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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: "Mark Imbriaco" <mark@******.net>
Subject: ADMIN: ShadowTk FAQ: 2/2
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 16:40:46 -0500
ShadowTalk FAQ
Part II


A. Formatting Guidelines and Justifications
B. What is the posting format?
C. What are the restrictions on the type of postings?
i. General Restrictions
ii. Mailing List Advertising Policy
D. What are the restrictions on characterization?
E. Registering a Character

A. Getting edited logs via FTP


A. EMACS auto-wrapper
B. PERL script to send a message with correct formatting

A. What is PLOT-D
B. Subscribing to PLOT-D

A. Just who are these administrators anyways?


By nature of the topic of this list (cyberpunk and gothic styles
of fiction) it should be warned that discussions often contain
violent, sexual or adult themes. The responsibility (blame?) for
each posting falls entirely into the hands of the original poster.
The listowners, postmaster, and the HEARN administration assumes
no liability for the contents of postings.



A. Formatting Guidelines and Justifications
1. Why Format Correctly?
Proper formatting of messages to Shadowtk is important for
several reasons. First of all it helps sustain the illusion
of a Shadowrun BBS. Secondly, it allow for ease of reading
for your fellow list members. Lastly, it makes it easier for
the listowner and all other people who are keeping logs to
format them in a consistant manner.

2. What are encrypts, and how do I use them?
Encrypted messages are used to allow a message to be either
read only by certain characters or to prevent them from being
read by particular characters. Encrypts are used to enhance
the development of storylines and should be used sparingly.

The first type of encryption is the "Private" message.
Following the keyword "PRIVATE" the names of the characters
the message was sent to are listed. Only these characters are
aware of the messages existence, and even they do not know that
the same message was sent to characters other than themselves.
It is very poor etiquette to have any other characters respond
to such a message, unless it is a special case, and the sender
of the message has agreed to let the message be eavesdropped

The second type of encryption is the "Barring" message.
Following the keywords "NOT TO" the names of the characters
that the writer does not want to recieve the message are
listed. Once again, it is very poor etiqutte to have a
character respond to a message he has been barred from.

A secondary use of encrypts is to allow the author to
neglect to specify an otherwise meaningless detail. Encrypts
of this nature are placed inside a message and appear in a
format similar to "Meet me at >>Encrypted<< in two hours."

3. "Dramatics"
Many times, a posting will be made that has what are
termed "Dramatics" in them. Often times, this will be
downloading of a program, a description of a video camera
shot, a virus attacking the poster, or some such. To
properly set these events off, one will utilize five '+'
symbols. For Example:
+++++ Download: bad_guy.picture
+++++ Video: You see at big monkey climbing a
skyscraper while little airplanes annoy him.

4. ID and Time/Date Stamp
All message must have an ID and a time/date Stamp at the
end of the message. This includes messages that are disrupted
during sending since ID and Time/Date are determined before
the posting character starts his message. Leaving the ID and
Time/Date Stamp off of a post is very confusing and should
never be done. Repeated offenders will be notified that
they are violating the posting format and that they will be
removed from the list if they continue to do so.

B. What is the posting format?

The best guideline for posting format can be found in the FASA
rulebooks, but in summary, a post should be made as follows:

Standard Style:

***** (Key Word): Name List (optional)
>>>>>[Text to be discussed]<<<<<
-- ID < Time / Date >

Corporate Style:

***** (Key Word): Name List (optional)
>>>>>[Text to be discussed]<<<<<
-- ID < Time / Date >

(Key Word) = This refers to the key words for the two styles of post
encryption, those being "PRIVATE" and "NOT TO".
Name List = This is a list of names of personnas that the encryption is
keyed to. For private messages, it is a list of those who
are able to read the post. For barring messages, it is the
list of people who cannot read the message.
>>>>>[ = All postings should start with five (5) greater-than symbols
followed by an opening bracket.
]<<<<< = All postings should end with a closing bracket followed by
five (5) less than symbols.
ID = Your fictional LTG identification. This ID should be
preceeded by eight spaces, two dashes (--), and two spaces.
Time = The time of the post in 24hr format (ie, hh:mm:ss)
I've found it personally convienient to simply use the
current real-world time. There has been some discussion
regarding using a universal time (example, everyone posts
using GMT or Seattle time). It has been decided that it is too
much of a pain to try to recalculate posting time. If you do
with is use a universal time, use GMT.
Date = The Shadowrun Date. In order to keep things in order,
use the current month and day, and for the year, take
the current year and add 61 to it (Shadowrun takes
place in 2055 during 1994). Date is posted in MM-DD-YY format.
Position = The position possessed by the individual in his corporation
(President, CEO, Executive Assistant). This style of posting is
used only by corporate-types, since no self respecting runner or
neoanarchist would use something that corps do.
Corporation= Name of the Coroporation to which the individual is affilated.

