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Mailing List Logs for ShadowRN

Message no. 1
From: "Paul J. Adam" <shadowtk@********.DEMON.CO.UK>
Subject: Frequently Asked Questions - Part 2
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 22:52:25 +0100
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 HTTP and 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 and/or adult themes.

The responsibility (blame?) for each posting falls entirely into the
hands of the original poster. The listowners, postmaster, and the iTRiBE
administration assumes no liability for the contents of postings.

If you have a complaint about the list content, please e-mail the Nice
Guy Dread Executor at paul@******** with the details.



Posting to the ShadowTk list without following the GUIDELINES FOR
POSTING can, and frequently will, result in your immediate removal from
the list; accompanied by a message requesting that you refamiliarize
yourself with the ShadowTk FAQ.

Once you have refamiliarized yourself with the FAQ, you are free to
rejoin the list.

Persistent breaches of the GUIDELINES FOR POSTING will mean you will not
be permitted to rejoin.


A. Formatting Guidelines and Justifications

1. Why Format Correctly?
Proper formatting of messages to ShadowTk is important for several

First of all it helps sustain the illusion of a Shadowrun BBS, and helps
to maintain the atmosphere.

Secondly, it allows for ease of reading for your fellow list members:
using the standard format means everyone knows what you're trying to

Lastly, it makes it easier for the listowner and all other people who
are keeping logs to format them in a consistent manner.

Proper formatting can be a minor irritation, but soon becomes habit. It
is, though, seen by some as an indication of likely conduct: if someone
will not follow the simple rules of formatting a message, they may not
be likely to respect the other conventions of the list.

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.

i. *****PRIVATE: messages
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.

For example,

*****PRIVATE: Johnson
>>>>>[Nobody except you and I know this message
-- Lonesome <00:32:16/07-07-58>

It is very poor etiquette to have any other characters respond to such a
message, unless it is a special case where the sender of the message has
agreed to let the message be eavesdropped upon.

Some players choose to add additional encryption to their PRIVATE:

*****PRIVATE: AlexandriaN
>>>>>[+++++begin encryption: Kido Buntai 4.2
Alex, we've got a real problem here.
+++++end encryption: Kido Buntai 4.2]<<<<<
-- Lynch <00:31:16/07-07-58>

This is only a matter of "colour" and style: if the originator of a
PRIVATE: message states that it is secure, then it is secure and may not
be read by anyone other than the recipient.

ii. *****NOT TO: messages
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 receive the message are listed. Once again, it is very poor
etiquette to have a character respond to a message he has been barred
from. For example,

*****NOT TO: Thunda
>>>>>[This guy is really beginning to annoy me.]<<<<<
-- Easy <00:31:16/07-07-58>

It is not impossible that a well-supported character, with a web of
contacts, would still be able see the NOT TO: message. It is, though, a
plot device intended to ease the flow of the plot (rather than a
credible technical invention) and ignoring it is likely to cause
annoyance: best to discuss it (either privately or on Plot-D) first.

Some list members find NOT TO: useful, others dislike it and choose not
to use it. As with PRIVATE: encryptions, the originator's word is final.

iii. *****INTERNAL: messages.
The third type of encryption, which isn't really an encrypt in the same
sense as PRIVATE: and NOT TO:, is the INTERNAL message. INTERNAL
messages can be used to provide insight on what is going on behind the
scenes in a plot for the ShadowTk list-members.

INTERNAL messages are for plot development, conveying information that
would not normally be posted to the ShadowLand board. They are typically
corporate or government message traffic, but that's not a hard-and-fast

*****INTERNAL: Renraku Security IntraNet
>>>>>[Sir, the four intruders have been apprehended. Three are still
alive and are being interrogated at this moment. I expect to make a full
report by the morning.]<<<<<
-- Sergeant Jiro Hayabusa <00:31:16/07-07-58>
Internal Security
Renraku Red Samurai

Again, while it is very ill-mannered to post a reply to, or knowledge
of, an INTERNAL: post without invitation, it's quite possible to e-mail
the originator and discuss how your character(s) might become involved
in that plot.

Gross consequence might be obvious, but detail usually won't be unless
the originator allows. For instance,

*****INTERNAL: Lone Star (Seattle)
>>>>>[Okay. Lock it down. Discreet. but hard. I want the streets quiet
within a week.]<<<<<
-- Colonel Bob Roberts<00:31:16/07-07-58>
Robbery and Homicide Division, Auburn

might fairly prompt the response to the list

>>>>>[Man, the Star are jumpy in Auburn these days. Regular heatwave.
Any idea what's going on?]<<<<<
-- Boomer <04:11:34/07-07-58>

However, only by consulting the originator of the post and seeking their
approval and advice is it reasonable to offer

>>>>>[I heard that Commander Roberts is really torqued about something,
and he wants the Auburn streets clean within a week. Anyone know
-- Boomer <04:11:34/07-07-58>

as a follow-up. The fact of a Lone Star clean-up in Auburn might be
obvious (though how successful it is, is a matter to check with the
originator of the message) but the reasons behind it would not be.

iv. Minor Encryptions
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." or "I'll leave the chips at
when the payment reaches me."

It's a fact that no two Shadowrun campaigns are alike. One area this
reflects is on payment for shadowrunning and other work: what one group
would leap at, another would ignore as chicken-feed. Minor encryptions
are ideal for resolving this problem, and can be quite descriptive. For
instance, "I'll pay >>amazingly large amount<< for whoever brings me the
head of Damien Knight" or "I know it isn't much, but whoever helps me
will get >>small sum<< for their time". Mentioning an actual sum of
money is likely to bring a chorus of both "I'd never work for so
little!" and "That's a ludicrously large sum!".

