Search: Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: This is just a replica of the Search FAQs located in the game; but, as I find they can be helpful, I am repeating them here.

High Reaches Search FAQ
Or, what You need to know.

Hello there! This is just some Stuff, put together so that you'll have a better idea of what you'll be getting into here at High Reaches. It's designed to compliment the application and hopefully answer any questions you might have, or perhaps even generate others.:)

First, things to know:

  1. To receive an application, @send the leader of SearchCo (it should say in any announcement regarding Search who this is) your email address (which will be kept confidential) and state whether you are applying for Search or Stand-Only. If you are unsure of the difference, please page someone one 'cwho for high reaches' who has SearchCo listed in their @doing.
  2. Game rules set a maximum of 15 PC eggs, which includes assorted colors and various NPCs, if SearchCo desires. SearchCo may not choose to Impress a full 15, however. Please check the search application for more information.

Things to do:

  1. Keep an eye on Events and Mailers for updates on Search. :)
  2. Read <help search>, <help dragons>, <help colors>, <help search_policies>, and <help high_reaches>. It is your responsibility to make sure your Area leader will release you for Search. @mail them if you have concerns, or send *hrws (the High Reaches Search mailer).
  3. RPRPRP! Around HT's Pern, Crafts, Halls, Holds, Weyrs! The more you see, the more you interact, the more depth your character will have. There's little fun in Searching/Candidating/Impressing a raw character, for you or for us. Keep this in mind if you are building a character 'just to Search'.
  4. Questions/comments/concerns? @send to *hrws or page someone with SearchCo in their @doing.

Welcome to High Reaches Weyr!
Impressive, it is said, this great northern Weyr with its Seven great spindles — spires — spikes of volcanic caldera reaching up into the blue, blue sky.
High Reaches is tucked up in the Snowy Mountains, somewhat northwest of Fort Weyr and the Harper/Healer halls. It is not, in fact, cold or horrible all year round. In fact it is closer to the ocean than Fort, hence has a more temperate climate. It /does/ get plenty of snow in the winter, and enough cold that one should have their woolies nearby; and lots of sun in the summer, with rain and frost in spring and fall. High Reaches is the Switzerland of Pern! Think craggy mountains, alpine meadows, gnarly forests and lots of great places to hide!
High Reaches is infamous for its snow, its sledding, its summer berry harvests, its llamas, and its cookies! Rock-bound, it does not produce very much, though there are many wood-workers around, and more than a few smiths.

The Search Process

* OOC Search!

The Weyr gets together, works up an application and sends it out. While we brew up a set of eggs, we wait for YOU to fill it out and send it in, all the while trying to get in some RP so we know what you are like. Applications are discussed, interviews arranged, Dragons fly, RP sought. Eggs are laid, Candidates are Searched, Weyr is cleaned (go Candidates go!), more RP. Dragons thrum, eggs rock, dragonets arrive, Impression occurs. Voila! New Weyrlingmaster fodder. More RP! Sounds like a lot, doesn't it? Well we do put a lot of work into it, but hopefully all you'll notice as an Applicant is the fun! :D

* Applications/Interviews

Generally we look for people well-grounded in Pern with an interest in the Weyr and in RPing with us. Truly, a dragon is a fancy puppet that requires a lot of time; it is a significant commitment of our time and yours, so be sure to know why you want to ride before applying. Riding does not suddenly make you great or interesting or popular. Yes it is fun, yes it can extend RP possibilities, yes we hope you're willing to put some time and effort into Dragonth to make it a vibrant and living part of the Weyr.

Please keep in mind that the better established your character is, the easier it is for us and you to settle on a Dragon. Characters created a week or two before Search will have their work cut out for them. We are not saying it that they would not Impress, but it is the exception.

The application itself is designed to test the depth of your character and knowledge of Pern and HT's adaptation thereof in general. Don't stress it, but /do/ put some time and effort into it. Spelling/Grammar /do/ count! A little formatting goes a long way. :) One word answers are not, in general, acceptable. A badly formatted application is frustrating for Search and tends to set a wrong impression.

Interviews: We will be interviewing only those people we are seriously considering Searching. Answering the application does not guarantee you an interview, and an interview does not guarantee you will be Searched. However, you will not be Searched if you have not been interviewed.

Interviews are OOC and can last from 30 minutes to 4 hours, depending on the speed of the net, the typist, and the general depth of both our questions and yours. 1 to 2 hours is generally the norm. Again, this is for us to get to know you better, and for you to get to know us better — find out how compatible we are. Relax, have some fun, ask some questions.