NOTE: There are some industrious "deckers" that alter the
time-date stamp into saying something else. While this can be fun,
it is generally accepted that only VERY expert deckers can do this,
not listmembers who are too lazy to check the date and time for
a message. It is /not/ a trivial task to change, and even for
the most expert decker, in most cases, is usually not considered
worth the effort to do so.

All postings should be made flush-left. Do not TAB in new paragraphs.
Do not use TABs for formatting purposes (use spaces).

At the end of a paragraph, press return twice and start the next
paragraph flush-left.

If there are multiple messages in one posting, put only one blank
line between them.

Do not hyphenate words. If a word is longer than the line, start
the word on the NEXT line.

Signature Files:
As a general rule, it is unnescessary to include a signature file
for SHADOWTK postings, as your entries will have your "ID" to
identify you. Most mailers are able to resolve return
addresses. Thus, this practice is highly frowned upon.

Quoting Previous Postings:
This is also highly frowned upon, mostly because of the difficulty
in creating a log file. Discussion should occur rapidly enough
that quoting of will be unecessary. If you feel that you need to
address specific points, please try to simply address them without
wasting bandwidth with unecessary quoting. Use the text of the
posting to refresh everyone's memory if you can.

Subject Line:
Please note that subject lines WILL NOT be present in the edited
log, so if you have a subject line that is important to the
meaning of message, it will become confusing.

Isn't very nice, period. If it gets too bad, you will be deleted from
the list.

C. What are the restrictions on the type of postings?

i. General Restrictions

In general, any aspect of the Shadowrun society can be discussed.
Rumors, reports, opinions, etc. about the Shadowrun universe are the

Any world shaking plots, or plots that will directly or indirectly
affect other characters should be discussed on the PLOT-D list
beforehand. (See part 7)

Another rule of thumb is that plots should generally stick with
the published FASA world as much as possible. Sticking to the
FASA world ensures that new listmembers will see a world that they
are familiar with from published FASA literature.

NOTE: The list generally lags behind published FASA literature
by a month or so. This gives all of the listmembers who are
interested in plots pertaining to that literature time
to purchase and read it.

ii. Mailing List Advertising Policy

This policy is intended to fight mailing-list "spamming".

The Shadowrun mailing lists accept commercial advertising for payment.
We offer a fee waiver if you can show us the cancelled check for a
$1000 (U.S.) or more donation to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
One donation per advertisement, please. If you don't wish to donate,
simply post your advertisement to the list, and the operator of the
mailing lists will bill $1999 (U.S). The list operator will donate
this amount, minus the expense of collecting it, to EFF. Please note
that the lists are distributed automaticaly - messages are generally
not read or checked in any way before they are distributed.

By the act of posting your advertisement you agree to accept
responsibility for the fee, you agree to indemnify the mailing-list
operator against any legal claims from you or others in connection with
your advertisement, and you agree to pay any legal and business
expenses incurred in collecting late payment. Our liability to you is
limited to a good-faith effort to deliver your message.

Reduced rates and/or waiver of fee are available for Shadowrun-related
and selected other topics of advertisements. You must consult the
mailing-list operator in advance of posting for any reduction or fee

D. What are the restrictions on characterization?
Over one hundred people subscribe to this list, and everyone wants to
feel as individual and special as the next. To this end, please keep
the following parameters in mind when creating stories and characters.

Stick to the official rules and world background. This is not meant to
constrain your imagination, but to provide a common "world" in which to
interact. Some people play highly variant versions of Shadowrun, with
Artificial Intelligences, Voodoo magic, and Orbital Masters. In
general, if it doesn't exist in the rules or supplements, don't use
it. If there is a variant idea that you really want to use, bring
it up on PLOT-D (See part 7) first for commenting. If consensus is
approving, you may use it, but it is very likely that that cries
of munchkinism will be raised.

Also, maintain a sense of humility and reason. All characters are
vulnerable, and no character should have an excessive amount of power
without reason. If you do play a powerful character, do not go about
bragging of your connections and abilities. . . this will only annoy
the others and result in a flame war. With great power comes great
responsibility; it is your responsibility to keep your activities
within reason.

When you create a character, try to give him or her some depth. Come up
with mannerisms, common sayings, and other unique aspects that define
your character as more than a stream of ASCII. A sign of a well-
developed character is one who can be recognized without a Time/Date
stamp. Mentioning "off-board" friends, enemies, and contacts can also

There are 4 rules to character usage that must be followed:

1: You cannot use someone else's character without
permission. This means that you shouldn't write something
up and sign as "Nightstalker", "Dark Elf" or "Wolf
without the creators' consent.

