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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ | New Communities / Chat Rooms [Click to see summary view]

How to create and apply for new communities or chat rooms in IMC.

How do we set up a new chat room on IMC?
IMC's requirements for rooms might be completely different from what most of you are used to seeing. Some sites use(d) the petition method, letting chatters tell them what rooms they would like to have available to them. These rooms often lacked structure, as the hosts were never actually seen as "leaders". Other sites provided private rooms where very well structured rooms struggled to get the recognition they had earned. IMC's room department has perhaps upped the requirements made by other sites, but did so because we want rooms here to survive and provide structure for their chatters.

IMC has tried to find a stable balance that is worked on from time to time. IMC provides four room types that we have found serve our hosts very well, these include: Private Rooms, Supported Private Rooms, Featured Private Rooms, and Public Rooms. The requirements and perks of these levels are described below.

To get a room going on IMC we recommend using the requirements for Supported Private Rooms, set a name for the room and start meeting within a Private Room. Use the appropriate IMC message board to announce you are starting a room and activities within your room. If you have questions about the process or would like some feedback on the work you've done thus far feel free to email us.

Once you feel as though you're ready to move onwards, use the room application form to apply for Supported Private room status.

What is the difference between a PR, SPR , FPR and a public room?

A PR (Unsupported Private Room) can be put up by anyone by going to private rooms and typing in a name for the room without filling out an application. We only require that you stay within IMC rules and TOS when playing/chatting in a PR. Here is a list of what PR's are generally used for:
  • Small private campaigns.
  • Rooms that do not wish to set up the sort of detail our supported and public rooms have.
  • "Test" role-playing, to see if a setting or room idea will work.
A SPR (Supported Private Room) is the next step for rooms who want to eventually get on the road to becoming more broadly supported by the site. You are required to submit an application for SPRs. Your room is required to be on IMC for at least 30 days, or be an active chat room from another site wishing to relocate.

FPR (Fully supported Private Room) can either be the next step towards going public or for those who do not wish to go fully public but have been an active room for some time. We require at least 3 months of being an SPR (in total) before this move. However, if you feel your room is ready sooner, you are free to email us and we will check into it.

Public Rooms are completely supported rooms. We require at least 3 months as either a SPR with a high number count, or an FPR whose numbers have merit.

Once a room goes public, as long as it maintains a consistant level of activity, it will remain a public room. If it sits completely vacant for a long time (say, more than six months) then steps will be taken to reduce its status to a supported or featured PR unless activity picks back up. (We've had "zombie rooms" before that lost traffic as public rooms, and then returned to public status when their traffic picked back up again).

Hosts can be advised that if their room suffers a small hiccup, we're not going to abruptly kill it. We understand that there are slow times of the year such as weekends, certain holidays, back-to-school, and finals weeks. This will not impact your overall assessment.

There is some give and take when going public however, so keep this in mind.

Here's a breakdown of the IMC features available to each type of room:

Supported PR Featured PR Public Room

Gummis / Control

Hosts are gummied

Y Y Y

Co-hosts are gummied

N Y Y

Staff are gummied

N N Y

Delegatable permissions

N N Y

User banning

Y Y Y

RP Utilities

Retrieve logs

Y Y Y

Character sheets

N N Y

XP Voting

N N Y

Admin Panel Functions

See room stats

Y Y Y

Request/manage
Source Handles

Y Y Y

Schedule room events

N N Y

Misc.

Room-wide host messages

Y Y Y

Hallway link

Y Y Y

Ad banner seen
in other rooms

Y Y Y

Hosts are on
IMC Hosts List

Y Y Y

Sidebar in room
w/contextual links

N Y Y

Advanced BBS controls
(admin topics, etc.)

Y Y Y

Schedule room events

N N Y

Room color themes

N N Y

What sort of rooms get approved for SPR, FPR and public?

The following are thing we look for in rooms that are approved as SPRs, FPRs, and public rooms.