On occasion RP may be logged for Search to see how Spiffly you RP. This is only in public rooms and never subversive. Generally shown off by those who logged as — "Hey kewl! Lookie this neat RP." WE WANNA SHARE! *hee*

It is in your best interest to RETURN your well thought out and nicely written application early on so that we have time to get you interviewed and discussed. If you wait until the last minute, you might just get lost in the flurry. That said, we prefer Good applications to Quick ones. :) Take your time, answer the questions as fully as you can, and make it as readable as possible — just the sooner you get it in, the better.

* IC Search

This begins after the eggs have been clutched. Dragons will head out to all of Pern and seek out those people that tempt their interest for whatever strange and wonderful reasons the dragons have. Though Search is a continuous thing, it is most intense following the clutching when everyone is aware that those Eggs out there need Lifemates. :)

Keep in mind OOCly it is difficult to Search people in private rooms or holed up and idle. Please do /not/ hang around the Weyr if you were not already a resident there. Do RP out in rooms where Searchriders can find you and somehow bring you to Dragonth's attention. Also remember that just because a Rider is around, it does not mean they have come to Search you, and ICly you probably would not expect them to, so please act accordingly and don't expect to be Searched everytime a dragon flies nearby.

Also remember if you have NOT applied for a Dragon, you will not be Searched. If you have NOT had a Search interview, you will not be Searched.

* Hatching!

About 5 OOC weeks after the Clutching, the eggs will be hard enough to Hatch. This generally occurs in the evening (MOOtime) and lasts about 2.5 hours. NPCs and Candidates will scatter onto the sands and play off each other and the eggs/dragonets. It's basically a vast one-night pageant we don't get to rehearse for. :)

OOCly, by Hatching time, SearchCo will know who Impresses to what and we will try to tailor the dragon to suit your character. People work hard at matching dragons with Candidates, and by Hatching time the dragonet has a good sense of where it's headed.

* Post-Hatching!

The newly Impressed are taken to the side of the sands where the Weyrlingmaster staff will help with the shock of Impression (and OOCly you get to watch the rest of the Hatching). :) Once the dragons' mental hunger for Bonding is satisfied, the real gut-physical demands of fledgling hunger kick in and freshly Hatched dragons are far from endearing little creatures. PES - PostEggSyndrome: very irritable, very hungry, very annoyed, and utterly delighted with their new lifemate.

Those whose dragons just weren't there this time are reluctantly returned to their places of origin and encouraged to pursue their craft/life/future in hopes they will try again. Hatchings are OOCly roughly 4 months apart and alternate between Ista and High Reaches. Extending your life away from the weyr shows commitment to HT as a whole. Note: Standing once does not guarantee that you will be asked to Stand again.

We know it is not fun to Not_Impress. Many of us have been there ourselves. We know it hurts, we know you want answers, but it is recommended you log out before you start yelling at people. There will be time to talk later when everyone's had time to balance.

How To Impress

The DON'Ts!

  • DO NOT pester SearchCo or Weyrleaders about Search, ICly or OOCly. ICly, no-one would know but the dragons, so keep this in mind. And OOCly we welcome questions and comments, but endless impatient pages about the status of your application are not appreciated. Do page *SearchCO* people first if you have questions, or @send to *hrws.
  • DO NOT hang about the Weyr if you weren't there before Search opens. Find yourself a life and connections elsewhere. If chosen, a Searchrider will find you, wherever you are. A good way to get overlooked is to hang about the Weyr, besides which, ICly weyrfolk are not usually "Searched" for their home Weyr, they're asked to Stand. You'd miss all the dragonfun! Puppets are welcome of course, so you have some idea of Weyr-RP, and ICly visits are Good. Just hanging around is not Good.
  • DO NOT grovel/whine/gripe OOCly - ICly you are more than welcome to be as obnoxious as you like *hee* — Nuff is. But OOC, being obsequious, snide, rude, arrogant, whiny, or in any other way trying to grovel your way through Search is also not a GoodIdea. As with any other player, be considerate, polite, and respectful as we hope the Weyr is to you. Regardless of a character's "role" in Pernese society, every character is driven by a living breathing Player that should be judged by their actions and their character's actions, not by the threads of their knot. Staying IC is Good; dismissing someone OOCly because they choose to RP a drudge is Bad. Some of our best friends are drudges. ;)
  • DO NOT put riders on a pedestal. Just as we get annoyed with people who measure Player's worth by the IC tasks the choose to RP, we get equally frustrated with people drooling over Riders, unless they're as dashingly handsome as G'deon. As one rider has said: "DO NOT approach every rider you meet as if they are made of glass… even better, a better breed above :P I get so annoyed with Candidates who worship me and my dragon simply because I'm on SearchCo and have a dragon to begin with. A certain amount of 'WOW, it's a dragon' is expected and yes, even fun to play off of, but it gets tiring and it can get out of hand very quickly… and in the case of me… and many other long-time SearchCo members I know, it doesn't reflect favorably." Which isn't to say you shouldn't be nice. :) Just don't grovel and drool.
  • DO NOT fill your life with angst. RP that is so self-driven and consuming that it demands everyone pause in their life to react to the fact you just lost your left hand while trying to feed the watch-wher is Not Good. (If we fill the Weyr with a whole clutch of self-centered people like me, whoever will I RP off of? *hee*) But really, someone that can RP simple PernLife in an interesting/amusing/unique manner is well sought after. Tumbling from one melodrama to another, life in danger, gets stale real fast.
  • DO NOT powerplay off other player/characters/puppets. This is more than just manipulating their objects without consent and can be as subtle as posing your lizard being petted by Bert as he sits chatting with Ernie. What if Bert has a lizard phobia? What if he can't stand them and if you'd simply posed it near him he would have tried to carve it up with his belt knife? Keep your poses self-contained and never extend them out through another unless invited to do so.
  • This is not quite a DO NOT, we do not wish to constrain what sort of character you create. It's more of a plea to avoid falling into the Perfect-o-Descs that, instead of making you stand out, toss you into the category of Dull-perfect, seen far to many times before. Perfect is boring on the whole, and we would much rather see real people doing real things; pick your nose, get healers to check your hair for insects, have features that aren't 'sculpted to perfection'.

