intention of the founders that this kinship treat everyone, whether they are the occasional players who sign on for either short periods each day, or only a few times a week, with not only respect, but with a real helping hand. In other words, since some play less, those who play more should be ready to help with quests, help with issues of gameplay, and help with tools and equipment, whether it be giving someone an unwanted weapon, or just a pat on the back for moral support....
6) Good manners: This kinship vows to maintain a hospitable clime. We therefore welcome only those travelers that are generally respectable people. In other words, no sleazeballs and no sexual harassment (although if you want, you can form friendships and even intimate friendships, as long as you do so in a tasteful manner, and keep certain talk in private chat.....). As such, I would encourage, although it would be difficult to enforce, a kinship made of characters that are of good intentions. I ask for help from my leaders in maintaining such a population. NOTE: This does not rule out a high degree of absurdity, which is encouraged but not required. Absurdity is considered respectable, as Biffbo would have it.
7) Bridge-building: We are to be known as a friendly, yet passionate kinship, committed to the cause of the free peoples of Middle Earth. We will form fellowships and friendships with other noble-minded kinships and individuals, in the spirit of this pursuit.