  1. Host and Staff who are members in good standing. This means that the room's staff must not have been subject to recent disciplinary actions. If you're in doubt, please check here and inquire with the room department before submitting the room application.
  2. Originality. New rooms should have something to differentiate from existing rooms.  For instance, if there's already a Marvel or DC Comics-style room on the site, there should be a significant difference in the way your room is being handled from the existing room (aside from the people running it) -- i.e., a Marvel 2099 room vs. a standard Marvel canon room.
  3. Activity as an unsupported PR. We want to see 1-3 months worth of activity, if possible, so we know that your room will be used and have a community. We keep statistics of all the activity on the site, so we can always backdate activity checks for a room.  If a host believes their room warrants being moved to SPR relatively soon (or even immediately), they are free to email the Room Department and have us check into it.
  4. Supporting materials on the home page. Check the room requirements for the full list.
  5. A means for the players to contact the room staff. Email, AIM, ICQ, message board, mailing list, etc. it doesn't really matter as long as chatters have this ability.
  6. All information requested on the form must be present, accurate, and complete. PLEASE make sure you list your staff by their mun names on the application. This saves ALL of us time and effort to get it right the first time.

What sort of rooms don't get accepted?

  1. Rooms created solely for a small group that does not admit outside chatters.
  2. Rooms created for the sole purpose of cybersex. An M rating doesn't mean that your room can house this sort of activity.
  3. Rooms with staff or hosts that have been removed from room level positions, or have been subject to disciplinary actions. A room may be pulled if the host/co-hosts suffer sufficient disciplinary actions and are unwilling to allow the room to be given or to another staff member to host.
  4. Rooms that are spun off from other public IMC rooms as a reaction to disciplinary issues in that room. This is especially if the presence of the new room is clearly used as a basis to create discord in the previous one. (E.g. "Come join spiffy new room X, because room Y doesn't have to suck.) IMC can't sanction this sort of behavior.
  5. Rooms that already exist in the same form. There are ways to make any room different from others of similar genre.

    Rooms may exist in the same genre (such as World of Darkness) if the world created is different from other types that exist on IMC. The more variety, the better.

    For example, a Changeling-specific room, a Werewolf-specific room, etc., or a room where major events (such as Ragnorak) may or may not have occurred. Geographic location of where the game takes place is also taken into consideration.

    A simple rule of thumb: the more points of similarity that can be found with an existing room, the more problematic it is. Multiple rooms that use a) the WoD system and b) are set in NYC in c) the present day, for instance, would be disallowed.

Requirements for all supported rooms on IMC

All supported rooms begin at the SPR level, unless otherwise requested and agreed to by the room department. If the room department feels you have enough chatters and have a firm working structure within you room, we may suggest skipping the SPR level when you apply.

Before submitting an application for a SPR, the room to be applied for should be an existing community either here or on another site. What this means is that it should either have been on IMC for at least 30 days as a PR, or have been a active community from another chat site wishing to relocate.

An applicant must demonstrate the need for the room to be on IMC. This would include providing a new type of room, a setting not currently used anywhere in IMC, a different way of running a certain style of gaming, or things of that nature. If you are unsure if your room meets this requirement, please feel free to email us.

A room needs to have some sort of chain of responsibility. While we will approve a room that only has a host at the level of SPR, we require the room to have at least one other staff member within 30 days of approval as an SPR. If there is not, the room may be removed as a SPR and placed back at the PR level. In addition, FPR's and Public rooms require a minimum of 3 people, though I recommend more.

An applicant must have a home page online for the room, and comply with the following requirements:

