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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Basic IMC information | Handles

On adding, removing, and managing handles (character names).

What is a handle, exactly?
A handle is one of a set of names that you can use to post in a room with. You can set up different handles to correspond to the different characters that you play (subject to the handle's approval -- see "Source Material Handles" for more on that).

A handle is NOT a character per se. If we refuse a handle for a character you have played elsewhere, that does not mean we are refusing you permission to play that character. It simply means we cannot approve the handle as is for whatever reason.

How do I get more handles?

If you want to add more handles to your account, you can sign up for more than ten at a time through the Add Handles Form.

Keep in mind, you don't get your handles right away. Handle submissions are placed into a queue for evaluation by the Handle SysOps, and are processed in the order they are received.

How do I permanently remove a handle?

You can delete a handle permanently from your roster through the Remove Handles page. Keep in mind that this is irreversible, so don't delete handles unless you really mean it. You may simply want to disable the handle for the time being instead.

How come some of my handles didn't go through when I signed up (or when I applied for more handles)?

You should have received a letter in email when you signed up (or requested more handles) that clearly details what handles you did or didn't receive, and why. We cannot approve handles if they are:

1) obscene, defamatory, or unsuitable for children. The site's structure allows everyone to see handle names when they are posted (through the Who's On list). For this reason we can't allow handles not suitable for a general audience.

2) handles based on source material. See below for more on source material handles.

3) multiple variations of the same handle in one batch. If you are submitting a handle for approval, choose one variant of that handle at a time. Otherwise the queue gets overloaded with an immense number of identical handles which may not be valid.

4) handles in "leet-speak". This is partly because we have had such handles submitted before that turned out to be obscene, and also because they can be terribly confusing to many chatters.

What's a "source material handle" and why can't I have it?

A source material handle or "SMH" is any of the following:

1. The name of a character in a work of fiction -- including but not limited to a book, movie, legend, myth, or fairy tale. This includes works created by other IMC users, which may be copyrighted or trademarked. Note also that names of objects or things which are trademarked (such as "Coca-Cola") are considered source.

2. The name of a prominent real-life person, historical figure or celebrity -- including but not limited to actors, athletes, politicians, etc. (Example: College athletes would not be source, but pro-level ballplayers would be. A good rule of thumb is if this person hasn't made national news, he probably isn't source.)

3. Single names ("Dave") which cannot be reliably ruled out as not being source. Shorter single-word names generally have a greater chance of being rejected, because it's harder to rule them out as non-source. A longer name ("Tatarinistia") would have much less of a chance of being regarded as non-source. If you're in doubt, you can always email the Handles Sysop, Genji (thegline@im-chat.com).

4. Staff handles ("Room X Storyteller"). Staff handles do not count as generics, and must be applied for as SMHs.

We review all handle requests before assigning them to members. IMC is built around organized RP rooms and one of the methods we use to support these rooms is by controlling handles from source material, whether or not a room has been proposed for that source material yet. We have no idea what rooms will be proposed or handles requested by hosts down the line.

Many single-word handles will automatically be refused for being source. It is very hard to trace a single-word handle and establish it as being non-source. The best way to get around this is to append qualifiers. Instead of "David," apply for "David, warrior of the wasteland" (which distinguishes it from all the other "David"s out there).

The handles you request may be from source material whether you intended it or not. It is not uncommon and the handle staff members take that into consideration when refusing a handle. A source handle on an add handle form can be grounds for refusing the entire request and asking that you resubmit with all original handles.

If you are denied a handle on request, there are several avenues for you to pursue to obtain these handles.

  • You can use HTML in your taglines (see the Attributes Panel for information on editing taglines) to represent what character you are playing, as in "HANDLE is playing CHARACTER."

  • You can request that the host of the room in which you actively play the character ask me that the handle been listed for you. NOTE: You cannot expect the hosts to ask for any handle you feel like. You should be actively playing the character in that room. At least one host has stopped taking handle requests because members were trying to abuse this method.

  • You can provide some means of distinguishing the handle, such as a first or last name ('John' HANDLE, HANDLE 'Smith') or an eke name (HANDLE 'the Red). This will allow me to list the handle for you right away. NOTE: This does not mean asking for ¤¤Darth_Vader¤¤ or Õßï-wåñ Kêñøßî instead of Darth Vader or Obi-Wan Kenobi will allow you to have those handles.

  • You may also create up to six generic handles per account. Generic handles are those whose general use is to play NPCs, handles not yet approved or ghosting a source material handle. We limit these to six total per user because of limited availability and prevent handle hogging. Generics include: single punctuation, characters, and up to two combined punctuation/alt key/shift symbols (†~, o0, ?!, ‡= etc.), Mun names, descriptives including the mun name (example: Joe's NPC is...), general descriptives (example: The Shadowy Figure in the Corner).

  • If you are running an unsupported PR, you can apply for a PR handle, such as "PR: My_Room".  Note that this is only for people who are running an unsupported PR.  If we find that you are using such a handle outside of this context, it will be revoked and you may face suspension of handle privileges.

I want a particular source material handle. How do I get it?

You must contact the host of the room you plan to use the source material handle in. Hosts are not obliged to give out source material handles, however; they may have them reserved for specific users.

It is the duty of every player to first contact their room host with the following information:

  • Your Username (the name you sign-on to IMC with).

  • Your Email Address (the one you currently use with IMC).

  • The Source Material handle(s) you would like for that room.

DO NOT submit requests for the handles yourself! The handle request will be submitted by the room host you forwarded the request to (pending his or her approval).

When you are given a source handle, you should only use it in an approved context. For instance, if you're in an SPR, FPR, or public room where the handle you've asked for is needed, those are okay. You should not, however, use a source handle ICly in rooms where it's not part of the room structure, or in unsupported PRs.

Also bear in mind that SMHs are the property of the issuing room and can be revoked at will. Their issuance is a privilege and not a right.

How many handles can I have?

IMC does not have an enforced limit on the number of handles a user can have. However, we do ask that you use the Disable Handles function in the Attributes Panel to reduce the number of handles you have active at any given time. Having too many handles active will cause your pages to load very slowly.

You can also use the Handle Lists function to create specific lists of handles for specific rooms, which helps cut down on the amount of handles you need to have on at any given time.

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