The DO's!

  • DO be Patient! Remember Search consumes a lot of the SearchCoers' time ICly and OOCly and they might be slow to respond. We will be doing our very best to keep you informed along the way. If you don't know something, chances are, we don't either. *hee*
  • DO have an imperfect character with a well-thought out life that needn't include Mooning For Dragon. ICly, riders are a small proportion of the population, and it would be tiresome if everyone you met was hoping they would be Searched.
  • DO seek out others for RP, preferably not at the Weyr unless you have a ShardingGoodReason to be there ICly. Living there is a good one, losing your left green sock is Not. (Okay, it /could/ be. Like if the rider you were dating ran off with it tied to his lizard's tail and you need it because the map to the buried treasure on the south coast is… nevermind.)
  • DO bring us your questions. Ideally a polite page to a SearchCoer or a @send to *hrws is best. Look for people with "SearchCo" emblazoned in their @doing. These are people who have offered to commit their time to you. Keep in mind that they are there for general questions and will /not/ answer questions about your application/interview/Search status. And though they have devoted their @doing to you, remember they too have IC and OOC lives; annoy the SearchCo, you annoy Search and this is never a GoodThing.

Finally: Questions and Answers!

What does a Rider Do?

Well, ICly that's easy. They train to fly Thread, actually fly Thread, deal with the consequences of Thread and take care of their lifemates and themselves so they can fly Thread again. OOCly there is plenty to RP about the life of a rider, from working with your lifemate and all the upkeep required, as well as the fun of flights and dragon-speak, and going out Visiting all over Pern. They train weyrlings, prep Search, tease Candidates, build dragonets, and just do what any other Player-Character does, which is to have fun. They are also, in part, ambassadors of RP for new-player and non-riding characters who, given the focus in the books, naturally seek out Riders to interact with. This is a role we Riders could fill far better than we do. We think it's important that people realize, in the end, that what they do as Riders is essentially what they did before they Ride, just in a different setting with a Spiffy puppet that eats a lot. If you are bored before Search, you /will/ be bored after. There's more to do, in some sense, but nothing more to compel one to do it. Think of it this way: Riding accentuates all that you like about HT, and all that you do not. If you are miserable with your character, bored and angsty, this will not change because you have an extra bit of code to play with.

Who gets to Impress?

We are looking for active, interesting, imaginative people who know PERN and want to share their RP with us. What makes 'good RP' is self-determined, but should never manipulate others, and never be so inaccessible and self-involved that others are not welcome to participate in it. A good idea is to send a puppet in to scout out the public room before you arrive, making it that much easier to fit your RP with the other. Constant Angst and Horror are not usually a GoodThing because such plots tend to demand that Others react, and react, and react again to /your/ life. Simple, IC, interesting RP that draws out others is a very GoodThing. So, we look at:

  • RP.
  • Character development/history/desc/imagination.
  • Knowledge of Pern and HT's version of it.
  • Do you stay IC? Do you idle constantly?
  • Do you spend all your time holed up in your room?
  • Do you get along with the other Candidates?
  • Your motivations for Search. Do you know /why/ you want to do this? Here? Now? With us?
  • Are you having fun?!

What if I just want a metallic dragon?