  1. An Applicant for Hostdom must be a chatter in good standing. (When in doubt email the Room Department).
  2. Rules Page - Detailing Room Rules and containing links to the IMC Site Rules and Terms of Service. Picture limits, both content and size, should also be explained here. This would also be the place to explain your room rating and what is or isn't acceptable. Might also be a good idea to explain your room's disciplinary actions (I.E.: first offense is a letter of warning, second is a suspension, third is a ban, etc.)
  3. Settings Page - Detailing the setting of the room, and providing information that a chatter will need to play in the room. This can include a locations page as well, if the room spreads across multiple locations.
  4. Contact Page - A page with a listing of the host/s and staff along with their duties, and at least the host/s and staffs emails. If your staff is comfortable with providing their AIM, ICQ, MSN, etc. that's a great addition. This page is so your chatters know who to contact about what.
  5. Message Board and/or Mailing List - So that chatters and room events can be kept archived. And so that in the event that the site should go down, hosts can post that info for their chatters.
  6. System Info - You should provide chatters with info about what system is used to play in the room, which might include such things as: character restrictions, technology restrictions, character sheets, links to an official site on the system, fan/players useful sites, links to sites for pictures, whatever works for you.
  7. Jump Page or Link - A page or link providing chatters with the info on how to find your room. You can do something as simple as this: "PR Name: My_Room". An example of how to do this can be found here.
  8. Each room is required to have a rule regarding the web page design. This rule must ensure that the rooms home page will NOT be tampered with maliciously, removed without a new site being up and running before hand, or other wise leaving the room without a home page. Please inform your Web Master that when they design a sites for a room they should be aware that their work is FOR the room, and that it is considered contracted work. It may be continued to be used by the room if they leave their position, as per your individual room guidelines. This does not infringe on domain ownership, or the intellectual property of the original creator. A note regarding the web page's ownership should be posted conspicuously on the first page of the site.

Additional FPR requirements:

  1. Must exist as an SPR on IMC for 3+ months, unless you are either approached by someone in the Room Department sooner or feel your room is ready. If we have not contacted you and you feel you are ready to make that step, please feel free to email us.
  2. Must have an active chatter base. Typically around the same as a public room, but be smaller.
Additional Public Room requirements:
  1. Must be on IMC as a SPR at least 6 months or more, unless you are approached by someone in the Room Department sooner. If you feel your room is ready before hand, please fell free to email us.
  2. Must have an active chatter base (we're talking a "crowd"). If you have questions about this feel free to ask.
  3. Must have at least three active staffers -- a full host, a co-host and a room support or room staff person. This increases the odds of a staffer being present during a given time during peak hours.

What does 'chatter in good standing' mean?

These are the policies of the rooms Dept on who is entitled to hold a position in a room that is supported in any way by IMC. While we do understand that everyone is human, we also understand that hosting/co-hosting and being staff of a room is a BIG responsibility. To ensure that the people who are in these positions are capable of handling such a responsibility, we have had to set down certain guidelines.
  • Hosts: A clean record means simply that there are NO site suspensions or room bans. While we prefer our hosts/co-hosts or staff members to have a clean record, we understand it is not always the case. Below are some of the guidelines on when you can become a host/co-host or staff after having a disciplinary action taken, or when you can gain your hostdom or staffdom back if you received one while you were hosting or staffing a room already.
  • A minor site suspension (such as a cooling off period) = 3 months inability to hold a host/co-host or staff member position and 3 more months of probationary period. The user MUST maintain a clean record. If a room ban or suspension is given after that for any reason, the user must begin the time frame all over, adding on another 3 months which makes it a total of 9 months to wait. After the third offense the user is no longer able to hold a host/co-host or staff member position on IMC at all.
  • A major site suspension = 6 months of inability to host/co-host or staff member, plus a 3 month probationary period. IF a second serious site ban or suspension is committed, the user becomes unable to hold a host/co-host position on IMC. For minor site suspensions add 3 months on to this time, so the wait would now be 1 year to regain the ability to hold a host/co-host or staff member position.
  • Source Handle requests made through improper channels = We expect our hosts/co-hosts and staff members of all rooms to know how to use Google and how to appropriately request source material handles. Sometimes there is a mistake made, we understand this. However, 3 or more source request made through improper channels resulting in a handle ban of at least 1 week and during a time span of 3 month will result in placing the host/co-host or staff member on a 3 month probationary period. Continued problems with SMH over a long period of time will result in eventual review of the person’s position and perhaps changing their position or removing them from said position.

These are the policies of the Rooms Dept on how to get new staff approved in any supported IMC room.