2: If you do use someone else's character with permission,
keep their posting style consistent. This includes their
language, virtual mannerisms, and Time/Date stamp.

3: NEVER kill off someone else's character, without prior

4: Above All, HAVE FUN!

If you want to get involved with an existing story, or wish to invite
someone else to yours, your best bet is to discuss it on PLOT-D
(See part 7). If you do not subscribe to that list, you can still
contact people privately with the REPLY command. We recommend that you
contact someone privately before jumping into their story; most will
appreciate the help, but it is impolite to say something happened
without warning them first.

NOTE: Some mailers will automatically attempt to reply to the list
server, so you may be forced to enter the email address of
the person you wish to contact as opposed to the REPLY

When generating stories that push the envelope of Shadowrun (i.e,
involve AIs, new magic, or weapons), you should discuss it on PLOT-D.
There, you can get an idea as to how people will react, and get
suggestions on how to make it work better. Also, the veteran members
of this list can tell you if your repeating a story that has already
been done. For example, kidnapppings have been overdone. This
doesn't mean that you can't do a kidnapping, just try to make it
innovate and fresh in some way.

E. Registering a Character
There are literally hundreds of major and minor characters who rear
their heads into the ShadowTalk storyline. In an effort to make
keeping tabs on the individual characters a little easier, all
participants are encouraged to register their character.

Registering a character is a very simple procedure. You simply send
your character name, real name, e-mail address and a brief description
of your character's background. Send your character to the maintainer
of the cast list, Mark Imbriaco <mark@******.net>.

Be sure to include the word "CAST:" in the subject line of your

Because of limitations in the editing software, please limit your
submissions to one character per mailing. If you have several
characters to register, send each of them in a seperate mail message.

Also, for characters that are not used often or appear only briefly,
it is probably best, in the interest of the size of the cast list, to
not send in backgrounds for all characters.

Finally, there is a format you MUST follow to register your characters
The format looks like this:

Character Name -- Your Real Name <your@*****.address>
-- <--two dashes
Up to an eight line description of the character. Say what you need to say
and no more. Include mannerisms and whatever. Be fun. We don't need a
complete physical description, though. For characters with real name, use
the last-name first method.

Yoshida, Joseph - Robert Hayden <hayden@*******>
President of the large corporation Yoshida Technologies. Father to
Norman Yoshida. Largely responsible for the development of several early
cybernetic components. Often considered in the 'runner community to be a
'nice' corp. Joseph is an Eagle adept and politically powerful in the Eagle



Since the list has recently changed servers, this section is
currently being remodeled. Stay tuned for more information.

A. Getting edited logs via FTP.

Edited versions of the ShadowTalk logs are available on one of two sites.

IP # []
DIR: pub/shadowtalk

IP # []
DIR: pub/Role-Playing/Shadowrun/Shadowtalk
NOTE: The files are stored on this site in ZIP format only.

The edited version of the logs will have all of the headers and
signatures removed so that you can simply read a series of postings.
For this reason, you can see why it would be helpful to following the
posting format outlined in part 3:A and 3:B. The editing of these
files will have to be done manually and using the correct format
will speed up this process.

A special thanks to Hubert Bartels <hgb@********>
for donating the site alongside the alt.cyberpunk.chatsubo archives.

A special thanks to Jerry Stratton <jerry@******.ACUSD.EDU> for
donating space alongside the NAGEE and other Shadowrun related files.



There are two small mail mailing lists that ShadowTalk readers can
subscribe to.

To summarize the lists:

Joining this list will cause you to receive a copy of the weekly
edited log. The edited log is identical to the regular postings to
ShadowTalk, but the administrative postings, mistakes and mailing
headers have been removed. This distribution preceeds the edited
logs being available on FTP by a few days.

Subscribers to this list will get a copy of the current cast
listing mailed to them sometime around the beginning of every
month. Note that this is the ONLY way to automatically get a copy of
the cast listing as, due to its size, it is not posted to the list.
If you are active in the Shadowtalk storylines, it is recommended
strongly that you 'subscribe' to this distribution.

Subscribing is handled in a fashion thatexactly the same as how
you subscribed to the Shadowtalk list, but some of the names are a
little different.

To subscribe, you send an email message to an automated listserver:

TO: listproc@********
SUB: <ignored>
BODY: subscribe tk-log your-name
or subscribe tk-cast your-name

To unsubscribe, simply replace the word 'subscribe' with
'unsubscribe' and you will be removed. You will also get an
informational packet that you should hang on to that will
summarize these procedures.



A. EMACS auto-wrapper
Richard Pieri <ratinox@***> has available an emacs script
that will allow you to automatically wrap, date, and send your
messages, so that you do not have to worry about formatting.