ICly dragonriders are a rarity on Pern, and greens outnumber all the rest put together, making the larger dragons even more of a rarity. OOCly we try and balance the Weyr colors so that they reflect this fact. Keep in mind that the color of your dragon will not limit the responsibilities you can take on at the Weyr. But yes, Weyrwoman and Weyrleader are, for the most part, determined by their dragons. Think about /why/ you want a particular color and are you willing (and do you have the /time/) to do justice to a dragon of any color? Again we look for:

  • Experienced/Intelligent/Aware people
  • Good sense of IC/OOC and canon
  • Stable access/ontimes. Time time time time /time/
  • Sanity. (or in Nuff's case /not/).
  • Well formulated sense of WHY you want this.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle yourself well both ICly and in awkward OOC situations. Do you keep your head? Do you flip out and rant at people? Do you hold grudges, whine, or be snide? Do you scare people? Do you feel the need to define the game simply because you happen to be a metallic rider? Or do you encourage/generate RP? Do you listen? (This is not because we assume you will be a leader, or even guarantee that you will be, but simply because metallic riders, gold especially, are so visible.)
  • Ties to HT and a life before the Weyr. This isn't to say a fresh character has no chance, but reputation and being known and seen and active and busy and DoingStuff helps a lot. On the other hand, being interesting and alive and generating RP helps even more, and anyone can do this.

Who picks who Impresses?

ICly it is simply the dragon's choice. OOCly one or two SearchLeaders sit down and figure out how they want to run things. Generally Search is being run on a general consensus basis, and all those Riders and Weyrfolk interested in sharing the workload will be offering opinions on who to Search and Impress. Don't go about trying to impress the Weyrleaders; they couldn't claim you a dragon even if they wanted to.

Should I live at the Weyr?

Not if you weren't here before Search opens, no. We encourage people to spend time in the Crafts and Holds of Ista and work up links that will tie you even after Impression. Riding brings you to the Weyr, it does not mean you have to stay there and having connections outside to go visit is Good. The more background you have, the more fun riding will be. Existing only within the Weyr is not a good idea.

How old should I be?

ICly as young as 12 and generally up till about 23 years of age. Keep in mind gold-Candidates tend to be older; Impressing a gold to a 12 turn old that could conceivably become Weyrwoman two turns later is just a tad unlikely. Generally 14- 18 is a good range for any dragon.

Can my IC SO come with me?

Riders never marry. Nada. No. You will not be Searched if you are handfasted. And generally we prefer characters untethered to another because they are less likely to end up spending all their time in their weyr. If you have a child already, it is best fostered off with a friend, as s/he would not accompany you with Search.

I can't code.

Don't worry! HT's a pretty user-friendly place and people are, in fact, encouraged not to code things. Besides, whatever would the wizards do without having the Code-Clueless there to pester them?

How often do I have to be online?

HT has the infamous @activity verbs that track on-times. This is not a competition, online and idle is probably more useless than not being online at all, as people get to thinking that you are always idle and inaccessible. A rough guide is 7 hours a week, out in public RP-generating activity. Hiding out in your room does not count.

I already have/had a rider character on HT. Can I still apply?

As long as you currently only have one, and it was Impressed more than two cycles ago, you are eligible to apply for another one: however, you will need to let SearchCo know the name of your dragonrider upon application. As long as you meet those requirements, and do not have two riders that are still PC, you are welcome to apply!

Eep! I've changed my mind on Search or Colors.

Then just @send to *hrws with details.

How many people will Impress?

The HT rules allow up to 15 PC Impressions. That means a /maximum/ of 15 new Riders, though SearchCo reserves the right to Impress fewer if they so choose. (Please see the application for more information.) Why not Impress more? == Because HT is more than just a Weyr. It is the vitality of Hold/Craft/Hall/Weyr that make a world fun to play.

I'm so confused!

Take a deep breath, sit down, read a good book. (Ooo.. Pern related even!). Just think about Pern and what it would mean ICly to be a rider. Is that what you want? Think about what it means OOCly to be a rider. Is that what you want? Do you have the time to commit to a dragon and give it the attention it deserves? Is now the best time for you? If it all still seems overwhelming, hang out on the game awhile longer. Talk to SearchCo members; talk to anyone. A dragon will not suddenly transform you or your character. It is an extension of who and what you are and yes, can be sharding good fun!

Please remember that there are always more applicants than places, and always more Candidates than dragons. There are those who really wanted to Impress and will not. A person can do everything right, and do all the Do's, and avoid all the Dont's, and there might still be no Dragon for them this time around. We try really hard to Impress people we enjoy and have fun with, and in the end we have just make a decision. Not Impressing a Dragon does not mean we did not enjoy you as a Candidate; if we did not want to play with you, you would not have been Searched.

Wheeeee! Yer done. We hope this Information helps you to know what it is the Weyr is looking for in its Riders, and makes the application easier to complete. Again, @send to *hrws with any questions you have, or get in touch with a SearchCo member. Thanks for the interest!

(Search FAQs first written by Nuff.)

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