  • For SPR and FPR hosts: Before telling a chatter that you want them to be staff of your room, make sure to check with the rooms deparment to ensure they will meet the guidelines. We will need their IMC Mun handle (you can find that by placing your cursor over their gummi) and their official IMC email address or another handle they use. Please be sure the spelling is accurate. We will need this information when removing staff from the room as well.
  • For Public Room hosts: You have the ability to request staff changes through your host panel. However, make sure you do not inform the chatter that they ARE going to be staff, simply that you are considering them.

Once we check the user’s record, we will reply to you as to whether they are capable of holding said position or not. Due to privacy issues, we may not be able to disclose to the host why they can not be accepted at this time, or will be able to give limited information on such.

If you have any further questions, please email us.

Give and Take of becoming a Public Room on IMC

What we mean by give and take is just that. If you wish to be supported fully as a public room, then you must be willing to give up a little control.

While it is perfectly fine for a PR host to run a totalitarian ship, supported rooms, but especially public rooms, are held on a high level of decorum. What are your rights as a public room host?

  • You have the right to ban chatters who are disruptive to your room or who refuse to follow the rules.
  • You have the right to preemptively ban people who have been disruptive in other rooms and who you view as a probable problem to your room.
  • You have the right to ensure your home page stays with the room. This means that the designer of your home page can not pull it out from under you for any reason.
  • You have the right to use all the features that IMC has developed for its chat rooms on the site.
  • You have the right to enforce your room's rules equally to all players and swiftly.

What rights do you give up upon becoming a public chat room?

  • You can not tell chatters they must kill them off their characters, unless it is specified in the rules upon becoming public that the room may be 'reset' from time to time, or unless your rooms rules allow for one player C to kill off another player C without permission.
  • You can no longer simply run the room in any way you see fit. You must abide by your own room's rules.
  • You can not abuse your authority within the room. If you do so, it can result in one of several options.
    • Unless the complaint is overly excessive, hosts will be given a warning and a 3 month probation for abusing power within a public chat room.
    • If the abusive behavior continues and if the room was brought up through the level system we have provided, the host will be given the option of removing the room for IMC's supported lists or turning over the room to a new host.
    • If the abusive behavior continues and the room has either been on which has been handed down from host to host, or was set up by IMC itself, then the host will be removed and a new host will be selected.
    • You can not be abusive towards your chatters. This is for any supported room on IMC. TO do so is in violation of IMC's terms of service and thus held as a site infraction, not simply a room matter.

While we realize that there is a fine line between strictly enforcing the rules and becoming abusive, we take great effort to ensure that hosts of public rooms have proven themselves to be fair and just already. Upon occasion, circumstances change and we have to look into the matter. As you can see, we do not really ask that much from you in a trade off to become public.

Promoting your room

Outside of IMC:
  1. Providing info on your own personal home pages.
  2. Listing info about your room on "your details" on such programs as ICQ, AIM, etc.
  3. Putting ads up on RPG sites that allow this.
  4. Join a banner exchange program, using your room's web site.
  5. Submit your room's home page to all major search engines.
  6. Check with your local gaming store, some will allow you to hang up flyers about campaigns you are running - even ONLINE campaigns.
On IMC:
  1. Posting on the appropriate IMC MB forum.
  2. IMC Links. All SPRs, FPR's, and publics are listed on IMC.
  3. Banner ads. IMC has a banner rotation program, where banners are shown in all rooms after a certain number of posts. This is only available to SPRs, FPR's, and publics. Banners should be 350 (width) x 60 (height) or less, and under 15K.
  4. Recruiting in other rooms. IMC asks that you check with another room's guidelines regarding advertising before you talk about your new room there. Some rooms also don't appreciate info being listed in your tag line about your room. When in doubt, ask.
  5. An unsupported PR handle is something we give out but only to one user for one room at a time. See the Handles Page for more on that.

If you have additional question that are not covered here, please feel free to email the Room Department and we will get back with you as soon as possible.

How to create a jump to your private room

The best way to create a jump to your private room is to do this:

  1. Log into the private room as you normally would (through the private room page).
  2. Copy the URL that shows up in your browser's address bar.
  3. That URL can be used to enter the room in the same mode.

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