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 utilise five '+'
symbols. #

For Example:

>>>>>[Joe, this is the guy I saw.

+++++ Download: bad_guy.picture

Recognise him?]<<<<<
-- Smitty <04:11:34/07-07-58>


>>>>>[I got this footage while I was in New York. It's real, I swear!

+++++begin trideo: kong.avi
A giant ape climbs the Empire State Building, a screaming woman clutched
in one hand while small aircraft buzz around him.
+++++end trideo

It's all true!]<<<<<
-- Whacko <04:11:34/07-07-58>

Transcripts of meetings and telephone calls, video footage of dramatic
events, recordings of Matrix runs, all can be covered by dramatic

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

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.

While FASA's later books have moved away from the time/date stamp,
ShadowTK retains them because it assists in compiling the logs and in
determining in which order posts should be read .

Also, while some FASA books have characters able to distort their
time/date stamps, this should not be done until your character has spent
some time on the list, if at all. It is recommended that most ShadowTK
characters stick to the traditional Time/Date format.

Non-US users are reminded that the date is expressed as Month/Day/Year,
thus 17 July 2058 is 07/17/58.

********** 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 personas 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 preceded by
eight spaces, two dashes (--), and two spaces.

Time = The time of the post in 24hr format (i.e., hh:mm:ss) I've found
it personally convenient 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 2058 during 1997). 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 or government types, since no self respecting runner
or neo-anarchist would use something that corps do.

Corporation= Name of the Corporation or organisation to which the
individual is affiliated.

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 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

It is strongly recommended that listmembers allow a character to
"settle" into the list for a while before doing this, and that it should
indicate considerable ability on behalf of the decker.

OTHER EDITING INSTRUCTIONS: 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 unnecessary 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, don't do it.

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 unnecessary. If you feel
that you need to address specific points, please try to simply address
them without wasting bandwidth with unnecessary 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.

Flaming: Isn't very nice, period. You will be warned if your behaviour
is perceived as flaming. 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.
Rumours, reports, opinions, etc. about the Shadowrun universe are the
subject. 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 automatically - 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 waiver.

********** D. What are the restrictions on characterisation?
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

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 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

There have been and are list members who run corporations, police forces
and intelligence agencies, but a common factor is that those bodies, and
the people who make them up, have identifiable limitations, weaknesses
and vulnerabilities. Basically, just remember that ShadowTK is not about
"winning", it's about storytelling.

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 recognised 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 MUST NOT write something up and sign as someone else's
character without the creators' consent.

2: If you use someone else's character with their permission, keep their
posting style consistent. This includes their language, virtual
mannerisms, and Time/Date stamp. If you don't know the character well
enough to do so, don't use it.

3: NEVER kill off someone else's character, without prior consent. This
is an /absolute/ rule.

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.

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 command.

Most listmembers are willing to accommodate good ideas, though you will
often find the reply to be "not this phase, but in the next stage I'd
really appreciate it if your character..." Similarly, keep a degree of
flexibility. Often, excellent ideas will come from someone else watching
your plot.

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.

When generating stories that push the envelope of Shadowrun (i.e.,
involve AIs, new magic, new corporations, new technology, or events that
would make front-page news in the Seattle newsfax), you should first
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 you're repeating a story
that has already been done. For example, maniac terrorists have been
used a lot recently. This doesn't mean that you can't do a terrorist
plotline, just that you should try to make it innovative 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 .
Be sure to include the word "CAST:" in the subject line of your message.

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 separate 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 -- <--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 -- 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 community.


A. Getting edited logs via HTTP and FTP.
Edited versions of the ShadowTalk logs are available on the following

IP # []
NOTE: The files are stored on this site in ZIP format only.

IP # []

IP # []
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 greatly speed up this process. A special thanks to
Jerry Stratton for donating space alongside the NAGEE and other
Shadowrun related files. Unedited (raw) versions of the weekly
ShadowTalk Logs can be found at the following sites:
IP # []

IP # []

Questions about the archive site for raw logs should be forwarded to the
LISTSERV maintainer, Mark Imbriaco .


There are two small mail mailing lists that ShadowTalk readers can
subscribe to. To summarise the lists:

TK-LOG: 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 precedes the edited logs
being available on FTP by a few days.

TK-CAST: 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 shorelines, it is recommended strongly that you
'subscribe' to this distribution.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE: Subscribing is handled in a fashion that exactly 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: listserv@******** SUB: BODY:
subscribe tk-log or subscribe tk-cast 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
summarise these procedures.


A. EMACS auto-wrapper
Richard Pieri 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:


********** 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 similar to SHADOWTK's, and the method of
subscription is nearly identical. To subscribe, you send email with the
following parameters: TO: listserv@******** SUB: 1st line:
subscribe plotd


A. Just who are these administrators anyways?

Mark Imbriaco, 22, 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. Mark
married his high-school sweetheart, and had his first child, Zachary, in
February of 1997. 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 gets around to
it. If he could be an animal, Mark would be a falcon. [ ]

Paul J. Adam, 27, is an engineering manager for GEC-Marconi Underwater
Weapon Systems, responsible for the main propulsion motor and the weapon
internal interfaces for the Sting Ray Lightweight Torpedo. This is both
more and less interesting than it sounds.... He married Hazel Barnes in
1994, and they live (with their cat Jezebel) in Horndean, north of
Portsmouth, in Hampshire. That's the original Portsmouth, "old"
Hampshire, and all this is in Great Britain. Paul is a Bachelor of
Engineering, and an Associated Member of the IMechE. He likes his
computer, military history, war games, heavy metal and good movies: and
if he had to be an animal he'd want to be a fox.

Last update: 22 July 1997 | Updated By: Paul J. Adam]

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about Frequently Asked Questions - Part 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.