You can get a copy via FTP at:

B. perl script to send a message with correct formatting
Mark Imbriaco <mark@******.net> has available a perl script
to send a message to the listserver with the proper formatting
in place.

The newest version will be available from him via email.



A. What is PLOT-D
PLOT-D is a supplemental discussion list for ShadowTalk. The purpose
of PLOT-D is to discuss (as the name obviously implies) plotlines. It
also handles discussion of administrative issues in order to not clog
SHADOWTK or SHADOWRN with only remotely related issues.

It is _HIGHLY_ recommended that you join PLOT-D if you are going
to be participating in the ShadowTalk storyline.


B. Subscribing to PLOT-D
PLOT-D's software operates very similiar to SHADOWTK's, and the
method of subscription is nearly identical.

To subscribe, you send email with the following parameters:

TO: listproc@********
SUB: <leave blank>
1st line: subscribe plot-d your-real-name



A. Just who are these administrators anyways?

Robert A. Hayden, 23, is a senior at Mankato State University,
located in Mankato, Minnesota (USA). He is majoring in
experiential education with an emphasis on computer administration
and information sciences. He plans to continue on to graduate
school after his graduation, most likely at Mankato State. In
addition, Hayden is a member of the MSU Student Senate Academic
Computing Committee.

Netwise, Hayden is active not only in the Shadowrun forums, but
can also be found in forums devoted to electronic and personal
rights. A member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Computer
Professionals for Social Responsiblity, and the American Civil
Liberties Union, he has taken a rather strong stance on the need
for data privacy and rights in cyberspace. In addition, he is a
vocal participant in various gay/lesbian/bisexual rights groups
and spends much of his off-net time pursuing civil rights for
minority sexual orientations.

Hayden began his game-writing career when 16. He had published a
set of rules that added fixed-wing aircraft to the Steve Jackson
battle simulation Car Wars. Following graduation from high
school, he then edited the _The Tome of Mighty Magic_, a
book of (very) high level spells for TSR's AD&D. Hayden has also
been published in the _Neo-Anarchists Guide to Everything Else_
(#4 and #5). In addition, Hayden is the writer of the infamous
'Geek Code' that can be found on many corners of the net.

Currently, Hayden is the editor of the epic ShadowTalk story as
well as administrating the four Shadowrun-related mailing lists.
In addition, he is working on writing a space-based cyberpunkish
RPG (as of yet, unnamed).

In addition, Hayden is employed by the City of Mankato as a system
administrator studying the feasibility of hooking the city up to
the internet.

If he could he an animal, Hayden would be a dolphin.

[ ]


J.D. Falk, 21, spends way too much time online. He works for Capital
Area Internet Service (, an Internet Access Provider in the
Washington, D.C. area (nobody has a faster connection to the 'net) as
a systems administrator, and is currently responsible for five FAQs
and a growing number of web pages.

Looking around the 'net, Falk can be found in a lot of places (some
of which even he can't explain.) Falk participates regularly in
various discussions about net.politics, and generally favors the
continuation of the current self-regulating semi-anarchistic 'net.
"Just write a good charter," he often says, "and inform people when
they're going against it."

He is also quite active in attempting to cure people of the (in his
words) idiotic notion that the current Internet is a Gibson-esque
"cyberspace." To further that goal, he has created cyberNOTHING
("Because nothing is cooler just because its cyber.") You can see the
cyberNOTHING home page at

Currently, he is the second-ever editor of the Net Enhancements for
Role-Playing Shadowrun series of books, and is responsible for the
ShadowRN and NERPS FAQs. He has also succeeded Doctor Doom as
Assistant Fearless Leader for all four lists.

[ ]


Mark Imbriaco, 21, is currently working as Director of
Engineering for the Web Development branch of iTRiBE,
a Norfolk, Virginia based company that provides high
bandwidth connectivity, and high-end World Wide Web
services to businesses world-wide.

Some of Mark's hobbies include Shaolin Kempo Karate, home
video game systems (3do and Playstation, especially), and
developing cool new applications for the Web.

Although he has temporarily taken time off from his academic
pursuits, he hopes to someday finish up the courses required
for a degree in Computer Science. Maybe. Someday.

If he could be an animal, Mark would be a falcon.

[ ]

[ Last update: 10-27-95 | Updated By: Mark Imbriaco <mark@******.net> ]

/\/\ iTRiBE /\/\
\ \/ 1700 World Trade Center 804 . 446 . 9060 (ofc) \/ /
/\ \ Norfolk, Virginia 23510 804 . 446 . 9061 (fax) / /\
\/ / \ \/
\/ Internet Presences . Web Application Development . Cool Stuff \/

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about ADMIN: ShadowTk FAQ: 2/2, you may also be interested in:


These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.